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Theory of Evolution -- Not Intelligent Design -- Is Most Like Creationism
AFA Online ^ | 9/29/05 | Brian Fahling

Posted on 09/29/2005 1:41:16 PM PDT by dukeman

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1 posted on 09/29/2005 1:41:18 PM PDT by dukeman
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To: dukeman

"The evolutionist stomps his feet screaming that the theory of evolution is as well established as the theory of gravity. But that simply is not true."

What does truth have to do with the theory of evolution?


2 posted on 09/29/2005 1:46:53 PM PDT by mlc9852
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To: dukeman

God created democrats too.....can we really call that intelligent? :)

Darwinism needs to be subject to the same hard scrutiny as any scientific theory....its not the end of the world to state that there are flaws in the theory, but it seems it is the end of the world to say this for many, if not most, Darwinists.

Lighten up evo devos...!


3 posted on 09/29/2005 1:49:59 PM PDT by fizziwig
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To: fizziwig

I have no problem saying evolution is just a theory....as long as they also state that nobody has come with a *better* theory that fits the observered facts.


4 posted on 09/29/2005 1:53:47 PM PDT by blowfish
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To: dukeman
Both creationists and evolutionists have as their starting point a belief in the infallibility of their creeds (though I think the creationists have the better part of the argument here).

Another author who doesn't know science.

"Evolutionists" are constantly trying to falsify their theories. They do not for a moment think their theories are infallible. That's one of the differences between evolution and CS; the latter do think their beliefs are infallible and are trying to do science without learning how.

When you already know all the answers, scientific method isn't very important then, it it?

5 posted on 09/29/2005 1:56:03 PM PDT by Coyoteman (New tagline coming soon)
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To: dukeman
As a matter of science, intelligent design theory is much more disciplined...

No point reading past this. Anybody that thinks that ID is scientifically disciplined is a moron. ID has no science to it at all. It is superstition, not science.

6 posted on 09/29/2005 1:59:24 PM PDT by wyattearp (The best weapon to have in a gunfight is a shotgun - preferably from ambush.)
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To: fizziwig
Speaking of intelligently designed Dems, here's a doozy I just came across on DU:

HypnoToad (1000+ posts) Thu Sep-29-05 02:08 PM
Original message

If everybody cut back on electricity^, would that curtail global warming?

^ meaning stopping usage of tvs, computers, everything NON-ESSENTIAL?

Let's face it: How essential to our lives is "business"?

Why not reclaim our agricultural roots but maintain the transport element as it is necessary to plant and harvest the crops necessary to sustain us all?

Would EVERYBODY be willing to ditch their ipods in favor of more localized communities with real, live, entertainment?

Or if we shut everything off, would it be too late to stop the global warming problem?

I see lots of news articles whining about global warming. Just as they do all sorts of other problems that have been created by mankind rather than God. Yet none of them even bothers to think of a solution.

Y'all can flame me all you want now. But the choice is simple: A radical change now that might just spare us all... or change nothing and we ALL die once we waste energy resources beyond a certain point, baking our planet in the process just as we would a pizza or gerbil pie. Even the mega-wealthy and they are the ones who'd ultimately decide what happens.

Okay, two things:
1. Like, far out!
2. What's a gerbil pie? Please try to maintain some level or decorum in your replies....

7 posted on 09/29/2005 2:01:23 PM PDT by dukeman
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To: dukeman
Maybe the judge should use a little common sense and rule that none of the above belong in a school science class.

If a student asks, "What's 2 plus 2?" the teacher can give a factual, definitive answer; the answer is known and provable.

If a student asks, "Where did the Universe come from?" the teacher should say, "We don't know. Ask your parents what their beliefs are. My beliefs don't matter to you. The school board's beliefs don't matter to you. The Supreme Court's beliefs don't matter to you. Because nobody can say for sure and all answers are based on faith of one kind or another."

I'd like the "Ask your parents" reply mandated in other matters as well; such as the proper installation of a condom.

8 posted on 09/29/2005 2:06:40 PM PDT by jackliberty
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To: fizziwig
Darwinism needs to be subject to the same hard scrutiny as any scientific theory....

It is.

its not the end of the world to state that there are flaws in the theory,

It isn't. Evolutionary theory isn't monolithic, and it isn't unchanged since Darwin.

but it seems it is the end of the world to say this for many, if not most, Darwinists.

Pure nonsense. Scientists ask that you bring evidence to support an alternate theory, which will then be evaluated, reviewed and debated. Creationists and ID adherents are unable to bring that.

9 posted on 09/29/2005 2:13:15 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: dukeman
Instead of attributing the design evident in these structures to God, or undirected processes and natural selection, the intelligent design theorist merely posits an intelligent cause behind life and the cosmos.

As a matter of science, intelligent design theory is much more disciplined and modest in its claims than either the theory of evolution or creationism. Intelligent design theory merely infers, but does not attempt to identify, a designer from evidence that even evolutionists agree has the appearance of being designed.

So disciplined and modest, in fact, that the ID proponent restricts himself entirely to shrugging his shoulders and saying "sure looks like somebody or something may have designed this little thingy." Now there's a scientific undertaking today's teenagers will just love.

And I notice that the author of this article didn't even try to identify any specific evidence of design or any criteria by which the existence of design may be established or ruled out. I wonder why?

10 posted on 09/29/2005 2:15:10 PM PDT by atlaw
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To: dukeman
Article from Agape Press.

Naw, ID isn't religious.

11 posted on 09/29/2005 2:21:31 PM PDT by narby
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To: dukeman

Heard this on Glenn Beck:

"Look through a telescope at Mars.
If you see an office building on it, evolution would say it just happened by chance. Intelligent Design says, no, someone built it."

Evolutionist fear what would happen if their theory is challenged, truly investigated without bias, or questioned IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. They then attack the scientist who does question it (or the guy who posts something against it), question his credentials, call him pathetic, or try to convince a court or school board that he's insane.

Why is it such a huge threat to say that there are possibly other options than we went from goo, to zoo, to YOU?

Today's evolutionary scientist are willing to question anything EXCEPT evolution. The real question should be WHY?


12 posted on 09/29/2005 2:23:19 PM PDT by ConservativeBamaFan
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To: ConservativeBamaFan
Heard this on Glenn Beck:

"Look through a telescope at Mars. If you see an office building on it, evolution would say it just happened by chance. Intelligent Design says, no, someone built it."

So you and Glenn Beck have some kind of inside knowledge about self-reproducing, organic, extraterrestrial office buildings? Tell me more.

13 posted on 09/29/2005 2:27:27 PM PDT by atlaw
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To: ConservativeBamaFan
Just because something happens by a random mechanism doesn't mean it "all happened by chance" or "by accident". Such is the ignorance of someone unfamiliar with randomness, Science, evolution, or quantum mechanics. Mostly Creationist and ID'ers.

Quantum mechanics shows that the mechanism for atomic formation are random, but given the conditions of the universe, the formation of matter is inevitable. Something that is inevitable is NOT an accident or chance.

Molecular Biology shows that the mechanism for mutation is random, but given the conditions of life on earth, evolution through natural selection is inevitable. Something that is inevitable is NOT an accident or chance.

An example.

During the last ice age rabbits went from predominantly brown camouflaged pelts to predominantly white camouflaged pelts. The mechanism for this was random mutation of the genes that supply color to the pelt. But due to natural selection the outcome was INEVITABLE; it most certainly wasn't an accident or by chance.

If you reject evolution because the mechanism is random you must also reject quantum mechanics. Because if life formed "by accident" or "by chance" because the mechanism is random, then the ENTIRE UNIVERSE formed "by accident" or "by chance".

Ridiculous.
14 posted on 09/29/2005 2:31:41 PM PDT by Mylo ( scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.)
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To: dukeman

Ahhhh, the essence of Moonbatism....scaaaary!

Do you wear a tyvek suit and self contained breathing apparatus when you visit DU? I would.


15 posted on 09/29/2005 2:49:04 PM PDT by fizziwig
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To: Mylo

1-- You don't really understand the difference between theoretical-math based quantum mechanics and observation based quantum mechanics. The former (math-based) says a whole bunch of crazy stuff, like we can violate the first law under certain conditions. The latter (science, observation based) says the first law is good to go.

2-- Under infinite time and with infinite combinations life could evolve from non-life. Under early earth conditions (best of our knowledge) and given the mechanisms of evolution and the time involved, there is good reason to believe an intelligence is responsible for many historical occurrences: origin of life, establishment of eukaryotes, evolution of the human brain from the chimp brain (time constraints and mechanisms are huge on this one).

Inevitability only applies to systems with infinities, not practical, real systems.


16 posted on 09/29/2005 3:02:39 PM PDT by jdhighness
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To: dukeman

This is about as accurate as the arguments. One can't argue logic with beliefs. It just doesn't work.
Close Enough?

Good Hunting... from Varmint Al

17 posted on 09/29/2005 3:03:09 PM PDT by Varmint Al
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To: Mylo

Yeah, but what's a gerbil pie?


18 posted on 09/29/2005 3:09:17 PM PDT by dukeman
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To: jdhighness
I understand it just fine, thank you.

There is no "good reason" to believe that "an intelligence" is necessary in any way for us to evolve from a common ancestor with the chimp (not from a chimp, you simp)into a big brained species while the chip remained a small brained species. There is a known mechanism (mutation and natural selection) that has been observed reproducibly in the lab; and there is only 1% difference in the genes of humans and chimps that this mechanism needs to account for.

Opposed to this is an nonscientific hypothesis that presupposes a unknown intelligence acting through an unknown mechanism. This hypothesis is not only untestable, it is completely useless for observing and predicting the universe because there is no way to know when the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" will act again, what mechanism will be used, or what effect it will have.

Untestable and useless.
19 posted on 09/29/2005 3:12:13 PM PDT by Mylo ( scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.)
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To: dukeman
I don't care what you do with them when your done. Ask Richard Gere for a good recipe for Gerbil Pie. You two can party and play with Gerbils to your heart (or any other part of your anatomy's content).
20 posted on 09/29/2005 3:14:01 PM PDT by Mylo ( scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.)
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To: dukeman
Intelligent design, however, is an a posteriori argument; it is the inference drawn from examination of complex structures in living organisms and the universe

the wow-have-you-ever-looked-at-your-hand-I-mean-really-looked school of stoner intellectual epistemology. - Mike Argento

21 posted on 09/29/2005 5:17:34 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Paging Nehemiah Scudder:the Crazy Years are peaking. America is ready for you.)
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To: Mylo

Mylo,

You clearly know what the scientific method is, and I applaud you for that. You certainly cannot test God scientifically. You can see His necessity in probability.

I misspoke with I said evolved from chimps, just as you did when you said "while the chip remained".

I believe that mutation and natural selection can produce different species--even though that has not been observed. But it cannot account for the evolution of the human brain given the mechanisms of evolution, the time given, and the condiitions.

Do a little thought experiment:

how much time was there between emergance of our proto-ancestor and homo sapiens

what are the selective pressures

how often are beneficial genes passed on in germ cells, factoring in the low birthrate of hominids

how often are beneficial mutations in the brain--a most sensitive organ

if the mutations in the brain were enough to make mating with other members impossible (ie speciation), then what is the probability that two members of this new species would evolve in each others short lifetime, make contact, produce offspring that had the positive mutation, that offspring survived, and so on

how many mutations were necessary to differential our brain potential from our proto-ancestor

I'd like to share how I view scientific knowledge versus belief in God. On the x-axis there is sci knowledge. On the y-axis there is belief in God. At first when knowledge increases, belief decreases; you metaphorically realize that God does not push the sun across the sky. Then as knowledge continues to increase and you look deeply into the mechanisms and observational evidence (not hypothetical evidence like math-based quantum mechanics) your belief in God increases as the more you know the more God needs to be a part of it.

I am not saying ID is a theory, but it is a plausible philosophy. It should not stifle scientific research by allowing for the "who cares; God did it" course of action--but it is certainly not irrational or its evidence unscientific.

Learning science is just like reading the paper--you need to have a discernible eye. Just because NewScientist.com says that "String Theory helps explain origin of matter" doesn't mean that is agreed with or even in a large minority seen as accurate. That is one researcher who was interviewed. You need to look at consenses and trends.


22 posted on 09/29/2005 5:45:25 PM PDT by jdhighness
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To: dukeman
the theory of evolution is an a priori argument drawn from the evolutionist's article of faith which holds that the origin of life and the cosmos can only be explained by undirected natural processes.

Sigh. Why don't people take the time to learn about the theory of evolution before criticising it? The theory has absolutely nothing to do with the origin of the cosmos or life. It's just a theory (well supported by the evidence) about how life diversified after it appeared. That's it. Nothing more nothing less.

Why do opponents of evolution try to make the theory out to be something it isn't?

23 posted on 09/29/2005 9:20:01 PM PDT by curiosity
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To: jdhighness
What I said was "while the chimp remained a small brained species". This is correct. The common ancestor we share with a chimp was a (relatively) small brained species, and while we developed a large brain, they REMAINED a small brained species (i.e. they continue to share that trait with our common ancestor).

It was about 6 million years or so (going from memory) to account for that 1% difference in the genes between us and a chimp. Looking at where that difference accumulated you can see a pattern. There is the most difference in DNA that doesn't code for protein. There isn't much reason for conserving it, as far as evolutionary fitness, and so random mutations tend to crop up there more frequently. The changes in the DNA within genes are mostly conservative mutations (every conservative should know about conservative mutations) that, while they make a difference in the DNA (some of that 1%)the amino acid they code for at that position is exactly the same; once again not much selective pressure to keep it "real" if you get the same result. Only a little of the difference actually makes a difference as far as the actual protein that gets made. Additionally there are only two differences between chimps and humans on the chromosome level.

So this is what is needed over 6 million years. A 1% change in the genes, that if it wasn't from random mutation and natural selection, it looks exactly as if it was; and two chromosomal differences.

And to bridge THIS little gap you want to throw out the Scientific method and turn it all over to the philosophical posturings of people so dense that they think that Scientists have some sort of fetish for material explanations.

I'd like to share how I view the Scientific method versus the Superstitious method.

On the one hand we have ideas put forth by the people using the Scientific method. It is based upon observable phenomenon and measurable results that can be replicated. Based upon this theories are formed to better predict and explain the phenomenon.

On the other hand we have the ideas put forth by people using the Superstitious method. It is based upon nothing but how someone "feels" about the symmetry of the universe and their philosophy of complexity and how it can't exist without being designed by something in this universe, but somehow can in some other never before seen plane of existence where God lives. Based upon this scientific theories are attacked, and Scientists decried for only seeking material explanations that can help to observe and predict the universe, rather than philosophically relying upon non material and unmeasurable explanations that cannot be observed or predicted.

As one's knowledge increases along the X axis, they go from the negative area along the Y axis of philosophical cretinism and the Superstitious method and rise into the positive area along the Y axis of acceptance of unknowing enlightenment and use of the Scientific method.
24 posted on 09/29/2005 9:51:59 PM PDT by Mylo ( scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.)
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To: dukeman
"Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him."
25 posted on 09/30/2005 12:37:52 AM PDT by Petronius (Hunter S. Thompson: Shine On You Crazy Diamond!)
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To: jackliberty
If a student asks, "Where did the Universe come from?" the teacher should say, "We don't know. Ask your parents what their beliefs are. My beliefs don't matter to you. The school board's beliefs don't matter to you. The Supreme Court's beliefs don't matter to you. Because nobody can say for sure and all answers are based on faith of one kind or another."

Why would you want the teacher to lie to the students? And to grossly misrepresent the evidence? And to mislead the students about the strengths of the scientific method and how it results in reliable knowledge that is far beyond "just faith"?

Oh, right -- because you don't have a clue about any of these things, and planning to pass your misconceptions along to the next generation.

I've got a better idea. Let's leave education to those who actually have knowledge of the subject, shall we?

26 posted on 09/30/2005 12:46:03 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: dukeman

I don't think either ID or evolution can address the origin of life, just the origin of the diversity of species on our planet. The article seems to get it wrong - as do most in this debate - this is not about the origin of life, but the "origin of species".


27 posted on 09/30/2005 12:46:18 AM PDT by eagle11
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To: ConservativeBamaFan; atlaw; Mylo
Heard this on Glenn Beck: "Look through a telescope at Mars. If you see an office building on it, evolution would say it just happened by chance. Intelligent Design says, no, someone built it."

Yup, because buildings are exactly the sort of things that people build, and we know that because we build them.

Now, what's the last time you saw someone build life? Living things aren't the kind of thing that people build. They're the kind of things you find occurring without us having built them, they grow naturally in nature without human intervention.

Getting a clue yet?

Evolutionist fear what would happen if their theory is challenged, truly investigated without bias, or questioned IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.

You have a vivid imagination, but you're dead wrong. Try not to mistake your fantasies for reality.

If you had bothered to actually read the scientific literature (oh, right, you haven't, you're a *creationist*), you'd have seen "evolutionists" do exactly that on a very regular basis: "challenge, truly investigate without bias, and question IN EVERY WAY SHAPE AND FORM" the theories of evolutionary biology.

You guys have *really* got to stop reading those creationist pamphlets and start reading some actual science before you set out to critique science. The first requisite of being able to debate something is to ACTUALLY KNOW THE TOPIC FIRST.

They then attack the scientist who does question it (or the guy who posts something against it), question his credentials, call him pathetic, or try to convince a court or school board that he's insane.

Nope. Plenty of scientists question it, in the science journals, without being attacked, etc. That's because the scientists in the science journals actually know what they're talking about.

The "scientists" who *do* get laughed at, have their credentials questioned, get dismissed as pathetic, etc., are the ones who actually *are* being laughable, idiotic, or pathetic, because they're "questioning" evolution by using misrepresentations, straw-man fallacies, idiotic "reasoning", false analogies, flawed arguments, and often just outright lies. In short, acting like typical anti-evolution creationists. *Valid* criticisms are always welcome -- that's how science advances. *Invalid* criticisms, especially those which are presented with the snotty air of the typical "you guys are all dead wrong because of something I thought up on my lunch break" creationist, very rightly deserve to be slapped down hard and laughed out of the room.

But hey, if you think I'm being overly harsh, give us *your* best shot. Present your *very* best argument/evidence against evolution. Let's see how well it holds up, shall we? But remember, if your own personally selected *best* attack on evolution falls flat because it turns out you didn't really know what in the hell you were talking about when you set out to "disprove" a century-old field of science which has been validated and cross-checked and refined by millions of researchers, then you'll have richly earned all the snickering that your undeserved arrogance brings you.

Why is it such a huge threat to say that there are possibly other options than we went from goo, to zoo, to YOU?

It isn't a threat at all. There are plenty of "possibly other options". Maybe the Invisible Pink Unicorns waved their magic wands. Anything's possible.

*BUT*, if you're going to stand up and declare that your "possibly other options" ought to be taught in *science* class, *as* science, (or that evolution needs to be removed from science classes, or presented as "less" of a firmly established science than it really is), well, then, you've got some actual *work* to do, like actually making a solid *case* for your fringe view.

Today's evolutionary scientist are willing to question anything EXCEPT evolution.

Bull manure. Complete and utter horse crap. Please stop telling lies, it only makes you look grossly ignorant.

The real question should be WHY?

No, the real question is WHY people insist on making such ludicrously false statements with such arrogant cocksureness, when in fact they couldn't possibly be more stunningly wrong.

Someone has brainwashed you. Someone has filled your head with utter crap and propaganda, just as viciously and cynically as Michael Moore has filled the heads of millions of impressionable people with horsecrap about conservatives and consveratism. If I were you, I'd go find them and kick their asses. I don't like being lied to, and you shouldn't either.

28 posted on 09/30/2005 1:18:17 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: jdhighness; Mylo; PatrickHenry
Under infinite time and with infinite combinations life could evolve from non-life.

It could (and has) also happened under finite time and finite combinations.

Under early earth conditions (best of our knowledge) and given the mechanisms of evolution and the time involved, there is good reason to believe an intelligence is responsible for many historical occurrences:

Gee, really? What are those "good reasons"?

Warning: Alleged arguments *against* evolutionary origins are *not* reasons *for* concluding that "an intelligence is responsible". Epistemology doesn't work that way. Be sure that your answer actually constitutes reasons *for* your particular hypothesis of "an intelligence is responsible". Good luck with that one.

Also, in your answer, please explain the origin of your alleged "responsible intelligence" -- did *it* originate spontaneously by some natural process? If so, why not us? And if it *didn't* originate naturally, is it turtles all the way down then?

"Solving" the riddle of the existence of life and intelligence by postulating *another* pre-existing life and intelligence doesn't really "solve" anything, it just kicks the question down the road.

origin of life, establishment of eukaryotes,

What about them? You sort of "forgot" to include your "reasons" for concluding that "an intelligence is responsible" for these.

evolution of the human brain from the chimp brain (time constraints and mechanisms are huge on this one).

Odd, the folks who have spent a lot of time actually studying the amount of genetic difference between us and the chimps, and comparing to the amount of time since our last common ancestor (about six million years) haven't spotted anything that isn't well within the range of expected genetic accumulation rates. Do you know something they don't know? Or are you just stating what you *presume* without a shred of evidence or study to base it on?

Here's what actual *examination* of the genomes (you know, that "evidence" thing) finds:

Prediction 5.8: Genetic rates of change

Rates of genetic change, as measured by nucleotide substitutions, must also be consistent with the rate required from the time allowed in the fossil record and the sequence differences observed between species.

Confirmation:

What we must compare are the data from three independent sources: (1) fossil record estimates of the time of divergence of species, (2) nucleotide differences between species, and (3) the observed rates of mutation in modern species. The overall conclusion is that these three are entirely consistent with one another.

For example, consider the human/chimp divergence, one of the most well-studied evolutionary relationships. Chimpanzees and humans are thought to have diverged, or shared a common ancestor, about 6 Mya, based on the fossil record (Stewart and Disotell 1998). The genomes of chimpanzees and humans are very similar; their DNA sequences overall are 98% identical (King and Wilson 1975; Sverdlov 2000). The greatest differences between these genomes are found in pseudogenes, non-translated sequences, and fourfold degenerate third-base codon positions. All of these are very free from selection constraints, since changes in them have virtually no functional or phenotypic effect, and thus most mutational changes are incorporated and retained in their sequences. For these reasons, they should represent the background rate of spontaneous mutation in the genome. These regions with the highest sequence dissimilarity are what should be compared between species, since they will provide an upper limit on the rate of evolutionary change.

Given a divergence date of 6 Mya, the maximum inferred rate of nucleotide substitution in the most divergent regions of DNA in humans and chimps is ~1.3 x 10-9 base substitutions per site per year. Given a generation time of 15-20 years, this is equivalent to a substitution rate of ~2 x 10-8 per site per generation (Crowe 1993; Futuyma 1998, p. 273).

Background spontaneous mutation rates are extremely important for cancer research, and they have been studied extensively in humans. A review of the spontaneous mutation rate observed in several genes in humans has found an average background mutation rate of 1-5 x 10-8 base substitutions per site per generation. This rate is a very minimum, because its value does not include insertions, deletions, or other base substitution mutations that can destroy the function of these genes (Giannelli et al. 1999; Mohrenweiser 1994, pp. 128-129). Thus, the fit amongst these three independent sources of data is extremely impressive.

Similar results have been found for many other species (Kumar and Subramanian 2002; Li 1997, pp. 180-181, 191). In short, the observed genetic rates of mutation closely match inferred rates based on paleological divergence times and genetic genomic differences. Therefore, the observed rates of mutation can easily account for the genetic differences observed between species as different as mice, chimpanzees, and humans.

Potential Falsification:

It is entirely plausible that measured genetic mutation rates from observations of modern organisms could be orders of magnitude less than that required by rates inferred from the fossil record and sequence divergence.

Looks good to me... The observed mutation rate in the human genome applied over a period of six million years is more than sufficient to account for the actual amount of genetic divergence found between the human and chimp genomes. If you have evidence to the contrary, *now* would be the time to present it.

And for more divergence analyses than you can shake a stick at, see: Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome. In it you'll find tables like this:

The first interesting thing of note is that there is far *less* genetic divergence between humans and chimps than there is between mice and rats... But I digress.

The table shows the fraction of diverged basepairs in protein-coding genes. Multiple the numbers in the first two rows by 100 if you find percentages more clear.

KS is the fraction of synonymous basepair substitutions since the last common ancestor (out of all possible synonymous substitutions). This is used as a baseline for mutation/fixation rate, since synonymous substitutions are demonstrably neutral in effect, and therefore unaffected by selection.

KA is the fraction of non-synonymous basepair substitutions since the last common ancestor (out of all possible nonsynonymous substutions). These are the mutations that "matter", because they actually make a change in the amino-acid sequence of the protein which the gene produces.

KA/KS is the ratio of the above two numbers, and indicates the fraction of nonsynonymous mutations which fix in the genome relative to the number of synonymous mutations which fix. This indicates the fraction of "meaningful" mutations which end up in the genome, and shows the effect of natural (and other kinds) of evolutionary selection. I'm oversimplifying here, but the ~0.2 ratio for hominids indicates roughly that four out of five mutations in nonsynonymous loci were harmful and weeded out by natural selection, whereas one out of five mutations were neutral or beneficial. (Actually, a more realistic scenario is that more than 4/5 of mutations were harmful, but beneficial mutations which were rarer than 1/5 were strongly positively selected, resulting in an overall average fixation rate of 1/5.)

For the current discussion, however, the most relevant number is KS. This is the figure which you allege is too high to be plausibly possible within six million years. But is it really? For a 20-year generation time (too long for most of hominid history, but let's be conservative in our estimate) over 6MY, that means .00617 / 6M * 20 = 2.06 x 10-8 mutations per generation at a given locus is needed in order to generate the observed genetic divergence between chimps and humans.

As the above quoted material already establishes, the observed mutation rate for humans is on the order of 1 to 5 x 10-8 mutations per generation per locus. So the *observed* mutation rate in humans is pretty much exactly equal to the amount of divergence found between humans and chimps. Looks good to me, how about you? So what's that you were saying about "time constraints are huge" on the human/chimp divergence? On the contrary, the amount of time it has taken seems just about exactly right.

Ah, but you may point out, these are just the average divergences, what's the story on the greatest-diverging nonsynonymous changes in genes? I'm glad you asked. Here are the "most diverged" genes between humans and chimps:

Location (human) Cluster Median KA/KI*

*Maximum median KA/KI if the cluster stretched over more than one window of ten genes.

1q21 Epidermal differentiation complex 1.46
6p22 Olfactory receptors and HLA-A 0.96
20p11 Cystatins 0.94
19q13 Pregnancy-specific glycoproteins 0.94
17q21 Hair keratins and keratin-associated proteins 0.93
19q13 CD33-related Siglecs 0.90
20q13 WAP domain protease inhibitors 0.90
22q11 Immunoglobulin-lambda/breakpoint critical region 0.85
12p13 Taste receptors, type 2 0.81
17q12 Chemokine (C-C motif) ligands 0.81
19q13 Leukocyte-associated immunoglobulin-like receptors 0.80
5q31 Protocadherin-beta 0.77
1q32 Complement component 4-binding proteins 0.76
21q22 Keratin-associated proteins and uncharacterized ORFs 0.76
1q23 CD1 antigens 0.72
4q13 Chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligands 0.70
Bad news for the folks who presume that brain differences are going to be the biggest genetic differences between humans and chimps: Unless I'm missing something I don't see any brain-related genes on the top 16 most-changed genes, but instead we find a lot of genes relating to hair/skin/nails, smell/taste, and the immune system. Fascinating. And that's not just an evolution-based finding -- even if some unspecified "designer" built those genomes, he/she/it still found the need to craft larger differences in the genes which regulate hair/skin/nails and so on than the ones which directly regulate brain developement and activity.

Look, go for it -- there are several databases online where you can peruse the complete genomes of both chimp and man. Feel free to point out the gene or genes which you feel are so different between the two that ordinary rates of mutation and genetic fixation aren't statistically sufficient to account for the differences. We'll wait.

29 posted on 09/30/2005 3:10:19 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
You big bully! No fair! Booo! I pity you.
</internet idiot mode>
30 posted on 09/30/2005 3:27:05 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Disclaimer -- this information may be legally false in Kansas.)
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To: jdhighness; Mylo
You certainly cannot test God scientifically. You can see His necessity in probability.

How in the heck do you figure *that*? Sorry, but epistemology doesn't work that way. See my earlier post and associated link. Furthermore, all you can demonstrate with probability is that your *current* model (note: probability calculations can only be performed on the basis of a *specified* model) does not adequately explain the phenomenon under examination. It can *not* be used to rule out *all* conceivable (much less inconceivable) alternative explanations of a natural or deterministic type, because there will always be possible mechanisms which you have not yet thought of. In short, the *only* way you could actually rule out all possible naturalistic methods via "probability" would be to be *omniscient* yourself. Good luck with that one. And barring that, you can *not* "see the necessity" of supernatural involvement "in probability".

I believe that mutation and natural selection can produce different species--even though that has not been observed.

It has, actually. Furthermore, there are more ways of "observing" than the usual ultra-narrow one imagined by creationists.

But it cannot account for the evolution of the human brain given the mechanisms of evolution, the time given, and the condiitions.

You state your presumptions as if they were facts. Please stop it.

Do a little thought experiment:

Actually, I'd rather do some REAL-WORLD experiments -- you know, examining the evidence, testing predictions of a hypothesis against subsequent findings, that sort of thing. Just about anything can be "shown" via a "thought experiment", via armchair speculation, via ivory-tower theorizing. But the whole point of the scientific method is that human presumptions are notoriously unreliable -- sooner or later you're going to have to go out and do some real reality-checks, comparing your presumptions against the REAL WORLD. This is what the scientific method is all about -- it's rules about how to reliably do reality-checks.

how much time was there between emergance of our proto-ancestor and homo sapiens

Six million years.

what are the selective pressures

On average, 0.2 per basepair mutation.

how often are beneficial genes passed on in germ cells, factoring in the low birthrate of hominids

0.2 x (1-5)x10-8 per generation.

how often are beneficial mutations in the brain--a most sensitive organ

Less than 0.7 x (1-5)x10-8 per locus per individual per generation. If you want an absolute number, multiply by the number of basepairs involved in brain-related genes, and then multiply again by the size of the human population.

if the mutations in the brain were enough to make mating with other members impossible (ie speciation), then what is the probability that two members of this new species would evolve in each others short lifetime, make contact, produce offspring that had the positive mutation, that offspring survived, and so on

EERRNNTT!!! Sorry, you have a grossly incorrect presumption about evolution there, making this entire paragraph invalid. See this post of mine which explains the flaws in this common misconception.

how many mutations were necessary to differential our brain potential from our proto-ancestor

Fewer than 0.7 x (1-5)x10-8 per locus per generation.

And by the way, the measured rate of non-deleterious novel mutations in humans is around four new mutations PER PERSON, meaning there are over twenty billion new mutations in the human genepool as we speak. That's a lot of variation for natural selection to act on and drive evolutionary change.

I'd like to share how I view scientific knowledge versus belief in God. On the x-axis there is sci knowledge. On the y-axis there is belief in God. At first when knowledge increases, belief decreases; you metaphorically realize that God does not push the sun across the sky. Then as knowledge continues to increase and you look deeply into the mechanisms and observational evidence (not hypothetical evidence like math-based quantum mechanics) your belief in God increases as the more you know the more God needs to be a part of it.

Does not follow (how does increased knowledge of how things work naturally result in "knowing" that "God needs to be part of it"?), and is a standard "god of the gaps" argument, which has a number of known flaws (try Google).

I am not saying ID is a theory, but it is a plausible philosophy.

...for suitably loose definitions of the word "plausible".

It should not stifle scientific research by allowing for the "who cares; God did it" course of action--but it is certainly not irrational or its evidence unscientific.

Um, *what* "evidence"? So far all you've offered is the usual "god of the gaps", "argument from incredulity", and "false dichotomy". The first is intellectual laziness, the last two are logical fallacies -- and none of them are "evidence".

Learning science is just like reading the paper--you need to have a discernible eye.

Indeed.

Just because NewScientist.com says that "String Theory helps explain origin of matter" doesn't mean that is agreed with or even in a large minority seen as accurate. That is one researcher who was interviewed. You need to look at consenses and trends

And the relevance of this observation to the current discussion would be...?

31 posted on 09/30/2005 4:14:52 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry
You big bully! No fair! Booo!

"Ain't I a stinker?"


32 posted on 09/30/2005 4:16:37 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry; <1/1,000,000th%; balrog666; BMCDA; Condorman; Dimensio; Doctor Stochastic; ...
</internet idiot mode>

(No, I'm not aiming this at anyone in particular, I just ran across it and it was too funny not to share.)

33 posted on 09/30/2005 4:49:21 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: wyattearp
ID has no science to it at all. It is superstition, not science.

It doesn't even rise to the level of superstition. At least superstition has some testable hypotheses to it: if I throw salt over my shoulder, I should get luck.

ID doesn't even have that going for it.

34 posted on 09/30/2005 4:56:19 AM PDT by RogueIsland
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To: jdhighness
Learning science is just like reading the paper--you need to have a discernible eye.

It would also help to have a discerning eye, unless the paper is also reading you.

35 posted on 09/30/2005 6:29:52 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: jdhighness
You don't really understand the difference between theoretical-math based quantum mechanics and observation based quantum mechanics. The former (math-based) says a whole bunch of crazy stuff, like we can violate the first law under certain conditions. The latter (science, observation based) says the first law is good to go.

Crap. There's no discrepancy. You can violate the first law only on time scales set out by the uncertainty principle, since energy and time are conjugate variables. You can demonstrate this experimentally.

36 posted on 09/30/2005 7:16:34 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Ichneumon
(No, I'm not aiming this at anyone in particular, I just ran across it and it was too funny not to share.)

ditto


37 posted on 09/30/2005 8:05:25 AM PDT by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: Ichneumon
They seem to be parodying Captain Planet
38 posted on 09/30/2005 8:57:39 AM PDT by RightWingAtheist (Bring back Modernman!)
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To: Mylo

Mylo,

I'd appreciate it if you read my posts more carefully and less casually. I pointed out your mention of "while the chip remained.." not because I disagreed with its content, but because you had a minor oversight in your spelling like I had a minor oversight say we diverged from chimps.

I don't think established science says there was 6 million years to account for the 1%. As far as I know, it is more around 1-2 million.

As I said before, you did not get my argument. I am not for replacing the sci meth with superstition and "God did it so let's not research it." I am interested in undercutting some ridiculous underlying philosophies in the interpretation of scientific data. So when you multiply all the improbable events that, say, the human brain could have evolved give ABCDEF factors, you don't then say "well, that is ridiculously unlikely--but since there is no God then it must be the best explaination." That is philosophy.

Remember, I don't want the scientific method changed; I want the interpretation of data to reflect probability and the possibility that there could be a God.


39 posted on 09/30/2005 10:46:01 AM PDT by jdhighness
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To: Ichneumon; PatrickHenry

Ichneumon posts two massive posts in a row--which clearly for a college student would be too much to analyze while maintaining a challenging homework load--and you somehow feel justified.

Ich,

You basically demand I have a award winning scientific thesis or else I'm wrong. If I say a premise and do not provide exhaustive evidence, it is obvious that I believe it is valid based on my learning and that I am appealing to a similar understanding on the readers part. Someday, I will have every little contention cited (a side project), but of course on FR during a study break I cannot do this.

Someday in the future, probably after december break, I will have finished my website on how scientific observations (but not the method itself) point to God/Jesus.

Until then, I will concede that I do not have the time to aduquetely and scientifically challenge your massive postings (which I suspect were to some degree pre-generated, which is wise). That said, I am a biochem student so I really appreciate your attempts to educate me. Unlike patrichenry and mylo--who seem more interested in self-justificatio--you seem genuinely interested in educating others and debating your own understanding. I look forward to speaking with you in the future.

Patrick Henry,

You might be knowledgable about science and naturalism/theism and science--I don't know enough about you. But from what I've seen on this post and others, your dismissive and condescening remarks do not earn you the respect your potential knowledge should deserve you.


40 posted on 09/30/2005 10:56:34 AM PDT by jdhighness
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To: Right Wing Professor

I'd be interested in how they can prove that experimentally.


41 posted on 09/30/2005 10:57:55 AM PDT by jdhighness
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To: jdhighness
One way is the Casimir effect
42 posted on 09/30/2005 10:59:54 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor

I appreciate you post. I have heard of this Casmir Effect. Here is my question: since the metal plates are within ranges of atomic radii, is it not more plausible to say that there is an electrostatic attraction, not a particle popping in out of no where?


43 posted on 09/30/2005 11:05:48 AM PDT by jdhighness
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To: jdhighness
Here is my question: since the metal plates are within ranges of atomic radii, is it not more plausible to say that there is an electrostatic attraction

Between neutral plates?

44 posted on 09/30/2005 11:06:50 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: jdhighness
"Remember, I don't want the scientific method changed; I want the interpretation of data to reflect probability and the possibility that there could be a God."

This is the 'Superstitious Method' not the Scientific Method. Once Science starts accepting non-material explanations it isn't Science.

And maybe if you felt inclined to actually know anything about the subject you might find this...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9136200/page/2/

"humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor. Today, scientists believe that the most recent common ancestor lived 6 million years ago."

NOT 1-2 million years. Relying upon memory I had the correct figure of 6 million years.

So I have three questions for you...

1) how succesful have nonmaterial explanations been in observing and predicting the universe?
2) how does one sort out the contradictory claims of those with nonmaterial explanations of the universe?
3) how many scientific theories are dependent upon unobserved and unmeasurable forces that act using an unknown mechanism?
45 posted on 09/30/2005 11:09:21 AM PDT by Mylo ( scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.)
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To: jdhighness
Oh, BTW, if you're a biochemistry student, you should know that a micron is about 5,000 times larger than a 'typical' atomic radius.

Length scales are important. Mind you, I'm not saying our chemistry students don't also often goof up on them. :-)

46 posted on 09/30/2005 11:10:53 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Ichneumon
Wow. Your response was the exact typical response I expected. While we're at it, tell me, what are the resonable possible other options? Try not to let your bias for evolution cloud your thinking. And try to avoid arguing a negative.
47 posted on 09/30/2005 11:57:32 AM PDT by ConservativeBamaFan
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To: ConservativeBamaFan
How about Lamarkian evolution? It was a "reasonable" possible other option. It was tested in the Lab and rejected because it didn't work. Rejected by the Western societies, that is. Communists embraced Lamarkian evolution, and just as they ignored all evidence that their crazy economic system didn't work, they also ignored all evidence that Lamarkian evolution didn't work. The liked Lamarkian evolution because it provided a mechanism for "Homo Sapiens" (the thinking man) to turn into "Homo Communista" (the unthinking man). Stalin's pet "peasant scientist" Lysenko even denied that there were chromosomes, genes or DNA.

So your in real good company with those who like to ignore and reject real science to pursue their ideological dogma.
48 posted on 09/30/2005 12:04:09 PM PDT by Mylo ( scientific discovery is also an occasion of worship.)
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To: jdhighness
Remember, I don't want the scientific method changed; I want the interpretation of data to reflect probability and the possibility that there could be a God.

This statement is completely meaningless. Since there's no definition of god other than "some undefined but omnipotent force", how do you introduce that into a credible scientific discussion?:

"Anything we don't understand == Maybe God Did It.
All this stuff we seem to understand pretty well == God (for some reason) didn't do it.
Unless he did and is just messing with us."

49 posted on 09/30/2005 12:08:10 PM PDT by blowfish
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To: fizziwig

And this is different from creationists how?


50 posted on 09/30/2005 12:09:12 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You know, Happy Time Harry, just being around you kinda makes me want to die.)
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