Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Evolution of Circular RNA: A Marshall McLuhan Moment

“You know nothing of my work”



[Update: William Jeck has kindly responded and provided an explanation for how circular RNAs may have arisen.]

In the movie Annie Hall Woody Allen is trapped in a long theater line right in front of a rather loud-mouthed fellow. What’s worse, the fellow is pompously expounding on the work of Marshall McLuhan even though he’s all wrong. Allen finally runs out of patience but the fellow won’t back down. So amazingly Allen produces Mr. McLuhan himself, right then and there, who authoritatively informs the fellow of his ignorance (click to view the video). That funny scene sometimes plays out in evolution discussions for there are a great many evolution experts who, like Mr. McLuhan, may drop in at any moment and smash the critic. But the denouement is not always quite as Allen scripted it.

Occasionally evolution researchers such as university professors and graduate students visit this blog to set the skeptics straight. This happened last week in response to our post on circular RNA. That post pointed out the challenge for evolution posed by circular RNA, but an evolution researcher decided he had heard enough. Like Marshall McLuhan he would authoritatively inform us of our ignorance. Here is what he wrote:

I am one of the scientists working on circular RNAs (See Jeck et. al. 2012 in RNA), and probably ought to know better than to respond here, but the willful ignorance is just baffling. In fact my article points to a possible mechanism of circular RNA formation and evolution (through transposable elements, in particular the ALU repeat element). Science is complicated, and before you say that something CANNOT be explained, perhaps you should read up about it to see if, in fact, it already has been.

Wow. That is a big-time slam. The evolutionist explains that he is one of the few scientists working on this very topic of circular RNAs and that, in no uncertain terms, we don’t know what we’re talking about.

Can you imagine what bypassers must have thought. While average readers fill the room with noise, here a real evolutionary scientist rises above the din and easily disposes of the entire post as meaningless.

There was only one problem. What the evolutionist said so authoritatively is, well, not even wrong.

It is difficult to criticize this evolutionist and his paper because it is not that his explanation for how circular RNAs evolved is weak, fallacious or even absurd; it is that his explanation for how circular RNAs evolved is nonexistent.

That’s right. After all the bluster about our “willful ignorance” and how his paper has already explained the evolution of said circular RNAs, the fact is the paper provides no such explanation. So here is our response:

Thank you for pointing us to your 2012 paper on circular RNA that explains how it evolved:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23249747

Just to be clear, we did not say that the evolution of circular RNAs “CANNOT be explained.” We did point out that (i) the fact that exons code for circular RNAs constitutes yet another genetic information layer, making protein evolution even more challenging, and that (ii) evolutionists have no scientific explanation for how circular RNAs could have evolved.

Now that you have pointed us to your paper we can retract that latter statement. One question for you though: Why do you think your 2012 paper provides such a scientific explanation of circular RNA evolution?

Your paper said nothing about how exons could have evolved to include the circular RNA information layer. That would be on top of all the other information exons code for, such as for the protein and its multiple functions, instructions for transport and other interactions, for mRNA stability, mRNA editing, DNA copy error correction, the speed of translation, avoiding an amyloid state, for any other genes that overlap with the gene, and for controlling tRNA selection which can help to respond to different environmental conditions.

You did cite another study that found circular RNA in Archaea so you concluded that “the production of RNA circles is evolutionarily ancient.” But that just aggravates the problem, since that means that the circular RNA signals must have evolved early, long before there were multicellular organisms, for instance.

You also found circular RNA similarities between humans and mice, including the ALUs in the flanking introns. But aside from stating that these similarities reveal an evolutionary relationship, you again said nothing about how the circular RNA could have evolved. You seem to be saying that the observation of similarity implicitly constitutes a scientific explanation for how circular RNAs evolved.

In fact you mention evolution only four times, and in each instance you simply are making the assumption that circular RNA similarities reveals an evolutionary relationship.

So we’re happy to retract our statement, but need a little guidance first. Thanks again.

Not surprisingly, there has been no response.

Unfortunately this is a typical example of how these discussions go. The confidence is exceeded only by the lack of evidence. I’d like nothing more than to acknowledge the strong evidences for evolution. I can go with evolution being true, false, or anywhere in between. But I can’t go against science.

296 comments:

  1. A Marshall McLuhan moment, eh? ahahahaha... This is even funnier than the bullfight picture a few weeks ago. You're killing them, Hunter. Nothing scares atheists and evolutionists more than ridicule. Like holy water on a vampire. ahahaha...

    ahahaha... AHAHAHAHA... ahahahaha...

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  2. Cornelius excreted:

    "But I can’t go against science."

    Cornelius, will you please explain the "science" that supports your premillennial dispensationalist, biblical-inerrancy religious beliefs and your allegiance to the following:

    http://www.biola.edu/about/doctrinal-statement/

    http://www.biola.edu/about/mission/

    ---------------------------------------------

    To further reveal biola's agenda and requirements there's this from Wikipedia:

    "Biola University is officially non-denominational, but the most represented denominations at the university are Baptist and Evangelical Free. Biola is well known for its conservative evangelical doctrine, while many other evangelical schools identify as either moderate or liberal. The vast majority of students and faculty identify themselves as evangelical, but Biola students and faculty hold to myriad perspectives within the overall schema of Protestant orthodoxy. Biola holds to the key doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, the idea that the original writings of the Bible were without error with regard to both theological and non-theological matters. The institution officially holds to the teaching of premillennial dispensationalism,[19] and requires its faculty members to be in accord with this theological and cultural perspective. As a final guarantee of strict adherence to its theological worldview, the university requires every faculty member, when first hired and again upon application for tenure, to submit their understanding of and complete agreement with each item of the doctrinal and teaching statements to the Talbot School of Theology for evaluation."

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

    --------------------------------------------

    And this is interesting too:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1998/may/09/local/me-47852

    --------------------------------------------

    Hurry up and get yours today:

    http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-store/products/audios/item/solving-the-problem-of-naturalism-in-modern-science_CD

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    Replies
    1. Sure, right after I finish reading the thousands of We will only allow Life to be viewed as a culled genetic accident atheist 'dirt-did-it' manifestos.

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    2. "To further reveal biola's agenda and requirements there's this from Wikipedia"

      There you go Cornelius...All your facts and their lack of any evidence has been rebutted by claiming Biola has an agenda.

      "Your honor we rest....the prosecution needs no evidence because the defense has an agenda"

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    3. How can the twisted distortions of real scientific findings CH presents be viewed as objective 'fact' when CH has sworn an oath to lie about scientific findings to protect his religion?

      Lies told for Jesus are still lies.

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    4. There you go Cornelius...All your facts and their lack of any evidence has been rebutted by claiming you are a liar.

      "Your honor we rest....the prosecution needs no evidence because we hereby call the defense attorney a liar "

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    5. "Your honor, the witness has sworn he always tells the truth on scientific matters. But here is irrefutable evidence he has signed an oath to lie about scientific matters to protect his religion. The witness has perjured himself and none of his testimony can be considered honest".

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  3. TWT has implied that all "premillennial dispensationalist, biblical-inerrancy religious beliefs" are against science. That sounds like bigotry and stereotyping to me. There are plenty of real scientists who do real science for a living and even have come up with some pretty solid scientific explanations as to why things are as they are observed to be using scientific principles which also agree with the Bible without invoking the Bible.

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  4. Red herring led away to a strawman set up to be pummelled then soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison the atmosphere. The fact that such is trotted out (and by whom), is sufficient to show that there is no substantial and ready answer on the merits. We should not allow ourselves to be distracted by such an argument, however, those genuinely wanting to understand -- as opposed to play at rhetorical games with -- the worldviews level and onwards historical and theological warrant for Judaeo-Christian theism, may wish to start here on, with a side-light here on, both in context.

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    1. PS: In that context, the discussion of contemptuously dismissive attitudes to matters eschatological here on predicted to be characteristic of the days when such is all too relevant, may be of interest. (Cf. 101 exposition here on.)

      I draw particular attention to the following excerpt from St Peter's remarks, c. AD 65: >> 2 Pt 3:2 . . . you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” >>

      --> However, let us return focus to matters on circular RNA. The substantial issue here is that it is evident that the underlying a priori ideological Lewontinian evolutionary materialism governs thought, so anything that can be put along a reconstructed -- NOT observed timeline and tree of life model [WHICH one, should be asked these days] so the reasoning runs in a circle that easily becomes triumphalistic.

      --> To break that circle, the need is that origin of life in a plausible prebiotic environment be grounded on adequate evidence and that origin of body plans by blind watchmaker incrementalist evolution be similarly grounded. My challenge on that is still open and unanswered with the six month mark approaching.

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  5. It is as if evolutionist are caught in a grand delusion. They all make the same elementary mistake that similarities imply evolution. Similar features could be arranged in multiple ways, evolving, devolving, peaking, troughing. Evolution is how the dots connect, not the existence of the dots. Yet even the most intelligent people make this elementary mistake. I am at a loss to explain this ineptitude. Perhaps our education system needs improvement and scientist need to take a course on logic.

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    1. Peter Wadeck

      I am at a loss to explain this ineptitude. Perhaps our education system needs improvement and scientist need to take a course on logic.


      Or perhaps the millions of scientists who have studied and worked with the data for the last 150 years got it right and you're the ignorant Dunning-Kruger poster boy who needs to take a Biology 101 course.

      Guess which is more likely.

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    2. The more likely is that Thorton has only read talkorigins and PZ Meyers blogs and has no idea what the scientific literature actually says.

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    3. Oh, there you are lifepsy

      Still waiting on the other thread for your definition of 'information' as it pertains to DNA.

      I provided mine and bet you would cowardly run away without providing yours. I won my bet.

      Tell us again how there's no such thing as evolution, even micro-evolution, and that it's all just phenotypic plasticity. Tell us how all animals are going to revert back to their original 'kinds' on the Ark.

      BTW, what happened to you changing your handle to "BIOTA CURVE"? Too embarrassed to let people see the nonsense you blogged there?

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    4. Sorry, Thorton. I didn't have my waders on that day.

      Thorton defines "information" as separate from "meaning" What is "meaning" ? Thorton defines "meaning" as an "agreement" .. The equivocation is suffocating.

      Thorton, your ignorance was actually the perfect case-study for that blog on plasticity, so thank you. If you find any problems with my research, feel free to leave a comment.

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    5. You still forgot to provide your definition of information as it pertains to DNA,

      Cowardly little sot, aren't you?

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    6. this the point where T runs around in a circle with his hands over his ears screaming "meaning is an abstraction!" and forgets he is a materialists so abstractions are nothing more than physical states and therefore no different than the similar physical states in DNA.

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    7. "The more likely is that Thorton has only read talkorigins and PZ Meyers blogs and has no idea what the scientific literature actually says."

      Thats massively unfair. I am quite sure he read the God Delusion as well. I detect some material from the first three chapters. I couldn't say beyond that because I was too overcome with laughter reading Dawkins attempt at fudging his religious knowledge (read other of his books but that was a diusaster of ignorance) to get much further. The only mistake Dawkins didn't make was to call Christ Jesus' last name.

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    8. Elijah2012

      "The more likely is that Thorton has only read talkorigins and PZ Meyers blogs and has no idea what the scientific literature actually says."

      Thats massively unfair. I am quite sure he read the God Delusion as well.


      Speaking of refusing to read the scientific literature, why did you crap your pants and run from this paper which shows evidence of impacted third molars in hominids that lived over 2.6 million years ago?

      Brief communication: possible third molar impactions in the hominid fossil record.

      "Abstract: Impacted third molars affect 15%-20% of modern Americans and Western Europeans. In contrast, third molar impactions have not been reported in the early hominid fossil record. It is uncertain whether the lack of reports reflects an absence of impactions or a failure to recognize them. This communication is intended to raise awareness of the possibility of impactions by describing the appearance of impacted teeth and by noting two possible instances of impaction in early hominids. Specifically, the mandibular third molars of the Sterkfontein specimen, STS52b (Australopithecus africanus), and the left maxillary third molar of the Lake Turkana specimen, KNM-WT 17400 (Australopithecus boisei), are positioned in a manner which suggests that they would not have erupted normally. Both specimens also exhibit strong crowding of the anterior dentition, providing further support for the view that these individuals lacked sufficient space for normal eruption of the third molars. Other published reports of dental crowding in the hominid fossil record are noted, and it is suggested that more attention be paid to dental impaction and dental crowding in hominid evolution"

      Was that caused by The Fall too?

      You Creationists sure like to run those mouths but won't touch the scientific data to save your worthless hides.

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    9. Sorry T

      Theres nothing there to touch. I was merely too bored to respond to it before. Try reading your own links. The Paper such as it is indicates they were NOT many reports in the fossil record up to the time of the paper. That doesn't help your case a lick. Even today one generation can have issues with their Wisdom teeth and the next not. It comes and goes from generation to generation and from individual to individual Theres nothing particularly "evolutionary" about it and its far from fixed universally in the species so again it doesn't help you at all.

      Meanwhile your blithering ignorance of claiming that wisdom teeth have no function in modern humans (which you directly stated) even though people chew with them and many have no issues stand unrebutted as pure nonsense so who is running their mouth with no scientific data to back it up

      But you?

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    10. Elijah2012

      Theres nothing there to touch.


      To the surprise of absolutely no one the Creationist refuses to discuss the scientific evidence and instead crawls deeper into his cave of willful ignorance.

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  6. Well well, if it isn't gordon 'Mr. Leathers' mullings of Manjack Heights, Montserrat, with his long ago worn out "Red herring led away to a strawman set up to be pummelled then soaked in ad hominems and set alight to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison the atmosphere." line, along with some scientific evidence (LMAO) from bible fairy tales.

    Hey gordo, are you still beating your wife and kids with "six of the best" from Mr. Leathers? Shouldn't you be in jail for that?

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  7. gordo ignorantly barfed:

    "...the worldviews level and onwards historical and theological warrant for Judaeo-Christian theism..."

    Bwaaaaahahahahahahahaha!!!11!one!!!11!111!!eleven!!

    All science so far!

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  8. C.H. I think you are conflating "evolution" with conjectured neo-Darwinian (ND) mechanism of such transformation, the random mutation (RM) + natural selection (NS). It is is the "random" (aimless, purposeless) assumption that is gratuitous.

    To see the difference, consider copyright lawsuits for the "evolution" between pieces of music, books, software,. In all such instances, the improbable degree of similarity/identity between, say, the two books, "Old" and "New" is a perfectly justifiably taken to imply "evolution" of Old into New book i.e. the copying of the Old by the author of New.

    Hence, there is nothing wrong with the inference of "evolution" (transformation) from "Old" into "New" based on high enough degree of similarity. That simply follows from much greater unlikelyhood of "New" just by chance producing the observed high degree of similarity with the Old.

    But in all cases of "evolution" where the explanation is known, the transformation Old -> New, as well as the creation of the original "Old" is product of intelligent or anticipatory process.

    The problem with neo-Darwinian story is that they insist that biological evolution (as justifiably inferred from similarity) is somehow exception to the unbroken pattern observed elsewhere, that only in biology, contrary to all other explained instances of evolution, the evolution is produced by "random" mutation + natural selection. It is the "randomness" conjecture which is unjustified and which they should be defending instead of shifting the debate to defending the `transformation' / 'evolution' aspect (allowed by your terminological blurring), which they will always win since it is the most plausible explanation of the similarity.

    Hence, this blurring of "evolution" and "ND evolution" weakens greatlty otherwise good points you are making since on its face you appear to be denying what is in every other field completely obvious - if some book New has pages and pages identical to some previous book Old it is perfectly natural to infer that New evolved from Old.

    What you need to argue is that RM+NS mechanism cannot account for either the creation of Old or for Old -> New transformation, but not that Old -> New transformation did not occur (since that is the most reasonable explanation of similarity between New and Old).

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    1. nightlight,
      But in all cases of "evolution" where the explanation is known, the transformation Old -> New, as well as the creation of the original "Old" is product of intelligent or anticipatory process.


      Carbon 14 (old) -> nitrogen 14( new) , intelligent or is the carbon anticipating becoming nitrogen?

      Delete
    2. "Carbon 14 (old) -> nitrogen 14( new) , intelligent or is the carbon anticipating becoming nitrogen?"

      No, but it is not chance either.

      Delete
    3. Nightlight:

      C.H. I think you are conflating "evolution" with conjectured neo-Darwinian (ND) mechanism of such transformation, the random mutation (RM) + natural selection (NS). It is the "random" (aimless, purposeless) assumption that is gratuitous.

      To see the difference, consider copyright lawsuits for the "evolution" between pieces of music, books, software,. In all such instances, the improbable degree of similarity/identity between, say, the two books, "Old" and "New" is a perfectly justifiably taken to imply "evolution" of Old into New book i.e. the copying of the Old by the author of New.

      Hence, there is nothing wrong with the inference of "evolution" (transformation) from "Old" into "New" based on high enough degree of similarity. That simply follows from much greater unlikelyhood of "New" just by chance producing the observed high degree of similarity with the Old.


      In the case of music, books, software, homework and so forth, these all are things that we create. So we know the different ways in which they could be created. So it is reasonable for us to assign probabilities. For instance, if I am grading a homework assignment that has a couple of typos, I understand that that is possible. Typos are somewhat rare, so the probability of this occurring may be a bit low, but it certainly is possible. So I do not have a very strong reason to doubt that the person made those typos on his own.

      But if I find the identical paragraph, with the identical typos, in the homework assignment from a different student, then the likelihood of copying (cheating) is pretty high. But the reason for this is not because the typos suddenly are more probable. The typos, just as before, as still somewhat improbable. But under the copying hypothesis, the typos only have to occur once.

      But under the independent creation hypothesis, the typos must occur twice. That is much more unlikely. So I conclude that cheating is highly likely, not because the typos suddenly are probable to occur under the cheating hypothesis. They are just as unlikely as before. Rather, I conclude cheating is highly likely because the alternate explanation, independent creation, is so improbable.

      So my reasoning is crucially dependent on my knowledge of the alternate hypothesis, independent creation. I am comparing two different hypotheses which we fully understand, and which we pretty much know to be the only two possible hypotheses. So if one has much lower probability than the other, than we can reasonably assume other is likely true.

      The above reasoning can be applied to the origin of species, as you note. And evolutionists do this. But in that case there are some important differences. Most importantly, in the origin of species case the reasoning entails metaphysical assumptions. The inference to evolution, or transformation, or common descent, or whatever we want to call it, entails assumptions about the knowledge of all possible alternatives and in particular the creation hypothesis. These assumptions are at the core of evolutionary thought. They mandate evolution. But they are not from science.

      Therefore, no, the inference to “evolution” does not simply follow from similarity. This is a misconception.

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    4. LOL! Well, that was sure a bafflegab-filled hand-waving non answer. But typical, oh so typical.

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    5. Blas,
      BlasMarch 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM
      "Carbon 14 (old) -> nitrogen 14( new) , intelligent or is the carbon anticipating becoming nitrogen?"

      No, but it is not chance either.


      But at the atomic level it is stochastic, just as mutations are thought to be

      But that was not the claim,

      " But in all cases of "evolution" where the explanation is known, the transformation Old -> New, as well as the creation of the original "Old" is product of intelligent or anticipatory process"

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    6. DrHunter,,
      I am comparing two different hypotheses which we fully understand, and which we pretty much know to be the only two possible hypotheses.


      Is that not a metaphysical position as well? After all:
      or whatever we want to call it, entails assumptions about the knowledge of all possible alternatives and in particular the creation hypothesis

      How is your assumption of the possible alternatives,two, and your discounting the creation hypothesis less metaphysical? Can you be sure that it was not a Divine action? Is so how?

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    7. That's non sequitur since it is a physical law that describes the change within the axioms of the theory and their quantifiable predictions. (Of course, the origin of physical laws, or of universe, is outside the scope of the present laws, but that's another topic.)

      In biology, or in the examples labeled as "evolution" in the post, we have highly improbable transitions, such as two books, Old and New, having several identical pages. Similarly, in biological systems you have highly unlikely complex molecular systems tightly matching the functional needs of an organism (effectively encoding the knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology,... that Old and New organisms need to survive).

      The problem of ND theory is that it merely asserts that these highly unlikely molecular changes needed for transition Old -> New are "random" in each step, without quantifying the odds of any such sequence and comparing them to available number of tries.

      In contrast, the physical laws (which are statistical at the fundamental QFT level) let you compute the odds of C14 -> N14 transition and then verify them experimentally.

      The ND simply claims "random mutation" as the source of the highly unlikely complex molecular novelties without offering any falsifiable statements about it. Hence, ND "theory" (the "random" conjecture) is a philosophy or mythology, not a natural science (which needs to be falsifiable).

      But without the RM "explanation" (which is unfalsifiable as claimed, since it doesn't provide numerical odds which can be empirically tested), ND is pointing to a relatively trivial and non-controversial observation that molecular changes are paralleled by phenotypic changes.

      That is same as saying that change in the executable code of a program can produce change in its behavior i.e. the claim without the RM as the source of complex novelty is more consistent with the intelligent process since for the processes for which we can explain the complex changes the source is always intelligent process (such as "evolution" of software, technology, arts,...). The cellular molecular machinery, to say nothing of organisms, is a sophisticated nano-technology advanced far beyond anything intelligently designed human technologies have dreamt of achieving.

      Since it is already ridiculously implausible to claim that new version of Windows or iOS arose by random errors in copying these programs from computer to computer, followed by 'natural selection' (testing and discarding the non-functioning copies), then it would be even more ridiculous to make analogous claims about the far more complex molecular technologies of live organisms.

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    9. nightlight,
      In biology, or in the examples labeled as "evolution" in the post, we have highly improbable transitions, such as two books, Old and New, having several identical pages


      Then the claim

      " But in all cases of "evolution" where the explanation is known, the transformation Old -> New, as well as the creation of the original "Old" is product of intelligent or anticipatory process."

      So" all cases" means.....
      in cases where observed intelligent design takes place,books etc. then those cases are the product of intelligence.As for biology, you are assuming your conclusion.

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    10. Nightlight

      Since it is already ridiculously implausible to claim that new version of Windows or iOS arose by random errors in copying these programs from computer to computer, followed by 'natural selection' (testing and discarding the non-functioning copies), then it would be even more ridiculous to make analogous claims about the far more complex molecular technologies of live organisms.


      Nightlight, how do genetic algorithms work? How do they manage to create new complex designs?

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  9. "Can you imagine what bypassers must have thought. While average readers fill the room with noise"

    Got to love it. Cornelius showing Thorton and TWH some love. :)

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    1. LOL! Speaking of empty vessels making the most noise:

      Where are those scientific papers you boasted of having with the evidence that wisdom teeth created no problems at all for humans until "The Fall" changed the genetics?

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    2. Theres that screeching noise followed by glurgling blubber C was talking about. :)

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    3. There goes another blustering Creationist running away when his bluff was called!

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    4. "Where are those scientific papers you boasted of having with the evidence that wisdom teeth created no problems at all for humans until "The Fall" changed the genetics?"

      Skipping the pure lies above I was still wondering when you were going to wow us with again with your new definition for "mutually exclusive"

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    5. Are you now retracting your previous claim claim and instead say the problems involved with human wisdom teeth aren't the result of "the Fall"?

      You're a confused little Fundy, aren't you?

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    6. Retracting nothing just amused as usual at your ignorance. Genetic changes are happening all the time not just at "Da
      Fall". Your ignorance of what you claim to know about the creationist position knows no end.

      Besides since to this day many people don't have problems with their wisdom teeth the fall could hardly have "changed genetics" or is that your clumsy way of trying to say mutations occur in individuals? or are you in denial that they do? Or just intellectually dishonest in misrepresenting the creationist position in regard to original design not including diseases? Or all three?

      Perhaps those are questions that you can answer instead of saying " I don't know" and trying to use science to excuse you from your ignorance.

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    7. Wow, now you're going to flip-flop yet again? Back to "The Fall" causes all the problems we see with human third molars?

      Maybe you should take a few days and get your story straight. Right now you're just a confused blithering mess.

      Don't forget that scientific evidence for "The Fall", and the mechanism by which it caused all these problems.

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    8. sigh.......no flip flopping just you going back to lying whenever your ignorance is exposed

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    9. LOL! But Elijah2012, you're the one who is caught lying

      Here's what you said above

      Besides since to this day many people don't have problems with their wisdom teeth the fall could hardly have "changed genetics"

      Here's what you said before when I asked you

      T: ""So your explanation for why we get impacted wisdom teeth that often kills without proper medical treatments is "Sin from Da Fall". Walk me through the scientific evidence for that one, will you?"

      E: "Pretty easy actually. relatively small genetic changes can result in structural differences between even contemporaries."


      First you say sin and the Fall caused genetic changes that produce disease. Then you say sin and The Fall couldn't cause genetic changes.

      Flip. Flop. Back. Forth.

      Maybe you're not lying so much as you're terminally stupid and just can't remember your own arguments.

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    10. LOL No silly. I was mocking your "change genetics" and "that wisdom teeth created no problems at all for humans until "The Fall" " lines but you were too daft to realize it.

      Should have known it would go right over your head. Here let me spell it out so your kid sister can understand it. Get her over here and she will read it and explain it to you

      The Fall in theology is an event that is FOLLOWED by a consequence. The consequence is ongoing so you saying

      "until the fall" as you did is gibberish. All diseases and problems like Wisdom teeth issues has no need even in theology to all of a sudden at "Da fall" to "change genetics". It happens as time goes along precisely as it does in our world now. The fall introduces the possibility of defect but it hardly demands instant defect like your botched gibberish was implying.

      So no flip flop on my part but even so none in yours. You are just as dense about what theology teaches as you have always been.

      and yes you are a liar. I have never anywhere indicated to you that I had any scientific paper I was going to link to in regard to the da fall. You have recited that lie three or four times forever destroying Harris' claim that atheists are capable of moral behaviour without religion.

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    11. LOL! The lies and squirming you go through to try and save your ego are hilarious!

      Tell me more about this "Fall" that caused all sorts of diseases. How long ago did it happen? 4K years? 10K years? 100 million years? How do you know?

      What was the mechanism by which this "Fall" caused all these bad things to happen?

      If you want to discuss science we can discuss science. If you wish to merely proselytize your personal religious views you can pound sand.

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  10. "Unfortunately this is a typical example of how these discussions go. The confidence is exceeded only by the lack of evidence"

    Theres a subtler explanation for this. We have now drifted so often into imagination as explanation in science that I have no doubt that the poster in question really does believe you are being willfully ignorant.

    in this imagination of the gaps scientific culture the mere imaginary explanation (imagination substituting where facts are in real explanation) is supposedly enough to rebut criticisms and challenges. Sometimes as in this case merely referencing the imagination in their own heads and not actually covered "scientifically" in a paper is enough.

    This also goes back to the often heard phrase about how science is done usually coupled with assorted distortions by those trying to hide from the inadequacies of their proposals. Yes the scientific PROCESS allows for conjecture and sometimes not even borderline imagination for the purpose of testing for possible verification but ONLY as a PROCESS leading up to real science. Segments such as New atheists and their followers incessantly try to distort this allowance in process to fill in their gaps WITHOUT testing or verification or as if they already have completed the process of it becoming real science.

    In the process of this self delusion they really do think they have made a scientific point. The line between observational and experimentally verified science and idea science is too blurred in their own heads for them to see the substantial difference. Its a mere technicality to be confirmed at some later indeterminate time.

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    1. Does that mean you won't be providing your scientific evidence of "The Fall" causing diseases and other physical problems you boasted of having?

      Delete
    2. I am waiting for the scientific evidence that you claim to have that people with wisdom teeth that have no problems with them have no use for them even though they USE them for chewing lol

      Delete
    3. LOL! Now we get to the fun part where the scientifically illiterate idiot Creationist runs around like his pants are on fire when called on his ridiculous claims.

      Run Elijah2012 run!

      Delete
    4. Sorry T I have no intention of joining you. I am having too much fun watching you run around with your own pants on fire after claiming that Wisdom teeth have no function when everyday people use them to chew who have no issues with them.

      Evolutionist do take their evolution seriously. They even think they can evolve their posts away from their previous ignorant statement. ;)

      Delete
    5. Run Elijah2012 run!

      Nothing quite so funny as a scientifically illiterate Creationist goober trying to bluff his way through scientific topics.

      Let me know when you have that scientific evidence for "The Fall" and the mechanism by which it caused all these diseases and other problems.

      Delete
    6. let me know when you figure out teeth that cause no problems have the function of chewing. Theres no Nobel prize in it but we might be able to rustle up a "duh" award.

      Delete
    7. Feel free to explain what the function is of teeth that come in like this.

      impacted wisdom teeth

      All part of GAWD's plan to punish us for Adam's sin, right?

      Delete
    8. Yes thorton.We heard you on that logic before

      IF women get breast cancer its is proof that breast have no function

      IF someone is born with a deformed leg it means feet have no function.

      I concede one point to you - since your logic is flawed your brain is non functional.

      Delete
    9. Elijah2012

      IF women get breast cancer its is proof that breast have no function


      Breast cancer isn't a heritable morphological trait.

      Try again idiot.

      Delete
    10. There are some forms of breast cancer that do run in families and IS hereditary.

      Once the topic leaves what Talk origins covers you show yourself to being quite the ignorant teenager.

      Delete
    11. Elijah2012M

      There are some forms of breast cancer that do run in families and IS hereditary.


      No idiot. There are genetic traits that make one more susceptible to breast cancer than others, but the cancer itself is not hereditary.

      Is there any area of science you're not pitifully ignorant of?

      Delete
    12. Your stupidity knows no end T the susceptibility leads to the cancer in many scenarios and IS classified as hereditary

      Here go argue with these paper about the nomenclature (look up the word if you don't know what it means)

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12635174?dopt=Abstract

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448386

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23350365

      Your bumbling ignorance notwithstanding the mere fact that some people develop at birth or later in life with dysfunction or disease in no way validate your nonsense that the organ/teeth has no function in modern humans.

      You are embarassing yourself and trying to quibble about words won't cover your tracks.

      Delete
    13. Elijah2012

      Your stupidity knows no end T the susceptibility leads to the cancer in many scenarios and IS classified as hereditary


      Which is exactly what I just stated you moron. The susceptibility is hereditary, not the cancer itself.

      You really are a dumb one.

      Delete
    14. Sorry T you have displayed your ignorance yet again. That is what I STATED - that it is hereditary and you objected like an idiot just looking to hand wave your way out of a blunder. Sure its through the gene that creates the susceptibility. I never said otherwise. However The cancer itself IS considered hereditary. It is directly referred to in each paper as HEREDITARY BREAST CANCER. go argue with the scientist of each paper (and there are ton loads more)

      ROFL. sunk by your own objection and hand waving attempts to escape.

      Delete
    15. Elijah2012

      Sorry T you have displayed your ignorance yet again. That is what I STATED - that it is hereditary


      Look at the liar go! You stated the cancer is hereditary, not the susceptibility. You're an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about, and you were wrong.

      Here's an example to help your lying pea brain. There's a heritable genetic condition called Osteogenesis imperfecta that leads to brittle bones which fracture easily. That doesn't mean that broken legs are heritable, just the susceptibility to them.

      Idiot.

      Delete
    16. from the first link
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12635174?dopt=Abstract

      "Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is among the most commonly encountered adult genetic disease,"

      Thorton's response

      Its not hereditary breast cancer...idiots. I'm a blog comment poster. I publish in ID blog comments I know better than you...you....you idiot dumbass published scientists to call it hereditary breast cancer

      ROFL

      Delete
    17. Elijah2012

      Its not hereditary breast cancer...idiots. I'm a blog comment poster. I publish in ID blog comments I know better than you...you....you idiot dumbass published scientists to call it hereditary breast cancer


      See Elijah2012, that's exactly why you're an ignorant assclown, and why you'll stay an ignorant assclown your whole life. You're so busy looking for phrases to quote-mine that you never bother to actually comprehend what's being discussed.

      'Hereditary" cancers are referred to as such because there are known heritable genetic mutations that greatly increase your risk factor for that type of cancer. Not all people with the mutation get the cancer, and not having the mutation won't stop you from getting it. But if you do have the mutation you have a much higher chance than average of contracting the disease.

      The mutation doesn't cause the cancer you assclown, it only makes it easier to develop. The mutation is heritable, not the cancer.

      Here, I'll let Cancer.Org try to get the concept through your fat head. Read the bolded part out loud you jackass:

      Heredity and Cancer

      "Cancer is such a common disease that it is no surprise that many families have at least a few members who have had cancer. Sometimes, certain types of cancer seem to run in some families. This can be caused by a number of factors. Often, family members have certain risk factors in common, such as smoking, which can cause many types of cancer.

      But in some cases the cancer is caused by an abnormal gene that is being passed along from generation to generation. Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself. Only about 5% to 10% of all cancers are inherited. This document focuses on those cancers. "

      Assclowns like you are why I'll fight to the end to keep your brand of willfully ignorant stupidity out of science classrooms.

      Delete
    18. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    19. Just to rub salt in your festering assclown wounds, here is a later paper by the same author as the 2002 one you quote-mined above.

      Modifiers of risk of hereditary breast cancer
      S.A.Narod
      Nature Reviews Cancer: Oncogene (2006) 25, 5832–5836

      Abstract: "Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes confer a high lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The risk varies from individual to individual, and it appears that the risk has increased in recent generations. These observations imply that non-genetic factors may modify the inherited risk. To date, the factors that appear most strongly to modify the risk include reproductive histories and exogenous hormones. Oral contraceptives are associated with a profound reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer, and with little or no increase in the risk of breast cancer. Other modifying factors include age of menarche, parity, breastfeeding and oophorectomy. The effect of parity is different in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers. Multiparity appears to be protective in BRCA1 carriers, but is associated with an increase in risk in BRCA2 carriers. Oophorectomy has been associated with reductions in both the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Knowledge of these risk factors will be useful for managing risk and for developing prevention strategies"

      The genetic mutations which increase risk are inherited, not the cancer.

      Willfully ignorant assclown.

      Delete
    20. "'Hereditary" cancers are referred to as such because there are known heritable genetic mutations that greatly increase your risk factor for that type of cancer."

      Finally...finally someone screwed a light bulb into that socket you call a brain. Yes They are referred to as hereditary Cancers. Nice try at trying to cover that you have been arguing against that the whole time but it doesn't work

      LOL now you want to write like you are instructing me about how they are referred to when that is PRECISELY How I REFERRED TO them in the very same sense HEREDITARY BREAST CANCER.

      Silly and just dishonest.

      "The mutation doesn't cause the cancer you assclown, it only makes it easier to develop. The mutation is heritable, not the cancer."

      Oh well I couldn't expect the stupidity not to return but did it have to exit for such a fleeting moment? Yes T particular genetic inherited traits DO in some breast (and other) cancers trigger cancer. We don't know all the mechanisms but we know that two women will live in the same environment eat the same thing, experience the same hazards and one will not get cancer and another will and it can and often IS traced to the genes they have. Its just bungling nonsense to try and exclude the inherited traits as a cause of cancer. In some Families a female descendant has an 80% chance they will develop breast cancer which means with a sufficient amount of female offsprings a family is practically guaranteed to have a woman that develops cancer which IS CAUSED by the inherited traits.

      Furthermore breast cancer is but one of MULTIPLE cancers that can be said to have inherited CAUSES defying your patent nonsense that cancer is not caused by inheritance.


      ""Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes confer a high lifetime risk of breast"

      LOL... How old are you really?

      Those are but two genes. There have been multiple genes found and multiple genes are involved in the development of cancer. The paper is merely going through possibilities along with those genes but some families have much more than either one of those. That is why some families possessing multiple genes involved will end up with breast cancer patients if they have enough daughters.

      So now that you have finally come to your sense and admitted that there is such a thing referred to as Hereditary breast cancer lets not forget your central thesis


      What was that original ignorance again? Oh yes

      Wisdom teeth in modern humans have no function even though people use them functionally to chew with and they give them no problems.

      After all the running around and hand waving you are still stuck on with your failed thesis.

      Delete
    21. "The genetic mutations which increase risk are inherited, not the cancer."

      Duh..to the first part..The genetic mutations yes are what is inherited (no one claimed babies were born with breast cancer)and that is what leads to and CAUSES the cancer. You have no point as usual. When the person develops cancer from those mutations they then have it and IT IS caused by those inherited genes. Your claim that they do not cause it are nonsense.

      "Assclowns like you are why I'll fight to the end to keep your brand of willfully ignorant stupidity out of science classrooms."

      and what an intelligently effective tactic you have chosen. Your countless comment posting at cornelius's blog where very few people read through all the comments is whats stopping all IDist and creationists from moving forward. ;)

      BTW you can't stop our science from being in classrooms. They are already there all over the world. You can only stop us from public school classrooms which notoriously suck anyway. Many of us are quite fine with you having them. We have our own private high schools and home schools and our students are kicking the pants off your public school trained students in almost every test.

      Delete
    22. LOL! Elijah2012 the assclown gets shown up by the evidence but his mouth keeps running out of sheer inertia,

      Read the sentence from Cancer.Org out loud until it sinks in assclown

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      Just like having a weak immune system increases your risk of getting the flu, but the weak immune system doesn't CAUSE the flu.

      Like all Creationists the ignorant assclown just can't stand being wrong, so he blusters and screams and quote-mines papers he doesn't understand. He follows the Creationist tactic 1A: if you tell the same lie enough times it becomes true. Pathetic.

      Your countless comment posting at cornelius's blog where very few people read through all the comments is whats stopping all IDist and creationists from moving forward

      No what's stopping ID Creationism from moving ahead is the lack of any testable hypotheses and the zero research effort being done by the IDC pushers. Making fun of ignorant assclowns like you is just a bonus.

      BTW you can't stop our science from being in classrooms. They are already there all over the world.

      By all means keep teaching your kids Creation "science" in your own private schools. The world will always need janitors and fry cooks.

      Willfully ignorant assclown

      Delete
    23. BTW assclown, here's another free science lesson for you.

      Correlation does not imply causation

      Because certain cancers are correlated with certain heritable genetic mutations doesn't mean the mutations caused the cancer. Just like having brittle bones correlates to higher bone breakage but doesn't cause people to accidentally bump into you and knock you more often. It only makes you more susceptible to damage when they do.

      Correlation does not imply causation is one of the first things you learn as a freshman science student. Apparently your wonderful private science teaching didn't even get you that far.

      Delete
    24. "Read the sentence from Cancer.Org out loud until it sinks in assclown

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      HAHAHAHAHA

      I knew you would try that. Exactly what you accuse creationists of

      Quote mining.

      You skipped over the sentence before. Heres the whole quote and it completely destroys your claim that the inherited genes do no cause the cancer

      "But in some cases the cancer IS CAUSED by an abnormal gene that is being passed along from generation to generation."

      oh oh. Thorton's going to get those creationists at Cancer.org for saying cancer is CAUSED by abnormal genes passed from generation to generation. But lets go on

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      Yep like good old Elijah just said. No one claims babies are born with cancer just the genes that lead to it

      " Only about 5% to 10% of all CANCERS ARE INHERITED. This document focuses on those cancers."

      We need a ROFL animated gif in this blog. The loudmouth no substance evolutionists just linked to a page that says that cancers are inherited to prove that saying cancers are inherited is wrong.

      You just can't make this comedy up.

      Delete
    25. LOL! Read the sentence again assclown

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      You claimed cancer is inherited. You were wrong.

      All the rest is just you hand-waving and tap dancing to save your bloated ego.

      When are you going to provide that scientific evidence for "The Fall"? that you claim caused all these nasty diseases?

      Delete
    26. "Just like having brittle bones correlates to higher bone breakage but doesn't cause people to accidentally bump into you and knock you more often. It only makes you more susceptible to damage when they do."

      More hilarity -

      You can't think worth a lick. The disease you referenced makes bone brittle because that is what it does. That is the nature of the disease. It is not a break bones disease. It does not break bones it makes them brittle. The nature of breast cancer in certain families triggers guess what T - CANCER. No they may not die of it. that is a possible outcome of cancer just as bones breaking is a possible outcome of brittle bones. Learn to think things through. Your analogy sucks

      "Correlation does not imply causation is one of the first things you learn as a freshman science student. "

      And when you get to college you just might learn it and the difference between tests that show correlation and tests that show causation

      Or um maybe you can read your own link (you are embarassing yourself not doing so over and over and over again)

      "Correlation does not imply causation (cum hoc propter hoc, Latin for "with this, because of this") is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other.[1][2] Many statistical tests calculate correlation between variables. A few go further and calculate the likelihood of a TRUE CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP"

      Get the last three words thorton? Sunk in?

      Those test HAVE been done for cancer that is why invoking the high school comeback of correlation does not equal causation is a failure.

      Thats why your VERY OWN cancer.org link uses the word cause over and over and over again but you are just to juvenile to admit it when it says

      "Genes seem to have 2 major roles in cancer. Some, called oncogenes, can CAUSE cancer."

      and it says

      "Less often, these cancers may be CAUSED by an inherited gene mutation. (These are called family cancer syndromes.)"

      and it proves you wrong again

      " Inherited breast cancer can be CAUSED by several different genes, but the most common are BRCA1 and BRCA2.

      and again

      "This is a childhood cancer that starts in the eye. It can be CAUSED by an inherited mutation in the tumor suppressor gene Rb. "


      You've had your head handed to you by your very own link but go ahead and do some more dancing cursing and hand waving as I know you will, IT is entertaining. I will say that for it.

      Delete
    27. DOUBLE LOL!

      You're still not getting it assclown. Read the sentence one more time.

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      You claimed the cancer is inherited. You were wrong.

      Now tell us about that scientific evidence for "The Fall". The evidence your prestigious private schools teach in their "science" classrooms.

      Delete
    28. ""Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      You claimed cancer is inherited. You were wrong. "

      It is inherited in that the genes that lead to it are inherited you nitwit, Thats EXACTLY what your link says. As I have stated before no one claimed anywhere that children were born with cancer. Theres no sense in creating strawmen when your whole argument is going up in flames. Won't work it will burn too ;)

      DO some more tap dancing. Its really funny to see a person's point go up in smoke from THEIR OWN LINK. Lol

      You want the email address for Cancer.org so you can argue with them how inherited genes do not CAUSE cancer?

      Delete
    29. Tsk tsk, assclown still doesn't get it

      Read again assclown, slowly. Follow with your finger if it helps.

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      You claimed the cancer is inherited. You were wrong.

      Now tell us about that scientific evidence for "The Fall" that is taught in your private schools. What mechanism did "the Fall" use to create all the nasty diseases?

      Delete
    30. tsk tsk resident teenage evolutionist still can't get it.

      Same link (his own no less)

      "" Only about 5% to 10% of all CANCERS ARE INHERITED. This document focuses on those cancers.""

      There it is in black and white. No contradiction for anyone with adult reading levels. the cancer IS inherited because the genes are inherited that CAUSE it not because anyone is born with it (which as I have pointed out several times no one ever claimed).

      Sorry T. You are wrong and your own links shows it. Your admission of being wrong matters not. Its just a brute fact. Certain genes Cause cancer.

      Delete
    31. LOL!

      Assclown, you're way beyond boring.

      You claimed cancer is a heritable trait.

      I corrected you. Mutations that give a greater risk of cancer is a heritable trait.

      You quote-mined a paper using the term "heritable cancer"

      I showed you where the term means the mutation that makes you a risk for the cancer is heritable, not the cancer itself.

      "Although this is often referred to as inherited cancer, what is inherited is the abnormal gene that can lead to cancer, not the cancer itself."

      You keep repeating the same dishonest quote-mine "but the doctors call it heritable cancer!!"

      Again, that's why you willfully ignorant Creationists will always be ignorant idiots. You don't care about actually understanding, you just care about what silly semantic games you can play to "win".

      Now are you ever going to tell us what your prestigious private schools teach as scientific evidence for "The Fall"? Or are you going to keep being a boring assclown?

      Delete
    32. T I don't post for you. I really don't care what you think or how intellectually dishonest you most certainly are. There is now enough in this thread for anyone to see what a fool you have made of yourself.

      You've been proven wrong about their not being inheritable breast cancer and in the ridiculous notion that cancer is not caused ever by inherited genes

      You provided your own rope to hang yourself with your very own links which state clearly that yes cancer is inherited through genes that are inherited which is PRECISELY Why it is right to say cancer is inherited even as your own link states

      "5% to 10% of all CANCERS ARE INHERITED"

      LOL...

      So mi laddie I am more than content :) :)

      Have a great weekend and be sure to tell anyone you see using their wisdom tooth to chew food that they can't use them to chew because they have no function

      ROFL

      Delete
    33. Creationist idiot Number 1 Elijah2012

      Why it is right to say cancer is inherited even as your own link states

      "5% to 10% of all CANCERS ARE INHERITED"


      LOL! Willfully ignorant assclown still with his dishonest quote-mining, relying of semantic games instead of understanding.

      "Although this is often referred to as INHERITED CANCER, what is INHERITED IS THE ABNORMAL GENE that can lead to cancer, NOT THE CANCER ITSELF."

      Oh well. My kids will be working as scientists while his "privately schooled" ones will be cleaning toilets and bussing tables.

      Let me know when you grow a pair and are ready to present that scientific evidence for "The Fall", OK?


      Delete
  11. The claim that wisdom teeth are a part of the human body that has lost all purpose still appears in evolutionist sources. As evidence for this, it is stated that these teeth give a great many people a lot of trouble, and that chewing is not impaired when they are surgically removed.

    Many dentists, influenced by the evolutionists' claim that wisdom teeth serve no purpose, have come to see their extraction as a routine matter, and do not make the same kind of effort to protect them as they do for other teeth.53

    However, research in recent years has shown that wisdom teeth have the same chewing function as other teeth.

    Studies have also been carried out to show that the belief that wisdom teeth damage the position of other teeth in the mouth is completely unfounded.54

    Scientific criticism is now amassing ways in which problems with wisdom teeth which could be solved in other ways are instead solved by extracting them.55

    In fact, the scientific consensus is that wisdom teeth have a chewing function just like all the others, and that there is no scientific justification for the belief that they serve no purpose.

    So, why do wisdom teeth cause a substantial number of people problems? Scientists who have researched the subject have discovered that wisdom tooth difficulties have manifested themselves in different ways among human communities at different times. It is now understood that the problem was seldom seen in pre-industrial societies.

    It has been discovered that the way in which soft foodstuffs have come to be preferred to harder ones, over the last few hundred years in particular, has negatively affected the way the human jaw develops. It has thus been realised that most wisdom tooth troubles emerge as a result of jaw development problems relating to dietary habits.

    It is also known that society's nutritional habits also have negative effects on our other teeth. For instance, the increasing consumption of foodstuffs high in sugar and acid has increased the rate that other teeth decay. However, that fact does not make us think that all our teeth have somehow "atrophied." The same principle applies to wisdom teeth. Problems with these teeth stem from contemporary dietary customs, not from any evolutionary "atrophy."




    53. Leonard M.S., 1992,. Removing third molars: a review for the general practitioner, Journal of the American Dental Association, 123(2):77-82
    54. M. Leff, 1993, Hold on to your wisdom teeth, Consumer reports on Health, 5(8):4-85.
    55. Daily.T 1996, Third molar prophylactic extraction: a review and analysis of the literature, General Dentistry, 44(4):310-320

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're going to plagiarize the woo of a religious fruitcake at least you should give the man's name.

      Plagiarized verbatim from Harun Yahya's woo woo site here

      Delete
  12. Jason stand by for the mother of all hand wavings :)

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  13. This was a delightful post. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Vestigial structures has to be stupidest argument for evolution of all time.

    Evo claim about the receded eyes of blind mole rats being vestigial:

    The blind mole rat (Spalax typhlus) has tiny eyes completely covered by a layer of skin. They are vestigial organs in comparison with the presumably functional eyes of the rat's ancient ancestors.
    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Vestigial_organ



    A recent study on blind mole rats, and how their limited vision is perfect for detecting subtle changes in light, in terms of whether or not a wall of their lair is too thin, and exposed to the surface light.

    If the blind mole rats had fully functioning eyes, they would not be able to detect these subtle differences.


    http://www.livescience.com/8468-blind-mole-rats-study-confirms.html
    However, mole rats also plug their tunnels to keep out predators. According to a Czech study, two species of African mole rats appeared to use their limited vision to do so.

    Detecting light from holes in their tunnels enables mole rats to quickly plug the holes to keep out predators like honey badgers and humans.

    To simulate a hole-plugging scenario, the researchers placed the silvery mole rat and the giant mole rat into a maze of Plexiglas tunnels containing horticultural peat. Once they had the animals inside, the researchers covered the maze but illuminated the end of one tunnel with a 40-watt incandescent bulb. They then recorded whether the mole rats used the peat to block the light.

    The giant mole rat tried to plug the hole in 80 percent of trials, and the silvery mole rat did so 85 percent of the time.



    Another example of the evolutionary worldview hindering biology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, the coward's back!

      Ready to give us your definition of 'information' as it pertains to DNA? Or still trying to wash those brown stains out of your shorts?

      If the blind mole rats had fully functioning eyes, they would not be able to detect these subtle differences.

      Evidence please. The paper says nothing of the sort. You pulled that one right out of your bottom.

      Why did you omit this passage?

      "Anatomical research has shown that the tiny eyes of these subterranean creatures are ill-suited for their activities of navigating dark tunnels and making rare trips above ground. "

      So the eyes are indeed vestigial and have lost most but not all of their previous function.

      Why don't you tell us what blind cave fish and blind cave crickets use their eyes for.

      Delete
    2. The empirical evidence shows the blind mole rat's eyes are sufficiently designed for maintenance of their lair. If they exhibited typical eye function, they would be a great deal more vulnerable to predation.

      Thus the claim that the blind mole rat's eyes have little to no function has been falsified, as all claims of vestigiality typically are.

      Delete
    3. lifepsy

      The empirical evidence shows the blind mole rat's eyes are sufficiently designed for maintenance of their lair. If they exhibited typical eye function, they would be a great deal more vulnerable to predation.


      More unsubstantiated BS pulled straight out of your bottom.

      Thus the claim that the blind mole rat's eyes have little to no function has been falsified, as all claims of vestigiality typically are.

      Another Creationist idiot who think 'vestigial' means having no function.

      Do you morons even have two brain cells between the lot of you?

      Delete
    4. The way I understand it, the argument from vestigiality goes something like "God would never create a useless organ." But if it isn't useless, then that removes the argument.

      Delete
    5. natschuster

      The way I understand it, the argument from vestigiality goes something like "God would never create a useless organ." But if it isn't useless, then that removes the argument.


      As usual, the "way you understand it" is stupefyingly mind-numbingly 100% wrong.

      No one in science has ever used that as an argument for the vestigial nature of a function, ever.

      Delete
    6. Then why is it evidence for evolution?

      Delete
    7. natschuster

      Then why is it evidence for evolution?


      Because it fits seamlessly with all the other fossil and genetic evidence we already have for common descent.

      It's that consilience of evidence thing Creationists just can't grasp.

      Delete
  15. Isn't it possible that the moles and the fish and the crickets lost their eyesight after they were created? The same thing with wisdom teeth. In fact, I understand that cave blind cave with are considered to be the same species as sited cave fish, so they lost their site really recently.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By whatever process, "vestigial organs" typically demonstrate a quantitative reduction in biological structure, and therefore lend no support to natural selection's ability to create anything that wasn't already present to begin with.

      Delete
    2. natschuster

      Isn't it possible that the moles and the fish and the crickets lost their eyesight after they were created?


      If you mean blind cave fish and blind cave crickets had their eyesight evolve away from their sighted ancestors because it costs more energy to maintain that the survival benefits provided in the new light-less environment then yes, that's exactly what happened. Same with our third molars. Same with rear limbs in whales. In evolution the general rule is "use it or lose it".

      Now talk to you idiot buddy lifepsy here who claims no evolution can ever happen, ever.

      Delete
    3. Thorton: If you mean blind cave fish and blind cave crickets had their eyesight evolve away from their sighted ancestors because it costs more energy to maintain that the survival benefits provided in the new light-less environment then yes, that's exactly what happened.

      And your evidence of this is? Oh, that's right. You have none. You're just reciting hymns from darwin's bible.

      Are you sure it isn't because of genetic drift? Do you honestly think natural selection causes allele fixation based on .00X energy savings? LOL

      Delete
    4. lifepsy

      And your evidence of this is? Oh, that's right. You have none. You're just reciting hymns from darwin's bible.


      Actually asshat I do have evidence. Lots of it.

      MODIFICATIONS OF EYE STRUCTURE AND INTEGUMENTAL PIGMENT IN TWO CAVE CRAYFISH

      Abstract "Eyestalk length, internal eye structure, pigmented eye area, and pigments in eyes and exoskeleton were studied in two stygobiont crayfish, Procambarus cavernicola and Procambarus oaxacae reddelli. Results were compared with the epigeal crayfish Procambarus olmecorum, all three species inhabiting the karstic region of Acatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico. The stygobite species have shorter eyestalks and reduced pigmented areas compared with the epigeal species. For both eye and integument pigments, the stygobite species have a reduction in their total absorbance spectra compared to the epigeal species. Internal eye structure and organisation are reduced in both stygobite species, but to a greater extent in Procambarus cavernicola. These results are discussed in relation to the time of cave colonisation, the degree of adaptation, and the energy economy hypothesis"

      From the paper:

      "The reduction and loss of eye pigmantation is a prevailing adaptation of the obligate fauna in caves. It has been widely considered a strategy to economize energy in this aphotic and resource-poor environment (Sadoglu 1967, Culver 1982, Poulson 1985)"

      I haven't come across a level of Creationist stupidity this bad in quite some time. Fascinating!

      Delete
    5. And? It's a hypothesis, and energy economy can fit in with any number of biology paradigms.

      I've referenced empirical data that shows loss of eye expression changes are plastic. No mutation, and no selection. Evolution fail.

      Delete
  16. Well, the loss of stuff like eyes and jaw size is not exactly evolutionary, but more devolutionary. I don't think that it is really possible to extrapolate from the fact that eyes can disappear to the belief that eyes can appear.

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    1. Good question, Nat. Perhaps it would be useful to know whether the genes that produce eyes have been eliminated or if they remain but are just not expressed. If the later is the case, then it would be not loss of information in the genome only a different expression.

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    2. Nat,
      Well, the loss of stuff like eyes and jaw size is not exactly evolutionary, but more devolutionary


      Since evolution is non teleological can devolutionary make sense? Dogs hear better than humans, are dogs evolved and humans devolved?

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    3. What I meant by devolution was the loss of something, in this case, eyes.

      Delete
    4. natschuster

      What I meant by devolution was the loss of something, in this case, eyes


      So you have no problems with cetaceans evolving from land tetrapods and losing their hind limbs. Got it.

      Delete
  17. Like velikovskys suggested, the cavefish are merely turning on and off expression. Another example of phenotypic plasticity in action.

    One biological phenomenon that is rarely mentioned in the biospeleological literature and that, I believe, plays a major role in both the diversity of morphs and the evolution of cave fauna in general, is phenotypic plasticity. A number of casual observations carried out by researchers on different cave fish species have suggested that cave animals and their epigean ancestors can display responses to the presence or absence of light during the development of their pigmentation and their visual apparatus.

    American Scientist 2011

    http://www.webradio.siue.edu/artsandsciences/pdf/deanspublications/570.Evolutionofcavelife.pdf

    No evolution here, sorry.

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    1. My collaborators and I were able to confirm these initial observations by controlling the light conditions for 24-hour-old larvae of A.fasciatus from three different populations: epigean (eyed, pigmented), troglomorphic (blind, depigmented) and their hybrids. For a period of 30 days, some of the larvae were exposed to light 24 hours per day, others were confined to total darkness. The results showed that the eyes of the epigean larvae were much less developed when the fish were raised under conditions of total darkness than when raised under constant light. However, the most spectacular results were obtained with the cave population: Although those larvae that were raised under conditions of total darkness did not show any noticeable eye tissue, as expected, those raised under constant light conditions did

      Delete
    2. lifepsy

      The Evolution of Cave Life

      No evolution here, sorry


      LOL! It takes a real 100% solid gold idiot to post a paper titled "The Evolution of Cave Life" and claim it's not about evolution.

      From the own-goal paper

      "Given that most cave populations are small and subject to very similar selective pressures within the same cave, this evolutionary process can take a relatively short period of time."

      "How can we explain, then, why the evolution of troglomorphic characters does not necessarily occur in parallel, but instead produces the uneven array of phenotypes seen in Figure 4? First, because they are controlled by sets of genes independent from one another. Second, the degree of development of some of these characters (for example, barbels in fish) is conditioned by their phylogenetic history. Lastly, the selective pressures on each one of those characters may differ from cave to cave."

      "As we explore more tropical and subtropical caves, we can expect to be further amazed and challenged by the creativity and opportunism of evolution."

      The place probably leads the whole web in idiot own-goal Creationists.

      Delete
    3. Comedy gold. Thorton, being demolished by empiricism again, in a last ditch effort, provides the authors' use of the word 'evolution' as evidence for evolution. LOL

      Delete
    4. "Comedy gold. Thorton, being demolished by empiricism again, in a last ditch effort, provides the authors' use of the word 'evolution' as evidence for evolution."

      I would not argue with him . Since some scientists have used the popular term for Higgs boson - The God particle - he might be in church next Sunday sitting next to Cornelius :)

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    5. Elijah2012

      I would not argue with him


      So Creationist idiot Number 1, do you agree with Creationist idiot Number 2 that there's no such thing as evolution, even micro-evolution?

      Tell us, by what mechanism did your created "kinds" on the Ark manage to diverge into the tens of millions of different species of animals and plants we know of today? Maybe you could ask one of your private schooled kids.

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    6. "Maybe you could ask one of your private schooled kids"

      I would but if I brought them over and they saw someone claiming inheritable genes never cause cancer they would be in stitches laughing and be unable to answer. They might even see the same person claiming that wisdom teeth which people use to chew has no function whatsoever in modern humans and they would be rolling on the ground gasping for air while watching a teacher eating with hers.

      So as you can see the whole thing would be rendered impossible by the creator's gift of laughter.

      Delete
    7. LOL! Poor assclown. Long on his perceived witicisms, 100% lacking in any scientific understanding.

      Let me know when you're ready to present that scientific evidence for "The Fall".

      Delete
  18. natschuster March 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Well, the loss of stuff like eyes and jaw size is not exactly evolutionary, but more devolutionary.


    I think it's a fundamental misconception to think of evolution being the climb up the "ladder of progress" and devolution being the fall back down.

    It's better to think of mutations, for example, as simply being changes to what went before. Whether those changes are beneficial, detrimental or have no discernable effect at all depends entirely on the circumstances in which they occur.

    Natural selection doesn't choose what is better in any absolute sense. It simply favors what happens to work better in a particular environment at a particular time. It's survival of the better-fitted rather than survival of the fittest.

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  19. @Thorton: "Nightlight, how do genetic algorithms work? How do they manage to create new complex designs? "

    By the intelligence built into their algorithms. Just because an algorithm includes some 'pseudo-random generator' that doesn't mean it excludes intelligence. You need quite a bit of intelligent algorithmic gear around the randomly spinning cog to make the whole cogworks produce some complex design. You also need a computer to run all that on, which is a result of centuries of highly intelligent processes building up science, technologies, manufacturing, transport,... to get to computer capable of compiling and running GA programs and a programmer who knows how to write it (and for that you need complex education with all that it needs to function).

    Hence, when a GA yields some interesting design (which they do), they are a tiny tip of a gigantic iceberg sitting on a shoulder of an even bigger giant of intelligent processes, resulting in the design.

    Crediting random element in GA for the designs it produces is misdirection, like crediting a fly on Leonardo's shoulder for Mona Lisa.

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    1. Nightlight

      @Thorton: "Nightlight, how do genetic algorithms work? How do they manage to create new complex designs? "

      By the intelligence built into their algorithms.


      But they have no additional intelligence built into the algorithms, They're modeled exactly as seen in naturally occurring evolutionary processes. Randomly mutated samples, allowed to compete, winners take their heritable traits to the next generation. Repeat the process.

      Complaining the the computer they're being run on adds "intelligence" is an exceptionally poor hand-waving excuse not worthy of a serious discussion. We run hurricane simulations on computers all the time, yet I don't here anyone complaining the results are invalid because a computer "snuck in" some extra intelligence.

      Crediting random element in GA for the designs it produces is misdirection, like crediting a fly on Leonardo's shoulder for Mona Lisa.

      No one credits just the random element. It's the feedback loop combination of the random filtered by selection and carried forward as heritable traits that drives the process towards a solution. All creativity in the solution comes from the process itself, not from the computer and not from the programmer.

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    2. @Thorton: Nightlight:"By the intelligence built into their algorithms."

      But they have no additional intelligence built into the algorithms, They're modeled exactly as seen in naturally occurring evolutionary processes. Randomly mutated samples, allowed to compete, winners take their heritable traits to the next generation. Repeat the process.

      a) The molecular gear of the organism itself operating on random changes of DNA and unfolding that into a changed live organism, then being able to pass that change across generations, is incredibly complex process. No one knows how that gear was put together out of the raw simple molecules or even how it does all that it does, or what that "all it does" is.

      Just because a random alternation of the DNA will cause this incredibly complex molecular gear to unfold the change into a different phenotype doesn't imply or even make remotely plausible the ND conjecture that this, plus weeding out of the non-functioning or poorly functioning instances, is the mechanism sufficient to transform some ancient bacteria into humans.

      That would be like observing that by randomly altering a byte in the executable code of Windows OS, you can cause Windows to behave differently than unmodified copy, then leaping to conclusion that this mechanism, plus testing of the altered copies to eliminate those that crash, is how Windows 3 became Windows 4, Windows 4 became Windows 5,... (When they put out Metro, I did wonder for a moment, what the heck is this.)

      The actual neo-Darwinian RM leap is many times worse than that, since the biological system is inconceivably more complex than the code for Windows OS. It simply doesn't compute.

      Further, the "random mutation" (RM) conjecture for the source of molecular level novelty actually makes no real prediction that can be compared to observation i.e. nothing follows from "randomness" aspect of assumption, it is a parasitic, non-functional add on. Borrowing from Pauli, the RM conjecture is not even wrong.

      b) As with biological organism, for a GA algorithm to produce novel designs, you need a pretty complex system (albeit not nearly as complex as the organism) with processor and memory, plus a program, which working together record and move values in memory just so, to make it execute correctly the abstract GA algorithm. The abstraction may be simple to conceive in your mind, but to make abstraction concrete, make it run as a program, you need vast amounts of science and technology to make it happen. This is exactly analogous, albeit a lot simpler, to all the molecular gear needed to make biological process in (a) unfold.

      Of course, you can certainly run a tiny, simple GA experiment just using paper and pencil, hence without computers and vast science & technology behind them. But then you are relying on even far more complex supporting gear, your brain and the rest of your body, to make it run. There is no way around the vast gear around the GA to make it do something useful, or just merely do anything at all.

      Again, recalling Leonardo and Mona Lisa, with GA "discovery" you are like someone who notices a fly distracting Leonardo briefly while he is painting Mona Lisa, altering his brush stroke a bit.

      Eureka, the observer exclaims running naked into the street, this is how even a monkey can paint Mona Lisa -- you just need a swarm of flies biting the monkey continuously, altering his strokes, then you inspect the resulting paintings, throw away the bad ones, then "repeat the process" and you will get next Mona Lisa. Yeah, sure, that would work. Let's patent it (USPTO would probably take it).

      Delete
    3. Nightlight

      a) The molecular gear of the organism itself operating on random changes of DNA and unfolding that into a changed live organism, then being able to pass that change across generations, is incredibly complex process.


      So?

      (snip lots of personal incredulity)

      Personal incredulity ignored. I have lots of evidence evolution over the last 3+ billion years has occurred as advertised. You have any that it didn't?

      Further, the "random mutation" (RM) conjecture for the source of molecular level novelty actually makes no real prediction that can be compared to observation i.e. nothing follows from "randomness" aspect of assumption, it is a parasitic, non-functional add on.

      That doesn't even begin to make sense. That genetic variations are random WRT reproductive fitness is an empirical observation.

      b) As with biological organism, for a GA algorithm to produce novel designs, you need a pretty complex system (albeit not nearly as complex as the organism) with processor and memory, plus a program, which working together record and move values in memory just so, to make it execute correctly the abstract GA algorithm.

      Again, so? In the real world you've got the whole biosphere supporting the running of the algorithms. Do you have any evidence that the algorithms themselves don't work or can't produce complexity?


      Eureka, the observer exclaims running naked into the street, this is how even a monkey can paint Mona Lisa -- you just need a swarm of flies biting the monkey continuously, altering his strokes, then you inspect the resulting paintings, throw away the bad ones, then "repeat the process" and you will get next Mona Lisa


      Actually that process would work. Here it's been modeled using a GA and used to produce a Mona Lisa.

      Genetic Programming: Evolution of Mona Lisa

      Small positive changes that are allowed to accumulate can produce amazingly complex things. Evolution has had over 3 billion years for its GAs to run.

      Delete
  20. @Velikovskys <= [1/2] If it is "physical law" -- or generally a law making falsifiable quantitative claims -- then it doesn't need _additional_ intelligence to _explain_ the phenomenon which follows mathematically (algorithmically) from the laws. The intelligence built into the laws (hence the algorithms implied by them) suffices for the task.

    In contrast, the gratuitous "randomness" of ND "theory" carries no empirical or algorithmic/lawful committments -- it is a pure non-functional, non-quantiative parasitic add on, meant only to serve philosophy / religion / power thirst of its promoters.

    But if someone can formulate laws with falsifiable, quantitative predictions (e.g. of odds for different transitions) and those fit the observed numbers of available trials, then it is a legitimate claim of "randomness" as the explanation of that aspect only, via the intelligence built into these laws (their computational algorithms as well as their simulation in the form of humanly known 'physics laws').

    Note that lawfulness of a process doesn't imply absence or elimination of "intelligence" just as physical laws don't imply absence of intelligence needed to design/create them and to keep computing their unfolding instance by instance, moment to moment ever since Bing Bang.

    Hence, the laws are algorithms wich capture some intelligence of their creator into their algorithmic network (just as Windows or iOS capture some aspects of the intelligence of their designers and creators in their algorithmic networks). Laws and their embodiements are thus forms of intelligent agencies or processes, whether implemented as computer programs or as physical laws obeyed by our 'elementary' particles.

    For example, it may turn out that our present physical laws (which are statistical at their foundation, QFT) are merely a coarse grained regularity of some much more subtle intelligent process to which our present laws are oblivious. That is, our current physical laws may be like statistical laws of traffic ebbs and flows, seeing the cars as "elementary objects" of the theory, oblivious to the intelligent process inside each car, guiding it for its own far reaching purposes. The statistical laws of traffic flows don't contradict the internal intelligent guidance of each car -- the two sets of patterns coexist harmoneously at different scales.
    (--- split due to post limit of 4K ---)

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  21. @Velikovskys <= [2/2]
    Note for example that between the Planck scale of 10^-35 m for elementary/minimum distance, and our current "elementary" particles at ~ 10^-15 m there are 20 orders of magnitude of scale for potential complexity to build up to make our "elementary" particles go around. That is 5 orders of magnitude more in available scale than what is needed to build up us (at O(1) meter scale) from our "elementary" particles.

    Since we're looking in 3-D space, the complexity achievable by Planckian objects can have (10^20)^3 = 10^60 more cogs per unit of space than our own computing technology designed and built from our "elementary" particles can ever have. If you then account for the 10^20 times shorter distances between smallest Planckian cogs, then their signals (limited by the same speed of light) need 10^20 times shorter time between the cogs, hence their "CPU clocks" can run 10^20 times faster than our fastest CPU clocks ever could.

    Note that there are already various network like pregeometry models of Planckian scale objects, and although ypothetical they are in principle possible (e.g. check Wolfram's NKS [1]). With suitable additional assumptions about the adaptablility of the network links (e.g. a la Hebbian rule), such models would indeed be distributed computers similar to neural networks, self-programming and capable of combining smaller intelligence of subnetworks into larger intelligence of the whole network.

    The net result is 10^60 (more cogs) x 10^20 (faster clocks) = 10^80 times more powerful computing system per unit of space than our best technology made out of our "elementary" particles can ever be. With that kind of ratio in computing power, anything computed by this Planckian network would be to us indistinguishable from a godlike intelligence beyond our wildest imagination and comprehension (imagine trying to fight or outwit someone who can move or think 10^80 times faster).

    In this model, physical laws are being computed, particle by particle, moment by moment, continuously by this vast underlying supersmart network, like real Matrix without childish naivete of the Hollywood version (and of course, without a way out, since there is no out if you are made of it). The live cells are then gallactic scale technological projects by these intelligent Planckian networks, the kind of projects humans may achieve at their level in thousands or in millions of years (if we make it that long without nuking ourselves into oblivion or getting replaced by our own computers).

    ----
    [1] http://blog.wolfram.com/2007/09/11/my-hobby-hunting-for-our-universe/?year=2007&monthnum=09#more

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  22. @Cornelius <= Mere word for word identity of a pageful of free style essays by two students, or by a student and some book or a web page, suffices for a reasonable conclusion about the near certain content 'evolution' from Old to New. Adding to that common mistakes merely increases one set of astronomical odds to the next one without affecting the basis of the conclusion. The similarity of complex forms or functions does imply commonality in origin.

    The fact that these two students are 'human processes' instead of molecular processes makes no difference for the force and mechanism of the conclusion. This mechanism in both cases is simply that the odds of two independent processes (of whatever nature) replicating each other's sequence of 'free' choices is highly improbable (a product of very many very numbers each smaller than 1), without assuming one has 'evolved' from the other, or that both have 'evolved' from a common third precursor (e.g. the same Wiki page copied by both students).

    It is also linguistically natural to say that e.g. Windows 7 has 'evolved' from Windows 6, or iPhone5 has 'evolved' from iPhone4,... etc. In all such cases of evolution, intelligent process required to accomplish it is not only not excluded by the 'evolution' but it is implied.

    The problem with ND theory is not that they claim that A has evolved from B, but that those changes were result of random mutation & selection rather they arose the same way all other known cases of evolution unfold -- as result of intelligent, purposeful guidance. It is the ND 'randomness' that is a parasitic, non functional / non scientific (non falsifiable) add on serving only their own ideological objectives (to exclude by fiat the intelligent, purposeful guidance).

    By fighting against generic 'evolution', you are simply allowing the ND weasels to shift the debate from their Achilles heal, the "randomness" as the source of complex molecular novelties (which your posts illustrate extremely well), to the entirely different subject -- they equivocate between what they normally call 'evolution' (their ND theory of evolution of biological systems with its parasitic add on) and general 'evolution', such as that of technologies or cultures (which are all intelligently guided and not produced by random alterations of precursors).

    After that shift in subject you are suddenly on the losing ground, since the commonality in complex patterns does indeed imply to every rational person the common origin of the patterns. As result your numerous examples go to waste since to any undecided reader you seem to claim something very irrational -- that common complex pattern doesn't imply common origin (whether the commonality is a copy from one to another or from a common precursor).


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    1. Nightlight:

      Mere word for word identity of a pageful of free style essays by two students, or by a student and some book or a web page, suffices for a reasonable conclusion about the near certain content 'evolution' from Old to New.

      As I mentioned earlier, this conclusion for common descent is not because the probability of the similarity is particularly high on common descent, but because it is low on the alternative, independent creation. So understanding and modeling of the alternative is crucial to the reasoning.


      The similarity of complex forms or functions does imply commonality in origin.

      No, that is false. No one concludes that buildings with similar architectures evolved from a common ancestor.

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  23. @Velikovskys: So" all cases" means.....
    in cases where observed intelligent design takes place,books etc. then those cases are the product of intelligence.As for biology, you are assuming your conclusion.


    It is simply more plausible explanation. If all cases of evolution (technologies, cultures,...) for which the explanation is clear, occur via mechanism A (foresight by an intelligent agency), then upon findng yet another process of evolution X for which the mechanism is not transparent, the most plausible cojecture is to assume that the same mechanism A observed in all other cases is behind this instance, too. That's the common scientific induction.

    The least plausible is declaring that X has its own unique mechanism B (randomness as the source of complex molecular novelties, rather than intelligent foresight), without quntifying mechanism B or providing any falsifiable consequence of B (such as computing the odds and comparing them with the estimated numbers of available trials). That kind of gratuitious non-functional add on B (randomness as the source of novelty), is pure ideology, not a science.

    Hence, while both are assumptions (every science has a set of core assumptions from which it build up its deductions), one is a commonly used scientific induction from a common pattern (in fact extremely uniform pattern, without known exception), while the other is capricious declaration of a unique exception to this common pattern, without providing anything falsifiable (hence, scientific) to support the alleged exceptionality.

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  24. @Velikovskys: sorry for lots of typos in the last post.

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  25. I think a good number of the evolutionists who post here do so as a result of having been abused as a child by one Christian or another. They suffer from the Dawkins child abuse syndrome.

    "Take that, Christian Fundie. Pow! Take that, God. Pow!"

    You jackasses would be funny if you weren't so pathetic. Go smoke a joint or something if you feel lonely. Medicinal marijuana works wonders for people like you. ahahaha... It makes you forget that you are in your own company.

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

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  26. @Cornelius: "The similarity of complex forms or functions does imply commonality in origin."

    No, that is false. No one concludes that buildings with similar architectures evolved from a common ancestor.


    If there is a high degree of similarity, the "common origin" may have been a common plan (e.g. common architect reusing his favorite designs). If software programs have substantially identical complex functions (with enough free choice in them), then you also have either one copied from the other, or both copied from common precursor or common template (abstract pseudo-code).

    There is no way to avoid commonality of origin conclusion (in some form) when a common pattern of sufficient length and sufficient number of free choices in selection of its elements is found. If this common pattern has n free decision points along the way, with probability p<1 for any one option at a given decision point, then probability of two instances of the identical pattern arising independently is p^n -> 0 as n increases, even when p=1/2 (a coin toss).

    I think the communication problem is that you're taking "common origin" much too narrowly, such as one building A literally birthing, a la live organisms, next buildings B1, B2 and that as being the only way to interpret A as being "common origin" for B1 and B2. If you allow "common origin" to include a building design, then there is no problem in stating that similarity of B1 and B2 is due to their common origin (the common plan used for A). As explained below, the level of semantic flexibility here depends critically on how open minded or imaginative one is in conceiving where the "designs" and "designer" may be relative to the chunk of matter-energy of the "object" being designed.

    In the type of Planckian models described in an earlier 2 part post above, the designs and the designer are inside the organism's elementary particles i.e. they the intelligent networks computing and running what to us within our present coarse grained physical laws appear as 'dumb' "elementary" particles obeying 'dumb' physical laws (our present physical laws are merely statistical laws at the "fundamental" level, the Quantum Field Theory, QFT, which may be a very coarse grained picture of the fuller laws sketched above).

    Within such model the previous conceptual distinctions between "design plan", "designer" and "organism" are not mirrored in the spatial separation of these entities (as they are in the case of buildings where architect, his designs and buildings are all spatially separated chunks of matter-energy)-- they now all appear as if existing and operating within the common chunk of matter-energy in the common space labeled as "organism" in our present coarse grained picture of natural laws.

    Hence in that type of "inside out" models of intelligent agency (a god from inside, as it were, rather than from above), it is perfectly valid to state that A evolved into B1, B2,.. i.e. that A is the "common ancestor" of B1, B2,... meaning at the finer resolution of future science, that the designer & design plan of A (which are spatially inside the same volume as matter-energy of organism A, albeit encoded and operating at different scale than our present "elementary" particles for A) got reused for the design plans of B1, B2,.. which will then reside inside B1, B2... (This procedure of reusing design plans is in itself a sign of intelligent economizing of design efforts and costs.)

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    1. nightlight:

      If there is a high degree of similarity, the "common origin" may have been a common plan (e.g. common architect reusing his favorite designs).

      If your point simply is that similarity implies common descent, or common design, or common something, then how can you be wrong? It sounds like you are covering all the bases. You have no argument with me.

      There is no way to avoid commonality of origin conclusion (in some form)

      Agreed, but we're a long way from evolution.

      I think the communication problem is that you're taking "common origin" much too narrowly,

      No, now that you have defined your term. But earlier you were using the term evolution. Your "common origin" is not equivalent to "evolution." If you want to equate the two, then you are using a very different definition for the word "evolution" than normally understood.

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    2. Agreed, but we're a long way from evolution.... No, now that you have defined your term. But earlier you were using the term evolution.

      It's a matter of what kind of processes underlying evolution one could conceive.

      Within the sketched 'inside out' model of the intelligent agency (which is close to NKS style Planckian scale physics, aiming to build physics from random adaptable networks, as proposed by Stephen Wolfram and some others), the biological "evolution" is of the same kind as our technological, scientific or cultural evolutions i.e. intelligently guided.

      Hence, I am not "long way" from "evolution" -- within the models I can conceive, they are all the same kind of intelligently guided evolutions, merely in different realms, guided by different intelligent agencies. It is only the "long way from" (thankfully) the naive evolutionary models, such as the neo-Darwinian RM+NS model which rests on the 17-19th century physics (Newton-Laplace deterministic clockwork universe).

      In the case of biological evolution and related fine tuning of physical laws, within this "inside out" model, the guiding intelligence is inconceivably powerful, computing and executing our physical and biological laws and their unfolding, continuously, from every "elementary" (within present physics) particle, atom, molecule, cell, and up.

      By the most conservative estimate, i.e. granting the most coarse grained present understanding of the finest spatial granularity at Planckian length of 10^-35 m (this may be much smaller in some future physics), this agency has ounce for ounce, at least 10^80 times more computing power than ourselves (our brains) or any computing technology we can develop.

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    3. If your point simply is that similarity implies common descent, or common design, or common something, then how can you be wrong?

      The point is that within the "inside out" type of model, common descent (via organism) and common design (via common plan by intelligent agency) are operating in what within our present low resolution physical laws, is the same chunk of matter-energy & space-time (labeled in the low-res picture as the "organism").

      In the finer resolution, the common pattern between these matter-energy chunks implies common or gin of the content, or at least some relevant aspect of the content within the chunk. But in this higher resolution picture, the content of that "chunk" (of space-time) contains both the conventional physical-biological scale features (biochemical structures) as well as the plans for them and the intelligent agency which computed them and executes them. The conventional physical-biological scale entities (as presently understood) are merely technologies conceived and developed by the Planckian scale networks, a heavy equipment designed and constructed by them to operate at their galactic scale (just as we may do something of that kind some day at our galactic scales).

      Hence, this is not some kind of contrived "covering of all bases". What appears from your current perspective as different bases, are from this perspective only different aspects and manifestation of the one and the same process, just seen at different scales (designer and his designs are inside the objects they created). It is the single base in this picture.

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    4. For a bit of more context about these types of "inside out" models of intelligent agency based on "intelligent networks", here is a post which describes some aspects in more detail and provides references:


      Biochemical networks & their algorithms: https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups=#!msg/talk.origins/zrv4FGHDFCE/IduV3qgANGIJ

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    5. nightlight,
      But in this higher resolution picture, the content of that "chunk" (of space-time) contains both the conventional physical-biological scale features (biochemical structures) as well as the plans for them and the intelligent agency which computed them and executes them


      For example, low resolution and a high resolution picture?

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    6. nightlight:

      It's a matter of what kind of processes underlying evolution one could conceive.

      Within the sketched 'inside out' model of the intelligent agency (which is close to NKS style Planckian scale physics, aiming to build physics from random adaptable networks, as proposed by Stephen Wolfram and some others), the biological "evolution" is of the same kind as our technological, scientific or cultural evolutions i.e. intelligently guided.

      Hence, I am not "long way" from "evolution" -- within the models I can conceive, they are all the same kind of intelligently guided evolutions, merely in different realms, guided by different intelligent agencies.


      Yes you are a long way from "evolution" as evolutionists use the word, and as the word is normally understood. If you are going to use the word in a different way, then be aware people are not going to understand you. You'll need to be careful to define your terms, and not criticize others of 'conflating "evolution" ', when it is you who are using a different meaning.

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    7. drHunter
      You'll need to be careful to define your terms, and not criticize others of 'conflating "evolution" ', when it is you who are using a different meaning.


      Unless your object is to conflate evolution with the ToE for rhetorical purposes....

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    8. nightlight
      the designs and the designer are inside the organism's elementary particles i.e. they the intelligent networks computing and running what to us within our present coarse grained physical laws appear as 'dumb' "elementary" particles obeying 'dumb' physical laws (our present physical laws are merely statistical laws at the "fundamental" level


      Certainly interesting, so basically matrix type reality, a code running under reality. Any possible way to prove this hypothesis?

      It would seem to me that with that scenario any belief in the comprehension of nature is hopeless, a design,essentially supernatural, is under no obligation to maintain any consistency of those laws of nature which are results of the same design. The design is arbitrary.

      Can we know anything about this designer?

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    9. Nightlight


      You have some interesting ideas about the nature of reality. Certain scientists are seriously considering our reality to be a very good, no- rather perfect simulation.
      That's all fine but one thing is to say there is powerful computation happening on Planck scale but another to say how, by what means. Also, where is all the power coming from? Do you have any solutions for this?

      Delete
    10. @Velikovskys: Certainly interesting, so basically matrix type reality, a code running under reality. Any possible way to prove this hypothesis?

      Like any theory, one can only compute consequences and compare them with observations. You can't prove it beyond that.

      In case of these types of models (Planckian networks or automata), some of models can reproduce some equations of physics, such as Dirac, Schrodinger and Maxwell eqs in 1+1 dimensions, STR time dilation & length contraction (e.g. Garnet Ord's models, along with others, including t'Hooft, Toffoli, Fredkin,... search for pregeometry, automata, networks). Wolfram's NKS approach is the deepest and the most ambitious among the alternatives, seeking to reproduce both Einstein gravity and Standard model, but so far he hasn't struck the right chords.

      There are analogous (intelligent networks) approaches to modeling the origin of biological complexity, usually found under the terms "complex systems" or "complexity science" (promoted chiefly by Santa Fe Institute).

      As noted in the previous post, the beauty of the "Planckian networks" approach is that it requires very little in terms of assumptions to achieve arbitrary degree of intelligence (or computing power). The elemental networks of the model can be very dumb, with random links adapting connection strength to some simple utility function, able to replicate and connect (randomly) to new copies.

      Algorithmically, this (NKS approach) is a lot simpler than the current physical theories, which are heavy on formalism, using highly trained human brains for their CPUs to run the formalism through. With the Planckian networks, the load on human brain is comparatively small, and the real CPU's do most of the work from algorithm to predictions. Of course, the downside is that they're still incomplete, with different fragments of physics coming out of disparate models, which is probably not how the real Matrix does it. Despite their present immaturity, it's the way how it will be done some day.

      Although these models haven't covered even the simple physical system yet, let alone the biological systems, as matter of principle they already answer how did biological complexity bootstrap itself and why the universe appears fine tuned for such unfolding. Namely, by viewing the biological systems as "heavy machinery" designed and constructed by these networks, it is perfectly natural that the basic cogs of these machines, such as screws (analogue of our "elementary" particles & their properties) are made to fit precisely with the holes on the machines -- the fine tuning of physical constants is merely the good fit between different pieces of the designed machinery, which is completely unsurprising.

      Since the intelligence of the networks is cumulative, growing with their size, any degree of biological complexity is reachable by arbitrarily dumb ground level self-replicating building blocks, provided you make them large enough. Assuming the ground level at Planckian scale, these networks could be 10^80 times more powerful computers than any computing technology we could design and build in the same space & with same amount of matter out of our "elementary" particles.

      Can we know anything about this designer?

      Not the "final" one. Any theory needs some postulates which are taken as is, without getting answer on what made them. As long as the postulates assume very simple properties of their elemental objects, it is as digestible at least as well as any present physical theories.

      Delete
    11. Cornelius said:

      "Yes you are a long way from "evolution" as evolutionists use the word, and as the word is normally understood. If you are going to use the word in a different way, then be aware people are not going to understand you. You'll need to be careful to define your terms, and not criticize others of 'conflating "evolution" ', when it is you who are using a different meaning."

      You have GOT to be joking. You don't have the slightest clue as to how to use the word "evolution".

      Delete
    12. The whole truth

      You have GOT to be joking. You don't have the slightest clue as to how to use the word "evolution".


      Sure he does. He's just not honest enough to.

      They're called "Liars For Jesus" for a good reason.

      Delete
  27. Evolutionist Thorton gets shown the EMPIRICAL EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE that cavefish eye variation is due to environment-induced epigenetic expression (phenotypic plasticity) and NOT darwinian selection.

    How does Thorton respond? He highlights the authors' use of the word "evolution" in the article as evidence for evolution! LOL Thorton you have outdone yourself. Better steer clear of all those biology papers that use the word "design"!

    And Thorton, unfortunately your energy economy **hypothesis** shows zero evidence of being due to selection. If there is energy economy taking place, it is only another effect of plasticity, and thus non-random, and non-darwinian.

    Animals are designed to be able to adapt to shifting environments. There is no gain or loss of genetic function, no neo-darwinian selection, and no evolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Creationist idiot Number 2 keeps blithering the same nonsense. If one specific case of phenotypic plasticity is found, that means all morphological changes in all animal lineages over all times must be plasticity.

      You can't argue with Creationist "logic" like that folks. You can laugh at the remarkable stupidity but you just can't argue with someone so clueless.

      Go ahead dummy, tell us again how all extant species can thru "plasticity" revert back to the original "kinds: on the Ark. Tell us how chihuahua will revert to wolves in a few weeks if you change their diet.

      Between you and Creationist idiot Number 1 Elijah2012 you two clowns are putting on quite the show!

      Delete
    2. Well, Thorton, the data says morphological change is due to environment-induced plasticity rather than natural selection. Why do you hate the data so much?

      Beyond your empty assertions which have been proven wrong multiple times now, I still haven't seen you show any actual empirical evidence that mutations and natural selection has produced morphological changes in any species.

      And that is because neo-darwinism is not empirical but the religious foundation of atheist-creationism.

      Delete
    3. lifepsy March 16, 2013 at 5:45 AM

      [...]

      Animals are designed to be able to adapt to shifting environments. There is no gain or loss of genetic function, no neo-darwinian selection, and no evolution.


      Designed, are they?

      Okay, you've just cited research which supports your hypothesis of phenotypic plasticity. That's good. It's interesting and persuasive work and it's how scientific debates should be conducted. The idea is to get to a better understanding, isn't it? It's not just to score points for your 'side'. (Okay, just a touch of irony there.)

      The problem is that there is nothing about phenotypic plasticity that makes it inconsistent with evolution. As you point out, such flexibility could be useful in a changing environment. The transition between an eyed and an eyeless state can probably be done more quickly than evolving eyes from scratch. It doesn't answer the question of where eyes came from in the first place, though. And, as Thorton pointed out, it doesn't mean that all the changes we see can be attributed only to phenotypic plasticity.

      Going back to the question of design, I have no particular problem with the idea that some sort of intelligent agency - extraterrestrial intelligent designers (EID) - may have had a hand in the emergence and/or course of life on Earth. I believe that there is - or has been - a lot of intelligent life elsewhere in our galaxy alone, maybe millions of years before we appeared. But there's no evidence. There's nothing to make it more than my opinion. There's no paper you can cite, like the one on phenotypic plasticity in cave-dwellers, which provides that kind of solid evidence for EID.

      All EID proponents have to offer to support there claim are basically the two arguments: the analogical one from the appearance of design in nature and disbelief, on the grounds of probability, that evolutionary processes could account for the life we see around us, the argument from incredulity.. All the rest is attacks on the gaps and weaknesses - real or imagined - in evolutionary theory. Unless you have an investment in a religious belief in a Creator, none of that is particularly persuasive. You haven't made you case.

      Delete
    4. Ian,

      Though I do believe plasticity reflects programmed variability, and thus God's intelligent design of life, I'm not that concerned with advancing intelligent design as a theory in general. I think it intuitively follows from an understanding that naturalistic/darwinian evolution is impossible, so it is more productive to focus on disproving evo myths, rather than advancing design.

      Personally I think biology should just focus on the science, and stop trying to force-fit origin stories. In short, I believe children come to a natural realization of God's glory through studying biology. They don't need to be taught that life is designed.

      Ironically, though, it is atheists who cannot bare the thought of biology existing without a creation-story.


      I use plasticity as evidence for two things.

      1. Many popular claims of biological changes being due to neo-darwinian processes are false. This increases overall skepticism about the other claims being bandied about by evos.

      2. Major variations in organisms are limited to existing genetic information, and induced by the environment (non-random) IOW, no relation to either random mutation, or natural selection. Thus actual biological change-producing processes can not explain the origin of any new function that wasn't already available in the wildtype species.

      Delete
    5. Creationist idiot Number 2 lifepsy

      Well, Thorton, the data says morphological change is due to environment-induced plasticity rather than natural selection. Why do you hate the data so much


      Again, you can't argue with an idiot who thinks one example of plasticity means all changes everywhere are due to plasticity. All you can do is laugh, so BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

      I still haven't seen you show any actual empirical evidence that mutations and natural selection has produced morphological changes in any species.

      Positive Darwinian Selection Drives the Evolution of the Morphology-Related Gene, EPCAM, in Particularly Species-Rich Lineages of African Cichlid Fishes

      Abstract: "The study of genetic evolution within the context of adaptive radiations offers insights to genes and selection pressures that result in rapid morphological change. Cichlid fishes are very species-rich and variable in coloration, behavior, and morphology, and so provide a classical model system for studying the genetics of adaptive radiation. In this study, we researched the evolution of the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EPCAM), a candidate gene for the adaptive evolution of morphology broadly, and skin development specifically, in fishes. We compared EPCAM gene sequences from a rapidly speciating African cichlid lineage (the haplochromines), a species-poor African lineage (Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus), and a very young adaptive radiation in the Neotropics (sympatric crater lake Midas cichlids, Amphilophus sp.). Our results, based on a hierarchy of evolutionary analyses of nucleotide substitution, demonstrate that there are different selection pressures on the EPCAM gene among the cichlid lineages. Several waves of positive natural selection were identified not only on the terminal branches, but also on ancestral branches. Interestingly, significant positive or directional selection was found in the haplochromine cichlids only but not the comparatively species-poor tilapia lineage. We hypothesize that the strong signal of selection in the ancestral African cichlid lineage coincided with the transition from riverine to lacustrine habitat. The two neotropical species for which we collected new sequence data were invariant in the EPCAM locus. Our results suggest that functional changes promoted by positive Darwinian selection are widespread in the EPCAM gene during African cichlid evolution"

      Go ahead Idiot Number 2, say it: "but but but they're still fishes!!" :D :D :D

      Delete
    6. Creationist idiot Number 2 lifepsy

      Major variations in organisms are limited to existing genetic information, and induced by the environment (non-random) IOW, no relation to either random mutation, or natural selection


      For the record, that would be "genetic information" that you've never been able to define or explain why it can't be increased.

      Delete
    7. Equivocators can swap the word "Function" or "sequence" for "information" if it makes them feel better.

      The point is that plasticity is acting on functional genetic sequences that already exist in the wildtype species. The specific blueprints for potential phenotypes are already available.

      Delete
    8. lifepsy

      Equivocators can swap the word "Function" or "sequence" for "information" if it makes them feel better.


      So what's the MAGIC BARRIER that prevents new "function" or "sequence" or "information" from developing through natural evolutionary processes? Especially after I've provided empirical evidence that such events have indeed occurred? Why do you hate the data so much?

      Delete
    9. Thorton, in your reference, the researchers are only comparing morphological and genetic differences, and then inferring positive selection of EPCAM variations to be driving population fixation of the changed morphology.

      However, notice in your reference, that no EPCAM nucleotide variation is documented within populations of Midas Cichlids (Amphilophus sp)

      However, in this study, marked morphological differentiation among Midas Cichlids are observed, and attributed to plasticity. This is strongly indicative that other Cichlid changes are driven by plasticity and not selection. Variations in EPCAM of other species could simply be neutral.

      Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in the Midas cichlid fish pharyngeal jaw and its relevance in adaptive radiation
      2011

      http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/11/116/

      A neglected factor during the modern evolutionary synthesis, adaptive phenotypic plasticity, more recently attracted the attention of many evolutionary biologists and is now recognized as an important ingredient in both population persistence and diversification.

      The pharyngeal jaw apparatus of Midas Cichlids can be expressed plastically if stimulated mechanically during feeding. Since this trait is commonly differentiated - among other traits - between Midas Cichlid species, its plasticity might be an important factor in Midas Cichlid speciation. The prevalence of pharyngeal jaw differentiation across the Cichlidae further suggests that adaptive phenotypic plasticity in this trait could play an important role in cichlid speciation in general.

      Mutation in coding and regulatory sequences and selection might not be sufficient to explain the rapidity of ecological adaptation seen in some instances

      ...For example, it seems the papilliform pharyngeal jaw type is correlated with fusiform limnetic body shape whereas the molariform jaw type is correlated with deeper, benthic body shape...


      And more on Cichlid plasticity...

      Phenotypic plasticity is maintained despite geographical isolation in an African cichlid fish, Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor 2012
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1749-4877.12029/abstract

      In this study we tested the hypothesis that P. multicolor from a relatively isolated lake population (Lake Saka, Uganda) exhibit low levels of plasticity in traits related to oxygen uptake. Multiple broods of P. multicolor from Lake Saka were reared under low and high dissolved oxygen (DO), and traits related to gill size, brain mass, and body shape were quantified.

      Surprisingly, both gill size and brain mass showed high levels of developmental plasticity. We suggest that high levels of plasticity, particularly in the gill size of P. multicolor, may reflect low costs of maintaining the plastic response even in relatively isolated populations.


      Geographic variation in phenotypic plasticity in response to dissolved oxygen in an African cichlid fish 2010
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.02069.x/full

      We conducted a laboratory-rearing experiment, with broods from multiple populations raised under high-oxygen and low-oxygen conditions. We found that most of the variation in gill size was because of plasticity. However, both plastic and genetic effects on brain mass were detected, as were genetic effects on brain mass plasticity.



      Notice I am not claiming that there is no genetic variation, which there certainly is. I am simply positing that most (I would say all major) phenotype variation is plastic and induced by the environment, and not driven by the natural selection of mutations.

      Also the genetic changes may be plastic as well. We don't know for sure that they're random. There are several studies on bacteria suggesting mutations are stress-induced and targeted.




      Delete
    10. lifepsy

      Notice I am not claiming that there is no genetic variation, which there certainly is.


      Which 100% falsifies your "evolution never happens" nonsense.

      Another Creationist dope slapped back to reality.

      Delete
    11. LOL Thorton, demolished by empiricism once again, runs away with his tail tucked between his legs.

      Um, Thorton, did you forget that evolution needs natural selection to fixate genetic variation in order to work at all?

      You really don't seem to understand your own theory whatsoever.

      Delete
    12. Creationist idiot Number 2 lifepsy

      Um, Thorton, did you forget that evolution needs natural selection to fixate genetic variation in order to work at all?


      LOL! Tell us the one about how all domestic dog morphologies came into existence from wolf ancestors through phenotypic plasticity. Tell us how they'll all revert back to wolves in a few weeks if we change their diet.

      Delete
    13. lifepsy

      I am simply positing that most (I would say all major) phenotype variation is plastic and induced by the environment, and not driven by the natural selection of mutations.


      Sounds like a testable hypothesis.

      What experiments would test this hypothesis?

      What would falsify it?

      How does your hypothesis explain the matching twin nested hierarchies empirically seen in the fossil and genetic records?

      Delete
    14. Thorton: What experiments would test this hypothesis?

      Between the lizards and the fish I've posted handfuls of confirmed tests that plasticity is indeed the driver of observed morphological changes. Having empirical evidence for plastic adaptive changes, I'm already in another league than the imagination-based neo-darwinism.

      What would falsify it?
      Showing some evidence for your position might help.

      How does your hypothesis explain the matching twin nested hierarchies empirically seen in the fossil and genetic records?

      Plasticity sheds new light on morphological variation found in the fossil record. For instance, variation of hominid forms can be inferred as modern humans exhibiting plastic responses to different environmental conditions, rather than some evolving "proto-human" bedtime stories that the darwinians are fond of.

      Delete
    15. lifepsy

      Between the lizards and the fish I've posted handfuls of confirmed tests that plasticity is indeed the driver of observed morphological changes.


      Sorry, your hypothesis was that all major phenotypic variation is plastic. Demonstrating two minor cases out of the millions of available examples won't do it. FAIL.

      Showing some evidence for your position might help.

      Can offer no way to falsify his claims. FAIL.

      For instance, variation of hominid forms can be inferred as modern humans exhibiting plastic responses to different environmental conditions, rather than some evolving "proto-human" bedtime stories that the darwinians are fond of.

      Which hominid forms, and when did they exist? Why do we see no anatomically modern humans before about 200K years ago? Why no Australopithecus or Homo habilis today? FAIL.

      Looks like you're 0-for3. Time to rethink the hypothesis.

      Delete
    16. Hominid fossils with, say, varied skull morphology as compared to modern humans, may just be the result of plasticity, or different expression levels of the extant human genome, but no substantial difference in the gene sequences themselves.

      "Why no Australopithecus or Homo habilis today?"

      There possibly could be a comparable morphotype today under the right conditions. It's also possible we've lost genetic or epigenetic expression.

      Delete

    17. Thorton: What would falsify it?

      Me: Showing some evidence for your position might help.

      Thorton: Can offer no way to falsify his claims. FAIL.



      LOL, thank you for that candid admission.

      Delete
    18. lifepsy

      Hominid fossils with, say, varied skull morphology as compared to modern humans, may just be the result of plasticity, or different expression levels of the extant human genome, but no substantial difference in the gene sequences themselves


      You're suppose to be testing your hypothesis, not making more unverified claims. You need to explain why the morphological differences map to the timeline they do, and provide evidence that is what actually occurred. Another major FAIL.

      There possibly could be a comparable morphotype today under the right conditions.

      Then state the "right conditions" and how you determined them, test the conditions, and show us the positive result.

      thank you for that candid admission.

      Not an admission, an observation that you can't think of any way to falsify your ideas. That makes your hypothesis worthless.

      You also forgot to explain the observed matching twin nested hierarchies of the fossil and genetic records. Under your hypothesis why would there be nested hierarchies at all, like this one for the felidae?

      Stop hand waving and start explaining Mr. Creation Scientist.

      Delete
    19. Thorton, science doesn't pretend to have all the answers. I am simply following the empirical data which demonstrates that substantial biological changes are observed to be non-darwinian. You hate the data because it is a blasphemy to your atheist-creationism.

      Delete
    20. Lifepsy

      Thorton, science doesn't pretend to have all the answers.


      But science has a heck of a lot more answers than you, who don't seem to have any.

      I am simply following the empirical data which demonstrates that substantial biological changes are observed to be non-darwinian.

      Phenotypic plasticity is an evolved evolutionary trait. It also only explain a miniscule portion of the data. The rest is readily explained by other known evolutionary mechanisms.

      You hate the data because it is a blasphemy to your atheist-creationism.

      LOL! Why would I hate the data? I have mechanisms that explain the data like the felidae genetic nested hierarchy I posted above. You don't. That's why you have to make up things as you go. Not very scientific or very honest but hey - you're a Creationist. Making up crap is what you guys do.

      Delete
    21. lifepsy said:

      "Though I do believe plasticity reflects programmed variability, and thus God's intelligent design of life, I'm not that concerned with advancing intelligent design as a theory in general. I think it intuitively follows from an understanding that naturalistic/darwinian evolution is impossible, so it is more productive to focus on disproving evo myths, rather than advancing design.

      Personally I think biology should just focus on the science, and stop trying to force-fit origin stories. In short, I believe children come to a natural realization of God's glory through studying biology. They don't need to be taught that life is designed.

      Ironically, though, it is atheists who cannot bare the thought of biology existing without a creation-story."

      That's a a great example of a load of ignorant, contradictory, hypocritical, self-righteous, dishonest crap.

      Did you stop and think before typing any of that mess, and especially the following sentence?

      "Personally I think biology should just focus on the science, and stop trying to force-fit origin stories."

      Maybe you and the rest of the god pushers can explain how trying to force-fit YOUR chosen god/creation/origin story into biology (and everything else) is okay?





      Delete
    22. Thorton: The rest is readily explained by other known evolutionary mechanisms.

      Sure it is, Thorton. "Well known" in the imaginations of millions of evolutionists. Just like the spaceship designs in Star Trek are "well known". Let us know when you find some actual evidence that neo-darwinian mechanisms can explain the arrival of even a shred of functional anatomy and morphology.

      I have mechanisms that explain the data like the felidae genetic nested hierarchy

      You don't have a mechanism to explain anything. If you did, you would have posted evidence of it by now. I know of several studies that empirically demonstrate the failure of your mechanism to produce function, or fixate beneficial alleles.

      Arranging one of many nested hierarchies and dreaming up campfire stories about how it got there is not science.

      Maybe you and the rest of the god pushers can explain how trying to force-fit YOUR chosen god/creation/origin story into biology (and everything else) is okay?

      Evolutionists are the only ones desperate for their evo-creationism to be part of the curriculum. Your "theory" is a joke that frantically evades (and even bans) criticism because it can't stand up to five minutes of scrutiny.

      Delete
    23. lifepsy

      Sure it is, Thorton. "Well known" in the imaginations of millions of evolutionists.


      No, "well known" as can be found in hundreds of top-notch colleges and universities, fills countless libraries and natural history museums, is used productively every day by thousands of professional science labs in companies across the globe.

      I understand that as a willfully ignorant Creationist you've never investigated such things and don't know they exist.

      You don't have a mechanism to explain anything. If you did, you would have posted evidence of it by now.

      I have posted it, repeatedly. It's genetic variations filtered by selection and carried forward each generation as heritable traits. It's one of the most thoroughly tested and confirmed mechanisms in all of science. That's why it has achieved theory status.

      I know of several studies that empirically demonstrate the failure of your mechanism to produce function, or fixate beneficial alleles.

      LOL! " I know of several studies that empirically demonstrate the failure of heavier-than-air flight. Here's a rock. When I drop it it falls, doesn't fly. SEE!!"

      Arranging one of many nested hierarchies and dreaming up campfire stories about how it got there is not science.

      But I've presented my mechanism that is backed up with empirical data. You can't even think of a way to test your claim.

      Evolutionists are the only ones desperate for their evo-creationism to be part of the curriculum.

      No, we just work had to keep the anti-science Creationist lies out.

      Your "theory" is a joke that frantically evades (and even bans) criticism because it can't stand up to five minutes of scrutiny.

      BIG LOL! Now you owe everyone a new irony-meter! Aren't you the guy who was just complaining at UD about how there are no pro-science people posting? Why yes, it was you!

      "lifepsy March 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Might there be a way of getting someone who can actually make an argument for evolution to comment here?"

      Maybe it's because the UD Admins have banned virtually every pro-science poster there, over 100 at last count. The Panda's Thumb Blog keeps a running count. The current boss, jackass Fundy lawyer Bully Arrington recently banned a dozen posters in one day alone in a "purge" of pro-science thought.

      To compare, the only Creationist I've ever seen banned is our very own Chubby Joke G, who has been kicked off several boards for posting porn and making threats of physical violence. So cry us a river about how your side is so oppressed.

      Why don't you bring your "plasticity" hypothesis to ATBC or TalkRational? You won't be banned, but you will have your silly unsupported ideas get the living crap beat out of them with hard scientific facts.

      You got the sack to leave the UD echo chamber?

      Delete
    24. Thorton: No, "well known" as can be found in hundreds of top-notch colleges and universities, fills countless libraries and natural history museums

      LOL Thorton has divine revelation that evidence for neo-darwinian evolution is literally everywhere, he just can't be bothered to provide a link to any of it.

      Thorton: I have posted it, repeatedly. It's genetic variations filtered by selection and carried forward each generation as heritable traits. It's one of the most thoroughly tested and confirmed mechanisms in all of science. That's why it has achieved theory status.

      LOL, Thorton cleverly combines science and religion in a single sentence.

      Nobody has ever denied that heritable genetic variation is occurring, Thorton. Where is your EVIDENCE that new functional morphology or anatomy is the result of darwinian selection of that genetic variation?


      mmmm.. TalkRational.. I was reading one of their threads the other day:
      Molecular Phylogenetics Fairy Tale
      http://www.talkrational.org/showthread.php?t=53712

      A good example of the sophisticated discourse happening over there. Mainly a darwin critic posting evidence and data, and a horde of vulgar 12 year-old atheists repeatedly screaming profanities.

      Delete
    25. lifepsy

      LOL Thorton has divine revelation that evidence for neo-darwinian evolution is literally everywhere, he just can't be bothered to provide a link to any of them.


      I've provided numerous links to summaries like this one

      Understanding Evolution

      It's quite hard to fit 150+ years' of data and literally millions of research articles into a few lines.

      You've ignored every one.

      Where is your EVIDENCE that new functional morphology or anatomy is the result of darwinian selection of that genetic variation?

      In the dozen or so papers I've already provided and a few million more available online, like this one

      Evidence for evolution in response to natural selection in a contemporary human population

      Abstract: "It is often claimed that modern humans have stopped evolving because cultural and technological advancements have annihilated natural selection. In contrast, recent studies show that selection can be strong in contemporary populations. However, detecting a response to selection is particularly challenging; previous evidence from wild animals has been criticized for both applying anticonservative statistical tests and failing to consider random genetic drift. Here we study life-history variation in an insular preindustrial French-Canadian population and apply a recently proposed conservative approach to testing microevolutionary responses to selection. As reported for other such societies, natural selection favored an earlier age at first reproduction (AFR) among women. AFR was also highly heritable and genetically correlated to fitness, predicting a microevolutionary change toward earlier reproduction. In agreement with this prediction, AFR declined from about 26–22 y over a 140-y period. Crucially, we uncovered a substantial change in the breeding values for this trait, indicating that the change in AFR largely occurred at the genetic level. Moreover, the genetic trend was higher than expected under the effect of random genetic drift alone. Our results show that microevolution can be detectable over relatively few generations in humans and underscore the need for studies of human demography and reproductive ecology to consider the role of evolutionary processes"

      You've ignored every one.

      A good example of the sophisticated discourse happening over there.

      OK, you don't have the sack to leave your little feel-good echo chamber. That's why you'll stay a willfully ignorant idiot.

      No comments on the 100+ bannings at UD? Aren't you going to cry another river about being EXPELLED?

      BTW still waiting for your explanation for that genetic nested hierarchy of the felidae I provided. But you have none.

      Delete
    26. As reported for other such societies, natural selection favored an earlier age at first reproduction (AFR) among women. AFR was also highly heritable and genetically correlated to fitness, predicting a microevolutionary change toward earlier reproduction.

      Wow, populations tended towards earlier reproductive times.
      Evolution! ... of... nothing. Thorton fails again.

      Delete
    27. lifepsy

      Wow, populations tended towards earlier reproductive times.


      Which is an example of natural selection creating a morphological change. Exactly the thing you claim doesn't exist.

      I notice you're given up any pretense of actually addressing the evidence and have moved to just drive-by one liners.

      That seems to be the fallback position for every ignorant Creationist who gets called on his clueless blathering.

      Delete
    28. All EID proponents have to offer to support there claim are basically the two arguments: the analogical one from the appearance of design in nature and disbelief, on the grounds of probability, that evolutionary processes could account for the life we see around us, the argument from incredulity.. All the rest is attacks on the gaps and weaknesses - real or imagined - in evolutionary theory."

      sophistry at its finest. There is nothing weak or non compelling about seeing a theory with substantial holes in it and proposing new vehicles or even complete new theories in there place. Its how science is done. your rebuttal on those points is unconvincing. Attacks such as you call them are part of scientific inquiry. If a theory has too many holes then thats the problem of the theory not those who point them out.

      We have clear evidence of information processing in nature and information processing is one of the evidences of intelligence. So you missed a key argument in your sweeping generalization or at the least you attempted to hide it behind the verbage of the first noted argument.

      Delete
    29. "Nobody has ever denied that heritable genetic variation is occurring, Thorton. "

      So he has been lying (which would unfortunately be characteristic) then that you don't believe in any kind of micro -evolution? Not having read your position much I don't know but the above quote would tend to disagree with his charge.

      Delete
    30. Elijah2012

      There is nothing weak or non compelling about seeing a theory with substantial holes in it and proposing new vehicles or even complete new theories in there place. Its how science is done.


      Er no, that is not how science is done. It's not enough to just propose a new hypothesis. You have to test the new hypothesis, and collect the positive evidence for it, and demonstrate why the new hypothesis explains the data better than the old one. That's the part you IDiots haven't even left the garage on. You think by blindly attacking ToE your IDiocy will somehow win by default.

      We have clear evidence of information processing in nature and information processing is one of the evidences of intelligence

      "Rainclouds water the lawn.
      Designed sprinklers water the lawn.
      Therefore rainclouds are evidence of Design"

      Big logic FAIL for you dummy.

      Not having read your position much I don't know but the above quote would tend to disagree with his charge.

      Maybe you should read his blog claims first ("Nothing is Evolving") before shooting your mouth off. But I guess that would be way out of character.

      Delete
    31. "Er no, that is not how science is done. It's not enough to just propose a new hypothesis. You have to test the new hypothesis, and collect the positive evidence for it, and demonstrate why the new hypothesis explains the data better than the old one. "

      Problem is young teenage welp - Design is not a new theory. Evolution is. Design has been around for thousands of years and has been held by some of the greatest minds in science such as Newton. There are many people who have accepted both design and evolution with no qualms but the reason your atheistic evolution can't make much headway with the public (and why you hide out in online in blog comments in the minority) is because Darwin never presented anything that took intelligent design out of contention - EVER

      and nothing in science has done so. So yes people are free to think propose and show evidence for intelligence and point out the flaws error and short comings of those who propose otherwise. Theres no reason for us or the public to ignore your various failures

      You point to junk DNA as evidence for evolution and it FAILED
      You pointed to vestigial human organs and it FAILED
      Your atheistic branch have tried for years to solve abiogenesis for years and you FAILED.

      Shucks everything we are learning about the working of DNA is making your ideas less and less plausible. No wonder you cry about "incredulity". You KNOW the greater population is not buying what you are selling and you don't have the facts to counter their sincere and well placed doubts so you do the one thing you can do - cry foul at the doubts.

      Big logic fail but when has that not been the case with you.

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    32. Elijah2012

      Design is not a new theory.


      "Design" is not a theory at all. "Design" was the best guess of ancient people who were ignorant of the world and didn't have the tools we do now to investigate its workings.

      "Design" today is not a theory, it's not even a hypothesis. It's basically wishful thinking put forth by ignorant Fundies who are scared to death that science will undermine their weak religious faith.

      Design has been around for thousands of years and has been held by some of the greatest minds in science such as Newton.

      Newton espoused alchemy too. Being right in one area doesn't make you right in all.

      Darwin never presented anything that took intelligent design out of contention

      "Design " is not out of contention now either. There's just zero positive evidence to support it. There are also tons of positive evidence that non-designed natural processes can and have produced what we see which makes design not necessary.

      All you IDiots need to do is test your hypothesis and present your positive evidence. But you lazy clowns spend every last dime on political propaganda. That's why you'll never get anywhere.

      So yes people are free to think propose and show evidence for intelligence and point out the flaws error and short comings of those who propose otherwise.

      Which is something science has been doing itself for centuries. Critical peer review is an integral part of the scientific process. The thing is, it has to be informed criticism and not the nitwit imaginary failings you clowns keep inventing.

      You point to junk DNA as evidence for evolution and it FAILED
      You pointed to vestigial human organs and it FAILED
      Your atheistic branch have tried for years to solve abiogenesis for years and you FAILED


      LOL! Try getting your science from somewhere other that AIG and Uncommonly Dense.

      You KNOW the greater population is not buying what you are selling

      That's a comment on the pitiful state of science education in this country, not on the quality of the science. Of course all you IDiots want to do is dumb down science standards even more so any woo like yours can sneak in. Not gonna happen, not on my watch.

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  29. ...You'll need to be careful to define your terms, and not criticize others of 'conflating "evolution" ', when it is you who are using a different meaning.

    This is a major progress -- you are now explicitly recognizing that the "evolution" you are daily criticizing here is the neo-Darwinian model of evolution, the ND-E.

    That's precisely what my opening objection was about -- in your critique you are using the unqualified term "evolution" (which means any model of such process) while meaning only a specific model of it, the ND-E (which we agree to be invalid due to assuming "randomness" as the sole source of molecular innovation).

    The objections to "evolution" you bring up in this blog (via examples of complex molecular designs) are applicable only to ND-E model, but not to general model of evolution G-E, which includes "intelligently guided evolution" models, IG-E, as illustrated by the evolution of technologies (T-E), sciences (S-E), cultures (C-E),... since none of these instances has any problem with highly complex designs.

    Hence, my suggestion was that you need to properly qualify the model (or theory) to which your (complexity of design) objections apply, otherwise you end up cornering yourself into untenable claim that complex common patterns (with numerous free choices in construction) do not imply "common origin" of the patterns for biological systems only, while you do accept that such commonality implies common origin in all other instances (such as in T-E, S-E,...).

    Such position (which you did express) is untenabe purely logically since the reason for the above common origin implication is not the particular material implementation/encoding of the patterns but the simple probabilistic argument which holds no matter what the patterns are made of (words in student essay, numbers in lottery tickets, atoms, molecules,...).

    Any occurrence of identical complex patterns which are constructed with free choice at each element of the pattern always implies near certainty of common origin no matter what the patterns are made of or which realm they are (e.g. material or abstract realms). The "near certainty" means P=1-p^n -> 0; where n=number of free choices, p=probability of one option among free choices at given free choice point in the pattern. As to how is "common origin" implemented, that depends on wht type of model you are considering (e.g. it can mean common organisms, common designs or common designers in the past or any combination of these).

    Some other posts were aimed at your other major implicit assumption, which is that if biological system evolve, then they must evolve via ND-E model.

    While you are correct that the ND-E model is the most commonly invoked model, this doesn't imply that it is the only possible model of biological evolution.

    Hence one cannot use deductions based on ND-E model to claim that such deductions apply to either "biological evolution" itself or to any other model of biological evolution. This the point of the "conflation" objection in my first post.

    As explained in those other posts, there are other models in which the evolution of biological systems can operate exactly like the other examples of I-E, such as T-E, C-E, S-E... operate -- via intelligent guidance.

    It just happens that the suggested model (Planckian scale networks; e.g. Wolfram's NKS models) also addresses the problem closely related (in discussions of these topics) to the origin of life problem -- the problem of fine tuning of physical laws and physical constants, which also seems to require some super-intelligence "monkeying" with the knobs of the universe (as Hoyle put it).

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    1. nightlight:

      This is a major progress -- you are now explicitly recognizing that the "evolution" you are daily criticizing here is the neo-Darwinian model of evolution, the ND-E.

      No, I wasn't criticizing neo-Darwinism, per se, for the simple reason that evolutionists do not define evolution that way. When I use the word evolution, I use the meaning intended by evolutionists (and no, that does not include common design). If you want to include common design, I'm merely suggesting that you make that clear up front. Otherwise you are going to cause confusion.

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    2. @Cornelius: No, I wasn't criticizing neo-Darwinism, per se, for the simple reason that evolutionists do not define evolution that way.

      The problem is that unqualified term "evolution" is heavily overloaded. There are at least three plausible (commonly used) meanings of the word:

      a) Process of the biological systems
      b) neo-Darwinian model of (a) ND-E = RM+NS
      c) Other models of (a), including intelligently guided one

      +

      d) ch_evolution = "Evolution" criticized by C.H. (which one of the 3 above? That would be useful to know.)

      You criticism of "ch_evolution" (whatever that is), based on complexity of molecular designs, is actually applicable only to (b). The criticism in that case is perfectly justified since the neo-Darwinian model does not provide any quantitative prediction of the odds for their RM conjecture being able to generate novel molecular designs of sufficient quality & complexity for NS to work on. Hence the RM conjecture of (b) is unfalsifiable, thus it is unscientific and parasitic assumption.

      But your "complexity" critique is based on the weakness of the "novelty generation" mechanism/algorithm of ND-E model, the "random mutation". That has no implications on (a), the process which is being modeled, nor on any alternative models (c).

      You write as if you believe that your complexity argument applies to (a). It doesn't since the weakness (in fact the absence since it is non-falsifiable) of ND-E's novelty generation mechanism has no relation with the novelty generation mechanisms (or its existence) of (a) or of (c).

      Otherwise, one could analogously point at the pencil hole in the map of USA (analogue of the missing novelty generation mechanism in (b) that is falsifiable) and declare that this implies there must be a huge sinkhole at that same place in the real USA.

      Note, that this non-transferability of your critique of (b) to (a) and (c) is unrelated to popularity or commonality of use of any particular model of (a). I hope I am wrong on this, but you seem to claim (in some places) that because (b) is the most popular model of (a), your critique of (b)'s novelty generation mechanism somehow implies that (a) cannot have any better mechanism either, hence the (a) itself doesn't happen at all. That again comes down to deducing existence of real sinkhole from a pencil hole on the map.

      That's why your use of unqualified term "evolution" which doesn't distinguish between (a) and (b) is problematic. The two are not the same thing, since however popular (b) may be as the model of (a), the map cannot become the terrain and the pencil hole on a map cannot become a sinkhole in Florida.

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  30. @Velikovskys: Unless your object is to conflate evolution with the ToE for rhetorical purposes....

    This is not conflation, let alone for "rhetorical purposes."

    Namely, the Planckian scale networks (such as those proposed by Wolfram in his NKS approach to pregeometry & foundation of physical laws), just happen to aim at the other closely related problem commonly arising in the ID vs ND-E debates -- the problem of fine tuning of physical constants (or generally, of physical laws).

    In both problems, (a) origin & evolution of life and (b) fine tuning of physical constants, the core difficulty is how to explain (scientifically model) the coincidences among highly improbable sequences of events. The most natural model is one which includes some intelligent agency (some computer, if you prefer that terminology). But then the problem becomes how to explain this intelligent agency A without invoking another intelligent agency B which designed and built A... the infinite regression problem.

    The nice aspect of the above network models is that the most elemental networks can be very simple and dumb, hence requiring very little investment into postulates (some investment is always needed in any scientific model). Replication of the basic elements of 'low intelligence' and connecting them (randomly) to each other produces (assuming adaptable links which adjust to some simple, local utility function) larger, smarter network ad infinitum. Hence, by going down to small enough scale as the foundation level, a distributed self-programminbg computer of arbitrarily high intelligence is reachable, while using arbitrarily dumb elemental building blocks at the ground level.

    Hence, there is no need for infinite regression since you can reach any finite level of intelligence (as may be required from the observed complexity) via finite number of replications and finite number of network levels.

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    1. nightlight,
      @Velikovskys: Unless your object is to conflate evolution with the ToE for rhetorical purposes....

      This is not conflation, let alone for "rhetorical purposes."


      Apologies, you were not the " your"

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  31. @Eugene: That's all fine but one thing is to say there is powerful computation happening on Planck scale but another to say how, by what means.

    The computation is done by networks with "adaptable" links, meaning the strengths of the links change based on some simple "utility" (cost or gain) function of the node state and state of its neighbors (e.g. at one hop away). The "state" can be a discrete set of values (such as 0 and 1) which changes via a threshold function of node inputs. These kinds of models are known as "neural networks".

    Hence, one assumes some minimum level of "intelligence" (or computational capacity) built into the rules of the network operation (the link update rules, related utility function, input thresholding rule, neighborhood and its creation / destruction rules). To make network extensible, one would also assume replication rules of some 'elemental' small network or of their nodes (e.g. how it splits nodes, how the new nodes connect to others).

    The key property of such models relevant here is that their computational capacity increases as they become larger (more nodes, more links) i.e. their "intelligence" is cumulative with addition of new nodes & links. Hence, in these type of models, the observed high level intelligence (reflected in complexity of the present biological systems) is not obtained ex nihilo, from non-intelligence (which is implausible), but via a system which can accumulate smaller computational capacities into a larger one via replication and random linkup of its relatively 'dumb' elemental components.

    { For more about the algorithmic aspects of these networks see another post, which includes a list of references: "Biochemical networks and their algotiths". }

    With this 'cumulative intelligence' property, this type of model can reach arbitrarily high level of intelligence (computational capacity & complexity of the algorithms running on it), starting with arbitrarily small intelligence of the elemental building blocks (a single node with its links) i.e. with minimal cost in postulates.

    As noted earlier, even if we take the Planck length of 10^-35 m as the absolute wall beyond which models cannot go, the resulting computers would be 10^80 times more powerful than what we could design and build in the same space using our "elementary" particles as the building blocks (which is quite a few Moore cycles beyond our current leading edge).

    "Also, where is all the power coming from? Do you have any solutions for this?"

    There is no energy or power, or even our space-time at this level (Planckian networks). There are only rules of network operation as sketched above and that's all. The physical laws, including their space-time parameterization, particles, quantum fields, energies, momenta & their conservation laws,... are statistical properties of the patterns (made up of node & link states) arising on the network as it operates under its rules (which are not physics but a pregeometry).

    Note that Planckian network doesn't operate in our physical space-time, but in much more primitive setting, with only neighborhoods (1st level, 2nd level etc) and sequence of cell & link states labeled 1, 2, 3,... (each cell & link has its own sequence of such labels). Our "elementary" particles are like gliders in Conway's Game of Life. It's a Matrix from which you can't ever come out, since you are a merely a pattern unfolding on it, just as above glider can't come out.

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    1. Nightlight

      "The computation is done by networks with "adaptable" links,"

      Networks and links of what? This is a lot for Sunday morning :)

      Anyway, still sounds interesting. Following one of your links I see that Wolfram has a book online, free by the looks of it. This is not something that can be absorbed in few online posts. Someone interested should read Wolfram's book first to understand these ideas.

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    2. Nightlight: "The computation is done by networks with "adaptable" links,"

      Eugen: Networks and links of what? This is a lot for Sunday morning :)

      In this model, the networks and their elemental properties (rules of operation) are a fundamental postulates of the theory, hence they don't answer questions about themselves. Hence the answer is 'networks and links of themselves'.

      That's just like the patterns unfolding in the Conway's Life which cannot leap out of the grid and determine what does the computer running them looks like, no matter how smart they may be (NOTE: Conway's Life is a universal computer i.e. with suitable patterns it can execute any conceivable algorithm, thus compute anything that is computable).

      To get beyond the postulates of theory A, such as what made those networks have rules like that and why, you would need another theory B which can deduce postulates of A, from some (perhaps simpler) postulates of B. The only theory without any postulates is an empty theory, starting with nothing, yielding nothing, which is fine too, if you aspire to become Taoist monk.

      At the present level of scientific evolution, the frontier at the foundation is finding the right theory which can reproduce our existent physics with fewer hand picked numbers and rules.

      That's what the pregeometry models, such as Planckian networks and their variations do. Once that theory is working, then after the explorations of its consequences winds down and it ceases to be fertile, the sharp edge of the action would move to the next level, to a new theory with even fewer or with simpler postulates which reproduces phenomena of Planckian networks (or whatever pregeometry has won the previous stage).

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  32. @Velikovskys <= " But in all cases of "evolution" where the explanation is known, the transformation Old -> New, as well as the creation of the original "Old" is product of intelligent or anticipatory process."

    So" all cases" means.....
    in cases where observed intelligent design takes place,books etc. then those cases are the product of intelligence.As for biology, you are assuming your conclusion.


    You missed the qualification of "all cases" --> "where the explanation is known". Hence, the statement is not assuming the conclusions. Namely, we seek to explain any instance of evolution that is still unexplained. In some instances we succeeded in finding the answer, and the answer so far has always turned out to have intelligent agency guiding the evolution.

    Therefore, the most promising conjecture for those cases in which we didn't succeed in finding the explanation so far, such as the evolution of biological systems, is to assume that there is some intelligent agency guiding it as well. Then we can seek ways to probe the nature of that agency, the laws under which it operates, it's location and any other properties we can reach.

    The neo-Darwinian (ND) conjecture: RM (random mutations) + NS (natural selection) are the explanation, is hollow since the RM is completely gratuitous, parasitic attachment, without any quantitative consequences that can be empirically tested (such as quantification of the event space and the odds of different modifications or steps in that space).

    This would fit perfectly the Pauli's characterization of vapid theories: "it is not even wrong.", if it weren't a lot worse than just being vapid.

    Namely, proclamation that the mutations resulting in molecular novelties are "random", is not merely another way of saying "we have no clue what is guiding (computing) those changes of DNA", i.e. just being vapid.

    It is simultaneously a big red stop sign pushed into the face of any student, a future researcher in the field, telling them -- don't you ever go beyond this point or even just look behind the sign. Repeat now after me, kid, it is just "randomness" that is behind, only crazies see patterns in randomness, and we don't keep crazies around here.

    Hence, besides not even being wrong, the ND-E is a taboo to new researchers, prohibiting them from uncovering "something" unspeakable as the origin of those mutations, something that doesn't exists and that ought not to exist even if, randomness-forbid, it does exists (phooey, phooey, wash your mouth now).

    This is quite similar to the vicious battle astrophysicists had waged for decades against "heretics" supporting the Big Bang theory (which was derogatory term they used for models of the universe with definite beginning, which to them sounded like a moment of creation by that unspeakable entity which doesn't exist).

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    1. Nightlight March 17, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      [...]

      You missed the qualification of "all cases" --> "where the explanation is known". Hence, the statement is not assuming the conclusions. Namely, we seek to explain any instance of evolution that is still unexplained. In some instances we succeeded in finding the answer, and the answer so far has always turned out to have intelligent agency guiding the evolution.


      Only in your Matrical world, which is just another way of saying 'in your dreams'. Of course, you can expose my skepticism as being misplaced by citing one example of biological evolution which has been demonstrably attributed to intelligent agency. I'm not holding my breath, though.

      Therefore, the most promising conjecture for those cases in which we didn't succeed in finding the explanation so far, such as the evolution of biological systems, is to assume that there is some intelligent agency guiding it as well. Then we can seek ways to probe the nature of that agency, the laws under which it operates, it's location and any other properties we can reach.

      That's what EID has been promising almost since its inception but we aren't seeing much progress. We've had Willaim Dembski and his "Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory". True, there's also his design detection tool but we're still waiting for test results to see if can actually do what he claims it can. There's been a few, how shall we say, creative (or should that be creationist) attempts at an information theoretic approach but all that seems to have produced is a lot of acronyms.

      There's also the nature of any putative designer which you'd think would be an important subject for investigation. But the movement went all coy about saying anything about it after losing a couple of court cases. Shouldn't have made a difference to the science but there you are.

      Maybe it's time to call it a day.

      The neo-Darwinian (ND) conjecture: RM (random mutations) + NS (natural selection) are the explanation, is hollow since the RM is completely gratuitous, parasitic attachment, without any quantitative consequences that can be empirically tested (such as quantification of the event space and the odds of different modifications or steps in that space).

      I take it you're not a fan of mutations that are random with respect to any evolutionary outcome. The thing is, they happen and if you can't find any evidence of intelligent agency quietly nudging them in a particular direction - which you've just admitted you haven't - then what else can they be but random?

      Namely, proclamation that the mutations resulting in molecular novelties are "random", is not merely another way of saying "we have no clue what is guiding (computing) those changes of DNA", i.e. just being vapid.

      It is simultaneously a big red stop sign pushed into the face of any student, a future researcher in the field, telling them -- don't you ever go beyond this point or even just look behind the sign.


      Except for the kid who does to evolution what Einstein did to Newtonian mechanics, his fame and fortune are made and his name goes into the history books. He gets both prosperity and posterity. That's a pretty big incentive for any scientist who's serious about the work. If you think all scientists are just a bunch of party hacks doing whatever the politburo tells them, you don't know scientists.

      [Continued]

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    2. [Continued]

      Hence, besides not even being wrong, the ND-E is a taboo to new researchers, prohibiting them from uncovering "something" unspeakable as the origin of those mutations, something that doesn't exists and that ought not to exist even if, randomness-forbid, it does exists (phooey, phooey, wash your mouth now).

      See, this is where this sort of case jumps the shark. The moment you veer off into conspiracy theory territory is when you align yourself with the "birthers" or the 9/11 "truthers" or the crackpots who crawled out from under their stones and claimed the Newtown school shooting was staged by the government. It's best not to go there.

      This is quite similar to the vicious battle astrophysicists had waged for decades against "heretics" supporting the Big Bang theory (which was derogatory term they used for models of the universe with definite beginning, which to them sounded like a moment of creation by that unspeakable entity which doesn't exist).

      What is it with design proponents and bad analogies?

      When the Steady State and Big Bang theories were duking it out in cosmology you had two rival camps, both well-armed with arguments and evidence. It wasn't until the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation that the contest was settled in favor of the Big Bang.

      There's nothing like that in biology. There's no duel between two evenly-matched contenders for the title of top theory. It's pretty much evolution or nothing. EID doesn't get a look in because it's not just vapid but vacuous.

      Of course, that could all change. For example, if you were able to find evidence for this idea that our universe is just a giant simulation running on some incredibly powerful Planck-level platform that could be a real game changer. I must admit I find the idea intriguing because it gives us a new slant on the nature of reality. I just hope the OS is more Apple than Microsoft. I think a (mult) iVerse would be preferable to Windows 16.162×10*−36 bloatware. And much cooler.

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  33. @ Thorton: Personal incredulity ignored.

    The description has nothing to do with "personal credulity" -- it merely points out the elephant in the room, the complex gear around the little pinhole you were focusing on (random alterations + selection) and declaring that what you see through the pinhole is all that is needed to make GA produce novel designs.

    It obviously is not all that is needed, as illustrated by pointing out to you vast amounts of sophisticated, complex gear outside of your pinhole that was also needed before complex, novel designs can come out of "non-designs" (such as starting with some number of atoms & molecules randomly colliding, then having them transmute into some complex novel design).

    You haven't shown how you would do that without the rest of the complex gear pointed out to you.

    I have lots of evidence evolution over the last 3+ billion years has occurred as advertised. You have any that it didn't?

    If the "advertising" above means neo-Darwinian (random mutation/RM + natural selection/NS) theory of evolution, then explain how exactly what does property "random" as an attribute of the mutations (some changes of DNA) do for the theory?, what difference does it make?

    Namely, does the presumed attribute "random" of the mutation make any prediction that is different from an otherwise identical theory that merely drops the attribute "random" for the mutations? For example, compare:

    a) RM + NS => X1

    b) M + NS => X2

    Show some number X1 that is specifically due to having assumed "randomness" attribute of the mutations, that is different from the corresponding number X2 obtained via the same chain of computations "=>" that does not assume randomness attribute. Show at least one instance of X1 and X2 that are different.

    If you can't show what empirically verifiable difference does the attributing of "randomness" to the mutations make vs. a lesser assumption, of not attributing any distortional properties to the mutations, then the "randomness" attribute in RM+NS is gratuitous, non-functional attachment which may be dropped without consequences.

    In that case, after dropping the parasitic, non-functional attachment 'R' from (a), the claim "as advertised" but via (b), doesn't really say anything beyond the "deep" insight that the alternation of DNA may alter phenotype and that this is the "explanation" of the evolution of biological systems.

    That's like explaining to art students how to paint Mona Lisa as: well, just get a canvas, few brushes and some oil paints, then tense and relax harmoneously various muscles on your shoulder, arm and fingers, and that's how the painting of Mona Lisa works.

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    1. Nightlight

      (snip more personal incredulity)

      You haven't shown how you would do that without the rest of the complex gear pointed out to you.


      Yes I have. In the real world the 'complex gear' is the existing ecosystem. It's an empirical observation.

      If you claim the algorithms don't work then you need to show specifically why the algorithms won't work to create complex features when there's lots of empirical evidence that they do.

      (snip a ton more blithering about randomness)

      Why are you so hard over on the random part of the process? Again, it's not conjecture or 'parasitic'. It's an empirical observation that mutations have a random effect on reproductive fitness. It's an empirical observation that beneficial ones tend to get selected for and accumulate. It's an empirical observation that the feedback loop thus keeps moving the morphology towards local maxima in the changing fitness landscape.

      If you can't deal with empirically observed reality there's not much use in a discussion.

      That's like explaining to art students how to paint Mona Lisa as: well, just get a canvas, few brushes and some oil paints, then tense and relax harmoneously various muscles on your shoulder, arm and fingers, and that's how the painting of Mona Lisa works.

      Why do you keep harping on painting the Mona Lisa? Is that supposed to be your "gotcha!" rhetorical argument? Because it's not working. Why no comment on the GA that used the process of random variations filtered by selection and produced a good likeness in a very short time?

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  34. Errata: "distortional properties" above should be "additional properties" (spelling checker mangled it somehow).

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  35. @Thorton: That doesn't even begin to make sense. That genetic variations are random WRT reproductive fitness is an empirical observation.

    What exactly does "random" mean above? Namely, compare
    that assumption

    a) variations are "random" WRT reproductive fitness

    with its exact opposite:

    b) variations are "not random" WRT reproductive fitness


    Then give an empirical evidence which not only distinguishes between assertions (a) and (b), but also gives preference to (a) vs. (b). (Note that to quantify the effects of "random" in (a) in order to compare its effects with empirical evidence, you need some event space of all feasible DNA alternations, with weight distributions in that space, etc.)

    Keep in mind, though, that "not random" is not a synonym for "perfect" or "optimal" or even merely for "more fit than some other ways I can think of".

    What "not random" means is any other conceivable way of DNA change except for purely "random" way. Hence "not random" allows among others, for DNA changes to be computed by some powerful computational process, such as that possible via some underlying adaptable networks (e.g. the Planckian networks brought up earlier).

    What is then the empirical evidence which makes the conjecture (a) (with its probability space) the sole explanation consistent with that evidence while excluding all other conceivable explanations labeled as (b)? You are welcome to show that evidence and explain how does it achieve this exclusion of (b).

    As an illustration of what kind of evidence one might need to distinguish (a) and (b), consider another example of evolution, that of computer software, say of Windows OS.

    Imagine someone observes that Windows 6 has substantial proportion of code identical to Windows 5, which means Windows 6 has evolved from Windows 5. So far so good. Then he comes up with "Theory R" as "explaining" how this evolution happened.

    According to "Theory R" the way new versions of Windows evolve from old version is by having thousands of employees keep copying over and over the executable of the Windows 5 from one computer to another, using poor quality networking software which injects errors into the data stream. An employee on the target computer then runs the received file and if it crashes, dumps it. If it doesn't crash, he sends it back for another copying cycle.

    How would one distinguish "Theory R" from the regular explanations (such as programmers figuring out how to add new feature from the list, then coding it).

    Well, one would for example look at the number of different locations in the executables of Windows 5 and 6, compute the odds for given number of cycles available (copying-with-error followed by crash tests), of producing given set of differences. If the odds are 10^-999 or some such tiny number, then we can conclude that "Theory R" is not a useful explanation of the evolution of software, i.e. we shouldn't teach students to do it that way.

    We can also contrast that theory to normal way of evolving software (via programmers thinking and coding new version), by empirically establishing that comparable size program with comparable number of differences between versions can be produced in given amount of time in such manner. Hence, that would be a preferable 'theory' for the evolution of software.

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    1. Nightlight

      What exactly does "random" mean above?


      Exactly what it means every other time the word is used. A stochastic process where the specific outcomes are not predictable except in a broad statistical sense.

      (snip more of the same blithering over 'random')

      Why should I take you seriously when you can't be arsed to even learn the basic terminology?

      Imagine someone observes that Windows 6 has substantial proportion of code identical to Windows 5

      No, I won't. Using "random character changes to software" as an analogy for evolutionary processes is a brutally bad way of framing the issue. It's a simpleton's excuse, one used by those who really are clueless on the topic of biology. DNA is nowhere near as tightly constrained as specific human-written code. DNA can tolerate orders of magnitude more variation and still function without 'crashing'.

      I'm guessing you're a software engineer and can't think in terms of anything but precise specific engineering. Biological life isn't like that. Biological life is incredibly sloppy, and messy, and spaghetti-string kludged together. Which also makes it incredibly change tolerant.

      Still no comment on the GA that produced the Mona Lisa I see. I thought it was pretty neat, and a great example of the power of feedback loops (which is what evolution is) to produce unexpectedly complex results. Maybe that's why you're avoiding it.

      Delete
  36. @Thorton:
    Nightlight: You haven't shown how you would do that without the rest of the complex gear pointed out to you.

    Yes I have. In the real world the 'complex gear' is the existing ecosystem. It's an empirical observation.

    So why don't you drop your GA "algorithm" into a pond and let the magical "ecosystem" (the pond) run it and see what kind of complex novel designs it produces then.

    The "ecosystem" for your GA program must be extremely specific (beyond any conceivable odds of coming together by chance out of pond molecules), embedding vast amounts of science and technology created by the countless intelligent processes over many centuries.

    You can't just shift the intelligence outside into some magical "ecosystem", then use pinhole to screen it away and declare that there is no intelligence required since all you see through the pinhole is the GA "algorithm". Not just any "ecosystem" will do, it has to be 'just right' (to the extreme) to make the GA "come up" with "its" complex designs.

    You are wishfully crediting the designs to some little cog of the vastly complex machinery, by placing a pinhole over that cog, looking through it and exclaiming Eureka, it's this cog that came up with the design, since all that can be seen here is that as soon as the cog turns three times colckwise, the design then comes out. There, that's how it works.

    It's an empirical observation that mutations have a random effect on reproductive fitness.

    Non sequitur -- that has nothing to do with the assertion of ND-E theory that mutations explaining evolution are "random" WRT fitness. There is no empirical evidence for that. Just mingling the right words in wrong order doesn't cut it.

    The statement is also vapid on its own, since the observation is merely that mutations have effect on fitness. The "random" is at best a meaningless, gratuitous attribute, or a euphemism for 'we had no clue what the mutation would do until observing its phenotypic effects'.

    It's an empirical observation that the feedback loop thus keeps moving the morphology towards local maxima in the changing fitness landscape.

    The magical spirits have migrated again -- from "unnecessary" computer gear to magical "ecosystem" and now to magical "feedback loop".

    If you can't deal with empirically observed reality there's not much use in a discussion.

    When you show pertinent empirical facts, then we can determine whether I can deal with them. Just pointing at a fly on Leonardo's shoulder doesn't make the fly a pertinent fact explaining painting of Mona Lisa.

    Why do you keep harping on painting the Mona Lisa? Is that supposed to be your "gotcha!" rhetorical argument?

    To illustrate the degree of irrelevance of the brought up "explanations".

    Because it's not working. Why no comment on the GA that used the process of random variations filtered by selection and produced a good likeness in a very short time?

    If you narrow enough the search space you can "teach" a fly to paint Mona Lisa by having it's turns and twists serve as the seed of the GA "mutations".

    There is no free lunch in search. Hence you can make any small number of random tries "find" the most complex far fetched solutions in a conveniently constrained space of available possibilities. The magic is in the complex gear doing the constraining, not in the tiny random searcher your pinhole is focused on.

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    1. Nightlife

      The "ecosystem" for your GA program must be extremely specific (beyond any conceivable odds of coming together by chance out of pond molecules), embedding vast amounts of science and technology created by the countless intelligent processes over many centuries.


      LOL! Yep, you're a clueless SW engineer who can't separate the process being modeled from the computer. I suppose if I write a program modeling the acceleration of gravity on a dropped object that means gravity must to too incredibly complex and must be designed too.

      Non sequitur -- that has nothing to do with the assertion of ND-E theory that mutations explaining evolution are "random" WRT fitness. There is no empirical evidence for that.

      YAWN. Yes, there is. Lots of it.

      A COMPREHENSIVE MODEL OF MUTATIONS AFFECTING FITNESS AND INFERENCES FOR ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA

      Abstract: "As the ultimate source of genetic variation, spontaneous mutation is essential to evolutionary change. Theoretical studies over several decades have revealed the dependence of evolutionary consequences of mutation on specific mutational properties, including genomic mutation rates, U, and the effects of newly arising mutations on individual fitness, s. The recent resurgence of empirical effort to infer these properties for diverse organisms has not achieved consensus. Estimates, which have been obtained by methods that assume mutations are unidirectional in their effects on fitness, are imprecise. Both because a general approach must allow for occurrence of fitness-enhancing mutations, even if these are rare, and because recent evidence demands it, we present a new method for inferring mutational parameters

      A comprehensive view of the evolutionary consequences of mutation will depend on quantitatively accounting for fitness-enhancing, as well as fitness-reducing, mutations"

      Notice that 'random' doesn't mean 'uniform probability distribution' since if you're already near a fitness peak there are more ways to drop lower than climb higher. But the results are still stochastic.

      The magical spirits have migrated again -- from "unnecessary" computer gear to magical "ecosystem" and now to magical "feedback loop".

      Evolution does function as a feedback system. Any basic biology book can tell you that. But you've never seen one of those, have you?

      To illustrate the degree of irrelevance of the brought up "explanations".

      OK, so we're back to your ignorance-based personal incredulity again.

      There is no free lunch in search.

      Another classic mistake the IDiots always make. Evolution doesn't have to search the entire search space looking for teeny probabilities. It only searches the space immediately next to the existing viable phenotype, and only has to find areas of small improvements that are always presented in a constantly changing environment.

      Delete
  37. Nightlight: Namely, compare
    that assumption

    a) variations are "random" WRT reproductive fitness

    with its exact opposite:

    b) variations are "not random" WRT reproductive fitness

    Then give an empirical evidence which not only distinguishes between assertions (a) and (b), but also gives preference to (a) vs. (b). (Note that to quantify the effects of "random" in (a) in order to compare its effects with empirical evidence, you need some event space of all feasible DNA alternations, with weight distributions in that space, etc.)
    ---
    @Thorton: (snip more of the same blithering over 'random')


    Well, that's one way of saying that you can't show what distinguishing effect does the attribute "random" of the mutations bring in compared to mutations being "not random".

    Hence, now that we have agreed that there is no known differentiating effect or empirical fact, then attribute "random" is a gratuitous, non-functional add on to the ND-E theory. Which is what I said all along.

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    1. Nightlife

      Hence, now that we have agreed that there is no known differentiating effect or empirical fact, then attribute "random" is a gratuitous, non-functional add on to the ND-E theory. Which is what I said all along.


      The only thing we agree on is that you're a clueless SW weenie who has zero understanding of biological evolutionary processes. Dealing with your ignorance based misconceptions isn't very productive for anyone.

      Delete
  38. Thorton: Using "random character changes to software" as an analogy for evolutionary processes is a brutally bad way of framing the issue. It's a simpleton's excuse, one used by those who really are clueless on the topic of biology. DNA is nowhere near as tightly constrained as specific human-written code. DNA can tolerate orders of magnitude more variation and still function without 'crashing'.

    Whoa, you missed the hole by a mile with that knee jerk response which has absolutely nothing to do with the point of the software example.

    The point was to illustrate how one might go about quantifying the difference in observable effects between "random" vs "not random" mutations. The example was deliberately chosen to be instance of evolution for which the mechanism is known and where it is not random, so that everything is transparent and less burdened by emotional baggage characteristic for these ND vs ID debates.

    The example has nothing to do with fragility of "mutated" software vs resilience of mutated DNA.

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    1. Oh FFS, are you so lazy you can't even do a simple web search? Even Wiki has a good write up on the topic

      Distribution of fitness effects

      Jeeze.....

      Delete
  39. @Thorton: YAWN. Yes, there is. Lots of it.

    The paper is paywalled. But nothing claimed in the abstract is inconsistent with what one would expect in the analogous experiments + simulations, if one were to translate it to a domain of intelligently guided evolution, such as evolution of software.

    Imagine going into a software company and randomly deleting or damaging source code (deleting functions, renaming variables,...) for the company's products. Since most damages will trigger compiler errors or testing errors in the QC phase, the programmers will know where the damages were so they will fix them, by rewrite functions as needed, renaming misnamed variables,... etc. Some of the fixes will not work, while others may improve the operation (the forced rewrites would trigger code refactoring and improvements, writing the same function second time may produce faster or cleaner code).

    Now you can measure and tally the statistical properties of the resulting changes in program performance, get ratios of beneficial vs deleterious,... effects on the program. You can also run separate simulations which uses some empirical formulas for estimating the same statistical properties of the effects of such damages, then compare those numbers with those measured and find they are close enough.

    You haven't provided or pointed out any effect (from the paper above or elsewhere) in biological evolution which doesn't have a very similar counterpart in the intelligently guided instances of evolution, such as evolution of technologies, sciences, arts, ...

    You are welcome to point out a specific finding (in this or any other paper) that distinguishes the two types of mechanism (random vs intelligent) by showing something in biological evolution that cannot be replicated by the closely analogous phenomenon in the instances of intelligently guided evolution.

    If everything in the observation can be replicated by evolution instances which are known to be intelligently guided, then the observation is irrelevant regarding the RM+NS vs XM+NS question (where X is "non random"). You haven't provided any results showing that only RM, but not XM, are consistent with the observations.

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    1. Nightlight

      The paper is paywalled.


      So you were too lazy to even look at the free Wiki overview. Why am I not surprised?

      Imagine going into a software company and randomly deleting or damaging source code (deleting functions, renaming variables,...) for the company's products.

      No. As I already told you, using human produced software as an analogy for evolutionary processes, even in your "disprove randomness" fool's errand, is a brutally bad way of framing the issue. It's a simpleton's excuse, one used by those who really are clueless on the topic of biology.

      Since that seems to be the only arrow in your quiver it's obvious you have nothing of any informed value to add to the discussion. Try an IDiot echo-chamber like Uncommonly Dense. They just love to hear computer-software woo woo analogies, you'll be their best new friend. Gordon E. Mullings of Manjack Heights Montserrat or BatSpit77 will probably even ask you out for dinner.

      Delete
  40. @Thorton: LOL! Yep, you're a clueless SW engineer who can't separate the process being modeled from the computer.

    Nothing says "I lost on substance" louder than the ad hominem attacks. Thanks.

    In any case, that's as far off from the target as your other guesses. I am theoretical physicist (quantum field theory) who currently works as chief scientist for a 'Data Center' networking research company. While I do program as a part of research, of course, my current research topic is the optimization of throughput & latency of large scale switching networks (e.g. of topologies, of routing & congestion algorithms, etc).

    Here is a very interesting discovery in this field I made recently. The finding is a far fetched complete equivalence between two seemingly unrelated problems from entirely different fields:

    (a) optimization of network throughput (via changes of connections)

    (b) optimization of codeword distance for linear error correcting codes

    Stripped of the particular semantics and after suitable transform the two problems (a) and (b) are shown (via methods of spectral graph theory) to be one and the same.

    The finding is of some practical value since the translation recipe provided in the paper allows simple mechanical translation of tens of thousands of optimal EC codes into optimal throughput networks.

    ReplyDelete