Monday, August 17, 2015

Do Canadians "believe" in evolution?

A recent post by some anonymous blogger named "Darwin Quixote" made the following claim [see comment in: Be Careful, Evolution is Behind You]. The discussion was about teaching evolution in Ontario (Canada) schools ....
Of course I agree that these topics should be required, but I would suggest that it’s even more important that human evolution be a required topic because only 51% of Ontarians believe that humans evolved. It is likely that a significant number of teachers fall into the 49% category, and therefore leaving this topic to the discretion of the teacher becomes problematic.
This didn't seem right to me so I checked the latest polls that I could find on the internet.

Here's one by Angus Reid in 2012: Believe In Evolution: Canadians More Likely Than Americans To Endorse Evolution. The results show that 60% of Ontarians believe the following statement: "Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years."

24% of Ontarians thought that: "God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years."

16% were not sure.

The results were somewhat different in other provinces. In Quebec, for example, the number of people who accepted evolution was 71% and only 13% believed in Young Earth Creationism. In Alberta only 48% of the population accepted evolution and 35% were Young Earth Creationists.

So Darwin Quixote was off by a bit (51% vs 60%) but not by much. However, I think he makes an error by assuming that a significant number of biology teachers (in high school) would be opposed to evolution and might not teach human evolution.


158 comments :

  1. I would say that there is a problem with the meaning of evolution. For example, I believe that human beings evolved from less advanced forms of life over millions of years, but I believe that much of that evolution was guided by God. So do I believe in "evolution" or not?

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    1. You don't. The theory of evolution does not include the intervention of magical beings.

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    2. This does point out a frequent problem with polls: The people being asked the questions may not understand them to mean the same things as those asking the questions or as the various groups of people interpreting the answers.

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    3. I disagree with lutesuite. Theistic evolution is still evolution. It might be considered creationism too, but that just says that the categories aren't mutually exclusive.

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    4. Bilbo, which "God"? And how do you define "advanced"?

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    5. HI TWT, in deciding the question of whether I believe in evolution, would it matter which God? As far as the meaning of "advanced," I'm just quoting the phrase that Prof. Moran used. He seemed happy with it.

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    6. judmarc makes a good point. Pollsters should be very specific in what they're asking, and not just when they're asking about evolution. A lot of polls are not indicative of what people really think.

      Instead of asking people if they believe in evolution, or asking them if they believe that "Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.", I think it would be better for the pollster to say/ask something like this:

      The theory of evolution (or evolutionary theory) concludes/posits/says (take your pick) that all life forms, including humans, evolved and evolve via natural processes. No gods or other supernatural entities or processes are included in the theory of evolution (evolutionary theory) Do you accept the theory of evolution (evolutionary theory)?

      What do you guys and gals think of that? I realize that it could be more detailed but I'm not sure that that would be a good idea. Most people are dumber than rocks and would have a hard enough time with the simple way that I phrased it.

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    7. Bilbo asked/said:

      "HI TWT, in deciding the question of whether I believe in evolution, would it matter which God?"

      I think it depends on who is asked. For me to decide that question, well, first I'd say that your use of the words "believe in" are a red flag. I suppose that anyone can conjure up whatever version of evolution they like including versions with a so-called god or gods or other supernatural woo, but it wouldn't fit with 'mainstream' evolutionary theory and it wouldn't convince me that they accept evolution.

      What if someone were to seriously say to you that they accept (or "believe in") evolution but that it was/is designed-created-guided by Fifi The Pink Unicorn God and Her Magic Herd of My Little Ponies from the 57th Dimension? Would you be convinced that they accept (or "believe in") evolution?

      "As far as the meaning of "advanced," I'm just quoting the phrase that Prof. Moran used. He seemed happy with it."

      I'm not sure that Prof. Moran is happy with it, but he can say whether he is or not. I get the impression that he is quoting a statement from a poll.

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    8. Sceptical MindMonday, August 17, 2015 5:33:00 PM

      Bilbo

      If you can't answer which God did it, you may automatically make several evolutionary mysteries true, such as the origins of: life, first replicating molecule, the first protein (s) the eukaryotic cell and the story goes on. Be careful, or you are going to fill all the unexplained gaps of evolution that are facts but unsupported by any evidence but the '' you are stupid if you can't see the '''evidence''''.

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    9. Bilbo, I reread your first comment. In it you said "...I believe that human beings evolved from less advanced forms of life...", so you're apparently happy with that choice of words. You could have changed the wording if you don't like it, especially since you're using it to describe what you believe. So, again I ask, how do you define "advanced'?

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    10. Hi Lutesuite,

      Yes, I agree that if we define "evolution" as "the theory of evolution," then I do not believe in "evolution." Perhaps that is what Prof. Moran means by "evolution," also.

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    11. Hi SMM,

      I can say which God I believe did it, but I don't see how it is relevant to the question that I originally asked. Could you explain why it matters?

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    12. Hi TWT,

      I believe that life evolved, often guidance from God, from "simple" single celled life, such as bacteria, up through the eukaryotes, into the multicellular life forms, into animals, and eventually into human beings. Clear enough?

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    13. @John Harshman

      I disagree with lutesuite. Theistic evolution is still evolution.

      Whether what Bilbo is describing is "theistic evolution" depends on what specifically he means by "guided by God." A process in which organisms evolve from "less advanced" life forms under guidance from God would fit the version of creationism proposed by Micheal Behe, but that would not be called "theistic evolution."

      It might be considered creationism too, but that just says that the categories aren't mutually exclusive.

      Yes, agreed.

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    14. Hey Bilbo,

      If human beings evolved from less advanced forms of life why are there still christians ?

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    15. @ Bilbo

      I believe that life evolved, often guidance from God, from "simple" single celled life, such as bacteria, up through the eukaryotes, into the multicellular life forms, into animals, and eventually into human beings. Clear enough?

      No, not clear enough for me, anyways. What exactly is the nature of this "guidance" from God? Do you accept that the natural genetic processes like random mutation, genetic drift and natural selection are sufficient to give rise to complex organisms such as inhabit the earth today, including human beings?

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    16. A process in which organisms evolve from "less advanced" life forms under guidance from God would fit the version of creationism proposed by Micheal Behe, but that would not be called "theistic evolution."

      Perhaps, but only when attached specifically to Behe rather than, say, Ken Miller, who believes in something of the sort. The distinction between Behe's "intelligent design" and Miller's "theistic evolution" is a matter of degree and, more importantly, political identity.

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    17. Assuming we had the tools to travel to a planet habitable for life, would it be safe to assume life would evolve if we panted it there?

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    18. Planted? Anyway, sure, if planted life survived, why wouldn't it evolve?

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    19. The distinction between Behe's "intelligent design" and Miller's "theistic evolution" is a matter of degree and, more importantly, political identity.

      I think the difference is more fundamental than that. Miller's brand of creationism accepts all of the scientific precepts of evolutionary theory as is, with no need for a deity to be involved in the process in order for it to be understood. The "theistic" part only comes in when he tries to graft this scientific understanding onto his theology. Behe, OTOH, believes that the processes of evolution, as currently understood, are insufficient to explain many aspects of life as it exists, and an explanation can only be gained by including the intervention of God as part of the process. That is more than just a matter of degree.

      Will agree that the motivations for their inclusion of God are mainly political, though opposite in intent. Miller wants religious people to accept science, Behe wants them to reject it.

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    20. Hi Steve,

      That was very funny. :-)

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    21. Hi Lutesuite,

      I believe that natural processes are insufficient to account for the history of evolution. So I accept common descent, but not the accepted theory of evolution, whether adaptationist or non-adaptationist.

      Interesting question about how Behe believes that God guided evolution. In EoE, he suggests a scenario where God or the uberphysicist "adds water" to a potential universe that would have all the right mutations in it, so that no actual further intervention would be necessary. I'm not sure how this would be different from a deterministic universe. (If QM is true, then wouldn't a deterministic univese be ruled out?) Anyway, if God could create a deterministic universe, then it seems that all the events that He desired to occur in that universe would occur, so that no intervention is needed to guide evolution. In such a scenario, should we say that evolution can be accounted for by strictly naturalistic processes? If so, then I guess I would have to recant, and say that yes, evolution can be accounted for by naturalistic processes only.

      Theistic evolutionists usually (but not always) say that evolution can be accounted for by strictly naturalistic processes, even in a non-deterministic universe. Ken Miller argues for such a theological possibility in his Finding Darwin's God, and I think he makes a good case for it. So I don't have theological objections to Theistic Evolution.

      I'm not sure what you mean about either Miller or Behe's motivations for including God being "political." Could you clarify?

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    22. Will agree that the motivations for their inclusion of God are mainly political

      You're agreeing with something I didn't say and would vigorously deny. What's political is the choice of names — ID vs theistic evolution.

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    23. OK, John. Sorry for misunderstanding.

      But to make sure I'm not misunderstanding something else: Are you saying there is no difference, from a scientific standpoint, between Behe's creationism, and Miller's?

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    24. Bilbo said:

      "I believe that life evolved, often guidance from God, from "simple" single celled life, such as bacteria, up through the eukaryotes, into the multicellular life forms, into animals, and eventually into human beings. Clear enough?"

      Nah, I'm still curious. :)

      So then, do you believe that humans are superior to all other organisms? Would you describe humans as 'more evolved' than all other organisms? Do you believe that humans are the pinnacle of creation via guided evolution by your chosen, so-called god? Do you believe that humans are still evolving, or are done evolving?

      And I'm still wondering what your answer to this is:

      What if someone were to seriously say to you that they accept (or "believe in") evolution but that it was/is designed-created-guided by Fifi The Pink Unicorn God and Her Magic Herd of My Little Ponies from the 57th Dimension? Would you be convinced that they accept (or "believe in") evolution?

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    25. I believe that natural processes are insufficient to account for the history of evolution. So I accept common descent, but not the accepted theory of evolution, whether adaptationist or non-adaptationist.

      OK, that clarifies things. So you're in with the evolution deniers, along with Michael Behe and the rest of the IDiots, not to mention the YEC's, OEC's, etc.

      Interesting question about how Behe believes that God guided evolution. In EoE, he suggests a scenario where God or the uberphysicist "adds water" to a potential universe that would have all the right mutations in it, so that no actual further intervention would be necessary.

      So he thinks all the "mutations" necessary for, say, the bacterial flagellum or the human nervous system were already present in the earliest life form(s)? I don't really see how that would work. Or what would then make them "mutations."

      Theistic evolutionists usually (but not always) say that evolution can be accounted for by strictly naturalistic processes, even in a non-deterministic universe. Ken Miller argues for such a theological possibility in his Finding Darwin's God, and I think he makes a good case for it. So I don't have theological objections to Theistic Evolution.

      Yes, "theistic evolution" is a theological, not scientific, position. It doesn't really make much sense to me, but most theology doesn't.

      I'm not sure what you mean about either Miller or Behe's motivations for including God being "political." Could you clarify?

      To clarify, I don't think their motivations are purely political. In both cases, their positions arise from their devout Christian faith. Miller is concerned that people will see acceptance of evolution as incompatible with theism, and will lead to people reject one or the other. So he proposes theistic evolution as a compromise.

      Behe, OTOH, shares similar concerns, but is only worried about people rejecting theism. He does not care whether people reject evolution. I'll also add that I have no clue whether Behe's advocacy of ID is purely political or if he actually believes the arguments he makes. I have no such doubts about Miller's sincerity.

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    26. Beau Stoddard asked:

      "Assuming we had the tools to travel to a planet habitable for life, would it be safe to assume life would evolve if we panted it there?"

      Beau, it would depend on various things. First, it would depend on what the level of habitability is. For example, does that planet have no life already and just has the most basic resources for life, such as a suitable temperature range, suitable atmosphere, suitable water, suitable rocks/soil, suitable gravity, etc.? Does it already have a little bit of life forms or a lot of life forms?

      If the planet already has some forms of life, the interactions between the native life forms and whatever life forms were introduced would likely be detrimental to some or all of the natives and/or the introduced life forms may not survive. One way to look at it is to think about what happens when a non-native ('alien') life form is introduced to a place here on Earth where it didn't live before. It won't survive if it's not in a suitable environment and much of the time it causes conflicts with native life forms and often HUGE conflicts. Non-native life forms that have been introduced (by accident or on purpose) to Hawaii and Florida are good examples.

      In any case, the only things that would evolve are the things that survive long enough to do so. Anything that survived for long enough would evolve. I don't see that there's any good reason to think otherwise.

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    27. Are you saying there is no difference, from a scientific standpoint, between Behe's creationism, and Miller's?

      No. I'm saying they both think that god has intervened in evolution and could both be characterized as theistic evolutionists.

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  2. Yes, I too wish this subject was covered in much more detail. I am surprised that a student could get all the way through High School without really touching on this topic. My own daughter (a believer) even took anthropology and the subject of evolution was covered in less then a week barely if that...in grades 1-8 I'm not even sure it's covered at all.

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  3. In Alberta only 48% of the population accepted evolution and 35% were Young Earth Creationists.

    Science may not be as well thought of in Alberta as in other less oil-rich provinces that don't have so great an incentive to conceive of it as a cabal set on shoving global warming and other lies down the throats of the populace.

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    1. Alberta ain't known as the Alabama of Canada for nothing.

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    2. I don't Alabama would ever elect a socialist government. :)

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  4. Guided evolution is consistent with geology and the fossil record, but not with the theory of evolution. But then Newton entertained the possibility that planets were fine tuned by angels in their orbits.

    The problem with guided evolution is to be found in its predictions.

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  5. I really think we need to distinguish between "the theory of evolution" and "evolutionary theory". I don't think they're at all the same thing. Further, guided evolution is consistent with evolutionary theory, just as ham sandwiches are consistent with evolutionary theory: they're both something evolutionary theory doesn't talk about. Just because we have no need of that hypothesis, that doesn't mean it's inconsistent with evolutionary theory. We have no need of ham sandwiches to explain evolution either.

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    1. Evolutionary theory would expect point mutations to occur without regard to fitness. TOE would expect drift to occur without bias other than any effect on reproductive advantage.

      Explain how a devine finger could twiddle things without being detected. Could a divine finger twiddle Lotto week after week without being detected?

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    2. God could conceivably interact in undetectable ways if he acted to cause particular, occasional mutations that didn't fall outside the natural distribution of mutations. He could fix Lotto even more easily; just pick particular numbers that formed no special pattern. Why did you ask about that?

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    3. But if he (she? it? they?) stopped there, leaving the rest to "real" chance, most of the interventions would be in vain. A mutation has to be helped along if you want to be sure that it will survive (as opposed to offering it a chance larger than zero but barely so). Repeating it many times in the population to increase its initial frequency might be too conspicuous (violating the natural pattern in a detectable way), so God would probably have to continue intervening to protect its carriers from premature death, to provide suitable mating partners, to help to raise the young and protect them in turn, etc. -- in fact, effectively breeding an improved race. I don't think an occasional furtive intervention would suffice.

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    4. John Harshman said:

      "I really think we need to distinguish between "the theory of evolution" and "evolutionary theory". I don't think they're at all the same thing."

      In what ways do you differentiate them?

      "Further, guided evolution is consistent with evolutionary theory, just as ham sandwiches are consistent with evolutionary theory: they're both something evolutionary theory doesn't talk about. Just because we have no need of that hypothesis, that doesn't mean it's inconsistent with evolutionary theory. We have no need of ham sandwiches to explain evolution either."

      I can't agree with that if by "guided" you mean guided by an imaginary god or other imaginary thing. To me, that would be like saying that slavery is consistent with freedom.

      I realize that "evolutionary theory" comes across as a very general label but I think that it has to mean something that matters scientifically and logically. Allowing the inclusion of imaginary sky daddies or mommies or other crackpot crap deprives "evolutionary theory" of legitimate scientific and logical status. While "the theory of evolution" sounds just a bit less general (because of the "the") it's still a pretty general label. Both labels are general enough that few if any people agree on what they actually mean.

      Labels like "The Modern Synthesis" sound more specific but I'd be surprised if there was or is no disagreement on what that label actually means. "Neo-Darwinism" is also an arguable label as to what it actually means and, frankly, I think that it's a stupid label that invites trouble from religious loons and even other evolutionists. The label "modern evolutionary theory" isn't a whole lot better than just "evolutionary theory" because few if any agree on what is "modern" and what should be included in "modern evolutionary theory".

      Ultimately, there are way too many ways to define any or all of those labels and something much more specific would be a good idea. Trouble is, I'm sure that there would be disagreement, and probably lots of it, no matter what specific (or general) label is applied.

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    5. An effect that is indistinguishable from a stochastic process sounds like an emperor's wardrobe to me.

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    6. Note that I am not advocating ID. There is no evidence favoring ID. But an unscientific hypothesis that ID happens when nobody is looking can't be refuted. Just as a teapot in orbit around Saturn isn't incompatible with astronomy, undetectable ID isn't incompatible with evolution. Now, believing in either of these is incompatible with the process of science (that's why they're unscientific hypotheses), but that's something different. It's certainly possible for a scientist to be a theistic evolutionist; you just have to remove your science hat and put on your religion hat when talking about the theistic part. Compartmentalization.

      "Evolutionary theory" is generally considered a label for various ideas about how evolution works. "The theory of evolution" is a bundle of ideas, but mostly common descent, or, when a name is attached, like "Darwin's theory of evolution", whatever that person thought about evolution.

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  6. I never knew the stats, The anti evolution is higher then I would of thought. It does weigh on identity. the fRench Canadian does embrace evolution morte because the catholic background would never make a foundation against it. Also they are very hostile to christian doctrines more then most people. other reasons also. for why they easily accept what they are told from authority they trust.

    creationism must be most in the historic protestant foundations of belief in creationism, including immigrant identities who also are protestant.
    Its pretty good. Room for growth. rEmember there is no opportunity for creationism to find audience in cAnada and the establishment is more oppressive then in america. or Americans ideals make establishments less oppressive. We still have a British trust in our system toward authority..
    The real poll is to get Canadians with a heritage of at least one side of the family in Canada before WW11 outside french quebec.
    i think the good guys would have even better numbers.
    The more attention the contention gets the more creationism will grow in its species.
    We need a ministry for the status of creationism. Hmmm . A ministry for the status of evolution? To have common rights?? Why not a ministry for truth in origins!!

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    1. We still have a British trust in our system toward authority.

      Robert, religion is soaked in authoritarianism and leader worship.

      We need a ministry for the status of creationism. Hmmm . A ministry for the status of evolution? To have common rights?? Why not a ministry for truth in origins!!

      Now this is sounding positively 1984ish.

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    2. the fRench Canadian does embrace evolution morte [...]

      Ah, l'evolution morte! Vive l'evolution morte!

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  7. "I think the good guys would have even better numbers."

    I think I read Robert Byers as saying that English-speaking Canadians are "the good guys". So Francophone Canadians are the bad guys?

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    1. Yup. As arcane as his peculiar beat poetry can be, the message still comes thru:

      The real poll is to get Canadians with a heritage of at least one side of the family in Canada before WW11 outside french quebec.

      Don't go polluting our polls with all those damned immigrants.

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    2. My point was about identity. Identity leads opinions on these matters and so its not about a national identity as opposed to a American one. Also it tells a important truth about why people draw conclusions. Its not just weighing the issue but who does the weighing. Many subjects here. The foreigners represent their foreign nations. Not ours and so not a accurate polling study/. You might as well poll the tourists. Especially if its about the yank/canuck comparison.

      The good guys are creationists. I didn't mean other identifies.
      I don't mean, either, that evolutionists are bad guys. I'm just using a playful term and not sampling.
      We are the good guys in this rumble. probably most things.

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    3. Robert, many creationists want to teach lies to our children in schools, pretending it is science, so that they can feel better about their religious dogma. They are not 'good guys'.

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    4. And many creationists go much farther than that.

      One example:

      https://www.yahoo.com/travel/the-stolen-generation-australias-dark-and-tragic-126935945752.html

      "...the majority were sent to harsh missionary schools, where they were purged of their history, past, and memories and taught how to “fit in” to white Australian society."

      "...up to 17 percent of girls and 8 percent of boys in missionary schools or foster and adoptive homes suffered sexual abuse."

      Creobots, which includes "missionaries", destroy peoples' identities/cultures/nations and lives.

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    5. Yup. Those were the "good guys", those were.

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    6. Byers is right, he was using the term "the good guys" to refer to creationists, not to English-speaking Canadians.

      I apologize; I don't know how I could have made this mistake given the total clarity of Byers's pellucid prose.

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    7. But he's also saying White Anglos are more likely to be creationists because they are "good guys", unlike those French people and brown-skinned immigrants.

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    8. They're good guys because they're Protestant, not because they're White or Anglos. Nor does he refer to the skin colors of any immigrants. You have a tendency to attack creationists for stupid shit they didn't say rather than the stupid shit they did say.

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    9. I base my comments on the stupid, and worse than just stupid, shit Robert Byers has written here and elsewhere:

      http://www.rationalskepticism.org/creationism/interesting-comment-by-ratskep-member-t38079-20.html#p1660418

      You may think his claims that "a Red Indian, African, Jew, or German" is intellectually inferior to "the Puritan/Evangelical English and Scottish people" is significantly mitigated by the fact that these are based on religion rather than ethnicity, per se. In which case we can just respectfully disagree.

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    10. Well, at least it's respectfully. I think Byers made my point there: being Protestant made the English smarter and better than anyone else. His ignorance appears to have nothing to do with racism. And in fact anybody can become just as smart as an Englishman by embracing Protestantism and "living among us". Why, the Jews managed it without even becoming Protestant, just by the living among part.

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    11. I'm willing to agree that you're uncivilized, but are you really an elk?

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    12. Uncivilized Elk,

      John Harshman is paraphrasing of Robert Byers' views. I think you might have mistakenly thought he was expressing his own views.

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  8. Well, Im a frankofone canadien, and I sure as hell dont accept blind, purposeless, goalless evolution.

    Design is so friggin' obviously inherent in nature, you really gotta laugh at all the noise about godless evolution. I guess its skeptics cartoon caricature of what God is that causes the cognitive dissonence.

    Guess you gotta blame that on fundies. Those damn fundies, screwing with skeptics' ultra-efficient wiring. Bet fundies are overrepped in internet marketing spamware sweatshops.

    Anyway, so call me a rebel. Should I do some kind of frankofone canadien style rebel yell or sumptin'??!!

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    1. Why did god design malaria?

      Why do we still carry around broken vitamin C synthesis genes? Is (s)he/it playing an intelligently designed joke on us?

      Why do whales have little degenerate pelvic bones? Another joke?

      Design is so friggin' obviously not inherent in nature.

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    2. It was an elaborately designed practical joke:

      1. Make humans.
      2. Thell them they mustn't eat apples or they'll die.
      3. Break their GULO gene so that they have to eat fruit.
      4. Wait till they eat an apple (if it's taking too long, send a talking snake to egg them on).
      5. Design malaria and other nasty bugs to punish them for their disobedience.

      Admittedly, busting the GULO also in other apes and monkeys was not quite necessary, but a little collateral damage is a small price to pay for a good sadistic joke.

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  9. Petruska,

    fyi guided evolution is not God pushing buttons. It is God designing a biological program that responds to environmental cues.

    Think about it. How were the earliest organisms able to respond to environmental changes without pre-existing tools in their bag?

    Without them, the earliest lifeforms would have run aground extremely fast. Yet, they didn't. Can we just pass that off to luck? Don't think so. The odds of survival are extremely remote.

    Luck will always be a day late and a dollar short in the long run.

    Even Lotta winners start running outta money starting in year 5.

    So even if we give early bacteria until year 50,000....still, luck would run outta gas.

    Except, bacteria never had and have't run on luck but ingenious programming that allows them to mutate on cue.

    That's where 21st century biology is going.

    Sorry Larry (and acolytes), you are a day late and a dollar short.

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    1. Steve said:

      "I guess its skeptics cartoon caricature of what God is that causes the cognitive dissonence."

      "fyi guided evolution is not God pushing buttons. It is God designing a biological program that responds to environmental cues."

      Ah, so you are pushing a so-called "God".

      What is "God" and how do you know?

      "Think about it. How were the earliest organisms able to respond to environmental changes without pre-existing tools in their bag?

      Without them, the earliest lifeforms would have run aground extremely fast. Yet, they didn't. Can we just pass that off to luck? Don't think so. The odds of survival are extremely remote."

      So you're a 'front-loading' pusher too. How do extirpations and extinctions fit into your beliefs? Did "God" forget to put the tools into the bags of all the organisms that have been extirpated and/or gone extinct?





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    2. You are 156 years late, Steve. Creationism ran out of luck about 1859. You can't turn history back.

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    3. That's where 21st century biology is going

      LMFAO, Steve, the science prophet, dixit.

      Anyway, how unoriginal. Another case of "obvious" design, "improbabilities" without a probabilistic model, etc, etc...
      What really baffles me, is how all this crap seems so rational to them, then from obvious design they somehow think a designer God follows, then all the myths about talking snakes, arks and resurrecting guys surely must have been actual events. But of course we all know that's not how it works in their minds. They believed all those myths from the get go, then worked their way backwards with massive amounts of backwards "logic"

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    4. It's interesting to see the concept of God evolve so fast. He was the ultimate shepherd in the ancient Near East, the ultimate emperor in late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the ultimate architect during the Enlightenment, and the ultimate programming geek in the Computer Age.

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    5. So even if we give early bacteria until year 50,000....still, luck would run outta gas.

      Nope. They'd discovered a way of printing money, and doubling it every generation. They don't need any more luck.

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    6. It is God designing a biological program that responds to environmental cues

      So you put a bunch of people on a fruitless boat for a few months, they will develop the ability to synthesise Vitamin C right on cue? I'd suggest the response to such cues is typically non-evolutionary.

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    7. TwT, no shit shirlock.

      Front-loading makes the only sense. small, step-wise, changes is a pipe dream.

      It doesn't happen in reality without intelligence.

      Your wriggle room is getting smaller by the day.

      But if you must, wriggle on.


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    8. Sorry Piotr, creationism has always been in the game. A few bad innings when Darwin got pissed at God for not saving his baby girl (I can understand that) and had a small, step-wise epiphany.

      But his epiphany is now starting to look like the arm-chair pipe dream that is has always been.

      Modern technology is seeing to that.

      I must say it is fun watching all the wriggling about how 'evolution is fine with this' and 'it has no effect on evolution whatsever' and nada, nada.

      HGT, epigenics and real-time adaptations are putting paid to the notion that evolution requires no intelligence.

      In fact, evolution only works on an intelligent foundation.

      No surprises there.

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    9. The Dunning-Kruger is strong in this one.

      Delete
    10. John Harshman,

      It's amazing, isn't it? Steve and (selectively)Sceptical Mind are Dunning-Kruger poster children.

      Going just off of this last Steve post:

      "Sorry Piotr, creationism has always been in the game. A few bad innings when Darwin got pissed at God for not saving his baby girl (I can understand that) and had a small, step-wise epiphany."

      In complete denial for how evolution has demolished biblical creationist pipe-dreams, or more properly, creationist horrific nightmares about the fate of humanity.

      "But his epiphany is now starting to look like the arm-chair pipe dream that is has always been.

      Modern technology is seeing to that.

      I must say it is fun watching all the wriggling about how 'evolution is fine with this' and 'it has no effect on evolution whatsever' and nada, nada."

      A complete reversal of reality: modern technology, and everything science has discovered provides evidence against silly creationist myths, while library stacks strain under the weight of decades of evidence in support of evolutionary theory. In contrast, Steve et al., repeat the same tired creationist pseudo science babble they did a century ago, as if they were making fresh arguments. The gullibility and lack of historical perspective is staggering.

      "HGT, epigenics and real-time adaptations are putting paid to the notion that evolution requires no intelligence."

      Classic mixing of real science terms with made up creationist pseudo-scientific nonsense, putting a 'sciency' lipstick on the pig of creationism. Steve doesn't even know what he is talking about. But he read it on creationist websites and dutifully regurgitates it here as if it were a real argument.

      "In fact, evolution only works on an intelligent foundation."

      And Steve delivers his finale: a completely indefensible, self-fulfilling proclamation. None of the gibberish that preceded this statement of faith supports it in any way: it is a non-sequitor.

      "No surprises there."

      Here I agree with Steve.

      Delete
    11. Front-loading makes the only sense. small, step-wise, changes is a pipe dream.

      There is a goldmine of testable hypothesis right there. To the laboratory!

      What would you expect to see in divergent taxa if present genomes had been front-loaded into historic ancestors?

      Where are the future-anticipatory front-loaded genes in current species?

      Which scenario is better supported if you do a long-term experiment and freeze intermediate generations for reference?

      Can you generate a working front-loaded computer model (using intelligence), showing how front-loading would actually work in responding to those vague 'environmental cues'?

      Can you determine how the environment and the genome actually communicate in permitting an appropriate genomic response to be extracted from the front-loaded repertoire for a given challenge? Can this be shielded, or enhanced?

      Delete
    12. Where are the future-anticipatory front-loaded genes in current species?

      They've all been used up. They aren't needed any more, as we are in the End Times now. Another prediction validated!

      Delete
    13. "There is a goldmine of testable hypothesis right there. To the laboratory!"

      Creationists don't do any experiments or science. They thrive only on ambiguity and the unknown. God of the gaps is their only "experiment.

      Delete
  10. Nothing in nature is designed. It only appears to be designed except when evolution designs it. Here is one of the latest quotes with this exception:

    “ Extended evolutionary synthesis regards the genome as a sub-system of the cell
    designed by evolution to sense and respond to the signals
    that impinge on it [8]. Organisms are not built from genetic
    ‘instructions’ alone, but rather self-assemble using a broad variety
    of inter-dependent resources. Even where there is a history
    of selection for plasticity, the constructive development perspective
    entails that prior selection underdetermines the
    phenotypic response to the environment.”

    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royprsb/282/1813/20151019.full.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Septic,

      Many many scientists don't even know that there's idiots like yourself, so they feel free to use metaphorical language, such as "designed by evolution." Little do they know that their words shall be misconstrued because imbeciles like yourself indeed exist.

      Take it easy Septic. It's not the end of the world if someone uses metaphors, or if someone wants to say that evolution designed something out of better words. It is still true that "designed" is not meant to mean :by an intelligent designer."

      Grow up already. Your tactics are worse than infantile.

      Delete
    2. But wait a minute, why can scientists do research on stuff likeOligodendrocytes? They can clearly wedge god in there but IDiots can't? This is sooooo unfair!!!!11!!1one

      Delete
    3. I'm still amused how I always read his name as Septic(al) Mind without even trying to...

      Delete
  11. Human GULO gene is only 84% similar to the chimpanzee but 87% similar to the gorilla.When scientists compared the region in front of the GULO gene (where the loss supposed to have happened) the human segment is only 68% similar to the chimpanzee and 73% similar to the gorilla.

    All these supposed DNA similarities are inconsistent with predictions of the common ancestry as Gorilla is more similar to human in this region than chimpanzee-our closest living relative-which contradicts evolutionary branching process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you took these numbers from Jeffrey Tomkins's non-peer-reviewed pseudojournal paper, you should know that they are spurious. For a detailed refutation, see here.

      But even if the numbers were correct, the greater similarity of a single gene between humans and gorillas would not contradict the accepted structure of the great ape family tree. The three genera are closely related and you can expect to see an occasional mismatch resulting from incomplete lineage sorting -- an isolated and unrepresentative deviation from the nested hierarchy pattern. One such example (HERV-K-GC1) is discussed here.

      Delete
    2. Pop quiz, Sceptical Mind: Is it possible for your genome to share an allele with your cousin that is not present in your brother?

      If "No", then LOL! and thanks for playing.

      If "Yes", then a follow up question: Does this mean you are more closely related to your cousin than to your brother?

      Delete
    3. Yawn.

      http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/03/11/a-tiny-bit-of-knowledge-is-a-dangerous-thing/

      Delete
    4. Haha! Great UD piece. Priceless last comment from BA77, who claims to have been skeptical of Tomkins at first till he saw an interview and decided who to back as his pet phylogeny expert - by pure coincidence, the one whose views most closely coincide with his own, rather than ... everyone else.

      Delete
    5. Another question worth asking, besides the evidence that is already widely available that contradicts the supposed similarities between chimps and some on this blog, is the gene really broken or has no functionSince experimental studies (that have nothing to do with neo-Darwinian non-existent studies on the theme) show that organisms are still able to produce vitamin c even with the gene supposedly broken and dysfunctional.
      First, I found out from evolutionists that we are more related to the gorillas than to chimps, and then another hit came in. There is experimental data that totally contradicts common descent but the evolutionists would rather die than admit to being dead wrong.

      Delete
    6. You make a number of assertions that could use some sort of documentation.
      Can you provide citations for some of those experimental studies that show vitamin C production? And of course you never found out any such thing from evolutionists about human relationships to gorillas. Finally, what is this experimental data that totally contradicts common descent?

      Delete
    7. (selectviely)Skeptical Mind,

      Are you having some kind of psychotic break from reality? Everything you just said was refuted earlier in this thread. Why is it you swallow hook, line and sinker the fudged numbers presented by the charlatan Tomkins yet a careful, pointed refutation of his pseudoscience cannot penetrate your cranium? You are not skeptical at all, just looking for something to prop up your failed religious dogma.

      Not to mention even if Tomkins's BS were actually true (it isn't), studies based on one genome segment (not even under sequence constraint) has a perfectly reasonable alternative hypothesis: incomplete lineage sorting, that is completely consistent with evolutionary theory. Follow The Other Jim's link and learn something.

      What apes are able to produce Vitamin C? Enlighten me.

      Delete
    8. I believe I know where "sceptical" "mind" got his vitamin C claims:

      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/a_simple_propos075721.html

      Of course he gets all his information from creationist web sites; that's why he's always wrong.

      Delete
    9. Almost exactly 2 years ago Jonathan McLatchie suffered a painful defeat on this very blog and admitted it.

      Larry: How IDiots Would Activate GULOP

      Jonathan: Oops! I was wrong and I promise a retraction on ENV

      Jonathan did publish a half-hearted "correction", in which he somehow forgot to mention Larry and his educative influence. If you believe Jonathan's correction, he had discovered his mistakes all by himself. He dishonestly blames the ENSEMBL database instead of his own ignorance:

      Upon further investigation, however, I've discovered that the Ensembl database appears to be inaccurate on that point, and it's not confirmed that the GULO pseudogene produces a transcript (indeed, clicking on "Supporting evidence," one finds that there is "No Transcript supporting evidence for this transcript").

      Then he succumbs to wishful thinking. OK, he was [cough, cough] wrong, but perhaps not so wrong after all? Maybe even partly right?

      And he goes on to dig his hole deeper:

      While my original hypothesis is probably incorrect with respect to this particular pseudogene, it remains possible that the human GULO pseudogene yields RNAs that perform some other function in the cell.

      [all highlights added]

      Moreover, there's a much more important point to take note of, which I hope is not lost in this discussion -- namely that my original hypothesis could be more generally applicable. What I proposed might be happening in the GULO pseudogene could very well be happening in other unitary pseudogenes.


      That was two years ago. Where's the retraction? Why is that ignorant shit still there so that creationist dung flies like Septic Mind can feed on it?

      Jonny, if by any chance you are reading this, move away from the screen or your nose will break through it!

      Delete
    10. Sorry for misplacing my comment about added emphasis. I hope it's clear that the highlights are mine.

      Delete
    11. Why is that ignorant shit still there so that creationist dung flies like Septic Mind can feed on it?

      Well, because they don't care if it's true or not. They're not trying to convince scientists they're wrong, they just need some pseudo-scientific material so that the sheeps don't leave the herd. So long as they convince the gullible morons they're good to go. And it doesn't take much to convince someone who is willing to believe creation myths to begin with.

      Septic is a living proof that it works. It's the infinite dishonesty of the pseudo science pushers coupled with the infinite stupidity of their followers that form the dream team of creatard deception

      Delete
    12. "While my original hypothesis is probably incorrect with respect to this particular pseudogene, it remains possible that the human GULO pseudogene yields RNAs that perform some other function in the cell."

      More hiding behind ambiguity to try and obscure the fact that he was dead wrong.

      Delete
    13. Did anyone ask him why, if that GULO gene is functional, it appears to be evolving neutrally?

      Delete
    14. No, people were merciful. He'd suffered enough.

      Delete
    15. BTW, shortly after the above debacle McLatchie redeemed himself with an important piece of ID creationist research, which falsified on of ID's chief claims, namely that Complex Specified Information can only produced thru the action of an "intelligent designer". I discussed this important finding on another forum at the link below. Strangely, this breakthrough has so far gone unnoticed by the ID creationist research community.

      http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post1809165.html

      Delete
    16. Septic,

      I was very close to answering your first "question" in the thread, then someone asked you about your cousin, so I didn't. Now you confirm again that you can't read.

      "is the gene really broken or has no function"

      Have you ever heard of scurvy you sad excuse of an idiot?

      Delete
    17. John H

      You make a number of assertions that could use some sort of documentation.
      Can you provide citations for some of those experimental studies that show vitamin C production? And of course you never found out any such thing from evolutionists about human relationships to gorillas. Finally, what is this experimental data that totally contradicts common descent?


      Please confirm you are kidding and that you wouldn't lower yourself to this level of arrogance and hypocrisy to ask me for experimental data after you have failed to provide yours how many times in the last few months?

      Why don't you provide the data first that proves that when GULO gene is functional, it evolves neutrally? I'm sure you can also explain in evolutionary terms how some species lost the function of the gene and then decided to reactivate it, and by what evolutionary mechanism and why. Don't give me the "it appears" as your data, or I will not even read the rest of your post.

      Delete
    18. Sceptical Mind drools:

      Why don't you provide the data first that proves that when GULO gene is functional, it evolves neutrally?

      The funniest part of that is you don't even realize how funny that is.

      Delete
    19. John H

      You didn't miss my post deliberately did you?

      Delete
    20. So you don't intend to provide any citations? I have provided quite a few. You never respond. I most definitely can't provide citations for the claims you imagine me to be making, because I don't make them and they aren't true. Functional genes do not evolve neutrally. I know of no species that lost function in GULO and decided to reactivate it. And I suspect that you never read much of my posts; you don't need any excuse other than your incapacity.

      Delete
    21. I do. As I said it again, clearly, I'm waiting for your response first. Which part of my request don't you understand?

      Delete
    22. Yet more evidence you can't or won't read. Your requests are nonsensical and can't be answered, as I informed you in the reply just above. To repeat:

      I most definitely can't provide citations for the claims you imagine me to be making, because I don't make them and they aren't true. Functional genes do not evolve neutrally. I know of no species that lost function in GULO and decided to reactivate it.

      Delete
    23. I know of no species that lost function in GULO and decided to reactivate it.

      Some passerines have apparently had their broken GULO reactivated (at least twice).

      Delete
    24. SM, if the inactivating change is simple, it can be reversed before it's too late. Also, a pseudogene can sometimes be accidentally resuscitated without regaining its original function (it may occasionally get co-opted for some sort of secondary use). In primates, however, several exons are already missing from GULOP, and the rest of is badly mangled. There's no imaginable way it could help to make vitamin C ever again.

      Delete
    25. Some passerines have apparently had their broken GULO reactivated (at least twice).

      Very interesting. I'm a bit disturbed because the phylogeny they use is so bad and the sampling so sparse. But I don't think it invalidates the results.

      Delete
    26. Ask yourself: do you ever contribute anything at all to a conversation? Do you ever contribute anything at all to the world, for that matter?

      Delete
    27. As usual, you evade. My main contribution is trying to get you to stop evading and to make some concrete claim that you are willing to defend with evidence. Instead you post mindless trash talk. And you won't even look at whatever evidence others provide. A little introspection would be in order, if you can stand it.

      Delete
    28. Disturbed by bad and sparse sampling but the results must be fine.

      Skeptical Mind, you have no idea at all what you're mocking there, do you?

      John was saying evidence of an *exception* to the usual rule that 'broken' genes don't reacquire function (in other words, evidence that a pseudogene *had* reacquired function) was acceptable to him, despite the fact that he could have wished for more complete evidence.

      So if you had any understanding at all of the topic you've been jawing about here in the comments, you would've been saying "Attaboy, John, just what I've been talking about!" But instead you've demonstrated for the umpteenth time here that you know nothing.

      Delete
    29. My main contribution is trying to get you to stop evading and to make some concrete claim that you are willing to defend with evidence.

      John, you know that's never happening. Just sayin'.

      Delete
    30. I should perhaps have mentioned that I also engage some rational people with information on subjects in which I have some expertise and ask those people questions on subjects in which they have expertise. This is quite aside from my interactions with the local loons.

      I realize talking to SM is futile, but hope springs eternal.

      Delete
    31. Something interesting has definitely been going on among passerine birds. It would be nice if someone sequenced GULO genes/pseudogenes from a decent sample of passerine taxa and tried to reconstruct the actual history of amino acid changes. Cui et al. (2011) did so for bats, with exciting results.

      Delete
    32. On a related note, re: genes regaining their function, I remember reading about an experiment on some bacteria, where one gene was knocked down that was responsible for the digestion of lactose or something like that. A population of the modified bacteria was exposed to large concentrations of lactose and eventually a different gene mutated and the bacteria regained it's ability to digest it again. Of course it was a different gene, but I thought it was a great example of mutation, adaptation and evolution acquiring new "information". Can't for the life of me find a link, I remember there was an article in wikipedia, so I'm obviously looking for the wrong terms

      Delete
    33. I sort of appreciate that. Though based on your aggregate behavior I unfortunately can't be confident that you were sincere. If you really want to make amends, try engaging seriously in an argument: support your claims and respond to others' actual arguments.

      Delete
    34. Found it.

      The β-galactosidase assay is used frequently in genetics, molecular biology, and other life sciences. An active enzyme may be detected using X-gal, which forms an intense blue product after cleavage by β-galactosidase, and is easy to identify and quantify. It is used for example in blue white screen.[14] Its production may be induced by a non-hydrolyzable analog of allolactose, IPTG, which binds and releases the lac repressor from the lac operator, thereby allowing the initiation of transcription to proceed.

      Since it is highly expressed and accumulated in lysosomes in senescent cells, it is used as a senescence biomarker both in vivo and in vitro in qualitative and quantitative [3] assays, despite its limitations.

      In studies of leukaemia chromosomal translocations, Dobson and colleagues used a fusion protein of LacZ in mice,[15] exploiting β-galactosidase's tendency to oligomerise to suggest a potential role for oligomericity in MLL fusion protein function.[16]


      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-galactosidase

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC234956/

      Piotr, thanks for that, it's fascinating! The flagellum regaining it's mobility through mutations? That's awesome. I can see it's a very recent paper, I wonder what M. Behe will have to say about that, LOL

      Delete
    35. Oh, come on. They haven't evolved into spiders, roses or humans. They are still bacteria.

      Delete
    36. Crocobacteria or evolution never happened! Check mate atheists! hahaha.
      BTW, I copy-pasted the wrong paragraph

      Some species of bacteria, including E. coli, have additional β-galactosidase genes. A second gene, called evolved β-galactosidase (ebgA) gene was discovered when strains with the lacZ gene deleted (but still containing the gene for galactoside permease, lacY), were plated on medium containing lactose (or other 3-galactosides) as sole carbon source. After a time, certain colonies began to grow. However, the EbgA protein is an ineffective lactase and does not allow growth on lactose. Two classes of single point mutations dramatically improve the activity of ebg enzyme toward lactose.[17][18] and, as a result, the mutant enzyme is able to replace the lacZ β-galactosidase.[19] EbgA and LacZ are 50% identical on the DNA level and 33% identical on the amino acid level.[20] The active ebg enzyme is an aggregate of ebgA -gene and ebgC-gene products in a 1:1 ratio with the active form of ebg enzymes being an α4 β4 hetero-octamer.[21]

      Delete
    37. I noticed somebody mentioned that we're coming up to the two year anniversary of the McLatchie GULO debacle. Funnily enough only last night someone cited McLatchie's original, supposedly retracted artice to demonstrate the "function" of the GULO pseudogene in humans. They hadn't clicked on the link highlighted above the article which takes you to his second article telling you the first one is wrong.

      So, two years down the line and his erroneous article is now being used by those who don't know any better and who don't click the small link leading to the semi-retraction. McLatchie should have removed the original article or at least written "Retracted" over it in big, red letters. This is how misinformation and nonsense spread on the internet and McLatchie should be ashamed of himself for leaving that disgrace of an article out there.

      Delete
    38. Many happy returns of the day, Jonny McLatchie!

      Delete
    39. This is how misinformation and nonsense spread on the internet and McLatchie should be ashamed of himself for leaving that disgrace of an article out there.

      Yes. If ethical concerns were not sufficient motivation for him to retract the article, you'd think simple pride would be. Why would he leave such a testament to his ignorance and incompetence out their for public viewing? Two likely possibilities: He still doesn't realize how badly he fucked up there. Or he realizes that his intended audience is even more ignorant than he is, and so his reputation will suffer no damage with the people who count (i.e. those how will keep donating to keep the DI's coffers full.)

      Delete
  12. I almost forgot. Nobody provided any evidence, so far, that challenged my numbers of the so called similarities of chimp vs human genome. When Piotr and possibly latesuite one day go to the lab and do the work hands on without pretending that they know what they are doing, it will be a real bliss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have been given two links, one from Piotr and one from the other Jim. Did you read them? The work doesn't have to be done hands on, since the genomes have already been published. You can in fact do it yourself just by going to the UC Santa Cruz Genome Browser and doing a tiny bit of searching. You will discover that Tomkins' claims are just plain wrong.

      Delete
    2. All of 'your numbers' were refuted in this thread. you just didn't acknowledge the facts; they were filtered through your (selectively)Sceptical Lens.

      Delete
    3. What they said. I followed the proffered links and found detailed refutations. What did you find, hopping bunnies?

      Delete
    4. Septic,

      "Nobody provided any evidence, so far, that challenged my numbers of the so called similarities of chimp vs human genome"

      You should not make those kinds of claims if you're not going to actually read the answers people have given to you. You're just embarrassing yourself and your supposedly sacred beliefs. You treat yourself and your beliefs like shit. You have no self respect at all.

      Delete
    5. "Humans More Related To Orangutans Than Chimps, Study Suggests

      New evidence underscores the theory of human origin that suggests humans most likely share a common ancestor with orangutans. The researchers reject as "problematic" the popular suggestion, based on DNA analysis, that humans are most closely related to chimpanzees, which they maintain is not supported by fossil evidence."

      Oh no! I can't even remember if orangutans have the GULO gene and if they do, if it is functional, semi-functional or in neutral gear and where.
      I can't do any research at all because every evolutionists has his own ideas and interprets so-called evidence in his own way.

      Anybody got any experimental data on this fact?

      Delete
    6. You forgot to include a reference to the study you're supposedly citing. I suspect the author is Jeffrey Schwartz, who is a nut on that subject. And I also suspect your source is at least 5 years old. Am I right?

      Orangutans have a GULO pseudogene, as do all haplorhines.

      There is plenty of data. I invite you once again to consult the UCSC genome browser. But you won't. You're only interested in testifyin', and sometimes I suspect you of speaking in tongues too.

      Delete
    7. You haven't provided any references either? Why do you think someone should believe you? Anyone can just say things like Robert Byers.

      Delete
    8. Here's a reference: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v469/n7331/full/nature09687.html

      Now you.

      Delete
    9. Well, it's always possible he did reply and it was deleted before any of us saw it. But you know the reply wouldn't have said anything anyway.

      Delete
  13. Look what I've found:

    "Junk DNA' defines differences between humans and chimps"

    DNA sequences for human and chimpanzees are nearly identical, despite vast phenotypical differences between the two species. Researchers have determined that the insertion and deletion of large pieces of DNA near genes are highly variable between humans and chimpanzees and may account for these major differences.

    For years, scientists believed the vast phenotypic differences between humans and chimpanzees would be easily explained -- the two species must have significantly different genetic makeups. However, when their genomes were later sequenced, researchers were surprised to learn that the DNA sequences of human and chimpanzee genes are nearly identical. What then is responsible for the many morphological and behavioral differences between the two species?


    Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have now determined that the insertion and deletion of large pieces of DNA near genes are highly variable between humans and chimpanzees and may account for major differences between the two species.

    The research team lead by Georgia Tech Professor of Biology John McDonald has verified that while the DNA sequence of genes between humans and chimpanzees is nearly identical, there are large genomic "gaps" in areas adjacent to genes that can affect the extent to which genes are "turned on" and "turned off." The research shows that these genomic "gaps" between the two species are predominantly due to the insertion or deletion (INDEL) of viral-like sequences called retrotransposons that are known to comprise about half of the genomes of both species. The findings are reported in the most recent issue of the online, open-access journal Mobile DNA.

    "These genetic gaps have primarily been caused by the activity of retroviral-like transposable element sequences," said McDonald. "Transposable elements were once considered 'junk DNA' with little or no function. Now it appears that they may be one of the major reasons why we are so different from chimpanzees."

    McDonald's research team, composed of graduate students Nalini Polavarapu, Gaurav Arora and Vinay Mittal, examined the genomic gaps in both species and determined that they are significantly correlated with differences in gene expression reported previously by researchers at the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

    "Our findings are generally consistent with the notion that the morphological and behavioral differences between humans and chimpanzees are predominately due to differences in the regulation of genes rather than to differences in the sequence of the genes themselves," said McDonald.

    The current analysis of the genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees was motivated by the group's previously published findings (2009) that the higher propensity for cancer in humans vs. chimpanzees may have been a by-product of selection for increased brain size in humans.

    The GULO gene functional or not is nothing in comparison with these experimental findings. Unfortunately, it will have not affect on the usual suspects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I very much doubt you will find people here (or knowledgeable people anywhere) who would dispute the claim that TE insertions into regulatory regions can have important fitness-altering results.

      Delete
    2. ...in fact, it's a well know mechanism for change. It seemed to be very important in the cichlid radiation...

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v513/n7518/full/nature13726.html

      I don't understand why this is so hard. It is completely analogous to our understanding of other forms of mutation. Most mutations are bad or neutral - but some are adaptive, and then under the right circumstances, they can lead to evolutionary innovation.

      Even the wiki article on Alu's does a decent, non specialist coverage of it, listing disease cases associated with Alu insertions, mentions that most are in "un-selected" regions of the genome, and references a paper show they can be involved in regulation changes and may have impacted human evolution.

      Delete
  14. Last one, I think:
    "Humans, chimpanzees and monkeys share DNA but not gene regulatory mechanisms"

    Up to 40 percent of the differences in the expression or activity patterns of genes between humans, chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys can be explained by regulatory mechanisms that determine whether and how a gene's recipe for a protein is transcribed to the RNA molecule that carries the recipe instructions to the sites in cells where proteins are manufactured.

    "Well, we all had better acknowledge it must have evolved or we're all down to being creationists"- unknown evolutionist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No surprise. Lots of big differences in morphology between species are caused by differences in regulatory sequences. It's exactly what I would have expected. But I don't think you understand what this article is saying. I don't think you understand what most written English is saying, for that matter.

      Delete
    2. Humans, chimpanzees and monkeys share DNA but not gene regulatory mechanisms

      Geez. You don't say. I wonder if this is part of what makes them different?

      Delete
    3. I also wonder if some of the differences in their DNA might have something to do with their different gene regulatory mechanisms. Hey, I wonder if the paper that "Sceptical" "Mind" cited at third hand would be informative on that question.

      Delete
    4. No surprise. Still no link from John H.

      Delete
    5. No link to what? Please restate your question in a form that makes at least surface sense.

      Delete
    6. No, I would like you to do what I asked: Please restate your question in a form that makes at least surface sense.

      Delete
    7. sceptical mind, you're arrogantly and desperately trying to prove that you 'ain't no monkey' and that humans were/are 'specially created in the image of God', but there's something that you're conveniently ignoring:

      If humans are separately created, special, exceptional, unique, 'God-like' beings, then WHY does ANYTHING in/of/about humans match ANYTHING in/of/about monkeys and/or any other organisms?

      Even if human and monkey DNA and/or morphological traits and/or anything else only matched by, say, 10%, that would still be proof that humans are related to monkeys.

      If humans were/are separately, specially, exceptionally, uniquely created 'in the image of God', humans would have NO matches or similarities with monkeys and/or ANY other organisms.

      Delete
    8. Sceptic quotes an "unknown evolutionist" .

      Wow, how utterly convincing.

      Delete
    9. If humans were/are separately, specially, exceptionally, uniquely created 'in the image of God', humans would have NO matches or similarities with monkeys and/or ANY other organisms.

      Unless.... all hail our monkey god.

      Delete
  15. I would like to design an experiment for all the experts on this blog. It is easy and it proves a very important point. It could change your life if you are honest to yourself.

    Larry, can I have your permission to conduct this simple experiment with your crowd?
    I believe it is going to be educational and funny at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're always educational and funny, Sceptical.

      Delete
    2. It could change your life if you are honest to yourself.

      Is this going to have something to do with Jesus?

      Delete
  16. Someone died?

    Another option for the lack of activity is that Gasiarowski finally published his lab experimental results that put out of business all the serious pro-creation experimental biologists and their followers. Is that true?

    That's what I think must have happened while I was away, unless someone fills me in on the details.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In order for your scenario to happen there would first have to be several serious pro-creation experimental biologists.

      And secondly, do you have to be such an asshole all the time? Is that necessary to your goal, whatever it is?

      Delete
    2. Are you telling me that Gauger and Axe experimental evidence proving that it is impossible to evolve new proteins doesn't qualify them as such?

      I don't care what you think by the way.

      Why don't you show us the experimental evidence that new proteins do evolve. If they are wrong you should have thousands of examples of experiments of new proteins evolving.

      Too bad that you don't.

      My goal is simple. My nickname says it all

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    3. Are you telling me that Gauger and Axe experimental evidence proving that it is impossible to evolve new proteins doesn't qualify them as such?

      If you fail to do something with a few attempts, have you proven it impossible?

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    4. If you don't care what I think, why do you ask me?

      My goal is simple. My nickname says it all

      Really? Your goal is to tell lies for the devil?

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    5. Gauger & Axe's attempts were based on flawed reasoning. No evolutionary hypothesis was formulated or tested. They only demonstrated the non-viability of the molecular analogue of the crocoduck.

      It's still cargo-cult science even if you do it in a lab and publish the results in a high-impact jour... what? wait a moment...

      My goal is simple. My nickname says it all

      Ah, so you tell lies for the devil. Jolly good show. Go on lying.

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    6. Whatever the meaning of his name, it is clear he believes in supernatural things like gods and demons. This explains his compulsions and why he comes across as an irrational imbecile.

      If I could convince a person that leprechauns exist, you could be sure that for this person, the explanation for every misplaced item and every unexplained sound in the night would be leprechauns.

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    7. Ann Gauger's lab would appear to be a stock photo projected onto a green screen.

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  17. Just a general question: Which of the many gods are we talking about?

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