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Scientist: Evolution debate will soon be history
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | May 26, 2012 | FRANK ELTMAN

Posted on 05/26/2012 9:47:00 PM PDT by eekitsagreek

Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.

Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.

Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that "even the skeptics can accept it."

"If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive," Leakey says, "then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges."

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Religion; Science; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: climatechangehoax; evolution; evolutionhoax; globalwarminghoax; pseudoscience
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To: hopespringseternal
Why do I get the impression I could make a better case for the work that is being done than either of you?

I don't share that impression, so I really have no idea.

I would advise against throwing that "testable explanation" rock, Mr. Glass House.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. The theory of evolution certainly makes testable predictions. And a bunch have them have been observed to be fulfilled. That's part of its strength as a theory.

I certainly do not propose a testable natural explanation.

Okay...I'm not sure why you say that as though it's a good thing. Behe doesn't either, which is part of why intelligent design is such a weak theory. He could tell us what evidence an intelligent designer might leave behind and predict where we might find it, so others could help him look for it. But no.

Pointing out something similar is not going to cut it -- you are crowing about finding a narrow, shallow spot in the Grand Canyon.

Now you've totally lost me. You wrote, "take one of [Behe's] examples and show how it evolved (or could have evolved.)" I pointed you to Ken Miller, who's made something of a hobby of doing just that, or many of the results you get if you Google "irreducible complexity debunked." I don't feel like paraphrasing them for you, and I don't understand your Grand Canyon metaphor.

201 posted on 05/30/2012 11:32:23 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: exDemMom
Thanks for the support. It helps to have someone point out the same concepts I've been trying to explain, but with a different perspective.

You're welcome. And thank you for all the information you've shared. I'm not a scientist myself--more of a science fan and occasionally a science writer. So I'm enjoying what I'm learning. I never knew that a challenge for experimenters with...was it bacteria?...is to keep them from evolving. That's pretty cool.

202 posted on 05/31/2012 12:14:17 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
On the other hand, nobody's claiming anything very drastic happens in only 43 generations.

Actually... depending on the system, 43 generations is overkill. I think the longest I ever used a cell line in an experiment was 24 generations (about 12 weeks). Even with minimizing selective pressures, the cells simply evolve too quickly to be sure that the ending cell line is the same as the beginning cell line (and being able to show that is a must for getting the results published).

As for your overall discussion, the view that the literal creationists seem to be advancing now is that not only is it impossible for a nucleotide soup to spontaneously assemble into a human (or whatever endpoint of choice) genome, but that this spontaneous assembly of nucleotides to form a genome must occur at every generation in order for evolution to proceed. The premise is faulty from the get-go.

203 posted on 05/31/2012 3:29:37 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

So a billion years ago something that took a supercomputer to replicate today took place by chance? Do you see the dichotomy? Viruses are proteins that need a host to replecate. How could primitive proteins reproduce without a host? You are so lost.


204 posted on 05/31/2012 3:49:31 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: hopespringseternal
That is where Behe comes in because he proposes cases where it pretty much has to work like that such as blood clotting. And his question is why haven't these things been broken down into a possible sequence of mutations. You don't have to explain exactly how it happened, but rather how it could have happened gradually.

First of all, Behe's claim that blood clotting suddenly sprang into being in its fully functional form is simply wrong. What you need to understand is that every component of the blood clotting cascade had another function before it changed to become part of the clotting system. In order to understand the evolution of blood clotting, you need to examine each component of the system. The structure and behavior of the von Willebrand Factor are not very unusual within a biological system: there are countless proteins that self-assemble upon various triggers such as a change in pH or a chemical signal. We also have countless proteins that change in conformation (shape) upon some sort of signal. The behavior of proteins is an unavoidable consequence of them being physical molecules that respond to physical stimuli.

It also is not unusual for cells such as platelets to catch each other and form little colonies; for them to do this upon sensing a specific signal is also not unusual. This ability evolved long before complex multicellular organisms appeared: the slime mold, Dictyostelium, is a fascinating organism that lives as single cells or forms a body, all dependent on external stimuli.

Okay, now that we've established that the two major players in the blood clotting system use fairly common mechanisms for their function, all we have to do is propose a likely sequence of mutations that led to them cooperatively working together to clot blood. At this point, there are many different possible sequences of mutations, and I can generate a multitude of testable hypotheses. If I were a graduate student interested in writing my dissertation on some aspect of the evolution of blood clotting, this is the point where I would hit up PubMed and start reading up on the work already done in the field. Then I would identify an area where very little work has been done (competition among scientists is brutal: I don't want to spend 4 years in research and then be unable to publish because I got scooped), propose an overall working hypothesis, and start generating a whole bunch of little working hypotheses that keep me busy in the lab from week to week.

Behe's idea of "irreducible complexity" is not meant to be scientific: it's meant to discredit scientists, and to discourage people from even examining science too closely.

Functionally you can't assume that you get to conserve "right" answers without explaining the mechanism that keeps them. You are proposing something other than natural selection. It is pretty easy to point out that right answers in the end are very often wrong answers all along the way to that end. So you are left in a situation where natural selection has to throw away right answers to make evolution work, yet it has to keep them to make evolution work.

The only mechanism that determines whether the "right" answers are "conserved" is reproduction. Selection doesn't play that much of a role (evolution proceeds whether selective pressures exist or not; it's a consequence of the highly mutable nature of DNA). Any organism that survives to reproduce is successful.

205 posted on 05/31/2012 4:22:51 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal
Ever hear of an "Echo Chamber"?

Scientists heavily referencing the work of other scientists in order to advance their own work are not, in fact, an "echo chamber". They're wisely building upon the work already done, instead of starting over from scratch. The fact that research in the life sciences consistently supports the theory of evolution also does not mean an "echo chamber" is in effect. The laws of physics are invariant and immutable; no matter how many researchers examine physical phenomena, I expect their results to be consistent.

So not only has he committed the sin of not falling in line with evolution, he communicated his ideas to the general public. You admit yourself that means he has less time to publish "serious" papers, and that is your basis for calling him a charlatan.

The only reason Behe fails to "fall in line with evolution" is that he actively avoids having anything to do with the subject. He has never done any research that shows that any aspect of evolutionary theory is invalid, nor does he even propose workable hypotheses with which to test the validity of evolutionary theory. He's not communicating the results of his research to the general public (which would be fine); he's using his scientific education to hoodwink people by presenting fallacious ideas in what sounds like a sciency fashion to people who don't have the educational background to be able to tell the difference.

I am confused, are you a scientist or a priest? It must really get under your skin when us second class citizens dare to ask you to explain things to us.

Actually, I love explaining things. What I am responding to here is not that anyone is asking questions; it's that you're trying to claim a level of education that you don't demonstrate. I do try to answer questions as if they are asked with an open mind, even when they clearly are not.

"If it could ever be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." - Charles Darwin

Ah, yes, now we get to quote mining. Of course, no one has yet falsified Darwin's theory of evolution using that set of criteria. Behe certainly hasn't.

It has an M. Behe as authoring or co-authoring 131 articles. I have read several (none by Behe) that looked promising on identifying evolutionary paths, but all proved disapointing.

Not all of those are Michael Behe, the literal creationist who actually earned a PhD in biochemistry. The first reference by that Behe is #6. When you click on that title, a citation appears. In the citation, it lists the author's affiliation which is Lehigh University. Since we can verify through other means (i.e. Google) that Behe works at Lehigh University, we can be reasonable sure that this is the "correct" Behe. When you click on his name within the citation, another list of 41 references pops up, and these are all the M Behe that we are looking for. One of the references is a duplicate; therefore, there are 40 references. My previous analysis of Behe's career was based on looking at those references; since I know the conventions of scientific publishing, the form of the references tells me a lot.

206 posted on 05/31/2012 5:00:01 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
I never knew that a challenge for experimenters with...was it bacteria?...is to keep them from evolving.

That's a challenge when working with any microorganism or cell line. Explaining how one controlled for evolution is SOP when doing those kinds of experiments.

207 posted on 05/31/2012 5:03:59 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Ugh, I'm sorry, I made a horrible grammatical error in my previous response.

Correction: Explaining how one controlled for evolution is SOP when communicating the results of those kinds of experiments.

208 posted on 05/31/2012 5:07:43 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
A and C are ten miles apart, and the satellite photos show a network of roads in between. You have not made the case that it is impossible to get from A to C.

No, I didn't. Behe and others have. Evolution science has failed to provide that map. You think that because you found B you have solved the problem, but that still doesn't provide a map.

Also, since you seem so dead-set on trying to disprove the central theory of biology, what do you propose as an alternative?

I do not need to propose an alternative. That will be your job when the scientific community realizes that evolution is implausible. It doesn't take a tailor to realize when the emperor is naked.

When you breed that cat, you'll multiply the number of cats with the extra strong leg gene that enables them to jump the chasm.

You killed the rest through natural selection. You can't breed one cat. But seriously, this illustrates an assumption evolutionists make: That all the many negative to neutral mutations will eventually add up to produce a positive change. While that may be possible, it produces a show your homework requirement. But rather than do the homework, you point to the cat on the other side of the chasm. You haven't ruled anything out, you are just claiming credit for what happened. You haven't demonstrated how the cat evolved.

The material at your link was clearly not written by scientists. I prefer articles backed up with scientific references, like this one.

Did you bother to read it? It basically repeats the link I posted as to the problems with RNA self-replication, it just doesn't stress them.

209 posted on 05/31/2012 5:33:09 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
I'm not sure what you're getting at here. The theory of evolution certainly makes testable predictions. And a bunch have them have been observed to be fulfilled. That's part of its strength as a theory.

Really? To my knowledge no large scale change or drift in genetic code has ever been observed. Certainly some bacteria has gone through quite a few generations and the changes observed do not merit your blind faith in evolution.

I don't feel like paraphrasing them for you, and I don't understand your Grand Canyon metaphor.

There is no possible road. Pointing out something in the middle suggests there might be a path, but it doesn't define the path.

210 posted on 05/31/2012 5:39:54 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
It doesn't take a tailor to realize when the emperor is naked.

That's good. Is that an original?

211 posted on 05/31/2012 5:44:47 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: exDemMom
Scientists heavily referencing the work of other scientists in order to advance their own work are not, in fact, an "echo chamber".

No, that isn't what I was trying to say. You are forming an opinion of Behe by reading the opinions of people who think like you do. There are charlatans in intelligent design and creation science (and every other endeavor), but I make that determination based on whether they are telling the truth, not whether I agree with them or how much other people may like them.

He's not communicating the results of his research to the general public (which would be fine); he's using his scientific education to hoodwink people by presenting fallacious ideas in what sounds like a sciency fashion to people who don't have the educational background to be able to tell the difference.

He has said that evolution science has not bothered to really put evolution through Darwin's own test and given specific examples.

What I am responding to here is not that anyone is asking questions; it's that you're trying to claim a level of education that you don't demonstrate.

What level of education would that be? I have no claims with regard to my education that I recall. As I posted before, you don't have to be a tailor to know the emperor is naked. If evolution is really so esoteric that you can't defend it to the masses you should stop trying to market it to the rest of us. You don't want an open mind, you want an audience of bobbleheads.

212 posted on 05/31/2012 5:53:11 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: exDemMom
As I recall, you insulted me by calling me "narrow-minded" for having chosen a career in the sciences.

You are narrow-minded but I never once said or implied it was because of your chosen career. Why did you turn what I said into something I didn't say? Did it suit your purpose to make a critic look petty and deflect the criticism? It sure looks that way.

You are narrow minded because of the way you respond to or dismiss people who have not chosen your career, regardless of how valid their criticism of evolution or your assertions may be.

Worse yet, you then impute motives and attack those motives rather than confront the criticism. Those who don't agree with you are anti-science, charlatans, in it just for the money and worst of all, creationist. The only person I have seen in this discussion broadcast their credentials as if that makes their word final has been you.

213 posted on 05/31/2012 6:51:49 AM PDT by trubolotta
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To: exDemMom
I refrained from responding to most of this post because it was evident to me that its flaws did not require a response. Yet I see the same type of responses ongoing in later post you have made.

I wrote “There is no theory of science that requires that a challenge of the theory must offer an alternative theory, yet you persist in attacking an alternative of your choice as if its either a choice between evolution or the alternative.

You responded “I'm sorry, but that is so convoluted as to almost make no sense at all. Are you really trying to say that if one does not like a theory, they do not have any responsibility to propose what they think is a better, more explanatory/predictive theory?

I said “challenge a theory” which you turned into “like a theory”. A challenge is evidence, regardless of the source or motive, that a theory has a flaw, one that may be sufficient to overthrow the theory. No one has an obligation after demonstrating the flaw to offer a correction to the theory or an alternative theory.

There are three experiments that challenge the invariance of the speed of light (Fermi Lab, Rio and CERN). Other researchers revisiting the Michelson-Morely data believe they may have been too ruthless eliminating data as background noise and may have reached a wrong conclusion as a result. If any one of the experiments can be reproduced and no systemic or logical flaws are found, then it can be proved that the speed of light is not invariant. If any one or all three experiments do the same, the General Theory of Relativity will either need a major overhaul or replacement. None of the experimenters is required to do the overhaul or propose the alternative. That would be a ridiculous burden. Science doesn't work that way and you should know better. Yet I see you repeat this claim in a later post.

You go on to say “If a theory is rejected, and there is no alternate theory to take its place, how can scientists possibly continue to do research?

Rejection of a theory does not bring research to a halt and in fact, has exactly the opposite effect. From the description of some work you did, you said you had to account for the effects of evolution on a cell line. Actually, you were accounting for the fact the cells would mutate. A mechanism, or theory explaining the reason for the mutation was irrelevant as long as you had a sound method based on experimental data to account for those mutations.

You later assert “The challenges which are, in your words, “based on mathematics, information theory and a sprinkling of good old common sense,” are, in reality, based on a fundamental lack of understanding of biology and the nature and purpose of scientific theory. Not one challenge has been based on a legitimate science-based argument.

Quite the contrary. A mathematician is not required to have an understanding of the physics behind the development of the Field Equations to validate or invalidate a particular solution of those equations. In fact, the prediction of the existence of blacks holes was based on a purely mathematical solution. It is astronomers, not physicist that are turning up the evidence to support the mathematical solution. Whether the astronomers have training is theoretical physics or not is irrelevant to their discoveries and only relevant when they try to explain the nature of what they observe. Biology is no different because if it were, it wouldn't be a science. Trying to shield a theory from scrutiny on the pretense you suggest is anti-scientiffic.

I said “By the way, I did a lot more reading about horse evolution and found most of the disputes are within the evolutionist community.

You turned that to “Your objections here are to the nature of science. It is true that scientists often disagree with each other on the details, and spend inordinate amounts of time discussing those disagreements.

I wasn't objecting to anything but making an observation. Again, you deliberately misrepresent what I said. I was illustrating how science works and that some people involved in the development of evolutionary theory were sincere in the pursuit of science while others were playing games. The point was evolution is not a “settled science.”

You continued with “It is a fact of life that new research often reveals flaws in older research that necessitates revising details and even renaming species. As I've pointed out before, science is an iterative process. That's the nature of science.

No kidding. I would never have known that unless you said it [sarc].

I said “I don't have a degree in the life sciences, thank God, or I might be in that universe of small minds that defend their theories by devious and disingenuous means.

That was sarcasm if you didn't get it, but you responded “What a shame that you've never had enough curiosity about the natural world to be motivated to pursue an education in the life sciences. How sad that you must narrow your world-view so that you won't encounter anything that contradicts your belief that a creation story from the Bible is meant to be believed as a literal account, instead of being taken as a moral lesson.

Considering you have no idea of who I am, my education, experience, interests and beliefs, you prove exactly what I stated, that you are a narrow minded person who, if you cannot defend the criticism of the science, attack the critic, making up whatever you want about them as you go. That is being devious and disingenuous.

214 posted on 05/31/2012 9:15:39 AM PDT by trubolotta
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To: hopespringseternal
To my knowledge no large scale change or drift in genetic code has ever been observed.

*Sigh.* Okay, for one, there are the mosquitoes in the London Underground. They were bird-biting when they got trapped it the tunnels when the system was being built, and now they prey on rats and people, and they are almost impossible to breed with their aboveground cousins. "The ones underground are well on their way to becoming a separate species."

And then there's my personal favorite, the lizards on the island in the Mediterranean. Scientists moved 5 pairs of lizards to a new island, then war broke out and they couldn't get back for a while. When they finally did, 36 years later, they found "striking differences in head size and shape, increased bite strength and the development of new structures in the lizard’s digestive tracts."

Now, that article says "What could be debated, however, is how those changes are interpreted—whether or not they had a genetic basis." I'm sure scientists are examining that question right now. Is Behe or any other intelligent design advocate looking for evidence of the designer's touch during those 36 years? Yeah, sure they are.

Pointing out something in the middle suggests there might be a path, but it doesn't define the path.

Yes, but with enough stuff in the middle, we can assume there's a path until we define it (unless we refuse to). If someone shows me a series of snapshots of them in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, time-stamped in sequence a day apart, I could assume there's some path linking them. Or I could insist they flew to Cincinnati, flew back to Philly, flew to St. Louis the next day, flew back to Philly, and so on, or that the photos must be Photoshopped, until they document to my satisfaction every turn, every rest stop, every gas station they stopped at along the way.

And once I accept that they took that path, I can predict that I could find evidence for it if I looked in Kansas. Which brings me to another testable prediction of evolution: the discovery of Tiktaalik. Paleontologists determined there was a gap in the fossil record, figured out how old the rocks that contained the missing fossil would be, used geological maps to find where rocks of the right age were, went there, and found the transitional form they predicted would be there. Testable prediction, confirmed.

215 posted on 05/31/2012 10:17:21 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: eartrumpet
Alright, your 10,000 cats are on an island. An earthquake makes the 10’ chasm, leaving the food on one side and the fresh water on the other. Each cat tries to leap across, only your one cat makes it. Luckily, she is pregnant, from one of the deceased 6’ jumpers, and she gives birth to a litter of 8’ jumpers. The end.

Not quite. We'll assume that my cat is extra strong because of a de novo single point mutation in one of the muscle protein genes. The mutation is most likely dominant, since the mutation would have occurred in a parental germ cell, either the egg or the sperm. Since the other parental germ cell would have had the normal protein gene, my super cat has one normal and one mutant "super" gene. Thus, when she delivers her kittens, half of them have the same mutation (because she gives half of her genes to each kitten) and can leap 10 feet. The other half, with the normal copy of the gene, end up at the bottom of the chasm with the 9,999 cats who were already there. As long as the cats have to jump across the chasm to get their food and water, only the ones who can leap 10 feet survive to reproduce. Eventually, the "normal" gene all but disappears, and the majority of kittens born are all super jumpers.

Meanwhile, all those cats down in the chasm are busy trying to learn to build ladders. But that's another story...

216 posted on 05/31/2012 4:14:42 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Mosquitoes: How did they verify that they would only prey on birds? The article says they preyed on people using the tunnels as shelters during WWII 70 years ago.

Lizards: This article makes claims about their appearance but provides no evidence. In fact, those kinds of large scale changes that quickly mean that the lizard either mated with other lizards or had the genes already.

Tiktaalik: A, B, C.

Dogs can undergo major changes in size, head and body shape, bite strength in one generation. It is called sexual reproduction, not evolution. The species already has the genes -- they aren't mutating. And they aren't changing into cats.

Yes, but with enough stuff in the middle, we can assume there's a path until we define it (unless we refuse to).

You don't have enough stuff, especially when it comes to cellular biochemistry. If you can't build those systems piece by piece intentionally, how on earth can they come about randomly? Science is not the business of assuming, it is the business of testing.

217 posted on 05/31/2012 6:58:24 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
No, I didn't. Behe and others have. Evolution science has failed to provide that map. You think that because you found B you have solved the problem, but that still doesn't provide a map.

Behe and the other creationist charlatans have done nothing of the sort. Behe has not done a single experiment that shows that genetic drift, selective pressures, chromosome rearrangement, horizontal gene transfer, random spontaneous mutation, random induced mutation, etc., etc., etc., do not happen. Or, to put it shortly, he has done nothing to show that DNA is static and unchangeable, which would be an important step in establishing that evolution is actually impossible. All Behe has done is snipe at scientists.

I do not need to propose an alternative. That will be your job when the scientific community realizes that evolution is implausible. It doesn't take a tailor to realize when the emperor is naked.

I can't imagine any circumstance which would cause scientists to reject the central theory of life science. Its strength as a framework that ties all the facts together into a coherent whole, and its utility for formulating workable and testable hypotheses are simply too great.

I think that at anti-science sites like Answers in Genesis (.org), they try to paint a picture where scientists are trying desperately to "prove" evolution (instead of, I presume, doing the research trying to cure diseases and so forth, which they're paid to do). The truth is that the science community was aware of evolution long before Darwin and others formulated theories about it. Even the ancient Greeks were aware of it.

You killed the rest through natural selection. You can't breed one cat. But seriously, this illustrates an assumption evolutionists make: That all the many negative to neutral mutations will eventually add up to produce a positive change. While that may be possible, it produces a show your homework requirement. But rather than do the homework, you point to the cat on the other side of the chasm. You haven't ruled anything out, you are just claiming credit for what happened. You haven't demonstrated how the cat evolved.

So, I go to the pound and get another cat, which I breed to my surviving cat. Or I keep making more cats jump the chasm until I have a male and female survivor. That's a digression, anyway--the take home message is that it doesn't matter how many organisms don't survive, the only criterion is being able to survive to reproduce.

Of course I demonstrated evolution in the cat. That one cat had a mutation that, under the cats' normal environment may have spread through the population or disappeared because it was essentially neutral; when a selective pressure was applied, that mutation was favored. Evolutionary mechanisms such as those and others operate constantly.

Did you bother to read it? It basically repeats the link I posted as to the problems with RNA self-replication, it just doesn't stress them.

I looked at the link long enough to ascertain that its author(s) used a common tactic of anti-scientists: build up a straw man as if it accurately reflects scientific knowledge, and then maybe find one reference in the literature that contains one sentence or paragraph that can be cherry-picked to support the ensuing tearing apart of the straw man. The text at that link had the superscripted numbers 1, 2, and 3, and mentioned some names as if it was actually referencing something, but there were no actual references. It took about 30 seconds to determine that the link wasn't worth reading, much less time than it has taken me to explain the features that alerted me that it's not worth reading.

If you want to know how to discern whether an article is a legitimate discussion of the science, look at the references. An anti-science article uses a minimum of references, which the author quote-mines and then discusses the mined quotes at great length, not only misrepresenting them, but exaggerating their significance. A legitimate science article uses a lot of references, and does not give undue significance to any of them. Where the anti-science article may devote several paragraphs to discussing a single quote mined from a reference, almost every sentence in a legitimate article is referenced, sometimes with more than one reference.

Note how many references were included in this research article. The portions of the article where the authors describe their experiments and results contain relatively few references, but the introduction and discussion, where they give the context behind their work and its relevance to the body of existing knowledge are heavily referenced. This article has the format typical of most scientific research articles.

218 posted on 05/31/2012 7:11:52 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal

Mosquitoes, lizards, Titkaalik.

I don’t know how the scientists know the mosquitoes used to prey on birds. It’s an article in the London Times quoting two scientists. I don’t have any particular incentive to think they’re making this up. You apparently do.

No, the article in National Geographic doesn’t provide the evidence about the lizards. Nat’l Geo isn’t that kind of magazine. I don’t have any particular incentive to think they or the scientists are making this up. You apparently do.

I’m sure the scientists in both cases have published their evidence somewhere. Go find it, if you’re curious.

Tiktaalik: they didn’t have B. They predicted it would be found between A and C, and it was. Testable prediction, confirmed. What were you saying about glass houses?

I’ve heard the “species already has the genes” argument before. I’m not impressed, because the people making it never try to identify the genes the species has beforehand and thereby predict what changes they will undergo. They just wait until the changes are done and then claim, with no evidence, that the capability was there the whole time. That’d be another fruitful line of investigation for Behe et al., by the way: analyze an animal’s genes and predict what changes it will undergo if it changes its environment. If the genes are already all there, that should be easy, right? As someone once said, do the work.

> And they aren’t changing into cats.

Yeah, nobody claims lizards change, or will change, into cats. Saying such a thing is a telltale sign of complete misunderstanding of how evolution works.

> You don’t have enough stuff,

Sez you.


219 posted on 05/31/2012 11:36:50 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: exDemMom
Behe has not done a single experiment that shows that genetic drift, selective pressures, chromosome rearrangement, horizontal gene transfer, random spontaneous mutation, random induced mutation, etc., etc., etc., do not happen.

He has asked evolution scientists to do it with regards to the evolution of cellular biochemistry. All you have done is point to two similar systems and expect everyone to jump to the conclusion that one evolved from the other.

I can't imagine any circumstance which would cause scientists to reject the central theory of life science. Its strength as a framework that ties all the facts together into a coherent whole, and its utility for formulating workable and testable hypotheses are simply too great.

LOL. Every example provided requires some form of a leap of faith. Humans do pattern matching very well, but it can lead you astray. That is all you are doing. Has it not occurred to you that all your "evidence" only seems to matter to people who want to believe it in the first place? I suppose that is why you want to embed this in the minds of grade schoolers early on, before they learn to think critically.

That's a digression, anyway--the take home message is that it doesn't matter how many organisms don't survive, the only criterion is being able to survive to reproduce.

Aren't you aware as a biologist that there are already tremendous pressures on wildlife populations holding them in check (in fact, an exploding population can be disastrous for an organism because it can produce too large a die back)? Once you reduce the population far enough it won't recover.

I looked at the link long enough to ascertain that its author(s) used a common tactic of anti-scientists: build up a straw man as if it accurately reflects scientific knowledge, and then maybe find one reference in the literature that contains one sentence or paragraph that can be cherry-picked to support the ensuing tearing apart of the straw man.

Both articles made the same point about the difficulty of RNA self-replication. The "non-scientific" link I posted simply distilled it down to just that message and stressed that unless that issue was addressed, it simply is not a workable theory. The wikipedia link noted it as a problem but ultimately just glossed over it.

The only way evolution can continue to exist as a scientific theory is because you close your eyes to every problem and reject anyone who questions it. In your world people fit neatly into precisely two categories: pro-evolution and anti-science. You have a more closed mind on this subject than any stereotypical little old lady thumping her bible in church on Sunday morning. I don't much blame you, it is a pitiful theory that can't survive any real criticism (that is why any scientist who questions it must be a charlatan).

220 posted on 06/01/2012 5:17:06 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
don’t have any particular incentive to think they’re making this up. You apparently do.

Very sincere people make mistakes and incorrect assumptions. And unscrupulous people do make stuff up (global warming data).

No, the article in National Geographic doesn’t provide the evidence about the lizards. Nat’l Geo isn’t that kind of magazine.

National Geographic loves to print pictures. There should have at least made a sketch.

I’m sure the scientists in both cases have published their evidence somewhere. Go find it, if you’re curious.

I am not really, any more than I would be curious about someone's "abducted by aliens" story. It is your point, not mine. I am not going to help you make it.

Tiktaalik: they didn’t have B. They predicted it would be found between A and C, and it was. Testable prediction, confirmed. What were you saying about glass houses?

They are drawing the conclusion they wanted to about a lump of - something - they wanted to find. They apparently don't have a complete skeleton and they have not ruled out that it is simply another species or even that it is not alive today. You are jumping to the conclusion you want to reach.

’ve heard the “species already has the genes” argument before. I’m not impressed, because the people making it never try to identify the genes the species has beforehand and thereby predict what changes they will undergo.

Ever hear of a dog? I laugh to think of what kind of evolutionary picture you could draw of the various breeds of dogs if you were digging them up as fossils.

Yeah, nobody claims lizards change, or will change, into cats. Saying such a thing is a telltale sign of complete misunderstanding of how evolution works.

Are you saying that because some form of lizard has not been identified as a direct evolutionary ancestor of the cat?

221 posted on 06/01/2012 5:29:55 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
This is getting tiresome. It's good sport for a while, but it's now clear that you will just keep pointing to whatever's not fully understood in the ToE and claiming that that invalidates the whole theory.

Very sincere people make mistakes and incorrect assumptions. And unscrupulous people do make stuff up (global warming data).

And you have no reason to believe either one is happening in this case. You just don't want to believe them.

National Geographic loves to print pictures. There should have at least made a sketch.

You missed the photo? Here.

I am not going to help you make it.

It's become clear that by your rules, I will never be able to make it. Anything I find, you'll just say that they're making incorrect assumptions or are making stuff up. See "tiresome," above.

They are drawing the conclusion they wanted to about a lump of - something - they wanted to find.

See? Now you're turning fossils into "a lump of something." This is a pretty detailed "lump." But you can't acknowledge that the ToE made a successful prediction, so you have to wave that away too. And don't forget, the paleontologists who found it might have been unscrupulous--maybe they made it all up!

Are you saying that because some form of lizard has not been identified as a direct evolutionary ancestor of the cat?

No, I'm saying that because there already are cats. This is another common mistake of anti-evolutionists: the unspoken assumption that today's endpoints are the only ones available. If those lizards continue to evolve for as long as it took cats to evolve from the common ancestor of lizards and cats, they'll end up as something you've never seen before.

Here's the thing: while you and Behe are quibbling and caviling and insisting that the whole theory is going to come crashing down any day now, thousands of researchers are doing practical, productive work on the assumption that the theory is correct. That's why you saying something like "you don't have enough stuff" is kinda funny. Who cares that we don't have enough stuff to convince hopespringseternal, when entire companies are built on the successful application of the theory?

So, as the kids say, I'm outie. You can stand there commanding the tide not to come in as long as you want, but I'm not going to bother arguing for the tide any longer.

222 posted on 06/01/2012 9:25:44 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
And you have no reason to believe either one is happening in this case. You just don't want to believe them.

Science doesn't work on the "trust me" principle. Anything assumed to be true because it is not fully tested or accounted for must be clearly stated. Anything demonstrated must be fully documented.

You missed the photo? Here.

One photo. Where is the change? How do you know the change is due to evolution. If it occurs in 36 years, that is a pretty good indication mutation and natural selection have nothing to do with it. Now you're turning fossils into "a lump of something." This is a pretty detailed "lump.

This is not the photo at the original link. While this is a much better fossil, the point still stands -- it is an assumption that it is a transitional form between two other species. This is what is called "pattern matching." You need to demonstrate that these fossils are descendents of older fossils and ancestors of later fossils to know that it is transitional. It is that science thing I mentioned earlier.

This is another common mistake of anti-evolutionists: the unspoken assumption that today's endpoints are the only ones available.

No, the actual endpoint is irrelevant. I could just as easily say "not lizard" to cover every possible base.

Here's the thing: while you and Behe are quibbling and caviling and insisting that the whole theory is going to come crashing down any day now, thousands of researchers are doing practical, productive work on the assumption that the theory is correct.

Then you have nothing to worry about.

Who cares that we don't have enough stuff to convince hopespringseternal, when entire companies are built on the successful application of the theory?

Entire companies are built around global warming and helping people scam medicare.

223 posted on 06/01/2012 3:03:55 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
Really? To my knowledge no large scale change or drift in genetic code has ever been observed. Certainly some bacteria has gone through quite a few generations and the changes observed do not merit your blind faith in evolution.

I'll assume that you mean, has ever been observed within our lifetimes, because if you don't limit the statement like that, and leave it open, then we've observed humungous scale changes that have occurred over about 3.5 billion years or even longer. Even with the limit, numerous examples have occurred and been documented extensively within the literature. Often, such findings are publicized in the press. The fact that you personally do not read those articles does not mean they don't exist. Let me draw your attention to this abstract from an article that documents genetic drift in a couple of experimental populations taking place over a period of 15 years.

The rate of genetic drift is largely a function of the generation time. The reason we see so much genetic drift so quickly in bacteria is because they can produce a new generation every 20 minutes. We see it in larger organisms, too--just not as quickly.

There is no possible road. Pointing out something in the middle suggests there might be a path, but it doesn't define the path.

Your desire to not see any road does not equate to the non-existence of a road. Those of us who don't have an emotional attachment to the idea that the creation stories in the book of Genesis are actual literal accounts of real events are busy mapping the roads between A and C, measuring wheel ruts and examining tread marks, and gathering and analyzing the artifacts dropped along the way.

224 posted on 06/01/2012 6:29:03 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal
Really? To my knowledge no large scale change or drift in genetic code has ever been observed. Certainly some bacteria has gone through quite a few generations and the changes observed do not merit your blind faith in evolution.

I'll assume that you mean, has ever been observed within our lifetimes, because if you don't limit the statement like that, and leave it open, then we've observed humungous scale changes that have occurred over about 3.5 billion years or even longer. Even with the limit, numerous examples have occurred and been documented extensively within the literature. Often, such findings are publicized in the press. The fact that you personally do not read those articles does not mean they don't exist. Let me draw your attention to this abstract from an article that documents genetic drift in a couple of experimental populations taking place over a period of 15 years.

The rate of genetic drift is largely a function of the generation time. The reason we see so much genetic drift so quickly in bacteria is because they can produce a new generation every 20 minutes. We see it in larger organisms, too--just not as quickly.

There is no possible road. Pointing out something in the middle suggests there might be a path, but it doesn't define the path.

Your desire to not see any road does not equate to the non-existence of a road. Those of us who don't have an emotional attachment to the idea that the creation stories in the book of Genesis are actual literal accounts of real events are busy mapping the roads between A and C, measuring wheel ruts and examining tread marks, and gathering and analyzing the artifacts dropped along the way.

225 posted on 06/01/2012 6:29:25 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal
This is what is called "pattern matching."

This is funny. You're so desperate to deny evolution that you have to denigrate pattern matching, one of our primary tools for figuring out how things work.

Scientist: "I have noticed that the air pressure drops before a storm. Perhaps we can use that to predict storms."
hopespringseternal: "You're just pattern matching."

Doctor: "Everybody who got sick drank from the same fountain!"
hopespringseternal: "Means nothing. Just a pattern."

226 posted on 06/01/2012 10:53:27 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: central_va
So a billion years ago something that took a supercomputer to replicate today took place by chance? Do you see the dichotomy? Viruses are proteins that need a host to replecate. How could primitive proteins reproduce without a host? You are so lost.

First of all, the earliest we can verify that life existed was 3.5 billion years ago, not 1 billion years ago.

Second, I don't put a great deal of significance on the fact that we need a supercomputer to help figure out some biological systems. Actually, for most of the evolutionary analyses that I do as part of my research, an ordinary PC works just fine. But if I were to move into the area of trying to determine exact protein structure, then I might start using supercomputers. The fact that we need supercomputing capacity to figure out exactly how a specific protein folds, however, doesn't lead me to think, "Oh, man, this protein folding is so complicated--God must be folding each and every protein in every single cell of every organism on earth, because proteins are obviously way too complicated to fold by themselves!" Nope, I actually don't believe God is personally folding an unimaginably large number of protein molecules every second. They fold by themselves.

227 posted on 06/02/2012 4:46:31 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
Nope, I actually don't believe God is personally folding an unimaginably large number of protein molecules every second.

I am glad you are finally recognizing your theories as beliefs and not scientific fact. You are making progress.

228 posted on 06/02/2012 5:13:45 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: exDemMom
Please post a link to a transition species fossil, any mammal will do. A fossil that is in between two other species, a hybrid that didn't last long time wise.

For example, h. erectus and h. sapien. A crossover with some cranial features of h. erectus and some of h.sapien. From the neck down the two species are identical so it would just be the cranial structures we are talking about. But like I said any mammal will do.

I realize because there aren't any it doesn't disprove your beliefs but I am willing to explore I just don't see any signs of smooth linear evolution. One species disappears then another appears. No transitions.

229 posted on 06/02/2012 5:21:43 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: hopespringseternal
No, that isn't what I was trying to say. You are forming an opinion of Behe by reading the opinions of people who think like you do. There are charlatans in intelligent design and creation science (and every other endeavor), but I make that determination based on whether they are telling the truth, not whether I agree with them or how much other people may like them.

Seriously, my opinion of Behe is only based on what I've read about him? And there is no possibility whatsoever that I could have judged his qualifications based on my personal examination of the publically available information on his scientific career?

Oh, I certainly agree that there are charlatans in intelligent design and creation science. If they are the main brains behind "intelligent design" (ID) or creation "science" (CS), they are charlatans. Otherwise, they are misguided followers. Since neither ID nor CS are scientific disciplines, and cannot be used to inform and guide actual hands-on bench research (refering to the lab bench on which we set up experiments), the logical conclusion is that they are inventions meant to convey the illusion that religion is a functional science.

He has said that evolution science has not bothered to really put evolution through Darwin's own test and given specific examples.

He's said nothing of the sort. Given that evolutionary theory is the backbone of the life sciences, every aspect of that theory has been tested countless times. The scientific community has added to and refined that theory numerous times; a huge amount of evidence supports it.

I should take a minute to clarify that the word "theory" as used by scientists does not have the same meaning as the word used by laypersons. A scientific theory is a framework that unites all the known facts into a coherent whole, and provides for making testable predictions (hypotheses) of new facts. The process of evolution was known to the ancient Greeks; a number of theories were proposed to explain it, and the theory that turned out to most accurately explain the process and have the most robust predicting powers was Darwin's version. The refinements that have taken place over the 1.5 centuries since Darwin made his proposal have strengthened the theory and made it an even better reflection of the physical processes. Do we have every detail correct? Probably not; that may be an impossible goal. Is the current theory of evolution adequate to point researchers in the right direction and keep us on track? Absolutely.

What level of education would that be? I have no claims with regard to my education that I recall. As I posted before, you don't have to be a tailor to know the emperor is naked. If evolution is really so esoteric that you can't defend it to the masses you should stop trying to market it to the rest of us. You don't want an open mind, you want an audience of bobbleheads.

I'll be blunt: everything you have said so far indicates that your knowledge of science is based on literal, young-earth creationist literature. That hardly qualifies as a well-rounded science education. If you have a genuine interest in science, I highly recommend staying away from the ID or CS literature and reading the science literature or taking some classes at your local community college.

The problem is not that science is so esoteric that we can't defend it to the masses. The problem is that charlatans whose major concern is personal profit exploit people's natural doubts about their religious faith (and, face it, everyone has occasional doubts) while promising that they have all the answers that will erase those doubts drown us out. We're trying to communicate; within our community, we're trying to figure out how better to reach out to the general public. But our quiet and rational voices can't compete with the boisterous hubbub of quacks promising miracles.

230 posted on 06/02/2012 5:56:21 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: trubolotta
I refrained from responding to most of this post because it was evident to me that its flaws did not require a response. Yet I see the same type of responses ongoing in later post you have made.

You have yet to point out any flaws in my posts. You've made it quite clear that you dislike what I am saying, but that doesn't mean that what I have said is flawed.

I said “challenge a theory” which you turned into “like a theory”. A challenge is evidence, regardless of the source or motive, that a theory has a flaw, one that may be sufficient to overthrow the theory. No one has an obligation after demonstrating the flaw to offer a correction to the theory or an alternative theory.

Let's put it this way: someone who likes a theory, who finds that every prediction they make based on the theory pans out, is unlikely to challenge it. Someone who finds that the theory falls short and does not adequately explain observations, or does not inform accurate predictions, probably does not like the theory and is more likely to challenge it. Most likely, they will challenge the component of the theory that they find inadequate. The fact that components of a theory are frequently challenged does not mean that the entire theory can be thrown out. The theory of evolution has been revised and refined numerous times, because scientists have challenged it. Literal young-earth creationists do not, in fact, challenge the theory on a scientific basis, nor do they demonstrate any interest in the science. They want the entire theory to be tossed out, and offer no alternative.

As for your assertion that "No one has an obligation after demonstrating the flaw to offer a correction to the theory or an alternative theory," I'll just say that it is difficult to conceive how someone would demonstrate a flaw if they did not, in fact, already have an alternative hypothesis in mind.

There are three experiments that challenge the invariance of the speed of light (Fermi Lab, Rio and CERN). Other researchers revisiting the Michelson-Morely data believe they may have been too ruthless eliminating data as background noise and may have reached a wrong conclusion as a result. If any one of the experiments can be reproduced and no systemic or logical flaws are found, then it can be proved that the speed of light is not invariant. If any one or all three experiments do the same, the General Theory of Relativity will either need a major overhaul or replacement. None of the experimenters is required to do the overhaul or propose the alternative. That would be a ridiculous burden. Science doesn't work that way and you should know better. Yet I see you repeat this claim in a later post.

I'm not sure what your point is. The fact that the speed of light is not invariant is taught in first-year physics classes; the speed of light is affected by the medium through which it travels and the gravitational field. I seem to remember doing several experiments showing exactly that in the physics lab courses. I think, if you're going to discuss relativistic aspects of light, you need to define your terms a bit more precisely.

Again, your assertion that "None of the experimenters is required to do the overhaul or propose the alternative" is just plain wrong. If those experimenters set out to challenge an aspect of the general theory of relativity, they had an alternate explanation in mind long before they conducted the experiments (hint: it was written into their grant proposals). If they didn't have an alternate in mind, they wouldn't have been able to design experiments. Designing a hypothesis and corresponding null hypothesis are absolutely crucial to the research process, and no scientist would ever insist that they are dispensable. To my knowledge, the theory of general relativity has been refined, but is in no danger of being outright rejected.

Rejection of a theory does not bring research to a halt and in fact, has exactly the opposite effect. From the description of some work you did, you said you had to account for the effects of evolution on a cell line. Actually, you were accounting for the fact the cells would mutate. A mechanism, or theory explaining the reason for the mutation was irrelevant as long as you had a sound method based on experimental data to account for those mutations.

Outright rejection of a working theory--the goal of young-earth creationists--*would* bring all life sciences research to a halt. Remember--research isn't possible without formulating at least one hypothesis and null hypothesis. And those hypotheses and nulls are formulated based on the principles of the theory of evolution. Why do I have to account experimentally for the effects of mutation on my cell line (or my bacteria or yeast)? Because the theory of evolution tells me that evolution is a continuous process, whose effects we see in mutations. Put into the most simple form I can think of, evolution is the process by which the genome of a given population changes over time. This is not the theory; this is the process observed throughout history that the theory was devised to explain. If you want to show that evolution does not happen, you'll have to show that genomes (at the population level) do NOT change over time. That's impossible...

Quite the contrary. A mathematician is not required to have an understanding of the physics behind the development of the Field Equations to validate or invalidate a particular solution of those equations. In fact, the prediction of the existence of blacks holes was based on a purely mathematical solution.

Hmm, I'd really like to see the mathematician who can derive all of those equations describing physical phenomena without actually knowing anything about the physics. Although, I suppose it is possible to derive equations in the absence of a physical context; it still requires a scientist to recognize that the equations can be applied to a physical phenomenon.

It is astronomers, not physicist that are turning up the evidence to support the mathematical solution. Whether the astronomers have training is theoretical physics or not is irrelevant to their discoveries and only relevant when they try to explain the nature of what they observe. Biology is no different because if it were, it wouldn't be a science. Trying to shield a theory from scrutiny on the pretense you suggest is anti-scientiffic.

Astronomy is, as far as I can tell, a special branch of physics. I'm not going to get into a discussion of "theoretical" physics vs. some other type of physics, since I do not see how theories can be proposed in the absence of some sort of experimental testing. All of the "hard" sciences deal with physical objects and can be considered off-shoots of physics, whether we call them "biology", "chemistry", "molecular biology", "geology", "meteorology", or whatever.

And no one is trying to "shield a theory from scrutiny," as you put it. We're defending science from the anti-scientists who want to shut down life sciences research because--let's face it--they believe it goes against the will of God.

Considering you have no idea of who I am, my education, experience, interests and beliefs, you prove exactly what I stated, that you are a narrow minded person who, if you cannot defend the criticism of the science, attack the critic, making up whatever you want about them as you go. That is being devious and disingenuous.

The language you use and the assertions you have made about the scientific process tell me a great deal about your educational background. You have said that you program computers, and you mentioned working with engineers. I probably don't know much about your interests or life experience (although I could probably read through your posting history and find out, if I wanted), and your beliefs are pretty evident. I could be wrong, but I'm also guessing that you're a guy, based on the fact that physics and computer programming don't interest females nearly as much as they do males.

If the definition of a "narrow-minded" person is someone who has an unquenchable desire to know everything about the physical world and has devoted years to getting an education towards that end, I wonder what the definition of a "broad-minded" person would be...

I've yet to see a literal creationist present a bona fide scientific criticism of the theories that guide life sciences. I'll go out on a limb here by stating my belief that no such criticism exists.

231 posted on 06/02/2012 8:15:27 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal
He has asked evolution scientists to do it with regards to the evolution of cellular biochemistry. All you have done is point to two similar systems and expect everyone to jump to the conclusion that one evolved from the other.

Scientists have no obligation to go out wasting time, money, and resources just because Behe snipes at them. If Behe has a legitimate criticism of any facet of evolutionary theory, he is free to do the research and present his results to the scientific community.

When Stephen Jay Gould did just that, his criticism of the ToE ended up being incorporated as an important refinement of the theory.

232 posted on 06/02/2012 9:21:03 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
The rate of genetic drift is largely a function of the generation time. The reason we see so much genetic drift so quickly in bacteria is because they can produce a new generation every 20 minutes. We see it in larger organisms, too--just not as quickly.

Even very long term studies of bacterial population do not see new species arise, or any particular drift to do so. Given that bacterial generation occur a half million times faster than humans, (20 minutes vs 20 years) we have certainly been studying bacteria long enough to have seen them evolve into a new species. How much DNA change supposedly happened to the human line in 100,000 generations?

Pointing to two different fossils and claiming evolution is not proving it.

233 posted on 06/04/2012 1:22:28 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Scientist: "I have noticed that the air pressure drops before a storm. Perhaps we can use that to predict storms." hopespringseternal: "You're just pattern matching."

Now you are arguing like a child. Without a scientific explanation of the physics involved, noticing a pressure drop is only the beginning of a scientific explanation. Does the storm cause the pressure drop, or the pressure drop cause the storm? Sometimes the pressure drops and there is no storm. Noticing a pattern is the beginning of the work, not the end.

234 posted on 06/04/2012 1:26:40 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: exDemMom
And there is no possibility whatsoever that I could have judged his qualifications based on my personal examination of the publically available information on his scientific career?

If they are the main brains behind "intelligent design" (ID) or creation "science" (CS), they are charlatans.

LOL. I expect better reasoning out of my ten year old.

. Given that evolutionary theory is the backbone of the life sciences, every aspect of that theory has been tested countless times.

That is just delusional. I'll be blunt: everything you have said so far indicates that your knowledge of science is based on literal, young-earth creationist literature. That hardly qualifies as a well-rounded science education.

Oh please. You have the same black and white standard for everyone: Either you agree with me and are educated and scientific or you disagree and are therefore an ignorant rube in need of education. The problem is not that science is so esoteric that we can't defend it to the masses.

Every time you post a link and I explain what I get from it you accuse me of pretending to be more educated than I am.

But our quiet and rational voices can't compete with the boisterous hubbub of quacks promising miracles.

Who's promising miracles? You keep claiming that evolution is the key to all our understanding.

235 posted on 06/04/2012 1:39:48 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
Noticing a pattern is the beginning of the work, not the end.

At least you're admitting that noticing a pattern has some value. Now take the next step: if you notice the pattern, and then make a prediction based on what you've noticed, you have a hypothesis. And when the prediction is borne out consistently, and is borne out for other people, you have a pretty good theory.

This is what's been going on with the theory of evolution for the past 150 years. No, we don't have a complete scientific explanation for how every single thing works. I don't know if we have a complete explanation for why air pressure drops in advance of a storm--I know I couldn't tell you without looking it up. But while you stand on the sidelines saying, "Sometimes the pressure drops and there is no storm!" and asking which came first, the rest of the world is buying barometers and knowing when to get out of the rain.

236 posted on 06/04/2012 8:04:30 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
No, we don't have a complete scientific explanation for how every single thing works.

You don't have an explanation for how anything works. Back to Behe -- he is asking for evolutionary science to go to the basic chemistry of life and provide a pathway for how it evolved.

Not only that, I have yet to hear a convincing prediction of evolution.

237 posted on 06/04/2012 8:45:39 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
You don't have an explanation for how anything works.

Sure they do. That's really just an insane thing to say. People here have told you that they have to make a special effort to control for the evolution of cells they're trying to study. DNA changes every generation. Traits get selected for, just like when we're breeding dogs. That's how it works, no matter how much you and Behe go "nuh-uh!"

I have yet to hear a convincing prediction of evolution.

I gave you 3. That you are not convinced is just testament to your denial. It's funny how the people who actually study this stuff and do it for a living are convinced, but not some random guy on an Internet forum. And you don't even have a criticism of any of it or an alternative to offer, you just stand there saying "not good enough!" It's really not very impressive.

238 posted on 06/04/2012 10:28:53 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
People here have told you that they have to make a special effort to control for the evolution of cells they're trying to study. DNA changes every generation.

Mutation or just trait selection, not evolution. Words mean something. I promise you no scientist goes to bed at night wondering what species will be in the dish tomorrow or even next year. (Unless it is some artificial boundary created just to generate a headline.)

Traits get selected for, just like when we're breeding dogs. That's how it works, no matter how much you and Behe go "nuh-uh!"

Trait selection works on already-present genes. No matter how many dogs I cross I am never going to get something that is not a dog.

239 posted on 06/05/2012 5:26:38 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
No matter how many dogs I cross I am never going to get something that is not a dog.

Define "dog."

240 posted on 06/05/2012 8:31:43 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: varmintman
Great answer concise and to the point of why evolution can't be possible.
I'll try to bump your answer later.

Here's a link to a Dr. Chuck Missler Utube video that destroys the evolutionist lies with many, many, different settled Scientific facts.
Learn the Bible in 24 Hours - part 2 Creation and the Fall of Man.avi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OERfbneTUEc&feature=BFa&list=UL_3a13brRV9Y

Have you thought of posting your response at S.F. Gates website?

If you don't believe in evolution, a posted, rational, argument against that nonsense, might help out a person who may be sitting on the fence.

Or you may at least have others read it at SF Gate that are willing to consider a different world view.

In any case thanks for taking the time to post this response to that foolishness.

241 posted on 06/05/2012 8:58:18 AM PDT by jokar (The Church age is the only age man will be able to glorify Christ, http://www.basictraining.org/)
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To: hopespringseternal
Even very long term studies of bacterial population do not see new species arise, or any particular drift to do so. Given that bacterial generation occur a half million times faster than humans, (20 minutes vs 20 years) we have certainly been studying bacteria long enough to have seen them evolve into a new species. How much DNA change supposedly happened to the human line in 100,000 generations?

Seriously? You obviously don't know much about microbiology, either. One of the biggest public health concerns we face is the fact that microorganisms evolve so quickly that we can never be sure that a new species won't pop up tomorrow and cause widespread disease and death. Have you heard of the Schmallenberg Virus? Brand new species, just evolved (from existing species, of course), and has been causing a lot of fetal and newborn livestock deaths since last summer. It hasn't jumped to humans, and we certainly hope it doesn't.

FYI, there has been enough DNA change in the last 100,000 generations--about 2,000,000 years--for Homo habilis to morph into H. erectus, then into H. heidelbergensis, then into archaic H. sapiens, then into modern H. sapiens (about 200,000 years ago). A few other human species evolved, also, but we're the only one left. Furthermore, H. sapiens has not remained stagnant; we are not the same as our ancestors of 10,000 years ago, and morphological change has been documented among Americans even in the past hundred years or so (hint: morphological change is highly suggestive of genetic change).

Pointing to two different fossils and claiming evolution is not proving it.

Loudly insisting that evolution doesn't occur, or calling it by different words like "microevolution" or "adaptation" doesn't make evolution--or the mountains of evidence showing it--go away.

242 posted on 06/05/2012 5:27:52 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: central_va
Please post a link to a transition species fossil, any mammal will do. A fossil that is in between two other species, a hybrid that didn't last long time wise.

You have the same access to Google that I have.

I'm not going to explain again how the concept of "transition" fossils is a red herring--because the only way to have every transitional form is to have an example of every generation. It's not my problem if you look at a fossil lineage--one that has been nicely set out for you in order, with explanations--and still are unable to see the evolutionary relationships.

243 posted on 06/05/2012 5:35:10 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal
Oh please. You have the same black and white standard for everyone: Either you agree with me and are educated and scientific or you disagree and are therefore an ignorant rube in need of education.

Science isn't based on opinion. It's based on rigorous experimentation and painstaking analysis of the data. There's nothing to agree or disagree about here--either you know and understand the science, or you don't.

Every time you post a link and I explain what I get from it you accuse me of pretending to be more educated than I am.

Every time I have posted a link, you've bent over backwards to try to interpret it as something other than what it is. And you have tried to claim that you know about science, even while making some remarkably, astoundingly unscientific statements.

Who's promising miracles? You keep claiming that evolution is the key to all our understanding.

Oh, this one is easy. Just Google "creationist websites", and the first few hits are those that are promising miracles. Oh, yes, if you'll just donate some money to them or buy their anti-science books, they promise to take away all your doubts about your faith and give you a ticket to heaven. Of course, the reality is that the more they claim that, somehow, proving evolution is equivalent to proving that God does not exist, or that Jesus did not die on the cross for us, the more they make you doubt your faith, for the simple reason that evidence of evolution is ubiquitous and just won't go away. I read about a man who completely rejected Christianity and became an atheist because his creationist parents taught him that evidence of evolution is proof that God doesn't exist. He's probably just one of many like that.

And while those creationist charlatans are offering you heaven (in exchange for your money), all *I* can offer is a better understanding of biology (because evolution *is* the key to understanding biology). And *maybe* that better understanding of biology will help to cure people of disease... well, some diseases aren't curable, but maybe we can help you live with them... well, we can't always do that, either... but at least, we can make people more comfortable so they don't die in pain.

244 posted on 06/05/2012 6:08:49 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: hopespringseternal
Mutation or just trait selection, not evolution. Words mean something. I promise you no scientist goes to bed at night wondering what species will be in the dish tomorrow or even next year. (Unless it is some artificial boundary created just to generate a headline.)

Um... evolution proceeds through the accumulation of DNA changes, aka mutation. You simply cannot talk about mutation and pretend it has nothing to do with evolution, any more than you can talk about architecture and pretend it has nothing to do with building construction. And there are plenty of scientists who *do* wonder what will happen to a population if they put selective pressure on it. Oh, yeah--since literal creationists place so much emphasis on the word "species", I'll just point out that it *is* pretty much a human concept, and one that is not easy to define in a scientific manner. If the offspring of A+B is fertile, and the offspring of B+C is fertile, but the offspring of A+C is sterile, then where do you draw the species line? It gets even trickier with bacteria--they give DNA to each other whether they belong to the same (human defined) species or not.

Trait selection works on already-present genes. No matter how many dogs I cross I am never going to get something that is not a dog.

Sure. And every one of these dog breeds looks exactly like the original wild dogs < /sarcasm >. Dog breeds look so different from each other because they have genes that never existed in wild dogs, because their genes mutated and humans made sure they survived. From a scientific point of view, I would call teacup poodles and great danes different species--they certainly can't breed together, so they fit the definition.

You know corn, that yummy yellow grain that we use for so many things? The corn species does not exist in the wild. It exists because humans 10,000 or so years ago started selectively breeding a kind of wild grass, and they ended up with a whole new species, corn.

245 posted on 06/05/2012 6:30:24 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
Have you heard of the Schmallenberg Virus? Brand new species, just evolved (from existing species, of course), and has been causing a lot of fetal and newborn livestock deaths since last summer.

It is a mutation or variation of an existing strain. Slapping a label on a run of the mill change does not make the case for large scale changes needed to develop a new cellular system or change from one species to a new one.

FYI, there has been enough DNA change in the last 100,000 generations--about 2,000,000 years--for Homo habilis to morph into H. erectus, then into H. heidelbergensis, then into archaic H. sapiens, then into modern H. sapiens (about 200,000 years ago).

Funny how the only thing you can quantify are speculative looks into the past. I am talking about actually seeing the same scale of changes that you speculate in man over the last 100,000 generations take place in bacteria over 20 years (100,000 generations). I only know about variations within a species that are probably just selection of genes already present by the use of antibiotics.

246 posted on 06/05/2012 7:40:31 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: exDemMom
Science isn't based on opinion. It's based on rigorous experimentation and painstaking analysis of the data. There's nothing to agree or disagree about here--either you know and understand the science, or you don't.

Examine anything besides evolution and this is what you find. Evolution is hampered because anyone who poses a difficult question (like Behe) gets labeled a charlatan and is ignored.

Every time I have posted a link, you've bent over backwards to try to interpret it as something other than what it is. And you have tried to claim that you know about science, even while making some remarkably, astoundingly unscientific statements.

I merely pointed out that the link you posted contained the same information from the link I posted. My link stressed the problems with RNA self-replication, your link merely mentioned them. I have to explain complicated engineering issues to people with management and business backgrounds all the time. Their lack of technical expertise doesn't render them stupid. They can't do my job, but trying to mislead or talk down to them is extremely career limiting.

You are basically frustrated that I am not intimidated by your "science medicine man" act. I spent roughly ten years working with and for scientists. Nothing sets off people's BS alert faster than when you pull that act.

all *I* can offer is a better understanding of biology (because evolution *is* the key to understanding biology).

Saying it doesn't make it so. Since evolution is operating at the DNA level and you have vanishingly little of it for older organisms, I really don't see how you can say that. Of course in your eyes doubting you makes me stupid, unscientific, and dishonest.

Your theology is even worse than your evolution arguments.

247 posted on 06/05/2012 8:12:50 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: exDemMom
You simply cannot talk about mutation and pretend it has nothing to do with evolution, any more than you can talk about architecture and pretend it has nothing to do with building construction.

Mutation does not prove evolution. I can witness a child playing with legos, but that doesn't mean he is building a skyscraper.

Dog breeds look so different from each other because they have genes that never existed in wild dogs, because their genes mutated and humans made sure they survived.

Are you sure about that? How do you know selective breeding is not just expressing different genes? You know the function of what, two percent of the genetic code? You really can't rule out much with that little knowledge, yet you are making grand leaps of faith and putting on ever bigger hats to frighten the natives.

It exists because humans 10,000 or so years ago started selectively breeding a kind of wild grass, and they ended up with a whole new species, corn.

That is hardly an example of random mutation and natural selection. That is an example of crossing two plants with desirable qualities to increase that trait. The genes already exist, they just aren't expressed. The random crossing in nature is preserving lots of genetic information, but not strongly expressing much of it.

248 posted on 06/05/2012 8:38:43 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
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To: hopespringseternal
It is a mutation or variation of an existing strain. Slapping a label on a run of the mill change does not make the case for large scale changes needed to develop a new cellular system or change from one species to a new one.

A mutation is, by definition, a change in DNA. DNA change is inevitable and continuous.

Evolution occurs through the process of accumulations of changes in DNA. Evolution is, therefore, inevitable and continuous.

The idea that evolution can only happen if a whole new biological system appears fully formed and functional is a literal creationist straw man. That particular straw man does, however, sound suspiciously like that Genesis story--you know, the one where, suddenly and simultaneously, every single plant and animal species sprang out of the mud, fully formed and functional.

I find it ironic that literal creationists try to discredit evolution by saying it acts just like creation (which pretty much convinces me that they don't literally believe the creation story, either).

Funny how the only thing you can quantify are speculative looks into the past. I am talking about actually seeing the same scale of changes that you speculate in man over the last 100,000 generations take place in bacteria over 20 years (100,000 generations). I only know about variations within a species that are probably just selection of genes already present by the use of antibiotics.

So fossils are imaginary? You feel that all science is just a matter of belief--that the radioisotope dating methods are just peculiar religious rituals, akin to saying the Lord's Prayer in church? I guess, in your mind, physics, geology, astronomy, and chemistry are *all* just alternate religions. Those are *all* components of the evolutionary process...

I see that your math skills are as strong as your science skills--100,000 bacterial generations takes:

> 100,000 generations x 20 minutes/generation = 2,000,000 minutes
> (2,000,000 minutes) / (60 minutes/hour) = 33,333.33 hours
> (33,333.33 hours) / (24 hours/day) = 1,389 days
> (1,389 days) / (365 days/year) = 3.8 years

Considering the lengths I go to to avoid the effects of evolution in my bacterial experiments--I try to do the whole experiment within about 60 generations, or about 18 hours--and even within that time, I can see enough mutation (aka evolution) to adversely effect my experiments--I would say that if I were to keep a bacterial culture growing for nearly 4 years, the bacteria at the end would be enough different that they could be considered a different species.

BTW, using antibiotics to select bacteria allows bacteria with certain mutations to survive, while killing off the unmutated bacteria. By definition, the bacteria remaining after the selection have evolved. In a relatively short time, by applying selective pressures, I can end up with bacteria that, by any *scientific* criteria, are not the same species as the starting bacteria.

249 posted on 06/06/2012 5:01:56 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom
A mutation is, by definition, a change in DNA. DNA change is inevitable and continuous.

Evolution occurs through the process of accumulations of changes in DNA. Evolution is, therefore, inevitable and continuous.

I could say the same thing about my checking account, but I am unlikely to ever find a million dollars in it. No one has ever demonstrated that those mutations are going anywhere. You are extrapolating and assuming the observations you see today explain the observations you cook out of the fossil record. But you haven't shown that to be the case.

The idea that evolution can only happen if a whole new biological system appears fully formed and functional is a literal creationist straw man.

That "straw man" only exists because you are assuming something happened that you can only explain in principle, not in detail. We are all fully aware that these things have to evolve one tiny step at a time, but since you are incapable of detailing those steps even in hypothesis, I lack the faith you have.

So fossils are imaginary? You feel that all science is just a matter of belief--that the radioisotope dating methods are just peculiar religious rituals, akin to saying the Lord's Prayer in church?

My kids enjoy visiting fossil exhibits very much. Among evolutionists, that is probably an accurate portrayal.

I see that your math skills are as strong as your science skills--100,000 bacterial generations takes:

Lenski has been studying E. coli for 20 years and supposedly has taken them through 50,000 generations. Lenski Long Term E. coli experiment.

Here is the point: From homo habilis to homo sapiens required massive changes in human DNA you can't even quantify (such as tripling brain volume). In a similar number of generations, Lenski has only estimated 10-20 beneficial mutations. And much of those "mutations" are specialized adaptation to the experimental environment that ultimately would prove harmful if the bacteria were re-introduced to a more natural environment. It is very likely his strains would die back and what would be left would not be remarkably different than "wild" strains.

250 posted on 06/06/2012 5:44:21 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
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