Thursday, October 09, 2014

Meet Joe Felsenstein

Here's some other little known facts about Joe Felsenstein. He doesn't like Tim Hortons. He likes beaver tails. He knows a lot about sex.



120 comments :

  1. Wait: Joe is a birder? How did I not know this?

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    1. Was a birder when I was young. Moved to the West Coast when I was 26, but have never had time to learn the western birds.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. For once in your life have the decency to shut up, Quest.

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    2. Why? I like Joe... I always have... just because we disagree on some issues it doesn't change it....does it...?

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    3. Summary of my opinion of Quest, from a recent exchange with him: wow, whotta jerk! Not worth commenting on other than that.

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    4. Joe,

      Please accept my apology... Didn't mean to be a jerk.. however...in my own defense, I found it a bit strange that Larry put liking beaver tail and knowing a lot about sex in the same context and in one sentence after another...

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    5. Jerkiness accusations are not based on the beavertails/sex jibe, but on general behavior in the most recent 100 or so of Quest's comments. Withdrawal of the assessment of jerkiness will depend upon my experience of Quest's next 100 or so comments. 'Nuf said.

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    6. Oh... so this is the real problem... What do you want me to do Joe...? I have already toned down my language, as I promised Larry I would.... unless a couple of my fans here tick me off...

      What else do you what me to do...? Agree with you...? On what...? You are the world's one of the most respected experts on population genetics... Even UD guys say that and I don't even dare to question that... You may be one and you probably are...

      But there are a lot of things that I know you can't challenge... that may not necessary be related to population genetics but it is a thorn in the flesh of a lot of people like you...

      So... If you have a problem with me... say it straight up what it is because most people like you don't like me not for how I ask questions... but rather for kind of questions I ask.... This blog is just a perfect example of that...

      So... if you accuse me of something... make it clear exactly what it is so that I know... and others know what the accusation are...

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    7. Hey, I'll tell you one thing: punctuation. Learn how to use it. Ellipses make no sense the way you do them.

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    8. What didn't you understand Johnny Harsh...?

      BTW: When was the last time you looked up the definition and the application of ellipses....?

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    9. Correction to my comment above: "most recent 102 or so".

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    10. Is this going to change anything...? I don't care at all what you chose to believe but you will never, ever make me believe in something there is no logical evidence for.... that is why we are so different... I seek the truth and you think you have it. ...

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    11. Ellipses: plural of ellipsis. Definition: a literary device that is used in narratives to omit some parts of a sentence or event, which gives the reader a chance to fill the gaps while acting or reading it out. It is usually written between the sentences as “…”.

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    12. you will never, ever make me believe in something there is no logical evidence for

      Fine. On your way, then.

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  3. I really enjoyed watching that interview; it was all the better owing to his relationship with the interviewer. I liked and appreciated the part about Joe's favorite idea/publication re a macroevolution model and its failure to become a citation classic, to say the least.

    On the other hand (and despite listening to what must have been 99% of the interview I somehow never heard his commentary on Tim Hortons) if it's true he dislikes that coffee, can we really have confidence in anything he has to say?

    I mean, Tim Hortons coffee is much better than the brown bitter water that usually passes for coffee in north america. It is very nearly the cadillac of north american brown bitter waters, no?.

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    1. I don't drink coffee (hate the taste), so don't know which chains have better coffee. Have been in Tim's outlets in Canada, they have good pastries.

      Have no idea where Larry got the idea that I hate Tims. I did go on his beaver-tail-eating expedition at the Evolution meeting in Ottawa in 2012 (I think it was). Yes, I like Beaver Tails. Ate one a day for the rest of the Ottawa meeting.

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    2. I have the terrible mental image of dozens of tailless beavers trying to swim using prosthetic devices.

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    3. "Beaver tails" are rather like what around here are called "elephant ears". Let's not even think about all the earless elephants wandering around the savanna. The beaver tails in Ottawa had various icings and things on them. The elephant ears I have eaten around here had mostly just honey. They were good, once you removed the hairs and shooed away the tsetse flies.

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  4. I suspect that he likes Tim Horton's even less now that it is being bought out by Burger King.

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    1. Ah, who owns what these days is hard to follow. I suspect that if who ever can be said to own Burger King (I just checked Wikipedia - turns out Goldman Sachs is one owner) has marketing wisdom, the average consumer will never be able to tell that Tim Hortons ownership has changed hands (at least in Canada where the brand name is important). But then again, I'm not sure I care either way. Its so much financial fluff.

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  5. Interesting situation is presented between 25 and 38 minute mark.
    The comparison between how creationists are treated and the big fight he talks about is strangely parallel.
    he says the hostile side fighting the new side was not just disagreeing but led to heat. They were messianic, evangelical, name calling, raising the temperature, having a philosophical priority, saying the new people were wrong by definition,bitter, TORPEDOING job applications, accusing the new side of NOT DOING SCIENCE, and having NO JOURNAL treat fairly his papers forcing off shore applying to other publications, WOW.
    In all this Mr Felsenstein articulates the same reaction and culture that ID/YEC creationists get.
    It is the same because its the same defence of established positions and truly crazy and unscientific opposition to new ideas.
    its the same equation. It proves that creationists charges about treatment, and even serious censorship or work interfernce are very possily accurate.
    if evolutionists attack evolutionists about secondary matters then how much more do creationists get attacked??
    whats the remedy?
    Fair hearings and fair publishing and open minds.
    Somebody could be wrong and could be evolutiondom.

    There is a lesson here for creationists also about perseverance.

    By the way the reason Gisg beat evolutionists was because he had the better case and he made the more intelligent case.
    Credit where credit is due.
    If you win the debate its fair and square.
    creationists should listen to the 25-39, at least, part. Its our experience .
    Origin contentions are not a different species but the same species as all seriously held human beliefs.

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    1. "Right by definition". Oh, that characterizes how the poor creationists are treated by unfair evolutionists? I see, creationists never consider themselves "right by definition"?

      The characterization of Duane Gish winning the debates by the strength of his logic is also laughable. Gish is quite accurately charged with using the Gish Gallop (throwing so many arguments at the opponent so fast that there is no time to deal with them all). In debating circles that is called "flooding" and a professional debate judge will ding you, and seriously, if you use such an unfair tactic. (Gish knew there was no competent judge for his debates).

      Gish also used wrong arguments, and when corrected on them, pretended to agree. Then the next week, at the next debate he would use the argument again. He was a deeply dishonest man.

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    2. Whatever faults my side has your story of the big fight is a definition of iD/YEC today. The same equation. i'm not saying people on this forum but generally so. Thats why I see it as a general human response from a original establishment very afraid of the barbarians at the gate. I understand in your case the establishment did lose. Perhaps their fear was right.

      I think Me Gish has died. Yes flooding is wrong but its unlikely the audience saw it this way. They would also see it as wrong since they were a smarter academic audience always.
      He was not a dishonest man but was a Christian.
      All his points were the same point about how fossils don't help evolution. its not flooding but emphasizing a equation.
      Anyways its long debates on many details/subjects. He did defeat and intimidate, intellectually, and impress people with taking on entrenched positions.
      The defeated just get testy and blame someone else.
      Since those old days creationism(s) have progressed greatly and become more known and famous and the talk of modern science albeit in a negative way.
      Gish influenced many effective creationists around today.
      As in your story our opponents also are more subdued because times are achanging.
      We are in a greater revolution then inhouse problems.

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    3. He was not a dishonest man but was a Christian.

      I for one can't help but appreciate this quotation in a way surely not intended by Robert.

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    4. Robert, speaking as somebody deeply sympathetic to creationism, I would second Prof. Felsenstein's sentiments about Gish: he really wasn't an intellectually rigorous debater.

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    5. That's putting it mildly. He was an outright liar. He used to use the repeatedly debunked argument that the Second Law of Thermodynamics made evolution impossible. People would correct this to his face, and did so many times. He would pretend to agree that the argument was wrong. And he would use the Second Law argument again the next week.

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    6. Robert, if there is ever a collection of your posts (most likely self) published, I think this:

      He was not a dishonest man but was a Christian.

      should be the title.

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    7. Hey Cale, who would you recommend as an xtian apologist who isn't an outright scumbag of a prevaricating liar ?

      Preferably someone who doesn't keep regurgitating refuted arguments like a dog returning to it's vomit or a fool repeating it's folly*.

      * Proverbs 26:11 - it's amazing how much the bible (King James version of course) pervades english language literature.


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    8. Hi Steve, here are some good things written in the science and religion field by Christians who I think sincerely believe what they write:

      Allan Chapman's "Slaying the Dragons: Destroying Myths in the History of Science and Faith" published by Lion Books

      Stephen Barr's "Modern Physics and Ancient Faith"

      Dennis Danielson's chapter "Myth 6. That the Copernican System Demoted Humans from the Center of the Cosmos" in Galileo Goes To Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion published by Harvard University Press.

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    9. Hey Cale, so do you think that's it's OK to promulgate lies as long as you "sincerely believe" that they are true ?

      Speaking of dog vomit, I recommend our very own Robert Byers theologically sophisticated Post-flood Marsupial Migration Explained.

      What we see here is religious apologetics at it's best, Robert has stripped all the dross and verbiage from the conversation, shot an arrow into the wall and painted a bulls eye around it.

      And for those with a historically revisionists bent, I recommend this spirited defence of geocentrism brought to you by the same folk that brought us the dark ages and the inquisition.

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    10. No, I don't believe that it's ok to say false statements as long as you sincerely believe that they are true. I used that phrase because I take lying to mean deliberate deceit, rather than the mere relaying of false information. (Although I do see that dictionaries list the latter as a legitimate meaning of the word.) I don't think any of those authors are engaging in deliberate deceit, and as far as I can see, those three items I mentioned are good in terms of their factual content. If you chuck me a P.O. box number, I'd be happy to buy you free copies of these.

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  6. I met the IDiot Jonathan Wells, he is apparently a good baseball player.

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  7. Did I talk about the work on the evolution of sex in this video (I can't remember)?

    I also recently watched a few minutes of myself in this one with the audio turned off. My hand gestures are a wonder to behold.

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    1. No, you didn't talk about sex. Or about beavertails. Or Tim Horton. Larry was adding new information not found on the video.

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    2. I realized Larry was adding extra comments only after I posted above about missing the Tim Horton's comments in the interview.

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  8. Joe, thanks for your review of Dembski's UC talk on Panda's Thumb. Eager to see the promised second part (the response to Dembski's response).

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    1. Unknown,

      Do you have a link to that...?

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    2. http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/10/dembskis-argume.html#comment-panels

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    3. This is Joe's best reply:
      "Is Dembski’s theology of information central to his argument about evolution?

      No, because he’s got to end up arguing that, for the laws of phyics to be the way they are, requires some active Design.But once the laws of physics are admitted, how they got that way is just not part of any argument about evolution. Biologists will certainly decide not to waste time on the issue and to leave it to cosmologists."

      I'm pretty sure that everybody understands what Joe Franks means by the "Active Design" in his lame rebuff.... but I'm pretty sure he will never admit to the "inactive design" before that statement...

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    4. Correction to my earlier corrections to my comment: "104".

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    5. 105:

      Joe, why don't you explain what you really mean by "active Design", so I can prove you and others why you really refuse to engage in the conversation...? Its obvious to me but.... it may not be as obvious to the blind followers of Darwin....

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    6. Dembski cliams to have developed a mathematical method to detect "Design" from, I suppose anything else. It's been over ten years since this development, but he has yet to apply it empirically to a real life situation. Why is that? It's obvious to me, but,. it may not be as obvious to the blind followers of wishful thinking.

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    7. Who needs a method to detect design...? Shit is not designed and most people can detected it from a mile and without science and mathematical model... Why does design need this special treatment...? Is it that the design is so hard to recognize for some blind people...? Or is it perhaps that their blindness causes the lack of recognition...?

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    8. Well... compilation lists like this and the old kid's game of finding shapes in the clouds might just imply that we have a predisposition to see design or patterns that are not really there....

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    9. Embedded link fail. The link should take you here;
      http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2009/07/22/18-natural-formations-that-look-man-made/

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    10. TheOtherJim,

      Are you talking to me...? Are you...?

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    11. Once again, Quest, confronted with anything smacking of real evidence or real testing of assertions - testing that Quest requires of all others but never applies to his own fanciful proclamations of truth - retreats to contrafactual declarations of special knowledge of things he does not know. He even throws prophet Dembski under the bus because he knows Dembski cannot stand the scrutiny of honest empirical testing.
      At least Quest has learned the limits of his faith.

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    12. Really...?

      When you were confronted with an opportunity to prove your faith by the real, empirical, experimental evidence, why did you run away to statement that I don't understand evolution without providing evidence for...?
      Need a quote...?

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    13. Thanks Chris, it's hard to keep up, so I appreciate it when others help assess the number. I am afraid that the gentleman in question is not lowering the jerkiness quotient of his posts. When a troll makes jerky comments with mathematical regularity, does this prove Design?

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    14. Joe, see judmarc's post below in this thread. Quest is the pulsar of trolls. He's back on his bizarre flying chicken experiment.

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    15. It so happens that I took care of our next-door neighbor's chickens last weekend when they went camping (they have four hens). Yes, chickens do fly. One of them flew past me out the door of their coop when I opened it up in the morning. There are videos on line of chickens flying. There are web sites about how selection for large breast muscles has led chickens to fly less. Also it has been unconsciously selected against because chickens that fly over fences escape.

      It would not surprise me that one could select for them to do more, or less, of this. So what?

      I think I didn't notice this proposed experiment in among all the pulsar-scale jerkiness.

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    16. Chickens going camping ?

      Hitting the road in their little chicken RVs ?

      Who'd have thunk it.

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    17. With the advent of factory farming, an industrial version of experiment in artificial selection going on in your neighbours chicken coop has resulted in 2 lines of heavily modified chickens, the meat producers who grow 3x faster than their pre-WWII ancestors and the egg layers selected for maximum egg production, which look nothing like the other.

      Similar experiments on turkeys, pigs and cows have resulted, for example, in pigs whose body fat is now less than that of beef. I recall the days when pork was the high fat meat.

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    18. Also it has been unconsciously selected against because chickens that fly over fences escape.

      Unconsciously selected? Unpossible! Any change must be by intentional design, proving that humans are helping chickens escape. Fess up, Joe!

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    19. Joe,

      I have a felling that this experiment is going to bury you and your shifty population genetics...This is a real deal happening right now videotaped every day chicken trying to improve their fitness by getting their food a little bit further away so that they have to fly more.. and more... for it..... as the religious theory asserts....

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    20. Did the "blind followers " noticed how Joe F has been avoiding his flap about the active Design issue...?

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    21. "I have a felling that this experiment is going to bury you and your shifty population genetics...This is a real deal happening right now videotaped every day chicken trying to improve their fitness by getting their food a little bit further away so that they have to fly more.. and more... for it."

      If this is really the experiment you are suggesting, you are wasting your time. That would not be a test of evolutionary theory at all. What you are testing with that design is Lamarkian evolution, which was disproven and abandoned many decades ago. I hope you aren't wasting your time and money with such an "experiment".

      ".... as the religious theory asserts...."
      Tell us what your religious theory asserts, Quest, and then propose a real scientific experiment to empirically test a prediction it makes.

      Also, explain the "active design" issue you are talking about. Nobody is avoiding it, we just don't know what you are talking about, and your disturbing obsession with it is not clarifying things.

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    22. This is a real deal happening right now videotaped every day chicken trying to improve their fitness by getting their food a little bit further away so that they have to fly more

      It's not this video, is it?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVdlxwX6A7g

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  9. Did Joe Felsenstein ever hit a home run?

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  10. Wonderful interview. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Cale.B.T
    I never heard Gish but heard of his fame.
    he was a great debater. he was so confident he would go to hostile areas and take on any comers.
    He won aplenty in his design to show evolutions failures.
    Results matter in fair debates.
    That is very rigourous. the opponent could defend and obviously they did a poor job.
    gish was known for having done better then was expected. he was a agent of change in how YEC increased its combativeness. The opponents were not impressive.
    Evolutionists rightly avoid debates. They can't win against a tough creationist.

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    1. gish was a nasty piece of work alright, your side lost their fastest liar when he died - who wants to bet he was "disappointed" to discover the afterlife was nothing more than childish fantasy: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_gallop

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    2. I'll happily hold the stakes for this bet, and will look after them well (investing them at interest, which I will take as my commission). Let me know when you figure out a way to decide who has won the bet.

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    3. In a debate in England, John Maynard Smith beat the shit out of Gish who was as phoney as a 3 dollar bill.

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    4. Byers: "Evolutionists rightly avoid debates. They can't win against a tough creationist."

      Why am I banned from almost all creationist websites and Facebook pages?

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. sez quest: "Who needs a method to detect design...?"
    Given the fact that Dembski went to the trouble of attempting to develop "a method to detect design", it would appear that Dembski needed such a method. Were you trying to make some sort of point by asking this question?

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  14. What is the difference between these two scenarios…?
    Astronomers detect signals from space; a pattern of beats and pauses from 2 to 101

    2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29
    31 37 41 43 47 53 59 61 67 71
    73 79 83 89 97 101

    Another group of astronomers also detects signals from space but they don’t seem to fit into any pattern; it’s just random beats and pauses… beat… pause…beat pause every few hours…

    What is the difference these two scenarios…?
    Can anyone detect anything…?

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    1. Yeah, pulsars are mathematically regular as all heck and therefore sure evidence of a Creator/Designer, right?

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    2. Prime numbers? You mean like the reproductive cycle of cicadas. Do you think cicadas are intelligent, Quest?

      Note that every ID proponent asserts that a string of prime numbers has "specified complexity" if it is long enough. But cicada reproductive cycles, in years, form a string of prime numbers going back millions of years. So that is an example of "Specified Complexity" produced by natural processes. Since we know "Specified Complexity" is produced by natural processes, if "Specified Complexity" were found in living organisms, we should assume by default that those organisms were created by natural processes, unless proven otherwise.

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    3. Shoot, if you want something formed by natural processes that's mathematically complex as all get out, you don't need anything like the intelligence of a cicada. The path of the Mississippi, or any other river or creek, or the path of a raindrop down a window, will all do just fine.

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    4. I was just quoting Dembski that some here demanded me to take into consideration for one reason or another...

      Here is what I have been referring to:

      "...Astronomer Carl Sagan wrote a novel about SETI called Contact, which was later made into a movie. The plot and the extraterrestrials were fictional, but Sagan based the SETI astronomers’ methods of design detection squarely on scientific practice. Real-life SETI researchers have thus far failed to conclusively detect designed signals from distant space, but if they encountered such a signal, as the film’s astronomers’ did, they too would infer design. Why did the radio astronomers in Contact draw such a design inference from the signals they monitored from space? SETI researchers run signals collected from distant space through computers programmed to recognize preset patterns. These patterns serve as a sieve. Signals that do not match any of the patterns pass through the sieve and are classified as random.

      After years of receiving apparently meaningless, random signals, the Contact researchers discovered a pattern of beats and pauses that corresponded to the sequence of all the prime numbers between two and one-hundred and one. (Prime numbers are divisible only by themselves and by one.) That startled the astronomers, and they immediately inferred an intelligent cause. When a sequence begins with two beats and then a pause, three beats and then a pause, and continues through each prime number all the way to one-hundred and one beats, researchers must infer the presence of an extraterrestrial intelligence...."

      http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.08.Encyc_of_Relig.htm

      BTW: I don't personally love this example to prove design..... But Dembski is a mathematician.... so I can perceive why this particular example seem to have appealed to him...
      If there was one about cooking... if possible.. it probably would have appealed to me.... If it were about sex or beaver tail recipe.... it may have appealed to Joe Franks...lol


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    5. "I was just quoting Dembski that some here demanded me to take into consideration for one reason or another..."

      You kniow exactly the reason Demvski came up. He claims to have developed a mathermatical method to detect design in nature, about 15 years ago. He has yet to apply it to any real life situation, yet if his method is valid, it could provide the only empirical evidence of intelligent design, which currently has no evidence whatsoever to support it.

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    6. Chris B,

      Read his entire argument...

      http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.08.Encyc_of_Relig.htm

      As I've already said, I'm not a great fan of his arguments as I'm not a mathematician, but what he claims makes a lot of sense...

      We recognize design in nature by a pattern that strikes us as arranged by intelligence and anything that doesn't fit it can be dismissed as random and possibly accidental...

      The prime numbers from 2 to 101 sent to Earth via radio signal in the rising sequence/order in the movie "Contact" clearly indicated intelligent design behind them...
      To me, prime numbers even sent at random, would have indicated design...

      I personally like the argument for detecting intelligent design by this example:

      Let's just say, scientists discovered a pile of some kind of sophisticated machinery on Mars... They are not going to dismiss it as not designed even though they don't know what the purpose of the machinery is or who designed it and manufactured it...

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    7. Sorry, bunch of typos in that last one let's try again:

      Unfortunately, Quest, nature and/or your hypothetical designer aren't quite so helpful as to leave a string of prime numbers or a pile of machinery on Mars. People look at clouds and see animals, dragons, and any number of things, is that design? People look at a uniform or nearly uniform distribution of dots on a piece of paper and they think it looks random. They look at a truly random distribution of dots on a piece of paper and they immediately focus in on clusters and try to see a pattern, or shape, or fairies. But they are not there. People also see the face of Jesus on tortillas. I think you get my point.

      Talking about hypotheticals like machinery on Mars may be useful as an illustration to make a point, but it doesn't tell you anything about the real world. Such musings can help you formulate a hypothesis, but then you must go out and empirically test that hypothesis if you want scientists to consider your claims. This is what Dembski claims to have developed: a mathematical model that can detect design in nature. He needs to apply it now, to something.

      Two other points:
      How do you distinguish a "pattern...arranged by intelligence" from nondesigned elements in nature.

      And nobody has claimed that nature is entirely random and accidental.

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  15. Can someone please help Joe Franks to explain it to me what an active Design is...? The poor man wrote something he definitely didn't not understand and now we are stuck with this s...t...

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  16. Joe,

    Seriously, I have some chickens lined up in Poland to do the evolutionary experiment....
    My wife's cousin, who owns a huge chicken farm in Poland (about 100.000 chickens) turned out to be a former lawyer and biologist, so he is willing to go ahead with the flying chicken experiment... We also found out from a professor of genetics that a population geneticist has to tell us what to do to speed up this experiment.... so I'm turning to you to help us out and make this evolutionary break though.... How, as the population genetics world's expert would you design this study....?

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    1. We also found out from a professor of genetics that a population geneticist has to tell us what to do to speed up this experiment

      Your professor of genetics is either clueless or fictitious. I'm betting on the latter.

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    2. Give me your email address, I will have him email you about the exact details
      Is that fair enough....?

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    3. Quest, according the information you have provided, your 'experiment' doesn't test anything about evolutionary biology.

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    4. Well Chris B, tell me what would it take for the experiment to work from evolutionary prospective...? Since you apparently understand evolution, give me the tips as to what is required for chickens to improve their flying skills...?

      Or what details would you like me to provide you...

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    5. Quest, experimental design depends on your goal.

      Are you trying to improve the flying skills of individual chickens you have now? For that, your method ("every day chicken trying to improve their fitness by getting their food a little bit further away so that they have to fly more.. and more... for it") would work. Problem: that has nothing to do with evolution, which is a change in population genetics.

      Do you want to produce chickens that (1) are descended from the chickens you have now and (2) can fly better than any chickens you have now? That would be evolution in action. How to do it? If you understand evolution, the general outline of the experiment is almost trivially easy to figure out. Rigorously test the maximum flying ability of each chicken. (Or to run, if you're starting with chickens that are flightless because they're too meaty.) Keep careful records of how you did this. Keep only the 10% that can fly (or run) best for breeding. (If you started with flightless chickens keep only the best fliers once flying chickens appear.) Repeat for many generations.

      Chickens breed slower than the bacteria or mice that people prefer for experiments like this, but you could probably accomplish your chicken-related goal in your lifetime. And then, no doubt, you would deny that this was evolution.

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    6. Barbara,

      Now we are finally getting somewhere...

      I'm petty sure we could accommodate both experiments...
      Apparently, there is a possibility of a hormonal way of speeding up the growth/breeding process of the chickens...

      How about a third experiment...? Trying to turn the chickens into a new specie or kind...? I was thinking more of replicating the experimental attempts with fruit flies...or making them even better with mutations, genetic manipulation... etc... anything that can catch at least some evolution in action...
      Getting at least some intermediate state of the chickens would probably be a breakthrough...

      Any suggestions...?

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    7. "How about a third experiment...? Trying to turn the chickens into a new specie or kind...? I was thinking more of replicating the experimental attempts with fruit flies...or making them even better with mutations, genetic manipulation... etc... "

      Species do not "turn into" other species. What is it you are expecting to see over the course of an experiment?

      "anything that can catch at least some evolution in action..."

      You can see evolution in action with every published experiment looking at changes in populations over time: population genetic studies, changes in phenotypic distributions, etc. That is evolution that can be observed in the time frame of a human lifetime.

      "Getting at least some intermediate state of the chickens would probably be a breakthrough..."

      What do you mean by an intermediate state of chickens?

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    8. Chris B wrote:

      "Species do not "turn into" other species. What is it you are expecting to see over the course of an experiment?"

      They don't...? How did the evolution happened then..? Like in cambrian everything exploded into existence by some unexplained event and mechanism...? lol

      I want to prove what you believe in; the evolution of new, separate and properly defined species...

      "You can see evolution in action with every published experiment looking at changes in populations over time: population genetic studies, changes in phenotypic distributions, etc. That is evolution that can be observed in the time frame of a human lifetime."

      Nobody in the right frame of mind disputes change over time... What I want to see the real proof of one kind of organism evolving through different intermediate stages of becoming a different organism... I want to see the chickens gradually becoming something else...not just different kind of chickens... Finches are still finches and shells are still shells and that is not what I'm looking for...

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    9. Quest, I think you ought to run one or two of the experiments before turning to a third, and fourth, and so on.

      Regarding experiments about speciation. You can't do it with chickens within your life time. Chickens have too long a generation time, and they don't seem to tolerate polyploidy. I work with plants, and don't have this problem. In many species of plant, you can produce a new species, reproductively isolated from its ancestral species, in a single generation by doubling its chromosome number using colchicine. This kind of speciation has also been observed to occur spontaneously in the garden (e.g. Kew Evening Primrose) and in the field (usually following hybridization; e.g. Gilia).

      Usually, speciation is slower. At first there is one fairly uniform species, then there is one species with some variation between populations in different areas, then there is so much variation its hard to know if we call should all them one species or two, then two different species.

      We do find animals and plants that have so much variation that they are in an intermediate state between one species and two. Examples I have worked with include Idaho and Roemer's Fescue, Bladder Sedge (Carex vesicaria) and most of the species in Sedum section Gormania. These intermediate states are what caused Darwin, Wallace, and Hooker so much trouble as they tried to classify organisms, and led to the original formation of evolution theory.

      When you write, "I want to see the chickens gradually becoming something else...not just different kind of chickens..." you suggest a fundamental misunderstanding of how evolution works. If chickens speciated by any process we could expect from evolution, you'd get a new kind of chicken. If it speciated again, you'd get a newer, stranger kind of chicken. And so forth. Some day, the new species would be so different from the original chicken species that you'd want to classify it as a different genus, eventually maybe a different family.

      With plants, of course, it can occasionally be different, due to the sudden speciation that polyploidy can produce. In some rapidly evolving lineages, e.g. wheatgrasses, intergeneric allopolyploids (species produced by hybridization of two different species followed by chromosome doubling) may be so different from either parental species that they are classified as another genus. (But they're still wheatgrasses, no doubt you'd cry.)

      To understand evolution, you need to take species seriously. You need to look at these details of species level variation. We do have "real proof of one kind of organism evolving through different intermediate stages of becoming a different organism." When you write, "Finches are still finches and shells are still shells and that is not what I'm looking for..." you indicate a lack of attention to detail and misunderstanding of evolution and of realistic time scales; you can look straight at evolution and not see it. I'd like to think you can do better.

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    10. Give me your email address, I will have him email you about the exact details. Is that fair enough....?

      You won't be offended if I decline? Nor should you trust me to keep private conversations private. You made the claim here, so I think here is the best place to support it. We don't need a name, but perhaps a passage that actually sounds like the individual has a clue about population genetics, and its relevance to this bizarre experiment-that-proves-nothing.

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    11. Barbara,

      Give me few examples of new, and properly defined species....

      Delete
    12. Quest:
      ""Species do not "turn into" other species. What is it you are expecting to see over the course of an experiment?"

      They don't...? How did the evolution happened then..? Like in cambrian everything exploded into existence by some unexplained event and mechanism...? lol "

      You didn't answer my question. In any case, species magically turning into other species is the purview of intelligent designer spooks, not evolution. And the Cambrian "explosion" occurred over millions of years. Again, things "exploding into existence" are the work of magical omnipotent creators, not evolution during the Cambrian.

      "Nobody in the right frame of mind disputes change over time... What I want to see the real proof of one kind of organism evolving through different intermediate stages of becoming a different organism... I want to see the chickens gradually becoming something else...not just different kind of chickens... Finches are still finches and shells are still shells and that is not what I'm looking for..."

      These things don't occur in the time frame of a human lifespan, and you know it. Macro changes you are asking for can only be shown historically. As an example, I direct you to a great study on the evolution of Cetaceans. This describes exactly what you asked for:

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534714000846

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    13. Who said magically..?
      If evolution were true, don't you think we would see at least some intermediate species...? What I mean by that is the organisms that are on their way of becoming the more advance species or another species... I'm not talking about variations within a kind like Barbara is trying to sell me... Variation within a kind is not evolution I want to experiment... I know it happens and it is a requirement for obvious reasons or we all would like the same... And not everyone may necessarily want to look like bearded Joe Franks, though I find no fault in his looks... but that's me...

      I don't see any superhuman evolving around me.... nor an animal that evolutionists would point and say..." well this fish is on it way of becoming a flying gigaburak or something...It is quite the opposite...

      PHD's that can't spell anymore... MD's that are morons except their own specialty and then again, they rely on others thinking so much that I can't look at it anymore.... To me the human kind is reverting back to the stone age....

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    14. Quest, you've said, "“Give me few examples of new, and properly defined species.... . . . . I'm not talking about variations within a kind like Barbara is trying to sell me... Variation within a kind is not evolution I want to experiment... I know it happens . . . . I don't see any superhuman evolving around me.... nor an animal that evolutionists would point and say..." well this fish is on it way of becoming a flying gigaburak or something...It is quite the opposite...”

      You've done a good job of defining what you want. You've side-slipped the speciation issue until you've made it clear that what you want is unrelated to reality. You might recognize evolution if it involved very quick and very extreme changes that make offspring so different from ancestors a few generations back that even you can't call them the same "kind" where the same "kind" means "bird" or "vertebrate" or even "eukaryote". You're wrong, though. Evolution happens more slowly than that. Your "kinds" are vaguely (if at all) defined in such a way that you can sit there saying, "I didn't see evolution between "kinds" as I defined them, so evolution doesn't happen, except where I can't deny it," but new species keep arising for you to ignore.

      I could go look up the names for examples of recently evolved distinct plant species, or write about additional examples of taxa that seem to be in an intermediate state between being one species and two, but there's no point. You don't want to see evolution in process, so you won't.

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    15. Quest,
      "If evolution were true,"

      It is.

      "don't you think we would see at least some intermediate species...? What I mean by that is the organisms that are on their way of becoming the more advance species or another species... I'm not talking about variations within a kind like Barbara is trying to sell me... Variation within a kind is not evolution I want to experiment... I know it happens and it is a requirement for obvious reasons or we all would like the same..."

      Barbara did describe some variation within species, and I mentioned this as well. And you conceded that this happens (so Barbara is not trying to "sell" you anything, she was talking about an empirical fact, which you agreed with). If you are asking about macroevolutionary changes, I already addressed that above, perhaps you missed it:

      These things don't occur in the time frame of a human lifespan, and you know it. Macro changes you are asking for can only be shown historically. As an example, I direct you to a great study on the evolution of Cetaceans. This describes exactly what you asked for:

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534714000846

      Here's another good one on the within-order scale:

      Nature. 2013 Jul 4;499(7456):74-8. doi: 10.1038/nature12323

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    16. Chris B's second reference is a fascinating paper where scientists dug an ancient horse bone out of permafrost, more than 560,000 years old, and got a draft of its genome, then compared it with the genomes of domesticated horses and Przewalski's wild horse. This allows them to recalibrate the date of divergence of horses, asses and zebras from a common ancestor back to 4 million years ago.

      So much for Noah's Flood.

      URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23803765/

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    17. Dear Barbara,

      I knew WHAT you were going to answer before you did...

      Frankly, I don't give a shit about creationist/evolutionists debate... So... don't misunderstand me because there are a lot of opportunists on both side of the issue whether evolution is true or not...

      So... let's make it clear...

      Evolution or as I defined it; change with in kind or species does happen...
      If it didn't, we all would look the same... Can you imagine some women looking like ...say Joe F or Larry...? They may be good looking men but they would not MAKE good looking women...

      So... variation WITHIN A KIND OR SPECIES is not only happening but it seems necessary...

      What I'm DEMANDING THE PROOF FOR is very simple;

      Variation within a species happens and often pretty quickly... mixing wolves with coyotes, wild foxes with domesticated ones.... is a change without a doubt... but that is not what I'm looking for and what Neo-Darwinist claimed... They say evolution by natural selection ( or whatever mechanism Larry and others like) acting of variation will never, ever build a new, properly defined species.,.. I'm not even going to mention kinds...

      You work with plants, so you can't ignore THE FACKT THAT THERE IS the barrier that exists between some species and definitely between kinds... You can't turn a rose into an apple tree and the other way around... claiming otherwise is just bullshit that requires faith and not scientific knowledge not to mention experiments....

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    18. I'm willing to bet you $1000 that your horse wild turn out to be shit...
      If you have faith in your faith, meet me at the end... Your faith is or must be worth more than $1000...?
      Let me know if you are interested... You don't have to reveal your true identity in the bet however.... So... Do you have faith... or just a faith as needed..?

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    19. Quest,
      "I knew WHAT you were going to answer before you did... "

      Yeah, sure you did.

      " there are a lot of opportunists on both side of the issue whether evolution is true or not..."

      Evolution is true.

      "Evolution or as I defined it; change with in kind or species does happen... "

      You concede microevolution because creationists conceded this decades ago. You would all look like loonies, even to people sympathetic to you, if you tried to deny that.

      What I'm DEMANDING THE PROOF FOR is very simple;

      "They say evolution by natural selection ( or whatever mechanism Larry and others like) acting of variation will never, ever build a new, properly defined species"

      Who says this?

      "You work with plants, so you can't ignore THE FACKT THAT THERE IS the barrier that exists between some species"

      Had you been paying attention, you would have grasped that Barbara schooled you in how plants can rapidly create new species, through chromosome doubling. This can happen not only within a species, but between unrelated species as well. So pointing to 'plants' as being a convincing example of the FACKT of a barrier between species is the worst possible example you could give. You could not be more wrong.

      " and definitely between kinds..."

      You just said you weren't even going to mention kinds.

      "You can't turn a rose into an apple tree and the other way around... claiming otherwise is just bullshit that requires faith and not scientific knowledge not to mention experiments...."

      Once again, Quest, you demonstrate a profound lack of knowledge of the theory you are so sure you know is wrong. As you have been told many, many times, turning a rose into an apple tree and the other way around is the work of an omnipotent invisible spook, not evolution. If your premise seems preposterous, I would agree, and ask how your magical being does such things.

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    20. Chris B,

      Why didn't you write that I don't understand evolution instead of: " profound lack of knowledge"...? At least you would be on the same page with Larry and "theoretical scientist" like him who instead of providing evidence for their imaginary powers of evolution provide stories, excuses and name calling... lol ..."...the pot calling the kettle black...

      And who is an idiot now...?

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    21. $1000 bets ... excessive use of ellipsis ... fondness of the word 'shit' ... this is getting tired, Witton.

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    22. From Quest:

      They may be good looking men but they would not MAKE good looking women.

      Now there's some incisive thought about evolution for you.

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    23. "And who is an idiot now...?"

      Looks like you are the one namecalling, Quest. Pointing out your willful ignorance is just stating a fact. You have already been provided with evidence that you asked for, but since you are not genuinely interested in learning anything at all (just interested in making yourself feel better about your irrational beliefs) you ignore the evidence and pretend it's not there.

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    24. Pest says: "Larry and "theoretical scientist" like him who instead of providing evidence for their imaginary powers of evolution provide stories, excuses and name calling"

      This is a lie, indeed, the #1 lie of creationists. Larry and other scientists here presented evidence for evolution. It was the IDcreationists who presented imagination and storytelling.

      IDcreationist argument: "I imagine one transition between a rose bush and an apple tree. I imagine it dying. Therefore I have proven the impossibility of all ten trillion possible pathways from the common ancestor to modern plants!" This is imagination, not evidence.

      Both evolutionists and IDcreationists have used name-calling. The IDcreationists are worse. Indeed, they have an entire website devoted to name-calling: Uncommon Descent.

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    25. Chris B,

      What evidence are you talking about...? I have asked you to preform scientific experiments to prove your beliefs:

      Example one:

      I have asked you, Larry, Dionogenes and others to go to the lab, and preform some scientific experiments....

      For example: I have asked you to delete the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium or to make it a bit defective....

      You told me that if bacterium were deficient of a flagellum, it would most certainly die.... Right...?

      If that is true, how did the bacterium survive without the flagellum in the first place...? How...? Don't tell me that it evolved because I treat this word like Larry used the word IDiot when he has no arguments supported by scientific experimentation....

      Well.... I'm sure you will have some amusing story to back up your claims but I can guarantee it they ain't gonna be scientific... even if you and your buddies call it as such... It is going to be a bunch of baloney that has nothing to do with experimentally proven evidence...

      And this is actually the point I will be making each time morons like you provide me with your speculation about "what if" or "it could have happens"...

      I'm tired of your bullshit wrapped up in so called scientific toilet paper....

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    26. Dinogene,

      What evidence are you talking about....? Larry never preformed any experiments to contradict Axe or Behe...? He just claimed he did which means shit to everyone unless he back ups his claims which he hasn't ... I know one thing now: If evolutionists have experimental proof for something, it is in everybody's face... If they don't... It is always an in the making... someone, somewhere, in some place possibly preformed shit and that's what your "science" is all about...

      Delete
    27. Quest,

      Plenty of bacteria doen't have flagella. If someone cuts out your pancreas, you will soon die. That doesn't disprove evolution. If you understood evolutionary theory, you would understand that simple fact. If we cut out your appendix, no problem. The appendix is a vestifgial organ, further evidence in favor of evoutionary theory. In fact if your appendix has gotten plugged with food moving through your digestive system, gut bacteria will start fermenting it, your appendix will fill with the gases of that fermentation and expand. Inflammation will set in as the body senses an invasion and tries to defend itself. If we cut your appendix out then, we save your life. If not, it will eventually burst and you will die a painful death from peritonitis and toxic shock. Some intelligent design.

      As for Behe/Axe, they didn't do any experiments or presented any proofs. They made assumptions and calculations, which Diogenes (and others) refuted and showed to be wrong. Behe/Axe are the ones who need to back up their claims (since they are the ones making claims - see how that works, Quest?), or else if you disagree with Diogenes's maths, explain to us where he went wrong. Until then you are just whining.

      "Evolutionists" don't need to put proof in anybody's face. There are decades of peer reviewed scientific literature brimming with evidence. You haven't refuted a single line of it, or provided any viable alternative. Bottom line, we are sitting on a mountain of evidence, and you have nothing except that an invisible omnipotent being (for which you have ZERO evidence) did it. Provide one single shred of scientific evidence in favor of that.

      Please don't pretend you are interested in science and experimentation. And stop projecting:

      "It is always an in the making... someone, somewhere, in some place possibly preformed shit and that's what your "science" is all about..."

      You are describing yourself and your ID/creationist ilk here, not scientists. As I told you, scientists have decades of experimentation and evidence that you can't just wave away because it doesn't conform to your fairy tales. ID/creationists are the ones who have been promising real science and evidence to back up their preposterous claims, but it just never seems to make the light of day. But your proof of design is just around the corner, isn't it, Quest? Dembski developed a mathematical way to detect design in nature 15 or so years ago. How's the experimental application of his hypothesis coming along, Quest?

      And here is more incredible projection/hypocrisy:
      "provide stories, excuses and name calling... lol ..."...the pot calling the kettle black..."
      Followed by:
      "And this is actually the point I will be making each time morons like you provide me with your speculation about "what if" or "it could have happens"... "

      I'm almost embarassed for you.

      How about you provide some proof for your "what if" and 'what could have happened'? Provide one single shred of evidence for intelligent design.

      (Hint: "It looks designed to me" is not evidence. We've already been down that road. Time to put up or shut up.)

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    28. To be fair, Axe did do some experiments, serially knocking out residues on the protein surface and discovering that function was rapidly lost. Quest - how do you respond to the criticism that this is an unrealistic model of evolutionary substitution, artificially and drastically restricting the dimensionality of sequence space in a manner unavailable to 'real' mutation?

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  17. So bacteria can survive without a flagellum... it only dies when helvolutinists need to prove their point... What a damn luck... it must be so frustrating to live in the world of "science" that ONLY has fairy-tails to support itself... Tell us more stories Mr. "Science" lol

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    1. "So bacteria can survive without a flagellum... it only dies when helvolutinists need to prove their point... "

      No, many bacteria do not have a flagellum. The species I work with, Yersinia pestis, is non motile. But it has one of the most studied type 3 secretion systems in bacteriology.

      "What a damn luck... it must be so frustrating to live in the world of "science" that ONLY has fairy-tails to support itself... "

      Again, Quest, you are just embarassing yourself. You are desperately trying to prop up your fairy tales of an intelligent designer, never providing even an introductory tidbit of evidence in favor of your fantasy. Then you project your inadequacies on scientists while we build upon decades of evidence from many scientific disciplines. Can't you see your approach is not improving with age?

      "Tell us more stories Mr. "Science" lol"

      Mr. Science was a radio short back in the 70s/early 80s, I think it was out of a place in Wisconsin. Anyway, it was a hilarious series giving completely preposterous explanations for well understood phenomena. You sound like that, Quest, but without the humor.

      lol indeed.

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    2. That was Dr. Science from the Duck's Breath Mystery Theater. He's not a real doctor. He has a master's degree. In science! He knows more than you do.

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    3. Yersinia pestis as in the bubonic plague ?

      Yet another one of those mysterious gifts from the designer showing how much he loves us.

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    4. Yersinia pestis was intelligently designed to reduce the population of European Christians by more than 30% in one fell swoop, in the mid 14th century, and it did the job very neatly. It may lack a flagellum itself, but it greatly helped to revive flagellation as a popular outdoor activity among the human survivors.

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    5. And let us not forget that the Catholic church, who according to one of our viler IDiot trolls "was the primary scientific institution in the world during the centuries of the scientific revolution" responded to the Black Death by having people gather together in large groups in enclosed spaces to mumble imprecations to an absentee deity thus ensuring maximum contamination, torture and kill as suspected familiars of witches rat killing cats, take notice that the Jews whom they had previously forced into ghettos and perforce had higher standards of hygiene therefore suffering less from the plague, instigated persecutions and massacres of Jewish communities throughout Europe.


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    6. John Harshman, yes that was it, Dr. Science! He knows more than you do!

      So funny.

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  18. @John H: That is not enough detail.

    Dr. Science (Dan Coffey, sometimes with the help of Merle Kessler) was a hilarious NPR comedy turn from the 1980s. There are Wikipedia sites for "Ask Dr. Science" and for the Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre. There is also a Dr. Science web site here. I remember one time when Dr. Science devoted his 5-minute show to trying to explain the relationship between hermetic philosophy, hermits, and hermeneutics.

    I also am a proud owner ot a copy of "The Official Dr. Science Big Book of Science (Simplified)", which can still be purchased at Amazon. It has a number of historical sketches of famous scientists (Einstein, etc.) which have all sorts of crazy stuff made up about them. The last historical sketch is of Nicola Tesla, which sounds exactly as crazy as all the others -- but is a wholly accurate description of Tesla's life and work!

    Alas, Dr. Science went off the air, after Creation Science proved to be so crazy that it outdid the Ducks Breath Mystery Theatre.

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    1. Joe, thanks for the info I will definitely check that web site out. I haven't thought about Dr. Science in years.

      When I was an undergraduate I had the opportunity to do lab research with a molecular biologist and there was a visiting high school science teacher in the lab for one summer, learning more about bench science. He was from Wisconsin and had a collection of Dr, Science NPR bits on an obsolete piece of technology called a compact casette tape. Maybe that's why I thought Dr. Science came from Wisconsin.

      Anyway, very funny stuff.

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    2. It was apparently guys from the University of Iowa who moved it to San Francisco once it got started.

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