Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Do IDiots understand evolutionary theory?

Do Intelligent Design Creationists (IDiots) understand evolution? ... of course not.

It's been really frustrating over the past 25 years trying to explain modern evolutionary theory to IDiots. They continue to refer to "Darwinism" and "neo-Darwinism" but it's obvious that they don't have a clue what they mean by those terms. This become especially obvious when they discover, once again, that real evolutionary biologists don't accept the IDiots' version of evolutionary theory.

Check out the latest post by Casey Luskin on Evolution News & Views. It would be so easy for him to explain to his readers what the textbooks say on evolutionary theory and how it differs from what the IDiots are promoting in their own books and on their websites [Are Biologists Rejecting Neo-Darwinian Evolution?]. He doesn't do this, of course, and that's only partly because it suits his purpose to be dissembling. It's mostly because he really doesn't understand what he's talking about. We know this because dozens of people have tried to explain it to him over the years and he still doesn't get it.

In fairness, Casey Luskin is responding to an article on The BioLogos Forum by philosopher Robert C. Bishop [Two Rhetorical Strategies (Reviewing “Darwin’s Doubt”: Robert Bishop, Part 2)]. It's pretty clear that Bishop doesn't understand modern evolutionary theory either. Unfortunately, there are many scientists who share these misconceptions but that's not an excuse for Luskin and his fellow travelers since they are supposed to understand what they spend so much time attacking.


44 comments :

  1. Yep. Several of the recent DI posts -- there was a one the day before by Paul Nelson which was a REAL hack job -- all make the same outrageous errors based on "any quote criticizing 'neo-darwinism' is a criticism of what we creationists mean by neo-darwinism, which is whatever we don't like at the moment." Amongst the more outrageous things they've been including in "neo-darwinism" lately:

    - common ancestry
    - all developmental changes are caused by changes in amino acid sequences of proteins
    - all evolution of anything in biology you can think of is controlled by "natural selection"

    Some of these they get from scientists, often from a half-century ago. Typically the scientists are talking about the evolution of morphology and the creationists take this and apply it to modern non-coding DNA and then declare victory because of neutral theory. Blargh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BilboWednesday, September 10, 2014 2:55:00 PM
      Nick: "Blargh." Just wondering how one should pronounce "blargh." Is the "gh" silent, as in "though"? In which case, it's the same as "blar." Or does it have an "f" sound, as in "enough"? In which case, it's "blarf." Is the "h" just an etymological hold over, which has no effect on the present pronunciation, in which case it's "blarg." Or is it something else? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Delete
    2. Nick, this is off-topic. But tomorrow, Sept. 11, is Jason Lisle Day. The second anniversary of the ICR astrophysicist writing on his blog that he would soon explain why his solution to the Young Earth Distant Starlight Problem ("Asymmetric Synchrony Convention") does NOT cause a gravity field in General Relativity-- which, mathematically, is obvious. So after two years we're still waiting for his "explanation" why ASC is not total garbage. Any day now...

      I'm working on a blog post and would like to cross-post at Pandas Thumb.

      Delete
    3. Hi! If you email it, ideally HTML-formatted, I can probably post it tomorrow. matzkeATnimbios.org

      Delete
  2. The Tooters understand evolution well enough to distort it for their propaganda purposes, and brazen enough to toss out (over and over) blatant falsehoods with impunity. There is nothing to deter the Tooters except their cash flow being cut off. The real job of the Tooters is to keep the gravy train rolling and that's the only thing they've done successfully.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Two days ago Paul Nelson said:

    "Thus, the book still awaits a response that meets its central arguments head-on."

    So, Paul, no one has already posted a review or any comments anywhere that meet the book's central arguments head-on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? It's like the guy is a professional at getting things wrong. I don't even care if he's a YEC, but can he at least not be totally blinkered and naive about the term "neo-Darwinism", Michael Lynch, etc.? And maybe actually seriously address some of the major criticisms of Meyer's book instead of just claiming, like the cheapest sort of propagandist, that no one has addressed it's central arguments? For the love of the FSM, Paul, Meyer's central argument is that evolution can't produce new information and only intelligence can, but the origin of new genes is a huge and mainstream field, literally everyone except IDists/creationists think we've got the basics of the process down pretty well, even Behe and Berlinski admit that natural processes can produce new genes, and then Meyer in his book basically denies the entire process with only the flimsiest sort of semi-arguments along the lines of "maybe an IDer made genes similar" and "you can't assume a gene, you have to explain the origin of the very first genes from scratch or you haven't explained anything". And Paul Nelson supports Meyer in doing this.

      I think he just doesn't care any more. Paul Nelson has devoted his life to a failed movement which was always doomed to collapse out of its own self-contradictions, but there's nothing else he can do so he just keeps going through the motions. His only other option is serious self-examination and putting in some hard work on fairly representing the views of the scientific community and applying some critical thinking to the ID/creationist propaganda that is issued daily. But we can't have that, that might not turn out to be comfortable for Paul Nelson.

      Delete
  4. Robert Bishop, philosopher and historian of science (with a physics background) completely disemboweled Meyer over at BioLogos. BioLogos!

    Paul Nelson just can't keep up complaining that the "main arguments" haven't been engaged, but Bishop lays out clearly what he's discussing: Meyer's dishonesty. (my words, not Bishop's)

    Here's a choice quote from Bishop:

    "An informed reader gets the impression that Meyer reads the literature hunting for support for his pre-conceived view rather than in search of insight into what evolutionary and developmental biologists are actually saying."

    Bishop neatly exposes all of Meyer's tricks and treachery and he's spot on with his analysis. It's 4 parts long but is in keeping with Marshall's observation that Meyer's Doubt represents a "systematic failure of scholarship."

    I think Nelson is going to comment on parts 3 and 4, but you know Nelson - it could be years. Paul Nelson Day Deux.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part 2 of that series, Bishop's Review of Meyer, is the best one IMHO.

      Delete
  5. Don't tell anyone about this or else the "Tooters" might find out, then go into plaid again:

    Google has open sourced a tool for inferring cause from correlations
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/forums/topic/google-has-open-sourced-a-tool-for-inferring-cause-from-correlations

    ReplyDelete
  6. Casey Luskin is a hero and fantastic energetic fighter for ID advocacy. He's not YEC.
    Id owes him a great deal. A young intelligent critic of things that don't prove their points.
    He has great interviews on the discovery webpage.
    He must smell blood and want to be a player in the demise of old man Darwin and crew.
    The main points of evolution have not changed. New evolution is the same old evolution with more, desperately, needed, options.
    The old options are not good enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Casey is going to like the future of ID too, even though I doubt he ever expected this that I just finished wording for the NCSE blarg forum:

      http://ncse.com/blog/2014/09/speculatin-theories-0015844#comment-1585299653

      Delete
    2. Hey Robert the robot, did the biblical character jesus have one (or more) of these as a pet? Were there two of these on the biblical ark?

      Spinosaurus;

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140911142714.htm

      Delete
  7. I like this blog, it shows where exactly "modern evolutionary" theory stands.

    Why is it a problem for a professor boasting with "modern evolutionary" theory to answer the challenges of these nice gentlemen?

    M. Behe:"And just as those alternative chloroquine resistance pathways are imaginary, Professor Moran's "millions and millions of possible evolutionary outcomes" are imaginary. In the absence of actual evidence that a huge number of relevant unrealized biochemical features could have been built by Darwinian processes, it is illegitimate to arbitrarily multiply probabilistic resources."

    "In the absence of an a priori requirement, science is obliged to investigate whether or not such pathways exist. Right now the evidence we have in hand militates strongly against it."

    D. Axe:"So, to Moran I say, regale us with heroic stories of magically evolvable apes and magically evolvable enzymes if you must, but when you’re finished with the stories, be sure to join us in doing the science that should convince everyone one way or the other as to their plausibility."

    If evidence for random evolution is so strong as modern evolutionists claim it to be why professor Behe needed to write half a dozen articles in which he practically challenged you to present your evidence?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're kidding. Two issues that have been done to death on this blog, and you're JAQing them again?

      Delete
    2. Copy-paste apologetics, minimum effort for maximum trolling return.

      It has become clear that "Unknown" believes whatever Axe and Behe says. "Unknown" doesn't even have to think about the subject, just copy-paste things he agree with.

      Delete
    3. it is illegitimate to arbitrarily multiply probabilistic resources

      Except that it's mathematically provable this is what gives you the correct answer. Dr. Behe is trying to defend his incorrect probability mathematics by taking the rhetorical offensive and claiming those who do the math correctly are somehow doing something "illegitimate."

      Want proof? Every time you read about a PowerBall lottery winner, there's your proof. If "multiply[ing] probabilistic resources" really were as "illegitimate" as Dr. Behe says - in other words, if Dr. Behe's math was correct - we'd only have a lottery winner approximately once every 1.5 million years.

      Delete
  8. Not only do IDists not understand evolution, f%$n' nobody understands evolution except those elitist Clubbers like Moran, Matzke, et al.

    Think of the hard work they put into their evolutionary collage: a little NS here, a little drift there, some neutral theory touches here and here; aaah, and some liberal application of evo-constraint dust across the canvas and ooooh, look at the complexity of it all.

    Only The Club knows the secrets of The Collage.

    Besided, the club dues are just way too high for those snot-nosed uppity cretonists...er, er creationis....er IDiotistas....whatever, you know...those IDiots, those damned liars....Oh, how they lie.

    Just in: diogenes caught on microphone, sniffling...."they're lying... I just know it....its not like that....it can't be....they have to be lying, they just have to be lying!!!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve, do you understand design-creation by your chosen, so-called 'God'? Do you understand the who, what, when, where, how, and why of design-creation? If so, will you please explain it all in your own words, and how you know? I included 'why' because creationists claim that everything 'God' designs-creates has a divine purpose.

      And while you're at it will you also explain, from a design-creationist point of view, how and why some people are born with two heads?

      Delete
    2. Steve, I really piss off creationists because I QUOTE their words (they don't quote me; they dare not) and then I compare their words against the facts, which makes them look like liars. They will not debate people who really undermine their authority. For IDiots, all of their self-contradictory nonsense is unified only by a desire to use jargon words whose meaning they don't understand, to transfer scientific authority to themselves without their doing experiments. If you undermine their authority by proving they lied, they won't debate you.

      On THAT topic, they permit no controversy. The real controversy in science is whether IDiots are deliberately lying or honestly ignorant and self-deceiving. IDiots do not permit discussion of that controversy. Why is that, Steve? Why.

      Delete
    3. @ Steve

      "Not only do IDists not understand evolution, f%$n' nobody understands evolution except those elitist Clubbers like Moran, Matzke, et al."

      The funniest thing is that people like Coyne and Dawkins totally disagree with Moran, Matzke... They worship natural selection, which is totally obvious It can't be responsible for macro-evolution...

      I call it "The Big Boys Comedy Club"... for us for free...

      Delete
    4. I love how Steve is basically saying it takes an education to understand a specific branch of science.

      He could make the exact same stupid argument about physics or astronomy.

      "Think of the hard work they put into their astrophysical collage: a little gravity here, a little nuclear fusion there, some dark matter theory touches here and here; aaah, and some liberal application of cometary dust across the canvas and ooooh, look at the complexity of it all."

      Delete
    5. Steve self-referentially says Dawkins, etc., don't *understand* Dr. Moran. That's not it at all. They don't *agree.* It is Steve who not only disagrees, but does do because he doesn't understand.

      Delete
  9. Quest said re. natural selection:
    It can't be responsible for macro-evolution...
    Why not, how do you know? Evidence? How many real idiots (as compared to IDiots) do you think there are in science? How do they survive? How come real scientists are so damn smart in every respect - but gets unhinged as soon as the subject is evolution?

    I believe there's something wrong with the IDiots perception of the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a lot of us who think that microevolution is not sufficient to explain macroevolution [Macroevolution].

      Delete
    2. Oops...!

      It looks like Rolfie didn't know what the modern evolutionary theory is at these days.... Well...

      Delete
    3. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black...?

      Delete
    4. Quest,
      Since you have apparently read Dr. Moran's essay on macroevolution, explain his point to Rolf

      Delete
    5. It looks like Rolfie didn't know what the modern evolutionary theory is at these days.... Well...

      The irony is rich with this one.

      Delete
    6. I've read that Macroevolution chapter several times, and I think (I hope) that I get something more out of it each time.

      Delete
    7. Chris B wrote,

      "Quest,
      Since you have apparently read Dr. Moran's essay on macroevolution, explain his point to Rolf"

      I have read professor's Moran theory about how new, and properly defined species could have arisen.... Well... what can I say...?

      This is neither the point here nor should I be the one teaching Rolfie what HE himself should have known in the first place before making idiot of himself...

      I have stated my point many times.... including this blog; if the leading evolutionary experts can't agree on the REAL MECHANISMS of evolution, what should be thought in schools then...

      Let's say I have a smart but rebellious son, who wants to prove me wrong about say... macroevolution... I can't really refer him to an authority and then take it apart because there is no such thing in the theory of evolution today... which isn't that great for people like me... parents..

      Delete
    8. Quest,

      You could have just wrote: "I didn't read Dr. Moran's macroevolution essay, I was just just trolling" and been done with it. That would have been more honest.

      "I have read professor's Moran theory about how new, and properly defined species could have arisen.... Well... what can I say...?

      This is neither the point here nor should I be the one teaching Rolfie what HE himself should have known in the first place before making idiot of himself... "

      So basically, you are not familiar with any of the material, and you don't understand the point Larry was making. Essentially, your only point seems to be that if every scientist doesn't understand every aspect of modern evolutionary theory, that this somehow destroys evolutionary theory in general. That is an irrational conclusion.

      You should take your own advice, and have a faint glimmer of understanding about the science you are criticizing, before you make a fool of yourself.

      "I have stated my point many times.... including this blog; if the leading evolutionary experts can't agree on the REAL MECHANISMS of evolution, what should be thought in schools then..."

      And you have been schooled many times as well. But you just keep bringing up the same old lame criticisms again as if they were new. I never see you or any other creationists bemoaning the lack of a mechanism for gravity, and calling for teaching the controversy about aspects of gravitational theory. There is no known mechanism for the existence of the force of gravity. In contrast, there are several documented mechanisms of naturalistic evolution: random mutation, natural selection, genetic drift, neutral and near neutral genetic variation, contingency and more which have been empirically demonstrated to operate in the real world. That is the nature of complex theory, There is no single all-explanatory mechanism. That sort of thought is the realm of magical gods. I suspect this particular scrutiny of evolution is because gravitational theory, in contrast, does not result in a cognitive dissonance over one's chosen god. What do you think?

      "Let's say I have a smart but rebellious son, who wants to prove me wrong about say... macroevolution... I can't really refer him to an authority and then take it apart because there is no such thing in the theory of evolution today... which isn't that great for people like me... parents."

      Well, that comment is wrong on its face. There are plenty of living authorities on evolution who could explain to your skeptical son about the many evidences of macroevolution. They could explain it to your skeptical daughter (or other relative/friend) as well. I'm curious, though, since millions of young children die each year from terrible organisms of creation, how do you provide a mechanism for an omnipotent, loving creator? And all those millions of grieving parents, if they are good people in life but prayed to the wrong god to spare their child, are they going to suffer for eternity in hell when they die? What do you tell a smart but rebellious child about that?

      Delete
    9. This is a slighlty puzzling side-debate. There was nothing particularly exceptionable in Rolf's comment - he challenged Q to justify his statement that NS cannot be responsible for macroevolution. It needs a qualifier of course - cannot be responsible for any, or cannot be responsible for all? It also needs careful definition of terms, and an understanding that our chosen terms are not prescriptive upon nature.

      If evolution is defined as allele frequency change in a gene pool, then it has pretty much been defined to be synonymous with microevolution. Sometimes that frequency change is associated with differential reproductive success (ie, NS). But at speciation events (where macroevolution starts) we'd need to factor in the degree of stirring of that gene pool. A single population does not become two in a heartbeat. Sluggish gene flow can help lead to speciation, as can differential drift across different parts of a range - but Natural Selection can also play a part. Ecological specialisations and sexual selection can assist a bifurcation. But vertically - if we are looking at the degree of phyletic change - the speciation 'event' is invisible. The macro/micro distrinction then becomes somewhat arbitrary - how many intervening tiny changes need to accumulate before we decide we need a higher-level category?

      So it's not a simple distinction. Like much in evolution, disputes arise due to the desire to place discrete categories upon continuous phenomena.

      Delete
    10. "This is a slighlty puzzling side-debate. There was nothing particularly exceptionable in Rolf's comment - he challenged Q to justify his statement that NS cannot be responsible for macroevolution."

      Sorry, Allan, I shouldn't feed the trolls.

      Delete
    11. Ah no Chris, feed away! It's an interesting issue, and Quest's attempts to make some capital out of it are always worth a chuckle.

      Delete
    12. QuestSaturday, September 13, 2014 3:48:00 PM

      This is one of my favorite quotes:

      Larry on J. Wells’ book on junk DNA:

      “…I don't know for sure whether Wells intends to emphasize speciation by natural selection when he claims that, "biologists had still not observed the origin of a new species ("speciation") by natural selection." If that's his intent then it's true that there are very few examples of true speciation (biological species concept) that can be attributed directly to natural selection.

      (This is the best part) As Jerry Coyne points out, reproductive isolation is mostly due to accident (random genetic drift) and not natural selection [The Cause of Speciation]. That's in line with modern evolutionary theory and Coyne should know because he's one of the world's leading experts on speciation. “

      Everything seem right…so far…

      Well …here it goes…

      Larry writes:

      “…[UPDATE: Coyne and some commenters have corrected me. Coyne actually does think that most speciation is due to natural selection. I'll stick with Futuyma as my authority. He's much more open to the idea of speciation by random genetic drift (Evolution 2nd ed. p. 447)]…”

      Oops…?

      …I guess world’s leading expert on speciation (Coyne according to Larry) doesn’t seem to agree with Larry and modern evolutionary theory….neither does Dawkins… it appears…

      So… my question is if one would like to write a chapter on evolution in a textbook…on who’s expertise should he rely on…Larry’s, Grawler’s or Matzke…? Or Coyne and Dawkins…???

      If on the fundamental evolutionary issue experts can’t agree on…why should it be taught in schools…?

      If modern evolutionary theory should be taught in schools…whose beliefs should be taken into consideration…?

      They can’t be both right…

      This is the issue I have been struggling with… The Darwinian Police wants to teach something they have no proof of and can’t agree on… but whoever does not buy their fairytales that they sell as science and a fact… and asks for the actual evidence… he is mocked, bullied and the Darwinian Police demands to have him removed if he is a teacher or a professor…

      They don’t accept neither competition nor arguments…

      How is that possible the 2% of the world is telling the remaining 98% what they should be learning without any evidence or consensus as to their fundamental doctrines… ?

      Anybody has any idea how this has happened and who is behind it…?

      I just don’t get it….





      "..there are two possibilities here. Either Wells is deliberately misleading his readers by emphasizing that speciation must occur by natural selection..."

      This is how Larry summarizes supposed Welles' deception...
      I'm not going to comment on that because it is clear to me who is trying to do what and why....

      Delete
    13. Quest, they are not arguing over two mutually exclusive alternatives. They are discussing the relative importance of each during a speciation event. Ample evidence for both mechanisms operating in nature have been demonstrated: we know they happen.
      At the high school level, such nuances of evolutionary theory will at most be only tangentially touched upon. They don'y have aywhere near the time to go into that level of detail. However, the concepts of natural selection and genetic drift should be presented, along with other key concept like the nature of genetic mutations, conmtingency, etc. None of these individual concepts are at all controversial and there are plenty of examples to present these concepts at the high school level.

      "They don’t accept neither competition nor arguments"

      What competition?

      Delete
    14. Quest, I hope you do understand that the statements
      "reproductive isolation is mostly due to accident (random genetic drift)" and
      "most speciation is due to natural selection" are not in conflict just because most speciation is preceded by reproductive isolation.

      If physically possible, please use one or more complete, declarative sentences in your rebuttal.

      Delete
  10. Chris, the mechanism of gravity has been known since Einstein's theory of general relativity was published in the early 20th century.

    Doesn't change the fact that when challenged, Brave Sir Quest ran away. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am no physicist, and certainly do not claim to clearly understand the theory of general relativity. While we can predict in minute detail the movements of celestial bodies, I did not know there was an actual described mechanism to explain gravity.

      Ok, it's Friday, so for fun:

      ***
      Queue quotemine.....

      Einstein himself said: "Gravity cannot be blamed for people falling in love,"
      Take that, Einsteinists! If the founding father of all physics cannot agree on the powers of gravity, it's all just wishful thinking with no evidence. All the thousands of person-years spent testing this theory and painstakingly collecting hard evidence were for naught. All gravitaional theory is hereby refuted!

      ***
      Wow, going totally irrational feels weird.....

      Delete
    2. I did not know there was an actual described mechanism to explain gravity.

      Yeah, the math's insane, but what it boils down to is fairly simple to picture: Mass warps space-time. Think of a rubber sheet stretched flat and tight. Think of a bunch of ping pong balls on it. They put little dents in it, not much. Now put a bowling ball in the middle of the sheet. Voila, all the ping pong balls are drawn to it, because it's put a big dent in the sheet and the ping pong balls roll down into the dent. In the real universe, four dimensional space-time plays the role of the rubber sheet, the role of the bowling ball is played by massive bodies (e.g., the sun, or a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy), and the role of the ping pong balls is played by less massive bodies (stars in relation to the black hole, or planets in relation to the sun).

      Delete
    3. Think of a rubber sheet stretched flat and tight.

      Well, that's an analogy at best and it depends on a prevailing concept of "down" to work at all - it is not a mechanism of how mass is supposed to make those dents in the first place.

      But that's something that's doable, it's just not done yet. Still working on it :-)

      Delete
    4. That is a really cool explanation, thanks judmarc and CatMat. Physics is just mind blowing.

      Delete