Sunday, March 20, 2016

Debate Redux: The Myth of Natural Selection

The Unpacking Problem

Philosophers call it incommensurability—when the language and underlying concepts are so different, theorists cannot even have meaningful communication. Anyone who doubts the reality of incommensurability need look no farther than this weekend’s “What’s Behind It All? God, Science, and the Universe” debate, where Stephen Meyer explained the random nature of evolution and the limits of natural selection, and evolutionists Lawrence Krauss and Denis Lamoureux denied any such thing, insisting that evolution is not random because, after all, natural selection provides the direction and creates new designs. The funny thing about this particular instance of incommensurability is that the evolutionist’s argument, which is a standard line, is, itself, incommensurate with evolutionary theory.

Ask any evolutionist and they will be sure to tell you that they have rejected Aristotle and his teleological science. Like justice, nature and her laws are blind to need and influence. Actions, and reactions, occur according to mathematical relationships and mechanistic causes. There are no properties or goals—out with the final causes and in with the proximate causes.

Yet, oddly enough, the literature is loaded with teleological language, as we have so often pointed out in these pages. Dinosaurs “were experimenting” with flight, the genome was “designed by evolution to sense and respond to the signals that impinge on it,” and evolution created a “rich genomic ‘starter-kit’ to support the increase in the cellular and genomic complexity that is characteristic of eukaryotes.”

This neo Aristotelianism only gets worse when it comes to evolution’s Holy Grail, natural selection. Consider the University of California at Berkeley’s “Understanding Evolution” website which informs the student that “natural selection can produce amazing adaptations.” This hilariously appears on a page entitled “Misconceptions about natural selection.”

In fact natural selection, even at its best, does not “produce” anything. Natural selection does not and cannot influence the construction of any adaptations, amazing or not. If a mutation occurs which improves differential reproduction, then it propagates into future generations. Natural selection is simply the name given to that process. It selects for survival of that which already exists. Natural selection has no role in the mutation event. It does not induce mutations, helpful or otherwise, to occur. According to evolutionary theory every single mutation, leading to every single species, is a random event with respect to need.

Natural selection cannot change that. It cannot induce a design to appear.

And yet, an Aristotelian mythology has been erected, imagining that natural selection creates things. This brings us back to this weekend’s debate, in which evolutionists Lawrence Krauss and Denis Lamoureux propagated and insisted upon this myth, and Stephen Meyer was presented with an enormous unpacking job. How does one disabuse two interlocutors whose perceived success depends on them not understanding the basic facts—in 30 seconds or less?

Religion drives science and it matters.

135 comments:

  1. Of course, one should never explain to a Darwinist that RM+NS is a complete joke when faced with the combinatorial explosion of the search space.

    Darwinism is a cretinous cult.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Crystal clear article. I've one more thing to add.
    If evolution is a search, then natural selection continually cuts down the 'search team' in size.
    Perfectly viable organisms that may be on their way to find evolutionary innovations are eliminated by natural selection from the population.
    I've always wondered why this is considered to be a good thing for evolution as a search.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolus L

      I've always wondered why this is considered to be a good thing for evolution as a search


      Evolution isn't a search. It has no pre-planned goal it's striving for, no planning, no look ahead capability. Evolution works one generation at a time with whatever variations currently exist in whatever current environment they find themselves in.

      Delete
    2. Evolution isn't a search. It has no pre-planned goal it's striving for, no planning, no look ahead capability.

      This is why evolution is crap. But it is a lie that evolution is not a search. This is what RM+NS is. It is a type of search method called a stochastic search. And like all stochastic search methods, it is useless when the search space is huge. The combinatorial explosion kills it.

      Go back to school and stop spewing your idiotic nonsense on this blog. You make all scientists look bad.

      Delete
    3. Ghostrider: Evolution isn't a search.

      If so, it follows that it doesn't find anything.
      I have no problem with that.
      However, in case you change your mind and you want evolution to find new function, don't emphasize the aspect of "natural selection", because all that does is reducing the 'search team'.

      Delete
    4. Carolus L.

      If so, it follows that it doesn't find anything.


      That's pretty poor logic CL. You don't have to be actively searching for something to find something.

      If you walk down the street and find a wallet someone dropped does that mean you were actively out searching for wallets?

      Delete
  4. Cornelius Hunter: Yet, oddly enough, the literature is loaded with teleological language ...

    The terrain guides a river on its course.

    Cornelius Hunter: In fact natural selection, even at its best, does not “produce” anything.

    The term natural selection can refer to either selection alone, or to the process of evolution by natural selection. In this case, as is clear from context, it refers to the process.

    Carolus L: If evolution is a search, then natural selection continually cuts down the 'search team' in size.

    That's right. It channels the structure into the most usable forms. So if a longer nose makes for rutting around for edible tubers easier, then those organisms with longer noses will tend to leave more offspring. Eventually, you end up with a prehensile proboscis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Z:

      The term natural selection can refer to either selection alone, or to the process of evolution by natural selection. In this case, as is clear from context, it refers to the process.

      No, the discussion was specifically in regards to natural selection. They were discussing selection, as distinct from mutation.

      Delete
    2. Zachriel the dirt worshipper: So if a longer nose makes for rutting around for edible tubers easier, then those organisms with longer noses will tend to leave more offspring. Eventually, you end up with a prehensile proboscis.

      Nonsense. There is no way random mutations + natural selection can search through the space of possibilities in time. The simplest bacterium has at least 100,000 base pairs. This means that search space for just a simple organism is 2^100,000. You would need a superfast computer the size of quintillions of universes to search through this space.

      The combinatorial explosion kills Darwinism dead.

      All Darwinists superstitious dirt worshippers and morons. You people need to go back to highschool and take some remedial math. Then you should recant your stupid religion.

      Delete
    3. Nonsense. There is no way random mutations + natural selection can search through the space of possibilities in time. The simplest bacterium has at least 100,000 base pairs. This means that search space for just a simple organism is 2^100,000. You would need a superfast computer the size of quintillions of universes to search through this space.

      I have to say Mapoo you're even dumber than the average creationist. Evolution doesn't have to search every possible genomic variation in the search space in order to hit upon small improvements. In each generation random variations only have to explore in the immediate of the vicinity of the already viable genome.

      Your IDiot claim is like saying every time you misplace your keys in your house you have to search the entire 510 million square km of the Earth's surface so you'll never find them.

      You and ID-Creationism are made for each other.

      Delete
    4. The cretinous dirt worshipper strikes again. Do you know what the word 'random' in random mutations means, you Darwinist moron?

      Delete
    5. Louis Savain

      Do you know what the word 'random' in random mutations means, you Darwinist moron?


      Yes Mapoo. I do know. It would be hilarious to hear your twisted Creationist explanation though.

      Delete
    6. No you don't. You just proved above that you are an idiot. You are describing non-random search while pretending that it is random. Like all Darwinists, you are stupid as sh!t.

      Delete
    7. By the way, did I already mention that the dirt worshippers are a bunch of lying a-holes?

      Delete
    8. LOL! Thanks for today's laugh! The "random" in random mutations refers to the unpredictable effects on reproductive fitness a genomic change will make. Most changes will be neutral, some will be deleterious, but depending on the environment some will be beneficial. It has nothing to do with your moronic claims about search.

      Delete
    9. Zachriel: That's right. It channels the structure into the most usable forms.

      "Most usable form"? There is no way of knowing that. Natural selection doesn't plan ahead.
      Like I said, perfectly viable organisms, which perhaps are on the verge of an amazing find, are continually being eliminated on a whim.
      That doesn't seem helpful to me.

      Delete
    10. ghostrider, lying through his stupid teeth as usual: LOL! Thanks for today's laugh! The "random" in random mutations refers to the unpredictable effects on reproductive fitness a genomic change will make.

      Random means random, jackass. Look it up. It's in the dictionary.

      Most changes will be neutral, some will be deleterious, but depending on the environment some will be beneficial.

      More lies from a lying dirt worshipper. The truth is that almost all mutations are deleterious. The reason that we don't see their devastating effects is that all living organisms are designed with a gene repair mechanism that repairs most of the defects that occur. Almost all mutations (both neutral and beneficial) that are observed in nature are the ones that the repair mechanism are designed to allow. The deleterious mutations that are not caught by the system occur because the damage is often too severe for the repair mechanism to correct. Get an education, moron.

      It has nothing to do with your moronic claims about search.

      I made no claims about random mutations. You are lying again, as always. You are the deceiving moron who is trying to pass non-random mutations as random. I have long suspected that almost all Darwinists are psychotic as well as being stupid. You are a case in point.

      Delete
  5. Sorry but the OP displays an amazing lack of understanding of basic scientific terminology. In science the term "natural selection" has two meanings. It can mean just the part of evolution whereby non identical organisms experience the filtering effect of differential reproductive success. More commonly however, "natural selection" is used to mean the entire evolutionary process which incorporates genetic variations, filtering through differential reproductive success, and the passing of the surviving traits to future generations through heredity.

    The Berkeley Evolution page cited in the OP explains this very clearly. In the middle of the page in big bold letters is the definition:

    variation + differential reproduction + heredity = natural selection

    It's unclear how the OP author missed it.

    Which meaning is being used can be determined by the context of the statement. For example, in the Krauss and Lamoureux curb stomping of Meyer's weak tired creationist arguments they used the second definition referring to the whole process of evolution.

    Hopefully there will be no more confusion over the term. Generally speaking it's a good idea to understand something before you criticize it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. variation + differential reproduction + heredity = natural selection

      Another hilarious entry on the webpage entitle "[Spreading] Misconceptions about natural selection.” Selection does not include variation.

      Delete
    2. Selection does not include variation.

      The term "natural selection" most certainly can include variation depending on the context in which it is used. Natural Selection can refer to the whole process of evolution as the Berkeley website explains, not just the selection part.

      This is a bog standard scientific definition which may be found in virtually any biology textbook. It's not controversial.

      Delete
    3. The term "natural selection" most certainly can include variation depending on the context in which it is used.

      Even though you're lying through your teeth, it does not really matter that natural selection also means variation (which it doesn't). The combinatorial explosion kills any stochastic search mechanism (e.g., RM+NS) dead. Go back to school and learn some elementary math, Mr. dirt worshipper.

      You people ain't smart enough to fool the public. You are idiots. I'd bet money that ghostrider here, like most of the staunchest dirt worshippers, got a PhD in dirt worshipping. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

      Delete
  6. Science is full of poor use of words. We all do this. We anthropomorphize when we shouldn't. We use one term when it is not exactly appropriate. Or the term we use may be appropriate at the time we used it but its meaning has changed over time. This only gets worse when scientists write for the general public.

    A good example of this is in the subtitle of Darwin's book "Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" He did not mean "favoured" as favoured by man or another intelligence. He did not mean "races" as the races of man.

    But, rather than criticize the actual content and fundamental ideas presented in the theory, far too many creationists attack evolution by attacking the misuse of some words.

    Mapou's exponential combinatorial problem is only a problem in his own mind. Common thought is that heavy lifting for the bulk of evolution occurred before multicellular life developed. This leaves a time span of roughly three billion years for bacterial evolution to evolve much of what we see in modern life with respect to genes and proteins.

    A current estimate of the number of bacteria on earth is 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. The population levels during earth's history is obviously not known, but we can be fairly certain that they were still staggering numbers. Generation times for bacteria range from minutes to hours, depending on temperature, food availability, population levels, etc.

    Mutations occur every generation, rates changing due to environmental effects. And the mutations occur, randomly to fitness, in every cell of every generation

    Factor in the ability for bacteria to transfer chunks of DNA from one cell to another (their equivalent of sex), even accross genera, and your exponential combinatorial problem is discarded because of the exponential nature of bacterial reporoduction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, rather than criticize the actual content and fundamental ideas presented in the theory, far too many creationists attack evolution by attacking the misuse of some words.

      The misuse of words serves to obfuscate the underlying problems.

      Factor in the ability for bacteria to transfer chunks of DNA from one cell to another

      How did they get that ability?

      Delete
    2. The misuse of words serves to obfuscate the underlying problems.

      Scientists who work in the fields of evolutionary biology have no problems understanding the words or how they are used. It's only creationists who seem to get confused.

      Delete
    3. Scientists who work in the fields of evolutionary biology

      They are not scientists. They are dirt worshippers and con artists. They need to be cut down to size.

      Delete
  7. "How did they get that ability?"

    I don't know. But I am sure that microbiologists and evolutionary biologists are doing research on this all the time. It sure beats taking the lazy-man's 'god-did-it' approach to everything we can't explain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know. But I am sure that microbiologists and evolutionary biologists are doing research on this all the time. It sure beats taking the lazy-man's 'god-did-it' approach to everything we can't explain.

      Bingo. Thank you for clarifying, as evolutionists have done n+1 times, that the scientific evidence doesn't matter.

      Delete
  8. "Bingo. Thank you for clarifying, as evolutionists have done n+1 times, that the scientific evidence doesn't matter."

    And how did you get that from what I wrote. When scientists don't understand something, they do research to try to better understand it.

    Pretending that the lack of understanding of the development of certain evolutionary processes is somehow evidence for ID is simply a false inference (conclusion). I don't think that you really want to open that door. If it were a valid inference then the fact that ID has absolutely no understanding or knowledge of how the designer realizes her designs is evidence for evolution. Which it is not.

    The difference between evolution and ID is that one of them makes efforts to understand how it works. And the other is ID.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go back to school and learn some elementary math, Billy boy.

      Delete
    2. Mapou, your comments are always amusing. Never informative, but constantly amusing.

      Delete
    3. Nah. My comments hit you where it hurts the most and you can't stand it. You are an idiot dirt worshipper in need of remedial math.

      Delete
    4. As I said, amusing, but never informative.

      Delete
    5. You need remedial math and you know it. You dirt worshippers do not understand the meaning of simple words like 'random' and 'combinatorial explosion'. You are stupid as feces.

      Delete
    6. "Pretending that the lack of understanding of the development of certain evolutionary processes is somehow evidence for ID is simply a false inference (conclusion). I don't think that you really want to open that door. If it were a valid inference then the fact that ID has absolutely no understanding or knowledge of how the designer realizes her designs is evidence for evolution. Which it is not."

      When you ask for how the designer works you are creating a straw man. ID is merely an inference to evidence of design found in nature. It is a competing inference that evolution was caused by natural causes that are currently discovered or un discovered. Since there are two competing hypothesis then evidence against one strengthens the other. This is the inference standard used by Charles Darwin. I prefer the scientific method but evolutionary biology is not ready for prime time yet.

      Delete
    7. "When you ask for how the designer works you are creating a straw man."

      No I'm not. The opposition to evolution by creationists centres around how evolution works (or doesn't). Not on evolution itself.

      " ID is merely an inference to evidence of design found in nature. It is a competing inference..."

      No it isn't. A competing inference would have to present proposed mechanisms for how the design is realized, and test them. As evolutionary biologists do on a daily basis. Without this it is as valid as a competing inference as me saying that life on earth coalesced out of the flatulence of a trans-dimensional pig.

      "This is the inference standard used by Charles Darwin."

      In your dreams. He drew from numerous fields of science to propose his theory. And then scientists tested it. And discovered DNA. And meiosis. And recombination. And mutations. And genetic drift. And HGT. Etc. All of which supported his basic theory. What research has ID done?

      Delete
    8. Here is a paper citing Darwin's use of inference. Although there is lots of evidence that evidence occurred there is no testable hypothesis of a known mechanism that creates a major transition. Also the sequential space of the genome makes a mechanism using a stochastic process a highly unlikely cause.
      Van Fraassen’s Critique of Inference to the Best Explanation
      Samir Okasha*

      Delete
    9. Bill Cole

      Also the sequential space of the genome makes a mechanism using a stochastic process a highly unlikely cause.


      That's a common Creationist misconception. Evolution isn't a purely stochastic process. It has a stochastic component but the feedback provided by selection always works to drive populations towards local fitness maxima. Evolution therefore doesn't need to explore the entire sequence space to find workable solutions to the problems of survival.

      Delete
    10. It has a stochastic component but the feedback provided by selection always works to drive populations towards local fitness maxima. Evolution therefore doesn't need to explore the entire sequence space to find workable solutions to the problems of survival.

      That is a monumental misunderstanding of molecular biology. The reason why such absurdity exists and propagates is, of course, because this isn't about science.

      Delete
    11. LOL! Pretty funny! Always asserting that everything millions of scientists know about evolution is wrong but you can never say why. :)

      Delete
    12. What "millions of scientists know about" is that the sequence space for protein fitness is not smooth and sloped, as you imagine. I've written about the details dozens of times here.

      Delete
    13. Since I never said it was smooth and sloped there's no need to dignify your silly strawman antics with an answer.

      Delete
    14. Quote: "feedback provided by selection always works to drive populations towards local fitness maxima. Evolution therefore doesn't need to explore the entire sequence space"

      You can't "drive populations towards local fitness maxima" if the landscape isn't smooth and sloped toward the maximum. In the real world, which science deals with, it is rugged and flat, sloping only in the neighborhood of the design.

      Delete
    15. ghostrider
      That's a common Creationist misconception. Evolution isn't a purely stochastic process. It has a stochastic component but the feedback provided by selection always works to drive populations towards local fitness maxima. Evolution therefore doesn't need to explore the entire sequence space to find workable solutions to the problems of survival."

      What you are saying is true but the search is so large that exploring part of it is problematic. The papers we discussed before like Hunt's paper show the size. Also when you get proteins that have to interact with other proteins like Nuclear proteins then most the search space does have to be explored. All this is just the beginning of the problem of forming a protein that is formed by a stochastic process that selects for advantage or drifts in a statistical direction. Since this search space is so large and the odds of beneficial mutation are so low it will drift into non function.

      Delete
    16. WS
      "No it isn't. A competing inference would have to present proposed mechanisms for how the design is realized, and test them. As evolutionary biologists do on a daily basis. Without this it is as valid as a competing inference as me saying that life on earth coalesced out of the flatulence of a trans-dimensional pig."

      If we could test the current evolutionary mechanism for changing species I would agree with you but we can't. Since we can't then current evolutionary theory is an inference collecting evidence and so is the design inference. One thing I agree with is the design supporters should bring forward positive evidence. I think there is evidence on both sides but neither has a smoking gun in the form of a testable mechanism that can confirm the hypothesis of how large scale evolutionary change occurred.

      Delete
    17. Bill Cole

      What you are saying is true but the search is so large that exploring part of it is problematic.


      Exploring the space immediately around the already functioning genome isn't problematic. Living creatures do it every time they reproduce.

      Since this search space is so large and the odds of beneficial mutation are so low it will drift into non function.

      Yet we see instances of it happening in real life all the time. Evolution doesn't have to search the whole ginormous search space. When empirically observed reality contradicts your beliefs it's time to change your beliefs.

      Delete
    18. Bill Cole

      If we could test the current evolutionary mechanism for changing species I would agree with you but we can't.


      Your idea of what "test" means in this context is seriously screwed up. We don't have to recreate an event to test and determine the processes that cause it.

      How would you test the idea the Colorado River and erosion from wind and rain carved the Grand Canyon? How would you test the idea colliding tectonic plates raised the Himalayas?

      In those cases we can measure and observe the results of the process in real time. We can measure the finished article and see all the telltale signs which show conclusively the process was responsible. It's no different with evolution and its long term results. What other tests do you want?

      Delete
    19. GR
      How would you test the idea the Colorado River and erosion from wind and rain carved the Grand Canyon? How would you test the idea colliding tectonic plates raised the Himalayas?

      You are right here. Historical events are hard to test unless you can isolate and validate the mechanism. In the case of General Relativity Einstein was able to isolate model and test the mechanism or cause. Fortunately for Einstein the effects of gravity are repeatable. Again evolution uses the inference standard and so does design because both do not have a testable mechanism to validate what they are claiming. So the game is collecting and comparing evidence for your hypothesis and against the competing one.

      Delete
    20. Bill Cole

      Again evolution uses the inference standard and so does design because both do not have a testable mechanism to validate what they are claiming.


      (facepalm) Evolution does have testable mechanisms. We do know how genetic variations occur and how they become fixed in a population. They have been empirically observed and documented.

      All your repeating of this false claim there is no identified mechanism for evolution won't make it true.

      Delete
    21. Bill Cole: "What you are saying is true but the search is so large that exploring part of it is problematic."

      You are under the false assumption that the adaptation we see is the only possible outcome, and the only one that would work. But that is not how evolution works.

      You would obtain an equally high improbability by calculating the probability that a search would result in the person who you are. The probability of the one sperm out of millions from your father fertilizing the one ovum out of thousands from your mother is extremely low. The probability of your parents meeting and getting busy is also low. Now, factor in the probability of the exact sperm and egg from your two sets of grandparents getting together and you have an unbelievably low probability. Now extend that back a few more generations and you will obtain an improbability level that dwarfs that presented by Myer.

      But we all know that the probability that you exist is one (Mapou, we are not so sure). The false probability estimate comes from assuming that the you we see is the only possible outcome. And it isn't.

      Delete
    22. GS
      (facepalm) Evolution does have testable mechanisms. We do know how genetic variations occur and how they become fixed in a population. They have been empirically observed and documented.

      Testable mechanisms are testing the grand claim that there is a identified mechanism that can confirm the hypothesis of life diversity.

      The ID guys have done testing also but like the evolutionists they have not validated a mechanism.

      Testing includes accelerated evolutionary tests on bacteria and knockout experiments on the bacterial flagellum.

      Delete
    23. WS
      "You would obtain an equally high improbability by calculating the probability that a search would result in the person who you are."

      Not quite, it is calculating that if the hypothesized mechanism that caused me to arrive is a likely cause. This one passes the scientific method :-)

      Delete
    24. Bill Cole

      Testable mechanisms are testing the grand claim that there is a identified mechanism that can confirm the hypothesis of life diversity.


      The mechanisms of evolution have been tested and confirmed. If you want to remain ignorant about the actual research that's your problem.

      The ID guys have done testing also but like the evolutionists they have not validated a mechanism.

      What ID testing has been done? What is the proposed mechanism?

      Remember, ID needs its own positive evidence, not just bawling that evolution is wrong.

      Delete
    25. ghostrider
      "The mechanisms of evolution have been tested and confirmed. If you want to remain ignorant about the actual research that's your problem."

      Can you give me the test that best back up this statement?

      Delete
    26. Still with the stupid creationist demand for THE piece of evidence. Last time I did research for your lazy behind you blew off the papers and refused to read them.

      Go buy a good college level genetics book if you want to learn about the mechanisms.

      Delete
    27. "Can you give me the test that best back up this statement?"

      I'm afraid that you will have to narrow the scope of your question. There have been so many tests that support every mechanism of evolution that we know about that we can't narrow it to a single one.

      But maybe we should ask you the same question. Can you give me the test that best confirms the mechanisms behind ID? Oh. I forgot. We aren't allowed to ask about the mechanisms use by the designer.

      Delete
    28. WS
      But maybe we should ask you the same question. Can you give me the test that best confirms the mechanisms behind ID? Oh. I forgot. We aren't allowed to ask about the mechanisms use by the designer.

      I agree with you here. Along with evolution I do not believe ID has a testable mechanism for producing.
      "I'm afraid that you will have to narrow the scope of your question. There have been so many tests that support every mechanism of evolution that we know about that we can't narrow it to a single one."

      This is the answer that is required when your evidence is supported with the inference standard. If the theory was based on a tested hypothesis this would be easy to answer.

      Delete
    29. Bill: "I agree with you here. Along with evolution I do not believe ID has a testable mechanism for producing."

      Natural selection is certainly testable. It postulates that "random" mutations and other mechanisms for shaking up the deck (e.g., transposition, gene duplication, etc.) will add variation to a population and, depending on the environment, one or more of these new variants will have differential reproductive success and the new variant will increase in frequency in the population. Lenski's experiment demonstrates this quite well. As do many others.

      What tests have been done to confirm the mechanisms of ID?

      Delete
    30. Hi William
      I think natural selection is very unlikely to be the cause of large scale evolutionary change and I am sure you are aware it is being challenged. While Lenski showed adaptive changes we started out with e coli that could not process citrate in a aerobic environment and through a mutation got an existing enzyme to process it. We started with e coli and ended with e coli.

      "What tests have been done to confirm the mechanisms of ID?"

      Again, ID does not have a testable mechanism. It is an inference based on design characteristics observed in nature. I have not yet concluded whether ID has value in a scientific discussion. I think it does but only discussed in the right context.

      Delete
    31. Bill: "I think natural selection is very unlikely to be the cause of large scale evolutionary change and I am sure you are aware it is being challenged."

      I certainly respect your opinion, but when you say that it is being challenged, by who? Certainly not by any respected biologists. Even Larry Moran, who thinks that NS plays a much smaller role than most other respected biologists do, still acknowledges the importance of NS.

      " We started with e coli and ended with e coli."

      What did you expect to happen? I assure you, no scientist expected to see a new species.

      "I have not yet concluded whether ID has value in a scientific discussion. I think it does but only discussed in the right context."

      If it has any validity, it should survive scrutiny under any scientific scrutiny. Or are you suggesting that it only has validity when discussed under a religious context? If that was your intent, I agree.

      Delete
    32. William
      Several scientist I have talked to are skeptical of current evolutionary mechanisms. James Shapiro Eugene Koonen are heading a list of hundreds. I think it is the minority opinion but growing as the sequential space problem of the genome is getting better understood. I think that what we observe in the cell potentially adds to the design argument. i.e. very highly tuned processes like cell division DNA repaired Alternative splicing but at the end of the day it is an inference discussion. I think it can stand up scientifically if it is limited to inference as Larry Moran acknowledged after the debate in Toronto when he said he thought Steven Meyer was doing real science see post below.

      Laurence A. MoranMonday, March 21, 2016 10:09:00 AM
      Bill says,

      "But the point is moot. ID is not a scientific endeavor. Never has been. It's a political movement with a social agenda to inject religion into American public schools. Simple as that."

      The debate took place in Canada where we allow the teaching of religion in public schools. None of us give a damn about the American Constitution. We're interesting in knowing whether the science is valid or not.

      If the Intelligent Design proponents have legitimate complaints about evolution and if they have good scientific arguments in favor of design then those ideas should be taught in Canadian schools in spite of what some judge in Pennsylvania said ten years ago.

      Lawrence Krauss tried to show that ID was not science but he did a horrible job. Meyer countered by presenting a lot of science forcing Krauss to deal with the very science that he said ID doesn't do!

      Bill, you are being dangerously naive if you think you can simply dismiss the ID movement because it's not science (according to your definition). The general public doesn't care. All they see is serious attacks on evolution that look a lot like science.

      Yes, ID is a movement and so are the desires to do something about climate change or GMO's. There are lots of "movements" with social and political agenda. Many of them deal with science in one way of another. It's the role of scientists to evaluate the scientific arguments in spite of the agenda. We have to show that the goal of the movement is either compatible or incompatible with the scientific facts.

      Delete
    33. Bill Cole

      Lawrence Krauss tried to show that ID was not science but he did a horrible job. Meyer countered by presenting a lot of science forcing Krauss to deal with the very science that he said ID doesn't do!


      Meyer didn't present a single thing supporting ID. All he did was the usual Creationist two-step of cherry picking a few scientific results and claiming if evolution can't explain them then ID wins by default.

      There's a reason Meyer is viewed as such a disingenuous tool by the scientific community.

      Delete
  9. Bill Cole

    Since there are two competing hypothesis then evidence against one strengthens the other.


    Major logic fail there Bill. You said it yourself, there are not two competing ideas, there are three.

    1. Known natural evolutionary processes did it.
    2. Currently unknown but stll natural processes other than evolution did it.
    3. An external Intelligence did it

    Evidence against 1) is not automatically evidence for 3). That why IDer attempts to support ID claims by attacking evolutionary theory are so worthless.

    Science requires that each hypothesis supply its own positive supporting evidence, not just throw rocks at the other guy.

    I prefer the scientific method but evolutionary biology is not ready for prime time yet.

    You're only about 160 years or so behind in your scientific knowledge and understanding. Still that's better than most Creationists.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evolutionary theory is indeed a worthless piece of pseudoscientific crap pretending to be science. There is ZERO evidence for it. But the evidence against it is overwhelming. You dirt worshippers are all liars and psychos. Your days are numbered.

      Delete
    2. LOL! Keep going Mapoo. Your spittle flying rants are priceless. I bet ID-Creationists everywhere are glad you're on their side. :D

      Delete
    3. I defecate on your pathetic science, Mr. Dirt Worshipper. LOL

      Delete
    4. I wonder if we can get Joe/Virgil:Frankie involved in this discussion. Mapou simply isn't providing enough meaningless insults.

      Delete
    5. LOL, I defecate on dirt worshippers AND their pseudoscience.

      Delete
    6. William Spearshake

      I wonder if we can get Joe/Virgil:Frankie involved in this discussion. Mapou simply isn't providing enough meaningless insults.


      Maybe Mapoo can get a job in Joe's toaster repair shop. Mapoo could lick his fingers and touch the 240 VAC lines to see if they're on. :)

      Delete
    7. And to think, Mapou, Joe/Frankie/Virgil, Gordon Mullings (dba KairosFocus) and Mung are the ID brain trust.

      Delete
    8. Hopefully, after you finish kissing each other's asteroid, you two morons can learn some elementary math. LOL

      Delete
    9. Louis,

      "LOL, I defecate on dirt worshippers AND their pseudoscience."

      Louis, please grow up or please shut up. Your lack of maturity and apparent lack of knowledge of civil discourse is quite annoying. Why not try providing a civil and respectful response, Ghostrider, William, et al deserve nothing less. If you cannot provide such a response I would suggest you simply find something else to do. Friendly banter is one thing but your immature and vulgar insults go way beyond the mark.

      Delete
    10. Thank you Nic. Your science knowledge may be wanting but you do have a decent side.

      Delete
    11. Your science knowledge may be wanting

      So says the Epicurean who believes random mutations created biology, and rails against anyone who doesn't agree with him. #Mirror.

      Delete
    12. Speaking of scientific knowledge, have you figured out yet that real scientists often use the term "natural selection" to mean the whole evolutionary process of variation, differential selection, and heredity?

      Delete
    13. Thanks from me as well Nic. I am not offended by Mapou's potty-mouth, and I am pretty sure that Ghostrider isn't either. He just makes himself look stupid.

      But I do feel sorry for people like you and Cornelius who try to present their arguments in a civil fashion, only to have people like Mapou, Joe Gallien and Barry Arrington behaving like children in a school yard. The sad thing is that I think they honestly believe that their behaviour is advancing their argument.

      Delete
    14. 1. Known natural evolutionary processes did it.
      2. Currently unknown but stll natural processes other than evolution did it.


      This is like a shell game. Presumably, evolution is as strong a theory as (the current theory of) gravity, and it has been case closed for many decades because natural selection has been proven to be a sufficient cause for all order that can't be attributed to random chance. And now, if it turns out that this was wrong, well that is no reason to reexamine all that has been taken for granted as implicit evidence of the power of selection and the unassailability of evolutionary thought. It's as though the police had proven their case, and the case is still proved whether or not the convicted felon is proved innocent. Somebody committed the crime, even if the only person capable is now found to have been in another country at the time. (2) will always be preferable to (3) because even if the omnipotent plausibility of selection no longer "proves" methodological naturalism as it did in the late 19th century, having tasted its beauty these many decades we can be nonetheless convinced of its truth. If it turns out that all along that the Synthesis has been as devoid of a specific mechanism as ID, there is really nothing to see here, because one of those "currently unknown" processes will rise to the challenge eventually. As professional "skeptics" like Michael Shermer are fond of saying, "Hope springs eternal."

      Delete
    15. Tertium Quid

      1. Known natural evolutionary processes did it.
      2. Currently unknown but stll natural processes other than evolution did it.

      This is like a shell game


      No shell game. You're free to provide your positive evidence for a mechanism other than evolution to explain the physical evidence of the history and changes in life on the Earth over the last 3.5 billion years.

      Do you have any such positive evidence? The ID-Creationist pushers sure don't.

      Delete
    16. Its called excess reproduction, ghost.

      It is excess reproction that drives variation which natural selection filters.

      Variation and selection are dead without excess reproduction. Therefore excess reproduciton cannot be defined by variation and selection.

      Excess reproduction is built into the system. Thats how it works.

      That is a positive claim and logical evidence.

      This whole schtick about how variation and selection are 'somehow' causes is one of the many evolutionary memes not based on any thing factual.

      Delete
    17. Steve

      Excess reproduction is built into the system. Thats how it works.

      That is a positive claim and logical evidence.


      Actually that's another good argument against ID. If animals are designed why are they build with so much individual variation instead of all coming out identical like human designed mass produced items do? Why are so many more built than are needed under the Design scenario?

      Thanks Steve for providing another good point against IDiocy.

      Delete
    18. Well ghost, the excess reproduction creates the variation, so there will always be fit offspring. the ones that are not fit become part of the food chain. that is why we have a stable biosphere. there is inter-species cooperation. the competition evolutionists speak of is only intra-species. so all this darwinian talk of survival of the fittest is meaningless. of course the fit survive. there is never any question about it. that the way the system works. excess reproduction provides the variation and the nutrition at the same time.

      Delete
  10. Mapou: "LOL, I defecate on dirt worshippers AND their pseudoscience."

    Yup. That is the insiteful, intuitive, reasoned argument that will win the day for ID. Good luck with that. And, peace be upon you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No peace for you, dirt worshipper.

      Delete
    2. I wouldn't expect it from you. As I wouldn't expect it from other devout theists, like ISIS.

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

      Delete
    4. I don't belong to any religious organization. You, OTOH, are a Darwinist cult member, i.e., a dirt worshipper. This is why you are fighting against Christian fundamentalists, your true peers. LOL

      Delete
    5. Again, always amusing, never informative. Maybe that should be engraved on your headstone.

      Delete
    6. I have no desire to inform dirt worshippers. I only desire to unmask them as the stupid dirt worshippers that they are. And I'm doing a great job at it, seeing that you never have anything intelligent to say. You and ghostrider are stupid as sh!it. LOL

      Delete
    7. I wonder why Cornelius isn't supporting you. Could it be that you embarrass him? Like the immature nephew who is always making stupid and inane statements?

      Again, amusing but not informative.

      Delete
    8. So now you're gonna cry to Cornelius like a little wuss? Even if Cornelius bans me, you're still a gutless dirt worshipper.

      Delete
    9. By the way, Cornelius will not take my side because he is one of those Christians who believes in turning the other cheek. I am not one of those Christians. I'm always ready to kick my enemy's asteroid at the slightest opportunity or provocation. LOL

      I especially despise stupid, gutless and dishonest dirt worshippers like you and your cretinous buddy, ghostrider.

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

      Delete
    10. Louis:

      By the way, Cornelius will not take my side because he is one of those Christians who believes in turning the other cheek.

      I do preach forgiveness, but I have a little problem with advocating religious theories (i.e., evolution) as though it were science.

      Delete
    11. Cornelius:

      I do preach forgiveness, but I have a little problem with advocating religious theories (i.e., evolution) as though it were science.

      I only forgive those who acknowledge Yahweh and his sacrifice for our sins. Those who go out their way to deny Yahweh are the enemy and must be resisted.

      I agree that evolution is a religious theory. But it's much worse than that. It is a particularly insidious and stupid theory that sits on a Himalayan-size mountain of BS and propaganda. It's a demonic religion, IMO.

      Delete
    12. Louis,

      "I only forgive those who acknowledge Yahweh and his sacrifice for our sins."

      But that is not what Christ commands you to do. He expects you to forgive all who you see as trespassing against you. As such, your rude and derogatory comments towards ghostrider, William, et al are an act of disobedience towards God. Maybe you should give that fact some thought.

      Also, your rude and vulgar comments are insulting to myself and others who try to present a logical and cogent response to those who disagree with us in a respectful way, as we are commanded; "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

      Delete
    13. Nic,

      Don't you dare preach to me, jackass. I read the Bible too. God is the same always. King David walked up to the a-hole Goliath and cut off his freaking head in the name of God. And yet David was a man after God's own heart. Reconcile that with your New Testament quotes. It's obvious you are either missing something or you are idolizing a fallible book as opposed to worshipping God. Have you considered that both the New and the Old Testaments have been compiled and possibly corrupted by evil men? Prove all things, the book says. "All things" includes the book itself. Otherwise, you are an idolater.

      Also, if you don't like my rude and vulgar comments, don't read them. Nobody is twisting your arm.

      Delete
    14. Always entertaining. Never informative.

      Delete
    15. Louis,

      "Don't you dare preach to me, jackass."

      Nobody is preaching, Louis, just pointing out your infantile and decidedly non-christian behaviour.

      As for your view of the Bible, I find it quite peculiar to say the least. As it claims to be the word of God I would expect a Christian to treat it as such. I would not expect it to be regarded as a fallible work put together by evil men. But I guess that is at least consistent with how you present yourself here.

      Delete
    16. Nic,

      You are still preaching to me. Nobody can preach to me unless you can make the blind see or walk on water. I need neither you, nor some Church, nor some pastor/priest to read and interpret the Bible for me. I can read on my own, thank you very much. And there is no such thing as Christian behavior. That's total BS emanating from self-righteousness. Only one thing is required to be a Christian. Faith in Yahweh and in his sacrifice for our sins. Nothing else makes you a Christian. Nothing else gives you eternal life.

      Again, stop preaching to me. Otherwise, I will lump you with the dirt worshippers.

      Delete
    17. Nic, it is sad that an atheist such as myself is a better Christian that someone like Mapou who professes to be a Christian.

      By the way, I hope you and family are well.

      Delete
    18. Darwinists and Christian fundamentalists are two sides of the same stupid, self-righteous coin. LOL

      Delete
    19. Sorry Mapou. I hate to destroy any allusions that you may have, but if anyone here is a fundamentalist, with all of its negative connotations, it is you. It is just sad that you don't realize it.

      Feel free to call me a dirt worshipper again.

      Delete
    20. You are a stupid dirt worshipper. Stupid as dirt. You hate the fact that Christian fundamentalists have a bigger religion than your own little chicken feather voodoo religion: shake some dirt and out comes life. LOL

      This is why you people are so obsessed with one another. Poor babies. LOL

      Delete
    21. Mapou: "You are a stupid dirt worshipper."

      There, there, little Mapou. Did Calling that big mean man a dirt worshipper make you feel better. Now blow your nose, dry your eyes and get back in the game.

      Delete
    22. I've seen dirt-scratching chickens with better sense than dirt worshippers. LOL

      Atheists, Darwinists and materialists are some of the most stupid creatures on earth. Fiendishly stupid. Just thinking about it is painful.

      Delete
    23. Louis,

      "Nobody can preach to me unless you can make the blind see or walk on water."

      Well, I for one see it as painfully obvious that you are not listening to that individual which did accomplish those things.

      "Faith in Yahweh and in his sacrifice for our sins."

      I think it is time you realized your attitude towards those who disagree with you is itself sinful. Christ died for ghostrider and William as much as he died for you and me. Therefore it is incumbent upon you to treat them and anyone else who disagrees with you in a respectful manner just as the Bible commands. Being respectful does not mean you have to agree.

      I would really like to know what you think you will accomplish with your hateful attitude?

      "Again, stop preaching to me. Otherwise, I will lump you with the dirt worshippers."

      Again, I am not preaching to you, I am only pointing out the obvious.

      As for lumping me in with the 'dirt worshippers' as you like to call them, that is your prerogative. It will affect me not one iota.

      Delete
    24. William,

      "By the way, I hope you and family are well."

      Yes, we are, and thank you for asking. We took our two granddaughters skiing in Jasper last week and had a great time. Hope your family is doing well also.

      Delete
    25. Doing very well thank you. We have a married daughter in Edmonton so we might get to Jasper this summer.

      Delete
    26. William,

      "We have a married daughter in Edmonton so we might get to Jasper this summer."

      Make sure you do. And for great burgers check out Jasper Pizza and Lou Lou's.

      Delete
    27. Mapou: "Atheists, Darwinists and materialists are some of the most stupid creatures on earth. Fiendishly stupid."

      You must be right. It's not like any atheists have ever contributed significantly to science. Well, except for Darwin (a late comer to atheism), Niels Bohr, Francis Crick, Richard Feynman and Edmond Halley. And then there is Stephen Hawkin, Peter Higgs, Linus Pauling, Roger Penrose, Erwin Schrodinger, James Shockley, Craig Venter and James Watson. And then there is that Einstein guy.

      But I am sure that you are more knowledgable than any or all of them so I bow to your superior wisdom. After all, I am just a lowly dirt worshipper that you defecate on.

      Delete
    28. Again, I am not preaching to you

      Yes you are. No wonder you get along so well with the dirt worshippers. They, too, love to preach their stupid dirt worshipping religion just as much as you love to preach your fundamentalist nonsense.

      Birds of a feather. LOL

      Delete
    29. Nic: "Make sure you do. And for great burgers check out Jasper Pizza and Lou Lou's."

      I certainly will. But I have toyed with Mapou enough for one day. I don't want to see him cry. it is time for bed. I am sure that we will disagree over things in the future.

      Delete
    30. Kiss, kiss. Just look how they love each other. I guess Jesus and Darwin are smiling in heaven, eh?

      LOL

      Delete
    31. Mapou, I honestly feel sorry for you. You are missing out on so much in life, and so many potential friends, by despising everyone who disagrees with you.

      Delete
    32. There you go, lying again, as usual. I don't despise everyone who disagrees with me. I don't care if anybody disagrees with me. I just despise dirt worshipping jackasses. They are notoriously foul smelling and fiendishly stupid animals.

      ahahaha...AHAHAHAHA...

      Delete
    33. Mapou: "There you go, lying again, as usual."

      I am embarrassed to admit it, but you are absolutely correct. When I said that I felt sorry for you because you are a friendless, hate filled person, I lied. The truth is, I have no sympathy for you. You are solely responsible for your sad lonely existence.

      Delete
    34. You're wrong. I'm very happy. I enjoy insulting dirt worshippers. In a way it's not unlike the way dirt worshippers continually insult those who criticise their stupid pseudoscience by calling them IDiots, creationists, etc.

      I'm just giving you morons a taste of your own medicine. And you got it coming. LOL

      Delete
    35. Mapou: "You're wrong. I'm very happy. I enjoy insulting dirt worshippers."

      But does your mother still enjoy you living in her basement?

      Delete
    36. My parents are dead but does your momma know how stupid you really are? Does she know that you worship ordinary dirt as the mother of life?

      LOL

      Delete
    37. Mapping, yup. My mother knew exactly how smart I am. And, yes, she knows that I don't worship a mythical vindictive God. But maybe you should take your argument to In Effigy over at UD.

      Delete
    38. William,

      "And, yes, she knows that I don't worship a mythical vindictive God."

      Neither do I. I worship a very real, loving and forgiving God. Please don't judge God by the actions and words of those who claim to follow him but continually display conduct which is totally to the contrary.

      Delete
    39. NIc, as an atheist, I don't think that there is a god. I think that each person who believes in God uses the bible (or church teachings) to develop their own image of who and what God is. As such, there are millions of different Gods. Based on the way you treat people on this blog, your personal God is a loving and forgiving God. That I don't doubt. But based on the way Mapou behaves, his God is rude and vindictive. I much prefer your God.

      Delete
  11. Cornelius, seriously, I am glad to see that you are posting OPs again. I may disagree with most of what you say, but you have always been civil about our disagreements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody really cares about your opinion, Mr. Dirt worshipper. LOL

      Delete
    2. All dirt worshippers are fascists at heart. You wish you could shut me up, don't you?

      Delete
    3. "You wish you could shut me up, don't you?"

      Absolutely not. The comments that you and Joe/Virgil/Frankie post are the best arguments that can be made for the evolution argument. If we could only get Barry and Gordon Mullings (dba KairasFocus) to raise their little turtle heads from the UD echo chamber, we would have a lot of fun.

      Delete
    4. You're a gutless coward hiding behind a pseudonym. In addition, you are stupid. Again, I have no desire to educate you, only to vilify you and expose your stupidity and your lies, you and that other gutless moron, ghostrider, your Darwinist buddy who also uses a pseudonym. Debating a stupid dirt worshipper is like arguing with a watermelon. LOL

      Delete
    5. "You're a gutless coward hiding behind a pseudonym."

      Kevin Middlebrook from Toronto, Ontario Canada.

      " In addition, you are stupid."

      Unsubstantiated assertion.

      " I have no desire to educate you, only to vilify you and expose your stupidity and your lies, ..."

      I think that you are confusing "no desire" with "incapable of". Don't feel bad. It is a common mistake made by the mentally incompetent.

      "Debating a stupid dirt worshipper is like arguing with a watermelon."

      Since you have never demonstrated that you are capable of "debating", I guess we will never know.

      Delete
    6. Since you have never demonstrated that you are capable of "debating", I guess we will never know.

      I have done so right here in this thread and elsewhere. You failed to notice because my discourse went right over your pointy little stupid head in Toronto.

      Delete
    7. And as I said, I have no desire to debate you. Every once in a while, when I have the time, I will show up here and put you and your stupid dirt worshipping buddies to shame and defecate on your stupid "science". It's my way unwinding. LOL

      Delete
    8. Epic meltdown Mapoo. I give it 9 / 10

      Delete
    9. Mapou: "I have done so right here in this thread and elsewhere. You failed to notice because my discourse went right over your pointy little stupid head in Toronto."

      You must be right. Please point me to where you were debating. Was it when you said "Darwinism is a cretinous cult."?

      Or when you said "This is why evolution is crap."

      Or maybe it was this: "Go back to school and stop spewing your idiotic nonsense on this blog."

      Or this: "All Darwinists superstitious dirt worshippers and morons."

      Or: "The cretinous dirt worshipper strikes again."

      Or: "You just proved above that you are an idiot."

      Or: "Like all Darwinists, you are stupid as sh!t."

      Or: "By the way, did I already mention that the dirt worshippers are a bunch of lying a-holes?"

      Or: "ghostrider, lying through his stupid teeth as usual:"

      Please stop me when we get to the point where you start @debating".

      Is it here? "Random means random, jackass. Look it up."

      Or here? "More lies from a lying dirt worshipper."

      Or maybe the debate starts here? "I have long suspected that almost all Darwinists are psychotic as well as being stupid."

      Nope. But I have faith in you. Maybe the debate starts here? " Go back to school and learn some elementary math, Mr. dirt worshipper."

      Disappointment. But maybe it will start here: "You are idiots. I'd bet money that ghostrider here, like most of the staunchest dirt worshippers, got a PhD in dirt worshipping."

      I sense an obsession with dirt. Were you a farmer in a past life?

      But I am not willing to give up on you yet. I am sure that you have an intelligent debate somewhere in you. I am sure that it will start here:

      "They are not scientists. They are dirt worshippers and con artists. They need to be cut down to size."

      Damn. You are making it hard for a person to have faith in you. Let's try again. You can do it. I believe.

      " You are an idiot dirt worshipper in need of remedial math."

      Shit. Come on Mapou. We are cheering for you. We know you can do it.

      "You are stupid as feces."

      Wrong direction Mapou. We were trying for intelligent discourse. Are you willing to give it another try?

      " You dirt worshippers are all liars and psychos. Your days are numbered."

      I am beginning to lose faith in you Mapou. One more time. Let's see that intelligent argument that you claim to have made.

      "I defecate on your pathetic science, Mr. Dirt Worshipper."

      Again with the dirt and the potty humour. Should we try it one last time? Now, dig deep. An intelligent statement. A reasoned argument. A sentence that your mother would be proud of.

      "I especially despise stupid, gutless and dishonest dirt worshippers like you and your cretinous buddy, ghostrider."

      OK. I gave it my best try. But it is obvious that Mapou is mentally incapable of intelligent discussion. Yet, I refuse to blame him. Nobody should discourage those with mental health issues from seeking much needed help. Mapou, if you need any moral support, do not hesitate to contact me. I think that I can speak for everyone in wishing you a rapid return to health.




      Delete
    10. OK. I gave it my best try.

      LOL. Thanks for the compilation. I must admit that I have a knack for rubbing your noses in your own excrement.

      Let me add that you only homed in on the good parts where I defecated on your stupid brain-dead opinions. You missed the debating parts where I showed how stupid you are. LOL

      But they are there to be found if you really were looking but you weren't. You're an Darwinist idiot, after all.

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

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

    ReplyDelete