Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Research: Retina Wiring Architecture Crucial in Image Processing

Our different senses rely on a complex process known as cellular signal transduction which converts an external stimulus, such as sound or light, to a nerve signal. But the nerve signal doesn’t go straight to the brain. In the case of mammalian vision the massive data stream emanating from the millions of photoreceptor cells undergoes substantial signal processing before the information is sent to the brain. New research is now providing more information about the cellular architecture involved in this intermediate processing stage.

Seeing the light

At the molecular level vision begins with a complex signal transduction cascade. As photons enter your eye they interact with light-sensitive chromophore molecules in the photoreceptor cells. The interaction causes the chromophore to change configuration and this, in turn, influences the large, trans-membrane rhodopsin protein to which the chromophore is attached.

The chromophore photoisomerization is the beginning of a remarkable cascade that causes action potentials to be triggered in the optic nerve. In response to the chromophore photoisomerization, the rhodopsin causes the activation of hundreds of transducin molecules. These, in turn, cause the activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (by removing its inhibitory subunit), an enzyme that degrades the cyclic nucleotide, cGMP.

A single photon can result in the activation of hundreds of transducins, leading to the degradation of hundreds of thousands of cGMP molecules. cGMP molecules serve to open non selective ion channels in the membrane, so reduction in cGMP concentration serves to close these channels. This means that millions of sodium ions per second are shut out of the cell, causing a voltage change across the membrane. This hyperpolarization of the cell membrane causes a reduction in the release of neurotransmitter, the chemical that interacts with the nearby nerve cell, in the synaptic region of the cell. This reduction in neurotransmitter release ultimately causes an action potential to arise in the nerve cell. The next step is to process these nerve signals.

Image processing

A variety of signal processing, involving different types of cells, takes place downstream of the photoreceptor cells, before the vision information is sent to the brain. For instance, the signals from different photoreceptor cells are processed together to derive image information. In addition to this spatial processing, temporal processing derives motion information.

The amacrine and ganglion cells are important components in this processing stream. But this processing stream is not merely a massively parallel operation, where the signal from each photoreceptor cell is individually and simultaneously processed.

For instance, by the time they reach the ganglion cells, signals from the different photoreceptor cells are mingled. The result is that a given ganglion cell receives information for a circular image area. And different types of ganglion cells are sensitive to different spatial and temporal image patterns within that area.

What the new research discovered is that the signals feeding the ganglion cells sensitive to temporal image patterns (that is, motion) have intricate connection patterns. Specifically, if the ganglion cell detects motion from left to right, then it is connected to dendrites which extend from the amacrine cell in the opposite direction. As the researchers concluded, “Our findings indicate that a structural (wiring) asymmetry contributes to the computation of direction selectivity.”

Meanwhile evolution is left only with its foolish dogma. Evolutionists have long since committed themselves to the insistence that evolution is fact. Like the marching band that took a wrong turn down a dead end alley, they have no graceful exit. This is not going to end pretty.

110 comments:

  1. Great post!

    We know that the process leading to vision is far more complex than previously imagined.
    Disease like face-blindness, motion blindness etc. make us appreciate the sheer complexity of visual perception. The act of seeing and understanding is not the same, as is evident from diseases like visual agnosia.

    The first animal who developed the eye had somehow developed the machinery to make sense of the matrix of images he "saw" simultaneously.He knew what danger was, he knew what food was, and he knew what motion was! Otherwise, how did the eye have any evolutionary advantage?

    Step by step and you are there.

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  2. Wait a minute, are you telling me that the way that the eye works is not just complex, but really complex? I hadn't realized that. I mean complex I can understand, but really complex? I don't know about that.

    You've convinced me.

    It's time to go back and review every bit of data we've ever collected about life and look at it without making the ridiculously metaphysical assumption that there might be some sort of explanation for it all. Instead it's better to stick with the un-ridiculously non-metaphysical assumption that some guy did it.

    Ya know, science is a lot easier when you do it this way. The old way is full of icky unknowns, and every time you learn something new it just reveals other things that you don't know. This way has just the question "Who is the one guy and how can I make him like me?" which is pretty simple to answer. Though for some reason the answer does seem to depend a lot on where you were born and how the majority of the people around you answer it. But then, I guess that's just how the guy wanted it.

    Oh wow, see? That's actually the answer to all the other questions! I love science now!!!

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  3. Venture Free,

    Most would agree that, if some guy *did* do it, then that *is* the explanation. Incidentally, if it is the explanation, you'd never know about it because you automatically consider it impossible before looking at the evidence (not even granting it the status of being an explanation if true!). Talk about convenient, right? If you already know some guy didn't do it, i.e. if you already know intelligent design is false before looking at the evidence, I'm not sure what you're doing on this blog.

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  4. pensiveblake said...

    Venture Free,

    Most would agree that, if some guy *did* do it, then that *is* the explanation. Incidentally, if it is the explanation, you'd never know about it because you automatically consider it impossible before looking at the evidence (not even granting it the status of being an explanation if true!). Talk about convenient, right? If you already know some guy didn't do it, i.e. if you already know intelligent design is false before looking at the evidence, I'm not sure what you're doing on this blog.


    Flat out wrong. Myself and most other scientists I know would gladly accept that 'some guy' did it if there were sufficient positive evidence. Right mow there is not. In fact, there isn't a single credible piece of positive evidence for 'some guy did it'.

    The only arguments we get are 1) personal incredulity: "this is SOOOOO complex I just can't imagine that it happened naturally" like above, or the false dichotomy God of the Gaps: "The ToE can't explain every last detail yet, so some guy wins by default".

    Neither of these approaches will ever sway the scientific community. They are only believed by people with strong religious leanings who emotionally need their 'some guy' to be THE guy.

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  5. @ Venture free

    I don't think your comment adds anything to this post other than some distracting sarcasm. You don't have the answer do you! Evolution might have occurred but it needs to answer the difficult questions first, which it hasn't yet.

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  6. Mahima said...

    @ Venture free

    I don't think your comment adds anything to this post other than some distracting sarcasm. You don't have the answer do you! Evolution might have occurred but it needs to answer the difficult questions first, which it hasn't yet.


    Of course science doesn't have all the answers. And science knows it doesn't have all the answers, otherwise it would stop researching. But we do have many of the answers, and those answers have been confirmed to such a high degree of certainty as to be considered fact.

    Not science's problem if the reality of the empirical data doesn't agree with your religious teachings.

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  7. Mahima: Evolution might have occurred but it needs to answer the difficult questions first, which it hasn't yet.

    You mean the question of how all life we observe fits into you particular theodicy? If so, I'd agree. That is a very difficult question.

    However, that's not the question evolutionary theory addresses.

    Why have over 98% of all species gone extinct? That's just what some guy must have wanted.

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  8. @ Thorton

    So you're saying that since you are convinced of the absence of supernatural, evolution wins by default.
    Prove it!
    Prove it in specific terms, like David Berlinski says, like a physical theory. And please stop using this argument of 'personal incredulity', it's irrelevant if you aren't able to provide a satisfactory answer to the problems the evolution faces in terms of creation of COMPLEX organs or SIMPLE ones alike. The devil is in the details.

    About the metaphysical, I'm not sure if you'll get it but I'll try to reason with you that you can't be sure of it's absence.
    Your perception of this world is limited by your own thoughts about it. So if you see the world as random and disorderly, it will look disorderly. If I see it as a system, it looks like a system. There is no objective observation.

    What I mean to say is that you may not be able to find any metaphysical phenomenon, simply because you are convinced that there is none.

    But our experience of the reality is greatly limited by our senses. Matter is 99% space and still we see the world as solid.(Evolution may have done the tinkering. But how??) If in a dream we are falling from a building, it feels very real, as if it really was happening. Most of us see the time as a continuum but there really is not past or future except in our imagination.

    All is imagination. So write off the metaphysical all you want, but it does not mean that it is not possible.

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  10. @ Thorton: I'm not interested in your views about religion. Just so we're clear, I think it's no different from any man-made institution. But ToE has a lot of loopholes. More loopholes than convincing answers!

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  11. @ Scott: The Guy upstairs, if there is one, has given you intelligence and the will to stop that extinction.
    Why do you come with an argument relating to metaphysical every time someone questions ToE? Answer like a scientist.Maybe I'm just curious!
    And how did those species come into being?

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  12. Flat out wrong. Myself and most other scientists I know would gladly accept that 'some guy' did it if there were sufficient positive evidence.

    What would evidence of that sort look like to you and "most other scientists"?

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  13. "this is SOOOOO complex I just can't imagine that it happened naturally"

    This is a strawman. But it seems like you're saying that if you can imagine complexity coming about naturally then that is evidence that it did. Is that what you are saying?

    The ToE can't explain every last detail yet, so some guy wins by default.

    That seems like a strawman too. But in any case a so-called singular "theory" of evolution with general application is a long way from explaining every last detail, although some seem to think that it explains every biological change that has ever been observed.

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  14. Mahima said...

    @ Thorton

    So you're saying that since you are convinced of the absence of supernatural, evolution wins by default.


    No, I didn't say that at all. I accept ToE because of its huge amount of consilient positive evidence. Summaries of this evidence can easily be found online, or it can be studied firsthand at almost any college, university, or natural history museum.

    And please stop using this argument of 'personal incredulity', it's irrelevant if you aren't able to provide a satisfactory answer to the problems the evolution faces in terms of creation of COMPLEX organs or SIMPLE ones alike. The devil is in the details.

    I can provide the evolutionary developmental pathways for many body plans and parts. So where are your details?

    About the metaphysical, I'm not sure if you'll get it but I'll try to reason with you that you can't be sure of it's absence.

    I already told you I'm not sure of its absence. That's just my working hypothesis until someone provides positive evidence for its existence.

    What I mean to say is that you may not be able to find any metaphysical phenomenon, simply because you are convinced that there is none.

    If you are not going to address what I wrote and just continue preaching your sermon you're wasting both our time.

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  15. Why do you come with an argument relating to metaphysical every time someone questions ToE? Answer like a scientist.

    Lol... it seems that he doesn't believe his own words. If he does then the only positive evidence he has that he's answering your questions "like a scientist" reduce to things like natural selection operating on the reproductive organs of ancient ape-like creatures.

    Imagine that! If only scientists of this sort could put themselves in a test tube to measure how myopic they are.

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  16. That's just my working hypothesis until someone provides positive evidence for its existence.

    You do seem to be quite busy creating hypothetical goo which comports with all the evidence. But you said that you would accept positive evidence for intelligent agency or "some guy" if there was some. So what would evidence of that sort look like to you?

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  17. mynym said...

    Flat out wrong. Myself and most other scientists I know would gladly accept that 'some guy' did it if there were sufficient positive evidence.

    What would evidence of that sort look like to you and "most other scientists"?


    Evidence of the manufacturing mechanisms (tools, processes) the guy used. Evidence of the source of the raw materials. Evidence of when the manufacture took place, and where. Evidence on the number of guys involved (one designer or many working at cross purposes). And of course the identity of the guy.

    Any info would be more than the zero info ID provides now.

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  18. Of course science doesn't have all the answers. And science knows it doesn't have all the answers, otherwise it would stop researching.

    Science is not a sentient being that does or does not do anything. Science entails civilization of the sort which produces scientists who are supported with funding, provided with technology based on capitalism which they often have little to do with the production of and so on. It must be counted as an oddity that progressive scientists often turn to destroy that which sustains them.

    But we do have many of the answers, and those answers have been confirmed to such a high degree of certainty as to be considered fact.

    Only in the brain events of a ridiculous and cobbled together ape-like creature like yourself.

    Not science's problem....

    Of course it's not science's problem because the abstraction of science doesn't have problems. But it may be your problem.

    ...if the reality of the empirical data doesn't agree with your religious teachings.

    It may be your problem if people realize that you and other scientists are little more than charlatans of the same sort that populated the eugenics movement. But if that happens then perhaps Science will decide that's a "problem" for it and come to your rescue?

    Ironic, we're one terrorist attack from civilization as we know it being done away with and yet progressive scientists keep murmuring about science as if it's some unstoppable god. Science geeks never seem to question their assumptions because they've all peered at each other through their thick glasses and after reviewing their own provincial perspectives have concluded that science is unstoppable and Progress inevitable.

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  19. There is no reason to posit some outside agency *poofing* anthing into existence, especially when there is zero evidence for this outside agency.

    What would such evidence look like? Doesn't every single piece of evidence ever observed falsify "poofs"?

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  20. Thorton says-
    No, I didn't say that at all. I accept ToE because of its huge amount of consistent positive evidence. Summaries of this evidence can easily be found online, or it can be studied firsthand at almost any college, university, or natural history museum.
    **************

    Yokay! Tell me about the evolution of eye. A primitive organism developed a primitive organ which can transform light into nervous signal.(That too would be a feat by random chance). But it's brain cannot make sense of all that random buzzing in it's brain. A predator approaches, it dies, but fortunately leaves an offspring. Though the trait has no evolutionary advantage, we assume it be passed on for generation, otherwise how will evolution work. Next, somehow it starts to see space. But it yet does not know what looks like food, what looks like predator. It does not know what is this thing going on, things shift places. It gets eaten up for it does not know when the predator is far and when is it near! It hasn't yet developed the concept of distance. But the trait still passes on. Plain luck it seems. then somehow through generations of evolutionary tinkering a fully functional eye is formed.

    Get into molecular details for some real challenge. And consider the fact that each cell has the same DNA. So changes in the structure or cellular differentiation required to form an eye are even more COMPLEX.

    Now you'll say- No, the magician popped it into existence.

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  21. mynym said...

    There is no reason to posit some outside agency *poofing* anything into existence, especially when there is zero evidence for this outside agency.

    What would such evidence look like? Doesn't every single piece of evidence ever observed falsify "poofs"?


    I already answered this above. Try reading instead of being stuck in 'broadcast only' mode.

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  22. Evidence of the manufacturing mechanisms (tools, processes) the guy used.

    So what would that look like in biology? But if you were trying to detect biological engineering of the sort that we do now without seeing the way it was done how would you go about it?

    Evidence of the source of the raw materials.

    And what would the source be in biology?

    Evidence of when the manufacture took place, and where. Evidence on the number of guys involved (one designer or many working at cross purposes). And of course the identity of the guy.

    So what sort of biological observations would have provided evidence of that sort? Given that every single biological observation has led to or supports a "theory of evolution," whatever it is, one can only wonder what would falsify all evolution.

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  23. Mahima said...

    Thorton says-
    No, I didn't say that at all. I accept ToE because of its huge amount of consistent positive evidence. Summaries of this evidence can easily be found online, or it can be studied firsthand at almost any college, university, or natural history museum.
    **************

    Yokay! Tell me about the evolution of eye.


    Evolution of the vertebrate eye: opsins, photoreceptors, retina and eye cup

    The Genetic and Biochemical Basis of Eye Evolution

    Now tell me the mechanism for how, when, and where the eye was *poofed* into existence.

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  24. I already answered this above.

    No you didn't. But doesn't every single piece of evidence ever observed falsify "poofs" in your mind, whatever they are, and verify evolution, whatever it is?

    ReplyDelete
  25. mynym said...

    Evidence of the manufacturing mechanisms (tools, processes) the guy used.

    So what would that look like in biology?


    Maybe the jigs, dyes, tool sets used, etc. for the physical construction. Maybe the place the manufacture took place. You tell me. You're the guy who claims all life was *poofed* into existence. You come up with the positive evidence.

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  26. Now tell me the mechanism for how, when, and where the eye was *poofed* into existence.

    It would be more interesting if you dealt with the evolution of your own eyes instead of imagining things about the past.

    Not to mention the imaginary "poofs" in your mind, whatever they are... Perhaps you can get another scientist to take a peer at your brain events and review them so that people know that your thoughts about "evolution" are peer reviewed? Otherwise how do people know that you've specified evolution in a way that can be falsified based on evidence? Apparently it could be falsified by the observation of "poofs"?

    If so then it's a good thing that poofs have not been observed, whatever they are, because otherwise evolution might have been falsified.

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  28. Maybe the jigs, dyes, tool sets used, etc. for the physical construction. Maybe the place the manufacture took place. You tell me.

    Why should I tell you? You're the one claiming that our experience of being intelligent agents is irrelevant to science. You claimed, "There is no reason to posit some outside agency..." despite our experience as intelligent agents. So it seems to me that it's up to you to show that your assumption is actually reasonable. You should begin with yourself and the evolution of your own eyes, sight and insight. Fortunately you wouldn't have to explain much.

    You're the guy who claims all life was *poofed* into existence.

    I don't know how you are imagining poofs as opposed to evolution, whatever it all is. A poof is actually rather hard to imagine, although those who adhere to nature based paganism have apparently always hated poofs and demanded graven imagery of some sort.

    You come up with the positive evidence.

    Positive evidence for a poof? You seemed almost certain that you had found evidence against poofs so I thought that meant that you knew what evidence for them would look like. Just to be clear, I'm supposed to imagine what a poof looks like to you and then find positive evidence that it happened?

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  29. @ Thorton-

    Evolution of the structure of the eye is different from evolution of visual perception, of the understanding of what one sees.(As we can see in the patients of Visual Agnosia.)

    Evolution relies too much on fortuitous events like the simultaneous evolution of the structure of proteins responsible for vision, their proper arrangement and the simultaneous understanding of space, distance, predator, prey, motion, dark, light, left, right, up , down, liquid, solid, etc.

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  30. mynym said...

    Maybe the jigs, dyes, tool sets used, etc. for the physical construction. Maybe the place the manufacture took place. You tell me.

    Why should I tell you?


    You don't have to. Only if you want anyone to seriously consider your design hypothesis.

    I'm perfectly happy going with the positive evidence we now have. You IDiots can live in your own make believe world. Let us know when you're ready to join reality, OK?

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  31. Evolution relies too much on fortuitous events...

    If that were true it would not matter in the minds of most biologists, they're usually too busy avoiding "poofs" to notice.

    It seems that the Darwinian urge to merge leaves them blind.

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  32. Mahima said...

    @ Thorton-

    Evolution of the structure of the eye is different from evolution of visual perception, of the understanding of what one sees.(As we can see in the patients of Visual Agnosia.)

    Evolution relies too much on fortuitous events like the simultaneous evolution of the structure of proteins responsible for vision, their proper arrangement and the simultaneous understanding of space, distance, predator, prey, motion, dark, light, left, right, up , down, liquid, solid, etc.


    As experiment with GAs have shown, feedback processes involving variation filtered by selection can and do evolve traits in parallel

    What is to stop a rudimentary eye connected to a rudimentary brain from evolving in parallel?

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  33. You IDiots can live in your own make believe world.

    Actually everyone already agrees that we are intelligent agents and so on. I'm still waiting to hear about the evolution of your own eyes, sight and insight... to the sharply limited degree that an imbecile has insight. It seems to me that explaining your own knowledge should be an easy task for a charlatan like yourself. But I suppose you're too busy murmuring about science as if it is a sentient being with "problems" and so on.


    Let us know when you're ready to join reality, OK?

    Actually I do like to come back to those who reject the advice of Plato to sit in the metaphoric womb of their Mother Nature. It's interesting to see what imbeciles imagine reality to look like and see how they peer review each other and so on. Don't give up now, I thought I was just about to see what a poof looks like in your mind and hear what a sharply limited intellect has to say about its own imagination.

    Again, doesn't every single piece of evidence ever observed falsify "poofs" in your mind, whatever they are, and verify evolution, whatever it is?

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  34. What is to stop a rudimentary eye connected to a rudimentary brain from evolving in parallel?

    It's likely that only a poof could stop that. So it probably evolved with no intelligent agency involved, just like your own sight and insight.

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  35. CH:
    Meanwhile evolution is left only with its foolish dogma. Evolutionists have long since committed themselves to the insistence that evolution is fact. Like the marching band that took a wrong turn down a dead end alley, they have no graceful exit. This is not going to end pretty.

    That last paragraph is just ... weird. As if you had nothing of interest to say about the research but still felt compelled to close things off with an anti-evolution diatribe. "Like a marching band that took a wrong turn down a dead alley"? Seriously?

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  36. Mahima: Evolution might have occurred but it needs to answer the difficult questions first, which it hasn't yet.

    Mahima: The first animal who developed the eye had somehow developed the machinery to make sense of the matrix of images he "saw" simultaneously.He knew what danger was, he knew what food was, and he knew what motion was! Otherwise, how did the eye have any evolutionary advantage?

    You're close to answering your own "difficult question". Turns out that there are plausible intermediates for each stage of eye evolution. By the way, a simple eyespot allows an organism to align itself with a light source, an evolutionary advantage.

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  37. Blas: How?

    Photons have a tendency to cause changes (e.g. photoisomerization) to sensitive organic molecules. A very simple phototaxis system is found in the single-celled organism, Euglena, where a single protein (Photoactivated Adenylyl Cyclase), harvesting the light, results in the formation of the signaling molecule. The receptor is shielded so that light is only received from one direction.

    Iseki et al., A blue-light-activated adenylyl cyclase mediates photoavoidance in Euglena gracilis, Nature 2002.

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  38. But you need a mechanism that move the cell when ATPc increase and that movement should be one direction, and the correct direction selected.

    ReplyDelete
  39. You're close to answering your own "difficult question". Turns out that there are plausible intermediates for each stage of eye evolution.

    Apparently almost anything that doesn't seem like a "poof" is plausible. That's why I want to know what Darwinists think "poofs" are, to the limited degree that they can be said to think.

    By the way, a simple eyespot allows an organism to align itself with a light source, an evolutionary advantage.

    But your whole population of imaginary organisms in the past were just eaten by organisms who evolved a simple glowing spot on them to attract their prey.

    Imagine that! After all, that's not "poof" so it's plausible. If only critics of evolution, whatever it is, tended to cite their own imaginations as the equivalent of evidence then evolution would have been much more fun.

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  40. Blas: But you need a mechanism that move the cell when ATPc increase and that movement should be one direction, and the correct direction selected.

    The question concerned the light-sensing system. The eyespot absorbs blue-light, then sends a messenger, cAMP, which activates a kinase, which causes changes in the beating of the flagellum. What's interesting is that phototaxis occurs in conjuction with gravitaxis. (In the absense of light, the organism swims upwards, maintaining its vertical orientation because the heavier than water interior of the cell exerts a pressure on the lower regions, which, when out of alignment, activates a mechano-sensitive ion channel, which again leads to the formation of cAMP.)

    In any case, these are rather simple interactions, and there is no reason they couldn't have evolved from even more primitive systems.

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  41. thornton: I can provide the evolutionary developmental pathways for many body plans and parts. So where are your details? .... So we have a mechanism, we have enough time, and we have lots of evidence the process was indeed working.

    Laughable; we've seen this movie before, it's satire. In regards to the human vision complex, it seems that thornton could never put numbers to his pronouncments last year after my egging him on over the course of several blogs. Before you can know if you have enough time, you have to have the details on the step by step construction of the vision complex, and while we're at it, enumerate the steps. My memory is of thornton getting quite uncordial and flustered just like you would expect of the faithful. I had simply asked him (and I gave good reason for knowing his gender) to enumerate such, and we can ask again to enumerate pathways, with enough detail to estimate the amount of time for each quantum genetic modification to propagate and gain advantage by conferring survival mechanism. Here we are at vision again. What a great opportunity for thornton to come up with some numbers to fit his pronouncements. If no numbers are forthcoming, understand that the "enough time" claim is a bunch of hot air.

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  42. mynym said...

    Apparently almost anything that doesn't seem like a "poof" is plausible. That's why I want to know what Darwinists think "poofs" are, to the limited degree that they can be said to think.


    *poof* is shorthand for "an unknown Intelligent Designer at an unknown place and unknown time using an unknown mechanism and unknown materials for unknown reasons designed and built from scratch the object/life form as we find it today"

    Those gullible enough to believe that with zero evidence are known as *poofters*.

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  43. mynym: Apparently almost anything that doesn't seem like a "poof" is plausible. That's why I want to know what Darwinists think "poofs" are, to the limited degree that they can be said to think.

    That's ironic, as ID is nothing but unspecified *poofing*.

    In any case, evolution doesn't posit *poofing*, but incremental adaptation and divergence. And there is plenty of support with primitive eyes in extant organisms.

    mynym: But your whole population of imaginary organisms in the past were just eaten by organisms who evolved a simple glowing spot on them to attract their prey.

    Euglena are not imaginary, and they haven't all been "eaten".

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  44. MSEE said...

    thornton: I can provide the evolutionary developmental pathways for many body plans and parts. So where are your details? .... So we have a mechanism, we have enough time, and we have lots of evidence the process was indeed working.

    Laughable; we've seen this movie before, it's satire.


    LOL! It's MSEE the self-proclaimed "well trained and highly competent" expert on everything. Mr."I have a freshman level statistic book sitting on my coffee table right now!! :D

    I didn't think you'd come back after your last embarrassing debacle. I guess you figured enough time has gone and people forgot, eh?

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  45. By the way MSEE, I already provided the Lamb/Collin/Pugh paper summarizing the evidence for the evolutionary steps and timeline of the vertebrate eye.

    Why don't you read the paper, then put together a list of what the scientists got wrong, along with your specific reasons for rejecting their conclusions.

    If no well supported criticisms of the paper are forthcoming, understand that MSEE's "the eye couldn't possibly have evolved, it was *poofed* into existence!!" claim is a bunch of hot air.

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  46. As for positive evidence for Intelligent Design being the correct explanation for the existence of life and the universe:

    http://www.raherrmann.com/evidence.htm

    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9903110

    http://evoinfo.org/papers/ConsInfo_NoN.pdf

    http://evoinfo.org/papers/2009_EvolutionarySynthesis.pdf

    http://evoinfo.org/papers/2010_TheSearchForASearch.pdf

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  47. It's the Master of Electrical Engineering again! Will we get another irrelevant lecture on Green's Theorem, or will the Master finally apply his skills to setting forth a working model of ID?

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  48. A.J said...

    As for positive evidence for Intelligent Design being the correct explanation for the existence of life and the universe:


    Why don't you summarize this 'evidence' in your own words instead of linking to an indecipherable word salad.

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  49. A.J.'s so-called positive evidence seems to be, on a cursory glance, nothing but the same tired old tornado-in-a-junkyard models of evolution, purportedly showing that evolution is impossible.

    Is there a working model of ID in there, one that can be used to predict stuff that evolutionary models don't predict?

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  50. Sorry, Thorton. A simple summary on a comment slot wouldnt really do any justice

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  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  52. Thorton,

    Why don't you summarize this 'evidence' in your own words instead of linking to an indecipherable word salad.

    A.J.'s list is a couple of essays of some sort comparing some weird models of the universe with a human brain, and three "articles" by Dembski plus some "co-authors" showing that they can disguise the fallacy of post-hoc probability calculations as if it was serious work. You know, the same faeces that evolution is impossible because blah, blah, blah, no free lunch et cetera. You know, those where they forget that energy flow accounts for a few orders of magnitude more than the information built up in biological systems and their evolution, and that such energy certainly means that nobody has claimed "free lunch" in the first place, you know, the same creationist tirade, plus the invention of "laws" and kinds of "information" to pretend that they are serious scientists.

    A.J. is right. My summary does not make them "justice." I cannot properly summarize the stench. That you would have to experience yourself first-hand. I am off for a while. My stomach hurts anytime I read such pretentious stupidity. You owe me big time.

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  53. MSEE,

    If no numbers are forthcoming, understand that the "enough time" claim is a bunch of hot air.

    What? Do you have actual and precise step by step numbers showing the contrary or are you just hot air yourself?

    As for me, if we can produce new dog breeds, some within decades some within centuries, it does not matter if I can or cannot calculate every quantum-to-molecular-level step-by-step process. Those dogs were bred within decades/centuries. By the same token, if we have strong evidence that evolution has happened and continues to happen within whatever time-frame, it does not matter if we have each and every detail at the quanta-to-molecular level of how it happened, it did indeed happen. What does your fallacy of the "give-me-the-smallest-quanta-detail-or-not-enough-time" look like now Mr. hot-air?

    What about while you think about this you ask yourself these questions: what are the precise probabilities for an intelligent designer that nobody has ever observed? If there is any claim to have observed such designer, what was the quantum-level method by which it was verified that this was indeed the designer? What the precise quantum-level methods used by this designer to build life? What is the precise and quantum-level method used by this designer to erase any evidence of its presence and tools any time it intervened and designed one life-form or another? What is the precise and quantum-level method by which this designer made it all appear as if it was evolution by natural processes all along? Understand that without any numbers and precise and verifiable explanations this designer thing is nothing but a bunch of hot air. After all, if you ask that much from evolutionary theory (while refusing to actually study and understand it), you would ask just as much from any other proposal. Right?

    (Predicted answer: red-herring such as "dogs are still dogs," or perhaps something around "there is no transitional fossils," or "there is no evidence for evolution.")

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  54. Negative Entropy said...

    A.J. is right. My summary does not make them "justice." I cannot properly summarize the stench. That you would have to experience yourself first-hand. I am off for a while. My stomach hurts anytime I read such pretentious stupidity. You owe me big time.


    As a common courtesy did I examined all the links before I made my comment to AJ. The first was as bad a horrific mish-mash of meaningless word salad as I've ever seen. The second was by the same wackaloon and concerned cosmology, with nothing to do with ID. Three, four, and five were the Dembski/Marks mental diarrhea that have already been shredded in real science journals.

    I still owe you for my negligence in not warning you sooner, sorry.

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  55. Ok Thorton, I feel better now. A beer will do.

    :D

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  56. Excellent post, Dr. Hunter! But that's only half of the story: Some predatory animals and we humans have two eyes positioned on the front of the head thereby allowing for binocular vision and reducing the field of view in favor of stereopsis. This implies that the brain receives images from 2 different angles and has to convert them to one 3-D image at a resolution of about 576 Megapixels and 10 million colors in real time. Now, if we humans think we have the best eyes in nature, let's take a look at the eagle's eyes:

    An Eagle's sight is 140/140! It is seven times better than humans! Eagle's eyesight is outstanding; in fact it is researched as being 6-7 times better than that of a human. An Eagle can see a fish from 1000 feet away and man struggle to see the very fish from few feet away.

    Sight is determined by the functioning of the eye, and as compared to a human eye, eagle eyes have got extras that cannot be found on the human eye. Humans have a depression in their retina, called a fovea; it motivates maximum concentration on sensory cells and affords the greatest optical resolution. Unlike of a human, an eagle has a fovea with higher concentration of cells, and does not have just one fovea but two! One fovea affords optimum binocular vision to the front whereas the other fovea gives the best monocular vision at the side.

    And don't forget that eagles also fly beautifully...but that's another story.
    Can these marvels be the result of evolution (RM + NS)? It does not sound logical to me.
    So, Dr. Hunter, I would like to read a post about the chemical processes occurring in the brain that allow us to see in 3-D. Thanks!

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  57. Thorton says-As experiment with GAs have shown, feedback processes involving variation filtered by selection can and do evolve traits in parallel

    What is to stop a rudimentary eye connected to a rudimentary brain from evolving in parallel?
    **********

    But something had to evolve first, or start evolving first- the eye or the brain's comprehension of light stimulus. if eye came first without the comprehension, why should it be selected? Or why should the brain region responsible of deciphering light stimulus be selected in absence of a way to receive that stimulus?

    And this is gross simplification. I'm sure you know that the vision is a complex process, like really complex, COMPLEX.

    Pardon me if I'm repeating myself, but you do understand that when I say the concept of distance or space, You and I understand it because we understand it. But what about the animal who has never ever seen anything, suddenly has images in front of his eyes. To develop something like an understanding of the space, I don't think one mutation would confer any advantage to the organism.

    And imagine the changes required in the structure of the brain when all the cells have the same DNA!

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  59. Zachriel said...
    You're close to answering your own "difficult question". Turns out that there are plausible intermediates for each stage of eye evolution. By the way, a simple eyespot allows an organism to align itself with a light source, an evolutionary advantage. *******

    Where are those plausible intermediates but in your imagination? You mean the organism has to be a million times lucky- for the mutation to occur, to spread into population, to co-opt, to get selected and then mutate further? That is unlikely if we consider the maths involved!

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  60. Mahima said...

    But something had to evolve first, or start evolving first- the eye or the brain's comprehension of light stimulus. if eye came first without the comprehension, why should it be selected? Or why should the brain region responsible of deciphering light stimulus be selected in absence of a way to receive that stimulus


    LOL! Haven't gotten the "What good is half an eye" argument in a while

    Early primitive creatures some 600 MYA already had evolved rudimentary brains and nervous systems to interpret sensory impulses from the skin. As photoreceptors evolved on the skin to detect radiation, the brain's ability to process the increase in information evolved in parallel. The parallel development process continued for millions of years and is still ongoing. Today we can see hundred of different animal eyes in various stages of the process, from the simplest light detectors to very complex vertebrate eyes.

    Here is a good 2-part article by biologist Carl Zimmer on early eye evolution

    What Good is Half an Eye?

    You also should read the article on vertebrate eye evolution I provided above.

    And this is gross simplification. I'm sure you know that the vision is a complex process, like really complex, COMPLEX.

    Feedback processes involving variation filtered by selection - evolution - can and do produce really complex, COMPLEX, things. So merely finding really complex, COMPLEX things is not by itself an indication of external design.

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  61. Mahima said...

    Zachriel said...
    You're close to answering your own "difficult question". Turns out that there are plausible intermediates for each stage of eye evolution. By the way, a simple eyespot allows an organism to align itself with a light source, an evolutionary advantage. *******

    Where are those plausible intermediates but in your imagination?


    They exist and can be seen in living animals of the world today, from the simplest light detecting spots to complex eyes. Read the articles I provided above for examples.

    You mean the organism has to be a million times lucky- for the mutation to occur, to spread into population, to co-opt, to get selected and then mutate further? That is unlikely if we consider the maths involved!

    OK, let's consider the math involved. Show us your calculations for how 'unlikely' it is. Be sure to justify any assumptions you make.

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  62. Metaphysics is the reason we don't progress. The Darwinists refuse to acknowledge intelligence. The ID folks refuse to get creative with what the intelligence might actually reveal itself as. My bet is on the ID folks who methodically discover the inner "self" of the cell. We should be testing the consciousness of microbes. Things like vision probably build from the associations of intelligent cells. My bet is also on quantum entanglement and self referencing energy patterns having something to do with it. There is probably something akin to memory and pattern recognition going on in cells at lower echelons than molecules and atoms.

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  63. Zachriel, when will evolutionists accept the very simple reality that complex integrated systems can not be constructed incrementally? It is a logical impossibilty unless you accept saltation events, which are themselves unacceptable to evolutionists.


    ----

    You said, "You're close to answering your own "difficult question". Turns out that there are plausible intermediates for each stage of eye evolution. By the way, a simple eyespot allows an organism to align itself with a light source, an evolutionary advantage. "

    ---

    Here's a statement of equal value: Put the thingamajig in the whatchamacallit and light a fire and we have a plausible means of landing men on mars.

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  64. Thorton said...

    LOL! Haven't gotten the "What good is half an eye" argument in a while
    ****************

    LOL! Tell me what is funny in that argument and I'd laugh with you too. Anyways it's not a war of words and my argument is completely valid. The fact that you try to shift the focus from the real problem to making fun of it shows that you don't really want to think about it. But you should try and maybe you'll find the answer and tell me too.

    Meanwhile, the link you posted does not look into the issues I have been reiterating throughout this discussion. Things have happened by default. For eg.-
    "Later, these simple photoreceptors evolved pigments and other molecules that helped capture more light, and eventually became able to form images."
    The devil is in the details.

    *************
    Early primitive creatures some 600 MYA already had evolved rudimentary brains and nervous systems to interpret sensory impulses from the skin. As photoreceptors evolved on the skin to detect radiation, the brain's ability to process the increase in information evolved in parallel. The parallel development process continued for millions of years and is still ongoing. Today we can see hundred of different animal eyes in various stages of the process, from the simplest light detectors to very complex vertebrate eyes.
    **********


    Yeah, the eye evolved early on and so did proprioception and so did motion and so did reproduction....

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  65. Tedford the Idiot said...

    Zachriel, when will evolutionists accept the very simple reality that complex integrated systems can not be constructed incrementally? It is a logical impossibilty unless you accept saltation events, which are themselves unacceptable to evolutionists.


    Maybe you should tell that to NASA, who have been using evolutionary algorithms to incrementally construct complex integrated analog circuits for over a decade now

    NASA Evolvable Systems Group

    But if you tell them it's impossible I'm sure they will stop.

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  66. Thorton said...
    They exist and can be seen in living animals of the world today, from the simplest light detecting spots to complex eyes. Read the articles I provided above for examples.

    *********

    The gaps between these plausible intermediates are large and need to be filled up. "Details"!

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  67. Mahima said...

    Thorton said...
    They exist and can be seen in living animals of the world today, from the simplest light detecting spots to complex eyes. Read the articles I provided above for examples.

    *********

    The gaps between these plausible intermediates are large and need to be filled up. "Details"!


    First you said the intermediates only existed in our imaginations. Then when you are shown dozens of real world examples, you demand to see the intermediates of the intermediates. That sounds like Mikey "pants on fire' Behe's IDID strategy - I demand infinite detail!

    Feel free to provide the details, any details of how, where, and when your Designed created eyes.

    BTW you forgot to provide your calculations that show eye evolution is too unlikely. It's almost like you were talking out your butt and don't have them.

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  68. Thorton, I demand plausible intermediates and I am totally reasonable.

    "First you said the intermediates only existed in our imaginations. Then when you are shown dozens of real world examples, you demand to see the intermediates of the intermediates. That sounds like Mikey "pants on fire' Behe's IDID strategy - I demand infinite detail!"
    If that is all you can say about it, it means evolution took a jump from no eye to a non-functional eye to a functional one, from a simple one to a complex one.


    Any evolutionist would agree that there are countless missing links. You know you are just arguing for argument's sake.
    The reason this argument of IDID is repeated is because you say evolution can happen only in slow small steps. Now, I want to know small slow steps. Build up an eye. And build up visual perception, step by step, each step conferring an advantage while not being too fortuitous, as such things do not happen in a something controlled by random chance. Change the brain and the eye and the nerves.

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  69. Mahima said...

    Thorton said...

    LOL! Haven't gotten the "What good is half an eye" argument in a while
    ****************

    LOL! Tell me what is funny in that argument and I'd laugh with you too.


    It's funny because it betrays an almost complete ignorance of the scientific knowledge of how evolution actually operates. Vision didn't develop as a series of unrelated parts that all happened to fall together at the same time 'by luck' as the Creto strawman goes. Vision evolved as a system, with all the required pieces of the system - photoreceptors, nerves, brain to process the signal, etc. - developing in parallel. Creationists always demand to know what good is an eye with half a retina, or half a brain to process it. But nowhere in the evolutionary process did you have 'half eyes' of 'half brains'. At each step you had fully functional vision system with less capability - 50%, 30%, even 1% for the simplest organisms - than what we find today. All those example of extant species with simpler vision systems show the trend.

    It would be like someone claiming that you must have been assembled as a fully functional adult, not grown up from a baby. Your adult brain can't fit inside that baby skull, so how did it survive outside? Your arm and leg bones couldn't be controlled by those baby muscles, so it would be impossible for you to move.

    See, it's pretty funny! That's why I come here, to read the idiotic things Creationists/IDiots say!

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  70. Mahima said...

    Thorton, I demand plausible intermediates and I am totally reasonable.


    People in hell demand ice water too. :)

    You were shown intermediates. Not just plausible ones, but actual existing ones. But for every one I show you I create two more gaps that you then demand be filled. It's the same stupid rhetorical trick Creationists use when they claim "there are no transitional fossils."

    I provided some details to you. Now it's your turn. Please provide the details, any details of how, where, and when your Designer created eyes.

    Don't forget your calculation that show how unlikely eye evolution is either.

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  71. Thorton-
    OK I confess I don't have the calculations,
    though I'm sure you can get the idea with this...

    (I hate to repeat it so many time but you haven't said anything about the main argument.I'm quite reasonable when I say the following-)

    An organism that had never had never experienced anything like visual perception would have no advantage of even a rudimentary eye if he did not know what food looked like, what predator looked like, what is ground, what is air, what is here and what is there. He would have to go through many changes if he is to know what a predator looks like, to know how to run in the "direction" "away" from the predator. Something which is just a system of proteins and carbohydrates just can't start seeing with the help of some cells on it's bodies that react to light. You have to build so much up into it's brain (most of which we don't understand yet)to make it behave a certain way to a certain sight. Try to evolve an eye for an organism that has no concept of anything, who hasn't had any experience with an eye before. We have to break it down further to come to the level of slow, random mutations. I'm sure you're following.

    And if you say that it happened in parallel, then it's just something you're saying. Doesn't quite fit with random chance and all.

    You can help me work out the calculations if you want. I'm just focusing your attention on some problems that you seem to be ignoring all this time.

    I'm sure you could focus on solving these while I might try to work out the calculations.

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  72. Mahima: Where are those plausible intermediates but in your imagination?

    We just pointed to one. You simply ignored it.

    Mahima: You mean the organism has to be a million times lucky- for the mutation to occur, to spread into population, to co-opt, to get selected and then mutate further? That is unlikely if we consider the maths involved!

    Please do. Start with the probability of a beneficial mutation becoming fixed in a population, and how long it will take on average.

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  73. Neal Tedford: when will evolutionists accept the very simple reality that complex integrated systems can not be constructed incrementally?

    Of course they can. Consider the mammalian middle ear. Or observe embryonic development.

    Mahima: The first animal who developed the eye had somehow developed the machinery to make sense of the matrix of images he "saw" simultaneously.He knew what danger was, he knew what food was, and he knew what motion was! Otherwise, how did the eye have any evolutionary advantage?

    Zachriel: a simple eyespot allows an organism to align itself with a light source, an evolutionary advantage.

    Neal Tedford: Here's a statement of equal value: Put the thingamajig in the whatchamacallit and light a fire and we have a plausible means of landing men on mars.

    Handwaving. Mahima asked a specific question. How can a primitive eye provide an evolutionary benefit? It can and it does, e.g. Euglena.

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  74. Mahima: The gaps between these plausible intermediates are large and need to be filled up.

    More details are always nice to have, but aren't necessary to understand the basics of evolution. We don't have to have the bones of every forefather to determine many facts about your ancestry.

    Mahima: Any evolutionist would agree that there are countless missing links.

    Of course there are. There are missing links in your own ancestry too. However, many lineages are well represented in the fossil record. More importantly, the nested hierarchy provides strong evidence of common descent.

    Mahima: The reason this argument of IDID is repeated is because you say evolution can happen only in slow small steps.

    Slow, small steps is relative, and a subject of a great deal of study in biology.

    Mahima: Build up an eye.

    Nilsson & Pelger, "A pessimistic estimate of the time required for an eye to evolve", Proceedings of the Royal Society 1994.

    You may be better served by trying to understand the fundamental evidence for common descent. Skeletons leave more and better fossils than eyes, so you might take a look at that evidence first.

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  75. Zachriel said...

    "You may be better served by trying to understand the fundamental evidence for common descent. Skeletons leave more and better fossils than eyes, so you might take a look at that evidence first."

    I might try that but you might try coming up with a realistic path to forming an eye by random chance. Just in the kind of detail I've talked about in my earlier posts.

    "Common" is evident but the "descent" is not.

    And major jumps for evolution seem implausible in the kind of universe we live in. Robots do not spring into existence.

    "More details are always nice to have, but aren't necessary to understand the basics of evolution. We don't have to have the bones of every forefather to determine many facts about your ancestry. "

    They are necessary to establish the truth of evolution by RM and NS as a fact. Details are where the problem lies.

    "Slow, small steps is relative, and a subject of a great deal of study in biology."

    Agreed.
    The small and steady I'm talking about here is the small mutations or maybe group of mutations that are possible by random chance and do not look like they require any outside intelligent agency to occur.

    "Handwaving. Mahima asked a specific question. How can a primitive eye provide an evolutionary benefit? It can and it does, e.g. Euglena. "

    Okay! You explained the eye spot. But again, I'm sure the eye spot of Euglena is not a one step process. You know the molecular cascade required.

    And then, we can start to posit a scenario for a more complex eye.I'm listening.


    "We just pointed to one. You simply ignored it. "

    Pardon me for being so persistent in demanding the details. But this is absolutely necessary to establish the truth of ToE.
    If evolution lead to so many species with so many different characteristics and not to mention "complex" behavior which matches the tools they have (Anglerfish- the fishing rod, Alligator snapping turtle- worm-like structure on its tongue), there must be an explanation for the evolution of something as common as an eye. In future if someone comes up with a proper explanation, I'll be happy to accept the truth of ToE.

    You might want to refer to my earlier reply to Thorton.

    "(An organism that had never had never experienced anything like visual perception would have no advantage of even a rudimentary eye if he did not know what food looked like, what predator looked like, what is ground, what is air, what is here and what is there. He would have to go through many changes if he is to know what a predator looks like, to know how to run in the "direction" "away" from the predator. Something which is just a system of proteins and carbohydrates just can't start seeing with the help of some cells on it's bodies that react to light. You have to build so much up into it's brain (most of which we don't understand yet)to make it behave a certain way to a certain sight. Try to evolve an eye for an organism that has no concept of anything, who hasn't had any experience with an eye before. We have to break it down further to come to the level of slow, random mutations. I'm sure you're following.)"

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  77. Mahima,

    May I interrupt for as second?

    Well, here an opinion about being reasonable.

    1. It seems rather ridiculous to ask for so much detail about the evolutionary histories of each and every bit of living organisms, while accepting (I might be wrong, so correct me if so), without so much as a doubt, that there must therefore be an intelligent designer, without demanding as much detail.

    2. Given the above, I could only conclude that there is no answer, but would incline to think that, if any of these two is true, then evolution would win. Much more detail on that side than on a designer that has never been shown to exist, whose mechanisms to build life forms are not described, nor tested, nothing. In fewer words, the designer would be off by far much more than evolution. You would have to agree that you have been given intermediates, even if you see "gaps" between them (are you like that cartoon that once you are shown one intermediary jumps into "now there are two gaps"?), yet there is nothing to show a designer anywhere to be seen.

    3. On the reasonable side of things, if I doubt about evolution, and I am shown one intermediary step, well, I can ignore that as a possible simplified version of something, or an outlier. But if then I am shown two, I would start to gain interest. If then I were shown many more, then insisting on details would just be ridiculous. That's how I see your demands by now. Ridiculous given the amount of detail shown so far.

    4. Still, I don't expect to be able for all the scientists in the world to ever be able to reconstruct the evolutionary history of each and every detail. I don't think that such would be a reasonable demand anyway, but the thing is, we see smoking guns for most features. Why should we doubt it? For instance, your cascade after light detection by an eye spot. I might not be able to tell you the steps, but let us say I take a look, and I notice that the proteins involved in the cascade are pretty similar to those of a more "primitive" cascade, and that I notice that all it took were a few modifications in the protein "talking" to the photoreceptor to get a cascade working towards a response? What if we found that the response makes the cell run away when light was covered the same way an homologous cascade would get it "running" away from some harmful chemical? Well, I would start to see something plausible right there. Seems like you would demand more details, or move the goal posts to demand details on the origin of the chemical-responding cascade.

    Do you see where I am going at all? It is fine to be skeptical. It is just unwise to just ignore any answers without a proper thought, and without questioning why would you not accept something that by now looks so obvious. I doubt you would demand a tenth as much in any other arena.

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  78. Mahima said...

    Zachriel said...

    "You may be better served by trying to understand the fundamental evidence for common descent. Skeletons leave more and better fossils than eyes, so you might take a look at that evidence first."

    I might try that but you might try coming up with a realistic path to forming an eye by random chance.


    I stopped reading right there. No scientist anywhere says eyes or brains or any body feature formed by random chance. The formed from an evolutionary process that employs feedback - random genetic variations FILTERED BY SELECTION and used for each subsequent generation.

    Why oh why of why do these ^(*&*$ Creationists always leave out the SELECTION part??

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  79. mahima said...

    Pardon me for being so persistent in demanding the details. But this is absolutely necessary to establish the truth of ToE.


    Of course it's not, any more than we need to know the detailed history of every Allied and Axis soldier from 1939-1945 to establish that WW2 happened.

    Where are your details of how, where, and when your Designer created eyes?

    Why do you get to make all these demands of science but won't provide a single detail in return?

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  80. Mahima: I might try that but you might try coming up with a realistic path to forming an eye by random chance.

    Nilsson & Pelger, "A pessimistic estimate of the time required for an eye to evolve", Proceedings of the Royal Society 1994.

    Keep in mind that not knowing everything is not the same as knowing nothing. That's why you have to look at the bulk of the evidence.

    Mahima: And major jumps for evolution seem implausible in the kind of universe we live in. Robots do not spring into existence.

    We don't see jumps that are beyond what is consistent with evolution. You need to start with the nested hierarchy so as to understand the overall pattern. You might consider the evolution of the mammalian middle ear for a specific example of the evolution of a complex structure. Being bone, it left fossils.

    Mahima: They are necessary to establish the truth of evolution by RM and NS as a fact. Details are where the problem lies.

    Actually, that is incorrect. We know from animal breeding that natural variation can account for broad changes in traits, and that simple selection can bring about those broad changes.

    Mahima: The small and steady I'm talking about here is the small mutations or maybe group of mutations that are possible by random chance and do not look like they require any outside intelligent agency to occur.

    No one knows all the changes required to turn even a wolf into a great dane. Your argument would be that it didn't happen. However, we know that it did happen.

    Mahima: An organism that had never had never experienced anything like visual perception would have no advantage of even a rudimentary eye if he did not know what food looked like, what predator looked like, what is ground, what is air, what is here and what is there.

    My Goodness! We just responded to that in detail. The Euglena! It's eyespot is essentially a protein that absorbs a photon and sends a message.

    Mahima: Try to evolve an eye for an organism that has no concept of anything, who hasn't had any experience with an eye before.

    Euglena doesn't have concepts.

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  81. Clueless Euglena would be an awesome name for a band.

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  82. Mahima: @ Scott: The Guy upstairs, if there is one, has given you intelligence and the will to stop that extinction.

    Mahima,

    I'm not just referring to future extinctions. I'm also referring to the extinctions that have already occurred. How do you explain that over 98% of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct?

    This is the question that evolutionary theory addresses. How do you explain it in the context of a Guy upstairs?

    If we take your claim of design seriously, in that it's true in reality and all observations should conform to it, then it would seem these extinction events must represent design as well. Otherwise, it's unclear how you can say the biological complexity that we observe today was designed.

    For example, is the fact that human beings exist in the less than 2% that survived the result of an intelligent designer or was it the result of natural processes?

    If the latter, than evolutionary processes have had a overwhelming impact on speciation. It's unclear how you could say what we observed to day was "designed" If the the former, then this designer must have directly manipulated evolutionary processes or compensated for their effect to ensure human beings kept their designed features and did not go extinct.

    In other words, regardless of which you choose, random mutation and natural selection played a significant part in speciation, at a minimum. Even if only to be manipulated or compensated for by a designer.

    Of course, you could try to escape this by denying that random mutations occur at all. Or by denying that random mutations can be neutral or detrimental depending on the environment. Or by deny that mildly detrimental mutations could eventually put a species at a significant disadvantage at some future date.

    But we've already observed these things as well.

    So, when we attempt to take your claim of design seriously, in that we assume it happened, in reality, we find evolutionary processes still must have play a significant role.

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  83. Thorton says this-
    Of course it's not, any more than we need to know the detailed history of every Allied and Axis soldier from 1939-1945 to establish that WW2 happened.

    Where are your details of how, where, and when your Designer created eyes?

    Why do you get to make all these demands of science but won't provide a single detail in return?
    *********

    The thing you say about the war is stupid- the war was evident, evolution is not.

    And I don't presume to know if there is a designer and how he created eyes but I do wish to know how evolution did it?

    But you cannot agree that my questions are unreasonable. I am just trying that you explain me how it happens.

    Evolution can't enjoy the benefit of the doubt forever!
    And about the details of how something accepted as a fact - evolution- happens, it's pretty evident you are as clueless as I am! NS and RM are just words till we know the exact mechanism.

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  84. Mahima: Evolution can't enjoy the benefit of the doubt forever!

    We suggested lines of evidence you might learn about, but you didn't seem interested. Are you familiar with Darwin's arguments in Origin of Species? Do you understand the nested hierarchy?

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  85. Zachriel said...
    My Goodness! We just responded to that in detail. The Euglena! It's eyespot is essentially a protein that absorbs a photon and sends a message.

    Euglena doesn't have concepts.
    ****
    Ok let's move forward to a trilobilte found in the cambrian. And further. Please, that is where I see the problem, solve it please if you can. I'd appreciate it!
    *****
    Keep in mind that not knowing everything is not the same as knowing nothing. That's why you have to look at the bulk of the evidence.
    *********

    Agreed but then you can't treat ToE as a fact yet. The bulk of the evidence does not shows only slight change.

    We haven't been able to observe major changes in body plans, as I said before "common" is evident but the "descent" is not.

    It's like you see stills of images and arrange them to make up a story.

    ******
    No one knows all the changes required to turn even a wolf into a great dane. Your argument would be that it didn't happen. However, we know that it did happen.
    **********

    You are entitled to your viewpoint.


    ******
    We don't see jumps that are beyond what is consistent with evolution. You need to start with the nested hierarchy so as to understand the overall pattern. You might consider the evolution of the mammalian middle ear for a specific example of the evolution of a complex structure. Being bone, it left fossils.
    ******
    I'll do that but it better be about forming an ear from scratch.

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  86. Zachriel said...


    I stopped reading right there. No scientist anywhere says eyes or brains or any body feature formed by random chance. The formed from an evolutionary process that employs feedback - random genetic variations FILTERED BY SELECTION and used for each subsequent generation.

    Why oh why of why do these ^(*&*$ Creationists always leave out the SELECTION part??


    *******

    Your mental lethargy is the reason you don't question. You don't think.

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  87. Mahima said...

    Thorton says this-
    Of course it's not, any more than we need to know the detailed history of every Allied and Axis soldier from 1939-1945 to establish that WW2 happened.

    Where are your details of how, where, and when your Designer created eyes?

    Why do you get to make all these demands of science but won't provide a single detail in return?
    *********

    The thing you say about the war is stupid- the war was evident, evolution is not.


    Evolution is very evident to those who have studied the scientific evidence. So much so that there are thousand of successful companies whose business model depends on it. They use the evolution model because it works. How many companies can you name that are based on the *poof* idea of special creation? AIG's bogus 'museum'?

    And I don't presume to know if there is a designer and how he created eyes but I do wish to know how evolution did it?

    Then go take some college level biology and genetics courses, and read the primary scientific literature. Logistics prohibit you getting anything more than an overview here.

    But you cannot agree that my questions are unreasonable.

    Demanding the level of detail you do is extremely unreasonable, to the point of deliberate intellectual dishonesty.

    I am just trying that you explain me how it happens.

    Then get off you lazy butt and read the papers provided. The Lamb overview paper on vertebrate eye evolution has references to at least 50 other published scientific studies. How many of them have you read?

    Evolution can't enjoy the benefit of the doubt forever!
    And about the details of how something accepted as a fact - evolution- happens, it's pretty evident you are as clueless as I am!


    (chuckle) Hardly.

    NS and RM are just words till we know the exact mechanism.

    We do know the mechanism. Not knowing every last molecule in every evolutionary change doesn't mean not knowing anything about the process or results.

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  88. Mahima said...

    Zachriel said...


    I stopped reading right there. No scientist anywhere says eyes or brains or any body feature formed by random chance. The formed from an evolutionary process that employs feedback - random genetic variations FILTERED BY SELECTION and used for each subsequent generation.

    Why oh why of why do these ^(*&*$ Creationists always leave out the SELECTION part??


    *******

    Your mental lethargy is the reason you don't question. You don't think.


    Zachriel didn't say that, I did. And the reason I stopped reading is because when I see a clueless boob like you who doesn't know the first thing about the theory he's criticizing I am pretty much assured any rational discussion will be useless.

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  89. We suggested lines of evidence you might learn about, but you didn't seem interested. Are you familiar with Darwin's arguments in Origin of Species? Do you understand the nested hierarchy?

    I came here with a simple question, to figure out whether evolutionists might answer some questions I had about how exactly evolution got us here. Turns out you prefer not to answer them but instead gauge my level of knowledge. Well, I am familiar with both of them.

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  90. Thorton said..

    Zachriel didn't say that, I did. And the reason I stopped reading is because when I see a clueless boob like you who doesn't know the first thing about the theory he's criticizing I am pretty much assured any rational discussion will be useless.
    *****
    My bad!

    You don't know one thing about how evolution could have happened but you BELIEVE it happened!

    And you're right in saying rational discussion seems a bit difficult here as you are more interested in ridiculing someone with a different viewpoint than yours than trying to unravel the mystery. :)

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  91. Mahima said...

    We suggested lines of evidence you might learn about, but you didn't seem interested. Are you familiar with Darwin's arguments in Origin of Species? Do you understand the nested hierarchy?

    I came here with a simple question, to figure out whether evolutionists might answer some questions I had about how exactly evolution got us here. Turns out you prefer not to answer them but instead gauge my level of knowledge. Well, I am familiar with both of them.


    We'll add 'liar' along with 'scientifically illiterate' to your resume.

    Did you actually read the Lamb overview paper on vertebrate eye evolution? Did you research or read any of the other studies referenced?

    Why don't you make a list of the specific things you think the researches got wrong, along with your supporting evidence. let's see how familiar you are with the actual scientific evidence.

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  92. Demanding the level of detail you do is extremely unreasonable, to the point of deliberate intellectual dishonesty.

    I don't agree!

    And when you get off your lazy butt, try and solve the real problems of details which ToE lacks.

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  93. Mahima said...

    You don't know one thing about how evolution could have happened but you BELIEVE it happened!


    (chuckle) Damn, all those years of undergrad and grad school gone to waste! But I don't know one thing about evolution. That's why I spend time writing up technical responses to boobs like you, because I don't know anything.

    And I don't BELIEVE in the theory of evolution. I ACCEPT the theory as the best explanation for observed phenomena based on the huge amount of consilient positive evidence. You God-botheres can't seem to grasp the difference.

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  94. @ Thorton and Zachriel
    Okay and you don't seem to see the problem which arises when we try to delve into the problem of evolving a creature. Since you refuse to try, I'll do it. Let me break it up for you. It's a simple scenario, I do not ask you to tell me which mutation occurred at which position leading to change in which protein and all but I'm sure you know that those details will be answered someday leading to total rejection or acceptance of ToE.

    Let's consider a primitive moving creature. It develops an eye spot on it's back. The nerves which were already present on the skin send the impulse to the brain any time light falls on it. So the organism has itches now and then and it's irritates him to death. No advantage but the trait passes on to it's offspring. For some generations the eye spot passes on without any advantage (evolution getting lucky here but I'll be lenient) and now another mutation occurs which causes a change in it's brain and now the organism can see some flashes inside it's brain. It's doesn't react, it might get distracted but may be not. So the trait is passing on for a few more generations and the organism can now tell the difference in the images in his brain when it's moving and the images it sees when it's still. So maybe the creature tries to feed on stuff which is still rather than moving. So the trait gets selected. Now somehow a changes in it's brain can tell it when it's dark and when there's light. Pass on. Now, let's say the creature learns to tell that this is up, the trait gets selected. Why? Now it can tell what is down. the trait passes on. The creature still doesn't know a thing about what is that in front of it and what is in the background. Huh. Now it starts to get changes in the brain to tell what a predator looks like. So if the predator approaches from up or down, it can move away, but it still needs to know which side would be "away". But luckily it did the right move and the trait passed on. Now the creature knows what is right. and what is left and now he develops the mental machinery to get all this data and form a picture which has some meaning...

    You get the idea now. Now I'm sure you've read more scientific papers than I have. So maybe you could come up with a more scientific explanation of the process.

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  95. Mahima: It's like you see stills of images and arrange them to make up a story.

    Yes, there are a large number of well-represented lineages that can be arranged in such a manner. Of course, there are lots of gaps too. That's why scientists, since Darwin actually, work with the nested hierarchy as the primary ordering pattern. As an example, here's a dinosaur cladogram.
    http://www.gavinrymill.com/dinosaurs/Cladogram/CladogramComplete.jpg

    Zachriel: No one knows all the changes required to turn even a wolf into a great dane. Your argument would be that it didn't happen. However, we know that it did happen.

    Mahima: You are entitled to your viewpoint.

    Are you actually saying that modern dogs do not share common descent with wolves?

    Mahima: I'll do that but it better be about forming an ear from scratch.

    This was your objection:

    Mahima: And major jumps for evolution seem implausible in the kind of universe we live in. Robots do not spring into existence.

    The mammalian middle ear is a complex structure that evolved from more primitive reptilian structures. If we show how this happened, then it demonstrates that complex structures can evolve incrementally. It answers your objection.

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  96. Mahima: So maybe you could come up with a more scientific explanation of the process.

    Keep in mind that even single-celled organisms have the capability of responding to light and gravity in a manner that provides an evolutionary advantage. Not sure why you would think it would be so difficult for a multicellular organism. When we are discussing multicellular organisms, life has already been evolving for hundreds of millions of years, from the most primitive to highly complex and colonial eukaryotic cells.

    Mahima: The nerves which were already present on the skin send the impulse to the brain any time light falls on it.

    Yes, and whenever a shadow passes, it moves to avoid being eaten. It doesn't matter which way it moves. It's better than sitting there.

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  97. I apologize. I should have made the topic of the links I provided clearer. The first two links are in fact about a scientific case for intelligent design with respect to cosmology. They are not about the model for ID headed by Behe,Dembski ect...

    http://www.raherrmann.com/gidt.htm

    http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j23_1/j23_1_62-69.pdf

    That being said. An indecipherable meaningless salad?
    What, are you on a diet thorton? Just because you don't have the mental capacity to understand what the papers I provided were about doesn't mean they are nonsense. Boy you are arrogant. And also, can you provide any citations from papers appearing in "real science journals" that supposedly "shredded" the Dembski papers I Provided?

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  98. That being said. An indecipherable meaningless salad?
    What, are you on a diet thorton? Just because you don't have the mental capacity to understand what the papers I provided were about doesn't mean they are nonsense.


    LOL! You're the guy who is just posting C&Ped links from Creation.com and is unable to explain or summarize the ideas in his own words.

    Let me guess - A.J. is short for "R.A. Herrmann, a misunderstood genius who the scientific community has been blackballing because the can't handle his brilliant world-changing ideas!" Right?

    Get in line behind Louis the Fruit Loop if you want to apply for the job of resident crackpot.

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  99. I never said I was unable to summarize what the links were about. Frankly I'm not trying to get in a lengthy argument on Cornelius' blog, which is why I posted the links for everyone to examine by themselves so they can evaluate the evidence first-hand. I see you cant wrap your head around it, so you attack it. Thats ok.
    Btw, Im not Dr. Robert A. Herrmann.
    What are you, paranoid?

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  100. A.J said...

    I never said I was unable to summarize what the links were about.


    True. I said it, and you keep confirming it. I guess 'witnessing' stuff you don't understand is the best you can do.

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  101. Zachriel said...
    Not sure why you would think it would be so difficult for a multicellular organism. When we are discussing multicellular organisms, life has already been evolving for hundreds of millions of years, from the most primitive to highly complex and colonial eukaryotic cells.
    *******

    It was already there is place because of evolution. Then evolution made some changes and voila!
    ******


    Yes, and whenever a shadow passes, it moves to avoid being eaten. It doesn't matter which way it moves. It's better than sitting there.
    ******

    You assume it already comprehends it. That the light stimulus has been wired such a way that when light falls, it moves. Why would that be? "Shadow" and "passing" shadow. I see you still don't get the point. Never mind.

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  102. Well here we go again. The usual Darwinistas spewing forth the usual codswallop.

    So sad that none of these deaf, DUMB and blind Darwinian fundamentalists know nothing at all about statistical mechanics, algorithmic information theory or combinatorial dependencies -such as found in all living systems at every level.

    The probability (statistical mechanics) of having a vision system, like the human eye, arise by random chance and necessity (Darwinism) is so astronomically small that one actually has a better chance of pin pointing a single elementary particle somewhere in the universe on the first try than of RMs + NS producing a functional eye.

    Darwinian scenarios to evolution of eyes are childishly and naively simplistic to the point of being ridiculous. Always a good laugh though.

    Don't bother the poor Darwhiner though with such facts, he does not know anything about facts. The Darwhiners prefer speculation and just-so stories to facts and logic any day. The whole of their "science" is built upon story telling.

    Darwinists are immune to logic.

    "The one that created the eye, does he not see?"
    Of course, he must.

    "Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

    Indeed, sight is a meaningless concept to nature, but vision systems as elegant and exquisite as we find in ourselves and all around us are supposed to have come about by pure luck!

    My but these people are gullible!

    The space shuttle too I suppose must have risen the same way; um except its no where near as sophisticated as a human eye.

    Oh gee, you say its not organic so its a bad analogy? My goodness who'd a thought huh?

    There are far more signs of design in the human eye than there are in the space shuttle.

    Darwinists are hopelessly lost in a chaotic morass of bad logic, really bad science, faith based beliefs (the whole Darwinian fairy tale) and pure stupidity.

    No wonder Hoyle said they are mentally ill. We see it proven every day on this blog.

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  104. Gary said...

    The probability (statistical mechanics) of having a vision system, like the human eye, arise by random chance and necessity (Darwinism) is so astronomically small that one actually has a better chance of pin pointing a single elementary particle somewhere in the universe on the first try than of RMs + NS producing a functional eye.


    Then show us the calculations and justify any assumptions you make.

    You've been running that big mouth for a year now about how 'statistical mechanics disproves ToE' but haven't presented one single solitary thing to back it up.

    Talk is cheap Gary the yappy little puppy. And all you are is empty blustering talk.

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  105. Zachriel: Yes, and whenever a shadow passes, it moves to avoid being eaten. It doesn't matter which way it moves. It's better than sitting there.

    Mahima: You assume it already comprehends it.

    It doesn't have to comprehend anything. You said it tickled or itched. A simple reflex, like your blink reflex.

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  108. Zachriel said...
    It doesn't have to comprehend anything. You said it tickled or itched. A simple reflex, like your blink reflex.
    ********

    So there was a creature with no eyes. Then there was one with an eye spot. And simultaneous wiring to make it move when it a shadow passes. So, agreed it doesn't have to comprehend the shadow but it's brain has to be changed in a certain way for what you said to come about.

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  109. Mahima: So there was a creature with no eyes. Then there was one with an eye spot. And simultaneous wiring to make it move when it a shadow passes.

    Sigh. It was your scenario. This is what you said:

    Mahima: Let's consider a primitive moving creature. It develops an eye spot on it's back. The nerves which were already present on the skin send the impulse to the brain any time light falls on it. So the organism has itches now and then and it's irritates him to death. No advantage but the trait passes on to it's offspring.

    We answered that question. We have an organism with an eye that causes an itch. When a shadow passes, it itches and it moves. That by itself can be a significant benefit. Consider the lowly housefly as you swat at it.

    In any case, metazoa inherited a huge number of complex adaptations, including light sensitivity and intercellular communication.

    Your basic contention is that the complex visual system of vertebrates couldn't have evolved because they require too many parts to have occurred simultaneously. But if you actually look at various biological organisms, you will see that is not the case. There are a variety of very simple systems that can be adapted to more complex systems and behaviors. Try to understand the simple cases first, such as Euglena; how and why a simple system can provide an evolutionary advantage.

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  110. Zachriel wrote: There are a variety of very simple systems that can be adapted to more complex systems and behaviors.

    We observe gradients in sensory system complexity. A jelly fish is one such example. From Wikipedia...

    A jellyfish does not have a brain or central nervous system, but rather has a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis, which is called a "nerve net". A jellyfish detects various stimuli including the touch of other animals via this nerve net, which then transmits impulses both throughout the nerve net and around a circular nerve ring, through the rhopalial lappet, located at the rim of the jellyfish body, to other nerve cells. Some jellyfish also have ocelli: light-sensitive organs that do not form images but which can detect light, and are used to determine up from down, responding to sunlight shining on the water's surface. These are generally pigment spot ocelli, which have some cells (not all) pigmented.

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