Biden in a Rout

Granted, I’m hardly an unbiased source. But come on folks! I know these debates are decided far more on style than substance, but surely at some point you have to say something. The country just can’t be so far gone that ninety minutes of contentless babbling that stops just short of utter humiliation now makes you look Presidential. Unlike in her interviews Palin this time managed to speak in complete sentences and her words mostly cohered into actual thoughts, albeit thoughts that were totally irrelevant to the question that was asked. Who outside a brain-dead contrarian pundit or an in-the-tank right-winger could possibly be impressed by that?

Biden reminded me of why I wish he were at the top of the ticket. He spoke with passion and confidence and — what a thought! — actually seemed in command of the issues. I know, I know, only egghead policy wonks care about such things, but I find it endearing in a possible President of the country. Especially in the foreign policy portion of the debate, Biden was devastating in listing the litany of Bush administration failures and in linking McCain to those failures. He simply ignored Palin and her ineptly delivered one-liners, and calmly made the case against a third Bush term.

Palin had nothing in reply. Her response to eight years of failure and incompetence is to accuse Biden of looking to the past? She thinks we can devise a reasonable response to global warming without understanding what causes it? Folksiness and profanity substitutes (Gosh darn it, Joe!) are cute when used sparingly. Use them in every response and they become just another cyncial tactic.

Happily, the snap polling seems to be on my side. CNN, for example, has it at 51-36 for Biden. Yay! Normally I would say that we should wait until the other side of the weekend to look at the polls, but with the next Presidential debate coming up on Tuesday this one is going to recede from memory pretty quickly.

Be sure to have a look at the Palin debate flow chart.

I saw Republican pundit Ed Rollins on CNN last night tell us sagely that Palin will be a serious candidate for President in 2012. Let me go on record now with the following: No she won’t. She’s another Quayle. If McCain loses, or if McCain wins but only serves one term, Palin will not be the Republican nominee in 2012. She won’t even get very far in the primaries. She doesn’t know anything about anything, for heaven’s sake! Even among Republicans that eventually catches up with you.

Comments

  1. #1 JimCH
    October 3, 2008

    She didn’t actually drool on herself therefore it was obviously a draw. The strategery, it seems, is to set ridiculously low standards weeks ahead of time then you blow everybody away when you manage to actually get your shoes on the correct feet. “She held her own. Yes sir, she’s improving.”

  2. #2 BaldApe
    October 3, 2008

    Palin this time managed to speak in complete sentences and her words mostly cohered into actual thoughts

    I’m sorry, you must have been watching another debate. I have a hard time calling that continuously self-interrupting word salad (in your words “ninety minutes of pointless babbling”) “coherent.”

    That said, she did do much better than I expected. I was disappointed not to see a rerun of the SNL skit.

    I don’t think Palin or Biden either changed any minds, or allayed any fears.

    I wish Biden had pointed out that the Republcan “tax cuts= job creation” ideology hasn’t worked out too well in the real world. I wish somebody had asked her if she has been able to come up with some of the other examples of McBush’s pro-regulatory positions as she promised.

    But I might as well wish for a well educated public and a time machine.

  3. #3 Herod the Freemason
    October 3, 2008

    Palin frames her ignoring the questions and continuing to vomit talking points as a good thing, it seems she was “talking directly to the American people.” And I like the way she is going to get the government out of the way of businesses by increasing regulation and oversight, doggonit. Does she not know, or does she not care, that she is contradicting herself?

    And when she lectured Barack Obama on how dangerous it would be to meet with leaders of countries which are not currently friendly to us, I felt like screaming, “how the **** would you know?” McCain may turn to her frequently for advice (snicker snort) but I sure wouldn’t.

    As for Palin’s political future, I have been wondering if her tour on the national stage will hurt her political career back in Alaska, now that residents there have seen what she’s really about.

  4. #4 Herod the Freemason
    October 3, 2008

    Perspective: Couric asks Biden and Palin about the worst thing Cheney has done

    Biden: Cheney shredded the constitution.

    Palin: He shot a hunting partner in the face.

  5. #5 tresmal
    October 3, 2008

    Jason says: “Who outside a brain-dead contrarian pundit or an in-the-tank right-winger could possibly be impressed by that?”
    You realize, of course, judging from recent elections, that you are talking about 50% +/- 4% of the voters, right?

  6. #6 JimCH
    October 3, 2008

    tresmal-

    You realize, of course, judging from recent elections, that you are talking about 50% +/- 4% of the voters, right?

    You must be looking at different post-debate polls then I am.

  7. #7 Timcol
    October 3, 2008

    What is really astonishing is that Palin is actually a Governor of one of the 50 states and that somebody who is so clearly intellectually lightweight and inexperienced could be even elected to that office, let alone Vice-President. This highlights one of the major weaknesses of our current democratic system – that anybody who wants to can run for office. I work for a large well-known corporation. In general if you want to be a manager in this organization you need often years and years of experience, specialized degrees and sometimes special coaching.

    And that goes for most professions – want to be a lawyer, a doctor, a pilot, a dentist – well study for years and years, and then take internships and residencies etc. Heck, even if you want to be a real-estate agent you have to take an exam.

    But -wanna be VP – well all you need is folksy charm, a nice wink, a studious looking hair-do, some great coaching and speech-writing, and you’re all set. Our Presidency race has truly become a reality show!!!

  8. #8 tguy
    October 3, 2008

    Rollins must have meant she’ll be a presidential candidate for the future Secessionist Alaskan Dominion (SAD).

    Y’know, in the end times when everyone ‘ll be lookin’ to them for refuge from Putin’s rearin’ head and these apocalypse times also.

  9. #9 tresmal
    October 3, 2008

    JimCH said: “You must be looking at different post-debate polls then I am.”
    No, I am looking at the fact that that’s the approximate percentage of voters who voted Bush twice.

  10. #10 Tracy
    October 3, 2008

    For the short time I had the radio on this morning, I caught a snippet of the morning show hosts talking about the debate. It was really disappointing. They were squarely in the “Palin Won” camp, but all of there babble was about how “creepy” Biden looked. And the female host made some comment about how he was making “ugly faces” while Palin was speaking and how he should learn to “control himself” if he’s running in this level of politics.

    Teh Stupid..it burns!

  11. #11 JimCH
    October 3, 2008

    tresmal…
    I wasn’t trying to start an argument but the paragraph you quoted from (actually, the entire entry — except perhaps the last paragraph) pertains to who won the debate — according to the public — not who will win the election. Pardon me for staying on topic.

  12. #12 RBH
    October 4, 2008

    Herod wrote

    Perspective: Couric asks Biden and Palin about the worst thing Cheney has done

    Biden: Cheney shredded the constitution.

    Palin: He shot a hunting partner in the face.

    She didn’t even get that right. She called it a “duck hunting” accident. They were quail hunting. :)

  13. #13 bkirznermd
    October 4, 2008

    I thought both McCain and Palin looked well coached in their debates, and when given a chance to give their speeches they came off as positive, leader-like. And I think they are both air-heads, especially Palin when forced to interact and be challenged for specifics.

    People see what they want to see.

    It is amazing how the superficial Hollywood Crowd of Liberals came up with intelligent, well educated, tolerant, rational candidates, and the moral majority, down home conservatives, came up with a pretty, sort of charming, simple minded, inexperienced woman who doesn’t understand the constitution, and an ex-prisoner of war who finished at the bottom of the Naval Academy, who thinks we can “win the war in Iraq.”

    Sam Harris’ article in Newsweek talks about the high priority for elite people when choosing airline pilots, doctors, financial advisors, etc. but it’s a put-down when evaluating candidates for public office.

    The popularity of Palin is an example of this disonance, looks and charm over brainpower and reason. But there I go again, thinking that the Enlightenment ever happened.

  14. #14 bkirznermd
    October 4, 2008

    “She didn’t even get that right. She called it a “duck hunting” accident. They were quail hunting. :)”

    Maybe she got uncomfortable with the idea of Quayle Hunting.

  15. #15 John Pieret
    October 4, 2008

    What is really astonishing is that Palin is actually a Governor of one of the 50 states and that somebody who is so clearly intellectually lightweight and inexperienced could be even elected to that office …

    Let’s keep it in perspective: Alaska has a population of around 670,000, about the same as Charlotte, North Carolina. I could see her as the mayor of a moderate-sized city.

    … let alone Vice-President.

    Now that’s a caribou of a different color.

  16. #16 Science Avenger
    October 4, 2008

    I saw Republican pundit Ed Rollins on CNN last night tell us sagely that Palin will be a serious candidate for President in 2012. Let me go on record now with the following: No she won’t. She’s another Quayle.

    I’ve been thinking exactly the same thing. She crashes and burns after this fiasco. I’d bet she doesn’t win her next election in Alaska.

  17. #17 Tyler DiPietro
    October 4, 2008

    Not too surprising, but David Brooks was quick to jump on the Palin praise-train after the debate. This kind of stuff is pathetic even for the perpetually vapid American punditocracy.

  18. #18 eigenvector
    October 4, 2008

    In 2012 I’d gladly vote for Danny Quale before Palin! That’s how bad she is!

  19. #19 Scott
    October 4, 2008

    Hi Jason….I ran across your site…..I would like to debate you. I am a YEC…I have no formal education in science, but I believe I can beat you in a debate over Darwinism/ID….are you up for it? Thanks, Scott.

  20. #20 jmax
    October 4, 2008

    Re: Scott

    lolwat

  21. #21 scott
    October 4, 2008

    save your laughs, jmax…I’m serious. I would love to debate Jason…let’s see if he accepts.

  22. #22 Tyler DiPietro
    October 4, 2008

    “Hi Jason….I ran across your site….. I am an idiot. Thanks for listening.”

    Fixed.

  23. #23 Robert O'Brien
    October 4, 2008

    I agree with Biden that Cheney is the most dangerous vice president we’ve ever had. And I also think Governor Palin is a greenhorn. However, neither is running for president; the choice is between Obama and McCain and I am voting for the latter. (Even though I really want a paleoconservative as president.)

  24. #24 Jim Harrison
    October 5, 2008

    Dear Mr. O’Brien,

    I completely understand. Ideology is so much more important than patriotism.

    Regards!

  25. #25 Robert O'Brien
    October 5, 2008

    Mr. Harrison,

    John McCain is a patriot, your delusions to the contrary notwithstanding.

  26. #26 Jim Harrison
    October 5, 2008

    I wasn’t raising a question about McCain’s patriotism.

  27. #27 David Marjanovi?
    October 5, 2008

    Maybe she got uncomfortable with the idea of Quayle Hunting.

    ROTFL!

    I would like to debate you.

    If you mean a written debate (via e-mail or on a blog or something), I can do it if Jason finds himself too busy. Find me in Google Scholar and drop me an e-mail.

    If you mean an oral debate… you’re a YEC, so you almost certainly live in the USA, and I’ll only be there at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Meeting (October 15th to 18th). Would be fun to see you jump right into the sabertooth pit, though.

  28. #28 scott
    October 5, 2008

    I would like Jason to make a new heading “Scott vs. ToE” or something like that — somewhere I can debate in my own thread….I don’t like jumping around or infringing on other threads — I want my own thread where people can easily find it…..and if Jason doesn’t personally want to debate me, then I’ll debate anyone else who’s informed and interested. Scott

  29. #29 chancelikely
    October 5, 2008

    Great, scott.

    Now all you need to do is make reality determined by the winner of a debate. (It still isn’t, you know.)

    Meanwhile, Palin was sorta right about the duck hunting thing. I mean, if Whittington had ducked…

  30. #30 SLC
    October 5, 2008

    Re Jason Rosenhouse

    Prof. Rosenhouse is, of course, absolutely correct that Senator Biden won the debate on substance, especially considering that Governor Palin told at least 18 lies. However, consider todays’ column by the Washington Posts’ leading moron, David Broder, a link to which is attached. He is representative of the mainstream media which concentrates on appearance, rather then substance. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that Broder is as stupid as Maureen Dowd which I would have thought impossible. the time to retire this asshole came many years ago.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/03/AR2008100303305.html?hpid%3Dopinionsbox1&sub=AR

  31. #31 JimV
    October 5, 2008

    The “McLaughlin Group” (PBS Sunday morning version) just got done voting Palin the big winner (“fantastic job!”). So far the most reasonable analysis I have seen of the debate was the SNL skit.

    No wonder Scott thinks he can beat Jason in a debate. He probably thinks that if setting the expectations very low (“no formal education in science”), memorizing a few talking points, and being folksy worked for Palin, it could work for him.

  32. #32 BaldApe
    October 5, 2008

    Senator Biden won the debate on substance, especially considering that Governor Palin told at least 18 lies.

    Reminds me of the joke about the newbie golfer who thought the game was too easy because he got such a high score the first time out.

    Oh, and Scott, I’ll second the comment that the outcome of a debate has little to do with reality, any more than the outcome of a duel has anything to do with whose lady is the fairer.

  33. #33 Science Avenger
    October 5, 2008

    Scott,

    If you can prove YEC or disprove evolution, why bother with the small fry of blog debates when you could write it up in a scientific paper and win a Nobel Prize? Or are you trying to impress us with your debating skills by noting that you can win a debate with a scientist even though you’re defending an incorrect position?

  34. #34 scott
    October 5, 2008

    Avemger, as I said I have no formal training in science or biology…therefore writing a scientific paper and winning the Nobel Prize would be impossible. What I CAN do, however, is debate Jason on here…..I don’t think Jason, when confronted with the facts of ToE — and more specifically its biological mechanism — will have anything more than his own faith in it. By Jason’s refusal to even answer me I’m beginning to wonder if he’s afraid to debate the subject with a YEC in front of the group.

  35. #35 BaldApe
    October 5, 2008

    Oh I get it. Scott has no training in biology, but Jason is not aware of the “facts” about evolution. Now it’s all clear to me.

  36. #36 Comrade PhysioProf
    October 5, 2008

    She doesn’t know anything about anything, for heaven’s sake! Even among Republicans that eventually catches up with you.

    Are you fucking nuts!? Not knowing anything about anything is a motherfucking feature of the Republican Party, not a bug!

    http://physioprof.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/palin-is-exactly-what-these-sick-fucks-want/

  37. #37 mothergross
    October 5, 2008

    Hey Leni, come on home. The stupidly vulgar are back in style here.

  38. #38 scott
    October 5, 2008

    Jason? You’ve got all the facts, or so I hear…so why are you afraid to talk to me?

  39. #39 genotypical
    October 5, 2008

    Scott–if you have not yet done so, you should be sure to go over to the TalkOrigins web site (www.talkorigins.org) and cross-check your arguments. My own experience with creationists who want to “debate” evolution is that they mostly repeat the same old loser arguments, which are usually based on a misunderstanding of biology, It would be great if you could bring something fresh and new to the table, but no one wants to rehash the standard failed creationist talking points.

  40. #40 SLC
    October 5, 2008

    Re scott

    Prof. Rosenhouse follows the advice of the late Stephen Jay Gould. He doesn’t debate creationists because they invariably use the Gish gallop, which consists of telling more lies in 5 minutes then can be refuted in 5 hours. The truth or falsity of scientific theories are not decided by debates on blogs. They are decided by publications in the peer reviewed scientific literature. Mr. Scott says that he is not a scientist and that he has no formal education in biology. I would suggest that Mr. Scott educate himself in that subject before running his mouth.

  41. #41 Robert O'Brien
    October 5, 2008

    Are you fucking nuts!? Not knowing anything about anything is a motherfucking feature of the Republican Party, not a bug!

    http://physioprof.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/palin-is-exactly-what-these-sick-fucks-want/

    You are not so bright. I suggest that you stick to your low-level science and leave the thinking to those of us in disciplines with a steeper learning curve.

  42. #42 scott
    October 5, 2008

    you punks are a bunch of chickens, plain and simple…..doesn’t anyone here care to stick up for this piece of trash?

  43. #43 Tyler DiPietro
    October 5, 2008

    HES FIRIN HIS LAZER!!!

  44. #44 Robert O'Brien
    October 5, 2008

    Scott, YEC is pure flatulence. There is a reason why perfectly pious Christians tossed it in the waste bin (where it belongs) some two centuries ago.

  45. #45 SLC
    October 5, 2008

    Re Scott

    Mr. Scotts’ problem is that he breaths in but he doesn’t breath out.

  46. #46 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 5, 2008

    Scott -

    I was not refusing to answer you. I just hadn’t checked the comments in this thread for a while.

    I respectfully decline your invitation to a debate. You see, I am afraid that you might have really strong arguments to make in defense of YEC, and then I will be embarrassed in our exchange. You might even force me to rethink my mindless faith in atheism, and I have carefully arranged my life to avoid that possibility. I am going to hide under my desk now and hope you go away, on account of how intimidating you are.

  47. #47 JimCH
    October 5, 2008

    Scott…
    I for one would like to read what you have on your mind before I ignore it when it turns out to be something that was killed & buried long ago. Why don’t you get it started? It’s your challenge, you toss something out there.

  48. #48 Bill
    October 5, 2008

    Wow! This country is very divided! It seems we really hate each other if we don’t agree on issues like evolution or politics. Both sides of the political ticket have inexperienced candidates.Evolution and creation both take massive amounts of faith to believe in.

  49. #49 mandrake
    October 6, 2008

    you know, whenever I hear “Evolution and creation both take massive amounts of faith to believe in” or somesuch, it reminds me of a t-shirt I saw.
    “Science – it works, bitches.”
    Science makes predictions and then looks at the evidence. If the predictions don’t come true, science changes.
    Since when has creationism done any such thing?
    Taking an antibiotic? Chances are you’re taking a new one that came into existence after the organism causing it evolved an immunity to the old one.
    Creationist? take the old one. See how well it works.

  50. #50 Leni
    October 6, 2008

    Robert O’Brien wrote:

    YEC is pure flatulence. There is a reason why perfectly pious Christians tossed it in the waste bin (where it belongs) some two centuries ago.

    Perfectly pious?

    Pray tell, who are these “perfectly pious” creatures?

  51. #51 David Marjanovi?
    October 6, 2008

    Scott, as I said: find me in Google Scholar and drop me an e-mail. I could easily help you writing up a scientific paper, if it ever gets that far (…which… I… frankly… doubt).

    Both sides of the political ticket have inexperienced candidates.

    One team is utterly insane. The other one isn’t. Who are you going to vote for?

    Evolution and creation both take massive amounts of faith to believe in.

    Only if you don’t know anything about evolution. For example, I’ve seen it happening with my own eyes, during compulsory introductory lab work in molecular biology. It’s an utterly unspectacular and inevitable process.

  52. #52 scott
    October 6, 2008

    Jason…why won’t you debate me? My gosh I’m just a dumb creationist who finds it hard to believe the “science” that natural selection has physically built up animal populations by sifting and sorting through randomly-arising DNA sequence changes. This should be so easy for you, a PhD and everything. All I’ve got is an Associates degree from a local Junior College….not only that but I’ve never even taken an upper-level college science class, in any field. What have you got to lose? Give us our own thread and let’s have some fun. Scott

  53. #53 Iapetus
    October 6, 2008

    scott,

    if you direct your gaze to the post right above yours you will find Mr. Marjanovic waving at you with both hands. He is a real scientist, PhD and everything, willing to debate you. So any humiliation you inflict on him will be sweet indeed.

  54. #54 scott
    October 6, 2008

    lapetus…I like to go right to the top…..but if this guy would like to debate me, I’ll go for it…I would just like to get my own thread. And I’m not out to humiliate anyone….I just want sort out science from faith and make sure we all have a firm understanding of what’s going on here. Scott

  55. #55 KD
    October 6, 2008

    So let me guess scott, you just read some pro-ID book, or article didn’t bother check to see that all their claims have already been discreditted and decided to be the creationist batman. Oh and by the way creationist/ID position doesn’t exist ID claims it has nothing to do with creationism.

  56. #56 Herod the Freemason
    October 6, 2008
  57. #57 SLC
    October 6, 2008

    Re Scott

    Debating with a YEC is about as fruitful as debating with someone who insists that the earth is flat, that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, that cigarettes don’t cause lung cancer, that CFCs don’t deplete ozone, that global warming isn’t happening, that the sun revolves around the earth, etc. A total and complete waste of time.

    Unlike Mr. Scott, Prof. Rosenhouse is a busy man who has courses to teach, committee meetings to attend, math research to conduct, graduate students masters’ degrees (AFAIK, James Madison doesn’t yet award PhDs) to direct, etc. As evidence, note that Prof. Rosenhouse doesn’t start threads here every day, unlike some other bloggers who post multiple threads every day (e,.g. Orac, Ed Brayton, etc).

    However, if Mr. Scott is perplexed as to how changes in allele frequencies can lead to speciation, I have a flash for him. He should try taking a look at quantum mechanics, which, as Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg has stated is a totally preposterous theory which unfortunately appears to be correct. Compared to quantum mechanics, the theory of evolution is transparent. Or to quote physicist Lawrence Krauss, nobody understands quantum mechanics.

  58. #58 FastLane
    October 6, 2008

    I respectfully decline your invitation to a debate. You see, I am afraid that you might have really strong arguments to make in defense of YEC, and then I will be embarrassed in our exchange. You might even force me to rethink my mindless faith in atheism, and I have carefully arranged my life to avoid that possibility. I am going to hide under my desk now and hope you go away, on account of how intimidating you are.

    Best answer ever, Jason!! Although, you’re just giving the morons quote mine material. Give it a few days and google the above phrase and see how many YEC sites it shows up on.

    I’ll wager, you’ll average 3-4/week for the next couple months, before it dies out.

    Wow! This country is very divided! It seems we really hate each other if we don’t agree on issues like evolution or politics. Both sides of the political ticket have inexperienced candidates.Evolution and creation both take massive amounts of faith to believe in.

    Moron alert!!

    This concludes this test of the Moron Alert System.
    Oh, and Scott, if you feel you erally must atempt to debate someone about evolution, feel free to take a look at talkrational.org. We have a formal debate section, even. *gets some popcorn*

  59. #59 Valhar2000
    October 6, 2008

    Man, I tell you, I am paralyzed with fear at the thought of Scott’s upcoming victory! No transitional fossils! OUCH! 2nd Law of Thermodynamics! OOF! DARWIN WAS A RACIST! AARGH!

  60. #60 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 6, 2008

    FastLane –

    Glad you liked the answer. :)

  61. #61 scott
    October 6, 2008

    “Man, I tell you, I am paralyzed with fear at the thought of Scott’s upcoming victory! No transitional fossils! OUCH! 2nd Law of Thermodynamics! OOF! DARWIN WAS A RACIST! AARGH!”

    na…none of those….too vague and unsupportable.

    You know, this is a perfect example of why science is a sham….they simply are not interested in a real debate over the issue of darwinian evolution….oh, they allow debates within the darwinian community, but when it comes to debate from outsiders — non-darwinians — they simply chicken out and hide. Darwinian evolution is a farce, and it’s amazing how many people have been fooled by it.

  62. #62 David Marjanovi?
    October 6, 2008

    scott,

    if you direct your gaze to the post right above yours you will find Mr. Marjanovic waving at you with both hands. He is a real scientist, PhD and everything, willing to debate you.

    I’m not a PhD yet, I’m working on my thesis. I’m still not afraid of Scott, though.

    I mentioned “Google Scholar”. If you don’t know what that is, Scott: http://scholar.google.com

    If you like, I can put all our e-mails on my website for documentation.

    Robert O’Brien wrote:

    YEC is pure flatulence. There is a reason why perfectly pious Christians tossed it in the waste bin (where it belongs) some two centuries ago.

    Perfectly pious?

    Pray tell, who are these “perfectly pious” creatures?

    Well, Pope John Paul II did throw it out, but not two centuries ago… more like two decades.

    However, if Mr. Scott is perplexed as to how changes in allele frequencies can lead to speciation, I have a flash for him. He should try taking a look at quantum mechanics, which, as Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg has stated is a totally preposterous theory which unfortunately appears to be correct. Compared to quantum mechanics, the theory of evolution is transparent.

    Well said. Just one important bit is missing: Weinberg got his Nobel prize for his work on quantum mechanics.

    Or to quote physicist Lawrence Krauss, nobody understands quantum mechanics.

    Did he say that before Feynman (who worked on quantum mechanics — I don’t know if Krauss did)?

  63. #63 David Marjanovi?
    October 6, 2008

    AARGH! Blockquote failure.

    You know, this is a perfect example of why science is a sham….they simply are not interested in a real debate over the issue of darwinian evolution….oh, they allow debates within the darwinian community, but when it comes to debate from outsiders — non-darwinians — they simply chicken out and hide.

    <jumping up and down, waving>

    I’ve studied paleobiology. My PhD thesis is on amniote phylogeny with special consideration of the origin of turtles, and my MSc thesis was on the body size evolution of the dinosaurs in the Mesozoic. I have also completed the first part of studying molecular biology (I’d be a bachelor of that if the degree of bachelor had already existed in Austria).

  64. #64 scott
    October 6, 2008

    David, I’m not here to debate dinosuars, I’m here to debate the materialistic mechanism propped up by darwinists that supposedly explains common descent.

    But regarding the dinosaurs, how do you explain the soft tissue found embedded in their bones and also how unearthed dino bones smell like death — and more specifically like “cadavers in the morgue.” (Sweitzer quote)

  65. #65 SLC
    October 6, 2008

    Re scott

    More recent results seem to indicate that the so-called dinosaur soft tissue was bacterial contamination.

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2008/07/dinosaur_soft_tissuejust_bacte.php

  66. #66 Robert O'Brien
    October 6, 2008

    Perfectly pious?

    Pray tell, who are these “perfectly pious” creatures?

    Thomas Chalmers, William Buckland, and Charles Babbage.

  67. #67 KeithB
    October 6, 2008

    Scott wrote:
    “I like to go right to the top”

    I am sure Jason is flattered, but why don’t you head on over to Pharyngula and poke PZ? He might do it for fun.

  68. #68 scott
    October 6, 2008

    I’ve already debated PZ…his answer to my challenge was simply ban me…typical atheist communist.

  69. #69 scott
    October 6, 2008

    I don’t know why Jason doesn’t just debate me…..I’m the most interesting thing to come on this blog in months. Jason, c’mmon…..grab your balls and act like a dang man for once.

  70. #70 Trin Tragula
    October 6, 2008

    Grabbing your balls is manly behaviour?

  71. #71 not_scott
    October 6, 2008

    YEC internet trolls make baby jesus cry :(

  72. #72 Adrienne
    October 6, 2008

    Scott,

    There are already places online to “debate” YEC. Someone already pointed you to talkorigins . Why continue to pester Jason Rosenhouse and question his manhood when he’s already declined? Oh, and how come you don’t just go and start debating David M., who has kindly offered to debate with you? Are you too afraid of David so you’ll just continue beating a dead horse here on Jason’s blog? And why are you derailing a thread about the Biden/Palin debate, anyway?

  73. #73 JimV
    October 6, 2008

    As many may have concluded, there is a real possibility that Scott is a victim of mental disorder, such as bi-polarism. I say this not as a put-down; the brain is an organ and can have problems just like other organs. The tragic distinction is that people with mental disorders often lose the mental ability to understand that something is wrong with their cognition. A doctor once told me about his “psych” rotation as an intern, during which a patient claimed to be the world’s greatest ping-pong player after losing several matches in a rec room. The claims made by Scott are reminiscent of that.

  74. #74 Coriolis
    October 6, 2008

    I’m pretty sure Feynman said that first David, although who knows, I don’t know any physicists who don’t say something along those lines about QM every so often.

    I really wish some big group of religious dolts suddenly find a problem with something in physics. Superconductors, general relativity, whatever it is, I’m ready to laugh. It’s not fair that the biologists get to have all the fun.

  75. #75 FastLane
    October 6, 2008

    scott spewed:

    You know, this is a perfect example of why science is a sham….they simply are not interested in a real debate over the issue of darwinian evolution….oh, they allow debates within the darwinian community, but when it comes to debate from outsiders — non-darwinians — they simply chicken out and hide.

    Actually, this is only an indicator of how little scot even knows about the very basics of how science works. (And make no mistake, it works…..bitches.)

    Science is not up for debate in the political sense, as the YEC morons would have us believe. Reality is not subject to debate. Aren’t these the same yahoos that argue for objective morality, but then seem to get all po-mo when it comes to ‘interpreting facts’?

    We have a number of PhDs, and well educated layman of many levels at the Talk Rational, scott. Feel free to stop by and ask a question, start a thread, or even ask for a formal debate.

  76. #76 pough
    October 6, 2008

    Considering evolution is something studied by tens of thousands of nerds over decades in probably billions of lines of text, you think hashing it out in an hour using methods most often employed by such truth-seekers as lawyers and politicians is a good idea?

    Anyone who is excited about debating science to arrive at some final truth that can’t be solved within the field is either a liar, a fool, or both.

  77. #77 KeithB
    October 6, 2008

    Scott wrote:
    “I’ve already debated PZ…his answer to my challenge was simply ban me…typical atheist communist.”

    Awww, so Jason is really sloppy seconds? I hope this doesn’t make him feel bad.

  78. #78 Science Avenger
    October 6, 2008

    Scott, to understand the reaction you are getting, allow me an analogy. I used to be very involved on an internet site for people who play a game called Axis and Allies. I won’t bore you with too much detail except to say it is sort of the chess or bridge of dice-driven war games (or was, this was some time ago), and has one very pertinent trait.

    In the game (I’m talking about the original version), one side plays the Axis powers, the other the Allied powers (simulating WWII). With beginner players, the Axis tends to win, because it is simpler to play. But with experienced players, the Allies, requiring the coordination of an more expert player, is dominent. This was beyond dispute: league devised bidding processes to give the Axis a helping hand.

    But invariably, some new players, having bested their little brother and his friends, and fancying themselves far more skilled than they were, would join the club and announce that they would show us how the game was played, and demolish us as the Axis.

    It used to be the running joke among some top players as to who’s turn it was to deal with these guys. Some of the newbies wanted to debate it too, at great length. As you might imagine, that got boring in a hurry. Most of us completely lost interest in their arguments after a few months on the club. Been there, done that, 1,000 times.

    This is a very analogous situation. People come on sites like this raring to debate scientists about evolution all the time. It’s not news. What would be news is one that didn’t use the same old nonsense arguments we’ve all seen, investigated and found woefully wanting, over and over again. What you got? 747′s in junkyards? Moon dust? Irreducible Perplexity? Flaws in carbon 14 dating? No transitional fossils? Probability arguments (ooops, sorry, must show your work). Bible-babble? See, we have seen all this before.

    Just like Axis and Allies, there’s really no need for debate. Just play the game, and the answer becomes very clear very quickly. In the science game, the currency is publication and references in the peer-reviewed literature. And the scoreboard there shows thousands of articles and references a year for evolution, and diddly squat for creationism. Don’t bore me with your conspiracy theories: The refs cheated! The dice are rigged! The judges are biased! It’s all the same sore loser whine to me.

    So that’s why no one wants to debate you Scott. It’s a boring game, you want to play it on the wrong field, and it’s been decided for years anyway.

  79. #79 scott
    October 6, 2008

    Avenger, you seem like a smart guy, and I agree with you that ToE is already settled in the scientific community, but that doesn’t make ToE right or true. What would make it right or true is if it was actually verified scientifically…ie..observed and/or validated experimentally. I’m not going to get into the crux of my argument here because I’m saving it for Jason….see, Jason strikes me alot like PZ, yet not quite so over-the-top. But it’s elitists like him that I like pinning down, as they gemerally make me want to puke. Specifically people like Jason make me ill because they are ones who are spreading this ideological, philosophical crap as fact to an unassuming public without even a shred of hard evidence on their side….meanwhile laughing at people of faith as if he isn’t just as faithful. It’s a hypocritical position of the highest order and I love exposing it. But the thing is I would prefer to just talk with Jason and Jason only — and not any of the other goons that might spoil the show with typical evolutionist insults and other assorted distractions. Alas, however, I am getting bored talking here without getting anything accomplished so I’m probably not going to be checking in much longer. Of course those who wish to shield themselves from the truth and shield ToE from being exposed would just assume that would happen, so whatever.

  80. #80 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2008

    “Jason, c’mmon…..grab your balls and act like a dang man for once.”

    Ya hear that Jason, scott’s telling you to grab your balls and GET ON THE MAN TRAIN! What’s stopping you???

    In all seriousness scott, you started out as a major lolcow, but I’m starting to pity you. You tipped your hand a bit above when the first argument you presented turned out to be yet another easily debunked creotard lie. Anything you could argue with Jason about can be argued here, so if you have anything else, go for it. Otherwise, I’ll politely suggest pissing off.

  81. #81 Science Avenger
    October 6, 2008

    But Scott, the scientific community says it HAS been experimentally verified, over and over again. So your theory requires that some sort of conspiracy, or group dementia, has taken hold of the scientific establishment that you, somehow, are able to avoid falling for. Can’t you see how silly that might seem?

    In any case, you look like you are making the “different perspectives result from differing initial philosophical premises” argument, which is sadly, another old argument that’s not much better than the ones I listed. People from a wide variety of world and religious views accept evolution. The creationist club is so Fundamentalist it makes the Republicans look like flaming atheists by comparison. It’s not the scientists that are wearing the ideological blinders.

  82. #82 Cath the Canberra Cook
    October 6, 2008

    Yeah, what Fastlane said. Try Talk Rational: http://www.talkrational.org – we could use another chew toy.

  83. #83 EricLR
    October 6, 2008

    Scott; get a blog (they’re free). Publish your argument. Amaze all the world. Stop bugging someone who doesn’t care. This will leave more time to construct tinfoil hats.

  84. #84 scott
    October 6, 2008

    Avenger, the scientific community has never verified anything regarding ToE. Heck the very premise that variation is truly random has never been verified. Take antibiotic resistance, for example, how could these mutations be random when the molecules cooperate with each other, often sending signals, inducing death or passing adaptive genes horizontally to each other? How could that happen randomly? The whole randomness postulate has never been — and can never be — scientifically substantiated….it is merely a belief system masquerading as science.

  85. #85 Tyler DiPietro
    October 6, 2008

    PROTIP: Variation is “random with respect to fitness”, not “acausal”.

    Read up.

  86. #86 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    October 6, 2008

    Silly, silly boy. Stop bothering the adults and go play somewhere else.

  87. #87 Richard Simons
    October 6, 2008

    Scott – people at Pandasthumb.org and Antievolution.org have been complaining for a while that there is a dearth of good creationists to spar with. Pop over there if you want a debate but be warned – they will want to see evidence. Don’t forget, you will not only have to put forward much better arguments than the tired old SLOT, probability, fresh dinosaur bones, hydrodynamic sorting claims but you have to produce a theory that better explains such things as pseudogenes, why chloroplasts have a double membrane and the distribution of marsupials.

  88. #88 Richard Simons
    October 6, 2008

    the molecules cooperate with each other, often sending signals, inducing death or passing adaptive genes horizontally to each other?

    If this is representative of your knowledge of the subject, you are not at Grade 9 level (seriously). You need at least 10 years of intensive study before you will be ready to debate anyone.

  89. #89 SLC
    October 6, 2008

    Re Coriolis & David Marjanovi?

    What Feynman actually said was that, “if you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics.” Lawrence Krauss made his nobody understands quantum mechanics statement in a videocast discussion with Richard Dawkins.

    Actually, if the religious dolts ever discovered the concept of intertwining, they could really have an orgasm. The notion that two measurements might be connected regardless of the distance between them in space and time is mind boggling.

    Re Scott

    I’ve already debated PZ…his answer to my challenge was simply ban me…typical atheist communist.

    Scott, typical fascist cocksucker.

  90. #90 scott
    October 6, 2008

    I see the know-nothing goons are out in force….no debate, just rhetoric. This is why I only care to talk to Jason. You other twerps (aside from maybe Avenger) have nothing to add so you might as well put a lid on it. Now I asked how one could assert randomness in the genome and I’ve gotten no answer. This is not my challenge to Jason, but it’s just a simple question that any evolutionist should be able to answer if he expects me to believe that ToE is scientific…..if variation is TRULY random, then one should be able to rule out that the genetic change was a result of self-organizational process that happen purposefully and in response to the environmental challenge at hand. Can anyone do that?

  91. #91 Veltyen
    October 7, 2008

    scott:
    Now I asked how one could assert randomness in the genome and I’ve gotten no answer.

    How would you test that?

    Perhaps by taking a simple organism, allowing it time to mutate, and looking at what changes existed in different populations. Surprise! That test has been done many many times. I suggest you read the appropriate papers.

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=34373

    There was a better reference (about breeding ecoli for extreme lengths of time to notice variations between populations) but I haven’t been able to locate it in short order.

    In general most mutations cause no significant change to an organism, which means that you can measure how random the changes are. Surviving mutations can then be selected and analysed. Since a majority of change does not cause detrimental effects then the founder effect is writ large on seperated populations resulting in similar non-detrimental changes occurring inside populations.

    If you want to debate scince, then you need to understand how science works. The debate is the first and last step. The initial debate is to discuss how you think things work. The second debate is to tear the guts out of your opponents research to prove it wrong. The time in between is spent in experimentation – and that time could be days, months, years or generations.

    If only functional changes occurred in seperated populations starting with a single founding population then your hypothesis would be more correct. I suggest you get yourself a lab, and start breeding ecoli for the next 30 years. At the end of which you should have enough data for the second debate – though more likely your experimentation will show the same results that everyone elses has.

    If your experimentation does show what you believe would be the case then you have a nobel in biology waiting for you. But it will have to survive being examined closely by many other hostile and educated examiners before getting to that stage.

  92. #92 scott
    October 7, 2008

    sorry Veltyen…that link does not prove randomness in the genome, and neither does variation within a population. And I may have needed to clarify it a bit better, but when I was talking about randomness I was talking about adaptive genetic change. I don’t doubt there are accidents in the genome, (I know, you guys call all genetic events accidents) but real accidents could never produce anything beneficial…more like a disease or death. I’m sure you realize there are 3 billion-something locations in the genome that are able to mutate….and since that is so, for every adaptive (selected) mutation we see in the wild there should be at least 3 billion defects, 3 billion cripples, 3 billion ill-adaptive traits that made no sense and are just waiting around to be unselected. We don’t see that. In fact, everywhere we look we see organisms that are fully and completely adapted to their environments…and when the environment changes, the population changes with it so fast that science can’t even seem to catch it. This doesn’t point to chance + darwinian selection, this points to self-organizational, adaptive change within each creature. If Genes and genomes were truly random we should see some sort of physical evidence of it — which is what I was asking for.

    Tell you what, can anyone point to a single example of verified darwinian evolution in animals? Science has done all sorts of experiments, wasted all kinds of time in the lab — what can you guys present in the way of real-life evidence on real-life animals to suggest that evolution happens via changes in allele frequencies culled by selection?

  93. #93 KD
    October 7, 2008

    Yeah your absolutely right scott, no one has every done any such experiments, or observed evolution through random mutation, especially not Richard Lenski.

    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

    https://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/

    http://myxo.css.msu.edu/cgi-bin/lenski/prefman.pl?group=aad

    By the way this is one of many experiments that have observed evolution in action, including experiments on lizards, and butterflies.

  94. #94 KD
    October 7, 2008

    Yeah you’re right, no one has ever done any experiments like that , especially not Richard Lenski, you might want to google his name, if that’s too complicated for you (judging by how you didn’t google your silly, debunked arguments) just wait for my comment with the links to come out of moderation.

  95. #95 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Lenski has never proven randomness when it comes to adaptive molecular changes.

  96. #96 David Marjanovi?
    October 7, 2008

    David, I’m not here to debate dinosuars, I’m here to debate the materialistic mechanism propped up by darwinists that supposedly explains common descent.

    So fucking what? Did you really believe I don’t understand that? Do you know what “phylogeny” means?

    Stop the excuses already!!! I’m waiting for an e-mail from you.

    But regarding the dinosaurs, how do you explain the soft tissue found embedded in their bones and also how unearthed dino bones smell like death — and more specifically like “cadavers in the morgue.” (S[ch]weitzer quote)

    I’ve never seen that quote, so please give me the source, but I’m not surprised. The soft tissue remains appear to be dried protein on which a bacterial biofilm is growing. You know how biofilms smell?

    Protein surviving 65 million years under certain conditions is not really that much of a surprise. After all, it’s much more robust chemically than, say, DNA.

    Incidentally, what name did you use on Pharyngula? Because I can’t find a “scott” in the dungeon.

    I’m the most interesting thing to come on this blog in months.

    LOL! :-D

    What would make it right or true is if it was actually verified scientifically…

    Science cannot prove, only disprove. Proof is for math and formal logic.

    ie..observed and/or validated experimentally.

    Which happens all the time. As mentioned, I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. You should get out less and read more.

    without even a shred of hard evidence on their side

    That you don’t know the evidence doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    But the thing is I would prefer to just talk with Jason and Jason only — and not any of the other goons that might spoil the show with typical evolutionist insults and other assorted distractions.

    What is it that you want to talk about? Evolution or atheism?

    Take antibiotic resistance, for example, how could these mutations be random when the molecules cooperate with each other, often sending signals, inducing death or passing adaptive genes horizontally to each other? How could that happen randomly?

    Obviously, you just don’t know what you’re talking about. For starters, horizontal gene transfer has nothing to do with mutation. Next, mutations cause proteins to cooperate marginally better or worse with each other — isn’t it obvious how natural selection can act on that? Really, I don’t see the problem.

    The whole randomness postulate has never been — and can never be — scientifically substantiated….it is merely a belief system masquerading as science.

    Mutations are random damage to DNA and random copying mistakes to DNA. What mechanism is there that could direct mutations? If you want to postulate that one exists, you better show us.

    That’s called Ockham’s Razor or the Principle of Parsimony. It’s one of the two pillars of the scientific method (the other being disproof).

    if variation is TRULY random, then one should be able to rule out that the genetic change was a result of self-organizational process that happen purposefully and in response to the environmental challenge at hand. Can anyone do that?

    1) The variation you see in a population is not random, because some mutations cause early death, others make conception impossible, and so on. The sum of mutations, however, is random; sequence a gene of a couple hundred bacteria, and you’ll see it with your own eyes.
    2) You’ve got it backwards. What process could there be that could allow Lamarckism*? How could an environmental challenge cause just the right C to be replaced by a G? Neither is there any known possible mechanism, nor is there the slightest reason to assume one exists at all, because no such assumption is necessary to explain any observation that has been made so far.

    * Which is what you’re arguing for here, not creationism.

    a nobel in biology

    There is no such thing; when biologists get a Nobel prize, it tends to be the one in Physiology Or Medicine.

    real accidents could never produce anything beneficial…more like a disease or death.

    Your level of ignorance, scott, is where I suspected it is.

    Evidently, you have never thought about the fact that whether a mutation is beneficial depends on the environment!

    Take sickle cell anemia (which is a good example because it’s a single-nucleotide substitution — really one single mutation). Over here, it’s detrimental. But in some parts of the world 25 % of the population have it. It has been selected for as follows: people who have two copies of the mutated allele die from sickle cell anemia; people who have two copies of the normal allele die from malaria; people who have one copy of either are immune to malaria.

    Or take the lack of forelimbs in snakes (a single mutation: the shoulder region is transformed to trunk, so the shoulder girdle and forelimb never form). For us, that would be rather catastrophic. For snakes, it’s an advantage, because they don’t need to bother building and maintaining useless appendages that only get in the way in burrows or tight vegetation and only add drag during swimming.

    Or take your own lack of gills (given the fact that gills — not to be confused with the rest of the apparatus, namely gill arches and gill pouches!!! — never form in amniote embryos, that’s probably a single mutation, but I don’t think anyone has checked): in water gills are great, but in air, they dry out, stick together and become useless. You haven’t bothered growing gills in the first place; that’s an advantage for you.

    Tell you what, can anyone point to a single example of verified darwinian evolution in animals?

    Why in animals? What’s the point of restricting the question to animals? Don’t you know what DNA is?

    But whatever. Before I go off doing your homework and googling for examples, tell me what “verified” means to you. What criteria does a study need to fulfill? For example, would you reject the case of the lizards on that Croatian island which adapted to a herbivorous diet within 36 years, because nobody has watched them this whole time to make sure the Finger of God doesn’t poke around in them? Would you reject your own lactose tolerance as an example? Your own dearth of melanin?

    for every adaptive (selected) mutation we see in the wild there should be at least 3 billion defects, 3 billion cripples, 3 billion ill-adaptive traits that made no sense and are just waiting around to be unselected.

    So you don’t even know that most mutations are — and cannot help being — neutral?!? Don’t you even know the genetic code? Do you know what genes actually do?

    and when the environment changes, the population changes with it so fast that science can’t even seem to catch it

    You made that up. A nice counterexample is how the larger surviving lemur species in Madagascar are now encroaching on the niche space that the even larger species which died out around 1000 years ago left behind — and regularly break their teeth, because they aren’t well enough adapted for that, but nonetheless survive (as populations at least) because there’s no competition.

    Once again: I expect an e-mail from you. Sure, it would be great if you learnt the uttermost basics of molecular biology first (you give me the impression that you don’t even know what a mutation actually is…), but don’t use that as an excuse.

  97. #97 David Marjanovi?
    October 7, 2008

    I completely forgot the biggie.

    we see organisms that are fully and completely adapted to their environments…

    Two words: Stupid Design.

    The textbook example are our eyes. We humans — no, Old World monkeys in general — would see ultraviolet, except that our lenses are too yellow for it; they aren’t transparent for that. If nothing else, wouldn’t it be great if we could see a sunburn coming in advance? Then let’s go to its general architecture of vertebrate (and killer jelly) eyes. It’s inside-out. The light has to pass through a layer of nerves and blood vessels and then through the retina to strike the light-sensitive cells at their rear end. It doesn’t have to be that way, as any cephalopod can tell you; so why is it? And why don’t our eyes correct for chromatic aberration, except in the laughably crude way of having way fewer blue receptors than green and “red” ones (the latter actually have their absorption maximum in the yellow part of the spectrum, much closer to green than an intelligent designer would have done it).

    I could go on for hours, literally. Why are we born through a bony ring instead of straight out of the belly, for example?

    Whose bright idea was it exactly to use DNA as the material of heredity? DNA falls apart when stored in water. We spend lots of energy to constantly repair our DNA. What a waste! And it’s not like there were no alternatives — this one, for example, is much more robust.

    Conclusion: There are only three options as far as I can see.

    - Either there is a Creator Who is about as competent and intelligent as Sarah Palin. (Hooray, we’re back on topic!)
    - Or there’s a committee of such bungling blockheads. (McPain/Failin’, Fearless Flightsuit, Grover Norquist, Herbert Hoover?)
    - Or there is no creator.

    Now let me just mention that the theory of evolution removes all need to assume a creator… I’m just saying.

  98. #98 MartinM
    October 7, 2008

    I’m sure you realize there are 3 billion-something locations in the genome that are able to mutate….and since that is so, for every adaptive (selected) mutation we see in the wild there should be at least 3 billion defects, 3 billion cripples, 3 billion ill-adaptive traits that made no sense and are just waiting around to be unselected.

    What? Were you dropped on your head as a child? You’re seriously arguing that for any given genome there’s precisely one possible adaptive mutation, and the rest are all harmful? Imbecile.

    Jason…why won’t you debate me? My gosh I’m just a dumb creationist…

    Talk about answering your own question.

  99. #99 Cobalt
    October 7, 2008

    Y’know. I enjoyed the original post, and I enjoyed the line of comments. I’m just not sure why they’re happening in the same place… I’m asking you, Scott. Couldn’t you at least find an entry about evolution to troll?

  100. #100 by-stander
    October 7, 2008

    If Scott were Sarah Palin this might still have a chance for being on topic.
    Scott? Are you Sarah Palin?

  101. #101 chris
    October 7, 2008

    Is it too late to call Poe on scott? It’s hard to tell with uneducated YECs.

  102. #102 Robert O'Brien
    October 7, 2008

    Conclusion: There are only three options as far as I can see.

    - Either there is a Creator Who is about as competent and intelligent as Sarah Palin. (Hooray, we’re back on topic!)
    - Or there’s a committee of such bungling blockheads. (McPain/Failin’, Fearless Flightsuit, Grover Norquist, Herbert Hoover?)
    - Or there is no creator.

    Now let me just mention that the theory of evolution removes all need to assume a creator… I’m just saying.

    Biology turns out great lab grunts but low-level thinkers.

  103. #103 Robert O'Brien
    October 7, 2008

    Conclusion: There are only three options as far as I can see.

    - Either there is a Creator Who is about as competent and intelligent as Sarah Palin. (Hooray, we’re back on topic!)
    - Or there’s a committee of such bungling blockheads. (McPain/Failin’, Fearless Flightsuit, Grover Norquist, Herbert Hoover?)
    - Or there is no creator.

    Now let me just mention that the theory of evolution removes all need to assume a creator… I’m just saying.

    Biology turns out great lab grunts but low-level thinkers.

  104. #104 Science Avenger
    October 7, 2008

    Scott, you aren’t addressing my point, which isn’t very encouraging behavior if you are looking for a debate. You are claiming the entirety of the scientific community is wrong about something that you understand, thus you must, by necessity, think the scientific community is either involved in some massive conspiracy, or that they are all blinkered. What is your evidence for this?

    I don’t know what responses you are reading, but I’ve seen one offer to debate you (David Marjanović ), several references to other places where many people would love to debate you (go over to Panda’s Thumb and I’ll join you there), and several other comments that rightly point out your apparent lack of knowledge revealed in your questions. If you barge into a chess club and demand a debate, since you don’t see why people are so concerned with their king when the queen is more powerful, it’s not a dodge to note that you have a lot to learn about the game.

    BTW, debate is rhetoric. What you need is evidence. Questions do not a scientific argument make.

  105. #105 Tyler DiPietro
    October 7, 2008

    “I’m sure you realize there are 3 billion-something locations in the genome that are able to mutate….and since that is so, for every adaptive (selected) mutation we see in the wild there should be at least 3 billion defects, 3 billion cripples, 3 billion ill-adaptive traits that made no sense and are just waiting around to be unselected.”

    Wrong again. The vast majority of mutations have no phenotype.

    Also: Combinatorics, UR DOIN’ IT WRONG.

  106. #106 scott
    October 7, 2008

    avenger…I agree, one does need evidence…did you see my post above? Here it is again, just to make it easy:

    “Tell you what, can anyone point to a single example of verified darwinian evolution in animals? Science has done all sorts of experiments, wasted all kinds of time in the lab — what can you guys present in the way of real-life evidence on real-life animals to suggest that evolution happens via changes in allele frequencies culled by selection?”

    I’m looking for your evidence but have not yet seen any.

  107. #107 scott
    October 7, 2008

    avenger…I agree, one does need evidence…did you see my post above? Here it is again, just to make it easy:

    “Tell you what, can anyone point to a single example of verified darwinian evolution in animals? Science has done all sorts of experiments, wasted all kinds of time in the lab — what can you guys present in the way of real-life evidence on real-life animals to suggest that evolution happens via changes in allele frequencies culled by selection?”

    I’m looking for your evidence but have not yet seen any.

  108. #108 scott
    October 7, 2008

    I’m sure you realize there are 3 billion-something locations in the genome that are able to mutate….and since that is so, for every adaptive (selected) mutation scott: “we see in the wild there should be at least 3 billion defects, 3 billion cripples, 3 billion ill-adaptive traits that made no sense and are just waiting around to be unselected.”

    Martin: “What? Were you dropped on your head as a child? You’re seriously arguing that for any given genome there’s precisely one possible adaptive mutation, and the rest are all harmful? Imbecile.”

    well…let’s take finches for example….if a longer beak is needed because the environment changes, if a bird or two mutates within that population, the odds are essentially 3-billion-to-one that the right mutation will happen to give that bird an adaptive beak. (Of course, to be accurate, we now know that mutations are not what’s needed to elongate a beak…all that’s needed is a tweak in the Bmp4 protein……which is another contradiction to your theory.)

  109. #109 scott
    October 7, 2008

    speaking of finches, since they don’t change their beaks via mutation, how can it be considered “evolution?”….how can you have evolution without genetic change?…you can’t according to these guys:

    Dobzhansky:

    “The process of mutation supplies the raw materials of evolution, but the tempo of evolution is determined at the populational levels, by natural selection in conjunction with the ecology and the reproductive biology of the group of organisms”

    Simpson:

    “Adaptation has a known mechanism: natural selection acting on the genetics of populations

    Mayr:
    “It is most important to clear up first some misconceptions still held by a few, not familiar with modern genetics: (1) Evolution is not primarily a genetic event. Mutation merely supplies the gene pool with genetic variation; it is selection that induces evolutionary change.”

    Talk Origins:

    “The process of evolution can be summarized in three sentences: Genes mutate. [gene: a hereditary unit] Individuals are selected. Populations evolve.”

    …yet finches, despite no change in their protein-coding genes, are still propped up in textbooks as some of the greatest examples of evolution! Go figure — these dopes who write the textbooks have feces for brains.

  110. #110 SLC
    October 7, 2008

    It should be obvious that Mr. Scott is merely regurgitating the crap that he picks up from various creationist websites. However, for the benefit of readers of this blog who don’t comment, it perhaps would be useful to state why the scientific community does not accept supernatural explanations and insists on methodological naturalism. The reason is very simple, supernatural explanations are a science stopper. In other words, accepting as an explanation that god did it means that no further examination is required.

    1. The outstanding example in history of a supernatural explanation being a science stopper is Issac Newton. Newton developed his universal law of gravity and applied it to explain the motions of the 6 planets then known. However, he was aware that the planets interacted with each other through that same law and worried that this would cause the solar system to become unstable over time. Instead of trying to compute the effects of these interplanetary interactions, he was content to opine that the solar system maintained its stability through the occasional intervention of god who he thought applied a nudge to the planets every once in a while to maintain their orbits. Some 100 years later, Simon Laplace sat down and computed the interplanetary interactions and showed that the solar system was indeed perfectly stable over a long period of time. Famously, when asked by Napoleon what the contribution of god might be he replied that he had no need of that hypothesis. The moral of this little tale is that Newtons’ acceptance of supernaturalism stopped his scientific exploration. Laplaces’ rejection of supernaturalism and adherence to methodological naturalism led to a naturalist explanation.

    2. In 1889, perhaps the most important experiment ever performed in the history of science occurred. This was the famous Michelson-Morley experiment which appeared to show that the earth was stationary in the universe. Since it was well known that the earth revolved around the sun, this finding was surprising to say the least. Suppose that the scientific community, including Albert Einstein, had accepted the supernatural explanation that god, for his own purposes, diddled with Michelsons’ equipment so as to cause the null result. That would have been a science stopper and Einstein would not have written his two famous papers in 1905 on the Special Theory of Relativity.

    3. In the early 20th century, experiments had indicated that matter was made up of atoms which, in analogy with the solar system, appeared to consist of negatively charged electrons revolving in orbits around a positively charged atomic nucleus. The problem with this model is that the electrons, being accelerated, would radiate electromagnetic energy which would cause the system to collapse. Suppose that the scientific community, including Bohr, DeBroglie, Schrodinger, and Heisenberg had been content to accept a supernatural explanation that god intervened to prevent the electrons from radiating away energy and thus preserve the stability of matter. Then, they would never have developed the theory of quantum mechanics.

    These examples are from physics which was my field of study. However, the same arguments apply to biology and all other sciences and numerous similar example can be extracted from them (e,g, is disease caused by microbes or god?).

  111. #111 mark
    October 7, 2008

    “Tell you what, can anyone point to a single example of verified darwinian evolution in animals? Science has done all sorts of experiments, wasted all kinds of time in the lab — what can you guys present in the way of real-life evidence on real-life animals to suggest that evolution happens via changes in allele frequencies culled by selection?”

    Check out what’s been done with cichlid (and, I think, stickleback) fish. For example, this one:
    Allender, Charlotte J., Seehausen, Ole, Knight, Mairi E., Turner, George F. and Maclean, Norman (2003) Divergent selection during speciation of Lake Malawi cichlid fishes inferred from parallel radiations in nuptial coloration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100, (24), 14074-14079.
    I’m not positive, but you may also find such evidence in the biospeleology literature. Oh, and by the way–not all experiments are carried out inside laboratories.

  112. #112 scott
    October 7, 2008

    blah blah blah blah….hey, SLC..I’m not talking about God, I’m talking about that crap-mechanism propped up by desperate athesists to explain how they came from fungus in a rotting pond billions of years ago…….

    And SLC….let me ask you again — why do textbooks still use Darwin’s finches as examples of “evolution” when there is no change in protein-coding genes associated with generating their adaptive beaks? Can you give me even one reason? And after you ignore that question you can go about ignoring my plea for ANY scientifically-verified example of “evolution,” (see Talk Origin’s definition above) in animal populations….you know — this stuff you’re peddling IS science, right? So let’s see the your beloved scientific method in practice — show me the evolution.

  113. #113 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Mark: “Check out what’s been done with cichlid (and, I think, stickleback) fish.”

    Show me the mutation involved…let’s start there..because without genetic change there is no evolution.

  114. #114 bumblebrain
    October 7, 2008

    Scott, I respectfully submit that you have no idea what you are talking about. Please see here for a review article regarding protein-coding genes and morphogenesis in finch beaks:

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/114030190/PDFSTART

    Regards,
    bumblebrain

  115. #115 Tyler DiPietro
    October 7, 2008

    Looks like scott has officially started the Gish Gallop. You had to see that coming.

  116. #116 windy
    October 7, 2008

    I’m sure you realize there are 3 billion-something locations in the genome that are able to mutate….

    Hey mr. genetics expert, do you realize that not every species has the exact same genome size?

  117. #117 Science Avenger
    October 7, 2008

    Scott unfortunately wrote: I’m talking about that crap-mechanism propped up by desperate athesists to explain how they came from fungus in a rotting pond billions of years ago

    People who accept evolution are not all atheists (not remotely close), and evolution doesn’t address how the first replicator came to exist. If you are looking for people to take you seriously, this isn’t the way to go about it.

    Go check out the talkorigins faq on evolution, I suspect every one of your objections are there.

  118. #118 JimCH
    October 7, 2008

    scott…
    Before you are trounced on again or ignored (either would be justified at this point) your woeful ignorance coupled with your soaring assurance should be highlighted.

    blah blah blah blah….hey, SLC..I’m not talking about God, I’m talking about that crap-mechanism propped up by desperate athesists to explain how they came from fungus in a rotting pond billions of years ago…….

    So, (1) not everyone that recognizes evolution as the viable explanation only upon which the totality of modern biology makes sense is an atheist. (Incidentally, the same can not be said regarding creationism & non-belief); and,
    (2) evolution pertains to what happens to life once it is formed, not how it originated.
    This is a case where ignorance may in fact be bliss. If you knew how utterly foolish you look right now it would be so embarrassing for you. Everything that you originally asked has been answered, even if you choose not to (or, are unable to) acknowledge it. Even if you had exposed a weakness, so what? The theory would eventually be tweaked to account for its shortcoming & would move on (this is in fact the history of evolution as a theory — we should suspect something if a theory was static, in fact). Pointing to supposed weaknesses in a theory is not an alternative to that theory. In other words, what do you have that’s better?

  119. #119 JimCH
    October 7, 2008

    Science Avenger…
    Oops, you got to it before I saw your post.

  120. #120 KeithB
    October 7, 2008

    Scott:
    I suggest you read some Francis Collins. He is a Christian who headed up the Human Genome Project. He is convinced that the virus’ trapped in our DNA are strong proof that we share an common ancestor with our primate brethren, amoung others.

  121. #121 JimCH
    October 7, 2008

    KeithB…
    A slight correction; Francis Collins did not head up the Human Genome Project. He was not even the original head, that was James D. Watson.

  122. #122 scott
    October 7, 2008

    bumblebrain, your name suits you well. Did you even READ your link?…geez, look at the conclusion:

    “Conclusion
    One of the more intriguing paradoxes of evolutionary developmental
    biology has been the discovery that the same finite
    sets of genes and pathways get used ad infinitum within and
    between organisms, yet somehow morphologies change over
    time and unexpected novelties arise. What has become
    apparent through comparative experimental studies of taxa
    at the species level and higher, is that relatively small and
    seemingly insignificant changes to the location and/or timing
    of developmental events can have profound implications for
    the evolution of anatomical size and shape.”

    Where exactly in that explanation do you get “mutation”????

    you won’t find one here either:

    http://www-hsc.usc.edu/~cmchuong/beak2.pdf

    “Bonemaking Protein Shapes Beaks of Darwin’s Finches”

  123. #123 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Keith: “Scott:
    I suggest you read some Francis Collins. He is a Christian who headed up the Human Genome Project. He is convinced that the virus’ trapped in our DNA are strong proof that we share an common ancestor with our primate brethren, amoung others.”

    Why couldn’t a virus infect both species independently, separately?

  124. #124 mark
    October 7, 2008

    Show me the mutation involved…let’s start there..because without genetic change there is no evolution.

    Read the paper first, then whine.

  125. #125 bumblebrain
    October 7, 2008

    Scott, I’m afraid your comment indicates how little you understand what you have read. Genetic variations are mutations. Similarly with changes in developmental timing and locations – those events change due to changes in regulatory elements that are encoded in the DNA, or due to changes in th proteins involved in regulating transcription.

    I am not interested in debating this information with you and suggest you accept some of the very kind offers to debate that have already been extended to you.

    Finally, I suggest a higher level of politeness in your responses instead of a personal attack on my intellect. It is not needed in a good debate and I’m afraid makes me much less eager to engage with you.

    Regards,
    bumblebrain

  126. #126 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Jim, the alternative theory to ToE is self-organization. Natral selection is not the mechanism of change you think it is…the mechanism of change is the mental apparatus in each individual which allows them to guage and measure the environment around them, and then act upon it purposefully and in a way that allows them to survive. Bacteria do it…Cichlids do it, finches do it, humans do it — every animal does it in one way or another. Plasticity is inherent in every organism….usually it happens during development, but it can also happen afterwards during life as well….all of which can be heritable to future generations……of course some organisms have different abilities in different situations, but all have the ability to adapt on the fly in one degree or another.

    You claim you evos have answered all of my questions, but you’ve actually answered nothing. I’ve asked repeatedly to give me an example of “evolution” in animal population via the scientific method….and where exactly was that answered? Finches are not an answer as they do not change genetically. That is the only answer thus far — oh, and cichlid fish, which don’t change genetically either. The fact is that science is afraid to do experiments on individual animals because they KNOW that to change their enviornments would simply generate an internal, adaptive response to it….it’s because of this that natural selection can never be substantiated in the lab or in the field…yet this piece of crap theory continues to linger on and on in textbooks and in the mind of intellectual midgets who masquerade themselves as societies’ elite.

  127. #127 scott
    October 7, 2008

    bumblebrain, if you don’t know the differnce between gene expression and changes in the actual sequence of DNA then then there’s really no need to carry on a conversation with you…you need to do some reading/learning and get back with me. Sorry, don’t mean to be rude but there are bigger fish to fry here.

  128. #128 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Mark: “Read the paper first, then whine.”

    …it is your claim….so back it up…give me the quote or citation of an observed mutation that is responsible for the said change.

  129. #129 windy
    October 7, 2008

    Why couldn’t a virus infect both species independently, separately?

    They are in the same locations in the genome… so of course a mathematically minded chap like you can see that the odds of them being inserted in the same chromosomal location in chimps and humans independently are about (3 billion * 3 billion) to one.

  130. #130 Science Avenger
    October 7, 2008

    Touche’ Scott, not the same old shit at all. You’ve got my interest, but being more of a philosopher than a biologist, I’m going to expand on my original question and hope you’ll answer it this time:

    Why would atheists object to this idea to the point of being completely blinkered to the evidence and/or participating in a giant conspiracy to hide the truth? The facts of the world require this from your theory. Yet the relationship is far from clear between “there are no gods” and “there cannot be purposeful, conscious, plasticity in living things”. I’m a card-carrying rabid atheist and I have no problem with the idea at all. It’s actually kinda cool, like most paranormal stuff. I don’t buy it, just like I don’t buy Uri Geller’s claims, but its not from any philosophical bias, but from a complete lack of evidence for it.

    I admire your willingness to actually explicitly state what you believe, but you’ve hemmed yourself into a corner, because you can gather evidence for your theory very cheaply: just expose a group of living things to some irritant, keep a control group with which you do nothing, and see if the original changes relative to the control.

    So go gather your evidence, write it up for a journal, post it on a blog, and get back with us. It’s a waste of time to debate something that can be so easily demonstrated.

  131. #131 SLC
    October 7, 2008

    Re scott

    Atheist Darwinists? You mean like Ken Miller, and former priest Francisco Ayala, devout Roman Catholics?

    1. How about Mr. scott explaining why, if apes and humans don’t have a common ancestor, they the only mammalian species that are unable to synthesize vitamin C?

    2. How about Mr. scott explaining why, if chimpanzees and humans don’t have a common ancestor human chromosome 2 matches the merger of chimpanzee chromosomes 12 and 13?

    3. How about Mr. scott, who says he is a young earth creationist, explaining to us how light from stars on the other side of the milky way galaxy that are some 80,000 light years away arrived at the earths location in 6000 years.

  132. #132 pough
    October 7, 2008

    …the mechanism of change is the mental apparatus in each individual which allows them to guage and measure the environment around them, and then act upon it purposefully and in a way that allows them to survive. Bacteria do it…Cichlids do it, finches do it, humans do it — every animal does it in one way or another.

    Is this some kind of Deepak Chopra mated with Lamarck thing going on here? Is that why it’s so inherently ugly? (End visual imagery!)

    Say, where is the mental apparatus in a bacteria, anyways? Did they ever find that?

    Okay, trying to get this straight. It’s not mutations that cause change; they just cause harm. No mutation could ever be beneficial because… because… they just can’t. All changes to the good are purposeful (I think I can. I think I can.) changes to the gene, which are NOT mutations. Is that about right?

  133. #133 scott
    October 7, 2008

    “Say, where is the mental apparatus in a bacteria, anyways? Did they ever find that?”

    I don’t know….if bacteria had minds (or not) how could you say for sure?…minds are not visible, information can’t be seen. And not all changes in bacteria are genetic….much of it — most of it even — is probably epigenetic…

    http://epigenome.eu/en/3,35,1110

    so if a change in the sequence of dna is not conferring resistance, WHAT IS?…what’s responsible for this epigenetic resistance?…what’s responsible for translating the infomation from the environment into the cell of the bacteria?……how do bacteria “know” exactly what to do in the face of danger? Good questions all…but I don’t know the answers….but then again, neither do you or anyone else.

  134. #134 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Scott: “Why couldn’t a virus infect both species independently, separately?”

    Windy: “They are in the same locations in the genome”

    So….viruses that infect computers have a tendency to infect the same parts….being so similar, maybe the virus infected humans and chimps separately, only to act in a similar way in similar genomes. Either way it’s guessing, not science. If you’re so sure there was a common ancestor why don’t you just go ahead and present it.

  135. #135 JimCH
    October 7, 2008

    scott…
    Has Self Organization advanced since Thompson? Please tell us about the exciting advances in this research.
    By the way, Self Organization? — talk about giving up the 2nd Law argument! Agreed, not your typical YEC; you give yourself even less wiggle room.

  136. #136 scott
    October 7, 2008

    SLC: “How about Mr. scott explaining why, if chimpanzees and humans don’t have a common ancestor human chromosome 2 matches the merger of chimpanzee chromosomes 12 and 13?”

    And? I admit my ignorance here, as I haven’t read much about this…..but how in the world does the chromomsome thing link humans and chimps to a common ancestor? What reason would the chromosome fuse?…what adaptive feature does it confer?…what is the significance of it? Even if humans have the same chromosome number as chimps, what would that matter? Gorillas have differnt chromosome number (I think)…yet they came from the same ancestor…same with bonobos. If you cannot present a significance to the chromosome thing, it could very well just be a coincidence…I’d be willing to bet other animals have 12 or 13 chromosomes as well…(just a guess.)

    And why do chimps have like 25,000 genes while humans have about 21,000 genes if they came from the same ancestor?

  137. #137 David Marjanovi?
    October 7, 2008

    Biology turns out great lab grunts but low-level thinkers.

    Could you elaborate?

    (Hmmm. Is that a rhetorical question?)

    Why couldn’t a virus infect both species independently, separately?

    Of course it could, provided that the species are closely enough related (!!!). But what are the odds that its genome would insert itself into the host genome in exactly the same place both times?

    I’m looking for your evidence but have not yet seen any.

    You conveniently ignored my comment completely.

    if a longer beak is needed because the environment changes, if a bird or two mutates within that population, the odds are essentially 3-billion-to-one that the right mutation will happen to give that bird an adaptive beak. (Of course, to be accurate, we now know that mutations are not what’s needed to elongate a beak…all that’s needed is a tweak in the Bmp4 protein……which is another contradiction to your theory.)

    Two mistakes in your thinking:

    1) You imply that there’s one mutation per organism. That’s nonsense. The number is way higher.
    2) What’s needed is not “a tweak in the Bmp4 protein” — which, incidentally, would mean “a mutation in the Bmp4 protein”. What’s needed is upregulation of the production of Bmp4 (or, rather, calmodulin; see bumblebrain’s link) — and that means a mutation in a regulatory gene or a promoter or an enhancer or an operator or a silencer. If you don’t know these terms, you have some learning to do.

    …yet finches, despite no change in their protein-coding genes, are still propped up in textbooks as some of the greatest examples of evolution!

    As I just said: they don’t need a mutation in a protein-coding gene; a mutation in a regulatory stretch of DNA leads to the same result at least as easily.

    How much do you know about gene regulation? Anything?

    the mechanism of change is the mental apparatus in each individual which allows them to guage and measure the environment around them, and then act upon it purposefully and in a way that allows them to survive.

    As I told you, you are a Lamarckist, not a creationist.

    Which is not any more defensible, I’m afraid. What is the mechanism by which a thought can influence the DNA — not even that of the brain, but that of the germline?!? And how does that work in the absence of a nervous system — you mentioned bacteria…?

    You claim you evos have answered all of my questions, but you’ve actually answered nothing.

    We have answered everything — it’s just that we’ve mistakenly assumed you possess the knowledge necessary to understand what we’ve said. Spend a few hours in Wikipedia and then come back.

    How about Mr. scott explaining why, if apes and humans don’t have a common ancestor, they the only mammalian species that are unable to synthesize vitamin C?

    Not true — the guinea pigs have also lost that ability. However, we still carry the broken gene around. In us and all other apes, it’s broken in exactly the same place. In guinea pigs it’s broken somewhere else. How come?

    All changes to the good are [...] changes to the gene, which are NOT mutations.

    LOL!!!

    Will be interesting to find out if Scott understands why this is so funny. :-D

    But let’s turn back to Stupid Design.

    Scott, stop ignoring my comments. You are (probably) not Sarah Palin, and I am (definitely) not Gwen Ifill. Put up or shut up.

  138. #138 scott
    October 7, 2008

    Avenger: “Why would atheists object to this idea to the point of being completely blinkered to the evidence and/or participating in a giant conspiracy to hide the truth?”

    I don’t know — I wish I did…for the life of me I don’t understand why people would WANT to be atheists. I used to not believe in God, at least a personal God, but my faith, or lack of it, was always kind of depressing…I felt empty, quite honestly. The only thing I can imagine is that people like Richard Dawkins are not interested in real biology — are not interested in self-organization to replace ToE — because they really do need to be intellectually-fulfilled…in otherwords, they need a foundation for their lack of faith in God….they need a distraction from the truth…and it really doesn’t matter if ToE — a populational theory — is true or not…it doesn’t matter if heritable epigenetics/phenotypic plasticity/horizontal gene transfer undermine ToE (which says only populations evolve) or not — the point is they need a philosophical tool to make them feel at ease on the inside. Heck, I could be wrong…I don’t know. I’ve tried to figure out militant atheists for a while now, and I admit I’m dumbfounded.

  139. #139 scott
    October 7, 2008

    David: “As I told you, you are a Lamarckist, not a creationist”

    I’m both

    And there are no mutations in finch regulatory genes either. There are no mutations involved at all.

  140. #140 scott
    October 7, 2008

    David: “Not true — the guinea pigs have also lost that ability. However, we still carry the broken gene around. In us and all other apes, it’s broken in exactly the same place. In guinea pigs it’s broken somewhere else. How come?”

    Because the gene isn’t “broken”…it’s merely not activated because it’s not needed. Take away vitamin C-laden fruits and foods from the human diet, and along with scurvy, you might find a mutation in the developing offspring of scurvy-infected pregnant women pops up. The reason the gene is “broken” is because humans have always eaten fruits and do not need to activate the gene…likewise, bacteria don’t activate their resistance gene until they need it, such as when an antibiotic is introduce…. This is just simple common sense.

  141. #141 scott
    October 7, 2008

    scott: “Why couldn’t a virus infect both species independently, separately?”

    David: “Of course it could, provided that the species are closely enough related (!!!). But what are the odds that its genome would insert itself into the host genome in exactly the same place both times?”

    well chimps and humans are supposedly 99% the same genetically, so it would only make sense that a virus might insert itself in the same way in genomes that are virtually identical. And correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems there are many viruses found in humans that are not found in chimps…..you guys, once again, are cherry-picking your evidence…you’re cherry picking the one virus that seems to match up to your pre-formed belief system and running with it, as if there isn’t just as powerful evidence pointing the other direction.

  142. #142 Richard Simons
    October 7, 2008

    The fact is that science is afraid to do experiments on individual animals because they KNOW that to change their enviornments would simply generate an internal, adaptive response to it….it’s because of this that natural selection can never be substantiated in the lab or in the field…

    I am not sure you understand what evolution is. It does not take place in individual organisms (unless you are talking of, say, the evolution of a disease within a person).

    What exactly would you accept as evidence to show that evolution occurs and can readily be demonstrated in the lab? I ask because most people in your situation either impose impossible requirements or respond to each answer with ‘No, that does not answer my question’, as you have done so far.

    Another question – why do you, with an acknowledged absence of any education in biology, feel you have a better grqasp of the subject than hundreds of thousands of people who have each spent decades studying the topic? Has it never crossed your mind that perhaps you have a mental block or a misunderstanding somewhere?

  143. #143 SLC
    October 7, 2008

    Re scott

    Rather then attempt to explain here the significance of human chromosome 2 and chimpanzee chromosomes 12 and 13, I will link to a Youtube presentation of non-atheist cell biologist Ken Miller who will carefully explain why this is evidence of common descent of chimps and humans. Note this does not prove common descent. It is merely evidence that supports common descent. Note that the concept of proof does not exist in science. Proof is a concept in mathematics. In science, there is only evidence that favors a hypothesis or evidence that falsifies a hypothesis.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3589644344629917111&ei=xvjrSOj9GpycrALHy9igCw&q=+%22ken+miller%22&vt=lf&hl=en

    Incidently Mr. scott, how about responding to my other two questions. Put up or shut up.

  144. #144 David Marjanovi?
    October 7, 2008

    Scott, you do know that “epigenetics” is a cover term for DNA methylation, histone methylation, histone acetylation and histone phosphorylation, right? (Didn’t think so.) OK, bacteria don’t have histones, but they do have proteins with a similar function. (Go read up what that is.)

    …what’s responsible for this epigenetic resistance?…what’s responsible for translating the infomation from the environment into the cell of the bacteria?……

    Epigenetics is nothing but heritable gene regulation. And gene regulation is an utterly mechanic process; no mind involved. The absence of glucose combined with the presence of lactose, for example, switches the production of ?-galactosidase, to use the textbook example, which you’ll find in Wikipedia and every textbook.

    You ask so many questions, and don’t seem to have ever suspected that the answers are all out there, you just need to read them. Hit the books already.

    if bacteria had minds (or not) how could you say for sure?…minds are not visible,

    But brains are. Furthermore, the effects of minds are visible; bacteria don’t show any of them. Even their direction of travel is determined by the concentration of attractants and repellents. In a lecture called General and Molecular Microbiology A, which is compulsory for beginning students of molecular biology at the university of Vienna, I was taught the whole mechanism of Escherichia coli. Drop me an e-mail, and I’ll send the lecture to you (it’s a PowerPoint file).

    information can’t be seen.

    Information is an arrangement of matter.

    So….viruses that infect computers have a tendency to infect the same parts….being so similar, maybe the virus infected humans and chimps separately, only to act in a similar way in similar genomes.

    You misunderstand. (What a surprise.) The virus genome is inserted between the same two nucleotides. Such insertions happen randomly, anywhere in the genome; there is no mechanism that selects a site, there’s just one that attaches to DNA, cuts it, inserts the viral DNA, and glues everything back together. What are the odds? Three billion squared.

    Either way it’s guessing, not science.

    On your part, yes. But just because you don’t know anything doesn’t mean nobody else knows.

    If you’re so sure there was a common ancestor why don’t you just go ahead and present it.

    Because the fossil record isn’t that good.

    how in the world does the chromomsome thing link humans and chimps to a common ancestor?

    This is a list of YouTube search results. Go there and start watching. Have fun.

    What reason would the chromosome fuse?

    Because they can. That’s something that happens randomly, but not terribly often.

    …what adaptive feature does it confer?

    None whatsoever. It’s a neutral feature.

    Even if humans have the same chromosome number as chimps, what would that matter? Gorillas have differnt chromosome number (I think)…

    No, they have the same number as chimps, bonobos, and orang-utans (24 in the haploid state). We are the odd ones out with 23.

    If you cannot present a significance to the chromosome thing, it could very well just be a coincidence…I’d be willing to bet other animals have 12 or 13 chromosomes as well…(just a guess.)

    At least you’re honest about your utter ignorance of utter basics. Spend a few hours in Wikipedia, and then come back.

    Or maybe it’s enough if you watch a couple of the videos I just linked to. Incidentally, there are lots of interesting and well-made YouTube videos on evolution. You should spend a few hours in YouTube in addition to Wikipedia.

    And why do chimps have like 25,000 genes while humans have about 21,000 genes if they came from the same ancestor?

    How good are these numbers? Don’t we all have just 18,000? But in any case, a lot of genes for smell receptors are still functional in chimps but broken in humans, so I do expect chimps to have more functional genes than us.

    (Functional genes are not easy to count when all you have is a genome sequence.)

  145. #145 Richard Simons
    October 7, 2008

    Because the gene isn’t “broken”…it’s merely not activated because it’s not needed. Take away vitamin C-laden fruits and foods from the human diet, and along with scurvy, you might find a mutation in the developing offspring of scurvy-infected pregnant women pops up.

    You did not understand my earlier question about pseudogenes, did you? The vitamin C gene is broken. It is missing a single base pair (I cannot be bothered to find out which one it is) so there has been a frame-shift mutation. It is well and truly kaput and produces a garbage protein. True, it is possible, but highly unlikely, for an insertion mutation to put the base pair back again. However, it has certainly not just been inactivated, as you claimed.

  146. #146 Tyler DiPietro
    October 7, 2008

    “And? I admit my ignorance here, as I haven’t read much about this…..but how in the world does the chromomsome thing link humans and chimps to a common ancestor? What reason would the chromosome fuse?…what adaptive feature does it confer?…what is the significance of it? Even if humans have the same chromosome number as chimps, what would that matter? Gorillas have differnt chromosome number (I think)…yet they came from the same ancestor…same with bonobos. If you cannot present a significance to the chromosome thing, it could very well just be a coincidence…I’d be willing to bet other animals have 12 or 13 chromosomes as well…(just a guess.)”

    LOL. I gotta say scott, I have never encountered someone with as vastly overblown an opinion of his own intelligence as you, even on the internet. Your reaction to realizing you have no understanding of an issue is throw out a bunch of uninformed speculation. The basics of this issue: humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, other apes (gorillas and chimpanzees) have 24. This is a problem given that chromosomal alternations are known to cause major phenotypic defects (e.g., Down Syndrome) and thus represent an obstacle to evolution. Turns out, the prediction of evolution, that two chromosomes fused, is verified.

  147. #147 David Marjanovi?
    October 7, 2008

    And there are no mutations in finch regulatory genes either. There are no mutations involved at all.

    Show me.

    Because the gene isn’t “broken”…it’s merely not activated because it’s not needed.

    No, it’s broken. Look it up. It has a mutation that prevents it from producing a functioning protein. I don’t know by heart what it is, but probably it’s a premature stop codon: after a few amino acids, translation just stops because it cannot go on.

    Take away vitamin C-laden fruits and foods from the human diet, and along with scurvy, you might find a mutation in the developing offspring of scurvy-infected pregnant women pops up.

    You might find such a mutation* anyway, no matter whatsoever how much vitamin C there is in the diet. The difference is that in the presence of vitamin C, such a mutation offers no advantage and in fact a slight disadvantage — the enzyme keeps being produced, requiring amino acids and energy, but isn’t needed. That’s a waste. If you don’t produce that enzyme, you can invest the amino acids and the energy into other things, like reproduction… Conversely, when there’s no or not enough vitamin C in the diet, lacking that enzyme is a drastic disadvantage, and the hypothetical mutation that would bring it back would be a drastic advantage. People possessing the enzyme would have a lot more surviving fertile children.

    I have just explained how natural selection works, and why the same mutation can be beneficial or detrimental depending on the environment. Any questions?

    * Except that one isn’t going to be enough. I bet a lot of mutations that each by itself would prevent the production of a functioning protein have accumulated in the last, like, 20 million years, because natural selection no longer weeds such mutations out of that gene. Look up the word pseudogene.

    The reason the gene is “broken” is because humans have always eaten fruits and do not need to activate the gene…likewise, bacteria don’t activate their resistance gene until they need it, such as when an antibiotic is introduce…. This is just simple common sense.

    So what? In science, it’s not enough to show that something makes sense. (That’s the difference between science and philosophy.) Instead, you must show that it is actually the case.

    Go sequence the genome of a non-resistant bacterium and show me the inactive resistance genes!

    If a gene is not activated for generations, it can be lost without disadvantage, and the loss of anything is always an advantage unless it confers an even larger disadvantage: lower energy needs, lower material needs (amino acids in this case), faster speed of genome replication and therefore reproduction. (This last one probably doesn’t matter in, say, mammals, but is very important in many bacteria.)

    David: “As I told you, you are a Lamarckist, not a creationist”

    I’m both

    How does that work?

    well chimps and humans are supposedly 99% the same genetically, so it would only make sense that a virus might insert itself in the same way in genomes that are virtually identical.

    Just to repeat myself — maybe that will help it sink in: viruses don’t choose where to insert their genome. Neither can they (lack of mechanism to do so), nor do they (as shown by observations).

    ——————————-

    Now for another topic.

    for the life of me I don’t understand why people would WANT to be atheists. I used to not believe in God, at least a personal God, but my faith, or lack of it, was always kind of depressing…I felt empty, quite honestly.

    So you only believe because you want to believe?

    You openly admit to wishful thinking? “I want it to be so, therefore it is so”?

    You believe without evidence, just because you want to believe?

    That’s quite telling.

  148. #148 Science Avenger
    October 7, 2008

    Scott: merger of ape chromosomes explained, one of my favorite clips, and interestingly enough, by one of those Catholic biologists you are determined to ignore.

  149. #149 David Marjanovi?
    October 7, 2008

    Your reaction to realizing you have no understanding of an issue is throw out a bunch of uninformed speculation.

    That’s because he’s naïve enough to honestly believe that nobody else understands that issue either. He has no idea how much knowledge there is out there. He has no idea what we’ve been doing with his tax money for the last couple of decades. :-)

  150. #150 Science Avenger
    October 7, 2008

    Scott, I didn’t ask you why people are atheists. I’m asking you why atheists would cling irrationally to modern evolutionary theory (MET) when your theory, not needing any gods either, would be just as intellectually satisfying to us, ie, is just as atheistic? You are claiming we are all getting it wrong because of some bias, but you haven’t identified a bias that applies to MET but not your theory. It’s like saying Bob eats beans and not steak because he’s a vegetarian, while ignoring that he won’t eat lettuce either.

  151. #151 JimCH
    October 7, 2008

    scott…
    I too would like to know what moniker you used at Pharyngula to get banned. “scott” is nowhere to be found in the dungeon.

  152. #152 scott
    October 7, 2008

    David: “Epigenetics is nothing but heritable gene regulation. And gene regulation is an utterly mechanic process; no mind involved.”

    what an ignorant statement…it’s hard to even read your post when you start off with something so stupid.

    First of all, if you don’t believe the mind re-expresses genes, what’s this:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701221501.htm

    “For hundreds of years Western medicine has looked at mind and body as totally separate entities, to the point where saying something ‘is all in your head’ implied that it was imaginary,” says Herbert Benson, MD, director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute and co-senior author of the PloS One report. “Now we’ve found how changing the activity of the mind can alter the way basic genetic instructions are implemented.”

    Towia Libermann, PhD, director of the BIDMC Genomics Center and the report’s co-senior author, adds”

    and this:

    http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/Article/The_Power_of_the_Mind.html

    “The Power of the Mind”

    and this:

    http://www.ernestrossi.com/documents/about_psychobiology_of_gene_expression.htm

    “Psychobiology Of Gene Expression In Human Experience”

    “In Chapter 2 we take our first steps in exploring the surprising and little known research on behavioral state-related gene expression: How behavioral states such as sleeping, dreaming, consciousness, vigilance, stress, emotional arousal, and depression are associated with different patterns of gene expression. We learn how a special class of genes called “immediate early genes” can respond to significant life events and psychosocial cues in an adaptive manner within minutes! We propose a new idea about the possibility of utilizing immediate early genes and behavioral state-related gene expression as a bridge between mind, brain, and body that can facilitate our understanding of the psychobiological underpinnings of psychotherapy and the healing arts. We illustrate this possibility with many mini-case histories and touch on the new kinds of clinical research that are now needed to validate these innovative approaches.”

    So David, your whole understanding of biology is skewed by your ignorance.

  153. #153 scott
    October 7, 2008

    why are you filtering my responses, Jason?

  154. #154 scott
    October 8, 2008

    Avenger, self-organizational mechanisms cannot explain how it would be that a one-celled organism could turn into a human over time…especially considering there are still one-celled organisms on the planet. The only mechanism that could realistically explain common descent is RMNS. Phenotypic plasticity and epigenetic mechanisms could never explain how reptiles turned into mammals or how eyes or ears originated. Not only that, but if you guys had to admit that epigenetics explains common descent, then you’d have to admit the mind or other intellectual processes were responsible, which would be a direct contradiction of what materialists stand for, as they don’t stand for information, (aka mind) they stand for matter.

  155. #155 Clay
    October 8, 2008

    …especially considering there are still one-celled organisms on the planet.

    OMG!!WHY are THERE STILL MonKEYs!!!111!eleventyone!!1

  156. #156 scott
    October 8, 2008

    does it not bother you guys that you cannot present even one scientifically-verified, experimentally-validated case of evolution, as defined by Talk Origins in the animal kingdom? But let me help you here; let me explain what you evos problem is: The problem is that the genome is not what you think it is — the genome is not tied to morphology, at least not in any substantial way….sure, flower color or eye color may be written in genes — but for the most part, the major bodily structures are not coupled with genes. As a result, you guys have no materialistic explanation as to how a new structure could arise. If your claim is that organs and other structures were formed over time via thousands of mutations, then not only must we MUST see the evolutionary misits and misfires and defects and monsters, but we must also see the evidence that mutations can actually add something in the way of new morpholgoy….neither one are seen. And think about — what mutation can you think of that adds a new body part or even a new part to an existing structure? Sure, mutations may duplicate what’s already there or even re-size what’s already there…but mutations don’t add novelty, which is what is needed to evolve from a pond-slime. The new novelty we see in nature doesn’t come from accidental changes in matter, but from purposeful changes in the mind. The mind. not genes, is the foundation of biology.

    http://www.junkdna.com/hologenomics_history.html#darwin_rewritten

    When the mind senses a new enviornment, it must first interpret it and then act upon it by coordinating all the internal processes to make itself adapted..and it uses epigenetic processes to direct the flow of information from the environment into the genome. Evos often like to think that information only goes one-way: from genes to bodies…but epigenetics refutes that, as it is now clear that the body (via the mind) can put information back into the genome. So essentially what we have is just another chicken-and-the-egg riddle…a circle of life that has no beginning or end.

    So the big problem you guys have is somehow proving that the adaptations we see in the field are not adaptations generated from within each organism…that the adaptations are not self-generated via an internal response to the environmental challenge. It is this self-organization — NOT GOD — that is the biological competitor to ToE.

  157. #157 Tyler DiPietro
    October 8, 2008

    “Avenger, self-organizational mechanisms cannot explain how it would be that a one-celled organism could turn into a human over time…especially considering there are still one-celled organisms on the planet. The only mechanism that could realistically explain common descent is RMNS. Phenotypic plasticity and epigenetic mechanisms could never explain how reptiles turned into mammals or how eyes or ears originated. Not only that, but if you guys had to admit that epigenetics explains common descent, then you’d have to admit the mind or other intellectual processes were responsible, which would be a direct contradiction of what materialists stand for, as they don’t stand for information, (aka mind) they stand for matter.”

    The amount of ignorance displayed here is simply astounding.

  158. #158 JimCH
    October 8, 2008

    Just in case you were wondering exactly what kind of mind you were dealing with here, scott left this nugget on the next thread:

    …anyone who would vote for Obama, socialist/muslim/tax-hiking/baby-killing friend of terrorists is out of their freaking mind…

    So, scott’s misinformation, obscurantism, & lunacy does not end, it would seem, with sciency stuff. Shocking.

  159. #159 Leni
    October 8, 2008

    So the big problem you guys have is somehow proving that the adaptations we see in the field are not adaptations generated from within each organism…that the adaptations are not self-generated via an internal response to the environmental challenge. It is this self-organization — NOT GOD — that is the biological competitor to ToE.

    O.o

    Do you mean Lysenkoism?

    If your claim is that organs and other structures were formed over time via thousands of mutations, then not only must we MUST see the evolutionary misits and misfires and defects and monsters, but we must also see the evidence that mutations can actually add something in the way of new morpholgoy….neither one are seen.

    Are you seriously arguing that we’ve never seen evidence of mutations, beneficial or harmful? You’ve never heard of Sickle Cell Anemia* or Cystic Fibrosis? Here, go look for yourself.

    This is very solid evidence that certain populations have adapted “structures” that can be either harmful or beneficial, depending primarily on the individual’s genetics and environment.

    Robert O’Brien wrote:

    Biology turns out great lab grunts but low-level thinkers.

    Something similar could probably be said of just about any field. (Especially engineering, if the ID movement is any indication.)

    That said, there’s nothing wrong with being a competent technician. I’m guessing you are probably also a terrorist supporting elitist, though.

    *I see that this has been explained to you already, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt and offering you a chance to look (yet) again.

  160. #160 mothergross
    October 8, 2008

    And then we have the no-level authorities like Leni. What are the benefits of attending to her doubts? Look closely at the construction and there’s nothing there to justify the stance.-

  161. #161 scott
    October 8, 2008

    by the way, after wading through all the rhetoric I never did quite see an example of a mutation that adds a bodily structure or even a new part of an existing bodily structure. How the heck do you kooks think common descent from a one-celled slime could happen if mutations don’t add selectable physical structures?

  162. #162 Chris
    October 8, 2008

    Sorry to feed the troll but Scott says:

    I never did quite see an example of a mutation that adds a bodily structure or even a new part of an existing bodily structure.

    Take a look at drosophila. What about the gene bithorax? Mutations there add an extra thorax and set of wings. Other drosophila mutations cause antennae to grow as legs. And this is in an animal, just like you wanted.

  163. #163 KD
    October 8, 2008

    Also if you transfer the hox gene for building a leg in drosophila and transfer it to a mouse it will built a mouse leg. How is this possible if there is no common decent. This information is the result of experiments by the way scott.

  164. #164 scott
    October 8, 2008

    Chris, those mutations add an extra set of wings…you may not have read it about, but I did not deny that mutations can duplicate what’s already there…..an extra set of wings isn’t anything “new.”…neither is the antenna.

    And KD….you have the problem explaining what is responsible for the generation of a “mouse leg” from a “fly gene.” I thought genes were supposed to build bodies — well evidently not. Genes don’t build anything; the body merely uses genes like tools….much like bricks and mortar are used by construction workers, genes are used by bodies….but the genes themselves offer no explanation as to why a body looks like it does, just as brick and mortar by itself explains how a building might look or how it got to be the way it is.

    So….anyone else have an example of a mutation that ADDS a NEW bodily structure or a new part of an existing structure? C’mmon, kooks……let’s go.

  165. #165 scott
    October 8, 2008

    clears throat………yes?

  166. #166 Leni
    October 8, 2008

    Scott, if you know that evolution occurs in small steps over long, long periods of time, why would you even expect to see a mutation that produced wildly new features?

  167. #167 SLC
    October 8, 2008

    Re scott

    Mr. scott has still not commented on the Ken Miller video. What’s the matter, can’t countenance the fact that Prof. Miller is not an atheist?

  168. #168 JimCH
    October 8, 2008

    Leni…
    I almost didn’t recognize you without your shadow.

  169. #169 mothergross
    October 9, 2008

    I’m just waiting to see if Leni will ever identify her area of expertise (other than misunderstanding Wikipedia items).

  170. #170 scott
    October 9, 2008

    Leni: “Scott, if you know that evolution occurs in small steps over long, long periods of time, why would you even expect to see a mutation that produced wildly new features?”

    It’s nice to see you admit that the theory you believe in isn’t scientific. And as to your assertion, no, I reject that evolution occurs in small steps over time, so gradually that you can’t see it….in fact, it happens just the opposite: it happens in the blink of an eye, so fast you can’t see it…it usually happens during development in a differentiating embryo. Not only that, but the idea that morphological evolution happens via changes in genes is proving to be wrong — and this article confirms it:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070509205719.htm

    “The research, by an international consortium led by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, revises our understanding of genetic evolution. Scientists previously thought that evolution slowly changed the genes that create specific proteins. As the proteins changed, so did the creatures that owned them.

    The current research shows that opossum and human protein-coding genes have changed little since their ancestors parted ways, 180 million years ago. It has been the regulation of their genes – when they turn on and off – that has changed dramatically.

    “Evolution is tinkering much more with the controls than it is with the genes themselves,” said Broad Institute director Eric Lander. “Almost all of the new innovation … is in the regulatory controls. In fact, marsupial mammals and placental mammals have largely the same set of protein-coding genes…

    …It had been initially thought that most of a creature’s DNA was made up of protein-coding genes and that a relatively small part of the DNA was made up of regulatory portions that tell the rest when to turn on and off.

    As studies of mammalian genomes advanced, however, it became apparent that that view was incorrect. The regulatory part of the genome was two to three times larger than the portion that actually held the instructions for individual proteins.

    “The official textbook picture of how genes work really didn’t appear to be right,” Lander said. “There was much more of the genome standing around shouting instructions than actually producing proteins.”

    That raised a question of how evolution actually works on the genome, Lander said. With so much of the genome devoted to regulation, it became apparent that evolution could work by simply changing the instructions rather than changing the protein-coding genes themselves.”

    Ouch…and gene-centric Neo-darwinism gets flushed. don’t you guys feel like fools for believing it?

  171. #171 KD
    October 9, 2008

    Scott I am truley amazed by your inability to understand even basic concepts, you truely prove this quote true:

    “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.”

    - Scott D. Weitzenhoffe

  172. #172 pough
    October 9, 2008

    Ouch…and gene-centric Neo-darwinism gets flushed.

    Is that because regulatory genes aren’t actually genes and therefore cannot change via mutation but instead must use the Think I Can Principle?

    In your faces, people who actually know what you’re talking about!

  173. #173 tyaddow
    October 9, 2008

    Hey scott, here’s an example of the spontaneous appearance of a BRAND NEW FEATURE- Jason writes a blog post about politics, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, BAM! A brand new topic! ToE is bunk! You know so because you read a few things about it and your goalpost-moving antics cannot be sated. Fortunately this mutation has proven you wrong. Unfortunately, this mutation is deleterious and has utterly destroyed the body of this post by adding a useless and cumbersome tail of insults and nonsensical sciencey-sounding bile spewings courtesy of you. I can think of another mutation I’d like to see that would be highly beneficial if spread through the entire evolutionblog population: scott-scoot.

  174. #174 Reynold
    October 9, 2008

    Hey scott. You want a debate and you claim that evolutionists are too cowardly to do it?

    Try going EvC Forum.

    Maybe you’ll learn something.

  175. #175 Leni
    October 9, 2008

    Shadow, JimCH? More like a spontaneously generated, harmful, mutant, parasitic appendage.

    Wait, scratch “appendage”, I think we all know where he’ll go with that. Let’s go with “structure”.

    As for the other one:

    It’s nice to see you admit that the theory you believe in isn’t scientific.

    I don’t believe in evolution, I accept it provisionally because it is the best working theory available. I do think that it is well enough established that I don’t expect it to be falsified, at least as far as natural selection and mutation as mechanisms of evolution are concerned.

    That said, I can’t imagine how you got that out of the simple question I asked you.

    in fact, it happens just the opposite: it happens in the blink of an eye, so fast you can’t see it..

    You mean like when DNA replicates? Particular instances of mutation do occur fairly rapidly, I’m sure. But the process of natural selection and adaption does not, necessarily. Particularly at the species level. I suppose it really depends on what sort of time scale you are using.

    Right now I have to go do something so I don’t have the time to read the article you’ve posted. I will look at it, but I am not expecting to see evolution turned on it’s head. I imagine there would be quite a bit more hullabaloo than some guy posting off-topic in a random thread…

    But, even if it were, I would not feel like a fool for accepting evolution any more that I would feel like a fool for trying to eat more vegetables or get more exercise or do any of the other things that (for example) medical research suggests we do to live longer, healthier lives. Being wrong is part of the price of being alive, and I’m more or less happy to accept the risk and go with the best bet.

  176. #176 Nomad
    October 9, 2008

    So Scotty, have you accepted that mutations are what cause changes in future generations?

    You initially demanded that mutations aren’t responsible and claimed that some nebulous internal thought process (even in bacteria, so I guess I should feel bad about using antibiotics since they have thoughts and feelings) was actually responsible for the changes.

    Now you cite research that mentions the genetic changes that result in regulation changes.

    So.. you’ve accepted that you were completely wrong about mutations not being responsible, but you’re too dishonest to say so and instead are going to pretend that what you were really saying was that it’s the GENES that don’t change?

    neo darwinsim isn’t exactly “gene centric” except in your own mind. There has been debate about the specifics of the workings, new concepts such as neutral drift and punctuated equilibrium have changed the understanding or at least introduced disagreements, and I know people like you love to use disagreements to crow that the entire thing is wrong, but the fact is that isn’t how it works.

    You haven’t put forth any competing theory. Well, except for this:
    [blockquote]the mechanism of change is the mental apparatus in each individual which allows them to guage and measure the environment around them,[/blockquote]

    And you seem to have abandoned that already.

    So what is your position? In what way is modern evolutionary theory wrong? If the current thrust of your argument is that changes in regulatory DNA are responsible for more physical changes than changes in genes themselves then you’ve basically accepted modern evolutionary theory and are more interested in debate within that framework.

    Otherwise you’re just desperately backpeddling, trying to find something to distract everyone from your previous claims that physical changes don’t come from the DNA at all, not even realizing that your current argument implies your support of MET.

    Which is kind of funny.

  177. #177 mothergross
    October 10, 2008

    Does anybody know yet where Leni is coming from? She has opinions based on feelings, or is it feeling based on opinions, but she’s clearly not a scientist or even a science writer. Or even a serious student. So why should anyone be obliged, as she seems to require as her due, to even respond to her querulous forays.
    Google Leni, and see what you find, especially as to the appendage she has just referenced.

  178. #178 Leni
    October 10, 2008

    Scott, I read the article. It was really interesting. But I came away more astounded by you than by it.

    From the article:

    The research, released Wednesday (May 9) also illustrated a mechanism for those regulatory changes. It showed that an important source of genetic innovation comes from bits of DNA, called transposons, that make up roughly half of our genome and that were previously thought to be genetic “junk.”

    Emphasis mine.

    This research isn’t doing anything like what you claim it is. In fact, it’s doing just the opposite. It says that the very thing you claim has no part in evolution, indeed has a part in evolution. Just a larger part than previously thought.

    Even more damning for your case is the following quote, which you humorously used as evidence against DNA:

    It had been initially thought that most of a creature’s DNA was made up of protein-coding genes and that a relatively small part of the DNA was made up of regulatory portions that tell the rest when to turn on and off.

    As studies of mammalian genomes advanced, however, it became apparent that that view was incorrect. The regulatory part of the genome was two to three times larger than the portion that actually held the instructions for individual proteins.

    Your whole point boils down to “That thing you think that controls evolution, ACTUALLY controls evolution. But in a slightly different way than you thought!”

    Scott, and I say this with the best of intentions, it’s time for you to back off and let this one die. Your argument is trivial and stupid. I am embarrassed for you that you even made it.

  179. #179 mothergross
    October 10, 2008

    Leni, and I say this with even better intentions, telling someone they are trivial and stupid based on nothing but your own unsupported and misguided opinion, is only an embarrassment for the teller.

  180. #180 Science Avenger
    October 10, 2008

    Mothergross, get a life. Leni appears as knowledgeable as any of the other science commenters on these sites, and is otherwise indistinguishable from them. I see no resemblence between your descriptions of her and her posts. I don’t know what your personal beef is with her, but it is a trite boring to the rest of us, I assure you.

  181. #181 mothergross
    October 10, 2008

    Avenger is another non-scientist, but at least he or she admits it. Leni won’t. And for some reason Leni can’t. It seems her whole posturing rantemotionalistic stance will crumble without its imaginary crutch.

  182. #182 bumblebrain
    October 10, 2008

    mothergross said:

    Avenger is another non-scientist, but at least he or she admits it. Leni won’t. And for some reason Leni can’t. It seems her whole posturing rantemotionalistic stance will crumble without its imaginary crutch.

    I’m sorry if this is obvious to you, but how exactly does this justify your attacks?

  183. #183 JimV
    October 10, 2008

    Nobody asked me, but if I were to rank comments here, I would place those by scientists high up (but not all of them at the top), Leni’s somewhere in the middle, and mothergross’s dead last.

    I myself am not a scientist, and would be willing to agree not to comment here if mothergross would do the same.

    Before that starts, I will second a previous commenter to the effect that, had Scott only googled “evolution forum” instead of “evolution debate”, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  184. #184 SLC
    October 10, 2008

    Mr. scott has still not commented on the Ken Miller video. Apparently he has nothing to say.

  185. #185 mothergross
    October 10, 2008

    JimV, I will never comment again if Leni will come clean and admit she is not a scientist and agrees to stop pretending that she is. I am motivated by having seen enough of her insults to zero in on her as an example of countless other poseurs who pollute these science blogs.
    In many ways she is worse then the O’Brien types, who are clearly ignorant but make no pretense about their credentials.
    Information posted by people like Leni in the guise of being authoritative does more harm to the cause of spreading some semblance of the truth than all of the ignorance promoted by the O’Briens and the Scotts put together.

  186. #186 JimCH
    October 10, 2008

    mothergross…
    It’s obvious that you feel that Leni has slighted you in some way otherwise why single her out? Even if what you say is true about her your outrage appears out of step with the offense. It’s almost as though you’re an x-husband/boyfriend/girlfriend that she has dumped. In any event, it doesn’t come off the way you intend, I’m sure; it just comes off creepy.

  187. #187 mothergross
    October 10, 2008

    Why single Leni out as the best example of faux authority? Seldom does a random choice seem random to the selectee. Especially when the selectee knows she has asked for it in some manner. The randomness is still there, but the range of possibilities has been made quite narrow. Like eenie meenie, etc.

  188. #188 Leni
    October 10, 2008

    Fongooly, I think you have psychological problems. And I will not intentionally disclose information about myself, my job, or my education to you. Period. Ever.

    Normally, I would be happy to discuss my background and I would of course be honest about it. I have nothing to hide and I am not embarrassed about who I am or what I do for a living. But you are behaving like a creepy stalker and, frankly, you give me wife-beater “vibes”. Thus, we are not going to have a conversation about any part of my life, much less my professional one.

    If that means I must manage to survive without answering your absurd accusations, that’s fine.

    JimV wrote:

    I myself am not a scientist, and would be willing to agree not to comment here if mothergross would do the same.

    You will do no such thing! First of all, your agreement will not be honored. He clearly does not have the impulse control to prevent himself from taking these ludicrous jabs at me. It would be a wasted (even if appreciated) effort. Second, I would be the obvious one to do that.

    I considered it, but decided against it because I am not going to cave to a stalker troll. And neither should you! I’m sorry if that means we are stuck with him, but I do not think that he, or any stalker troll, should have “veto power” over other posters. Especially if those people are not me.

    That said, thank you for the offer, and thank you to those of you who tried to reason with him. I appreciate your efforts at mediation, but it only seems to add fuel to the fire. It would probably be best to just ignore him. (Plus it’s even harder for me to ignore his posts when I can see you all responding to him.)

  189. #189 mothergross
    October 10, 2008

    Dp you all see how phony Leni is. As if I gave a damn what anyone named Jim offered me, supposedly on her behalf? As if Leni was ever going to reveal what she did, or what she knew, or how little she knew it?
    She says she appreciates efforts at mediation? Mediation would involve give and take on her part, not on the part of the mediator. She has given all right. She giveth but cannot taketh.

    Veto power over other posters? Everything Leni does is about vetoing someone’s ideas or efforts with nothing to offer except the pose that right and truth are somehow on her side as she wouldn’t be all that emotional and righteous if they weren’t.
    And Leni, apparently you think that this is because you slandered some poor goof named fongooly, Is that your guilt showing? But if that were so, would he be a stalker or more a seeker of equal justice for others?
    But you’ll have to ask him, not me.
    And it seems I have accomplished something. You can no longer pretend you have some authority in matters of science because you have forever barred yourself from citing such authority – even if it were to LIE about it.
    Think about that for a while. And thanks, Jim and Jim et al, for your help.

  190. #190 pough
    October 10, 2008

    Firefox + Greasemonkey + killfile = awesome. I’d like to thank creepy Leni-stalker for reminding me to install it on this computer. Don’t bother to say “you’re welcome” because I won’t see it.

    Personally, I think if he doesn’t stop and the admins here don’t do anything about it, perhaps the police should be called. This behaviour is unacceptable.

  191. #191 Leni
    October 11, 2008

    Holy crap, pough. You have my undying gratitude. Thank you so, so much for mentioning that script.

  192. #192 Caliban
    October 11, 2008

    fongooly/mothergross, you are not fooling anyone.

  193. #193 BaldApe
    October 11, 2008

    Scott said:

    I see the know-nothing goons are out in force

    Nope, you’re the only one. You proudly assert that you have no biological education, read research articles as if they say the opposite of what they really say, and claim that it is the biologists who don’t understand.

    You’re not running for President or something, are you?

  194. #194 SLC
    October 11, 2008

    And still Mr. scott fails to comment on the Ken Miller video. He just can’t admit that a religious person could also accept methodological naturalism.

  195. #195 BaldApe
    October 11, 2008

    Woo HOOO! Thanks, pough! Now I can’t see the insane blatherings of Scott.

  196. #196 Leni
    October 11, 2008

    I feel so loved here now. I do so wish I believed in a God in heaven.

  197. #197 David Marjanovi?
    October 11, 2008

    scott, I’m still waiting for your e-mail. Instead of accepting my offer, all you’ve done so far is demonstrating that you don’t even know the basics of gene regulation. Go learn.

    Chris, those mutations add an extra set of wings…you may not have read it about, but I did not deny that mutations can duplicate what’s already there…..an extra set of wings isn’t anything “new.”…neither is the antenna.

    Bingo! Nothing is ever really new. Instead, what happens is gene duplication and mutation. Genome duplications even.

    Take your ability to tell red from green. That’s done by two proteins that are much more similar to each other than to the receptor for blue, even though they don’t need to be so similar. (In fact, the “red” receptor actually has its absorption maximum in the yellow part of the spectrum.) Old World monkeys, including apes such as us, have that ability; other primates generally don’t, and other placental mammals don’t either. They have just one receptor for yellow. What has happened? The gene duplicated — a copying mistake of a sort that happens all the time and has been observed –, and then one of the copies mutated till it had acquired a new function. It was free to do so because the original function was still fulfilled by the other copy.

    And KD….you have the problem explaining what is responsible for the generation of a “mouse leg” from a “fly gene.” I thought genes were supposed to build bodies — well evidently not.

    Learn some development genetics. It’s a fairly large field. Get a textbook and start reading.

    You are talking about lots of things that you don’t understand, you know?

    Genes don’t build anything; the body merely uses genes like tools….much like bricks and mortar are used by construction workers, genes are used by bodies….but the genes themselves offer no explanation as to why a body looks like it does, just as brick and mortar by itself explains how a building might look or how it got to be the way it is.

    Not everything that doesn’t work is an analogy.

    DNA is not simply an instruction, it’s a template. The bricks (the amino acids) physically attach to it* by electrostatic forces and therefore join up in the order given by the DNA.

    * Yeah, through intermediates (mRNA and tRNA) that you will please look up. Gene transcription and translation is highschool knowledge.

    ——————————

    mothergoose, it simply doesn’t matter who Leni is. She’s still right. And if she’s a gray parrot — it doesn’t matter. If you have a crush on her, get over it.

  198. #198 mothergross
    October 11, 2008

    David, keep studying – Scott is wrong, Leni is wrong about why he is wrong, and you are wrong about mutation. Mutation has become a label for more than one process that people like you can only “explain” by reciting that label.

  199. #199 scott
    October 12, 2008

    anyone find a mutation (yet) that adds a new structure?

  200. #200 David Marjanovi?
    October 12, 2008

    You still haven’t defined “new structure”.

    You see, I don’t want to grant you mobile goalposts.

    Mutation has become a label for more than one process that people like you can only “explain” by reciting that label.

    Huh?

    Do you want me to be more specific? Insertions, deletions, substitutions, gene duplications, genome duplications, chromosome mutations? Please explain what your point is.

  201. #201 David Marjanovi?
    October 12, 2008

    Besides, scott, there are lots of points that you still have to address. Did you completely forget about stupid design, for example?

    Hoping all those issues will just go away is not going to work.

  202. #202 scott
    October 12, 2008

    david: “You still haven’t defined “new structure”

    Any structure that the world’s simplest, one-celled organism doesn’t have.

  203. #203 mothergross
    October 12, 2008

    David: Anyone find a mutation that accounts for both the development and evolution of instinctive survival strategies that vary in detail and complexity from species to species and at times from generation to generation, and that no-one has so far been able to satisfactorily explain except to desperately come up with something like a meme hypothesis, or an even more idiotic creator inspired revelation?

    Or maybe you know a grey parrot that can do so persuasively.

  204. #204 David Marjanovi?
    October 13, 2008

    Any structure that the world’s simplest, one-celled organism doesn’t have.

    You’ve defined “new”. Now please define “structure” or at least give examples.

    Anyone find a mutation that accounts for both

    A single mutation for all that? You can’t be serious.

  205. #205 mothergross
    October 13, 2008

    David, you are ducking the question. The point being that the evolution of these instinctive processes cannot be explained as part of either:
    A change of the DNA sequence within a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not found in the parental type.
    Or:
    The process by which such a change occurs in a chromosome, either through an alteration in the nucleotide sequence of the DNA coding for a gene or through a change in the physical arrangement of a chromosome.

    What was the mechanism that changed the DNA sequence where instinctive behaviors are concerned, or that changed the chromosome? The usual analyses of how the selective process could work just does not apply here. The alterations cannot be explained as resulting, for example, from a series of mutative accidents where appropriate results were found beneficial by the organism in question.

    No, as you attempted to facetiously comment, there is no single mutation that can account for all that, and so far none that can account for any of that as an explanation of this aspect of evolution.
    These are the strategies in fact that drive the entire evolutionary process and you haven’t a clue, do you, as to how they evolve.

    So duck away, David boy, you are out of your depth when it comes to this area of the process.

  206. #206 JimV
    October 13, 2008

    Examples of how specific new structures and survival strategies evolved are discussed here:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2005/feb/cover

    (“Testing Darwin” by Carl Zimmer – evolution of digital organisms.)

    We do not have trace-back mechanisms to replay how biological organisms evolved. Simulating organisms in computers provides this capability. Often the steps involved are surprising to researchers. Let’s face it: humans are as evolution produced us – smart enough to survive resaonably well against our challenges and competition, but all that smart. Not smart enough to figure out how things work in this universe just on the basis of what seems intuitively reasonable or unreasonable, without gathering a lot of evidence and doing a lot of hard work, over many generations.

  207. #207 mothergross
    October 13, 2008

    JimV: Excellent article which goes to prove the point of my question, which was that what we now refer to as mutation does not offer an explanation of the mechanism by which diverse strategies are formed and then evolve as heritable functions.

    David Marjanović had made assertions about mutation which prompted the question – and has so far been unable to justify those assertions by an answer.

    The cited article shows that we are still searching for the answers, but at least have an awareness of the questions that have given direction to these attempts.

  208. #208 windy
    October 13, 2008

    The point being that the evolution of these instinctive processes cannot be explained as part of either:
    A change of the DNA sequence within a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not found in the parental type.

    Evolution is cleverer than you are:

    ‘Personality Gene’ Makes Songbirds Curious: Exploratory Behavior In Great Tits

  209. #209 mothergross
    October 13, 2008

    windy: The article doesn’t offer any description of the makeup of what is labeled as a personality gene, and doesn’t attempt to explain how it evolved, let alone was the product of accidental or even “purposeful” mutation.

    Evolution appears clever in retrospect, and your own cleverness has yet to be demonstrated in any respect.

    Why don’t you just let David answer the question, because ducking it shows he’s at least aware of the difficulty – that he (unlike yourself) at least understands the question.

  210. #210 windy
    October 14, 2008

    The article doesn’t offer any description of the makeup of what is labeled as a personality gene, and doesn’t attempt to explain how it evolved

    I’m sorry, is your Google broken? The dopamine D4 receptor is a member of the D2-like dopamine receptor family, a type of G protein-coupled receptor. As also evidenced by related pseudogenes, it originated by gene duplication.

    Why don’t you just let David answer the question, because ducking it shows he’s at least aware of the difficulty – that he (unlike yourself) at least understands the question.

    Do you understand the answer?

  211. #211 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    Your google lacks an intelligent googler. There is no actual identifiable personality gene Gene duplication explains nothing about either the development or evolution of strategic algorithms. Actually the question at hand doesn’t yet have an answer – that was the point.
    You are indeed windy – from a sensory perspective of course.

  212. #212 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    windy: Actually I have a hypothetical answer, and one susceptible to falsification. But ti’s a bit over the head of those who don’t even recognize there’s a question about this aspect of evolution.

    And you, old wind in the pants, are even more simpleminded than I had heretofore recognized. Learning involves a bit more than recognizing a label.

  213. #213 windy
    October 14, 2008

    Your google lacks an intelligent googler. There is no actual identifiable personality gene Gene duplication explains nothing about either the development or evolution of strategic algorithms.

    Yet goalposts can evolve wings, it seems.

    You are indeed windy – from a sensory perspective of course.

    People with nicknames like “mothergross” should avoid throwing stones in glass houses. Paging Dr. Freud.

    (Sorry for feeding the troll, everyone.)

  214. #214 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    You don’t really know what a strategic algorithm is, do you?
    Amazing. Do you really think organisms have no strategic systems, or that strategies have no goals and therefor no purposes?

    And it was yo that started with the insults, windy (speaking of appropriate nicknames).

  215. #215 windy
    October 14, 2008

    Do you really think organisms have no strategic systems, or that strategies have no goals and therefor no purposes?

    You have been given an example of a mutation affecting a strategic system in a wild organism. Now you’re just trying to avoid dealing with this fact.

    And it was yo that started with the insults, windy (speaking of appropriate nicknames).

    Where? Do you think Orgel’s law is an insult?

  216. #216 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    That example had little to do with the development of that system, and affecting a system that has already evolved does little to adequately explain its development as being an accidental process in toto.

    As to the insult, I’m referring to the cleverness insinuation. Your assumption that I’m some sort of a creationist shows the limits of your grasp of the subject in general. There is no reason to believe that life on earth arose other than by what we can best describe as an accidental process. There is no reason not to posit that organisms developed purposeful strategies for survival. The concept of purpose did not just pop into our heads as a purely human construct. Behaviors did not suddenly acquire purposes at some level of relative sentience.

  217. #217 windy
    October 14, 2008

    That example had little to do with the development of that system, and affecting a system that has already evolved does little to adequately explain its development as being an accidental process in toto.

    As David pointed out, only a moron expects the entire system to originate from a single mutation. I interpreted your question charitably.

    As to the insult, I’m referring to the cleverness insinuation. Your assumption that I’m some sort of a creationist shows the limits of your grasp of the subject in general.

    I see that you still have problems using Google, otherwise you would have found out that Orgel’s second rule is not specially directed at creationists.

  218. #218 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    Nowhere did I ever imply that an entire system originated from a single mutation, or that I thought anyone else had so implied. I’m confident it was clear that my position was that our strategic instincts were not entirely formed by the accident of mutations (plural).

    And the “rule” you cited, whatever you intended it to refer to other than creationism, doesn’t prevent anyone with any sense to consider that organisms have developed purposeful strategies for survival.

    In fact, you might want to check some of the writings of Carl Zimmer (referenced by anther poster earlie), who has a lot to say about purposeful “mutations” accomplished by coli. (I used quotation marks because I think that once you describe a mutation as purposeful, you have changed the very definition of the word.)

    This rather bogus rule should, however, have prevented the more intelligent from resorting to deceptive debating strategies as proof that a certain question did not warrant an answer until a sufficient number of hoops had been jumped through by the questioner.

    And the number of hoops were only sufficient when it appeared any necessity to answer had been completely ducked.

    But the question remains standing and the ducks remain sitting.

  219. #219 windy
    October 14, 2008

    Nowhere did I ever imply that an entire system originated from a single mutation, or that I thought anyone else had so implied. I’m confident it was clear that my position was that our strategic instincts were not entirely formed by the accident of mutations (plural).

    Liar.

    “Anyone find a mutation that accounts for both the development and evolution of instinctive survival strategies that vary in detail and complexity from species to species and at times from generation to generation…”

  220. #220 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    By the way, Orgel’s third rule is that purpose should not be confused with planning, and especially not with successful planning. But purpose is entirely consistent with trial and error.

  221. #221 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    Oh, now I’m lying about the intended inference, which is entirely clear from the context, and if not was made clear later. You clearly are a weasel as well as a duck.
    Enough with the posing of the intellectually dishonest.
    Deal with the question about the development and evolution of strategies or otherwise just shut up.

    Your colleagues that we are supposed to believe you have in abundance will have watched you up to now with a certain amusement. So I guess I should be satisfied with that.

    I personally have no reputation to uphold – except that of someone you might want think twice about before you screw with.

  222. #222 by-stander
    October 14, 2008

    Group hug.

  223. #223 mothergross
    October 14, 2008

    by-stander, aren’t you the poster that was queer for Matt Damon? A closet circle hugger no doubt.

  224. #224 Leni
    October 14, 2008

    Who but a creationist would demand evidence for a single mutation while denying demanding such evidence?

    I can’t even see “mothergross’s” comments, but let me guess: they amount to windy is not a scientist, some ad hominem accusations about his education, delusions of persecution and absolutely no substantial point.

    Should we maybe check if “mothergross” is Larry Fafarman? Jason?

  225. #225 mommasgoosey
    October 14, 2008

    Leni, enough people can see those comments to know mothergross didn’t demand any such evidence and that you are clearly a non-specialist of any sort whatsoever. Defended by similar poseur stiffs, no doubt.

    On with the mission – expose the intellectually dishonest! Huzzah for the designated motherforkers!

  226. #226 by-stander
    October 14, 2008

    mothergross,
    Is your penis really that small? I’m sorry.

  227. #227 windy
    October 14, 2008

    I can’t even see “mothergross’s” comments, but let me guess: they amount to windy is not a scientist, some ad hominem accusations about [her] education, delusions of persecution and absolutely no substantial point.

    We hadn’t gotten to the part about education yet. Perhaps wise of him because I am a scientist. But there was this gem:

    I personally have no reputation to uphold – except that of someone you might want think twice about before you screw with.

    I bet that’s true, in fact I can easily believe that no one would want to screw with mothergross.

    Should we maybe check if “mothergross” is Larry Fafarman? Jason?

    Wait, who’s fongooly then? I don’t know if it’s the full moon, but there are some legendary trolls out tonight. Even Charlie Wagner was seen rearing his head in the Pharyngula airspace.

  228. #228 leni's fantasy
    October 14, 2008

    by-stander is of course the resident penis expert. Windy claims to be a scientist but belies it by misapplying an arcane “rule” that had lost its usefulness long ago in any case. He will now have to remain anonymous for having played the fool one time too many. Leni is the asexual potty-mouth in residence.
    (David, an actual identifiable scientist, has wisely stayed out of the fray.)
    Fongooly was the science writer that Leni had fantasies about and couldn’t help expressing in her usual scatological manner

  229. #229 windy
    October 14, 2008

    by-stander is of course the resident penis expert.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  230. #230 longdongfong
    October 14, 2008

    Oh, and the process of evolution is a lot closer to the creationist’s version than to the mutationist’s. Creationists know in their gut that evolution is driven by purpose, but they have necessarily been mistaken as to its intent and source. Which is of course life itself, the evolution of which was driven by its own purposeful trial and error processes (Orgel being not completely irrelevant). How did the experiences get passed on to the next generation – not by accidental mutation, as that’s obvious to all but the type of rabidly dogmatic fools represented here.

    The creationists will stumble upon the answer long before you do. And some true scientist will then tell them what it means.

  231. #231 Tyler DiPietro
    October 14, 2008

    “Posted by: leni’s fantasy | October 14, 2008 10:28 PM”

    You are seriously fucked up, dude.

  232. #232 Leni
    October 14, 2008

    Sorry, windy. That was incredibly stupid of me to assume that you were a guy. Super dumb, because I get the same thing all the time and hate it. I should have known better, and I apologize.

    (Fongooly is mothergross. He’s an angry sock puppet troll with creationist tendencies, which is what made me immediately think of Fafarman.)

  233. #233 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 14, 2008

    Don’t look at me! I stopped following this thread days ago. Does the expression, “Don’t feed the troll,” mean anything to y’all?

  234. #234 windy
    October 14, 2008

    Sorry, windy. That was incredibly stupid of me to assume that you were a guy. Super dumb, because I get the same thing all the time and hate it. I should have known better, and I apologize.

    No offense taken!

    Does the expression, “Don’t feed the troll,” mean anything to y’all?

    I know, I know! But it kept looking at me with those big eyes, and drooling…

  235. #235 cw
    October 15, 2008

    Wow, this guy must have read my essays!! Here are my words almost exactly echoed:

    “No one who has looked at the evidence objectively can deny that humans have evolved. They have evolved culturally, morphologically and technologically in the time they have been on the earth. In addition, our kinship with our other primate cousins is clear. That all primates most likely had a common origin is obvious.
    What is not obvious, however, is the mechanism by which these changes have occurred. In this matter we are still pretty much in the dark. Evolution is a process, that is strongly supported by empirical evidence. But it remains a process looking for a believable mechanism.
    Random mutation and natural selection are mechanisms of evolution and it is possible to accept the reality of the process of evolution on a scientific basis and deny the claim that mutation and natural selection are capable of achieving it.
    Intelligent input is also a mechanism of evolution, without any empirical support. But it is clearly obvious that random mutation and natural selection are insufficient to explain the complex systems that human beings possess as well as the cultural, intellectual and social components of our collective humanity.
    What we observe in humans (and other living systems) are means adapted to ends. We see structures supporting other structures and we see processes supporting other processes. We also see that these structures and processes are integrated into functional systems in such a way that they all support the overall function of the organism.
    Science has failed to establish with empirical evidence, any kind of believable link between the trivial effects of mutation and selection and the emergence of highly organized structures, processes and systems. Some important component is missing.
    Such a level of organization simply cannot be achieved by random processes and requires insight. Some kind of intelligent input seems necessary.”

    Why didn’t I think that life itself furnished that intelligence!!
    Oh, Let the Circle be Unbroken!!

  236. #236 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    windy and leni the same sex? Is there an algorithm for penis envy bonding?

  237. #237 Söve
    October 15, 2008

    mantolama

  238. #238 MH
    October 15, 2008

    Scott, please come along to the richarddawkins.net forum. You’ll find lots of credentialed scientists who are willing to debate with you. You can even participate in one-on-one formal debates, if you so desire.

  239. #239 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    Windy should go along with Scott, or do lab technicians qualify as credentialed scientists? She’d like to repeat her statements that there was no eternity before the big bang, or that Plato wanted to outlaw heterosexual sex. Or that organisms act without purpose. Or make that an organism acts without purpose which may fit her understanding of the matter more accurately. She will need to be a bit careful over there in substituting labeling for actual understanding however.

    But she probably won’t go if she cant bring leni.

  240. #240 windy
    October 15, 2008

    Oh look, now the troll attempts to stalk me, isn’t that cute!

    “that Plato wanted to outlaw heterosexual sex.”

    Homosexual sex, dear. In some ways he was probably as fucked up as you are.

  241. #241 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    Windy, right, you wrote he was: “A gay guy who wanted to outlaw homosexual intercourse.” Like you, I read what I wanted hear, but I can admit that mistake. Although I don’t believe this version is correct either, as Plato was in many respects a provocateur. Somewhat like you, only with talent.

    Was I wrong about the other stuff you ascribe to? Apparently not, or you would have mentioned them as well. You’re “tell” has been noted as not what you answer, but what you leave out of those answers. Or is that a Swedish convention.

    Oh, and pulling a predator’s teeth (read false teeth) isn’t exactly stalking.

  242. #242 windy
    October 15, 2008

    Was I wrong about the other stuff you ascribe to? Apparently not, or you would have mentioned them as well.

    No, Sherlock, you are wrong about the other stuff too. They don’t give out PhDs to lab techs. I’m not Swedish. Etc. etc. It’s getting awfully boring to debunk your “clever” attempts to get at me – you’re a dry fool ; I’ll no more of you.

  243. #243 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    I just noted something Scott had written, which tells me he’s not so dumb after all – my apologies for accepting secondhand opinions to the contrary:
    “Natural selection is not the mechanism of change you think it is…the mechanism of change is the mental apparatus in each individual which allows them to guage and measure the environment around them, and then act upon it purposefully and in a way that allows them to survive. Bacteria do it…Cichlids do it, finches do it, humans do it — every animal does it in one way or another. Plasticity is inherent in every organism….usually it happens during development, but it can also happen afterwards during life as well….all of which can be heritable to future generations……of course some organisms have different abilities in different situations, but all have the ability to adapt on the fly in one degree or another.”

    Scott is clearly on to something when he posits, in effect, that experiences of the organism are crucial to its evolution. This should not negate the ToE (his acronym), as it more accurately fills in some of the blanks that science itself acknowledges are integral to any theory – that’s where the “uncertainty” aspect lies.

    Of course it’s not necessary to posit any purpose in nature itself to recognize purposes in organisms. In fact, in some ways, ascribing purpose to organisms is to belie any pre-existing purpose in their formation. Were they purposefully formed to then develop their own purposes? if so, positing an omnipotent creator seems superfluous at best.
    Because we are still left with an accidental process needing purpose as a controlling factor.
    The big question again is how these experiences are passed to the next generation. Scott may feel that the answer may again involve some supernatural agency, but it shouldn’t have to. There is ample evidence that organisms have found a way to change their own genetic makeup accordingly without waiting for some serendipitous mutating zap from a cosmic ray somewhere.
    Nature is indeed “cleverer” than we are, as trite as that may sound.

  244. #244 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    But Windy, you did ascribe to that other stuff, especially to the big bang nonsense more than once. Are you now agreeing that there was a pre-existing cosmos for the big bang to expand in, and that time didn’t really start with that bang?

    Again it’s what you have omitted to say that is “telling.”
    And living in Sweden of course doesn’t make you Swedish, but it could have had an effect on your thought processes.

    And I made you lie about the PhD, especially as to the inference that it represents a degree of philosophical acumen that you clearly lack. No purpose or purposefulness in organisms? Give us a break.

    Hey, some of this stuff is already on Google.

  245. #245 windy
    October 15, 2008

    It’s interesting that “cwfong” who apparently hasn’t posted in any other thread here before cares so much about who I am or what I have once said. Why don’t you enlighten us about your life history and educational level if you’re so brave and wonderful.

    Again it’s what you have omitted to say that is “telling.”

    This discussion is “telling” me that you have problems getting laid. Go wank somewhere else.

  246. #246 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    windy, just as you took special care to intervene in another’s exchange, I have taken care to intervene in yours. I have made no professions as to my credentials – you have. There’s an inconsistency between what you say you have learned (or at least believe) and what you should have learned as an alleged scientist – although that term has been used more and more loosely as late.
    By all means duck the relevant questions. It’s what we have come to expect.

    As to getting laid, it requires a certain manipulative prowess, and you are an easy target there – easy but uninviting.

  247. #247 windy
    October 15, 2008

    It’s telling that you don’t DENY that you have a small penis and are hard up for sex.

  248. #248 cwfong
    October 15, 2008

    windy, I don’t recall that you asked to see it, or have contested its purpose as part of the evolutionary process.

    But I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.

  249. #249 windy
    October 15, 2008

    or have contested its purpose as part of the evolutionary process.

    Yours is more of an evolutionary dead end.

    But I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.

    I showed you my credentials (=PhD), so why don’t you show us yours.

  250. #250 by-stander
    October 15, 2008

    windy,
    “I showed you my credentials (=PhD), so why don’t you show us yours.”
    You’ve never seen a douchebag before?

  251. #251 cw
    October 15, 2008

    Google has the posts that were just deleted.

  252. #252 Serkan
    December 12, 2008

    JimV, I will never comment again if Leni will come clean and admit she is not a scientist and agrees to stop pretending that she is

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