Sunday, July 14, 2013

What Did Dan Graur Say in Chicago?

Dan Graur gave a fantastic and entertaining talk at SMBE2013 [Powerpoint]. He covered a lot of bases, but unfortunately left some out 'cause he had many slides that he didn't get to because of time limitations. Most of the audience enjoyed the talk very much—there was much laughter and enthusiastic head nodding. (I figure that two thirds of the audience agreed with his stance on junk DNA and ENCODE.)

Apparently Cornelius Hunter was in the audience because he blogged about it on Darwin's God: Dan Graur Gave a Great Talk This Week (copied on Uncommon Descent: Dan Graur Gave a Great Talk This Week). It's a shame he didn't make himself known to me or Reed Cartwright or Nick Matzke.

One of the things that Graur said was that if ENCODE is right then evolution is wrong. Now this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. If the ENCODE leaders are right that 85% of our genome has a biological function then we really do have to rethink the C-value paradox and genetic load. We also have to re-think a lot of biochemistry. I think that's what Dan meant. Cornelius Hunter says that's the one "glaring error" in Graur's presentation.

Theme

Genomes
& Junk DNA
Graur said that junk DNA is a "known known" and by that he means that there's plenty of evidence for junk DNA. It's not "dark matter" and we don't use the term "junk" to mask our ignorance. Speaking of ignorance, Cornelius Hunter seems to be completely unaware of any evidence for junk DNA. I guess he didn't stay to hear my presentation.


47 comments :

  1. Larry wrote:

    “One of the things that Graur said was that if ENCODE is right then evolution is wrong. Now this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. If the ENCODE leaders are right that 85% of our genome has a biological function then we really do have to rethink the C-value paradox and genetic load. We also have to re-think a lot of biochemistry. I think that's what Dan meant.”
    Your statement: ”… If the ENCODE leaders are right that 85% of our genome has a biological function then we really do have to rethink the C-value paradox and genetic load. We also have to re-think a lot of biochemistry. I think that's what Dan meant…”

    Is a total distortion of Graur’s public statement and is clearly a lie. Graur never said anything like that, and he never even referred to anything you are implying. Not even a bit.

    He simply stated that if ENCODE is right then evolution must be wrong. Nothing else you are implying.

    Why are you trying to water down Graur’s strong believes?

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    Replies
    1. Vashti never answers questions relevant to his beliefs, so there's no point asking him to substantiate his statements with, uh, evidence.

      So if we were dealing with a person with even a tiny bit of intellectual integrity, I might ask: Say there, Vashti, what evidence do you have for your claim:

      "Is a total distortion of Graur’s public statement and is clearly a lie. Graur never said anything like that, and he never even referred to anything you are implying. Not even a bit. He simply stated that if ENCODE is right then evolution must be wrong. Nothing else you are implying."

      Now I could ask Ken Ham's question-- "Were you there?"-- of Vashti.

      And I might ask him: Did you get your ideas about Graur's talks only from Cornelius Hunter's blog post, and no other source?

      That's why you call Larry a liar, right-- because Cornelius Hunter's blog post says something different than Larry's, so Larry must be a liar, and not Cornelius, right?

      But then, Vashti showed by his disgraceful behavior in the "Can You Prove God(s) Do Not Exist" thread that he says things he doesn't believe, and since he can't answer basic questions about his beliefs, we must conclude his words never reflect his actual beliefs.

      Delete
    2. Still waiting for your quantum mechanics proof of the appearance of the universe without first cause-you can define the universe any way you wish.

      I assume you are still looking for ideas in Lawrence Krauss' book? Or you just ordered it from amazon.com, so we will have to wait a few more days, I guess?

      Delete
    3. Vashti knows very well I never claimed to have a "quantum mechanics proof of the appearance of the universe without first cause".

      I could ask Vashti to point to a comment, any comment, where I said such a thing, but there isn't any such comment from me, and Vashti cannot answer questions related to his own beliefs. Because he doesn't believe what he says.

      Rather, on the previous thread, I asked Vashti three times why he wrote:

      most atheists... get really angry when they are cornered with the possibility of the First Cause... They... ever swear and verbally abuse those who even dare to mention such possibilities.

      This was a lie. In that thread Egnor and Vashti and Andre Gross all said they had proofs of God's existence, proof positive, airtight logic, not possibilities, but when we refuted them they substitute a straw-man: "atheists... get really angry when they are cornered with the possibility of the First Cause."

      I asked Vashti to back that up three times, and I said the Three Strikes Rule was in effect: if you can't answer after being asked thrice, you concede the point. So Vashti conceded he was lying.

      On the previous thread I never claimed to have a "quantum mechanics proof of the appearance of the universe without first cause". In fact, I refuted the Kalam cosmological argument "proving" God is the First Cause in five comments starting here. I also refuted Aquinas' First Way in two comments listing 12 fallacies.

      Vashti: I have proof positive God exists! Here it is: 2+2 = 37. It's irrefutable, airtight logic! It's a proof, incontrovertible proof!

      Me: No. You have no proof, because 2+2 = 4.

      Vashti: Oh! You think that just because 2 + 2 = 4, you have a "quantum mechanics proof of the appearance of the universe without first cause". Well it's not that easy mister! [INTEM]

      Why do atheists get so angry when someone says there's just a possibility God might exist?

      Delete
    4. One can't help noticing Vashti's nice little red herring there. Accusing Professor Moran of lying, then being called out on it he elects instead to erect a complete digression from the subject matter.

      Weak and pathetic.

      Delete
    5. Vashti says,

      Your statement: ”… If the ENCODE leaders are right that 85% of our genome has a biological function then we really do have to rethink the C-value paradox and genetic load. We also have to re-think a lot of biochemistry. I think that's what Dan meant…”

      Is a total distortion of Graur’s public statement and is clearly a lie. Graur never said anything like that, and he never even referred to anything you are implying. Not even a bit.


      The other thing you can't do on Sandwalk is to insult me without proof or provocation. You just accused me of lying.

      This is your second warning. I will retract it if you apologize. Otherwise, be aware of the fact that there's no third warning.

      Delete
    6. I don't want Vashti banned... yet. I want him to, just once, answer a damn question relevant to the things he says he believes:

      Me: "Did you get your ideas about Graur's talks only from Cornelius Hunter's blog post, and no other source?

      That's why you call Larry a liar, right-- because Cornelius Hunter's blog post says something different than Larry's, so Larry must be a liar, and not Cornelius, right?"

      Three strikes rule in effect. If Vashti doesn't answer after being asked thrice, he's conceding the point.

      Delete
    7. Sorry Larry but can't apologize for something that YOU THINK Graur meant, without any evidence. If he emails you and says that it is exactly what he meant in his talk, then I will. I was there with many people, and none of them got even a hint that's what Graur meant. If I did apologize, I would be like you, that is impossible.

      Delete
    8. "If he emails you and says that it is exactly what he meant in his talk, then I will."

      Perhaps we can adopt this as the standard for the existence of God? Everyone can safely assume He doesn't exist until He posts here - He would have to prove He is who He says He is, of course.

      Delete
    9. Vashti,

      If I stated what I thought Dan Graur meant then it can hardly be labeled a "lie." Right?

      BTW, if you were there then why didn't you introduce yourself to me? Were you afraid?

      Delete
    10. Vashti,

      I asked our host for an outline of the novelties that were presented at the SMBE2013 symposium entitled “Where did ‘junk’ go?” I don’t think he’ll answer, so what novelties do you think were presented at this symposium?

      Delete
    11. Claudiu,

      what do you mean by "novelties"?

      Delete
    12. Vashti,

      After what happened last time, I thought your keepers were never going to let you out of the basement again.

      Delete
    13. Diogenes: “what do you mean by "novelties"?”

      I would like to believe that the speakers at this symposium introduced some new data, ideas or arguments that were not presented before. For example, I would like to think that Dan Graur did not make the effort (including all the expenses) to go to this conference and reiterate the same data, ideas and arguments that he presented in his paper (1),which we can all read.

      1. Graur D, Zheng Y, Price N, Azevedo RB, Zufall RA, Elhaik E. On the immortality of television sets: "function" in the human genome according to the evolution-free gospel of ENCODE. Genome Biol Evol 2013;5(3):578-90.

      Delete
    14. Claudiu: I'm assuming you don't go to many meetings, because that's exactly what speakers tend to do: reiterate what's in their most recent paper. Sometimes it's before the paper is published, sometimes slightly after.

      Delete
    15. I believe most scientists have good reading comprehension, although occasionally they pretend they don’t. So, if everyone can read, why would you want to go to a conference hundreds or thousands of miles away to make oral presentations of the same data, ideas or arguments that you already wrote about?

      Delete
    16. Motivation is irrelevant to the reality of the phenomenon. I think you have a lot of trouble with that sort of thing. I could argue that what people actually do --present published or near-future published results-- is a good idea, but I don't choose to discuss it. As is so often the case, what you would like to believe turns out not to be so.

      Delete
    17. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. this is his presentation:

    http://twileshare.com/askq

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  3. The evidence that most of the genome in species with high c-value, such as humans and onions, does not have informational roles has been overwhelming for a long time. That’s why most of the scholars in the field of genome evolution, including, Michael Bennett, Thomas Cavalier-Smith, Dmitri Petrov, and Ryan Gregory’s have abandoned this idea decades ago and focused on potential non-informational roles.

    In light of this evidence and scholarly work, discussing the fact that most of the genome in these species does not play an informational role makes little sense. So, what novelties did you, Dan, and the other speakers at the SMBE2013 symposium entitled “Where did ‘junk’ go?” presented?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Before the readers leave this post, which is about to happen soon, I think the readers would be interested in knowing some of the novelties that were presented at the SMBE2013 symposium entitled “Where did ‘junk’ go?” It is hard to believe that there were none!

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  5. Here's what Dan Graur said on his slide during the presentation at SMBE2013 [SMBE 1023My Presentation on ENCODE].

    Two problems: (1) If the human genome is indeed devoid of junk DNA as implied by the ENCODE project, then a long undirected evolutionary process, cannot explain the human genome. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, then all DNA, or as much as possible, is expected to exhibit function. If ENCODE is right, then Evolution is wrong.

    Dan then goes on to explain all the reasons why our understanding of evolution, biochemistry, and genomes, points to the existence of junk.

    I described Dan Graur's statement like this ...

    One of the things that Graur said was that if ENCODE is right then evolution is wrong. Now this may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. If the ENCODE leaders are right that 85% of our genome has a biological function then we really do have to rethink the C-value paradox and genetic load. We also have to re-think a lot of biochemistry. I think that's what Dan meant. Cornelius Hunter says that's the one "glaring error" in Graur's presentation.

    Later on in his talk, Dan Graur defines "The ENCODE Incongruity."

    The ENCODE Incongruity implies that a biological function can be maintained without selection, which inturn implies that no deleterious mutations can occur inthose genomic sequences described by ENCODE as functional.”“This is akin to claiming thata television set left on andunattended will still be in working condition after a million years.

    I don't think I misrepresented Graur. I certainly didn't lie.

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  6. My reply to Vashti in four parts.
    1. I do not discuss scientific issues with anonymous people or writers using untraceable pseudonyms. I also do not take candy from strangers.
    2. Whoever Vashti is, he or she is a creationist moron. I do not confront creationist morons in public. The confrontation looks good on their CV; not so good on mine.
    3. Larry Moran did not misrepresent me, although I question his decision to acknowledge the existence of an anonymous cockroach like Vashti by answering his/her inane proclamations.
    4. Vashti should learn how to spell; "strong beliefs," not "strong believes."
    Dan Graur

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    Replies
    1. Lol, hahaha, you made my day grandpah... uhahahah Who are you with? Are you talking to me? Really? If you are really who you say you are, I have one message for you.

      I don't take insults from people like you, or Larry. Capish?

      Anyway, I'm sure you still stand by your statement, that if us, THE ENCODE, "...are right that 85% of human genome is not junk; it has some kind of biological function, then evolution must be wrong..." I would like to confirm what I have heard YOU SAY IN YOUR PUBLIC TALK in Chicago right in front of me, and few hundred people.

      I will reveal my real name in time. Believe me. (I think this time my Ipad self-corrected the spelling well.If not, let the Apple Company know. Nice talking to you, again.

      BTW. You look much smaller and less intimidating in person, unlike Larry, though he is of a smaller statue than me :)

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. It doesn't look like my last post is going to be published. So, in shor. You win. I was probably wrong about Graur's implications. They, (my friends) however can't remember the exact details, but they have been moved by your talk. So, Fair enough. You win in this category :)

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    1. Vashti,

      The magic words were "I'm sorry I called you a liar."

      You didn't say them. You have two strikes and no more warnings.

      Delete
  9. vashti: Are you really retracting what you have said about Larry's comment? Please tell me you have smoked something that made you do this shit. If not, find a frickin good reason to do that. I was at the conference too. Unless you are a chicken, I can't find any other reason why you try to kiss larry's ass. Are you that desperate to stay on this blog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe "Liberte" is a sock puppet for Vashti. He has no public profile and does nothing but defend Vashti when Vashti is caught dead to rights. Liberte, like Vashti, claims to have been at the conference. And Liberte uses the same bizarre grammar:

      "smoked something that made you do this shit. If not, find a frickin good reason"

      Liberte, like Vashti, tries to imitate North American cursing, but it's all wrong.

      If so, it could be the third strike.

      Delete
    2. No, I have a license. Why do you assume I don't?

      Delete
    3. Prove it. Log in and comment as Pedro, then as Dominick.

      Prove you have outsmarted me with your superior intellect. I don't believe you're that much smarter than I. Prove it.

      Delete
    4. I'm in Morocco. How did you know smart-ass?

      Delete
  10. Do me a favor, whoever you are. Do not call me names, please! Ever. Capish?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vashti, you're arguing with your own sock puppet. We know because you call Liberte "Whoever you are." You never called me "Whoever you are."

      I'm anonymous. Most commenters here are anonymous. Yet you do not call us "Whoever you are" to draw attention to your supposed lack of knowledge of our identities.

      Liberate, like Vashti, is not a native English speaker and curses incorrectly.

      Liberte: "any other reason why you try to kiss larry's ass"

      Why you try to. Very Vashti-like. Native English speakers would use present progressive or past tense.

      It's like listening to Mr. Garrison argue with Mr. Hat.

      Delete
    2. No, you say? You now say you are not banned? Everyone here remembers what you did and the reason you were banned. So I'm guessing you can't help lying-- you can't control it. You have lying Tourettes.

      Delete
    3. Who are you talking to? Stop this nonsense

      Delete
    4. What did he do? I don't remember him.
      JW. What did you do?

      Delete
    5. Dinogens??? Are you ok? Why are you talking to yourself?

      Delete
    6. He is not talking to himself. His talking with me ;)

      Delete
    7. ATTENTION ALL SANDWALKERS: Banned troll Vashti/John Witton stole my identity and is now posting under my name, using a bad copy of my avatar. I trust you will all know which is the real me on the grounds of: 1. My darker, sharper avatar; 2. Better grammar and spelling; and 3. If you click the name Diogenes, it will take you to my profile, on Blogger since 2010. Vashti/John Witton's ripoff of me is new and does not have a public profile.

      Larry, identity theft is serious. Please ban Vashti, Liberte, Dominick, and possibly Pedro Pereira, as well as the Diogenes with the lighter avatar and no public profile. They are all John Witton, it seems-- if someone posing as Witton, it's still a troll.

      Delete
    8. @Diogenes: Pedro Pereira is a completely sane Sandwalker, and while he isn't a native speaker of English, both his style and his views are very different from those of Witton and his sockpuppets.

      Anyway, Larry's got a serious cockroach problem here. But it was nice for "Vashti" to show his real face without waiting to be exposed. Hey, creos of the world, is this a friend of yours?

      (By the way, Witton has also attempted cursing in Polish, even less convincingly than in English.)

      Delete
    9. Diogenes said,

      Banned troll Vashti/John Witton stole my identity and is now posting under my name, ...

      John Witton has been banned but at the time you wrote this Vashti had not been banned. Do you know for certain that Vashti is John Witton?

      I'm thinking of restricting comments to those people who identify themselves by registering. I don't like people who post anonymously or under a pseudonym. That includes you, Diogenes. Can you think of a good reason why I shouldn't do that?

      Delete
    10. Larry,

      «Can you think of a good reason why I shouldn't do that?»

      No. I can't. I am not Diogenes, but I know that I would also have to either make a more public profile, or else stop commenting, but I think it's best to restrict comments to people who register. That would keep comments much more serious. Probably more civil, and you would increase the proportion of people coming to comment and read much more serious stuff. We could have more scientific exchanges.

      As an example, one of the authors of that paper about finding functional DNA by looking for conserved RNA secondary structure was trying to argue for his position. Yet, some answers to this person were too aggressive for no good reason. So I did not ask question just afraid that if the person answered my questions, then someone would give him another slap, again for no good reason. We could disagree with him, clearly call a spade a spade, but avoid being unnecessarily aggressive.

      So, no, I cannot think of a good reason why you should not make this a subscriber blog, even if that means that I have to either move on or make a proper profile.

      Delete
    11. Vashti,

      Why do you insist on making such a fool of yourself? Did you read what I wrote? There was that little bit that read "I am not Diogenes, but ..."

      Man, really, you make it too easy to think that creationists are mentally challenged.

      Delete
  11. So Mart - is 13.6% REALLY a "large proportion"?

    What do you scientists consider to be a small proportion?

    ReplyDelete