Intelligent Design speciation

First-ever natural narwhal-beluga hybrid found, has bizarre teeth

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From ScienceDaily:

A team of researchers has compiled the first and only evidence that narwhals and beluga whales can breed successfully. DNA and stable isotope analysis of an anomalous skull from the Natural History Museum of Denmark has allowed researchers to confirm the existence of a narwhal-beluga hybrid.

The hybrid’s skull was found on the roof of a hunter’s toolshed in Greenland.

“As far as we know, this is the first and only evidence in the world that these two Arctic whale species can interbreed. Based on the intermediate shape of the skull and teeth, it was suggested that the specimen might be a narwhal-beluga hybrid, but this could not be confirmed. Now we provide the data that confirm that yes — it is indeed a hybrid,” says Eline Lorenzen, evolutionary biologist and curator at the University of Copenhagen’s Natural History Museum of Denmark. Lorenzen led the study, which was published today in Scientific Reports.

Using DNA and stable isotope analysis, the scientists determined that the skull belonged to a male, first-generation hybrid between a female narwhal and male beluga.

The hybrid’s skull was considerably larger than that of a typical narwhal or beluga. But the teeth were markedly different. Whereas narwhals have only one or rarely two long spiraling tusks, belugas have a set of uniform conical teeth that are aligned in straight rows. The hybrid skull has a set of long, spiraling and pointed teeth, that are angled horizontally.

“This whale has a bizarre set of teeth. The isotope analysis allowed us to determine that the animal’s diet was entirely different than that of a narwhal or beluga — and it is possible that its teeth influenced its foraging strategy. Whereas the other two species fed in the water column, the hybrid was a bottom dweller,” according to Mikkel Skovrind, a PhD student at the Natural History Museum and first author of the paper.

Paper. (open access) – Mikkel Skovrind, Jose Alfredo Samaniego Castruita, James Haile, Eve C. Treadaway, Shyam Gopalakrishnan, Michael V. Westbury, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Paul Szpak, Eline D. Lorenzen. Hybridization between two high Arctic cetaceans confirmed by genomic analysis. Scientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44038-0 More.

For all we know, this could be common. If it’s a bottom dweller, who was looking? Maybe hybridization plays a bigger role in evolution than we supposed. And then schoolbook Darwinism plays a smaller one.

See also: Bird, Tested And Released, Turned Out To Be A Hybrid Of Three Species

Is The Recently Cited Hybrid Dolphin-Whale A “New Species”? No.

and

A physicist looks at biology’s problem of “speciation” in humans

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109 Replies to “First-ever natural narwhal-beluga hybrid found, has bizarre teeth

  1. 1
    hazel says:

    I have a limited background in this topic, but I thought hybridization was a fairly accepted part of evolutionary theory, and especially common in plants.

  2. 2
    Brother Brian says:

    For all we know, this type of hybridization could be common. If it’s a bottom dweller, who was looking?

    This has to rank up there with one of the daftest statements said here (other than anything from ET). Whales aren’t exactly unseen. They breathe air so they are on the surface every few minutes. Both belugas and narwhals are seen quite frequently. And the Arctic is literally littered with whale skeletons. If it were common, it would have been seen before.

    Hazel

    I have a limited background in this topic, but I thought hybridization was a fairly accepted part of evolutionary theory, and especially common in plants.

    My only correction to your statement is that hybridization is not “fairly” well accepted. It is a universally accepted part of evolutionary theory.

  3. 3
    PaV says:

    From “Epic of Evolution” website:

    Some biologists dismiss the importance of rare events. Others, like Nolan Kane and his colleagues present convincing evidence that rare events, when useful to the organism, spread quickly throughout vast geographical regions. A single rare hybridization event quickly takes over an entire region. Some of these hybridization events allow organisms to inhabit new new places.

    Rare events! How does that square with Darwin’s insistence on gradualism?

  4. 4
    AaronS1978 says:

    I always thought that hybridization explains the fossil record a little bit better than the gradual change of species

    And think of it once you have one hybridize a species they spread and other species and they hybridize

    And then we have all of these different species that all look like they relate

    That’s just my take on it in my humble opinion but I really do believe that hybridization has a bigger role to play then people to give it credit for

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    This has to rank up there with one of the daftest statements said here

    Not when compared to your posts. Just read the article:

    Whereas the other two species fed in the water column, the hybrid was a bottom dweller,” according to Mikkel Skovrind, a PhD student at the Natural History Museum and first author of the paper.

    Brother Brian proves that it cannot read and only wants to attack.

    It is a universally accepted part of evolutionary theory.

    Of course it is. Except there isn’t any scientific evolutionary theory.

  6. 6
    PaV says:

    AaronS:

    This type of hybridization has long been considered here at UD. It’s called, “front-loading.” But, as with all such cases, the question always becomes, “Where did this information come from?” Insects can’t mate with mammals. So where did ‘insect’ information come from? Where did ‘mammal’ information come from?

    You can consider evolution via hybridization as a kind of random sampling of a genome. However, where did the genome come from? Where did all those ‘body-types’ come from in the Cambrian?

    This is the dilemna for evolution. It cannot propose a mechanism whereby either the initial, or totally new, information arises. It is a fatal flaw in Darwinian theory–and in neo-Darwinian theory, and in the Neutral Theory, etc.

  7. 7
    Brother Brian says:

    Natural selection relies on a source of heritable variation in the reproducing population. Darwin didn’t know what the source of this variation was. Mutations are the ultimate source, but we now know that various genetic shuffling are also a source. As are HGT and hybridization. Hybridization, even if rare, can introduce traits into a population that did not previously exist. Maybe they are a dead-end in most cases. But they don’t always have to be.

    The point is that hybridization is a well understood mechanism. ET’s ad hominems and parroted nonsense claims about no theory of evolution do not change this.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Natural selection relies on a source of heritable variation in the reproducing population.

    Natural selection relies on the untestable assumption that all genetic changes are happenstance occurrences. If that assumption is wrong, and the evidence says that it is, then the concept is in need of change. And it is just a process of elimination. The less fit get eliminated over time. It isn’t a mechanism that can account for whales, that’s for sure.

    The point is that hybridization is a well understood mechanism.

    And unaccounted for via blind and mindless processes. Hybridization is just sexual reproduction between two phenotypically different organisms, for example different species. Which, as I said, is unaccounted for via blin and mindless processes.

    Brother Brian’s ad hominems, projections, lies, bluffs and equivocations, while amusing, are neither an argument nor evidence. And it is strange that no one can reference a scientific theory of evolution They can link to people talking about it but never to the actual theory. It is very telling that all Brother Brian can do is spew ad hominems rather than ante up something beyond the normal equivocations and lies.

  9. 9
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978

    And think of it once you have one hybridize a species they spread and other species and they hybridize

    But does it really work this way? Correct me if I am wrong, but you are suggesting that hybridization results in a blending of two species (or populations). But does this really happen? On the borders of two populations, you may see this, as we see it with wolves, coywolves, coyotes, etc. But for the bulk of either population all we see is the introduction of a few traits due to some hybridized traits becoming fixed in the population.

    Humans are an ideal example. We see more “hybridization” (ie, interbreeding) between the three major races than we have probably seen in recorded history. Yet there are still distinct Caucasian, Asian and African populations. Maybe, in the distant future, the entire human race will be a blended, bland, dark beige sameness, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  10. 10
    PaV says:

    Brother Brian:

    Your mutterings @7 are no more than Darwinian orthodoxy. You’re a true believer. But to someone who is not a true believer, it sounds like someone telling you that if you eat spinach, you’ll be as strong as Popeye.

    Let me ask you this: in a population of animals that reproduce as clones, how much genetic diversity would you expect there to be?

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Maybe, in the distant future, the entire human race will be a blended, bland, dark beige sameness, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Maybe, in the distant past, the entire human race was a blended, bland, dark beige sameness. Isn’t that what the evolutionary story would tell us? And depending on what skin tone Adam and Eve had, that could also be true of the Creation Story.

  12. 12
    Brother Brian says:

    PaV

    Let me ask you this: in a population of animals that reproduce as clones, how much genetic diversity would you expect there to be?

    When you find a population of animals that solely reproduces as clones, I will answer your question.

  13. 13
    AaronS1978 says:

    @bb

    Now I most certainly don’t claim to be an expert on this but when you look at the fossil record there are abrupt changes and another species replaces it that is very similar but yet different, I always thought this might be better explained by fertile hybrids.

    Now about humans has you brought up above ( it reminded me of the South Park episode LOL) I often think about the possibility between Neanderthal and humans. The very fair skin of people from Europe versus those of African American dissent contrast greatly and I never could get my head around the fact that just because you lived in a colder climate with less sun you would suddenly lose that pigment because of some mutation, lack of use, or fairer skinned had some survival advantage.

    There are many theories for this but to be terribly honest with you I always lean towards the fact that Neanderthal was the source of the fair skin

    Hybridization between the two species

    One of the reasons why i object to many of the fair skin theories is because of the fact that we have had millions of African-American descent that live in those climates and show no sign for that type of change. However the trait can be easily explained by the intermingling of those two species

    Again I’m not an expert at this I’m just expressing my opinion on why I disagree with it

    We can never really know how it works no matter what we’re just not capable of building a time machine to find out

    But the intermingling between two species producing a new species seems like a pretty safe bet

    @PaV

    Now to answer your question, the immortal jellyfish is colonies of clones of itself it’s been around for millions of years with no real change i believe If that answers your question about genetic diversity. Millions of bacteria do the same every time they divide cellularly even the clones are slightly different given the spacing of mitochondria between the two divides 1/2 might get three mitochondria while the other half gets one in the mitochondrion themselves are different and sometimes have different genetic code

    So the genetic diversity is slight at best. But if I’m getting what you’re hinting at there is no change and you are correct.

  14. 14
    PaV says:

    BrBrian:

    Such a population has been found. So, what’ your answer?

  15. 15
    Fasteddious says:

    This poor whale – a half-breed – is socially rejected by its kin on both sides and forced to become a bottom feeder.
    Where are the SJW’s and their intersectional concerns?

  16. 16
    AaronS1978 says:

    Lol this was not what I was expecting to read, I choked a little, thank u good sir 🙂

  17. 17
    PaV says:

    Brother Brian:

    Please see @ 14.

  18. 18
    PaV says:

    Aaron S:

    I just saw the answer you gave @ 13. No, that wasn’t what I had in mind. It is an actual fish species I had in mind.

    You say:

    So the genetic diversity is slight at best.

    in reference to the ‘immortal jellyfish.’ Let’s wait for Br Brian to answer. Then I’ll cite a paper.

  19. 19
    Mimus says:

    Knowing that a species is clonal is not really enough information to guess at the amount genetic diversity. It’s quite possible for a population to be clonal (because one clone has swept to fixation) or for there to be a lot of among-clonal-lineage diversity (large population size, geographical structure or differeing patterns of selection over time or in space will all have the same effect).

  20. 20
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    You say: “Knowing that a species is clonal is not really enough information to guess at the amount genetic diversity.

    Certainly you could “guess”. You might not “know,” but you could guess. Yet your answer suggests that you’ve looked around the internet and now know the answer. And we hear nothing from Brother Brian.

  21. 21
    Brother Brian says:

    PaV

    Such a population has been found. So, what’ your answer?

    Do all individuals in this population have identical genomes?

  22. 22
    Brother Brian says:

    AaronS1978

    Now I most certainly don’t claim to be an expert on this but when you look at the fossil record there are abrupt changes and another species replaces it that is very similar but yet different, I always thought this might be better explained by fertile hybrids.

    I don’t doubt that this occurs.

    There are many theories for this but to be terribly honest with you I always lean towards the fact that Neanderthal was the source of the fair skin.

    Again, I wouldn’t rule this out as a possibility. Or at least as a contributing factor. However, I don’t think that you can ignore the fact that black skinned people produce less vitamin D, and white skinned people are more prone to skin cancer. It seems to me that it hot sunny climes, being black might be an advantage in that it lessens the probability of skin cancer; and being white skinned in northern (less sunny climes) might be advantageous in that it allows more vitamin D production.

    We can never really know how it works no matter what we’re just not capable of building a time machine to find out

    I think we agree on this. All we can do is lean towards the theory that explains more of the data. In some cases, it may be a balance of different theories.

    But the intermingling between two species producing a new species seems like a pretty safe bet.

    And this is not rules out by evolution. By definition, hybridization inserts increased variation into a population. In some (probably most) cases the offspring will have lower fitness. But There is no reason to think that some hybrids may have increased fitness.

    Now to answer your question, the immortal jellyfish is colonies of clones of itself it’s been around for millions of years with no real change i believe If that answers your question about genetic diversity. Millions of bacteria do the same every time they divide cellularly even the clones are slightly different given the spacing of mitochondria between the two divides 1/2 might get three mitochondria while the other half gets one in the mitochondrion themselves are different and sometimes have different genetic code

    So the genetic diversity is slight at best. But if I’m getting what you’re hinting at there is no change and you are correct.

    But this simply is not true. It is well known that pure strains of bacteria (clones) maintained in the laboratory slowly become different than their wild strain ancestors. That is why researchers who maintain a bio-bank of archetype bacterial strains (e.g., specific strains of E. coli) must re-isolate from wild populations after a number of generations.

  23. 23
    Brother Brian says:

    PaV

    I just saw the answer you gave @ 13. No, that wasn’t what I had in mind. It is an actual fish species I had in mind.

    There was a type of “new” crayfish that I read about (last year, I think) that is an invasive species and reproduces, as far as we know, only by cloning. Ecologically, asexual reproduction can be a very effective strategy, at least for the short term. And we see this strategy being employed by several species, ranging from bacteria to (apparently) crayfish. What we have found when we study cloning species more closely is that many of them still undergo some process of genetic exchange (e.g., plasmid transfer in bacteria, conjugation in protozoans, sexual reproduction in water fleas) every now and then.

    A cloning strategy can afford a population rapid reproduction when they are in ideal environmental conditions, and result in them filling the available niche. However, this strategy also comes with a risk. Environmental change or the introduction of a new pathogen can result in a complete crash of the cloned population. It will be interesting to see the long-term outcome of the cloning crayfish as it is known that it is the result of a recent mutation of a sexually reproducing crayfish.

  24. 24
    AaronS1978 says:

    But this simply is not true. It is well known that pure strains of bacteria (clones) maintained in the laboratory slowly become different than their wild strain ancestors. That is why researchers who maintain a bio-bank of archetype bacterial strains (e.g., specific strains of E. coli) must re-isolate from wild populations after a number of generations.

    Do you mean in the sense that environmental factors can actually change the DNA of the species I’m not disagreeing with that, are you saying the fact that mitochondria can’t be miss placed during cellular division which that is absolutely true, That’s actually one of the reasons why things that are genetically identical can be different. This is even the case with mitochondria they can process proteins quicker than others and during cellular division two the mitochondria That process protein quicker than the other to get locked in one cell and the other cell get shafted.

    Or are you saying that it is incorrect that genetic diversity between clones is not minimal or slight as I stated, but actually quite different and at that point we would be debating what we feel is minimal and what we feel is not minimal

    Other than that from what I’m getting from you I think we are arguing the same difference when it comes to hybridization I’m not discounting evolution. More on the lines that I think certain mechanisms of evolution were a little bit more prominent than they are giving credit for

  25. 25
    PaV says:

    Here’s a paper that deals with the unexpected heterogeneity of these hermaphroditic, selfing fishes.

    If I only had a dime for every “unexpected” finding biologists come up with. This is simply another result that conflicts with expectations derived from neo-Darwinian “theory.”

    neo-Darwinism saved Darwinism from the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. But now, as they say, “neo-Darwinism is dead.” So, with it, Darwinism is ‘dead.’ Now what?

    What will save Darwinism from final death? (Other than biologists who are completely opposed to alternate thinking)

  26. 26
    Brother Brian says:

    PaV@25, your link supports your view (which still retains sexual reproduction) less than my crayfish example (which is totally asexual). Yet both are completely consistent with evolution.

  27. 27
    Mimus says:

    I can assure I did search for this paper. (and if I had I wouldn’t have found it, since these fish are selfing and not clonal!). The answer came from familiraity with evolutoinary biology, rather than googling to guess you question.

    I find this comment in your follow up post quite remarkable

    neo-Darwinism saved Darwinism from the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium.

    Do you think people went around thinking HWE was proof that evolution couldn't happen before 1920?

  28. 28
    santana says:

    Wait, this is crazy… How come the hybrid feeding habits are different from the parents habits? Foraging at the bottom might comceivably be learned (in this case, self-learned!) But developing a “taste” for new foods that “coincidentally” fits your new teeth… that is crazy!

  29. 29
    Mimus says:

    Here’s a paper that deals with the unexpected heterogeneity of these hermaphroditic, selfing fishes.

    Did you link to the right paper? This one is not about a clonal species and does not conclude there is “unexpected heterogeneity”.

  30. 30
    Brother Brian says:

    Mimus, I agree. I PaV’s example is not a true clonal population. Yet, I provided an example of one that truly is.

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/science/mutant-crayfish-clones-europe.amp.html

    This crayfish meets all of the requirements of a new species. It does not interbreed with others. It has high fitness. And it is only a few years old. Which puts paid to the debt of mutations and selection not being observed to produce new species.

  31. 31
    AaronS1978 says:

    BB There is much debate about the origin of a marbled crayfish

    They think it was a mating accident between two different types of Slough CrayFish

    They just know it’s related they don’t even have an exact origin from it other than the fact that it was definitely part of pet trade and it was bred

    This is not been the first time a new species has risen do to some kind of breeding. In fact the more I read the more it look like this creature wasn’t natural at all, As they put it some kind of breeding accident

    Furthermore they’re not even allowed into the United States which makes it even more suspect, Invasive species and all

    And then finally there is no other instance of the marble crayfish appearing anywhere in Florida which is apparently where it originated from

    I would not attribute this is an example of any kind of natural evolution whatsoever I’m pretty sure we bread that and it was sent over to Germany

    So pun completely intended You’re a crayfish seems kind of fishy oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That hurt my own brain that completely backfired on me

  32. 32
    AaronS1978 says:

    Lol stupid talk text “your crayfish” not You’re a crayfish lol I’m really sorry about that

  33. 33
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    This crayfish meets all of the requirements of a new species. It does not interbreed with others.

    If it clones itself it doesn’t interbreed with anyone, duh. And no one knows if what happened was happenstance or by design.

  34. 34
    AaronS1978 says:

    It wasn’t even so much that it was happenstance it was definitely part of pet trade, And supposedly a breeding accident. The more I read about it the more it look like it was hybridization of two different types of crayfish. It seems a lot like the Africanized honey bee.

    In any case this was not natural it was bred into existence whether it was an accident or if it was on purpose and I kind of think it was on purpose as it would make a perfect feeder animal.

    Another reason for this was its origin was from Florida and not one bit of its population manage to get into Florida is ecosystem at all. It only takes one of these crayfish forward to populate in an ecosystem indefinitely. Secondly, it never occurs again in the population. It only shows up in Europe after it’s released into their ecosystem

    It’s a perfect example of what I am talking about above, hybridization that creates an entirely new species. But what’s important to note here is that this wasnt natural.

  35. 35
    santana says:

    The new feeding habits (foraging at the bottom; taste for new foods) came from nowhere, and just happen to match the new-teeth requirements!?
    Am I missing something?
    Perhaps someone will propose that these habits are not instinctive, and therefore can be learned (actually self-learned) by the hybrid?

  36. 36
    PaV says:

    Brother Brian:

    When you say that ” . . . both are completely consistent with evolution,” this, of course, is always true. Everything is “consistent” with evolution since evolution is no more than “just-so” stories. If some unexpected result is found, new “just-so” stories are formulated. Easy as that.

    Of course, you see the problem here: evolution is unfalsifiable. So, it is meaningless.

  37. 37
    Brother Brian says:

    PaV

    Of course, you see the problem here: evolution is unfalsifiable. So, it is meaningless.

    If there was no variation in populations, evolution would be falsified. If variations were not heritable evolution would be falsified. If there was no source of variation evolution would be falsified. If there was no differential survival based on variations evolution would be falsified. If a cat fossil was found in the Cambrian evolution would be falsified (barring time travel of course 🙂 ).

  38. 38
    AaronS1978 says:

    I’m not sure it’s actually possible with in our physics there could ever be anything that showed no variation. Cyanobacteria, Ctenophora coelacanths elephant sharks and stromatolites all are living fossils with little possibly no variation, which I doubt, but all I’m sure have some type of variation. Even creatures that are 100% clones of them selves have variation of some kind just because of epigenetics and other environmental factors

    Survival of the fittest is just a logic, why would that not be true of course if your fit for your environment you have a better chance of survival

    But that’s the problem I don’t believe you can have any type of creature on this planet that would not have the slightest variation, and being adaptable in an environment that is ever change is the only way to survive unless you are a rock.

    Also Schrodinger the time traveling time cat can still be explained through a series of rapid evolution. Or could be written off as a statical Outlier

    So the only evidence that I can see capable of disproving evolution would have to be something straight bonkers and out side of our realm of cause and effect

  39. 39
    PaV says:

    Brother Brian:

    I’ve adjusted your statement to make it correct:

    If there was no variation in populations, ADAPTATION would be falsified. If variations were not heritable ADAPTATION would be falsified. If there was no source of variation ADAPTATION would be falsified. If there was no differential survival based on variations ADAPTATION would be falsified. If a cat fossil was found in the Cambrian evolution would be falsified (barring time travel of course ???? ).

  40. 40
    Mimus says:

    What do you think adaptation means?

  41. 41
    Brother Brian says:

    Mimus

    What do you think adaptation means?
    Apparently they think that it means design.

  42. 42
    AaronS1978 says:

    Well I think it’s more of an argument towards the semantics of evolution in its definition and how you view it. Evolution often means change, with a dash of teleology, as often evolution is regarded as a change for the better, but that’s predominantly because of our current media. Evolution doesn’t really change for the better, it just changes for whatever works at that time

    I think the real disagreements come from what is the lead cause for change.

    The main factor

    Like in the case of brother Brian and myself he leans towards natural selection being the main factor. Which of course is mutations, which can’t often be predicted, and natural selection selecting the survivable mutations out of the bunch.

    I lean towards life being teleological and having far more control over those factors then what brother Brian is willing to give it or many evolutionists for that matter.

    Neither one of us disagreed with a lot of points that we made above about hybridization I’m not saying that we agreed completely on things we don’t, We just view things differently. You see I just don’t agree that natural selection could create all the biodiversity we have today, Nor do I believe that it’s random and it was strictly for survival.

    What I do believe is that life, it’s self, is the writer of its own evolution (change) and that it does actively adapt versus waiting for some unseen force that has no brain to act upon it by happenstance. I believe life has teleology built into it and that is why I lean towards ID and I’m religious. This is not to say that natural selection doesn’t happen I just don’t think it’s the star of the show it’s more like someone that pulls the curtains aside.

    That is why I except things like hybridization more readily over slow and gradual processes that can be very messy and actually produce a lot of different things that don’t work a.k.a. a lot of guesswork that we really don’t see a lot of in the fossil record

    No that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen, but the way evolution has been described to me is that it is messy and doesn’t know what it’s doing and that it would have to have an incredible number of mutations to produce one successful species. And I would expect to see a lot of mistakes all branching from one species as it continues to change but we don’t we see a lot of different species being molded and sculpted and then suddenly change and I think that’s better explained by hybridization and life having a more active role in its own evolution, Of course you can only say that our physics is the guiding hand of God so again that’s another way of looking at it, natural selection is actual god acting on his creation.

    Now you can argue that certain body parts and organs are mistakes and have no function. But how often do we find that they had function or still have function and we were wrong about our original assumption.

    Anyways, species seem to come and go only because something dramatic killed them or they magically disappeared, and I think a lot of those disappearances can be attributed to intermingling with other species in creating something better and more adept

    But life doesn’t wait for evolution or I won’t say evolution, I’ll say natural selection to act on it. natural selection is a common sense strategy it’s built into cause-and-effect, but life actively adapts for example bacteria can use crispr to remove genetic markers to protect them selves from viruses

    life has so many of these bizarre but amazing novelties that seem to just perfectly work in their environments.

    So don’t get me wrong life changes and if you’re using evolution as a definition for change yeah that’s true

    But I don’t believe life just sits there and waits for some stupid event to happen like a mutation or an extinction event.

    And if you want to perfect example of that, the most perfect example of a species not waiting for natural like selection to take its place well look at us

  43. 43
    PaV says:

    ADAPTATION is not progressive: it is conservative; it tends to the status quo. Of course, as Gould told us, the great hidden secret of paleontology is that what the fossil record demonstrates is mostly “stasis.”

  44. 44
    Mimus says:

    Honestly PaV, are you OK? You are not making a lot of sense.

  45. 45
    AaronS1978 says:

    :-/ Are you really honestly asking if he’s OK or are you just plainly mocking his statement

  46. 46
    Mimus says:

    The first one. These posts are verging on the the kairosfocus/BA77 level, I don’t engage with those two because ti’s pretty clear they have an unhealthy relationship to this site. Hopefully PaV isn’t joining them.

  47. 47
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    If a cat fossil was found in the Cambrian evolution would be falsified .

    Nonsense. For one you don’t even have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes so forget about cats.

    Yet both are completely consistent with evolution.

    That all depends on what you mean by “evolution”, as blind watchmaker evolution can’t even produce eukaryotes so forget about a crayfish.

  48. 48
    ET says:

    Brother Brian:

    Which puts paid to the debt of mutations and selection not being observed to produce new species.

    You continually equivocate and that is very telling. Even YECs accept that speciation occurs and that it is driven by variation- designed in variation produced by built-in responses to environmental cues (Spetner 1997).

  49. 49
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    Honestly, I’m perfectly OK.

    When I was eight, I could jump 10 inches high; when I was sixteen, I could jump 20 inches high; when I was 24, I could jump 30 inches high; therefore, when I’m 32, I’ll be able to jump 40 inches high, and when I’m 40, I’ll be able to jump 50 inches high.

    Microevoluion is NOT macroevoluion. Darwin made the mistake of extrapolating small changes into huge changes, and evolutionary biologists (Darwinists) ever since have perpetuated this mistake. However, modern biology and its powerful genetic analyses bring out the error being made. Now, it’s just ‘true believers’ propping up an antequated theory, much like the Ptolemians.

    IOW, ADAPTATION is NOT evolution. Hence, the substitution. Read Behe’s “Edge of Evolution”.

  50. 50
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    Adaptation has its limits. Random processes can only do so much. Species revolve around certain specifications. They, for the most part, remain unchanged. Species come into existence, remain the same, and then disappear. So the fossil record tells us.

  51. 51
    PaV says:

    Brother Brian and Mimus:

    The paper I linked to stands on its own. But I actually couldn’t find the paper I read about four to six months ago, that dealt with an actual clonal population that exhibited an unexpectedly high level of heterozygosity. I couldn’t find the paper. The paper I linked to was close enough to what the othe paper presented: heterozygosity where it wasn’t expected, which undermines neo-Darwinian thinking.

    As to your quote above, Mimus, yes, indeed, Darwinism was being discarded by biologists at the turn of the twentieth century. R.A. Fisher, and others, “saved” it. Read up on the history of all this. Mendelism flew in the face of Darwinian thought, and the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibria encapsulated the problems Darwinian theory faced given the newly discovered (1895) genetic laws of Mendel.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    Mimus [44], personalising, polarising and dismissing without consideration of merits is an old tactic, and a fallacious one. KF

    PS: You and others may profit from the UD weak argument correctives. I note for one that adaptation of life forms (often by loss of function) and cumulative incremental change is not a viable answer to creation of the 10 – 100+ million bases worth of fresh genetic info and associated regulation required to account for novel body plans. Such a change requires passing an ocean of non-function in config space [which already undermines descent with incremental change leading to claimed unlimited modification] to reach new islands of function from molecular to gross anatomy levels. The scope of atomic and temporal resources of the observed cosmos, much less our planet, are negligible relative to what would be required for blind incrementalism to do the job. The dominant evolutionary materialist school of thought prevails, not on its empirically backed merits, but by ideological lockout and indoctrination; as Lewontin let the cat out of the bag on 22 years ago. What the empirical evidence actually warrants is clear: functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information beyond 500 – 1,000 bits is on trillions of cases only seen to come from intelligently directed configuration. That is readily explained on blind search challenge for beyond astronomical configuration spaces, where just 500 bits corresponds to 3.27*10^150 possibilities and every additional bit doubles the space. Where too, per description language, any configuration can be reduced to a bit string. And if you imagine that self-replication evades this, to account for self-replication per von Neumann kinematic self-replicator is a classic case of origin of such FSCO/I.

    PPS: All you need to get a guest post at UD is to put up a substantial argument. Many contributors started as commenters and their comments led to invitation to contribute. I have a longstanding offer to anyone who can put up an up to 6,000 word solid justification of blind watchmaker OOL and OO body plans. [Flexible limit, set by what people are willing to read as long copy: think of it as exec summ of the case.] Unlimited linking elsewhere but you need to have a substantial overview in a coherent essay. It was eye-opening to see the want of a take-up, across a full year, I eventually patched together a composite to see what the best shot looked like. I HEREBY FORMALLY CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE UP THE UD PRO-DARWIN ESSAY CHALLENGE. You have chased the car, here are the keys, get in and drive.

  53. 53
    Mimus says:

    I realise many of you will think I’m being disingenuous or snide, but I really think posts like the ones above represent an unhealthy attitutude to this topic and this website. Like I say, that’s not something I can feel very good about encouraging, so I’ll continue to not engage.

  54. 54
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mimus

    What do you think adaptation means?

    Of course, adaptation means “evolution”. ha ha.

    The theory of evolution. “There is heritable variation in populations”.

    Wow. Definitely the most powerful theory known to mankind. And we actually observed it occurring!! Bacteria turned into human beings. The theory of adaptation.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    PaV

    IOW, ADAPTATION is NOT evolution. Hence, the substitution. Read Behe’s “Edge of Evolution”.

    It’s one of those card-tricks that evolutionists like to play on the public. The most insignificant variation is extrapolated into an explanation for all of the biological diversity on earth.

  56. 56
    PaV says:

    Here’s a paper I ran across where it is asserted that Mendel did his experiments as a way of undermining Darwin’s theory.

  57. 57
    PaV says:

    Here’s the abstract of a paper published in the Journal of Heredity:

    The abstract reads:

    Although the past decade or so has seen a resurgence of interest in Mendel’s role in the origin of genetic theory, only one writer, L. A. Callender (1988), has concluded that Mendel was opposed to evolution. Yet careful scrutiny of Mendel’s Pisum paper, published in 1866, and of the time and circumstances in which it appeared suggests not only that it is antievolutlonary in content, but also that it was specifically written in contradiction of Darwin’s book The Origin of Species, published in 1859, and that Mendel’s and Darwin’s theories, the two theories which were united in the 1940s to form the modern synthesis, are completely antithetical.

    N.B. You can get a pdf, but it gets you to a infected site; so, be careful.

  58. 58
    PaV says:

    From a course:

    The fact that Mendel’s work powerfully supported Darwin’s theory wasn’t realisedimmediately. In fact in the early years of the 20th century, the re-discovery of Mendel’s workboosted the reputations of biologists who opposed Darwin’s theory of natural selection.These Mendelians (De Vries, Bateson), worked on the inheritance of large-scale differencesbetween individuals. These traits segregated in breeding tests in Mendelian fashion andshowed a clear particulate pattern of inheritance. De Vries, Bateson and others concluded thatevolution proceeded in big jumps, via macromutations, and that species arose in one or a fewsteps as discrete mutations. If species can arise purely by mutation, their origin does notrequire natural selection and so they dismissed Darwin’s key principles of natural selectionand gradual change.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    Mimus, the challenge to make your case is on the table. Your evasion so far is duly noted, as is the doubling down on personalities and projections. KF

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Mimus says:

    PaV,

    The challenge of mendalism was getting continuous traits and change out of discrete genetics. It was not that people thought HWE meant populations couldn’t change.

  62. 62
    Mimus says:

    KF,

    I HEREBY OFFICIALLY DECLINE YOUR INVITATION TO SPENT MY TIME WRITING AN ESSAY FOR THE SORT OF TOTALLY NORMAL AND WELL ADJUSTED PERSON WHO ISSUES ALL CAPS CHALLENGES TO PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET.

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    Mimus, it is duly recorded that you imply that you cannot actually adequately warrant the blind watchmaker thesis for origin of life and/or of body plans. (NB: Had such warrant existed, it would be trumpeted all over the Internet, so we can take it to the bank that reticence to take up the offer to host the making of the case is a strong sign that there is no such actually well founded case.) Thus, on fair comment, it is duly noted that intelligently directed configuration routinely accounts for functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information such as is a characteristic feature of life. Indeed, such FSCO/I can rightly be described as a reliable sign of design, on trillions of observed cases with no counter-examples. On further fair comment, it is observed that the blind watchmaker thesis dominates by ideological imposition and lockout of alternatives that actually meet the Newton Rules test, e.g. being an actually observed cause of a phenomenon. In that context, rhetorical games, barbs and personalities stand exposed as distractive from the merits as just summarised. G’day, KF

    PS: Lewontin inadvertently let the cat out of the bag:

    . . . to put a correct [–> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people’s heads

    [==> as in, “we” the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making “our” “consensus” the yardstick of truth . . . where of course “view” is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]

    we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> “explanations of the world” is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised “demon[ic]” “supernatural” being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

  64. 64
    hazel says:

    Lewontin, again!!! 🙂 It would be interesting to have a count of how many times kf has posted this over the years.

  65. 65
    ET says:

    Hazel- It would be even more interesting to count how many times people responded to Lewontin with your type of dismissive posts vs how many actually responded with something coherent.

  66. 66
    daveS says:

    Just think, if the multiverse exists, somewhere there’s a Lewontin who obsessively posts a passage by KF over and over, to similar effect …

  67. 67
    Brother Brian says:

    DaveS@63, thanks for the Saturday morning chuckle. I almost spit my coffee. 🙂

  68. 68
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    The challenge of mendalism was getting continuous traits and change out of discrete genetics. It was not that people thought HWE meant populations couldn’t change.

    The challenge for Darwinian theory was to accomodate Mendelian ‘discreteness’ with Darwin’s insistence on gradualism; not the other way around.

    The HWE posits stasis, not change. I didn’t say the HWE meant populations couldn’t change. As I said @49: “Mendelism flew in the face of Darwinian thought, and the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibria encapsulated the problems Darwinian theory faced given the newly discovered (1895) genetic laws of Mendel.”

    What was needed was a theory that, contrary to de Vries saltational view, could meld Mendelian discreteness with continous, small variations and still yield a progressive type of evolution. Fisher and his fellow neo-Darwinists felt they had succeeded in doing so. For many decades this was accepted as so.
    However, many modern-day biologists now consider neo-Darwinism dead. So now what?

    With neo-Dawinism removed, we’re back to the early twentieth century. IOW, please explain macroevolution.

    And, of course, we’ve all heard about small populations and frequency change and such. None of it, I’m sorry, passes muster.

    However, we can square de Vries denial of small mutations leading the way forward with Fisher’s insistence that variation alone-small variations, is sufficient to move evolution along. They can be combined using Behe’s “First Rule of Adaptative Evolution.” (Notice this word “Adaptation” shows up again. How interesting!) Yes, numerous small deleterious mutations can ‘adapt’ a population to its environment; but, “big jumps” (De Vries) are needed to move evolution forward, and not just sideways. That’s where infused information is needed and a Designer detected.

    Again, how do you explain macroevolution in a way that makes sense and is consistent with the facts? Behe’s Rule is consistent with the facts.

  69. 69
    kairosfocus says:

    H, Lewontin let the cat out of the bag. I note that, over the years, there has been a refusal to face what has been inadvertently exposed. In case you think Lewontin is making an idiosyncratic remark, I append a less colourful but equally telling remark by the Board of the US Science Teachers’ Association. I have reason to put the matter on the table as a reminder, until there is a responsible facing of the realities of the cat that jumped out of the bag. KF

    PS: NSTA, July 2000:

    All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. [–> yes but a question-begging ideological imposition is not an accurate view] Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation [–> correct so far]. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts [–> evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed] and the laws and theories related to those [–> i.e. ideologically loaded, evolutionary materialistic] concepts . . . . science, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products [–> censorship of anything that challenges the imposition; fails to appreciate that scientific methods are studied through logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, which are philosophy not science] . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science [–> a good point, but fails to see that this brings to bear many philosophical issues], a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations [–> outright ideological imposition and censorship that fetters freedom of responsible thought] supported by empirical evidence [–> the imposition controls how evidence is interpreted and that’s why blind watchmaker mechanisms never seen to actually cause FSCO/I have default claim to explain it in the world of life] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument [–> ideological imposition may hide under a cloak of rationality but is in fact anti-rational], inference, skepticism [–> critical awareness is responsible, selective hyperskepticism backed by ideological censorship is not], peer review [–> a circle of ideologues in agreement has no probative value] and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic [= evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed by definition, locking out an unfettered search for the credibly warranted truth about our world i/l/o observational evidence and linked inductive reasoning] methods and explanations and, as such [–> notice, ideological imposition by question-begging definition], is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> sets up a supernatural vs natural strawman alternative when the proper contrast since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is natural vs artificial] in the production of scientific knowledge. [US NSTA Board, July 2000, definition of the nature of science for education purposes]

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    DS (& attn BB circle), I suggest you attend to the just above, then soberly face the implications of the cat Lewontin inadvertently let out of the bag. KF

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, Hazel and BB, I now extend the formal challenge to you. There has been more than enough of evasions, distractions and snide dismissiveness on your part above. Now, let us see you submit an up to 6,000 word summary on the empirically and analytically founded warrant for blind watchmaker thesis origin of life and of major body plans, including a justification of the implicit claim that functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information per observation does come about by blind causal forces such as chance and mechanical necessity. Note PaV’s point also. It is time to step up to the plate. KF

  72. 72
    daveS says:

    KF,

    We had a discussion of the Lewontin piece a ways back. I believe I came to a good understanding of the meaning of that passage. For you, this notion that Lewontin “inadvertently let the cat out of the bag” is an idée fixe which will just not let go.

    I know nothing about the origin of life, as I’m pretty sure you are aware.

  73. 73
    Mimus says:

    The HWE posits stasis, not change

    Any highschool intro to HWE, and in fact Hardy’s paper, starts with the list of assumptions that have to hold for stasis. One of the key ones is the absence of selection.

    No one ever thought HWE implied stasis. The initial importance of the equation was to show that dominant traits wouldn’t naturally take over the population (a mistake the biometricians made), subsequently it became an important basis for other calculations but “posited” nothing.

    People have been talking about the death of Darwinian evolution since Darwin’s day. The small minority of biologists who hold these views today don’t seem to be any more persuasive than their predecessors.

  74. 74
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mimus

    Any highschool intro to HWE …

    Ding, ding, ding!! First class skills from troll college. Didn’t we just say it?

    Translation: “You are so stupid that even high school students know more science than you do.”

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    People have been talking about the death of Darwinian evolution since Darwin’s day. The small minority of biologists who hold these views today don’t seem to be any more persuasive than their predecessors.

    I hope there will always be someone around to try to keep it alive. So far, as you correctly say, there are quite a lot of biologists who see no problem with Darwinian theory at all. “There are no weaknesses in evolutionary theory” as some have affirmed. In my view, it is preposterous but it remains worthwhile trying to learn about why the theory remains dominant.

  76. 76
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    HWE stands for Hardy-Weinberg Equilibria. Equilibria doesn’t sound like change to me.

    From Hardy’s 1908 paper:

    In the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (Vol I., p. 165) Mr. Yule is reported to have suggested, as a criticism of the Mendelian position, that if brachydactyly is dominant “in the course of time one would expect, in the absence of counteracting factors, to get three brachydactylous persons to one normal.”

    It is not difficult to prove, however, that such an expectation would be quite groundless. Suppose that Aa is a pair of Mendelian characters, A being dominant, and that in any given generation the numbers of pure dominants (AA), heterozygotes (Aa), and pure recessives (aa) are as p:2q:r. Finally, suppose that the numbers are fairly large, so that the mating may be regarded as random, that the sexes are evenly distributed among the three varieties, and that all are equally fertile. A little mathematics of the multiplication-table type is enough to show that in the next generation the numbers will be as

    (p + q)2 : 2(p + q)(q + r) : (q + r)2, or as p1:2q1:r1, say.

    The interesting question is – in what circumstances will this distribution be the same as that in the generation before? It is easy to see that the condition for this is q2 = pr. And since q12 = p1r1, whatever the values of p, q, and r may be, the distribution will in any case continue unchanged after the second generation.

    Isn’t this enough evidence for you? Hardy was defending Mendelism, not Darwinism.

  77. 77
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    I just read your full post. You seem to understand what Hardy was doing. Hardy mentions his math is based on random mating. Obviously, breeders didn’t rely on that. What became of HWE and how it was later understood is different than actual equations themselves.

    But certainly it is not an equation giving us dynamics nor was it a defense of Darwinism.

    As to the death of Darwinism, I didn’t say Darwinism was dead. I said that there are evolutionary biologists, mostly taken with evo-devo, who aver that “neo-Darwnisms” is dead.

    Darwinism isn’t dead; it’s just impotent. (for the most part; i.e., the more interesting part of evolution)

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, your dismissal and accusation of closed mindedness on my part are without merit, that is snide, uncalled for behaviour of setting up and knocking over a strawman. That some have previously refused to face the substantial point previously cannot justify repeating that error this time. Indeed, it is a sign of projection, strawman caricature, and more. Instead, on manifest facts as marked up, the inadvertently revealing substance of Lewontin and NSTA (as well as many other similar cases) is demonstrable. All I did was to mark up. I have also put the challenge to you and others to warrant the core blind watchmaker thesis scientific claims objectively. Absent such, the ideological imposition of a priori, absolute evolutionary materialistic scientism is both manifest and utterly without warrant. Indeed, it is a betrayal of our civilisation’s heritage of intellectual freedom. Rather than fruitless repetition of refusal to attend to manifest facts, I suggest you actually answer the challenge on the merits: ______ . Then, face its consequences of utter self-referential undermining of the credibility of the mind ____ and of moral government ____ (And all of these can also be documented.) In fact, blind watchmaker thesis accounts of origins have never been warranted, they were imposed ideologically, part of a much broader breakdown, squandering and betrayal of our civilisation’s intellectual inheritance. We are going bankrupt and there will be literal hell to pay if we do not turn back from the brink. It may be too late as beyond a certain point the momentum of the slide over the cliff is irrecoverable. KF

  79. 79
    daveS says:

    KF,

    There you go again with the “evolutionary materialistic scientism” shtick, apropos of nothing.

    All I’m saying is that I’m confident you are misinterpreting Lewontin (see our previous discussion for details). END

  80. 80
    daveS says:

    Correction: You bring up “Evolutionary materialistic scientism” in connection with your interpretation of Lewontin’s position here, so not out of the blue.

  81. 81
    hazel says:

    kf writes, “DS, Hazel and BB, I now extend the formal challenge to you.”

    Baloney! 🙂

    There is a huge body of literature about evolution, and some clear distinctions, I am sure, about the difference between metaphysical and physical statements about what has happened. To expect a few laypersons to summarize all that in 6000 words is silly.

    Here’s my challenge to you. Write up a summary of all your arguments about design and do something with them to impact a wider audience of qualified persons rather than posting repetitively on some relatively obscure internet forum with three or four diehards who are willing to keep discussing things with you. Will you accept that challenge?

  82. 82
    hazel says:

    P.S. kf writes, “I have also put the challenge to you and others to warrant the core blind watchmaker thesis scientific claims objectively.”

    Well, I am not a materialist, so I have no interest in defending materialism. Also, I think “blind watchmaker” is a terrible metaphor.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    H, there is no adequate warrant for the blind watchmaker chance + necessity leads to OOL and to OO body plans claims, starting with the first decisive point of failure: there is no adequate, empirically warranted blind watchmaker account of the origin of FSCO/I. By utter contrast, there are trillions of observed cases by intelligently directed configuration [i.e. design], and an analysis of search challenge for large config spaces that readily shows why. The vast literature does not actually establish what is claimed, though that it does is commonly asserted or assumed or even taught as practically certain fact. The challenge stands. KF

    PS: Blind watchmaker is Dawkins’ phrase.

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, evolutionary materialistic scientism unpacks the substance of “naturalism,” and is an appropriate descriptive phrase given the sorts of claims that have been advanced over the years. Ponder the NSTA statement as a further case in point — one that has effectively been backed by the US NAS through their joint threatening letter over definition of science to the state of Kansas. And yes, that — unsurprisingly — lines up pretty closely with what Lewontin and many others have admitted. Sir Francis Crick’s remarks in his The Astonishing Hypothesis and Alex Rosenberg’s the physical facts fix all the facts come readily to mind. KF

  85. 85
    daveS says:

    KF

    what Lewontin and many others have admitted

    Once again, the tactic of falsely framing the passage as an “admission” (cf., “he let the cat out of the bag”).

    As in, “Oh $#!+, I can’t believe I accidentally exposed our evolutionary-materialistic-scientism agenda in a book review in one of the most influential English-language publications in the world!”

  86. 86
    Brother Brian says:

    There is a new drinking game that is going viral. Every time KF mentions Lewontin, Plato or Crick, you take a drink. The hospital emergency wards are being swamped with cases of alcohol poisoning. I hear that Trump will be making a speech from the White House pleading with people to stop this insanity.

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, that an admission against interest is inadvertent does not transform it into something else than an admission; try for instance just this part: “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute , for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . .”. The relevant facts are explicitly there to be seen, and the terms used are also highly revealing on attitude. The NSTA assertions are subtler but are in the same vein. KF

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    BB, translation, you have no cogent answer to the facts on the table but have no intention to heed their import. You also need to answer to what the NSTA put on the table and much more. KF

  89. 89
    daveS says:

    KF,

    The problem is simply that you’ve misinterpreted Lewontin. This example is similar to the 9/11 truthers who claim that Larry Silverstein “admitted” in a television interview that WTC7 was deliberately rigged to fall.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, nope. Yes, he is somewhat critical but does describe an instantly recognisable pattern. I am highlighting that pattern, which is a legitimate use of what he says, e.g. who are the we, who else are held to believe in imaginary and irrational demons and are to be indoctrinated otherwise by the we, what is the a priori absolute ideological/worldview commitment of the we and how does it shape how evidence is read, etc. And it is telling that as I have pointed to other indicative cases, there is apparently no responsiveness to that. There is no parallel whatsoever between a straightforward description of a dominant ideology by a member of the relevant elites and 9/11 conspiracism. That is a telling case of attempted tainting by invidious association on your part and frankly you owe an apology for that. KF

  91. 91
    Brother Brian says:

    KF

    BB, translation, you have no cogent answer to the facts on the table but have no intention to heed their import.

    Translation, I (KF) am deficient in humor.

    You also need to answer to what the NSTA put on the table and much more.

    Why would you think that? I have no relationship with the NSTA.

  92. 92
    hazel says:

    kf, I know “blind watchmaker” is Dawkin’s phrase. It’s still a terrible metaphor.

  93. 93
    Mimus says:

    PaV,

    But certainly it is not an equation giving us dynamics nor was it a defense of Darwinism.

    No, but your claim was the Darwinian had to be “saved” from HWE. I presume you have now realised that was not the case?

    As to the death of Darwinism, I didn’t say Darwinism was dead. I said that there are evolutionary biologists, mostly taken with evo-devo, who aver that “neo-Darwnisms” is dead.

    And as I said, folks have been saying that since Darwins time. It’s not clear the “extended synthesis” crew having anything more to offer than their predecessors though…

  94. 94
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    . . . but your claim was the Darwinian had to be “saved” from HWE. I presume you have now realised that was not the case?

    Maybe it’s you who have to realize that, indeed, there was an antipathy between geneticists and Darwinists.

    This is from Wikipedia on “Mutations”:

    In 1901 the geneticist Hugo de Vries gave the name “mutation” to seemingly new forms that suddenly arose in his experiments on the evening primrose Oenothera lamarckiana, and in the first decade of the 20th century, mutationism, or as de Vries named it mutationstheorie,[33][29] became a rival to Darwinism supported for a while by geneticists including William Bateson,[34] Thomas Hunt Morgan, and Reginald Punnett.[35][29]

    Understanding of mutationism is clouded by the mid-20th century portrayal of the early mutationists by supporters of the modern synthesis as opponents of Darwinian evolution and rivals of the biometrics school who argued that selection operated on continuous variation. In this portrayal, mutationism was defeated by a synthesis of genetics and natural selection that supposedly started later, around 1918, with work by the mathematician Ronald Fisher.[36][37][38][39] However, the alignment of Mendelian genetics and natural selection began as early as 1902 with a paper by Udny Yule,[40] and built up with theoretical and experimental work in Europe and America. Despite the controversy, the early mutationists had by 1918 already accepted natural selection and explained continuous variation as the result of multiple genes acting on the same characteristic, such as height.[37][38]

    The name Yule should ring a bell. Hardy’s paper was a rebuttal of Yule’s contention that dominant alleles would quickly spread (via NS, one supposes). Hardy says that , no, the allelic elements would remain unchanged from one generation to the next.

    It wasn’t until Fisher’s first paper—and much experimentation in the lab, which indicated that certain traits could become ‘fixed’ over time, that a way forward was found wherein Darwinism and Mendelism could be “synthesized.”

    So, no, my claim is fully consistent with the historical record. One hundred years later, after so much massaging to genetics with Darwinian theory, it’s not surprising that the original tension between Mendelism and Darwinism becomes blurred.

    Finally, HWE is an equilibrium. It argues for stasis, not change. This thread has concerned itself with a hybrid between a narwhal and baluga whale. This is a case of “mutationism” a la de Vries; it’s not a case of “gradual” evolution.

  95. 95
    Mimus says:

    PaV, you are searching wikipedia to find articles you think justify the mistake you made at the start of this thread. Why don’t you just step back and learn about this topic without trying to cover for your initial misunderstanding?

    Yule didn’t think selection would make a dominant spread, he was just confused enough to think dominance itself would make a trait push out the recessive traits (I think Yule actually thought it would naturually arise to 3:1 dominant:recessive, though the question that spurred the letter to Hardy was about simply rising in frequency). It really just shows how people (even important early statisticians like Yule) just didn’t comprehend mendelian genetics. Hardy just shows that, absent selection and a bunch of other assumptions, the frequency of traits would remain constant . Nothing in this is a problem for Darwinian evolution and it the HWE was never considered as such. Fisher didn’t even cite Hardy’s paper and never referred to Hardy’s law (as it was known in his time).

  96. 96
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    What is my initial misunderstanding? That I thought HWE doomed Darwinian theory to the dustbin of history? That was not my position; nor is it now.

    You’ve misunderstood, and continue to misunderstand the simple point I was making: the HWE, in your own words, ” . . . shows that, absent selection and a bunch of other assumptions, the frequency of traits would remain constant .”

    Nature tends to an equilibrium point. Any significant change must overcome this tendency. Species appear in the fossil record, continue on with little change, and then disappear. (Gould) Stasis.

    The HWE fits right in. There’s frequency change among alleles. But then hybridization takes place and mixes things up again (like a narwhal and a beluga). Mutations move a population in one direction; and, then, after a while, it pushes them in another direction. Over eons of time, all these changes “average out”: i.e., stasis.

    I’ve read all the books out there that are supposed to teach us how macroevolution takes place. They’re mostly “just-so” stories. I throw them down on the table, frustrated with the stilted logic they employ. Recently, I was reading Nei’s “Mutation Driven Evolution,” or whatever it’s titled, and, again–and, I’ll add, surprisingly, I stopped reading it because it was obvious that the hypotheses he presented and explained were not nearly powerful enough to explain anything other than what can be termed ‘adaptation.’

    I suspect some of these books you take as truth-tellers and accept them as “Gospel.” I do not. You’re from England, or one of the British Colonies, wherein Darwinism arose and was embraced. I’m much more open-minded towards such things.

    By the way, have you read Fisher’s 1918 paper? I have.

    From the Stanford Enyclopedia of Philosophy:

    Fortunately for Darwin’s theory, inheritance does not actually work the way Jenkins thought. The type of inheritance that we call ‘Mendelian’, after Gregor Mendel, is ‘particulate’ rather than ‘blending’—offspring inherit discrete hereditary particles (genes) from their parents, which means that sexual reproduction does not diminish the heritable variation present in the population. (See section 2, ‘The Hardy-Weinberg Principle’, below.) However, this realisation took a long time to come, for two reasons. Firstly, Mendel’s work was overlooked by the scientific community for forty years. Secondly, even after the rediscovery of Mendel’s work at the turn of the twentieth century, it was widely believed that Darwinian evolution and Mendelian inheritance were incompatible. The early Mendelians did not accept that natural selection played an important role in evolution, so were not well placed to see that Mendel had given Darwin’s theory the lifeline it needed. The synthesis of Darwinism and Mendelism, which marked the birth of modern population genetics, was achieved by a long and tortuous route (Provine 1971).

    By the way, have you read Provine’s book? I have.

    Please stop understanding the HWE from the 21st Century view, and try and see it in its historical setting.

  97. 97
    Mimus says:

    Your initial mistake was to think Darwinism had to be saved from the HWE. This is not true. As I said, Fisher doesn’t even refer to Hardy’s law, let alone treat it as a problem.

    You now claim you were only saying HWE shows trait and allele frequencies don’t change if a bunch of assumption hold? You do know one of the assumptions is the population is infinitely large? How will nature every get over this obstacle?

  98. 98
    Silver Asiatic says:

    PaV

    You’re from England, or one of the British Colonies, wherein Darwinism arose and was embraced.

    It’s sort of like a national religion, or at least something very sacred to most of the people there.

  99. 99
    ET says:

    hazel:

    I know “blind watchmaker” is Dawkin’s phrase. It’s still a terrible metaphor.

    Cuz you say so, really? Let’s take a look-

    Evolution and natural selection are posited to be ruled by blind, mindless and purposeless processes. A blind watchmaker would have a purpose and a mind to make it happen. So hey, hazel has a point, albeit misguided.

    No one knows how to test the claims of evolution by means of blind, mindless and purposeless processes. It is as unscientific as concepts come.

  100. 100
    ET says:

    hazel:

    Write up a summary of all your arguments about design and do something with them to impact a wider audience of qualified persons rather than posting repetitively on some relatively obscure internet forum with three or four diehards who are willing to keep discussing things with you.

    What qualified people? Are you talking about the people who cannot, will not and have not ever supported the claims of evolution by means of blind, mindless and purposeless processes? If so what makes them qualified to assess anything? Those people are clearly losers on an agenda of lies and obfuscation.

  101. 101
    ET says:

    daves:

    The problem is simply that you’ve misinterpreted Lewontin.

    Then you should be able to make a case showing that he did so. You definitely don’t get to just say so and think it’s over.

  102. 102
    Bob O'H says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 98 – not really (writing as someone who grew up in the UK. It’s just part of the furniture, like any accepted science. Most people don’t really think about it.

    FWIW, this goes for other parts of the UK, not just England.

  103. 103
    daveS says:

    ET,

    I did, in the first iteration of this discussion. It had no effect. Like in each new episode of the Simpsons, it’s as if the previous 600 episodes had not happened.

  104. 104
    ET says:

    Can you link to it?

  105. 105
    daveS says:

    ET,

    I don’t know that I could find it. Searching for “Lewontin” on this blog yields an enormous number of hits.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    I have always noted, cat out of the bag, i.e. unintentional disclosure that is revealing. That is clear and there is no responsible parsing that can change the fact that Lewontin was a senior member of the scientific elites, as was Sagan. Further, that he consciously spoke from knowledge of the views of said elites, and that is backed up by other sources and actions, including official actions by representative bodies.

    Third, the characterisation of theists as irrationally believing in imaginary demons (echoing Sagan in his book) is simply inexcusable . . . such should never have passed any half competent editorial board, yet it was published in Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World (including in the title!) and again in Lewontin’s NYRB review — and we did not see any strong repudiation of the characterisations.

    Fourth, it is very clear that he saw the elites as setting out to indoctrinate to impose a “correct” view, though the very notion that science is “the only begetter of truth” is self referentially incoherent, is itself revealing. Further, the issue of a priori imposition of evolutionary materialism on the science and linked public education [the context of the discussion] are explicitly there in the text, as Johnson highlighted in his reply in First Things that November. Where, every one of these can be supported by a long train of statements and actions including some under colour of law. Dawkins’ ignorant, stupid, insane . . . or wicked is little better and speaks to the problem, his notorious passage on God speaks again.

    So, we have every fair comment right to cite the remarks, to highlight and point out the objectionable content, and more. Had the content been racist instead it would never have passed scrutiny, but instead it is against “fundamentalism,” which it seems to be acceptable to say just about anything to disparage.

    Again, we also have every right to point out that this is not just an idiosyncratic view but one backed up by a long list of telling cases –watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_ygt_mqzO8 .

    KF

  107. 107
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    Your initial mistake was to think Darwinism had to be saved from the HWE.

    There is no mistake on my part; the mistake is on your part.

    Here’s what I said @51:

    Mendelism flew in the face of Darwinian thought, and the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibria encapsulated the problems Darwinian theory faced given the newly discovered (1895) genetic laws of Mendel.

    If I use the HWE as a shorthand for the argument–mostly won by the Mendelians in the early 1900’s, that Mendelian discreteness, while solving the problem of dilution of characters, nevertheless raised the problem of where mutations come from that would be large enough to overcome the kind of equilibrium segregation of alleles points to.

    I have posted quote after quote demonstrating that Mendelism, encapsulated in the HWE, was a blow to NS/Darwinism.

    Stop with the nitpicking. I knew exactly what I was talking about. And is historical fact. Fisher was making a completely different argument than Yule. Hardy was addressing Yule. It should then be no surprise that Fisher didn’t address Hardy. That Mendelism would later be fully incorporated into Darwinian theory, as neo-Darwinism, does not mean that Mendelism and Darwinism were always friendly. My point; and something you seem not willing to acknowledge.

    I wrote about this above @58. I quoted from a course:

    The fact that Mendel’s work powerfully supported Darwin’s theory wasn’t realised immediately. In fact in the early years of the 20th century, the re-discovery of Mendel’s work boosted the reputations of biologists who opposed Darwin’s theory of natural selection.These Mendelians (De Vries, Bateson), worked on the inheritance of large-scale differences between individuals. These traits segregated in breeding tests in Mendelian fashion and showed a clear particulate pattern of inheritance. De Vries, Bateson and others concluded that evolution proceeded in big jumps, via macromutations, and that species arose in one or a few steps as discrete mutations. If species can arise purely by mutation, their origin does not require natural selection and so they dismissed Darwin’s key principles of natural selection and gradual change.

    Did you get that? The re-discovery of Mendel’s work boosted the reputations of thos who opposed Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Now whose view does this support?

    As a follow up to @58, here’s a continuation of the lecture notes of a course given at University College of London:

    This was disputed by the Biometricians(Galton, Pearson, Weldon). Their focus was on small rather than large differences between individuals. They developed statistical techniques to describe how distributions of traits within populations changed from parental to offspring generations. Galton et al concluded that evolution proceeded via steady shifts of populations and saw no need to invoke macromutational events to explain phenotypic novelty.

    These two groups couldn’t resolve their differences for a considerable period. Modernevolutionary theory came into being between the 1920s and 1950s with contributions from many fields, genetics, paleontology, systematics and classification. These melded to produce the Neo-Darwinian Theory– reconciling Darwin’s theory with the facts of genetics. This is often referred to asThe Modern Synthesis. This synthesis resolved the debate between the Mendelians and the Biometricians. Many contributed but the 3 most significant intellectswere Ronald Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane and Sewall Wright. They worked on the mathematicaltheory that lay behind the Modern Synthesis.

    If Mendelism and Darwinism fit hand-in-glove, then why is there a need to “[resolve] the debate between Mendelians and the Biometricians”?

    Is it your position, then, that neither Mendelian genetics nor HWE, which was a defense of Mendelism against claims about NS, had no effect on the perceived views of mainstream evolutionary biologists at the turn of the twentieth century, and that Mendelism naturally “evolved” into the Modern Synthesis with little resistance? If so, I would say that such a view is severely skewed and flies in the face of historical facts.

    What about Provine? In his last book, just before his death, completely denied that random genetic drift takes place–the very underpinnings of population genetics. Shall we just sweep all of this under the rug?

    The supposed accomodation of Mendelism and Darwinism, which we know as the Modern Synthesis, is apparently based on fundamental misunderstandings of alleles and allele frequencies and such, and how they actually work in practice.
    Whole genome analysis demolishes this “Synthesis” day-by-day.

    Take, for example, Biston bistulleria: its color change has been attributed to a transposon showing up in one of the introns coding for the cortex gene. Introns are considered “junk-DNA” by population geneticists. The change in its melanic form didn’t come about by a change in allele frequencies via NS. The mutation just showed up–a la de Vries and Bateson. Classical population genetics can’t explain this. It’s not the “survival of the fittest” but the “arrival of the fittest.”

  108. 108
    Mimus says:

    I have never run into someone so pathologically unable to admit a simple mistake. You said HWE was something that Darwinism had to be saved form it. It’s prefectly clear that’s simply not the case. Do you even you belive your post hoc justifications? Would it be so hard to say, “OK, I misunderstood this”

    As to the rest… I din’t say mendalism and Darwinism fited hand-in-glove. In fact, I said, the challenge Fisher met was getting continuous change our of discrete genetics. That happened, without a single reference to Hadry’s law, so its clean HWE wasn’t part of the problem.

    The rise and fall of black peppered moths absolutely 100% “come about by a change in allele frequencies via NS”.No one has ever cliamed natural selection creates alleles.

  109. 109
    PaV says:

    Mimus:

    Complete rubbish. Try again.

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