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"Cosmos- A SpaceTime Odessey" -–Tonight 'Rivers of Life' covers Evolution and Mass Extinction Events
The Daily Galaxy ^ | March 16, 2014

Posted on 03/16/2014 3:02:10 PM PDT by EveningStar

"Cosmos- A SpaceTime Odessey" --Tonight in 'Rivers of Life' Neil deGrasse Tyson Covers Evolution and Mass Extinction Events

Tonight, the second of 13 episodes of "Cosmos- A SpaceTime Odessey" hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson airs at 9 pm tonight on Fox and at 10 pm Sunday night on the National Geographic channel. Tonight's episode is "The Rivers of Life" and covers evolution and natural selection processes that have made life on Earth as we know it today, and also covers mass extinction events such as asteroid impacts with our planet that have drastically altered the course and progress of life.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Astronomy; History; Science; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: carlsagan; cosmos; cosmosreboot; cosomos2; evolution; massextinction; neildegrassetyson; odysseynotodessey; waronreligion; waronsciencememe

1 posted on 03/16/2014 3:02:10 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: All

Note: “Odyssey” is misspelled in the source document.

2 posted on 03/16/2014 3:06:37 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

There have been so many mass extinctions that it seems to be the rule not the exception.

3 posted on 03/16/2014 3:07:50 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (Democrats have destroyed more cities than Godzilla)
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To: EveningStar

Looked ok to me Hi ES

4 posted on 03/16/2014 3:08:06 PM PDT by al baby (Hi MomÂ… I was refereeing to Obama)
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To: EveningStar
Covers evolution?? I could do that in six words ( "Evolution is a bunch of bullshit.")...

The big lie which is being promulgated by evolutionites is that there is some sort of a dialectic between evolution and religion. There isn't. In order to have a meaningful dialectic between evolution and religion, you would need a religion which operated on an intellectual level similar to that of evolution, and the only two possible candidates would be voodoo and Rastafari.

The dialectic is between evolution and mathematics. Professing belief in evolution at this juncture amounts to the same thing as claiming not to believe in modern mathematics, probability theory, and logic. It's basically ignorant.

Evolution has been so thoroughly discredited at this point that you assume nobody is defending it because they believe in it anymore, and that they are defending it because they do not like the prospects of having to defend or explain some expect of their lifestyles to God, St. Peter, Muhammed...

To these people I say, you've still got a problem. The problem is that evolution, as a doctrine, is so overwhelmingly STUPID that, faced with a choice of wearing a sweatshirt with a scarlet letter A for Adulteror, F for Fornicator or some such traditional design, or or a big scarlet letter I for IDIOT, you'd actually be better off sticking with one of the traditional choices because, as Clint Eastwood noted in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

God hates IDIOTS, too!

The best illustration of how stupid evolutionism really is involves trying to become some totally new animal with new organs, a new basic plan for existence, and new requirements for integration between both old and new organs.

Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.

For starters, every one of these things would be antifunctional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitessimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.

In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitessimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelth-order infinitessimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.

All of that was the best case. In real life, it's even worse than that. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.

And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.

Now, it would be miraculous if, given all the above, some new kind of complex creature with new organs and a new basic plan for life had ever evolved ONCE.

Evolutionism, however (the Theory of Evolution) requires that this has happened countless billions of times, i.e. an essentially infinite number of absolutely zero probability events.

And, if you were starting to think that nothing could possibly be any stupider than believing in evolution despite all of the above (i.e. that the basic stupidity of evolutionism starting from 1980 or thereabouts could not possibly be improved upon), think again. Because there is zero evidence in the fossil record (despite the BS claims of "crew" and others of their ilk) to support any sort of a theory involving macroevolution, and because the original conceptions of evolution are flatly refuted by developments in population genetics since the 1950's, the latest incarnation of this theory, Steve Gould and Niles Eldredge's "Punctuated Equilibrium or punc-eek" attempts to claim that these wholesale violations of probabilistic laws all occurred so suddenly as to never leave evidence in the fossil record, and that they all occurred amongst tiny groups of animals living in "peripheral" areas. That says that some velocirapter who wanted to be a bird got together with fifty of his friends and said:

Guys, we need flight feathers, and wings, and specialized bones, hearts, lungs, and tails, and we need em NOW; not two years from now. Everybody ready, all together now:

You could devise a new religion by taking the single stupidest doctrine from each of the existing religions, and it would not be as stupid as THAT.

But it gets even stupider.

Again, the original Darwinian vision of gradualistic evolution is flatly refuted by the fossil record (Darwinian evolution demanded that the vast bulk of ALL fossils be intermediates) and by the findings of population genetics, particularly the Haldane dilemma and the impossible time requirements for spreading genetic changes through any sizeable herd of animals.

Consider what Gould and other punk-eekers are saying. Punc-eek amounts to a claim that all meaningful evolutionary change takes place in peripheral areas, amongst tiny groups of animals which develop some genetic advantage, and then move out and overwhelm, outcompete, and replace the larger herds. They are claiming that this eliminates the need to spread genetic change through any sizeable herd of animals and, at the same time, is why we never find intermediate fossils (since there are never enough of these CHANGELINGS to leave fossil evidence).

Obvious problems with punctuated equilibria include, minimally:

1. It is a pure pseudoscience seeking to explain and actually be proved by a lack of evidence rather than by evidence (all the missing intermediate fossils). Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could SEE them, they wouldn't BE witches...) This kind of logic is less inhibiting than the logic they used to teach in American schools. For instance, I could as easily claim that the fact that I'd never been seen with Tina Turner was all the proof anybody should need that I was sleeping with her. In other words, it might not work terribly well for science, but it's great for fantasies...

2. PE amounts to a claim that inbreeding is the most major source of genetic advancement in the world. Apparently Steve Gould never saw Deliverance...

3. PE requires these tiny peripheral groups to conquer vastly larger groups of animals millions if not billions of times, which is like requiring Custer to win at the little Big Horn every day, for millions of years.

4. PE requires an eternal victory of animals specifically adapted to localized and parochial conditions over animals which are globally adapted, which never happens in real life.

5. For any number of reasons, you need a minimal population of any animal to be viable. This is before the tiny group even gets started in overwhelming the vast herds. A number of American species such as the heath hen became non-viable when their numbers were reduced to a few thousand; at that point, any stroke of bad luck at all, a hard winter, a skewed sex ratio in one generation, a disease of some sort, and it's all over. The heath hen was fine as long as it was spread out over the East coast of the U.S. The point at which it got penned into one of these "peripheral" areas which Gould and Eldredge see as the salvation for evolutionism, it was all over.

The sort of things noted in items 3 and 5 are generally referred to as the "gambler's problem", in this case, the problem facing the tiny group of "peripheral" animals being similar to that facing a gambler trying to beat the house in blackjack or roulette; the house could lose many hands of cards or rolls of the dice without flinching, and the globally-adapted species spread out over a continent could withstand just about anything short of a continental-scale catastrophe without going extinct, while two or three bad rolls of the dice will bankrupt the gambler, and any combination of two or three strokes of bad luck will wipe out the "peripheral" species. Gould's basic method of handling this problem is to ignore it.

And there's one other thing which should be obvious to anybody attempting to read through Gould and Eldridge's BS:

The don't even bother to try to provide a mechanism or technical explaination of any sort for this "punk-eek"

They are claiming that at certain times, amongst tiny groups of animals living in peripheral areas, a "speciation event(TM)" happens, and THEN the rest of it takes place. In other words, they are saying:

ASSUMING that Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happens, then the rest of the business proceeds as we have described in our scholarly discourse above!

Again, Gould and Eldridge require that the Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happen not just once, but countless billions of times, i.e. at least once for every kind of complex creature which has ever walked the Earth. They do not specify whether this amounts to the same Abracadabra-Shazaam each time, or a different kind of Abracadabra-Shazaam for each creature.

I ask you: How could anything be stupider or worse than that? What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?

5 posted on 03/16/2014 3:12:09 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: EveningStar

I wonder if we’ll get all the secular atheistic cr%p from DeGrasse like usual.

It’s too bad they went with the hater instead of a more likeable guy like Mike Roe who did that other series.

Wasted oppotunity.

6 posted on 03/16/2014 3:14:01 PM PDT by Sapwolf (Talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty. -Sowell)
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To: EveningStar
That's the way it was misspelled on the 1960's rock group Zombies' famous album Odessey and Oracle.
7 posted on 03/16/2014 3:18:07 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: EveningStar

I’m just finishing a fascinating book called “Darwin’s Doubt” by Stephen Meyer.

Prior to reading this book, I was pretty much a believer in evolution as described by Darwin. After reading that book, I’m convinced that Darwinian evolution is at best a very incomplete description of how life on earth came about, applicable only for minor changes.

Meyer totally obliterates that theory, similar to the way a top notch prosecutor demolishes the case of a defense. He does so scientifically.

I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject and who has some nagging doubt about Darwin’s theory being able to explain some of life’s incredible creations.

As an alternative explanation Meyer proposes intelligent design (without necessarily involving a god). But I found that not very satisfying since he presents no evidence of how such an intelligent design would have occurred.

So, after reading the book my current position of how life “evolved” is that we really don’t know. Much more research is needed before we come up with the answer (if ever).

8 posted on 03/16/2014 3:27:39 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: EveningStar

9 posted on 03/16/2014 3:38:01 PM PDT by shove_it (my real nickname is Otter)
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To: EveningStar

I’ll pass.

10 posted on 03/16/2014 3:45:29 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: EveningStar

I was lukewarm about Ep 1. I’m hoping for a better Ep 2.

11 posted on 03/16/2014 3:50:05 PM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: EveningStar

I really don’t give a rats hind end about them teaching Evolution and Mass Extinctions on Cosmos.

Here is what really chaps MY Hide, is that they will probably try to “Connect it” with their silly craptastic anti-human environmental whacko agenda!

Next thing is they will try to tie CO2 levels to mass extinctions and try to claim that evolution of humans from the trees to walking upright was a mistake they would love to solve by killing off 99% of the human population...

12 posted on 03/16/2014 4:07:36 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: varmintman
Excellent rant.
13 posted on 03/16/2014 4:28:41 PM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: Sapwolf

All biological machinery, programming and processes at every level have to be described in mechanical terms because they are in fact machines. Furthermore, practically every machine mankind “invents” is found after the fact to be present in some biological form in some biological creature. In fact, it’s only until AFTER man has “invented” a particular kind of machine that man is then able to recognize that which was previously a mystery in biology as being an example of the machine man just “invented”.

A person would would be considered a fool if they proclaimed that all of man’s machines built in all of man’s existence arose spontaneously and accidentally as a random product of “nature” with no possibility whatsoever of an intelligent designer or builder, and yet the official, central dogma of “science” is a similar proclamation that all life in Earth’s biosphere (a situation a trillion times a trillion more complex than man’s puny accomplishments) is merely the mindless, capricious product of a grotesquely improbable and accidental “nature”.

Only a fool would believe either of the above two propositions.

14 posted on 03/16/2014 4:37:41 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: catnipman
"Only a fool would believe either of the above two propositions."

And nobody does.

15 posted on 03/16/2014 4:44:35 PM PDT by mlo
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To: EveningStar
Screw that affirmative-action baby NDT. Brian Greene gives some of the clearest explanations of quantum theory that I've ever seen.


16 posted on 03/16/2014 4:48:53 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: EveningStar

Remember David Attenborough’s LIFE ON EARTH ? ( 1979! ) That was 13 episodes, and the longer time allowed a more detailed treatment, complete with dramatic segues. He emphasized methods of reproduction, and I particularly remember the segue from amphibians to reptiles. The amphibians were chained to the water, and evolved all kinds of strategies to stretch this bond, but could not escape it. Next week, EGGS! ( i.e. eggs as we know them. ) Oh boy!

17 posted on 03/16/2014 4:59:29 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: aquila48

“So, after reading the book my current position of how life “evolved” is that we really don’t know. “

But we can make an intelligent guess. All we have to do is analyze the one example we do have available to us of evolutionary intelligent design, namely the evolution of all that which has been created by mankind and how that has occurred, and then comparing that to the structures and processes of earth’s biosphere and all that it contains.

In fact, we see the same design principles, structures and processes embodied in biologic life that we ourselves have used to create our own manosphere, which includes the totality of all man-made machines, systems, infrastructure and processes on earth. We see the principle of modular construction in life, as embodied by the endosymbiotic origin of mitochondria. We see the reuse of common structures and processes throughout large numbers of highly varying life forms and at multiple levels. We see that chromosomes are a form of computer programming using chemical codons for coded byes and ribosomes as the computer.

We see that simpler life forms existed before more complex lifeforms, and that there has in fact been an evolutionary progression from simpler to more complex life forms over time, just as we’ve seen the evolution of discrete component digital computing evolve inthe 1940’s to the current massively integrated forms we have only 70 years later. Of course, when I use the word “evolution”, I mean “intelligently directed evolution”, not accidental evolution, with the latter of course actually being an oxymoron.

I’ve intensely studied computer programming, biologic processes and mechanisms and many other sciences for that matter, and to me, there is no doubt whatsoever that we and all other living parts of the earth’s biosphere were deliberately made by a higher intelligence than our own, and made in the same fashion as what we ourselves have made.

Personally, I believe we were made by beings somewhat similar to ourselves and only a million years (or maybe much less) more advanced than ourselves. And yes, that believe does indeed beg the question as to where THAT bunch of beings came from, but personally, I am satisfied just to know where we came from and not necessarily where everything came from.

18 posted on 03/16/2014 5:05:42 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: martin_fierro
I don't go for that "things get weird" stuff. All you need to peer into the heart of the Quantum is this:

... and the book ain't bad, either!

So here we go:

... Just roll your eyes back and GROK!

19 posted on 03/16/2014 5:24:29 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: Sapwolf

Uh, cause Mike Roe is a former opera singer and TeeVee pitchman while Tyson has a PhD in astrophysics and is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium?

20 posted on 03/16/2014 5:47:43 PM PDT by stormer
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To: EveningStar

Ooooooooooooooo! EE-Voh-lu-shun!! Ooooo!

We got here somehow, maybe your explanation isn’t the same as the other guy. Maybe my explanation sounds strange to you.

That’s great!

It doesn’t break my bones, deafens my ears, or saddens my heart, what or why you think on the subject.

BUT, for ‘you’, to start screaming at ME, that “Dis iz dah way d’at it dun iz, an’ nobody nohow ain’ta gonna think difrent!”, is childish and stupid, and disrespectful of another human being’s intellect.

21 posted on 03/16/2014 6:05:59 PM PDT by Terry L Smith
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I thought Odessey was a town in west Texas, near Midland.

22 posted on 03/16/2014 6:31:24 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Or as Eric Cartman would say it, “Odessah.”

23 posted on 03/16/2014 6:40:29 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: shove_it

WALL-E..... : )

24 posted on 03/16/2014 7:06:52 PM PDT by minnesota_bound
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To: Terry L Smith
BUT, for ‘you’, to start screaming at ME, that “Dis iz dah way d’at it dun iz, an’ nobody nohow ain’ta gonna think difrent!”, is childish and stupid, and disrespectful of another human being’s intellect.

Just watched it, and I thought I heard a definite note of the forensic - that is, it was seeking to convince by argument. I think you may consider this a nod in your direction, if I'm not putting too much on it.

25 posted on 03/16/2014 7:15:35 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: GraceG

Very close to Iran’s Twelver movement (the Iranian leadership), except they are going for 100%. Bringing everyone to Pair of Dice, you know.

26 posted on 03/17/2014 6:31:15 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: varmintman

I watched most of it last night.

What bugs me about evolution is DNA.

If I understand it correctly, the very first life on this planet had DNA and that DNA was inherently capable of creating every creature that has evolved since - all that had to be done was turn on the right switches.

Seems pretty incomprehensible to me that DNA just popped into existence, fully capable of building complex lifeforms, but none of that got turned on initially.

About the only thing that explains it, short of a designer, is possibly seeding of bacteria from space. Might not explain where DNA came from, but it would explain how it got here with all the necessary complexity pre-installed.

27 posted on 03/17/2014 10:01:50 AM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: chrisser

DNA/RNA is a complex information code like XML and cell biology contains the means to act on information in that code i.e. DNA/RNA info is actionable info like computer software. That kind of stuff does not just sort of happen when dust particles get blown around in wind storms.....

28 posted on 03/17/2014 10:18:27 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: varmintman
To me, it's kind of a chicken and egg thing.

If species are capable of evolving due to changes in the DNA, then the DNA, and the rest of the systems, are already capable of that evolution. Seems to me that, if it's all random mutations, then a lot of those mutations aren't going to just be interesting characteristics that might or might not be useful, but, more often than not, cause serious problems. I would think it would almost rule out diversity.

To use the compute code analogy, it's one thing to access embedded functions that haven't been used before, but it's quite another to access functions that don't exist. Evolution would seem to require that functions be pre-encoded prior to the mutation, and then the mutation has to occur, and then the mutation has to be beneficial to the species in the particular environment it finds itself.

Even if, for example, some scientists took a single cell organism, and manipulated the existing DNA and turned it into a rhinoceros, that still doesn't explain how the single cell DNA acquired the complexity in the first place. Wouldn't it be evolutionary more efficient for creatures to only have the DNA necessary for that creature? Why spend the energy copying and replicating large strands of DNA that serve no useful purpose so that, in a few million years, some other creature it evolves into will be able to use it?

29 posted on 03/17/2014 10:57:33 AM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: chrisser
If species are capable of evolving due to changes in the DNA, then the DNA, and the rest of the systems, are already capable of that evolution

It might help to think of DNA like the alphabet. The alphabet is capable of creating every sentence that's ever been written as well as every sentence that ever will be written. But that doesn't mean the alphabet somehow has all sentences pre-encoded in it or that the scribes copying the Bible were somehow wasting energy because they were copying letters, words, even phrases that later writers would also use.

30 posted on 03/17/2014 11:31:17 AM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

That makes some sense.

OTOH, if you randomly mutate those letters, most of the time you don’t get words. It would seem that random mutations would give you a dictionary of gibberish rather than a dictionary filled with a vocabulary of useful, varied words.

If you take all the combinations possible and compare them with all the combinations of valid words, it would seem there would be far more gibberish cranking out from random mutations. The gibberish would continue to be replicated and eventually, you would not have enough words left to build a viable creature.

31 posted on 03/17/2014 11:40:47 AM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: dr_lew

dr_lew wrote:

“BUT, for ‘you’, to start screaming at ME, that “Dis iz dah way d’at it dun iz, an’ nobody nohow ain’ta gonna think difrent!”, is childish and stupid, and disrespectful of another human being’s intellect.

Just watched it, and I thought I heard a definite note of the forensic - that is, it was seeking to convince by argument. I think you may consider this a nod in your direction, if I’m not putting too much on it.

You made the correct discernment, Herr Dr. He is presenting it, as did the late Dr. Carl Sagan.

32 posted on 03/17/2014 11:45:55 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: chrisser
The gibberish would continue to be replicated

Why? If it's harmful gibberish, the organism with that mutation won't survive. If it's neutral gibberish, it might or might not, but who cares? When that organism mates with one of the more numerous of its species that don't have the mutation, the offspring might get the original version rather than the mutated copy.

But then there's the case where the gibberish is actually a useful new word. In last night's Cosmos, they used the example of an arctic bear that had the mutation for white fur. This is obviously not that rare a mutation--white tigers are born on occasion. Where tigers live, white fur would be a disadvantage; but where arctic bears live, it would be very useful. So the white bear is a more successful hunter, lives longer, mates more often. Some of its offspring have the brown fur of its other parent, but some have the white fur because the new word gets copied. The white ones are more successful, mate more often, etc. etc. and presto: polar bears, a new species.

33 posted on 03/17/2014 1:13:30 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

I don’t know if hair color is the greatest example. That would seem to be a case of turning off an existing gene for the pigment.

How did the gene sequence that causes hair to grow get their in the first place? Presumably there was a hairless creature that had the DNA necessary to produce hair, but it wasn’t turned on. Through a mutation, it gets turned on and hair turns out to be useful.

How did evolution know that hair would one day be required so the genes could be turned on? How many generations of creature had to carry this genetic code intact so it could be activated?

34 posted on 03/17/2014 1:39:08 PM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: chrisser
How did the gene sequence that causes hair to grow get their in the first place? Presumably there was a hairless creature that had the DNA necessary to produce hair, but it wasn’t turned on.

I believe the theory is that hair evolved from scales. So it's not that there was a hairless creature that had the DNA for hair, but rather a scaly creature that had a mutation that made some of its scales a little more hairlike--possibly whiskers that helped it perceive things at night, maybe something more like fur that kept it warm. I don't think this transition is particularly well understood yet, but I'm sure people are working on it.

The point is that evolution works through modification of structures that are already there. There weren't genes for hair until there were already genes for scales in which a mutation could produce something on the road to hair.

35 posted on 03/17/2014 3:30:58 PM PDT by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: catnipman

Cat... You must have read “Darwin’s Doubt”?

Meyer says pretty much the same things you said (with a lot of reference material and impeccable logic to back it up).

He disagrees with you, though, that all life came from simpler life. His contention based on the Cambrian explosion is that the complex animal life that appears at that time did not “evolve” from precambrian eras (where only single cellular life abounds). His basic claim is that the Cambrian explosion was due to some sort of intelligent agent/force not neo-Darwinian evolution.

The title “Darwin’s Doubt” comes from Darwin’s own doubt about his theory with regards to the Cambrian explosion and the lack of complex animal fossils prior to that era. He rationalized the doubt in his own mind by asserting that with more research and excavations precambrian complex animal life would be uncovered.

But to this date it hasn’t.

36 posted on 03/21/2014 8:54:33 PM PDT by aquila48 (tota)
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To: aquila48

“You must have read “Darwin’s Doubt”?”

Yes, and several other similar books, though the way I express my ideas is my own synthesis.

“He disagrees with you, though, that all life came from simpler life.”

I believe it did, but not in way most people think. I believe our makers, when they first set about making the earth’s biosphere did not in fact know how to make such complex creatures as ourselves, but that they built up their knowledge base and technology, for example, first starting with viruses, which they then used as tools to build the DNA/replication infrastructure inherent in all cells. They then figured out how to make simple one-cell creatures, which were used to terraform the earth’s environment, making it hospitable for their next generation of creatures, namely simple multi-cell creatures they figured out how to make while the terraforming was underway.

There’s an enormous difference in complexity between single-cell creatures and multi-cell creatures, particularly with gestation, replication, and growth. Such creatures also require a more complex bio-environment.

Once certain kinds of problems were worked out and the mechanisms understood and constructed, then these could be applied to a whole new generation of creatures consisting of a remarkable diversity of similar creatures. This new set of creatures could then be released into the existing biosphere and allowed to reach equilibrium amongst themselves and those that preceded them while work proceeded in the labs on the home planet on the next generation of improved/increased complexity.

This cycle was repeated several times until we’ve arrived at where we are today (essentially Nexus-7s if you will), and accounts for the abrupt changes we see in the fossil record which shows these periodic “explosions” of life forms at substantially increased levels of complexity and diversity from the previous explosion. Each explosion of “improved” creatures was possible because a new set of problems had been solved by The Makers and these solutions could be applied to making the next generation of creatures.

It should also be noted that problems also had to be solved as to how the new, more complex creatures could be layered in on top of all of the old ones and have the whole symbiotic biosphere continue to function in a self-supporting and self-sustaining fashion by reaching a new and stable equilibrium.

In summary, in my scheme, there IS evolution, it’s just that the evolution is purposeful and intelligent, and is analogous to the way human invention evolves, with digital electronics providing one of the most instructive examples of what I am talking about.

Quite frankly, I think earth’s biosphere is simply an instantiation of someone else’s life-making project or experiment, in other words, a fancy terrarium.

37 posted on 03/21/2014 9:50:23 PM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: catnipman

I take it, then, you must have also read “Signature in the Cell”. I plan on reading that next.

I find the assertion that all life came from a single primordial cell, which came about through some accidental combination of molecules and some type of energy utterly preposterous. Just the idea that only one cell would have arisen and survived in all of earth challenges all credulity. And only at that point in time and place, never to be repeated again.

I must say that Meyer has made a profound impression on me. I used to dismiss ID as just some bible literalists trying to put a scientific patina on religious dogma. Meyer, using scientific evidence and impeccable logic and no reference to biblical scripture, has won me over. He has also convinced me that it is the scientists who espouse only the materialistic world view that are the dogmatic, closed minded and intolerant ones.

With regard to the Designer or Designers, I too sometime think we’re just someone’s lab experiment and that all the problems and issues we face are just situations created by the Designers to see how their creations (us) deal with them. They might be using us as entertainment or as simply work in progress toward a better model.

The idea that we’re somebody’s experiment (God’s?) and that that god is less than perfect comes across strongly in the old testament. I was particularly taken aback at the passages in the old testament where God refers to himself as a “jealous god” as well as one who likes to be worshipped and feared - qualities belonging not to a perfect, all powerful being, but rather to a master (the Designer?) and an insecure one at that.

Ezekiel’s spaceships is another fascinating mystery in the old testament.

38 posted on 03/21/2014 11:36:02 PM PDT by aquila48 (tota)
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To: aquila48

“I take it, then, you must have also read “Signature in the Cell””

Yes, I’ve read that too.

Another interesting book is “The Way of the Cell” by Franklin Harold. Not an ID book, but interesting nonetheless. Some of my favorite parts are after he makes compelling cases for how something works by discussing its design, he then feels compelled to assert that there was NO DESIGNER EVEN THOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE THERE WAS! Actually, I don’t think he really believes that, but feels compelled to occasionally throw a sop to the central dogmatists in order not be drummed out of their society, even though he had only emeritus status when he wrote the book.

BTW, my favorite Bible verse is:

“So God created man in his own Image”

That’s very consistent with my own theory of life creation and has several interesting implications, the main one being that humans strive to create in a manner similar to that which our creators strove(or strive) to create with, and furthermore we’re compelled to create sentient life just as our creators did (or still do). And the “like manner” part is what makes me think we can study and draw conclusions from what we as a species do and how we do it as an exemplar of how we ourselves were created.

Furthermore, the seven day cosmology in the Bible is surprisingly accurate for its time, especially if you consider a “day” to be a day in the life of our creators and not a human day.

The theory of ID opens up worlds of fertile thought and investigation. The theory of The Big Accident leads nowhere intellectually, because pretty much any road taken can lead only to the one conclusion that there’s no causality, because, hey, IT’S ALL JUST A BIG ACCIDENT! Or as Hillary so accurately phrased it, “What difference does it make?” In fact, it’s completely intellectually dishonest to apply design and engineering principals as a means to describe or explain the workings of the molecular machinery of life. There’s really a gigantic intellectual disconnect between the central dogma of “everything is an accident” and then proceeding with all of our studies and investigations as if cause and affect exist and that the things we study have meaning.

39 posted on 03/22/2014 8:54:34 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: catnipman

I was reading another book today “Why Evolution is True”, by Jerry Coyle to get the other side’s POV. (Have you read it?).

I haven’t read all of it yet, but the parts that I’ve read, he makes some quite strong points in favor of evolution and against ID.

So the more I read of both sides the more I’m tending to believe that both theories (ID and Darwin’s) each offers explanations of various aspects of life’s development on earth.

Perhaps, instead of fighting each other and insisting that only one or the other is the true model, they should join forces and come up with a unified theory. I really think that’s what the evidence supports.

Even Stephen Meyer accepts that darwinian type of evolution or variation does indeed take place at the level of species. I believe it would be quite fruitful to do some intensive research as to where design ends and natural selection begins.

Such a collaborative effort would usher a great new renaissance that would go a long way in reconciling science with faith and the idea that there is “something” bigger that us.

I believe IDers are more open to this than Darwinians. The reason may be because there’s nothing in ID that precludes darwinian evolution. Their problem with darwin is that it doesn’t effectively explain many things (such as the Cambrian explosion). The Darwinians, on the other hand, have a lot of problems accepting ID because 1. they’re atheists and thus have a hard time coming to terms with something bigger than they (the thought of a “god” and what that implies terrifies them) and 2. having a “designer” creating stuff introduces a level of arbitrariness in nature that is totally anathema to their world view.

40 posted on 03/22/2014 11:36:43 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: aquila48

““Why Evolution is True””

Haven’t read it. Don’t need to. The basic premise of the so-called theory of evolution that the most amazing machinery of life formed accidentally from a mud puddle and then proceeded to violate all laws of nature with which we are familiar and climbed the improbably steep hill of reverse-entropy as a consequence of the nascent life being bombarded by cosmic 20mm depleted uranium cannon shells is preposterous.

Certainly, a form of Darwinian evolution takes place, but that’s simply the biospheric equilibrium process I was referring to when a new generation of creatures are introduced. That form of Darwinian evolution merely brings to the forefront one of several pre-existing alternate minor variations already inherent in the creature and produces nothing new that wasn’t already there. Man can accelerate this process when he breeds multiple variations of animals from an existing one, such as the large variety of dogs that have been breed from the wolf. But nothing new genetically has been achieved, and this form of evolution has nothing to do with the creation of life nor is it even related to the process that produced dinosaurs from bacteria.

I seek the truth for myself, and I do not feel compelled to engage with those who believe differently than I do, and I certainly would never alter my own sense of the truth to please others via some bastardized “compromise”. The accident of life theory is absurd and I see no value in injecting absurdity in what I see as at least a rational theory, namely ID.

We’re very lucky that the many truth-seeking scientists of their day, such as Galileo, Louis Pasteur, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Alfred Wegener, Antoine Lavoisier, and Robin Warren and Barry J., refused to “compromise” with the 99% of their peers who were flagrantly wrong.

Truth seeking isn’t about compromising, it’s about sifting through the available knowledge and applying reasoning to discard the obvious BS and figuring out what is most likely from the rest.

41 posted on 03/23/2014 9:03:31 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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