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Irreducible Complexity Example #123,456 — Water Skippers

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When I was a kid, for a weekend getaway, our family used to visit a place in the woods of northern Idaho. A stream flowed through the campsite, and I remember seeing these fascinating insects called water skippers. They moved on the surface of the water on their “feet,” supported by the water’s surface tension.

How did these creatures evolve by random mutation and natural selection in a step-by-tiny-step fashion? Did proto-water skippers sink and drown, and then random errors introduced into the proto-water skipper genetic code produce semi-skippers, some of whom drowned and others that eventually skipped without drowning?

Which mutations would be required in this process? What is the likelihood of them occurring? How would they work? How many dead skippers would be required to complete this evolutionary process? Would enough proto-skippers be available?

Of course, Darwinists never address these questions and challenges — which any legitimate scientist involved in any rigorous scientific discipline would immediately be required to address and defend, or be summarily dismissed as a crackpot — because Darwinists have no answers or defenses, only fantasies and creative storytelling.

The purpose of this essay is to point out that irreducible complexity is not an exception but a rule — in fact, it is basically a law of nature. Discontinuity and discretized function, not gradualism, are found everywhere, whether in the laws of physics that govern the universe or in virtually every aspect of the machinery that drives the functionality of living systems.

All of this is obviously the product of design. The notion that it is the product of chance and necessity is clearly irrational.

Sorry, should have read "Even Joe managed to get the gist" wd400
Written on a phone, I think you can fill in the gaps (hell, even managed to get the gist): "the mysterious Darwinism everyone here think[s] is a synonym for evolutionary biology". "Very High Standards" wd400
wd400, ...and something about Mozart and they mysterious Darwinism everyone here think is a synonym for evolutionary biology... ...What I do find surprising is that these Very Hish Standards... Sorry wd, but these comments are completely incomprehensible. Have you been sniffing WD-40? Surely you must be aware that you are doing much more damage to your cause than good. GilDodgen
wd400- Darwinian spewage is not knowledge. And Darwinism also refers to the modern synthesis as nothing really changed- it is all still accumulations of random mutations/ variations. And natural selection is STILL the ONLY proposed designer mimic As for a field of science- BWAAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAA- your position can't be tested, it has to be assumed. Joe
Joe. Comment 10, in which Gil admits to having found out nothing about upon which he held forth. And "Darwinism" is either an historic term, to describe a movement in the 19th century, or, perhaps a term we could use to describe theories or parts of evolution which deal specifically with natural selection. But that's not all that evolutionary biology is about, so it's silly to use a narrow term as synonym for a wide field. My suspicion is that certain people find it easier to fight an "-ism", especially one attached to a single person, than it is to fight an entire field of science. wd400
wd400- Do you have any evidence to support you tripe pertaining to Gil not having a clue about the topics he holds forth on? Or are bald assertions and false accusations the best you have? And Darwinism is a synonym for evolutionary biology. I would love for you to present any evidence to the contrary. Or is it that YOU don't have a freaking clue? Joe
Gil, I don't think anyone that reads UD is unaware of the fact that you program Very Very Complex Simulations, that you are Very Clever and that Engineers are super heroes who are held to Very High Standards (and something about Mozart and they mysterious Darwinism everyone here think is a synonym for evolutionary biology). What I do find surprising is that these Very Hish Standards don't include having the first clue about topics you hold forth on. Good to know though. wd400
Boys and girls, let's sing the evolution song for Gil, to cheer him up- feel free to clap: Poof, the magic Mutant (to the tune "Puff the Magic Dragon") Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be. Little Richard Dawkins, loved that rascal Poof. And wrote him books to appease the kooks, oh what a silly goof! Oh Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be Together they would mutate Poof into a beluga whale Richard kept a spectroscope trained on Poof’s mutating tail. Nobel things and atheists bowed whene’er they came Scientists would lower their flasks when Poof mutated a mane Oh Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be Mutations can’t go on forever, just like little boys Antennaed wings and giant things doom nature’s mutant ploys One gray night it happened, natural selection said no more And Poof that Magic Mutant, mutated one last roar His head was bent in sorrow, his tears fell like rain Richard no longer went to write it gave him so much pain Without his life-long friend Dick could not be brave So Dick that evo-poofer sadly slipped in to his cave Oh Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be Poof the Magic Mutant, a-t-g-c And changed them just by randomness just to see what he could be (repeat chorus and fade...) See, they have a song, it must be true... Joe
wd400, Is that penetrating lubrication times 10? Changes in expression of Ubx explain the leg-length pattern for instance. But I’m sure you researched this before you wrote your "essay"? Dear WD-40 times ten, Of course I did not. If one were to explore the endless fantasies and empirically unsupported speculations of Darwinists, one would have to waste countless thousands of lifetimes. I'm a software/aerodynamics/mechanical engineer in aerospace R&D. We are held to impeccable standards of empirical verification. No such standards exist for Darwinian speculators, yet they demand the same amount of respect as those of us who are involved in legitimate science. So, wd400, please address the challenges I presented: Which mutations would be required in this process? What is the likelihood of them occurring? How would they work? How many dead skippers would be required to complete this evolutionary process? Would enough proto-skippers be available? You won't be able to, because you have no idea, and neither does anyone else. If Darwinian speculation were legitimate science, these issues would be addressed in the literature, with empirical verification, rather than endlessly unsupported speculation. Those of us who are held to high standards of empirical verification in legitimate science, as opposed to Darwinists -- who are free to speculate endlessly with no accountability, and declare themselves the defenders of science -- are disgusted with the damage Darwinism has done to the reputation of the scientific enterprise. GilDodgen
Since most traits require multiple proteins, it's illogical to believe natural selection would retain proteins that are ineffectual. AND, to believe all necessary proteins would come about (and within a relatively short period of time) by pure random chance, is laughable. Blue_Savannah
In the concluding chapter of The Blind Watchmaker Richard Dawkins said this:
To 'tame' chance means to break down the very improbable into less improbable small components arranged in series. No matter how improbable it is that an X could have arisen from a Y in a single step, it is always possible to conceive of a series of infinitesimally graded intermediates between them. However improbable a large-scale change may be, smaller changes are less improbable. And provided we postulate a sufficiently large series of sufficiently finely graded intermediates, we shall be able to derive anything from anything else, without invoking astronomical improbabilities. We are allowed to do this only if there has been sufficient time to fit all the intermediates in. And also only if there is a mechanism for guiding each step in some particular direction, otherwise the sequence of steps will career off in an endless random walk.
I see at least these problems with Dr. Dawkins' claim. His series of infinitesimally graded intermediates has to end with the creation of a new protein. The probability that a new functional protein being created is in itself infinitesimally small. The creation of a new protein is a very long way from creating a new body plan. If indeed a new protein is the first step in creating a new body plan, then it seems to me that that first protein places a certain constraint on the following protein, however loose that constraint may be. This suggests that the next protein in the series has a slightly lower probability of occurring. As each successive mutation occurs, the specification for that protein becomes more and more restrictive and thus has a lower and lower probability of occurring. It seems that the series of lower and lower probability events does not solve Dawkins' problem. If I am correct, it exacerbates the problem. Have I missed something? NeilBJ
Leaf-skis- not to be confused with Alexander Leafski... Joe
The original insect had little bits of leaf stuck to its feet which allowed it to stay on top of the surface. This allowed it get food unavailable to the rest of the population. Consequently, nature selected this behavior. Gradually, as this behavior persisted, the feet adapted to a flat surface, as this a) stuck better to the bits of leaves, and b) increased the chance of picking up a bit of leaf. Eventually the feet became so finely adapted to their environment, the bits of leaves were no longer needed. Voila, a darwinian explanation. Is there a PhD dissertation in here somewhere? RkBall
wd400- Evolutionism can't explain Ubx and you cannot use that which you cannot explain to do the explaining. Joe
As to wd400's comment: '“Discontinuity and discretized function” among modern organisms is actually predicted to arise from the evolution, if you understand the process.' and yet we find:
"Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), 'If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It's a mirage. None of it happens that way. - Doug Axe PhD. Nothing In Molecular Biology Is Gradual - Doug Axe PhD. - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5347797/
further note, a very peculiar 'anomaly' of unique ORFan genes is found in every new genome sequenced:
Widespread ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references http://www.vimeo.com/17135166 Genomes of similar species - Cornelius Hunter PhD. Excerpt: Different variants of the Escherichia coli bacteria, for instance, each have hundreds of unique genes. And some of these genes have been found to have important functions, such as helping to construct proteins. [8] Massive genetic differences were also found between different fruit fly species. The fruit fly is one of the most intensely researched organisms and in recent years a systematic study of the genomes of a dozen different species was undertaken. Evolutionists were surprised to find novel features in the genomes of each of these different fruit fly species. Thousands of genes showed up missing in many of the species, and some genes showed up in only a single species. [9] As one science writer put it, “an astonishing 12 per cent of recently evolved genes in fruit flies appear to have evolved from scratch.” [10] These so-called novel genes would have had to have evolved over a few million years—a time period previously considered to allow only for minor genetic changes. [11,12] ,,, etc.. etc… http://www.darwinspredictions.com/#_4.2_Genomes_of From Jerry Coyne, More Table-Pounding, Hand-Waving - May 2012 Excerpt: "More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren't found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps." Jerry Coyne - ardent and 'angry' neo-Darwinist - professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics.
Of related interest - Granville Sewell comments, on adding improvements to the computer program he developed for 'Analysis of Finite Element Method -(PDE/PROTRAN)', that
"Even the smallest modifications to that new feature, once it was functional, required adding several lines (of computer code) no one of which made any sense. or provided any 'selective advantage', when added by itself." Granville Sewell - In The Beginning pg. 59
Yet there is further strong reason to believe, from a programming point of view, that the (at least) over 1400 unique ORFAN genes found in humans, and not in chimps, were not merely 'gradual modifications' to a existing 'program' but are actually the implementation of a entirely new operating system since,,,: "'new' ORFan genes are found to be just as essential as 'old' genes for maintaining life:"
Age doesn't matter: New genes are as essential as ancient ones - December 2010 Excerpt: "A new gene is as essential as any other gene; the importance of a gene is independent of its age," said Manyuan Long, PhD, Professor of Ecology & Evolution and senior author of the paper. "New genes are no longer just vinegar, they are now equally likely to be butter and bread. We were shocked." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216142523.htm New genes in Drosophila quickly become essential. - December 2010 Excerpt: The proportion of genes that are essential is similar in every evolutionary age group that we examined. Under constitutive silencing of these young essential genes, lethality was high in the pupal (later) stage and (but was) also found in the larval (early) stages. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6011/1682.abstract
This following study, in which the functional role of ORFan genes was analyzed, the (Darwinian) researchers were 'very shocked' and 'taken aback' by what they found;
New Genes, New Brain - October 2011 Excerpt: “This is one of the first studies to look at the role of completely novel genes” in primate brain development,,, A bevy of genes known to be active during human fetal and infant development first appeared at the same time that the prefrontal cortex,,, Finally, 54 of the 280 genes found to be unique to humans were also highly expressed in the developing prefrontal cortex,,,, “We were very shocked that there were that many new genes that were upregulated in this part of the brain,” said Long, who added that he was also taken aback by synchronicity of the origin of the genes and the development of novel brain structures.,,, (From the PLoS article, author’s summary: We found these genes are scattered across the whole genome, demonstrating that they are generated by many independent events,,, Our data reveal that evolutionary change in the development of the human brain happened at the protein level by gene origination,,) http://the-scientist.com/2011/10/19/new-genes-new-brain/
I suppose the argument would be that a very small, ordinary, insect would walk around fine on the surface, and its offspring grew larger and more mobile until at some point they began to sink. It's a neat calculation, though. I remember a Cambridge Entrance Scholarship question which asked you to calculate the weight of the largest insect that could skate on water. I think they even expected you to remember the surface tension of water. The insects themselves worked it out somehow (though I never met any at science lectures in Cambridge). Jon Garvey
"Discontinuity and discretized function" among modern organisms is actually predicted to arise from the evolution, if you understand the process. Water striders are probably a bad case in point, since scientists have certainly started to try and understand how the morphological changes that accompanied their evolution arose. Changes in expression of Ubx explain the leg-length pattern for instance. But I'm sure you researched this before you wrote your "essay"? wd400
I was having similar thoughts this evening while watching a milkweed seed floating on the breeze. There is boundless, spectacular genius freely and extravagantly poured out upon the plant and animal kingdoms. From water skippers and milkweed seeds to the bioluminescence of a firefly, the web of a spider, the feathers of a peacock, the iridescence of a beetle's wings, the flight of a hummingbird, or the scent of a rose, each living thing is an awe-inspiring miracle. sagebrush gardener

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