Why do doctors deny evolution?

Yesterday was a long day, starting in the operating room and finishing at a dinner reception for our visiting speaker today. As a result, when I arrived home, I was sawing the proverbial logs within five or ten minutes of hitting the couch, more or less without realizing it. I was going to just skip today, making it a rare weekday where I don't provide you, my loyal readers, with a dose of the Insolence, be it Respectful or not-so-Respectful, to which you have become accustomed. But then I saw an article that reminded me of a topic that I haven't revisited for quite a long time. I'm referring to a topic that I used to discuss fairly often. View it as a subtopic of Medicine and Evolution. I'm referring to the question of why there are so many doctors who deny evolution. We've met many of them before over the last decade, although probably Dr. Michael Egnor is the one whose creationist nonsense I've discussed and refuted the most. He's a neurosurgeon, and apparently he's still at it.

Well, there's another creationist neurosurgeon in town, and unfortunately he's running for the Republican nomination for President. I'm referring, of course, to Dr. Ben Carson, a guy who was a really brilliant neurosurgeon in his day but in his retirement appears to have embraced multiple forms of right wing pseudoscience, including, of course, evolution denial. His ascent led a reporter to wonder why some doctors reject evolution and even publish a story about it in Pacific Standard, entitled, appropriately enough, Why Do Some Doctors Reject Evolution? The article is a good primer on the topic, and not just because it features some quotes from someone who is near and dear to this blog. It's worth reading in full, and (I hope) discussing here. It also reminds me that I really should revisit the topic of evolution in medicine and physicians denying evolution. Apparently I've become so wrapped up in discussing quackery like antivaccine pseudoscience, alternative cancer "cures," homeopathy, and quackademic medicine (the infiltration of pseudoscience into medical academia) that I've neglected other interesting areas of the interface between science and medicine and pseudoscience.

And, thus, Orac demonstrates his logorrhea by using over 400 words just to link to an article he likes. Truly, it does take me nearly 500 words just to "clear my throat," so to speak. In any case, maybe I'll have to talk about evolution denial in medicine again sometime soon. It's one of those topics that keeps popping up and irritating me, but somehow other things manage to distract me, much like Dug the Dog.

Squirrel!

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That's a nice article, and I think very fair all around. And they managed to seek out a good person to quote!

The remark about many doctors being more like engineers than scientists rings true. I sometimes eddicate future doctors, and for some (though not all!) of them, the basic science courses are simply another hoop to jump through.

By palindrom (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

"Another potential culprit: the memorization-based nature of medical training, which may give a doctor-to-be the impression that biology is a made up list of facts to recall; not a process that has gathered evidence for concepts like evolution over generations of experimentation."

Honestly, I'd want even my surgeons to be more flexible in their thinking, like the esteemed host of this blog. My medical practitioners - my ortho, my OB - have all been very happy to discuss the scientific literature in their profession with me, and recent developments that have changed their approach over time. I definitely feel better going to a practitioner who is open to new evidence and changing his/her practice accordingly...

I guess that's a long-winded way of saying that although doctors in some specialties can be competent while holding an anti-science mindset (evolution denial, quackery), not having those mindsets allows the possibility to be better than competent.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

I suspect that some of the factors listed in the article as contributing to evolution denial among some doctors also contributes to the tendency of some doctors (probably a group which at least partially overlaps the evolution deniers) to fall for alt-med hype. If science is treated as a list of facts to be memorized, then the distinction between real science and things like homeopathy becomes blurred, because the latter is just a different list of "facts" to be memorized. Never mind that for homeopathy to work, most of what we know about chemistry and physics would have to be wrong, as anybody who took those subjects in high school should be able to figure out. And if physicians think like engineers, then they may mistake placebo effects for actual effective treatment, even though doctors are supposedly trained to know that placebo effects exist (and therefore some patients will appear to respond to alt-med treatments which have no physiological basis for working). One of the ways in which engineers often go wrong is that they apply techniques that worked previously to novel situations where the techniques don't work (I have firsthand experience with this phenomenon--we lost a major experiment package this way).

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

This topic is fascinating to me. A former cardiologist of mine in Alabama was a young earth creationist (which I found out when he asked what I was studying in grad school and I said evolutionary biology). Wouldn't have made much of a difference to me, except that later he tried to tell me antibiotic resistance isn't a thing and certainly not dangerous, and that prophylaxis using a broad spectrum antibiotic (against then-new AHA guidelines for my condition) was the least dangerous of all. So now I use this story whenever bio faculty try to tell me that evolution doesn't need to be a required course when the majority of their students are pre-med.

By Cathy Newman (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

At the risk of moving this thread slightly off-topic, I wonder if anyone has ever analyzed how prone MDs are to falling for scams (financial and otherwise).

About learning by rote..
unfortunately, it may be the only way to *initially* learn masses of new facts, new words and new names in order to capture those items in memory. You can't work with material unless you have a way of holding on to it.

Courses may require rapid acquisition of loads of data and then, this task is quickly replaced by another set of data, then another and another still.

Obviously once you have a handle on material you can use association as you can if the new items resemble older ones.
But just think what you need to learn in anatomy and physiology. Not to mention pharmacology. And HOW MUCH there is even in general courses.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

Is this really all that surprizing?

Doctors and Surgeons are human beings and those you are considering are American human beings. What is the general rate of evolution denial in the general American population? I suppose the expectation is that to be a doctor requires a higher intelligence than average and also a greater grounding in science. Those factors no doubt play a part in reducing the denial rate form the population average, but I'll bet its not by all that much. At the end of the day many if not all of these 'denial' phenomena are based on sociological and probably more importantly familial factors than any amount of education or even intelligence.

And when anyone talks about the 'Operating Room' I instantly think there is something ominous and worryingly covert going on!

By Gemman Aster (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

#2 Roadstergal
Your doctors may well be up to date with the literature but they may accept it as something handed down, the old ex cathedra, type of thing. They need to believe the results but not need or care about underlying theory. There may be an expection of gradually but steady improvement so new findings are accepted but with little or no understanding of how it is done.

Come to think of it, for years I have expected automotive gas mileage to improve but I have no real idea of the science or engineering that goes into it.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

You know, when humans discover life outside the comfy confines of planet Earth, it will change the way we think. And it such life is intelligent, that will change everything. All the religious books (Bible, Koran and Torah) will need to be rewritten. Upgraded, if you will.

Of course, they will be.And a new way to deny evolution will be created. It's the nature of us humans.

In the linked article, Dr. David Gorski is quoted as saying "Most physicians are not scientists. This is not a knock, but they're more akin to engineers."

This reminds me of when I was in school, one of my engineering professors told us that the goal of engineering is to "exploit physics [or science] to make money."

One could conclude from these two statements that alternative medicine doctors exploit pseudoscience (or at least a belief in pseudoscience) to make money.

shay @5: I haven't seen this quantified, but doctors as a group have a reputation for being particularly poor, compared to other professionals with similar incomes, at investing. Which is why you should not choose an investment advisor whose office happens to be within two blocks of a hospital. Part of this is because doctors don't receive any particular training in money management, unlike lawyers (who have to be able to keep escrow accounts separate--bouncing a check from your trust account is a career-ending move if you are a lawyer), many businessmen (who have MBA degrees), and to a lesser degree scientists (who usually aren't formally trained, but surviving six years on a grad student income is good training for money management). Couple that with doctors thinking they are smart (which is partly true, as you have to have a certain kind of smarts to get into med school in the first place, but not necessarily the kind of smarts you need to manage money), and you have a target-rich environment for hucksters.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

I find it somewhat depressing that doctors would be evolution deniers. But I think the article is correct about it being linked to faith. Having been born and raised in TX and recently having moved back to the bible belt, the religious faith on display in everyday life is quite profound. I think a lot of religious people tend to view evolution skeptically at best, and that doctors who are religious would fall in that camp. Since church attendance and overall religiosity is a sign of status in the south then it stands to reason that a fair proportion of doctors would have these beliefs or at least not espouse a pre-creation belief. My two cents.

@JeffM #10, I don't know about the Koran, but the Bible does not mention anything about life on other planets or the process of evolution. For all we (Christians) know, God could have created life on another planet, no reason to think he would not have, or life could have spontaneously evolved, or some combination of the two. Life on another planet would in no way invalidate the Bible, just as evolution in no way invalidates it.

One other thing I would like to know which the article doesn't point out is just what Dr. Carson denies about evolution. Is it just, like most Christians, that all life did not come by unguided mutation from one cell. Or does he deny that allele frequencies change, antibiotic resistance isn't real, etc...? The first is understandable and, point me out if I am wrong, but I do not see how that would make him a worse doctor, but the second would be ridiculous and clearly would affect his practice.

Ugh, Dr. Michael Egnor has re-appeared over at FreeThoughts Blogs (where some former ScienceBlogs folks moved after a thing a few years ago), commenting on PZ's blog (creationist stuff) and at Ed Brayton's blog with some pretty unpleasant anti-gay stuff.

So if a TheDukeDog7 shows up here, it's probably Dr Egnor, come to be difficult.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

I'd expect the TYPE of religious belief system/ congregation to be an important factor- not all Christians are fundamentalists ( similarly, Jewish people and Muslims)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

We have had 2 quite vocal YE-creationist physicians here. Another of those (Reinikainen) got a little bit angry and wrote back when a docent (Wartiovaara) wrote an article about mitochondrias and medication in local medical magazine (Duodecim, 2006). She mentioned in that article that in ancient times mitochondrias were originally bacteria and this may cause problems with medication, especially with antibiotics as mitochondrias still have properties of bacteria. Aminoglycosides sometimes induces deafness if patient have a special mutant form of mitochondria.

This YEC doctor Reinikainen was vocally trumpeting against evolution in religious radio before elections and were just about to get into national parliament and later also member of EU parliament. But lost both by a hairbreath. (Fortunately.)
Perhaps God is theistic evolutionist and got somebit angry too.. ;D

By MrrKAT, Finland (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

I'm having trouble thinking of many fields in medicine where knowledge (and acceptance) of evolution of resistance to therapeutic agents is optional.

I suppose you could have a magical view wherein Satan is prompting bacteria to become antibiotic resistant and God wants you to follow the holy prescribing algorithm to minimize Satan's powers. It would still make me nervous even if the physician was doing the right thing. I'd always wonder what other nonsense was lurking beneath the surface.

Are there antivax physicians who buy into the belief that superior immune systems through supplements, diet and, well, just being superior beings is what counts in avoiding infectious disease, and handwashing isn't really as important as it's cracked up to be?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

@Dangerous Bacon:

I'm thinking about the JW propaganda that I used to have to read/sit through for some years as a kid, and about the way they talk about evolution. (As an example of a conservative, religious, denialist viewpoint.) IIRC, they acknowledge minor "adaptations" within one species, like how peppered moths changed color due to coal smoke pollution. They object to the idea, however, that one "kind" can "turn into" another "kind." It is a pretty brain dead position, but it gives the impression of a little bit of nuance or something, I guess. I imagine that some doctors, in a similar sort of way, might recognize that infectious agents "adapt" without actually accepting the wider theory of evolution.

As an aside, I found a discarded copy of the Awake! on the sidewalk the other day and took it home for kicks and giggles. I gotta say, the literature has been significantly dumbed down from even what I remember in the first half of the oughts.

Eric@12 -- thank you. I remember reading something to that effect, but it was years ago (as in decades. My brain stores up the oddest things).

Obviously, one can be a world-renowned medical doctor without believing in evolution (e.g. Ben Carson).

But I have two questions right now:
1)Does the med school curriculum include at least one course on biological evolution?
2)Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

Since evolutionally theory is built on facts, one does not need to believe in it, as it just is.

That's like saying "I believe the sky is blue."

The extremes of religious influence in America seem bizarre to Australians. I see articles on the internet about being "openly secular" when people here would actually feel more awkward to publicly announce that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I am a doctor (not a fancy, published one or anything) and while we didn't have classes explicitly on evolutionary biology, it is inherent in the science we are taught, and there is certainly no-one running a religious or creationist agenda in medical schools.

Personally, I would not see a religious doctor. It speaks of an inability to assess the evidence, think critically and reach a reasonable conclusion - skills that should be prerequisites for being a doctor. Sure, some people could be good doctors while holding ideas that are not reality-based, but that level of cognitive dissonance scares me. How do I know that a doctor is giving me all the information and good advice, and not withholding things because they think I'm immoral, or they think my medical problem is god's will?

It's not that there aren't religious doctors in Australia, but that we don't have the same problem of religious saturation that the USA seems to. We even managed to elect an atheist once.

By Everything (not verified) on 20 May 2015 #permalink

2) Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?

Preventing HIV from not being a death sentence? Then again, that's just off the top of my head, and question #1 is even more dismayingly ignorant.

^ "from not being"

Another of those (Reinikainen) got a little bit angry and wrote back when a docent (Wartiovaara) wrote an article about mitochondrias and medication in local medical magazine (Duodecim, 2006). She mentioned in that article that in ancient times mitochondrias were originally bacteria and this may cause problems with medication....

I almost went for "virus first," but a creationist take on HERV-K won the day.

Obviously, one can be a world-renowned medical doctor without believing in evolution

You make it sound like evolution is a religion. It isn't. It is just something that is.

It is a bit like suggesting gravity is a religion.

#21

A doctor not accepting evolution would make me wonder what their understanding of biology and chemistry, in fact the scientific process in general, was like and would make me have some very big doubts about their basic competence as a medic: in deciding to not accept evolution they are demonstrating an arrogant tendency towards cherry-picking which does not bode well for their ability to evaluate evidence of the effectiveness of different treatments.

So, I would suggest that you cannot become a world-renowned doctor while not accepting evolution (who is Ben Carson anyway?), because you do not grasp the basics of science, which should underpin medicine.

Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist and would seem to accept his religion's take on the subject. It's simply part of the 'package' of being an SDA. Egnor, a Catholic, has no such excuse. There is no religious prerequisite for him. It is just his own learned idiocy on the subject.

So, I would suggest that you cannot become a world-renowned doctor while not accepting evolution (who is Ben Carson anyway?), because you do not grasp the basics of science, which should underpin medicine.

The problem with this argument is that medical education, as it is currently structured in the US, requires students to learn certain facts about science, without necessarily understanding the underpinnings of those facts. That's what rote memorization means. The system in the UK may well be different, and good for them if it is different in this way.

The same issue arises in engineering. If you're designing a widget, or a bridge, you need to know certain things about the material used in constructing the thing you are designing, and some basic general principles of physics. Except for materials scientists and some electrical engineers, you don't have to know anything about quantum mechanics, which would tell you why your materials behave as they do. The exceptions I mentioned are disciplines where quantum effects directly constrain your design. Likewise, if you are a doctor you need to know that bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics, but you don't need to know the details of how that happens--just avoid certain obvious mistakes, and you will at least not be contributing to the problem.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Eric Lund @3

One of the ways in which engineers often go wrong is that they apply techniques that worked previously to novel situations where the techniques don’t work.

Exactly - they have memorized the techniques without knowing the underlying assumptions on which the techniques are based. They then go on to apply these techniques when the underlying assumptions are not longer valid. Realizing this is what got me into my now worthless (thank you very much Packers Plus) specialty of Pressure Transient Analysis. A shallow understanding of a subject is always dangerous. An understanding of evolution is required for a deep understanding of biology.

@See Noevo

Evolution denial indicates a deep anti-intellectualism that is bound to spill over into other areas. Look at the strong correlation between creationism and AGW denial. anti-GBLT bigotry, forced birth advocacy. Furthermore, anyone who believes the Old Testament is literally true either hasn't read it or is worshiping a vile amoral monster. Ben Carson is black and he is running for a party that has been based on racism since Nixon's southern strategy. He may or may not have been a "world renowned surgeon", but he is now a world renowned idiot.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

To multiple addressees:

To Lawrence #22:
“Since evolutionally theory is built on facts, one does not need to believe in it, as it just is.”

I would say evolutionary theory is built NOT on facts, but rather on interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts. (Assuming we can even agree on what the “facts” are.)
…..

To Narad #24:

How would “Preventing HIV from being a death sentence” require a belief in evolution?
…….

To ChrisP #27:
“You make it sound like evolution is a religion. It isn’t. It is just something that is. It is a bit like suggesting gravity is a religion.”

Yes, I think evolution is a form of religion. And one requiring far greater faith than, say, Christianity.
But no, gravity is quite unlike evolution. Gravity is something which has been OBSERVED and EXPERIENCED by every living thing in this planet’s history. Very different from evolution.
…………

To Murmur #28:
Among other things, Ben Carson was “professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics, and he was the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson#Awards_and_honors

And he doesn’t believe in evolution.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

"How would “Preventing HIV from being a death sentence” require a belief in evolution?"

That is evidence that you have no idea how biology works.

"Gravity is something which has been OBSERVED and EXPERIENCED by every living thing in this planet’s history."

Actually, pretty much the same with evolution. It has been experienced by everything that consists of DNA and/or RNA. From the simplest virus to the blue whale.

Just because you don't understand it, does not mean it does not exist and is still happening. This I say as an adult who can drink cow's milk and whose mouth was remodeled as an adolescent because my jaw was too small for the number of teeth.

See Noevo@32:

Yes, I think evolution is a form of religion. And one requiring far greater faith than, say, Christianity. But no, gravity is quite unlike evolution. Gravity is something which has been OBSERVED and EXPERIENCED by every living thing in this planet’s history. Very different from evolution.

Shorter See Noevo: "If it's outside my personal experience, it doesn't exist."

How very small and simple your universe must be.

See Noevo: Scientists who studied evolution were the ones who figured out where one could drill into the ground and get petroleum. If evolution is a lie, why are they usually correct?

If you imply that God deliberately created the illusion of age, you are blasphemously suggesting the God is a deceiver.

If you suggest that the Devil is responsible, that will be taken as a sign of polytheism: The devil is not God.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

I would say evolutionary theory is built NOT on facts, but rather on interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts. (Assuming we can even agree on what the “facts” are.)

You'd be wrong, though. The word "theory" has a specific meaning when used in the natural sciecnes: a unifying,self-consistent, comprehensive, falsifiable and tentative explanatory model of a natural process or phenomenon derived exclusively from corroborated hypotheses.

Yes, I think evolution is a form of religion..

Again, you'd be wrong: evolution lacks three essential elements integral to religious traditions:

It does not possess a system of beliefs or doctrines which relate the believers to the ultimate meaning of life

It does not define practices which represent either norms for behavior or rites and ceremonies of worship or celebration (sacraments, initiations, ordinations, sermons, prayers, services for funerals and marriages, etc.).

It does not unite a body of believers so as to constitute an identifiable community which is either hierarchical or congregational in polity and which possesses a spiritual way of life in harmony with the ultimate meaning of life as perceived by the believers

And one requiring far greater faith than, say, Christianity

And once again: wrong. Confidence in the validity of evolutionary models does not represent a article of subjective personal faith but instead derives from the fact that they are comprehensive, predictive, falsifiable, and therefore tentative..

But no, gravity is quite unlike evolution. Gravity is something which has been OBSERVED and EXPERIENCED by every living thing in this planet’s history. Very different from evolution"

Gravity is exactly like evolution: as is the case with evolution, you have both the fact of gravity (objects possessing mass are observed to exert an attractive force on each other) and a theory of gravity (that this attractive force is the result of objects possessing mass inducing the curvature of space-time).

With evolution, there's the fact of evolution (that evolution is seen to occur in living populations and to result in the creation of biologically diverse living populations by descnet from previously extant ancestral ones) and we have theories of evolution ( detailed explanatory models of how natural mechanisms which introduce change into population genomes creating novel phenotypes which can be selected for or against as a function of differential fitnesswith respect to a specific enviornment has created the biological diversity we observe in living populations today and/or find evidence of in the fossil record.

The extremes of religious influence in America seem bizarre to Australians

They seem pretty bizarre to a lot of us here.

You know, when humans discover life outside the comfy confines of planet Earth, it will change the way we think. And it such life is intelligent, that will change everything. All the religious books (Bible, Koran and Torah) will need to be rewritten. Upgraded, if you will.

Back in the day, I was helping (for very small values of help) to find ET and his phone.
http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu

One of the enticements for the program was that if ET was found, the person who crunched the data would get a mention in the announcement. There was discussion among the participants, and one school of thought was that it would be smart to decline the honor. If there are people willing to kill the author of a piece of fiction, how many would be willing to kill someone who said 'there is life out there, and here is the address'?

Yes, most doctors reject the evolutionary approach Bechamp had to micro organisms and accepted the creationist Pasteur and his fallacious germ theory. Bechamp predicted the disaster that following the mythical "killing of germs" and pointed out that this would force them to evolve and eventually kill us all. Instead of trying to modify the soil with antibiotics we should be eating correctly and avoiding the suppression of fevers etc. Pasteur was a liar and an azzhole, adopting his mythology will be the undoing of us all.

Real Johnny, accept no baloney

"but he is now a world renowned idiot."
Carson has been demonstrating that for many years, and not just about his denial of evolution. He is one of the more virulent anti-gay folks, and his stance that being gay is a choice because

Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight and when they come out they're gay.

Add to that his conflation of 'gay' with 'child molester' and 'animal molestation advocate' and you have a perfectly despicable person who wears good suits.

Remarkable really, how can doctors just believe the sponteseperatist idea that germs 'just appear' as if by magik. If we cut the blood off to the arm, in seven hours we have gangrene, doctors think that it just 'appears' like bad miasm or some kind of humor curse.

Proper Johnny, needs no explanation

lowercase johnny, if germ theory is incorrect, then why did penicillin cure people with tuberculosis when no amount of dietary and lifestyle changes did? Why did the rabies vaccine pull people from their deathbeds? Where the **** did smallpox and rhinderpest go?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

This discussion conflates the Darwinist view of the origin of man with evolution as a process in nature (e.g. the development of antimicrobial resistance). Many doctors reject the former. Hardly any of those same doctors reject the latter as far as I can tell, notwithstanding the anecdote about the cardiologist in one of the comments above. A proper distinction needs to be made.

By Robert W Donnell (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Gravity is something which has been OBSERVED and EXPERIENCED by every living thing in this planet’s history. Very different from evolution.

Are you not acquainted with any farmers, gardeners, or animal breeders (pets or livestock)? These folks actively contribute to evolution. For example, the corn grown in many parts of the Americas came from teosinte, a Mesoamerican plant that only vaguely resembles our modern corn. A few thousand years ago, somebody in what is now Mexico thought that teosinte might make a good food crop. He and his successors have been breeding the descendants of that crop to produce a much larger and sturdier plant with a much larger edible portion. The same thing has happened with other food crops, and more recently with ornamentals. Likewise, animal breeders want to encourage certain traits in the offspring of the animals they breed. For thousands of years man did these things without understanding why they worked; we only knew that they worked. Then Mr. Darwin and Mr. Mendel came along to explain the mechanisms that were at work, and noted that these processes also work (more slowly, because nobody is actively intervening in the breeding program) for other living things.

Or you can consider resistance of pathogens to drugs. This includes antibiotic resistance, mentioned above, as well as the resistance malaria has developed to prophylactic drugs such as chloroquine (which can no longer be used for that purpose) and mefloquine (which is the drug of choice in most parts of the world, but there are places in Southeast Asia where it won't help you). Many specific instances of this have happened during my lifetime. If you accept that evolution is true, explaining this phenomenon is straightforward. Otherwise, you will have to resort to some supernatural explanation: $DEITY is punishing us because we didn't perform $RITUAL properly, or something along those lines. It's one thing to resort to the latter class of explanation when you don't know any better, but today we do.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

How would “Preventing HIV from being a death sentence” require a belief in evolution?

See if this (PDF) helps – it's at an undergraduate level.

This discussion conflates the Newtonist view of a heliocentric solar system with the force of gravity as seen in nature. Many doctors reject the former. Hardly any of those same doctors reject the latter as far as I can tell, notwithstanding the anecdote about the cardiologist in one of the comments above. A proper distinction needs to be made.

Seriously, there is no Darwinism. There is only the fact of evolution.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

This discussion conflates the Darwinist view of the origin of man with evolution as a process in nature

Did you miss the the part about ERVs?

Gray Falcon, more directly to the point of my earlier comment: do you think it's possible to properly understand the mechanism of antimicrobial resistance if you reject the evolutionary view of the origin of man?

By Robert W Donnell (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

@Robert W Donnell- Science isn't a buffet. You don't get to pick and choose what you like and don't like.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

This discussion conflates the Darwinist view of the origin of man with evolution as a process in nature (e.g. the development of antimicrobial resistance). Many doctors reject the former.

Of course, it goes without saying that they're being complete idiots when they do so, given the tremendous body of evidence indicating homo sapiens arose by descent with modification from a previously existing ancestral population.

Thanks for adding clarity JGC! I was really trying to call out a straw man for accusing creation minded doctors of denying evolutionary processes in nature. But you rained on my parade. Being such idiots, how could they possibly understand biologic processes of any kind after all?

By Robert W Donnell (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

more directly to the point of my earlier comment: do you think it’s possible to properly understand the mechanism of antimicrobial resistance if you reject the evolutionary view of the origin of man?

Would you like to get on with instantiating your version of "proper understanding"? Is it going to be "antimicrobial resistance isn't genetic" or "'resistance genes' existed before antimicrobials"?

Hmmm. Implied straw man again. No, Narad, it's none of what you mentioned.

By Robert W Donnell (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Methinks Dr. Donnell is referring to the "microevolution" versus "macroevolution" trope beloved of creationists. And trope it is, because the mechanisms of "macroevolution" (speciation) involve the same sorts of selective pressures that "microevolution" do.

Hmmm. Implied straw man again. No, Narad, it’s none of what you mentioned.

"Implied straw man"? While making a bee noise?

Perhaps you could skip perceived implications and get on to the explicit part.

Robert W Donnell@43

A proper distinction needs to be made.

This reminds me of the Bill Nye debate where the other guy kept sayong that there's a distinction between historical science and observational science. That's absolute bullsh!t. Science is based on the assumption that what laws exist now prevade time and space. Darwin's theory of the origin of man comes from applying what we know about the process of evolution across time. As Gray Falcon said, you can't have one without the other. That is unless you argue that physical laws are not consistent across time, at which point everything we know falls apart.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

I wonder a bit about this. As a doctor in a semi-rural area deep in the Bible belt (and a active Christian to boot), I know of no doctors at present in our area who do not accept evolution as valid. When I think of doctors in the past I have known who did not do so, they are invariably from fundamentalist backgrounds and have a strong service ethic which led them into medicine, not entirely a bad thing. I did attend a "Christian Medical-Dental Society" function once, and was surrounded there however of those of the fundamentalist/YEC belief system, and interesting, most were dentists. In fact, I bet dentists are far more likely to be young earth creationists and evolution deniers than doctors.

Most of you don't believe the "distinction" is real. I get that. This discussion could go on for hours. I would love to continue. I really would. I do work and I do sleep. Maybe some day we can discuss it over beer. At least we would have beer.

By Robert W Donnell (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Macro-evolution, after all, is defined simply as ""any evolutionary change ocurring at or above the taxonomic level of the species (e.g., speciation and extinction events)" (per the Biotech Life Sciences Dictionary, if anyone's interested).

We've directly observed, both in controlled laboratory settings and uncontrolled in the wild, new species populations arise as a consequence of changes in the genetic composition of a presexisting one, so it can't reasonably be argued macroevolution does not or can not occur.

" then why did penicillin cure people with tuberculosis when no amount of dietary and lifestyle changes did?" Greyfuckweet

Nice distraction oh greynuts.. We all know TB is a disease of malnourishment and poor overcrowding and no light. Yes you can spray these people with disinfectant if you like, that is the kind of new world order 'solution' I would expect from you. it takes far more intellect, capabilities and aptitude to sort the problem out properly. The medical approach of not flushing toilets and spraying everything with juice is what is bringing the next plague of frogs with antibiotic resistance.

You are like those bankers who keep handing out credit cards and then claiming some kind of financial kudos.

He who borrows............... take no submissions

” then why did penicillin cure people with tuberculosis when no amount of dietary and lifestyle changes did?” Greyfoockweet

Nice distraction oh greynuts.. We all know TB is a disease of malnourishment and poor overcrowding and no light. Yes you can spray these people with disinfectant if you like, that is the kind of new world order ‘solution’ I would expect from you. it takes far more intellect, capabilities and aptitude to sort the problem out properly. The medical approach of not flushing toilets and spraying everything with juice is what is bringing the next plague of frogs with antibiotic resistance.

You are like those bankers who keep handing out credit cards and then claiming some kind of financial kudos.

He who borrows…………… take no submissions

"Of course, it goes without saying that they’re being complete idiots when they do so, given the tremendous body of evidence indicating homo sapiens arose by descent with modification from a previously existing ancestral population." Jcb

Yes, I can quite imagine you descending as an ape eructates his nates. Nice metaphor oh juicy one

Most of you don’t believe the “distinction” is real. I get that. This discussion could go on for hours.

Given that you haven't said anything content-bearing, "discussion" is giving yourself too much credit.

"That is unless you argue that physical laws are not consistent across time, at which point everything we know falls apart." Cockwrench

Well they aren't consistent at all. I mean Newtonian physics, that discovered the apple, has been superseded by the Cern that discovered the pigs bottom. We all know its true, I have read 'women wear bras and men have a penis'.

Nice distraction oh greynuts..

Keep it lowercase, jіzzmop.

"Why did the rabies vaccine pull people from their deathbeds? Where the **** did smallpox and rhinderpest go?" Greyfoockwit

But where did the germs come from - if you don't believe in evolution, where did they come from? The correct answer is not the 9/11. Bechamp could tell you, the problem with Pasteur is that his theory falls down - and he admitted that on his death bed 'Bernard he is right - the germ is nothing the soil is everything'. You can rewrite history if you want to, but Pasteur can't explain where the germs come from. Try this, take two fresh chickens eggs, shake one violently for 30 seconds and put both back under a chicken. One produces a chicken, the other ferments and rots. The egg is not broken, where did the germs come from. Try it yourself - it works.

Bechamp could tell you, the problem with Pasteur is that his theory falls down – and he admitted that on his death bed ‘Bernard he is right – the germ is nothing the soil is everything’

It's hilarious that you can't even get your own – ¿cómo se dice? – "fairy story" straight.

Robert W Donnell@58

Most of you don’t believe the “distinction” is real. I get that.

It certainly doesn't help that you've provided zero evidence to support yourself. All you did was arbitrarily draw up a distinction to support your argument and then storm off indignantly when called on your bull. I like how Narad put it, you really haven't said anything content bearing.

johnny@65 (like Narad said keep it lowercase; you're plenty scummy without the added effort you're putting into impersonating Johnny)

Try this, take two fresh chickens eggs, shake one violently for 30 seconds and put both back under a chicken. One produces a chicken, the other ferments and rots. The egg is not broken, where did the germs come from.

The hell is this supposed to prove?

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Does anyone else feel like lower-case johnny has started making even less sense than usual? I mean, he's usually wrong and weird and insulting, but this thread is edging into "Chopra generator" territory. Germs not coming from "the 9/11"? What does that even mean?

Maybe johnny is really an advanced troll bot, and the code has developed a bug.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Try this, take two fresh chickens eggs, shake one violently for 30 seconds and put both back under a chicken. One produces a chicken, the other ferments and rots.

Sounds like some half-remembered piffle from the annals of osteopathy, but not really worth the effort of tracking down the source.
Shake a fertilised chicken egg for 30 seconds, you're not even going to make the embryo dizzy

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

To JGC #36:

Before we go any further, are you an atheist as well as an evolutionist?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Before we go any further, are you an atheist as well as an evolutionist?

I'm fascinated what this is supposed to have to do with JGC's actual reply.

Lowercase johnny seems to have lost it, or at least what little he had to begin with. I don't think he realizes that we have historical records of antibiotics pulling people from their deathbeds.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, why would someone's religion or lack there of affect the details about the science? It is quite telling that some have trouble distinguishing the difference between facts and beliefs.

Maybe johnny is really an advanced troll bot, and the code has developed a bug.

No, I think he's just drunk or stoned (not that there's anything wrong with that). You can't be that stupid in a sober state of mind.

Proper Johnny
Accept no substitutes

Lowercase johnny seems to have lost it, or at least what little he had to begin with.

Phildo is just running out of material. I'm disappointed that he also ran away from his (repeat) neologistic fling with organic nomenclature.

You can’t be that stupid in a sober state of mind.

There's little difference in the stupidity per se between when he comments first thing upon rising (around 5:30 a.m. in Essex, depending on whether he's acting out The Loneliest Runner), during "work," and after progressively getting loaded in the evening. Indeed, he seems to have stayed up late for the most recent salvo.

Does anyone else feel like lower-case johnny has started making even less sense than usual? I mean, he’s usually wrong and weird and insulting, but this thread is edging into “Chopra generator” territory.

Tempting though it is to speculate about increased and earlier-starting alcohol consumption, I don't recall Essex Boy ever caring much about coherence under any of his noms-de-web. His biggest motivation is the child-like oppositional defiance, so if you correct him on a misspelled name -- even the name of someone he is extolling! -- then he will repeat the error five more times to prove a point, and if other commenters are relying on logic and facts then johnny will swing towards incoherence, just to show that Reality is Not the Boss of Him.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

I've never understood the "microevolution vs macroevolution" thing. Saying that you accept the former but not the latter seems to me like saying that you accept that C goes "kuh," A goes "ah" and T goes "tuh," but you don't accept that C-A-T spells "cat" (yeah, I know this example isn't well suited to the written word - just use your imagination.)

Like some of the other commenters have already said, to me the scariest thing about a creationist doctor isn't so much that a knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of evolution is necessary to diagnose or treat illness, as that I would wonder about the integrity and general - not exactly mental health, more like intellectual robustness, perhaps? - of someone able to maintain that degree of cognitive dissonance.

the scariest thing about a creationist doctor

Here in NZ we have Anthroposophic Doctors, members in good standing of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners. That is, they believe in Steiner's eccentric scholium of revelatory thought (or at least affect to believe in it), in which blood pumps itself around the body (with the heart merely there to modulate its flow), while the skull is an inside-out femur.

There is significant overlap between "anthroposophic GPs" and "cancer grifters".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

@hdb:

Oh, we have them here too. In fact, here at my very own university, which has a generally stellar medical school, there's a School of Anthroposophic Medicine.

^ OK, wait a second, there's no School of Anthroposophic Medicine, but it's included within the "Integrative Medicine" department.

I think the comparison to some kinds of engineering is an apt one and perhaps explains why I find so many engineers among the free-energy/cold-fusion/conspiracy theorist set.

In addition to learning by rote I think there's a kind of "experimenters fallicy" on both camps. The idea that if you're really really really really careful (or at least if you think you are) your results are necessarily likely to be correct. So if those results happen to contradict all known physics (or if that's how we interpret them) then it's time to start re-writing textbooks.

However that's not really the way things work a test/study that overturns a well understood idea is still more likely to be wrong than right. Even if said study is repeatable.

By Jonathan Graham (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

I’ve never understood the “microevolution vs macroevolution” thing.

Orac beat me to it – and I don't even have experience with this flavor of crank – but Donnell's attempt to steer back to antibiotics despite the presence of the whole "virus" thingamabob on the table kept me from asking how the Unstated Principle worked in the face of measles versus rinderpest.

Mere speciation, it's now clear to me, doesn't cut it. It wouldn't be sustainable, in any event.

Perhaps bacteria have to turn into newts, but that would be an "implied straw man." "Again." Only time will tell whether Flouncy McDonnell will deign to return and choose something.

Re micro vs macro-evolution. My view is there is no such thing....it is all evolution. However, there are some scientists I greatly respect who do make that distinction. One of them used an analogy, which was, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.

By Dan Andrews (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

To Dan Andrews #85:
“…believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.”

Perhaps similarly, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing your skin can get sun-burned but not that your sun burn will lead to an eyeball.

“Starting with a simple patch of light sensitive cells, Nilsson's model "evolves" until a clear image is produced.”
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

By See Noevo (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, are you a medical doctor? If you are, what is your specialty?

Perhaps similarly, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing your skin can get sun-burned but not that your sun burn will lead to an eyeball.

I'm also fascinated by how this attempted simile is supposed to work in purely abstract terms.

Or the details of how the flybait works, whatever.

To Chris #74:

“See Noevo, why would someone’s religion or lack there of affect the details about the science? It is quite telling that some have trouble distinguishing the difference between facts and beliefs.”

I think you’re responding to my #71, which was a question relating to JGC #36’s words on what religion is. (Unfortunately, JGC has yet to respond.)

Religion would NORMALLY have no effect whatsoever on the details of science. However, exceptions to that norm can occur (e.g. The religious and moral objections to certain stem cell research, specifically, embryonic stem cell work.).

I think for JGC, and probably for you, science IS your “religion.” “Religion” here defined more broadly as a “world-view” and as the “only basis for ultimate truth” and for, as JGC says, “the ultimate meaning of life.”

And I’d say such a “religion of science” has a number of problems. And I, too, shake my head at the "trouble distinguishing the difference between facts and beliefs.” I see it all the time in evolutionists.

Regarding your #87, I’m not a medical doctor.
Are you an atheist?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

I think for JGC, and probably for you, science IS your “religion.” “Religion” here defined more broadly as a “world-view” and as the “only basis for ultimate truth” and for, as JGC says, “the ultimate meaning of life.”

Do I need to send money by Paypal or something for personal psychic reading?

Are you an atheist?

Could you phrase that in coherent philosophical terms?

"Try this, take two fresh chickens eggs, shake one violently for 30 seconds and put both back under a chicken. One produces a chicken, the other ferments and rots." Le Sang chapter 7

I know you must feel like a google of baboons on this - but you Pasteurians have no idea where germs come from, you have no micro evolutionary concept. NobRed thinks they just appear, like the second coming and Her Dockyfuc, well - no idea springs to mind

The religion of orthodox medicine believes that disease is caused by deficiency in medication. All other therapies are the devil

So NobRed. Stop the avoidance. Where do the germs 'come' from? Avoiding the opportunity to explain this is just exposing your insecurity.

Are you a God believer or an evolutionary believer? Or, like most medical pseuds - haven't thought about it so chuff a smoke screen and carry on driving off the cliff.

To Narad #88:

Me: “Perhaps similarly, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing your skin can get sun-burned but not that your sun burn will lead to an eyeball.”

You: “I’m also fascinated by how this attempted simile is supposed to work in purely abstract terms.”

Perhaps I should stick closer to Dan Andrews’ original analogy. How about this:
“believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt Mount Rushmore.”

(I actually can imagine a modern person, lacking in common sense and in any knowledge of history, looking up at Mount Rushmore and thinking “How awesome are the powers of nature and erosion… When given enough time!”)

Anyway, Narad, how did eye sight evolve?
Actually, never mind. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Having a degree in a discipline does not guarantee understanding. Evolution is not obvious if one does not make efforts to understand.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

Perhaps I should stick closer to Dan Andrews’ original analogy.

No, instead you oughtn't to try to weasel out of the actual question* by trying to read from a script. You do know what a formal inferential system is, right?

* Actually, two, Miss Cleo.

With respect to the contributions of Robert W Donnell, I suspect the point being made is that it is possible to be a perfectly adequate medical practitioner by accepting that micro-evolution occurs while rejecting speciation. Accepting speciation is not a necessary requirement to dealing with disease, etc.

Now logically, accepting micro-evolution and rejecting speciation makes no sense and I personally don't see who you would be able to keep the two separate in your head without running into a lot of non sequiturs.

So simply saying that because someone doesn't accept that humans evolved from apes, they won't make a good doctor is wrong. However, it might lead to some questions about their judgement in other matters.

Where do the germs ‘come’ from?

It seems that Philip Hills learnt nothing at primary school and has continued the tradition right through his life to date.

The answer to his question is, obviously, 'girls'.

Yes, I think evolution is a form of religion. And one requiring far greater faith than, say, Christianity. But no, gravity is quite unlike evolution. Gravity is something which has been OBSERVED and EXPERIENCED by every living thing in this planet’s history. Very different from evolution.

The fact that See Noevo makes this artificial distinction between evolution and gravity tells me that it is their belief system that is declaring evolution to be a religion.

See Noevo has this problem that they have a conclusion that is so dear to them that when the evidence contradicts their conclusion, they discard the evidence rather than the conclusion.

The fact that See Noevo makes this artificial distinction between evolution and gravity tells me that it is their belief system that is declaring evolution to be a religion.

His inability to define terms that fall outside of the script instead leads me to think that his god is neither more nor less than thoughtless, posturing, attention-seeking yammering about "evolutionists."

In short, himself.

^ I even find myself wondering what sort of idolatry KE5BMP is up to these days.

believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.

Someone who is making the later distinction should get out more often.

Example 1: Ventifact

Let's have wikipedia as example 2: more ventifacts

Our world is wonderful beyond that our tiny minds could apprehend.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 21 May 2015 #permalink

@See Noevo the fact that you think Mt Rushmore could be an analogy for an eye demonstrates more about your misconceptions than it does about evolution.
Mt Rushmore is special in a completely arbitrary way, that has nothing at all to do with function. It would be ridiculous to think wind could sculpt it, because there is no reason to. No partial steps along the way that would serve a purpose, and no consequences if it doesn't work. It only makes sense if you already know what it should turn out like.
This is completely unlike evolution, but it is like the 'tornado creating a jumbo' nonsense that creationists use. Since it's your analogy, how about you explain how you think it is similar to evolution. Then at least we'll know which misconceptions you need explained.

On doctors and evolution, this is something we see all the time in science classes. All children bring a set of naïve beliefs into the classroom, based on their own experiences. They will add to these beliefs through education, but they don't replace the old beliefs until they become too uncomfortable. They can easily hold contradictory beliefs, so long as they aren't using them at the same time. I've had students explain how the moon orbits the earth, then in another class tell me the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the earth. These beliefs need to be specifically deconstructed.
The other issue is the difference between knowledge and understanding. Many people can apply the formula to find the area of a triangle, without understanding how it is derived. Ultimately better learning comes from understanding, but it is harder to develop, especially with time limits.
Combine these two and it's easy to see how creationist doctors get through. They know biology rather than understanding it, and their naïve beliefs formed at home or in social situations are never directly contradicted in their work practice.

With respect to the contributions of Robert W Donnell, I suspect the point being made is that it is possible to be a perfectly adequate medical practitioner by accepting that micro-evolution occurs while rejecting speciation. Accepting speciation is not a necessary requirement to dealing with disease, etc.

Yup. That's what Dr. Donnell appeared to be trying to argue, and, quite frankly, I'm a little disappointed how commenters appear to have misinterpreted and been a bit over eager to go after him. From what he wrote, I gathered that he knew the micro/macro-evolution thing is usually used as a creationist trope, hence my chiming in about giving him the benefit of the doubt and his contribution to promoting science-based medicine. Unfortunately, he seems to have been driven off.

I suspect that Dr. Donnell deals with a lot of evolution-doubting physicians where he lives and works, which is Arkansas, and felt motivated to defend them.

Where do the germs ‘come’ from?
The answer to his question is, obviously, ‘girls’.

This is all very well, but now we need to know whether girl cooties are eukaryotes, bacteria or archaea. I am not aware of any research on this important question.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

To the RI regulars: do any of you have the same view of morphing "johnny/Johnny" that I do, based on his pattern of insults? I picture him typing furiously with one hand, while the other is grasping desperately at his lap, fearful that his manhood is under threat and will vanish.

I mean, look at the way he insults the commenters he can identify as men, compared to how he insults the commenters he can identify as women. Women are cows (MooMoo) or twits. Men are insulted in masturbatory terms.

I see him as a caricature - the thin, wizened, older guy, waving a cane, afraid of the world.

Being charitable, it is possible to create a self-consistent view that a species may adapt to its environment by a combination of variation (with genetic and epigenetic causes) and natural selection, but that a different process is needed for speciation. Such a view would not be as elegant as the current accepted theory of evolution, and it would take some substantial evidence to prove that the different process exists. Such a view could, though, be consistent with all currently available evidence with some work.

The view that speciation does not occur at all takes much more hand-waving and willful ignorance of all available data, but does necessarily deny adaptation within a species such as drug resistance or the annual change in the dominant influenza strains.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

how can doctors just believe the sponteseperatist idea that germs ‘just appear’ as if by magik.

Nobody with a lick of sense believes that germs spontaneously appear. Pasteur, among others, pretty much proved that they don't.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

@ Orac

I’m a little disappointed how commenters appear to have misinterpreted and been a bit over eager to go after him.

Speaking for myself, I may have slightly conflated Dr. Donnell's arguments with those of some other commenters.
Not his fault: the current background noise makes it a bit challenging for the occasional visitor to get a foothold in the conversation.

Note to myself: recalibrate the BS detector. After the recent weeks' overload, it may be a bit oversensitive.

@ MI Dawn

I see the troll more as the local drunk hobo,, bitter with resentment against the world at large, sitting at the corner of the street and insulting the passer-by.
Well, as long as he is yelling his nonsense here, he is not outside mugging baby seals.

Some other antivaxers, like Mike Adams, do seem to believe that vaccines will make the manly bits fall off. Metaphorically or literally, I don't know.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

I have to confess, my biggest objection to creationism is that it is basically an attempt to have Christianity without the teachings of Christ. Our society is largely built up on the accumulation of wealth, which Jesus Christ was unequivocally opposed to, but rather than condemn that, modern "Christians" spend their time complaining about science textbooks.

PS. I actually learned in high school that Pasteur was the one who ultimately refuted spontaneous generation. Lowercase johnny probably dropped out before then.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

“Try this, take two fresh chickens eggs, shake one violently for 30 seconds and put both back under a chicken. One produces a chicken, the other ferments and rots.”

Try this, take two live animals, kill one and it decays, where do the germs come from HURR HURR

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo@90:
“Religion” here defined more broadly as a “world-view”

If you intend to use the word "religion" to convey your own special meaning of "vague meaningless hand-wavy abstraction", your statements don't convey any useful message, but that's your problem, we can't stop you. Go ahead, redefine every word in the English language, go wild! The world is your oyster! (where 'oyster' has the special meaning of 'small furry animal').

For the rest of us, however, there is a difference between saying "evolutionary biology is a religion" and "evolutionary biology is a world-view".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

Try this, take two live animals, kill one and it decays, where do the germs come from HURR HURR

Mr Hills seems to have this strange ignorance that the shell of a hen's egg is no barrier to microbes.

Fittingly, it goes neatly with his ignorance on every other topic he touches.

Helianthus @105
Our world is wonderful beyond that our tiny minds could apprehend.
IKR? In retrospect, we can look at phenomena like "hurricanes" and realise "Oh yes, that all makes sense in terms of Coriolis forces and the latent heat of water vapour", but who would look at those forces and predict that particular phenomenon?
We inhabit a world that gave us, I dunno, glaciers and butterflies. People don't appreciate it enough.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

We inhabit a world that gave us, I dunno, glaciers and butterflies. People don’t appreciate it enough.

We might appreciate the butterflies more if they didn't keep making those darned hurricanes.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

I know this was said in #90 and was already rebutted, but I believe it warrants another smackdown.

I think for JGC, and probably for you, science IS your “religion.” “Religion” here defined more broadly as a “world-view” and as the “only basis for ultimate truth” and for, as JGC says, “the ultimate meaning of life.”

Firstly, using "religion" to mean "world-view" is a major malapropism, as far as I'm concerned. Secondly, science is not a world-view. It can inform your world-view certainly, but of and by itself it isn't and can't be a world-view.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

More later, see, but to answer your question I'm an observant Jew.

A good basic introduction of how the year could evolve through intermediate stages, each of which is functional and confers increased fitness, see Don Lindsay 's excellent website at http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/eye.html

Note that these intermediate structures are still found in living organisms today

How the EYE could evolve, not year ( I hate trying to post from a kindle--it's got a particularly aggressive autocracy)

Regarding religion = worldview, even if one accepts that substitution the statement remains inaccurate. While science can certainly inform one's worldviw it isn't of itself a worldview.

It's instead a methodology: a systematic process for deriving a comprehensive, predictive and falsifiable understanding of the natural phenomenon we observe to occur.

A note about adaptation and evolution, as creationists are fond of dismissing observed evolutionary changes by asserting "That's just adaptation". Adaptation and evolution are entirely distinct entities as the terms are used in biology.

Adaptation occurs at the scale of individual organisms, does not involve changes in genetic composition, and therefore is not inheritance--a good example would be the physiologic changes an athlete undergoes as a consequence of training at higher altitudes which confer improved aerobic capacity.

Evolutionary change occurs at the scale of populations of living organisms, as a result of changes in the genetic composition of that population, and is always inheritance (industrial melanization in peppered moths is the classic example).

@ herr doktor bimler

glaciers and butterflies

I have been dragging friends recently to the Museum of Confluences at Lyon. They have this huge stock of stuffed animals and other preserved specimens, notably a few hundreds butterflies, formerly from the Guymet collection.
In a current temporary exhibition about old-time cabinets de curiosités ("house of wonder"), the curators just crammed a room full of specimen, including an alligator hanging from the ceiling (there is always one) and long lines of multi-colored butterflies along the walls.
Before visiting this part, my friends were feeling a bit tired and disappointed by the museum. Not anymore after visiting this room.

A permanent exposition in the same museum is about evolution. There are a number of small cute videos around, for those willing to learn. I believe they did a good job at presenting complex biological notions to the layman. There may be something about the formation of the eye, since it's a favorite of creationists.

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien

We might appreciate the butterflies more if they didn’t keep making those darned hurricanes.

As long as these are not hypercanes...
(reading the Long Earth series right now)

Phil Plait, over at Bad Astronomy, is regularly posting mind-blowing pictures or videos of natural phenomenons, like a tornado-and-rainbow combination.
He is the sort of guy who would cheerfully discuss about cosmic events with the potential to wipe out humanity and be too entranced in the sheer majesty of them to worry.
I envy his dedication. I also feel that this man of science has a stronger faith in whatever he believes in than many truly religious people who seem unable to stand the sightliest doubt or scorn cast onto their dogma.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

As long as these are not hypercanes…

I thought that hypercanes were really long bamboo that they make into scaffolding in the Asia/Pacific region.

Live and learn.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo: "Are you an atheist?"

Why? What do beliefs have to do with scientific fact?

Do you think if you took a basic chemistry and biology class you would understand what evolution has to do with HIV?

People can compartmentalise in astonishing ways:

over 20 years ago, I knew a fellow socially who had studied science ( bio/ chem / physics) and later worked with computers. He was an atheist and accepted evolution TO A DEGREE . Darwin's finches and moth examples were obviously alright as was human evolution from primates BUT he drew the line at humans evolving from hominids who originated in Africa and migrated.

He believed- wait for it- that each 'race' evolved from primates separately based upon locale ( continent) DESPITE all of the evidence that was accumulating ( this was the early1990s IIRC).This guy was especially miffed that yours truly- living emblem of iconic whiteness that I am- would hold to such as 'bizarre theory' that ALL of us indeed have African heritage- from 'Eve" herself.

He didn't buy it and yelled and screamed at me, entertaining all observers immensely- this row took place after a dinner at a conference . His beliefs included some other amazingly unlikely ideas concerning national sub-"race"s and examples of 'pure' types of European nationalities all riddled with glaring stereotypes as examples- e.g. Europeans from different countries are not related to each other.

Right. So other issues can fuel beliefs about human origins and diversity - not all of them scientific.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

"His beliefs included some other amazingly unlikely ideas concerning national sub-“race”s and examples of ‘pure’ types of European nationalities all riddled with glaring stereotypes as examples- e.g. Europeans from different countries are not related to each other."

My mother-in-law was first offended when I assumed that one reason why my hubby and younger son had difficulty growing facial hair was due to Native American influence in her family.

I explained that her mother was French Canadian who grew up in a French speaking town in northern Alberta. The original French who settled two centuries that far west did not include wives, those were acquired locally.

She did accept my reasoning, but she still did not like it. Younger son liked the idea.

@ Chris:

Your son can get tested by a commercial company by maily
( 100 USD) that identifies most likely locations of origin:
my friends used the service and found that they were from Eire( 85%) AND Espana ( 15%)- the younger guy probably was interested in order to symbolically connect to his father whom he had lost when he was a child. He was thrilled -btw-.

Celebrities have revealed their own 'secrets' after getting the test. ( e.g. Bono, Vanessa Williams)

I should do it myself as I suspect that despite the whiteness, there is something Mediterranean going on..

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

That's BY MAIL

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

@Denice

"Europeans from different countries are not related to each other".

Which is why one can find native people using French words or having French family names all over Europe.
Same with English, Spanish (my grandpa name was a Spanish word for leather-working artisans),...
Oh, wait.

I was reading a book once about Saxon tribes in England, in the low middle-ages. Looking at the accompanying maps and the change from century to century as to where the Saxons lived, it drove home to me the notion that European tribes spent a few centuries playing musical chairs all over the place. With all the accompanying muddying of the gene pool.

On the other hand, people from Basque country did succeed at living by themselves since at least the time Roland and Charlemagne paid them a short visit. Compared to the average French or Spanish, their genetic package is more homogeneous. It is actually a common trait of groups of people living in difficult-to-reach places, like mountain chains,

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

@ JGC

it’s got a particularly aggressive autocracy

Either you meant "autocorrect" and your Kindle did a very apropo demonstration, or you have style :-)

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

@ Helianthus:

Oh I know. Look at my own name- lots of Walthers, Watters, Gaulthiers, Gautiers around. Or the English language for that matter.

That are maps that show how haplogroups are distributed around Europe by pie chart.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

"Try this, take two live animals, kill one and it decays, where do the germs come from HURR HURR" Chrispacket

Dunce, the point about the egg is that the shell is not broken, the egg rots from the inside - where do the germs come from?

I find it rather amusing that this point has forced the thread of the header, lots of diversion. It is rather easy to make you guys run scared. So how does it feel - being part of the next pandemic ie antibiotic meltdown - you should be proud of your achievements.

“Try this, take two live animals, kill one and it decays, where do the germs come from HURR HURR” Chrispacket

Well you really understood that point didn't you, seeing what you want to see is not really on in discussion, the point about the egg is that the shell is not broken, the egg rots from the inside – where do the germs come from?

I find it rather amusing that this point has forced the thread of the header, lots of diversion. It is rather easy to make you guys run scared. So how does it feel – being part of the next pandemic ie antibiotic meltdown – you should be proud of your achievements.

It always interests me, if one can see past the sad polemic, the insecurity on this blog about basic biology is quite revealing. Sort of helps me understand why the modern medical profession is rather rapidly falling into disrepair.

brown logs in a sea of urine

Dunce, the point about the egg is that the shell is not broken, the egg rots from the inside – where do the germs come from?

The external envrionment: clearly you're operating on the assumption that as long as the eggshell is intact an egg is impermeable to bacterial infection but that quite simply is not the case (see, for example, "Bacterial Penetration of the Eggshell and Shell Membranes of the Chicken Hatching Egg: A Review", @ http://japr.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/4/499.abstract)

@Narad

2) Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?

Preventing HIV from not being a death sentence? Then again, that’s just off the top of my head, and question #1 is even more dismayingly ignorant.

Nope. I met one of the people who worked on that, and I strongly believe you'd classify him as not believing in evolution.

@Gray Falcon

I have to confess, my biggest objection to creationism is that it is basically an attempt to have Christianity without the teachings of Christ. Our society is largely built up on the accumulation of wealth, which Jesus Christ was unequivocally opposed to, but rather than condemn that, modern “Christians” spend their time complaining about science textbooks.

That's very true.

By justthestats (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

the insecurity on this blog about basic biology is quite revealing.

Please feel free to point out who is showing insecurity about basic biology. I'm not seeing it.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

Nope. I met one of the people who worked on that, and I strongly believe you’d classify him as not believing in evolution.

Where did he figure the need to combine multple types of antiretrovirals came from, if not reducing the odds of HIV's stumbling upon a mutation that would simultaneously defeat all the lines of attack?

Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?

Off the top of my head, I'd say identifying and understanding the etiology of cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, galactosemia, retinoblastoma, sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia, Tay-Sachs disease, Werner's Syndrome, and other recessive autosomal disorders would qualify.

Being charitable, it is possible to create a self-consistent view that a species may adapt to its environment by a combination of variation (with genetic and epigenetic causes) and natural selection, but that a different process is needed for speciation.

I'm not sure I would grant even that much. Firstly, of course, because speciation, in the strict biological sense, has been observed both in the lab and in the field. Creationists hand-wave this away as a technicality: you may get bacteria that can utilize a different food source, or lizards on different faces of a mountain that can't interbreed, but even though they are different biological species they are still the same "kind." The funny thing is that the whole idea of "created kinds" (or baramins,) rests on the assumption that there are clear-cut, objective differences between different baramins, but the creationists themselves can't agree on how many baramins there are or how organisms should be divided into them.

More fundamentally, however, I think the problem with the hypothesis that adaptation and natural selection can account for a certain degree of variation, but not speciation (or evolution into a different "kind") is that you'd have to accept that adaption will simply stop once it reaches some arbitrary limit of how different you can get from the ancestral organism (that's kind of what I was trying to get at with the "C-A-T spells "cat"" analogy, but I think the wind sculpting rock one wroks better.) It's like thinking that if you jump out of a plane, gravity will only pull you down until you're about three feet from the ground, and then stop. If I was learning to skydive, I'd be a rather disturbed if I found out that my instructor held such a belief, no matter how qualified he was otherwise.

I have to confess, my biggest objection to creationism is that it is basically an attempt to have Christianity without the teachings of Christ

Wonder what would happen if the teaching of creationism was authorized and the instructor decided to use the giant turtle version?

I find it rather amusing that this point has forced the thread of the header, lots of diversion. It is rather easy to make you guys run scared.

It's vastly more amusing that Phildo still can't figure out whom he's quoting and now feels the need to hammer this aspect of his sprawling ignorance home by double-posting.

Nope. I met one of the people who worked on that, and I strongly believe you’d classify him as not believing in evolution.

Where did he figure the need to combine multple types of antiretrovirals came from, if not reducing the odds of HIV’s stumbling upon a mutation that would simultaneously defeat all the lines of attack?

I'd imagine that he'd say that was the most reasonable explanation. Where he'd disagree with you was whether that was strong evidence that all diversity of life on the planet could be explained by just mutation and selection, which is a much stronger statement.

By justthestats (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

It’s vastly more amusing that Phildo still can’t figure out whom he’s quoting
He seems to enjoy being spanked, and other commenters seem to enjoy spanking him. It is a dysfunctional, codependent relationship but at least there is mutual consent.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

The best analogy for arguing that the processes we observe resultingin 'microevolution' but insufficient for 'macroevolution' is that of ladder: with creationists insisting that even if we can explain how one can ascend one rung of the ladder (bending our right knee, placing our right one foot on the rung above the one we're standing on, grasping each side rail of the ladder above our shoulders with our hands and then straightening our right leg while simultaneously pulling with both arms to lift our left foot until it can be placed beside our right foot) there's no way repeating those steps over a long enough period of time could ever take us all the way to the top--something magical would just have to happen before we could ever do that.

It is a dysfunctional, codependent relationship but at least there is mutual consent.

Not when he's deliberately avoiding killfiles, there isn't.

To Deb #106:

Me: “believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt Mount Rushmore.” (I actually can imagine a modern person, lacking in common sense and in any knowledge of history, looking up at Mount Rushmore and thinking “How awesome are the powers of nature and erosion… When given enough time!”)

You: “Since it’s your analogy, how about you explain how you think it is similar to evolution.”

I’ll try.

Everyone acknowledges wind moving grains of sand. Everyone further accepts that, over time, wind (and rain/water) can move enough grains of sand (i.e. particles of rock) to change the shape of rock (i.e. “sculpt” the rock into relatively amorphous shapes). Everyone sees these as processes of simple change (i.e. mere movement of position of sand grain) and degradation (i.e. erosion of rock). And it’s all natural, expected, unremarkable, and meaningless. [This is analogous to the relatively SIMPLE and universally OBSERVED variation WITHIN KINDS of existing living organisms.]

However, the natural, expected, unremarkable, and meaningless eroding of rock could NOT have left the PERFECT FORMATION of LIKENESSES of noses, eyes, chins, foreheads, etc. in exquisite DETAIL, in the RIGHT PROPORTIONS, in the RIGHT POSITIONS, all COORDINATED to present an unmistakeable COMMUNICATION: the image of famous U.S. presidents. It is remarkable and meaningful. A rational person would know immediately that such an exquisite structure could NEVER be the result of simple random natural forces of movement and degradation of grains of sand/rock. [This is analogous to the impossibility of far more complex biological structures (e.g. organisms, organs) being the result of simple random (and often degrading) genetic mutations. A.K.A the impossibility of “macroevolution”.]

The above is just an analogy. It’s very basic, and does not do justice to the actual leap of, say, going from a sun-sensitive patch of skin to the advent of eye sight. (Yes, that’s the best the evo community has come up with – a “sun-burn” leading to eyeballs: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html )

By See Noevo (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

To JGC #121:

“A good basic introduction of how the [eye] could evolve through intermediate stages, each of which is functional and confers increased fitness, see Don Lindsay ‘s excellent website at http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/eye.html

If you actually buy the shpiel of a website like that, and if you actually believe what you wrote in #143, I see no point in discussing any of this further.

P.S.
As a concerned citizen, though, you may want to contact the FDA and get them to update the warning instructions on tubes of sun-screen. Something like “Apply liberally to all areas of exposed skin. Failure to do so may result in your skin looking back at you.”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo- Look up the field of "bioinformatics". You'll find that evolutionary processes are neither as random or unreliable as you believe.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

I see no point in discussing any of this further.

You are correct, of course. There is no point in discussing the Theory of Evolution with someone who does not have a clue about it.

You are correct, of course. There is no point in discussing the Theory of Evolution with someone who does not have a clue about it.

It appears to have multiple talents in this regard.

However, the natural, expected, unremarkable, and meaningless eroding of rock could NOT have left the PERFECT FORMATION of LIKENESSES of noses, eyes, chins, foreheads, etc. in exquisite DETAIL, in the RIGHT PROPORTIONS, in the RIGHT POSITIONS, all COORDINATED to present an unmistakeable COMMUNICATION: the image of famous U.S. presidents

You are actually incorrect here. If you had a sufficiently large number rocks eroding, the chances are that something similar to this would happen by chance.

So what are your other arguments?

"The external envrionment: clearly you’re operating on the assumption that as long as the eggshell is intact an egg is impermeable to bacterial infection but that quite simply is not the case (see, for example, “Bacterial Penetration of the Eggshell and Shell Membranes of the Chicken Hatching Egg: A Review”," Jwhatever

Still not got it. The difference between the eggs is that one is shaken. It is the 'soil' that determined whether or not the egg rotted, not lack of antibiotics.

Similarly with the human. We are all sitting in 'germs' whether we like it or not. What determines who 'has an infection' isn't whether or not they are taking antibiotics, it is their soil, their environment that determines what grows in it.

"If man goes down the therapeutic route of 'germ killing' it does not bode well for mankind" Bechamp

Must be 'considered' dangerous now, everything going into moderation! Touche

If predictions about operations, however small, are gonna be impossible due to 'infection' due to antibiotic resistance created by proper doctors, even the great O will be out of a job.

What problems do you have with the content found at Don Lindsay 's website,exactly? Be as specific as possible.

As for the content of 143, would you like to take a crack at describing the etiology of Sickel cell anemia without mentioning dominant and recessive genes, relative fitness and selection with respect to environment?

I doubt you really feel that there's no point in a discussion--I think it's more likely reluctant to engage.

Bottom line? Given two things we know to be true: that the biochemical mechanisms of inheritance do not operate with 100% fidelity (natural mechanisms introduce change into population gene pools) and that natural selection with respect to environment acts to conserve genetic changes that confer increased fitness and cull those which are deleterious over successive generations, evolution is not only possible--it's inevitable.

Then you will need people who understand how to moderate soil without drugs

"Bottom line? Given two things we know to be true: that the biochemical mechanisms of inheritance do not operate with 100% fidelity (natural mechanisms introduce change into population gene pools) and that natural selection with respect to environment acts to conserve genetic changes that confer increased fitness and cull those which are deleterious over successive generations, evolution is not only possible–it’s inevitable." J20

LOL, what you mean is the theory you have doesn't cover all bases because nature mutates! You need to read Bechamp and stop reading Pasteur!

By antichrist (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

@See Nuevo you seem to have missed the point. I didn't ask how sculpting Mt Rushmore would be vanishingly unlikely, we are agreed on that. I asked how it is similar to evolution.

The key you are missing is function, and the weirdness you have added is a goal or known endpoint. These mistakes are typical, and show how you are arguing against your own misconception, not reality. They would be a good place to start if you are interested in learning.

@ See Noevo

Yes, that’s the best the evo community has come up with – a “sun-burn” leading to eyeballs

Well, if you distort what the "evo community" is saying...
No mention of "sun-burn" in your linked article.

(hint: "light-sensitive" does not mean "sunburn")

Since you are dishonest, why should we care about anything you say?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

Perhaps we wouldn't get Mount Rushmore, with the 4 faces of the presidents. However, we did used to have the Old Man of the Mountain which was a natural formation, carved by the elements.

Old Man of the Mountain

I hope I did this link right...oh for preview...

That's not what I mean at all, antichrist--quite the opposite. Evolution,like all other scientific theories, is required to be comprehensive (i.e., must "cover all bases"), addressing all observations within its scope.

The fact that genetic mutations cause change in the frequency of alleles in living populations over generations (i.e., "nature mutates") is in no way a problem for evolution

Sarah A

I think the problem with the hypothesis that adaptation and natural selection can account for a certain degree of variation, but not speciation (or evolution into a different “kind”) is that you’d have to accept that adaption will simply stop once it reaches some arbitrary limit of how different you can get from the ancestral organism

I think that is exactly the concept that some have argued and there is something to say for limits. After all, the standard response of a species to environmental factors that are beyond its members ability to adapt is extinction. Were it on JGC's ladder, it would tire, weaken, and be blown off by a gust of wind* before it could finish the treacherous climb to becoming the next species.

If we want to continue with analogies**, I could conceivably walk from Boston to San Francisco; I cannot conceivably walk from Boston to Woomera. In order to get to Woomera, I'd need some other process to happen.

Naturally, I have come to the conclusion that variation (with occasional beneficial mutation) and natural selection are sufficient to explain what we currently see. I've also seen no evidence to say that a special speciation process is either necessary or substantiated by evidence. However, in concept separate processes for adaptation and for speciation are no sillier than, say, racial senescence which was at one time a subject of serious conjecture.

* Likely plummeting to a prolonged, painful death on the sharp rocks below. Unless it got picked up by a large bird. Possibly one that descended from a race that passed the Shoe Event Horizon.

** I don't usually like analogies, but you started it. You have no one to blame but yourself if this goes horribly wrong.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Perhaps we wouldn’t get Mount Rushmore, with the 4 faces of the presidents.

If we had, we'd have all become amazed by the prophetic power of nature when it was discovered during the candidacy of T. Roosevelt.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

If we want to continue with analogies**, I could conceivably walk from Boston to San Francisco; I cannot conceivably walk from Boston to Woomera. In order to get to Woomera, I’d need some other process to happen.

And if creationists could identify an actual barrier which would prevent descent with moderation from resulting in the creation of new populations at higher taxonomic levels similar to the barrier which requires some process other than walking for you reach walking to Woomera (i.e., an evolutionary "Pacific ocean") or which would operate like wind or fatigue to prevent me from climbing that ladder, they'd have the beginnings of an argument.

As it is, however...

over successive generations, evolution is not only possible–it’s inevitable.” J20

LOL, what you mean is the theory you have doesn’t cover all bases because nature mutates! You need to read Bechamp and stop reading Pasteur!

Oh, look, Phildo has another pseudonym.

If the argument is that the human eye is too complex to be the result of chance, and must have been designed and created by some invisible wizard, all I can say is that the wizard must be dumber than a brick. (The wizard also seems to hate us, because it gave several other animals much better eyes than us humans, and a few have senses that we don't have at all.)

The human body is full of poor, half-thought out design choices that, were it any engineering class, the project would have received a 'D', only because the design works.

The eye has blind spots right in the center of vision, with blood vessels running between the lens and the rods and cones. The knee is a really stupid design, ears are a kluge, and the ureter is larger where kidney stones often form, and gets smaller on the way down (trust me, that hurts). Two kidneys are standard, which is a fine example of redundancy, and the liver is oversized, but only one heart (unless you're a Time Lord) which has no back-up at all.

Intelligent design my a$$.

Proper Johnny
Accept no substitutes

To jgc #159:

“As for the content of 143, would you like to take a crack at describing the etiology of Sickel cell anemia without mentioning dominant and recessive genes, relative fitness and selection with respect to environment?”

Everyone accepts “dominant and recessive genes, relative fitness and selection with respect to environment”. But none of these things is evolution and Sickel cell anemia is not the result of evolution.

As to the Lindsay website and the rest of your post, perhaps we can keep this mercifully short if you just answer one question for me:
Do you agree with ChrisP in #156?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

To Deb #162:

“@See Nuevo you seem to have missed the point. I didn’t ask how sculpting Mt Rushmore would be vanishingly unlikely, we are agreed on that. I asked how it is similar to evolution.”

It’s nice to know that you at least disagree with ChrisP #156.

“The key you are missing is function, and the weirdness you have added is a goal or known endpoint. These mistakes are typical, and show how you are arguing against your own misconception, not reality. They would be a good place to start if you are interested in learning.”

I’m interested in learning. Here’s where may be a good place to start. For each of the following, please demonstrate 1) how and why it evolved, 2) the beneficial function of each of these things in isolation, 3) how and why all of them “co-located” in just the right place and in just the right way. Such that, Voila! I see:
Cornea
Retina
Pupils
Iris
Rods
Cones
Aqueous humor
Optic nerve
…..
That’s all for now.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

False johnny thinks eggshells are impermeable. False johnny has obviously never dyed Easter eggs.

Everyone accepts “dominant and recessive genes, relative fitness and selection with respect to environment”. But none of these things is evolution and Sickel cell anemia is not the result of evolution.

Yes, sickle-cell trait has nothing to do with the persistence of multiple, independent occurrences of mutations in HBB.

For each of the following, please demonstrate 1) how and why it evolved, 2) the beneficial function of each of these things in isolation, 3) how and why all of them “co-located” in just the right place and in just the right way. Such that, Voila! I see:
Cornea
Retina
Pupils
Iris
Rods
Cones
Aqueous humor
Optic nerve

You sound like that idiot Ray Comfort demanding an explanation of how species (which are all-male, natch) would have reproduced before evolution finally turned up a female for each species. 

Those parts of the eye couldn't and didn't evolve in isolation and then "co-locate" to produce a working human eye, and no reasonable person has ever said they did. 

To Lawrence 175:

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Al Sharpton of “science”. How ironic that comedy’s Seth MacFarlane produced “Cosmos”.

What a joke.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Al Sharpton of “science”. How ironic that comedy’s Seth MacFarlane produced “Cosmos”.

Oh, it would be delightful if S.N. decided to replay its comedy routine from the shell of Ethan's joint.

Actually, the persistence of Sickle cell alleles in the human genome is a result of evolution--the presence of the recessive allele which causes sickling in population genomes can result in increased relative fitness, if the population exploits an environmental niche where malaria is endemic (possessing one copy of the recessive allele causing sickling confers resistance to infection by malarial parasites without the reduced fitness seen in individuals possessing two copies of the recessive allele).

Re Don LIndsay's website, I fail to see any need to keep the discussion short (the devil, after all, is always in the details). Please answer the question asked and indicate what specific problems you have with the content found on that website.

See @ 173

1: there is no 'why', see: you're erroneously presuming evolution operates in a goal oriented manner to achieve a predetermined and preferred outcome

2 and 3: Likewise, you're erroneously assuming each of these elements must have arisen and been selected "in isolation", only to later somehow become '1) how and why it evolved, 2) the beneficial function of each of these things in isolation, 3) how and why all of them "“co-located” in just the right place and in just the right way." This isn't what any evolutionary model of the origin of the eye predict.

2 and 3: Likewise, you’re erroneously assuming each of these elements must have arisen and been selected “in isolation”, only to later somehow become " 'co-located' in just the right place and in just the right way.” This isn’t what any evolutionary model of the origin of the eye predict.

To JGC #181:

I'll consider addressing Lindsay's site if you'll first answer my question, which I'll repeat:

Do you agree with ChrisP in #156?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Don't expect any honest responses from noevo - he has stated the one thing that might convince him of evolution:

(to sn) But let me turn this around — what evidence would you accept as a demonstration of the truth of evolutionary theory?”
(Reply from sn)Off the top of my head, seeing one KIND of being give birth to, or mutate into, a different KIND of being. For example, in the 5,000 or so generations of fruit flies experimented on, maybe once produce a gnat or bee or mosquito, or SOMETHING other than another fruit fly.

I'm not interested in following you downfield while you're attempting to move goal posts, see. Just answer the question which was already on the table.

However, the natural, expected, unremarkable, and meaningless eroding of rock could NOT have left the PERFECT FORMATION of LIKENESSES of noses, eyes, chins, foreheads, etc. in exquisite DETAIL, in the RIGHT PROPORTIONS, in the RIGHT POSITIONS, all COORDINATED to present an unmistakeable COMMUNICATION: the image of famous U.S. presidents

You are actually incorrect here. If you had a sufficiently large number rocks eroding, the chances are that something similar to this would happen by chance.

Let's parse that a little, shall we?

Let's assume for a second that it is not absolutely impossible for rocks to be weathered, eroded, spalled, or otherwise acted on by natural forces in such a way as to produce any of the shapes present at Mount Rushmore. I am not a geologist, so don't know if that is a valid assumption. Let us also assume that the conditions needed to create one of the shapes at Mount Rushmore would not prevent creating the other shapes at Mount Rushmore. Once again, I am not a geologist, so could not say that with authority.

If those assumptions were true then it would be merely a matter of probabilities whether the correct stone was in the correct location in the correct conditions to be weathered into the exact shapes of Mount Rushmore. Therefore, the statement that "If you had a sufficiently large number rocks eroding, the chances are that something similar to this would happen by chance" would be absolutely correct. If it's not physically impossible, then it's just highly improbable. However, highly improbable things occur every day somewhere in the universe.

However, such a thing would not be "COORDINATED to present an unmistakeable[sic] COMMUNICATION". It would be a rock formation.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Note that living things are natural formations as well, and not coordinated to present an unmistakable communication.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

To JGC #186:

“I’m not interested in following you downfield while you’re attempting to move goal posts, see. Just answer the question which was already on the table.”

No need to follow me anywhere. That could require a journey of many steps. I’m just asking for one little step - a simple “Yes” or “No”.

Do you agree with ChrisP in #156?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Actually, the persistence of Sickle cell alleles in the human genome is a result of evolution....

Say it isn't so. Hemocyanin or bust!

I agree with ChrisP, but it's along the lines of the old "put 400 monkeys in front of typewriters and eventually one will produce a work of literature" speculation. Possible but not probable. You have only to look at examples such as the Old Man of the Mountain, cited above (I'm glad that my one and only trip to the White Mountains happened before he fell off).

ChrisP knowing more about it than I do, I'm perfectly willing to stand corrected.

See, I'm not interested in changing the subject or abetting you're concerted effort to avoid answering my questions regarding what specific problems you have with the content found at Don Lindsay ‘s website.

I suspect you have no specific objections, and that you're dismissing the information on the basis of personal incredulity and a misunderstanding of what evolutionary models actually predict regarding the evolution of the eye (as evidenced by your post at 173).

What I don't understand, however, is if that is as I suspect the case why you don't simply admit it.

And yet, I see you offering no evidence to refute the natural development of the eye...

shay, to my mind the problem with the likes of See Noevo is that they have no conception of probability over the long term. If you keep flipping 50 coins long enough you will turn up 50 heads eventually - even though the probability on each individual toss is remote (about 1 in 1 quadrillion if I have calculated it correctly).

A case in point, we have just created a crop cultivar tolerant to a herbicide that everyone said would be impossible to do. It turned out to be remarkably easy once you stacked the odds in your favour. In fact, even I was surprised by the result.

If selection continues to favour a group of light sensitive cells such that a more effective set of cells is favoured and then a more organised and even more effective set of cells and so on, something akin to an eye is bound to be selected given enough opportunity. If it was all done again from scratch, the exact human eye may not be the final result, but it would work in the same manner.

So...I'm misusing the term "probable." Probably.

If you actually buy the shpiel of a website like that, and if you actually believe what you wrote in #143, I see no point in discussing any of this further.

That flounce didn't last long.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

to my mind the problem with the likes of See Noevo is that they have no conception of probability over the long term

Or instead rely upon others' not having any and wholly irrelevant comparisons.

Mount Rushmore has a finished surface; its identification as a human artifact that is less than a century old (and requires ongoing maintenance) is not in question.

So?

For that matter, what distance is it being viewed from? Is there a meaningful metric in the house?

L-rd knows Mt. Rushmore can "evolve" into a different "species" with no trouble at all.

A more accurate analogy would be to start with a hundred identical stones, and erode them randomly, then keep the five that most closely resemble human heads. Then take those five, create twenty identical duplicates of each of them, and alter them randomly as well, then keep the five that look most human. Repeat as needed.

This process is called an "evolutionary algorithm", and is a major development in computer-aided design.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

To Gray Falcon #198:

“A more accurate analogy would be to start with a hundred identical stones, and erode them randomly, then keep the five that most closely resemble human heads. Then take those five, create twenty identical duplicates of each of them, and alter them randomly as well, then keep the five that look most human. Repeat as needed. This process is called an “evolutionary algorithm”, and is a major development in computer-aided design.”

That’s not an analogy. That’s a plan with a goal, and involves creation, selection, repetition, technology and…design.

And speaking of design technology and the recent focus here on “accidental” eyesight:

[[“Our sensor, on the other hand, is based on the 'Dynamic vision sensor' (DVS) principle, which is itself inspired by the way biological retinas work…
How close would you say these sensors are to biological retinas?
Well naturally real biological retinas are more complex, with many different types of pixels (cells) which are also communicating with their neighbours. Such properties would be very complicated or impossible to develop with standard CMOS technology. With our project, we add some additional functionality to the pixels with respect to existing 'silicon retina sensors', but it is a small increment. Nevertheless, we are convinced that this limited functionality in comparison to real retinas can be very useful in a lot of vision applications.”
http://phys.org/news/2015-02-image-sensors-biological-retinas.html]]

I see.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

And yet no evidence to refute the process by which vision was adapted naturally or why it is "less than perfect" given its origins in an aquatic environment.

To Lawrence #200:

Over the last 12+ years I’ve seen many pronouncements that evolution has created a lot of leftovers (e.g. the appendix) and trash (e.g. “junk” DNA), only to find late-breaking news that these weren’t leftovers or junk, after all. (If readers here aren’t familiar with the news, then go read.)

I’ve also seen pronouncements about “bad” or “less than perfect” biological design, especially regarding the “apple of my eye”, the eye. Supposedly some stuff about the wiring behind the eye being backwards or otherwise non-optimal. What a stupid design!

But look what the cat dragged in:
“From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting in light scattering by the nervous fibers and blurring of our vision. Recently, researchers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology have confirmed the biological purpose for this seemingly counterintuitive setup.

"The retina is not just the simple detector and neural image processor, as believed until today," said Erez Ribak, a professor at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. "Its optical structure is optimized for our vision purposes." Ribak and his co-authors will describe their work during the 2015 American Physical Society March Meeting, on Thursday, March 5 in San Antonio, Texas.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-02/aps-mot022715.php

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss something.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Supposedly some stuff about the wiring behind the eye being backwards or otherwise non-optimal. What a stupid design!

And what intelligent purpose do you suppose the adaptive immune system serves? In particular, what would be the outcome if it never existed?

@See Noevo it sounds like you won't admit this, but I'll summarise for interested lurkers.

See makes a ridiculous statement (Mt Rushmore, retina developing independently, flies giving birth to bees, ...) and the biologists in the room agree it is ridiculous because evolution doesn't work like that.

They then offer an example of how evolution really works (sickle cell anaemic) and See rejects it because it doesn't match his/her own personal definition of evolution.

And so we are at an impasse - we can't talk to each other unless we are using the same definitions. Given that biologists came up with evolutionary theory, use it every day and study it intensely, it seems polite to use their definition rather than that of a random internet commenter.

This is a classic case of the phenomenon I mentioned above, the need to deconstruct erroneous beliefs, not just add to them. That means we need to know what they are, which means we need to know what on earth See thinks evolution is.

So, See, once again, would you like to explain how Mt Rushmore is analogous to evolution? Think about starting points, mid points, end points, and how success is defined. We can't go any further while you are insisting that the colour of the sky is not really blue.

The analogy still stands even in nature, where there is a set goal: Survival. Those that are better adapted to the environment survive, those that are not, don't. A primitive light-sensitive receptor is an advantage for survival, a slightly more advanced one even better. After several million iterations, you will get some incredibly complex results.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

“Its optical structure is optimized for our vision purposes.” Ribak and his co-authors will describe their work during the 2015 American Physical Society March Meeting, on Thursday, March 5 in San Antonio, Texas.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-02/aps-mot022715.php

That there press release is a perfect example of all that is wrong with the world of science-reporting-by-churnalists. A symptom of the malign symbiosis of crap science and university PR departments. When something is headed with the words "Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved", while in fact there is no feckin' mystery, you know it is targetted at clickbait junkscience websites, not at peer-review publication.

That work will not see publication in any of the vision-research publications, anyway. A couple of astronomers rediscovered what vision scientists have known for 30 years, i.e. that photoreceptors function as optical waveguides, exactly as one would expect if they had been optimised by evolution within the sub-optimal constraints of much earlier design 'decisions'. Gee, thanks guys!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

To Narad #202:

“And what intelligent purpose do you suppose the adaptive immune system serves? In particular, what would be the outcome if it never existed?”

Good question.
But first things first.
Let’s see. The very first life on earth, according to evolutionary theory, evolved extraordinary capabilities in less than its very short lifetime. It experienced the accidental mutation of
1) A type of self-awareness, such that it accidentally developed
2) A system to inform it that it needed nourishment,
3) A system to search and locate nourishment,
4) A system to judge the appropriateness of the located nourishment (i.e. poisonous stuff won’t do),
5) A system to acquire the nourishment,
6) A system to ingest the nourishment,
7) A system to digest the nourishment.

All before it starved to death.

With a “full belly”, then, it could accidentally mutate an adaptive immune system.

But wait, then, it would have to come up with a system of reproducing itself. You know, before it died. Else, well, you know.

It’s amazing how much major dude evolution can happen in the blink of an eye, literally, according to evolution theory.

Yet, here I ask for some more eyes where our sun-sensitive skin has been, and I'm eyed askance.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Grey's identified the problem with attempting to use wind carving Mt Rushmore by chance (or monkeys typing Shakespeare or flipping 50 coins and getting all heads) are meaningless diversions: none of these are analogous to the manner in which biological evolution acts to create biologically diverse populations. All these example lack essential features of evolution: selection on the basis of relative fitness, inheritance, fixation of beneficial traits, etc.

To Deb #203:

“… we need to know what on earth See thinks evolution is.”

Evolution is the alleged process that makes Man and Mosquitoes cousins.

“So, See, once again, would you like to explain how Mt Rushmore is analogous to evolution?”

No, I would not like to.
Been there, done that (#97, #151).
My Mt. Rushmore makes sense to me, and even makes sense to some evolutionists here, such as ChrisP #156. (Although ChrisP and the other evolutionists, including apparently JGC, actually believe in Mt. Rushmore “macroevolving.”)

“We can’t go any further while you are insisting that the colour of the sky is not really blue.”

Is the color of the sky really blue?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

It wouldn't even necessarily take several million iterations to go from an eyespot to a basic fish eye--that's kind of an upper limit. Nilsson and Pelger calculated it could take as little as 1829 steps and 350,000 generations.

See http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/eye_time.html for more detail

“And what intelligent purpose do you suppose the adaptive immune system serves? In particular, what would be the outcome if it never existed?”

Good question.
But first things first.

I'm not interested in evasive babbling. Answer the question.

There's your problem right there see: that isn't a definition of evolution as the term is used in the natural sciences (that would instead be "any change in the frequency of alleles in living populations over generations")

I'll note I've made no statement that I believe Mt Rushmore is evolving at all. Quite the contrary: you'll see above I reject the premise that wind eroding the features on the monument represents a valid analogy for biological evolution, as it lacks essential features such as selection and inheritance.

In the future please don't attempt to assign me straw man positions for your own convenience.

And what natural process acted to "optimize the retina for our vision purposes", see?

I'll give you a hint--it starts with the letter 'e'.

You'll note I've now addressed Chris P 's post, see. I will expect you in return to identify the specific problems you have with the contents found on Lindsay 's web site.

To Gray Falcon #204:

“The analogy still stands even in nature, where there is a set goal: Survival.”

Where did this goal of survival come from?
What is the purpose of survival? To reproduce?

This survival thing seems to be a thing with living things. But the start of life itself is an accident, right? An accident never observed in nature and never coerced in a lab (a.k.a. “abiogenesis"). This life is an anomaly in both time and space (i.e. Life is said to have existed for only the last quarter of the universe's existence, and as far as we know, only on our teeny tiny planet.) I mean, certainly you’re not saying the survival of life is a “good” thing, are you?

“A primitive light-sensitive receptor is an advantage for survival, a slightly more advanced one even better. After several million iterations, you will get some incredibly complex results.”

Absolutely, according to this comedian (I can’t help it. This deserves another laugh.).
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjhh27sN6Pk

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

To come back to the initial question, it is easier for a doctor to ignore evolution than to ignore that you need at least one molecule to observe the effect of a drug. In France, more than 10% of the drugs prescribed by a doctor are homeopathic granules.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

To Narad #210:
“I’m not interested in evasive babbling. Answer the question.”

OK. But I don’t think you’ll be interested. The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity.

You’re welcome.

To JGC #211 & #213:
“There’s your problem right there see: that isn’t a definition of evolution as the term is used in the natural sciences (that would instead be “any change in the frequency of alleles in living populations over generations”).”

If that’s “evolution”, well then, I guess everyone including me believes in “evolution.”

And please stop evading the question. A simple YES or NO will suffice. Do you agree with ChrisP #156? Yes or No?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

@ See Noevo

Do you really think that one billion years ago, there were mammals on earth?

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

JGC, See Noevolution announces, with his 'nym, that he refuses to be able to make an honest argument or to attend to an honest reply. As long as he refuses even a pretense of honesty, time spent on him should be considered wasted.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

And, just after submitting #218, I ran into this lovely quote from Robert G. Ingersoll’s On the Gods and Other Essays:

“No one infers a god from the simple, from the known, from what is understood, but from the complex, from the unknown, and incomprehensible. Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.”

I've emphasized the part that applies directly to See Noevo's purposeful intellectual dishonesty.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Seeing See is unable to explain his/her concept of evolution and not willing to change, this is not a discussion.

Before I lose interest in the impossible battle, there is another thing I'll agree with you about - the sky isn't really blue. It's purple, but because of the way our imperfect and undesigned eyes and brain perceive light, we think it looks blue. Isn't nature fascinating?

To Deb #220:

“Seeing See is unable to explain his/her concept of evolution and not willing to change, this is not a discussion.”

Are you claiming that Man and Mosquitoes are NOT cousins, distant cousins?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

@ Deb
"we think it looks blue"
Actually, I see it white and gold.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Thinking about Noevo arguments...

1) A type of self-awareness, such that it accidentally developed
2) A system to inform it that it needed nourishment,
3) A system to search and locate nourishment,
4) A system to judge the appropriateness of the located nourishment (i.e. poisonous stuff won’t do),
5) A system to acquire the nourishment,
6) A system to ingest the nourishment,
7) A system to digest the nourishment.

Simple single-cell organisms like bacteria are pretty good at all the above.

Actually, (1) is not needed. I'm not aware of bacteria or yeasts being able to recognize themselves in a mirror.
In a soup of macromolecules and other organisms to prey upon, (2) and (3) are not needed. Just float around and stuff will come in contact with you.
(4) doesn't have to be perfect. A simple double-layer of lipids is very good at isolating the inside from the outside for single-cell organisms. The best part? Such a lipid layer is self-assembling. It's the same as soap bubbles.
Also, the simpler the organism, the more resilient it is to "poisonous" stuff. Well, poisonous stuff will have to be able to affect it, to start with. Cyanide may not be that lethal on organisms which don't have hemoglobin.
(5) and (6) passive diffusion through said lipid membrane for small molecules. Single-cell organisms don't need a mouth and an intestine.
(7) the same system which assembled the cell in the first place.

So basically, out of the 7 steps which were mentioned, only #7 has to be achieved somehow. Not as difficult as all of them.

And reproduction? Double your size by adding stuff to yourself, and then split in two when it's getting too bothersome to drag all this mass around. Voilà, two more of you.
Start small, keep building on top of that grandma cell was doing.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

@ Daniel Corcos

Actually, I see it white and gold.

Nice :-)
A few articles were published recently about this colorful exchange.
(blog post in French)
The studies' authors managed to find a few hundred people who didn't hear about the debate...

Re: the color of the sky for neovo, maybe its sky is green because it actually is a methane-breathing lizard from Vega upsilon.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

Let’s see. The very first life on earth, according to evolutionary theory, evolved extraordinary capabilities in less than its very short lifetime. It experienced the accidental mutation of

Evolutionary theory says nothing about the origins of life (just as cosmology says nothing about the origins of planetary systems). See Noevo seems to be abdicating even the pretence of good faith and intellectual honesty,

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 May 2015 #permalink

@Daniel cool! Is that a general substitution for that colour, or something special about the sky?

@See 'explain the mechanism that you believe biologists would use to explain the relationship between people and mosquitoes.' This will require several sentences to explain, not just state. Is your comprehension of English really as poor as your comprehension of biology, or do you think it's somehow clever?

And reproduction? Double your size by adding stuff to yourself, and then split in two when it’s getting too bothersome to drag all this mass around. Voilà, two more of you.

As has been covered by The Incredible String Band.

To Narad #210:
“I’m not interested in evasive babbling. Answer the question.”

OK. But I don’t think you’ll be interested. The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity.

Try rereading it and answering in full. Remember, you were whining about the mention of bad designs.

See Noevo: Where did the "goal" of survival come from? Are you really that stupid? If something didn't survive, it wouldn't reproduce. That was an implied goal, not something someone explicitly decided.

Also, evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. This has likely been explained to you repeatedly. I need to read Exodus 20:16. Note that it does not give exceptions. Please keep that in mind for your further discussions.

Now tell me, why are you arguing about evolution? When Micah 6:8 asked what the LORD requires, he doesn't say "Argue the literal truth of a book." Whose life will be improved by your actions? What justice will be created? Or are you simply hoping that if you look "Christian" enough, the LORD will not notice your inaction in the face of true evil: That greed and pride are now the virtues of this world, and teaching of "evolution" had sweet **** all to do with that.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Are you claiming that Man and Mosquitoes are NOT cousins, distant cousins?

Sarah Palin, get out of this body.

For a definition of "cousins" involving a lot of second-degree relationships, humans and mosquitoes (and snails and squids) are indeed (very) distant cousins.
That's why a lot of people are studying another insect, Drosophila melanogaster, a.k.a. little vinegar fly.

Worse, other biologists are studying a cute little worm, Caenorhabditis elegans.
It has a small number of cells and it's easy (well, not impossible) to follow each cell from the fetal/egg stage up to the fully developed adult.
Told us a lot about how our own nervous system is organised.

In both cases, genes involved into making a little worm or fly out of a special cell in a egg have eerily similar counterparts, in form and function, among almost all multicellular organisms, including in humans.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

What is the purpose of survival?

Why are you presuming purpose, see? Evolution doesn't exhibit purpose, or proceed in a goal oriented fashion to achieve a preferred or predetermined result.

But the start of life itself is an accident, right?

Why are you equating "random" or "non-goal oriented" with "accidental", see?

Absolutely, according to this comedian (I [got nothing--maybe I can distract you with humor]

FTFY, see. No need to thank me. The fat of the matter is that intermediate forms which could serve as transitional precursors to a functional eye are found in living organisms today, where they demonstrably confer increased fitness in the environments they exploit.

RE: Chris P, I've answered the question. I'm sorry if you're having trouble parsing the answer, but the question isn't amenable to a simple yes or no.

I'll repeat my response for clarity:

While statistically he's correct and it would be possible, the likelihood this would ever occur is so poor we expect we would never see wind erosion 'sculpting' an accurate likeness of four human faces and the example itself is not a valid analogy for biological evolution as it inludes an element not operating in evolution (predetermined outcome) while also omitting integral elements of the mechanism by which evolution creates biologically diverse populations.

Now address the content on Lindsay's website, please.

Deb: I get taht see is less unwilling to understand where his arguments fail than he's unwilling to do so, but it's useful to address them anyway in the interest of informing lurkers to the discussion.

.

But Helianthus! I don't WANNA be related to flies, and snakes, and mosquitos! (though that might explain why, in a group, I'm the ONLY one getting bitten to death). Can't I be a speshul snowflake and poofed into existance...oh wait. That would disregard the fact I have parents, and they had parents, and so on back for many, many generations.. CURSE YOU, Evolution! I guess I'm doomed to be the food source for bugs unless I stay in the house.

The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity.

No, see: that's it's observed function. You're inferring it's purposeful without evidence.

@ JGC
I agree:
"There is a growing tendency to regard the evolutionary origin of adaptive immunity as being related to something other than defence against pathogenic microorganisms."
Frank Macfarlane Burnet

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

@ MI Dawn

poofed into existance

You know, the way noevo keep talking about how evolution is about whole new species poofing into existence (the "seeing one KIND of being give birth to, or mutate into, a different KIND of being"), or about the origin of life itself (the whole list of things a primitive cell is supposed to do, including being self-aware), I have this feeling xe is a bit confused about that evolution is about. Xe doesn't seem to get the incremental, step-wise part of the process.

I think xe wanted to discuss about how Athene exited with full battle gear from Zeus' cranium, took a wrong turn in the intertubes and ended here. Xe quickly switched mosquito for Athene and hoped no-one would notice.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

See also shows little or no concept to the vast amount of time & countless generations of each organism involved.....

He also seems unable to address whether he believes that man suddenly "poofed" into existence, given our short history, compared to mammal-like reptiles or just mammals in general.

What are the odds that he believes the world is only 6,000 years old?

re
white and gold
Sarah Palin
poofed into existence

You are hilarious. In a good way, not like Dan O.
Merci.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Or why we see cave-dwelling fish and other critters who originally had fully functional eyes, who are now blind...and born that way.

What's interesting about the blind cave fish is that the blindness isn't a function of eliminating genes that no longer confer increased fitness in the cave environment to conserve energy: transplantation experiments involving small bits of organizing tissue from species with eyes to embryos of the blind forms allowed the blind transplantee to build a complete functional eyes demonstrating the necessary genes are still there.

Instead blindness results from a gain of function mutation: up-regulation of genes that result in features that confer increased fitness in the cave environment, like Sonic Hedgehog, cause expansion of jaw tissue, the bones of the jaw and the array of sensory structures on the ventral surface of the jaw producing a stronger jaw and more sensitive skin--very useful if your survival depends on rooting about in the dark at the bottom of an underground rivers to find food.

Eyes are lost because a side effect of SH is reduced expression of another gene, Pax-6, which is a master regulatory gene controlling eye development, and sine there is no loss of fitness associated with blindness in an environment where no light is present there's no selective pressure which would act to maintain vision across generations.

To multiple addressees…

To helianthus #223:
“And reproduction? Double your size by adding stuff to yourself, and then split in two when it’s getting too bothersome to drag all this mass around. Voilà, two more of you.”

Congratulations. That wins the prize for probably the stupi…,er, most remarkable evolution statement I’ve ever seen. It’s also quite contradictory to evolution theory itself. The theory claims organisms mutate new capabilities by CHANCE, NOT by WILLING to overcome something it finds “bothersome.”
.......
To herr doctor bimler #225:

Me: “Let’s see. The very first life on earth, according to evolutionary theory, evolved extraordinary capabilities in less than its very short lifetime. It experienced the accidental mutation of…”

You: “Evolutionary theory says nothing about the origins of life (just as cosmology says nothing about the origins of planetary systems). See Noevo seems to be abdicating even the pretence of good faith and intellectual honesty…”

No, actually YOU are the one who seems to be abdicating even the pretense of good faith and intellectual honesty. I was NOT talking about the origin of life. I was talking about AFTER the first life came to be. No, I wasn’t talking about the origin of life, and you knew so, or should have known.
........
To Deb #226:

“@See ‘explain the mechanism that you believe biologists would use to explain the relationship between people and mosquitoes.’ This will require several sentences to explain, not just state. Is your comprehension of English really as poor as your comprehension of biology, or do you think it’s somehow clever?”

I'm probably not nearly as clever, or smart, as you. But my comprehension of English, and even of biology, is probably not too awful. I even have some education – a B.S. from what is considered a prestigious east coast university and a masters from the Ivy League. (Unfortunately, neither diploma was in evolutionary sciences. Such a waste, huh?)

So, feel free to enlighten me with what you say will require several sentences of explanation. I shall endeavor to comprehend.
.........
To Narad #228:

You: “I’m not interested in evasive babbling. Answer the question.”

Me: “OK. But I don’t think you’ll be interested. The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity.”

You: “Try rereading it and answering in full. Remember, you were whining about the mention of bad designs.”

OK.
The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity, and it’s well-designed as such.

How’s that?
...........
To Gray Falcon #229:

“See Noevo: Where did the “goal” of survival come from? Are you really that stupid? If something didn’t survive, it wouldn’t reproduce. That was an implied goal, not something someone explicitly decided.”

Perhaps I am that stupid. You said “The analogy still stands even in nature, where there is a set goal: Survival.”
Merriam-Webster defines “goal” as “something that you are trying to do or achieve.” Are you really saying nature, or rather Evolution, is trying to do or achieve a desired outcome?

Exodus 20:16? Micah 6:8? Why are you bringing the Bible into this? I thought we were talking about science, and even about evolution.

“Or are you simply hoping that if you look “Christian” enough, the LORD will not notice your inaction in the face of true evil…”

WHAT are you talking about?
..…………..
Later I’ll try to take a look at postings beyond #229.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, you were the one who brought up faith in the first place, back in post 90.

Also, I suggest you learn the basics of a subject before you debate it. Evolution has no goal, it is simply something that happens.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

To elaborate, I only used the word "goal" because you did. Evolutionary algorithms are based on the process of biological evolution, just as plane design is based loosely on birds in flight. I used them to explain why your anologies make absolutely no sense.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Homo Sapiens and the various members of the family Culicidae most likely do have a common ancestor. The last such common ancestor existed about 500-550 million years ago.

I suspect that according to the rules of modern etiquette this is a sufficiently distant relationship that it need not be acknowledged in most social occasions. Gifts are not needed for your mosquito cousins, and you are not expected to invite them to your special occasions.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

@ See Noevo
You did not answer: do you really believe that all species have been created in a couple of days?

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Mephisto -- something those who refuse to accept evolution point to as utterly, utterly impossible, because we are after all, created in God's image and likeness.

'What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god!"

I imagine the discovery of "Lucy" drove many of them to mouth-frothing.

@ Mephisto
My mosquito cousins invite themselves for dinner on the grounds we share the same blood.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

To multiple addressees…

To JGC #232:

Me: “What is the purpose of survival?"
You: "Why are you presuming purpose, see? Evolution doesn’t exhibit purpose, or proceed in a goal oriented fashion to achieve a preferred or predetermined result.”

You should ask Gray Falcon #204. The bird said “The analogy still stands even in nature, where there is a set goal: Survival.”
A goal is a purpose.

Me: “But the start of life itself is an accident, right?"
You: "Why are you equating “random” or “non-goal oriented” with “accidental”, see?”

How about instead of “accident” I use “unintended outcome” or “undirected outcome”. Is that better?

“The fat of the matter is that intermediate forms which could serve as transitional precursors to a functional eye are found in living organisms today, where they demonstrably confer increased fitness in the environments they exploit.”

Yes. Playing golf the other day I got some sun tan. So, I’m part way to getting some new eyes. Or, at least my ancestors may be getting some new ones. Lots of them. This is kind of exciting.

“While statistically he’s correct and it would be possible…”
OK. I’ll take that as your “Yes” to ChrisP #156.

Now, regarding the content on Lindsay’s website, actually, I didn’t delve into it very far because I was finding problems with virtually every sentence and/or point. I’m not going to look at the whole stinkin’ thing, for my response and rebuttal would take too much time. Let’s try to be more efficient here. Let’s start small, and right at the top, so to speak.
Specifically, what do YOU find to be the one MOST compelling point from Lindsay’s website? This one point must be limited to one small section of Lindsay’s website, ideally one paragraph or less.

Then maybe we can look at your second most compelling point.
….
To JGC #234:
Me: “The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity.”
You: “No, see: that’s it’s observed function. You’re inferring it’s purposeful without evidence.”

Merriam-Webster defines “function” as “the action for which a person or thing is SPECIALLY fitted or used or FOR WHICH A THING EXISTS: PURPOSE”.

And a rope extended from the outstretched tree limb, to the child’s swing seat, an old Goodyear steel-belted radial. And the child squealed with delight: “Daddy, this tire is the best swing seat ever!” And Dad, busy mowing his overgrown “cousins”, replied with a laugh: “Great, honey. They made it just for you!”

To JGC #240:
“… Pax-6, which is a master regulatory gene controlling eye development…”

Controlling eye development? You mean, like, making sure the desired goal is reached?
Was Pax-6 around a billion or so years ago directing traffic from the sun burn skin to the startling blues (i.e. eyes)? How did this traffic controller get his job, given evolution has no goals or development plans?
…..
To Gray Falcon #242:
Me: “Exodus 20:16? Micah 6:8? Why are you bringing the Bible into this? I thought we were talking about science, and even about evolution.”
You: “See Noevo, you were the one who brought up faith in the first place, back in post 90.”

I brought up faith in a completely secular sense. In fact, my broad definition of “religion” (a “world-view” and as the “only basis for ultimate truth” and for…“the ultimate meaning of life”) was met with great objection here (e.g. JGC #36).

So, I asked why you were bringing the BIBLE (not faith in, or belief about, scienc) into this discussion.

But since you cite Scripture verses to me, perhaps you can help me with one I’ve been trying to get an answer on for years, but without success. It’s Genesis 1:14. “And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for SEASONS and for DAYS and YEARS.” I’ve been trying to see how this relates to the six “days” of Genesis 1. Specifically, since the author is already acknowledging names for periods of much greater than a day (i.e. seasons, years), why wouldn’t he use these longer periods for the creation sequence (e.g. ‘So God created the beasts of the field over MANY YEARS, a fifth SEASON’.)? Why would the author use “fifth DAY”, instead, and go out of his way to define “day” six times (i.e. “And there was evening and there was morning, a X day.”)?

Have you seen any scholarly work on this specific question regarding Gen 1:14 vis-à-vis the other Gen 1 verses?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Who needs a book? Genesis was written by primitive nomads, trying to explain the phenomena they saw around them. It was also not written in English; you're reading a translator's version of events, not an eye-witness's.

@Daniel Corcos: yeah, they tend to be party crashers here, too. I certainly never invite them to the party!

Speaking of erosion and national treasures, some of you may visit the Grand Canyon this summer. If you’re there, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the information the park service may provide, at least in regard to the timing of the formation of the GC. For a long time, they said the GC was formed about 6 million years ago. Now scientists are saying 70 MYA. Others something in between. [Despite the 1100% discrepancy, the geologists probably still have their jobs. If not, they could try being a weather person on TV. Very good job security.)

Get your head out of the brochure and numbers, and just enjoy the view.

http://geology.com/articles/age-of-the-grand-canyon.shtml

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

For a long time, they said the GC was formed about 6 million years ago. Now scientists are saying 70 MYA. Others something in between.

Thanks for the information. Isn't it amazing how scientists can find new information about something as well studied as the Grand Canyon?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

See: Ah, the "day-age" argument. Tell me something, how did daylight exist without the sun?

Now, please tell me why you think "Do not bear false witness" is a strongly-worded suggestion.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

The purpose of an adaptive immune system is to provide immunity, and it’s well-designed as such.

How’s that?

Poor. What would have happened if nobody had one? One clear consequence is that nobody would suffer from autoimmunity. Somatic hypermutation is a pretty high-risk "design."

And "provide immunity" against what? The adaptive immune system clearly doesn't keep you from getting sick in the first place. It doesn't even manage to clear some infections – H. pylori is more like a protracted low-level conflict, which is a terrific "design" for gastric lymphoma.

Perhaps a better one would have been to skip the arms race entirely, given that the pathogens are better positioned when it comes to a mostly fixed target.

" See Noevo seems to be abdicating even the pretence of good faith and intellectual honesty"

As far as I'm concerned See Noevo abdicated any pretense of good faith about 100 comments ago (#151) when he characterized evolution as postulating that "complex biological structures (e.g. organisms, organs) [are] the result of simple random (and often degrading) genetic mutations." The role of natural selection in evolution has been explained at such length, so many times, that ignoring it and trying to characterize evolution as a "random process" is a sure sign you are dealing with someone who has no interest whatsoever in any kind of real dialog.

Despite the 1100% discrepancy, the geologists probably still have their jobs.

Funny that, since creationists try to explain away the overwhelming scientific consensus on evolution as being due to the fact that anyone who doesn't "toe the party line" will be fired, lose their reputation, etc.

To multiple addressees…

To Mephistopheles O’Brien ##252:

“Thanks for the information. Isn’t it amazing how scientists can find new information about something as well studied as the Grand Canyon?”

You’re welcome.
And hopefully, the school districts may find enough money to correct all the old “facts” in their science and geography text books. [I think the biology textbooks may still have pictures of that icon of evolution, the Tree of Life, despite the fact that the evolutionists themselves chopped it down many years ago. It was too problematic.]
.....
To Gray Falcon #253:

“Tell me something, how did daylight exist without the sun?”

Any God who could make a sun could make light without a sun.

“Now, please tell me why you think “Do not bear false witness” is a strongly-worded suggestion.”

I don’t know what you mean or what you’re getting at. It not only makes sense to me, but more importantly, I believe it’s a command (not a suggestion) from God.

Does this have something to do with your being displeased I brought up the origin of life (i.e. an area outside of evolution theory; outside because evolutionists are even more clueless about this than the other stuff.)? If so, you shouldn’t be. In order to understand something (e.g. an organism’s drive to survive), you often are helped by understanding how and why that something came to be in the first place. How would a goal-less beginning lead to a goal-oriented something (“The analogy still stands even in nature, where there is a set goal: Survival.”)?
………
To Sarah A #255:

"As far as I’m concerned See Noevo abdicated any pretense of good faith about 100 comments ago (#151) when he characterized evolution as postulating that “complex biological structures (e.g. organisms, organs) [are] the result of simple random (and often degrading) genetic mutations.” The role of natural selection in evolution has been explained at such length, so many times, that ignoring it and trying to characterize evolution as a “random process” is a sure sign you are dealing with someone who has no interest whatsoever in any kind of real dialog.”

No, I have very good faith (and in more ways than one).
See, genetic mutations are the very fuel for modern evolution theory (a.k.a. neoDarwinism). So-called natural selection is just along for the ride. Without the mutations, there is nothing to select FROM. Without mutations, Me and the Mosquito wouldn’t be cousins, er, distant relatives.

Me: “Despite the 1100% discrepancy, the geologists probably still have their jobs.”

You:“Funny that, since creationists try to explain away the overwhelming scientific consensus on evolution as being due to the fact that anyone who doesn’t “toe the party line” will be fired, lose their reputation, etc.”

No. If you don’t “toe the party line” you usually won’t be hired to begin with. Never hired, so never fired.

But I never said the geologists with wildly different time estimates are not “toeing the line.” I’m confident they ARE toeing the line (i.e. Vouch for the old age of the earth and for evolution). They’re probably just trying to make a name for themselves, while twisting the tale to fit new data and guesses.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Seeing as how See Noevo is using my comments as some sort of argument to divide people into groups, I should point out a few things.

Firstly, the comments about Mt Rushmore were not about it evolving or it even being a good comparison to evolution. Others have pointed out why you can't compare weathering of rocks to evolution, not even in terms of process, because a key component of evolutionary theory is relative fitness in the environment.

What I was addressing was See Noevo's apparent argument that the only way Mt Rushmore could have occurred was through the hands of a creator and then comparing that to the eye. I was simply pointing out that the first part of this argument by See Noevo was wrong and therefore all their arguments that hung off it also had to be wrong.

Any God [sic] who could make a sun could make light without a sun.

This, of course, leaves actual stars as another entirely lousy design choice, given that there's no longer a need for supernovae to populate the periodic table, and they're not very good for the job that you comically obsessed about at Ethan's, navigation. (There's a reason that GPS is tied to the ICRF.)

As I've mentioned, I have effectively no interest in the creationist crank niche, but it's pretty clear just from this performance that you're not very good at it.

See, you have access to the Internet. You can look up "evolution" and find out exactly how it works. You have no excuse putting up strawman versions of it and calling it "evolution". You cannot plead ignorance when ignorance is physically impossible.

And yes, you are putting up strawman versions of evolution. I suggest you read up on the subject before discussing it again.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

something those who refuse to accept evolution point to as utterly, utterly impossible, because we are after all, created in God’s image and likeness

ERV's tag line springs to mind. Considering whether the mysterium tremendum might actually be an omnipotent virus might open up an entirely new branch of theology.

To ChrisP #257:

I may have missed them, but did you, or others here, post any critical comments to Dan Andrews #86? If not, why not? He was the first to broach the rocky analogy:
“Re micro vs macro-evolution. My view is there is no such thing….it is all evolution. However, there are some scientists I greatly respect who do make that distinction. One of them used an analogy, which was, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.”
……

To Gray Falcon #259:
“You can look up “evolution” and find out exactly how it works. You have no excuse putting up strawman versions of it and calling it “evolution”.

Birdman, I may have missed them, but did you post any comments re: JGC #211’s
“There’s your problem right there see: that isn’t a definition of evolution as the term is used in the natural sciences (that would instead be “any change in the frequency of alleles in living populations over generations”)” ?

If you haven’t criticized or corrected JGC, then I assume you must be in agreement with that definition of evolution.

And I responded to JGC that if that’s “evolution” then I believe in evolution.

What’s your problem?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

See, you want to know my problem? It's that you have no interest whatsoever in science and only care about twisting people's words to make yourself look good.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Oh, dear, S.N.'s actual object of worship seems to be crapping out. Or being rarefied, whatever.

I may have missed them, but did you, or others here, post any critical comments to Dan Andrews #86? If not, why not? He was the first to broach the rocky analogy:
“Re micro vs macro-evolution. My view is there is no such thing….it is all evolution. However, there are some scientists I greatly respect who do make that distinction. One of them used an analogy, which was, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.”

As far as I can see Dan Andrews did not invoke Mt Rushmore as an example. You did.

As far as I can see Dan Andrews did not invoke Mt Rushmore as an example. You did.

You're failing to observe the True Meaning of the word "sculpt," silly.

To Gray Falcon #262:

Well done. If people like you, and the other evolutionists here, are representative of the state of evolution teaching, it’s not surprising that less than 20% of the “students” fully buy what you’re selling.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/21814/evolution-creationism-intelligent-desi…

To ChrisP #264:
“Others have pointed out why you can’t compare weathering of rocks to evolution, not even in terms of process, because a key component of evolutionary theory is relative fitness in the environment.”

I guess when I read the above words of yours I was expecting you would then criticize Dan Andrews’ post. But then, Dan Andrews is an evolutionist. Maybe you just don’t like going after your own.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

See, for a long time, most of humanity thought the sun went around the Earth. Did that make it so?

Again, your Mount Rushmore analogy was grossly dishonest, and you no excuse for not knowing that.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

And hopefully, the school districts may find enough money to correct all the old “facts” in their science and geography text books.

Certainly - we wouldn't want schools teaching things that are not supported by science.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

If people like you, and the other evolutionists here, are representative of the state of evolution teaching, it’s not surprising that less than 20% of the “students” fully buy what you’re selling.

One might note that Gallup polls come with a pretty strong odor of Mammon.

As I stated, Really Not Good At It.

See, allow me to explain to you the exact flaw in your Mount Rushmore logic. It would only apply if every single member of a species mutated in the exact same way. In truth, each individual member of a given generation is different, and some are more likely to survive than others: Perhaps they have a slight alteration to a light-sensitive patch that makes it better at identifying threats. The ones that survive will pass on their traits to the next generation. This process repeats over millions of generations, and small difference add up over a long period of time.

And yes, eyes can form this way. At no point did anybody claim that each component developed separately, then just happened to come together to form an eye. If you had bothered to read what we had sent you, you would know that.

Finally, I am a Christian, but my focus is on following the teachings of Christ, not the teachings of Man.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

“Others have pointed out why you can’t compare weathering of rocks to evolution, not even in terms of process, because a key component of evolutionary theory is relative fitness in the environment.”

I guess when I read the above words of yours I was expecting you would then criticize Dan Andrews’ post.

It is very simple. Dan Andrews did not compare weathering of rocks to evolution. Perhaps you need to read his post again.

To ChrisP #271:

Me: “I guess when I read the above words of yours I was expecting you would then criticize Dan Andrews’ post.”

You: “It is very simple. Dan Andrews did not compare weathering of rocks to evolution. Perhaps you need to read his post again.”

Right you are. Dan did NOT compare weathering of rocks to evolution. Dan just said Dan has great respect for some scientists who DO.

Peek-a-boo, I see you.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

@ See Noevo
You still did not answer the question: do you think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago?

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Right you are. Dan did NOT compare weathering of rocks to evolution. Dan just said Dan has great respect for some scientists who DO.

Peek-a-boo, I see you.

Do you always have this much trouble with logic?

Look to help you out, I have embedded the appropriate part of Dan Andrew's comment below. I will then in words of one syllable or less attempt to help you understand it.

One of them used an analogy, which was, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.

So Dan was not comparing evolution to eroding rocks, but was comparing one type of belief system to another.

I am sorry there were a few slightly longer words in that explanation, but I trust you can successfully look them up in the dictionary to get their meaning.

Always happy to help.

@ ChrisP

One of them used an analogy, which was, believing in micro evolution but not macro evolution is like believing the wind can move sand grains but not sculpt rock.

I was unsure then first reading Dan Andrews' post, but looking at the rest of his posting, I may now go so far as to interpret this analogy as a criticism of evolution deniers for lacking imagination.
Or for being out of touch with reality.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

@Gray Falcon

And yes, eyes can form this way. At no point did anybody claim that each component developed separately, then just happened to come together to form an eye.

Yep. My university teachers did just fine at explaining to me and my fellow students how fetal cells develop in to layers, then the layers fold on themselves to form tubes and spheroid pockets and whatnot, and so on, until appears an embryo doted with primitive organs.

The different pieces of the eye all come from the same zone of the same layers of cells. Some biologists spent a lot of time during the last century looking at the development of chicken embryos (and of other embryos, including humans), and it's easy to show the different steps of the formation of the eye. Nothing magical about all parts coming at the right place: their precursors were already there. They just had to become (should I say "mutate into"?) something more complex.

And as the embryologists like to say, the development of the embryo is a repeat of evolution. Start from a single cell, go to a multicellular stage, then a specialized-cell-layers stage, then fold these layers into a tube to get a worm-like stage, then fold again parts of these layers to get a chord (future spine) and a muscular cavity (future heart), and keep building complexity until obtaining an almost duplicate of whatever highly evolved organism provided the initial cell.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

it’s along the lines of the old “put 400 monkeys in front of typewriters and eventually one will produce a work of literature” speculation.

Put 400 Respectful Insolence commenters in front of keyboards and eventually one will produce an argument that will penetrate a creationist troll's Total Reality Exclusion field, but I don't think I can be arsed waiting that long.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

Note that SN does not want to answer the question:
Do you really believe that all species have been created in a couple of days?
If he says yes, he loses credibility. If he says no, he will go to hell like all of us.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 24 May 2015 #permalink

@ hdb

Put 400 Respectful Insolence commenters in front of keyboards [...]

If you have a cup of tea handy, you can rig up a generator of finite probability and reduce the time you have to wait.

With two cups, you can go for the infinite probability variant and reduce the time to a jiffy, but this upgraded version has notable side-effects, like the sudden appearance of whales and pots of begonia.
It may also make appear one glass of your favorite strong beverage, which is not that bad a side-effect.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

@Daniel - yes, I've noticed that See hasn't articulated his own position.....perhaps if he did so, we'd see how "intelligent" he actually was.

So, what is your position, See?

See Noevo,
The whole point of natural selection is that is does not have a goal (pun intended). However, its results, after long periods of time and many mutations, may make it look as if it does. The FSM deliberately designed it this way to confuse Creationists.

It is very obvious to me that you would benefit from reading Dawkins' 'The Blind Watchmaker' (there are plenty of free copies about, and it's an excellent and not-too-challenging read). You have failed to understand a fairly fundamental scientific concept, but instead of having the humility to attempt to learn, you appear to be trying to explain to us that science is wrong based on juggling semantics.

You remind me of the people who claim that herd immunity is a myth; as soon as I see that I know that they don't understand the concept. Similarly with natural selection, once you understand it, you realize it simply couldn't be any other way.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

To Daniel Corcos #273:

“@ See Noevo You still did not answer the question: do you think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago?”

You mean the billion years ago provided by the science community?

The same science community which currently has an 1,100% discrepancy on when the Grand Canyon was formed? http://geology.com/articles/age-of-the-grand-canyon.shtml

The same science community which, with Enceladus, currently has a 14,900% discrepancy on the age of our solar system? http://www.space.com/5528-frigid-future-ocean-saturn-moon.html

The same science community which currently has a 200,000% discrepancy on the age of dinosaur remains? http://www.nature.com/news/oldest-dinosaur-embryo-fossils-discovered-in…

That science community?

Well, Dan, I guess until such time as that science community proves their “stopwatches” are perfectly calibrated, then,
“No”, I do not think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

To Daniel Corcos:
I posted a comment answering your question in #273, but the comment is “Awaiting moderation.”

I don’t know why it’s being suspended pending review.

Do any of your comments get suspended by the moderator?
Same question to the other evolutionists here.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

See, how many links did you put in your comment? If you put multiple links in a comment, they always get moderation.

Also, do knot use the word, evolutionist. That makes sense as calling a physicist a gravitist.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Do any of your comments get suspended by the moderator?

From time to time, yes, depending on:
- misspelling my 'nym or e-mail address (comments from new people go into moderation automatically to filter out the most obvious spam)
- certain four letter words
- an excess number of links (I believe the magic number is 3), as this is often an indication of spam.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

@ See Noevo

All my comments on penis enlargement, cheap Viagra and Cell Inflation Assisted Chemotherapy are awaiting approval by the moderator.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

if you included 3 or more links, it will go into moderation. Also, if you fat-finger your e-mail address (and we've all done it) the system will think you're a new poster.

I'm sure your post will fully and clearly explain your position, and it will also be very entertaining.

Proper Johnny
Accept no substitutes

To Daniel Corcos #273 take 2:

“@ See Noevo You still did not answer the question: do you think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago?”
You mean the billion years ago provided by the science community?

The same science community which currently has an 1,100% discrepancy on when the Grand Canyon was formed (see url link above)?

The same science community which, with Enceladus, currently has a 14,900% discrepancy on the age of our solar system? http://www.space.com/5528-frigid-future-ocean-saturn-moon.html

The same science community which currently has a 200,000% discrepancy on the age of dinosaur remains? http://www.nature.com/news/oldest-dinosaur-embryo-fossils-discovered-in…

That science community?

Well, Dan, I guess until such time as that science community proves their “stopwatches” are perfectly calibrated, then,
“No”, I do not think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

There is nothing in your link to the Enceladus article that supports your assertion - why are you simply making things up?

And why should there be a surprise that new data leads to changes in scientific theories. Adapting to new data is what intelligent researchers do.

Oh - honesty, asking questions, and looking at data, they're all strange to you, your being a creationist and all.

“Science adjusts its views based on what's observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.”

― Tim Minchin

None of those links does anything to question the overall ages of either the Solar System or the Age of Dinosaurs...

So, please enlighten us as to what you actually believe, so we can be in awe of your intellect...

There is nothing in your link to the Enceladus article that supports your assertion – why are you simply making things up?

It's just not very good at actually presenting its stale, brain-dead regurgitation.

To Krebiozen #282:

“It is very obvious to me that you would benefit from reading Dawkins’ ‘The Blind Watchmaker’…”

Been there, done that.
Actually, I never did finish it. I was too weakened by too many metaphorical trips to the bathroom. However, I do recommend the book as an emetic.

(Similarly, I never completed a tour of the Don Lindsay website which JGC is so fond of. However, JGC apparently is not fond enough of it to respond to my question about it in my #248.)

I’m a little surprised, though, that you would value Dawkins’ book title and his extensive focus on Paley’s analogy of the blind watchmaker. Perhaps, you’d buy a Dawkins’ book about the analogy of how Mt. Rushmore COULD result from natural forces if given enough time.

Dawkins is an embarrassment, even to many in the evolution community. I wouldn’t be surprised if Richard ends up in an asylum or as a suicide.

But, again, I do enjoy this video of him:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjhh27sN6Pk

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, the same science that enables you to post articles on the Internet. If you're going to disparage the concept of science, please do so through clay tablets.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

The same science community which currently has a 200,000% discrepancy on the age of dinosaur remains? http://www.nature.com/news/oldest-dinosaur-embryo-fossils-discovered-in…

How do you figure 200,000%? The bone bed was dated at 197-190 million years old (an uncertainty of less than 3.7%), and the study is described as 

“This [study] takes a detailed record of dinosaur embryology and pushes it back over 100 million years.”

Even if you think that means scientists used to think dinosaur embryos didn't exist prior to 90 million years ago, but now they think they did -- which would be a really stupid thing to think -- then they would have been off -- under that stupid notion -- by only 111%. 

How do you figure they were off by a factor of 2,000? Do you think scientists thought that dinosaurs lived only 95,000 years ago (190,000,000 / 2000)? 

Let me clarify my previous comment. For a time, long-distance telegraphy was thought impossible, because a long cable would heat up too much and melt. Georg Ohm was the one who figured out it wasn't the case. If science acted as See Noevo thinks it should, nobody would have bothered to revise their models, and the Internet would not exist.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

To Gray Falcon #270:

“Finally, I am a Christian, but my focus is on following the teachings of Christ, not the teachings of Man.”

Gray, have you been attacked on these forums for your Christianity?

Anyway, I know you like Bible verses, so, here is a verse for the day:
“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me.
But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" [John 5:46-47]

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Yikes!
Man's brain is devolving into religious fundalmentalism in the US. How could anybody not believe in evolution?
As far as Ben Carson goes- a clever political gambit to get the right wing vote.

See Noevo- Moses' words also taught that lending money at interest is sinful. Why are you not opposed to the banking industry?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Also, in context, the passage from John 5 is about Jesus the Messiah. It is not about literalism. To deliberately misinterpret a verse out of context is, once again, dishonest. Tell me, See, do you really the the LORD will forgive your lying in His name?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

@ See Noevo
Do you think that the earth existed already one billion years ago, or not?
Do you think that all the species appeared in two days or not?

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

The same science community which currently has a 200,000% discrepancy on the age of dinosaur remains? http://www.nature.com/news/oldest-dinosaur-embryo-fossils-discovered-in…

Please explain the "discrepancy". Is this another cut-&-pasted Creo talking point?

Fossils were found dating back to the early Jurassic -- a period when dinosaurs were flourishing -- including dinosaur eggshells. Somehow, in the minds of creationists, the verification of a science's prediction ("dinosaurs existed, therefore their eggs existed") becomes the disproof of that science ("no-one found eggs that old before, now they've found some, HURR HURR they're just making it up!").
I'm beginning to think that SN doesn't really come here for the hunting sincere arguments.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Gray, have you been attacked on these forums for your Christianity?

There are two regular posters here with a bee in their bonnets about Christianity. The rest of us (including the Christians -- and I fall into that category) only get riled when someone uses religion or religious writings such as the Bible in an attempt to prove an unprovable point.

I'm one of the atheists here, and as long as people don't use their beliefs--whether that's Christian, Muslim, pagan, libertarian, or Maoist--to excuse lies or abuse, theose beliefs are irrelevant. The existence or otherwise of gods does not justify lying about science or defrauding the sick.

If you want to argue about Christian beliefs, try Patheos.

I find See Noevo (I keep reading it as "See No Evil" and envision a monkey with its paws over its eyes) apparently doesn't understand how science works. Yes, dates keep changing because we keep learning new things, discover new ways to test old discoveries, and correct those that have found to be incorrect based on older knowledge.

That's the great thing about science. It's self-correcting.

As far as Christianity: I don't care what other posters' religions are. As long as they are shoving their religious beliefs down my throat, I don't care if they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever.

...As long as they *aren't* shoving their religious beliefs down my throat.

Curse this keyboard. I have been the queen of typos today.

To LW #296:

“How do you figure 200,000%? The bone bed was dated at 197-190 million years old (an uncertainty of less than 3.7%)…How do you figure they were off by a factor of 2,000? Do you think scientists thought that dinosaurs lived only 95,000 years ago (190,000,000 / 2000)?”

Because the conventional scientific wisdom at the time (or actually in 2005, when soft, unfossilized tissue was found in the bone of a T. Rex said to be 75 million years old) was that fossilization happens in the blink of an eye, in terms of so-called geologic time. Articles I read back in 2005 said fossilization happens WITHIN 10,000 years of death (i.e. somewhere BETWEEN 1 year and 10,000 years). Another said within 100,000 years (maybe that author mistakenly included one too many zeroes).

This is the very reason this was such big news. They were astonished. And they were admitting how very, very wrong they had been. Bless their humble hearts. But wrong about what? The age of the dinosaur? Perish the thought! No. They admitted they were immensely wrong about… the fossilization process! And they still haven’t got a clue HOW soft tissue could still be extant and unfossilized after 75 million, or 200 million years.

Why was blind Carbon-14 dating never performed on the soft tissues? It should have been a win-win. The C-14 test would show positive results only for organic material less than 50,000 years old. With a “zero” result, the evolutionists would get further confirmation of their long ages view, and would have additional ammo with which to blast the young earth creationists. Yet the C-14 testing was never performed. Odd, isn’t it?

As to the math, let’s be very generous and say soft tissue in the wild could remain unfossilized for no more than 100,000 years. So, if unfossilized soft tissue is found, it’s less than 100,000 years old, certainly not 200,000,000 years old. Delta 199,900,000 years. Thus, 199,900,000 error/100,000 max correct age = discrepancy of 199,900%.

Let’s call it 200,000%.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

300 hundred comments and counting. Wow!

To Gray Falcon #300:

“See Noevo- Moses’ words also taught that lending money at interest is sinful. Why are you not opposed to the banking industry?”

Please, try a little harder not to be too obtuse (cf. Matthew 25:26-27).

I don’t have the time nor the patience right now to debate Scriptural interpretation with yet another deluded Protestant.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Actually, I never did finish it. I was too weakened by too many metaphorical trips to the bathroom. However, I do recommend the book as an emetic.

Very witty.

The same science community which currently has an 1,100% discrepancy on when the Grand Canyon was formed (see url link above)?

Some features of the canyon are relatively old, some relatively young. The age of the canyon depends on which features you consider to be the defining ones for its age. That's not a discrepancy, it's a question of interpretation of facts that pretty much everyone agrees to.

The same science community which, with Enceladus, currently has a 14,900% discrepancy on the age of our solar system?

Nothing described in that link has the slightest bearing on the age of the solar system. It does seem to suggest that Enceladus has had a far more exciting history than might have been expected.

The same science community which currently has a 200,000% discrepancy on the age of dinosaur remains?

As others have pointed out, that link says no such thing.

So in answer to your question, yes, that science community. The discrepancies you claim aren't actually discrepancies at all.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

And they still haven’t got a clue HOW soft tissue could still be extant and unfossilized after 75 million, or 200 million years.

"Unfossilisezed"? Perhaps you did not even read the headline of the Nature post, the one reading "Oldest dinosaur embryo fossils discovered in China". The word "fossils" should have been a clue that these remains were fossilised. The term "soft tissue" is your own fabrication.
Yes, they were organic (contained carbon). Many fossils do. Coal is a fossil.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

How could anyone defend "intelligent design" after the Ebola crisis. Those that survived had evolved hardier immune systems.
Ebola was "evil" (to put a spin on a religious term)

They were astonished. And they were admitting how very, very wrong they had been. Bless their humble hearts.

I wonder if SN writes bad slashfic on the side. There's a real Mary-Sue vibe to this breathless prose.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

I recall seeing something on Nova a while back about organic material found in dinosaur bones. A 2010 article in Scientific American discusses this in some detail. That was a surprising finding, and overturned conventional wisdom. Presumably the reason it was not found before was that nobody looked with the right tools (the desire not to destroy the bones to see if just maybe there's organic material there played a part in that, I'm sure) or didn't use the right samples.

That's what keeps science fascinating.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

See, are you quite finished? Biblical literalism is a new invention, Augustine of Hippo, from the third century, saw the creation story of Genesis as an allegory. The whole of "creation science" is nothing more than an anti-modernist movement of the nineteenth century.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

How do you figure 200,000%?

The hilarious factor of 149 for Enceladus suggests that he's under the impression that anybody other than his fellow travelers thinks that "the science community" has determined that its not having frozen out yet implies that the age must be less than 30 Myr.

Because current conditions have always held and always will.

I see that our new resident creationist troll still refuses to articulate his beliefs.......

Augustine of Hippo

My very favorite father of the church.

300 hundred comments and counting. Wow!

Isn't that just precious?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

herr doktor bimler - your memory serves you well.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Isn’t that just precious?
It is as if creationists are not especially concerned about a few orders of magnitude here and there.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

I don’t have the time nor the patience right now to debate Scriptural interpretation with yet another deluded Protestant.

Did Christ's Vicar on Earth block you on Twitter, or something?

"Those that survived had evolved hardier immune systems."

Well, only if by "hardier immune systems" you meant they are now immune to Ebola. Unfortunately, the disease has other consequences, quite dire.

300 comments? Note even close to a record for this blog.

^ Ah, silly me, I forgot to work in Fatima Yechhburg.

Well, only if by “hardier immune systems” you meant they are now immune to Ebola.

Perhaps. Moreover, it clearly seems to hang around post-viremia (eyes, semen).

To herr doktor bimler #311:

“Unfossilisezed”? Perhaps you did not even read the headline of the Nature post, the one reading “Oldest dinosaur embryo fossils discovered in China”. The word “fossils” should have been a clue that these remains were fossilised. The term “soft tissue” is your own fabrication. Yes, they were organic (contained carbon). Many fossils do.”

Try the following take from
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-04/uot-wod040513.php

“The Taiwanese members of the team also discovered organic material inside the embryonic bones. Using precisely targeted infrared spectroscopy, they conducted chemical analyses of the dinosaur bone and found evidence of what Reisz says may be collagen fibres. Collagen is a protein characteristically found in bone.

"The bones of ancient animals are transformed to rock during the fossilization process," says Reisz. "To find remnants of proteins in the embryos is really remarkable, particularly since these specimens are over 100 million years older than other fossils containing similar organic material."

But if that’s too much of a stretch for you, how about the most definitely soft, unfossilized tissue in various dino bones? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090501-oldest-dinosaur-…

Ahhh, a much more reasonable 79,900% minimum discrepancy.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

So, why aren't Dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible, See?

News flash. Something does not have to be turned to stone to be considered a fossil.

Amber anyone?

And I'm not sure where this cutting edge research is supposed to bring into question the currently known timeline, given all of the other evidence alongside of it....

So who, exactly, is the intended target of the types of falsehoods and misrepresentations sn puts out? People who have even a passing knowledge of science know its crap, and the folks who have mindsets similar to his don't need more convincing. So what's the point?

So what’s the point?
Sense of smug satisfaction from having bested in argument ignored arguments from a tag-team of opponents.
Trolling.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

^ For those playing at home, wavenumber 1537 is a C ═ N/C ═ C stretching mode, and 1659 is C ═ O. Finger lickin' good!

^^ Depending on who you ask for 1537.

To Mephistopheles O'Brien #310:

“The age of the canyon depends on which features you consider to be the defining ones for its age. That’s not a discrepancy, it’s a question of interpretation of facts that pretty much everyone agrees to.”

I agree to an extent.
However, I’d say it IS a discrepancy, in interpretive result.
I wrote something similar earlier:
“I would say evolutionary theory is built NOT on facts, but rather on interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts. (Assuming we can even agree on what the “FACTS” are.)”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

For all those questioning See Noevo about their beliefs and assertions, it is important to realise that See Noevo is of the position that the Catholic Church is infallible.

In "its authoritative teachings on faith and morals," anyway, which I suppose means that [he] feels fine ignoring the fact that the Church has held the theory of evolution to be just fine and dandy for a very long time now. Well, I suppose Catholics are not forbidden from being creationists, but it is not encouraged or anything.

To dean #334:

“So who, exactly, is the intended target of the types of falsehoods and misrepresentations sn puts out? People who have even a passing knowledge of science know its crap, and the folks who have mindsets similar to his don’t need more convincing. So what’s the point?”

Try to look on the bright side.
I’m offering you the opportunity to interact with those outside of your little atheistic evolution bubble. What fun is it to talk to no one but your fellow "Yes" men/women/its?

More importantly, this is an opportunity to sharpen your teaching and proselytizing skills. And you have to admit, your skills (actually, not just yours, but those of the entire science teaching establishment) are in dire need of sharpening.

Now, granted, skills far superior to yours probably won’t work on me. I’m a lost cause. I’ve gone from a 30-year evolution believer to a 12+ year apostate.

But I’m talking about the rest of the folks, those who might not have researched evolution for more than the last decade. Less than 20% buy into evolution the way you and others here do, and 45% reject all aspects of it, according to Gallup.

And I’m also talking about people in the science community, with PhDs in chemistry, physics, biology, and other sciences from Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Stanford, and many others universities (http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?id=660) who are, at a minimum, skeptical of evolution theory’s claims.

I’m helping you help your teaching technique. But you may need far more help than I can offer. Maybe it’s not so much your teaching technique, but rather poor, uncompelling teaching MATERIAL.

What do YOU think needs to change in science education, so that, say, at least a majority of the folks would believe what you do?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

And you have to admit, your skills (actually, not just yours, but those of the entire science teaching establishment) are in dire need of sharpening.

Considering your string of second-hand catastrophes here (and cowardice in the face thereof), that's just sad.

More importantly, this is an opportunity to sharpen your teaching and proselytizing skills. And you have to admit, your skills (actually, not just yours, but those of the entire science teaching establishment) are in dire need of sharpening.

There is precious little to be gained from attempting to teach someone who wanders around with their fingers in their ears shouting "I can't hear you".

On the other hand, your skill set seems to consist entirely of goalpost moving.

See Nothing:

I will talk to all sorts of people, but there's no fun talking to people who think facts are irrelevant, or that it's okay to lie about science in order to convince me of their religious ideas. I have Catholic friends, and good sense as well as good ethics would keep them from those sorts of lies even if they didn't accept the truth of evolution.

Why do they deny evolution? They are older and facing their own death or as Freud would say the death of their egos. Evolution to them was not personal when they studied it, wasn't a threat to their ego dissolution. Comtemplating non-existence for some men is frightening. I guess that if one denies evolution, it follows that they might also believe in life after death. Displacing this fear unto a "theory" of "intelligent design" will keep them in debate probably until their demise. No one likes to believe that their life was a meaningless random evolutionary event. God surely blessed them.
Emily Litella-
Oh never mind.....

@ 340

Re: "Less than 20% buy into evolution the way you and others here do, and 45% reject all aspects of it, according to Gallup."

What about nations other than the U.S.?

Oh, here we go:

http://tnjn.org/content/relatedmedia/2009/03/03/Science_evolution_2006…

Seems that in most developed nations the number of citizens who accept evolution science as "true" ... or at least more "true" than religious creation myths.. far exceeds "20%". ...

In the U.S., does acceptance of evolution science, as opposed to "Goddidit" type malarkey, differ between U.S. states?

Seems to:

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/acceptance-of-evolu…

Some of the poorest states seem to have the largest number of "Godditit and he didn't need no stinkin evolution" types, Dunno whether that means anything, e.g., fewer education dollars, or if it might be some combination of fewer available funds/more fundamentalist religious whackos, e.g., Don McLeroy, monkeying around with "education".

At any rate, the "teaching establishment" you mention seems to have been quite successful in explaining evolution in most developed nations.

Re: "What do YOU think needs to change in science education, so that, say, at least a majority of the folks would believe what you do?"

As I've indicated the "science education" in most developed nations seems fine.

As for the U.S., from an outsiders point of view, the inmates seem to be running the asylum ... at least in many southern states ... so I'm not hopeful of change.

I mean, with this kind of idiot "homeschooling" her kids, what hope is there?

http://wonkette.com/567673/homeschool-mom-disproves-evolution-because-s…

So you can rest easy. U.S. citizens seem to have an unwritten "inalienable right to be stupid" ... of which many avail themselves fully ... that should protect it ... or at least the southern states ... from the insidious evil of evolutionary theory.

And I’m also talking about people in the science community, with PhDs in chemistry, physics, biology, and other sciences from Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Stanford, and many others universities ([lamest imaginable appeal to authority]} who are, at a minimum, skeptical of evolution theory’s claims.

Do you think the remains of Philip Skell could be used as a sort of standard candle?

To ken #344:

“No one likes to believe that their life was a meaningless random evolutionary event.”

I take it you believe that your life is a meaningless random evolutionary event.

Who else here thinks his/her/its life is a meaningless random evolutionary event?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Belief in the science behind evolution =/= atheism.

Vicki - evolution is taught in Catholic schools. Someone has been under a rock since 1950.

I have a friend with cancer. It is of a type which was almost always fatal before modern science based on biology and physics started to invent interventions. It is stage IV lung cancer, with metastases to brain and bone.

What has the Discovery Institute discovered which is proven to help my friend? With its far more powerful, supernatural benefactor, and with being free of the "atheistic" science it attacks, it should surely have an effective remedy. If it does not, it must be withholding the treatments it has or could have discovered, and is thus culpable of killing people with cancer.

His family is not waiting for the Disco 'tute. Instead, he found a treatment regimen based on the same scientific process the Discovery Fraud attacks. That regimen uses an experimental gene-targeted drug with occasional use of radiation. The cancer is almost gone, now it does not show on a CAT scan. He's gone from 20 pounds underweight (the cancer was consuming his food energy faster his system could convert if from food) to normal weight and running a 10K recently. Not fast, but not last either. It is believed that a few cells which are resistant to the drug survive, and they will eventually multiply, but because this is understood it can be predicted and perhaps fought with other drugs yet to be invented.

Why did the Discovery Institute not discover radioactive decay? Why did they not discover radiation of any kind? Why have they not created even one effective anti-cancer drug?
------'s kids are waiting, but there are only so many scientists available to do this work.
Every dime the Discovery Institute has spent is stolen from research that would help my friend live longer and look after his kids, who are 6 and 8 now.

By Spectator (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Apologies for my disjointed English; I was not able to edit the above post into good form. I ask the reader's patience in extracting what I meant from the clutter of what I wrote.

By Spectator (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

#346
You lack the ability to understand this in a biological sense.
Man's brain evolved and found meaning-that's a whole other story-community, altruism etc.
The mind has immense potential for -I'll put in your terms- good and evil.
Psychologically speaking, it's also easier not to think for some people. That's what religious dogma is for. As an individual in the larger sense of the "cosmos', my life is meaningless. In a personal sense, very meaningful.

Who else here thinks his/her/its life is a meaningless random evolutionary event?

Oh, Jesus, now it's a self-appointed mystic.

To Spectator #349:

Glad to hear your friend is doing better.

“…he found a treatment regimen …That regimen uses an experimental gene-targeted drug with occasional use of radiation.”

Did you know that the science of genetics began with the work of a Gregor Mendel, a Catholic priest?

Looking farther afield, did you know that what’s become known as the Big Bang theory was first hatched by physicist Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest?

I recall, too, that the Catholic Church founded the first hospitals and universities in Europe. And Catholic organizations operate more hospitals and universities in the U.S. than probably any other single organization or body.

And from a recent WSJ article:
“In the 17th century, Jesuit Giambattista Riccioli mapped the moon, and Christoph Scheiner helped discover sunspots. Francesco Grimaldi discovered the enormously important physics effect called “diffraction,” the effects of which you can see in the colorful bands of a glimmering CD. In the 19th century, the Jesuit Angelo Secchi, a founder of astrophysics, pioneered the study of the sun and stars using the spectra of their light and developed the first spectral classification of stars, the basis of the one now used… Blessed Niels Stensen (1638-86) made major contributions to anatomy, especially of the glandular-lymphatic system, and, even more impressively, helped found the science of geology by developing the correct theory of sedimentary rock, geological strata and the origin of fossils, which unlocked Earth’s history. Marin Mersenne (1588-1648), of the Minimite Order, made fundamental discoveries about sound. The work of the Abbé Lazzaro Spallanzani, one of the top biologists of the 18th century, is taught in high-school textbooks today.”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

I’ll come back to where I started here.
I said that, obviously, one can be a world-renowned medical doctor without believing in evolution (e.g. Ben Carson). And I asked two questions:
1)Does the med school curriculum include at least one course on biological evolution?
2)Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?

The answer to 2) is “No.”

Oh, you can try, with ridiculous statements about antibiotic and antiviral treatments. But the bacteria and viruses remain bacteria and viruses before and after. No evolution. And I hope people realize that antibiotic resistance long pre-dates the discovery of antibiotics. Example:
https://www.asm.org/index.php/journal-press-releases/92870-fossilized-h…

By See Noevo (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Looking farther afield, did you know that what’s become known as the Big Bang theory was first hatched by physicist Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest?

Of course, it fails if left to its own devices, something that your embarrassing display at Ethan's demonstrates that you understand not in the least but are more than happy to pontificate about.

If you think you're even in the ballpart of 1 Peter 2, you're sorely deluded. Perhaps you should look into Br. Consalmagno instead of barfing up stuff that you found on the street and then pretending that it never happened when it dawns upon you that you're unequipped to even mount something resembling a defense.

I said that, obviously, one can be a world-renowned medical doctor without believing in evolution (e.g. Ben Carson).

Who ordered the St. Lucy with anchovies?

@ SN
"Who else here thinks his/her/its life is a meaningless random evolutionary event?"
I had virtually no chance to live according to randomness, and still I am here. Isn't it proof that God exists? You too. Isn't it meaningless?

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

And I hope people realize that antibiotic resistance long pre-dates the discovery of antibiotics I'm slow on the uptake.

FTFY.

See Noevo:

2)Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?
The answer to 2) is “No.”

You are either very closed-minded or an outright liar. Antibiotic resistance and ways to defeat it are a clear example, mentioned by at least one commenter above. The mapping of genomes to treat genetically acquired diseases is another.
I see you mentioned a whole number of scientists who were also Men of God. Amusingly, you mentioned Gregor Mendel and genetics. You do know, don't you, that Mendelian inheritance is one of the mechanisms behind evolution?
Two people independently hypothesised evolution. Charles Darwin was one. Alfred Russell Wallace was the other. I looked up Wallace. He was a theist. Strange that you didn't have him on your list.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

But the bacteria and viruses remain bacteria and viruses before and after.

You are aware, aren't you, that there are on the market a half-dozen forms of artificially modified penicillins, none of these existed naturally, and precisely developped to be effective on natural-penicillin-resistant bacteria?
Not to mention cephalosporins and other classes of antibiotic molecules with a similar molecular backbone as penicillin and which also went through a series of artificial modifications.

These molecules were introduced to bypass the resistance of bacteria. And yet, a few decades later, some of these "same" bacteria are now resistant to them.

So bacteria and viruses evolved in our lifetime to resist modified versions of drugs, but that's not evolution. Got it.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

Helianthus, you have to remember in ID world, evolution doesn't count unless a peasant turns into a newt.

I see you mentioned a whole number of scientists who were also Men of God.

I fail to see sn's point, here.

Also, he missed Teilhard de Chardin. A Jesuit and a scientist, not exactly in this order, and so enamored with the theory of Evolution that he posited a theological counterpart, the Omega point, an evolution of mankind' souls..
He got a cameo of sort in Dan Simmons' Hyperion cantos.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

@Spectator

I hope your friend does well. It's what I would expect.

@HDB

No surprises. Collagen is frequently found in fossils here in Godzone. Example: moa.

@ChrisP

evolution doesn’t count unless a peasant turns into a newt.

Oh, then I should qualify. I turned into a newt*, once. I got better.

* true event. It was, that, a few weeks after my parents conceived me.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 May 2015 #permalink

I see you mentioned a whole number of scientists who were also Men of God.

I fail to see sn’s point, here.

I forgot to say, I also fail to see his/her point.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

The point sn, is that the things you say about science are all false. Only a fool would listen to a congenital liar like you.

Do you think the remains of Philip Skell could be used as a sort of standard candle?

If you have in mind a candle that spreads darkness, then my man Magritte is here to help.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

Narad @356 -- I'm sorry, did you mean to suggest that the big bang theory "fails if left to its own devices"? If so, it'd be interesting to know why.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

I’m a lost cause. I’ve gone from a 30-year evolution believer to a 12+ year apostate.

You're definitely a lost cause. However, no "30-year evolution believer" would ask such a patently idiotic question as you did in asking how the various parts of the eye evolved independently** and then "co-located" to produce vision. So you are, like so many creationists, lying about that too.

** how did the pupil and the iris evolve separately? I'm trying to imagine this ...

Blessed Niels Stensen (1638-86) made major contributions to anatomy, especially of the glandular-lymphatic system, and, even more impressively, helped found the science of geology by developing the correct theory of sedimentary rock, geological strata and the origin of fossils, which unlocked Earth’s history.

But you don't believe the Earth has the history that he unlocked.

“I would say evolutionary theory is built NOT on facts, but rather on interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts. (Assuming we can even agree on what the “FACTS” are.)”

Like any good theory, the theory of evolution by variation and natural selection is based on:
- a body of observations
- a body of data derived from those measurements

For example, the fossil record contains remains of various animals, plants, and protists that are found in only specific strata. These remains and their surrounding rock can be dated by several independent methods, which currently agree to a reasonable degree of precision. The remains for an individual species typically are only found in one specific strata, but show characteristics that are sufficiently similar to remains found in earlier and later strata to indicate common ancestry.

There is sufficient evidence of this that it is reasonable to talk about the fact of evolution. Currently the theory of evolution by variation and natural selection explains these observations, is not contradicted by current observation, and makes useful predictions. It also does not rely on things not in evidence - say the existence of a practical joker who deliberately, over a billion years, added items to the fossil record to make it look like things evolved.

The theory is built on directly observed facts, it's built on derived facts, and it's built on interpretations of that data.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

It's worth noting that the same "interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts" that Noevo derides are the exact same ones used by geologists to locate oil and natural gas deposits.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

To Helianthus #361:

“These molecules were introduced to bypass the resistance of bacteria. And yet, a few decades later, some of these “same” bacteria are now resistant to them. So bacteria and viruses evolved in our lifetime to resist modified versions of drugs, but that’s not evolution. Got it.”

Which of the bacteria and viruses “evolved”?
The ones killed by the drugs?
No, they weren’t doing anything, because they were killed by the drugs.
Let’s see….. Oh, the ones NOT killed by the drugs! Because they were still alive.
And then the bacteria and viruses that weren’t killed by the drugs had babies which also weren’t killed by the drugs… and so…. and so…
And so now the bacteria and viruses that aren’t killed by the drugs are a bigger share of the total bacteria and viruses population! They might even become the total population. And we call that total population….ahhh….what was it again….ahhhh….. ah yes! We call it “bacteria and viruses”.

But that’s not evolution. Got it?

P.S.
In other breaking news, research has shown that the total population of medical doctors are smart people. Further research revealed these smart doctors were NEVER stupid people.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, it's evolution. By definition, it's evolution. You do not have the authority to define words.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo:

Which of the bacteria and viruses “evolved”?
The ones killed by the drugs?
No, they weren’t doing anything, because they were killed by the drugs.
Let’s see….. Oh, the ones NOT killed by the drugs! Because they were still alive.
And then the bacteria and viruses that weren’t killed by the drugs had babies which also weren’t killed by the drugs… and so…. and so…
And so now the bacteria and viruses that aren’t killed by the drugs are a bigger share of the total bacteria and viruses population! They might even become the total population. And we call that total population….ahhh….what was it again….ahhhh….. ah yes! We call it “bacteria and viruses”.

But that’s not evolution. Got it?

Yes it is. The fact that you don't understand that the ones who were better able to resist the effect of the antibiotic and survive to reproduce, having offspring that were also better able to resist the effect of the antibiotics, is evolution in action, is astonishing.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

but rather on interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts.

From a certain point-of-view, about every bit of human knowledge is build on interpretations, extrapolations, etc - the whole solipsism tangent around "we perceive the world through the imperfect medium of our senses". I believe herr doktor bimler mentioned Magritte upthread.
Noevo's rebuttal is so wide as to be meaningless.

That we call science, in all its forms, is all about getting us a better handle on that is fact and isn't. It's long, tedious, far from perfect.
But it beats giving up using our brain and curling up in a corner.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

See noevo's lack of understanding of science is understandable, given his opinion on pure research (this is from Ethan's blog, during a discussion of the study of modern cosmology)

I don’t buy the argument that it’s just to learn. Nobody advocates, or should advocate, spending untold man-years and billions of dollars just to learn more about something that has no impact on our daily lives.
Whatever could be the purpose?

SN appears to think that "evolution" actually means "speciation", which takes longer than a single adaptation, and is therefore more difficult to observe in real time.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

@ Noevo

And so now the bacteria and viruses that aren’t killed by the drugs are a bigger share of the total bacteria and viruses population!

Add a mutagen to your bacterial population before adding the drug. Funny enough, the resistant bacteria will represent an ever bigger share*. Must be magic.

* we can compare the treated/non-treated populations by using a metal cylinder covered with some bit of fabric to take the bacterial colonies from a cultured Petri dish and "print" them on a series of fresh Petri dishes, thus obtaining a series of identical cultures.
Add your cocktail of drugs and see how many colonies survive on each dish.

--------------------------------
Actually, it has been shown in bacteria that, in situations of stress, a number of genes implicated in repairing DNA damage aren't working as much. It leads to a higher number of mutants in the offspring population.

Getting a sub-lethal dose of penicillin would qualify as a stressful situation, I would think.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

Which of the bacteria and viruses “evolved”?
The ones killed by the drugs?
No, they weren’t doing anything, because they were killed by the drugs.
Let’s see….. Oh, the ones NOT killed by the drugs! Because they were still alive.
And then the bacteria and viruses that weren’t killed by the drugs had babies which also weren’t killed by the drugs… and so…. and so…
And so now the bacteria and viruses that aren’t killed by the drugs are a bigger share of the total bacteria and viruses population! They might even become the total population. And we call that total population….ahhh….what was it again….ahhhh….. ah yes! We call it “bacteria and viruses”.

But that’s not evolution. Got it?

You don't see people who are so handicapped in their understanding that they make that kind of a spectacle of themselves every day, even on the internet.

ann @381 -- You evidently don't frequent global warming threads.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

@ palindrom:

Ha ha ha. Well, you know what they say about great minds

I was about to inform ann about Natural News, prn, AoA, TMR...

-btw- Mikey has outdone himself today with a quiz about surviving the Next Great Unravelling, Meltdown, Period of Chaos, Whatever...
at any rate, it's JUST around the corner.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

You don’t see people who are so handicapped in their understanding that they make that kind of a spectacle of themselves every day, even on the internet.

You do, actually, if you follow blogs where evolution is discussed on a regular basis. Creationists are largely indistinguishable from anti-vaxers, except for the topic of discussion. They are highly predictable.
Will Fully-Blind reminds me of picture menus or pictogram charts used by persons who can't communicate verbally - you just point to the appropriate picture of ready-made choices. All the choices have been around, used and abused for a long time. He's even pointed to the picture of a crocoduck.

@ ann

You don’t see people who are so handicapped in their understanding that they make that kind of a spectacle of themselves every day, even on the internet.

To be fair, noevo argument is that the resistant bacteria were already present in the population from back to Methuselah, and the drug only pruned the population to the individuals with the ability to overcome the situation. To quote:

But that’s not evolution. Got it?

Well, he/she is right. That's natural selection.

Where he/she fails is in refusing:
- to consider the long-term effect of such selection, i.e. making the resulting population quite different in its make-up from the parent population.

- and to take into account that an organism's DNA sequence is not written in stone. Mutations happen, hence diversity among a given population, hence a chance for part of the population to react differently to a selective pressure.

And the combination of the two - random diversity added to a population and the parents of the next generation being selected on having the right package to survive in their current environment - is evolution.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

I’m sorry, did you mean to suggest that the big bang theory “fails if left to its own devices”? If so, it’d be interesting to know why.

I was alluding to S.N.'s demonstrated inability to tell the difference between inflation and eternal inflation.

Narad @386 -- Thanks.

I sorta hoped I didn't have to ask you how you'd explain the microwave background (and so on) in some wacky cosmology you might have favored.

There are many cranks on the internet who are sure the big bang is wrong. I've never seen even one such crank who has even passing familiarity with the modern evidence.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

How about instead of “accident” I use “unintended outcome” or “undirected outcome”. Is that better?

I suggest we simply go with the word “result” without any modifying adjective.

You should ask Gray Falcon #204.

I agree that it would have been better if he didn’t use the word goal: natural selection doesn’t act to realize a goal or goals: it simply acts to conserve genetic changes which result in increased fitness, and to oppose the conservation of genetic changes which result in decreased fitness, with respect to a specific environment at the time the change arises.
<blockquote. Playing golf the other day I got some sun tan. So, I’m part way to getting some new eyes. Or, at least my ancestors may be getting some new ones.
See, you do realize that this isn’t how evolution and natural selection works, right? And that we’re all aware you’ve offered a parody of evolution because you have no real argument to offer against it validity? If not, it’s clear you don’t possess a sufficient understanding of evolution to discuss the topic in a meaningful way.

I didn’t delve into it very far because I was finding problems with virtually every sentence and/or point. I’m not going to look at the whole stinkin’ thing, for my response and rebuttal would take too much time. Let’s try to be more efficient here. Let’s start small, and right at the top, so to speak. Specifically, what do YOU find to be the one MOST compelling point from Lindsay’s website? This one point must be limited to one small section of Lindsay’s website, ideally one paragraph or less.

Non-responsive yet again, see: answer the question asked, rather than responding with another question. If you’re so concerned about time, identify what YOU consider the MOST SERIOUS problem with the content of the website.
You are the one, after all, who’s trying to dismiss the entire content as “shpeil”—surely you had some reason to do so, other than simply that it doesn’t support your preferred conclusions regarding the origin of biological diversity?
Re: the definition of function—you’ve selected the wrong one out of the multiple definitions Merriam Webster offers (clearly for no other reason than that selection includes the word purpose).
The one that’s operative here is instead “any of a group of related actions contributing to a larger action; especially : the normal and specific contribution of a bodily part to the economy of a living organism”.

Controlling eye development? You mean, like, making sure the desired goal is reached?

No, that’s not what I mean, as you well know. What I mean instead is the hox gene Pax-6 acts as a transcription factor for multiple genes and growth factors involved in eye formation.

Was Pax-6 around a billion or so years ago directing traffic from the sun burn skin to the startling blues (i.e. eyes)?

More like 540 million years ago: complex first eyes appear during the Cambrian explosion.
Re: your question about the bible, it’s clear because authors intended to communicate the events occurred in a single day rather than over a loonger period of time: the text uses the Hebrew word ‘yod’ modified by an ordinal (‘first’, ‘second’, etc.) which in old Hebrew always denotes a 24 hour period measured from sunset to sunset.
Note also that Genesis wasn’t composed by a single author: the first 5 books of the Torah were instead assembled by combining and redacting accounts from four or more separate religious traditions (the Yahwist, Elohist, Dueteronomist and Priestly sources) created separately over the period from 950 and 500 BCE). That’s the reason we find two separate and contradictory accounts of creation, for example, present in Genesis.

In other breaking news, research has shown that the total population of medical doctors are smart people.

I've run into a few examples to the contrary within the military medical system.

<blockquote<Without the mutations, there is nothing to select FROM.

Wrong again, see: google 'genetic drift' and 'founder's effect' to see how selection can occur in the absence of mutational change.

“No”, I do not think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago

Congratulations--you've gotten something correct for a change! Mammals are the only living synapsids, and the synapsids arose in the late Caboniferous period, about 320 million years ago.

(Similarly, I never completed a tour of the Don Lindsay website which JGC is so fond of.M

Yet you were willing to dismiss it as nothing other than 'shpeil' despite not bothering to read it--nice display of intellectual integrity, see.

However, JGC apparently is not fond enough of it to respond to my question about it in my #248.)

hey, it was memorial Day weekend--grilling for friends takes precedence over addressing trolls. You'll see I've responded now (and I expect you'll now continue to try your utmost to avoid offering substantive objections to the content on Lindsay's site.)

@JGC- I have two reasons for using the word "goal". Firstly, I used the word "goal" because if I had said "there is no goal", he would have taken it as proof that evolution was random and therefore incapable of creating things like eyes. Secondly, I meant "goal" in a metaphorical sense, if biological evolution were thought of in terms of an algorithm. My apologies for the confusion.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

“No”, I do not think there were mammals on earth one billion years ago

I think that's a Negative Pregnant, since the unstated rest of the sentence is: "I also don't believe the Earth or the Universe existed one billion years ago."

I wrote something similar earlier

At which time it was piointed out that you were wrong.

Does the med school curriculum include at least one course on biological evolution?

No, for the same reason it does not include at least one course on basic arithmetic, or one course on spelling.

Can anyone name just one medical breakthrough or current medical treatment or procedure which required a belief in evolution?</blockquote.

There's no more necessity to possess 'a belief in evolution" than there is the necessity to possess 'a belief' in erosion or tectonic uplift or chemical stoichiometry, see.

But the bacteria and viruses remain bacteria and viruses before and after. No evolution.

See, there's no necessity that a bacteria or virus become something other than bacteria or virus for evolution to have occurred. Really, if you're going to attack something take the time to understand it first.

But that’s not evolution. Got it?

But that is evolution, see: the frequency of alleles conferring resistance within the population of bacteria changed over generations, resulting in a new phenotype (drug resistance): it's evolution by definition.

SN appears to think that “evolution” actually means “speciation”, which takes longer than a single adaptation, and is therefore more difficult to observe in real time.

It has, however, been observed in real time. Some examples:

Dobzhansky, Th., and O. Pavlovsky, 1971. “An experimentally created incipient species of Drosophila”, Nature 23:289-292.

Mosquin, T., 1967. “Evidence for autopolyploidy in Epilobium angustifolium (Onaagraceae)”, Evolution 21:713-719

Rabe, Eric W.. Haufler, Christopher H.. Incipient polyploid speciation in the maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum; Adiantaceae)? The American Journal of Botany. V79. P701(7) June, 1992.

Gottlieb, L. D. 1973. Genetic differentiation, sympatric speciation, and the origin of a diploid species of Stephanomeria. American Journal of Botany 60(6):545-553

There’s also a very dramatic example of multiple speciation events occurring in populations of mus musculus domesticus as the result of Robertsonian fusions altering karyotype number, reported in “Chromosomes and speciation in Mus musculus domesticus”, E. Capanna, R. Castigli, Cytogenetic and Genome Research 2004;105:375-384 . Five different new species arose by descent from a common ancestral population, all reproductively isolated from one another.

My apologies for the confusion.

Hey, you were speaking with see noevo--confusion was inevitable.

To Helianthus #385:

Thank you for acknowledging here that I was right in saying my bacteria/virus scenario in #374 is indeed NOT evolution.

You go on to say I fail to consider 1) “the long-term effect of such selection”, 2) “an organism’s DNA sequence is not written in stone”, 3) “Mutations happen”, 4) [mutations happen] hence diversity among a given population”.

That may be a good example of what I said earlier – “evolutionary theory is built NOT on facts, but rather on interpretations, extrapolations, and theories involving facts.”

1)Is not a fact, it’s an interpretation and unobserved extrapolation.
2)Is a fact.
3)Is a fact.
4)Is a half-truth, at best. Unless you consider a chubby redhead and a slender blonde in the same family to be “mutants”.

P.S.
You say “And the combination of the two – random diversity added to a population and the parents of the next generation being selected on having the right package to survive in their current environment – is evolution.”

If that’s “evolution”, then I guess I believe in “evolution.”

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

Well, he/she is right. That’s natural selection.

No, it's evolution: the frequency of alleles conferring drug resistance changed over generation int eh bacterial population. natural selection is the mechanism which caused the frequency to change.

Same thing seen in induatrial melanization in peppered mots: the alleles controlling moth color present prior to factory exhaust darkening trees for miles around, but once they had natural selection caused a change in frequency of alleles with expression of the allele conferring a dark color greatly increasing within the population.

@ JGC

natural selection is the mechanism which caused the frequency to change.

It was more or less the point I was trying to make. I guess I expressed myself badly. Or I could use a refresher in biology. Or both.

-----------------------------
Neovo is agreeing with me. Chances are something is wrong here.
Ah, got it

1)Is not a fact, it’s an interpretation and unobserved extrapolation.

Scuse me?

In the example we are talking about, we observed the non-resistant bacteria die from exposition to antibiotic, so the bacteria population is now mostly composed of resistant bacteria, but that's not an observation?

It's an observation backed-up by a real-wolrd experiment, the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria. Hospital labs have seen an increase in number and diversity of resistant bacteria. And again, it's not a fact?

In both cases, these change in the overall population were the long-term effects I was talking about.

Unless you consider a chubby redhead and a slender blonde in the same family to be “mutants”.

You are twisting words.

I meant mutation as in "creation of a DNA sequence which is different from the original sequence".

As it happens, true redheads do have specific mutations of their melanin pigments. So yes, a redhead is a "mutant", compared to someone with brown hair.
But then, by this measure we are all mutants. Nothing special here.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

I happen to be reading Daniel C. Dennett's 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' at present, so I'll add an apposite quote from him:

The evidence for evolution pours in, not only from geology, paleontology, biogeography, and anatomy (Darwin's chief sources), but of course from molecular biology and every other branch of the life sciences. To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant—inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write.

Even more evidence has been acquired in the 25 years since the book was written. Dennett has some interesting ideas about natural selection as a series of algorithms.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

Correction, Dennett's book was published in 1995, 20 years ago, not 25.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

See ask why the soft tissue isolated from T Rex wasn't carbon dated, and that prompted me to try a little math.

Carbon dating uses the decay of C14, and C14 has a half life of 5730 years. if T Rex was 68myo, that means there would be 11867 C14 half life cycles. There needs to be at least 1 C14 atom left, otherwise all we could say is that the clock had run down.

How big of a sample of C14 would we need to be able to date a T Rex and have 1 atom left over? I fed 2E+11867 into my computer, and it couldn't compute. I tried 2E+1867. Still no luck. However 2E+867 spit out 9.840E+260. Hey, that's a result I can work with.

So how many atoms are there in the observable universe? This link http://www.universetoday.com/36302/atoms-in-the-universe/ says between 10E+78 to 10E+84. Dividing 2E+867 by 10E+84 says we'd need a sample 9.84E+178 times the size of the universe. Somehow, I don't think they recovered that much soft tissue, or even just half that much.

Wiki tells me that "the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by radiocarbon dating are around 50,000 years ago", and I doubt that anybody other that our YEC believes that T Rex was running around then.

Proper Johnny
Accept no substitutes

Johnny, are you suffering from the misapprehension that the age of fossils is determined by use of radiocarbon dating?

Wait--which johnny am I replying to?

There's the one I'd believe thinks fossils are dated by C14 decay, and the one that might be trying to explain why they're not.

Think i got the two confused...

JGC: I think Johnny was responding to the question sn offered in #308, when he was babbling about his 200,000% error in aging measurements.

Why was blind Carbon-14 dating never performed on the soft tissues? It should have been a win-win. The C-14 test would show positive results only for organic material less than 50,000 years old. With a “zero” result, the evolutionists would get further confirmation of their long ages view, and would have additional ammo with which to blast the young earth creationists. Yet the C-14 testing was never performed. Odd, isn’t it?

SN appears to think that “evolution” actually means “speciation”, which takes longer than a single adaptation, and is therefore more difficult to observe in real time.

I actually think the mix-up is with transubstantiation, which -- chance being a fine thing -- SN presumably believes in without having observed wine turn into blood.

However, just to forestall the tedious non-gotcha that might potentially follow from that limited-purpose parallel:

NO. I am not saying that evolution is a faith-based belief system, unsupported by fact or observation. As JGC notes, it has been observed.

@ Johnny (proper) #404

How big of a sample of C14 would we need to be able to date a T Rex

Not knowing/remembering much about C14 datation, my own hypothesis was that the scientists didn't want to waste any amount of a precious, limited sample to get a negative result, just to placate some creationist id!ots who anyway wouldn't accept it.

I didn't realize that all the carbon of a full pack* of T-rex would not have been enough to get anything meaningful, even a reliable negative result.

On the other hand, Mr See No**, with his little "C-14 test would show positive results only for organic material less than 50,000 years old.", would likely have known the answer, if he was any smart. Or not a troll.

Well, at least we are amusing the gallery.

* pride? flock? school? Ah, solitary predators. Bunch of?
** or Mrs See No, if anyone care.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

@JGC -

Yah, I'm the one who was (infrequently) here first, and yes, I know fossils are dated by other means. My post above was a silly exercise, but once I started thinking about the problem and realized the numbers were really big, I had to follow thru just to show See how stupid the idea is.

I've thought about changing my 'nym, but I figure Other johnny is going to try to get himself banned, and there is no way I'm going to let him 'take' my name. It is my real first name, and I'm gonna keep it.

Proper Johnny
Accept no substitutes

Yes. Playing golf the other day I got some sun tan. So, I’m part way to getting some new eyes. Or, at least my ancestors may be getting some new ones. Lots of them. This is kind of exciting.

Ancestors? Inheritance in SN's lineage runs in reverse temporal sequence? Perhaps that explains his difficulties understanding its consequences.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

There are many cranks on the internet who are sure the big bang is wrong. I’ve never seen even one such crank who has even passing familiarity with the modern evidence.

S.N.'s ingenious *koff* tactic – to the extent I can even try to salvage something coherent – was to point at a throwaway New Scientist item and then go staggering over the lea like a case of* Shetland "mushroom madness" as though the string landscape were somehow the last gasp of big bang cosmology.**

My still-waking-up (-and-not-for-long) comment itself was motivated by the big bang's having, out of the box, a fine-tuning problem. This recent comment over at Peter Woit's is something that I really need to follow down.

* Purported.
** There's also some attempt to drag ΛCDM into it that I have no inclination to revisit.

Indeed, the Big Bang does have a fine-tuning problem.

However, as you know extremely well, there's still extremely compelling evidence that it occurred, even though we don't understand everything about it.

By palindrom (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

Update to my list in #283:

A minimum 360,000% discrepancy on the age of crustacean remains.
Title: “The Oldest Shrimp (Devonian: Famennian) and Remarkable Preservation of Soft Tissue”

“… The shrimp specimen is remarkably preserved; it has been phosphatized, and the muscles of the pleon have been preserved completely enough that discrete muscle bands are discernable.”

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1651/09-3268.1

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

It seems that just about every day I read a new ridicu, er, remarkable statement from the evolution establishment.

Here’s my quote for today.
You may have heard that popular (to some) song “It’s All About the Bass”? Well, this item is about the Cambrian Explosion, and I’ll title this
“It’s All About the A s s”:

“For many years scientists have debated whether the “Cambrian Explosion” was the result of more species suddenly developing or whether it was just the result of more remains being fossilized and found. In this new effort, the researchers suggest it might have had to do with the development of the anus and a through-gut.”

http://phys.org/news/2015-05-evidence-soft-tissue-fossilizes.html

P.S.
And did you ever wonder how the first organism with an anus handled things just before he/she/it evolved the anus?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

It is now clear hat SN does not want to expose his view on when the species have been created. This is a fundamental problem, because we need theories to explain facts. If he really believes that creation of all species occurred in two days, then we are simply losing our time discussing theory with him.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

And the goalposts shifted again.

And did you ever wonder how the first organism with an anus handled things just before he/she/it evolved the anus?

Ask a starfish or an anemone.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

To be fair to See Noevo, I don't think it is their intention to offer an alternative hypothesis for what has been observed.

In their mind, casting doubt on the timelines of evolution is sufficient evidence to prove without a shadow of a doubt that God made it all as it exists now.

I don’t think it is their intention to offer an alternative hypothesis for what has been observed.

If cosmologists / astronomers / biologists are not in full agreement then they must be wrong leaving GODDIDIT as the only explanation.
If they are in full agreement then CONFORMIST GROUP-THINK.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

@ Daniel Corcos

I am now fully cognizant why biology professors felt the need to call creationists "liars for Jesus".

I am just baffled how these god-botherers can lie on a daily basis, being perfectly aware of it, and still think of themselves as good people.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 26 May 2015 #permalink

"I am just baffled how these god-botherers can lie on a daily basis, being perfectly aware of it, and still think of themselves as good people."

You really have to wonder how they believe that when you see what they say about people in the lgbt community, the poor, or people of the "wrong religion".

ChrisP #418:

“In their mind, casting doubt on the timelines of evolution is sufficient evidence to prove without a shadow of a doubt that God made it all as it exists now.”

No.
Several points to be made here:

1)People will NEVER “PROVE without a shadow of a doubt that God made it all as it exists now.” However, science will NEVER “prove” that he didn’t. Even, scientists, or at least real scientists, would agree with me on this.

2)Does this mean science cannot proceed without proof? No.

3)However, in science’s (supposed) quest for truth and proof, “consensus” should be considered realistically. Consensus has no necessary relationship to truth; scientific consensus is useful and important probably ONLY as a means for deciding on urgent and necessary actions (e.g. A team of surgeons who MUST decide quickly, and with some uncertainty, which of several possible strategies to pursue in saving the patient on the operating table; The practical and prudent every-day consideration of the effects of gravity, even though the theoretical “why”s of gravity haven’t been proven.).

4)The consensus on evolution theory most definitely does NOT meet the above standard for being useful and important, because evolution theory involves no urgent and necessary actions. For example, I’ve already shown, or at least made the case, that evolution theory has absolutely zero impact on medical science (see #355), and I could say the same about its non-effect on our daily lives.

5)So, why then is this consensus on evolution pushed so hard by the evolution establishment? It’s obviously not for reasons of science or practicality. It must be for reasons which are non-scientific, philosophical, and even religious (or anti-religious).

6)And I smell a rat, a campaign of materialist philosophy dressed up as “science”. I don’t like rats, or falsehood. I’ll do what I can to exterminate them.
7)And I think you are correctly perceptive in saying anti-evolutionists like me are “casting doubt on the timelines of evolution.” The timeline is critically important, because time is all evolutionists have left. Time is the last “best” support for evolution, because the other supposed pillars (e.g. biology, genetics, paleontology) have been crumbling for decades.

Time. It’s almost like that good old song…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qssWO8NSq0

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

You don't like falsehoods? But that's all you have.

Incredibly sad that someone like See can exist in the 21st Century.....

@ SN
"The timeline is critically important"
Here I must agree with you: we all say several billion years, you say two days, it's a strong discrepancy.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Lawrence@424 - What's even more sad is that so many are elected to Congress.

To Lawrence #424:

Lighten up, Larry.
For goodness sak..,er, I mean, for something/whatever’s sake! There’s nothing to be sad about.

After all, aren’t you with ken #344 in seeing all this as a meaningless random evolutionary event?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

However, science will NEVER “prove” that he didn’t. Even, scientists, or at least real scientists, would agree with me on this.

And here is the classical confusion promoted by creationists.

True, science will never prove that there isn't some paranormal entity watching over events, or interfering irregularly, in subtle ways.

And that's used by navel-gazing people to claim that their mythology is thus exact.

Science shows "how".
"Who" is a different question.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Just because we are self-aware & can delude ourselves with religious thought....doesn't make the science any less clear.

Back in the day, in the caves and rudimentary villages, the person with the best skills (could make fire, best hunter, etc), was naturally made the leader - there was a concrete reason and benefit for that person to be in charge, because of his ability to help the people.

With the rise of the nation-state, suddenly the person in charge had no tangible benefits to offer the people. A Pharaoh or King's authority rested on nothing - there was no real reason for one person to be in charge vs. another.

Therefore, the best way to solidify one's authority to rule was to convince the population that authority came from the "Gods" or powers far beyond mortal man.

At the end of the day, we called it "religion" but it just as well could have been called anything or been anything.....and it just so happened that it dovetailed nicely with our propensity to see the supernatural in things that we don't understand (like Earthquakes, lightning, meteors, comets, etc).

Even in today's age, where we have the ability to circumnavigate the globe in hours, not days, have landed on the Moon, and collected evidence of the Billions of years of history of our planet - including new theories on the formation of the moon via massive collision between the Earth and another large planetary body, and the first evolution of aquatic species, anthropods, fish, amphibians, mammal-like reptiles, dinosaurs / pterosaurs, etc. and all down the line through mass extinction events which push species development in different ways - extending some while eliminating many others, to where we find ourselves today...a species that is both self-aware to achieve great things & also ignorant enough to blatantly disregard the entirety of the past.

People will NEVER “PROVE without a shadow of a doubt that God made it all as it exists now.” However, science will NEVER “prove” that he didn’t.

Note you can substitute the word with "Leprechauns", "Pixies", "Fairies", or any speculative supernatural entity of your choice in place of the word 'god' without altering the substance of this statement one iota.

Does this mean science cannot proceed without proof? [Yes]

FTFY, see: recall by definition scientific theories are not capable of being proven to be true, only capable of being falsified, and that confidence in scientific theories doesn't derive from the possibility that they might one day in the future be proven to be true but by their ability to comprehensively and predictively address all observations within their scope.

The practical and prudent every-day consideration of the effects of gravity, even though the theoretical “why”s of gravity haven’t been proven.).

This isn't unique to gravity and physics, see: as has been pointed out, there are also practical and prudent everyday considerations associated with biology and evolution (antibiotic resistance in bacteria, etc.)

So, why then is this consensus on evolution pushed so hard by the evolution establishment?

Some undefined 'evolution establishment' isn't pushing to have evolution accepted, See. Sicentists and others who udnerstand what evolutionary theories actually state andpredict are instead opposing those (such as yourself) who despite failing to understand what they state and predict are offering invalid and often deliberately false arguments against evolution's validity.

And again: this isn't unique to biological evolution: those attacking the heliocentric model of the universe, big bang comsology, etc.,all get the same response.

And I smell a rat, a campaign of materialist philosophy dressed up as “science”.

Evolution no more compirses nor supports a materialist philosophy than does the germ theory of disease, chemical stoichiometry, or any other scientific theory. It siply describes, comprehensively and predictively, observations regarding the origin of biologically diverse living populations.

And I think you are correctly perceptive in saying anti-evolutionists like me are [trying without success to cast doubt on the timelines of evolution.]”

FTFY, see. No need to thank me.

Now, can we expect you to identify your specific problems with the content on Don Lindsay's website anytime soon? It's not like if you just stall long enough we'll all forget you've provided nothing whatsoever despite repeated requests to do so.

After all, aren’t you with ken #344 in seeing all this as a meaningless random evolutionary event?

See, you seem to be suffering from the mistaken belief that unless life arose as the result of a deliberate and purposeful act of creation it must be devoid of meaning. I don't know whether to extend my sympathy or point my finger and laugh at the narrowness of your vision.

See @414, did you even read the abstract you linked to?

It doesn't provide evidence that a discrepancy in dating fossil cryustaceans occurred: it instead describes the discovery of a fossil shrimp representing a new (and therefore previously undated) Devonian taxon.

@ JGC

See @414, did you even read the abstract you linked to?

Not the first time he is bearing false witness on this thread.

Which reminds me:

@ See Neovo

a campaign of materialist philosophy

Yep, that's us. Our main motto is "facing reality". You should try it sometimes.

I just found a nice diagram summing up various forms of irrationality on the net' . I will just leave it here:

http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/05/27/irrational-measuring-s…

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

a campaign of materialist philosophy dressed up as “science”

Oh, goody, it's a philosophical know-nothing on top of everything else.

SN,

Time is the last “best” support for evolution, because the other supposed pillars (e.g. biology, genetics, paleontology) have been crumbling for decades.

That's weird. All the science I survey tells me the exact opposite: the case for natural selection and evolution just gets stronger and stronger. Before Darwin everything was interpreted in terms of design, of teleology, because we had no other way of explaining our observations. We now have an elegant and parsimonious explanation for our observations of living (and once-living species) so we can abandon the concept of a supernatural designer. The "death of teleology", I believe Marx called it.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Helianthus: "Not the first time he is bearing false witness on this thread."

Which is why I don't understand why See Noveo thinks we should care about his fact free rantings. Kind of ignoring him, and just reading the responses.

JGC@431 --

See, you seem to be suffering from the mistaken belief that unless life arose as the result of a deliberate and purposeful act of creation it must be devoid of meaning.

Yup -- there's a powerful tendency for people to believe that there must be some plane of existence that's different from the physical, a plane which is "higher" in some sense. The idea that we are material beings who make our own meaning is viewed as deeply unsatisfying, even though there's every indication that it's true.

By palindrom (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

To JGC #430:

Me: “Does this mean science cannot proceed without proof? No.”

You: “Does this mean science cannot proceed without proof? [Yes]. FTFY, see: recall by definition scientific theories are not capable of being proven to be true, only capable of being falsified…”

You seem to have misunderstood my statement. Perhaps there were too many negatives. The same idea, stated positively, is “Does this mean science CAN proceed without proof? YES.” My statement was true. You didn’t FTFY anything.

“… there are also practical and prudent everyday considerations associated with biology and evolution (antibiotic resistance in bacteria, etc.)”

False. With biology maybe, but certainly not with evolution.

“Some undefined ‘evolution establishment’ isn’t pushing to have evolution accepted, See.”

I disagree. And I’m highly confident Eugenie Scott of the NCSE, among many others, would disagree.

“Now, can we expect you to identify your specific problems with the content on Don Lindsay’s website anytime soon?”

I’d love to. And to make this even better, I’ll do so for your very favorite part, when you identify it.

To JGC #431:

“See, you seem to be suffering from the mistaken belief that unless life arose as the result of a deliberate and purposeful act of creation it must be devoid of meaning.”

JGC, you seem to be suffering from the mistaken belief that ‘Life arose as the result of a meaningless random pre-evolutionary event’ is scientific.

To JGC #432:
“See @414, did you even read the abstract you linked to? It doesn’t provide evidence that a discrepancy in dating fossil cryustaceans occurred…”

Here’s part of what I read:
“The Oldest Shrimp (DEVONIAN: Famennian) and Remarkable PRESERVATION OF SOFT TISSUE”

“Discovery of a single specimen of a shrimp fossil from the DEVONIAN WOODFORD SHALE…The shrimp specimen is REMARKABLY PRESERVED; it has been phosphatized, and the MUSCLES of the pleon have been PRESERVED completely enough that discrete muscle bands are discernable…”

And I’ve read that the Devonian period, in which the Woodford Shale is said to have formed, was between 420 million years ago and 360 million years ago.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

See doesn't seem to know how to read, since the use of the word "preservation" in the article refers to the texture of the soft tissue being visible in the fossilized rock....very much like scientists were able to discern the actual scales on dinosaur hides that had been fossilized.

He really is desperate or just plain stupid.

It's now clear exactly what SeeNo's tactic is: Prevaricating and dissembling to prove his moral superiority.

It's worked for Xianity for two centuries, why stop now?

There was also recent evidence found of the architecture of a dinosaur heart, as could be determined by the preserved structures in the fossilized remains.

Someone appears to need a semantic dictionary.

And going back and re-reading what See linked to, in no case does it state that "soft tissue" was found, only that soft tissue was preserved as part of the fossilization process - and this is important because most "soft" parts of animals quickly decay long before fossilization can begin.

In rare cases, the animal or organism is buried quickly enough or dies in an environment that degrades or prevents decay, so elements of the soft tissue, including the hide or outer skin might be preserved in the resulting rock formation.

That See doesn't know this already or has blatantly ignored the words in front of his face is telling....no wonder he has to believe in an invisible sky fairy.

JGC:

Earlier you wrote that “but to answer [my] question I’m an observant Jew.”

I don’t know what question you’re talking about, but more importantly, I don’t know what YOU mean by “observant Jew.” Could you explain what an “observant Jew” is?

I have a feeling it’s like someone telling me he “observes” (i.e. believes in and seeks to uphold) the Constitution. That comforts me, but briefly. Because pretty soon I may discover he understands the Constitution very differently than me. For example, he may discern in it a right to privacy which morphs into a right to abortion. And I don’t.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

See Noevo, every time you post lies, you damage the reputation of Christianity. Please stop.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Sn, since you don't understand science it is no wonder you have no understanding of history, law, or the Constitution. I would hate to hear which civil rights laws you view as mistakes.

It’s now clear exactly what SeeNo’s tactic is: Prevaricating and dissembling to prove his moral superiority.

Don't forget turning tail when his "discoveries" of years-old creationist drooling points collapse upon cursory examination (Enceladus, Reisz et al.)

For example, he may discern in it a right to privacy which morphs into a right to abortion. And I don’t.

Oh, c'mon, let's have your analysis of Griswold, Rav.

As opposed to you, See, who I guess has never made a mistake in your entire life.

Seriously, you are doing more damage to Christianity than Dawkins ever could. Stop it.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

@See - thank you for pointing out the correction. It was controversial at the time, so I'm glad they went back to check.

Still doesn't help you cause or correct the fact that you really don't seem to know what the word "preservation" means when used in the context of fossilization.

See Noevo re: your question @355 about medical breakthroughs requireing an understanding of evolutionary relationships: Knowing which animal models are appropriate for modeling specific human diseases and organ systems.

And re: 443 and not understanding what JGC meant by "observant Jew". One, it's called the internet., look it up. Generally it means "practicing", and is used to differentiate from "cultural" or "non-practicing". Two: where the heck do you live that you don't know any Jewish people? The bottom of the sea?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

"Seriously, you are doing more damage to Christianity than Dawkins ever could. Stop it."

I know. He/she is making me cringe.

To Lawrence #450:

“… you really don’t seem to know what the word “preservation” means when used in the context of fossilization.”

I think when they used the term “preservation” they probably meant it in the same way these articles did:

“A Tyrannosaurus rex fossil has yielded what appear to be the only PRESERVED soft tissues ever recovered from a dinosaur. Taken from a 70-million-year-old thighbone, the structures look like the blood vessels, cells, and proteins involved in bone formation.”
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/03/0324_050324_trexsofttis…

And the 2005 findings have been confirmed. Or at least, as you would say, “I’m glad they went back to check.”

http://phys.org/news/2012-10-analysis-dinosaur-bone-cells-ancient.html

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Gray Falcon #444 tells me
“See Noevo, every time you post lies, you damage the reputation of Christianity. Please STOP.”

Gray Falcon encores in #449 with
“Seriously, you are doing more damage to Christianity than Dawkins ever could. STOP IT.”

Shay #452 commiserates: “I know. He/she is making me cringe.”

Duly noted.

Thank goodness for the First Amendment, or for the relative freedom of the internet.

Seriously.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

@See - at first, I really didn't think you were that stupid, but unfortunately, you have confirmed it.

The "soft tissue features" were preserved during the fossilization process....meaning that the outlines of the various structures were still visible - like when the impressions of feathers were confirmed on the first archeopteryx skeleton.

Don't tell me that you believe that the feathers were actually preserved & weren't just impressions created during the fossilization process?

As to the second part, it merely confirms that small bits and pieces of cells can potentially survive, if tucked away, for millions of years.

Bacteria have been shown to have the ability to survive in space for extended periods of time as well - just really cool science & nothing to do with a fictional sky fairy.

@ Gray Falcon

Seriously, you are doing more damage to Christianity than Dawkins ever could.

My very thoughts.
Usually, my religious attitude tends toward lazy agnostic/mild deist.

Right now, the last thing I want is to join a religious congregation. No way I would accept the risk of meeting someone like SN.
Not because of his uncomfortable truths (or so he believes). But because he is ignorant and proud of it. Because he distort other people's words and is proud of it. Because he lies and is proud of it.

If those are the moral values taught by his religion, I want no part of it.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Re: double negative, I beleive you're correct and I misread your statement. It's my own fault--I've grown to expect that you'll fail to embrace any position I agree with.

False. With biology maybe, but certainly not with evolution.

Please explain to me how evolution does not inform our efforts to address antibiotic resistance in bacteria, see. Or are you going to argue it's neither prudent nor practical to address that problem?

<blockquote.And I’m highly confident Eugenie Scott of the NCSE, among many others, would disagree.

Please explain he basis of your belief that Eugenie Scott would disagree, see--can you point to an editorial or opinion piece, a direct quote from an interview perhaps, where she expresses the belief than an 'evolution establishment' exists?

I’d love to. And to make this even better, I’ll do so for your very favorite part, when you identify it.

I've already rejected that approach, see. Simply identify specific problems you have with the content of Lindsay's website, in any order you choose.

Re: the Devonian shrimp, what in the text you've quoted supports the conclusion that some discrepancy in dating fossil crustaceans has been discovered? I simply see the authors documenting the discovery of a remarkably preserved fossil from a previously undiscovered taxon.

a campaign of materialist philosophy dressed up as “science”
Wait, is "non-magic-driven" supposed to be a bad thing?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

See, the First Amendment simply states that the government can't have you arrested for what you're saying. It doesn't grant immunity to criticism.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Quoting Randall Monroe on the 1st amendment topic: Free speech

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

In your post @71 you asked

Before we go any further, are you an atheist as well as an evolutionist?

In your post at 80 you state

I think for JGC, and probably for you, science IS your “religion.”

I was pointing out you're wrong: my profession is scientist but my religion is Judaism (afer study I formally converted about a decade ago)

By 'observant" I meant to indicate that I'm active in my religion: a member of a congregation who attends services, who has raised (and continues to raise) their children in the Jewish faith, etc.

Although what my religion has to do with evolution I'm at a loss to comprehend: the evidence in support of evolution doesn't get any stronger if I'm religious or any weaker if I'm an atheist.

I think when they used the term “preservation” they probably meant it in the same way these articles did:

But you can't possibly have thought that, see: the text you quoted @ 483 explicitly noted the soft tissues had been phosphatized.

Unless you didn't know what the word 'phosphatized' means and were also too lazy to look it up...

Perhaps the Constitutional scholar will explain how the 1st Amendment applies in anyway to misrepresenting the teachings of your religion on an open forum where about half the posters aren't in the United States.

Although what my religion has to do with evolution I’m at a loss to comprehend

It may make more sense if you recall that SN in #90 re-defines "religion" to mean "small furry animal" or "Holy Roman Empire" or something along those lines.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

To JGC #432, JGC #462, Lawrence #439, Lawrence #455:

I have to admit, I think you got me here.

On this very issue I just wrote a mea culpa to eric over on http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2015/05/11/oppy-surveys-the-work-…

I'll repost it here:

[[You’re probably right.
They probably should have said something like ‘The Oldest Shrimp (Devonian: Famennian) and Remarkable Preservation of IMPRESSIONS of Soft Tissue’.

But it just said “Preservation of Soft Tissue”.

Can you even imagine a more misleading headline?
The creationists probably ran wild with it. The careless or stupid editor was inadvertently giving ammo to those crazy creat… wait…maybe the stupid headline was NOT inadvertent. Maybe it was a trick, getting creationists to take the bait of the headline, and then snapping the trap with ‘How stupid can you creationists be? Don’t you even read beyond the headline?’

But that’s getting a little crazy and conspiratorial. Better to think it was just an excusable mistake for a precision-minded science mag editor. Do you think he/she was fired?

Anyway, what a relief, huh?
I mean, how would you and they have possibly been able to explain the existence of soft tissue – not an imprint in bone/“stone” of soft tissue, but rather actual tangible soft tissue, in a fossil supposedly millions of years old? Or rather, 360 million years old.

Whew! Thank goodness you don’t have to do that. That would be a like a migraine and nightmare rolled into one. I mean, for an evolutionist.]]

Again, my apologies.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

Please apologize again, See, this time without twisting people's words.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

re: #465 - It's somebody else's fault that you can't read?

Thank goodness for the First Amendment,

Indeed. The next time you feel the urge to say something like...

Could you explain what an “observant Jew” is?

I have a feeling it’s like someone telling me he “observes” (i.e. believes in and seeks to uphold) the Constitution. That comforts me, but briefly. Because pretty soon I may discover he understands the Constitution very differently than me. For example, he may discern in it a right to privacy which morphs into a right to abortion.

...I suggest you write that 100 times on a blackboard instead.

I mean, I suppose you could try adding "Not that I mean blood libel! Some Jews just cause me discomfort. No offense."

Or some such thing.

But it's your free speech. Do what you like with it.

Yep, obvious that he is incapable of comprehending the written word...seriously, he's either incredibly stupid or more likely, just a Poe wrapped in a creationist garment.

Especially when the articles he cites explicitly refute the exact point that he's trying to make...

Better to think it was just an excusable mistake for a precision-minded science mag editor. Do you think he/she was fired?

At least you've conceded that you have no fυcking clue whatever about journals publishing, didn't bother to read the paper, and get all your "discoveries" from stale creationist propaganda.

maybe the stupid headline was NOT inadvertent. Maybe it was a trick, getting creationists to take the bait of the headline, and then snapping the trap with ‘How stupid can you creationists be? Don’t you even read beyond the headline?’

But that’s getting a little crazy and conspiratorial. Better to think it was just an excusable mistake for a precision-minded science mag editor.

I don't see why. A good headline should be readily understandable to pretty much everyone at or above a fifth-grade level of reading comprehension who's willing to understand it.

And per those criteria, it's a good headline.

Do you think he/she was fired?

Nope.

And per those criteria, it’s a good headline.

Papers in scientific journals don't have "headlines," much less "editors" who write them.

To JGC #457:

“Please explain to me how evolution does not inform our efforts to address antibiotic resistance in bacteria, see. Or are you going to argue it’s neither prudent nor practical to address that problem?”

Of course it’s practical and prudent to address antibiotic resistance in bacteria. But that is not addressing evolution. If it was, I’d believe in evolution, and so would everyone else. And I already spent some time explaining why. Go back and re-read #355, #374.

“Please explain he basis of your belief that Eugenie Scott would disagree, see–can you point to an editorial or opinion piece, a direct quote from an interview perhaps, where she expresses the belief than an ‘evolution establishment’ exists?”

Firstly, Eugenie is the recently retired CEO of the oddly-named National Center for Science Education (NCSE). I say oddly-named because as you can see from the website, it’s not really interested in “science education”, per se, but rather in “Defending the Teaching of Evolution & Climate Science”. http://ncse.com/about

“Her leadership skills will be sorely missed, says Kenneth Miller, a biology professor at Brown University. "She's incomparable, irreplaceable, and indispensable," says Miller, who was a key figure in one of the center's most decisive victories, a 2005 court case that blunted an attack on evolution by the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district. Scott was masterful at BUILDING THE COALITION needed to win the case, he adds.” http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2013/05/eugenie-scott-retire-u…

“The coalition” made up of her organization along with college professors, teachers, lawyers. And an adoring, anti-creationist/anti-ID mass media. And of course websites like this one.

One could call it the “evolution establishment”.

“Simply identify specific problems you have with the content of Lindsay’s website, in any order you choose.”

Just think how good it will be for you when you simply identify your favorite part of the content of Lindsay’s website!

P.S.
You said you formally converted to Judaism. What were your beliefs before the formal conversion? Were you just a cultural/non-practicing Jew, or something else? (I converted from agnosticism/atheism to Catholicism a couple decades ago when I was in my 30s.)

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

To ann #471:

“I don’t see why. A good headline should be readily understandable to pretty much everyone at or above a fifth-grade level of reading comprehension who’s willing to understand it. And per those criteria, it’s a good headline.”

So, you think a smart fifth-grader, or pretty much everyone at or above a fifth-grade level of reading comprehension,
would see the headline “The Oldest Shrimp (Devonian: Famennian) and Remarkable Preservation of Soft Tissue” but understand it as
‘The Oldest Shrimp (Devonian: Famennian) and Remarkable Preservation of IMPRESSIONS of Soft Tissue’.

Hmmm. Fascinating.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

"I converted from agnosticism/atheism to Catholicism a couple decades ago when I was in my 30s"

So that's when you cast of all sense of integrity and became a serial liar.

@#474 --

There's really no other non-bizarre/outlandish way to understand that headline. So yes, I do.

Also, in the event that #468 is unclear:

I'm asking what the hell you meant by that comparison, precisely.

Because the only Jeopardy! category I know of that includes both "People who are pro-abortion" and "People who are observant Jews" is "Some Say They're Baby-killers!"

So if that's what you mean, say so. Don't be shy.

@#472 --

True that. Being kinda late to the thread, I was foolish enough to rely entirely on the characterization in the post I was responding to for my info. So I didn't realize it was a journal publication.

...

I don't think "headline" is a consequential error, in context. But the imaginary editors are pretty bad.

The "headline" isn't a headline - it is the title of a paper published in a scientific journal. Halfway through the abstract is the word that conveys exactly what is meant to any professional who would read the journal.
Similar soft tissue preservation occurred in fossils of the Burgess Shale, discovered over a hundred years ago.

Sorry, I missed Narad's post at 472.
SN is so completely indistinguishable from a multitude of creationists that I haven't been paying much attention, especially since his request for a crockoduck.

^ crocoduck

So, you think a smart fifth-grader, or pretty much everyone at or above a fifth-grade level of reading comprehension,
would see the headline title “The Oldest Shrimp (Devonian: Famennian) and Remarkable Preservation of Soft Tissue” but understand it as
‘The Oldest Shrimp (Devonian: Famennian) and Remarkable Preservation of IMPRESSIONS of Soft Tissue’ not bother to read the fυcking paper, rely on dumbshіt propaganda to start making pronouncements about a "360,000% discrepancy," and then blame wholly imaginary "headline editors" one's own idiocy.

No, I don't imagine a smart fifth-grader would do that.

Hmmm. Fascinating.

No, common as dirt.

^ "for one's own idiocy"

“Her leadership skills will be sorely missed, says Kenneth Miller, a biology professor at Brown University. “She’s incomparable, irreplaceable, and indispensable,” says Miller, who was a key figure in one of the center’s most decisive victories, a 2005 court case that blunted an attack on evolution by the Dover, Pennsylvania, school district. Scott was masterful at BUILDING THE COALITION needed to win the case, he adds.” http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2013/05/eugenie-scott-retire-u…

“The coalition” made up of her organization along with college professors, teachers, lawyers. And an adoring, anti-creationist/anti-ID mass media. And of course websites like this one.

One could call it the “evolution establishment”.

If one suffered from a unique medical condition that caused one to experience a transient dissociative fugue whenever one encountered the words "needed to win the case," maybe.

But if one was just reading and comprehending words in the usual way, one could not. One would have to figure it meant the coalition needed to win the case.

^^ By the way, since you've been busy making a complete jackass of yourself by frankly insinuating that the legitimacy of JGC's beit din was open to your brain-dead inquisition, perhaps you stick to your own purported creed and assess whether your own antics amount to affected vincible ignorance.

Unless he's quit fairly recently, Ken Miller is a practicing Catholic.

@See Noevo:

You seem to be under the impression that one must either believe in a personal Creator God who made the world (in six days, natch) with human beings in mind, "knew [each of us] in the womb," has a grand purpose for Creation, has a personality, etc., etc., or that one must necessarily be of the opinion that the universe is a completely "soulless" and mechanistic place, we are all a bunch of robotic machinery, life is meaningless and trivial, etc., etc. These are two pretty specific positions, yet you've taken them as some sort of dichotomy, which seems to be what's pushing you in this idiotic creationist direction. Has it ever occurred to you that there are other possibilities?

What is it that you find so compelling about creationism, anyway?

@#481 --

Thanks for bringing what I said into better alignment with reality.

^^^ "could stick," but as it seems to have devolved speciated into some of sniveling–simpering mutant with nothing left but to pretend that it has gradations of "easiness" in "target" choice, I'm not expecting anything anyway.

Lilady would've had a field day with this one.

It would be a shame if this were to be forgotten:

I don’t have the time nor the patience right now to debate Scriptural interpretation with yet another deluded Protestant.

This is truly amazing coming from someone who relies exclusively on low-rent Protestants for his very own material.

It is indeed curious that SN has chosen to be a creationist, as it certainly not a dogma of the Catholic Church. Hence my curiosity as to what he finds so compelling about creationism.

Well, I guess the same Church that gave us Pseudo-Dionysus (before the schism) also gave us Savonarola. So it goes.

^Pseudo-Dionysius.

It is indeed curious that SN has chosen to be a creationist, as it certainly not a dogma of the Catholic Church.

It's actually worse than that, as he has come very close to puporting to frankly redefine the Church's position so as to extend monogenism to nonhumans.

In fact, his grandiosity early and easily took him so far as to declare "evolutionism" – which, in his definition, is neither more than less than speciation itself – to be a Christian heresy:

Yes, I think evolution is a form of religion. And one requiring far greater faith than, say, Christianity.

^ "more nor less than"

To Narad:

You win my Evolution Award of the Day, for most mutations (of grammar, spelling, clarity) per post.

Congratulations.

As usual, though, the mutations aren't helping the... cause.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

As usual, though, the mutations aren’t helping the… cause.

And just what do you presume the cause is, SN?

You win my Evolution Award of the Day, for most mutations (of grammar, spelling, clarity) per post.

I'm sure it would be marginally entertaining were the Seenod to set forth its "analysis," but you seem to have quite enough to try to slink away from on your pseudopods as it is.

See Noevo @473:

I converted from agnosticism/atheism to Catholicism a couple decades ago when I was in my 30s.

I'm a cradle catholic, and you're embarrassing me. Evolution is accepted by the Catholic Church as was pointed out above. As for the "world created in six days", the church had this discussion over a millennium and a half ago. The "six days" is regarded as an allegory for what really happened.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

I apologise if I was responsible for any misunderstanding about the Catholic Church position on evolution. That was not my intention. My real intention was to point out that See Noeveo had a dogmatic position that was easily illustrated by their comment that the teaching of the Catholic Church on faith and morals was infallible.

I find such a position hard to square with recent events.

@ ChrisP

I find such a position hard to square with recent events.

Yeah. Every human congregation is going to have a few bad apples. But when the hierarchy of said congregation engages willfully, repeatedly and in many countries in hiding those bad apples, the words "corruption" and "morally bankrupt" come to mind.

As my mom told me:
"It's normal you are so upset about this. Those were supposedly the good guys!"

The current pope seems to wish to inject some morals sense back into the church hierarchy. For the sake of all, I hope he has some success.

Bonus: Chapatte did some good cartoons on the subject (number 4 and 5 in this page)

By Helianthus (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink

See, you didn't know what the common phrase "observant Jew" meant, and didn't bother looking it up. Don't try acting like our intellectual superior when you fail at common knowlege and common sense.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 27 May 2015 #permalink