Adaptation Evolution Intelligent Design

At Big Think: Can we predict evolution?

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We can successfully predict the future arrangements of matter based on knowledge of the laws of physics that govern the interactions between particles. When too many particles exist to make detailed predictions about individual particles, we can use statistical physics to predict generally true and reliable outcomes of the larger system of particles. The 2nd law of thermodynamics provides us with a familiar example of outcomes based on statistical physics. If the future forms of living organisms are predictable, it will likewise be due to the ensemble of their systems of particles obeying fundamental laws of physics. “Evolution” is not a “law of physics” that is independent of or supersedes other known laws of physics.

Organisms respond in similar ways to similar circumstances.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Evolution has long been viewed as a largely unpredictable process, influenced by chaotic factors like environmental disruptions and mutations. 
  • However, researchers have demonstrated cases in some organisms of “replicated radiation,” in which similar sets of traits evolve independently in different regions. Now, researchers report the first evidence for replicated radiation in a plant lineage. 
  • As biology learns more about phenomena like replicated radiation, we might be able to predict the course of evolution.

Evolution has a reputation for being unpredictable, yet orderly. With mutations and the environment playing huge roles, it seems that predicting which species will evolve which traits is much like guessing the roll of a single die with millions of faces. 

However, in some cases, researchers have found that the die rolls the same way again and again. A combination of separate organisms’ natural development and the environmental pressures placed on them can create very similar forms, or ecomorphs. Researchers call this phenomenon replicated radiation. (Sometimes, the term adaptive radiation is used synonymously.)

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, an international group of researchers demonstrated that a plant lineage living in 11 geographically isolated regions independently evolved new species with similar leaf forms. This marks the first example of replicated radiation in plants, and the groundbreaking research gives us more insight into the possible future workings of evolution. 

Note: Reason suggests that the development of “similar leaf forms” stems from the fact that they all started from the same “plant lineage.” Furthermore, reason suggests that the original plant lineage had a built-in genomic variability that allowed the variant leaf forms to dominate when environmental pressures favored that form.

evolution
Credit: Annelisa Leinbach / Big Think

The article continues: Different species of Oreinotinus [Viburnum] have different types of leaves. Simply put, some have a large, hair-covered leaf, and others have a smaller, smooth leaf. Originally, experts postulated that both leaf forms evolved early in the group’s history and then dispersed separately through various mountain ranges, carried perhaps by birds. But the distribution pattern of the species, combined with the striking differences in leaf traits, gave researchers an ideal system to explore the possibility that these leaf forms evolved independently across different regions. In other words, they could explore whether this was a case of replicated radiation.

If replicated radiation is occurring, the researchers would expect two key results. First, species in the same area should be more closely related to each other than to species in different regions. Second, similar leaf traits should be present in most areas, but they should evolve independently of one another.

Turning over the same leaf

As Oreinotinus diversified, four major leaf types evolved independently from an ancestral leaf form. The four forms varied in size, shape, margin — that is, whether the edge of the leaf is smooth or toothed — and the presence of leaf hairs. The study grouped the leaves into four types. The researchers also backed up their assessments with a statistical analysis based on these characteristics. 

Nine of the 11 areas harbor at least two leaf forms; four areas include three forms; and one, Oaxaca, is home to four. Based on simulations and models, the authors rejected the simple evolutionary model in which the leaf forms evolved before the species dispersed. They also found that chance alone does not likely explain why nine areas of endemism host two or more leaf forms. Based on these lines of evidence, the team concluded that leaf forms evolved separately within multiple regions. The leaf morphs did not originate early in Oreinotinus evolution. Rather, as different lineages diversified within different areas, each lineage “traversed the same regions of leaf morpho-space.”

So what is this clade telling us when it evolves different leaf forms? As it turns out, different leaves provide different advantages that suit particular climate niches. For example, the smaller leaves would allow more precise thermoregulation — the leaf won’t get too hot or too cold as the weather changes. On the other hand, large leaves would be better for lower-light, frequently cloudy environments, because they improve light capture and make photosynthesis more efficient. So the different leaf ecomorphs are adapted to specific sets of subtly different but often adjacent environmental niches.

The future of evolution

Researchers can now add Oreinotinus to an exclusive list of other groups of organisms known to have undergone replicated radiation, such as Anolis lizards in the Caribbean, cichlid fishes in African rift lakes, and spiders in Hawaii.

With a plant on the list, evolutionary biologists know this is not a trend exclusive to animals isolated on islands, where most of the other examples come from. Like island archipelagos, the cloud forest environments of Oreinotinus are separate from one another. A plant example will help evolutionary biologists pinpoint the broad circumstances under which we can make solid predictions about evolution.

Whether it’s Darwin’s finches, Oreinotinus, or a group of sugar-hungry E. coli, we are all subject to the mysterious workings of evolution. But perhaps, as a diverse set of research groups work to tackle the problem, the mystery will fade. As Michael Donoghue, a co-corresponding author of the Oreinotinus  study, said in a statement, “Maybe evolutionary biology can become much more of a predictive science than we ever imagined in the past.”

Full article at Big Think.

Predictive success alone does not guarantee the success of a theory of how nature works. Additional consequences of a theory must also make sense and not contradict established laws of nature. Naturalistic evolution still contradicts the principle that natural causes will on average degrade the information content (loss of functional complexity) of a system over time.

251 Replies to “At Big Think: Can we predict evolution?

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    “the mysterious workings of evolution”

    What mysterious workings of evolution? Doesn’t Evolution provide intellectual fulfillment (for mush-minded statists) that is based on fact?

    I don’t get it.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    Asauber @1,

    Due to the complexities and flexibilities of the Darwinian Theory of Evolution (aka “the mysterious workings of Evolution,” or mWOE), successful predictions are now usually made only in retrospect.

    This saves Darwinan fundamentalists the embarrassments of such predictions as “vestigial organs,” “missing links,” and “junk DNA.”

    -Q

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    “we are all subject to the mysterious workings of evolution.“

    Screw you, you religious dip, NO ONE is subject to your magic force working and toiling daily. Adaptation comes with being a living organism not some mysterious force you claim to exist.

    So if you want to believe in your magic mysterious force then I get to believe in mine. BUT don’t claim yours is science and mine is not

  4. 4
  5. 5
    AaronS1978 says:

    I can’t remember if it’s “the blind watchmaker” or its “The greatest show on earth” where Richard Dawkins describes evolution tirelessly toiling and adjusting every little thing on an organism

    And yet one of the major criticisms of ID is the intervention argument were the designer intervenes creating and adjusting every little thing in the organism……..

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    AaronS1978 @3,

    The OP quoted the article written by Jasna Hodži? from the Big Think, who wrote:

    Whether it’s Darwin’s finches, Oreinotinus, or a group of sugar-hungry E. coli, we are all subject to the mysterious workings of evolution.

    You might have misunderstood. My comment was meant to satirize the failure of Darwinism in successfully predicting anything in advance.

    However, Darwinism is so squishy and malleable, it can mean anything and explain anything with mechanisms such as “parallel evolution” and “repeated independent evolution.” It comes up with what later turn out to be embarrassments such as “vestigial organs” (which turned out to have vital functionality), celebrated “missing links” (which turned out to be false), and “junk DNA” (much of which turns out to not be junk after all and, as a result, has now been renamed as “non-coding DNA).

    So, no. Darwinism has a terrible track record of prediction.

    -Q

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    AaronS78 @5,

    And yet one of the major criticisms of ID is the intervention argument were the designer intervenes creating and adjusting every little thing in the organism.

    I don’t think I’ve ever run into that criticism of ID. In fact, the operation of epigenetic adaptation points to even a much greater level of design.

    For example, the celebrated adaptation of the beaks in Galapagos (aka Darwin’s) finches occurs in a
    single generation, not hundreds of thousands of years! I’ve yet to see a convincing explanation by Darwinists of how epigenetic code could evolve by undirected incremental changes.

    -Q

  8. 8
    AaronS1978 says:

    @Querius oh no nothing I said was directed at you and I knew it was satire I was mocking Jasna Hodži. I’m sorry it came across that way

    And that criticism was in one of the previous threads two weeks ago, can’t remember which one though

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    AaronS1978 @8,

    Oh, good! I wasn’t sure and it’s happened to me before.

    -Q

  10. 10
    BobRyan says:

    They can predict all they want. It will end in the same lack of evidence and grasping at anything. Speciation continues to be without evidence to support the delusion.

  11. 11
    martin_r says:

    as to “replicated radiation” …

    Venoms are complex mixtures of enzymes and proteins of various sizes, amines, lipids, nucleosides, and carbohydrates. Venoms also contain various metal ions that are presumed to act as cofactors and include sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. …


    On more than 100 occasions , animals have independently evolved the ability to produce and deliver potent secretions to subdue prey or predators—venom. This prompts the following question: Have animals repeatedly adopted the same genetic toolkit for venom production? In this study, we found, surprisingly, that the venom glands of different animal lineages had similar global gene expression patterns. Notably, groups of genes involved in protein secretion, and especially stress response pathways, had similar expression levels, revealing that many animals have come up with the same solution independently. On the other hand, signaling and regulatory networks had lineage-specific patterns, suggesting that the way in which cells are regulated and communicate might reflect the diverse developmental origins of venom systems.

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2111392119

    Complex chemical mixtures should have evolved 100 times independently ??? In evolutionary unrelated species ?

    Chemical mixtures so complex, that humans can’t replicate it in labs …

    Seriously, what rational person can buy this nonsense …

    Do Darwinists really believe in miracles ?

    Replicated radiation ? :))))

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    So, synonymous morphologies, i.e. ‘ecomorphs’. finally prove that Darwinian evolution has predictive power, (like true scientific theories are suppose to have)?

    There are a few problems with their claim that, via synonymous morphologies, i.e. ‘ecomorphs’, that Darwinian evolution has predictive power (like true scientific theories are suppose to have).

    For one thing, the overall biological form, and/or defining morphology, of a specific organism is not reducible to mutations to DNA as is presupposed within Darwinian theory.

    In fact, when Darwinists first formulated the modern synthesis, they excluded ‘biological form’ from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis as being quote-unquote ‘irrelevant’

    On the problem of biological form – Marta Linde-Medina (2020)
    Excerpt: Embryonic development, which inspired the first theories of biological form, was eventually excluded from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis, (neo-Darwinism) as irrelevant.,,,
    At present, the problem of biological form remains unsolved.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12064-020-00317-3

    Needless to say, excluding ‘biological form’ from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis is NOT a minor omission for Darwin’s theory.

    Yet, in spite of the fact that Darwinists themselves excluded biological form from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis as being quote-unquote ‘irrelevant’, Darwinists still assume that changes to DNA have the potential to eventually change the basic biological form and/or body plan of any given species into a brand new body plan of a brand new species.

    Yet, (directly contrary to what Darwinists have assumed without any warrant), biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, (nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars, (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, etc..), in biology that Darwinists may wish to invoke).

    As Dr. Jonathan Wells explains, “Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.”

    Jonathan Wells: Far from being all-powerful, DNA does not wholly determine biological form – March 31, 2014
    Excerpt: Studies using saturation mutagenesis in the embryos of fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice also provide evidence against the idea that DNA specifies the basic form of an organism. Biologists can mutate (and indeed have mutated) a fruit fly embryo in every possible way, and they have invariably observed only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/jonathan-wells-far-from-being-all-powerful-dna-does-not-wholly-determine-biological-form/

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: But there are solid empirical grounds for arguing that changes in DNA alone cannot produce new organs or body plans. A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12. None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–,,,
    (As Jonathan Wells states),,, We can modify the DNA of a fruit fly embryo in any way we want, and there are only three possible outcomes:
    A normal fruit fly;
    A defective fruit fly; or
    A dead fruit fly.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    And as Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig points out, “even after inducing literally billions of induced mutations and (further) chromosome rearrangements”,,, “the law of recurrent variation is endlessly corroborated”…

    Peer-Reviewed Research Paper on Plant Biology Favorably Cites Intelligent Design and Challenges Darwinian Evolution – Casey Luskin December 29, 2010
    Excerpt: Many of these researchers also raise the question (among others), why — even after inducing literally billions of induced mutations and (further) chromosome rearrangements — all the important mutation breeding programs have come to an end in the Western World instead of eliciting a revolution in plant breeding, either by successive rounds of selective “micromutations” (cumulative selection in the sense of the modern synthesis), or by “larger mutations” … and why the law of recurrent variation is endlessly corroborated by the almost infinite repetition of the spectra of mutant phenotypes in each and any new extensive mutagenesis experiment instead of regularly producing a range of new systematic species…
    (Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, “Mutagenesis in Physalis pubescens L. ssp. floridana: Some Further Research on Dollo’s Law and the Law of Recurrent Variation,” Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology Vol. 4 (Special Issue 1): 1-21 (December 2010).)
    https://evolutionnews.org/2010/12/peer-reviewed_research_paper_o/
    Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, (retired) Senior Scientist (Biology), Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Emeritus, Cologne, Germany.

    The ‘blueprint’ for the ‘biological form’ of any given species simply does not reside in DNA as Darwinists have presupposed it to within their reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution,

    As Paul Davies stated, “DNA is not a blueprint for an organism,,,, Rather, DNA is a (mostly) passive repository for transcription of stored data into RNA,”

    (Paul) Davies And Walker On Origin Of Life: Life As Information – March 7, 2020
    Excerpt: However, the genome is only a small part of the story. DNA is not a blueprint for an organism:1 no information is actively processed by DNA alone [17]. Rather, DNA is a (mostly) passive repository for transcription of stored data into RNA, some (but by no means all) of which goes on to be translated into proteins. The biologically relevant information stored in DNA therefore has very little to do with its specific chemical nature (beyond the fact that it is a digital linear polymer).
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/davies-and-walker-on-origin-of-life-life-as-information/

    And as Antony Jose stated, “DNA cannot be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for life,”,,, “It is at best an overlapping and potentially scrambled list of ingredients that is used differently by different cells at different times.”,,,

    DNA may not be life’s instruction book—just a jumbled list of ingredients – Kimbra Cutlip, University of Maryland – APRIL 22, 2020
    Excerpt: The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to the next is stored in an organism’s DNA. But Antony Jose, associate professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland, disagrees.
    In two new papers, Jose argues that DNA is just the ingredient list, not the set of instructions used to build and maintain a living organism.,,,
    ,,, “DNA cannot be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for life,” Jose said. “It is at best an overlapping and potentially scrambled list of ingredients that is used differently by different cells at different times.”
    ,,, In addition, scientists are unable to determine the complex shape of an organ such as an eye, or that a creature will have eyes at all, by reading the creature’s DNA. These fundamental aspects of anatomy are dictated by something outside of the DNA.
    https://phys.org/news/2020-04-dna-life-bookjust-jumbled-ingredients.html

    And as Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D. – Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, states, “Only if the pie were to rise up, take hold of the recipe book and rewrite the instructions for its own production, would this popular analogy for the role of genes be pertinent.”

    The Gene Myth, Part II – August 2010
    Excerpt: “It was long believed that a protein molecule’s three-dimensional shape, on which its function depends, is uniquely determined by its amino acid sequence. But we now know that this is not always true – the rate at which a protein is synthesized, which depends on factors internal and external to the cell, affects the order in which its different portions fold. So even with the same sequence a given protein can have different shapes and functions. Furthermore, many proteins have no intrinsic shape, (intrinsically disordered proteins), taking on different roles in different molecular contexts. So even though genes specify protein sequences they have only a tenuous (very weak or slight) influence over their functions.
    ,,,,So, to reiterate, the genes do not uniquely determine what is in the cell, but what is in the cell determines how the genes get used. Only if the pie were to rise up, take hold of the recipe book and rewrite the instructions for its own production, would this popular analogy for the role of genes be pertinent.
    Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D. – Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....rt-ii.html

    And as Ken Richardson, formerly Senior Lecturer in Human Development at the Open University (U.K.). states, “Instructions are created on the hoof, far more intelligently than is possible from dumb DNA. That is why today’s molecular biologists are reporting “cognitive resources” in cells; “bio-information intelligence”; “cell intelligence”; “metabolic memory”; and “cell knowledge”—all terms appearing in recent literature.1,2 “Do cells think?” is the title of a 2007 paper in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.3 On the other hand the assumed developmental “program” coded in a genotype has never been described.”

    Is The Age Of The Gene Finally Over? – January 5, 2019
    Excerpt: So it has been dawning on us is that there is no prior plan or blueprint for development: Instructions are created on the hoof, far more intelligently than is possible from dumb DNA. That is why today’s molecular biologists are reporting “cognitive resources” in cells; “bio-information intelligence”; “cell intelligence”; “metabolic memory”; and “cell knowledge”—all terms appearing in recent literature.1,2 “Do cells think?” is the title of a 2007 paper in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.3 On the other hand the assumed developmental “program” coded in a genotype has never been described.
    It is such discoveries that are turning our ideas of genetic causation inside out. We have traditionally thought of cell contents as servants to the DNA instructions. But, as the British biologist Denis Noble insists, “The modern synthesis has got causality in biology wrong … DNA on its own does absolutely nothing until activated by the rest of the system … DNA is not a cause in an active sense. I think it is better described as a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.” …
    – Ken Richardson, formerly Senior Lecturer in Human Development at the Open University (U.K.)
    https://uncommondescent.com/genetics/is-the-age-of-the-gene-finally-over/

    Again, the ‘blueprint’ for the ‘biological form’ of any particular organism is simply not reducible to mutations to DNA as Darwinists had falsely presupposed within the reductive materialistic framework of Darwin’s theory.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Secondly, in the article in the OP the authors give a few other examples, i.e. “cichlid fishes in African rift lakes, Darwin’s finches, and sugar-hungry E. coli”, as other examples of “replicated radiation” and they apparently hope that these other examples of synonymous morphologies, i.e. ‘ectomorphs’, will also help reveal the “mysterious workings of evolution” and show that evolution is predictable, (as true scientific theories are suppose to have ‘predictive power’),

    Yet none of those other examples offer support for Darwinian evolution but, in fact, all those other examples are all examples that falsify the ‘gene-centric’ claims of Darwinists.

    Darwin’s Finches: Answers From Epigenetics by Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. – August 29. 2014
    Excerpt: Just one year prior to this 2014 study,1 the epigenetic basis of speciation was demonstrated in birds in which the progressive geographical spread and ecological patterns of adaptation for a newly introduced songbird species were characterized by differences in DNA methylation patterns, not variation in the actual DNA sequence.2 In contrast, traditional Darwinian evolution alleges that random changes in the DNA itself generate new and useful variants that are then selected by the environment. In reality, researchers are now discovering that organisms can robustly adapt to different ecological niches without major changes in their DNA sequence.,,,
    What underlies this variation in finch beaks? In studies attempting to determine the molecular basis for beak variability in finches, researchers have found that very similar developmental genetic pathways among species can produce markedly different beak shapes.5 So if the genes are essentially the same, then what seems to be the major source of variation? In this current effort, the researchers studied two different factors in the genome. The first were short sections of non-coding DNA sequence that varied in the number of copies—repeated units—called copy number variants or CNVs. In humans, differences in CNVs form the basis for studying forensics and paternity testing. The second factor studied was epigenetically-based, using an analysis of DNA methylation patterns around the genome.
    From these analyses, the researchers found that epigenetics correlated well with increased diversity among species while CNVs, based on actual DNA sequences, did not. In addition, they also undertook a more focused study of the epigenetic profiles of specific genes involved in the morphogenesis of beak shape, immune-system responses, and coloring of the birds. Once again, the epigenetic profiles of the different bird species for all of these gene groups were different while the DNA sequences were nearly identical.
    In addition, the amazing cellular machinery that reads, regulates, replicates, and modifies epigenetic states in the genome is so incredibly sophisticated and complex that it can only be attributed to the work of an Omnipotent Creator.
    http://www.icr.org/article/8338/

    Studies on Cichlid Fish Demonstrate the Predictive Power of Engineering Models for Adaptation
    Brian Miller – October 14, 2021
    Excerpt: Researchers increasingly recognize that the most significant variation in cichlid fish results from internal adaptive mechanisms. As Parsons et al. stated:
    “…there is an emerging view that additive genetic variation accounts for a relatively small percentage of phenotypic variation and rather it’s the context in which traits develop that determines their final form” (Hendrikse et al. 2007, Jamniczky et al. 2010, Pfennig et al. 2010, Hallgrimsson et al. 2014).
    Conclusion: Future research will undoubtedly continue to demonstrate that cichlid variation did not primarily originate from random mutations but from systems engineered to drive targeted modifications.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/10/studies-on-cichlid-fish-demonstrate-the-predictive-power-of-engineering-models-for-adaptation/

    Rapid Evolution of Citrate Utilization by Escherichia coli by Direct Selection Requires citT and dctA. – Minnich – Feb. 2016
    The isolation of aerobic citrate-utilizing Escherichia coli (Cit(+)) in long-term evolution experiments (LTEE) has been termed a rare, innovative, presumptive speciation event. We hypothesized that direct selection would rapidly yield the same class of E. coli Cit(+) mutants and follow the same genetic trajectory: potentiation, actualization, and refinement. This hypothesis was tested,,,
    Potentiation/actualization mutations occurred within as few as 12 generations, and refinement mutations occurred within 100 generations.,,,
    E. coli cannot use citrate aerobically. Long-term evolution experiments (LTEE) performed by Blount et al. (Z. D. Blount, J. E. Barrick, C. J. Davidson, and R. E. Lenski, Nature 489:513-518, 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11514 ) found a single aerobic, citrate-utilizing E. coli strain after 33,000 generations (15 years). This was interpreted as a speciation event. Here we show why it probably was not a speciation event. Using similar media, 46 independent citrate-utilizing mutants were isolated in as few as 12 to 100 generations. Genomic DNA sequencing revealed an amplification of the citT and dctA loci and DNA rearrangements to capture a promoter to express CitT, aerobically. These are members of the same class of mutations identified by the LTEE. We conclude that the rarity of the LTEE mutant was an artifact of the experimental conditions and not a unique evolutionary event. No new genetic information (novel gene function) evolved.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26833416

    Thus, it truly is sad that these researchers would try to use ‘repeated morphologies’, i.e. ‘ecomorph’, evidence,, evidence that in fact falsifies the ‘gene-centric’ presuppositions of Darwinists, as evidence for their claim that Darwinism has predictive power.

    Only in the pseudo-scientific world of Darwinian evolution can such falsifying evidence to a theory possibly be seen as a good thing.

    Apparently, as Dr. Hunter noted, “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news.”

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

  14. 14
    zweston says:

    Are there any better representatives for Darwin out there?

    I’d sure like to see them shoot their shot on here.

  15. 15
    asauber says:

    “Are there any better representatives for Darwin out there?”

    Zw,

    Better than Alan Fox? There must be.

    Andrew

  16. 16
    Alan Fox says:

    Are there any better representatives for Darwin out there?”

    Zw,

    Better than Alan Fox? There must be.

    Of course there are. The problem is that Uncommon Descent doesn’t provide much of a challenge for the mainstream and so is largely ignored these days. “Intelligent Design” seems to be fighting a losing battle for attention.

  17. 17
    asauber says:

    “The problem is that Uncommon Descent doesn’t provide much of a challenge for the mainstream and so is largely ignored these days.”

    Alan Fox,

    I have to disagree. It’s largely ignored because it’s a challenge. Just easier for the mainstream to avoid looking bad coming here. Like you do. 😉

    Andrew

  18. 18
    asauber says:

    Alan Fox,

    For instance, just throwing the word “niche” against the wall like it becomes a work of art when it hits. It doesn’t solve any of the many basic problems people discuss here.

    Andrew

  19. 19
    Alan Fox says:

    I have to disagree. It’s largely ignored because it’s a challenge. Just easier for the mainstream to avoid looking bad coming here. Like you do.

    Not convinced about the mainstream avoiding any “Intelligent Design” challenge. I mean, there is no ID hypothesis that could be remotely called scientific or testable. There used to be a trickle of allegedly pro-ID publications but nothing these days. I’m growing older and so is the ID community. There are no youngsters coming in and developing ID. The whole concept seems frozen in time.

  20. 20
    Alan Fox says:

    For instance, just throwing the word “niche” against the wall like it becomes a work of art when it hits. It doesn’t solve any of the many basic problems people discuss here.

    It might help if folks here read up on the role of the niche as the design element in evolution. Constantly attacking the strawman of randomness does nothing to improve the reputation of ID proponents.

  21. 21
    asauber says:

    “Not convinced about the mainstream avoiding any “Intelligent Design” challenge.”

    Alan Fox,

    You should be. It’s just like a politician only taking softball questions. It’s the M.O.

    Andrew

  22. 22
    Alan Fox says:

    You should be. It’s just like a politician only taking softball questions.

    Not really. Every tub must stand on its own bottom as KFs old pappy was wont to remark. I mean there’s no problem if you are unpersuaded by evolutionary theory and the evidence for it. But what would get the attention of the scientific community and the wider world is an alternative explanation which is a better fit to the evidence. Simply talking amongst yourselves here deriding aspects of evolutionary theory while simultaneously demonstrating a poor grasp of the theory is getting you nowhere.

  23. 23
    asauber says:

    “But what would get the attention of the scientific community and the wider world is an alternative explanation which is a better fit to the evidence.”

    Alan Fox,

    There is a better fit to the evidence. The scientific community doesn’t like it. Just like a politician toes the party line, there is the expectation of conformity. It’s not rocket science.

    Andrew

  24. 24
    Alan Fox says:

    There is a better fit to the evidence. The scientific community doesn’t like it.

    What is this better fit?

  25. 25
    asauber says:

    “What is this better fit?”

    Alan Fox,

    That the design apparent in nature is, in fact, design.

    Andrew

  26. 26
    JVL says:

    Asauber: It’s largely ignored because it’s a challenge.

    I’m sure you believe that but what actual evidence do you have that the biological community considers Intelligent Design a challenge, as in scientifically threatening to the widespread consensus.

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    demonstrating a poor grasp of the theory is getting you nowhere

    Who has a good grasp and who has a poor grasp?

    For example, those who compare ID to naturalistic process are those who are demonstrating a poor grasp of possible explanations. One is a historical, maybe a one time, event and the other is a process that is theoretically continually operating.

  28. 28
    zweston says:

    Alan fox joins the ranks of the black knights of monty python.

    What kind of conceivable challenge would need to come forth to consider it legitimate, Alan?

    And how would macroevolution be falsified?

  29. 29
    Alan Fox says:

    That the design apparent in nature is, in fact, design.

    Indeed. But evolutionary theory has a designer candidate – the niche. ID has…

    … nothing to tell us about design.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, you know it does not. KF

  31. 31
    Alan Fox says:

    Jerry, there is no ID explanation. You’ve said it’s just an additional step scientists could take. Nowhere has anyone suggested how this would work in practice.

  32. 32
    relatd says:

    AF at 31,

    https://www.discovery.org/a/sixfold-evidence-for-intelligent-design/

    Tonight on The Alan Fox Show, watch Alan Fox agree with himself…

  33. 33
    Alan Fox says:

    And how would macroevolution be falsified?

    I contend that evolution is an accumulation of three basic processes: anagenesis, cladogenesis, extinction. Macroevolution is not a different or additional process. It just involves more time.

  34. 34
    Alan Fox says:

    AF, you know it does not. KF

    I know what does not what?

  35. 35
    zweston says:

    By nature, science studies that which is observable, testable, natural….

    A creator of the universe would not be observable and therefore kind of hard to test.

    But, macroevolution is an unsupported hypothesis that has never been observed and cannot be tested as a result.

    Also, the line of argumentation that ID doesn’t come to a conclusion on “whodunnit?” doesn’t negate the critique and the pile of valid arguments that stack against Neo-darwinistic macroevolution.

  36. 36
    Alan Fox says:

    Tonight on The Alan Fox Show, watch Alan Fox agree with himself…

    *chuckles*

    Casey Luskin, DTOOL, Meyer misrepresenting the Cambrian period? Wow, I’m floored! 😉

  37. 37
    JVL says:

    Zweston: macroevolution

    A lot of people use that term without defining it. What do you think it refers to, specifically.

  38. 38
    Alan Fox says:

    A creator of the universe would not be observable and therefore kind of hard to test.

    True dat. Except why are you assuming who or whatever created this universe must not be observable? What is the reason for that assumption?

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, you know full well that blind chance variation plus differential reproductive succes does not deliver intelligently directed configuration. So, you have willfully distorted language, just for starters. Before, we get to failing the Newton’s rule criterion of actual demonstrated causal capability. KF

  40. 40
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: you know full well that blind chance variation plus differential reproductive succes does not deliver intelligently directed configuration.

    Good thing no one says it does then.

  41. 41
    jerry says:

    Nowhere has anyone suggested how this would work in practice.

    That is so not true.

    There are whole sections of biology that are devoted to solving this issue. It is called synthetic biology.

    This objection has been around UD since the beginning. Here is a comment I made about the absurdity of it 13 years ago

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/complex-specified-information-you-be-the-judge/#comment-305339

    Yes, I make sarcastic remarks because absurdity deserves it. If I hear one more person wanting to know what FSCI is, I will scream. I explained it to my niece in 4th grade and she understood it and thought it was neat. But she is really a bright kid.

    Someone actually wants the laboratory techniques used 3.8 billion years ago. You talk about bizarre. I say a thousand as hyperbole and Mark in all seriousness says there is probably only a dozen. Mark wants the actual technique used a few billion years ago.

    Mark, I got word from the designer a few weeks ago and he said the original lab and blue prints were subducted under what was to become the African plate 3.4 billion years ago but by then they were mostly rubble anyway. The original cells were relatively simple but still very complex. Subsequent plants/labs went the same way and unfortunately all holograph videos of it are now in hyper space and haven’t been looked at for at least 3 million years. So to answer one of your questions, no further work has been done for quite awhile and the designer expects future work to be done by the latest design itself. The designer travels via hyper space between his home and our area of the universe when it is necessary.

    The designer said the techniques used were much more sophisticated than anything dreamed of by current synthetic biologist crowd but in a couple million years they may get up to speed and understand how it was actually done. The designer said it is actually a lot more difficult than people think especially since this was a new technique and he had to invent the DNA/RNA/protein process from scratch but amazingly they had the right chemical properties. His comment was “Thank God for that” or else he doesn’t think he wouldn’t have been able to do it. It took him about 200,000 of our years just experimenting with amino acid combinations to get usable proteins. He said it will be easier for current scientists since they will have a template to work off.

    To deny design is to beg the question (a logical fallacy) that there not was a previous intelligence before humans. Didn’t Richard Dawkins agree this was the most likely explanation for life?

  42. 42
    JVL says:

    Jerry: I explained it to my niece in 4th grade and she understood it and thought it was neat. But she is really a bright kid.

    Does she have a way of objectively detecting its presence or measuring the amount present? You know, in case a case came up that wasn’t clear . . .

  43. 43
    Alan Fox says:

    AF, you know full well that blind chance variation plus differential reproductive succes (sic) does not deliver intelligently directed configuration.

    We are talking past one another. Design of living, reproducing organisms is an outcome of evolutionary processes.

    So, you have willfully distorted language, just for starters.

    Not at all. It is ID proponents who have appropriated a perfectly reasonable word and injected it with spurious significance it was not designed to carry. I have to say it was about the most successful thing the ID community has achieved

    Before, we get to failing the Newton’s rule criterion of actual demonstrated causal capability. KF

    The advantage I have over you is that I can make an effort at describing the theory of evolution and the evidence for it and draw on an enormous reserve of observations, papers, books, living scientists, I can even sniff and poke at reality myself.

    You definitely hold a very short straw.

  44. 44
    relatd says:

    • The Church “proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.”

    • “Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

    “Christoph Cardinal Schönborn is archbishop of Vienna and general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

  45. 45
    zweston says:

    JVL @ 37… just the conventional definition…

    Alan Fox @ 38… 1. scientific consensus says our material universe had a finite beginning. Therefore, the creator would have to pre-exist and be super-natural (outside of nature)…as nature cannot create itself.

    Not to say said creator couldn’t physically manifest themselves if they chose to.

    That being said, you didn’t really answer what we would need to see in order for macroevolution to be falsified… have we ever observed macroevolution? if so, we have an untestable and verifiable hypothesis.

    You can continue to say “it’s just a flesh wound” and “mostly everyone agrees with me” but one is false and the other is irrelevant and anti-science.

  46. 46
    relatd says:

    Zweston at 45,

    That is the whole, complete answer.

  47. 47
    Alan Fox says:

    To deny design is to beg the question (a logical fallacy) that there not was a previous intelligence before humans.

    I don’t deny design. I additionally have what I consider a reasonable explanation – evolution.

    Didn’t Richard Dawkins agree this was the most likely explanation for life?

    I agree that panspermia is an explanation for the origin of life on Earth. There is no evidence for that idea as yet. The James Webb telescope and Mars exploration may supply new data points on that.

  48. 48
    JVL says:

    Zweston: just the conventional definition

    I never use the term myself and I’d rather not misinterpret you or put words in your mouth so, could you provide the definition you subscribe to.

  49. 49
    bill cole says:

    The advantage I have over you is that I can make an effort at describing the theory of evolution and the evidence for it and draw on an enormous reserve of observations, papers, books, living scientists, I can even sniff and poke at reality myself.

    The problem with all the papers you are quoting is they are based on methodological naturalism. Based on methodological naturalism blind and unguided is all you have because no other mechanism has surfaced to explain life’s complexities except reproduction which is more a copying mechanism and not an innovative one. The theory has hit the wall based on methodological naturalism.

    How do you solve this and not be mislead by the idea that this is solvable given the constraints of science?

  50. 50
    Alan Fox says:

    …you didn’t really answer what we would need to see in order for macroevolution to be falsified… have we ever observed macroevolution? if so, we have an untestable and verifiable hypothesis.

    Maybe you didn’t like my answer. Macroevolution does not involve anything additional than the mechanisms described in evolutionary theory.

  51. 51
    zweston says:

    JVL… I know you don’t use the term because you probably don’t like it, because to make them separate concepts gives you a problem…because you also conflate the two.

    Google says: The term applies mainly to the evolution of whole taxonomic groups over long periods of time.— that works for me for now.

    Interestingly, macroevolution wasn’t a creationist invention but rather from secular scientists..

    You have an untested and unobserved hypothesis. aka A faith position

  52. 52
    asauber says:

    “I’m sure you believe that but what actual evidence do you have that the biological community considers Intelligent Design a challenge, as in scientifically threatening to the widespread consensus.”

    JVL,

    “The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of “intelligent design.” While we respect Prof. Behe’s right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.”

    https://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/News/evolution.html

    Since this is a full sprint run away as fast as you can retreat from ID, they obviously see ID as a challenge. Dare I say they are afraid of it.

    Andrew

  53. 53
    zweston says:

    Alan @ 50, I know that’s your position, but your claim is unsubstantiated and not demonstrable. Your claim is a hypothesis that is untested and unverifiable.

    If I am wrong, please tell us how it has been observed and tested.

  54. 54
    Alan Fox says:

    How do you solve this and not be mislead by the idea that this is solvable given the constraints of science?

    Science is a very practical pursuit, Bill. You make observations, measurements, try experiments based on hypotheses, discarding and refining. The process is coming up with predictive models that describe an aspect of reality accurately enough to be useful.

    Why do I need to solve anything that appears to have no connection to or with observed reality?

  55. 55
    asauber says:

    “Macroevolution does not involve anything additional than the mechanisms described in evolutionary theory.”

    Alan Fox,

    Yes it does. It needs unknowable lengths of time for some magic to occur that wouldn’t otherwise.

    Andrew

  56. 56
    JVL says:

    Zweston: The term applies mainly to the evolution of whole taxonomic groups over long periods of time.

    “Group” is not a taxonomic classification those being: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Which of those do you think ‘group’ refers to?

    Remember: taxonomy is a human invented system of classification which we apply to the natural world.

    I know you don’t use the term because you probably don’t like it, because to make them separate concepts gives you a problem…because you also conflate the two.

    I have no need for the term. Unguided evolution always happens over small steps.

  57. 57
    relatd says:

    Andrew at 52,

    Of course they are afraid of it. People were taken to court over it. The big fear is that ID will get into schools. The idea of an actual Intelligent Designer will not be mentioned but those who are afraid of this know the chosen designer will be God, the Judeo-Christian God. So, the fear is real, and people will continue to post here as if they never knew this.

  58. 58
    Alan Fox says:

    If I am wrong, please tell us how it has been observed and tested.

    For at least the third time…

    Macroevolution is not a different process.

  59. 59
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Since this is a full sprint run away as fast as you can retreat from ID, they obviously see ID as a challenge.

    Doesn’t sound like they consider it a scientific challenge especially considering part of the statement:

    It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.

  60. 60
    relatd says:

    JVL at 56,

    “Unguided evolution always happens over small steps.”

    I send an unguided, driverless car down a road. How long before it crashes and burns?

  61. 61
    asauber says:

    “Unguided evolution always happens over small steps.”

    JVL,

    So get specific. Show us a specific trail of small-step evidence, where unguided evolution occurred.

    Andrew

  62. 62
    relatd says:

    AF at 58,

    Tonight on The Alan Fox Show, Alan Fox sniffs and pokes at reality…

    Ewwwwwwwwwwww.

  63. 63
    Alan Fox says:

    [Macro-evolution] needs unknowable lengths of time for some magic to occur that wouldn’t otherwise.

    We have fossil organisms, we have stratification that gives us times. We don't have rabbits in Cambrian deposits. Sure what evidence we do have is fragmentary and will always be incomplete. What we don't have are anomalies. The overall nested hierarchy of common descent fits all the available evidence, as does all the relatively new evidence of molecular phylogenetics.

    ID has a neat name and a few ageing enthusiasts.

  64. 64
    zweston says:

    Alan, we must be talking past each other.. I think you must only be responding to this because you feel safe in your truism…

    Can you unequivocally verify by observation or testing (or point to someone who has) that the same vehicle for microevolution has led to the development of unique body plans?

    I know you aren’t dense. But your refusal to engage is noted.

  65. 65
    asauber says:

    “Doesn’t sound like they consider it a scientific challenge”

    JVL,

    Dr. Behe’s position is based on the work that he did experimentally as a scientist in the Department of Biological Sciences and on the similar work of other scientists. He sure pulled the wool over Lehigh’s eyes disguising it as not science.

    Andrew

  66. 66
    Alan Fox says:

    So get specific. Show us a specific trail of small-step evidence, where unguided evolution occurred.

    Well, I think there is a semantic issue in that I’m perfectly happy to agree with you (if you do) that evolution is a guided, a designed process. But I’m convinced that interaction between populations of organisms and the niche environments they occupy is the mechanism of design.

  67. 67
    bill cole says:

    Why do I need to solve anything that appears to have no connection to or with observed reality?

    You now have a model that is most likely faulty based on methodological naturalism. That model is universal common descent. Thousands of papers are written assuming this is true and it is most likely not based on observed reality. The problem here ironically is scientific.

    http://www.sci-news.com/genetics/article01036.html

  68. 68
    Alan Fox says:

    RL calls. Maybe tomorrow.

  69. 69
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Dr. Behe’s position is based on the work that he did experimentally as a scientist in the Department of Biological Sciences and on the similar work of other scientists. He sure pulled the wool over Lehigh’s eyes disguising it as not science.

    Well, I don’t think he submitted his work critical of unguided evolution to peer review and I know that many biologists have reviewed his work and pointed out flaws.

    I don’t think the biological community considers his work a scientific threat. And I don’t think you have shown that they do.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    asauber says:

    “many biologists have reviewed his work and pointed out flaws.”

    JVL,

    Sounds like scientists doing science.

    Andrew

  72. 72
    martin_r says:

    Querius @7

    For example, the celebrated adaptation of the beaks in Galapagos (aka Darwin’s) finches occurs in a single generation

    as to “occurs in a single generation”

    Have you ever heard of Senegal bichir ?

    Get this:

    Emily Standen is a scientist at the University of Ottawa, who studies Polypterus senegalus, AKA the Senegal bichir, a fish that not only has gills but also primitive lungs. Regular polypterus can breathe air at the surface, but they are “much more content” living underwater, she says. But when Standen took Polypterus that had spent their first few weeks of life in water, and subsequently raised them on land, their bodies began to change immediately. The bones in their fins elongated and became sharper, able to pull them along dry land with the help of wider joint sockets and larger muscles. Their necks softened. Their primordial lungs expanded and their other organs shifted to accommodate them. Their entire appearance transformed. “They resembled the transition species you see in the fossil record, partway between sea and land,” Standen told me. According to the traditional theory of evolution, this kind of change takes millions of years. But, says Armin Moczek, an extended synthesis proponent, the Senegal bichir “is adapting to land in a single generation”. He sounded almost proud of the fish.

    by the way, i got it from a very interesting mainstream article (published June 2022):

    “A new wave of scientists argues that mainstream evolutionary theory needs an urgent overhaul. Their opponents have dismissed them as misguided careerists – and the conflict may determine the future of biology”

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/jun/28/do-we-need-a-new-theory-of-evolution

  73. 73
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “many biologists have reviewed his (Behe’s) work and pointed out flaws.”

    Hmm, I wonder why does that sentence not instead read as, “many biologists have reviewed his (Behe’s) work and have conducted, or referenced, experimental work that refutes his work.”

    The reason why it doesn’t read that way is because there simply is no experimental work refuting Behe’s empirically derived results. Empirically derived results which show that there is a fairly strict 1 in 10^20 limit to what Darwinian processes can accomplish. So, apparently, all Darwinists are left with is for them to resort to misleading rhetoric in order to try to cast doubt on his straight-forward, empirically derived, results.

    Needless to say, that is NOT ‘doing science’, but is resistance to following the evidence where it leads., which is the opposite of science.

    “The number I cite, one parasite in every 10^20 for de novo chloroquine resistance, is not a probability calculation. Rather, it is a statistic, a result, a data point. (Furthermore, it is not my number, but that of the eminent malariologist Nicholas White.) I do not assume that “adaptation cannot occur one mutation at a time”; I assume nothing at all. I am simply looking at the results. The malaria parasite was free to do whatever it could in nature; to evolve resistance, or outcompete its fellow parasites, by whatever evolutionary pathway was available in the wild. Neither I nor anyone else were manipulating the results. What we see when we look at chloroquine-resistant malaria is pristine data — it is the best that random mutation plus selection was able to accomplish in the wild in 10^20 tries.”
    – Michael Behe

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model. Generally, when the results of a simple model disagree with observational data, it is an indication that the model is inadequate.,,,
    The difficulty with models such as Durrett and Schmidt’s is that their biological relevance is often uncertain, and unknown factors that are quite important to cellular evolution may be unintentionally left out of the model. That is why experimental or observational data on the evolution of microbes such as P. falciparum are invaluable,,,
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    Michael Behe – Empirically observed (1 in 10^20) Edge of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    An Open Letter to Kenneth Miller and PZ Myers – Michael Behe July 21, 2014
    Dear Professors Miller and Myers,
    Talk is cheap. Let’s see your numbers.
    In your recent post on and earlier reviews of my book The Edge of Evolution you toss out a lot of words, but no calculations. You downplay FRS Nicholas White’s straightforward estimate that — considering the number of cells per malaria patient (a trillion), times the number of ill people over the years (billions), divided by the number of independent events (fewer than ten) — the development of chloroquine-resistance in malaria is an event of probability about 1 in 10^20 malaria-cell replications. Okay, if you don’t like that, what’s your estimate? Let’s see your numbers.,,,
    ,,, If you folks think that direct, parsimonious, rather obvious route to 1 in 10^20 isn’t reasonable, go ahead, calculate a different one, then tell us how much it matters, quantitatively. Posit whatever favorable or neutral mutations you want. Just make sure they’re consistent with the evidence in the literature (especially the rarity of resistance, the total number of cells available, and the demonstration by Summers et al. that a minimum of two specific mutations in PfCRT is needed for chloroquine transport). Tell us about the effects of other genes, or population structures, if you think they matter much, or let us know if you disagree for some reason with a reported literature result.
    Or, Ken, tell us how that ARMD phenotype you like to mention affects the math. Just make sure it all works out to around 1 in 10^20, or let us know why not.
    Everyone is looking forward to seeing your calculations. Please keep the rhetoric to a minimum.
    With all best wishes (especially to Professor Myers for a speedy recovery),
    Mike Behe
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....88041.html
    February 2022 – All the responses from Dr. Behe to his critics defending the 1 in 10^20 finding
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/asked-at-evolution-news-how-much-can-evolution-really-accomplish/#comment-748038

    Quote and verse:

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to the good.

  74. 74
    JVL says:

    Asauber: Sounds like scientists doing science.

    Yes, it does. And . . .

  75. 75
    Querius says:

    The scientific attractiveness of ID is that it actually works. It doesn’t depend on theism. It doesn’t depend on science fantasy stories. And it doesn’t depend on alien intrusions.

    All that ID claims is that living things appear intelligently designed, so that organelles, biochemical cycles, and genetic mechanisms that are poorly understood are more likely to function as if they were intelligently designed rather than as useless vestiges of undirected evolution.

    Examples:

    * Biologists once claimed over 100 “vestigial” organs in the human body, including the thyroid and other ductless glands. The was PREDICTED by Darwinism. It failed.

    * Geneticists once believed in “junk” DNA, which is now termed non-coding DNA. Junk DNA was PREDICTED by Darwinism. It also failed, but Darwinists are grimly hanging on to the shrinking areas of DNA that they can still claim as junk.

    * The skeletal remains of extinct animals called dinosaurs supposedly lived roughly 65-250 million years ago were ALL supposedly petrified artifacts without any possibility for organic matter to survive. This was PREDICTED by Darwinism. It’s also failed, but Darwinists are grimly hanging on to the unscientific possibility that 100 million years of background radiation miraculously allowed organic bone, stretchy connective tissue, and even red blood cells to survive.

    * The half-life of DNA has been scientifically determined to be 521 years (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.11555). Thus, after only seven half lives or about 3,600 years, less than 1% of DNA would survive under ideal conditions (-5 C). It’s predicted that EVERY BOND in DNA would be destroyed in 6.8 million years. Nevertheless, Darwinists still claim that DNA sequences from insects in amber are 25-30 million years old (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/) and that Neanderthal DNA has been sequenced as far back as 430,000 years (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/).

    So, as it should be obvious, the data doesn’t fit Darwinian expectations or timeline. Darwinism has been repeatedly falsified and should no longer be considered “science,” but rather “science fantasy” originally motivated by racist and colonialist ideologies.

    On the other hand, ID has repeatedly been vindicated as new discoveries show that previously unknown organelles, biochemical cycles, and genetic mechanisms actually have function and should thus be investigated as if they were intelligently designed!

    -Q

  76. 76
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Hmm, I wonder why does that sentence not instead read as, “many biologists have reviewed his (Behe’s) work and have conducted, or referenced, experimental work that refutes his work.”

    Many of the objections had to do with Dr Behe’s interpretations of other people’s work. So, they pointed out how he had misread things. Are you sure you really are aware of the actual issues?

  77. 77
    asauber says:

    “Yes, it does. And . . .”

    JVL,

    So… Behe did do science. And scientists criticized it. Because… it… was… science….

    Andrew

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    “Are you sure you really are aware of the actual issues?”

    Yep. The actual issue(s) is that hard-core Darwinists, since they are emotionally, even religiously, committed to Atheism, could care less what the actual evidence says.

    As I’ve pointed out numerous times before, Darwinism is not a science, but is, since Darwinists simply refuse to accept any experimental falsification of their theory, much more properly classified as a unfalsifiable pseudo-science, even classified as a religion for atheists, than ever being classified as a hard science.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    – Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery

    Here are a few more instances where Darwinists simply refuse to accept falsification of their theory,

    1. Darwin’s theory holds mutations to the genome to be random. The vast majority of mutations to the genome are not random but are now found to be ‘directed’.

    2. Darwin’s theory holds that Natural Selection is the ‘designer substitute’ that produces the ‘appearance’ and/or illusion of design. Natural Selection, especially for multicellular organisms, is found to be grossly inadequate as the ‘designer substitute.

    3. Darwin’s theory holds that mutations to DNA will eventually change the basic biological form of any given species into a new form of a brand new species. Yet, biological form is found to be irreducible to mutations to DNA, nor is biological form reducible to any other material particulars in biology one may wish to invoke.

    4. Darwin’s theory, (via Fisher’s Theorem in population genetics), assumed there to be an equal proportion of good and bad mutations to DNA which were, ultimately, responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Yet, the ratio of detrimental to beneficial mutations is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial, information building, mutations whatsoever.

    5. Charles Darwin himself held that the gradual unfolding of life would (someday) be self-evident in the fossil record. Yet, from the Cambrian Explosion onward, the fossil record is consistently characterized by the sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record, (i.e. disparity), then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. Moreover, Fossils are found in the “wrong place” all the time (either too early, or too late).

    6. Darwin’s theory, due to the randomness postulate, holds that patterns will not repeat themselves in supposedly widely divergent species. Yet thousands of instances of what is ironically called ‘convergent evolution’, on both the morphological and genetic level, falsifies the Darwinian belief that patterns will not repeat themselves in widely divergent species.

    7. Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Yet as Doug Axe pointed out, “Basically every gene and every new protein fold, there is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in that gradualistic way. It’s all a mirage. None of it happens that way.”

    8. Charles Darwin himself stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.” Yet as Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig pointed out, “in thousands of plant species often entirely new organs have been formed for the exclusive good of more than 132,930 other species, these ‘ugly facts’ have annihilated Darwin’s theory as well as modern versions of it.”

    9. Charles Darwin himself stated that, ““The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God. Yet ‘our conscious selves’ are certainly not explainable by ‘chance’ (nor is consciousness explainable by any possible reductive materialistic explanation in general), i.e. ‘the hard problem of consciousness’.

    10. Besides the mathematics of probability consistently showing that Darwinian evolution is impossible, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now shown Darwinian evolution to be impossible. Moreover, ‘immaterial’ mathematics itself, which undergirds all of science, engineering and technology, is held by most mathematicians to exist in some timeless, unchanging, immaterial, Platonic realm. Yet, the reductive materialism that Darwinian theory is based upon denies the existence of the immaterial realm that mathematics exists in. i.e. Darwinian evolution actually denies the objective reality of the one thing, i.e. mathematics, that it most needs in order to be considered scientific in the first place!

    11. Donald Hoffman has, via population genetics, shown that if Darwin’s materialistic theory were true then all our observations of reality would be illusory. Yet the scientific method itself is based on reliable observation. Moreover, Quantum Mechanics itself has now shown that conscious observation must come before material reality, i.e. falsification of ‘realism’ proves that our conscious observations are reliable!.

    12. The reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought holds that immaterial information is merely ’emergent’ from a material basis. Yet immaterial Information, via experimental realization of the “Maxwell’s Demon” thought experiment, is now found to be its own distinctive physical entity that, although it can interact in a ‘top down’ manner with matter and energy, is separate from matter and energy.

    13. Darwinists hold that Darwin’s theory is true. Yet ‘Truth’ itself is an abstract property of an immaterial mind that is irreducible to the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution. i.e. Assuming reductive materialism and/or Naturalism as the starting philosophical position of science actually precludes ‘the truth’ from ever being reached by science!

    14. Darwinists, due to their underlying naturalistic philosophy, insist that teleology (i.e. goal directed purpose) does not exist. Yet it is impossible for Biologists to do biological research without constantly invoking words that directly imply teleology. i.e. The very words that Biologists themselves are forced to use when they are doing their research falsifies Darwinian evolution.

    Defense of each claim
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I6fT6ATY700Bsx2-JSFqL6l-rzXpMcZcZKZfYRS45h4/edit

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to the good.

    Of supplemental note:

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/
    Robert Jackson Marks II is an American electrical engineer. His contributions include the Zhao-Atlas-Marks (ZAM) time-frequency distribution in the field of signal processing,[1] the Cheung–Marks theorem[2] in Shannon sampling theory and the Papoulis-Marks-Cheung (PMC) approach in multidimensional sampling.[3] He was instrumental in the defining of the field of computational intelligence and co-edited the first book using computational intelligence in the title.[4][5]
    – per wikipedia

  79. 79
    JVL says:

    Asauber: So… Behe did do science. And scientists criticized it. Because… it… was… science….

    So, you’ve run out of meaningful things to say. Noted.

  80. 80
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: The actual issue(s) is that Darwinists could care less what the actual evidence says.

    What if you and Dr Behe are wrong about the actual evidence? Who are you to judge? Are you a biologist? Or a chemist? Or a biochemist?

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, whatever.

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

  82. 82
    asauber says:

    “So, you’ve run out of meaningful things to say. Noted.”

    JVL,

    No, you’ve just decided to be obtuse. Again.

    Andrew

  83. 83
    relatd says:

    JVL at 80,

    Are you? 15 year olds in high school who are told blind, unguided forces made all living things are none of these, yet, if they accept evolution then that’s considered good science teaching. When anyone, scientist or not, suggests otherwise then problems occur. But they amount to empty objections.

    People judge the information they’re getting all the time.

  84. 84
    asauber says:

    So I request this:

    “So get specific. Show us a specific trail of small-step evidence, where unguided evolution occurred.”

    …and unsurprisingly there are evasions and crickets.

    Andrew

  85. 85
    JVL says:

    Asauber: So get specific. Show us a specific trail of small-step evidence, where unguided evolution occurred.

    But will you reciprocate and offer a similar, detailed trail of design? You will not. Why should anyone do tons of work for someone with a double standard? For a view which has no detail or fine gradations?

    This is a typical ID wheeze: you can’t show every single small step so your idea is bogus. But ID provides zero steps, no timeline, no mechanism, no steps at all. When you can provide even an attempt at your own explanation for the phenomena you query then we can talk. When it’s a fair discussion.

  86. 86
    Querius says:

    Relatd @83,

    Remember the folk wisdom: “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig likes it.”

    Also note that there’s no dispute from the Darwinists here on the substantive information presented, nor do they provide anything that a reasonably well-programmed trollbot couldn’t also produce.

    -Q

  87. 87
    JVL says:

    Relatd: Are you?

    I read and listen to people who are chemists and biologists and biochemists and the vast majority disagree with Dr Behe. Maybe they’re all wrong. Maybe there is some vast conspiracy to uphold the accepted paradigm. But, conspiracy theories aside . . . I gotta think the evidence and the consensus is for unguided evolution.

  88. 88
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: whatever.

    What experiments did Dr Behe do to prove unguided evolution wrong? Please be specific.

  89. 89
    Querius says:

    JVL @85,

    Already provided multiple times. For example, see @75.

    -Q

  90. 90
    Alan Fox says:

    Goodness me, get called away and a plethora of misrepresentation ensues. I’m shocked, shocked I say, to see that happening here. Querius at 75 is particularly egregious. For shame, for shame. Response tomorrow. Gnite.

  91. 91
    asauber says:

    “This is a typical ID wheeze: you can’t show every single small step so your idea is bogus.”

    JVL,

    So far you haven’t shown —->any<—– small step evidence.

    Andrew

  92. 92
    relatd says:

    Ba77 at 78,

    “The actual issue(s) is that hard-core Darwinists, since they are emotionally, even religiously, committed to Atheism, could care less what the actual evidence says.”

    That sums up everything. Once atheists had Darwin, they had what seemed, for a while, to be a reason for believing that nothing made human beings. But the death of evolution will take time. Supporters here and elsewhere will have to keep promoting it. At the same time, they have to ignore the fact that all of the sentences here use word-symbols that are complex, specific and in the correct order to be understood correctly. Living things contain codes that operate in the same way.

    But further attempts to deny that will continue.

  93. 93
    JVL says:

    Relatd: I send an unguided, driverless car down a road. How long before it crashes and burns?

    Are you suggesting that the entirety of life on earth is equivalent to one driverless car heading down a road? Really?

    You don’t seem to really grasp the unguided evolution idea. New life forms come from existing, viable forms. But the process is very wasteful, many offspring die, some before birth, some at birth, some soon after birth. So, yes, in some sense, there are a lot of cars crashing and burning. But some don’t.

  94. 94
    Querius says:

    JVL @88,

    Scientific theories are never “proven” right or wrong. Evidence and experimentation shows them either stronger or weaker. This is seventh grade science.

    -Q

  95. 95
    JVL says:

    Asauber: So far you haven’t shown —->any<—– small step evidence.

    Neither have you. So?

    IF I did provide that information what would you do?

  96. 96
    asauber says:

    “IF I did provide that information what would you do?”

    JVL,

    IF you did, I would scientifically scrutinize it, and let you know what I perceived.

    Andrew

  97. 97
    JVL says:

    Querius: Already provided multiple times. For example, see @75.

    First of all, most of the statements made in comment 75 are just assertions. Secondly, many of them are so egregiously wrong I’m surprised you reproduced them. Nonetheless . . .

    Pick one of those assertions and we shall look into it. Which one will you pick . . .

  98. 98
    JVL says:

    Asauber: IF you did, I would scientifically scrutinize it, and let you know what I perceived.

    Would you reciprocate and provide a step-by-step design explanation for the same situation?

  99. 99
    Querius says:

    Note that researchers have found that software simulations of ecosystems are typically unstable and crash after decimating the ecosystem’s carrying capacity. I’ve worked on this problem myself. Ecosystems also seem to be intelligently designed.

    Thus, the driverless car analogy is apt.

    -Q

  100. 100
    asauber says:

    “Would you reciprocate and provide a step-by-step design explanation for the same situation?”

    JVL,

    ID doesn’t claim to provide step by step design implementation.

    But evolution claims to provide step by step implementation. So let’s go with that. Or is this going to end up with you not providing any evidence for your position? Again?

    Andrew

  101. 101
    JVL says:

    Asauber: ID doesn’t claim to provide step by step design implementation.

    Unguided evolution doesn’t claim to provide it either. They claim it exists.

    Oh, and, by the way, ID is a “better” explanation when it cannot provide a better, more detailed explanation?

    There is no way anyone can specifically provide a step-by-step mutational journey for any changes that happened in the past. DNA was only isolated in the 1950s and complete genome retrieval is still pretty expensive and time consuming. However, monitoring modern situations is providing some examples of small, step-by-step alterations. Some of these are well documented in Neil Shubin’s book Some Assembly Acquired. Perhaps you should read that book.

  102. 102
    Querius says:

    JVL @97,

    Pick one of those assertions and we shall look into it. Which one will you pick . . .

    Ok, I pick . . .

    The half-life of DNA has been scientifically determined to be 521 years (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.11555). Thus, after only seven half lives or about 3,600 years, less than 1% of DNA would survive under ideal conditions (-5 C). It’s predicted that EVERY BOND in DNA would be destroyed in 6.8 million years. Nevertheless, Darwinists still claim that DNA sequences from insects in amber are 25-30 million years old (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/) and that Neanderthal DNA has been sequenced as far back as 430,000 years (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/).

    – Q

  103. 103
    asauber says:

    “They claim it exists.”

    JVL,

    La de da. I claim to be King of Siam. Go clean my pool.

    Andrew

  104. 104
    JVL says:

    Querius: The half-life of DNA has been scientifically determined to be 521 years (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.11555).

    Okay. That seems okay with me. Which means that previous predictions about being able to recover ancient DNA were far too optimistic. AND the previous paper you cited was 20 YEARS older!! So, guess what, scientists may no longer be making that claim. NOT “Darwinists still claim”.

    Are you even looking at the papers you cite?

  105. 105
    JVL says:

    Asauber: La de da. I claim to be King of Siam. Go clean my pool.

    And you can’t even say when design was implemented. Not a guess, not a hypothesis, nothing.

    And ID is a better explanation. Really?

  106. 106
    asauber says:

    “And ID is a better explanation. Really?”

    JVL,

    Yes ID doesn’t make claims it can’t deliver on. On the other hand, your unguided evolution position is literally a farce.

    Andrew

  107. 107
    relatd says:

    Querius at 99,

    So, blind, unguided chance kept spitting out random organisms until it got a few right, and THEN that organism, and the other, had to find the right niche?

    Let’s create a human eye:

    The lens is formed by accident.

    The eyeball is formed by accident.

    The optic nerve is formed by accident.

    It is connected to the right location in the brain by accident.

    The rods and cones in the eyes were created by accident so we can see color and black and white.

    Two openings in the skull that fit the eyeballs are formed by accident and are the right distance apart for true stereoscopic vision, by accident.

    Then an accident occurred to create eyelids and eyelashes.

  108. 108
    JVL says:

    Asauber: ID doesn’t make claims it can’t deliver on.

    ID says almost nothing and that makes it a better explanation? Really? ID can’t say when design was implemented; some even say it can’t say anything about that. ID says zilch about how design was implemented. ID says double zilch about why design was implemented. In fact, ID makes almost no claims at all.

    ID has one, single statement: some stuff looks designed. And the reasons? Firstly, we can’t see how natural processes could have come up with what we observe (a negative argument). Secondly, there’s a lot of complicated ‘directions’ in things like DNA and we’ve only observed intelligent beings coming up with stuff like that. BUT we’ve only noticed HUMAN BEINGS coming up with stuff like that. That doesn’t mean there were any other intelligent beings around at whatever time you can’t specify who did something you also can’t specify.

    You can’t just ‘logic’ other beings into existence. Especially when you can’t even say when they were around.

    I am perfect happy to consider the design inference when and if you guys come up with some more evidence and some more statements about when and how design was implemented. You can’t get more support for ID just by picking on unguided evolutionary theory because it doesn’t spell out every single step when you have zero intention of ever doing that yourself.

    IF there was design it had to be implemented, ‘made flesh’. That had to happen at a particular time or times. It had to be carried out in a particular way. When you take pride in not even trying to address those questions you just show how shallow ID is at this time. IF you do some more work and put the whole endeavour on a firmer footing then you might have something. IF you do that.

  109. 109
    JVL says:

    Relatd: The lens is formed by accident.

    You know very well that no one is claiming the things you cite all of a sudden came into existence. And if you don’t know that then you are not even trying to understand the theory you are opposing.

    Either way, people are not going to take you seriously when you make such ludicrous statements.

  110. 110
    asauber says:

    So I request this:

    “So get specific. Show us a specific trail of small-step evidence, where unguided evolution occurred.”

    …and unsurprisingly there are evasions and crickets.

    Andrew

  111. 111
    relatd says:

    JVL at 109,

    You are the one making ludicrous statements. And “I don’t understand” a just-so story? Evolution is slow, except when it isn’t. Evolution makes unique features except when it doesn’t. With a storytelling formula like that, all that’s needed is imagination. Not credible. Just not credible.

    If I told you that ID was implemented on a certain date, what would that change?

  112. 112
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ relatd 111
    It sets it up so that EVERYTHING can constitute as evidence for evolution. Nothing counts against it. And it reflects in many of the posts by Alan Fox and JVL.

    A lot of this is arguing the glass is half full vs half empty. It’s a matter of how you look at it.

    Evolution is easily defendable because of its myriad of “just so stories” that are slightly plausible allowing anything to be evidence

    So what’s not evidence for evolution?
    The answer is there is no evidence against evolution because everything can be considered evidence for it

    Point in case, I made a comment that it took 4 billion years to evolve the most complex structure of the universe “the human brain” but yet evolution can’t create a doormat

    The retort by certain individuals here was “evolution created the human which created the doormat so evolution did create the doormat”

    This is all god of gaps thinking.
    It’s not that things support evolution, it’s just that people like Alan fox force all forms of evidence into the clay mush that is evolution and evolution theory fits around it

    If Darwin did anything he created a godlessness of gaps argument, use time and probability. Simply garbage.

  113. 113
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    If Darwin did anything he created a godlessness of gaps argument, use time and probability. Simply garbage.

    Not really. Darwin did (unintentionally)a good thing for the truth: he created a Fly Paper for all materialists.

    Jesus talked about peoples like Darwin to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

  114. 114
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 112,

    What can be said about certain posters regarding evolution? They must defend it. They have no choice. Should evolution by blind, unguided chance fall then what will fill the vacuum? Intelligent Design. They know that, so they must continue. And yes, it requires no God so it must be defended.

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, don’t you recognise chance variation plus natural selection [= differential reproductive success] so called? That’s telling. KF

    PS, note:

    https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/natural-selection

    >>Natural selection is the process through which populations of living organisms adapt and change. Individuals in a population are naturally variable, meaning that they are all different in some ways. This variation means that some individuals have traits better suited to the environment than others. Individuals with adaptive traits—traits that give them some advantage—are more likely to survive and reproduce. These individuals then pass the adaptive traits on to their offspring. Over time, these advantageous traits become more common in the population. Through this process of natural selection, favorable traits are transmitted through generations.>>

  116. 116
    Querius says:

    Related @107,

    Yes, exactly.

    All those miraculous accidents involving the eye MUSTA happened because . . . we have eyes (ta-da). There, that proves it!

    And the fossil record is absolutely FILLED with the accidents and failures of evolution (three eyes, one eye in the back of the skull, eye sockets in the palms of hands, etc.) that went extinct. Absolutely filled!

    But fossils are very, very rare and we haven’t actually really ever found any of them . . . yet . . . in the ordinary, literal sense of the word, BUT, Top Scientists are supremely confident that eventually such fossils will be found!

    No doubt about it! Top scientists!

    -Q (LOL)

  117. 117
    Sandy says:

    Thousands of messages, not a single mind has changed its position.
    The summary can be encapsulated in 2 lines dialoque:
    Atheist: You are dumb, there is no God.
    Theist: No you are dumb, there is God .
    ….
    Repeat with different words to sound like news.
    ….
    Repeat.
    ….
    Repeat.

  118. 118
    AaronS1978 says:

    @Sandy
    You don’t say….

  119. 119
    Alan Fox says:

    So is there any value in being honest rather than a propagandist?

    Personally, I’m disappointed at the repetitive misrepresentation I’m seeing here. But maybe people are only mistaken and not doing it deliberately. Me, I don’t see the point in making statements that I know are not accurate, but then I’m not a politician or a realtor.

  120. 120
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, kindly examine your recent track record. KF

  121. 121
    Alan Fox says:

    Let’s compare notes, KF. Would you agree there is value in the inquisitorial method over the adversarial method in inquiring into issues? First agree the common ground and then argue over the differences.

  122. 122
    Alan Fox says:

    Whilst you, KF, are far from the worst offenders here, you make an implied ad hominem attack. Do you honestly think I don’t mean what I say when I write comments here?

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, I will ignore the polarising projections. Instead, let us ask you to start from evolutionary materialistic scientism [or your fellow traveller ideology of choice], and arrive at the rational, responsible freedom required to have enough morally governed mind that honesty is more than empty mouth noise that then becomes inherently a term of manipulation. Along the way, account for origin of life, address the multiple Nobel Prize winning evidence behind the summary that in D/RNA we find complex coded functional algorithmic information. Similarly, account for body plans, thence mind. In particular, answer adequately what J B S Haldane put on the table. KF

  124. 124
    Alan Fox says:

    @ KF

    You’ll have to put that into clear English if you want a response from me.

  125. 125
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, personality loaded evasion. You know exactly what is being required but think you can play stylistics as rhetoric of dismissal. Absent a response on point, we can therefore safely conclude you and the wider penumbra of selective hyperskepticism do not have a cogent response. That has been precisely your track record, yet again, for months. KF

  126. 126
    Alan Fox says:

    Also, why is the burden all on me to demonstrate the complete A to Z of evolutionary theory, yet here at Uncommon Descent, I can’t get anyone to give me any sort of clear explanation of how “Intelligent Design” works?

    Seems unfair. 🙁

  127. 127
    Alan Fox says:

    Absent a response on point, we can therefore safely conclude you and the wider penumbra of selective hyperskepticism do not have a cogent response.

    I’ll take that as a no.

  128. 128
    Alan Fox says:

    Anyway, no rush, KF. I’m sure you have important matters to see to. As have I.

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, doubling down on the loaded rhetorical evasion. I append a specific challenge. Answer it or stand exposed as having no cogent answer. KF

    PS, Haldane, again:

    [JBSH, REFACTORED AS SKELETAL, AUGMENTED PROPOSITIONS:]

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the functionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    [Implied, Corollary 3: Reason and rationality collapse in a grand delusion, including of course general, philosophical, logical, ontological and moral knowledge; reductio ad absurdum, a FAILED, and FALSE, intellectually futile and bankrupt, ruinously absurd system of thought.]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

  130. 130
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, on your turnabout false projection, intelligently directed configuration is as close to hand as your cleverly constructed talking points. How do you compose text in English? There is your answer. Text in DNA expressing coded algorithms for making proteins has only one empirically warranted source. Language using intelligence with ability as a programmer backed by deep knowledge of polymer chemistry and molecular nanotech. You further know that blind chance and/or mechanical necessity face a needle in haystack search challenge in large configuration spaces that makes such maximally implausible. How do we know this? Simple, you implicitly assign text in this thread to mind, not functionality filtered lucky noise. We can go on and on and on, but all that would do is allow you to parade the same selective hyperskepticism and supercilious snideness you have exhibited for months. KF

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, on the logic, principles and dynamics of inventive problem solving leading to technological evolution, we have repeatedly pointed to TRIZ. Of course, there is the studied pretence that this is not on the table. This is just one of dozens of cases pointing to selective hyperskepticism.

  132. 132
    martin_r says:

    Relatd @107

    Let’s create a human eye:

    The lens is formed by accident.

    The eyeball is formed by accident.

    The optic nerve is formed by accident.

    It is connected to the right location in the brain by accident.

    all these are “small” things …

    Get this – key words Mixing colors

    (it will be a bit technical, but this is what human visual system is about … it is pretty technical, because it has been engineered… so it has to be technical … there is no other way around …. )

    Human visual system works in RGB color space (like your TV or PC monitor, or a camcorder).

    It just happened, by chance, that human eye features light sensitive cells responsive to a specific light wave length … RED light = 564 nm , GREEN light = 534 nm and BLUE light = 420 nm.

    So let’s play an absurdly naive Darwnist and believe, that blind unguided natural process, without any knowledge of light properties, figured out how to make these light sensitive cells to be responsive EXACTLY to these 3 specific wave lengths in order to create visual system with 16,000,000+ color resolution … responsive means, when the light hit the photo-cell, an electrical signal is triggered, and this signal is processed by brain …

    And now, the most important part …

    If you want to mix 16,000,000+ colors, based on R/G/B information, you need a RGB color chart (so you know, what amount of RED and GREEN and BLUE color to add in to get a correct resulting color)

    E.g. mixing red + green color gives you magenta … of course, it is much more complicated when mixing 16,000,000+ colors (like our brain does), you need to correctly mix all 3 colors (red green, blue,), plus, you need to count with light intensity and so on …

    So my question is, and i never hear any answer/speculation:

    Is human brain using RGB color chart ?

    Or how did human brain figured out, how to correctly mix 16,000,000+ of colors ? Because there are 16,000,000+ of combinations how to mix red, green and blue color in order to get a correct color/result …

    Here is a RGB color chart / calculator:
    https://www.rapidtables.com/web/color/RGB_Color.html

  133. 133
    Belfast says:

    Martin writes “ Complex chemical mixtures should have evolved 100 times independently ??? In evolutionary unrelated species ?”
    THAT was the issue – the absurdity.
    Then Fox introduces a Tu Quoque argument, irrelevant and immaterial as Tu Quoque arguments always are.
    The rest is chaos.

  134. 134
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, 108, strawman tactics:

    >>ID says almost nothing>>

    – we both know that the empirically and analytically supported design inference is revolutionary, opening up a whole new domain for science, action of intelligent agency recognised from traces

    – this is setting up further strawmen but is the chief strawman and it pivots on willful misrepresentation

    >> and that makes it a better explanation? Really?>>

    – strawman no 2 riding piggyback on strawman no 1

    – restoring refusal to dominate a field through imposed ideologies that are allowed to censor analysis, publication, career prospects and more is a return of science from ideological captivity.

    – do I need to quote Lewontin et al to underscore the point? You know better.

    >>ID can’t say when design was implemented; >>

    – we both know the first pivotal inference is THAT something shows signs that warrant that it is in key part a result of intelligently directed configuration, such as discovering complex, coded algorithms in D/RNA in the heart of the cell

    – you duck that to try instead to pretend that the inference is not primarily about mechanisms, techniques and circumstances must be some telling defect.

    – rubbish. Timelines and techniques are open for onward study.

    – You full well know that with Venter et al, engineering of cell based life is a fact, and that there are technologies and methods of proved though primitive effectiveness. Indeed, there are even protest movements over genetic modification of organisms.

    – all we need to say is, project our early days tech several generations forward. I am sure you are aware that a personal prediction is, I expect fresh synthesis of life in the molecular nanotech lab before this century is out.

    – so, you are willfully mischaracterising us to try to gain rhetorical advantage. That, for cause, damages your credibility. You are better than this, JVL.

    >>some even say it can’t say anything about that.>>

    – the design inference, strict sense, is antecedent to such and as we just saw, there is abundant evidence of design and technologies already a commonplace.

    >> ID says zilch about how design was implemented. >>

    – The strict sense design inference is about THAT design happened; onward investigations along Venter’s lines or the like duly guided by TRIZ . . . yet another side-stepped matter . . . address design, invention, tech progress etc.

    – strawman yet again, I trust this is never repeated, but this is a talk point that has had to be addressed many times. Indeed, it is addressed in the Weak Argument Correctives that so many objectors insist on dodging.

    – that itself speaks sad volumes.

    >>ID says double zilch about why design was implemented.>>

    – we both know the strict sense design inference is THAT on empirical evidence of reliable sign, design is present.

    – we further know that designers come with many motives that are not evident from signs of design. So you set up a selectively hyperskeptical demand for what cannot be responsibly offered as though “failure” to do that is a defect.

    – that’s a fallacy of inversion, putting good for bad and bad for good

    – meanwhile, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity stand as utterly incompetent to demonstrate observed ability to create FSCO/I as is found in the cell.

    >> In fact, ID makes almost no claims at all. >>

    – little more than pretending that a pivotal and reforming warranted conclusion does not exist.

    – sad

    KF

  135. 135
    AndyClue says:

    @Martin_r:

    It just happened, by chance, that human eye features light sensitive cells responsive to a specific light wave length … RED light = 564 nm , GREEN light = 534 nm and BLUE light = 420 nm.

    You are confused. Human eyes are sensitive to wavelengths approx. 380-750 nm. For instance, if you look at the sensitivity graph you will see, that at 564 nm two kinds of cones are highly sensitive.

    Or how did human brain figured out, how to correctly mix 16,000,000+ of colors ? Because there are 16,000,000+ of combinations how to mix red, green and blue color in order to get a correct color/result

    What do you mean by “correct”? Where did you get the 16mio+ number from? I’ve heard humans can distinguish 10mio colors. Are you talking about web-colors, where each channel is represented by 8 bits?

  136. 136
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: figured out how to make these light sensitive cells to be responsive EXACTLY to these 3 specific wave lengths in order to create visual system

    As has already been pointed out the three different cones in the human eye respond to ranges of frequencies. (Nice graph here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_cell). As you can see, the ranges are not evenly spaced with the red and green cone cells having considerable overlap.

    Any three different cone receptors that could detect around 100 different ‘colours’ each would give you millions of different combinations.

    And no, the human brain does not use an RGB chart. The spectrum is a continuum; humans gave bands of the spectrum different names.

    For example, while the L cones have been referred to simply as red receptors, microspectrophotometry has shown that their peak sensitivity is in the greenish-yellow region of the spectrum. Similarly, the S cones and M cones do not directly correspond to blue and green, although they are often described as such. The RGB color model, therefore, is a convenient means for representing color but is not directly based on the types of cones in the human eye.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_vision

    Also, some creatures are monochromatic, they only have one type of cone (cetaceans, the owl monkey and the Australian sea lion); some are dichromats (including colour-blind humans); some are trichromats (like humans); some are tetrachromats (some birds, fish and amphibians); and, most impressively of all, mantis shrimp have between 12 and 16 different types of photoreceptors.

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, you have convinced me to intervene. Instead of building on an insight, you have chosen to start with tearing down. Okay, the success of RGB visual technologies already hints that our eyes sense R, G and B and our brains use these colours to compose full colour images. That is roughly correct.

    For example, we have metamerism, by which colours that are spectrally, physically, different can be visually matched, such as a native yellow matched through mixing red and green light.

    This is the effect that colour displays, photography and printing take advantage of.

    However, especially for objects that reflect light, consistent matching under daylight vs fluorescent light vs incandescent lights can be challenging.

    For more detail, let us now see how we could get R, G & B colours (we are adding light in the eye) from how our cone cells [the actual sensors] work. Notice, the peaked colour responses for L ~564nm, M 534nm and S 420nm cones, and also the peak for rods, D, ~498nm and how close the L and M peaks are. That is a puzzle at first, and a hint that the eye is not simply adding R G and B. Also, let us note that rod cells are more dominant for low light levels, which is why our low light level vision is monochrome, with a greyish green tinge.

    Roughly, L – M would pick up Red. S – (M+L) similarly gives blue, M is clearly green. So, we have RGB.

    However, it is thought that in the sensor and neural networks in the retina, optic nerves and brain, an additive/subtractive process is carried out, which can be seen as in effect giving four colour channels, roughly, RGBY. Yes, three and four colour elements are involved, it seems. R/G channel, L-M. G/R, M-L. B/Y, S – (M+L), Y/B (M+L)-S, Y being yellow. And yes, there are four channel monitors that have a Y channel.

    As for colour sensitivity and distinctions, a common estimate is ~ 10 million.

    Some women are tetrachromats and reportedly may see up to ~ 100 million colours thanks to an orange sensitive cone.

    The fundamental point is, we have a highly technical information processing system to explain, and to account for origin. Blind chance and/or mechanical necessity come up distinctly short here.

    KF

  138. 138
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF/130
    What’s the difference between “skepticism” and “hyperskepticism?” Is it like the difference between “clear” and “crystal clear?” Or “redundant” and “repetitively redundant?” Or “exaggerated” and “over exaggerated?”

  139. 139
    AndyClue says:

    @kairosfocus:

    AC, you have convinced me to intervene. Instead of building on an insight, you have chosen to start with tearing down.

    Naturally. Why would I build on a falsehood? I’ve corrected Martin_r and then I’ve asked him a question in order to learn more about what he’s talking about.

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, the usual again. First, it is a major modern error to imagine skepticism a virtue . . . giving doubt the default, it is a counterfeit instead of one aspect of the virtue of prudence tied to right reason and adequacy of warrant. Second, classic hyperskepticism (which is ancient) seeks to deny all knowledge, and ends in obvious self referential incoherence. Claiming or implying knowledge that knowledge is impossible. Oops. Third, we find what Greenleaf termed the error of the skeptic, using hyperskepticism selectively to lock out cases, topics or fields of knowledge by demanding inconsistent and extreme degrees of warrant not properly applicable to such cases; try Cliffordian Evidentialism or the games played with the verification principle for cases in point in the literature. Hyperskepticism is real as the full blown form of parading skepticism as intellectual virtue. Thus, when it is present we see an arbitrary double standard of warrant, designed to dress the fallacy of the closed mind in robes of intellectual virtue. Meanwhile, Haldane’s challenge is yet again side stepped, a sure sign that there is no cogent answer to it. KF

  141. 141
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Poor atheists how they try to deny the obvious.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KG_AMMz4PQ

  142. 142
    relatd says:

    AF at 126,

    You are an obfuscator. Admit it. ID is the complex, specific words in the correct order that I just typed. Living things require codes to carry out life functions. You pretend not to realize this.

  143. 143
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ Alan Fox you are an antagonist even your comment at 119 was a jab to prompt a fight literally giving a working example of what Sandy was talking about

    Your whole comment can be summed up as this

    I’m an atheist the rest of you are stupid but maybe you aren’t willfully stupid

    Knock it off and try not implying you’re right in all of your comments. Maybe people will be less repetitive and more respectful if you stopped being an arrogant repetitive jerk

  144. 144
    JVL says:

    AaronS1978: stopped being an arrogant repetitive jerk

    I trust you will apply the same criticism to any and all for whom the shoe fits?

  145. 145
    jerry says:

    This could be posted on nearly every thread at UD. It is one of the many takeaways from Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

    The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

    There is no winning arguments on UD. Just the continual reposting of the same things over and over. But that will not stop the commenters. They are here to rant or to irritate. Irritation get rants which generates more irritation because the obvious irritation worked.

  146. 146
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 145,

    Oh? That’s it? The irritants are here for two reasons: The endless promotion of evolution and They enjoy being irritants.

    And Dale Carnegie? Why bring him up? You should read the non-existant book by his counterpart, “How to Find People to Manipulate.”

  147. 147
    JVL says:

    Relatd: The irritants are here for two reasons: The endless promotion of evolution and They enjoy being irritants.

    Not true actually. I have no intention of promoting evolution; I only answer questions posed to me out of politeness. Unless I think the poser will not reciprocate by answering a similar question of their own views.

    I do feel that when I can clear up an obvious misunderstanding of what unguided evolution actually says then I tend to do so.

    I am interested in what ID proponents think ID implies which is why I ask a lot of questions. Sadly, those are frequently thrown back at me in the form of a snide statement or question about unguided evolution with no attempt made at answering the question I posed.

  148. 148
    AaronS1978 says:

    @JVL
    Did I mention you? This was directed at Alan.
    Because his comment was directly a jab at people on the thread. Have you said anything to try to cause a fight other than trying to make me look like a hypocrite, no not really, but I can apply the criticism to you.

    And if you think I don’t criticize people of like-minded belief to myself here you’re also very wrong and relatd can testify to that because him and have argued quite a bit on other threads

  149. 149
    JVL says:

    AaronS1978: And if you think I don’t criticize people of like-minded belief to myself here you’re also very wrong and relatd can testify to that because him and have argued quite a bit on other threads

    Fair enough.

  150. 150
    AaronS1978 says:

    Him and I
    Sorry

  151. 151
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Oh? That’s it? The irritants are here for two reasons: The endless promotion of evolution and They enjoy being irritants.

    😆 What promotion of evolution ? They just repeat ad nauseam whatever Dawkins told them .
    Anyway even Dawkins was forced to admit that the genetic code is a real code we have here few of his apprentices that are afraid to admit it because seems that they are aware(more than Dawkins is) of the logical consequences (at odds with evolution). That’s why they feel insecure to admit it .

  152. 152
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, good catch and of course his attempt to dismiss it as put together by natural selection does not pass the needle in haystack test. KF

  153. 153
    chuckdarwin says:

    I’m sorry, KF, but I’m not as gullible and naïve as Prof. Greenleaf.
    BTW “hyperskeptical”:isn’t really a word……..

  154. 154
    Alan Fox says:

    You are an obfuscator.

    Am not.

    Admit it.

    Shan’t.

    ID is the complex, specific words in the correct order that I just typed.

    Isn’t.

    Living things require codes to carry out life functions.

    You mean “template” not “code”.

    You pretend not to realize this.

    I don’t expect you to believe this on the evidence of the comments you have written. But everything I write here is what I think, know or believe, although I could be mistaken about something, in which case I’m open to correction, especially where evidence is supplied to support a contra-argument.

  155. 155
    Alan Fox says:

    I see my suggestion about frank and honest discussion fell on deaf ears and Querius needs dealing with. If I’m spared, I’ll pop in tomorrow.

  156. 156
    relatd says:

    Tonight on The Alan Fox Show, watch Alan Fox say nice things about Alan Fox.

  157. 157
    martin_r says:

    AndyClue @135

    It just happened, by chance, that human eye features light sensitive cells responsive to a specific light wave length … RED light = 564 nm , GREEN light = 534 nm and BLUE light = 420 nm.

    You are confused.

    Andy, i am afraid, that you are confused. You guys (Darwinists) always are, confused/wrong. Always.
    However, i am glad that someone is willing to discuss this topic. This is Europe, it is late here, i am not sure i will be able to reply tonight, but i will try. If not, i will reply tomorrow 100%. So please check.
    Thank you.

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, you just tried to dismiss a founder of the modern anglophone theory of evidence with an insubstantial self-preening one liner. He is not on trial, you are. That’s telling, and it does nothing to undermine the point. And, words get coined all the time. Translation, you have no substance on hyperskepticism and still have nothing on the Haldane challenge. KF

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, your quarrel is now also with Dawkins who admitted it’s a four state digital code. He then tried to say natural selection invented it but that fails instantly, indeed, this code is part of the systems that have to be in place for there to be self replicating life. Remember, any base can be succeeded by any other in the string, and we have a well known tabulated code with something like 24 dialects, most notably, mitochondrial DNA. That’s how bad the fail is. The insistence on such objections in the face of well established multiple Nobel Prize winning work and otherwise utterly uncontroversial conclusions shows just how telling this point is. But, oh it’s one of those ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked ID supporters so nothing he says can be right. KF

    PS, it also shows selective hyperskepticism in action.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, try this

    https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Genetic-Code

    >>Genetic code refers to the instructions contained in a gene that tell a cell how to make a specific protein. Each gene’s code uses the four nucleotide bases of DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T) — in various ways to spell out three-letter “codons” that specify which amino acid is needed at each position within a protein . . . >>

  161. 161
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, again,

    https://biologydictionary.net/genetic-code/

    >>
    Genetic Code
    BD Editors
    By:
    BD Editors

    Reviewed by: BD Editors
    Last Updated: May 18, 2017
    Genetic Code Definition

    The genetic code is the code our body uses to convert the instructions contained in our DNA the essential materials of life. It is typically discussed using the “codons” found in mRNA, as mRNA is the messenger that carries information from the DNA to the site of protein synthesis.

    Everything in our cells is ultimately built based on the genetic code. Our hereditary information – that is, the information that’s passed down from parent to child – is stored in the form of DNA. That DNA is then used to build RNA, proteins, and ultimately cells, tissues, and organs.

    Like binary code, DNA uses a chemical language with just a few letters to store information in a very efficient manner. While binary uses only ones and zeroes, DNA has four letters – the four nucleotides Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, and Thymine/Uracil.

    Thymine and Uracil are very similar to each other, except that “Thymine” is slightly more stable and is used in DNA. Uracil is used in RNA, and has all the same properties of Thymine except that it is slightly more prone to mutate.

    This doesn’t matter in RNA, since new RNA copies can be produced from DNA at any time, and most RNA molecules are intentionally destroyed by the cell a short time after they’re produced so that the cell does not waste resources producing unneeded proteins from old RNA molecules.

    Together, these four letters of A, C, G, and T/U are used to “spell” coded instructions for each amino acid, as well as other instructions like “start transcription” and “stop transcription.”

    Instructions for “start,” “stop,” or for a given amino acid are “read” by the cell in three-letter blocks called “codons.” When we talk about “codons,” we usually mean codons in mRNA – the “messenger RNA” that is made by copying the information in DNA . . . >>

  162. 162
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS, Wikipedia has been shown the thumbscrews again,

    >> The genetic code is the set of rules used by living cells to translate information encoded within genetic material (DNA or RNA sequences of nucleotide triplets, or codons) into proteins. Translation is accomplished by the ribosome, which links proteinogenic amino acids in an order specified by messenger RNA (mRNA), using transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to carry amino acids and to read the mRNA three nucleotides at a time. The genetic code is highly similar among all organisms and can be expressed in a simple table with 64 entries.

    The codons specify which amino acid will be added next during protein synthesis. With some exceptions,[1] a three-nucleotide codon in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid. The vast majority of genes are encoded with a single scheme (see the RNA codon table). That scheme is often referred to as the canonical or standard genetic code, or simply the genetic code, though variant codes (such as in mitochondria) exist. >>

    A caption: >>A series of codons in part of a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule. Each codon consists of three nucleotides, usually corresponding to a single amino acid. The nucleotides are abbreviated with the letters A, U, G and C. This is mRNA, which uses U (uracil). DNA uses T (thymine) instead. This mRNA molecule will instruct a ribosome to synthesize a protein according to this code.>>

    See how ill founded this objectionism is?

    AF has been corrected many times on this, we can freely conclude his credibility is negative.

  163. 163
    chuckdarwin says:

    KF
    Well, we’ve at least established that “hyperskeptical” is not a real word. Better to use what you actually mean: closed-minded.
    Greenleaf’s treatise on the rules of evidence, published over a century and a half ago, has long been superseded by the modern rules of evidence. Apropos my “self-preening one-liner,” Greenleaf’s publication using the Gospels as evidence for the truth of Jesus’ death and claimed resurrection is a work of pure motivated reasoning based upon Greenleaf’s own strong belief in Christianity. It is a work of advocacy, not objective truth. It was published, I believe in the 1840s at a time when Christian evangelism reached a fevered pitch in the northeastern US, e.g., the “Burned Over” district. And, in fact, it has been hailed one of the first true works of Christian apologetics. And apologetics is apologetics, not a search for the truth.

  164. 164
    relatd says:

    CD at 163,

    What is a search for the truth? If Christianity is rejected then whatever secular men write is left.

  165. 165
    jerry says:

    Better to use what you actually mean: closed-minded.

    How about unreasonably close-minded?

    That should describe you fairly accurately. Maybe we can have a contest for the new most best word. But why not hyperskeptical now that we have a definition for it.

  166. 166
    chuckdarwin says:

    Relatd/164
    You know, Relatd, there’s a lot more to the world than Christians and “secular men” (the sexism of your statement is duly noted). There are literally billions of folks out there that are neither Christian nor “secular” as you put it. Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, and every other flavor of God worshiper you can imagine–they all have a claim on the truth.

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, word games in distraction from the substantial. Hyperskepticism is a millennia-old problem, and has been identified and discussed. Selective forms have been observed in the wild, they were even part of the exchanges over sexual harassment at an atheist conference some years ago, where IIRC, they actually spoke of hyperskepticism. It’s a prob, it has a label, deal with the prob. KF

    PS, truth claims are not equivalent to truth. That brings up the little matter of warrant. But then it seems we are going through a wave of recycled objections as there is little substance forthcoming on the Haldane challenge, just for starters. As for the attempt to deny that the genetic code is a code, that just shows desperation.

  168. 168
    relatd says:

    CD at 166,

    You should understand that when I use the word men it is based on the word mankind.

    Below is each religion’s total estimated population for 2020:

    Christianity – 2.38 billion
    Islam – 1.91 billion
    Hinduism – 1.16 billion
    Buddhism – 507 million
    Folk Religions – 430 million
    Other Religions – 61 million
    Judaism – 14.6 million
    Unaffiliated – 1.19 billion

    Source: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/religion-by-country

  169. 169
    chuckdarwin says:

    Relatd/168
    Like I said, it’s a big world out there and most of it is not Christian……..

  170. 170
    zweston says:

    Still waiting on evolutionists to provide observable and testable direct data of an organism evolving to form a new family of organisms… As BA77 posts the quote all the time… what do we actually KNOW regarding macroevolution? Not infer, not presuppose, not hope, not think… what do we know?

  171. 171
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/167

    Hyperskepticism is a millennia-old problem, and has been identified and discussed.

    Which is worse, “hyperskepticism” or its antithesis “hypercredulity” – an unquestioning belief in a faith, philosophy or person? Isn’t the wisest course of action that proposed by David Hume in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

    “In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”

    PS, truth claims are not equivalent to truth.

    What is the difference?

    But then it seems we are going through a wave of recycled objections as there is little substance forthcoming on the Haldane challenge, just for starters.

    What is Haldane’s challenge other than the standard objection that we have no account as yet of how the conscious mind arises from the physical brain?

    As for the attempt to deny that the genetic code is a code, that just shows desperation.

    The concept of a code is a model of – or analogy for – the nature and function of the genome. But a model is not the same as the thing being modeled and the explanatory value of an analogy rests on taking full account of both the similarities and the differences of the cases being compared.

  172. 172
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, you are determined to go over old ground established from the first. Of course you wish to project hypercredulity as the “real” problem. Nope, it is a secondary issue as when one disbelieves what s/he should believe it is because s/he has a prior belief or ideological commitment that s/he should not; rendering the individual closed and sometimes hostile to what they resist beyond reason. In short, we are seeing crooked yardstick thinking by which the crooked is used to condemn the straight. And, the pivot is thus the pattern of demanding arbitrarily — irresponsibly — high warrant for what one disbelieves when for what one is inclined to believe no such demand is going to be made. This is the lurking error in “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Nope, only reasonable and adequate warrant. BTW, Hume may well have opened the door to the hyperskepticism we are dealing with, through step two, oh there’s no evidence that X, where in fact there is wilful refusal to acknowledge evidence. As can be seen just above regarding the genetic code, which manifestly exemplifies and instantiates coded algorithms but that seems to be fatal for a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism as was inadvertently exposed by Lewontin and its fellow travellers. The ideology leads to the undue suspicion and resistance to what is manifestly well warranted, thence all sorts of specious deflective arguments. KF

  173. 173
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, to claim truth — accurate description of reality — is not the same as to have it, which is obvious. This is well known.

  174. 174
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, the linked video clip in which Dawkins opens with the key admission (then immediately fails to recognise that the genetic code is antecedent to self replication so to differential reproductive success) has a telling comment thread. First, there is failure to recognise that digital means discrete state, and so a four state system is digital. There are demands for where are the numbers, failing to see that 1/0 is also hole/no hole for punched tape or card, high/low, true/false, N/S etc for two state elements. Here we have four state elements A/G/C/T (or U), forming an alphanumeric, discrete state system. These are then composed as s-t-r-i-n-g data structures where any of the four may follow any other of the four. Next, we have three element codons, defining a 64 state system that is reflected in code tables [with was it 24 variants]. In this context we have start and stop codons, with a chain of extending codons, which match anticodons of loaded tRNAs in the ribosome. At the other end of the tRNA as folded into an L, we have a standard CCA tool tip loaded at the COOH end with a particular AA. Notice, a universal joint, which means chemically any tRNA could bond with any AA; as Yockey illustrates, it is the loading enzymes that assign a particular AA from the key 20 to particular tRNAs, thus effecting the encoding. These L shaped molecules act as taxis for AAs and as position-arm devices that are used to click together the chained AAs. Folded, agglomerated and modified AA chains thus formed in the cells through onward steps of course are the proteins of life, the system uses such proteins, especially enzymes. That is we have a going concern chicken-egg loop. The YT commenters seem to struggle to acknowledge these well known points established through multiple Nobel Prize winning work. That is a flag as to what is going on, in a day where it is a few clicks away to learn what digital and code as well as algorithm mean.

  175. 175
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I did a web search on digital, and can see a common failure to recognise that this is not just about two state elements but about discrete state elements. I recall here my introductory lecture for digital topics where the comparison was climbing a ladder vs a rope as continuous state. Binary, decimal, duodecimal, hexadecimal and sexagesimal cases were highlighted. Astronomers were still using 60-state numerals in the 1600’s for calculations. The last, always got a chuckle. I don’t know if many are aware that the USSR produced three state computers [and a textbook that extends the math of digital systems to arbitrary numbers of states], or that something like the 20-pin 74LS245 uses tri-state, eight line bidirectional bus buffers with a high impedance state as a control on information flow. Digital is not equivalent to binary digital. KF

    PS, AmHD,

    dig·i·tal (d?j??-tl)
    adj.
    1.
    a. Relating to or resembling a digit, especially a finger.
    b. Operated or done with the fingers: a digital switch.
    c. Having digits.
    2. Expressed in discrete numerical form, especially for use by a computer or other electronic device: digital information.
    3. Electronics
    a. Relating to or being a device that can generate, record, process, receive, transmit, or display information that is represented in discrete numerical form.
    b. Relating to or being a service that provides information expressed in discrete numerical form: We subscribe to digital cable.
    4. Relating to or being a profession or activity that is performed using digital devices: a digital librarian; digital photography.
    5. Using or giving a reading in digits: a digital clock.
    6. Characterized by widespread use of computers: living in the digital age.
    n.
    A key played with the finger, as on a piano.
    dig?i·tal·ly adv.
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  176. 176
    AndyClue says:

    @Martin_r:

    Andy, i am afraid, that you are confused. You guys (Darwinists) always are, confused/wrong.

    Yep, you’re confused.

  177. 177
    Alan Fox says:

    Goodness me, KF. All that effort to argue semantics. As Seversky points out, your model doesn’t fit reality.

    My template is a better fit

  178. 178
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, more clever but self defeating rhetoric of denial games. Your desperation to not acknowledge the manifest tells us the true balance on merits is not in your favour. When your quarrel is with Dawkins’ open admission that we are dealing with 4-state digital information elements, that says a lot. KF

    PS, what is your background in digital systems?

  179. 179
    Alan Fox says:

    A primer for Querius on Junk DNA:

    https://youtu.be/FOXrsaCpt-A

  180. 180
    kairosfocus says:

    BTW, a Template is an analogue information system typically used to ensure consistency of manufactured elements that need to be precise. We are dealing with molecular nanotech. Similarly, while the map is not the territory, a good map is a sound guide to the territory, which extends to validated models, simulations etc.

  181. 181
    Alan Fox says:

    When your quarrel is with Dawkins…

    Richard Dawkins is not God. He has written and said many things I agree with and some things I disagree with. So what?

    Just out of curiosity, what particular issue do you think I disagree with him about?

    Incidentally, Dr Stern-Cardinale’s video take-down of ICR’s Dr Tomkins has a bit about genetic “codes”. Watch Dan’s hands showing templating.

  182. 182
    Alan Fox says:

    PS, what is your background in digital systems?

    What is your background in biochemistry?

  183. 183
    Seversky says:

    In old “heist” movies, the criminals would sometimes need to get a copy of the key used to open a lock to a secure vault. They would often find a way to take an impression of the key in a block of wax or clay. That impression would then be used to make a functional copy of the original key for use in the robbery.

    The wax or clay impression of the key is a template. The sequences of DNA which are transcribed into RNA “impressions” are analogous to the key “template”. The strands of DNA can be viewed as a string of such physical templates. Are those strings a code or cipher? Is that how machine code or the various programming languages work in a computer?

  184. 184
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, the evasions continue. It is time to draw conclusions.

    You know full well that it is the consensus based on multiple Nobel Prize winning work, now taught literally starting in primary school [so much for how much Biochem do you know . . . the answer is primary, secondary and college level commonplace facts driven by organic chemistry applied to life and widely reported . . . ], that a molecular biology breakthrough from 1953 on established that there are string data structure, alphanumeric codes in D/RNA that express algorithms for protein synthesis.

    Of course, such an extension of molecular nanotech is into digital technology, which is much less widely understood or taught. This is the point of general ignorance that seems exploitable.

    So, as you try to discredit ID, you have realised that this consensus on facts at the core of life from Crick to the US NIH to Dawkins to Dictionaries to Wikipedia is ultimately fatal to your preferred evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or fellow travellers. So you have chosen to put up rhetoric to try to discredit it.

    A clue should be that Wikipedia is unable to discredit and dismiss, nor Dawkins.

    The latter deploys the favourite phrase, natural selection, neatly skipping over that protein synthesis is antecedent to self replication [and metabolism] therefore to differential reproductive success. So there is a dilemma, come up with a way to get evolution before evolution is at least possible or else deny a massive fact of digital information.

    Dawkins is gored on the horn of reproduction, and you on that of a massively evident fact of digital technology in the heart of cell based life.

    Fail.

    KF

  185. 185
    Seversky says:

    There is also an extensive series of blog posts about “junk DNA” and the “function wars” – discussing what is meant by “function” in genetics – on Larry Moran’s blog Sandwalk for anyone who is actually interested.

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, in order to object to function based on configuration of elements, thus functionally specific complex organisation and/or information, you have composed an alphanumeric string data structure expressing meaningful statements in English. Which you can readily contrast to repetitive, crystal cell like elements or the sort of random strings found in tars. This was pointed out in the 1970’s by Orgel and Wicken, on the record. The self referential incoherence is manifest. KF

  187. 187
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    AF, the evasions continue. It is time to draw conclusions.

    You know full well that it is the consensus based on multiple Nobel Prize winning work, now taught literally starting in primary school

    The basis why some people won’t accept the reality of code is because they follow correctly where the logic would lead ( they don’t like the conclusion so they won’t accept the premise ) . Why wouldn’t they do it like Dawkins did : accept the obvious reality of the genetic code and then spin the logical significance ? What Dawkins did is smarter he doesn’t deny the obvious because he would sound crazy and lose his credibility instead he just tweak the logical conclusion.

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Let’s call up AmHD, for an interesting subtlety of distraction:

    tem·plate also tem·plet (t?m?pl?t)
    n.
    1. A pattern or gauge, such as a thin metal plate with a cut pattern, used as a guide in making something accurately, as in woodworking or the carving of architectural profiles.
    2. Computers
    a. A document or file having a preset format, used as a starting point for a particular application so that the format does not have to be recreated each time it is used: a loan amortization template for a spreadsheet program.
    b. An overlay that fits over all or part of a keyboard and has labels describing the functions of each key within a particular application.
    3. A horizontal piece of stone or timber used to distribute weight or pressure, as over a door frame.
    4. Biochemistry A molecule of a nucleic acid, such as DNA, that serves as a pattern for the synthesis of a macromolecule, as of RNA.
    [Probably from French templet, diminutive of temple, temple of a loom; see temple3.]
    American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

    The primary meaning underscores that templates are generally analogue information systems, used to set a pattern for precise replication, such as a cluster of drill holes or the like.

    What opens up the rhetoric game is that DNA does serve as a template in one context: each DNA strand matches its complement which builds in redundancy. Then too, when RNAs are to be made, this property of complementarity is used to match the RNA strand. A-T and C-G. Where further, the three-letter anti-codon in tRNA uses this complementarity too.

    What’s being side-stepped?

    Much.

    1: The information in D/RNA is in the functionally specific sequence along the chain, which sets up in effect a prong-height pattern that allows complementarity matching at right angles to the chain.

    2: In making mRNA, the string that has start, elongate and stop elements for AA chaining, there is often an editing step after the RNA string is first composed. Wikipedia, seeing thumbscrews, confesses:

    In molecular biology, messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is a single-stranded molecule of RNA that corresponds to the genetic sequence of a gene, and is read by a ribosome in the process of synthesizing a protein.

    mRNA is created during the process of transcription, where an enzyme (RNA polymerase) converts the gene into primary transcript mRNA (also known as pre-mRNA). This pre-mRNA usually still contains introns, regions that will not go on to code for the final amino acid sequence. These are removed in the process of RNA splicing, leaving only exons, regions that will encode the protein. This exon sequence constitutes mature mRNA. Mature mRNA is then read by the ribosome, and, utilising amino acids carried by transfer RNA (tRNA), the ribosome creates the protein. This process is known as translation. All of these processes form part of the central dogma of molecular biology, which describes the flow of genetic information in a biological system.

    As in DNA, genetic information in mRNA is contained in the sequence of nucleotides, which are arranged into codons consisting of three ribonucleotides each. Each codon codes for a specific amino acid, except the stop codons, which terminate protein synthesis. The translation of codons into amino acids requires two other types of RNA: transfer RNA, which recognizes the codon and provides the corresponding amino acid, and ribosomal RNA (rRNA), the central component of the ribosome’s protein-manufacturing machinery.

    The concept of mRNA was developed by Sydney Brenner and Francis Crick in 1960. While performing the experimental verifications, François Jacob and Jacques Monod coined the name “messenger RNA”. In 1961, mRNA was isolated and described independently by James Watson’s research team and a team of Jacob, Monod and Matthew Meselson.

    3: We see here, editing. Itself a highly information as text focussed activity.

    4: Next, tRNA does use complementarity to match codons, but the AA is not chemically or physically controlled by the anticodon at the bottom of the L of a folded tRNA.

    5: Instead, it is at the CCA tool tip end, which is matched to the COOH end of the AA. Any CCA sequence chemically matches any COOH, so chemical-physical determinism is broken.

    6: As Yockey highlights in his information system chart for protein synthesis that is studiously ignored by resident objectors and therefore the penumbra of attack sites, it is the aminoacyl tRNA synthetase enzymes that load the right AA to the right tRNA, this is where the encoding happens. Wikipedia needed to be shown the rack for this confession:

    Aminoacylation is the process of adding an aminoacyl group to a compound. It covalently links an amino acid to the CCA 3? end of a tRNA molecule. Each tRNA is aminoacylated (or charged) with a specific amino acid by an aminoacyl tRNA synthetase. There is normally a single aminoacyl tRNA synthetase for each amino acid, despite the fact that there can be more than one tRNA, and more than one anticodon for an amino acid. Recognition of the appropriate tRNA by the synthetases is not mediated solely by the anticodon, and the acceptor stem often plays a prominent role [–> i.e. overall configuration counts, it’s not just 6 bits of info here] .[17] Reaction:

    amino acid + ATP ? aminoacyl-AMP + PPi
    aminoacyl-AMP + tRNA ? aminoacyl-tRNA + AMP

    Certain organisms can have one or more aminophosphate-tRNA synthetases missing. This leads to charging of the tRNA by a chemically related amino acid, and by use of an enzyme or enzymes, the tRNA is modified to be correctly charged. For example, Helicobacter pylori has glutaminyl tRNA synthetase missing. Thus, glutamate tRNA synthetase charges tRNA-glutamine(tRNA-Gln) with glutamate. An amidotransferase then converts the acid side chain of the glutamate to the amide, forming the correctly charged gln-tRNA-Gln.

    7: We therefore see transcription [which uses a templating property], editing, translation from 64-state D/RNA code to 20 state AA sequencing, with one of the codons, UAG both being start and beginning the AA chain with methionine. Then, there are three stop codons.

    8: These fulfill a specific algorithmic function: forcing halt. Halting, being a central challenge in computing.

    9: Thus, we see coded algorithms, involving symbolic strings of alphanumeric elements and protocols for effecting their meaning, i.e. text expressing algorithms. Which are inherently goal-directed.

    KF

  189. 189
  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    semantics (s??mænt?ks)
    n (functioning as singular)
    1. (Linguistics) the branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings
    2. (Logic) the study of the relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent
    3. (Logic) logic

    a. the study of interpretations of a formal theory
    b. the study of the relationship between the structure of a theory and its subject matter
    c. (of a formal theory) the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences within the theory, and the references of its terms
    se?manticist n
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

  191. 191
    Alan Fox says:

    Regarding your skills, KF…

    What is your background in biochemistry?

    And in digital systems, if you will permit me to point a finger at that, too?

  192. 192
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, already answered above, on biochem we are not dealing with subtle esoterica but matters of the central dogma, taught in school from primary years up these days. On t/comms, digital electronics etc I am an applied physicist. And while these things are less taught they too are core basics. What do you think it means for me to report my students’ reactions to the ladder vs rope comparison for analogue vs digital? or why, time after time 60-state digital systems were the good for a chuckle case? BTW, I always thought duodecimal sounds like a digestive disorder. Back to the merits. KF

  193. 193
    Alan Fox says:

    So no background in biochemistry then, KF. I thought not.

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, I never claimed independence of thought in biochem, I am simply acknowledging what you cannot it seems, that there is a generally settled conclusion that for cause has won several Nobel Prizes that there is a genetic code involved in protein synthesis. Do you deny what is in 188 above, on what grounds and what would the leading figures have to say to that. KF

  195. 195
    martin_r says:

    AndyClue

    alright … i am confused and you are not.

    Let’s get back to my question about brain’s color chart.

    from a mainstream article:

    The brain uses light signals detected by the retina’s cone photoreceptors as the building blocks for color perception. Three types of cone photoreceptors detect light over a range of wavelengths. The brain mixes and categorizes these signals to perceive color in a process that is not well understood.

    My question is, how did blind unguided process figured out, how to “correctly” process millions of different colors based on these “signals”, unless there is a color chart hardcoded in our brain. E.g. this signal(s) stands for this color, that signal(s) for another color and so on …

  196. 196
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: My question is, how did blind unguided process figured out, how to “correctly” process millions of different colors based on these “signals”, unless there is a color chart hardcoded in our brain. E.g. this signal(s) stands for this color, that signal(s) for another color and so on …

    Hang on, do you think there was a colour chart before humans came about? That the colours we recognise as blue or green or chartreuse were things before humans defined them?

    Let’s just add to that: tell me what is blue? What is your definition of blue?

  197. 197
    Alan Fox says:

    I am simply acknowledging what you cannot it seems, that there is a generally settled conclusion that for cause has won several Nobel Prizes that there is a genetic code involved in protein synthesis.

    I’m perfectly content to refer to the triple codon system that is almost universal among living organisms as the genetic code. The name is not the issue. The way it leads you into misleading analogies is the problem.

  198. 198
    Querius says:

    Martin_r @72,

    Have you ever heard of Senegal bichir ?

    No, I hadn’t! Sorry I missed your post.

    The information was fascinating! I also appreciated the link to the excellent article explaining why even mainstream scientists are now unhappy with the current theory of evolution as crude and misleading.

    -Q

  199. 199
    Querius says:

    And not to mention that it’s long been known that . . .

    * The half-life of DNA has been scientifically determined to be 521 years (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.11555). Thus, after only seven half lives or about 3,600 years, less than 1% of DNA would survive under ideal conditions (-5 C). It’s predicted that EVERY BOND in DNA would be destroyed in 6.8 million years. Nevertheless, Darwinists still claim that DNA sequences from insects in amber are 25-30 million years old (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/) and that Neanderthal DNA has been sequenced as far back as 430,000 years (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/).

    The scientific evidence to the contrary keeps piling up while Darwinists cling to their 19th century racist and colonialist theory that doesn’t even work. I liked where the article pointed out that Darwinism simply cannot explain the origin of novel features outside of unbelievable amounts of luck.

    -Q

  200. 200
    AaronS1978 says:

    Look at that I’m the 200 hundredth post
    Carry on everyone

  201. 201
    Querius says:

    Looks like Alan Fox is way too busy trolling other posts and won’t be debunking DNA half life after all. LOL

    -Q

  202. 202
    Querius says:

    I’ll see your 200 and raise you 1. (smile)

    -Q

  203. 203
    JVL says:

    Querius:

    Apparently you missed my previous comment about this so I shall respond again:

    The half-life of DNA has been scientifically determined to be 521 years

    Seems like a reasonable result. As always, things are subject to replication and review.

    Nevertheless, Darwinists still claim that DNA sequences from insects in amber are 25-30 million years old

    And that paper you refer to indicating that ‘Darwinists still claim . . . ‘ is 20 years older than the first paper! Hardly evidence that ‘Darwinists still claim’ is it? Perhaps you’d like to either change your claim or update your references.

    I expect to see one of those changes before I see this statement a third time.

  204. 204
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Kindly see the corrective OP here, particularly the clip from Lehninger. AF is grossly wrong.

  205. 205
    Alan Fox says:

    Looks like Alan Fox is way too busy trolling other posts and won’t be debunking DNA half life after all.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_DNA

    covers the ground quite well. Certainly better than Querius’ simplistic assertion. How long DNA survives depends on the conditions of preservation. Temperature, pH, corrosive contaminants all affect the chance of survival. Some of the oldest DNA has been recovered from frozen mammoths which makes a lot of sense.

    From the Wikipedia article

    Researchers in 2016 measured chloroplast DNA in marine sediment cores, and found diatom DNA dating back to 1.4 million years. This DNA had a half-life significantly longer than previous research, of up to 15,000 years.

    There’s a link to Kirkpatrick’s paper for those interested.

    ETA no claim of older examples of DNA have survived scrutiny and I’m not aware of anyone in the scientific mainstream continuing to justify them.

  206. 206
    Alan Fox says:

    JVL

    And that paper you refer to indicating that ‘Darwinists still claim . . . ‘ is 20 years older than the first paper! Hardly evidence that ‘Darwinists still claim’ is it?

    Indeed. For shame, Querius.

  207. 207
    relatd says:

    AF at 206,

    Time to disengage. Bye.

  208. 208
    Querius says:

    I see that Alan Fox has done his extensive research from that bastion of scientific knowledge, Wikipedia. LOL

    You’ve not been able to show any evidence that the half-life experiments done with the extinct moa were flawed, namely that the half-life of DNA was 521 year MAXIMUM at -5C and much less otherwise.

    Instead, you use Wikipedia’s unsupported assertions that the half-life of DNA “musta” been longer under some (miraculous) conditions devoid of experimental science in order to conform with the current narrative. That’s not science. That’s baloney!

    Your responses are all mouth without ANY experimental evidence that science demands. Instead, you continue to parrot science fantasy.

    The good news is that you’ve exposed your ascientific ideological commitment.

    Bye.

    -Q

  209. 209
    Alan Fox says:

    @ Querius

    True I haven’t read the 1992 paper you linked to. A lot has happened since. You should always, as I do, check the references that Wikipedia provides.

    The simple point is that how long ancient DNA retains enough structure to be meaningful is affected hugely by the circumstances, some of which I mentioned: temperature, pH, presence of aggressive chemicals.

    I see the temperature of the buried moa bones that were studied are given as 13.1 °C.

  210. 210
    JVL says:

    Querius:

    You haven’t admitted that your reference to ‘Darwinists still’ referred to papers that were published 20 years before the paper you referenced that should have changed responses. I assume that next time you try to make the point you will change your claim or your references.

  211. 211
    Querius says:

    JVL @210,

    Ok, good. Then you must have located direct experimental evidence for a different half-life for DNA, right?

    I’m not talking about DNA that “musta” survived a presumed 30 million years, but the observed and measured decay of DNA through primarily heat and background radiation (there are several other factors).

    To argue that DNA half-life changed over thousands of years needs to demonstrate a cause for that rate change.

    This subject was introduced here last year:
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/does-dna-really-have-a-half-life-physicist-rob-sheldon-is-skeptical/

    And here’s a link to the original publication in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences). I’ve not found any published study that falsifies these findings.
    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2012.1745

    -Q

  212. 212
    Querius says:

    Oh, and here’s a paper from four years ago that disputes claimed long-age DNA sequencing:
    https://elifesciences.org/articles/46205

    The authors accept the 2012/13 findings.

    -Q

  213. 213
    Querius says:

    I’m still waiting for a response to my challenge regarding DNA half life. In working with chemistry simulation software, I’ve seen what’s known to happen to complex molecules when the temperature of a solution increases and the molecular bonds begin to break.

    This phenomenon is not theoretical. It doesn’t stop just because the molecule happens to be DNA. It’s a probabilistic physical process that can be verified in any lab.

    The same is true for background radiation. Over time background ration also breaks bonds. It doesn’t stop just because the molecule happens to be DNA. It’s also a probabilistic physical process that can be verified in any lab.

    Additional environmental factors such as humidity, pH, chemical reactions, and location (such as being buried in a natural uranium deposit) will only hasten the breakup of DNA.

    There have been no direct experimental results that falsify the currently accepted value of 521 years as the MAXIMUM half-life of DNA.

    As usual, fundamentalist Darwinists have fled the conversation, being unable to produce ANY contrary experimental evidence, once again demonstrating their disingenuousness, evasion, and ideological poisoning in the face of scientific evidence.

    Pathetic trolls.

    -Q

  214. 214
    Alan Fox says:

    Having glanced through the paper (Allentoft et al, 2012), I note:

    Our results indicate that short fragments of DNA could be present for a very long time; at –5°C, the model predicts a half-life of 158 000 years for a 30 bp mtDNA fragment in bone (table 1). Even rough estimates such as this imply that sequenceable bone DNA fragments may still be present more than 1 Myr after deposition in deep frozen environments. It therefore seems reasonable to suggest that future research may identify authentic DNA that is significantly older than the current record of approximately 450–800 kyr from Greenlandic ice cores [47].

    Half-life and sequenceable DNA fragments are different things.

  215. 215
    Alan Fox says:

    Querius has not responded. It’s over half an hour! He’s fled, the coward. 😉

  216. 216
    Querius says:

    No, I haven’t fled, and I’ve presented a challenge that you’ve not answered, merely deflected to Wikipedia and pointless quibbles.

    So, what’s the half-life of DNA under ideal conditions according to published experimental results?

    -Q

  217. 217
    Alan Fox says:

    @ Querius

    The “fled” remark was in response to your 213 “pathetic trolls”. It was humour, there was a 😉 . Sorry for dropping to your level. Anyway as I already posted elsewhere, I’m on the move for a few days so you’ll have to wait until I have time.

  218. 218
    Alan Fox says:

    Querius:

    I’ve presented a challenge that you’ve not answered, merely deflected to Wikipedia and pointless quibbles.

    Nope. You’ve linked to a paper that gives a half-life for DNA in moa (an extinct flightless bird) bones found in soil deposits estimated to have a mean temperature of 13°C as 521 years.

    But, quoting the paper:

    It is tempting to suggest that we can now predict thetemporal limits of DNA survival, and finally refute theclaims of authentic DNA from Cretaceous and Miocenespecimens. This is, however, not straightforward. One needs information on the number of template molecules in living tissues, and estimates of post-mortem DNA decay rates for each tissue type. However, the half-life predictions (table 1) display the extreme improbability that an authentic 174 bp long mtDNA fragment of an80–85 Myr old bone could have been amplified [1]. Our results indicate that short fragments of DNA could be present for a very long time; at –58C, the model predicts a half-life of 158 000 years for a 30 bp mtDNA fragment in bone (table 1). Even rough estimates such as this imply that sequenceable bone DNA fragments may still be pre-sent more than 1 Myr after deposition in deep frozen environments. It therefore seems reasonable to suggest that future research may identify authentic DNA that is significantly older than the current record of approximately450–800 kyr from Greenlandic ice cores [47]

    So what is Querius challenging?

  219. 219
    Querius says:

    The half-life of DNA has been scientifically determined to be 521 years (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.11555). Thus, after only seven half lives or about 3,600 years, less than 1% of DNA would survive under ideal conditions (-5 C).

    The authors, foresaw the problem and hypothesized that somehow, miraculously, magically, “short” segments of DNA MUSTA been able to survive.

    It’s predicted that EVERY BOND in DNA would be destroyed in 6.8 million years. Nevertheless, Darwinists still claim that DNA sequences from insects in amber are 25-30 million years old (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/) and that Neanderthal DNA has been sequenced as far back as 430,000 years (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1411508/).

    So, the experimentally measured 521-year half-life of DNA has not been EXPERIMENTALLY falsified. Yet, claims of 25 million year old DNA has been announced and claims that the Neanderthal DNA has been SEQUENCED–all well beyond what experimental research can explain.

    And you don’t see any problem with this? That’s because you have faith in science fantasy while ignoring experimental evidence. How sweet.

    -Q

  220. 220
    Alan Fox says:

    25 million year old DNA always looked dubious. Nobody in mainstream science sustains that claim. Evidence that fragments remain, particularly in teeth, for hundreds of thousands of years is more convincing. What puzzles me is what is so shocking to Querius about early PCR-based searches for ancient DNA turned out to be compromised by contamination.

    So what is your challenge?

  221. 221
    Querius says:

    Alan Fox @220,

    25 million year old DNA always looked dubious. Nobody in mainstream science sustains that claim.

    Oh, really? Always looked dubious? If so, they were published anyway. Have you seen any retractions, revisions, or updates? I haven’t.

    Here are some studies published relatively recently (i.e. not from the 1990s):

    The complete genome sequence of a Neandertal from the Altai Mountains (2013)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031459/

    Researchers Sequenced 430,000-Year-Old DNA From Neanderthal (2015) https://www.iflscience.com/researchers-sequenced-430000-year-old-dna-neanderthal-relative-30662

    Tiny segments of DNA do not make the grade of “DNA sequencing.” LOL

    So what’s the experimentally measured half life of DNA extracted from animals in caves or other even more ideal environments such as permafrost? With a constant humidity and temperature, the effects of background radiation gain importance.

    -Q

  222. 222
    Alan Fox says:

    Yes, really. I don’t see anyone but you talking as if the survival of DNA fragments is controversial. Early attempts at recovery using PCR techniques were bugged by contamination. Now researchers are more careful. That’s progress.

  223. 223
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, appeal to the bandwagon. The issue is not opinion or popularity but thermodynamics. Even medicines have expiry dates and instructions to refrigerate. What is that telling us? KF

  224. 224
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, do I need to remind of the rule of thumb that for room temp, activation energy decay processes double their rate for every 8 degrees C increase? Which instantly tells us for any reasonable temperature, there is an ongoing spontaneous breakdown.

  225. 225
    Querius says:

    But that’s different, Kairsfocus! It’s a scientific appeal to the bandwagon! LOL

    Most drug companies test experimental drugs, typically large molecules, in silico. I’ve had the opportunity to play with one of these, viewing molecular bonds breaking as I dial up the temperature. I’m sure that the same could be said of adding in background radiation (which includes the bones and dentin typically accessed for archaic DNA samples).

    My question to Alan Fox remains unanswered:

    So what’s the experimentally measured half life of DNA extracted from animals in caves or other even more ideal environments such as permafrost?

    -Q

  226. 226
    Alan Fox says:

    Querius:

    So what’s the experimentally measured half life of DNA extracted from animals in caves or other even more ideal environments such as permafrost?

    I just saw this. Off-hand I don’t know whether any research has been done to establish rates of decay over time in samples that contain DNA, other than the work on moa bones.

  227. 227
  228. 228
  229. 229
  230. 230
    Alan Fox says:

    The a href=”https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkx36″>paper I refer to in 229, interesting in itself, has a list of citations that illustrate the breadth and usefulness of work on DNA fragments.

    A point made in all of the above is decay rate is dependent on many more variables than just age.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, yes it would but a key driver is activation processes that are temp sensitive. DNA is highly endothermic and metastable, a pattern that is similar to many medications, explosives and many other organic chem derived things. KF

  232. 232
    Alan Fox says:

    @ KF

    The significance of that remark at 231, which I don’t disagree with per se is?

  233. 233
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, evasion as usual. You know you need to come up with a reasonable empirically warranted decay curve for DNA, and particularly for why — independent of ideological impositions of evolutionary materialistic scientism — anyone should take seriously claims of sufficient survival for dozens of MY. KF

    PS, as we are still on the topic of DNA, you were last challenged to address why you have tried to dismiss the point that it expresses coded information in part expressing algorithms, and do so i/l/o this from Lehninger’s literary heirs [bearing in mind the weight of that legacy]:

    “The information in DNA is encoded in its linear (one-dimensional) sequence of deoxyribonucleotide subunits . . . . A linear sequence of deoxyribonucleotides in DNA codes (through an intermediary, RNA) for the production of a protein with a corresponding linear sequence of amino acids . . . Although the final shape of the folded protein is dictated by its amino acid sequence, the folding of many proteins is aided by “molecular chaperones” . . . The precise three-dimensional structure, or native conformation, of the protein is crucial to its function.” [Principles of Biochemistry, 8th Edn, 2021, pp 194 – 5. Now authored by Nelson, Cox et al, Lehninger having passed on in 1986. Attempts to rhetorically pretend on claimed superior knowledge of Biochemistry, that D/RNA does not contain coded information expressing algorithms using string data structures, collapse. We now have to address the implications of language, goal directed stepwise processes and underlying sophisticated polymer chemistry and molecular nanotech in the heart of cellular metabolism and replication.]

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: As a start, here is an estimate

    https://garmaonhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Celluar-DNA-Damage.png

    This estimates up to 500 k DNA modification events per cell PER DAY. Countered by active repair mechanisms but of course such can lead to cancer, aging effects and cell death.

    Now, under reasonable circumstances, where does that go with death, decay etc on the table?

    What’s the specific, not hurl an elephant, reasonable decay pattern and curve, backed by what empirical evidence.

    KF

  235. 235
    Alan Fox says:

    What’s the specific, not hurl an elephant, reasonable decay pattern and curve, backed by what empirical evidence.

    I repeat:

    https://academic.oup.com/nar/article/45/11/6310/3806656

  236. 236
    Alan Fox says:

    KF

    You know you need to come up with a reasonable empirically warranted decay curve for DNA

    https://academic.oup.com/nar/article/45/11/6310/3806656

    Follow the link. Read the paper. Check the references.

  237. 237
    Querius says:

    Alan Fox,

    First off, thank you for finding the references.

    Temporal patterns of damage and decay kinetics of DNA retrieved from plant herbarium specimens

    We investigated patterns of DNA fragmentation and nucleotide misincorporation by analysing 86 herbarium samples spanning the last 300 years using Illumina shotgun sequencing.

    The fit to a log/exponential curve (linear on a log scale) is expected for specified temperatures and other environmental conditions. Preservation through drying might be explained by the removal of water from the plant.

    Environmental DNA shedding and decay rates from diverse animal forms and thermal regimes
    This study is irrelevant to our discussion due to the aquatic environment of eDNA that results in a half life measured in hours.

    A new model for ancient DNA decay based on paleogenomic meta-analysis

    The persistence of DNA over archaeological and paleontological timescales in diverse environments has led to a revolutionary body of paleogenomic research, yet the dynamics of DNA degradation are still poorly understood. We analyzed 185 paleogenomic datasets and compared DNA survival with environmental variables and sample ages. We find cytosine deamination follows a conventional thermal age model, but we find no correlation between DNA fragmentation and sample age over the timespans analyzed, even when controlling for environmental variables.

    This interesting study mentions both fragmentation and deamination. I was surprised that it didn’t also mention background radiation, however. The expected patterns seem to hold for samples 10,000 years old and less as with Bronze Age Europeans and Neolithic Aegeans, but my biggest objection is that it accepts paleontological time scales, working backwards to what the rate of DNA disintegration MUSTA been and speculate on possible causes. The result is a lack or correlation with time when considering fragmentation. This is highly suspect.

    In any case, the “The complete genome sequence of a Neandertal from the Altai Mountains” (2013) and “Researchers Sequenced 430,000-Year-Old DNA From Neanderthal” (2015) remain highly suspect in light of the studies you provided!

    In my opinion, the first study, published by the Royal Society, is the most interesting and they admit being puzzled by some of the data they obtained and attempt to speculate on why. The big takeaway is that after initial decomposition, DNA is observed to decay at a rate largely dependent on age and is not compatible with claims of paleogenomic finds and presumed dating.

    After millions of years of exposure to temperature and background radiation, such DNA should be by now have been turned into powder–or the dating is wrong.

    So I think I’ve proved my point in @102, right?

    -Q

  238. 238
    Alan Fox says:

    So I think I’ve proved my point in @102, right?

    Yes, I suspect that’s right. You think you’ve proved a point. However, it’s evidence, not proof, that applies in science. DNA fragments long enough to enable phylogenetic analysis are extractible after hundreds of thousand years in suitable samples. Previous claims for multiple millions have been shown to result from contamination. The half-life figure is consistent with that. There is no controversy about ancient DNA and work will continue as long as it is fruitful.

    I’m still unclear as to what your point is precisely and how it differs from what I’ve summarised in this comment.

  239. 239
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, there goes that elephant, hooonk. Yes they say in effect activation processes fail, on samples dated on their timeline. That, embeds endless assumptions. What you need, is to show directly observed evidence similar to, as I pointed out, up to 500k spontaneous changes per day in a cell, leading to a significant repair process. KF

    PS, your first link says:

    The persistence of DNA over archaeological and paleontological timescales in diverse environments has led to a revolutionary body of paleogenomic research, yet the dynamics of DNA degradation are still poorly understood. We analyzed 185 paleogenomic datasets and compared DNA survival with environmental variables and sample ages. We find cytosine deamination follows a conventional thermal age model, but we find no correlation between DNA fragmentation and sample age over the timespans analyzed, even when controlling for environmental variables. We propose a model for ancient DNA decay wherein fragmentation rapidly reaches a threshold, then subsequently slows. The observed loss of DNA over time may be due to a bulk diffusion process in many cases, highlighting the importance of tissues and environments creating effectively closed systems for DNA preservation. This model of DNA degradation is largely based on mammal bone samples due to published genomic dataset availability. Continued refinement to the model to reflect diverse biological systems and tissue types will further improve our understanding of ancient DNA breakdown dynamics . . . .

    Previous studies have identified age as the key critical predictor of deamination (60), but our finding is in line with predictions of a time-dependent hydrolytic process where activation energy is achieved more often at higher ambient temperatures. A rate of deamination can be calculated for any sample with a known age and partial conversion of exposed cytosines (Figure 3). The resulting rates vary widely and show a strong correlation with temperature (r2 = 0.279; P = 1.23 × 10?12). In sum, deamination is a time-dependent process heavily modulated by temperature. When analyzing DNA fragmentation, however, we found that precipitation and thermal fluctuation were strongly significant predictors (multiple r2 = 0.202; precipitation P = 0.0025; temperature fluctuation P = 6.18 × 10?8) but that age was not significantly correlated with the degree of fragmentation (P = 0.77), even when controlling for environmental conditions. We also find that in addition to the humidity and thermal fluctuation pattern, the degree of DNA fragmentation correlates strongly with base compositional biases. Specifically, datasets dominated by short fragments are significantly depleted of weakly-bonded nucleotide motifs (P = 6.79 × 10?12, r2 = 0.253; Figure 2), indicating that DNA breakdown follows predictable patterns with regard to microenvironment and nucleic acid biochemistry. Relatedly, we detected a histone-associated fragmentation bias (22) in the majority of our samples (n = 112), and we find that annual mean temperature is strongly associated with the intensity of this pattern (P = 1.2 × 10?5, r2 = 0.16; Figure 2). Specifically, DNA breakdown in colder environments appears to more faithfully reflect cellular architecture and the in vivo genome context, whereas breakdown in warmer conditions is much less discriminant.

    That boils down to, we are baffled.

    PPS, similarly, you have Lehninger’s heirs to answer.

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS, Nor is it just DNA, the discovery of apparent preservation of soft tissue samples such as collagen in dinosaur bones out to the typical 65 MY etc is a similar serious question.

  241. 241
    Alan Fox says:

    What you need, is to show directly observed evidence similar to, as I pointed out, up to 500k spontaneous changes per day in a cell, leading to a significant repair process. KF

    You are missing the point. Do you know anything about tree ring dating? Samples overlap. DNA fragments overlap. Homology exists.

  242. 242
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, more general dismissiveness and distractors. As clipped, they confirm presence of thermally linked degradation rates but say after a time for fragmentation on their model, it seems to effectively stop [”slows”]. The latter would imply, only partial vulnerability to activation processes leading to exhaustion. But if they had solid reasons for that they would NOT be talking about poorly understood dynamics, they would announce ta-da this is the part that breaks down, why. Obviously, they don’t: ” . . . the dynamics of DNA degradation are still poorly understood.” This sounds like floundering. KF

    PS, Let’s observe a generally related discussion on stability:

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.95.14.7933

    High-temperature origin-of-life theories require that the components of the first genetic material are stable. We therefore have measured the half-lives for the decomposition of the nucleobases. They have been found to be short on the geologic time scale. At 100°C, the growth temperatures of the hyperthermophiles, the half-lives are too short to allow for the adequate accumulation of these compounds (t1/2 for A and G ? 1 yr; U = 12 yr; C = 19 days [0.05202 y]). Therefore, unless the origin of life took place extremely rapidly (<100 yr), we conclude that a high-temperature origin of life may be possible, but it cannot involve adenine, uracil, guanine, or cytosine. The rates of hydrolysis at 100°C also suggest that an ocean-boiling asteroid impact would reset the prebiotic clock, requiring prebiotic synthetic processes to begin again. At 0°C, A, U, G, and T appear to be sufficiently stable (t1/2 ? 106 yr) to be involved in a low-temperature origin of life. However, the lack of stability of cytosine at 0°C (t1/2 = 17,000 yr) [–> after 10 X t1/2, we are looking at very little left, 170 ky, after 100, 1.7 MY, that’s 1 part in 2^100 ~ 1.3*10^30 i.e. you would need millions of moles to have anything left] raises the possibility that the GC base pair may not have been used in the first genetic material unless life arose quickly (<106 yr) after a sterilization event. A two-letter code or an alternative base pair may have been used instead.

    Translation, we have a serious problem projecting to dozens of MY.

    PPS, we still have the Lehninger problem, and you tried a double down above:

    “The information in DNA is encoded in its linear (one-dimensional) sequence of deoxyribonucleotide subunits . . . . A linear sequence of deoxyribonucleotides in DNA codes (through an intermediary, RNA) for the production of a protein with a corresponding linear sequence of amino acids . . . Although the final shape of the folded protein is dictated by its amino acid sequence, the folding of many proteins is aided by “molecular chaperones” . . . The precise three-dimensional structure, or native conformation, of the protein is crucial to its function.” [Principles of Biochemistry, 8th Edn, 2021, pp 194 – 5. Now authored by Nelson, Cox et al, Lehninger having passed on in 1986. Attempts to rhetorically pretend on claimed superior knowledge of Biochemistry, that D/RNA does not contain coded information expressing algorithms using string data structures, collapse. We now have to address the implications of language, goal directed stepwise processes and underlying sophisticated polymer chemistry and molecular nanotech in the heart of cellular metabolism and replication.]

    PPPS, Tree rings can give dating patterns to what 10’s kyr? That DNA fragmentation overlaps suggests there is NOT an exhaustion of a particularly vulnerable subset of bonds [contrast, decay of C where dramatically shorter lifespan gives reason to look for it as low hanging fruit . . . taking the same 100 C to 0 C ratio on t1/2, about 327k:1, we are looking at A, G with 0C t1/2 ~ 300ky, T 3 MY], and homology is part of circular arguments, down to circular redefinition on imposition of macroevo as baseline.

  243. 243
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, I think the just above may be of interest, giving some relevant half lives and linked estimates. Of course, incidence of radioactive damage and damage from environment would depend on many factors. KF

    PS, Wikipedia on GC-content of DNA throws in a monkey wrench, in its confessions:

    DNA with low GC-content is less stable than DNA with high GC-content; however, the hydrogen bonds themselves do not have a particularly significant impact on molecular stability, which is instead caused mainly by molecular interactions of base stacking.[2] In spite of the higher thermostability conferred to a nucleic acid with high GC-content, it has been observed that at least some species of bacteria with DNA of high GC-content undergo autolysis more readily, thereby reducing the longevity of the cell per se.[3] Because of the thermostability of GC pairs, it was once presumed that high GC-content was a necessary adaptation to high temperatures, but this hypothesis was refuted in 2001.[4] Even so, it has been shown that there is a strong correlation between the optimal growth of prokaryotes at higher temperatures and the GC-content of structural RNAs such as ribosomal RNA, transfer RNA, and many other non-coding RNAs.[4][5] The AU base pairs are less stable than the GC base pairs, making high-GC-content RNA structures more resistant to the effects of high temperatures.

    More recently, it has been demonstrated that the most important factor contributing to the thermal stability of double-stranded nucleic acids is actually due to the base stackings of adjacent bases rather than the number of hydrogen bonds between the bases. There is more favorable stacking energy for GC pairs than for AT or AU pairs because of the relative positions of exocyclic groups. Additionally, there is a correlation between the order in which the bases stack and the thermal stability of the molecule as a whole.[6]

  244. 244
    Alan Fox says:

    Ancient DNA fragments can persist for several hundred thousand years depending on the immediate environmental conditions. Longer claimed dates have not stood up to scrutiny. Phylogeny confirms this. Focus, KF. If you disagree with that, fine. Say so and say why and we can have an exchange of view. But, focus.

  245. 245
    Alan Fox says:

    Tree rings can give dating patterns to what 10’s kyr?

    I wondered whether my mention of tree ring overlap would be misunderstood. The reason DNA fragments can be useful is sequences overlap, allowing reconstruction of longer sequences.

  246. 246
    jerry says:

    Looks like something out of the ancient past.

    Maybe from Cambrian.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/990804-Chabahar-IMG_6019-2.jpg

  247. 247
    kairosfocus says:

    AF, I have put on the table what you failed to. That should be enough for Q. And you are still evading the point raised by Lehninger’s heirs. KF

  248. 248
    Querius says:

    Alan Fox @238,

    Yes, I suspect that’s right. You think you’ve proved a point.

    Well, thank you. And thank you again for at least providing the links to the two relevant studies. I found them very interesting.

    However, it’s evidence, not proof, that applies in science.

    Complete agreement with you on that. Unfortunately, the findings are rarely qualified in an academic environment, promoting a false sense of scientific confidence to students rather than characterizing the evidence as not more than evidence leading to our theories. Students should understand that all scientific theories change and science progresses as the resistance to old theories collapses in light of new evidence.

    For example, as reported in Live Science in March 2020, a study published in Natural Geoscience, researchers lead by geoscientist Benjamin Johnson reported that they have compelling evidence from isotope ratios regarding conditions on the early earth. It reads

    What did Earth look like 3.2 billion years ago? New evidence suggests the planet was covered by a vast ocean and had no continents at all.

    Maybe new discoveries will reveal problems with Johnson’s work—who knows. But the idea is not to immediately reject evidence that runs counter to prevailing theories.

    DNA fragments long enough to enable phylogenetic analysis are extractible after hundreds of thousand years in suitable samples.

    The “hundreds of thousands of years” is conjecture. It could just as easily and legitimately be argued that these samples are more likely to be thousands of years old instead, especially since there’s no evidence of the speculated unknown mechanism to preserve this DNA for that extraordinary length of time. The same study reported a factor of 6 between the half-life of plant versus animal DNA, and speculates why this might be the case—again something that could and should be subjected to experimental validation or falsification.

    Previous claims for multiple millions have been shown to result from contamination. The half-life figure is consistent with that.

    Exactly. And when these discoveries were made, they were accepted and published. The skeptical scientific conversation that followed presumably resulted in experimental data confirming the contamination of the samples, again not simply rejecting the previous data on philosophical grounds.

    I’m still unclear as to what your point is precisely and how it differs from what I’ve summarised in this comment.

    Then let me remind you of my previous challenges, to which you asked me to pick one of them for you to follow up on.

    To your credit, you did so. And it turns out that the 20-30 million year-old DNA from insects in amber claim was later shown (I presume) to be due to contamination. The DNA could in no way be preserved for 20-30 million years. Even the supposed “complete” sequencing of 430,000 year old Neanderthal DNA should be highly suspect as well.

    -Q

  249. 249
    Querius says:

    Jerry @246,

    Nice. And do these remind you of anything?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7HTA6-bPy4

    Notice that they’re called “living fossils.”

    -Q

  250. 250
    Alan Fox says:

    The Neanderthal Genome Project

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_genome_project

    A useful gateway to much primary literature.

  251. 251
    Querius says:

    Alan Fox @250,
    Wikipedia articles are rarely a reliable source–I wouldn’t recommend using them. But you’re now diverging from my challenge regarding experimental (rather than conjectural) evidence of the half-life of DNA in ideal realistic environments.

    Note that I’m not claiming DNA half-life as a viable dating method, but I am claiming that there’s no experimental evidence for DNA being able to survive in a scientifically useful form tens of thousands let alone millions of years.

    A related question is “What constitutes the minimum useful fragment length of DNA?” Certainly not one or two base pairs, right? And then there’s DNA deamination to consider as well.

    -Q

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