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(Gawker)   Professor at religious college: "Hai kids, there's this thing called science, and........ " TERMINATION ENSUES   (gawker.com) divider line 297
    More: Stupid, Calvin College, Christian school, Inside Higher Ed, Adam and Eve, colleges, adverse effect  
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17604 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Aug 2011 at 8:51 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-08-16 12:05:55 PM
The trouble with Bevets (and others) is that they approach Science as if it were a system of Belief. It is not. It is an explanation of reality based on proof. This is how X works and this is how you prove it. Religion, as a belief, cannot stand up to that or any real scrutiny because it Requires that you ignore reality and/or proof. It is built in that you do not question the deity.

Its an unwinable argument. One screaming at a deaf man "Hear that?" and the other yelling at a blind man "See? See that?"
 
2011-08-16 12:30:14 PM
Simple problem: Many Christians mistakenly think that things like the creation myth at the beginning of the old testament need to be taken literally. If they believe that then the only conclusion they can come to is that science can not be worth a damn.

The freaky part is that a Christian does not have to "believe" in the literal truth of any of the old testament at all to be a Christian. It has nothing to do with being a Christian at all. Jesus was very direct in explaining what a person needed to do to be "saved". It had nothing to do with "Creationism" or anything else like it.
 
2011-08-16 12:31:06 PM

KiltedBastich: Bevets: I think Dawkins speaks for himself. The best case he and his fan club can make is that he was asked a question people are not supposed to ask.

You are mistaken, as usual. Tell me, if there is a discussion of high-level abstract math between experts, and someone insists that they have to prove 2 + 2 = 4 before they are allowed to continue, would you not grasp why that is "a question people are not are supposed to ask". It's pointless, it's trivial, it rehashes ground well and truly settled.

Dawkins responded the way he did not because the question is in some way forbidden or taboo, but because it reveals the speaker to be ignorant and partisan, who has not done basic research into the topic, and with pre-existing conclusions that they wish to try and 'prove' rather than seeking knowledge. The question was pointless, and attempt to waste time and promote talking points, and the way the videos were edited shows quite clearly it was the creationist's version of gotcha journalism.

Really, Bevets, are you so lacking in moral fiber that you would condone and promote such lies and delberate malicious dishonesty by partisans of creationism just because they are partisans of creationism? Are you so lost to the teachings of your own espoused religion that you are so quickly willing to descend to "anything goes when it's my team vs. their team" tactics? Do you not grasp that the utter hypocrisy of that position is one of the big reasons why creationists are held in widespread contempt?


I was going to post my own response, but this says what I wanted better than I could. Bevets didn't even make a cursory attempt at addressing the objections in the article I posted, one of many which pokes holes in the video he links to. This is the modus operandi of all creationists: latch onto false arguments or cherry-picked information taken out of context and ignore all of the holes people poke in them.
 
2011-08-16 01:23:45 PM
Can I just say that not all religion is bad. It's like Marx said, it's the opiate of the masses. And opiates serve their purpose. When a person is in great pain, then it actually eases that pain and suffering (like any opiate should). The only problem is opiates are highly addictive and can destroy lives. This doesn't mean it should be outlawed, however.

The other point I'd like to make is that Crick himself (cool dood, loved to drop acid), doubted that DNA could be formed by natural processes:

"You would be more likely to assemble a fully functioning and flying jumbo jet by passing a hurricane through a junkyard than you would be to assemble the DNA molecule by chance in, any kind of primeval soup in five or six hundred million years. It's just not possible"

Which I think, despite its appeal to authority (and I think its a pretty damn fine authority to appeal to), is a valid point. Which is not to say that I don't believe in evolution, I do; but rather that Crick himself had doubts about its origins himself. I mean, that's some pretty lucky stuff.

/Want's to see this talking point in Bevets next thread
 
2011-08-16 01:38:35 PM

FarkLiberty: Can I just say that not all religion is bad. It's like Marx said, it's the opiate of the masses. And opiates serve their purpose. When a person is in great pain, then it actually eases that pain and suffering (like any opiate should). The only problem is opiates are highly addictive and can destroy lives. This doesn't mean it should be outlawed, however.

The other point I'd like to make is that Crick himself (cool dood, loved to drop acid), doubted that DNA could be formed by natural processes:

"You would be more likely to assemble a fully functioning and flying jumbo jet by passing a hurricane through a junkyard than you would be to assemble the DNA molecule by chance in, any kind of primeval soup in five or six hundred million years. It's just not possible"

Which I think, despite its appeal to authority (and I think its a pretty damn fine authority to appeal to), is a valid point. Which is not to say that I don't believe in evolution, I do; but rather that Crick himself had doubts about its origins himself. I mean, that's some pretty lucky stuff.

/Want's to see this talking point in Bevets next thread


It's wrong though. Evolution and DNA assembly is not a complete random chance. It's caused by selection pressures. This is not a case of flipping a trillion coins and having them all land on heads. It like flipping a trillion coins, setting aside those that flipped heads, flipping the remaining coincs, setting aside those that came up heads, and then repeating that process. Eventually all the coins are going to be heads.

Remember that the design of a 747 is itself a product of an evolutionary process of non-random selection, over many iterations. And the human body, by comparison with a 747, is an absolutely terrible design, one any competent engineer would be ashamed to produce, with badly designed eyes, knees, back, lungs, genitals, pelvic girdle, etc. It's an ad hoc design that is the cumulative result of a blind process that gropes for good-enough solutions to survival problems created by modifyin what is already there, which are in turn the results of previous such ad hoc processes. Mutate randomly, select nonrandomly those that survive best. Rinse repeat over billions of years.

All this really shows is that Crick did not understand probability or non-random selection pressures very well. That doesn't detract from his genius in other areas. No one is an expert in every area.
 
2011-08-16 01:42:48 PM

FarkLiberty: Can I just say that not all religion is bad. It's like Marx said, it's the opiate of the masses. And opiates serve their purpose. When a person is in great pain, then it actually eases that pain and suffering (like any opiate should). The only problem is opiates are highly addictive and can destroy lives. This doesn't mean it should be outlawed, however.

The other point I'd like to make is that Crick himself (cool dood, loved to drop acid), doubted that DNA could be formed by natural processes:

"You would be more likely to assemble a fully functioning and flying jumbo jet by passing a hurricane through a junkyard than you would be to assemble the DNA molecule by chance in, any kind of primeval soup in five or six hundred million years. It's just not possible"

Which I think, despite its appeal to authority (and I think its a pretty damn fine authority to appeal to), is a valid point. Which is not to say that I don't believe in evolution, I do; but rather that Crick himself had doubts about its origins himself. I mean, that's some pretty lucky stuff.

/Want's to see this talking point in Bevets next thread


..except that assembling a hurricane in a junkyard is in no way analogous to the formation of DNA. Crick can have his doubts, but it's in no way a refutation of evolutionary biology. Life is not "random," despite the attempts of creationists to assert it to be so.
 
2011-08-16 02:12:49 PM

KiltedBastich: FarkLiberty: Can I just say that not all religion is bad. It's like Marx said, it's the opiate of the masses. And opiates serve their purpose. When a person is in great pain, then it actually eases that pain and suffering (like any opiate should). The only problem is opiates are highly addictive and can destroy lives. This doesn't mean it should be outlawed, however.

The other point I'd like to make is that Crick himself (cool dood, loved to drop acid), doubted that DNA could be formed by natural processes:

"You would be more likely to assemble a fully functioning and flying jumbo jet by passing a hurricane through a junkyard than you would be to assemble the DNA molecule by chance in, any kind of primeval soup in five or six hundred million years. It's just not possible"

Which I think, despite its appeal to authority (and I think its a pretty damn fine authority to appeal to), is a valid point. Which is not to say that I don't believe in evolution, I do; but rather that Crick himself had doubts about its origins himself. I mean, that's some pretty lucky stuff.

/Want's to see this talking point in Bevets next thread

It's wrong though. Evolution and DNA assembly is not a complete random chance. It's caused by selection pressures. This is not a case of flipping a trillion coins and having them all land on heads. It like flipping a trillion coins, setting aside those that flipped heads, flipping the remaining coincs, setting aside those that came up heads, and then repeating that process. Eventually all the coins are going to be heads.

Remember that the design of a 747 is itself a product of an evolutionary process of non-random selection, over many iterations. And the human body, by comparison with a 747, is an absolutely terrible design, one any competent engineer would be ashamed to produce, with badly designed eyes, knees, back, lungs, genitals, pelvic girdle, etc. It's an ad hoc design that is the cumulative result of a blind process that gropes for good-enough solutions to survival problems created by modifyin what is already there, which are in turn the results of previous such ad hoc processes. Mutate randomly, select nonrandomly those that survive best. Rinse repeat over billions of years.

All this really shows is that Crick did not understand probability or non-random selection pressures very well. That doesn't detract from his genius in other areas. No one is an expert in every area.


I'd just like to add that AFAICT, the "quote" is not by Francis Crick, but a paraphrase of Fred Hoyle. (The fallacy itself dates back to Darwin's time, and is basically a modification of Paley's watchmaker; Hoyle added the 747 as an example.)

The only places I've been able to find that attribute the quote to Crick are creationist sites.
 
2011-08-16 02:46:21 PM

The Herpes!: FloydA: ptrifoliata2: right, um, so... where exactly do genesis/christianity and evolution/etc. not mesh? i'm not getting this part. my faith meshes the two a-o.k..

Because of taking the literaly translation of the words as God's Word. Because the actual language says, "Seven days", which any person in his right mind understands is an allegory for the people of the time to explain what was unexplainable in a way that made sense to them, is taken verbatim as God's Word because God is infallible and if the Book is God's Word than no matter what is said in the Bible, it must be true.

Which brings me back to my question to Bevets about painting the walls of his tent in bulls' blood. Because if he says anything but yes, then he is picking and choosing what to obey and believe in the Bible. Same argument can be made towards any 6,000 year old believer. Because if you believe that is the truth because that is the way it is written in the Bible, then you better believe and practice all the other the other parts, even the ones that are obvious cultural references and practices of a people that lived 5,000 years ago.

Anything else is utter hypocrisy.


Please indicate where in those passages God specifies that all humans everywhere are to obey these rules ad infinitum. Oh wait, He doesn't, it's addressed only to the Jews and only because they wanted a covenant.

Spiritual Ignorace is a disease of the proud. Unfortunately so are the workings of the modern scientific community.
 
2011-08-16 02:59:03 PM

KiltedBastich: All this really shows is that Crick did not understand probability or non-random selection pressures very well. That doesn't detract from his genius in other areas. No one is an expert in every area.


I think the quote, regardless of its attribution, refers to the formation of the FIRST DNA molecule, not if DNA can select through an evolutionary process. Which is to say, how did amino acids spontaneously form the molecule we know today that stores and self-replicates genetic information.


KiltedBastich: Eventually all the coins are going to be heads.


Right. And eventually monkeys at a typewriter will produce the works of Shakespeare. It's really just a question of how long.

The quote simply refers to the length of time required to produce that. The author has doubts, and quite frankly reasonably so, that 600 million years is not sufficient time for a DNA molecule to form from basic amino acids

So its TOTALLY possible it happened like that one time and BAM! we go DNA. It's just not likely/probably.

/Stranger things have happened
//Ok not really. DNA is pretty sweet
 
2011-08-16 03:11:17 PM

omegazeto: Spiritual Ignorace is a disease of the proud. Unfortunately so are the workings of the modern scientific community.


Spiritual arrogance is a disease of the ignorant. Fortunately, the modern scientific community doesn't care about spirituality at all, except to the extent that it gets in the way of investigating new scientific questions.

Science doesn't debunk religion because it is opposed to religion. It debunks religion because investigating the status of empirical claims is what science does. That the religious do not like some of those answers because they conflict with its dogma is completely irrelevant.
 
2011-08-16 03:19:52 PM

FarkLiberty: Right. And eventually monkeys at a typewriter will produce the works of Shakespeare. It's really just a question of how long.


Not so. That is requiring a specified result, which is much more complex. That's a teleological argument, and evolution is not teleological.

You are looking at an end result and asking how unlikely it is that just that result occured. What you are not taking into account is that however unlikely any given result is, the likelihood of a result is certainty.

We now know that under the right conditions, it's not at all unlikely for RNA to form and begin self-replicating. It's actually inevitable, under the right conditions. Given that, all you need is time, energy and raw materials, which were available in plentiful quantity according to everything we know of the early Earth. The form we now have as a result is just the particular possibility out of all the potential results that happened to be selected for by the ongoing processes. It seems remarkable to us in hindsight, much as picking the winning numbers seems remarkable to a person who won the lottery. The problem is that the conditions specified that there was going to be a result, one way or the other. So the point that any given result is unlikely is then meaningless.

Think of it this way. You are you because a particular sperm out of millions and a particular egg out of thousands united, Each of your parents is equally the result of such a chance. The odds of you being produced seem astronomical, if you are looking at it from a teleological position. Fortunately for you, the universe is not teleological. It has no preference for which sperm and which egg get united, just that a sperm and an egg get united. And you are the result, as were your parents, and their parents and so on.
 
2011-08-16 03:26:08 PM

KiltedBastich: We now know that under the right conditions, it's not at all unlikely for RNA to form and begin self-replicating. It's actually inevitable, under the right conditions


Citation needed. I'd read at least the abstract...
 
2011-08-16 03:49:23 PM
"suggesting that evidence of genetics and evolution raised questions about the traditional, literal reading of Genesis about creation, the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall of humanity out of an initial idyllic state."

No it doesn't. One only sees what one wants to see if one squints and views half or less of the data. If one actually considers ALL the data, the first three chapters of Genesis are very well supported.
 
2011-08-16 03:57:06 PM

FarkLiberty: KiltedBastich: We now know that under the right conditions, it's not at all unlikely for RNA to form and begin self-replicating. It's actually inevitable, under the right conditions

Citation needed. I'd read at least the abstract...


There was some work in that discipline came out not long ago, actually. Look up "RNA world" on Google scholar, you should find it.
 
2011-08-16 04:08:49 PM

danielpauldavis: "suggesting that evidence of genetics and evolution raised questions about the traditional, literal reading of Genesis about creation, the story of Adam and Eve, and the fall of humanity out of an initial idyllic state."

No it doesn't. One only sees what one wants to see if one squints and views half or less of the data. If one actually considers ALL the data, the first three chapters of Genesis are very well supported.


wat
 
2011-08-16 04:19:46 PM

danielpauldavis: If one actually considers ALL the data, the first three chapters of Genesis are very well supported.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

God creates the earth. Later, the sun. As in, not a billion years before, but days later.
 
2011-08-16 04:49:05 PM

KiltedBastich: There was some work in that discipline came out not long ago, actually. Look up "RNA world" on Google scholar, you should find it.


Ok. So maybe my Google-fu is weak, but all the abstracts I read (I ain't paying for the paper) seem to indicate an RNA world is one possible starting condition.

Which is cool and new information to me, but it did not seem to actually lead to experimental conditions. The abstracts pointed to testing scenarios and how RNA could transition to DNA. All fascinating stuff really.

But I'm still more interested in the formation of RNA spontaneously from an amino acid bath (a primordial soup as it were). I'm not saying it's theoretically impossible just that experimental evidence would be pretty damning. If you could point me to a paper on this point specifically, I'd be appreciative.

/Would love to say with confidence that "life" was an inevitability
 
2011-08-16 05:06:54 PM
If natural selection, and evolution are false, then please farking explain how bacteria and viruses can become medication-resistant to the point where the medicine is entirely ineffective? Or how bacteria can become resistant to antibacterial alcohol wipes?
 
2011-08-16 05:09:36 PM
Nevermind, I found an article that shows that it's experimentally possible to create RNA.

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090513/full/news.2009.471.html

Granted, this work has its detractors, but that's pretty cool. RNA world, to DNA, to humans.

Neat.

/Still believe that it's relatively short period of time. 600 million years is not a lot of time for evolution from molecule to organism.
//Agnostic
///Learning is FUN!
 
2011-08-16 05:13:09 PM
FloydA:

Cpl.D:


www.spiralpocus.com

Boy did I catch some biiiiig fish :)
 
2011-08-16 05:14:15 PM

FarkLiberty: KiltedBastich: There was some work in that discipline came out not long ago, actually. Look up "RNA world" on Google scholar, you should find it.

Ok. So maybe my Google-fu is weak, but all the abstracts I read (I ain't paying for the paper) seem to indicate an RNA world is one possible starting condition.

Which is cool and new information to me, but it did not seem to actually lead to experimental conditions. The abstracts pointed to testing scenarios and how RNA could transition to DNA. All fascinating stuff really.

But I'm still more interested in the formation of RNA spontaneously from an amino acid bath (a primordial soup as it were). I'm not saying it's theoretically impossible just that experimental evidence would be pretty damning. If you could point me to a paper on this point specifically, I'd be appreciative.

/Would love to say with confidence that "life" was an inevitability


No, not from amino acids, that's proteins and was covered by the Miller-Urey experiments. For RNA you want the spontaneous assembly of bases into long-strand RNA. It's also been directly observed. As for the nucleotides, they have been demonstrated not only to form under early earth conditions, but also to have formed in space and been delivered by meteorites, of all things. Keep Googling, it's all out there if you search for it.
 
2011-08-16 05:19:38 PM

FarkLiberty: Nevermind, I found an article that shows that it's experimentally possible to create RNA.

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090513/full/news.2009.471.html

Granted, this work has its detractors, but that's pretty cool. RNA world, to DNA, to humans.

Neat.

/Still believe that it's relatively short period of time. 600 million years is not a lot of time for evolution from molecule to organism.
//Agnostic
///Learning is FUN!


Ah, but that's the time frame from first known cell to human, not from molecule to organism. And all the work done recently in evolution with respect to punctuated gradualism shows that evolution is actually extremely quick from a geological time frame when the conditions are right. Basically, organisms well-adapted to their environments don't tend to change much, because most mutations end up reducing fitness. It's only when there is some kind of major change or disruption that mutations can prove beneficial to survival and reproduction in the new, changed environment.

The point is, it's not just possible, not just plausible, but in fact likelier than not. We think of ourselves as being the result of an extremely unlikely chain of events, and we are. But we are unlikely like the one guy who wins the lottery out of all the millions of tickets, not like the 747 assembling from a hurricane.
 
2011-08-16 05:30:21 PM

People_are_Idiots: FloydA:

Cpl.D:

[www.spiralpocus.com image 640x479]

Boy did I catch some biiiiig fish :)



Yeah, I'm sure that's what it is. You knew all along and were just testing us.
 
2011-08-16 05:31:30 PM

KiltedBastich: formed in space and been delivered by meteorites, of all things


Panspermia. Cool concept.

Also, all that research doesn't really do to address the size of the probability of such an occurrence, just proves it's possible. Which is still more than *I* knew before.

So maybe it's probable as opposed to improbable. I'm neither a statistician nor evolutionary geneticist so the numbers elude me. But my gut says it's not very likely (and I'm NOT trying to make the teleological case).

But then again, we could just be that wholly less than probable chance.

Or we could be alien sperm babies (panspermia).

/Actually, I think the odds of us evolving in that time go way up on the latter; IMHO
 
2011-08-16 05:39:40 PM

FloydA: People_are_Idiots: FloydA:

Cpl.D:

[www.spiralpocus.com image 640x479]

Boy did I catch some biiiiig fish :)


Yeah, I'm sure that's what it is. You knew all along and were just testing us.


Couldn't resist ;) Someone had to be the troll -before- the idiot trolls, no?
 
2011-08-16 05:45:45 PM

FarkLiberty: KiltedBastich: formed in space and been delivered by meteorites, of all things

Panspermia. Cool concept.

Also, all that research doesn't really do to address the size of the probability of such an occurrence, just proves it's possible. Which is still more than *I* knew before.

So maybe it's probable as opposed to improbable. I'm neither a statistician nor evolutionary geneticist so the numbers elude me. But my gut says it's not very likely (and I'm NOT trying to make the teleological case).

But then again, we could just be that wholly less than probable chance.

Or we could be alien sperm babies (panspermia).

/Actually, I think the odds of us evolving in that time go way up on the latter; IMHO


When we are talking about billions of years, probability goes way up. We aren't talking about a few chemicals at a time over the course of billions of years. We are talking about millions or billions of building blocks at any one time over the course of billions of years. We also don't know how many planets this was taking place on over the course of the Universe, either. If it hadn't happened here we wouldn't be talking about it. So it's not surprising that it's happened on every single planet where sentient beings discuss such things over the internet.

But really, it comes down more to is it possible for DNA to have formed, not is it more possible than not. Because if it's possible then there's no need to fill the gap with an intelligent creator. The intelligent creator argument is that life could not have arisen without one, therefore there must have been one. Since we can't even begin to understand what this intelligent creator actually would be, we can't assign any odds on there having been one. So we can't say that it's more probable that an intelligent designer wove together DNA. If there were no chance that life formed without a creator, then we might have to consider abandoning science and embracing ID. Fortunately, that's not the case.
 
2011-08-16 05:48:50 PM

KiltedBastich: omegazeto: Spiritual Ignorace is a disease of the proud. Unfortunately so are the workings of the modern scientific community.

Spiritual arrogance is a disease of the ignorant. Fortunately, the modern scientific community doesn't care about spirituality at all, except to the extent that it gets in the way of investigating new scientific questions.

Science doesn't debunk religion because it is opposed to religion. It debunks religion because investigating the status of empirical claims is what science does. That the religious do not like some of those answers because they conflict with its dogma is completely irrelevant.


The fact that you conflate my use of the word "spiritual" with all you hold to be "religious".

Nice try though, you just mistook me for an ignorant religious whackjob.
 
2011-08-16 05:53:51 PM

FarkLiberty: /Still believe that it's relatively short period of time. 600 million years is not a lot of time for evolution from molecule to organism.


In one test tube, maybe. In one lab, maybe. At one institution, maybe. But over a quadrillion square meters of diverse, more-or-less fertile planet surface area?

It would take a God to stop life from emerging.
 
2011-08-16 05:54:44 PM
Correct; CALVINIST college
 
2011-08-16 08:56:12 PM

FarkLiberty: KiltedBastich: formed in space and been delivered by meteorites, of all things

Panspermia. Cool concept.

Also, all that research doesn't really do to address the size of the probability of such an occurrence, just proves it's possible. Which is still more than *I* knew before.

So maybe it's probable as opposed to improbable. I'm neither a statistician nor evolutionary geneticist so the numbers elude me. But my gut says it's not very likely (and I'm NOT trying to make the teleological case).

But then again, we could just be that wholly less than probable chance.

Or we could be alien sperm babies (panspermia).

/Actually, I think the odds of us evolving in that time go way up on the latter; IMHO


Note that it's not life delivered by meteorites, it's just some basic organic compounds. Amino acids and the like. Also, one thing you should be aware of, on scientific topics, your gut lies to you. It lies like a rug. It is in fact completely and utterly untrustworthy. Human instincts did not evolve to detect truth. They evolved to promote survival. The story of scientific progress is in some ways the story of how we constantly had to work around our own innate assumptions to learn, over and over again, that the universe is in fact nothing like how our instincts and gut feelings told us it should be.

omegazeto: The fact that you conflate my use of the word "spiritual" with all you hold to be "religious".

Nice try though, you just mistook me for an ignorant religious whackjob.


Ok, demonstrate a spiritual event, then. Alternately, define your spirituality without reference to any beliefs, practices or ideas about the universe around us. Demonstrate how you can gain knowledge of any kind from your spirituality. Difficulty: no reference to anything that can be investigated empirically, as that transgresses immediately on science.

Go right ahead. We'll wait.
 
2011-08-16 09:09:06 PM
KiltedBastich: Note that it's not life delivered by meteorites, it's just some basic organic compounds. Amino acids and the like. Also, one thing you should be aware of, on scientific topics, your gut lies to you. It lies like a rug. It is in fact completely and utterly untrustworthy. Human instincts did not evolve to detect truth. They evolved to promote survival. The story of scientific progress is in some ways the story of how we constantly had to work around our own innate assumptions to learn, over and over again, that the universe is in fact nothing like how our instincts and gut feelings told us it should be.

This is very well said. When considering aspects of the universe that are far outside of the kinds of experiences which would have shaped evolution (by far outside, I mean things like at the cosmic or even global level and things at the microscopic down to the quantum level, things moving very much faster than we, etc), you should be immediately skeptical of anything your gut tells you, and instead investigate to see what actual experience in the form of empirical observation has said*. It may turn out that your gut was right, but you really cant trust it on such matters.

Remember, people's guts used to say that the world was flat. People's guts used to say that the earth was the center of the universe. People's guts used to say that they could make it rain by dancing. People's guts used to say that a heavier object would fall faster than a lighter object. People's guts used to say that time moves steadily regardless of frame of reference. People's guts used to say that diseases were caused by evil spirits, so doctors really didn't need to wash hands between seeing different patients. People's guts used to say that maggots formed from meat by spontaneous generation. People's guts used to say it would mean death to travel faster than 30mph. People's guts used to say that it was impossible to fly. People's guts used to say it was impossible to fly faster than sound. etc.

I think we can all see the point. Always question what your gut says. If it's right, you can pat it fondly and reward it with a beer. If it's wrong, you can learn something new and console your gut with a beer.

Either way, beer.

* well, this is good practice even with non-gut claims
 
2011-08-16 09:38:52 PM
Bevets:
Bevets:
Bevets:


I have learned to listen to how a message is being presented. When the messenger spends more time attacking her critics than presenting her argument, my baloney detector starts beeping (this is a metaphor not a physical device). People who are confident in the strength of their argument are willing to let their argument speak for itself (another metaphor).


hypnoticus ceratophrys:

I am both a biologist and a Christian and have absolutely no problem reconciling a world that can be seen and tested experimentally with a world described in scripture.

Bevets:

I dont think anyone has a problem reconciling a world that can be seen and tested experimentally with a world described in scripture, the problem is with evolutionism.

Kome:

And what, pray tell, are the experiments that have demonstrated both (1) evolution does not occur from generation to generation and (2) an intelligent designer created life in the forms it exists today?

Bevets:

Evolution is a kind of funny word -- it depends on how one defines it. If it means simply change over time even the most rock ribbed fundamentalist knows that the history of the earth has changed -- that there's been change over time. If you define 'evolution' precisely though to mean 'the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection', that's textbook definition of neo Darwinism, biologists of the first rank have real questions. ~ Paul Nelson

KiltedBastich:

Contextonomy of a quote being spun so as to subvert the actual meaning

Bevets:

Please explain how I have taken Dr Nelson out of context.

KiltedBastich:

In this case, both of you are engaging in contextonomy. In your case, you present his quote without context as if he is an authoritative source, without providing a citation which would back up that assertion. That is, as has been explained to you before, very bad form, and would get you a failing grade on any paper, to say nothing of outright rejection if you had the temerity to do so as part of a paper. You're just parroting his talking point.

Bevets:

If you couldnt bring yourself to click the links provided, a google search would have taken about 10 seconds.

As for Paul Nelson, doctor of philosophy (not biology)

Doctor of Philosophy in Science (specializing in evo devo) from the University of Chicago

Please explain why Dr Nelson's description of evolution is inaccurate.


KiltedBastich:

I knew who Paul Nelson was ahead of time anyhow, he's a known creationist shill. He is not a biologist. He's a man with a partisan viewpoint that he promotes through cherry-picked critiques of research. He is a philosopher, and not a terribly good one one at that, because he doesn't even pretend towards a neutral viewpoint. He has missed the whole point of what science is intended to accomplish, and compared to actual philosophers of science like Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos or Paul Feyerabend, he isn't even an also-ran. He does not have the credentials or the credibility to be taken on his word as an authoritative source about biology in the first place.

Bevets

even the most rock ribbed fundamentalist knows that the history of the earth has changed -- that there's been change over time.

True or False?

If you define 'evolution' precisely though to mean 'the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection', that's textbook definition of neo Darwinism

True or False?

FarkLiberty:


"You would be more likely to assemble a fully functioning and flying jumbo jet by passing a hurricane through a junkyard than you would be to assemble the DNA molecule by chance in, any kind of primeval soup in five or six hundred million years. It's just not possible"

Which I think, despite its appeal to authority (and I think its a pretty damn fine authority to appeal to), is a valid point. Which is not to say that I don't believe in evolution, I do; but rather that Crick himself had doubts about its origins himself. I mean, that's some pretty lucky stuff.

/Want's to see this talking point in Bevets next thread


FloydA:

I'd just like to add that AFAICT, the "quote" is not by Francis Crick, but a paraphrase of Fred Hoyle.

Do you see how EASY that was? For all the complaining atheists do about my quotes, you might think they could do this more often. They can't.

KiltedBastich:

This is not a case of flipping a trillion coins and having them all land on heads. It like flipping a trillion coins, setting aside those that flipped heads, flipping the remaining coincs, setting aside those that came up heads, and then repeating that process. Eventually all the coins are going to be heads.

FarkLiberty:

Right. And eventually monkeys a typewriter will produce the works of Shakespeare. It's really just a question of how long.

KiltedBastich:

Not so. That is requiring a specified result, which is much more complex. That's a teleological argument, and evolution is not teleological.

You are looking at an end result and asking how unlikely it is that just that result occured. What you are not taking into account is that however unlikely any given result is, the likelihood of a result is certainty.


Failure is 'a result' atheists can take to the bank. Atheists like to pretend like there are problably a bazillion ways to create life -- it hasnt happened in a lab yet -- but its probably pretty simple.
 
2011-08-16 09:53:30 PM

Bevets: Failure is 'a result' atheists can take to the bank. Atheists like to pretend like there are problably a bazillion ways to create life -- it hasnt happened in a lab yet -- but its probably pretty simple.


Bevets, why do you hold your pastor to one standard of proof and your biology teacher to another?
 
2011-08-16 10:14:46 PM
FloydA:

Evolution is a fact; there are cumulative variations in genetic lineages over the course of generations. This is something that we have observed, and evolution is defined as the cumulative change in the relative frequencies of variant alleles in the gene pool of a population that occurs over the course of generations.

Bevets:

Can you give an example of an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?

Richard Dawkins: Derp


the_falling_duck:

Tada!! (new window)

Bevets:

Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)


the_falling_duck:

B has more information, Bevets. If you copy your 1 Gb of quotes so you have two copies on your hard drive you have 2 Gb worth of information.

It doesn't matter if it is the same information you were wondering where the capacity for 'more' information came from.

There's a mechanism.


Dimensio:

In fact, A and B contain identical quantities of information. A set of identical strings of data contains the same information quantity as any one of the single strings.

An alteration of any one of the duplicated strings, however, will result in increased information content. In biology, this increase in information occurs when a duplicated gene mutates; such increases have been observed directly.


Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tfdan! (n,w wiodow)
Tsla!z (new nhndow;
Tada!!g(xew nindow)
;ada!! .ne2 wind4w)
 
2011-08-16 10:34:06 PM
Crickets? Your pastor raises... crickets?
 
2011-08-17 01:32:48 AM
Hey Bevets, did you ever see me claim I was not partisan? I am most definitely partisan. The difference is twofold. I am partisan towards logic and empiricism, regardless of the outcome of that logic and empiricism, and I do not use lies and misrepresentations to deliberately skew my statements. Paul Nelson does use lies and misrepresentations, as your quote of his amply demonstrates, as do all the Discovery institute shills. They are working to a program, a deliberate scheme of lies and misrepresentation.

Individual responses:

Bevets: Do you see how EASY that was? For all the complaining atheists do about my quotes, you might think they could do this more often. They can't.


Liar, liar pants on fire. You should be ashamed of your constant falsehoods. You get refuted on nearly every point over and over. Your constant use of out-of-context misrepresentations has been pointed out to you for a decade now. Dimensio had to hound you for years to get you to remove an outright lie from your website.

You are an outright liar with this statement, no misrepresentations necessary. This is a pure untruth, a complete mendacity that you knew to be a complete fabrication, a pastiche of lies, even as you made it. Why do you treat the commandments of the religion you claim to support with such contempt and denigration? "Thou shalt not lie" is still a commandment.

Bevets: FloydA:

Evolution is a fact; there are cumulative variations in genetic lineages over the course of generations. This is something that we have observed, and evolution is defined as the cumulative change in the relative frequencies of variant alleles in the gene pool of a population that occurs over the course of generations.

Bevets:

Can you give an example of an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome?

Richard Dawkins: Derp

the_falling_duck:

Tada!! (new window)

Bevets:

Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)

the_falling_duck:

B has more information, Bevets. If you copy your 1 Gb of quotes so you have two copies on your hard drive you have 2 Gb worth of information.

It doesn't matter if it is the same information you were wondering where the capacity for 'more' information came from.

There's a mechanism.

Dimensio:

In fact, A and B contain identical quantities of information. A set of identical strings of data contains the same information quantity as any one of the single strings.

An alteration of any one of the duplicated strings, however, will result in increased information content. In biology, this increase in information occurs when a duplicated gene mutates; such increases have been observed directly.

Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tfdan! (n,w wiodow)
Tsla!z (new nhndow;
Tada!!g(xew nindow)
;ada!! .ne2 wind4w)


If those symbols coded for proteins the way DNA does? The second set. More variation means a wider array of proteins.

Let me make it even clearer. You deliberately used nonsense words. It could just as easily have been:

B:
Tara!! (now wooden)
Terra! (nix wilder)
Nada!! (naw windex)
Tedd!! (ney winsome

So now which set has more information, you lying partisan shill?
 
2011-08-17 09:06:17 PM
FarkLiberty:

"You would be more likely to assemble a fully functioning and flying jumbo jet by passing a hurricane through a junkyard than you would be to assemble the DNA molecule by chance in, any kind of primeval soup in five or six hundred million years. It's just not possible"

Which I think, despite its appeal to authority (and I think its a pretty damn fine authority to appeal to), is a valid point. Which is not to say that I don't believe in evolution, I do; but rather that Crick himself had doubts about its origins himself. I mean, that's some pretty lucky stuff.

/Want's to see this talking point in Bevets next thread


FloydA:

I'd just like to add that AFAICT, the "quote" is not by Francis Crick, but a paraphrase of Fred Hoyle.

Bevets:

Do you see how EASY that was? For all the complaining atheists do about my quotes, you might think they could do this more often. They can't.

KiltedBastich:

Liar, liar pants on fire. You should be ashamed of your constant falsehoods. You get refuted on nearly every point over and over. Your constant use of out-of-context misrepresentations has been pointed out to you for a decade now. Dimensio had to hound you for years to get you to remove an outright lie from your website.

You are an outright liar with this statement, no misrepresentations necessary. This is a pure untruth, a complete mendacity that you knew to be a complete fabrication, a pastiche of lies, even as you made it. Why do you treat the commandments of the religion you claim to support with such contempt and denigration? "Thou shalt not lie" is still a commandment.


Kome: 2008-01-20 09:17:48 PM

Let's see, you also have a quote that you alleged is attributed to Arthur Keith. "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable." You have no source for it. For someone who's read all the sources for the quotes you use, you should be able to provide a source for it. Odd that you don't have on there. Of course, he never said that. He's only alleged to have said that on creationist websites, and the closest thing to a source I've found is a book by Babu Ranganathan. And you can't even post where HE says Keith said that because you can't preview the book online. I've tried. Google Books won't allow it. I've tried. But you can find the quote, however, on some creationist websites. Just doing a basic google search of the quote by itself, the first hit was a website that amassing so so so many quotes that you use on your website. Now, your website goes back to 2003. This particular website dates back to 1995. I wonder who copied whom.

Bevets: 2008-01-20 09:45:40 PM

You failed to mention that I have designated the quote with 'attribution unknown'. I do not use this quote in my arguments. It is quoted on several other sites and I thought that it should, at least, be acknowledged. Keith was quite prolific. Based on other things he has said, the quote seems consistent with his style. It seems unlikely to me that someone just made this up, however I have not found evidence either way. If you find evidence, please link to it or let me know where I can find it.

Bevets: 2009-01-25 07:33:42 PM


Dimensio has had a long track record of making this allegation but never bothering to support the charge with evidence that can be found in the previous posts on this thread. He could not even be bothered to link to the source of his allegation. I have always considered the allegation trivial and there is no reason to address this in every single thread if those making the charge could not be bothered to back it up.

[Arthur Keith] was also willing to acknowledge a wart that most atheists still refuse to acknowledge:

The leader of Germany is an evolutionist not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice. Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.10

To see evolutionary measures and tribal morality being applied rigorously to the affairs of a great modern nation we must turn again to Germany of 1942. We see Hitler devoutly convinced that evolution provides the only real basis for a national policy. Evolution and Ethics (1947) p. 27

The German Fuhrer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution. Evolution and Ethics (1947) p.230

While I agree with SkinnyHead that atheists have been making an argument from silence, I had not carefully considered WhyteRaven74's point about postumous authorship. I am also inclined to agree with KiltedBastich's point that Professor Murphy probably has not cited the quote first hand. I am herewith downgrading the quote from 'attribution unknown' to 'probable fabrication'.

Let me say once again:

I invest great effort in presenting accurate qutoes that can be easily verified. Unfortuantely there are some things I dont know I dont know -- and I welcome everyone to assist with my education.


Dimensio:

Why, then, do you present a quote fro which no source can be identified? It is dishonest to claim that Sir Arthur Keith made a specific statement when absolutely no corroboration of that statement is available. You have been, therefore, dishonest in presenting the almost certainly fabricated quote and attributing it to Sir Arthur Keith.

Bevets:

Evolutionism has, understandably, had a long history of opposition from theists. In the 30's and 40's, to prominent voices of reason were LM Davies and Douglas Dewar. They had debates with JBS Haldane and HS Shelton. One of Davies' favorite catch phrases was 'Evolution is unproven and unprovable'. I have not determined whether he latched on to something Keith had said or if Davies said something along the lines of 'Keith's position supports my claim that 'Evolution is unproven and unprovable'. It is possible Keith heard the phrase and agreed with it. The latter half of the quote seems to come from DMS Watson famous 'The extreme difficulty of obtaining the necessary data for any quantitative estimation of the efficiency of natural selection makes it seem probable that this theory will be re-established, it it be so, by the collapse of alternative explanations which are more easily attacked by observation and experiment. If so, it will present a parallel to the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.'

I am now designating the quote as 'Suspected Interpolation'


If you read this and thought to yourself 'Is this the BEST KiltedBastich has got?', Let me assure you: It is.
 
2011-08-17 09:49:50 PM
Bevets:

No one cares what you have to say as long as you memory-hole arguments the moment you're incapable of refuting them.
 
2011-08-18 12:47:29 AM
Dimensio:

An alteration of any one of the duplicated strings, however, will result in increased information content. In biology, this increase in information occurs when a duplicated gene mutates; such increases have been observed directly.

Bevets:

Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tfdan! (n,w wiodow)
Tsla!z (new nhndow;
Tada!!g(xew nindow)
;ada!! .ne2 wind4w)


KiltedBastich:

If those symbols coded for proteins the way DNA does? The second set. More variation means a wider array of proteins.

Let me make it even clearer. You deliberately used nonsense words. It could just as easily have been:

B:
Tara!! (now wooden)
Terra! (nix wilder)
Nada!! (naw windex)
Tedd!! (ney winsome


You left out the transitional forms:

Tada!! (new window)
Tara!! (now wondow)
Tara!! (now woodow)
Tara!! (now woodew)
Tara!! (now wooden)
 
2011-08-18 01:09:53 AM

Bevets: It could just as easily have been:


From the wikipedia article you linked:

"Current status [edit]

Most evolutionary biologists believe that small mutations are far more likely to be beneficial than macromutations.[6] Recent progress in the understanding of the genome has further undermined the Hopeful Monster model. Many dramatic mutations induced by X-rays in the laboratory are now known to involve deletion or rearrangement of entire genes, but DNA sequencing data from many species shows that in the wild these genes persist undisrupted for hundreds of millions of years. Macromutations do occur in the wild and in human genetic diseases, but are more often than not removed by natural selection. Nonetheless, some major rearrangements in the genome have been observed in species, and the idea of the adaptive landscape hints that very small changes may not always be able to pull a species out of an evolutionary rut.[citation needed] Small developmental changes, on the other hand, can have a large effect whilst producing a viable organisms; for instance, gastropod molluscs exposed to high platinum concentrations do not develop their characteristic spiral shape, and produce an internal shell; their body plan is very dissimilar to that of a natural gastropod.[7]"

In essense, "Linking to this article is about as convincing as linking to "Flat-Earth Theory"."

And if the end of your post is REALLY what you expect from a "transitional form" ("WHY ARE THERE NO HALF-CAT HALF-SALAMANDER ANIMALS, SCIENTISTS"), then clearly you should go back to school.
 
2011-08-18 01:25:35 AM

Bevets: If you read this and thought to yourself 'Is this the BEST KiltedBastich has got?', Let me assure you: It is.


Every quote you post is either from a known liar or is presented deliberately out of context in order to distort its meaning. You support liars, you lie yourself, and you encourage others to believe lies. You are in every sense a liar.

We had to collectively beat you over the head for years with the fact that your quote about Arthur Keith wasn't just out of context, but was actually a complete fabrication. And even now you do not accept the point, but instead try and weasel out of it. Your own posted quote shows how you begrudged the admission and did your best to deny the truth, and this was after YEARS of Dimensio and others pointing this out to you.

Do you intend to similarly take years to acknowledge every other lie and misrepresentation you have commited?

You are dishonest. You lie in order to ruthlessly pursue a dishonest agenda in a complete violation of one of the most basic rules of your own religion. That's contemptible on multiple levels.

Bevets: Dimensio:

An alteration of any one of the duplicated strings, however, will result in increased information content. In biology, this increase in information occurs when a duplicated gene mutates; such increases have been observed directly.

Bevets:

Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tfdan! (n,w wiodow)
Tsla!z (new nhndow;
Tada!!g(xew nindow)
;ada!! .ne2 wind4w)

KiltedBastich:

If those symbols coded for proteins the way DNA does? The second set. More variation means a wider array of proteins.

Let me make it even clearer. You deliberately used nonsense words. It could just as easily have been:

B:
Tara!! (now wooden)
Terra! (nix wilder)
Nada!! (naw windex)
Tedd!! (ney winsome

You left out the transitional forms:

Tada!! (new window)
Tara!! (now wondow)
Tara!! (now woodow)
Tara!! (now woodew)
Tara!! (now wooden)


I used your bullshiat analogy to show you were full of it, you fool. Are you so egotistical and blind that you do not yet understand that nit-picking your own poor analogy does not prove your point? Most mutations are neutral. They have neither a beneficial nor detrimental effect. entropic_existence and others have explained this to you in the past, many times. Are you that forgetful? Or are you just dishonest, as usual?

Mutation leading to novel information has been empirically demonstrated in the laboratory. The best example was the case of E.coli that evolved to metabolize citrates, a change that required three cumulative mutations. The first two were completely neutral and no effect on the bactieria by themselves. It was only the third novel mutation that combined to permit the citrate metabolism.

So this time, you aren't arguing against a theory. You are arguing against a fact, and so you look even more stupid and willfully blind than usual.
 
2011-08-18 12:26:25 PM

KiltedBastich: I used your bullshiat analogy to show you were full of it, you fool. Are you so egotistical and blind that you do not yet understand that nit-picking your own poor analogy does not prove your point? Most mutations are neutral. They have neither a beneficial nor detrimental effect. entropic_existence and others have explained this to you in the past, many times. Are you that forgetful? Or are you just dishonest, as usual?

Mutation leading to novel information has been empirically demonstrated in the laboratory. The best example was the case of E.coli that evolved to metabolize citrates, a change that required three cumulative mutations. The first two were completely neutral and no effect on the bactieria by themselves. It was only the third novel mutation that combined to permit the citrate metabolism.

So this time, you aren't arguing against a theory. You are arguing against a fact, and so you look even more stupid and willfully blind than usual.


Some of the best experimental work on evolution of new functions after gene duplication comes from Joe Thornton's lab. Actually they had a new publication come out in PLoS Genetics recently:


Carroll SM, Ortlund EA, Thornton JW (2011). Mechanisms for the Evolution of a Derived Function in the Ancestral Glucocorticoid Receptor. PLoS Genet 7(6): e1002117.


They do some awesome experimental evolution work. They look at the phylogeny of these glucocorticoid receptors and make predictions about the evolutionary path (substitutions at the amino acid level) that these proteins have taken overtime, paying special attention to the split in function and specificity of the groups. They predict ancestral sequences, make those sequences, and then test them in the lab.

Really awesome work. My main research focus is on developing computational methods that predict the sorts of substitutions that contribute to functional changes we observe in these duplication + divergence protein families/super-families.
 
2011-08-18 01:58:14 PM

entropic_existence: Some of the best experimental work on evolution of new functions after gene duplication comes from Joe Thornton's lab. Actually they had a new publication come out in PLoS Genetics recently:


Carroll SM, Ortlund EA, Thornton JW (2011). Mechanisms for the Evolution of a Derived Function in the Ancestral Glucocorticoid Receptor. PLoS Genet 7(6): e1002117.

They do some awesome experimental evolution work. They look at the phylogeny of these glucocorticoid receptors and make predictions about the evolutionary path (substitutions at the amino acid level) that these proteins have taken overtime, paying special attention to the split in function and specificity of the groups. They predict ancestral sequences, make those sequences, and then test them in the lab.

Really awesome work. My main research focus is on developing computational methods that predict the sorts of substitutions that contribute to functional changes we observe in these duplication + divergence protein families/super-families.


I agree, this stuff is very cool. Thanks for giving me some additional intereting reading to work through!
 
2011-08-18 02:21:20 PM
No problem, check out some of their earlier work for the background, that particular article is just the latest in a long line of really awesome work that combines experiment and Bioinformatically derived predictions.

Duplication coupled with divergence is really quite powerful. The argument that it doesn't add new information to a genome is patently false in so many ways. From an information theory perspective it certainly does, and even from the more loose (and sometimes idiotic) quasi-definition that people like Dembski use it adds new information. And, as someone who looks at a hell of a lot of genome data across a really broad diversity of organisms, duplication happens all the time. Hell we have copy number variations in a tremendous percentage of our genome just within species, and many of these variations, even when no functional shift has occurred, can create phenotypic changes because of gene dosage effects.
 
2011-08-19 12:15:23 AM
Bevets:
Bevets:
Bevets:
Bevets:


I have learned to listen to how a message is being presented. When the messenger spends more time attacking her critics than presenting her argument, my baloney detector starts beeping (this is a metaphor not a physical device). People who are confident in the strength of their argument are willing to let their argument speak for itself (another metaphor).


Dimensio:

An alteration of any one of the duplicated strings, however, will result in increased information content. In biology, this increase in information occurs when a duplicated gene mutates; such increases have been observed directly.

Bevets:

Which of the following has more information:

A:
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)
Tada!! (new window)

B:
Tfdan! (n,w wiodow)
Tsla!z (new nhndow;
Tada!!g(xew nindow)
;ada!! .ne2 wind4w)


KiltedBastich:

If those symbols coded for proteins the way DNA does? The second set. More variation means a wider array of proteins.

Let me make it even clearer. You deliberately used nonsense words. It could just as easily have been:

B:
Tara!! (now wooden)


Bevets:

You left out the transitional forms:

Tada!! (new window)

Tara!! (new window)
Tara!! (now window)
Tara!! (now wondow)
Tara!! (now woodow)
Tara!! (now woodew)
Tara!! (now wooden)


kingoomieiii:

From the wikipedia article you linked...

In essense, "Linking to this article is about as convincing as linking to "Flat-Earth Theory"."


KiltedBastich:

Mutation leading to novel information has been empirically demonstrated in the laboratory. The best example was the case of E.coli that evolved to metabolize citrates, a change that required three cumulative mutations. The first two were completely neutral and no effect on the bactieria by themselves. It was only the third novel mutation that combined to permit the citrate metabolism.

One has to dig hard into the data to see that the bacterium is losing genetic info. In press coverage for this paper, he avows a "new dynamic relationship was established" in the bacterium's evolution, and one has to read the details of the paper to find out that this is due to a degradative mutation that compromises its normal ability to repair its DNA. ~ Michael Behe

entropic_existence:

Some of the best experimental work on evolution of new functions after gene duplication comes from Joe Thornton's lab... They do some awesome experimental evolution work... Really awesome work.

entropic_existence:

that particular article is just the latest in a long line of really awesome work

The bottom line of the study is this: the authors started with a protein which already had the ability to strongly interact with three kinds of steroid hormones (aldosterone, cortisol, and "DOC" [11-deoxycorticosterone]). After introducing several simple mutations the protein interacted much more weakly with all of those steroids. In other words, a pre-existing ability was decreased... The fact that such very modest results are ballyhooed owes more, I strongly suspect, to the antipathy that many scientists feel toward ID than to the intrinsic value of the experiment itself. ~ Michael Behe

Like nearly all national science organizations, the AAAS has repeatedly insisted that there is no scientific controversy about intelligent design... Skeptical observers might say that leading journals such as Science or Nature are happy to publish research articles addressing the intelligent design controversy, as long as those articles claim that ID is wrong. Skeptics might also note that the senior author on the Bridgham et al. paper, Joe Thornton, states on his University of Oregon webpage that one of his main research goals is "to illustrate how a complex, tightly integrated molecular system -- one which appears to be 'irreducibly complex' -- evolved by Darwinian processes hundreds of millions of years ago." But of course we must remember that the concept of irreducible complexity has stimulated no research, which is why Professor Thornton is working hard to solve the problem. ~ Paul Nelson
 
2011-08-19 12:28:44 AM

Bevets: Blah blah blah ~ Michael Behe


This is weaker than usual. Michael Behe has yet to speak publicly on any topic he doesn't deliberately misunderstand. I'm pretty sure he's gunning for a record.

Publishing house spokesperson for Behe's next book:

weeklyscoops.files.wordpress.com
 
2011-08-19 02:52:52 AM

Bevets: snip wharrgarbl


Still waiting for your thoughts on why biologists should be held to one standard of proof and pastors to another.
 
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