Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Michael Lynch on modern evolutionary theory

Of the Five Things You Should Know if You Want to Participate in the Junk DNA Debate, the most difficult to explain is "Modern Evolutionary Theory." Most scientists think they understand evolution well enough to engage in the debate about junk DNA. However, sooner or later they will mention that junk DNA should have been deleted by selection if it ever existed. You can see that their worldview leads them to believe that everything in biology has an adaptive function.

It's been a few years since I posted Michael Lynch's scathing comments on panadaptationism and how it applies to understanding genomes [Michael Lynch on Adaptationism and A New View of Evolution]. You're in for a treat today.

Here's what you need to know about evolution in order to discuss junk DNA. The first quotation is from the preface to The Origins of Genome Architecture (pages xiii-xiv). The second quotations are from the last chapter (page 366 and pages 368-369.
Contrary to popular belief, evolution is not driven by natural selection alone. Many aspects of evolutionary change are indeed facilitated by natural selection, but all populations are influenced by nonadaptive forces of mutation, recombination, and random genetic drift. These additional forces are not simple embellishments around a primary axis of selection, but are quite the opposite—they dictate what natural selection can and cannot do. Although this basic principle has been known for a long time, it is quite remarkable that most biologists continue to interpret nearly aspect of biodiversity as an outcome of adaptive processes. This blind acceptance of natural selection as the only force relevant to evolution has led to a lot of sloppy thinking, and is probably the primary reason why evolution is viewed as a soft science by much of society.

A central point to be explained in this book is that most aspects of evolution at the genome level cannot be fully explained in adaptive terms, and moreover, that many features could not have emerged without a near-complete disengagement of the power of natural selection. This contention is supported by a wide array of comparative data, as well as by well-established principles of population genetics. However, even if such support did not exist, there is an important reason for pursuing nonadaptive (neutral) models of evolution. If one wants to confidently invoke a specific adaptive scenario to explain an observed pattern of comparative data, then an ability to reject a hypothesis based entirely on the nonadaptive forces of evolution is critical.

The blind worship of natural selection is not evolutionary biology. It is arguably not even science.

Michael Lynch
Despite the tremendous theoretical and physical resources now available, the field of evolutionary biology continues to be widely perceived as a soft science. Here I am referring not to the problems associated with those pushing the view that life was created by an intelligent designer, but to a more significant internal issue: a subset of academics who consider themselves strong advocates of evolution but who see no compelling reason to probe the substantial knowledge base of the field. Although this is a heavy charge, it is easy to document. For example, in his 2001 presidential address to the Society for the Study of Evolution, Nick Barton presented a survey that demonstrated that about half of the recent literature devoted to evolutionary issues is far removed from mainstream evolutionary biology.

With the possible exception of behavior, evolutionary biology is treated unlike any other science. Philosophers, sociologists, and ethicists expound on the central role of evolutionary theory in understanding our place in the world. Physicists excited about biocomplexity and computer scientists enamored with genetic algorithms promise a bold new understanding of evolution, and similar claims are made in the emerging field of evolutionary psychology (and its derivatives in political science, economics, and even the humanities). Numerous popularizers of evolution, some with careers focused on defending the teaching of evolution in public schools, are entirely satisfied that a blind adherence to the Darwinian concept of natural selection is a license for such activities. A commonality among all these groups is the near-absence of an appreciation of the most fundamental principles of evolution. Unfortunately, this list extends deep within the life sciences.

....

... the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer (without any direct evidence). True, we have actually seen natural selection in action in a number of well-documented cases of phenotypic evolution (Endler 1986; Kingsolver et al. 2001), but it is a leap to assume that selection accounts for all evolutionary change, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels. The blind worship of natural selection is not evolutionary biology. It is arguably not even science. Natural selection is just one of several evolutionary mechanisms, and the failure to realize this is probably the most significant impediment to a fruitful integration of evolutionary theory with molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.

Natural selection is just one of several evolutionary mechanisms, and the failure to realize this is probably the most significant impediment to a fruitful integration of evolutionary theory with molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.It should be emphasized here that the sins of panselectionism are by no means restricted to developmental biology, but simply follow the tradition embraced by many areas of evolutionary biology itself, including paleontology and evolutionary ecology (as cogently articulated by Gould and Lewontin in 1979). The vast majority of evolutionary biologists studying morphological, physiological, and or behavioral traits almost always interpret the results in terms of adaptive mechanisms, and they are so convinced of the validity of this approach that virtually no attention is given to the null hypothesis of neutral evolution, despite the availability of methods to do so (Lande 1976; Lynch and Hill 1986; Lynch 1994). For example, in a substantial series of books addressed to the general public, Dawkins (e,g., 1976, 1986, 1996, 2004) has deftly explained a bewildering array of observations in terms of hypothetical selection scenarios. Dawkins's effort to spread the gospel of the awesome power of natural selection has been quite successful, but it has come at the expense of reference to any other mechanisms, and because more people have probably read Dawkins than Darwin, his words have in some ways been profoundly misleading. To his credit, Gould, who is also widely read by the general public, frequently railed against adaptive storytelling, but it can be difficult to understand what alternative mechanisms of evolution Gould had in mind.


138 comments :

  1. " the uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer (without any direct evidence) "

    Is Lynch just begging to be quote mined?

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    1. His writings have already been misappropriated by the creationists, like here for example:

      http://www.discovery.org/a/24041

      Not Lynch's fault, of course.

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  2. Nick Barton presented a survey that demonstrated that about half of the recent literature devoted to evolutionary issues is far removed from mainstream evolutionary biology.

    I'm not sure what is more depressing? That half of evolutionary literature has wasted tax payers money or that "uncritical acceptance of natural selection as an explanatory force for all aspects of biodiversity (without any direct evidence) is not much different than invoking an intelligent designer (without any direct evidence) "

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    1. Well, that's interesting Sceptical Mind. Of course, most informed and intelligent readers of this blog understand that both panadaptationism and intelligent design are indefensible ideas. So Lynch's statement causes us no never mind. But you accept one of them as true, while rejecting the other as false. So Lynch's pointing out the equivalence of the two must be quite vexing for you, isn't it?

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  3. We have Lynch saying, almost redundantly, that natural selection is NOT the only biological production agent. Who said otherwise?

    Darwin: "I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification" (1859:6; London: John Murray).

    Moreover, Lynch wants equal time for random genetic drift and other mechanisms. But Motoo Kimura, founder of the neutral theory, said his theory was intended to complement natural selection, not replace or supersede. And the concept of "neutral" as it exists to describe drift, indicates no role in the production of complexity. So whatever Lynch is fighting for seems undefined, a true rebel without a cause.

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    1. "Moreover, Lynch wants equal time for random genetic drift and other mechanisms. But Motoo Kimura, founder of the neutral theory, said his theory was intended to complement natural selection, not replace or supersede."

      And as such, their statements are not in conflict because Lynch is not suggesting neutral forces supercede or replace natural selection. Only that all three must be included.

      Your confusions are rectified if you allow yourself to read for understanding instead of reading for quotemines.

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    2. "And the concept of "neutral" as it exists to describe drift, indicates no role in the production of complexity."

      That is false. In fact we have good evidence that many complex traits required neutral paths before new adaptive benefits were reached.

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    3. Mikkel R. Rasmussen:

      "Your confusions are rectified if you allow yourself to read for understanding instead of reading for quotemines."

      I beg to differ. The on-going message of Lynch, as seen in the OP excerpts, seeks to replace, topple, or downgrade natural selection from preeminence. In essence, he is saying, biology has discovered theories Y and Z are more important in causing biological production than theory X.

      This, of course, cannot be true. Natural selection is the main theory that explains complexity or major phenomena while drift and other theories handle auxiliary phenomena. The issue here is a matter of logic.

      Moving on....

      Michael Lynch: "....but it is a leap to assume that selection accounts for all evolutionary change."

      Show me any living biologist who makes that assumption? The Lynch excerpts end with the author citing Dawkins as an example of an influential worker who ignores the importance of other mechanisms. Since Dawkins is admittedly writing about the production of complexity said criticism is simply inaccurate. Darwinian natural selection is the only explanation that the ToE has for the production of Watchmaker complexity.

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    4. R.M. "And the concept of 'neutral' as it exists to describe drift, indicates no role in the production of complexity."

      M.R.R. "That is false. In fact we have good evidence that many complex traits required neutral paths before new adaptive benefits were reached."

      In this context "neutral" means that positive biological production of complexity is not occurring. Your statement does not harm the fact or possibly conflates the role of complementary concepts.

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    5. "Darwinian natural selection is the only explanation that the ToE has for the production of Watchmaker complexity."

      Why do you repeat manifest falsehoods that I have already debunked? They don't become true just because you reassert them. I already gave you an example with the evolution of chloroquine resistance in the malaria parasite requiring several neutral mutations to evolve. There's bound to be countless such neutral steps required for the evolution of many other complex traits that have evolved during the history of life.

      What now, you going to re-assert it a third time and expect reality to buckle under the spoken spell?

      "In this context "neutral" means that positive biological production of complexity is not occurring."

      Then your statement is not an argument or based on evidence, it is simply a mindless tautology that assumes what you should be proving.

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    6. In any case, your statement about neutrality is false. Neutral in evolutionary biology means has a net selection coefficient of zero, it makes no claims about whether it impacts organismal complexity or not. So you don't get to just define a new meaning for neutral because you want to be right.

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    7. To me Darwin knew there was more, his writings on plants indicate that as well. Further more there are a lot of smart people who never bought into strictly "random mutation" including Barbara McClintock (see here nobel speech). Here is a take on evolution being intentional (not ID) at the local level: http://www.intendedevolution.com

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  4. Michael Lynch: "....in a substantial series of books addressed to the general public, Dawkins (e,g., 1976, 1986, 1996, 2004) has deftly explained a bewildering array of observations in terms of hypothetical selection scenarios. Dawkins's effort to spread the gospel of the awesome power of natural selection has been quite successful, but it has come at the expense of reference to any other mechanisms, and because more people have probably read Dawkins than Darwin, his words have in some ways been profoundly misleading."

    Not true.

    Dawkins is quite careful, in each of these publications, to establish that he is attempting to show HOW the main object of explanation, organized complexity, arises ("slight, successive, numerous modifications"). Since random genetic drift or the neutral theory isn't a production theory, Dawkins is not obligated to address a theory that admittedly plays no role in the production of brains, hearts, eyes, echolocation, etc.etc.

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    1. "Since random genetic drift or the neutral theory isn't a production theory, Dawkins is not obligated to address a theory that admittedly plays no role in the production of brains, hearts, eyes, echolocation, etc.etc."

      It is part of a "production theory". It just isn't the whole story. Your statement is simply false at a trivial level. Several complex adaptations have been shown to have neutral intermediates critical for their evolution, such as chloroquine reistance in malaria (you know, that whole schpiel Behe's ass was handed to him about).

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    2. But that is missing the point. Dawkins (2004) purports to be a book on phylogenetics, but that's a part of evolutionary theory where neutrality plays a greater role. In the same way, Dawkins (2006) while ostensibly devoted to the evidence for evolution misses on this point (it also misses the point on basically everything one would include in a book on this topic. Not to mention that chapter 3 is possibly the worst way to introduce laypeople to population genetics).

      I agree with you that selection is the main explanation for adaptive traits (it's highly questionable whether it explains organized complexity - there are a lot of things pointing towards a passive trend towards complexity, arising because the earliest life was about as simple as you can make life and an increase in diversity would lead to an increase of mean complexity - but we should note that the mode of complexity is still with relatively simple organisms.

      It is worth noting that in your post above you incorrectly conflate drift and neutrality. Drift is the effect of finite population sizes, which lead to deviations between expected and actual changes in allele frequencies. It is active for all alleles provided the populations are finite (which actual populations always are). Neutrality is what you get when the selection coefficient for an allele is 0, i.e. when the mean fitness of carriers is equal to the mean fitness of non-carriers.

      It is also worth noting that Darwins description of selection is equivalent to what we would now usually would call selection and drift. It is easy to show that drift is not a minor detail in Darwins theory, but one of the key innovations brought forward in the Origin - Darwins theory was the first stochastic theory in any natural science and that stochasticity has been relegated to the drift part of evolution. The impact this had on science overall can hardly be overstated and stochastic theories in both physics and chemistry can be traced back to Darwins insight (and here we have to note that Dennett gets this wrong far more than Dawkins does. Dennett is a hard determinist and as a philosophical a priori conviction holds that all stochastic theories are wrong. That man is about as capable of understanding Darwin as Ken Ham is and at least Ken Ham knows that his core beliefs run counter to evolution. That Dawkins holds Dennett in any esteem is telling and that Dennett could and obviously did read Dawkins and never noticed how much his worldview clashes with evolutionary theory is as well).

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  5. "Natural selection is just one of several evolutionary mechanisms"

    Anyone have a link to a succinct list of evolutionary mechanisms?

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    1. Selection, drift, mutation, migration. We might also consider speciation, extinction, and species selection as separate mechanisms. Some would consider meiotic drive to be another.

      Did you want to add to the list?

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    2. If all these mechanisms are well known, why isn't there a scientific consensus? I fear that people like PZ. Myers, Dan Graur or Jerry Coyne may not fully agree with all your mechanisms? What then?

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    3. We'll deal with your fears when they materialize.

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    4. They are well known but they are not widely taught.

      The foundation of the things that Lynch is talking about is actually not at all new - it's theory that has been known for decades. But it hasn't been communicated to everyone, including within the scientific community.

      There is still a significant separation even within evolutionary biology between panadaptationists and people with a more pluralistic view of the evolutionary process.

      But the bigger problem is that there is surprisingly little overlap between what goes in the typical undergraduate/PhD program in the life sciences in major research universities and evolutionary biology. Some of the very top departments have absolutely none of it in fact. The reasons for this should be obvious -- it's the usual "follow the money" -- the big money goes to cancer, stem cells, personal genomics, etc., not to evolutionary biology. And in an environment in which universities operate as machines for turning funding into papers, patents and more grants, there is little incentive to spend much time on things that are extraneous to the unstated core mission. Things like giving students a proper education. And it's been like that for quite a while. When courses on molecular evolution and population genetics become part of the core biology curriculum (or are at least incorporated prominently into courses on other subjects), things might change. But this is not happening any time soon.

      When I arrived at grad school, I was told at the end of the first week "Why haven't you started a rotation yet?". And then we had a grand total of four courses to take during the whole course of the PhD, and they weren't really very serious courses to be honest. That's not how the rest of my PhD turned out (it was fortunately, significantly more intellectually stimulating), but still, it should tell you a lot about how grad students are often perceived -- the goal is to get you at the bench pipetting as soon as possible because that's your primary value from the point of view of the department (which has, after all, committed to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on you, so it's understandable). If you want to know more about stuff that's not immediately related to what you're doing, it's up to you to learn it on your own, if you have the time and energy.

      There are many people who successfully do that, but if the system is set up that way, the expected outcome is that the majority will be quite ignorant of such subjects.

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    5. P.S. PZ Myers has given many talks where the neutral perspective of evolution has figured very prominently. So I don't know why you're including him in that list

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    6. I'm sorry but I don't know you. Is this your real picture? Have we '"talked" before? I'm sorry. I can't remember.

      Why aren't they widely taught? Is it some kind of a secret?

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    7. PZ. Myers I wasn't sure about. Same possibly applies to Graur. Coyne is more likely but Larry promoted his latest book, so who knows? I might be wrong all together.

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    8. The inclusion of Graur was absurd -- have you read anything he's written?

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    9. I have. Mainly his brave statement about junk DNA and evolution being wrong if ENCODE is right, whatever that means. Not much beside that. I will not say why on a public blog. Do you think I'm way off?

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    10. John Harshman

      Please don't sink into a spiritual demise. At least you have been reading a JW version of the bible which I try to connect your last name to what it might be a Jewish Bible? I'm not sure. I'm sorry if I'm wrong.

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    11. Sceptical Mind: Rest assured that being wrong is your natural state. You should practice being sorry. Often.

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    12. Sceptical Mind wrote of genetic drift, etc.: "Why aren't they widely taught? Is it some kind of a secret?"

      They're not secrets. The problem is more a matter of the limited time and effort available to teach good evolution courses, plus the facts that many students aren't really interested in learning about it (which I find hard to understand) and that learning about even natural selection can be surprisingly hard for them.

      I expect that most evolution courses and units mention neutral evolution and drift (confusing them) and migration, and of course all mention mutation. However, efforts usually concentrate on helping students understand natural selection. Then the students who master this concept grow up to teach evolution themselves and concentrate on what they know, with a brief nod to other processes.

      So too many people end up with only a limited understanding of evolution and (the real problem) don't know it's limited. When confronted with an issue where a real understanding of neutral evolution is necessary (like junk DNA), they can too easily make mistakes.

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    13. "Mainly his brave statement about junk DNA and evolution being wrong if ENCODE is right, whatever that means. "

      If ENCODE is right about what? And if ENCODE is right, how does that make evolution wrong.

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  6. "Dawkins is quite careful, in each of these publications, to establish that he is attempting to show HOW the main object of explanation, organized complexity, arises ("slight, successive, numerous modifications"). Since random genetic drift or the neutral theory isn't a production theory, Dawkins is not obligated to address a theory that admittedly plays no role in the production of brains, hearts, eyes, echolocation, etc.etc."

    Firstly, as Lynch describes, Dawkins actually does not satisfactorily show the 'how'. Instead, Dawkins assumes the framework of 'how' is natural selection, and he then finds a plausible-sounding answer that fits that framework. Apart from the problem that other explanations--including what Lynch considers the null hypothesis--sit outside that framework, that there is an almost inexhaustible supply of such possibilities--see Gould and Lewontin (1979) for the classic explanation of this problem.

    Secondly, natural selection alone cannot explain complexity adequately, a point that requires engagement with authors like Lynch (on eukaryotic genome complexity, origins of gene regulatory networks, drift barrier hypothesis) and Stoltzfus (constructive neutral evolution) to understand properly. Panselectionism gives almost no consideration to population genetics, despite the need to quantify the strength of adaptive and non-adaptive components of evolution, which can only be understood with population genetics.

    Thirdly, the picture of evolution that Lynch has helped to construct is enormously more rich, detailed, and intellectually satisfying than the one Dawkins has been a part of making. For a single example--why do eukaryotes have introns? The selection-based answer is for alternative splicing. But that doesn't explain why so many nuclear genes have introns when so few have multiple, reliably produced transcripts. It also doesn't explain why there is variation in intron length, and why that variation scales negatively with population size. And it doesn't explain how introns evolved in the first place--just the sort of 'how' that Dawkins likes to address. Lynch's lab has provided models for the origin and evolution of introns that address the major inconsistencies and contradictions of preivous explanations.

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    1. Paul McBride:

      "Firstly, as Lynch describes, Dawkins actually does not satisfactorily show the 'how'. Instead, Dawkins assumes the framework of 'how' is natural selection, and he then finds a plausible-sounding answer that fits that framework."

      Definitely something that a Creationist like myself would say.

      "Secondly, natural selection alone cannot explain complexity adequately, a point that requires engagement with authors like Lynch (on eukaryotic genome complexity, origins of gene regulatory networks, drift barrier hypothesis) and...."

      "....adequately"? You've just causally trashed everything that Dawkins has said in his popular writings! So the ex-Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, and all of his predecessors leading back to Darwin, are falsified! Who gets the Nobel? And when?

      Of course you're completely wrong. The theory of natural selection is indeed adequate, isn't perfect, but it's adequate. Again, the ToE doesn't have another positive biological production theory. Neutral drift isn't about production. If you or Lynch or anyone else thinks otherwise then you're not advocating Kimuran drift.

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    2. "Neutral drift isn't about production."

      Drift is about fixing of alleles, some of which might very well be required as intermediates for the evolution of complex traits(such as chloroquine resistance in the malaria parasite). So you are wrong, again, for the third time.

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    3. Paul McBride:

      "Lynch's lab has provided models for the origin and evolution of introns that address the major inconsistencies and contradictions of previous explanations."

      What does Lynch call his theory?

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    4. Mikkel R. Rasmussen:

      "Drift is about fixing of alleles, some of which might very well be required as intermediates for the evolution of complex traits(such as chloroquine resistance in the malaria parasite). So you are wrong, again, for the third time."

      The main object of explanation of the theory of evolution is the organized complexity seen in sexually reproducing animal species, not malaria parasites.

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    5. No it isn't, the main object of explanation of the theory of evolution is the diversification of all life and the mechanisms of change. Animal complexity has no special privelege in that equation.

      So you're still wrong. Drift is about fixation of alleles, some of which might be neutral and required for subsequent complex adaptations. I merely gave you an example I could remember off the top of my head. Your attempt to try and dismiss this example is based on nothing more than your desire to do so.

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    6. Mikkel R. Rasmussen:

      "No it isn't, the main object of explanation of the theory of evolution is the diversification of all life and the mechanisms of change. Animal complexity has no special privelege in that equation."

      You accept the fact that there is a main object of explanation then negate said acceptance by giving the answer that you gave (= everything).

      The history of Darwinism and evolution 101 says Paleyan complexity is the main object of explanation in the debate between Creationism and Darwinism. It's as much a fact as the earth is round. See, for example, the evolutionary founding document: "On The Origin Of Species" (1859) by Charles Darwin. A vast majority of scholars recognize that Darwin was answering Paley (1802).

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    7. So your invocation of malaria parasites as an example of drift contributing to the construction and/or production of complexity is invalid since disease isn't the main object of explanation of evolutionary theory.

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    8. "You accept the fact that there is a main object of explanation then negate said acceptance by giving the answer that you gave (= everything)."

      No, I said all forms of diversification, not just animal complexity, and I included the mechanisms of change.

      "So your invocation of malaria parasites as an example of drift contributing to the construction and/or production of complexity is invalid since disease isn't the main object of explanation of evolutionary theory."

      False again, it is completely irrelevant that malaria is a disease causing organism because, wait for it, it's still an organism and part of the total biodiversity on the planet, and as such it's evolution and traits are within the remits of evolutionary theory and the mechanisms that contribute to organismal complexity and diversification (whether animal or not). So since some of it's traits have been elucidated to require neutral evolutionary steps, you're still fully and unambigously wrong.

      In fact, your level of argumentation is getting rather desperate here. Now a bona fide example of neutral steps contributing to a complex adaptive trait is being rejected because the organism is not an animal, but a disease causing parasite? Could you be any more desperate?

      This discussions has stopped being about truth and facts to you, it's become all about your personal pride and not wanting to concede you were wrong all along.

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    9. Mikkel: "No, I said all forms of diversification, not just animal complexity, and I included the mechanisms of change.

      That's THE POINT; it can't be all; re-read what I said previously. You answered "all" (including causation) which contradicts "main." Some thing must be isolated from "the all" in order to qualify as "the main."

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    10. In response to pointing out that the complexity seen in sexually reproducing animal species, and human beings, is the main object of explanation for the theory of evolution (and Creationism), Mikkel insists that malaria parasites qualify despite the fact that said organisms fall under the category of disease.

      Disease has never been part of the main object of explanation. In the context of the history of evolutionary theory disease is auxiliary phenomena. Some evolutionary theorists seek to show the truth of evolution via mutating disease, antibiotic resistance, and so forth. This is NOT evolution as understood in the historic frame. In said frame evolution is inferred because it is too slow to see as it allegedly occurs. This frame isolates sexually reproducing animal species, the complexity of their anatomy and organs, and nothing else as the main object of explanation.

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    11. Mikkel: "....a bona fide example of neutral steps contributing to a complex adaptive trait...."

      If true then the steps cannot be neutral, but positive.

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    12. Mikkel: "it is completely irrelevant that malaria is a disease causing organism because, wait for it, it's still an organism and part of the total biodiversity on the planet, and as such it's evolution and traits are within the remits of evolutionary theory and the mechanisms that contribute to organismal complexity and diversification (whether animal or not)."

      Mikkel (again): "Neutral in evolutionary biology means has a net selection coefficient of zero, it makes no claims about whether it impacts organismal complexity or not."

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    13. Bizarre. Evolution of malaria parasites doesn't count as evolution because malaria is a disease? "The main object of explanation of the theory of evolution is the organized complexity seen in sexually reproducing animal species"???

      You are so clueless. Evolution really is about how all organisms have changed, including plants and protozoa and bacteria. Why do you want to artificially restrict its application to sexually reproducing animals? Just because Darwin was a zoologist?? Maybe because sexually reproducing animals have longer generation times than malaria parasites?

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    14. "That's THE POINT; it can't be all; re-read what I said previously. You answered "all" (including causation) which contradicts "main." Some thing must be isolated from "the all" in order to qualify as "the main."

      Again your powerful desire to be right no matter what is overriding your ability to read. Here's what I wrote:

      "No it isn't, the main object of explanation of the theory of evolution is the diversification of all life and the mechanisms of change. Animal complexity has no special privelege in that equation."

      So the main objective of the theory, is to explain the diversification of all life.

      There is no contradiction implied in that statement.

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    15. "Mikkel: "....a bona fide example of neutral steps contributing to a complex adaptive trait...."

      If true then the steps cannot be neutral, but positive."


      Yes they can.

      I made this nice drawing for you so you can see how wrong you are:
      Fitness vs non-fitness contributing mutations

      As is plainly obvious there, several mutations had no effect on fitness (were strictly neutral) yet contributed to reaching the complex adaptive trait.

      So you're still just plainly and unambigously wrong and you should be an adult, own up to it and move on.

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    16. Take a look at this post here on sandwalk, and pay special attention to this picture.
      Green lines are mutations that increase fitness, blue lines are neutral, red lines are deleterious mutations.

      Isn't that just incredible? - it even shows that deleterious mutations can ultimately lead to a complex adaptation, because they open up pathways to other mutations that can have phenotypic effect.

      The malaria parasite is part of the diversity of all life on the planet, and it's evolution and complexity is therefore the main objective of explanation of the theory of evolution.

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    17. Mikkel: You're inability to understand that "all" and "main" are not synonyms continues....and the cause and explanation of disease is NOT part of the main object of explanation of the ToE or Creationism; the same equates to auxiliary phenomena. WHEN the main historic object of explanation is satisfied (complexity found in sexually reproducing animal species) then the cause of auxiliary phenomena comes with it....and the two pictures you created are very nice and helpful. But unfortunately they don't help your claims.

      Refer to your pictures or diagrams. Linear mutations correspond to neutrality, vertical mutations correspond to an increase in complexity. The latter remains as the only positive biological construction/ production agent that the ToE has in its arsenal. To say the former "contributes" (your claim) in the production of complexity is falsified by your own diagrams/pictures: neutrality does not correspond with any vertical mutation.

      You can have the last word. The format here is difficult. I invite you to participate at Talk.Origins Google Groups or via newsreader where the format is more conducive with complicated exchanges. Your colleague John Harshman is a regular participant. Here is the link:

      https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/talk.origins

      Ray

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    18. So your invocation of malaria parasites as an example of drift contributing to the construction and/or production of complexity is invalid since disease isn't the main object of explanation of evolutionary theory.

      In an admittedly very crowded field, this is a strong contender for most ridiculous piece of fuckwittery ever uttered by a creationist on this blog.

      Maybe Ray could break the bad news to his fellow creationist Micheal Behe, who wrote an entire book supposedly describing "the edge of evolution" with the malaria parasite as its main example.

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    19. How could a person (Michael Behe) who accepts existence of natural selection, species mutability, macro-evolution, and human evolution be a Creationist?

      You're not making any sense.

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    20. The point: Behe resides in the evolution camp, he's in bed with Darwin, Dawkins, Coyne, and Myers.

      Based on appearance of design, I reject existence of natural selection, species mutability.

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    21. "How could a person (Michael Behe) who accepts existence of natural selection, species mutability, macro-evolution, and human evolution be a Creationist?"

      By conjuring up his own version of creationist beliefs, just like you do. Just think, Ray, all of the creationists who don't agree with your version could ask how you could "be a Creationist".

      You obviously don't (and won't) understand that when it comes to creationist beliefs, anything goes, because religious fairy tales can be be conjured up, variously interpreted, and conveniently modified on the whims of individuals or groups of 'believers'.

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    22. How could a person (Michael Behe) who accepts existence of natural selection, species mutability, macro-evolution, and human evolution be a Creationist?

      It's not easy being the only creationist in the village!

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    23. How could a person (Michael Behe) who accepts existence of natural selection, species mutability, macro-evolution, and human evolution be a Creationist?

      Pay attention:

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2015/07/the-creationism-continuum.html

      Delete
    24. Based on appearance of design, I reject existence of natural selection, species mutability.

      So if God changes the genome of a sea urchin into that of a cat, this would not be an example of "design"? LOL!

      You're so stupid, you don't even understand creationism, never mind evolutionl

      Delete
    25. It all depends how one defines creationism. I don't think Mike Behe would call himself a creationists unless someone would challenge him and said something like: " you believe the bacterial flagellum must have been designed, therefore it was created, therefore you are a creationist. "

      Delete
    26. Of course Behe wouldn't call himself a creationist. One trait that defines the IDiot subspecies of creationist is that they lie about being creationists.

      Delete
    27. Ray, in the ark, were there two (or seven) of every species that existed after 'the flood' (including all extant species)? If so, how did they all get to the ark and how did they all fit in the ark and survive the year long boat ride and the lifeless, utter destruction that they would have encountered when they got off the boat?

      If, in the ark, there weren't two (or seven) of every species that existed after 'the flood' (including extant species), where did all of the after 'the flood' species come from that were not on the ark? They couldn't have come from the species that were in the ark because species are immutable, right?

      Delete
    28. @lutesuite

      Of course Behe wouldn't call himself a creationist.

      Actually, I'm pretty sure that Behe does refer to himself as a creationist from time to time. I can't find a reference right now because I'm not in my office.

      Delete
    29. That'd be interesting, since most of the writers at Evolution News and Views and other ID sites seem to insist there is no connection between ID and creationism. I guess this disagreement between them and Behe is another issue that is openly acknowledged and debated in the ID creationist community. Right?

      Delete
    30. "Mikkel: You're inability to understand that "all" and "main" are not synonyms continues"

      This supposed inability exists solely in your halluscinating mind. I quote myself again now: "No it isn't, the main object of explanation of the theory of evolution is the diversification of all life and the mechanisms of change. Animal complexity has no special privelege in that equation."

      When I said "main" i was talking about the object of explanation of the theory of evolution.
      The main object of explanation of the theory of evolution ->

      When I said "all" I was talking about the diversification of all life and the mechanisms of change..
      -> is the diversification of all life and the mechanisms of change.

      So the
      MAIN object of explanation
      of the theory of evolution
      is the diversification
      of ALL life
      and the mechanisms of change.

      I have not used the word synonymously, nor have I used them interchangeably. They are at different places in the sentence, they are qualifiers for two different concepts.
      Namely (in order of apperance)
      [object of explanation] and [the diversification of life]

      You are clinically retarded if it wasn't already clear to you to begin with. So I guess that is that, you are a bona fide retard. Check into an institution ASAP.

      Delete
    31. @Ray "Comfort" Martinez: "Refer to your pictures or diagrams. Linear mutations correspond to neutrality, vertical mutations correspond to an increase in complexity."

      No, can't you read the fucking diagrams? I clearly denoted what the axis represent. The Y-axis is fitness. So vertical mutations that go up on the Y-axis correspond to an increase in fitness, but ALL mutations contribute to reaching the final complex adaptation.

      Delete
    32. Mikkel, just my own feeling: I don't see that some child or adult with reduced cognitive function as a result of inheritance or injury deserves either (1) comparison to Mr. Martinez or (2) to be spoken of negatively due to his or her condition.

      That is all.

      Delete
    33. For the record, the various species of malaria are sexually reproducing organisms. And many "diseases" have provided excellent case studies for evolution.

      Delete
    34. @Judmarc

      You are right of course, my sincerest apologies to any person who suffers any kind of impairment, they don't deserve to be compared with the volitionally ignorant and the deliberately deceitful.

      Delete
    35. With respect to whether Behe is a creationist or not, he believes as he has stated on several occasions, that god supernaturally intervenes in life and creates irreducibly complex structures, such as the bacterial flagellum.

      There's a funny and sad anecdotes about how, at one some lecture he gave, he was asked by some physicists present how he thinks the flagellum was actually created. After pressing him on it for a while (he was reluctant to give a straight answer) he finally relented and said "in a puff of smoke".

      That's the theory of ID sensu Behe: *POOF* and there it was.
      If instant divine creation of a material object is not creationism, then the concept of creationism has lost it's meaning. Behe is a bona fide creationist.

      Delete
    36. Whether creation of complex structures, or the gradual, purposeful, directed manipulation of mutation, there never is a mechanism suggested and one would be impossible to come up with, except by using the word magic.

      This is the attraction of god for creationists: by avoiding all mention and indeed all thought of mechanism, they convince themselves they have a simple explanation for life in the universe. One simple word: God.

      They never notice that mechanism is still required, and by positing the involvement of a god they have just made the phenomenon of life an extraordinarily more unlikely and complex event. But at least they get something to worship and pray to, which is really the only goal.

      Delete
    37. Larry Moran: "Actually, I'm pretty sure that Behe does refer to himself as a creationist from time to time. I can't find a reference right now because I'm not in my office."

      I would bet that you can't produce.

      Delete
    38. No one answered my question/rhetorical point:

      How could a person (Michael Behe) who accepts existence of natural selection, species mutability, macro-evolution, and human evolution be a Creationist?

      Delete
    39. I answered it. Try reading further than your own post.

      Delete
    40. You know there is such a thing as old-Earth creationism, right? And you can also believe, however idiotic, that the cambrian explosion constitutes a creation event, after which must of that life subsequently evolved and diversified. That's what Stephen Meyer believes for example.

      Delete
    41. How could a person (Michael Behe) who believes that no truly complex trait is evolvable but has to be specially created by the Intelligent Designer (who suspends the laws of physics to get it done) not be a creationist?

      Delete
    42. Is M Behe a creationist? Let me try to get the record straight.

      Calling M Behe a creationist is like calling L Moran a Darwinists.

      Both would not agree even though many refer to them as such.

      Larry can explain why he is not a Darwinist even though his blog is a tribute to Darwin.

      I'm pretty sure Behe can do the same and give us all the reasons why he is not a creationists.

      Delete
    43. Mikkel: So despite the fact that Behe accepts natural selection, mutability, macro-evolution, and human evolution he is a Creationist because he accepts some Intelligence-caused biological production?

      Sound logic requires a different conclusion.

      Delete
    44. Whatever else you accept, if you accept creation by a supernatural agent as a fundamental ingredient of the history of life, you are a creationist.

      Delete
    45. If Behe accepts all the major evolutionary concepts as existing and he's a Creationist, what does that make a person like me who rejects all evolutionary concepts as existing? Both of us can't be Creationists. I'm a genuine Creationist and Behe is a counterfeit Creationist in bed with Darwin, Dawkins, Coyne, and Myers.

      Don't get all bent out of shape, at least the Evos are on top.

      Delete
    46. Piotr: "Whatever else you accept, if you accept creation by a supernatural agent as a fundamental ingredient of the history of life, you are a creationist."

      Your view doesn't account for his acceptance of all evolutionary concepts, that's the problem here.

      Delete
    47. what does that make a person like me who rejects all evolutionary concepts as existing?

      An extremely dumb creationist, blind to all reason.

      Both of us can't be Creationists. I'm a genuine Creationist and Behe is a counterfeit Creationist in bed with Darwin, Dawkins, Coyne, and Myers.

      Everyone else is a fake.

      Delete
    48. Ray,

      Behe is a very smart guy and unlike his opposes, he actually has a lot of laboratory experimental evidence to support his views.

      His approach is that unless he can prove it experimentally to be wrong or unacceptable, he thinks it to be possible. It doesn't mean it to be true and I think this is an issue you have being having to comprehend.

      Delete
    49. I'm an Old Earth-Young Biosphere, Paleyan Creationist-species immutabilist.

      Old Earth = the position of science when Darwin published in 1859.

      Young Biosphere = in view of a worldwide flood that occurred 3140 BC, the position of the Bible.

      Paleyan Creationist = the position of almost every naturalist, if not all naturalists, when Darwin published in 1859.

      Species immutabilist = the position of most naturalists when Darwin published in 1859.

      So, as anyone can see, I'm a genuine Creationist. Michael Behe is confused and a living contradiction, accepting mutually exclusive causation claims.

      Delete
    50. Your view doesn't account for his acceptance of all evolutionary concepts

      The natural evolvability of novel functions (without divine intervention) is a very important evolutionary concept.

      Delete
    51. Ray,

      Your English has improved 1000% since your first clumsy post. What school did you go to? I want my grandchildren to go there.

      Delete
    52. liesforthedevil: "Behe is a very smart guy and unlike his opposes, he actually has a lot of laboratory experimental evidence to support his views.

      His approach is that unless he can prove it experimentally to be wrong or unacceptable, he thinks it to be possible. It doesn't mean it to be true and I think this is an issue you have being having to comprehend."


      Here we have an Evolutionist commenting on Michael Behe. And note the fact that said commentary is positive, complimentary; the same indicates that Behe holds genuine pro-evolution positions, which supports my claim that he is NOT a Creationist or real anti-evolutionist. Of course Behe would be over-joyed as not a Creationist, which again supports my view that he is a confused Evolutionist.

      Delete
    53. If Behe accepts all the major evolutionary concepts as existing and he's a Creationist, what does that make a person like me who rejects all evolutionary concepts as existing? Both of us can't be Creationists.

      Of course you can. Just as Catholics don't believe everything Protestants do, yet both are Christians.

      Delete
    54. Ray,

      Don't pretend you don't know what my stand on evolution is. If you really don't, then talk to my hand.

      Even Diogenes never questioners that when he uses his real sock-puppet out of many, why would you?

      Delete
    55. They ain't. Ray's the only genuine Christian.

      Delete
    56. Ray Martinez is a funny guy and whoever stands behind "him" hasn't done his homework or alternatively has been doing toooo much of substance abuse as latesute PSW from CAMH

      Delete
    57. Piotr Gąsiorowski

      They ain't. Ray's the only genuine Christian.

      Really? An atheist and an evolutionists all of the sudden supports a Christian view? Larry, there are two options: Piotr has a sock-puppet which is obvious right now. The second one is:
      Piotr been using sock puppets like quest to stir-up the issues which is just as obvious right now.

      Delete
    58. Anybody can identify a third option with Gasiorowki exposing his real identity right on the platter?


      Delete
    59. This is a real problem when one like professor Gasoorowski uses his own name and then uses a sock-puppet. This game becomes very dangerous when one succumbs to alcohol abuse and can't control the his/her sock-puppets as this has just been expose by me with professor Gasirowski. Way to go moron!

      Delete
    60. lies, getting his ass handed to him on the facts by Piotr, tries a red herring sock puppetry ruse. Then he follows up with ad hominem attacks and accusations of alcohol abuse (?) he could never possible substantiate. That's because he lost the argument. Behe said certain "irreducibly complex" structures must have been poofed into existence by god. That's creationist thinking. If he's "in bed" with Myers etal., it's big news to them. Creationists latched onto Behe like stink on poop because they thought they could use a legitimate scientist to flog their 'ID/creationism is real science' meme. Now that Behe has been proven wrong on every point of his creationist thesis, creationists are evincing a spectrum of reactions, from backing off of Behe to saying he was an evolutionist all along and throwing him under the bus. It's a sad story.

      Delete
    61. Ray asked:

      "If Behe accepts all the major evolutionary concepts as existing and he's a Creationist, what does that make a person like me who rejects all evolutionary concepts as existing?"

      No, Behe does not accept "all the major evolutionary concepts as existing". All of the "major evolutionary concepts" of evolutionary theory (and the 'minor' ones too) do NOT include a designer-creator-assembler-guider-god. Behe injects his imaginary designer-creator-assembler-guider-god into his version of evolution in various, convenient ways. Altering evolutionary theory to include his chosen, so-called 'God' is not an acceptance of "all the major evolutionary concepts as existing".

      As has been pointed out to you numerous times, your creationist beliefs are not the same as every other creationist's beliefs. Anyone who believes in a 'creator' (aka designer, assembler, guider, director, god, unmoved mover, sky daddy/mommy, spirit, holy ghost, supernatural entity, etc.) is a creationist.

      Delete
    62. liesforthedevil, your reading comprehension, among other things, needs some work. Piotr was being sarcastic when he said:

      "They ain't. Ray's the only genuine Christian."

      Delete
    63. "If Behe accepts all the major evolutionary concepts as existing and he's a Creationist, what does that make a person like me who rejects all evolutionary concepts as existing?"

      Ripe for institutionalization? Brain-dead? Are you seriously claiming that there is no such process as, for example, natural selection taking place?

      Delete
    64. Ray,

      Natural selection is a real process, so Behe is not denying it. What he denies is what natural selection can accomplish. It could be helpful with adaptation of an organism to the changes in the environment but it doesn't "create" anything new.

      That's why people like Larry promote the RG drift as another mechanism of evolution because they know that natural selection and random mutations can't accomplish what Neo-Darwinist claim they did.

      Delete
    65. Why would you misrepresent one of your fellow creationists like that, liesforthedevil? Behe wrote an entire book attempting to explain how natural selection acting on random mutations led to chloroquine resistance in the malaria parasite. Don't you think he considers that an example of "anything new"?

      His problem is he does not adequately understand how chloroquine resistance arose, nor the evolutionary processes that allowed this. So he mistakenly concluded that this represented an "edge" or limit to the complexity of novel things that evolutionary processes could create. But he does not claim that evolution is unable to create any new things at all without the assistance of the Intelligent Designer he calls Jesus Christ.

      Delete
    66. No, Behe does not accept "all the major evolutionary concepts as existing". All of the "major evolutionary concepts" of evolutionary theory (and the 'minor' ones too) do NOT include a designer-creator-assembler-guider-god. Behe injects his imaginary designer-creator-assembler-guider-god into his version of evolution in various, convenient ways.

      Strictly speaking, thought, that does not mean that Behe does not accept all of the major concepts of evolution. What it does mean is that he believes that certain biological structures could only have come into existence thru the intervention of an "intelligent designer" or a "creator' (who he believes to be Jesus Christ). This means, in no uncertain terms, that Behe is a creationist.

      Delete
    67. Lutesuite,

      I know you are a moron, so I'm not going to take this opportunity to prove it to the rest on the blog who you are.

      You didn't read the book. If you did , that means you are a super moron or a typical ignorant who just wants to believe in what he wants to believe.
      I have no time to educate morons. Sorry if you were hoping for it

      Delete
    68. You didn't read the book. If you did , that means you are a super moron or a typical ignorant who just wants to believe in what he wants to believe.

      Yes, that's quite likely an accurate description of most of the people who read Behe's book. Though there are a few exceptions in terms of people like Larry Moran, who read it in order to write an appropriate response and corrections to it's faulty premises. But, apart from that, Behe's audience is indeed mostly creationists and other "super morons". As confirmed by the fact that you did not even understand Behe's argument.

      Delete
    69. In a way, you almost have to feel sorry for Michael Behe. He is practically alone among creationists in having a more than passing understanding of many aspects of evolutionary theory and concocts arguments that, wrong as they are, still achieve a certain ingenuity. You have to be sharp to understand his arguments well enough to appreciate why they fail. But the only people who are able to understand them this well are those who accept evolution. The people who are persuaded by his arguments are folks like liesforthedevil, who would be no less impressed if Behe wrote "Why are there still monkeys?" or "Behold, the banana, the atheists' nightmare." The irony is almost tragic.

      Delete
    70. Yes, yes, yes....

      "http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/so_michael_behe087901.html

      PZ Myers respond to M Behe chloroquine resistance arguments:

      "Fair enough; if you demand a very specific pair of amino acid changes in specific places in a specific protein, I agree, the odds are going to be very long on theoretical considerations alone, and the empirical evidence supports the claim of improbability for that specific combination"

      Latesuite is just a barking dog too far away to be heard. What a shame.

      Delete
    71. Exactly, liesforthedevil. Thanks for illustrating my point so perfectly.

      Delete
    72. Now, Let's play "Find the Quote Mine":

      http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/06/05/behes-edge-of-evolution-part-i/

      Delete
    73. "PZ Myers respond to M Behe chloroquine resistance arguments:

      "Fair enough; if you demand a very specific pair of amino acid changes in specific places in a specific protein, I agree, the odds are going to be very long on theoretical considerations alone, and the empirical evidence supports the claim of improbability for that specific combination""

      But of course, Behe's explanation of the evolution of chloroquine resistance was dead wrong, as actually published empirical evidence showed. The real situation was well within reasonable probability, and in fact evolved independently several times, with several possible evolutionary pathways available to do so.

      lies, true to his handle, left out all that real life empirical science, and just presented the Behe made-up scenario which was never true. What a shame.

      Delete
    74. But of course, Behe's explanation of the evolution of chloroquine resistance was dead wrong, as actually published empirical evidence showed. The real situation was well within reasonable probability, and in fact evolved independently several times, with several possible evolutionary pathways available to do so.

      See, that's a good example of what I was talking about. Behe's explanation was not incorrect, and his estimation of the frequency with which chloroquine resistant strains of malaria arise was accurate (Though it wasn't his; It was simply copied from a paper by Nicholas White.)

      Behe's error, rather, was in interpreting this figure as a calculation of the odds of any beneficial trait requiring two mutations arising by evolutionary processes.

      Larry wrote a series of posts dissecting Behe's claim in detail:

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2014/08/michael-behes-final-thoughts-on-edge-of.html

      Delete
    75. Maybe this will help clarify one of the chief weaknesses of Behe's argument: In order for a strain of malaria parasite that is resistant to chloroquine to be detected by human beings, there is a sequence of several events that must occur. The occurrence of one of the combinations of mutations that leads to chloroquine resistance is but one of these steps, even though it is a necessary one. The entire sequence of events is relatively improbable to occur, and that is why the emergence of a new chloroquine resistant strain is something that is observed relatively infrequently.

      However, it does not follow from this that the probability of each individual step in that sequence is as low as that of the entire sequence as a whole. This should be blatantly obvious, yet somehow Behe overlooks this.

      He correctly cites a number from the literature regarding the estimated frequency with which chloroquine resistance is observed. But he incorrectly presents this as the frequency with which the necessary combination of mutations will occur. It's as if he correctly calculated the odds of a lottery ticket with the number 3473892756 being drawn, but said these were the odds of any number whose first digit is 3 being drawn.

      How stupid is that? And it's not even the only error he makes, but it's enough to sink his entire argument.

      Delete
    76. liesforthedevil: "Ray Martinez is a funny guy and whoever stands behind "him" hasn't done his homework or alternatively has been doing toooo much of substance abuse as latesute PSW from CAMH."

      Definitely something an Evolutionist would say.

      Ray (OEC, Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

      Delete
    77. The whole truth: "No, Behe does not accept "all the major evolutionary concepts as existing". All of the "major evolutionary concepts" of evolutionary theory (and the 'minor' ones too) do NOT include a designer-creator-assembler-guider-god. Behe injects his imaginary designer-creator-assembler-guider-god into his version of evolution in various, convenient ways. Altering evolutionary theory to include his chosen, so-called 'God' is not an acceptance of "all the major evolutionary concepts as existing".

      As has been pointed out to you numerous times, your creationist beliefs are not the same as every other creationist's beliefs. Anyone who believes in a 'creator' (aka designer, assembler, guider, director, god, unmoved mover, sky daddy/mommy, spirit, holy ghost, supernatural entity, etc.) is a creationist.


      The claims of Creationism do not include natural selection, mutability, speciation, macroevolution, and human evolution---all of which Behe accepts as existing, true. So Behe is an Evolutionist and a disingenuous "Creationist."

      Delete
    78. lutesuite: "Strictly speaking, thought, that does not mean that Behe does not accept all of the major concepts of evolution. What it does mean is that he believes that certain biological structures could only have come into existence thru the intervention of an "intelligent designer" or a "creator' (who he believes to be Jesus Christ). This means, in no uncertain terms, that Behe is a creationist."

      Beliefs as conveyed are subjective; Behe cannot produce any source that says God created certain phenomena. The Bible says God created every-thing.

      Delete
    79. In short: Behe is a double agent working for Darwin.

      Delete
    80. Moreover, ALL of the claims of evolutionary theory are based on the presuppositions of Naturalism, so any "Christian" who accepts these claims is renouncing the Creator and His Son (quote marks justified).

      Delete
    81. "In short: Behe is a double agent working for Darwin."

      Nah man, you can keep him. He's no use to us over here. xD

      By the way, you were joking right?

      Delete
    82. So it's a "presupposition of naturalism" that a fast-running Lion will be better at catching Wildebeest, than a slower one?

      This is also a joke, right?

      Delete
    83. "Here we have an Evolutionist commenting on Michael Behe. "

      I see you're not familiar with the posters on Larry's blog. Liesforthedevil is not an "evolutionist" you nutbag(hence the name, he thinks evolution is a lie invented by satan), he's an ID creationist and he's infatuated with Mike Behe.

      Delete
    84. Mikkel: I'm not joking, acceptance of natural selection, mutability, speciation, macro-evolution, and human evolution means Behe is a double agent working for Darwin.

      How do the facts NOT support such a conclusion?

      Delete
    85. Mikkel: "I see you're not familiar with the posters on Larry's blog. Liesforthedevil is not an "evolutionist" you nutbag(hence the name, he thinks evolution is a lie invented by satan), he's an ID creationist and he's infatuated with Mike Behe."

      Since Behe is an Evolutionist so are his supporters. You're not well versed in logic, are you?

      Delete
    86. What do you want me to do Mikkel?

      Now you know why people like me tend to be "creationists" without religious affiliation?

      Delete
    87. liesforthedevil - Why do you lie for the devil? For it seems like you write in support of IDCism.

      Delete
    88. "Since Behe is an Evolutionist so are his supporters. You're not well versed in logic, are you?"

      First you make an obvious non-sequitur (and one based on a false premise), then you go on to ask whether I'm versed in logic. I need only laugh at this.

      Delete
  7. This means that world's most famous atheist and proponent of science of evolution that replaced God, Richard Dawkins, is not even considered main stream evolutionary biologist. I bet 95% of all atheists in the world look up to Dawkins as their guide for the explanation of the origins of diverse life without a supernatural. He is not main stream and he has been misleading the large majority of people for over 30 years. The is even not depressing. It is a very sad state of affairs in the world today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might be fairer to say that Dawkins tells an oversimplified narrative that is uninformed by a lot of contemporary work--in part, at least, because he has not been a working evolutionary biologist for most of his career. To say he's been misleading people is a wild exaggeration, even though I'd agree that what he has to say is not always helpful.

      Delete
    2. Paul McBride,
      I couldn't agree with you more. However, why would people like the host of this blog tolerated his inadequacy for so long? Why? Would you, if you were the host of this blog? Dawkins is close to being a billionaire. He made his fortune thanks to blogs like this one. I'm' sure he is laughing his ***off thinking about it.

      Delete
    3. Sceptical Mind said: " I bet 95% of all atheists in the world look up to Dawkins as their guide for the explanation of the origins of diverse life without a supernatural.".
      If only you could slay Dawkins and Darwin everything would be lovely in evangelical never, never land.
      Most atheists don't know the details of evolution or cosmology. They simply have a grip on reality and know the claims of theists are childish, primitive nonsense. Ghosties, demons and gods aren't real. Not a whisper of a smidgeon of evidence.

      I think this quote of yours from a previous post reveals a lot.:

      "nobody knows how old the Earth really is, which means that your guess could be just as good as mine"

      Do you know how stupid that statement is? I'm guessing your level of science education is somewhere near home schooled evangelical.

      Delete
    4. Sceptical Mind: "However, why would people like the host of this blog tolerated his inadequacy for so long?"

      I don't know what you mean by tolerate. Dawkins and his brand of adaptationist thinking have often criticised on this blog.

      Delete
    5. Just in case you don't realise why your
      "nobody knows how old the Earth really is, which means that your guess could be just as good as mine"
      statement is dumb I'll try and explain.
      You quote from a wiki page about the uncertainty surrounding the accretion process which formed the Earth. Now this will be tough for you but try to follow.
      From the same wiki page:

      "The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4.54 × 109 years ± 1%)."

      Try and concentrate on those numbers. They're not "your guess is as good as mine" numbers. They're precise numbers with a stated uncertainty.
      Has any of that sunk in?

      Delete
    6. This means that world's most famous atheist and proponent of science of evolution that replaced God, Richard Dawkins, is not even considered main stream evolutionary biologist.

      Science of evolution did not replace god. I would think that an omnipotent designer and creator of the universe would be rather difficult to displace or replace. But I am always amused at how much help the creator apparently needs from mere mortals, in this regard.

      You are just upset that people like Dawkins have contributed to a new generation of people who are not afraid to question belief without evidence. As Dawkins might say, they have had their consciousnesses raised to the idea that it is neither virtuous nor normal to believe such human-made stories, without evidence.

      Delete
    7. "Try and concentrate on those numbers. They're not 'your guess is as good as mine' numbers. They're precise numbers with a stated uncertainty. Has any of that sunk in"

      G. Brent Dalrymple wrote two excellent books about the age of the earth. His first book, "The Age of the Earth", was written for ""people with some modest background in science". His second book, "Ancient Earth, Ancient Skies: The Age of Earth and its Cosmic Surroundings", was written for a more general audience.

      http://www.amazon.com/G.-Brent-Dalrymple/e/B001HPLY48/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

      Delete
    8. aljones909

      I've missed your response and then I went away for few days fishing in beautiful Northern Canada. I didn't catch any real fish, but I fell in love with the Canadian north, more precisely with the northern Ontario, my grand children just corrected me.

      I've noticed that although evolution is supposed to be a fact, there seem to be different brands or what I call circles of opinion as to how evolution happened and so on, and so forth. What I'm worried about the science behind it. There can't be two ( 2 ) identical results to support 2 different issues.

      Delete
    9. Next time you go fishing, be sure take the four drachma coin out of the mouth of the first fish you catch so that you can pay your and jesus's taxes. LMAO

      Matthew 17:27
      But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.

      Delete
    10. Skeptical Mind has just trotted out one of my favorite creationist tropes: "Science doesn't know everything, therefore science knows nothing." Do these people ever think for a moment before posting?

      Delete
  8. Perhaps off topic, but there is a website offering a pdf of Lynch's book that tries to install malware.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a pricey book. I paid $100 at the time I bought it years ago. I don't have reason to think there is a PDF of such an expensive academic book....

      It only gave me a few usable tidbits to describe evolutionary theory like the word GenomFart, the title of Chapter 3.

      Delete
    2. @liarsfordarwin

      You can read? Who knew.

      Delete
  9. Michael Lynch's book is a commercially published book. It is not made available as a free PDF. I know, because I am author of a book from the same publisher.

    Anyone who offers it for free is a crook already. So if they install malware they are behaving as one would expect.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Since these papers touch on some of the topics in this thread and others here, I'm posting links to them and asking for comments about them:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277265/

    http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/97759813/evaluation-cold-shock-induced-cytotoxicity-genotoxicity-house-fly-musca-domestica

    ReplyDelete
  11. In case anyone is interested, this link is to an article I just came across that is about "adaptive radiation":

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150810091729.htm

    This one is about expanding the ToE:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150804202710.htm

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    Replies
    1. Here's another one. It's about gene deletions, gene duplications, and selection in regard to human populations:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150806160927.htm

      Delete