Darwinism

But, Jerry, what about all those dogs?

Spread the love

Apparently, Jerry Coyne is now attacking me, re Behe’s recent paper. To judge from his blog post’s title, he has me confused with Discovery Institute.*

(Behe’s paper is available for free download here.)
.
Dr. Coyne claims that Behe’s findings apply only to artificial selection in the lab. But, at the feet of the great Richard Dawkins, I learned that artificial selection like human breeding of dogs, has proved Behe both wrong and ridiculous, in Edge of Evolution. That is precisely because dog breeding is equivalent to the process that applies throughout nature:

Don’t evade the point by protesting that dog breeding is a form of intelligent design. It is (kind of), but Behe, having lost the argument over irreducible complexity, is now in his desperation making a completely different claim: that mutations are too rare to permit significant evolutionary change anyway. From Newfies to Yorkies, from Weimaraners to water spaniels, from Dalmatians to dachshunds, as I incredulously close this book I seem to hear mocking barks and deep, baying howls of derision from 500 breeds of dogs — every one descended from a timber wolf within a time frame so short as to seem, by geological standards, instantaneous.

All you have to do, it seems, is leave out intelligent design.

Dawkins said so in the Bible and all the wise nodded in assent.

Well, either artificial selection is relevant or it isn’t. Maybe Coyne and Dawkins should talk more.

*We share some initials, it’s true. My middle name is Ileen. The confusion is inevitable.

31 Replies to “But, Jerry, what about all those dogs?

  1. 1
    NormO says:

    You’re conflating two separate issues here Denyse. Dog breeding and other examples of artificial selection are directly analogous to natural selection in the wild. But Behe’s paper is not about selection, it’s about observing mutations under experimental conditions and that’s what Coyne is talking about when he says:

    The experiments Behe reviewed deliberately excluded important sources of mutations that create new genes and gene elements of evolution in naturally-occurring bacteria and viruses. Those studies are not, then, a good model for what actually happens during microbial evolution in nature, which is known to involve uptake of new genes and genetic elements from other species via horizontal DNA transfer.

    Coyne is not discussing artificial selection at all because the issue here is with the mechanisms that generate variation (i.e. mutations) not with selection.

    With artificial selection, the genetic variation (ultimately generated by mutations) is already present in the population. Thus, the results of artificial selection can be quite rapid.

  2. 2
    Collin says:

    “With artificial selection, the genetic variation (ultimately generated by mutations) is already present in the population. Thus, the results of artificial selection can be quite rapid.”

    I’m not sure I quite understand this. My impression of breeding is that certain traits are heavily favored in the breeding. They are traits that already exist, but can you say rightly that they areultimately generated by mutations?

    I think that’s kind of the thing we seek to prove or disprove.

  3. 3
    O'Leary says:

    NormO: Okay, you are saying that few changes are generated under experimental conditions because experimental conditions exclude sources of change other than Darwinian evolution.

    But by contrast, changes can occur in the wild because non-Darwinian evolution is possible there.

    I see. That much I did understand.

    However, if we use a system for managing bacteria that excludes non-Darwinian sources of evolution, we are engaging in artificial selection by that very act.

    The fact that not much change occurred can be attributed to the relative power of Darwinian evolution, segregated from other sources.

    Yes, I thought as much.

    Dog breeding, of course, proceeds by artificial selection but on the opposite selection principle – excluding (where possible) all causes of evolution except human agency.

    The swiftness with which change occurs is not due to the existence of the traits as such, It is due to the fact that the forbidding hand of Darwinian natural selection is not levied against the expression of many possible traits.

    I wonder if anyone has ever tried to compute how minimal Darwinian evolution is, by itself?

    Maybe starting the ball rolling on all that will be Behe’s great contribution.

  4. 4
    Lenoxus says:

    In the field of intelligent design, I wonder, has there been much work on the subject of artificial selection by the intelligent designer? I get the sense that most interest is in the possibility of intelligent mutation, but not so much in the notion that the designer has intervened in Earth’s history to select against certain individuals and in favor of others — say, by means of sterility, lightning strikes, or the manipulation of sexual interest. (Because then it would be apparent that dog breeding is more like ID than it is like evolution.)

    If that somehow came out as flippant… why? Does anything in reality rule out such possibilities from “serious” scientific study?

    Yes, I was being unserious. But I’m not sure how much “sillier” my notions are than the actual ID hypotheses, few and bare though they may be.

    When it comes to canine diversity… is human (and dog) activity alone enough to account for it? Or might a supernatural designer be a necessary component of a complete account of the breeds?

  5. 5
    Tulse says:

    If you’re arguing that the varieties of dog breeds are at all relevant to Behe’s paper, that relevance would only be in refuting its claim that functional coding elements cannot arise through selection, but must be inserted by some Designer directly at the genetic level.

    changes can occur in the wild because non-Darwinian evolution is possible there.

    I don’t know why you consider things like horizontal gene transfer to not be essentially part of Darwinian evolution — surely it has nothing to do with “Intelligent Design”.

    And you do understand that Behe only looked at prokaryotes, right? And that the biological mechanisms for genetic change can differ in eukaryotes (for example, through the increase in “information” produced by chromosome doubling)?

  6. 6
    Joseph says:

    NormO:

    Dog breeding and other examples of artificial selection are directly analogous to natural selection in the wild.

    The two are polar opposites.

    Natural selection is a result and artificial selection is directed by some agency.

    We would never see a toy poodle if man didn’t intervene.

  7. 7
    Joseph says:

    Tulse,

    Neither chromosome nor genome doubling increases the amount of specified/ functional information.

    As for HGT it could very well be designed- as in a designed response- bacteria share their genetic material as part of a built-in response to environmental cues- which can be in the form of chemical signaling from other bacteria.

  8. 8
    Joseph says:

    And can someone please tell me how Dr Behe lost the argument over irreducible complexity when there STILL isn’t any evidence for genetic accidents accumulating in such a way as to construct novel protein machinery?

  9. 9
    Tulse says:

    We would never see a toy poodle if man didn’t intervene.

    We would if environmental constraints replicated those imposed by human intervention, or do you think there is something “special” about constraints applied by people as opposed to by the environment?

    Neither chromosome nor genome doubling increases the amount of specified/ functional information.

    It frees the doubled genes to take on new modifications and new roles, as has been shown in the research literature a vast number of times.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Tulse ‘natural’ selection or ‘artificial’ selection, take your pick, ONLY removes information from a genome, artificial selection allows us to watch the ‘Genetic entropy’ of the genome much quicker:

    notes:

    In fact, Natural Selection, though repeatedly invoked by Darwinists as this ‘great creative engine’ for evolution that knows no bounds to its power, in reality, away from the Darwinian rhetoric and imagination, actually consistently reduces the genetic information of organisms. Here are some videos and quotes clearly making this point:

    Natural Selection Reduces Genetic Information – Dr. Georgia Purdom – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036808

    Natural Selection Reduces Genetic Information – No Beneficial Mutations – Spetner – Denton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036816

    Darwinism’s Last Stand? – Jonathan Wells
    Excerpt: Despite the hype from Darwin’s followers, the evidence for his theory is underwhelming, at best. Natural selection – like artificial selection – can produce minor changes within existing species. But in the 150 years since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, no one has ever observed the origin of a new species by natural selection – much less the origin of new organs and body plans.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    EXPELLED – Natural Selection And Genetic Mutations – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036840

    “…but Natural Selection reduces genetic information and we know this from all the Genetic Population studies that we have…”
    Maciej Marian Giertych – Population Geneticist – member of the European Parliament – EXPELLED

    To point out part of the problem with the natural selection mechanism, one skeptic of evolutionary theory once asked this question:

    “How did natural selection ever ‘get purchase on a pimple’ to turn it into wing?”

    The GS Principle (The Genetic Selection Principle) – Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: The GS Principle, sometimes called “The 2nd Law of Biology,” states that selection must occur at the molecular/genetic level, not just at the fittest phenotypic/organismic level, to produce and explain life.,,, Natural selection cannot operate at the genetic level.
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_G.....ciple.html

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086/

    What Darwin Got Wrong: – Stephen Meyer – Feb. 2010
    Natural selection by definition only “selects” or favors functional advantage. What we have learned in biology over the last 50 years shows that at every level in the biological hierarchy — whether we are talking about novel genes, proteins, molecular machines, signal transduction circuits, organs, or body plans — functional advantage depends upon the occurrence of a series of vastly improbable and tightly coordinated mutational events. Careful quantitative analysis has shown that these events that are so improbable as to put thresholds of selectable function well beyond the reach of chance.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ellig.html

    Darwin proven wrong, again! Experimental Evolution Reveals Resistance to Change
    Excerpt: Our work provides a new perspective on the genetic basis of adaptation. Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....to-change/

    Accidental origins: Where species come from – March 2010
    Excerpt: If speciation results from natural selection via many small changes, you would expect the branch lengths to fit a bell-shaped curve.,,, Instead, Pagel’s team found that in 78 per cent of the trees, the best fit for the branch length distribution was another familiar curve, known as the exponential distribution. Like the bell curve, the exponential has a straightforward explanation – but it is a disquieting one for evolutionary biologists. The exponential is the pattern you get when you are waiting for some single, infrequent event to happen.,,,To Pagel, the implications for speciation are clear: “It isn’t the accumulation of events that causes a speciation, it’s single, rare events falling out of the sky, so to speak.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....tml?page=2

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    further notes:

    ,,the mean sequence divergence in dogs, 2.06, was almost identical to the 2.10 (sequence divergence) found within wolves. (please note the sequence divergence is slightly smaller for the entire spectrum of dogs than for wolves)
    http://jhered.oxfordjournals.o.....0/1/71.pdf

    A materialist will try to assert evolution of species is happening all the time, all over the place, with a lot of suggestive evidence which is far from being scientifically conclusive. Once again the hard evidence of extensive and exhaustive experimentation betrays the materialist in his attempts to validate his evolutionary scenario.

    “Whatever we may try to do within a given species, we soon reach limits which we cannot break through. A wall exists on every side of each species. That wall is the DNA coding, which permits wide variety within it (within the gene pool, or the genotype of a species)-but no exit through that wall. Darwin’s gradualism is bounded by internal constraints, beyond which selection is useless.”
    R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990)

    At one of her many public talks, she [Lynn Margulis] asks the molecular biologists in the audience to name a single unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. Her challenge goes unmet.
    Michael Behe – Darwin’s Black Box – Page 26

    Natural Selection and Evolution’s Smoking Gun, – American Scientist – 1997
    “A matter of unfinished business for biologists is the identification of evolution’s smoking gun,”… “the smoking gun of evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations.”
    Keith Stewart Thomson – evolutionary biologist

    “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the position of some people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.”
    Roger Lewin – Historic Chicago ‘Macroevolution’ conference of 1980

    Evolution – Tested And Falsified – Don Patton – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4036803

    All examples of speciation put forth by materialists all turn out to be trivial examples of reproductive isolation:

    “The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared.”
    from page 32 “Acquiring Genomes” Lynn Margulis.

    Selection and Speciation: Why Darwinism Is False – Jonathan Wells:
    Excerpt: there are observed instances of secondary speciation — which is not what Darwinism needs — but no observed instances of primary speciation, not even in bacteria. British bacteriologist Alan H. Linton looked for confirmed reports of primary speciation and concluded in 2001: “None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of twenty to thirty minutes, and populations achieved after eighteen hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....why_d.html

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    notes on gene duplication:

    The GS (genetic selection) Principle – David L. Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: No increase in Shannon or Prescriptive information occurs in duplication. What the above papers show is that not even variation of the duplication produces new information, not even Shannon “information.”
    http://www.bioscience.org/2009.....lltext.htm

    Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues: Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke
    Excerpt: We conclude that, in general, to be fixed in 10^8 generations, the production of novel protein features that require the participation of two or more amino acid residues simply by multiple point mutations in duplicated genes would entail population sizes of no less than 10^9.,,,The fact that very large population sizes—10^9 or greater—are required to build even a minimal [multi-residue] feature requiring two nucleotide alterations within 10^8 generations by the processes described in our model, and that enormous population sizes are required for more complex features or shorter times, seems to indicate that the mechanism of gene duplication and point mutation alone would be ineffective, at least for multicellular diploid species, because few multicellular species reach the required population sizes.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=2286568

    Interestingly Fred Hoyle arrived at the same conclusion, of a 2 amino acid limit, years earlier from a ‘mathematical’ angle:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-367658

    John Sanford, a expert in plant genetics, examines Polyploidy (Gene/Chromosome Duplication) fallacies in Appendix 4 of his book “Genetic Entropy and the mystery of the Genome”.

    This following paper clearly reveals that there is a ‘cost’ to duplicate genes that further precludes the scenario from being plausible:

    Experimental Evolution of Gene Duplicates in a Bacterial Plasmid Model
    Excerpt: In a striking contradiction to our model, no such conditions were found. The fitness cost of carrying both plasmids increased dramatically as antibiotic levels were raised, and either the wild-type plasmid was lost or the cells did not grow. This study highlights the importance of the cost of duplicate genes and the quantitative nature of the tradeoff in the evolution of gene duplication through functional divergence. http://www.springerlink.com/co.....4014664w8/

    This recent paper also found the gene duplication scenario to be highly implausible:

    The Extinction Dynamics of Bacterial Pseudogenes – Kuo and Ochman – August 2010
    Excerpt: “Because all bacterial groups, as well as those Archaea examined, display a mutational pattern that is biased towards deletions and their haploid genomes would be more susceptible to dominant-negative effects that pseudogenes might impart, it is likely that the process of adaptive removal of pseudogenes is pervasive among prokaryotes.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....37581.html

    How to Play the Gene Evolution Game – Casey Luskin – Feb. 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ution.html

    The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information – Casey Luskin – March 2010
    http://www.discovery.org/a/14251

    “The theory of gene duplication in its present form is unable to account for the origin of new genetic information”
    Ray Bohlin, (PhD. in molecular and cell biology)

    “Evolution through random duplications”… While it sounds quite sophisticated and respectable, it does not withstand honest and critical assessment” John C. Sanford; Genetic Entropy 2005

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    a few more notes:

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.” Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.-

    I wonder what Hitler would have thought of that study?

    The loss of morphological traits over time, for all organisms found in the fossil record, was/is so consistent that it was made into a ‘scientific law’:

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes:
    Excerpt: “As the history of animal life was traced in the fossil record during the 19th century, it was observed that once an anatomical feature was lost in the course of evolution it never staged a return. This observation became canonized as Dollo’s law, after its propounder, and is taken as a general statement that evolution is irreversible.”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/91.....l.pdf+html

    A general rule of thumb for the ‘Deterioration/Genetic Entropy’ of Dollo’s Law as it applies to the fossil record is found here:

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes
    ABSTRACT: Dollo’s law, the concept that evolution is not substantively reversible, implies that the degradation of genetic information is sufficiently fast that genes or developmental pathways released from selective pressure will rapidly become nonfunctional. Using empirical data to assess the rate of loss of coding information in genes for proteins with varying degrees of tolerance to mutational change, we show that, in fact, there is a significant probability over evolutionary time scales of 0.5-6 million years for successful reactivation of silenced genes or “lost” developmental programs. Conversely, the reactivation of long (>10 million years)-unexpressed genes and dormant developmental pathways is not possible unless function is maintained by other selective constraints;
    http://www.pnas.org/content/91.....l.pdf+html

    Dollo’s Law was further verified to the molecular level here:

    Dollo’s law, the symmetry of time, and the edge of evolution – Michael Behe
    Excerpt: We predict that future investigations, like ours, will support a molecular version of Dollo’s law:,,, Dr. Behe comments on the finding of the study, “The old, organismal, time-asymmetric Dollo’s law supposedly blocked off just the past to Darwinian processes, for arbitrary reasons. A Dollo’s law in the molecular sense of Bridgham et al (2009), however, is time-symmetric. A time-symmetric law will substantially block both the past and the future.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....f_tim.html

    Some Further Research On Dollo’s Law – Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig – November 2010
    http://www.globalsciencebooks......)1-21o.pdf

    Further facts that conform to the principle of genetic entropy:

    “According to a ‘law’ formulated by E. D. Cope in 1871, the body size of organisms in a peculiar evolutionary lineage tends to increase. But Cope’s rule has failed the most comprehensive test applied to it yet.”(body sizes tend to get smaller rather than larger)
    Stephen Gould, Harvard, Nature, V.385, 1/16/97

    “Also that mammalian life was richer in kinds, of larger sizes, and had a more abundant expression in the Pliocene than in later times.”
    Von Engeln & Caster Geology, p.19

    “Alexander Kaiser, Ph.D., of Midwestern University’s Department of Physiology,,, was the lead author in a recent study to help determine why insects, once dramatically larger than they are today, have seen such a remarkable reduction in size over the course of history.”
    Science Daily, 8/8/07

    Giants among us: Paper explores evolution of the world’s largest mammals
    Excerpt: The researchers found that the pattern was indeed consistent, not only globally but across time and across trophic groups and lineages—that is, animals with differing diets and descended from different ancestors—as well.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....world.html

    What is conspicuously missing in the preceding paper is any mention of the gross lack of transitional fossils between ‘kinds of mammalian species’. What is very interesting in what they do mention, is the strong emphasis they put on the consistency of larger fossils first, smaller fossils later. This finding clearly is not something that ‘random’ Darwinian evolution would predict, but is clearly something that lines up very well with the Dembski/Marks’s Law of Conservation of Information, as well as with the principle of Genetic Entropy.

    Don Patton – Entropy, Information, and The ‘Deteriorating’ Fossil Record – video
    http://www.vimeo.com/17050184

  14. 14
    Lenoxus says:

    “Diversity” is not remotely equal to “lack of genetic entropy” — if genetic entropy were even a defined concept to begin with.

    Under conventional population genetics (which lacks this bizarre concept of “genetic entropy”) it makes perfect sense that modern sub-Saharan Africa would be more genetically diverse than modern Europe; the former is where humans arose, and it has therefore had more time to diversify as humans spread around.

    Bornagain77’s way of putting it makes it sound like the human race started out with a set level of “diversity”, or even that diversity is a property of an individual genome, and that due to “genetic entropy”, diversity went down. Therefore, Europeans, being descended from Africans, would have less diversity than the latter.

    Except this argument makes no sense even on its own terms — modern Africans are not genetically analogous to the earliest humans (except in the barest sense of a somewhat-more-similar selection environment). Even if genomes had measurable quantities of information, there would be no reason to expect individual African genomes to be more information-rich, because the same number of generations separates early humanity from modern Africa as from every other place on Earth. And it’s precisely because of this stuff that more human genetic diversity will be found in the area that humans appeared.

    Also, note that he and others here can easily argue both ways. On the one hand, whenever the total number of species has gone down (a drop in biodiversity), it can be claimed that this clearly represents genetic entropy at work. But on the other hand, when the number of varieties goes up (such as the increase in dinosaur species during the Mesozoic, or more relevantly the increase in all those different dog breeds), it will be argued that each of these varieties represents the absolute end of a branch, and no more evolving is possible because the descended species have run out of raw material to work with.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Lenoxus,, and your empirical evidence that material/evolutionary processes can generate functional prescriptive information is what exactly????

    ,,, Though it seems to me that neo-Darwinists rely on the ‘evidence of imagination’ almost exclusively, I would much rather you present concrete evidence?

    ,,, Perhaps you can start by falsifying this null hypothesis so that evolution may be considered to have a legitimate foundation in science in the first place???

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    The GS (genetic selection) Principle – David L. Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: Stunningly, information has been shown not to increase in the coding regions of DNA with evolution. Mutations do not produce increased information. Mira et al (65) showed that the amount of coding in DNA actually decreases with evolution of bacterial genomes, not increases. This paper parallels Petrov’s papers starting with (66) showing a net DNA loss with Drosophila evolution (67). Konopka (68) found strong evidence against the contention of Subba Rao et al (69, 70) that information increases with mutations. The information content of the coding regions in DNA does not tend to increase with evolution as hypothesized. Konopka also found Shannon complexity not to be a suitable indicator of evolutionary progress over a wide range of evolving genes. Konopka’s work applies Shannon theory to known functional text. Kok et al. (71) also found that information does not increase in DNA with evolution. As with Konopka, this finding is in the context of the change in mere Shannon uncertainty. The latter is a far more forgiving definition of information than that required for prescriptive information (PI) (21, 22, 33, 72). It is all the more significant that mutations do not program increased PI. Prescriptive information either instructs or directly produces formal function. No increase in Shannon or Prescriptive information occurs in duplication. What the above papers show is that not even variation of the duplication produces new information, not even Shannon “information.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_G.....ciple.html
    http://www.us.net/life/index.htm

    Dr. Don Johnson explains the difference between Shannon Information and Prescriptive Information, as well as explaining ‘the cybernetic cut’, in this following Podcast:

    Programming of Life – Dr. Donald Johnson interviewed by Casey Luskin – audio podcast
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201....._life.html

  16. 16
    Tulse says:

    bornagain77, you certainly have the Gish Gallop down pat.

  17. 17
    avocationist says:

    And can someone please tell me how Dr Behe lost the argument over irreducible complexity…?

    I think it’s an urban legend.

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    Tulse:

    Kindly restrain yourself from trying to turn people’s names into smears.

    Such is uncivil, at the level of cruel teasing in the school yard.

    Worse, the definition you have linked is utterly accusatory, question-begging and uses vulgarity, right in its opening sentence. That also tells us that Rational wiki, so-called, is an utterly untrustworthy source. You will gain no points by citing them as authoritative.

    (Onlookers, Creationist Debater Duane Gish won many college level debates, to the point where there was a refusal to engage him in debate; he did so by exposing flaws and gaps in the theory of evolution as commonly presented to the public or students, specialising in the systematic gaps in the fossil record. [And such exposure is not dependent for its effect on his young earth creationist views.] )

    Such scorched-earth rhetoric seems to come from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

    Your attempted dismissal of BA by smearing is also simply inappropriate. If BA is in error, it would be quite sufficient to select a sample of his errors, and correct him on the merits.

    The resort to a smear instead is suggestive that you wish to dismiss, and to demonise in dismissal, without doing the hard work of actually correcting.

    Such behaviour is not acceptable at UD.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  19. 19
    Tulse says:

    kairosfocus, our friend bornagain77 did not offer a reasonable, reasoned rebuttal, but instead spewed over 2700 words in reply. That is not good-faith debate, but instead an attempt to overwhelm one’s adversary with volume instead of directly relevant, specific material. I see no point in attempting to engage bornagain77 in honest argument, because such tactics are not those of an honest debater.

  20. 20
    Ilion says:

    And can someone please tell me how Dr Behe lost the argument over irreducible complexity…?

    I think it’s an urban legend..

    One shouldn’t smear urban legends by comparing them to DarwinDefender phantasms.

  21. 21
    avocationist says:

    Ha, ha, well an urban legend is an untrue rumor that gets spread around until a lot of people believe it. The idea that Michael Behe’s IC has been refuted gets repeated all the time, but I suspect that most of them could not cite a source or reason. It’s just something they heard. I think the source is Miller’s paper, The Flagellum Unspun. But it was a lousy paper.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Tulse:

    You first and foremost owe BA, and all of us an APOLOGY for uncivil comment.

    Then, if you have something substantial to remark on, pick up some points from BA and show where he is to be corrected.

    Also, kindly observe the distinction between points-scoring rhetorical debate and dialectic dialogue towards the truth on comparative difficulties. If BA gives some significant references, which he often does; that is a service to us all. If he is being merely idiosyncratic or in error, he will accept correction. And, if you are unwilling to engage either, you can always simply scroll by. However, if the comment is substantial and you willfully ignore it, you are in the position of ignoring what you could easily have known and that may have corrected your own ignorance or error.

    Mere dismissal on length is not going to get you anywhere.

    Worse, it so happens that the remarks in 15 which you seem to be dismissing, are highly pertinent to the whole question of the most credible source of the information in the nanomachine-based digital, code bearing information systems of life. That is, once a priori evolutionary materialist blinkers are not imposed.

    In particular, the cites from David Abel are from key, peer reviewed documents, that technically substantiate — on principles of statistical thermodynamics that I have been familiar with for decades as foundational to that major discipline in Physics [indeed the principles used ground the statistical form of the 2nd law of thermodynamics] — highly relevant intuitions about the routinely observed source of complex functional information and associated organisation.

    Namely, there is a reasonable plausibility bound [the scale of which depends on the relevant scope of your environment], beyond which it does not make sense to infer to blind chance and mechanical necessity as credible causal factors. In addition, Abel lists several further criteria for that inference, having to do with the design characteristics of digital, algorithmic information systems.

    I suggest that (having first apologised for your foul-mouthed reference and name-smearing rhetoric) you need to start by reading Abel’s key 2009 paper published in Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, then following up on his earlier work with his colleagues, e.g. here.

    G’day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: On the “length” rhetorical point, here is Plato in the voice of Cleinias, in The Laws, Bk X:

    Cle. Yes, Stranger; but then how often have we repeated already that on the present occasion there is no reason why brevity should be preferred to length; who is “at our heels”?-as the saying goes, and it would be paltry and ridiculous to prefer the shorter to the better.

    In a context where some serious but controversial matters need to be substantiated and warranted in the face of likely challenge, “it would be paltry and ridiculous to prefer the shorter to the better.”

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    But Tulse, as kf pointed out, why do you not engage the argument instead of calling me names? This is science is it not? Where truth is to be sought out with diligence and perseverance is it not? Why should you prefer anything less than to establish such a noble goal? If I had made a mistake in my notes, of which I’ve made many mistakes before through the years, I will gladly correct the mistake with the proper reference that you provide or anyone else provides. But you did not even cite one paper to the contrary! But merely attacked me! but alas Tulse your personal smears do not bother me personally for I do not consider myself to be anything of importance that I should be permanently offended, indeed I am merely a sinner saved by grace. Yet I do have concern for you and other ‘militant’ Darwinists, as to why you would be so unreasonable when faced with such clear evidence for God’s designing hand. Of what possible use is it of you, and other Darwinists, to fight so hard against such a clear truth???

  25. 25
    Joseph says:

    We would never see a toy poodle if man didn’t intervene.

    Tulse:
    We would if environmental constraints replicated those imposed by human intervention, or do you think there is something “special” about constraints applied by people as opposed to by the environment?

    There is something special about artificial selection- WE CHOOSE who is going to breed with one another.

    If left to nature all dogs would quickly become feral.
    No scientis doubts that.

    Neither chromosome nor genome doubling increases the amount of specified/ functional information.

    Tulse:

    It frees the doubled genes to take on new modifications and new roles, as has been shown in the research literature a vast number of times.

    Speculation is all that s in the literature.

    Ya see in ord for a duplicated gene to do anyting there must also be a binding site and regulatory sequences. Otherwie it does nothing.

    Also even with all that other required suff all you get is anothr copy of an already xiting prtein that is free to diffuse and gunk u functiuoning systems. And f tha resulting polypetid needs a caperone, fogetaboutit- then all you have is a long polypeptide gunking up the cell.

    In the end all you have is wishful thinking borne out of spculation.

  26. 26
    Tulse says:

    You first and foremost owe BA, and all of us an APOLOGY for uncivil comment.

    What precisely was “uncivil” about my comment? I pointed out that bornagain77’s response was not an honest engagement of the argument, but was instead a cut-and-paste flood, much of which is without context, some of which is completely irrelevant, and some of which is even contrary to his claimed point. For example, bornagain77 writes:

    The loss of morphological traits over time, for all organisms found in the fossil record, was/is so consistent that it was made into a ‘scientific law’:

    and then actually quotes this research:

    Using empirical data to assess the rate of loss of coding information in genes for proteins with varying degrees of tolerance to mutational change, we show that, in fact, there is a significant probability over evolutionary time scales of 0.5-6 million years for successful reactivation of silenced genes or “lost” developmental programs.

    which, of course, completely contradicts the point that bornagain77 was making.

    So no, I don’t think that I owe bornagain77 an apology for noting that the rhetorical style he or she used is dishonest and completely uninterested in reasoned and good faith debate. And given the defense of this approach that others have mounted here, it seems pretty clear that, as its reputation suggests, UD is not interested in honestly addressing issues, but rather in engaging in apologetics.

    Given that, I will leave you all in peace. I wish you all well, and intellectual enlightenment.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    excuse me Tulse, why did you not quote the rest of the article I cited???:

    Conversely, the reactivation of long (>10 million years)-unexpressed genes and dormant developmental pathways is not possible unless function is maintained by other selective constraints;

    Why did you leave that part out as if ignoring it will establish your point??? If anyone is playing fast and loose with the evidence it is you!!!

    Moreover Tulse this conformity to the principle of genetic entropy, witnessed in the fossil record, can be traced over exceedingly long periods of time. My favorite example for such conformity over exceeding long periods of time is with trilobites::

    The following article, which I’ve listed previously, is important in that it shows the principle of Genetic Entropy being obeyed in the fossil record by Trilobites, over the 270 million year history of their life on earth (Note: Trilobites are one of the most prolific ‘kinds’ found in the fossil record with an extensive worldwide distribution. They appeared abruptly at the base of the Cambrian explosion with no evidence of transmutation from the ‘simple’ creatures that preceded them, nor is there any evidence they ever produced anything else besides other trilobites during the entire time they are found in the fossil record).

    The Cambrian’s Many Forms
    Excerpt: “It appears that organisms displayed “rampant” within-species variation “in the ‘warm afterglow’ of the Cambrian explosion,” Hughes said, but not later. “No one has shown this convincingly before, and that’s why this is so important.””From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on,”….(Yet Surprisingly)….”There’s hardly any variation in the post-Cambrian,” he said. “Even the presence or absence or the kind of ornamentation on the head shield varies within these Cambrian trilobites and doesn’t vary in the post-Cambrian trilobites.” University of Chicago paleontologist Mark Webster; article on the “surprising and unexplained” loss of variation and diversity for trilobites over the 270 million year time span that trilobites were found in the fossil record, prior to their total extinction from the fossil record about 250 million years ago.
    http://www.terradaily.com/repo.....s_999.html

    Why is this evidence like it is Tulse? why did not evolution, during all that time, not decide to change a trilobite into something else besides a trilobite???

    further notes:

    Evolution vs. The Trilobite Eye – Prof. Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032589

    The Optimal Engineering Of The Trilobite Eye – Dr. Don Johnson
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1TiZcs0eginyh6rijCGd3kwC3CeawjQV1AsC6Xvvnx44

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Tulse here is some recent evidence, of what I consider a more important sort, that should really get you to smearing my name:

    Shroud Of Turin – Photographic Negative – 3D Hologram – The Lamb – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5664213/

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Tulse

    Kindly stop pretending to innocence.

    You know or should know that the very opening sentence of the link you cited at 16 above is a vulgar piece of namecalling slander that uses an obscene word.

    We don’t need that sort of demonising rubbish filth at UD.

    And, in fact you have indulged in further dismissal, failing to address the implications of the work of Abel; which cut clean across any claim that undirected chance and necessity on the gamut of planet, solar system, galaxy or observed cosmos, could credibly have originated life based on the cell, or the body plans going beyond that.Indeed, tha tis the context in which BA raised the work of Abel:

    BA, 15: Lenoxus,, and your empirical evidence that material/evolutionary processes can generate functional prescriptive information is what exactly????

    In short, until and unless you can answer Abel on empirically observed grounds, you have nothing, beyond a modest little empirical theory of how some minor genetic variations can account for say insecticide or antibiotic resistance in already existing, functioning organisms.

    Evolutionary materialism has no credible information system and information content generating mechanism. (Cf here for a 101 on why I confidently say that, and App 1 the always linked through my handle for more on the statistical and classical thermodynamics issues behind my citation of Abel.)

    Until evo mat answers this, it properly should not be even allowed to open its mouth as a claimed scientific explanation of the origins of life or of its observed biodiversity across trees, worms, fungi, fish and men.

    And the sort of artificial selection on minor variations — many of them due to patterns of existing genes — that account for toy poodles and other dog breeds are utterly irrelevant to the question that needs to be answered: how, on empirical evidence and best explanation, do dogs come to be in the first instance?

    GEM of TKI

  30. 30
    Lenoxus says:

    The evidence that evolution can generate “functional prescriptive information” is the same as the evidence that intelligent design can generate productive disentangled synthesis. (The latter being a phrase I made up and have no intention of defining in a consistent way.)

    how, on empirical evidence and best explanation, do dogs come to be in the first instance?

    Huh? Does “they were bred from wolves by humans” not satisfy? Is the gulf between wolves and huskies really wider than that between huskies and pugs?

    Even YECs are willing to group dogs, wolves, and coyotes in the canine baramin. Is a non-human designer now needed even to provide the origin of humanity’s best friend?

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    Lenoxus

    Functional, prescriptive information describes information that gives instructions and/or data for steps in an algorithmic process. [In effect such information gives the answers to an underlying cascade of contextual Yes/No decisions. (For instance to display the text of this comment, a chain of such binary nores have to be answered to set up the context of text, the code, and the specific strings of alphanumerical characters. A similar string of yes/no steps was involved to get to genetic strings with a functional code and machines to make it work, then to the particular strings that make dogs in particular cellular environments.]

    In this case the relevant ones are in the cell, e.g that implicated in protein synthesis and dispatching of said proteins per the instruction headers on the chains or otherwise, to the work sites.

    Your attempt to dismiss by making up a nonsense phrase is an irrelevancy. It implies that you have no genuine account on the merits.

    Similarly, within the sense and context the issue is the origin of animals bearing the dog family body plan [dogs being domesticated and bred out grey wolves – artificial selection i.e. ID], and below that, the relevant phylum.

    That is, starting from a unicellular ancestor say 700 MYA (or 3.5 0 3.8 BYA), how do you — on empirical evidence — get (on Darwinian, undirected chance + necessity mechanisms) to the functionally specific complex bio-information required to form chordates, mammals, carnivores, the family Canidae, and Canis lupus, then finally the genetic diversity that allows for breeding dogs in the narrow sub-specific sense. We will for the moment grant Darwin’s start-point of Ch 15 of Origin, i.e you have in hand a viable unicellular organism.

    In short, what is the empirical warrant for the claim of biological, body plan level macro-evolution per neo-darwinian synthesis and recent developments, and specifically for the origin of the relevant information and algorithms without intelligent direction?

    More simply, the issue is not to account for how breeds of dogs such as toy poodles originate from the existing genetic pool of the dog, but how dogs as a family with a particular body plan come from that theorised unicellular last common ancestor.

    And, that should have long since been more than clear enough from context.

    GEM of TKI

Leave a Reply