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Friday, August 03, 2018

Evolution evaluated

Fred Reed is among the growing number of evolution skeptics and he answers responses to his recent column on the subject:
Recently I wrote a column about the theory of Intelligent Design, which holds that that life, both in its origins and its changes over time, are the result of design instead of chance. Several hundred comments and emails arrived, more than I could read. This was not surprising as there seems to be considerable public interest in the question, while a virulent political correctness prevents discussion in most forums. In particular the major media prevent mention of Intelligent Design except in derogatory terms.

Interesting to me at any rate was that the tone of response was much more civil and thoughtful than it was say, a decade ago.

A fair few respondents quoted the Bible. I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories. Why it is thought to have any relevance to abiogenesis is not clear to me.

Some readers, quoting Carl Sagan, said approximately, “Fred, an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence to support it.” I don’t disagree. The claim that ocean water will in time produce Manhattan seems to me sufficiently extraordinary to require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is none. Evolutionists have not shown that sea water can produce any life at all, much less the New York Philharmonic.

Other readers insist that Intelligent Design is not scientific. If not, so what? The question should be not whether it is scientific but whether it is true. What an ideological group calling themselves scientists believe is not a valid test of truth. When I was in the eighth grade, I watched Crusader Rabbit on television. This is not science, yet it is true.

If science deals with the reproducible, then paleontology is not science, as neither is the chance creation of life, which has not proved reproducible. If science must make predictions, then physiology is not science, being entirely descriptive. If science is the study of the quantifiable, then evolution isn’t. What is the unit of selective pressure?
Fred has landed on precisely the aspect of evolutionary theory that made me into a strong TE(p)NSBMGDaGF skeptic. What many people who have not thought seriously about the issue don't realize is that biologists are literally so stupid, and so innumerate, and so illogical, that they don't understand the problems that quantification creates for their many unfounded assumptions.

You may recall that I confused a number of evolution advocates by asking them a very simple question: what is the average rate of evolutionary mutation. The problem was not that they could not provide a precise answer, although the fact that they couldn't even work out a possible range as well as I could was troubling. The problem was that they did not understand that the question was a) entirely legitimate, b) the answer to it can theoretically be worked out, and worst of all, c) there ABSOLUTELY MUST be a precise answer to it.

What their confusion indicated to me, and what I later confirmed by analyzing undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs, is that biologists are still essentially butterfly collectors. They are the least intelligent of the STEM field graduates and most of them have no ability whatsoever to even begin to grasp the relevant issues involved, let alone successfully address them.

For example, it is particularly amusing to note that I have encountered people who sneer at the idea of intelligent design while simultaneously admitting to being philosophically open to the idea that the world is some sort of digital simulation. I can't even bring myself to point out to them that if the world is a digital simulation, this strongly implies that the intelligent design crowd was correct all along.

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286 Comments:

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Blogger SergeiSiminov84 August 03, 2018 8:27 AM  

Tex Arcane : "Homo-Sapiens is not a learning animal..."

Blogger NO GOOGLES August 03, 2018 8:34 AM  

There are problems and gaps in the theory of evolution, but so far it seems to be about an 80% match to the info we have currently.

If you believe in a loving and caring God then some form of intelligent design appears to be a given. The only God who wouldn't take an active hand in shaping the creatures he makes would be an indifferent God - I doubt even a hateful God wouldn't result in intelligent design even if for different reasons.

It's not incorrect when people say "intelligent design isn't scientific". Unfortunately it seems too many of the atheist persuasive have discarded traditional religion for the worship of "rationality" and "science" instead of recognizing them merely as tools. I used to be one of these people... when I was an edgy 14 year old.

Blogger Shimshon August 03, 2018 8:38 AM  

Fred has always been good on evolution, even as he is terrible on Magic Dirt.

He wrote more than once about his skepticism on the subject years ago.

Blogger Redpill Angel August 03, 2018 8:40 AM  

After working for an evolutionary biologist for 25 years, I no longer buy the random mutation evolution thing at all. He got his B.S. (no jokes please) at age 18 or 19, and was teaching med students in his early 20's, so surely has an IQ higher than mine, but he is a follower, as are most scientists. Terrified of rocking the boat even though his glorious socialist ideals have faded over the years of teaching at what is becoming a black school. When he tells me that whales "evolved" the ability to give birth tail-first, always, otherwise they drown, because of a random mutation, one that occurred just as they randomly evolved fishy tails and fins and swam into the ocean, my mind boggles. We've had some interesting discussions privately, though; when I told him evolution seems to involve "agency," (you have to use the right words), he didn't disagree.

Blogger Theophilus Chilton August 03, 2018 8:42 AM  

The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories. Why it is thought to have any relevance to abiogenesis is not clear to me.

This is a dumb argument. Fred's right on questioning evolution, but his argument here has no relevance. The Bible makes a very specific set of claims about abiogenesis - which is why it is *precisely* relevant to this discussion. The fact that Fred is personally offended by other Biblical stories that he personally finds barbaric is what is irrelevant, and displays a rather womanly sort of "guilt by association" style of argumentation.

Blogger Howard Stone August 03, 2018 8:42 AM  

Evolution is fake news.

Blogger Peaceful Poster August 03, 2018 8:42 AM  

They are the least intelligent of the STEM field graduates

Aren't there more women in biology than other STEM fields?

Blogger bob kek mando - ( don't ask, "Who mentats the Mentats?", ask instead, "Who shitpoasts the Shitpoasters?" ) August 03, 2018 8:46 AM  

5. Theophilus Chilton August 03, 2018 8:42 AM
The fact that Fred is personally offended by other Biblical stories that he personally finds barbaric is what is irrelevant, and displays a rather womanly sort of "guilt by association" style of argumentation.




you'll find that Fred argues this way quite often.

he's also not sane on the whole 'muh baby killing military' issue. and remember, he was a Marine himself.

i'm not saying that the military can't be critiqued. but Fred is WAY over the line, claiming that most recruits recruited in just so they could to to strange places, meet exotic people ... and kill them.

Blogger Wuzzums Fuzzums August 03, 2018 8:46 AM  

Do I smell some JF vs. Vox Day internet bloodsports?

Blogger Seth Schueler August 03, 2018 8:46 AM  

The punctuated equilibrium theory is pretty well accepted for the rate question. Evolution rates are observably not uniform. Some creatures like the horseshoe crab are known as living fossils because they have remain unchanged for so long.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan August 03, 2018 8:46 AM  

Interesting hypothesis at best, but mostly a little bitchy way to push people down the power hierarchy.

Half the Prog voting coalition in my estimate hates the ToE, and would probably kill the little Eloi white progs who use it for social climbing. (but never fear because conservatives would never pit the two factions against one another, it is not who we are)

Blogger Azimus August 03, 2018 8:50 AM  

5. Theophilus Chilton August 03, 2018 8:42 AM
This is a dumb argument.


You don't need to take his little bon mot to be anything more than it is - virtue signalling. "See? I'm rational! I'm not doing this because God, I'm doing this because reason and evidence!" We all do these little acts of self-credentialing as a prelude to the actual argument. It is a window into who he believes his audience to be though.

Blogger Theophilus Chilton August 03, 2018 8:56 AM  

8 - bob kek mando - ( don't ask, "Who mentats the Mentats?", ask instead, "Who shitpoasts the Shitpoasters?")

you'll find that Fred argues this way quite often.


Yeah, he's also this same way on the whole magic dirt/civ-nat question.

Blogger Shimshon August 03, 2018 8:56 AM  

I majored in Cognitive Science back when it was new. The core of the major was the study of cognition from three perspectives: neurological, psychological, and computational.

I will never forget the neurological segment, where we learned about the various regions of the brain dealing with vision (in humans) and sound (in bats).

There are (or were, no idea today) around documented areas of the brain dealing with vision. The optic nerve fed into V1, for example. The professor said, in his annoyingly witty manner, that we had a basic understanding of what it did. Then, as he went on region by region, it was basically, there be dragons here, over and over. IIRC, the bat situation was WORSE.

It was a powerful and humbling lesson. To me. Not to him. The smug arrogance of various academics pontificating on biology is truly insufferable.

I've followed up a bit on our understanding recently. From what I've read, literally nothing has changed in the 30 years since I took those classes. The eye is perhaps better understand. But everything from the optic nerve on is still one gigantic black box.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 8:57 AM  

Another problem with the God deniers is its a temporary condition as it says in Revelation. The other is the sheer improbabilities statistically involved with their beliefs. It's no coincidence that the God deniers are on the other hand central banking/communist supporters since both systems are two sides of the same coin and rely on astronomical numbers ie… QE and mathematical impossibilities in the formation of life. They reject faith so they have to keep making the numbers bigger to keep their systemic lie working. Of course until it doesn't.

Blogger Shimshon August 03, 2018 8:57 AM  

Sorry, that was, there are around 20 documented regions for vision. IIRC.

Blogger Redpill Angel August 03, 2018 9:00 AM  

Bob Kek said: Fred is WAY over the line, claiming that most recruits recruited in just so they could to to strange places, meet exotic people ... and kill them.

He's projecting.

Blogger Steampunk Koala August 03, 2018 9:05 AM  

Seth Schueler wrote:The punctuated equilibrium theory is pretty well accepted for the rate question. Evolution rates are observably not uniform. Some creatures like the horseshoe crab are known as living fossils because they have remain unchanged for so long.

It's still another 'just so' story. There is no experimental proof. Just because something can appear to fit a given interpretation of facts does not make either it or the interpretation correct. This is the problem, confusing 'this kind of fits what I see at the moment' with actual science. Punctuated Equilibrium is a cop-out for why we don't see any evidence of evolution today, same as the 'millions of years' nonsense. Science!(tm) KNOWS it's true, absent evidence, so all we need to do is explain why we have no evidence and cannot experimentally reproduce it. That is about as unscientific as you can get.

Blogger Okrane S. August 03, 2018 9:07 AM  

I don't see where intelligent design comes into this. That guy you quoted seems to argue semantics about what science is, sprinkling in some strawmen about what evolution really is about.

To me it's always been simple: If we can prove that simple forms existed on the planet before more complex forms appeared (which we have, via carbon dating, pretty standard stuff) and also we can find transitional forms from like say the ancient apes up to current homo sapiens I don't really understand where the conundrum with evolution really is?

The implication is very simple: the more complex things appeared as modifications over time of the simpler things. No form appeared into existence without going through the simpler forms before.

What is the average rate of mutation? - well that's actually a hard question if you don't define "mutation" properly. If you mean it in the literal sense of DNA mutation, I'm sure we can take a large sample of individuals of one species, randomly breed them together while sequencing all the DNA of the offspring and figure out how many mutations per million of offspring you can find. Keep in mind though that evolution can happen without dna mutations occurring. (like an animal getting an increasingly shorter tail until that tail completely disappears for example)

I mean this is really basic stuff... I don't understand how semantics about what science is or isn't constitutes ar argument here.

Blogger Sam August 03, 2018 9:07 AM  

"You may recall that I confused a number of evolution advocates by asking them a very simple question: what is the average rate of evolutionary mutation. The problem was not that they could not provide a precise answer, although the fact that they couldn't even work out a possible range as well as I could was troubling. The problem was that they did not understand that the question was a) entirely legitimate, b) the answer to it can theoretically be worked out, and worst of all, c) there ABSOLUTELY MUST be a precise answer to it."

I assume you mean mutations that are positive (they increase reproductive fitness)? The reason this isn't possible to give a precise answer to is because traits that increase reproductive fitness is not fixed but depend on the environment which varies.

If you add one type of antibiotic to a bacteria culture there is one positive trait it can evolve to gain resistance, but if you add multiple types of antibiotics, there are multiple positive traits it can evolve. So even though the rate of mutation is the same in both cases (unless organisms can alter it, which they probably can just to screw with us) the rate of positive mutations is higher in the second case.

Blogger Uncle John's Band August 03, 2018 9:11 AM  

Ah yes, biology. Pitched as the "non-quantitative" side of STEM!

@14. Shimshon

I know that stuff. It's pure description of the most rudimentary of experiments - where the neuroimaging lights up when you smell cake and so forth. Phrenology 2.0

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 9:12 AM  

There are problems and gaps in the theory of evolution, but so far it seems to be about an 80% match to the info we have currently.

That's an utterly bullshit statement. You clearly don't understand the first thing about probability; if your "80% match" is true, then evolution is completely and utterly wrong from start to finish.

The reason this isn't possible to give a precise answer to is because traits that increase reproductive fitness is not fixed but depend on the environment which varies.

You don't understand the question either. There absolutely is a precise answer to it. You're doing the equivalent of claiming that it's not possible to know what the average yards per carry was during the 2017 NFL season because the number of yards carried by a running back is not fixed, but depends upon the defense.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 9:14 AM  

Why can't intelligent design and evolution coexist?

After all, God invented the rules, why wouldn't he use them? I don't recall Genesis explaining exactly HOW he created the beasts of the air and the sea and the earth.

"Intelligently guided evolution" seems to fit a lot of facts.

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 9:14 AM  

The mutation rate is about 1/10,000 per Greg Cochran, of which less than.01% are beneficial...That has always made it difficult(read impossible) to understand how complex groups of mutations, like the long necked giraffe could have evolved, since thousands of favorable mutations would have had to occur at the same time, many of which individually would have been somewhere between useless and lethal on an individual basis....Even some biologists are aware of this problem...

Blogger Seth Schueler August 03, 2018 9:15 AM  

Vox you seem to be a fan of r/k theory, isn't that based in evolution?

Blogger Ferdinand August 03, 2018 9:15 AM  

That would have been a good topic to discuss with JF yesterday, he is a biologist.

Blogger Xellos August 03, 2018 9:16 AM  

Dire Badger: Because according to evolution, humans are just evolved monkeys, while according to the Bible, we are not.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 9:16 AM  

The punctuated equilibrium theory is pretty well accepted for the rate question. Evolution rates are observably not uniform. Some creatures like the horseshoe crab are known as living fossils because they have remain unchanged for so long.

You don't understand the question either. And throwing in "Sammy Baugh threw for 195,000 yards in 1947" to try to make the numbers add up isn't exactly credible.

Blogger maniacprovost August 03, 2018 9:17 AM  

I'm so glad I don't have time to follow this thread.

The punctuated equilibrium theory is pretty well accepted for the rate question. Evolution rates are observably not uniform.

OK. So, what is the rate during the "punctuation," and what is the rate during the "equilibrium?"

I assume you mean mutations that are positive

Positive can only reasonably be defined as a gene that increases its presence in the population over time. If the rate is not fixed because the environment "varies," that is perfectly fine. So what is the rate in one specific scenario, observed by biologists in the field? You don't need a theory of where it comes from or an equation to predict it- just a simple measurement.

I know that I can generate a mathematical description of such a thing, but I'm smarter than a biologist. So what unit or nondimensionalized mathematical description is there of this rate?

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 9:17 AM  

Vox you seem to be a fan of r/k theory, isn't that based in evolution?

No, it's nominally based on one of the various hypothesized mechanics of evolution.

Blogger James Dixon August 03, 2018 9:18 AM  

> because the number of yards carried by a running back is not fixed, but depends upon the defense.

Now watch someone claim, "but that's only valid for an individual running back, not the league as a whole".

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 9:18 AM  

@23 That appears to be the case. Natural selection itself is a simple mathematical process that operates on existing life forms....That says nothing about how those life forms got here in the first place, or how new and quite different animals have, on occasion, arrived with no basis in the evolutionary record.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 9:18 AM  

So, what is the rate during the "punctuation," and what is the rate during the "equilibrium?"

Like I said, biologists are innumerate. This stuff is trivially easy and they can't even follow it, let alone work it out.

Blogger MendoScot August 03, 2018 9:20 AM  

Evolution 3.0 is waiting in the wings for Dawkin's generation to die out.

My prediction is that it will necessarily incorporate design concepts, even if they aren't called that explicitly.

Structurally, Evolution 2.0 (the neo-Darwinian synthesis) is a bust. Molecular, computational and systems biology have made it obsolete.

Blogger Wraithburn August 03, 2018 9:20 AM  

The math of evolution never worked out for me. If you've ever played with legos, you know the chances of bricks getting stuck together when tossed in a bag and shaken is very low. Then each of those have to stick to more things until you get a whole set. The multiplicative chances get worse as you go along.

Then go look at how a single celled organism has an electric motor to run the flagella, and it is the most efficient electric motor known to man. Not only did this complex machinery have to come together at a microscopic size, but it has to survive the reproductive process intact!

Nothing in all of creation tells you what happened. But it all calls out the glory of God.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 August 03, 2018 9:22 AM  

If human beings share roughly 50% of our genetic code with bananas, then it suggests object oriented design.

Which better supports Intelligent Design.

Blogger tz August 03, 2018 9:22 AM  

a book that moves the debate forward by zeroing in on the problem is Evolution 2.0 He goes through the recent discoveries in biology and the mechanisms (and he could answer he rate of mutation question).

Jason Stapleton had Perry on his podcast where he summarized the book fairly well.

This should be where the discussion should start, after reading this book. And I'm still surprised that we still have only ID vs Darwin.

He reduces the question to whether or not a CODING system can arise ex nihilo. Once you have the DNA/Ribosome/Protein coding system, you can get a mutable, adaptive system. But coding systems are designed by intelligences. And he has a prize for anyone that can demonstrate how a coding system can arise without being designed.

Blogger MJ Meyers August 03, 2018 9:22 AM  

Vox, you made an excellent point related to this on a Darkstream a while back. Not even in a court of law does "scientific" evidence get admitted to the jury without a special hearing to convince the judge the science is reliable. Yet, many other forms of evidence are admitted no problem. But the people who worship at the alter of Scientistry to deities like Neil DeGrasse Tyson don't understand the science they so arrogantly support any more than they could explain how their smart phone works.

What confounds me is the prevalence within the scientific community to berate, disemploy, and destroy anyone that discusses the science behind matters like Human Biodiversity, race/IQ, while at the same time berating, disemploying, and destroying anyone who questions the current narrative on evolution, specifically that related to human beings. Not to mention the inherent logical contradiction of insisting on human evolution while denying HBD, race/IQ.

When you compare empirical evidence between HBD and the standard narrative on human evolution, the latter presupposes the former. The latter has more direct evidence. I wrote on this topic back in February, if anyone is for more.*

* https://stratagemsoftheright.blogspot.com/2018/02/heretical-hbd-vsthe-naxalt-inquisition.html

Blogger Steampunk Koala August 03, 2018 9:24 AM  

Okrane S. wrote:I don't see where intelligent design comes into this. That guy you quoted seems to argue semantics about what science is, sprinkling in some strawmen about what evolution really is about.

To me it's always been simple: If we can prove that simple forms existed on the planet before more complex forms appeared (which we have, via carbon dating, pretty standard stuff) and also we can find transitional forms from like say the ancient apes up to current homo sapiens I don't really understand where the conundrum with evolution really is?


Even that's not true. Trilobites are considered one of the 'oldest' lifeforms on earth, yet scientists marvel that it has one of the most complex eye structures in nature. There are many, many examples of 'ancient' lifeforms with more complex bodies than 'modern' ones.

Also, carbon dating doesn't work that way. Carbon has a very short half-life, carbon dating living animals can give results thousands of years off, and all radiometric dating requires major assumptions on the starting conditions as well as the consistency of decay rates, which we know are not uniform.

https://www.amnh.org/our-research/paleontology/paleontology-faq/trilobite-website/the-trilobite-files/trilobite-eyes
https://phys.org/news/2010-08-radioactive-vary-sun-rotation.html

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 9:24 AM  

Xellos wrote:Dire Badger: Because according to evolution, humans are just evolved monkeys, while according to the Bible, we are not.

Mischaracterizing the evolution argument is approximately equal to mischaracterizing the intelligent design argument.

What does it matter the 'clay' god created man from, whether it is river mud or pre-simeans? Who can say how long god's 'day' is, as it is originally equivalent to an 'era'? It might be a week, it might be a billion years.

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 9:27 AM  

@30 r/k theory is based on the simple premise that in some environments a "fast", low responsibility life path is favored, implying lower intelligence levels, while in others a "slow" life path, with fewer children, more investment in them, and higher intelligence levels is favored....It holds up very well among species. Length of childhood in animals is highly correlated with intelligence.

Blogger Uncle John's Band August 03, 2018 9:28 AM  

@ 38. MJ Meyers

"What confounds me is the prevalence within the scientific community to berate, disemploy, and destroy anyone that discusses the science behind matters like Human Biodiversity, race/IQ, while at the same time berating, disemploying, and destroying anyone who questions the current narrative on evolution, specifically that related to human beings. Not to mention the inherent logical contradiction of insisting on human evolution while denying HBD, race/IQ."

This is the point when it becomes apparent "science" is not actually what it is represented to be. Bait and switch.

Blogger riffer73 August 03, 2018 9:28 AM  

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Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 9:29 AM  

"I can't even bring myself to point out to them that if the world is a digital simulation, this strongly implies that the intelligent design crowd was correct all along."

In the multiverse, digital simulations arise spontaneously from the quantum foam ...

It's like an episode of the Twilight Zone, wherein Jordan B Peterson thinks he's an astrophysicist.

I love these threads.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 9:32 AM  

That would have been a good topic to discuss with JF yesterday, he is a biologist.

Given the struggle to get the IQ point across, I'm not optimistic.

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 9:37 AM  

@40

Dire Badger; the age of things is immaterial.

The point is that the God who claims that death came into the world through the sin of one specific Man - Adam - cannot turn out to have "created" man via millions of years of death, disease, and decay.

Being found to be a liar makes the Christian God disappear in a puff of logic even faster than merely being considered unnecessary.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 9:37 AM  

The discovery of multiple examples of parallel evolution was the death knell of Darwinism. According to the random mutation model, this is supposed to be impossible.

But if you assume that life is pre-planned, well...

Blogger David The Good August 03, 2018 9:38 AM  

@VD: I may have laughed out loud during yesterday's conversation where you spoke of the IQ gap and how you could sit next to someone and realize they couldn't even understand basic math.

Blogger Damelon Brinn August 03, 2018 9:45 AM  

Even atheist Star Trek nerds implicity accept some form of intelligent design, though most would hotly deny it. Their vision of the future is based on the idea that humanity will evolve (in a few short centuries) into a more peaceful, more reasonable, better-in-every-way species. But why would that happen? The ToE says species evolve to better survive in their environment. Would our current environment be more likely to reward a "peaceful" genetic mutation or a "machiavellian" one, for instance? They just accept on faith that evolution proceeds in the direction of what they think of as "better." Any stories they do that involve DNA or evolution make that clear, with evolution as an arrow pointing from barbarism to utopia.

Blogger Damelon Brinn August 03, 2018 9:48 AM  

@36, If God used OO to design the universe, that would explain all the inefficiency and bugs.

Blogger veryfunnyminion August 03, 2018 9:50 AM  

Seth Schueler wrote:The punctuated equilibrium theory is pretty well accepted for the rate question. Evolution rates are observably not uniform. Some creatures like the horseshoe crab are known as living fossils because they have remain unchanged for so long.

Yeah, well, that's great, but the 2,000 year-old calculations around the Ptolemaic model are about a million times more precise than any crap from the punctuated equilibrium theory and relied on actual observations of reality.

In short, cool story bro.

Blogger wreckage August 03, 2018 9:55 AM  

If my understanding is correct, the data that could be construed to support a holographic universe MUST, to do so, support an ordered informational universe.

At which point, Intelligent Design in its broadest sense, isn't just possible, it's necessary.

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 9:55 AM  

Real science in America took a lethal blow when "peer review" censorship took the place of open debate, the Royal Society model.

Blogger wreckage August 03, 2018 9:58 AM  

"There isn't an average because it's like, a distribution, or something"

Wow. If only there were some way to reconcile averages with variability. If only there was a field of study of precisely such phenomena. If only our august host had studied such a field!

Ah, for that imagined universe, where such questions could be entertained; but alas, such a confluence of events seems impossible!

Blogger Rabbi B August 03, 2018 9:59 AM  

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Blogger Okrane S. August 03, 2018 10:01 AM  

This does not invalidate what I'm saying.

Do you mean to tell me that over time life hasnt gotten more complex as a whole?

Or that the dating measurements are all wrong? At the million of year scale, which is what matters here?

Denying evolution as a principle is all a big strawman at this point in history given all we know.

And finding valid holed in the model does not equate with the religious explanation being any more valid.

Blogger Rabbi B August 03, 2018 10:02 AM  

For example, it is particularly amusing to note that I have encountered people who sneer at the idea of intelligent design while simultaneously admitting to being philosophically open to the idea that the world is some sort of digital simulation.

The realization that there must be someone Who is the omnipotent Creator and ruler over all the world should be self-evident to anyone who thoughtfully contemplates the world around him and the heavens in particular.

However, the study of the heavens and earth alone will not tell man why he should pay homage to or recognize the Creator as his Master. In other words, merely contemplating the world around us won't tell us what we should do with our free will in a world that is dominated and ruled by the Creator.

For how man is to employ his free will in the service of the Creator and why he would be wise to do so, he must thoughtfully consider what has been revealed to him in His Word.

They may contemplate the heavens and the earth and acknowledge an Intelligent Design(er), but the answer to the question of what this Intelligent Designer requires of them may point them to the narrow path which leads to life.

It's a cramped and often uncomfortable way, and few find it, which is why so many are content to spend their days on the broad path where the walking is easier. At least for now.

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 10:03 AM  

"The punctuated equilibrium theory is pretty well accepted for the rate question. Evolution rates are observably not uniform. Some creatures like the horseshoe crab are known as living fossils because they have remain unchanged for so long."

You are conflating two completely different things...That the horseshoe crab continues to exist without very much change says only that it is highly adapted to its environment. So mutations are unlikely to survive or replicate in such a species until the environment changes....It doesn't testify to the notion that such mutations don't occur at the normal rate.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 10:14 AM  

The amount of years evolution is supposed to work its magic is continually "revised" like the national debt. The old textbooks had millions now they are at billions wouldn't be surprised for climate "change" er umm evolutionary "changes" to take trillions of years. Central bankers/evolutionists inflating away the truth.

Blogger freddie_mac August 03, 2018 10:15 AM  

@19 Okrane S.
The implication is very simple: the more complex things appeared as modifications over time of the simpler things. No form appeared into existence without going through the simpler forms before.

Presenting, for one night only, the Platypus! As explained on Infogalactic (https://infogalactic.com/info/Platypus):

"In 2004, researchers at the Australian National University discovered the platypus has ten sex chromosomes, compared with two (XY) in most other mammals ... the sex chromosomes of the platypus are more similar to the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes found in birds. The platypus genome also has both reptilian and mammalian genes associated with egg fertilization. ... A draft version of the platypus genome sequence was published in Nature on 8 May 2008, revealing both reptilian and mammalian elements, as well as two genes found previously only in birds, amphibians, and fish."

The obvious answer is that God has a sense of humor -- why else would we have an egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal?


Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 10:17 AM  

From Lew Rockwell...."It’s amazing how the theory of evolution is pushed on the populace as fact and sound science, but like Professor Colin Reeves, from the Department of Mathematical Sciences from Coventry University explains, “Darwinism was an interesting idea in the 19th century, when handwaving explanations gave a plausible, if not properly scientific, framework into which we could fit biological facts. However, what we have learned science the days of Darwin throws doubt on natural selection’s ability to create complex biological systems – and we still have little more than handwaving as an argument in its favour. “

He is one of 500 scientists in several fields that came together a few years to create “A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.” Here’s another great quote from one of the scientists, Chris Williams, A Ph.D., Biochemistry Ohio State University:

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 10:29 AM  

what is the average rate of evolutionary mutation

The question is based on a false assumption about teleology -- mutation is not directed. "What is the average rate of mutation?" would be an answerable question, but not a very useful one -- many orders of magnitude difference between an influenza virus and a gorilla. Like asking "What is the average speed at which organisms move relative to their environment?"

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 10:34 AM  

Evolution is mathematically impossible full stop

and the numbers haven't stopped either if you extrapolate the numerical impossibilities from the "billions" of years ago of when it supposedly started to now. Evolutionists are blind to the numerics that they rely on.

Blogger Phillip George August 03, 2018 10:35 AM  

Pasteur still gets the last laugh.
Just how much money is being invested in inorganic food production start up companies.

Nil. Follow the money.
If you really believe in evolution just do it.
Mutate your offspring for all the improvements and joy it will bring.

Blogger Silly but True August 03, 2018 10:37 AM  

VD,

I had to laugh at your final paragraph.

Some of the most bizarre of the bizarre fringe scientific esoterica are those like Frank Tipler “Omega-point cosmologists.”

Frank Tipler being the author of The Physics of Immortality and The Physics of Christianity.

He must, of course rely on premise that the far-future mankind will evolve to point of create a computational simulation of the entirety of the history of reality that survives beyond the end of the universe and so emulates the Christian idea of the afterlife, resurrection, et. al.

He really was of the group that originated the line of futurism study that led to Roko’s Basilisk among other permutations of the “life is a simulation” crowd.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 10:41 AM  

"The question is based on a false assumption about teleology -- mutation is not directed."

Mutation has to be directed in order to support spontaneous evolution. Sure, it's possible for there to be detrimental mutations even in the evolutionist's mind, but he must have some mechanism by which beneficials propagate and detrimentals are erased.

Obviously in this context "evolutionary mutation" would be only those mutations either self-beneficial of part of a chain required to form a beneficial organ or trait.

Once you've gotten that realization, it's entirely appropriate to ask for an average rate of mutation. Every last one of the evolutionarily-driven "age of life", "tree of life" and "age of the earth" showings either explicitly or implicitly must apply exactly such an estimation.

Your analogy isn't even good. There absolutely is an average rate of organism movement relative to environment, whether we can calculate it with precision at the current time or not.

Blogger Bodo Staron August 03, 2018 10:45 AM  

That would be an interesting debate on JF's channel.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 10:56 AM  

What is the unit of selective pressure?

The best way to define that quantitatively would probably be on the back end -- differential reproductive success of variants of the trait in question. Many will not be satisfied with that answer, though.

Blogger tuberman August 03, 2018 10:59 AM  

Intelligent Design is the huge elephant sitting on the couch in the living room that they all take massive efforts to avoid it's stare.Even as the trunk splashes them with water, they hope that this elephant does not get up and step on their feet.

Blogger Robert What? August 03, 2018 10:59 AM  

The creation narrative in Genesis is the only holy scripture that matches up with current cosmological understanding.

Blogger Servant August 03, 2018 10:59 AM  

I really enjoyed the chronicles of Narnia as a child and found one scene particularly haunting.

In the last battle sky is falling and the children have followed Aslan to a portal to the recreated Narnia. It's through a barn door, and there is a lavish feast. I forget how they got there, but there are dwarves there who think they are in a barn still. They insist the food the children are talking about is hay, and refuse to open their eyes, because it's dark in the barn so they don't need to open them. They just wail about their coming destruction.

It's been a mental shortcut in dealing with people who refuse to see the truth. Just dwarves in a barn.

I watch nature shows when babysitting my nephews. They love showing the complexity of nature and I enjoy seeing it because of how it sings about the nature of my eternal father. I am also amused by the absurdity of believing a random process could end in such fantastic beauty. You are blinding yourself.

@badger my god was rather explicit in how he designed and created the world. "And there was light, and there was darkness, the first day."

He created days on the first day, and used them as a measure for the other days.

Open your eyes brother! The word of God is there before you and does not need to bow to the musings of man! It is a feast of good food, ready to nourish your soul, heart and mind. The very second you take some worldly book learning and try to morph the word of God to it you are marring one of his greatest gifts to us.

Blogger Peaceful Poster August 03, 2018 11:01 AM  

@57 - merely contemplating the world around us won't tell us what we should do with our free will in a world that is dominated and ruled by the Creator.

You mean Satan?

Blogger One Deplorable DT August 03, 2018 11:02 AM  

Evolution is a violation of Shannon entropy on the same level that a perpetual motion machine is a violation of the Second Law.

If you are tempted to respond to this with "but the Earth is an open system receiving energy from the sun" then you do not understand what entropy actually is and have probably never realized that it applies to things other than energy configurations of the universe.

No other theory directly violates an observed, proven, and in this case fully understood law of our universe yet is accepted as 'scientific' and 'factual'. This speaks to both the depravity of some men, who will believe any lie to avoid God, and to the stupidity of biologists which Vox has observed.

For example, it is particularly amusing to note that I have encountered people who sneer at the idea of intelligent design while simultaneously admitting to being philosophically open to the idea that the world is some sort of digital simulation. I can't even bring myself to point out to them that if the world is a digital simulation, this strongly implies that the intelligent design crowd was correct all along.

1,000x this. The I LOVE Science! crowd will gladly entertain ideas about our universe being a form of matrix while stomping their feet insisting that life is the result of random chance. It's painful to see this mental gymnastic in real time.

Blogger Krymneth August 03, 2018 11:02 AM  

Tends to confirm Q's "These people are stupid" claim when they literally can not get a single three word phrase correct.

Blogger Theophilus Chilton August 03, 2018 11:03 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Theophilus Chilton August 03, 2018 11:04 AM  

They just accept on faith that evolution proceeds in the direction of what they think of as "better."

Yep. At its root, evolution is as much a teleological doctrine as Christian creationism. It merely has a different teleological endpoint.

Blogger Chris Lutz August 03, 2018 11:05 AM  

tz wrote:
He reduces the question to whether or not a CODING system can arise ex nihilo. Once you have the DNA/Ribosome/Protein coding system, you can get a mutable, adaptive system. But coding systems are designed by intelligences. And he has a prize for anyone that can demonstrate how a coding system can arise without being designed.


It can't. It also can't operate on the theory that making mistakes to the coding results in improvements to the system. It's like in the early 00's where they were touting how all of the junk DNA demonstrated evolution. Instead junk DNA became the lie similar to the unnecessary organs of the previous century.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 11:07 AM  

It's hilarious how many of us predicted that "junk" DNA was everything the scientists involved in naming it had no conception of.

And then of course, it turns out to be exactly that, except for the "actually junk DNA". You can guess what the predictions are about that one too.

Blogger Shimshon August 03, 2018 11:08 AM  

@71 '@badger my god was rather explicit in how he designed and created the world. "And there was light, and there was darkness, the first day."'

It's the other way around.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 11:15 AM  

@66
Mutation has to be directed in order to support spontaneous evolution

No. Mutation is random. Selection is not. You are (deliberately?) conflating two entirely separate processes here.

it's entirely appropriate to ask for an average rate of mutation.

Conflating again. You're using "average rate of mutation" interchangeably with the (meaningless) term "average evolutionary rate of mutation." Further proving my point, of course. Thanks.

There absolutely is an average rate of organism movement relative to environment

Oh? What is it? Sure, you may not have an exact number -- but just describe how you would go about calculating it.

Blogger wreckage August 03, 2018 11:20 AM  

The way I see it, if you're married to materialism, if evolution works, that's teleology in nature, and you get home to find Thomas Aquinas banging your wife. High fives from Aristotle may or may not be involved.

If it works, but only because random meanderings must eventually settle on ideal systems, you get home and it's Plato instead.

If it works, but because biological systems for whatever reason tend to drive towards survivable configurations, well then it's Edward Feser and she's gasping, "You're a good squirrel, you're a materially good squirrel!"

There's just no way it ends without betrayal and denouement of the hot, sexy, non-materialist kind.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 11:21 AM  

When the probability of your theory being true exceeds the number of atoms in the universe. You've got nothing.

Blogger Damelon Brinn August 03, 2018 11:22 AM  

And he has a prize for anyone that can demonstrate how a coding system can arise without being designed.

I wonder how much of the silly stuff I read about AI comes from people applying their faith in evolution to another field. After all, if mutations over enough time can change the coding in DNA to create more complex, more functional creatures, why can't bugs and typos over enough time turn simple computer programs into more complex, more capable programs? Full AI is bound to just happen eventually, right?

Blogger Scott Birch August 03, 2018 11:23 AM  

The question is an effective litmus test for umderstanding of the subject matter though.

Blogger John August 03, 2018 11:24 AM  

@62 "what is the average rate of evolutionary mutation"

The question is based on a false assumption about teleology -- mutation is not directed. "What is the average rate of mutation?" would be an answerable question, but not a very useful one -- many orders of magnitude difference between an influenza virus and a gorilla.


1. How long before Francis Parker Yockey is banned for lying?
2. Gas the midwits. IQ war now.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 11:25 AM  

@76 Theophilus Chilton
They just accept on faith that evolution proceeds in the direction of what they think of as "better."

Yep. At its root, evolution is as much a teleological doctrine as Christian creationism. It merely has a different teleological endpoint


No, this is shitlib "SCIENCE!" not science. Evolution is NOT "progress." It's entirely driven by adaptation to local conditions. There is no universal standard for "better" in evolutionary terms. Look what happens to free-living organisms that become parasites, for example.

Shitlibs have as much cognitive dissonance with respect to evolution as they do with everything else. They "believe" in evolution, yet believe that it somehow stopped acting on humans (or stopped acting on human behavioral traits?) 80-100,000 years ago. Or something like that. It's not a coherent worldview.

Now, if you want to claim that "adaptation to the local environment" is just dodging the teleology issue -- well, you might have something there.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 11:30 AM  

Francis, you're the one who wanted "evolutionary mutation" to mean something distinct from mutation. I hypothetically obliged you, and now you don't like it. Which is it?

Conflating? Some things are properly conflated. You assumed that "evolutionary mutation" was teleological in nature. I followed your assumption.

"Oh? What is it? Sure, you may not have an exact number -- but just describe how you would go about calculating it."

You'd collect the rates of motion for each individual organism and then average them. Very simple, if very, very, very time and resource consuming (beyond human capacity).

Similarly, for an average rate of, specifically, mutation, you'd collect mutation incidences for all living things and average them.

Similarly for whatever assumptive definition you feel like using for "evolutionary mutation" and then backing off of.

This is child's play, Francis. That we cannot easily (humanly) come up with an exact number cannot mean that such number may not exist. Rather, within the evolutionary hypothetical framework, such number must exist, and every single evolutionist's chronological mapping must be closely intertwined with at least their best approximation of it.

Blogger Servant August 03, 2018 11:30 AM  

@shimshon

Thanks

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 11:30 AM  

@85
Someone's triggered. That was a very thoughtful, coherent, well-reasoned addition to the discussion, hmm?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 11:36 AM  

"There is no universal standard for "better" in evolutionary terms."

Only because purely materialistic terms necessarily rule out the concepts of either good or evil as objective logical possibilities.

"Evolution is NOT "progress." It's entirely driven by adaptation to local conditions."

Successful adaptation to current local conditions is quite literally progress.

Blogger James Dixon August 03, 2018 11:41 AM  

> Do you mean to tell me that over time life hasnt gotten more complex as a whole?

Is life today really more complex than it was during the Mesozoic era? I'd be hard put to make that claim. Different, yes. More complex, no.

> Like asking "What is the average speed at which organisms move relative to their environment?"

What did I say above?

Blogger Steampunk Koala August 03, 2018 11:42 AM  

Okrane S. wrote:This does not invalidate what I'm saying.

Do you mean to tell me that over time life hasnt gotten more complex as a whole?

Or that the dating measurements are all wrong? At the million of year scale, which is what matters here?

Denying evolution as a principle is all a big strawman at this point in history given all we know.

And finding valid holed in the model does not equate with the religious explanation being any more valid.


I am saying that the 'evolutionary tree' as presented by paleontologists is a myth they created. The circular logic of fossils being dated by the age of the rock, and then vice-versa, is sufficient to demonstrate that. The planet is not neatly layered the way they pretend.

At the million-year scale, you definitely do not have proof that radiometric dating works. Nobody has ever left a hunk of radioactive material sit for millions of years to take periodic measurements. Given how unreliable carbon dating is, I find it hard to accept that other radiometric compounds with half-lives too long to measure are more reliable.

And on the broad strokes, either abiogenesis is true, or life was created by intelligence. There is no third option.

Blogger wreckage August 03, 2018 11:47 AM  

@86, adaptation to the local environment is arguably teleology (as in, you have to arbitrarily rule that it somehow can't be teleological, or make up a separate category for "pseudo teleology", which is just a TL;DR dodge to excuse the former.

But adaptation to local conditions or even a behavioural niche also arguably falls squarely into Feser's "good squirrel" argument for natural law morality, which is even more specific than teleology.

Basically, from my perspective, it is VERY difficult, to my limited mind impossible, to categorically maintain materialism while still acknowledging evolution.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 11:48 AM  

And yes, "adaptation to local environment" is absolutely a poor attempt to dodge the teleology issue by rephrasing it to an arbitrarily time and/or location.

Look at a longer term and the organism with the ability to manipulate environment is the winner of this phase. Next phase winner is the organism with the most possible ability to manipulate environment as measured in accuracy/precision/magnitude/range.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 11:48 AM  

@87


You'd collect the rates of motion for each individual organism and then average them


So you weight by indidual organisms? if you did this for average mutation rates, viruses would have a hugely disproportionate impact on the final number. You know that, right? Why not by species? Total biomass?

You're misunderstanding my point, of course. One more time -- "average mutation rate," like "average rate of movement," is at least a theoretically calculable (but not very useful) number. "Average rate of evolutionary mutation" is not.

If you're attempting to pose the question "what percentage of random mutations are positively selected for in a given environment, for a given organism," then do so.

Science deals with coherent, defined, potentially-answerable questions.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 11:52 AM  

"The question is based on a false assumption about teleology -- mutation is not directed."

You're totally incorrect. You did not understand the question and there are no assumptions about teleology. You're going to have to do a lot better than spouting conventional talking points here. We're well beyond them.

One more time -- "average mutation rate," like "average rate of movement," is at least a theoretically calculable (but not very useful) number. "Average rate of evolutionary mutation" is not.

You're totally wrong on both counts. The number is very useful and the average rate of evolutionary mutation is both calculable and deeply relevant.

Science deals with coherent, defined, potentially-answerable questions.

You don't even know what science is. You're too short for the ride.

Blogger Bobiojimbo August 03, 2018 11:53 AM  

Thanks, VD, you've given me something to think about, in a way I've never thought it about it before.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 11:55 AM  

"So you weight by indidual organisms?"

Averages are hard, huh Francis? Yes, the question was average rate of relative motion by organisms, not by mass or volume or something else organisms. The question was sufficiently specific.

"You're misunderstanding my point, of course." Sweet irony.

"Average rate of evolutionary mutation" is not."

I've already shown how for whatever definition of "evolutionary mutation" you try to choose, it is necessarily theoretically calculable. You. Are. Lying. Attempting to hide behind terms you refuse to define will not save you.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 11:55 AM  

I hypothetically obliged you, and now you don't like it.

That was your mistake. He doesn't know what he's talking about. He didn't understand the original question and you foolishly went down his false path.

Now he's doing the midwit thing of refusing to consider the possibility that he's in over his head.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 11:56 AM  

"Galileo demonstrated in the 16th century that no matter widely supported or accepted a theory may be, without a demonstrable mathematical foundation it will ultimately fail the test of time."(Unless you're an evolutionist/central bankster you just "create" more time or money)

Consider the makeup of our universe:

Approximately 10^17 seconds have elapsed since the big bang.

Quantum physics limits the maximum number of states an atom can go through to 10^43 per second (the inverse of Planck time, i.e. the smallest physically meaningful unit of time)

The visible universe contains about 10^80 atoms.



It seems reasonable to conclude that no more than 10^140 chemical reactions have occurred in the visible universe since the big bang (i.e. 1017+43+80)



Following from this evolution needs to be theoretically demonstrable within 10^140 molecular state transitions.

(For comparative purposes see Seth Lloyd's "Computational Capacity of the Universe" [r62], reviewed by the Economist [r70]. Lloyd comes up with a value of 10^120).
Take a step back and look at the makeup of a cell:

The Ribosome - a key protein conglomerate that translates DNA into protein contains about 250,000 key functional atoms. [r73] Assume we are provided with the correct ingredients for a hypothetical, primitive Ribosome of just 2,000 atoms. How many ways are there that this structure can be arranged in three dimensions en route to the initial viable structure that kick-starts the evolutionary process?


By reducing the size of the Ribosome and artificially constraining atomic interactions to those of a comparatively easily understood mechanical model such as a Rubik cube we have a simple way to calculate a lower bound for the number of possible permutations. The number of ways of arranging a Rubik cube with 20 elements per side is approximately 10^1,477.

The key logistical issue is that the number of ways of organizing the atomic makeup of this elementary Ribosome model exceeds the number of transitions the universe is physically capable of supporting by a factor of 10^1,337. (Or 10^1,357 if you use Lloyd's model which takes available energy into account). This makes it difficult for any probabilistic model to traverse the solution space.

In particular, 10^140 / 10^1,477 suggests that since the start of the universe all stochastic models would have been able to explore a maximum of just

0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001%

cont...

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 11:57 AM  

> Do you mean to tell me that over time life hasnt gotten more complex as a whole?

Is life today really more complex than it was during the Mesozoic era? I'd be hard put to make that claim. Different, yes. More complex, no.

The problem with that claim is that humans have consciousness, and there is no evidence that any other creatures do...And this is a problem for all of the secular evolution and clockwork universe theories. There is no need, or obvious evolutionary advantage, in consciousness...This is why the University of Arizona holds a week long Science of Consciousness conference every year, and some of the top scientists and philosphers in the world attend.....The obvious answer, of course, is that the Creator provided it, along with a soul, so that our lives would have spiritual meaning.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 11:58 AM  

Someone's triggered. That was a very thoughtful, coherent, well-reasoned addition to the discussion, hmm?

At least it was more accurate and betrayed a better understanding of the issues than everything you have written in this thread.

You're wrong, Francis. You were wrong from the start and all your thrashing around since has merely demonstrated that you don't understand a fairly simple and straightforward logical truism. Now, would you like to stop posturing and start humbly asking questions about things you observably don't understand or are you going to run the usual gamma routine?

Blogger Unknown August 03, 2018 11:59 AM  

I recommend Page & Holmes "Molecular Evolution - A Phylogenetic Approach." Chapter 5, Measuring Genetic Change is a concise explanation of various ways of counting mutations as well as the assumptions of those methods and the weaknesses of each assumption. It includes a table of mutation rate estimates for various genes, taken from a classic paper.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 11:59 AM  

cont...

of the solution space in search of the correct configuration for a 2,000 atom Ribosome. To put this in perspective, the ratio of the width of the observable universe to that of a hydrogen atom is of the order of 1 to 10^36. Alternatively, all stochastic models are physically unable to cover more than a millionth of the width of a human hair in a search for the correct biological configuration in a solution space that covers the width of the visible universe in the time that has elapsed since the Big Bang.

Probably the most non-intuitive aspect is that exploring the total solution space of something as simple as a 20 unit sided Rubik cube exceeds the computational capacity of the universe by a factor of 10^1,337. And the percentage of potential configurations that can be visited by any physical process (including neo-Darwinism) becomes exponentially smaller as more complex molecular structures are considered.

If we look at the number of ways the 250,000 atoms of a modern Ribosome can be assembled using the Rubik model the size of the solution space is around 10^162,221 - any hope of a thorough traversal of the solution space is well out of reach irrespective of method.

But even if we assume a primeval 20x20x20 Ribosome through molecular happenstance - what next? Evolution cannot begin unless we can replicate the first Ribosome.

So to start evolution we require both the Ribosome and an encoded duplicate of the Ribosome - in the form of precursor mRNA - floating in the vicinity for the Ribosome. In information theoretic terms this could be a chance of the order of 1 in 10^2,956.

Hidden in this statement is a puzzle that exercised the imagination of Karl Popper, who was regarded as the greatest philosopher of science of the 20th century:

"What makes the origin of life and of the genetic code a disturbing riddle is this: the genetic code is without any biological function unless it is translated; that is, unless it leads to the synthesis of the proteins whose structure is laid down by the code. .... The code cannot be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a really baffling circle: a vicious circle, it seems for any attempt to form a model, or a theory, of the genesis of the genetic code." [r69]

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 11:59 AM  

Approximately 10^17 seconds have elapsed since the big bang.

See, zh gets it. This really isn't that hard. The logic is inescapable.

Blogger Electric Dinosaur August 03, 2018 11:59 AM  

100 comments - wow.
VD stirred up some angry hornets

Blogger Rick August 03, 2018 11:59 AM  

Vox- thank you for this post. I often wonder where you stand on the ID issue.
Haven't had a chance to read the comments yet, but I've read Berlinski's book "The Devil's Delusion" multiple times - simply for the pleasure of it.
He has a couiple of really good interviews by the Hoover Institue. Here's one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyxUwaq00Rc

He basically says - evolution and creation are both right. Except that evolution certainly appears to have been "guided". And, if you run the numbers, it's almost as if 14 billion years are not enough... unless it were guided.

Dr. Stephen Meyer - also good.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 12:00 PM  

"Notwithstanding how two complex interlocking systems that cannot exist without each other managed to arise simultaneously together with a grammar of translation appropriate to all biological forms, there is a fundamental housekeeping issue. Even if the Ribosome managed to latch on to a perfectly encoded mRNA precursor organized in a loop and started churning out hundreds of copies of itself, without any cell wall the newly duplicated Ribosomes would simply wash out to sea.

In real life the molecular probability stack reaches higher. To function correctly a cell requires around 10,000,000 Ribosomes: approximately 7,000 are produced each minute and as each Ribosome contains about 80 proteins we can infer about 500,000 Ribosomal proteins are synthesized in the Cytoplasm per minute. [r72]

In human engineering terms this is the equivalent of creating and powering a factory containing 10 million assembly lines, where half a million of the components created every minute are assembled into 7,000 new assembly lines per minute - with worn out parts recycled where practical.

And sustainable life require Lysosomes, the Gologi apparatus, mitochondria, centriole, endoplasmic reticulum, etc. in active cellular support.

Given that no more than 10140 flips of the biological coin are available it is worth comparing this number with the number of ways a cell of 100,000,000,000,000 atoms can be arranged in three dimensions.

Such a number would define the size of the solution space that evolution would have had to traverse. Using the simplified Rubik cube model, the number of ways of arranging 100,000,000,000,000 surface cells is of the order of 1064,600,000,000,000.

Quantifying this in everyday terms, if each digit in this number were represented by just one cubic millimeter it would be sufficient to fill the visible universe many times over - there would be insufficient free energy to write it out in full.

Note that we are not saying that evolution can't get there. This simply compares the size of the solution space that incorporates life with the 10140 steps available to reach that point irrespective of the stochastic method.

A similar issue is that unless all steps required to create cellular life are incrementally accessible across this landscape the journey will not be able to complete. The size of the probability landscape suggests any a priori assumption of incremental reach may be speculative, a perspective supported in the discovery of a range of enzymes (highlighted later in this paper) required to speed up critical cellular reaction times in excess of the entire evolutionary timeframe: processes with half lives of 1.1 trillion years, 2.3 billion years, 78 million years etc. Just how does an enzyme evolve incrementally to speed up a reaction whose half-life is 100 times the age of the universe?

Factor in the total number of cells in the body - estimated at around 100,000,000,000,000 - with each containing say 100,000,000,000,000 atoms - and it becomes clear that evolution's generation-by-generation unguided sequential traversal of the total solution space en route to a fully functioning human body required extraordinarily lucky leaps in view of the limiting 10140 transitions.

Consider the total number of molecules that occupy a one litre container of air at sea level. The probability that we find these molecules spontaneously occupying just one tenth of this volume is 1 in 1010,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. [r74]

Thus while physics does not forbid the spontaneous inflation of an uncapped bicycle tyre, the probability of this event occurring is not at all dissimilar to the probability that life arose by chance.

Gödel's assessment was right on the money."

http://darwinsmaths.com/



Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 12:01 PM  

"Galileo demonstrated in the 16th century that no matter widely supported or accepted a theory may be, without a demonstrable mathematical foundation it will ultimately fail the test of time."

A) You appear to have confused Galileo with the people who actually developed the correct models

B) The original problem with the model we now use is that the available data *didn't* support it. Mathematically, the heliocentric model was basically flawless.


Blogger OneWingedShark August 03, 2018 12:02 PM  

Dire Badger wrote:Why can't intelligent design and evolution coexist?

After all, God invented the rules, why wouldn't he use them? I don't recall Genesis explaining exactly HOW he created the beasts of the air and the sea and the earth.

"Intelligently guided evolution" seems to fit a lot of facts.

The problem with this is theological: it essentially denies the special creation of man. It is just Syncretism again; the equivalent of middle-of-the-road centrists, being neither hot, nor cold.

Damelon Brinn wrote:@36, If God used OO to design the universe, that would explain all the inefficiency and bugs.
This made me chuckle; thank you.

Okrane S. wrote:Denying evolution as a principle is all a big strawman at this point in history given all we know.
No, it's not. Holding to evolution is the same as holding to communism: deadly lies that bring only misery and pain. If you want Truth, if you love Life, then either of those is simply the Wrong Place to look. (As zh wrote: "Evolution is mathematically impossible full stop")

Blogger OGRE August 03, 2018 12:04 PM  

Spontaneous, evolutionary abiogenisis is as anti-scientific a claim as there can be.

No proposition from an inductive proof has more evidence for its truth than "Life only comes from life." The entirety of human experience confirms this, and there is not a single example--real or theoretical--in all of human history that can be offered against it.

By any reasonable definition of scientific knowledge (falsifiability, verificationism, etc.), abiogenisis cannot be considered a scientific claim. In fact, the evidence of its negation is so strong, so universally and completely proven, that it is as firmly established as any scientific law.

The science bitches love to posture as to their 'rationality,' their use of 'reason and logic.' But to accept spontaneous abiogenisis as truth, without any evidence to support it whatsoever and all of human experience weighed against it, is so irrational and illogical as to be insane.

Blogger Francis Parker Yockey August 03, 2018 12:04 PM  

Creation vs. evolution is a false dichotomy, of course.

Evolution is descent with modification -- says nothing about the origins of life.

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 12:06 PM  

According to current theory, 17 billion years ago, the universe consisted solely of a plasma of fundamental particles at a temperature of 100 million degrees...Now, we have complex worlds and sentient creatures making complex moral decisions. The notion that all this was created by a lot of monkeys with typewriters, which is what evolution amounts to, seems ridiculous...

Blogger pyrrhus August 03, 2018 12:07 PM  

@112 Of course, as I have said repeatedly....

Blogger John August 03, 2018 12:09 PM  

@102 Senpai noticed me.

Blogger Other Josh August 03, 2018 12:11 PM  

I am blessed to be surrounded by simple people in my life who state with utter conviction, "I know God created the heavens and the earth".

When they are assaulted with scientific theory, called fools, have evolution crammed down their throats, etc... their eyes glaze over, their faces show they are unimpressed, and they still say with utter conviction "I know God created the heavens and the earth". Thank God for these people! I used to look down on their simple-mindedness. Now I realize that is probably the best existence to have... being simple.

"Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." - 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 12:13 PM  

"I am blessed to be surrounded by simple people in my life who state with utter conviction, "I know God created the heavens and the earth"."

Simple faith saves an extraordinary of mental pain. The older I get the more times I get slapped in the face with this.

Blogger chronoblip August 03, 2018 12:14 PM  

Resident Moron™ wrote:@40

Dire Badger; the age of things is immaterial.

The point is that the God who claims that death came into the world through the sin of one specific Man - Adam - cannot turn out to have "created" man via millions of years of death, disease, and decay.

Being found to be a liar makes the Christian God disappear in a puff of logic even faster than merely being considered unnecessary.


Are you referring to Romans 5, and do you believe that passage refers to physical death?

Nicodemus, in John 3, struggled with the use of physical analogies being used to describe spiritual truths.

Ephesians 2 discusses being dead "in trespasses and sins" while still physically alive, and was also written by Paul.

If you are referring to Romans 5, what scriptural support would you offer that the death spoken of is physical? If referencing another passage, could you cite it?

Blogger Steampunk Koala August 03, 2018 12:18 PM  

Francis Parker Yockey wrote:Creation vs. evolution is a false dichotomy, of course.

Evolution is descent with modification -- says nothing about the origins of life.


Nonsense. Evolution necessarily includes everything from the big bang down to work. Evolution is predicated on natural processes, and natural processes alone. If a non-natural event happens anywhere before it, the entire conversation is moot. If life was created, then a purely natural descent without modification is both unnecessary and irrelevant to the Science!(tm) aspect of evolution, as evolution now has a purpose and direction.

Blogger Triumph of Rome August 03, 2018 12:22 PM  

The fact that a hypothesis is consistent with 80% of evidence doesn’t make it true.

Epicycles could explain far more of planetary motion than that.

Blogger Skyler the Weird August 03, 2018 12:23 PM  

Humans haven't evolved in Star Trek. The show just rarely visits the Federation's vast network of Reeducation Camps for those who Wrong Think.

Blogger Triumph of Rome August 03, 2018 12:24 PM  

For a hypothesis to be true, its process must be observed. The deep past is inherently unobservable and therefore literally anything you would claim to know about it is speculation unless you have some sort of eyewitness account.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 12:24 PM  

Even mathematicians occasionally underestimate probability - in "A Brief History of Time" Stephen Hawking mentions that monkeys pounding away on keyboards will "very occasionally" by pure chance type out one of Shakespeare's sonnets. The calculation for the sonnet "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" shows that the chance is about 1 in 10^690 i.e. 10 followed by 690 zeros. [r78] As there have only been 10^18 seconds since the Big Bang and there are about 10^80 atoms in the visible universe it is difficult to see where 10^690 fits in comfortably. Physical limits on monkeys and keyboards means we would have to cycle through the heat death or final collapse of the universe in excess of 10^600 times to obtain a single sonnet.

Could the universe have cycled through this many Big Bangs? Thermodynamics dictates that the number of photons will increase relative to other particles with each cycle, thus given a finite number of particles, the entire universe would eventually be reduced to photons. Our ability to read tells us the universe is not based on infinite cycles.

Of course, this is not saying that an event of 1 in 10^690 could not take place - rather it is an objective measure of how unexpected life is given the assumption of a reductionist universe.

Blogger Triumph of Rome August 03, 2018 12:26 PM  

That already happened with the Jay Dyer debate.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine August 03, 2018 12:26 PM  

"Epicycles"

I liked the Spirograph as a kid. Pretty patterns, all very mathematical.

Blogger Triumph of Rome August 03, 2018 12:29 PM  

Under the Christian worldview, especially if you hold to the traditional Christian view of traducianism, the second that death entered the world every evolutionary process we have observed started working and in many cases working extremely quickly. This accounts for the variation between different kinds of animals and humans.

Blogger Triumph of Rome August 03, 2018 12:33 PM  

The whole pattern of the Scriptures makes this argument very dumb. The only Scritpurally-consistent interpretation is literal days.

Blogger Starboard August 03, 2018 12:40 PM  

Fred Reed: "A fair few respondents quoted the Bible. I wondered why the Bible and not the Koran or Bhagavad Gita. The Bible seems to me the chaotic literature of a barbaric tribe and characterized by morally unpleasant stories. Why it is thought to have any relevance to abiogenesis is not clear to me."

Evolutionary theory is a western theory. Abiogenesis in particular is a materialist rebuttal to the Christian creation story, and intelligent design is the Christian response to that rebuttal. He's writing this article in English, in what's left of Christendom, and wonders why the Christians come out to play? Remarkable. But if he wants to argue for intelligent design without the Bible, so be it. Perhaps it's just a wobbly transition point on the way to Truth.

Blogger John August 03, 2018 12:42 PM  

"If not, so what? The question should be not whether it is scientific but whether it is true."

As a midwit myself, I naturally fell into the trap of thinking that "scientific knowledge is somehow superior to other forms of knowledge". It takes a lot to break out of that box. Most educated midwits can't see it any more than fish see water, so those comments by Reed will genuinely make no sense.

But once you're out, it's hard to believe you ever fell for it in the first place.

Blogger zh August 03, 2018 12:46 PM  

"Magna opera Domini exquisita in omnes voluntates ejus."

This is the inscription that James Clerk Maxwell inscribed above the door of
the 'old' Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge - where Crick and Watson determined the structure
of DNA. Translated, it means "Great are the works of the Lord; they
are pondered by all who delight in them."
(from Psalm 111:2).

Blogger kh123 August 03, 2018 12:55 PM  

Evolution: A story which justifies a worldview, which in turn gives license for folks to cheat in a myriad of ways.

Because the world rewards underhandedness to varying degrees; "The strong rule where they can and the weak suffer what they must." And folks need to sleep peacefully at night, so those who lived off the inertia of civilized society needed to come up with a polite and sanitary way to win, caveman style.

Which, to use Solzhenitsyn's memory of a seasoned prisoner's advice to new arrivals of the Archipelago: At any price.

The world not only hears its own, but they yearn to create the conditions for that world, even if it means detonating it. They expect the devil to behave.

Someone brought up the issue similar to autocatalysis above, or at least what the hypothetical beginning would need to be in order to even have it exist. If evolution were true, it apparently increased the complexity and frequency for which it happens: necessary byproducts downstream from the initial reaction loop back to form even further necessary byproducts, which link into further step-by-step interactions, accomplish a larger goal. Which then initiates steps for byproducts to either create further byproducts or to disengage, and allow those downstream products to create... the egg which was upstream. Whence hatches the chicken, all over again.

To use Dawkins' imagery, DNA is a dance, and it is intricate and complex. Unfortunately for him, it is one that's apparently far too involved for his mind to wrap around other than to yank from it a worldview built from children's building blocks.

Like another brought up above: Just dwarves in a barn.

Blogger Rabbi B August 03, 2018 12:56 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 12:57 PM  

"Are you referring to Romans 5, and do you believe that passage refers to physical death?"

Partly.

"Nicodemus, in John 3, struggled with the use of physical analogies being used to describe spiritual truths."

Jesus didn't use his analogy to argue that the Word was not true, which you're doing here. On the contrary he said that of you don't believe Moses and the Prophets you won't believe even if one is raised from the dead.

Now a question for you: if your God can raise a man from the dead, why do you think creation of a fully-grown adult man to be beyond his powers, both to achieve and/or to describe accurately?

Blogger Dirk Manly August 03, 2018 12:57 PM  

@7

"Aren't there more women in biology than other STEM fields?"

Yes... because the academic standards are substantially lower for men, too.

The large numbers of women in biology is a symptom, not the cause. The cause is allowing sloppy thinkers to get past 2nd-year courses in the first place. This naturally allows a lot higher percentage of women to be in the field, as compared to say, computer engineering.

Blogger Ingot9455 August 03, 2018 12:57 PM  

The more people go on about 'punctuated equilibrium' evolutionary leaps, the more they look like weekend software code pushes by the angels.

The new population outbreeding and replacing the old is the old software processes dying and the new ones taking their process space.

Blogger Stephen August 03, 2018 1:04 PM  

http://www.pnas.org/content/99/2/803
Our results suggest that the average mammalian genome mutation rate is 2.2 × 10−9 per base pair per year, which provides further opportunities for estimating species and population divergence times by using molecular clocks.

That is for mammals. More specific populations or stranger species might have more variation in the mutation rate if they have different DNA repair mechanisms or different radiation or carcinogen exposure. Although evolution will create selection for better DNA repair when exposed to more mutagens.

Blogger Sam August 03, 2018 1:10 PM  

@22
"You're doing the equivalent of claiming that it's not possible to know what the average yards per carry was during the 2017 NFL season because the number of yards carried by a running back is not fixed, but depends upon the defense."

My point was the same mutation could count as beneficial in one context and harmful in another. While we do know the rate of mutation, we don't know the environment so we can't produce an answer to that question.

Blogger Triumph of Rome August 03, 2018 1:10 PM  

The current “scientific” consensus wants us to believe the grand narrative of evolution—that the entire nature of everything is meaningless flux, despite the logical inconsistencies inherent in that position—while denying the specific modern implications of evolution on human beings and the natural world within the timespan of recorded history (c.8000 years). It seems obvious to me when you study the history of evolution that those who pushed it did so as an attack on Christianity, just like the same establishment at the same time created Biblical criticism and started (on very thin evidence) questioning every bit of Biblical history also as attacks on Christianity. The modern implications of that theory proved horrifying when applied by eugenicists and did nor seeve elite goals, so they’re handwaved away.

The opposite of the current consensus seems to be true. The Biblical grand narrative is true, but since death entered the world the processes observed by modern biologists are indeed at work in the world.

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 1:11 PM  

"Although evolution will create ... "

Mmkay.

Blogger Sam August 03, 2018 1:13 PM  

@131
Evolution is not about the strong dominating the weak. Parasites evolve, just like predators or prey.

Blogger Sam August 03, 2018 1:18 PM  

@138
Evolution doesn't have progress so there is no justification from the theory itself for eugenics. State directed eugenics is a bad idea because the personal incentive of the people in charge are to do the exact opposite of what they are promising- if you make the proles smarter, the personal genetic fitness of those operating the program goes down.

Blogger English Tom August 03, 2018 1:21 PM  

@ZH

Could the universe have cycled through this many big bangs?

Probably not the amount you state but Hindu cosmology certainly gives reference to this concept.

Blogger Lyon August 03, 2018 1:23 PM  

Yet another brilliant post.

This is the content that should be on the editorial pages of whatever national newspapers are still standing; among the lead stories on national network news; freely discussed online and in public.

The fact that this is sadly not the case is revealing in itself.

Blogger kh123 August 03, 2018 1:31 PM  

@140 True. And politics were not about the strong dominating the weak. Policies evolve, just like Athens and the rest of the league.

Grab a shovel, mensch. Work makes you free.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener August 03, 2018 1:33 PM  

For example, it is particularly amusing to note that I have encountered people who sneer at the idea of intelligent design while simultaneously admitting to being philosophically open to the idea that the world is some sort of digital simulation.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has noticed the glaring contradiction here.

Blogger kh123 August 03, 2018 1:34 PM  

"...we don't know the environment so we can't produce an answer to that question."

Which is rather the whole point, all suggestions notwithstanding.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 1:38 PM  

Resident Moron™ wrote:@40

Dire Badger; the age of things is immaterial.

The point is that the God who claims that death came into the world through the sin of one specific Man - Adam - cannot turn out to have "created" man via millions of years of death, disease, and decay.

Being found to be a liar makes the Christian God disappear in a puff of logic even faster than merely being considered unnecessary.



God created death. The question is how you define death. Adam may have lived through millions of years. We have a pretty good clue he lived to be at least a thousand.

but do we define an animal being killed as the same thing, value-wise as a human "Death"? I certainly do not. I Posit that dividing the light from the darkness could have been the big bang or the cooling of the galaxy. Dividing the firmaments could have been many different things, and a creature without a soul's 'death' might not be how 'death' is truly defined. Death is for creatures with consciousness, and with souls... IE the humans that god granted the gift to.

I prefer the gospel according to the bible, not the gospel according to FurryMUCK.

I Firmly believe that God created Human souls. Whatever came before that was not human, and thus could not know "Death". Prior to man was but clay. Clay of dirt or clay of flesh.

Science does not exist to explain away god. It exists to help us better understand his creation.

Blogger Rabbi B August 03, 2018 1:43 PM  

Dire Badger wrote:

Why can't intelligent design and evolution coexist?

After all, God invented the rules, why wouldn't he use them? I don't recall Genesis explaining exactly HOW he created the beasts of the air and the sea and the earth.

"Intelligently guided evolution" seems to fit a lot of facts.

I'm too short for the scientific tilt-a-whirl, so I’ll offer my two shekels a from a theological/philosophical perspective.

The Scripture teaches us that the world was brought into existence ex nihilo. Any idea or belief that the world is eternal, is a metaphysical falsehood that misrepresents the origin of the universe. Moreover, this idea or belief serves to undermine all of morality, as it denies freedom in both God and man.

If matter existed before creation, then the Creator would have only been able to use the material given Him to fashion a world that would have only been the best possible world within the limitations of that material, rather than a world that was absolutely good, as the Scriptures maintain. God would then not be master over the material of the world, freedom would disappear, and the entire world would be subject to blind fate.

It is critical to remember that after God created the world and everything in it, He looked at it again, therefore, it follows that the work is external to its Creator, and that God is outside the world.

The Bible tells us that God barah, created, His world giving it external existence. In other words, the world is related to God as a pot is related to the potter. Therefore we understand that God transcends His world and that although His work is dependent upon Him, He remains independent of His work.

The Scriptures also tell us that God looks upon His work and finds it good, and only because He looks upon it and only for as long as He looks upon it does it continue to exist. (cf. Colossians 1)

...what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (cf. Romans 1).

Indeed.

Blogger Jason August 03, 2018 1:53 PM  

My basic question for evolutionists is where are all the half formed limbs and organs each life form is in the process of forming to get to their next great state of existence? There are 7 billion humans right now, roughly, and innumerable other species, surely there is an abundance of evolutionary projects in the middle of cooking in all of our bodies, right? A second heart, a third kidney, etc. Something useful. Less Cystic Fibrosis and more arms and hands. Any x-ray should show the half formed bones we are developing for the next stage of our evolution. Oh that's right, it takes just enough time that we cannot see any evidence currently.


What I do see is a complexity, a sophistication, that the greatest human minds stubble in trying to comprehend and explain.

Any coder can tell you what happens when the code isn't perfect, but I am expected to believe our DNA produced miracle after miracle when it deviated from its perfect form.

What I see is not just intelligence, but power beyond comprehension. That power should terrify those who are not on good terms with it. And the only way to the Father is through the Son.

Blogger Okrane S. August 03, 2018 1:54 PM  

Evolution is not about abiogenesis - we don't know how the first replicators appeared. Evolution is about the change.

And no matter how flawed our dating measuring systems are I'll prefer a fairly approximate model to some stories.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 1:56 PM  

Rabbi B wrote:If matter existed before creation, then the Creator would have only been able to use the material given Him to fashion a world that would have only been the best possible world within the limitations of that material, rather than a world that was absolutely good, as the Scriptures maintain.

Why? Why must you limit god? I mean, I understand it is fashionable, but why cannot Ex Nihilo creation and prexisting creation coexist?

Why does he have to be limited to the best possible outcome within the limits of the material? Why can he not create perfection out of imperfect materials?

Certainly moderation is the most difficult path, understanding that god can choose to both create perfection and Not create perfection, but as I recall we were commanded to take the harder path. It is HIS choice, not ours. This Universe is his, he is not restrained to only following the rules as WE understand them, is he?

Blogger Okrane S. August 03, 2018 1:57 PM  

Why do you assume that accepting a theory automatically leads to misery? Can I not love my fellow man if I believe we came from some ancient apes?

Dogmatic religion presents a false dichotomy : its perfectly possible to be spiritual and seek love in life while accepting scientific discoveries.

In my personal reality there is no contradiction.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 1:59 PM  

And to be honest, Rabbib, the argument is not about whether or not matter existed before creation (It did not), it is a question about what tools he USED in his creation. If he chose to create a formless blob of energy first and then form it into matter, it is STILL creation.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 2:05 PM  

I sometimes wonder if that is the basic difference that informs the cultural argument between Judaism and Christianity.

Judaism prefers a god that is limited, even if he is only limited by his own word. Whereas Christians believe in an UNLIMITED God. Truly unlimited. He has chosen to allow the word to appear to be the limits, but he is not JUST the word, he is so much more, and the word is of Him, and as changeable... The word is god but does not encompass his totality.

Blogger KPP August 03, 2018 2:08 PM  

There was a time when I qualified my statements around evolution and the Bible's account of creation because I loved SCIENCE! and didn't want to seem backwards.

Gave it up for a plain reading of Scripture and embraced a young Earth creation perspective. If God is God and possesses the attributes recognized by the Christian faith, the creation, as recorded, is completely doable. No need to interpret it as myth, no need to add in billions of years.

If you start with the idea of no God, this presupposition dictates where you end up. If you start with the idea of an all-powerful God, you end up in a different place. Some Christians look at the "evidence" of evolution and apparent age of the Earth and try to squeeze the Bible into that mold. They say that accepting a young Earth position makes God into a liar, because look at all the evidence for an old earth. But your interpretation of what you see as evidence of an old Earth does not mean your interpretation is correct. I have much greater reason to believe the Bible than the ever-changing opinions of those who can't even do the basic research that I understood back in the 80s.

"But, but, but... God could have meant the body of a ape when he said 'mud' and when he said 'day' he could have meant 'millions of years.'"

Sure. You're concerned that God is a liar if the appearance of an old earth is not right, but you don't care if he lies in his Holy Word.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 2:12 PM  

God is only a Liar if you think humans are perfect and the enormous game of 'telephone' we have been playing with his word for thousands of years has produced a perfect result.

God is not limited to creating only perfection. And he CREATES truth, it does not exist outside of him. Nothing does.

Blogger eclecticme August 03, 2018 2:12 PM  

Ayn Rand said something like "Engineering is truth. Science is dogma." I was upset at the time. Once again she was right. Evolution is dogma.

Much of economics is also dogma. See e.g. most 'expert' opinions on free trade, tariffs, comparative advantage. The Greg Richards AT piece dealt with these.

Blogger Rabbi B August 03, 2018 2:13 PM  

@153 Dire Badger

And to be honest, Rabbib, the argument is not about whether or not matter existed before creation (It did not), it is a question about what tools he USED in his creation. If he chose to create a formless blob of energy first and then form it into matter, it is STILL creation.

The evolutionists who deny a first cause or intelligent design, have to argue that chemicals, or goo, or energy, or some pre-existent matter, somehow conspired to produce the world in which we live and move and have our being.

Evolution is the quintessential example of men's proclivity for going out their way to willfully suppress the truth and any knowledge of God.

They absolutely hate, hate, hate the idea that there is not only a Creator, but a Creator Who is intimately involved in the affairs of men, One Who will hold the world accountable for how it either served or rejected the God Who made them.

Professing to be wise, they became fools.

Blogger Didas Kalos August 03, 2018 2:16 PM  

Your religion is not so smart.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 2:18 PM  

"Sure. You're concerned that God is a liar if the appearance of an old earth is not right, but you don't care if he lies in his Holy Word."

Plain question, and per your own rules you can't appeal to metaphor:

How does one have "day" and "night" before the sun is created?

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 2:22 PM  

@Rabbi B-

So we have moved from a question of how God chose to use creation to a question of motivation?

Certainly I believe 'pure evolutionists' are complete idiots. But I can also see a god who chooses to move slowly, make small improvements and test the results. God is all knowing, but if he knows what the outcome of an experiment will be, doesn't that also mean that he should make the experiment?

It's like the paradox question in time travel. a Time traveller might know the outcome of an experiment, but the experiment still needs to take place even if it's a failure for his foreknowledge of it's failure to exist.

God is "I am". Does that also mean he is "I am not"?

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 2:28 PM  

A Paradox just means your logic or understanding are wrong.

Blogger Electric Dinosaur August 03, 2018 2:29 PM  

@S1AL:
Church fathers (specifically St Basil) addressed this around the 3rd Century AD. Light would have been present, but formless - not yet harnessed or produced by the Sun.

Blogger Damelon Brinn August 03, 2018 2:30 PM  

Can I not love my fellow man if I believe we came from some ancient apes?

Perhaps *you* can, but history and experience show that's not the way to bet. I've listened to evolution-believing atheists talking about how to deal with the unemployed or infirm, and it was chilling. They weren't even hateful about it, just practical. No, they aren't all like that, but enough are to make you think about why.

You seem to have a bee in your bonnet about religion. You're the only one acting like conceding an inch on evolution means you have to accept a religious explanation.

Blogger Dire Badger August 03, 2018 2:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Servant of the Chief August 03, 2018 2:35 PM  

"I can't even bring myself to point out to them that if the world is a digital simulation, this strongly implies that the intelligent design crowd was correct all along."

I literally do not see how anyone can believe int he digital simulation theory and denounce Intelligent Design, Christian or otherwise, with a straight face. I always did find Biology the easiest of the sciences when I was a school lad, I was not numerically gifted, and physics and chemistry bored more than interested me, so my finding Biology easy is telling about the subject.

I always had doubts about evolution but until now, I kept my mouth shut and allowed it to be the assumed norm for most conversations because I couldn't quite articulate why it always stuck in my craw. (And if one does not know, it is better to shut up and learn) I think this hits the nail on the head of identifying the exact problem with the whole debacle, its unproveable and unreproducible. Although, most I would assume would bring up the question of animal husbandry, if evolution isn't real, how can we get a dog out of a wolf? I would argue the micro evolutionary aspects of mutating a breed of a species over generations to get what you want is the biological equivalent of smelting metal from ore: You're getting whats already in there, you just needed to get everything else out of the way first. But I am not sure its a solid analogy.

Blogger Blade August 03, 2018 2:41 PM  

Vox seems to be complaining the biologists don't understand his question, and I can see why. "Evolutionary mutation" doesn't really mean anything to a biologist. Are you talking about all mutations? Just beneficial ones? Neutral ones? Are you talking about just one species, all of them currently alive, all ever to exist? It's not a very intuitive question and needs more specificity.

Blogger rtp August 03, 2018 2:41 PM  

Bacteria don't become resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotics simply don't work. Doctors claim that's because of resistance but you can see in vitro that that simply isn't true.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 2:44 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 2:47 PM  

"Church fathers (specifically St Basil) addressed this around the 3rd Century AD. Light would have been present, but formless - not yet harnessed or produced by the Sun."

And you consider that a more reasonable reading of the passage than as metaphor?

God talked about storehouses of hail and snow. I believe it's safe to say that he embraces metaphor as regards Earth and the heavens.

Blogger michimartini August 03, 2018 2:57 PM  

I see that my favourite argument against molecules to man evolution has not been stated yet here: There is no known natural process that can produce information. We can observe loss of genetic information, like fish living in dark caves losing their eyesight, but no one ever could show an increase in the genetic information. As to Vox's question: One way to answer it is to divide the about 3GB of genetic information in the human genome through the 400 milion years the evolutionists claim since the "emergence" of the first life forms. Which leads us to 7.5 bytes of additional genetic information per year. But of course those are nowhere to be found.

Blogger OneWingedShark August 03, 2018 3:04 PM  

Okrane S. wrote:Evolution is not about abiogenesis - we don't know how the first replicators appeared. Evolution is about the change.
Even taking this as true for the sake of argument, it is still flat-out calling God a liar.

Gen 1:24
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Blogger S. Thermite August 03, 2018 3:14 PM  

Forgot how entertaining it is to see relatively new blog followers who haven’t even read T.I.A. yet try to comment thinking they’re gonna best Vox and the Ilk. Fresh meat!

Also- women shouldn’t cut their damn hair!

Blogger Forge the Sky August 03, 2018 3:19 PM  

"You may recall that I confused a number of evolution advocates by asking them a very simple question: what is the average rate of evolutionary mutation."

And little wonder, if you phrased it like that. There is no such thing as an 'evolutionary mutation.' Base-pair mutation rates can be calculated relatively trivially, though averages are trickier, per the work of #136 above.

Of course none of this has much to do with abiogenesis, which is the real head-scratcher.

Blogger James Dixon August 03, 2018 3:22 PM  

> You'd collect the rates of motion for each individual organism and then average them. Very simple, if very, very, very time and resource consuming (beyond human capacity).

We could come up with reasonable approximations by working with general classes of organisms.

> You're misunderstanding my point, of course. One more time -- "average mutation rate," like "average rate of movement," is at least a theoretically calculable (but not very useful) number. "Average rate of evolutionary mutation" is not.

If you ever bothered to define your usage of the latter term (which obviously isn't the same as the one everyone else is using) you might be more convincing.

> The problem with that claim is that humans have consciousness, and there is no evidence that any other creatures do.

I understand what you're saying, but consciousness isn't really the correct term.

Consciousness:
a)the state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings.
b)the awareness or perception of something by a person.
c)the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.

The only one of those inapplicable to a cat or dog is b), simply because they're not a person. But by the general definitions of the term, animals have consciousness.

> My point was the same mutation could count as beneficial in one context and harmful in another. While we do know the rate of mutation, we don't know the environment so we can't produce an answer to that question.

The question didn't specify harmful or beneficial. Only the rate. Harmful or beneficial is another question.

Blogger Reno Chris August 03, 2018 3:25 PM  

Yet another argument against the standard slow TENS hypothesis stated by current biologists is that it is completely inconsistent with the data. The ONLY record of how life came to be on earth is the fossil record. What essentially all biologists ignore is the fact that nearly all important changes in life came to be as a part of great and sudden leaps of life change. The greatest of these is called the "Cambrian Explosion". A the beginning of Cambrian time a huge number of radically different new life forms came into being very suddenly, often with only one or a very few examples of that phyla. No version of accepted evolutionary theory can account for this, yet it is the origin of nearly all the body types found on Earth. In the silurian, there is a sudden filling out of these phyla, so that suddenly there are a good number of examples for each phyla. The whole of the fossil record is filled with these sudden appearances of many new life forms for all types of animals. Mammals were around for a couple hundred millions of years, but only a few general rodent like examples. Then suddenly roughly 66 million years ago the dinosaurs die out and a great host of new mammals appear, from flying bats to whales to horses and dogs and the other many mammal species we know well. The great majority of all mammals did not slowly, slowly evolve over hundreds of millions of years, but appeared suddenly right after the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared. One famous geo-scientist came out with a vague theory of "punctuated equilibrium" to at least note that this is how the majority of changes in life have happened. Biologists (including Dawkins) hated the thought because it explains nothing but points out how the fossil record shows that the standard TENS theory is simply and completely contradicted by the fossil record.

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 3:35 PM  

How does one have "day" and "night" before the sun is created?

If you want to know the source of the light that gave day and night to the earth, you have the answer in Revelation 21, verse 23;

"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

So there's your light source.

What else did you imagine it means when it says: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." ?

Did you imagine there was photons flying around without a source?

Have you not read in the scriptures what happens when even angels appear to men?

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 3:44 PM  

"If you want to know the source of the light that gave day and night to the earth, you have the answer in Revelation 21, verse 23"

I note that you ignored verse 25

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 3:50 PM  

No, I did not; it is in complete accord with verse 23.

Now, how about you answer by question, according to the rules?

Blogger SirHamster August 03, 2018 4:00 PM  

Dire Badger wrote:Mischaracterizing the evolution argument is approximately equal to mischaracterizing the intelligent design argument.

Treating the evolution argument as an equal to the intelligent design argument is a deep mistake.

Intelligent design is. You're communicating on a vast multitude of products of such, from your keyboard to the computer to the software to the network to the database to the entire system of systems tying all those computational parts together.

The evolution argument is that any such system is producible using random() and "natural selection".

That's nonsense, affirmed every time forensics is used to determine whodunnit.

Evolution requires intelligent design. Intelligent design doesn't need evolution. Treating them as equals is like saying black is white, take your pick of color or race.


Okrane S. wrote:In my personal reality there is no contradiction.

In your personal reality, you are an undefeated winner, all the girls love you and all the men secretly want to be you.

Your personal fantasy that you have a personal reality needs a punch to the face.

Blogger VD August 03, 2018 4:04 PM  

And little wonder, if you phrased it like that. There is no such thing as an 'evolutionary mutation.'

Then obviously evolution does not and cannot exist. But that isn't how I phrased it anyhow. Don't bother trying to play pedantic word games here.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 4:07 PM  

"No, I did not; it is in complete accord with verse 23.

Now, how about you answer by question, according to the rules?"

I don't use those rules, because they're silly. I find the plain language of the entire passage to be obviously metaphorical (like Revelation, Job, etc.).

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 4:13 PM  

"I don't use those rules, because they're silly."

I'm sure Vox is impressed.

"I find the plain language of the entire passage to be obviously metaphorical (like Revelation, Job, etc.). "

The assertion of every private interpretation without an argument to support it.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 4:17 PM  

"I'm sure Vox is impressed."

This is irrelevant, given that Vox has nothing to do with the original statement.

"The assertion of every private interpretation without an argument to support it."

I've presented parallel examples as evidence. You chose to ignore those examples. Your inability to read is not my problem.

Blogger SirHamster August 03, 2018 4:26 PM  

Servant of the Chief wrote:Although, most I would assume would bring up the question of animal husbandry, if evolution isn't real, how can we get a dog out of a wolf? I would argue the micro evolutionary aspects of mutating a breed of a species over generations to get what you want is the biological equivalent of smelting metal from ore: You're getting whats already in there, you just needed to get everything else out of the way first. But I am not sure its a solid analogy.

From an ID perspective, that's consistent with a more complex, adaptive design.

A basic car is more simple than a car that can transform into a boat.

The dog/wolf is a design that can be a dog (companion) or a wolf (wild predator), with our modern animals being specialized (less adaptive) versions of the original general adaptive design.

Note that this model of understanding doesn't use evolution.

Blogger SirHamster August 03, 2018 4:29 PM  

S1AL wrote:Now, how about you answer by question, according to the rules?"

I don't use those rules, because they're silly.


S1AL wrote:This is irrelevant, given that Vox has nothing to do with the original statement.

The rules refer to the rules of the blog, a condition for continued commenting here.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 4:34 PM  

"The rules refer to the rules of the blog, a condition for continued commenting here."

If that's the case, the anklebiter can clarify, given that I had referred to a completely different set of rules.

Blogger chronoblip August 03, 2018 4:37 PM  

Resident Moron™ wrote:"Are you referring to Romans 5, and do you believe that passage refers to physical death?"

Partly.

"Nicodemus, in John 3, struggled with the use of physical analogies being used to describe spiritual truths."

Jesus didn't use his analogy to argue that the Word was not true, which you're doing here. On the contrary he said that of you don't believe Moses and the Prophets you won't believe even if one is raised from the dead.

Now a question for you: if your God can raise a man from the dead, why do you think creation of a fully-grown adult man to be beyond his powers, both to achieve and/or to describe accurately?



If partly, can you please provide the other scriptural references as well? I'd prefer not to dismiss what you think you understand on the grounds that you're simply making up scripture to support your premise.

Further, I am not arguing that the Word is not true, but that you don't understand it, much like how even the "well educated" contemporaries of Jesus Christ (like Saul and Nicodemus) didn't really understand what he was saying either, let alone people who are reading a translated copy thousands of years later that are motivated to find anything they can construe as "wrong" to use as an excuse for their continued disbelief.

To your question, I don't think that it is beyond God's power to form a fully-grown man. I do think that just because God could form a fully-grown man, God is not then required to have formed a fully-grown man just because someone could interpret the Bible as meaning that.

On what logical grounds is God required to do something in a particular fashion just because someone could interpret a description of what God does in a particular fashion?

Blogger James Dixon August 03, 2018 4:38 PM  

> Although, most I would assume would bring up the question of animal husbandry, if evolution isn't real, how can we get a dog out of a wolf?

It's not absolutely certain that we did. We know dogs have been our companions for thousands of years and that their closest existing relatives are wolves. We don't know for a fact that we bred them. They could be an independent species.

Blogger Groffin August 03, 2018 4:44 PM  

Genuine question for Vox: how does the recorded history of selectively breeding crops and animals fit into the debate of whether or not evolution is a legitimate natural phenomenon?

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 4:48 PM  

"It's not absolutely certain that we did. We know dogs have been our companions for thousands of years and that their closest existing relatives are wolves. We don't know for a fact that we bred them. They could be an independent species."

Your own statement assumes it by calling them "relatives".

And we have the parallel example of domesticated silver foxes (who exhibit the same relative traits to wild foxes that dogs do to wolves).

Blogger Looking Glass August 03, 2018 4:50 PM  

@14 Shimshon

Not sure if you'll see this, but the situation is far worse now. The main problem in most neuroscience is that most working in it are at least 1 SD below what is the bare necessity to do anything useful in the field. The Brain is similar-ish to a computer, but the interconnections scale along fairly standard node mathematics. However, over millions of nodes, you're looking in excess of trillions of pathways. The abstraction mental skill set necessary to not get lost really limits the pool of people that can potentially work in the field. Given it's not that great of pay (unless you go all the way to neurosurgeon), there's a pretty clear reason for why.

I commented to a friend that it'll probably be next century before the field of neuroscience actually knows what it is doing. That's not a joke.


On the topic of Evolution, the first issue is that everyone runs with the assumption that "everything is knowable". Information is lost & unrecoverable. Thus, any workable Theory of Evolution requires backfilling information that can never be verified. This is an act of pure faith in some sort of computer model. In related news, why haven't the polar ice caps all melted?

I like Vox's approach to attacking the subject, as going back to my point about being too abstract for entire fields to handle, Evolution is mathematically impossible to make work. The DNA system alone is more intricate & complex than every silicon-based computer system ever built. The absolute peak of human technology is far less complex than your pinky finger. Evolution requires either a life time of propaganda or a cultish faith dedicated to the rejection of God.

Blogger SirHamster August 03, 2018 4:54 PM  

S1AL wrote:If that's the case, the anklebiter can clarify, given that I had referred to a completely different set of rules.

How long have you been commenting here? When anyone in the comments issues a challenge for another to answer a question according to "the rules", it's an obvious appeal to Vox's rules.

Rule 2: "... If you are asked a direct question relevant to the topic, then you will be expected to answer it in a straightforward and non-evasive manner; providing links in lieu of answers is not acceptable."

Not that your replies haven't been informative.

Blogger Resident Moron™ August 03, 2018 4:58 PM  

"To your question, I don't think that it is beyond God's power to form a fully-grown man. I do think that just because God could form a fully-grown man, God is not then required to have formed a fully-grown man just because someone could interpret the Bible as meaning that."

Your logic is upside-down. God says he personally formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath/spirit (the word is "ruach" iirc, translated both ways in different places) of life.

God says that he did so during a single day. He explicitly describes a day as being a cycle of darkness and light so there's no ambiguity in his statement.

If you want to metaphorise his statements it is you who have to explain by what measure you determine when God is speaking metaphorically and when he is not. I am not required to explain why I take a statement of fact, unambiguously described so, and understood that way by readers from Moses to David through Christ, Peter and Paul and every theologian for many centuries, as a statement of fact.

Not only is there nothing in the text to indicate any such metaphoric intent (as there is in e.g. the parables of Christ, where he begins "A certain man ... "), but there is much in the text that argues strongly against metaphoric intent.

Rabbi B and I have also already noted the theological difficulties your preferences incur.

I believe my reference to Genesis also answers your question. Chapter 1.

Blogger SirHamster August 03, 2018 4:58 PM  

S1AL wrote:"It's not absolutely certain that we did. We know dogs have been our companions for thousands of years and that their closest existing relatives are wolves. We don't know for a fact that we bred them. They could be an independent species."

Your own statement assumes it by calling them "relatives".


An independent species would not interbreed. The mere fact of interbreeding indicates some sort of dependence.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener August 03, 2018 5:06 PM  

"Evolution is mathematically impossible to make work."

I suspect you're talking about a theory of evolution and abiogenesis that discounts any possibility of underlying intelligent design. If intelligent design is embedded in the properties of matter itself, such that under the right conditions life is highly likely to spontaneously form and evolve into more advanced forms, then evolution of that sort is not at all unlikely.

Blogger S1AL August 03, 2018 5:32 PM  

You know what, let's just skip all the stupid, spergy back-and-forth on the subject of metaphor in the Bible.

Matthew 23:23 - "You snakes! You den of vipers."

Christ himself used metaphorical language. Pedantic, hyper-literalist interpretation is demonstrably incorrect.

That's my final comment on the subject.

Blogger Mark Stoval August 03, 2018 5:37 PM  

Long ago I knew that Darwinian evolution was not possible, and then Michael Behe came along with the concept he called "irreducible complexity."

http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/840

https://evolutionnews.org/2014/07/so_michael_behe/

"In simple terms, this idea applies to any system of interacting parts in which the removal of any one part destroys the function of the entire system. An irreducibly complex system, then, requires each and every component to be in place before it will function."

No modern Darwinist cares to take on the abiogenesis issue; so we are left without even a starting place. But let us be generous and give the "scientists" some primitive life form to start with and then look at how we could get to the life forms of today.

It seems to me the issue of TIME and irreducible complexity rule out standard random mutation style evolution. So, can intelligence be behind the evolution results as we see them? Of course. Directed evolution makes perfect sense. But then, so does direct divine intervention in all aspects of life on earth.

I choose to think that God used directed evolution most of the time and that He intervenes directly whenever it so pleases Him.

Blogger Unknown August 03, 2018 5:54 PM  

The co-existence of Game, cuckery and cultural Marxism prove Darwin wrong. I call it the Theory of Devolution by Unnatural Pre-Selection.

Blogger SirHamster August 03, 2018 5:57 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:If intelligent design is embedded in the properties of matter itself, such that under the right conditions life is highly likely to spontaneously form and evolve into more advanced forms, then evolution of that sort is not at all unlikely.

I didn't save the link, but saw an article on self-assembling proteins that I thought you'd find interesting.

It was a few years ago, the line of research might be related to this recent article.

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