Friday, March 8, 2013

A Common Code: Surely That Means They’re All Related—Doesn’t It?

A Teachable Moment, Almost




One of the most common metaphysical premises in evolutionary theory is the claim that similarity implies common descent. If two species share similar genes then they must share a common ancestor, from which those genes originated. Evolutionists don’t think twice about this metaphysical claim. Among friends it is taken for granted and any challenges from creationists don’t matter to begin with. Why is this claim metaphysical? Because it doesn’t come from science. There is no scientific experiment or observation that tells us that biological similarity implies common descent. And yet, in a sure sign of metaphysics at work, evolutionists are certain of this premise. Similarity must arise as a consequence of common descent. This conclusion can be trumped only by the finding of even more similarity elsewhere. And such conflicts are common. Evolutionists often need to retract earlier conclusions of relatedness, and the evolutionary tree is filled with conflicting similarities and differences.

All of this became evident, if only for an ephemeral moment, in The Great Debate – What is Life? Go to the [8:40] mark in the above video to hear the context. Craig Venter provides a brief sampling of the problems with evolution’s tree of life model to which Paul Davies incredulously asks if Venter actually doubts the tree of life (even though evolutionists have been doubting the troubled model for years).

The light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter, however at the [11:20] mark where Richard Dawkins resumes the questioning where Davies left off. “I’m intrigued by Craig saying the tree of life is a fiction,” the evolution apologist begins. “I, I, mean the DNA code of all creatures that have ever been looked at is all but identical, and, um, surely that means that they’re all related. (pause) doesn’t it?

Venter was smart enough to steer clear of the mud and his silent, wry smile left Dawkins’ dogma hanging in the air like liturgical incense. It was the longest second in evolutionary history as Dawkins, perhaps having a brief moment of doubt, appeared to realize that his metaphysical pronouncement was just that.

Any danger of an epiphany, however, was averted as Dawkins quickly returned to form in the next moment, condemning those stubborn creationists to which the relieved audience broke into spontaneous applause. When in doubt hit the Warfare Thesis button.

[8:40] LK: Craig, do you know from your work—do we yet know what the minimal configuration is to make life?

CV: You mean the minimum gene set.

LK: The minimum gene set.

CV: We’re whittling down on it, but there won’t be “a minimum gene set.” There will be multiple ones because—I’m not so sanguine as some of my colleagues here that there is only one life form on this planet. We have a lot of different types of metabolism, different organisms. I wouldn’t call you the same life form as the one we have that lives in pH 12 base, that would dissolve your skin if we dropped you in it.

PD: I’ve got the same genetic code, therefore a common ancestor.

CV: Well you don’t have the same genetic code. In fact the mycoplasma use a different genetic code that would not work in your cells. So there are a lot of variations on a theme.

PD: But you’re not saying it belongs to a different tree of life than me, are you?

CV: Well I think the tree of life is an artifact of some early scientific studies that aren’t really holding up. So the tree, you know, there may be a bush of life. … So there is not a tree of life. In fact from our deep sequencing of organisms in the ocean, out of, now we have about 60 million different unique gene sets, we found 12 that look like a very, very deep branching—perhaps fourth domain of life. That obviously is extremely rare, that only shows up in those few sequences. But it’s still DNA-based, but the diversity we have in the DNA world—I’m not so sanguine and ready to throw out the DNA world, I think we’re gonna, like Richard was saying, we’re gonna find the same molecules and the same base systems wherever we look.

[…]

[11:20] RD: I’m intrigued by Craig saying the tree of life is a fiction. I, I, mean the DNA code of all creatures that have ever been looked at is all but identical, and, um, surely that means that they’re all related. (pregnant silence) doesn’t it?

CV: A wry smile.

h/t: The man

278 comments:

  1. Notes: Venter vs. Dawkins on the Tree of Life - and Another Dawkins Whopper - March 2011
    Excerpt:,,, But first, let's look at the reason Dawkins gives for why the code must be universal:
    "The reason is interesting. Any mutation in the genetic code itself (as opposed to mutations in the genes that it encodes) would have an instantly catastrophic effect, not just in one place but throughout the whole organism. If any word in the 64-word dictionary changed its meaning, so that it came to specify a different amino acid, just about every protein in the body would instantaneously change, probably in many places along its length. Unlike an ordinary mutation...this would spell disaster." (2009, p. 409-10)
    OK. Keep Dawkins' claim of universality in mind, along with his argument for why the code must be universal, and then go here (linked site listing 23 variants of the genetic code).
    Simple counting question: does "one or two" equal 23? That's the number of known variant genetic codes compiled by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By any measure, Dawkins is off by an order of magnitude, times a factor of two.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/03/venter_vs_dawkins_on_the_tree_044681.html

    Shannon Information - Channel Capacity - Perry Marshall - video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5457552/

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
    Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    Also of interest is that the integrated coding between the DNA, RNA and Proteins of the cell apparently seems to be ingeniously programmed along the very stringent guidelines laid out by Landauer’s principle, as elucidated by Charles Bennett from IBM of Quantum Teleportation fame, for ‘reversible computation’ in order to achieve amazing energy efficiency.

    Notes on Landauer’s principle, reversible computation, and Maxwell’s Demon - Charles H. Bennett
    Excerpt: Of course, in practice, almost all data processing is done on macroscopic apparatus, dissipating macroscopic amounts of energy far in excess of what would be required by Landauer’s principle. Nevertheless, some stages of biomolecular information processing, such as transcription of DNA to RNA, appear to be accomplished by chemical reactions that are reversible not only in principle but in practice.,,,,
    http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/QM/bennett_shpmp_34_501_03.pdf

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  2. Cornelius Hunter: One of the most common metaphysical premises in evolutionary theory is the claim that similarity implies common descent.

    Not a mere similarity, but a family resemblance, a nested hierarchy. Nor is it metaphysical, but an entailment of uncrossed divergence from a common ancestor.

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    Replies
    1. Zachriel: Not a mere similarity, but a family resemblance, a nested hierarchy. Nor is it metaphysical, but an entailment of uncrossed divergence from a common ancestor.

      Except when it isn't. (Convergence, HGT)

      And the nested hierarchy is grouped based on similarity isn't it? It's not like there is a confirmation of common ancestry that is additionally being supported by similarities. In actuality, the assumption that similarities = relatedness is itself the confirmation.

      Delete
    2. The nested tree of life prediction of Darwinian evolution has already been soundly falsified. Lateral inheritance between distant branches of the tree is now a fact. Get a clue, moron.

      Delete
    3. lifespy

      And the nested hierarchy is grouped based on similarity isn't it? It's not like there is a confirmation of common ancestry that is additionally being supported by similarities.

      Yes there is. That would be the tree of life drawn from the genetic record. Comparative genomics.

      Louis

      The nested tree of life prediction of Darwinian evolution has already been soundly falsified.

      No it hasn't. The tree simply gets more complicated once we pass multicelular organisms. Unless you are trying to suggest distinct species of, say, mammal can inherit genes laterally...?

      Lateral inheritance between distant branches of the tree is now a fact.

      HGT and epigenetics do not falsify the tree of life.

      Delete
    4. Ritchie "Yes there is. That would be the tree of life drawn from the genetic record. Comparative genomics."

      Only that tree doesn't exist. microRNA's and orphan genes alone shows us that, 1. Different genes provide substantially different trees. 2. A significant percentage of genes (10-30%) have zero signal of common ancestry.

      Consistent phylogenetic trees are only produced by "most parsimonious" methods where you just keep whatever gene information conforms with your expectations, and throw out the trouble makers.


      No it hasn't. The tree simply gets more complicated once we pass multicelular organisms. Unless you are trying to suggest distinct species of, say, mammal can inherit genes laterally...?

      I'm not sure what you're saying here, but "lateral gene transfer" does occur in mammals, look at the BovB gene for instance. And there are more being discovered.

      HGT and epigenetics do not falsify the tree of life.

      It's not really about disproving the tree of life. What convergence, HGT, orphan genes, and other discordant genes shows is that the tree of life can not be falsified. No matter what discrepancies are observed, there is some ad-hoc explanation for them.

      Can you offer a genomic scenario that would falsify the common descent tree?

      Delete
    5. Consistent phylogenetic trees are only produced by "most parsimonious" methods where you just keep whatever gene information conforms with your expectations, and throw out the trouble makers.

      You're being dramatic. No-one 'throws out' any such thing. The point is the pattern that is revealed. A few individual anomalies do not belie the basic pattern of relatedness.

      I'm not sure what you're saying here, but "lateral gene transfer" does occur in mammals, look at the BovB gene for instance.

      Fair enough, I didn't know that. But even so, how does this, as Louis claims, 'falsify' the tree of life?

      It's not really about disproving the tree of life.

      Are you sure Louis agrees with you on that?

      What convergence, HGT, orphan genes, and other discordant genes shows is that the tree of life can not be falsified. No matter what discrepancies are observed, there is some ad-hoc explanation for them.

      No, what they show is that individual anomalies to not falsify a general pattern.

      If 99% of your data supports your theory, what do you do with the remaining 1%? Does it alone falsify the theory? Is an ad hoc explanation to account for the anomalous 1% invalid?

      Can you offer a genomic scenario that would falsify the common descent tree?

      Yes: if there was no general tree pattern observed.

      Delete
    6. lifepsy: 1. Different genes provide substantially different trees. 2. A significant percentage of genes (10-30%) have zero signal of common ancestry.

      So you're saying that 70-90% show a tree.


      Delete
    7. Absolutely not. Responded in a comment below.

      Delete
  3. DNA similarity works for tracing human lineages. You might say that using the same method accross species is an undue extrapolation, but even if this is so, still such an extrapolation would be based on scientific evidence and reasoning...

    Please correct me if I am wrong. I think that you should retract the statement that this is just metaphysical reasoning.

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    Replies
    1. Renato Sant said
      "DNA similarity works for tracing human lineages"

      Because we can observe that humans come from humans, we never observed a human coming for a monkey. If evolutionist were not metaphysically based should ask why we do not extend the tracing of human lineages to monkeys?

      Delete
    2. @Blas: You don't even get the basics. You might want to understand before you criticize:

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/faq/cat02.html

      "

      1. Did we evolve from monkeys?











      Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn't evolve from apes, either. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe this common ancestor existed
      5 to 8 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages. One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids. "

      Delete
    3. Hughes:

      You don't even get the basics.

      Put a sock in it, jackass. We all know what Blas meant. There is no observation for the claim that humans evolve from ape ancestors via common descent. It's religious superstition.

      Delete
    4. There is no observation for the claim that humans evolve from ape ancestors via common descent.

      Except all the pesky evidence which says we did:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

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    5. Ritchie,

      Direct observation is not the same as indirect evidence that can be interpreted differently by different people. I see no evidence presented for evolution that could not also be the result of intelligent design.

      Delete
    6. DNA similarity works for tracing human lineages. You might say that using the same method accross species is an undue extrapolation, but even if this is so, still such an extrapolation would be based on scientific evidence and reasoning... Please correct me if I am wrong. I think that you should retract the statement that this is just metaphysical reasoning.

      Sure, it is not *necessarily* metaphysical. You can say evolution predicts similarities, a nested hierarchy, and so forth. In that case evolution would be false, as this prediction is routinely contradicted. Of course evolutionists use a variety of ad hoc explanations to try to accommodate the data, all the while, on a separate track, continuing with the claim that similarity (regardless of how many times the pattern is broken) implies evolutionary relatedness. This claim is metaphysical. As Mark Ridley put it in his evolution textbook, if the species were created they wouldn’t share the same code. That doesn’t come from science.

      Delete
    7. Louis

      Direct observation is not the same as indirect evidence that can be interpreted differently by different people.

      In which case, if you are asking for direct observations of human evolution from common ancestors with other apes then you will need to be 6-8 million years old.

      I see no evidence presented for evolution that could not also be the result of intelligent design.

      All the evidence could also be explained by the hypothesis that a magic fairy appeared and poofed all evidence into existence minutes before its discovery with her magic wand.

      Some explanations are simply better than others. And ToE is superior to ID in every way. ID has no mechanisms or hypotheses whatsoever, is totally non-testable and even violates methodological naturalism which is the very bedrock of science. ToE is our most parsimonious explanation, and that makes it infinitely to be preferred.

      Delete
    8. Ritchie, evolution has been tested experimentally and it doesn't work. Nothing is evolving. Phylogenetics is ad-hoc ridden, non-falsifiable mess.

      Humans and chimps have been demonstrated to share only ~70% genomic similarity. And on top of that 30% of human genome is more similar to gorillas than to chimps. We are talking millions of functional DNA changes that would have had to become fixated in only several millions years for humans to have evolved from a chimp ancestor. It doesn't work. And it's a stupid idea to begin with.

      The rest of your post is a quasi-religious/philosophical sermon from the church of naturalism that has nothing to do with science. All it demonstrates is that you will believe anything, (regardless of its empirical merit) specifically for the reason that it doesn't invoke God.

      Delete
    9. Louis goes for the YEC favourite, "Where you there?". Because he was, when the bible was written...

      Delete
    10. Louis goes for the YEC favourite

      Do you know for a fact that I am a young earth creationist, jackass? Besides, it is a good argument, YEC or not. If you weren't there, you are extrapolating and your extrapolation is subject to interpretation.

      Eat shit, Hughes.

      Delete
    11. CH: As Mark Ridley put it in his evolution textbook, if the species were created they wouldn’t share the same code. That doesn’t come from science.

      J: And since it doesn't come from intuition, induction or deduction, it really doesn't matter where it comes from. It's just a bald pontification. These people are either shameless propagandists or idiot-savants spending too much time in their idiot "side."

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    12. Ritchie, evolution has been tested experimentally and it doesn't work.

      So you DO claim to be able to falsify ToE? Citation please.

      Nothing is evolving.

      That is demonstrably false.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

      Humans and chimps have been demonstrated to share only ~70% genomic similarity.

      70? Where did you get that figure from?

      The actualy figure is over 95%

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120823142735.htm

      And on top of that 30% of human genome is more similar to gorillas than to chimps.

      Well they are our next closest cousins, so that is not surprising. That is something we should expect to find given common ancestry.

      The rest of your post is a quasi-religious/philosophical sermon from the church of naturalism that has nothing to do with science.

      No, it is science through and through. If you do not accept that methodological naturalism is the bedrock of science then you do not understand science - a common problem among ID-ists.

      All it demonstrates is that you will believe anything, (regardless of its empirical merit) specifically for the reason that it doesn't invoke God.

      On the contrary, you are desperate to INSERT God into science. That is what simply will not do. The fact that you are projecting this back onto me as a religious stance is curious to say the least.

      Delete
    13. Cornelius Hunter: You can say evolution predicts similarities, a nested hierarchy, and so forth.

      Lifepsy claims that 70-90% of genes show a consistent tree.

      Delete
    14. Cornelius Hunter: You can say evolution predicts similarities, a nested hierarchy, and so forth. In that case evolution would be false, as this prediction is routinely contradicted.

      And yet Darwin was quite aware of anomalies; indeed, considered convergence to be evidence of adaptation. The theory has a number of interacting mechanisms, of which, bifurcating descent is only one. And do please try to avoid the term similarity when you mean nested hierarchy. They are not the same.

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    15. Jeff:

      J: And since it doesn't come from intuition, induction or deduction, it really doesn't matter where it comes from. It's just a bald pontification. These people are either shameless propagandists or idiot-savants spending too much time in their idiot "side."

      They are neither. These are strongly held beliefs.

      Delete
    16. Zach:

      Lifepsy claims that 70-90% of genes show a consistent tree.

      So 10-30% don't. And that's for the genes that can be aligned.

      Delete
    17. Zach:

      And yet Darwin was quite aware of anomalies; indeed, considered convergence to be evidence of adaptation.

      Which is yet another false prediction, given the convergences that must have occurred in different environments and from different initial conditions (eg, human and squid eyes).

      Delete
    18. So the tree is a real observation, not an artifact of classification.

      Delete
    19. Zachriel: Lifepsy claims that 70-90% of genes show a consistent tree.

      No I certainly did not claim that.

      I said 10-30% genes in all species are Orphan genes, in that they show zero signal of any common ancestry.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23348040

      That is a death-blow for neo-darwinism in itself.

      Apart from that, you still have tons of genes that do not align onto any one particular tree. You have microRNA's that totally scramble vertebrates around, for instance.

      If you sequence genes individually, it is normal to find a mammal gene have more similarity in a bird or lizard, than some other mammals.

      It is only "most parsimonious" methods does any kind of common descent tree work. And that's because you throw out the trouble makers.

      Delete
    20. Cornelius Hunter: Which is yet another false prediction, given the convergences that must have occurred in different environments and from different initial conditions (eg, human and squid eyes).

      That's actually an excellent example of Darwin's theory. The features that human and squid eyes share are due to similar requirements, the collection and focusing of light. But what makes it interesting is that human and squid eyes are still quite different, and human eyes share more in common with dolphin eyes than they do with squid eyes. Turns out that eyes support the same nested hierarchy, with cephalopods grouped together, and vertebrates grouped together, whether the vertebrate swims, walks or flies.

      Delete
    21. lifepsy: I said 10-30% genes in all species are Orphan genes, in that they show zero signal of any common ancestry.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23348040


      Actually, you referred to the genome, not the genes. Nor is ignorance of a possible evolutionary connection direct evidence.

      lifepsy: That is a death-blow for neo-darwinism in itself.

      Now that's funny. Did you even read the paper you just cited? We didn't get past the abstract before we started reading about how the authors point to "gene duplication, frame-shift fixation, creation of overlapping genes, horizontal gene transfer, and exaptation of transposable elements" as sources of orphan genes.

      Delete
    22. Zach:

      That's actually an excellent example of Darwin's theory. The features that human and squid eyes share are due to similar requirements, the collection and focusing of light.

      Collecting and focusing of light can be done in many different ways. In this case, we have completely different initial conditions and environments.

      Delete
    23. Zachriel: the authors point to gene duplication, frame-shift fixation, creation of overlapping genes, horizontal gene transfer, and exaptation of transposable elements" as sources of orphan genes.

      Exactly. Translation = Genetic voodoo. Those explanations could be invoked to explain absolutely ANYTHING.

      But we now have widespread function appearing across all life, making up to a third of all genes in all species! That does not show any trace of common ancestry. And this can happen even between closely related species.

      Going against all previous neo-darwinian expectations, genetic function now has to appear de novo, rapidly and regularly in all species, wiping out all traces of their ancestral function. (yet curiously this has never been observed to happen once, even in 60,000 generations of bacteria)

      Here's an interesting article that sums up the shock this discovery has given to evolutionists.

      Helen Pilcher - Orphan Genes 2013
      http://ccsb.dfci.harvard.edu/web/export/sites/default/ccsb/publications/papers/2013/All_alone_-_Helen_Pilcher_New_Scientist_Jan_2013.pdf






      Delete
    24. CH: They are neither. These are strongly held beliefs.

      J: No doubt. But since when are beliefs that are both non-intuitive and non-rationally-derived (and yet held strongly, nonetheless) anything but idiotic? You can't eliminate the normativity of human rational thought to save face for idiots (or liars, as the case may be) and still claim to have an argument yourself (even a merely critical one). We don't speak of intellectual "honesty" and intellectual "dishonesty" for nothing.

      Delete
    25. Ritchie: 70? Where did you get that figure from?

      From Dr. Jeffrey Tomkins who is an expert geneticist (feel free to look up his bio) and has taken it upon himself to do a Human Chimp chromosome comparison.

      Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70%
      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v6/n1/human-chimp-chromosome

      You do realize your 95% started out as 99% and is steadily declining, don't you? The only reason it's showing over 90% is because they're only comparing (and fudging) small coding regions as if it's still the 1970's and we haven't discovered function almost everywhere else in the genome.

      (30% human genes closer to gorillas than chimps)
      Well they are our next closest cousins, so that is not surprising. That is something we should expect to find given common ancestry.


      We are supposed to be most closely related with chimps. It is ridiculous to be finding a 30% similarity with another species.

      But hey, 70% of genes in this tick species isn't related to anything, so whose counting, right?

      Why so many unknown genes? Partitioning orphans from a representative transcriptome of the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum
      http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/14/135/abstract

      No, it is science through and through. If you do not accept that methodological naturalism is the bedrock of science then you do not understand science

      Science uses testable, empirical methods to make inferences to the best explanation. As soon as you start presupposing limits on explanations, you have left science and entered philosophy, whether you like it or not.

      This is part of the reason evolution is such a joke, because many of its proponents are in too much denial to admit they're bringing their own philsophilcal assumptions into their research. That's why we have this non-falsifiable, ad-hoc ridden zombie voodoo science called Evolution that even the most high ranked scientists in the world are laughing at. Because it was always driven by religion and philosophy more than empirical science. This stupid theory became mandated as an unassailable truth, at a time when naturalists still believed mice spontaneously generated from dirty underwear. Never forget that.

      Delete
    26. "We are supposed to be most closely related with chimps. It is ridiculous to be finding a 30% similarity with another species. "

      Meant to say 30% more closely related to another species.

      Delete
    27. lifepsy / eocene

      That's why we have this non-falsifiable, ad-hoc ridden zombie voodoo science called Evolution that even the most high ranked scientists in the world are laughing at


      Which high ranked scientists would those be? Michael "ID is a science just like astrology" Behe? Ann the man Gauger? Our own CH here?

      You clowns still keep blustering, keep making up stuff to make yourselves feel better. Don't let reality spoil your petty little rants.

      Delete
    28. Didier Raoult - ranked one of the top 10 french biologists.
      James Shapiro - expert biochemist
      Giuseppe Sermonti - expert geneticist
      James Tour - ranked one of the top 10 chemists in the world

      Hundreds more scientists/biologists that we know of. Surely thousands that can't afford the controversy.

      Additionally, a faction of evolutionists like Eva Jablonka (pioneering work in epigenetics) , are openly calling for an end to the modern synthesis (neo-darwinism), ya know, the stuff you guys keep telling everyone is an unimpeachable truth?

      So yep, basically you are reduced to ad populum fallacies in a situation where researchers risk putting their careers in jeopardy for not going with the majority. Evolutionism has a fantastic PR department, though, so you can be proud of that.

      Delete
    29. lifepsy

      Didier Raoult - ranked one of the top 10 french biologists.


      Completely supports evolution, specializes in HGT.

      James Shapiro - expert biochemist

      Complete supports evolution, currently proposing some additional unverified mechanisms.

      Giuseppe Sermonti - expert geneticist

      Well know Young earth Creationist whose YEC views are completely rejected by the scientific community

      James Tour - ranked one of the top 10 chemists in the world

      Self-admitted complete ignoramus in evolutionary biology.

      LOL! Looks like your 'million man march' turned out to be a few wingnut outliers and some that you're just wrong about. But it wouldn't be a Creationist post without some horse hockey claims thrown in.

      Delete
    30. Thorton, that's the point. It is even worse for you that some of these biologists are evolutionists, because you can not marginalize them as creationists.

      They still believe in the premise of evolution, are experts in evolutionary biology yet they say you and your evo priests like PZ and Coyne and Dawkins' reasons for believing in evolution are complete nonsense

      And these guys are at the top of their field.

      That's gotta be awkward. :)

      Delete
    31. lifepsy

      That's gotta be awkward.


      Not as awkward as you getting caught lying again, characterizing top scienctists as "laughing at evolution" then offering these few who don't support the claim.

      Do you think you can go at least one post without posting some Creationist bullcrap and outright lies? I know it will be a big change for you, but try.

      Delete
    32. Ritchie:

      In which case, if you are asking for direct observations of human evolution from common ancestors with other apes then you will need to be 6-8 million years old.

      That's exactly what I am asking. Since you don't have it and since your circumstantial evidence is seriously on the crappy side, then your dirt-did-it theory is a mountain of crap. Is that enough excrement for you? LOL.

      Me:

      I see no evidence presented for evolution that could not also be the result of intelligent design.

      Ritchie the arse kisser:

      All the evidence could also be explained by the hypothesis that a magic fairy appeared and poofed all evidence into existence minutes before its discovery with her magic wand.

      That's not my theory but I got to admit that the magic poof theory is much more plausible than the dirt-did-it theory. LOL.

      ahahaha... AHAHAHA... ahahahaha...

      Ritchie:

      Some explanations are simply better than others. And ToE is superior to ID in every way.

      Only in your wildest dreams, Mr. Dawkins' bootlicker, only in your wildest dreams. LOL.

      ID has no mechanisms or hypotheses whatsoever, is totally non-testable and even violates methodological naturalism which is the very bedrock of science.

      ID is about intelligence and design. So it follows that it does indeed (to your eternal chagrin, I'm sure) make testable predictions. Based on what we know about intelligent design practices used by humans, ID predicts that living organisms can be classifiable in a non-nested hierarchy. It predicts that, although the tree of life is mostly nested, there are many exceptions, i.e., lateral inheritance between distant branches of the tree. This will be corroborated in the not too distant future, as we continue to accumulate genomic data from various organisms. Wait for it and tremble, you feeble minded cretin.

      By the way, the tree of life idea did not come from Darwin. It predated the cretin by many thousands of years. LOL. The same is true for the tree of knowledge.

      ToE is our most parsimonious explanation, and that makes it infinitely to be preferred.

      ahahaha...

      ToE is not parsimonious at all. In fact, ToE is a piece of shit theory. ahahaha... ToE is a dirt-did-it theory for dirt worshipers who might have suffered from child abuse and want to take their anger and frustration out on society and God.

      "Take that, Fundies! Take that, God! Pow!"

      It's pathetic, really. LOL.

      ahahaha... AHAHAHA... ahahaha...

      Delete
    33. Jeff:

      J: No doubt. But since when are beliefs that are both non-intuitive and non-rationally-derived (and yet held strongly, nonetheless) anything but idiotic? You can't eliminate the normativity of human rational thought to save face for idiots (or liars, as the case may be) and still claim to have an argument yourself (even a merely critical one). We don't speak of intellectual "honesty" and intellectual "dishonesty" for nothing.

      I admit that it is difficult to defend a person making the claim that it is a fact that the world spontaneously arose. But I just want us to keep in mind that evolutionists, in the majority of the cases, really do believe what they are saying--that it is a fact.

      Delete
    34. Thorton, Not as awkward as you getting caught lying again, characterizing top scienctists as "laughing at evolution"

      They laugh at your religious sect of evolution, Thorton. Neo-Darwinism, the religion that your priests; PZ Meyers, Jerry Coyne, Eugenie Scott, Douglas Theobald, and Richard Dawkins are preaching to you day and night as a gospel truth.

      How awkward for the darwinists.

      Of course, in your case, Thorton. You don't even understand neo-darwinian mechanisms.

      Delete
    35. lifepsy

      Of course, in your case, Thorton. You don't even understand neo-darwinian mechanisms


      LOL! Oh goody, now the asshat is going to do his best Chubby Joke G impersonation!

      "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND EVOLUTION!!!"

      "EVOLUTION HAS NO EVIDENCE!!!'

      You were the moron who offered a Creation website as your 'evidence' that directly contradicted your own claims asshat, not me.

      We do indeed have some amazingly dumb Creationists in these parts.

      Delete
    36. Rich Hughes said:

      "Louis goes for the YEC favourite, "Where you there?". Because he was, when the bible was written..."

      Yeah, and louis was there when jesus rode dinosaurs, and when moses barbecued trilobites for Sunday dinner, and when goats produced striped/spotted offspring because they mated while looking at striped sticks, and when jonah lived inside a fish, and when the Earth was ravaged by the flud, and when eve had sex with her son(s), and when the universe was created by yhwh, and when life on Earth was created by yhwh, and when jesus and his saintly buddies walked around for awhile as dead zombies, and when jesus was reabsorbed by yhwh, and when a snake talked, and when a lake of fire was created for sinners to burn in for eternity, and when yhwh knocked up the 'virgin' mary behind her husband's back, and when all of the alleged miracles have occurred, and when jesus' body was wrapped in the shroud of turin, and when jesus' image was burned onto pieces of toast, and when ID software was front loaded into all life forms, and when yhwh was created by, well, something or someone, and when the first woman was created from a rib of the first man.

      Yep, I'm sure that louis can tell us about his eye witness observations of all that and much, much more. He likely even has some high definition videos!

      Delete
    37. CH: But I just want us to keep in mind that evolutionists, in the majority of the cases, really do believe what they are saying--that it is a fact.

      J: A non-intuitive, non-rationally-derived dogmatic belief is the kind of belief that "justifies" democide to those whose who commit it. Ironically, dogmatic UCA'ists tend to think they are exempt from it when, in fact, 20th century history has utterly proved the opposite.

      Delete
  4. Taking Craig Venter's idea of a bush of life a step further, why couldn't life have sprung up multiple times along different lines, all using the same mechanism depending on their environment. I think the point Venter is making is that life is so diverse that it may have different origins though similar mechanisms. Which, if the definition of evolution is stretched a bit, doesn't prove evolution couldn't have been the driving force. The bigger issue is the one bornagain brings up which is that of information. There is no hypothesis that I know of that explains how information was at first created in the DNA, then the RNA and then the amino acids to proteins which would create a system that would bring forth "life." Or if RNA was the initial molecule. That step of amino acids simply getting together to form a protein in a soup going to an integrated system in which the information of how those amino acids are to combine and store it in DNA and then create a mechanism through RNA to now create that very protein is the difficult step for me to believe. Even one of the participants in the video said that he is amazed at how complex life is turning out to be. This sheer complexity of information is what bothers me about evolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. why couldn't life have sprung up multiple times along different lines, all using the same mechanism depending on their environment.

      You are suggesting DNA developed more than once, independently yet identically?

      Delete
    2. Why not, Ritchie? Evolutionists now claim that hundreds if not thousands of complex features and systems arose independently many times over. They're saying the Nervous System may have evolved twice now.

      What's your qualm with DNA ?

      Delete
    3. But why would it do so identically? When complex features arise more than once independently they are not identical, are they?

      Delete
    4. Bill Maz: Taking Craig Venter's idea of a bush of life a step further, why couldn't life have sprung up multiple times along different lines, all using the same mechanism depending on their environment.

      Jeff: Better yet, why do you think that could have happened naturally in the posited time-frame? Give us your proposed initial conditions and event regularities and deduce those claims. Otherwise, your "why couldn't" is just the flip side of "why could it?" IOW, it's just saying we have no clue whether or not it's logically possible.

      If "scientists" would be so honest as to admit that, things would be different. Instead, they insist they KNOW that it is logically possible, naturalistically, without knowing HOW. Such "knowledge" acquisition is itself logically impossible by scientific modes of inquiry.

      Delete
    5. Ritchie, perhaps after many different trials, the existing DNA code is the only configuration that could arise in a natural setting, so it appears identical, but is actually convergent. This is just as likely as the DNA code evolving once and being the result of UCA, which is to say, not likely at all, or impossible.

      Delete
    6. perhaps after many different trials, the existing DNA code is the only configuration that could arise in a natural setting, so it appears identical, but is actually convergent.

      Do we have any reason to think this is, in fact, the case? Or are you just guessing?

      This is just as likely as the DNA code evolving once and being the result of UCA, which is to say, not likely at all, or impossible.

      Show your calculations for this, please. I'd love to know how you calculate the probability of abiogenesis BEFORE anyone actually stipulates the means by which this happened.

      Delete
    7. Ritche, Do we have any reason to think this is, in fact, the case? Or are you just guessing?

      Of course not. Nor do we have any reason to think abiogenesis occurred, or that a fish can turn into a human given enough time. It is all driven by naturalist philosophy and religion, not empirical science.

      Delete
    8. Some day we'll see a Creationist who doesn't argue solely from ignorance-based personal incredulity.

      But not today.

      Delete
    9. Thorton,

      "Some day we'll see a Creationist who doesn't argue solely from ignorance-based personal incredulity."

      You've already seen that in spades, my friend. I don't argue that way. Nor does it seem to be the case for lifepsy, who has put in a few zingers from the point off your goal posts the last few days.

      Glad to see the Hawks lose in regulation. I was getting real tired of the media comparing them to the '78-'79 Canadiens. The Hawks are no where near the calibre of that team.

      Delete
    10. lifepsy said:

      "Ritchie, perhaps after many different trials, the existing DNA code is the only configuration that could arise in a natural setting, so it appears identical, but is actually convergent."

      And so what IF it was "convergent"? Is your chemistry so different from that of a chimp or a fish or an oak tree or a frog or a sponge or any other life form that you can be sure that you didn't come from the same elements?

      "We are all made of star stuff." - Carl Sagan

      Delete
    11. Nic

      You've already seen that in spades, my friend. I don't argue that way. Nor does it seem to be the case for lifepsy, who has put in a few zingers from the point off your goal posts the last few days.


      Hi Nic, welcome back. How did the sale of the business go?

      Actually you do argue from ignorance, you're just not obnoxious about like most. And sorry, lifepsy is just another uneducated blustering Creationist who is C&Ping stuff from the DI and other equally dumb Creationist sites. His only "skill" seems to be quote-mining the abstracts of technical papers he hasn't read and doesn't understand. He is real good at declaring victory and running away though.

      It was good to see the Avs knock off the Blackhawks. Haven't seen Avs fans that lit up since Ray Bourque lifted the cup for them.

      Delete
    12. Thorton,

      "Actually you do argue from ignorance, you're just not obnoxious about like most."

      No, I don't argue from ignorance, I just argue from a different viewpoint. Because you sincerely believe evolution to be the best explanation of the evidence does not make it, in fact, the best explanation. Because I and others, see another explanation arising form this evidence does not make us ignorant.

      I agree with your assessment that some here are quite obnoxious, but that comes down on both sides of the question.

      I appreciate the fact you're an intelligent guy, and will not call into question your mental abilities. I only challenge your insistence that evolution is an indisputable fact.

      The sale of the business is progressing nicely. New challenges will arise when we begin structuring a new business arrangement with the new owners.

      "Ray Bourque lifted the cup for them."

      That move by Joe Sakic to turn and give the cup to Borque allowing him to be the first to lift it in the air is still the classiest move I've seen in sports.

      Delete
    13. Nic

      No, I don't argue from ignorance, I just argue from a different viewpoint. Because you sincerely believe evolution to be the best explanation of the evidence does not make it, in fact, the best explanation. Because I and others, see another explanation arising form this


      Sorry Nic, but you do argue from ignorance. It has nothing to do with your belief or your viewpoint. In some fields like evolutionary biology and geology you just don't know the basics and are therefore not capable of making informed decisions. That's not a knock on you or your intelligence - you do seem to be a relatively bright guy (for a Leafs fan ;) ). It's just a statement of fact.

      I only challenge your insistence that evolution is an indisputable fact.

      That evolution has occurred - the common descent and speciation of life forms on the planet over a 3+ billion year history - is an indisputable fact. It's probably the most well supported fact in the history of science. The mechanism by which the changes occurred is the theory, which is not considered a fact.

      One of CH's favorite rhetorical tricks is to equivocate between the observed fact of evolution and the theory which explains the observed fact. Science is very clear on the difference, but it seems most Creationists are not. I haven't figured out yet which side of the line you're on.

      I was overseas at a military base when the Bourque Cup game was played at 6AM local time. The base commander had the Enlisted Men's Club opened and I watched the game with about 100 other rabid hockey fans. Good times!

      Delete
    14. Thorton:

      That evolution has occurred - the common descent and speciation of life forms on the planet over a 3+ billion year history - is an indisputable fact. It's probably the most well supported fact in the history of science.

      Given the thousands of falsifiers, such as Trypanosoma brucei,

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/getting-crushed-evolutionists-are-now.html

      How could you possibly believe evolution is "an indisputable fact"?

      Delete
    15. T: "One of CH's favorite rhetorical tricks is to equivocate between the observed fact of evolution and the theory which explains the observed fact."

      CH

      Given the thousands of falsifiers, such as Trypanosoma brucei, How could you possibly believe evolution is "an indisputable fact"?


      Q.E.D.

      ..and right on cue too. Creationists are not very honest but are quite predictable.

      Delete
    16. Thorton:

      T: That evolution has occurred - the common descent and speciation of life forms on the planet over a 3+ billion year history - is an indisputable fact. It's probably the most well supported fact in the history of science.

      CH: Given the thousands of falsifiers, such as Trypanosoma brucei,

      http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/04/getting-crushed-evolutionists-are-now.html

      How could you possibly believe evolution is "an indisputable fact"?

      T: Q.E.D. ..and right on cue too. Creationists are not very honest but are quite predictable.


      Why is it not honest to ask you to justify your claim? And, by the way, could you please justify your claim. Why is common descent and speciation of life forms over a 3+ billion year history an indisputable fact?

      Delete
    17. Cornelius Hunter

      Why is it not honest to ask you to justify your claim?


      The dishonesty as always is over your equivocation over the word 'evolution'.

      And, by the way, could you please justify your claim. Why is common descent and speciation of life forms over a 3+ billion year history an indisputable fact?

      Because they have amassed such a huge quantity and quality of positive evidence from hundreds of different scientific disciplines over the last 150+ years they're considered by the scientific community to be facts.

      To paraphrase Stephen J. Gould: in science, "fact" means "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."

      Delete
    18. Thorton:

      The dishonesty as always is over your equivocation over the word 'evolution'.

      I still don't quite get it. How is asking you to justify your claim an equivocation? An equivocation is a change in meaning. But I was asking you to justify your claim. How is that dishonest?

      Because they have amassed such a huge quantity and quality of positive evidence from hundreds of different scientific disciplines over the last 150+ years they're considered by the scientific community to be facts.

      But I gave a link to an example negative evidence. Do negative evidences count?

      Delete
    19. Cornelius Hunter

      t: "The dishonesty as always is over your equivocation over the word 'evolution'."

      I still don't quite get it


      It's pretty well known in the scientific community that you don't get the honesty thing.

      But I gave a link to an example negative evidence.

      No, you didn't. But keep on with the big lie, your Creationist groupies just love it.

      Delete
    20. Thorton:

      t: "The dishonesty as always is over your equivocation over the word 'evolution'."

      I still don't quite get it

      t: "It's pretty well known in the scientific community that you don't get the honesty thing."

      But I gave a link to an example negative evidence.

      t: "No, you didn't. But keep on with the big lie, your Creationist groupies just love it."


      But now I'm even more confused ...

      Delete
    21. Cornelius Hunter

      But now I'm even more confused ...


      Honesty is an extremely confusing concept to internet Creationists.

      Delete
  5. Bill Maz

    There is no hypothesis that I know of that explains how information was at first created in the DNA, then the RNA and then the amino acids to proteins which would create a system that would bring forth "life."


    Could you please define 'information' as you are using the term?

    I've been asking the ID crew for years and have never gotten an answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cretin Thorton disrupting the class once again:

      Could you please define 'information' as you are using the term?

      If it has meaning and function other than itself that must be interpreted (understood) by either an intelligent entity or a mechanism, it is information.

      Information requires a generator and an interpreter. It's that simple. Now you can go back to kissing Dawkins' ass. ahahaha...

      Delete
    2. Louis Savain

      If it has meaning and function other than itself that must be interpreted (understood) by either an intelligent entity or a mechanism, it is information.


      That's not a definition.

      Delete
  6. lifepsy: Except when it isn't. (Convergence, HGT)

    Sure, and hybridization.

    lifepsy: And the nested hierarchy is grouped based on similarity isn't it?

    Sort of. Grouping is usually based on shared traits found in the hypothesized most recent common ancestor, but not the previous ancestor.

    lifepsy: It's not like there is a confirmation of common ancestry that is additionally being supported by similarities. In actuality, the assumption that similarities = relatedness is itself the confirmation.

    Again, you state it is mere similarity rather than a nesting of character traits. The hypothesis is bifurcating descent with variation. The entailed prediction is the nested hierarchy. That is what is observed. Even the exceptions tend to support the nested hierarchy (e.g. endogenous retroviruses). Combine this with other evidence, including historical evidence, and the case for common descent of most taxa is strongly supported.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zachriel, there is a nested hierarchy by necessity. Certain body plans and anatomies require similar physiology/biochemical processes to exist. It is not an exclusively common descent prediction.

      Evolution does not have any falsifiable criteria for a nested hierarchy. If a feature appears outside of an expected pattern then it is simply chalked up to convergent evolution, or "evolution dunnit" basically.


      ERV's do not conform to common descent. Like all other major claims they make, Evolutionists are basically just bluffing or ignorant when they say that they do.

      Lineage-Specific Expansions of Retroviral Insertions within the Genomes of African Great Apes but Not Humans and Orangutans
      http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0030110

      Based on analysis of finished BAC chimpanzee genome sequence, we characterize a retroviral element (Pan troglodytes endogenous retrovirus 1 [PTERV1]) that has become integrated in the germline of African great ape and Old World monkey species but is absent from humans and Asian ape genomes.

      Conservation and loss of the ERV3 open reading frame in primates.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15081124

      ERV3 sequences were amplified by PCR from genomic DNA of great ape and Old World primates but not from New World primates or gorilla, suggesting an integration event more than 30 million years ago with a subsequent loss in one species.


      Additionally ERVs have been shown to play vital roles in embyronic development. They may have virus-like structure, but they don't appear to be anything the species could ever live without in the first place.

      What other evidence do you have for common descent? The fossil record is a disaster for evolution.

      Name a phenotypic or genomic discovery that would falsify common descent.

      Delete
    2. lifepsy: Zachriel, there is a nested hiertarchy by necessity.

      It's not "necessity" that unrelated traits, or non-adaptive traits, support the nested hierarchy; for instance, hind limb buds on embryonic dolphins.

      lifepsy: Evolution does not have any falsifiable criteria for a nested hierarchy. If a feature appears outside of an expected pattern then it is simply chalked up to convergent evolution, or "evolution dunnit" basically.

      That's not what happens, of course. Scientists work to resolve the question. So, stretches of virus-like sequences in the genome appear to violate the nested hierarchy, except that it has been discovered that viruses can insert their sequences into genomes, where they did diversify through evolution.

      lifepsy: ERV's do not conform to common descent.

      Sure they do. From the posited insertion, they support the same tree as other character traits.

      lifepsy: Lineage-Specific Expansions of Retroviral Insertions within the Genomes of African Great Apes but Not Humans and Orangutans

      That's right. Not all organisms will have the same ERVs, the same virus can be inserted at different times in different lineages, and ERVs can be lost in specific lineages, as well.

      lifepsy: The fossil record is a disaster for evolution.

      The fossil record is very strong evidence in support of evolution, providing important glimpses of life over billions of years. Notice, there are no rabbits in the Precambrian. Then there are the first vertebrates, amphibians, amniotes, mammals, primates, hominids. Humans only appear in the most recent strata.

      Delete
    3. lifepsy / eocene

      Name a phenotypic or genomic discovery that would falsify common descent.


      I already gave you two good examples when you asked the same question on the other thread.

      Do you think being an asshat and ignoring the answers provided somehow helps your claims? Are you like a little whiny kid who will keep begging Mom for candy until he gets the "yes" answer he wants?

      Delete
    4. Zachriel, That's right. Not all organisms will have the same ERVs, the same virus can be inserted at different times in different lineages, and ERVs can be lost in specific lineages, as well.

      That's the point. If the ERVs conform to phylogeny, then you say it is evidence for common ancestry. If they don't conform, (missing in some primates but shared in all the others) then one species lost it or the other species acquired it separately.

      Do you see how it is non-falsifiable? If not then give me an ERV related scenario that would falsify that hypothesis.

      Right now you have,

      ERV shared = common descent
      ERV not shared = common descent but some groups lost it.

      Delete
  7. Thorton,
    I use it in the same general way that the Nobel laureate used "complexity" in the video. DNA contains information in that it is a code. All codes contain information, in this case regarding what amino acids will bind together in what order to create a protein that will be useful to the organism. So I don't think we have to define information any more specifically than that and get bogged down on information theory. The very idea that you have RNA or DNA bases assembling themselves in a specific order that can then be translated into a specific protein seems difficult to imagine since there would be no evolutionary driving force for the DNA bases to assemble themselves since no advantage would be gained until there was RNA, then a ribozome, and all the proteins needed to make it all work. Which came first? If proteins came first, then how did the DNA code evolve? If RNA came first, then how did its random bases become a code which then gets translated into a protein without a mechanism to do all that? Did they all evolve together? Where? In a pond? What kept them in the same area without a cellular wall or something similar and, again, what was the driving force in each to make it adaptive without the simultaneous development of all the other pieces?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill Maz

      All codes contain information, in this case regarding what amino acids will bind together in what order to create a protein that will be useful to the organism. So I don't think we have to define information any more specifically than that and get bogged down on information theory.


      All codes contain information, but not all codes are abstract codes containing abstract information.

      'Code' as used by the scientific community regarding DNA merely means a process where the inputs map to the outputs.

      DNA --> protein is a chemical reaction. A very complicated chemical reaction indeed, but a chemical reaction. It involves no abstract coding of 'information'. To put it another way, it encodes 'information' the same way sodium and chlorine 'code' for NaCl - table salt.

      That's why it's critical for you to define 'information', and why no IDist will ever commit to a definition.

      Which came first? If proteins came first, then how did the DNA code evolve? If RNA came first, then how did its random bases become a code which then gets translated into a protein without a mechanism to do all that? Did they all evolve together?

      There's a whole field of science working on the abiogenesis questions. We have many testable hypotheses and tantalizing clues but no clear picture yet. As always, just because science hasn't come up with all the details doesn't mean ID wins by default. That's not how any science works. Every idea requires its own positive evidence.

      Delete
    2. Thorton, I am not an IDist and don't fall back on it as a default. I am simply saying that abiogenesis should not be seen as a separate subject, since the same evolutionary forces that act on organisms should be acting on inert chemicals to produce the organism in the first place. Maybe that's an incorrect assumption, maybe abiogenesis doesn't follow evolutionary forces, or maybe there is another force, not God, but a physical force (fractals, quantum physics, whatever) which explains both abiogenesis and directed mutations. But all I am saying is that I have not read any papers by any respected biologist who understands abiogenesis or who is not disturbed by the increasing complexity we are finding and how we understand the way it all evolved. The smart people are unsure of what is going on.

      Delete
    3. Bill, you are exactly right.

      "Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

      Furthermore, the scientists have even used DNA to store digital information...

      http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/dna-stores-mlk-speech-shakespeare-130123.htm

      A device can translate the code into text. The text is not the DNA. In life DNA code is translated in order to make the protein it encodes for. Proteins are not made from base pairs bonding, but out of amino acids.

      While the DNA is involved in chemical bonding, the bonding does not dictate the code any more than electricity in a semiconductor dictates computer code. This is why there can be so many patterns of base pairs. The code is not the protein it codes for any more than the CAD drawing of a hard drive stored on your hard drive is a hard drive.

      Delete
    4. Bill

      I am simply saying that abiogenesis should not be seen as a separate subject, since the same evolutionary forces that act on organisms should be acting on inert chemicals to produce the organism in the first place.

      Evolution requires self-replicating molecules passing down units of inheritance as a starting point. If you have these then evolutionary forces apply. If you don't, then they don't.

      But all I am saying is that I have not read any papers by any respected biologist who understands abiogenesis...

      Right. That mystery has not been solved yet. But it is a very active field of scientific study.

      ...or who is not disturbed by the increasing complexity we are finding and how we understand the way it all evolved

      Disturbed? Who is disturbed, exactly?

      ID/Creationists would like you to believe complexity disturbs proponents of evolution. That is because they erroneously assume complexity implies design. It is a drum they have been beating for decades.

      The smart people are unsure of what is going on.

      No-one is claiming absolute knowledge. However, as a way of acquiring knowledge about the world around us, the scientific method is simply unsurpassed. It is the only method which we have devised which is reliable and massively productive.

      And ToE is the most parsimonious scientific explanation we have that explains life on Earth. Do not put it in the same bracket as the non-answer ID simply under the logic that "We don't have all the answers yet so all possible explanations are equally valid." Some explanations are just better from the outset, and ID has always been a terrible one.

      Delete
    5. Which simple means-

      Good old atheistic evolution of the Gaps

      "no we don't have a clue on how Life could have come about but we are working on it and although we don't know squat the one thing we do know without knowing is that when we do know it will definitely not involve intelligence"

      Logic worthy of being thought by a pretzel.

      Cue the claims about how thats how science works.....only it doesn't. If it doesn't know something it remains neutral not antagonistic to a particular possible end point.

      Delete
    6. Elijah -

      No-one is claiming to know for an ABSOLUTE FACT that life did not arise by the snapping of God's all-powerful fingers.

      But alone it is as good an explanation as life arising by a magic fairy. Both are completely untestable, mechanism-less, ad hoc and totally unscientific. And they should be treated about as seriously by scientists.

      Delete
    7. Tedford the Slow

      Furthermore, the scientists have even used DNA to store digital information...


      So if a human spells his name by rearranging a pile of rocks that means the rocks were intelligently designed.

      Tedford just isn't very bright.

      Delete
    8. Ritchie: And ToE is the most parsimonious scientific explanation we have that explains life on Earth.

      J: Wrong. If there WAS a natural explanation for UCA that involved extant event regularities and relevant precambrian initial conditions, then naturalistic UCA would be the most parsimonious explanation of life on earth. But there is no such explanation. Nor do we know if any event regularities applied to any precambrian initial conditions CAN explain life on earth. It's conceivable that it's just logically impossible, true or no.

      Delete
    9. Thorton said:

      "DNA --> protein is a chemical reaction"

      Always your lack of knowledge in biochemistry. There is no chemical affinity between a codon and the aminoacid coded. DNA is decoded only in the presence of the correct amioacyl-tRNA sintases. This protein has affinity for one aminoacid in one site and the t-RNA in the other. You can fool the enzyme binding wrong aminoacids and also non natural aminoacids and you can get the protein modified. It is not chemistry is decoding system.

      "So if a human spells his name by rearranging a pile of rocks that means the rocks were intelligently designed."

      Not the rocks, but the rearrangement was intelligently designed. You are right.

      Delete
    10. Blas

      It is not chemistry is decoding system.


      LOL! That why when we make DNA strands out of modeling clay and sticks they spontaneously form modeling clay proteins, because it's all just abstract information decoding.

      Are you ever going to tell me what the "new" in your stated "evolution creates nothing new" means? Or are you still too embarrassed?

      Delete
    11. "No-one is claiming to know for an ABSOLUTE FACT that life did not arise by the snapping of God's all-powerful fingers."

      God doesn't have fingers....Stop trying the sophistry of creating illusionary imagery and learn something about what you are objecting to. Christianity and judaism would only claim life formed by law - God's. Your side already makes similar arguments of law in quantum cosmology. Only daft logic claims law is fairytale when it is from an intelligent being and then claims its science on the basis of there being no intelligence.

      Delete
    12. elijah said:

      "Cue the claims about how thats how science works.....only it doesn't."

      Tell you what, elijah, why don't you or the other god pushers demonstrate "how science works" by finding some scientifically testable, positive, irrefutable evidence for a "God" and especially your chosen "God"? Do you really believe that constantly bitching about evolution is going to somehow prove that your chosen "God" exists and that the fairy tales associated with it are true?

      Delete
  8. I think it's very interesting that the high priests of evolution disagree about certain fundamentals. Maybe Venter will begin the reformation.
    I also think the similarities indicate common designer creating organisms to exist on Earth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get the feeling that Venter isn't one of those high priests.

      It seems like Venter is just playing games with the Darwinbots. Perhaps he sees this as a platform which he can gain sponsors/funds for his genetic engineering venues.

      Delete
  9. Blas: Because we can observe that humans come from humans, we never observed a human coming for a {modern} monkey.

    If we did, it would certainly throw a monkey wrench into evolutionary theory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evolutionists can still not name a single example of an animal speciation event that has been observed in the history of mankind. Out of millions of species and hundreds of years, nothing. Nadda.

      Delete
    2. Ummm, yes we can:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

      And some more:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

      Fill you boots!

      Delete
    3. Ritchie our eyes do a roll when you link to talkorigins the same way it would if we linked to creationists sites. Talk origin articles have been shown over and over to at best be superficial and at worse just downright misleading in the service of atheism.

      Delete
    4. Elijah

      The links I posted to are little more than lists of scientific studies. Studies which demonstrate speciation.

      Delete
    5. Elijah2012

      Ritchie our eyes do a roll when you link to talkorigins the same way it would if we linked to creationists sites. Talk origin articles have been shown over and over to at best be superficial and at worse just downright misleading in the service of atheism.


      What scientific resources do you accept then? Why is the primary scientific literature not good enough for you?

      Delete
    6. Blas: Because we can observe that humans come from humans, we never observed a human coming for a {modern} monkey.

      Zachriel: If we did, it would certainly throw a monkey wrench into evolutionary theory.

      J: And yet it wouldn't falsify the hypothesis of UCA which every "scientist" knows intuitively is true. It's apparently the only non-falsifiable intuition which isn't shared by the vast majority of humans in the first place. Truly amazing.

      Delete
    7. Ritchie: Talkorigins blah blah!

      Ritchie, you would moan and whine if someone pasted a link to AiG, ICR, or another creationist site, despite the fact that they also reference secular journals.

      It's easy to cherry-pick facts from a handful of journal articles that will bolster your case, and omit others that might contradict it. Not to mention, most of TalkOrigin's references are 20 years old. Did you ever notice that?

      In the future, why not actually make a specific argument and/or offer specific evidence?

      But since you linked to TalkOrigins, you might like this to skim over this. A detailed point for point critique of their "29 Evidences for Macroevolution"

      http://www.trueorigin.org/theobald1b.asp

      Delete
    8. lifepsy / eocene

      Ritchie, you would moan and whine if someone pasted a link to AiG, ICR, or another creationist site, despite the fact that they also reference secular journals.


      TalkOrigins offers well researched, concise overviews of mainstream scientific positions and backs it up with references to the primary scientific literature.

      AiG, ICR, and the DI provide concise overviews of unsupported bullshit Creationist claims and back it up with references to other Creationist sources making the same unsupported bullshit claims.

      You're undoubtedly too stupid to understand the difference, but the scientific community isn't.

      In the future, why not actually make a specific argument and/or offer specific evidence?

      When will you start? You're the asshat who claimed evolution never happens, that it's all phenotypic plasticity. Yet when I asked what mechanism changed wolves into chihuahuas you crapped your pants and ran away.

      Like most mouthy but ignorant Creationists, you just can't deal with reality when your bluff is called.

      Delete
    9. If Talkorigins' """overviews""" are so well-researched, why can't they be made into peer-reviewed articles themselves? They are written by scientists after all.

      Because they are replete with unscientific assumptions, logical fallacies, religious claims, and out-dated sources. They are made only for the common net-evo who is just looking for some easy ammunition and doesn't know how to research the literature himself.

      Look at some of their arguments. They're a joke.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section3.html#molecular_analogy

      "Potential Falsification:

      Parahomology and analogy are specific predictions of macroevolution and the principle of evolutionary opportunism. It is possible that a world could exist where there were no cases of biological parahomology or analogy. For example, living organisms could be constructed in a modular manner, like most anthropogenic creations, where each specific structure performs one specific function. "

      "Potential Falsification:

      We would not expect newly discovered species of dolphins, whales, penguins, or any close mammalian relatives to have gills (a possible analogy with fish), since their immediate ancestors lacked gills or gill-like structures from which they could be derived. This is the macroevolutionary prediction, in spite of the fact that gills would be extremely advantageous for aquatic mammals and birds."


      "Suboptimality

      Another anatomical example of suboptimality is the inverted mammalian retina, with its blind spot. It is inverted because the retinal blood vessels and nerves are situated on top of the retina, and light must travel through them first before hitting the light sensitive cells below."


      LOL,

      It is possible a world might exist where things were different, therefore, Evolution!!!

      DOGS NOT HAVING GILLS IS EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION Hahahaha

      When was this crap written? around the time evolutionists still thought most DNA and the human appendix was junk?

      Here, talkorigins "suboptimality" on the retina argument gets absolutely ripped to shreds.

      Is Our ‘Inverted’ Retina Really ‘Bad Design’?
      http://www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

      Ooooh, look at all those secular journal references, Thorton.


      Here's some more Thorton

      DEBUNKING EVOLUTION:
      problems between the theory and reality;
      the false science of evolution

      http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html


      Thorton, remind us again how lizards changing shape is evidence for evolution. Hahahaha. I bet you're still sore from being absolutely demolished by counter-evidence to that stupid evo claim.


      Delete
    10. lifepsy

      http://www.trueorigin.org/retina.asp

      http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html


      BIG LOL! 'Trueorigins' and 'newgeology" Creationist "science" sites. Great scientific reference there asshat. Why don't you ever use anything from the primary scientific literature to support your BS Creationist claims? I guess because you never do anything but read the occasional abstract, and that's just to find material to dishonestly quote-mine.

      BTW asshat, even your 'newgeology' Creationist site says evolution (micro) is real. What does that do to your "it's all plasticity!!" claim? Nice own goal moron.

      Should I ask you again for your mechanism by which wolves changed into chihuahuas? We both know it will make you crap your pants.

      remind us again how lizards changing shape is evidence for evolution. Hahahaha.

      Remind us again how you got caught lying about what the paper said, that the skull and dentition reverted to their original form after a few weeks. HA. HA. HA. HA.

      Delete
    11. "TalkOrigins offers well researched, concise overviews of mainstream scientific positions and backs it up with references to the primary scientific literature."

      Pure crap. talkorigins has one agenda and only one. You would not accept any creationist site just because it was referencing scientifical journals

      exhibit A

      "BIG LOL! 'Trueorigins' and 'newgeology" Creationist "science" sites."

      Thorton thy name is hypocrite ;)

      Delete
    12. Elijah2012

      talkorigins has one agenda and only one.


      Yep - to provide honest and accurate scientific evidence to counteract all the Creationist lies and bullcrap out there.

      You would not accept any creationist site just because it was referencing scientifical journals

      LOL! Two Creationist bullcrap webpages whose only connection to the scientific literature was the occasional quote-mined snippet. Real convincing stuff there.

      Double LOL at "scientifical" journals. :D

      When all you read is Creationist lies and bullcrap, the only thing that comes back out of your mouth is Creationist lies and bullcrap. Pretty much covers everything you've written to date.

      BTW, weren't you going to give me the Creationist FLUD explanation for angular unconformities? I'm sure you conveniently 'forgot' about that big hole your mouth dug.

      Delete
    13. Thorton, even your 'newgeology' Creationist site says evolution (micro) is real.

      LOL, Thorton you don't even know what micro or macro evolution is. Lizards changing shape? Whale embryos with a moving blowhole? Chihuahuas? Hahaha. You don't even dare to make a claim anymore because you know it will be demolished again.

      Delete
    14. lifepsy

      You don't even dare to make a claim anymore because you know it will be demolished again.


      LOL! Sure thing asshat. Those two Creationist websites that directly contradicted your own idiotic claims sure demolished the most well supported theory in all of science! What will all those millions of suddenly unemployed scientists ever do??? :D :D :D

      You're a legend in your own mind.

      Delete
    15. jeff said:

      "And yet it wouldn't falsify the hypothesis of UCA which every "scientist" knows intuitively is true. It's apparently the only non-falsifiable intuition which isn't shared by the vast majority of humans in the first place. Truly amazing."

      Wrong. Why don't you see if you can find a human who was born to a modern monkey and find out what it would falsify? Maybe you can find one hanging out with Bigfoot. You do believe that Bigfoot is real, don't you?

      Oh, and the "vast majority of humans" are superstitious, and uneducated, especially in regard to science and nature. You shouldn't be so anxious to appeal to the popularity of religious fairy tales believed in by the "vast majority of humans".

      By the way, is your chosen god the same god(s) that hindus, muslims, scientologists, mormons, and nuwaubianists believe in?

      Delete
  10. Louis: " We all know what Blas meant."

    Ah Yes, the age old IDiot gift of interpreting words how people meant them rather than how they wrote them. Quick, to the quote mine!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ritchie, okay, so out of all that material can you please give me your example of a genuine animal speciation that was observed? Of course, it doesn't include incipient speciation or mating preferences. Just one example from your reference?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Tedford the Slow trots out the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

      "Sure that example shows speciation, but it's not genuine speciation! For genuine speciation I demand to see an avocado evolve into a kangaroo!!"

      Tedford just isn't very bright.

      Delete
  12. Everyone on this thread who is an ardent evolutionists should ask themselves a few questions.

    A. What is intelligence? How did it evolve? If intelligent intervention (I.D.) needs to be eliminated from science because it violates methodological naturalism how is it that humans design experiments in the first place?

    I would assume that some reasonable necessary conditions for intelligence would be:

    1. The ability of an entity to make choices based on non-material, abstract information. ( Such as the ability to decide which theory best describes life on this planet. )
    2. The ability of an entity to communicate those choices through some medium to other intelligent beings resulting in the sharing of non-material information. ( Such as the ability to successfully advocate a point of view regarding theories which describe life on this planet. )

    A necessary condition for an intelligent physical being would also include:

    1. The ability to choose to make spontaneous physical actions by choices based on the entities' decisions about abstract, non-material information. ( Such as typing the keys to create a response on this site. )

    Forget about abiogenesis. The real question is how could chance and natural forces ever account for intelligence!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JDH March 8, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      Everyone on this thread who is an ardent evolutionists should ask themselves a few questions.


      What makes you think they don't?

      A. What is intelligence? How did it evolve?

      Good questions. What are your answers?

      If intelligent intervention (I.D.) needs to be eliminated from science because it violates methodological naturalism how is it that humans design experiments in the first place?

      There is no need to eliminate intelligent intervention from science. There is a need to provide reasons and evidence for introducing it as an a explanation if it is non-human.

      I would assume that some reasonable necessary conditions for intelligence would be:

      1. The ability of an entity to make choices based on non-material, abstract information. ( Such as the ability to decide which theory best describes life on this planet. )



      Many animals apart from humans can do that, so can computers. Are they all intelligent?

      2. The ability of an entity to communicate those choices through some medium to other intelligent beings resulting in the sharing of non-material information. ( Such as the ability to successfully advocate a point of view regarding theories which describe life on this planet. )

      Bees do their little wiggle dance to communicate where nearby sources of nectar are. Is that intelligence?

      A necessary condition for an intelligent physical being would also include:

      1. The ability to choose to make spontaneous physical actions by choices based on the entities' decisions about abstract, non-material information. ( Such as typing the keys to create a response on this site. )


      As before, other animals and computers can meet that sort of requirement. Did you mean your definition of intelligence to be so broad or did you want to narrow it to just those behaviors typical of human intelligence?

      Forget about abiogenesis. The real question is how could chance and natural forces ever account for intelligence!!

      Exactly.

      Just bear in mind that positing an extraterrestrial intelligent designer (EID) doesn't answer that question. It just defers it. The next question is obviously what accounts for the EID?

      Delete
    2. Ian - Nice defenses. I guess you need to believe these things in order to keep up your opinion.

      The reason I say intelligence can't evolve is it can't. Not the type of intelligence that creates new information. Intelligence must be able to make decisions which are neither random - nor are they necessary. Natural processes can only do those two things.

      Animals do not make choices based on non-material information. I have a dog. I teach my dog to respond to commands. But this is not the same as parsing language. I can't tell my dog to believe something. I can only tell him to do something. Your idea that animals do what I was calling intelligence only shows your ignorance of what I was talking about.

      Computers do not make decisions based on abstract information. They follow pathways established electronic pathways totally dictated by the way they are programmed. Again you are only demonstrating your ignorance.

      Bees do a wiggle dance to communicate where flowers are. So what. Bees don't choose to do this from moral intelligent decisions, they are programmed to do it. There is not a problem with a worker bee deciding to deceive the rest of the hive because he wants to get all the pollen for himself. Bees are just doing stimulus response. Intelligence is qualitatively different than this.

      Again, you miss the point. Animals do not put abstract sentences together. They respond to stimuli. We, I mean intelligent beings, make decisions which are not random and not dependent on the stimuli received. You are doubling down on your ignorance.

      Anyone who believes the infinite regress to be a reasonable response against ID just has not thought about the qualities an Intelligent Designer would have to possess. He would have to be eternal, non-created. He would have to be the end of the regress. The reason that you can't fathom this idea is that you wish to stay willingly ignorant of God. Problem is, he is not ignorant of you.

      Delete
    3. JDH

      The reason I say intelligence can't evolve is it can't.


      Well, that sure settles it. No evidence needed - it's true because JDH says it's true.

      Not the type of intelligence that creates new information.

      Tree rings carry information about the climate of each year of their growth. Which intelligence created the new information?

      Starlight carries information about the chemical composition of the star. Which intelligence created the new information?

      Animals do not put abstract sentences together.

      Some do.

      " Koko, a gorilla born in 1973, was trained in both English and ASL by Francine Patterson. At the age of three Koko usually signed about food, but by six years of age, Patterson claims, she began to express her own ideas about language and could name unfamiliar objects, rhyme in English, and even lie. According to the official Koko site, Koko has a working vocabulary of over 1000 signs, understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English, and initiates the majority of conversations with her human companions. She typically constructs statements averaging three to six words. In 1998 Koko had a live chat with some 13,000 people online.

      Kanzi and Panbanisha, pigmy chimpanzees raised in the 1990's by Emily Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, learned to communicate by using a keyboard with geometric symbols. They were not taught specific words, but were rather allowed to pick out of conversations what they wanted to learn. Kanzi began his training by watching attempts to train his mother. He seemed to understand spoken English, and was able to express needs, relate to past events, and produce sentences indicating the acquisition of some word-order rules."

      source

      Looks like you're pretty behind the current research.

      The reason that you can't fathom this idea is that you wish to stay willingly ignorant of God. Problem is, he is not ignorant of you.

      You speak for God now? Cool! Can you ask him which horse he likes in the 2nd at Santa Anita tomorrow? :)

      Delete
    4. This dog is more intelligent than IDiot-creationists:

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/world-smartest-dog-nova-special-shows-border-collie/story?id=12875750

      Delete
    5. Thornton,

      Starlight created by a star is not new information. A star made up of certain elements can only create a certain spectrum. The spectrum does not change according to some intelligent agent who creates the spectrum, the changes between various energy levels in atoms create the same pattern they have always produced.

      On the other hand, the fact that Frodo Baggins is Bilbo Baggins nephew is new information. There is nothing that prescribed that this had to be until JRR Tolkien decided to posit the relationship this way. Only intelligences create this kind of new information.

      To make the argument clearer. Suppose I was able to deduce the composition of the star by a different manner. Then I would already know what the spectrum of the starlight was going to look like. No new information is created.

      On the other hand, if I had talked with JRR Tolkien and he had told be he has an idea for a new book with characters Frodo and Bilbo - there would be no way for me to deduce that he planned to make their last name Baggins and that Frodo was to be Bilbo's nephew. This is because intelligences do not merely translate the world around them. They create new information. This is because they are not random, nor are they driven by natural processes. Something that is not random, and not driven by natural processes can not evolve.

      Now I know some irrational thinkers simply think that the revelation that Bilbo's last name is Baggins is just the same as the starlight. They assume that if I knew the complete state of every particle that made up JRR Tolkien and his brain I could have deduced that he was going to call them Baggins. Fools that believe this do not realize that this kind of thinking was killed by Quantum Mechanics. Its not just that we can't measure the state of every particle to get good enough information. Its that the information does not exist. Unlike the naturally directed spectrum of the starlight, the name of "Baggins" is new information generated by an intelligence.

      As to your claims of the ability of other animals to generate abstract information. I have never found any of the claims, even the claims of Koko, credible. Higher animal nervous systems are incredibly complex, and they are able to do amazing things. They can have and express feelings, they can predicate what might happen in the near future ( for example, when my dog chases me around a circular area of our house, he will stop and anticipate that I might come around the other way ), they can be programmed to build unbelievably complex structures ( spider webs, beaver dams, termite mounds, bird nests ) but in the end they do not create new information - they just do what they are expected. If they did create new info - there would be a complement to human literature in the animal world.

      Delete
    6. JDH March 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      [...]

      The reason I say intelligence can't evolve is it can't.


      Sorry, but you saying something is so is no more a reason for it to be true than my saying the oppposite.

      Not the type of intelligence that creates new information. Intelligence must be able to make decisions which are neither random - nor are they necessary. Natural processes can only do those two things.

      The problem here is that we have not yet agreed on what we mean by intelligence. Does it necessarily involve the capacity to create new information, whatever that may mean? As for free will or decision-making, how do you get around the fact that we are contingent beings, that we - and, by extension, the decisions we make - are influenced by our history and our surroundings?

      Animals do not make choices based on non-material information. I have a dog. I teach my dog to respond to commands. But this is not the same as parsing language. I can't tell my dog to believe something. I can only tell him to do something. Your idea that animals do what I was calling intelligence only shows your ignorance of what I was talking about.

      I currently have two cats and have had a number of others as companions over the years. They have all been intellgent creatures with distinct personalities of their own. Their intelligence is not the same as mine. They do not have the same capacity for reasoned thought or language, for example. On the other hand, they perceive the world differently. Their senses are biased much more towards hearing and smell than mine and their low-light vision is also much better. That means they can navigate and hunt in low-light conditions much better than I can. In what way is that not intelligence?

      Computers do not make decisions based on abstract information. They follow pathways established electronic pathways totally dictated by the way they are programmed. Again you are only demonstrating your ignorance.

      Yes, computers can be said to work at one level by shunting electrons around circuits. The brain does its thing by sending electro-chemical pulses shooting round circuits in a neural network created by billions of cells, each of which can be linked to thousands of its neighbors. The number of possible circuits is astronomical. That makes it a much better bet for the source of intelligence than some immaterial whatever.

      [...]

      Again, you miss the point. Animals do not put abstract sentences together. They respond to stimuli. We, I mean intelligent beings, make decisions which are not random and not dependent on the stimuli received. You are doubling down on your ignorance.

      And you are just begging the question. You're assuming a nature of intelligence which has yet to be demonstrated.

      Yes, we are the only animal that has evolved complex verbal modeling languages. They're a powerful tool. On the other hand, none of us here could navigate and survive in the world's oceans like whales or dolphins.

      [...]

      Anyone who believes the infinite regress to be a reasonable response against ID just has not thought about the qualities an Intelligent Designer would have to possess. He would have to be eternal, non-created. He would have to be the end of the regress. The reason that you can't fathom this idea is that you wish to stay willingly ignorant of God. Problem is, he is not ignorant of you.

      What I find offensive is this notion of human exceptionalism which to me is what you might call 'speciesism' and is akin to racism. Some of the most pernicious passages in the Bible are those that imply just that.

      Delete
    7. JDH

      Starlight created by a star is not new information. A star made up of certain elements can only create a certain spectrum. The spectrum does not change according to some intelligent agent who creates the spectrum, the changes between various energy levels in atoms create the same pattern they have always produced.


      That is 100% false. The information in the starlight did not exist before the star condensed from its gas cloud and began to burn. It's brand new, created when the star is created. The spectral lines in the starlight also change as the ratio of elements in the star changes dramatically over the lifetime it is ignited. The changed spectral lines are new information.

      I note you completely ignored my tree ring example. New tree rings are created every year, rings that didn't exist previously, and the new rings record new information about the year's climate.

      Sorry, but your "only intelligence can create new information" is as busted as busted can be. That of course cuts the legs right out from under the rest of your silly argument.

      Delete
  13. This ( see above ) leads to JDH's first rule.

    1. There is no such thing as an intelligent advocate of materialism.

    Proof:

    A. Assume materialism is true. Then ALL decisions would be based on physical forces and particle interaction alone. No decision could be based on choosing between different bits of abstract information since abstract information has no physical effect.

    So if materialism is true - there is no such thing as an intelligent advocate of materialism because any supposed intelligence must just be an illusion. Illusions can be believed by simple people, but intelligent beings should realize that it is just an illusion.

    So in the condition of materialism being true there could be no intelligent advocate of materialism.

    B. Assume materialism is false. This allows for there to be intelligent beings. However, since argument A is really simple and clear, any really intelligent being would understand the iron clad argument against materialism allowing intelligent beings. No really intelligent being would be an advocate for a position which is clearly false.

    So in the case of materialism being false there could be no intelligent advocate of materialism.

    By the theory of the excluded middle there are no other cases.

    Hence there is no such thing as an intelligent advocate of materialism. QED.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JDH March 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      This ( see above ) leads to JDH's first rule.

      1. There is no such thing as an intelligent advocate of materialism.


      That's nice but I don't think the universe pays much attention to our private little rules.

      A. Assume materialism is true. Then ALL decisions would be based on physical forces and particle interaction alone. No decision could be based on choosing between different bits of abstract information since abstract information has no physical effect.

      I prefer 'physicalism' to 'materialism' although it really doesn't matter as long as both are understood to include matter in all its manifestations, which include all forms of energy.

      Either way, there are no instances, that I'm aware of, where intelligence or any form of abstract information-processing has been observed outside any form of physical matrix. If that is true then it must also be true that the sort of decision-making you're talking about is based on some sort of material substrate.

      So if materialism is true - there is no such thing as an intelligent advocate of materialism because any supposed intelligence must just be an illusion. Illusions can be believed by simple people, but intelligent beings should realize that it is just an illusion.

      Nope, sorry, it doesn't follow, for the reasons I gave above.

      As for free will, which I think is partly what you're driving at, a lot of intelligent people think it is an illusion. The existence of an omniscient God with knowledge of trhe future, for example, would imply that it doesn't exist.

      B. Assume materialism is false. This allows for there to be intelligent beings. However, since argument A is really simple and clear, any really intelligent being would understand the iron clad argument against materialism allowing intelligent beings.

      Sorry, but you still haven't shown that materialism is false means that intelligent entities able to exercise free will could - let alone must - exist.

      Hence there is no such thing as an intelligent advocate of materialism. QED.

      You're talking to one. I win!

      Delete
    2. Ian: Either way, there are no instances, that I'm aware of, where intelligence or any form of abstract information-processing has been observed outside any form of physical matrix.

      J: Ian, intelligence hasn't been observed AT ALL. That's the more relevant point. Even if the conscious self is a 3-dimensionally-extended particle or something, it's still true that conscious experience is not conceived of as 3-dimensionally-extended. Indeed, I'm not sure once could do that coherently.

      As for intelligent people denying free-will, do they also deny 3-dimensionally-extended beings experience conscious states? If not, are they open to analogically inferring conscious states for all 3-dimensionally-extended beings/particles? If not, why not?

      I'm trying to understand what is intelligent about them. One of the things I'm convinced of is that a person can be very intelligent in one respect and very stupid in another. I see it day in and day out. Thus, saying there are intelligent people who don't believe in free-will doesn't indicate at all that that particular belief came about via intelligence. Maybe it's just an arbitrary belief like Mark Ridley's belief that if species were created, they wouldn't share the same code. I can't imagine where such a belief came from.

      Delete
    3. "Either way, there are no instances, that I'm aware of, where intelligence or any form of abstract information-processing has been observed outside any form of physical matrix. If that is true then it must also be true that the sort of decision-making you're talking about is based on some sort of material substrate."

      and the double slit experiment?

      As far as we can tell it is not the PHYSICAL process of measuring that affects the result only the fact of measurement. Its just a brute fact written into QEM. How is knowledge of measurement a "substrate"?

      in the absence of physical processes creating the "collapse" how does nature at its most fundamental level respond to non physical stimulus and just the fact that it has been measured?

      Your above assertion should be withdrawn or at the very least you should address several aspects of QM that deny physical processes being responsible for everything.

      Instead I think we shall hear crickets or perhaps some sophistry attempting to redefine what "physical" is

      Delete
    4. Jeff March 9, 2013 at 6:37 AM

      [...]

      J: Ian, intelligence hasn't been observed AT ALL.


      If you want nitpick, no, it hasn't, not directly. But neither has electromagnetism or gravity or government. What we do observe are behaviors in the natural world from which we have inferred, rightly or wrongly, the existence of such phenomena or, rather, explanations - theories if you like - of what we are able to observe. So what?

      That's the more relevant point. Even if the conscious self is a 3-dimensionally-extended particle or something, it's still true that conscious experience is not conceived of as 3-dimensionally-extended. Indeed, I'm not sure once could do that coherently.

      First, we need to get away from this three-dimensional thinking. If we are anything, we are spatiotemporally extended events in four-dimensional spacetime. Speaking for myself, I've tried to bear that in mind ever since being struck by the vivid metaphor of "pink worms" in one of Heinlein's SF novels.

      As for intelligent people denying free-will, do they also deny 3-dimensionally-extended beings experience conscious states? If not, are they open to analogically inferring conscious states for all 3-dimensionally-extended beings/particles? If not, why not?

      You'd have to ask the free-will deniers why they think what they think. For myself, there is an obvious problem of trying to square the notion of free will with being a part of a contingent universe and a more difficult one, for Christians, of, squaring it with the concept of an omniscient God who has knowledge of the future.

      I'm trying to understand what is intelligent about them. One of the things I'm convinced of is that a person can be very intelligent in one respect and very stupid in another. I see it day in and day out.

      I entirely agree. We need to get away from some sort of monolithic concept of intelligence. You could probably take all the most successful second-hand car dealers in the US and find not one could come up with a theory of relativity in his wildest dreams. On the other hand, Albert Einstein would probably have made a lousy second-hand car salesman. Which is the greater intelligence (whatever "greater" means)?

      Thus, saying there are intelligent people who don't believe in free-will doesn't indicate at all that that particular belief came about via intelligence.

      No, it doesn't and the same could be said of those who assert the existence of free will.

      Maybe it's just an arbitrary belief like Mark Ridley's belief that if species were created, they wouldn't share the same code. I can't imagine where such a belief came from.

      It's a weak argument at best. An omnipotent Creator could presumably create in any way it chose, at least within the bounds of logical possibility. That's what makes it worthless as a scientific explanation. It gains us nothing.

      Delete
    5. Elijah 2012March 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      [...]

      and the double slit experiment?

      As far as we can tell it is not the PHYSICAL process of measuring that affects the result only the fact of measurement. Its just a brute fact written into QEM. How is knowledge of measurement a "substrate"?

      in the absence of physical processes creating the "collapse" how does nature at its most fundamental level respond to non physical stimulus and just the fact that it has been measured?


      Quantum physics is the study of the physical world at the smallest scale. That's why it's called physics and not theology. It's about the natural world not the supernatural.

      And, yes, at that level we see baffling and counter-intuitive phenomena like the two-slit experiment and quantum entanglement. There are clearly weird and wonderful things happening at the sub-atomic level but does that mean the material world and its properties are an illusion?

      Put very simply, in quantum entanglement an entangled particle-pair can be created and out in opposite directions. If a property like spin of one of the particles is reversed, a corresponding reversal in the spin of its partner will be observed simultaneously.

      On the other hand, let's scale up to the macro level and imagine two billiards balls being sent spinning in opposite directions along the table. If someone reaches out and makes one of the balls spin in the opposite direction, do we see the other ball simultaneously spin in the opposite direction without anyone touching it? No, we don't. That's not how the world works at this level. Here, it takes physical causes to create physical effects.

      How do we reconcile the the quantum and the macro worlds? I have no idea. It's fascinating but it doesn't mean it's immaterial or supernatural in the way some here would like it to.

      Your above assertion should be withdrawn or at the very least you should address several aspects of QM that deny physical processes being responsible for everything.

      I'll withdraw my assertion when you can demonstrate - demonstrate - intelligence existing entirely independent of any physical matrix or substrate.

      Delete
    6. "Quantum physics is the study of the physical world at the smallest scale"

      Thank you for that duh moment. The shake and shimmy was nice too because all of that was just a dodge. Facts still remain that no physical process causes the results we get. The very fact of measurement causes nature to react. Its information not physical process based.

      Learn to think logically before debating. Its a requirement. You can't wave the issue aside by straw manufacturing. I neither referenced Illusion nor any supernatural agency and the whole issue of the dichotomy of the macro and micro is tangential and meaningless to the point. It is still reality. It still exists and it is an information based response without physical process as its explanation. Deal with it. Its part of the real world regardless of how it operates pr doesn't at the macro level. What you just did was the intellectual equivalent of putting you hands over your head and singing to avoid any implications you don't like.

      "I'll withdraw my assertion when you can demonstrate - demonstrate - intelligence existing entirely independent of any physical matrix or substrate."

      No you won't withdraw it because you are dishonest and being dishonest your refusal to withdraw it is of no consequence. I anticipated that dishonesty when I said you should not that you would. Your absurdly idiotic criteria of "entirely independent of any physical matrix" would require evidence outside of our universe so in essence is asking for supernatural evidence. Its more than enough to point to an observable, often demonstrated scientific fact that indicates information processing independent of any physical process.

      On a side note I tire of hearing how QM is weird and baffling. It isn't when you really think about it. Yes it challenges our intuition but our intuition was always based on a materialistic bias that reality should be controlled by physical processes. Once we open our minds that reality can relate and react to information a great deal of what is supposedly "baffling" really isn't.

      Delete
    7. Elijah2012 March 10, 2013 at 5:30 AM

      "Quantum physics is the study of the physical world at the smallest scale"

      Thank you for that duh moment.


      Not a problem. You seemed to be a bit fuzzy about it.

      The shake and shimmy was nice too because all of that was just a dodge. Facts still remain that no physical process causes the results we get. The very fact of measurement causes nature to react. Its information not physical process based.

      You don't know that. Nobody does.

      If you want to stick to the facts then what we have are repeated observations of separate phenomena that are correlated so often as to imply some sort of link or causal connection. Nobody - nobody - not you , not I, not the researchers who are studying it know what is happening at that level. It's a mystery.

      So what you are doing, instead of just accepting that it's a mystery at the moment, is pulling the tired old God-of-the-gaps argument, bascially saying that here is a gap in our knowledge where we can squeeze in God or some extraterrestrial intelligent designer or whatever. Go ahead, knock yourself out. It won't get you anywhere.

      Once again, unexplained quantum phenomena notwithstanding, there are no known instances of intelligence or information processing that have no physical basis whatsoever.

      Your absurdly idiotic criteria of "entirely independent of any physical matrix" would require evidence outside of our universe so in essence is asking for supernatural evidence.

      So you're admitting that whatever happens in this universe has a physical basis?

      On a side note I tire of hearing how QM is weird and baffling. It isn't when you really think about it.

      Actually, it is when you think about it

      Once we open our minds that reality can relate and react to information a great deal of what is supposedly "baffling" really isn't.

      “I think I can safely say that nobody understands Quantum Mechanics”

      -- Richard Feynman

      If you really think you understand quantum physics better than people like Feynman then it's time to put it into a paper and submit it.

      Delete
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      Delete
    9. Ian said:

      "I'll withdraw my assertion when you can demonstrate - demonstrate - intelligence existing entirely independent of any physical matrix or substrate."

      elijah puked:

      "No you won't withdraw it because you are dishonest and being dishonest your refusal to withdraw it is of no consequence. I anticipated that dishonesty when I said you should not that you would. Your absurdly idiotic criteria of "entirely independent of any physical matrix" would require evidence outside of our universe so in essence is asking for supernatural evidence. Its more than enough to point to an observable, often demonstrated scientific fact that indicates information processing independent of any physical process."

      elijah, you and your creationist comrades are the ones pushing the IDiotic "supernatural" crap.

      Why did you change "physical matrix or substrate" to "physical process"?

      Do you have any references/citations to "often demonstrated scientific fact that indicates information processing independent of any physical process" or "physical matrix or substrate"?

      Let's see, you're claiming that it's a "demonstrated scientific fact" that intelligence or "information processing" exists and occurs independent of any physical process, matrix, or substrate, but you also say:

      "Your absurdly idiotic criteria of "entirely independent of any physical matrix" would require evidence outside of our universe so in essence is asking for supernatural evidence."

      So, the alleged "demonstrated scientific fact" that you baldly assert is dependent on "evidence outside of our universe so in essence is asking for supernatural evidence", eh? Then tell me, how can the "fact" be "demonstrated" and "scientific" if the "evidence" is "outside of our universe" and "supernatural"?

      Delete
  14. JDHMarch

    If intelligent intervention (I.D.) needs to be eliminated from science because it violates methodological naturalism how is it that humans design experiments in the first place?


    Science doesn't say intelligent intervention is not allowed. Science says appeals to the supernatural are not allowed, because if you posit supernatural forces you can have no trust in the repeatability of your results.

    The real question is how could chance and natural forces ever account for intelligence!

    The same way they account for speed and strength. Intelligence is an evolved trait that in many environments is beneficial to reproductive fitness.

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    1. Garbage and lol hot garbage

      Science and even you have no choice but to invoke the supernatural.

      Is something existing strictly because it exists with no explanation for its existence not a "supernatural" concept? come now Thorton curse and handwave to wiggle your way out into claiming that anything existing without reason or cause is non supernatural?

      Infinite regress is calling

      "Intelligence is an evolved trait that in many environments is beneficial to reproductive fitness."

      Even More hot garbage. The logic of if....then....else is written into the very fabric off the universe not a matter of chance.Its the very reason why science even exists. More specifically In biology Information processing is written into DNA not merely brains. So um you want to talk abiogenesis now as part of evolution?

      There is no "benefit to reproductive fitness" for moron organisms. No imaginary step wise evolution for intelligent decisions that passes on reproductive fitness at each step of non intelligence/stupidity before finally intelligence is achieved.

      Its all just your standard evolutionary fairy tale telling.

      Delete
    2. elijah said:

      "More specifically In biology Information processing is written into DNA not merely brains."

      Is DNA a physical matrix or substrate, or is it supernatural and outside of our universe?

      Delete
    3. elijah said:

      "Infinite regress is calling"

      Do you have proof that your chosen god exists and has always existed, or do you arrogantly think that just because you say it does and has, everyone should automatically believe you?

      Delete
  15. Thornton - you miss the points.

    1. Any type of intelligent intervention ruins scientific results. Why do you think all acceptable drug tests are double blind studies? Why do you think data tampering is so frowned upon?

    Don't you realize if you posit intelligent agents of any kind intervening in the experiment, the results are unrepeatable because those choices made by the agents are not under experimental control.

    2. Intelligence is not like speed and strength. Speed and strength deal only with natural phenomena. You can't think your way to stronger muscles. The amount of musculature you have dictates how strong. Strength only quantifies how much muscle response you have to respond with. It is driven by outside stimuli.

    Intelligence that I am talking about is not a response to materialistic substances. There is nothing about the words on this page, the font, the physical shapes of the letters, even the sequence of individual letters that evokes a response. Intelligence reacts to the non-materialistic meaning encoded into the letters and in response --- creates new information ex nihilo. This type of intelligence can not be a simple stimulus-response of the complex nervous system. Of course, I doubt you really understand what I am saying, if you really understood it, you would not swallow the absurd concept of materialism as you do.

    ReplyDelete
  16. JDH

    1. Any type of intelligent intervention ruins scientific results.


    Nothing you said before mentioned intelligence intervening in scientific experiments. Why are you moving the goals?

    2. Intelligence is not like speed and strength. Speed and strength deal only with natural phenomena. You can't think your way to stronger muscles.

    Intelligence can certainly help you survive tricky situations where muscle power would do you no good. Like I said, intelligence is an evolved trait that is often beneficial in reproductive fitness. It has a perfectly logical and natural evolutionary explanation.

    I doubt you really understand what I am saying,

    I doubt anyone really 'gets' your disjointed word salad except maybe you, and even that's questionable.

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  17. If God created biology then its a option it would be of a same general plan of DNA.
    The God of physics could have the same concept of laws concerning biology. Just more complicated.

    However reasonable or sensible it is just a line of reasoning to believe DNA or any similarity is the evidence for common descent or origin.
    Even if true it would only be vthis.
    Yet we are dealing here with biological scientific evidence for a more certain conclusion.
    Evolutionists and everyone is too fast persuaded that likeness equals a common origin.
    the only common origin could be a common design and biology being created in place.
    They are putting a creator into the corner here.
    A common DNA foundation would be usegull but the earthlings are saying it means common descent.
    It didn;t happen that way as the bible said.
    Logic here has failed. the scientific methodology has been breached in these things.

    ReplyDelete
  18. lifepsy: Exactly. Translation = Genetic voodoo.

    Heh. It was your citation.

    lifepsy: But we now have widespread function appearing across all life, making up to a third of all genes in all species! That does not show any trace of common ancestry.

    You mean only a third of the genome is a mystery. That doesn't imply they don't have a natural origin. The authors even suggest some possibilities. It was your citation! We're just reading it. In any case, even random sequences can have biological function, so it's well within the realm of plausibility that new genes can form from the remnants of existing genes. Your Pilcher article emphasizes this. There are a variety of mechanisms by which new proteins might evolve.

    lifepsy: Thorton you don't even know what micro or macro evolution is. Lizards changing shape? Whale embryos with a moving blowhole? Chihuahuas? Hahaha.

    Good example. Whales are just the result of microevolution from land vertebrates.

    Jeff: And yet it wouldn't falsify the hypothesis of UCA which every "scientist" knows intuitively is true.

    It would certainly call into question the foundations of modern biology. Let us know when you find such a falsification.

    lifepsy: If the ERVs conform to phylogeny, then you say it is evidence for common ancestry.

    We can observe the process by which viruses inject themselves into the genome. We can then hypothesize historical cases, based on the theory of common descent, what this would mean in terms of extant genomes. And the observations confirm the prediction.

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    1. Zachriel: You mean only a third of the genome is a mystery. That doesn't imply they don't have a natural origin. The authors even suggest some possibilities.

      No, not the genome, but a third of known functional genes. (it will get even worse for darwinists as we continue to find more function in the rest of the genome)

      Of course researchers have to speculate on possible explanations. That's all they've ever done, constantly modifying the theory with untestable, ad-hoc ideas, when they keep finding things they didn't expect. What else are they going to do? Admit there is no good evolutionary explanation?

      Just look at the "explanation" you cited again. Again, what couldn't this explain?

      "...gene duplication, frame-shift fixation, creation of overlapping genes, horizontal gene transfer, and exaptation of transposable elements"

      In other words, you have 30% of all functioning genes being possibly attributed to HGT. (aka - the gene poofed in from some unknown vector) Do you realize what a disaster this is for any last shred of scientific falsifiability neo-darwinism might have been clinging to?

      And this isn't some anomaly, this is across the board in all living species, closely related or not.

      I've noticed a trend with referencing journal articles. The creationists tend to go with the empirical results, and the evolutionists tend to go with the unconfirmed and untestable ad-hoc speculations offered afterwords.

      Zachriel: We can observe the process by which viruses inject themselves into the genome. We can then hypothesize historical cases, based on the theory of common descent, what this would mean in terms of extant genomes. And the observations confirm the prediction.

      Actually the observations don't confirm the prediction if the results show both confirmation and falsification. (in some ancestral primates but missing in some descendents) Sorry but you can't just say "well something anomalous happened to those ones that don't fit in, but the rest look great."

      We can also observe that, unlike what we would expect from a foreign invading virus, ERV's play crucial roles in embryo development. In other words the ERV is there by necessity. (not exactly a slam-dunk for the hypothesis that is was just some random junk an ancestor picked up and passed on)

      Delete
    2. Zachriel said

      "You mean only a third of the genome is a mystery. That doesn't imply they don't have a natural origin. The authors even suggest some possibilities. It was your citation! We're just reading it. In any case, even random sequences can have biological function, so it's well within the realm of plausibility that new genes can form from the remnants of existing genes. Your Pilcher article emphasizes this. There are a variety of mechanisms by which new proteins might evolve."

      But that do not solve the problem for the darwinism, if two relted species with a supposed common ancestor each of them has one third of new unrelated genes there is not a RM+NS that can lead to that result, because you need at the same time select the mutations un the common genes while you have to get selected all the new genes.

      Delete
    3. you dont know enough to support the vast amount of assertions based on a plethora of assumptions to make any kind of claims to what reality is regarding .......

      Delete
  19. Cornelius Hunter: Collecting and focusing of light can be done in many different ways. In this case, we have completely different initial conditions and environments.

    And they resulted in different solutions; different lenses, different focusing system,s different retinal structures, even different developmental pathways. And most important, cephalopod eyes group, while vertebrate eyes group, whether they walk on land, swim in the seas, or fly in the air.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Zachriel: It would certainly call into question the foundations of modern biology. Let us know when you find such a falsification.

    J: Better yet, let me know when you derive a falsifiable prediction from the UCA hypothesis. All we here is the very non-sense this particular blog-post is about. Non-sense like, "God wouldn't have created different species with the same DNA code." And just how did one come to that conclusion?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Jeff,
      Better yet, let me know when you derive a falsifiable prediction from the UCA hypothesis


      CV"..But it’s still DNA-based, but the diversity we have in the DNA world"

      A non DNA based species, would falsify it for that species

      Delete
    2. V: A non DNA based species, would falsify it for that species

      J: No, V. That wouldn't falsify UCA, because UCA doesn't predict or imply any such thing. Rather, it would merely falsify that very belief you hold about the relationship of organisms. There's an infinite set of non-naturalistic explanations (or histories involving mostly uncaused events) for UCA that don't have anything to do with DNA. You really haven't thought through the genie you've let out of the bottle once inductive criteria are no longer THE plausibility criteria. You're left having to make the non-intuitive, non-rationally-derived claim that atheist beliefs are better, regardless of their implications about the validity of inductive methodology and plausibility criteria, merely because they're atheistic. All I can respond to that is, better how, and for who?

      The reason why I say that claim is non-intuitive is because it literally requires a non-inductive plausibility criteria. Once you reject finality to explanation (which is what teleology/design provides) and the axiom that all events are caused, you've embraced an infinite set of ad-hoc hypotheses to every explanation you posit. So what is the new plausibility criteria now that you've rejected parsimony, analogy, and minimization of ad-hoc hypotheses as THE plausibility criteria? This is what none of you have answered. Thus, all the claims about "overwhelming evidence," etc, have no defined meaning yet. They're literally void of conceptual content.

      Delete
    3. J1: The reason why I say that claim is non-intuitive is because it literally requires a non-inductive plausibility criteria.

      J2: Of course, the above is true IF you expect anyone to regard your own views in terms a NON-RELATIVISTIC normative criteria. If not, then you're just blowing in the wind. No one need pay a lick of attention to relativists or arbitrary beliefs.

      Delete
    4. Actually if we did find non DNA life it would be heralded as a breakthrough in abiogenesis as in

      "See? Nature took many stabs at creating life. Ours was merely the one that survived"

      Delete
    5. yep, Evolutionism would absorb the discovery of non-DNA life without blinking an eye. The UCA would just become the "natural primordial conditions" or whatever.

      Delete
  21. Blas: Because we can observe that humans come from humans, we never observed a human coming for a {modern} monkey.

    Zachriel: If we did, it would certainly throw a monkey wrench into evolutionary theory.

    J: And yet it wouldn't falsify the hypothesis of UCA which every "scientist" knows intuitively is true.

    Zachriel: It would certainly call into question the foundations of modern biology.

    J: It might rock the cladistics world a little bit. But it wouldn't do much else. All your posited historical phenotypical trajectories are, themselves, speculative, seeings how nothing we know about mutations implies they're possible. When you give up a mere speculation, you haven't lost much.

    ReplyDelete
  22. lifepsy: In other words, you have 30% of all functioning genes being possibly attributed to HGT.

    Um, that's not what they said. In any case, there are known mechanisms of HGT, so it's not a magic.

    lifepsy: Actually the observations don't confirm the prediction if the results show both confirmation and falsification.

    ERVs mutate, and we can determine whether they support the standard phylogeny, which they do. You understand the concept of nesting?

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    1. Zachriel,

      HGT removes falsifiability. If any time you find a gene that doesn't conform to phylogeny in some way, you can pull out the HGT card. The occasional anomaly might have been overlooked, but now it's just ridiculous.

      They have no idea how much orphan genes could be caused by duplication-frameshift, HGT, or any other mechanisms. It could all be HGT for all they know, saying it's all HGT is just as likely as saying it's half HGT. There's no data. It's all untestable and ad-hoc and completely unpredicted.

      We don't observe duplicaton-frameshifts (or HGTs in eukaryotes) to produce ANY cases of neo-functionalization and now suddenly this de novo function must have occurred and fixated rapidly and constantly in all species wiping out all signals of descent.

      Even though several evolutionary biologists have admitted how difficult a discovery this is for neo-darwinism, you seem unable or unwilling to grasp the implications, so I won't waste my time with you on this anymore.

      You're not getting the falsifiability thing with ERVs either.

      You're saying we have evidence of common descent because of ERV's that conform to our evolutionary predictions, except when they don't. Okay, have fun with that.

      Delete
  23. Cornelius Hunter,

    Thanks for the clarification: "it [the argument that similarity implies lineage] is not *necessarily* metaphysical."

    The argument in itself is scientific. For instance, DNA tests do trace family relationships successfully. It is scientific reasoning to hypothetise that DNA tests might serve to trace lineages accross species.

    (Not to be confused with metaphysical mandates like "if the species were created they wouldn’t share the same code.")

    The many cases of falsification of this hypothesis should be considered a serious blow to the theory of evolution, particularly by its defenders.

    It is legitimate to propose ad hoc explanations, but it takes amazing doses of chutzpah to reference these clumsy attempts of explanation, as found in scientific literature, as adicional evidence of evolution.

    Regards,
    Renato

    ReplyDelete
  24. I don't understand something. The nested hierarchy is sited as evidence for evolution though a sort of negative reasoning. An omnipotent Creator didn't have to create life in a nested hierarchy. Evolution, due to patterns of common decent, had to form a nested hierarchy. So evolution is the more intellectually satisfying explanation because it explains why a nested hierarchy happened and not something else. But if evolutionists allow all these explanations like, HGT, convergence, and deep homology to explain all the anomalies, then evolution can accomidate anything, not just a nested hierarchy. So why is evolution a better explanation than "God did it"?

    ReplyDelete
  25. natschuster

    So why is evolution a better explanation than "God did it"?


    Because evolution provides a mechanism, and a time line, and makes testable predictions. It's also falsifiable. POOF GAWDDIDIT does none of that and isn't falsifiable.

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    1. Thorton, What's the mechanism? When was it tested and confirmed? (I know several studies where its tests failed) And how can it be falsified?

      "God did it" can easily be falsified.

      1) show that abiogenesis in nature is possible

      2) show that neo-darwinian evolution is a possible explanation for generating new features and different families of organisms.

      So far both attempts have ended in resounding failure.

      Actually, the "Theory of Evolution" has resulted in the best empirical evidence for God that mankind has ever had. Thank you darwinists!

      Delete
    2. Thorton:


      "Because evolution provides a mechanism, and a time line, and makes testable predictions."

      But it doesn't predict anything. If all these things like HGT can happen, then anything can happen.

      Delete
    3. lifepsy

      Thorton, What's the mechanism?


      The mechanism is random (WRT reproductive fitness) genetic variations filtered by selection and carried forward as heritable traits. Its creative ability is demonstrated every time a breeder uses selection to produce a new breed, every time a genetic algorithm is used to produce a new design.

      I already gave you several ways ToE could have been falsified but you ignored them in favor of your childish sniveling.

      "God did it" can easily be falsified.

      1) show that abiogenesis in nature is possible


      That wouldn't eliminate the possibility of a God manipulating natural laws into looking like abiogenesis happened naturally. Sorry but the supernatural is not falsifiable which is why it's not science, and will never be science.

      2) show that neo-darwinian evolution is a possible explanation for generating new features and different families of organisms.

      Already done above.

      Actually, the "Theory of Evolution" has resulted in the best empirical evidence for God that mankind has ever had.

      Which God? Zeus? Odin? Xiuhtecuhtli? Virachocha? At last count humans had created over 2500 of them.

      Delete
  26. lifepsy: HGT removes falsifiability. If any time you find a gene that doesn't conform to phylogeny in some way, you can pull out the HGT card.

    HGT is not magic, but an observed phenomenon.

    lifepsy: They have no idea how much orphan genes could be caused by duplication-frameshift, HGT, or any other mechanisms.

    That's right. There are still a lot of mysteries in biology. There's still a lot of mystery in physics, too. That's why people become biologists and physicists.

    lifepsy: You're saying we have evidence of common descent because of ERV's that conform to our evolutionary predictions, except when they don't.

    You do understand that random mutation and bifurcating descent will form a discernible (but not perfect) nested hierarchy? There are incredible coincidences that would have to occur otherwise. It's not a matter of identical sequences, but sequences that have mutated over time forming families of descent.

    natschuster: Creator didn't have to create life in a nested hierarchy. Evolution, due to patterns of common decent, had to form a nested hierarchy. So evolution is the more intellectually satisfying explanation because it explains why a nested hierarchy happened and not something else.

    Not merely satisfying, but a hypothesis that explains a huge amount of data, molecular, morphological, embryonic development, even the content of geological strata.

    natschuster: But if evolutionists allow all these explanations like, HGT, convergence, and deep homology to explain all the anomalies, then evolution can accomidate anything, not just a nested hierarchy.

    "Anything" is not consistent with the evidence. You still have a discernible nested hierarchy, even if there are other mechanisms at work.

    lifepsy: 2) show that neo-darwinian evolution is a possible explanation for generating new features and different families of organisms.

    That's already been shown (leaving aside the question of what you mean by "neo-darwinian"). See Darwin 1859.

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    1. Zachriel, HGT is not magic, but an observed phenomenon.

      I didn't say HGT was unobserved. (Though I don't think it's been observed transferring in eukaryotes) I said invoking HGT becomes a way of removing falsifiability in regards to genes not being where they're predicted to be. So if genes are shared predictably within lineages, then it's because of common descent and evolution is true. And if genes appear in strange unexpected places, then it's because of HGT and evolution is true.

      Prove me wrong. Give me a percentage of orphan genes (genes that show no signal of phylogenetic ancestry) that would falsify common descent. If evolutionists can no longer do this, then they've just lost the ability to use phylogenetic trees as evidence for common descent, because there's no way to falsify their claims.

      Zachriel: You do understand that random mutation and bifurcating descent will form a discernible (but not perfect) nested hierarchy? There are incredible coincidences that would have to occur otherwise.

      Then bifurcating descent predicts a non-falsifiable scenario, where it sometimes matches up and sometimes doesn't, just like the rest of the phylogenetic tree. But, comically, evolutionists are still acting vindicated by the revelation that the same types of creatures generally have the same type of genetic and biochemical functions, as if evolution-free common sense didn't predict that from the beginning.

      And beyond common descent, finding ERV's in general patterns of phyla is not a coincidence if the species always possessed those genes from their separate points of origin. And far from being randomly accumulated junk, we know some are required for embryonic development.

      See, what's interesting is that both your common descent hypothesis and my separate design hypothesis predict the same nested hierarchy, yet neither are readily falsifiable in terms of gene frequency and location across taxa.

      If you disagree, then I've been asking for those conditions of falsifiability for several comments now.


      Zachriel: That's already been shown (leaving aside the question of what you mean by "neo-darwinian"). See Darwin 1859.

      Darwin's finch beak variation are now known to be the result of phenotypic plasticity effects resulting from environment induced seasonal variations. They never had anything to do with random variations being selected for, so the 19th century journalist was wrong.

      This was a theory that got started around the time people believed mice spontaneously generated from underwear. They got a lot of things wrong.

      Delete
    2. Zachriel:

      ""natschuster: Creator didn't have to create life in a nested hierarchy. Evolution, due to patterns of common decent, had to form a nested hierarchy. So evolution is the more intellectually satisfying explanation because it explains why a nested hierarchy happened and not something else.

      Not merely satisfying, but a hypothesis that explains a huge amount of data, molecular, morphological, embryonic development, even the content of geological strata.""

      "God did it" also explains that.


      ""Anything" is not consistent with the evidence. You still have a discernible nested hierarchy, even if there are other mechanisms at work."

      But anything is what copuld have happened. Evolution does not predict a nested hierarchy and not something else any more than "God did it."

      Delete
  27. Zachriel: You do understand that random mutation and bifurcating descent will form a discernible (but not perfect) nested hierarchy? There are incredible coincidences that would have to occur otherwise.

    Jeff: What difference does it make if "apparent" coincidences "would have to occur" when everything about radical transformationism seems, at least, to require "apparent" happy coincidences? There's certainly no causal theory that eliminates that "appearance" either for a UCA-style genealogical history or abiogenesis. This is a truly nutty argument for that reason alone.

    But more than that, it is obvious that humans prefer to classify in a nested fashion than a relatively random fashion because of the memory issues involved. That alone is a teleological explanation of the nested hierarchy that is consistent with SA. Your approach is MUCH more problematic. This whole nested hierarchy argument is sheer non-sense. Like always, it assumes teleological explanations are a priori false.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Jeff: What difference does it make if "apparent" coincidences "would have to occur" when everything about radical transformationism seems, at least, to require "apparent" happy coincidences?

    We were discussing the evidence for common descent.

    As for "transformationism", there are many excellent examples of how incremental adaptation can lead to complex structures, such as the mammalian middle ear.

    Jeff: But more than that, it is obvious that humans prefer to classify in a nested fashion than a relatively random fashion because of the memory issues involved.

    That explains your confusion, then. Correlations between unrelated traits shows that the organic nested hierarchy is not an artifact of classification. It's a very real pattern in nature.

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    1. Zachriel: As for "transformationism", there are many excellent examples of how incremental adaptation can lead to complex structures, such as the mammalian middle ear.

      Jeff: First, which article documents how that was experimentally verified? Second, do you honestly think that alone proves ALL posited UCA lineages could have occurred naturalistically in the posited time-frames? Your credulity is staggering. Real scientists are much more skeptical of such speculative beliefs.

      Zachriel: That explains your confusion, then. Correlations between unrelated traits ...

      J: What do you mean by "unrelated?" Unrelated genealogically? If so, that just begs the question. If not genealogically, then what?

      Z: It's a very real pattern in nature.

      J: It's a real pattern whether or not SA, saltations, or non-saltational evolution is the explanation of the large morphological/phenotypical gaps.

      Delete
  29. Here's how one UCA'ist totally gave away the store on just how bogus the nested hierarchy argument is:

    " If I make a tree of vehicles, what highest rank imposes itself ? Motorized/Unmotorized ? Land/Sea/Air ? Number of wheels ? Manufacturer ? Whatever I’ll choose I’ll immediately encounter examples that fit into another category, and that means I’ll immediately need to add a rank – if I tell you something is motorized, you still don’t know how many wheels it has, or whether it goes on land, the sea or the air, or who makes it. If I tell you who makes it, that doesn’t tell you whether it’s motorized or not, or any of those other things. If I tell you how many wheels it has you don’t know any of the other things either. So each of those characteristics has to be a separate rank, and what order you put them in is pretty arbitrary.
    You could have the same trouble for living things – for example if I try to classify living things using characteristics like “what environment it lives in”, “what does it eat”, “is it mobile”, I’ll have the exact same issue as with the vehicles.
    On the other hand if I pick “does it have a spinal chord”, “does it have feathers”, “does it lactate”, now an order imposes itself : all animals that have feathers or that lactate also have a spinal chord. No animal that lactates has feathers and vice-versa. Now we have some real compression : for example if I tell you an animal has feathers, you now also know it has a spinal chord. (and that its cells have nuclei, it’s multicellular, it’s heterotrophic, it’s mobile, it’s warm-blooded, it’s an obligate air-breather, it has four limbs, it has lungs, it lays eggs…).

    It is incredibly rare for groups of things to fall into a natural tree like that. Even things that come from descent with modification don’t necessarily fall into such a tree, and the nested hierarchy of living things isn’t perfect."

    So, note the relevant points:

    1) She admitted, by implication, that the "order" is arrived at by HUMAN selection of the attributes by which the nesting results, not by what is known to be natural phenotypic/morphological effects of temporally-ordered mutations.

    2) This "order" is conducive to HUMAN intellectual satisfaction! This was Agassiz's point.

    3) "Even things that come from descent with modification don’t necessarily fall into such a tree." She even admitted, "And why is the nested hierarchy in plants so much more messier than that of animals ?" This on top of posited (not observed) convergence and HGT.

    The argument is bogus in the extreme. And it never did imply or indicate that NATURALISTIC UCA is logically possible in terms of any set of event regularities, much less extant event regularities.

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  30. Jeff: Here's how one UCA'ist totally gave away the store on just how bogus the nested hierarchy argument is:

    With all the advances in biology, you think generations of scientists just got confused on how to classify organisms, rather than you being the one confused? Really?

    Jeff: She admitted, by implication, that the "order" is arrived at by HUMAN selection of the attributes by which the nesting results, not by what is known to be natural phenotypic/morphological effects of temporally-ordered mutations.

    Nope. If you consider the panoply of traits, the nested hierarchy results. Furthermore, as she points out, the correlations are real, and lead to reliable predictions. If you have an organism with feathers, you can then predict all sorts of things about the organism, that is has a spinal chord, multicellular, heterotrophic, lungs, amniote, etc.

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    1. Zachriel: With all the advances in biology, you think generations of scientists just got confused on how to classify organisms, rather than you being the one confused? Really?

      Jeff: No, I think their metaphysics compels them to be very arbitrary. They pendulum swing between skepticism and absolute credulity. It's amazing to watch.

      Z: Nope. If you consider the panoply of traits, the nested hierarchy results.

      J: Exactly. Traits, not confirmed evolutionary-derived traits.

      Z: You, like every other UCA'ist, apparently have no idea what a prediction is. A prediction is an implication. It doesn't follow that IF an organism has feathers that it has a spinal chord. That's something we observe over and over and then, after sufficient enumeration, infer analogically. But inferences are tentative. Regardless, that has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of UCA.


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  31. Zachriel: As for "transformationism", there are many excellent examples of how incremental adaptation can lead to complex structures, such as the mammalian middle ear.

    Jeff: First, which article documents how that was experimentally verified?

    An interesting anomaly was discovered in embryos in the early twentieth century. The same embryonic structures in reptiles that led to jaw bones, became very tiny and delicate auditory ossicles in mammals. It just didn't seem to make sense. Even imagining the intermediate steps in the transformation, with the jaw continuing to work while the bones incrementally improved hearing, seemed almost impossible.

    Later on, fossils of mammal-like reptiles were discovered. What do you think they showed?

    Jeff: Second, do you honestly think that alone proves ALL posited UCA lineages could have occurred naturalistically in the posited time-frames?

    Your claim is that this sort of incremental adaptation is impossible. Showing it happened once contradicts that position. And we have many such examples.

    Jeff: It's a real pattern whether or not SA, saltations, or non-saltational evolution is the explanation of the large morphological/phenotypical gaps.

    That's right. But let's start with your acceptance of the nested hierarchy. Then we can discuss how this impacts the theory of common descent.

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    1. Zachriel: Later on, fossils of mammal-like reptiles were discovered. What do you think they showed?

      J: One thing's for sure, fossils don't show an evolutionary process. That has to be done otherwise.

      Z: Your claim is that this sort of incremental adaptation is impossible. Showing it happened once contradicts that position. And we have many such examples.

      J: I know of no one that makes that claim. Can you quote me?

      Z: But let's start with your acceptance of the nested hierarchy. Then we can discuss how this impacts the theory of common descent.

      J: Discuss away. I'm all ears.

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  32. Jeff: It doesn't follow that IF an organism has feathers that it has a spinal chord.

    But it does follow—even if it is a never before seen species.

    Jeff: Regardless, that has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of UCA.

    Perhaps, but first you have to come to grips with the fact that the nested hierarchy is a real pattern observed in nature.

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    1. Z: But it does follow—even if it is a never before seen species.

      J: No, it doesn't follow. The only thing that FOLLOWS from the truth of ONE proposition is the falsehood of its negation. Thus, if it is a true proposition that a organism has feathers, the only thing that follows is that it is false that it does NOT have feathers. To get beyond that, you have to add other propositions. Now, what are those, in your opinion? And why do you believe them?

      Z: Perhaps, but first you have to come to grips with the fact that the nested hierarchy is a real pattern observed in nature.

      J: Who has ever denied it?

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  33. Jeff: One thing's for sure, fossils don't show an evolutionary process.

    Of course they can. In this case, they provide a "moving picture" of how jaw bones became auditory ossicles, a step-by-step process by which hearing improved, while the jaw continue to work.

    Zachriel: Your claim is that this sort of incremental adaptation is impossible. Showing it happened once contradicts that position. And we have many such examples.

    Jeff: I know of no one that makes that claim. Can you quote me?

    Thought that was what this meant: "everything about radical transformationism seems, at least, to require "apparent" happy coincidences?"

    Jeff: Discuss away. I'm all ears.

    So you retract your previous position that the nested hierarchy is not an observed organic pattern, and is merely an artifact of classification?

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  34. Z: Of course they can. In this case, they provide a "moving picture" of how jaw bones became auditory ossicles, a step-by-step process by which hearing improved, while the jaw continue to work.

    J: You can posit that temporal succession of fossils is due to evolution. Or you can posit that successive designs or taphonomic/erosional biases are the cause (much like UCA'ists posit for transitionals) or some combination of the three. The question is, what would be evidence for the different views? Alternatively, if there is no true inductive evidence for any of them, which requires the least ad-hoc hypotheses?

    Z: Thought that was what this meant: "everything about radical transformationism seems, at least, to require "apparent" happy coincidences?"

    J: "Radical" is not the same as any incremental adaptive change.

    Z: So you retract your previous position that the nested hierarchy is not an observed organic pattern, and is merely an artifact of classification?

    J: I didn't say it's an artifact of classification. I was just noting that the UCA'ist admitted that the degree of "orderliness" of the pattern depends on what traits are selected. And those traits are not yet explicable in terms of any naturalistic evolutionary theory. Thus, they ARE selected for human purposes to this day, just as did Linnaeus. Traits are one thing. How they got there is another.

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  35. Jeff: No, it doesn't follow. The only thing that FOLLOWS from the truth of ONE proposition is the falsehood of its negation.

    It's an induction. It doesn't take a theory of gravity to note that the stone falling follows from letting it go.

    Jeff: Who has ever denied it?

    You just spent some time arguing it was "arrived at by HUMAN selection of the attributes" and "conducive to HUMAN intellectual satisfaction". You were clearly suggesting it the pattern is subjective rather than objective.

    Jeff: You can posit that temporal succession of fossils is due to evolution.

    Heh. It was a prediction, based on common descent, of the content of geological strata from the study of embryonic development. That's quite a powerful confirmation. Did IDers make the prediction then find the fossils? Of course not. There's no reason to suppose that the "designer" would create such intermediate forms. But there is from the theory of common descent, and the theory even tells us where to look, at strata associated with the emergence of mammals from reptiles.

    And if a geneticist were to study genes associated with development of the middle ear, do you think they might discover small genetic changes that could help explain the posited evolution?

    Jeff: "Radical" is not the same as any incremental adaptive change.

    Turning reptilian jaw bones into tiny,delicate auditory ossicles is "radical" by any reasonable use of the term.

    Jeff: I was just noting that the UCA'ist admitted that the degree of "orderliness" of the pattern depends on what traits are selected.

    The panoply of traits supports a singular nested hierarchy for most taxa.

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    1. Z: It's an induction. It doesn't take a theory of gravity to note that the stone falling follows from letting it go.

      J: And yet that fact alone tells us nothing about the origin of the traits.

      Z: You were clearly suggesting it the pattern is subjective rather than objective.

      J: No, I was arguing that SINCE there is no extant naturalistic explanation for the posited UCA trajectories, the trait relationships have no indications about the logical possibility of naturalistic UCA. Thus, one can infer, rightly or wrongly, that they're due to the very teleological explanation Agassiz and Linnaeus inferred.

      Z: It was a prediction, based on common descent, of the content of geological strata from the study of embryonic development.

      J: There's a lot of equivocation there. First of all, the consensus view is that common descent (ala UCA-degree trajectories) occurs naturalistically (i.e., as repeatable effects of event regularities applied to initial conditions). From that perspective, it's not a prediction at all. Because there is no theory about the effects of temporally-ordered mutations that implies anything like the posited trajectories.

      So, if you mean that God was superintending the trajectory, then I suppose you could make a prediction from the hypothesis that God was so motivated. But that's not what you're saying I bet. In which case, there never has been a prediction.

      Z: There's no reason to suppose that the "designer" would create such intermediate forms. But there is from the theory of common descent, and the theory even tells us where to look, at strata associated with the emergence of mammals from reptiles.

      J: The cladistic approach has nothing to do with naturalistic explanation, because it isn't based on what mutations are known to produce over long periods of time and over constant environmental change in terms of event regularities. Thus any correlation between where fossils are found and what trees imply about temporal succession is, by definition, purely coincidental. You've fallen prey to the "correlation vs. causation" fallacy.

      Moreover, we know for a fact that there is bias in preservation due to both taphonomic and erosional conditions. And we extend stratigraphic ranges all the time. Thus, such correlations, apart from having no known relationship with natural causality, are never true predictions about temporal succession, even. Because the only way that could be true is if you knew that known stratigraphic ranges correlate well with actual stratigraphic ranges AND that actual stratigraphic ranges correlate well with existential ranges. But we don't know either. Indeed, you posit your own ad-hoc hypotheses about preservation to account for unobserved transitionals. You certainly didn't deduce them from inductively-plausible theory.

      Z: And if a geneticist were to study genes associated with development of the middle ear, do you think they might discover small genetic changes that could help explain the posited evolution?

      J: Sure. But you would still be very far from demonstrating that all the other posited trajectories were inevitable in the posited time-frame. This is what I mean about the credulity involved in naturalistic-UCA-belief. It's the exact opposite of the more skeptical "prove it" approach that science is supposed to be characterized by.

      Z: Turning reptilian jaw bones into tiny,delicate auditory ossicles is "radical" by any reasonable use of the term.

      J: I disagree. But have you even demonstrated that one experimentally yet?

      Z: The panoply of traits supports a singular nested hierarchy for most taxa.

      J: Linnaeus and Agassiz, themselves, would agree. They just interpreted that fit to human classificational preference, rightly or wrongly, to teleology.

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    2. Z: Turning reptilian jaw bones into tiny,delicate auditory ossicles is "radical" by any reasonable use of the term.

      J: I disagree. But have you even demonstrated that one experimentally yet?

      J2: Let me clarify. It MIGHT be radical, and it might not. If it requires trivial sequence changes, it's not radical. But I meant that in comparison to bacteria->human degree evolution, it's relatively non-radical.

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  36. Zachriel: If you consider the panoply of traits, the nested hierarchy results. Furthermore, as she points out, the correlations are real, and lead to reliable predictions. If you have an organism with feathers, you can then predict all sorts of things about the organism, that is has a spinal chord, multicellular, heterotrophic, lungs, amniote, etc.

    You may as well have added "It has locomotion" , with how vague and all encompassing those predictions are.

    But, I think your use of 'feathers' was cherry-picked and I'm going to call your bluff. I'm curious what other traits you feel you can narrow down like that? How about Scales? Wings? Fins? Hair? Vivipary ? Egg-laying? Eyes? Beaks? Retractable claws? Poisonous skin? Photoreceptors? Tympanel Ear Systems?

    I'll just tell you upfront that most of these traits have widespread convergence across distant phyla. I don't think your methodology holds.

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    1. (this is lifepsy btw, I changed my name to my blog title. sorry for the confusion)

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  37. Jeff: And yet that fact alone tells us nothing about the origin of the traits.

    First things first: There is an objective nested hierarchy pattern of morphology and genes for most taxa.

    Jeff: From that perspective, it's not a prediction at all.

    Amazing, just happened to fit the theory perfectly.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110413132949.htm

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  38. Jeff: If it requires trivial sequence changes, it's not radical.

    That's funny—and vacuous.

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    1. Z: That's funny—and vacuous.

      J: You're confused. The plausibility of an explanation is based on one of two things:

      1) If there are two explanations for a set of events, neither of which have been falsified, the more parsimonious is the more plausible.

      2) If an explanation is essentially a set of ad-hoc hypotheses arranged into a deductive syllogism, then the more ad-hoc hypotheses required, the less plausible or more implausible it is.

      If the DNA changes required to account for the evolution you posit are easily accounted for by chance, the explanation is not radical. If the DNA changes required to account for the evolution you posit are not easily accounted for in the posited time-frame, the explanation is radical. Seeing's how you haven't explained it at all, by event regularities or ad-hoc'ly, your mere gut hunch is of no relevance to the scientific status of the question.

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  39. BIOTA CURVE: ... Wings? ...

    But wings in feathered organisms don't look anything like wings in insects or wings in mammals or wings in pterosaurs. But wings in feathered organisms have common features. They group together.

    BIOTA CURVE: I don't think your methodology holds.

    Well, let's try a simple example. Looking at the panoply of traits, which two are most alike; cat, dolphin, trout?

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    1. Zachriel,

      That was a brush-off. Let's move down the list.

      Scales? Fins? Hair? Vivipary ? Egg-laying? Eyes? Beaks? Retractable claws? Poisonous skin? Photoreceptors? Tympanel Ear Systems?

      These are all specific features similar to feathers.

      How precise is your 'sort-by-trait' methodology, really?

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  40. BC: I'll just tell you upfront that most of these traits have widespread convergence across distant phyla. I don't think your methodology holds.

    J: The real issue is it's not a naturalistic theory. It's a platonic type classificational theory that, by virtue of being non-naturalistic, is necessarily teleological in nature (until someone can conceive of how deduction works for something other than libertarian and/or deterministic causality).

    So, what does that leave us with? The teleological part of their theory (the cladistic-platonic part) is falsifiable in the sense that PARTICULAR trees can be falsified. But this doesn't imply that other trees are provably impossible per some causal history. Thus, UCA, per se, is not falsifiable in that sense.

    But the naturalistic part of the theory (our quite limited ability to predict phenotypes based on our knowledge of mutational effects) only implies no more than what is consistent with Ken Ham style SA. But to hear all the hoop-la of the dogmatists, you'd think they have substantial corroboration of a UCA-style naturalistic theory. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    That's why when you call their bluff long enough, they appeal to the straw-man religious arguments that have no logical relevance to the vast majority of religions in the first place. It's all based on their misunderstanding of the fact that design is necessary to explain, in any conceivable sense, the correspondence theory of true belief--that is, that solipsism is knowably false based on teleological inductivism and not, as Theobald supposes, only arbitrarily rejectable. To say it can only be arbitrarily rejected, you have to arbitrarily reject every logical possibility that doesn't ground the possibility of inductive methodology. And that means you have to posit an infinite set of ad-hoc hypotheses to even begin rational inquiry. It ought to be obvious that no human being is conscious of ever having done any such thing as a young person trying to make the most satisfying sense of his/her conscious experience. Thus, the natural epistemology of humans must be teleological inductivism, valid or not.

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    1. J1: To say it can only be arbitrarily rejected, you have to arbitrarily reject every logical possibility that doesn't ground the possibility of inductive methodology.

      J2: Correction: To say it can only be arbitrarily rejected, you have to arbitrarily reject every logical possibility that doesn't ground the VALIDITY of inductive methodology.

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  41. lifepsy: I said invoking HGT becomes a way of removing falsifiability in regards to genes not being where they're predicted to be.

    The nested hierarchy is still there. It didn't go away.

    We have a model of bifurcating descent with modification. In addition, the model includes convergence due to natural selection, hybridization, speciation as a process, and sometimes HGT (depending on taxa). Sorry life is complicated, but just because it's complicated doesn't mean it doesn't entail predictions.

    lifepsy: And if genes appear in strange unexpected places, then it's because of HGT and evolution is true.

    As we can observe HGT, any theory has to account it.

    lifepsy: Give me a percentage of orphan genes (genes that show no signal of phylogenetic ancestry) that would falsify common descent.

    The nested hierarchy doesn't disappear because the actual history is complicated by various other factors. It's still there.

    lifepsy: Then bifurcating descent predicts a non-falsifiable scenario, where it sometimes matches up and sometimes doesn't, just like the rest of the phylogenetic tree.

    You're like someone who says planetary orbits have to be perfect ellipses or physics is wrong, but ignores the possibility of confounding variables.

    lifepsy: And beyond common descent, finding ERV's in general patterns of phyla is not a coincidence if the species always possessed those genes from their separate points of origin.

    We can tell if they had separate points of origin because they would not fit the same nested hierarchy, and most likely, separate insertion points.

    lifepsy: Darwin's finch beak variation are now known to be the result of phenotypic plasticity effects resulting from environment induced seasonal variations.

    Do you have a citation for that?

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  42. Zachriel: We can tell if they had separate points of origin because they would not fit the same nested hierarchy, and most likely, separate insertion points.

    Jeff: That's a very confused statement. Since we never observed any fossilized organism live or originate, that makes no sense at all. One can posit SA in many scenarios, some as ad-hoc as some UCA'ists are willing to get in inferring that Jurassic, etc mammals that are cat-like, tasmanian-devil-like, beaver-like, etc may have gone extinct prior to the origin of of later cats, devils, or beavers. SA'ists can be just as ad-hoc as UCA'ists are willing to be and still be no more implausible.

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  43. BIOTA CURVE: That was a brush-off.

    Not at all. We took one example and showed the problem with your position. Whether wings, scales, ears, or whatever, if we look at the specific structure, they will group into the same groups.

    Bird scales, for instance, are composed of keratin, and derived from the epidermis; while fish scales are bony and form in the dermis.

    Only a very superficial look would group dolphins with trout rather than cats, because they both swim, or both have fins. Turns out that if you closely look at the dolphin fin, the muscles, bones, blood, you will see they group with cats rather than trout.
    http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Bottlenose/images/pectoralflipper.gif

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  44. Jeff: Since we never observed any fossilized organism live or originate, that makes no sense at all.

    The nested hierarchy is observed in the descendants. Again, we have to start with the objective nested hierarchy. Are you still avoiding this?


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  46. Zachriel: wings in feathered organisms have common features. They group together.

    Common features group together by definition. You're taking bird wings and grouping them as bird wings.

    It seems like you've shifted the argument away what you were originally claiming which was being able to predict what other traits will be found given a certain feature.

    I'm still interested to hear what other examples besides feathers you have.

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  47. Jeff: What Z apparently means to say is that ...

    Um, the only thing we're saying at this point is that there is an objective nested hierarchy that applies to most taxa.


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    1. No. "We've" also noted that there is a teleological explanation of it. And there is NO naturalistic explanation of it.

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  48. BIOTA CURVE: Common features group together by definition. You're taking bird wings and grouping them as bird wings.

    Um, no. We're grouping bird wings together because they have more similar mophologically to one another than they are to mammalian wings or pterosaur wings or insect wings, which also group together in their groups. We'd be happy to discuss the specifics, but is that really necessary?

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  49. What Z apparently means to say is that ...

    IF tree generation rules just happen to coincidentally correspond to the phenotypical/morphological effects of mutations over the inferred time-frame...

    THEN tree relationships truly imply things about biological history.

    But let me remind Z of his own sane statement:

    "You do understand that random mutation and bifurcating descent will form a discernible (but not perfect) nested hierarchy? There are incredible coincidences that would have to occur otherwise."

    The hypocrisy is astonishing. The SA-teleological view has nothing to do with coincidences. Intentional effects are, by definition, NOT coincidental. But positing the coincidental correlation of tree-generation rules to the unknown phenotypic/morphological effects of temporally-ordered mutations over the relevant time-frame IS extremely ad-hoc.

    This on top of the fact that bifurcating descent is consistent with relatively trivial evolution, so he needs to additionally posit the UCA-degree of variation. But then he needs a naturalistic explanation using at least extant event regularities to render our belief in the logical possibility of those kinds and degree of descent plausible, and he has none. These so-called predictions/implications he keeps talking about are not implications at all. He needs more propositions to get his implications. And he has yet to state them explicitly.

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  50. Jeff: What Z apparently means to say is that ...

    Um, the only thing we're saying at this point is that there is an objective nested hierarchy that applies to most taxa.

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  51. Well move forward. What's next, and how did you get there? Keep it coming.

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  52. Zachriel: Bird scales, for instance, are composed of keratin, and derived from the epidermis; while fish scales are bony and form in the dermis.

    The pangolin, a mammal, also has keratin scales. I'm still not seeing the usefulness of your methodology.

    Zachriel: Only a very superficial look would group dolphins with trout rather than cats, because they both swim, or both have fins. Turns out that if you closely look at the dolphin fin, the muscles, bones, blood, you will see they group with cats rather than trout.

    Why are the differences between dolphins and cats only superficial?
    Dolphins don't have sweat glands. Cats don't have melon organs or echolocation abilities. Each would perish without these respective features. Of course there are many other major physiological differences between the two.

    If your claim is simply that dolphins have more features in common with cats than trout, I wouldn't argue. I really don't see how that supports common descent, though.

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    1. Zachriel:

      What about crocodile, bird, komodo dragon? Corcs and dragons look a lot alike,but crocs are considered more closely related to birds?
      And what about human, trout. shark? Or cat, trout, lungfish? How about hyrax, rabbit, elephant. Whale, manatee, arrdvark, anteater.? How about, human, cricket, starfish? I could go on.

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  53. Zachriel: The nested hierarchy is still there. It didn't go away.

    There are hundreds of objective nested hierarchies. It just depends what features you want to prioritize. And none of them are evidence for relatedness.

    We have a model of bifurcating descent with modification.

    You have many models. I'm not sure you have actual evidence for any of them.

    In addition, the model includes convergence due to natural selection, hybridization, speciation as a process, and sometimes HGT (depending on taxa).

    Yes, your model regularly updates itself with ad-hoc explanations to fit the data. Natural Selection, ad-hoc, became an increasingly efficient function-finding process as you continued to find more and more examples of widespread convergence in distant taxa. (Despite the fact that you've never once observed it to create a novel function or feature.)

    HGT used to be an extremely rare occurrence in eukaryotes. Now, ad-hoc, it must have occurred regularly.

    Same with neo-functionalization or de novo gene creation in general. It's never been observed, but now, ad-hoc, it must happen constantly in life history to account for orphans.

    Sorry life is complicated, but just because it's complicated doesn't mean it doesn't entail predictions.

    I don't have a problem with your ever-shifting ad-hoc models. It's very complex and interesting. Just don't tell me it has any scientific falsifiability.

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  54. Guys, I think the UCA'ists are hanging their hat on this claim by the UCA'ist I quoted above:

    "It is incredibly rare for groups of things to fall into a natural tree like that."

    She went on to say that only common descent generates entities that can be classified in this nested hierarchy relationship. And of course she means with the relevant degree of order, etc. But here's the problem: The only thing that we know that descends from ancestors in any genealogical sense is organisms. And we have neither observed nor explained naturalistically or analogically anything but lots of separate ancestries for them.

    Amazingly enough, her grand example was manuscripts. But this analogy fails at every relevant point:

    1) manscripts don't descend from one another, they are created by humans.

    2) Humans create them INTENTIONALLY by DESIGN.

    3) The variants in the texts that serve as grounds for classification are, themselves, true accidental variations FROM intended ends. This is not the case in organismal descent, per UCA'ists.

    In short, the whole thing is literally non-sense. It never was true that nested hierarchy only arose from purely natural descent. And there is still NO naturalistic explanation for even ONE UCA-type evolutionary trajectory to indicate it's even logically possible. It's just a convoluted distraction from the real issue--namely, how much can actually be explained using ONLY event regularities applied to initial conditions (i.e. with no libertarianly-free causality).

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