Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 101-150151-200201-250251-267 next last
To: central_va

Two mental notes you might want to make... One is that the question of evolution is basically ORTHOGONAL to any sort of a question of left vs right politics; the evolosers on conservative forums like FR and those on DU or any leftard forum are indistinguishable when discussing evolution, there is no test you could devise which could differentiate them. The other mental note which I’ve made is that you will encounter people who appear to be paid shills or propagandists on these forums, and who just keep on like the energizer rabbit no matter what sort of logic or well-reasoned arguments anybody might ever provide them with. There’s no test you could devise, for instance, which could differentiate our exdemmom here from Tokyo Rose or Axis Sally if one of them were being tasked to simply put out the party line for evolution and evoloserism on a perpetual basis.


151 posted on 05/28/2012 11:46:04 AM PDT by varmintman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
In practice, you have to understand the mathmatics before you can plug the numbers into Excel or SPSS.

Bull! I have written programs and designed spreadsheets that perform massively complex analysis and it takes no more than about 20 minutes to teach people how use them, and these were business people. All they had to know is what data belonged where and few simple rules for data integrity testing. It is nothing but minor league math. I've written programs for engineers and it made no difference whether they knew the math or not as long as I did. They too required very minimal training to use the software. Using that software does not make anyone more or less competent in mathematics. Exponential decay and growth functions can be looked in up in a math textbook. That's no big deal.

The "probabilistic flaw" is only an artifact resulting from the assumption that the "endpoint" was the intended goal of evolution all along.

Wrong again! No such assumption was necessary. The endpoint is what it is, no different than calculating the number of dice rolls to get a 7, 8, 9 or any other number I want to test as an endpoint. There is no goal, just a result and how long it might take to get it.

152 posted on 05/28/2012 12:07:12 PM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 147 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
The endpoint is what it is, no different than calculating the number of dice rolls to get a 7, 8, 9 or any other number I want to test as an endpoint. There is no goal, just a result and how long it might take to get it.

If you are testing a particular endpoint, how is that not a goal? "No goal" would be calculating the number of dice rolls necessary to get "a" number, not "this" number.

153 posted on 05/28/2012 12:17:10 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 152 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
Unless he uses actual scientific evidence to support his claims, he is a charlatan.

How do you know he doesn't? You can't label someone a charlatan unless you have specific evidence. I might vehemently disagree with one of Richard Dawkins books, but I can't call him a charlatan simply because I disagree with him, or even if he is wrong. And simply pointing out that he makes a living doing something as evidence he is a charlatan says a lot more about your lack of morality than his.

Choose a complex system, go to www.PubMed.org, search for evolution of that system: voilà, thousands of references pop up.

And very, very few have anything to do with any sort of evolutionary explanation of the steps involved in the evolution of any complex biochemical system. But I can put in any topic and the word "evolution" and get 100,000 hits. The abstracts are understandable. But when it comes to actually detailing how these molecular machines came into existence, I can't find anything. Pick one from Behe's book, or do I need to list them for you?

As I have already pointed out, proteins evolve through DNA mutations. I believe I have also pointed out many types of DNA mutation that occur.

I think we are all familiar with the 3rd grade explanation.

Well, no offense, but it *is* complicated. You're basically challenging me to put several PhD dissertations' worth of material into a single forum post, and it can't be done. Again, no offense, but I am sorry that you do not have the scientific background to understand that I already did refute Behe's "charge" at least twice, and again above.

LOL. So if I need something between the third grade explanation and your dissertation I am out of luck? That is called "avoiding the question." You didn't even know what Behe's charge was until I explained it to you, and you had already proclaimed him a charlatan. Scoffing is not an argument.

154 posted on 05/28/2012 12:18:15 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 140 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

A goal implies a result achieved by some deliberate action or plan. We set goals to obtain a result. There is no particular way I can roll the dice to get the result I want. The process of rolling the dice could care less about my goal, and the outcome is independent of how I roll the dice. If rolling a 7 is my goal, I won’t get it any faster or slower just because I made it a goal, but only because of the probability of the roll and how fast I can throw the dice. Because 7 is a possible enpoint, I can calculate a probability.


155 posted on 05/28/2012 12:32:53 PM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 153 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta; exDemMom
Because 7 is a possible enpoint, I can calculate a probability

Yes, but you're calculating the probability of a particular endpoint. Like with what you say about evolution, where you're calculating the probability of ending up with homo sapiens. If you start from scratch and figure out the probability of a specific endpoint (like humans), yeah, the number looks astronomical. But evolution doesn't care about ending up with humans. If you calculate the probability of ending up with something viable--which is all evolution cares about--the number gets a lot smaller.

To use exDemMom's analogy: if you calculate the odds of me winning the lottery, the numbers are huge. But if you calculate the odds of someone winning the lottery, they're not nearly so scary. I'm not sure if there's a similar analogy for dice, since they have a limited, predefined set of outcomes. Maybe something like, rather than calculating the odds of rolling a 7, calculating the chances that someone in a roomful of people would have whatever number you threw, regardless of what the number was.

156 posted on 05/28/2012 1:13:47 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 155 | View Replies]

To: varmintman

I’m familiar with Chiroptera. What’s the other order?


157 posted on 05/28/2012 1:15:12 PM PDT by gitmo ( If your theology doesn't become your biography it's useless.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: gitmo

I assume you’re talking about bats. The two kinds are the ordinary small insectivorous bats we see everywhereas well as the vampires, all of those have carnivore teeth, and the larger fruit bats. If you want to believe bats evolved, you have to believe they evolved twice, the two groups aren’t related. In real life, however, there is no fossil evidence of anything you’d call ancestral to any sort of bat.


158 posted on 05/28/2012 1:55:58 PM PDT by varmintman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 157 | View Replies]

To: central_va
You should continue past calculus. Just sayin'. You have your ridiculous beliefs and I have mine, Mine makes sense from a probability mathematical point of view and well yours don't.

For whatever logical reason would I want to waste time and money studying mathematics that I'll never use, and will forget within a few months anyway?

*You* might try to take some basic biology classes. Once you understand the theoretical and empirical basis for evolution, you might learn how to *appropriately* assign probability functions to the analysis of evolutionary mechanisms.

Question: Should evolutionary processes be described as an analog system or a discrete system? If you don't understand my question then I rest my case. Evolution is nothing but conjecture and speculation and quite frankly ridiculous.

We don't typically discuss biology in terms of data processing systems. Evolution is an ongoing and continuous process, the mechanisms of which are acting on every cell in your body at this instant. Evolution is only "ridiculous" if you have decided that, no matter what, you're going to interpret a moralistic Bible book as if it were a literal account of events.

159 posted on 05/28/2012 2:10:21 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 142 | View Replies]

To: central_va
You should continue past calculus. Just sayin'. You have your ridiculous beliefs and I have mine, Mine makes sense from a probability mathematical point of view and well yours don't.

For whatever logical reason would I want to waste time and money studying mathematics that I'll never use, and will forget within a few months anyway?

*You* might try to take some basic biology classes. Once you understand the theoretical and empirical basis for evolution, you might learn how to *appropriately* assign probability functions to the analysis of evolutionary mechanisms.

Question: Should evolutionary processes be described as an analog system or a discrete system? If you don't understand my question then I rest my case. Evolution is nothing but conjecture and speculation and quite frankly ridiculous.

We don't typically discuss biology in terms of data processing systems. Evolution is an ongoing and continuous process, the mechanisms of which are acting on every cell in your body at this instant. Evolution is only "ridiculous" if you have decided that, no matter what, you're going to interpret a moralistic Bible book as if it were a literal account of events.

160 posted on 05/28/2012 2:10:42 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 142 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
Evolution is an ongoing and continuous process,

How can there be identified unchanged species that last over millions of years? Species that according to the evo's "suddenly appear". The crocodile from what I understand looks the same today as it did millions of years ago. Same with the shark. I am not disallowing evolution, I am not saying evolution is evil, but it is a theory based on (mucho) speculation and conjecture.

161 posted on 05/28/2012 2:53:41 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 159 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
We don't typically discuss biology in terms of data processing systems.

Cell nucleii are the ultimate data processing systems. Each more complex than the most sophisticated micro processor chip available.

162 posted on 05/28/2012 2:56:14 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 159 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
I have reread central va's post several times now and see no such assumption. Looks to me like he is questioning natural selection as an adequate explanation. Your lottery example is another argument to knock down a straw man of your own creation. You seem to have a habit of doing that, hand picking your inferences and definitions to create an argument that no one is making. You do it repeatedly as if any argument against evolution is an argument for creationism. I call it blowing smoke.

By setting up the premise that, starting at point A, it is almost impossible to arrive at a predetermined point B, while ignoring the fact that we already are at one of an almost infinite number of point Bs that can result by random progression from point A, central va set up a huge straw man. Refuting someone else's straw man does not constitute making a straw man of my own.

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. I may have missed one or two, but I haven't seen any posting questioning evolution on the basis of some other theory. Most of the challenges are based on mathematics, information theory and a sprinkling of good old common sense. If one branch of science is inconsistent with another, only one can be right and I have lot more faith in the integrity of mathematics and information theory than evolution. It seems to be your belief that if someone believes in a different theory to explain the origin of species, that disqualifies from making any criticism of evolution and worse, makes their motives immoral. Wow! When does the heretic burning start?

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? If a theory is rejected, and there is no alternate theory to take its place, how can scientists possibly continue to do research? In any case, whether they explicitly say so or not, the literal creationists are, in fact, claiming that there are two competing theories here--evolution, and literal creationism. I'm pointing out that, scientifically, there really is no credible or usable alternative to the theory of evolution. It is the scientific framework within which investigation in the life sciences proceeds. Neither version of the story of creation as presented in Genesis provides a good theoretical framework with which to interpret the voluminous fossil record or the current diversity of living organisms, nor do they provide any theoretical basis with which to formulate working hypotheses which guide research. 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. For all of the supposed math-based challenges, I have yet to see a single mathematical formula, much less a description of the assumptions used to derive the formula.

Behe's work raises serious questions about the viability of evolution just as a mathematician's would, yet you dismiss them as somehow unqualified because they don't have your understanding, or shall we say belief, in evolution or training in the life sciences. And of course, you use math, and that is supposed to cover the mathematical objections to evolution?

Behe's work raises no questions. As I have already pointed out, he has very few scientific publications, and the few he does have display a very limited and incorrect understanding of evolutionary processes, if they address evolution at all. None of his original research articles address evolution at all--they examine physicochemical reactions. On the actual subject of evolution, he has published a review (which is not original research), two letters to the editor, a Time article (which I do not count as a scientific publication despite its listing in PubMed), and an article where he used some completely erroneous assumptions about evolutionary processes to calculated completely erroneous probabilities about protein changes(1). No doubt, he sounds like he knows what he's talking about to people who have no scientific training whatsoever--but he's not convincing to the scientific community.

By the way, I did a lot more reading about horse evolution and found most of the disputes are within the evolutionist community. How many times do species need to be reclassified, trees redrawn and pictures arranged to fix what was supposed to be "settled?" It has become so ludicrous that even species names are changed to fit the evolutionary model. Eohippus is a great example of name tampering that may eventually backfire anyway. At least there are some evolutionists with enough integrity to admit the answers are missing or there are some major problems to be solved.

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. 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. What you should have noticed is that, even though specific details of horse evolution are unclear and still the topic of a great deal of discussion, no one disagrees on the big picture--that horses evolved from a small dog-like mammal that existed ~52 million years ago.

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. Shall I dare say such behavior is that of a charlatan?

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. I wouldn't give up being a life-scientist for anything.

(1) The erroneous assumption that Behe made is that of "irreducible complexity", although he did not specifically use that term. That is the false idea that a new function can only evolve by springing forth in its final fully functional form. He used that false idea to then calculate the probability of the "correct" two mutations occurring simultaneously, and concluded that the probability is once in every 10^9 generations. GIGO. Actual observation tells me that a single mutation within a protein occurs at a rate of about 1 per 11 offspring. If a second, complementary mutation is required for that mutated protein to change function, then, for a protein of size 500 amino acids, a complementary mutation would occur once in every 11 X 500, or 5500 offspring--which is trivial. This is the mutation rate I have observed in bacteria that were genetically engineered to be unable to rearrange their DNA; in organisms that have the ability to rearrange their DNA, the mutation rate would be much higher. Most organisms, humans included, rearrange their DNA extensively in the germ cells. Aside from the Y or X chromosome in the sperm, a child does not receive one single chromosome that is identical to any of its mother's or father's chromosomes.

163 posted on 05/28/2012 4:29:32 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 144 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
Bull! I have written programs and designed spreadsheets that perform massively complex analysis and it takes no more than about 20 minutes to teach people how use them, and these were business people. All they had to know is what data belonged where and few simple rules for data integrity testing. It is nothing but minor league math. I've written programs for engineers and it made no difference whether they knew the math or not as long as I did. They too required very minimal training to use the software. Using that software does not make anyone more or less competent in mathematics. Exponential decay and growth functions can be looked in up in a math textbook. That's no big deal.

You must be an amazing teacher, then, to be able to teach people in 20 minutes material that usually takes people a semester or longer to master. It used to take longer than that for our department statistician to explain to people how she wanted their data formatted for input into SPSS... if they wanted to learn how to input the data themselves, analyze it, format outputs in a meaningful fashion, and understand what those outputs actually meant, she would spend HOURS with them. And they would typically call her back with more questions, because they never could quite grasp everything she was trying to teach in one session.

You can teach a monkey to input numbers. Teaching people how to differentiate between whether they should choose a one-tail or a two-tail test, whether ANOVA or Student's t-test is more appropriate, what the difference is between paired and unpaired samples, how to recognize a normal vs. skewed distribution and what the skewing signifies, how to look at the output and assess whether the appropriate statistical test was applied in the first place, what a P-value is and why it tells us whether to accept or reject the hypothesis all takes a bit longer than 20 minutes, in my experience. I guess me and my statistician friend just aren't talented teachers like you.

Likewise, while you may be able to look up basic exponential and logarithmic functions in a textbook, I can guarantee that if you're generating data that is specific to the unique system that you have chosen to study, you won't find the correct logarithmic or exponential function needed to analyze the data within any textbook. You have to derive it yourself.

Wrong again! No such assumption was necessary. The endpoint is what it is, no different than calculating the number of dice rolls to get a 7, 8, 9 or any other number I want to test as an endpoint. There is no goal, just a result and how long it might take to get it.

No, the literal creationist unspoken assumption is that h. sapiens is a pre-determined endpoint, and they work backward from that to "determine" that the odds of h. sapiens resulting from the totally random process of evolution operating over billions of years is impossible. The reality is that evolution doesn't have goals, and h. sapiens is only one of a nearly infinite number of possible species that can result from evolution. The probability that evolutionary processes result in viable species is 1.

164 posted on 05/28/2012 6:33:29 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 152 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

I started to write a very long response and on reflection, stopped. This is a problem of computing the probability of getting from point A to point B using the pathway and rules of the road evolutionists claim should apply. Evolution claims it produced a man from a universe without life, so how was it done? Given that mutations are random and that they are either harmful, neutral or beneficial, what is the probability that what had to happen did happen on that path?

Not once has anyone claimed evolution cares about specific outcomes, so why is it raised as a defense of a perfectly legitimate inquiry into evolution? Just because people don’t like the numbers isn’t good enough. Man is but one of many endpoints, but so what? If an evolutionist wants to check out a clam, let them go to it. Checking one pathway does not preclude any other possible pathway and result.

The only reasoned argument I have seen against probability concerns how natural selection should be treated. It is not an argument against the use of probability for a specific endpoint. Nonetheless, unless a case can be made that natural selection greatly or totally negates randomness, it don’t see it faring to well.

By the way, Huxley used a horse for his endpoint. Curious that evolutionists, even today don’t jump up and down and throw tantrums over that, but he was one of theirs. Huxley didn’t like the result though and went about trying to undermine it.


165 posted on 05/28/2012 6:57:42 PM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 156 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
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. I wouldn't give up being a life-scientist for anything.

How did I know this was coming? So typical.

166 posted on 05/28/2012 7:17:07 PM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 163 | View Replies]

To: varmintman
Two mental notes you might want to make...

I saw this earlier and should have heeded your advice. You sure hit that nail on the head!

167 posted on 05/28/2012 7:24:46 PM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 151 | View Replies]

To: central_va
Cell nucleii are the ultimate data processing systems. Each more complex than the most sophisticated micro processor chip available.

Naw, they're more like chemical factories... there's not any kind of thought or planning that goes into what happens inside a nucleus. It's just a bunch of chemical reactions proceeding according to the laws of physics.

168 posted on 05/28/2012 7:46:22 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 162 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
You really need to do some reading. The odds against coming up with the simplest proteins via any sort of a random process are astronomical.

http://programmingoflife.com/

169 posted on 05/28/2012 7:52:37 PM PDT by varmintman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 164 | View Replies]

To: central_va
How can there be identified unchanged species that last over millions of years? Species that according to the evo's "suddenly appear". The crocodile from what I understand looks the same today as it did millions of years ago. Same with the shark. I am not disallowing evolution, I am not saying evolution is evil, but it is a theory based on (mucho) speculation and conjecture.

I'm sorry, but it really makes no sense whatsoever to take the creationist belief that all organisms all suddenly appeared (as a result of being spoken into existence by the word of God), and then project that belief onto scientists. Being that evolution is a continuous and ongoing process, no scientist believes that any species suddenly sprang into existence, ever. Are you misinterpreting the fact that we give species names to some organisms found to exist at various arbitrary points along the continuum to mean that we believe those organisms suddenly sprang into existence at those points? All we've done is to give them names.

170 posted on 05/28/2012 7:56:57 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 161 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
Man is but one of many endpoints, but so what? If an evolutionist wants to check out a clam, let them go to it.

But you're still hung up on the probability of a specified endpoint--maybe one of a number of possibilities, but you're still trying to estimate the probability of ending up with a human, or a clam, or some other specific organism. I'm surprised that someone so adamant about the need for math skills can't see the difference between the probability of a specific outcome--no matter what specific outcome you choose--and the probability of some outcome at all.

I'll try another analogy. You're standing at the mouth of a river and saying, "The chances of this river forming are astronomical." And you're right: it required that tree to fall over at that particular point, and that bank to wash away in the extra rainfall that summer, and and and. And now you're saying, "I don't care, pick a different river. The chances for that one are astronomical, too." And you're right again. The chances of any particular river forming are infinitesimal, requiring countless random acts, and there's no way you could predict the river's course by standing at its source.

And yet, given the snowpack in the mountains, it's practically a certainty that rivers will form.

171 posted on 05/28/2012 8:17:27 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 165 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal
How do you know he doesn't? You can't label someone a charlatan unless you have specific evidence. I might vehemently disagree with one of Richard Dawkins books, but I can't call him a charlatan simply because I disagree with him, or even if he is wrong. And simply pointing out that he makes a living doing something as evidence he is a charlatan says a lot more about your lack of morality than his.

I know Behe doesn't have scientific evidence to back up his claims because, as I've already discussed in some detail, I've examined his scientific publishing record and found it seriously devoid of scientific basis. Beyond noting that he is a charlatan who has wasted a perfectly good education in the pursuit of promoting hogwash (presumably for profit), there really isn't that much to say about Behe.

Choose a complex system, go to www.PubMed.org, search for evolution of that system: voilà, thousands of references pop up.

And very, very few have anything to do with any sort of evolutionary explanation of the steps involved in the evolution of any complex biochemical system. But I can put in any topic and the word "evolution" and get 100,000 hits. The abstracts are understandable. But when it comes to actually detailing how these molecular machines came into existence, I can't find anything. Pick one from Behe's book, or do I need to list them for you?

They don't, really? Are you absolutely sure of that, or is your knowledge of the basic science involved inadequate to even evaluate how specific research results fit into the theoretical framework? There are many aspects to the evolutionary process, and the majority of them do not refer to evolution by name. As for "how these molecular machines came into existence", what exactly do you mean by that? What are the "molecular machines" and what do you mean by "came into existence"?

If you want something from a Behe book analyzed scientifically, you're going to have to provide the passage for analysis yourself; I'm not going to waste time reading science fiction masquerading as science. I'll also say, up front, that I won't spend a lot of time analyzing a passage that is clearly nonsense.

I think we are all familiar with the 3rd grade explanation.

I didn't realize that 3rd graders spend a lot of time discussing topics like DNA mutation mechanisms that are normally taught in college level genetics and molecular biology courses. Well, at least I now know that whatever state you live in has avoided the problem of educational decline that has plagued every other state. How wonderful for your state.

LOL. So if I need something between the third grade explanation and your dissertation I am out of luck? That is called "avoiding the question." You didn't even know what Behe's charge was until I explained it to you, and you had already proclaimed him a charlatan. Scoffing is not an argument.

You've asked for detailed and specific answers to vague and unspecific questions. I am not being facetious when I say that the kind of specific answers you want to your vague questions would be material enough for several PhD dissertations. This isn't "avoiding the question". If you can formulate a specific question about a specific evolutionary mechanism or method of evolutionary research, that can be answered in a few paragraphs, I will be happy to answer.

172 posted on 05/28/2012 8:56:27 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 154 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom

“You’ve asked for detailed and specific answers to vague and unspecific questions.”

I, on the other hand, asked a focused and specific question earlier.

To: exDemMom

“The evolution of h. sapiens from h. erectus was not the result of a single key mutation. It was the result of an accumulation of mutations that made h. sapiens sufficiently different from h. erectus to be called a different species. “

There must have been great numbers of transitional skeletons left along that journey. Where could I view some?


173 posted on 05/28/2012 9:04:15 PM PDT by eartrumpet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 172 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
I'm surprised that someone so adamant about the need for math skills can't see the difference between the probability of a specific outcome--no matter what specific outcome you choose--and the probability of some outcome at all.

For even a small life form and even starting with some fairly advanced molecules, there are a very large number of combinations that will never be more than rotting goo for every combination that is viable.

You are missing the point that any form of life is not simply one astronomical trial that went right but an astronomical sized array of trials, for each of which the odds of any result being compatible with life is astronomically small.

Numbers mean something -- you can't just wave your hand over them and dismiss what they are telling you. Go on to the link at the end as well.

Monkeys

174 posted on 05/28/2012 9:27:50 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 171 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
I know Behe doesn't have scientific evidence to back up his claims because, as I've already discussed in some detail, I've examined his scientific publishing record and found it seriously devoid of scientific basis. Beyond noting that he is a charlatan who has wasted a perfectly good education in the pursuit of promoting hogwash (presumably for profit), there really isn't that much to say about Behe.

Are you trying to be funny? You had no idea what Behe had even written when you called him a charlatan. There are a lot of books written (on scientific subjects!) by people who have never published in a scientific journal. Are they all charlatans? And, with close-minded and parochial people like you run the scientific publishing apparatus, Behe has as much chance of being published as I doing of being the next pope. As soon as his question was made known he would have lost all access to publish anything. Then you turn around and use that to attack his credibility.

Are you absolutely sure of that, or is your knowledge of the basic science involved inadequate to even evaluate how specific research results fit into the theoretical framework?

So now I am too stupid to read an abstract?

I didn't realize that 3rd graders spend a lot of time discussing topics like DNA mutation mechanisms that are normally taught in college level genetics and molecular biology courses.

This was your post: As I have already pointed out, proteins evolve through DNA mutations.

If you posted the evolutionary sequence of the cilium, flagellum, coagulation (he actually deconstructs some work done on this, which was one of the only examples when his book was published in 1996), or various other protein mechanisms in the cell that Behe discusses, I missed it.

You've asked for detailed and specific answers to vague and unspecific questions.

I was being intentionally vague. If you can confidently slander Behe as a charlatan, you should have at least enough of a passing knowledge of "Darwin's Black Box" to provide answers to the specific cases I gave above without being prompted. You don't have to show how these mechanisms work, you just need to provide the steps on their evolutionary path. It has been sixteen years since Behe published his book. Surely someone has provided some research in that time?

175 posted on 05/28/2012 10:08:58 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 172 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal
Numbers mean something -- you can't just wave your hand over them and dismiss what they are telling you.

True enough. But you also can't just wave your hand over them and cry "Numbers!" if they're not the right numbers for the question you're asking.

Look at your monkeys example. That's predicated on the monkeys coming up with a particular sentence. How do the odds change if we only ask the monkeys to come up with any valid English sentence? And how about if, every time they produce an English word, we let them keep it?

Have you heard of Richard Dawkins's METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL experiment? He ran the same test as your monkeys, but instead of forcing them to start over each time, he let them keep any letters they typed that matched the target sentence. It took them only 43 iterations to type the sentence.

Now, this isn't a perfect analogy to evolution, as Dawkins admits. For one thing, there's still a target, which as I've been pointing out isn't the case with evolution. And saving every letter isn't realistic; in reality, some letters would change back and then be found again on the way to the final sentence. On the other hand, nobody's claiming anything very drastic happens in only 43 generations. But somewhere between that and your example's umptymillion generations example lies the truth.

176 posted on 05/28/2012 11:37:31 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 174 | View Replies]

To: eartrumpet
“The evolution of h. sapiens from h. erectus was not the result of a single key mutation. It was the result of an accumulation of mutations that made h. sapiens sufficiently different from h. erectus to be called a different species. “

There must have been great numbers of transitional skeletons left along that journey. Where could I view some?

There is no evidence of human descent from hominids because it never happened. Hominids were bipedal apes, the most advanced members of the same family as chimpanzees and gorillas; we are simply not a member of that family.

177 posted on 05/29/2012 3:10:05 AM PDT by varmintman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 173 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

I hear what you are saying but the distinction between “some outcome” and “any outcome” is wrong. That would never fly in fault trees, failure mode analysis or quantum mechanics. The requirements for a change of state are described almost exclusively by probability functions in those fields. The change from one species to another is a change through several states. Since the change could have gone in several directions or no where, those possibilities each has a probability that can be calculated.

Both Huxley and Hoyle performed their calculations using a state (endpoint). I’m sure others have too and I haven’t seen any criticism by anyone on any evolutionist web site claiming faulty logic for doing that. They were criticized for their assumptions concerning randomness and the role of natural selection.


178 posted on 05/29/2012 3:22:04 AM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 171 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Have you heard of Richard Dawkins's METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL experiment? He ran the same test as your monkeys, but instead of forcing them to start over each time, he let them keep any letters they typed that matched the target sentence. It took them only 43 iterations to type the sentence.

In other words, he rigged the test. Deciding what letter to keep and which one to throw away is bringing intelligence into the matter. You can't have it both ways. There is no preference to organization in the chemistry, hence the random trials. As soon as you make the test semi-random, you are appealing to some organizational vector that does not exist in nature as we know it.

And if allowing forms of life based on different chemistry makes it that much more likely you should see them on earth as well.

He actually deals with this issue in his follow on essay. The math gets a lot more complicated, but doesn't change the result that much. Any coherent sentence is still a very specific set of test results mathematically.

179 posted on 05/29/2012 5:03:03 AM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 176 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
Both Huxley and Hoyle performed their calculations using a state (endpoint). I’m sure others have too and I haven’t seen any criticism by anyone on any evolutionist web site claiming faulty logic for doing that.

I just googled "huxley calculation probability evolution" and the first result is an anti-evolution blog complaining that "Evolution proponents like to say that creationists depend upon fallacies to discuss the statistical probabilities of evolution ever occurring....'It doesn't make any sense to calculate the odds of some particular replicator forming. We need to know the odds of any interesting replicator forming.'"

The seventh hit is a Google Books sample from Worlds of Their Own: A Brief History of Misguided Ideas saying that

Huxley's calculation acutally gives the conditional probability that, if a given single-celled animal contains 1,000,000 mutations, it will itself turn into a horse. Neither Huxley nor any other evolutinist has ever claimed that a horse sprang fully developed from one single-celled animal. Thus...Huxley's huge number is as irrelevant as it is impressive.
So as you see, it's not hard to find criticism of Huxley's faulty logic. I bet the same is true for Hoyle as well.
180 posted on 05/29/2012 9:18:48 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 178 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal
In other words, he rigged the test. Deciding what letter to keep and which one to throw away is bringing intelligence into the matter

Yes, I'm aware of that. I acknowledged as much, and so did Dawkins. The point is that your monkeys example doesn't reflect the way evolution works in nature either. Anti-evolutionists like to talk about the probability of getting from AKDIBMENT IBJSLES JEPL VCNBW to METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL in one jump--as in the monkeys example--but no one claims evolution works like that. It doesn't work exactly like Dawkins's example, either, but it does conserve some "right" answers rather than starting from scratch each time. (Of course, it doesn't "know" it's "right.")

181 posted on 05/29/2012 9:28:59 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 179 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

I actually agree with you and I stated Huxley was criticized in an earlier post but for the application of probability to endpoints. The author of this criticsm appears to playing a word game. What is the difference between “some particular replicator” and “any interesting replicator”? It sounds like a preference, not a criticism of the method. It may be a particular interest of the critic but it certainly doesn’t refute the validity of the point choices as being an incorrect approach

In any case, endpoints are used everywhere in the physical sciences for probability calculations. “How did we get here” is a common question.


182 posted on 05/29/2012 11:01:09 AM PDT by trubolotta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 180 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
I actually agree with you

Now that's something you don't see a lot in these discussions. Thank you.

What is the difference between “some particular replicator” and “any interesting replicator”?

It's the difference between "how do we get to an Embassy Suites with a heated pool and wi-fi?" and "how do we find a motel for the night?" The odds of the first are much lower than the odds of the second. When you're looking at "some particular replicator," your figuring out the chances of generating a human or a clam or a tree or a bacterium or something else you specify. When you ask for "any interesting replicator," you'll take any of the above along with anything else that meets the criteria, including things that don't already exist. It's a much wider net, and that affects the probability calculations.

“How did we get here” is a common question.

Sure, and a valid one. And like I said about the rivers, "why is there an oxbow in this river right here?" is a perfectly good question, with lots of improbable events in the answer. But that doesn't mean the existence of some river between the mountains and the sea is equally improbable.

183 posted on 05/29/2012 11:29:11 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 182 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Anti-evolutionists like to talk about the probability of getting from AKDIBMENT IBJSLES JEPL VCNBW to METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL in one jump--as in the monkeys example--but no one claims evolution works like that.

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.

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 situation is especially critical at the level of the cell. A line of feathers down my back, while suboptimal, might not keep me from reproducing. But badly functioning cells certainly will.

184 posted on 05/29/2012 3:46:46 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 181 | View Replies]

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 according to other biochemists--presumably most of them, since Behe's criticism hasn't carried the day--those case don't have to work like that. Google Ken Miller, who's written a lot about how Behe's examples don't hold up. (And Behe's responded, and Miller's responded, etc. etc.) Miller's arguments seem pretty cogent to me, plus I've never been much for arguments from ignorance.

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.

But they're very often right answers to something. Like, feathers could be the right answer to staying warm before they're the right answer to flying. And, of course, a lot of things might not be the answer to anything until they combine with something else.

That's one of the mistakes anti-evolutionists often make: thinking that an organism gets one chance at developing the right mutation, and that only one individual develops it. Consider, on the other hand, the possibility that say 30 percent of a population has a given mutation at any one time. It's not harmful, so it's not selected out; but it's not particularly helpful in the current environment, so it's not selected for. It's neither a right nor a wrong answer--it's just there. But if the environment changes, it could become part of a right answer. Or 20 percent of the population develops another mutation, and the 10 percent that have both do better for some reason. It's not always a binary right vs wrong situation.

185 posted on 05/29/2012 7:55:13 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 184 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
And according to other biochemists--presumably most of them, since Behe's criticism hasn't carried the day--those case don't have to work like that.

The work needs to be done regardless. You can't go on forever with playground arguments. (No, you will never cover everything but it should be very rich ground.) You have to be able to come up with a specific and plausible evolutionary path for any and every cellular mechanism. I keep hearing how evolution has implications and has helped push science forward, but even cogent arguments are ultimately worthless next to real work. Miller's arguments seem pretty cogent to me, plus I've never been much for arguments from ignorance.

On what basis do you label him ignorant? This thread is going on 200 replies and no one has bothered to actually refute Behe beyond calling him names. The refutation would be: Post a list of what Behe says doesn't exist (real work into the biochemical evolution of protein mechanisms) or take one of his examples and show how it evolved (or could have evolved.)

But they're very often right answers to something.

They don't have to be right answers to anything, but they can at worst only be mildly harmful. And Behe is far more specific than a large scale system like feathers. But even allowing this, you still can't assume that every necessary change is not harmful, you need to show it.

That's one of the mistakes anti-evolutionists often make: thinking that an organism gets one chance at developing the right mutation, and that only one individual develops it.

Behe is asking the exact opposite question you are accusing "anti-evolutionists" of asking -- how did this come about in a stepwise fashion. And posing a large scale system like feathers is doing exactly what you accuse others of doing: The scale of DNA changes for something like that is enormous. I see no point in speculating at that scale until you address far simpler (but still hideous complex) evolution of interacting protein mechanisms.

186 posted on 05/29/2012 9:35:00 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 185 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal; exDemMom
The work needs to be done regardless.

Well, yes. And those thousands of papers exDemMom keeps suggesting people read? That's where the work is being done.

You have to be able to come up with a specific and plausible evolutionary path for any and every cellular mechanism.

Or what? Or that proves evolution didn't happen? Until we fill in every gap in the theory, we should assume it's wrong? It's a good thing medical science doesn't work that way.

This is what I mean by an argument from ignorance. It's not that Behe is necessarily personally ignorant; it's that he points to what we don't know and insists we can never know it. Is he out there doing the work of trying to figure out how the blood clotting mechanism evolved; or on the other hand, is he looking for evidence of where, when, and how the intelligent designer intervened to install it? Not as far as I've ever heard.

The refutation would be: Post a list of what Behe says doesn't exist (real work into the biochemical evolution of protein mechanisms) or take one of his examples and show how it evolved (or could have evolved.)

First of all, notice how you (and Behe) are asking people to prove something did happen that he says couldn't. If he were really interested in doing the work, he'd offer a testable explanation of what he thinks did happen and make some predictions based on it that other people could try and confirm. But instead all he does is snipe. (Kind of like my ex-wife, who was much better at explaining what was wrong with all my ideas than she was at coming up with ideas of her own.)

Second, if you want an explanation of how one of his examples could have evolved, look up Ken Miller, as I suggested before, or just Google "irreducible complexity debunked."

187 posted on 05/30/2012 9:50:39 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 186 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Well, yes. And those thousands of papers exDemMom keeps suggesting people read? That's where the work is being done.

Why do I get the impression I could make a better case for the work that is being done than either of you?

Or what? Or that proves evolution didn't happen? Until we fill in every gap in the theory, we should assume it's wrong? It's a good thing medical science doesn't work that way.

You omitted the relevant sentence: This is work you will never finish, but it should greatly add to our understanding of cellular mechanisms regardless and it will silence one avenue of criticism *if* you can pull it off.

It's not that Behe is necessarily personally ignorant; it's that he points to what we don't know and insists we can never know it.

That is hardly an invalid point, but it does mean there is a clear path to discredit his argument: do the work.

First of all, notice how you (and Behe) are asking people to prove something did happen that he says couldn't. If he were really interested in doing the work, he'd offer a testable explanation of what he thinks did happen and make some predictions based on it that other people could try and confirm.

I would advise against throwing that "testable explanation" rock, Mr. Glass House. I certainly do not propose a testable natural explanation.

Second, if you want an explanation of how one of his examples could have evolved, look up Ken Miller, as I suggested before, or just Google "irreducible complexity debunked."

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

188 posted on 05/30/2012 4:39:52 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 187 | View Replies]

To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
Well, yes. And those thousands of papers exDemMom keeps suggesting people read? That's where the work is being done.

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.

Lest anyone think I don't read the literature I keep referencing: I do. Once you've read a few hundred scientific papers, you get a good feel for what is a good solid paper, and what isn't.

189 posted on 05/30/2012 4:40:06 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 187 | View Replies]

To: trubolotta
How did I know this was coming? So typical.

As I recall, you insulted me by calling me "narrow-minded" for having chosen a career in the sciences. I responded in kind. If you don't want people to descend to your level, don't descend there yourself.

190 posted on 05/30/2012 4:48:30 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 166 | View Replies]

To: varmintman
You really need to do some reading. The odds against coming up with the simplest proteins via any sort of a random process are astronomical.

The odds that mixing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and a smattering of other chemicals together and applying energy will result in them forming amino acids which can then join together to form peptides (small proteins) is actually pretty high. I don't see any reason they couldn't form large proteins, under the right conditions. Proteins are merely chemicals. Chemicals react all by themselves.

191 posted on 05/30/2012 4:59:20 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 169 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
The odds that mixing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and a smattering of other chemicals together and applying energy will result in them forming amino acids which can then join together to form peptides (small proteins) is actually pretty high. I don't see any reason they couldn't form large proteins, under the right conditions. Proteins are merely chemicals. Chemicals react all by themselves.

Ok, seems simple enough. When are the scientist going to create life's building blocks? If artificial proteins can be synthesized with all our knowledge we should be able to speed things up so that it doesn't take random chance and 1 billion years to reproduce life. Right? Get cracking little lady.

192 posted on 05/30/2012 5:04:37 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 191 | View Replies]

To: eartrumpet
There must have been great numbers of transitional skeletons left along that journey. Where could I view some?

Let's put it this way. The idea of "transitional" forms has been taken by creationist hucksters and skewed so far from its original usage that I'm not going to waste time with it, beyond pointing out that there are no flocks of scientists digging in the shale muttering "If only I could find a transitional fossil, then I could finally prove evolution is true!" Because of the continuous nature of the evolutionary process, ALL forms are transitional.

Now, if you would like to see human fossils as they existed at discreet points during the evolutionary process, I would suggest trying your local natural history museum, if it has an exhibit on human evolution. Or you can try google, but it's a bit more challenging to separate legitimate scientific websites from those of creationist hucksters hoping to trick a few more people out of some money. Most human fossils are catalogued and stored for use by researchers; they are not displayed.

193 posted on 05/30/2012 5:16:38 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 173 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal
For even a small life form and even starting with some fairly advanced molecules, there are a very large number of combinations that will never be more than rotting goo for every combination that is viable.

You are missing the point that any form of life is not simply one astronomical trial that went right but an astronomical sized array of trials, for each of which the odds of any result being compatible with life is astronomically small.

I can still picture one of my undergraduate school biology professors talking about that. He liked cats, so all of his examples involved cats. He said that if you have 10,000 cats, and the test for viability is that they can jump over a 10 foot chasm--the 9,999 cats who fell into the chasm don't matter. Only the cat who successfully jumped matters.

It seems like you're overlooking the fact that once a successful viable combination has occurred, the process of making another viable combination doesn't then start from scratch. It starts from the viable combination that already exists. The earth is large enough, and contains enough raw material, that the odds against the formation of a self-replicating RNA molecule (which is thought to be the first life-like molecule) forming really aren't that high.

194 posted on 05/30/2012 5:46:01 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 174 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
You are still playing fast and loose with irreducible complexity. If A and C are ten miles apart you have not made a case for how A turned into C just because you found B halfway between.

Darwin provided the rule for falsifiability of evolution, and evolution science has been steering a wide swath around it ever since.

Behe's charge is not that there can never be a similar collection of proteins, but rather than the smallest change in these systems breaks them. In this case, C and C prime are farther apart than C and B.

That C and B are similar is pattern matching, not causation.

. He said that if you have 10,000 cats, and the test for viability is that they can jump over a 10 foot chasm--the 9,999 cats who fell into the chasm don't matter. Only the cat who successfully jumped matters.

That is just flat wrong -- if mutation and natural selection are merrily killing off cats you don't wind up with supercat, you wind up with nocat. But that is a whole other logical fallacy of evolution to be argued ad nauseum. In fact, among those seriously studying real evolution, it is very arguable that the results paint a picture of evolution as a wholly negative process and that the only complexity created is the complexity of chaos.

The earth is large enough, and contains enough raw material, that the odds against the formation of a self-replicating RNA molecule (which is thought to be the first life-like molecule) forming really aren't that high.

More handwaving. RNA Self Replication euphoria, as usual, ignores the actual chemistry involved.

195 posted on 05/30/2012 7:35:19 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 194 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal
Are you trying to be funny? You had no idea what Behe had even written when you called him a charlatan. There are a lot of books written (on scientific subjects!) by people who have never published in a scientific journal. Are they all charlatans? And, with close-minded and parochial people like you run the scientific publishing apparatus, Behe has as much chance of being published as I doing of being the next pope. As soon as his question was made known he would have lost all access to publish anything. Then you turn around and use that to attack his credibility.

I do not need to read anything by Behe to conclude that he is a charlatan: he has a reputation. It only takes a few minutes with Google to verify that the reputation is accurate.

Most of the people who write books on scientific subjects are not scientists. They are writers who talk to scientists and read scientific literature; while they try to get the details correct, they don't always succeed because they don't have the depth of knowledge that a trained scientist has. Most working scientists don't write books; they're too busy writing grant proposals, reviewing grant proposals, writing journal articles, attending conferences and other meetings, reading scientific journals, and so forth.

Behe is in a class of his own. He actually is a trained scientist, and is a university professor (although I didn't check if he is full professor, or some lower level). Normally, someone in his position has dozens of research-based publications in various journals, along with a fair number of reviews and other articles. One of my professors from graduate school has 182 publications dating from 1977 onwards. By contrast, Behe has 40 publications dating from 1978, of which 5 are letters to the editor and 3 are reviews. One is a theoretical article trying to show that a specific pair of amino acids will mutate simultaneously only once in 10^9 generations (I already talked about this one; it's full of wrong assumptions, GIGO). Of the remaining research articles, the vast majority are pure biochemistry--meaning that he's only looking at structure, without analysis of evolutionary factors. Surprisingly, one does touch on evolutionary factors and the results are completely consistent with the current understanding of evolutionary principle. He has not published a research based article since 1998, and apparently has not had a graduate student since 1997. The long story short here is that Behe is NOT an evolutionary scientist and there is no reason to think he knows very much about evolutionary theory, and his career isn't very impressive for a college professor. (BTW, I don't know why I could only find 11 Behe references yesterday and 40 today.)

As far as any imaginary "scientific publishing apparatus", there is no body of editors censoring whatever doesn't fit some imaginary scientific consensus. Any scientist can be asked to review a manuscript, and if the manuscript is scientifically sound and reasonably well-written, they'll recommend it for publishing.

So now I am too stupid to read an abstract?

You can read it, but do you have the educational background to understand its implications, what experiments were done, the background assumptions, etc., without reading the paper? On the basis of the abstract, can you judge whether the work described in the paper is of high enough quality to make reading the paper worthwhile?

If you posted the evolutionary sequence of the cilium, flagellum, coagulation (he actually deconstructs some work done on this, which was one of the only examples when his book was published in 1996), or various other protein mechanisms in the cell that Behe discusses, I missed it.

As Ha Ha Thats Very Logical already pointed out, it is not necessary to identify every single mutation that took place to know that the systems evolved. Behe's invention of "irreducible complexity" does not have any scientific validity. The simplest statement I can make on "irreducible complexity" is that if a system is not too complex to be formed during embryonic development--in which a single-celled zygote "reads" its DNA and builds an organism of several trillion cells formed into all kinds of complex tissues and organs--then it cannot be too complex to have evolved. For a more thorough discussion, I suggest reading the Wikipedia article, Irreducible Complexity.

I was being intentionally vague. If you can confidently slander Behe as a charlatan, you should have at least enough of a passing knowledge of "Darwin's Black Box" to provide answers to the specific cases I gave above without being prompted. You don't have to show how these mechanisms work, you just need to provide the steps on their evolutionary path. It has been sixteen years since Behe published his book. Surely someone has provided some research in that time?

If I'm going to read science fiction, I'll choose something that isn't trying to pass itself off as fact, and that has entertainment value. It's not worth my time, otherwise. Not that the scientific community at large is all that concerned about specifically refuting Behe (as I pointed out, we're a pretty busy bunch and must spend our time wisely), but just about all of his "examples" of "irreducibly complex" systems are the subjects of active research. It really isn't up to me to dig up the references to show you. If you genuinely want to know how fairly simple structures such as cilia, or more complex structures such as the heart, form or evolved, you have only to go to www.PubMed.org and search. Anyone can access PubMed. The search engine is, IMHO, very user friendly. Many of the articles indexed in PubMed can be accessed free. The information is there if you want it.

196 posted on 05/30/2012 7:39:45 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 175 | View Replies]

To: central_va
Ok, seems simple enough. When are the scientist going to create life's building blocks? If artificial proteins can be synthesized with all our knowledge we should be able to speed things up so that it doesn't take random chance and 1 billion years to reproduce life. Right? Get cracking little lady.

Too late, it's already been done.

Every component of a cell can be fabricated artificially in a lab. I did most of my PhD research on proteins I engineered myself.

197 posted on 05/30/2012 7:47:39 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 192 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
I do not need to read anything by Behe to conclude that he is a charlatan: he has a reputation. It only takes a few minutes with Google to verify that the reputation is accurate.

...

For a more thorough discussion, I suggest reading the Wikipedia article, Irreducible Complexity.

Ever hear of an "Echo Chamber"?

Most working scientists don't write books; they're too busy writing grant proposals, reviewing grant proposals, writing journal articles, attending conferences and other meetings, reading scientific journals, and so forth.

...

By contrast, Behe has 40 publications dating from 1978, of which 5 are letters to the editor and 3 are reviews.

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.

On the basis of the abstract, can you judge whether the work described in the paper is of high enough quality to make reading the paper worthwhile?

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.

Behe's invention of "irreducible complexity" does not have any scientific validity.

"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

The search engine is, IMHO, very user friendly. Many of the articles indexed in PubMed can be accessed free. The information is there if you want it.

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.

198 posted on 05/30/2012 8:21:11 PM PDT by hopespringseternal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 196 | View Replies]

To: hopespringseternal
You are still playing fast and loose with irreducible complexity. If A and C are ten miles apart you have not made a case for how A turned into C just because you found B halfway between.

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.

Also, since you seem so dead-set on trying to disprove the central theory of biology, what do you propose as an alternative? C looks a lot like A, although it clearly is not A. Sufficient genetic material was preserved to determine that C and A share over 90% genetic homology; the next highest level of homology between C and any other organism is 75%. C is dated to be 20 million years newer than A. What alternative to evolution do you propose, keeping in mind that a viable alternate theory must explain and tie together all known facts, not just what I presented, and provide predictive power for guiding more hypothesis-driven research? Even more important, how does the story that ~6,000 years ago, God spoke and all of the plants and animals sprang into existence (no mention of the other three kingdoms, but nvm) explain those measurable quantitatable facts, and what useful predictive powers does that story provide?

That is just flat wrong -- if mutation and natural selection are merrily killing off cats you don't wind up with supercat, you wind up with nocat.

Nope, you end up with the cat that made it alive across the chasm. 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.

More handwaving. RNA Self Replication euphoria, as usual, ignores the actual chemistry involved.

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

199 posted on 05/30/2012 8:21:28 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.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 195 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom

“Nope, you end up with the cat that made it alive across the chasm. 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.”

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.


200 posted on 05/30/2012 8:42:03 PM PDT by eartrumpet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 199 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 101-150151-200201-250251-267 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson