Monday, December 03, 2012

PZ, Poutine, and the End of the World

One of the highlights of Eschaton 2012 was taking PZ Myers to the Elgin Street Grill for poutine. He had the plain, ordinary version diluted with a chicken burger. I had the chili poutine.

Other highlights included his two talks. The one on Saturday morning was about the sorry state of science education in the United States. That was depressing.

PZ's talk on Saturday evening was at the Canadian Museum of Natural History, just around the corner from the hotel. There were about 200 people in the audience. He tackled a very difficult topic, the role of chance in evolution. Naturally he covered random genetic drift but most of his talk was about coalescent theory because he wanted to explain some recent results from the sequence of the gorilla genome (Scally et al. 2012).

The authors of that paper report that, "In 30% of the genome, gorilla is closer to human or chimpanzee than the latter are to each other." PZ explained why this is exactly the result you would expect. (See his blog post at: A tiny bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.)

He also pointed out that the Intelligent Design Creationists got all excited about this result, thinking that it overthrows the theory of evolution and proves the existence of God. (I exaggerate slightly, but you get the point!) What this means if that the IDiots really don't understand evolution.

While we don't expect everyone to see immediately why 30% of our genes could be more similar to gorilla genes than to chimp genes, we do expect those who criticize evolution to have a better understanding. Instead, what we see is that those "experts" who post at Evolution News & Views (sic) don't even have an introductory college level understanding of evolution. Their ignorance of evolution produces some remarkably stupid posts on that blog—the website of the Discovery Institute.

I made a similar point in my talk except that I focused on the IDiot's lack of knowledge of mutation [see Breaking News: IDiots Don't Understand Genomes or Biology].

PZ took on a challenging task but he succeeded better than I could have imagined. While the audience didn't follow all of the explanation, they could see that it was based on solid evidence and theory. Many of them learned for the first time about chance in evolution and that's a plus, in my opinion.

Now let's work on the IDiots.


Scally, A, Dutheil, J.Y., Hillier, L.W., Jordan, G.E. et al. (2012) Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence. Nature 483:169-175. [PubMed]

67 comments :

  1. No posts for 10 days. I thought the world had ended or something...

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    1. yeah I thought of calling or emailing, but I didn't want to seem like a sandwalk stalker or something.

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  2. Now let's work on the IDiots.

    Reminds me of a folk saying I heard when I lived in Oklahoma: "You should never try to teach a pig to talk. You won't succeed, and it only aggravates the pig."

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  3. I don't know if this oversimplifies things, but the way I think of coalescent theory: It is easily possible that you and your cousin could both share an allele, inherited from your grandfather, that your brother does not possess. In terms of this one allele, then, you are "more closely related" to your cousin than to your brother. Overall, however, your genome will be more similar to that of your brother, reflecting the fact that you are more closely related in terms of having a more recent common ancestor (your father vs. your grandfather).

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  4. Happy to be reading another Sandwalk blog entry today.

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  5. Awww..... I visited Ottawa last November and my friend and I ate at that diner almost every day. Awesome place.

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  6. I have one question: Is atheism a prerequisite to understand evolution?

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    1. No. One can be a Buddhist and understand evolution. Unfortunately, many forms of Christianity and Islam seem antithetical to an understanding of evolution as it conflicts with their sacred scriptures (as these scriptures are taught to those adherents).

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    2. I asked because all those who say others don't understand evolution are atheists. Richard Dawkins said something like this: "Darwin made all atheists intellectually fulfilled". Did he mean by that that non-atheists are intellectually constipated? If you look at other blogs, like Pharyngula or Why Evolution Is True, it seems to me that atheism is required to understand evolution or is the consequence of understanding evolution.

      I cannot speak for Buddhist or Islam but Pope John-Paul II said in 1996 that evolution was more than an hypothesis and did not conflict with Christianity though he did not endorse the materialistic aspect of Darwinism.

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    3. Ken Miller, a Professor of Biology at Brown University, is a self professed Roman Catholic and notable opponent of creationism and other forms of IDiocy.

      So your statement is false, not all those who say others don't understand evolution are atheists.

      Not to say that the cognitive dissonance is not strong in Mr. Miller, as he does claim that the finger of his god reached down at some point in the past and stirred the germ plasm of a remote ancestor, imbuing it with a soul. Needless to say, he is not big on the details of this charming bedtime story.

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    4. If I read you correctly, Ken Miller says he understands evolution but, being a Roman Catholic, he suffers from cognitive dissonance and invents a bedtime story about the germ plasm.

      Should I conclude that there is a link between correctly understanding evolution and being an atheist?

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    5. Should I conclude that there is a link between correctly understanding evolution and being an atheist?

      No, you can understand evolution perfectly well whatever your metaphysical preferences. But you may find it difficult to accept what you understand if you have already accepted, on other grounds, that a divine creator is responsible for the existence of life, man, and all that jazz.

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    6. And by the way Pépé, you've already used up your one question.

      A better question might be, is the unwillingness to accept the truth value of a proposition without evidence a prerequisite to the better understanding of reality ?

      Your question about evolution and atheists is a special case of this more general query.

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    7. Larry Moran is equal parts (more or less) evolution teacher and atheism promoter. It is highly doubtful that he came upon his atheism one day in the lab, studying mutations, while prior to that had been a church-going lay minister or something. So his study of evolution is useful to him in helping him confirm beliefs about the non-existence of god that he most certainly had from earlier on in his life.
      Now, he wants everybody to be an atheist because that is the only way, in his opinion, that one can 'think critically'.

      I exaggerate slightly but you get the point!

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    8. It is clear to me now, from the above comments, that evolution, as explained by Darwin, i.e. Darwinism. fosters atheism. If this is so, isn't Darwinism more a philosophy or worldview than science?

      Please correct me if I am wrong.

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    9. Pepe, steve's second reply to you may, at a glance, seem reasonable and unassailable, but you will quickly note the confirmation bias written into it.

      I wouldn't want you to get the idea from one or two posts that steve is either fair minded or a nimble thinker, as he is neither. He is a religion basher, plain and simple, and for him, religion is a one-size-fits all proposition.

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    10. One other thing I fail to understand is why authors and commenters, on this blog and others, label anyone questionning the Darwinian interpretation of evolution, for whatever reason, is an idiot, suffers from cognitive dissonance or cannot 'think critically'. Isn't science about questionning things? Why is evolution a closed case when all other branches of science are open to various interpreration?

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    11. Pepe, here's a quote from Larry late last month that you'll probably enjoy.

      'I think it's very hard to be a good critical thinker and still believe in god(s). '

      I've reprinted it now, which means he'll call it 'sarcasm', which I guess means he doesn't really think it.

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    12. Pépé, if you had bothered to read and understand this blog, you would quickly come to the realization that Larry Moran does not advocate a Darwinian interpretation of evolution.

      I have to conclude that you are either too lazy to come to an understanding of what you are criticizing or that you are some sort of god soaked troll wielding the Socratic method with all the effectiveness of a drunken highlander at a caber toss.

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    13. steve, you are so silly. You'll note that Larry puts the Dawkins quote about Darwin on the side of his blog, and also names his site after a plot of land on Darwin's estate. But Pepe is supposed to dig to understand the SCIENTIFIC differences between LM and Darwin when he is referring to the shared PHILOSOPHICAL stance?

      Do you think before you write, ever, or do you just do your typical activity of 'whatever hammer works THIS time, so long as I can bash someone with it'?

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    14. No, you can understand evolution perfectly well whatever your metaphysical preferences. But you may find it difficult to accept what you understand if you have already accepted, on other grounds, that a divine creator is responsible for the existence of life, man, and all that jazz.

      A perfect example of this is Todd Wood, a young earth creationist who understands evolution very well. He rejects it because it conflicts with his interpretation of Genesis. That's a rational decision if you first take as axiomatic that the bible is the inerrant, literal (and properly interpreted by you) word of God. But only if.

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    15. It is clear to me now, from the above comments, that evolution, as explained by Darwin, i.e. Darwinism. fosters atheism. If this is so, isn't Darwinism more a philosophy or worldview than science?

      Please correct me if I am wrong.

      Glad to. Yes, evolution as explained by Darwin fosters atheism, but no more than any natural explanation of any physical phenomenon does. Natural selection removes the need for divine intervention in the history of life, just as universal gravitation removes the need for divine intervention in the motions of the planets. But that doesn't make either Newton's or Darwin's work a philosophy or worldview, or anything other than science. You might take it that consideration of the implications of Darwin or Newton would be philosophy, but that's a different matter from the science itself. Neither of these gentlemen is responsible for the theological implications of his work.

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    16. I asked because all those who say others don't understand evolution are atheists. Richard Dawkins said something like this: "Darwin made all atheists intellectually fulfilled". Did he mean by that that non-atheists are intellectually constipated?

      Although Dawkins does not mince words when criticizing theists, he did not mean this as a put down. Rather, he is commenting on one way in which Darwin's work had signficance beyhond science. Before Darwin, an atheist could provide no explanation for how the diversity of life on earth arose. That such an explanation now existed, Dawkins says, would have been a source of fulfillment for an atheist.

      I'm not really sure I buy that. One trait that seems to characterize atheists is that they are content to accept questions that do not yet have answers. It is religion that feels compelled to fill such gaps in knowledge with nonsense.

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    17. Why is evolution a closed case when all other branches of science are open to various interpreration?

      Nice try at pretending to be open-minded Pepe. What do you have in mind when you say "other branches of science are open to various interpretations"? I suspect your other interpretations (which you seem to be holding close to your chest) would be considered as untenable in other sciences as they are in biology.

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    18. Says Pepe:
      It is clear to me now, from the above comments, that evolution, as explained by Darwin, i.e. Darwinism. fosters atheism. If this is so, isn't Darwinism more a philosophy or worldview than science?

      Please correct me if I am wrong.


      You dont deserve to be corrected Pepe. You deserve this question: Why are you lying?
      You come onto this site pretending to innocently ask questions then conclude on the basis of a few responses that Darwinism fosters Atheism and this suddenly makes you wonder whether evolution is more a worldview or philosophy. Why are you lying, Pepe?

      You came here with that viewpoint firmly fixed in your mind, and you think it is important because in your mind it invalidates the theory of evolution.

      You might be a creationist, Pepe. I say this because there are two characteristics frequently observed in creationists. First, they often equate Darwinism/Evolution to a worldview or even more commonly to "just another religion" because they feel this diminishes the science(a sense of irony is not strong amongst religious people). Second, creationists frequently are dishonest when it comes to this debate. It is so common it has a name: Lying for Jesus.

      Now, Pepe, in your case, why are you lying. Why did you open a discussion on this site upon dishonest premises? Whatever your "worldview" is, is dishonesty acceptable?

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    19. @Pépé

      Isn't science about questionning(sic) things?

      Indeed it is, and if you had bothered to acquaint yourself with even a rudimentary understanding of the current thinking in evolution, namely a synthesis of Darwinian natural selection with the addition of random genetic drift as a mechanism to evolution, you would have seen exactly this process in action.

      Darwin was unaware of genes, and the disciplines of genetics and biochemistry now inform our understanding of evolution.

      So evolution is hardly a "closed case", there is actual controversy amongst experts in the field and it continues to adapt to new evidence.

      Controversy in evolution (and science in general) is not the ignorant musings of uninformed idiots, it is the interactions between people who have expertise in the field.

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    20. Pépé,

      Though I doubt the sincerity of your questioning, let me tell you this: any scientific discovery that contradicts a religious belief is just a scientific discovery regardless. That a discovery might make a person inclined to disregard beliefs in gods does not mean that the discovery is therefore a philosophy or a worldview. It can change your worldview. It does not mean it is one.

      Example, at some times peoples believed that volcanoes were gods. Scientists have discovered how volcanoes work naturally. That does not make vulcanology into a philosophy or worldview, does it?

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    21. Andy,

      You're not helping. I expect much better from you.

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    22. ha ha, sorry, NE. I think I just went through a sort of argument withdrawal after Larry took off for all that time. Will try to do better in the future.

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    23. Meh, dare I say it? Francis Collins is an evangelical christian and is fairly convinced of evolution. ;P

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    24. "I think it's very hard to be a good critical thinker and still believe in god(s).

      Why?


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    25. Because logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell BAD.

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    26. I'm sorry, I should have realized that atheists can't answer "why" question.

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    27. I'm sorry, I should have realized that atheists can't answer "why" question.

      Can you? For example: "Why don't you crawl back into the hole you crawled out of, Pépé?"

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    28. Pépé asks,

      One other thing I fail to understand is why authors and commenters, on this blog and others, label anyone questionning the Darwinian interpretation of evolution, for whatever reason, is an idiot, suffers from cognitive dissonance or cannot 'think critically'

      It's an empirical observation and the correct way to phrase it is the Dawkins' quote ...

      “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).”

      There may be exceptions but I haven't found any yet.

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    29. questionning the Darwinian interpretation of evolution, for whatever reason

      What are the possible reasons?

      (0) You may favour some other (not strictly Darwinian) interpretation of evolution. That makes you non-Darwinian in a technical sense. There's nothing wrong about it, since we know that Darwin's favourite mechanism (natural selection) only partly explains biological evolution. But I suppose any naturalistic explanation (involving mutation, selection and random drift) is "Darwinian" in your eyes, so let's look at other possible reasons:

      (1) You are not aware of the evidence. That makes you ignorant, but don't panic. Ignorance is curable, especially if diagnosed early.

      (2) You know the evidence but don't understand it. That makes you stupid.

      (3)You are aware of the evidence, you understand it, and you have a better theory that explains it all -- something that orthodox science has overlooked so far and that makes mainstream evolutionary biology obsolete. That makes you a frigging paradigm-busting genius provided that your theory makes sense.

      (4) You know the evidence, you understand it, you have no alternative theory to compete with scientific consensus (peddling a fringe agenda doesn't count), and yet you reject the facts and their interpretation. That makes you insane.

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    30. I know evolution has occured and is a fact. It's the blind undirected Darwinian explanation of it that's unsatisfactory. From a materialist point of view, there is no better explanation, but that does not make THAT explanation true. If my defective calculator tells me the cube root of 729 is 23, it may be the best it can do but it is still false. Dawkins said that one should not be so open-minded that the brain falls off. In his case that's true because his brain isn't attached to anything!

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    31. Your calculator is demonstrably defective. It's easy to check the result and show that 23 is the wrong answer and that 9 is correct. What's wrong with evolutionary theory? The Darwinian part (natural selection) may be "blind" (in the sense that it has no purpose and depends on random variation), but it is anything but undirected. A given species in a given ecological niche tends to evolve according to selective pressures, i.e. preferentially uphill, towards a local peak, in the fitness landscape. What problems have you got with that?

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    32. It's easy to prove by checking the calculations manually that the calculator is defective and the correct result is 9, but what problem have you got with evolutionary theory? Is there anything you can demonstrate to be wrong there? The Darwinian component (natural selection) isn't really undirected, by the way. A given population in a given ecological niche will tend to evolve in the direction imposed by selective pressures -- preferentially uphill, towards the local peak in the fitness landscape.

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    33. Sorry for the duplication-plus-divergence of my posts. I thought the first one had been lost, so I tried again.

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  7. Highly energetic post, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?
    Feel free to surf my web page : diablo 3 gold guide

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  8. Genes, genes, genes.
    Genes are not evidence of a biological trail but only of like parts.
    If one has rthe same parts then one would have the same genes.
    Yet in mans case we were created separately from the rest of biology.
    We are made in Gods image and are spirit, like God, and thats our true identity.
    Therefore unlike the rest of biology we were simply and only could be given a existing KIND of biology already in existence.
    To be a part of the common blueprint of creation we had to be given the primate form of body.
    The best body for fun and profit.

    In short like genes is no evidence, even if it was true, of common ancestry.
    It would be that way if Genesis was true.
    What in the world do genes have to do with evidence for evolutionary claims of human descent from apes.

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    1. Which is the reason DNA evidence is not accepted by courts of law...oh, wait.

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  9. Genes, genes, genes, indeed...

    But what's interesting, is, among other things that create much trouble for your contention: that genes between differing species show patterns of similarities and accumulating differences that clearly imply patterns of descent...

    And that you can measure those differences and make statistical inferences from these about how long ago such genes diverged from a common ancestor gene...

    And that these inferences tend to line up with statistical predictability with the inferred patterns of descent of the containing species. Though not, as PZ and Larry are explaining, in linear, lockstep fashion, with the gene tree and the species tree precisely superimposed upon one another, nor would this be expected...

    And that sometimes the differences show up in function, and sometimes they do not. As there are SNPs that are 'silent', or synonymous, and do not effect the peptide sequence, and peptide substitions that do not noticeably affect function...

    And that structures that are derived from a common ancestral structure--whether or not they still perform the same function--will, indeed, be associated with obviously similar but not identical genes in different species, since they are homologous, but structures performing the same function will be associated with vastly different genes if they are not so derived...

    And that genes coding for structures doing the same thing in descendant species show a pattern of descent through their sequence variations again mirroring the pattern of descent of the species they contain. So the genes that make, in fact, the same structure or perform the same function are not quite the same, nor is the structure the same, and the variations in the genes and the structure, again, may be assembled into a pattern of descent...

    And that the proteins coded for by genes evolve as the genes that code them do, naturally, and, indeed, also diverge. So we have the globin family of genes, and hemoglobin is one branch, myoglobin another...

    And, indeed, we have such a tree for the related opsin genes, through the mammals, two in most groups, three in a particular group of primates which happens to include ourselves, as we are descendants of the primate in which one of the two opsins in mammals diverged, giving us our trichromatic colour vision ...

    And so on, for we see this everywhere in genes and proteins. There are now gene trees that do stack up to the rafters, and they do accord, subject to the contraints explained above, with the species trees...

    And Genesis, dear, does not explain, nor predict, nor anticipate, nor even faintly reflect this. Genesis is rather light on the details of genetics and biochemistry, and has so far proved of rather little use when we began to ask questions about what had happened in the rather lengthy stretches of time between about 13.75 billion years ago and now. As it turns out it was compiled comparatively recently, and is largely an iron age account of creation myths that presumably arose in an earlier oral tradition. Its authors don't much get into SNPs, and seem not to have paid much attention to hemoglobin, beyond a certain fictional bloodthirsty deity and his followers' boasts of having spilled a great deal of it...

    Yes, it does claim this same fictional figure created many things, but then, I could write you a pamphlet that says I built the Empire State Building, too, raising it up from the dust of the Earth, and then breaking a rib off of it, from which I then built the Brooklyn Bridge, if you'd like, as an illustration how easy it is to make such claims. It wouldn't be true, alas, but you'd still have it, as a keepsake of this thread, and could perhaps use it to attempt to waste the time of historians of New York City, and ask them why they have failed to include your Account of the Divine AJ, and His Building Of Things He Really, Totally Could Have, Honest, If You Just Ignore All Evidence To The Contrary.

    For this would, indeed, be the title. I'd insist upon nothing less.

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    1. And that genes coding for structures doing the same thing in descendant species show a pattern of descent through their sequence variations again mirroring the pattern of descent of the species they contain. So the genes that make, in fact, the same structure or perform the same function are not quite the same, nor is the structure the same, and the variations in the genes and the structure, again, may be assembled into a pattern of descent...

      Just noting that the patterns of descent inferred from structure were independently confirmed (in many cases at much later dates) by genetics, thus providing a confirmed prediction of evolutionary theory - which you may want to have at hand as an example next time someone rattles off that old canard about the supposed inability of evolutionary theory to provide testable predictions.

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    2. A.J. Milne
      Well your saying there is genetic evidence, scientific, that draws connections between segregated biological entities.
      There is genetic evidence but only in special cases.
      My relationship to my father is not evidence of my relationship to primates.
      All genes show is a likeness to something else.
      Yet since we obviously look like primates it could ONLY be that we have like genes.
      yet this should not persuade a thinking person that its proof we are related.
      We simply were made with this KIND of body because it was the best body.
      Genesis imply's so.
      Our true identity is spiritual like God and so can't have representation in the primitive, relative, and common idea behind biological entities.

      I do think all primates come from a original looking kind.
      Genes might show how primates separated and so on but even here its about speculation on how biology creates new species.

      Its just a presumption that genes are a trail of biological heritage.
      Where it is IS only evidence of those cases!
      its not evidence for all of biology.

      for example marsupials have close DNA and not close to other creatures.
      yet I'm confident they are the same creatures as elsewhere and the marsupialism is the late adaptive thing that therefore is the origin for their like DNA.
      Yet its not a trail of the creatures relationships but only a relationship from what made them marsupial!

      I suspect northern creatures who change colour, brown to white, also have like DNA for this area adaption but this like dNA points is not evidence for biological trails of heredity between them. White rabbits and white wolves might have white seasonal changing genes but are unrelated to each other.

      Genes probably are just a parts department concept and genetic relations between segregated entities are special cases.
      Not the rule and of coarse the old ones made this presumptuous error.

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    3. Robert,

      Please pay close attention and please try and answer what I am asking here:

      If analyses of satellite DNA can prove parenthood, and the very same analyses show other apes, like chimps, to be just a bit farther than most other humans from us, why within the species it is acceptable proof of common ancestry, but it is not when made across species? Why exactly? Let me be more precise. The reason satellite DNA works so well for parenthood is because this DNA's specific sequence has no consequence. It can vary a lot. Thus it varies almost randomly, thus it works excellently as marked=r for close relationships. And it shows close relationship between humans and chimps, and, curiously, at a distance that makes sense when used at different levels. As I said, it works for parenthood, but it also works for tracing human migration patterns, matching what we know from historical records, and then from archaeology. So, again, why would chimps have such satellite regions indicating common ancestry with us? Why would that be unacceptable? Why if it also matches what we know from the fossil record? Why if it also matches with other apes, like gorillas, and other kinds of data? Why, again, if we have other sources of evidence it is acceptable within but not without?

      I doubt that you have the capacity to understand what you are denying (the level is so bad that I often think you are just pretending), but I thought to give it a try. We will see.

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    4. My relationship to my father is not evidence of my relationship to primates.

      Your failure of intellect is not evidence that the world you see must have been brought forth by a magical "poofing" into existence that you can imagine, rather than the reality of unimaginably vast processes working over unimaginably vast stretches of time.

      Your failure to think things through is most evident in statements like the one you make above, which is demonstrably false by its own logic. First, the most trite observation: You and your father are primates. But now: In the statement above, I am sure you are referring to other primates, such as chimps and gorillas. That's fine, let's think about that for a minute.

      Let's see, you are related to your father, who is related to his father, and of course we can just go back through the paternal line until we reach a father who was a common ancestor of both the line that led to you and the line that led to modern chimps. Go back a bit further on the paternal line and you get to a common ancestor of you, chimps, and gorillas.

      Notice that all I'm doing is using the completely ordinary observation that you had a father, and so did his father, and so did his father, and so on. You by contrast are introducing a "hard stop" in the paternal line, where you say a magic man blew on a handful of dust and thereby created a human being. (For no reason I can see - what need is there for such an outrageous claim, contrary to all ordinary human experience?)

      So yes, of course your relationship to your father is a link in the chain that relates you to the other primates. But you choose arbitrarily to know nothing about the evidence of links in that chain prior to a few generations back, apparently because it might contradict your world view.

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    5. Byers, realistically, considering the general level of your answer, I do begin to suspect, with others, here, and with what respect is due, that you're not especially literate about the science, and so there's probably little point in adding to this, considering your current level of understanding.

      Thus: I don't know your history on the web, but if you're new and thus haven't already been pointed in the direction, I strongly suggest you review Talk Origins' archives, especially with regard to the microevolution/macroevolution discussion, as this seems to be your general thrust, here. For if you are saying (as you seem to be) you understand that evolution does occur, and are endorsing the 'created kinds'/evolution occurs only within these notional 'kinds' or 'baramins' dodge from various creationist screeds, this has been well hashed over there, and hardly needs further elaboration.

      I will say, for you and the gallery in general, I find the tactic (and see also 'kinds'/'baraminology') overall an interesting and somewhat instructive phenomenon, in the psychological sense...

      As in: it appears to me that: faced, essentially, by overwhelming evidence for historical and ongoing evolution, the creationist attempts to put his/her notion of special creation (and creator) somewhere 'safe' despite this, and thus imagines an event of 'special creation' at an arbitrary point in the past, from which they then allow, okay, fine, evolution proceeds from there. The deity the old books talk about just happened to create it in such a fashion that the biome could have evolved to that point, and then things radiated from there... yeah, yeah, that's the ticket...

      (... strangely, it's a bit like the 'Satan planted the fossils' thing, really. Barely less blatant. Except that, here, Satan presumably planted the rRNA homologies...)

      ... anyway, thus, creating for themselves only additional complications, around which they must spill much additional ink in explanation. Among them, of course, since humans clearly aren't particularly ancient (or certainly not against, say, stromatolites), and certain of the books seem to suggest their creation occurred at the same time as the first living things (hey, don't laugh, it's only wrong by a few billion years; I'm sure this could happen to anyone), this, too, must be appropriately mucked up. We can't have humans descend from their actual family, the other primates, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence for this shared genetic heritage, and so we'll make this peculiar and arbitrary exception, and on and on...

      It's a peculiar sunk cost, fallacy, thus, you might say. Stuck on defending as literally correct a clearly legendary account only particularly venerated due to the tradition, they spin in circles, making a bigger and bigger muddle of their own understanding. Regrettable, watching it. But what can you do.

      Anyway. Like I said: kinda been done, anyway. And see micro/macro on Talk Origins.

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    6. I know that micro/macro stuff.

      Your still just saying, even if you don't realize it, that the genetic sameness between us and primates is the evidence for descent from some mutual ancestor.

      yet all the DNA evidence portrays is that we have like bodies.
      Its impossible that we would not have like DNA since we can see such a likeness in our bodies.
      We have very like bodies and so if DNA is a atomic score for parts then it could only be that we have like DNA.
      Why is my reasoning wrong here?

      Yet its just a line of reasoning, even if true, that our genetic closeness means we are related.
      if a creator did give us the best body type on earth for a spiritual being and not our own type of body because we are not able to be represented in the natural world because we are spiritual just like God THEN it would also be true that we would have like dna but not be biologically connected.
      Adam/eve were made separate but with primate DNA/form.
      Why not?

      Anyways my point is a logical one.
      Genetic likeness in our case is not proof of being biologically related.
      Its just a line of reasoning from a presumption that demands DNA is a trail of heritage.
      It's not. its just a code for a parts department.

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    7. "Its just a line of reasoning from a presumption that demands DNA is a trail of heritage.
      It's not. its just a code for a parts department."

      Did you know that chickens have genes for teeth? Did you know that humans have genes for deveoping a tail? Did you know snakes, dolphins, whales, etc have genes for hind-legs? Did you know those genes are usually repressed but can be induced to express back? What does this tell you?

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    8. Robert Byers says,

      Yet its just a line of reasoning, even if true, that our genetic closeness means we are related. if a creator did give us the best body type on earth for a spiritual being and not our own type of body because we are not able to be represented in the natural world because we are spiritual just like God THEN it would also be true that we would have like dna but not be biologically connected.

      Isn't it amazing that our genes are very similar to, but not identical to, those of the chimpanzee? Isn't it amazing that the differences correspond very closely to the known mutation rates and the fossil record indicating that we diverged about six million years ago?

      Your god(s) was very clever to have created things in such a way that every rational human being would conclude that life evolved. Sneaky little devil, no?

      Delete
    9. And the Lord gave unto Adam and Eve, and also unto the apes, and unto the monkeys of the Old World, and likewise unto those of the New, the same gene that maketh vitamin C in other animals. But the gene was broken in the same way in Adam and Eve, and in the apes, and in the monkeys, and therefore it just sat there and did nothing.

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  10. Genes are not evidence of a biological trail but only of like parts.

    Your creationist beliefs are so stupid and dishonest that you don't even recognise that you're denying that heredity exists.

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    Replies
    1. Heredity exists wheres it demonstrated to exist.
      Genes are not proof of heredity. Its just a line of reasoning.

      As for my creationist beliefs being stupid and dishonest well which is it.
      What is the species here.?
      Here's where DNA trails should be used to describe accurately things!

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    2. The sad thing is that if the Bible said something like "and god sparked life into the little creatures and then let them spread and diversify and cover the earth without further interference" you would probably be more Darwinist than Darwin. All of a sudden, the evidence that you deny now would become cristal clear to all believers. Sad, and you know it. Your refusal has nothing to do with scientific evidence and everything to do with a bronze-age myth.

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  11. Oh, and Larry: it was great to see you at Eschaton; great conference all around, I'd say (I can say this; I had nothing to do with it, except as attendee; it's to the CFI Ottawa folk's credit, and the speakers who attended, including yourself). And I really don't much know where to begin right now in turning the absurd reams of material now in my notes from the thing into something more organized/bloggable, so it may be a bit, but anyway, again: thanks again; great to see you.

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  12. Pedro
    It tells me nothing concerning my argument.
    Its fine anyways that these details be true. Special cases.
    Nevertheless genetic connections between man and primates must be on scientific evidence if a connection is to be asserted.
    The DNA likeness thing is just a line of reasoning and would only be that if it was true.
    Yet there is no reason to draw any connection between man/ape as other options are also lines of reasoning that work.
    its been a logical fallacy for evolutionists to persuade themselves DNA likeness proves relatedness.
    Nope.

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    Replies
    1. byers said:

      "its been a logical fallacy for evolutionists to persuade themselves DNA likeness proves relatedness.
      Nope."

      Hey robert, can you prove (with scientific evidence) that you're related to human beings?

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  13. Mr Moran
    Its fine chimps are a little different.
    There was probably a primate KInd and chimps are just a descendent from the original.

    You do retreat to mutation rates and the fossil record.
    The rates are speculative upon evolutionary presumptions.
    The fossil record is not relevant to DNA.
    In fact its not relevant to evidence for biological change.
    Its just presumed it shows snapshots of change but really no biology is involved in investigation.
    My argument is the use of logic.

    i'm trying to point out that a option is there for our DNA likeness with primates being just because of physical likeness.
    This likeness from a separate creation and this to give us the best type of body on earth. We are spirits and jave no body type of own own.
    We must rent a KIND already here.

    If this was true it would also be that we have like DNA but wrong to draw biological relationships.

    Then I add another point that this way of thinking does demonstrate any DNA connections being said as proof of relatedness between man/primate is just a line of reasoning.
    There is no scientific evidence but simply a forceful hunch.
    The anatomy of error.

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  14. Negative Entrophy
    Sorry but just found your post.
    We are not a species of primate.
    anyways its fine for me/ my father DNA connections.
    Yet your reasoning that it proves chimps/us are connected is just reasoning.
    Reasoning from simply like DNA.
    Yet we have a like body so we would have like DNA.
    Yet having a like body is not evidence for being related so why is the DNA?
    If looking like chimps doesn't prove the point why would the DNA?
    It could only be we have like DNA.
    Yet this only because we have and were given the best type of body on earth for a special being.
    We are in a animals type of body and uniquely do not have our own like animals.
    This because we are spirits and can't have a KIND of body to identify us.
    So we just rent.

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  15. Piotr
    If Vit c is needed by both us and apes then it would be that our bodies adapted to get it.
    Why not?
    its not evidence of any biological connection.

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    Replies
    1. But why keep the broken (pseudo)gene? It's broken in guinea pigs too, and in most bats, but humans, apes and monkeys share a number of identical mutations that have accumulated in the remains of the gene since it became non-functional. If you don't understand what it means, you are beyond help.

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  16. robert, no people are related to each other. There's no biological connection. Any physical likeness between people is just a mistaken line of reasoning. None of us have siblings, children, parents, grand-parents, cousins, etc. All beings referred to as 'people' are a separate creation because all people are specially poofed into existence by Fifi the pink unicorn god. Fifi uses unique ingredients when she creates each person. She just makes it look as though people are related by fooling biologists and others into thinking that DNA, similar body types, and other stuff like that can be used to establish relationships. She's quite a prankster.

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