Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ann Gauger Says Random Mutation Can't Possibly Account for Observed Evolution

The Intelligent Design Creationists change their stories so often that it's sometimes hard to keep up. The latest rationalization has to do with the sufficiency of random mutations. Here's the version given by Ann Gauger, Senior Research Scientist at Biologic Institute.

There's a lot of discussion about this video on the Biologic Facebook page [Biologic Institute]. Some commenters (e.g. Nick Matzke) raise the issue of neutral mutations and Gauger responds (not very well). This is one of the main problems with the current IDiot propaganda. They confuse the probability of specific, single nucleotide, beneficial, mutations at a specific binding site—which have a low probability—with the total number of possible mutations at thousands of different sites, any of which could have an effect on development. Many of the mutations could have been neutral giving rise to an enormous amount of standing variation in the population. (This makes it much more likely that you will get multiple mutations.)

Don't forget we're looking at a specific outcome (evolution of Homo sapiens from a common ancestors over 6 million years). There were thousand and thousands of other possible outcomes that could have given rise to intelligent beings (maybe smart chimps?) who would eventually spawn Intelligent Design Creationists.1 We don't know the total number of possibilities but it certainly isn't just one (1). Our species is a lottery winner and we all know that specific lottery winners are highly improbable.



1. I wonder if there are any possible pathways that would have given rise to truly intelligent beings and no IDiots?

15 comments:

  1. Yep. Any SPECIFIC outcome is highly improbable. Yet there must be AN outcome. Which means that outcome is ... yes, highly improbable even though it exists.

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  2. There are 5.36447 E+28 possible bridge hands and 1.28746 E+47 different ways to bid them so therefore it is not possible to enjoy a hand of bridge because the probability of getting any particular hand and bidding it is so low.

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  3. Or, to put it another way, I am an immensely complex arrangement of uncounted trillions of sub-atomic particles that has come together for the briefest of instances in terms of geological time. I am unique in that no other such arrangement can ever occupy the same points in space and time. I shudder to think at just how improbable I am.

    Yet here I am.

    Me and upwards of seven billion other equally improbable human beings.

    And that's not counting the mass of other improbable life-forms with whom we share this planet.

    Is there a case for two categories, Intelligent design Creationists and just Design Creationists?

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  4. Gauger:Neutral changes accomplish nothing. That's the definition of neutral.

    That doesn't seem correct to me. The definition of neutral would be "has no differential effect on fitness compared to alleles at the same locus". When one is talking about divergence of two lineages - human and chimp, in this case - potentially not even living in the same place, the neutrality or otherwise of a particular allele within the respective human or chimp population does not disbar them from contributing to the rate of divergence (very naively, twice the rate of change). Such changes fix at about the rate they are produced.

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  5. There were thousand and thousands of other possible outcomes that could have given rise to intelligent beings (maybe smart chimps?) who would eventually spawn Intelligent Design Creationists.1 We don't know the total number of possibilities but it certainly isn't just one (1). Our species is a lottery winner and we all know that specific lottery winners are highly improbable.

    Elsewhere in Hilbert space the other lottery winners are discussing this very question.

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  6. There's a large granite rock lying in the ground outside my apartment. It probably weighs several hundred kilos. Consider it's exact shape, mass, elemental chemical composition, the unique structural, spatial arrangement of atoms that make it up. Consider how it's unique surface feaures reflects light. No other object in the universe reflects light exactly like that.

    There is no other rock, indeed no object of any kind, exactly like it, in the entire universe. There never will be. Sure, there may be other rocks, but no rock like this one.

    Consider the unique chain of events that had to happen for that rock to exist, exactly the way it is, in it's specific location.

    Consider that, if you changed any of the laws and constants of nature by the tiniest, almost infinitesimal amount, that specific rock would be very different, or not exist at all.

    The eons of geological time, the enormous pressures required. Could the constants of nature have been fine-tuned to make the rock? It's too improbable to have arrived by chance, after all.

    Clearly, life is just a byproduct of the desire of the ominpotent being to make laws that would result in that specific rock.

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  7. When you want to show that something can't happen it behooves you to not be creative.

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  8. Other links on this subject:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/news/is-there-enough-time-for-humans-to-have-evolved-from-apes-dr-ann-gauger-answers/#comment-439410

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/news/from-the-biologic-institute-a-facebook-dialogue/

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  9. The usual fakery in journalists photographing scientists: gloves and coveralls. WTF does she need gloves to hold the freaking Petri dish??? The background that can be seen on video is not a functional lab either - it's basically some space filled with stuff that no one uses. Empty lab, quite obviously.

    I quit watching the video at "at takes 6 million years for one mutation in a DNA binding site to arise". Seriously? How could you argue with these people? And why would you want to?


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    1. That is not surprising. As far as I know no one has entered their labs. Several people have also left the Institute. I remember one article about a scientist that left the Institute and he said that he left because people were more interested in religious propaganda than in doing any real science based on an ID assumption. Aparently, except for a few cases, their labs are unused. They're just there for the show, for marketing.

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  10. @DK: At least she's not wearing a PPPS (could not afford one?). As for the gloves -- there may be Deleterious Mutants in the dish.

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  11. That lab in the background? It's a stock photo.

    http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-862039/stock-photo-biological-science-laboratory-at-night.html

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  12. Random Biological Mutations Are Impossible

    Randomness is impossible in an evolving system:
    http://universe-life.com/2013/01/09/randomness-is-impossible-in-the-universe/

    Random Biological Mutations Are Impossible since biology is an evolving sub-system in the evolving universe system.

    All the sub-systems in the universe are CONTINUOUSLY evolving, driven-oriented-directed by the natural selection of ALL mass formats, which is the enhancing of their energy constraint, to temporarily postpone their reconversion to energy, which goes on at constant rate since the Big Bang.

    Ponder/re-comprehend non-religious biology,

    Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
    http://universe-life.com/
    From non-religious Biology:
    The Genome is a base organism evolved, and continuously modified, by the genes - the elementary life organisms - of its higher organism as their functional template. DH

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    1. "Random Biological Mutations Are Impossible"

      No, you're conflating random mutations and natural selection. The 2 things are different.

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