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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Evolution and the problem of time

I always find it amusing when someone who has credentials in a subject, but is at a distinct disadvantage in IQ terms tries to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. You may recall that over the years, I have repeatedly asked various evolutionary True Believers a very simple and straightforward time-based question, to which there absolutely must be an answer, and they not only have been unable to answer it, but frequently tried to deny it was either a) relevant or b) possible, thereby demonstrating that they don't understand ANYTHING about their own faux-scientific faith. But the speed of evolution, and of the underlying mutations, is absolutely central to understanding the theory, as well as determining whether it is total nonsense or not:
Mathematicians keep refining π even though they know it to more than 12 trillion digits; physicists beat themselves up because they cannot pin down the gravitational constant beyond three significant figures. Geneticists, by contrast, are having trouble deciding between one measure of how fast human DNA mutates and another that is half that rate.

The rate is key to calibrating the ‘molecular clock’ that puts DNA-based dates on events in evolutionary history. So at an intimate meeting in Leipzig, Germany, on 25–27 February, a dozen speakers puzzled over why calculations of the rate at which sequence changes pop up in human DNA have been so much lower in recent years than previously. They also pondered why the rate seems to fluctuate over time. The meeting drew not only evolutionary geneticists, but also researchers with an interest in cancer and reproductive biology — fields in which mutations have a central role.

“Mutation is ultimately the source of all heritable diseases and all biological adaptations, so understanding the rate at which mutations evolve is a fundamental question,” says Molly Przeworski, a population geneticist at Columbia University in New York City who attended the Human Mutation Rate Meeting....

A slower molecular clock worked well to harmonize genetic and archaeological estimates for dates of key events in human evolution, such as migrations out of Africa and around the rest of the world. But calculations using the slow clock gave nonsensical results when extended further back in time — positing, for example, that the most recent common ancestor of apes and monkeys could have encountered dinosaurs. Reluctant to abandon the older numbers completely, many researchers have started hedging their bets in papers, presenting multiple dates for evolutionary events depending on whether mutation is assumed to be fast, slow or somewhere in between.
You know you're dealing with QUALITY science when scientists start substituting variables for concrete numbers depending upon what they want the results to be. Here is the money quote: “The fact that the clock is so uncertain is very problematic for us,” he says. “It means that the dates we get out of genetics are really quite embarrassingly bad and uncertain.”

As I have repeatedly predicted, genuine genetic science is eventually going to kill evolution by natural selection deader than phlogiston or the Flat Earth theory.

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370 Comments:

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Blogger Markku March 12, 2015 2:02 PM  

Eventually they'll just borrow a trick from astronomers, call it Dark Evolution, and the problem is solved.

Blogger MATT March 12, 2015 2:06 PM  

Dark Evolution was set in motion by the Age of Apocalypse version of Beast (Dark Beast aka Hank McCoy)when he escaped his own universe to ours. Or Earth 616, rather.

Blogger Markku March 12, 2015 2:08 PM  

Later, Dark Evolution is pronounced racist, and it becomes Evolution of Color.

Blogger Nate March 12, 2015 2:10 PM  

"As I have repeatedly predicted, genuine genetic science is eventually going to kill evolution by natural selection deader than phlogiston or the Flat Earth theory."

The best thing about this sentence is how it absolutely blows biologists minds. Reading it for them... its like seeing you say addition is going to destroy math.

They honestly have no clue.

Anonymous Pope Cleophus I March 12, 2015 2:10 PM  

Dark Evolution

That's raciss!

It boggles the mind to think that these knuckleheads are trying to take a variable rate of change and make it a constant. While the rate of change may appear constant today based on your observations, there is no guarantee that it has always been that way.

Anonymous joe doakes March 12, 2015 2:11 PM  

Or epicycles, Markku, a concept that has the advantage of historical precedent.

Blogger Corvinus March 12, 2015 2:13 PM  

How 'bout that Cambrian Explosion?

Blogger Markku March 12, 2015 2:14 PM  

"Anomalous Dark Evolution"

Anonymous Crude March 12, 2015 2:16 PM  

A slower molecular clock worked well to harmonize genetic and archaeological estimates for dates of key events in human evolution, such as migrations out of Africa and around the rest of the world. But calculations using the slow clock gave nonsensical results when extended further back in time — positing, for example, that the most recent common ancestor of apes and monkeys could have encountered dinosaurs. Reluctant to abandon the older numbers completely, many researchers have started hedging their bets in papers, presenting multiple dates for evolutionary events depending on whether mutation is assumed to be fast, slow or somewhere in between.

If you bring this up as a problem in evolutionary theory to just about any ardent defender who knows you're a skeptic, they will spin around, insist that no such problem exists, that you're pig ignorant for even thinking as much, and that your ignorance of evolution is so total that you should never, ever talk about it until you learn something about it.

If you point them at this article, they'll insist that you misrepresented it and it isn't a very big problem at all, it's a mere footnote.

If you point out you pretty well quoted the article verbatim, they'll stop talking to you.

Anonymous Daniel March 12, 2015 2:17 PM  

The recorder of Beowulf recognized that man walked with dinosaurs. No one sane even believed in these distinct fantasy epochs almost exclusively dominated by now-extinct species until quite recently. Interesting idea that is now undergoing a serious debunking by the genetic clock.

The dinosaur/fossil model is a bad, non-functioning model. It can't be reformed. It must be revisited.

Blogger Mastermind March 12, 2015 2:18 PM  

Natural selection is the supreme law of all existence. I don't understand what Vox's beef with it is.

Anonymous Daniel March 12, 2015 2:19 PM  

If you point out you pretty well quoted the article verbatim, they'll stop talking to you.

Achievement unlocked.

Blogger David March 12, 2015 2:20 PM  

Is evolution via natural selection dependent upon some sort of random chance?

I'm perfectly comfortable with the origin of species being dependent upon as yet unknown, non-random conditions. We see spontaneous organization (non-random phenomena) throughout reality, even if we often ignore it due to lack of a coherent model or theory to explain such processes.

We are treated to endless crap with the patina of science, that's clear, but I get the impression that Biblical literalists see such junk as evidence of Divine intervention. The opposite of junk science isn't a Biblical passage.

However organs, organelles, species and life itself came about, the lack of a coherent scientific explanation simply means, "we don't know" (something with which many people seem rather uncomfortable.)

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 2:25 PM  

Some organisms haven't seemed to change much in tens of millions of years (cockroaches, sharks, crocodiles), while others have changed a great deal (mammals, flowering plants). This is a longstanding problem of evolution that I have never seen biologists sufficiently explain, and this discrepancy alone would seem to kill the idea that random mutation is the primary driver of evolution.

Blogger darkdoc March 12, 2015 2:26 PM  

Mutations as the source of advantageous selected changes have a host of dificulties. Mutations must be stable, not kill or impair an animal, be (mostly dominantly) inheritable, and occur in animals still young enough to reproduce. None of these conditions are likely. The mutations associated with cancer occur primarily in individuals too old to reproduce, and are often fatal, as are most mutations.


But, to me an equally big problem is this - how do you spread the new trait throughout a species, so that they all eventually have it, the "old" trait has completely disappeared, often in populations widely dispersed from each other (so mixing genes is rarely even possible) - and how long does THAT take?

Blogger darkdoc March 12, 2015 2:28 PM  

Alaso - evolution and the origin of life, are very, very different subjects, not at all the same old thing.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 2:28 PM  

"Natural selection is the supreme law of all existence. I don't understand what Vox's beef with it is."

One problem is that it is simply a truism that is not helpful for explaining or predicting anything.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 12, 2015 2:38 PM  

SJW Evolution is evolution without genetics, genetics racist. Want them to shut up bring that up

Blogger Mastermind March 12, 2015 2:38 PM  

"One problem is that it is simply a truism that is not helpful for explaining or predicting anything."

On the contrary, it's extremely helpful. Those who understand that are immune to, for example, egalitarian drivel. It's also useful (though by no means exclusively useful) in biology. Fit genes survive, unfit ones disappear. So one will look for reasons why x gene was fit and y gene was not. It's impossible to interact with the material world if you ignore its most basic rules.

Anonymous Stilicho March 12, 2015 2:39 PM  

It sounds as if they're slouching towards claiming that there are different (and variable) mutation rates for every conceivable mutation, therefore the rate of speciation is itself infinitely variable.

Anonymous Salt March 12, 2015 2:47 PM  

Evos make the dismal science look appealing.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 12, 2015 2:50 PM  

Mastermind: "On the contrary, it's extremely helpful."

Right.

Evolution doesn't work as a Grand Theory of Everything (if only because it doesn't explain why one could have true beliefs as opposed to merely adaptive ones), but on a "use it till it stops working" basis, for things I care about, it's great.

It's a good Swiss army knife but a bad oracle.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 2:51 PM  

"Fit genes survive, unfit ones disappear."

But you have no way of defining "fit" except after the fact. Citing "natural selection" is like predicting that the winning team will win the game. Well -- no shit.

Blogger Mastermind March 12, 2015 2:52 PM  

Where did I say evolution is a grand theory of everything? Evolution is natural selection but not all natural selection is evolution. Evolution is not a theory of everything, it's the biological application of the universal "might makes right" principle, which is what natural selection basically is: might makes right for autists.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 2:58 PM  

"which is what natural selection basically is: might makes right for autists."

The honesty is appreciated.

Blogger dw March 12, 2015 2:58 PM  

"calculations using the slow clock gave nonsensical results when extended further back in time — positing, for example, that the most recent common ancestor of apes and monkeys could have encountered dinosaurs."

Top kek

Anonymous SCIENCE!!!! March 12, 2015 3:01 PM  

"Science in the gaps" plus chewing gum and chicken wire.

Anonymous kh123 March 12, 2015 3:02 PM  

"...presenting multiple dates for evolutionary events depending on whether mutation is assumed to be fast, slow or somewhere in between."

Billions in gov't funding and several decades later, evolutionary research has finally caught up to the Burger King ethos: Have it your way.

Anonymous Earl March 12, 2015 3:02 PM  

Vox, you dummy. The article answers your two questions. Didn't you read it? The speeds of mutations "fluctuate" and the underlying mutations "just pop up."

Its all very random, you see. Just comes outta nowhere for no reason, like magic. SCIENCE FTW! I FKN LOVE SCIENCE

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 3:03 PM  

Clearly more funding is the answer.

Blogger Vox March 12, 2015 3:04 PM  

Natural selection is the supreme law of all existence. I don't understand what Vox's beef with it is.

It's not the supreme law of anything. It's not even science. It's a philosophical assumption. I suspect you don't even know what natural selection is. And if you do, then explain it in four sentences or less, don't wave any idiotic credentials and prove you don't.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 3:06 PM  

A related problem I want to see evolutionary believers tackle is the problem of exponentially increasing mutation rates.

When you look at the lifeforms on this chart, you can see a general trend of genome size getting orders of magnitudes larger as its complexity/size increases.

The thing is that there is less time allotted for the transition from say bacteria to worms, than for worms to modern mammals.
First life - 3.6 billion years ago
Worms - 10^8 on genome size, 600 million years ago(overestimate favorable to evolution timeline)
Mammals - 10^9 on genome size, 200 million years ago.

So billions of years to get from 0 to 10^8. 400 million years or less to get from 10^8 to 10^9.


0 to 100,000,000 over 3,000,000,000 years => 0.03 / year

100,000,000 to 1,000,000,000 (900,000,000) over 400,000,000 years => 2.25 / year

There's quite a few approximations/assumptions in those numbers, but good enough for a quick look.

Anonymous Earl March 12, 2015 3:07 PM  

Hey Titus, what do you use evolution for re: things you care about? Not selection. Not mutation. Evolution. The overarching theory. How do you find it useful?

Blogger Booch Paradise March 12, 2015 3:07 PM  

Fit genes survive, unfit ones disappear. So one will look for reasons why x gene was fit and y gene was not.

In other words, it's helpful for predicting the future because if we assume it's true we can backwards rationalize how we reached the present. I'm guessing your a fan of evolutionary psychology.

In truth, I don't think evo psychology is as important to red pill truths as you believe. For example, can you think of any cultures, nations, or other people groups that roundly reject evolution but fall for egalitarian drivel?

Blogger natschuster March 12, 2015 3:13 PM  

The whole point of Michael Behe's "The Edge of Evolution" that, since we know mutation rates, and reproductive rates for various species, we can predict how often a adaptation will appear based on the number of mutations it requires. The frequency with which the malarial parasite develops resistance to chloroquine matches the prediction. For an adaptation that requires more than three mutations, the lifetime of the Earth isn't enough.

Blogger jay c March 12, 2015 3:14 PM  

Natural selection is not evolution. It is only one mechanism by which evolution is claimed to have occurred.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 12, 2015 3:15 PM  

Earl: "Hey Titus, what do you use evolution for re: things you care about? Not selection. Not mutation. Evolution. The overarching theory. How do you find it useful?"

Assume for the sake of fantasy that I was on good terms with some dog-breeders, and interested in meeting their information needs. The assumed background for my documentation searches would be Darwinian, not Lamarckian.

Anonymous Alexander March 12, 2015 3:16 PM  

So how long until the physicists and the chemists hand and quarter the biologists?

It would certainly be beneficial to the evolution of science, so is it safe to say it'll be a case of random dissection?

Blogger natschuster March 12, 2015 3:17 PM  

"Natural selection is the supreme law of all existence. I don't understand what Vox's beef with it is."

Natural selection means survivor survive. Nobody questions that. Evolutionists claim that natural selection can turn bacteria into blue whales. That hasn't really been established.

Blogger natschuster March 12, 2015 3:20 PM  

""Earl: "Hey Titus, what do you use evolution for re: things you care about? Not selection. Not mutation. Evolution. The overarching theory. How do you find it useful?"

Assume for the sake of fantasy that I was on good terms with some dog-breeders, and interested in meeting their information needs. The assumed background for my documentation searches would be Darwinian, not Lamarckian."

All a dog breeder needs to know is that puppies resemble their parents when they grow up. That's genetics, not Darwinism.

Blogger Panzerdude March 12, 2015 3:21 PM  

Mutation rate already misses the bigger issue of information. Mutations are changes in the information contained in DNA. Where did the original information come from in the first place. Ask the evolutionary believer to show the science demonstrating how information arises from non-information... The real fun is when the evolutionary believer answers "aliens", "other universes", etc. as if those "answers" are scientifically valid.

Here is the Law of Answering Evolutionary Critics: "Anything that is unobservable, untestable and impossible to detect suffices as the answer to any inquiry that questions evolution."

Anonymous Stephen J. March 12, 2015 3:22 PM  

"'(U)nderstanding the rate at which mutations evolve is a fundamental question,' says Molly Przeworski, a population geneticist at Columbia University in New York City...."

You know, I could be wrong on this, but isn't the whole point of the theory that the process termed "evolution" is simply a label for the changes wrought by sequential mutations and not a thing a single mutation itself actually does? Mutations only occur or don't occur, they don't in themselves "evolve". If she'd said "the rate at which successive nonlethal mutations occur in a single species," this would make more sense.

I am not a biologist and fully concede that this sounds like nitpicking, but terminology matters. If you can't describe your work in a way that makes sense it's hard for me to escape the suspicion that you don't understand it as well as you'd like me to think you do.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 12, 2015 3:24 PM  

natschuster: "All a dog breeder needs to know is that puppies resemble their parents when they grow up. That's genetics, not Darwinism."

I don't need that distinction to find the documents I want, as opposed to documents I don't want.

I'm happy as Larry with Newtonian physics on a day to day basis too.

A Swiss army knife, not an oracle.

Anonymous Curious but not an SJW March 12, 2015 3:29 PM  

You know, I could be wrong on this, but isn't the whole point of the theory that the process termed "evolution" is simply a label for the changes wrought by sequential mutations and not a thing a single mutation itself actually does?

Well, it's that plus selection. A mutation (usually caused by mis-copying during meiosis) doesn't do much by itself. Even a series of mutations.

There has been some discussion that I have seen that behavior/environment usually changes before a mutation becomes relevant or makes sense. For example, the mutation for lactase persistence would not have made much sense until cow/horse milk was routinely available because of pastoralism. (Another ism?)

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 3:29 PM  

"Ask the evolutionary believer to show the science demonstrating how information arises from non-information..."

Actually, as the one claiming that information cannot arise from non-information, the burden of proof is entirely yours. This includes defining the terms "information" and "non-information" as rudimentary first steps.

Blogger David March 12, 2015 3:30 PM  

Yes, and no one has explained how creatures the size of brachiosaurs could have lived in Earth's gravitational field, given how stunning is the adaptation of the (much shorter) giraffe.

Except there is a suggested theory, it's just wildly unpopular and thus all but invisible. http://www.dinox.org/expandingearth.html

This is also the case for abiotic oil, and non-distance Redshifts. I know, I know, only silly people doubt that all existing matter was created in a single cataclysm, from a singularity, right? Why does that sound like pre-Copernican astronomy?

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 3:38 PM  

"Reluctant to abandon the older numbers"

Which is why "science" is a joke.

Anonymous Earl March 12, 2015 3:39 PM  

So Titus, your efforts to breed dogs has been specifically and substantially improved by the theory of evolution beyond what was previously available to the ancients, eg Jacob in Genesis 30?

Or are you saying you have a better description of dog breeding, thanks to evolution?

Blogger David March 12, 2015 3:39 PM  

Yohami, is your science in quotes intended to refer to all science or just the modern junk subset?

Anonymous p-dawg March 12, 2015 3:40 PM  

Speaking of time problems with evolutionary theory, I like asking people to prove a million years has passed. Not a billion or six billion. Just one million. Everything they use for "proof" is faith-based. It's hilarious. Now, I cannot prove that one million or more years has NOT passed. There is very compelling evidence that there have been millions of years before this one. But I readily admit that. There's just no way to prove it.

Anonymous Stilicho March 12, 2015 3:40 PM  


Actually, as the one claiming that information cannot arise from non-information, the burden of proof is entirely yours.


Are you saying that darwinian evolutionists do NOT claim that information arises from non-information?

Anonymous Curious but not an SJW March 12, 2015 3:43 PM  

All a dog breeder needs to know is that puppies resemble their parents when they grow up. That's genetics, not Darwinism.

And then you throw in a bit of population genetics (R = H^2 * S) and you can start to figure out how to select for the inherited characteristics you want, which is what Darwin was talking about.

It also helps you to understand why it takes something like 700 years to drive bad behavioral characteristics out of a savage or half-savage population.

OpenID socalexile March 12, 2015 3:48 PM  

"This sounds like a job for More Scientific Funding! Sit down Actual Science; you're not wanted here."

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 3:51 PM  

David, I put it in quotes because "science" pretends it's about finding truth but it isnt, because the people doing it are people. The people in science operate like members of any other *ism, trying to prove their already formed conclusions, reacting violently when their premises are questioned, defending subgroups of beliefs and sustaining ever growing cognitional dissonances. And they dont care as long as they can unite against their perceived common enemies. So, just people, equally stupid, hiding under the credentials they give to each other.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 3:52 PM  

"Are you saying that darwinian evolutionists do NOT claim that information arises from non-information?"

Both of those terms need to be defined in a universal and mathematically rigorous way or the question is meaningless.

I am not aware of any such definitions of information and non-information.

The entire field of information theory treats these as subjective terms defined by a specified sender and receiver.

Anonymous Stilicho March 12, 2015 3:55 PM  

Sure, define them, but the burden of proof rests on the one making the claim.

Anonymous Curious but not an SJW March 12, 2015 3:59 PM  

The entire field of information theory treats these as subjective terms defined by a specified sender and receiver.

Well, you can think of the parent as the sender and the offspring as the receiver, however, in my opinion, a mutation is not the creation of information out of non information. DNA and RNA and ribosomes can produce anything.

That objection is kind of like saying that by saying the above I have created information out of non information but in a real sense every sentence that could be uttered is possible in the structure of the English language. However, some of them don't make sense.

Any serious objection would have to target the origin of DNA, RNA and Ribosomes. That is where stuff was created.

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 12, 2015 4:01 PM  

As I have repeatedly predicted, genuine genetic science is eventually going to kill evolution by natural selection deader than phlogiston or the Flat Earth theory

I doubt it. Paleontology should have introduced at least a dent or two in the armor of Natural Selection. The fossil record actually contradicts what we were supposed to be find.

Church doctrine was adjusted to account for it.

Theology is an instrument for allowing agnostics to stay with in the church.

Anonymous Curious but not an SJW March 12, 2015 4:02 PM  

Sure, define them, but the burden of proof rests on the one making the claim.

I think Noah B is saying that your sentence is nonsense because you are claiming that 'scientists' or 'evolutionists' are making that claim. I do not believe that the aforementioned 'scientists' or 'evolutionists' would agree that they are making that claim because you have not offered a definition of your terms so it can't even be evaluated.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 4:04 PM  

"Sure, define them, but the burden of proof rests on the one making the claim."

Definitely.

Darwinists are claiming that the diversity of life came about by evolution through natural selection. They are not claiming anything about the nature of information or that information comes from non-information.

It is a small subset of those who disagree with the Darwinian view who suggest that information cannot come from non-information, and that evolution and abiogenesis are therefore impossible.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 12, 2015 4:07 PM  

Noah B: "The entire field of information theory treats these as subjective terms defined by a specified sender and receiver."

There are lots of definitions of information, useful in different contexts.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 4:08 PM  

"There are lots of definitions of information, useful in different contexts."

Hence the subjectivity.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus March 12, 2015 4:10 PM  

Noah B: "Hence the subjectivity."

In that sense, yeah. Fair enough.

Anonymous jack March 12, 2015 4:24 PM  

There is an interesting essay at the Aeon site by Jeff Davies that discusses how genes, within the double helix, make the proteins that then form a feedback loop that turns certain genes on and off. Might provide some insight into the problems of mutation and evolution.

http://aeon.co/magazine/science/why-the-symbol-of-life-is-a-loop-not-a-helix/

Blogger ScuzzaMan March 12, 2015 4:31 PM  

Dear Mr Curious,

I believe the word that most accurately describes your behaviour is:

"disingenuous".

I suspect you know very well that scientists, evolutionists, geneticists, etc of the materialist sort make this claim so routinely that their literature is filled with references to the DNA code, the language of genetics, the letters of the DNA sequence, and so forth.

Pretending these things are not there is audacious, but a losing proposition.

As for time, it is worse than Vox thinks. There is no field of science in which anyone would find respect for a theory that relied on extrapolating from a few decades of accurate observation to 15 or more billion years. Statistically it is so retarded as to be positively Homerian.

Except .... somehow, in "explaining" the existence of everything, we suddenly abandon everything we learned along the way to here. But it is tolerated because the will to believe is stronger than anyone likes to admit.

Apropos of which, there's a special kind of idiot who calls himself an atheist, who wants to eliminate all beliefs which conflict with his own from the human race (purely for the improvement of other people, naturally - no echoes of recent history there, eh?), claiming that religion is "bad and wrong", equivalent to child abuse (i.e. REALLY bad and wrong, double plus bad).

But the problem is that 99.99r% of people who've ever lived have been theists of some sort, so according the theories of evolution as it applies to human psychology, theism simply must have survival value.

In other words, these fools are trying to persuade us of their benevolent intent and intellectual superiority by openly advocating the slaughter of 99% of the species.

Doesn't sound like a great plan to me (although we could throw all the bodies in the ocean and call it the final solution).

None of which demonstrates the existence or non-existence of any deity of your choice, but it does demonstrate that the people who most loudly proclaim their own rationality as a claim to authority on such matters, hardly even comprehend the term, let alone embody it.

A good day to you, sir.
SM

OpenID simplytimothy March 12, 2015 4:37 PM  

positing, for example, that the most recent common ancestor of apes and monkeys could have encountered dinosaurs.

That will get the attention of the YEC crowd.

Blogger David March 12, 2015 4:37 PM  

Yohami, you cite an important issue, that you can't take the observer out of the observed-then-reported. This is why we are subject to such dogma today (HIV causes AIDS, Cholesterol causes MI's, vaccines are all unalloyed goods, etc.)

Is the problem not one of epistemology? So few people have much background in any science, a necessary foundation for even attempting to form an informed opinion about a subject in scientific debate, they simply adopt a viewpoint, sandbag the position and go to war. And this is not engineering, where opinion separates from fact on the test lab floor (or when the wing falls off the airframe.)

Where we are headed is an outright rejection of all things science, in part because so much "science" is outright fraud. It's a baby/bathwater problem.

Anonymous Anubis March 12, 2015 4:37 PM  

"SJW Evolution is evolution without genetics, genetics racist. Want them to shut up bring that up"

SJW Evolution is the belief that every plant and animal evolved but magically human evolution stopped at the neck. One thing that stood out when I took a course on genetics was that Sickle Cell disease was actually a positive mutation. That sickle cell was so prominent in black bloodlines was used to disprove survival of the fittest until people realized Sickle cell helped people survive malaria before whitey brought quinine to Africa. Despite all of the drawbacks to the circulatory, renal, and respiratory systems it was a life of death mutation and even now with YTs meds a sub Saharan African child dies every 6 seconds to malaria.

Its somewhat important to note that the main difference between the 6 days of genesis and sciences explanation is the amount of time that each step took.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 4:42 PM  

Darwinists are claiming that the diversity of life came about by evolution through natural selection. They are not claiming anything about the nature of information or that information comes from non-information.

It is a small subset of those who disagree with the Darwinian view who suggest that information cannot come from non-information, and that evolution and abiogenesis are therefore impossible.


Disagree. Rather, that small subset argues that life observably contains a type of information, and that random mutation does not provide sufficient explanatory power for the concentration of that type of information present in all life.

That Darwinian evolution does not make claims regarding information makes it deficient as a theory and explanation for the diversity of life.

From the ID POV, the claim is not that information cannot come from non-information; it is that the type of information present in life has only been observed to come from minds - "artificial" but not "natural" sources.

Anonymous Curious but not an SJW March 12, 2015 4:42 PM  

ScuzzaMan, did you just want to go on a rant?

I don't know where you got the idea that I want to eliminate all religions or people who disagree with me.

I suspect you know very well that scientists, evolutionists, geneticists, etc of the materialist sort make this claim so routinely that their literature is filled with references to the DNA code, the language of genetics, the letters of the DNA sequence, and so forth.

Which claim? That information arises out of non-information? I don't think I have seen it or might have misunderstood what they said. Can you point me to some such claims?

Of course, I would probably think that anyone who makes that claim is a chromosome long or short.

Anonymous Curious but not an SJW March 12, 2015 4:46 PM  

Actually, my objection to most SJWs and most people who claim that the believe in Evolution clearly do not, since natural selection predicts that humans who are subjected to different selection pressures would have different characteristics. That is, different populations would have different mean IQs and possibly different variance in IQs. They might also have differing mean abilities to run marathons or sprints or tolerance for living at high altitudes.

These things seem anathema to those who give lip service to Evolution.

Blogger ScuzzaMan March 12, 2015 4:53 PM  

Curious

Rants are good. I assure you I rant with great good will towards all who engage in conversation here.

Nonetheless I wasn't intending to imply that you specifically were of that sort I described. My apologies if I did. I don't even know you.

I just find it an amusing example of the principle known as:

"beware the naked man who offers you his shirt"

There most certainly is intensely concentrated and incredibly potent information contained in all living things. And if you claim this circumstance arose by purely natural forces then you are claiming that it arose from its own prior non-existence.

Inescapably so.

Attempts to deny the plain logic of this proposition, as a defense of neo-darwinist evolution, may be cute, but they're neither compelling nor intellectually honest.

State it openly or try to hide behind the superficial truth that "I never claimed that!" - as you may - it remains that it is a necessary logical consequence of what HAS been claimed.

Or, as my old man taught me; the man who chooses the road chooses where it leads.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 5:02 PM  

Rather, that small subset argues that life observably contains a type of information...

If you cannot first define what you mean by "information" in a consistent and mathematically describable manner, rather than as some unspecified noun, you don't even have a coherent argument.

Anonymous BioShock Jock March 12, 2015 5:02 PM  

So what's the alternative to evolution? To instead believe in the Hebrew book of fairy tales called The Bible and honestly believe the world is only 6000 years old and humans and dinosaurs co-existed on Earth like in The Flintstones? You'll have to do better than that. That just sounds like believing in a fairy tale someone made up. And if science is so phony next time you need to fix a broken bone or get an operation, just try praying real hard instead, see how far that gets you.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 5:07 PM  

It probably wasn't that much like the Flintstones.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 5:08 PM  

Land of the Lost, maybe (series, not movie)

Blogger S1AL March 12, 2015 5:12 PM  

@BioShock Jock - it would have saved you about 100 words to just type "I've never read the Bible."

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 5:15 PM  

David,

Epistemology, may be, but it's not a matter of having a background and studies - studying means getting indoctrinated. Any new theory is met by (emotional) resistance, and it's only accepted if it gets pushed with an agenda. It's all politics - there's little truth seeking.

The correct response for almost everything is "I dont know". Scientists think they know because they read a book, while religious people think they know because they read a different book. Go deep in questions to either and you face the same human being terrified and screaming.

Blogger Desiderius March 12, 2015 5:32 PM  

Vox,

What are your thoughts on Bear's Darwin's Radio series?

OpenID cailcorishev March 12, 2015 5:32 PM  

All a dog breeder needs to know is that puppies resemble their parents when they grow up. That's genetics, not Darwinism.

And then you throw in a bit of population genetics (R = H^2 * S) and you can start to figure out how to select for the inherited characteristics you want, which is what Darwin was talking about.


Not quite. The dog breeder knows how to breed dogs to other dogs to get bigger and better dogs. But they'll still be dogs. Darwin says that -- given enough generations -- you can breed dogs to other dogs and eventually get horses.

Blogger ScuzzaMan March 12, 2015 5:36 PM  

Yohami

What you say is mostly true. Mostly.

("They mostly come at night ... mostly")

It's not true of everyone.

Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that it is not as dominant in everyone, and like other emotional human impulses, it is not allowed to be as dominant.

Life is all about making choices, and one truth few people ever confront is that kidding yourself about the choice you made and why you made it, doesn't in any way alter or avert the consequences of that choice.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 5:36 PM  

If you cannot first define what you mean by "information" in a consistent and mathematically describable manner, rather than as some unspecified noun, you don't even have a coherent argument.

Some women are hot. I guess since I can't quantify it mathematically, there's no such thing as beauty or hotness.

Which of course means that Land Whales must be Hot, because who's to say they aren't without a rigorous and consistent mathematically describable definition?

Observation of qualitative relationships is sufficient to recognize that the relationship exists. Quantities can come after the relevant qualities are identified.

OpenID simplytimothy March 12, 2015 5:39 PM  

@BioShockJock

There are different views by different Christians.

The YEC (young earth creationists) start with the Bible as the Word of God and any science must conform to it.
There are OEC (old earth creationists)
A frequenter commenter here, Stickwick, suggests that both and old and young earth view are reconcilable by viewing the creation account from God's frame of reference*
The Intelligent Design folks are not YEC folks, but Meyer is a professing Christian.
There are probably more views out there.

HTH.





*My apologies if I made a hash of the explanation, doc.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 5:40 PM  

"Which of course means that Land Whales must be Hot, because who's to say they aren't without a rigorous and consistent mathematically describable definition? "

So your example of something that can't be mathematically described is a person's weight?

OpenID cailcorishev March 12, 2015 5:43 PM  

So what's the alternative to evolution? To instead believe in the Hebrew book of fairy tales called The Bible and honestly believe the world is only 6000 years old and humans and dinosaurs co-existed on Earth like in The Flintstones?

Yes, you caught us; billions of people believe/believed that the past was just like the Flintstones. Don't you feel smart, being so much more enlightened than they? Now go have a superior chuckle about it with your asspie atheist friends at the coffeeshop.

Blogger S1AL March 12, 2015 5:44 PM  

Wait, is it 1900 already?

Because we've known since about that time (or earlier) that human attractiveness is generally mathematically quantifiable.

Anonymous tiredofitall March 12, 2015 5:45 PM  

"Speaking of time problems with evolutionary theory, I like asking people to prove a million years has passed. Not a billion or six billion. Just one million. Everything they use for "proof" is faith-based. It's hilarious. Now, I cannot prove that one million or more years has NOT passed. There is very compelling evidence that there have been millions of years before this one. But I readily admit that. There's just no way to prove it." - p-dawg

So radiometric dating and carbon dating are a matter of faith? Interesting, since I've yet to see a church for either, or been pestered by their proselytizers on an early weekend morn.

But since you declared it, it must be so.

Anonymous Beau March 12, 2015 5:45 PM  

@ BioShock Jock

And if science is so phony next time you need to fix a broken bone or get an operation, just try praying real hard instead, see how far that gets you.

You're quite the drama queen. Phony evidence offered by one group (e,g, evolutionists proffering the Piltdown Man fraud) does not indict their opponents. Rather it exposes its own proponents as charlatans. You lack the intellectual honesty to set aside fraud; instead you basely resort to slander of your opponent. Offer real evidence if you seek to establish a position is correct, otherwise, you're not tall enough for this ride.

Blogger Vox March 12, 2015 5:46 PM  

So what's the alternative to evolution?

Duck and change the subject. That's certainly new. And convincing!

And if science is so phony next time you need to fix a broken bone or get an operation, just try praying real hard instead, see how far that gets you.

Why pray when we can simply fix it by evolving it through natural selection? Because that's science too, right?

Blogger Lud VanB March 12, 2015 5:47 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Revanche March 12, 2015 5:49 PM  

BioShock Jock,

You are making a mistake in your reasoning. If evolution has problems, specifically regarding discrepancies with the molecular clock and speciation timelines, then it means we need to reevaluate our previous ideas about evolution to ensure that they match up with reality. If that reality ends up supporting a creationist view, okay, great! If it doesn't, well it doesn't.

Also, you are conflating science with evolution and natural selection. Please don't do that. We are talking about a biological theory that deals with why life is the way it is and whether or not it changes through time. We are saying nothing about medicine, physics, chemistry, etc. So, I can question evolution, be an non Christian theist, and have no problem taking aspirin all without any cognitive dissonance on my part.

Anonymous PhillipGeorge(c)2015 March 12, 2015 5:49 PM  

Cut the chase scientismists. Go to any laboratory and using collective intelligence make life from inorganic materials. You have all the time in the world.

..........stupefied masses

or just replace these words with every single article on evolution you have ever read and will ever read: " My faith must be right because scientist "

Natural Philosophy aka Science summarized. Not to be confused with engineering.

Anonymous Will Best March 12, 2015 5:50 PM  

And if science is so phony next time you need to fix a broken bone or get an operation, just try praying real hard instead, see how far that gets you.

This is a strawman. Your spiritual belief in the creation of biodiversity has nothing to do with the discipline of orthopedics.

A variable rate of mutation makes evolution untestable, and therefore outside the realm of science. By contrast, various methodologies have been tried and tested with respects to setting bones and muscles.

Anonymous BioShock Jock March 12, 2015 5:52 PM  

"@BioShock Jock - it would have saved you about 100 words to just type "I've never read the Bible.""

I've never read Dianetics either but I still know that's a work of fiction a science fiction writer made up after stating if a man wanted to earn a million dollars he'd need to start his own religion.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 5:54 PM  

So your example of something that can't be mathematically described is a person's weight?

You think Hot is a measure of someone's weight?

So let's have a beauty contest where all the contestants step on a scale, and the winner is judged purely by weight. Think that'll find the hottest woman?

It's not that I think information is that indescribable - you're just persistent in refusing to identify it, because you demand an arbitrary level of detail for this specific term.

Source code and genetic code are both that "type of information". Qualities of interest: Discrete, "compiles", specific.

Blogger Lud VanB March 12, 2015 6:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Lud VanB March 12, 2015 6:00 PM  

"Speaking of time problems with evolutionary theory, I like asking people to prove a million years has passed."

how about 400 thousand years at least? would that be good? that's how much time it would have taken at the very least for the white cliffs of Dover to accumulate its microfossil content underwater...and that's not counting the time it would have taken for lithification to take place in the crust and then for the limestone mass to be uplifted by continental drift.

Blogger S1AL March 12, 2015 6:01 PM  

"I've never read Dianetics either but I still know that's a work of fiction a science fiction writer made up after stating if a man wanted to earn a million dollars he'd need to start his own religion."

Which explains all those 1st-century martyrs really well, right? But, given your demonstrable predilections, I'm sure you'll now thrill us with your stunning insights into what 'Dianetics' contains, despite having never read it.

Blogger Feather Blade March 12, 2015 6:03 PM  

So radiometric dating and carbon dating are a matter of faith? Interesting, since I've yet to see a church for either, or been pestered by their proselytizers on an early weekend morn.

You must have taken the afternoon section of Geology 101.

Blogger Feather Blade March 12, 2015 6:08 PM  

Alaso - evolution and the origin of life, are very, very different subjects, not at all the same old thing.

They have to have intersected at some point in the past.

Since the arguments for both follow the formula of "Once upon a time, many small things changed, and suddenly became a completely different larger thing," they can't possibly be as different as you'd like everyone to think.

Blogger ScuzzaMan March 12, 2015 6:12 PM  

Lud VanB

Congratulations! You just stepped into a debate about how it can be possible to tell the correct time if it turns out your assumptions about the constancy of your timepiece are incorrect, with another example of the same problem, that you apparently think eliminates the problem.

Let me give you some free advice: check your assumptions, especially your faith that continental drift, and microfossil accumulation under water, and lithification are all constant.

Let me guess how you think you know this: you learned somewhere that it's been measured today, right?

And of course no natural phenomena ever varies, for any reason.

You win the prize.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 6:17 PM  

"It's not that I think information is that indescribable - you're just persistent in refusing to identify it..."

It is your burden of proof and your refusal to define the term information. Not mine.

"Observation of qualitative relationships is sufficient to recognize that the relationship exists."

Relying strictly on qualitative measures greatly increases the likelihood of being wrong. This is why charlatans flock to fields like psychology, sociology, and economics and tend to avoid math, physics, chemistry, and computer science.

Unless it involves computer modelling. Con artists love their computer models.

Anonymous MendoScot March 12, 2015 6:17 PM  

Darwin's TENS = Evolution 1.0

Neo-Darwinian Synthesis = Evolution 2.0

Evolution 3.0? My bet is on genetic network reconfiguration. The problem for the old guard is that it would explicitly throw out the idea of "anything goes". And confirm the idea of restricted solution spaces, aka "kinds".

Blogger Brad Andrews March 12, 2015 6:18 PM  

Thanks for the link simplytimothy.

I am a strong YEC, but I have no problem in concept with lots of time happening in other frames of reference. I didn't know Stickwick had posted on that. I thought she was pretty OEC.

I do wonder how galaxy arms stay in shape over really long times without making up "dark matter," but I haven't spend much time worrying about that.

I will face my own reckoning long long before any long time frame, so much of this is completely irrelevant.

Blogger Brad Andrews March 12, 2015 6:21 PM  

Noah has to assert the idiotic idea that organisms don't have more information now to cling to the idiocy that they never needed more information.

Too much idiocy to even talk with.

Blogger S1AL March 12, 2015 6:23 PM  

Brad, question from honesty curiosity: on what basis do you believe in a young earth? And have you ever read anything by Hugh Ross?

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 6:27 PM  

Noah has to assert the idiotic idea that organisms don't have more information now to cling to the idiocy that they never needed more information.

Too much idiocy to even talk with.


Look who's talking. Kindly point out where I said that or retract.

Blogger Phunctor March 12, 2015 6:28 PM  

@stilicho
Would a sequence such that no program shorter than the sequence itself can generate it [1] count as non-information for the purpose of this discussion? Or do you want e.g. "cheese"? -- in which case sure, you win.

The ratio of random points in a square to those also in the inscribed circle is 4/pi. It's a lousy way to compute pi, but with enough points you can have as many digits of precision as you want.

Would it be informative to hear "the millionth digit of pi is X, with probability 1-epsilon"? Or do you demand mathematical certainty? -- in which case, sure, you win.

Scholastic parroting of nihil ex nihil fit makes it no less straightforward to extract information from non-information.

[1]This is a somewhat technical, yet useful, description of the concept "random".

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 6:43 PM  

It is your burden of proof and your refusal to define the term information. Not mine.

Not refusal. You just don't like the level of resolution I'm working with, and like to describe it in the worst terms you can.

See your earlier description of ID. I prefer to summarize my opponent's position in a way that he agrees with.

Relying strictly on qualitative measures greatly increases the likelihood of being wrong. This is why charlatans flock to fields like psychology, sociology, and economics and tend to avoid math, physics, chemistry, and computer science.

So? Are you saying that qualitative aspects I pointed out are wrong, or not?

When you defend evolution from needing to deal with information, what rigorous mathematical definitions are you using to say that their claims are independent of the concept of the "vague" term of "information"?

If the definition of information is too vague to know what it is, how can you know that evolution doesn't have anything to do with it?

You're arguing out of both sides of your mouth.

Anonymous DT March 12, 2015 6:45 PM  

Noah B March 12, 2015 3:29 PM - Actually, as the one claiming that information cannot arise from non-information, the burden of proof is entirely yours. This includes defining the terms "information" and "non-information" as rudimentary first steps.

For the purposes of discussing evolution...

"Information" - any macromolecule configuration which successfully controls the biological processes of at least one living organism.

"Non-information" - any macromolecule configuration which fails to control the biological processes of any living organism, and which would therefore cause immediate death if it were substituted for a successful macromolecule in an organism.

As defined here, can "information" arise randomly from "non-information" in our universe?

* Experimentation says no. (See: Louis Pasteur.)

* Analysis of the odds says no. (See: Marcel E. Golay; Michael Behe.)

* We can view and model potential macromolecule configurations as states of a thermodynamic system or as states of an information system. Both the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Shannon Entropy say no. (No surprise given the commonality between them.)

Golay put the odds of abiogenesis at 1 in 10^450. That's about 330-350 orders of magnitude too large for this universe IF we assume all matter can participate in potentially life forming events at all times. (At any given moment almost all matter cannot.)

He put the odds of something evolving to the complexity of a modern mammal at 1 in 10^3,000,000. Even if our universe were unbounded this could never happen because no habitable zone could last long enough per our laws of physics. (Note the concurrence with Behe's calculations.)

Sorry, but the idea that life could have formed or evolved by random chance in this universe died the moment we observed red shift. Further discoveries in genetics just put more nails into the coffin.

Of course to break the faithful we're going to have to open the coffin and shove their faces into the stinking, rotting corpse, then hold them there until they choke on it. I'm not sure what genetic discovery or set of discoveries will be the equivalent of that. But like Vox I do predict they will occur.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 6:47 PM  

"Golay put the odds of abiogenesis at 1 in 10^450."

Again, "science"

OpenID simplytimothy March 12, 2015 6:50 PM  

Hi Brad Andrews.

Glad you liked Sitckwick's work. Please pass it along, its important work that needs more mindshare.

OpenID simplytimothy March 12, 2015 6:59 PM  

"Golay put the odds of abiogenesis at 1 in 10^450."

I have not kept up with the subject; the last I read on it was this 2007 David Berlinski piece in Commentary where the mass of RNA required exceeded the mass of the earth...

The odds, then, are daunting; and when considered realistically, they are even worse than this already alarming account might suggest. The discovery of a single molecule with the power to initiate replication would hardly be sufficient to establish replication. What template would it replicate against? We need, in other words, at least two, causing the odds of their joint discovery to increase from 1 in 1060 to 1 in 10120. Those two sequences would have been needed in roughly the same place. And at the same time. And organized in such a way as to favor base pairing. And somehow held in place. And buffered against competing reactions. And productive enough so that their duplicates would not at once vanish in the soundless sea.

In contemplating the discovery by chance of two RNA sequences a mere 40 nucleotides in length, Joyce and Orgel concluded that the requisite "library" would require 1048 possible sequences. Given the weight of RNA, they observed gloomily, the relevant sample space would exceed the mass of the earth. And this is the same Leslie Orgel, it will be remembered, who observed that "it was almost certain that there once was an RNA world."



I have not read if the odds have improved any...

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 7:05 PM  

Not refusal. You just don't like the level of resolution I'm working with, and like to describe it in the worst terms you can.

Yes, refusal. You have not provided any definition of "information" this thread, and I don't recall that you have done so in previous threads. You seem to be saying "I know it when I see it" so that you can avoid being pinned down.

When you defend evolution from needing to deal with information, what rigorous mathematical definitions are you using to say that their claims are independent of the concept of the "vague" term of "information"?

I have not "defended evolution from needing to deal with information" because the term remains undefined. Using technical terms that remain undefined tends to result in nonsense.

If the definition of information is too vague to know what it is, how can you know that evolution doesn't have anything to do with it?

I don't, and I never claimed otherwise.

Blogger natschuster March 12, 2015 7:08 PM  

""All a dog breeder needs to know is that puppies resemble their parents when they grow up. That's genetics, not Darwinism."

And then you throw in a bit of population genetics (R = H^2 * S) and you can start to figure out how to select for the inherited characteristics you want, which is what Darwin was talking about.

It also helps you to understand why it takes something like 700 years to drive bad behavioral characteristics out of a savage or half-savage population."

I don't understand. People bred dogs, cats cows, goats. sheep horses, and all kinds of plants for millennia without knowing anything about population genetics.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 7:11 PM  

"Sorry, but the idea that life could have formed or evolved by random chance in this universe died the moment we observed red shift."

Random chance is a red herring. Mainstream biologists have realized the problems with "random chance" abiogenesis and searched for high-probability chemical pathways to abiogenesis for close to a century.

Anonymous zen0 March 12, 2015 7:24 PM  

@BioShock Jock

I've never read Dianetics either but I still know that's a work of fiction a science fiction writer made up after stating if a man wanted to earn a million dollars he'd need to start his own religion.


You are a very shallow and uneducated fellow.


L. Ron Hubbard, 1952, History of Man, Chapter 8

"Theta clearing is about as practical and simple as repairing a shoe
lace. It is nothing to do with hypnotism, voodooism, charalatanism,
monkeyism or theosophy. Done, the thetan can do anything a stage
magician can do in the way of moving objects around. But this isn't
attained by holding one's breath or thinking right thoughts or voting
Republican or any other superstitous or mystic practice. So for the
reason I brought up, rule out, auditor, any mumbo jumbo or mysticism,
spiritualism, or religion
."


Anonymous zen0 March 12, 2015 7:27 PM  

Hubbard called Dianetics a "Science of Mind".

He used the term "Science" much in the way biologists and warmists tend to do.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 7:28 PM  

You seem to be saying "I know it when I see it" so that you can avoid being pinned down.

I have offered concrete examples. (Software) source code and genetic code (DNA).

Working from the commonalities of that type of information: "sequence of discrete letters that carries a meaning". That definition also includes the messages that we humans exchange to convey meaning to each other.

I don't, and I never claimed otherwise.

"[Darwinists] are not claiming anything about the nature of information or that information comes from non-information."

But the fact that they claim that NS accounts for all life diversity means that they are making a claim about what is needed for the different sorts of DNA and genetic codes present in life.

Would you be willing to claim that the DNA codes in all life are NOT information?

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 7:30 PM  

Sorry, that should be RM/NS, not just NS.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 7:33 PM  

"rule out, auditor, any mumbo jumbo or mysticism, spiritualism, or religion."

Haha. You have to see what they practice and believe in, not what they say they do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenu

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 7:38 PM  

Hamster, how in your mind is "not claiming anything about the nature of information" in conflict with me stating that I don't "know that evolution doesn't have anything to do with [information]"? That seems like a very consistent position to me. Also, I'm not a Darwinist.

And no, I would not claim that DNA is not information.

Anonymous Bohm March 12, 2015 7:39 PM  

As I have repeatedly predicted, genuine genetic science is eventually going to kill evolution by natural selection deader than phlogiston or the Flat Earth theory.

Genetic science has been around for at least a 100 years. I wonder how 'genuine' it'll have to get before it eventually kills natural selection.

Anonymous Heaviside March 12, 2015 7:45 PM  

"It is therefore interesting, when one considers a phenomenon like biological evolution, to look at the time intervals elapsing between the appearance of the different major stages of organization and to inquire whether this would not give some hints on the mechanism of evolution itself. In this respect several authors (for example, recently, de Duve) have pointed out that there is no proportionality between the increase in organization corresponding to an evolutionary step and the time it requires to occur, de Duve attributes to biological evolution a time course of at least 3.2 x 10^9 years, half of which was required to see the appearance of the first protistes; thereafter half of the remaining time was necessary for the evolution of the first invertebrates, half of that for the first vertebrates, and finally, some 200 millions years ago, the first mammals. Man himself is probably "only" 2 million years old.

In other words, even though the organization and complexity of living systems can hardly be evaluated quantitatively, these figures indicate an acceleration of evolution in the course of time. In its most macroscopic manifestations evolution is an autocatalytic phenomenon: Any progress is followed by another one that has a greater chance to occur. If one further considers that, as is likely, the molecular mechanism of evolution has not appreciably changed in going from the primitive to the evolved organisms—that is, the frequency of random mutations in proteins and nucleic acids has remained the same and independent of the functional activity, and that the time interval between generations increases for higher organisms, then one realizes that this acceleration really is a paradoxical phenomenon; it cannot be explained by simple molecular considerations on reproduction and self-replication of macromolecules. Clearly we need something more than self-replication; we need something that plays the role of an increasing selection pressure in favor of the more organized states."

http://libgen.org/book/index.php?md5=529197D219A737CDCA567266F9482779

Blogger darkdoc March 12, 2015 7:58 PM  

"Since the arguments for both follow the formula of "Once upon a time, many small things changed, and suddenly became a completely different larger thing," they can't possibly be as different as you'd like everyone to think."

That is neither a theory of biogenesis or evolution. If I understand, you think a bunch of small lifeless things "changed" (for whatever reason, not described) and life resulted, reproducible life at that. And then that random event persisted as evolution and the life evolved. One heck of a theory. Am I now going to hear about goo in a pool hit by lightning?

Anonymous z March 12, 2015 8:09 PM  

@ Yohami

Haha. You have to see what they practice and believe in, not what they say they do.

I presume the link is related to Scientology. BioShockJock referenced Dianetics. Scientology is derivative of Dianetics.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 8:14 PM  

Hamster, how in your mind is "not claiming anything about the nature of information" in conflict with me stating that I don't "know that evolution doesn't have anything to do with [information]"? That seems like a very consistent position to me. Also, I'm not a Darwinist.

Do you think these two sentences are equivalent?

1. "[Darwinists] are not claiming anything about the nature of information [...]"
2. "Darwinists make no claims on the nature of information"

You have also said that you don't "know that evolution has nothing to do with [information]". This contradicts (2), which if equivalent to (1), contradicts what you said.


And no, I would not claim that DNA is not information.

So then you accept DNA may or may not be information?

If you accept that, then as evolutionists make claims on the origin of new DNA, they may or may not be making claims on the nature of information in the form of DNA.

Which again contradicts "not claiming anything on the nature of information".

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 8:36 PM  

There's an absurd reach if I ever saw one. Even if one considers DNA to contain or code for information, DNA is not information in a literal sense. DNA is DNA. There is no contradiction.

Anonymous clk March 12, 2015 8:38 PM  

I think David very early raised the real issue here --- there is a process called evolution , where things change over time, it appeared at one time that the drive was external forces ie natural selection, but as man better understands biology and genetics, its beginning to look like its much more complex than just natural selection ... SO WHAT .. if natural selection is wrong, it gets replaced by a better theory, which gets replaced by a better theory until it it understood what is happening .. it is very unlikely that the final answer will be "Its the will of God" ..I have faith that God is the source of all things, but by definition this is nature, and there will be a natural explanation of which it is man's task to figure out ....

The so called money quote "The fact that the clock is so uncertain is very problematic for us... It means that the dates we get out of genetics are really quite embarrassingly bad and uncertain." ... I personally find it refreshing that a scientist would be so honest and direct...

No matter how you twist it .. the answer to any science question will not likely be "God" .. except perhaps what might be our last question ... when man completely understands the entire universe and the whole of the natural world then we as that last question .. but by then we will be indistinguishable from God and will create our own reality (I am sure there's an old school scifi story with this plot -- kind of a variation on the "Nine Billion Names of God)...

Blogger David March 12, 2015 8:39 PM  

No, Yohami,
Some of us actually DID the science and in that case, the answer is, Yes, I know.
Once there, you have a place to start. Another investigator makes a claim, but it is based in part on work you know from personal experience is fact. You are more likely to accept the new data as likely true, while in the opposite situation, you suspect it is false.

A for-instance: The HIV-AIDS theory has always violated Koch's Postulates, and the diseases included in the AIDS syndrome were changed when not enough people with Kaposi's Sarcoma lit up on an HIV screen. Knowing enough about micriobiology, the first made me suspicious, the second confirmed my suspicions. I may not know what "causes" AIDS (Duesburg might have been right all along) but I know the dominant narrative is an Error Pyramid.

"I don't know" applies to lots of things, but not everything...not by a mile.

Blogger Lud VanB March 12, 2015 8:50 PM  

"ScuzzaMan "


you are assuming that I have not checked my assumptions.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 8:54 PM  

@Noah B

2 questions. What are your answers?

Anonymous URL March 12, 2015 9:09 PM  

Evolution and the problem of time

"They also pondered why the rate seems to fluctuate over time."


Problem solved.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 9:13 PM  

Of course if you like contradictions, there's this:

From the ID POV, the claim is not that information cannot come from non-information; it is that the type of information present in life has only been observed to come from minds - "artificial" but not "natural" sources. -- SirHamster, March 12, 2015 4:42 PM

Some in the ID crowd, such as myself, go further and claim that evolution is BS based on the relationship between information and entropy and how entropy acts against information. -- SirHamster, January 30, 2014 1:20 PM

Granted some time has elapsed, but it seems you've changed your position significantly.

Blogger darkdoc March 12, 2015 9:20 PM  

"Since the arguments for both follow the formula of "Once upon a time, many small things changed, and suddenly became a completely different larger thing," they can't possibly be as different as you'd like everyone to think."

Let me try a response that is not generated by complete amazement you could say such a thing.

There is NO relationship if only because the odds of the random generation of life are galactically more difficult and unlikely than the random changes of life through mutation discussed in this blog. Considering how hard it is to reconcile TENS with the time needed, it is much, much worse with any theory of the genesis of life. They are not the same thing or linked in any described manner

Anonymous VD March 12, 2015 9:23 PM  

it is very unlikely that the final answer will be "Its the will of God"

You observably know nothing about probability. You might as meaningfully have stated "it is absolutely certain that the final answer will be 42".

Anonymous zen0 March 12, 2015 9:26 PM  

@ clk



but by then we will be indistinguishable from God and will create our own reality (I am sure there's an old school scifi story with this plot -- kind of a variation on the "Nine Billion Names of God)...

Have you not read Genesis 3, clk?

If you do not have hard copy, you can use the interwebz.

You get to read the lines of the Serpent at rehearsal.

Or, if you prefer, take a tour of the Tower of Babel.

Man is not allowed to know all at this dispensation.

Not qualified, you see.

Anonymous physphilmusic March 12, 2015 9:27 PM  

Everything they use for "proof" is faith-based. It's hilarious. Now, I cannot prove that one million or more years has NOT passed. There is very compelling evidence that there have been millions of years before this one. But I readily admit that. There's just no way to prove it.

This is disingenuous. Nobody except for mathematicians can claim "proof" of anything. This is a creationist strawman, if it's meant to represent the opinion of any scientist, even biologists. Of course I'm sure some die-hard but scientifically illiterate atheists have claimed "proof" of evolution at some point, but we only have strong evidence, at best. Despite the fact that there was more than 5 sigma statistical significance in the data that led to the discovery of the Higgs boson, particle physicists were content to call it a "discovery", not a "proof".

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 9:34 PM  

Granted some time has elapsed, but it seems you've changed your position significantly.

I'll be glad to clear up your confusion after you answer the questions.

Anonymous Heaviside March 12, 2015 9:35 PM  

The explanation of evolution requires an explanation of irreversible processes and the arrow of time. The place to look for such an explanation is not in the chemistry of organic macromolecules, or cosmic rays, but dynamical systems theory. Capitalist pigs in the "free world" could only view evolution through the lens of competition, not through dialectics and the unstable, revolutionary, nature of self-organizing systems. Organized like working class. Why Soviet Union ahead in control theory, nonlinear sciences, and cybernetics? Why Soviet Union able to achieve full automated launching and landing of spacecraft via neural networks? Why Soviet Union build portable magnetohydrodynamic generator and invent tokamak? Is simple, da: Kolmogorov, Arnol'd, Sinai, Tikhonoff, etc. Ever read Sinai's monograph on phase changes? Phase change just topological evolution of mechanical system. Why Engels always illustrate materialist dialectics with phase changes?

Where materialist dialectics come from? From Hegel, and German bourgeois vitalist Naturphilosophie. From Goethe.

Why Sowjet Union preserve tradition of Goethean Science in Mekhmat? Wotan most mysterious.

Is biological evolution anholonomic? Why do you think you can investigate organisms on the basis of static chemical composition when Lagrangian is functional of not only state of system but also time derivatives? Isn't evolution maximization of objective function? Then why think of evolution in terms of fixed computer programs on a strip of DNA which can only adapt from generation to generation when neural networks can learn to minimize a function without waiting for the long process of natural selection to take place?

Anonymous Rolf March 12, 2015 9:37 PM  

The answer seems pretty obvious to me. When you have a very small breeding population, mutations that are not damaging to survival are retained at a very high rate. When you have any sort of strong selection pressure on a small breeding populations (say, tribe-sized), traits can shift very dramatically. When you have a large population, dilution occurs rapidly. Gnus on the African plains are genetically stagnant, but cheetahs are much more genetically dynamic, because they were down to not much more than dozens of surviving examples.

When humans were a few small and wise-spread tribes, they could evolve rapidly. look at the variations in the various remote tribes, inbred mountain clans with FLK (funny-looking kids) and the variety there. Look at Jews gene pool retaining tye sachs disease because of familial support. But, with tens of millions interbreeding via war, conquest, imperial harems, etc, things get pretty homogenized.

Punctuated equilibrium.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 9:43 PM  

z,

"I presume the link is related to Scientology."

The "science" of Dianetics goes unexplained, the explanation is in Scientology, so the two are the same.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 9:46 PM  

"I'll be glad to clear up your confusion after you answer the questions."

Not interested, and I really don't care what explanation you come up with. You have yet to say anything intelligent or interesting, and I have no more appetite for your tedious sophistry.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 9:54 PM  

Not interested, and I really don't care what explanation you come up with. You have yet to say anything intelligent or interesting, and I have no more appetite for your tedious sophistry.

The tedium goes both ways. Seems you tripped up on your above the fray "I take no positions" inanity.

I invoke the rules of the blog, answer the two questions.

Do you think these two sentences are equivalent?
So then you accept DNA may or may not be information?

Blogger Edd Jobs March 12, 2015 9:55 PM  

Noah B: "DNA is not information in a literal sense."

Just what is information in a literal sense?

By the way, type "information" into Google and the following definition is returned:

1.facts provided or learned about something or someone.
"a vital piece of information"

2.what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things.
"genetically transmitted information"

Anonymous zen0 March 12, 2015 9:59 PM  

@ Yohami

The "science" of Dianetics goes unexplained, the explanation is in Scientology, so the two are the same.

The "science" of Dianetics is explained as "the source of unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurities, unexplainable pains, sensations and emotions (psychosomatic illnesses) and sets forth effective handlings for these conditions.

Scientology says: By use of the procedures of Dianetics it became apparent that the source of these conditions were not cells or cellular memory, but a beingness that defied time.

Therefore, Dianetics is explained, and, Scientology was an unsubstantiated derivative of said procedure.

One of these two is not like the other, therefore, you stand corrected.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 10:01 PM  

David, no need to do a NAWALT, it's obvious that Im doing a generalization. If you're not a sheep, more power to you.

HIV - did they find an actual virus yet, or do they keep calling it "virus" because its good marketing?

KNOWLEDGE - your personal experience is minuscule, what do you really know, vs all the things "you know" only because you trust the social norm and the messengers?

Anonymous The other skeptic (after two beers) March 12, 2015 10:06 PM  

What does NAWALT stand for? All I am getting is Not All Wankers Are Like That.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 10:09 PM  

"I invoke the rules of the blog, answer the two questions."

The rules say relevant questions, actually. Your silly word games are not.

"Just what is information in a literal sense?"

In a literal sense information is a concept, not anything tangible. Any spatiotemporal variations in mass-energy may be considered to contain information. In typical context, information is subjective.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 10:16 PM  

zen0,

"the source of unreasonable fears, upsets and insecurities, unexplainable pains, sensations and emotions (psychosomatic illnesses) and sets forth effective handlings for these conditions."

Where's the science it that?

"Dianetics is explained"

Please expose the scientific explanation for the "clear" and why does auditing work to remove the "unclear", and what's the scientific explanation for the technology.

And when I say scientific I mean actual data, control groups, replicable experiments etc.

In short, lol.

Anonymous zen0 March 12, 2015 10:25 PM  

@ Yohami

In short, lol.

I don't think you and I are discussing the same thing. You think I am defending Dianetics. I am just pointing out that a definition was supplied, and it did not justifiably translate to Scientology without some sleight of hand.

I neither think Dianetics is scientific, nor that Scientology is a religion.

This is the Dialectic department. The Egregious and Extraneous Arguments department is down the hall.

nighty-night.....

Anonymous The other skeptic March 12, 2015 10:25 PM  

Noah B said:

There's an absurd reach if I ever saw one. Even if one considers DNA to contain or code for information, DNA is not information in a literal sense. DNA is DNA. There is no contradiction.

I think it is clear that DNA codes instructions for the construction of proteins and for switching on and off various parts of the code in the presence of those things that construct proteins but only after the DNA has been translated to RNA.

Is it information? Only for the stuff that lives in cells.

You have said that you are not a Darwinist, and of course few are these days since Darwin was unaware of much that we are now aware of. However, what do you adhere to?

I might be a robot.

Anonymous Stickwick March 12, 2015 10:26 PM  

Brad Andrews: I didn't know Stickwick had posted on that. I thought she was pretty OEC.

I am. But I also very strongly believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, i.e. six literal 24-hour days. The key is that those days are 24 hours from God's frame of reference, while billions of years pass in our frame of reference. This is supported scripturally as well as scientifically.

I do wonder how galaxy arms stay in shape over really long times without making up "dark matter," but I haven't spend much time worrying about that.

Not sure if you mean that the stars would go flying off into intergalactic space or if you're referring to the common misconception that spiral galaxy arms should get wound up tighter and tighter with time. The former is a big mystery without dark matter. The latter doesn't happen, because the arms are really just density waves, with stars passing in and out of them as they circle the disk of the galaxy. It turns out there are lots of stars between the arms, including our own Sun, which lies somewhere between the Perseus and Sagittarius Arms. The arms are more visible because a) the density there is higher, thus stars take longer to pass through them and b) that's where hot, bright new stars tend to form.

I will face my own reckoning long long before any long time frame, so much of this is completely irrelevant.

It's relevant in the sense of Romans 1:20. That said, as Christians, any particular model of the physical universe shouldn't be the lynchpin of our faith.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 12, 2015 10:30 PM  

Information:

H = n * log(S).

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 10:30 PM  

The rules say relevant questions, actually. Your silly word games are not.

So you'll dig through the blog archives to counter-accuse me of a contradiction rather than answer yes/no questions that followed from your responses.

I'll accept your evasion as a concession you tripped up over your own words. It'd be easier to keep things straight if you argued a position instead of a non-position.

I'm done with you, as I assume you're done with me.


For the crowd, Noah B's confusion on my "contradiction":

"From the ID POV," - claims to speak for all ID, not all of which is hostile to evolution.

"Some in the ID crowd, such as myself," - narrows to a subset of all ID, which is basically the Creationism with No Evolution Involved crowd. As opposed to the Intelligent Design via Evolution subset of ID, which includes OEC for example.

So the difference in those positions is due to them presenting the views of different sets of people. This should be pretty plain English, but it seems someone got rather upset.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 10:31 PM  

Zen0,

"You think I am defending Dianetics."

You're saying it's explained - it isnt. It's a story. Either you find elements there and fill the gaps and believe on it or you dont. Either you accept that fear and unknown insecurities make somebody unclear but can be cleared through a conversational audit session with the aid of a liar detector tech, or you dont. There's no explanation. All the things there are presented as is.

Anonymous outsider March 12, 2015 10:35 PM  

This blog makes me feel like I am missing a lot. So has a flaw in evolution been found? That would be a really big discovery, like an undecodable alien radio signal.

Anonymous zen0 March 12, 2015 10:54 PM  

@ Yohami

You're saying it's explained - it isnt.

I did not say the explanation was true. I just presented the explanation Dianeticists provide.

You haven't found someone to live with you, have you. I think I know how you can fix that.

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 11:00 PM  

"However, what do you adhere to?"

The rules of the universe fundamentally favoring the spontaneous generation and evolution of life in ways we don't yet understand, likely as a mechanism for creation.

Anonymous Randomatos March 12, 2015 11:13 PM  

For the question (disingenuous or sincere) of what information is, especially in the context of biological systems, I suggest that SirHamster and Noah B agree to use the following as viable points of information:
Instructions, pointers/references, matrices, and to a lesser extent substrates. In DNA these should be considered to include: (instructions)how to build proteins, when to turn on and off production runs, condition-response sets, (pointers/references) what to make things of, where materials are stored, what is preserved and what is waste, (matrices) how an action or object relates to other actions and objects, and lastly in what manner/form such information is preserved (substrate). For separating information from non-information in a measurable manner in biological systems one could loosely attempt to determine if a molecule has a function in storing, delivering or carrying out instructions. Primitive, but better than talking around each other all day (and ignoring the wonders of more precise jargon available through a simple dictionary search like Edd Jobs posted, or perhaps even reviewing a few pages of the nearly endless reams of actual subject-specific publications available). DNA contains information, and is itself an information substrate.

Blogger Yohami March 12, 2015 11:26 PM  

zen0,

"I did not say the explanation was true."

Beyond being true or not, the premises there are not explained. The only explanations come with Scientology.

"You haven't found someone to live with you, have you."

My GF says you're an idiot.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 12, 2015 11:27 PM  

Randomatos attempts an overly wordy definition of information and non information.

Someone up stream referred to Lactase persistence. The natural state of humans (and most humans are this way) is that the production of lactase is switched off at a relatively young age (by about 10) presumably because it is wasteful in an environment where lactose is not commonly available after about the age of 5.

Now, among some humans there arose a mutation, probably a copying error during meiosis that deactivated the gene for switching it of. That happened to be a very useful mutation for those groups that engaged in animal husbandry. It improved the reproductive success of individuals with the mistake because it became easier to make sure children survived.

In your considered opinion, is this the production of information from non information? If so, why and if not why not?

Anonymous Randomatos March 12, 2015 11:31 PM  

@outsider
"This blog makes me feel like I am missing a lot."
Nothing wrong with admitting that, so long as you're willing to do something about it (i.e., read, learn, etc). Do you understand enough of the article referenced in the OP to get that very experienced, very specialized, very intelligent scientists who are very firmly attached to TENS are discovering to their own personal discomfort that the more genetics research and math they apply to their existing theories, the more holes and contradictions appear in those theories? Here's an especially enlightening paragraph if you skipped the article:
"A slower molecular clock worked well to harmonize genetic and archaeological estimates for dates of key events in human evolution, such as migrations out of Africa and around the rest of the world1. But calculations using the slow clock gave nonsensical results when extended further back in time — positing, for example, that the most recent common ancestor of apes and monkeys could have encountered dinosaurs. Reluctant to abandon the older numbers completely, many researchers have started hedging their bets in papers, presenting multiple dates for evolutionary events depending on whether mutation is assumed to be fast, slow or somewhere in between."
Does that help explain the "flaw", or is this still a bit like the first time you read the first chapter of The Golden Age?

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 11:35 PM  

Robot skeptic, it's hard to say. Just intuitively I would say: if the switching mechanism were eliminated entirely, I suppose it could even be considered a loss of information. However, if the switching mechanism remained in place but assumed a new state in which it simply was no longer active, and could be switched back on by a future mutation, then it's possible there would be neither loss or gain of information.

Anonymous Randomatos March 12, 2015 11:36 PM  

@TOS
Is the alteration of an instruction into a different instruction the same as information arising from non-information? No. Category error to conflate the two.

Anonymous dc red dogs March 12, 2015 11:44 PM  

Einstein was fairly smart but admitted that he did not really understand more than four or five limited aspects of physics in an intuitive and accurate way. Biology is funny, lots of it is pretty much like stamp-collecting but lots of it is exponentially harder than the most difficult realms of physics and astrophysics. There is a reason there is not a single biologist who reminds people of the kind of genius we have all been schooled to believe Einstein was. As far as any living human knows, the phenomenon of DNA's asserted coding is slightly less complicated than, for example, the phenomenon of the Hebrew language's asserted meaning - which means that, if complication is one's standard for truth, the God-given account in Genesis makes more sense than the aspergerite accounts from the sluggish laboratory-loving number crunchers who write books on evolution. My guess is that they couldn't reliably tell a field of rye from a field of barley, or a coyote from a yellow dog, if you gave them a million dollars ...

Blogger Noah B March 12, 2015 11:52 PM  

People frequently seem to like the idea that information cannot come from non-information. But if we are to make such a claim, we need to know what those terms mean. It's a non-trivial point.

For example, if a pair of plants produce 100 mature non-genetically identical offspring, has the amount of information increased or not?

Anonymous The other skeptic March 12, 2015 11:54 PM  

However, if the switching mechanism remained in place but assumed a new state in which it simply was no longer active, and could be switched back on by a future mutation, then it's possible there would be neither loss or gain of information.

I recall some recent article about genes that had long been switched off in a certain species being switched back on and some cat/dogs have dew claws etc.

On another topic I find it hard to understand how the body's immune system could recognize random molecules on the surface of a virus, like say Hemagglutin, especially if those viruses have been broken into pieces by some inactivation techniques.

It seems more likely to me that the immune system can recognize and destroy cells that have become infected with a virus before that virus can bud off, and indeed, some viruses have mechanisms for preventing a damage response from cells.

Blogger SirHamster March 12, 2015 11:54 PM  

In your considered opinion, is this the production of information from non information? If so, why and if not why not?

That would represent the destruction of information. To use a software comparison; if there's a bug that disables a codepath, the code has been reduced in complexity by losing conditional behavior. That this may be an improvement in a specific case would correspond to a penalty in the general case or some other edge case.

In this general case, there would be wasted effort in producing digestive proteins for a food source that may not be available. That the general case is no longer general due to civilization makes it a negligible loss.

There is a question if it's actually a mutation though - does the improvement to lactase persistence reliably develop in response to many generations of diets with abundant dairy? Are the genetics self-optimizing based on environmental inputs?

There was some research linked on this blog that hint at such a capability.

Blogger Lud VanB March 12, 2015 11:59 PM  

"I am. But I also very strongly believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, i.e. six literal 24-hour days. The key is that those days are 24 hours from God's frame of reference, while billions of years pass in our frame of reference. This is supported scripturally as well as scientifically. "

yeah...I must have missed the part of your presentation that dealt with how one ascertains scientifically the exact perspective of God on the passage of time. Could you point it out for me?

Anonymous The other skeptic March 13, 2015 12:15 AM  

There is a question if it's actually a mutation though - does the improvement to lactase persistence reliably develop in response to many generations of diets with abundant dairy?

Was the experiment designed to distinguish between lineages acquiring lactase persistence (Lamarkian inheritance) vs gene frequency changes in the population (ie, some small proportion of individuals had lactase persistence at the start and over time their reproductive success was better so the initial small fraction had a larger percentage of the population at the end).

Anonymous kh123 March 13, 2015 12:18 AM  

I mentioned evolution and Burger King in the same breath.

Any wonder who was going to show up.

Anonymous Stickwick March 13, 2015 12:39 AM  

Lud: yeah...I must have missed the part of your presentation that dealt with how one ascertains scientifically the exact perspective of God on the passage of time. Could you point it out for me?

What's rather remarkable about you is how the fact that you're so reliably shown to be wrong and/or obtuse doesn't deter you in the slightest. You're like one of those inflatable punching clowns that just keeps popping back up no matter how many times you're knocked down.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 13, 2015 12:49 AM  

OT, but interesting interpretations on why Obama has banned certain ammo in the US.

Anonymous Freddy March 13, 2015 12:58 AM  

Young Earthers unite.

Anonymous CK March 13, 2015 1:22 AM  

"What's rather remarkable about you is how the fact that you're so reliably shown to be wrong and/or obtuse doesn't deter you in the slightest. You're like one of those inflatable punching clowns that just keeps popping back up no matter how many times you're knocked down."

Lol. I was going to say the same thing. It doesn't matter how many times Dud is slapped down he keeps coming back for more.

Blogger Noah B March 13, 2015 1:48 AM  

skeptic, you heard they retreated on the ammo ban didn't you?
Gun Owners of America

Blogger Noah B March 13, 2015 2:00 AM  

On another topic I find it hard to understand how the body's immune system could recognize random molecules on the surface of a virus, like say Hemagglutin, especially if those viruses have been broken into pieces by some inactivation techniques.

It seems more likely to me that the immune system can recognize and destroy cells that have become infected with a virus before that virus can bud off, and indeed, some viruses have mechanisms for preventing a damage response from cells.


I never studied enough immunology to have a great grasp on it. So many mysteries, so little time.

Anonymous BioShock Jock March 13, 2015 2:12 AM  

"Why pray when we can simply fix it by evolving it through natural selection? Because that's science too, right?"

Because you can't just sit and evolve. That would be as futile as praying for a deity to fix your broken bone magically or cure you of your illness that required an operation. Said deity would not answer. Plus evolution takes a very, very long time. The average human being only lives to around 80. You'd need medical attention pretty quick if you had a broken bone or you needed a life saving operation. Just praying to got to correct either would get you nowhere.

Off topic, but I think Vox Day really is jealous of a Gamma like John Scalzi. Which is why he keeps writing about him. He can't understand why such a nerd can sell so many more books than a so-called real man with a black belt (or whatever) in martial arts like he is.

Vox Day doesn't really act like a Christian either to be honest. Jesus (if he existed) loved everyone. Even non-believers. Jesus wouldn't be for racial segregation voluntary or not. Even if Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has failed. Vox never used to write about all this race themed stuff. Not until Obama was elected and then re-elected. I think Obama's re-election really knocked the wind out of his sails. And that's part of why he gave up the WorldNetDaily column. I think the demographic for his blog has changed. It used to be a younger crowd. Now it feels like the average age is 50 plus. A lot of old get of my lawn type retirees. One more thing, being a world class cruelty artist may be entertaining for readers, but my guess is the Christian God and Christ (if either exists) finds that level of cruelty in human beings to be a pretty serious sin.

Anonymous kh123 March 13, 2015 2:15 AM  

" Plus evolution takes a very, very long time."

It's pronounced "a vewy, vewy long time."

Anonymous kh123 March 13, 2015 2:21 AM  

"That would be as futile as praying for a deity to fix your broken bone magically or cure you of your illness that required an operation."

No need to drag the federal government into this.

Blogger Noah B March 13, 2015 2:33 AM  

"That would be as futile as praying for a deity to fix your broken bone magically or cure you of your illness that required an operation."

My uncle's dad had routine hernia surgery several years ago. As soon as he woke up he complained of a new pain in his side, and his daughters tried to get the nurses and doctors to examine him immediately, but they never did. A day later he had a raging fever, a couple of days after that he was unconscious, a day after that he was dead. It turned out that as the surgeon had closed one hernia, he closed another hernia they hadn't spotted on part of his intestines, cutting off bloodflow and leading him to get sepsis.

He would have been a lot better off praying than going to a hospital, and cases like his are not all that unusual.

Anonymous Discard March 13, 2015 3:00 AM  

Not any kind of scientist here, but is it possible that the rate of mutations could vary with the rate of radiation emitted by the sun, or with variations in the density or composition of the atmosphere which would affect the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface? Or maybe variations in the Earth's orbit, or the angle of its axis?

Anonymous Earl March 13, 2015 3:01 AM  

If evolution doesn't happen while you are just sitting there, then I don't know when it does. while you are running? sleeping? stretching your neck to eat the leaves at the top of the tree? it happens while you are just sitting there. one day, you're a monkey, just sitting there, and you suddenly say, "shit!" That's evolution. Just like that. BAM

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2015 4:24 AM  

"What's rather remarkable about you is how the fact that you're so reliably shown to be wrong and/or obtuse doesn't deter you in the slightest. You're like one of those inflatable punching clowns that just keeps popping back up no matter how many times you're knocked down."

Well, seeing as I m apparently a glutton for punishment, I will give you one more opportunity to humiliate me by asking you once again to point out to me where in your presentation you discuss the means and experiments by which one may determine SCIENTIFICALLY how God perceives time.

Anonymous VD March 13, 2015 4:26 AM  

I think Vox Day really is jealous of a Gamma like John Scalzi. Which is why he keeps writing about him. He can't understand why such a nerd can sell so many more books than a so-called real man with a black belt (or whatever) in martial arts like he is.

You know we've hit a sensitive spot when pointing out the flaws in their evolutionary faith has them reeling and flailing and pointing to John Scalzi, of all things.

My dear little rhetorically limited boy, you're in so far over your head that you don't stand a chance of anything but people laughing at you.

Anonymous VD March 13, 2015 4:30 AM  

Well, seeing as I m apparently a glutton for punishment, I will give you one more opportunity to humiliate me by asking you once again to point out to me where in your presentation you discuss the means and experiments by which one may determine SCIENTIFICALLY how God perceives time.

No one needs to answer any of your questions, Lud. Because when they do, and when you are shown to be completely wrong in front of everyone, you just ignore it.

It's kind of amusing to watch, considering that instead of trying one ineffectual argument after another, you could just as effectively say "I AM A GAMMA AND MY PRIMARY ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP IS WITH MY HAND" and the effect would be the same. I mean, do you not realize that everyone here has not only figured you out, we've figured your entire kind out.

Because you all do the same stupid fucking thing every stupid fucking time. Eventually people figure it out. It's not clever. It's obvious.

Blogger Lud VanB March 13, 2015 4:42 AM  

This is beyond pathetic, even for you Vox. One of your groupies literally talk herself into a corner and you jump in to deflect and try to make it about me with childish Ad Homs.

Anonymous kh123 March 13, 2015 4:49 AM  

A reminder of the enormity of the problem.

Anonymous kh123 March 13, 2015 4:57 AM  

...Just out of curiosity, have you visited the white cliffs of Dover.

More to the point, have you walked the lengths of Dover, done something physical on them that would take a few hours and potentially burn calories in excess of what you'd consumed that day.

Anonymous bw March 13, 2015 5:59 AM  

It was never science, it was simply a justification for the ruling class - note Darwin, Galtons, Wedgewoods, etal - a pseudo scientific justification as propaganda for control of the masses, and the lying and networking of usurious finance and economy etc.
The funny part is watching the historically uninformed defend it to the death. It must get quite the chuckle at the All England Lawn and Tennis club.

Anonymous bw March 13, 2015 6:02 AM  

Also, the time problem, which explodes the entire lie, is exactly why they have sought for decades to move the causality off planet.

Blogger Vox March 13, 2015 6:05 AM  

This is beyond pathetic, even for you Vox. One of your groupies literally talk herself into a corner and you jump in to deflect and try to make it about me with childish Ad Homs.

Actions have consequences, Lud. The rules of engagement with you are that no one can ever lose or win. You're an obese loser who admits he is wrong when shown conclusively to be wrong about as often as you have sex with women and you are deeply and profoundly dishonest.

No one likes you, here or in the real world, and no one ever will as long as you insist upon lying so relentlessly to them. You're a pathetic, disgusting excuse for a human being, and it's no wonder that you find it so hard to see the image of God in yourself.

Don't you understand that you will never be able to win until you are able to lose? We're not talking Aquinas-level difficulty here, for crying out loud, that's AEROSMITH.

Anonymous zen0 March 13, 2015 6:47 AM  

@ Yohami

My GF says you're an idiot.

Is that the millennial equivalent of "talk to the hand"?

Blogger Yohami March 13, 2015 6:51 AM  

zen0, you're out of your league

Blogger Mindstorm March 13, 2015 7:02 AM  

What if a part of mutation rate depends on the average degree of chromatin compaction in germline cells? That would mean a divergent 'mutational clock' even for one's lineages of purely maternal and paternal ancestry.

Blogger Edd Jobs March 13, 2015 7:59 AM  

Noah B: "In a literal sense information is a concept, not anything tangible. Any spatiotemporal variations in mass-energy may be considered to contain information."

So your contention is that DNA contains literal concepts. Interesting.

So Noah B's concepts are like a kind of intellectual phlogiston emitted by his surrounding external reality residing in his mind. Or perhaps like an ersatz Holy Spirit of Gaia indwelling in the enlightened atheist. No shadow's on the wall of Plato's cave for Noah B. He's directly plugged in to the essence of material reality, inerrant and eternal. To question him is to question the very nature of reality itself.

Thank you Noah B for addressing me from your mountaintop.

Blogger Brad Andrews March 13, 2015 9:42 AM  

Stickwick,

The key is that those days are 24 hours from God's frame of reference

I do believe that as well, I just believe the reference is on the earth.

I would have to think over your explanation of the galaxy structure. I have not thought much on it for years, but it was one of "how do they maintain their shape" rather than "how do they not head out into space."

Though I have tended to come to a position close to yours (I believe), allowing for lots of time in space, but 7 literal 24 hour days on the earth, so I haven't worried about it as much.

Too bad I have so many other things eating up my time or I would dive into this more deeply. I started my degree in aero-astro engineering, but got bit by computer science when I took my first computer class. I hate flying but I love space.

I would bet I don't fit the mold of a YEC in the minds of many.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 13, 2015 10:02 AM  

What if a part of mutation rate depends on the average degree of chromatin compaction in germline cells? That would mean a divergent 'mutational clock' even for one's lineages of purely maternal and paternal ancestry.

Mechanism please.

Anonymous The other skeptic March 13, 2015 10:13 AM  

If evolution doesn't happen while you are just sitting there, then I don't know when it does. while you are running? sleeping?

One part of the mechanism happens when your germ-line cells are duplicating. Sperm if you are male and ova if you are female. That is, it happens during meiosis. The other part is selection.

There are numbers for the mis-copying. In DNA-based organisms it is something like 1 per 10^8 base pairs or something like that. It is much more frequent in viruses because the copying machinery has no way to reduce/repair mistakes.

This page on Chromosome mutations and the following page talks about some ways that mutations occur.

The vast majority of them are deleterious and usually end up either never making it to a zygote of with a spontaneous abortion, but for some of them birth occurs and an individual makes it to reproductive age, and in some cases, like lactase persistence, are actually beneficial for some groups.

However, the more usual thing happening is selection, where the gene frequencies in a population are changing over time, eg, the propensity for violence, which has changed markedly among Europeans in the last 2,000 years.

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