Darwinism science education

Darwinism has already been quietly abandoned, and people are mainly afraid of the bereft trolls?

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Here’s an interesting perspective from Paul Benedict (War of Words, July 2, 2011):

Stephen C. Meyer, expounding Intelligent Design in his book Signature in the Cell, makes a point he does not seem to appreciate: for decades microbiologists have been abandoning Darwinism. Breakthrough technologies have shown that life at the cellular level is complex beyond anything Darwin or any 19th century biologist could have predicted. From the variety of cellular functions to the complex information transmitted in the gene, many outstanding scientists recognize that the math just doesn’t work. Intelligent Design represents only one concession to the statistical impossibility that chance caused the life of simple cells. Interrupting the following parade of microbiologists who, like Meyers, recognize that random chance alone cannot have produced the simplest cellular life, are conclusions flowing from this scientific consensus. 

Christian de Duve, for example, a Nobel Prize winner, and in no way an advocate of Intelligent Design, has abandoned random chance as the agent of upwards evolution or the ascent of man. He envisions primordial planet earth as a chemical reaction waiting to happen. Recognizing that the odds of random chance being impossibly against the formation of a single cell, let alone man, he has ceaselessly been searching for the string of chemical reactions that, once started, must have inevitably and, without chance, led to mankind. So far… no luck.

Ilya Prigogine, won his 1977 Nobel Prize for his theory that biological life self-assembled from inorganic non-life through the non-equilibrium thermodynamic processes. Again, random chance was abandoned, this time for the notion of an outside force arising in a thermodynamic process that, somehow, energized evolution. Such a force has never been identified.

Manfred Eigen, won the Nobel Prize in 1967 for his work measuring extremely fast chemical reactions brought about by energy pulses. Though proud to use the term evolution, his models of the origin of life are not based on chance but on self-organizing chemical reactions that cycle to higher and higher levels. He is also the author of Eigen’s Paradox that explains a critical problem in positing cycles of RNA that lead to DNA.

Lynn Margulis believes parasites aided random chance in the evolution of the cell.

Freeman Dyson, feeling random chance and self-organizing molecular scenarios are insufficient seems to believe in a combination of Eigens self-organizing RNA cycles andLynn Margulis sense that cellular evolution was the result of parasites.

Michael Polanyi, whose interest in science often impacted his philosophic notions, rejected chance as the origin of life in Lifes Irreducible Structure.

Bernd-Olaf Kuppers, like Michael Polanyi, supports his notions that the whole (the living cell) is greater than the sum of its parts (chemical reactions) with evidence that random chance cannot result in the irreducible complexity of a living organism (60) nor explain the information it transmits.

Bernd-Olaf Kuppers, using methodology like that of noted Darwinian apologist Richard Dawkins, also modeled mathematical algorithms that guide randomly generated computer simulations of origin of life scenarios. Kuppers calls his theory of self-organization the molecular-Darwinistic approach. It is hard to tell what Kuppers means by statements like, inanimate matter organized itself of its own accord into animate systems (82). More.

A libertarian, he ends with a Cry, Fredom: “Tradition dies hard in every generation. Ignorance is not a lack of information; it is willfully ignoring knowledge. Centralized bureaucratic power breeds fear even in professionals, but tenured teachers can do better. It’s time to tell the kids: it is statistically impossible that Darwin’s explanation of the origin of life is correct.”

79 Replies to “Darwinism has already been quietly abandoned, and people are mainly afraid of the bereft trolls?

  1. 1
    Charles says:

    The self-organizing force that really drives evolution was never random chance, but actually is Dark Entropy.

    Much to Granville Sewell’s and Lee Spetner’s chagrin, Dark Entropy(TM) (for which I anticipate a highly underserved Nobel) is the heretofore undiscovered force that overcomes both probability and the second law of thermodynamics to increase order in an open system.

    Dark Entropy is inferred from the myriad examples of self-organization evident in Darwinian processes.

    Everything makes sense in the light of Dark Entropy.

  2. 2
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Darwin didn’t even attempt to explain The Origin of Life, so to say that “it is statistically impossible that Darwin’s explanation of the origin of life is correct!” makes no sense.

    Well, except that it’s literally true – the chances of a non-explanation being correct is statistically impossible to compute.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    El: ‘Darwin didn’t even attempt to explain The Origin of Life,’

    =================

    “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” (Source on page 490 here)
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index....._little_po

    ,,,,,,,,,

    Sooner or later, students of abiogenesis will encounter Darwin’s 1871 letter to Joseph Hooker with his speculations on the spontaneous generation of life. He was returning some pamphlets which triggered the reaction: “I am always delighted to see a word in favour of Pangenesis, which some day, I believe, will have a resurrection.” The next paragraph has his “big if” dream:

    “It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. But if (and oh what a big if) we could conceive in some warm little pond with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, – light, heat, electricity &c. present, that a protein compound was chemically formed, ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter wd be instantly devoured, or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.”

  4. 4
    markf says:

    #3 BA77 – if that is all Darwin wrote on the origin of life then I think you have proved Lizzie’s point.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    And markf so how is his ‘big if’ not an attempt to explain the origin of life in materialistic terms???,,,

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    by the way markf, did you see that recent peer-reviewed paper that showed Darwin’s ‘Origin Of Species’ was primarily a Theological argument, not a scientific one???

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    ,,,A ‘bad’ theological argument that continues to this day,,,

    From Philosopher to Science Writer: The Dissemination of Evolutionary Thought – May 2011
    Excerpt: The powerful theory of evolution hangs on this framework of thought that mandates naturalism. The science is weak but the metaphysics are strong. This is the key to understanding evolutionary thought. The weak arguments are scientific and the strong arguments, though filled with empirical observation and scientific jargon, are metaphysical. The stronger the argument, the more theological or philosophical.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....riter.html

    And the theological ‘bad design’ argument, which Darwinists unwittingly continually use to try to make their case, is actually its own independent discipline of study within Theology itself called Theodicy:

    Is Your Bod Flawed by God? – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Theodicy (the discipline in Theism of reconciling natural evil with a good God) might be a problem for 19th-century deism and simplistic natural theology, but not for Biblical theology. It was not a problem for Jesus Christ, who was certainly not oblivious to the blind, the deaf, the lepers and the lame around him. It was not a problem for Paul, who spoke of the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain till the coming redemption of all things (Romans 8).
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100214a

    ,,,Jesus Christ certainly was not oblivious to ‘natural evil’;

    “Revelation Song” by Phillips,Craig and Dean
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYTDI8QOoMY

  7. 7
    allanius says:

    These are theoretical “microbiologists.” The abandonment is even more telling among applied microbiologists who do medical research. They don’t talk about Darwin. They talk in engineering terms–and engineering requires an engineer.

    There is a growing divide between the cultural narrative that is Darwinism, the theory, and the work going on in applied science. This is the divide that will lead to abandonment in the end.

    The same resistance that gives theories their unifying power also divides them from the varieties of sensuous experience. Microbiology is making this divide too obvious to ignore.

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Thanks markf, yes that was my point.

    All Darwin wrote about the origin of life was:

    “…life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one…”

    I know of no other “explanation” of the origin of life offered by Darwin.

    That passage comes at the end of a book entitled “The Origin of Species”. It simply does not address “The Origin of Life”, except to suggest that the our universal common ancestor(s) had life breathed into them by a Creator.

    You could even argue that he was an IDist, but that he credited the Designer with a Design so powerful that all that was required to produce the variety we see of life on earth was an initial seeding with “a few [living] forms or… one”.

    I do wonder why Darwin gets such a bad press here.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Spot on, News!

    Keep ’em coming like this one.

    F/N: BA, honourable mention, too.

  10. 10
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    allanius:

    These are theoretical “microbiologists.” The abandonment is even more telling among applied microbiologists who do medical research. They don’t talk about Darwin. They talk in engineering terms–and engineering requires an engineer.

    There is a growing divide between the cultural narrative that is Darwinism, the theory, and the work going on in applied science. This is the divide that will lead to abandonment in the end.

    The same resistance that gives theories their unifying power also divides them from the varieties of sensuous experience. Microbiology is making this divide too obvious to ignore.

    I just don’t think this is true. What is, is that microbiologists are engaged at research on a quite different (“teleonomic” to use Monod’s phrase) analytical level to evolutionary biologist.

    The fundamental underpinning of Darwinian theory is the tautology (i.e. the obviously true statement) that: patterns that are good at persisting will tend to persist for longer than patterns that are not!

    Or, if you prefer, that robust patterns will tend to be observed more often observed than non-robust patterns.

    This being (obviously) the case, persisting patterns, e.g. living things that keep replicating themselves should, if we look, have properties that promote self-persistence.

    This will include properties like self-repair,self-reproduction, self-maintenance.

    And all these properties are best investigated by analytical techniques derived from engineering – reverse-engineering, if you like.

    This doesn’t mean that microbiologist have “abandoned” Darwin’s theory, but have adopted its implications and gone on to look for exactly the mechanisms that must be there if the theory is true.

    There are, of course, other theories that will predict teleonomic mechanisms (including ID) so it is not a prediction that differentiates between Darwinism and ID, but it certainly does not require the abandonment of Darwinism.

    Teleonomic mechanisms are explicable under Darwinism, indeed they are fundamental to it. All microbiologists are doing is figuring out what they are.

  11. 11
    Driver says:

    ID proponents will generally concede the fact of microevolution. I don’t know how anyone can take seriously the idea that biologists are abandoning Darwinism when Darwinism (with limits) is affirmed even by the theory’s staunchest critics.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Driver, and on the other hand, besides micro-evolutionary events which lose or modify preexisting information, the grand overriding claim of neo-Darwinism is that we came from bacteria. Do you honestly think that this grand overriding claim can be supported?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    correction; the grand overriding claim of neo-Darwinism is that we came from bacteria by purely undirected processes. Do you honestly think that this grand overriding claim can be supported?

  14. 14
    Driver says:

    the grand overriding claim of neo-Darwinism is that we came from bacteria by purely undirected processes. Do you honestly think that this grand overriding claim can be supported?

    As a claim, it doesn’t override other claims of the theory. I think it would be sensible to accept that some form of Darwinism is here to stay. The question is whether limits can be found to Darwinism. So far no-one has found any limits to the process. Find the limits and the scope of Darwinism is much reduced. My point is that the theory would not then be abandoned, at all.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Driver you state; ‘So far no-one has found any limits to the process.’

    No Driver, actually the truth is that a limit has been found by Dr. Behe for neo-Darwinian evolution and that neo-Darwinists have simply not accepted, not refuted, the reality of the ‘limits’ that Dr. Behe has elucidated for neo-Darwinian evolution in his book ‘”The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism”b>;

    notes;

    ,,,In fact, trying to narrow down an actual hard number for the truly beneficial mutation rate, that would actually explain the massively integrated machine-like complexity of proteins we find in life, is what Dr. Behe did in this following book:

    “The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism”
    http://www.amazon.com/Edge-Evo.....0743296206

    The Edge Of Evolution – Michael Behe – Video Lecture
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/199326-1

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    Dr. Behe states in The Edge of Evolution on page 135:

    “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site (in other words, generating a truly beneficial mutational event that would actually explain the generation of the complex molecular machinery we see in life) is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”

    That order of difficulty is put at 10^20 replications of the malarial parasite by Dr. Behe. This number comes from direct empirical observation.

    Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth Shies Away from Intelligent Design but Unwittingly Vindicates Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The rarity of chloroquine resistance is not in question. In fact, Behe’s statistic that it occurs only once in every 10^20 cases was derived from public health statistical data, published by an authority in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The extreme rareness of chloroquine resistance is not a negotiable data point; it is an observed fact.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....est_s.html

    Thus, the actual rate for ‘truly’ beneficial mutations, which would account for the staggering machine-like complexity we see in life, is far in excess of one-hundred-billion-billion mutational events. So this one in a thousand, to one in a million, number for ‘truly’ beneficial mutations is actually far, far, too generous for an estimate for evolutionists to use as an estimate for beneficial mutations.

    “The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book “Edge of Evolution”)

    ==================

    An Atheist Interviews Michael Behe About “The Edge Of Evolution” – video
    http://www.in.com/videos/watch.....34623.html

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:

    Driver you state; ‘So far no-one has found any limits to the process.’

    No Driver, actually the truth is that a limit has been found by Dr. Behe for neo-Darwinian evolution and that neo-Darwinists have simply not accepted, not refuted, the reality of the ‘limits’ that Dr. Behe has elucidated for neo-Darwinian evolution in his book ‘”The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism”;

    notes;

    ,,,In fact, trying to narrow down an actual hard number for the truly beneficial mutation rate, that would actually explain the massively integrated machine-like complexity of proteins we find in life, is what Dr. Behe did in this following book:

    “The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism”
    http://www.amazon.com/Edge-Evo.....0743296206

    The Edge Of Evolution – Michael Behe – Video Lecture
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/199326-1

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    Dr. Behe states in The Edge of Evolution on page 135:

    “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site (in other words, generating a truly beneficial mutational event that would actually explain the generation of the complex molecular machinery we see in life) is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”

    That order of difficulty is put at 10^20 replications of the malarial parasite by Dr. Behe. This number comes from direct empirical observation.

    Richard Dawkins’ The Greatest Show on Earth Shies Away from Intelligent Design but Unwittingly Vindicates Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The rarity of chloroquine resistance is not in question. In fact, Behe’s statistic that it occurs only once in every 10^20 cases was derived from public health statistical data, published by an authority in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The extreme rareness of chloroquine resistance is not a negotiable data point; it is an observed fact.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....est_s.html

    Thus, the actual rate for ‘truly’ beneficial mutations, which would account for the staggering machine-like complexity we see in life, is far in excess of one-hundred-billion-billion mutational events. So this one in a thousand, to one in a million, number for ‘truly’ beneficial mutations is actually far, far, too generous for an estimate for evolutionists to use as an estimate for beneficial mutations.

    “The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book “Edge of Evolution”)

    ==================

    An Atheist Interviews Michael Behe About “The Edge Of Evolution” – video
    http://www.in.com/videos/watch.....34623.html

  17. 17
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77

    correction; the grand overriding claim of neo-Darwinism is that we came from bacteria by purely undirected processes. Do you honestly think that this grand overriding claim can be supported?

    This is not the “grand overriding claim of” what you call “neo-Darwinism” (still not sure what that term is supposed to mean).

    One “grand claim” that Darwin made was that both bacteria and all other living things, including us, may have descended from a common ancestor.

    But, actually, the mechanism for diversification that Darwin proposed is just as applicable to several common ancestors, as is reflected in the quote you posted above.

    However, it is true that since then, we have found that common ancestry of bacteria and other living things is likely.

    That is not the same as saying that all other living things descended from bacteria.

    However, it is saying that that common ancestor was almost certainly unicellular.

    Bacteria are unicellular organisms. Not all unicellular organisms are bacteria.

  18. 18
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77:

    No Driver, actually the truth is that a limit has been found by Dr. Behe for neo-Darwinian evolution and that neo-Darwinists have simply not accepted, not refuted, the reality of the ‘limits’ that Dr. Behe has elucidated for neo-Darwinian evolution in his book ‘”The Edge of Evolution”

    This is a problem ba77 – you continually assert, and, I am sure, believe in all honesty, that certain claims that you think falsify “neo-Darwinism” have not been refuted, or have been ignored.

    However, some of us disagree with you! My own view is that the refutations of Behe’s argument have been extremely persuasive, and to my knowledge, he has not presented a counter-rebuttal.

    Which is not to say say there are no limits to Darwinian evolution – there are, very powerful ones. And what is interesting is that we see living things heavily constrained to evolve within those limits.

    That is an argument for Darwinian evolution, not against it.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth and so the story goes!!! and your concrete proof for all this is what?

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,, not what you think or believe Elizabeth, but what can you prove???,,,

    Moreover, you have no foundation to presuppose the generation of transcendent information from the materialistic causes of neo-Darwinism!!!

    notes (for you to ignore Elizabeth):

    Falsification of neo-Darwinism;

    First, Here is the falsification of local realism (reductive materialism).

    Here is a clip of a talk in which Alain Aspect talks about the failure of ‘local realism’, or the failure of reductive materialism, to explain reality:

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Reductive Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (reductive materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for ‘spooky’ forces, as Einstein termed them — forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    And yet, quantum entanglement, which rigorously falsified local realism (reductive materialism) as the complete description of reality, is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale!

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours (arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1). “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    The relevance of continuous variable entanglement in DNA – July 2010
    Excerpt: We consider a chain of harmonic oscillators with dipole-dipole interaction between nearest neighbours resulting in a van der Waals type bonding. The binding energies between entangled and classically correlated states are compared. We apply our model to DNA. By comparing our model with numerical simulations we conclude that entanglement may play a crucial role in explaining the stability of the DNA double helix.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1

    Quantum Information confirmed in DNA by direct empirical research;

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104014.htm

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    i.e. It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy space/time) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as neo-Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the energy/matter particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself
    not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘specified’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
    ,,,To refute this falsification of neo-Darwinism, one must falsify Alain Aspect, and company’s, falsification of local realism (reductive materialism)!

    ,,, As well, appealing to ‘non-reductive’ materialism (multiverse or many-worlds) to try to explain quantum non-locality in molecular biology ends up destroying the very possibility of doing science rationally;

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    ,,,Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse (non-reductive materialism) argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever.

    “The multiverse idea rests on assumptions that would be laughed out of town if they came from a religious text.” Gregg Easterbrook

    =================

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    and once again;

    To dovetail into Dembski and Marks’s work on Conservation of Information;,,,

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information
    William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://evoinfo.org/publication.....ation-law/

    ,,,Encoded classical information, such as what we find in computer programs, and yes as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘transcendent’ quantum information by the following method:,,,

    This following research provides solid falsification for Rolf Landauer’s contention that information encoded in a computer is merely physical (merely ‘emergent’ from a material basis) since he believed it always required energy to erase it;

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    ,,,And here is the empirical confirmation that quantum information is ‘conserved’;,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

  22. 22
    markf says:

    #5 BA77

    And markf so how is his ‘big if’ not an attempt to explain the origin of life in materialistic terms???,,,

    Because

    (1) He doesn’t claim it is true (that is what “if” means)

    (2) It doesn’t provide an explanation. There is zero detail.

    (3) That is not the point of the paragraph. The point is to address one objection to materialist explanations of the origin of life – namely – why does not life keep on restarting if it started once?

    (4) This was just an informal letter not a public statement to which he was committed.

    Otherwise fine 🙂

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    markf, and you are a politician in real life???

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    and markf, do you hold to Darwin’s publicly stated ‘deistic’ position for the Origin of Life??? i.e. Just how much of even a hint of God will you allow into your personal atheistic worldview??? If not even a hint, Why Not?

  25. 25
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77:

    Elizabeth and so the story goes!!! and your concrete proof for all this is what?

    Well, ba77, what is your “concrete proof” that Behe has not been adequately refuted?

    I’ve read a great many reviews of Behe’s book and they seem to me to consist of very persuasive refutations that cite actual evidence to support their case.

    I understand that you yourself are not persuaded, but I do not see you considering the counter-evidence – yet this is what you repeatedly accuse me of doing!

    Motes and beams, ba77.

    Now, who said that again…?

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth and you cite is???

  27. 27
  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth when you can’t even fairly judge evidence, I’m REALLY not worried about you judging scripture correctly to use against me, especially when you have rejected belief in the One who said the words you alluded to!!!;

    Moreover markf and Elizabeth, since reality does, in fact reduce to a ‘information theoretic’ foundation of Logos, as postulated in John 1:1, and not to the ‘indestructible particle’ foundation as postulated by materialism, what gives you the right to think that atheists have any rigid foundation in science in the first place to make their increasing ludicrous claims???

    notes:

    The following articles show that even atoms (Ions) are subject to teleportation:

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    leading quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger has followed in John Archibald Wheeler’s footsteps (1911-2008) by insisting reality, at its most foundational level, is ‘information’.

    “It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom – at a very deep bottom, in most instances – an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that things physical are information-theoretic in origin.” John Archibald Wheeler

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/Magaz.....fault.aspx

    Zeilinger’s principle
    The principle that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics.
    http://science.jrank.org/pages.....z17a7f88PM

    In the beginning was the bit – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Zeilinger’s principle leads to the intrinsic randomness found in the quantum world. Consider the spin of an electron. Say it is measured along a vertical axis (call it the z axis) and found to be pointing up. Because one bit of information has been used to make that statement, no more information can be carried by the electron’s spin. Consequently, no information is available to predict the amounts of spin in the two horizontal directions (x and y axes), so they are of necessity entirely random. If you then measure the spin in one of these directions, there is an equal chance of its pointing right or left, forward or back. This fundamental randomness is what we call Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.
    http://www.quantum.at/fileadmi.....t/bit.html

    ‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011
    Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....111942.htm

    =============

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    The Word – Sara Groves
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ofE-GZ8zTU
    ,,,

  29. 29
    Mung says:

    Darwin didn’t even attempt to explain The Origin of Life, so to say that “it is statistically impossible that Darwin’s explanation of the origin of life is correct!” makes no sense.

    Hi Lizzie, sometimes you need to move beyond the literal.

    Darwin offered a mechanism. Chance + necessity. That mechanism serves as an explanation. That explanation has been applied to the problem of the origin of origin of life. ok, so not by Darwin himself, but so what.

  30. 30
    Driver says:

    So when did you discover that atheism entails local realism, ba77? Could you demonstrate the connection?

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    The fundamental underpinning of Darwinian theory is the tautology (i.e. the obviously true statement) that: patterns that are good at persisting will tend to persist for longer than patterns that are not!

    Well, since this is be literal minded day, Darwin never said any such thing. I don’t know who’s theory that is, but it’s not Darwin’s.

    This is not the “grand overriding claim of” what you call “neo-Darwinism” (still not sure what that term is supposed to mean)

    Oh please. Go look it up. It’s not like it’s a mystery term that BA77 made up just to confuse you.

    Start with this:

    Neo-Darwinian Synthesis

    Have you considered writing fiction for a living?

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Driver;

    ‘So when did you discover that atheism entails local realism, ba77? Could you demonstrate the connection?’

    Do you want to invoke non-reductive materialism (non-local realism) to explain neo-Darwinian evolution??? Such as Koonin tried to invoke here;

    Some cautiously embrace the multiverse for the sake of defending Darwinism.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....darwinism/

    i.e. Driver just how much absurdity are you willing to embrace to deny the reality of God???

  33. 33
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    Hi Lizzie, sometimes you need to move beyond the literal.

    ho ho ho.

    heh.

    Darwin offered a mechanism. Chance + necessity. That mechanism serves as an explanation. That explanation has been applied to the problem of the origin of origin of life. ok, so not by Darwin himself, but so what.

    So what indeed.

    First: “Chance and Necessity” is not a “mechanism”. Heritable differential reproduction is. Darwin proposed heritable differential reproduction as an explanation for the Origin of Species.

    Don’t blame Darwin, or even call it “neo-Darwinian synthesis” if people speculate on natural mechanisms for the Origin of Life. They won’t be Darwinian, because the Darwinian mechanism presupposes heritable differential reproduction, it doesn’t explain it. That would be circular.

    Well, since this is be literal minded day, Darwin never said any such thing. I don’t know who’s theory that is, but it’s not Darwin’s.

    You are right – he never said those literal words. But that’s what natural selection of heritable variation boils down to. It’s not so much a theory as a syllogism:

    P1: Living things reproduce with variance
    P2: Some variants reproduce more than others
    C: Variants that reproduce the most will come to dominate the population.

    Oh please. Go look it up. It’s not like it’s a mystery term that BA77 made up just to confuse you.

    Start with this:

    Neo-Darwinian Synthesis

    Have you considered writing fiction for a living?

    Yes, Mung, I’ve written three fiction stories for children, and I do get royalties on those (Two, weirdly, are in German.).

    But I still don’t know what “neo-Darwinism” is supposed to encompass when it’s referenced here. It seems to be used to cover all kinds of things (OOL theories, for instance) that are not part of any “neo-Darwinist synthesis” that I am familiar with. It’s usually taken to refer to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics with Darwinian evolutionary theory that took place in the 30s and 40s, but things have moved on a heck of a lot since then.

    However, it still doesn’t include OOL, although most OOL theories do incorporate Darwinian processes. Different field though.

  34. 34
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77:

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    Still one of my favorite passages in all Scripture.

  35. 35
    Driver says:

    Do you want to invoke non-reductive materialism (non-local realism) to explain neo-Darwinian evolution???

    I’m sorry – this doesn’t follow from my question. Darwinian evolution isn’t a quantum theory, so I don’t know what you are talking about.

    I’ll rephrase: What is it about the fact that local realism is not true that leads you to conclude that atheism is false?

    I don’t see the connection. To me, you might as well say the tides are proof that atheism is false. Never a miscommunication.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Driver you state:

    ‘Darwinian evolution isn’t a quantum theory, so I don’t know what you are talking about.’

    well Driver I suggest, since quantum non-local information has now been found on a massive scale in molecular biology, that you begin to learn how to integrate quantum theory and neo-Darwinism:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-387933

    ,,, or perhaps you will choose to just ignore the elephant in the living room as Elizabeth has chosen to do!?!

  37. 37
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    It seems to me it’s a white elephant in the living room, ba77!

    I have no clue what it’s for, but every way I turn, there it is!

    I’m thinking of taking it to a garage sale.

    Unless someone can find me the user’s manual.

  38. 38
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth, for your edification:

    When ID proponents on this site use the term “Darwinism,” they are referring to Neo-Darwinism, also called the modern evolutionary synthesis or Neo-Darwinian evolution (“NDE”), the basic tenants of which are described in the New World Encyclopedia as follows:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/glossary/

  39. 39
    Driver says:

    well Driver I suggest, since quantum non-local information has now been found on a massive scale in molecular biology, that you begin to learn how to integrate quantum theory and neo-Darwinism

    The onus is on you to show how quantum effects falsify the ToE.

    or perhaps you will choose to just ignore the elephant in the living room

    The elephant of non-local non-realism? I asked you how is it an elephant? WHAT, ba77, is the connection between quantum reality and atheism? There must have been a day when you said “I shall henceforth link to Aspect’s experiments as proof that there is at least one god.” I am genuinely fascinated as to what happened on this day. There is a potentially marvellous proof in the offing if it can just be teased out of you.

  40. 40
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung, that’s helpful.

    Well, sorta. At least it doesn’t try to include OOL.

    But it’s a bit out of date. Evolutionary theory has progressed hugely since it conformed to that definition.

    At the heart of the modern synthesis is the view that evolution is gradual and can be explained by small genetic changes in populations over time, due to the impact of natural selection on the phenotypic variation among individuals in the populations (Mayr 1982; Futuyama 1986).

    For instance we now know that evolution can be quite rapid – yes, it proceeds incrementally, but the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next. Also, now that we know more about evo devo, we know that small genetic changes can result in quite large phenytopic changes.

    According to the modern synthesis as originally established, genetic variation in populations arises by chance through mutation (it is now known to be caused sometimes by mistakes in DNA replication and via genetic recombination—the crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis). This genetic variation leads to phenotypic changes among members of a population.

    And that’s poorly described anyway. Not all genetic variation leads to phenotypic changes. Also “by chance through mutation” just means that variation (new alleles, or even new genes) occurs by stochastic processes. There’s a lot of interest right now in the possiblity that the kinds of mechanisms that result in variety and novelty may themselves be selected at population level. Also “mistakes” is misleading. It implies that there is a “correct” process and a “mistaken” process. That might be just about OK when talking about cloning species like bacteria, where it might be legitimate to talk about less-than 100% faithful replication as “mistakes”, but even then “non-fidelity” would be better. But it’s a bit silly when talking about sexual reproduction, because we don’t have fidelity anyway – each child genome is unique. I find that term unnecessarily loaded.

    Evolution consists primarily of changes in the frequencies of alleles between one generation and another as a result of natural selection. Speciation, the creation of new species, is a gradual process that generally occurs when populations become more and more diversified as a result of having been isolated, such as via geographic barriers, and eventually the populations develop mechanisms of reproductive isolation. Over time, these small changes will lead to major changes in design or the creation of new taxa.

    Again, out of date. Drift is now known to be responsible for many important changes in allele frequency over time, and adaptation is not explicitly mentioned (though it is implicit in “natural selection). Most importantly, there is interaction between drift and adaptation, in that drift itself may alter the fitness landscape (this, btw, is one reason why the NTL theorems don’t apply to evolution – because changes to the fitness landscape are not independent of the search).

    A major conclusion of the modern synthesis is that the concept of populations can explain evolutionary changes in a way that is consistent with the observations of naturalists and the known genetic mechanisms (Mayr 1982).

    Again this is nearly 30 years out of date! It ignores the possibility that Darwinian processes also may be important at a level above an individual population.

    Though agreement is not universal on the parameters of the modern synthesis, many descriptions hold as basic (1) the primacy of natural selection as the creative agent of evolutionary change; (2) gradualism (accumulation of small genetic changes); and (3) the extrapolation of microevolutionary processes (changes within species) to macroevolutionary trends (changes about the species level, such as the origin of new designs and broad patterns in history). Evolutionary change is a shift of the frequency of genes in a population, and macroevolutionary trends come from gradual accumulation of small genetic changes.

    Yes. That is all still true.

    Note, for example, the words of two of the leading figures in evolutionary theory, Ernst Mayr and Stephen Jay Gould.

    “The proponents of the synthetic theory maintain that all evolution is due to the accumulation of small genetic changes, guided by natural selection, and that transspecific evolution is nothing but an extrapolation and magnification of the events that take place within populations and species.” (Mayr 1963)

    “The core of this synthetic theory restates the two most characteristic assertions of Darwin himself: first, that evolution is a two-stage process (random variation as raw material, natural selection as a directing force); secondly, that evolutionary change is generally slow, steady, gradual, and continuous. . . Orthodox neo-Darwinians extrapolate these even and continuous changes to the most profound structural transitions in life.” (Gould 1980)

    Again, both writers, great though they were, are now out of date.

    The huge areas of advance since then, I would have said, include:

    1. The entire domain of evo-devo
    2. Investigations into the evolution of evolvability, e.g. the optimisation of variance producing mechanisms.
    3. neo-Lamarckism, e.g. heritable phenotypic effects that are not encoded in DNA
    4. Systems level analysis of heritability.
    5. Increasing understanding of how genetypic variance translates to phenotypic variance, including gene-gene interactions and gene-environment interactions.

    Thing is, while I’m all for finding flaws in modern biology, and have no problem, in principle, with investigating the possibility of Design as a causal factor in any phenomenon, it seems to me to be important to get the irrelevancies (like worldviews and such like) off the table, and actually evaluate theories on the basis of whether they account well for the data.

    And a good theory is going to be subject to continuous development, because every answer (especially positive answers) raises a whole host of new questions.

    oops excuse WoT.

    Will get back to the Tennis Thread 🙂
    Many of the articles I see on this forum are tilts at very old windmills that have already been investigated and archived by evolutionary biologists.

    Evolutionary science is not static. But nor is it busy pulling out its own roots. Darwin’s key insight – that adaptation and diversification will tend to occur in a population of self-replicating entities that reproduce with variance in the ability to reproduce successfully within a given environment -remains as self-evidently true as it was the day Darwin (and Wallace) figured it out. That’s why “microevolution” is largely accepted, even by those who query whether it can explain all that we observe.

    Well, it can’t, because for a start, Darwin’s theory doesn’t explain how the whole caboodle got started, and,for another, doesn’t explain how the variance gets introduced. Those are both givens in Darwin’s theory.

    Much of the progress in evolutionary theory over the last century has been made in addressing that second question, although a bit has even been made on addressing the first.

  41. 41
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    oops the oops comment should have gone at the end!

    Well, if it can happen to DNA it can happen to me….

  42. 42
    bornagain77 says:

    Driver states:

    ‘The onus is on you to show how quantum effects falsify the ToE.’

    Thus once again, since you can’t page up to post 20, I lay it out;

    Neo-Darwinian evolution purports to explain all the wondrously amazing complexity of life on earth by reference solely to chance and necessity processes acting on energy and matter (i.e. by purely material processes). In fact neo-Darwinian evolution makes the grand materialistic claim that the staggering levels of unmatched complex functional information we find in life, and even the ‘essence of life’ itself, simply ‘emerged’ from purely material processes operating over vast eons of time. And even though this basic scientific point, of the ability of purely material processes to generate even trivial levels of complex functional information, has spectacularly failed to be established, (Behe; Sanford; Abel; Dembski; Marks) we now have a much greater proof, than this stunning failure for validation, that ‘put the lie’ to the grand claims of neo-Darwinian evolution. This proof comes from the fact that it is now shown, from quantum mechanics, that ‘transcendent information’ is its own unique ‘physical’ entity. A physical entity that is shown to be completely independent of any energy-matter space-time constraints, i.e. Quantum Information does not ‘emerge’ from any material basis. Moreover this ‘transcendent information’ is shown to be dominant of energy-matter in that this ‘information’ is shown to be the entity that is in fact constraining the energy-matter processes of the cell to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    notes:

    Falsification of neo-Darwinism;

    First, Here is the falsification of local realism (reductive materialism).

    Here is a clip of a talk in which Alain Aspect talks about the failure of ‘local realism’, or the failure of reductive materialism, to explain reality:

    The Failure Of Local Realism – Reductive Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    The falsification for local realism (reductive materialism) was recently greatly strengthened:

    Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism – November 2010
    Excerpt: The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....alism.html

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    (of note: hidden variables were postulated to remove the need for ‘spooky’ forces, as Einstein termed them — forces that act instantaneously at great distances, thereby breaking the most cherished rule of relativity theory, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.)

    And yet, quantum entanglement, which rigorously falsified local realism (reductive materialism) as the complete description of reality, is now found in molecular biology on a massive scale!

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours (arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1). “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    The relevance of continuous variable entanglement in DNA – July 2010
    Excerpt: We consider a chain of harmonic oscillators with dipole-dipole interaction between nearest neighbours resulting in a van der Waals type bonding. The binding energies between entangled and classically correlated states are compared. We apply our model to DNA. By comparing our model with numerical simulations we conclude that entanglement may play a crucial role in explaining the stability of the DNA double helix.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.4053v1

    Quantum Information confirmed in DNA by direct empirical research;

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104014.htm

    Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
    Excerpt: This paper highlights the distinctive and non-material nature of information and its relationship with matter, energy and natural forces. It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=420

    i.e. It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, for how can the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy space/time) ’cause’ when the quantum entanglement ‘effect’ falsified material particles as its own ‘causation’ in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as neo-Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the energy/matter particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself
    not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘specified’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
    ,,,To refute this falsification of neo-Darwinism, one must falsify Alain Aspect, and company’s, falsification of local realism (reductive materialism)!

    ,,, As well, appealing to ‘non-reductive’ materialism (multiverse or many-worlds) to try to explain quantum non-locality in molecular biology ends up destroying the very possibility of doing science rationally;

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    ,,,Michael Behe has a profound answer to the infinite multiverse (non-reductive materialism) argument in “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be just as likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever.

    “The multiverse idea rests on assumptions that would be laughed out of town if they came from a religious text.” Gregg Easterbrook

    =================

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007

    =========================

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    and to, once again, dovetail into Dembski and Marks’s work on Conservation of Information;,,,

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW: Why Darwinian Evolution Cannot Create Biological Information
    William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II
    http://evoinfo.org/publication.....ation-law/

    ,,,Encoded classical information, such as what we find in computer programs, and yes as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘transcendent’ quantum information by the following method:,,,

    This following research provides solid falsification for Rolf Landauer’s contention that information encoded in a computer is merely physical (merely ‘emergent’ from a material basis) since he believed it always required energy to erase it;

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    ,,,And here is the empirical confirmation that quantum information is ‘conserved’;,,,

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,,as to further solidify the ‘Theistic Inference’ from quantum mechanics;

    ,,, First I noticed that the earth demonstrates centrality in the universe in this video Dr. Dembski posted a while back;

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    ,,, for a while I tried to see if the 4-D space-time of General Relativity was sufficient to explain centrality we witness for the earth in the universe,,,

    4-Dimensional Space-Time Of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

    ,,, yet I kept running into the same problem for establishing the sufficiency of General Relativity to explain our centrality in this universe, in that every time I would perform a ‘mental experiment’ of trying radically different points of observation in the universe, General Relativity would fail to maintain centrality for the radically different point of observation in the universe. The primary reason for this failure of General Relativity to maintain centrality, for different points of observation in the universe, is due to the fact that there are limited (10^80) material particles to work with. Though this failure of General Relativity was obvious to me, I needed more proof so as to establish it more rigorously, so i dug around a bit and found this;

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

    and also ‘serendipitously’ found this,,,

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    But if General Relativity is insufficient to explain the centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe, what else is? Universal Quantum wave collapse to each unique point of observation! To prove this point I dug around a bit and found this experiment,,,

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment
    was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    ,, and to make universal quantum Wave collapse much more ‘personal’ I found this,,,

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
    http://eugene-wigner.co.tv/

    Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or
    anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Driver, perhaps you will just deny that materialism is at a complete loss as to explain why the universe would even ‘care’ that each of us exist, but there is nothing I can do to change such irrationality, save shake my head.

  45. 45
    Mung says:

    For instance we now know that evolution can be quite rapid – yes, it proceeds incrementally, but the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next.

    How is that non-Darwinian?

    … the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next.

    So natural selection is the cause and it’s effects are observed how?

    Also, now that we know more about evo devo, we know that small genetic changes can result in quite large phenytopic changes.

    How is that non-Darwinian?

    You think Darwin wasn’t aware of mutant creatures?

    Drift is now known to be responsible for many important changes in allele frequency over time, and adaptation is not explicitly mentioned (though it is implicit in “natural selection).

    How is that non-Darwinian?

    I’m pretty sure it was pointed out to Darwin early on that not all traits are adaptive. He didn’t seem to have a problem with that.

    and on it goes…

  46. 46
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    But it’s a bit silly when talking about sexual reproduction, because we don’t have fidelity anyway – each child genome is unique.

    Why do you persist in making false claims, particularly when they are so easily shown to be false?

    Multiple genetic changes occur during the evolution of normal cells into cancer cells. This evolution is facilitated in cancer cells by loss of fidelity in the processes that replicate, repair, and segregate the genome. Recent advances in our understanding of the cell cycle reveal how fidelity is normally achieved by the coordinated activity of cyclin-dependent kinases, checkpoint controls, and repair pathways and how this fidelity can be abrogated by specific genetic changes. These insights suggest molecular mechanisms for cellular transformation and may help to identify potential targets for improved cancer therapies.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....1821.short

    The cell cycle proceeds by a defined sequence of events where late events depend upon completion of early events. The aim of the dependency of events is to distribute complete and accurate replicas of the genome to daughter cells.

    DNA damage checkpoints ensure the fidelity of genetic information both by arresting cell cycle progression and facilitating DNA repair pathways.

    http://homepage.mac.com/enognog/checkpoint.htm

    Each period of the cell cycle requires selective expression of genes that encode cell cycle regulatory proteins. A broad spectrum of signalling mechanisms integrate and amplify growth-related regulatory cues that mediate fidelity of cell cycle control.

    http://www.els.net/WileyCDA/El.....01354.html

    Cell division involves the distribution of identical genetic material, DNA, to two daughters cells. What is most remarkable is the fidelity with which the DNA is passed along, without dilution or error, from one generation to the next.

    http://www.uic.edu/classes/bio.....lect16.htm

  47. 47
    Driver says:

    ba77,

    This proof comes from the fact that it is now shown, from quantum mechanics, that ‘transcendent information’ is its own unique ‘physical’ entity. A physical entity that is shown to be completely independent of any energy-matter space-time constraints. A physical entity that is shown to be completely independent of any energy-matter space-time constraints

    Okay. This is not true. Quantum entities are NOT independent of constraints.

    Quantum Information does not ‘emerge’ from any material basis.

    What does this mean, to you? That QM is magic?? (Magic, therefore there is a magician ROTFL)

    And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925

    It is a mistake to think that non-locality or non-realism are indicators that the mind creates reality. We exist mainly as macro-scale beings. Therefore we have assumptions about the world that turn out not to be true. This does not mean the world is a product of the mind!

    You seem to think that because the QM world is strange (does not conform to our large scale expectations) that therefore it cannot be natural. IOW, in your mind you are equivocating on “weird=unnatural”. However, weird to us does NOT mean that something is not natural. Do you see?

    The primary reason for this failure of General Relativity to maintain centrality, for different points of observation in the universe, is due to the fact that there are limited (10^80) material particles to work with.

    GR proceeds on the assumption that there are no privileged frames of reference. (This assumption is validated by the evidence confirming GR). No matter how many atoms there were in the universe, GR would never posit that Earth was at the centre of the universe.

    These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created

    Are they? Why?

    These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?

    In GR, there is no objective “at the same time”. Simultaneity varies depending on where you’re observing from.

    Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or
    anyone else, should exist?

    The expansion of the universe doesn’t care about you, ba77. Or me. It’s an expansion. It’s just more space. It doesn’t have feelings.

    Driver, perhaps you will just deny that materialism is at a complete loss as to explain why the universe would even ‘care’ that each of us exist

    It seems we have come off track again. I thought you were going to explain how non-locality and non-realism were proof of theism. Or have you given up on that? If so, does that mean you’re not going to link to Aspect’s experiments any more?

    If you cannot follow up on the non-locality non-reality angle, then if you can establish by rational means (and judicious links, no doubt) that the wavefunction cares about conscious observers I will convert to theism. Of course there will be a problem as to which god or gods but we will cross that bridge if we come to it.

  48. 48
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    But it’s a bit silly when talking about sexual reproduction, because we don’t have fidelity anyway – each child genome is unique.

    Why do you persist in making false claims, particularly when they are so easily shown to be false?

    Why do you, Mung, insist on inferring that I am making deliberately false claims when I have given you no reason to expect me to?

    I am perfectly capable of being mistaken; however, I would never deliberately make a false claim, whether or not it “could easily be shown to be false”. I’m not interested in false claims. Why should I be?

    And, in this instance, I’m not even sure what you are getting at. I say that in the case of sexual reproduction (as opposed to cloning) fidelity isn’t relevant anyway, because each child’s genotype is a unique combination of two parental genotypes (actually four grand-parental genotypes), and you respond to that with several quotes about cloning (i.e. cell-division) processes!

    I was talking about meiosis, and said so, explicitly. Your response is about mitosis.

    There is a difference 🙂

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    Driver, how did I know that you would find smug satisfaction in shallow lies???

  50. 50
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    For instance we now know that evolution can be quite rapid – yes, it proceeds incrementally, but the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next.

    How is that non-Darwinian?

    It isn’t! But as a summary of “NDE” which was what we were talking about, and the definition of which, in the UD glossary we were discussing, it’s very out of date!

    Pretty well all modern biology is rooted in Darwin’s basic principle. But we now know not only a lot more that Darwin did about how those mechanisms are actually implemented, but a lot more than the people who pulled together the genetic-Darwinian synthesis between 30 and 80 years ago. That’s my point.

    … the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next.

    So natural selection is the cause and it’s effects are observed how?

    Natural selection is not the cause of natural selection! And I didn’t say so. I said “the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next”. And they are observed by either correlating, in the wild, phenotypic measures (beak size, for instance, by the Grants, in the Galapagos) with environmental measures (seed size distributions, ditto), or actually manipulating the environment experimentally (e.g. predators and gravel colour as in Ender’s guppie tanks) and measuring the resulting change in some phenotypic measure (spots, in the guppies).

    But you know this, don’t you?

    about evo devo, we know that small genetic changes can result in quite large phenytopic changes.

    How is that non-Darwinian?

    It isn’t. See above, and stop moving the goal posts. We were talking about the “NDE” remember? Since then we know that evolutionary steps may not involve such tiny phenotypic changes as Darwin originally envisaged, another factor in leading is to revise our ideas of just how slowly adaptation occurs.

    You think Darwin wasn’t aware of mutant creatures?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “mutant creatures” but if you mean grossly deformed creatures I’m sure he was. But grossly deformed creatures are not usually considered as candidates for a useful heritable novelty, and, in fact, many gross deformities are not genetic but developmental. As Darwin didn’t know about genetics, he wouldn’t have know the difference anyway.

    Drift is now known to be responsible for many important changes in allele frequency over time, and adaptation is not explicitly mentioned (though it is implicit in “natural selection).

    How is that non-Darwinian?

    Again, we were talking about the “neo-Darwinian synthesis” not Darwinian evolution.

    But drift is a factor that Darwin didn’t consider as he was thinking about adaptation to the environment. Drift is non-adaptive, by definition. Although, as it may alters the fitness landscape it is important to Darwinian evolution, and a trait that becomes prevalent simply by drift may end up being selectable in the new fitness landscape.

    The obvious example is with sexual selection. A long tail may actually be disadvantageous at first, but propagate by drift. Then, precisely becauses it is advantageous, only the fittest long-tailers survive (in addition to the short-tailers). So, if a second trait for sexual attraction to long-tails happens, the offspring of those bearing the second trait will tend to be fitter, as the chances of a long-tailer being extra fit is higher than for a short-tailer.

    So long tails become beneficial, where they were originally disadvantageous and just happened, nonetheless, to propagate by drift.

    And that builds in a feedback loop, so tails get longer and longer, and you end up with a peacock.

    I’m pretty sure it was pointed out to Darwin early on that not all traits are adaptive. He didn’t seem to have a problem with that.

    and on it goes…

    Well, as I said, I wasn’t critiquing Darwin, but your linked UD glossary description of NDE, which may well be accurate, but, if so, NDE is very out of date. What the glossary describes is a poor description of the current state of understanding of evolutionary processes.

    And I simply don’t know whether people critiquing Darwin made the point that not all traits are adaptive. If so, they were correct.

  51. 51
    Driver says:

    Driver, how did I know that you would find smug satisfaction in shallow lies???

    ba77,

    Where have I lied? Point out a lie.

  52. 52
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    I was talking about meiosis, and said so, explicitly. Your response is about mitosis.

    I anticipated this response. My response was about both. You just weren’t paying attention.

    Please see my last linked:

    Meiosis Is a Special Type of Cell Division That Occurs in Sexually Reproducing Organisms

    Do you have any evidence whatsoever for you implicit assertion that the same sorts of regulation and control and error checking are not taking place during meiosis?

    Do you really expect us to believe that meiosis evolved and all of a sudden all fidelity in passing on the genetic information went out the window? I guess that’s what we’d expect if evolution was true.

    I meant to edit out the part about false claims, but not because your assertion that there is no fidelity in sexual reproduction wasn’t a false claim, and not because the claim I made about your propensity to make false claims that are easily refuted is itself not true, but rather because it was inflammatory. Unfortunately I hit Submit and it was too late.

    I apologize for the inflammatory statement. I am trying to do better.

    For the record, you are still claiming that there is no fidelity in sexual reproduction, correct? You haven’t retracted your claim?

    Mitosis maintains ploidy level, while meiosis reduces it. Meiosis may be considered a reduction phase followed by a slightly altered mitosis.

    http://www2.estrellamountain.e.....iosis.html

    The special behavior of the chromosomes in meiosis I requires some special controls. Nonetheless, passage through the cell cycle in meiosis I (as well as meiosis II, which is essentially a mitotic division) uses many of the same players,

    http://users.rcn.com/jkimball......ml#Meiosis

    compare physical differences* between nuclear divisions of MEIOSIS & MITOSIS

    so the Distinct Differences are:

    meiosis = 4 progeny cells [1 = 2 = 4]… thus 2 divisions

    mitosis = 2 daughter cells only… thus 1 cell division

    Stages of Sexual Cell Division
    same 3 phases of cell cycle… just as in asexual division

    Names of stages are same & have analogous functions

    Meiosis II… is just like mitosis [but without an S phase]

    http://www.bio.miami.edu/~cmal.....itosis.htm

    More divisions in Meiosis

    kind of cool:

    http://www.cellsalive.com/meiosis.htm

    Shall we say that you didn’t mean to say that we don’t have fidelity in sexual reproduction, but merely that:

    daughter cells are not genetically identical

    ?

  53. 53
    junkdnaforlife says:

    Driver: “then if you can establish by rational means (and judicious links, no doubt) that the wavefunction cares about conscious observers I will convert to theism.”

    This is a tough one, however, if we take a look at the Copenhagen interpretation vs. multi-worlds, decoherence etc, and we are forced to adhere to a specific interpretation (ignoring for now the possibility that none of these interpretations are true), naturally to strengthen our decision we would look for other possible correlations in another particular arenas. One possible argument for consciousness causing collapse of wave function may be found in neuroscience, with the phenomenon of nuero-plasticity, where it can be argued that mind changes brain.

    So if we consider the Copenhagen interpretation of QM, further interpreting that consciousness causes collapse, coupled with neuro-plasticity in the sense that mind changes brain, you could loosely argue that consciousness does in some way effect matter.

    Quantum mind problem:

    “There exist external observers which cannot be treated within quantum mechanics, namely human (and perhaps animal) minds, which perform measurements on the brain causing wave function collapse.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....dy_problem

    Is it consciousness and measurement different? This becomes philosophical I guess.

    “Neurological research indicates that experience can actually change both the brain’s physical structure (anatomy) and functional organization (physiology) from top to bottom.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity

  54. 54
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    I was talking about meiosis, and said so, explicitly. Your response is about mitosis.

    I anticipated this response. My response was about both. You just weren’t paying attention.

    Apologies.

    Please see my last linked:

    Meiosis Is a Special Type of Cell Division That Occurs in Sexually Reproducing Organisms

    Do you have any evidence whatsoever for you implicit assertion that the same sorts of regulation and control and error checking are not taking place during meiosis?

    I made no such assertion implicitly or explicitly. But you make my point – by using words like “error-checking” just as that glossary entry uses “mistakes” you are conveying the impression that there is a correct and incorrect process for cell replication. This is sort of reasonable in the case of mitosis, because, firstly, there is a clear “standard” against which to check fidelity of DNA reproduction, and secondly, because non-fidelity is often harmful, and, to my knowledge, not beneficial to the organism (not counting epigenetic marking, of course). But my point was that that the pejorative overtones of words like “error” and “mistake” are misleading when it comes to the germline because a) there is no single parental model, and b) the whole mix n’match process, which includes opportunities for novelty, may well have evolved because a process that promotes novel alleles benefits a population. What you call “error-checking” may have optimised at a level that ensures that allele-production is optimised for population adaptation. This remains speculative, but it’s an exciting area of research.

    Do you really expect us to believe that meiosis evolved and all of a sudden all fidelity in passing on the genetic information went out the window? I guess that’s what we’d expect if evolution was true.

    No, and I didn’t say so.

    I meant to edit out the part about false claims, but not because your assertion that there is no fidelity in sexual reproduction wasn’t a false claim, and not because the claim I made about your propensity to make false claims that are easily refuted is itself not true, but rather because it was inflammatory. Unfortunately I hit Submit and it was too late.

    No problem 🙂 Thanks for the explanation! Yeah, no edit window is a bit of a bummer.

    I apologize for the inflammatory statement. I am trying to do better.

    Thanks 🙂

    For the record, you are still claiming that there is no fidelity in sexual reproduction, correct? You haven’t retracted your claim?

    I didn’t make it! If you thought I did, then I expressed myself badly, and I would certainly like to retract the impression. My point was that fidelity isn’t the gold standard in the way it is in meiosis. The system is actually optimized to ensure optimal variance, not maximal fidelity. Hence my jibbing at talk of “mistakes”.

    Mitosis maintains ploidy level, while meiosis reduces it. Meiosis may be considered a reduction phase followed by a slightly altered mitosis.

    http://www2.estrellamountain.e…..iosis.html

    The special behavior of the chromosomes in meiosis I requires some special controls. Nonetheless, passage through the cell cycle in meiosis I (as well as meiosis II, which is essentially a mitotic division) uses many of the same players,

    http://users.rcn.com/jkimball……ml#Meiosis

    compare physical differences* between nuclear divisions of MEIOSIS & MITOSIS

    so the Distinct Differences are:

    meiosis = 4 progeny cells [1 = 2 = 4]… thus 2 divisions

    mitosis = 2 daughter cells only… thus 1 cell division

    Stages of Sexual Cell Division
    same 3 phases of cell cycle… just as in asexual division

    Names of stages are same & have analogous functions

    Meiosis II… is just like mitosis [but without an S phase]

    http://www.bio.miami.edu/~cmal…..itosis.htm

    More divisions in Meiosis

    kind of cool:

    http://www.cellsalive.com/meiosis.htm

    Shall we say that you didn’t mean to say that we don’t have fidelity in sexual reproduction, but merely that:

    daughter cells are not genetically identical

    ?

    Well, I hope what I meant is now clearer.

    See you later 🙂

  55. 55
    Mung says:

    mistakes do happen

    Well Lizzie, I’m going to put on my lawyer hat now, so feel free to go catch a movie if you find the courtroom drama boring.

    You were commenting on the description of Darwinism:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/glossary/

    You were making reference to the following statement:

    …genetic variation in populations arises by chance through mutation (it is now known to be caused sometimes by mistakes in DNA replication and via genetic recombination—the crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis).

    You objected that the term “mistake” is misleading.

    Also “mistakes” is misleading. It implies that there is a “correct” process and a “mistaken” process.

    Quibbling, are we? And it implies no such thing. There is a process by which DNA is copied (replicated).

    The result of that process may be a faithful copy of the original DNA or it may not be a faithful copy.

    Fidelity – see fide – Latin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidelity

    But you make my point – by using words like “error-checking” just as that glossary entry uses “mistakes” you are conveying the impression that there is a correct and incorrect process for cell replication.

    You are truly grasping at straws. The DNA is copied. How faithful is the copy to the original. Let’s call that fidelity. Is it somehow less faithful in meiosis than in mitosis?

    That might be just about OK when talking about cloning species like bacteria, where it might be legitimate to talk about less-than 100% faithful replication as “mistakes”, but even then “non-fidelity” would be better.

    OK. But non-fidelity implies no fidelity. And that would be false. So mistake is better. Do you have any references from the literature for your claim that “non-fidelity” would be better? Wnat me to list the sources that use “mistake”?

    You’re quibbling.

    DNA replication is a truly amazing biological phenomenon. Consider the countless number of times that your cells divide to make you who you are—not just during development, but even now, as a fully mature adult. Then consider that every time a human cell divides and its DNA replicates, it has to copy and transmit the exact same sequence of 3 billion nucleotides to its daughter cells. Finally, consider the fact that in life (literally), nothing is perfect. While most DNA replicates with fairly high fidelity, mistakes do happen, with polymerase enzymes sometimes inserting the wrong nucleotide or too many or too few nucleotides into a sequence. Fortunately, most of these mistakes are fixed through various DNA repair processes. Repair enzymes recognize structural imperfections between improperly paired nucleotides, cutting out the wrong ones and putting the right ones in their place. But some replication errors make it past these mechanisms, thus becoming permanent mutations. These altered nucleotide sequences can then be passed down from one cellular generation to the next, and if they occur in cells that give rise to gametes, they can even be transmitted to subsequent organismal generations. Moreover, when the genes for the DNA repair enzymes themselves become mutated, mistakes begin accumulating at a much higher rate.

    http://www.nature.com/scitable.....tation-409

    to be continued…

  56. 56
    Mung says:

    ME: “For the record, you are still claiming that there is no fidelity in sexual reproduction, correct? You haven’t retracted your claim?

    ELIZABETH: “I didn’t make it! If you thought I did, then I expressed myself badly, and I would certainly like to retract the impression. My point was that fidelity isn’t the gold standard in the way it is in meiosis. The system is actually optimized to ensure optimal variance, not maximal fidelity. Hence my jibbing at talk of “mistakes”.

    It is clear that the word “mistake” had as it’s referent DNA replication.

    …genetic variation in populations arises by chance through mutation (it is now known to be caused sometimes by mistakes in DNA replication and via genetic recombination—the crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis).

    If we snip that bit our what we have is:

    …genetic variation in populations arises by chance through mutation (it is now known to be caused … via genetic recombination—the crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis).

    Genetic recombination is a source of genetic variation. You find THAT objectionable?

    ME: “For the record, you are still claiming that there is no fidelity in sexual reproduction, correct?

    ELIZABETH: “I didn’t make it!

    ELIZABETH: But it’s a bit silly when talking about sexual reproduction, [keeping in mind, that what was under discussion was mistakes in DNA replication] because we don’t have fidelity anyway – each child genome is unique.

    We don’t have DNA replication fidelity in sexual reproduction?

    ELIZABETH: “I say that in the case of sexual reproduction (as opposed to cloning) fidelity isn’t relevant anyway

    Fidelity isn’t relevant in sexual reproduction?

    Please.

    ELIZABETH: “The system is actually optimized to ensure optimal variance, not maximal fidelity. Hence my jibbing at talk of “mistakes”.

    Do tell.

    We’re talking about mistakes in DNA replication right?

    So the system is designed to make lots of mistakes so we’ll have maximal variation? Wouldn’t that tend to result in a lot of dead cells?

    Optimal Variance? Oh my. Are you a closet ID supporter?

    I really do apologize about the comment on repeated false claims. If I could have taken it back I would have. But I’m not one of those who once it is said pretends like it wasn’t said.

  57. 57
    Mung says:

    LIZZIE: “… the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next.”

    MUNG: “So natural selection is the cause and it’s effects are observed how?”

    Natural selection is not the cause of natural selection! And I didn’t say so.

    I didn’t say you said natural selection was both the cause and the effect.

    I was pointing out that you had asserted that natural selection was the cause and that it’s effects could be observed.

    I said “the effects of natural selection can be observed between one generation and the next”.

    Indeed. And I wondered how we could observe it’s effects?

    And they are observed by either correlating, in the wild, phenotypic measures (beak size, for instance, by the Grants, in the Galapagos) with environmental measures (seed size distributions, ditto), or actually manipulating the environment experimentally (e.g. predators and gravel colour as in Ender’s guppie tanks) and measuring the resulting change in some phenotypic measure (spots, in the guppies).

    But you know this, don’t you?

    No, I don’t know this. At times my questions are rhetorical. At times they are of a true inquisitive nature as to something I’d like to be informed about.

    I may seem like i know everything, or that I think I know everything, but I don’t. 🙂

    Really, I am confused.

    So we look at finch beak size, and we look at seeds, and we infer that natural selection caused what? A change in beak size? A change in seed size?

    That can’t be right, can it?

    Are you sure you don’t want to talk about moths? 😉 Light moths, dark moths. Melanism.

    Did natural selection cause the dark moths?

  58. 58
    Ilion says:

    And, if one dusts around enough pepper, perhaps others will sneeze … and forget the question.

  59. 59
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    I say that in the case of sexual reproduction (as opposed to cloning) fidelity isn’t relevant anyway, because each child’s genotype is a unique combination of two parental genotypes (actually four grand-parental genotypes), and you respond to that with several quotes about cloning (i.e. cell-division) processes!

    I was talking about meiosis, and said so, explicitly. Your response is about mitosis.

    Elizabeth, do you honestly think that “cloning” plays no part in sexual reproduction?

    Elizabeth, do you honestly think that “cell division” plays no part in sexual reproduction?

    Elizabeth, just where do you think the DNA in a gamete cell comes from?

    Elizabeth, how do you think a zygote is formed? Does it involve the DNA from the two parents?

    Sexual reproduction is the creation of a new organism by combining the genetic material of two organisms. The two main processes are: meiosis, involving the halving of the number of chromosomes; and fertilization, involving the fusion of two gametes and the restoration of the original number of chromosomes. During meiosis, the chromosomes of each pair usually cross over to achieve homologous recombination.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_reproduction

    How long will you continue to maintain that fidelity is not relevant to sexual reproduction?

  60. 60
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    Elizabeth, do you honestly think that “cloning” plays no part in sexual reproduction?

    Yes. Cloning happens as a result of mitosis. Sexual reproduction involves a different process, called meiosis, which is NOT “cloning”. The reason that “cloning” exists as a word is because it is different to sexual reproduction.

    And my point was a simple, even trivial one – that using words like “mistake” to describe the products of mitosis and fertilisation is misleadingly pejorative, as one of the beneficial results (for a population) of sexual reproduction is the introduction of novelty.

    Similarly, the word “fidelity” to describe a replication process that does not involve producing a daughter outpt that is identical to either parent seems, again, a potentially misleading use of the word.

    That’s all.

    We do not disagree about the process, I’m just saying that I find the use of those words misleading in the context of sexual reproduction.

    You obviously disagree. That’s fine.

  61. 61
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Ilion @ #58

    If that was directed at me, can you tell me what question you are referring to?

    I am more than willing to attempt to answer questions, but I am more than capable of missing or forgetting them.

    A reminder or link would be appreciated, thanks.

    Lizzie

  62. 62
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    OK, sorry, Mung – I find it difficult to strike a balance between assuming people are familiar with certain evidence, and appearing to assume that people are ignorant!

    Re the finch beaks:

    I’m referring to Peter and Rosemary Grant’s work on finches in the Galapagos, as documented in Jonathan Weiner’s book, The Beak of the Finch

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beak_of_the_Finch

    They worked on the island of Daphne Major for many years, constructing a complete family tree of every finch on the island (IIRC), measuring beak sizes, and also the distribution of seed sizes, each year (El Nino years tended to result in a different distribution from non El Nino years), and noting the corresponding changes in beak size distributions following a change in seed size distributions. Weiner also talks about other comparable field studies, including Endler’s work on guppies.

    I’m trying to find a primary source for Endler’s experiments, but in the mean time, there’s a good Cliff Notes version here:

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/.....elab.shtml

    AFAIK it was the first time that natural selection had been directly observed in a true experiment (i.e. where a variable is manipulated by the experiment, enabling the direction of causality to be inferred).

    As for your moth question (and the question is germane to the other examples too):

    No, natural selection doesn’t “cause” new successful alleles to appear. But if an environment strongly favours an existing allele, (dark moths, for example, or spotted guppies, or large beaks), whether new or old , then those alleles will increase in prevalence, so that if a second allele arises (for example, one that makes a dark moth still darker, a spotty guppy spottier and a large beak larger),or already exists there will be a high probability that that allele will be inherited by some individual that already bears the first, and those individuals will be at even greater advantage in the offspring stakes.

    Essentially, a change in the environment tends to concentrate alleles that together produce a trait that is advantageous in that environment, and that both existing and any new allele be subject to that process.

  63. 63
    Chris Doyle says:

    Morning Lizzie,

    I don’t want to steal Mung’s thunder but I’ve noticed your comments about finches and moths and would like to make the following observations.

    Both varieties of the peppered moth existed before the industrial revolution. Bernard Kettlewell’s observations were faked and his population counts were flawed. The truth is, peppered moths don’t rest on tree trunks (polluted or otherwise).

    In the words of Jerry Coyne:

    “From time to time, evolutionists re-examine a classic experimental study and find, to their horror, that it is flawed or downright wrong. …Until now, however, the prize horse in our stable of examples has been the evolution of ‘industrial melanism’ in the peppered moth, Biston betularia, presented by most teachers and textbooks as the paradigm of natural selection and evolution occurring within a human lifetime. The re-examination of this tale is the centrepiece of Michael Majerus’s book, Melanism: Evolution in Action. Depressingly, Majerus shows that this classic example is in bad shape, and, while not yet ready for the glue factory, needs serious attention….”

    “Majerus concludes, reasonably, that all we can deduce from this story is that it is a case of rapid evolution, probably involving pollution and bird predation. I would, however, replace “probably” with “perhaps”. B. betularia shows the footprint of natural selection, but we have not yet seen the feet. Majerus finds some solace in his analysis, claiming that the true story is likely to be more complex and therefore more interesting, but one senses that he is *MAKING A VIRTUE OF NECESSITY*. My own reaction resembles the dismay attending my discovery, at the age of six, that it was my father and not Santa who brought the presents on Christmas Eve.” (my emphasis)

    In the words of Ken Miller:

    “Since (Kettlewell’s) work it has become clear that birds see ultraviolet much better than we do, and therefore what seems well-camouflaged to the human eye may not be to a bird. In addition, neither Kettlewell nor those who checked his work were able to compensate for the degree to which migration of moths from surrounding areas might have affected the actual numbers of light and dark moths he counted in various regions of the countryside.”

    So, when Kettlewell was heating moths up on the bonnet of his car and pinning them to trees hoping to see birds coming along to eat them, it wasn’t just contrived but also pointless: birds may be able to see through the camouflage… assuming birds are even a major predator of peppered moths in the first place. The release and count method that Kettlewell used to measure the populations of the light and dark varieties didn’t measure the actual ratio of light to dark moths, in fact it distorted it and like Miller says, didn’t allow for migration. So we don’t even know if there was a population shift in the first place, let alone natural selection.

    Perhaps the most important fact about peppered moths is that both the light moths and the dark moths belong to the same sub-species. They interbreed with each other and so there is a spectrum of colour within the peppered moth gene pool. Nature is full of creatures that belong to the same sub-species and yet vary in colour: humans are a prime example. Describing the light peppered moth as Biston Betularia and the dark peppered moth as Biston Carbonaria is entirely misleading. The latter is no more a mutant than any other dark coloured creature is. They are both Biston Betularia and, as far as we can tell, always have been. At best, peppered moths demonstrate sub-specific variation and therefore tell us nothing about evolution.

    As for finches, the Grants’ observations were as follows:

    1. In 1977, it was observed that the average beak size and depth in one variety of finch – Geospiza fortis – grew by less than 2 millimetres
    2. In 2003, it was observed that the average beak size and depth in the same variety of finch – Geospiza fortis – declined by less than 2 millimetres

    So, that is also merely sub-specific variety, and not very impressive at that considering that the finches ended up back where they started again. All 14 of the so-called different species can breed with each other. It is therefore doubtful that they are different species: after all the only difference between them all is the shape and size of their beaks (less than 4 inches variation amongst them all). This is much less variation than found in the common dog which doesn’t just belong to the same species, but the same sub-species: Canis lupus familiaris. Again, they tell us nothing about evolution.

  64. 64
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Whoa there Chris!

    First of all, I did not bring up the peppered moths, because I know that work has a peppered history!

    Second of all: my point was not that natural selection is responsible for all variety we see (although I think it is) but was a response to Mung’s request for information about how the effects of natural selection can be observed and measured. And this is exactly what the Grants’ work (and Endler’s) did – phenotypic changes were either correlated with environmental changes (Grants) or we seen to result from experimentally manipulated environmental factors (Endler).

    Thirdly: I was not talking about speciation, but about adaptation. Yes, in both cases this as adaptation within a single population

    Fourthly: in neither of these examples were the phenotypic changes related to genetics, so we don’t know whether brand new alleles, or a simply redistribution of existing alleles, was responsible for the phenotypic chances. However, we know that brand new alleles do arise (so we can’t rule that out) and we also know, from fruitfly experiments, that adaptation can result from brand new alleles.

    We also know this from Lenski’s E coli experiments, but bacteria are non-sexually reproducing, we have to be careful about generalising. For one thing, bacteria don’t actually speciate in the sense that sexually reproducing species do.

    As for the oscillations in beak sizes observed by the Grants – yes that was one of their most exciting observations IMO – the observation that adaptation can oscillate from generation to generation, and does not require accumulations of changes over time before measurable phenotypic effects of adaptation are seen.

    And the interesting thing of course is that oscillation in response to oscillating environmental conditions implies a lively dynamic system that is potentially responsive to longer term changes. The Grants found that the oscillations were correlated with seed-size distributions which in turn were correlated with El Nino events, which, though unpredictable, nonetheless have a predictable frequency. Change that frequency and you’d expect to see lower frequency changes in finch beak sizes, would you not?

    However, I take it that your main source of skepticism is whether any of the phenotypic changes were due to new alleles, or just a redistribution of old ones.

    I don’t know the answer to that, in the case of the finches. But I agree it’s an important question when it comes to extrapolating from oscillatory adaptation to steady movement in a single direction (from land based mammals to marine, for example).

    Which is why work on how new alleles arise is so interesting.

  65. 65
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    PS: re dogs – can chihuahuas breed with Great Danes?

    If not, are they still the same sub-species?

    And a further point: a “subspecies” division isn’t really different from a “species” division, except in terms of how long its been since the populations interbred. We are running out of names (like “genus” and “species” and “class” etc) because there’s no reason to suppose the nesting will ever end. Yes, dogs will always be dogs, but, over time, “dog” may cover the same amount of variety that “mammal” does now”.

    Therefore, I’d say that domestic dogs are, in fact, speciating. We can call it a sub-sub-species if you like, but that’s not really necessary, except for taxonomic convenience. “Speci…” words work better as verbs than nouns!

  66. 66
    Chris Doyle says:

    Forgive me Lizzie, I didn’t mean to come across as jumping all over you. I just wanted to wave a rather large flag about moths and finches!

    I think we have to make a distinction between:

    1. Trivial population shifts: the kind that occurs within a pre-existing, limited gene pool and,
    2. Natural selection: the kind that is responsible for the variety we see between, say, a shrew-like common ancestor of mammals and humans.

    To cite evidence for the former as having any relevance to the latter is, IMHO, plainly wrong.

    Likewise, we have to make a distinction between:

    1. Adaptation within a single population: the kind that occurs within a pre-existing, limited gene pool and,
    2. Random mutation: the kind that is responsible for the variety we see between, say, a shrew-like common ancestor of mammals and humans.

    Once again, to cite evidence for the former as having any relevance to the latter is, also IMHO, plainly wrong. To get excited about oscillating finch beaks (less than 2mm oscillation all in) really goes to show how desperate evolutionists have become in the search for any kind of supportive evidence! Leave behind the a priori commitment to evolution and what do you really have here? Confirmation of something we already know: that we’re not all clones and that sub-specific variation is limited and works within the confines of a norm that species tend to return to.

    We can rule out “brand new alleles” in the case of peppered moths and finches for the reasons already provided in my original post. We can also rule out “brand new alleles” in the case of Lenski’s E-coli experiments. E. coli has several pre-existing enzymes that use and digest citrate, especially in the absence of oxygen. The only problem E. coli normally has is bringing citrate through its membrane in the presence of oxygen. Nonetheless, E. coli (outside of the LTEE) has been identified which can do just this thanks to an over-expressed protein. There are also plasmids which perform the same function on its behalf.

    And the take home point about Chihuahuas and Great Danes is this: Natural Selection couldn’t manage that kind of variation in millions of years. It required the vastly more powerful variation of Artificial Selection. Without our intervention, there would still be no such thing as Chihuahuas and Great Danes. So, if evolution cannot achieve significant sub-specific variation in dogs, then what chance does it have of turning a single-celled common ancestor into a human being? None whatsoever.

  67. 67
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    No problem Chris! I didn’t mean to suggest you were!

    It was “whoa! hang on a bit, I haven’t got there yet!”, not “whoa! I can’t cope!”

    But you say we should distinguish between:

    1. Trivial population shifts: the kind that occurs within a pre-existing, limited gene pool and,
    2. Natural selection: the kind that is responsible for the variety we see between, say, a shrew-like common ancestor of mammals and humans.

    Well, maybe, but the important distinction is not, I would argue, between natural selection (2) and something too trivial to be natural selection (1). Both are natural selection.

    Where I think you are making a valid distinction (or what would be, IMO a more valid distinction!) is between selection of pre-existing genetic variation and selection on new alleles.

    And I think you are claiming that the former is responsible for (1) and is “trivial” as it can do no more than oscillate between limits imposed by existing allelic variation in the population, and that only the latter could be responsible for (2) and would be too slow.

    Is that fair enough?

    And yes, I agree, that for significant net change to occur that moves a population, for example, from shrew-like things to humans, you do need to have brand new alleles! And, indeed, new genes.

    So, how do we find out at what rate potentially useful (i.e. selectable) novelty arises?

    There’s an interesting fairly recent review paper here, btw, if you can access it, on exactly that subject:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....4707002868

    Once again, to cite evidence for the former as having any relevance to the latter is, also IMHO, plainly wrong. To get excited about oscillating finch beaks (less than 2mm oscillation all in) really goes to show how desperate evolutionists have become in the search for any kind of supportive evidence! Leave behind the a priori commitment to evolution and what do you really have here? Confirmation of something we already know: that we’re not all clones and that sub-specific variation is limited and works within the confines of a norm that species tend to return to.

    Well, you may have already known it, but it was pretty exciting to me to see it confirmed! However, I agree that it makes sense, and it doesn’t demonstrate that allelic novelty was involved. However I would certainly disagree that “it shows how desperate evolutionists have become”! What was pretty exciting was that whereas previously, Darwin had suggested that effects of adaptation would only be observed over millions of years, and therefore be unobservable within the life time of any living scientist (by many orders of magnitude!) here was evidence that his theory actually worked, observable from generation to generation!

    But as I keep saying, Darwin’s theory did not address the origins of heritable variety, merely the selection of it. So to that extent, yes, I guess the Grants’s work wasn’t that big a deal.

    We can rule out “brand new alleles” in the case of peppered moths and finches for the reasons already provided in my original post.

    Sorry, I missed that – why can we rule out “brand new alleles” in those examples? I mean, you may be correct, but can you explain why?

    We can also rule out “brand new alleles” in the case of Lenski’s E-coli experiments. E. coli has several pre-existing enzymes that use and digest citrate, especially in the absence of oxygen. The only problem E. coli normally has is bringing citrate through its membrane in the presence of oxygen. Nonetheless, E. coli (outside of the LTEE) has been identified which can do just this thanks to an over-expressed protein. There are also plasmids which perform the same function on its behalf.

    I’m not actually sure that “allele” is a term applicable to bacterial genetics, though I may be wrong. But there’s no mix’n’matching so the scenario is different – evolution is not so much a question of changes in “allele frequency” as “genotype frequency”. So let’s drop the term for this example, and just use “mutation”. Are you saying that the adaptation was not caused by a mutation? What else could it have been?

    And the take home point about Chihuahuas and Great Danes is this: Natural Selection couldn’t manage that kind of variation in millions of years. It required the vastly more powerful variation of Artificial Selection. Without our intervention, there would still be no such thing as Chihuahuas and Great Danes. So, if evolution cannot achieve significant sub-specific variation in dogs, then what chance does it have of turning a single-celled common ancestor into a human being? None whatsoever.

    Why couldn’t natural selection achieve this in millions of years? Artificial selection works on just the same amount of allelic variation (either standing or new) as natural selection does, so there’s no difference at that end.

    Now, instead of breeders, strand your original dogs on different islands, each with different habitats. Why shouldn’t each island population adapt to its unique environment just as chihuahuas adapted to the unique environment posed by the whims of chihuahua breeders? You have already conceded that the natural variation on which either form of selection acts is the same in both cases, right?

    (I’m slightly puzzled here, because you seem to have reversed your argument in mid flow!)

    Gotta do something else – will check in later!

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  68. 68
    Chris Doyle says:

    Hi Lizzie,

    Clearly, I disagree that “trivial population shifts” are Natural Selection. You can only advance this claim if you redefine Natural Selection to mean “that which occurs whenever things are born and whenever things die”. It wasn’t Darwin who said “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing” and he certainly didn’t have such an all-encompassing definition of Natural Selection in mind either.

    However, I think we both agree (though qualification may be required) with the distinction between:

    1. “Selection of pre-existing genetic variation” (which is what people often have in mind when they think of ‘micro-evolution’, I prefer the term ‘sub-specific variety’) and,
    2. “Selection on new alleles” (this is more like ‘macro-evolution’, I prefer the term ‘evolution’)

    Before we start trying to determine “at what rate potentially useful novelty arises”, I would like to know, what grounds do we have to believe that any useful novelty arises? And, even if we have grounds to believe in useful novelty, I would then like to know, what grounds do we have to believe that any *macro-evolutionarily significant* novelty arises (ie. that required to produce a human out of a single-celled common ancestor)?

    I’m afraid I still can’t see how anyone can get excited over 2 millimetres! Especially when artificial selection yields much more exciting (albeit macro-evolutionarily insignificant) results. To describe an (on average) 2mm oscillation as an “effect of adaptation” is seriously overplaying the evidence. I can understand why the Grants have overplayed the evidence. After all, they were hoping to see a continuing expansion of the beaks beyond 2mm. They had to pretend that they weren’t disappointed when the beaks returned to their original average size again. Darwin certainly did not predict that the effects of adaptation could be undone as though they never happened in the first place!

    Why can we rule out “brand new alleles” in peppered moths? Because, dark peppered moths have been around for as long as light peppered moths as far we can tell. And “describing the light peppered moth as Biston Betularia and the dark peppered moth as Biston Carbonaria is entirely misleading. The latter is no more a mutant than any other dark coloured creature is. They are both Biston Betularia and, as far as we can tell, always have been.”

    Why can we rule out “brand new alleles” in 2mm finch beak oscilliation? Well, why would you rule them in? Variations in the size of any body part, in any creature, are perfectly accounted for with-in the pre-existing gene pool wouldn’t you agree? Given that we’re talking about a tiny, insignificant oscillation in this case there is absolutely no need to look for a “brand new allele” (unless there is a desire to overplay the evidence).

    Yes, you’re quite right, talk of “brand new alleles” is clumsy in the case of E-coli in Lenski’s LTEE. Prokaryotic gene pools are certainly more flexible and nebulous than eukaryotic gene pools. I consider things like plasmids and bacteriophages to be components of the prokaryotic gene pool. I would even argue that just the *potential* of point mutations in prokaryotes is something that we should consider as being a part of a prokaryotic gene pool too. So, when Lenski’s E-coli ‘rediscovered’ the means to bring citrate through its membrane in the presence of oxygen, this was an adaptation that may have been caused by a ‘mutation’ (ie. a point mutation resulting in an over-expressed protein) but one that we can still consider a part of the pre-existing E-coli gene pool. I appreciate that, at first glance, you might consider this move a bit cheeky on my part! However, all too often, I believe people dwell on so-called evolutionary adaptation in bacteria without dwelling on the very obvious, and to my mind, more significant, limits to adaptation in bacteria. The ‘wider’ gene pool I propose for bacteria explains these observations. Particularly when set against the backdrop of a message I posted to Ellazimm (gone, but not forgotten!) back on the ‘Forrest part 1’ thread:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-383560

    You ask me why natural selection couldn’t create Chihuahuas and Great Danes in millions of years. I answer: because it didn’t. It needs, dare I say, the Intelligent Design of Artificial Selection to create such dramatic variation in dogs. We know what we’re doing, we can be picky and creative. Nature (especially defined as “things being born and things dying”) doesn’t. It is blind and stupid. This is a fundamental difference between Artificial Selection and Natural Selection – and the emphasis is on how the selection is achieved, not what the selection is acting on. Another way to illustrate it is this. Nature – through erosion, etc – can make peculiar shapes out of rock. But it could never build anything as amazing as Stonehenge.

    I do not deny that sub-specific variety occurs in nature and that this allows a limited degree of adaptation to particular habitats. Indeed, I would argue that part of the design of gene pools is to give creatures added flexibility should they ever need it. But, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Natural Selection is anywhere near as powerful as Artificial Selection. The fact that it required the input of our Intelligent Design before this planet ever saw variety in things like dogs is compelling evidence that Natural Selection isn’t capable of achieving anything macro-evolutionarily significant.

  69. 69
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Chris:

    Clearly, I disagree that “trivial population shifts” are Selection. You can only advance this claim if you redefine Natural Selection to mean “that which occurs whenever things are born and whenever things die”. It wasn’t Darwin who said “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing” and he certainly didn’t have such an all-encompassing definition of Natural Selection in mind either.

    But natural selection (as I am using the term) doesn’t “explain everything”. The reason these examples are clear evidence of natural selection (as Darwin defined it) is that in both the Grants’ work and Endler’s work, the population shifts (i.e. mean measures of some phenotypic feature, reflecting, almost certainly, a change in allele frequency) was directly correlated with environmental change.

    That’s what natural selection is – it’s differential reproduction attributable to heritable variance in the ability to survive and breed.

    If it were not correlated with environmental chance it could be mere “drift” – stochastic fluctuations in allele frequencies between generations.

    Yes, it’s on a very small scale, and yes, its possible (but not certain) that no new alleles were involved, but it is most certainly “natural selection” by any definition of the term! Certainly by Darwin’s.

    It has a very specific meaning, and it applies here.

    However, I think we both agree (though qualification may be required) with the distinction between:

    1. “Selection of pre-existing genetic variation” (which is what people often have in mind when they think of ‘micro-evolution’, I prefer the term ‘sub-specific variety’) and,
    2. “Selection on new alleles” (this is more like ‘macro-evolution’, I prefer the term ‘evolution’)

    Well, I would dispute this. There is no evidence to think that whether or not an allele is recent or long-standing makes any difference to the process allele frequencies change, except that new alleles start from a number disadvantage. You are right of course, that the greater the phenotypic distance, as it were, travelled by a population, the more sure we must be that at least some new alleles have come on board since the start of the journey, but to assign new alleles to one effect (“macro evolution”) and long-standing alleles to a different one (micro-evolution) is not carving nature at its joints!

    In fact, I don’t think nature carves that way at all.

    Yes, we can distinguish between new alleles and new advantages for old alleles, and we can also distinguish between longitudinal adaptation and speciation, and we can also distinguish between oscillatory adaptation from generation to generation and net adaptation to long term environmental changes, but those divisions don’t map on to each other one-to-one. Both new and old alleles can contribute to all three; long term adaptation to long term changes in the environment can happen without speciation; speciation can occur without marked phenotypic changes.

    Before we start trying to determine “at what rate potentially useful novelty arises”, I would like to know, what grounds do we have to believe that any useful novelty arises?

    Fair enough! A fair bit, I would say – were you able to read that review article? I don’t know whether it is open access or not.

    And, even if we have grounds to believe in useful novelty, I would then like to know, what grounds do we have to believe that any *macro-evolutionarily significant* novelty arises (ie. that required to produce a human out of a single-celled common ancestor)?

    Well no-one thinks you can get a human being out of a single-celled ancestor with a single new allele for an existing gene! (As I am sure you are aware.)

    But yes, it’s an important question.

    Gotta run

    Lizzie

  70. 70
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    Why couldn’t natural selection achieve this in millions of years?

    I’m sorry, but it’s not up to us to answer question of the nature, “why could natural selection not do this or that.”

    As has been pointed out to you, this is a standard ploy engaged in by Darwinists tracing back to Charles Darwin himself.

    It is up to you to show that it can, and in fact did.

  71. 71
    Mung says:

    But natural selection (as I am using the term) doesn’t “explain everything”. The reason these examples are clear evidence of natural selection (as Darwin defined it) is that in both the Grants’ work and Endler’s work, the population shifts (i.e. mean measures of some phenotypic feature, reflecting, almost certainly, a change in allele frequency) was directly correlated with environmental change.

    That’s what natural selection is – it’s differential reproduction attributable to heritable variance in the ability to survive and breed.

    If it were not correlated with environmental chance it could be mere “drift” – stochastic fluctuations in allele frequencies between generations.

    Fourthly: in neither of these examples were the phenotypic changes related to genetics, so we don’t know whether brand new alleles, or a simply redistribution of existing alleles, was responsible for the phenotypic chances.

    So the effect that was observed was a change in beak size? Did the beaks gradually get larger?

    Or was the effect that was observed an increase in the number of finches with a specific beak size and a reduction in the number of finches in the same interbreeding population with an even larger beak?

    Or was the effect that was observed an increase in the number of finches with a specific beak size and a reduction in the number of finches in the same interbreeding population with a smaller beak?

    Still trying to figure out the precise effect that was observed.

    But whatever it was that was observed, the Grants also observed changes in seed size. And they believe the change in beak size was significantly correlated to the change in seed size.

    And they said that therefore one caused the other, and then claimed they had shown natural selection in action?

    By which they meant differential reproduction?

  72. 72
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    Yes. Cloning happens as a result of mitosis. Sexual reproduction involves a different process, called meiosis, which is NOT “cloning”. The reason that “cloning” exists as a word is because it is different to sexual reproduction.

    Is that supposed to be an argument?

    Cloning is not the same as sexual reproduction? OK.

    Meiosis is not cloning. OK

    Mitosis is cloning?

    You’re a little vague on that, since you say cloning happens as a result of mitosis.

    And your argument is that sexual reproduction does not involve mitosis?

    Therefore sexual reproduction does not have fidelity? Because only cloning has fidelity?

    So there’s no fidelity involved in meiosis? It’s just helter skelter copy and paste?

    ELIZABETH: But it’s a bit silly when talking about sexual reproduction, because we don’t have fidelity anyway – each child genome is unique.

    ELIZABETH: “I say that in the case of sexual reproduction (as opposed to cloning) fidelity isn’t relevant anyway…”

  73. 73
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    So the effect that was observed was a change in beak size? Did the beaks gradually get larger?

    Mean beak size increased in the population following an increase in mean seed size.

    Or was the effect that was observed an increase in the number of finches with a specific beak size and a reduction in the number of finches in the same interbreeding population with an even larger beak?

    The distribution of beak size was continuous.

    Or was the effect that was observed an increase in the number of finches with a specific beak size and a reduction in the number of finches in the same interbreeding population with a smaller beak?

    As I said, the distribution was continuous (no “specific beak sizes”) and the mean changed.

    Still trying to figure out the precise effect that was observed.

    But whatever it was that was observed, the Grants also observed changes in seed size. And they believe the change in beak size was significantly correlated to the change in seed size.

    Well, it wasn’t a credo, it was a finding.

    And they said that therefore one caused the other, and then claimed they had shown natural selection in action?

    Greater prevalence in larger seeds doesn’t “cause” beaks to become larger – what causes beaks to be larger is probably alleles of genes that govern beak development (i.e. the expression of other genes during development). What “caused” the differential reproduction by beak size (more chicks from larger-beaked parents, fewer chicks from smaller-beaked parents) was deaths due to shortage of small seeds. And this, in turn, altered mean beak size in the population.

    It’s a fascinating book, and I am doing this from recall, but the amazing thing about the Grants work was that they literally knew every finch on the island, its parentage, who it mated with, how many chicks each pair managed to raise, and, of course, what all the beak sizes were.

    By which they meant differential reproduction?

    Yes. Do read the book. It’s a very well written account of an amazing piece of longitudinal research.

  74. 74
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Mung:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    Why couldn’t natural selection achieve this in millions of years?

    I’m sorry, but it’s not up to us to answer question of the nature, “why could natural selection not do this or that.”

    As has been pointed out to you, this is a standard ploy engaged in by Darwinists tracing back to Charles Darwin himself.

    It is up to you to show that it can, and in fact did.

    Well, no, it isn’t.

    You are making the claim that a mechanism that we observe occuring at directly observable time scales, cannot occur over non-directly observable time scales, even though predictions made from that extrapolation are supported by palaentological and genetic evidence, than you need to support the claim.

    Newton, famously, stated that a moving body would keep moving until something stopped it.

    We have shown a moving body. You have claimed it must stop after a certain distance. Therefore, you must show what would stop it,

    because it is your claim.

    Where is the “friction” that would necessarily stop a population continuously adapting to a changing environment?

    Where is the “friction” that would necessarily stop two diverging sub-populations from continuing to adapt to different environmental conditions independently, indefinitely?

    Of course we know that a very large proportion of all populations end in extinction. But we also know that a minority continue (at least we do if we accept common descent). What barrier are you proposing that would necessarily stop this happening?

  75. 75
    Mung says:

    Ah. You’re back!

    Beak size changed. This was caused by differential reproductive success?

    You don’t know.

    There’s a gene that determines beak size, and this gene increased in the population?

    No no no. G-d. I’m an idiot.

    There must be many genes for beak size. We’re talking about a ‘mean’ here.

    The genes for larger beak sizes must have been preferentially selected.

    The genes for the larger beak sizes must have increased in frequency in the population.

    And the evidence is?

    There was a larger proportion of larger beaks in the population than smaller beaks.

    I’m not impressed.

    Neither should anyone else be.

    We really don’t know whether this was evolution or natural selection in action or not.

    It’s speculation posing as science.

  76. 76
    Mung says:

    You are making the claim that a mechanism that we observe occuring at directly observable time scales, cannot occur over non-directly observable time scales, even though predictions made from that extrapolation are supported by palaentological and genetic evidence, than you need to support the claim.

    Finch beaks? You observed a change in the mean size of beaks in a population of finches over time?

    What are the predictions supported by extrapolations from changes in that finch beak size?

    And from this you extrapolate that beaks can turn into something else?

    Are you daft!?

    Newton, famously, stated that a moving body would keep moving until something stopped it.

    We have shown a moving body. You have claimed it must stop after a certain distance. Therefore, you must show what would stop it,

    Death. Death would stop it.

    Your “moving body” is a finch beak.

    You claim that a finch beak can grow as small or as large as whatever. You don’t say which. And then you say it is up to me to show that a finch beak cannot grow that large or that small.

    You’re insane.

  77. 77
    Clive Hayden says:

    My money is on the finch beak growing so large that the whole bird turns into a sea turtle. 😉

  78. 78
    Chris Doyle says:

    You missed a bit, Clive. This is oscillating evolution so that means the turtle will evolve back into a finch again if you fund the Grants for long enough!

  79. 79
    Chris Doyle says:

    You missed a bit, Clive. This is oscillating evolution so that means the turtle will evolve back into a finch again if you fund the Grants for long enough!

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