“Reality is what kicks back when you kick it. This is just what physicists do with their particle accelerators. We kick reality and feel it kick back. From the intensity and duration of thousands of those kicks over many years, we have formed a coherent theory of matter and forces, called the standard model, that currently agrees with all observations.” -Victor Stenger

The Standard Model plus General Relativity gives tremendous successes, and has so far accurately described every small-scale, quantum interaction (for the Standard Model) and every gravitational phenomenon (for General Relativity) ever tested, measured or observed. Yet there are still a whole host of unanswered questions about physics, including the puzzles of dark matter, dark energy, strong CP-violation, neutrino masses, baryogenesis, quantum gravity and more.

The Standard Model of particle physics. There must be more to nature than this. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Latham Boyle, under c.c.a.-by-s.a.-4.0.

The Standard Model of particle physics. There must be more to nature than this. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Latham Boyle, under c.c.a.-by-s.a.-4.0.

We aren’t simply relegated, however, to looking for these answers at the LHC or other high-energy colliders. There are also insights from weak coupling and large statistics, high precision and indirect measurements, tabletop experiments, cosmic scale features and more.

A schematic to explain the polarizations in the double slit quantum eraser experiment of Kim et al. 2007. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Patrick Edwin Moran under a c.c.a.-by-s.a. 3.0 license.

A schematic to explain the polarizations in the double slit quantum eraser experiment of Kim et al. 2007. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Patrick Edwin Moran under a c.c.a.-by-s.a. 3.0 license.

Sabine Hossenfelder has the full scoop on where new physics might be hiding, and how we intend to find it anyway!

Comments

  1. #1 See Noevo
    May 24, 2016

    Ethan: “The Standard Model plus General Relativity gives TREMENDOUS SUCCESSES, and has so far accurately described EVERY small-scale, quantum interaction (for the Standard Model) and EVERY gravitational phenomenon (for General Relativity) EVER tested, measured or observed.”

    Sounds like life in the bubble couldn’t be better!

    But then…

    Sabine Hossenfelder: “The Standard Model and General Relativity do a great job, but physicists know this can’t be it. Or at least they think they know: the theories are INCOMPLETE, not only DISAGREEABLE and staring each other in the face without talking, but INADMISSIBLY WRONG, giving rise to PARADOXA with NO KNOWN CURE.”

    I guess it’s a good news/bad news story.

    Or a tremendous success/inadmissibly wrong story.

  2. #2 eric
    May 24, 2016

    Congratulations, SN, for discovering that scientists use the literary device of hyperbole. You should publish this discovery – the public must surely be unaware of it.

    I foresee you could even write a whole series of articles on this. Maybe for part deux you can reveal that when a scientist says “there is truckloads more research we can do,” they (gasp!) don’t actually mean literal truck loads.

  3. #3 dean
    United States
    May 24, 2016

    “Congratulations, SN, for discovering that scientists use the literary device of hyperbole”

    His response comes from his religious background. His favored religious leaders never admit there is more to discover, so any comment of such in the science (or medical, or psychological, or I would guess, mathematical) world must obviously a sign that the entire discipline is bogus. Attempts at understanding what is written then becomes irrelevant to him.

  4. #4 Narad
    May 24, 2016

    The icing on the cake is that S.N. very likely couldn’t explain the fundamental incompatibility between GR and QFT in his own words if his life depended on it.

  5. #5 Bob Mills
    May 25, 2016

    There are two interference patterns being generated at D0 regardless of what else occurs in the experiment. If you detect the spins of the photons as they arrive at D0 you should be able to discern one interference pattern from the other. What is occurring is that the two interference patterns are offset slightly from one another and combine to form a bell curve.

    What the idler allows for is information as to which of the downconverted pair arrive at D1 and D2. This allows for the two interference patterns, which are being generated at D0 regardless of what else occurs in the experiment, to be discerned from each other.

  6. #6 Sean T
    May 25, 2016

    SN,

    I’ll take a shot at this even though past experience indicates that it’s futile. There still may be those out there with little scientific knowledge who think you might just have a valid point.

    Scientific theories are, of course open to revision. They can be wrong. Sometimes it is shown that the way we have historically looked at the universe is completely wrong and there is some new idea of how the universe works that was previously unexpected. Theories can commonly revise our big-picture understanding. However, at the level of the nuts-and-bolts details, the new theories almost never change the conclusion of the old one. The data is the data, and it doesn’t change when we develop new theories.

    A prime example of this is our understanding of universal gravitation. For about 300 years, that understanding was based on Newton’s Laws. Newton postulated a constant time and a fixed background of space that was the same for all observers. To determine the gravitational attraction between two bodies, all one had to do was measure the distance between them and their masses and plug the numbers into Newton’s formula. This was used to calculate, among other things, the orbits of the planets in the solar system.

    However, after Maxwell developed a mathematical theory of electromagnetism that included light as part of it, it was realized that there were problems with Newton’s conception of space and time. Space could not be an absolute background and time could not be an unchanging quantity that is universally agreed upon. The culmination of all this was, of course, Einstein’s theory of general relativity. GR completely changed how we look at the universe. No longer can we speak of space and time separately, but only as a single entity – spacetime. Further we now know that the geometry of spacetime is not a simple Euclidean one, but rather a curved geometry. All this had profound implications on our view of the universe. What implications did it have for things like the orbits of the planets? Practically none at all! The planetary orbits are still quite accurately predicted by Newton’s laws. The Apollo program did not have to use the full Einstein field equations to send the Apollo missions to the moon; Newtonian calculations worked well enough.

    In this case, it is not possible (and this is not a new discovery; it’s been known since the inception of both theories) to reconcile GR with quantum mechanics. Some new theory, yet to be worked out, will have to be developed. This theory would be more general than either. It will likely lead to an entirely new and unsuspected view of how the universe works. However, it will not change the everyday nuts-and-bolts details. The details, for example, of stellar evolution, would not be significantly altered. Those details are based on the observation of stars that exist now, and those observations would not change.

    In short, there’s no way a new theory is going to change any of the things that conflict with your religious belief. It won’t revise our estimate of the age of the universe to be consistent with an age of only a few thousand (or tens of thousands) of years. It won’t change the observation that the universe is expanding, nor will it change the fact that this observation implies that there was a time when the universe was smaller, hotter and denser, although it may throw new light on the state of the early universe and the mechanism of expansion. It won’t change the fact of biological evolution.

  7. #7 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    May 25, 2016

    they (gasp!) don’t actually mean literal truck loads.

    Though from what I’ve heard about the LHC, there might actually be truckloads of data to research if they printed it out.

  8. #8 See Noevo
    May 25, 2016

    To Sean T #6:

    “Some new theory, yet to be worked out, will have to be developed… However, it will not change the everyday nuts-and-bolts details. The details, for example, of stellar evolution, would not be significantly altered.”

    Are you telling me you have the details of stellar evolution worked out?
    That you know *for a fact* how stars and stellar structures came to be?
    Because I’m pretty sure I’ve read cosmologist accounts of various problems with, and multiple theories of, star formation.

    “It won’t change the fact of biological evolution.”

    Are you telling me biological evolution is *a fact*?
    That, say, See Noevo and sea weed are cousins sharing a common ancestor?

  9. #9 dean
    May 26, 2016

    “Are you telling me biological evolution is *a fact*?”

    Yes moron, as it has been observed. Do you deny all reality?

  10. #10 Sean T
    May 26, 2016

    Yes, SN, it is a fact that the frequency of alleles in the gene pool of organism populations changes over time. That has been observed repeatedly.

    It is also a fact that we know the mechanics of fusion processes, the effect of radiation pressure and the effect of the Pauli pressure that allows us to predict quite readily how stars will change over time. We can predict that there will be some stars that are red giants, and why that is. We can predict that some stars will be white dwarfs, and why that occurs. When we go out and look at stars, measure their surface temperatures via spectroscopy and in some cases measure their actual sizes, it turns out that they conform quite well to the stellar evolutionary models, so we are pretty confident that stellar evolutionary models are pretty well worked out.

    Obviously, and this is the part you have difficulty with since the belief system you’ve been taught cannot admit this, there could be new evidence that forces us to change the models. But if you read my previous post, it won’t be true that the old model is completely wrong and has to be totally discarded. There will still be red giants and white dwarves in the new model of stellar evolution if one is developed. There may be some change to the timeframes, but not so much that billions of years becomes thousands (or even hundreds of thousands).

  11. #11 Sean T
    May 26, 2016

    Oh, and SN, can you honestly tell me that the words “ham” and “web” are related? If you take the same “ancestor” word, and at each “generation” modify it by changing a single letter, though, you can get from a common ancestor to both of these words:

    nut–>gut–>got–>hot–>hot–>hag–>ham
    nut–>net–>bet–>bed–>wed–>web

    Each “generation” is a small change. Each, though, produces a new, valid English word. The end result is two completely different words.

    The big problem you have is that you cannot get the creationist picture of things out of your head. There was no point at which there was a seaweed one generation and a human the next. Evolution does not predict such a thing. Such an occurrence would, in fact, falsify evolution.

    In any case, what’s the biggest difference between seaweed and humans? Biologically, it is that seaweed can produce food for itself and humans must eat other organisms. The other differences, such as mobility, intelligence, etc. all stem from this basic difference. This difference is readily understandable in terms of evolution. Instead of imagining a half-human/half-seaweed organism, such as what you are undoubtedly thinking when you proposed your objection, instead consider simple single-celled organisms. It doesn’t take any great leap of imagination to think that a mutation in a single-celled organism could lead to that organism having the ability to synthesize chlorophyll. That molecule then allows the organism to use light energy from the sun to fix CO2 and synthesize other organic molecules such as glucose that can be used to sustain the organism. The organism no longer has to eat. The biggest difference is thus accounted for.

  12. #12 See Noevo
    May 26, 2016

    To Sean T #10:

    Me: “Are you telling me biological evolution is *a fact*? That, say, See Noevo and sea weed are cousins sharing a common ancestor?”

    You: “Yes, SN, it is a fact that the frequency of alleles in the gene pool of organism populations changes over time. That has been observed repeatedly.”

    No, Sean T.
    Obviously, you’re answering a different question, one I didn’t ask. (And I’m not aware of any issue about the fact of alleles or the fact of changes in allele frequency.)

    I’ll give you another chance. Will you answer my questions?
    ……….
    “…it turns out that [stars] conform quite well to the stellar evolutionary models, so we are pretty confident that stellar evolutionary models are pretty well worked out.”

    Yes, modelS (plural); *pretty confident*; *pretty well worked out*.

    Right. Cosmologists do NOT know *for a fact* how stars and stellar structures came to be.

    Borrowing some of your words,
    obviously, and this is the part you have difficulty with since the belief system you’ve been taught cannot admit this, there could be new evidence that forces you to change your “facts” based on actual facts.
    ………….
    “There may be some change to the timeframes, but not so much that billions of years becomes thousands (or even hundreds of thousands).”

    I agree that, given the belief system you’ve been taught, the teachers will NEVER allow such a change in timeframes, no matter what facts are discovered.
    As I’ve said before, the entire edifice of evolution theory (cosmological and biological), rests on one thing and one thing only – belief in deep time.
    So belief in deep time will be defended at all cost.

  13. #13 dean
    United States
    May 26, 2016

    sn, how would you defend the word of the bible, given that there is no evidence of a global flood, or of the life of jesus, or (if that is accepted) his crucifixion, and so on? (You cannot refer to the bible – its sole reason for existence is to tell that story. Where is the historical support? Physical support?)

    Contrast that with the data and explanations provide by modern physics. You have nothing to refute them other than your dislike that science has explanations that you believe contradict your interpretation of biblical words. In other words – you are dismissing modern knowledge because you wish it weren’t true, not because you have a valid bit of counter-argument.

  14. #14 See Noevo
    May 26, 2016

    To Sean T #11:

    “There was no point at which there was a seaweed one generation and a human the next. Evolution does not predict such a thing. Such an occurrence would, in fact, falsify evolution.”

    Yes, I know.
    But I never even implied that.
    What I asked was whether See Noevo and sea weed are cousins SHARING A COMMON ANCESTOR.

    And your answer is Yes. (As I fully expected.)
    ………..
    “In any case, what’s the biggest difference between seaweed and humans? Biologically, it is that seaweed can produce food for itself and humans must eat other organisms. The other differences, such as mobility, intelligence, etc. all stem from this basic difference.”

    So, if you can’t do-it-yourself, so to speak, you mutate intelligence, mobility, etc.
    And before you starve to death.

    Got it.
    …………
    “It doesn’t take any great leap of imagination to think that a mutation in a single-celled organism could lead to that organism having the ability to synthesize chlorophyll.”

    Speak for yourself.
    One thing you got that seaweed don’t: A fantastic imagination.

    But I’ll admit seaweed and humans do have some commonalities.
    For instance, both can be harvested for various uses.
    At least lately.

  15. #15 Narad
    May 26, 2016

    As I’ve said before, the entire edifice of evolution theory (cosmological and biological), rests on one thing and one thing only – belief in deep time.

    Aside from the amusement value in S.N.’s fondness for his completely undefined (and hence meaningly) coinage, this is prretty ironic coming from someone who expects personal immortality.

  16. #16 Narad
    May 26, 2016

    Ah, I fat-fingered my E-mail address (actually, I need to get the cat hair out of the ‘m’ key).

    Anyway, there’s a typo in the comment in moderation: “and hence meaningly meaningless.”

  17. #17 eric
    May 26, 2016

    SN:

    [Sean T]“There was no point at which there was a seaweed one generation and a human the next. Evolution does not predict such a thing. Such an occurrence would, in fact, falsify evolution.”

    [SN] Yes, I know.
    But I never even implied that…

    [SN, later] So, if you can’t do-it-yourself, so to speak, you mutate intelligence, mobility, etc.
    And before you starve to death.

    Got it.

    Here’s the problem SN (well, one of them). Sean attributes to you a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution, and you deny you hold or believe such a model. But then two posts later, you describe a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution as your “counter-argument” (scare quotes intentional) to someone’s argument.

    Do you think we don’t notice? Or do you just not care about consistency?

  18. #18 See Noevo
    May 26, 2016

    To eric #16:

    “Here’s the problem SN (well, one of them). Sean attributes to you a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution, and you deny you hold or believe such a model. But then two posts later, you describe a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution as your “counter-argument” (scare quotes intentional) to someone’s argument.
    Do you think we don’t notice? Or do you just not care about consistency?”

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
    But I think Sean T is the one, not me, who holds to “a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution”. With an extra emphasis on FAST.

    Because Sean T claims “It doesn’t take any great leap of imagination to think that A mutation in a single-celled organism could lead to that organism having the ability to synthesize chlorophyll.”

    And it is Sean T who claims that NOT having the above miraculous mutation leads to different miracles – “mobility, intelligence, etc.”, which enable an organism to find alternative nourishment sans photosynthesis.
    And by definition, the organism would have to mutate this “mobility, intelligence” (along with systems to acquire nourishment, ingest nourishment, and digest nourishment) PDQ.

    Yes, PDQ. Otherwise, starvation.
    And evolution ends before it barely begins.

  19. #19 Sean T
    May 26, 2016

    SN

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt since you may be ignorant of this, but I most certainly answered your question and you have (unwittingly perhaps) agreed with my answer. The change in allele frequencies in the populations in populations over time IS biological evolution. That is the very definition of it, and you are now on record as agreeing that it occurs.

    Maybe you misunderstand evolution to mean something else? Perhaps an increase in complexity over time? That is not fundamental to evolution, though. Evolutionary changes often lead to unchanged or reduced complexity.

    As for your other point, yes science deals with likelihoods, not absolute truths. Nobody has ever stated otherwise. Yet such likelihoods are very high. For example it may well turn out that our models of gravity are incorrrect and that a person jumping intentionally from a height greater than 300 meters on an island with a flat natural local topography will not fall. I bet you wouldn’t care to go to NYC amd jump off the top of the new Freedom Tower though. You’d be quite willing, I’m sure, to trust the settled scientific models of gravity. Yet you doubt equally settled models of biological and stellar evolution. Why is that? It couldn’t be that you can eadily reconcile gravity with your religion, but the others cast doubt upon it.

    I know you see this uncertainty as weakness, but it’s not; it’s just a concession to the reality that we may not have all the information we need to figure things out just yet. Your religion is no different in this regard except that it pretends that this isn’t the case. Pretending doesn’t make it true though. Or do you really believe the actions of the Catholic Church have never been in error? Torturing or killing unbelievers was really morally justified? The Medieval Church taught that such actions were morally right. Does the Church still teach this? What other Church teachings might turn out to be wrong?

  20. #20 Narad
    May 26, 2016

    “[T]wo posts later, you describe a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution as your “counter-argument” (scare quotes intentional) to someone’s argument.
    Do you think we don’t notice? Or do you just not care about consistency?”

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

    That’s a keeper.

  21. #21 Narad
    May 26, 2016

    ^ Ah, I b0rk3d the blockquote, but I hope that this is obvious.

  22. #22 Narad
    May 26, 2016

    I know you see this uncertainty as weakness, but it’s not; it’s just a concession to the reality that we may not have all the information we need to figure things out just yet. Your religion is no different in this regard except that it pretends that this isn’t the case.

    Oh, no, the RCC stays far away from predicting the time of the Second Coming. This was part of the point of the comment that’s still in moderation.

    S.N., by contrast, rejects the very possibility of extinction-level events. By implication, he does what the RCC explicitly doesn’t: place an upper temporal bound.

  23. #23 eric
    May 27, 2016

    But I think Sean T is the one, not me, who holds to “a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution”. With an extra emphasis on FAST.

    You don’t? Yes or no: do you think evolution claims an organism must mutate intelligence before it starves to death, or not? That’s what you said in @14. If you still agree that’s the case, then I think my point is very well supported. And if you take it back, you’re showing that you just don’t care about accurate/y characterizing your opponents, instead you’re happy to lob inflammatory rhetorical claims at us that even you know are wrong.

  24. #24 See Noevo
    May 27, 2016

    To Sean T #19:

    “I will give you the benefit of the doubt since you may be ignorant of this, but I most certainly answered your question and you have (unwittingly perhaps) agreed with my answer. The change in allele frequencies in the populations in populations over time IS biological evolution. That is the very definition of it, and you are now on record as agreeing that it occurs.
    Maybe you misunderstand evolution to mean something else?”

    Yes, me and over 99.5 % of those who don’t buy into evolution, and probably the majority of those who do.
    Change in allele frequencies in populations over time is NOT biological evolution.

    See, change in allele frequencies in populations over time is like getting a lot of redheads in Ireland.

    But biological evolution is like saying the Irish redheads are distant cousins with rhubarb.

    “… it may well turn out that our models of gravity are incorrrect … I bet you wouldn’t care to go to NYC amd jump off the top of the new Freedom Tower though. You’d be quite willing, I’m sure, to trust the settled scientific models of gravity.”

    I wouldn’t take the leap, and neither would any rational person.
    More importantly, NEITHER would ANY ANIMAL of the non-flying type.
    You see, all of us would choose not to jump EVEN IF we had absolutely ZERO knowledge of gravitational THEORY.
    We would choose not to jump based on our lifelong OBSERVATION and EXPERIENCE of what we call gravity.

    Your attempt to try to draw an equivalence between gravity and evolution is asinine. Yet I see it all the time (from other evolutionist asses).

    “Yet you doubt equally settled models of biological and stellar evolution. Why is that?”

    Firstly, because neither has a settled model. Or haven’t you heard?

    Secondly, because the unsettled models which they DO have I find unconvincing at best, and more often than not, ridiculous.
    (I didn’t always think this. For about 30 years I believed in evolution. But 12 or more years ago I began reading the evolutionists’ own literature. Long story short, I no longer believe in evo.)

    “I know you see this uncertainty as weakness, but it’s not; it’s just a concession to the reality that we may not have all the information we need to figure things out just yet.”

    I don’t see uncertainty as weakness necessarily.
    In fact, I’d say uncertainty ADMITTED is a strength, or at least admirable.

    What I see as a weakness, to put it mildly, is scientists and their sycophants claiming as certain “fact” things which are anything but.
    Example: ‘Evolution, as in the common ancestry of all living things, is a fact.’

    No. Evolution is NOT a fact.
    Gravity, on the other hand, IS a fact (*theories* about why it does what it does, notwithstanding).

    “Your religion is no different in this regard except that it pretends that this isn’t the case. Pretending doesn’t make it true though. Or do you really believe the actions of the Catholic Church have never been in error? Torturing or killing unbelievers was really morally justified? The Medieval Church taught that such actions were morally right. Does the Church still teach this? What other Church teachings might turn out to be wrong?”

    Why do you insist on bringing religion and completely unrelated topics into this?

    Can’t you just stick to the science, and to logic?

  25. #25 Narad
    May 27, 2016

    Yes, me and over 99.5 % of those who don’t buy into evolution, and probably the majority of those who do.

    You greatly overestimate the popularity of baraminology.

  26. #26 dean
    United States
    May 27, 2016

    Why do you insist on bringing religion and completely unrelated topics into this?
    Can’t you just stick to the science, and to logic?

    I don’t know whether you said this in jest or whether you are so deluded that you don’t realize that you constantly use religion and never use logic. Your posts are that bad.

    I didn’t always think this. For about 30 years I believed in evolution. But 12 or more years ago I began reading the evolutionists’ own literature. Long story short, I no longer believe in evo.

    In your post history you have never read past the title of any article suggested to you – you’ve admitted as much several times. Why should that little “admission” be taken seriously?

  27. #27 See Noevo
    May 27, 2016

    To eric #23:

    Me: “But I think Sean T is the one, not me, who holds to “a wrongfully fast, simplistic, direct, and linear model of evolution”. With an extra emphasis on FAST.”

    You: “You don’t? Yes or no: do you think evolution claims an organism must mutate intelligence before it starves to death, or not?”

    Again, you should be asking Sean T that question.
    For about the fourth time now, here are Sean T’s words:
    “In any case, what’s the biggest difference between seaweed and humans? Biologically, it is that seaweed can produce food for itself and humans must eat other organisms. The other differences, such as mobility, INTELLIGENCE, etc. all stem from this basic difference.”

    Sean T, what is your answer to eric’s question?
    Would you prefer to re-write what you wrote?

    As for me, I wouldn’t say evolution claims an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to death.
    “Intelligence” is not so easily defined comprehensively.
    In this context I might use a word similar to “self-awareness”. As in, the organism must have a type of self-awareness, to the extent that it “knows” it needs nourishment, and knows it must find a way to
    a) identify (appropriate/safe) nourishment,
    b) locate that nourishment,
    c) acquire that nourishment,
    d) ingest that nourishment, and
    e) digest that nourishment.

    Once it has the “self-awareness”, it must mutate these various systems PDQ. That is, before it starves to death.

    Eric, over what period of time do YOU think the first living organisms mutated systems a) through e)?
    How could they have done it?

    And then, the next step: reproduction.
    Eric, over what period of time do YOU think the first living organisms mutated a system to reproduce itself?
    This too would have to be PDQ, yes?

  28. #28 Narad
    May 27, 2016

    Secondly, because the unsettled models which they DO have I find unconvincing at best, and more often than not, ridiculous.

    I’m sure your alternate explanation for supernovae will be fascinating.

  29. #29 eric
    May 27, 2016

    As for me, I wouldn’t say evolution claims an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to death.

    So then, you agree that “So, if you can’t do-it-yourself, so to speak, you mutate intelligence, mobility, etc.
    And before you starve to death. Got it.”
    is a completely invalid criticism of evolution that misrepresents it?

    the organism must have a type of self-awareness, to the extent that it “knows” it needs nourishment, and knows it must find a way to
    a) identify (appropriate/safe) nourishment,
    b) locate that nourishment,
    c) acquire that nourishment,
    d) ingest that nourishment, and
    e) digest that nourishment.

    What crazy creationist website did you get this strange idea from? A replicator need have no such awareness; it sits in a bath of chemicals and when chemical conditions are right, it replicates. When they aren’t right, it doesn’t. Imperfect replication leads to changes in how the replicator reacts with its environment but it doesn’t need to know it needs nourishment any more than H2 needs to “know” to react with O2 when there’s a fire around.

    Eric, over what period of time do YOU think the first living organisms mutated systems a) through e)?

    Well given that as far as we can tell humans are the only sentient species on the planet, I’d say it took evolution about 3.5 billion years to produce something that “knows” all those things.

    How could they have done it?

    mutation leading to a change in allele frequencies in the population over time.

    Eric, over what period of time do YOU think the first living organisms mutated a system to reproduce itself?

    I think replication probably predated what any of us would recognize as ‘life.’ After all, we know of nonliving catalytic reactions and autocatalytic chemicals; its not like life is necessary for molecules to make more of themselves.

  30. #30 See Noevo
    May 27, 2016

    To eric #29:

    “So then, you agree that “So, if you can’t do-it-yourself, so to speak, you mutate intelligence, mobility, etc.
    And before you starve to death. Got it.” is a completely invalid criticism of evolution that misrepresents it?”

    No, I would not so agree.
    There I was essentially replaying Sean T’s theory of evolution so that he (and others) might get the absurdity,
    just as I “got it.”

    Do you get it?
    ………….
    “What crazy creationist website did you get this strange idea from? A replicator need have no such awareness; it sits in a bath of chemicals and when chemical conditions are right, it replicates.”

    Where did you get the crazy notion I was talking about chemicals, inanimate things?

    I was talking about living organisms, animate things.
    For such is the subject of biological evolution, which is the subject of our little dialogue.

    Are you on chemicals, I mean, pharmaceuticals, or what?
    …………..
    Me: “Eric, over what period of time do YOU think the first living organisms mutated systems a) through e)?”

    You: “Well given that as far as we can tell humans are the only sentient species on the planet, I’d say it took evolution about 3.5 billion years to produce something that “knows” all those things.”

    Tanks for nutin, Danny Noonan!
    You didn’t answer the question.
    Why not?
    ……………..
    Me: “How could they have done it?”
    You: “mutation leading to a change in allele frequencies in the population over time.”

    Ah, yes. I almost forgot. Similar to the mutation leading to a change in allele frequencies in the rhubarb-like population that over time leads to redheaded Irishmen.

    Allow me to rephrase the question:
    How *DID* they do it, *factually*?
    ………….
    Me: “Eric, over what period of time do YOU think the first living organisms mutated a system to reproduce itself?”

    You: “I think replication probably predated what any of us would recognize as ‘life.’ After all, we know of nonliving catalytic reactions and autocatalytic chemicals; its not like life is necessary for molecules to make more of themselves.”

    Couple questions:
    1)
    What would be an example of a *naturally* replicating chemical?
    (I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head. And based on the title of this article, I was wondering *maybe* it’s because there aren’t any: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6162031)

    2)
    Do you think life, a living thing, is just a certain arrangement of chemicals?

  31. #31 dean
    United States
    May 28, 2016

    sn, do you ever answer a question, or do you float around putting up substance-free “objections” until you get kicked around enough to convince you to move to a new topic?

  32. #32 eric
    May 28, 2016

    There I was essentially replaying Sean T’s theory of evolution so that he (and others) might get the absurdity,
    just as I “got it.”

    Do you get it?

    Walk me through it. In #14 you wanted Sean to get the absurdity of an organism having to mutate intelligence before it starves to death. Then in #27 you agree that evolution doesn’t make this absurd claim. Now you are again saying that you want people to see the absurdity of it.

    As far as I can tell,you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too. You don’t want to look like a complete idiot by claiming evolution says that, but you want to keep using it as a counter-example against evolution.

    Seans #11 comment is easily understood and says nothing like your caricature of it. The animal/plant division arose early with the development of cholorphyll and many of the more visibly obvious differences between them arose later, in part because of that difference. He certainly never implies all these changes have to occur in the same organism before it starves.

    Where did you get the crazy notion I was talking about chemicals, inanimate things?

    I was talking about living organisms, animate things.

    An organism doesn’t need awareness of a reaction to have the reaction occur because we know for a fact that reactions can occur without awareness.

    You didn’t answer the question.
    Why not?

    You asked how long it took life to evolve awareness of those reactions. I answered that question because I thought it was the one you were interested in. But if you were interested in how long I thought it took life to evolve those processes, without implying anything must be aware to do them, then my answer is that only (a) and (b) even makes much sense as a question. c-e is just a confusing way to say “react with other compounds,” and like the replication question, that capability (IMO) predated what we’d recognize as life. For (a) you need senses and for (b) you need mobility, so I’d say those capabilities arose when senses and mobility arose, respectively. I don’t know the mainstream answer for when senses and mobility evolved in terms of a date. You could look it up if you were really interested in the answer.

    What would be an example of a *naturally* replicating chemical?

    alpha tin.Pretty much any crystalline solid. Layered silicates under certain conditions will also replicate.

    Do you think life, a living thing, is just a certain arrangement of chemicals?

    Until you have a testable hypothesis of elan vitale (or some other non-chemical component), you test it, and publish positive empirical evidence for your hypothesis, yes. That’s the way science works; if you want to claim there’s a ghost in the machine, you have to tell us how to test for the ghost, then test for it, then publish results indicating you found the ghost, then have others reproduce it.

  33. #33 See Noevo
    May 28, 2016

    To eric #32:

    “Walk me through it. In #14 you wanted Sean to get the absurdity of an organism having to mutate intelligence before it starves to death. Then in #27 you agree that evolution doesn’t make this absurd claim. Now you are again saying that you want people to see the absurdity of it.”

    Sean T’s version of evolution is absurd,
    as are other evolutionists’ differing versions of evolution.
    As is *your* version: “The animal/plant division arose early with the development of cholorphyll…”

    To “absurd” I suppose, scientifically, I should add words such as “unobserved”, “untestable”, “unfalsifiable”, “unproven”.
    ………..
    “For (a) you need senses and for (b) you need mobility, so I’d say those capabilities arose when senses and mobility arose, respectively. I don’t know the mainstream answer for when SENSES and MOBILITY evolved in terms of a date. You could look it up if you were really interested in the answer.”

    As I recall, I’ve looked up the “mainstream answer” (more like answerS (plural)) over the past years, and found their SENSElessness to be nearly im-MOBIL-izing.

    But I recovered. I “evolved.”
    And as I said before, now I no longer believe in evolution.
    ……………
    Me: “Do you think life, a living thing, is just a certain arrangement of chemicals?”

    You: “… yes.”

    eric, which chemicals or chemical reactions or chemical arrangements are right/good and which are wrong/evil?

  34. #34 Narad
    May 29, 2016

    eric, which chemicals or chemical reactions or chemical arrangements are right/good and which are wrong/evil?

    Sayeth Mr. “Stick to the Science.” Where are these objective “right/good” and “wrong/evil” entities to be found?

  35. #35 eric
    May 29, 2016

    Sean T’s version of evolution is absurd,
    as are other evolutionists’ differing versions of evolution.

    I understand that’s what you believe, but its still mischaracterizing both Sean and the theory of evolution to substitute “the organism must mutate intelligence before they starve” for what either actually says. Stop mischaracterizing your opponents. If you want to claim the TOE is absurd, at least get it descriptively correct.

    Me: “Do you think life, a living thing, is just a certain arrangement of chemicals?”

    You: “… yes.”

    eric, which chemicals or chemical reactions or chemical arrangements are right/good and which are wrong/evil?

    I don’t think moral judgments can’t be scaled down to the molecular level; these concepts only make sense when applied to the actions of sentient beings.

    In any event it may be time to end our discussion. Given that your last post repeated the argument from incredulity fallacy twice, I don’t expect anything better than that in the near future. You find the TOE absurd. You find it ridiculous. You can’t imagine how rhubarb and humans could be related. We get it. Do you have anything other than that to say about it?

  36. #36 See Noevo
    May 29, 2016

    To eric #35:

    “… its still mischaracterizing both Sean and the theory of evolution to substitute “the organism must mutate intelligence before they starve” for what either actually says. Stop mischaracterizing your opponents.”

    It’s too bad Sean T won’t weigh in on this. Maybe Sean T could explain in a non-absurd manner what he meant by
    “In any case, what’s the biggest difference between seaweed and humans? Biologically, it is that seaweed can produce food for itself and humans must eat other organisms. The other differences, such as mobility, INTELLIGENCE, etc. all stem from this basic difference.”

    Because to me, it sounds like the seaweed which mutated a photosynthesis system before it starved to death was set for life, but the seaweed which did NOT mutate a photosynthesis system mutated another means of finding sustenance – using the newly mutated properties of “mobility, intelligence, etc” – before it starved to death.

    I guess we’ll never know for sure, absent Sean T’s clarification.

    But thankfully, we CAN discuss YOUR evo theory, since you’re still dialoging with me.

    So, eric, some questions regarding YOUR evo theory of
    “The animal/plant division arose early with the development of cholorphyll and many of the more visibly obvious differences between them arose later, in part because of that difference.”

    1)
    How did living organisms sustain themselves prior to the “development of” chlorophyll, and prior to the photosynthesis system which uses chlorophyll?

    2)
    How and why did animals appear on the scene as a result of the appearance of chlorophyll?
    ………..
    Me: “Do you think life, a living thing, is just a certain arrangement of chemicals?”

    You: “… yes.”

    Me: “eric, which chemicals or chemical reactions or chemical arrangements are right/good and which are wrong/evil?”

    You: “I don’t think moral judgments can’t be scaled down to the molecular level; these concepts only make sense when applied to the actions of sentient beings.”

    But you said living things are just an arrangement of chemicals. Living things certainly include sentient beings.
    So, I don’t understand.
    Are you now saying sentient beings are NOT just an arrangement of chemicals?

  37. #37 See Noevo
    May 29, 2016

    One other thing, eric:

    “Given that your last post repeated the argument from incredulity fallacy twice, I don’t expect anything better than that in the near future. You find the TOE absurd. You find it ridiculous. You can’t imagine how rhubarb and humans could be related. We get it. Do you have anything other than that to say about it?”

    Do I have anything else to say about the absurdity?
    Yes.
    The ‘“rhubarb” to human’ TOE is not only unbelievable, but is, *scientifically-speaking*,
    unempirical, untestable, unfalsifiable, unproven.

    In short, it’s unscientific.

  38. #38 Narad
    May 29, 2016

    The ‘“rhubarb” to human’ TOE is not only unbelievable, but is, *scientifically-speaking*,
    unempirical, untestable, unfalsifiable, unproven.

    Oh, G-d, it’s coined a new phrase. (What is this, the third invocation?) The staggering irony is that S.N.’s beloved YEC not only is falsifiable, but has been routinely falsified.

    There’s a reason that S.N. cowered when asked for a substitute for gravitational redshift: he’s even dumber than the usual creationist. There is really only one salient question for S.N., and he’s too dense to understand it: Which is the rung that collapses the cosmic distance ladder? Parallax isn’t going anywhere.

    It also ran away from the whole speed-of-light problem. There’s nobody home, just something under a bridge.

  39. #39 eric
    May 30, 2016

    SN:

    How did living organisms sustain themselves prior to the “development of” chlorophyll, and prior to the photosynthesis system which uses chlorophyll?

    By extracting energy from all the things in the environment other than sunlight.

    But you said living things are just an arrangement of chemicals. Living things certainly include sentient beings.
    So, I don’t understand.

    Some properties describe interactions between things. Such properties cannot be scaled down to those individual things. ‘Surface tension’ is a physical science example. ‘Fairness’ is an ethical one. Do you understand now?

  40. #40 See Noevo
    May 30, 2016

    To eric #39:

    Me: “How did living organisms sustain themselves prior to the “development of” chlorophyll, and prior to the photosynthesis system which uses chlorophyll?”

    You: “By extracting energy from all the things in the environment other than sunlight.”

    Some questions/points:
    a)
    What was this environmental energy extraction system?

    b)
    How long, that is, for what period of time, did the organisms survive before this environmental energy extraction system was mutated into existence?

    c)
    One could rightly wonder why Mommy Mutation and Mother Natural Selection ever “felt the need” to come up with OTHER energy extraction systems (e.g. photosynthesis, mouth/teeth/tongue/esophagus/stomach, etc.) when organisms already were surviving nicely with the environmental energy extraction system which you’re going to tell me about!
    …………..
    Also, you apparently overlooked my other question from the earlier post:

    How and why did animals appear on the scene as a result of the appearance of chlorophyll?
    ………
    Me: “But you said living things are just an arrangement of chemicals. Living things certainly include sentient beings. So, I don’t understand.”

    You: “Some properties describe interactions between things. Such properties cannot be scaled down to those individual things. ‘Surface tension’ is a physical science example. ‘Fairness’ is an ethical one. Do you understand now?”

    No, I do not understand now.
    You talk about “moral judgments”, “fairness”, as if they’re not chemicals or arrangements of chemicals.
    Are you NOW saying there IS a “ghost in the machine” that is NOT just chemicals?

  41. #41 Narad
    May 30, 2016

    This would be an atrocious attempt at parody of the Socratic method if only S.N. had ever actually read Plato. Book 4 of the Republic is brimming over with opportunities, as I recall.

  42. #42 eric
    May 31, 2016

    What was this environmental energy extraction system?

    There are many, and they go under the general heading “exothermic reactions.”

    How long, that is, for what period of time, did the organisms survive before this environmental energy extraction system was mutated into existence?

    I thought we had already covered this: the capability to react to the environment and produce more copies of the original molecule was “in” the replicator right from the beginning, before we would even call them living. Its just chemistry. Other systems could have evolved later but there was no need for life to evolve energy extraction to begin with because energy extraction happens in non-living systems.

    One could rightly wonder why Mommy Mutation and Mother Natural Selection ever “felt the need” to come up with OTHER energy extraction systems (e.g. photosynthesis, mouth/teeth/tongue/esophagus/stomach, etc.) when organisms already were surviving nicely with the environmental energy extraction system which you’re going to tell me about!

    “Feeling the need” is your creationist sort of explanation, not ours. No, evolution didn’t feel any need. Its just a set of physical processes. Imperfect replication followed by differential success at replication, none of it goal-oriented or needing any sort of awareness.

    How and why did animals appear on the scene as a result of the appearance of chlorophyll?

    I think you’re still misinterpreting Sean and my paraphrasing of him – and being obtuse about it, too. The fitness value of a mutation is dependent on the ecology/environment the organism finds itself in. Being surrounded by organisms with hard cell walls and chlorophyll will result in some adaptations having greater value than others. Does this mean chlorophyll in one organism ’causes” a mutation in another? No. Do you get it now?

    You: “Some properties describe interactions between things. Such properties cannot be scaled down to those individual things. ‘Surface tension’ is a physical science example. ‘Fairness’ is an ethical one. Do you understand now?”

    No, I do not understand now.
    You talk about “moral judgments”, “fairness”, as if they’re not chemicals or arrangements of chemicals.

    “Surface tension” isn’t a chemical or arrangement of chemicals, its a property of interactions between chemicals. And similar interaction properties can be described for larger scale things. I don’t know how to make that clearer.

  43. #43 Sean T
    May 31, 2016

    SN

    What you think of as absurd is only so because you are envisioning something that evolution does not claim. You are talking about an organism that is almost exactly like a seaweed except it has no chlorophyll. It is certainly absurd to imagine such an organism surviving. However, that’s not the claim of either me or the full model of evolution of life. The claim is that there is a microorganism (call it a bacterium if you want, but that’s not technically correct; a bacterium is not a eukaryote whereas such an ancestral microorganism would have been.) This organism already has the ability to replicate itself (or it would not be an organism). Similarly it already has a means to produce energy from the material available in its surroundings (or likewise, it would not be an organism). Now, this organism undergoes some mutation. The descendants of this organism now possess a new enzyme. This is not at all an uncommon occurrence; mutation rates are well known and have been observed in today’s organisms. It certainly is not out of the question to believe that new mutations produced new enzymes long ago too. In most of the cases, mutation occurring in a given microorganism had little effect. The DNA code is redundant. Often new enzymes produced by mutations can continue to perform the same function. Occasionally, some of these mutations killed the organism. That’s okay, there’s lots of other organisms out there. Even more rarely, a mutation changes the organism is such a way as to improve its survival and reproductive chances. In the case I discussed, this organism can now produce chlorophyll and thereby fix CO2 to produce biomolecules without having to eat other organisms.

    At the time this occurred, any humans were there any to observe, would have needed microscopes and other sensitive measuring devices to observe this change. It likely would not be seen as a monumental change. However, over the ensuing millions of years, the difference between the autotrophs and heterotrophs would magnify. For instance, if a mutation occurred that allowed production of an improved flagellum in a heterotroph, such a mutation would likely become fixed in the population since it would confer an obvious benefit. The same mutation occurring in an autotroph would confer little benefit and likely would be lost from the population. As an example going the other way, a mutation allowing a mobile heterotroph to produce a poisonous substance probably confers little benefit. The same mutation in a sessile autotroph would confer a great benefit; heterotrophs soon learn not to eat the poisonous plants.

    Hence my statement that the largest biological difference between seaweed and humans is the ability to produce food (or lack thereof for humans). All other differences have their basic roots in this one. Besides, the two organisms are not really as fundamentally different as they seem. They are both made of cells. The cells of both are made of the same biochemicals. Both utilize energy based on the same biomolecules going through the same metabolic pathways (ie glycolosis, the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorlyization). Both store genetic information via the same molecules and the same mechanisms.

  44. #44 Sean T
    May 31, 2016

    Yikes! Blue green algae! That renders something from my previous post inaccurate. Development of chlorophyll likely did occur in monera, so calling the ancestral organisms in which this mutation occurred “bacteria” is not too inaccurate. It also means that something like the deep sea sulfur vent hypothesis could account for the source of bioenergy before the development of photosynthesis. Obviously, though, my main points stands. The idea of a seaweed surviving without chlorophyll is absurd. Of course, such an organism never existed and need not have for evolution to work.

  45. #45 See Noevo
    May 31, 2016

    To eric #42:

    Me: “What was this environmental energy extraction system?”

    You: “There are many, and they go under the general heading “exothermic reactions.””

    I think you’re saying the first life forms acquired sustenance/energy via these exothermic reactions.
    Some points/questions:
    – If that’s true, then it’s interesting that these exothermic systems must have been succeeded by photosynthesis, which I understand to be ENDOthermic.

    – What is the difference between a *chemical* which uses an exothermic system and an *organism* which uses an exothermic system?
    ………………..
    “Other systems could have evolved later but there was no need for life to evolve energy extraction to begin with because energy extraction happens in non-living systems.”

    Does your saying that “other systems COULD have evolved later” mean you’re open to the possibility that they did NOT evolve later?
    ………………..
    Me: “How and why did animals appear on the scene as a result of the appearance of chlorophyll?”

    You: “I think you’re still misinterpreting Sean and my paraphrasing of him – and being obtuse about it, too.”

    Maybe I’ll re-read these words another time or three and see if I come to a different understanding:
    “The animal/plant division arose early with the development of cholorphyll and many of the more visibly obvious differences between them arose later, in part because of that difference.”
    ……………….
    Me: “You talk about “moral judgments”, “fairness”, as if they’re not chemicals or arrangements of chemicals.”

    You: ““Surface tension” isn’t a chemical or arrangement of chemicals, its a property of interactions between chemicals. And similar interaction properties can be described for larger scale things. I don’t know how to make that clearer.”

    OK.
    So, in your view, things such as “moral judgments” and “fairness” are not chemicals but rather are properties of interactions BETWEEN chemicals.

    So, eric, which properties of interactions BETWEEN chemicals are right/good and which are wrong/evil?

    And what is your basis in chemistry to make this determination?

  46. #46 See Noevo
    May 31, 2016

    To Sean T #43:

    “This organism already has the ability to replicate itself (or it would not be an organism). Similarly it already has a means to produce energy from the material available in its surroundings (or likewise, it would not be an organism).”

    But wait. I think eric’s evolution theory is that chemicals ALSO can replicate and produce energy (and that organisms are just a collection of chemicals and chemical interactions).

    You probably agree with eric, so, perhaps you should restate the above along the following logic line:

    ‘If an organism, then it can replicate and produce energy;
    But if something can replicate and produce energy,
    then it’s not necessarily an organism (i.e. It could just be a chemical.)

    Right?

    But, Sean T (and eric), what IS the difference, then, between a chemical and what most people call an organism?
    ……….
    As to the rest of your post beginning with “Now, this organism undergoes some mutation. The descendants of this organism now possess a new enzyme…”,

    see, I KNEW you didn’t believe what you said earlier – that biological evolution is simply the change in allele frequencies in populations over time.
    Even I can buy change in allele frequencies in populations over time (e.g. redheads in Ireland).
    But that’s not what you describe in the rest of your post.
    You essentially describe redheads coming from a rhubarb ancestor.

    P.S.
    “… mutation rates are well known…”

    No, I don’t think they are.
    I think I recall reading that mutation rates can vary at different parts of a given genome and also vary by type of organism. I think I recall reading about contradictions and conundrums in “molecular clock” studies.

  47. #47 Narad
    May 31, 2016

    I think I recall reading

    Perhaps hazily.

    #33: “As I recall, I’ve looked up the “mainstream answer”

    “I seem to recall Michelle Obama histrionically harping about the need for a requirement of healthier foods in school cafeterias.”

    “As I recall, they gave up on the Wizard (Freud) long ago”

    “As I recall, the reason Ben Carson was asked about Muslims being president is because of the earlier and much publicized incident with Donald Trump”

    And on and on. Easier than thinking, I suppose. Bonus entry:

    “Your picture and your words seem like that [sic] of a gay atheist academic.”

  48. #48 eric
    June 1, 2016

    Does your saying that “other systems COULD have evolved later” mean you’re open to the possibility that they did NOT evolve later?

    Sure; what’s your scientific, testable alternative hypothesis?

    So, eric, which properties of interactions BETWEEN chemicals are right/good and which are wrong/evil?

    I tend to have a fairly standard western morality.

    And what is your basis in chemistry to make this determination?

    There is no basis in (the subject/field of) chemistry, morality’s basis comes from human social interactions, which are at a different scale and which chemists don’t typically study. As I already said in #35.

    Look, where are you driving with this basis-of-morality argument? Can you just get to the end game already? Is your ‘big reveal’ going to be that human-value based morality is subjective? Zzzzzzzzz….

  49. #49 eric
    June 1, 2016

    But, Sean T (and eric), what IS the difference, then, between a chemical and what most people call an organism?

    That’s an interesting question. I don’t think there’s a definitive or agreed-upon answer. Are viruses alive? How about prions? They descend with modification…they’re also just a protein strand, with no DNA or RNA.

    The presence of such ‘edge’ cases itself supports the scientific, natural hypothesis of abiogenesis. In contrast, I know one YEC who claims plants are not alive because before The Fall animals ate them, yet the Bible says there was no death at that time. No death means the eaten stuff can’t count as alive. What a spectacularly bad alternative argument from authority. I’ll happily stick with science, even if it leads to edge cases that are hard to categorize. The philosophers and theologians are welcome to debate what category prions fall into while the scientists study how they work and what they do.

  50. #50 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To eric #49:

    Me: “But, Sean T (and eric), what IS the difference, then, between a chemical and what most people call an organism?”

    You: “That’s an interesting question.
    I don’t think there’s a definitive or agreed-upon answer. Are viruses alive? How about prions? They descend with modification…”

    What are the NON-viruses and NON-prions which the viruses and prions descended to be?

    What are your scientific, *testable* results that show these NON-viruses and NON-prions DID in fact descend from viruses and prions?

  51. #51 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To eric #48:

    Me: “Does your saying that “other systems COULD have evolved later” mean you’re open to the possibility that they did NOT evolve later?”

    You: “Sure; what’s your scientific, testable alternative hypothesis?”

    That almost sounds as if you’re saying that the hypothesis that the various organisms and biological systems DID evolve is scientific and *testable*.

    ARE you saying such evolution, the proposition that it DID HAPPEN, is scientific and *testable*?
    ……………..
    Me: “So, eric, which properties of interactions BETWEEN chemicals are right/good and which are wrong/evil?”

    You: “I tend to have a fairly standard western morality.”

    Which you feel is subjective, as you feel all systems of morality are subjective.

    What you really mean is that *morality is a matter of taste.*
    Some like vanilla, some like chocolate.
    Some like genocide, some don’t.

    Vive la difference. De gustibus non est disputandum.

    “Zzzzzzzzz….”
    I think someday you’ll wake up, or be woken up.

    Perhaps right about the time of the *really* big sleep.

  52. #52 Sean T
    June 1, 2016

    SN,

    Okay…? A new allele forms via mutation. Prior to mutation, the frequency of that allele in the population is zero. After it becomes fixed in the population, it’s frequency is, by definition, nonzero. Is that not a change of the frequency of alleles in a population?

    Besides, your example of an increase in the number of redheads in the population of Ireland would be an example of evolution. Evolution does not always result in speciation. Speciation results only when the change in the allele frequency in a population results in a subpopulation that no longer breeds with the remainder of the population. In your examples, suppose non-redheads found redheads totally unattractive and universally refused to mate with them. You would then have a subpopulation of redheads that was genetically isolated from the rest of the population. Further mutations and/or genetic drift might well result in further noticeable differences between the redheads and the non-redheads. This becomes even more likely since there is no interbreeding between the redhead and non-redhead populations, which would tend to eliminate the genetic differences between the populations.

    Now, this may not seem to be an example of speciation, but the new differences can potentially lead to a situation where the subpopulations are no longer capable of interbreeding. At that point, the biological definition of speciation has been met, and a new species would be recognized.

    The problem we have (as was touched on by eric a bit earlier in the thread) is that we humans want to make reality fit neatly into our classification schemes. However, reality doesn’t always neatly fit into our schemes. Eric’s example of classification of systems as living or non-living is a good example. A similar example is at work in my example; classification of organisms as belonging to this species or that one. The reality is that sometimes species blend together and there are organisms that don’t fit neatly into the classification. For instance consider ring species. These are organisms that have distinct subpopulations such that members of population A can interbreed successfully with those of population B, those of B can interbreed with those from population C, but those from A cannot interbreed with those from C (I have simplified to 3 subpopulations; real ring species often have many more subpopulations than this). Are organisms from A and C the same species or different? I’m not sure that there is an objectively correct answer to that question.

  53. #53 Sean T
    June 1, 2016

    SN,

    So are viruses and prions alive or not? That seems to be the crux of the matter. Who said that what we call living organisms descended from prions and viruses anyway? They were just pointed out as a “grey area” case that shows that the dividing line between life and non-life is not as clear as you might think.

  54. #54 Sean T
    June 1, 2016

    BTW SN, abiogenesis is quite an interesting topic, but one that has no real bearing on the theory of evolution. Evolution can only take place if there are imperfect replicators present. Perhaps something like viruses and prions were intermediaries between chemical systems and full-fledged organisms, but that is on much less certain ground than evolutionary theory is.

    Evolutionary theory is not falsified by any possible way of life originating. It certainly does not depend on abiogenesis. Panspermia, creationism, or any other origin of life does not have bearing on evolution because evolution only describes what happened AFTER living organisms (or perhaps non-living replicating systems) originated. By analogy, it’s similar to the fact that Newton’s law of gravity was in no way dependent on how matter originated. It describes the behavior of matter regardless of where that matter came from. Similarly, evolution describes the behavior of life, regardless of where that life came from.

  55. #55 eric
    June 1, 2016

    You: “Sure; what’s your scientific, testable alternative hypothesis?”

    That almost sounds as if you’re saying that the hypothesis that the various organisms and biological systems DID evolve is scientific and *testable*.

    Well yes I think it is, but no that is not what I was saying. I was asking for your alternative testable hypothesis. Do you have one? Do you have anything to offer as a positive, explanatory scientific theory? Or do you just have criticism of other people’s ideas?

    What you really mean is that *morality is a matter of taste.*

    If you want to state that all subjective decisions are equally important (or trivial) to you, that’s your prerogative. They are not to me. IMO “subjective” is a category, within which are many decisions, some very grave and worth a lot of consideration, debate, and blood sweat and tears to resolve…others very trivial, and not worth much more than a thought.

    IMO theists attacking subjectivity also represent something of an own goal, because you pick which sect to believe in based on your subjective judgment of which religion best reflects some underlying truth, or which sect most faithfully interprets the scripture. You can’t escape subjectivity, and claiming your morality is objective because it comes from a set of religious laws just adds a turtle to the stack; the choice of which religion to derive your “objective” morality from is a subjective one.

  56. #56 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To Sean T #52:

    “Besides, your example of an increase in the number of redheads in the population of Ireland would be an example of evolution.”

    No, it would not.
    If it was an example of “evolution”, then I would believe, and everyone would believe, in “evolution.”

    “Evolution” is redheads from rhubarb.
    ………
    “The problem we have (as was touched on by eric a bit earlier in the thread) is that we humans want to make reality fit neatly into our classification schemes. However, reality doesn’t always neatly fit into our schemes.”

    Yes, reality doesn’t always neatly fit into our schemes – our evolutionary schemes.

    I seem to recall reading of many confounding issues between creative constructions of phylogenetic trees vs. morphological trees.
    And as I said earlier in response to your claim that “mutation rates are well known”, my recollection is that mutation rates can vary at different parts of a given genome and also vary by type of organism, and that various contradictions and conundrums exist in “molecular clock” studies.

    But it’s all great fun.
    More fun than a barrel of monkeys, for example.
    http://www.livescience.com/7780-hot-debate-chimps-orangutans.html

  57. #57 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To Sean T #53:

    “So are viruses and prions alive or not? That seems to be the crux of the matter.”

    You already gave up on answering that question.
    I mean, in #49, I think eric waved the white flag for both of you.

    However, the questions neither of you has answered yet is what I asked in #50: If, as eric says, viruses and prions descend with modification, then
    – What are the NON-viruses and NON-prions which the viruses and prions descended to be?
    – What are your scientific, *testable* results that show these NON-viruses and NON-prions DID in fact descend from viruses and prions?

  58. #58 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To eric #55:

    Me: “That almost sounds as if you’re saying that the hypothesis that the various organisms and biological systems DID evolve is scientific and *testable*.”

    You: “Well yes I think it is, but no that is not what I was saying.”

    My question was not sufficiently clear. Here’s a re-do:

    Are you saying that biological evolution is an undeniable *fact* in a scientific and *testable* sense?

    I dare say you wouldn’t say that either.
    …………
    Me: “What you really mean is that *morality is a matter of taste.*”

    You: “If you want to state that all subjective decisions are equally important (or trivial) to you, that’s your prerogative. They are not to me.”

    I stated no such thing.
    I stated that, for you, morality is a matter of taste.
    And that’s a true statement.
    I never said matters of taste are *equally* important or *equally* trivial. They’re not.

    Choosing a $6 vanilla ice cream cone over a $6 chocolate one is trivial compared to
    choosing a $60,000 BMW over a $60,000 Audi, which is trivial compared to
    murdering 60,000 people over unjustly imprisoning 60,000 people.

    Nevertheless, they’re still just matters of taste, for you.
    ………
    “IMO theists attacking subjectivity also represent something of an [unintelligible]…You can’t escape subjectivity, and claiming your morality is objective because it comes from a set of religious laws just adds a turtle to the stack…”

    And your IMO is just an O. And I’d say it’s wrong.

    If you want to claim that believing in your own existence and in the correspondence theory of truth (things which, broadly speaking, lead me to believe in the Catholic Church as the one and only Church established by God) is simply subjectivity, then we have a different concept of subjectivity.

    But then, IYO, your science would *also* be subjective.

  59. #59 Dean
    June 1, 2016

    So an, as a backer of the true church, and being so big on your version of morality, how do you view the centuries long practice of allowing priests to abuse children, with the continuing cover-up by church leadership. Has it always been, as you say of the recent news, the fault of the children?

  60. #60 Narad
    June 1, 2016

    I seem to recall reading

    Yah, this phenomenon tends to occur when (1) you don’t know what you’re talking about but (2) can’t control the urge to make some hand-waving generalization.

  61. #61 Narad
    June 1, 2016

    If you want to claim that believing in your own existence and in the correspondence theory of truth … is simply subjectivity, then we have a different concept of subjectivity.

    The metaphysical Aquinas version, I take it. I can’t wait to hear what S.N.’s “concept” of subjectivity is.

    (Oh, and I reject the externality of relations wholesale, just to get that out of the way, not that S.N. is likely to understand what that means, despite its importance to what he has invoked.)

  62. #62 eric
    June 1, 2016

    My question was not sufficiently clear. Here’s a re-do:

    Are you saying that biological evolution is an undeniable *fact* in a scientific and *testable* sense?

    Your question was sufficiently clear. But I think I’m done answering your endless stream of questions until you do me the courtesy of answering one of mine. What is.your alternative testable hypothesis?

  63. #63 Narad
    June 1, 2016

    ^ The best part, though, is that S.N. is actually too dense to grasp that he routinely rejects the basic concept: “A judgment is said to be true when it conforms to the external reality.”

  64. #64 eric
    June 1, 2016

    If you want to claim that believing in your own existence and in the correspondence theory of truth (things which, broadly speaking, lead me to believe in the Catholic Church as the one and only Church established by God) is simply subjectivity, then we have a different concept of subjectivity.

    Oh I can’t resist one more. Its just too rich. Please, enlighten me as how how a theory developed by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle leads inevitably to the conclusion that Catholicism is right and Protestantism is wrong. This should be fun.

  65. #65 Narad
    June 1, 2016

    Has it always been, as you say of the recent news, the fault of the children?

    Given that it was S.N. itself that introduced morality to try to drag things out, I suppose this might as well be tossed in. Presumption of guilt, Opus Yei!

  66. #66 Narad
    June 1, 2016

    ^ Oh, wait, this is too entertaining. How does the Exodus story square with the “correspondence theory of truth”? One could obviously go on and on.

  67. #67 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To eric #62:

    Me: “My question was not sufficiently clear. Here’s a re-do: Are you saying that biological evolution is an undeniable *fact* in a scientific and *testable* sense?”

    You: “Your question was sufficiently clear. But I think I’m done answering your endless stream of questions until you do me the courtesy of answering one of mine. What is.your alternative testable hypothesis?”

    I will answer that question!
    AND I’ll even answer one more, your question or challenge – “Please, enlighten me as how how a theory developed by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle leads inevitably to the conclusion that Catholicism is right and Protestantism is wrong.”

    That’s *two* answers I’ll supply.
    But with one proviso: You first answer these *two*:

    1) Do you think that that biological evolution is an undeniable *fact* in a scientific and *testable* sense?

    2) If, as you say, viruses and prions descend with modification, then what are the NON-viruses and NON-prions which the viruses and prions descended to be, confirmed by scientific and testable data?

    That’s two for two, what say you?

  68. #68 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    June 1, 2016

    @Deceiver #67: Still lying, eh? You won’t answer the questions posed even when you say you will. And you continue to repeat the same questions which have already been answered more than sufficiently for anyone with intelligence and honesty.

    You continue most admirably to advance the work of your Master.

  69. #69 Sean T
    June 1, 2016

    Sorry SN but you are wrong. Biologists get to define evolution, not you. They do in fact define it as the change in allele frequencies in populations of organisms over time. Rhubarb to humans is not evolution and never was. In fact a rhubarb plant sprouting a seed that grows into a human is a falsification of evolution. Evolution predicts only gradual change from generation to generation.

    It also makes many other predictions. It predicts that basic metabolic pathways would be shared among all organisms. It predicts that all organisms will use the same basic genetic material. It predicts certain patterns of inheritance. For instance it predicts certain relationships among retroviral insertions in primate genomes. Specifically it predicts that any insertion shared by gorillas and humans cannot be absent in chimpanzees.

    These are very specific predictions (and this is not an exhaustive list). These predictions need not be true. Living organisms could theoretically have differing metabolic pathways. Different organisms could use different genetic materials. There need not be any relationships between primate genomes. These, therefore, are a few examples of testable predictions made by the theory of evolution. Evolution is therefore a testable and falsifiable theory.

  70. #70 See Noevo
    June 1, 2016

    To Sean T #69:

    “Sorry SN but you are wrong. Biologists get to define evolution, not you.”

    And fairy tale writers get to define unicorns.

    But don’t get upset.
    I already told you I believed in change in allele frequencies in populations over time. And you said “The change in allele frequencies in the populations in populations over time IS biological evolution. That is the very definition of it…”
    …………….
    “Rhubarb to humans is not evolution and never was.”

    You’re misrepresenting my view of evolution.
    I never said or meant a human sprouted from rhubarb.
    You’re twisting my short-hand.
    Do a search on “rhubarb” here on this thread. You’ll see that the first instance of it is in my longer-hand:
    “But biological evolution is like saying the Irish redheads *are distant cousins* with rhubarb.”

    And that’s what you believe, and I don’t.
    ……………….
    “It also makes many other predictions. It predicts that basic metabolic pathways would be shared among all organisms. It predicts that …”

    Sean T, perhaps I should have told you this much earlier. You’re wasting a lot of time and effort in your patient and careful laying out of these extended explications of evolution. You seem to be under the impression that I haven’t seen this shi… or, this shtuff before. Believe me, I have.

    In fact, it’s explanations like yours that converted me from a 30-year believer in evolution to a “heretic.”

    But your effort seems sweet.

    And *somewhat sincere*. (Reminds me of a line from a great song by Joni:

  71. #71 eric
    June 2, 2016

    That’s *two* answers I’ll supply.
    But with one proviso: You first answer these *two*:

    No. I responded to every question you asked in good faith up until the 58th post, while you haven’t answered any of mine (I could probably even say ‘ours’). So if you want more answers from me, you’ll do me the courtesy of answering one of my questions first. I know what happens when I go first – you ask a follow-on question, then another, then another, and never bother actually submitting a counter-proposal for consideration or analysis.

    What is.your alternative testable hypothesis?”

  72. #72 eric
    June 2, 2016

    SN:

    Sean T, perhaps I should have told you this much earlier. You’re wasting a lot of time and effort in your patient and careful laying out of these extended explications of evolution.

    Well, at least that statement of yours is not a misrepresentation.

  73. #73 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    June 2, 2016

    @eric #71: It’s called “the Gish gallop,” and is a well-known and well-beloved rhetorical method among the IDiots and YECs. Since they don’t actually _have_ any kind of coherent alternative hypothesis, this is all they can do.

  74. #74 See Noevo
    June 2, 2016

    To eric #71:

    Me: “That’s *two* answers I’ll supply.
    But with one proviso: You first answer these *two*…”

    You: “No… YOU HAVEN’T ANSWERED ANY OF MINE…”

    Really?
    With fear and trembling I’ll ask yet another:

    Eric, which would be the top one or two questions of yours that you say I didn’t answer from among all the questions of yours which you say I didn’t answer? (And of course, I mean other than your ‘alternative hypothesis’ question.)

    Because I thought I was doing a pretty fair job of responding to your queries and points.
    Please show me the top one or two instances where I wasn’t, and maybe I can redeem myself.

  75. #75 eric
    June 2, 2016

    okay, here you go:

    [SN]There I was essentially replaying Sean T’s theory of evolution so that he (and others) might get the absurdity, just as I “got it.”

    Do you get it?

    [eric]Walk me through it. In #14 you wanted Sean to get the absurdity of an organism having to mutate intelligence before it starves to death. Then in #27 you agree that evolution doesn’t make this absurd claim. Now you are again saying that you want people to see the absurdity of it.

    You have yet to walk me through why you used a mischaracterization of evolution you knew and understood to be incorrect to try and make an argument that Sean’s actual example was absurd.

    Why did you make up and then use an example you knew to be patently false and not representative of what Sean was trying to say, to try and argue against Sean’s point?

  76. #76 Denier
    United States
    June 2, 2016

    @Michael Kelsey, eric, and Sean T

    Wikipedia is amazing and has the entire YEC debate.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/101_evidences_for_a_young_age_of_the_Earth_and_the_universe

  77. #77 Michael kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    June 2, 2016

    @eric #75: Because SN is a deceiver, and a servant of the Great Deceiver (review his own asserted mythology, or check “The Great Deceiver” entry in Wikipedia).

    The Deceiver will make any argument necessary to try to advance their position, irrespective of its truth or its consistency with any previous argument.

    The Deceiver will make use of selected bits of religious Truth to convince honest Believers of their position, regardless of whether those Believers’ actual religion aligns with the Deceiver’s position.

    The Deceiver will attack and degrade any who oppose them, and will ignore any attempts to engage in logical, honest debate.

  78. #78 dean
    United States
    June 2, 2016

    “You’re misrepresenting my view of evolution.”

    You are lying.
    You’ve said that you would believe in evolution again as soon as you saw an animal of one species give birth to an offspring in another species because that is what evolution says must happen.

    Your “view” of evolution is to distort the science as much as possible.

  79. #79 Narad
    June 2, 2016

    Ah, third try; apparently, the misspelling “blockcquote” is enough for a comment to simply disappear.

    It’s called “the Gish gallop,” and is a well-known and well-beloved rhetorical method

    S.N. isn’t competent to an actual Gish gallop – note the tedious “I seem to recall reading” routine; he’s merely being evasive and trying to change the subject at every opportunity in his usual desperate bid for attention.

    All he can really muster on his own, again, is baraminology.

  80. #80 Narad
    June 2, 2016

    You’re twisting my short-hand.

    That’s what you call it? Relax; I doubt that anyone would want to twist any part of you, given that there’s no telling where you’ve been.

  81. #81 See Noevo
    June 2, 2016

    To eric #75:

    “Walk me through it. In #14 you wanted Sean to get the absurdity of an organism having to mutate intelligence before it starves to death. Then in #27 you agree that evolution doesn’t make this absurd claim. Now you are again saying that you want people to see the absurdity of it.
    You have yet to walk me through why you used a mischaracterization of evolution you knew and understood to be incorrect to try and make an argument that Sean’s actual example was absurd.”

    First of all, everyone reading this is invited to revisit the back and forth beginning in #11.

    Secondly, I don’t see that I mischaracterized anything.
    In #27, I essentially said the theory of evolution that is espoused by Sean T and many others DOES make the absurd claim that an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to death, BUT only that they usually won’t use that term – “intelligence.” I don’t recall exactly what term they DO use. However, I said I wouldn’t use the term “intelligence” either (e.g. the quality that might enable one to do well with Alex Trebek on “JEOPARDY!”). I said I would use a term something *like* “self-awareness”. For without this “self-awareness”, the organism wouldn’t “know” it needs nourishment. (And once it “knows” it needs nourishment, it would need to develop quickly systems to identify, locate, acquire, ingest, digest the nourishment). Chemicals don’t die, but living organisms do. And living organisms die if they fail to acquire very quickly the means to sustain themselves. That mutations could arise to provide these necessary systems before the organism starves to death IS what evolution assumes. And I find it absurd.

    An *additional* absurdity to me is Sean T’s claim that the inability to synthesize chlorophyll led to the appearance of organisms having “mobility” and (a higher order of?) “intelligence” (i.e. animals). Can’t make it as a plant? Fine, become an animal quick, or die. This, in essence, is what Sean T and you and other evolutionists hold. And I find it absurd.

    I answered your question before and here in this post I’ve repeated the answer, with additional clarification. The Q AND A on this topic has already gone on ad nauseum. Enough.

    Now, you can answer those two questions from #67.

  82. #82 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    The truly sad part here is that S.N.’s moronic video embeds work fine whereas the simple switch-flipping to turn on WP \latex hasn’t happened, last I checked.

  83. #83 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    Hey, wait a second: \LaTeX

  84. #84 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    Huzzah!

  85. #85 eric
    June 3, 2016

    SN yesterday:

    In #27, I essentially said the theory of evolution that is espoused by Sean T and many others DOES make the absurd claim that an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to deat

    SN on the 27th: blockquote>As for me, I wouldn’t say evolution claims an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to death.

    SN again yesterday:

    Can’t make it as a plant? Fine, become an animal quick, or die. This, in essence, is what Sean T and you and other evolutionists hold. And I find it absurd.

    In one instance or another, you’re clearly and intentionally misrepresenting the evolution side. Because you’ve claimed contradictory things about what the evolution side says. Yes, you are very careful to claim in one instance that you’re merely describing what we say vs what the theory of evolution says, but this is merely verbal weaselling – we accept the mainstream theory of evolution. Our views are its views. So to say that we think animals must mutate or die but the TOE doesn’t say that, is to misrepresent us.

    Moving on:

    1) Do you think that that biological evolution is an undeniable *fact* in a scientific and *testable* sense?

    There are facts and theory parts to the TOE. It is an observable fact that the geological record shows species phenotypes changing over strata. Its an observable fact that all life shares the same heritability mechanism. Its an observable fact that mutations occur in genomes, and that these can (and regularly are) be passed on to offspring. Its an observable fact that differential reproductive success occurs. Its an observable fact that organisms descend with modification. It is theory that natural selection working on genomic mutations is the driving mechanism responsible for the observable facts of differential reproductive success and phenotypical changes we observe in strata.

    2) If, as you say, viruses and prions descend with modification, then what are the NON-viruses and NON-prions which the viruses and prions descended to be, confirmed by scientific and testable data?

    I don’t know how they originated. I’m not sure there is a confirmed scientific conclusion about the origin of viruses and prions, but I could be wrong about that.

    Now it’s time, SN. I’ve done what you’ve asked. What is your alternative testable hypothesis?”

  86. #86 Wow
    June 3, 2016

    “No, Sean T.
    Obviously, you’re answering a different question,”

    No, See Nowt, he answered the question you gave. YOU want a different one answered because you’re busy JAQing off over the internet.

  87. #87 Wow
    June 3, 2016

    “What I asked was whether See Noevo and sea weed are cousins SHARING A COMMON ANCESTOR.”

    They do.

    And there seems to be some regression on that part too for the one claiming to be advanced.

    “And your answer is Yes. (As I fully expected.)”

    Then why whine about how your questions were not answered?

    Why ask if you already know the answer?

  88. #88 eric
    June 3, 2016

    @87:

    Why ask if you already know the answer?

    Well he’s only got really two or three arguments: argument from incredulity. Science doesn’t know everything. Occasionally the false dichotomy. But really most of his posts can be boiled down to one of the first two: he will state something evolution claims in an incredulous manner (Evolution says SN and seaweed are related? Ah Mah Gad! Like, who knew!), as if that supports his YECism. Or he will demand some confirmed scientific explanation for some phenomena, as if a “we don’t know” answer supports his YECism.

  89. #89 Wow
    June 3, 2016

    “I think you’re still misinterpreting Sean and my paraphrasing of him”

    No, see nowt is lying about what was said.

    Plain and simple lying.

  90. #90 Wow
    June 3, 2016

    “he will state something evolution claims in an incredulous manner ”

    Oh, no, he will state something SCIENCE claims in an incredulous manner.

    Then make up words, claiming paraphrasing, and insist that this fabricated claim is wrong and it is what science says, not See Nowt.

  91. #91 Sean T
    June 3, 2016

    SN,

    I suspect you are being deliberately obtuse or outright lying here, but I will proceed as if the problem is simply one of misunderstanding. You have attributed to me the position “if you can’t make it as a plant, hurry up and become an animal before you die”. Obviously, this, as you correctly claim, is an absurd position. It’s also not what I said.

    Primarily it’s absurd because individual organisms do not evolve. Once a plant, always a plant. If you can’t survive as a plant, well, then you die. Evolution can’t help individuals survive. What natural selection does do, however, is select the most favorable variants of an organism population. The most favorable variants are the ones that do survive, and in so doing pass their genes to their offspring. That’s what natural selection means.

    Now, back to the plants/animals thing, keeping in mind what I just said about natural selection. Suppose that there are two organism populations. One of them is autotrophic, meaning that these organisms have developed the ability to synthesize biomolecules, whereas the other is heterotrophic, meaning that they cannot synthesize biomolecules; they must obtain them from the environment. Clearly a trait that would be highly favorable to a heterotroph may be unfavorable or even detrimental to an autotroph. For example, mobility is a trait that is highly beneficial to a heterotroph. Heterotrophs with mobility can roam around their environment seeking out the food they need. Immobile heterotrophs can only survive if their immediate environment contains the food they need and if that food supply is constantly replenished. It’s a great benefit for a heterotroph to be able to move. An autotroph, on the other hand, benefits little from the ability to move. In fact, it might be detrimental in many situations. A mobile autotroph cannot develop a root system, for instance, such as the ones found in modern plants.

    Now factor in natural selection. A heterotrophic, but immobile population exists. Mutations occur that allow for some of these organisms to move. Perhaps at first, there may be little differential reproductive success. An environmental change, for instance one that wipes out the local food supply, though, would cause the immobile organisms to die. The mobile ones, though, could go somewhere else in search of food and survive. Note: it’s not a case of become mobile or die. Some organisms were mobile BEFORE the environmental change. Some were not. We don’t see any evidence now, though, of the immobile ones because they died.

    Please note, I really did not mention plants and animals in the previous paragraph. That’s because at the time of this stage of evolution, there were no such things as plants and animals. Those organisms developed far later. Basically, the organisms under discussion would have been bacteria-like organisms. A bacteria population with chlorophyll developed AFTER the population lacking chlorophyll. Once that occurred, the populations developed independently of each other. As discussed above, traits that were favorable to the chlorophyll-containing population would not have been favorable to the other population (and vice-versa). That development EVENTUALLY led to plants in the case of the chlorophyll-containing population and animals in the case of the other population.

    It was not necessary for chlorophyll to develop in order for animals to evolve. What chlorophyll did do, however, was to allow the conversion of solar energy to bioenergy. Solar energy is much more readily accessible to more of the earth’s surface than the chemical and/or geothermal sources that would have been the ultimate sources of bioenergy prior to the development of photosynthesis. The development of chlorophyll also led to the prevalence of molecular oxygen in the atmosphere (produced as a by product of photosynthesis.) It’s safe to say that the evolution of animal life would have had to proceed in a vastly different manner (if at all) had photosynthesis not developed. In that sense, then, yes, the evolution of plants was necessary for animals to evolve. However, this is something that I did not expound on in my previous posting, so you are still guilty of misrepresenting my claim.

  92. #92 See Noevo
    June 3, 2016

    To eric #85:

    As to the first part of your post, we’ll have to agree to disagree.
    ……………
    As to the remainder…

    Me:
    “1) Do you think that that biological evolution is an undeniable *fact* in a scientific and *testable* sense?”

    You:
    “It is an observable fact that the geological record shows species phenotypes changing over strata.”

    No, it is NOT a fact that this shows organisms CHANGING. What IS a fact is that fossils of different types of organisms may be found in different strata.
    One other point: I think I have a problem with the term “phenotype”. Its definition appears to include ‘characteristics of an organism as *determined by environmental influences*’. Where is the scientific, testable data that shows, say, fish developing fins and gills *because of* the *influence* of being under water?

    “Its an observable fact that all life shares the same heritability mechanism.
    Its an observable fact that mutations occur in genomes, and that these can (and regularly are) be passed on to offspring. Its an observable fact that differential reproductive success occurs.”

    I agree on all three!
    But these facts support creationism as much as they do evolution.

    “Its an observable fact that organisms descend with modification.”

    No, it is not. Not if you mean something like rhubarb is modified to *eventually* produce redheads.
    No, it is not an observable fact.

    “It is theory that natural selection working on genomic mutations is the driving mechanism responsible for the observable facts of differential reproductive success and phenotypical changes we observe in strata.”

    Again, ‘phenotypical CHANGES in strata’ is not an observable fact.
    What is observable in the strata are different but STATIC fossils.
    ……………..
    Me:
    “2) If, as you say, viruses and prions descend with modification, then what are the NON-viruses and NON-prions which the viruses and prions descended to be, confirmed by scientific and testable data?”

    You:
    “I don’t know how they originated. I’m not sure there is a confirmed scientific conclusion about the origin of viruses and prions, but I could be wrong about that.”

    Then, you would agree that you were wrong in saying that.
    That is, you were wrong in asserting that viruses and prions descend with modification.
    You were wrong because you had no scientific and testable basis for saying it.
    Nothing on what the NON-virus was that “descended to” be a virus,
    and nothing on what the NON-virus was that “descended from” that virus.
    ……..
    In summary,
    your answer to 1) is wrong, and
    your answer to 2) is ‘I don’t know. That was unjustified.’
    …………..
    “Now it’s time, SN. I’ve done what you’ve asked. What is your alternative testable hypothesis?”

    I think my hypothesis is as testable (or untestable) as your evolution hypothesis.
    My hypothesis is the hypothesis which is supported by your above “observed facts”, as I noted, *and* by the *actual* observation in biology of *stasis*, and the observed systems-upon-systems to protect that stasis
    (Each according to their *kind*, so to speak).

    This hypothesis is Creation.

  93. #93 eric
    June 3, 2016

    As to the first part of your post, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    LOL you disagree that we subscribe to the mainstream view of evolution, or you disagree that “[many evolution supporters make the claim] an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to death” and “I wouldn’t say evolution claims an organism must mutate “intelligence” before it starves to death” are contradictory claims about what evolution says?

    Its an observable fact that organisms descend with modification.”

    No, it is not. Not if you mean something like rhubarb is modified to *eventually* produce redheads.

    Humans have directly observed speciation via descent with modification (the link has a long prologue; skip down to section 5 for the list)

    That is, you were wrong in asserting that viruses and prions descend with modification.

    No, I was not. We observe these things descending with modification. This does not tell us what the “first virus” or “first prion-producing agent” looked like, but its an observed fact that they do it.

    This hypothesis is Creation.

    You say this is testable? What observable thing or pattern couldn’t your creator create, such that finding that thing would be a clear refutation of the hypothesis that he created species?

  94. #94 See Noevo
    June 3, 2016

    To Sean T #91:

    “… individual organisms do not evolve. Once a plant, always a plant. If you can’t survive as a plant, well, then you die.”

    That sounds like something yours truly might say!

    But perhaps what you mean to say is that a *population*, not an individual, evolves. (Of course, I wouldn’t say that.)

    Which basically means individualS, not AN individual, evolve. Which I find absurd.

    I’m guessing that you would also say
    “Once and animal, always an animal.”

    However, based on some of the rest of your post, I’m guessing you would NOT say
    “Once a “bacteria-like organism”, always a bacteria-like organism.”

    And I wonder why you wouldn’t say that.

  95. #95 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    But perhaps what you mean to say is that a *population*, not an individual, evolves. (Of course, I wouldn’t say that.)

    Your explanation of lactase persistence will no doubt be profound.

    Which basically means individualS, not AN individual, evolve. Which I find absurd.

    One of your finest Billy Madison moments, I must say.

  96. #96 See Noevo
    June 3, 2016

    To eric #93:

    You: “Its an observable fact that organisms descend with modification.”

    Me: “No, it is not. Not if you mean something like rhubarb is modified to *eventually* produce redheads.”

    You: “Humans have directly observed speciation via descent with modification (the link has a long prologue; skip down to section 5 for the list).”

    No, they have not.
    Show me just one instance from the list where the before and after were different *kinds* of organisms. You won’t find any. What you WILL find are things like a fruit fly leading to another fruit fly with perhaps different (or damaged) characteristics.
    But both before and after, fruit flies.
    …………..
    Me: “That is, you were wrong in asserting that viruses and prions descend with modification.”

    You: “No, I was not. We observe these things descending with modification.”

    I tried looking through the article you linked on prions. Perhaps you’ll point out the part which says a NON-prion was observed becoming a prion, and where a prion was observed becoming a NON-prion.
    I didn’t see it.
    …………
    Me: “This hypothesis is Creation.”

    You: “You say this is testable? What observable thing or pattern couldn’t your creator create, such that finding that thing would be a clear refutation of the hypothesis that he created species?”

    I’m not sure I understand your question.

    I’ll just say that everything we HAVE found is consistent with a Creator making different kinds of propagating creatures, by using the same “building blocks” (i.e. genome). Your examples: “Its an observable fact that all life shares the same heritability mechanism. Its an observable fact that mutations occur in genomes, and that these can (and regularly are) be passed on to offspring. Its an observable fact that differential reproductive success occurs.”
    My example: “… *actual* observation in biology of *stasis*, and the observed systems-upon-systems to protect that stasis (Each according to their *kind*, so to speak).”

  97. #97 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    I have no idea why WP is apparently sending my comments into the ether for using the bar—ology word, but S.N. is just going to dance around until you meet him on that ground and force him to fail (or at least, pretend that he understands his copied-and-pasted response).

    The W—dia article yields PMIDs 20561133, 21726330, and 21401768. (See also here.)

  98. #98 eric
    June 3, 2016

    Show me just one instance from the list where the before and after were different *kinds* of organisms. You won’t find any.

    Ah, we are making progress. Define “kind” for me. and I’ll see what I can find.

    What observable thing or pattern couldn’t your creator create, such that finding that thing would be a clear refutation of the hypothesis that he created species?”

    I’m not sure I understand your question.

    Its a pretty simple one. What test could refute your creation hypothesis? What’s your “testable” theory’s equivalent of a precambrian rabbit?

    Or is every possible observation consistent with the creation idea?

  99. #99 See Noevo
    June 3, 2016

    To eric #98:

    Me: “Show me just one instance from the list where the before and after were different *kinds* of organisms. You won’t find any.”

    You: “Ah, we are making progress. Define “kind” for me. and I’ll see what I can find.”

    Definitions can be devilishly difficult.
    Even divisive. For example:
    “The nature of SPECIES is CONTROVERSIAL IN BIOLOGY and philosophy. BIOLOGISTS DISAGREE ON THE DEFINITION of the term ‘SPECIES,’ and philosophers disagree over the ontological status of species…When we turn to the technical literature on species, the nature of species becomes much less clear. Biologists offer OVER TWENTY DEFINITIONS OF THE TERM ‘SPECIES’ (Hey 2001).”
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/species/

    I trust you’d be as gentle with me as you would be with those biologists should I come up with a definition of “kind”.

    Whatever the definition would be, I’d hope to make it not only precise but also something even babes and other non-biologists could understand. Hopefully, immediately understandable, like

    “… Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth… the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth … great sea monsters … and every winged bird according to its kind… cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”

    Even a child would “know” the difference between cattle and creeping things, and between birds that fly and great monsters in the sea.
    ……………
    “What test could refute your creation hypothesis? What’s your “testable” theory’s equivalent of a precambrian rabbit?”

    I don’t know right now. What I DO know, or strongly suspect, is that finding a “precambrian rabbit” would NOT refute evolution. In such a case, evolution theory would still reign, but would “evolve”. No matter what.

    I can just see the headline and sub-headlines now:
    Rabbit Fossil RECASTS Evolution Timeline!
    Revolution in Definition of Cambrian vs Precambrian
    Debate Rages Over Whether Really a Rabbit

    I’d love to live to see the discovery of a “Precambrian rabbit.” Not because it would do away with evolution, but just to watch the evo establishment endeavor to pull a rabbit out of its Mad Hatter hat, to keep the magic show going.

    I’m confident that show WOULD go on.

  100. #100 See Noevo
    June 3, 2016

    Wow! We’ve hit the 100 comment mark!

    Many thanks to all of you out there.
    After all, you did most of the work (72 of the 100).

  101. #101 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    You: “Ah, we are making progress. Define “kind” for me. and I’ll see what I can find.”

    Definitions can be devilishly difficult.

    Yah, this one could be seen coming from a mile away.

    “The cognita are not based on explicit or implicit comparisons of characters or biometric distance measures but on the gestalt of the plants and the classification response it elicits in humans.”

    As could this one:

    Wow! We’ve hit the 100 comment mark!

    Many thanks to all of you out there.

    Same old sh*t as at RI and Jason’s (actually, it was worse at the latter’s; after being told to lay off the waves of comment barf, he started in with the “percentage” routine to “demonstrate” that he was not, in fact, idiotically trolling because plural members of the commentariat replied, so it was everybody else’s fault).

  102. #102 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    Wow! We’ve hit the 100 comment mark!

    Silly me, I failed to explicitly note that S.N. made this comment in order to be the 100th comment. G-d, it’s just pathetic.

  103. #103 Narad
    June 3, 2016

    I’m sorry, but I can’t resist one more. There was an excellent parody series of S.N. at RI, but as I’m tired and limited to one link, I’m going to briefly and amateurly riff off of that.

    “Hi, my name is None of Your Business, and I have been unjustly ordered to show up at Attention Whores Anonymous with you scum.”

    OK. Writes itself. Must. Stop.

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