Friday, June 17, 2011

Creationist Logic

Help me out, dear readers. I can't for the life of me figure out the logic behind the latest posting at Uncommon Descent: If you make a prediction and it doesn’t happen ….

I'm serious. Although I often make fun of the IDiots, I usually try hard to understand the points they are trying to make so I can expose them as nonsensical. But this one has me completely stumped. On the surface the author seems to be saying that "Darwinism" made a prediction "based on core principles" that wasn't fulfilled. This is bad for "Darwinism."

What is that prediction?

The author ("News") starts with a quotation from The Myth of Junk DNA.
In 2010, University of California Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology John C. Avise published a book titled Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design, in which he wrote that "noncoding repetitive sequences–'junk DNA'–comprise the vast bulk (at least 50%, and probably much more) of the human genome." Avise argued that pseudogenes, in particular, are evidence against intelligent design. For example, "pseudogenes hardly seem like genomic features that would be designed by a wise engineer. Most of them lie scattered along the chromosomes like useless molecular cadavers." To be sure, "several instances are known or suspected in which a pseudogene formerly assumed to be genomic ‘ junk’ was later deemed to have a functional role in cells. But such cases are almost certainly exceptions rather than the rule. And in any event, such examples hardly provide solid evidence for intelligent design; instead, they seem to point toward the kind of idiosyncratic tinkering for which nonsentient evolutionary processes are notorious."

Jonathan Wells, The Myth of Junk DNA (Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2011), pp. 26-27
This is a pretty accurate representation of what John Avise actually says except that it juxtaposes two separate facts. It's true that repetitive DNA sequences—mostly defective transposons—make up about half our genome. Then there's pseudogenes. They are found in the other half and they make up about 1% of the human genome.

Avise, and many others, point out that the presence of pseudogenes is inconsistent with good design and therefore poses a problem for Intelligent Design Creationism.1 I note that the IDiots have consistently refused to address this problem. Instead, they try and convince their followers that pseudogenes don't exist.

Here's what Avise says in his book Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-intelligent design (p. 115). You can see that Wells accurately represented the actual argument that he (Avise) was making.
At face value, pseudogenes hardly seem like genomic features that would be designed by a wise engineer. Most of them lie scattered among the chromosome like useless molecular cadavers. This sentiment does not preclude the possibility that an occasional pseudogene is resuscitated such that it contributes positively to cellular operations, several instances are known or suspected in which a pseudogene formerly assumed to be genomic "junk" was later deemed to have a functional role in cells. But such cases are almost certainly exceptions and not the rule. And in any event, such examples hardly provide solid evidence for intelligent design; instead, they seem to point toward the kind of idiosyncratic genetic tinkering for which nonsentient evolutionary evolutionary processes are notorious.
It's important to make sure you understand the argument that Avise and others are making. When looking at the big picture the presence of thousands of pseudogenes in the human genome is a challenge for those who argue for Intelligent Design Creationism. The fact that a handful of these regions were misidentified as pseudgenes and now turn out to have a function cannot be taken as evidence that all of the 20,000 known pseudogenes have a function.

So, how does Wells deal with this challenge to his belief? On the next page of his book (p. 27) he says ...
But Is It True?

The arguments by Dawkins, Miller, Shermer, Collins, Kitcher, Coyne and Avise rest on the premise that most non-coding DNA is junk, wihout any significnat biological function. Yet a virtual flood of recent evidence shows that they are mistaken. Much of the DNA they claim to be "junk" actually performs important functions in living cells.

The following chapters cite hundreds of scientific articles (many of them freely accessible on the Internet) that testify to those functions—and those articles are only a small sample of a large and growing body of literature on the subject. This does not mean that the authors of those articles are critics of evolution or supporters of intelligent design. Indeed, most of them interpret the evidence within an evolutionary framework. But many of them explicitly point out that the evidence refutes the myth of junk DNA.
This is a classic "bait-and-switch." The argument from Avise and the others is mostly about the presence of pseudogenes. There is solid evidence that many pseudogenes are completely non-functional. There is evidence that non-functional pseudogenes have been inherited from common ancestors, strongly suggesting that the genes were inactivated in ancient ancestors and passed down to modern species as the evolved.

This argument is NOT about "most noncoding DNA." It's about that 1% of the genome that contains known pseudogenes. Unless that point is addressed directly (it isn't) then Wells is guilty of ignoring one of the main arguments of his critics.

But that's not the point of this posting. I'm concerned about the point that "News" makes in the recent posting on Uncommon Descent. He/she says ...
Darwinism predicts something, based on its core principles, and it doesn’t happen. And there are no consequences? Only on planet Darwin. Where all correct predictions originate in Darwin’s theory and are grandfathered as such by his loyal heirs. All incorrect predictions are “proved” to have originated elsewhere, no matter where they actually originated.
What are these predictions of "Darwinism"? It's surely not pseudogenes since no evolutionary theory that I know of predicted pseudogenes. Bacteria don't have many pseudogenes and that's perfectly consistent with evolutionary theory. Plant genomes have lots of pseudogenes and that's perfectly consistent with evolutionary theory. Yeast has a few pseudogenes but not nearly as many as plants and that's perfectly consistent with modern evolutionary theory.

Is "News" referring to junk DNA in general? That's not a prediction of "Darwinism" or any evolutionary theory that I know of. The fact that bacteria have very little junk DNA has never been taken as a fact that overthrows modern evolutionary theory. I'm unaware of any evolutionary biologist who predicted back in the 1960s that most of the mammalian genome would be junk and that this prediction was a requirement of modern evolutionary theory. The arguments of Avise et al. are not based on the "premise" that most of our genome is junk, they're based on the evidence that pseudogenes exist.

No prediction was made so no prediction has been refuted. The point that "News" is making seems illogical.

Unless I'm missing something obvious.

What about the predictions of the IDiots? Casey Luskin explains it [Intelligent Design and the Death of the "Junk-DNA" Neo-Darwinian Paradigm].
Proponents of intelligent design have long maintained that Neo-Darwinism's widely held assumption that our cells contain much genetic "junk" is both dangerous to the progress of science and wrong. As I explain here, design theorists recognize that "Intelligent agents typically create functional things," and thus Jonathan Wells has suggested, "From an ID perspective, however, it is extremely unlikely that an organism would expend its resources on preserving and transmitting so much ‘junk'." [4] Design theorists have thus been predicting the death of the junk-DNA paradigm for many years: ...
and in Another Intelligent Design Prediction Fulfilled: Function for a Pseudogene ...
Darwinists have long made an argument from ignorance, where our lack of present knowledge of the function for a given biological structure is taken as evidence that there is no function and the structure is merely a vestige of evolutionary history. Darwinists have commonly made this mistake with many types of "junk" DNA, now known to have function. In contrast, intelligent agents design objects for a purpose, and therefore intelligent design predicts that biological structures will have function.2
Here's another prediction, according to Barry Arrington on Uncommon Descent [FAQ4 is Open for Comment].
ID does not make scientifically fruitful predictions.

This claim is simply false. To cite just one example, the non-functionality of “junk DNA” was predicted by Susumu Ohno (1972), Richard Dawkins (1976), Crick and Orgel (1980), Pagel and Johnstone (1992), and Ken Miller (1994), based on evolutionary presuppositions. In contrast, on teleological grounds, Michael Denton (1986, 1998), Michael Behe (1996), John West (1998), William Dembski (1998), Richard Hirsch (2000), and Jonathan Wells (2004) predicted that “junk DNA” would be found to be functional.

The Intelligent Design predictions are being confirmed and the Darwinist predictions are being falsified. For instance, ENCODE’s June 2007 results show substantial functionality across the genome in such “junk DNA” regions, including pseudogenes.

Thus, it is a matter of simple fact that scientists working in the ID paradigm carry out and publish research, and they have made significant and successful ID-based predictions.
It seems like it's the IDiots that have hitched their star to a prediction about junk DNA. If any genome turns out to have a substantial amount of junk DNA then Intelligent Design Creationism is refuted. As it turns out, many genomes do have a lot of junk DNA in spite of what Jonathan Wells would have you believe. Thus, Intelligent Design Creationism is no longer a credible scientific hypothesis.

But you knew that already, didn't you?


1. Most scientists actually argue a more specific point; namely, that the conservation of specific pseudogenes in different species is an especially serious problem for Intelligent Design Creationists.

2. It's interesting that Casey Luskin seems to know something about the motivations of the intelligent designer because when scientists point out that the genome doesn't look like it was designed this is not taken as an argument against the IDiot position. Instead it's taken as illegitimate science as pointed out by Wells in his book (p. 103), "Do arguments based on speculations about a creator or designer have a legitimate place in science? Not according to Canadian biologist Steven Scadding, who once wrote that although he accepted evolutionary theory, he objected to defending it on the grounds that a creator would or would not do certain things. 'Whatever the validity of this theological claim,' Scadding concluded, 'it certainly cannot be defended as a scientific statement, and thus should be given no place is a scientific discussion of evolution."

69 comments :

  1. "News" is just an alias for the ever-moronic Sneery O'Leary; no surprise that she gets nearly everything wrong. After all, she thinks evolutionary biologists are in for the money.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Moran posted:
    "It seems like it's the IDiots that have hitched their star to a prediction about junk DNA. If any genome turns out to have a substantial amount of junk DNA then Intelligent Design Creationism is refuted."

    The question is whether "junk DNA" is actually contrary to Intelligent Design. In fact, it is not contrary to Intelligent Design.
    Intelligent agents produce junk. It is a fact. We humans are intelligent and we produce junk.
    An engineer doing trial and error experiments produces non-functional versions (junk) before producing the final product.
    A writer produces drafts of an article, which they scrap (junk) until they arrive at their best version.
    ETC

    The existence of "junk" (if it exists) can be seen as evidence of intelligence and is certainly not contrary to intelligence.

    Evolutionists like Moran are desperate to find a criticism, any criticism, of ID.
    ID does not stand or fall on "junk DNA".

    ReplyDelete
  3. Taking my earlier point one step further.
    Someone might say - why does the intelligent agent keep the junk? Don't we throw out our junk?

    The same question applies exactly to evolution theory.
    Why does the process of evolution not throw out the junk?
    Evolution theory proponents seem to think that "junk" is a problem for ID and not a problem for evolution theory.
    In fact, it is a problem for evolution theory and not a problem for ID.

    But evolutionists who just chatter amongst themselves, overlook their own real problem and try to deflect attention toward ID.
    There is nothing funnier than an evolutionist making claims about what a higher intelligence must be like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is nothing funnier than an evolutionist making claims about what a higher intelligence must be like.

      Excellent point! When one says that "God would do this or that", isn't he then acting like a higher God?

      Delete
  4. Anus. The Magnus IDiot said,

    The question is whether "junk DNA" is actually contrary to Intelligent Design. In fact, it is not contrary to Intelligent Design.

    Then talk to Wells and partner IDiots, because apparently they take any evidence of a function for any tiny amount of DNA that could have been junk as a prediction from ID. Apparently you can't read your own "literature."

    Anus. also said:

    The same question applies exactly to evolution theory.
    Why does the process of evolution not throw out the junk?


    No it doesn't you IDiot. Evolution is a natural process, not an intelligent agent. Evolutionary processes don't have any feelings nor any intent. If something had so much junk that it became unviable, then that would die, but if junk can accumulate with no major consequence, then it stays. That's that. Live with it you imbecile.

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  5. *sighs* I think all this good design, bad design is missing the point. The main point here is that the inference from design is, simply, a non sequitur. Observing a very efficient adaptation doesn't allow you to infer a designer. And there is a very good reason why this is: it's because we have a better and simpler explanation that doesn't require any designer: natural selection.

    The thing is that the argument from design is a fallacy, it's just wrong. You could stop fighting over whether this design is good or bad or whether there is good or bad design at all and concede, for the sake of the argument, that there is plenty of very efficient stuff in nature or even that junk DNA doesn't exist at all (again, for the sake of the argument, just to put yourself in the least favourable position). And the reason for the existence of that good stuff is natural selection, not any designer. That's the point. Natural selecion destroyed that argument's deepest roots 150 years ago. Jeez. I can't believe we're still talking about it.

    Once we have moved on from the false inference from design and we start working within the framework of evolution, then we should ask, if natural selection is capable of all this good design, how come there is plenty of bad design, too? And then we could start talking about other mechanisms of evolution and contingency and all the things selection doesn't do.

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  6. Jose posted:
    "And there is a very good reason why this is: it's because we have a better and simpler explanation that doesn't require any designer: natural selection."

    Is everyone in agreement that natural selection explains it?
    Moran are you in agreement?

    jose can't believe we're still talking about it.

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  7. I love this kind of crap. IDiots want to use 'any' kind of science they can find to show their invisible skydaddy exists. The trouble is that they pretend to have no clue what their skydaddy would do but claim to know how he would design things.

    They cannot demonstrate the difference between design and evolution. Read that again. They have not one thing proven to be a designed biological system to compare to the human genome. Everything they are doing is guesswork with bad science. Everything. On top of this, it is presumed or assumed that a designer would do this or that. Science simply says that this is what is, and ponders how evolution or other methods could have lead to this situation. IDiots are making assumptions that this finding or that proves their theory that there was a designer.

    I realize that the goals of both camps are mixed up in the understanding of what our DNA actually is functionally, but not one person alive or dead can say they actually know what the difference is between designed biological systems and evolved biological systems.

    Anyone that concludes that a biological system was designed does so based on their interpretation of the facts and not some manufacturers stamp on the bottom of the system.

    While there is no proof of design, when evolution (or other suitable theory) explains the system without supernatural intervention then there is absolutely no reason to believe there was some designer.

    This tired argument gets conflated too easily. The first problem is that of the possibility of the existence of designer(s). While we are looking at the facts of what exists, anyone who introduces supernatural designers has to first explain how such can exist, and why. Unless and until that happens the hypothesis that human biology is by design is bogus and predicated on superstition. No, you cannot use the biology of humans as proof of such a hypothesis, you must first show corroborating evidence for such a designer before assigning the creation of human biology to such an entity.

    Well, that is unless you have the blueprints that the designer left behind and not just examples of their work. Looking at examples is NOT the same thing as looking at the blueprint.

    Arguing about the semantics of ID and evolution is stupid. Evolution is the explanation of how things can have arrived at where they are. ID is a theory that none of the evidence is true and biological systems were designed but it lacks any corroborating evidence that there is actually a possibility of a designer. ID is a false argument and should not be given the credit of debating it.

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  8. Does anyone have an example of something which might be "contrary to Intelligent Design"? Something which is not "intelligently designed"? Even a hypothetical? Something which "intelligent designers" did not, or would not, or could not do?

    Or maybe a description of what difference "intelligent design" makes?

    TomS

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  9. @ TomS

    How about the old Laryngeal nerve route? The extra loop around the heart of a giraffe makes great design sense.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurrent_laryngeal_nerve

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Friday, June 17, 2011 1:08:00 PM
    Anonymous Anonymous said..."

    Intelligent agents produce junk

    Why? Why do intelligent agents produce junk? To put us off the trail, to make things look like they are not designed but products of evolution? To make us dig deeper for a signature in teh cell? What designers have we tested when it comes to DNA design that ID scientists, using "teleological means" so that we can compare and contrast and analyze their handiwork? Can you point to the designer and explain how and why it made junk DNA? Where is the designer? How do we fill out a complaint for the circuitous path of the vas deferens, bad knees, pelvic girdles in humans designed to make giving birth very dangerous for females, the circuitous path of the vagus nerve?

    What was the purpose of all these kluges?

    Why would an intelligent designer not discard all of the "trial and error" before presenting the finished product? Windows not withstanding, why carry detritus through succeeding generations of the product when it would be just so much baggage that takes up resources in reproduction?

    If you can't produce the designer, ID is meaningless. ID is a fatuous claim of special pleading because you want schoolchildren to believe in God.

    Anonymous, if that is your real name, you are an IDiot.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Z posted:
    "While there is no proof of design, when evolution (or other suitable theory)explains the system without supernatural intervention then there is absolutely no reason to believe there was some designer."

    Is the explanation natural selection as jose has adamantly said?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous, if you want to know Prof. Moran's opinion on something, you could start by reading his blog:

    "The anti-selectionists—I am one—do not question the fact that adaptations are produced by natural selection."

    Is a 5 seconds long google search too demanding a task?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Z posted:
    "Well, that is unless you have the blueprints that the designer left behind and not just examples of their work. Looking at examples is NOT the same thing as looking at the blueprint."

    The blueprint is what is called the "logos". It underlies the physical level, in exactly the same way that a human designer's IDEA underlies the physical implementation of the idea.
    In other words, the idea is present in the implementation right NOW. The idea does not simply exist at the time of the creation but continues NOW.

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  14. "Thus, it is a matter of simple fact that scientists working in the ID paradigm carry out and publish research, and they have made significant and successful ID-based predictions."

    Wait --- is he saying that it's the ID people themselves who have found out that some pseudogenes have function. Unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice to have the IDiots here.

    Lite in logic, but it's good to see they took a little school and can get on the internets.

    My face is stinging from the repeated face-palming.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with Z. The IDers use the 'kitchen sink' model of argument. It doesn't matter if the arguments are internally consistent, they just have to be framed "anti-evolutionarily".

    Hence, on one hand we have an ID position that 'junk DNA' doesn't exist, because mainstream biologists don't have a problem with it (and therefore they must be wrong) and/or it isn't easy to reconcile with a God that made many species separately. On the other hand, we have the conflicting position that the existence of junk DNA isn't a problem for ID because IDism doesn't imply 'perfect design' and/or designers like humans also produce 'junk' and that therefore some junk is 'predicted'.

    And on the third hand, we have a general failure to acknowledge the incompatibility of the two positions. Is the Earth ancient or relatively young? A simple question with no resolution among the ID community. How does one calculate CSI for biological changes? No IDer honestly knows, yet the majority are happy to pronounce with certainty that CSI, whatever it is, cannot be generated by natural mechanisms.

    To IDists, I'd suggest you get your house in order. An 'intellectual' movement that lacks internal debate is stale, and is a sign of sterile, non-progressing field. Does junk DNA exist? Does it say anything about design or non-design? IDers, let's see *you* resolve that debate among yourselves before claiming what it may suggest about evolution. And do we witness many debates amoung IDers in the attempt to reconcile these problems? No, it's just swept under the rug.

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  17. Anonymous (TomS) posted the request:
    "Or maybe a description of what difference 'intelligent design' makes?"

    The question is based on the incorrect idea that evolution theory can explain the origin and development of creatures over time.
    But evolution theory does not explain that.
    Consequently the question is not "what difference 'intelligent design' makes." The question is how did the influence of a higher intelligence operate in the origin and development of creatures over time?

    Human intelligence is not the only (and not the highest) intelligence operating in the Universe.
    It is only anthropocentrism to think we are the crowning intelligence.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Every claim of supposed "bad design" is an equal claim against evolution. Why would evolution produce such inefficiencies?
    I know very well that evolutionists will produce excuses for the problem that evolution theory has in this regard.
    I have heard them all.

    I notice that folks here have to begin the insults. It make you look childish. And proves you cannot actually defend your own position.

    You want to be taken seriously and yet you act like children.
    And you just don't see it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is nice that Comrade Carter
    can get on the internets.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Mike Haubrich posted:
    "Why? Why do intelligent agents produce junk?"

    Why do intelligent humans produce junk?
    Did you not follow the point I was making?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous says,

    Every claim of supposed "bad design" is an equal claim against evolution. Why would evolution produce such inefficiencies?
    I know very well that evolutionists will produce excuses for the problem that evolution theory has in this regard.
    I have heard them all.


    According to Nearly Neutral Theory, neutral and deleterious alleles can easily become fixed in a population. Nearly Neutral Theory has been an important part of modern evolutionary theory for almost 40 years. Nearly Neutral Theory is not Darwinism.

    But you already heard all that, didn't you?

    You may hear but you don't listen.

    ReplyDelete
  22. @ Anonymous

    "Bad design" in evolution is something that was originally good design, then got kept in because it wasn't especially disadvantageous as a sort of "fossil" of the previous condition.

    The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is indeed a classic example (of a "good design" in a fish that becomes a "bad design" in a tetrapod). It's an absurd design in us, but it really only becomes "bad" in the context of thoracic surgery, where surgeons have to avoid damaging it.

    The story of how the RLN got "hooked" around the top of the pulmonary artery where it connected to the aorta in the embryo (ductus arteriosus in the embryo, ligamentum arteriosum in the adult) is a common enough one to not repeat here (and a link was provided previously). What is more interesting is the case of same nerve on the other side, which I've never seen anyone discuss in this context (bilateral symmetry guys). Because of the single (left side) aorta in us, the left RLN does an extreme circuit, but the right side nerve, rather than looping around the right pulmonary artery (which would be the equivalent "design") gets hooked around a higher up vessel, the subclavian artery (also originally exiting from the "neck" region in fish). So, what is this -- different design, same designer?

    What is really interesting is the rare cases in humans when the left side aorta persists and the right one is lost (situs inversus). Then both of the nerves go haywire, and their route around various blood vessels is highly variable in different individuals. This supports the hypothesis that the specific route of these nerves was not a product of "intentional design", more a consequence of an original pattern retained for no particularly good reason except "phylogenetic inertia".

    Birds have the aorta, and the ductus arteriosus, on the right hand side -- I wonder if there has been a study of these laryngeal nerves in them --- would be pretty interesting.

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  23. Moran posted:
    "neutral and deleterious alleles can easily become fixed in a population".

    Do you even think about the odd ideas you believe in?
    As I said, I have heard all the stories and excuses.

    Here is how it works. Someone points out a significant problem. Someone else comes up with a story and the evolution professionals pick it up and support it.
    No matter how absurd. And the longer they foist it, the stronger their unwarranted belief becomes.

    Thank God you folks don't design bridges or do some other important kind of work.

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's funny how Anonymous has mysteriously stopped asking everyone if they agree with me. I guess he learned something he didn't know before. I'm glad.

    Bad design isn't an argument against evolution or again natural selection, because evolution does not predict perfection, complexity, efficiency, harmony, or beauty. Those qualities are completely unintended. What counts to natural selection is whether, in an environment where not all offspring can survive and reproduce, some individuals can do better than the others around it in relation to the environment they're all living in and whether what makes it do better can be (at least in part) inherited by its offspring. That's it. Sometimes it has a pretty outcome, sometimes it hasn't, that depends on each specific, different case. There is no general (divine?) force pushing species towards greater complexity or anything.

    A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same. That's the reason why not all species are ultra-optimized. In most cases, simply doing well enough is all that's necessary to have an average number of kids. They just don't need more efficiency to live and mate, sort of the same way you manage to live well and happy even though the Koch brothers have more money than you.

    This is all pretty basic stuff, really.

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  25. The basic argument seems to be this:

    1: Science has discovered something that had not been predicted.
    2: Therefore Darwinisms is refuted, and ID is proven true.
    3: Darwinists refuse to accept that their thesis has been refuted.
    4: Therefore Darwinism is a religion or a cult.

    Variations of this argument appear regularly in the ID outlets. The refutation of Darwinism is declared several time per week.

    I suspect some of the IDiots sincerely believe that form of argument.

    Oh, yes, I agree with Jeff Shallit, that "News" is probably O'Leary. And News often presents spin without even a citation of the source.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Once again, we see that the advocates of "intelligent design" are unwilling, or incapable, of telling us what they are talking about.

    Any attempt to make a criticism is met with the response that "that is not intelligent design". Which, technically, is true, because there is no definition or description of what intelligent design is - or of what is is not.

    Which is why can't we expect an example like these of something that isn't "intelligently designed":

    1. A bacterium prior to the design addition of a flagellum? A vertebrate before the vertebrate eye was designed?

    2. A centaur? A "Penrose triangle"?

    BTW, it is interesting that impossible things (like 2) seem to be Intelligently designed. Which just goes to show that intelligent design does not entail existence, and therefore it does not explain existence.

    Anything at all is permitted with intelligent design.

    TomS

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  27. jose posted:
    "It's funny how Anonymous has mysteriously stopped asking everyone if they agree with me. I guess he learned something he didn't know before. I'm glad."

    Nobody has posted an agreement with you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It is interesting to see others here parrot the "IDiots" insult. This is like the school yard.
    People here act like children yet also want to be taken seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  29. paleobarbie posted:
    "'Bad design' in evolution is something that was originally good design, then got kept in because it wasn't especially disadvantageous as a sort of "fossil" of the previous condition."

    So something that was originally good and contributed to survival is replaced by something that is bad and does not contribute to survival. That is your idea.

    As I mentioned to Moran, do you actually think about the things you believe?

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  30. 1: Science has discovered something that contradicts evolution theory.
    2: Therefore Darwinisms is refuted, and ID may be true.
    3: Darwinists refuse to accept that their thesis has been refuted.
    4: Therefore Darwinism is a religion or a cult.

    We can see the religious aspect of the evolutionist belief right on this blog.

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  31. Moran posted:
    "neutral and deleterious alleles can easily become fixed in a population".

    Anon said:
    "Do you even think about the odd ideas you believe in?"

    There no point arguing with him, it's not like we can mathematically calculate the fixation rate for neutral or deleterious mutations. I mean we'd need some sort of 1960's Japanese super scientist to do that.

    Cough...Motoo Kimura...cough

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  32. "A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?
    I am surprised that an evolutionist would be so open about this.

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  33. anonymous says,

    It is interesting to see others here parrot the "IDiots" insult. This is like the school yard. People here act like children yet also want to be taken seriously.

    In theory, it should be quite easy for the IDiots to demonstrate that the term insults their intelligence.

    They've been trying for twenty years to show that they are intelligent. Some of them even post comments on blogs to prove that they are not idiots. Unfortunately for them, the more they post the more they demonstrate that "IDiots" is the correct label.

    ReplyDelete
  34. @ Anonymous

    "So something that was originally good and contributed to survival is replaced by something that is bad and does not contribute to survival. That is your idea"

    No, the entire point is that the original structure was *not* replaced, rendering it less than an optimal design in a different animals (one with a neck in the case of the recurrent laryngeal nerve)

    "As I mentioned to Moran, do you actually think about the things you believe?"

    Indeed I do. Would *you* be able to write such an expose of complex anatomy? Maybe big words disturb you.

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  35. Moran does not understand that an adult can disagree with someone without calling them an "idiot".

    Children always have justifications for their childishness.

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  36. The evolution deniers can only be called unintelligent if they are not aware of the fact that they are making statements which are uniformed or misinformed.

    It could be either that they are aware of that, or that they don't care.

    Charity would suggest that one go with "unaware", but as long as they continue to avoid describing their "explanations", it becomes ever more difficult to avoid thinking that they are "aware" or "uninterested".

    TomS

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  37. Anus. The Utmost IDiot continued to show why the proper name for her kind is IDiots,

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?

    It is no such thing. Maybe it is a refutation of your straw-man of evolutionary theory, but then again, that's why you IDiots make so many straw-man of evolutionary theory: to feel as if you are actually refuting something (of course also to sell more IDiocy to the unaware).

    I am surprised that an evolutionist would be so open about this.

    Well, people who understand evolution are always open to show your straw-men for what they are. So what?

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  38. Anonymous is so funny. He sees refutations everywhere! xD

    No Anonymous, that isn't a refutation of evolution. You'd know it if you were interested in learning, but all you care about is the failure of evil evilution. At this point, I've realized keeping on writing evolution 101 for you is pointless. You have worked hard to earn your title, the one you complain about.

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  39. @Anonymous: How about the old Laryngeal nerve route? The extra loop around the heart of a giraffe makes great design sense.

    Dawkins explained that fully in The Greatest Show on Earth. No mystery.

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  40. @Anonymous:

    And quite nice that you found your way here, too.

    You're learning!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jose:"A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same." [Emphasis added]

    Your argument seems to be assuming that positive selection is the primary driving force of change in natural populations.

    I agree that this is a good explanation of one of the limits of positive selection. However, once you factor in drift+mutation a corollary in such populations should be the relaxation of purifying selection, leading to a faster accumulation of slightly deleterious polymorphisms.

    Hence, while we might not expect perfection in such population (and the above is an additional reason for this), they also should not continue to be the same.

    ReplyDelete
  42. "so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    AND

    "Hence, while we might not expect perfection in such population (and the above is an additional reason for this), they also should not continue to be the same."

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  43. Here is the way it goes:

    New evidence comes to light that contradicts evolution theory.
    Someone comes up with a story to explain the specific new evidence and people are happy to go along with it.
    But they do not see that the new story is not consistent with the other stories.
    Consequently we get contradicting evolution stories that evolutionists promote without acknowledging the contradiction.

    Evolutionists simply do not bring both conflicting stories into their minds at the same time.
    And of course other evolutionists are not going to challenge them on these contradictory stories.

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  44. "This supports the hypothesis that the specific route of these nerves was not a product of "intentional design", more a consequence of an original pattern retained for no particularly good reason except "phylogenetic inertia".

    "for no particular good reason"!
    I love these kind of "explanations" that explain nothing.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10937224
    Phylogenetic inertia is a difficult issue in evolutionary biology because we have yet to reach a consensus about how to measure it. In this study a comparative approach is used to evaluate phylogenetic inertia in 14 demographic and morphological characters in 10 species and one subspecies of the genus Tithonia (Asteraceae). Three different methods, autocorrelational analysis, phylogenetic correlograms, and ancestor-state reconstruction, were used to evaluate phylogenetic inertia in these traits. Results were highly dependent on the method applied. Autoregression and phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR) methods found more inertia in morphological traits. In contrast, phylogenetic correlograms and ancestor-state reconstruction suggest that morphological characters exhibit less phylogenetic inertia than demographic ones. The differences between results are discussed and methods are compared in an effort to understand phylogenetic inertia more thoroughly."


    Evolutionists never lack for stories.

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  45. "A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?
    I am surprised that an evolutionist would be so open about this.

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  46. Paul posted in response to jose:
    "Your argument seems to be assuming that positive selection is the primary driving force of change in natural populations.
    I agree that this is a good explanation of one of the limits of positive selection. However, once you factor in drift+mutation a corollary in such populations should be the relaxation of purifying selection, leading to a faster accumulation of slightly deleterious polymorphisms."


    jose is not up on the latest story. But that has not stopped him from asserting the old story pompously.

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  47. From the Rat to Anonymous:
    "How about the old Laryngeal nerve route? The extra loop around the heart of a giraffe makes great design sense.
    Dawkins explained that fully in The Greatest Show on Earth. No mystery."

    Has Dawkins been rehabilitated? or is he still being increasingly seen as irrelevant and out of date?

    It is sad to see the young pups turn against the old-timers (like Dawkins) who cannot keep up with the latest stories.

    Let's hope we do not see that happen with Dr. Moran.
    Especially after that fiasco we saw him fall into, in the thread
    Junk & Jonathan: Part 4 - Chapter 1
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2011/05/junk-jonathan-part-4-1.html

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  48. It is not looking too good for the evolutionists here.
    Each time you post something I point out the contradictions in what you have said and what you believe.

    Basically all you have left is insults and childishness.

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  49. Anus. the Utmost IDiot,

    Of course disagreement does not mean one party is idiotic. But disagreement for idiotic reasons makes one party idiotic, here the IDiot party is.

    Just take a look at yourself. You refuse to understand properly, and rather take isolated phrases here and there or mistake stuff as "fiascos." For instance, in the latter, you insist and insist. Yes, Larry did not know that Jerry Coyne thought that speciation came as a by-product of natural selection (thus speciation being produced by natural selection even is pleiotropically, did you even search for that word or you rather keep yourself an IDiot in order to keep claiming that evolution is just about "latest stories"?) Yet, you failed to appreciate two things:

    1. It is still true that Wells seems to have presented the stuff as due to natural selection alone, when Jerry thinks "most of it might pleiotropically be due to natural selection." ("Most of it" is not the same as "only.")

    2. Larry admitted his mistake about what Jerry thought. Tell me when Wells, or some other IDiot, withdraws the whole load of bullshit he has been spewing through these years. (Of course, Wells does not do the bullshitting by mistake, but well aware of the deception he wants to sell.)

    As of you, you also insist on not understanding that jose (hey Pepe!) told you a short version of a phenotypically unchanging population, while the part of genetic drift complements what he told you. A species might look exactly the same through years, still the genetic background will change because of neutral and semi-neutral drift. At some point the species might have visible differences too, for no other reason than random fixation, but that does not make jose's explanation wrong, only incomplete. This is not stories. The theory behind the whole thing is quite robust. Your ignorance notwithstanding.

    Yet, you will isolate sentences and insist on "just so stories" labels because that's what IDiots do. Ignore explanations, avoid learning anything, et cetera. You just want to spew rhetoric. Of course, that makes you much more insulting than we could ever be. At the very least we try and understand what the IDiots are saying. You, on the other hand, don't give a shit about honest discourse.

    That's why you are an IDiot. Not because you disagree with us, but because you are such a shitty low-life.

    With that I am done with you for another while.

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  50. I have talked about the contradictory beliefs that evolutionists hold, that they do not acknowledge.
    Here is one of many examples:

    "so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    AND

    "Hence, while we might not expect perfection in such population (and the above is an additional reason for this), they also should not continue to be the same."

    What evolutionists generally do when this is exposed, is simply go quiet.
    But when pushed, they are always able to come up with some story to somehow explain away these contradictions so that they can continue sleep-walking their way through the contradictions.

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  51. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
    "Dissonance is aroused when people [eg. evolutionists] are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs.
    If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one's belief, the dissonance can result in misperception or rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others to restore consonance."

    Now I know that people here will reduce their personal dissonance of all this by claiming that this phenomena applies to "creationists" and not themselves.

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  52. To demonstrate a contradiction, you have to show the full comments in context. Plucking out a few comments full of pronouns with no indication of what they refer to doesn't cut it. It's quote-mining, a well-known trait of dishonest hacks.

    People don't go quiet when you do this because you've scored some awesome debate point. They do so because they have no idea what you are fucking talking about. And I suspect, neither do you.

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  53. I disagree that bad design is a disproof of the proposition of intelligent design, and I disagree with the argument advanced by Wells et al. that discovering some functionality to some junk DNA somehow refutes Darwinian evolution. Nor is it a prediction of intelligent design.

    Of course, 'bad design' never did refute the idea that some features of the world of life are intelligently design. Firstly, I have yet to see an objective method to determine what is 'bad design' and what is 'good design.' Those terms are largely subjective. Secondly, while the existence of much junk DNA in the human genome is not in my opinion the best design, we must remember that the intelligent designer or designers may be prone to error. And so bad design does not disprove intelligent design, and good design does not prove intelligent design.

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  54. Swearing is increasing here.
    Always happens when people get desperate.

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  55. Anonymous, the type of person who thinks it's clever to link to Wikipedia's cognitive dissonance page, when in fact they don't understand what is being discussed - the word for that type of person is 'idiot', or where appropriate, 'IDiot'.

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  56. Swearing also happens when ignorant morons bore their audience with the same tedious nonsense over and over again after having their errors explained to them numerous times. That you pretend this very real and common occurrence doesn't exist is just one more indication of how intellectually dishonest you are.

    But hey, while the scientists keep doing science, you can keep playing your little word games. I'm sure there's a 14-year-old out there that is very impressed with you.

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  57. ... the word for that type of person is 'idiot', or where appropriate, 'IDiot'.

    The latter being a subset of the former.

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  58. 14 year olds do not try to justify their swearing.
    But the kids here try to justify it.
    I suppose that is one difference between those two categories of children.

    But notice how the discussion has degenerated. ScienceAvenger is working hard to justify swearing.

    As I have said all evolutionists have left is insults and childishness.

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  59. Swearing is a valid part of language and provides proper descriptions and/or emphasis, for instance, when some people insist on being IDiots despite too many attempts at educating them. It is not surprising, however, that someone who still believes in "Santa" when grown up (though they might call this character "God" instead), such as an IDiot would, would also still buy into "forbidden words" as told by their mommy.

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  60. If writing one sentence is "working hard" to you, I can see why you can't be bothered to actually do science, and instead play word games. Much easier that, eh?

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  61. jose posted:
    "A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?

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  62. It would only be a refutation of evolutionary theory if said theory claimed that all populations must, at all times, everywhere, be evolving towards more efficiency.

    It doesn't, so it isn't.

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  63. jose posted:
    "A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?

    ScienceAvenger doesn't get it or is pretending.
    Is there anyone here honest enough to acknowledge the issue?

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  64. Ah, so refuting your point amounts to pretending it is not so to you? Once again, your intellectual dishonesty is laid bare.

    You really don't get the whole science thing, do you? This isn't politics, where issues are decided via debate. In science, evidence that passes peer review rules the day. It doesn't matter how many snarkie posts you make, how many accusations of contradictions you make. The evidence for evolution remains, waiting for anyone who doubts it to come up with a better explanation. Until you provide one, your many non sequitor posts are the equivalent of the bell ringing next to the track as the train rumbles by.

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  65. Anonymous writes:

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?

    ScienceAvenger doesn't get it or is pretending.
    Is there anyone here honest enough to acknowledge the issue?


    I go on vacation to Alaska, come back and you still haven't been able to move off the same two tired old rhetorical tropes - first, that your purposeful or uninformed (or purposely uninformed) misunderstandings are refutations of evolutionary theory; and second, that anyone who doesn't share your lack of understanding doesn't "get it." How utterly boring. Unconstrained as you are by the facts, can't you at least make things interesting?

    I call for a better class of troll.

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  66. jose posted:
    "A direct implication for this is that if a population is stable and most of its members do well enough (this is commonly the case), more efficient individuals won't really have an advantage over the average ones, because those will also have on average the same chances to live and mate, so they will have on average as many kids as the more efficient ones, so the population as a whole will continue to be the same."

    Does everyone see that this a refutation of evolution theory?

    Actually maybe it is just wrong. It is what jose posted but is it wrong?

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  67. It would only be a refutation of evolutionary theory if said theory claimed that all populations must, at all times, everywhere, be evolving towards more efficiency.

    It doesn't, so it isn't.

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  68. @ the IDiot Anonymous,

    You are confusing Evolutionary Theory with a mis-interpretation of the phrase "survival of the fittest". You and Ben Stein really need to go back to school. Get back to us after you actually read a good textbook on evolution, on population genetics and on molecular evolution. After that, your logic error will be as obvious to you as the rest of us.

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