I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Condescending Darwinists "whacking down" anti-Darwinist arguments

Darwinists tend to be very condescending when debating anti-Darwinists. This condescension is especially apparent in a response that John Derbyshire, a National Review Online (NRO) columnist, wrote to an NRO article by George Gilder, a co-founder of the Discovery Institute. Derbyshire says,

It’s a wearying business, arguing with Creationists. Basically, it is a game of Whack-a-Mole. They make an argument, you whack it down. They make a second, you whack it down. They make a third, you whack it down. So they make the first argument again.

-- and anti-Darwinists see arguing with Darwinists as a wearying business. Darwinists have this idea that any argument that they present is automatically an airtight refutation. For example, Darwinists think that the idea of "exaptation" (also called "co-option" or "co-optation" ) -- the notion that some parts of an irreducibly complex system had different functions before becoming part of the system -- completely refutes the idea of irreducible complexity, but exaptation is "whacked down" here and here. The absurd concept of exaptation is the Darwinists' only answer to irreducible complexity.

It would be less boring if they’d come up with a new argument once in a while, but they never do.

Questioning co-evolution is not new, but I have questioned co-evolution in ways that I have been unable to find elsewhere on the Internet. Not even the "experts" over at Panda's Thumb were able to help me.

Also, there are things called "oldies but goodies" -- an argument is not necessarily bad just because it is old. And new evidence can revive or reinvigorate old arguments -- for example, recent discoveries about the great complexity of one-celled organisms have added support to the principle of irreducible complexity.

Nowadays I just refer argumentative e-mailers to the TalkOrigins website, where any argument you are ever going to hear from a Creationist is whacked down several times over. Don’t think it’ll stop ’em, though.

You're right -- it won't stop 'em. Many of the TalkOrigins website's rebuttals of creationist arguments are very sketchy, consisting of just a few sentences. For example, the TalkOrigins' article on "obligate mutualism" does not even begin to address the questions about co-evolution that have been raised on this blog. So arguments against co-evolution were not even "whacked down" once, let alone several times over.

Creationists seem not to be aware of how central evolution is to modern biology. Without it, nothing makes sense.

Contrary to the idea that evolution is central to modern biology, I assert that it is possible to study biology without any reference to evolution theory at all (in fact, lots of students have done it), but if it makes biologists more comfortable, they can continue to use the concepts and tools of Darwinism even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.

To say to biologists: “Look, I want you to drop all this nonsense about evolution and listen to me,” is like walking into a room full of pilots and aeronautical engineers and telling them that classical aerodynamics is all hogwash.

Well, classical aerodynamics looks like hogwash. No method of scientific or engineering analysis has a lower physical relationship to reality than conformal mapping, which is used in aerodynamics. NASA says "Conformal mapping is a mathematical technique used to convert (or map) one mathematical problem and solution into another. It involves the study of complex variables ....... Many years ago, the Russian mathematician Joukowski developed a mapping function that converts a circular cylinder into a family of airfoil shapes." I previously pointed out another kind of analysis that has little or no physical relationship to reality: the use of complex-plane mathematics in the analysis of AC circuits -- the complex impedance vector is particularly devoid of physical meaning.

Biologists are of all scientists least in need of a new metaphysic. Neurophysiology aside, it is in the “hard” sciences that our epistemological underwear is showing. When physicists have to resort to explanations involving teeny strings vibrating in scrunched-up eleven-dimensional spaces a trillion trillion trillion trillionth of an inch across, or cosmologists try to tell us that entire universes are proliferating every nanosecond like bacteria in a petri dish, there is a case to be made for a metaphysical overhaul. Not that work in these fields has come to a baffled dead stop, as George seems to imply ........ Biology, by contrast, really has no outstanding epistemological problems.

Ahem. Biology has no epistemological problems? Biologists don't even have a hypothesis -- let alone a theory -- for explaining the origin of life.

Why is the proportion of scientists willing to accept it [creationism] still stuck below (well below, as best I can estimate) one percent?

Wrong. A recent poll of physicians -- who are well-trained in the biological sciences -- shows that a large percentage of them are skeptical of Darwinism.

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

Darwinists' disdain for their opponents extends well beyond biology and into other fields, such as law. For example, in response to my literal interpretation of Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, "Dan," a friend of Ed Brayton who teaches constitutional law, responded with nothing but invective and Ed banned me permanently from his blog, "Dispatches from the Culture Wars." The Darwinists think that in any debate, they are the only ones who are informed and who can think logically. Everyone else is stupid and ignorant.

Labels:

35 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

> It’s a wearying business, arguing with Creationists. Basically, it is a game of Whack-a-Mole. They make an argument, you whack it down. They make a second, you whack it down. They make a third, you whack it down. So they make the first argument again. <

This is an outstanding explanation of what goes on here on this blog. Larry(?) ignores all proof of the poverty of his arguments and repeats them over and over.

> To say to biologists: “Look, I want you to drop all this nonsense about evolution and listen to me,” is like walking into a room full of pilots and aeronautical engineers and telling them that classical aerodynamics is all hogwash. <

A better analogy would be walking into the same room and telling them that no machine can be made to fly.

> the complex impedance vector is particularly devoid of physical meaning. <

This is a good example of the first paragraph cited. This statement has repeatedly been shown to be false on this blog yet Larry(?) acts as if it is a new and valid statement.

> "Dan," a friend of Ed Brayton who teaches constitutional law, responded with nothing but invective <

The link that you give here does not show "nothing but invective". You seem to believe that rational arguments that go against your fantasies are "nothing but invective" To see "nothing but invective" you will have to examine some of your own posts.

> The Darwinists think that in any debate, they are the only ones who are informed and who can think logically. Everyone else is stupid and ignorant. <

Not necessarily, but it is what we have observed on your blog.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 9:07:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< exaptation is "whacked down" here and here. >

It is indeed gratifying that the "Intelligent Designer" understands the Importance of the world having bacterial flagellae. Who knew?

Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:18:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

I'm rather disappointed to see Gilder's article. I can recall having read essays of his that I enjoyed (he is an entertaining writer, and well-informed on at least some subjects). But this is loaded with errors and strawmen.

“Everywhere we encounter it,” Gilder writes, “information does not bubble up from a random flux or prebiotic soup. It comes from mind. ...”

Read Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science. The kinds of patterns that arise out of chaos will stagger your imagination.

"Under the pressure of nothing buttery (sic), though, scientists attempt to explain the exquisite hierarchies of life and knowledge through the flat workings of physics and chemistry alone."

That is straw-man nonsense. No one does that.

"... crucial phenomena, such as human consciousness, the Big Bang, the superluminal quantum entanglement of photons across huge distances, ..."

Quantum entanglement is wrong -- it's an even more obvious example of John Derbyshire's point (cited below).

Derbyshire said, in a quote that IMO Larry(?) cut off too soon, the following:

"Biologists are of all scientists least in need of a new metaphysic. Neurophysiology aside, it is in the “hard” sciences that our epistemological underwear is showing. When physicists have to resort to explanations involving teeny strings vibrating in scrunched-up eleven-dimensional spaces a trillion trillion trillion trillionth of an inch across, or cosmologists try to tell us that entire universes are proliferating every nanosecond like bacteria in a petri dish, there is a case to be made for a metaphysical overhaul. Not that work in these fields has come to a baffled dead stop, as George seems to imply. Far from it; the problem in fundamental physics and cosmology is not so much that we have run out of theories, as that we have too many theories. I’ll grant that there are epistemological issues, though.

"Biology, by contrast, really has no outstanding epistemological problems. With the tools of modern genomics at its disposal, it is in fact going through a phase of great energy and excitement, so that biologists are much too busy to be bothered with epistemological issues. To modify the simile I offered above: Creationists are walking into that room full of pilots and aeronautical engineers right at the peak of the Golden Age of flight, around 1930. “Hey, those machines of yours don’t really fly, you know…”"


I quite agree.

BTW, in the lifetime of people now living, a similar ferment may overtake physics. We shall see.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:54:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>-- and anti-Darwinists see arguing with Darwinists as a wearying business. Darwinists have this idea that any argument that they present is automatically an airtight refutation. For example, Darwinists think that the idea of "exaptation" (also called "co-option" or "co-optation" ) -- the notion that some parts of an irreducibly complex system had different functions before becoming part of the system -- completely refutes the idea of irreducible complexity, but exaptation is "whacked down" here and here. The absurd concept of exaptation is the Darwinists' only answer to irreducible complexity.<<<

Whoever these "Darwinists" are, they obviously don't have a full understanding of modern evolutionary theory. Exaptation, which has been observed experimentally, in the wild, and in simulation, is not the only argument against irreducible complexity. It is part of an entire suite of arguments, sometimes called "scaffolding." In reality, irreducible complexity at best shows that simple stepwise addition can't lead to a certain structure - but modern evolutionary theory doesn't rely solely on simple stepwise addition.

>>>Questioning co-evolution is not new, but I have questioned co-evolution in ways that I have been unable to find elsewhere on the Internet. Not even the "experts" over at Panda's Thumb were able to help me.<<<

Well, gee, if it's not on the internet, the argument must never have been made. Newsflash - the internet hasn't been widely in use for all that long. There are entire books for the general public about co-evolution - it's possible, just possible, that the answers to your objections are dealt with there. The fact is, your objections have been dealt with previously - it's a creationist talking point, albeit not very popular because "Co-evolution proves evolution wrong" generally doesn't work very well as a meme, and the standard creationist foot soldier has trouble explaining it to the masses.

>>>Also, there are things called "oldies but goodies" -- an argument is not necessarily bad just because it is old. And new evidence can revive or reinvigorate old arguments -- for example, recent discoveries about the great complexity of one-celled organisms have added support to the principle of irreducible complexity.<<<

Same evidence, different structure, same argument. "Ooh, it's small and complex" is still the same argument as "It's complex."

>>>You're right -- it won't stop 'em. Many of the TalkOrigins website's rebuttals of creationist arguments are very sketchy, consisting of just a few sentences. For example, the TalkOrigins' article on "obligate mutualism" does not even begin to address the questions about co-evolution that have been raised on this blog. So arguments against co-evolution were not even "whacked down" once, let alone several times over.<<<

Actually, I sort of agree with you here. Many of the less often used arguments are given much shorter treatment than they should be given. You state three basic objections. The first, the two mutations must simultaneously arise, is dealt with (poorly) in the TalkOrigins page. The answer is that the original features were present prior to the co-evolutionary link developing, at least in one of the species. It may have been neutral, beneficial for a related reason, beneficial for an unrelated reason, or even slightly deleterious (especially if it's linked to a eneficial trait). The other species has or eventually develops a feature that can take advantage of the first species feature. The first species feature gets slightly modified and better adapts to the second species feature, giving it an advantage over competing species or embers of it's own species, and the two species now have a weak co-evolutionary link, which strengthens as additional modifications accumulate. Your other objections are basically extensions of the first objection - separation of time and space and individuals v. populations. As long as the original species didn't require the presence of the corresponding feature to survive with their original feature, the populations can eventually meet and start the co-evolutionary link. As far as the mutation spreading from individuals to the general population, that's basic population genetics. As long as the individual steps aren't too drastic, the mutations wil be able to propagate through the population. Co-evolution is not a sudden change, it's a series of incremental steps over a long period of time.

>>>Contrary to the idea that evolution is central to modern biology, I assert that it is possible to study biology without any reference to evolution theory at all (in fact, lots of students have done it), but if it makes biologists more comfortable, they can continue to use the concepts and tools of Darwinism even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.<<<

Without evolution, biology is just a collection of facts. Sure, you can memorize facts, but without an underlying theory, the facts don't suggest anything that hasn't already been demonstrated. Evolution gives biologists a framework within which to work. Without it, or something like it, the experiments would have to be done at random. Creationism (including intellegent design) doesn't provide any such framework - in fact, it attempts to destroy any framework from even being considered.

>>>Well, classical aerodynamics looks like hogwash. No method of scientific or engineering analysis has a lower physical relationship to reality than conformal mapping, which is used in aerodynamics. NASA says "Conformal mapping is a mathematical technique used to convert (or map) one mathematical problem and solution into another. It involves the study of complex variables ....... Many years ago, the Russian mathematician Joukowski developed a mapping function that converts a circular cylinder into a family of airfoil shapes." I previously pointed out another kind of analysis that has little or no physical relationship to reality: the use of complex-plane mathematics in the analysis of AC circuits -- the complex impedance vector is particularly devoid of physical meaning.<<<

And you still are wrong about the physical meaning of complex vectors in AC analysis. The impedance vector, like all vectors, is actually two related physical measurements combined into a single number. The complex impedance vector is A) the ratio of peak voltage to peak current, and B) the time delay (referenced to the frequency) between peak voltage and peak current. Complex-plane mathematics is simply a form of trigonometry. Since AC-circuits are sinusoidal, using trigonometry is the proper math.

>>>Ahem. Biology has no epistemological problems? Biologists don't even have a hypothesis -- let alone a theory -- for explaining the origin of life.<<<

Actually, they have several hypotheses, supported by experimental data. The problem is that there is not enough data to be conclusive. Of course, this is not a problem for evolution itself, as evolution simply requires the existence of imperfect replicators with limited resources.

>>>Wrong. A recent poll of physicians -- who are well-trained in the biological sciences -- shows that a large percentage of them are skeptical of Darwinism.<<<

Sadly, physicians aren't generally well-trained in biological sciences. They are well-trained in anatomy and physiology, but much of that training is memorization or looking up of facts. A lot of the theory is left out. Most physicians are more akin to technicians than scientists. That is not to denigrate physicians or technicians - the jobs are just as important, but they are different. Just as I would not trust an electrician to properly design the electrical systems for a 2.5 million square foot automotive manufacturing plant, I would not trust myself (an electrical engineer) to properly install that system. Most pysicians aren't scientists, and simply aren't trained as scientists.

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

>>>Darwinists' disdain for their opponents extends well beyond biology and into other fields, such as law. For example, in response to my literal interpretation of Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, "Dan," a friend of Ed Brayton who teaches constitutional law, responded with nothing but invective and Ed banned me permanently from his blog, "Dispatches from the Culture Wars." The Darwinists think that in any debate, they are the only ones who are informed and who can think logically. Everyone else is stupid and ignorant.<<<

The problem is that your interpretation of Rule 12(b)(6) is not a literal interpretation, and past experience has shown that no matter how we try to point that error out to you, you will continue to insist that it is not an error. Here's a hint: the correct Rule for your argument is Rule 12(b)(1). Not saying that the rest of the argument is correct, mind you.

It's not that pro-science people think anti-science activists are stupid and ignorant, it's that they prove it time and again.

Sunday, July 16, 2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Kevin said:
< The first, the two mutations must simultaneously arise, is dealt with (poorly) in the TalkOrigins page. The answer is that the original features were present prior to the co-evolutionary link developing, at least in one of the species. It may have been neutral, beneficial for a related reason, beneficial for an unrelated reason, or even slightly deleterious (especially if it's linked to a beneficial trait). >

Yes. An excellent example is Sickle Cell disease. This is actually quite harmful, but it is not as bad as malaria, to which it confers resistance. In areas where malaria is endemic, it thus is an adaptive advantage, and it's in those areas that it is common.

Vestigial organs are another example of retained genetic instructions that are currently useless, but not too harmful, and perhaps well to keep around in case they become needed again. These are prime candidates for exaptation.

Sometimes the evolutionary driver for some trait is surprising. For example, the fancy feathers of many bird species (such as the peacock, bird of paradise, and even the common cardinal) are not the product of general fitness selection, but rather of sexual selection. As such, they are quite arbitrary, driven by the esthetic taste of the founding matriarch(s).

In human societies, some individuals are enabled to indulge a taste for irrational and/or antisocial behavior, which is not adaptive and is supportable only due to the general fitness of such societies.

Sunday, July 16, 2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

ViU,

I am switching this answer to this thread to make its continuation easier.

Yes, you have used up your allotted questions but in honor of the service you do by filling in for me on weekends, I will answer.

Of course I could just answer "yes", which technically would be the most direct answer to your question, but that would be unfair. I will instead break your question into parts to make the answers more meaningful:

> Did you go to USC or McGill <

Yes, I did.

> and was it at the same time as Larry(?) or at a different time? <

Yes, it was.

I hope this casts a great white light on the situation. It is certainly more illuminating than any answer that you have ever received from Larry(?).

Sunday, July 16, 2006 6:23:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave Fafarman said ( July 16, 2006 12:56:08 PM ) --

>>>>>>Yes. An excellent example is Sickle Cell disease. This is actually quite harmful, but it is not as bad as malaria, to which it confers resistance. In areas where malaria is endemic, it thus is an adaptive advantage, and it's in those areas that it is common.<<<<<

Sickle cell disease is pretty bad -- probably as bad as malaria. Here are some statistics for sickle-cell disease in the USA, and they look pretty bad for the victims:

Frequency:

In the US: Incidence of the homozygous state among black newborns is about 0.8%.

Approximately 8% of blacks carry the mutated gene.

Mortality/Morbidity: Data from Quinn et al (2004) suggest improvement in mortality rates for patients with sickle cell disease over the past 30 years. Recent information suggests 85% survival to age 18 years. This study tracked 700 children for 18 years.

Earlier data reported that among patients with sickle cell disease, approximately 50% do not survive beyond age 20 years, and most do not survive to age 50 years.

Race: The highest incidence is in those of African descent.
-- from eMedicine article, "Anemia, Sickle Cell"

Actually, the benefit is that the carriers of the sickle-cell disease as well as the victims apparently have a resistance to malaria. The Wikipedia article on sickle-cell disease says, "The sufferers of the illness have a reduced life span. It is believed that carriers (sickle cell trait) are relatively resistant to malaria. Since the gene is incompletely recessive, carriers have a few sickle red blood cells at all times, not enough to cause symptoms, but enough to give resistance to malaria."

I see no reason why the incidence of sickle-cell disease should diminish where resistance to malaria is of no particular advantage to the carriers. Sickle-cell disease is transmitted by carriers who are relatively large in number compared to the victims (8% vs. 0.8% of US blacks), so the disease's sometimes fatal effect on the victims at an early age should not be a major factor in the transmissibility of the disease.

>>>>>>Vestigial organs are another example of retained genetic instructions that are currently useless, but not too harmful, and perhaps well to keep around in case they become needed again. These are prime candidates for exaptation.<<<<<<

Don't be ridiculous.

Monday, July 17, 2006 2:12:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

W. Kevin Vicklund said ( July 16, 2006 11:44:01 AM ) --

>>>>>Exaptation, which has been observed experimentally, in the wild, and in simulation, is not the only argument against irreducible complexity.<<<<<<

Exaptation is the main argument against irreducible complexity.

>>>>There are entire books for the general public about co-evolution<<<<<

Name one.

>>>>>The fact is, your objections have been dealt with previously<<<<<

Not that I have seen.

>>>>>Same evidence, different structure, same argument. "Ooh, it's small and complex" is still the same argument as "It's complex."<<<<<

But it means that the principle of exaptation must be demonstrated all over again on a different set of features -- and exaptation was not even demonstrated the first time.

>>>>>The answer is that the original features were present prior to the co-evolutionary link developing, at least in one of the species.<<<<<<

But where a co-dependent feature offers no independent advantage that would benefit from natural selection, how could that feature evolve independently of the corresponding feature in the other organism? Examples of such features are the colors and scents of flowers and the abilities of pollinators to sense those colors and scents. I thought that natural selection was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of Darwinism, so how can there be evolution without natural selection?

The idea of co-evolution presents the following problems and issues:

(1) Unlike the kind of evolution which is adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., land, water, and air, in co-evolution there is often nothing to adapt to because the co-dependent trait is likely to be initially absent in the other organism.

(2) A co-dependent trait could be non-viable or deleterious in the absence of the corresponding trait in the other organism. When this is true of corresponding traits in both organisms, co-evolution is virtually impossible.

(3) Even where the traits in the two organisms could develop independently, the traits often give no benefit in natural selection when developing independently. Examples are the colors and scents of flowers and the abilities of pollinators to sense those colors and scents.

(4) Often, co-dependent organisms can interact only in large numbers -- e.g., a bee visits many flowers and a flower is visited by many bees. Hence, large numbers of both kinds of organisms with corresponding traits may have to appear suddenly at the same place at the same time.

(5) In cases of co-evolution that are supposed to consist of a series of incremental steps in both organisms, e.g., the co-evolution of deep flowers and long-nosed insects, the evolution of one of the organisms must stop at each step while the evolution of the other organism catches up. This would greatly slow down an evolutionary process which may have just a few million years to take place.

(6) Often a co-dependent relationship consists of an "irreducibly complex" combination of pairs of traits rather than a single pair of traits. This compounds the problems presented by co-evolution and irreducible complexity.

>>>>>>Without evolution, biology is just a collection of facts. Sure, you can memorize facts, but without an underlying theory, the facts don't suggest anything that hasn't already been demonstrated.<<<<<<

I assert that the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is of no use anywhere in the biological sciences.

>>>>>And you still are wrong about the physical meaning of complex vectors in AC analysis. The impedance vector, like all vectors, is actually two related physical measurements combined into a single number. <<<<<<

You still don't get it. Sure, the impedance vector gives the phase angle and the relative magnitudes (not the ratio, since this is a comparison of unlike things, voltage and current) of the peak voltage and peak current, but there is no intuitive connection between the impedance vector and the inductance, capacitance, DC resistance, and AC frequency. I recommend that you go back and read the article on AC circuit analysis again and try to understand it this time.

>>>>>>Biologists don't even have a hypothesis -- let alone a theory -- for explaining the origin of life.<

Actually, they have several hypotheses, supported by experimental data. The problem is that there is not enough data to be conclusive.<<<<<<<

Nothing that I could find in the Wikipedia article on abiogenesis.

>>>>>A recent poll of physicians -- who are well-trained in the biological sciences -- shows that a large percentage of them are skeptical of Darwinism.<<<

Sadly, physicians aren't generally well-trained in biological sciences. They are well-trained in anatomy and physiology, but much of that training is memorization or looking up of facts. A lot of the theory is left out. <<<<<<<

You Darwinists keep moving the goalposts. First you stereotype Darwinism Doubters as fundies who never finished high school and never took a course in biology. Now that you are presented with opinion poll results showing that a large percentage of physicians are Darwinism Doubters, you come up with new excuses.

>>>>>The problem is that your interpretation of Rule 12(b)(6) is not a literal interpretation, and past experience has shown that no matter how we try to point that error out to you, you will continue to insist that it is not an error.<<<<<<

You are full of shit. It was a literal interpretation, word for word -- no hidden meanings were assumed. Ed Brayton and his pal Dan did not even attempt to point out any error(s). If you think that it was not a literal interpretation, then describe in detail what you think was not literal about it. Be specific. Put up or shut up. Sheeesh, I have never seen any people as persistent as you Darwinists in making hollow arguments. I don't know who you think you are favorably impressing.

>>>>>> Here's a hint: the correct Rule for your argument is Rule 12(b)(1)<<<<<<

Rule 12(b)(1) is "lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter" -- that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Monday, July 17, 2006 5:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Fake Larry(?) quoted Real Dave...

>>>>>>Vestigial organs are another example of retained genetic instructions that are currently useless, but not too harmful, and perhaps well to keep around in case they become needed again. These are prime candidates for exaptation.<<<<<<

To which fake Larry(?) replied:

> Don't be ridiculous. <

What is ridiculous about that statement? Only your reply is ridiculous.

Then Kevin said...

>>>>>The fact is, your objections have been dealt with previously<<<<<

To which fake Larry(?) showed his blindness:

> Not that I have seen. <

You seem to have some sort of blindness to arguments and facts that disagree with your fantasies. This blog is full of examples of this.

> But it means that the principle of exaptation must be demonstrated all over again on a different set of features <

Yes, the fact that an apple falls from a tree does not prove the law of gravity. It is yet to be seen if lead balls also fall down, rather than up.

> I assert that the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is of no use anywhere in the biological sciences. <

You used to assert that meteors came from inside the atmosphere.

> but there is no intuitive connection between the impedance vector and the inductance, capacitance, DC resistance, and AC frequency. <

Just because there is no intuitive connection for you doesn't mean that there is no connection for those who understand this. It looks like you are no better at reading scientific articles than you are at reading legal decisions.

> Nothing that I could find in the Wikipedia article on abiogenesis. <

The absence of something in a particular article in a particular place does not mean that it doesn't exist.

> You are full of shit. It was a literal interpretation, word for word -- no hidden meanings were assumed. <

The rule is itself a literal interpretation, word for word. You have never made a literal interpretation of anything.

> Ed Brayton and his pal Dan did not even attempt to point out any error(s). <

Kevin has pointed out your errors repeatedly. This is still on this blog. This is yet another example of your selective blindness.

> If you think that it was not a literal interpretation, then describe in detail what you think was not literal about it. Be specific. <

He has, specifically.

I have never seen any people as persistent as you IDiots in making hollow arguments.

Monday, July 17, 2006 7:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Fake Larry(?) quoted Real Dave...

>>>>>>Vestigial organs are another example of retained genetic instructions that are currently useless, but not too harmful, and perhaps well to keep around in case they become needed again. These are prime candidates for exaptation.<<<<<<

To which fake Larry(?) replied:

> Don't be ridiculous. <

What is ridiculous about that statement? Only your reply is ridiculous.

Then Kevin said...

>>>>>The fact is, your objections have been dealt with previously<<<<<

To which fake Larry(?) showed his blindness:

> Not that I have seen. <

You seem to have some sort of blindness to arguments and facts that disagree with your fantasies. This blog is full of examples of this.

> But it means that the principle of exaptation must be demonstrated all over again on a different set of features <

Yes, the fact that an apple falls from a tree does not prove the law of gravity. It is yet to be seen if lead balls also fall down, rather than up.

> I assert that the notion that evolution was driven solely by natural genetic variation and natural selection is of no use anywhere in the biological sciences. <

You used to assert that meteors came from inside the atmosphere.

> but there is no intuitive connection between the impedance vector and the inductance, capacitance, DC resistance, and AC frequency. <

Just because there is no intuitive connection for you doesn't mean that there is no connection for those who understand this. It looks like you are no better at reading scientific articles than you are at reading legal decisions.

> Nothing that I could find in the Wikipedia article on abiogenesis. <

The absence of something in a particular article in a particular place does not mean that it doesn't exist.

> You are full of shit. It was a literal interpretation, word for word -- no hidden meanings were assumed. <

The rule is itself a literal interpretation, word for word. You have never made a literal interpretation of anything.

> Ed Brayton and his pal Dan did not even attempt to point out any error(s). <

Kevin has pointed out your errors repeatedly. This is still on this blog. This is yet another example of your selective blindness.

> If you think that it was not a literal interpretation, then describe in detail what you think was not literal about it. Be specific. <

He has, specifically.

I have never seen any people as persistent as you IDiots in making hollow arguments.

Monday, July 17, 2006 7:15:00 AM  
Blogger Chris Hyland said...

Considering people were predicitng irredicubly complex structures in the early part of the 20th century I don't think it's too much of a hurdle. The problem is that Behes original definition was 'a system that requires all the parts to function so ceases to function if one is removed', and it is pretty daft to say that in principle this type of system couldn't evolve, even by slight succesive modifications. Behe then changed the definition to 'a system that has one or more non-selectable steps in its evolution' or something similar, which is very different, plus to refute this he says you need a list of every mutation and its selection coefficient, which is just daft.

Monday, July 17, 2006 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous neil armstrong said...

< It is certainly more illuminating than any answer that you have ever received from Larry(?). >

< You Darwinists keep moving the goalposts. >

Um, here's a nice stationary goalpost. A few days ago I asked:

"Larry, do you now believe that men visited the Moon?

"If so, what caused you to change your mind?"

Have you answered this yet? (I have not noticed an answer.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous neil armstrong said...

P.S. You may, like ViW, answer "Yes" and "Yes" if you like.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:37:00 AM  
Anonymous fos said...

< You are full of shit. >

We are all "full of shit" -- it goes with the territory. (Luckily the stuff behaves itself most of the time.)

So what?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:53:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Larry(?) said:
< Actually, the benefit is that the carriers of the sickle-cell disease as well as the victims apparently have a resistance to malaria. The Wikipedia article on sickle-cell disease says, "The sufferers of the illness have a reduced life span. It is believed that carriers (sickle cell trait) are relatively resistant to malaria. Since the gene is incompletely recessive, carriers have a few sickle red blood cells at all times, not enough to cause symptoms, but enough to give resistance to malaria."

It amazes me that Larry(?) can correctly cite this, in context and in his own words, yet go on to completely miss the significance of it. It demonstrates an ingenious evolutionary kludge (albeit, at the sacrificial expense of the unfortunates receiving two copies of the gene).

An Intelligent Designer would have instead produced a gene that would code for the production of quinine. A Really Intelligent Designer would have combined that with an Irreducibly Complex (TM) delivery system that would aim the quinine solely at the malaria germs, avoiding any possibility of side effects. A Decent Intelligent Designer would not have created malaria in the first place.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Have you answered this yet? (I have not noticed an answer.) <

Larry(?) rarely answers questions, instead, according to Larry(?), he "demolishes" them. Let's see if we can find the wreckage around here somewhere.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave Fafarman said ( July 18, 2006 10:49:34 AM ) --

>>>>>>An Intelligent Designer would have instead produced a gene that would code for the production of quinine. A Really Intelligent Designer would have combined that with an Irreducibly Complex (TM) delivery system that would aim the quinine solely at the malaria germs, avoiding any possibility of side effects.<<<<<<

I have been saying for a long time that I do not like the name "intelligent design," because a lot of the designs are unintelligent and because the name unfortunately implies the existence of a supernatural designer.

Also, fake Dave's arguments here against ID are philosophical and not scientific.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 6:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Fake Larry(?) said...

> I have been saying for a long time that I do not like the name "intelligent design," because a lot of the designs are unintelligent and because the name unfortunately implies the existence of a supernatural designer. <

There is no design without a designer. Are you trying to say that the designer(s) are not supernatural? Perhaps they are the little green men who write the Los Angeles Times?

> Also, fake Dave's arguments here against ID are philosophical and not scientific. <

I haven't seen fake Dave's argument. The arguments of real Dave, your brother, are quite scientific.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Shemp Fafarman said...

<<< I have been saying for a long time that I do not like the name "intelligent design," because a lot of the designs are unintelligent and because the name unfortunately implies the existence of a supernatural designer. >>>

I confess ... I done it (that ID -- or is it UD? -- thang).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:47:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Chris Hyland said ( Monday, July 17, 2006 10:04:13 AM ) --

>>>>>The problem is that Behes original definition was 'a system that requires all the parts to function so ceases to function if one is removed', and it is pretty daft to say that in principle this type of system couldn't evolve, even by slight succesive modifications<<<<<

it isn't daft -- it actually makes pretty good sense. An incomplete, functionless system may actually be deleterious to the organism, and even if not deleterious, the incomplete, functionless system would provide no advantage in natural selection.

>>>>>Behe then changed the definition to 'a system that has one or more non-selectable steps in its evolution' or something similar, which is very different, plus to refute this he says you need a list of every mutation and its selection coefficient, which is just daft.<<<<<

I think that Behe's redefinition addresses the following issues:

(1)-- findings that some systems that were previously thought to be irreducibly complex can function with a component missing.

(2) -- findings that some components of irreducible systems might have come ready-made because those components previously had other functions outside the system (this change in function is called exaptation, co-option, or co-optation).

So Behe's new definition says that a barrier to evolution could occur at any stage in the hypothetical evolutionary development of the system.

In his article titled "In Defense of the Irreducibility of the Blood Clotting Cascade:
Response to Russell Doolittle, Ken Miller and Keith Robison"
, Behe gave some reasons for changing his definition of irreducible complexity.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 6:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

< it isn't daft -- it actually makes pretty good sense. An incomplete, functionless system may actually be deleterious to the organism <

And it might not.

> and even if not deleterious, the incomplete, functionless system would provide no advantage in natural selection. <

Not everything that evolves necessarily is advantageous. Nobody claimed otherwise.

> I think that Behe's redefinition addresses the following issues: <

> (1)-- findings that some systems that were previously thought to be irreducibly complex can function with a component missing. <

In other words, he found that the "irreducible complexity" of some systems was reducible.

> (2) -- findings that some components of irreducible systems might have come ready-made because those components previously had other functions outside the system (this change in function is called exaptation, co-option, or co-optation). <

In other words, the arguments that the Darwinists made against IC were valid.

> So Behe's new definition says that a barrier to evolution could occur at any stage in the hypothetical evolutionary development of the system. <

So irreducible complexity has been demolished completely and yet Behe wants to say that it is still valid but he doesn't understand why.

Incidentally, why have you failed to "demolish" my questions? I see that you are dodging as usual.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 7:17:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice In the Wilderness said --

>>>>> it isn't daft -- it actually makes pretty good sense. An incomplete, functionless system may actually be deleterious to the organism .....<

And it might not.<<<<<<

But it often is -- it is just useless baggage at best.

>>>>>>Not everything that evolves necessarily is advantageous. Nobody claimed otherwise.<<<<<<

Without an advantage, there is no natural selection, which is supposed to be one of the cornerstones -- if not the cornerstone -- of Darwinism.

Also, the ability of "genetic drift" to produce significant change is questionable. Many species appear suddenly in the fossil record and then continue virtually unchanged for millions of years until the present day or until they became extinct.

>>>>>In other words, he found that the "irreducible complexity" of some systems was reducible.<<<<<<

-- reducible to a slightly simpler system which itself might be irreducible. So Behe made some mistakes. Darwinists make mistakes too. Making mistakes does not make something unscientific.

<<<<<<,> (2) -- findings that some components of irreducible systems might have come ready-made because those components previously had other functions outside the system (this change in function is called exaptation, co-option, or co-optation). <

In other words, the arguments that the Darwinists made against IC were valid.<<<<<<

Wrong. These findings could just be the exceptions that prove the rule.

And even the availability of all the components of an irreducible system is not enough. You can take all the parts of a car, put them in a bag, shake the bag well, and then pour out the contents, but you will not get an assembled car.

What I like about ID is that unlike Darwinism it does not make claims that are beyond what can be demonstrated by science.

>>>>>>Incidentally, why have you failed to "demolish" my questions? I see that you are dodging as usual.<<<<<<<

OK, I just demolished some of them. And as I have said umpteen times, I am not obligated to respond to any of the comments posted on this blog. On Panda's Thumb, for example, the bloggers rarely respond to the comments.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:09:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

According to Larry(?):
>>>>>>In other words, the arguments that the Darwinists made against IC were valid.<<<<<<

< Wrong. These findings could just be the exceptions that prove the rule. >

(Emphasis added.)

It's fascinating to see you misusing this phrase after I explained it so recently (but I'm not surprised).

But, in any event, I see that you also claim that "could just be" is equal to "Wrong."

< And even the availability of all the components of an irreducible system is not enough. You can take all the parts of a car, put them in a bag, shake the bag well, and then pour out the contents, but you will not get an assembled car.

What I like about ID is that unlike Darwinism it does not make claims that are beyond what can be demonstrated by science. >

According to Larry, a science experiment proceeds as follows: "Take all the parts of a car, put them in a bag, shake ..."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 3:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> Without an advantage, there is no natural selection, which is supposed to be one of the cornerstones -- if not the cornerstone -- of Darwinism.<

There may be all sorts of variations that arise that have no immediate benefit. Natural selection requires that there be something from which to select.

> Many species appear suddenly in the fossil record <

There are vast sections of the fossil record that are absent for geological reasons.

>>>>>In other words, he found that the "irreducible complexity" of some systems was reducible.<<<<<<

> -- reducible to a slightly simpler system which itself might be irreducible. <

And then again it might not.

> Making mistakes does not make something unscientific. <

If the mistake is in the core assumption, it demolishes it.

> Wrong. These findings could just be the exceptions that prove the rule. <

You don't seem to know the meaning of an "exception that proves the rule". Rather than trying to get it through your neutron star skull, I would suggest that you look up the term on the Internet. Proving something false is never evidence that it is true.

> You can take all the parts of a car, put them in a bag, shake the bag well, and then pour out the contents, but you will not get an assembled car. <

This shows your lack of understanding of evolution. How can you criticize something that you don't understand in the least?

> What I like about ID is that unlike Darwinism it does not make claims that are beyond what can be demonstrated by science. <

No. It makes claims whose falsity can be demonstrated by science.

>>>>>>> I see you are dodging as usual.<<<<<<<

> OK, I just demolished some of them. <

No. You just demonstrated your lack of understanding.

> And as I have said umpteen times, I am not obligated to respond to any of the comments posted on this blog. <

You do if you pretend that you have taken on all comers as you hypocritically often do. You have selected the easiest questions to answer and then failed miserably in your attempts to answer them. Let's see you "demolish" some next time.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 5:19:00 PM  
Blogger LarryFarfarafararman said...

It amazes me that Larry(?) can correctly cite this, in context and in his own words, yet go on to completely miss the significance of it.

Shit, that's Larry's core competency.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger trrll said...

A recent poll of physicians -- who are well-trained in the biological sciences...

You are kidding, right? I teach medical students. It has been a long time since med students received advanced general training in the biological sciences. Modern medical students have pretty much all they can handle simply learning the technical aspects of their profession--pharmacology, physiology, pathology, human anatomy, etc. They get hardly any training in general biology, and should not be expected to know any more about botany, evolution, paleontology, comparative anatomy, etc. than the average undergraduate.

Monday, July 24, 2006 3:13:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

trrll said ( 7/24/2006 03:13:26 PM ) --

>>>>>>A recent poll of physicians -- who are well-trained in the biological sciences...

You are kidding, right? I teach medical students. It has been a long time since med students received advanced general training in the biological sciences.<<<<<<<

It was the closest I could come to a recent formal poll of professionals who are not pig-ignorant about general biology. What we need is a recent formal poll of real biologists.

Genetics is an extremely important topic in the evolution controversy, and I suspect that physicians are now being well trained in genetics because genetic testing, genetic counseling, and even gene therapy (still in the early stages) are now important medical fields.

The poll shows that surprisingly high percentages of physicians are skeptical of Darwinism, and I don't think that those high percentages can be explained away by arguing that the physicians are not well trained in general biology.

Monday, July 24, 2006 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger trrll said...

Genetics is an extremely important topic in the evolution controversy, and I suspect that physicians are now being well trained in genetics because genetic testing, genetic counseling, and even gene therapy (still in the early stages) are now important medical fields.

They get training in the genetics of human disease. They do not receive advanced training in molecular biology or genomics. Although some people with an interest in science go into medicine, modern physicians (with the exception of MD/PhD's) are not scientists, and with respect to evolution can reasonably be expected to be about as knowledgeable as the average electrician is with respect to Maxwell's equations and quantum electrodynamics.

Monday, July 24, 2006 6:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

trrll said ( 7/24/2006 06:42:36 PM ) --

>>>>>>Genetics is an extremely important topic in the evolution controversy, and I suspect that physicians are now being well trained in genetics because genetic testing, genetic counseling, and even gene therapy (still in the early stages) are now important medical fields.

They get training in the genetics of human disease. They do not receive advanced training in molecular biology or genomics.<<<<<<<

In your desperation to explain away physicians' widespread skepticism about Darwinism, you are really getting nitpicking about differences in training in genetics.

If, as you claim, the education of biologists uniquely qualifies them to give opinions about the evolution controversy, then why aren't we polling biologists' opinions about the controversy?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 4:17:00 AM  
Blogger trrll said...

If, as you claim, the education of biologists uniquely qualifies them to give opinions about the evolution controversy, then why aren't we polling biologists' opinions about the controversy?

My guess is because the people who conduct such polls wouldn't like the answer, and know it. Among biologists, there is no controversy. As a biologist, I can tell you that practicing biologists who don't accept evolution are about as common as doctors who don't accept germ theory. In the decades that I've been doing biology, I've only met one person in the field (actually not a biologist but an electron microscopy technician) who didn't accept evolution.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 3:16:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

trrll said ( 7/25/2006 03:16:50 PM ) --

>>>>>My guess is because the people who conduct such polls wouldn't like the answer, and know it.<<<<<<<

Your "guess"? I am not interested in guesses -- I want to know the facts!

Who are "the people who conduct such polls"? Anyone can sponsor one of these opinion polls.

>>>>>>Among biologists, there is no controversy. Among biologists, there is no controversy.<<<<<<<

I am not interested in your anecdotal stories about what biologists think about the controversy. I want the numbers! I thought that you Darwinists were supposed to be great big grownup scientific people who were interested in scientific results! Now you are trying to tell me that biologists' opinions about evolution are not testable?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger trrll said...

I am not interested in your anecdotal stories about what biologists think about the controversy. I want the numbers! I thought that you Darwinists were supposed to be great big grownup scientific people who were interested in scientific results! Now you are trying to tell me that biologists' opinions about evolution are not testable?

I'm saying that biologists aren't particularly motivated in conducting surveys to determine what they already know--they are busy doing experiments to answer questions for which they do not already know the answer. Biologists talk to each other--they don't need to do a survey to know that virtually all of their colleagues think that creationism and intelligent design are a joke. After all, virtually every major scientific organization has already come out against ID and creationism, so what's the point of doing a survey? And of course the Intelligent Design folk aren't interested in surveying real biologists because they know perfectly well what any honest survey would tell them--that within the field of biology, the alleged "controversy" is nonexistent.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger trrll said...

I am not interested in your anecdotal stories about what biologists think about the controversy. I want the numbers! I thought that you Darwinists were supposed to be great big grownup scientific people who were interested in scientific results! Now you are trying to tell me that biologists' opinions about evolution are not testable?

I'm saying that biologists aren't particularly motivated in conducting surveys to determine what they already know--they are busy doing experiments to answer questions for which they do not already know the answer. Biologists talk to each other--they don't need to do a survey to know that virtually all of their colleagues think that creationism and intelligent design are a joke. After all, virtually every major scientific organization has already come out against ID and creationism, so what's the point of doing a survey? And of course the Intelligent Design folk aren't interested in surveying real biologists because they know perfectly well what any honest survey would tell them--that within the field of biology, the alleged "controversy" is nonexistent.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 2:53:00 PM  
Anonymous W. Kevin Vicklund said...

>>>Anyone can sponsor one of these opinion polls.<<<

Indeed. What's stopping you, Larry?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 3:37:00 PM  
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