Intelligent Design

Are Mutations Really Random?

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That is the question they are asking over at Science Friday.

Now, scientists are questioning whether that’s actually true—or if mutation is more likely to occur in some parts of the genome than others. New research published in the journal Nature this week looks at just that question, in a common weed called Arabidopsis thaliana. After following 24 generations of plants for several years and then sequencing the offspring, the team found that some genes are far less likely to mutate than others. And those genes are some of the most essential to the function of DNA itself, where a mutation could be fatal. Conversely, the genes most likely to mutate were those associated with the plant’s ability to respond to its environment—potentially a handy trick for a highly adaptable weed. 

59 Replies to “Are Mutations Really Random?

  1. 1
    Blastus says:

    Amazing how the forces which cause mutation seemingly discriminate.

    Here is another look at the same discovery:
    https://www.livescience.com/non-random-dna-mutations

  2. 2
    Neil Rickert says:

    or if mutation is more likely to occur in some parts of the genome than others.

    Of course they are more likely in some parts of the genome. But that has nothing to do with whether they are random. “Random” does not imply “with a uniform probability distribution.”

  3. 3
    Blastus says:

    And here is a completely unrelated article which appeared recently:

    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2022/01/13/world/icefish-colony-discovery-scn/index.html

    The article is about the recent discovery of a colony of icefish. It states:

    “Icefish are the only vertebrates to have no red blood cells. … To survive at such low temperatures, it has evolved an anti-freeze protein in its transparent blood that stops ice crystals from growing.”

    Imagine the transitional steps from blood which contains red blood cells to blood which does not. Imagine the DNA coding required to synthesize a non toxic antifreeze protein.

    I will sit back and wait for the ID opponents to explain these marvels.

  4. 4
    Barry Arrington says:

    Neil,
    “Random” at its most basic level means “with no discernable pattern.” If a data set does have a discernable pattern, one may conclude that the data set reflects a non-random cause. The data set in question here has a discernable pattern.

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    After following 24 generations of plants for several years and then sequencing the offspring, the team found that some genes are far less likely to mutate than others.

    Only 24 generations …only a few years …

    I don’t understand one thing… did this weed start to mutate just now? What did it for the last millions of years? I would expect, that the part of genome they looked at was already mutated …

    The same for viruses… i hear all the time, that e.g. coronavirus mutates very fast… so how it is possible, that after millions of years of existence we can still recognize a new mutation… i would expect, that after millions of years, everything is over- mutated…

    Could some smart Darwinist explain ?

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    Science Daily 2021

    Mutations are usually thought to be so rare, that when we see the same mutation in different individuals, the assumption is that those individuals shared an ancestor who passed the mutation to them both… But it’s possible that the mutation rate is so high in some of these non-B DNA regions that the same mutation could occur independently in several different individuals. If this is true, it would change how we think about evolution.

    — Kateryna D Makova, biologist (Pennsylvania State University)
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210209121031.htm

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r/6
    From the same paper

    Because of their increased mutation rates, non-B DNA sequences could be an important source of genetic variation, which is the ultimate source of evolutionary change.

    So maybe this could be a source of all that new genetic information that neo-Paleyists are so concerned about.

  8. 8
    martin_r says:

    Seversky, you have missed the point again … i posted the paper here, because it is showing, that the same mutation at the same place in various species don’t necessary means a common descent …. As you can see, there might be other explanation ….

  9. 9
    martin_r says:

    Seversky, will you comment on my 5 ?

  10. 10
    Neil Rickert says:

    “Random” at its most basic level means “with no discernable pattern.”

    That is not what mathematicians mean by “random”. And it is not what biologists mean by “random”.

  11. 11
    EDTA says:

    What role do built-in repair mechanisms play here, in making DNA mutations look less random? I.e., can they happen at nearly any point, but repair mechanisms fix them at a subset of those points only, leaving other damage unrepaired? (Haven’t gotten to the paper yet.)

  12. 12
    johnnyb says:

    Neil –

    The biological meaning of “random” is that they occur without respect to the potential usefulness. However, the mutations found are much more highly correlated with usefulness (by not mutating genes that are dangerous to mutate) than others. Therefore, by the biological definition, these are non-random.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Neil, “That is not what mathematicians mean by “random”.”

    First, It is certainly what Darwinists themselves mean by “random” in their theory.

    “It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and 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 many 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 ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.”
    – Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology

    TRUE DARWINISM IS ALL ABOUT CHANCE – – NOAH BERLATSKY – JUN 14, 2017
    Excerpt: Chance is an uncomfortable thing. So Curtis Johnson argues in Darwin’s Dice: The Idea of Chance in the Thought of Charles Darwin, and he makes a compelling case. The central controversy, and the central innovation, in Darwin’s work is not the theory of natural selection itself, according to Johnson, but Darwin’s more basic, and more innovative, turn to randomness as a way to explain natural phenomena. This application of randomness was so controversial, Johnson argues, that Darwin tried to cover it up, replacing words like “accident” and “chance” with terms like “spontaneous variation” in later editions of his work. Nonetheless, the terminological shift was cosmetic: Randomness remained, and still remains, the disturbing center of Darwin’s theories.
    https://psmag.com/environment/wealth-rich-chance-charles-darwin-darwinism-chance-meritocracy-89764

    Secondly, since when have Darwinists ever really cared what mathematicians have to say about their theory? i.e. “The Wistar Symposium anyone?

    “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.

    50 Years of Scientific Challenges to Evolution: Remembering The Wistar Symposium
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQy12X_Sm2k

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: There exists no (computer) model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Period. By “model,” we mean definitive simulations or foundational mathematics required of a hard science.,,,
    We show that no meaningful information can arise from an evolutionary process unless that process is guided. Even when guided, the degree of evolution’s accomplishment is limited by the expertise of the guiding information source — a limit we call Basener’s ceiling. An evolutionary program whose goal is to master chess will never evolve further and offer investment advice.,,,
    We show that the probability resources of the universe and even string theory’s hypothetical multiverse are insufficient to explain the specified complexity surrounding us.,,,
    If a successful search requires equaling or exceeding some degree of active information, what is the chance of finding any search with as good or better performance? We call this a search-for-the-search. In Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics, we show that the search-for-the-search is exponentially more difficult than the search itself!,,,
    ,,,we use information theory to measure meaningful information and show there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution.,,,
    ,,, if the fitness continues to change, it is argued, the evolved entity can achieve greater and greater specified complexity,,,
    ,,, We,, dub the overall search structure ‘stair step active information’. Not only is guidance required on each stair, but the next step must be carefully chosen to guide the process to the higher fitness landscape and therefore ever increasing complexity.,,,
    Such fine tuning is the case of any fortuitous shift in fitness landscapes and increases, not decreases, the difficulty of evolution of ever-increasing specified complexity. It supports the case there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution.,,,
    Turing’s landmark work has allowed researchers, most notably Roger Penrose,26 to make the case that certain of man’s attributes including creativity and understanding are beyond the capability of the computer.,,,
    ,,, there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/
    Robert Jackson Marks II is an American electrical engineer. His contributions include the Zhao-Atlas-Marks (ZAM) time-frequency distribution in the field of signal processing,[1] the Cheung–Marks theorem[2] in Shannon sampling theory and the Papoulis-Marks-Cheung (PMC) approach in multidimensional sampling.[3] He was instrumental in the defining of the field of computational intelligence and co-edited the first book using computational intelligence in the title.[4][5]
    – per wikipedia

    Supplemental notes

    “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. All careful studies of mutagenesis find statistically significant non-random patterns”
    – James Shapiro – Evolution: A View From The 21st Century – (Page 82)

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    Genome Self-Editing – directed mutations – Johnnyb – video (2021)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YesEq8VKgvg
    This video explores,, the mechanics and specifics of many different types of directed mutations.

    “Physiology Is Rocking the Foundations of Evolutionary Biology”: Another Peer-Reviewed Paper Takes Aim at Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin March 31, 2015
    Excerpt: Noble doesn’t mince words:
    “It is not only the standard 20th century views of molecular genetics that are in question. Evolutionary theory itself is already in a state of flux (Jablonka & Lamb, 2005; Noble, 2006, 2011; Beurton et al. 2008; Pigliucci & Muller, 2010; Gissis & Jablonka, 2011; Shapiro, 2011). In this article, I will show that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved.”
    Noble then recounts those assumptions: (1) that “genetic change is random,” (2) that “genetic change is gradual,” (3) that “following genetic change, natural selection leads to particular gene variants (alleles) increasing in frequency within the population,” and (4) that “inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible.” He then cites examples that refute each of those assumptions,,,
    He then proposes a new and radical model of biology called the “Integrative Synthesis,” where genes don’t run the show and all parts of an organism — the genome, the cell, the body plan, everything — is integrated.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94821.html

    Probability of change in life: Amino acid changes in single nucleotide substitutions – June 2020
    Discussion
    We found in-built intrinsic biases and barriers to drastic changes within the genetic code. Within single mutational events, there are fixed probabilities for the type of change in selection pressure-free conditions that are far from random.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0303264720300393

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of supplemental note; Wolfgang (not even wrong) Pauli himself stated, “they (Darwinists) 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.’”

    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)
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/234f/4989e039089fed5ac47c7d1a19b656c602e2.pdf

  15. 15
    Belfast says:

    The slow curve,
    “We conclude that epigenome-associated mutation bias2 reduces the occurrence of deleterious mutations in Arabidopsis, “
    Now the fast break,
    “… challenging the prevailing paradigm that mutation is a directionless force in evolution.”

  16. 16
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    If all life from simple to complex has the goal to survive, guess what? If there is a single word implying a goal ,aim, purpose , etc then you don’t need to be a “scientist” to understand there are no random mutations. Not even a single one. Could be erroneous mutations induced by external factors that superseds the capacity of adaptation .
    Erroneous is not equal to randomness ,erroneous means there is a goal and that goal wasn’t achieved because the system adaptation was overpowered .

  17. 17
    JVL says:

    Neil Rickert:

    I was going to put my two-cents in but you’ve covered much of the core ideas.

    I think I would just add two things:

    This is not all that new or revolutionary; I’ve been hearing about certain genomic domains being more prone to mutations than others for years. And I think some of that past research has prompted conclusions by folks like Dr James Shapiro.

    What modern biologists ACTUALLY say is that mutations are random with respect to fitness. That is: irregardless of where they occur, particular mutations are not predictably beneficial.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    No JVL, Darwin’s theory holds that mutations are random, i.e. unguided, period. Completely random mutations are the friggin teleological denying core of Darwin’s theory for crying out loud!

    “It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and 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 many 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 ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.”
    – Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology

    Moreover JVL, for you to claim this (i.e. directed mutations) is not ‘revolutionary’ whilst mentioning James Shapiro in the same breath would be a big surprise for Shapiro who holds that this “has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.”

    How life changes itself: the Read-Write (RW) genome. – 2013
    Excerpt: Research dating back to the 1930s has shown that genetic change is the result of cell-mediated processes, not simply accidents or damage to the DNA. This cell-active view of genome change applies to all scales of DNA sequence variation, from point mutations to large-scale genome rearrangements and whole genome duplications (WGDs). This conceptual change to active cell inscriptions controlling RW genome functions has profound implications for all areas of the life sciences.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876611

    Moreover, even your attempted dodge to try to get around the fact that mutations are now known to not be truly random, as Darwinists hold as a foundational presupposition, and to try to claim that mutations are only held to be random ‘with regard to fitness’, i.e. to the needs of the individual, is now known to be a false claim in and of itself.

    (False) Prediction of Darwinism – Mutations are not adaptive – Cornelius Hunter
    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.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/mutations-are-not-adaptive

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: No JVL, Darwin’s theory holds that mutations are random, i.e. unguided, period.

    If you choose to not keep up with the latest iterations then you’re going to look foolish arguing against something that is no longer considered accurate. Decent scientific views adapt to new data and results.

    Mutations are more likely in some genomic domains than others; that has been clearly established. But, the mutations whenever they occur, wherever they occur are random with respect to fitness. They are not predictably beneficial to the life form. The rate of mutations is separate from they’re being random with respect to mutation.

    Moreover JVL, for you to claim this (i.e. directed mutations)

    Something I did not say or support. Do you really expect people to want to discuss these issues with you when you can’t even accurately hear what someone has said/written? Perhaps you don’t really care if anyone seriously tries to discuss these issues with you if they have a different opinion from yours. That would explain why you don’t bother to really listen and respond. That would explain why you make a lot of assumptions and pre-judge others. You can’t see any way you could be incorrect (your view is unfalsifiable) so it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. That does explain a lot actually.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, “If you choose to not keep up with the latest iterations (or Darwin’s theory)”,,,

    LOL, too funny, the only thing that we have any real evidence for “evolution”‘ is with Darwin’s theory itself.

    Darwin’s theory is found to be false in core presuppositions, (completely random mutations in this case), and Darwin’s theory itself will, time and time again, simply “evolve” so as to try to avoid any potential falsification from empirical evidence.

    As Cornelius Hunter put the ‘no bad news’ problem with unfalsifiable “Darwinian science”:

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    —Cornelius Hunter
    https://www.thepoachedegg.net/2013/10/being-an-evolutionist-means-there-is-no-bad-news.html

    Despite whatever lies JVL may try to tell, and due to Darwinists refusing to adhere to the criteria of falsification, Darwin’s theory simply does not qualify as a hard and testable science.

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.
    – Imre Lakatos – 1973

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution – John Horgan – July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

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

    Again, Darwin’s theory simply does not qualify as a hard and testable science. And is, in fact, more properly classified as being a pseudoscience, even a religion for atheists, rather than as being a hard science.

  21. 21
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Darwin’s theory itself will, time and time again, simply “evolve” so as to try to avoid any potential falsification from empirical evidence.

    Any good scientific view should be updated and modified when new evidence and data is discovered. It’s non-sensical to defend an old text down to every dotted I and crossed t. You’d be a fool to do that when new knowledge (which doesn’t contradict the basic core idea) is accepted.

    Perhaps in theology you have to continue to argue over the same old statements and proclamations. But that’s not the way science works. A long time ago Aristotle was considered the ‘science’ expert. New data and evidence showed he got some things wrong. That didn’t mean we threw out everything he said or wrote, just the stuff that was shown to be incorrect. Newton came up with a new paradigm/system of thinking about the natural world. And it worked better than Aristotle’s so we adopted it. Then, a bit over one hundred years ago Einstein found an even better model of mass and motion and time and so we supplanted some of what Newton said with the new, better ideas.

    Darwin got a lot of things right, not all though. The reason he is still referred to is because aside from getting things generally right (and, by the way, he never, ever spoke of mutations since he knew nothing about modern genetic) he presented a well-reasoned, detailed argument for his conclusions which changed the way biologists in particular looked at the history of life forms on Earth. And, while his statements and hypotheses have been altered and updated and refined he was mostly right and he clearly was one of the first to blaze a fruitful and insightful trail.

    If you want to argue against ‘Darwinism’ then please address the updated and modern version. That means learning what that updated and modern version actually says. And, regarding mutations, the statement is: mutations are random with respect to fitness. Maybe in 10 or 20 or 100 years that will have been altered or changed because of new discoveries and evidence. But it’s silly to argue against an old idea no one supports anymore. And, like I said, Darwin himself could never have possibly made any kind of statement about mutations. He spoke of variation, inheritable variation. And slow, fairly steady change and modifications. He saw clear evidence that the variation was sufficient based on observed breeding histories. And he knew that some variation was selected against while some was ‘preferred’. He got the general idea right.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL, “Any good scientific view should be updated and modified when new evidence and data is discovered.”

    You are, as usual, wrong. Newton’s theory was replaced not modified.,, Einstein’s relativity and Quantum Mechanics have not changed one iota.

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Far from being a sign of ‘good science’, the fact that Darwin’s theory keeps modifying and adding ‘epicycles’ to avoid falsification is a sure sign we are dealing with a pseudoscience, (Lakatos and Kuhn). instead of a hard science.

    Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) –
    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture – science and pseudoscience
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/philosoph.....ranscript/

    Unanswered Questions: New York Times Highlights the Benefits of Teaching “Ignorance” in Science
    Sarah Chaffee – September 4, 2015
    Excerpt: In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, (Thomas) Kuhn stated that when faced with an anomaly, a theory’s defenders “will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict (Kuhn [86] pg. 78).” But eventually, given enough anomalies, the old theory will be replaced ,(i.e. which Kuhn termed to be a ‘paradigm shift’).
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/09/unanswered_ques/

  23. 23
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    something that is no longer considered accurate.

    🙂 …and what is considered accurate today will be no longer considerate accurate tomorrow?
    When (some) atheists preach about ” the science of evolution” they always talk like they are the owners of absolute truth they are so full of them , so arrogant and next day they tell us with stright face that they were talking nonsense but…today, today they are not talking nonsense because science finally discovered the final-final truth . Hahaha!

    JVL
    random with respect to fitness.

    Random only with respect to fitness ? What about other respects? 🙂

    Mutations are more likely in some genomic domains than others;

    You know that this is absolutely irrelevant for the subject discussed(non random mutations)

  24. 24
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: Far from being a sign of ‘good science’, the fact that Darwin’s theory keeps modifying and adding ‘epicycles’ to avoid falsification is a sure sign we are dealing with a pseudoscience, (Lakatos and Kuhn). instead of a hard science.

    Other opinions are available.

    Regardless, if you want to argue against modern evolutionary theory then argue against what it actually says not what you think is says or what it used to say. You seem to be a bit confused over these things; why else would you say:

    Darwin’s theory is found to be false in core presuppositions, (completely random mutations in this case),

    since Darwin knew nothing about mutations. Could it be that modern evolutionary theory doesn’t say what you think it says? Maybe you would actually agree with it if you understood it? Maybe you should read about it instead of mining for quotes which you think tear it down? Maybe you should consider your own pre-held biases and prejudices?

    Maybe you should consider why you hate it so much? Is it because it seems an attack on your faith and theology? Some Christians find unguided evolutionary theory perfectly acceptable. Is it because you want people to see and appreciate the divine the way you do in every facet and aspect of the world and all you get from some evolutionary supporters is derision and insults? Does the behaviour of some supporters change the truth of the theory? Is it because unguided evolutionary theory questions your feeling that you are here for a purpose, a cosmic purpose, and if that is not true then your life and goals and sacrifices don’t have the meaning you thought they did? Do your feelings change the truth of the theory?

    Why do you hate unguided evolutionary theory so much? What difference does it make to you if some people think it’s true?

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    “Other opinions are available.”

    And those ‘other opinions’, like your ‘opinion’, are wrong.

    Darwin Evolution is a unfalsifiable pseudoscience. Period!

    Central tenets of neo-Darwinism broken. Response to ‘Neo-Darwinism is just fine’ – 2015
    Excerpt: “If, as the commentator seems to imply, we make neo-Darwinism so flexible as an idea that it can accept even those findings that the originators intended to be excluded by the theory it is then incumbent on modern neo-Darwinists to specify what would now falsify the theory. If nothing can do this then it is not a scientific theory.”
    – Denis Noble – President of International Union of Physiological Sciences
    https://jeb.biologists.org/content/218/16/2659

    “Our theory of evolution has become, as Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus “outside empirical science” but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training. The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more skepticism about many of its tenets.”
    Ehrlich, Paul and L.C. Birch (1967), “Evolutionary History and Population Biology,” Nature, 214:349-352, April 22, p. 352

  26. 26
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    then argue against what it actually says not what you think is says or what it used to say.

    🙂 This is an old tactic of evolutionists: “you don’t understand , you are not informed , blabla … is not random random it’s random only with respect to fitness…”. 🙂

    Why do you hate unguided evolutionary theory so much? What difference does it make to you if some people think it’s true?

    When you know the truth you hate the lie when you like the lie you hate the truth.

    since Darwin knew nothing about mutations.

    🙂 Oh dear he didn’t know about basics(1+1=2) of life , but somehow he knew (the result of an complex ecuation) that evolution is true?

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77:

    It’s pretty amazing really. You have spent possibly hundreds of hours collating a searchable collection of quotes (a database? I would think a spreadsheet would be too unwieldy.) decrying unguided evolutionary theory. Why did you do that?

    Do you ever regret spending all that time railing against unguided evolutionary theory instead of going to the theatre, having a nice night out with friends and family, going for a long walk in the woods with your spouse, spending time with your offspring, going outside late at night and gazing up at the stars and marvel at the cosmic beauty of it all, just kicking back and enjoying the NFL playoffs?

    You’ve spent a lot of your precious time on Earth attacking an idea that is, as far as I can tell, not a threat to you, your way of life or your beliefs. Why would you do that? Why would an intelligent, insightful, thoughtful person spend so much time on something they don’t believe? Is it really that much of an existential threat?

    Hate is a commitment of time and effort and caring. Do you really care so much about unguided evolutionary theory to spend hours, days, weeks, years of your life attacking it?

    Whose will are you serving?

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    JVL holds that Darwin’s theory is “not a threat to you, your way of life or your beliefs.”

    I wish that JVL could go back in time and explain exactly why Darwin’s theory is “not a threat to you, your way of life or your beliefs” to the over 200 million victims of Darwin’s murderous ‘Death as the Creator” ideology.

    How Has Darwinism Negatively Impacted Society?
    John G. West – January 11, 2022
    Excerpt: Death as the Creator,,
    As Darwin wrote at the end of his most famous work (Origin): “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/01/how-has-darwinism-negatively-impacted-society/

    “One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species – 1861, page 266

    A stronger race will oust that which has grown weak; for the vital urge, in its ultimate form, will burst asunder all the absurd chains of this so-called humane consideration for the individual and will replace it with the humanity of Nature, which wipes out what is weak in order to give place to the strong.”
    – Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf – Chapter 4

    Michael Medved and Richard Weikart Lay Bare the Evolutionary Roots of Nazism – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkv3B0LF-Sw

    Stalin’s Brutal Faith
    Excerpt: At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.
    G. Glurdjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin’s, relates:
    “I began to speak of God, Joseph heard me out, and after a moment’s silence, said:
    “‘You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. . . .’
    “I was astonished at these words, I had never heard anything like it before.
    “‘How can you say such things, Soso?’ I exclaimed.
    “‘I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,’ Joseph said.
    “‘What book is that?’ I enquired.
    “‘Darwin. You must read it,’ Joseph impressed on me” 1
    1 E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing house, 1940), pp. 8-12. ,,,
    http://www.icr.org/article/stalins-brutal-faith/

    Darwin’s impact—the bloodstained legacy of evolution
    Excerpt: Chairman Mao is known to have regarded Darwin and his disciple Huxley as his two favourite authors.
    https://creation.com/deconstructing-darwin-darwins-impact

    Darwin and Mao: The Influence of Evolutionary Thought on Modern China – 2/13/2013
    Excerpt: Mao and his fellow Communists, “found in Marxism what seemed to them the fittest faith on Earth to help China to survive.” He concludes his article thus:
    “This was not, of course, all Darwin’s doing, but Darwin was involved in it all. To believe in Marxism, one had to believe in inexorable forces pushing mankind, or at least the elect, to inevitable progress, through set stages (which could, however, be skipped). One had to believe that history was a violent, hereditary class struggle (almost a ‘racial’ struggle); that the individual must be severely subordinated to the group; that an enlightened group must lead the people for their own good; that the people must not be humane to their enemies; that the forces of history assured victory to those who were right and who struggled.”
    Who taught Chinese these things? Marx? Mao? No. Darwin.
    https://nonnobis.weebly.com/blog/darwin-and-mao-the-influence-of-evolutionary-thought-on-modern-china

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master (Black Book of Communism)
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    So JVL, the real question is not why do I hate Darwin’s murderous ideology, that much is abundantly obvious, the real question why do you, JVL, love your “Death as the Creator” worldview that has had unimaginably horrid consequences for mankind?

    Proverbs 8:36
    But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: All they that hate me love death.

    “If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instincts, heredity, and environment, we feed the despair to which man is, in any case, already prone.
    I became acquainted with the last stages of corruption in my second concentration camp in Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment—or, as the Nazis liked to say, of ‘Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.”
    —Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor and Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Vienna Medical School; from his book, The Doctor and the Soul: Introduction to Logotherapy, 1982, p. xxi).

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    In this post an hour ago, I argue that Darwinian evolution is self refuting.

    It cannot possibly have happened or else every ecology would eventually be destroyed. But they are not.

    https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/is-darwinism-an-empty-theory/#comment-745010

  30. 30
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77:

    So, you condemn a scientific theory because of the way some have chosen to interpret it in a social way? Isn’t that equivalent to me judging Christianity based on the crusaders who, apparently, made the streets of Jerusalem run with blood? Or the Christians who hunted down and killed the Cathars (another Christian sect) because they disagreed with them?

    You would say those Christians misinterpreted part of Christian doctrine or only used particular passages to justify their actions.

    I would say those who declare: this is the way unguided nature works therefore we should behave the same to have made a mistake. You cannot justify acting like animals because that’s how animals behave. You should not flail around finding a scientific theory that you think justifies the behaviour you have probably already decided to carry out. As Kairosfocus would say: you don’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’.

    The law of gravity doesn’t justify pushing people off of cliffs. The theory of unguided evolutionary theory does not grant ideologues the right to kill, torture, imprison or even marginalise those they think they are in conflict with.

    Groups of humans have been attacking and persecuting and killing other groups of people for millions of years. Just because some of those groups have, in the last 150 years, chosen to claim inspiration from a statement about biological systems does not invalidate the statement or justify their actions.

    You attack a theory when you should be attacking the hideous and awful people who probably would have done what they did even if Darwin have never been born. Did Genghis Khan refer to Darwin? Did Alexander the Great refer to Darwin? Did those pursuing witches in the 17th century refer to Darwin? Did the Spanish Conquistadors refer to Darwin when they killed hundreds of thousands of native Americans searching for gold? Did the Irish refer to Darwin when they were bombing and killing each other during our lifetimes?

    ‘Darwinism’ is not the problem; evil, hateful people are the problem.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    “‘Darwinism’ is not the problem; evil, hateful people are the problem.”

    Really??? But alas, evil does not even exist in your “ANTI-moral” Darwinian worldview. i.e. there is “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    You see JVL, it is classical catch 22 trap for you. You desperately want to condemn some people as being obviously, and objectively, ‘evil’, (i.e. Hitler, Stalin, Mao), so as to vainly try to separate Darwin’s foundational influence on those tyrants from their evil atrocities, but alas, without God you simply have no objective moral standard by which to condemn anyone as being evil (or being good for that matter).

    As C.S. Lewis explained, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”
    – C.S. Lewis

    You see JVL, you need God just to be able to condemn anyone, or anything, as being objectively evil in the first place.

    The moral argument for God is summed up at the 4:36 minute mark of the following video and can be stated as such:

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

    The Moral Argument – drcraigvideos – video
    https://youtu.be/OxiAikEk2vU?t=276

    And as Dr. Egnor recently pointed out, “every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.”

    The Divine Hiddenness Argument Against God’s Existence = Nonsense – Michael Egnor -Oct. 4, 2021
    Excerpt: “Is the information that God provides in these ways sufficient to convince a reasonable person of His existence? Consider the ten ways that simple everyday experience provides inexhaustible evidence for His existence:
    Every change in nature proves His existence. Every cause in nature proves His existence. Everything that exists in nature proves His existence. Every degree of perfection in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of natural design proves His existence. Every realization of possibility in nature proves His existence. Every manifestation of organization in nature proves His existence. Every abstract concept proves His existence. Every reason for anything in nature proves His existence. And every twinge of human conscience proves His existence.,,,”
    https://mindmatters.ai/2021/10/the-divine-hiddenness-argument-against-gods-existence-nonsense/

  32. 32
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    So, you condemn a scientific theory because of the way some have chosen to interpret it in a social way? Isn’t that equivalent to me judging Christianity

    You can’t judge Christianity if you really believe in darwinism. If darwinism is true EVERYTHING that happens in this world is the result of evolution(including Christianity, wars, Hitler,etc.) therefore there is nothing good or evil just a random manifestation of a random evolution on the speck of dust in this universe. 🙂

    But you do judge Christianity so you don’t really believe in darwinism but (strangely enough) you believe in the moral law promoted by Judeo-Christianity . Please use only the tools darwinian evolution fairytale provides to you: survival of the fittest . Stay away from moral law because good and evil do not really exist they are just in your wild imagination.

  33. 33
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r/9

    Seversky, will you comment on my 5 ?

    The passage you quoted from the paper claims that their research showed that some regions of the genome experienced a higher rate of mutations than others. What is the problem with that?

  34. 34
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/31

    Really??? But alas, evil does not even exist in your “ANTI-moral” Darwinian worldview. i.e. there is “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    I suspect that is what terrifies you and other Christians the most, that there is no God, no good, no evil just a vast, pitiless universe that is utterly indifferent to our existence.

    That is what is, however, it has nothing to do with how we ought to behave towards one another.

    You see JVL, it is classical catch 22 trap for you. You desperately want to condemn some people as being obviously, and objectively, ‘evil’, (i.e. Hitler, Stalin, Mao), so as to vainly try to separate Darwin’s foundational influence on those tyrants from their evil atrocities, but alas, without God you simply have no objective moral standard by which to condemn anyone as being evil (or being good for that matter).

    What about all the tyrants who existed and the atrocities that were committed before 1859? What about the rampant anti-Semitism endemic in the good Christian nations of Europe for centuries before that? How was Darwin to blame for all that?

    I can judge that what Hitler and Stalin and Mao did was evil just as I can condemn the atrocities committed against the Jews for centuries before. I don’t need a god to tell me that treating fellow human beings in those appalling ways was an offense against humanity. I can see that for myself. Can’t you?

    As C.S. Lewis explained, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”

    Geometry is not the same as morality.

    The moral argument for God is summed up at the 4:36 minute mark of the following video and can be stated as such:

    This again? Okay.

    Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.

    Objective moral values, if they are objective, must exist whether or not they are perceived by or otherwise within the awareness of the subject. In other words the existence of subjects who might be aware of them is irrelevant to their existence and that must be true even of the greatest of all subjects, the Christian God. Objective moral values could exist without God.

    Premise denied.

    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.

    Unproven assertion.

    Premise denied.

    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

    Non sequitur

    The argument fails.

  35. 35
    EDTA says:

    >”I suspect that is what terrifies you and other Christians the most, that there is no God, no good, no evil just a vast, pitiless universe that is utterly indifferent to our existence.”

    What concerns me is that people will take to heart the saying that without God, all is permitted. Or follow it to its logical conclusion. I realize people of all belief systems have done evil things. I’m most concerned about those systems nearest in time, less concerned about things in the more distant past. Things closer would seem to be more of a threat (Communism, e.g.). We’re not living in the middle ages anymore. At least I’m not. I try to proportion my concern to the actual risk.

    JVL,
    Why doesn’t BA77 just go to a movie?? Bury your head in the sand much? Good things like liberty require eternal vigilance. I’m glad some people here are exhibiting that vigilance and not simply turning to pleasure and distraction to avoid thinking about where we’re headed.

  36. 36
    StephenB says:

    Objective moral values could exist without God

    Actually, this is not the case. Moral *values,* which are subjective, could exist without God, but moral *truths,* which are objective, could not. Objective moral truths (The Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount, Natural Moral Law, Golden Rule, Reason’s rules, etc.) are also objective moral laws, which cannot exist in the absence of a Lawgiver.

  37. 37
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I suspect that is what terrifies you and other Christians the most, that there is no God, no good, no evil just a vast, pitiless universe that is utterly indifferent to our existence.

    That is what is, however, it has nothing to do with how we ought to behave towards one another.

    🙂 If there is no ought then why in the world you tell us what we ought to think? You don’t need to shoot yourself in the foot every time you post a comment.

  38. 38
    Bob O'H says:

    Martin_r @ 5 –

    I don’t understand one thing… did this weed start to mutate just now?

    Err, no. There are a lot of other mutations of the weed(*). But the experiment only started following those lines for 24 generations.

    (*) I did my PhD in a plant sciences institute when A. thaliana started to become a model organism. I was in the cereals department, so of course we would disparate it as “the weed”. For extra fin, when talking to a plant molecular biologist, call it by its common name, thale cress, and see how long it takes them to realise what you are talking about.

  39. 39
    Bob O'H says:

    Barry @ 4 (and a few people subsequently) –

    “Random” at its most basic level means “with no discernable pattern.”

    Hi, professor of statistics here. That’s not what we mean by “random”. For a lot of random processes there is indeed a very discernable pattern, which is why we model them with techniques such as random fields. For example, a common pattern is that things that are physically closer to each other are more similar. This creates a correlation that varies in space, and for a general class of correlations, this can be modelled as a random field.

    One could actually model mutation rates as a random field across the genome (because you would expect positions close to each other to have more similar mutation rates).

  40. 40
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: But alas, evil does not even exist in your “ANTI-moral” Darwinian worldview. i.e. there is “no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

    Uh huh. I think if you ask a wide selection of grown ups if Hitler was evil they’d say yes, he was. I agree with and refer to those notions which are common ‘knowledge’.

    We’ve probably exhausted this particular conversation; you just seem to be at the ‘you can’t use that term because I’ve said you can’t therefore I win’ stage. I’m sure you will obsessively follow me around the site as usual and jump all over anything I say that might, even in the slightest, give you a chance to exercise your vast collection of links and quotes which you are so fond of. Has it ever occurred to you that most readers of this forum don’t bother to read any of them? Are you really ‘doing good’ by spamming threads with multiple replies which no one pays any attention to?

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob O’H states: “Hi, professor of statistics here.”,,,

    And Bob, professor of statistics, has also stated elsewhere, “I torture data until it confesses. Sometimes I have to resort to Bayesianism”

    Bob O’Hara
    Professor at NTNU
    “I torture data until it confesses. Sometimes I have to resort to Bayesianism” – 2016
    “I tortured data, mainly in ecology and evolutionary biology.” – 2009
    https://de.linkedin.com/in/bob-o-hara-93b0a210

    And the obvious problem with Bob, professor of statistics, self-admittedly torturing data until it confesses, is that is that data, especially in statistics,, will confess to anything damn you want it to if you torture it long enough.

    “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.”
    – Ronald Harry Coase (/?ko?s/; 29 December 1910 – 2 September 2013) was a British economist. Coase believed economists should study real markets and not theoretical ones,

    The point being is that unless you are extremely careful, statistical models are just as likely to mislead you, and give you a false positive, rather than give you a correct answer.

    As the following subtitle in a Nature paper stated, “P values, the ‘gold standard’ of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume.”

    Scientific method: Statistical errors – P values, the ‘gold standard’ of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume. – Regina Nuzzo – 12 February 2014
    Excerpt: “P values are not doing their job, because they can’t,” says Stephen Ziliak, an economist at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, and a frequent critic of the way statistics are used.,,,
    “Change your statistical philosophy and all of a sudden different things become important,” says Steven Goodman, a physician and statistician at Stanford. “Then ‘laws’ handed down from God are no longer handed down from God. They’re actually handed down to us by ourselves, through the methodology we adopt.”,,
    One researcher suggested rechristening the methodology “statistical hypothesis inference testing”3, presumably for the acronym it would yield.,,
    The irony is that when UK statistician Ronald Fisher introduced the P value in the 1920s, he did not mean it to be a definitive test. He intended it simply as an informal way to judge whether evidence was significant in the old-fashioned sense: worthy of a second look. The idea was to run an experiment, then see if the results were consistent with what random chance might produce.,,,
    Neyman called some of Fisher’s work mathematically “worse than useless”,,,
    “The P value was never meant to be used the way it’s used today,” says Goodman.,,,
    The more implausible the hypothesis — telepathy, aliens, homeopathy — the greater the chance that an exciting finding is a false alarm, no matter what the P value is.,,,
    “It is almost impossible to drag authors away from their p-values, and the more zeroes after the decimal point, the harder people cling to them”11,,
    http://www.nature.com/news/sci.....E-20140213

    A Litany of Problems With p-values – February 5, 2017
    Excerpt: In my opinion, null hypothesis testing and p-values have done significant harm to science. The purpose of this note is to catalog the many problems caused by p-values. As readers post new problems in their comments, more will be incorporated into the list, so this is a work in progress.
    The American Statistical Association has done a great service by issuing its Statement on Statistical Significance and P-values. Now it’s time to act. To create the needed motivation to change, we need to fully describe the depth of the problem.
    It is important to note that no statistical paradigm is perfect. Statisticians should choose paradigms that solve the greatest number of real problems and have the fewest number of faults. This is why I believe that the Bayesian and likelihood paradigms should replace frequentist inference.
    http://www.fharrell.com/2017/0.....alues.html

    As the American Statistical Association itself stated, “By itself, a p-value does not provide a good measure of evidence regarding a model or hypothesis.”

    March 2016 – The American Statistical Association (ASA) has released a “Statement on Statistical Significance and P-Values” with six principles underlying the proper use and interpretation of the p-value,,,
    The statement’s six principles, many of which address misconceptions and misuse of the p- value, are the following:
    1. P-values can indicate how incompatible the data are with a specified statistical model.
    2. P-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance alone.
    3. Scientific conclusions and business or policy decisions should not be based only on whether a p-value passes a specific threshold.
    4. Proper inference requires full reporting and transparency.
    5. A p-value, or statistical significance, does not measure the size of an effect or the importance of a result.
    6. By itself, a p-value does not provide a good measure of evidence regarding a model or hypothesis.
    https://www.amstat.org//asa/files/pdfs/P-ValueStatement.pdf

    Moreover, when one is (very) careful in choosing models to ‘statistically’ compare to one another, as Winston Ewert was in the following paper,

    The Dependency Graph of Life – Winston Ewert – 2018
    Abstract
    The hierarchical classification of life has been claimed as compelling evidence for universal common ancestry. However, research has uncovered much data which is not congruent with the hierarchical pattern. Nevertheless, biological data resembles a nested hierarchy sufficiently well to require an explanation. While many defenders of intelligent design dispute common descent, no alternative account of the approximate nested hierarchy pattern has been widely adopted. We present the dependency graph hypothesis as an alternative explanation, based on the technique used by software developers to reuse code among different software projects. This hypothesis postulates that different biological species share modules related by a dependency graph. We evaluate several predictions made by this model about both biological and synthetic data, finding them to be fulfilled.
    https://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/109

    The Dependency Graph Hypothesis — How It Is Inferred – Andrew Jones – July 23, 2018
    Excerpt: Ewert assumes that every possibility has an equal probability (a flat distribution) because this should introduce the least bias. This may also seem strange, but it is quite common in Bayesian reasoning, where it is called a flat prior. Although the prior distribution of X is technically a choice, and yes that choice has some influence on the result, the way Bayesian reasoning works is that the more data you add, the less the particular choice of prior matters. The important thing is to choose a prior that is not biased; a prior that allows the data to speak, if you like. Bayesian reasoning is important in that it gives us some hope of escaping from the tyranny of fundamentalist presuppositions, whether evolutionist/naturalistic fundamentalism or creationist/biblical fundamentalism (though interestingly Thomas Bayes was a clergyman).
    The idea is that we want to make sure that the many things we don’t know don’t stop us from making reasonable inferences using what we do know.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/the-dependency-graph-hypothesis-how-it-is-inferred/

    ,,, when one is (very) careful in choosing models to ‘statistically’ compare to one another, (as Winston Ewert was in his paper), then we find the dependency graph (intelligent design) model beats out the evolutionary/common descent model. And it beats it out by a ‘statistically’ jaw-dropping, astronomical, degree.

    As Dr. Cornelius Hunter, (PhD – Biophysics), put it, “the dependency graph (intelligent design) model is astronomically superior compared to the common descent model.”

    New Paper by Winston Ewert Demonstrates Superiority of Design Model – Cornelius Hunter – July 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Ewert’s three types of data are: (i) sample computer software, (ii) simulated species data generated from evolutionary/common descent computer algorithms, and (iii) actual, real species data.
    Ewert’s three models are: (i) a null model which entails no relationships between any species, (ii) an evolutionary/common descent model, and (iii) a dependency graph model.
    Ewert’s results are a Copernican Revolution moment. First, for the sample computer software data, not surprisingly the null model performed poorly. Computer software is highly organized, and there are relationships between different computer programs, and how they draw from foundational software libraries. But comparing the common descent and dependency graph models, the latter performs far better at modeling the software “species.” In other words, the design and development of computer software is far better described and modeled by a dependency graph than by a common descent tree.
    Second, for the simulated species data generated with a common descent algorithm, it is not surprising that the common descent model was far superior to the dependency graph. That would be true by definition, and serves to validate Ewert’s approach. Common descent is the best model for the data generated by a common descent process.
    Third, for the actual, real species data, the dependency graph model is astronomically superior compared to the common descent model.
    Where It Counts
    Let me repeat that in case the point did not sink in. Where it counted, common descent failed compared to the dependency graph model. The other data types served as useful checks, but for the data that mattered — the actual, real, biological species data — the results were unambiguous.
    Ewert amassed a total of nine massive genetic databases. In every single one, without exception, the dependency graph model surpassed common descent.
    Darwin could never have even dreamt of a test on such a massive scale. Darwin also could never have dreamt of the sheer magnitude of the failure of his theory. Because you see, Ewert’s results do not reveal two competitive models with one model edging out the other.
    We are not talking about a few decimal points difference. For one of the data sets (HomoloGene), the dependency graph model was superior to common descent by a factor of 10,064. The comparison of the two models yielded a preference for the dependency graph model of greater than ten thousand.
    Ten thousand is a big number. But it gets worse, much worse.
    Ewert used Bayesian model selection which compares the probability of the data set given the hypothetical models. In other words, given the model (dependency graph or common descent), what is the probability of this particular data set? Bayesian model selection compares the two models by dividing these two conditional probabilities. The so-called Bayes factor is the quotient yielded by this division.
    The problem is that the common descent model is so incredibly inferior to the dependency graph model that the Bayes factor cannot be typed out. In other words, the probability of the data set, given the dependency graph model, is so much greater than the probability of the data set given the common descent model, that we cannot type the quotient of their division.
    Instead, Ewert reports the logarithm of the number. Remember logarithms? Remember how 2 really means 100, 3 means 1,000, and so forth?
    Unbelievably, the 10,064 value is the logarithm (base value of 2) of the quotient! In other words, the probability of the data on the dependency graph model is so much greater than that given the common descent model, we need logarithms even to type it out. If you tried to type out the plain number, you would have to type a 1 followed by more than 3,000 zeros. That’s the ratio of how probable the data are on these two models!
    By using a base value of 2 in the logarithm we express the Bayes factor in bits. So the conditional probability for the dependency graph model has a 10,064 advantage over that of common descent.
    10,064 bits is far, far from the range in which one might actually consider the lesser model. See, for example, the Bayes factor Wikipedia page, which explains that a Bayes factor of 3.3 bits provides “substantial” evidence for a model, 5.0 bits provides “strong” evidence, and 6.6 bits provides “decisive” evidence.
    This is ridiculous. 6.6 bits is considered to provide “decisive” evidence, and when the dependency graph model case is compared to comment descent case, we get 10,064 bits.
    But It Gets Worse
    The problem with all of this is that the Bayes factor of 10,064 bits for the HomoloGene data set is the very best case for common descent. For the other eight data sets, the Bayes factors range from 40,967 to 515,450.
    In other words, while 6.6 bits would be considered to provide “decisive” evidence for the dependency graph model, the actual, real, biological data provide Bayes factors of 10,064 on up to 515,450.
    We have known for a long time that common descent has failed hard. In Ewert’s new paper, we now have detailed, quantitative results demonstrating this. And Ewert provides a new model, with a far superior fit to the data.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/07/new-paper-by-winston-ewert-demonstrates-superiority-of-design-model/

    Verse:

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

  42. 42
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Bob O’H
    Hi, professor of statistics here. That’s not what we mean by “random”. For a lot of random processes there is indeed a very discernable pattern

    🙂 You don’t need to be a professor of statistics to know that random and discernable pattern(s) don’t belong in the same sentence regarding genetic code discussion. If we have a code we don’t have randomness .
    We talk about the cause of a mutation not about your ability to make statistics about a mutation.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    LCD points out to Bob, “We talk about the cause of a mutation not about your ability to make statistics about a mutation.”

    And indeed, for Darwinists, random chance is a cause unto itself. As I stated previously, “Completely random mutations are the friggin teleological, (design), denying core of Darwin’s theory for crying out loud!”

    “Johnson has meticulously examined the role of chance in Darwinian evolution and produced a superlative study. By dissecting the mass of Darwin’s writings back to his earliest notebooks, Johnson has concluded that “‘Darwinism’ had a single meaning . . . from beginning to end” (xii) and that chance formed the leitmotif of his thought from his Notebooks B and C commenced in July of 1837 to his death in April of 1882. “A designed world in all of its parts and operations,” he writes, “cannot be a chance world in any (of) them; and a world in which chance plays any role at all seems to be one that excludes a place for an omnipotent designer” (67). Darwin had to choose between a designed world or a world of chance; he chose the latter and adopted a variety strategies aimed a concealing this atheistic proposition.
    Focusing on chance allows Darwinian evolution to come into much sharper metaphysical focus. Johnson’s assertion that Darwin’s departure from Christianity was early and abrupt may be uncomfortable to some, but his detailed and exhaustive analysis makes it hard to argue against the fact that Darwin’s “chance-governed world seems tantamount to a godless world” (xviii). As such, Johnson’s bold and clearly argued thesis makes for an important addition to our understanding of the man and his theory.”
    – Michael Flannery review: “Darwin’s Dice: The Idea of Chance in the Thought of Charles Darwin” – 2017
    https://www.evolutionnews.org/2017/03/darwins-dice-michael-flannery-role-chance-darwinian-evolution/

    TRUE DARWINISM IS ALL ABOUT CHANCE – – NOAH BERLATSKY – JUN 14, 2017
    Excerpt: Chance is an uncomfortable thing. So Curtis Johnson argues in Darwin’s Dice: The Idea of Chance in the Thought of Charles Darwin, and he makes a compelling case. The central controversy, and the central innovation, in Darwin’s work is not the theory of natural selection itself, according to Johnson, but Darwin’s more basic, and more innovative, turn to randomness as a way to explain natural phenomena. This application of randomness was so controversial, Johnson argues, that Darwin tried to cover it up, replacing words like “accident” and “chance” with terms like “spontaneous variation” in later editions of his work. Nonetheless, the terminological shift was cosmetic: Randomness remained, and still remains, the disturbing center of Darwin’s theories.
    https://psmag.com/environment/wealth-rich-chance-charles-darwin-darwinism-chance-meritocracy-89764

    “It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and 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 many 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 ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.”
    – Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology

    Again, for Darwinists, random chance is a cause unto itself. “Completely random mutations are the friggin teleological, (design), denying core of Darwin’s theory for crying out loud!”

    As Stephen Talbott observed in the Darwinian appeal to completely random mutations, “This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle.”

    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

    And as I previously quoted Wolfgang (not even wrong) Pauli as stating, “they (Darwinists) 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.’”

    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)
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/234f/4989e039089fed5ac47c7d1a19b656c602e2.pdf

    Thus, whenever you hear a Darwinist say that something happened randomly, or that it happened by chance, he is not appealing to any realistic mathematically defined probability, (as Bob is trying to pretend), but he is in fact appealing to a cause unto itself which is “more or less synonymous with the old word miracle.”

    Thus for Bob to try to distance Darwinian evolution from its core presupposition of completely random mutations, which, in Darwin thought, are held to be a cause unto themselves, is for him to be completely disingenuous with the actual, teleological denying, theoretical foundation of Darwinian evolution.

    Of supplemental note to, via their appeal to completely random mutations, the Darwinian denial of teleology in biology

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.,,,
    Purposeful arrangement of parts (Dawkins) is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

    Philosopher in NY Times: The Universe Has No Purpose, But We Can Pretend…
    Michael Egnor – August 8, 2017
    Excerpt: Teleology and Aristotelian metaphysics came roaring back in the early 20th century with quantum mechanics and relativity. And quantum mechanics is not the most striking example of teleology in science. Biological science is simply not possible without constant invocation of teleology. Biologists cannot even begin to understand DNA or mitochondria or hearts or brains or enzymes without inference to the goal or natural end of the thing. Biological science is not merely aided by inference to teleology. It cannot be done without profound and deliberate investigation of the telos of biological molecules and organs. “What is it for” is the fundamental and inescapable question in all biological research.
    No explanation of nature — not in biology or physics or in any natural science — makes sense without recourse to final causes. Final cause – teleology — is the cause of causes.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/08/the-universe-has-no-purpose-but-we-can-pretend/

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, 34:

    I suspect that is what terrifies you and other Christians the most, that there is no God, no good, no evil just a vast, pitiless universe that is utterly indifferent to our existence.

    Do you realise you are speaking with people who have had life-transforming encounters with the living God? (Or, do you imagine that projecting delusion and fear etc to us does not raise the issue of fatally undermining the credibility of human minds in general? We are talking of enough millions of people that that would be a very reasonable inference.)

    No, the issue is not that there really is no God, or that our consciences that tell us we are governed by and accountable to built in moral law are also delusions. (BTW, that too is self-referential for much the same reason, save that it immediately implicates the race as a whole. Materialistic atheists and fellow travellers really need to revise their thinking i/l/o multiple tendencies to self referential absurdity.)

    Much more on point in this day and age, is that we can get ourselves into ideological morasses where lawless oligarchies driven by amoral ideologies become open doors for nihilistic tyrannies and associated slaughter. As the past 100+ years make clear beyond all doubt.

    Instead, I suggest, it is time to restore moral knowledge, starting with the very first duties of reason you appealed to by suggesting that Christians lack adequate warrant, have not done duty by right reason and are at best in severe doubt as to truth. The branch on which we all sit built in law opens up a wide range of world-root level questions that we need to address. Starting with, there is one level where the is-ought gap can be bridged, the root of reality.

    KF

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: what part of, we are a race of finite, fallible, morally struggling, too often ill-willed creatures is hard to understand? That ideologies that benumb the conscience and darken the mind to our duties are dangerous? That events over the past 100+ years have clearly documented such?

  46. 46
    jerry says:

    I’ll bring up again, the idea that there is no such thing as random. The forces are so complicated that it makes predictions impossible or incredibly challenging.

    Does anyone believe if I throw a handful of sand across the floor that the position of each grain is not determined by the laws of physics? One would expect certain positions in the genome to be more susceptible to these physical forces than others.

    If the change in DNA is positive, what ever that means, is it just due to the forces operating at any moment in a background environment? Is a white allele persistent in a grizzly bear due first to the specific allele arising due to the forces within and outside the genome and then persisting due to natural selection pressures in the specific ecology it finds itself?

    We just don’t understand all the forces operating simultaneously at such a small level. We just generalize the types of forces operating and then call the detailed minute outcomes unpredictable.

    So we call it random.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, you raise the issue of how we get to a real or apparent random result. I note:

    1: there are quantum processes that seem to be random in the mathematical sense and we use things tied to them to get random results [say a Schottky noise based random number generator], often using other things to flatten the distribution, e.g. a Johnson counter.

    2: We get of course pseudorandom generators such as on computers, which look random but are not.

    3: We can make two deterministic streams of events clash, e.g. in the old days a phone book was sometimes used as a random number generator. (Line codes are determined, process is determined but the lack of correlation gives a good enough random result. Similarly, we can pick far range digits of pi as there is no correlation between the value of pi and the structure of our decimal system.)

    4: We can use sensitive dependence on initial or intervening conditions. E.g. a die falls and tumbles under deterministic laws but is sensitively dependent due to eight corners and twelve edges, so tumbling and settling are effectively random for a fair die.

    5: We can blend.

    KF

  48. 48
    ET says:

    In biology, random, as in random mutations, means not planed, accidental, happenstance. It doesn’t have anything to do with probability. And there still isn’t any scientific theory of evolution.

  49. 49
    ET says:

    JVL:

    What modern biologists ACTUALLY say is that mutations are random with respect to fitness.

    No, they do NOT say that. What is wrong with you? Shapiro’s natural genetic engineering refutes that asinine claim, anyway.

    What modern biologists ACTUALLY say is that mutations are random as in not planned, accidental, happenstance events.

  50. 50
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Regardless, if you want to argue against modern evolutionary theory then argue against what it actually says not what you think is says or what it used to say.

    Link to it so we can all read it to see what it actually says. Or shut up because it doesn’t exist and you are just a scientifically illiterate troll.

    Could it be that modern evolutionary theory doesn’t say what you think it says?

    No one seems to be able to find such a theory. So, anyone can say whatever they want about it because obviously it doesn’t exist.

  51. 51
    ET says:

    On page 208 of “Evolution” third edition 2013, Futuyma, Mutation as a Random Process:

    The spontaneous process of mutation is stochastic rather than deterministic

    spontaneous, as in happening in a natural way without being planned or thought about

    He goes on to clarify that “the environment does NOT induce adaptive mutations”. (caps added)

    There isn’t anything that says what JVL claims. In Mayr’s book, “What Evolution Is”, all he says is that chance rules supreme in the production of variation. Again, not one word in support of JVL.

  52. 52
    JVL says:

    ET: The spontaneous process of mutation is stochastic rather than deterministic

    What does stochastic mean? I know but do you know.

    He goes on to clarify that “the environment does NOT induce adaptive mutations”. (caps added)

    Correct.

    In Mayr’s book, “What Evolution Is”, all he says is that chance rules supreme in the production of variation. Again, not one word in support of JVL.

    And yet, it has been shown on this forum that some regions or domains of the genome have a higher mutation rate. So, do we go with the latest and greatest data or . . . .

    Oh, by the way, for those who can’t get their heads around mutations being random but also within a pattern: consider heights of human beings. If you pick a human being at random you have no idea what their height will be . . . except . . . you can have a pretty good guess as to the range it will fall into.

    If you plot the heights of all human beings you will probably get a somewhat normal distribution. So, while the height of any one person is random it will most likely fall within that normal distribution. As opposed to a purely random event which would have a flat distribution. Example: rolling a fair die: six possible outcomes, all equally likely. But, again, each roll is a random event.

    There are lots of probability distribution functions. They each describe the distribution of a random variable.

    In biology, random, as in random mutations, means not planed, accidental, happenstance. It doesn’t have anything to do with probability.

    Why are you arguing about things you don’t know about? For example: explain the difference between a normal and student-t distribution. Can you categorise a Poisson distribution? What kind of random events are best modelled with a binomial distribution?

    There are lots and lots of different kinds of random variables with corresponding different pdf’s. (You can look up pdf, I’m not doing the work for you.) But you think: there is only one kind of random. You don’t understand or have be taught a lot of refinements which are essential for understanding real world events. But you will never, ever admit there are a lot of topics you don’t know and don’t understand.

    Go to you local university library. Go to the mathematics area (if you can’t find it then there’s something else you should learn). Find the statistics stuff. Pick up one of the books near the end of the section. See if you understand anything that is on the pages. And think: is this all BS because I don’t understand it OR maybe I still have a lot to learn.

    I’ll leave it with you.

  53. 53
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    There are lots and lots of different kinds of random variables

    🙂 Oh my , is this your answer ? Clueless much ? What can you tell us about “randomness” (mutation) that take place inside the genetic code and not inside a volcano or in the ocean ? Did you forget what was the discussion about?

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note to Darwinists trying to downplay directed’ mutations as if they are not a huge problem for Darwin’s theory; Dr. Denis Noble, President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, wholeheartedly disagrees with the Darwinists’ hand-waving dismissal.

    In the following video around the 2:00 minute mark, , Dr Denis Noble states that,

    “around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
    – Denis Noble – Rocking the foundations of biology – video – 2:00 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/UeqEBrnai4s?t=121

    And Dr. Noble, (when Darwinists tried to downplay just how devastating ‘directed’ mutations actually are to Darwin’s theory), stated that “If, as the commentator seems to imply, we make neo-Darwinism so flexible as an idea that it can accept even those findings that the originators intended to be excluded by the theory it is then incumbent on modern neo-Darwinists to specify what would now falsify the theory. If nothing can do this then it is not a scientific theory.”

    Central tenets of neo-Darwinism broken. Response to ‘Neo-Darwinism is just fine’ – 2015
    Excerpt: “If, as the commentator seems to imply, we make neo-Darwinism so flexible as an idea that it can accept even those findings that the originators intended to be excluded by the theory it is then incumbent on modern neo-Darwinists to specify what would now falsify the theory. If nothing can do this then it is not a scientific theory.”
    – Denis Noble – President of International Union of Physiological Sciences
    https://jeb.biologists.org/content/218/16/2659

    Verse:

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

  55. 55
    ET says:

    JVL:

    And yet, it has been shown on this forum that some regions or domains of the genome have a higher mutation rate. So, do we go with the latest and greatest data or . . . .

    You are just dim. Just because they have higher mutation rates doesn’t mean it isn’t just down to chance.

    In biology, random, as in random mutations, means not planed, accidental, happenstance. It doesn’t have anything to do with probability.

    Why are you arguing about things you don’t know about?

    I know more about this than you ever will. So shut up.

    Page 208 supports what I said. You lose. And yes, he goes over the fact that some regions are more prone to mutations. You lose. So does Mayr. You lose.

    Stochastic means without planning, also. MIndless and mechanistic.

  56. 56
    ET says:

    “Evolution” third edition, Futuyma, 2013- a university textbook:

    Mutations occur at random. It is extremely important to understand what this statement does and does not mean. It does not mean that all conceivable mutations are equally likely to occur, because, as we have noted, the developmental foundations for some imaginable transformations do not exist. It does not mean that all loci, or regions within a locus, are equally mutable, for geneticists have described differences in mutation rates, at both the phenotypic and molecular levels, among and within a loci. It does not mean that environmental factors cannot influence mutation rates: radiation and chemical mutagens do so.

    That is how mainstream biology uses the term. Mostly, though, they just use the words “errors and mistakes” that occur during copying and transcibing: Universally high transcript error rates in bacteria

    Again, when biologists say “random mutation” they are talking about mutations being accidents (from mutagens) or errors and mistakes from the copying and transcription processes. They don’t calculate the probability to make that determination. It is the underlying assumption of evolutionary biology.

    And yes, ID says otherwise. That is the heart of the debate- whether or not mutations are accidents, errors or mistakes, OR are they somehow directed. That, along with what can differential accumulations of genetic change actually do?

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    As ET clarified, “when biologists say “random mutation” they are talking about mutations being accidents (from mutagens) or errors and mistakes from the copying and transcription processes. They don’t calculate the probability to make that determination. It is the underlying assumption of evolutionary biology.”

    And these random accidents, errors, and mistakes are held by Darwinists, (as a core presupposition), “to be at the source of every innovation, and of all creation in the biosphere” – (Jacques Monod)

    What is interesting, (and self-refuting for Darwinists), is that to even be able to say that something is an accident, error, or mistake, in the first place you must first have a backdrop of intentional design that has been departed from in order for you to be able to claim that a mutation was an unintentional accident, error, or mistake.

    As Dr. Egnor, via Aristotle, explains, “a farmer who ploughs his field and by chance discovers a treasure buried by someone else. The treasure is discovered by chance, but everything else — the farmer’s ownership of the field, his decision to plough it, the accumulation and burial of the treasure by the other man — is purposeful, and in fact the only reason the accident of discovery happened is because it is embedded in a world of purpose. Chance can’t happen — the word has no meaning — in an entirely accidental world. Chance presupposes design.”

    Evolution Presupposes Intelligent Design: Case of the Coronavirus – Michael Egnor – April 7, 2020
    Excerpt: Aristotle saw this in his definition of chance in nature — chance is the accidental conjunction of purposeful events. Without purpose there can be no chance. His example is instructive: he considered a farmer who ploughs his field and by chance discovers a treasure buried by someone else. The treasure is discovered by chance, but everything else — the farmer’s ownership of the field, his decision to plough it, the accumulation and burial of the treasure by the other man — is purposeful, and in fact the only reason the accident of discovery happened is because it is embedded in a world of purpose. Chance can’t happen — the word has no meaning — in an entirely accidental world. Chance presupposes design.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/04/evolution-presupposes-design-the-case-of-covid-19/

    Likewise, in biology, to say a mutation is a random event, it must happen in the backdrop of intentional design. As Egnor further explained, “random events only occur, and have their meaning, against a backdrop of purpose and design — in this case, the designed systems, (of),, bodies,”

    COVID-19, Random Mutations, and Aristotle’s Matrix of Design – May 14, 2020
    Excerpt: Egnor also discusses the role of random mutations in viruses and draws upon Aristotle to argue that these and other random events only occur, and have their meaning, against a backdrop of purpose and design — in this case, the designed systems, the bodies, that viruses invade.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2020/05/covid-19-random-mutations-and-aristotles-matrix-of-design/

    For an easy to understand and illustrative example, randomly choosing a card from a deck of cards necessarily presupposes a deck of cards that was first intelligently designed.

    Yet Darwinists deny that backdrop of design. And it is in that denial of a backdrop of design that Darwinists become ‘very irrational’ (Pauli), and is precisely what prevents Darwinists from ever being able to give a rigid mathematically defined probability of a chance event occurring.

    To repeat Pauli, “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.’”

    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)
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/234f/4989e039089fed5ac47c7d1a19b656c602e2.pdf

    Of related note, Murray Eden expressed very much the same sentiment as Pauli in regards to the unscientific nature in which Darwinists use the term ‘random’, i.e. “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.”

    “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.

    Yet, as Dr. Egnor pointed out, Darwinists simply cannot provide a mathematical context in which a chance event can be said to occur unless they first presuppose a purposeful context and/or universe in which the chance event can be said to occur.

    Thus, it is very much a damned if you do, damned if you don’t, situation for Darwinists. If they refuse to rigidly define chance so as to become scientific they are, as Pauli put it, ‘very irrational’. But if, on the other hand, they rigidly define chance so as to try to become scientific, then they must necessarily define those chance events against a backdrop of purposeful, intentional, design. Again, as Dr. Egnor succinctly summed it up, “Chance presupposes design.”

    Of semi-related note to the fact that “chance presupposes design”, it is very interesting to note that in quantum mechanics it is now shown, and as the late Steven Weinberg pointed out, “In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure,”

    The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics – Steven Weinberg – January 2017
    Excerpt: In the instrumentalist approach,,, humans are brought into the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. According to Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, “it was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to the consciousness.”11,,,,
    ,,, In quantum mechanics these probabilities do not exist until people choose what to measure, such as the spin in one or another direction. Unlike the case of classical physics, a choice must be made,,,
    http://quantum.phys.unm.edu/46.....inberg.pdf

    Thus in quantum mechanics itself, (our most foundational scientific description of reality), we find that intelligent agency itself preexists the existence of quantum probabilities.

    Which is, (fairly obviously), a rather dramatic confirmation of Dr. Egnor’s contention, via Aristotle, that “Chance presupposes design.”

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  58. 58
    Bob O'H says:

    You don’t need to be a professor of statistics to know that random and discernable pattern(s) don’t belong in the same sentence regarding genetic code discussion.

    No, you need to be ignorant of genetics (which, to be fair, some professors of statistics are). But if you know something about genetics then you’ll know that there are patterns in genetics codes. There are even patterns in mutations: they vary across the genome, and also the changes in points mutations are not equal (e.g. if you have a G, the probability that is changes to a T, A, or C are not equal).

    We talk about the cause of a mutation not about your ability to make statistics about a mutation.

    You may have been, but Barry was most certainly not talking about causes in his comment, which is what I was responding to.

  59. 59
    ET says:

    You have to be ignorant of genetics to say that differential accumulations of mutations produced the diversity of life.

    Looking at you, Bob O’H…

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