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Is microbiologist Kas Thomas’s criticism of Darwinism “wrong or outdated”?

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Kas Thomas

Or “horribly ignorant” or “ID creationist gibber*”or a“giant turd in the punchbowl,” as various commenters claim?

Re “Microbiologist admits Darwinism’s shortcomings, says we should stick with it for now because … the alternative is ignorance,” does the guy even know what hit him? 418 comments later, this obscure UC Irvine microbiologist has been consigned to the full Darwin.

Someone named Sam Harris** writes to say,

“When I was in school, we were taught that mutations in DNA are the driving force behind evolution, an idea that is now thoroughly discredited. “

Really Kas? That sounds made up. Like the rest of that attention-seeking rant.

Well, natural selection acting on random mutation as the driving force of evolutionary change over time is Darwinian theory, so Kas was taught Darwinian theory.

Here’s the problem: All the smart people really know now that Darwinism as a theory in science is incorrect. But they stake out different relationships to its dominance, depending on their interests.

So even a correct statement of the theory may be wrong and punishable if it apparently harms their interests. Some want Thomas stripped of his degrees, etc.

Friends were discussing last night, why did he take on Jerry Coyne’s trollbox all alone? Today’s Darwinism is no longer something that can be stated or assessed on the evidence in any normal way. Now the theory is

shut up or else

If Kas Thomas’s career gets squashed, he will have once again proven that Darwin’s followers actual theory is right:

shut up is the driving principle of science

Here.

* “ID creationist gibber*”? He’s welcome, for sure, but his name doesn’t ring bells.

** No, we don’t know either if it is the author and neuroscientist Sam Harris. One rather hopes not.

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6 Replies to “Is microbiologist Kas Thomas’s criticism of Darwinism “wrong or outdated”?

  1. 1
    Joe says:

    Evos HAVE to attack as they sure don’t have any supporting evidence for their claims.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Thankfully, it seems that Thomas is now in the software industry, beyond the reach of Coyne’s, and his fellow trollbots’, inquisition tactics:

    A graduate of the University of California at Irvine and Davis (with degrees in biology and microbiology) and a former University of California Regents Fellow, Thomas has taught biology, bacteriology, and laboratory physics at the college level. He was on the Inventions Committee at Novell, Inc. and is the holder of seven U.S. software patents. He has a long and varied background in technical writing (most recently serving as a Technology Evangelist for Adobe Systems) and is in love with the word heterodoxy.

    Which is good, since it seems that the threat of financial ruin is what keeps many Darwinists toeing the party line:

    Lynn Margulis Criticizes Neo-Darwinism in Discover Magazine (Updated) – Casey Luskin April 12, 2011
    Excerpt: Population geneticist Richard Lewontin gave a talk here at UMass Amherst about six years ago, and he mathemetized all of it–changes in the population, random mutation, sexual selection, cost and benefit. At the end of his talk he said, “You know, we’ve tried to test these ideas in the field and the lab, and there are really no measurements that match the quantities I’ve told you about.” This just appalled me. So I said, “Richard Lewontin, you are a great lecturer to have the courage to say it’s gotten you nowhere. But then why do you continue to do this work?” And he looked around and said, “It’s the only thing I know how to do, and if I don’t do it I won’t get grant money.”
    Lynn Margulis – biologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45691.html

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Thankfully, it seems that Thomas is now in the software industry, beyond the reach of Coyne’s, and his fellow trollbots’, inquisition tactics:

    A graduate of the University of California at Irvine and Davis (with degrees in biology and microbiology) and a former University of California Regents Fellow, Thomas has taught biology, bacteriology, and laboratory physics at the college level. He was on the Inventions Committee at Novell, Inc. and is the holder of seven U.S. software patents. He has a long and varied background in technical writing (most recently serving as a Technology Evangelist for Adobe Systems) and is in love with the word heterodoxy.

    Which is good, since it seems that the threat of financial ruin is what keeps many Darwinists toeing the party line:

    Lynn Margulis Criticizes Neo-Darwinism in Discover Magazine (Updated) – Casey Luskin April 12, 2011
    Excerpt: Population geneticist Richard Lewontin gave a talk here at UMass Amherst about six years ago, and he mathemetized all of it–changes in the population, random mutation, sexual selection, cost and benefit. At the end of his talk he said, “You know, we’ve tried to test these ideas in the field and the lab, and there are really no measurements that match the quantities I’ve told you about.” This just appalled me. So I said, “Richard Lewontin, you are a great lecturer to have the courage to say it’s gotten you nowhere. But then why do you continue to do this work?” And he looked around and said, “It’s the only thing I know how to do, and if I don’t do it I won’t get grant money.”
    Lynn Margulis – biologist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45691.html

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Did the former biologist notice the shortcomings and incoherence of the old establishment after switching career to software development?
    In the field of computer science and software development we deal with a fundamental immaterial entity that some may refer to as functional/prescriptive specified/purposeful information. This is serious stuff, which leaves no room for beating around the bush.
    When developing software, hogwash language won’t do any good. The programming specs must be accurate and detailed when describing how to go from A to Z. Otherwise the programmer will be forced to go back to the analyst and request more clarification in the tech specs or else… the development has to stop. At that point the analyst can’t get away with vague statements like ‘i think’ or ‘perhaps’ or ‘maybe’ that lead nowhere.
    Once you spend some time working in that field, you get used to ask questions like a child, until the whole picture is clear. Perhaps that’s what happened to this gentleman?
    There’s certain benefit from having software development professionals, as well as mathematicians and engineers, working along the biology scientists. They have different ways of looking at problems.
    As more research results unveil the beautiful elaborate choreographies seen in biological systems at the cellular and molecular levels, the more we need open-minded approaches to the interpretation of the increasing available data.

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    After spending many years working on software development, most of them on engineering design apps, I found the biological systems highly fascinating. What started as curiosity, after looking ‘by accident’ into a book on embryonic development, gradually turned into fascination and eventually became an irresistible desire to learn more about it. That brought me to a painful dilemma: either forget about the whole “systems biology” thing and focus in on my work (for which I was paid well), or switch careers. The latter carried a financial problem associated with my annual income dropping to zero. After much praying about it (Ps. 37:4), I decided to switch careers, which has required lots of autodidact studying. God has graciously provided health and resources, which has allowed me to study. The extensive software engineering background has been helpful when looking at the informational aspects of systems biology. Also God has allowed me to meet several biologists doing research in various countries. Can’t complain.

    BTW, next time you hear that faith in God is an obstacle to learn science, tell them to think again. I believe my faith in God gave me this relatively recent passion for science that has brought me to this radical career change, against the contrary opinion of relatives and friends, who argued about the negative financial implications of such drastic and apparently unnecessary move.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Dionisio, with your software/computer background you may appreciate this paper (if you have not already read it):

    Dichotomy in the definition of prescriptive information suggests both prescribed data and prescribed algorithms: biosemiotics applications in genomic systems – 2012
    David J D’Onofrio1*, David L Abel2* and Donald E Johnson3
    Excerpt: The DNA polynucleotide molecule consists of a linear sequence of nucleotides, each representing a biological placeholder of adenine (A), cytosine (C), thymine (T) and guanine (G). This quaternary system is analogous to the base two binary scheme native to computational systems. As such, the polynucleotide sequence represents the lowest level of coded information expressed as a form of machine code. Since machine code (and/or micro code) is the lowest form of compiled computer programs, it represents the most primitive level of programming language.,,,
    An operational analysis of the ribosome has revealed that this molecular machine with all of its parts follows an order of operations to produce a protein product. This order of operations has been detailed in a step-by-step process that has been observed to be self-executable. The ribosome operation has been proposed to be algorithmic (Ralgorithm) because it has been shown to contain a step-by-step process flow allowing for decision control, iterative branching and halting capability. The R-algorithm contains logical structures of linear sequencing, branch and conditional control. All of these features at a minimum meet the definition of an algorithm and when combined with the data from the mRNA, satisfy the rule that Algorithm = data + control. Remembering that mere constraints cannot serve as bona fide formal controls, we therefore conclude that the ribosome is a physical instantiation of an algorithm.,,,
    The correlation between linguistic properties examined and implemented using Automata theory give us a formalistic tool to study the language and grammar of biological systems in a similar manner to how we study computational cybernetic systems. These examples define a dichotomy in the definition of Prescriptive Information. We therefore suggest that the term Prescriptive Information (PI) be subdivided into two categories: 1) Prescriptive data and 2) Prescribed (executing) algorithm.
    It is interesting to note that the CPU of an electronic computer is an instance of a prescriptive algorithm instantiated into an electronic circuit, whereas the software under execution is read and processed by the CPU to prescribe the program’s desired output. Both hardware and software are prescriptive.
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content.....82-9-8.pdf

    LIFE: WHAT A CONCEPT!
    Excerpt: The ribosome,,,, it’s the most complicated thing that is present in all organisms.,,, you find that almost the only thing that’s in common across all organisms is the ribosome.,,, So the question is, how did that thing come to be? And if I were to be an intelligent design defender, that’s what I would focus on; how did the ribosome come to be?
    George Church
    http://www.edge.org/documents/.....index.html

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