horizontal gene transfer

Anything HGT does, Darwinian evolution did not do

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Talk to the Fossils.jpg  From Horizontal gene transfer: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more:

Richard Dawkins: For over a century, Darwinism was the “must be” explanation, the only “scientific one.” As Dawkins put it (p. 287, Blind Watchmaker, 1986):

My argument will be that Darwinism is the only known theory that is in principle capable of explaining certain aspects of life. If I am right it means that, even if there were no actual evidence in favour of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.

But Darwinism is not “the only known theory that is in principle capable of explaining certain aspects of life.” Claims that were formerly merely preferred must be tested against HGT. True, some of the example findings given above may need revision or replacement. But many more will likely turn up, as research uncovers HGT in many genomes.

Anything HGT does, Darwinian evolution did not do. As more and more pieces are carved out of Darwin’s territory, just think of the impact on the vast project of “Darwinizing the culture.” More.

See also: Links to the rest of the series at Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back

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181 Replies to “Anything HGT does, Darwinian evolution did not do

  1. 1
    Virgil Cain says:

    Any random, as in happenstance, genetic change is OK by all forms of Darwinism. HGT would qualify as such a change.

    If Darwin had known about HGT he may have thought it was evidence for his pangenesis. However if Darwin had known about HGT and other cellular activities, he never would have made the claims he did.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Darwinian evolution has pretty much been relegated to high school biology textbooks and Richard Dawkins twitter feed. And wherever baby science or pseudo science is located.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    Dawkins is wrong. there is NO biological scientific evidence for a false hypthesis on biological origin processes.
    Anyways.
    As people get smarter in this stuff it will be that other mechanisms are found for biological changes.
    We must all explain human “race looks” differences. for example.
    So indeed other mechanisms be seized by evolutionists as needed.
    its a prediction. indeed other threads here show non creationist scientists looking for a third way. because THEY NEED ANOTHER WAY cause old man chuck ain’t working in a modern world.

  4. 4
    wd400 says:

    Anything meiosis did Dariwnian evolution didn’t do! Evolution did nothing at all because genes get passed on… or something?

    Makes as much sense as this.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    wd400, and your real time empirical evidence that unguided material processes can create any non-trivial functional information/complexity at all is where exactly?

    Stephen Meyer Critiques Richard Dawkins’s “Mount Improbable” Illustration
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rgainpMXa8

  6. 6
    ppolish says:

    Thanks BA77.

    Meyers/Axe: “Unguided purposeless NS could not do a Cambrian in 500 trillion years”

    PZMeyers/Dawkins: “Blind Watchmaker had eons and eons. 30+ million years”

    Math was never a Dawkins strongpoint. Or rationality & logic for that matter:(

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    No problem ppolish.

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

    “Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – January 1, 2015
    Excerpt: The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92291.html

    Can Even One Polymer Become a Protein in 13 billion Years? – Dr. Douglas Axe, Biologic Institute – June 20, 2013 – audio
    http://radiomaria.us/discoveri.....institute/

    Moreover, not only are the unguided material processes of neo-Darwinism grossly inadequate to explain how a billion-trillion protein molecules can possibly cohere as a single unified whole in the single human body for a life time,,,

    The Vitruvian Man – Leonardo da Vinci – Drawing
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/22/Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg/441px-Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg

    One Body – animation – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDMLq6eqEM4

    HOW BIOLOGISTS LOST SIGHT OF THE MEANING OF LIFE
    — AND ARE NOW STARING IT IN THE FACE – Stephen L. Talbott – May 2012
    Excerpt: “If you think air traffic controllers have a tough job guiding planes into major airports or across a crowded continental airspace, consider the challenge facing a human cell trying to position its proteins”. A given cell, he notes, may make more than 10,000 different proteins, and typically contains more than a billion protein molecules at any one time. “Somehow a cell must get all its proteins to their correct destinations — and equally important, keep these molecules out of the wrong places”. And further: “It’s almost as if every mRNA [an intermediate between a gene and a corresponding protein] coming out of the nucleus knows where it’s going” (Travis 2011),,,
    Further, the billion protein molecules in a cell are virtually all capable of interacting with each other to one degree or another; they are subject to getting misfolded or “all balled up with one another”; they are critically modified through the attachment or detachment of molecular subunits, often in rapid order and with immediate implications for changing function; they can wind up inside large-capacity “transport vehicles” headed in any number of directions; they can be sidetracked by diverse processes of degradation and recycling . . . and so on without end. Yet the coherence of the whole is maintained.
    The question is indeed, then, “How does the organism meaningfully dispose of all its molecules, getting them to the right places and into the right interactions?”
    The same sort of question can be asked of cells, for example in the growing embryo, where literal streams of cells are flowing to their appointed places, differentiating themselves into different types as they go, and adjusting themselves to all sorts of unpredictable perturbations — even to the degree of responding appropriately when a lab technician excises a clump of them from one location in a young embryo and puts them in another, where they may proceed to adapt themselves in an entirely different and proper way to the new environment. It is hard to quibble with the immediate impression that form (which is more idea-like than thing-like) is primary, and the material particulars subsidiary.
    Two systems biologists, one from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Germany and one from Harvard Medical School, frame one part of the problem this way:
    “The human body is formed by trillions of individual cells. These cells work together with remarkable precision, first forming an adult organism out of a single fertilized egg, and then keeping the organism alive and functional for decades. To achieve this precision, one would assume that each individual cell reacts in a reliable, reproducible way to a given input, faithfully executing the required task. However, a growing number of studies investigating cellular processes on the level of single cells revealed large heterogeneity even among genetically identical cells of the same cell type. (Loewer and Lahav 2011)” ,,,
    And then we hear that all this meaningful activity is, somehow, meaningless or a product of meaninglessness. This, I believe, is the real issue troubling the majority of the American populace when they are asked about their belief in evolution. They see one thing and then are told, more or less directly, that they are really seeing its denial. Yet no one has ever explained to them how you get meaning from meaninglessness — a difficult enough task once you realize that we cannot articulate any knowledge of the world at all except in the language of meaning.,,,
    http://www.netfuture.org/2012/May1012_184.html#2

    Not only are the ‘bottom up’ unguided material processes of neo-Darwinism grossly inadequate to explain how a billion-trillion protein molecules can possibly cohere as a single unified whole in a single human body for a life time, but the unguided material processes of neo-Darwinism are also grossly inadequate to explain how even a single protein can possibly cohere as a single unified whole.

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

    Cruise Control permeating the whole of the protein structure? This is an absolutely fascinating discovery. The equations of calculus involved in achieving even a simple process control loop, such as a dynamic cruise control loop, are very complex. In fact it seems readily apparent to me that highly advanced mathematical information must reside ‘transcendentally’ along the entirety of the protein structure, in order to achieve such control of the overall protein structure. This fact gives us clear evidence that there is far more functional information residing within, and along, protein chains than meets the eye. Moreover this ‘oneness’ of cruise control, within the protein structure, can only be achieved through quantum computation/entanglement principles, and is inexplicable to the reductive materialistic approach of neo-Darwinism!
    And indeed we find quantum information/entanglement residing along the entirity of protein molecules:

    Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
    Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.
    http://www.scientific.net/MSF.518.491

    Moreover, this quantum information/entanglement which gives the protein a ‘unity of form’ so as to enable it to function as a cohesive whole as is witnessed with ‘cruise control’, is also found in DNA molecules:

    Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

  8. 8
    Zachriel says:

    News: Sorry, Darwin, it’s not your evolution any more

    Evolutionary theory has undergone constant change as the field has expanded and matured. It hasn’t been Darwin’s original theory for a long time.

    Horizontal gene transfer between widely separated taxa isn’t consistent with branching descent. That doesn’t mean humans don’t share common ancestry with other apes, but it does mean some human genetic material may come from other sources, as well, such as viruses.

  9. 9
    Axel says:

    BA77 @7

    ‘Cruise Control permeating the whole of the protein structure? This is an absolutely fascinating discovery. The equations of calculus involved in achieving even a simple process control loop, such as a dynamic cruise control loop, are very complex. In fact it seems readily apparent to me that highly advanced mathematical information must reside ‘transcendentally’ along the entirety of the protein structure, in order to achieve such control of the overall protein structure. This fact gives us clear evidence that there is far more functional information residing within, and along, protein chains than meets the eye. Moreover this ‘oneness’ of cruise control, within the protein structure, can only be achieved through quantum computation/entanglement principles, and is inexplicable to the reductive materialistic approach of neo-Darwinism!
    And indeed we find quantum information/entanglement residing along the entirety of protein molecules:’

    Nothing to see here. Move along. No design involved. Just random chance in deep time.

  10. 10
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Evolutionary theory has…

    Gone missing- no one can find this alleged evolutionary theory. And there isn’t any way to test the claim that humans share a common ancestry with other apes. The claim is out of the realm of science.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Or related note, one method of horizontally transferring genetic material is with the bacteriophage virus. Yet, the “horizontal” gene transferring bacteriophage virus is far more complex than many people have imagined it ever would be, as these following videos and article clearly point out:

    Virus – Assembly Of A Nano-Machine – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofd_lgEymto

    Bacteriophage T4 DNA Packing
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNQQz0NGUNQ

    The amazing design of bacteriophage viruses and its DNA packaging motor
    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....ging-motor

    Here is a short video of the Bacteriophage ‘landing’ on a bacterium:

    Bacteriophage T4 – landing – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdz9VGH8dwY

    The first thought I had when I first saw the bacteriophage virus is that it looks very similar to the lunar lander of the Apollo program. The comparison is not without merit considering some of the relative distances to be traveled and the virus must somehow possess, as of yet un-elucidated, orientation, guidance, docking, unloading, loading, etc… mechanisms. And please remember this level of complexity exists in a world that is far too small to be seen with the naked eye.

    As well, horizontal gene transfer is far more tenuous as a ‘mechanism of evolution’ than many Darwinists are apparently willing to admit:

    Evolutionists Celebrated This Prediction But When it Later Failed They Didn’t Care – Cornelius Hunter – April 2012
    Excerpt: Sometimes their use of this lateral or horizontal gene transfer mechanism is a real stretch. And in any case, their story calls for evolution to have created this incredible mechanism which then was so important for adaptation and the supposed subsequent evolution. In other words, evolution created evolution.,,, In some cases evolutionists have no idea, beyond pure speculation, about how it could have happened. As they admit in one paper: “An alternative and more plausible possibility is that the STC gene has been laterally transferred among phylogenetically diverged eukaryotes through an unknown mechanism.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-this.html

    Horizontal Gene Transfer 5-16-2015 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6X5sJ62NbE

    Here is a recent article (2015) by Jeffrey Tomkins which shows that the mechanism of Horizontal Gene Transfer falls far short of being a satisfactory explanation.

    Another Horizontal Gene Transfer Fairy Tale by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. – April 6, 2015
    Excerpt: First, the researchers found unique genes in a variety of fruit flies, worms, primates, and humans that had no clear evolutionary ancestry. In other words, each of these genes is specific to a certain type of creature. Scientists have previously termed these “orphan genes”—a unique type of gene that provides a clear anti-evolutionary enigma I have discussed in previous reports.3,4 Some claim these novel orphan sequences evolved suddenly out of non-coding DNA while others, such as the authors of this new report, claim they were derived from HGT.
    The major problem with claiming that these alleged HGT genes are imported or “foreign” (i.e., transferred into the genome from some other creature), is that many of them encode important enzymatic proteins and are key parts of the interconnected gene networks and complex biochemical pathways that are essential to the very life of the organism. The researchers stated, “The majority of these genes are concerned with metabolism.” Clearly, the genes are not foreign at all, but designed to function as key parts of essential biologically complex systems.
    Second, the approach to supposedly identifying many of the foreign genes in animals as microbial in origin was not even based on actual complete gene sequence, but depended upon isolated regions of similarity in the proteins they encode. In mammals, genes are quite complex, and on average only about 10% of the entire gene sequence actually codes for protein, the rest contains a large diversity of regulatory sequences that determine how the gene is to function and its various types of products. In contrast, microbial genes are typically much less complex and lack these intricate and intervening regulatory regions found in animal genes. If the researchers had actually compared the genomic DNA, very little similarity would have been discovered—in other words, they didn’t do their homework correctly. In fact, they admitted their claim that the gene was foreign—or where it originated from—was purely hypothetical, when they stated that “absolute certainty in the assignment of most HGT is unachievable.”
    Third, no mechanism of HGT for any of the hundreds of alleged “foreign genes” they found was either discovered or even suggested. This is due to the fact that the only cases where such gene transfer occurs in nature typically involves a clear host-parasite relationship. Not only that, but the cells of the germline (those that produce sperm and egg) must be specifically targeted or the introgressed genes (those that were incorporated from one species into the genome of another) will not be inherited.
    Unfortunately, evolutionary biologists constantly resort to fictional stories cloaked in technical terminology to escape the straightforward conclusion that the genomes of different creatures were purposefully crafted. Because of their unwavering commitment to evolution, all ideas about these cleverly designed and network-integrated gene sequences being engineered by a Creator are not considered—at least not openly.
    http://www.icr.org/article/ano.....sfer-fairy

    I would be shocked that such slipshod science, as Dr. Tomkins highlighted, could be practiced by Darwinists. But after many years of seeing how Darwinists constantly practice their brand of ‘science’, never allowing the core of their theory to be challenged by empirical evidence, such shenanigans by Darwinists has come to be expected by me.
    Apparently it is the only way that they can keep their supposedly ‘scientific’ theory afloat amongst all the contradictory evidence that comes along.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of note: Even many supposed viral sequences, that are held, by Darwinists, to have been gained by horizontal gene transfer to humans, are now called into question:

    Refutation Of Endogenous Retrovirus – ERVs – Richard Sternberg, PhD Evolutionary Biology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrEOe2E0Euc
    Sternberg, R. v. & J. A. Shapiro (2005). How repeated retroelements format genome function. Cytogenet. Genome Res. 110: 108-116.
    Excerpt: Employing an information science model, the “functionalist” perspective on repetitive DNA leads to new ways of thinking about the systemic organization of cellular genomes and provides several novel possibilities involving retroelements in evolutionarily significant genome reorganization.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16093662

    Shapiro and Sternberg Anticipated the Fall of Junk DNA – Douglas Axe – September 13, 2012
    Excerpt: “In 2005, I published two articles on the functional importance of repetitive DNA with Rick von Sternberg. The major article was entitled “Why repetitive DNA is essential to genome function.”
    These articles with Rick are important to me (and to this blog) for two reasons. The first is that shortly after we submitted them, Rick became a momentary celebrity of the Intelligent Design movement. Critics have taken my co-authorship with Rick as an excuse for “guilt-by-association” claims that I have some ID or Creationist agenda, an allegation with no basis in anything I have written.
    The second reason the two articles with Rick are important is because they were, frankly, prescient, anticipating the recent ENCODE results. Our basic idea was that the genome is a highly sophisticated information storage organelle. Just like electronic data storage devices, the genome must be highly formatted by generic (i.e. repeated) signals that make it possible to access the stored information when and where it will be useful.”
    – James Shapiro
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64291.html

    Endogenous retroviruses regulate periimplantation placental growth and differentiation – 2006
    http://www.pnas.org/content/103/39/14390.abstract.

    Retrovirus in the Human Genome Is Active in Pluripotent Stem Cells – Jan. 23, 2013
    Excerpt: “What we’ve observed is that a group of endogenous retroviruses called HERV-H is extremely busy in human embryonic stem cells,” said Jeremy Luban, MD, the David L. Freelander Memorial Professor in HIV/AIDS Research, professor of molecular medicine and lead author of the study. “In fact, HERV-H is one of the most abundantly expressed genes in pluripotent stem cells and it isn’t found in any other cell types.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....133930.htm

    Here is Another Retrovirus With an Important Function – Cornelius Hunter – March 9, 2015
    Excerpt: Yet another retrovirus function was published last fall in a study out of Canada. This retrovirus works with several proteins in human embryonic stem cells and without it the stem cells lose their key functionalities.
    “Human endogenous retrovirus subfamily H (HERVH) is a class of transposable elements expressed preferentially in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Here, we report that the long terminal repeats of HERVH function as enhancers and that HERVH is a nuclear long noncoding RNA required to maintain hESC identity. Furthermore, HERVH is associated with OCT4, coactivators and Mediator subunits. Together, these results uncover a new role of species-specific transposable elements in hESCs.”
    As with previous human retrovirus examples, this finding forced evolutionists to hypothesize that the retrovirus, unbelievably, played a crucial role human evolution. As one report explained:
    “According to the study’s lead author, Xinyi Lu, a postdoctoral researcher in Ng’s laboratory, the emergence of the regulatory activities executed by HERV-H could represent an important step in the evolution of our early ancestors. “HERV-H first integrated into the primate genome around 45 million years ago and is only found in the primate genome,” says Lu, “and so it may contribute to some of the differences between primates and other mammals.””
    How curious this is. A retrovirus is supposed to have evolved, and then it just happened to play an important role in the construction of humans. This is yet another example of the incredible serendipity that evolutionists envision at work in their theory. Do they ever wonder at the likelihood of a retrovirus just luckily fitting in to the evolutionary process, and serving in an important role in the production of increasingly complex organisms?
    With evolution, science becomes not a search for how nature works, or what likely occurred in the past, but rather bizarre, unlikely tales that cannot be proven wrong.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-with.html

    The definitive response on Endogenous Retroviruses (ERV’s), with Dr. Jean Lightner
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feHYEgzaGkY

    etc.. etc..

  13. 13
    rhampton7 says:

    It still sounds like a materialist account of evolution. Did News mean to suggest it isn’t?

  14. 14
    Box says:

    The main problem with Darwin’s evolution theory is that natural selection doesn’t do anything for the coming into existence of organisms.
    Selection is NOT creation.

    Jacques Monod: CHANCE ALONE, is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of creation.

  15. 15
    Zachriel says:

    Box: The main problem with Darwin’s evolution theory is that natural selection doesn’t do anything for the coming into existence of organisms.

    Sure. Evolutionary theory only explains how life how life has diversified, not its origin; just as gravitational theory only explains how masses interact, not their origin. Scientists continue to probe the question of how life began on Earth, but the circumstances are very ancient.

  16. 16
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Evolutionary theory only explains how life how life has diversified

    How life originated has a direct tie to how it diversified and evolutionism can’t even explain how to get eukaryotes from populations of prokaryotes.

  17. 17
    Box says:

    Zach: Evolutionary theory only explains how life how life has diversified (…)

    All evolutionary theory has to offer is the concept that all life forms, and all its features, came into existence by chance alone. Natural selection hasn’t caused the coming into existence of one single organism nor even one single feature of an organism.
    Selection is not creation.

  18. 18
    Zachriel says:

    Box: All evolutionary theory has to offer is the concept that all life forms, and all its features, came into existence by chance alone… Selection is not creation.

    Evolution is creative, but it requires both variation and selection. It’s the interplay between the two that results in adaptation.

  19. 19
    Box says:

    Zach: Evolution is creative, but it requires both variation and selection. It’s the interplay between the two that results in adaptation.

    Nope, the adaptive organisms and their adaptive features are produced by chance alone.
    Because selection is not creation.

  20. 20
    wd400 says:

    Nah — the mutations giving rise to adaptations arise by chance. Selection means many individually-unlikely but beneficial traits can be brought together in a single lineage. So it’s more than chance that creates adaptations.

  21. 21
    Box says:

    wd400: Selection means many individually-unlikely but beneficial traits can be brought together in a single lineage.

    No, that’s not the case.

    wd400: So it’s more than chance that creates adaptations.

    Nope

    CHANCE ALONE, is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of creation.
    [Jacques Monod]

  22. 22
    wd400 says:

    Well, how can I reply to such a cogent argument. I guess I withdraw….

    (even your quote doesn’t say what you seem to think it says)

  23. 23
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Evolution is creative, but it requires both variation and selection.

    Your position offers variation and elimination.

  24. 24
    Virgil Cain says:

    wd400:

    Selection means many individually-unlikely but beneficial traits can be brought together in a single lineage.

    Beneficial is relative and changing. Natural selection is non-random in that not every individual has the same probability of being eliminated. There is still plenty of chance at play all throughout the process.

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    wd400:

    Nah — the mutations giving rise to adaptations arise by chance.

    Not really. Chance is not a cause of anything. “Chance” is just a word to be used in place of “we don’t know how.”

    If we knew how, appeals to “chance” would be superfluous. Ignorance is not an explanation.

    But evolution is a fact, Fact, FACT!

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    as to wd400’s claim:

    “Nah — the mutations giving rise to adaptations arise by chance.”

    Mung is correct in noting the way Darwinists disingenuously use the word chance,,,

    Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science – Harald Atmanspacher
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28)
    http://www.igpp.de/english/tda/pdf/paulijcs8.pdf

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness – Talbott – Fall 2011
    Excerpt: The situation calls to mind a widely circulated cartoon by Sidney Harris, which shows two scientists in front of a blackboard on which a body of theory has been traced out with the usual tangle of symbols, arrows, equations, and so on. But there’s a gap in the reasoning at one point, filled by the words, “Then a miracle occurs.” And the one scientist is saying to the other, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.”
    In the case of evolution, I picture Dennett and Dawkins filling the blackboard with their vivid descriptions of living, highly regulated, coordinated, integrated, and intensely meaningful biological processes, and then inserting a small, mysterious gap in the middle, along with the words, “Here something random occurs.”
    This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle. It is the central miracle in a gospel of meaninglessness, a “Randomness of the gaps,” demanding an extraordinarily blind faith. At the very least, we have a right to ask, “Can you be a little more explicit here?”
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....randomness

    In other words, although the term “chance” can be defined as a mathematical probability, such as the chance involved in flipping a coin, when Darwinists use the term ‘random chance’, the vast majority of the time it’s substituting for a more precise word such as “cause”, especially when the cause, i.e. ‘mechanism’, is not known. Several people have noted this ‘shell game’ that is played with the word ‘chance’ and cause.

    “To personify ‘chance’ as if we were talking about a causal agent,” notes biophysicist Donald M. MacKay, “is to make an illegitimate switch from a scientific to a quasi-religious mythological concept.”
    Similarly, Robert C. Sproul points out: “By calling the unknown cause ‘chance’ for so long, people begin to forget that a substitution was made. . . . The assumption that ‘chance equals an unknown cause’ has come to mean for many that ‘chance equals cause.’”

    The Universal Determinism Dichotomy (UDD) – David L. Abel – 2015
    Excerpt: We sometimes appeal to yet-to-be-discovered laws when trying to explain what appears to be chance phenomena. Most theorists, however, attempt to reduce Chance Contingency to unknown and/or very complex physical causation, as summarized by Peale.12 Thus Chance Contingency as a true cause may be only “apparent.”
    Sproul argues effectively that chance is not a cause of anything. Chance is nothing more than a statistical description of unknown or complex physical causation. Chance, therefore, cannot have any physical effects, since it is not a physical cause. 13,,,
    13. Sproul RC. – Not a Chance: the Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books; 1994
    https://www.academia.edu/12267097/The_Universal_Determinism_Dichotomy_UDD_

    Thus to say ‘it happened by chance’, as it is usually used by Darwinists, is in reality a ‘placeholder for ignorance’ instead of being an appeal to a known cause.
    Moreover, it is now known that the vast majority of changes to the genome are being accomplished via sophisticated molecular machines and that the changes being implemented in the genome by those molecular machines are not happening in a random pattern as was presupposed by Darwinists.

    “It is difficult (if not impossible) to find a genome change operator that is truly random in its action within the DNA of the cell where it works’
    James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century – James A. Shapiro – 2009
    Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed.....0Dogma.pdf

    Duality in the human genome – Nov. 28, 2014
    Excerpt: According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....enome.html

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Fully Random Mutations – Kevin Kelly – 2014
    Excerpt: What is commonly called “random mutation” does not in fact occur in a mathematically random pattern. The process of genetic mutation is extremely complex, with multiple pathways, involving more than one system. Current research suggests most spontaneous mutations occur as errors in the repair process for damaged DNA. Neither the damage nor the errors in repair have been shown to be random in where they occur, how they occur, or when they occur. Rather, the idea that mutations are random is simply a widely held assumption by non-specialists and even many teachers of biology. There is no direct evidence for it.
    On the contrary, there’s much evidence that genetic mutation vary in patterns. For instance it is pretty much accepted that mutation rates increase or decrease as stress on the cells increases or decreases. These variable rates of mutation include mutations induced by stress from an organism’s predators and competition, and as well as increased mutations brought on by environmental and epigenetic factors. Mutations have also been shown to have a higher chance of occurring near a place in DNA where mutations have already occurred, creating mutation hotspot clusters—a non-random pattern.
    http://edge.org/response-detail/25264

    Evolutionists Caught Again—But They Still Believe – Dr. Cornelius Hunter – May 2012
    Excerpt: As a new paper now explains, under evolution we must believe that mutations rates have been “evolutionarily optimized.” That is, evolution is now so brilliant that it created the means to not only control, but to optimize the actual mutation rates.,,, (Here is how they put their findings)
    “Upon comparing 34 Escherichia coli genomes, we observe that the neutral mutation rate varies by more than an order of magnitude across 2,659 genes, with mutational hot and cold spots spanning several kilobases.,, Importantly, the variation is not random: we detect a lower rate in highly expressed genes and in those undergoing stronger purifying selection.,, Our observations suggest that the mutation rate has been evolutionarily optimized to reduce the risk of deleterious mutations.,, Current knowledge of factors influencing the mutation rate—including transcription-coupled repair and context-dependent mutagenesis—do not explain these observations, indicating that additional mechanisms must be involved. ,, The findings have important implications for our understanding of evolution and the control of mutations.,,”
    Dr. Hunter then comments: “These findings have important implications for our understanding of evolution? Well sure, if by that they mean how absurd are evolution truth claims.”
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-they.html

  27. 27
    wd400 says:

    Mutations have causes, of course. Just like the outcomes of dice rolls and lottery draws have physical causes. But they are random with respect to fitness.

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    New Research Elucidates Directed Mutation Mechanisms – Cornelius Hunter – January 7, 2013
    Excerpt: mutations don’t occur randomly in the genome, but rather in the genes where they can help to address the challenge. But there is more. The gene’s single stranded DNA has certain coils and loops which expose only some of the gene’s nucleotides to mutation. So not only are certain genes targeted for mutation, but certain nucleotides within those genes are targeted in what is referred to as directed mutations.,,,
    These findings contradict evolution’s prediction that mutations are random with respect to need and sometimes just happen to occur in the right place at the right time.,,,
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ected.html

    Failed Darwinian Prediction – Mutations are not adaptive – Cornelius Hunter – 2015
    In the twentieth century, the theory of evolution predicted that mutations are not adaptive or directed. In other words, mutations were believed to be random with respect to the needs of the individual. As Julian Huxley put it, “Mutation merely provides the raw material of evolution; it is a random affair, and takes place in all directions. … in all cases they are random in relation to evolution. Their effects are not related to the needs of the organisms.” (Huxley, 36) Or as Jacques Monod explained:

    chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact. And nothing warrants the supposition—or the hope—that on this score our position is likely ever to be revised. (Monod, 112)

    Ronald Fisher wrote that mutations are “random with respect to the organism’s need” (Orr). This fundamental prediction persisted for decades as a recent paper explained: “mutation is assumed to create heritable variation that is random and undirected.” (Chen, Lowenfeld and Cullis)

    But that assumption is now known to be false. The first problem is that the mutation rate is adaptive. For instance, when a population of bacteria is subjected to harsh conditions it tends to increase its mutation rate. It is as though a signal has been sent saying, “It is time to adapt.” Also, a small fraction of the population increases its mutation rates even higher yet. These hypermutators ensure that an even greater variety of adaptive change is explored. (Foster) Experiments have also discovered that duplicated DNA segments may be subject to higher mutation rates. Since the segment is a duplicate it is less important to preserve and, like a test bed, appears to be used to experiment with new designs. (Wright)

    The second problem is that organisms use strategies to direct the mutations according to the threat. Adaptive mutations have been extensively studied in bacteria. Experiments typically alter the bacteria food supply or apply some other environmental stress causing mutations that target the specific environmental stress. (Burkala, et. al.; Moxon, et. al; Wright) Adaptive mutations have also been observed in yeast (Fidalgo, et. al.; David, et. al.) and flax plants. (Johnson, Moss and Cullis) One experiment found repeatable mutations in flax in response to fertilizer levels. (Chen, Schneeberger and Cullis) Another exposed the flax to four different growth conditions and found that environmental stress can induce mutations that result in “sizeable, rapid, adaptive evolutionary responses.” (Chen, Lowenfeld and Cullis) In response to this failed prediction some evolutionists now are saying that evolution somehow created the mechanisms that cause mutations to be adaptive.

    References

    Burkala, E., et. al. 2007. “Secondary structures as predictors of mutation potential in the lacZ gene of Escherichia coli.” Microbiology 153:2180-2189.
    Chen, Y., R. Lowenfeld, C. Cullis. 2009. “An environmentally induced adaptive (?) insertion event in flax.” International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology 1:38-47.
    Chen, Y., R. Schneeberger, C. Cullis. 2005. “A site-specific insertion sequence in flax genotrophs induced by environment.” New Phytologist 167:171-180.
    David, L., et. al. 2010. “Inherited adaptation of genome-rewired cells in response to a challenging environment.” HFSP Journal 4:131–141.
    Fidalgo, M., et. al. 2006. “Adaptive evolution by mutations in the FLO11 gene.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103:11228-11233.
    Foster, P. 2005. “Stress responses and genetic variation in bacteria.” Mutation Research / Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 569:3-11.
    Huxley, Julian. 1953. Evolution in Action. New York: Signet Science Library Book.
    Johnson, C., T. Moss, C. Cullis. 2011. “Environmentally induced heritable changes in flax.” J Visualized Experiments 47:2332.
    Monod, Jacques. 1971. Chance & Necessity. New York: Vintage Books.
    Moxon, E., et. al. 1994. “Adaptive evolution of highly mutable loci in pathogenic bacteria.” Current Biology 4:24-33.
    Orr, H. 2005. “The genetic theory of adaptation: a brief history.” Nature Review Genetics 6:119-127.
    Wright, B. 2000. “A biochemical mechanism for nonrandom mutations and evolution.” J Bacteriology 182:2993-3001.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/mutations-are-not-adaptive

  29. 29
    Box says:

    Darwin’s Evolution Theory breaks down like this:

    (1). Assume a self-replicator.
    (2). Replication and the step-by-step filling of ‘viable self-replicator space’ by means of random mutations.
    (3). Viable self-replicators are situated in dynamic hostile surroundings that severely hamper the filling of ‘viable self-replicator space’. This obstruction is known as ‘natural selection’ (NS).

    Notes:

    1. Assuming a self-replicator is assuming a lot. See e.g. here

    2. By ‘viable’ is meant that a replicator miraculously doesn’t succumb to the second law (falls apart) before it replicates itself. A replicator must be robust — “however many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there are vastly more ways of being dead” (Richard Dawkins).
    There is no materialistic explanation for robustness: “ (…) the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?” (Steve Talbott).

    3. Not only is NS not creative, it severely hampers chance-driven evolution by eliminating viable organisms — NS does not produce information, but continuously destroys information.
    – – – –
    Bottom line: (2) would be better off without (3). IOW the ‘chance-driven filling of viable self-replicator space’ is not at all served by the effects of a restrictive hostile environment a.k.a. ‘natural selection’.

  30. 30
    Zachriel says:

    Box: 1. Assuming a self-replicator is assuming a lot.

    It’s called an organism. They can be observed commonly on the Earth.

    Box: 2. By ‘viable’ is meant that a replicator miraculously doesn’t succumb to the second law (falls apart) before it replicates itself.

    Entropy is not an impediment to life — life revels in it.

    Box: 3. Not only is NS not creative, …

    As already stated, it’s not variation or selection that is creative, but the interplay between the two.

  31. 31
    Box says:

    Zach:

    Box: 1. Assuming a self-replicator is assuming a lot.

    It’s called an organism.

    Indeed, and its existence is assumed by Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory — quite an assumption.

    Zach:

    Box: 2. By ‘viable’ is meant that a replicator miraculously doesn’t succumb to the second law (falls apart) before it replicates itself.

    Entropy is not an impediment to life — life revels in it.

    Staving off death is a thing that you have to work at. Left to itself – and that is what it is when it dies – the body tends to revert to a state of equilibrium with its environment. If you measure some quantity such as the temperature, the acidity, the water content or the electrical potential in a living body, you will typically find that it is markedly different from the corresponding measure in the surroundings. Our bodies, for instance, are usually hotter than our surroundings, and in
    cold climates they have to work hard to maintain the differential. When we die the work stops, the temperature differential starts to disappear, and we end up the same temperature as our surroundings. Not all animals work so hard to avoid coming into equilibrium with their surrounding temperature, but all animals do some comparable work. For instance, in a dry country, animals and plants work to maintain the fluid content of their cells, work against a natural tendency for water to flow from them into the dry outside world. If they fail they die. More generally, if living things didn’t work actively to prevent it, they would eventually merge into their surroundings, and cease to exist as autonomous beings. That is what happens when they die.
    – –
    [Dawkins — The blind Watchmaker, p.10]

    The question is of course: “what is working so hard to stave off death?”

    Zach:

    Box: 3. Not only is NS not creative, …

    As already stated, it’s not variation or selection that is creative, but the interplay between the two, called evolution.

    Nope, it’s chance that is creative and NS that is destructive.

  32. 32
    Virgil Cain says:

    wd400:

    Mutations have causes, of course. Just like the outcomes of dice rolls and lottery draws have physical causes. But they are random with respect to fitness.

    “random with respect to fitness” is useless and does not say whether or not the mutations were guided. With evolutionism all mutations are accidents, errors and/ or mistakes.

  33. 33
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    It’s called an organism. They can be observed commonly on the Earth.

    And your position cannot explain their existence.

  34. 34
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Indeed, and its existence is assumed by Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory — quite an assumption.

    As already pointed out, the assumption is well-grounded in observation.

    “Assume there are two masses separated by a distance, the gravitational force of attraction will be … ”

    Box: Not all animals work so hard to avoid coming into equilibrium with their surrounding temperature, but all animals do some comparable work.

    That’s right! Without thermodynamics, there would be no life. The work comes from energy gradients. That’s what life does!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_(physics)

    Box: “what is working so hard to stave off death?”

    Energy powers work. Most organisms receive their energy directly or indirectly from the Sun.

    Box: it’s chance that is creative and NS that is destructive.

    Presumably, by creative, you mean novel complex adaptations, in which case, it is the interplay between variation and selection that is creative. If, by creative, you mean simply novel variations, then there are many known sources of variation.

  35. 35
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel continues to prove that it is a clueless dolt or a dishonest troll as natural selection is an eliminative process not a selection process.

  36. 36
    Box says:

    Zach: As already pointed out, the assumption is well-grounded in observation.

    The point is that it’s natural origin isn’t. Which is, as I stated, simply assumed — quite an assumption.

    Zach:

    Box: “what is working so hard to stave off death?”

    Energy powers work. Most organisms receive their energy directly or indirectly from the Sun.

    So, ‘energy powers’ work to stave off death?

    Zach:

    Box: it’s chance that is creative and NS that is destructive.

    Presumably, by creative, you mean novel complex adaptations, (…)

    By ‘creative’ I mean any new organism or any new feature.

    Zach: (…) in which case, it is the interplay between variation and selection that is creative.

    No, there is no creative interplay. Chance offers viable organisms to NS. NS kills off most of them. NS does not add to the coming into existence of new organisms or new features. All NS does is hampering chance’s impossible job. That’s not worthy of the term ‘interplay’ by any standard.

  37. 37
    Zachriel says:

    Box: The point is that it’s natural origin isn’t.

    The Theory of Evolution doesn’t require that assumption.

    “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” — Charles Darwin

    Box: So, ‘energy powers’ work to stave off death?

    More properly, organisms thrive on thermodynamic gradients.

    Box: By ‘creative’ I mean any new organism or any new feature.

    “Feature” doesn’t answer the question. By “creative”, do you mean novel, complex features? If so, then that requires the interplay of variation and selection, a.k.a. evolution.

    Box: there is no creative interplay.

    The interplay results in creative adaptation.

  38. 38
    Box says:

    Zach:

    Box: The point is that it’s natural origin isn’t.

    The Theory of Evolution doesn’t require that assumption.

    I’m talking about the naturalistic interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Why didn’t you get that?

    Zach:

    Box: So, ‘energy powers’ work to stave off death?

    More properly, organisms thrive on thermodynamic gradients.

    So, ‘organisms’ stave off death? Why would they?

    Zach: By “creative”, do you mean novel, complex features? If so, then that requires the interplay of variation and selection, a.k.a. evolution.

    No, chance alone produces novel complex features — despite the destructive role of NS.

  39. 39
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I’m talking about the naturalistic interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    The Theory of Evolution certainly does posit natural mechanisms to explain the diversification of life.

    Box: So, ‘organisms’ stave off death? Why would they?

    Why do masses attract? Just like masses attract, organisms thrive on thermodynamic gradients. It’s in their observable natures. Scientific theories are always of limited domain.

    Box: No, chance alone produces novel complex features

    Mechanisms of variation are limited in their scope. Complex adaptations require the interplay of variations with selection.

  40. 40
    ppolish says:

    Creative interplay and creative adaption? Creatively requires imagination, Zach. Blind Watchmaker has a good imagination;)

  41. 41
    Virgil Cain says:

    The Theory of Evolution certainly does posit natural mechanisms to explain the diversification of life.

    What theory of evolution?

    Complex adaptations require the interplay of variations with selection.

    Only intelligent agencies can select.

  42. 42
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Creatively requires imagination

    Intricate things form in non-living nature all the time, from galaxies to emeralds to hurricanes.

  43. 43
    ppolish says:

    “Intricate things form in non-living nature all the time, from galaxies to emeralds to hurricanes.”

    It’s awesome isn’t it Zachriel:)

  44. 44
    Box says:

    Darwinism outline / analysis:

    1. assume a replicator
    2. replication takes off: the “step-by-step filling of viable-replicator-space”; henceforth SSVRS. If SSVRS proceeds undisturbed by NS, then one day all possible viable replicators will be ‘found’ – obviously all animals that roamed the earth included.
    3. However SSVRS is hampered by a variable restrictive hostile environment with limited resources and so forth. All these negative effects are known by the generic term “natural selection” (NS). It’s role is often misunderstood … the fact is that NS is purely eliminative and has zero creative power. It’s up to chance alone to produce any novelties — despite the destructive role of NS.

  45. 45
    wd400 says:

    1. Quite a safe assumption, I think.
    2. Not in finite time.
    3. Because NS prevents lineages from wandering around the terrible places of the “replicator-space”, they instead takes those “narrow roads through gene land” that contain adaptations. Witouut NS life would be smeered out over the “replicator-space”, because of NS it’s instead concentrated in the adaptive regions.

  46. 46
    ppolish says:

    Confined to a “replicator-space”, did you just make that up WD400?

    The Blind Watchmaker works in a prison. Guarded by Blind Prison Guards. Oh the tangled brush we weave..,

  47. 47
    wd400 says:

    Box made up “replicator space”, it’s pretty obvious that that NS constrains the parts of the space that will be explored, isn’t it?

  48. 48
    ppolish says:

    Yes, by definition NS is constraining. Strangling even. But Nature is creative in spite of NS, not because of it. HGT is pretty nifty:)

  49. 49
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: It’s awesome isn’t it

    Yes, it is. What’s really awesome is that many of these phenomena can be shown as due to simple interrelationships.

    Box: If SSVRS proceeds undisturbed by NS, then one day all possible viable replicators will be ‘found’ –

    No. Only replicators that are available through descent from other viable replicators. The vast majority of conceivable, but viable replicators will never be found.

    Box: obviously all animals that roamed the earth included.

    As all organisms that exist are related by descent from viable replicators, then that is correct.

    Box: It’s role is often misunderstood … the fact is that NS is purely eliminative and has zero creative power.

    While we can imagine every possible viable pathway, in fact, natural selection is inevitable due to limitations in resources. More specifically, the sources of variation do not explore the vast majority of possible structures. Evolution only explores areas which are nearby known areas of high fitness. Natural selection ‘pushes’ organisms into these regions, so it is the interplay of variation and selection which leads to complex adaptations.

  50. 50
    Box says:

    WD400 commenting on #44,

    WD400:
    1. Quite a safe assumption, I think.

    Obviously, I’m talking about the assumption of a replicator with natural origins — which is quite an assumption, as you will agree.

    WD400:
    2. Not in finite time.

    I agree. On top of that I hold that SSVRS is pure fantasy — a non-starter for several reasons. However it is the underlying concept of Darwinism.

    WD400:
    3. Because NS prevents lineages from wandering around the terrible places of the “replicator-space”, (…)

    True.

    WD400:
    (…) they instead takes those “narrow roads through gene land” that contain adaptations.

    Here we possibly disagree. My point is that the regions, where your “narrow roads through gene land” lead, are also reached without NS. Faster even, because there is no information loss along the way. SSVRS unhampered by NS reaches goals faster.

    WD400:
    Without NS life would be smeered out over the “replicator-space”, (…)

    True.

    WD400:
    (…) because of NS it’s instead concentrated in the adaptive regions.

    Yes. However, there is a cost, because chance without NS reaches the adaptive regions faster. Which brings me to my main point: NS added nothing to the creative process.

  51. 51
    wd400 says:

    Have you heard of Dawkins weasel….

  52. 52
    Box says:

    From Whence the WEASEL Cometh?

  53. 53
    Box says:

    Zach:
    While we can imagine every possible viable pathway, in fact, natural selection is inevitable due to limitations in resources.

    In a way limitations of resources is NS. But let’s say you are right Zachriel: “You are right”.
    However, what I’ve shown with my argument is that there is an clear tendency: NS leads to information loss and hampers chance and SSVRS.

    NS is indeed inevitable, but evolution needs as little of it as possible. NS means information loss and slows things down.

  54. 54
    wd400 says:

    Yes. That toy example seems to disprove your thesis.

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    Box: NS leads to information loss and hampers chance and SSVRS.

    In an imaginary environment with unlimited material resources, the fastest replicators would predominate by numbers.

    In any case, because evolution can’t explore every possible line of descent, natural selection pushes the search into areas of higher fitness, including complex adaptation.

    Box: NS means information loss and slows things down.

    Only when compared to the imaginary world with unlimited resources.

  56. 56
    Box says:

    Zach:

    Box: NS leads to information loss and hampers chance and SSVRS.

    In an imaginary environment with unlimited material resources, the fastest replicators would predominate by numbers.

    So?

    Zach: In any case, because evolution can’t explore every possible line of descent, (…)

    Why not? Due to “natural selection” or “limited resources” — heck, what’s the diff?

    Zach:(…) natural selection pushes the search into areas of higher fitness,

    Nonsense. NS removes information relevant to the search. Viable organisms are being killed off. Important information is lost forever.

    Zach:

    Box: NS means information loss and slows things down.

    Only when compared to the imaginary world with unlimited resources.

    Which provides us with a clear understanding of the negative effects of limited resources natural selection.

    – – – –

    WD400 #51 #54,

    Dawkins weasel? Are you serious? I thought that debate was over and done with.

  57. 57
    wd400 says:

    I don’t know that there is a debate about Dawkins’ weasel (creationists have said a lot of stupid things about it, which i quite different). Anyway that chapter demonstrates that you are wrong that selection stops lineages from adaptive parts of “replicator space”. Quite the opposite is true.

  58. 58
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    In an imaginary environment with unlimited material resources, the fastest replicators would predominate by numbers.

    The fastest are always the simplest. Complexity and speed are directly correlated.

    In any case, because evolution can’t explore every possible line of descent, natural selection pushes the search into areas of higher fitness, including complex adaptation.

    That is the untestable claim but no one seems to be able to model such a thing.

  59. 59
    Virgil Cain says:

    Intricate things form in non-living nature all the time, from galaxies to emeralds to hurricanes.

    How are you defining “intricate”? And why would we expect that in a materialistic universe?

  60. 60
    ppolish says:

    Is “Dawkin’s Weasel” even considered serious science? Leading edge computational biology or maybe Dawkins is trolling? Weasel is the Atari Pong of computational biology?

  61. 61
    wd400 says:

    It wasn’t cutting edge when it was written — it’s just a useful demonstration of an important idea.

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    The only truthful thing about Dawkin’s weasel program is that it was appropriately named:

    wea·sel
    noun
    noun: weasel; plural noun: weasels
    1.
    a small, slender, carnivorous mammal related to, but generally smaller than, the stoat.
    2.
    informal
    a deceitful or treacherous person.
    synonyms: scoundrel, wretch, rogue; informalswine, bastard, creep, louse, rat, ratfink, toad, snake, snake in the grass, serpent, viper, skunk, dog, cur, scumbag, scumbucket, scuzzball, sleazeball, sleazebag, slimeball, sneak, backstabber, heel, nogoodnik, nasty piece of work;
    datedcad;
    archaicblackguard, knave, varlet
    “he was a double-crossing weasel”
    verb
    verb: weasel; 3rd person present: weasels; past tense: weaselled; past participle: weaselled; gerund or present participle: weaselling; past tense: weaseled; past participle: weaseled; gerund or present participle: weaseling
    1.
    achieve something by use of cunning or deceit.
    “she suspects me of trying to weasel my way into his affections”

    Dr. Dembski and Dr. Marks comment on the inherent fallacy built into all evolutionary algorithms here:

    LIFE’S CONSERVATION LAW – William Dembski – Robert Marks – Pg. 13
    Excerpt: (Computer) Simulations such as Dawkins’s WEASEL, Adami’s AVIDA, Ray’s Tierra, and Schneider’s ev appear to support Darwinian evolution, but only for lack of clear accounting practices that track the information smuggled into them.,,, Information does not magically materialize. It can be created by intelligence or it can be shunted around by natural forces. But natural forces, and Darwinian processes in particular, do not create information. Active information enables us to see why this is the case.
    http://evoinfo.org/publication.....ation-law/

    Despite the stubborn denial of some Darwinists to admit the abject failure that is inherent in Dawkins’ “Weasel” computer program for providing any support whatsoever for Darwinian claims, I am grateful for what Dawkins’ “Weasel” computer program has personally taught novices like me.
    Because of the simplicity of the WEASEL program and the rather modest result, i.e. “Methinks it is like a weasel”, that the program was trying to achieve by evolutionary processes, it taught me in fairly short order, in an easy to understand way, that,,

    “Information does not magically materialize. It can be created by intelligence or it can be shunted around by natural forces. But natural forces, and Darwinian processes in particular, do not create information.”
    – William Dembski

    In regards to learning the ‘brick wall’ limitation for material processes ever creating even trivial levels of functional information, I highly recommend Wiker & Witt’s book “A Meaningful World” in which they show, using the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase, (that Dawkins’ used from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet to try to illustrate the feasibility of Evolutionary Algorithms), that the ‘information problem’ is much worse for Darwinists than just finding the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase by a unguided search.

    Basically this ‘brick wall’ problem for unguided material processes is because the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase doesn’t make any sense at all unless the entire context of the play of Hamlet is taken into consideration.

    Moreover the context in which the weasel phrase finds its meaning is derived from several different levels of the play. i.e. The ENTIRE play, who said it, why was it said, where was it said, and even nuances of the Elizabethan culture, etc… are taken into consideration to provide proper context to the phrase.

    The Weasel phrase simply does not make sense without taking its proper context into consideration

    A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature – Book Review
    Excerpt: They focus instead on what “Methinks it is like a weasel” really means. In isolation, in fact, it means almost nothing. Who said it? Why? What does the “it” refer to? What does it reveal about the characters? How does it advance the plot? In the context of the entire play, and of Elizabethan culture, this brief line takes on significance of surprising depth. The whole is required to give meaning to the part.
    http://www.thinkingchristian.n.....821202417/

    In fact, it is interesting to note what the specific context is for the “Methinks it is like a weasel” phrase that is used in the Hamlet play.

    The context in which the phrase is used is to illustrate the spineless nature of one of the characters of the play. i.e. To illustrate just how easily the spineless character in the play can be led to say anything that Hamlet wants him to say:

    Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that ’s almost in shape of a camel?
    Pol. By the mass, and ’t is like a camel, indeed.
    Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel.
    Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
    Ham. Or like a whale?
    Pol. Very like a whale.
    http://www.bartleby.com/100/138.32.147.html

    After realizing what the actual context of the ‘Methinks it is like a weasel’ phrase was, I remember thinking to myself that it was perhaps the worse possible phrase that Dawkins could have possibly chosen to use to try to illustrate his point.

    Especially since the phrase, when taken into proper context, reveals deliberate, nuanced, deception and manipulation of another person.

    I’m sure deception and manipulation is hardly the point that Dawkins was trying to convey with his ‘Weasel’ program.

    Yet that, i.e. deception and manipulation, is not only what we find with the WEASEL program itself, but we find deception and manipulation is exactly what the phrase is about when taken into proper context.

    Of supplemental note as to the brick wall limitation that ‘context’ places on AI:

    What Is a Mind? More Hype from Big Data – Erik J. Larson – May 6, 2014
    Excerpt: In 1979, University of Pittsburgh philosopher John Haugeland wrote an interesting article in the Journal of Philosophy, “Understanding Natural Language,” about Artificial Intelligence. At that time, philosophy and AI were still paired, if uncomfortably. Haugeland’s article is one of my all time favorite expositions of the deep mystery of how we interpret language. He gave a number of examples of sentences and longer narratives that, because of ambiguities at the lexical (word) level, he said required “holistic interpretation.” That is, the ambiguities weren’t resolvable except by taking a broader context into account. The words by themselves weren’t enough.
    Well, I took the old 1979 examples Haugeland claimed were difficult for MT, and submitted them to Google Translate, as an informal “test” to see if his claims were still valid today.,,,
    ,,,Translation must account for context, so the fact that Google Translate generates the same phrase in radically different contexts is simply Haugeland’s point about machine translation made afresh, in 2014.
    Erik J. Larson – Founder and CEO of a software company in Austin, Texas
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....85251.html

  63. 63
    Box says:

    WD400:
    Anyway that chapter demonstrates that you are wrong that selection stops lineages from adaptive parts of “replicator space”. Quite the opposite is true.

    Can you provide the relevant quote from the chapter? And where exactly did I claim that selection stops lineages from adaptive parts of “replicator space”? “Stops” is too much. I’m fine with “slows down”.

  64. 64
    wd400 says:

    I don’t have the book here with me. But think about it: how quickly will you find a sentence like the target without selection? How quickly with selection?

  65. 65
    bornagain77 says:

    So selection has foresight to ‘see’ a distant target?

    HMMM, somebody needs to realize that selection can’t see even one microsecond into the future so as to reach a distant ‘target’.

    Natural Selection Can’t Select a Future Function – June 2015
    In this short video from the Discovery Institute, Paul Nelson follows the development of a C. elegans worm from one cell to an adult, showing how “even these little worms, a millimeter long, humble little creatures out there in the compost heap…carry the signal of design unmistakably.”…
    If something’s going to function in natural selection, it’s got to function now, at this particular moment in time—not five minutes from now, half an hour, a week, a thousand years. So a process that lacks foresight in principle cannot build a[n] unfolding trajectory, an unfolding lineage [of intermediate cells], where you need to know the target. That’s the fundamental difficulty for any undirected process of evolution.

    What natural selection and other undirected natural mechanisms cannot achieve, intelligent agents can. Intelligent agents are able to foresee distant functional goals. Intelligent agents can coordinate and choreograph the assembly of many separately necessary parts to achieve a functional end.
    http://str.typepad.com/weblog/.....ction.html

  66. 66
    Box says:

    WD400: how quickly will you find a sentence like the target without selection? How quickly with selection?

    As per usual Bornagain77 has provided some excellent references. Here you can find another interesting article. Dembski writes about his e-mail correspondence with Dawkins on the weasel subject and ‘conservation of information’.

    excerpt:

    Where I want to focus is Dawkins’s one-word answer to the charge that his WEASEL simulation incorporates an unwarranted teleology — unwarranted by the Darwinian understanding of evolution for which his Blind Watchmaker is an apologetic. The key line in the above quote is, “In real life of course, the criterion for optimisation is not an arbitrarily chosen distant target but SURVIVAL.” Survival is certainly a necessary condition for life to evolve. If you’re not surviving, you’re dead, and if you’re dead, you’re not evolving — period. But to call “survival,” writ large, a criterion for optimization is ludicrous. As I read this, I have images of Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate being taken aside at a party by an executive who is about to reveal the secret of success: PLASTICS (you can watch the clip by clicking here).

  67. 67
    wd400 says:

    “Conservation of information” doesn’t have anything to do with this. How quickly will you find a sentence like the target without selection? How quickly with selection?

  68. 68
    ppolish says:

    Unguided selection would never find a sentence like that. Guided selection pretty darn quick. Does google count? Or does it have to be an actual book. Info in a book.

    Btw, Andreas Wagner did not mention “Me thinks it’s a weasel” in his book “Arrival not Survival”. Don’t google that, you won’t find it.

  69. 69
    Virgil Cain says:

    wd400:

    It wasn’t cutting edge when it was written — it’s just a useful demonstration of an important idea.

    It demonstrated the power of guided evolution, ie a goal oriented targeted search.

    Try the weasel program by merely eliminating the furthest away from the target.

  70. 70
    eigenstate says:

    It demonstrated the power of guided evolution, ie a goal oriented targeted search.

    Try the weasel program by merely eliminating the furthest away from the target.

    Joe,

    It’s pedagogy, and not pedagogy on guided (or unguided) evolution. It’s pedagogy towards the understanding — and this basic concept is a challenge here, still so it’s not like this not needed — of cumulative process and positive feedback loops. With random variations, the addition of a feedback loop can produce dramatic improvements in a search for optima.

    That’s all. It’s good pedagogy, but just pedagogy.

  71. 71
    ppolish says:

    Selection guided by feedback. Seems valid. Feedback is information btw. Purposeful useful information.

  72. 72
    eigenstate says:

    Selection guided by feedback. Seems valid. Feedback is information btw. Purposeful useful information.

    Sure. For evolution, the natural world is the source of the information, the source of feedback, with the events that transpire, eliminating or not this individual or that from the gene pool, while this other individual produces offspring or not.

    Any feedback loop we might say is purposeful, at least tautologously — the purpose is to provide feedback of course. The ear piercing scream of microphone feedback in a loud PA system has the purpose of feeding back re-amplified sound to be reamplified again, doncha know.

    But beyond that, it’s physics doing its mindless, impersonal thing.

  73. 73
    Box says:

    WD400:

    Box: Here you can find another interesting article. Dembski writes about his e-mail correspondence with Dawkins on the weasel subject and ‘conservation of information’.

    “Conservation of information” doesn’t have anything to do with this.

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Conservation of information, as Dembski and Marks use the term, applies to (evolutionary) search. You are obviously not familiar with the term.

    WD400:
    I don’t know that there is a debate about Dawkins’ weasel (creationists have said a lot of stupid things about it, which i quite different).

    Your assertion sounds hollow after your implicit admission that you have no idea how ‘creationists’ use the term ‘conservation of information’.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    eig

    For evolution, the natural world is the source of the information, the source of feedback, with the events that transpire, eliminating or not this individual or that from the gene pool, while this other individual produces offspring or not.

    In Weasel, nature is represented by the target phrase. In your description above, nature is “events that transpire”.
    However nature is actually a continuum. It’s a random variable.

    So, you have random mutations guided by feedback from a random variable.

    You use the terms ‘optimization’ and ‘dramatic improvements’ but that’s a teleological or theistic view of evolution.

    Feedback on a random variable from another random variable cannot produce optimization towards a target.

  75. 75
    bornagain77 says:

    Natural Selection has been grossly overestimated by Darwinists as to having the causal adequacy within itself to explain the overwhelming ‘appearance of design’ in biology.

    Even William Provine, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University, himself admits that Natural Selection is not a ‘cause’ that pushes or pulls anything:

    “Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favor, maintain, push, or adjust. Natural selection does nothing…. Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection. Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for evolutionists now. Creationists have discovered our empty “natural selection” language, and the “actions” of natural selection make huge, vulnerable targets.”
    The Origin of Theoretical Population Genetics, 2001 (pp. 199-200) William Provine – Professor of Evolutionary Biology – Cornell University

    In other words, to postulate natural selection as the cause for an after the fact observation of an effect, is to illegitimately switch the whole cause and effect relationship in science.

    Moreover, natural selection, as it is broadly used by Darwinists in the literature, is added on as a superfluous narrative gloss, i.e. a just so story, that gives the illusion that nature, i.e. the ‘Blind Watchmaker’, has somehow ‘selected’ FOR some future target.

    Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology – Philip S. Skell -The Scientist – August 29, 2005
    Excerpt: In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.”…
    I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.,,,
    Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

    To say such story telling by Darwinists with the term ‘natural selection’, and/or evolution, is unscientific would be an understatement. I would hold the abuse of science to be, besides deceptive, anti-scientific, since invoking natural selection, and/or evolution, gives the appearance of having provided an actual explanation for how something came to be when it has in fact done no such thing.

    Invoking natural selection, and/or evolution, as a cause for something is useless, even misleading, as a heuristic in science, since natural selection, as it is often used by Darwinists, falsely claims to have supplied a valid explanation as to how something came to be when it has in fact done no such thing. But was only brought in, as Dr. Skell pointed out, as a superfluous ‘narrative gloss’ after the observation was made.

    Falsely attributing almost unlimited creative power to natural selection, and/or evolution, is rampant within the literature.

    “Much of the vast neo-Darwinian literature is distressingly uncritical. The possibility that anything is seriously amiss with Darwin’s account of evolution is hardly considered. … The methodological skepticism that characterizes most areas of scientific discourse seems strikingly absent when Darwinism is the topic.”
    Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98141.html

    Jonathan Wells on pop science boilerplate – April 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Based on my reading of thousands of Peer-Reviewed Articles in the professional literature, I’ve distilled (the) template for writing scientific articles that deal with evolution:
    1. (Presuppose that) Darwinian evolution is a fact.
    2. We used [technique(s)] to study [feature(s)] in [name of species], and we unexpectedly found [results inconsistent with Darwinian evolution].
    3. We propose [clever speculations], which might explain why the results appear to conflict with evolutionary theory.
    4. We conclude that Darwinian evolution is a fact.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ilerplate/

    Rewriting Biology Without Spin By Ann Gauger – Jan. 12, 2014
    Excerpt: It’s a funny thing—scientific papers often have evolutionary language layered on top of the data like icing on a cake. In most papers, the icing (evolutionary language) sits atop and separate from the cake (the actual experimental data). Even in papers where the evolutionary language is mixed in with the data like chocolate and vanilla in a marble cake, I can still tell one from the other.
    I have noticed that this dichotomy creates a kind of double vision. I know what the data underlying evolutionary arguments are. By setting aside the premise that evolution is true, I can read what’s on the page and at the same time see how that paper would read if neutral, fact-based language were substituted for evolutionary language.
    Let me give you an example.,,,
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....thout-spin

    At the 7:00 minute mark of this following video, Dr. Behe also gives a specific example of how positive evidence was falsely attributed to natural selection, and/or evolution, by using the word ‘evolution’ as a narrative gloss in peer-reviewed literature:

    Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    Here are some more examples of Darwinists falsely crediting positive evidence to natural selection, and/or evolution, when no credit is due:

    It’s Optimal. It Must Have Evolved! – August 16, 2014
    Excerpt: “Cell-surface signaling receptors are organized into different architectures that have been arrived at multiple times in diverse contexts. To understand the trade-offs that lead to these architectures, we pose the generic information-processing problem of identifying the optimal strategy for distributed mobile noisy sensors to faithfully “read” an incoming signal that varies in space-time. This involves balancing two opposing requirements: clustering noisy sensors to reduce statistical error and spreading sensors to enhance spatial coverage, resulting in a phase transition that explains the frequent reemergence of a set of architectures. Our results extend to a variety of engineering and communication applications that involve mobile and distributed sensing, and suggest that biology might offer solutions to hard optimization problems that arise in these applications.”
    These (optimal) solutions “have been arrived at” — by design? No; read the last sentence in the paper: “It is appealing that one might look to biology for insights into solutions of hard optimization problems, arrived at as a result of evolution within an information niche.” Evolution did it. Give evolution the engineering design award.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89031.html

    Like a Grandfather Clock: The Splicesome’s Intricate Dance of Parts – June 17, 2014
    Excerpt: Then come the required nods to Darwinian evolution, in three places, always assumed, as usual:
    “The structure yields clues about the relationship and the relative ages of RNA and proteins, once thought to be much wider apart on an evolutionary time scale.”…
    “What’s so cool is the degree of co-evolution of RNA and protein,” Brow says. “It’s obvious RNA and protein had to be pretty close friends already to evolve like this.”….
    “It’s exciting studying these machines,” he says. “There are only three big RNA machines. Ours evolved 2 billion years ago. But once it’s figured out, it’s done.”
    Darwinian theory had nothing to do with the discoveries. These references to evolution are superfluous. They do more harm than good for Darwinists, anyway.
    1. The RNA and protein parts were “once thought to be much wider apart on an evolutionary time scale,” implying that a previous assumption about evolution has been overturned. Since they are not wider apart, this exacerbates the problem: how could this intricate relationship occur in less time? Where is the evidence?
    2. RNA and protein are not “friends” that co-evolve on purpose; that’s nonsense.
    3. Saying it “evolved” does not explain how it evolved; the statement is vacuous. The final nonsense is the last sentence: “But once it’s figured out, it’s done.” Ay, there’s the rub: how is it “figured out”? Calculations show that the probability of chance “figuring out” a protein are vanishingly small — so much so, that one as complex as the spliceosome would never arise in the entire history of the universe.
    Like a late-model SUV equipped with a buggy whip, this was an elegant design article carrying unnecessary baggage. Intelligent design did the work. Evolution, as a useless narrative gloss, adds mass but no force.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....86791.html

    Even though Darwinists constantly try to force the evidence into a Darwinian narrative, the evidence for design many times, despite their attempts to suppress the evidence, still comes bleeding through these neo-Darwinian papers:

    Biologists Are Getting to Be Less Reticent About Using the Phrase “Design Principles” – November 28, 2014
    Excerpt: The word “design” appears 24 times in the paper. “Selection” appears twice, in the phrase “selective pressure” (one of them is just a repetition from the Abstract). Any form of the word “evolution” appears just once:,,,
    We see, therefore, that “design” references outnumber evolutionary references eight to one. We also find “machine” or “machinery” four times, “coding” or “encoding” 15 times, “information” (in terms of information to be processed) five times, “accurate” (in terms of sensing accuracy) 11 times, “precision” 29 times, “efficient” four times, and “optimal” or “optimum” 28 times. Taken together, these design words outnumber evolution words 40 to 1.
    Do the three passing references to evolution/selection add anything to the paper? One would expect to see it in the final Discussion section, but instead, we find these references to design:,,,
    The paper would lose nothing if its three passing references to evolution/selection were left on the cutting-room floor. All these scientists could do was look at the end product and decide, “Yep, it’s fit. It’s optimal.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91531.html

  76. 76
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Nothing is selected. Survival is not a goal. Chemicals don’t want or need to survive or reproduce. Non-life is no more or less optimal as living organisms in the materialist view. The material elements of the universe cannot show benefit or improvement to whatever they are.

  77. 77
    Virgil Cain says:

    eigenstate, you have no clue as to what you are saying. Weasel definitely instantiates guided evolution. Natural selection does not have any goals and weasel definitely had one and the variations were guided to it.

  78. 78
    bornagain77 says:

    To be Captain Obvious for a moment, for Darwinists to appeal to intelligently designed computer algorithms to try to offer support for unguided Darwinian evolution should be the very definition of non-sequitur we find in dictionaries:

    Atheist’s logic 101 – cartoon
    “If I can only create life here in the lab (or in my computer), it will prove that no intelligence was necessary to create life in the beginning”
    http://legacy-cdn-assets.answe.....chance.jpg

    Moreover, the evolutionary algorithm Avida, when using realistic biological parameters as its default settings, instead of using highly unrealistic default settings as it currently does, actually supports John Sanford’s model of Genetic Entropy instead of neo-Darwinian evolution:

    video – Dr. Paul Giem – In the book “Biological Information: New Perspectives” the chapter entitled “Computational Evolution Experiments Reveal a Net Loss of Genetic Information Despite Selection” looks at two computer programs (Mendel’s Accountant and Avida) and notes that with similar input they give similar output and they require “un-biological” settings in order for evolution to work.
    Biological Information – Mendel’s Accountant and Avida 1-31-2015 by Paul Giem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGd0pznOh0A&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ&index=14

    The following comment gives us a glimpse as to just how unrealistic the default settings for Avida actually are:

    Panda’s Thumb Richard Hoppe forgot about Humpty Zombie – April 15, 2014
    Excerpt: I discovered if you crank up Avida’s cosmic radiation parameter to maximum and have the Avida genomes utterly scrambled, the Avidian organisms still kept reproducing. If I recall correctly, they died if the radiation was moderate, but just crank it to the max and the creatures come back to life!
    This would be like putting dogs in a microwave oven for 3 days, running it at full blast, and then demanding they reproduce. And guess what, the little Avida critters reproduced. This little discovery in Avida 1.6 was unfortunately not reported in Nature. Why? It was a far more stupendous discovery! Do you think it’s too late for Richard Hoppe and I to co-author a submission?
    Hoppe eventually capitulated that there was indeed this feature of Avida. To his credit he sent a letter to Dr. Adami to inform him of the discovery. Dr. Adami sent Evan Dorn to the Access Research Network forum, and Evan confirmed the feature by posting a reply there.
    http://www.creationevolutionun.....idcs/?p=90

    Moreover, the real world is far less supportive of the power of Natural Selection than these intelligently design computer programs are. In fact, the real world evidence supports John Sanford’s genetic entropy model instead of Darwinian evolution.
    Dr. Behe surveyed four decades of laboratory evolution experiments and found that Loss of Function mutations are far more likely to fix in a population than gain of function mutations are:

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Getting There First: An Evolutionary Rate Advantage for Adaptive Loss-of-Function Mutations
    Michael J. Behe – 2013
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0020

    Biological Information – Loss-of-Function Mutations (Michael Behe) by Paul Giem 2015 – video
    (Behe – Loss of function mutations are far more likely to fix in a population than gain of function mutations)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzD3hhvepK8&index=20&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

    In multi-cellular creatures, due to the orders of magnitude increase in integrated complexity over and above single celled creatures, the problem of finding and fixing a beneficial mutation should be expected to be greatly exasperated.

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – May 2013
    Conclusions: Our analysis confirms mathematically what would seem intuitively obvious – multiple overlapping codes within the genome must radically change our expectations regarding the rate of beneficial mutations. As the number of overlapping codes increases, the rate of potential beneficial mutation decreases exponentially, quickly approaching zero. Therefore the new evidence for ubiquitous overlapping codes in higher genomes strongly indicates that beneficial mutations should be extremely rare. This evidence combined with increasing evidence that biological systems are highly optimized, and evidence that only relatively high-impact beneficial mutations can be effectively amplified by natural selection, lead us to conclude that mutations which are both selectable and unambiguously beneficial must be vanishingly rare. This conclusion raises serious questions. How might such vanishingly rare beneficial mutations ever be sufficient for genome building? How might genetic degeneration ever be averted, given the continuous accumulation of low impact deleterious mutations?
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    And indeed in fruit flies we find that ‘exasperation’ for fixing a single beneficial mutation by selection to be the case:

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....ruit_flies
    http://eebweb.arizona.edu/nach.....l_2010.pdf

  79. 79
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: because evolution can’t explore every possible line of descent

    Box: Why not? Due to “natural selection” or “limited resources”

    That’s right, due to competition for limited resources.

    Box: NS removes information relevant to the search. Viable organisms are being killed off. Important information is lost forever.

    Natural selection means that many pathways will never be explored, so even though search resources are limited, natural selection tends to push the search into areas of highest fitness. Generally less useful pathways are not explored.

    Box: Which provides us with a clear understanding of the negative effects of limited resources natural selection.

    Yes, limited resources is limiting.

    Box: Conservation of information, as Dembski and Marks use the term, applies to (evolutionary) search.

    Conservation of information, as Dembski and Marks use the term, has no currency in mathematics.

    Silver Asiatic: However nature is actually a continuum. It’s a random variable.

    The natural environment is hardly random, but highly structured.

  80. 80
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel is back with it’s pithy double-speak. How is it that Zachriel can post so many words and not say a thing?

    Natural selection means that evolution is very limited as natural selection has proven to be impotent.

  81. 81
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, dimensionally speaking, Natural Selection is not even be on the right playing field in the first place:

    Post-Darwinist – Denyse O’Leary – Dec. 2010
    Excerpt: They quote West et al. (1999),
    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.”
    They comment,
    “In the words of these authors, natural selection has exploited variations on this fractal theme to produce the incredible variety of biological form and function’, but there were severe geometric and physical constraints on metabolic processes.”
    “The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection. It’s inconceivable that so many different organisms, spanning different kingdoms and phyla, may have blindly ‘tried’ all sorts of power laws and that only those that have by chance ‘discovered’ the one-quarter power law reproduced and thrived.”
    Quotations from Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/16037/

    4-D power scaling is pervasive in biology:

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5964041/

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:
    Y = Yo M^b,
    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    Kleiber’s law
    Excerpt: Kleiber’s law,[1] named after Max Kleiber’s biological work in the early 1930s, is the observation that, for the vast majority of animals, an animal’s metabolic rate scales to the 3/4 power of the animal’s mass.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleiber%27s_law

    Here is picture and schematic of, what a Darwinist termed, a ‘horrendously complex’ metabolic pathway, (which operates as if it were ’4-Dimensional’):

    Map Of Major Metabolic Pathways In A Cell – Picture
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AKkR.....way-1b.png

    ExPASy – Biochemical Pathways – interactive schematic
    http://biochemical-pathways.com/#/map/1

    I personally hold that the reason why internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional instead of three dimensional is because of exactly what Darwinian evolution has consistently failed to explain the origination of. i.e. functional information.

    Dr. Andy C. McIntosh, who is the Professor of Thermodynamics Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds (the highest teaching/research rank in U.K. university hierarchy), has written a peer-reviewed paper in which he holds that it is ‘non-material information’ which is constraining the local thermodynamics of a cell to be in such a extremely high non-equilibrium state:

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

    Moreover, Dr. McIntosh holds that regarding information as independent of energy and matter ‘resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organizational interactions’.

    Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh – 2013
    Excerpt: ,,, information is in fact non-material and that the coded information systems (such as, but not restricted to the coding of DNA in all living systems) is not defined at all by the biochemistry or physics of the molecules used to store the data. Rather than matter and energy defining the information sitting on the polymers of life, this approach posits that the reverse is in fact the case. Information has its definition outside the matter and energy on which it sits, and furthermore constrains it to operate in a highly non-equilibrium thermodynamic environment. This proposal resolves the thermodynamic issues and invokes the correct paradigm for understanding the vital area of thermodynamic/organisational interactions, which despite the efforts from alternative paradigms has not given a satisfactory explanation of the way information in systems operates.,,,
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0008

    Biological Information – Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems 11-22-2014 by Paul Giem (A. McIntosh) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR_r6mFdwQM

  82. 82
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. McIntosh’s contention that ‘non-material information’ must be constraining life to be so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium has been borne out empirically.
    It is now found that ‘non-local’, beyond space-time matter-energy, quantum entanglement/information ‘holds’ DNA (and proteins) together:

    Classical and Quantum Information in DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – video (Longitudinal Quantum Information along the entire length of DNA discussed at the 19:30 minute mark; at 24:00 minute mark Dr Rieper remarks that practically the whole DNA molecule can be viewed as quantum information with classical information embedded within it)
    https://youtu.be/2nqHOnVTxJE?t=1176

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

    Classical and Quantum Information Channels in Protein Chain – Dj. Koruga, A. Tomi?, Z. Ratkaj, L. Matija – 2006
    Abstract: Investigation of the properties of peptide plane in protein chain from both classical and quantum approach is presented. We calculated interatomic force constants for peptide plane and hydrogen bonds between peptide planes in protein chain. On the basis of force constants, displacements of each atom in peptide plane, and time of action we found that the value of the peptide plane action is close to the Planck constant. This indicates that peptide plane from the energy viewpoint possesses synergetic classical/quantum properties. Consideration of peptide planes in protein chain from information viewpoint also shows that protein chain possesses classical and quantum properties. So, it appears that protein chain behaves as a triple dual system: (1) structural – amino acids and peptide planes, (2) energy – classical and quantum state, and (3) information – classical and quantum coding. Based on experimental facts of protein chain, we proposed from the structure-energy-information viewpoint its synergetic code system.
    http://www.scientific.net/MSF.518.491

    That ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure ‘quantum form’ is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints (Bell, Aspect, Leggett, Zeilinger, etc..), should be found in molecular biology on such a massive scale, i.e. found in every DNA and protein molecule, is a direct empirical falsification of Darwinian claims, for how can the ‘non-local’ quantum entanglement ‘effect’ in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place? Appealing to the probability of various ‘random’ configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply!

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – Jun 11, 2013
    Excerpt:– requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,
    per physorg
    etc.. etc..

    In other words, to give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space!

    i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various ‘special’ configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place!
    Thus neo-Darwinism, even though most Darwinists will, for ‘religious reasons’, certainly refuse to accept the falsification, is empirically falsified as to its claim that information is ‘emergent’ from a material basis.

    Verse and Music:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

    Goo Goo Dolls: All That You Are
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7hnYzdB-nE

  83. 83
    bornagain77 says:

    supplemental note:

    The reason why a ‘higher dimensional’ 4-Dimensional structure, such as a ‘horrendously complex’ metabolic pathway, would be, for all intents and purposes, completely invisible to a 3-Dimensional process, such as Natural Selection, is best illustrated by ‘flatland’:

    Flatland – 3D to 4D shift – Dr. Quantum – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4

  84. 84
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, as mentioned previously, Natural Selection, since it has no mind, cannot ‘see’ even one microsecond into the future so as to reach a ‘target’:

    Natural Selection Can’t Select a Future Function – June 2015
    In this short video from the Discovery Institute, Paul Nelson follows the development of a C. elegans worm from one cell to an adult, showing how “even these little worms, a millimeter long, humble little creatures out there in the compost heap…carry the signal of design unmistakably.”…
    If something’s going to function in natural selection, it’s got to function now, at this particular moment in time—not five minutes from now, half an hour, a week, a thousand years. So a process that lacks foresight in principle cannot build a[n] unfolding trajectory, an unfolding lineage [of intermediate cells], where you need to know the target. That’s the fundamental difficulty for any undirected process of evolution.

    What natural selection and other undirected natural mechanisms cannot achieve, intelligent agents can. Intelligent agents are able to foresee distant functional goals. Intelligent agents can coordinate and choreograph the assembly of many separately necessary parts to achieve a functional end.
    http://str.typepad.com/weblog/.....ction.html

    In other words, the only thing that the ‘blind watchmaker, i.e. natural selection, can ‘see’ is not some future target, but natural selection can only ‘see’ what is directly in front of it. Namely, the only thing that natural selection can ‘see’ is successful reproduction.
    Thus, if evolution by natural selection were actually the truth about how all life came to be on Earth then the only ‘life’ that would be around would be extremely small organisms with the highest replication rate, and with the most mutational firepower, since only they, since they greatly outclass multi-cellular organism in terms of ‘reproductive success’, would be fittest to survive in the dog eat dog world where blind pitiless evolution rules and only the fittest are allowed to survive. The logic of this is nicely summed up here:

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62031.html

    i.e. Since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful reproduction be realistically ‘selected’ for? Any other function besides reproduction, such as sight, hearing, thinking, etc.., would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successfully reproducing, and should, on a Darwinian view, be discarded as so much excess baggage since it would, sooner or later, slow down successful reproduction.
    Humorously, the real world example that Dawkins gave to Dembski, (in Dembski’s critique of the hidden teleology within the “WEASEL” program), illustrates exactly this point, i.e. the point that natural selection can only ‘see’ successful reproduction and will ‘discard excess baggage’:

    “Perhaps you should look at the work of Spiegelman and others on evolution of RNA molecules in an RNA replicase environment. They have found that, repeatedly, if you ‘seed’ such a solution with an RNA molecule, it will converge on a particular size and form of ‘optimal’ replicator, sometimes called Spiegelman’s minivariant.”
    Richard Dawkins
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63671.html

    Yet when we look at ‘Spiegelman’s minivariant’ we find:

    Spiegelman Monster is the name given to an RNA chain of only 218 nucleotides that is able to be reproduced by an RNA replication enzyme. It is named after its creator, Sol Spiegelman, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Spiegelman introduced RNA from a simple bacteriophage Q? (Q?) into a solution which contained Q?’s RNA replication enzyme, some free nucleotides, and some salts. In this environment, the RNA started to replicate. After a while, Spiegelman took some RNA and moved it to another tube with fresh solution. This process was repeated.
    Shorter RNA chains were able to replicate faster, so the RNA became shorter and shorter as selection favored speed. After 74 generations, the original strand with 4,500 nucleotide bases ended up as a dwarf genome with only 218 bases. Such a short RNA had been able to replicate very quickly in these unnatural circumstances.
    In 1997, Eigen and Oehlenschlager showed that the Spiegelman monster eventually becomes even shorter, containing only 48 or 54 nucleotides, which are simply the binding sites for the reproducing enzyme RNA replicase.
    http://www.revolvy.com/main/in.....%20Monster

    Needless to say, Dawkins real world example of ‘Spiegelman’s minivariant’, i.e. loss of information to gain a reproductive advantage, to support his WEASEL program to Dembski is NOT what Dawkins needed to prove his point. But in actuality Dawkins’ real world example proved Dembski’s ‘hidden teleology’ critique of Dawkins’ to be on the mark.

  85. 85
    Box says:

    Zach: natural selection tends to push the search into areas of highest fitness.

    As in, cold weather eliminates ‘non-cold-weather-animals’? Sure, but that is elimination and not creation.

    Zach: Generally less useful pathways are not explored.

    “Less useful” such as the pathways related to warm weather?

  86. 86
    Mung says:

    wd400:

    How quickly will you find a sentence like the target without selection? How quickly with selection?

    I can find the target on the first attempt without any selection whatsoever.

  87. 87
    wd400 says:

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Conservation of information, as Dembski and Marks use the term, applies to (evolutionary) search. You are obviously not familiar with the term.

    I know what the term means, I even referred to it in my comment (“creationists have said a lot of stupid things about [Dawkins’ Weasel]”). But it’s really not relevant at all here. You say adding selection slows the process of discovering adaptive regions of the space of all replicators. So I’ll ask you a third time:

    How quickly will you find a sentence like the target without selection? How quickly with selection?

  88. 88
    eigenstate says:

    eigenstate, you have no clue as to what you are saying. Weasel definitely instantiates guided evolution. Natural selection does not have any goals and weasel definitely had one and the variations were guided to it.

    The “goal” in evolution, to use telic language, is survival and fecundity. Selection is our term for the process of nature sorting out which individuals survive and reproduce and which don’t.

    Weasel doesn’t even approach “toy model” status in terms or representing biological evolution. For example, in nature, the environment is dynamic, and so what configures are best adapted to flourishing and reproduction are constantly changing, a fundamental dynamic Weasel doesn’t even try to capture (and that’s a feature, as it’s pedagogy trying to demonstrate a principle rather than a model). Furthermore, in biological evolution, the selection process is statistical; a particularly “fit” individual — say a baby bird born with extraordinarily strong traits (fast, acute vision, coloring that is advantageous for that part of the forest it lives in, etc.) gets eaten by predator who just happened by when the chick was still just a few hours out the egg. Another nearby nest was missed by the predator, and baby birds in that nest, with less advantageous traits, at least advanced to live beyond their first few hours.

    The statistical nature of selection isn’t captured at all by Weasel, nor should it be, because it’s not intended as or even remotely qualified as a model of evolution.

    It’s just pedagogy, Joe, a way to understand an important principle about the efficacy of random variation and cumulative processes.

  89. 89
    eigenstate says:

    @Mung,

    I can find the target on the first attempt without any selection whatsoever.

    In the weasel program, the search function doesn’t know the answer — the answer is kept in an “oracle”, and successive attempts by the search process are judged by the oracle.

    Unless you suppose you are the oracle, here, I don’t see how you would do this. How do you determine the target on your first attempt without “peeking behind the curtain” of the oracle? The weasel search function doesn’t do that, so if you are trying to best Weasel, how would this be done better, let alone on the first attempt?

  90. 90
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is what Gregory Chaitin said, in 2011, about the limits of the computer program he was trying to develop to prove that Darwinian evolution was mathematically feasible:

    At last, a Darwinist mathematician tells the truth about evolution – VJT – November 2011
    Excerpt: In Chaitin’s own words, “You’re allowed to ask God or someone to give you the answer to some question where you can’t compute the answer, and the oracle will immediately give you the answer, and you go on ahead.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....evolution/

    Here is the video where, at the 30:00 minute mark, you can hear the preceding quote from Chaitin’s own mouth in full context:

    Life as Evolving Software, Greg Chaitin at PPGC UFRGS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlYS_GiAnK8

    Moreover, at the 40:00 minute mark of the video Chaitin readily admits that Intelligent Design is the best possible way to get evolution to take place, and at the 43:30 minute mark Chaitin even tells of a friend pointing out that the idea Evolutionary computer model that Chaitin has devised does not have enough time to work. And Chaitin even agreed that his friend had a point, although Chaitin still ends up just ‘wanting’, and not ever proving, his idea Darwinian mathematical model to be true!

    Chaitin is quoted, by Marks, at 10:00 minute mark of following video in regards to Darwinism lack of a mathematical proof – Dr. Marks also comments on the honesty of Chaitin in personally admitting that his long sought after mathematical proof for Darwinian evolution failed to deliver the goods that he thought it had.

    On Algorithmic Specified Complexity by Robert J. Marks II – 2014 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No3LZmPcwyg&feature=player_detailpage#t=600

    Here is the paper that Marks confronted Chaitin with:

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Excerpt: Introduction: Chaitin’s description of metabiology [3] is casual, clear, compelling, and mind-bending. Yet in the end, although the mathematics is beautiful, our analysis shows that the metabiology model parallels other attempts to illustrate undirected Darwinian evolution using computer models [10–13]. All of these models depend on the principle of conservation of information [14–21], and all have been shown to incorporate knowledge about the search derived from their designers; this knowledge is measurable as active information [14,22–25].
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.4

    podcast: “Dr. Robert Marks: Active Information in Metabiology” – May 2014
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_40-07_00

    Dr. Robert Marks: Active Information in Metabiology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJSJg0IZtfI

  91. 91
    Box says:

    WD400: I know what the term [conservation of information] means, I even referred to it in my comment (“creationists have said a lot of stupid things about [Dawkins’ Weasel]”). But it’s really not relevant at all here.

    Since you refuse to read the article I referred to several times and keep insisting on its irrelevancy to Dawkins Weasel, an excerpt:

    For the target phrase METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL, Dawkins bypasses the Shakespeare hypothesis — that would be too obvious and too intelligent-design friendly. Instead of positing Shakespeare, who would be an intelligence or designer responsible for the text in question (designers are a no-go in conventional evolutionary theory), Dawkins asks his readers to suppose an evolutionary algorithm that evolves the target phrase. But such an evolutionary algorithm privileges the target phrase by adapting the fitness landscape so that it assigns greater fitness to phrases that have more corresponding letters in common with the target.
    And where did that fitness landscape come from? Such a landscape potentially exists for any phrase whatsoever, and not just for METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL. Dawkins’s evolutionary algorithm could therefore have evolved in any direction, and the only reason it evolved to METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL is that he carefully selected the fitness landscape to give the desired result. Dawkins therefore got rid of Shakespeare as the author of METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL, only to reintroduce him as the (co)author of the fitness landscape that facilitates the evolution of METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL.
    The bogusness of this example, with its sleight-of-hand misdirection, has been discussed ad nauseam by me and my colleagues in the ID community. We’ve spent so much time and ink on this example not because of its intrinsic merit, but because the evolutionary community itself remains so wedded to it and endlessly repeats its underlying fallacy in ever increasingly convoluted guises (AVIDA, Tierra, ev, etc.). For a careful deconstruction of Dawkins’s WEASEL, providing a precise simulation under user control, see the “Weasel Ware” project on the Evolutionary Informatics website: http://www.evoinfo.org/weasel.
    How does conservation of information apply to this example? Straightforwardly. Obtaining METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL by blind search (e.g., by randomly throwing down Scrabble pieces in a line) is extremely improbable. So Dawkins proposes an evolutionary algorithm, his WEASEL program, to obtain this sequence with higher probability. Yes, this algorithm does a much better job, with much higher probability, of locating the target. But at what cost? At an even greater improbability cost than merely locating the target sequence by blind search.
    Dawkins completely sidesteps this question of information cost. Foreswearing any critical examination of the origin of the information that makes his simulation work, he attempts instead, by rhetorical tricks, simply to induce in his readers a stupefied wonder at the power of evolution: “Gee, isn’t it amazing how powerful evolutionary processes are given that they can produce sentences like METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL, which ordinarily require human intelligence.” But Dawkins is doing nothing more than advise our hapless borrower with the juice loan to suppose a key to a safety deposit box with the money needed to pay it off. Whence the key? Likewise, whence the fitness landscape that rendered the evolution of METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL probable? In terms of conservation of information, the necessary information was not internally created but merely smuggled in, in this case, by Dawkins himself.

    [W. Dembski, Conservation of Information Made Simple]

  92. 92
    Zachriel says:

    Box: “Less useful” such as the pathways related to warm weather?

    Assuming binary survival, then it reduces the search space in half, making the search more tractable.

  93. 93
    Box says:

    Zach: Assuming binary survival, then it reduces the search space in half, making the search more tractable.

    In your example, NS eliminates half the search team. What’s the gain? More resources available to the remaining half, what else can be said?

    What are the negatives? Massive loss of valuable information. And the eliminated part of the search team might have been on to something which was right around the corner — we’ll never know.

    You guys can try to spin the Darwinian nonsense anyway you want, but eliminating half the search team doesn’t improve chances for a successful Easter egg hunt.

  94. 94
    wd400 says:

    So you can’t answer the question?

  95. 95
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Selection doesn’t find targets.

    Weasel doesn’t model selection, unless you think matching and locking to a pre-defined target is “selection”.

    In that case, Dawkins found the target sentence before he needed any algorithms to select it. So, much faster without Weasel.

    eigenstate already correctly explained that Weasel is not even good enough to be a toy model. Do you really want to waste more time defending it?

  96. 96
    Box says:

    WD400,

    I think you know my answer already. I fully agree with ‘creationist’ Dembski.
    Here goes for the record:
    If “selection” [read: elimination] is tampered with, if information is smuggled in — as is the case with Dawkins’ weasel — then …

    … yes, this algorithm does a much better job, with much higher probability, of locating the target. But at what cost? At an even greater improbability cost than merely locating the target sequence by blind search.

    [W. Dembski, Conservation of Information Made Simple]

  97. 97
    wd400 says:

    What is it that about that algorithm that makes people say such strange things. I’ve never claimed Weasel is a good model of real biological evolution — just a good demonstration of an important idea. Which is all Dawkins uses it for.

    It is a very simple model of a sort of selection, and it’s enough to demonstate that Box is wrong. I guess that’s why he or she refuses to answer this simple question.

  98. 98
    wd400 says:

    The target sequence creates a fitness landscape. Since you claim is that selection will be slow to find regions of high fitness there is necessarily a fitness landscape in your claim. So…

  99. 99
    Box says:

    WD400,

    WD400: I’ve never claimed Weasel is a good model of real biological evolution (…)

    Have you come to the understanding that Dawkins’ weasel is bogus? If so, do you also understand that — on principle — you cannot prove anyone wrong based on a bogus argument?

  100. 100
    Mung says:

    wd400: How quickly will you find a sentence like the target without selection?

    Immediately. By cutting out the middleman, as it were. I don’t need selection and I don’t need to do a search. Instead of generating strings at random to start with I just generate the target phrase. Done.

    eigenstate: How do you determine the target on your first attempt without “peeking behind the curtain” of the oracle?

    The program already peeks behind the curtain. You might say I just peek and then remember what I saw rather than pretending that no peeking went on.

    To begin with, the target is a fixed length string. It consists of a specific number of characters. How does the program know to only generate strings of that specific length? Let’s just say it “peeks behind the curtain.”

    That significantly reduces the size of the search space.

    Second, the characters that are generated are quite limited. 26 plus a space iirc. How does the program know to include only those specific characters in the candidate strings it generates and no others? Let’s just say it “peeks behind the curtain.”

    That also significantly reduces the size of the search space.

    That’s the magic of “cumulative selection.” It works by peeking behind the curtain.

  101. 101
    wd400 says:

    Yes, Mung. Very clever. Not at all relevant but well done.

    Box, you know that everyone can read the rest of my comments right? Not just the bits you quote?

  102. 102
    eigenstate says:

    @Mung

    The program already peeks behind the curtain. You might say I just peek and then remember what I saw rather than pretending that no peeking went on.

    No it doesn’t and you can examine the source code to establish this with certainty for yourself. The search never has access to the target value and only goes on the feedback given to it by the oracle. If it could do what you are suggesting you would do, it too would have the answer in one step. You’ve just misunderstood what is being kept hidden from the search function and how it incorporates the feedback it gets from the oracle (which doesn’t give it access to the target itself) to eventually converge on the target.

    To begin with, the target is a fixed length string. It consists of a specific number of characters. How does the program know to only generate strings of that specific length? Let’s just say it “peeks behind the curtain.”

    As Dawkins points out, for any subtantial length of string (more than a dozen chars, say), the search space is so large that targets cannot expected to be found in any practical time frame. If we wanted to make Weasel more complex (not advised for its purposes), we could have the string lengths be unknown as well, and the oracle would just return champions based on a matching algorithm that would incorporate character matching and string length.

    That significantly reduces the size of the search space.

    Doesn’t matter. The search space as defined is already way beyond huge enough to make the point it is trying to make, which is that a cumulative search radically accelerates the speed at which we move toward the target. A dumb search would never get there in our lifetimes. Making the search harder would provide nothing that’s not already there, pedagogically.

    Second, the characters that are generated are quite limited. 26 plus a space iirc. How does the program know to include only those specific characters in the candidate strings it generates and no others? Let’s just say it “peeks behind the curtain.”

    That also significantly reduces the size of the search space.

    That’s the magic of “cumulative selection.” It works by peeking behind the curtain.

    See above, the search space as is already many orders of magnitude beyond what it needs to be to make the point it is trying to make.

    Oy, I think you’ve missed the whole point of Weasel’s pedagogy. It’s precisely because it can’t ‘peek behind the curtain’, to see the target, that a cumulative query process against an oracle is so effective. Making Weasel guess at the string length, and making the string candidates any UNICODE character would not change anything but make the search space larger, and take longer for Weasel to run. The dynamics would be the same, and the pedagogy the same, it would just make you wait longer to see it work.

  103. 103
    Virgil Cain says:

    eigenstate:

    The “goal” in evolution, to use telic language, is survival and fecundity.

    Clueless.

    It’s just pedagogy, Joe, a way to understand an important principle about the efficacy of random variation and cumulative processes.

    Clueless, it’s a way to understand intelligently designed, goal-oriented processes. Or, in your case, it’s a way to teach dishonesty and equivocation.

  104. 104
    Virgil Cain says:

    If weasel merely eliminated the less fit, ie the furthest from the target, the target would never be reached.

  105. 105
    Box says:

    WD400: What is it that about that algorithm that makes people say such strange things. I’ve never claimed Weasel is a good model of real biological evolution — just a good demonstration of an important idea. Which is all Dawkins uses it for.
    It is a very simple model of a sort of selection, and it’s enough to demonstate that Box is wrong. I guess that’s why he or she refuses to answer this simple question.

    Suppose an Easter egg hunt on a round island. The search team starts at the center of the island. The search team consists of replicators who each move in a straight line in a random direction. These replicators need food in order to replicate. The replicators need to replicate every 10 minutes. There is not enough food for all replicators. More food implies more replication.

    The Easter egg is located somewhere at the border of the island. The shortest route (straight line) for a replicator from the center of the island to the Easter egg takes 30 minutes.

    Let’s start the search! The replicators take off in all directions.
    After 10 minutes into the search we see that only a few replicators have positioned themselves in a position from which the Easter egg can be reached in approximate 20 minutes.
    Now suppose that “natural selection” steps in and the fitness landscape is so that it kills off all the replicators that are positioned 21 minutes or more from the Easter egg. This means more food for the ‘20 minutes replicators’, which means more replication by the ‘20 minutes replicators’. It follows that directions from the ’20 minutes position’ on the island will be better explored — a larger search team is formed than expected without natural selection. This will indeed increase the chance of finding the Easter egg.
    Suppose that the same thing happens after 20 minutes into the search. A small percentage of the replicators find themselves at a 10 minute distance from the Easter egg. And again natural selection steps in to increase the number of replicators that find themselves at 10 minutes distance.

    This is IMO an alternative version of Dawkins’ Weasel.

    And I do admit that under this unlikely scenario natural selection enhances chances for a successful search.

    Allow me to step aside and let Dembski explain the problems with this depiction of natural selection:

    Dembski:

    Kauffman writes in Investigations:

    If mutation, recombination, and selection only work well on certain kinds of fitness landscapes, yet most organisms are sexual, and hence use recombination, and all organisms use mutation as a search mechanism, where did these well-wrought fitness landscapes come from, such that evolution manages to produce the fancy stuff around us?

    According to Kauffman, “No one knows.”
    Kauffman’s observation here is entirely in keeping with conservation of information. Indeed, he offers this observation in the context of discussing the No Free Lunch theorems, of which conservation of information is a logical extension. The fitness landscape supplies the evolutionary process with information. Only finely tuned fitness landscapes that are sufficiently smooth, don’t isolate local optima, and, above all, reward ever-increasing complexity in biological structure and function are suitable for driving a full-fledged evolutionary process. So where do such fitness landscapes come from? Absent an extrinsic intelligence, the only answer would seem to be the environment.
    Just as I have heard SURVIVAL as a one-word resolution to the problem of generating biological information, so also have I heard ENVIRONMENT. Ernan McMullin, for instance, made this very point to me over dinner at the University of Chicago in 1999, intoning this word (“environment”) as though it were the solution to all that ails evolution. Okay, so the environment supplies the information needed to drive biological evolution. But where did the environment get that information? From itself? The problem with such an answer is this: conservation of information entails that, without added information, biology’s information problem remains constant (breaks even) or intensifies (gets worse) the further back in time we trace it.
    [my emphasis]

    [W. Dembski, Conservation of Information Made Simple]

  106. 106
    Zachriel says:

    Box: In your example, NS eliminates half the search team. What’s the gain? More resources available to the remaining half, what else can be said?

    It eliminates half the search space, making the search more tractable.

    Box: Massive loss of valuable information.

    You defined it as valueless information.

    Silver Asiatic: Weasel doesn’t model selection, unless you think matching and locking to a pre-defined target is “selection”.

    The phrase “Methinks …” represents an arbitrary environment.

    Silver Asiatic: eigenstate already correctly explained that Weasel is not even good enough to be a toy model.

    It’s not a toy model of biological evolution, but is a simplified model of selection.

    Box: where did these well-wrought fitness landscapes come from, such that evolution manages to produce the fancy stuff around us?

    The fitness landscape is the relationship of the organism to the environment.

  107. 107
    wd400 says:

    tion. Okay, so the environment supplies the information needed to drive biological evolution. But where did the environment get that information? From itself?

    This is among my favourite creationists/ID tactics. Not just the trusty retreat tot the origin of life, but now to the origin of the universe!

  108. 108
    Virgil Cain says:

    wd400- Yours cannot explain anything. Not the origin of life. Not the universe and not the diversification of life.

    Not only is natural selection impotent, it is useless as a research heuristic.

  109. 109
    Virgil Cain says:

    It’s not a toy model of biological evolution, but is a simplified model of selection.

    Only intelligent agents can select. So thank you for admitting “weasel” is an example of intelligent design evolution.

  110. 110
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Z

    It’s not a toy model of biological evolution, but is a simplified model of selection.

    Nice manipulative double-speak.

    It’s not a model of evolution, it’s just a simplified model of evolutionary selection. The selection is intelligent, but that’s only in the model. Evolution does it without the intelligence.

    It’s not a toy. It’s a toy model of simplified selection, but not real selection. It’s just an excellent pedagogical tool for how evolution works. No, not how evolution really works. It just proves that evolution really does work if evolution worked like the toy does. Which it doesn’t, but that’s ok. I mean, come on – it’s just meant to prove something!

  111. 111
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: It’s not a model of evolution, it’s just a simplified model of evolutionary selection.

    There’s a mathematical set which includes instances of evolutionary processes. Biological evolution is an element of this set. Weasel is not a model of *biological* evolution. It is a simplified model of selection.

  112. 112
    Virgil Cain says:

    Only intelligent agents can select. And because of tat “weasel” is an example of intelligent design evolution.

  113. 113
    Mung says:

    Mung: The program already peeks behind the curtain. You might say I just peek and then remember what I saw rather than pretending that no peeking went on.

    eigenstate: No it doesn’t and you can examine the source code to establish this with certainty for yourself.

    First, I can’t examine the source code, be cause it no longer exists. So you are wrong about that.

    Second, Yes it does “peek” and I provided two clear instances of how it does, and you even go on later to admit that this is in fact the case.

    eigenstate:

    Making Weasel guess at the string length, and making the string candidates any UNICODE character would not change anything but make the search space larger, and take longer for Weasel to run. The dynamics would be the same, and the pedagogy the same, it would just make you wait longer to see it work.

    So yes, there it is in your own words, the program is in possession of information about the target that would otherwise be hidden to it and encapsulated in the oracle.

    This is the mistake that Carpathian made and never did manage to bring himself to admit. So you’re one up on Carpathian. [Only up one because you earlier denied what you now admit.]

    It’s not that you might have to wait longer to see it work, it’s more like it may never be seen to work, and thus lose the alleged value it has, pedagogical or otherwise.

    There’s not “power of cumulative selection” if there’s no cumulative selection to demonstrate.

    Can you revive the weasel? I’d like to see you at least make the attempt.

    Tell you what, I’ll even spot you a couple modifications to the oracle:

    1.) You can let the oracle give a higher fitness to strings that are closer in length to the length of the target phrase.

    2.) You can let the oracle give a higher fitness to strings that are contain only ASCII characters.

    Anything more than that and I will go back to claiming you’re a stacking the deck by sneaking in information that does not proceed from the oracle as a fitness value.

    Do try.

  114. 114
    Box says:

    WD400 and Zach,

    I do hope that you guys have come to the understanding in general it’s unhelpful to decimate the search team (natural selection) even if that frees up resources.
    Such barbarism is only beneficial when you get extremely lucky or when circumstances have been tampered with — see Dawkins’ Weasel.

  115. 115
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I do hope that you guys have come to the understanding in general it’s unhelpful to decimate the search team (natural selection) even if that frees up resources.

    We do hope you have come to the understanding in general that resources are necessarily limited (e.g. physical space, energy sources), so natural selection leads to adaptation for acquisition of resources.

  116. 116
    wd400 says:

    Box,

    I do hope that you guys have come to the understanding in general it’s unhelpful to decimate the search team (natural selection) even if that frees up resources

    No. It’s not even really about rescoures. As long as there is a fitness landscape and and genotypes that are close to each other have similar finesses then natural selection will prevent your “team” from exploring unprofitable parts of the landscape.

    I don’t think this can be put more clearly, but it seems unlikely you are going to modify your position so I guess I’m done.

  117. 117
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    We do hope you have come to the understanding in general that resources are necessarily limited (e.g. physical space, energy sources), so natural selection leads to adaptation for acquisition of resources.

    Your rhetoric isn’t evidence

  118. 118
    Box says:

    WD400: As long as there is a fitness landscape and and genotypes that are close to each other have similar finesses then natural selection will prevent your “team” from exploring unprofitable parts of the landscape.

    Unprofitable parts of the landscape? There is no way of knowing. My eliminated team may have been on to something and maybe your team of winners got itself isolated. In the real world one cannot count on Dawkinian oracles.

  119. 119
    wd400 says:

    Oh, you mean fitness landscapes are full of adaptive regions and just wandering off in any which way will find them? That’s not a normal ID position…

  120. 120
    Box says:

    That’s not what I wrote at all. I object to your suggestion that natural selection steers organisms to greener pastures far away from “unprofitable parts of the landscape”. My objection is that there is no basis whatsoever for your expectation in reality — as opposed to Dawkins’ oracle fantasy land.

  121. 121
    wd400 says:

    Box. Do you think the genotypes close to a git genotype are more likely to be themselves be fit than random genotypes?

    If you do, and and so selection keeps organisms from the fitness valleys/holes. Or you don’t, and the fitness lanscape if full of adaptive regions and evolution is easy as anything.

    I should have guessed that brining up the Weasel algorithm would lead to a side-track circus. If you are interested in real evolutionary biology (and not just a demonstration of one key point) on realted topics you could start with Wright(in the 1930s), Fisher on his so called geometric model and if you really get into it Gavrilets book on landscapes and speciation.

  122. 122
    eigenstate says:

    @Mung,

    First, I can’t examine the source code, be cause it no longer exists. So you are wrong about that.

    There are weasel implementations available in a large number of languages see here for example, a C++ implementation.

    Second, Yes it does “peek” and I provided two clear instances of how it does, and you even go on later to admit that this is in fact the case.

    There’s no peeking. The implementation linked above uses, as did Dawkins, a fixed string length, but this is define in the structure of the code at compile time. The program doesn’t “look” anywhere to discover anything that will help it in either case.

    More importantly, the part of the program that is generating mutations and new candidates does not know, and cannot access the target value. The mutation loop calls the fitness function, and supplies the candidate string, just getting back a score in return indicating the fitness, or relative distance to the target, but not the target itself:


    // this function returns 0 for the destination string, and a
    // negative fitness for a non-matching string. The fitness is
    // calculated as the negated sum of the circular distances of the
    // string letters with the destination letters.
    static int fitness(std::string candidate)
    {
    assert(target.length() == candidate.length());

    int fitness_so_far = 0;

    for (int i = 0; i < target.length(); ++i)
    {
    int target_pos = allowed_chars.find(target[i]);
    int candidate_pos = allowed_chars.find(candidate[i]);
    int diff = std::abs(target_pos - candidate_pos);
    fitness_so_far -= std::min(diff, int(allowed_chars.length()) - diff);
    }

    return fitness_so_far;
    }

    This function is the “oracle” I mentioned earlier. It has access to the target value, which it must in order to assess fitness. But the caller of this function does not get the target value returned, or have access to it. There’s no “peeking” at the answer, just a score returned that enables prioritizing of candidates as some score better than others. As this runs in a cumulative fashion, the repeated variation and re-scoring will converge on the target, which remains unknown until the actual target is matched exactly (fitness score == 0).

    Adding variable string length, or Unicode support is not hard to do, but adds nothing to the demonstration, except make it run longer to show what it is designed to show. There’s nothing special about 28 characters — it could have been a longer string (will take more time on average), or shorter (less time). This is just the length of the string Dawkins fancied from Shakespeare to use for the example.

    The size of the search space is not a factor in this demonstration. It can be arbitrarily small or large, doesn’t matter. The pedagogy here is to show that for any given search space, large or small, cumulative processes with positive feedback loops will converge much faster on any given target (and this true whether the target is static or dynamic across the running time of the program) than a simple incremental search will.

  123. 123
    Virgil Cain says:

    eigenstate, Thank you for proving “weasel” has nothing to do with natural selection.

    The pedagogy here is to show that for any given search space, large or small, cumulative processes with positive feedback loops will converge much faster on any given target (and this true whether the target is static or dynamic across the running time of the program) than a simple incremental search will.

    Evolutionism isn’t a search. And its “cumulative process” will give you an albino dwarf with sickle-cell anemia.

  124. 124
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    eigenstate: More importantly, the part of the program that is generating mutations and new candidates does not know, and cannot access the target value. The mutation loop calls the fitness function, and supplies the candidate string, just getting back a score in return indicating the fitness, or relative distance to the target, but not the target itself:

    Mung, this is a key point.

    Different parts of the process do not have an indication of what the other parts are doing.

    For instance, the selection function might be changed in the middle of a run and the other functions would not know that the selection criteria had changed.

    There is no “conspiracy” between the functions that result in the output.

    I am amazed that someone who likes to talk as much about software as you do, has such a misguided understanding of how software works.

  125. 125
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    First, I can’t examine the source code, be cause it no longer exists. So you are wrong about that.

    I don’t understand why you insist on looking at source code all the time.

    How is it you don’t simply understand the underlying concept?

    If I gave you a function name and it’s parameters you should be able to understand what’s going on.

    Secondly, whether or not one implementation of algorithm X contains a certain functionality, doesn’t mean that other implementations do.

    You should be able to write a Weasel program yourself from scratch that does not require the code to be modified with different string lengths or content.

    If you can’t, then that’s a limitation of yours, not the Weasel algorithm’s.

  126. 126
    eigenstate says:

    eigenstate, Thank you for proving “weasel” has nothing to do with natural selection.

    Weasel doesn’t implement natural selection, nor does it purport to. Selection in biology isa vastly more complex, dynamic and non-linear process. Weasel just shows how a cumulative process — simple like Weasel’s or mind-crushingly complex like selection in biology — vastly accelerates convergence on local optima.

    Evolutionism isn’t a search. And its “cumulative process” will give you an albino dwarf with sickle-cell anemia.

    I agree it’s not a search — “search” implies a kind of teleology that isn’t apt for biology. But the process is one that optimizes. And that optimization is radically improved by cumulative feedback loops. Weasel is a nice window into the power of cumulative feedback loops in a converging processes.

  127. 127
    Virgil Cain says:

    eigenstate- the only selection in biology is artificial selection. Natural selection is eliminative, not selective. Natural selection does not optimize. Whatever is good enough gets the chance at reproduction.

  128. 128
    Silver Asiatic says:

    wd400

    I should have guessed that brining up the Weasel algorithm would lead to a side-track circus.

    When you ask a clown (Dawkins) to demonstrate some tricks on a toy model, and the carnival barkers try to sell it with double-talk (“Step right up! Take a look at something that’s a kind of selection, and watch it create Shakespeare! With no intelligent design involved at all!”)

    Yes, I’d say you have the beginnings of a circus right there.

    You introduced it, wd. Then you asked several pointed questions about Weasel. Then tried to defend it, amazingly.

  129. 129
    eigenstate says:

    @Joe

    eigenstate- the only selection in biology is artificial selection. Natural selection is eliminative, not selective. Natural selection does not optimize. Whatever is good enough gets the chance at reproduction.

    Removal is selection — the unremoved remain, the removed are… removed. If you deal 5 cards to you and tell you to discard three, by removing three cards from your hand — any three — you are necessarily selecting the remaining two.

    It can’t be otherwise, Joe, and the is basic.

  130. 130
    Virgil Cain says:

    eigenstate, Ernst Mayr explains the difference in “What Evolution Is”:

    What Darwin called natural selection is actually a process of elimination. pg 117

    Do selection and elimination differ in their evolutionary consequences? This question never seems to have been raised in the evolutionary literature. A process of selection would have a concrete objective, the determination of the “best” or “fittest” phenotype. Only a relatively few individuals in a given generation would qualify and survive the selection procedure. That small sample would be only to be able to preserve only a small amount of the whole variance of the parent population. Such survival selection would be highly restrained.
    By contrast, mere elimination of the less fit might permit the survival of a rather large number of individuals because they have no obvious deficiencies in fitness. Such a large sample would provide, for instance, the needed material for the exercise of sexual selection. This also explains why survival is so uneven from season to season. The percentage of the less fit would depend on the severity of each year’s environmental conditions. pg 118

    Eliminating the bottom 3% is much different from selecting the top 3%. That is basic.

  131. 131
    Box says:

    Eigenstate,
    So soldiers were selected during the Battle of Wounded Knee? Is that the proper basic way to look at things?

  132. 132
    Mung says:

    eigenstate: Weasel doesn’t implement natural selection, nor does it purport to.

    Don’t be a fool. It allegedly demonstrates “cumulative selection” (whatever that means).

    Are you saying that natural selection is not cumulative selection?

    Or perhaps I should say don’t take us for fools.

  133. 133
    Mung says:

    eigenstate: I agree it’s not a search — “search” implies a kind of teleology that isn’t apt for biology.

    Yet the Weasel algorithm is a search algorithm. What’s wrong with this picture then? Oh, it’s not apt for biology.

    Then why is it constantly coming up (or other programs like it) in discussions of biological evolution?

    Oh, I know, blame the creationists!

  134. 134
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Eliminating the bottom 3% is much different from selecting the top 3%. That is basic.

    If you select the top 3%, you have eliminated the bottom 97%.

    If you eliminate the bottom 3%, you have selected the top 97%.

  135. 135
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    If you select the top 3%, you have eliminated the bottom 97%.

    Really? Wow

    If you eliminate the bottom 3%, you have selected the top 97%.

    And that is much different than selecting the top 3%.

    Thank you for proving my point.

  136. 136
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Yet the Weasel algorithm is a search algorithm. What’s wrong with this picture then? Oh, it’s not apt for biology.

    The selection function could display pixels on the screen corresponding to the bits in the string and accept input from viewers as selection criteria.

    The algorithm would then use the most pleasant display as voted on by viewers as the new parent.

    The string that eventually evolves might not be readable or predicted by anyone.

    This demonstrates selection .

    Since there is now no target with this new selection function, can we agree that selection is what is being demonstrated?

  137. 137
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    What point?

    If you eliminate the bottom, you select the top.

    So the bottom of the fitness scale gets eliminated which means the top has been selected.

    Just like “Darwinism” says.

  138. 138
    wd400 says:

    SA,

    You introduced it, wd. Then you asked several pointed questions about Weasel. Then tried to defend it, amazingly.

    I sometimes really wonder if you even read these posts.

  139. 139
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, Mayr explained the difference. The top 97% is very different from the top 3%. Selection gets you the top 3% and elimination gets you the top 97%.

  140. 140
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian- The main problem is that reproduction is the very thing that requires an explanation and reproduction is granted in the algorithms.

  141. 141
    Mung says:

    I could full a bucket with sand.

    Then I could allow people to select a handful of sand from the bucket.

    That demonstrates selection.

  142. 142
    Zachriel says:

    Mung: It allegedly demonstrates “cumulative selection” (whatever that means). Are you saying that natural selection is not cumulative selection?

    Natural selection is a subset of selection. Weasel demonstrates selection, but does not model natural selection.

  143. 143
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian, Mayr explained the difference. The top 97% is very different from the top 3%. Selection gets you the top 3% and elimination gets you the top 97%.

    How could you have missed that I have said to you the very same thing you’re saying to me.

    I go to the supermarket and I select the three best tomatoes on the shelf.

    The other seven I ignore because they’re not good enough for me.

    OR……

    I go to the supermarket and take the seven worst tomatoes and eliminate them.

    I take the remaining three and buy them.

    In both cases, I end up with the same three tomatoes.

    We use the term “selection” metaphorically , not literally.

    This is the problem I see between the two sides.

    IDists tend to take a “concept” and analyze it literally while evos look at that same “concept” from a virtual/metaphorical point-of-view.

    This is why Dawkins’ Weasel algorithm is so difficult to understand for IDists.

    “Selection” is a “concept” which Weasel does a good job of simulating.

    Weasel is not actually demonstrating every aspect of evolution.

  144. 144
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    How could you have missed that I have said to you the very same thing you’re saying to me.

    Who says that I missed it?

    This is why Dawkins’ Weasel algorithm is so difficult to understand for IDists.

    It is you who doesn’t understand it.

    “Selection” is a “concept” which Weasel does a good job of simulating.

    Selection is only an intelligent design process.

    I go to the supermarket and I select the three best tomatoes on the shelf.

    The other seven I ignore because they’re not good enough for me.

    OR……

    I go to the supermarket and take the seven worst tomatoes and eliminate them.

    I take the remaining three and buy them.

    In both cases, I end up with the same three tomatoes.

    No, moron. You get to select 3 OR eliminate 3.

  145. 145
    Virgil Cain says:

    Natural selection is a subset of selection.

    Perhaps in your limited mind.

    Weasel demonstrates selection, but does not model natural selection.

    Selection is telic.

  146. 146
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain, kairosfocus would not get this wrong.

    Virgil Cain: No, moron. You get to select 3 OR eliminate 3.

    He’s explained things to Mung before, so maybe he can give you a hand now.

    Carpathian: I go to the supermarket and I select the three best tomatoes on the shelf.

    The other seven I ignore because they’re not good enough for me.

    OR……

    I go to the supermarket and take the seven worst tomatoes and eliminate them.

    I take the remaining three and buy them.

    In both cases, I end up with the same three tomatoes.

  147. 147
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, You are clueless. I am saying that you have erected yet another strawman. Obviously you are too stupid to grasp what Mayr said.

    BOTH of your scenarios are artificial selection.

  148. 148
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian, You are clueless. I am saying that you have erected yet another strawman. Obviously you are too stupid to grasp what Mayr said.

    BOTH of your scenarios are artificial selection.

    And nature performs natural “selection” by “eliminating” those that can’t “survive”.

    Again, the idea of a “concept” or “metaphor” is lost on IDists.

    Ask kairosfocus for help on understanding what a metaphor is.

  149. 149
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    And nature performs natural “selection” by “eliminating” those that can’t “survive”.

    Yes, those 3% that are eliminated and those 97% that survive.

    In contrast selection would choose 3% and eliminate the 97%.

    As I said you are too stupid to grasp what Mayr said.

  150. 150
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain, kairosfocus, Virgil Cain needs help in understanding “metaphors”.

    Also, please explain to him how negative logic is used on a motherboard.

    It may help him understand the concept of a “concept”.

    As I said you are too stupid to grasp what Mayr said.

    Typical response when you don’t have a good argument.

    So why don’t you break the following down for me.

    Carpathian: I go to the supermarket and I select the three best tomatoes on the shelf.

    The other seven I ignore because they’re not good enough for me.

    OR……

    I go to the supermarket and take the seven worst tomatoes and eliminate them.

    I take the remaining three and buy them.

    In both cases, I end up with the same three tomatoes.

  151. 151
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, You need help.

    So why don’t you break the following down for me.

    I did. They are both examples of artificial selection. That means it is a strawman as it doesn’t represent the reality of selection and elimination. Mayr explained it. What part of Mayr’s explanation didn’t you understand?

    What Darwin called natural selection is actually a process of elimination. pg 117

    Do selection and elimination differ in their evolutionary consequences? This question never seems to have been raised in the evolutionary literature. A process of selection would have a concrete objective, the determination of the “best” or “fittest” phenotype. Only a relatively few individuals in a given generation would qualify and survive the selection procedure. That small sample would be only to be able to preserve only a small amount of the whole variance of the parent population. Such survival selection would be highly restrained.

    By contrast, mere elimination of the less fit might permit the survival of a rather large number of individuals because they have no obvious deficiencies in fitness. Such a large sample would provide, for instance, the needed material for the exercise of sexual selection. This also explains why survival is so uneven from season to season. The percentage of the less fit would depend on the severity of each year’s environmental conditions. pg 118

    Eliminating the bottom 3% is much different from selecting the top 3%. That is basic.

    Instead of responding to that you erected a strawman in which selection and elimination are artificially the same. Clearly Mayr states they are not the same nor do they produce the same result.

  152. 152
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Virgil Cain, kairosfocus, Virgil Cain needs help in understanding “metaphors”.

    Umm natural selection isn’t a metaphor. Maybe it was supposed to be but, again, there isn’t any selecting. It was a misleading metaphor.

    Also, please explain to him how negative logic is used on a motherboard.

    I know more about that than you ever will.

    It may help him understand the concept of a “concept”.

    It may help if you stop with your false accusations and actually make a case. So far all you have done is to prove that you are ignorant and in some cases willfully so.

  153. 153
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: Natural selection is a subset of selection. Weasel demonstrates selection, but does not model natural selection.

    Yet another non-informative response from Zachriels. Which of you do I need to talk to to get an answer that actually addresses the question?

    According to Dawkins, Weasel demonstrates “the power of cumulative selection.”

    Zachriel: Weasel demonstrates selection, but does not model natural selection.

    Is that because Weasel doesn’t demonstrate cumulative selection or is that because natural selection is not cumulative selection?

  154. 154
    Mung says:

    Carpathian:

    This is why Dawkins’ Weasel algorithm is so difficult to understand for IDists.

    The algorithm is amazingly simple. There’s nothing about it that is difficult to understand. Even you can understand it. It follows that it cannot possibly be difficult for any IDist to understand it.

    You’re just making things up. Again.

    Carpathian:

    “Selection” is a “concept” which Weasel does a good job of simulating.

    Only a fool thinks that a computer simulation is needed to make selection understandable.

    Carpathian:

    Weasel is not actually demonstrating every aspect of evolution.

    Correction. Weasel is not actually demonstrating any aspect of evolution.

  155. 155
    EugeneS says:

    Carpathian,

    Weasel is notoriously known for being an incorrect model of evolution. Even Dawkins himself recognized that, after a while. It is amusing to see others defending the lost case, as the Russian saying goes, waving their hands after a fight.

    Weasel is an example of artificial selection. Whenever there is (even implicitly) a defined fitness function, it is not a model of evolution by definition. Instead it is a model of artificial selection. Another example is Genetic Algorithms.

  156. 156
    EugeneS says:

    Also, what amuses me is how people are resisting the idea that Darwinian evolution has been falsified, because by saying that it’s been falsified we actually give it credit as a scientific theory. And yet people who vehemently oppose the facts are doing a bad service to Darwinian evolution 🙂 It has played its role in science and can be put back on the shelf. It is a matter of the past. Things prove a lot more complicated than Darwin could even imagine. It is not his fault, of course. But the truth is that his theory cannot even get anywhere near addressing the problem of explaining the observed biological complexity.

  157. 157
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: This is why Dawkins’ Weasel algorithm is so difficult to understand for IDists.

    Mung: The algorithm is amazingly simple.

    Then you should understand it, but you don’t.

    Mung: There’s nothing about it that is difficult to understand.

    So why don’t you understand it?

    Mung: Even you can understand it.

    Then you should be able to understand it too, but you don’t.

    Mung: It follows that it cannot possibly be difficult for any IDist to understand it.

    Then IDists should have recognized the selection algorithm at work, but they haven’t.

    A few years ago, there was a discussion that Weasel needed to latch its best selections, which is not true.

    If IDists had understood the algorithm they never would have said that.

    Mung: You’re just making things up. Again.

    Then you make up a simple paragraph which describes the Weasel algorithm.

    If you understand it, then it should match a description that I or anyone else who understands it would write.

  158. 158
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS:

    But the truth is that his theory cannot even get anywhere near addressing the problem of explaining the observed biological complexity.

    Neither can ID.

    While “Darwinism” has no target to find, ID does.

    Finding one target is less probable than “finding” 1000000 targets that will somewhat do the job.

    Now take the number of species and populations and “find” a target that will benefit them all and not cause distress to other organisms.

    ID’s second engineering problem is rolling out a new design and then fixing any problems out in the field.

    Before answering, take a look at the how difficult it is has been to design and then modify F-35 fighters in the field.

    Every time there is a redesign of a part, all the units that have already been built have to be modified.

    The cost is enormous.

    Now try this with billions of new organisms across millions of species spread over the planet.

  159. 159
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS:

    Weasel is an example of artificial selection. Whenever there is (even implicitly) a defined fitness function, it is not a model of evolution by definition. Instead it is a model of artificial selection. Another example is Genetic Algorithms.

    Then let’s change the selection algorithm.

    Instead of matching a target string, the selection argument will print all the mutated text with a number beside each.

    The “environment”, i.e. the user, will enter the number of the selected string.

    That text will be the string sent for the next round of mutation and selection.

    There will be no input string or “target” so no one can say the algorithm has any idea of what the string should be.

    I predict that this program will generate strings that closely reflect what any particular user or groups of users are interested in.

    In other words, it will “evolve” a “fit” string for its “environment”.

  160. 160
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Then IDists should have recognized the selection algorithm at work,

    We have and thus the argument that weasel is intelligent design evolution in action.

    Finding one target is less probable than “finding” 1000000 targets that will somewhat do the job.

    ID doesn’t say there is just one target. Yours doesn’t have a mechanism capable of finding any.

    And AGAIN, Carpathian, reproduction is the very thing you need to explain. Using a program that grants reproduction is cheating.

  161. 161
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    ID doesn’t say there is just one target. Yours doesn’t have a mechanism capable of finding any.

    IDists claim there is one target all the time.

    Anytime they post a comment that shows the improbability of getting a Royal Flush or unique “CSI” configuration, that is exactly what they are doing.

    Look at kairosfocus’ posts about CHI and 500 bits.

    And AGAIN, Carpathian, reproduction is the very thing you need to explain. Using a program that grants reproduction is cheating.

    When trying to find the best tire for a car, you don’t need to design a new car each time.

    “Selection” is just one part of evolution, it is not all of evolution.

    This proves you are an IDist that does not understand selection.

  162. 162
    Silver Asiatic says:

    There doesn’t seem to be a million different opportunities to evolve a blood-clotting cascade. If evolution finds the wrong target then it can’t just go to the simulator and say “run it again”.

  163. 163
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carp

    IDists claim there is one target all the time.

    How many targets did Dawkins create in Weasel?

  164. 164
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    IDists claim there is one target all the time.

    There is with “weasel”.

    Anytime they post a comment that shows the improbability of getting a Royal Flush or unique “CSI” configuration, that is exactly what they are doing.

    There are 4 possible royal flushes and if the CSI configuration is truly unique then it applies. However yours cannot account for any CSI.

    When trying to find the best tire for a car, you don’t need to design a new car each time.

    Nice attempt at distraction. I would not attempt to replicate and mutate tires to get a new tire.

    “Selection” is just one part of evolution, it is not all of evolution.

    “Selection” only applies to ARTIFICIAL selection. Also natural selection includes heritable variation (ie mutations).

    REPRODUCTION is still the very thing that requires an explanation.

  165. 165
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Here is selection without a target.

    Then let’s change the selection algorithm.

    Instead of matching a target string, the selection argument will print all the mutated text with a number beside each.

    The “environment”, i.e. the user, will enter the number of the selected string.

    That text will be the string sent for the next round of mutation and selection.

    There will be no input string or “target” so no one can say the algorithm has any idea of what the string should be.

    I predict that this program will generate strings that closely reflect what any particular user or groups of users are interested in.

    In other words, it will “evolve” a “fit” string for its “environment”.

  166. 166
    Silver Asiatic says:

    In real life, the environment doesn’t choose a selected string. The environment is continually changing. Mutations also destroy things. They are not ‘cumulative’. The target string in your example is the one the “user selects”.

    any particular user or groups of users are interested in

    Evolution is not interested in anything. It doesn’t care. It doesn’t select. There are no targets. The environment changes continually, as does the population. Resources, competitors, environmental events.

    You’re locking results to what you imagine “fitness” to be. That is the same as selecting and latching to a target.

    That text will be the string sent for the next round of mutation and selection.

    This is not different than selecting a phrase from Shakespeare and locking random results that match it.

  167. 167
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carp: IDists claim there is one target all the time.

    SA: How many targets did Dawkins create in Weasel?

    Carp: crickets, then change the topic.

    That’s how a troll responds to a question which exposes his errors.

  168. 168
    EugeneS says:

    Carpathian,

    Implicit does not mean non-existent. You are still selecting. Read this paper: “Climbing the Steiner Tree” by Ewert, Dembski and Marks

    In your case, this is trivial as the user decides. Environment cannot decide anything. Environment is no oracle. You don’t see the difference between the passive filtering of no-hopers by the environment and the active selection process, albeit sometimes implicit, that drives the search towards the area in the search space where the expected number of solutions is higher. This is called active information: you or your user inputs active information to the search algorithm. And then you take the onlooker ‘by surprise’.

    One does not have to be an IDist to notice a gross error in Dawkins’ Weasel and in your bogus claim. It just takes a graduate in computer science.

  169. 169
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic: Mung would disagree with you.

    This is not different than selecting a phrase from Shakespeare and locking random results that match it.

    No results are locked.

    Ask Mung to explain the code of a “Weasel” program.

  170. 170
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Carpathian: Here is selection without a target.

    Let’s change the selection function again.

    Again, the selection function will print all the mutated text with a number beside each.

    The “environment”, i.e. a group of users, 10 times the size of the population and unknown to each other, will vote in secret on the number of the selected string.

    The text with the highest vote count will be the string sent for the next round of mutation and selection.

    There will be no input string or “target” so no one can say the algorithm has any idea of what the string should be.

    It will “evolve” a “fit” string for its “environment” without any preconceived idea of what that string should be.

    We use a string because a string contains “information”, an attribute that ID should be comfortable working with.

    Note that we are not simulating every aspect of evolution .

    We are going to see what impact selection has on the building of “information”.

  171. 171
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    We are going to see what impact selection has on the building of “information”.

    Selection requires information.

  172. 172
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Selection requires information.

    No, it doesn’t.

    “Selection” is a metaphor in evolution.

    It’s not like going to the record store and buying an album.

    It is a metaphor .

  173. 173
    Virgil Cain says:

    Selection requires information

    Carpathian:

    No, it doesn’t.

    Of course it does. Show us selection in the absence of information.

    “Selection” is a metaphor in evolution.

    “Selection” was a nonsensical attempt to confuse the public. With evolution only artificial selection is actual selection. Natural selection is mere elimination and as Mayr pointed out there is a huge difference between selection and elimination.

  174. 174
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Natural selection is mere elimination and as Mayr pointed out there is a huge difference between selection and elimination.

    The term “selection” was used because it was a good metaphor for what’s going on in nature.

    Now please read ….carefully….

    You are right about “selection” in nature.

    It is actually/explicitly/really , a process of elimination.

    What do you understand from this?

  175. 175
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The term “selection” was used because it was a good metaphor for what’s going on in nature.

    Except it isn’t a good metaphor as that is not what is going on in nature, as Mayr said.

    Darwin used it to try to fool people.

    What do you understand from this?

  176. 176
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: You are right about “selection” in nature.

    It is actually/explicitly/really , a process of elimination.

    What do you understand from this?

    You can’t even risk being right if it means you have to think for yourself.

    Ask Mayr what I meant.

    🙂

  177. 177
    Virgil Cain says:

    And more substance-free, nonsensical crap from the Carpathian.

    Except it isn’t a good metaphor as that is not what is going on in nature, as Mayr said.

    Darwin used it to try to fool people.

    What do you understand from this?

    Loser

  178. 178
    Box says:

    Is Carpathian Keith S?

  179. 179
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian “argues” like the cupcake, Richard T Hughes.

  180. 180
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian “argues” like the cupcake, Richard T Hughes.

    Our side argues logically and your side argues emotionally.

    I can almost predict when the name calling starts.

    It starts right after it becomes obvious that your side can’t answer simple questions about biological ID.

    Come up with answers and you won’t have to resort to emotional outbursts.

  181. 181
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Our side argues logically

    Your side doesn’t have any logic. It doesn’t have any evidence and it doesn’t even have a methodology. And your side doesn’t have any answers, either. It can’t answer the most basic of biological questions.

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