Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Darwinian Theory in a Nut




GilDodgen (remember him?) lets us know what a typical IDiot thinks of "Darwinian Theory" [Darwinian Theory in a Nutshell: Random Events Can Produce the Antithesis of Randomness]. Thanks Gil.
Boiled down to its essentials, Darwinian theory is a bizarre cult-like belief that random events can produce the antithesis of randomness.

In no other area of science would such obvious nonsense be accepted without scrutiny or dissent.

One can learn the essentials of Darwinian theory and its claims in a few hours. It’s really just that shallow.

Those of us who are involved in real science — in which rigor is demanded, and in which fantastic, evidentially and rationally unsupported stories like those proposed by Darwinists are laughed at — recognize this shallowness and the transparently absurd claims made on behalf of the theory.
BTW, some of you might have forgotten that Gil Dodgen is involved in real science. Here's a reminder: Gil Dodgen Explains the Salem Conjecture.


72 comments :

  1. Poor GilDodgen seems to be suffering delusions of adequacy.

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  2. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone parrot the phrase
    that someone is "suffering delusions of adequacy".
    But each time someone says it they they are being clever and original.
    This kind of formatory phrase indicates a lack of real thought.

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  3. Anonymous (nice try Gil!), I reckon you'd have about 20 dollars.
    Maybe the people you use the phrase are using it in the manner of a quote, they are not trying to be original, it is merely a phrase, that in the case of Gil Dodgen is extremely apt.
    The lack of thought might very well be yours!

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  4. Nice try Stew. But this is certainly not worth arguing about.

    The main point is that what GilDodgen said is simply correct.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You be trollin'!!

    "Those of us who are involved in real science — in which rigor is demanded, and in which fantastic, evidentially and rationally unsupported stories like those proposed by Darwinists are laughed at — recognize this shallowness and the transparently absurd claims made on behalf of the theory"

    Is 180° arse about face. It's so wrong that i'd suspect it was the work of a Poe, like Landover Baptist or the Onion. Statements like that, you don't argue against, you just laugh. You are remaining anonymous because you fear the tide of laughter and mockery that you deserve! C'mon, put on your real face and drink in that lovely feeling of persecution and suffering you crave.

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  6. With his obsession to find out people's identity, Stew has a disturbing similarity to Rhett Daniels.
    Kind of scary actually.
    But I am sure both he and Daniels can justify themselves.

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  7. D Random Events Can Produce the Antithesis of Randomness

    Hmm, let's see. Radioactive decay?
    Given a lump of an unstable isotope:
    1. It's impossible to reliably predict the exact moment when the next nucleus will undergo decay. It's random.

    2. It's impossible to reliably predict which atom will decay next. It's random.

    3. It's impossible to reliably predict the direction the decay-particle will leave the nucleus in. It's random.

    Yet, out of this "total randomness", we get the higly precise, mathematical regularity of the decay-law and half-life. Allowing us to predict with great certainty how much matter will have decayed over certain timescales.

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  8. If something is impossible for us to predict does that mean it is random?

    That may be the case but you would have to make the case. Right?

    It seems odd to me to claim that the world is random just because we cannot predict it.

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  9. @anonymous It seems odd to me to claim that the world is random just because we cannot predict it.

    I knew you were going to say that.

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  10. Creation Science - it's HARD! It's REAL science, with big words and everything!:
    http://bornagainpagan.com/cartoons/018-test-tube-of-faith.jpg

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  11. Meh, IDiotic pseudoscience is easy. Search for words resembling something you want to support, ignore everything else, data, experiments, proportions, anything, remember you are not researching anything but hunting for quotes. Then put those quotes into your "article." Done. You proved that evolution is wrong. (Keep the motto that creationism wins by default if you "prove" anything in evolution wrong by such inadequate and unscientific methods.)

    This GilWhatever, what an ass-hole. I can't believe the levels of stupidity, yet the other creationists make a circle around this imbecile and clap. Even some who write much more sophisticated ... ahem ... sophistry. I would think that those writing more sophisticated sophistry would be intelligent enough to tell the guy to just shut up and stop giving evil atheists such obvious crap to laugh at. Or maybe the smarter ones need those imbeciles as diversionary tactics. They would get us arguing against that shit, then bring the sophisticated sophistry as a surprise? But what happens then if we show them that they were supporting that crap? Well, all of them IDiots are happy to be dishonest ... why am I trying to make sense of the nonsensical? OK, OK, here I stop.

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  12. To return to Larry's original post here, I think he has dealt very effectively with that pompous and scientifically ignorant windbag who uses the name GilDodgen.

    Thanks, Larry. Keep 'em coming.

    p.s. Gil . . . .when are you gonna show us how your great engineering acumen can be focused laser-like to demonstrate to us how to properly hang toilet paper?

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  13. @anonymous "It seems odd to me to claim that the world is random just because we cannot predict it."

    It's called language. All mutations have a cause but the contributing factors are many and complex and we cannot predict them, so we use the word "random". If you knew enough about the system, you could predict the fall of a die, or the result of a roulette spin but these are also what we call "random" events.

    The point of the "random" nature of mutation is not that it cannot be predicted but that the organism in question is not actively controlling when or where it happens. The non-random element comes from selection, which is entirely separate from the underlying causes of mutation. Be clear about your argument. Are you attacking evolution, which does not necessarily require selection, or just natural selection? If you are attacking selection, then stick with selection - it is not the mutations but the filtering of mutations that is important, so please explain how the filtering of the struggle of life, death and reproduction is not non-random?

    Every time it astounds me that ID guys pull out the exact thing that Darwin's genius theory explained, as the "problem" with his theory. Well done! You understand why we needed Darwin. Now try to understand Darwin, for everyone's sake!

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  14. Boiled down to its essentials, Darwinian theory is a bizarre cult-like belief that random events can produce the antithesis of randomness.

    Dammit, there goes half my coffee ...

    One can learn the essentials of Darwinian theory and its claims in a few hours. It’s really just that shallow.

    A couple of minutes, even! It's really just that simple. Graham Bell put it best: “Natural selection is a simple theory because it can be understood by everybody; to misunderstand it requires special training.”

    Those of us who are involved in real science — in which rigor is demanded, and in which fantastic, evidentially and rationally unsupported stories like those proposed by Darwinists are laughed at

    ...closely followed by a mouthful of cornflakes! Stoppit, stoppit, you're killing ,me!

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  15. ... random events can produce the antithesis of randomness.

    Consider the dealing of four Bridge hands. It is possible that all four hands could be dealt such that each player gets the same suit and the cards occur in sequential order. Each player would consider their hand to be the antitheses of randomness.

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  16. cabbagesofdoom posted:
    "The point of the "random" nature of mutation is not that it cannot be predicted but that the organism in question is not actively controlling when or where it happens."

    How do you know that? Can you provide evidence to support that opinion?

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  17. ... random events can produce the antithesis of randomness.

    The statement confuses different definitions of 'random'. A random process can readily produce nonrandom results - the implied paradox does not exist, because the statement confuses two nonsynonymous uses of the word 'random'. Evolution is a random (ie stochastic or probabilistic) process - even with selection. But organisms as objects can't be stochastic or probabilistic - they aren't processes. Whatever they are, they aren't the 'antithesis of [stochasticity]'.

    Organisms may be the antithesis of [disordered], or of [lacking pattern] or of [exactly as likely as any other state], but again those are different kinds of random, none of which is applicable to the evolutionary process.

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  18. Anonymous quotes another commenter:

    "The point of the "random" nature of mutation is not that it cannot be predicted but that the organism in question is not actively controlling when or where it happens."

    Then Anonymous challenges the commenter:

    How do you know that? Can you provide evidence to support that opinion?

    Yes, it's known. There are several papers authored by Lenski and Sniegowski that provide evidence (both historical surveys of others' work and reports of their own work).

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  19. The owners of a casino can confidently expect profits from the results of random processes. If the processes were not random, then the owners could be less confident of the results.

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  20. @Anonymous

    Probability is a method for dealing with unknowns. Possible end results are determined and each result is assumed to be equally possible based on a lack of knowledge of the source. Evolutionary processes are said to be random because they rely on causes that are exponentially hard to keep track of, cause by cause. Which genes passed on by which parents have a tremendous amount of possibilities, multiplied by populations of millions, over periods of billions of years. It only makes sense to use random probability to manage these variables, since they would be impossible to consider (or even discover) simultaneously in a cause and effect type of way.

    So randomness is indeed characterized by an inability to predict a phenomenon. Using your casino example, if unknown factors can be lessened, by counting cards for example, the casino’s profits are indeed in jeopardy. Casinos go to great lengths to ensure the games have a very consistent level of unpredictability, and exclude anyone that attempts to reduce that unpredictability.

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  21. cabbagesofdoom posted:
    "The point of the "random" nature of mutation is not that it cannot be predicted but that the organism in question is not actively controlling when or where it happens."

    How do you know that? Can you provide evidence to support that opinion?


    Can anyone provide evidence for that opinion?
    I know everyone assumes it, but is there any evidence for it?

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  22. Anonymous said:
    "Can anyone provide evidence for that opinion?
    I know everyone assumes it, but is there any evidence for it?"

    Many mutations are the result of environmental factors beyond the control of the organism. They can be caused by things like temperature disturbances(bursts of heat, for example), or radioactive decay/ionizing radiation.

    It would also seem obvious from the fact that most organisms have proof-reading machinery in place to detect and repair damage and changes to DNA. Though this machinery it itself also subject to various environmental disturbances like temperature and radiation.

    And then there's mutations caused by unwanted chemicals(could be carcinogenics/mutagens like ethidium bromide) that simply latch on to the DNA, causing misreads during translation and replication etc. etc.

    Some mutations are under some form of control, like certain specific transposons, which can even serve important functions. But not all of them are, and some can have harmful effects or none at all.

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  23. Rumraket, you posted:
    "It would also seem obvious from the fact that most organisms have proof-reading machinery in place to detect and repair damage and changes to DNA."

    The presence of such proof reading machinery is evidence that the organism is "actively controlling" what is going on.

    That is my point.
    Are you agreeing with me?

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  24. "The presence of such proof reading machinery is evidence that the organism is "actively controlling" what is going on."

    That is merely an assertion on your part. An assertion, I might add, with no real evidence presented.

    There is a difference between an assertion and evidence. You do know that, right?

    So, what is your evidence for such a bold assertion?

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  25. It is so humorous for someone here to ask if I know about evidence, given the evidence-free posts that are made here constantly.

    You do know that, right?

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  26. The presence of such proof reading machinery is evidence that the organism is "actively controlling" what is going on.

    That is my point.
    Are you agreeing with me?


    You are just trolling, arent you? Well, I'm a sucker for a tasty lure. Let's see, the organism does all it can to prevent mutations. And this is somehow evidence that it deliberately causes them? And your evidence for this is that no-one can prove it doesn't?

    I trod on a slug on my way home tonight. I think the slug wanted me to tread on it, and guided my foot just so. And unless someone can provide evidence that it didn't, that's all the evidence I need to continue in my belief. I know you won't see the equivalence, but there ya'go.

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  27. I should add, in more serious mode, that there are such things as mutator genes, so there is an element of organismal control, and the potential for a gene-level scrap for control of 'optimum' mutation rate. But this is no threat to evolution - indeed, one might wonder why a Designer would need them, when He/She can just modify genomes by magic.

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  28. Anonymous, you are why we call the lot of you IDiots.

    Wouldn't you be more comfortable swimming about in the intellectual cesspool of Uncommon Descent?

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  29. If people are interested in learning more about the intelligence of the cell I suggest the work of Dr. James Shapiro.

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  30. If people are interested in learning more about the intelligence of the cell I suggest the work of Dr. James Shapiro.

    Uh, the genome is a target for genes, who knew?

    UD quote the following, in an article wherein they big-up Shapiro as an anti-evolutionist ("And it’s okay for an establishment guy to just say this stuff?:") In support of which, they extract the following:

    Disentangling basic issues in evolutionary debates

    1. Origin of life & the first cells – still on the fringes of serious scientific discussion

    2. Descent with modification of related living organisms – more convincing with each new technological advance (e.g. detailed protein and genome phylogenies)

    - but more complicated than simple vertical inheritance

    3. The actual processes of evolutionary change over time – an ever growing number of distinct documented cellular and molecular events different from conventional predictions

    - novel molecular possibilities of genome reorganization as we learn more about how cells interact and control genome structure


    While the interactions between genes and control mechanisms are unsurprisingly complex, I really don't see why you lot are so excited by this. And he certainly isn't saying that all, or even most, mutations are a result of active genome remodelling.

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  31. Allan Miller writes:

    I really don't see why you lot are so excited by this.

    'Cause Anonymous and the rest of the IDiots are Weebles. ("Weebles wobble, but they don't fall down" - y'know, those kids' toys with the weighted bottoms that you knock over and they pop right back up?) You can show one of their "arguments" is contrary to fact, and all it does it send that argument to the back of the queue for a while before they bring it up again later as if it had never been shown to be ridiculous.

    Shapiro's already been thoroughly deconstructed here, so Anonymous decided to lay low a bit before trotting him out in this thread.

    As I mentioned the last time Anonymous did this, even the authors on the papers Shapiro cites no longer agree with his more outrageous interpretations of their research. In a nutshell (sticking with the theme): The researchers Shapiro cites worked in a field they originally called "directed mutation," because they felt their work showed organisms under stress mutating in directions adaptive to the stress. Further work eventually showed the mutations not to be directional but random. Nevertheless, the increased rate of random mutation did allow for more rapid adaptation to environmental stressors. Thus the field was re-dubbed "adaptive mutation." Shapiro is still apparently at least somewhat in the "directed" camp even after those who did the research he cites no longer feel there's evidence of direction.

    Why Shapiro is doing this isn't completely clear, though in his earlier career he did advocate for more sophisticated signalling among certain microorganisms than was widely thought to be the case at the time, and he turned out to be correct. So perhaps he thinks iconoclasm is the right way to go; or maybe he just enjoys tweaking the "establishment."

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  32. @Jud,

    Shapiro shares with Margulis a taste for attacking Darwinian gradualism. Which of course equates to attacking evolution en bloc in the mindset of those who don't understand what is and isn't implicit it the term "Darwinism" (ie common descent with gradual modification, and NS as the prime mechanism sorting variants).

    I read the Shapiro paper, and found nothing much to quibble about other than a tendency to view genome-reorganising as some kind of function for-the-benefit-of the genome as a whole, rather than, as I would see it, a further source of 'accidental' novelty. I don't think we cultivate transposons; they are mutagens.

    Shapiro concludes:

    "This 21st century view of evolution [...] answers the objections to conventional theory raised by intelligent design advocates [...] our best defense
    against anti-science obscurantism comes from the study of mobile DNA because that is the subject that has most significantly transformed evolution from natural history into a vibrant empirical science."


    I don't fully agree with the final sentiment - I think there are better defences - but nevertheless, these aren't the words of an anti-evolutionist. I doubt UD got to the end of the paper.

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  33. Allan Miller writes:

    I doubt UD got to the end of the paper.

    I am so stealing that. :-)

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  34. Allan Miller posted:
    "I read the Shapiro paper, and found nothing much to quibble about other than a tendency to view genome-reorganising as some kind of function for-the-benefit-of the genome as a whole, rather than, as I would see it, a further source of 'accidental' novelty. I don't think we cultivate transposons; they are mutagens."


    "..genome-reorganising as some kind of function for-the-benefit-of the genome as a whole,"

    I would say for-the-benefit-of the CELL as a whole.
    And at the next level of scale, the cells operate in harmony for the benefit of the organism.

    The entire process is guided by intelligences operating at the different levels, all in harmony.

    Cancer etc is the equivalent of crime in the scale of (world of) humanity.

    What I am saying is consistent with all the evidence.

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  35. I would say for-the-benefit-of the CELL as a whole.

    The cell exists for the benefit of the genome. It is a protective unit, a capsule for preservation until that vital step, replication.

    And at the next level of scale, the cells operate in harmony for the benefit of the organism.

    Multicellular organisation (something of a rarity, whatever your eyeballs may tell you) exists for the benefit of the genome. Multicellular bodies are just big shells, for protecting and carrying around genes.

    The entire process is guided by intelligences operating at the different levels, all in harmony.

    Cancer etc is the equivalent of crime in the scale of (world of) humanity.

    What I am saying is consistent with all the evidence.


    I disagree. All the evidence is that 'good' mutations arise from exactly the same mechanisms as 'bad' ones. And that apparent harmony between genetic elements is an uneasy standoff between competing interests.

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  36. Allan Miller posted:
    "The cell exists for the benefit of the genome. It is a protective unit, a capsule for preservation until that vital step, replication."

    Is there anyone here who agrees with that?

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  37. Call me Ishmael..

    After 160 years of multiple cross-discipline confirmation of Darwin's observations and hypothesis, it's still argued like it's an hypothesis rather than a theory. Amazing.

    Just for my own education, what's a Darwinist? Is that like an Einsteinist versus a Newtonianist? What is the opposite of a Planckist?

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  38. Allan Miller posted:
    "The cell exists for the benefit of the genome. It is a protective unit, a capsule for preservation until that vital step, replication."

    Is there anyone here who agrees with that?


    What do you care what anyone else thinks?

    Genomes organise disordered chemistry - including that chemistry that makes up the DNA in a given instance of the cell. When a viable genome is replicated, another instance of that organisational entity is established, the organisation of the new copies being established on the template of the old. Both of these daughter genomes have the capacity to replicate that organisational capacity. But naked DNA is vulnerable. Its products float away, so any replicator that secretes a capsule will outperform those that don't. That encapsulation becomes part of the 'sphere of organisation' controlled by the genome. The molecules in a particular instance of a cell or organism will ultimately dissipate and become once again disordered. But the organising principle survives, in other copies of the replicating system. The informational content of the genome is the thing that survives - each physical manifestation is a vector for the genome's survival - a shell, a vehicle, a home.

    You will find people who think metabolism came first. Replicators need a source of energy. But I don't think you can call that 'metabolism' until it is internalised in the service of replication.

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  39. Allan Miller posted:
    "I read the Shapiro paper, and found nothing much to quibble about other than a tendency to view genome-reorganising as some kind of function for-the-benefit-of the genome as a whole, rather than, as I would see it, a further source of 'accidental' novelty. I don't think we cultivate transposons; they are mutagens."

    So Miller believes that
    genome-reorganising IS NOT some kind of function for-the-benefit-of the genome as a whole.

    BUT

    Allan Miller posted:
    "The cell exists for the benefit of the genome. It is a protective unit, a capsule for preservation until that vital step, replication.""

    So according to Miller, the cell exists "for the benefit of the genome" but genome-reorganising IS NOT for-the-benefit-of the genome.

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  40. So according to Miller, the cell exists "for the benefit of the genome" but genome-reorganising IS NOT for-the-benefit-of the genome.

    Uhhh ... so?

    Some genome-reorganising might be for the benefit of the genome. The cell is. There is no particular paradox here.

    Genome-reorganising might also be the result of infection by selfish genetic elements. Or it might be accidental.

    To be "for the benefit of the genome", genomes with genetically-mediated reorganisational capability must have had greater long-term survival/reproductive capacity than rival versions without. So find a gene responsible for rearrangement and construct knockout versions, and see how long-term survival/reproduction is affected.

    You might insist I try the same experiment with cell construction genes, but I don't think I'd get the funding.

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  41. --"The point of the "random" nature of mutation is not that it cannot be predicted but that the organism in question is not actively controlling when or where it happens."--

    It's more than that. More generally, it's that the outcomes of mutation events are not biased in favour of adaptiveness, functionality, intelligence, or any other higher-order property that we might be interested in.

    --"Boiled down to its essentials, Darwinian theory is a bizarre cult-like belief that random events can produce the antithesis of randomness."--

    The problem with this statement is that it ignores natural selection. Natural selection is _not_ random in the relevant sense. It is biased towards organisms that are better adapted to (functional in) their environment.

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  42. Anonymous writes:

    The entire process is guided by intelligences operating at the different levels, all in harmony.

    Cancer etc is the equivalent of crime in the scale of (world of) humanity.

    What I am saying is consistent with all the evidence.

    Oversimplified, self-contradictory, and makes claims entirely unsupported by data (in fact, claims that are impossible) so no, it's not consistent with the evidence.

    - Entirely unsupported by data, impossible: There's no evidence for such "intelligences," and in fact to have such intelligences is physically impossible. You are hypothesizing intelligences capable of genetic engineering operating at a microbiological level - something an organ the size of the human brain isn't yet capable of at the necessary speed and in the necessary numbers. There is no physical mechanism at the microbiological level for providing the necessary amount of information in the required amount of time.

    - Self-contradictory: You speak of both "all in harmony" and "the equivalent of crime." If the first is correct, the second can't exist, and vice versa.

    - Oversimplified: Your hypothesis must contradict itself regarding cancer, and it certainly has no adequate explanation for nature's partial, cobbled-together evolutionary solutions such as sickle cell trait, which are both beneficial *and* deleterious all at once.

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  43. Jud is making a mistake that many people make.
    He thinks according to his own logic that it is impossible for intelligences capable of genetic engineering to be operating at a microbiological level.
    For him he cannot believe it is possible, so it MUST be impossible.
    But Shapiro has already shown that it occurs*. Since it occurs it is possible.
    The error Jud (and others) make is to mentally override evidence with their own opinion of what is possible.
    I always accept evidence. People's opinions come second to the evidence.


    *And Jud and others argue against the evidence of Shapiro, not because the evidence is flawed in any way, but because they cannot see how it could be possible.
    They place their own opinion higher than the evidence.

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  44. "He thinks according to his own logic that it is impossible for intelligences capable of genetic engineering to be operating at a microbiological level."

    Total, weapons-grade gibberish.

    Meh.

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  45. I would not go so far as to say that the way Jud thinks is gibberish.

    But it is an example of putting his own thinking above the evidence.
    And science is based on honoring evidence even if it contradicts your own thinking.

    “There is nothing so tragic as a beautiful theory destroyed by an ugly fact”.

    And Shapiro works with facts.

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  46. He thinks according to his own logic that it is impossible for intelligences capable of genetic engineering to be operating at a microbiological level.

    Wrong the first time. Not my "own logic." Please do find me scientific data showing intelligences greater than the human mind (since the genetic engineering that these supposed intelligences allegedly perform is beyond that of which the human mind is presently capable) small enough to fit in the space of a cell or bacterial colony. Shapiro is not to the contrary, see below.

    But Shapiro has already shown that it occurs

    No. Shapiro, in contrast to those who have actually performed the research, contends that directed mutation occurs. (Those who have performed the research contend there is adaptive, rather than directed, mutation. The difference has already been explained to you, so I won't bother to do so again.) Shapiro does not say there is some sort of super-human intelligence at work. Rather, he contends this directed mutation is the result of evolution. Your supposition that directed mutation (even if it were true, which it almost certainly is not, based on the research data) must necessarily mean teleology is once again simply the Thermos fallacy.

    Try reading and understanding Shapiro rather than some quote-mined version.

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  47. Anonymous said... on Friday, August 26, 2011 10:29:00 AM

    Cancer etc is the equivalent of crime in the scale of (world of) humanity.

    On the contrary, cancer is the equivalent of individual enterprise in the scale of (world of) humanity.

    Anonymous deems Nature very intelligent.
    Is cancer very intelligent, then?
    Is crime very intelligent, then?
    Who is Nature, by the way?

    ReplyDelete
  48. waldteufel said...
    @Anonymous "There is a difference between an assertion and evidence. You (Anonymous) do know that, right?"

    Actually, Anonymous has never given any evidence that he/she/it knows there is a difference between an assertion and evidence.

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  49. heleen is not sure what Nature is.
    Can anyone help him/her?

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  50. Also can anyone help heleen understand that crime and criminals can be intelligent?
    Even corrupted intelligence is still intelligence.

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  51. Anonymous writes:

    Also can anyone help heleen understand that crime and criminals can be intelligent?
    Even corrupted intelligence is still intelligence.


    Oh yes, this is scientific. I can think of many peer reviewed oncology papers that present cancer in terms of warring good and evil intelligences, like something out of The Untouchables or Superman comics.

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  52. Jud's posts are a waste of time and clutter the discussion. That is why I ignore them.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Anonymous said...
    heleen is not sure what Nature is.
    Can anyone help him/her?


    Clearly, Anonymous often invokes intelligent Nature without knowing what it is talking about. If it did, it could explain waht Nature is.
    Anonymous excels in never explaining anything, so the conclusion might be it cannot explain any of its ideas.

    Monday, August 29, 2011 10:20:00 AM

    ReplyDelete
  54. Anonymous writes:

    Jud's posts are a waste of time and clutter the discussion. That is why I ignore them.

    Ah, so "ignore" in your vocabulary means "acknowledge by name and comment upon." No wonder you have difficulty understanding what you read.

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  55. Anonymous has never given any evidence that he/she/it knows there is a difference between an assertion and evidence.

    Anonymous deems Nature very intelligent.
    Anonymous deems Nature intelligently puffs species out of the air.
    Evidence, Anonymous?

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  56. I have never talked about Nature puffing species out of the air.

    Nature does it by genetic engineering at the species level. From that we get speciation.

    As a sidenote, Shapiro shows that Nature performs genetic engineering at the level of the cell. From that comes adaptation.

    So we have genetic engineering operating at both levels (both scales).

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  57. To give people a feel for this, I suggest you think about DNA transposons as an example.
    We see these small sequences of DNA being cut and pasted (and sometimes copied and pasted) from place to place within the genome.
    The ordinary explanation (non-explanation actually) is that it is random and there is no explanation* for it.
    It is far from random. It is the direct result of the intelligence of Nature.

    And I am not even talking about retrotransposons, which are an even more sophisticated form of genetic engineering.

    I am talking at a high level here but that is the idea.

    It may eventually dawn on people that I know this stuff at a level far deeper than your non-understanding. Where you accept no explanation I look for explanation.



    *I will remind people that it took decades for the work of Barbara McClintock to be accepted. (And for her to get her Noble prize). And even now the significance of all this is ignored.

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  58. Anonymous said...
    I have never talked about Nature puffing species out of the air.

    Nature does it by genetic engineering at the species level. From that we get speciation.


    Anonymous should provide evidence for this assertion. However, Anymous has never shown any interest in evidence, only in asserting unsubstantiated pronouncements.

    Well, Anonymous, HOW does
    Nature by genetic engineering at the species level beget speciation
    ? Provide good detail and good evidence, otherwise such pronouncements are indistinguishable from puffing species out of the air.

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  59. Anonymous said...

    I am talking at a high level here but that is the idea.

    The idea perhaps, but not the reality.

    It may eventually dawn on people that I know this stuff at a level far deeper than your non-understanding. Where you accept no explanation I look for explanation.

    We've not seen any evidence of knowledge. We've seen empty assertions not backed up by any evidence.

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  60. Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.
    You are requesting a deeper explanation from me. Please provide yours.
    I want to see what your alternative is before I use up my time on you.

    ReplyDelete
  61. anonymous the IDiot says,

    It may eventually dawn on people that I know this stuff at a level far deeper than your non-understanding. Where you accept no explanation I look for explanation.

    I just thought that was worth repeating. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Anonymous said...
    Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.
    You are requesting a deeper explanation from me. Please provide yours.
    I want to see what your alternative is before I use up my time on you.


    That was the next pretext by Anonymous to refuse to give his own explanations.
    Well, Anonymous, HOW does
    Nature by genetic engineering at the species level beget speciation? Provide good detail and good evidence, otherwise such pronouncements are indistinguishable from puffing species out of the air.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Thanks Dr. Moran.
    Since you are here, could you answer my question please?

    Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.

    And if you have read this thread, then you know that I am not simply asking for a description of the mechanics.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Anonymous writes:

    We see these small sequences of DNA being cut and pasted (and sometimes copied and pasted) from place to place within the genome.

    * * *

    It is far from random. It is the direct result of the intelligence of Nature

    If by "the intelligence of Nature" you mean HIV infection, you are correct. That is what some (retro)transposons result from.

    Please do tell us how we can discern "the intelligence of Nature" in HIV infection. You've said it's not random. Now tell us how dying from AIDS brings out Nature's intentional plan.

    ReplyDelete
  65. It was very nice of Dr. Moran to make a celebrity appearance in this discussion, but it would be even better if he would contribute by answering the question I posed:

    Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.

    And if you have read this thread, then you know that I am not simply asking for a description of the mechanics.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Anonymous said...
    Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.
    You are requesting a deeper explanation from me. Please provide yours.

    I want to see what your alternative is before I use up my time on you.

    That was the next pretext by Anonymous to refuse to give his own explanations.
    Well, Anonymous, HOW does Nature by genetic engineering at the species level beget speciation? Provide good detail and good evidence, otherwise such pronouncements are indistinguishable from puffing species out of the air.

    Anonymous, YOU are the one who is proposing DNA transposons have something to do with 'the intelligence of Nature' , so YOU ARE the one that has the explanation to do.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Here is an article that Dr Moran might find interesting:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520140408.htm

    "The transposons actually perform a central role for the cell," said Laura Landweber, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton and an author of the study. "They stitch together the genes in working form." The work appeared in the May 15 edition of Science."
    "Last year, we found the instruction book for how to put this genome back together again -- the instruction set comes in the form of RNA that is passed briefly from parent to offspring and these maternal RNAs provide templates for the rearrangement process," Landweber said. "Now we've been studying the actual machinery involved in the process of cutting and splicing tremendous amounts of DNA. Transposons are very good at that."
    The term "junk DNA" was originally coined to refer to a region of DNA that contained no genetic information. Scientists are beginning to find, however, that much of this so-called junk plays important roles in the regulation of gene activity. No one yet knows how extensive that role may be."

    ReplyDelete
  68. Anonymous said...
    Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.
    You are requesting a deeper explanation from me. Please provide yours.
    I want to see what your alternative is before I use up my time on you.


    That was the next pretext by Anonymous to refuse to give his own explanations.

    Now Anonymous has come up with some Science Daily stuff about transposons, from 2009.

    The Science Daily gives unfortunately fairly usual hype of the article. For one thing, it is not clear from the bit Anonymous copies and pastes that it is about a fairly unusual unicellular organism, Oxytricha trifallax. The last sentence of the abstract makes it clear the authors do not make claims further than this organism.

    A Functional Role for Transposases in a Large Eukaryotic Genome
    Nowacki, Higgins, Maquilan, Swart, Doak and Landweber
    SCIENCE 324: 935-938 ( MAY 15 2009)
    Abstract
    Despite comprising much of the eukaryotic genome, few transposons are active, and they usually confer no benefit to the host. Through an exaggerated process of genome rearrangement, Oxytricha trifallax destroys 95% of its germline genome during development. This includes the elimination of all transposon DNA. We show that germline-limited transposase genes play key roles in this process of genome-wide DNA excision, which suggests that transposases function in large eukaryotic genomes containing thousands of active transposons. We show that transposase gene expression occurs during germline-soma differentiation and that silencing of transposase by RNA interference leads to abnormal DNA rearrangement in the offspring. This study suggests a new important role in Oxytricha for this large portion of genomic DNA that was previously thought of as junk.


    Well, Anonymous, this does not get you any further.

    Please explain:
    HOW does Nature by genetic engineering at the species level beget speciation? Provide good detail and good evidence, otherwise such pronouncements are indistinguishable from puffing species out of the air.

    What have DNA transposons to do with 'the intelligence of Nature'?
    Who is Nature?
    What is the ‘intelligence of Nature’?
    What is the evidence for the ‘intelligence of Nature’?

    ReplyDelete
  69. It was very nice of Dr. Moran to make a celebrity appearance in this discussion, but it would be even better if he would contribute by answering the question I posed:

    Please give your explanation for DNA transposons.

    And if you have read this thread, then you know that I am not simply asking for a description of the mechanics.


    I guess we have to be content with a celebrity appearance from Moran.
    Just enough for him to arrive and express sarcasm and then he is off to other things.

    But he has been good enough to provide this forum for discussion, even if he makes no effort whatsoever to protect us from having personal info disclosed. (Even after alerting us to the Rhett Daniels case).

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anonymous, please get psychiatric help. You are sick.
    Really, you need help.

    ReplyDelete
  71. waldteufel, is it a concern for you that people's personal information is not protected on this site?
    Did you see any problem with the Rhett Daniels case?

    ReplyDelete
  72. It would seem that waldteufel finds nothing wrong with the Rhett Daniels situation.
    He prefers instead to slur me.

    That is his/her moral choice.

    ReplyDelete