Saturday, February 13, 2016

Michael Denton discovers non-adaptive evolution ... attributes it to gods

Readers of this blog will know that I'm a fan of Evolution by Accident. I don't think that the history of life can be explained in strict Darwinian terms (i.e. natural selection) and I think that modern evolutionary theory includes Neutral Theory and a major role for random genetic drift.

This is the view of many modern evolutionary biologists. Their work and views have been reported frequently on Sandwalk over the past ten years but you can find it in all the evolutionary biology textbooks. I'm just the messenger here. It's evolutionary biologists who have made the case for non-adaptive evolution beginning long before The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme.

The evidence for a pluralist view of life that's not tied to strict adaptation (natural selection) comes form many sources. We're familiar with the debate over junk DNA and the idea that most of our genome cannot be explained as the simple result of natural selection winnowing detrimental and useless features. We're familiar with Stephen Jay Gould's view of life as a series of historically contingent accidents [Replaying Life's Tape].

Over the years, we've discussed a number of specific cases that strongly suggest non-adaptive evolution. For example, the fact that the African rhinoceros has two horns while the Asian rhino has only one [Visible Mutations and Evolution by Natural Selection], or the stripes on different species of zebra [How did the zebra get its stripes? (again)].

One of my favorite examples has been the shape of leaves. Is the difference between a cluster of five needles (white pine) and two needles (red pine) an example of selection and adaption or an accident? What about the shape of maple leaves? There are 128 species of maple (Acer spp.) and most of them have distinctly different leaves that vary in shape, color, and size. It's rather silly, in this day and age, to attribute all of those differences to adaptation.


Trying to convince others of the truth of non-adaptive evolution has been a frustrating experience. It's been particularly frustrating when dealing with Intelligent Design Creationists who think that evolution by natural selection is the only game in town. They are the most adaptationist people on the planet even though they don't actually believe in the scientific version of evolution. We know, of course, that they have ulterior motives for focusing their attack on the strawman version of evolution that they call "Darwinism" ... I understand that. I understand why they stick to their myopic, old-fashioned, view of evolution in spite of all the evidence that it's incomplete and misleading. It's not just stupidity.

But now we have an entirely new phenomenon. Michael Denton recognizes how silly it is to attribute every feature to adaptation. This is, of course, a view that been around for a long time among evolutionary biologists and they have perfectly naturalistic, non-adaptive, explanations that have been published in thousands of scientific papers. Denton won't acknowledge that.

Most creationists won't even admit that there are features that don't appear to have been designed for functionality but here's Denton showing them that they've been wrong for decades. When I tried to do that I met with huge resistance because I was trying to show them that their view of evolution is wrong. Denton takes a different approach. He assures them that their extreme Darwinian view of evolution is correct and the presence of non-functional features—like the shape of a maple leaf—is something that "evolution" can't explain. Therefore, gods did it.

Watch the video. You really have to see it to believe it. You can't make this stuff up.



53 comments :

  1. Yes, "evolutionary biologists ... made the case for non-adaptive evolution beginning long before The Spandrels ... ." Perhaps Larry is here referring to Samuel Butler (Vol 20 of collected works) and William Bateson.

    Butler: "I have gone out sketching and forgotten my water-dipper; among my traps I always find something that will do, for example, the top of my tin case (for holding pencils). This is how organs come to change their uses and hence their forms, or at any rate partly how."


    Gould and Lewontins' famous 1979 article was the subject of a book on scientific rhetoric (Edited by Jack Selzer, Understanding Scientific Prose, 1993). Here Gould conceded that "I did not know about Bateson's invocation of Voltaire when I wrote 'Spandrels,' but the convergence is scarcely surprising, as Dr. Pangloss is a standard ... form of ridicule." To criticize the adaptionist program Bateson had introduced, not spandrels, but "toolmarks, mere incidents of manufacture, benefiting their possessor not more than the wire-marks on a sheet of paper, or the ribbing on the bottom of an oriental plate renders these objects more attractive to our eyes." Furthermore, examples of the doctrine that all is for the best "were discovered with a facility that Pangloss himself might have envied."

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  2. As an engineer, I see exaptation in just about everything. I like to collectively refer to this as "form finds function".

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    1. "I see exaptation in just about everything"

      That is because you see. Blind processes do not.

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    2. Interesting. I always draw a distinction between engineering (start with a problem, develop a technology to solve the problem) and hacking (start with a technology, find problems it can solve). In this broad view Hackers are the exaptionalists of technology, utilizing side effects to make technology do things it wasn't designed for.
      I know a lot of engineers are at least somewhat bothered by the fact that their designs produce side effects in the first place, because that usually means that there are inefficiencies in the design.

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    3. Simon: Yes, unintended side effects can be troublesome when you are trying to direct your design to a particular goal. But they are the lifeblood of innovation. Stephen Johnson wrote a book "Where Good Ideas Come From" that discusses this in depth. Some engineers and scientists may not want to admit that their breakthroughs come from "happy accidents", but they often do.

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    4. What I'm trying to get at is that there are different types of creativity in STEM fields, as distinct as painting, music and literature. And while most of us dabble in all of them (I'm a scientist, but I certainly do some mathematics, a bit of engineering and I also get to hack), skills don't transfer that much.

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    5. Well, there are skills, and there are tools, and there are reusable components. Any of these can be exapted. It is my understanding that Da Vinci used a lot of math and geometry in his art, and the principles are still used today. And he used his drawing skills in the engineering process. Gutenberg adopted the wine press to make his printing press. I have two hobbies, jewelry making and electronics, and I have found tools made for each those activities to be useful in the other. The more fundamental something is, the more likely it will be useful elsewhere, like duct tape. Once again, form finds function.

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  3. Funniest part: the bit where the transition between other amniotes and mammals is imagined (for purpose of ridicule) to involve red blood cells with the nucleus half in and half out of the cell.

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  4. Larry,

    Since you just appear to be an expert in explaining how non-adaptive evolution happened, please lead us through the details how all the non-adaptive, random mechanisms of evolution would coordinated the evolutionary changes of pearl divers. In my travels and research over the years I have met many of them. They have been doing pearl-diving for many, many generations. When the economy was bad, they would dive for mussels and any seafood that is not readily available. Some of these men can hold their breath for up to 7-8 minutes.
    In view on the of the modern evolutionary theory, how do you think the random evolutionary mechanisms are coordinating for those men? How close are they to become a sea-mammal and what would be the evidence of them evolving into a new species-seaman?
    Larry, Can you give us a little bit of insight into this issue? I’m sure you can because this is your life.
    BTW: Joe F; How do you explain it from the point of population genetics? Does it do anything to you?

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    1. Do you think Aquaman was created out of thin air? He descended from a long line of pearl divers.

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    2. Holy shit. Just when you think creationists couldn't possibly get any stupider, along comes someone like Velhovsky who raises the bar (or digs the ditch deeper, if that's a more apt analogy.)

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    3. When the economy was bad, they would dive for mussels and any seafood that is not readily available.

      They would dive for stuff that wasn't available? Why, because they didn't want to find anything?

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    4. "Please lead us through the details how all the non-adaptive, random mechanisms of evolution would coordinated the evolutionary changes of pearl divers."

      Is any evolution required in this example? Many recreational and competitive free divers can hold their breath under water for extended period of time, with the current record for static apnea being just a few seconds short of 12 minutes. No genetic modification was required however, just learning a few basic techniques and then practising. About three months ago, while snorkeling, I could only hold my breath for about 50 seconds and now I'm up to just under three minutes. I'm pretty sure I haven't evolved in that time though.

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  5. Evolution was sped up by the excess heat, caused by them clutching their pearls.

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  6. Replies
    1. It is my information that Denton identifies himself as a religious skeptic.

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  7. I've sat through all of the video. It is utterly deficient in knowledge of modern biology, including evolutionary biology.

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    1. Does Denton really attribute biological complexity to God here? I tried watching the video, it was too self-important and insipid.

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    2. Does Denton really attribute biological complexity to God here?

      Oops! My mistake. He doesn't talk about gods. It's the "designer" who's responsible for non-adaptive order. :-)

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  8. "Readers of this blog will know that I'm a fan of Evolution by Accident. I don't think that the history of life can be explained in strict Darwinian terms (i.e. natural selection) and I think that modern evolutionary theory includes Neutral Theory and a major role for random genetic drift."

    Very well. Since this is your and many others belief, maybe you should begin with proving how "evolution by accident" that has not foresight, "knows" how to act with accordance to the need required for one species to evolve into another.

    Do you see my point Larry?

    How does evolution by chance know which genetic changes need to be made in advance for a land-living mammal to turn its legs into fins, for example?

    Do you have any actual evidence at all to support such a claim?
    How about a mathematical calculation for random mechanism to "figure it out"?

    Do you see my point Larry?

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    1. How does evolution by chance know which genetic changes need to be made in advance for a land-living mammal to turn its legs into fins, for example?

      It doesn't know any such thing. Evolution has no foresight.

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    2. "It doesn't know any such thing. Evolution has no foresight."

      With lots of species, it apparently has no ambition either.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-35462092

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    3. Do you see my point Larry?

      Of course. You have the uninformed layperson's view of evolution as something progressive. In fact, evolution moves toward greater complexity, equal complexity, and less complexity - in other words, in all possible directions - at random. The dominant evolutionary occurrences are in microbes, where you don't see them unless or until it results in something like a disease-causing bacterium acquiring immunity to antibiotics and thus coming to human attention. So there is no foresight needed - evolution simply causes the changes it can, randomly. If you were looking at it as a bush seen from above, it would be a bush that's spreading in all the directions it can. It would be a bush planted against a house, because there's a hard stop - if some bacteria or viruses lose certain capabilities, they don't become simpler life, they die out. But in every direction open to it, the bush is spreading. You're looking at one particular part of the bush and saying, "But how does it *know* to grow northwest?" It doesn't - it's growing in *all* directions, except where it's blocked by the house.

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    4. "evolution simply causes the changes it can, randomly"

      This is precisely why it is not realistic. Random DNA replication failures could not successfully relocate and reconfigure nostrils to the top of a whale's head. You don't get anything free with mutations. The bone has to be radically altered. The soft tissue has to be radically altered. The ductwork has to be radically altered. The valve mechanism has be built from scratch. Countless unrelated, uncoordinated, unsynchronized accidents cannot result in a finely-tuned systems like this, and dreamy analogs about bushes do not make the problems go away.

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    5. sez eric:

      How does evolution by chance know which genetic changes need to be made in advance for a land-living mammal to turn its legs into fins, for example?

      The same way water molecules know which way to move in order for a river to flow into the sea.

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    6. Countless unrelated, uncoordinated, unsynchronized accidents cannot result in a finely-tuned systems like this

      Yeah, just like my friend the engineer (who won the US Department of Defense Award for top civilian-led defense engineering project in 2014) could not possibly have developed the aiming software for the "Star Wars" anti-missile project via genetic algorithms - random, unguided variations in the software followed by selection, i.e., picking the best-performing aiming software from among the "mutations," then iterating a couple million times.

      It resulted in software no human had coded in a couple million generations that performed much, much better than anything the human software engineers were able to design themselves.

      The genetic markers and fossils show this is what happened with living species: variation and selection, plus healthy doses of contingency.

      Sorry, your personal incredulity does not trump reality.

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    7. judmarc, it seems to elude you that your friend used his intellect to achieve a goal. That's why they call it intelligent design.
      -
      "The genetic markers and fossils show this is what happened with living species: variation and selection"

      The fossils show dead organisms, and the genetic markers show common components.
      -
      "your personal incredulity does not trump reality."

      My incredulity is the only thing between me and Suckerville. I will not discard it just to join the establishment crowd.

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    8. Countless unrelated, uncoordinated, unsynchronized accidents cannot result in a finely-tuned systems like this, and dreamy analogs about bushes do not make the problems go away.

      Mutations are no coordinated, but their propagation is if natural selection can "see" them, that is, if they affect the odds that the organism will survive and produce fertile offspring. Evolution almost never builds anything literally from scratch but co-opts and modifies preexisting features. It's constrained by its own history and by physical limitations. It is possible for land tetrapods to adapt to living in the sea in different but not quite dissimilar ways. For example, you can see in the fossil record of cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians how webbed feet (like those of sea otters) gradually evolved into flukes, but the details are different from taxon to taxon. For example, the hindlimbs have become reduced in sirenians and cetaceans but have evolved into fluke-like structures in pinnipeds; walruses and otariids can still use them for walking on all fours. But evolutionary constraints make some thgings impossible. For example, there is no way whales can naturally evolve powered flight (though they share a common ancestor with bats). An omnipotent designer surely wouldn't be limited in this way.

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    9. Sorry, I meant to write "gradually evolved into flippers.

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    10. @txpiper

      "judmarc, it seems to elude you that your friend used his intellect to achieve a goal. That's why they call it intelligent design."

      You clearly don't understand genetic algorithms. He didn't know how to achieve the goal. He didn't design the final solution.

      All he knew was that if he generated a population of random solutions, iterated them through generations and allowed them to mutate and compete with each other then he would probably ultimately reach a solution that is well adapted and that nobody would had thought of.

      Each of these elements occur naturally and none of them require intelligent design or foresight: replication, mutation and competition.

      It turns out that when you mix those three naturally occurring things together in algorithms they generate novel solutions.

      This has been demonstrated time and time and time and time again but creationists who are blinded by their biases and stuck in their dogmatic insistence that all of this must be impossible refuse to actually educate themselves and deal with the evidence.

      It's a sad state of affair that brainwashed people have to keep coming back to be handed the same answers that they fail to absorb or refuse to acknowledge.

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    11. @txpiper

      "Random DNA replication failures could not successfully relocate and reconfigure nostrils to the top of a whale's head. You don't get anything free with mutations. The bone has to be radically altered. The soft tissue has to be radically altered. The ductwork has to be radically altered. The valve mechanism has be built from scratch. Countless unrelated, uncoordinated, unsynchronized accidents cannot result in a finely-tuned systems like this"

      As you can see from these embryos, the location of the nostrils is determined very early on, before bone, additional soft tissue and duct work develop around that area. There might only be a single mutation required to move the nostrils further up the head like this and then the bone and everything else develops around that. I don't know, but since you claim to know, have you done the work and sat down and figured out which mutations are required to move nostrils? Of course you haven't - you're an armchair critic who got his degree in genetics and whale anatomy from the university of Google.

      You obviously don't know the first thing about embryology, how various structures develop and what genetic switches cause them to develop where they do.

      Regarding the valve... even hippos have valves in their nostrils and ears which shut off when they are submerged. This would have been a very early change that would have occurred when cetaceans were only semi-aquatic. Once again, you don't have the faintest clue how many genetic changes are required to develop a flap of skin. You seem to be trying to make an argument from incredulity but you don't even have the faintest clue about the number of mutations required here. You might claim it was thousands, somebody else could just as easily claim it was one.

      Go away and do the research and come back when you have actual numbers. We aren't impressed with your lame arguments from incredulity based on guesswork.

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    12. Regarding the valve... even hippos have valves in their nostrils and ears which shut off when they are submerged.

      So do sea otters, as well as freshwater otters. Otters can control their nostril valves so well that they are able to smell things underwater by exhaling bubbles of air and re-inhaling them (a technique also used by star-nosed moles). Modern cetaceans, by contrast, have strongly reduced their olfactory organs and odontocetes seem to have no sense of smell at all.

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    13. Modern cetaceans, by contrast, have strongly reduced their olfactory organs and odontocetes seem to have no sense of smell at all.

      Yet they have all the hundreds of pseudogenes which were once needed to detect a full range of smells. I guess these olfactory genes were broken by design ;)

      Just to be clear (for txpiper), I'm not claiming that nasal valves evolved once in the common ancestor to hippos and cetaceans since we don't know whether this common ancestor was semi-aquatic or not (it probably wasn't). I am claiming that other semi-aquatic mammals seem to have them and so they probably evolved before cetaceans became fully aquatic.

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    14. Otters can control their nostril valves so well that they are able to smell things underwater by exhaling bubbles of air and re-inhaling them (a technique also used by star-nosed moles)

      Fascinating fact about Otters... I didn't know that :)

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    15. I will not discard [my incredulity] just to join the establishment crowd.

      But you will throw it away as fast as you can to believe in a 6000 year old Earth because you have convinced yourself tales in a 1600 year old collection of stories are the Truth.

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    16. Humans too have hundreds of pseudogenes derived from former olfactory receptor genes. While some of them may have been secondarily co-opted for regulatory tasks, others are entirely non-functional.

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    17. judmarc, it seems to elude you that your friend used his intellect to achieve a goal.

      It eludes me because that isn't what happened specifically with my engineering friend, and it is not what happens generally with genetic algorithms.

      As Aceofspades says, you clearly don't understand what you're talking about here, so let me clue you in:

      Genetic algorithms are used where "intelligent design" by human coders is unable to come up with a solution. It is a recognition by the human software engineers that random variation and selection can perform much better than design in some circumstances.

      In the specific circumstance of the Star Wars aiming system, the problem was to focus a laser firing through a substantial part of Earth's atmosphere, where its path would be affected chaotically by air currents, water vapor, etc., well enough to burn through the outer skin of a missile halfway around the world in a matter of a few seconds or even less. No human was or is capable of designing software to cope with those chaotic conditions. So the engineers decided to try variation and selection - genetic algorithms - to see whether the results, which they would have no hand in coding for two million generations, might be able to solve the problem. The human engineers did not code the result, and were not even totally sure how the resulting program worked. But work it did, much better than the result of any "intelligent design."

      That's why they call it intelligent design.

      That's why we call them IDiots.

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    18. As Aceofspades points out, entire suites of morphological characters are modified by changes to the regulation of individual developmental genes. It's not the simplistic one-to-one gene to morphological character correspondence that anti-evolution know-nothings imagine.

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    19. Txpr wrote about moving the nostril in the ancestors of whales: "The bone has to be radically altered. The soft tissue has to be radically altered. The ductwork has to be radically altered."

      Txpr seems to think that each of these changes requires a mutation, but that is not the case. When one structure changes, the parts of the developing embryo do their best to connect up at the place corresponding to where they did before. Consider seriously malformed individuals. The skin, muscles, and nerves connect up. Any single mutation bringing the nostrils back away from the front of the skull would bring all the other parts with it. (Of course, once the nostils moved, that change would set up a situation that favors additional mutations, if they happen.)

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    20. Eric, it's a basic principle of debate that one should learn the opponents' arguments so that one can more effectively counter them. I'm more surprised than I should be that you've spent all this time arguing against evolution without understanding one of the most basic idea.

      Mutations happen randomly. Most are neutral. Individuals with certain mutations are unlikely to survive and reproduce, so those mutations tend to die out in the population. Individuals with other mutations are likely to survive and reproduce better than other individuals in the populations, so those mutations become more common.

      That's all there is. No foresight. No planning. Just the indisputable fact that under the given conditions, certain mutations that used to be rare become common. Again and again. It's surprising how powerful this is.

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    21. judmarc,

      “Genetic algorithms are used where "intelligent design" by human coders is unable to come up with a solution. It is a recognition by the human software engineers that random variation and selection can perform much better than design in some circumstances.”

      GA’s are designed to mimic how biological evolution supposedly works. You cannot say that evolution works because genetic algorithms do. They are goal oriented.

      Besides that, the Wikipedia entry on genetic algorithms explains exactly why they are useless in explaining evolutionary development:

      “Genetic algorithms do not scale well with complexity. That is, where the number of elements which are exposed to mutation is large there is often an exponential increase in search space size. This makes it extremely difficult to use the technique on problems such as designing an engine, a house or plane. In order to make such problems tractable to evolutionary search, they must be broken down into the simplest representation possible. Hence we typically see evolutionary algorithms encoding designs for fan blades instead of engines, building shapes instead of detailed construction plans, and airfoils instead of whole aircraft designs. The second problem of complexity is the issue of how to protect parts that have evolved to represent good solutions from further destructive mutation, particularly when their fitness assessment requires them to combine well with other parts.”

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    22. Txpiper, please. It's equivocation to say GA's are "goal-oriented." GA's have *functional* goals but they don't have *structural* goals. In Judmarc's example, the functional goal was "hit the missile", the structural goal was a bunch of code that no intelligent designer on Earth could ever create.

      The fact that we're having this conversation means that creationists lose. Creationists have always said "random mutation + natural selection cannot create code!" Well, it did in Judmarc's example and in many other real-world problems. Then creationists shift the goal posts, "But, the GA was goal-oriented!" Not true, and you already lost.

      Very often in GA's, no one on Earth knows ahead of time what the structural goal will be, and even after the GA finds it, no one can understand how or why it worked.

      Perhaps the best evidence that the ID creationist party line is false-- their false claim that programmers "smuggle in" the solution-- is that no ID creationists can himself intelligent design solutions better than what the GA comes up with-- and what's worse, if you provide ID creationists with the software code for the GA, they cannot reverse engineer the structural goal that they claim evolutionists "smuggled" into the code. Anti-creationists like those at Panda's Thumb have trolled ID creationists for many years, taunting them with challenges to use their vaunted intelligence to solve problems better than GA's can. Then what's worse, we give the software code to the ID creationists and dare them to "reverse engineer" the solution and extract it from the code.

      ID creationists all say we have "smuggled in" the information and buried the solution in the code; OK then, we reply, here's the code. Decode the "smuggled" information and extract the "target" you say we "smuggled." But they never can.

      For examples, see Target? Target? We STILL don't need no stinkin' target! by Dave Thomas.

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    23. Creationist: Random mutation and natural selection can never create software code!

      Scientist: Here's a GA. Random mutation and natural selection created software code.

      Creationist: You smuggled in the solution! You buried it somehow!

      Scientist: Here's the software. Reverse engineer the solution that you say we buried in it.

      Creationist: Hitler was a Darwinist!

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    24. GA’s are designed to mimic how biological evolution supposedly works. You cannot say that evolution works because genetic algorithms do. They are goal oriented.

      Does missing conclusions when they don't fit your world view come naturally, or does it take practice? In evolution, the "fittest" survive and reproduce. With genetic algorithms, those that are "fittest" for the task in one generation "survive" and go on to "reproduce" the next generation. No difference.

      Besides that, the Wikipedia entry on genetic algorithms explains exactly why they are useless in explaining evolutionary development:

      “Genetic algorithms do not scale well with complexity. That is, where the number of elements which are exposed to mutation is large there is often an exponential increase in search space size. This makes it extremely difficult to use the technique on problems such as designing an engine, a house or plane.


      Thank you for finally understanding why it is wrongheaded and stupid to treat evolution as trying to aim toward a particular goal, which is something we've been trying to get you to see for ages, but which you've heretofore seemingly refused to understand. You thereby artificially limit the "search space" of natural evolution and reach mathematically incorrect results. (See the prior posts and comments in this blog regarding the "lottery fallacy.") When you understand that evolution is not trying to reach one restricted goal, but is exploring an exponentially greater search space, you get some sense of its real power.

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    25. @txpiper
      "Countless unrelated, uncoordinated, unsynchronized accidents cannot result in a finely-tuned systems like this..."

      This is the third time you blindly assert this. What is lacking is proof that you are correct. When you make claims you're supposed to support them.

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    26. judmarc-
      I’m not sure how the use of genetic algorithms in computers applies to evolution of life on earth.

      It seems what the computer programers do is to select a specific problem to be solved and an ideal solution. They then guess at an algorithm that will produce the idealized solution. Using that guess as a start point variations of the algorithm are generated ‘at random’. The new algorithms are run and the ones that produce results closest to the ideal envisioned originally are kept as the start point for the next iteration of variants.
      The process is run until the originally stated goal is achieved.

      Is this an accurate description?
      If so, then is the specific problem life is solving reproduction?

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  9. Larry,

    With a many-to-many relation of alleles to traits, nonadaptive changes in traits can accompany adaptive changes in other traits. That's not an argument against drift, but instead against Denton's mystery mongering.

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  10. judmarc has just unwittingly made intelligent design's case.

    Yes, Man (you know that extraordinarily intelligent product of nature) can design incredible software with solutios provided by algorithms, then so can nature!

    No shit, Sherlock!!!


    "Yeah, just like my friend the engineer (who won the US Department of Defense Award for top civilian-led defense engineering project in 2014) could not possibly have developed the aiming software for the "Star Wars" anti-missile project via genetic algorithms - random, unguided variations in the software followed by selection, i.e., picking the best-performing aiming software from among the "mutations," then iterating a couple million times.

    It resulted in software no human had coded in a couple million generations that performed much, much better than anything the human software engineers were able to design themselves.

    The genetic markers and fossils show this is what happened with living species: variation and selection, plus healthy doses of contingency."

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    1. The gig is up. But to borrow a line from Treasure Island which I have just re-read:

      "This argument seemed weak enough to me. But you can never tell what will affect the superstitious..."

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    2. Man (you know that extraordinarily intelligent product of nature) can design incredible software with solutions provided by algorithms

      Man "designed" that software in the same sense you "received a radio broadcast" on your clock radio.

      Thus I've "unwittingly made intelligent design's case" to the same extent that someone might mistake you for a clock radio.

      I'd say "nice try," but that was actually pretty weak.

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    3. WTF? So now we have to ask judmarc why he is a clock radio and why he's receiving radio broadcasts and where are the broadcasts coming from and wTF is broadcasting anyway?

      But judmarc in not interested in details...nah...that would ruin the party.

      So folks...lets move on....don't ask pesky quetions of judmarc....just bow to his superior skills....he, like Larry are the bishops of shrewsbury...and you don't mess with bishops.

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    4. I have never met a creationist who didn't say that "there are features that don't appear to have been designed for functionality"!! I mean that is of course the denial of all things being blindly guided, evolution or not. What a silly claim to make

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  11. And Denton would acknowledge Ockham's Razor and not attribute to 'gods' but to God , that being the scientific name for the necessary first principle. Another stupid claim : That all approach to belief in a final being is religious. Was Aristotle religious ?

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