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At Phys.org: New study finds our ancient relatives were not so simple after all

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Researchers at the University of Nottingham have solved an important piece of the animal evolution puzzle as their new study reveals that our ancient ancestors were more complex than originally thought.

Way back in our distant evolutionary history, animals underwent a major innovation. They evolved to have a left and right side, and two gut openings. This brought about a plethora of significant advantages in terms of propelling themselves directly forward at increased speed through the early seas, finding food, extracting nutrients, and/or avoiding being eaten.

However, a research team, led by Dr. Mary O’Connell at the University of Nottingham has found that Xenacoelomorphs branch much later in time, they are not the earliest branch on the bilaterian family tree, and their closest relatives are far more complex animals like star fish. This means that Xenacoelomorphs have lost many of the complex features of their closest relatives, challenging the idea that evolution leads to ever more complex and intricate forms. Instead, the new study shows that loss of features is an important factor in driving evolution.

Note: Lacking a naturalistic mechanism for the generation of the new information of novel features, the idea of the “loss of features” is put forward as a driving factor for supposed evolutionary advance.

“There are many fundamental questions about the evolution of animals that need to be answered… many parts of this family tree that are not known or not resolved. But what an exciting time to be an evolutionary biologist with the availability of exquisite genome data from the beautiful diversity of species we currently have on our planet, allowing us to unlock secrets of our most distant past,” says Dr. Mary O’Connell, associate professor in life sciences.

The paper, titled “Filtering artifactual signal increases support for Xenacoelomorpha and Ambulacraria sister relationship in the animal tree of life” has been published in Current Biology. It details the application of a special phylogenetic technique to help in extracting signal from noise over deep time, showing increased support for Xenacoelomorphs being sister to ambulacraria (e.g. star fish) rather than being the deepest diverging of the bilateria.

The research team at the University of Nottingham will now explore other challenging family trees and other connections between genome changes and phenotypic diversity.

Full article at Phys.org.

79 Replies to “At Phys.org: New study finds our ancient relatives were not so simple after all

  1. 1
    chuckdarwin says:

    The function of natural selection is not “ever more complex and intricate forms.” It is fitness. Fitness is the only criterion by which evolution is measured, not intricacy or complexity. So-called “loss of features” is balanced by more efficient metabolism, less energy use and other advantages such as exploiting different features of the ecosystem. Contrary to the commentary on the OP, loss of features has been recognized for years as a driver of evolution……

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    CD at 1,

    So, you missed the Tree of Life graphic in your Biology textbook? The one that showed single-cell life turn into aquatic life, turn into land animals and turn into man?

    That sort of thing does not show randomness or even fitness, but design. But not a ‘less complex to the more complex’ since we still have most of the various single-celled examples to aquatic life, to land animals, and man.

    And bees went to bee school to learn how to build beehives, find flowers and so on.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD states, “Fitness is the only criterion by which evolution is measured,”

    Interesting claim seeing that no one can seem to find a precise definition for this ‘fitness’ that we are suppose to be measuring evolution by.

    Evolutionary Fitness Is Not Measurable – November 20, 2021
    The central concept of natural selection cannot be measured. This means it has no scientific value.
    Excerpt:,, to measure something, it needs units. How is fitness to be measured? What are the units? Physicists have degrees Kelvin, ergs and Joules of energy and Faradays of electricity, but do 100 Spencers on a Haeckl-o-meter equal 10 Darwins of fitness?
    ,,, The term “fitness” becomes nebulous when you try to pin it down. Five evolutionists attempted to nail this jello to the wall, and wrote up their results in a preprint on bioRxiv by Alif et al. that asked, “What is the best fitness measure in wild populations?” (One might wonder why this question is being asked 162 years after Darwin presented his theory to the world.)
    ,,, The authors admit that their results do not necessarily apply to all living things. (they state),
    “A universal definition of fitness in mathematical terms that applies to all population structures and dynamics is however not agreed on.”
    Remember that this statement comes over 162 years after evolutionists began talking about fitness. If you cannot define something, how can you measure it? And if you can’t measure it, is it really scientific?,,,
    https://crev.info/2021/11/evolutionary-fitness-is-not-measurable/

    Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Has Left a Legacy of Confusion over Biological Adaptation
    Brian Miller – September 20, 2021
    Excerpt: Evolutionary biologist Robert Reid stated:
    “Indeed the language of neo-Darwinism is so careless that the words ‘divine plan’ can be substituted for ‘selection pressure’ in any popular work in the biological literature without the slightest disruption in the logical flow of argument.”
    Robert Reid, Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment, PP. 37-38
    To fully comprehend the critique, one simply needs to imagine attempting to craft an evolutionary barometer that measures the selection pressure driving one organism to transform into something different (e.g., fish into an amphibian). The fact that no such instrument could be constructed highlights the fictitious nature of such mystical forces.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/09/darwins-theory-of-natural-selection-has-left-a-legacy-of-confusion-over-biological-adaptation/

    As Professor of Zoology John O. Reiss himself honestly admitted, “The rigor of this approach, however, is lessened because there is as yet no universally agreed upon measure of fitness; fitness is either defined metaphorically, or defined only relative to the particular model or system used. It is fair to say that due to this lack, there is still no real agreement on what exactly the process of natural selection is. This is clearly a problem.”

    Where is the purposelessness of evolution? – 23 March 2012,
    Excerpt: The only way variation is seen as random is that it is random in respect to the effect variation has on fitness.
    The major problem with this is that the precise meaning of fitness has not been settled. There is still a major debate about what exactly fitness is supposed to mean (see this post for more on this issue).
    John O. Reiss notes also make the following interesting remark:
    “The rigor of this approach, however, is lessened because there is as yet no universally agreed upon measure of fitness; fitness is either defined metaphorically, or defined only relative to the particular model or system used. It is fair to say that due to this lack, there is still no real agreement on what exactly the process of natural selection is. This is clearly a problem.”
    Without a proper definition of fitness, we can’t really say what natural selection is in the first place. Also, without a proper definition of fitness we can’t really make any sense of how variation can be random relative to fitness in the first place.,,,
    https://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Where-is-the-purposelessness-of-evolution-20120322

    Moreover, the more precise one tries to be in mathematically defining ‘fitness’, then the more one finds that that more rigid definition of ‘fitness’ falsifies Darwinian evolution

    For instance, when realistic rates of detrimental to beneficial mutations are taken into account, then, as John Sanford and company have now shown, it mathematically falsifies “Fisher’s belief that he had developed a mathematical proof that fitness must always increase”

    The fundamental theorem of natural selection with mutations – June 2018
    Excerpt: Because the premise underlying Fisher’s corollary is now recognized to be entirely wrong, Fisher’s corollary is falsified. Consequently, Fisher’s belief that he had developed a mathematical proof that fitness must always increase is also falsified.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00285-017-1190-x

    Defending the validity and significance of the new theorem “Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection With Mutations, Part I: Fisher’s Impact – Bill Basener and John Sanford – February 15, 2018
    Excerpt: While Fisher’s Theorem is mathematically correct, his Corollary is false. The simple logical fallacy is that Fisher stated that mutations could effectively be treated as not impacting fitness, while it is now known that the vast majority of mutations are deleterious, providing a downward pressure on fitness. Our model and our correction of Fisher’s theorem (The Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection with Mutations), take into account the tension between the upward force of selection with the downward force of mutations.,,,
    Our paper shows that Fisher’s corollary is clearly false, and that he misunderstood the implications of his own theorem. He incorrectly believed that his theorem was a mathematical proof that showed that natural selection plus mutation will necessarily and always increase fitness. He also believed his theorem was on a par with a natural law (such as entropic dissipation and the second law of thermodynamics). Because Fisher did not understand the actual fitness distribution of new mutations, his belief in the application of his “fundamental theorem of natural selection” was fundamentally and profoundly wrong – having little correspondence to biological reality. Therefore, we have reformulated Fisher’s model and have corrected his errors, thereby have established a new theorem that better describes biological reality, and allows for the specification of those key variables that will determine whether fitness will increase or decrease.
    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp.....rs-impact/

    Moreover, if ‘fitness’ really were the way in which all life on earth originated and diversified, then, as Donald Hoffman has now mathematically proven, “an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    This finding that ‘fitness’ undermines our ability to have reliable observations, and as far as empirical science itself is concerned, is catastrophic for Darwin’s theory.

    Specifically, since reliable observation is a necessary cornerstone on of the scientific method itself, then a worldview that undermines our ability to have reliable observations about reality, obviously, cannot possibly be based upon the scientific method.

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    Observation/Research
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Experimentation
    Conclusion
    http://www.sciencemadesimple.c.....ethod.html

    Moreover, completely contrary to what is, via the mathematics of population genetics, predicted for the “unreliability’ of our observations if Darwinian evolution is true, it turns out that accurate perception, i.e. reliable conscious observation, far from being unreliable and illusory, is experimentally found to be far more integral to reality, i.e. far more reliable of reality, than what the mathematics of population genetics predicted, via ‘fitness’, for Darwinian evolution.

    For instance In the following ‘Delayed Choice’ experiment that was done with atoms instead of photons,, it was found that “At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Apparently empirical science itself could care less if Darwinian atheists are forced to believe, because of the mathematics of population genetics, and ‘fitness’, that ALL of their observations of reality are illusory!

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast what is good.

  4. 4
    martin_r says:

    and here we go again:

    … more complex than originally thought.

    I know that i put this question before, but i have to ask again:

    JVL, CHUCK, Seversky, Alan Fox and co.,

    WHAT MAKES DARWINIAN BIOLOGISTS SO TRUSTWORTHY ?

    WHY DO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THESE GUYS SAY ?

    THESE GUYS SEEM TO BE ALWAYS WRONG …

    This is my personal collection of quotes from mainstream Darwinian papers:

    “…current concepts are reviewed…”
    “…uprooting current thinking….”
    “…latest findings contradict the current dogma….”
    “… it challenges a long-held theory…”
    “… it upends a common view…”
    “… in contrast to the decades-long dogma …”
    “… it needs a rethink … ”
    “… the findings are surprising and unexpected …. ”
    “… it shakes up the dogma … ”
    “… earlier than thought…”
    “… younger than thought….”
    “… smarter than thought ….”
    “… more complex than thought ….”

    PS: Seversky, i hear you say that science is self-correcting and blah blah blah …. but my question was, (with so many self-corrections), what makes Darwinian biologists so trustworthy ?

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    Relatd @2

    And bees went to bee school to learn how to build….

    when you mentioned bees …

    I as an engineer, i never understood, how a rational educated person with some technical background can even think, that honeycombs are product of some blind natural process AKA Darwinian evolution … and that bees somehow evolved the capability of making honeycombs the way they look…. because honeycombs look like 3D printed :)))

    I would be very curious, how many people (e.g. Seversky, Chuck, JVL and co.) would be able to create honeycombs with that precision using no tools. Because as far as i know, bees don’t use no tools.

    Also, Darwinists have to prove (e.g. using fossil record), that bees evolved this capability in time, because right now it seems that honeycombs look the way they look from the beginning …

    and, it wouldn’t be bad, if Darwinists show us how honeybees evolved in first place :))))))

  6. 6
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: This is my personal collection of quotes from mainstream Darwinian papers:

    “…current concepts are reviewed…”
    “…uprooting current thinking….”
    “…latest findings contradict the current dogma….”
    “… it challenges a long-held theory…”
    “… it upends a common view…”
    “… in contrast to the decades-long dogma …”
    “… it needs a rethink … ”
    “… the findings are surprising and unexpected …. ”
    “… it shakes up the dogma … ”
    “… earlier than thought…”
    “… younger than thought….”
    “… smarter than thought ….”
    “… more complex than thought ….”

    And those phrases NEVER EVER appear in engineering journals or research papers? Never?

    Engineers always get things right the first time I guess. So the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing . . . fake news? The Surfside condominium building collapse . . . not the engineers fault? The Ponte Morandi collapse . . . eh, it was raining, it’s complicated. The Hyatt Regency Hotel walkway collapse? St. Francis Dam collapse? Never the engineer’s fault? Must be nice being so perfect.

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    WHAT MAKES DARWINIAN BIOLOGISTS SO TRUSTWORTHY

    Because they are right on most things and there is no downside to believing in it.

    15 years ago it was pointed out that every truthful argument for Darwinian Evolution was based on micro evolution or genetics. So there is largely truth in what they claim. Does anyone here doubt genetics? Genetics is based on Darwinian processes.

    Secondly there is no short term downside to their claims that micro evolution leads to macro evolution. If anyone can point to any, it would be interesting since the area that anyone cares about is health and all their claims are supported by genetics or micro evolution.

    Finally, there is plausibility that lots of small changes lead to large changes. Most technology is done that way. Thus, why wouldn’t the average person believe in Darwinian Evolution which supposedly works that way.

    People here and in the ID community are fantastic at science but the average person even with a great education sees nothing wrong with what we know is a false narrative. ID people go around congratulating each other on how obvious their evidence and arguments are but are clueless on how to persuade. Just look at the useless discussions that appear on UD.

    Aside: most people go around believing in many false narratives so why expect people who believe in Darwinian process to not believe it is the basis of Evolution. Especially when ID people are so bad at persuasion.

    Aside2: there is most definitely a short term major downside to doubting Darwinian Evolution. It’s called not eating. The hardcore will cancel anyone who challenges it as Bill Dembski found out at Baylor, a religious based university.

  8. 8
    chuckdarwin says:

    Re: Martin_r

    Because as far as i (sic) know, bees don’t use no (sic) tools.

    For the general public’s sake, I hope you are better at building bridges (or whatever you do) than your writing suggests. What’s that saying about the devil being in the details…..

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    For the general public’s sake, I hope you are better at building bridges (or whatever you do) than your writing suggests

    Can we all agree that it’s best that ChuckDarwin doesn’t build bridges.

    He cannot put together a coherent thought let alone a coherent sentence. Thank God he’s not an engineer.

    There’s a great line from JAG, the TV series about military lawyers. “You never say anything funny, people will start to think you are a lawyer.”

    That sums up Chuck except, the line for Chuck should be “ You never say anything true or funny, people will start to think you are a lawyer.”

  10. 10
    martin_r says:

    Chuck @8

    Because as far as i (sic) know, bees don’t use no (sic) tools.

    i apologize for my bad grammar, i have mentioned it many times that i am from Europe and English is not my first language. But i am trying to improve it all the time.

    I am also used to it, when a Darwinist can’t answer my questions, i get attacked/ridiculed because of my bad English.

    So let me correct myself:

    Bees don’t use tools.

    and what is wrong with the “as far as i know” ?

    PS 1: i am not building bridges (i am not a civil engineer), i am a mechanical engineer… hopefully you can tell the difference

    PS 2: by the way, how many languages except your mother language do you speak ? I also speak German, and my mother language … so including my bad English, i speak 3 languages in total …

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    so including my bad English, i speak 3 languages in total …

    I was in Europe for a small gathering of like minded individuals. One was from Luxembourg and spoke no Dutch. One was from Holland and spoke no German. They had a great conversation with each other in English.

  12. 12
    asauber says:

    “there is plausibility that lots of small changes lead to large changes”

    This idea is one of the obfuscations Evolutionists employ to protect their speculations.

    It’s a sometimes true generalization. It’s not really scientific.

    Andrew

  13. 13
    martin_r says:

    JVL @6

    Engineers always get things right the first time I guess. So the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing . . . fake news? The Surfside condominium building collapse . . . not the engineers fault? The Ponte Morandi collapse . . . eh, it was raining, it’s complicated. The Hyatt Regency Hotel walkway collapse? St. Francis Dam collapse? Never the engineer’s fault? Must be nice being so perfect.

    of course engineers make mistakes. As to examples above, please keep in mind, that not always it is engineer/designer’s fault. Sometimes bridges/buildings collapse because of material suppliers, or sloppy workers etc. You are talking about very complex things … it is very similar to an airplane crash … very skilled investigators come in to figure out what happened, and in most cases it is not a design flaw (engineer’s fault).

    PS: but again, you haven’t answered my question. When an engineer keeps making mistakes, his reputation will suffer and eventually, he will lose all his future jobs. But it doesn’t seem to be the case with Darwinian biologists … they are wrong all the time, but You and Co. still believe what they say. So that’s why i am asking, what makes them so trustworthy ? It is a simple question ….

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    It’s a sometimes true generalization. It’s not really scientific

    Thank you for agreeing with me.

    Everything I said is accurate. Science has nothing to do with attitudes toward Evolution. Maybe when the ID community understands that, change in attitudes will be a possibility.

    When an engineer keeps making mistakes, his reputation will suffer and eventually, he will lose all his future jobs. But it doesn’t seem to be the case with Darwinian biologists

    There is zero downside to taking the Darwinian position on Evolution especially when it’s so obviously true for genetics.

    When an engineer is wrong, people may die. Nothing like that exists in Evolution. It does exist in genetics and for that they are as right as engineers.

    When will the ID people realize as Lizzy Bennett did: “I’ve been so blind.” Prejudice has a way of doing that. So does Pride.

  15. 15
    martin_r says:

    Jerry @14

    When an engineer is wrong, people may die.

    When a Darwinian biologist is wrong, tens of millions of people become atheists.

    Not sure what is worse …

  16. 16
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: But it doesn’t seem to be the case with Darwinian biologists … they are wrong all the time,

    You certainly are not a scientist. My dad was an engineer and he had a similar view of physicists.

    Scientists, including Biologist, make models of how they think systems work. Everyone (except you I guess) understands that the model is most likely flawed and certainly temporary and will be replaced when we get more and better data.

    Your question is like asking: why did Newton get it wrong? His model was very good for the data he had AND still works very well in certain situations. In another millennium someone might ask: why did Einstein get it wrong?

    IF you were honest you could ask your same questions about every scientific field. Before chemistry there was alchemy. Before geology there was . . . a lot of false guesses and suppositions. The only field that hasn’t supplanted itself at some time is mathematics. What was true in mathematics 2000 years ago is still true today. But that is the only field that can say that.

    I trust biologists to be honest and as accurate as they can be given the data and information they have at the time. The process of peer review is an attempt to keep them honest and clear about what they did and what they measure and what they concluded. So, I trust them knowing that in 100 years we’ll have new data, more data, better analytic tools, etc which may mean having to revise the basic tenets. That’s the way science works. Biology is no different . . . a bit younger than some sciences, quite a bit messier than some sciences, harder to do experiments in than some sciences but still a ‘hard’ science nonetheless.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    “When an engineer is wrong, people may die.

    (Yet) When a Darwinian biologist is wrong, tens of millions of people become atheists”,,, (and then a couple of hundred million people die).

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    https://www.scholarscorner.com/atheisms-body-count-ideology-and-human-suffering/

    Sept. 2022 – Hitler and the Nazis, as well as all the other murderous Atheistic tyrants of the 20th century, indeed took their quote-unquote ‘inspiration’ directly from Darwin’s theory.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/royal-society-lecturer-says-what-richard-weikart-has-been-saying-for-years/#comment-765186

  18. 18
    jerry says:

    Not sure what is worse

    Few see a downside to atheism.

    This argument has no validity to them. We are now into religion, specific religions as a reason to believe ID.

    A lot of people believe that religion is a drag. So they will obviously accept Darwinian Evolution for the reasons I have listed.

    Aside: I believe that lack of religion is slowly leading us into decline which at some point will become rapid. But the average person doesn’t see this and many look at lack of religion as a positive and technology as a miracle that will make us continually happier.

    Aside2: people here keep espousing the same arguments that have no purchase with the educated person. They fail to understand why people believe what they do. Essentially they are talking to themselves, an extremely small community.

  19. 19
    martin_r says:

    Jerry @7

    WHAT MAKES DARWINIAN BIOLOGISTS SO TRUSTWORTHY

    Because they are right on most things

    you sure ?

    Published two days ago at THECONVERSATION.COM:

    Some biologists and philosophers claim that evolutionary biology needs reform, arguing that traditional explanations for how organisms change through time that scientists have assumed since the 1930s are holding back the assimilation of novel findings

    The study of evolution is fracturing – and that may be a good thing

    https://theconversation.com/the-study-of-evolution-is-fracturing-and-that-may-be-a-good-thing-186580

  20. 20
    martin_r says:

    BA77

    When an engineer is wrong, people may die.

    (Yet) When a Darwinian biologist is wrong, tens of millions of people become atheists”,,, (and then a couple of hundred million people die).

    “(and then a couple of hundred million people die).”

    I didn’t think of that …. very true …

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    you sure

    Absolutely.

    You fail to understand that most of what they say is genetics. And anything wrong there will be corrected and nearly all is good science that ID agrees with.

    So ID agrees with the Darwinians on most of what they find. That is an uncomfortable truth that people fail to realize here.

    There have been a few dissenting biologists of Darwin’s ideas for years. They could care less about design. They are looking for another natural way for Evolution and are not supporters of ID.

  22. 22
    martin_r says:

    Chuck

    “as far as i know”

    corrected:

    “as far as I know”

  23. 23
    chuckdarwin says:

    Martin_r
    If English is your second language, then I apologize for my corrective. You are to be complimented on improving your skills in a foreign language. We Americans are woefully deficient in that department.
    Substantively, I think my post at #1 adequately addresses the topic of the OP.

  24. 24
    jerry says:

    I think my post at #1 adequately addresses the topic of the OP.

    Except fitness devolves.

    No evidence for that in Evolution. In genetics, yes. So you are endorsing ID.

  25. 25
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Except fitness devolves.

    Meaning?

    No evidence for that in Evolution. In genetics, yes. So you are endorsing ID.

    I’ve asked you before some questions regarding your view of genetics vs evolution but you a) missed the questions, b) ran away and ignored the questions.

    Are you ready now to clear up your views?

  26. 26
    chuckdarwin says:

    Re: Jerry
    What in the world are you talking about? Organisms evolve (or if you’re in Behe’s strange world, “devolve”). Fitness doesn’t evolve or “devolve.” Fitness, contrary to BA77’s meanderings into 100-year-old biology, is simply a description of how well an organism interacts (i.e., fits) with its environment. Does it thrive and reproduce, or does it struggle and die out? These questions are studied using, inter alia, birth rate, mortality rate, metabolism, food utilization, dominance, predation, climate, terrain, etc. etc. etc. by field and population biologists. The whole science of wildlife management deals with fitness. None of this has anything to do with “intelligent design.” The only thing that I’ll be endorsing is my social security check………..

  27. 27
    jerry says:

    What in the world are you talking about?

    Genetics

    Everything you list is genetics. And ID has no disagreements with anything you list or genetics.

    ID is science+ so you just endorsed part of what ID endorses.

    You just endorsed something else besides Social Security.

    or if you’re in Behe’s strange world, “devolve”

    Behe has a specific meaning by devolve. It is when an organism survives or is fittest when it loses genomic information. That is how some organism get fitter. In fact it is a very common way they do.

    So the expression “devolves” is extremely appropriate. You endorsed “devolves” too.

    Aside: you make comments on things you do not understand. The above for example. Maybe besides derogatory remarks, you should reserve your comments for asking questions.

    Asise2: I can give you a bank number to use when you endorse those checks.

  28. 28
    Seversky says:

    Bornagain77/17

    “When an engineer is wrong, people may die.

    (Yet) When a Darwinian biologist is wrong, tens of millions of people become atheists”,,,

    Oh, would that were true…

    (and then a couple of hundred million people die).

    How many people have died in the name of religions whose followers cannot even admit the possibility that they might be wrong?

  29. 29
    Seversky says:

    Jerry/27

    ID is science+

    No, ID is science manqué. It fails to live up to its claims.

    Behe has a specific meaning by devolve. It is when an organism survives or is fittest when it loses genomic information. That is how some organism get fitter. In fact it is a very common way they do

    As stated, that argument is nonsense. If the fitness of an organism is improved by the loss of genetic information then that information must have been detrimental. Losing it allowed the organism to become better fitted, so how is that devolution?

    If losing genetic information is always happening and always detrimental to organisms then why don’t they experience an inevitable genomic degradation to the point where they collapse in an error catastrophe? In fact, on that understanding, why are there any genetic-based life-forms around at all?

    And does Behe make any mention of the proposed mechanisms by which information could be added to the genome?

  30. 30
  31. 31
    jerry says:

    As stated, that argument is nonsense

    So something that’s perfectly logical because it fits the data is nonsense.

    I didn’t say all fit organisms devolved. But some actually did and got fitter. And there are no examples of new capabilities arising through genomic change.

    Maybe you should read the book before commenting. It makes you look like a fool.

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Martin_r: “(Yet) When a Darwinian biologist is wrong, tens of millions of people become atheists”,,,

    Sev: “Oh, would that were true…”

    So Sev, are you saying that you actually would prefer Darwinian biologists to be wrong just so that tens of millions of people would become atheists? ,,, Aside from revealing your dogmatic bias towards atheism no matter if Darwinism is wrong, tell me something Seversky, have you ever really cracked a history book? i.e. You do realize that tens of millions of people actually have been led astray, led into atheism, because of Darwin’s pseudoscientific theory do you not?

    BA77: “(and then a couple of hundred million people die).”

    Sev: “How many people have died in the name of religions whose followers cannot even admit the possibility that they might be wrong?”

    So what is your actual argument here Seversky? Christianity is ALMOST as bad as your Darwinian atheism is in murdering its own people so we should prefer your Darwinian atheism over Christianity?

    Sev, aside from your claim being patently absurd on its face, your claim doesn’t even make any logical sense. Even if Christianity were ALMOST as bad as atheism in murdering its own people, as you falsely imagine it to be, we should still prefer the worldview that has resulted in less death.

    Moreover, contrary to what you, and Dawkins, falsely imagine about Christianity being ALMOST as bad as atheism, the fact of the matter is that Christianity, unlike Darwinian atheism, has made the world a much better place for humanity.

    For instance. from his book ‘Evidence for Christianity’ Josh McDowell, in giving examples of the influence of Jesus Christ on the world, cites many examples of Christianity’s positive influence. Here are just a few examples:

    1. Hospitals
    2. Universities
    3. Literacy and education for the masses
    4. Representative government
    5. Separation of political powers
    6. Civil liberties
    7. Abolition of slavery
    8. Modern science
    9. The elevation of the common man
    10. High regard for human life

    Evidence for Christianity – Josh McDowell
    https://www.amazon.com/Evidence-Christianity-Josh-McDowell/dp/1418506281

  33. 33
    jerry says:

    Looking for intelligent life

    https://i.redd.it/1k0f2gbnmba81.jpg

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerry,, ha ha ha,,,

  35. 35
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/30

    Seversky at 29,

    This might help:
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/04/vindicated-by-behe-devolution-is-natural-evolution-is-not/

    This might help more …

    Darwin Devolves: “Devolution” is Not a Thing

    […]

    In Michael Behe’s new book, he touts the concept “Devolution” using what he calls the first rule of adaptive evolution, that is, that unguided natural selection usually works through random mutations that damage, diminish, or break the genes in which they occur. To do more than that, the actions of a supernatural intelligent agent are required, according to Behe. (For a more comprehensive review of Behe’s ideas about Intelligent Design, see the first few sections of my recent review of “Darwin Devolves.”)

    I have lots of problems with this book. I detail some of them in this review in Science, but I take a detailed scientific look at his opening example in this post, which I think captures Behe’s general approach of presenting data in a very misleading way. But in addition to the problems with his individual claims and examples, the whole concept of “devolution” is rather puzzling and I’d like to expand on that.

    You have probably never seen the word “devolution” in a scientific context, because it is not a concept within biological science (as far as I know). Behe uses the terms devolve and devolution to indicate a loss or diminishing of function, as though these were the opposites of evolve and evolution. According to Behe, a protein evolves if it improves in function (or gains a new function), and it devolves if it’s function is reduced, degraded, or destroyed. These are not terms that chemist, biochemists, or molecular biologists use and understand. “Devolve” is a pure Behe-ism.

    It also doesn’t make any sense. Evolution simply means change over time, and it is not a steady march toward perfection or increasing complexity. In fact, evolution favors simplicity, efficiency, and streamlining as often as it favors complexity. While it’s possible that Behe is using the term in a jocular manner, there’s no indication of that, and he uses the term repeatedly throughout the book in that very specific way. Let’s call this…

    Misunderstanding #1: Behe seems to think that evolution is the accumulation of complexity. If so, it’s no wonder that he has such angst about it. The reality is that evolution is aimless, sloppy, and produces clunky solutions as often as it does elegant ones. Our own bodies are filled with glitches and goofs left over from the imprecision of natural selection. This may be deeply unsatisfying to some, but nature cares little about our satisfaction.

    This fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of evolution is a serious error, especially for someone who has dedicated his career to critiquing modern evolutionary theory. But it not the only one.

    Misunderstanding #2: Behe’s notion of “irreducible complexity” demands that natural selection can only work if every single step on an evolutionary path is advantageous. We know that’s not true. Populations of organisms harbor a great deal of genetic diversity generated by gene duplications, neutral mutations (and even slightly deleterious ones), recombination, and even rare but dramatic events like chromosomal duplications or rearrangements, and horizontal gene transfer (which may actually be not as rare as we thought). Evolutionary forces then act on all that diversity in unpredictable ways. In Darwin Devolves, you will not find discussions of any of this. Behe either ignores or quickly dismisses these phenomena, despite the key role they play in the generation of the very complexity that Behe doesn’t think that nature can build.

    Misunderstanding #3: Behe frequently speaks as though natural selection (which he often calls Darwinism) is the only evolutionary force and speaks about in only the simplest terms, as if we haven’t learned a great deal since the mid-19th century. Natural selection encompasses many permutations that Behe rarely, if ever, acknowledges including exaptation, sexual selection, and frequency-dependent selection. Moreover, natural selection is joined by other forces such as genetic drift, gene flow, hybridization, and meiotic drive. Behe constantly repeats his refrain that natural selection cannot account for everything we see in nature. Yeah, we know. And we’ve known that for a very long time.

  36. 36
    PaV says:

    Jerry:

    15 years ago it was pointed out that every truthful argument for Darwinian Evolution was based on micro evolution or genetics. So there is largely truth in what they claim. Does anyone here doubt genetics? Genetics is based on Darwinian processes.

    Jerry, what do you mean by genetics? If you define “genetics” as what genes do in various kinds of cells, well, then, fine. If you mean what Mendel discovered, that genes segregate between generations, that’s fine too. But if you mean “neo-Darwinian” theory, then, this is no longer “genetics.”

    The clue here is this: contrary to what you wrote, “genetics” is NOT based on Darwinian processes; rather, ‘neo-Darwinism’ has ‘co-opted’ genetics and developed theories that suggest the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibria can be overcome via many generations and via changes in environments. This is, at the very least, disputed.

    Now, if your model of “genetics” is what Jacob and Monod found bacteria doing, then, fine, we can say that certain organisms adapt themselves through selective death. But these are simple organisms. They replicate quite proficiently and quickly. Their generation period is perhaps hours. And they have lots of nutrients (since they’re so small and have limited needs).

    These, though, fails when we begin to deal with more complex organisms that have more complicated chromosomal structures together with more specialized structures within their cells.

    Kimura’s ‘Neutral Theory’ is a DIRECT consequence of the fact that if you take two things: 1) the notion that “selective death” is the driving force for evolution and 2) long generation times–i.e., not the hours that bacteria take, but, in the case of mammals, sometimes twenty years, these two realities simply don’t “mix.” They’re like ‘water and oil.’ In his book on Neutral Theory, Kimura specifically uses the example of the amount of geological/deep time it would take for an elephant to incorporate a simply base substitution.

    The history of evolutionary theory since Darwin’s time till present is one of amalgamation. I call it the “Blob.” Just like the “Blob” from movie fame, Darwinism has the ability to incorporate anything into its theory, thus making it unfalsifiable and hence, despite debate about unfalsifiability, unscientific.

    This last paragraph is a preamble to the fact that somehow, some way, Neutral Theory, which is essentially the statement that “neo-Darwinism” CANNOT explain “genetics,” is now rolled up into “neo-Darwinism”/”Modern Synthesis.” You see: “synthesis,” that is, “amalgamation;” that is, the “Blob.”

    In the modern world of epigenetics, whole genome analysis, enhanced microscopy and such, this “bird” just can’t fly anymore.

    Here, I’m going to sound like I’m going off-topic, but I’m not.

    Years ago, right here at UD, I highlighted the case of the Adriatic lizards moved from one island to another island having no lizards whatsoever and being left there, uninspected for forty years because of the Bosnian/Serbian war. When the biologist went back to the island, they found that their genome had NOT change; but that their physiology DID change. Now, my question to you: if no “alleles” changed, then HOW did these physiological changes come about–the most dramatic being the development of cecal valves in their stomachs? How does “genetics” answer this question? How did these changes happen in forty to eighty generations?

    I’ll wait for your response to this post and to this question, and then we can discuss the above lizard experiment a bit more. I wonder if you remember this discussion taking place here years ago.

  37. 37
    relatd says:

    Atheism was the official religion in the Soviet Union. So what god were Russian soldiers dying for in World War II? After the Soviet Union fell in the early 1990s, religion returned.

  38. 38
    chuckdarwin says:

    Seversky/35
    I don’t think Lents’ discussion of Behe’s “misunderstanding” of natural selection, in particular, and evolutionary biology, in general, is confined to Behe. I think it pervades the Discovery Institute cognoscenti and the larger ID “movement.” Lents’ comments capture the point I made at Comment 1 in much greater detail. This weird obsession with “loss of information” and “broken genes,” I suppose, is a quick and dirty way to appeal to the folks sitting in the pews……

  39. 39
    jerry says:

    what do you mean by genetics

    Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms

    Or

    Genetics is the study of genes—the units of heredity—and how the traits for which they carry coded information are transmitted from one generation to the next.

    It’s as simple as that.

    ————-

    This weird obsession with “loss of information” and “broken genes,” I suppose, is a quick and dirty way to appeal to the folks sitting in the pews

    One of the more stupid comments ever made here.

    Just assume that ID writers know as much about changes in genomes over time as any evolutionary biologist in the world. Certainly Behe does. Lost of genetic information is just one of the ways genomes change. It’s ironic that this has produced more changes than the building up of new variations to genomes.

    What’s missing is any examples of the processes mentioned by Lents producing any significant change. If it did, we would hear nothing but it.

  40. 40
    jerry says:

    I have a Great Courses course on Genetics. Here are the various lectures. .

    Our Inheritance ……………………………..
    Mendel and Genes……………………….
    Genes and Chromosomes……………
    The Search for the Gene—DNA…..
    DNA Structure and Replication ……
    DNA Expression in Proteins …………
    Genes, Enzymes, and Metabolism ….
    From DNA to Protein…………………..
    Genomes …………………………………
    Manipulating Genes—Recombinant DNA ..
    Isolating Genes and DNA ……………………..
    Biotechnology—Genetic Engineering ……
    Biotechnology and the Environment……….
    Manipulating DNA by PCR and Other Methods…………………………….
    DNA in Identification—Forensics ……….
    DNA and Evolution ………………………….
    Lecture Seventeen DNA and Human Evolution………….
    Molecular Medicine—Genetic Screening……
    Molecular Medicine—The Immune System …………………………
    Molecular Medicine—Cancer………………
    Molecular Medicine—Gene Therapy……
    Molecular Medicine—Cloning
    and Stem Cells …………………………………
    Genetics and Agriculture ……………………

    Nothing mysterious, just changes in the genome over time due to variation, heritability and selection.

    Everything I said about genetics and Behe is true. All can be easily verified.

  41. 41
    martin_r says:

    BA77

    For instance. from his book ‘Evidence for Christianity’ Josh McDowell, in giving examples of the influence of Jesus Christ on the world, cites many examples of Christianity’s positive influence. Here are just a few examples:

    1. Hospitals
    2. Universities
    3. Literacy and education for the masses
    4. Representative government
    5. Separation of political powers
    6. Civil liberties
    7. Abolition of slavery
    8. Modern science
    9. The elevation of the common man
    10. High regard for human life

    let me add

    Charity

  42. 42
    martin_r says:

    Relatd @37

    Atheism was the official religion in the Soviet Union.

    not only in the Soviet Union … in the whole Eastern Europe (prior 1990) …
    Religious people were persecuted by communists …
    During that era, to go to church was a heroic act.
    Some priests got jailed …

  43. 43
    martin_r says:

    PaV @36

    as to Kimura’s ‘Neutral Theory’

    this was published in 2018:

    Theorists Debate How ‘Neutral’ Evolution Really Is

    For 50 years, evolutionary theory has emphasized the importance of neutral mutations over adaptive ones in DNA. Real genomic data challenge that assumption.

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/neutral-theory-of-evolution-challenged-by-evidence-for-dna-selection-20181108/

  44. 44
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/37

    Atheism was the official religion in the Soviet Union.

    To quote Penn Gillette, “Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby”. Or, to put it another way, a thing cannot be both itself and its negation at one and the same time.

    The nearest thing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had to a religion was the political ideology of Marxism-Leninism.

    So what god were Russian soldiers dying for in World War II?

    I would guess that, for the most part, they were dying to defend their country like the soldiers of other countries.

    After the Soviet Union fell in the early 1990s, religion returned.

    That’s true, which strongly suggest that atheism did not replace other faiths – tens of millions did not suddenly “convert” to atheism because of Darwinism or anything else – those other faiths were simply suppressed by the atheist communist regime.

  45. 45
    chuckdarwin says:

    Jerry/40
    Where in the Great Course on Genetics is the section on ID? Whoops, they must have forgotten to put it in. How embarrassing–you might want to bring that to their attention…..

  46. 46
    Seversky says:

    Chuckdarwin/38

    I don’t think Lents’ discussion of Behe’s “misunderstanding” of natural selection, in particular, and evolutionary biology, in general, is confined to Behe. I think it pervades the Discovery Institute cognoscenti and the larger ID “movement.” Lents’ comments capture the point I made at Comment 1 in much greater detail. This weird obsession with “loss of information” and “broken genes,” I suppose, is a quick and dirty way to appeal to the folks sitting in the pews……

    Your comment @1 neatly encapsulated that position. I came across Lents’s piece when looking for further commentary on Behe’s case and thought that, given the extent to which ID/creationists lean on Behe’s “misunderstandings”, it wouldn’t hurt to belabor the point.

  47. 47
    jerry says:

    Where in the Great Course on Genetics is the section on ID? Whoops, they must have forgotten to put it in. How embarrassing–you might want to bring that to their attention

    Doubling down on stupid.

    ID is science+ So ID includes all proven science.

    Nothing in the above course contradicts ID. How could it? ID is the best science interpretation in the world.

    In the above course, the author speculates in two places on unproven assumptions/speculation because of something called the reputational cascade. Such effects explain how individuals such as yourself who are always wrong arise and why many authors must bow to emperor and not talk about his lack of clothing.

    on Behe’s “misunderstandings

    What misunderstanding?

    There aren’t any. The misunderstanding is completely on Lents part as he distorts the book. And you fell for it. You have been around here for 14+ years and are almost 100% wrong. Why do you have to constantly misrepresent? It always undermines what you say.

  48. 48
    chuckdarwin says:

    Relatd/37
    By the by, now that religion has “returned” to Russia, it is up to its old tricks of kowtowing to the tsar………

    https://www.christianpost.com/voices/the-russian-orthodox-church-is-complicit-in-the-war-with-ukraine.html

  49. 49
    chuckdarwin says:

    Jerry/47
    14+ years? Seriously? Maybe 14 or so months. Talk about being wrong……

  50. 50
    jerry says:

    14+ years? Seriously? Maybe 14 or so months. Talk about being wrong

    ChuckDarwin cannot read.

    This explains a lot of his issues. I address a comment to Seversky and he thinks it is addressed to him. This might be the problem with Chuck.

    Maybe, ChuckDarwin is just ego centered.

    Aside: in the lecture on evolution from the genetics course I listed above, the lecturer’s examples of evolution are just trivial micro evolution ones. (Moths, finches, plant leaves) In other words the lecturer is using ID approved examples of change to illustrate evolution. In other words it’s not about Evolution. An extremely ID friendly course. ID approved.

    Aside2: let’s make a distinction between ID friendly science which includes most of the science done and speculative non proven science. They are often mixed in the same paragraph even in the same sentence. But they are different.

    People like ChuckDarwin who cannot distinguish truth from science fiction has trouble understanding this basic fact of human behavior.

  51. 51
    PaV says:

    Jerry @ 39:

    Jerry, if you could do me the courtesy of reading through my entire post. At the end, you’ll see a pose a question to you. If you could be so kind as to give it a response.

    P.S. Thank you for looking up a definition of genetics. I’m entirely incapable of such a thing. I asked you what you meant by genetics. Shall I presume that it’s simply whatever genetics is said to be?

  52. 52
    jerry says:

    you’ll see a pose a question to you. If you could be so kind as to give it a response

    How did these changes happen in forty to eighty generations?

    Epigenetics.

    I’ll have to look in to it much closer. I actually did read over it recently. Morphology changes obviously happen by allele shuffling but as the Grants have shown that epigenetics also causes morphology changes.

    I believe there are other examples of epigenetics causing morphology changes or other internal changes that affect selection. So we have allele shuffling, epigenetics and devolution as processes that lead to changes for selection to work on.

    There could be others but these are off the top of my head. All micro evolution or genetics and endorsed by ID.

  53. 53
    JVL says:

    Jerry: Epigenetics.

    Which affects gene expression. That’s genetics. Ain’t it? It doesn’t change the genome just which parts are in play.

  54. 54
    jerry says:

    How did these changes happen in forty to eighty generations

    Diet.

    Interesting is the Wikipedia article on the lizards does not really call this evolution, even with the external and internal changes. It’s like the world forgot about them. All the relevant articles are from 2008.

    They also don’t appear in recent books on evolution.

  55. 55
    relatd says:

    CD at 48,

    The tsar has religion on his side this time.

  56. 56
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 54,

    I must have missed all those Diet BOOKS for Lizards at the bookstore.

  57. 57
    jerry says:

    The genetics course that I listed above had two lectures on “evolution.”

    One is on evolution in general and one is on humans. I watched each today and each is ID friendly. That is, there is nothing in them that challenges ID.

    Maybe a useful distinction is ID friendly science. And science that challenges ID. So far the only science that I’ve seen that challenges ID is science fiction.

  58. 58
    JVL says:

    Jerry: One is on evolution in general and one is on humans. I watched each today and each is ID friendly. That is, there is nothing in them that challenges ID.

    Except the unguided part.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    jerry says:

    #59 Excellent video on epigenetics.

    I believe one of the first studies on the effect of epigenetics on offspring was with Dutch children as a result of near starvation during WWII. This is similar to the Swedish study in the video.

  61. 61
    PaV says:

    Jerry:
    In answer to how the lizard changed in so short a number of generations, you wrote:

    Diet.

    Interesting is the Wikipedia article on the lizards does not really call this evolution, even with the external and internal changes. It’s like the world forgot about them. All the relevant articles are from 2008.

    They also don’t appear in recent books on evolution.

    Now, I believe there’s a reason that the “world forgot about” these Adriatic lizards. It’s because of an experiment conducted in late 2008, or there about, and published in an off-beat journal.

    As to this experiment, if you look at comment #6 on a prior thread of mine, you’ll find that in RESPONSE to YOU, I urged a simple experiment be performed based on the original article about the changes to these Adriatic lizards. I said that the only reason that this could happen is via the environment, that is, the diet. And, further, I said the natural follow-up experiment should be this: take some of the original lizards, place them in a lab, and change their diet. Well, months after this comment, this experiment was actually carried out. They found that by changing the diet, these ‘original’ lizards grew cecal valves there in the lab in around 10 weeks. This isn’t even one generation of replication; this is zero generations of replication. Since this dramatic result–which should have been deserving of much attention and thought, so seriously cast ‘”neo-Darwinian/Modern Synthesis” thinking into question, it was relegated to a second tier journal and forgotten about for the most part.

    [Here’s the original thread. There’s a follow-up thread about the results of the experiment once I found out about it, which, IIRC, was years after.]

    Here we are, Jerry, fourteen years later, and you still have the same position as then–as do I. But I predicted what the results of the experiment would produce.

    Yes, evolutionists will call this “phenotypic plasticity.” A mind not grounded in reality will always come up with a word to describe something that cannot be explained and the whole idea of having a word for this unexplained phenomena gives the coiner of this new word the feeling of control and understanding, when this understanding doesn’t exist. We see it all the time with evolutionists. There’s always a word for what they can’t explain. But it’s no more than ‘fairy dust.’

    How did this epigenetic capability develop? That is, how is it that latent forms of being exist for this lizard? How did selection bring that about? That’s your challenge, Jerry. Hope you’re up to it.

  62. 62
    PaV says:

    Jerry,

    As to your infatuation with ‘alleles,’ maybe you can look at this thread from 2013.

  63. 63
    jerry says:

    As to your infatuation with ‘alleles

    I haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

    You seem to be making up things. For what reasons, I don’t know.

  64. 64
    Querius says:

    PaV @36 & 61,

    The history of evolutionary theory since Darwin’s time till present is one of amalgamation. I call it the “Blob.” Just like the “Blob” from movie fame, Darwinism has the ability to incorporate anything into its theory, thus making it unfalsifiable and hence, despite debate about unfalsifiability, unscientific.

    Yup. Darwinism can rationalize (or amalgamate) anything, but isn’t very successful in predicting anything.

    Years ago, right here at UD, I highlighted the case of the Adriatic lizards moved from one island to another island having no lizards whatsoever and being left there, uninspected for forty years because of the Bosnian/Serbian war. When the biologist went back to the island, they found that their genome had NOT change; but that their physiology DID change. Now, my question to you: if no “alleles” changed, then HOW did these physiological changes come about–the most dramatic being the development of cecal valves in their stomachs? How does “genetics” answer this question? How did these changes happen in forty to eighty generations?

    Excellent. No, I haven’t heard of the Italian wall lizards growing cecal valves in generation 0. Wow!

    Apparently, evolutionary biologists have their version of “name it and claim it.” LOL

    -Q

  65. 65
    PaV says:

    Jerry,

    Why do you say I’m making stuff up? What stuff?

    What I’m doing is drawing your attention to experimental results and asking you to interpret them. Now, it’s fine if you feel that you cannot answer them or if you give me an answer; but, to simply say that I’m “making up things” gets no one anywhere.

    For example, in the link concerning “alleles,” you will find this quote from the press release:

    The result of these complex dynamics is that genetic diversity could be maintained indefinitely, without one allele or the other ever being fixed in the population.

    Now, this is the problem: According to Motoo Kimura’s “Neutral Theory,” population genetics CANNOT work!! Why? Because based on actual genetic diversity–that is, “alleles” being different from one another within the population and the individual organisms that make it up, all known from protein assays using get electrophoresis, the mutational load on an organism, and the population of organisms by extension, is TOO great. That is: so many individual organisms would have to “DIE” (that is, after all, what natural selection is–DEATH by attrition), since at every allele location (loci) purifying selection would have to take place to maintain the proper frequencies, that the population would go extinct, simply die off.

    The “Neutral Theory” was Kimura’s solution to this dilemma, called Haldane’s Dilemma. It says that within organisms most mutations, if not all, are neutral–neither beneficial nor harmful. And that with enough time, 4Ne generations, these mutated alleles eventually become “fixed.”

    But from the article under consideration(Discussion) , we find this:

    As also shown, however, once beneficial alleles are established in a population, they might not speed to fixation, but be maintained, because at intermediate frequencies their adaptive values can change in sign.

    Now, if “neutral” mutations cannot get a foothold on a small population and later moving to fixation, then the Neutral Theory loses its value for small populations. [Assuming (!) that what is true for small populations (the experiment as set up) is also true for larger populations, then this would be true for ALL of evolution.]

    So, if Haldane’s Dilemma (mutational load) drove Kimura to the ‘Neutral Theory’ and small populations cannot “fix” up-and-coming “neutral” mutations, then “evolution” loses its ability to explain things.

    All this talk about “alleles” leads us nowhere: it only tells us what we see. Any knowledge firmer than what we can test remains elusive. ID offers the better explanation.

    ***************************************
    Now, as to what this experiment may be showing:

    The press release I quoted from contains this:

    Ivo Chelo [the lead author] explains: “Our data suggests that the value a new allele brings to the individuals is not fixed. . . . Initial stages when the new alleles appear cannot tell us what the effects of the alleles will be a few generations later, when the population has already changed.”

    Reasoning this through, I then reached this conclusion of what was happening (from my OP):
    What these two examples suggest is that the ‘genome’ has the ability to monitor the level of use of any particular ‘allele’, and that depending on its current ‘use’, the ‘allele’ that would be ‘deleterious’ for the current environment is held at some minimal level so that should the environment change in the future, the needed ‘allele’ [then ‘beneficial’] would be ready at hand. [Which makes sense given how improbable it is to generate an allele from scratch]

    But, in this scenario—backed up by the two experiments I’m speaking of—it is the population itself which determines what is ‘deleterious’, and hence eliminated via “death,” and which is ‘beneficial.’ In this case, it is the genome—very likely communicating with itself via individual genomes—that is making the “SELECTION;” NOT ‘nature.’

    What makes sense is this: NOT that “Natural Selection” has a “mind of its own” (which is the impression you get when evolutionists talk about evolution), but that there is information within the genome that assesses the group dynamics of the population itself and “makes use” of differential death, otherwise known as NS. I don’t see how you arrive at this information via neo-Darwinian suppositions.

  66. 66
    Querius says:

    Whistler @59,

    Let me also add my thanks to Jerry’s for posting the link to the video on epigenetic tags. While I was put off at first by the cartoon format, the explanations were clear and compelling!

    -Q

  67. 67
    Querius says:

    PaV @65,

    Thanks for the excellent comment! What it points out to me is how Darwinism continues to slow down scientific progress by suppressing any valuable work that doesn’t conform to its ideologically based science fantasy.

    -Q

  68. 68
    jerry says:

    Why do you say I’m making stuff up?

    Because you are.

    For example, your comment was

    your infatuation with ‘alleles

    I am certainly not infatuated with alleles, so why make the comment. You also made a belittling comment about something I don’t believe

    That’s your challenge, Jerry. Hope you’re up to it

    I have no idea what game you are playing and I certainly do not believe epigenetic processes arrived on the scene by Darwinian processes. So I am reluctant to continue answering you. You seem to have a problems understanding what others are saying. Maybe you should ask questions first.

    If you want to discuss obscure studies that may suggest a new mechanism/process at work, have at it. But I will not answer you because I am not interested. I have no interest in delving into the areas you seem interested in.

  69. 69
    PaV says:

    Jerry,

    I apologize if I came across as belittling you. Perhaps there’s a bit of frustration in the comments I made. But I’m happy you cleared up what you meant.

    One of the frustrations in this area of evolution is that of definitions that dangle. Species is one; alleles is another. And ‘fitness’ is one more to add to the list.

    In fact, the whole notion of ‘fitness’ takes a beating in the paper I linked to above. If an “allele” (represented by an organism introduced into a population with an “allele” that is different from the homogeneous population) at various “frequencies,” i.e., 5, or 15, or 85%, formed by introducing new organisms (“alleles”) into a population that together total 100 (e.g., 5 new organisms and 95 homogenous organisms= 0.05%= frequency of the “allele”), they find that the “allele” is “beneficial” at low frequencies and high frequencies, but is “deleterious” for the intervening frequencies. [These are worms they’re working with.] How can the same “allele” be both “beneficial” and “deleterious” depending on the total number of organisms? IOW, who’s keeping track of the “frequencies”? The only honest answer to what they observe is that they don’t know what’s going on. Since they’re not capable of this kind of honesty, you’re left with a confusing, somewhat slippery notion of both “frequencies” and “beneficial” mutations. Pile all of these slippery terms on top of one another, and, to me at least, it’s simply a mess.

    If the establishment wants to hang onto ‘genetics,’ yes, there are ‘laws’ there; but this is not “evolution” unless Mendel is the discover of “evolution.”

  70. 70
    PaV says:

    Querius:

    You’re most welcome. It has been my history here at UD, that anytime I try to see things other than through the lens of the established orthodoxy of evolutionists, they come and tell me how wrong I am, seeming to not be interested in the least that the explanations they provide fail to satisfy the questions that beg to be answered. Thinking “outside of the box” is not permitted. And so, as you suggest, science is thwarted.

  71. 71
    Querius says:

    PaV @70,

    Yes, the bold defenders of orthodoxy do not permit thinking outside the box, novel experiments, or asking “disruptive” questions in a class.

    Here’s an example that I’ve used in the past that usually draws jeers and derision online. A biologist once suggested that I write a paper on the subject, but in researching the topic, I found that the information was already known but published in an old reference tome.

    When I was in high school, I thought hydra were cool. They were like some kind of mini-monsters. As a project, I tried to raise them according to the instructions–in a small covered Petrie dish with distilled water and a few drops of some chemical to discourage algae, I think.

    I introduced some daphnia for their food as the instructions indicated, and I waited for the carnage to begin. I was in high school, remember.

    But the hydra seemed to be afraid of them, withdrawing their tentacles when they came into contact. The hydra started getting smaller every day. The instructions said that hydra will sometimes go into “depression” for reasons not yet completed understood, but to try doing some things I don’t remember. But they kept getting smaller, like little blobs and then disappeared.

    I was determined, so I made some hypotheses:
    – Hydra don’t normally eat daphnia.
    – The hydra weren’t “depressed” but rather they simply starved.
    – Distilled water isn’t natural.
    – The Petrie dishes were too small.

    So . . . I cut the top off a large glass jug, filled it with pond water, added elodea along with daphnia and checked them every day. The results were astonishing!

    The hydra absolutely thrived! They reproduced mainly asexually by budding and their lengths, body and tentacles together, reached 20-25 cm, crisscrossing each other across the circular tank. Their tentacles were extremely thin and sparkly. They rarely withdrew their tentacles except when some wild daphnia crashed into them. I never saw any daphnia being ensnared, though I suppose it could be made to happen for biology text photos. I kept records of their increase in population stopping at 100 because it became too tedious.

    My conclusion was that the hydra were most likely feeding on on protozoans. I learned a lot about observation, making hypotheses (although I changed several variables, not just one), and not just accepting what the instructions and book claimed.

    My biology teacher also loved my experiment because it enabled him to trade a virtually endless supply of hydra all over the district for other lab stuff he needed. Of course, he never shared my secret.

    To this day, I still think hydra are cool and I still challenge baloney science.

    -Q

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    PaV, 61, mas excellente mi amigo. KF

  73. 73
    jerry says:

    Genetics, here is another course from The Great Courses.

    Unlocking the Hidden History of DNA

    1 – Genes versus DNA

    2 – The Quest for DNA’s Structure

    3 – The Double Helix Revealed

    4 – From Genetic Codes to DNA Fingerprints

    5 – The War over the Human Genome

    6 – How DNA Controls Itself and Shapes Our Culture

    7 – Microbes Manipulate Us, Viruses Are Us

    8 – How Epigenetics Turns Genes On and Off

    9 – Apes, Humans, and Neanderthals

    10 – How DNA Reveals History

    11 – CRISPR’s Rise, Promise, and Peril

    12 – How DNA Redefines Medicine and Our Future

    Just got it. Great history of Crick, Watson, Franklin, Wilkins, Mendel, Miescher, Pauling, Nirenberg etc. Also excellent discussion of epigenetics. So far it’s ID friendly.

    Genetics is good science and ID friendly.

    Aside: epigenetics is relatively new. There were occasional references to it in early UD threads but in the scientific world it didn’t start to take off till 2015 when NIH mapped the epigenetic markers in 111 different cell types.

    The realization that the environment can turn epigenetic markers on and off is becoming a major focus of research. This has implications for disease both physical and mental (mental is probably physical too) and addiction. There are changes to individuals over time due to epigenetic changes/mutations. My guess they are just beginning.

  74. 74
    jerry says:

    If the establishment wants to hang onto ‘genetics,’ yes, there are ‘laws’ there; but this is not “evolution

    You may be starting to get it.

    Genetics is excellent science and ID friendly. And genetics while involving change is most definitely not Evolution.

    One of the ironies here at UD is the continuous bashing of Darwin. Darwinian processes are one of the foundations of genetics and thus, good science. But as pointed out, genetics is not Evolution so Darwinian processes have nothing to do with Evolution despite the claims.

    So in one science, genetics, Darwinian processes are ID friendly but are nonsense in the science of Evolution. Is this essential for establishing ID as valid. I happen to believe it is.

    If one wants to persuade others of the truth, then different approaches are necessary. Everybody should read the Availability Cascade to understand why people hold the false beliefs they do. And what may be necessary to convince them otherwise.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Availability_cascade

    Original paper is 90+ pages so maybe just read the conclusions.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=138144

  75. 75
    Querius says:

    Jerry @74,

    Thanks for the references. A lot depends on a person’s definition of “evolution.” Darwinist apologists often define it as “change over time,” which is both undisputable and vacuous. Changes in allele frequency in a population can be observed and is usually termed “microevolution” as a product of genetic diversity. But that’s fundamentally different from “macroevolution,” for which there’s no evidence, only speculation, not to mention the origin of new body plans (sea stars come to mind) or the origin of life “evolving” out of non-living matter.

    -Q

  76. 76
    jerry says:

    Unlocking the Hidden History of DNA

    Highly recommend this course for amusement and information.

    Lecturer is a writer with a background in physics, literature and library science. He is a great writer and has written a highly entertaining and informative course. Been through 6 lectures and all are ID friendly so far. Just finished the genome mapping wars between Venter and Watson/Crick from NIH.

    Aside: natural selection is just what ends up. If it is the same, then it is still selection. What causes changes is something completely different. It’s obvious that morphological variation caused by epigenetics that produces a similar or dissimilar gene pool happens. With a similar gene pool, selection of a particular morphological variation can lead to the same gene pool. So did selection happen? Of course it did. One just gets the same gene pool with different morphologies.

    So to emphasize the obviously best example of this

        Let’s Go Finches

  77. 77
    Querius says:

    Jerry @76,

    While the evolution of epigenetic information is a mystery, I like the more gutsy example of insect metamorphosis.

    How this incredibly complex process evolved in tiny advantageous increments to a complete “reprogramming” of cells into a different body plan is incredibly problematic. For example

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6711285/

    -Q

  78. 78
    jerry says:

    While the evolution of epigenetic information is a mystery, I like the more gutsy example of insect metamorphosis.

    I want to make Darwin’s finches the theme for ID.

    Behe included them on his book cover for “Darwin Devolves.” If they became a staple of ID, that would be embarrassing for those who propose natural evolution because they associate it with Darwin. The changes happen to be epigenetic but it’s really not important what is the cause of the quick change and then change back again.

    https://www.amazon.com/Darwin-Devolves-Science-Challenges-Evolution-ebook/dp/B079L6RTNT/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1668629974&sr=8-1

    Essentially nothing happened but people for over a hundred years have been using Darwin’s finches as a poster child for Evolution when nothing really happened. I am trying to find ways to persuade people who would be willing to look at it if they knew there was some fake misinformation going on. Right now they just go along because there is no downside to going along. In fact it is actually easier to agree.

          Let’s Go Finches

    Aside: I don’t believe “Let’s Go Bugs” would have the same effect.

  79. 79
    Querius says:

    Heh. Point taken.

    -Q

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