Friday, March 11, 2011

A Professor's Evidence For Why Evolution is a Fact

I asked a professor why evolution is a fact and he listed off several evidences. Was he correct, is evolution a fact? The answer ultimately depends on you because there is no objective criteria for facthood. So there is bound to be disagreement, but let’s at least agree on our disagreement.

When I asked the professor why evolution is a fact he focused specifically on the evolution of humans and offered seven evidences: biogeographical data, fossils, genetic similarities between species in protein coding DNA, genetic similarities between species in non coding regions, genetic similarities between species involving transposons and retro viruses, and the fusion of human chromosome #2.

But there are two problems here. First these evidences are decidedly mixed, and second they are also selective. If these evidences make evolution a fact, then a great many things most people consider unlikely are, in fact, facts.

The evidence for evolution is mixed


In mandating evolution, the professor cited genetic similarities between the human and chimpanzee. There are indeed great similarities. In fact these two genomes are so similar it suggests there are other reasons for the human and chimp differences. Furthermore the DNA differences we do find don’t fit the expected evolutionary pattern.

It turns out that the differences between the human and chimp DNA instructions are not sprinkled, more or less at random, throughout our genome. Rather, these differences are found in clusters. Even more interesting, at these locations the chimp’s genome is quite similar to other primates—it is the human that differs from the rest, not the chimp.

Evolutionists refer to these clusters as human accelerated regions (HARs) because they believe the human genome evolved from a human-chimp common ancestor. Often these HARs are found in DNA segments that do not code for genes (the majority of the genome does not code for genes). These HARs cause several problems for evolution. For instance, we must believe that evolution caused rapid changes to occur right where needed to improve function and eventually create a human. As one evolutionist wrote:

The way to evolve a human from a chimp-human ancestor is not to speed the ticking of the molecular clock as a whole. Rather the secret is to have rapid change occur in sites where those changes make an important difference in an organism’s functioning. HAR1 is certainly such a place. So, too, is the FOXP2 gene, which contains another of the fast-changing sequences I identified and is known to be involved in speech.

Furthermore, some HARs are found in DNA segments that do code for genes, and here we find another story of contradictions.

Of course the evolutionary expectation was that humans evolved from the chimp-human ancestor via natural selection acting on mutations, to improve the genes. That is, mutations happen to occur in the genes and occasionally a mutation was helpful or at least not harmful (neutral). In those cases it may well persist and eventually become established in the population.

But findings published earlier this year reveal nothing of the kind. Assuming evolution is true, the HARs that were found in protein coding genes showed evidence not of mutations that had been selected because they were genetically helpful, but rather the exact opposite. The genetic changes showed evidence that they were, in fact, at least slightly deleterious. They had become established in the population not because they were helpful (or not harmful), but in spite of being deleterious. As the evolutionists concluded, the results led to:

the provocative hypothesis that many of the genetic changes leading to human-specific characters may have been prompted by fixation of deleterious mutations.

Once again the results make little sense under evolution.

Another problem with this genomic comparison evidence is that amongst the primates it often does not correlate well with morphological differences, as evolution would predict. For instance the orangutan looks and acts more like humans than do chimps. As one evolutionist admitted, if it weren’t for DNA, it would be the orangutan rather than the chimp pictured next to the human in the evolutionary tree. Contra the DNA evidence, only a handful of visible characters make it look like humans are most similar to chimps, whereas many more characters point to orangutans being more similar to humans than chimps. As one researcher put it:

There remains, however, a paradoxical problem lurking within the wealth of DNA data: our morphology and physiology have very little, if anything, uniquely in common with chimpanzees to corroborate a unique common ancestor. Most of the characters we do share with chimpanzees also occur in other primates, and in sexual biology and reproduction we could hardly be more different. It would be an understatement to think of this as an evolutionary puzzle.

Yet once again we find conflicting characters when trying to align the species to an evolutionary tree. Even presupposing that evolution is true, we are left with an array of contradictory data. Here is how one evolutionist summed it up:

revisiting the red ape is a useful reminder that not everything to do with morphology can be attributed to the closeness of a genetic relationship. We can evolve likenesses even to our more distant cousins if both sets of ancestors faced similar problems.

You can read more about this here.

The professor also mentioned the fusion of human chromosome #2. It would have been a problem for evolution if apes and humans had different number of chromosomes without any fusion events. We do have fewer chromosomes, but a fusion event was discovered. So evolution escaped what presumably would have been a problem. But the fusion event itself has nothing to do with evolution. We infer that such an event occurred, but there is no need for evolution to be true for the event to occur. So the evidence is interesting, and evolution escapes a problem, but there is nothing powerful here in support of the theory. Yet the professor described this evidence as demonstrating an evolutionary relationship: You can read more about the human chromosome #2 here, here and here.

A similarity does not demonstrate an evolutionary relationship. This is a misrepresentation of the scientific evidence. The fact that we share the same number of chromosomes with apes, or that we have a similar body plan, or that species share the same genetic code, or that different species of fish share similar gills, and so forth, does not demonstrate evolution.

There is of course much more that could be said about the scientific evidence. And it is not all bad for evolution. There are supporting evidences for evolution, and it has its successful predictions. But there are substantial scientific problems within the empirical evidence. While the evidence may be mixed, there is no question that evolution does not qualify as a scientific fact in the same sense that gravity or the round shape of the earth are facts. There is, however, an entirely different problem with the evidence that evolutionists set forth.

The evidence for evolution is selective

The evidence provided by the professor is selective. Yes, there is some supporting evidences within the professor’s categories, but he omitted entire categories that present substantial problems for evolution. This is a long story, but one rather obvious problematic category is that of mechanism. How is it that a living cell arose from inorganic chemicals? How did that population lead to multicellularity? How did fish arise, and then amphibians and birds and mammals? How did everything from the cardiovascular system to the brain arise?

There are few detailed answers to such questions. What we have mainly is speculation based on the assumption that evolution must be true. Evolution cannot even explain how proteins initially arose. The empirical evidence, rather, points to how astronomically unlikely their evolution would be. You can read more about this here, here, here, here, here and here.

Seeking agreement

In spite of these well known evidential issues the professor was insistent that evolution is a fact beyond all reasonable doubt. It is, he explained, a fact because what we observe shows it to be a fact. The scientific evidences say evolution happens and has happened, and we are relatives of many other living species, if not of all, in the planet. Of course these high claims are typical. Evolutionists say their theory is compelling and that it would be perverse and irrational to doubt it.

Obviously evolutionists have very unusual logic for determining what qualifies as a scientific fact. I’m not expecting them to change their minds about this, but perhaps we can understand that very different reasonings are at work. Perhaps we can agree about our disagreement.

440 comments:

  1. Cornelius, if you think you have compelling evidence against evolution, simply submit your scientific paper on the subject for peer review and await your nobel prize.

    Have you run the above blogpost past the professor in question? Or any other biologists?

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  2. Cornelius,

    "Yet once again we find conflicting characters when trying to align the species to an evolutionary tree."

    Haven't you heard - the tree of life is dead according to Craig Venter. For those who don't know who Venter is he was one of the first to sequence the human genome, and worked on the project to create a life form from a synthetic genome. No need to attempt to refute this fairy tale. Science has finally uncovered the truth of the history of life on earth.

    http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/the-great-debate-what-is-life/what-is-life-panel

    .

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  3. Peter, the notion of a single "tree of life" was discarded several years ago, as more and more evidence of horizontal gene transfer was discovered. For a nice review of how things stood in 2009, see Koonin:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2651812/?tool=pubmed

    From his discussion:

    "Thus, an adequate representation of life's history is a network of genetic exchanges rather than a single tree, and accordingly, the ‘strong’ TOL hypothesis, namely, the existence of a ‘species tree’ for the entire history of cellular life, is falsified by the results of comparative genomics."

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  4. However, as Koonin went on to say:

    "Certainly, this conclusion is not to be taken as an indication that the concept of evolutionary tree introduced by Darwin should be abandoned altogether. First, trees have the potential to accurately represent the evolution of individual gene families. Secondly, there exist, beyond doubt, expansive parts of life's history for which congruent trees can be obtained for large sets of orthologous genes, and accordingly, the consensus topology of these trees qualifies as a species tree. Evolution of major groups of eukaryotes, such as animals or plants, is the most obvious case in point but tree-like evolution seems to apply also to many groups of prokaryotes at relatively shallow phylogenetic depths."

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  5. Cornelius, don't you ever get tired of your dishonest equivocation between the observed fact that evolution has occurred and the theory of evolution that explains the observed fact?

    Talk about your stupid one trick pony...

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  6. Pedant,

    "Peter, the notion of a single "tree of life" was discarded several years ago, as more and more evidence of horizontal gene transfer was discovered."

    Don't tell that to Richard Dawkins. He seems to favour a tree structure based on a simplistic view of DNA (same web page quoted above), not that I ever thought much of Dawkins arguments. He did, however, marry Lalla Ward of Doctor Who fame for which I have a great deal of respect.

    .

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  7. All quotes from Cornelius, except one.

    For instance, we must believe that evolution caused rapid changes to occur right where needed to improve function and eventually create a human.

    Humans have "better" genes than chimps? Who said that?

    It turns out that the differences between the human and chimp DNA instructions are not sprinkled, more or less at random, throughout our genome. Rather, these differences are found in clusters.

    So...?

    Of course the evolutionary expectation was that humans evolved from the chimp-human ancestor via natural selection acting on mutations, to improve the genes.

    Evolutionary biologists see no role for genetic drift and gene flux in human evolution?

    The genetic changes showed evidence that they were, in fact, at least slightly deleterious. They had become established in the population not because they were helpful (or not harmful), but in spite of being deleterious

    So this goes against evolutionary theory, despite the fact that genetic drift is a core component of population genetics and the decades old Modern Synthesis. Curious.

    Do you know the effects of genetic drift in small populations?

    Contra the DNA evidence, only a handful of visible characters make it look like humans are most similar to chimps, whereas many more characters point to orangutans being more similar to humans than chimps.

    That seems to be a highly eccentric opinion to me. I wonder if Grehan is friends with Alan Feduccia. Anyway, it's been refuted:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02354.x/full

    A total evidence molecular and phenotypic approach. They found no topological contradiction. Chimps are closer to humans.

    From the article:

    Sensitivity analyses showed that the result was not dependent on the parameters chosen for character weighting.

    So there is not much to whine about "selective evidence" and "subjective weighting". :-)

    But the fusion event itself has nothing to do with evolution. We infer that such an event occurred, but there is no need for evolution to be true for the event to occur.

    How did the event happen then, in heaven? What is the alternative you have in mind?

    Yes, there is some supporting evidences within the professor’s categories, but he omitted entire categories that present substantial problems for evolution.

    Well, you asked him evidence for evolution, didn't you?

    How is it that a living cell arose from inorganic chemicals? How did that population lead to multicellularity? How did fish arise, and then amphibians and birds and mammals? How did everything from the cardiovascular system to the brain arise?

    Oh, here it comes the gallop. Lots of books and papers for that, Cornelius.

    You can read more about this here, here, here, here, here and here.

    Don't forget to read the comments too!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pendant said, "However, as Koonin went on to say:

    'Certainly, this conclusion is not to be taken as an indication that the concept of evolutionary tree introduced by Darwin should be abandoned altogether....'"

    ---

    Cherished icons die hard. This clearly illustrates what anyone who would question the validity of evolution itself is up against, since some evolutionists can't let failed models go. You have people working out this tree their whole career only to find out that the model was fundamentally wrong. I can see where they would try to cling to pieces of the wreckage.

    Craig Ventor and other evolutionists say there is not tree of life, yet here we have an example of an evolutionist trying to put a happy face on another Darwinian boondoggle. Trying to salvage what's left... of course lots of bad theories have some truth. Even the worst lies in history have some elements of truth.

    Months of talk about the imagined "objective" nested hierarchies being strong evidence for evolution was seriously flawed. Selection criteria based on genome has been found to conflict with previous selection criteria based on morphology criteria (see sea squirt for one example).

    Now we have notable evolutionists coming out and saying there is no tree of life. A bush is kindalike a tree, "junk" as in junk dna does not really mean "junk".

    Okay, now it looks like the universal genetic code is not universal.

    Another boondoggle.

    No tree of life. No universal genetic code...

    These are facts.

    Evolutionists are on a sinking ship.

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  9. Geoxus said:

    Oh, here it comes the gallop. Lots of books and papers for that, Cornelius.

    Lately, it seems that the good Professor Hunter has a problem with focus.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tedford:

    Okay, now it looks like the universal genetic code is not universal.

    Creationists are so behind the times. In 1973, six years before some of the slight variations in the code were first found, F. H. C. Crick and L. E. Orgel surmised:

    "It is a little surprising that organisms with somewhat different codes do not coexist."

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  11. Pedant, right. Evolution is able to accommodate either UGC or no UGC. But, Theobald in his 29 evidences makes a big deal out of UGC. I argued long ago that UGC is not evidence for or against evolution simply because evolution is not really grounded on specific scientific findings. It is a flexible philosophy of interpreting findings. The problem is with how easy evolutionists will accommodate any finding as evidence and then trumpet it as a great confirmation. When a contradiction is later found, then it is flexible enough to accommodate that too. It's the old "draw the target around the arrow" and then claim a direct hit trick. The so-called "fact" of evolution has multiple layers and tactics of defense. Falsifying evolution is like nailing Jello to the wall. Evidence for evolution then comes down to simply framing the argument in light of whatever is found.

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  12. Lapsus clavis: gene flux -> gene flow

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  13. Tedford:

    Pedant, right. Evolution is able to accommodate either UGC or no UGC.

    What we have is an almost universal code, which strongly supports common descent. It would be hard to justify common descent if none of the major branches of the bush/tree had a common genetic code. Contrary to your caricature, evolutionary theory is falsifiable. You just haven't falsified it yet.

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  14. Pedant said, "What we have is an almost universal code, which strongly supports common descent".

    Really?

    If the exceptions are not a problem, then at what point do enough exceptions become an issue? It's all very subjective...

    You said, "It would be hard to justify common descent if none of the major branches of the bush/tree had a common genetic code."

    Hard, but not impossible, right? So unable to be falsified. Jello.... never willing to commit.

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  15. Neal Tedford:
    If the exceptions are not a problem, then at what point do enough exceptions become an issue? It's all very subjective...

    Neal, the exceptions aren't even very exceptional, they are only minor variations from the common code. Why would we throw out a very successful theory based on a few minor exceptions that can be explained?

    On the other hand, let's say you had an alternate theory, one that not only powerfully explained these exceptions but also explained the otherwise common code. And let's say your theory at the same time also explained biogeographical patterns, the fossil record, homologous structures, genetic relatedness, etc. etc. Now THAT would be a great reason to toss evolutionary theory out the window. Let us know when you have such a theory.

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  16. Norm said, "Neal, the exceptions aren't even very exceptional, they are only minor variations from the common code."

    Genome sequencing is just getting started compared to all the life that exists on earth and the number of variations counted is somewhere around 17 at this point. This does not include life that our present tools may not even be able to detect accurately. If the number grows to 19, is that too much? How about 99? or 999? Compared to the millions is 999,999 to many? Jello.

    Evolutionists use equivocal language to ensure falsification doesn't happen.

    You said, "Now THAT would be a great reason to toss evolutionary theory out the window. Let us know when you have such a theory."

    Sincerely?

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  17. Neal:
    Sincerely?

    Absolutely. I'm not emotionally tied to the theory of evolution, nor ideologically bound to it. And I think I can say the same for most proponents of the theory (at least the ones I know personally). Despite assertions to the contrary made by certain people.

    If a new theory were proposed that better explained the available evidence AND provided a workable, testable mechanism, I'd be all over it. In the meantime, the theory of evolution is the best explanation I've heard.

    As for how many exceptions? I don't know, as I said, I don't find these exceptions all that exceptional. Now, if the exceptions were things like radically different non-DNA based codes, that would be something else. Then we would have to consider multiple independent origins. That in itself might not invalidate evolution but it would sure change our perceptions of the origin of life problem.

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  18. Norm said, "That in itself might not invalidate evolution but it would sure change our perceptions of the origin of life problem."

    And what "workable", "testable Mechanism" is now available to shore up your best explanation you've heard for the origin of life?

    What makes chemical evolution a better explanation than creation for origin of life?

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  19. Tedford the idiot said...

    What makes chemical evolution a better explanation than creation for origin of life?


    Because there's empirical evidence that many of the steps required for life can occur through purely natural methods without the need for a Designer. Consequently, there is no reason to posit that a Designer is required for the steps still being investigated. There is also zero evidence that a Designer was ever involved at any time in the process.

    For the sake of argument, let's say the Great Pink Quizzelwort from the plant Koosbane seeded the Earth with the first organic self-replicators some 3+ billion years ago. What would preclude evolution from happening from that time til now?

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  20. Tedford:

    What makes chemical evolution a better explanation than creation for origin of life?

    I'll add to what Thorton said by noting that chemical evolution theories can be tested to see how well they explain the chemistry of life. Creation theories can be tested by [...]?

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  21. Looking back at the OP, Hunter claimed:

    The genetic changes showed evidence that they were, in fact, at least slightly deleterious. They had become established in the population not because they were helpful (or not harmful), but in spite of being deleterious.

    Here, he is referring to the paper:

    Hotspots of Biased Nucleotide Substitutions in Human Genes, by Jonas Berglund, Katherine S. Pollard, Matthew T. Webster (see Hunter's OP for the link).

    I've read the paper, and I haven't found the evidence for deleterious mutations that Hunter claimed was reported therein. What I found was evidence for recombinational hotspots in the Human Accelerated Regions (HARs).

    There is some speculation in the literature that recombinational hotspots might lead to deleterious mutations, but I haven't seen any examples. Does Dr Hunter have any?

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  22. Neal:
    What makes chemical evolution a better explanation than creation for origin of life?

    I have a question for you Neal. I'm guessing that you believe that God created life (please correct me if I'm wrong). What I would like to know is, how do you envision that event? How do you imagine it might have occurred? What I'm getting at is, do you think it was by some process that we mere humans would be able to comprehend (like, say some sort of chemical reaction that led to replicating units)? Or do you picture it as more like a magical event, incomprehensible to us, like a "poof" there was life! And do you think that all life was created more or less at the same time, or did it unfold over time?

    OK, I guess that's more than one question. Just wondering where you stand on these things. One of the things that sort of drives me nuts is that critics of evolution, almost to a person, never, ever tell you what they they believe. It's like you guys all got together and agreed never to divulge your own ideas about how exactly life arose and how biological diversity came to be. The author of this blog is a great example.

    Oh and if you ask me what I believe, I will have no problem telling you.

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  23. Norm Olsen said...

    OK, I guess that's more than one question. Just wondering where you stand on these things. One of the things that sort of drives me nuts is that critics of evolution, almost to a person, never, ever tell you what they they believe. It's like you guys all got together and agreed never to divulge your own ideas about how exactly life arose and how biological diversity came to be. The author of this blog is a great example.


    It was all part of the this go-around's master plan.

    Creto: "We want Creation taught in schools!"

    Science and the courts: "You can't teach your religious beliefs as science"

    Creto: "How about if we call it Creation Science. We want Creation Science taught in schools!"

    Science and the courts: "You can't teach your religious beliefs as science"

    Creto: "How about if we call it Intelligent Design, and ix-snay on the OD-Gay. We want Intelligent Design taught in schools!"

    Science and the courts: "Look you morons, changing the name doesn't change the contents. You can't teach your religious beliefs as science"

    The next wave will be "teach the strengths and weaknesses of ToE, and we get to define the weaknesses with Creationism as an alternative!". The clowns have already started.

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  24. Pedant-

    I think Hunter misunderstood the paper. He has taken "the provocative hypothesis that many of the genetic changes leading to human-specific characters may have been prompted by fixation of deleterious mutations" and substituted WERE for MAY HAVE BEEN in the hypothesis, concluding:

    "The genetic changes showed evidence that they were, in fact, at least slightly deleterious. They had become established in the population not because they were helpful (or not harmful), but in spite of being deleterious."

    Of course, the authors are merely arguing for a mechanism by which HARs could contain fixed mildly deleterious mutations, not that they have actually tested the fitness effects of HAR alterations in humans! Hence calling it a "provocative hypothesis."

    Beyond that, what fixation of mildly deleterious alleles, in Hunter's mind, does to contradict evolutionary biology is beyond me. Investigations of the role of GC-biased gene conversion in increasing mutation load in mammals are not new. Fixation of even more strongly deleterious alleles, for example in small populations, is an old observation (and a major issue in conservation of small populations of endangered animals).

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=fixation%20deleterious%20allele

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  25. Tedford:

    Another boondoggle.

    No tree of life. No universal genetic code...

    These are facts.

    Evolutionists are on a sinking ship.


    Yep. No tree of life, no UGC and gaps in the fossil record. What else must be falsified in order for the believers to abandon the religion? In my opinion, not even the falsification of the sacred nested hierarchies BS will do. Indeed, they're already on record for saying that apparent non-nested hierarchies are due to convergence. Imagine that. Blind convergence created by random mutations results in identical genetic codes in disparate branches of the tree.

    The odor of BS is so strong in the evolutionist camp, one wonders if they still have a sense of smell. Chicken feather voodoo science is what they practice.

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  26. Andrew Ryan:

    ===
    Cornelius, if you think you have compelling evidence against evolution, simply submit your scientific paper on the subject for peer review and await your nobel prize.
    ===

    Why would I submit a paper on a religious theory to a scientific journal?

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  27. Geoxus:

    ===
    CH: The genetic changes showed evidence that they were, in fact, at least slightly deleterious. They had become established in the population not because they were helpful (or not harmful), but in spite of being deleterious

    So this goes against evolutionary theory, despite the fact that genetic drift is a core component of population genetics and the decades old Modern Synthesis. Curious.

    Do you know the effects of genetic drift in small populations?
    ===

    Having it both ways. On the one hand evolutionists insist their theory is a scientific fact, no question about it. But when you point out problems with their evidence they say you have failed to falsify their theory. I wish I had a nickel for every time they do this bait and switch.

    Now, as for this specific example, the evolutionary argument is a just-so story. First, it's pretty ridiculous to think the small fraction of mutations we're talking about is going to cause such huge changes. But this is what evolutionists believe.

    Second, evolutionists have to appeal to genetic drift, which adds yet more complication to their theory. In general, since 1859 evolution has grown tremendously more complex to accommodate the unexpected data. It makes Ptolemy's geocentrism look downright simple.

    And of course the probabilities are, once again, astronomically against evolution. You can't have a set of mutations all together drift to a new design. That's aburdly unlikely. The only hope evolution could possibly have is to have strong selection and independence, so each mutation not only is a stepping stone toward the human, but itself yields fitness improvement. There are other problems but this much we would need. Genetic drift doesn't get you there, but so what, this is evolution. Anything goes.

    Continued ...

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  28. Geoxus:

    ===
    CH: But the fusion event itself has nothing to do with evolution. We infer that such an event occurred, but there is no need for evolution to be true for the event to occur.

    How did the event happen then, in heaven? What is the alternative you have in mind?
    ===

    The pretzel logic of evolution is stunning. "How did the event happen then, in heaven?" It sounds like a joke, but they're serious. Believe it or not, this is typical. Evolutionists are constantly making fools of themselves.

    "What is the alternative you have in mind?" Again, this is just stunning. Evolutionary thought is completely vacuous. What alternative? What in the world could this possibly mean? As though evolution is the only explanation for our fused chromosomes when, in fact, evolution has nothing to do with what obviously occurred (ie, a fusion event).

    I guess when you're an evolutionist, then everything you see must have evolved. Like the old hammer and nail joke. The evidence we're talking about literally has nothing to do with evolution. This is just silly, but they're serious. And it is an excellent example of why they are evolutionists. This is not science.


    ===
    Yes, there is some supporting evidences within the professor’s categories, but he omitted entire categories that present substantial problems for evolution.

    Well, you asked him evidence for evolution, didn't you?
    ===

    No, I asked him to back up his absurd claim that evolution is a fact. This is such an obvious lie it is astonishing that evolutionists continue to insist upon it.




    ===
    How is it that a living cell arose from inorganic chemicals? How did that population lead to multicellularity? How did fish arise, and then amphibians and birds and mammals? How did everything from the cardiovascular system to the brain arise?

    Oh, here it comes the gallop. Lots of books and papers for that, Cornelius.
    ===

    There you have it folks. Evolution has no explanation for its astonishing claims, and with a wave of the hand such problems are dismissed. It's all just a "gallop." A gallop? You present substantial, outstanding problems and it's a "gallop." And they call themselves scientists. You cannot make this stuff up.

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  29. Cornelius Hunter,

    a few points.

    I do understand that you are not happy with the framing of the human chromosome #2 story but criticism that is presented is nothing else than ordinary Popperian falsificationism. A theory can never be verified only falsified. Therefore not finding the fused chromosome would have falsified the hypothesis of common descent, while it was a priori impossible to verify the hypothesis of common descent anyway. The beauty of this test is simply that it would have been very difficult to rescue the ToE in the face of the circumstantial evidence and what we know about genetics.

    “Another problem with this genomic comparison evidence is that amongst the primates it often does not correlate well with morphological differences, as evolution would predict.“

    This is not a prediction of the ToE but that is not the point. The point is that people have repeatedly been arguing with you about that and that you can easily find on the internet why this is not so. But instead of addressing the objections you usually go back to the original claim and consequently halt the discussion. This is the same for the “red ape” story which also is not a prediction of the ToE.

    “Second, evolutionists have to appeal to genetic drift, which adds yet more complication to their theory.“

    That is another nice example. You know that genetic drift is a consequence finite population sizes. So even if the ToE was wrong you would still have genetic drift. So evolutionary biologist simply have to live with genetic drift rather than appeal to it.

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  30. Neal Tedford,

    the universality of the genetic code is an interesting point. If the code was perfectly universal you would be the first to claim that this was a clear indication of intelligent design and you would have a point. Since at the bottom of how the code came about lies randomness one would expect minor variations. Not finding any variation at all would indeed be suspicious.

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  31. RobertC:

    I think Hunter misunderstood the paper. He has taken "the provocative hypothesis that many of the genetic changes leading to human-specific characters may have been prompted by fixation of deleterious mutations" and substituted WERE for MAY HAVE BEEN in the hypothesis…

    Thanks for confirming my suspicion. It’s interesting (but typical) that Dr Hunter has not stood up and acknowledged his latest gaffe, but instead has issued, as a smokescreen, vacuous epithets such as Evolutionary thought is completely vacuous. (Also true to form.)

    Anyway, I enjoy his literature searches. They help me keep up with developments in biology and battle my encroaching Alzheimer’s.

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  32. Maybe CH is right and there is no evidence that evolution is a fact. And as a science it does not adhere to the same methodological standards as other sciences. Perhaps.

    But the real essential question (the one that really matters to me anyway) is, is there any reason to think that the appearance of biological species is due to a non-natural process? What is the evidence presented for that? We hear about "probabilities" and "CSI" and "irreducible complexity" but this there any real evidence of a Designer at work, let alone any clue as the identify of a Designer? I know IDers like to protest that the identify of the Designer is either out-of-bounds (or a secret), but let's be honest Intelligent Design without a Designer is not much use is it now?

    Is this why CH is so coy to really present the "alternative", because he's worried that the evidence for the alternative may not only amount to very little, but in the end has either limited or no explanatory power?

    So tell us CH - why should we think biological species is due to a non-natural source? (And would appreciate not using the word "faith" in your answer"). Isn't this the real crux of the matter and what truly motivates you?

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  33. second opinion:

    ===
    I do understand that you are not happy with the framing of the human chromosome #2 story but criticism that is presented is nothing else than ordinary Popperian falsificationism. A theory can never be verified only falsified.
    ===

    False. We all agree heliocentrism is, for all practical purposes, verified. The problem here is not that I am a skeptic, as you would have it. The problem is that you are promoting the false claim that evolution is a scientific fact. You can't get out of it by blaming me. You're the one making the absurd claims, not me.


    ===
    Therefore not finding the fused chromosome would have falsified the hypothesis of common descent,
    ===

    Why is it that evolutionists are such strong falsificationists when it comes to supporting evidence, but not when it comes to contradictory evidence, such as UCEs, ORFans, HARs, convergence, OOL, epigenetics, mechanism, etc, etc.? Then they open up their suitcase of explanations and bring out their wares.


    ===
    while it was a priori impossible to verify the hypothesis of common descent anyway.
    ===

    False. We are nowhere even remotely close to the nuanced question of whether CD qualifies as a fact. If where were even in the neighborhood, yes, we could have interesting philosophical arguments about its level of certainty, how one establishes facts, etc. As it stands, we are in no position to cast doubters as skeptics. Rather they are the realists, and it is the evolutionists who are opposing science.


    ===
    The beauty of this test is simply that it would have been very difficult to rescue the ToE in the face of the circumstantial evidence and what we know about genetics.
    ===

    Even if that were true, it merely would be a bullet dodged. To say this is strong evidence for evolution is an outright lie. It literally is no different than any other homologous chromosome. We may as well be talking about chromosome 7. There is no difference in terms of evidence for evolution. For the ACLU to present this to a judge is an outrageous lie, and of course they know it. They're playing games with science and the law.


    ===
    “Another problem with this genomic comparison evidence is that amongst the primates it often does not correlate well with morphological differences, as evolution would predict.“

    This is not a prediction of the ToE but that is not the point.
    ===

    The evolutionary literature is chocked full of claims that the genotype - phenotype correlation is a powerful, compelling prooftext for evolution. But then in the face of contradictory evidence, oh no, that's not a prediction of evolution. Whereever did you get that idea?



    ===
    “Second, evolutionists have to appeal to genetic drift, which adds yet more complication to their theory.“

    That is another nice example. You know that genetic drift is a consequence finite population sizes. So even if the ToE was wrong you would still have genetic drift. So evolutionary biologist simply have to live with genetic drift rather than appeal to it.
    ===

    You conveniently missed my point, which was not merely that evolutionists appeal to genetic drift, but that they *have to* appeal to it. Genetic drift is about all they have left in their suitcase (I qualify that because it seems evolutionists can always make up some new silly explanation). The genetic drift explanation is astronomically unlikely, but that is what they must appeal to, in order to explain these contradictory findings.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Cornelius Hunter

    “We all agree heliocentrism is, for all practical purposes, verified.“

    As soon you present an objective method by which one can determine that the existence of Pangaea, for all practical purposes, is verified whereas common descent is not we can continue the discussion. Until then it is your bias against my bias.

    “The evolutionary literature is chocked full of claims that the genotype - phenotype correlation is a powerful, compelling prooftext for evolution.”

    I'm not going to research this. Please give a citation from a textbook - preferably the most recent one that you can find. Otherwise I must consider your claim to be empty.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Kartrev:

    ===
    Maybe CH is right and there is no evidence that evolution is a fact. And as a science it does not adhere to the same methodological standards as other sciences. Perhaps.

    But the real essential question (the one that really matters to me anyway) is, is there any reason to think that the appearance of biological species is due to a non-natural process? What is the evidence presented for that? We hear about "probabilities" and "CSI" and "irreducible complexity" but this there any real evidence of a Designer at work, let alone any clue as the identify of a Designer? I know IDers like to protest that the identify of the Designer is either out-of-bounds (or a secret), but let's be honest Intelligent Design without a Designer is not much use is it now?

    Is this why CH is so coy to really present the "alternative", because he's worried that the evidence for the alternative may not only amount to very little, but in the end has either limited or no explanatory power?

    So tell us CH - why should we think biological species is due to a non-natural source? (And would appreciate not using the word "faith" in your answer"). Isn't this the real crux of the matter and what truly motivates you?
    ===

    No, that is not what motivates me. I am more interested in an ingenious man who, by the way, was a Darwin contemporary. His name is Hans Christian Andersen and he wrote a story called "The Emperor's New Clothes" which you should read because you are living it out right now. I mean that sincerely.

    ReplyDelete
  36. CH: "No, that is not what motivates me. I am more interested in an ingenious man who, by the way, was a Darwin contemporary. His name is Hans Christian Andersen and he wrote a story called "The Emperor's New Clothes" which you should read because you are living it out right now. I mean that sincerely."

    You completely avoided the question, and instead settled for an answer that could be interpreted as rather insulting. But no matter. I asked a simple and honest question.

    The question, again, is - is there evidence to suggest a natural explanation or a non-natural one? Even if evolution is completely wrong (which I conceded you may be right on), what reason do we have to think there is a non-natural alternative? Which do you favour or suspect?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Cornelius,

    How are we supposed to reasonably discuss whether anything in particular is a scientific fact without determining if anything is a scientific fact or how the term is defined?

    Using terms such as "silly", "unlikely" and "absurd" are not substitutes for such a definition.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Cornelius,

    Please give us an example of a scientific fact along with the specifics as to why it qualifies as such.

    Since all observations are theory laden, it's likely you will have made a number of assumptions which you build upon to reaching your conclusion.

    ReplyDelete
  39. second opinion:

    ===
    As soon you present an objective method by which one can determine that the existence of Pangaea, for all practical purposes, is verified whereas common descent is not we can continue the discussion. Until then it is your bias against my bias.
    ===

    Bias? My bias is against lies.


    ===
    “The evolutionary literature is chocked full of claims that the genotype - phenotype correlation is a powerful, compelling prooftext for evolution.”

    I'm not going to research this. Please give a citation from a textbook - preferably the most recent one that you can find. Otherwise I must consider your claim to be empty.
    ===

    Like many religious people, evolutionists are often only vaguely familiar with the details of their own metaphysics. The correspondence between the visible traits and biochemical and molecular traits has long been used as powerful evidence for evolution. In the early 20th c., prior to molecular sequencing, this argument was based on the blood immunity studies. HH Lane (1923), for example, cited the blood immunity correlation as convincing evidence for evolution. Then later it incorporated the molecular sequences as they became available. You can read more about this here:

    http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Nested_Hierarchy#Twin_Nested_Hierarchies
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/08/back-to-school-part-4.html

    ReplyDelete
  40. Kartrev:

    ===
    The question, again, is - is there evidence to suggest a natural explanation or a non-natural one?
    ===

    You know the evidence as well as I. It is obvious that natural laws, mechanisms and processes have a tremendous capability to respond and adapt. The fossils tell us of large scale change that occurred. Similarities between species provide tell-tale signs that suggest common descent.

    On the other hand, there are substantial problems when we try to assemble a naturalistic explanation for everything. These problems are not minor, and this is not controversial.


    ===
    Even if evolution is completely wrong (which I conceded you may be right on),
    ===

    Except I didn't say evolution is completely wrong. What I said was that the claim that evolution is a scientific fact is wrong. It is so obviously wrong that it amounts to a serious misrepresentation of science and reveals that this isn't about science.


    ===
    what reason do we have to think there is a non-natural alternative? Which do you favour or suspect?
    ===

    A strictly naturalistic explanation has ontological problems, beyond the evidential problems that are so obvious. But evolution, as I read it, does not entail a strictly naturalistic explanation. It doesn't say natural laws, for instance, arose on their own. Given the existence of such laws, and a starting point, evolution says strictly naturalistic processes are sufficient to explain the origin of the world. Furthermore, evolution says this must be so. Evolution is dogmatic on this claim, as it arose from Christian theological concerns that mandated naturalism. It is religion, not science, that makes these sorts of claims.

    That doesn't mean, in my view, that it is necessarily wrong. But we need to be honest about what evolution is, what its claims are based on, and so forth.

    What do I favor or suspect? I favor the Bacon / Boyle tradition of following the data rather than thinking up answers that seem right to me. And since I am a Christian I have the freedom to consider a wide range of possible origins theories, ranging from heavy on the secondary causes to heavy on the primary causes. From a theological view, I don't have a preference. I'd take evolution if the scientific evidence supported it. But the scientific evidence doesn't support it very well, evolution's motivations and justifications are religious, evolution's truth claims are obviously false, and its adherents are hypocrits. We're not off to a very good start here, but I'm not throwing it out just yet. Its in the back of the pack, but its still running.

    If you forced me to give you my theory, I'd begin by tossing out everything that is currently on the table. I suspect that what actually happened is not quite what anyone has yet considered, though the truth may contain some elements therein. I'm not a skeptic, just a realist. That's what you get with empiricism.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Cornelius, there are only two options - evolution happens to some degree or it doesn't happen at all. So you either concede that it is scientific fact that it happens even the smallest amount, or you claim that all observed examples of evolution occurring are false.

    The later position would be somewhat radical. What's your explanation for Leakey's experiments? Even the Discovery Institute allows that evolution happens to some degree. In this sense it is indeed 'scientific fact', in as much as science deals with facts.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Kartrev to Cornelius:

    The question, again, is - is there evidence to suggest a natural explanation or a non-natural one?

    If it exists, it is natural. ID does not claim that biological systems were designed by non-natural forces.

    Even if some IDers believe that biological systems were designed and created by a god (or many gods), why should this god be non-natural? Is it so that you can wrestle with a strawman of your own making and claim victory? How lame and cowardly of you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. CH: "IA strictly naturalistic explanation has ontological problems, beyond the evidential problems that are so obvious."

    Why? What are those ontological problems? Is it a problem to suggest that the Universe may have a cause that has nothing to do with gods or supernatural entities? I personally have no ontological issues accepting such a possibility, given that I haven't yet seen much evidence for the alternatives.

    CH: "And since I am a Christian I have the freedom to consider a wide range of possible origins theories, ranging from heavy on the secondary causes to heavy on the primary causes. "

    So your own religious views have opened up possibilities that others who don't share that those religious views would have?

    In other words, although you seem to think that naturalistic evolution is some kind of religion (at least in part , but you're quite happy to let your own religious (metaphysical) beliefs influence your views on origins theories, at least to open you up to those possibilities?

    But it seems you are not particularly interested in actively investigate or research any of those avenues. You talk about "following the data", but I don't see much evidence that you are doing this. Or do you not think the data is going to lead to any useful hypothesis/theory? Besides, if you don't do this work, who will?

    CH: "If you forced me to give you my theory, I'd begin by tossing out everything that is currently on the table"

    Fair enough, but I suspect you are smart enough to realize that people will not make do with some kind of scientific tabula rasa; more to the point I don't think what you are suggesting has ever happened in the history of science. I don't think mainstream biological science is just going to just give up and say everything is wrong and toss everything out as you advocate. As such I think you are being anything but a realist. After all is there honestly any indication that such a strategy is working or is likely to work?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Kartrev:

    ===
    Why? What are those ontological problems?
    ===

    The claim that something comes from nothing presents an ontological problem. I'm not saying you can't resolve it to your satisfaction. Furhermore, my point was merely that I don't think evolution entails this claim anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Kartrev:

    ===
    CH: "And since I am a Christian I have the freedom to consider a wide range of possible origins theories, ranging from heavy on the secondary causes to heavy on the primary causes. "

    So your own religious views have opened up possibilities that others who don't share that those religious views would have?

    In other words, although you seem to think that naturalistic evolution is some kind of religion (at least in part , but you're quite happy to let your own religious (metaphysical) beliefs influence your views on origins theories, at least to open you up to those possibilities?
    ===

    Ah, I'm not sure I follow your question. Bottom line is my religious views are pretty neutral on the mechanistic details of origins. Unlike others who must have particular solutions, I can consider a wide spectrum of solutions.


    ===
    But it seems you are not particularly interested in actively investigate or research any of those avenues. You talk about "following the data", but I don't see much evidence that you are doing this. Or do you not think the data is going to lead to any useful hypothesis/theory? Besides, if you don't do this work, who will?
    ===

    How will we make progress so long as science is being misrepresented?

    ReplyDelete
  46. CH: "The claim that something comes from nothing presents an ontological problem. I'm not saying you can't resolve it to your satisfaction. Furhermore, my point was merely that I don't think evolution entails this claim anyway"

    Yes, agreed that this is outside of the purview of evolution. But origins of the Universe is difficult ontologically whatever way you look it. I don't find "something from nothing" ontologically as more difficult than some intelligent First Cause who exists out of time. And after all people like Stephen Hawkings are making a stab at the "something from nothing" (but honestly a lot of that is above my head, and probably that of most people, which is possibly why a First Cause is easier and tidier to accept).

    ReplyDelete
  47. CH: "Ah, I'm not sure I follow your question. Bottom line is my religious views are pretty neutral on the mechanistic details of origins"

    Really? Yet you have occasionally said on this blog that you believe the Christian God to be the "Designer". That seems anything but neutral.

    CH: "How will we make progress so long as science is being misrepresented?"

    The same way other scientists have pursued research against the prevailing status quo. Do you think Einstein was simply satisfied to say "I think Newton was not completely right about everything and before we can move forward we all have to agree he was wrong". Of course not. It did not stop Einstein. The same way the scientists who discovered the Big Bang theory pursued it even though mainstream science did not accept it (and even today some scientists pursue scientific theories and hypotheses that oppose the Big Bang).

    Besides, if you have a hunch that evolution is at least in part wrong, wouldn't you want to be on the vanguard that goes out and discovers new hypthoeses and theories? If I were a scientist, that's where I'd want to be.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    Please go back to school and study population genetics. Also, you should change that phrase to read "once again the results make little sense under CH's straw-man of evolution."

    First you complain that most of the differences are concentrated, now you don't like that these might not be the reason for "humanising" our ancestral species. What do you want then? The hot-spots of changes might be thus due to that famous bottleneck in our ancestral population, not a surprise that some or many of those changes might be deleterious, and only a few of the changes be related to humanization. Evolution does not mean "overall improvement."
    ===

    No, I'm not the one here who is abusing science. The fact that these chimp-human genomic differences tend to be concentrated in certain locations is, per se, not the point. The point is that in a few million years there is no way evolution can search the space and luckily hit on the human design, starting from a chimp-human ancestor.

    The way to get around this is to claim that the mutations, that get you to a human, form a relatively smooth, continuously increasing path in the fitness landscape. And furthermore, that the mutations are order indendent. Scientifically, this is an unlikely just-so story. But if true, it would lessen the astronomical probability problems. You could have these different mutations occurring one at a time in any order, and each enhancing fitness.

    If this is not the story, and if these mutations are not independent, but need each other, then the probabilities go through the roof. What these scientific findings strongly suggest is that evolution's just-so story, which was unlikely from the start, is indeed not indicated. These are not fitness enhancing mutations that independently become fixed.



    ===
    The fusion is evidence of our common ancestry because it demonstrates that our ancestors had two chromosomes instead of this fusion. Since the other great apes have those chromosomes, this fusion demonstrates our common ancestry in unexpected ways.
    ===

    But this is no different than any other homologous chromosome. It is simply a misrepresentation of science to claim this is powerful evidence for common ancestry.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Kartrev:

    ===
    Really? Yet you have occasionally said on this blog that you believe the Christian God to be the "Designer".
    ===

    So do evolutionists.

    ReplyDelete
  50. All the quotes from Cornelius.

    On the one hand evolutionists insist their theory is a scientific fact

    First cereal box evolutionary theory and now this.

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/03/professors-evidence-for-why-evolution.html?showComment=1299853309952#c7762300771331300228

    I wish I had a nickel for every time they [evolutionists] do this bait and switch

    Well, it seems you already have your current work thanks to them.

    Second, evolutionists have to appeal to genetic drift, which adds yet more complication to their theory. In general, since 1859 evolution has grown tremendously more complex to accommodate the unexpected data.

    Those scientists, how dare they to adapt their theories to new data.

    Sorry that science didn't stuck with Darwin's 1859 theory, that would have done your work a lot easier. Well, you sometimes somehow almost pretend it did.

    You can't have a set of mutations all together drift to a new design. That's aburdly [sic] unlikely.

    New design? I was responding to your complaint about some deleterious alleles (which turned out not to be backed by the cited article). And I never said we were to consider GD as the only sorting mechanism active in the evolution of Homo. I criticised you for failing to consider anything but NS. Really, Cornelius, you're having problems with focus.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Kartrev: Really? Yet you have occasionally said on this blog that you believe the Christian God to be the "Designer"

    CH: So do evolutionists

    OK, rhetorical trick aside, I'll take that to mean you agree that your own metaphysical views have some influence on your science (or at least scientific possibilities). Besides, can you seriously reference one evolutionist on this blog who honestly believes a) A Designer exists b) It is the Christian God? (Certainly not I...)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Argh! Blogger is deleting my comments again.

    ReplyDelete
  53. What alternative? What in the world could this possibly mean? As though evolution is the only explanation for our fused chromosomes when, in fact, evolution has nothing to do with what obviously occurred (ie, a fusion event).

    Then I guess a chromosome fusion is not a change in an organism that is transmitted to its descendants by reproduction, and therefore not an evolutionary event. Curious.

    ReplyDelete
  54. cont'd

    There you have it folks. Evolution has no explanation for its astonishing claims, and with a wave of the hand such problems are dismissed.

    OK. In this context, "problem" can mean 3 things:

    -Something directly contradictory to the theory
    -Something that cannot ever be explained by the theory, not necessarily contradicting it
    -Something that hasn't been explained by the theory yet, but maybe someday it will be

    I've been reading your blog for many months now and you have not convinced me that any of those problems belong to either the 1st or the 2nd category. Moreover, your first problem is a misapplication of evolutionary theory and many some of the others are not really very problematic at all. I told you to check the literature because here I don't have the space and time, and I'm certainly not knowledgeable enough*, to discuss all of them at once. But many times I have manifested my willingness to discuss one of them: tetrapod evolution, which I don't not find to be troublesome for the ToE at all.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Cornelius answers a mysterious invisible comment from NE:

    ...in a few million years there is no way evolution can search the space and luckily hit on the human design, starting from a chimp-human ancestor.

    The way to get around this is to claim that the mutations, that get you to a human, form a relatively smooth, continuously increasing path in the fitness landscape.


    Please go back to school and study population genetics. And Evolution 101. You repeated the very mistake NE was pointing out. Those answers should be embarrassing for an undergraduate student.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Pedant, I'll be off for a while. Serve yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Kartrev:

    ===
    Besides, can you seriously reference one evolutionist on this blog who honestly believes a) A Designer exists b) It is the Christian God? (Certainly not I...)
    ===

    Derick.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Geoxus, I can't match your knowledge, but I think my spelling is better.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Please go back to school and study population genetics. And Evolution 101. You repeated the very mistake NE was pointing out. Those answers should be embarrassing for an undergraduate student.

    Once again, the insufferable know-it-all pomposity of evolutionists rears its ugly head. It never fails. Where is the argument in this ad hominem? What is amazing is that the very ones who love to accuse others of being ignorant are themselves wallowing in abject ignorance. Paul Feyerabend was right. Speaking of scientists, Paul wrote:

    ... the most stupid procedures and the most laughable results in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down in size, and to give them a more modest position in society.
    Excerpted from Against Method by Paul Feyerabend

    ReplyDelete
  60. Geoxus:

    ===
    Please go back to school and study population genetics. And Evolution 101. You repeated the very mistake NE was pointing out. Those answers should be embarrassing for an undergraduate student.
    ===

    No Geoxus, the embarassment is on evolution. Yes, there is more to say about this. For instance, we can say there are myriad ways to make humans, so the probabilities become reasonable. Or there is a multiverse. Or we just live with low probabilities. But you can't just dismiss them out of hand. Evolution 101 and population genetics do not scientifically explain the evolution of humans in a few million years, for example.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Geoxus:

    ===
    CH: What alternative? What in the world could this possibly mean? As though evolution is the only explanation for our fused chromosomes when, in fact, evolution has nothing to do with what obviously occurred (ie, a fusion event).

    Then I guess a chromosome fusion is not a change in an organism that is transmitted to its descendants by reproduction, and therefore not an evolutionary event. Curious.
    ===

    So now we're back to equivocating on evolution.

    First they claim the chromosome fusion event is powerful evidence for evolution and common descent, and when you point out the absurdity of the claim they say all they meant was that the chromosome fusion event is powerful evidence for chromosome fusion events, which after all are themselves evolution in action.

    I think I'm going to scream -- Scotty, please, beam me up.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Pedant, it is far too generous from you not to mention my grammar as well, which I suspect is much worse*. Embarrassing, yes, but I expect everybody here to be already familiar with my language handicap. Anyway, I assure you I excel in both accounts in my first language.

    Remember, if you [sic] me, you help me!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Geoxus:

    ===
    But many times I have manifested my willingness to discuss one of them: tetrapod evolution, which I don't not find to be troublesome for the ToE at all.
    ===

    And yet more equivocation.

    First the evolutionists claim evolution is a clear and obvious scientific fact. It would be irrational and perverse to doubt it. When you ask for evidence they say, "look, plants have leaves and tetrapods have similar bone patterns."

    Sorry, but these phony arguments don't make evolution a fact. Similar bone patterns? You're kidding right? No, they're not. Sure, similarities are in accord with evolution. But the claim is not that these are in accord, the claim is these, along with similar phony arguments, make evolution a *fact*.

    Then, when you point it out they say "gee, I just don't see why tetrapod evolution is troublesome for evolution?"

    But that wasn't the claim. The point is not that tetrapod evolution is necessarily troublesome for evolution, the point is it doesn't make for a prooftext. It is just astonishing what lies behind evolutionary thought.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Kartrev: Besides, can you seriously reference one evolutionist on this blog who honestly believes a) A Designer exists b) It is the Christian God? (Certainly not I...)
    ===

    CH: Derick

    I went back a couple of blog entries. I found this from Derick.

    Pointing out bad, suboptimal, or inexplicable designs in response to claims that life was designed by an infinitely intelligent and competent designer does not magically turn evolution into a metaphysical view, especially when it is supported by mountains of convergent lines of evidence

    Perhaps you have a better quote that supports Derick believing in a Christian God Designer, but certainly the above quote seems to at least imply he doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  65. CH: "How will we make progress so long as science is being misrepresented?"

    Going back to this for a moment. So CH what are you doing then to stop science being misrepresented? Best I can tell is you do some teaching as an adjunct professor in a Christian college, you have written some popular books (last one in 2007), and you write this blog. It doesn't appear you've written any scientific papers for some time (2003?).

    As to the blog, although there certainly seem to be professional scientists who come here occasionally, but by far the majority of people who comment here at least are amateurs (such as myself). How is this going to influence and reach out to the scientific community - after all, aren't they they ones you really need to reach before any table-clearing can occur? Shouldn't be at least, if not writing papers yourself, writing to the scientific journals so you can influence the professional scientists out there?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Cornelius, don't you ever get tired of your dishonest equivocation between the observed fact that evolution has occurred and the theory of evolution that explains the observed fact?

    Do you think you're swaying anyone besides your few sycophant fanboys with this canard?

    ReplyDelete
  67. CH: "How will we make progress so long as science is being misrepresented?"

    My, my there is some irony here. Personally, I think all this site does is misrepresent the science. In fact, my recent interest has been not in debating ID (which is not debatable), or getting into the metaphysics slog (yeah, we assume we don't live in the matrix etc., etc.,) but just setting the record straight.

    I really only really see two types of posts here-

    Type I: Cite the scientific literature. Or should I say mis-cite? These are practically becoming literature bluffs. Hardly have I ever seen a post that is accurate. Take a few recent ones- The RNAse A post totally misunderstood the system, and was edited after Hunter's woeful mistake was pointed out. Did Hunter mention the edit? Would he have gotten away with one, if I didn't know the system?

    The eye evolution post grossly simplifies the system, and scientific arguments, making it seem the new finding contradicts a settled evolutionary story. The paper itself reviews different recent opinions in the field. It does not contradict evolution.

    Here, Pendant and I point out Hunter has misread the HAR paper. Does he change his tune?

    No, it just joins his laundry list of "contradictory evidence, such as UCEs, ORFans, HARs, convergence, OOL, epigenetics, mechanism"

    Debate any, and he'll link you to a prior blog post on a paper which he has inevitable misrepresented.

    Type II: Grab a media sound-bite, a snippet, some news article. Belittle the evolutionary claim (usually made by the reporter) and call it unevidenced. Example: the BBC article on the daffodil-no engagement of the science behind the claim (it isn't even published yet!). I googled it, and found a undergrad research abstract that mentioned detailed anatomical work, and in situ hybridizations (these detect actively transcribed genes). There seems to be a story that the corona develops following the development other four conserved bits, pushing them forward as some genes are reactivated. Will Hunter re-blog on this following the publication of the article?

    I don't think Hunter is stupid. Quite the contrary-I think he is so smart he is able to get away with a lot.

    Be skeptical, folks.

    ReplyDelete
  68. RobertC:

    Be skeptical, folks.

    Certainly. Especially of the crap being spewed by the evolutionist camp.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Louis Savain said...

    RobertC:

    Be skeptical, folks.

    Certainly. Especially of the crap being spewed by the evolutionist camp.


    Speaking of spewed crap, are you planning to submit your JeebusParticle woo to any mainstream scientific journals? Or are you going to wait until the more appropriate April 1st?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Louis-

    "Certainly. Especially of the crap being spewed by the evolutionist camp."

    I wouldn't say especially. But equally. Science is about skepticism-of the data, of the conclusions, of the dogma of the proceeding generation.

    "Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."
    -Feynman

    So when I see people readily fooled by a mis-reading of a paper, I worry. When they make claims about a paper that are so obviously wrong, isn't it clear they've fooled themselves?

    But if you'd like to debate, let's not speak in the abstract. What is the biggest crap-the data that best falsifies evolution?

    ReplyDelete
  71. RobertC:

    I wouldn't say especially. But equally. Science is about skepticism-of the data, of the conclusions, of the dogma of the proceeding generation.

    Not true. Science must receive the brunt of the skepticism because they are in a position of authority. They are in a position of authority where they can influence government policies. Science is not served by criticizing astrologers, fundamentalists and psychics, as so many in the evolutionist camp seem to be obsessed with doing. And it is a lie that scientists can adequately police themselves. Thomas Kuhn showed that this was a myth. The people (who ultimately pay for science) must always be on their guard against authority. 'Question authority' should be the public's motto.

    But if you'd like to debate, let's not speak in the abstract. What is the biggest crap-the data that best falsifies evolution?

    Why would I want to debate anything with you? What good would it do? Especially when, in my opinion, you are obviously biased.

    ReplyDelete
  72. RobertC:

    "Be skeptical, folks."

    It is always strange to hear evolutionists advocating skepticism. Evolution is quite the opposite of skepticism. Of course the context here is that the evolutionist is urging skepticism of those who question evolutionary dogma. Evolutionists mandate their ideas are absolute facts. In other words, the world just happened to arise spontaneously. And this must be true. If you question this you are said to be perverse and irrational. You are blackballed and evolutionists warn people to be "skeptical" of you. Yes, how dangerous you are. Beware, you might make people think a little.

    ===
    CH: "How will we make progress so long as science is being misrepresented?"

    My, my there is some irony here. Personally, I think all this site does is misrepresent the science.
    ===

    This coming from an evolutionist who insists the world arose all by itself, and that is a scientific fact. And I'm the one misrepresenting science.


    ===
    The eye evolution post grossly simplifies the system, and scientific arguments, making it seem the new finding contradicts a settled evolutionary story. The paper itself reviews different recent opinions in the field. It does not contradict evolution.
    ===

    So here is how it goes.

    1. Evolution proposes unlikely hypothesis for the evolution of design X.

    2. Later findings continue to pose difficulties for evolution's unlikely hypothesis. Of course evolutionists remain steadfast, describing the new findings from an evolutionary perspective, and perhaps tweaking their hypothesis a bit to accommodate the new findings.

    3. You review the story, pointing out the history of the unlikely idea, and continuing problems.

    4. Evolutionists cry foul because (i) you haven't disproven evolution or (ii) the paper you cite gives no hint of a problem or (iii) this is a research problem, not a theory problem or (iv) you simplified the matter too much for their taste, or something along these lines.

    Evolutionists such as Robert consistently show up with these sorts of protectionist rebuttals. Case in point is this post on vision to which Robert is referring:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/03/unexpected-role-for-ciliary.html

    Go read this post, and then look at Robert's complaint, which is:

    "The eye evolution post grossly simplifies the system, and scientific arguments, making it seem the new finding contradicts a settled evolutionary story. The paper itself reviews different recent opinions in the field. It does not contradict evolution."

    Of course the paper does not contradict evolution. It was written for and by evolutionists. I made no claim otherwise. Did I oversimplify things. Of course not. The post gives the relevant techncal background, explains why the evolutionary explanation has always been unlikely, and why the new findings just raise more questions. Of course evolutionists believe the world arose on its own spontaneously, so minor issues such as the evolution of phenomenally complex vision systems in early life mean very little to them. This just shows how far from science they are.


    Continued.

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  73. RobertC:


    ===
    Here, Pendant and I point out Hunter has misread the HAR paper. Does he change his tune?
    ===

    Here is what you wrote:

    ===
    Of course, the authors are merely arguing for a mechanism by which HARs could contain fixed mildly deleterious mutations, not that they have actually tested the fitness effects of HAR alterations in humans! Hence calling it a "provocative hypothesis."

    Beyond that, what fixation of mildly deleterious alleles, in Hunter's mind, does to contradict evolutionary biology is beyond me. Investigations of the role of GC-biased gene conversion in increasing mutation load in mammals are not new. Fixation of even more strongly deleterious alleles, for example in small populations, is an old observation (and a major issue in conservation of small populations of endangered animals).
    ===

    Evolutionists claim evolution is a scientific fact, and the chimp-human genomic similarity was given as one of the supporting evidences. But there are issues with these evidences. Here are the salient points that evolutionists such as Robert will not recognize:

    1. Mutate much less than 1% of the genome of an ancient ape and you get humans. That is dubious, but evolution is stuck with it.

    2. Many of the meaningful differences are concentrated in certain regions, called HARs (human accelerated regions) so evolutionists must conclude that "the secret is to have rapid change occur in sites where those changes make an important difference in an organism’s functioning." IOW, there must have been strong selection in those regions. Now some of them are highly conserved amongst the other species. So evolutionists must conclude these regions mysteriously went from purefying selection that would have conserved the sequence for eons to strong selection that brought about several changes.

    3. So why the sudden change from purefying selection to strong selection? We must imagine that some other change(s) in the organism dramatically altered the fitness landscape. Suddenly a design waiting to happen was activated. That was convenient.

    4. The probabilities go through the roof. Let's say a HAR has 10 specific, mutations. The probability of this occurring is astronomically low. You only have a few million years and not a huge population size and the probability is on the order of 10^-70.

    5. Let's be even more conservative and say only 2 of those mutations require each other. You still have a one in a million chance over evolutionary time. And that's just for one HAR.

    6. So evolutionists are required to make the unwarranted assumption that all the mutations are independent, each one having strong selection regardless of which of the others have occurred.

    7. Finally, evidence was found that indicated, quite the opposite, neutral or slightly deleterious fitness for these mutations, counter to even the unwarranted assumption evolutionists needed.

    Robert's typical evolution-is-true response ("Fixation of even more strongly deleterious alleles, for example in small populations, is an old observation") entirely misses the point.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Scott: Please give us an example of a scientific fact along with the specifics as to why it qualifies as such.

    Since all observations are theory laden, it's likely you will have made a number of assumptions which you build upon to reaching your conclusion.

    CH: [No response]

    Given this is a reasonable, relevant question and you addressed eight other comments, it would seem you think there are no good examples that could qualify as a scientific fact.

    At which point, that evolution is not a scientific fact would be a deductive conclusion, rather than inductive observation, and your complains about a "lack of evidence" would be irrelevant hand waving.

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  75. Request for clarification. Hunter said:

    Mutate much less than 1% of the genome of an ancient ape and you get humans. That is dubious, but evolution is stuck with it.

    What does that 1% figure refer to? Does it represent nucleotide divergence over the entire 3000 million base genome? If so, that number doesn't reveal which changes might be significant, because only ~1.5% of the entire genome has been identified as being functional. (Much of the rest being "junk," as far as is known.)

    Looked at another way, 1% of 3000 million bases = 30 million bases, whereas 1.5% of 3000 million bases (45 million bases) are identified as functional.

    ReplyDelete
  76. In his OP, Hunter claimed, in reference to the paper Hotspots of Biased Nucleotide Substitutions in Human Genes:

    The genetic changes showed evidence that they were, in fact, at least slightly deleterious. They had become established in the population not because they were helpful (or not harmful), but in spite of being deleterious.

    Now, after RobertC and I pointed out that that the evidence only considered the possibility that those genetic changes were deleterious, he says:

    Finally, evidence was found that indicated, quite the opposite, neutral or slightly deleterious fitness for these mutations, counter to even the unwarranted assumption evolutionists needed.

    But, as RobertC pointed out, nothing is yet known about the fitness of these mutations, so the notion that any of these findings pose insurmountable obstacles to an evolutionary interpretation is imaginary.

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  77. Cornelius:

    Evolutionists claim evolution is a scientific fact, and the chimp-human genomic similarity was given as one of the supporting evidences.

    Evolution, as in "the change in the diversity of life on earth over many years", is indeed a scientific fact. No professional scientist claims that the theory of evolution is a fact. As you know.

    Human-chimp genomic similarity is supporting evidence for them having a relatively recent common ancestor.

    Mutate much less than 1% of the genome of an ancient ape and you get humans. That is dubious, but evolution is stuck with it.

    Why is that dubious? Given the ancient ape ancestor, the evolution of humans is indeed very improbable, given the currently known evolutionary mechanisms. Is that a problem for evolutionary theory? Looking through the window, the shapes of the clouds I observe are also very improbably given the shapes of yesterday's clouds and the most state of the art stochastic weather simulation models. Is that a problem for meteorology?

    You're losing it lately, Cornelius.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Louis Savain said...

    RobertC: But if you'd like to debate, let's not speak in the abstract. What is the biggest crap-the data that best falsifies evolution?

    Why would I want to debate anything with you? What good would it do? Especially when, in my opinion, you are obviously biased.


    If you could back up any of the blustering rhetoric you vomit up with actual scientific evidence you maybe could sway some of the lurkers. But you don't, so you won't.

    Science has all the evidence. We win!

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  79. Cornelius Hunter said...

    This coming from an evolutionist who insists the world arose all by itself, and that is a scientific fact. And I'm the one misrepresenting science.


    Nowhere in the theory of evolution will you find "the world arose all by itself". And yes, the dishonest way you misrepresent, spin, and quote-mine published scientific research is disgraceful, especially for one who calls himself a Christian.

    Are you doing drugs these days CH? Your posts are getting more shrill and nonsensical by the hour.

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  80. troy:

    ===
    CH: Evolutionists claim evolution is a scientific fact, and the chimp-human genomic similarity was given as one of the supporting evidences.

    Evolution, as in "the change in the diversity of life on earth over many years", is indeed a scientific fact. No professional scientist claims that the theory of evolution is a fact. As you know.
    ===

    Another professor issuing canards. The claims of evolutionists regarding its status of a fact could hardly be more clear. It is shouted from the rooftops. Over and over we are told of common descent and evolution being facts, beyond all reasonable doubt. But when questioned, the equivocations and canards just keep on coming. It is remarkable.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Another professor issuing canards. The claims of evolutionists regarding its status of a fact could hardly be more clear. It is shouted from the rooftops. Over and over we are told of common descent and evolution being facts, beyond all reasonable doubt. But when questioned, the equivocations and canards just keep on coming. It is remarkable.


    Sadly Cornelius, the canards and equivocation are all yours. You still keep dishonestly and deliberately mixing the observed fact of life's changing over time with the theory of the mechanisms for life's changes.

    Do you think pushing such lies for your religion is a noble thing?

    ReplyDelete
  82. Yikes. This is getting worse! Short reply:

    Hunter: "IOW, there must have been strong selection in those regions."

    Paper cited: "We show that many protein-coding changes in the fastest-changing genes are not a result of selection operating on the genes, but instead result from biased fixation of AT-to-GC mutations."

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000026

    Can you acknowledge these are OPPOSITES?:

    "must have been strong selection" vs "not a result of selection"

    Did you read the paper, or just choose to use it despite the author's conclusions?

    ReplyDelete
  83. Long reply.

    CH: "1. Mutate much less than 1% of the genome of an ancient ape and you get humans. That is dubious, but evolution is stuck with it."

    You are dubious, therefore evolution has a problem. I sense a trend here, but this is odd on a site that rails against bias and demands empiricism.

    CH : "2. Many of the meaningful differences are concentrated in certain regions, called HARs (human accelerated regions) so evolutionists must conclude that "the secret is to have rapid change occur in sites where those changes make an important difference in an organism’s functioning." IOW, there must have been strong selection in those regions. Now some of them are highly conserved amongst the other species. So evolutionists must conclude these regions mysteriously went from purefying selection that would have conserved the sequence for eons to strong selection that brought about several changes."

    The paper you present in support argues "We show that many protein-coding changes in the fastest-changing genes are not a result of selection operating on the genes, but instead result from biased fixation of AT-to-GC mutation ..... This process can lead to accelerated evolution in coding sequences and excess amino acid replacement substitutions, thereby generating significant results for tests of positive selection."

    Which you missed, but keep going on about here. Can you acknowledge your "must be strong selection" and "are not a result of selection" are opposites?

    3. So why the sudden change from purefying selection to strong selection? We must imagine that some other change(s) in the organism dramatically altered the fitness landscape. Suddenly a design waiting to happen was activated. That was convenient.

    This is really silly. Are all organisms facing the same selective pressure? They all live in the same environment, with the same genome? A simple scenario: fish would show strong purifying selection for gill proteins...they need them. As life transitioned to land, these genes would not be under purifying selection. As they are co-opted into other functions, strong selection would apply to successful alleles.

    "We must imagine that some other change(s) in the organism dramatically altered the fitness landscape."

    Yep. We stood up, got big brains, went naked, etc etc. Are we surprised a number of the HARs are implicated in brains, thumbs and ankles.

    " Suddenly a design waiting to happen was activated. That was convenient."

    I don't think that would be what evolutionary biologists would argue. Design and front-loading seem more your purview. I share your skepticism.

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  85. 4. The probabilities go through the roof. Let's say a HAR has 10 specific, mutations. The probability of this occurring is astronomically low. You only have a few million years and not a huge population size and the probability is on the order of 10^-70.

    Specific mutations? But wait, you just linked us to a paper saying some hitchhike in not because they are functional and positively selected for, but because of recombination-driven biased gene conversion. Did you read it?

    So, the conclusion would be that of the 18 differences in human and chimp HAR1, some may be functionally important, some may be neutral, and some may have been fixed despite being deleterious.

    Since HAR1 function is largely unknown, playing games where 10 "specific" mutations must arise:

    a) Is a ridiculous assumption about HAR1 function
    b) Shows your metaphysical bias that humans MUST have evolved the way they did. In Human/Har1 functional space, how many possibilities (including extinction) were there? Those 10 mutations aren't specified! They aren't part of a design, and humans didn't have to happen the way we did. Hence Gould's comments that that if it were possible to ‘replay the tape’ of evolution, the outcome would almost certainly be very different, both in detail and in general.

    5. Let's be even more conservative and say only 2 of those mutations require each other. You still have a one in a million chance over evolutionary time. And that's just for one HAR.

    See above. And one in a million is impossible now? How did you calculate this?

    6. So evolutionists are required to make the unwarranted assumption that all the mutations are independent, each one having strong selection regardless of which of the others have occurred.

    No-see paper. "This process can lead to accelerated evolution in coding sequences and excess amino acid replacement substitutions, thereby generating significant results for tests of positive selection."

    But independent functional mutations need not be silly. Suppose the RNA HAR1 binds a protein-more binding yields bigger brains. Mutation 1 affects the enhancer-more RNA. Mutation 2 affects binding to the protein-better binding. Mutation 3 affects the promoter-expression in other brain regions.

    Why is such a scenario impossible?

    ReplyDelete
  86. Thorton:

    You're just an inconsequential troll. It's too bad you will probably never get to meet your superiors (Dawkins, Myers et al) so you can kiss their you-know-what in person. It must really suck to be a butt kisser. When are you going to grow some nads? I mean, waiting for evolution to do things for you is a losing proposition.

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  87. Scott: [If you think there are no good examples that could qualify as a scientific fact. ], that evolution is not a scientific fact would be a deductive conclusion, rather than inductive observation, and your complains about a "lack of evidence" would be irrelevant hand waving.

    CH: [No Response]

    I guess we can add this to the list of questions Cornelis refuses to answer.

    Let's recap…..

    - Please give us an example of a scientific fact along with the specifics as to why it qualifies as such.

    - Please present a coherent and comprehensive criteria that can be applied across all fields of science.

    - As a professed Christian, where does divine revelation fit on the traditional hierarchy of philosophy, induction and deduction?

    - Do you belief the biological complexity we observe can be explained by human reasoning and problem solving.

    Note: In regards to the latter, your previous response that you would not "say" this [publicly, privately?] does not represent a denial as a belief. One can hold a belief without expressing it.

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  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  89. 7. "Finally, evidence was found that indicated, quite the opposite, neutral or slightly deleterious fitness for these mutations, counter to even the unwarranted assumption evolutionists needed."

    No, fitness of the mutations was not tested. Indeed, for many HARs, there is no known function. How would you experimentally test fitness in a human?

    With the assumption a certain percentage of mutations are deleterious, the authors show how slightly deleterious mutations could be fixed by a "recombination associated process, such as biased gene conversion" Which means a lot of the changes you see contributing to the 10^7 numbers you came up with are there by accident, not required for function, and definitely not specified!

    In short, this post is a literature bluff. To defend his bias, Hunter will link to papers that actually argue the opposite of what he claims they do. He hopes you won't actually read them.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Well, I can't get the rest of my post to stick-keeps disappearing Perhaps I've said enough!

    Hunters point 7 merely restates his misunderstanding of the paper.
    Fitness of the mutations was not tested. Indeed, for many HARs, there is no known function. How, then would you experimentally test fitness in a human?

    With the assumption a certain percentage of mutations are deleterious, the authors show how slightly deleterious mutations could be fixed by are recombination driven process. This means a lot of the changes you see contributing to the 10^7 numbers you came up with are there by accident, not required for function, and definitely not specified!

    This post is a literature bluff. To defend his anti-evolutionary bias, Hunter will link to papers that actually argue the opposite of what he claims they do. He hopes you won't actually read them.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Robert said...

    4. The probabilities go through the roof. Let's say a HAR has 10 specific, mutations. The probability of this occurring is astronomically low. You only have a few million years and not a huge population size and the probability is on the order of 10^-70.


    The probability of that specific sequence is astronomocally low, just as the probability of any specific number winning the lottery is astronomically low. But the probability of some number winning the lottery is virtual certainty.

    Also, you can't calculate the probability of the result from an iterative feedback process by taking a one time snapshot of the end produce. You have to account for the history of the event too.

    When will you IDiots ever figure out basic probability theory?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Louis Savain said...

    Thorton:

    You're just an inconsequential troll. It's too bad you will probably never get to meet your superiors (Dawkins, Myers et al) so you can kiss their you-know-what in person. It must really suck to be a butt kisser. When are you going to grow some nads? I mean, waiting for evolution to do things for you is a losing proposition.


    LOL! Looie, you're such an angry little ant!

    Take a look out the window Looie. Look at those thousands of colleges and universities using the evolutionary paradigm to make new discoveries and increase human knowledge. Look at those thousands of successful businesses using the evolutionary paradigm to produce innovations and things that work. Look at those hundreds of professional science journals documenting the results of evolutionary based research.

    Not look at all those based on Creationism and ID. You can count them on the thumbs of one foot.

    So who's laughing last Mr JeebusParticle computer programmer?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Thorton:

    Look at those thousands of colleges and universities using the evolutionary paradigm to make new discoveries and increase human knowledge. Look at those thousands of successful businesses using the evolutionary paradigm to produce innovations and things that work. Look at those hundreds of professional science journals documenting the results of evolutionary based research.

    See what I mean? You can't function unless you're kissing @ss. Nobody in their right mind is arguing against evolution, you mental midget. Hunters and farmers have known about evolution for tens of thousands of years. The debate is not about whether evolution occurred but about how it occurred. Moron.

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  94. Thorton:

    Robert said...

    4. The probabilities go through the roof. Let's say a HAR has 10 specific, mutations. The probability of this occurring is astronomically low. You only have a few million years and not a huge population size and the probability is on the order of 10^-70.

    Just to be clear, I was citing Hunter. We're totally in agreement on why these arguments are bogus.

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  95. RobertC, referring to Hunter's original post:

    This post is a literature bluff.

    I wonder why Hunter bothers to go to all this trouble. His creationist acolytes who post here are clueless about the science, whereas his opponents, who know something about science, can read the literature with some understanding, and have several working brain cells, can see through his inventions.

    Whatever the explanation, it's entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Louis, you're calling Hunter out of his mind, because he does seem to be arguing against the fact of evolution on this blog.

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  97. CH wrote: If you forced me to give you my theory, I'd begin by tossing out everything that is currently on the table. I suspect that what actually happened is not quite what anyone has yet considered, though the truth may contain some elements therein. I'm not a skeptic, just a realist. That's what you get with empiricism.

    That's not a characterization of a realist. A crackpot, maybe.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Louis Savain said...

    See what I mean? You can't function unless you're kissing @ss. Nobody in their right mind is arguing against evolution, you mental midget. Hunters and farmers have known about evolution for tens of thousands of years. The debate is not about whether evolution occurred but about how it occurred. Moron.


    Double LOL!

    That 'evolution is not a fact' is ALL Cornelius has been arguing on this blog for the last several years. Moron.

    Looie, you really need to pull your head out of that dark smelly place you have it lodged.

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  99. RobertC said...

    Thorton:

    Robert said...

    4. The probabilities go through the roof. Let's say a HAR has 10 specific, mutations. The probability of this occurring is astronomically low. You only have a few million years and not a huge population size and the probability is on the order of 10^-70.

    Just to be clear, I was citing Hunter. We're totally in agreement on why these arguments are bogus.


    OK, my bad. Got it now.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Louis Savain said...

    Thorton: "That 'evolution is not a fact' is ALL Cornelius has been arguing on this blog for the last several years. Moron."

    Not at all. He's been arguing against your version of evolution, especially against your pathological religious arguments (your annoying God-would-not-do-it-this-way metaphysical BS).


    BWAHAHAHAHA!! Looie, you need to quit it, you're making my sides hurt from laughing!

    Tell you what. You get Cornelius to agree that 'evolution is a fact' and I'll stop posting. And unlike you I'll keep my word.

    However, if you can't get him to agree then you stop posting for good this time.

    You got any 'nads Looie? Time to put up or shut up.

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  102. Why is it so hard for your stunted brain to understand that there is a difference between design evolution and Darwinian evolution. For example, one can say that the iPad2 evolved from the original iPad but one would never say that it evolved via natural selection and random mutations. It's very simple, really. But you need to stop sniffing Dawkin's asteroid orifice so you can clear your brain.

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  103. OK Looie, so you don't have any 'nads. Glad we've got that established.

    Looie the crackpot earlier: "Nobody in their right mind is arguing against evolution, you mental midget. Hunters and farmers have known about evolution for tens of thousands of years."

    Looie the crackpot now: "there is a difference between the design evolution and Darwinian evolution."

    So Looie, what kind of evolution have hunters and farmers known about for tens of thousands of years?

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  104. Thorton:

    So Looie, what kind of evolution have hunters and farmers known about for tens of thousands of years?

    Wow. I knew you had a retardation problem but this takes the cake. Farmers and hunters can observe simple adaptation, a form of evolution that comes from selective breeding. You idiots conflate adaptation (the selection of existing genes) with Darwinian evolution which requires random mutations. And then you shout everywhere that evolution is observed (look ma, the finches have longer beaks), while conveniently ignoring the fact that nobody ever observed a finch to evolve into a penguin or a cormorant or a canary or some other species.

    Your kind of science is lame and gutless. Chicken feather voodoo science is what I call it.

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  105. And one more thing. I am not one to insist that the fossil record does not show an evolution, say, from reptiles to birds or from hippos to whales. I just don't think it happened the way you idiots claim it did.

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  106. Louis, Hunter clearly questions whether 'evolution is a fact'. He starts by asking a professor why 'evolution is a fact'. He doesn't ask why natural selection is a fact. If he had, we'd all agree that natural selection is a THEORY, not a fact. That evolution happens at all is what Hunter asked, and what you disagree with him about.

    So your argument is with your blog host, not us.

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  107. Why is my comment not there any more Cornelius? I ask because you were obviously able to answer part of it, while conveniently erasing the part where I tell you that I would not talk about quantum mechanics if you ask me why I think that our common ancestry with the other apes is a fact beyond reasonable doubt, besides other points that show your arguments to be a display of ignorance on your part, pretended or otherwise.

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  108. Louie S,

    You idiots conflate adaptation (the selection of existing genes) with Darwinian evolution which requires random mutations.

    The correct terminology would be selection of "alleles," but let us pretend that you know what you are saying, only did not know the terminology. Now, pay attention: where do the various versions of genes (alleles) come from if not mutations?

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  109. Louie,

    I just don't think it happened the way you idiots claim it did

    Of course not. It was some being(s) that nobody has shown to exist. All by the intellectually superior explanation of "magic." Was it "Santa" Louis or some other character of fairy tales? I am so convinced now. Your intelligence is huge Louis. Oh! Now I see! Was it you then? Are you The Intelligent Designer?

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  110. Louis: Why is it so hard for your stunted brain to understand that there is a difference between design evolution and Darwinian evolution. For example, one can say that the iPad2 evolved from the original iPad but one would never say that it evolved via natural selection and random mutations.

    Louis,

    The problem is that "design evolution" appears to be a convoluted elaboration of darwinian evolution.

    First, you've claimed the biological complexity we observe represents intentional design on the part of an intelligent agent.

    Second, would you agree that mutations do effect the biological complexly we observe, even if only negatively?

    If so, the fact that any species has conserved specific features while not going extinct must be at least in part due to manipulation of these processes by a supposed designer, in reality. Otherwise, what we observed could not be considered designed. Right?

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  111. Wow Looie, I did some checking around and I had no idea you were such a well know crackpot. Looks like you've been spreading your angry woo on numerous science and physics boards, and the universal opinion is that the cheese done slid off your pizza. :) Even well know science writer P.Z. Myers has comments on your crackpot jibbering:

    PZ Meyers: "The return of Louis Savain

    I'd be surprised if any of you knew who Louis Savain is — he's a weird little crackpot that I stomped on hard all of 3½ years ago. He claims that the Bible is actually a complete and accurate technical description of the neurological workings of the human brain. It was one of the more memorably loony ideas I've seen come out of religious derangement.

    Well, Louis is back. Not here, definitely — a comment from him here would probably fuel one of those thousand-comment atrocities where everyone took turns going stabbity-stab-stab with the crazy newbie — but he is plaguing Stranger Fruit with extravagant claims and crackpot denouncements of the Scientific Establishment. He also doesn't like peer review and haunts Uncommon Descent. And look! He plans to build a Christian AI using the Book of Revelation as a blueprint!"

    Pharyngula link

    I think a better name for you is Looie the Loony.

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  112. Thorton attacks me personally instead of refuting my arguments. Why am I not surprised? Typical of a low level evolutionist butt kisser.

    It makes no difference though. I stand by my claims. In fact, I am hoping to release a working version of Animal, a chess playing computer program, before the end of the year. What makes Animal different is that it learns to play chess just like humans do, through trial an error from scratch. Unlike traditional chess programs, there is no look ahead tree and no opening library. Animal builds its tree of knowledge directly from experience, as it plays.

    PS. I am happy to be considered a crackpot by the likes of Myers. I would not have it any other way. And yes, I do believe that certain passages in certain books of the Bible do indeed contain the secret of intelligence. The theory of intelligence behind Animal's spiking neural network (brain) came directly from my interpretation of certain ancient occult Biblical texts. This will be demonstrated in the not too distant future. Deal with it as you see fit. I don't care.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg of scientific information that is contained in the Bible. You idiots won't like it. That's for sure. :-D

    Those of you who are interested in Animal can read part I-part V of the multi-part article I'm currently in the process of writing. Part IV is coming soon.

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  113. Correction. I wrote above:

    Part IV is coming soon.

    I meant to write Part VI.

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  114. Warning: some uncut tard coming up.

    Louis kindly reveals some of the workings of Animal:

    Animal's short term memory can retain up to seven items at a time (this is metaphorically coded as the seven eyes of God or the seven branch menorah in Jewish and Christian Kabbalistic texts.

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  115. Hey troy,

    Thanks for the free publicity. How's the weather in Groningen?

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  116. I think we should feel honored to have a real, honest-to-goodness fruit loop like Looie the Loony here to entertain us.

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  117. Scott: If so, the fact that any species has conserved specific features while not going extinct must be at least in part due to manipulation of these processes by a supposed designer, in reality. Otherwise, what we observed could not be considered designed. Right?

    Louis wrote: Scott: Why don't you go fly a kite and see if I care, jackass?

    But then wrote....

    Louis wrote: Thorton attacks me personally instead of refuting my arguments. Why am I not surprised? Typical of a low level evolutionist butt kisser.

    In case you didn't didn't realize it… you just attacked me personally, rather than address my argument.

    I'm trying to better understand what you mean by "design evolution", which is why I asked the questions in my previous comment. For this you call me a jackass?

    So, again, would you agree that mutations do effect the biological complexly we observe, even if only negatively?

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  118. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    Why is my comment not there any more Cornelius? I ask because you were obviously able to answer part of it, while conveniently erasing the part where I tell you that I would not talk about quantum mechanics if you ask me why I think that our common ancestry with the other apes is a fact beyond reasonable doubt, besides other points that show your arguments to be a display of ignorance on your part, pretended or otherwise.
    ===

    My understanding is that DI has secretly taken over Google and is now implementing their master software to fool the evolutionists world-wide.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Cornelius Hunter:

    "My understanding is that DI has secretly taken over Google and is now implementing their master software to fool the evolutionists world-wide."
    ===

    Certainly sounds reasonable since any type of explanation will be spat at anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Louis:

    Thanks for the free publicity. How's the weather in Groningen?

    You're welcome. It's a bit foggy and drizzly in Groningen right now (7:23am).

    ReplyDelete
  121. Eocene said...

    Cornelius Hunter:

    "My understanding is that DI has secretly taken over Google and is now implementing their master software to fool the evolutionists world-wide."
    ===

    Certainly sounds reasonable since any type of explanation will be spat at anyway.


    I always heard that space aliens had performed experiments on all Creationists, surgically removing their sense of honesty and replacing their brains with moldy cottage cheese.

    That certainly explains the common creationists' behavior and scientific acumen anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Thorton,

    You're so full of evolutionist hate. It's a good thing you don't put food on my table, eh? Otherwise, I'd be in a world of hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  123. scott:

    In case you didn't didn't realize it… you just attacked me personally, rather than address my argument.

    I did realize it. I just don't want to debate anything with you because I think you hide your true intentions. Thorton, OTOH, I can have fun with because he/she put all his/her cards on the table.

    ReplyDelete
  124. RobertC:

    ===
    Paper cited: "We show that many protein-coding changes in the fastest-changing genes are not a result of selection operating on the genes, but instead result from biased fixation of AT-to-GC mutations."

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000026

    Can you acknowledge these are OPPOSITES?:

    "must have been strong selection" vs "not a result of selection"
    ===

    Yes, they are opposites. That was my point.


    ===
    Did you read the paper, or just choose to use it despite the author's conclusions?
    ===

    Yes, I read the paper. It provides independent lines of evidence against positive selection. That was my ultimate point.



    ===
    Which you missed, but keep going on about here. Can you acknowledge your "must be strong selection" and "are not a result of selection" are opposites?
    ===

    Sorry about not spelling out my 7 items more clearly. When you have several substitutions, as we all know the likelihood of them luckily occurring together is small. The usual evolutionary solution is to say each of the substitutions is independent. Regardless of the others, the substitutions are made due to selection. This resolves the low probability problem. So my point was that for these several substitutions in each HAR, selection is an obvious way to describe how they arose. And certainly selection is suggested by the fact that these HAR sequences indicate an increase in the substitution rate (both locally within the genome and compared to homologous sequences).


    Continued …

    ReplyDelete
  125. RobertC:

    ===
    4. The probabilities go through the roof. Let's say a HAR has 10 specific, mutations. The probability of this occurring is astronomically low. You only have a few million years and not a huge population size and the probability is on the order of 10^-70.

    Specific mutations? But wait, you just linked us to a paper saying some hitchhike in not because they are functional and positively selected for, but because of recombination-driven biased gene conversion.
    ===

    Again, I was still referring to the selection scenario. My point is first to examine the possibility of selection. The bottom line is we would need to have the substitutions be independent. If they need to occur together, then the events become unlikely. That was my point #6, the substitutions must be independent (if we are to say they arose due to selection).


    ===
    Hunters point 7 merely restates his misunderstanding of the paper.
    Fitness of the mutations was not tested. Indeed, for many HARs, there is no known function. How, then would you experimentally test fitness in a human?
    ===

    Of course fitness was not directly measured. The paper presents several lines of evidence that the role of selection is limited, and very limited in some of the HARs, and that many of the substitutions were likely neutral or slightly deleterious.

    My point was that these findings indicate the usual “selection-did-it” story, which evolutionists often try to use to explain how multiple substitutions could arise, doesn’t work very well here. You’re left with a combination of evolutionary processes, but with positive selection having only a limited role.

    But this brings back the probability problems. You can’t have 18 blind substitutions drifting in that just happen to hit the human design. Here’s a very simple calculation, leaving out detail but it should be conservative.

    You have 6*10^6 years, effective population of 10^4, generation time of 2*10^1, mutation rate of 10^-8 mutations/base pair/generation. Assume that for the 118 residues of HAR1, 100 are under purifying selection, and 18 drift (again, this is very simple calculation). So you have your 18 substitutions that occur (it should actually be 24, as about a quarter will revert to their original). If my calculations are right, over the evolutionary history of 6*10^6 years you have about 30 mutations at each base pair. So if you have 30 substitutions occurring across the 24 different base pairs, this yields a total of 30*24 = 720 different sequences (for those specific 24 base pairs). The total number of different possible sequences is 4^24, or about 10^14. So 720 attempts in a space of 10^14 gives you less than a 1 in a half trillion shot.

    Now of course not all 24 are under drift, and you can say there are more than just the observed sequence that would work. And the search is not random, but driven by GC content for instance. But these have their own problems too. The bottom line is you don’t just have blind substitutions drifting about that are likely to hit on specific designs.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Cornelius Hunter

    “We all agree heliocentrism is, for all practical purposes, verified.“

    Coming back to this point. In your opinion would common descent be in principle verifiable? If yes how could it be verified? What about the existence of Pangaea?

    “HH Lane (1923), for example, cited the blood immunity correlation as convincing evidence for evolution.“

    So we went form “chocked full” to a single paper about blood immunity from 1923. As current as 1923 non the less! In addition you link to a page on a wiki! I will repost the link:

    http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Nested_Hierarchy#Twin_Nested_Hierarchies

    because it supports what I have said. So I don't understand why you argue against a straw man.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Thorton attacks me personally instead of refuting my arguments. Why am I not surprised?

    It never ceases to amaze me that the person whose discourse consists almost exclusively of personal insults is invariably the first to start whining if anyone says anything about them personally. Are they really so completely unaware of the content of their own speech? Are their fingers divorced from their consciousness so that they think "I'll present this evidence in support of my position," and what's typed is "You're a caca-poo-poo head!"

    ReplyDelete
  128. Savain: "He certainly is not referring to the evolution of TV sets from the 1950s"

    Talk about a strawman! I never mentioned TV sets. Savain, you said farmers have been aware of evolution for centuries. I assumed there that you were not talking about TV sets, no? We were talking about biological evolution.

    Given that I never used evolution in a non-biological sense, it's a complete strawman for you to bring it up.

    Savain: "But natural selection is a fact just as artificial selection is a fact. That does not prove that Darwinian evolution is a fact. What the hell are you talking about?"

    Unfortunately Savain, Darwin's theory of evolution IS natural selection. Also known as 'Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection'. You're both accepting it and denying it in the same sentence. You are somewhat confused. Natural selection is an explanatory theory, not a fact.

    And yes, you still appear to be in strong disagreement with Cornelius Hunter on this.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Louis Savain: (replying to Scott, or who knows who)

    "I just don't want to debate anything with you because I think you hide your true intentions."
    ===

    And we have a BINGO!!! No need to waste time and elaborate. *wink*
    ---

    Louis Savain:

    "Thorton, OTOH, I can have fun with because he/she put all his/her *(SHE)* cards on the table."
    ===

    Agreed, with Thorton, at least he *cough - cough* SHE does put her cards on the table and let's everyone aware that science has nothing to do with it.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Louis the Loony Savain said...

    Thorton,

    You're so full of evolutionist hate. It's a good thing you don't put food on my table, eh? Otherwise, I'd be in a world of hurt.


    Your fruit loop approach to science is already in a world of hurt Looie. You've just got too much an "I'm a martyr!" complex to realize it. Pretty common among crackpots.

    The reason so many people laugh at you couldn't possibly be that your twisted anti-science woo is so bizarre and wrong as to be funny. It must be because all scientists are Christian hating meanies out to persecute you. Right?

    Crackpot Index

    # 40 points for claiming that the "scientific establishment" is engaged in a "conspiracy" to prevent your work from gaining its well-deserved fame, or suchlike.

    # 40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.


    There's 80 point for you right there Loony.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Thorton:

    "I always heard that space aliens had performed experiments on all Creationists, surgically removing their sense of honesty and replacing their brains with moldy cottage cheese."
    ===

    Spit!
    ---

    Thorton:

    "That certainly explains the common creationists' behavior and scientific acumen anyway."
    ===

    Maybe you should go to a creationist forum like evolutionfairytale.com and mention this to a creationist.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Thorton,

    That crackpot index is a nice find. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Louie Savain to Common English phraseology dictionary (Edition to first entry):

    L.S.:
    "Insufferable pomposity" or any reference to "pompous" and derivatives. Note: Other words surrounding these main terms make no difference and can safely be ignored unless they contain other key components of L.S. discourse, such as "fly a kite."

    C.E.:
    (1) I have no idea what you said. (2) Your words confuse me. (3) I failed first grade three times. (4) I am a crackpot. (5) All of the above.

    ReplyDelete
  134. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Shorter Tedford the Idiot:

    "I don't understand the solid sciences behind evolutionary biology. The results scare me and threaten my weak faith. So to make myself feel better I'll wave my hands and stomp my feet and pretend the theory of evolution is going away!"

    ReplyDelete
  136. Eocene,

    Certainly sounds reasonable since any type of explanation will be spat at anyway.

    While I lost the little respect I had gained for Cornelius after he admitted to being a creationist, and while I think he hasted to post this thing to quickly fix that mistake and lose that respect altogether again, I would not have spat at a proper explanation.

    If you could show me how I always spit at proper answers I would be grateful. I recognize that I am not a perfect person, and thus that would be an opportunity for me to improve. So? (Unless you made a mistake and can retract your insinuation that I would always spit at proper answers.)

    ReplyDelete
  137. Neal Tedford: yes, scientists replaced 'Believing in things based on superstition' with 'using the scientific method'. Why they're virtually the same!

    Thing is, if you play the game of 'This has been replaced by that', then you can compare anything to anything else.

    "Mother Theresa was very like Hitler - she replaced 'killing people' with 'helping people', and she replaced 'living in Germany' with 'living in Calcutta' and she replaced 'being a Nazi' with 'being a nun'. So it's clear that Mother Theresa was just an updated Hitler". Great arguing tactic!

    ReplyDelete
  138. In the past pagans tried to appease the gods of the sun, moon and various objects of creation by offering sacrifices and paying homage to these things. They attributed unrealistically great and superstitious powers to various natural objects.

    They imagined that if they paid homage to these gods, they would have greater success putting food on their tables, advancing their careers and improving their social standing.

    There were great social pressures to maintain these traditions. Sometimes new gods were added in an attempt to accommodate new situations. Even the ancient Israelites and Jews were often enticed to honor these various gods.

    It was often difficult (and still is) for ancient peoples to accept the idea of God being separate from creation itself (the Judeo-Christian God).


    Switch to today...

    Modern scientists do not believe the sun or moon and such have superstitious powers. This would be absolutely ridiculous to entertain such concepts.

    Yet, in a very real sense they are still doing what the ancient pagans did... The ancient pagans attributed unrealistic powers to natural objects....

    Now, evolutionists attribute unrealistic powers to "natural selection" and abiogenesis.

    The pagans found some "evidence" that seemed to confirm the relationships between their gods and events in they witnessed.

    Evolutionists find evidence for the descent of all life from a warm pond of chemicals by pointing at finch beaks and fruit flies and such.


    To accommodate new situations in their lives, pagans added new gods to address them.

    Evolutionists accommodate new findings by adding new theories based on little evidence. Evolutionists think of themselves as thoroughly modern, elite and superior in their knowledge over the superstituous folks. They would never pay homage to the Sun or Moon.

    Yet they will pay homage to the notion that chemicals in a warm little pond have spontaneously generated life at some point in history. They will pay homage to "natural election" equiping life to what it needed.

    The bronze statutes have been replaced by chemicals in a little pond. The stone idols have been replaced by "natural selection".

    In order to put food on their tables, advance their careers and social standing many scientists pay homage to natural forces.

    At least bronze statues were better looking.

    The descent from bronze statues to pond scum. Could it be that evolution is the end result of a long slide of mankind away from the one true God?

    The evolutionist in a white lab coat scoops up a hand full of dripping pond scum, and says, "behold your gods"... a tiggle runs up his leg.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Andrew, the similarity between ancient pagans and evolutionists is simply because they both attribute unrealistic powers to natural objects. That is the stuff of superstition.

    Evolutionists cloak themselves in the scientific method to some degree, but then they depart into ungrounded conclusions based on unwarranted assumptions. It trashes the scientific method.

    Evolution is more a philosophy of how to interpret the findings because it is so flexible that it can accommodate nearly any finding.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Louis: I did realize it. I just don't want to debate anything with you because I think you hide your true intentions.

    Louis,

    I'm not hiding anything. Again, I think design evolution is a convoluted elaboration of darwinian evolution. I'm in the process of explaining exactly why this is the case.

    What exactly do you think I'm hiding? Am I not asking reasonable and relevant questions?

    Louis: Thorton, OTOH, I can have fun with because he/she put all his/her cards on the table.

    So, it's Ok for you to attack people rather than address their argument, but it's not Ok for others?

    Again, would you agree that mutations do effect the biological complexly we observe, even if only negatively?

    For example, a species incurs a mutation which negatively reduces it's fitness in a particular area. However, at the time the mutation occurred this loss of fitness was not critical for it's survival in it's current environment, so it did not have a critical impact on it's overall fitness. The species does not go extinct.

    Now, move forward to some point in the future. This reduction becomes relevant due to a significant change in environmental conditions, variations in food supplies, competition from the introduction of a species that retained this ability, etc. The lost of functionality caused by the mutation in the past ultimately results in the entire species going extinct, while another other species survives in it's absence.

    Can we agree that mutations and natural selection would have this impact on the biological complexity we observe, at a minimum?

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

    ReplyDelete
  142. At the risk of getting repetitive, after his response it is really clear Hunter has deceptively cherry-picked here:

    He takes an article that concludes a lot of the human specific HAR mutations could arise not under positive selection, but as a result of recombination, biased gene conversion etc. Therefore, some have the potential of being mildly deleterious.

    He applies this to positive selection, arguing it shows positive selection would be harder, because some of the mutations have been shown to have negative fitness, and it would be impossible to select for them!

    See the issues? Terribly deceptive.

    And we're left with baffling contradictions like;

    CH: "The paper presents several lines of evidence that the role of selection is limited, and very limited in some of the HARs, and that many of the substitutions were likely neutral or slightly deleterious."

    vs:

    CH: "You can’t have 18 blind substitutions drifting in that just happen to hit the human design. Here’s a very simple calculation, leaving out detail but it should be conservative. ..."

    Again, design!?! and that all 18 are requisite, when we just heard from Hunter's mouth they are not even selected for, and potentially neutral or deleterious! But these constitute the 'human design' that we start adding up the probability of as if each and ever change must be there!

    I think you are locked in the design framework, where your bias is that what is present must be functionally important. You use word like "specified," "part of the human design," and calculate probabilities as though each and every difference between humans and chimps is required for function.

    The paper you linked to clearly concluded that some/many of the changes in the HARs are not a result of function (positive selection) but genetic accidents!

    Without knowing the function, or measuring the fitness of the HAR, there could be a very few changes to the HAR that have any functional significance, but you act as though you can still accurately get big, big improbabilities in spite of not knowing this!

    ReplyDelete
  143. Andrew Ryan:

    [blah blah blah crap deleted]

    Kiss my you know what, Ryan.

    ReplyDelete
  144. LOL!

    Loony Tunes Looie strike again!

    With IDiot supporters like you, Tedford, Peter, Joe G, and Eocene, I don't think ToE has much to worry about.

    ReplyDelete
  145. RobertC, responding to Hunter's latest fantasy concerning HAR1:

    See the issues? Terribly deceptive.
    ...
    Without knowing the function, or measuring the fitness of the HAR, there could be a very few changes to the HAR that have any functional significance, but you act as though you can still accurately get big, big improbabilities in spite of not knowing this!


    Like logical syllogisms, mathematical exercises in probability calculations follow from the premises; Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    Thank you, RobertC.

    ReplyDelete
  146. RobertC:

    ===
    He takes an article that concludes a lot of the human specific HAR mutations could arise not under positive selection, but as a result of recombination, biased gene conversion etc.
    ===

    No, the findings are not that HAR substitutions *could arise not under positive selection.* There is nothing to show how evolution could make such an improbable find. The findings, rather, are that the substitutions found in the HARs, (under the evolution model of course) do not evidence much positive selection, but rather point to other evolutionary processes such as biased gene conversion and isochore selection. In other words, *if* evolution is true, many of the substitutions probably occurred due to processes other than positive selection.


    ===
    Therefore, some have the potential of being mildly deleterious.
    ===

    Right.


    ===
    He applies this to positive selection, arguing it shows positive selection would be harder, because some of the mutations have been shown to have negative fitness, and it would be impossible to select for them! See the issues? Terribly deceptive.
    ===

    No, that is not what I said. What I pointed out is that the hypothesis of positive selection has its difficulties. Positive selection is a common explanation for evolutionary change. For instance, for protein evolution evolutionists have considered relatively smooth fitness landscapes, in sequence space, to explain how evolution could find the very rare sequences that construct biology's proteins. If you can make one substitution at a time, with each substitution under positive selection, and the series of substitutions leading to biology's native sequences we find, then the story is not so unlikely.

    And initially such HAR regions of accelerated change suggest positive selection from an evolution view. But the idea of a long series of substitutions, each under positive selection, independent of each other, is unlikely. Experiments do not indicate this sort of landscape.

    Next, having reviewed those issues, we now look at these HAR findings. What they show is the hypothesis about positive selection (ie, the substitutions independently occurring under positive selection), which was already unlikely, is now even more unlikely. Even from an evolutionary perspective, the HAR sequences do not indicate a series of substitutions, each of which is positively selected, independent of the state of the others. But all this is just background.

    continued ...

    ReplyDelete
  147. RobertC:


    =========
    And we're left with baffling contradictions like;

    CH: "The paper presents several lines of evidence that the role of selection is limited, and very limited in some of the HARs, and that many of the substitutions were likely neutral or slightly deleterious."

    vs:

    CH: "You can’t have 18 blind substitutions drifting in that just happen to hit the human design. Here’s a very simple calculation, leaving out detail but it should be conservative. ..."
    =========

    No, there is no contradiction here. Under the evolution view, the genome changes create new designs.



    ===
    Again, design!?!
    ===

    Yes, "design." Evolutionists commonly use the D word. This has nothing to do with ID or creationism. Let's stick to the problem and not complain about terminology.


    ===
    and that all 18 are requisite, when we just heard from Hunter's mouth they are not even selected for, and potentially neutral or deleterious! But these constitute the 'human design' that we start adding up the probability of as if each and ever change must be there!
    ===

    No, as I said "you can say there are more than just the observed sequence that would work." But that doesn't resolve the probability problem. You still have an unlikely event.


    ===
    I think you are locked in the design framework, where your bias is that what is present must be functionally important.
    ===

    No, I'm not the one saying an ancient primate turns into a human via a few genome changes. That would be you.


    ===
    The paper you linked to clearly concluded that some/many of the changes in the HARs are not a result of function (positive selection) but genetic accidents!
    ===

    Right, and that means evolution has an even more difficult time escaping the low probability problem.



    ===
    Without knowing the function, or measuring the fitness of the HAR, there could be a very few changes to the HAR that have any functional significance, but you act as though you can still accurately get big, big improbabilities in spite of not knowing this!
    ===

    No question about it the calculation of the probability is difficult. The problem, again, is evolution claims to be a fact regarding problems which we, in fact, can't even reconstruct in detail. But we do know enough to see that, even with a conservative, simple approach, the evolution account is highly unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Hunter:

    But we do know enough to see that, even with a conservative, simple approach, the evolution account is highly unlikely.

    As someone once said:

    Unless you have full understanding of all relevant variables one cannot reliably assign a probability to what is "likely" or "unlikely." So, the use of small probabilities in antievolutionary literature is basically meaningless.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I see that my little irreverent piece on Dr. John Baez, the author of crackpot index, has been deleted. I guess Cornelius must have taken offense. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Louis wrote: Not at all. I did not say that it was not OK. Everything is fair in this fight because there are no rules.

    It's not Ok but it's fair? Huh?

    Why are there no rules? Because everything is fair in this fight? And why is everything fair? Because there is no rules?

    In other words, It's unclear why "this fight" is different that any other "fight", or why it's even a "fight" at all.

    For example, is the controversy of cold fusion a "fight?" If not, why would evolution any different?

    Louis: [blah, blah, the rest of your moronic crap skipped for sanity's sake]

    I'm asking reasonable and relevant questions. If you disagree, then by all means, point out how their'e not reasonable and relevant.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Louis Savain:

    ===
    I see that my little irreverent piece on Dr. John Baez, the author of crackpot index, has been deleted. I guess Cornelius must have taken offense. LOL.
    ===

    No, I didn't delete it. Must have been Google s/w.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Hunter:

    Can you provide the source on that?

    *It was me* (Blushes)

    ReplyDelete
  153. ===
    RC: The paper you linked to clearly concluded that some/many of the changes in the HARs are not a result of function (positive selection) but genetic accidents!
    ===

    CH: Right and that means evolution has an even more difficult time escaping the low probability problem.
    +++++++

    No-it means evolution escapes the low probability equation, because the changes are not required for function! The paper you cite stresses how mutations can be fixed despite being non-functional, or even deleterious!

    The low probability problem is founded upon knowing the changes are functional! Since the fixed mutations need not be functional, they are therefore not constraints on likelyhood of evolving the function of human Har1.

    So- do 0, 1, 2, 4, or all 18 of the HAR1 changes matter? How on earth can you keep claiming "the evolution account is highly unlikely" without knowing? What if 1 change to the promoter or enhancer is all that matters, and the rest hitchhike in due to biased gene conversion?

    What is your improbability calculation then?

    Your holding onto your calculation, while admitting "many of the substitutions probably occurred due to processes other than positive selection" is ludicrous.

    ReplyDelete
  154. CH: "There could be a very few changes to the HAR that have any functional significance? No, this is not likely."

    Paper he sites:
    "However, neutral (nonadaptive) evolutionary processes can give rise to signals that can be mistaken as signs of selection. ... we show that many protein-coding changes in the fastest-changing genes are not a result of selection operating on the genes, but instead result from biased fixation of AT-to-GC mutations...

    CH: "Comparing the chimp-human genomes you often find the changes clustered. "

    Did you see the title: "Hotspots of Biased Nucleotide Substitutions in Human Genes"

    I'm not totally sold on the findings yet. But, you certainly can't use the your probability calculation the way you are. And you certainly can't conclude these findings make it harder to explain the substitutions.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Hunter, quoting Pedant about the vacuity of creationist probability caclucations:

    Pedant: *It was me* (Blushes)

    Hunter: I see it at Biologos under DV.

    Then why did you ask? Those calculations are meaningless in any case.

    ReplyDelete
  156. "Then why did you ask?"

    I didn't think to harness the power of google until after I posted that comment.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Louis: Why is it so hard for your stunted brain to understand that there is a difference between design evolution and Darwinian evolution.

    You complain that we don't understand there is a difference between design evolution and Darwinian evolution, but then refuse to answer questions designed to qualify exactly that the difference is?

    How is this a reasonable expectation?

    Louis: For example, one can say that the iPad2 evolved from the original iPad but one would never say that it evolved via natural selection and random mutations.

    However, this doesn't mean that a species would be immune to random mutations and natural selection once designed and created, in reality.

    In other words, I'm trying to take your concept of "design evolution" seriously, by assuming it actually occurred in reality. But we also know that, in reality, random mutations can have negative effects on fitness. Right?

    Perhaps you're denying that random mutations occur at all? Or are you denying that random mutations can be neutral or detrimental depending on the environment? Or perhaps you're denying that mildly detrimental mutations could eventually put a species at a significant disadvantage at some future date?

    Again, I'm just trying to make sense your position.

    ReplyDelete
  158. RobertC:

    ===
    So- do 0, 1, 2, 4, or all 18 of the HAR1 changes matter? How on earth can you keep claiming "the evolution account is highly unlikely" without knowing? What if 1 change to the promoter or enhancer is all that matters, and the rest hitchhike in due to biased gene conversion?
    ===

    I think we agree that modeling the substitutions as mostly hitchhikers and only a few as important, is what we need. I just think this is an unlikely scenario.

    ===
    Did you see the title: "Hotspots of Biased Nucleotide Substitutions in Human Genes"
    ===

    Yes, I did see that. What about it do you find significant?

    ReplyDelete
  159. Don't the HAR's have to be evolutionary significant to turn a ape into a human? I'm jusr asking.

    ReplyDelete
  160. CH: I'm not a skeptic, just a realist. That's what you get with empiricism.

    Cornelius,

    In claiming to be "just a realist", you're presenting a false dilemma.

    Solipsists claim that anything beyond their own existence is beyond human reason and problem solving. They've drawn a boundary at their mind/brain/soul.

    The inquisition did the same regarding an explanation of the night sky. This is a variation of solipsism. They just drew a boundary at the earths atmosphere, rather than their brain/mind/soul.

    In your case, we can distill your claim of metaphysical bias down to a claim that the the biological complexity we observe is beyond human reason and problem solving. This too is a variation of solipsism.

    You've just drawn the boundary at the biological complexity we observe, rather than the mind/brain/soul.

    ReplyDelete
  161. natschuster:

    ===
    Don't the HAR's have to be evolutionary significant to turn a ape into a human? I'm jusr asking.
    ===

    Ah, well, that is what you would think. But this is a story of the incredible shrinking evolution. First, the human-chimp genomes are very similar. Next, most of the differences don't look evolutionarily significant. And now in these HARs, they are forced to say most of the differences don't do anything. We're left with a few scant substitutions here and there to have a human pop out the other end.

    ReplyDelete
  162. natschuster,

    Don't the HAR's have to be evolutionary significant to turn a ape into a human? I'm jusr asking.

    (Well, first, we are also apes.)

    Nope. HARs are places with lots of substitutions, but not necessarily The substitutions. There are substitutions elsewhere, not just at HARs. Scientists start by examining HARs because that is probably easier to find, while other substitutions might have to be re-sequenced and re-examined to make sure that they exist. If I were trying to find what make us human, HARs would be the place where I would start too. However, I would also try to keep aware that many mutations at HARs might be from neutral to semi-neutral, and remember that our ancestors had a pretty low population bottleneck, probably resulting in some meaningless HARs (low populations make it easier for neutral and semi-neutral mutations to get "fixed" in a subsequent population).

    I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    (Well, first, we are also apes.)
    ===

    The brilliant insight of evolution.


    ===
    HARs are places with lots of substitutions, but not necessarily The substitutions. There are substitutions elsewhere, not just at HARs.
    ===

    Yes, this one way out. Throw the HARs under the bus, because they're just causing problems.


    ===
    Scientists start by examining HARs because that is probably easier to find, while other substitutions might have to be re-sequenced and re-examined to make sure that they exist. If I were trying to find what make us human, HARs would be the place where I would start too. However, I would also try to keep aware that many mutations at HARs might be from neutral to semi-neutral, and remember that our ancestors had a pretty low population bottleneck, probably resulting in some meaningless HARs (low populations make it easier for neutral and semi-neutral mutations to get "fixed" in a subsequent population).
    ===

    But becoming fixed isn't the issue.

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  164. Cornelius,

    Your answer to natchuster does not help at all.

    I understand how much evolution threatens your beliefs, but you should at least try to keep it honest. Your amateur rhetorical games, and your obvious misrepresentations of whatever comes your way makes it very hard to have any respect for you. I know you don't care about what I think, but, man, you are supposed to have some beliefs that are supposed to at least inspire you to be a better person.

    Anyway, I point out again that what you asked was why did I think our common ancestry with the other apes was true beyond reasonable doubt, not how do proteins evolve. This invalidates those parts where you claim that my answers are "selective." Maybe at least you could retract that part (I am not holding my breath).

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  165. Cornelius,

    ===
    (Well, first, we are also apes.)
    ===

    The brilliant insight of evolution.


    Nope, the brilliant insight of taxonomy. Have I mentioned your use of "cheap rhetorical games" before?

    Yes, this one way out. Throw the HARs under the bus, because they're just causing problems.

    I don't see any problem. Some scientist exaggerating their findings don't change the possibility of proper scientific examination. Most people in the evolutionary community were skeptical about how significant mutations in HARs would be in regards of our humanship. Since you only care about playing games with references here a strategy proper for you: start with some article by genomicists, then go and see what evolutionary biologists say. You will find plenty of those things you love to twist into "evolution is in trouble": the bigger-than-life claims on the part of some genomicist, against the measured expectations (and strong criticism against such genomicist's pronunciations) by the evolutionary biologists. You will be able to fabricate lots and lots of "examples" of the type of rhetorical trash that you love by labelling all of it as "evolutionism."

    I know that actually examining the issues under the proper knowledge of evolutionary biology and population genetics is beyond you. Who cares about truth, right? The important thing is to accuse, accuse, accuse, no matter how much you have to twist what you don't understand, or what you pretend not to understand.

    Misguided religion drives your pseudoscience, and it does indeed matter.

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  166. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  167. Cornelius to me:

    But the claim is not that these are in accord, the claim is these, along with similar phony arguments, make evolution a *fact*.

    [...]But that wasn't the claim. The point is not that tetrapod evolution is necessarily troublesome for evolution, the point is it doesn't make for a prooftext.

    Cornelius in the original post:

    Yes, there is some supporting evidences within the professor’s categories, but he omitted entire categories that present substantial problems for evolution. This is a long story, but one rather obvious problematic category is that of mechanism [...] How did fish arise, and then amphibians and birds and mammals?

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  168. Cornelius,

    But becoming fixed isn't the issue.

    That's what natschuster was asking about, that is what I answered. Do you think I should have added things such as "How is it that a living cell arose from inorganic chemicals? How did that population lead to multicellularity? How did fish arise, and then amphibians and birds and mammals? How did everything from the cardiovascular system to the brain arise?" to answer natschuster's question instead of being so "selective"?

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  169. Cornelius:
    First they claim the chromosome fusion event is powerful evidence for evolution and common descent, and when you point out the absurdity of the claim they say all they meant was that the chromosome fusion event is powerful evidence for chromosome fusion events, which after all are themselves evolution in action.

    I love how easy it is for you to represent the argument of the other party as if it was a tautology.

    We see the topological correspondences between the single human chromosome and the separate chimp chromosomes. We explain them by inferring the existence of a past chromosome fusion event. A chromosome fusion event is an evolutionary change by definition.

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  170. Nope, the brilliant insight of taxonomy. Have I mentioned your use of "cheap rhetorical games" before?

    Cornelius can't get over it, but even Linnaeus thought humans are not that very special. He wanted to place us under the genus Simia, together with the chimps, orang-utans, and marmosets (yes, genera were really big back then). He didn't do it afraid of theological backlash. Placing us within the Primates was already bold enough.

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  171. Cornelius:

    Similar bone patterns? You're kidding right?

    Well Cornelius, you don't bother to defend your point with anything but exclamations of incredulity, you don't engage to discuss the details, and you're not an authority in zoology. Don't wonder why people don't take you seriously.

    But the claim is not that these are in accord, the claim is these, along with similar phony arguments, make evolution a *fact*.

    You brought the topic as a problem for evolution, read what you wrote yourself. I can't discuss the point you have in mind if you don't communicate it first.

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  172. Quotes from Cornelius.

    Similar bone patterns? You're kidding right?

    You don't defend your position with anything but exclamations of incredulity, you don't engage to discuss the actual details, and you're not an authority in zoology. Don't wonder why people don't take you seriously.

    But that wasn't the claim. The point is not that tetrapod evolution is necessarily troublesome for evolution, the point is it doesn't make for a prooftext.

    Read what you wrote yourself. I can't discuss the point you really had in mind if you didn't communicate it.

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  173. Negative Entropy:

    ===
    I understand how much evolution threatens your beliefs
    ===

    How so?

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  174. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Negative Entropy:

    ===
    I understand how much evolution threatens your beliefs
    ===

    How so?


    Because if it didn't you wouldn't be posting page after page of ridiculous misrepresentations, strawmen arguments, and outright lies about actual evolutionary theory.

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  175. I just noticed that Cornelius completely ignores Thorton. Is there something about Thorton that I should know about? Other than that she is a sexist butt kisser with too much time on her hands, that is. :-D

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  176. CH,
    "We're left with a few scant substitutions here and there to have a human pop out the other end. "

    thank you for scoring on your own goal. if all it takes is a few scant substitutions then evolving a human from a chimp-like ancestor must be relatively easy. or do you not think that the differences between Homo and Pan have a genetic basis?

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  177. CH: " I just think this is an unlikely scenario." "Next, most of the differences don't look evolutionarily significant." "Mutate much less than 1% of the genome of an ancient ape and you get humans. That is dubious."

    So we're reduced from articles that were supposed to present contradictions for evolution to Hunter's feelings against evolution as proof against it. Odd for a author who claims "moderate empiricism" and rails against evolutionary biologists who he accuses of having abandoned the data due to to personal bias.

    But as long as he's not mangling the literature, or making big big number calculations based on it (and a view that evolution is specified or goal-oriented), I'll rest easier.

    Onto the next post?

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  178. CH: Yes, this one way out. Throw the HARs under the bus, because they're just causing problems.

    No, starting out with HARs is a simply good problem solving technique.

    For example, If my car isn't running well I start with the parts that are the easiest to check, such as the air filter, spark plugs, etc. I continue in this fashion until I find the problem. It might be the case that I have to eventually disassemble the entire engine, but I certainly do not start there first. This is NOT how to solve problem.

    Of course, one only is concerned about using good problem solving techniques if they're actually trying to solve a problem, rather than assert it's impossible.

    Given that you've continued to dodge my question, it's unclear if you believe that the biological complexity we observe can be explained by human reasoning and problem solving in the first place.

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  179. Negative Entropy: I understand how much evolution threatens your beliefs.

    CHL How so?

    By the way you've continued to dodge simple and relevant questions. Why else would you remain silent?

    If you don't think my questions are relevant, then simply point out why they're not relevant. If my questions are not threatening, then you should have no problem answering them, right?

    So, again...

    Do you think the biological complexity we observe can be explained by human reasoning and problem solving or not?

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  180. Thorton:

    ===
    Because if it didn't you wouldn't be posting page after page of ridiculous misrepresentations, strawmen arguments, and outright lies about actual evolutionary theory.
    ===

    Oh, right, I forgot.

    ReplyDelete
  181. Cornelius Hunter:

    Thorton:

    ===
    Because if it didn't you wouldn't be posting page after page of ridiculous misrepresentations, strawmen arguments, and outright lies about actual evolutionary theory.
    ===

    Oh, right, I forgot.


    LOL.

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  182. Cornelius Hunter:

    ---------

    Madam Thorton said:

    Because if it didn't you wouldn't be posting page after page of ridiculous misrepresentations, strawmen arguments, and outright lies about actual evolutionary theory.
    ===

    Cornelius Hunter said:

    "Oh, right, I forgot."
    ===

    You know you are earthquaking and tsunami shaking their religious heartfelt worldview when that is the best they can come up with and by a rather marginal example of a human being at that. Very entertaining and informative indeed.

    It's true, you really don't have to respond much to make your case. Their own words beautifully illustrate and define exactly what you've been saying. Truthfully you could NOT have made these things up.

    *wink*

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  183. Madam Thorton:

    "With IDiot supporters like you, Tedford, Peter, Joe G, and Eocene, I don't think ToE has much to worry about."
    ===

    Evolution is incapable of worrying or thinking about anything and ultimately that is the point. Evolutionists on the other hand, that is the point!!!

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  184. Neal Tedford:

    "Andrew, the similarity between ancient pagans and evolutionists is simply because they both attribute unrealistic powers to natural objects."
    ===

    Actually this scripture comes to mind.

    Romans 1:22-25 (Common English Bible)

    22 While they were claiming to be wise, they made fools of themselves.

    (23) They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that look like mortal humans: birds, animals, and reptiles.

    (24) So God abandoned them to their hearts’ desires, which led to the moral corruption of degrading their own bodies with each other.

    (25) They traded God’s truth for a lie, and they worshipped and served the creation instead of the creator, who is blessed forever."

    This is why the many primitive nature animist religions have so often appealed to evolutionists who've plagerized many of their concepts to explain the impossible which actually takes massive amounts of faith to believe in, tho they deny this.
    ---

    Neal Tedford:

    "That is the stuff of superstition."
    ===

    It's true that this is nothing more than superstition, but you need to remember one puzzling thing. The people who've chosen to believe this and explain this animist evolutionary mystery using pagan superstious concepts cleaned up with enough intellect speak to give it a false sense of credibility are also the ones promoting themselves as the cream of the crop rational and logical among mankind. Looking at the disintegration of the natural and human world around us, it's easy to see who is right and who is wrong. Scary times ahead indeed.

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  185. Kartrev:

    "Kartrev: Besides, can you seriously reference one evolutionist on this blog who honestly believes a) A Designer exists b) It is the Christian God? (Certainly not I...)
    ===

    Cornelius Hunter: "Derick"
    ---

    Kartrev exposing *cough - cough* quoting Derick:

    "I went back a couple of blog entries. I found this from Derick."

    Derick Childress: - "Pointing out bad, suboptimal, or inexplicable designs in response to claims that life was designed by an infinitely intelligent and competent designer does not magically turn evolution into a metaphysical view, especially when it is supported by mountains of convergent lines of evidence"
    ===

    Kartrev:

    "Perhaps you have a better quote that supports Derick believing in a Christian God Designer, but certainly the above quote seems to at least imply he doesn't."
    ===

    No need to. You've done exactly what many have been saying for months now about Derick Childress. Cornelius was correct when he referenced Derick because Derick Childress has been blowing his trumpet for months that he is a Theistic Evolutionist who believes Jesus Christ is God Almighty. So apparently it is you who need to go back and dig further.

    However having said that, yes you did reveal Derick Childress' true closet atheistic nature. You see, tho Derick claims to believe in a designer(Jesus Christ) he argues/champions every popular evolutionary myth from an atheistic perspective and never ONCE has he shown anyone where his claimed god Jesus Christ used evolution as a means of accomplishing anything. Thanks for sharing that proof.

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  186. Cornelius Hunter said...

    Thorton:

    ===
    Because if it didn't you wouldn't be posting page after page of ridiculous misrepresentations, strawmen arguments, and outright lies about actual evolutionary theory.
    ===

    Oh, right, I forgot.


    The rest of us haven't.

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  187. Don't we have to get some idea of how many mutations were needed to turn an ape ancestor into a human before we can say how much of the HARs are not evolutionary significant?

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  188. Eocone: Cornelius was correct when he referenced Derick because Derick Childress has been blowing his trumpet for months that he is a Theistic Evolutionist who believes Jesus Christ is God Almighty.

    Eocene,

    Do you believe God is directly causing death and the destruction of property by pushing an pulling on objects according to their mass? Or perhaps you believe that God setup gravity as a secondary cause and that any particular death or destruction that results represents God allowing events to occur according to the natural law he setup?

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  189. Eocene,

    Would you say that setting up the laws of physics in such a way that some form or life would eventually appear would be too difficult of a task for an omnipotent and omniscient being?

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  190. Eocene said, "The people who've chosen to believe this and explain this animist evolutionary mystery using pagan superstious concepts cleaned up with enough intellect speak to give it a false sense of credibility are also the ones promoting themselves as the cream of the crop rational and logical among mankind."


    ----

    Yes, their priestcraft has been very clever in framing their arguments to accommodate any finding.

    The bottom line is that evolutionists ascribe false powers to objects of nature. This is the stuff of superstition and paganism...

    But, at least the pagans called it religion, but evolutionists pretend that its not religious based. Same stuff, different wrapper.

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  191. Scott said, "Would you say that setting up the laws of physics in such a way that some form or life would eventually appear would be too difficult of a task for an omnipotent and omniscient being?"

    --

    That question is really besides the point in my opinion. We have enough knowledge about the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology so that we do not need to appeal to such ignorance. We don't have to guess if natural processes have the ability to form life on their own. Our laws of physics don't do it. It can't. We are now in the age of systems biology and not in the age of Darwinian-cell-is-goo.

    Again, evolutionists ascribe to natural objects (chemicals in the warm little pond, etc) false powers. Such is the stuff of superstition and paganism.

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  192. But, as RobertC pointed out, nothing is yet known about the fitness of these mutations, so the notion that any of these findings pose insurmountable obstacles to an evolutionary interpretation is imaginary.

    That was ironic. I've often said that critics of evolution, whatever it is, should find ways of citing their own imaginations as the epistemic equivalent of empirical evidence in the same way that evolutionists do. So there's no problem there. You imagine that evolution, whatever it is, will be verified by imaginary future discoveries or that it is verified by imaginary events in the past and another imagines that it has not or will not be.

    That's fitting, naturally. Meanwhile an empiricist who is interested in the actual evidence here and now* might note that the "theory" has often been falsified... to the extent that hypothetical goo can be called a theory in the first place.

    *Note the difference between actual evidence and an imaginary future or past if the Darwinian urge to merge hasn't completely limited your intellect.

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  193. I've often said that critics of evolution, whatever it is,

    ---

    And the bolded part is enough to stop reading what is sure to be meaningless rambling.

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  194. natschuster,

    Don't we have to get some idea of how many mutations were needed to turn an ape ancestor into a human before we can say how much of the HARs are not evolutionary significant?

    It would certainly be nice if we could calculate, a priori, a number of mutations that would change an ancestral ape into the human ape. But there is no direct correlation between number of mutations and their phenotypic effects. Little example of possible consequences: a mutation in a master regulatory protein might change thousands of expression patterns, while a mutation in a regulatory protein at the "tips" of metabolism, or at the periphery of the system, might change very little.

    Analyses of HARs depend on some assumptions and it is important to understand those assumptions before claiming that we know for certain how many, or which, are meaningful for this problem. But insights can be gained as we compare more sequences and expression patterns. This is a huge task, and I doubt any of the articles cited by Cornelius have a final answer yet. They point to some stuff, but much more work is necessary before concluding either way about the importance of each mutation within a HAR.

    Hope this helps.

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  195. mynym said...

    I've often said that critics of evolution, whatever it is, should find ways of citing their own imaginations as the epistemic equivalent of empirical evidence in the same way that evolutionists do. So there's no problem there. You imagine that evolution, whatever it is, will be verified by imaginary future discoveries or that it is verified by imaginary events in the past and another imagines that it has not or will not be.


    Creationist moronic hand wave #247:

    "Science doesn't know everything, so that means science must not know anything!"

    ...and these guys still wonder why they get laughed at.

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  196. Mynym,

    Let's compare empirical observations, shall we?

    - Random mutations: Yes.
    - Non-human designers: No.

    - Random mutations effecting feature expression: Yes.
    - Non-human designers changing feature expression: No.

    - Horizontal gene transfer: Yes.
    - Non-human designer gene transfer: No

    - Human designers mutating genes to effect feature expression: Yes.
    - Non-human designers mutating genes to effect feature expression: No.

    - Environmental changes effecting species development: Yes.
    - Non-human designers changing species development: No.

    - The extinction of one or more species: Yes

    First, note that we don't even know if non-human designers existed with the means motive and opportunity to design the biological complexity we observe.

    Second, we know that random mutations effect speciation, even if only negatively. As such, they must, at a minimum, play an overwhelming part in speciation.

    Even if each species was intelligently designed, as a whole, that designer must manipulate or compensate for random mutations and natural selection to ensure that species does not loose features or go extinct. Otherwise, it would be inaccurate to say what we observe to day is "designed."

    To illustrate my point, would you agree that over 98% of all species found in the fossil record are no longer with us in that they went extinct?

    If so, 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.

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  197. 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 play a significant role.

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  198. Geoxus:

    ===
    Cornelius:
    First they claim the chromosome fusion event is powerful evidence for evolution and common descent, and when you point out the absurdity of the claim they say all they meant was that the chromosome fusion event is powerful evidence for chromosome fusion events, which after all are themselves evolution in action.

    I love how easy it is for you to represent the argument of the other party as if it was a tautology.

    We see the topological correspondences between the single human chromosome and the separate chimp chromosomes. We explain them by inferring the existence of a past chromosome fusion event.
    ===

    You say I falsely represent the argument evolutionists make about chromosome 2 as a tautology, just before you state the tautology yourself. You say:


    ===
    A chromosome fusion event is an evolutionary change by definition.
    ===

    No, a chromosome fusion event is *not* an evolutionary change by definition. Evolutionists are so convinced of the truth of evolution, it becomes acceptable to label things as evolution which aren't. I see this repeatedly in their evaluation of the evidence. It all supports evolution, they say, even though contradictions abound. In this case a chromosome fusion event has nothing to do with evolution. It literally has nothing to do with evolution. And yet Ken Miller misrepresented this in court, under oath.


    ===
    Cornelius:
    Similar bone patterns? You're kidding right?

    Well Cornelius, you don't bother to defend your point with anything but exclamations of incredulity, you don't engage to discuss the details, and you're not an authority in zoology. Don't wonder why people don't take you seriously.
    ===

    The issue here is not whether the bone patterns share similarities, the issue is why that is compelling evidence for evolution. One need not be an authority in zoology to understand the structure of the argument. But of course you already knew all that.



    ===
    Cornelius:
    But the claim is not that these [similar bone patterns] are in accord [with evolution], the claim is these, along with similar phony arguments, make evolution a *fact*.

    You brought the topic as a problem for evolution, read what you wrote yourself. I can't discuss the point you have in mind if you don't communicate it first.
    ===

    It is a problem for evolution because it is yet another example of phony, metaphysical, argument for evolution. It is one of the most common arguments for evolution, and it is metaphysical. In other words, given the premise that the bone patterns are similar, why is that compelling evidence for evolution?

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  199. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  200. Cornelius Hunter said...

    ===
    A chromosome fusion event is an evolutionary change by definition.
    ===

    No, a chromosome fusion event is *not* an evolutionary change by definition.


    LOL! CH, do you have your own pet definition of 'chromosomal fusion' that is different from the one everyone else in the world uses? I'd be interested to know what it is.

    We already know you made up your own pet definition of 'fact' as 'those things that my Biblical beliefs let me accept'.

    If you're going to pretend to pontificate about science you should at least use the accepted definitions of the terms. That's what an honest person would do anyway.

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