Saturday, August 20, 2016

Understanding Michael Behe's edge of evolution

It's been about twenty years since Intelligent Design Creationism rose to prominence. Just last week the Center for Science and Culture celebrated it's 20th birthday [Twenty Years Ago Today, Did This Change the Evolution Debate Forever?]. In all that time, the best that ID proponents can come up with is some work by Michael Behe that attempts to discredit evolution.

The first book by Behe was Darwin's Black Box where he developed the notion of irreducible complexity. The definition of irreducible complexity has changed over the years but the basic idea is that some biological structures are very complex and the removal of any one part will render the complex nonfunctional. This presents an enormous problem for evolution, according to Behe, because all the presumptive intermediates will be nonfunctional.

The conclusion is that it's impossible to evolve an irreducibly complex structure. Evolutionary biologists have no problem accepting the existence of irreducibly complex structures. They see them all the time. What they object to is the idea that irreducibly complex structures cannot have arisen by evolution. Behe's conclusion has been shown to be false and he has admitted on multiple occasions that irreducibly complex structures can arise by purely natural means (evolution).

So much for that objection to evolution. (Note that ID proponents are incapable of providing positive evidence of intelligent design. The best they can do is to try and discredit the best explanation for the appearance of design; namely, evolution.)

Today I want to talk about Behe's second book since ID proponents are even more confused about that. In The Edge of Evolution, Behe argues that some mutation events are so improbable that they will never occur in any species at any time over the past three billion years. This is the "edge" of evolution.

The basic idea is this. Imagine that two mutations have to occur at the same time in order to confer a benefit. Since the mutation frequency is about 10-10, it follows that the probability of a double mutation is about 10-20. Behe actually uses different numbers that give a higher probability but that's not relevant here. I prefer to use the correct values. They make his case even better.

Behe looks at what he thinks is an example of such an event; namely, the evolution of chloroquine resistance in malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum). He shows that, given the size of the Plasmodium population and the frequency of reproduction, this species can evolve chloroquine resistance by a mechanism involving simultaneous double mutations. His calculation are roughly correct. This mechanism is possible in Plasmodium.

Behe concludes that this kind of event, which he calls a "chloroquine-complexity cluster" (CCC) is well within the edge of evolution, at least for some species. However, if instead of two simultaneous mutations, what if organisms needed FOUR simultaneous mutations? The probability of this event is 10-40! Such a "double CCC" is never going to happen in any lineage. It's the edge of evolution.

Here's how he describes it in The Edge of Evolution (p. 63).
Put more pointedly, a double CCC is a reasonable first place to draw a tentative line marking the edge of evolution for all of life on earth. We would not expect such an event to happen in all of the organisms that have ever lived on this planet. So if we do find features of life that would have required a double CCC or more, then we can infer that they likely did not arise by a Darwinian process.

As we'll see, life is bursting with such features.
Behe is correct. If an evolutionary event requires that four mutations occur simultaneously then it's never going to happen. If we were ever able to prove that such an event had actually happened multiple times then evolutionary theory would be in trouble.

Behe assumes that such events have actually happened so he concluded that evolution cannot explain them. The only alternative is Intelligent Design Creationism. Behe is wrong about that. Life is not "bursting" with such features. In fact, none have ever been discovered.

The flaw in the argument is his conclusion that certain events can only be explained by multiple mutations occurring simultaneously. As it turns out, he was wrong about his main example, chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium. Several workers have shown that multiple mutations in the same gene are required (more than two) but these arose one-at-a-time in a stepwise manner. Some of them were neutral and some of them were slightly deleterious but persisted in the population because they escaped negative selection. Thus, chloroquine resistance has arisen mutliple times in Plasmodium because simultaneous multiple mutations were not required.

This is exactly what evolutionary biologists were expecting. No "edge of evolution" has been crossed because mutations can accumulate sequentially even though the effect might not be expressed until several of them have accumulated.

Do Intelligent Design Creationists understand Behe's argument and why it is flawed? The answer, of course, is "no." Intelligent Design Creationists have a great deal of difficulty dealing with complex arguments that require an understanding of evolution. Most of them can't even properly explain the main arguments of their leaders (e.g. Michael Behe) let alone the objections of their critics.

I was prompted to write this post by a recent article in Evolution News & Views (sic) written by Sarah Chaffee1 [Students, Scientism, and Straw Men]. It was a criticism of something that Barbara King wrote earlier. I was interested in the example that Sarah Chaffee used to promote Intelligent Design Creationism ...
If King really believes science is about continuous corrections and questions, she should be friendlier to teaching the scientific controversy over evolution, which attempts to do just that. A growing number of scientists hold that natural selection acting on random mutations cannot fully account for the diversity of life.

In The Edge of Evolution, biochemist Michael Behe examines mutations necessary to develop chloroquine resistance by malaria parasites, and concludes that two simultaneous mutations is the most evolution can accomplish. Furthermore, based on population sizes and frequency of mutations arising, he says, "No mutation that is of the same complexity as chloroquine resistance in malaria arose by Darwinian evolution in the line leading to humans in the past ten million years."

Engaging with the evidence is important -- and so is freedom to discuss dissenting ideas.
The remarkable thing about this excerpt is that she correctly references a small part of Behe's argument. Behe did show that a CCC is possible in malaria parasites and even though a double CCC represents the edge of evolution he does present a convincing argument that a single CCC is highly improbable in humans. He did NOT show that two simultaneous mutations were necessary to develop chloroquine resistance. The scientific evidence shows conclusively that a CCC didn't happen in Plasmodium.

Unfortunately, Sarah Chaffee leaves out the most important part of Behe's argument. There's no disagreement among evolutionary biologists about the low probability of simultaneous mutations. They all agree with Behe on that part of his argument. The disagreement is over the second, and most important, part of Behe's argument—the part where he says there are many examples of features that could only be explained by evolution if there were multiple simultaneous mutations.

That's the part that requires "engaging with evidence." I agree with Sarah Chaffee that engaging with evidence is important. There's no evidence that features requiring multiple simultaneous mutations are common in the history of life. Instead, all examples of multiple mutations can be explained by sequential accumulation of a series of mutations. This is well within the edge of evolution.

It would be nice if Intelligent Design Creationists would learn more about their own "theory" and it would be even nicer if they could start to deal with scientific evidence. That's the proper way to engage in discussions about dissenting ideas.

You would think that, after twenty years, ID proponents would have learned how to do this but I guess it's impossible. If they really understood their own arguments and started engaging with the evidence, they wouldn't be Intelligent Design Creationists.

For more information and discussion, check out the links below.

On the irrelevance of Michael Behe
Michael Behe's final thoughts on the edge of evolution
Understanding Michael Behe
CCC's and the edge of evolution
Understanding Mutation Rates and Evolution
The Edge of Evolution
Evolution in Action and Michael Behe's Reaction
Mutations and Complex Adaptations
Blown Out of the Water
Joe Thornton vs Michael Behe
Irreducible Compexity
Defining Irreducible Complexity
Another Bad Review of The Edge of Evolution


1. Sarah Chaffee is the Program Officer in Education and Public Policy at the Center for Science and Culture in Seattle, Washington (USA). She has a B.A. degree in "Government" from Patrick Henry College. Here's what's on the college's website ...
The College is, and shall always remain, a Christian institution dedicated to bringing honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ in all of its activities. Each trustee, officer, faculty member, and student of the College, as well as all other employees and agents of the College as may be specified by resolution of the Board of Trustees, shall fully and enthusiastically subscribe to the following Statement of Faith:

There is one God, eternally existent in three Persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is God come in the flesh.

The Bible in its entirety (all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) is the inspired Word of God, inerrant in its original autographs, and the only infallible and sufficient authority for faith and Christian living.

Man is by nature sinful and is inherently in need of salvation, which is exclusively found by faith alone in Jesus Christ and His shed blood.

Christ's death provides substitutionary atonement for our sins.

Personal salvation comes to mankind by grace through faith.

Jesus Christ literally rose bodily from the dead.

Jesus Christ literally will come to earth again in the Second Advent.

Satan exists as a personal, malevolent being who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom Hell, the place of eternal punishment, was prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity.

365 comments :

  1. Based on the previous set of articles you wrote addressing Behe's argument, I thought he was saying something different. As I understood it, he did not assume that the two mutations required for chloroquine resistance occurred simultaneously. Rather, he misinterpreted a figure from malaria researcher Nick White, that this particular trait only arose once in 10^20 parasite reproductions. Behe took this as a measurement of the likelihood of any trait requiring only two mutations arising. The odds against a trait requiring more mutations, by his reasoning, therefore quickly becomes prohibitive.

    The problem was that the 1 in 10^20 only referred specifically to chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum, and was due to a number of factors other than simply the mutation rate. So the number is meaningless.

    I elaborated further in this post on another forum:

    http://www.rationalskepticism.org/creationism/behe-declares-victory-on-all-fronts-t47883-40.html?hilit=behe#p2141673

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    1. You are correct. Behe's actual argument is more complex, and more flawed, than the simplified version I described in my post. I'm trying to focus on the main ideas while avoiding the details.

      Behe refers time and time again to the low probability of multiple mutations arising by random mutation. But in his first argument on chloroquine resistance, he takes the Nick White estimation of the probability of detecting chloroquine resistance (10^-20) and assumes that it represents a mutation rate. If the estimation is correct, then it's the mutation rate PLUS the probability of detecting chloroquine resistance in the population PLUS a bunch of other things.

      It's just a coincidence that it corresponds to the actual probability of two simultaneous mutations but it serves to illustrate the point.

      When Behe actually gets around to making a calculation based on mutation rate he uses a rate of 10^-8 and comes up with a probability of 10^-16 for two mutations arising in a single generation (p. 110). He claims that it would take about one hundred billion years for such a mutation to arise in humans.

      It's when he gets to the "Two-binding-sites rule" that the probability argument becomes clear (p. 134). Behe points out that three or four amino acid changes have to occur together in order to get a new binding site between proteins. He says, "Three or four simultaneous amino acid mutations is like skipping two or three steps on an evolutionary staircase."

      He reminds his readers (p. 134) that two of these mutations correspond to a single CCC so four of them corresponds to a double CCC with a probability of 10^-40. Note that such a calculation requires that the mutations occur in a single generation. He calls them simultaneous.

      Behe concludes,

      Since that's more cells [10^40] than likely to have ever existed on earth, such an event would not be expected to have happened by Darwinian processes in the history of the world. Admittedly, statistics are all about averages, so some freak event like this might happen—it's not ruled out by force of logic. But it is not biologically reasonable to expect it, or less likely events that occurred in the common descent of life on earth. In short, complexes of just three or more different proteins are beyond the edge of evolution. They are lost in shape space.

      And the great majority of proteins in the cell work in complexes of six or more. Far beyond that edge.


      I have simplified his argument in order make it more understandable to the average person but I don't think I've misrepresented the essence.

      The important point is not the actual calculation, which is basically correct, it's the claim that double CCCs actually happened during the history of life.

      He has no evidence that this is true. All examples of protein-protein interactions (binding sites) can be explained by non-CCC events like sequential mutations spread out over many generations.

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    2. One odd thing with his argument: He accepts that chloroquine resistance arose thru naturalistic evolutionary processes, and then uses that as a limit to what naturalistic processes can achieve. But it's not clear to me why he does this. How does he know that chloroquine resistance was not also produced by the "intelligent designer", and therefore lies outside the "edge of evolution"? Or, conversely, why does he not presume that the double or triple CCC's were produced by evolution, with chloroquine resistance lying well within the "edge"? There is a degree of randomness to his definitions that I find quite puzzling.

      I suspect part of the problem is that the intelligent designer is very sneaky and deceptive, and never leaves clear evidence of His handiwork. So ID creationists are forced to really on mere guesswork as to when the Designer has actually created something, and when it just evolved.

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    3. Another point. You write:

      It's when he gets to the "Two-binding-sites rule" that the probability argument becomes clear (p. 134). Behe points out that three or four amino acid changes have to occur together in order to get a new binding site between proteins. He says, "Three or four simultaneous amino acid mutations is like skipping two or three steps on an evolutionary staircase."

      He reminds his readers (p. 134) that two of these mutations correspond to a single CCC so four of them corresponds to a double CCC with a probability of 10^-40. Note that such a calculation requires that the mutations occur in a single generation. He calls them simultaneous.


      If that's the case, it is inconsistent with his earlier argument. The CCC figure did not depend on two mutations occurring simultaneously. It was only his guess of the odds of two mutations eventually co-existing in the same individual organism. The odds of the mutations occurring simulaneously would be even lower. On its own,this does not contradict his main argument. But it does show that he has trouble keeping his own argument straight.

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    4. The CCC figure did not depend on two mutations occurring simultaneously. It was only his guess of the odds of two mutations eventually co-existing in the same individual organism. The odds of the mutations occurring simulaneously would be even lower.

      Actually, the odds of two mutations occurring simultaneously are close to the value he uses. I agree with you that Behe is unclear about whether these mutations have to occur at exactly the same time in the same gene (simultaneously) or whether they can be separated in time as long as they occur one-after-another in the same gene in the same infected individual.

      Most of his arguments don't make sense unless you assume he means that they occur simultaneously. For example, he says (p. 61),

      We estimated the odds of a CCC—one in a hundred billion billion (10^20)—by looking at the number of malarial parasites needed to develop the double mutation in a particular protein of a particular gene.

      He uses the following analogy (p. 62),

      First think of it this way. What if, to win a super-Powerball lottery; instead of matching all the numbers on one ticket, some person had to match all the numbers on two tickets? The liklihood of that happening would be about the square of the odds of matching the numbers on one ticket, roughly a hundred million squared. If that were the case, then (if other things were equal) it would take millions of years for any person to win the lottery.

      Contrast that with the situation where the name of anyone who matches one ticket number goes into a pool. If they match the number a second time, they win the lottery even if the second match comes years after the first. In both cases the winner has matched two numbers but the odds of somebody winning in the second case are much higher because the pool of possible winners (one match) contains hundreds of candidates.

      The only way to understand Behe's words is to assume he means simultaneous mutations.

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    5. I agree with you that Behe is unclear about whether these mutations have to occur at exactly the same time in the same gene (simultaneously) or whether they can be separated in time as long as they occur one-after-another in the same gene in the same infected individual.

      Most of his arguments don't make sense unless you assume he means that they occur simultaneously.

      * * *

      The only way to understand Behe's words is to assume he means simultaneous mutations.


      Do you any thoughts as to whether Dr. Behe himself might be confused about the correct probability calculation, or if he is being deliberately obscure?

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    6. we know that ic is real. lets say that we want to make a minimal video camera. how many parts we need for a minimal function?

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    7. The problem with your analogy dcsccccc is that many parts that we see in living animals today started out with different functions.

      So your "minimal video camera" might have started out as a simple lightness/darkness detector.

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    8. hi ace. whats up? the problem with your argument is that even a simple lightness/darkness detector need a lot of parts. actually, an eyespot contain about 200 proteins:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyespot_apparatus

      "Besides photoreceptor proteins, eyespots contain a large number of structural, metabolic and signaling proteins. The eyespot proteome of Chlamydomonas cells consists of roughly 200 different proteins"

      so even in the simplest level a step wise is impossible.

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    9. @dcscccc -- Did you check to see if those structural, metabolic, and signaling proteins get used for other things as well as in eyespots? Does that not suggest that they may have already been available, and just needed to be rearranged a bit to achieve new function?

      If you have never been involved in creative endeavors like science and engineering, as I suspect is your case, you may not know that ALL innovation consists of rearranging and combining things that already exist. Look up "adjacent possible". This is one of the key creative forces in the universe.

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    10. fair. lets say that all those proteins do other things. now, what is the chance to get the right combination of about 200 proteins to form a light sensor? what is the chance to get even about 10 proteins in the right combination?

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    11. dcscccc,

      Did the first light sensor need 200 proteins?

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    12. maybe. according to our knowlage its the simplest eyespot we know about. so unless you have other source its the best guess. lets say that it can function even with 10 proteins. its s till a lot.

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    13. Sheesh... some single proteins are photoactive and light at certain wavelengths trigger structural changes in the protein. Structural changes in proteins are a predominant element of mechanistic function and can be linked to signal transduction systems that allow bacteria, for example, to move towards or away from a light source.

      Eyes are just electromagnetic radiation detectors and many single proteins represent the simplest version of these.

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    14. "Eyes are just electromagnetic radiation detectors and many single proteins represent the simplest version of these."

      again- not true. a simple eyespot contain about 200 proteins. do you have other source of a simpler eyespot?

      think about adding a minimal light detector to function in a robot. do you think its possible to made such a system by one part only? its impossible.

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    15. @dcscccc "again- not true. a simple eyespot contain about 200 proteins. do you have other source of a simpler eyespot?"
      But it IS true. It doesn't matter that the simplest eyespot in currently living organisms consist of 200 proteins, we KNOW there are simpler possible systems.

      Even single molecules can be responsive to light you gimp. No, you really don't need a huge cluster of proteins for light to be of benefit to an organism. I'm sorry but your beliefs about evolution and life are maintained by your ignorance of basic facts about physics and chemistry.

      Even some single amino acids are known to have photoreactive properties. The evolution of sight does not have to start with seeing as a property, it can be the mere interaction of individual proteins with light of certain wavelengths that catalyze chemical reactions. Such a system would not be a form of sight, but it would be a useful precursor to it. The evolution of sight doesn't have to start out as a system for seeing, it can start as mere photocatalysis.

      Yes, there really IS a path of individual steps for natural selection to track to get a complex light-sensitive system that is useful to a cell, all the way from single molecules and up.

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    16. hi mikkel. you said:


      "Even single molecules can be responsive to light you gimp. No, you really don't need a huge cluster of proteins for light to be of benefit to an organism. "-

      do you have any reference or its just your belief?


      you said:

      " The evolution of sight does not have to start with seeing as a property, it can be the mere interaction of individual proteins with light of certain wavelengths that catalyze chemical reactions."-

      here is a test to check this claim: if you will remove one part from a video camera, you will get a different system or a system that cant do anything?

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    17. here is a test to check this claim: if you will remove one part from a video camera, you will get a different system or a system that cant do anything?

      If the display screen is broken, the video camera can still make recordings that can be played back on another device. Just one example.

      That was easy!

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    18. "If the display screen is broken, the video camera can still make recordings that can be played back on another device."

      3 things:

      1)the screen contain a lot of parts and not just one. can you remove only one part eahc time and geting other function each time?

      2)you doesnt get a different function but the same one.

      3)you need another device to make it functional. so you actually prove my point.

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    19. @dcsccc
      "hi mikkel. you said:
      "Even single molecules can be responsive to light you gimp. No, you really don't need a huge cluster of proteins for light to be of benefit to an organism. "-

      do you have any reference or its just your belief?"


      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_fluorescent_protein

      How can you not know this? Yes, this bare single protein will itself react with light and produce an intense green colour, apparently used as a form of signaling between individual organisms. There are many types of such photoproteins known from life. Ever heard of fireflies?

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    20. 1)the screen contain a lot of parts and not just one. can you remove only one part eahc time and geting other function each time?

      That's not what you asked, though, is it? Nice attempt to move the goalposts.

      2)you doesnt get a different function but the same one.

      It still performs a function, though. That's what you asked for, and that's what I gave. It's amusing the lengths to which you go to avoid admitting your (childishly simple) challenge has been met.

      3)you need another device to make it functional. so you actually prove my point.

      No, the recording of the video is a function. Again, your desperate attempts to avoid admitting you're wrong are very amusing.

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    21. "here is a test to check this claim: if you will remove one part from a video camera, you will get a different system or a system that cant do anything?"

      That's not a test of the claim, there are too many properties lacking of mechanical man-made cameras, that exist in the biochemical realm. Mechanical and electronic systems humans engineer of plastic and metal are much too rigid.

      Besides, when you remove a piece of a camera, the remaining components don't change to compensate from the lack of the component, but that's what evolution says happen when such multicomponent systems evolve.

      The reason you can add components in evolution and gradually build up complexity, is that the other components mutate to compensate when a new part has been added. That means if you synthetically remove a component from an existing biological system, you are not creating what evolution says would have been the actual ancestral state of that system. So if you do that and it doesn't function, you actually aren't testing the evolutionary postulate. You have to do ancestral sequence reconstruction on all the other components of the system to reconstruct what their ancestral state looked like too.

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    22. "here is a test to check this claim: if you will remove one part from a video camera, you will get a different system or a system that cant do anything?"

      If you remove the computer controlled traffic lights from New York City, do you get a different city or one that grinds to a halt unable to function?

      Today, the second answer is true. Earlier in history,
      New York functioned without any traffic lights at all, as does Antananarivo, capital of Madgascar, does today. (If there *are* any traffic lights there, I sure didn't see any.)

      Removing an integrated part from a complex system will result in system breakdown. That does not mean that there was not once a more simple version of that system that lacked that part.

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    23. Powerful analogy, I will have to remember that one.

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    24. If you remove the computer controlled traffic lights from New York City...."

      I've used a similar analogy: all modern cars have on-board computers that regulate vital systems and its removal will render a car non-functional. Therefore, according to ID logic, cars must always have had on-board computers.

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    25. @dcsccc, Mikkel

      I wouldn't use firefly luciferase as an example, as it neither responds to or emits light directly. But many other proteins, sometimes with and sometimes without coordinated chromophores, do absorb light energy and this has an effect: perhaps a consequential structural change in the protein or the transmission of electrons.

      As I understand it, image-producing eyes have probably arisen independently on earth several times. This is not surprising given the periodic light/dark cycle that has existed before life arose and will continue after life ceases on the planet. Whatever the independent origins of the various biological "eyes", whether complex or simple, image producing or not, it is reasonable to speculate that they all arose from simple photoactive proteins. Some such proteins can function alone and need not be a part of the elaborate signal transduction systems that are characteristic of extant complex eyes and the simple non-image producing eye-spots like in Chlamydomonas.

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  2. The double CCC could be a valid measure of the 'edge of evolution' under specific circumstances: if each of the required mutations on their own or in any combination other than the four appearing simultaneously was completely lethal. If ID/creationists could find a genetic trait like that, they might have an argument.

    Of course, that would not provide any evidence for their preferred creator. It would only be an argument against evolution of that particular trait.

    The other thing that struck me was the Statement of Faith for Patrick Henry College. When you see all those claims laid out like that in one big pile, it looks totally loony.

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  3. "The College is, and shall always remain, a Christian institution dedicated to bringing honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ in all of its activities."

    ... as opposed to getting an education and learning about the real world.

    It's funny how secular institutions don't require statements of faith. Yet you can find countless religious "colleges" and institutions requiring their employees to put a certain conclusion above and beyond whatever the facts will ever reveal.

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    1. "It's funny how secular institutions don't require statements of faith. Yet you can find countless religious "colleges" and institutions requiring their employees to put a certain conclusion above and beyond whatever the facts will ever reveal."

      Here's the proprietor of this blog on students and budding academics who might be skeptical about evolution:

      "The University should just flunk the lot of them and make room for smart students who have a chance of benefiting from a high quality education."

      "...If they are undergraduates who don't understand that evolution is a scientific fact, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, and humans share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, then they flunk the course. If they are graduate students in a science department, then they don't get a Ph.D. If they are untenured faculty members in a science department, then they don't get tenure."

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    2. That's about students passing a class, not employment or belief.

      If you're taught a specific course and your degree requires you to understand certain the contents of the course and be able to competently teach it to others, then if you can't, you SHOULD be flunked.

      Whether you actually believe them is entirely besides the point. If you can't accurately relay the science, then you've failed your scientific education. Nobody is being asked to swear allegiance evolution or declare they believe it in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

      Sorry, your response doesn't apply.

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    3. "not employment or belief."

      Larry says that he thinks "if they are untenured faculty members in a science department, then they don't get tenure."

      What could be clearer?

      ". Nobody is being asked to swear allegiance evolution or declare they believe it in the face of all evidence to the contrary. "

      Try again. The original post from which those quotes are drawn is about students which declare skepticism of evolution, not whether those students can accurately relay the science. Larry wrote "It's not good enough to just be able to mouth the "acceptable" version of the truth that the Professor wants."

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    4. Besides, it brings up an important point: The hypocricy of religious believers. Imagine a secular instution requiring it's employees sign a statement of faith that said:

      "This College is, and shall always remain, a Charles Lyell Atheistic institution dedicated to bringing honor and glory to the Lords Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and The Atheist Professor in "God's Not Dead", in all of its activities. Each trustee, officer, faculty member, and student of the College, as well as all other employees and agents of the College as may be specified by resolution of the Board of Trustees, shall fully and enthusiastically subscribe to the following Statement of Faith:

      There is no God, only atoms and the void. And it evolves from nothing all the time.

      Charles Darwin is the greatest human being who ever lived, and we who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

      Anti-theistic purposeless, senseless, chaotic random, unguided evolution is a fact that can never be questioned. Those who still dare to do so are brainless religious retardes and none of these statements require proof since they are self-evidently true.

      The Bible in its entirety (all 66 books of the Old and New Testaments) is complete fabrication, totally flawed in its original autographs, and the many infallible and sufficient authorities for rejection of Christian living are atheists. The Qu'ran is a superior book, but still fiction too.

      Man is by nature powerful and is inherently without flaw, which is exclusively found by faith alone in Stephen Jay Gould and His shed blood.

      Darwin's death provides substitutionary atonement for our sins.

      Personal salvation comes to mankind by grace through Bertrand Russell's work in logic and mathematics.

      It is impossible that Jesus Christ literally rose bodily from the dead.

      It is impossible that Jesus Christ literally will come to Earth again in the Second Advent.

      All christians are liars.

      Satan does not exist as a personal, malevolent being who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom Hell, the place of eternal punishment, was actually not prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall never be confined in conscious torment for eternity."

      We'd never hear the end of it. Yet when they're statements of faith in religion it's all perfectly fine.

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    5. "Try again. The original post from which those quotes are drawn is about students which declare skepticism of evolution, not whether those students can accurately relay the science. Larry wrote "It's not good enough to just be able to mouth the "acceptable" version of the truth that the Professor wants.""

      I can't find this crap anywhere. Where are you getting it from? Quite franky I don't believe for one second this is about people's private beliefs. Please demonstrate otherwise, give links to the original sources so I can read them myself.

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    6. http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2006/11/flunk-idiots.html

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/04/michael-egnor-gets-it-right.html

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    7. http://sandwalk.blogspot.com.au/2007/12/do-fundamentalist-christians-actively.html

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    8. So, Cale B.T., do you think university mathematics programs should be allowed to flunk students who are unable to learn how to multiply?

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    9. While, of course, they only make up a very small proportion of the world's biologists, there are, nevertheless, plenty of creationists who have been capable biologists:

      The late Norman Nevin, former emeritus professor of medical genetics at Queen's University in Belfast, author and co-author of 300 peer reviewed articles, former Head of the Northern Regional Genetics Service and president of president of the UK Clinical Genetics Society, awarded an OBE for Services to Gene Therapy Research.

      Raymond Jones, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Tropical Grasslands Society of Australia. Author of approximately 140 research papers and recipient of the CSIRO Gold Medal for Research Excellence.

      Ian MacReadie, Associate Professor at RMIT, former research scientist with the CSIRO for 24 years, Fellow of Australian Society for Microbiology, co-recipient of the 1997 CSIRO Chairman’s Medal and author of more than 70 peer-reviewed articles.

      John Kramer, research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada from 1970 to 2010, author of 230 peer-reviewed articles, 25 chapters and 4 books.

      Geoff Barnard, former Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Veterinary Science, University of Cambridge, author of 50 peer-reviewed research papers, nine chapters for science textbooks and holder of five patents.

      Geoff Downes, Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science, researcher for 20 years with the CSIRO, author of 75 peer-reviewed articles, co-recipient of the 2004 Josef Umdasch Research Prize for Forestry and Timber Science

      John Sanford, former Professor of Horticultural Science at Cornell University, author of over 70 peer-reviewed papers, holder of 32 patents.

      Alan Walker, former associate Professor at Ohio State University, authored or co-authored 28 Crop Science articles and cultivar registrations, one Phytopathology article, and one Canadian Journal of Crop Science article, and authored or co-authored three patents.

      D.B. Gower, emeritus Professor of steroid biochemistry at the University of London, United Kingdom, fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the British Institute of Biology.

      All are/were young-earthers, and this is by no means an exhaustive list.

      And that's where the difference is: show me a list of mathematicians who reject multiplication, but who have gone on to have productive careers in math.

      Delete
    10. Ah, so you still don't understand Larry's point. Allow me to reiterate it for you:

      Which of those biologists you list obtained their degrees without being able to correctly answer questions about evolution on their exams?

      Delete
    11. Or, to put it another way: I am not talking about mathematics students who "reject" multiplication. I am talking about those who are unable to perform multiplication.

      Delete
    12. Oh, sure I think it's fair for math students who *can't* multiply to be flunked, but as for me "not getting Larry's point", I'll reiterate that he said that "It's not good enough to just be able to mouth the "acceptable" version of the truth that the Professor wants".

      That is, he's not just about being able to pass an exam, it's about whether they come out actually assenting to the concept.

      Delete
    13. OK, I guess I did not understand Larry's position. But, TBH, I'm glad to hear that, because I was not quite in agreement with the point as I originally understood it.

      Look at it this way: If a math student is able to write down on a test that 2x2=4, but actually believes the correct answer is 1,235,679, could it be said he is actually competent at math? And would it be a good idea to pass him if you realized what he actually thought the correct answer to 2x2 was?

      That's not a question of mere belief or opinion. It's a matter of basic competence. Quite simply, this student is not able to multiply. He does not understand math. And geology students who think the earth if 6000 years old, or biology students who think humans do not share common ancestry with other organisms on earth do not understand their respective subjects. They are as incompetent as the hypothetical math student above.

      Larry recognizes the practical problems with the above. The passage you quoted continues:

      Of course, we all recognize the problem here. How do you distinguish between a good Christian who is lying for Jesus and one who has actually come to understand science? It seems really unfair to flunk the honest students who admit that they still reject science and pass the dishonest ones who hide their true beliefs.

      As the saying goes, "You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts."

      Delete
    14. Besides, it brings up an important point: The hypocricy of religious believers.

      The hypocrisy is particularly blatant here, because as you know the Discovery Institute's main activity over recent years has been to promote a series of what it calls "academic freedom bills." Yet here is a clear example of ideological discrimination in an institution attended by one of their own writers, and what is their response? Silence.

      Delete
    15. Cale, none of your links support your insinuation that it is the mere beliefs that should cause students to be flunked. Rather they all deal with people who are comitted to being explicitly resistant to learning, a very different thing indeed. One can have a belief and then one can learn something new and change one's mind.

      That usually doesn't apply to creationists, who often take a certain amount of pride in being resistant to education.
      Heck, one can at least theoretically learn something new, become competent at it, but still not quite be convinced of it (though I don't know of any real world examples, all IDiots are pathetically ignorant of evolution and consistently fail to grasp even the basics).

      People who DELIBERATELY reject any and all attempts to teach them should not be wasted any time on, it's better to make room for people who actually want to get an education.

      There's a difference between being able to APE a conclusion, such as "humans share common descent with other primates", and actually understanding and being able to teach the logic and evidence in support of that conclusion. Larry writes he don't want trained apes, I agree. I'd rather have people who can think. If they can demonstrate they can think and are competent in their field(and no, aping the correct answers to test-questions without understanding why the correct answer is the correct one, isn't competence), then it would be irrelevant what they believed.

      Delete
    16. Cale B.T.,

      It doesn't matter if Larry meant it one way or another. The fact remains that our academic institutions do not require the signing of a statement of faith. I was not asked whether I "believed" evolution or in gods, or anything like that during my interviews. each and every time it was about my research, and about my understanding of topics I was expected to teach. Never about whether I held t some religion or not. Not even my opinions about religions and such.

      See ya.

      Delete
  4. "Satan exists as a personal, malevolent being who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom Hell, the place of eternal punishment, was prepared"

    What? In what way was it prepared for him? Is Satan in hell or not? Can he freely leave and go "tempt" people? Why is he allowed to do that? What does he do in hell when he goes down there? Will he just go there later and stay?

    And most importantly: Why does anyone believe this unfathomable absurdity anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shocking isn't it? It is difficult to avoid the armchair diagnosis of mental illness.

      But I also get the same sense of absurdity from much more muted displays such as watching apparently mature adults in Congress or in city council meetings bowing their heads in prayer.

      Seeking guidance, support, and favor with weedling supplicaton from an invisible all-seeing, all-powerful being. I think the most shocking part is how normalized these actions are in our societies.

      Delete
  5. Larry,

    I would like to see some links to the claims you make that Behe actually admits that irreducibly complex structures can or could have evolved and especially by what mechanism.

    If I'm not mistaken, the only admission you can hope for from Behe is that unless current Darwinian model of evolution changes and there is some actual scientific proof to back it up, the irreducibly complex biological structure could not have evolved by the current Darwinian mechanism.

    So, you have two choices Larry:

    You either prove how by current Darwinian mechanism (s) irreducibly complex biological structures have evolved

    or you propose a new mechanism for evolution and prove that it can do the job.

    So far, neither has been proven, so you can bluff all you want.

    Until the day the dream of yours is supported by some credible evidence, I will remind you that you are buffing and call it science without evidence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You either prove how by current Darwinian mechanism (s) irreducibly complex biological structures have evolved "

      Here you go: Irreducible complexity and evolution

      In the LTEE (long term evolution experiment), an irreducibly complex function (aerobic citrate metabolism) was directly observed to evolve. All it took was a single gene gene duplication. The duplicate of the citrate transporter gene was put under control of a promoter that is active under aerobic conditions.

      Remove the transporter gene and aerobic citrate metabolism fails. Remove the enzymes that actually use citrate as a substrate and it fails. Remove the promoter and citrate metabolism fails. All three components MUST be present and placed in the genome in a specific way such that they interact correctly, so aerobic citrate metabolism is therefore by definition irreducibly complex, and it evolved by a classic, textbook-worthy "darwinian mechanism".

      You will now be forced to totally abandon the IC-argument in all it's forms and never mention it again. This lesson was free, but you can say thank you to the people who did the hard work of doing the actual experiments.

      Delete
    2. "a single gene gene duplication"

      So that would be four genes total?

      Delete
    3. Mikkel,

      Don't make me laugh! Please!

      The argument you linked reg. irreducible complexity and evolution is very thin at best. It boils down to disabling a nonessential part of the flagellum that still allows the flagellum to function. It is a 3 legged dog argument Mik. The dog with 3 legs can still run and function but it will not evolve the forth leg. How is this proof that the flagellum could have evolved by Darwinian mechanism or other? All it proves is that some parts of a flagellum are not as essential as other. Let's go to lab a delete the gene responsible for assembling the rotor. And then will see if the flagellum is able to function or evolve the gene to form the rotor or compensate in same way for the rotor by breaking another gene or two just like in the LTEE famous experiment. Nothing new has evolved, genes got broken down but this is the best Darwinist have, so they are going to hold on to it like grim death. What other choice do they have? Defeat?

      Delete
    4. @Cruglers - "Let's go to a lab and delete the gene...."
      You mean like this?:
      http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/42284/title/Evolutionary-Rewiring/

      Delete
    5. " Nothing new has evolved"

      Aerobic citrate transport evolved. Aerobic citrate transport is an irreducibly complex function. All the components must be present and in the right order to function properly. The system evolved in less than 20 years. Your challenge has been met and no amount of obfuscation on your part will change this.

      Delete
    6. The dog with 3 legs can still run and function but it will not evolve the forth leg.

      A dog that lost its leg won't regrow it and this disproves evolution. Impeccable logic, Cruglers, the scientists can all go home now.

      Delete
    7. "A dog that lost its leg won't regrow it and this disproves evolution. "

      It would certainly disprove evolution if its offspring all had only 3 legs.

      Delete
  6. Larry
    "Behe is correct. If an evolutionary event requires that four mutations occur simultaneously then it's never going to happen. If we were ever able to prove that such an event had actually happened multiple times then evolutionary theory would be in trouble.

    Behe assumes that such events have actually happened so he concluded that evolution cannot explain them. The only alternative is Intelligent Design Creationism. Behe is wrong about that. Life is not "bursting" with such features. In fact, none have ever been discovered. "

    How would you explain the evolution of a de novo protein without multiple simultaneous mutations?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A protein that arises in a new specie without homologies with other proteins.

      http://www.biochemsoctrans.org/content/43/5/867

      Delete
    2. Without homology to other proteins. As your source explains, they arise by mutation of non-protein-coding (mostly junk) sequences. And yes, a single mutation could do it.

      Delete
    3. John
      "Without homology to other proteins. As your source explains, they arise by mutation of non-protein-coding (mostly junk) sequences. And yes, a single mutation could do it."

      Do you really think most de novo proteins can be explained by only a few mutations?

      Delete
    4. Bill,

      Did you read this paper that you cite?

      http://www.biochemsoctrans.org/content/43/5/867

      Delete
    5. Bill,

      Did you even read the TITLE of the paper that you cite?

      Emergence of de novo proteins from ‘dark genomic matter’ by ‘grow slow and moult’

      Delete
    6. Hey Bill Cole, why are you now asking questions that were already answered over on The Skeptical Zone? We had a whole thread about protein evolution and de novo genes over there, you asked a lot of questions, they were all answered, then we asked you some back and you just ran away to uncommon descent to start blathering shit to a sympathetic audience. Why is that, Bill?

      Those harder-to-evolve nuclear proteins Bill, got any citations upcoming or were you just, in fact, full of shit? We all already know the answer, you made it up on the spot. A total lie you just shat out on the internet through your fingers.

      By the way, why did you run away and stop responding when you claimed nuclear proteins were harder to evolve and we asked you to demonstrate this?

      And how about that "mathematical model" you started blathering about? The thing you couldn't even articular what the hell you meant with?

      "Do you really think most de novo proteins can be explained by only a few mutations?"

      That's what your source says. Why do you bring sources you don't even read? In other words, though empirical observation it is demonstrated that ORFan protein coding genes evolve from non-coding DNA by accumulation of point mutations (basically, a transcription factor binding site arises, which in turn activates transcription of a stretch of DNA into mRNA, such that it is subsequently translated into a protein). So your rhetorical "do you really believe that?"- is nothing but an act of denial. It also happens to be a basic fallacy in logic called the appeal to/argument from personal incredulity.

      The actual real-world evidence isn't going to suddenly not count, or going to disappear, just because you can declare in mindless fashion on an internet blog that you don't believe it. All that shows is that you are being irrational in your denial.

      Delete
    7. Mikkel
      " Here we review mechanisms by which ‘de novo’ proteins might be created, under which circumstances they may become fixed and why they are elusive. "

      This is from the paper I cited. The word is might not demonstrated. Larry posted an argument from Mike Behe claiming that is 4 simultaneously mutations is clearly beyond the edge of evolution. Larry agrees with this but does not believe that 4 simultaneous mutations have occurred. I mention de novo genes and I am very skeptical that the majority could evolve with less than 4 simultaneous mutations before being successfully transcribed. Through the course of evolution protein function has changed dramatically from enzymes to motor proteins to muscle proteins
      with dramatically different sequences.

      Delete
    8. They don't have to be simultaneous you gimp. First one happens, then many generations later, the next one, then again after some additional generations. All four mutations do not have to happen at the same time, in the same organism, at a single generational shift. Get it?

      You understand the difference between 'simultaneous' and 'sequential', right? Guess not.

      Delete
    9. Mikkel
      "They don't have to be simultaneous you gimp. First one happens, then many generations later, the next one, then again after some additional generations. All four mutations do not have to happen at the same time, in the same organism, at a single generational shift. Get it?"

      You really think this solves the probability problem? Behe's thesis is there are only 10^40 evolutionary resources available since the history of life. Lets call it 10^50. Evolution still has to find a working function in almost infinite sequential space. Forget simultaneous or sequential the issue is change that results in required function.

      Delete
    10. It sure as hell solves the simultaneity problem, when the mutations can just happen sequentially instead of all at once.

      For the rest of your brainless blather, all of that crap was dealt with at the skeptical zone in the very first link I gave above. Function exists almost everywhere in sequence space, and it only takes a few mutations to find something that works. I'm sorry, this is just a concrete real-world fact. Why are you STILL not getting this? Why do you allow your desires to control what you believe, rather than what actual laboratory demonstrations find out?

      Delete
    11. So Bill, those harder to evolve nuclear proteins? Does it not bother you that you have to lie to defend your beliefs? Does it not imply that what you believe isn't true, if it can only be defended with lies? Does it not bother you that you lied? Why aren't you embarrassed about just making something up without knowing whether it was true? Would it not show character to admit to it, apologize and try to correct yourself in your behavior in the future? Are all these questions rhetorical?

      Delete
    12. "Behe's thesis is there are only 10^40 evolutionary resources available since the history of life. Lets call it 10^50. "

      Cool, then evolution can find approximately 10^39 new functions, since they are estimated to exist at a density of about 1 in 10^11 sequences. Thank you for so clearly demonstrating that evolution is not only possible, but a triviality only an ignoramus could rationally doubt.

      Delete
    13. Mikkel
      "So Bill, those harder to evolve nuclear proteins? Does it not bother you that you have to lie to defend your beliefs? Does it not imply that what you believe isn't true, if it can only be defended with lies? Does it not bother you that you lied? Why aren't you embarrassed about just making something up without knowing whether it was true? Would it not show character to admit to it, apologize and try to correct yourself in your behavior in the future? Are all these questions rhetorical?"

      Do you disagree that sequence specificity can be correlated with binding surface area?

      Delete
    14. Are you of the misapprehension that proteins in the cytosol don't bind to anything?

      Delete
    15. Mikkel
      Cool, then evolution can find approximately 10^39 new functions, since they are estimated to exist at a density of about 1 in 10^11 sequences. Thank you for so clearly demonstrating that evolution is not only possible, but a triviality only an ignoramus could rationally doubt."

      I guess I am an ignoramus but this ignoramus believes you don't understand Behe's argument at all. Even if we accept Szostak's argument based on an experiment that demonstrates binding to a single molecule and excludes the random formation of required sequences like transcription factors, no genome is 300 nucleotides long.

      Since evolution has been declared a fact I must be delusional to even have these perverse thoughts.

      Delete
    16. Behe's thesis is there are only 10^40 evolutionary resources available since the history of life.

      I'm pretty sure that is not his thesis. I'm not even certain that Bill's statement here means anything. What are "evolutionary resources"? And 10^40 is a pretty fucking huge number to be describing as "only."

      Delete
    17. lutesuite
      " What are "evolutionary resources"?"
      Evolutionary resources means populations and time.

      Delete
    18. So how to you quantify "populations and time" as 10^40? What units are you using? How did you calculate that?

      Delete
    19. I should note that I didn't ask those questions of Bill because he doesn't actually have a clue. It's just some number to him, and then he's got another number that's "even bigger" that he thinks evolution has to somehow overcome. None of it makes any sense, and none of these numbers bear any relevance to each other, but fuck it if Cole gets that.

      You have 10^40 "populations and time". Ok, what is that? 10^30 populations (each containing 10^6 individuals) and 10^10 generations for each of those populations? Or what? What the fuck is this number measuring Bill? Do you even know what the hell the crap you swallow from these apologists even mean?

      Delete
    20. "Even if we accept Szostak's argument based on an experiment that demonstrates binding to a single molecule and excludes the random formation of required sequences like transcription factors, no genome is 300 nucleotides long."

      Bill, Szostak's is not the only such experiment. And they've repeated the experiment for other functions, getting similar numbers. And it's a MINIMUM estimate, since it only deals with one specific function, rather than all possible biologically relevant function.

      Bill, at every level you fail to understand the significance of this result.

      Bill, we've already been over all of this on the skeptical zone. Multiple times. All your misconceptions were fixed and explained to you multiple times. You were in the process of "getting it" in those thread, but now a few weeks later it's like your brain has hit the reset button. Why must we do this crap over and over and over again?

      Bill, the Szostak lab's results is just one of several such studies. It means the "probability issue" you see is an invention of your mind, one you are dying to maintain. You WANT there to be a probability issue, so you keep trying to dismiss and diminish the significance of evidence that removes the issue. Usually with silly crap you don't even understand. Such as your laughably inept and ad-hoc excuse about nuclear proteins. Or transcription factors.

      Bill, when there's an already existing organism, it already has transcription factors. When a gene is duplicated, you don't need to also have new transcription factors copied and mutated into unique sequences along with it, because the duplicate can be put under control of an pre-existing promoter. All of this was explained to you before Bill, with concrete real-world examples.

      Why are we doing this again now? I think you should go back and read the thread I linked. The one your brain has mysteriously deleted from your memory.

      Delete
    21. Bill's one and only gift is for creating the impression that he is honestly confused and genuinely interested in correcting his confusion. When in fact he is just another lying sack of dirt like most creationists.

      Delete
    22. Mikkel
      "Bill, when there's an already existing organism, it already has transcription factors. When a gene is duplicated, you don't need to also have new transcription factors copied and mutated into unique sequences along with it, because the duplicate can be put under control of an pre-existing pro moter. All of this was explained to you before Bill, with concrete real-world examples."

      You continue to fail at understanding context. The same as you fail to understand Behe's paper. Szostak's experiment is trying to overcome the probability of OOL. Explain to me how gene duplication occurred then.

      Here is what Szostak said about his probability findings and in his 2001 paper:

      "In conclusion, we suggest that functional proteins are suf®ciently common in protein sequence space (roughly 1 in 1011) that they may be discovered by entirely stochastic means, such as presumably operated when proteins were ®rst used by living organisms. How- ever, this frequency is still low enough to emphasize the magnitude of the problem faced by those attempting de novo protein design"

      Mikkel: I agree you understand biology better then I do but you also commonly pontificate bullshit to support your world view. If you want to discuss the Behe argument I am willing but if you continue to run off at the mouth with unsupported bullshit I am done.

      Delete
    23. Heh, you're not the first one to notice this. He's been called out on it before, on TSZ among other places.

      Not only does he like to ask these questions happarently thing are awesome killer questions, it's always the same crap about protein sequence space and something about "resources", "probabilistic resource" or "evolutionary resources" not being enough. When you then answer him, he has these typical fall-back comments to add on top, about transcription factors and binding sites.

      I even saw an interview of Matt Dillahunty on some apologetics podcast, where Bill Cole called in and started drooling questions about the whole protein sequence space thing, as if Matt knows anything about biochemistry.

      Delete
    24. Bill, why are you still trying to defend Behe's hoary old argument? Didn't you notice that, in the article above, Larry shot the argument full of holes then set the corpse on fire? Why to you continue to try defend the indefensible?

      @ Rumraket:

      I hope there's a video of when Bill called in to Matt Dillahunty.

      Delete
    25. lutesuite
      " Bill, why are you still trying to defend Behe's hoary old argument? Didn't you notice that, in the article above, Larry shot the argument full of holes then set the corpse on fire? Why to you continue to try defend the indefensible?"

      I honestly have not reached a conclusion on who is right or wrong but I have read Ken Millers analysis and found it missing the big picture. I also read Larry's argument where he ran a blast of the chimp and human genome and used that as evidence against the ccc argument but this was based on circular reasoning that chimps and man split from a common ancestor can be reconciled by a darwinian or modern evolutionary mechanism.

      Delete
    26. @ Lutesuite

      It's in this video at 2:16:40 Bill starts blathering about "extreme probability problems with the origin of life" and things that are "too deep for this discussion" (seriously, LOL). And then he says something about the "largest mathematical space in the universe" (whatever the fuck he means by that, it's just more fancy jargon he doesn't even know himself what means) and that any theory that says you can "mutate through it is just nonsense".

      He's just sticking words he's impressed with together. It sort of dawns on him for a moment when he realizes he can't articulate anything sensible on the subject without giving away he's an ignoramus, so he effectively tries to dodge away from it again. Luckily the part of the podcast where Bill calls in is short because it's a total clusterfuck and a distraction from an otherwise interesting conversation between Matt and believers.

      Delete
    27. "I also read Larry's argument where he ran a blast of the chimp and human genome and used that as evidence against the ccc argument"

      What the flying fuck are you even talking about, sir? Is this going to be your next "nuclear proteins" argument?

      Delete
    28. Hey Bill, what's a "mathematical space" and how did you determine that the "the fact that the genome is a sequence" is "the largest mathematical space in the universe"?

      What does any of this shit even mean?

      Got any other brilliant bullshitter sentences to send our way?

      Delete
    29. @ Bill Cole

      I honestly have not reached a conclusion on who is right or wrong

      Your lying is pathetic, in every sense of the word.

      Delete
    30. You really think this solves the probability problem?

      Dr. Behe apparently does, or he wouldn't be so cagey about it. "Cagey" as in not coming out and saying definitively he is doing what his math plainly requires. And if he is not being cagey, then he doesn't understand the probability math.

      Delete
    31. @Bill Cole: "You continue to fail at understanding context. The same as you fail to understand Behe's paper. Szostak's experiment is trying to overcome the probability of OOL."
      No, it isn't. It's addressing the question of how (and if) the first protein functions could have been discovered by a stochastic process. Discovered by already existing organismsm, with genes, probably RNA-genes of some sort. They might even have a type of primitive translation, if so they could already synthesize peptides and small proteins. The question being addressed then is if such an organism can discover new functions in protein sequence space. The result of the work is that it can.

      How do I know this? Because they write: "...they may be discovered by entirely stochastic means, such as presumably operated when proteins were ®rst used by living organisms."

      Oh, and in what way do I not understand Behe's paper?

      First used by living organisms' implies there are already some kind of living organisms.

      "Explain to me how gene duplication occurred then."

      The genes of the already existing organism were duplicated.

      "Mikkel: I agree you understand biology better then I do but you also commonly pontificate bullshit to support your world view."

      Really? What bullshit is that?

      Delete
    32. Bill,

      "How would you explain the evolution of a de novo protein without multiple simultaneous mutations?"

      This is too simple, and you've had many answers, but I suspect that you have some mistaken understanding in mind. You seem to be persuaded that if one "solution" exists in the form of a particular protein, then that protein alone is the only possible "solution." Behe might be committing the very same mistake, namely believing that if four mutations occurred that gave some plasmodia resistance to something, then those four and only those four could have provided such resistance. However, studies of proteins have proven such idea wrong time and again. The mere existence of tons of non-identical proteins performing the very same functions, plus completely unrelated proteins performing the very same functions, proves the mistaken idea wrong. There's plenty of "solutions" available in what's called "sequence space." The best way to understand why, is to understand the basic biochemical mechanisms and how the operate in real life proteins. Protein activities, bindings, etc, vary a lot. So much so that once this is understood,the inescapable conclusion is that there's plenty of routes for evolution to occur.

      In summary: protein activities are not black and white. Proteins are not solid/static elements whose precise sequence, and no other, is necessary for some activity. There's all kinds of plasticity which allow evolution to occur from very modest amounts of activity towards whatever might be necessary under whatever circumstances.

      Delete
    33. Of course, the other mistaken conception is the idea that some mutations have to happen at the same time. The very plasticity in protein activity that still allows survival, allows for a population to hold many many variants of the protein which can act as backgrounds where other mutations can have different effects and thus attain what would seem impossible from a too simplistic standpoint.

      Delete
    34. Then there are all the other possible outcomes that Behe fails to take into account: That chlororquine resistance arose, but thru a completely different mechanism. That humans never developed chloroquine, so who would know or care how often resistance evolved. That the parasite never developed resistance and so was driven into extinction. All of the above are compatible with evolution and, since Behe's entire endeavour is to disprove evolution, he needs to factor all outcomes into his calculations.

      Delete
  7. Cruglers, Dr. Moran provided numerous links at the bottom of the blog post. How many did you read before posting your usual infantile inanities?

    -jaxkayaker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He did?

      I guess he simply "forgot" or omitted the most important ones and somehow you didn't notice it, did you?

      Delete
  8. Larry
    i am surprised that you keep referring to " ID creationsism", while i thought you would knot by now that ID does not equal creationism.
    Also i posted here more than once, that a IC system cannot evolve BY DEFINITION. Eiter a biological system is IC, or it evolved, and in that case its not IC.

    Michael Behe's "Evolutionary" Definition — "An irreducibly complex evolutionary pathway is one that contains one or more UNSELECTED STEPS (that is, one or more necessary-but-unselected mutations). The degree of irreducible complexity is the number of unselected steps in the pathway." (A Response to Critics of Darwin's Black Box, 2002)

    " An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced gradually by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, since any precursor to an irreducibly complex system is by definition nonfunctional. Since natural selection requires a function to select, an irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would have to arise as an integrated unit for natural selection to have anything to act on. It is almost universally conceded that such a sudden event would be irreconcilable with the gradualism Darwin envisioned."


    In the quote above, Behe notes that there is a fundamental quality of any irreducibly complex system in that, "any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional.” Behe elaborates upon this definition saying "An irreducibly complex evolutionary pathway is one that contains one or more unselected steps (that is, one or more necessary-but-unselected mutations). The degree of irreducible complexity is the number of unselected steps in the pathway."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also i posted here more than once, that a IC system cannot evolve BY DEFINITION. Eiter a biological system is IC, or it evolved, and in that case its not IC.

      Nice try. You should probably tell Behe to remove his mousetrap illustration from his website as it refutes your claim about Behe's meaning of IC.

      Delete
    2. Otangelo,

      If ID does not = creationism in your assessment, how do you distinguish between the two?

      Delete
    3. at Uncommon descent they explain :

      In fact, the two are radically different. Creationism moves forward: that is, it assumes, asserts or accepts something about God and what he has to say about origins; then interprets nature in that context. Intelligent design moves backward:that is, it observes something interesting in nature (complex, specified information) and then theorises and tests possible ways how that might have come to be. Creationism is faith-based; Intelligent Design is empirically-based.
      Each approach has a pedigree that goes back over two thousand years. We notice the “forward” approach in Tertullian, Augustine, Bonaventure, and Anselm. Augustine described it best with the phrase, “faith seeking understanding.” With these thinkers, the investigation was faith-based. By contrast, we discover the “backward” orientation in Aristotle, Aquinas, and Paley. Aristotle’s argument, which begins with “motion in nature” and reasons BACK to a “prime mover” — i.e. from effect to its “best” causal explanation — is obviously empirically based.
      To say then, that Tertullian, Augustine, Anselm (Creationism) is similar to Aristotle, Aquinas, Paley (ID) is equivalent to saying forward equals backward. What could be more illogical?

      Delete
    4. Yes, Otangelo. We know the IDiots refuse to admit that ID is a form of creationism. That's the whole reason the ID movement was born: To get around US laws banning the teaching of creationism. But the courts weren't fooled (in large part because of hilarious gaffes like "cdesign proponentists.")

      It doesn't surprise me that many of their followers are so feeble-minded that all one needs to do to bamboozle them is throw around the names of some ancient philosophers. But you're smarter than that, right, Otangelo?

      Delete
    5. lutesuite

      Design through intelligence is a genuine, logical and possible explanation as causal agency of the physical world. It deserves consideration and the elaboration of testible hypotheses and theories, side by side with natural, aka non intelligent mechanisms. There is no obstacle to establish what can be recognized as design in nature - Something having the PROPERTIES that we might attribute to that of a intelligently designed system. Try to strangulate this possibility by screaming "ID is not science", or ID is a form of creationism, leads to what we see today. Methodological naturalism, which should be applied exclusively to operational sciences, has been applied to historical sciences, which tries to elucidate how something came to be. So every scientific explanation must fit the straightjacket of methodological naturalism, no matter, how counterintuitive and counterfactual the explanations might be. Scientific papers that deals with historical events start all with the assertion that evolution is a fact, and end with the same constatation. That leads to the assumption that non intelligent causation must be true, no matter what. Jonathan Wells brings it nicely to the point, when he writes : Why isn't intelligent design found published in peer-reviewed science journals? Darwinists use a similar rule—I call it “Catch-23”—to exclude intelligent design from science: intelligent design is not scientific, so it can’t be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. How do we know it’s not scientific? Because it isn’t published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Catch-23!

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    6. Blah, blah, blah, blah.

      Scientific evidence supports evolution. It does not support creationism in any of its forms, including ID. And none of your plagiarized logorrheic rantings on the internet can change these facts. Get over yourself.

      Delete
    7. I've read your cut and paste stock responses before. Can you give a real world application of so-called ID theory? For example, how does ID theory explain the vestigial pelvis and hind limb bones of cetaceans? How is this intelligent design, and how do you know?

      Delete
    8. chris b said:

      "For example, how does ID theory explain the vestigial pelvis and hind limb bones of cetaceans? How is this intelligent design, and how do you know?"-

      yes actually. first- they use for repruduction:

      https://news.usc.edu/68144/whale-reproduction-its-all-in-the-hips/

      and from the other hand evolution cant explain how a dog like species evolve into 25 meter long whale. think about this: if we will have a car with dna and a self replicating system. do you think it can evolve step wise into a submarine?

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    9. think about this: if we will have a car with dna and a self replicating system. do you think it can evolve step wise into a submarine?

      This method is used all the time in modern engineering. Get with the 21st century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_algorithm

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    10. not realy. we c ant make a car flying by adding only one part. so a car cant evolve into an airplane. even a gps system is a complex and cant evolve step wise even by a designer.

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    11. not realy. we c ant make a car flying by adding only one part. so a car cant evolve into an airplane.

      And the difference between flying and non-flying animals is also more than one "part". So what does that mean?

      even a gps system is a complex and cant evolve step wise even by a designer.

      Which may be why we have never observed an animal that possesses an ingrown GPS.

      Exactly what are you trying to illustrate with these examples? That things that didn't arise thru evolvution didn't arise thru evolution? Who needs to be convinced of that?

      Delete
    12. "And the difference between flying and non-flying animals is also more than one "part". So what does that mean?"-

      its mean that we cant move from animal to another, step wise.

      Delete
    13. dcdcccc quote mines:

      "yes actually. first- they use for repruduction:"

      SO why would the whales need a little degenerate pelvis and hind limbs completely analogous to the land dwelling Artiodactyla when a single piece of bone or even calcified tendon would function just as well for penis muscle attachment? Is it just coincidence that Artiodactyla also use the pelvis for penis muscle attachment? And why do all the girl whales have the vestigial bones also, if this is a sign of intelligent design?

      You understand that vestigial does not mean a structure serves no purpose. The presence of the vestigial bones and the site of attachment of penis muscles to the bones are all very well explained by evolutionary processes.

      What does ID/creationism have to say about it? Your completely superficial argument that the pelvis bones are used for something so this proves ID/creationism, is wrong.

      Delete
    14. its mean that we cant move from animal to another, step wise

      And all those fossil skeletons that appear to say otherwise are just The Designer's antic sense of humor, so there!!

      Delete
    15. its mean that we cant move from animal to another, step wise

      Why not? Flight is not an all or nothing phenomenon. There are many possible incremental steps along the way:

      How did wings evolve, given that they're not useful unless they're evolved enough to enable flight?

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    16. hi chris. the fact that this structure have another function then pelvis prove my point that it isnt a vestigial pelvis but something else. more than that- it could be a vestigial fin (we actually find such a dolphin with extra fin in this point). so again- id can explain it without evolution. and still- evolution cant explain whale evolution.

      now about the fossils that "judmarc" point out. first: we can also arrange cars in hierarchy ( a normal car-->a jeep--> a truck). but it doesnt prove commondescent but common design.

      secondly- we have found a 49 my whale fossil. so the fossils even doesnt appeared in the correct order.

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    17. A 49 million year old fossil whale jaw has been found in Antarctica. Not published yet, but a press release is out and it will be presented at a conference this week.

      The previous time line of known fossil whales was:

      Pakicetis (fully terrestrial): ~50 mya
      Ambulocetids (semi-aquatic): 49 mya
      Remingtonocetids (semi-aquatic): 49 mya
      Rodhocetus (semi-aquatic): 47 mya
      Basilosaurids (fully aquatic): 40 mya

      If the paleontologists are correct that this new fossil represents a fully aquatic whale 49 million years ago, then what? Then biologists will figure that the whale lineage goes back further, and that Pakicetis, Rodhocetus, and the others are cousins rather than ancestors of fully aquatic whales.

      After all, chimps and gorillas, monkeys, marmosets, shrews, and other animals similar to our ancestors are still alive together with us. Primitive whale-like creatures could well have shared the world with fully aquatic whales. There is no requirement that they go extinct.

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    18. Sometimes, of course, fossils seriously don't fit the expected timeline. Consider Prototaxites, originally interpreted as logs of primitive conifers. When it became clear conifers didn't live 4.5 million years ago when the biggest land plants were maybe a meter tall, the fossils were re-examined.

      So what is Prototaxites? Many of the fossils are good enough to tell. It's fungus. Probably mats of lichenized fungi torn and rolled up by the wind, then pushed into pools or swamps where they fossilized.

      The fossil record is full of surprises for us. So far it supports evolution very well.

      Delete
    19. "hi chris. the fact that this structure have another function then pelvis prove my point that it isnt a vestigial pelvis but something else."

      No, that makes it fit the definition of a vestigial character perfectly. You still didn't address any of the points I made about the vestigial pelvis and explain how it is "intelligent design". What hypothesis of ID/creationism predicts that greatly reduced pelvis and leg bones present in both males and females is an intelligent design for penile muscle attachment? Was the designer just trying real hard to make it look like evolution did it?

      "more than that- it could be a vestigial fin (we actually find such a dolphin with extra fin in this point). so again- id can explain it without evolution."

      Vestigial fin? Extra fin in dolphins? Whatever are you talking about?

      "and still- evolution cant explain whale evolution."

      Evolution has a great fossil record showing transitions from fully terrestrial to fully aquatic mammals, all in order and in exactly the right age strata every time. In contrast, not a single hypothesis emanating from ID/creationist theory even attempts to explain this. ID/creationism has nothing to offer here.

      "now about the fossils that "judmarc" point out. first: we can also arrange cars in hierarchy ( a normal car-->a jeep--> a truck). but it doesnt prove commondescent but common design."

      Living creatures are not inorganic, inanimate objects. The fossil transitions are exactly what ID/creationists have been demanding as proof of evolution of whales. Now that a mountain of scientific data and fossil transitions have been put together showing very clearly the evolution of cetaceans, you try to move the goalposts with the 'common design, not common descent' nonsense. If it is common design that explains the similarities, why to cetaceans carry around a bunch of useless olfactory genes, slowly degenerating by random mutations, while the homologs for these are still active in the terrestrial Artiodactyla? How is that intelligent design? At the same time, you offer absolutely nothing in support of ID/creationism.

      Delete
    20. hi bwilson. the fossil of a complete whale dating about 49 my prove that there is no hierarchy in the fossil record of whale. and therefore it cant consider as evidence for evolution. more then that- it a false prediction of the evolution theory. its a ctually an "out of order" fossil that evolutionists always talking about as evidence that will disprove the evolution theory. of course that you can push back all the rest fossils but it just show that we cant test evolution. as any scientific theory should be.

      chris. as i said- it could be a vestigial fin. see here for more details:

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061106-dolphin-legs.html

      and its fit well with id model but not evolution.


      you said:

      "Evolution has a great fossil record showing transitions from fully terrestrial to fully aquatic mammals, all in order and in exactly the right age strata every time"

      see above. its not true in this case.


      you said:

      "Living creatures are not inorganic, inanimate objects."

      true. what if those cars will have also a self replicating system and dna? what you will conclude in this case?


      you said:

      "you try to move the goalposts with the 'common design, not common descent' nonsense. If it is common design that explains the similarities, why to cetaceans carry around a bunch of useless olfactory genes,"-

      if i will disprove this claim- you will be open to addmit that evolution model is false?


      Delete
    21. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061106-dolphin-legs.html

      and its fit well with id model but not evolution.


      So it appears either reading for comprehension is difficult for you, or you allow hope for evidence of a god to trump ordinary common sense understanding.

      Delete
    22. In other words: if whales came from land mammals, why are there still land mammals?

      Delete
    23. "chris. as i said- it could be a vestigial fin. see here for more details:

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061106-dolphin-legs.html

      and its fit well with id model but not evolution."

      No. Atavisms like the hind limbs described in the article you cite are powerful evidences in favor of evolutionary theory. They represent developmental paths still contained in the genome from earlier land dwelling ancestors, long since turned off. Atavisms like this are the exception that proves the rule. It fits evolutionary theory exactly. Did you even read the article your cite? It's a vestigial hindlimb, not a fin. Out of curiosity, what prediction of ID/creationism theory is supported by this atavism? How does this fit the ID model?

      "you said:

      "Evolution has a great fossil record showing transitions from fully terrestrial to fully aquatic mammals, all in order and in exactly the right age strata every time"

      see above. its not true in this case."

      Yes it is true. The fact that we have found a 49myo whale fossil, at least 5my younger than the proto whales, indicates that at least the skull adaptations to an aquatic life cycle occurred earlier than previously thought. It's not like they found a 60 or 100myo fully formed whale fossil. This is not a fossil bunny on the Cambrian.
      Incidentally, how does this fossil fit a prediction of ID/creationist theory? How does it fit the ID model? Only the skull of this creature has been studied. What does ID/creationist theory predict about the morphology of the rest of the body, given the ID model?


      "you said:

      "Living creatures are not inorganic, inanimate objects."

      true. what if those cars will have also a self replicating system and dna? what you will conclude in this case?"
      You mean if they were organic life forms as we know them on Earth? Then they would evolve like any other living creature from Earth.


      "you said:

      "you try to move the goalposts with the 'common design, not common descent' nonsense. If it is common design that explains the similarities, why to cetaceans carry around a bunch of useless olfactory genes,"-

      if i will disprove this claim- you will be open to addmit that evolution model is false?"

      I will evaluate your claims in a scientific manner. Then we'll see if you have disproved the evolution model. Incidentally, what element of ID/creationist theory predicts that whales should carry a multitude of broken olfactory receptor genes?

      Delete
    24. chris. you said:

      "Atavisms like the hind limbs described in the article you cite are powerful evidences in favor of evolutionary theory."-

      not realy. according to evolution it should be a hindlimb. but its a fins and not hindlimbs. the article claim that ""I believe the fins may be remains from a time when dolphins' ancient ancestors lived on land,"

      even according to evolution whale ancestor doesnt had fins but limbs. so yes- this finding doesnt support evolution prediction.


      you said:

      "Did you even read the article your cite? It's a vestigial hindlimb, not a fin"

      from the article:

      "Similarly, dolphin embryos pass through a stage in which they have hind limbs that disappear as the embryo develops."

      "The recently captured dolphin developed an extra set of flippers from these limbs that are about the size of human hands. "

      so yes- its a fin and not a limb.


      you said:

      " The fact that we have found a 49myo whale fossil, at least 5my younger than the proto whales, indicates that at least the skull adaptations to an aquatic life cycle occurred earlier than previously thought."-

      its only a belief that doesnt fit well with the fossils we have. until we will find other fossils the current situation doesnt support the evolution hierarchy. in opposite with what you said: "all in order and in exactly the right age strata every time"



      you said:

      "You mean if they were organic life forms as we know them on Earth? Then they would evolve like any other living creature from Earth."


      so if you will see a self replicating car, you will claim that this car evolved and not designed by a designer?


      you said:

      "Incidentally, what element of ID/creationist theory predicts that whales should carry a multitude of broken olfactory receptor genes?"

      a genetic degeneration. even human has many of them. so what evolution doesnt predict? lets check it.

      Delete
    25. Lineages (geneologies) of groups of organisms generally resemble bushes, not telephone poles.

      The ancestral whale fossils known before this finding of the 49 mya fossil could be understood as a simple transition from terrestrial to semiaquatic to fully aquatic. The story was so simple even a die-hard creationist could understand it.

      However, it always seemed likely that the story was more complex: Diverse terrestrial artiodactyls spent a lot of time in the water. Semi-aquatic species evolved from some of the terrestrial ones, and diversified while their terrestrial relatives still existed. Aquatic species evolved from the semi-aquatic ones, and coexisted with both semi-aquatic and terrestrial relatives.

      I predict that we'll get more fossils of whale ancestors and that the picture will get more complex, with more species overlapping in time. The actual evolution of whales will turn out to be more bush-like, and that isn't a problem for evolution.

      Delete
    26. "not realy. according to evolution it should be a hindlimb. but its a fins and not hindlimbs. the article claim that ""I believe the fins may be remains from a time when dolphins' ancient ancestors lived on land,"

      even according to evolution whale ancestor doesnt had fins but limbs. so yes- this finding doesnt support evolution prediction."

      Wrong. It is a hind limb, a flipper, which are also seen on proto-whales. It has limb bones and five digits. A classic atavism entirely consistent with evolutionary theory. I still await the ID/creationist explanation for atavisms. Your source:

      "Similarly, dolphin embryos pass through a stage in which they have hind limbs that disappear as the embryo develops."

      "The recently captured dolphin developed an extra set of flippers from these limbs that are about the size of human hands. "

      so yes- its a fin and not a limb."

      So, no, they call them flippers, derived from limbs. They even call them limbs. How do you quote something and conclude something from it the quote directly contradicts?

      And, as always, I await the ID/creationist theory explanation.

      "its only a belief that doesnt fit well with the fossils we have. until we will find other fossils the current situation doesnt support the evolution hierarchy. in opposite with what you said: "all in order and in exactly the right age strata every time""

      Actually it fits the hierarchy exactly, it just occurs earlier than previously thought. It is still within the right age strata. The current set of fossils completely support whale evolution. Once again, ID/creationist "theory" is completely devoid of any explanation that fits the observed facts.

      "so if you will see a self replicating car, you will claim that this car evolved and not designed by a designer?"

      You mean a metal, plastic, leather car? I'm talking organic life forms we are familiar with here on Earth.


      "you said:

      "Incidentally, what element of ID/creationist theory predicts that whales should carry a multitude of broken olfactory receptor genes?"

      "a genetic degeneration. even human has many of them. so what evolution doesnt predict? lets check it."

      Why does ID predict "genetic degeneration"? That doesn't sound very intelligent to me. If whales were intelligently designed, why do they have these genes? What part of ID predicts that there should be generic "degeneration"? Why would an intelligent designer give its creation a bunch of broken genes that would be of no use to them even if they were functional? Would an intelligent designer design a car and put a broken lawn mower carburetor under the hood, just sitting there but getting replicate every time this self replicating car made new little cars? How is that evidence of ID?

      Delete
    27. What part of ID predicts that there should be generic "degeneration"?

      It's in their main textbook. The part where Adam and Eve eat the apple.

      Delete
    28. lutesuite,

      If dc meant 'the fall' or some other religious dogma, I will be very disappointed.

      dc told me ID/creationist theory is scientific and explains the available data better than evolution. So far he has presented easily refuted criticisms of evolutionary theory, I would imagine just to get those formalities out of the way. I eagerly await his positive data supporting ID/creationist hypotheses, whatever they may be. I'm sure that's forthcoming next.

      Any day now...

      Delete
    29. If they're fins and not hind-limbs, that would still be evolution. Then those dolphins have evoled fins where before they had none, and it would still be evidence of evolution.

      Delete
    30. not realy.

      ...says our friend dcscccc, as he disagrees with the scientists quoted in the article he cites.

      Perhaps before you disagree with scientists who have education and experience in this field that you utterly lack, you might wish to attempt the hurdle of learning to spell common words like "really" correctly first.

      Delete
    31. If dc meant 'the fall' or some other religious dogma, I will be very disappointed.

      Don't feel bad, life is full of disappointments.

      Delete
    32. chris. you said:

      "Wrong. It is a hind limb, a flipper,"-

      maybe we need first to clarify what "limb" mean. when i say limbs i refer to legs. and this discovery show that whale ancestor doesnt had legs but fins. evolution doesnt predict this kind of atavism.


      you said:

      "which are also seen on proto-whales."-


      even in basilosaurus they use as fins.

      you said:

      "Actually it fits the hierarchy exactly,"-


      how if they *doesnt appear* in the right geologic order? are you kidding? its like apes appearing before humans.



      you said:


      " It is still within the right age strata."-


      we are talking about 5 my and even more. so according to you we can also push back humans to about 10 my ago. more then this- where is the limit that we can push back species? 20 my? 30? 100? there is no such a limit. so even if it was about 20 my gap you will claim the same.


      you said:


      "You mean a metal, plastic, leather car? I'm talking organic life forms we are familiar with here on Earth."-

      im talking about organic car\watch\robot. do you think that a self replicating watch\robot\car doesnt need a designer?


      you said:



      "Why does ID predict "genetic degeneration"?-


      why not? we see it all the time in designed objects like cars, airplanes, cell-phones and so on. it a part of a natural process.

      Delete
    33. correction. when i said : "its like apes appearing before humans." i of course mean humans before apes.

      Delete
    34. dcscccc says: this discovery show that whale ancestor doesnt had legs but fins

      From the article:

      "Similarly, dolphin embryos pass through a stage in which they have hind limbs that disappear as the embryo develops.

      "The recently captured dolphin developed an extra set of flippers from these limbs that are about the size of human hands. [Emphasis added.]

      "Initial genetic studies have provided evidence that the marine mammals are most closely related to hippopotamuses.

      "And early last year paleontologists from California, France, and Chad reported fossil evidence that dolphins, whales, and hippos diverged from a common ancestor that likely lived about 50 to 60 million years ago."

      As I noted, you apparently have difficulty reading for comprehension. Not surprising, as it does hurt comprehension when you are so motivated to ignore anything that would appear to support evolution, which in this case is pretty much the entire article.

      Delete
    35. correction. when i said : "its like apes appearing before humans." i of course mean humans before apes.

      You're a human, allegedly. Have no non-human apes come into existence after your birth?

      Delete
    36. judmarc. those "limbs buds" are actually just buds. the question is buds of what? so i gave an evidence that those buds are not limbs but fins. those scientists just believe its a buds of limbs but doesnt prove it.



      ""Initial genetic studies have provided evidence that the marine mammals are most closely related to hippopotamuses. "


      how it have any conection to show any evolution?


      ""And early last year paleontologists from California, France, and Chad reported fossil evidence that dolphins, whales, and hippos diverged from a common ancestor that likely lived about 50 to 60 million years ago."

      are those fossils realy about 50 my or less? do you have any reference to this claim?

      and still- all the other fossils are in the wrong place (appeared later then they should be).

      Delete
    37. "maybe we need first to clarify what "limb" mean. when i say limbs i refer to legs. and this discovery show that whale ancestor doesnt had legs but fins. evolution doesnt predict this kind of atavism."

      Here (again) is what it says in the article you cite:

      ""Similarly, dolphin embryos pass through a stage in which they have hind limbs that disappear as the embryo develops."

      "The recently captured dolphin developed an extra set of flippers from these limbs that are about the size of human hands. ""

      So yes, we are talking about legs. They are derived from hind limbs. And this is just the sort of atavism predicted by evolution. One the other hand, ID/creationism has no explanation whatsoever.

      "even in basilosaurus they use as fins."
      No, they use them as flippers derived from hind limbs. Fins don't have bones in them. You need to read up on whale evolution.

      Let's pretend for a moment they are some new 'fin' (they're not). What element of ID/creationist theory predicts this, and why?

      "how if they *doesnt appear* in the right geologic order? are you kidding?"

      No I'm not kidding. Your "if humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes" argument is nonsense. Do you think that once a fully aquatic cetacean evolved all other cetacean species just up and went extinct at the same time?

      "we are talking about 5 my and even more."
      And still 5 my after the appearance of proto-whales. So what?

      "so according to you we can also push back humans to about 10 my ago."
      No, that doesn't logically follow at all.

      "more then this- where is the limit that we can push back species? 20 my? 30? 100? there is no such a limit. so even if it was about 20 my gap you will claim the same."
      If a fully aquatic whale fossil was found 20my older than any proto-whale that would be a problem for whale evolution. An aquatic whale appearing in the fossil record 5my after the appearance of proto-whales and contemporary with other cetaceans not completely aquatic is entirely consistent with evolutionary theory. If that doesn't make sense to you, you don't understand evolution.

      "do you think that a self replicating watch\robot\car doesnt need a designer?"

      Organic life forms on Earth self replicate (or some with the help of a partner) and you have presented zero evidence that this requires a designer. In this whole thread, despite numerous opportunities to do so based on many questions posed by several people, you have yet to provide a single positive argument for ID/creationism or explain what elements of ID/creationist "theory" fit the observations better.


      "why not? we see it all the time in designed objects like cars, airplanes, cell-phones and so on. it a part of a natural process."
      Organic life forms on Earth were not designed by humans. How do you know the designer of life on Earth (should such a creature exist) could only design life forms which use DNA to replicate but which experience inevitable DNA degeneration? What part of ID/creationist theory predicts that?

      You still avoided answering my actual question: the broken olfactory receptor genes in cetaceans would be of no use even if they were functional. Why did the designer put a bunch of useless genes in his intelligently designed whales? You can't claim "degeneration" because if they weren't degenerate they would still be useless to the whales.

      And why do the girl whales have little degenerate pelvis/hind limb bones? What is the ID/creationist explanation?

      Delete
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    1. These checking and repair systems must be fully operational from day one, otherwise, the organism dies.

      I've said it before: creationists can never imagine a history without genesis events, without complex things popping into existence. Can't you just hear the first autonomous cells: "Well isn't this a fine mess, our first shot at life but the damn unguided, non-intelligent forces that created us didn't include DNA repair mechanisms and now we are screwed!!"

      You cannot escape the conviction of a "Day 1", a day where all of things you notice in complex cellular lifeforms must be present at every stage in the cellular, and pre-cellular, history of life.

      Why at all would natural unguided, non-intelligent chemical reactions have the need to produce living biological systems, and keep them existing through self replication?

      And creationist ideas are necessarily always intertwined with purpose. After all, intelligent designers (gods, aliens?) are imagined as purposeful designers of life.

      What a strange question you pose. Natural unguided, non-intelligent chemical reactions have no need to produce biological systems. They have no need for anything. They have no need for sodium ions interacting with Chlorine ions to form NaCl. They have no need to see to it that hydrogen nuclei can fuse to form helium. They have no need for the duck-billed platypus. There is no "need" for anything at all.

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      Delete
  10. If something is irreducible in its complexity to have , by chance, appeared then how could one agree its happened? Possibly Behe means a very unlikely case of chance but so unlikely as to be dismissed as possible.

    Its all rerally arguing about lines of reasoning.
    If these many mutations can't happen at once then maybe there was a sequence, storage of it one not selected against, and so on.
    Its all come down to wrestling down a line of reasoning and probability.
    Evolutionism is based on improbable mutations. Impossible.
    There must be something more wrong with the embracing of mutations to do any new thing in bodies to have an advantage.
    A whole universe based on errors in programs seems to need more then a cause and effect paradigm.
    The mutation sequence is itself impossible and time doesn't change the impossible.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Traditional "lines of reasoning" and nothing making sense from Robert.

    It is a fact that Behe creates an argument that doesn't hold water. It has been shown to be false. He is like all creationists blinded to the simple fact that there is no need for evolution to follow his path of explaining the origins of the bacterial flagellum.

    You are in no position to make claims about what's possible or not in biology. There is nothing in science based on "errors in programs".

    Mutations are a fact. If and when favourable mutations take place, they will of course be expressed in the affected population and over the reproductive cycles become part of the population’s genomic makeup.

    Please provide references or links to sources for your arguments. Behe is not the only biochemist on the planet, and there is no scarcity of competent biochemists, biologists and geneticists in the scientific world.

    As long as we have Behe, we have no needed for disciples like Otangelo Grasso, he can't add anything of value to a failed concept. Appearance of irreducibility is not evidence of irreducibility

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    Replies
    1. This thread as all the usual suspects doing the same dance they always do. Grasso is mindlessly copy-pasting huge walls of text, Beyers is drooling about "lines of reasoning", Bill Cole has hit the reset-button and is droning about de novo proteins again.

      I think from now on I'm just going to link the same response over and over again, since they never change their tune. It's the same PRATT stuck on repeat ad infinitum.

      Delete
    2. links and references are for kids. One should make your case on the evidence and reasoning.
      Behe is not debunked at all.
      in fact the whole evolution empire is based on mutationism. Without these there is no great, or good, biological change to bring complexity. diversity, and look how glorious it is.
      SO Behe uses the mitation concept and says it fails where too many mutations must arise at the same time. Thats all he stresses here.
      YET its still playing with the mutations concept which is already so unreasonable, impossible, from a instinct of man dealing with chance.
      Indeed Behe going that deep into mutual mutationism impossiblity mEANS one has gone that far for what mutations could do.
      I don't know if he thinks they could do what is needed except at a very complex level. I suspect noy.
      It is all playing with a line of reasoning of what a mutation can do and then other to make the trail biology evolutionary biology needs.
      I say the whole concept of mutationism is impossible from start to finish. Its cute to argue mutual mutations is impossible but one doesn't need to go that deep.
      Why does the evolution crowd so easily think mutations in sequence did, could, turn this into that.
      Why is it not just genetic alchemy?

      Delete
  12. Rola Aalberg wrote:

    Mutations are a fact. If and when favourable mutations take place, they will of course be expressed in the affected population and over the reproductive cycles become part of the population’s genomic makeup.

    That has been the mantra over decades, even centuries. Today we know mutations and natural selection are incapable of creating primary speciation. Why?

    Dembski brings it straight to the point, when he writes:

    The problem is that nature has too many options and without design couldn’t sort them all out. Natural mechanisms are too unspecific to determine any particular outcome. Mutation and natural selection or luck/chance/probablity could theoretically form a new complex morphological feature like a leg or a limb with the right size and form , and arrange to find out the right body location to grow them , but it could also produce all kinds of other new body forms, and grow and attach them anywhere on the body, most of which have no biological advantage or are most probably deleterious to the organism. Natural mechanisms have no constraints, they could produce any kind of novelty. Its however that kind of freedom that makes it extremely unlikely that mere natural developments provide new specific evolutionary arrangements that are advantageous to the organism. Nature would have to arrange almost a infinite number of trials and errors until getting a new positive arrangement. Since that would become a highly unlikely event, design is a better explanation.

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    1. "Today we know mutations and natural selection are incapable of creating primary speciation. Why? Dembski brings it straight to the point, when he writes: ..."

      Basically everything that Dembski writes there has been demonstrated false or highly misleading. Demski is a low-rate statistician, but primarily a theologian and apologist for christianity. He has no qualifications in biology at all, he knows very little about evolution and even less about speciation and development. People like Joseph Felsenstein, Tom English, Jeffrey Shallit and Wesley Elsberry and others have shown pretty much all his claims about evolution, genetics and information theory to be wrong.

      When you defer to Bill Dembski as your authority, you are being mislead. All it accomplishes is to show that you are ignorant(and a tool).

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    11. From then number of Otangelo's post that have been scrubbed, it seems he is also testing the patience of our gracious host. Well, thanks to Larry's efforts the internet is just a bit less stupid than it would have been.

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    12. Fine, gives me opportunity to delete my own. Can't help but respond to him, I really shouldn't.

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    13. "nature has too many options and without design couldn’t sort them all out. Natural mechanisms are too unspecific to determine any particular outcome."

      This is just silly. How is the inability of natural processes to evolve some particular outcome a problem for evolution theory? SOME outcome will evolve. Mutations happen. Lots of possibilities are generated. At OG says that Dembski says, lots of them are harmful. They die out. Others are OK or even helpful, and they increase. That's all. There is no goal, no specified result, but there are results.

      Consider movement. Do legs with the bones on the inside work? Yes. How about legs with the skeleton on the outside? Yes. How about legs with lots of complex muscles and no bones or bone-like structures? Sure. How about a slimy muscular surface able to make ripples? That works. How about whole body movement? Works for everything from jellyfish to snakes and swimming otters. How about many little hydraulic feet? That works, and not just for "the Luggage." How about fins? Sure. Cilia on the cell surfaces? Works fine if the organism is small enough. Weirdly morphing shapes? OK for amoebae at lest. Sails? Parachutes? Check. Growing in one direction while dying behind and salvaging the useful chemicals? Yes. And how about not moving anywhere? That works for lots of animals and plants, and other things. No doubt there are other solutions to the movement problem that haven't evolved, too.

      Once life starts, somethings will evolve. We can't predict what. Natural processes aren't aiming at a goal, but they will result in something. Maybe it will all be the equivalent of slimy bacterial films. Maybe it will produce something way cooler than humans. But somethings will evolve. The multiplicity of possibilities doesn't prevent evolution.

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    14. Hmm. Seems I can write as much as O.G. of the many names. Sigh. At least it isn't cut and paste.

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  13. Mikkel wrote:

    Do you ever think before you post? Are you even capable of thought? Are you a creationist chat-bot?

    Basic rule of thumb in debate : When someone with oposit views starts calling you names, it means he has nothing left to debate against your argument. It also means: The ID proponent just won the debate. My advice: Do not make any explitic adhom, calling me names, like troll, stupid, idiot etc. , or acusing me of not thinking, or not using my brain. - Do also not try to attack my education, ( asking to go back to school etc. ) or ask for my credentials Please remain polite and rational , as i am being with you ( beside it adds nothing to your case, nor does it make naturalism become more compelling )

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    1. Basic rule of thumb in debate : When someone with oposit views starts calling you names, it means he has nothing left to debate against your argument. It also means: The ID proponent just won the debate.

      Ah, yes. The IDiots have to make up their own rules for debate, because they know if it comes down to scientific evidence, they have nothing.

      If you don't like being called a stupid, idiotic troll (not to mention plagiarist), then stop being one. Otherwise, we can only call it like we see it.

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    2. Lutesuite wrote:

      because they know if it comes down to scientific evidence, they have nothing.

      LOL.....

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    3. "Basic rule of thumb in debate : When someone with oposit views starts calling you names, it means he has nothing left to debate against your argument."

      No, it also often means they simply run out of patience because they can see their interlocutor is not an honest, open minded participant. Case in point...

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    4. My own rule-of-thumb is that I have won the debate when I say "I win". This rule cannot be adopted by an opponent on their own behalf. That's another rule.

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    5. Hohoho. You are openminded, Mikkel ??!!

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    6. I'd like to point out that the person asking me this question "you are openminded?" claims that it is logically and physically impossible for God to not exist.

      As such, this person is simply not intellectually or ethically qualified to judge whether I myself am an open-minded person.

      Yes, I am open-minded, just not so open-minded my brain is falling out. I'm perfectly fine with saying it is logically and even physically possible that evolution is false and a God could exist. There just has not been any evidence that would rationally justify belief in that proposition.

      Even if I could be made to agree that there was some evidence for the existence of God, and some evidence against naturalistic evolution as an explanation for the totality of extant biodiversity, there'd still be so much evidence for evolution and against the existence of a God that on balance, it would still be utterly irrational to accept the God-hypothesis over naturalistic evolution.

      Now watch how Elshamah777's response will demonstrate a complete lack of comprehension of what I just wrote:

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    7. Mikkel
      there is no dispute between God and evolution. Evolution is a fact. I even believe God created evolution as a mechanism for live to adapt to the environment. Calling the oponent dishonest is another common acusation made by atheists to hide their own unwillingness to admit that creation by an intelligent designer explains best our existence. Larry is keeps not playing fair, by deliberately vandalizing and deleting my posts, even if they are fully ontopic, as were the ones he deleted above. But Mikkels personals attacks and empty acusations are welcome. That way, Larry just shoots in his own feet, and shows he is not serious in his endaveour, and like Mikkel, is not willing to admit when the ID theorist presents evidence, that leads through reason undeniably to design as logically the best explanation of the biological phenomena in question. In fact, Behe has made a giant contribution to the id proposal by popularizing the concept of IC, and giving a hudge blow do Darwins pseudo scientific claims. IC is a undeniable fact. This truth will not be hindered to spread out. No matter, how much Darwins blind followers will try.



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    8. Otangelo,

      If you believe evolution is a fact and that god created it then how do you delineate between what is non-supernatural evolution and what is supernatural creation by your god?

      When does your god intervene, how do we know that, and to what purpose?

      IC does not require supernatural intevention (at least it has not been proven so). IC is no problem for evolution. Behe's long debunked hypothesis is something you are just going to have to deal with rationally. Continually pretending the very real challenges to it do not exist won't work outside creationist websites.

      Give me an argument that does not depend on the typical creationist fallacies of argument from personal incredulity or god of the gaps. Just one. I would recommend not replying with a cut and paste vomit. There is little patience for the gish gallop any more.

      Your accusations that Larry, Mikkel, et al are not serious are empty. Your lazy dressing up of creationism in pseudoscientific claptrap are recognized as bogus here. Stop whining and present a real argument.

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    9. "Mikkel
      there is no dispute between God and evolution. Evolution is a fact. I even believe God created evolution as a mechanism for live to adapt to the environment."


      This is either a flat out lie, or your understanding of the subject matter is so abysmal you are not even aware of the logical entailments of your espoused beliefs.

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  14. OG: "Basic rule of thumb in debate : When someone with oposit views starts calling you names, it means he has nothing left to debate against your argument."
    Over at Uncommon Descent I have been called a liar, a pathetic snivelling coward, and many other names. I must have won a lot of debates over there.

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  15. I don't know what was the cause for Professor Moran to delete comments but it looks bad from the gallery. It's very Barry if you will, leaving holes in the argument that no amount of dirt will fill.

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    1. You mean Otangelo might have provided incontrovertible proof that ID/creationism has positive evidence to support it and Dr. Moran deleted so it could not get out into the world?

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    2. Why should he allow someone to fill up the thread with entire walls of copy-pasted material, plagiarized from other writers? That's what those deleted comments contain. Mr. Grasso has his own forum containing hundreds of huge posts full of material he has copy-pasted from elsewhere. He then comes to various blogs and forums and copy-pastes that same crap from his forum into posts here. Why should he be allowed to do that?

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    3. @ Beau

      If the admin of a blog knowingly allows plagiarized material to be posted, then he is collaborating in the plagiarism. Larry is just doing the right thing in deleting those posts.

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  16. Mikkel
    when i mention my sources, is that plagiarism?
    When i do mention them, and nonetheless you acuse me of plagiarism, who lies?
    Shapiro has written about how the genome is programmed to permit the organism to adapt to the environment. No constant intervention of the creator required. IC means several parts had to be there all at once to permit function. A part missing, no function. A one cylinder motor without piston will not work. The piston has only function if fully developed, right sized,and correctly mounted in the motor. The cell can only become alive with a minimal gene set. Protein set, and metabolic Network. Thats not Behes claim. Thats what mainstream scieticif papers conclude, which i posted bere, and our great moderator censored. You are not even courageous enough, Mikkel, to agree that Larrys behavior is not productive.

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    1. When i do mention them, and nonetheless you acuse me of plagiarism, who lies?

      Interesting hypothetical question.

      But back to reality: When you say you cited your sources, but you didn't, who is lying then?

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    2. I'm wondering how we would call it when some one(otangelo) quotes people out of context or quote mines people?

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  17. I think also that the moderator should justify his decision when deleting a post. So the poster knows how to avoid the mistake. At most facebook groups, its a common rule to prohibit offensive, personal attacks. If proponents of naturalism would keep to that rule, it would greatly help their cause. Fortunately, i know what to expect here, since even Larry thinks he is profiling himself as smart by calling ID proponents IDiots. Fortunately, the scientific evidence shows the real picture of the situation.

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    1. I will delete all lenghty comments that consist mostly of material that has been copied from other sources. That's trolling and spamming, especially if you are copy-pasting from your own website.

      I will delete all comments of any length that quote others without attribution. That's plagiarism.

      In your case, you often manage to meet both criteria in the same comment.

      I delete all comments that have nothing to do with the discussion. Most of these are spam with links to for-profit websites.

      I delete some comments that contain personal attacks that step over the line. I will instantly delete comments that publish personal information about an opponent or threaten them in any way. I will not tolerate attacks on an opponent's family or threats against their employer. I wll delete comments with excessive foul language. Repeat offenders wll be banned.

      Anyone who writes letters to my employers will be banned even though my colleagues find these letters quite amusing.

      So far, I have banned 16 people. 14 of them are religious, anti-science, creationists but that may just be a statistical anomaly. (Not!)

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    2. "I think also that the moderator should justify his decision when deleting a post. So the poster knows how to avoid the mistake."

      Stop copy-pasting huge walls of text. Write in your own words and give a reference, instead of copying the whole shit over here.

      Also, show SOME sign of comprehension. Even if you strictly stick to your own words, but keep saying the same shit every time without indicating something like reflection takes place between your ears, there's a limit to how far that should be allowed to go on. This blog doesn't exist so you can spam it with demonstrations of your incomprehension. There really is no need to rehearse the same arguments we've had a hundred times before. You've said what you wanted to say in other threads man many times, we have responded back then.

      There's no reason to do it over and over again, you don't get to just make someone's blog a platform for your spam. We don't need to hear your same opinion, copy-paste din the same words, on the same matter in every new blogpost Larry makes.

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    3. Your personal attacks are unable to deflect from the fact of irreducible complexity evidenced in biológical systems poit to a creator without leaving any doubt.
      Deal with it like a adult.

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    4. Larry
      your have failed to reprehend even ONE poster that attacked me personally in the past. And this hás been common. But i am not illuded by expecting different from someone which coined the slogan IDiots.Mikkel behaves like a teenage rowdy on a schoolyard, but you tolerante it. I have made a substantive case of ic of the cell which completely refutes your claim of the op, and backes up Behe through mainstream science. It gives the impression you deleted the post becauses it refutes your preconceived views. Not because i linked, quoted, copy/pasted, or worse: plagiarised. Can you give a trackrecord of how many times you stepped back, and agreed there was evidence enough in biológical systems to infer design, even If in the end you did not agree on other than rational grounds? I only give you merit that you have balls, that PZMyers and company do not have, and permit us to expose what your views are: irracional nonsense.

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    5. I'll just point out that Otangelo/ElShamah blocks people on his Facebook page if they point out the many inaccuracies and misrepresentations in his writings. I know, because he did it to me.

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    6. "Your personal attacks are unable to deflect from the fact of irreducible complexity evidenced in biológical systems poit to a creator without leaving any doubt."

      It doesn't. The most an irreducibly complex biological system points to is that the evolutionary history of some biological structures has not been studied, or that there's not enough data, or that there's some interesting question for scientists to work on. But, whatever we might not know, doesn't validate such fantasies as the gods. It just means that there's something we don't know.

      Next time you feel tempted to make these ridiculous claims, remember volcano gods, or thunder gods, or fire gods. All anthropomorphisms out of ignorance. That's exactly what you do. You find something you find impossible to explain, therefore god-did-it. That's not evidence for gods, that's just lame excuses to feel comfortable believing your fantasies.

      "Deal with it like a adult."

      Says the guy who believes that some mythical beings described in a bunch of fantasy books are real.

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    7. Next time you feel tempted to make these ridiculous claims, remember volcano gods, or thunder gods, or fire gods. All anthropomorphisms out of ignorance. That's exactly what you do. You find something you find impossible to explain, therefore god-did-it.

      But what Otangelo and his ilk do is even stupider: They reject a complete and well-established explanation (i.e. evolution) and instead insist on continuing to believe "god-did-it," in the face of all evidence to the contrary. The believers in volcano gods at least had the excuse that they had never heard of plate tectonics.

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  18. Somewhat off topic but I don't think ID proponents should bother too much bout the use of the term IDiots; I see it as a logical parallel to PATRiots. It does have the scent of alternative use, but ISTM that we sometimes may afford some relaxation on observation of rules of semantics. Am I a closet Buddhist?

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  19. Are Otangelo/ElShamah just other names for bornagain77, affectionately known as Batshitcrazy77?

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    1. No. They're similar in behavior but are not the same person. Batshit is, amazingly, even more batshit than Otangelo.

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  20. Dr. Moran, you wrote above that Michael Behe "did NOT show that two simultaneous mutations were necessary to develop chloroquine resistance. The scientific evidence shows conclusively that a CCC didn't happen in Plasmodium."

    Summers et al 2014 wrote that "A minimum of two mutations sufficed for (low) CQ transport activity, and as few as four conferred full activity." They go on to describe which two mutations are required in different strains: "N75E and K76T in PfCRTDd2" and "K76T and N326D in PfCRTEcu1110"

    Are you saying that only one mutation suffices for low CQ transport activity? Is there more recent research showing this or maybe am I misunderstanding you?

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    1. Please understand the word "SIMULTANEOUS".

      Yes, it requires (at least) two mutations. But they don't have to happen SIMULTANEOUSLY (meaning in the same individual from one generation to the next) as Behe's claim is contingent upon.

      If one can happen first, and then later the next one, this radically alters the odds.

      There are SO MANY IDcreationists who still don't get that this is the crux of the matter. The SIMULTANEITY. They think Behe has shown that something that requires two mutations can't evolve.

      But what Behe has shown is that something that requires two specific mutations to happen simultaneously is "the edge of evoluition". We actually agree with him, that IS the edge of evolution.

      It's just that Behe has somehow managed to get across to his audience (and never bothered to correct this misapprehension) that something that merely requires two mutations can't ever evolve.

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    2. Mikkel, thanks for the response. I agree that the mutations don't have to happen simultaneously in the same p. falciparum in order to get chloroquine resistance. But I would think the odds of two mutations in the same generation would be fairly close to the odds of one NEUTRAL (<--key word) mutation happening and remaining around long enough for a second enabling mutation to appear in a descendant.

      To keep things extra simple (so I hopefully don't make a mistake), let's assume this thought experiment:

      An organism with a 10^6 base genome
      1 mutation per generation
      Only 1 bit per base.

      In this genome there are 10^6^2 possible permutations, which is 10^12. It seems that you are suggesting that we should expect to find a specific 2-mutation change woudl be found after perhaps only 10^8 or 10^10 replications/mutations?

      If this were the case, I think all of our computer security systems would be useless. If there were 10^60 possible combinations for a password, we could simply restructure the search as an evolutionary algorithm and find it in far fewer than 10^60 attempts. You would essentially be breaking every cryptographic algorithm on the planet.

      Please let me know if I'm missing something obvious here.

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    3. Above I meant to write "10^6^2 possible 2-mutation permutations"

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    4. It's the distinction between dependent and independent probabilities. If both arise in the same cell, they are independent. Likewise if you separately pick one, and then pick the other. But if a subpopulation with mutation A, and another subpopulation with B, can arise, the double can occur in either of those subpopulations. It's now a dependent probability - dependent on the current size of the A + B subpopulations. This obviously fluctuates from zero to, potentially, 100%. It's more likely to be lower than higher, of course, but because organisms reproduce, it's not simply two random picks.

      Further, in this sexual species, there can be recombination between A and B. This has a substantial effect on the overall probability of occurrence.

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  21. Mikkel, thanks for the response. I agree that the mutations don't have to happen simultaneously in the same p. falciparum in order to get chloroquine resistance. But I would think the odds of two mutations in the same generation would be fairly close to the odds of one NEUTRAL (<--key word) mutation happening and remaining around long enough for a second enabling mutation to appear in a descendant.

    To keep things extra simple (so I hopefully don't make a mistake), let's assume this thought experiment:

    An organism with a 10^6 base genome
    1 mutation per generation
    Only 1 bit per base.

    In this genome there are 10^6^2 possible permutations, which is 10^12. It seems that you are suggesting that we should expect to find a specific 2-mutation change woudl be found after perhaps only 10^8 or 10^10 replications/mutations?

    If this were the case, I think all of our computer security systems would be useless. If there were 10^60 possible combinations for a password, we could simply restructure the search as an evolutionary algorithm and find it in far fewer than 10^60 attempts. You would essentially be breaking every cryptographic algorithm on the planet.

    Please let me know if I'm missing something obvious here.

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    1. (The word "permutation" is confusing. Do you mean double mutations?)
      (If you're writing 10^6^2 then you mean 10^36, right?)

      In any event, I think there's a bit of misunderstanding here. Maybe two mutations were necessary to have resistance to whateverthatwas. But that doesn't mean that only those two precise mutations could have worked.

      It doesn't mean, either, that they had to occur at the same time. If neither breaks the protein's function too bad, then any of those two mutations might have existed to some extent in the population. I truly don't understand why people would think that every protein has the very same sequence in a complete population of a species. There's actually some variation. A mutation only has to exist in a population in order for it to be available for selection. It doesn't have to be fixed in the population. This means that there's a variable background where a second mutation can occur and give some individual(s) the advantage to resist the antimalarial drug.

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    2. An evolutionary algorithm would work on passwords if there were differential levels of success in guessing. No latching required.

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    3. Sorry everyone for the duplicate post.

      @photosynthesis I mean (10^6)^2 , which is 10^12

      I agree with the rest of your points but I don't think it affects my numbers. There are two possible paths of two mutations that give chloro-quine resistance. Summers et al tell us what they are: "N75E and K76T in PfCRTDd2" and "K76T and N326D in PfCRTEcu1110" So if the odds of hitting one of those paths is one in 10^12, the odds of hitting either one is 10^12 / 2. We're discussing what order of magnitude is correct so I didn't think it was necessary to discuss the constant. And I am not saying both mutations have to occur in the same organism.

      So I still squaring the odds is the correct approach, but I'm open to having my mind changed.

      @Petrushka - I agree. But in these first two mutations for minimal chloroquine resistance there is no latching. Both must be present before selection has something to work with.

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    4. Joe,

      You're still missing one point, so I insist. You're mistaking the single case of the existing two mutations for a one and only possible "solution" that could ever confer resistance to chloro-whatever. If someone reports that resistant plasmodia were isolated and that they had these two mutations, that means that such plasmodia had those two mutations, not that such is the only possible way resistance could come about. This clearly affects your numbers. (The total number of ways that resistance could happen would be unknown.)

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    5. @Joecoder7

      I did make a mistake in my response, when I wrote: "It's just that Behe has somehow managed to get across to his audience (and never bothered to correct this misapprehension) that something that merely requires two mutations can't ever evolve." It should have read: "... something that merely requires two mutations is the edge of evolution".

      Regarding the odds calculation, I wouldn't know how to do the correct calculation, but what I do know is that it can (and has been) demonstrated that two sequential mutations cannot be the edge of evolution, since there are many many experiments where functions requiring many more mutations than two, have in fact evolved in populations much smaller than p. falciparum populations.

      Case in point is the Lenski LTEE. It is known that between the original clone used to start the experiment, and the bacterium that can do aerobic citrate transport, at least three mutations contribute to this specific capability. And they evolved one at at time.

      "But I would think the odds of two mutations in the same generation would be fairly close to the odds of one NEUTRAL (<--key word) mutation happening and remaining around long enough for a second enabling mutation to appear in a descendant."

      Why? How do you calculate the odds of "a neutral mutation remaining around long enough for a second enabling mutations to appear in a descendant"?

      What factors affect whether neutral mutations remain around and how do you assign odds to them?

      "An organism with a 10^6 base genome
      1 mutation per generation
      Only 1 bit per base.

      In this genome there are 10^6^2 possible permutations, which is 10^12. It seems that you are suggesting that we should expect to find a specific 2-mutation change woudl be found after perhaps only 10^8 or 10^10 replications/mutations?"


      Where's population size in this calculation? The more members of the population, the more likely one of them will contain the mutation we are interested in.

      If there are a hundred billion individuals, which is a typical size for a bacterial population (in fact your gut contains about a trillion, which is ten times that), that mutation with a 10^-6 chance will happen a hundred thousand times in that population, every generation.

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    7. Joe
      Good point. Spot-on.But be adviced the folks here are not reason driven but ideology driven. If 1+2=2 would prove Gods existence, Folks here would trumpet unisono: No, the calculation is wrong.No Idea why the desperation tdedny Gods existence.

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    8. I think there's a bug in the software of the creationist chatbot.

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    9. If 1+2=2 would prove Gods existence, Folks here would trumpet unisono: No, the calculation is wrong

      Exactly. LOL!

      I also notice you've now started plagiarizing yourself, Otangelo. Good job!

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    10. Otangely, can I ask you a question? A simple yes or no question?

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