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Priceless comment moment of the day: The magical power of Darwinian natural selection

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The magical power to simply create information:

Here, commenting on Does anyone remember Richard Dawkins in the New York Times mocking Mike Behe’s Edge of Evolution, a Darwin stalwart huffs:

So in nature NS is also a non-random force (the weak, sick and old are always selected against), it is the very antithesis of random, as we can usually judge who in the heard will not live to breed. It is of course slower than human selection but still incredibly powerful.

If the NY Times explained this, then well done the NY Times.

Just think of it: “(the weak, sick and old are always selected against)”

This guy actually believes that. I sure hope he doesn’t teach somewhere—and fail, in both senses of the word, students who don’t shout the shot back at him.

Yes, Darwin’s followers convince themselves that life is that simple. But of course it isn’t. For one thing:

1. The male who breeds may be the one who stayed out of the fight (too small), and was just standing around with the females, looking on. (Hey, girls, I have a GREAT idea! Let’s go for a stroll … )

2. The offspring who survive may be the ones who have an immunity to a common viral or bacterial disease, irrespective of other factors that would recommend them in any way.

Or else they were just not standing on the cliff edge when it broke off. Or something.

3. Old? Well, if “old” doesn’t link up with 1) or 2) , what does it mean? It isn’t clear that all life forms even age, the way humans do. Many seem to just live until something kills them, and produce whatever offspring they do, sometimes at a century old.

The Darwin scam has always depended on classroom teachers reinforcing the idea that “survival of the fittest” means “survival of the best” – in order to inculcate the idea that such survival increases genetic information.

Of course that isn’t true. The genes of those who happen not to have been killed by the ambient conditions before they produce fertile offspring survive. And pass on whatever they pass on. The question of how all that information got embedded in these life forms is still open. But the Darwin scam has sure cost a lot of time and careers

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Comments
Andre, just a heads up about the paper you linked to in comment #40, it was subsequently refuted by Chen and Zhang 2013 in molecular biology and evolution.Radioaction
January 22, 2015
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AVS: If you read closely I said that the small changes over the course of evolution do not have definite direction. If you read closely you said the changes were unguided. Here, let me quote you. Read closely now:
There is constant changes in offspring due to unguided changes.
The constant changes are due to unguided changes. Brilliant. Or not.Mung
January 22, 2015
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'1. The male who breeds may be the one who stayed out of the fight (too small), and was just standing around with the females, looking on. (Hey, girls, I have a GREAT idea! Let’s go for a stroll … )' Hilarious ! What a good thing females' tastes can be unpredictable, too.Axel
January 22, 2015
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Yes, Petrushka, there is design. Not "appearance of design", not a mirage - but design. Is the design emergent from natural teleology or supernatural theology? That's open to debate. That debate will become much more philosophically interesting and scientifically productive once the "design deniers" are dealt with sigh.ppolish
January 22, 2015
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Randomly walking through possibilities a major design rule for finding the way. Random walking is emergent from an underlying design.
So it appears that what you are saying is that evolution -- the phenomenon described by mainstream biology -- is designed.Petrushka
January 22, 2015
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Trying all possibilities does not matter to the evolutionary outcome? I disagree, trying possibilities is a key design rule. Randomly walking through possibilities a major design rule for finding the way. Random walking is emergent from an underlying design.ppolish
January 22, 2015
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I suppose one could say the same ting about all natural stochastic processes, including radioactive decay. Please note that mutation is not defined as mathematically random. It is defined as having no observable correlation with function or adaptive need. In a population of bacteria, as in Lenski's experiment, basically all genomic points mutate. You can test this, because Lenski kept samples of generations. Whether the distribution would pass a test of randomness is irrelevant. If you try all the possibilities, it doesn't matter to the evolutionary outcome.Petrushka
January 22, 2015
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A Random Number Generator (RNG) is carefully designed and follows thought out rules. Same thing with a Random Mutation Generator. A random number or random mutation is the result of a design. Guided and purposeful design. Awesome Design sometimes.ppolish
January 22, 2015
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If anyone is interested in what Zachriel has to say as a follow-up, let me know and I'll be glad to continue. Otherwise, I've learned enough about his viewpoint on this to leave it at that.Silver Asiatic
January 22, 2015
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Silver Asiatic: In the very same quoted text, you first give yourself freedom to interpret it and then later close it off and declare, definitively what the word means. No, we answered it both ways. Depends on what you mean by design. If by design you mean complex integrated structure, then there are certainly complex integrated structures. However, if you mean an external agent who conceived and implemented the structures, then no, there is no such evidence. Silver Asiatic: In this case, you’d be tempted to re-define what “awe” means, or point out that nature really isn’t awesome. In its most basic meaning, awe is a sense of wonder. Yes, we are using the term in its usual sense, that is, full of wonder. Silver Asiatic: A sense of wonder or awe are contractions to the view of evolutionary science, Awe is an emotional response, so it does not constitute a scientific claim. Silver Asiatic: or scientism in general. Evolutionary science is not a subset of scientism. Even people who think science explains everything can and do experience awe.Zachriel
January 22, 2015
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Zac
Note the modifier “design”, which changes the meaning ...
Zac
Depends on what you mean by design.
I understand. In the very same quoted text, you first give yourself freedom to interpret it and then later close it off and declare, definitively what the word means.
Huh? Hundreds of millions of years of evolution? Entire ecosystems coming and going? Tyrannosaurus Rex and Archaeopteryx? How is that not awesome by any reasonable measure? http://www.commoncorescience.n.....myTRex.jpg
This is probably the most significant thing I've ever seen you post -- from perhaps hundreds of posts I've read from you. If you were willing to explore your view on this I think it would be interesting and valuable. The only danger I'd see is that you'd either shut down the discussion or do one of your flip-flops as above. In this case, you'd be tempted to re-define what "awe" means, or point out that nature really isn't awesome. In its most basic meaning, awe is a sense of wonder. Then take a look at more complete defintions. A sense of wonder or awe are contractions to the view of evolutionary science, or scientism in general.Silver Asiatic
January 22, 2015
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ppolish: Now can we agree that “random” mutations are actually the result of awesomely complex design rules? Silver Asiatic (quoting): “awesomely complex design rules” Note the modifier "design", which changes the meaning — especially in light of the original statement, which concerned mutations.Zachriel
January 22, 2015
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AVS:
And you can believe in “awesomely complex design rules” all you want, enjoy life in your fairytale world.
Zac:
Huh?
Thanks!Silver Asiatic
January 22, 2015
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Silver Asiatic: The evolutionary view appears to be this. Silver Asiatic: 1. It is not awesome Huh? Hundreds of millions of years of evolution? Entire ecosystems coming and going? Tyrannosaurus Rex and Archaeopteryx? How is that not awesome by any reasonable measure? http://www.commoncorescience.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/JeremyTRex.jpg Silver Asiatic: 2. It is not complex That's as off-base as your first point. There's no one in biology who doesn't think organisms are not complex. Indeed, we're talking about biologists! They're the ones who study the complexity that makes up an organism. Silver Asiatic: 3. There is no design Depends on what you mean by design. There is certainly complex integrated structure. However, there is no evidence of an external agent was involved in determining these structures. Silver Asiatic: 4. There are no rules Have no idea what that even means. The Theory of Evolution involves quite a few interconnecting claims, including common descent.Zachriel
January 22, 2015
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AVS
And you can believe in “awesomely complex design rules” all you want, enjoy life in your fairytale world.
Ppolish observes awesomely complex design rules in nature - as I do. The evolutionary view appears to be this. 1. It is not awesome 2. It is not complex 3. There is no design 4. There are no rules Anyone seeing things otherwise is believing in a fairytale.Silver Asiatic
January 22, 2015
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ppolish: Now can we agree that “random” mutations are actually the result of awesomely complex design rules? Experiments have shown that at least some mutations are random with respect to fitness. This includes breeding experience where mutations are known to be happenstance. Andre: Of course not and those heroes that give their lives to save others falsify Natural selection in an instant. No. Self-sacrifice is explained as an outgrowth of kin-selection. Andre: Am I the best adapted? Am I the fittest? Humans have been extraordinarily successful over the last few millennia. As you should know from your elementary studies in biology, populations tend to be diverse. Fittest is a relative term not an absolute.Zachriel
January 22, 2015
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Andre I'm glad we agree that Alfred Wallace was right! What he is actually saying though is easy to oversimplify as describing a "supernatural" type entity beyond science to search for, when he made it clear at the end that they are talking about all that is left to scientifically discover that pertains to how intelligence works in cells and what makes their protoplasm, which is from the behavior/agency of matter. Associated with intelligence is consciousness, which is theory in itself that's in my opinion even harder to make progress in (than theory specifically premised for intelligence). What Charles Darwin was describing is in a way child simple thinking where it's common sense that where all the passenger pigeons in North America are selected out of the environment to adorn hats they go extinct, while the ones we now have get all the city park food even through winter while others less adapted for city life starve out in the wild. They are better adapted, by not making good hats. Alfred saw Darwinian theory as just a stepping stone to put behind us along the way, to the best yet to come. We then know more about how "intelligence" works at the level of the cell and protoplasm. From my perspective that took vision, which is being denied by misinformation that makes it seem that his last book was the result of turning to religion after going senile, not worth taking seriously. I right away knew what Alfred was describing. And yes it very much is Theory of Intelligent Design, but there is no sitting still in awe and wonder it's real theory that's supposed to surprise us. From my perspective he foresaw us being right here, right now, with the next great theory of science to surprise us in ways he could not image either. I'm doing what Alfred would do. What I have for theory is the result. Something very scientifically useful was certainly there, after all.Gary S. Gaulin
January 21, 2015
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Some Wallace quotes dear to me.
To say that mind is a product or function of protoplasm, or of its molecular changes, is to use words to which we can attach no clear conception. You cannot have, in the whole, what does not exist in any of the parts; and those who argue thus should put forth a definite conception of matter, with clearly enunciated properties, and show, that the necessary result of a certain complex arrangement of the elements or atoms of that matter, will be the production of self-consciousness. There is no escape from this dilemma--either all matter is conscious, or consciousness is something distinct from matter, and in the latter case, its presence in material forms is a proof of the existence of conscious beings, outside of, and independent of, what we term matter. The foregoing considerations lead us to the very important conclusion, that matter is essentially force, and nothing but force; that matter, as popularly understood, does not exist, and is, in fact, philosophically inconceivable. When we touch matter, we only really experience sensations of resistance, implying repulsive force; and no other sense can give us such apparently solid proofs of the reality of matter, as touch does. This conclusion, if kept constantly present in the mind, will be found to have a most important bearing on almost every high scientific and philosophical problem, and especially on such as relate to our own conscious existence."
There is, I conceive, no contradiction in believing that mind is at once the cause of matter and of the development of individualised human minds through the agency of matter.
We have also here an acting cause to account for that balance so often observed in nature,--a deficiency in one set of organs always being compensated by an increased development of some others--powerful wings accompanying weak feet, or great velocity making up for the absence of defensive weapons; for it has been shown that all varieties in which an unbalanced deficiency occurred could not long continue their existence. The action of this principle is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident; and in like manner no unbalanced deficiency in the animal kingdom can ever reach any conspicuous magnitude, because it would make itself felt at the very first step, by rendering existence difficult and extinction almost sure soon to follow."
Andre
January 21, 2015
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Gary Agreed. Wallace was right. Darwin got it wrong.Andre
January 21, 2015
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Alfred Wallace's brilliant "intelligence" science gets going real good in the ending chapter. It's worth very careful study: https://archive.org/details/worldoflifemanif00walliala ID perspective: http://www.alfredwallace.org/about.phpGary S. Gaulin
January 21, 2015
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You are seeing things in the article there not there. Variable rate does not imply foresight. Mutations are still random with respect to fitness.Petrushka
January 21, 2015
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AVS I am sorry but this comment is just dumb!
Does your designer realize how often their mutation “design rules” lead to debilitating diseases?
I'm going to try and help you, God knows its futile but try I will...... The more complex a system is the more likely it will fail So how do you reduce failures? You build as much redundancy as you possibly can. But redundancy also has a cost, because of the increase of even more complexity to the system the additional maintenance of the system could lead to more failures. You can make a poster and stick it on your wall. Complex systems either work or they don't there is no middle ground here, and to make them work as good as possible you have to use some trade offs. Inevitably anything with parts will eventually fail and breakdown no matter what. "When that which is perfect has come then that which is in part shall be done away"Andre
January 21, 2015
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Natural selection is nonsense! Here is the definition of NS;
A process resulting in the survival of those individuals from a population of animals or plants that are best adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions. The survivors tend to produce more offspring than those less well adapted, so that the characteristics of the population change over time, thus accounting for the process of evolution
So question for the faithful..... do you consider yourself best adapted? Are you the fittest? Of course not and those heroes that give their lives to save others falsify Natural selection in an instant. Are mutations Random? Wallace was right they are not! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22522932 So natural selection Darwin's idea after observing pigeon breeding is not the be all and end all matter of fact its nothing....... People that try and give this false creator some airtime are not doing it for any other reason but in the hope it may be true, although they know its not because they just have to look at themselves and ask? Am I the best adapted? Am I the fittest? Bet you they are not! And yet here you are!Andre
January 21, 2015
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Where did I say that natural selection is guided? And you can believe in "awesomely complex design rules" all you want, enjoy life in your fairytale world. Does your designer realize how often their mutation "design rules" lead to debilitating diseases? So I take it you accept evolution and have just realigned your beliefs so as to better suit your need for a designer?AVS
January 21, 2015
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AVS, I'm sincerely happy to agree with you that natural selection is guided. Now can we agree that "random" mutations are actually the result of awesomely complex design rules?ppolish
January 21, 2015
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I'm sorry Mungy, are you trying to say that god makes changes to the genome and gene expression? If you read closely I said that the small changes over the course of evolution do not have definite direction. Natural selection keeps a fraction of these changes, "encouraging" adaptation to the environment. In adapting to the environment, the process of evolution exhibits direction and guides organisms.AVS
January 21, 2015
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Selection is a label for a result. Most change does not affect reproductive success.Petrushka
January 21, 2015
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AVS: There is constant changes in offspring due to unguided changes. Can you describe some of these changes and how it was determined they were unguided? According to you they led to adaptations but not in any way that would indicate "direction." If adaptation doesn't indicate "direction," what would?Mung
January 21, 2015
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I don't think so Boxy. There is constant changes in offspring due to unguided changes. Evolution is the encouragement of adaptations that benefit a species in its environment. The "unguided" part is that there was no definite direction in the small changes that led to the adaptations we now observe.AVS
January 21, 2015
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AVS: You guys love that phrase “unguided evolution.”
You are right, we love it.
AVS: It is mutation that is unguided.
Yes, and it produces all the countless mind-blowing inventions we see in life. Amazing isn't it?
AVS: Natural selection guides organisms to become more adapted to their environment.
Nope, the adapted organisms are produced by “unguided processes” and offered to natural selection (the grim reaper) to leave alone - to keep away from / to 'not kill'.Box
January 21, 2015
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