Home » Physics » Physics a “hastily erected shanty-town,” not “a shimmering cathedral” – says Princeton physicist

Physics a “hastily erected shanty-town,” not “a shimmering cathedral” – says Princeton physicist

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In “The problem with physics,” Princeton’s Tony Rothman writes, “Most physicists and students have lost sight of the fact that physics is not a Divine Truth” (ABC News, August 4, 2011):

Unfortunately, many of my colleagues — particularly those who write textbooks — present physics as a towering, seamless basilica, ignoring the gaps in our hodge-podge of skewed models. In fact, what is presented as a shimmering cathedral often more closely resembles a hastily erected shanty-town.

For example,

Newtonian mechanics is at the bottom of everything, then one should be able to derive the second law of thermodynamics from Newtonian physics. But this has never been accomplished satisfactorily: the incompatibility of the second law with the other fundamental laws is perhaps the greatest paradox in all of physics.

Remember “Darwinism is as sure as the law of gravity”, beloved of the Darwin in the schools lobbyist? Well,

Even something as fundamental as Newton’s law of gravity is ultimately an approximation. Textbook authors dutifully write down the famous law without remarking that it results in infinite forces when the two attracting objects get infinitely close together. Never mind that infinite forces are a sure sign that your theory has gone up in smoke: in the current crop of textbooks sitting on my desk, not one mentions the obvious pathology.

He cites several other paradoxes, commenting,

One can hardly challenge the predictive success of modern physics, but one should remember that one is describing nature, and not always understanding it.

A critical point, because if description is not understanding, it certainly isn’t prescription either.

Which makes you wonder why people like Hawking (and Mlodinow) pretend such certainty about such great things.

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44 Responses to Physics a “hastily erected shanty-town,” not “a shimmering cathedral” – says Princeton physicist

  1. 1

    And physics rests in a much more reasonable mathematical framework than Darwinism. You can criticize physics openly, but you need a court order to criticize Darwin.

    Unfortunately, many of my colleagues — particularly those who write textbooks — present physics Darwinism as a towering, seamless basilica, ignoring the gaps in our hodge-podge of skewed models. In fact, what is presented as a shimmering cathedral often more closely resembles a hastily erected shanty-town.

  2. 2
    Elizabeth Liddle

    You can criticize physics openly, but you need a court order to criticize Darwin.

    No you don’t.

  3. You can criticize physics openly, but you need a court order to criticize Darwin.

    If that were true then this website would require the courts permission to exist – show me the court order and I’ll believe you ;)

  4. 4
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Also, you can criticise Darwin in scientific papers.

    There are lots of scientific papers criticising Darwin’s theory. That’s how we know he was wrong about a great deal.

    He didn’t know how inheritance worked, and he didn’t know where the variance came from. We still don’t know exactly where the variance came from and some of it seems not to be “random” in the sense that Darwin seems not to have envisaged it except when he considered Lamarckian mechanisms.

    And we know that in some senses Lamarck was right.

    We also know that drift is hugely important and that “selection” is merely a slight bias to drift, which may be hugely important in creating a pool of potentially useful near-neutral alleles.

    We also know about horizontal gene transfer, which makes the simple view of common descent much more complex – the tree is far bushier than Darwin knew.

    We know that speciation is a very specific process, a special case of adaptation -independent adaptation by a sub-population.

    We also discover that some phylogenies are probably wrong, and that a different phylogeny fits the data better.

    We find that most traits are polygeneic, and that subtle phenotypic effects can arise from gene-gene interactions and gene-environment interactions during development.

    We know that homologous recombination can be a source of new alleles.

    All these things are regularly published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as controversies about population-level selection, kin selection, epigenetics, error-correcting mechanisms, mutation rate selection, the role of the gene in evolution, all of which are criticisms not just of Darwinism, but of current evolutionary theory.

    And you don’t need a court for any of them.

    Here’s a lovely example of a non-court-ordered criticism of Dawkins view of the Selfish Gene:

    http://videolectures.net/eccs07_noble_psb/

    It’s really worth listening to! I keep posting it, but haven’t had any feedback yet.

  5. Remember “Darwinism is as sure as the law of gravity”, beloved of the Darwin in the schools lobbyist?

    I usually hear this said as something like “The theory of evolution is better supported by the evidence than is the theory gravity.” So criticisms of gravity would seem to help, rather than damage, the claims of those who make that statement.

  6. 6

    You need to live in the US to appreciate this:

    “In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.”

    Jun-Yuan Chen Research Professor Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology

    The Wall Street Journal August 16, 1999

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, just because someone says something in the Wall Street Journal doesn’t make it true.

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Liddle

    What may be true is that you can’t invoke God as an explanation for phenomena in US schools.

    Also you won’t have much like invoking ditto in a scientific paper.

    But that’s not the same as criticising Darwin or even Darwinism.

    If you have a valid scientific criticism, then there is no bar to publication, as the many publication criticising various aspects of evolutionary theory attest.

  9. 9
    Elizabeth Liddle

    oops: “like”=”luck”

  10. Elizabeth perhaps you haven’t seen this movie?

    EXPELLED – Starring Ben Stein – Part 1 of 10 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj8xyMsbkO4

    or read this book?

    Slaughter of Dissidents – Book
    “If folks liked Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” they will be blown away by “Slaughter of the Dissidents.” – Russ Miller
    http://www.amazon.com/Slaughte.....0981873405

    Perhaps Gonzalez’s ordeal escaped your notice?

    Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge – video (Part 1)
    http://www.coralridge.org/medi.....=CRH1118_F

    Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge – video (Part 2)
    http://www.coralridge.org/medi.....=CRH1119_F

    or perhaps you missed the Sternberg fiasco, which was such a gross practice of viewpoint discrimination by neo-Darwinists, that it reached to the point of triggering a Congressional investigation committee??? (Who found favorably for Sternberg by the way!)

    ‘Subsequently, there were two federal investigations of my mistreatment, one by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in 2005 , and the other by subcommittee staff of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform in 2006. Both investigations unearthed clear evidence that my rights had been repeatedly violated.’
    http://www.richardsternberg.org/smithsonian.php

    ,,, But perhaps you are aware of these gestapo tactics that were used on Darwin doubters here in America, to silence them by neo-Darwinist, and you are merely completely detached from reality or shamelessly dishonest.

  11. I strongly suspect that JunkDNAfor life was using hyperbole when referring to the need for a court order, but it looks like some people here don’t get the concept.

    And Elizabeth, if you honestly think you can criticise darwinism with impunity you must occupy a different world to the one I do. Yes you can criticise limited aspects of darwinism if you are careful to do it in the context of making clear that your not challenging the fundamentals. Criticisng one aspect of evolutionary theory in favour of another is allowed, challenging evolutionary theory itself is usually not.

    “If you have a valid scientific criticism, then there is no bar to publication, as the many publication criticising various aspects of evolutionary theory attest.” lol – was that intended to be ironic? I get the the impression you believe what you say, so without intending to be unkind, I can only say that what you describe is how it should work, but the reality is very different to the theory.

  12. 12
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Yes, I’ve seen it, ba77.

    The claim was that you needed a court order to criticise Darwin.

    You don’t.

    You can criticise Darwin as much as you want on the internet, in your publications, whatever.

    You can also publish criticisms of Darwin and Darwinism in peer-reviewed journals, as long as your criticism is sound (and even, sometimes, when it isn’t).

    And if you run foul of peer-review you can publish books without a court order, and make a reasonable income from them, I would guess. There seems to be a market.

    As for Richard Sternberg’s treatment, I agree that was wrong, and I am pleased that the investigation found in his favour.

  13. Elizabeth,
    In US schools one need not invoke God as an explanation in order to suffer consequences. One need only show that for many the evidence posited for the theory is significantly lacking.

    As for “valid” criticism, well, that depends, right? What someone like fast-becoming-obsolete Richard Dawkins considers valid seems to be completely different from what Mike Behe does. How to decide?

  14. OP is fair enough comment, indeed I remember discussing how a Newtonian point particle has infinite density.

    The answer was this is a model, and it works well enough to use, especially in gravitation where the spherical planet if symmetrical enough, is effectively a point particle.

    And there is a lot more like that out there.

  15. Dr Liddle:

    To any objective and informed onlooker, there is a reigning orthodoxy in science and in science education, backed up by dominant media and other institutions of influence, that has repeatedly used some pretty ruthless tactics in pursuit of imposing de facto materialism as a standard of science.

    GEM of TKI

  16. 16
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Yes, there is a reigning “orthodoxy” in the sense that there is a strong consensus. But that consensus is subject to constant revision.

    But regarding your remark about the “imposing de facto materialism as a standard of science”, that’s not an imposition, it’s intrinsic to the methodology.

    You can’t (literally “can not”, not as in “are not allowed to”) address non-material questions using scientific methodology, because scientific methodology involves fitting models to data and using those models to predict new data. Therefore it is ideally suited for delineating regularities in the universe. It is quite incapable of delineating irregularities – of delineating, in other words, the undelineatable.

    Science can neither prove, nor disprove, materialism, in other words.

  17. Darwin’stheory of evolution by means of natural selection or n evolutionary mechanisms (from A to Z) is Kaput. Darwin 1.0 Kaput! Darwin 2.0 Kaput!

    Game over! It’s time for a new general theory of evolution: the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.

    Since Science hates to work in an epistemic vacuum, by which heuristic model are evolutionary biologists working???

    And Darwin had the brightest idea mankind ever had? Give me a break!!! Not even wrong!!!

  18. Elizabeth Liddle

    You can’t (literally “can not”, not as in “are not allowed to”) address non-material questions using scientific methodology

    But even if it were true by definition that a scientific hypothesis could involve no reference to God, nothing of much interest would follow. The Augustines and Kuypers of this world would then be obliged to concede that they had made a mistake: but the mistake would be no more than a verbal mistake. They would have to concede that they can’t properly use the term ‘science’ in stating their view or asking their question; they would have to use some other term, such as ‘sience’ (pronounced like ‘science’); the definition of ‘sience‘ results from that of ‘science’ by deleting from the latter the clause proscribing hypotheses that include reference to God (i.e., by removing from the definition of ‘science’ Ruse seems to be endorsing, the clause according to which science deals only with what is natural). Their mistake would not be in what they proposed to say, but rather in how they proposed to say it. ~ Alvin Plantinga

    Creationists are disqualified from making a positive case, because science by definition is based upon naturalism. The rules of science also disqualify any purely negative argumentation designed to dilute the persuasiveness of the theory of evolution. Creationism is thus out of court and out of the classroom — before any consideration of evidence. Put yourself in the place of a creationist who has been silenced by that logic, and you may feel like a criminal defendant who has just been told that the law does not recognize so absurd a concept as “innocence.” ~ Phillip Johnson

  19. Elizabeth Liddle:

    We know that speciation is a very specific process, a special case of adaptation -independent adaptation by a sub-population.

    I find it amazing and frankly a bit disturbing to see that you continue to maintain, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that the only way that speciation can take place is for a population to bifurcate.

    Putting aside for now the theory, which we have already covered in prior posts, let’s look at it from a logical point of view.

    If a population consisting of members of species A can evolve into a different species, why is it not the case that a population consisting of members of species A can evolve into another species?

  20. 20

    Mung, it’s not a question of “evidence” it’s a question of nomenclature.

    Speciation, when used as a verb, denotes a bifurcation event.

    Yes, sometimes, adaptation down a lineage also results in a population so different from some ancestral population that taxonomists give it a different name.

    It makes life confusing unfortunately.

    But the principle is clear enough: speciation is a bifurcation event. “Species” is normally used to categorize contemporaneous non-interbreeding populations.

    Using those usages, a population doesn’t evolve into another species, so the dog population won’t ever evolve into cats.

    Using a different nomenclature, a dinosaur population could evolve into a bird population.

    It’s not the nomenclature that matters though – it’s the principle. Adaptation occurs down lineages, speciation is a bifurcation of a population into two independently adapting lineages.

    What you call the resulting populations is up to you.

  21. 21

    bevets:

    Creationists are disqualified from making a positive case, because science by definition is based upon naturalism.

    No they aren’t. It’s just that whenever they do, their case is falsified. Hypotheses that the earth is young are invariably contradicted by evidence.

    But the case that God exists, and created the world and everything in it, and holds it in existence can’t be falsified by science.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

  22. Elizabeth:

    The claim was that you needed a court order to criticise Darwin.

    IIRC (Dover, e.g.), the court order was that you couldn’t criticize Darwinism.

    So, let’s forget about the courts. What is needed is (oops, this is a court term!!) “standing”. How do you get standing? You publish articles in peer-reviewed journals. How do you get articles in peer-reviewed journals? By never criticizing Darwinism.

    It’s all perfectly clear.

  23. Elizabeth Liddle

    Is it possible that science is an inappropriate tool for questions such as the Origin of Life? How can this be determined?

  24. Elizabeth,

    I would like to respond to your comment where you list the many critiques of Darwin and how the theory of evolution has changed (I almost said evolved).

    I think that all of those criticisms are permitted by the orthodoxy because they reaffirm the basic premises of Darwinism rather than really challenged it. There have been many papers with the qualification that says something to the effect of “But this doesn’t mean Darwinism isn’t true!” Unless one put in that in the paper, it is hard to do more than tweek the theory here or there. Or flesh out the theory. If you want to question the basic premises (like Einstein did to Newton) then you’re out of luck. Your idea will be rejected a priori.

    Qualification: I am not saying that ID-ers have come up with anything as good as General Relativity. But then, Darwin has nothing as good as Newton either. Neither Darwinism or ID have the same rigorous mathematical exactitude as Newton had.

  25. I’m sorry my grammar is so poor. Please judge my content if you can understand it.

  26. @Elizabeth Liddle

    RE: Post #8

    What may be true is that you can’t invoke God as an explanation for phenomena in US schools.

    I would rephrase that to be “…in US public schools”, as private schools are not obliged to follow any federally (or state in all cases of which I am aware) mandated curriculum.
    It’s “nit-picky”, I know, but it is best to be as specific as possible. Or so I believe!

  27. Someone was arguing against free will somewhere, I can’t remember. Well my take on it is if there is a singularity which is reality, then the singularity never expands or whatever because nothing is relative to it. A singularity is anyone’s guess, either it’s a non-dimensional point, which is contradictory, or it’s a nothing which is something, so whatever. That’s at least for the def. of the term I’m talking about. Hawkins can’t fully explain his definition to himself outside a math world so I’m safe.

    Anyways, if you have one thing, then we’re all god and all one. We’re not extensions or pieces of god. So therefore if you believe in the singularity you believe in free will.

    However you don’t believe in free will because a single point relative to nothing else, I hold, can do nothing. But it’s arbitrary that there was one thing in the beginning, there might have been two. In so many ways, but not uniformly, it’s a binary universe. If 2 things are too many to start with then 1 is too few.

    Right from the start you would need a singularity, a mind, a thought, and the potential to expand out into bigger things. That’s four things right there minimally for the “singularity”.

    I’m an amateur at this but I bet Hawkins couldn’t come up with an explanation for this singularity problem. Listen it’s a singularity or it’s not. Don’t run around shooting your mouth off about one thing endowed with potentials and call it a singularity. You don’t say,

    “Yes but singularity is only referring to the absence of a space time universe.” Re-name it, it’s intentionally misleading. And by the way it’s held up as the origin of everything.”

    For someone who thinks they know more than me about how to reconcile Hawkins with reality, I’d like to hear it. If you have an understanding which beats mine, it would be simple.

    Who understands more about a singularity than I do, is not the same question as who here knows more about theories which attempt to understand a singularity, but which cannot express that understanding in any way to reconcile my disagreements.

    A singularity seems to be a whole universe of things, not one thing. It’s the same size as this universe, it’s no smaller or larger. And people walk around in it.

  28. 28
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Collin:

    Elizabeth,

    I would like to respond to your comment where you list the many critiques of Darwin and how the theory of evolution has changed (I almost said evolved).

    I think that all of those criticisms are permitted by the orthodoxy because they reaffirm the basic premises of Darwinism rather than really challenged it. There have been many papers with the qualification that says something to the effect of “But this doesn’t mean Darwinism isn’t true!” Unless one put in that in the paper, it is hard to do more than tweek the theory here or there. Or flesh out the theory. If you want to question the basic premises (like Einstein did to Newton) then you’re out of luck. Your idea will be rejected a priori.

    So how would you characterize “the basic premises of Darwinism”?

    What is it, exactly, that you don’t see criticised?

    This is an absolutely serious question – I really want to know!

  29. 29
    Elizabeth Liddle

    bevets:

    Is it possible that science is an inappropriate tool for questions such as the Origin of Life? How can this be determined?

    No, I don’t think it’s inappropriate, but that doesn’t mean it will ever come up with a persuasive answer.

    But OOL theories generate testable hypotheses, and it will be interesting to see how these turn out.

  30. bevets:

    But even if it were true by definition that a scientific hypothesis could involve no reference to God, nothing of much interest would follow. The Augustines and Kuypers of this world would then be obliged to concede that they had made a mistake: but the mistake would be no more than a verbal mistake. They would have to concede that they can’t properly use the term ‘science’ in stating their view or asking their question; they would have to use some other term, such as ‘sience’ (pronounced like ‘science’); the definition of ‘sience‘ results from that of ‘science’ by deleting from the latter the clause proscribing hypotheses that include reference to God (i.e., by removing from the definition of ‘science’ Ruse seems to be endorsing, the clause according to which science deals only with what is natural). Their mistake would not be in what they proposed to say, but rather in how they proposed to say it. ~ Alvin Plantinga

    Elizabeth Liddle

    But the case that God exists, and created the world and everything in it, and holds it in existence can’t be falsified by science.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    bevets:

    Is it possible that science is an inappropriate tool for questions such as the Origin of Life? How can this be determined?

    Elizabeth Liddle

    No, I don’t think it’s inappropriate, but that doesn’t mean it will ever come up with a persuasive answer.

    But OOL theories generate testable hypotheses, and it will be interesting to see how these turn out.

    bevets:

    So it may be True that God created X, however we will NEVER know, because materialism has an infinite blank check (as long as it generates ‘testable hypotheses’). It seems that you have put ‘testable hypotheses’ (no matter how futile) ahead of Reality.

  31. Elizabeth wrote, “Well, just because someone says something in the Wall Street Journal doesn’t make it true.”

    I would expand this statement by removing the Wall Street Journal and substituting Nature, Science, Discover, Scientific American, etc.

  32. I would expand this statement by removing the Wall Street Journal and substituting Nature, Science, Discover, Scientific American, etc.

    And posts on internet blogs.

  33. Elizabeth,

    I was thinking of the combination of common descent, natural selection and random mutation. These three are sacred cows to some people.

    Consider Michael Behe’s attempt to find a realistic limit to what evolution can do as outlined in his Edge of Evolution. He did not dispute common descent or that natural selection and random mutation play an important role in evolution. He just explored what evolution can or cannot do in nature.

    Consider how he was treated. He was called a flat-earther and a creationist etc. He certainly couldn’t criticise evolution. Intelligent design and creationism had little or nothing to do with his argument. He was not disputing the mechanisms or intricacies of evolution, he was exploring the limit of what evolution can do in nature. Here is how he was treated by the NCSE. http://ncse.com/rncse/27/1-2/review-edge-evolution

    Please note the harsh language. For example, his idea of irreducible complexity is called an “intellectually bankrupt idea.” Not only is it wrong, it’s also intellectually bankrupt! Behe must be a moron!

    Behe’s blog can be found here: http://behe.uncommondescent.com/

    In his blog he addresses many faults of modern evolutionary theory. And he often outlines how certain prestigious journals publish refutations of him but will not accept his proposed rebuttals.

  34. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Mung, it’s not a question of “evidence” it’s a question of nomenclature.

    Speciation, when used as a verb, denotes a bifurcation event.

    But you never equivocate, do you.

    Anagenesis, also known as “phyletic change,” is the evolution of species involving an entire population rather than a branching event, as in cladogenesis. When enough mutations have occurred and become stable in a population so that it is significantly differentiated from an ancestral population, a new species name may be assigned. A key point is that the entire population is different from the ancestral population such that the ancestral population can be considered extinct. A series of such species is collectively known as an evolutionary lineage.

    It is easy to see from the preceding definition how controversy can arise among taxonomists when the differences are significant enough to warrant a new species classification. Anagenesis may also be referred to as “gradual evolution“.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anagenesis

    Now consider also that we have been repeatedly told that macroevolution is just repeated microevolution, that the mechanism of RM+NS is the only explanation needed to explain new species just as it explains changes within species.

    Yet here is Elizabeth telling us that’s all wrong. We also need to have another mechanism. A “bifuraction event.”

    So once again we see how the argument of the evolutionist changes according to the exigencies of the moment. Not a coherent theory at all.

  35. 35
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, obviously to get a bifurcation, you need a bifurcation event.

    How else would to lineages stop adapting synchronously?

    It’s still all rm+ns but remember that evolution is a population level phenomenon, so what you observe will depend on what the interbreeding population consists of.

    If what was one becomes two, then you’ll get two independently adapting populations instead of one.

    The incoherence you are detecting not in the theory.

  36. 36
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Barb:

    Elizabeth wrote, “Well, just because someone says something in the Wall Street Journal doesn’t make it true.”

    I would expand this statement by removing the Wall Street Journal and substituting Nature, Science, Discover, Scientific American, etc.

    Indeed. All scientific conclusions are provisional.

  37. “Indeed. All scientific conclusions are provisional.”
    Except for this one. :)

  38. Hey, lighten up a liddle!

    It’s zealots that can’t figure out hyperbole. “You can criticize physics openly, but you need a court order to criticize Darwin.” Ha! Who would take that to mean absolutely, utterly, totally in all possible venues in this land of the First Amendment (at least before it gets downgraded)?

    Also there’s hardly a greater science stopper than that word “science”. SCIENCE—as if there were such a thing—as if the demarcationists really have demarcated it. As if we need lectures on refutation.

    Isn’t it time to marvel at how much we do not know? At how far we are from truly unraveling the deep secrets of it all?

    No, I’d like to hear some comments on the subject at hand.

    Oh, and, uh, “So how would you characterize ‘the basic premises of Darwinism’?” Well I’d, uh, just say that the basic premises have been postmodern from before postmodernism evolved from modernism—that you merely assert that anything or its opposite is evidence of the impossible and move on. Criticisms are OK as long as one’s true believership isn’t questioned and one isn’t branded as an ID sympathizer.

  39. Mung,
    A real-world example of the bifurcation (multifurcation) that Elizabeth Liddle speaks of can be found in the Middle East Blind Mole Rat (Spalax ehrenbergi). In this case, chromosomal divergence marks the beginning of the separation, and the accumulation of different adaptations (mutations) marks the beginning of speciation.

    Recently it was found that the Wood White butterfly (Leptidea sinapis) is in an earlier stage of a multifurcation process.

    These animals are great laboratories to test theories about the source and plasticity of information.

  40. Rude @ 37:Oh, and, uh, “So how would you characterize ‘the basic premises of Darwinism’?” Well I’d, uh, just say that the basic premises have been postmodern from before postmodernism evolved from modernism …

    So true.

    Truely! as a certain great (though, by his own admission, mindless) intellectual has asserted, “Darwinism is the universal acid!” And, since Darwin Himself created post-modernism when modernism was still the hot new thing all the rage, one can see why he deserves the pinch of incense.

  41. As to the claim of ‘speciation’ by rhampton, The claim seems to be overexagerated:

    Accidental origins: Where species come from – March 2010
    Excerpt: If speciation results from natural selection via many small changes, you would expect the branch lengths to fit a bell-shaped curve.,,, Instead, Pagel’s team found that in 78 per cent of the trees, the best fit for the branch length distribution was another familiar curve, known as the exponential distribution. Like the bell curve, the exponential has a straightforward explanation – but it is a disquieting one for evolutionary biologists. The exponential is the pattern you get when you are waiting for some single, infrequent event to happen.,,,To Pagel, the implications for speciation are clear: “It isn’t the accumulation of events that causes a speciation, it’s single, rare events falling out of the sky, so to speak.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....tml?page=2

    All examples of speciation put forth by materialists all turn out to be trivial examples of reproductive isolation:

    “The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared.”
    from page 32 “Acquiring Genomes” Lynn Margulis.

    Selection and Speciation: Why Darwinism Is False – Jonathan Wells:
    Excerpt: there are observed instances of secondary speciation — which is not what Darwinism needs — but no observed instances of primary speciation, not even in bacteria. British bacteriologist Alan H. Linton looked for confirmed reports of primary speciation and concluded in 2001: “None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....why_d.html

    Wired Science: One Long Bluff – Refuting a recent finch speciation claim – Jonathan Wells – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: “Does the report in Wired Science mean that “biologists have witnessed that elusive moment when a single species (of Galapagos finch) splits in two?” Absolutely not.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....bluff.html

    At one of her many public talks, she [Lynn Margulis] asks the molecular biologists in the audience to name a single unambiguous example of the formation of a new species by the accumulation of mutations. Her challenge goes unmet.
    Michael Behe – Darwin’s Black Box – Page 26

    Natural Selection and Evolution’s Smoking Gun, – American Scientist – 1997
    “A matter of unfinished business for biologists is the identification of evolution’s smoking gun,”… “the smoking gun of evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations.”
    Keith Stewart Thomson – evolutionary biologist

    “Despite a close watch, we have witnessed no new species emerge in the wild in recorded history. Also, most remarkably, we have seen no new animal species emerge in domestic breeding. That includes no new species of fruitflies in hundreds of millions of generations in fruitfly studies, where both soft and harsh pressures have been deliberately applied to the fly populations to induce speciation. And in computer life, where the term “species” does not yet have meaning, we see no cascading emergence of entirely new kinds of variety beyond an initial burst. In the wild, in breeding, and in artificial life, we see the emergence of variation. But by the absence of greater change, we also clearly see that the limits of variation appear to be narrowly bounded, and often bounded within species.”
    Kevin Kelly from his book, “Out of Control”

    “Whatever we may try to do within a given species, we soon reach limits which we cannot break through. A wall exists on every side of each species. That wall is the DNA coding, which permits wide variety within it (within the gene pool, or the genotype of a species)-but no exit through that wall. Darwin’s gradualism is bounded by internal constraints, beyond which selection is useless.”
    R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990)

    “Perhaps the most obvious challenge is to demonstrate evolution empirically. There are, arguably, some 2 to 10 million species on earth. The fossil record shows that most species survive somewhere between 3 and 5 million years. In that case, we ought to be seeing small but significant numbers of originations (new species) .. every decade.”
    Keith Stewart Thomson, Professor of Biology and Dean of the Graduate School, Yale University (Nov. -Dec. American Scientist, 1997 pg. 516)

    ==================

  42. rhampton7,

    Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. The biologist Orator F. Cook seems to have been the first to coin the term ‘speciation’ for the splitting of lineages or ‘cladogenesis,’ as opposed to ‘anagenesis’ or ‘phyletic evolution’ occurring within lineages.”

  43. F/N: Rude is right, this thread is way off rails on tangents.

    It is supposed to be about PHYSICS.

    Above I pointed to how the Newtonian particle — a point mass [as in the idealised pendulum bob or billiard ball] — injects points of infinite density, proving that we are dealing with models that are approximate but useful within a range delimited by common sense.

    A strict logician could demolish in a moment: you lead to an impossibility and reason on an impossibility.

    End of theory.

    Not so fast, the point was a useful approximation though known to be false. Which is by definition, a modelling approach.

    And that is in the hardest of the hard sciences.

    Then start playing at Dr Quantum’s double slit games, and we see that the entities nearest to point particles are wavicles with properties that outrage our common sense frame of thought.

    Think about what happens when the rate of projection of electrons is reduced to one at a time . . .

    True science is open-ended and provisional.

    And, astounding.

    GEM of TKI

  44. PS: A longer exposition worth watching, part 1. Be prepared to have minds blown.

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