Saturday, December 10, 2016

Revisiting Michael Behe's challenge and revealing a closed mind

It's been twenty years since Michael Behe published Darwin's Black Box and Intelligent Design Creationists are flagellating themselves over the fact that it had so little impact on creationism. The USA is becoming more secular with each passing year. Religion is on the decline.

In their attempt to deal with their defeat, the main ID blog has been publishing "Behe's Greatest Hits," which is a euphemistic way of saying "Behe's Greatest Failures." The latest one caught my eye. It's Best of Behe: An Open Letter to Professors Kenneth Miller and PZ Myers.

It takes you back more than two years to July 21, 2014. That's when Michael Behe issued his challenge to PZ Myers and Ken Miller. The challenge was based on his book The Edge of Evolution and specifically on the development of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. Behe starts with the assumption that cloroquine resistance is extremely rare—it occurs with a probability of roughly 10-20. He concludes that resistance requires at least two different mutations that must occur simultaneously in an individual suffering from malaria while being treated with chloroquine.

The first assumption is approximately correct. Chloroquine resistance is rare. He was criticized for the second assumption; namely, that the overall probability of chloroquine resistance is just the probability of two mutations occurring simultaneously (e.g. 10-10 × 10-10 = 10-20).

Here's the challenge,
What's puzzling to me is your thinking the exact route to resistance matters much when the bottom line is that it's an event of probability 1 in 1020. From the sequence and laboratory evidence it's utterly parsimonious and consistent with all the data -- especially including the extreme rarity of the origin of chloroquine resistance -- to think that a first, required mutation to PfCRT is strongly deleterious while the second may partially rescue the normal, required function of the protein, plus confer low chloroquine transport activity. Those two required mutations -- including an individually deleterious one which would not be expected to segregate in the population at a significant frequency -- by themselves go a long way (on a log scale, of course) to accounting for the figure of 1 in 1020, perhaps 1 in 1015 to 1016 of it (roughly from the square of the point mutation rate up to an order of magnitude more than it). So how do your calculations account for it?
I decided to answer Behe's challenge. This led to a series of back-and-forth blog posts where I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Behe that he was wrong. The first point is that the overall probability of developing resistance to chloroquine is not just the probability of the mutations occurring in one individual. It's that PLUS the probability that the mutations will become fixed in the populations and subsequently detected by health care workers. Since the detected rate is 10-20, the probability of the mutations must be much higher.

The second point is that we have data. We know from published work that there are several different paths to chloroquine resistance. All of them involve multiple mutations. However, the first mutations are NOT strongly deleterious as Behe demands. Instead they are relatively neutral and they exist at appreciably frequency in Plasmodium populations throughout the world. These are populations that are not chlorquine resistant.

When these populations are exposed to chloroquine, all that's needed is a second mutation to confer resistance. Thus, the two mutations are not simultaneous at all. The low probability is a combination of one beneficial mutation occurring in a population in which several preliminary mutations exist at various frequencies due to random genetic drift.

The challenge was answered but you won't see any mention of that in the latest post on Evolution News & Views (sic).

A Key Inference of The Edge of Evolution Has Now Been Experimentally Confirmed July 14, 2014 (Michael Behe)
So, Michael Behe Was Right After All; What Will the Critics Say Now? July 16, 2014 (Casey Luskin)
Quote-mined by Casey Luskin! July 17, 2014 (PZ Myers)
An Open Letter to Kenneth Miller and PZ Myers July 21, 2014 (Michael Behe)
A Pretty Sharp Edge: Reflecting on Michael Behe's Vindication July 28, 2014 (Ann Gauger)
Michael Behe and the edge of evolution July 31, 2014 (Larry Moran)
Taking the Behe challenge! Aug. 1, 2014 (Larry Moran)
Laurence Moran's Sandwalk Evolves Chloroquine Resistance Aug. 13, 2014 (Michael Behe)
Flunking the Behe Challenge! Aug. 13, 2014 (Larry Moran)
CCC's and the edge of evolution Aug. 15, 2014 (Larry Moran)
How Many Ways Are There to Win at Sandwalk? Aug. 15, 2014 (Michael Behe)
Guide of the Perplexed: A Quick Reprise of The Edge of Evolution Aug. 20, 2014 (Michael Behe)
Understanding Michael Behe Aug. 22, 2014 (Larry Moran)
Drawing My Discussion with Laurence Moran to a Close Aug. 26, 2014 (Michael Behe)
Michael Behe's final thoughts on the edge of evolution Aug. 27, 2014 (Larry Moran)


After all that, I failed to explain to Michael Behe what the data actually showed. It showed that chloroquine resistance develops in a two- or three-step scenario where the first steps involve an effectively neutral allele that accumulates in a population by random genetic drift. This is a fairly rare event but it happens in populations that have not been exposed to choroquine. The final step is the one that confers chloroquine resistance when the parasites are exposed to chloroquine.

After all that, Michael Behe still thinks I am defending a scenario where the first steps have to be deleterious in the absence of chloroquine so that all two (or three) mutations have to confer some level of chloroquine resistance in a stepwise manner. He thinks this is the standard Darwinian explanation. This is how he closes the debate, revealing a mind so closed that issuing a challenge was pointless.
I wrote in my last post that I had cited chloroquine resistance in Edge as a likely example of the two-mutation phenomenon, and that Summers et al. recently "confirmed" that it did need two mutations to pump chloroquine. Moran responds, "This is a little bit misleading and possibly a little bit disingenuous. Everyone understood that chloroquine resistance was rare and that it almost certainly required multiple mutations."

I'm afraid it is he who is playing the ingénue. There's a big difference between simply requiring serial additive mutations for some maximal effect and requiring multiple mutations before you get an effect at all. The first is a run-of-the-mill, gradualist Darwinian scenario: one mutation comes along, helps a bit, spreads in the population by selection, which increases the base from which the second mutation may arise; the second appears, helps a bit more, spreads, and so forth. Lather, rinse, repeat.

But if the first required mutation (or second, or third) doesn't help, or positively hurts, then the gradualist scenario is interrupted. The first mutation does not spread in the population (in fact it's actively kept in check by negative selection), so the number of organisms with the mutation does not increase and can't provide a larger base within which the second mutation can arise. The Darwinian magic is turned off.

How Much Does that Hurt?

Enormously. For most species, missing even one such baby step increases the required population size/waiting time by a factor of millions to billions. If even one step in a long and relentlessly detailed evolutionary pathway is deleterious, then a Darwinian process is woefully impaired. If several steps in a row are deleterious, you can kiss the Darwinian explanation goodbye.


199 comments :

  1. Since the detected rate is 10-20, the probability of the mutations must be much lower.

    Higher?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. That's an annoying nitpick but you are correct. I fixed it.

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    2. "Since the detected rate is 10-20, the probability of the mutations must be much higher." -Moron

      That's your point? Really?

      You don't think Behe knows this?
      All he's saying is that the OBSERVED rate of mutation is 10^20.
      Then he POSTULATES that this may be due to two deleterious mutations, or one "neutral" mutation and one deleterious one.
      But IT DOESN'T MATTER what exact sequence of mutations needed to occur to confer Clq resistance - Behe says nothing about deleterious mutations not being in the population. Even I can reckon that there would be about the same proportion of deleterious mutations as the probability of their respective point mutations occurring. What seems to be your problem?

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    3. All he's saying is that the OBSERVED rate of mutation is 10^20.

      Exactly. And he's wrong. He's citing the frequency with which chloroquine resistance has been observed by human investigators, and interpreting that as the frequency with which the trait has arisen. The two are obviously not the same thing.

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  2. If two mutations are needed, and each is individually deleterious, the first one to occur in the population does not disappear instantly. If mutation is recurrent at mutation rate μ and the selection coefficient against it is s, the mutant will be found at about frequency μ/s in the population. The rate of occurrence of the second mutant in gene copies that have the first one is then μ^2/s and the probability that the double-mutant survives initial genetic drift is about 2s' where s' is the selective advantage of the double mutant over the original wild-type allele. (The advantages and disadvantages given here are those for the heterozygotes).

    So Behe's figure μ^2 should be multiplied by s'/s even in the simple case he posits. If s' is much bigger than s this could be a substantial effect.

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    1. Cool. It knew this was possible but I didn't know the parameters. I don't think Behe has any grasp of random genetic drift or the idea that deleterious mutations can be present in a population.

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    2. I imagine Behe must have some understanding of genetic drift, but since it plays hell with so many of his objections to "Darwinism" he pretends not to. (Whether he pretends not to only to others or to himself as well, I don't know; but it's not that difficult an idea to grasp, and I would guess Behe is plenty smart enough to grasp it.)

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    3. Behe says-

      “Those two required mutations -- including an individually deleterious one which would not be expected to segregate in the population at a significant frequency…”

      Isn’t he suggesting the first mutation is so deleterious that it does not spread by drift?

      If so, then his calculation is more or less correct, but his error is in the fact the mutations don’t happen that way. (They might in theory, but in reality we observe differently).

      He seems to be attacking the notion of ‘slowly accumulating advantages’ as a description of evolution. He does seem aware of population genetics, but maybe he isn’t aware that ‘slowly accumulating advantages’ is not a good description of the stochastic process revealed.

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    4. " I don't think Behe has any grasp of random genetic drift or the idea that deleterious mutations can be present in a population." - Moron.

      What makes you think he doesn't understand these basic concepts?
      Isn't it more likely that, being a PhD, he may understand these concepts better than you?

      Read the actual passage you posted, where he says:

      "But if the first required mutation (or second, or third) doesn't help, or positively hurts, then the gradualist scenario is interrupted. The first mutation does not spread in the population (in fact it's actively kept in check by negative selection), so the number of organisms with the mutation does not increase and can't provide a larger base within which the second mutation can arise. The Darwinian magic is turned off."

      -what part of that demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic concepts? In fact, you don't even say what your objection to the above passage is.

      Care to fill us in?

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    5. what part of that demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic concepts?

      This part: "But if the first required mutation (or second, or third) doesn't help, or positively hurts, then the gradualist scenario is interrupted. The first mutation does not spread in the population..."

      He does not understand that neutral, or even deleterious, mutations can become fixed in a population, and commonly do.

      You are aware that Larry Moran possesses a PhD in biochemistry, correct?

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    6. Correct.
      You are aware that Behe possesses a PhD in biochemistry, correct?

      Now, as for your accusation levelled toward a PhD in biochemistry:
      "He does not understand that neutral, or even deleterious, mutations can become fixed in a population, and commonly do."

      "chloroquine resistance develops in a two- or three-step scenario where the first steps involve an effectively neutral allele that accumulates in a population by random genetic drift. This is a fairly rare event but it happens in populations that have not been exposed to choroquine." -Moron

      See? Even Moron admits that even a NEUTRAL mutation would 'rarely' accumulate in a population by means of drift, so why do you suppose that a deleterious mutation would plausibly accumulate in a population beyond the raw point-mutation rate of about 10^-8?

      OF COURSE Behe understands that there will always be some individuals in a population with harmful mutations, so if that's your definition of "fixation", you're right. For my part, I thought the term "fixation" was reserved for cases when a genotype becomes PREDOMINANT in a population.

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    7. You are aware that Behe possesses a PhD in biochemistry, correct?

      Of course. But I am not the one suggesting that, by virtue of his having a PhD, his knowledge of population genetics should not questioned. You are. So, then, why do you feel entitled to question the knowledge of Prof. Moran, who also posseses a PhD?

      See? Even Moron (sic) admits that even a NEUTRAL mutation would 'rarely' accumulate in a population by means of drift,

      Well, I was talking about fixation, not "accumulation". But, yes, most novel mutations do not become very common in a population, and fixation is even rarer. This is surprising to you? Are you aware of how many mutations occur in a single generation?

      so why do you suppose that a deleterious mutation would plausibly accumulate in a population beyond the raw point-mutation rate of about 10^-8?

      Because I know a bit about population genetics. You clearly do not.

      OF COURSE Behe understands that there will always be some individuals in a population with harmful mutations, so if that's your definition of "fixation", you're right.

      No, that is not the definition I use. I use the actual, correct definition.

      For my part, I thought the term "fixation" was reserved for cases when a genotype becomes PREDOMINANT in a population.

      You're wrong:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixation_(population_genetics)

      Anyway, to be clear: Are you really saying you believe that, according to population genetics, it is not possible for a neutral or deleterious allele to go to fixation? And is that Behe's position, as well?

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    8. You are aware that Behe possesses a PhD in biochemistry, correct?

      I'm also aware he got his butt handed to him under cross-examination in the Dover case when he insisted that nothing in a foot-high stack of peer reviewed references flatly contradicting his position on irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade could possibly make him change his mind. If you'd like to try to find a similar quote from Dr. Moran that scientific evidence doesn't matter to him, I'll wait....

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    9. judmarc
      "I'm also aware he got his butt handed to him under cross-examination in the Dover case when he insisted that nothing in a foot-high stack of peer reviewed references flatly contradicting his position on irreducible complexity of the blood clotting cascade could possibly make him change his mind. If you'd like to try to find a similar quote from Dr. Moran that scientific evidence doesn't matter to him, I'll wait...."

      Do you really think he got his butt kicked? Have you combed through the arguments and can you clearly explain why the counter argument is superior to Behe's? How many DNA nucleotides must become organized to create a blood clotting system? Perhaps 50k? There are 4^50000 ways to arrange these chemicals. Your claim is that RMNS or genetic drift is the superior explanation of how this occurred?

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    10. Bill Cole, do you even understand the argument Behe was trying to make from the clotting cascade?

      And, boy, you sure love that lottery fallacy, don't you?

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    11. Hi Bill, yes I really think so, and yes I can explain both why the argument Behe actually made in court and also the argument you're trying to make are clearly wrong.

      Two things about Behe's actual argument:

      - First the judge is on record as saying Behe's cross-examination should be taught in law schools as an example of how to cross examine an opposing expert witness. So the judge thinks this is literally a textbook example of Behe failing. I'd call that getting your butt comprehensively kicked.

      - Second, Behe's actual argument was that the human blood clotting cascade was a great example of irreducible complexity, i.e., no step could be taken away and have the cascade still work. That stack of papers and books in front of Behe in the courtroom was more than 50 papers and books with *confirmed* examples of simpler blood clotting cascades missing steps that are in the human cascade. So Behe testified something was impossible and was then confronted with a literal pile of confirmed examples that what he'd said was utterly impossible had in fact occurred multiple times. His reaction? He said he would never retract his conclusion this was impossible, no matter how many actual confirmed working examples he was shown.

      Now if your expert says machines heavier than air cannot fly, and I show him a stack of references on airplanes, and his reaction is to say no matter how much information you show him confirming airplanes are a reality that he will still claim they are impossible, how much credibility does your expert have left? About as much as Behe did after having his butt comprehensively kicked.

      - Now, about your different argument, which has been dubbed the "lottery fallacy:" What that argument comes down to, in simplest terms, is saying the *more* ways there are to accomplish something, the *less* likely it is to occur. So if a couple hundred million people by tickets for the lottery, by that theory there is less likelihood of a winner than if just one person buys a ticket. Or if I can get to your house by plane, train, or walking, I'm *less* likely to be able to get there than if the only access is by walking. Or people are *less* likely to have children if a male produces just one sperm, rather than 100 million during a sexual encounter. Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it? It's provably wrong as a matter of sheer mathematics, but I don't think you need a math professor to tell you how wrong this is.

      Clear enough?

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    12. Hi Judmarc
      I stipulate that by Behe's strict definition of irreducibly complexity that cases were made that discounted his claims.

      The bigger issue, however, is if these modern evolutionary processes are capable of building a blood clotting system. I think this is a very difficult claim because unlike your lottery example the possible solutions are much smaller then the possible arrangements in a system where proteins must be able to bind and also perform a complex function.

      The evidence is pointing to a sequence that is specifically designed for a purpose.

      One of the top stories in scientific american this year was about the simulation hypothesis. If this hypothesis gains credibility then the purposeful design of complex DNA sequences also gains credibility.

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    13. The bigger issue, however, is if these modern evolutionary processes are capable of building a blood clotting system.

      The possible solutions are much smaller than the possible arrangements in a lottery, too. Remember that the next time someone wins a big lottery - evolution in action!

      I'll have a look at Scientific American, to which I have a digital subscription. I must have missed the part where they gave increased credibility to purposeful design of DNA.

      Delete
    14. Oh, you mean the "Are we living in a computer simulation?" stupidity? As Lisa Randall says, I don't know why some tremendously advanced species would be so interested in simulating us, nor engage in the profligacy of creating an entire simulated universe for us, of which we are an utterly insignificant part. You really need billions of galaxies just to run a simulation of us?

      This is all such old stuff - it was already well worn by the start of the 20th century (see "Boltzmann brains").

      The other piece of this is, if you believe the simulation hypothesis, the most parsimonious conclusion isn't that DNA is designed, but that there is no such thing as DNA and we have simply been programmed to believe we, life, the universe and DNA all exist. So I can't see that the hypothesis provides the least particle of scientific support for actual life with actual DNA that is designed.

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    15. The bigger issue, however, is if these modern evolutionary processes are capable of building a blood clotting system. I think this is a very difficult claim because unlike your lottery example the possible solutions are much smaller then the possible arrangements in a system where proteins must be able to bind and also perform a complex function.

      Prove this assertion. Demonstrate that you have worked out every single possible pathway of sequences and shown that only one these results in a viable function (and not necessarily the specific function of the clotting cascade). Or STFU already.

      I guess the 3rd option is to keep mindlessly regurgitating the same long-refuted argument, as if it is the only slim lifeline that is preserving your religious faith. Gee, I wonder which option you will take.

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    16. Hey Bill, you wrote:
      "The bigger issue, however, is if these modern evolutionary processes are capable of building a blood clotting system."

      I don't get it Bill. Why keep on claiming there's a bigger issue, when in fact there is none. Is this some kind of hope you have? If you keep on repeating the same old refuted question over and over again, it will give a different answer? Are you one of those people who keep on hitting a button when their PC locks up, in the hopes this time it will respond? There's this famous quote: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. Are you hoping for a different result? And why?

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    17. Judmarc
      "The other piece of this is, if you believe the simulation hypothesis, the most parsimonious conclusion isn't that DNA is designed, but that there is no such thing as DNA and we have simply been programmed to believe we, life, the universe and DNA all exist. So I can't see that the hypothesis provides the least particle of scientific support for actual life with actual DNA that is designed."

      Take a longer look at the hypothesis. I think you will be able to see how DNA fits with it.

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    18. On the bright side, it is good to see Bill Cole admit that Behe's irreducible complexity claim has been debunked. Hopefully he can persuade his fellow IDiots to stop citing it.

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    19. Bill, it's far from my first look at the hypothesis. As I said, it's been around longer than either of us has been alive. Now suppose you tell me why a hypothesis that makes any aspect of our perceived reality completely unnecessary makes it more likely that one of those aspects not only exists but originated in a particular fashion. And after that you can explain to me where the superior intelligences creating this simulation came from. Did they evolve or were they too designed? Is it an infinite regress, with turtles all the way down?

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    20. Judmarc
      "Bill, it's far from my first look at the hypothesis. As I said, it's been around longer than either of us has been alive. Now suppose you tell me why a hypothesis that makes any aspect of our perceived reality completely unnecessary makes it more likely that one of those aspects not only exists but originated in a particular fashion."

      Along with origin of complex functional DNA sequences there are several scientific observations that are better explained by the universe being in a virtual construct. Two examples in physics are quantum non locality and observer dependent wave partial duality.

      The where the superior intelligence is coming from is an interesting question but not part of the simulation hypothesis.

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    21. The where the superior intelligence is coming from is an interesting question but not part of the simulation hypothesis.

      Really? So a universe you claim isn't capable of bringing forth complex functional *molecules*, let alone something like an amoeba, is all of a sudden popping out super-intelligent beings (or at least one all-powerful and omniscient being according to some people), and this doesn't strike you as a wee bit contradictory?

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    22. Two examples in physics are quantum non locality and observer dependent wave partial duality.

      What? Dude, it's math. It doesn't require a simulation any more than 2+2=4 does. (By the way, it's "wave particle duality.")

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    23. Bill:
      "The where the superior intelligence is coming from is an interesting question but not part of the simulation hypothesis."

      How would you distinguish your virtual world (creation) myth from The Matrix?

      And why isn't it vital to know where the superior intelligence comes from? Isn't this one of the main claims of creationists, that evolution can't (re)produce the beginning of life, thus goddidit. Rather hypocrite wouldn't you say?

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    24. Bill Cole bluffs:

      Along with origin of complex functional DNA sequences there are several scientific observations that are better explained by the universe being in a virtual construct. Two examples in physics are quantum non locality and observer dependent wave partial duality.

      I call bullshit. Please cite the experimental observations that have demonstrated this to be correct, as opposed to other possible models of QM (e.g. many worlds; Bohmian mechanics.) I bet you can't.

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    25. judmarc
      "What? Dude, it's math. It doesn't require a simulation any more than 2+2=4 does. (By the way, it's "wave particle duality.")"

      Can you show how math explains that the entanglement of two electrons remains over long distances or how waves become particles when there is an observer present?
      Here is a video that James Gates and Max Techmark consulted in that explains the hypothesis.
      https://youtu.be/VqULEE7eY8M

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    26. ...how waves become particles when there is an observer present?

      They don't. That's a naive and uninformed misrepresentation of the concept of superposition.

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    27. The bigger issue is that quantum mechanics shows that searching for "explanations" may be pointless and futile. The task, rather, is to create models and test how accurately they conform to the observations made. The idea that the universe is a "virtual reality" doesn't pass muster because there are no predictions that can be made from it that allow it to be tested.

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    28. @lutesuite

      Please cite the experimental observations that have demonstrated this to be correct, as opposed to other possible models of QM (e.g. many worlds; Bohmian mechanics.) I bet you can't.

      Isn't that the 'pot calling the kettle black' example from lutesuite here? It sure is to me.

      Why don't you apply the same request to yourself and provide us with experimental observations to subjects, such as the origins of life and first cell with the very serious issue of cell membrane and DNA irreducible complexity (I'd call it), origins of Eukaryotas and so on?

      You see, you have no problem demanding it from others and yet your delusional state tells your brain that you don't need any experimental evidence to back up your beliefs...
      What are your beliefs based on then? You claim to be working in psychiatry. Explain it then!

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    29. Oh Bill, Bill. I am sorry to say this, my friend, but you've been sadly duped.

      That film? Made by a one-man "film company," and at least the Tegmark segment is a blatant theft from the PBS program "NOVA" - you can see the original segment if you find the NOVA program "The Great Math Mystery." And no, Tegmark did not "consult" on the film, and if I'd bothered to stick around for the James Gates segment, my guess is that it was ripped off from somewhere else as well. Oh, and by the way, here's Tegmark being quoted on the simulation hypothesis:

      “Is it logically possible that we are in a simulation? Yes. Are we probably in a simulation? I would say no,” said Max Tegmark, a professor of physics at MIT. (That's from a Guardian article that quotes other prominent physicists being quite skeptical as well.)

      I heard the segment in the film about entanglement being "best explained" as a virtual construct, which is where you pulled it from virtually verbatim. That is utterly laughable, just as valid as Tegmark's "consultation." As I told you before, it's just math, does not violate any other physical principles such as relativity or faster than light communication, and is explainable in terms of statistics and probability. From Wikipedia: "Therefore, if similar measurements are being performed on the two entangled subsystems, there will always be a correlation between the outcomes resulting in a well defined global outcome i.e. for both subsystems together. However, the outcomes for each subsystem separately at each repetition of the experiment will not be well defined or predictable. This correlation does not imply any action of the measurement of one particle on the measurement of the other, therefore it doesn't imply any form of action at a distance."

      As for wave/particle duality, that's a pretty horrible description. Taken from the film as well?

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    30. judmarc
      " As for wave/particle duality, that's a pretty horrible description. Taken from the film as well?"

      Yes, there are a couple of experiments discussed later in the film. The one at the end of the film I had not seem before.

      As far as I know entanglement works irrespective of distance. What known law of physics explains this in your opinion?

      The film gave credits to Tegmark and Gates among others. I agree that Tegmark thinks simulation theory is only a concept hypothesis at this point. Gates is of the same opinion as Tegmark. At the Asamov conference only deGrasse Tyson gave it a greater than 50% probability. I realize this might be BS and agree that all claims in the film must be rigorously reviewed. Thanks for your inputs.

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    31. Don Quixote,

      "Why don't you apply the same request to yourself and provide us with experimental observations to subjects, such as the origins of life and first cell with the very serious issue of cell membrane and DNA irreducible complexity"

      These people are thoroughly trained, not in the rigor of investigative science, but in a religious art. 'empirical' and 'evidence' are just words they like to use. They are not operative technical concepts.

      You posed a serious question, but you will not get a straight-forward serious answer.

      Delete
    32. As far as I know entanglement works irrespective of distance. What known law of physics explains this in your opinion?

      Bill, in physics as in evolution, if you don't really understand the math but only have a surface, conceptual way of thinking about it, you'll get screwed up. Read what I quoted from Wikipedia (helpfully bolding the important part) again:

      "However, the outcomes for each subsystem separately at each repetition of the experiment will not be well defined or predictable. This correlation does not imply any action of the measurement of one particle on the measurement of the other, therefore it doesn't imply any form of action at a distance."

      No action at a distance, no relativity violation. All known laws of physics are strictly obeyed.

      A better understanding of entanglement also does a much better job of explaining wave/particle duality phenomena than hocus-pocus "observer" notions.

      Explanations of the quantum physics phenomenon of superposition have occasionally used imprecise English-language terms like "observation" or "measurement" to try to explain to non-math-oriented laypeople the process whereby the quantum wave function "collapses" from a probabilistic one to a certainty. While accurate in terms of performing experiments, a better and perhaps more precise term where experimenters are not involved is "entanglement," which can be thought of simply as interaction. That is, something that is held in a state where its interactions with any other particles or forces is absolutely minimized can exist in a state of quantum superposition (where we are talking about waves and particles, a state of wave/particle duality). However, once it begins to interact with other particles or forces, this state of superposition begins to break down, i.e., mathematically speaking its probabilistic quantum wave function collapses. So for example, "qubits" in quantum computers, which can hold 1 and 0 values simultaneously, must be cooled by liquid helium to minimize interactivity with other forces or particles. If they heat up too much, they lose the ability to act as qubits. No human (or other intelligent) observation or measurement is necessary, just interaction with any other force or particle.

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    33. Judmarc
      Thanks for you inputs. This will be interesting to follow. The third item in this hypothesis is Gates use of bits for error correction in his supersymmetry models. This implies that atoms have computational capability on their own.

      Delete
    34. Don Quixote, You'd have to be really silly to expect direct experimental evidence of "experimental observations to subjects, such as the origins of life and first cell with the very serious issue of cell membrane and DNA irreducible complexity."

      However, it would be reasonable to expect experimental evidence regarding the chemistry of organic molecules in systems that don't include life. Although other fields are pay better, now and then researchers do study these topics.

      For example, researchers have found that lipids and especially phospholipids, when agitated in water, form bubbles that can be more or less stable. They can absorb and concentrate other organic molecules. If they get big, the bubbles divide to produce two bubbles. In other words, primitive cell membranes can form without life.

      Therefore, your "issue of cell membrane and DNA irreducible complexity" is not a problem at all. The situation is not irreducibly complex. DNA and cell membranes did not have to evolve simultaneously.

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    35. bwilson 295
      "Therefore, your "issue of cell membrane and DNA irreducible complexity" is not a problem at all. The situation is not irreducibly complex. DNA and cell membranes did not have to evolve simultaneously."

      Do you really think that lipids forming bubbles in the ocean proves that cell membranes can form without DNA?

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    36. Yes, BC, I really do. If you don't, why not?

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    37. This implies that atoms have computational capability on their own.

      I am going to make a wild guess that Gates would strongly agree with me it implies no such thing.

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    38. Ah, here we are:

      "Relating Doubly-Even Error-Correcting Codes, Graphs, and Irreducible Representations of N-Extended Supersymmetry

      C.F. Doran, M.G. Faux, S.J. Gates Jr, T. Hubsch, K.M. Iga, G.D. Landweber (Submitted on 31 May 2008) Previous work has shown that the classification of indecomposable off-shell representations of N-supersymmetry, depicted as Adinkras, may be factored into specifying the topologies available to Adinkras, and then the height-assignments for each topological type. The latter problem being solved by a recursive mechanism that generates all height-assignments within a topology, it remains to classify the former. Herein we show that this problem is equivalent to classifying certain (1) graphs and (2) error-correcting codes."

      Gates isn't claiming to have found error-correcting codes in the physical universe, he's saying it's a nice convenient way of modeling certain supersymmetric mathematical structures.

      Delete
    39. bwilson
      "Yes, BC, I really do. If you don't, why not?"
      What experiment could you form to prove this? Take bacterial genetic material and put it inside the bubble and see if life is maintained. What do you think the odds of success are? Ok lets assume this fails every try. Now you claim this is because we are using modern life and not early simpler life. So how do you show that simpler life can survive. You're only reference point is Venters work which is around 500 genes. So if Venter s proto bacteria cannot be supported by a lipid bubble your claim has no empirical backing, it is another "just so" story.

      Delete
    40. judmarc
      Here is a short explanation.
      https://youtu.be/bp4NkItgf0E

      Delete
    41. So if Venter s proto bacteria cannot be supported by a lipid bubble your claim has no empirical backing, it is another "just so" story.

      Do you seriously believe Venter's "proto-bacteria" represent an early form of "life" that would have existed at the time cell membranes first formed?

      Delete
    42. lutesuite,


      "Do you seriously believe Venter's "proto-bacteria" represent an early form of "life" that would have existed at the time cell membranes first formed?"

      Minimal gene sets are required for life and reproduction. That is empirical science. Anything beneath this minimum exists only in peoples' imagination. There is absolutely no evidence of any kind to support such religious notions.

      Delete
    43. Bill - This does not change anything I said above. Gates is interested in why mathematical descriptions of pictorial representations of supersymmetric equations contain math from the Shannon error correction theorem (which some people may call "computer codes," but Shannon came up with his theorem in 1948 prior to any use in computers). Gates is also on record as saying that folks who want to jump from this to conclusions about the universe being a computer simulation are not doing science.

      Delete
    44. Minimal gene sets are required for life and reproduction. That is empirical science. Anything beneath this minimum exists only in peoples' imagination. There is absolutely no evidence of any kind to support such religious notions.

      It's quite possible the early minimal gene sets could have belonged to viruses, which require fewer genes than Venter's proto-bacteria.

      Delete
    45. viruses require the replication machinery of a host cell to propagate.

      Delete
    46. BC, if we wanted to make sure we kept the membrane/DNA "problem" unsolvable, we might take your approach. If we actually wanted to know how early cell membranes could develop, we'd look at it differently.

      On the one hand, we ask, what complex molecules could exist in the early ocean (including estuaries, volcanic vents, etc.), given what we know about the early atmosphere, ocean, and organic chemistry? Experiments in labs would show that phospholipids and other diverse organics could develop from simpler compounds without life.

      On the other hand, we ask, what traits would early cell membranes have to have? Answers would include that they'd have to enclose a space, like bubbles do. They've have to have some stability. They'd have to keep some chemicals out and let other chemicals in, though they might not be very good at it at first. Being able to divide to form two bubbles would be a big plus.

      Then we ask, can the chemicals that could form in abundance on the early earth perform the necessary minimal functions of cell membranes? The experiments with agitated mixtures of phospholipids in water show that they can.

      Parts of early shore lines, estuaries, deep sea vents, etc., would have been covered with slimy accumulations of "bubbles" formed by varying proportions of phospholipids and other chemicals, and enclosing diverse organic compounds. Were they alive? No, they weren't. This is an early step. But the cell-like bubbles would have been there -- couldn't not have been there, not matter what you think about DNA (which is a different issue).

      Delete
    47. BC, if we wanted to make sure we kept the membrane/DNA "problem" unsolvable, we might take your approach. If we actually wanted to know how early cell membranes could develop, we'd look at it differently.

      It's very strange what these IDiots do, isn't it? They concoct experiments that would confirm some straw man version of an opposing hypothesis, but which they know will fail. And then, when the experiments do fail, they declare their hypothesis has been vindicated. I wonder who told them this is how science is done?

      Delete
    48. viruses require the replication machinery of a host cell to propagate.

      Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have a keen grasp of the obvious, tx!

      Would you put money and labor into farming if you could buy your food more cheaply from a grocery next door?

      The idea is that viruses would start out using chemical components from the environment, but once the "grocery store" was there in the form of the chemicals they needed pre-packaged (i.e., bacterial or other living cells), viruses that utilized that source would have come to dominate to the exclusion of the originals.

      Delete
    49. Bwilson295
      "BC, if we wanted to make sure we kept the membrane/DNA "problem" unsolvable, we might take your approach. If we actually wanted to know how early cell membranes could develop, we'd look at it differently. "

      I am not suggesting you stop doing science. I am suggesting you keep your claims consistent with the current evidence. You currently have no idea if you make a bacterias cell membrane without DNA. This is just one of several OOL problems that require all the chicken and eggs to show up at once.

      Delete
    50. Judmarc
      " Gates is also on record as saying that folks who want to jump from this to conclusions about the universe being a computer simulation are not doing science."

      I agree this is Gate's position. Thanks again for the dialog.

      Delete
    51. Bill Cole tries to sound scientific:

      You currently have no idea if you make a bacterias cell membrane without DNA. This is just one of several OOL problems that require all the chicken and eggs to show up at once.

      Bill continues to assume that the earliest form of the membrane must exactly resemble that which exists today. Who knows why he believes this?

      Hey, speaking of chickens and eggs, Bill: If you IDiots are correct, and life was created by "intelligence" that means there must've existed a form of intelligence that wasn't alive. So could you perhaps point me to the ID research that has found such a thing actually exists? Or, if not, maybe you should just shut up with the fatuous "chicken and egg" arguments.

      Delete
    52. lutesuite,

      "Bill continues to assume that the earliest form of the membrane must exactly resemble that which exists today. Who knows why he believes this?"

      Why would anybody believe otherwise? Cell division is a highly regulated process involving numerous genes (almost 600 play a part in human cell mitosis). DNA replication requires a whole suite of highly specialized enzymes. These are facts. Supposed less sophisticated antecedents are nothing more than materialist fantasies.
      -
      "maybe you should just shut up with the fatuous "chicken and egg" arguments."

      Scientific discovery depends on curiosity, so sweeping things under the rug is not helpful.

      "The ribosome is a complex molecular machine, found within all living cells, that serves as the site of biological protein synthesis..."

      But, on the other hand:

      "In eukaryotes, the [ribosome synthesis] process takes place both in the cell cytoplasm and in the nucleolus....The assembly process involves the coordinated function of over 200 proteins in the synthesis and processing of the four rRNAs, as well as assembly of those rRNAs with the ribosomal proteins."
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribosome

      That's one fat chicken, and one enormous egg. Neither can be attributed to mutations or natural selection. They would have to 'evolve' on the basis of impossibly miraculous accidents. So I can understand why things like this are unpleasant for you.

      Delete
    53. txpiper drools insipidly:

      Why would anybody believe otherwise?

      Because "anybody" might possess half a brain.

      But, hey, since you think "chicken and egg" scenarios are a good way to invalidate scientific hypotheses, maybe you could take a crack at the one I posed to your IDiot buddy, Bill Cole:

      IDiots claim that life was created by "intelligence." However, all available evidence shows that intelligence only arises from living things. So intelligence could not possibly exist before life.

      C'mon, txpiper. "Sweeping things under the rug is not helpful", as you say. Time for you IDiot creationists to stop trying to sweep this glaring problem out of view.

      Delete
    54. BC, You've missed the point, in a big way. There is a plausible mechanism by which primitive cell membranes could assemble without DNA. Therefore, the question "which came first, the membrane or the DNA" is not a problem for evolution. It's a bad argument for you. Stop using it.

      Delete
    55. lutesuite,

      “Because "anybody" might possess half a brain.”

      The idea of simpler, self-replicating life forms is not a scientific hypothesis. It's just a mythical belief, one that you are ideologically stuck with. I think your atheism is eclipsing your fact management. For all your supposed interest in science, you've only wound up accepting a ridiculous version of spontaneous generation.
      -
      "IDiots claim that life was created by "intelligence." However, all available evidence shows that intelligence only arises from living things. So intelligence could not possibly exist before life.”

      You'll have to take this rationale up with someone limited to intelligent design. I'm a Bible-thumping creationist. I suspect that the inquisitive, pioneering scientists I admire would consider this train of thought to be rather droll.

      Why are you even interested in stuff like this? You’re creed declares that you have all the value and significance of a termite. If I had you’re mindset, I’d feel like I was pissing my life away.

      ===

      bwilson295,

      "There is a plausible mechanism by which primitive cell membranes could assemble without DNA."

      No, the bubble idea is not plausible at all. This wasn't discovered. It's just the best you can do.

      Delete
    56. txpiper,

      "Why would anybody believe otherwise? Cell division is a highly regulated process involving numerous genes (almost 600 play a part in human cell mitosis)."

      But some bacteria have less than 600 genes and still manage to do quite a lot of stuff, metabolism, and cell division. Your problem is the assumption that the original life must have been like modern life. You have no other reason to believe that, but your commitment to believing that your imaginary friend is real. But, guess what? Scientists don't have such limitations. They observe and conclude that if simpler forms exist today, then even simpler forms can have existed before, and that the original life could have worked in much simpler ways. If you have a problem with that, then that's your problem. Scientists could not care less.

      "DNA replication requires a whole suite of highly specialized enzymes. These are facts."

      Again, in some life forms, not in other, currently existing, life forms.

      "Supposed less sophisticated antecedents are nothing more than materialist fantasies. "

      Ironic that the only reason you say so is because of your commitment to your fantasies.

      Try and think. Otherwise you just ridicule your own position.

      Delete
    57. photosynthesis,

      "...some bacteria have less than 600 genes and still manage to do quite a lot of stuff, metabolism, and cell division. Your problem is the assumption that the original life must have been like modern life."

      That isn't an assumption. It is an acknowledgment of biological reality. There is nothing known or even conceivable to support a belief in 'original life' that could survive, replicate and accidentally 'evolve' into more sophisticated forms. What has been discovered about the mechanisms thus far is that the barest minimums are fantastically complex. That is the factual truth.
      -
      “Scientists could not care less.”

      I’m sure, but then lots of scientists think that rare DNA replication errors and natural selection configured and arranged enamel-coated dentin structures in your mouth so that you have incisors up front and molars in the back. So, I don’t really get too worked up about what they think. Being a scientist does not make people immune to stupidity.

      Delete
    58. BW
      "BC, You've missed the point, in a big way. There is a plausible mechanism by which primitive cell membranes could assemble without DNA. Therefore, the question "which came first, the membrane or the DNA" is not a problem for evolution. It's a bad argument for you. Stop using it."

      What are primitive cell membranes? How do you validate this even exists other then speculation? Can you assign any real confidence factor to the past existence of primitive cell membranes?

      Delete
    59. Google doesn't work on your computer, Bill?

      https://www.google.com/search?q=primitive+cell+membranea&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&channel=fs&bcutc=sp-006#q=primitive+cell+membrane

      Delete
    60. txpiper,

      "That isn't an assumption. It is an acknowledgment of biological reality.

      As I said, you sarted with 600 proteins for human cell replication, I quickly showed that even today some life forms can make it with much less than that, and your answer is that your assumption is not an assumption? can you read at all?

      And those life forms with few genes are just what we know, we haven't explored much of microbial life diversity. So, again, your assumption that primitive life must be like modern life is not just an assumption, it's an ignorant and very stupid one (sorry, if you missed the message the first time, you deserve no respect, since you don't respect yourself enough to pay attention when an explanation is given to you).

      "There is nothing known or even conceivable to support a belief in 'original life' that could survive, replicate and accidentally 'evolve' into more sophisticated forms."

      Of course there is. Primitive life would not have competition, so it;s all about niches to fill, and thus lots of evolutionary windows.

      "What has been discovered about the mechanisms thus far is that the barest minimums are fantastically complex." That is the factual truth."

      No you ignorant fool. Lots of life forms we know are already much less complex than anything you've listed. This means that you take your examples for rhetorical effect, not out of understanding or knowledge. Are you stupid enough to think we don't know any better? Oh, sorry, yes, yes you are that stupid.

      "I’m sure, but then lots of scientists think that rare DNA replication errors and natural selection configured and arranged enamel-coated dentin structures in your mouth so that you have incisors up front and molars in the back."


      See what I say? You take examples that look very complicated (to you), and conveniently forget to take a better look at other life forms. Therefore your imaginary friend is real. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You're just showing either ignorance, stupidity, and/or dishonesty.

      "So, I don’t really get too worked up about what they think. Being a scientist does not make people immune to stupidity."

      Sure it doesn't, but being a creationist seems to immunize you against intelligence.

      Think about this: if all you can offer is examples you chose for rhetorical effect, and you cannot understand an explanation when given to you, then why should anybody think that you have good reasons for believing in your imaginary friend? If you cared about readers, for example, what makes you think that your obvious self-deception will help them believe as you do?

      Delete
    61. photosynthesis,

      " those life forms with few genes are just what we know, we haven't explored much of microbial life diversity."

      Actually, they have. This is old news, but it notes that even the smallest known (in 2006) symbiotic bacterium has 182 protein-coding genes.
      http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061009/full/news061009-10.html

      Symbiosis means dependence, which just highlights the fact that there are natural limits. Some things are not naturally possible. Pumpkins cannot turn into carriages. Humans can’t jump over a hundred foot wall, or run a mile in 30 seconds. Dinosaur soft tissue cannot last for 68 million years. And no living, self-replicating organism can exist without a minimal gene set.

      Try looking at it from a different starting point. Once upon a time, there were no genes at all. Start there, and don’t lie to yourself.
      -
      “Primitive life would not have competition, so it;s all about niches to fill, and thus lots of evolutionary windows.”

      This is classic evolutionary double-talk. Empty environmental niches cannot solicit accidental molecular formations (or helpful mutations). Competition is actually a central element of natural selection. But you are trying to bridge a gap between dead elements and living organisms, so DNA replication failures and natural selection are not even in view. The only thing you can appeal to for the formation of ‘primitive life’ is accidents. Even assuming random assemblies occurred, they would have been instantly destroyed by a hostile environment. Entropy does not make exceptions for materialist fantasies.
      -
      “You take examples that look very complicated (to you), and conveniently forget to take a better look at other life forms.”

      They are complicated to you as well. You can’t describe, or even imagine, the series of complimentary DNA replication errors that supposedly defined, configured and arranged your (or anything else’s) teeth. Starting from a point of no teeth anywhere in the universe, how many mutations would you suppose were involved?

      There are huge disease databases that describe what mutations actually do. Can you link to one that lists positive results?

      Delete
    62. Hey Tx, you making the same classic mistake over and over again, here's another example:
      "You can’t describe, or even imagine, the series of complimentary DNA replication errors that supposedly defined, configured and arranged your (or anything else’s) teeth. Starting from a point of no teeth anywhere in the universe, how many mutations would you suppose were involved? "

      Once again this is another example of your standard "evolution can't do this, evolution can't do that, thus goddidit" claim.
      Perhaps this time you could come up with positive evidence in favor of ID? In a court case a defense laywer can't get away with "my client is innocent until the police has excluded the 6 billion other people on this world of this crime".
      So, now it's your time to shine Txpiper and give positive evidence for ID... Perhaps you might even make it to the top story for 2017 on EvoNews (sic)! How wonderful would that be?!
      Good luck Tx! Perhaps your mate Don can help you out... I've asked him this question too, give positive evidence for ID and he must be very busy in the lab, because he hasn't responded yet...

      Delete
    63. txpiper,

      "Actually, they have. This is old news ... symbionts ..."

      That's arrogant for someone who has no idea about science. No tx, we haven't explored a lot of life forms. So that particular symbiont might no be the one organisms with the smallest number of genes.

      At least now you must acknowledge that some life forms, even if dependent on other life forms, can do DNA replication with much fewer than 600 proteins. Congrats on this little advance!

      "This is classic evolutionary double-talk. Empty environmental niches cannot solicit accidental molecular formations (or helpful mutations)."

      Because you say so? Sorry, but they can. Empty niches means places where life forms can potentially expand. So, mutations allowing the use of some other potential nutrients, etc, will move life's evolution forward. There's no double-talk at all, you just don't understand evolution too well. If your misunderstanding was true, new niches would never be populated.

      "They are complicated to you as well. You can’t describe, or even imagine, the series of complimentary DNA replication errors that supposedly defined"

      I know where to stat exploring to figure out such evolutionary events. while you're stuck in your stubbornness that it must be impossible. Therefore they look very complicated to you, not so to me. But you're missing the point. The point is that you take examples with the highest complexity you imagine for rhetorical effect. If you knew about that symbiont, why talk about DNA replication requiring 600 proteins? For rhetorical effect and nothing else, of course!

      "There are huge disease databases that describe what mutations actually do. Can you link to one that lists positive results?"

      Those databases are dedicated to harmful mutations in the first place. How's that an unbiased example? SHouldn't you look for databases of any kinds of mutations? Who would fund such an effort? It's not interesting to catalogue just about any kinds of mutations. So funding agencies have never focused on such efforts. Harmful mutations have this tendency to be noticed because they make people sick. Beneficial mutations don't go anywhere for treatment.

      Are you truly that stupid?

      Anyway, you're missing lots of points. You choose examples for rhetorical effect, not for understanding. You ignore that we haven't explored everything in microbial life. You ignore that of course life must have started simpler.

      The only reason you ignore all that is because considering anything outside your bubble of ignorance and rhetorically kept stubbornness requires you to consider that your fantasies about gods might be false.

      That doesn't give you the right to dictate what's true or false. That only gives you the right to remain being an ignorant fool, but not to try and impose your stupidity on the rest of us.

      Just like you have the right to remain an ignorant self-deluded fool, we have the right to use our intelligences beyond the limitations you impose on yourself. If you prefer not to understand how we approach open problems in nature, then, fine, keep yourself ignorant and stupid. But don't pretend to be wise when you're obviously making a fool out of yourself.

      Delete
    64. Ed,

      “Once again this is another example of your standard "evolution can't do this, evolution can't do that, thus goddidit" claim.”

      You don’t have to accept my beliefs. But you should recognize that replacing ‘goddidit’ with ‘accidents/DNA replication errors/natural selection didit’ is just putting a different god in charge of the gaps. If you find this substitution satisfying, well good for you. But it has not jack to do with science. It is just absurd faith. If I were in the courtroom, I would press you for evidence that accidents build complex things. And you would fail, because they don’t.

      ===

      photosynthesis,

      “At least now you must acknowledge that some life forms, even if dependent on other life forms, can do DNA replication with much fewer than 600 proteins. Congrats on this little advance!”

      I never said that. I only pointed out how many genes play a part in human mitosis as a reference point.

      But, just as an exercise, let’s see if you can demonstrate your comprehension of the evolutionary processes that I just can’t grasp. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that there is a prokaryote somewhere that needs only 25 genes for self-maintenance and replication. (Just 25, because I don’t want you to be rhetorically devastated.) Starting with no genes, how would you describe the evolutionery mechanism responsible for the formation and integration of those critical, functioning genes into an organism?

      Delete
    65. txpiper,

      "You don’t have to accept my beliefs. But you should recognize that replacing ‘goddidit’ with ‘accidents/DNA replication errors/natural selection didit’ is just putting a different god in charge of the gaps"

      The huge difference being that accidents, DNA replication errors, natural selection, etc, refer to real things, while "god" refers to imaginary friends.

      "If you find this substitution satisfying, well good for you. But it has not jack to do with science."

      It has everything to do with science. Again: gods are imaginary friends. What about this facts eludes you?

      "It is just absurd faith."

      Well, if you find faith troubling, then stop it. Stay with what's possible to know instead of pretending that your lack of understanding and knowledge means that your imaginary friend is real.

      "If I were in the courtroom, I would press you for evidence that accidents build complex things. And you would fail, because they don’t"

      Sorry, but there's lots of work about complex system that demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the combination of random events with the nature of chemical/physical phenomena build complex systems. All someone would have to do is a google scholar search and present that to the courtroom.

      "I never said that. I only pointed out how many genes play a part in human mitosis as a reference point."

      Thanks for the admission that you choose that 600 genes example for mere rhetorical effect. That's an advance.

      "... 25 genes ... how would you describe the evolutionery mechanism responsible for the formation and integration of those critical, functioning genes into an organism?"

      As a mixture of random events combined with the nature of chemical and physical phenomena that resulted in metabolisms energized by chemical/sun energy, and the gathering of catalysts and information carrying molecules, perhaps some molecules that did both (catalysis and information carrying), and a plethora of events that, in the end, left a genome with a set of 25 genes that are much more co-dependent than they were at the beginning of this beautiful mess.

      Your ignorance won't be satisfied with that, of course. Your main problem, as Ed said, is that you think that if we don't know every detail or if we don't have some answer,, it must certainly be that god-did-it. Sorry. Your fantasies will remain fantasies no matter how hard you try and find gaps where to put your imaginary friends.

      Delete
    66. photosynthesis,

      “..gods are imaginary friends. What about this facts eludes you?”

      Well, whatever it is, it eluded a very long list of people like Bacon, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Linnaeus, Herschel, Dalton, Morse, Faraday, Joule, Mendel, Pasteur, Lister and many, many other scientists. I understand that you’re very enlightened, but perhaps you ran right by their reasons for maintaining the friendship. Newton, for instance, recognized that prophecies recorded many centuries before he was born were forecasting events that would occur centuries after his death, and wrote more about that than he did the stunning scientific advances he is credited with.

      I’m confident most of the people I listed knew about first advent prophecies, and saw them closed out in the New Testament. And now, lots of us Bible thumpers are on the edge of our seats because there is much more to come leading up to a second visitation. Israel, Russia, China, Iran and Syria are all players. There is much that we don’t understand, but we are not flying completely blind. And we have sense enough to recognize that a God who can steer human history towards a forecast conclusion should not be ignored. We accept His ability to do that as validation of the rest of the record, including the Genesis account.

      But you’re way too smart to get tangled up in such superstitious nonsense. You only entertain accidental miracles, so this stuff is way to conspicuous for you.
      -
      “Your ignorance won't be satisfied with that, of course.”

      photo, if that’s what you call science, I am thrilled with my ignorance. What is really remarkable is that lots of un-ignorant peer reviewers would let your synopsis fly. It is a pretty standard summary. As an illustration, Wikipedia has this to say about the origin of ribosome:

      “The ribosome may have first originated in an RNA world, appearing as a self-replicating complex that only later evolved the ability to synthesize proteins when amino acids began to appear.”

      See, all it takes is appearing, evolving and waiting around for something else to appear. Why would any thinking person dare to question an explanation like that?

      Delete
    67. Hey Tx, you wrote:
      "You don’t have to accept my beliefs."

      Thanks, but it still doesn't explain a thing, I asked you "Perhaps this time you could come up with positive evidence in favor of ID? ". Want to give it a try?

      "But you should recognize that replacing ‘goddidit’ with ‘accidents/DNA replication errors/natural selection didit’ is just putting a different god in charge of the gaps."

      Tx, you do understand this is another twist of the "evolution can't do this, can't do that" mantra.

      "If you find this substitution satisfying, well good for you."

      I don't, because you've been duped into believing that evolution is just random stuff. Like Don Quixote you both are attacking what you think are giants (evolution), but in fact you're both attacking windmills (the strawman version of evolution you've been told/ taught).

      "But it has not jack to do with science."
      Yep, your strawman/ windmill version of evolution isn't what's been studied in many labs on this planet.

      "It is just absurd faith."

      Yeah, your strawman verion of evolution is absurd, I agree.

      "If I were in the courtroom, I would press you for evidence that accidents build complex things. And you would fail, because they don’t. "

      Sorry, Tx. You're still attacking windmills here.

      So, once again, would you be so kind to answer my question:
      "Perhaps this time you could come up with positive evidence in favor of ID? "

      Good luck!

      Delete
    68. txpiper,

      "See, all it takes is appearing, evolving and waiting around for something else to appear. Why would any thinking person dare to question an explanation like that?"

      As I have been trying to explain to you. This is not about "accepting" any kind of explanation. I, for one, am very unsatisfied by what you quoted from wikipedia. But I really mean tremendously unsatisfied. To accept that explanation, or any other, I need to see and understand the evidence. Otherwise I'll stay unsatisfied and say "who the hell knows about the origin of ribosomes!?" That doesn't mean that I will jump into a god-did-it bandwagon. Why not? Because gods are imaginary. It's that simple.

      It doesn't escape me that you preferred to completely ignore my explanations and went back to your "standard" misunderstanding that it's all accidents, while ignoring the rest. I suspect you won't allow yourself to think about the rest because, dare you try and understand, you might lose your faith in all that nonsense you wrote. If you were so sure, you would not ignore answers. Understanding the answers would not be problematic for you. Yet, there you are, stubbornly ignoring as much as possible. Holding to your straw-men and rhetorical numbers.

      Nice attempt at an appeal to authority there, by the way. Unfortunately for you, the fantasies remain fantasies regardless who believed them before you. Sorry.

      Have a great week.

      Delete
    69. If I were in the courtroom, I would press you for evidence that accidents build complex things. And you would fail, because they don’t.

      So you'd succeed because you know oh so much more than all the experts the defense lawyers in Dover were able to find, including Michael Behe and Scott Minnich?

      Delete
  3. Irreducible complexity is together with the concept of CSI developed by Dembsi the main tenet of Intelligent design, and has had a hudge impact in the last twenty years.
    Not only that : It has NEVER been debunked, despite all the desperate attempts along all these years. I go further and say, irreducible complexity is a irrefutible FACT.

    A cell requires a minimal number of parts and genes in order to be alive. This is a acknowledged fact by mainstream science. This fact alone confirms ic. The individual parts and genes in the cell could not emerge through evolution since :

    "Heredity is guaranteed by faithful DNA replication whereas evolution depends upon errors accompanying DNA replication." ( Furusawa, 1998 )
    "We hypothesize that the origin of life, that is, the origin of the first cell, cannot be explained by natural selection among self-replicating molecules, as is done by the RNA-world hypothesis." ( Vaneechoutte M )
    DNA replication had therefore to be previously, before life began, fully setup , working, and fully operating, in order for evolution to act upon the resulting mutations. That means, evolution was not a driving force and acting for the emergence and origin of the first living organisms. The only remaining possible mechanisms are chemical reactions acting upon unregulated, aleatorial events ( luck,chance), or physical necessity ( where chemical reactions are forced into taking a certain course of action. ) Since nucleotides can be arranged freely into any informational sequence, physical necessity could not be a driving mechanism. If design, or physical necessity is discarded, the only remaining possible mechanism for the origin of life is chance/luck.

    These initially absolutely required parts would have had no function by their own, unless fully interconnected , interlocked, and operating to exercise their task. There is no way, chance acting upon chemical reactions to create the most complex factory in the universe. Thats not a assertion based on incredulity, but reason.

    The more this is recognized, the more it becomes clear how irrational to the extreme the position of proponents of naturalism is, and how obvious the undeniably fact which in my view should permit Behe to get the Nobel prize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irreducible complexity is together with the concept of CSI developed by Dembsi the main tenet of Intelligent design, and has had a hudge impact in the last twenty years.

      Hee hee. Right, Otangelo. Where exactly can we see examples of this huge impact?

      BTW, did you realize that ID proponent Jonathan McLatchie debunked the claim that CSI can only be created by intelligence, right on the ID website "Evolution News and Views"? (Not that he realized that was what he had done):

      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/two_reasons_why075771.html

      Delete
    2. "These initially absolutely required parts would have had no function by their own"

      As always this is just something you say. Just saying it doesn't make it true.

      Delete
    3. Au contraire, OG.
      HJ Muller described how IC could arise by natural processes decades before Behe published his book. Muller also had the insight to realize that IC could arise without selection. He predicted these things. In effect, Behe's IC idea was debunked decades before he even made the argument.

      Delete
    4. It is an undeniable fact that IC systems exist. There are systems in existence which, if you remove certain key parts, they stop functioning. It is also a fact that the evolutionary process was predicted to produce such structures. IOW if evolution is true, there should exist IC systems. IC is not an argument against, but an argument for evolution.

      If you're merely going to respond that Irreducible Complexity by definition means the structure could not evolve, then that definition merely asserts what should be demonstrated (commits the fallacy of begging the question).

      And now I give the floor to copied pasta:

      Delete
    5. Chris B

      you are not bringing forward anything new.

      google : Does the Mullerian two step proposal refute irreducible complexity ?

      Even if you end up with an irreducibly complex system by removing parts from scaffolding, you still had to build the scaffolding. How does unguided evolution build the scaffolding by adding parts?

      and even worse, how does it build up a cell without evolution ?

      Delete
    6. .. asks the copier of pasta, thinking itself clever and effective.

      Delete
    7. Don't forget OG's logic is:
      - the big bang hasn't happened
      - the big bang is evidence for god(s)

      This is literally found in OG's list of 125 reasons for god(s).

      BWilson showed us OG logic in this thread.

      Delete
    8. Ed

      what about you stop lying ? The list points out several problems of the BB theory, but nowhere that it did not happen.

      Delete
    9. Now you just move the goalposts, OG,

      "Even if you end up with an irreducibly complex system by removing parts from scaffolding, you still had to build the scaffolding. How does unguided evolution build the scaffolding by adding parts?"

      False argument. You don't "wind up with" an IC system by removing parts from a scaffolding. Muller showed how IC systems can arise through evolution. He predicted such systems should arise by evolution. Your bogus googling doesn't disprove anything Muller posited, it only shows you have no familiarity with the concepts.

      "and even worse, how does it build up a cell without evolution ? "

      Having been refuted, you just push the argument back into the unknown. An argument from ignorance. Always the creationist's refuge.

      Delete
    10. And for the record, OG, it was Behe who was not bringing forward anything new. His version of IC had already been refuted by Muller years earlier. Like you, Behe was simply unaware of it. Just like he was unaware of the body of literature on evolution of parts of the immune system, which he declared IC without investigating the current state of knowledge on the subject. And was embarrassed in court when confronted with the facts.

      Delete
    11. Otangelo:
      "Ed

      what about you stop lying ? The list points out several problems of the BB theory, but nowhere that it did not happen. "

      Perhaps you should read your own tome of... logical fallacies and illogical fantasies a bit better... because you do mention BB never happened, and yet at the same time it's proof of god(s).

      Delete
    12. Chris B wrote

      "Muller showed how IC systems can arise through evolution".

      Lets see what he actually wrote:

      " a complicated machine was gradually built up whose effective working was dependent upon the interlocking action of very numerous different elementary parts or factors, and many of the characters and factors which, when new, were originally merely an asset finally became necessary because other necessary characters and factors had subsequently become changed so as to be dependent upon the former. "

      The point is, he just made a explanation, without providing the necessary evidence to back up his claim. As can be inferred, the solution is just theoretical. There is no real-life evidence that evolution could act in the proposed fashion. The problem is always explaining how biological information or function is built up in the first place. There is too much complex and instructional/specific information in many proteins and enzymes to be generated by Darwinian processes on a reasonable evolutionary timescale, even given the actual age of the earth. Simply adding a functional part in the hopes of building scaffolding might be far beyond the reach of Darwinian evolution.

      Furthermore:

      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."

      Delete
    13. Don't forget OG's logic is:
      - the big bang hasn't happened
      - the big bang is evidence for god(s)

      This is literally found in OG's list of 125 reasons for god(s).


      Yes, and:

      - "Front loading" exists to pass genetic capabilities from ancestors to descendants.

      - There are no ancestors, so evolution cannot be true.


      Otangelo doesn't see the contradiction.

      It's quite evident he really cannot reason logically at all about this entire topic. Evolution cannot be true and therefore all the objections must be right, even when they contradict each other.

      Delete
    14. Judmarc

      i am not aware , which number of the 125 arguments provided claims the Big Bang did not happen ?

      Maybe i missed something.....

      Its obvious i do not agree with that.

      But misrepresenting my views is one of the few things some here have left to make it look as if my epistemology is not solid....

      what a pity...

      Delete
    15. Your epistemology? I'm going to go out on a limp and guess you don't know what that even means, and that you don't even have one.

      Delete
    16. @ Otangelo:

      The point is, (Muller) just made a explanation, without providing the necessary evidence to back up his claim.

      LOL! You still don't get it, do you?

      Since you don't seem to know this, this is the scientific method:

      Form a hypothesis.

      Make predictions based on this hypothesis.

      See if these predictions are confirmed by observation.

      Muller's paper consisted of a prediction that, if evolution occurred as he understood, it would result in irreducibly complex structures.

      And, decades later, Behe witlessly confirmed this prediction. That is to say, in attempting to disprove evolution, he inadvertently added to the mountain of evidence confirming evolution.

      So your demand for evidence supporting Muller's claim is just another display of your willful ignorance. That evidence has already been provided, by one Dr. Michael Behe!

      Still wondering why you guys are called IDiots?

      Delete
    17. @ Otangelo

      i am not aware , which number of the 125 arguments provided claims the Big Bang did not happen ?

      Well, for just one example, #94 is called "The proof of the failure of the Big Bang theory."

      Are you saying a theory can be a "failure" and still be true? Or are you just too stupid to even understand your own website? Although it's also possible, given your extensive history of plagiarism, that you may just cut/paste stuff without even bothering to read it.

      Delete
    18. OG says:

      i am not aware

      Yes, I would agree with that.

      You don't even have sufficient awareness of the content of what you copy and paste to know when you've obviously contradicted yourself. Then when the obvious contradictions are mentioned, you don't even have the good grace to look at your own "content," instead choosing to whine you're being misrepresented.

      If your thinking is being misrepresented, OG, you're the one doing it, since all we've done is point out the content of what you yourself have posted here.

      Delete
    19. How nice !!

      Now gentlemen, please point out how

      " The proof of the failure of the Big Bang theory "

      equals to

      " the Big Bang never happened ".

      because, right the next sentence elucidates :

      There are many problems with the Big Bang theory as explanation for the moons, stars, and planets.

      zzzz...... misrepresentation ?

      yes. Very much....

      Delete
    20. OG, I apologize. You never said the Big Bang didn't happen. You did provide many arguments saying the Big Bang couldn't have happened as cosmological theory says it did:

      94.The proof of the failure of the Big Bang theory 1
      95.The argument of the problems of the Big Bang theory
      96.The arguments of Big Bang theory
      [Most of the arguments between 96 and 101]
      101.The argument of the instant galaxies
      102.The argument of the early maturity of galaxies

      I generalized in a way I consider not inappropriate. However, you never did say you don't think the Big Bang happened, just that various observations and calculations contradict the theory.

      Delete
    21. However, you never did say you don't think the Big Bang happened, just that various observations and calculations contradict the theory.

      So in other words, your conclusion that OG doesn't think the Big Bang happened is correct unless what he posted on his own website misrepresents his point of view. :-)

      Delete
    22. So Otangelo, believes the Big Bang happened. It just couldn't have produced "moons stars and planets." Okaay, then. Maybe he also believes evolution happens. It just didn't produce animals, plants, bacteria, or any other living things. But wouldn't that mean he doesn't believe evolution happens?

      Delete
    23. Judmarc, You and I might interpret those contradictions as evidence that the Big Bang couldn't have happened. (That's what I did the first time through.) However, I think his position is that it happened (or maybe happened, or whatever depending on his current argument), but it couldn't have happened without God's intervention. Therefore, God.

      Delete
    24. Lutesuite, The subtly of OG's mind, his ability to encompass diverse and seemingly contradictory ideas without distress, surpasseth all understanding. All of my understanding, anyway.

      Delete
    25. because, right the next sentence elucidates :

      There are many problems with the Big Bang theory as explanation for the moons, stars, and planets.


      That "elucidates" something? Do you know what the word means? It means to explain or make clear. The only thing "There are many problems with the Big Bang theory [for various reasons]" does is make it *more* clear you (or whoever you copied that from) don't think it occurred.

      Whenever you stop arguing with yourself about whether the Big Bang occurred, let us know (or better, keep it to yourself). After you're done, you can come back and explain to us how front loading was passed down from ancestors to descendants, but at the same time there are no ancestors. Or is that you misrepresenting yourself again?

      Delete
    26. Judmarc, You and I might interpret those contradictions as evidence that the Big Bang couldn't have happened. (That's what I did the first time through.) However, I think his position is that it happened (or maybe happened, or whatever depending on his current argument), but it couldn't have happened without God's intervention. Therefore, God.

      BWilson, does the prospect of beginning to understand OG at this level cause you some degree of concern?

      Delete
    27. There is a broad agreement of two key issues: The universe had a beginning, and a rapid expansion / inflation period. However, there are several unresolved issues, like the formation of stars, planets, ( the accretion theory is bogus ), the predictions of homogenous distribution of galaxies, which has shown to be incorrect, the flatness problem, the horizon problem, the BB theory depends on the existence of dark matter and energy, but it has never been observed, etc.

      Delete
    28. No, Otangelo. There is no agreement that the universe had a beginning. This has already been explained to, but you tenaciously cling to your ignorance, because your faith depends on it.

      Delete
    29. judmarc wrote: "BWilson, does the prospect of beginning to understand OG at this level cause you some degree of concern?"

      It probably should!

      Delete
    30. Lutesuite, I hate to disagree with you because OG might misinterpret it as agreement with one of his positions. However, I do disagree. The Big Bang theory (widely accepted, though not completely agreed upon) does suggest this universe, our universe, had a beginning. If the multiverse idea is correct, its entirely possible that the whole shebang is eternal, but I personally see that as a different question.

      Or is this an example of the lack of agreement you were talking about? Does this mean you're right? Aargh!

      Delete
    31. OG,

      "The point is, he just made a explanation, without providing the necessary evidence to back up his claim."

      lutesuite has already provided an answer to this above. Muller laid out a plausible mechanism by which IC systems can develop based on known evolutionary theory. In contrast, Behe declares systems IC and says such systems cannot arise by evolution. Therefore, observed IC systems cannot have arisen through evolutionary processes. The whole argument is a tautology. In the twenty years since publishing his book, Behe has never once provided a single shred of empirical scientific evidence to support his claims. He has never explained any alternative mechanism to produce the IC systems he mentions, never provided any way that IC systems could be scientifically distinguished from evolutionary processes, never tested any of his claims. Neither has any other creationist. I wonder why.

      Delete
    32. Chris B

      empirical tests have confirmed that the flagellum is ic:

      Knock out experiments and tests provide empirical evidence that the flagellum is irreducibly complex, as Scott Minnich testified at the Dover process:

      Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added

      We have a mutation in a drive shaft protein or the U joint, and they can't swim. Now, to confirm that that's the only part that we've affected, you know, is that we can identify this mutation, clone the gene from the wild type and reintroduce it by mechanism of genetic complementation. So this is, these cells up here are derived from this mutant where we have complemented with a good copy of the gene. One mutation, one part knock out, it can't swim. Put that single gene back in we restore motility. Same thing over here. We put, knock out one part, put a good copy of the gene back in, and they can swim. By definition the system is irreducibly complex. We've done that with all 35 components of the flagellum, and we get the same effect.
      (Kitzmiller Transcript of Testimony of Scott Minnich pgs. 99-108, Nov. 3, 2005, emphasis added)

      Delete
    33. empirical tests have confirmed that the flagellum is ic:

      Yes. And, as has already been explained to you, i.c. structures were predicted to exist by evolutionary theory. Your ability to ignore things that contradict your religious preconceptions is quite remarkable.

      Delete
    34. Otangelo: Amusing that you quote a transcript from the *losing* side in Kitzmiller. How about quoting from Behe's cross examination where he looks at a pile of books and academic papers over a foot high, all confirming scientifically the existence of multiple simpler immune cascades that Behe had declared were impossible (since the human immune cascade is irreducibly complex according to him), and said no amount of actual scientific evidence would change his mind that this was impossible.

      I see why you admire him, Otangelo. Reality has no effect on your view of the world.

      Delete
    35. However, there are several unresolved issues, like the formation of stars, planets, ( the accretion theory is bogus ), the predictions of homogenous distribution of galaxies, which has shown to be incorrect, the flatness problem, the horizon problem, the BB theory depends on the existence of dark matter and energy, but it has never been observed, etc.

      What is bogus is your portrayal of many of these things as "problems" in the lay sense of the word, much like calling evolution "only a theory." Most of the issues you mention are pretty well resolved by inflation.

      Regarding the other issues you mention, such as formation of stars, these are not problematic with regard to the Big Bang. There's a lot of great stuff being learned about star formation these days (see, e.g., https://www.spacetelescope.org/science/formation_of_stars/ ) - you ought to read up on it if you're actually interested in the science, which I seriously doubt.

      Delete
    36. OG,

      Once again, lutesuite has succinctly answered you. I would just like to add that the existence of IC systems are not evidence against evolution. Behe defined IC systems as unevolvable: an unhelpful and tautological argument. He was just unaware Muller had refuted his idea years ago. Behe simply asserted IC systems could not evolve, and never once backed up his claims with experimentation or empirical data. In typical creationist fashion, he expected the scientific community to do the hard work of testing his silly idea. Hence my citation of Muller.

      Delete
    37. "Irreducible complexity is together with the concept of CSI developed by Dembsi the main tenet of Intelligent design, and has had a hudge impact in the last twenty years. "


      On whom, exactly? Nobody in evolutionary biology or genetics, that much I am sure of. And apparently it had zero impact on mathematics or information theory, for if it were so important, one has to wonder why Dembski can find work only at some backwater baptist seminary...

      Delete
    38. judmarc wrote:

      " Amusing that you quote a transcript from the *losing* side in Kitzmiller. How about quoting from Behe's cross examination where he looks at a pile of books and academic papers over a foot high, all confirming scientifically the existence of multiple simpler immune cascades that Behe had declared were impossible "

      First of all : What is IC, is the simplest system which keeps the basic function, as Behe writes :

      " Michael Behe's Original Definition — [an irreducibly complex system is] "a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the BASIC FUNCTION of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning." (Darwin's Black Box, page 39, 1996) "

      now lets have a look of what Behe wrote about the immune system :

      you can google : The immune system, and irreducible complexity

      and will find the whole chapter at my library of this issue:

      I have looked at three features of the immune system—clonal selection, antibody diversity, and the complement system—and demonstrated that each individually poses massive challenges to a putative step-by-step evolution. But showing that the parts can't be built step by step only tells part of the story, because the parts interact with each other. Just as a car without steering, or a battery, or a carburetor isn't going to do you much good, an animal that has a clonal selection system won't get much benefit out of it if there is no way to generate antibody diversity. A large repertoire of antibodies won't do much good if there is no system to kill invaders. A system to kill invaders won't do much good if there's no way to identify them. At each step we are stopped not only by local system problems, but also by requirements of the integrated system.

      Which of these parts do you think that

      a) would have a function by their own ( not integrated in the system ), and
      b) could be dismissed, and the whole immunce system would still work ?

      clonal selection
      antibody diversity
      system to kill invaders
      a way to identify them

      Delete
    39. Still pretending Muller's article doesn't exist, I see, Otangelo. "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

      Delete
    40. Judmarc wrote:

      " Most of the issues you mention are pretty well resolved by inflation. "

      In what a wonderful world you live.... Greetings to Armstrong:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yCcXgbKrE

      back to the real world ? What about quoting Sean Carroll ? You like?

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2011/10/21/the-eternally-existing-self-reproducing-frequently-puzzling-inflationary-universe/#.WFBL-NIrKUk

      "Although inflation does seem to create a universe like ours, it needs to start in a very particular kind of state. If the laws of physics are “unitary” (reversible, preserving information over time), then the number of states that would begin to inflate is actually much smaller than the number of states that just look like the hot Big Bang in the first place. So inflation seems to replace a fine-tuning of initial conditions with an even greater fine-tuning."

      Personally I suspect (i.e. would happily bet at even money, if there were some way to actually settle the bet) that inflation will turn out to be “right,” in the sense that it will be an ingredient in the final story.

      Delete
    41. if it were so important, one has to wonder why Dembski can find work only at some backwater baptist seminary...

      Judging from his website, he no longer holds even that job (which he jeopardized by expressing doubts about the historicity of Noah's flood; he recanted this when threatened with dismissal.) He now describes himself as "an entrepreneur who builds educational software and websites." A sad end for the "Isaac Newton of information theory."

      Delete
    42. Otangelo cluelessly quotes an actual scientist:

      Although inflation does seem to create a universe like ours, it needs to start in a very particular kind of state. If the laws of physics are “unitary” (reversible, preserving information over time), then the number of states that would begin to inflate is actually much smaller than the number of states that just look like the hot Big Bang in the first place. So inflation seems to replace a fine-tuning of initial conditions with an even greater fine-tuning.

      I'm sorry, did you forget to include the part where he says "Therefore God"?

      Delete
    43. Chris B wrote:

      "I would just like to add that the existence of IC systems are not evidence against evolution."

      First of all, what about you take off your earplugs and eye gards ? Then you read with attention what i already posted, namely that a irreducibly complex system cannot evolve BY DEFINITION.

      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."

      And, NO, Muller did NOT refute Behe. He has never been able to explain in a consistent way how complex organisms evolve in the first place.

      Furthermore, you argue that " Behe simply asserted IC systems could not evolve, and never once backed up his claims with experimentation or empirical data " , just after i posted how Scott Minnich's empirical experiment proved that the Flagellum is IC......

      zzzz.... wilful ignorance in action ??!!

      Delete
    44. Then you read with attention what i already posted, namely that a irreducibly complex system cannot evolve BY DEFINITION.

      If so, then your argument is based on circular reasoning and refutes itself.

      You really do need to learn how to think. You'll find the skill very useful.

      Delete
    45. OK, Otangelo. As a favour, I have decided to provide you with some rudimentary lessons is the skill known as "thinking". Just above, you wrote this:

      Furthermore, you argue that " Behe simply asserted IC systems could not evolve, and never once backed up his claims with experimentation or empirical data " , just after i posted how Scott Minnich's empirical experiment proved that the Flagellum is IC....

      See, here you attempted to answer Chris B's question with something that does not pertain to what he asked. He did not ask how it was demonstrated that things that met Behe's definition of IC exist. The question, rather, is thru what experiments did Behe demonstrate that things that meet that definition could not arise thru evolution. It is true that such structures may not be able to arise by sequentially adding components, none of which serve a function until all are in place. But as any well-informed person knows, that is not the process by which evolution occurs.

      So, again, can you please show how Behe supported his assertion that IC structures cannot arise thru evolution, not the straw man version he mislabels "evolution" to trick gullible sycophants like yourself.

      Delete
    46. OG,

      "Then you read with attention what i already posted, namely that a irreducibly complex system cannot evolve BY DEFINITION."
      That's a tautology, a logical fallacy. You can't just define reality the way you want to and declare victory. You have no evidence that IC systems cannot evolve.

      Behe did not 'note' anything. He asserted it, in the absence of any supporting evidence. And he has never once bothered to gather any evidence to support his idea of what an IC system is and how they can come about in the past 20 years.

      "And, NO, Muller did NOT refute Behe. He has never been able to explain in a consistent way how complex organisms evolve in the first place."

      Moving the goalposts again, OG. Muller posed a perfectly plausible mechanism by which IC systems can evolve by evolutionary theory. He predicted evolution should result in IC systems. He wasn't talking about the origin of life. Behe said IC systems could not evolve. He was already wrong when he said it. He just didn't know it.

      "Furthermore, you argue that " Behe simply asserted IC systems could not evolve, and never once backed up his claims with experimentation or empirical data " , just after i posted how Scott Minnich's empirical experiment proved that the Flagellum is IC......"

      Not only did Behe not do any of those experiments, the Minnich experiments show that the flagellum is IC. Those experiments say NOTHING about about whether or not evolution can produce an IC system.

      So to summarize, the issue is not whether or not IC systems exist. We know they do and they are predicted to exist according to evolutionary theory. Behe just asserted that IC systems could not evolve, and provided no evidence whatsoever to support the claim.

      Is that clear yet, or are you just being willfully ignorant?

      Delete
    47. Now, now, Chris B., we need to keep an open mind. Otangelo's ignorance may not be willful. He might actually be as stupid as he appears to be.

      Delete
    48. Chris B wrote:

      "Muller posed a perfectly plausible mechanism by which IC systems can evolve by evolutionary theory."

      Perfectly plausible maybe to people like you which are satisfied to accept just so stories, which have never been proven to be true, like the blind watchmaker thesis, and common ancestry....

      One basic problem for evolution is, in most cases, there is no selective advantage at intermediary stages until you get a final function, therefore the final function doesn't evolve.

      this is a great article about the subject:

      ID Foundations, 3: Irreducible Complexity as concept, as fact, as [macro-]evolution obstacle, and as a sign of design

      http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/id-foundations-3-irreducible-complexity-as-concept-as-fact-as-macro-evolution-obstacle-and-as-sign-of-design/

      Delete
    49. I don't know, Chris B. He could be willfully ignorant. But if he's just pretending to be this stupid, you have to admit it's a very convincing act.

      Delete
    50. OG attempts to project his intellectual inadequacies onto others:

      "Perfectly plausible maybe to people like you which are satisfied to accept just so stories, which have never been proven to be true, like the blind watchmaker thesis, and common ancestry...."

      Muller didn't present a just so story, he developed theoretical ideas of how IC systems can evolve. Behe declared (apparently by divine fiat) that IC systems COULD NOT evolve, and never bothered to support this claim in any way. It was everyone else's responsibility, apparently, to do his work for him.

      "One basic problem for evolution is, in most cases, there is no selective advantage at intermediary stages until you get a final function, therefore the final function doesn't evolve."

      If you actually understood what Muller was saying in his papers on IC systems, you would never have made that statement. Your premise is completely false (and nonsensical). You have no idea what function intermediate stages of currently IC systems were fulfilling at the time, so how could you say they provided no selective advantage? When you live by god of the gaps arguments, you cannot assert your delusions of a god actually fill those gaps. Not if you want to compete in the realm of reason, logic, and science anyway. Perhaps you have been hiding your god in the gaps of human knowledge for so long that you actually think you have a point now. You don't.

      Delete
    51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    52. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    53. Larry

      either a) you are deleting my posts, because you want to mock me. If that is the case, and i am not welcome here, there is no problem. I can find other venues for a debate.

      b) you have good reasons to do. If that is the case, it would be helpful, if you can mention them, and i will try to keep to the rules.

      At the same time, you tolerate stupid trolls which are not even funny with their foolish posts and comments, that stick at my heel like chewing gum, and that does not bother you.

      Delete
    54. Hey, Otangelo, don't you remember banning me from your Facebook page, simply for pointing out the many errors and falsehoods you promoted there? Hypocrite.

      Delete
    55. @Otangelo Grasso

      You can say whatever you want as long as you say it in your own words. You can quote other people if the quotation is relevant to your point and you make it very clear that you are quoting.

      What you can't do is spam my blog with irrelevant material from other sources, especially if you are plagiarizing.

      Delete
    56. Well,

      the thing is you are deleting frequently posts that i wrote in my own words.

      Delete
    57. And when i quote others, i always inform the source....

      You deleted above following post.....

      What good is a one cylinder motor for without a piston ?
      What good is a piston for, if not used fully mounted in the cylinder with the right size to fit and interconnected, to fullfill its task ? Ok. You could use it as a Ashtray. But for that, you would not need to produce it highly specified with piston rings, connecting rod etc.
      What good is a production line of pistons for, if the end product, the piston, has no place to be employd ?
      What good is a transport system for, if there is no place to deliver the goods , and a communication system to direct them to the right place ?

      Now lets apply that to biology.

      Biological systems are functionally organised , integrated in a interdependent network, and complex, like human made machines and factories. The wiring of a electrical device equals to metabolic pathways. A minimal metabolic network is required in every cell, and must have emerged prior life began. For the assembly of a biological system of multiple parts, not only the origin of the genome information to produce all subunits and assembly cofactors must be explained, but also parts availability ( The right materials must be transported to the building site. Often these materials in their raw form are unusable. Other complex machines come into play to transform the raw materials into usable form. All this requires specific information. ) synchronization, ( these parts must be read at hand at the building site ) manufacturing and assembly coordination ( which required the information of how to assemble each single part correctly, at the right place, at the right moment, and in the right position ) , and interface compatibility ( the parts must fit together correctly, like lock and key ) . Unless the origin of all these steps are properly explained, functional complexity as existing in biological systems has not been adressed adequatedely.

      The immense challenge to unguided, random mechanisms becomes even more evidence, once you remove the delusional crutches of evolution, and look into the origin of the first self-replicating cell. The solutions to overcome problems like DNA replication errors or damage must all be pre-programmed, and the repair "working horses" to resolve the problem must be ready in place and "know" what to do how, and when, and able to compare between what is right, and what is in error. If a roboter in a factory assembly line fails, employees are ready to detect the error and make the repair . In the cell, the mal function of any part even as tiny and irrelevant as it might seem, can be fatal, and if the repair mechanisms are not functioning correctly and fully in place right from the start, the repair can't be done, and life ceases. These repair enzymes which cleave, join, add, replace etc. must be programmed in order to function properly right from the start. Aberrantly processed pre-tRNAs for example are eliminated through a nuclear surveillance pathway by degradation of their 3′ ends, whereas mature tRNAs lacking modifications are degraded from their 5′ends in the cytosol.

      Delete
    58. the thing is you are deleting frequently posts that i wrote in my own words.

      I also delete posts where you are just copying and pasting from your website. Some of that material is plagiarized from other sources.

      Delete
    59. Larry

      is it ?

      what about you point out where at my website i do plagiarize, and do not inform my sources ?

      There are not many ID proponents left at your blog. Have you asked yourself why ?

      I questioned you last time, why you permit troll like behavior and fools, that do not much else, than attack ID proponents, and really spam your blog with stupid posts and comments. Lutesuite is a prime example. There are others.

      ID proponents do not have much respect of you.

      Delete
    60. A bit of friendly advice, Otangelo: You might find Larry more patient with your posts if you actually put some thought into them and actually answered the questions put to you, rather than just pasting reams of irrelevant nonsense from your inane website and whining that others are "trolls" when they do you the favour of pointing out the flaws in your arguments.

      Just a thought...

      Delete
    61. ID proponents do not have much respect of you.

      Sniff, sniff, sob, .... I'm devastated to hear that.

      Oh well, I don't have much respect for them either.

      Delete
    62. " Oh well, I don't have much respect for them either. "

      that can be for two reasons.

      a) their interpretation of reality is not convincing for good reasons, or

      b) you are tapping your ears and your eyes, and specially your brain in regard of the id proposal. Not, because the inferences are not convincing , but because the outcome is not of your taste.

      Krauss once admitted openly that he does not like God. Specially not the christian God. Why are you not honest and admit that this is the real reason you reject " id-creationism " ?!

      At least you do not mislead nonthinking admirers of yours that read this blog, that you really know what you talk about, when you make your pseudo-scientific claims, that have no evidence in reality ?

      Delete
    63. Otangelo,

      It's not about which gods somebody may like or dislike, but the very fact that they're imaginary. Fantasies will never be answers to questions in science, so, when there's an open question in science, it's not proper to say "god-did-it." That didn't work for volcanoes, didn't work for thunder, and doesn't work for anything. Again, because it's fantasy.

      The ID "inference" is flawed both philosophically and scientifically. It's smoke and mirrors to justify belief in fantasy. Nothing else.

      Delete
    64. photosynthesis

      God of the gaps is a comfortable way to try to criticize and reject a argument and avoid to address actually the issues raised. Oponents of ID resort to it all the time, even when a robust case is made, with clear and detailed science based observation, prediction, experiment, and and logical inference and conclusion. The evidence for intelligent design has not been shrinking in the last two decades. It’s been growing, while the barriers to explain origins through naturalism have grown. This is obvious in regard of all relevant issues : the origin and fine tuning of the universe, of life, and biodiversity.

      As posted, evolution is not a viable explanation for the origin of life. The RNA world is nonsense. The only alternative to explain the origin of life, once design is exlcuded, are random, nonguided chemical reactions.

      Hoyles 747 analogy is not refuted by mentioning evolution.
      This pretty much settles it to any HONEST seeker of the best explanation of origins.

      People like Larry are quaks, and people that stick to naturalism are fools. I see that pretty much as a fact.

      Delete
    65. Otangelo,

      Too many things in your diatribe. Let's address one first to see if you're willing to read for comprehension. If not, then we're both wasting time and I'll just tell you that your excuses don't fix the philosophical and scientific problems of your "position."

      Here it goes:

      "The only alternative to explain the origin of life, once design is exlcuded, are random, nonguided chemical reactions. "

      This "proposition" has several problems. Do you really think that chemical reactions are just random? If so what does that even mean? I ask because I had to study quite the big books about chemistry, and there was lots of reactions that were bound to happen and they did not look like complete randomness. reactions depended on the nature of each chemical involved, etc. There's tons of things in nature that are not random. SO what do you mean exactly?

      If by unguided you mean "not-by-a-person," then sure. Unguided it is. If you mean that reactions have no direction, then wrong. Again, chemicals react depending on their nature.

      Do you get this? If so, then you might understand one reason why we don't see any problem with the origin of life being natural (besides the fact that gods are fantasies, which leaves nothing but nature as explanation).

      DOn't give me another laundry list of bullshit. Make sure you understand what I said, then we continue. If thinking is too hard for you, then, again, I leave you with an explanation as to why your fantasies don't play a role, and, whether you like it or not, it's entirely your problem.

      Delete
    66. "many of the characters and factors which, when new, were originally merely an asset finally became necessary because other necessary characters and factors had subsequently become changed so as to be dependent upon the former." -Muller, from OG.

      Muller's flaw is that of most Darwinists and Morons - playing a fancy shell-game with the point of infusion of the information into the system that orchestrates the "necessary parts" in the first place.

      It never occurs to him (or to Morons) to ask:
      "How did the "existing" "necessary" parts get there in the first place?

      Delete
    67. Well, I'd say it's your moment to shine and explain:
      "How did the "existing" "necessary" parts get there in the first place?"

      Want to give it a try? And just to remind you "evolution can't do this/ evolution can't do that thus goddidit" isn't an explanation...

      Delete
    68. Oh, I'm so excited. For the first time, literally ever, we're going to have a creationist explanation of the mechanism by which life arose. If Ed Reynolds doesn't go and wimp out on us, that is....

      Delete
    69. Oh, I'm so excited. For the first time, literally ever, we're going to have a creationist explanation of the mechanism by which life arose. If Ed Reynolds doesn't go and wimp out on us, that is....

      Well... lutesuite, all YOU have to do to explain why you believe that life originated without and ID or a creator is to resolve this simple issue:

      Cell membrane can't be formed without DNA. But DNA needs a protective cell membrane to function to form a cell membrane.

      By which evolutionary mechanism those two arose at the same time? I'm not even going to ask you where the energy came from for this process because you will not respond at all, but keep it in your "mind".




      Delete
    70. Well, Don Quixote has tried to answer, and failed. Hopefully Ed Reynolds will put in a better effort.

      Delete
    71. Hey Don,

      you must have missed this sentence, I'll copy paste it here so you can read where you went wrong:
      " And just to remind you "evolution can't do this/ evolution can't do that thus goddidit" isn't an explanation..."

      Want to try again, Don? Or are you, just like your namesake in the books, attacking 'giants' which in fact are only windmills?

      Delete
    72. Cell membrane can't be formed without DNA. But DNA needs a protective cell membrane to function to form a cell membrane.

      By which evolutionary mechanism those two arose at the same time?


      Sigh. Another "chicken and egg" formulation posed as if it's a real logical problem.

      So Don. how'd we ever get chickens if you need eggs to hatch chickens but you need chickens to lay eggs?

      Or how did we ever get people speaking French, since if one person started speaking French, he wouldn't understand anyone else and no one would understand him?

      Gosh, these must just be insoluble problems, therefore God created chickens and the Tower of Babel story must be true, right?

      Delete
    73. "Another "chicken and egg" formulation posed as if it's a real logical problem."

      They are real problems. Severe problems, in fact. Can you name one you've logically solved.

      Delete
    74. They are real problems. Severe problems, in fact. Can you name one you've logically solved.

      Oh dear. So you really don't know?

      I haven't had to logically solve them because they'd long since been solved before the time I was born.

      Populations evolve, not individuals. So two people, or one individual, don't suddenly have to start speaking French. Rather, Germanic and Roman people made mistakes (you could think of them as mutations) in spelling, grammar, etc., and as subpopulations of the Germanic and Roman masses settled in what is now France and became geographically isolated from their ancestral lands, there was no longer a check, in the form of other people, to bring back these new forms of spelling, grammar, etc., to the ancestral ones. Also, these subpopulations became separated over time from ancestral forms of the language (which is why people in Rome now speak Italian rather than Latin). Eventually these mistakes accumulated to form a language we recognize as entirely separate (you could think of it as a new species) from ancient Frankish and Latin.

      Thus at any given moment there has been an entire population communicating in the same language, but the language they use to communicate with each other changes with time, geography, and also contingency (random events). For example, English has lots of French root words due to the Norman conquest.

      This is analogous to evolution. There were not suddenly two chickens in the midst of ancestral forms. Rather there was a population that eventually, over time, geographic separation, and contingency accumulated enough changes (mutations) that we now recognize them as chickens, a separate species from the ancestral form.

      This ain't hard stuff, txpiper. The notions that people make spelling and grammar mistakes or that DNA copying isn't perfect aren't exactly unheard of. The notions that folks in different places and different eras speak different languages (or different forms of a language, e.g., Old, Middle, and modern English) isn't revolutionary, and equally the notion that time, geographic separation and contingency can accumulate changes in populations until they can no longer interbreed with their ancestors should be no more revolutionary. All you have to do is take an interest in the subject (which you evidently already have), read, and allow yourself to be honestly informed.

      Delete
    75. "This is analogous to evolution."

      No, it is not. It is just an escape tactic. You have a real problem. No analogy is necessary.

      Delete
    76. No, it is not. It is just an escape tactic. You have a real problem. No analogy is necessary.

      It's a pretty lousy "escape tactic" to give the actual evolution case (chickens) right alongside the analogy to language. If you lack sufficient reading comprehension to have noticed that, it isn't me who has the "real problem."

      Delete
    77. "Cell membrane can't be formed without DNA. But DNA needs a protective cell membrane to function to form a cell membrane. By which evolutionary mechanism those two arose at the same time?"

      They didn't. Experiment have shown the hydrocarbons in water form bubbles when agitated. Those bubbles are capable of absorbing other organic compounds. Therefore, the world was full of primitive cell membranes long before there was DNA.

      Delete
    78. Your language analogy does not involve the reciprocal dependence that characterizes chicken/egg problems. Analogies cannot solve problems like ribosome/proteins. Changing the subject might make you feel better, but you haven't remotely begun to address the dilemma.

      Delete
    79. txpiper, perhaps the part of my comment where I discussed the chicken/egg problem itself escaped you? Read slowly for understanding next time.

      (Oh and by the way, if you don't think the language situation involves reciprocal dependence, just try being the only person in your locale who speaks, reads, and writes a particular language and see how far you get without another human being to communicate with. Yup, just another failure of understanding for you, tx.)

      Delete
    80. OMD! I'd hoped you boys would do better than this. Not that I didn't expect it, but I didn't expect it to be this bad...

      You can't provide one scientific piece of evidence that at least suggests that you have bases for your beliefs?


      Please tell me you have more! I beg you! If you don't, I'm going to assume that this (whatever) was build on some kinds of assumption that doesn't really exist...

      If I'm correct, why would you, or anybody, want to deceive millions of people?

      Delete
    81. Looks like we're not getting our answer. The creationists disappoint yet again.

      Delete
  4. " ... (in fact it's actively kept in check by negative selection)"

    And here we now have proof that Behe is a professional liar. He directly states what he knows is not the case. He isn't just closed-minded, he's immoral. Yes, I can say that and I really mean it. We can't keep extending the principle of charity to him. He really should know better and we know that he does. He's read all the same papers, he's seen all the responses. We now know that he's lying.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "It's been twenty years since Michael Behe published Darwin's Black Box and Intelligent Design Creationists are flagellating themselves over the fact that it had so little impact on creationism. The USA is becoming more secular with each passing year. Religion is on the decline.

    Hmmm... Even if all of your claims are true, what's you point Larry?

    Did their (ID) failure (the results remain to be seen) make your macro-evolugellating more real now than it was before Behe made you look like layman?

    Your holding a grudge against him makes things worst. Believe me!

    BTW: Whenever Mikkel uses the word "lying" it reminds me of a mental disorder where people fixated on one object of their obsession call others, not seeing the object the same way, "layers".

    Well, what else can I or should do?

    ReplyDelete
  6. The recent meeting in Britain is evidence of the impact, plus this forum, of ID's impact. The former would never exist if the iD threat in intellectual circles had not, and is still, making a hugh ripples in the pond.
    Things are going swell.
    Anyways.
    ID is more then a few examples that can get stuck in tiny details.
    Its a grand opposition to a unlikely/impossible claim of complexity/diversity coming from chance.
    Then attacks on evolutionism also.
    A recent book by some of them has , i'm been waiting, included the questioning of the whole concept of using the fossil record as a biological record.
    This is a serious point more damaging then right now understood.
    DEFEAT?!?! in every war i ever read about, or watched on youtube, the guys who lost first said the other side was defeated.
    i would never say this without explaining first why they are defeated.
    I do think creationists can say as Tiger Williams said long ago about a hockey series. THEY ARE DONE LIKE DINNER.!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert,

      That's like saying the sighting of a blimp floating in midair somehow refutes gravity.

      Perhaps you should learn the science and what scientists are saying before making such claims.

      Delete
    2. "The recent meeting in Britain is evidence of the impact, plus this forum, of ID's impact. The former would never exist if the iD threat in intellectual circles had not, and is still, making a hugh ripples in the pond."

      Were you there?

      Delete
    3. No I wasn't but the meeting is from iD opposition and a remedy to say THEY can allow differences. they are allowing disagreement to be made known to avoid criticism they prohibit criticism by dismissing ID/YEC.

      Delete
    4. Which of the meeting's organisers/speakers were from the "ID opposition"? Can you tell me which of them advocated for ID in the meeting? The talks are all available as audio files (I've listened to half of them so far), can you refer to me one of them that you believes supports your claim that they were advocating anything close to ID?
      I had booked a place at the meeting but was unfortunately unable to attend at the last minute, but from what I've heard so far (and what I already knew about the research of the speakers and the EES movement in general), it was not at all worthy of the hype that ID proponents were generating. I know IDers, and some of the popsci media, to be fair, made it sound as though it was going to be a revolutionary turning point in the way we view evolution, but it seems to have been much more mundane. To paraphrase Kevin Laland in his presentation: "we don't disagree with anything in the existing synthesis, we just feel that a few mechanisms, old and newly-discovered, need to be given more consideration".

      Delete
  7. I have a Christmas message containing a gift from religion that is addressed to Larry and others here, which had to first be delivered to the cognitive science forum where fellow "mad-scientist" type folk gather to help create our "future robot overlords". Enjoy!

    http://www.kurzweilai.net/forums/topic/anyone-help-me-out-with-some-genetics-theory#post-781996

    ReplyDelete
  8. Prof. Moran,
    Thanks for the list of exchanges between you and Behe, but I think you might have missed one:
    How many ways are there to win at Sandwalk?

    ReplyDelete
  9. My hyperlink isn't working, so here is the link:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/08/how_many_ways_a088981.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That one is even worse than the rest.
      Behe: "How can the claim be at least partially tested? One way is to examine huge numbers of organisms under great selective pressure and see whether they do in fact evolve anything that looks like it might at least be on the way to becoming one of those postulated, frequent, hidden, new complex systems. Now, what data do we have that might be relevant?

      Data on malaria, of course. And what we see there is that in a gargantuan number of organisms under relentless selective pressure from chloroquine, no new complex system evolved, only a few crummy point mutations in a pre-existing protein."


      What the hell did he expect to happen in a few decades? What does he think should evolve in that timescale? And why isn't "a few crummy point mutations* in a pre-existing protein" not "on the way to becoming one of those ... new complex systems" ? How the hell does he know?

      * The much maligned crummy point mutations, not to be confused with the awesome ones. Nope, these particular ones were "crummy". And somehow, that's just not good enough.

      Delete
    2. Mikkel believes that proteins, membranes, dna , rna, ribosomes etc. could emerge without function from a pre-biotic soup. And miraculously interconnect and create life.
      Since nobody proved him wrong, he must be right.
      He also believes that bodyplans and organs do evolve through random mutations and natural selection. Since nobody proved him wrong, he must be right.
      He probably also believes in the fantastic creative power of nothing. Creating amazing universes. Despite nobody ever observed, nothing creating whatever you imagine, he believes he must be right.
      He probably also believes there are flying potatoes on Neptun. Don't dare to doubt his claims !! He will defend them with strength, "thoughtful" arguments and fearceful verbal diarrhea.....

      I don't know where his blinded fanatism still will lead him. But its nothing good.... hopefully not full dementia.

      Delete
    3. @ Mikkel:

      And, of course, as usual, Behe fails to define how he would identify one of these mutations "on the way to becoming one of those postulated, frequent, hidden, new complex systems" when they exist. For instance, would he be able to recognize one of the preliminary neutral mutations required for chloroquine resistance as being "on the way" to becoming future adaptation? Hell, he doesn't even acknowledge this after it has been empirically demonstrated.

      Delete
    4. "Mikkel believes that proteins, membranes, dna , rna, ribosomes etc. could emerge without function from a pre-biotic soup. And miraculously interconnect and create life. "

      No, I don't. Why do you lie about what I believe?

      "He also believes that bodyplans and organs do evolve through random mutations and natural selection. Since nobody proved him wrong, he must be right."

      No, that's not the reason I believe that. "Since nobody proved me wrong" would be a stupid reason to believe something. So that's not the reason I accept evolutionary theory as the best current model for the origin and development of body plans and organs.

      The reason I believe that is because of the evidence from comparative genetics. The key word there is 'evidence'.

      "He probably also believes in the fantastic creative power of nothing. Creating amazing universes. Despite nobody ever observed, nothing creating whatever you imagine, he believes he must be right. "

      I don't. If you want to know what I believe, why don't you simply ask me?

      When you have to lie about what other people believe to make yourself appear good, that's usually an indication of the intellectual vacuity of your own views.

      Also, your last sentence there "Despite nobody ever observed..." implies you think it is a bad thing to believe in something never observed. Yet you yourself is guilty of that exact problem. You believe a God created the universe, but YOU never observed that. So is it good or bad to believe in something not observed? All the fantastic miracles you believe in you never observed yourself. You just read about them in a book and now you believe it.

      What does that hypocricy taste like? Why are you casting stones against people for sins you yourself are guilty of? It's weird, but I think I remember reading something about this Jesus fellow talking about casting stones. What do you think it could be Otangelo?

      "He probably also believes there are flying potatoes on Neptun."

      Praise our Neptunian vegetable overlords!

      Delete
    5. You shouldn't be too upset w/ Otangelo lying about what you beieve. After all, he even lies about the things he believes himself. He says there are no common ancestors, then that the common ancestors were "front loaded" with "genetic information" by God. He says the Big Bang theory suffers from many flaws and weaknesses, then says the Big Bang theory proves God exists.

      Such an IDiot.

      Delete
    6. "Mikkel believes that proteins, membranes, dna , rna, ribosomes etc. could emerge without function from a pre-biotic soup. And miraculously interconnect and create life. "

      No, I don't. Why do you lie about what I believe? "

      Haha !!

      our friend does not even know the alternative that he has at hand, once he dismisses design.

      What a fool.

      Delete
    7. Poor Otangelo. You're so confused, you don't even know what you believe anymore. You're the one who thinks life could only arise thru a miracle. Do try to keep track of your own thinking. It's tiring having to do it for you.

      Delete
  10. I am not sure if I am on the right track in this case, but Plasmodium might not have needed to wait for sequential mutations. Another rather attractive scenario is that mutation A happened in one lineage, and mutation B happened independently in a different lineage. Plasmodium enters a sexual life cycle in their mosquito hosts, and there they could combine the mutations. This is the 'ol Fisher-Muller hypothesis where sexual populations combine genomes and this speeds up the rate of acquiring combinations of mutations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcoli, you are right. Plasmodium is a sexually reproducing organism and needed mutations need not occur within a lineage. Another simplistic oversight in Behe's model.

      Delete
    2. This wouldn't work in this specific example. Both mutations have to be within the same protein molecule, not one mutation each in different protein molecules. However, if a multiresidue mutation involved two mutations in different proteins (i.e. genes) or in different alleles for the same protein, then you could have them meeting due to sexual recombination.

      Delete
    3. So, Eric, you think there is no recombination within genes?

      Delete
    4. John,

      I would think that the rate of substitution at a specific base occurs at a much higher rate than a recombination event in the same gene.

      If I am correctly reading the first post in this thread, it seems to be suggesting that the expression of two alleles, each with one of the mutations, could confer chloroquine resistance. I was simply pointing out that this scenario doesn't work in this specific case.

      Delete
    5. Well, certainly recombination rate between two mutations varies with distance, which is why there are centimorgans. I just point out that it isn't zero. I am not ready to say that the probability of two specific mutations in one lineage is greater than that of two in two lineages followed by recombination. At least it doesn't seem intuitively obvious to me. Marcoli's post does not mention two alleles, just two mutations.

      Delete
    6. In humans, the recombination rate per base is similar to the mutation rate per base. So the recombination rate per gene is a lot higher. However because recombinations tend to be concentrated in "hotspot" regions, this varies a lot.

      Delete
  11. It's worth pointing out that it was exactly Behe's failure to acknowledge any possibility of being wrong that got him hung out to dry in his cross examination at the Dover trial - so profoundly that the judge has said it ought to be taught in law schools as a textbook example of how to cross examine.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I keep mentioning recombination and bottlenecking when this comes up, so here I go again:

    1) Unless both mutations are lethal, independent probability calculations underestimate significantly on the additional grounds that, not only is there a drift-maintained subset A-or-B in which the second mutation can occur, but recombination events can occur between A and B. Each additional member of A or B changes the probabilities multiplicatively.

    2) Behe chose a microorganism, arguing that if they, with their much greater population sizes, struggle to probe the 'edge', how much harder must it be for multicellular eukaryotes?. But in fact the overall population of Plasomodium is more akin to that of multicellular species' gametes than that of the multicellular organisms themselves. The effective population size is severely constrained by being spread only by ingestion in a blood meal by mosquitoes, tiny samples of the population rendering computation of the total number of cell divisions even less relevant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On recombination, I just noticed Marcoli's post above, and acknowledge I've been beaten to the pounch on that one!

      Delete
  13. At the end of the day, Behe is playing the Texas Sharpshooter. He is calculating the odds of something happening after it has already happened. That's not how you calculate probabilities.

    How many multiresidue adaptations are possible in a given genome? That is the number that Behe needs. In the human genome, how many positive changes in function are possible with the change of two bases? If Behe doesn't have this number, then he can't claim that evolution is impossible. What he is doing is equivalent to claiming that no one should win the Powerball lottery because the chances of winning are 150 million to 1 while ignoring all of the tickets that have been sold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What he is doing is equivalent to claiming that no one should win the Powerball lottery because the chances of winning are 150 million to 1 while ignoring all of the tickets that have been sold.

      I.e., the difference between chances of a particular individual winning the lottery, and someone, anyone winning the lottery; or equally, the difference between the chances that a particular evolutionary event happened in the particular way it happened, and the chances that evolution occurs.

      Delete
    2. Precisely. There could be 100's of millions or even billions of possible 2 residue adaptations in the human genome. The chances of one of them occurring is nearly guaranteed.

      Delete
  14. Four valves in a four-chambered heart cannot be the result of DNA replication errors. You can apply this reality to endless numbers of functional biological systems and subsystems. It is not that hard. Random failures do not result in spectacular successes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Declared with staunch conviction. How can anything stand before this veritable flood of reason and evidence? You say it, that settles it.

      Delete
    2. Four valves in a four-chambered heart cannot be the result of DNA replication errors

      Yes, God just left a trail of fossils suggesting evolution from animals with primitive circulatory systems to the present one, and teased us with confirmation of that apparent evolution right down to the molecular level, out of an antic sense of humor - the same antic sense of humor by which this infinitely merciful and loving God kills cute little puppies with horrible diseases. Or that great old joke where he tells Abraham to kill his son, and then at the last minute says "Just kidding - kill this inoffensive goat instead, I love that stuff!" Yep, just the sort of deity we should all obey for moral reasons.

      Delete
    3. txpiper,

      If differences in DNA sequence are not responsible for the physical differences between divergent species, then please tell us what is.

      Delete
    4. "Four valves in a four-chambered heart cannot be the result of DNA replication errors." Who ever said they were? Random error (mutations) PLUS differential reproduction (selection). You seem unable to grasp that there is also an importantly non-random part of the evolutionary processes.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    6. "These irreducibly complex steps negate any chance of the heart evolving through some Darwinian step-by-step process."

      Why?

      Delete
    7. Apologetics Press has a very good article.....


      BWAH HA HA HA HA HA!

      OK, I surrender. Chris B. must be right. You can't be for real. What person with a functioning brain stem goes for scientific evidence to a source called "Apologetics Press"?

      Delete
    8. You seem unable to grasp that there is also an importantly non-random part of the evolutionary processes.

      But also a "random" part you didn't mention, drift. Yes, I know the effect of drift on morphology is a topic for discussion, but I'd suppose at the least we could think of it as a mechanism for moving populations off of local fitness maxima.

      Delete
    9. judmarc -- True. I felt txpiper's error was more basic, so didn't go into the role of genetic drift.

      Delete