Home » Intelligent Design » Darwinism predicts “X.” Oh, you tell me the opposite of “X” happened? Well Darwinism predicted that too.

Darwinism predicts “X.” Oh, you tell me the opposite of “X” happened? Well Darwinism predicted that too.

Marx (Karl, not Groucho) predicted that under capitalism workers were bound to become more and more dissatisfied and therefore a workers’ revolution was inevitable.  When workers’ conditions actually improved under capitalism, Lenin modified the theory — of course the workers’ lot is improving; the capitalists are bribing them to keep them pacified, just what the theory predicted would happen.

In Edge, Behe talks about Ernst Mayr’s 1960′s prediction that on Darwinian grounds the search for homologous genes would be quite futile.  Now Darwinists use homologous genes as evidence for the theory; after all the existence of such genes was predicted by the theory (after the fact).

What can you say about a theory that can just as easily predict “X” and the opposite of “X”?

I commend to our readers sections 19 and 20 of Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery, in which he discusses “conventionalist stratagems” to rescue a theory from falsification.  Popper writes, “Whenever the ‘classical’ system of the day is threatened by the results of new experiments which might be interpreted as falsifications . . . the system will appear unshaken to the conventionalist.”  Popper goes on to explain the stratagems the conventionalist will use to deal with the inconsistencies that have arisen between the predictions of the theory and the results of experiments:

1.  Blame our inadequate mastery of the system.

2.  Suggest the ad hoc adoption of auxiliary hypotheses.

3.  Suggest corrections to measuring instruments.

4.  Modify definitions used in the theory.

5.  Adopt a skeptical attitude of the observer whose observations threaten the system by excluding his observations from science because (a) they are insufficiently supported; (b) they are unscientific; (c) they are not objective.

6.  Call the experimenter a liar.

Today’s class assignment:  How many of Popper’s “conventionalist stratagems” have been used against Behe’s Edge.  Extra credit for concrete examples.

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110 Responses to Darwinism predicts “X.” Oh, you tell me the opposite of “X” happened? Well Darwinism predicted that too.

  1. Barry

    Great post!

    I’d add, that it’s becoming more and more clear exactly how these kind of practices by the materialists are “actively undermining scientific inquiry” — just as the “Uncommon Descent holds that” blurb at the top of this blog says!

    The links, from my comments in a previous post, perhaps bear reiterating here.

    Dr. Ioannidis on Bad Science

    Why Most Published Research Findings Are False (PDF)

  2. What can you say about a theory that can just as easily predict “X” and the opposite of “X”?

    Err, uhh, a tautology?

  3. Not a tautology. A tautology is something like “X is X”.

    I would say, on the overall subject, that a failed prediction doesn’t necessitate a paradigm to be hopelessly flawed. Modifications to any meta-narrative (in biology, history, theology, etc.) will be necessary. (In theology, I would apply this to the fact that I’ve changed certain eschatological beliefs of mine, but the essential core has stayed the same. New data or information or challenges help me modify and refine my views.)

    The big problem is we are dealing with a philosophy. Naturalism. And what this post points out is that we are dealing with a philosophy/theory that has no predictive value for biology.

    Everything that exists is solely due to natural forces. X exists. X is due to natural forces.

  4. How about an oxymoronic theory? ”A theory that claims to predict opposite results, typically the result of advocates changing their predictions in an effort to preserve their theory.”

    oxymoron
    An oxymoron (plural oxymora) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms. Oxymoron is a Greek term derived from oxy (“sharp”) and moros (“dull”). Thus the word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron. . . .
    Oxymora can also be ”wooden irons” in that they are in violation of the ”Principle of contradiction” which asserts that nothing can be thought if it contains contradictory characteristics, predicates, attributes, or qualities.

    Wikipedia

  5. Do I get a gold star too?

    “ID is not credible because Michael Behe is a liar.”

    “Behe what he is: an ignorant liar.”

    “The problem is that Behe is a proven liar and all-around bad person”

    “It always unravels to: Behe – Liar Dembski – Liar, Berlinski – Liar”

    “I was somewhat taken-a-back by the caller who was so very insistent about Michael Behe being shown to be a liar by the Dover Court!”

    “Michael Behe has been called as an expert witness for the defense (aka, … I think that it’s been hammered home that he’s a bold face liar.”

    “Pity Michael Behe, who at least showed up to the trial and did undergo that cross-examination, who now has to put up with Casey Luskin calling him a liar”

    Your search for Behe found the following documents (of 1076 documents) … 1 A “Moron” and a “Liar”

    etc…etc…etc…

  6. First the theory of evolution does not make any predictions based on the proposed mechanisms. Even Dan Dennett tells us there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time.

    When Dr Behe suggested that evos start an experiment to show a bacterial flagellum could evolve with agency involvement, evos surely invoked #1-Blame our inadequate mastery of the system.

    And if Dr Behe tried the experiment they would have invoked #6- Call the experimenter a liar.

    Even the idiotic falsification of finding a pre-cam rabbit is bogus because the next find could be that there are the required pre-cursors below that wascally wabbit.

  7. Here is Nick Matzke at his sincere best. He is replying directly to someone calling Behe a liar.

    “BobC said:
    He is obsessed with randomness?

    No, Behe is obsessed with making money by constantly lying about everything. He couldn’t possibly believe anything in the books he writes, nobody could be that stupid. Like everyone else who works for the Disco Institute, Behe’s job is to be a liar. Behe has what it takes to keep lying no matter what, not caring that every sane person knows he’s a liar. His customers, the god-did-it everything-is-magic creationists trust Behe, and that’s all he cares about.

    Comment #133508 on October 31, 2007 12:59 AM | Quote
    Nick (Matzke) said:
    BobC – Here is a bit of Zen and the Art of Creationism Fighting for you…

    1. Creationists usually believe what they say.

    2. Even when it seems like they couldn’t possibly believe what they say, they probably do.

    3. Usually they don’t actually know much at all about what they are talking about, but it is this exact fact, plus a combination of high ego and low capacity for self-reflection or self-checking – oh, and a deep, deep longing to prove their theology to the world and to themselves with secular data – that gives them the ability to expound confidently on the topics without a trace of shame.

    3.5. Biblical inerrancy, or lacking that a very conservative view of the Bible or other holy text, is a fundamental premise for most of these guys. If you start with that premise then if the mere scientific data seems to be contradicting your preferred reading, then so much the worse for the data.

    4. Then add in Morton’s Demon when they start to encounter critics, and you have got the basics of a real understanding of ID/creationist psychology.

    Harry Frankfurt’s little book “On [BS]” (see wikipedia) is a useful window into this. Frankfurt points out that liars and BSers are different. Liars actually respect the truth, in the sense that they know the truth and then try to subvert it. BSers, on the other hand, are just so sure they’re right they never bother to really check anything out thoroughly, never test their claims, and generally just hold forth, oblivious to countervailing data. Frankfurt concludes that BSers are actually more dangerous enemies of truth than liars are.”

    Notice how Matzke who completely understands the ID/creationist distinction turns a comment about Behe into a creationist tirade. Maybe Matzke should re-read his own comments and figure out whether he is a liar or a BSer.

  8. In Edge, Behe talks about Ernst Mayr’s 1960’s prediction that on Darwinian grounds the search for homologous genes would be quite futile. Now Darwinists use homologous genes as evidence for the theory

    iss the entire theory reliant on what Mayr predicts in the 1960s then?

  9. Various scientists make varying predictions based on their understandings of the facts and the theory. Some predictions are correct others are not. If a prediction is not correct the scientist has learned something and moves on to make a new prediction. Isn’t that pretty much how science works?

    I don’t see how any predictions can be based on the intelligent design intuition. As far as I can see, an unknown designer with unknown capabilities can choose X or not X. Does the ID “theory” predict how organisms will change or over time? Or that they will not change over time? Does it predict that fossils with certain characteristics will be found in certain strata in certain locations?

  10. BA77, no apple polishing. ;-)

  11. congregate writes:

    Various scientists make varying predictions based on their understandings of the facts and the theory. Some predictions are correct others are not. If a prediction is not correct the scientist has learned something and moves on to make a new prediction. Isn’t that pretty much how science works?

    Yes, science does work that way to a certain extent, and Popper says as much. But there are limits. There is a difference between a theory that must be tweaked to account for new data, and a theory that is so malleable that it can account for all seemingly disconfirming data. That is the point of the Marx illustration; a theory so flexible that it can continually account for X and the opposite of X, whatever X happens to be is a theory that, like Marxism, explains everything which is the same as explaining nothing.

  12. congregate writes:

    “I don’t see how any predictions can be based on the intelligent design intuition.”

    How about this as a prediction for ID: Over thousands of generations and countless trillions of organisms, random Darwinian processes will be unable to account for any novelty in the genome of the malaria parasite even when selection pressures are extremely intense. Therefore, since random processes cannot account for even trivial novelty in a simple cell over countless trillions of attempts (far more attempts than all mammals that have ever existed) a non-random (i.e., directed process) must be responsible for the mind boggling complexity and diversity of life.

  13. congregate writes:

    “Does the ID “theory” predict how organisms will change or over time? Or that they will not change over time? Does it predict that fossils with certain characteristics will be found in certain strata in certain locations?”

    Sure, ID predicts that organisms will be relatively stable until they are changed through a directed process. It predicts that there will not be numerous successive slight modifications among species, so that the fossil record will show bursts of activity and then stasis over long periods of time.

  14. Some pertinent quotes:

    “The first rule for any scientific hypothesis ought to be that it is at least possible to conceive of an observation that would contradict the theory.
    For what good is a theory that is guaranteed by its internal logical structure to agree with all conceivable observations, irrespective of the real structure of the world?
    If scientists are going to use logically unbeatable theories about the world, they might as well give up natural science and take up religion. Yet is that not exactly the situation with regard to Darwinism?
    The theory of evolution by natural selection states that changes in the inherited characters of species occur, giving rise to differentiation in space and time, because different genetical types leave different numbers of offspring in different environments.
    … Such a theory can never be falsified, for it asserts that some environmental difference created the conditions for natural selection of a new character. It is existentially quantified so that the failure to find the environmental factor proves nothing, except that one has not looked hard enough. Can one really imagine observations about nature
    that would disprove natural selection as a cause of the difference in bill size? The theory of natural selection is then revealed as metaphysical rather
    than scientific. Natural selection explains nothing because it explains
    everything.”

    (Lewontin, R.C., “Testing the Theory of Natural Selection,” Review of Creed R., ed., “Ecological Genetics and Evolution,” Blackwell: Oxford, 1971, in Nature, Vol. 236, March 24, 1972, p.181)

    “The scientific establishment bears a grisly resemblance to the Spanish Inquisition. Either you accept the rules and attitudes and beliefs promulgated by the ‘papacy’ (for which read, perhaps, the Royal Society or the Royal College of Physicians), or face a dreadful retribution. We will not actually burn you at the stake, because that sanction, unhappily, is now no longer available under our milksop laws. But we will make damned sure that you are a dead duck in our trade.”

    (Gould, D.W., “Letting poetry loose in the laboratory,” New Scientist, 29 August 1992, p.51)

    “The principal problem is morphological stasis. A theory is only as good as its predictions, and conventional neo-Darwinism, which claims to be a comprehensive explanation of evolutionary process, has failed to predict the widespread long-term morphological stasis now recognized as one of the most striking aspects of the fossil record.”

    (Williamson, Peter G. [Assistant Professor of Geology, Harvard University], “Morphological
    stasis and developmental constraint: real problems for neo-Darwinism,”
    Nature, Vol. 294, 19 November 1981, p.214)

  15. Here’s a prediction: Make a designer drug where in order for resistance to evolve there must be 3 or more protein-to-protein binding sites that cannot develop through a direct stepwise pathway. The viruses or bacterium will be incapable of evolving resistance.

    Oh, and here is an old UD page on predictions.

  16. 16

    Modify the definitions used in the theory. Here is one.

    The word junk (as in Junk DNA) had always meant useless. Everyone had understood junk DNA to mean useless DNA.

    [quote]
    In 1995, Scientific American plainly expounded that under the Neo-Darwinian view, “[t]hese regions have traditionally been regarded as useless accumulations of material from millions of years of evolution.”
    [/quote]

    http://www.ideacenter.org/cont.....hp/id/1437

    Even Dembski said

    [quote]
    [Intelligent] design is not a science stopper. Indeed, design can foster inquiry where traditional evolutionary approaches obstruct it. Consider the term “junk DNA.” Implicit in this term is the view that because the genome of an organism has been cobbled together through a long, undirected evolutionary process, the genome is a patchwork of which only limited portions are essential to the organism. Thus on an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function. And indeed, the most recent findings suggest that designating DNA as “junk” merely cloaks our current lack of knowledge about function. For instance, in a recent issue of the Journal of Theoretical Biology, John Bodnar describes how “non-coding DNA in eukaryotic genomes encodes a language which programs organismal growth and development.” Design encourages scientists to look for function where evolution discourages it.
    [/quote]

    Now it’s discovered that much of this alleged junk DNA is much more useful than darwinists had originally predicted so they change the definition of the word junk DNA.

    [quote]
    When challenged by someone with the argument that God would not have created us with 97 per cent of redundant or useless DNA, Brenner is said to have retorted, “I said it was ‘junk’ DNA, not ‘trash’. Everyone knows that you throw away trash. But junk we keep in the attic until there may be some need for it.”
    [/quote]

    http://www.researchintelligent.....i/Junk_DNA

  17. Bettawrekonize. Excellent. Gold star. Sorry BA77

  18. Hilarious trend.
    A theory that gets weaker and weaker as new data is found cannot be true.

  19. I assume Barry that the answer to the question “How many of Popper’s “conventionalist stratagems” have been used against Behe’s Edge”, is, “All of them”.

    Though I must ask Barry. You are not just pulling every bodies leg with the 6 criteria are you ? Surely the anti-ID folks could not be so ill read as to so perfectly illustrate Poppers ideas with such rank idiocy ?

    I don’t have a copy of Logic of Scientific Discovery to hand to check, so I figured i’d ask.

  20. Jason, I’m not pulling any legs. I had my copy of Logic open as I typed this post.

  21. Off topic but good point Patrick it’s important prediction that human intelligence is more than capable breaking the bacterias and viruses capability to evolve resistance through RM+NS. Thats why the limit of evolution should be known precisely. It’s a real shame that some people are not willing to do that because of idealogical reasons.

    As Patric says it’s possible to defeat mother nature by developing designer drugs by discovering “islands of non-functionality” in which there is no possibility of simple or stepwise evolutionary pathway for a resistance.

    What one needs to know to do that:

    a) A drug and how the drug breaks the bacteria or virus
    b) All possible stepwise evolutionary pathways for resistance for that drug
    c) How fast on average the drug kills the virus or bacteria
    d) Rate of evolution/limit of evolution
    e) Probability that a resistance evolves

  22. I didn’t think you would be Barry. But it seemed worth at least double checking.

    You know the whole, “Well I trust you but this seems like too tall a tale to believe”.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that those unread in history and philosophy would also be unread in the philosophy of science.

  23. Bettawreck’

    Your quotes didn’t work because this blog requires the word “blockquote” not “quote”. Otherwise, your format is correct.

  24. Congregate wrote:

    If a prediction is not correct the scientist has learned something and moves on to make a new prediction. Isn’t that pretty much how science works?

    But there seems to be very little whistleblowing. The public is given the impression that things are mostly worked out. Every popular article (and journal article?) on the subject is offered as yet another several pages on the stack of “overwhelming evidence” supporting NDE.

  25. Barry at 12:
    [blockquote]
    How about this as a prediction for ID: Over thousands of generations and countless trillions of organisms, random Darwinian processes will be unable to account for any novelty in the genome of the malaria parasite even when selection pressures are extremely intense.[/blockquote]

    This is not a prediction from ID, it is a prediction of anti-evolution.

    The fact that one particular series of events (the history of malaria) did not show sufficient evolutionary change to convince everyone here of the absence of intelligence is not evidence of intelligent intervention anywhere else. I think it is a huge leap to conclude that what hasn’t happened in malaria in the last one hundred years has never happened. Perhaps there is some relevant difference between the biological situation of modern malaria and, for example, pre-Cambrian goo.

    Hope my formatting worked, I tried to follow the hints upthread.

  26. congregate,
    It may not be the death knell to darwinism, but it has convinced me. I mean, if malaria won’t evolve over those generations, would an elephant that reproduces very very slowly evolve very fast? Perhaps its color or size or whether it has hair or not, but are there really as many generations of elephants and its ancestors as malaria? Certainly not. Elephants’ gestational period is something like 13 months. How many generations does it take to have large morphological changes?

  27. Sorry, my formatting efforts came to naught.

    Barry at 13:

    Sure, ID predicts that organisms will be relatively stable until they are changed through a directed process. It predicts that there will not be numerous successive slight modifications among species, so that the fossil record will show bursts of activity and then stasis over long periods of time.

    How does that prediction follow from the ID intuition (some things in the universe are so complex that they must have arisen from intelligent intervention)? It seems plausible, and is certainly consistent with the evidence, but it is just as easy to imagine a designer who makes minor changes on a regular basis, isn’t it? An intelligent designer might work by looking in on his design every day and gently nudging here and touching up there, couldn’t it?

  28. 28

    congregate try blockquote>

  29. Patrick at 15:

    Here’s a prediction: Make a designer drug where in order for resistance to evolve there must be 3 or more protein-to-protein binding sites that cannot develop through a direct stepwise pathway. The viruses or bacterium will be incapable of evolving resistance.

    On bref consideration, this experiment and result does not strike me as providing very convincing support for intelligent design. The fact that evolution does not occur along one particular path in a laboratory experiment would not be enough to convince me that intelligent intervention is necessary to explain any of the evidence seen in the world. Selective hyperskepticism, perhaps.

  30. Of course that particular prediction would not confirm ID! It’s a prediction based upon the estimated limitations of Darwinian mechanisms, not design detection.

    EDIT: Although, having thought about if further, while not direct positive evidence for design detection it would indirectly confirm a prediction of ID that Darwinian mechanisms are incapable of producing CSI, which is a identifier for intelligence.

    I also noticed you completely ignored the fact that a previous prediction of ID related to “junk DNA” has been confirmed.

    Further prediction: congregrate will never provide positive evidence for Darwinism. ;)

  31. There are three types of “causes”

    1. chance
    2. mechanical necessity
    3. intelligent agency

    In Edge Behe rules out causes 1 and 2 for ANY complex novelty in the genome. This leaves agency as the best explanation for the data.

    Turning to the fossil record, Darwin was absolutely correct when he stated that if his theory were true (i.e., if complexity resulted from chance and necessity), then there must have been a truly enormous number of intermediate forms. Indeed, the fossil record should be predominately intermediate forms. The fact that there are no (or at least very very few) intermediate forms in the fossil record, falsifies chance and necessity as the cause of changes in species over time. This in turn leaves agency as the best explanation for the data. Ergo, sudden appearance and stasis are not only negative evidence for chance and necessity, they are positive evidence for design.

  32. BarryA 31
    I haven’t read Edge (from the descriptions I’ve seen in various places I wouldn’t be able to follow it). If it is possible for you to condense it for me, how does it rule out chance and necessity for any complex novelty? Is the malaria example enough to do so?

    How do we know whether a fossil is of an intermediate form? In the generally accepted view (as I understand it, I am not a biologist or any other kind of scientist) each thing in the fossil record is part of a series of organisms from the last universal common ancestor to its current (or final) descendent. So in some sense everything (except the first and the last in each line) is an intermediate form.

    More narrowly, is an intermediate form one that shows characteristics of an earlier form and a later one? That’s kind of a fuzzy definition.

  33. Patrick 30:

    Of course that particular prediction would not confirm ID! It’s a prediction based upon the estimated limitations of Darwinian mechanisms, not design detection.

    I’m sorry, I thought your prediction was a response to my request for predictions based on ID.

    Further prediction: congregrate will never provide positive evidence for Darwinism.

    If you are a regular here, I’m sure you have reviewed the generally accepted evidence for biological evolution. And I take it you have not found it to be convincing evidence for “Darwinism”. I am not a scientist myself; I have no new evidence to present you.

    If by “Darwinism” you mean evolution without the involvement of any intelligent cause (defined to include an omnipotent creator of the universe), I can’t conceive of any evidence for Darwinism that would be convincing. As far as I can see, any state of the evidence is consistent with such a cause.

  34. congregate,

    If naturalistic evolution occurred on any path, it would leave forensic evidence of the sequence of changes. Since nothing in the fossil record indicates any sequence on any path other than a few fossils millions of years apart it is assumed that there were no transitions. Paleontologist have been sampling all the time eras and continue to get fossils already discovered instead of possible new transitions. Occasionally they get a new fossil. So whatever path evolution supposedly took, it did it without a trace.

    There are plenty of examples of shells changing gradually but the animal within the shell was essential the same. There is nothing which shows the development of novelty. There are a few attempts to maybe show a dinosaur to bird transition but this is highly speculative especially since the bird has a unique oxygen delivery system which would have had to be present with the dinosaurs and then where did they get it. The oxygen delivery system is necessary for flight but not necessary for land animals like a dinosaur.

    The fossil record would need hundreds of millions of transitions for all the species but essentially shows none. You would expect a few really good transitions out of these millions that had to have happened.

    Also there is no evidence in the current world or recent times of any transitions to new species that are not just trivial changes. Here there is no lack of fossilization problem All we see is relatively small changes based on minor variations in already occurring species. No novelty developing.

    Any way you slice it the changes over time have been sudden and dramatic. Not something any reasonable change in DNA could likely accomplish through naturalistic means.

  35. Jerry,
    Thank you so much for that EXTREMELY clear posting. Excellent. I recommend a gold star for you too. How about it, BarryA!

    I wish that Tyke and maybe Dave557 & others who seem so convinced the fossil record actually supports macro-evolution would read your post & give it some open-heart consideration.

    This is my first entry here, I just stumbled in from a path to the “Vestigial organs, anyone? …” log. I’m very impressed overall with the very civil discourse I’ve seen here. I’m a young-earth creationist (Sorry Tyke! :-) – but I do enjoy a healthy, respectful discussion w/ those I disagree & agree with. I learn from both.

  36. Another good example today on the Fox news webpage. In the science section there is a story about the big bang of flowering plants. Apparently rapid change over time followed by millions of years of statis fits perfectly with RM + NS which is supposed to occur gradually.

    Evolution is a unique “science” which never has to verify a prediction and does not require provable pathways. Could you image a chemist that made a claim that he knew how to create a compound. But he could not say how to actually create it and every prediction was wrong. Such a chemist would quickly be out of a job.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,313262,00.html

  37. I don’t see how any predictions can be based on the intelligent design intuition.

    And just what predictions can be madfe from culled genetic accidents? Or how about a prediction based on the cosmic lottery scenario? (meaning the anti-ID position is nothing more than sheer dumb luck)?

    Pleasae read Intelligent Design: The Design Hypothesis for some ID predictions.

    The main mechanism for change (in the ID scenario) would be non-random mutations, ala Dr Spetner’s “built-in responses to environmental cues”- ie organisms were designed to evolve.

    But I digress- please read

  38. The value of Darwinism is not a scientific one, but a philosophical one. If it hadn’t been for the use they give it (against CHristianity), this theory would have been long discarded. But, hey, without darwinism, it’s hard to be an atheist/secularist/humanist.

  39. Jerry 34-

    If naturalistic evolution occurred on any path, it would leave forensic evidence of the sequence of changes. Since nothing in the fossil record indicates any sequence on any path other than a few fossils millions of years apart it is assumed that there were no transitions. Paleontologist have been sampling all the time eras and continue to get fossils already discovered instead of possible new transitions. Occasionally they get a new fossil. So whatever path evolution supposedly took, it did it without a trace.

    Well, there is enough evidence in the fossil record to convince a lot of people (when combined with other lines of evidence). As I understand it there are explanations for why the fossil record reflects long periods of stasis. For example, evolutionary change tends to happen more quickly in small populations, which leave fewer fossils.

    The fossil record would need hundreds of millions of transitions for all the species but essentially shows none. You would expect a few really good transitions out of these millions that had to have happened.

    I’m not sure again what would qualify in your mind as a transition. Do Tiktalik and the land animal to whale transitions not qualify? If not, what is missing?

    Also there is no evidence in the current world or recent times of any transitions to new species that are not just trivial changes. Here there is no lack of fossilization problem All we see is relatively small changes based on minor variations in already occurring species. No novelty developing.

    This certainly suggests to me that any designer is not currently active. Given that (1) the evolution of novelty via step-by-step mutations would, I assume, generally take a very long time, and (2) we don’t know in the present what current species might be transitioning to, so we only have one half of the evidence, I don’t think it’s a major blow against accepted evolutionary theory.

    Any way you slice it the changes over time have been sudden and dramatic. Not something any reasonable change in DNA could likely accomplish through naturalistic means.

    How do you define “sudden”? It has been going on for hundreds of millions of years, and even the pre-Cambrian “explosion” took millions of years.

  40. Matt says:

    But, hey, without darwinism, it’s hard to be an atheist/secularist/humanist.

    o, intelligent design proponents manage it fine.

  41. congregate,

    The bottom line is that there is not one single example of a gradual transition to something new. You can certainly believe what you want but the best that has been offered is one with millions of years between fossils and substantial differences between each of the intermediaries.

    There should be millions of transitions but not one sequence made it into the fossil record. Odds would have said a few would have made it.

    There is almost no fossils from the pre Cambrian so I am not sure what you mean. Nearly all the phyla popped out of nowhere during the early Cambrian with no obvious predecessors.

    As I said believe what you want. Denial is rampant in the evolution debate.

  42. Denial is rampant in the evolution debate.

    Truer words were never typed.

  43. congregate,

    We continually ask those who support neo Darwinism for empirical evidence to support their position and not once have we had a taker who could provide any. There are many who asserts generalities but no one steps up to the plate and delivers.

    What is one to think?

  44. Jerry [41]

    “There should be millions of transitions but not one sequence made it into the fossil record. Odds would have said a few would have made it.”

    I think it’s also worth emphasizing that orthodox evolution doesn’t proceed by the shortest direct pathway, but would consist of a multitude of collateral branches (offshoots leading to extinction). Therefore, between every significant change the intergrading forms, as indicated on diagrams, would take in effect the form of a tree, much like the ones drawn up to depict evolution from molecules to man.

  45. Acquiesce, you allude to the “rough landscape.” Hill climbing is a metaphor often favored by darwinists (e.g., Dawkins’ “Climbing Mount Improbable”). The problem with the metaphor is that the darwinists leave the impression that there is a single hill with smooth sides that are easily climbably in step by step fashion. Other darwinists acknowledge that the metaphor is seriously flawed. The landscape for any darwinian pathway is very rough. It is not a single hill; it is more like the badlands, lots of small hills leading nowhere. In other words, if darwinism is true, it is certain that there will lots of failed expeditions up mount improbable that end up at the top of a small foothill with no way to get down. Why can’t they get down? Because they got to the top of the hill by small improvements. The only way to get back down is for those improvements to go away, but darwinism does not allow for progress through retrograde changes, because natural selection, by definition, would weed out any such changes.

  46. 45 BarryA-
    Don’t changes in the environment change the landscape? An expedition may reach the top of a hill, spend a few million years there, and then find that the landscape changes, and what was once the top of the hill is now only halfway up?

  47. 43 Jerry

    What is one to think? There are several possibilities:

    1) There is no answer to the question because the emperor has no clothes, that is, neo Darwinism is false.

    2) The question is too vague (what is neo-Darwinism? which parts of it in particular do you doubt?)

    3) You are asking the wrong people. If I wanted to find out about the state of the evidence regarding a topic in biology, I probably wouldn’t ask the random souls who wander into the comments section of the blog of a philosopher and mathematician.

  48. Actually I was merely referring to the amount of intergrading forms that must have existed. I for one (many years ago) naively imagined evolutionary progress to be straight lines rather than branching patterns. Put simply, the numbers of intergrading forms must have been innumerable even between relatively minor changes. Horse evolution demonstrates this point, where trivial changes have lead to quite a number of intermediate forms.

  49. congregate,

    We get Ph.D.’s in biology who wander through here who cannot defend neo Darwinism. Actually that is not completely true because neo Darwinism works very well for the trivial and certainly the genetic side of it is well documented and not much challenged. It is origin of variation that has no support other than the for the trivial in terms of evolution. In terms of medical science it is extremely relevant but not for evolution.

    Most of us here understand what neo Darwinism is pretty well and know its limitations and its successes. It is a topic that gets discussed quite frequently.

    What is interesting is that the number of people who wander through here and assume we know nothing. If you have some time, read some things and try to understand just what the debate is all about.

    Evolution is a fact. It has happened but what the causes are and how new species arrived on the planet is a complete mystery and neo Darwinism utterly fails as an explanation here. It sounds good but as you said the emperor has no clothes.

  50. Jerry 49-

    It is origin of variation that has no support other than the for the trivial in terms of evolution. In terms of medical science it is extremely relevant but not for evolution.

    It looks like there’s either a word missing or an extra word or two in that first sentence. But if I understand correctly, your main disagreement with the generally accepted scientific theory is that you don’t think it is possible that all the changes in the genes are caused by natural/nonintelligent/random processes, but that some changes are so substantial that they must have been the result of intelligent causes. Have I understood correctly?

  51. Jerry 41-

    You can certainly believe what you want but the best that has been offered is one with millions of years between fossils and substantial differences between each of the intermediaries.

    Why does the existence of long gaps make the series less convincing? Do you not agree with the conclusion that the members of the series are related?

  52. congregate,
    You are drawing Imaginary lines in the fossil record connecting whatever you want to see, such as the laughable evolution of whale scenario. This is not hard science and does not hold up under critical analysis.

    You want a more realistic look at the fossil record?

    Here:

    It is in the Cambrian explosion, some 540 million years ago, that we find the sudden appearance of the many diverse and complex forms of life. These complex life-forms appear with no evidence of transition from the bacteria and few other “simple” life-forms that immediately preceded them in the fossil record. This following quote clearly illustrates this point.

    “Yet, here is the real puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion for the theory of evolution. All the known phyla (large categories of biological classification), except one, first appear in the Cambrian period. There are no ancestors. There are no intermediates. Fossil experts used to think that the Cambrian lasted 75 million years…. Eventually the Cambrian was shortened to only 30 million years. If that wasn’t bad enough, the time frame of the real work of bringing all these different creatures into existence was shortened to the first five to ten million years of the Cambrian. This is extraordinarily fast! Harvard’s Stephen Jay Gould stated, “Fast is now a lot faster than we thought, and that is extraordinarily interesting.” What an understatement! “Extraordinarily impossible” might be a better phrase! …. The differences between the creatures that suddenly appear in the Cambrian are enormous. In fact these differences are so large many of these animals are one of a kind. Nothing like them existed before and nothing like them has ever appeared again.” Evolution’s Big Bang; Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, University of Illinois (B.S., zoology), North Texas State University (M.S., population genetics), University of Texas at Dallas (M.S., Ph.D., molecular biology).

    The “real work” of the beginning of the Cambrian explosion may in actuality be as short as a two to three million year time frame (Ross: Creation as Science 2006). If this blatant, out of nowhere, appearance of all the different phyla was not bad enough for naturalists, the fossil record shows that there was actually more variety of phyla at the end of the Cambrian explosion than there is today due to extinction.

    “A simple way of putting it is that currently we have about 38 phyla of different groups of animals, but the total number of phyla discovered during the Cambrian explosion (including those in China, Canada, and elsewhere) adds up to over 50 phyla. (Actually the number 50 was first quoted as over 100 for a while, but then the consensus became 50-plus.) That means there are more phyla in the very, very beginning, where we found the first fossils, than exist now.” “Also, the animal explosion caught people’s attention when the Chinese confirmed they found a genus now called Yunnanzoon that was present in the very beginning of the Cambrian explosion. This genus is considered a chordate, and the phylum Chordata includes fish, mammals and man. An evolutionist would say the ancestor of humans was present then. Looked at more objectively, you could say the most complex animal group, the chordates, were represented at the very beginning, and they did not go through a slow gradual evolution to become a chordate.” Dr. Paul Chien PhD., chairman of the biology department at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Chien also possesses the largest collection of Chinese Cambrian fossils in North America.

    http://members.cox.net/wwcw/q-evol4.html

    The evolutionary theory would have us believe we should have more phyla today due to ongoing evolutionary processes. The hard facts of science betray the naturalists once again. The naturalist stamps his feet and says the evidence for the fossils transmutation into radically new forms is out there somewhere; we just have not found it yet. To justify this belief, naturalists will often say that soft bodied fossils were not preserved in the Cambrian fossil record, so transitional fossils were just not recorded in the fossil record in the first place. Yet, the Chinese Cambrian fossil record is excellent in its preservation of delicate – ied fossils that clearly show much of the detail of the body structures of these first creatures. So the problem for naturalists has not been alleviated. In fact the problem has become much worse. As Dr. Ray Bohlin stated, some of these recently discovered fossils are extremely unique and defy any sort of transitional scenario to any other fossils found during the Cambrian explosion.

    As well as the fossil record itself, recent DNA analysis rules out any transitional scenarion between phyla in the Cambrian Explosion:

    “The new molecular based phylogeny has several important implications. Foremost among them is the disappearance of “intermediate” taxa between sponges, cnidarians, ctenophores, and the last common ancestor of bilaterians or “Urbilateria.”…A corollary is that we have a major gap in the stem leading to the Urbilataria. We have lost the hope, so common in older evolutionary reasoning, of reconstructing the morphology of the “coelomate ancestor” through a scenario involving successive grades of increasing complexity based on the anatomy of extant “primitive” lineages.” From an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in 2000

    In spite of this crushing evidence found in the Cambrian explosion and DNA analysis of different phyla, our naturalistic friend continues to imagine that all life on earth descended from a common ancestor and continues to imagine missing links with every new fossil discovery that makes newspaper headlines. Yet, the true story of life since the Cambrian explosion, that is actually told by the fossil record itself, tells a very different story than the imaginative tales found in naturalistic newspaper accounts. Where the story of life, since the Cambrian explosion, is extremely clear to read is in the sea creatures who fossilize quickly in ocean sediments. We find fossils in the fossil record that appear suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, fully-formed. They have no apparent immediate evolutionary predecessor. They, just, appear suddenly in the fossil record unique and fully-formed. This is exactly what one would expect from an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator continually introducing new life-forms on earth. Even more problematic for the naturalists is the fact once a fossil suddenly appears in the fossil record it remains surprisingly stable in its basic structure for as long as it is found in the fossil record. The fossil record can offer not even one clear example of transition from one fossil form to another fossil form out of millions of collected fossils. Some sea creatures, such as certain sharks which are still alive today, have unchanging fossil records going back hundreds of millions of years to when they first suddenly appeared in the fossil record without a predecessor.

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.” Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”. Evolutionist David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    “… Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.” George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” – Niles Eldredge , “Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate,” 1996, p.95

    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.” Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Harvard University and the leading spokesman for evolutionary theory in America prior to his recent .

    “As Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould pointed out almost three decades ago, the general pattern for the evolution of diversity (as shown by the fossil record) follows precisely this pattern: a burst of rapid diversity following a major ecological change, and then a gradual decline in diversity over relatively long periods of time.” Allen MacNeill PhD.; Teaches introductory biology and evolution at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

    The following article is unique in that is shows the principle of Genetic Entropy being obeyed in the Trilobites, over the 250 million year fossil history of their life on earth (Note: the Trilobites appeared suddenly at the very beginning of the Cambrian explosion with no evidence of transmutation from the “simple” creatures that preceded them).
    http://www.terradaily.com/repo.....s_999.html

    As you can see, the fossil record is overwhelmingly characterized by suddenness and stability, as well as conforming precisely to the principle of Genetic Entropy (loss of information) when closely scrutinized for loss of diversity over long periods of time. For creatures who have lived in the ocean this fact is extremely clear, because their bones are fossilized in the ocean sediments very quickly. Unfortunately for land creatures, the fossil record is much harder to properly discern due to the rapid disintegration of animals who die on land. The large variety of hominid (man or ape-like) fossils that we do have piece-meal records of are characterized by overlapping histories of “distinctively different and stable” hominid species during the entire time, and the entire geography, each hominid species is found in the fossil record. There is never a transition between ANY of the different hominid species no matter where, or in what era, the hominid fossils are found.

    “If you brought in a smart scientist from another discipline and showed him the meagre evidence we’ve got he’d surely say, “forget it; there isn’t enough to go on.” David Pilbeam, Harvard University paleoanthropologist: from Richard E. Leakey’s book, The Making of Mankind, Sphere Books Limited, Barcelona, 1982, p. 43.

    “If pressed about man’s ancestry, I would have to unequivocally say that all we have is a huge question mark. To date, there has been nothing found to truthfully purport as a transitional species to man, including Lucy, since 1470 was as old and probably older. If further pressed, I would have to state that there is more evidence to suggest an abrupt arrival of man rather than a gradual process of evolving”. Richard Leakey, world’s foremost paleo-anthropologist, in a PBS documentary, 1990.

    Note: The hominid fossil record has now become even more confused, of any imaginary transitional scenario, since Dr. Leakey made this frank, but honest, admission.

    Israeli Researchers: ‘Lucy’ is not direct ancestor of humans Apr 16, 2007
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/S.....6152801536

    New Fossil Ape May Shake Human Family Tree August 22, 2007
    http://news.nationalgeographic.....l-ape.html

    http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/origin_of_man.html

    As Richard Leakey, the leading hominid fossil expert in the world admitted, if he were pressed, he would have to admit the hard evidence suggests the abrupt arrival of man in the fossil record. Yet if you were to ask an average person if we have evolved from apes he will tell you of course we have and wonder why you would ask such a stupid question, since “everyone knows” this is proven in the fossil record. One hard fact in the fossil record that is not disputed by most naturalists is the fact that man is the youngest distinct species of all species to suddenly appear in the fossil record. I find the fact that man has the scientifically accepted youngest history of any fossil in the fossil record to be extremely interesting and compelling to the position held by the anthropic hypothesis. Though a naturalist may try to inconclusively argue fruit flies or some other small types of animals have evolved into distinct new species since that time, he cannot produce evidence for a genetically and morphologically unique animal with a fossil record younger than mans.

  53. congregate,

    Just because two fossils may appear to be related, does not mean that one turned into the other through a gradual or any other naturalistic process. You could just as easily as pointed to various primates and humans which are closer morphologically than the forrest animal to whale transition. Just because these primates are very similar does not mean they gradually turned in to each other. Now this is the conventional wisdom presented in the textbooks but there is no empirical evidence for any of these transitions only conjecture that they must have existed.

    To conclusively prove a gradualistic approach one would need hundreds if not thousands of transitions between A and B to show how one gradually transformed into another. Now granted, most organisms never get fossilized and then only a small amount get found but with the theoretically hundreds of millions of necessary transitions that would have to have existed for gradualism to have worked, you would have to believe some transitions would have been fossilized and found. They are finding new fossils all the time but nearly all repeat previous fossils which says that most of what is out there is just what we already have.

    Now I expect we will see some spectacular fossil finds in this century but until that happens we will have to go with the best evidence and that is it does not support gradual transitions.

    Also as I said before there are no example of any species currently in transition to anything significantly different. If the process that supposedly created all the species in the past is still operating then it should be producing all sorts of modifications in the genomes of current species and some of these should be in various stages of transition replacing their predecessors. But alas, we find no such trend. We find the same situation as in the fossil record. Just stasis with trivial changes.

    Then there is the book by Behe (Edge of Evolution) which emphasize the limits of naturalistic process to produce anything novel in a genome. Consequently the evidence against a gradualistic approach is overwhelming while other naturalistic approaches might be still in play.

    If a gradualistic approach was at work during macro-evolution then it certainly did its best to hide itself or frustrate researchers in supporting it as a viable theory which is why I say no one has ever come here with good evidence.

    But you are entitled to your faith that such evidence will eventually show up and can choose to believe in Darwinism waiting for this empirical confirmation. I happen to believe that science and logic is saying it will not be forthcoming. Either way it makes no difference to me because it has no effect on anything else I believe.

  54. congregate (#47): “You are asking the wrong people. If I wanted to find out about the state of the evidence regarding a topic in biology, I probably wouldn’t ask the random souls who wander into the comments section of the blog of a philosopher and mathematician.”

    You are referring in part to the state of the evidence in the fossil record. The following quotes are from some of the foremost evolutionists, who know far more than you or me about the fossil evidence. They seem quite clear and not a matter of quoting out of context. Of course these experts are not saying they believe a teleological intellegently directed process has operated, either. Presumably their faith in materialism was unshaken, but they were recognizing the actual state of the theory.

    The reality of the fossil record was well expressed by Gould: “…the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology….The history of most fossil species includes two features inconsistent with gradualism: 1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear… 2. Sudden Appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and ‘fully formed’ (Natural History 86(5), 1977, ps. 14, 13).

    Sure, that was 1977 not 2007, but this situation just isn’t going away: “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution so long. It never seems to happen. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere! Yet that is how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution. (Eldridge, “Reinventing Darwin, 1995, p. 95).

    The Cambrian Explosion is perhaps the most glaring discrepancy with the expectations of NDE. A couple of quotes from the professional literature show the actual situation for the theory. “If we were to expect to find ancestors to or intermediates between higher taxa, it would be the rocks of the late Precambrian to Ordivician times, when the bulk of the world’s higher animal taxa evolved. Yet traditional alliances are unknown or unconfirmed for any of the phyla or classes appearing then.” (Valentine, Development As An Evolutionary Process, p.84, 1987). “The Cambrian Explosion occurred in a geological moment, and we have reason to think that all major anatomical designs may have made their evolutionary appearance at that time. …not only the phylum Chordata itself, but also all its major divisions, arose within the Cambrian Explosion…. Contrary to Darwin’s expectation that new data would reveal gradualistic continuity with slow and steady expansion, all major discoveries of the past century have only heightened the massiveness and geological abruptness of this formative event…” (Gould, Nature, Vol.377, 26 10/95, p.682).

    Of course, as the culture war has heated up, it has become more and more politically incorrect and career damaging for professionals to express such objective, realistic views of the current state of the science.

    The important evolutionary transformations in complexity and innovation always happen “somewhere else” and are not captured in the fossil record as they happen. NDE is a gradual tiny step-wise process which should show up as such in the fossil record. So what could be the explanation?

    Conditions for fossilization could always just happen to be unfavorable during macroevolution, but this is clearly intenable. So it would always have to somehow be taking place in small peripheral populations that are generally not fossilized due to small numbers, and/or always happen too fast to leave enough fossils if any to be detected.

    But the NDE mechanism inherently requires large populations and large numbers of generations to work.The NDE argument is basically that low probabilities are overcome by having large enough populations to allow a large number of possibly advantageous random genetic variations occur in different individuals in each generation. Every new generation would be another roll, with another chance of another particular needed gene mutation to appear, and all of them would selectively spread into the population in parallel, working through fixation. But the small peripheral populations are too small to have the large pool of variation needed by the NDE process to select from in each generation. If it always happens too fast for fossilization the number of generations for NDE to accomplish the transformation is severely limited. So this can be interpreted as reasonable evidence that the basic RV+NS mechanism doesn’t explain macroevolution.

  55. So this can be interpreted as reasonable evidence that the basic RV+NS mechanism doesn’t explain macroevolution.

    I suppose it can be interpreted that way, but I guess I just have trouble getting past the fact that almost none of the experts do, even the people who’ve thought about it enough to write the material you quote above.

    Maybe with a lot more research Behe and others following in his footsteps can convincingly find the edge of what evolution can do.

  56. Maybe with a lot more research Behe and others following in his footsteps can convincingly find the edge of what evolution can do.

    It’s a currently unsubstantiated belief that there isn’t an edge to what unguided Darwinian mechanisms can achieve. Unfortunately there isn’t a “scientific standard” for what would be considered “convincing”. Now what would you personally consider convincing?

    BTW, just because it’s currently unsubstantiated does not mean that I think the proposed mechanisms should be ignored. Each needs to be analyzed thoroughly so we have a complete picture of biology. I would just like to see general acknowledgment that the current formulation of Darwinism needs more research before going beyond a hypothesis and becoming a functioning theory.

  57. BarryA you said “Acquiesce, you allude to the “rough landscape.” Hill climbing is a metaphor often favored by Darwinists (e.g., Dawkins’ “Climbing Mount Improbable”). The problem with the metaphor is that the Darwinists leave the impression that there is a single hill with smooth sides that are easily climbed in step by step fashion. Other Darwinists acknowledge that the metaphor is seriously flawed.”

    Well I think mount improbable was supposed to illustrate how it could happen not how it did. The problem here is, as you pointed out, its not all that probable an explanation after all. Anyone can imagine how evolution “could” have occurred the problem is finding out how and what actually did organize and guide its arrival. The fact is that the facts are scarce and this is why NDE is origin sciences illegitimate champion theory.

  58. congregate,

    you said

    “I guess I just have trouble getting past the fact that almost none of the experts do, ”

    This is the interesting phenomena of this debate. Don’t you think if there was good evidence for macro-evolution, these experts would be citing chapter and verse all the evidence and you and thousands of others would be here repeating all their examples.

    But you are not repeating all the good examples, only repeating that you have faith in their faith. As I said no one has ever stepped up to the plate. You are not the first nor the last. We just witnessed another, ellazimm, who couldn’t provide any information but only faith that it must exist. He just left in a huff and a puff because he couldn’t shout us down with his vague non-supported beliefs. He actually accused us of not providing any information when we provided plenty and he contributed nothing. It is interesting, don’t you think. Ask yourself why.

    Keep the faith! Meanwhile, I will stick with the evidence.

  59. Patrick 56-

    Now what would you personally consider convincing?

    (as proof of the limit of evolution’s potential to create significant change over long time frames)

    I’m not sure. That’s a tough question, particularly given the long time frames involved, and the difficulty of defining what is a significant change.

    I would just like to see general acknowledgment that the current formulation of Darwinism needs more research before going beyond a hypothesis and becoming a functioning theory.

    It seems like it’s functioning well enough to keep a lot of biologists busy doing research.

  60. Jerry 58-

    This is the interesting phenomena of this debate. Don’t you think if there was good evidence for macro-evolution, these experts would be citing chapter and verse all the evidence and you and thousands of others would be here repeating all their examples.

    As I think I said above somewhere in this thread, I think that you have seen the evidence that has convinced the large majority of the experts, and you don’t find it convincing. Your objection, as I understand it, is that there is no evidence that excludes an intelligent cause. But if an intelligent cause includes an omnipotent creator of the universe, there is no evidence that could exclude it, right?

  61. congregate,
    Please give a specific conclusive evidence of information being generated in sub-speciation that cannot be attributed to Genetic Entropy and thus the loss of information generation.

  62. bornagain77,
    I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you, but I am unable to provide what you ask for. I have no idea how to measure the information in an organism or population of organisms.

  63. congregate,

    you said

    “I think that you have seen the evidence that has convinced the large majority of the experts, and you don’t find it convincing.”

    We have not seen any evidence that is relevant. So don’t allude to something that does not exist. We tend to be well read on this topic. Now there will be a tendency to say we do not see the relevance of what is presented but in reality we could if anything was actually presented. But even Ph.D.s in biology don’t present anything. Doesn’t that give you a clue.

    you said

    “Your objection, as I understand it, is that there is no evidence that excludes an intelligent cause. But if an intelligent cause includes an omnipotent creator of the universe, there is no evidence that could exclude it, right?”

    Absolutely not. Why bring up an omnipotent creator. It has nothing to do with the discussion. Only a few things in the universe may be due to an intelligent cause as most of it operates on the laws inherent in its construction which by the way seem extremely intelligently designed.

    By the way, one of other things we find is that once a supporter of Darwinism finds out that he or no one else can marshall any support for Darwinism is to play the religion card which you just did. You are on your way to playing out the typical scenario we find all the time.

    My guess is that you will eventually leave because why stay here when you cannot bring anything to the table. It would be different if it seemed you want to learn but all it seems you are doing is struggling to find some way to undermine us. It must be frustrating to stay around and have your beliefs undermined continually and not being able to defend them to some extent or undermine those you disagree with.

    It would be different if it was something like religion but here we mainly talk science and logic when the topic is evolution. So your religious like faith in Darwinism is really out of place when it is facts and logic we are interested in.

    As I said, keep the faith.

  64. Geez Congregate,

    You don’t give us anything to debate you on accept your own personal belief that the “experts” are right so we must be wrong.

    Well I tell you what, this might help us to get a handle on the falsehoods you have, why don’t you give us your own personal favorite for “solid proof” of evolution and let us show you how it is deficient as a solid proof?

  65. I suppose, to be fair, we all experienced this ‘argument from authority’ and for myself even though I new the evidence in my field was nonexistent, I did still wonder if it was just me being stupid – after all these are intelligent men.

    That was until I realised that theories (and religions etc) tend to produce a box type mentality, where information critical to the theory is left out – giving the theory an almost invincible appearance to those inside the box.

  66. Jerry 53 (sorry to go so far back)-

    ust because two fossils may appear to be related, does not mean that one turned into the other through a gradual or any other naturalistic process.
    . . .
    To conclusively prove a gradualistic approach one would need hundreds if not thousands of transitions between A and B to show how one gradually transformed into another.

    That seems like a very high standard!

  67. Jerry 63 -
    I am trying to learn. Here are some questions I’ve asked in this thread that I don’t think have been answered yet. If I’ve missed an answer, please point me to it.

    From my 27
    Quoting BarryA:

    Sure, ID predicts that organisms will be relatively stable until they are changed through a directed process. It predicts that there will not be numerous successive slight modifications among species, so that the fossil record will show bursts of activity and then stasis over long periods of time.

    My question: How does that prediction follow from the ID intuition (some things in the
    universe are so complex that they must have arisen from intelligent intervention)? It seems plausible, and is certainly consistent with the evidence, but it is just as easy to imagine a designer who makes minor changes on a regular basis, isn’t it? An intelligent designer might work by looking in on his design every day and gently nudging here and touching up there, couldn’t it?

    BarryA hasn’t been in the thread much, maybe because it’s drifted so far from his original post. Can anybody else answer those?

    From my 32, another set of questions originally for BarryA, but I’ll take answers wherever I can get them:
    I haven’t read Edge (from the descriptions I’ve seen in various places I wouldn’t be able to follow it). If it is possible for you to condense it [referring to Behe's Edge of Evolution] for me, how does it rule out chance and necessity for any complex novelty? Is the malaria example enough to do so? How do we know whether a fossil is of an intermediate form? More narrowly, is an intermediate form one that shows characteristics of an earlier form and a later one?

    From my 39, questions for Jerry:
    Do Tiktalik and the land animal to whale transitions not qualify [as transitional forms]? If not, what is missing?

    How do you define “sudden” [referring to Jerry's statement that changes over time have been sudden and dramatic]?

    From my 46, one more for Barry, regarding fitness landscapes:
    Don’t changes in the environment change the landscape? An expedition may reach the top of a hill, spend a few million years there, and then find that the landscape changes, and what was once the top of the hill is now only halfway up?

    From my 50, a question for Jerry:
    But if I understand correctly, your main disagreement with the generally accepted scientific theory is that you don’t think it is possible that all the changes in the genes are caused by natural or nonintelligent or random processes, but that some changes are so substantial that they must have been the result of intelligent causes. Have I understood correctly?

    From my 51, another question for Jerry:
    Why does the existence of long gaps make the series [of alleged transitional fossils] less convincing? Do you not agree with the conclusion that the members of the series are related?

    From my 60, for Jerry:
    As I think I said above somewhere in this thread, I think that you have seen the evidence that has convinced the large majority of the experts, and you don’t find it convincing. Your objection, as I understand it, is that there is no evidence that excludes an intelligent cause. But if an intelligent cause includes an omnipotent creator of the universe, there is no evidence that could exclude it, right?

    From my 62, (I didn’t put it as a question at the time, but how does one measure the information in an organism or population?)

    Thanks.

  68. bornagain77 64-
    Obviously there is no one solid proof, or we wouldn’t be having this friendly conversation.

    I’m trying to watch the Packers and do a crossword puzzle at the same time. Maybe I can pick a target for you tomorrow.

  69. “From my 39, questions for Jerry:
    Do Tiktalik and the land animal to whale transitions not qualify [as transitional forms]? If not, what is missing?”

    First, I am hardly an expert on paleontology. I can only look at what they have and watch human nature emboss on it. But look at the hype for the Tiktaalik. It is treated like is was the second coming. For a theory with overwhelming evidence, the need to take this remote species and exalt it like it was is more telling than anything. If they acted more ho-hum like it is just one of the thousands of pieces of the puzzle, it would reveal more confidence.

    It is a single fossil and only half a body. Look at what they have done with creative drawings of this animal. It is apparently crocodile like and as such will look like several other animals that have existed. For there to be gradualism there must be tens of thousands of different morphologies in a transition. What you have here is one half fossil, possibly 10′s of million years between hypothetical beginning and end points. Hardly a hard core example of gradualism and just as likely another example of the sudden appearance of a new species.

    There is a point that should be made here. ID does not deny that life is progressing. It is interesting that this is not a Darwinian perspective since neo Darwinism by definition postulates no necessary forward movement in species formation. So the appearance of various species as time marches on is consistent with ID and the appearance of the Tikaalik is no big deal.

    Now as I said above most organisms will never fossilize but that excuse does not give one the license to take a half fossil and extrapolate it over 10′s of million years as the path from one organism to another. Is it possible? Yes, but there is nothing in the Tikaalik that is hard evidence of gradualism. There are better speculations than this. This particular fossil may someday become a darling as more are found and as more potential transitions are discovered. But until that time, the hype says more than anything. In all these fossils one of the first person approached is the creative artist to flesh out the speculation of the paleontologist.

    It is late and I have to go but this is the basis for the start of a discussion of the value of Tiktaalik as proof of a transition by gradualism. One of the interesting things from this search about the Tiklaatik is the discovery of the book by Henry Gee about paleontology, In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life which I just ordered from Amazon.

  70. congregate,

    I will try to respond tomorrow to your other questions.

  71. Thanks Jerry.

  72. congregate,

    Easy questions first.

    “a question for Jerry:
    But if I understand correctly, your main disagreement with the generally accepted scientific theory is that you don’t think it is possible that all the changes in the genes are caused by natural or non-intelligent or random processes, but that some changes are so substantial that they must have been the result of intelligent causes. Have I understood correctly?”

    The answer is yes. A big supporter of neo Darwinism, Sean Carroll, estimated it would take 10,000 pages of small print to reproduce all the instructions that are responsible to produce a human. My guess is that this is an underestimate.

    All these instructions are inter-related and the complexity is immense and no natural process has shown the ability to create even a few lines of one page let alone 10,000 pages. So yes, I do not believe any natural process can lead to such organized functional complexity.

    neo Darwinism assumes you start with such a book (doesn’t tell you how such a book was ever written) and then by changing a little here and a little there you end up with something completely different. And all this with out actually having any evidence of any of the books in between. A truly magical process to create such extraordinary sequences without leaving a trace.

    But it is key to understand that each step in the process from A to B is considered final (A1, A2,…, An). A organism does not know it is headed for B but somehow A1 appears. But we never see A1 or A2 and all the others up to An which is just before B even though each is a final state. They are all lost for every transition that ever took place.

    Maybe the logical conclusion is that the transitions never took place and that blind faith that every single one never fossilized is really the illogical conclusion.

  73. congregate,

    “But if an intelligent cause includes an omnipotent creator of the universe, there is no evidence that could exclude it, right?”

    I believe that somewhere along the line intelligence stepped in. Now for life, this intelligence could be no more intelligent than us. Humans are probably within 50 years of creating some type of genome.

    The creation of the universe is something else. That is way beyond anything like us but it does not point to some specific kind of intelligence, only an extremely immense one. So the intelligence in intelligent design is not determined to be any specific god such as the Judeo Christian God. It theoretically could be more than one being working together. Maybe Zeus was working with a few friends such as Apollo and Athena. It is completely undetermined by ID.

    For any evidence on the nature of the intelligence behind the universe, one has to go some place else in addition to science. For the intelligence behind life, it may be the same place or it may be a different being. Again one has to look at other evidence. One may want to go to something like natural law to seek an explanation and see what is part of our nature. Or one may want to consult a wise man. There have been several throughout history. Of if one wants a religious explanation; for example, in the Nicene Creed it specifically says the Holy Spirit is the giver of life. This creed was the product of a couple hundred men praying to God. In all these possible explanations science may only be of partial help.

    People here have very different ideas on who the intelligence is but I personally don’t believe science can tell them anything definitively.

  74. Jerry 72-
    Which is harder, to produce the instruction book or to produce the product? It seems to me that the actual product would be harder to produce. As I understand it, a person is produced by all natural processes. (My mom said all it takes is a mommy and daddy who love each other very much, and a stork). ;)

    But seriously.

    So your view suggests that at least some new species appear in the world suddenly without ancestors. Is there any evidence this has happened recently? When do you think was the last time it happened?

  75. Jerry 73-

    My question “But if an intelligent cause includes an omnipotent creator of the universe, there is no evidence that could exclude it, right?”

    is not about who the designer might be, or where we might turn to look for evidence of who it might be. As you say, that is undetermined by ID. My question is just a question of logic, I think. Is there any state of the evidence that would conclusively rule out the existence of an omnipotent designer? Personally, I don’t think there is.

  76. congregate,

    No. Even neo Darwinism does not rule out an omnipotent creator. In fact for many it presupposes One who had the power/intelligence to plan it all from the start with no necessity of interfering. This is a basis of many theistic evolutionists religious views who look down on ID as postulating a lesser God who has to constantly tinker with His creation. However, ID allows for an omnipotent creator but does not require one.

    If you have not read Dembski’s paper on ID written 11 years ago, you should. It is long but lays out the problems very well. The difference between neo Darwinism and the Blind Watchmaker Thesis is discussed in detail as well as ID problems with neo Darwinism. It is

    http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_theologn.htm

  77. bornagain77 at 64:

    My first solid proof of evolution for your demolition: the fact that in island groups, like the Galapagos Islands, each island has very similar types of animals and plants, with variations between the islands, and with those variations matching well with the variations in the geography and microclimate of the individual islands.

    Is that not consistent with the theory of unguided evolution?

  78. Jerry 76-
    Well I haven’t read that whole paper yet, but this sure surprised me, given the rest of our discussion:

    Design theory places no limits on the amount of evolutionary change that organisms might have experienced in the course of natural history.

    Has Dembski recanted that? Isn’t that exactly what design theory does? What am I missing?

  79. Congregate [re 77], the technical name for the concept to which you refer is “allopatric speciation.” The example to which you refer is, of course, circumstantial evidence that this in fact occurred. But it is not conclusive evidence, as many darwinists would like to believe. There is simply no confirmed report of anyone witnessing the origin of a new species through the joint action of reproductive isolation and mechanisms of genetic change. See Section 4.2 of the Design of Life. What?!!!??? You don’t have Design of Life yet. Well run out and get it. Anyone who wants to know anything about ID has to have this book.

  80. Congregate [re 78]. “What am I missing? You are missing the fact that ID is not inconsistent with evolution OF A CERTAIN SORT. Many ID proponents believe strongly in front loaded evolution. ID does not attack evolution per se. It attacks blind watchmaker darwinism.

  81. BarryA 79-
    I just don’t see how it would be possible to witness “the origin of a new species through the joint action of reproductive isolation and mechanisms of genetic change,” even if it could happen. How would the witness be able to distinguish natural mechanisms of genetic change from intelligent ones?

    Also, please check out the first few paragraphs of my comment 63 for some other questions I’d be interested in your input on, BarryA. Thanks.

  82. Congregate,
    To properly ascertain whether “novel evolution” has occurred it is necessary to know what species was the “parent species” of the sub-species and to do genetic analysis of each. I can’t find the specific genetic studies for finches, maybe someone can help us out with that, but comparing this example to other sub-speciation events let’s see what we find.
    The ID/Genetic Entropy holds that a parent species will be “front-loaded” with information for sub-speciation events to favorable climates, but the sub-speciation event will always occur at a cost of information from the parent species when the sub-species becomes reproductively isolated.
    We see this principle obeyed in the speciation events of polar bears from grizzly bears in which though the polar bear is more suited for the arctic than the grizzly bear, the polar bear has visibly lost information for hair color.

    Now looking at the pictures of finches here:

    http://www.math.ucla.edu/~tao/finch.jpg

    I’m not that impressed, as I see more variation, and evolutionists argue novelty, in dogs. Yet dogs strictly obey the law of conservation of information in the genetic analysis done on them and grey wolves. Thus the supposed novelty of dogs is no such thing but is indeed a culling of specific information of the original information that is found in the grey wolves.

    Here is the Paper that has confirmation of dogs and grey wolves staying within principle of Genetic Entropy.

    http://jhered.oxfordjournals.o.....0/1/71.pdf

    of special note:
    Some sequences found in dogs were identical to those in wolves…
    The sequence divergence within (breeds of) dogs was surprisingly large: the mean sequence divergence in dogs 2.06 + or – 0.07% was almost identical to the 2.10 + or – 0.04% (sequence divergence) found within wolves. (notice that sequence divergence is slightly smaller for dogs than for wolves)
    Coupled with the diverse morphology of domesticated dogs and known hazards of dog breeding, this evidence strongly indicates “front loaded adaptations” at a loss of information from parent species. Thus, this is genetic confirmation of the principle of Genetic Entropy for dogs from wolves!

    You may say that this is “artificial selection” and does not count.

    To which I refer to this:

    i.e.;Tishkoff; Andrew Clark, Penn State; Kenneth Kidd, Yale University; Giovanni Destro-Bisol, University “La Sapienza,” Rome, and Himla Soodyall and Trefor Jenkins, WITS University, South Africa, looked at three locations on DNA samples from 13 to 18 populations in Africa and 30 to 45 populations in the remainder of the world.

    “We found an enormous amount of diversity within and between the African populations, and we found much less diversity in non-African populations,” Tishkoff told attendees today (Jan. 22) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Anaheim. “Only a small subset of the diversity in Africa is found in Europe and the Middle East, and an even narrower set is found in American Indians.”

    You may say that this test is skewed because we don’t have ancient DNA for humans,

    to which I refer:

    In this study for ancient Austrailian DNA we have clear evidence of Genetic Entropy being obeyed!:

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....rtid=33358

    Of special note:
    Adcock et al. (7) clearly demonstrate the actual extinction of an ancient mtDNA lineage belonging to an anatomically modern human, because this lineage is not found in living Australians. Although the fossil evidence provides evidence of the continuity of modern humans over the past 60,000 years, the ancient mtDNA clearly does not, providing an excellent example of why the history of any particular locus or DNA sequence does not necessarily represent the history of a population. Adcock et al.’s (7

    Thus, though the fossil record is continuous, they deny that the genome is “losing” information because it does not match their evolutionary “prediction” for gaining information yet fits perfectly with the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del for loss of information

    In my opinion the best example for the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del is in Webster’s study of trilobites over the 270 million year span they were on the earth following their abrupt appearance in the Cambrian explosion:

    http://www.terradaily.com/repo.....s_999.html

    Here is a quote from Webster:
    “That led me into thinking there’s something weird about these very primitive Cambrian trilobites that you don’t see in other (more recent) ones,” he said.

    The only way to verify his hunch was to conduct an analysis that combined the data compiled in previously published reports. “It’s too much for one person to look at a thousand trilobite species,” Webster said.

    So for his Science study, Webster combed through 68 previously published studies of trilobites, searching for descriptions of evolving characteristics that could be incorporated into his analysis. After eliminating studies that were inappropriate for inclusion, 49 still remained.

    He focused on actively evolving characteristics. The trilobite head alone, for example, displays many such characteristics. These include differences in ornamentation, number and placement of spines, and the shape of head segments. His findings: Overall, approximately 35 percent of the 982 trilobite species exhibited some variation in some aspect of their appearance that was evolving. But more than 70 percent of early and middle Cambrian species exhibited variation, while only 13 percent of later trilobite species did so.

    “There’s hardly any variation in the post-Cambrian,” he said. “Even the presence or absence or the kind of ornamentation on the head shield varies within these Cambrian trilobites and doesn’t vary in the post-Cambrian trilobites.”

    Thus congregate, upon detailed analysis we have a strict adherence to the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del.
    This is a robust mo^del which can be falsified by showing an increase of within species variation after it is established genetic entropy is in full swing.

    Whereas it is impossible to falsify evolution for it seemingly can explain any evidence in the fossil record.

    A little more background on the fossil record from Allan Macneill:

    “As Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould pointed out almost three decades ago, the general pattern for the evolution of diversity (as shown by the fossil record) follows precisely this pattern: a burst of rapid diversity following a major ecological change, and then a gradual decline in diversity over relatively long periods of time. This is clearly the case among east African cichlid fish, such as those in Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria. As numerous studies have pointed out, Lake Victoria is only a little over 12,000 years old, while Lake Malawi is approximately 1.5 million years old. Lake Victoria has (or had, until the introduction of the Nile perch) over 600 species of cichlids, while Lake Malawi has many, many fewer (the exact numbers are not known, due to rapid species turnover and the difficulty of sampling fish species in these lakes). In other words, the older the lake, the lower the species diversity.

    This general pattern is also observable among the arthropod phyla in the “Cambrian explosion”, the vertebrate tetrapod taxa following the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, and the mammalian phyla following the Cretaceous-Teritary mass extinction.”

    So there you have it Congregate a consistent pattern in the fossil record that is an egnigma to the evolutionary theory of “gradual” change postulated by Darwin, Yet the fits perfectly with the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del which also agrees with the law of conservation of information and the second law of thermodynamics.
    Two laws that evolutionists have to severely pollute the simplicity and beauty of to have their theory even considered valid in the first place.

    I don’t know about you congregate but I think I will follow the evidence.

  83. congregate,

    There are two halves to neo Darwinism. One half is not controversial and the other is. Believe it or not the half that is not controversial is the half which leads to changes in the species. This is natural selection and some other factors such as genetic drift which changes the allele frequency in a population. The simple example is the polar bear that bornagain77 mentioned which has white fur and not brown fur such as a typical grizzly bear. If the bear did not have an allele for white fur in some member of the population the polar bear might not have ever turned white over time.

    Of course the other half of the neo Darwinism theory theoretically would have eventually provided the white fur. Some mutation would have happened to one of the offspring and it would have been white and its offspring would have a mixture of white and brown and eventually the white allele would prevail in the population through natural selection and we would get white polar bears. None of this is controversial and basic genetics.

    Now look at dogs and humans and you can see that there is quite a lot of variation amongst the population of each. Most of the dog variation was artificially selected for by breeders but the original variation was somewhere in the dog population or wolf population. Based on environmental factors the offspring of humans living to procreate will vary and certain traits will become more prominent in certain areas. Darwin observed this with birds, iguanas, tortoises and other animals in the Galapagos. He thought it was a big deal and hence the origin of his book.

    However, all he witnessed was basic micro evolution and really not very controversial. But he assumed this process could account for great changes over time. But he was only looking at half of the process. The animals he observed originally had enough variation within them so that when they found themselves in these new environments some of the alleles became more prevalent while others either became recessive or disappeared. Again basic genetics and not controversial. But it does not explain why the alleles were there in the beginning. If a population did not have the variation to begin with most of the adaptation would not have ever taken place. But remember we are basically talking about minor traits such as color, size or some other minor characteristics.

    The half of neo Darwinism that is controversial is the origin of variation. Or where did the white fur come from. Now white fur is really trivial so its origin is not an issue. But other variation is not trivial. If a new species is to really morph into something novel and different then the variations must show up in some of the offspring of the population or else they can never be part of the selection process.

    This is what the debate is all about. How do new alleles that are really novel show up in the offspring of a population? Now lets get to the quote you had from Dembski that confused you.

    “Design theory places no limits on the amount of evolutionary change that organisms might have experienced in the course of natural history.”

    ID argues that the variation in the offspring necessary to explain all the changes in life forms over time could not have arisen by natural means. But it did arise so how did it arise. The only logical answer is trough some intelligent input. A gradualistic input fails on so many levels that it isn’t a serious contender. You may disagree but there is absolutely no evidence it happened this way but it did happen so one of the ways it could have happened is through an intelligent input creating the variation within a population. This does not mean all variation arose this way but ID believes that some of it had to. So it is possible to have massive change in the course of life on earth but the variation that fueled this change had some part that came from an intelligent input.

    One of the theories that some ID people adhere to is that the potential variation was inputed up front at the beginning or front loaded. All the changes witnessed in the fossil record are just changed triggered by environmental factors to the genome which already contained the necessary information for all the life forms that have existed. Now I do not adhere to this personally but many here do and like any other theory is one to be supported or falsified.

    One final comment. One has to have read a fair amount to understand all the details of this. So it is possible that you may not understand most of the issues at first. It is not easy to write in a comment all that is necessary to explain each issue so short hand comments get posted. That is why I think it would be useful for someone to post a ID 101 on the side that each person should read before they challenge others here. But no such article exists and most would not read it anyway.

  84. BA what is ‘rapid species turnover’ WRT to the cichlids in Lake Malawi?

  85. digdug,
    I’m not quite sure, but I found this study:

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=1635482

    Which looks very promising.

    Apparently cichlids have been studied somewhat extensively, so maybe I can find some Genetic Evidence to work with.

    But from this study the scientists are kind of befuddled at anomalies:

    It is humorous to me…Digdug see if you can spot where it fits the ID/Genetic entropy and fails evolutionary theory:

    Interestingly, ecological opportunity (the availability of an unoccupied adaptive zone), though explaining rates of diversification in radiating lineages, is alone not sufficient to predict whether a radiation occurs. The available data suggest that the propensity to undergo adaptive radiation in lakes evolved sequentially along one branch in the phylogenetic tree of African cichlids, but is completely absent in other lineages. Instead of attributing the propensity for intralacustrine speciation to morphological or behavioural innovations, it is tempting to speculate that the propensity is explained by genomic properties that reflect a history of repeated episodes of lacustrine radiation: the propensity to radiate was significantly higher in lineages whose precursors emerged from more ancient adaptive radiations than in other lineages.

    Kind of funny isn’t it.

    It fits perfectly into our mo^del

  86. B^A what you are referring to is called by evolutionists ‘species selection’. In other words lineages have differential rates of speciation.

    I’m not familiar with the genetic entropy model that you speak of but the molecular data I have seen are fairly solid that the Victorian cichlids are a recent radiation.

    I fully agree with Jerry that the causes of such radiation are worthy of investigation. i don’t know how anyone could argue that these are ‘losses of information’, especially given the ecological niche differentiation seen in African cichlids (some species have mouths on the left side, some on the right side, feeding on fish scales!) I am confused with the use of the term ‘information’ with respect to these phenomena. How do you measure information?

  87. Digdug,

    The evidence for cichlids fits the Theistic mod^el for ID.

    A parent species is “designed” with all information “front-loaded” for all sub-speciation to occur (radiate) from it.
    Although somewhat crude, a rough measure for loss of information can be traced to loss of genetic diversity in a sub-species when compared to its parent species genetic diversity, provided advanced mutational load has not skewed the genetic diversity readings (I don’t know how much of a factor negative mutational load is yet).

    Thus the closer a sub-species is to the original parent species that it radiated from the greater will be the sub-species ability to radiate. Whereas the further away a sub-species is away from its parent species the less ability it will have to radiate more sub-species from itself, and as a sidelight the more problems the sub-species will have with inbreeding (such as cheetahs).

    The I just explained is specifically what we find in this cichlid study:

    Specifically:

    “the propensity to radiate was significantly higher in lineages whose precursors emerged from more ancient adaptive radiations (closer to parent species) than in other lineages (more recent sub-species).

    This is exactly what the Theistic ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del predicts for all life on earth and this prediction is supported through and through with every line of evidence, i.e. the mo^del is extremely robust Digdug!

  88. Digdug you stated:

    but the molecular data I have seen are fairly solid that the Victorian cichlids are a recent radiation.

    But the study i cited states:

    “The available data suggest that the propensity to undergo adaptive radiation in lakes evolved sequentially along one branch in the phylogenetic tree”

    Thus my parent species radiation mo^del is vindicated in what I consider a very comprehensive study of cichlid radiations.

  89. digdug,

    I like laymen’s terms so I will try to use a lay language as much as possible to explain what I think is happening. The concept of information is from what I understand one used in many different ways. I am certainly not an expert in information theory but everyone uses the term. I have seen it used in lots of different connotations.

    When you go outside next, look for a rock outcropping. This is certainly the result of natural forces playing out over the millennia. If you wanted to completely describe the rock outcropping it would take an incredibly amount of information to specify every molecule precisely. Now no one would want to do this but the outcropping is a complex object that requires a large amount of information for complete specification. None of the information in the outcropping serves any purpose except possibly for some geologist trying to understand rock composition and formation.

    Now take a genome of an organism and this too contains a large amount of information and is complex. Now until recently some thought that most of the information was useless and it was referred to as junk DNA. Whether it is junk or not it still contains the same amount of information. However, most of the information in this entity describes functions outside of itself, unlike the outcropping. Over time the genome can increase/decrease/remain the same in terms of information and more than likely the complexity will be fairly similar.

    Now each organism within a population of a species such as cichlids is slightly different so that one could possibly describe the total potential functions of the population that could arise by breeding individual offspring. Some of these potential functions may not be apparent within the current population because they are latent or recessive.

    Now it is possible through some sort of mutation that there will be changes in the total number of functions and when the population is exposed to a different environment some of these functions will emerge. These changes in information can cause the functions that are specified by the genome to change. Some of these changes can actually help the organism to adapt to a new situation. All this is basic genetics. But are these mutations additions or subtractions.

    From what I understand most of these adaptations are due to loss of function in the genome which actually makes the genome more adaptive for a particular situation and not from the addition of a new function to the population of the organisms.

    Behe describes this phenomena as the burning of bridges phenomena in a war which allows one side to fight the war in such a way as to increase its likelihood of survival by destroying function. As opposed to the arms race which is the building of new weapons/functions that allows one side to fight the war better because it can now become more versatile in what it can do.

    It would be interesting to examine the genomes of the cichlids to see what is happening. At some time in the future some group might do this but examining a genome of one cichlid is expensive let alone several members of a species to see the range of possible functions or comparing individual species variations would be even more time consuming and expensive. Until then we will have to speculate that the change of functions were either within the original population or represent either loss or gains of functions. Behe’s reviews and research indicate that there is little gain in function over time. That is what the debate is all about. Basic genetics says there will be loss of function within a population over time by genetic drift and over deep time there will be convergence on a fixed genome which will lead to extinction.

    So the basic question of evolution is where does the variety in a population come from? All of this is puzzling which is what makes the debate interesting but it leads to much of the fight taking place on ideological grounds as opposed to science and logic.

  90. Jerry as far as I can tell the question of where does variation in a population come from is satisfactorily answered by population genetics. I think the problem you are referring to is instead unraveling genetic variation as it pertains to phenotypes.

    Cichlids with right and left sided mouths are much more closely related to other cichlids than they are to each other. This is very curious. I don’t see how genetic drift will lead to loss of function if there is selection at work. Of course function as here defined is sufficiently vague enough to mean anything.

  91. digdug,

    Sorry digdug, I think all that population genetics stuff is on its way out.

    The human genome, according to Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, far, far surpasses in complexity any computer program ever written by man. The data compression (multiple meanings) of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick (Trifonov, 1989)! No line of computer code ever written by man approaches that level of data compression (poly-functional complexity). Further evidence for the inherent complexity of the DNA is found in a another study. In June 2007, a international team of scientists, named ENCODE, published a study that indicates the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. This “complex interwoven network” throughout the entire DNA code makes the human genome severely poly-constrained to random mutations (Sanford; Genetic Entropy, 2005; page 141). This means the DNA code is now much more severely limited in its chance of ever having a hypothetical beneficial mutation since almost the entire DNA code is now proven to be intimately connected to many other parts of the DNA code. Thus even though a random mutation to DNA may be able to change one part of an organism for the better, it is now proven much more likely to harm many other parts of the organism that depend on that one particular part being as it originally was. Since evolution was forced, by the established proof of Mendelian genetics, to no longer view the whole organism as to what natural selection works upon, but to view the whole organism as a multiple independent collection of genes that can be selected or discarded as natural selection sees fit, this “complex interwoven network” finding is extremely bad news, if not absolutely crushing, for the population genetics scenario of evolution developed by Haldane, Fisher and Wright (page 52 and 53: Genetic Entropy: Sanford 2005)!

    http://www.genome.gov/25521554

    New Findings Challenge Established Views on Human Genome

    BETHESDA, Md., Wed., June 13, 2007 – An international research consortium today published a set of papers that promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings challenge the traditional view of our genetic blueprint as a tidy collection of independent genes, pointing instead to a complex network in which genes, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.

    http://www.boston.com/news/glo.....ed/?page=1

    DNA unraveled:
    A ‘scientific revolution’ is taking place

    The science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome – the full sequence of 3 billion DNA “letters” folded within every cell – they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.

    “Science is just starting to probe the wilderness between genes,” said John M. Greally, molecular biologist at New York’s Albert Einstein School of Medicine. “Already we’re surprised and confounded by a lot of what we’re seeing.”

    A slew of recent but unrelated studies of everything from human disease to the workings of yeast suggest that mysterious swaths of molecules – long dismissed as “junk DNA” – may be more important to health and evolution than genes themselves.

    So digdug, I don’t think your archaic views of population genetics are revelent to the whole issue anymore.

    But hey, If you want to insist that the genome is a tidy pool of genes that can be selected or discarded as NS sees fit go ahead and believe it, Just don’t clam that it has in basis in the scientific method, because science says the genome is NOT a tidy pool of genes that can be selected or discarded as evolution sees fit. Science says in fact the opposite, The genome is a complex interwoven network with complexity stacked on top of complexity stacked on top of complexity. As stated before this makes the Genome poly-functional and therefore poly-constrained to any “independent” genes being inserted or deleted.

    Future work by ENCODE that established virtual 100% poly-functionality of the Genome should be the de^ath blow for Darwinism. But then again from the available evidence I’ve seen Darwinism should of di^ed long ago.

  92. Born^Again I am sure that the news of the demise of population genetics will sure shake up the scientific establishment. I just searched the web of science for articles about population genetics published in 2007 alone: 1391 articles. There will be lots of folks upset to hear this!!!

    That is a rather large gap to fill. What do you propose?

  93. digdug,

    I think you have it backwards. The half of neo Darwinism that does the selection and includes genetics does not produce any new variation at all. It only selects from what is available and can not produce anything new. This does not mean that a population will not change becasue genetic principles cause populations to change all the time.

    The best definition of evolution is the neo Darwinism definition of evolution which is a change in the allele frequency in a population from one generation to another. This presupposes the alleles are already there and over time the frequency of many alleles will change for whatever reasons and thus evolution will occur. Genetic drift tends to fix certain alleles and thus eliminates others from the gene pool. Over vast amounts of time the number of alleles that are eliminated grows and gene pool gets narrower and narrower unless some variation is introduced.

    Variation is introduced into a population by some form of event, one of which is mutations. However, there is no evidence that mutations or any other natural events have been able to produce the variation seen in a population or has led to novel functions in a genome. So the question is how did this variation arise in the first place since it seems to go against the natural processes that tend to eliminate variation from a gene pool.

    I know nothing about cichlids but suppose the alleles or regulatory structure to produce right and left sided mouths were already part of the population genomes but recessive and fairly rare then occasionally you would get one or the other. If a situation arose where this was an advantage then the frequency of this allele would increase. This is basic genetics.

    Suppose at one time thise allele or regulatory structure did not exist and a mutation occurred that caused this defect. It would be a rare occurrence but suppose the timing was just right for this organism to survive then the new allele would be introduced into the population. This is what supposedly explains the origin of variation but when biologist look at the supposedly new variation most of the time they find degeneration of a genome and not construction of new capabilities. As I said for the cichlids, this will require research as to just what produced the changes.

  94. Your objection is a argument from authority and carries no merit as far as true science is concerned, you must produce evidence,,I showed you the anomalies in the cichlid’s studies and you ignored that.

    What do you think? You think this is not a consistent finding I am telling you about? The tentative mo^del I outlined is robust and falsifiable by the evidence. Your mo^del is a sad joke that explains nothing since it seems to explain anything!

    So what if all those scientists agree! I will stay true to science and follow the evidence.,

    Alchemy had many “experts” deceived for many years, Even Newton believed in the lie! Thus experts are fallible. That is why evidence has priority.

    you stated:

    That is a rather large gap to fill. What do you propose?

    How about the truth filling in the gap, digdug?

    How about the truth?

    Denying the truth is not in our best interest scientifically speaking.

    Who knows what breakthroughs await once the proper refined mo^del is developed for the nature of “information” in its interactions with energy and mass.

    “Information is inevitably physical,” Dr. Rolf W. Landauer (1927-1999)

    digdug, please produce evidence of CSI (Complex Specified Information) being generated or else admit your theory has no foundation.

  95. Born^Again, I have never seen a coherent definition of CSI. Please elaborate.

    Jerry, right and left sided mouths are not just ‘alleles’ but entire mechanical adaptations. The entire jaw morphology is changed. This includes skeleto-muscular systems. These fishes prey on the scales of other fishes, the position of the mouth is an adaptation to this mode of feeding. Not just an ‘allele’, and according to what you propose the primal population must have had every single sort of variation extant. Needless to say this is inconsistent with the fossil records (if it was, the fossil record would not have distinctly diagnosable taxa, but would be a mishmash of characters).

    recombination is another way to derive new characters and function. See the introgression of European genotypes into N American genotypes of the reed Phragmites, followed by adaptive radiation into new habitats.

    this can’t be a function of ‘already existing genetic material’ because we are talking about distinct lineages coming back into contact, not a single population.

    B^A not an argument from authority, just an observation that your predictions of imminent demise are over^stated.

  96. Digdug, here is one of Dr. Dembski’s papers on CSI

    http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_idtheory.htm

    of special note:

    Intelligent Design as a Theory of Information

    Information can be specified. Information can be complex. Information can be both complex and specified. Information that is both complex and specified I call “complex specified information,” or CSI for short. CSI is what all the fuss over information has been about in recent years, not just in biology, but in science generally. It is CSI that for Manfred Eigen constitutes the great mystery of biology, and one he hopes eventually to unravel in terms of algorithms and natural laws. It is CSI that for cosmologists underlies the fine-tuning of the universe, and which the various anthropic principles attempt to understand (cf. Barrow and Tipler, 1986). It is CSI that David Bohm’s quantum potentials are extracting when they scour the microworld for what Bohm calls “active information” (cf. Bohm, 1993, pp. 35-38). It is CSI that enables Maxwell’s demon to outsmart a thermodynamic system tending towards thermal equilibrium (cf. Landauer, 1991, p. 26). It is CSI on which David Chalmers hopes to base a comprehensive theory of human consciousness (cf. Chalmers, 1996, ch. 8). It is CSI that within the Kolmogorov-Chaitin theory of algorithmic information takes the form of highly compressible, non-random strings of digits (cf. Kolmogorov, 1965; Chaitin, 1966).

    William A. Dembski

    Law of conservation of information

    “This strong proscriptive claim, that natural causes can only transmit CSI but never originate it, I call the Law of Conservation of Information.
    Immediate corollaries of the proposed law are the following:

    1. The specified complexity in a closed system of natural causes remains constant or decreases.
    2. The specified complexity cannot be generated spontaneously, originate endogenously or organize itself (as these terms are used in origins-of-life research).
    3. The specified complexity in a closed system of natural causes either has been in the system eternally or was at some point added exogenously (implying that the system, though now closed, was not always closed).
    4. In particular any closed system of natural causes that is also of finite duration received whatever specified complexity it contains before it became a closed system.”

    Universal probability bound (for information generation by natural means)

    Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150, derived as the inverse of the product of the following approximate quantities:[14]

    * 10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    * 10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur (i.e., the inverse of the Planck time).
    * 10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    Dembski has recently (as of 2005) refined his definition to be the inverse of the product of two different quantities:[15]

    * An upper bound on the computational resources of the universe in its entire history. This is estimated by Seth Lloyd as 10^120 elementary logic operations on a register of 10^90 bits[16][17]
    * The (variable) rank complexity of the event under consideration.[18]

    If the latter quantity equals 10^150, then the overall universal probability bound corresponds to the original value.

    Digdug,
    To further clarify what you need to do, to prove evolution true scientifically, You need to produce evidence that a biological molecular Irreducibly Complex (IC) system, which exhibits CSI (over 10^150) being generated naturally.

    There are 1000′s of such IC systems in each cell.

    The only “novel’ complexity to be demonstrated scientifically, fell far short of this limit (it was the generation of a simple ring structure for HIV, a virus that isn’t even alive)

    The malaria parasite (which is alive and within the law of conservation of information for a closed system) generated zero complex information (zero protein/protein binding sites) though having 10^20 replication/mutation events! (far more replication/mutation events than since the mammals split from reptiles)

    Digdug,
    Where is the evidence for evolution?

  97. BA77,

    I asked this in the “from the files” thread, but I’ll ask it here too: how can we estimate the amount of CSI? If CSI cannot be “added” to a system via natural laws, there must be some way of calculating the amount of CSI in a system. As I pointed out in that other thread, the total amount of Shannon information in the genome can increase naturally. But Shannon infomration can be calculated and compared. Can you give me a formula for getting to a quantitative measure of CSI?

    My earlier comment was here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-152648

  98. digdug,

    I mentioned regulatory parts of the genome and used alleles as a short hand to cover possible sources of variation. Has there been published research on how the right and left sided mouth are caused? Can they interbreed with normal cichlids? Are they the result of one or two differences between normal cichlids or are they the result of much more extensive changes?

    Now, I said I know very little about cichlids and have just read a little more and it seems confusing. There are thousands of species of cichlids all around the world and one article called them the fastest evolving species in the world. How did these species get all around the world? How are there numerous species of cichlids in Africa and South America which separated 200 million years ago. Now these are fresh water fish but maybe they were salt water at one time and became freshwater after they invaded each continent. One site had a fanciful site of the ice age lowering the ocean levels and this let cichlids island hop across the Atlantic.

    All in all the cichlids are still cichlids and while they have lots of color, shapes, eating habits, breeding habits they are all still cichlids. My guess is that all the explanation for the vast number of species will have to wait till we see how varied are the genomes of all these species in terms of alleles and regulatory areas and how much within variation there exists in each population. This will probably take considerably time.

  99. digdug,

    you said

    “Not just an ‘allele’, and according to what you propose the primal population must have had every single sort of variation extant. Needless to say this is inconsistent with the fossil records (if it was, the fossil record would not have distinctly diagnosable taxa, but would be a mishmash of characters).”

    Not so. All the forms of current dog breeds were present in the wolf. You would never have guessed that a Chihuahua and Great Dane are variants of wolves.

  100. jerry, re #99

    your evidence for this? or just speculation?

    re 98

    The right and left mouthed cichlids are different species. They are more closely related to other species (that do not have the weird mouth adaptation) than they are to each other. What is a ‘normal’ cichlid? I don’t think that is a very useful heuristic for describing living things. They vary, and it matters, sometimes.

    Now, the other part of your post is indeed interesting (the biogeography). Why do some lineages tend to speciate more than others? This is the core of the work of Stephen Jay Gould and others. How does “Gen^etic Entr^opy” account for this? Deny the reality of speciation? I am not familiar with this stuff since it has never made it into the scientific peer-reviewed literature so perhaps there is a webpage? Linky?

  101. digdug,

    From wikipedia dog

    “Molecular systematics indicate that the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) descends from one or more populations of wild wolves (Canis lupus). As reflected in the nomenclature, dogs are descended from the wolf and are able to interbreed with wolves.”

    Let’s mate the Chihuahua and a wolf and see what we get. Maybe best in show?

    So it is possible that all the cichlids were descended from an original cichlid population and what we are seeing is the variation in the original population pool playing itself out over time. I am sure there are some mutation events that have added something but cichlids are still cichlids.

    Again the definitive analysis is in the future when mapping genomes gets cheap and quick and comparison of different varieties are easily done.

  102. Jerry, so you are picking argument by assertion I see.

    “Descends from” does not mean “is a subset of”. Are you arguing that the aboriginal wolf population contained some chihuahas?

    it seems that your gen^etic entropy mo^del has some ontological issues with the reality of hybrids. have you ever considered this?

  103. getawitness:
    I thought we weren’t going to debate about information any more, since you gave me such a hard time and don’t believe that quantum non-locality clearly proves ‘pure” information’s transcendence of mass and energy.

    Oh well, though I should know better than to get into this with you:

    getawitness you stated:

    the total amount of Shannon information in the genome can increase naturally:

    To which I note many commenter’s have derided Shannon’s definition of Information:

    Karl Steinbeck, a German information scientist: “The classical theory of information (Shannon Information) can be compared to the statement that one kilogram of gold has the same value as one kilogram of sand”.

    Warren Weaver, an American information scientist: “Two messages, one of which is heavily loaded with meaning and the other which is pure nonsense, can be exactly equivalent … as regards (Shannon) information.”

    Ernst von Weizacker “The reason for the ‘uselessness’ of Shannon’s theory in the different sciences is frankly that no science can limit itself to its syntactic level.”

    Jean Cocteau: “The greatest literary work of art is basically nothing but a scrambled alphabet (according to Shannon’s Theory).”

    Now as for specific formula for CSI I cannot do that right now, (I believe Dr. Dembski covers the boundaries of for CS! in his book “No Free Lunch” (NFL):

    http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_nfl_intro.htm

    of special note from NFL:

    Chapter 5: The Emergence of Irreducibly Complex Systems.

    One of the objections against intelligent design becoming a viable scientific research program is that one cannot calculate the probabilities needed to confirm specified complexity for actual systems in nature. This chapter shows that even though precise calculations may not always be possible, setting bounds for the relevant probabilities is possible, and that this is adequate for establishing specified complexity in practice.

    Though I don’t have a copy of the book, I can give you the (very) rough way I would figure out if a Irreducibly Complex (IC) system was exhibiting a tangible amount of CSI in biology.

    1. I would find total number of different proteins in a IC system.

    2. I would find the probability for each specific protein occurring by pure chance in the universe. (I would adjust for the fact that other proteins of different sequences may perform same function (note:this specific step is what gives the definition of CSI its specificity to actual information content )

    3. I would add each probability up for each protein in the IC system.

    If the probability for all proteins in the IC system exceeded the probabilistic resources of the universe (10^150), then in my rough measure I would declare the system does indeed contain complex specified information.

    Since this ignores the related but required information in the many other systems that interelate with the IC system it is clearly incomplete in its definition and far short of the true CSI present.

    As for overcoming this, CSI hurdle, for already existent proteins generating further CSI, that is somewhat what Dr. Behe addressed in his book “Edge of Evolution”, on the empirical level, when he went down to the protein level of micro-organisms and searched for IC being generated in the micro-organisms. And what did He find? For malaria,,NOTHING! for HIV,,, very little! Despite tremendous mutational firepower HIV demonstrated a trivial complexity being generated, for what Dr. Behe termed a simple “passive leaky pore or weak channel” ring structure.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/A3DGRQ0IO7KYQ2

    ” although there apparently are five or so copies of Vpu in the viroporin complex, that does not mean that five binding sites developed. Only one new binding site need develop for one area of a protein which binds to a different area of the same protein, to form a homogeneous complex with, say, C5 symmetry. That is all that is required for a circularly symmetric structure to form. Second, the viroporin is not some new molecular machine. There is no evidence that it exerts its effect in, say, an ATP- or energy-dependent manner. Rather, similar to other viroporins, the protein simply forms a passive leaky pore or weak channel. (4,5) This situation is probably best viewed as a foreign protein degrading the integrity of a membrane, rather than performing some positive function.”
    Dr.Behe

    I haven’t even really tried to figure the math behind the “existent” protein that accomplished the “passive leaky pore” ring structure in HIV but my guess is that it will fall well within the expected probability for the resources and time at its disposal in this universe.

    But this is all kind of Non sequitur for Darwinism anyway, since common sense would dictate we should be seeing a whole lot more than a “passive leaky pore” being generated with something experiencing far more mutational events than have happened since for all life since reptiles and mammals have been presumed to split.

    But if you really want to figure a hard number for CSI of a IC system (I think the whole cell will be found to be IC by the way), it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out using a refinement of the method I described above.

    note to Digdug:

    So one ciclid has a mouth on the right side and one on the left, but both are more closely related to the “parent” stock than to each other.
    And this disproves genetic entropy how?

    I set DNA sequence diversity is less for the left and right mouth chiclids than it is for the “parent stock too”

    In fact the more specialized a cichlid becomes, the less the sequence divergence will be for the cichlid species, as well the greater will be the problems for inbreeding.

    Again how does this disprove Genetic Entropy?

  104. DigDug you stated

    recombination is another way to derive new characters and function. See the introgression of European genotypes into N American genotypes of the reed Phragmites, followed by adaptive radiation into new habitats.

    this can’t be a function of ‘already existing genetic material’ because we are talking about distinct lineages coming back into contact, not a single population.

    If two separate lineages of the same parent species, have not been reproductively isolated and are still able to reproduce, the information that was lost in partial sub-speciation is gained in the offspring, yet still does not add up to more information than the original information content of the parent species, Thus genetic entropy is violated how by this example?

    Shoot, digdug this is common practice in domestic animal breeding programs to prevent problems with inbreeding. Yet your problem with evolution still remains for you must demonstrate how “new” “meaningful” information is generated in the first place. You are just playing games with the evidence.

    Dr. Behe has clearly pointed out,in Edge of Evolution”, this has not been accomplished by a long shot.

  105. digdug,

    Can you read? The reference comes from Wikipedia. Go there and nit pick and tell them where they are wrong.

    Apparently a Chihuahua and a wolf can breed and if you want to call it a hybrid, go ahead. One of the definitions of a species is the ability to breed. So according to this definition the wolf and Chihuahua are kissing cousins. Roof, roof!

    This discussion is going no where. You are not trying to understand anything. Adios.

  106. jerry, Wikipedia is a good source for say details of Futurama episodes but i wouldn’t base my research programme on it. I am highly skeptical that anyone has TRIED to mate a chihuaha and a wolf, so this sounds like a promising line of ID research.

    But what you are saying implies that chihuahas are a subset of wolves. where are the wolves that look like chihuahas? if what you say is true regarding ‘information being in there somewhere and intelligence pulls it out’ then according to mendelian principles there should be occasional chihuahas born to wolves. i have never heard of this, but i will see of wikipedia has anything to say about it.

    B^A, you have a prediction for your adaptation = loss of genetic ‘information’. You should see if you can test it!

    I imagine that there are probably lots of ID labs that would love to have a new student. This is exactly the sort of thing that can get ID on the map. I suppose you will have to learn some molecular techniques, but someone else may have already done all the work. I think you may have to come up with a good working definition of ‘information’ as it pertains to this problem, and i don’t think anyone has done that either so that would be a great first stroke. On the other hand, it should be easy enough to avoid that issue by ignoring it. I am not sure what is the best route, are you? This is exciting. Where do you think you might go to test this idea? Is Behe taking new students?

  107. digdug,
    You really have no clue how hopeless the evolutionary position is do you?

    You say the Chihuahua is “proof” of evolution.

    Well we disagree, so we go get the genetic evidence that is now available.

    What does the evidence say?

    It say the Chihuahua, as well as all other sub-species of wolves have a narrow subset of the information that was originally present in the wolf. This is just what the Genetic Entropy mo^del predicts.

    Much like a sculptor removing the parts of marble that are not parts of what he finally wants to sculpt, so is the parent species genome compared to the sub-species, and since mutational studies overwhelming confirm no new information/marble is being created, this analogy is very fitting to what is happening in the genome upon sub-speciation events.

    It is the “culling” of information in the genome of the wolf to the Chihuahua that crushing to evolutionary thought, for evolution must prove the origination of information/marble in the first place, whereas Genetic Entropy, which traces its assertions to foundational principles of science, expects this culling to occur 100% of the time.

    Truly, digdug this is a simple mod^el (the front loaded ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del). The mo^del is extremely robust to all lines of evidence coming in, whereas your evolution mo^del is “surprised” over and over again by the evidence.

    Where is your skepticism of evolution itself? Or do you unfairly hold ID accountable to high levels of skepticism while never questioning the claims of evolution?

    As far as true science is concerned both theories are suspect until a high level of proof is met, Yet you treat evolution as if it has already randomly transmutated a bacteria into a different type of bacteria, when it has done no such thing.

    Shoot digdug, it is commonly known that all mutations to bacteria are harmful in some way.

    The so called super-germs in hospitals are really super-wimpy germs, and are quickly out-competed in the real world by the “parent” bacteria when they are forced to compete with the “parent” bacteria.

  108. Born^Again

    I never claimed that chihuahas were ‘proof’ of evolution. I did claim that they make hash out of this gen^etic entropy nonsense which does not stand up to first principle logical inspection either.

    Now, with regards to this evidence, do you have some citations? Particularly I am interested in what genetic ‘information’ was originally present in the wolf and how the heck anyone knows that. Or are they looking at wolves alive today?

    Do you believe that all members of a species have the same traits? If not what sense does it make to talk about the genetic ‘information’ that was originally present in ‘the wolf’? Which wolf? surely you mean an individual wolf? sounds like it.

    have you attempted to mate a chihuaha with a fox or a wolf? sounds like you need some experiments to test your ideas before you assert them. I’m interested and perhaps you are 100% cor^rect but in order to convince the scientific com^munity you will need to get past wikipedia handwaving and idle speculation.

  109. Digdug,
    Here is a Paper that has confirmation of dogs and gray wolves staying within principle of Genetic Entropy.

    http://jhered.oxfordjournals.o.....0/1/71.pdf

    of special note:
    Some sequences found in dogs were identical to those in wolves…
    The sequence divergence within dogs was surprisingly large: the mean sequence divergence in dogs 2.06 + or – 0.07% was almost identical to the 2.10 + or – 0.04% (sequence divergence) found within wolves. (notice that sequence divergence is slightly smaller for the population of dogs than for the population of wolves)
    Coupled with the diverse morphology of domesticated dogs and known hazards of dog breeding, this evidence strongly indicates “front loaded adaptations” at a loss of information from parent species. Thus, this is genetic confirmation of the principle of Genetic Entropy for dogs from wolves!

    Of special note for the Mexican hairless dog (chihuahas);

    many founder halotypes were likely lost because of “genetic drift”

    The gene that determines hairlessness is nt but lethal when homozygous.

    Thus clearly the “mutation” that causes hairlessness is not a gain in information.

    This following paper is more recent and more concrete in establishing the principle of Genetic Entropy for dogs/wolves:

    Origin of dogs traced

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci.....498669.stm

    of special note:

    Their findings, reported in the journal Science, point to the existence of probably three founding females – the so-called “Eves” of the dog world.

    They conclude that intensive breeding by humans over the last 500 years – not different genetic origins – is responsible for the dramatic differences in appearance among modern dogs.

    and the paper itself:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....type=HWCIT

    Genetic Evidence for an East Asian Origin of Domestic Dogs

    Peter Savolainen,1* Ya-ping Zhang,2 Jing Luo,2dagger Joakim Lundeberg,1 Thomas Leitner3

    The origin of the domestic dog from wolves has been established, but the number of founding events, as well as where and when these occurred, is not known. To address these questions, we examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation among 654 domestic dogs representing all major dog populations worldwide. Although our data indicate several maternal origins from wolf, >95% of all sequences belonged to three phylogenetic groups universally represented at similar frequencies, suggesting a common origin from a single gene pool for all dog populations. A larger genetic variation in East Asia than in other regions and the pattern of phylogeographic variation suggest an East Asian origin for the domestic dog, ~15,000 years ago.

    Digdug,
    How did they trace the lineages?

    They traced it by the loss of genetic variation (the loss of “front loaded” information.

    Digdug, Is that enough hard proof for you buddy?

    It definitely questions evolution for me because there is no new novel information that I can see, only a culling of preexisting information.
    And in case of the Mexican Hairless, the proof of a % ” mutation that turns out to be somewhat beneficial for the hot climate its in.

    These studies or all fine and well with the ID/Genetic Entropy mo^del and do not help establish the case for evolution at all.

    And to think Dawkin’s used dog breeding as “proof” of evolution.

    If Dawkin’s has to resort to this “dog breeding” evidence for scientific proof of evolution he is clearly deluding himself for the molecular studies point to Genetic Entropy.

  110. Bornagain77

    Sorry to have injected a separate dog example (Labradors versus wolves) into another thread, without citing all the references you provide here. Nice work.

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