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Geneticist W.-E. Loennig replies to Darwinist Nick Matzke: Which is more important: Darwin or facts?

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Utrie the (even more) Vulgar: Can you just cut the jawboning and throw somebody into my tank?

In “Remember that Darwin-eating plant? Now threatening to eat Nick Matzke … ” (September 3, 2011), we posted geneticist Wolf-Ekkehard Loennig’s objections to Berkeley evolutionary biologist Nick Matzke’s assurances that Darwin explains carnivorous plants. Indeed, Dr. Loennig betrays a hint of impatience, remarking,

Foto von Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig am 05.02.2001

 

Matzke still doesn’t seem to have carefully studied my extensive paper yet, but he is still complaining that others know nothing on that topic and keeps on talking some nonsense promoting some half-baked ideas.

Nick Matzke replied, Eh? The following is what I said before.

Amongst anyone who knows anything about this topic, it is well-known that the general pattern is that carnivorous plants live in nutrient-poor environments, and use the insect to supplement their nutrient diet. Sometimes the limiting nutrient might not be nitrogren, it might be phosphorous or something else. Aquatic Utricularia typically live in oligotrophic freshwater environments, but they might even be getting a carbon advantage in addition to nutrients. Doesn’t matter to the basic story. Sometimes the carnivorous plants can grow apparently fine without eating any insects, but — and Darwin was the first to do experiments to support this, IIRC — plants that get insects produce more seeds (which require big nutrient investments), which is a rather obvious reproductive advantage. So this doesn’t change the basic story either. Another complexity is that other, non-carnivorous plants can grow in carnivorous plant habitat — but it looks like the carnivorous plants have a growth advantage after the environment is disturbed, e.g. by fire, i.e. CPs are early successional plants, without regular disturbance they eventually get shaded out by slower-growing competitors. Still doesn’t change the basic story.

Nothing you have posted even contradicts it. Saying that carnivorous plants tend to be found in nutrient-poor environments is not the same thing as saying that everything that lives in nutrient-poor habitats ought to be carnivorous. There are various ways to survive in nutrient-poor habitats. One is being carnivorous. Another is being slow-growing.

Do you deny that there are experiments that show that fed carnivorous plants tend to produce more seeds? Do you deny that carnivorous plants tend to be found in nutrient-poor habitats?

If you can’t even admit these basic points, why should scientists take you seriously?

And — under an ID hypothesis, what is carnivory for?? You don’t get to say “it’s a design for improving the plant’s nutrition”, not if you sit here bashing that idea apparently because you will bash anything that Darwin came up with, right or wrong.

UD News is unaware that Darwin came up with a theory of carnivorous plants, but that’s excusable, because neither was Darwin, it seems. Nor Wallace.

But now, over to Dr. Loennig, to reply:

1) Concerning adaptation an illustration: Rowboats are adapted to water – so all rowboats are derived from other boats or land vehicles by variation and selection without any design at all?
Does such a scenario not presuppose the very thing to be explained? Does the addition that there are many other kinds of boats and ships without rudders but with sails or motors (or in combination of all three) all adapted to the same environment (water) prove or weaken the no-design-hypothesis?
2) Application to carnivores: According to the synthetic theory (neo-Darwinism) there is no link between a specific environment and the generation of correspondingly functional DNA-sequences. Is it scientifically correct and fruitful to simply take it for granted that random variation has accomplished it in all cases of living beings (including the carnivores) without asking the question whether it really can and has in fact done so?
3) Most carnivorous plant researchers – all evolutionary biologists sensu lato – have noted (often independently of each other) some basic problems associated with the origin of many of these species for more than 100 years now:
Charles Kingsley (1871), Karl Goebel (1928-33), Francis E. Lloyd (1942/2007), T. Schmucker und G. Linnemann (1959), A. Slack (1986, 2001), Pierre Jolivet (1987), Peter Taylor (1989/1994), A. Remane, V. Storch und U. Welsch (1989), D’Amato (1998, p. XIX: “…how these species actually evolved is still the deepest of mysteries“), J. und P. Pietropaolo (1986/2001)F. Rivadavia, K. Kondo, M. Kato and M. Hasebe (2003, p. 123: “…the evolution of leaves with trap systems from noncarnivorous ones is mysterious, and there are no widely accepted hypotheses“), Lecoufle (2006), Rice (2006), Fleischmann (2010, p. 1143: “…the evolutionary origins of the Utricularia trap remain incompletely understood.” For the details see again http://www.weloennig.de/Utricularia2010.pdf
4) If these evolutionary researchers are correct – is Nick Matzke’s message – that all origin problems are (or at least will be) solved within the present evolutionary framework
and that there are no scientific reasons to ever doubt it – not perhaps a bit premature?
5) Why does Nick not answer Nachtwey’s questions on the evolution of Utricularia’s trap? Suction in half a millisecond: How did the trap become watertight and functional as a suction trap with all its synorganized anatomical and physiological details by a series of random ‘micromutations’ with slight or even invisible effects on the phenotype (Mayr)?
6) My list of carnivorous plants not occurring in nutrient deficient environments is constantly growing. None of the 7 Utricularia species of Middle Europe occurs at extremely nutrient deficient biotopes. In fact, 6 of them are regularly to be found almost only in mesotrophic to eutrophic environments and the 7th can also be met in mesotrophic localities. (Matzke’s statement “Aquatic Utricularia typically live in oligotrophic freshwater environments” is untrue in all these cases.) As to Pinguicula in general with almost 100 speciesextremely nutrient poor localities are avoided” (Caspar).
So what about adaptation per se as quoted above in such cases? More details in the link already mentioned.
7) Peer review. The paper by Lönnig and Becker (2004/2007) on Carnivorous Plants is peer reviewed.
8 ) Although N. Matzke uses expressions like “silly”, “scientists detest creationism/ID”, “your complete anti-intellectualism” etc. – in a second thought I would have avoided language like “nonsense” and “half-baked”, for it doesn’t help to understand each other.
Much, really much more could be said about Nick’s comments – but in fact most of them have already been answered at length in http://www.weloennig.de/Utricularia2010.pdf

UD News takes this view: What scientists consider a problem and what they consider a solution depends on their prior commitments. Nick Matzke knows that Darwinism is true, and that evidence-based doubt is an assault on science itself. W.-E. Lonnig is looking at a life form whose current state is clearly not due to Darwinian mechanisms – and whose circumstances are misstated in order to protect the full explanatory adequacy of Darwin’s theory. So he keeps arguing the facts.

Finally, readers must decide for themselves whether Darwin or facts is more important.

See also: Remember that Darwin-eating plant? Now threatening to eat Nick Matzke …

Carnivorous plants: After eating Darwin, they couldn’t resist further culinary adventures

The plants that eat vertebrate animals

Carnivorous plants: The 200-year headache.

46 Replies to “Geneticist W.-E. Loennig replies to Darwinist Nick Matzke: Which is more important: Darwin or facts?

  1. 1
    markf says:

    My goodness – there must be very debates which meet your strict criteria of rationality including agreed upon premises. I did as you suggested and searched on “biblical arguments morality” but couldn’t find any. Presumably you are familiar with several – so maybe you could just give me the link instead of making me do a difficult search.

  2. 2
    News says:

    markf, did your comment by any chance get appended to the wrong post? 😉

  3. 3
    markf says:

    You are right – thanks. I have no idea why. I will correct it and try again.

    Mark

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Nick, it seems that Dr. Loennig has exposed your ‘Darwinian magic’ for the lack of support that it has:

    When good magic goes bad – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5aNXa3lEhU

    Don’t worry Nick, keep studying,,,, I’m sure with practice that you can deceive gullible people with the best of Darwinists! 🙂

  5. 5
    Jammer says:

    Loennig over Matzke by first round knockout.

  6. 6
    News says:

    In fairness, Matzke doesn’t really know much about carnivorous plants, whereas Loennig is clearly an expert.

    Matzke has a tendency to rely on pseudo-experts, which can play him false.

    His best bet right now, to event he score, would be to bring in a real expert on his side.

  7. 7
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Continued silliness. The generalization that carnivorous plants tend to live in nutrient-poor environments applies to Utricularia as well. There might be some exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions to the general rule.

    We need look no farther than Wikipedia:

    Distribution and habitat

    Utricularia can survive almost anywhere where there is fresh water for at least part of the year; only Antarctica and some oceanic islands have no native species. The greatest species diversity for the genus is seen in South America, with Australia coming a close second.[1] In common with most carnivorous plants, they grow in moist soils which are poor in dissolved minerals, where their carnivorous nature gives them a competitive advantage; terrestrial varieties of Utricularia can frequently be found alongside representatives of the carnivorous genera–Sarracenia, Drosera and others–in very wet areas where continuously moving water removes most soluble minerals from the soil.

    Although, if you like, I could start quoting experts which even Loennig would agree are experts (since he cites their work at various points in his monograph). I have all of the major works on CPs.

    Now, I am happy to debate carnivorous plant evolution with folks, but there is really no point if you guys (and Loennig) can’t accept basic facts of the case without obfuscation and insult. This question must be answered before any further discussion on the evolution of carnivorous plants can take place: is the above statement basically correct, or not?

  8. 8
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    By the way — while we are talking about expertise here, it is worth pointing out that Peter Taylor (1989), the world’s biggest authority on Utricularia, made a mistake when he cited Kingsley, and Loennig, quoted above, copied the mistake.

    The Peter Taylor quote (1989, p. 40) is:

    It does not seem possible to me to say, of the Utricularia trap, which of the many types could be judged primitive or advanced. An apparently simple or complex exterior gives us, or at least me, no inkling as to how this evolved or perhaps more importantly, why the extraordinary diversity we see was necessary. However I cannot, unlike Charles Kingsley (1872, p. 314), dismiss the idea of evolution and accept that, in all their complexity, they were simultaneously created.”

    However, if you know anything about Kingsley, you know he was a pro-Darwin theistic evolutionist, not a creationist. Therefore, years ago I looked up the Kingsley reference. Here’s what Kingsley says:

    The soil of the Savanna was a poor sandy clay, treacherous, and often impassable for horses, being half dried above and wet beneath. The vegetation grew, not over the whole, but in innumerable tussocks, which made walking very difficult. The type of the rushes and grasses was very English; but among them grew, here and there, plants which excited my astonishment; above all, certain Bladder- worts, {259c} which I had expected to find, but which, when found, were so utterly unlike any English ones, that I did not recognise at first what they were. Our English Bladder-worts, as everybody knows, float in stagnant water on tangles of hair-like leaves, something like those of the Water-Ranunculus, but furnished with innumerable tiny bladders; and this raft supports the little scape of yellow snapdragon-like flowers. There are in Trinidad and other parts of South America Bladder-worts of this type. But those which we found to-day, growing out of the damp clay, were more like in habit to a delicate stalk of flax, or even a bent of grass, upright, leafless or all but leafless, with heads of small blue or yellow flowers, and carrying, in one species, a few very minute bladders about the roots, in another none at all. A strange variation from the normal type of the family; yet not so strange, after all, as that of another variety in the high mountain woods, which, finding neither ponds to float in nor swamp to root in, has taken to lodging as a parasite among the wet moss on tree-trunks; not so strange, either, as that of yet another, which floats, but in the most unexpected spots, namely, in the water which lodges between the leaf-sheaths of the wild pines, perched on the tree-boughs, a parasite on parasites; and sends out long runners, as it grows, along the bough, in search of the next wild pine and its tiny reservoirs.

    In the face of such strange facts, is it very absurd to guess that these Utricularias, so like each other in their singular and highly specialised flowers, so unlike each other in the habit of the rest of the plant, have started from some one original type perhaps long since extinct; and that, carried by birds into quite new situations, they have adapted themselves, by natural selection, to new circumstances, changing the parts which required change–the leaves and stalks; but keeping comparatively unchanged those which needed no change–the flowers?

    This is a pro-evolution statement, not an antievolution one. Taylor probably misread the last paragraph, transposing “is it” into “it is” accidentally. Loennig copied this mistake.

    It is true that expressions of mystification about the origin of Utricularia can be found throughout the literature. But Kingsley isn’t one of them.

    For an idea about how the trap did evolve, see:

    http://www.bacps.org/2005Spring.html

  9. 9
    ScottAndrews says:

    Cacti tend to live in dry environments, with a few exceptions. Fish tend to live immersed in water, with a few exceptions. If, for the sake of argument, carnivorous tend to live in nutrient-poor environments, what difference would it make?

  10. 10
    ScottAndrews says:

    From the above-referenced link:

    Initially, this may appear to be a speculative and complicated model. However, at every stage the model is supported by analogies to living traps and/or direct phylogenetic evidence, and no unusual evolutionary processes seem to be required even for the most extraordinary trap of Utricularia.

    Rather than providing evidence of darwinian evolution on its own, this example requires the acceptance that evolutionary processes are not “unusual” to rise above being “speculative.”

    Read this again: “…and no unusual evolutionary processes seem to be required…” Are no unusual evolutionary processes required, or does it only “seem” that way? Why the uncertainty? That’s about as convincing as handful of Jell-O. I also appreciate the implied allowance for unspecified “unusual evolutionary processes” if such are required.

    One more gem:

    Folding over the lip of the entrance to form a one-way door would reduce both prey escape and nutrient loss. However, once a door is added to a lobster-pot with suction capability, a suction trap has been produced, and with this sophisticated trap in place the massive radiation of Utricularia into hundreds of species could proceed.

    Just add a one-way door with suction capability to the pot, and a sophisticated trap is in place! And I thought this stuff was complicated.

    Please, tell us another “real scientists” story!

  11. 11
    News says:

    In Canada, it turns out it’s not a general rule. We were told that in order to stave off the fall of Darwinism. Actually, the most likely explanation is, once a plant has acquired carnivory (how?), it is at no disadvantage when conditions improve. Perhaps, the opposite.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Nick, I know you are a busy man, with all the running around you got to do trying to correct us hordes of IDiots, but if you could take the time, will you please help me try to understand how this mimic Orchid correctly mimicked the protein(s) that produce the scent, and shape, of a female wasp:

    Wild orchid wasp mimic – David Attenborough – BBC – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8I3cqpgnA

    Can you please cite the exact precursor proteins, and the exact steps that transformed the proteins into the scent, and shape, proteins that mimic the female wasp, as well as tell me the ‘coordinated evolution’ of the pollen proteins that are part of the pollination cycle of the wasp orchid???

    If that is too hard, How about just demonstrating to me exactly how just one protein originated in the system???
    notes:

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....t-collide/

    Severe Limits to Darwinian Evolution: – Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The immediate, obvious implication is that the 2009 results render problematic even pretty small changes in structure/function for all proteins — not just the ones he worked on.,,,Thanks to Thornton’s impressive work, we can now see that the limits to Darwinian evolution are more severe than even I had supposed.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Stability effects of mutations and protein evolvability. October 2009
    Excerpt: The accepted paradigm that proteins can tolerate nearly any amino acid substitution has been replaced by the view that the deleterious effects of mutations, and especially their tendency to undermine the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of protein, is a major constraint on protein evolvability,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19765975

    “Mutations are rare phenomena, and a simultaneous change of even two amino acid residues in one protein is totally unlikely. One could think, for instance, that by constantly changing amino acids one by one, it will eventually be possible to change the entire sequence substantially… These minor changes, however, are bound to eventually result in a situation in which the enzyme has ceased to perform its previous function but has not yet begun its ‘new duties’. It is at this point it will be destroyed – along with the organism carrying it.” Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetski, Unraveling DNA, 1997, p. 72. (Professor at Brown U. Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering)

    “A problem with the evolution of proteins having new shapes is that proteins are highly constrained, and producing a functional protein from a functional protein having a significantly different shape would typically require many mutations of the gene producing the protein. All the proteins produced during this transition would not be functional, that is, they would not be beneficial to the organism, or possibly they would still have their original function but not confer any advantage to the organism. It turns out that this scenario has severe mathematical problems that call the theory of evolution into question. Unless these problems can be overcome, the theory of evolution is in trouble.”
    Problems in Protein Evolution:
    http://www.cs.unc.edu/~plaisted/ce/blocked.html

    The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds – Douglas Axe – 2010
    Excerpt Pg. 11: “Based on analysis of the genomes of 447 bacterial species, the projected number of different domain structures per species averages 991. Comparing this to the number of pathways by which metabolic processes are carried out, which is around 263 for E. coli, provides a rough figure of three or four new domain folds being needed, on average, for every new metabolic pathway. In order to accomplish this successfully, an evolutionary search would need to be capable of locating sequences that amount to anything from one in 10^159 to one in 10^308 possibilities, something the neo-Darwinian model falls short of by a very wide margin.”
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2010.1

    of related interest:

    Venus fly trap – The Private Life of Plants – David Attenborough – BBC wildlife – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktIGVtKdgwo

  13. 13
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    “In Canada, it turns out it’s not a general rule. We were told that in order to stave off the fall of Darwinism.”

    Oh my goodness, listen to yourself! This is on the same level as when the Lysenkoists ranted against “Mendelism-Morganism-Weismanism”.

    In your head, you’ve somehow transformed commonplace ecological observations into lies told to “stave off the fall of Darwinism”.

  14. 14
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    C’mon, surely you can answer this question yourself.

  15. 15
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    One topic at a time, please. Do your own research, I won’t do it for you every time. Have you ever tried going to a university library looking up an evolutionary topic you are interested in? Or do you always just assume that, because you personally haven’t heard an answer to some question, no answer exists?

    Try the library route. You might learn something. Google Scholar is just a click away…

  16. 16
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    My explanation invokes only changes observed between species within genera — typically even young-earth creationists describe these minor changes as “variation within the kind” that even they accept can evolve.

    And what’s your explanation? Provide a more detailed, better-tested explanation, please.

  17. 17
    ScottAndrews says:

    You said the discussion could not continue unless the question was answered. So I’m saying, literally for the sake of argument, carnivorous plants grow in soils with poor nutrients. I’m also throwing in that cactus tend live where there is less water, and fish tend to live entirely in water. (All with a few exceptions.) Perhaps these additional examples of things suited to their environments will support whatever point you’re going make.

  18. 18
    ScottAndrews says:

    I’m pretty sure that they descended from one another. Beyond that your evidence supports my position as well as yours. I believe that the plants were designed and that the variations were engineered.

    ID is a valid reason to see design in these plants and their varied forms. I don’t know what the mechanisms for those variations are. So I guess we’re in the same boat on that one.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Well Nick, despite your opinion that I have done no research, I have paid particular attention to research done in this area of ‘supposed’ protein evolution, and despite your claim that the literature is ‘out there somewhere’, the fact is that when this most important point of protein evolution is brought up, Darwinists NEVER demonstrate the origination of any completely novel functional proteins from existing proteins, but merely allude to sequence similarity, which, as referenced above, is severely brought into doubt of integrity, as to claiming any significant amount of variability that can be expected from existing functional proteins. For instance Nick, the Long Term Evolution Experiment of Lenski, which should have produced at least some proteins and/or genes had this paltry result after 50,000 generations, which is equivalent to about a million years of supposed human evolution;:

    Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
    Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.
    http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7

    Michael Behe’s Quarterly Review of Biology Paper Critiques Richard Lenski’s E. Coli Evolution Experiments – December 2010
    Excerpt: After reviewing the results of Lenski’s research, Behe concludes that the observed adaptive mutations all entail either loss or modification–but not gain–of Functional Coding ElemenTs (FCTs)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....41221.html

    And Nick it does not get any better for Darwinists if we expand the scope of these studies to see if existing proteins can at least be modified to interact with each other:

    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.....26651.html

    “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”)

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover Nick, there is now evidence of ‘quantum entanglement’ in proteins (as well as DNA) which completely undermines any chance based materialistic theory of protein origination, or evolution, for neo-Darwinism since a ‘non-local’ (beyond space-time) cause must be supplied which is simply beyond the scope of the materialistic theory of neo-Darwinism to supply:

    Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini & Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73
    Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state.
    http://www.scimednet.org/quant.....d-protein/

    Myosin Coherence
    Excerpt: Quantum physics and molecular biology are two disciplines that have evolved relatively independently. However, recently a wealth of evidence has demonstrated the importance of quantum mechanics for biological systems and thus a new field of quantum biology is emerging. Living systems have mastered the making and breaking of chemical bonds, which are quantum mechanical phenomena. Absorbance of frequency specific radiation (e.g. photosynthesis and vision), conversion of chemical energy into mechanical motion (e.g. ATP cleavage) and single electron transfers through biological polymers (e.g. DNA or proteins) are all quantum mechanical effects.
    http://www.energetic-medicine......Page1.html

    Nick perhaps you just don’t grasp the stunning implications of finding quantum entanglement on a massive scale in molecular biology;

    I guess tt is important to stress to you that quantum entanglement is completely transcendent of any space-time constraints:

    Light & Quantum Mechanics Reflect God’s Characteristics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182/

    Quote from preceding video; “In fact, physicists now believe that an entangled twin particle will know what its partner is doing and instantaneously mimic its actions even if the pair lived in separate galaxies billions of light years apart, Since we’ve been told that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, how does one photon on one side of the universe know what the other photon on the other side of the universe is doing, instantly???”

    Yet quantum entanglement, which is now conclusively shown to be completely transcendent of any space-time constraints, is, as was clearly pointed out before, now also shown to be in the molecular biology of living organisms. Moreover this ‘spooky’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement is found to be on a massive scale within living organisms. Nick, this beyond space and time quantum entanglement on a massive scale in molecular biology is probably as conclusive of proof as anyone could ever ask for as to direct observational scientific evidence for the ‘eternal’ soul of man;

    further notes:

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Steve Talbott
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....-of-beings

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – March 2011
    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.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Proteins with cruise control provide new perspective:
    Excerpt: “A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order.”
    http://www.princeton.edu/main/...../60/95O56/

    The preceding is solid confirmation that far more complex information resides in proteins than meets the eye, for the calculus equations used for ‘cruise control’, that must somehow reside within the quantum information that is ‘constraining’ the entire protein structure to its ‘normal’ state, is anything but ‘simple classical information’. For a sample of the equations that must be dealt with, to ‘engineer’ even a simple process control loop like cruise control along a entire protein structure, please see this following site:

    PID controller
    Excerpt: A proportional–integral–derivative controller (PID controller) is a generic control loop feedback mechanism (controller) widely used in industrial control systems. A PID controller attempts to correct the error between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint by calculating and then outputting a corrective action that can adjust the process accordingly and rapidly, to keep the error minimal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller

    Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MIFHLIzZY

  21. 21
    News says:

    Nick, are you having a junior moment? I don’t know what you are talking about, but this is what I am talking about: A carnivorous plant that – in consequence – has an advantage in poor soils may nonetheless thrive in good ones. Becoming carnivorous does not necessarily cause a plant to lose the capacity to survive in better soils. Or – probably – to lose its taste for animal proteins either. Botanist Margaret Helder told me that one finds such plants in a variety of places. Loennig seems to say the same thing. It makes sense.

    We were told the carnivores lived in poor soils – I now see – to support the Darwin legend. Because then a simple story could be constructed. Probably, there is no simple story.

  22. 22
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    The standard theory is that carnivory in plants is an adaptation to increase nutrient uptake in environments where (chemically available) nutrients are scarce. Low nutrients = the primary selective pressure that gave an advantage to variations that allowed the improved trapping of insects.

    Now, if the above were accepted, we could move on to have a discussion of whether or not it is reasonable to thing that the necessary variations to produce plant carnivory could occur — and from there, we could then move to a discussion of whether or not the processes that could produce sticky-leaf-traps and pitcher-plant traps could also eventually produce Utricularia-type bladder traps.

    But, Loennig and his fans have launched a series of UD posts claiming that the evolutionary explanation of plant carnivory is bogus idiocy from the get-go, because they apparently think that it’s not true that CPs typically live in nutrient poor habitats, thus there is no reason for natural selection to favor such adaptations. They have been raising hell about it in a half-dozen posts, but without any attempt to review the massive and well-known (and available) literature on this topic. Loennig undoubtedly knows better, deep down, but he’s letting his fans get away with very silly statements.

    So, like I said, there’s no point in continuing unless this kind of basic observational fact is accepted on all sides.

  23. 23
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    The relevant point is where carnivorous plants typically live, in the wild, where they have to compete with other plants. In rich soils, carnivorous plants get outcompeted. In poor soils, particularly in wet, sunny, disturbed environments, they have an advantage. This is why the classic carnivorous plant habitat is always an open, sunny, very wet (at least seasonally), nutrient-poor situation. This is where you will see many carnivorous plants together. This is where CP fans go to collect and view the most carnivorous plants. These are the places of highest concern for people who want to conserved CPs. You will read this in every book that discusses the ecology of CPs. You will read it in hobbiest publications (which I subscribe to). The CP growers and nurseries know it. Heck, you can see it yourself by googling “carnivorous plant habitat” or searching google images!

    http://www.google.com/search?h.....38;bih=973

    There are exceptions, but they are rare and marginal.

    But no, you just cavalierly toss plain reality aside and instead of accepting a simple fact — not even one that threatens your ID point of view, actually; if I were an IDist, I would say that CPs are designed to live in nutrient poor habitats! — and transmogrify basic observations into product of the “Darwin legend” and attempts to “stave off the fall of Darwinism.” Your ideology has so completely taken over that you can’t even accept the simplest basic scientific points necessary for having a discussion.

  24. 24
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    So, someone came down to Earth and tinkered with plant DNA so that they could catch flies in bogs and catch Paramecium in lakes?

  25. 25
    nullasalus says:

    That’s as ridiculous as suggesting someone came around and tinkered with salmon so they grow more rapidly.

    Really, the things people are willing to imagine…

  26. 26
    ScottAndrews says:

    Everyone agrees that certain plants and animals live in surroundings that suit them particularly. Like cacti. So I’m less interested in the question of whether CPs actually live in nutrient poor habitats.
    The second question is what interests me. How are the changes produced?
    The objection isn’t to some degree of common descent. That seems apparent.

    I won’t ask for a step-by-step process detailing the exact variations that took place, what produced them, why each was selected, and how they spread. That would hardly be fair.

    I (and many others, I’m sure) would settle for some documented evidence that such a process has produced or can produce any comparable new features in any life form. Having that, it might be easier to accept that in other cases such things occurred by the ‘usual evolutionary processes.’

    This is an extraordinary claim and thus requires extraordinary evidence. Phenotypical or genetic similarities aren’t enough, because while they may indicate descent, they do not demonstrate mechanisms.

    That leaves the claim that purposeless variation and selection can produce novel variety and invent new engineering marvels rather tough to support. Even if it were 100% true it would be difficult. But without such support, the idea simply doesn’t merit the respect it receives. Call it a fact or a theory or whichever, but educated adults shouldn’t go around thinking that it’s true, or even probably true.

    Unless it is.

  27. 27
    Joseph says:

    OK wait-

    In an all-plant world would carnivorous plants evolve? 🙂

  28. 28
    Joseph says:

    No NickMatzke_UD- “built-in responses to environmental cues” will do just fine.

    See also “designed to evolve/ evolved by design”- that is as opposed to evolved via accumulations of genetic accidents.

  29. 29
    ScottAndrews says:

    That’s a good question. I don’t know. Perhaps someone will figure that out someday. “I don’t know” is a good phrase to use when we don’t know.
    Maybe it was to demonstrate how smart they were. If you did think that someone designed them from the DNA up, you’d have to be impressed. You might listen when they talked.
    Maybe it was to teach us something. What else could you make if you knew how to make these plants?
    Maybe they serve a useful ecological purpose, and having variety keeps them from getting wiped out.
    Maybe it was to make the world a more interesting place. It is interesting, isn’t it? Why do people spend so much time looking at these plants and trying to understand them? Because they are interesting.
    But those are guesses. Really, I don’t know.

  30. 30
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    “That’s as ridiculous as suggesting someone came around and tinkered with salmon so they grow more rapidly.”

    People eat salmon (and have made quite minor modifications) and there is a fair bit of corroborating evidence that they exist now. Did the carnivorous plant engineers (who must have made massive morphological modifications, if those plants were engineered) eat the carnivorous plants? And where’s the other evidence that they existed?

    No NickMatzke_UD- “built-in responses to environmental cues” will do just fine.

    See also “designed to evolve/ evolved by design”- that is as opposed to evolved via accumulations of genetic accidents.

    Really — so the bladderwort trap was somehow encoded in the ur-plant genome? That’s about as silly as Lysenkoism!

    That’s a good question. I don’t know. Perhaps someone will figure that out someday. “I don’t know” is a good phrase to use when we don’t know.
    Maybe it was to demonstrate how smart they were. If you did think that someone designed them from the DNA up, you’d have to be impressed. You might listen when they talked.
    Maybe it was to teach us something. What else could you make if you knew how to make these plants?
    Maybe they serve a useful ecological purpose, and having variety keeps them from getting wiped out.
    Maybe it was to make the world a more interesting place. It is interesting, isn’t it? Why do people spend so much time looking at these plants and trying to understand them? Because they are interesting.
    But those are guesses. Really, I don’t know.

    How smart they were? There are easier ways. Write something on the moon, for instance.

    “Make the world a more interesting place”? That’s about on the level of where biology was at in the 1600s, where the purpose of flowers was thought to be “to make the world pretty”.

    You’ve got a tough argument to make if you’re going to argue that scientists should turn in their knowledge of disturbance ecology and bog chemistry and phylogenetics and homology and their models of carnivory/photosynthesis/water/nutrient/energy tradeoffs for “I don’t know, maybe some unspecified Someone Somewhere Sometime wanted to make the world more interesting for some reason I can’t fathom.”

  31. 31
    Joseph says:

    No NickMatzke_UD- “built-in responses to environmental cues” will do just fine.

    See also “designed to evolve/ evolved by design”- that is as opposed to evolved via accumulations of genetic accidents.

    NickMatzke:

    Really — so the bladderwort trap was somehow encoded in the ur-plant genome?

    Not required. Do you have any experience with evolutionary algorithms or other targeted searches?

  32. 32
    nullasalus says:

    People eat salmon (and have made quite minor modifications) and there is a fair bit of corroborating evidence that they exist now. Did the carnivorous plant engineers (who must have made massive morphological modifications, if those plants were engineered) eat the carnivorous plants? And where’s the other evidence that they existed?

    So you’re saying that if we have independent evidence that such a designer existed, and a reasonable understanding of why, that plus the current state of knowledge would lead one to reasonably infer intervention?

    I mean I’m the resident TE around here, but I still wonder at these kinds of objections.

  33. 33
    ScottAndrews says:

    Flowers do make the world look pretty, don’t they?
    Wow, you sure are impressed with your models of carnivory/photosynthesis/water/nutrient/energy tradeoffs. I’m sure they’re very interesting, but they have nothing to do with the central question – how did these things being modeled and examined come about. Answer that question and then I’ll be impressed, too. And then you won’t have to play the ‘I’m naming several sciences in one sentence so I can’t be wrong’ card.

    But I am impressed that you can be so condescending while dancing around the question.

  34. 34
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Everyone agrees that certain plants and animals live in surroundings that suit them particularly. Like cacti. So I’m less interested in the question of whether CPs actually live in nutrient poor habitats.

    I wish you were right — but the reality appears to be that everyone except this, *except* for UD posters, Loennig, UD News person/Denyse O’Leary, and the YEC botanist Margaret Helder.

  35. 35
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    This is an extraordinary claim and thus requires extraordinary evidence. Phenotypical or genetic similarities aren’t enough, because while they may indicate descent, they do not demonstrate mechanisms.

    This isn’t a fair statement, really.

    1. Common ancestry is as well-documented as anything in science. It’s not a “may”.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    2. It’s not true that sequence patterns tell you nothing about mechanism. They tell you all kinds of things about mechanism. The sequence evidence directly suggesed that transposition was the key event in the origin of adaptive immunity, for instance:

    http://ncse.com/creationism/le.....ate-immune

  36. 36
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    So you’re saying that if we have independent evidence that such a designer existed, and a reasonable understanding of why, that plus the current state of knowledge would lead one to reasonably infer intervention?

    Not the present state of knowledge, no. I was just pointing out that we have facts in our present state of knowledge about farmed salmon, and those facts don’t even make sense in the context of CPs. I.e., we have an obvious motive for the modifications made to salmon. We have total mystification about what the motive could even possibly be for the (much harder to do!) modifications that would have to be made to modify a few hundred species in rare, marginal habitats into carnivorous plants.

    Design hypothesis that are actual science include detail about the designer’s abilities, motives, actions, geographical and time presence, etc. It is these details that make such hypotheses testable, and thus scientifically accessible. But IDists’ official policy is to claim they don’t need no stinkin’ details. (Basically this is because the details they have are just good-old special creationist theology, but they don’t want to admit that, so…)

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    Nick, instead of pretending the elephant in the living room does not exist, I would appreciate if you would tell me the exact Darwinian ‘detail’ of how the purely material causes of neo-Darwinism can cause a purely non-material effect of quantum non-locality in life???

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

    The falsification for local realism (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

    It is important to stress that quantum entanglement is completely transcendent of any space-time constraints:

    Light & Quantum Mechanics Reflect God’s Characteristics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182/

    Quote from preceding video; “In fact, physicists now believe that an entangled twin particle will know what its partner is doing and instantaneously mimic its actions even if the pair lived in separate galaxies billions of light years apart, Since we’ve been told that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, how does one photon on one side of the universe know what the other photon on the other side of the universe is doing, instantly???”

    Yet quantum entanglement, which is now conclusively shown to be completely transcendent of any space-time constraints, is now also shown to be in the molecular biology of living organisms. Moreover this ‘spooky’, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement is found to be on a massive scale within living organisms. This quantum entanglement on a massive scale in molecular biology is probably as conclusive of proof as anyone could ask for as to direct observational scientific evidence for a beyond space and time designer of life i.e. God!!!;

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

    Quantum Computing in DNA – Stuart Hameroff
    Excerpt: Hypothesis: DNA utilizes quantum information and quantum computation for various functions. Superpositions of dipole states of base pairs consisting of purine (A,G) and pyrimidine (C,T) ring structures play the role of qubits, and quantum communication (coherence, entanglement, non-locality) occur in the “pi stack” region of the DNA molecule.,,, We can then consider DNA as a chain of qubits (with helical twist).
    Output of quantum computation would be manifest as the net electron interference pattern in the quantum state of the pi stack, regulating gene expression and other functions locally and nonlocally by radiation or entanglement.
    http://www.quantumconsciousnes.....InDNA.html

    Quantum Action 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

    Of related interest: Quantum entanglement is shown to be related to ‘functional information’ by the following evidence;

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Excerpt: A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

    Indeed the ‘quantum computation’ accomplished by the quantum entanglement within DNA is very impressive:

    Quantum Dots Spotlight DNA-Repair Proteins in Motion – March 2010
    Excerpt: “How this system works is an important unanswered question in this field,” he said. “It has to be able to identify very small mistakes in a 3-dimensional morass of gene strands. It’s akin to spotting potholes on every street all over the country and getting them fixed before the next rush hour.” Dr. Bennett Van Houten – of note: A bacterium has about 40 team members on its pothole crew. That allows its entire genome to be scanned for errors in 20 minutes, the typical doubling time.,, These smart machines can apparently also interact with other damage control teams if they cannot fix the problem on the spot.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....123522.htm

    etc.. etc.. etc..
    Well Nick the first step in recovery from your addiction to Darwinian story telling is to admit you got a problem! 🙂

  38. 38
    ScottAndrews says:

    It’s not fair. It’s not unfair either.

    Homologies are well documented. And while common ancestry isn’t always a bad inference, it is just that, an inference.

    That’s actually quite a tall statement considering that there is some pretty well-documented stuff in science.

    So you have a non-carnivorous plant. Using sequence patterns (or anything else) describe a mutation or mutations, the selection that took place, the fixation, and then the next, and so forth. If these accumulated through genetic drift, incorporate that.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re describing one of many possible paths, as long as it’s plausible and detailed. None of this ‘it acquired a door’ and ‘added suction.’ If you want people to join your religion you’re going to have to try harder to sell it, or you can preach to your choir.

    It’s a lot to ask. But buying such a massive claim is a lot to ask, too.

  39. 39
    Joseph says:

    NickMatzke_UD:

    Design hypothesis that are actual science include detail about the designer’s abilities, motives, actions, geographical and time presence, etc.

    No Nick. The only way to know anything about the designer’s abilities, motives, actions, geographical and time presence, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    IOW, Nick, you don’t know anything about investigation.

    Design hypotheses just say that when agencies act they (usually) leave traces of their invokvement behind.

  40. 40
    Joseph says:

    NickMatzke_UD sez:

    1. Common ancestry is as well-documented as anything in science. It’s not a “may”.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    By that logic Common Design is as well documented as anything in science as it uses the same evidence as common ancestry. However common ancestry cannot be tested and relies solely on our ignorance and vast eons of time.

    2. It’s not true that sequence patterns tell you nothing about mechanism. They tell you all kinds of things about mechanism. The sequence evidence directly suggesed that transposition was the key event in the origin of adaptive immunity, for instance:

    http://ncse.com/creationism/le…..ate-immune

    There isn’t any evidence that demonstrates transposition is a Darwinian process. Again see “Not By Chance” by Dr Lee Spetner.

    But your continued equivocation is duly noted.

  41. 41
    PaV says:

    Nick:

    Is the reasoning of Darwinists along these lines: I make fewer mistakes than these other guys; this means I’m smarter than the other guy; therefore, everything I say is right, and they’re wrong?

    Is this what you’re arguing here?

    Two points:
    (1) The mistake was Taylor’s, not Loennig’s. Isn’t this obvious? Taylor made the mistake, and Loennig copied it. It seems to me that there’s a whole lot of biology texts out there that still have pictures of Haeckel’s embryos. Does that invalidate all these texts that promote Darwinism?
    (2) What is important in the quote Loennig uses, is not what Kingsley thought, rather, it’s the conclusion that Taylor comes to: which is, there is no sensible Darwinian explanation for the Utricularia.

    Isn’t this just “nit-picking” on a grand scale?

  42. 42
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Flowers do make the world look pretty, don’t they?
    Wow, you sure are impressed with your models of carnivory/photosynthesis/water/nutrient/energy tradeoffs. I’m sure they’re very interesting, but they have nothing to do with the central question – how did these things being modeled and examined come about. Answer that question and then I’ll be impressed, too. And then you won’t have to play the ‘I’m naming several sciences in one sentence so I can’t be wrong’ card.

    Look, it’s the UD posters and commentators that came rolling in with “carnivorous plants OBVIOUSLY can’t have evolved via natural processes” — and yet they can’t admit basic facts pertinent to the situation, and appear to be almost wholly ignorant of the hundreds of articles that have been published on carnivorous plants.

    I’m sure they’re very interesting, but they have nothing to do with the central question – how did these things being modeled and examined come about.

    This is more evidence that you haven’t been paying attention. I have provided a paper specifically on the origin of the Venus flytrap, and a link to my own explanation of Utricularia. I’m not going to retype the entire history of human thought on these questions into a blog thread just to make life easy for people too lazy to go look stuff up.

    But I am impressed that you can be so condescending while dancing around the question.

    And how condescending is it for someone to accuse me of saying that Darwin is more important than the facts — see the opening post — when clearly they don’t know the first thing about the relevant facts? How condescending is it for commentators to cheer this on?

    This kind of juvenile behavior is the *most important* reason scientists find ID disgusting. Scientists spend their careers researching topics and writing articles about them, only to have them distorted, or most commonly completely and wantonly ignored, by ID proponents who then brazenly claim the topic is a vast mystery that must be attributed to miracles or whatever.

  43. 43
    Joseph says:

    NickMatzke_UD-

    Unfortunately the New Phytologist paper is evolutionary imagination. Sure it sounds sciency but again if you are going to accept that as evidence then then you must also accept the evidence for Common Design and evolution by design.

  44. 44
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Well, that’s a heckuva reply. You don’t even bother to say why it’s wrong, you just toss off an insult. Why should I or any scientists take that seriously, compared to a detailed, peer-reviewed scientific paper?

    PS: over on another thread they are claiming that ID isn’t anti-evolution and that common ancestry is correct. I guess “common design” doesn’t work so well as an explanation.

  45. 45
    ScottAndrews says:

    Nick,

    I find your fixation with peer review curious since you obviously don’t take every peer-reviewed paper seriously. Apparently it lends credibility when you agree with it and means nothing when you don’t.

  46. 46
    Joseph says:

    Detailed, peer-reviewed scientific paper?

    So they pinned down the genes and changes that allowed a sticky-leaf plant to evolve into a venus flytrap and waterwheel? And they then took a sticky-leaf plant, made the changes and a venus flytrap or waterwheel developed?

    Cool, how many mutations did it take? Is there a specific sequence or do any/ all accumulations of mutations do the trick?

    But anyway in order to work the process would have had to have included a version with sticky leaves- that is until all the triggers, timing, folding mechanism- getting the proper enzymes to the right spot- just for starters- got worked out.

    PS ID is not anti-evolution. ID is anti- the blind watchmaker having sole dominion over evolutionary processes.

    But hey I have only told you this so many times I have lost count so what does it even matter?

    And yes, by design common ancestry could be correct. But there is still no way to test the premise to the exclusion of all alternatives.

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