Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Is someone actually trying to take out the trash in evolution studies?

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Someone cares? Conceivably. Get this:

Blind trust in unblinded observation in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

We surveyed 492 recent studies in the fields of ecology, evolution, and behavior (EEB) to evaluate potential for observer bias and the need for blind experimentation in each study. While 248 articles included experiments that could have been influenced by observer bias, only 13.3% of these articles indicated that experiments were blinded. The use of blind observation therefore was either grossly underreported in the surveyed articles, or many EEB studies were not blinded. We hope that a concerted effort of the field of EEB—including researchers, peer-reviewers, and journal editors—will help promote and institute routine, blind observation as an essential standard that should be practiced by all sciences. – Melissa R. Kardish et al. Ecol. Evol., 19 May 2015 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2015.00051

The .pdf is free.

Whoo-za! We hadn’t realized that anybody but us had noticed the potential for French-for-fertilizer.

So … is all Darwinbabble just French-for-fertilizer?

We don’t mean to be rude, but isn’t it time to have a serious talk about this question? What is the value of the investment in Darwin?

It’ll probably all blow over after a bit of handwringing. It’s a legally protected racket in many places.

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OT: NASA telescopes set limits on space-time quantum 'foam' - May, 28. 2015 Excerpt: At the smallest scales of distance and duration that we can measure, spacetime—that is, the three dimensions of space plus time—appears to be smooth and structureless. However, certain aspects of quantum mechanics, the highly successful theory scientists have developed to explain the physics of atoms and subatomic particles, predict that spacetime would not be smooth. Rather, it would have a foamy, jittery nature and would consist of many small, ever-changing, regions for which space and time are no longer definite, but fluctuate.,,, Chandra's X-ray detection of quasars at distances of billions of light-years rules out one model, according to which photons diffuse randomly through spacetime foam in a manner similar to light diffusing through fog. Detections of distant quasars at shorter, gamma-ray wavelengths with Fermi and even shorter wavelengths with VERITAS demonstrate that a second, so-called holographic model with less diffusion does not work. "We find that our data can rule out two different models for spacetime foam," said co-author Jack Ng of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "We can conclude that spacetime is less foamy that some (quantum) models predict." The X-ray and gamma-ray data show that spacetime is smooth down to distances 1,000 times smaller than the nucleus of a hydrogen atom. http://phys.org/news/2015-05-nasa-telescopes-limits-space-time-quantum.html bornagain77
Bob you claim: "So declaring that evolutionary biology is full of merde would be excessive." Actually declaring 'evolutionary biology is full of merde' is not only not excessive, it is an understatement. Evolutionary biology, in so far as evolution is crammed into biology as an explanation for biology, is full of fraud. Even though the leading science journals are overtly biased towards accepting Darwinian evolution, and towards excluding Intelligent Design, it is interesting to note that none of the scientific papers, in these leading journals purporting to support Darwinian evolution, actually ever provide any empirical evidence that unguided material processes can produce non-trivial functional information and/or complexity. Back in the 1990's, Dr. Behe’s noted that none of the papers he surveyed discussed detailed accounts of how any molecular machine evolved:
Molecular Machines: – Michael J. Behe – 1997 Excerpt: JME is a journal that was begun specifically to deal with the topic of how evolution occurs on the molecular level. It has high scientific standards, and is edited by prominent figures in the field.,,, In the past ten years JME has published 886 papers. Of these, 95 discussed the chemical synthesis of molecules thought to be necessary for the origin of life, 44 proposed mathematical models to improve sequence analysis, 20 concerned the evolutionary implications of current structures, and 719 were analyses of protein or polynucleotide sequences. There were zero papers discussing detailed models for intermediates in the development of complex biomolecular structures. This is not a peculiarity of JME. No papers are to be found that discuss detailed models for intermediates in the development of complex biomolecular structures in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature, Science, the Journal of Molecular Biology or, to my knowledge, any journal whatsoever. http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_mm92496.htm
Dr. Behe is not alone in his claim, James Shapiro agreed with him in 1996
“The argument that random variation and Darwinian gradualism may not be adequate to explain complex biological systems is hardly new […} in fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject — evolution — with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses works in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.” Prof. James Shapiro – “In the Details…What?” National Review, 19 September 1996, pp. 64. http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro.1996.Nat%27lReview.pdf
In 2001, Franklin M. Harold reluctantly admitted pretty much the same thing as Shapiro did in 1996
,,,we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.’ Franklin M. Harold,* 2001. The way of the cell: molecules, organisms and the order of life, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 205. *Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Colorado State University, USA
In 2006, Nick Matzke took up Behe’s challenge and came up, embarrassingly, short:
Calling Nick Matzke’s literature bluff on molecular machines – DonaldM UD blogger – April 2013 Excerpt: So now, 10 years later in 2006 Matzke and Pallen come along with this review article. The interesting thing about this article is that, despite all the hand waving claims about all these dozens if not hundreds of peer reviewed research studies showing how evolution built a flagellum, Matzke and Pallen didn’t have a single such reference in their bibliography. Nor did they reference any such study in the article. Rather, the article went into great lengths to explain how a researcher might go about conducting a study to show how evolution could have produced the system. Well, if all those articles and studies were already there, why not just point them all out? In shorty, the entire article was a tacit admission that Behe had been right all along. Fast forward to now and Andre’s question directed to Matzke. We’re now some 17 years after Behe’s book came out where he made that famous claim. And, no surprise, there still is not a single peer reviewed research study that provides the Darwinian explanation for a bacterial flagellum (or any of the other irreducibly complex biological systems Behe mentioned in the book). We’re almost 7 years after the Matzke & Pallen article. So where are all these research studies? There’s been ample time for someone to do something in this regard. Matzke will not answer the question because there is no answer he can give…no peer reviewed research study he can reference, other than the usual literature bluffing he’s done in the past. Per UncommonDescent
As of 2014, the empirical evidence supporting grand Darwinian claims is still missing:
PNAS Paper Admits Understanding the Origin of Cellular Features Is a “Glaring Gap” in Evolutionary Biology – Casey Luskin – December 10, 2014 Excerpt: In 2001, biochemist Franklin Harold wrote in an Oxford University Press monograph that “there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” Last month, a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Evolutionary cell biology: Two origins, one objective,” admitted much the same thing.,,, ,,,”a full mechanistic understanding of evolutionary processes will never be achieved without an elucidation of how cellular features become established and modified.” Though they don’t put it quite as bluntly as Franklin Harold, this paper’s message is no less potent: modern evolutionary biology lacks explanations for the origin of molecular machines. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/12/pnas_paper_admi091901.html Talking Back to Goliath: Some Advice for Students in the Evolutionary Biology Classroom – Paul Nelson – September 30, 2014 Excerpt: (if neo-Darwinism) is true, we should be able to find in the scientific literature the detailed explanations for the origin of complex structures and behaviors, rendered strictly in terms of random variation plus natural selection. Guess what? Those explanations aren’t there; they don’t exist. If anyone doubts this, he should try looking for himself. Choose any complex structure or behavior, and look in the biological literature for the step-by-step causal account where the origin of that structure (that is, its coming-to-be where it did not exist before) is explained via random variation and natural selection. You’ll be looking a long time. The explanations just aren’t there, and this fact is well known to evolutionary biologists who have become disenchanted with received neo-Darwinian theory. When proponents of the received theory, such as Richard Dawkins, face the task of making random variation and natural selection work, they resort to fictional entities like Dawkins’s “biomorphs” — see Chapter 3 of The Blind Watchmaker (1986) — or flawed analogies such as the “methinks it is like a weasel” search algorithm scenario. No one would have to employ these toy stories, of course, if evidence were available showing the efficacy of random variation and selection to construct novel complexity. “Research on selection and adaptation,” notes Mary Jane West-Eberhard, a disenchanted evolutionary theorist, “may tell us why a trait persisted and spread, but it will not tell us where a trait came from….This transformational aspect of evolutionary change has been oddly neglected in modern evolutionary biology” (2003, p. 197). http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/09/talking_back_to_1090141.html
Moreover, besides the total lack of actual empirical evidence supporting Darwinian claims, it is interesting to note how evidence is falsely, i.e. fraudulently, attributed to Darwinian evolution in these papers:
In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.” Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.discovery.org/a/2816
At the 7:00 minute mark of this following video, Dr. Behe gives an example of how positive evidence is falsely attributed to evolution by using the word ‘evolution’ as a narrative gloss in peer-reviewed literature:
Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY
Dr. Gauger notes the subtle way the false 'narrative' is woven into findings in the falling article
Rewriting Biology Without Spin By Ann Gauger – Jan. 12, 2014 Excerpt: It’s a funny thing—scientific papers often have evolutionary language layered on top of the data like icing on a cake. In most papers, the icing (evolutionary language) sits atop and separate from the cake (the actual experimental data). Even in papers where the evolutionary language is mixed in with the data like chocolate and vanilla in a marble cake, I can still tell one from the other. I have noticed that this dichotomy creates a kind of double vision. I know what the data underlying evolutionary arguments are. By setting aside the premise that evolution is true, I can read what’s on the page and at the same time see how that paper would read if neutral, fact-based language were substituted for evolutionary language. Let me give you an example.,,, http://www.biologicinstitute.org/post/107965814309/rewriting-biology-without-spin
Dr. Wells has even developed a 'template' for writing evolutionary papers:
Darwinian ‘science’ in a nutshell: Jonathan Wells on pop science boilerplate – April 20, 2015 Excerpt: Based on my reading of thousands of Peer-Reviewed Articles in the professional literature, I’ve distilled (the) template for writing scientific articles that deal with evolution: 1. (Presuppose that) Darwinian evolution is a fact. 2. We used [technique(s)] to study [feature(s)] in [name of species], and we unexpectedly found [results inconsistent with Darwinian evolution]. 3. We propose [clever speculations], which might explain why the results appear to conflict with evolutionary theory. 4. We conclude that Darwinian evolution is a fact. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/darwinism/jon-wells-on-pop-science-boilerplate/
No matter how counter-intuitive a finding is to Darwinian presuppositions, nor however complex a biological structure may be found to be, Darwinian evolution is always falsely given credit for the origination of the biological system under investigation
It’s Optimal. It Must Have Evolved! – August 16, 2014 Excerpt These (optimal) solutions “have been arrived at” — by design? No; read the last sentence in the paper: “It is appealing that one might look to biology for insights into solutions of hard optimization problems, arrived at as a result of evolution within an information niche.” Evolution did it. Give evolution the engineering design award. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/08/its_optimal_it089031.html
I seriously would have never believed that science could be practiced in such a grossly negligent manner as it is in evolutionary biology. Never questioning basic assumptions, falsely attributing positive evidence where it does not belong, as Darwinists do in these ‘peer reviewed’ papers, unless I had seen it myself. It is a shame, and travesty, that this sort of unethical behavior is tolerated, perhaps even encouraged, in biological science when it comes to Darwinism. bornagain77
A couple of comments: 1. the journal is Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution, 2. the study covers more than evolution: only 16% are from evolutionary journals (although some journals cover several areas, so this is an underestimate). About 40% of studies that could be blinded are from behavioural journals section, compared to about 15% from evolutionary journals (again, these are under-estimates because some journals cover several areas). 3. The journals chosen are skewed towards those where these issues might arise: if the authors had looked at Molecular Ecology, for example, they would have found far fewer papers where blinding could be possible. All of which is not to say that there isn't an issue that needs addressing, but that it only affects a subset of studies, and in particular a subset of evolutionary studies. So declaring that evolutionary biology is full of merde would be excessive. Bob O'H
Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness - May 27, 2015 Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured. Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks - at which point does the object decide? Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found. "It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which governs the world of the very small, and has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips. The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler's original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light. "Quantum physics' predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness," said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering. http://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-theory-weirdness.html

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