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Is Richard Dawkins “a terrible example” of an atheist?

As Neil Stevens claims at The Federalist?

There used to be atheist belief systems that were built more constructively than this. Writers like Isaac Asimov defined themselves not as atheists but as humanists. Humanism may not be unique to atheism, but many atheists in the past have studied the role of humanity in the world, and in particular the power of humanity over the world. This is productive and constructive, yet ruled out by the Internet troll culture.

A much more interesting and serious-minded atheism would actually think through important issues of humanity and spend serious time understanding world religions, instead of just pulling factoids out of context and sniggering at the 88 percent of Americans who believe. After all, few countries are majority atheist.

And it’s true, by his own admission, Dawkins has failed to think through the traits of Judaism and Islam, two of the most prominent religions in the world. Here he admits he’s been shown empirical differences in the adherents of different religions, but unlike a scientist, he hasn’t thought about what it might mean. For someone who fills so much of his website with articles about religion, this shows an startling lack of intellectual curiosity. Dawkins may call himself a scientist, but the study of belief and of man clearly is not his field.

Okay but, Neil, is it possible that there is something inherently destructive in materialist atheism?

Face it, Dawkins is the world’s most widely recognized atheist in the same way that JPII and Mother Teresa were the world’s most widely recognized Catholics. It wasn’t just the news media who put Dawkins there (though they certainly helped very much).

Stevens is right, but the problem lies deeper than he thinks. What materialist atheism is doing to science, it is also doing to itself. No big mystery there.

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41 Responses to Is Richard Dawkins “a terrible example” of an atheist?

  1. Dr.Dawkins sure is acerbic at times but he is not the a ‘terrible example’ of an atheist. He readily debates with clerics and reasons with them as much as possible. He is unwavering in his support for Darwin’s theory of evolution and has tried as much as possible to spread knowledge of evolution among the general populace. You have to see some of the weird questions being asked by people who have no idea that evolution is about population – not about individuals, and of course Questions like why the ape is there if we evolved from it are quite common. Given that he has to face a hostile audience most of time, make them understand biology and population genetics and field some insults too, I think he is doing a good job. Why should he know about Islam and Judaism? If you ask the right questions in the context of that religion, he will try to answer what he thinks is the best answer. What you do with that or whether it fits with your belief system should not be Dr.Dawkin’s problem.

  2. Richard Dawkins ‘has to face a hostile audience most of time’ ??? Whenever I see him on TV he is usually presenting a programme he has edited and written himself. This is someone who gets such an easy ride from the press that he is able to get away with calling people child abusers if they encourage their children to question Darwin and who said in his book ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ that he evidence for molecules to man evolution was ‘at least as good as the evidence for the Nazi race holocaust, despite the eye witness account of the latter’.

    I know he is an embarrassment to some atheists, his peer Alistair McGrath said that atheists at Oxford came up to him and apologised for Dawkins saying ‘We’re not all like that.’ I see him as the Fred Phelps of atheism, whom God has appointed to be a wake up call to the church.

    McGrath quotes him as saying, when presented with study evidence that religious believers lived longer, enjoyed better health and had more grandchildren, ‘that sure as hell doesn’t mean its true’. Granted, although I hope hell will not be sure, but since these findings would amount to an evolutionary advantage and he regards this life as all there is and religion as a mental gene or ‘meme’, why the abrupt dismissal?

    and lets not forget he refused to debate Stephen Meyer when both men were on book tours in USA. Dawkins said this was because the man was a young earth creationist, but Meyer is not. His book ‘Signature in the Cell’ is full of arguments from mathematics and biology. Arguments Dawkins can’t answer.

    Not a nice man, not as clever as he likes to think he is, and driven by desires other than a pure search for truth wherever the evidence leads.

  3. “Is Richard Dawkins “a terrible example” of an atheist?”

    Not if you are a theist. If you are a theist he is a mighty fine example of how disingenuous a ‘new’ atheist can be to the evidence. For example:

    Dawkins, 2009: on “junkDNA”
    “it’s full of junk, which is just as Darwinism predicted… how embarrassing for those creationists who say it shouldn’t be!”

    Dawkins, 2012: on non-junkDNA…
    “it’s not full of junk, which is just as Darwinism predicted… nothing for the creationists to take advantage of here!”

    Richard Dawkins ENCODE 2013 “Junk DNA” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....pRB0#t=94s

  4. excuse me for sloppiness. Here is a better, more accurate, link:

    Dawkins, 2009: on “junkDNA”
    “Junk DNA is just what a Darwinist would expect,”

    Dawkins, 2012: on non-junkDNA…
    “”junk DNA” “exactly what a Darwinist would hope for,”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64521.html

  5. OOOPS,,,

    Dawkins, 2012: on non-junkDNA…
    “junk DNA” isn’t junk at all but is instead vital for life has become “exactly what a Darwinist would hope for,” http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64521.html

  6. Don’t all cells have tons of junk DNA, as they only express a fraction of the genome, based on their final cell type (like a skin cell vs. liver cell)?

  7. Dawkins is a perfect example of an atheist: stupid, self-righteous and with a huge chip on his shoulder.

  8. I remember the last time I called someone stupid…it was in grammar school.
    You don’t think that calling him stupid also makes you look self-righteous?
    How bout the fact that you spend your time blogging about how stupid “evolutionists” are? Chip on the shoulder-much?
    Food for thought.

  9. PWall, I rarely blog about evolutionists. Why lie? I blog mostly about physics, the brain and artificial intelligence. I take it you’re taking offence because you’re an atheist. It figures.

    And yes, evolutionists and atheists are stupid, extremely so. Anybody who believes that dirt can self-organize into living cells is as stupid as can be. It’s almost pathological, in my opinion.

  10. Wow, impressive. Your read a few words I write and you’re already drawing assumptions about me. You know what they say when you assume…
    I do not lie sir. I’ve been on this site for a little over a day and I’ve already seen you talk about evolution/evolutionists multiple times. But maybe its your brainwashed subconscious that’s doing the talking and your off in lala land, who knows.
    I understand your reservations about evolution, seeing as you appear to have absolutely no idea what it actually is, but that’s ok, ignorance is bliss and I’m sure you love living in your own little blissful world.

  11. Whatever.

  12. Read the article, link, and above responses with interest.

    My background is more in philosophy.

    TRUTH.

    The search for truth is key.

    Etienne above accuses Dawkins of letting his partisanship get in the way of objectively looking, analyzing all the possible evidence and claims Darwin is…
    “…driven by desires other than a pure search for truth wherever the evidence leads.”

    Etienne speaks of Dawkins; tho the charge might apply to any of us if we are not afraid to face the truth…and go where the evidence seems to lead.

    The US CIA building quotes a Bible verse “…and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free..”.

  13. “Dawkins…not Darwin”…! in my comment above.

  14. And the evidence leads us to the conclusion that all current species are descendants from a common ancestor. There’s a reason why the scientific community (the world’s foremost analytical minds) accept evolution, and that is because it is supported by overwhelming amounts of evidence.

  15. ‘if you meet who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is, ignorant, stupid or insane’
    Richard Dawkins

    C.S. Lewis and Evolution – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNNUPN3-WeM

  16. At least he gives people a choice. Which are you BA, ignorant, stupid, or insane?

  17. PWall @16 wrote:

    Which are you BA, ignorant, stupid, or insane?

    So much for your “grade school” lie.

  18. Did I call him stupid? No, I did not. Would you like to misrepresent what I said some more mr. cant?

  19. It’s always been puzzling to me that so many are so offended by Dawkins’ statement. If you strongly believe something that you think is fairly obvious, what reasons do you think it is that there are others that disagree, other than due to a lack of knowledge, intelligence, or rationality? At least Dawkins believes that in the vast majority of cases it’s merely due to ignorance, which is more respect than many Creationists and ID proponents have for those that disagree with them.

  20. PWall @14 believes he’s very clever for pointing to common ancestry as proof of evolution but he is in fact as stupid as all the other evolutionists.

    So what if there is a common ancestor?

    The software programs and classes that I intelligently designed all have a common ancestry in the class hierarchy. Does that mean that they self-organized themselves into existence? I don’t think so.

    The problem with common descent is that it predicts a purely nested hierarchy or tree of life. This is not what is observed. Lateral inheritance between distant species in the evolutionary tree is common. What is observed is a non-nested hierarchy. And this is what one would expect from intelligent design.

    All of you stupid evolutionists need to get a clue and few more neurons between your ears.

  21. Again, Mypoo, your lack of understanding of the theory and possibly science itself is showing. Common ancestry is not proof for evolution, common ancestry is the result of evolution. The study of evolution is the process of proving that all living things have descended from a common ancestor. Also, once again, you are trying to talk about evolution, a topic you have already demonstrated you know nothing about.

    Can you give me an example of this lateral inheritance between distant species? No? Of course not, because you have no idea what you are talking about.
    You should cite your copy/paste jobs, tisk tisk.

    In all seriousness, poo, you should take it easy, your pubescent angst is showing.

  22. PWall, you’re lucky this is not my web site. I would have a few choice morsels to force feed down your throat and then I would kick you out as unceremoniously as possible. :-D

  23. All dirt worshipers are stupid.

  24. Thanks for summing up how things work around here, Poo. Maybe when you finally make it out of high school, you’ll be able to hold somewhat of an adult conversation.

    Probably not.

  25. Mr. PWall I noticed you made this claim:

    And the evidence leads us to the conclusion that all current species are descendants from a common ancestor. There’s a reason why the scientific community (the world’s foremost analytical minds) accept evolution, and that is because it is supported by overwhelming amounts of evidence.

    Maybe you have access to evidence I don’t have, but my evidence tells me that this is not the case. For instance, at the very first step, we find:

    Did DNA replication evolve twice independently? – Koonin
    Excerpt: However, several core components of the bacterial (DNA) replication machinery are unrelated or only distantly related to the functionally equivalent components of the archaeal/eukaryotic (DNA) replication apparatus.
    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/.....27/17/3389

    Was our oldest ancestor a proton-powered rock?
    Excerpt: In particular, the detailed mechanics of DNA replication would have been quite different. It looks as if DNA replication evolved independently in bacteria and archaea,… Even more baffling, says Martin, neither the cell membranes nor the cell walls have any details in common (between the bacteria and the archaea).
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....tml?page=1

    Bacteria Too Complex To Be Primitive Eukaryote Ancestors – July 2010
    Excerpt: “Bacteria have long been considered simple relatives of eukaryotes,” wrote Alan Wolfe for his colleagues at Loyola. “Obviously, this misperception must be modified…. There is a whole process going on that we have been blind to.”,,, For one thing, Forterre and Gribaldo revealed serious shortcomings with the popular “endosymbiosis” model – the idea that a prokaryote engulfed an archaea and gave rise to a symbiotic relationship that produced a eukaryote.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100712b

    Even more problematic for evolutionists, than the unbridgeable gap between prokaryote and eukaryote cells, is that even within the bacterial world there are found to be a large percentage of completely unique genes within each different type of bacteria:

    ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references
    http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

    “We already have good evidence that linear descent with modification is false for prokaryotes, because their tree looks like a thicket. At what point will molecular systematists be willing to say that at the root of the animal phyla we have not one tree but a grove?”
    (Ann Gauger, Confusing Similarity with Evolutionary History, Biologic Institute, December 16 2012)
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....ry-history

    Craig Venter weighs in on bacteria here:

    Dr. Craig Venter Denies Common Descent in front of Richard Dawkins! – video
    Quote: “I think the tree of life is an artifact of some early scientific studies that aren’t really holding up.,, So there is not a tree of life. In fact from our deep sequencing of organisms in the ocean, out of, now we have about 60 million different unique gene sets, we found 12 that look like a very, very deep branching—perhaps fourth domain of life. ”
    - Dr. Craig Venter, American Biologist involved in sequencing the human genome
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXrYhINutuI

    Yeast studies present the same serious problem for Darwinists:

    Here Are Those Incongruent Trees From the Yeast Genome – Case Study – Cornelius Hunter – June 2013
    Excerpt: It was “a bit shocking” for evolutionists, as one explained: “We are trying to figure out the phylogenetic relationships of 1.8 million species and can’t even sort out 20 yeast.”
    In fact, as the figure above shows, the individual gene trees did not converge toward the concatenation tree. Evolutionary theory does not expect all the trees to be identical, but it does expect them to be consistently similar. They should mostly be identical or close to the concatenation tree, with a few at farther distances from the concatenation tree. Evolutionists have clearly and consistently claimed this consilience as an essential prediction.
    But instead, on a normalized scale from zero to one (where zero means the trees are identical), the gene trees were mostly around 0.4 from the concatenation tree with a huge gap in between. There were no trees anywhere close to the concatenation tree. This figure is a statistically significant, stark falsification of a highly acclaimed evolutionary prediction.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-from.html

    Moreover, bacteria remain unchanged for as long as we can measure for change in them:

    Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago?
    Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial counterparts. “They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species,” Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. “This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times,” says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found;
    - via ‘the freelibrary’

    Geobiologist Noffke Reports Signs of Life that Are 3.48 Billion Years Old – 11/11/13
    Excerpt: the mats woven of tiny microbes we see today covering tidal flats were also present as life was beginning on Earth. The mats, which are colonies of cyanobacteria, can cause unusual textures and formations in the sand beneath them. Noffke has identified 17 main groups of such textures caused by present-day microbial mats, and has found corresponding structures in geological formations dating back through the ages.
    http://www.odu.edu/about/odu-p...../topstory1

    The Paradox of the “Ancient” (250 Million Year Old) Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes:
    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ;
    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/...../19/9/1637

  26. Moreover, testing bacteria in the lab today give us no evidence that they have the inherent plasticity that would be required of them if neo-Darwinian evolution were true,,

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. –
    Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    - Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....20071.html

    And the very next step, i.e. single cells organizing themselves into multicellular creatures through purely material processes, we find the same poverty of evidence for Darwinian claims. Dr. Behe, on the important Table 7.1 on page 143 of his book ‘Edge Of Evolution’, finds that a typical ‘simple’ single cell might have some 10,000 protein-binding sites. Whereas a conservative estimate for protein-protein binding sites in a multicellular creature is,,,

    Largest-Ever Map of Plant Protein Interactions – July 2011
    Excerpt: The new map of 6,205 protein partnerings represents only about two percent of the full protein- protein “interactome” for Arabidopsis, since the screening test covered only a third of all Arabidopsis proteins, and wasn’t sensitive enough to detect many weaker protein interactions. “There will be larger maps after this one,” says Ecker.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....144936.htm

    So taking into account that they only covered 2%, of the full protein-protein “interactome”, then that gives us a number, for different protein-protein interactions, of 310,000. Thus, from my very rough ‘back of the envelope’ calculations, we find that this is at least 30 times higher than Dr. Behe’s estimate of 10,000 different protein-protein binding sites for a typical single cell (Page 143; Edge of Evolution; Behe). Therefore, at least at first glance from my rough calculations, it certainly appears to be a impossible step that evolution cannot make, by purely unguided processes, to go from a single cell to a multi-cellular creature. Further experimental work agrees with Behe’s assessment of the evidence:

    More Darwinian Degradation – M. Behe – January 2012
    Excerpt: Recently a paper appeared by Ratcliff et al. (2012) entitled “Experimental evolution of mulitcellularity” and received a fair amount of press attention, including a story in the New York Times.,,, It seems to me that Richard Lenski, who knows how to get the most publicity out of exceedingly modest laboratory results, has taught his student well. In fact, the results can be regarded as the loss of two pre-existing abilities: 1) the loss of the ability to separate from the mother cell during cell division; and 2) the loss of control of apoptosis.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....gradation/

    The fossil record agrees with this assessment on the extreme difficultly to go from a single cell creature to a multicelluar creature:

    “We go from single cell protozoa, which would be ameoba and things like that. Then you get into some that are a little bit bigger, still single cell, and then you get aggregates, they’re still individual cells that aggregate together. They don’t seem to have much in the way of cooperation,,, but when you really talk about a functioning organism, that has more than just one type of cell, you are talking about a sponge and you can have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of cells. So we don’t really have organisms that function with say two different types of cells, but there is only five total. We don’t have anything like that.”
    – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – quote taken from 31:00 minute mark of this following video
    Natural Limits to Biological Change 2/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo3OKSGeFRQ

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    Excerpt: “I think this is a major mystery in paleontology,” said Chen. “Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps: differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don’t have strong evidence for any of these.” Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: “No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena.”
    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

    Dr. Stephen Meyer has recently written an excellent book, Darwin’s Doubt’, on this subject. Here is a snippet

    Dr. Stephen Meyer: Darwin’s Dilemma – Where did the information come from? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CTKKrtSc8k

  27. Moreover we find that disparity precedes diversity in the fossil record of the Cambrian Explosion,,

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    “In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution.”
    Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology
    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

    In Explaining the Cambrian Explosion, Has the TalkOrigins Archive Resolved Darwin’s Dilemma? – JonathanM – May 2012
    Excerpt: it is the pattern of morphological disparity preceding diversity that is fundamentally at odds with the neo-Darwinian scenario of gradualism. All of the major differences (i.e. the higher taxonomic categories such as phyla) appear first in the fossil record and then the lesser taxonomic categories such as classes, orders, families, genera and species appear later. On the Darwinian view, one would expect to see all of the major differences in body plan appear only after numerous small-scale speciation events. But this is not what we observe.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....59171.html

    The unscientific hegemony of uniformitarianism – David Tyler – May 2011
    Excerpt: The pervasive pattern of natural history: disparity precedes diversity,,,, The summary of results for phyla is as follows. The pattern reinforces earlier research that concluded the Explosion is not an artefact of sampling. Much the same finding applies to the appearance of classes. These data are presented in Figures 1 and 2 in the paper.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....niformitar

    As well, we find that disparity precedes diversity in the fossil record subsequently thereafter the Cambrian Explosion.

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-s.....ution.html

    Moreover, the genetic evidence is not nearly as cooperative as Darwinists would prefer for the evidence to be,,,

    A New Model for Evolution: A Rhizome – Didier Raoult – May 2010
    Excerpt: Thus we cannot currently identify a single common ancestor for the gene repertoire of any organism.,,, Overall, it is now thought that there are no two genes that have a similar history along the phylogenic tree.,,,Therefore the representation of the evolutionary pathway as a tree leading to a single common ancestor on the basis of the analysis of one or more genes provides an incorrect representation of the stability and hierarchy of evolution. Finally, genome analyses have revealed that a very high proportion of genes are likely to be newly created,,, and that some genes are only found in one organism (named ORFans). These genes do not belong to any phylogenic tree and represent new genetic creations.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....izome.html

    Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution – Tiny molecules called microRNAs are tearing apart traditional ideas about the animal family tree. – Elie Dolgin – 27 June 2012
    Excerpt: “I’ve looked at thousands of microRNA genes, and I can’t find a single example that would support the traditional tree,” he says. “…they give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.” (Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution, Nature 486,460–462, 28 June 2012) (molecular palaeobiologist – Kevin Peterson)
    Mark Springer, (a molecular phylogeneticist working in DNA states),,, “There have to be other explanations,” he says.
    Peterson and his team are now going back to mammalian genomes to investigate why DNA and microRNAs give such different evolutionary trajectories. “What we know at this stage is that we do have a very serious incongruence,” says Davide Pisani, a phylogeneticist at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, who is collaborating on the project. “It looks like either the mammal microRNAs evolved in a totally different way or the traditional topology is wrong.
    PDF:
    http://www.nature.com/polopoly.....86460a.pdf

    Perhaps, Mr. PWall, you consider the preceding to be ‘overwhelming amounts of evidence’ for common descent, but I seriously doubt your assessment of the evidence.

  28. @BA77 …that seemed to shut him up!

    In complete contrast to PWALL, I have to say I love this site, and visit daily, but never comment. Your comments, BA77, and the extraordinary detail and learning contained therein, are one of the best bits. Keep it up.

  29. Ah yes, Mr BA replies with a treasure trove of quote-mined nonsense.
    Let us begin.
    Did you read the rest of the replication article? Or even the rest of the paragraph where they explain that transcription/translation machinery is highly conserved along with the major subunits of the replication machinery? No? I didn’t think so. Or how about the part where they explain their thinking as to why there are differences in prokaryotic and eukaryotic replication machinery? That first article actually seems to provide an explanation for the second article actually, I’m not sure what you were trying to get at there. As for the third article, nobody except ignoramuses like you and your friends here think that bacteria are “simple.”
    Your quote from Ann Gauger is also hogwash, it’s well understood that bacteria can undergo lateral gene transmission and that their evolution is therefore not as simple as one would think, no new news there, nice try though.
    That’s a lovely opinion from Dr. Venter.
    I’m not sure what the points were about yeast and bacteria, you do know that yeast are used as a model system to study much of what goes on in human cells right? Why is that? Because they use many of the same proteins and protein complexes that we do. Yeast are certainly not a problem for evolution, in fact much of the evidence behind evolution can trace its beginnings back to studies in yeast.
    As for bacteria, did you know that some species can react to poor environmental conditions by increasing error rate in their DNA replication machinery? I know, crazy right? Evolution in overdrive.
    That quote about getting two independent binding sites “right” is also ludicrous. Anyone with an above average knowledge of molecular biology can see that cells did not have to start from scratch when recombining protein domains. Gene duplications and shuffling allow proteins to explore different combinations and conformations.
    Single cells organizing into multicell organisms? You are aware that there are still organisms that are capable of doing this today right? Just another marvel of evolution.
    You are very good at picking and choosing articles and then picking and choosing quotes from these articles to support your opinion, but anyone with a decent scientific background can call you on your bullshit.

  30. “but anyone with a decent scientific background can call you on your bullshit.”

    Actually ‘just so stories’ do not refute ‘my bullshit’ to use your ‘ahem’ scientific term, only empirical evidence will do it. Tell you what, I’m an easy guy to please as far as science is concerned, just show me one molecular machine arising by Darwinian processes and I shall never post on UD again! Deal?

    Venter: Life Is Robotic Software – July 15, 2012
    Excerpt: “All living cells that we know of on this planet are ‘DNA software’-driven biological machines comprised of hundreds of thousands of protein robots, coded for by the DNA, that carry out precise functions,” said (Craig) Venter.
    http://crev.info/2012/07/life-is-robotic-software/

    Problems with the Metaphor of a Cell as “Machine” – July 2012
    Excerpt: Too often, we envision the cell as a “factory” containing a fixed complement of “machinery” operating according to “instructions” (or “software” or “blueprints”) contained in the genome and spitting out the “gene products” (proteins) that sustain life.
    Many things are wrong with this picture, but one of the problems that needs to be discussed more openly is the fact that in this “factory,” many if not most of the “machines” are themselves constantly turning over — being assembled when and where they are needed, and disassembled afterwards. The mitotic spindle…is one of the best-known examples, but there are many others.
    Funny sort of “factory” that, with the “machinery” itself popping in and out of existence as needed!,,,
    - James Barham
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62691.html

    And in spite of the fact of finding molecular motors permeating the simplest of bacterial life, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of even one such motor or system.

    “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject.”
    James Shapiro – Molecular Biologist

    The following expert doesn’t even hide his very unscientific preconceived philosophical bias against intelligent design,,,

    ‘We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity,,,

    Yet at the same time the same expert readily admits that neo-Darwinism has ZERO evidence for the chance and necessity of material processes producing any cellular system whatsoever,,,

    ,,,we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.’
    Franklin M. Harold,* 2001. The way of the cell: molecules, organisms and the order of life, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 205.
    *Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Colorado State University, USA

    Michael Behe – No Scientific Literature For Evolution of Any Irreducibly Complex Molecular Machines
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5302950/

    Molecular Machines: – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: JME is a journal that was begun specifically to deal with the topic of how evolution occurs on the molecular level. It has high scientific standards, and is edited by prominent figures in the field.,,,
    In the past ten years JME has published 886 papers. Of these, 95 discussed the chemical synthesis of molecules thought to be necessary for the origin of life, 44 proposed mathematical models to improve sequence analysis, 20 concerned the evolutionary implications of current structures, and 719 were analyses of protein or polynucleotide sequences. here were zero papers discussing detailed models for intermediates in the development of complex biomolecular structures. This is not a peculiarity of JME. No papers are to be found that discuss detailed models for intermediates in the development of complex biomolecular structures in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature, Science, the Journal of Molecular Biology or, to my knowledge, any journal whatsoever.
    http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_mm92496.htm

    “The response I have received from repeating Behe’s claim about the evolutionary literature, which simply brings out the point being made implicitly by many others, such as Chris Dutton and so on, is that I obviously have not read the right books. There are, I am sure, evolutionists who have described how the transitions in question could have occurred.” And he continues, “When I ask in which books I can find these discussions, however, I either get no answer or else some titles that, upon examination, do not, in fact, contain the promised accounts. That such accounts exist seems to be something that is widely known, but I have yet to encounter anyone who knows where they exist.”
    David Ray Griffin – retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology

    Calling Nick Matzke’s literature bluff on molecular machines – DonaldM UD blogger – April 2013
    Excerpt: So now, 10 years later in 2006 Matzke and Pallen come along with this review article. The interesting thing about this article is that, despite all the hand waving claims about all these dozens if not hundreds of peer reviewed research studies showing how evolution built a flagellum, Matzke and Pallen didn’t have a single such reference in their bibliography. Nor did they reference any such study in the article. Rather, the article went into great lengths to explain how a researcher might go about conducting a study to show how evolution could have produced the system. Well, if all those articles and studies were already there, why not just point them all out? In shorty, the entire article was a tacit admission that Behe had been right all along.
    Fast forward to now and Andre’s question directed to Matzke. We’re now some 17 years after Behe’s book came out where he made that famous claim. And, no surprise, there still is not a single peer reviewed research study that provides the Darwinian explanation for a bacterial flagellum (or any of the other irreducibly complex biological systems Behe mentioned in the book). We’re almost 7 years after the Matzke & Pallen article. So where are all these research studies? There’s been ample time for someone to do something in this regard.
    Matzke will not answer the question because there is no answer he can give…no peer reviewed research study he can reference, other than the usual literature bluffing he’s done in the past.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-453291

    More Irreducible Complexity Is Found in Flagellar Assembly – September 24, 2013
    Concluding Statement: Eleven years is a lot of time to refute the claims about flagellar assembly made in Unlocking the Mystery of Life, if they were vulnerable to falsification. Instead, higher resolution studies confirm them. Not only that, research into the precision assembly of flagella is provoking more investigation of the assembly of other molecular machines. It’s a measure of the robustness of a scientific theory when increasing data strengthen its tenets over time and motivate further research. Irreducible complexity lives! -
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....77051.html

    Also of note, Dr. James Tour, who, in my honest opinion, currently ‘intelligently’ builds the most sophisticated man-made molecular machines in the world (of which Darwinism has ZERO examples),,,

    Science & Faith — Dr. James Tour – video (At the two minute mark of the following video, you can see a nano-car that was built by Dr. James Tour’s team)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdU5ojTpyzg

    ,,states that he will buy lunch for anyone who can explain to him exactly how Darwinian evolution works:

    “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
    James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world – Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111

    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn’t Work – James Tour, Phd. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCyAOCesHv0

    So Mr. PWall, can you provide an example of Darwinian processes building a molecular machine? and Can you take Dr. Tour up on his offer for a free lunch?

  31. The evolution of alpha-lactalbumin from lysozyme. Both proteins are used in mammals, alpha-lac is not in birds. Gene duplication after the avian lineage diverged from the mammalian lineage, duplicated lysozyme undergoes a small number of mutations to produce the alpha-lac protein. These two proteins are very similar in amino acid sequence and 3D structure and yet perform very different functions.
    You obviously don’t understand the huge difference between what dr. tour does and what evolution is. Tour has a preconceived plan, evolution does not. Any small error in Tour’s machinery means failure, any recombination of protein domains or sequences in evolution is a possible novel protein.

  32. PWall, when I ask for an example of Darwinian processes producing a molecular machine, I do not mean a ‘just so story’ for how one could have possibly come about in the past but I mean an actual OBSERVED example of it actually coming about by Darwinian processes in real time i.e. empirical evidence!. As Dr. Behe states:

    Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.-
    Dr Behe in 1997

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    Do you have an actual example instead of a ‘just so story’ and a flimsy excuse for why we do not observe functional complexity originating by Darwinian processes? Is not observational evidence primary in science?

    As to your ‘just so story’ for gene duplication leading to novel functionality, Dr. Axe and Dr. Behe have both done work in this area which calls into question your belief in the power of Darwinian processes through gene duplication.

    Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues:
    Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke
    Excerpt: The fact that very large population sizes—10^9 or greater—are required to build even a minimal [multi-residue] feature requiring two nucleotide alterations within 10^8 generations by the processes described in our model, and that enormous population sizes are required for more complex features or shorter times, seems to indicate that the mechanism of gene duplication and point mutation alone would be ineffective, at least for multicellular diploid species, because few multicellular species reach the required population sizes.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=2286568

    The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway – Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe – April 2011
    Excerpt: We infer from the mutants examined that successful functional conversion would in this case require seven or more nucleotide substitutions. But evolutionary innovations requiring that many changes would be extraordinarily rare, becoming probable only on timescales much longer than the age of life on earth.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2011.1

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....t-collide/

    Michael Behe Hasn’t Been Refuted on the Flagellum!
    Excerpt: Douglas Axe of the Biologic Institute showed in one recent paper in the journal Bio-complexity that the model of gene duplication and recruitment only works if very few changes are required to acquire novel selectable utility or neo-functionalization. If a duplicated gene is neutral (in terms of its cost to the organism), then the maximum number of mutations that a novel innovation in a bacterial population can require is up to six. If the duplicated gene has a slightly negative fitness cost, the maximum number drops to two or fewer.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44801.html

    Douglas Axe and Ann Gauger Argue that Design Best Explains New Biological Information – Casey Luskin August 26, 2013
    Excerpt: Axe and Gauger observe that “The most widely accepted explanation for the origin of new enzymes is gene duplication and recruitment.” However, they cite experimental work showing that a duplicate gene is much more likely to be silenced (because of the costly resources expended in transcribing and translating it) than it is to acquire a new function.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75601.html

    Gene Duplication and the Origin of Novel Biological Information: A Case Study of the Globins – JonathanM – Oct. 2012
    Excerpt: In summary, we have seen that the scope for evolution of novel genes and proteins by virtue of gene duplication and subsequent divergence or recruitment is very limited, even in facilitating relatively trivial functional innovations. Given the extremely diverse array of protein conformations found in living systems, the likelihood of the relatedness of genes — even within gene families — may be treated with suspicion and healthy skepticism. It is somewhat ironic that biologists are all too willing to accept a statistical argument against two or more proteins with similar sequences arising independently by chance, but are completely unwilling to consider statistical arguments against them arising by chance at all.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64971.html

    also of note, This following article reveals how far off the base Darwinists are for having any actual empirical evidence to support their ‘ahem’ scientific theory:

    Hopeless Matzke – David Berlinski & Tyler Hampton – August 18, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....75631.html

  33. “Just so story?” Are you kidding me BA? These are all well characterized and well understood mechanisms of genomic evolution seen within hundreds of gene families. Do you have any idea of what you are even asking for? No. You don’t. You are clueless when it comes to biology, not only at the factual level but also at the methodological level.
    I can always count on you guys for a good laugh.

  34. ““Just so story?” Are you kidding me BA?”

    No!

    “These are all well characterized and well understood mechanisms of genomic evolution seen within hundreds of gene families.”

    Then why can’t you produce just one example of a molecular machine originating in real time?

    “Do you have any idea of what you are even asking for? No. You don’t.”

    Actually yes I do. I’m asking for observational evidence that what you adamantly claim to be true for Darwinian processes is actually true of Darwinian processes.

    “You are clueless when it comes to biology, not only at the factual level but also at the methodological level.”

    So, in your view of ‘science’, Darwinism is immune from having to provide actual observational evidence from biology for its grandiose claims, and because I do not accept your empirically unsupported claims for the unlimited power of Darwinian evolution to produce the unfathomed levels of complexity we find in life, you label me as ‘clueless’?

    Is so, I agree with your last statement:

    “I can always count on you guys for a good laugh.”

    Music – Inspirational:

    Landfill Harmonic- The world sends us garbage… We send back music. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXynrsrTKbI

  35. Shit BA, you get dumber every time I talk to you.
    If you don’t see the issue with asking for the evolution of a protein in “real time” then you have officially stepped out of the “ignorant” range and into the “stupid” range.
    Evolution is studied at the population level, there is not the manpower, resources, or funding on the entire planet to continually observe the entire genome of an entire population of a species, and then categorize the effects of each change in the proteome and the subsequent change in phenotype.
    I have provided you with a basic mechanism by which evolution brings about a new protein, which is based on observational evidence of genomic, biochemical, and evolutionary studies in two proteins. You then proceeded to ignore this evidence, move the goalposts, and whine like a little bitch.
    Evolution has provided huge amounts of evidence in its own favor from many different fields of science. Your ability to ignore this evidence and put your own spin on misrepresented quotations in order to satisfy your own beliefs is astonishing. Open a biology book and educate yourself on the subject before you try to talk about it.
    Goodbye.

  36. PWall, after the usual Darwinian ad hominem attack, you offer this excuse for why we can’t observe any creative powers for Darwinian evolution in real time:

    Evolution is studied at the population level, there is not the manpower, resources, or funding on the entire planet to continually observe the entire genome of an entire population of a species, and then categorize the effects of each change in the proteome and the subsequent change in phenotype.

    Yet contrary to what you believe, in certain instances we can observe what Darwinian evolution can do for an entire population of a species on earth. Dr. Behe did precisely this in his book ‘The Edge Of Evolution’ for both HIV and Malaria, and the results were not encouraging for Darwinists in the least:

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    - Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pg. 162 Swine Flu, Viruses, and the Edge of Evolution
    “Indeed, the work on malaria and AIDS demonstrates that after all possible unintelligent processes in the cell–both ones we’ve discovered so far and ones we haven’t–at best extremely limited benefit, since no such process was able to do much of anything. It’s critical to notice that no artificial limitations were placed on the kinds of mutations or processes the microorganisms could undergo in nature. Nothing–neither point mutation, deletion, insertion, gene duplication, transposition, genome duplication, self-organization nor any other process yet undiscovered–was of much use.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....20071.html

    Moreover, a couple of Darwinists tried to refute Dr. Behe’s observational evidence with a mathematical model and found:

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    Don’t Mess With ID (Overview of Behe’s ‘Edge’ and Durrett and Schmidt’s paper at the 20:00 minute mark) – Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JeYJ29-I7o

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! :) If the Darwinists think they refuted Dr. Behe’s overriding point with the 216 million year calculation they are sorely mistaken.

  37. Please lay off the ad hominem attacks and stick to substantive information.

    I stopped believing in Darwinism when I realized that there was almost no discovery or its antithesis that couldn’t be easily accommodated into the theory—Bornagain’s quotes of Dawkins’ comments on “junk” DNA is a good example.

    Other examples are the conjectural convolutions that Darwinists go through in explaining “living fossils,” the miraculous preservation of vascular tissue over scores of millions of years of terrestrial, cosmic, and internal radiation, the lack of a reasonable mechanism for the development of the RNA, DNA, and epigenetic code, and the inability of protein analysis to solve macro-evolutionary sequence issues. Behe addressed the limits to micro-evolution using the malaria pathogen—his book on the subject uses some of his own research on malaria and is a good read.

    Frankly, I’d be fine with a reasonable naturalistic explanation of the development of life on Earth, but all we have is an obsolete 19th-century conjecture based on the procrustean organization of phenomes, which depends on an inadequate mechanism for producing novel features, structures, organs, and body plans. Repeatedly shooting bullets at clocks over billions of years will never produce a better clock—or a motorcycle.

    - Q

  38. bornagain77:

    Always stop by to read your intelligent, well researched and educative comments. Your arguments are a very compelling read.
    Kudos!

  39. Good-bye, PWall. Watch the door doesn’t slam your butt too hard on the way out. We need you as a court jester, ready to tell us the way it is? Lay it on the line, no punches pulled.

  40. ‘Did I call him stupid? No, I did not. Would you like to misrepresent what I said some more mr. cant?’

    You mealy-mouthed wee ratbag. You gave him a choice of ‘ignorant’, ‘stupid’ or ‘insane’. It’s back to high school for you in short order.

  41. ‘……. common ancestry is the result of evolution.’

    Love that line of Harvey Wallbanger! Doh…!

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