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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.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sleazy PZ's book review of Ken Miller's Only a Theory


Picture is courtesy of Nature magazine

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A book review of Ken Miller's Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul in Nature magazine was written by -- of all people -- Sleazy PZ Myers. A complete copy of the review costs $32 for 7 days use, so I will just comment on the free part of the review.

Myers lavishly praises Miller:
.
Science and evolution have an advocate in Kenneth Miller, one of North America's eminent knights-errant, a scientist who is active in defending evolutionary theory in the conflict between evolution and creationism . . . .

Miller is a fine writer who sharply addresses the details of the arguments about intelligent design creationism.

That praise is an about-face for PZ Myers -- he previously attacked Miller in a Pharyngula blog article titled "Ken Miller, creationist." I am unable to link to a copy of this Pharyngula article, but the article is discussed here on Fatheaded Ed Brayton's blog. BTW, Fatheaded Ed shows himself here to be the complete idiot that he is -- it is obvious that Ken Miller attacked the atheism of some biologists, Ed's denials notwithstanding.

The book review says,
Miller is sympathetic to the creationists' perspective but opposes them uncompromisingly.

Bill Dembski does not appear to take the view that Miller's book is "sympathetic to the creationists' perspective" (or the perspectives of other critics of evolution theory)-- Dembski wrote:

Theistic evolutionists hold that Darwinian evolution is God’s way of bringing about the diversity of life on earth. They used to be content to criticize ID on scientific grounds. But that’s no longer enough. They are now charging ID with undermining the very fabric of civilization and even the Christian religion itself. Ken Miller’s most recent book, just out, makes this point in the title — Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul. From the title, you’d think that Darwin is the Messiah and that until his ideas about evolution gained acceptance, our souls were in jeopardy.

The book review says,

"Only a Theory" deals poorly with one central aspect of this battle: why this problem is so much greater in the United States than elsewhere. Miller's rationalizations are sometimes painful to read. Europe's relative freedom from the scourge of creationism is explained with a condescending anecdote: a British colleague offers that any outbreak of such nonsense is rapidly quashed by "dispatch[ing] a couple of dons from Oxford or Cambridge" to overawe the locals with their prestigious degrees, to which the populace will defer.

Sleazy PZ and his "British colleague" are so full of living crap that it is coming out of their ears. Articles with my post label Evolution controversy abroad show that the evolution controversy is a big "problem" (as PZ calls it) in the UK and other foreign countries.

The hallmark of almost any creationist argument is the tireless bleating of the same points we have rebutted since the trial of teacher John Scopes in Tennessee in 1925, which tested the law on teaching Darwinian evolutionary theory; the only twists come from new creationist authorities that enter the fray.

There we go again with that tired old argument that the Darwinists refuted all possible "creationist" claims decades ago.
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92 Comments:

Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Is there some new creationist claim that isn't yet another variation on "Evolution can't explain [fill in the blank], therefore creationism/ID is true"?

Sunday, August 03, 2008 4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Is there some new creationist claim that isn't yet another variation on "Evolution can't explain [fill in the blank], therefore creationism/ID is true"? <<<<<<<

That is called the "contrived dualism" idea, which I and a lot of other critics of evolution do not accept, though it is accepted and promoted by a lot of Darwinists.

If my arguments about co-evolution are true, that would not necessarily mean that ID is true, because my arguments about co-evolution do not depend on ID being true.

If an error is found in a mathematical proof, is that finding of error invalid if a complete alternative proof is not presented at the same time?

Sunday, August 03, 2008 5:25:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Myers lavishly praises Miller"

He gives credit where credit is due. (What's that bit about "sleazy"?)

In the following excerpt he is rather critical of Miller:

If Miller is on shaky ground in his explanations of the origins of creationism, he is rock-solid on where the creationists want to take us: "To the intelligent design movement, the rationalism of the Age of Enlightenment, which gave rise to science as we know it, is the true enemy ... science will be first redefined, and then the 'bankrupt ideologies' of scientific rationalism can be overthrown once and for all." Although his own religious leanings blind him to conflict between faith and science, they also give him insight into both sides of the struggle. "Only a Theory" is a useful overview of a perilous political attack on the nature of science.

It looks (I too have only read the teaser part) like a fine review, on a par with PZ's other excellent writings, and more open-minded than I might have given him credit for.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 5:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

The claim that co-evolution can't happen is vintage Gish and Morris material. It's precisely the sort of argument I'm talking about.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 6:35:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

'nonymous wrote, "(What's that bit about "sleazy"?)"

Larry has pet names for those who have banished him from their blogs. That's his pet name for PZ. We know it's childish. Good luck changing him. We think he'll be potty trained in the next couple weeks, though.

'nonymous wrote, "and more open-minded than I might have given him credit for"

I think PZ is a bit more 'id' on his blog than in real life. He was upset over something that Miller said in Kansas and got really worked up about it. I forget if PZ ever apologized for attacking Miller (I don't think so), but I think he eventually dropped the topic and moved on.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 7:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

PZ always tends to use theist evolutionists to promote his cause while mocking their belief in the existence of God. In reality Miller is a "creationist" by militant atheist definitions because Miller believes God caused evolution.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy said...
>>>>>> The claim that co-evolution can't happen is vintage Gish and Morris material. It's precisely the sort of argument I'm talking about. <<<<<<<

Where on the Internet is this Gish and Morris material about co-evolution? And are their arguments the same as mine?

That's a favorite Darwinist line -- that criticisms of evolution have already been disproven.

My arguments against co-evolution are so airtight that I have been banned from discussing co-evolution on Panda's Thumb and the Florida Citizens for Science blog.

Nada Platonico drivels,
>>>>>> Larry has pet names for those who have banished him from their blogs. That's his pet name for PZ. We know it's childish. , <<<<<<<

What is childish, dunghill, is arbitrary censorship.

Michael said...
>>>>>> PZ always tends to use theist evolutionists to promote his cause while mocking their belief in the existence of God. <<<<<<

Theistic evolutionists are mascots who are trotted out whenever it is felt necessary to show that not all evolutionists are atheists.

Sunday, August 03, 2008 9:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My arguments against co-evolution are so airtight"

(Verified by flatulence.)

Monday, August 04, 2008 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger Phae said...

A post about an article Larry hasn't read that reviews a book Larry hasn't read. Someone call the press.

Monday, August 04, 2008 3:05:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> A post about an article Larry hasn't read that reviews a book Larry hasn't read. <<<<<<

Do you have any intelligent comment to make here? What kind of credibility do you expect to have when you make a stupid comment like that?

I read the part of the article -- the free part -- that I commented on. If you want to pay the $32 to provide me with the rest of the article, go ahead. I didn't comment on the book itself -- I obviously can't comment on the book itself because I haven't seen it -- I only commented on reactions to the book. Duh.

Have you read the book and the whole book review? Then why are you commenting here, dunghill?

Monday, August 04, 2008 7:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

You really are a complete and utter twat, aren't you, Larry? PZ Myers got very annoyed and blasted Ken Miller about a comment he made in a lecture, as, essentially, Miller's comment claimed the science of anyone who did not believe in some sort of god as questionable, simply because they did not believe in a god. Furthermore, it also cut against the very grain of some of the most fundamental basic tenets of science, such as basing things on evidence, rather than coming up with something first and trying to find evidence to support it.

However, generally, PZ finds Miller a reasoned voice in this issue, and, depite being, as PZ puts it, 'a believer in a creator god', Miller, in fact, attacks creationists and IDiots on the really bad 'science' they do. As such, it is with little surprise that PZ reviewed Miller's book in that way, giving praise where praise was due, but criticizing it where it falls down.

Monday, August 04, 2008 7:51:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Well, I finally got around to reading the linked essay by "Fatheaded" Ed Brayton. It is quite well written and adds to the discussion.

The following (first three) comments capture the spirit:

It made me unhappy to argue with (PZ) so much on this, and to see so much to argue with.

I should note that PZ's later posts on the subject are a lot more moderate and measured.

Posted by: plunge | Sept 11, 2006

Ed - Thanks for being the voice of reason.

I like both Miller and PZ, and admire both for what they have contributed to de-bunking and de-bullocking evo critics. Even though my position would be closer to PZ than Miller, IMO, they both need to have a good laugh at Uncommonly Dense, or Answers In Genesis sites and move on. And as you point out, there are so many Fundies, and so little time...

Posted by: J-Dog | Sept 11, 2006

Frankly this is the type of shallow, paranoid reasoning that we laugh at when engaged in by some Christians; it is no less laughable here
I'm an atheist, and this type of thing why I stopped reading Pharyngula...

Posted by: Anonymous | Sept 11, 2006

Monday, August 04, 2008 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: Where on the Internet is this Gish and Morris material about co-evolution? And are their arguments the same as mine?

Gish uses co-evolution arguments in at least three of his books: yucca moths in "Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record," an entire chapter on flowering plants and pollinating insects in "Evolution: The Fossils Say No!", and cleaner fish in "Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!" The similarity to your bee pollination argument should be blindingly obviously.

Larry wrote: That's a favorite Darwinist line -- that criticisms of evolution have already been disproven.

When it stops being true, we'll stop saying it.

Larry wrote: My arguments against co-evolution are so airtight that I have been banned from discussing co-evolution on Panda's Thumb and the Florida Citizens for Science blog.

I know exactly why you were banned from Panda's Thumb, "ABC/XYZ:" it had nothing to do with the strength of your arguments and everything to do with your abusiveness and sockpuppetry. You'll have to pardon me if I take your version of the other ban with a pound of salt

Monday, August 04, 2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Zmidponk driveled,

>>>>>> You really are a complete and utter twat, aren't you, Larry? PZ Myers got very annoyed and blasted Ken Miller about a comment he made in a lecture <<<<<<<

Dunghill, Sleazy PZ expressed such great hostility towards Miller that I never imagined that PZ would ever lavishly praise Miller for anything that PZ thinks that Miller did right. If Judge "Jackass" Jones ever does something right, I am not going to lavishly praise him for it.

PZ's and Larry Moran's vicious attacks on Ken Miller actually started a blog war with Fatheaded Ed Brayton.

Monday, August 04, 2008 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The Darwin-fans are still too dumb to understand that ID isn't the same thing as creationism. And ID isn't the argument that Darwinism is wrong, so ID must be true. All ID scientists make positive, evidence-based arguments for ID, which aren't merely arguments against Darwinism.

Perhaps PZ now swoons over Miller because at least he's an ally against the ID scientists, whose views are gaining ground.

One positive, evidence based argument for ID is that many biological systems exhibit specified complexity. Intelligences are known to be able to generate specified complexity. Darwinist mechanisms haven't been shown to be able to do so.

Monday, August 04, 2008 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Miller has lately changed his views, which might please PZ, for all I know.

Miller used to hold that God could guide evolution so as to produce humans, by making use of the laws of quantum mechanics. So by faith he could believe that God guided evolution in that manner. Miller's disagreement with Behe is that Behe makes arguments based on evidence, not faith.

Now Miller apparently thinks that evolution was a totally blind process, perhaps created by God but not guided by Him. So humans might not have evolved at all, but big-brained intelligent dinosaurs or other intelligent animals might have appeared, instead, and God could have used them for His purposes.

In that case, I guess God would have sent his Son in the form of a big-brained dinosaur, hatched from an egg laid by a Virgin dinosaur, to redeem a fallen species of dinosaurs.

Is that consistent with Catholic theology? I don't know, I'm not a Christian, much less a Catholic. So ask the Pope.

Monday, August 04, 2008 1:32:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy said,
>>>>>> Gish uses co-evolution arguments in at least three of his books: yucca moths in "Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record," an entire chapter on flowering plants and pollinating insects in "Evolution: The Fossils Say No!", and cleaner fish in "Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No!" <<<<<<<

My arguments against co-evolution have nothing to do with fossils.

>>>>>> The similarity to your bee pollination argument should be blindingly obviously. <<<<<

No, idiot, the similarity is not blindingly obvious -- I want to see his arguments. For example, did he raise the issue of "buzz" pollination? Buzz pollination is an especially strong argument against co-evolution because buzz pollination, where the pollen is shaken loose by the vibrations of insects' wings, can hardly evolve gradually. Buzz pollination is not just a case of stronger adhesion of the pollen and stronger beating of the insects' wings -- in buzz pollination, the pollen is contained in tubes and the insects have special muscles that vibrate their wings in a special way. Large numbers of the plants and insects with the buzz pollination traits would have to suddenly appear in the same place at the same time. And even in gradual evolution of co-dependence, incremental changes in both organisms would have to exist at the same time and in the same place to produce an evolutionary benefit, and if only one of the two organisms has an incremental change in a given place, then the change would not be likely to spread rapidly because there would be no immediate benefit. Also, some parasitic relationships are very complex and may involve more than one host, and it is difficult to imagine an evolutionary pathway for these parasitic relationships.

And even if my arguments are the same or similar, that doesn't mean that I can't raise those arguments again. You Darwinists have this crazy idea that once you think that you have "refuted" an argument, you never have to face that argument ever again.

>>>>>Larry wrote: That's a favorite Darwinist line -- that criticisms of evolution have already been disproven.

When it stops being true, we'll stop saying it. <<<<<<

Something has to start being true before it can stop being true.

>>>>>> I know exactly why you were banned from Panda's Thumb, "ABC/XYZ:" it had nothing to do with the strength of your arguments and everything to do with your abusiveness and sockpuppetry. <<<<<<<

Wrong, dunghill -- I was banned from Panda's Thumb when my comments were on-topic, serious, and polite and I was posting under one name, my real name. If my arguments were really bad, I would not have been banned because my arguments would then be examples of the supposed weakness of the opposition.

>>>>>> You'll have to pardon me if I take your version of the other ban with a pound of salt <<<<<<

It's documented right here.

Monday, August 04, 2008 2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Anyway, my understanding is that Miller has views similar to those I mentioned above. If so, I personally don't see how Christians could accept them.

As Larry says, the "evolution controversy" is an important one in other countries. An fact according to Alexa.com, Bill Dembski's ID blog Uncommon Descent seems to be a lot hotter in Australia than it is here.

70.8% of the traffic at Uncommon Descent apparently comes from the U.S., and 11.2% from Australia. Because the U.S. has nearly 15 times the population of Australia, that seems to mean that the blog is twice as popular there as here, in proportion to population. But perhaps that's just a temporary phenomenon.

Monday, August 04, 2008 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

Larry voluminously vomited...

>>>>>>Dunghill, Sleazy PZ expressed such great hostility towards Miller that I never imagined that PZ would ever lavishly praise Miller for anything that PZ thinks that Miller did right. If Judge "Jackass" Jones ever does something right, I am not going to lavishly praise him for it.<<<<<<

So, basically, what you're saying is that PZ is not only far more knowledgeable than you on subjects directly related to this book, unlike you, just because he disagrees with certain things this man says, he will not unjustly criticize him, and even pay him compliments if compliments are due.

In other words, he's not only a better scientist than you, but a better human being as well.

Jim Sherwood said...

>>>>>>The Darwin-fans are still too dumb to understand that ID isn't the same thing as creationism. And ID isn't the argument that Darwinism is wrong, so ID must be true. All ID scientists make positive, evidence-based arguments for ID, which aren't merely arguments against Darwinism.<<<<<<

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Nice joke, Jim.

>>>>>>Perhaps PZ now swoons over Miller because at least he's an ally against the ID scientists, whose views are gaining ground.<<<<<<

Or maybe merely because Miller, like any competent scientist, allows the evidence to supercede any personal idea or belief.

>>>>>>One positive, evidence based argument for ID is that many biological systems exhibit specified complexity.<<<<<<

Yes, that is a strong, evidence based argument for ID, if you conveniently ignore the glaring flaws in it that have been pointed out, many times, by competent scientists and mathematicians.

>>>>>>Intelligences are known to be able to generate specified complexity. Darwinist mechanisms haven't been shown to be able to do so.<<<<<<

...mainly because the whole idea of 'specified complexity' is so flawed, no competent scientist has ever wasted time on doing such a thing (to my knowledge, at least).

>>>>>>Miller has lately changed his views, which might please PZ, for all I know.

Miller used to hold that God could guide evolution so as to produce humans, by making use of the laws of quantum mechanics. So by faith he could believe that God guided evolution in that manner. Miller's disagreement with Behe is that Behe makes arguments based on evidence, not faith.<<<<<<

No, Behe makes grave errors based on...well, Christ knows what, but it sure isn't a good working knowledge of the subjects he's talking/writing about. In his book, the Edge of Evolution, for example, a central theme of the book is based on a very basic error about probabilities. Something which Ken Miller pointed out, incidentally.

Monday, August 04, 2008 3:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Sherwood said...

These ignorant Zmidpunks etc., are a real joke. But at least their nonsense is amusing. They simply swallow everything some Darwin-dogma blog asserts, gullibly assuming that it is true.

Monday, August 04, 2008 4:27:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

As the saying goes, don't feed the trolls.

Monday, August 04, 2008 4:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: My arguments against co-evolution have nothing to do with fossils.

Those are just the book titles, you muppet; if you actually read the comment for comprehension, you would have seen the important words, like "an entire chapter devoted to flowering plants and insect pollination." And you know what? He makes the exact same argument you do - that intricate pollination schemes can't evolve gradually and all the parts have to be in place at once. Gish was wrong then - you're wrong now.

Larry wrote: And even if my arguments are the same or similar, that doesn't mean that I can't raise those arguments again.

Why raise them again when they're still just as wrong as they were when Gish was making them?

Larry wrote: Wrong, dunghill -- I was banned from Panda's Thumb when my comments were on-topic, serious, and polite and I was posting under one name, my real name.

Oh, please - you were threadjacking and throwing around insults like "dunghill" long before your ban.

Monday, August 04, 2008 4:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: One positive, evidence based argument for ID is that many biological systems exhibit specified complexity. Intelligences are known to be able to generate specified complexity. Darwinist mechanisms haven't been shown to be able to do so.

And what is specified complexity? Dembski defines design as "the set-theoretical complement of regularity and chance." It's what's left over when we eliminate all the stuff that evolution can account for. It is, in other words, precisely the sort of "evolution can't do [fill in the blank]" argument that I was talking about.

Do you have another, Jim?

Monday, August 04, 2008 5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Darwin B. Leaver said...

I parrot the words of that PZ,
Because...well,repeating is easy,
While thinking is hard!
So in PZ's regard,
Who cares if he's stupid and sleazy?

(Leaver has a chronic problem that prevents him from thinking, so he repeats every claim that he reads at Panda's Thumb or at Pharyngula, using them when he's a troll on other blogs, as if they are true. So I've decided, since he's a parrot, to feed him only birdseed from now on!..Or, since he's a troll, maybe I won't feed him at all. --posted by Leaver's loyal ghostwriter, Jim Sherwood.)

Monday, August 04, 2008 5:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Zmidponk said...

Jim Sherwood said...

>>>>>>These ignorant Zmidpunks etc., are a real joke. But at least their nonsense is amusing. They simply swallow everything some Darwin-dogma blog asserts, gullibly assuming that it is true.<<<<<<

No, you see, I believe certain claims made by certain blogs because they fit in with known evidence or the bloggers back up what they say with logical, rational reasoning. Certain other blogs, such as this one, are mish-mashes of extreme illogic and irrationality, ranting, name-calling and pseudoscience of the worst order.

Monday, August 04, 2008 5:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Cruddy barfed,
>>>>>>>Larry wrote: My arguments against co-evolution have nothing to do with fossils.

Those are just the book titles, you muppet; if you actually read the comment for comprehension, you would have seen the important words, like "an entire chapter devoted to flowering plants and insect pollination." <<<<<<<

Well, plants and insects leave fossils, dunghill -- for example, insects are preserved in amber.

>>>>>> He makes the exact same argument you do - that intricate pollination schemes can't evolve gradually and all the parts have to be in place at once. <<<<<<

I want to know the details of his arguments -- for example, does he mention buzz pollination (which I discuss above), where gradual co-evolution is virtually impossible? Does he say that even gradual co-evolution is a problem because incremental co-dependent changes in both organisms must exist at the same time and place to confer an evolutionary benefit, and that an incremental change in only one of the organisms is not likely to spread rapidly because it has no immediate benefit? Does he mention complex parasitic relationships where evolutionary pathways are virtually impossible? Maybe there have been some new discoveries that shed new light on old arguments? Where is your belief in scientific progress? And why should I not raise an argument just because it was raised before? And is that the best argument you can make, that you can't counter my arguments now but that my arguments must be wrong because someone supposedly "refuted" them in the distant past, when I wasn't even there to defend my arguments?

>>>>>> Gish was wrong then - you're wrong now. <<<<<<

Dogma will get you nowhere.

>>>>>>> Oh, please - you were threadjacking and throwing around insults like "dunghill" long before your ban. <<<<<<<

You lousy sack of %#%$@*&, you are so full of living crap that it is coming out your ears. You know nothing. And when I was commenting on Panda's Thumb, I didn't even see any comments under "Martian Buddy," so if you were commenting there then, you are now practicing Charlie McCarthyism yourself.

Nice limerick, Jim, thanks!

Monday, August 04, 2008 6:15:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

Why do you think that the evolution of buzz pollination is so improbable? It seems rather straightforward that, since bees use pollen for food, any bee behavior that dislodged more pollen would result in more food for the bee colony. If the behavior consumes more calories than are harvested, it is not favored. If the behavior produces more calories than it consumes, it represents an advantage to the insect. Thus buzzing will help the bees whether or not the flowers have specialized pollen-delivery systems. Thus buzzing bees can arise in the absence of buzz-adapted flowers.

In the absence of buzzing bees, flowering plants have to be wind- or water-pollinators, or depend on nonbuzzing bees to pick up their pollen. Pollen that is attached too tightly will not be picked up by nonbuzzing bees; pollen that is too loose is easily lost to wind or water. Plants that rely on insects can produce less pollen, because there is a vector that targets their pollen more efficiently than wind or water.

Once buzzing bees arise, flowers can arise that produce even less pollen, with less metabolic cost, because the pollen is held tightly until dislodged by buzzing. Thus the plant saves energy by producing less pollen overall while still maintaining adequate fertilization rates.

I don't really see the mystery here - the changes can be gradual and each change can benefit the organism affected. A bee that buzzes 10% of the time will collect 10% more pollen; if it buzzes 30% of the time, it collects 30% more; etc. A plant that can produce 10% less pollen and still fertilize the same number of flowers can grow in a slightly less favorable location because of its increased efficiency.


Jim Sherwood said:

>>>>>One positive, evidence based argument for ID is that many biological systems exhibit specified complexity.<<<<<

Have you even read Dembski's attempts at a mathematical explanation of specified complexity? It's utter handwaving and make-believe. After more than ten years of refining his 'theory', he has yet to calculate the probability of a single biological system. His attempts to do so are basically numerology - because he chooses to describe a flagellum in four words, he believes that that allows him to predict how likely it is. He may as well count the number of letters used in the individual words.

What evidence do you claim for specified complexity? How is it defined? What predictions does it make? How is specified complexity separated from complexity arising through random mutation and natural selection? If specified complexity were a useful concept, it would have applications all over the place - detecting patterns in the stock market, codebreaking, data compression, physics research - and yet in ten years no other group has picked up Dembski's idea and run with it - not computer scientists, not physicists, not mathematicians, not economists - nobody who would be interested in proving intent or patterns behind supposedly random noise has accepted Dembski's thesis. Why not?

Monday, August 04, 2008 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "These ignorant Zmidpunks etc., are a real joke. But at least their nonsense is amusing. They simply swallow everything some Darwin-dogma blog asserts, gullibly assuming that it is true."

Of course, we could rework this sentence:

"These ignorant Jim Sherwoods and Larry Farfarmans are a real joke. But at least their nonsense is amusing. They simply swallow everything some anti-evolution blog asserts, gullibly assuming that it is true."

How have you Jim done more than simply swallow the crap that the pro-IDiots are peddling?

Monday, August 04, 2008 7:56:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

brossa said...
>>>>>>> In the absence of buzzing bees, flowering plants have to be wind- or water-pollinators, or depend on nonbuzzing bees to pick up their pollen. Pollen that is attached too tightly will not be picked up by nonbuzzing bees; pollen that is too loose is easily lost to wind or water. <<<<<<<

As I just explained, gradual co-evolution of buzz pollination is nearly impossible because the required changes are of kind and not degree. It is not just a matter of tightened attachment of the pollen and stronger beating of the insects' wings -- buzz-pollinated pollen is contained in tubes where even looser pollen cannot be carried away by the wind or nonbuzzing insects, and the buzzing insects' wings vibrate in a special way by means of special muscles. And as I said, even gradual co-evolution can be difficult. You Darwinists are now using "arguments from incredulity" -- you are missing or ignoring arguments because you cannot believe that there can possibly be a good argument against Darwinism.

Also, I showed examples of very complex parasitic relationships -- sometimes involving more than one host -- that could hardly be created by any imaginable evolutionary pathway.

Monday, August 04, 2008 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

Let's stick with the buzz pollination for now.

Buzzing and non-buzzing bees and other flying insects all have indirect flight muscles. They are not unique to buzzing insects. The indirect flight muscles have multiple functions, even in buzzing insects: they are used in flight as control muscles, they are used in 'shivering' to raise the insect's body temperature, and some insects use them in communication. Really, the fact that they are called 'indirect flight muscles and not 'buzzing muscles' should give this away. They are as important to flight as the ailerons, rudder, and elevators of an airplane.

Because the muscles are already physically present in flying insects, the development of buzzing represents a new behavior or function of an existing system, not the creation of an entirely new system. From an evolutionary standpoint, it appears that buzzing behavior has arisen more than once; mud-dauber wasps also buzz, but do it in order to liquify and spread the mud that makes up their nests.

There can be multiple incremental steps between non-buzzing bees and buzz-specialists. The strength and duration of the vibrations, the likelihood that the insect will buzz at all on a given flower, and the specificity of buzzing are all potentially independent. In fact, while the bumblebee is an example of a specialized, highly adapted buzzer, there are examples of less-specialized buzzing bees which do not buzz as loudly, frequently, or as long. To use your language, the development of buzzing is one of degree, not kind.

Similarly, there is no impediment to incremental development of buzz-specific plant anatomy. The structures of anther, pistil, stamen, etc are present in more primitive flowers and only need to be modified and re-arranged. If all buzzing bees were to die out, a number of buzz-dependent plant species would potentially die out as well; so what? Ultraspecialization only works while conditions are stable - this is hardly an effective argument against evolution, since it tends to support evolution rather than refute it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 6:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: I want to know the details of his arguments

When I asked you to cite the "new" arguments for ID that you claimed existed, you rattled off a list of book titles and told me, in essence, to go look it up. Since that apparently constitutes a valid rebuttal on your site - go look it up. Surely you have a public library nearby.

Larry wrote: Maybe there have been some new discoveries that shed new light on old arguments? Where is your belief in scientific progress?

"New discoveries" are not going to help a logically fallacious argument. To construct your buzz pollination argument, you start from the shoddy foundation that the mutations involved offer no benefit to the organism outside of the obligate mutualist relationship, cannot happen incrementally, and must occur simultaneously in both pollinator and plant. You go on to claim that even if gradual evolution was possible, it's too unlikely - in essence, combining an argument from improbability with an argument from ignorance. Your conclusion that co-evolution of obligate mutualism is impossible depends on your faulty assumptions; garbage in, garbage out.

Larry wrote: And why should I not raise an argument just because it was raised before?

For the same reason you yourself say that the second law of thermodynamics argument shouldn't be used: it's a fallacious argument.

Larry wrote: And is that the best argument you can make, that you can't counter my arguments now but that my arguments must be wrong because someone supposedly "refuted" them in the distant past, when I wasn't even there to defend my arguments?

This argument began because you originally said "[t]here we go again with that tired old argument that the Darwinists refuted all possible 'creationist' claims decades ago." By responding with a claim straight out of the Creation Science [sic] playbook, you've merely demonstrated that PZ was right when he said "[t]he hallmark of almost any creationist argument is the tireless bleating of the same points we have rebutted since the trial of teacher John Scopes in Tennessee in 1925."

Larry wrote: And when I was commenting on Panda's Thumb, I didn't even see any comments under "Martian Buddy...."

It's called "lurking" - that's when a person reads a site without commenting on said site. Anyone who cares can type "Larry Fafarman banned Panda's Thumb" into google and they'll be able to find a discussion of the reasons why you were banned (sockpuppetry and abusive behavior.) If they're feeling particularly masochistic, they can just type "Larry Fafarman" and find dozens of places you've commented where you exhibit the exact same behavior; your ban from Wikipedia for sockpuppetry and other abuses is right near the top of the results, in fact. Nobody has to take my word for it - it's easily verifiable.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Brossa said,
>>>>>> Let's stick with the buzz pollination for now. <<<<<<<<

No, let's not stick with the buzz pollination for now. What about my argument that even gradual co-evolution can be a problem? What about the complex parasitic relationships that have no conceivable co-evolutionary pathway?

>>>>>>> Buzzing and non-buzzing bees and other flying insects all have indirect flight muscles. They are not unique to buzzing insects. The indirect flight muscles have multiple functions, even in buzzing insects: they are used in flight as control muscles, they are used in 'shivering' to raise the insect's body temperature, and some insects use them in communication. <<<<<<<

What is the source of this information?

>>>>>> Really, the fact that they are called 'indirect flight muscles and not 'buzzing muscles' should give this away. <<<<<<<

I'm supposed to take such a subtle hint but you Darwinists can't take Judge Jones' not-so-subtle hint that when he said the school board election results would not affect his decision he was implying that repeal of the ID policy would not affect his decision. Sheeeeesh.

>>>>>>> Because the muscles are already physically present in flying insects, the development of buzzing represents a new behavior or function of an existing system, not the creation of an entirely new system. <<<<<<<

It is not just a matter of having the necessary muscles -- the insects must also have the required behavior. The wings are folded back during the buzzing operation. It is not a case of the insect coming upon a plant and thinking, "Oh, the pollen in this plant needs to be shaken loose, so let's try buzzing the plant."

>>>>>> From an evolutionary standpoint, it appears that buzzing behavior has arisen more than once; mud-dauber wasps also buzz, but do it in order to liquify and spread the mud that makes up their nests <<<<<<

Serendipity.

>>>>>>> Similarly, there is no impediment to incremental development of buzz-specific plant anatomy. The structures of anther, pistil, stamen, etc are present in more primitive flowers and only need to be modified and re-arranged <<<<<<<

It is not just a matter of modification and/or re-arrangement -- there are whole new structures, the tubes, which contain the pollen.

Ironically, your arguments support the principle of design -- the co-evolutionary process that you have described for buzz pollination is so complex and seemingly fortuitous that it could only have been designed.

Regardless of how persuasive an argument against evolution is, you Darwinists will always cook up some cock-and-bull story to get around it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Cruddy barfed,
>>>>>> When I asked you to cite the "new" arguments for ID that you claimed existed, you rattled off a list of book titles and told me, in essence, to go look it up. Since that apparently constitutes a valid rebuttal on your site - go look it up. <<<<<<<

That was different -- you asked for a whole bunch of new arguments, and some of the arguments require whole books -- e.g., The Edge of Evolution, No Free Lunch -- to describe, so I told you to go look it up. In contrast, my questions were very specific -- I asked if Gish's arguments about the co-evolution of plants and insect pollinators are the same as mine, if he said anything about buzz pollination, and if he argued that even gradual co-evolution is a big problem.


>>>>>> Larry wrote: Maybe there have been some new discoveries that shed new light on old arguments? Where is your belief in scientific progress?

"New discoveries" are not going to help a logically fallacious argument. <<<<<<<

Maybe with the new discoveries (or introduction of old discoveries into the discussion) the argument would no longer be fallacious or maybe a new argument would be raised. For example, if the argument against co-evolution is that gradual co-evolution has problems and that argument appears to be fallacious, then everything is changed by introduction of an example of co-dependence -- e.g., buzz pollination -- where gradual co-evolution is a big problem.

>>>>>> you start from the shoddy foundation that the mutations involved offer no benefit to the organism outside of the obligate mutualist relationship, <<<<<

How is that foundation "shoddy"? How does containing the pollen in tubes have any use outside of the buzz pollination relationship?

>>>>>Larry wrote: And why should I not raise an argument just because it was raised before?

For the same reason you yourself say that the second law of thermodynamics argument shouldn't be used: it's a fallacious argument. <<<<<<<

I never said that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics argument should never be raised and discussed.

>>>>> By responding with a claim straight out of the Creation Science [sic] playbook, you've merely demonstrated that PZ was right when he said "[t]he hallmark of almost any creationist argument is the tireless bleating of the same points we have rebutted since the trial of teacher John Scopes in Tennessee in 1925." <<<<<<<

Sleazy PZ is so full of living crap that it is coming out his ears.

I created my ideas about co-evolution independently.

>>>>>> Larry wrote: And when I was commenting on Panda's Thumb, I didn't even see any comments under "Martian Buddy...."

It's called "lurking" <<<<<<<

Lurking, shit. You are just a big liar, dunghill.

>>>>> your ban from Wikipedia <<<<<<

Everyone knows that Wickedpedia sucks.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

In spite of what I've heard from the Darwin-addicts, I have a pretty skeptical mind. I abandoned Christianity at 13 and, like quantum physicist Ulrich Mohrhoff, I do not subscribe to any religion(and especially not to philosophical materialism, which seems to me to be an exceedingly dumb religion.)

So I'm somewhat skeptical of ID, but even more skeptical of all perfectly mechanistic doctrines of evolution. ID has the better arguments by far, in my view; at this point.

Mohrhoff, in his favorable review of the ID book The Design of Life by Dembski and Wells, didn't convincingly show that ID is correct. But that's far too much to expect from a book review.

So I have to buy the book, since astonishingly few libraries have it. It seems that the foes of ID have so much influence, that even a major book on ID often can't get a mainstream publisher. But the efforts to censor and suppress ID, and often to persecute ID scientists, naturally serve to make intelligent design more interesting, to many.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

One example of the censor-suppress-persecute-get-some-judge-to-ban-it tactics of the Darwin-crowd seems to be the fate of Fred Hoyle's book The Mathematics of Evolution (1999.)

Hoyle was a famous scientist, and this highly technical book should have been published by some scientific publishing house. Instead it was published by Acorn Enterprises in Mamphis, Tenn.: a small outfit which apparently has published nothing else!

Hoyle had proposed a theory of evolution involving intelligent design, although he held that the intelligence involved must have emerged by natural laws. But in The Mathematics of Evolution, Hoyle didn't mention any sort of intelligent design: instead he analyzed and heavily debunked Darwinism, even writing that Darwinists are "in a sense mentally ill."

So that, no doubt, is why the book has an offbeat publisher and is in very few libraries.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Spencer the Censor said...

I'll censor that IDist stuff.
The people might read it! It's tough
To fight on to keep
The public asleep,
And loyal to Darwin enough.

(Spencer the Censor claims that he's the one who, working at the NCSE, is responsible for keeping ID and anti-Darwinist books from getting a mainline publisher. I am simply his hard-scribbling ghostwriter, Jim Sherwood.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:46:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

Larry said:
>>>>No, let's not stick with the buzz pollination for now.<<<<

No, let's stick with buzz pollination. If you want to bring up other specific examples, then I'll discuss them with you in a separate thread. But if you're going to bring up buzz pollination and claim its an evolution-killer, you should have the integrity to listen to criticism of your argument.

>>>>What is the source of this information?<<<<

Well, I learned this stuff in undergrad biology courses; but you could pick it up from a Google search for 'indirect flight muscles structure/function bees/insects/wasps'.

>>>>It is not just a matter of having the necessary muscles -- the insects must also have the required behavior. The wings are folded back during the buzzing operation. It is not a case of the insect coming upon a plant and thinking, "Oh, the pollen in this plant needs to be shaken loose, so let's try buzzing the plant."<<<<

Nobody but you is arguing that the bees are 'thinking' or 'planning' anything. Insect behavior is basically hardwired, not learned. It has been demonstrated that many insect behaviors can be altered by genetic manipulations: aggressiveness, flight patterns, mating behavior, etc. Even in humans, a single base mutation which leads to a single altered protein can produce profoundly stereotypical behavior changes (Lesch-Nyhan disease). It is quite possible to alter bee behavior via genetic mutation. A proto-buzzing bee doesn't have to 'think' to profit from a mutation that alters it's propensity to buzz.

>>>>Serendipity.<<<<

Exactly. Since the process is unguided, all adaptations are serendipitous.

>>>>It is not just a matter of modification and/or re-arrangement -- there are whole new structures, the tubes, which contain the pollen.<<<<

The tube is 'a whole new structure' in the same way that a foreskin is a 'whole new structure'. Or unattached earlobes. A redundant flap of tissue that partially covers the anther is not impossible to create incrementally. The anther doesn't have to be scrapped at any point.

I truly seems to me that you don't understand the buzz pollination phenomenon. The bees don't rely on special flowers in order to derive a benefit from buzzing; they can derive a benefit from buzzing on any old flower, since buzzing will tend to dislodge pollen from all flower types. The existence of buzzing bees has allowed some plants to derive an advantage if their flowers tend to cover up their pollen. The bees don't care that the flowers have adapted to take advantage of them.

>>>>Ironically, your arguments support the principle of design -- the co-evolutionary process that you have described for buzz pollination is so complex and seemingly fortuitous that it could only have been designed.<<<<

Where is the complexity or fortuitousness?

A) Bees have a particular set of muscles which have a number of uses.
B) Mutation can alter behavior. Some bees have a mutation that makes them use their indirect flight muscles to buzz.
C) Buzzing bees derive some degree of profit due to increased pollen collection.
D) Some bees become relative specialists at buzzing; others do not.

Subsequently:

1)Flowers that produce less pollen, or covered anthers are no longer at a reproductive disadvantage if they are visited by buzzing bees. Buzzing bees are pretty ubiquitous.

2)Minor changes in flower structure over time result in some plant species having covered anthers, which rely heavily on the continued presence of buzzing bees but allow the plant to devote less energy to pollen production.

There is no point at which some structure HAD to be in place at just the right time, or two mutations HAD to take place in bees and plants simultaneously.

>>>>What about the complex parasitic relationships that have no conceivable co-evolutionary pathway?<<<<

If you want to bring up a specific example in a new post I'll address it. I'm not going to mine though your old blog posts to do it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 2:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry said: That was different -- you asked for a whole bunch of new arguments, and some of the arguments require whole books -- e.g., The Edge of Evolution, No Free Lunch -- to describe, so I told you to go look it up.

Is your memory that awful? I asked if you could cite any new ID arguments since the publication of "Of Pandas and People." Even one would have answered the question. Instead, you made a vague, handwaving "read the books" answer.

Larry wrote: Maybe with the new discoveries (or introduction of old discoveries into the discussion) the argument would no longer be fallacious or maybe a new argument would be raised.

Creationists used to love the example of the soaptree yucca plant and the pronuba moth that pollinated it: the yucca can only be fertilized by that one specific moth, and the moth has no alternate host plants. One dies without the other. They claimed it was too perfect to have evolved and had to have been designed.

Of course, then those killjoy biologists stepped in and pointed out that there were other species of yucca plants that could be fertilized by multiple moths, and moths that fertilized multiple species of yuccas. Far from presenting a "challenge" to evolution, the pronuba moth and soaptree yucca were an excellent example of how obligate mutualism can develop from nonobligate mutualism.

Larry wrote: How is that foundation "shoddy"? How does containing the pollen in tubes have any use outside of the buzz pollination relationship?

Brossa already posted an excellent explanation: the buzzing helps the bees collect more pollen whether the tubes exist or not, and the bees employ it for other purposes aside from pollen collection. There's no merit to your claim that the two have to evolve at the same time.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 2:33:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Sheeeeesh."

Hey, Larry, I have some extra e's if you need 'em.

I was going to comment on the following but Brossa beat me to it:

"It is not a case of the insect coming upon a plant and thinking"

But to repeat -- insects do not "think" -- they run purely on instinct. They think even less than you do -- imagine that!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 2:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Jim Sherwood wrote: Hoyle was a famous scientist, and this highly technical book should have been published by some scientific publishing house.

You might want to take off your tinfoil hat for a minute and consider the possibility that the book only had a small publication run and only got picked up by a small publisher because it was poorly written. Being "famous" doesn't make one a good writer.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 3:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Brossa said,
>>>>>> No, let's stick with buzz pollination. If you want to bring up other specific examples, then I'll discuss them with you in a separate thread. But if you're going to bring up buzz pollination and claim its an evolution-killer, you should have the integrity to listen to criticism of your argument. <<<<<<

I answered your arguments about buzz pollination but you have not answered my arguments about the difficulties of (1) gradual co-evolution and (2) the co-evolution of complex parasitic relationships.

>>>>>> you could pick it up from a Google search for 'indirect flight muscles structure/function bees/insects/wasps'. <<<<<<

I Googled those words and got "returned no results."

>>>>>> Nobody but you is arguing that the bees are 'thinking' or 'planning' anything. <<<<<<

I never argued that.

>>>>>> It has been demonstrated that many insect behaviors can be altered by genetic manipulations: aggressiveness, flight patterns, mating behavior, etc. <<<<<<<

So you are saying that the buzzing trait in insects must evolve, too.

>>>>>> Exactly. Since the process is unguided, all adaptations are serendipitous. <<<<<<

But the process appears to be too fortuitous to be unguided.

>>>>>>> The tube is 'a whole new structure' in the same way that a foreskin is a 'whole new structure'. Or unattached earlobes. A redundant flap of tissue that partially covers the anther is not impossible to create incrementally. The anther doesn't have to be scrapped at any point. <<<<<<

It doesn't matter how the pollen-containing tube is formed -- once it is formed, it is a fatal trait when buzz-pollinating insects are absent.

>>>>>> The bees don't rely on special flowers in order to derive a benefit from buzzing; they can derive a benefit from buzzing on any old flower, since buzzing will tend to dislodge pollen from all flower types. <<<<<<<

I suspect that the pollen is likely to fall away or be blown away by the wind if buzzing is used where the pollen is not contained inside tubes. And what happens to buzz-pollinated plants where there are no buzzing insects around?

>>>>> Where is the complexity or fortuitousness? <<<<<<<

You just described it.

>>>>>>>What about the complex parasitic relationships that have no conceivable co-evolutionary pathway?

If you want to bring up a specific example in a new post I'll address it. I'm not going to mine though your old blog posts to do it. <<<<<<

The examples are right here.

Fewer and fewer people are buying the cock and bull stories of you Darwinists.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"I Googled those words and got "returned no results.""

That's odd. I find that behavior in Google also. OTOH, if I use Blingo (which I understood to be powered by Google) I get 50 hits.

"So you are saying that the buzzing trait in insects must evolve, too."

Well, duh! If it is "instinct" -- and all insect behavior is instinct -- then there is no other source.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 3:51:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy:
>>>>>> Is your memory that awful? I asked if you could cite any new ID arguments since the publication of "Of Pandas and People." <<<<<<<

No, my memory is not awful -- yours is. My answer greatly exceeded your request -- you asked for just any new arguments and I gave you a whole big bunch! To be more specific, there are the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, specified complexity, Behe's "edge of evolution" (his argument that macroevolution is unlikely because even microevolution is very limited), etc.. In fact, most of the modern ID books appeared after publication of "Pandas." And more ID arguments may be raised in the future. You Darwinists are the ones who are always saying, "there are questions we can't answer now but we expect to find the answers in the future." Anyway, what about answers to my questions about Gish's arguments about co-evolution?

>>>>>> Creationists used to love the example of the soaptree yucca plant and the pronuba moth that pollinated it: the yucca can only be fertilized by that one specific moth, and the moth has no alternate host plants. One dies without the other. They claimed it was too perfect to have evolved and had to have been designed.

Of course, then those killjoy biologists stepped in and pointed out that there were other species of yucca plants that could be fertilized by multiple moths, and moths that fertilized multiple species of yuccas. <<<<<<<


There are also the orchids that are pollinated by male wasps that are attracted by the orchids' mimicry of the sex pheromones of female wasps. There is a species of orchid that is pollinated by only one species of wasp.

>>>>>How does containing the pollen in tubes have any use outside of the buzz pollination relationship?

Brossa already posted an excellent explanation <<<<<<

No, it was not an excellent explanation -- in fact, it was not an explanation at all. Brossa did not explain what happens to buzz-pollinated plants when buzz-pollinating insects are absent.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 4:08:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

>>>>I Googled those words and got "returned no results."<<<<

You don't google them all at once, you google them in combinations.


>>>>I never argued that.<<<<

You set it up as a strawman argument that you could refute.

>>>>So you are saying that the buzzing trait in insects must evolve, too.<<<<

Yes.

>>>>But the process appears to be too fortuitous to be unguided.<<<<

Are you really presenting that as an argument? That because a mutation results in an advantage, it must be guided? So the development of drug resistance in bacteria is guided? That winning the lottery is a sign of divine providence favoring the winner?

>>>>It doesn't matter how the pollen-containing tube is formed -- once it is formed, it is a fatal trait when buzz-pollinating insects are absent.<<<<

Provided that all the buzzing insects die off at the same time (bumblebees are not the only buzzing bees, and bees are not the only buzzing insects), and that pollination is 100% dependent on buzzing insects, then yes, it is fatal.

If all photosynthetic organisms died from the earth, our species' specialization with regard to oxygen metabolism would be fatal, too.

If the bacteria in our guts that synthesize vitamin K all died at once, we'd all bleed to death.

There are many more examples of one species being dependent on the continued existence of another. That is not proof of design.

>>>>I suspect that the pollen is likely to fall away or be blown away by the wind if buzzing is used where the pollen is not contained inside tubes. And what happens to buzz-pollinated plants where there are no buzzing insects around?<<<<

No doubt much of the pollen is lost in just the way you describe. But if the bee gets more pollen on itself than it would without buzzing, and does not burn more calories than it gains, it derives an advantage from buzzing. It doesn't have to get all, most, or even a lot of the pollen: just more than it would get otherwise.

Buzz-pollinated plants do poorly when there are no buzzing pollinators - in the case of the most extreme specialists, they may not be able to survive at all.

So what?

>>>>The examples are right here.
<<<<

I read that post, and I don't see anything approaching an argument. There is no single answer for how all parasite relationships arise. If you want to discuss examples one at a time, bring them up in new posts.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 4:40:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

And more ID arguments may be raised in the future. We IDiots are the ones who are always saying, "there are answers we can't question now but we expect to find the questions in the future."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 5:10:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

I see what you did there ;)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 5:16:00 PM  
Anonymous IDiot said...

I'm told that I'm lacking in mind,
By those who trot on behind
Old Darwin as "great."
But it seems that my fate
Is to think, and to find what I find.

(IDiot is a friend of mine who has a habit of thinking, and of questioning things! What can we make of an IDist like that? And why doesn't he just learn to stop thinking and love Darwin? --Jim Sherwood.)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 5:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: My answer greatly exceeded your request -- you asked for just any new arguments and I gave you a whole big bunch!

I asked for specific arguments and you rattled off a reading list, so now I'm returning the favor.

Besides, a nice walk to the library is healthy for you.

Larry wrote: To be more specific, there are the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, specified complexity, Behe's "edge of evolution" (his argument that macroevolution is unlikely because even microevolution is very limited), etc.

The same arguments were presented in "Pandas."

Larry wrote: And more ID arguments may be raised in the future.

I won't hold my breath waiting.

Larry wrote: There are also the orchids that are pollinated by male wasps that are attracted by the orchids' mimicry of the sex pheromones of female wasps. There is a species of orchid that is pollinated by only one species of wasp.

There are also several great rebuttals in the comments on that page to your ludicrous claim that the wasps present a "problem" for evolutionary theory.

Larry wrote: Brossa did not explain what happens to buzz-pollinated plants when buzz-pollinating insects are absent.

You missed this:

"If all buzzing bees were to die out, a number of buzz-dependent plant species would potentially die out as well; so what?"

You really should try reading all of a reply.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 6:17:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Cruddy barfed,
>>>>>> Besides, a nice walk to the library is healthy for you. <<<<<<

And a nice jump in the lake is healthy for you, dunghill.

>>>>>> Larry wrote: To be more specific, there are the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, specified complexity, Behe's "edge of evolution" (his argument that macroevolution is unlikely because even microevolution is very limited), etc.

The same arguments were presented in "Pandas." <<<<<<<

Here the lousy troll is saying that all of the ideas written in several ID books published after "Pandas," one of the first ID books, are contained in "Pandas." Of course, he never actually read "Pandas" to see if this is true -- he's just shooting off his big mouth. As the saying goes, DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.

One more thing --

>>>>>>Larry wrote: Brossa did not explain what happens to buzz-pollinated plants when buzz-pollinating insects are absent.

You missed this:

"If all buzzing bees were to die out, a number of buzz-dependent plant species would potentially die out as well; so what?" <<<<<<<<

I didn't miss anything -- I was asking about how buzz-pollinated plants got here in the first place.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Brossa:
>>>>> You set it up as a strawman argument that you could refute. <<<<<

It was obviously not a strawman argument -- I was obviously being sarcastic. I said, "It is not a case of the insect coming upon a plant and thinking, 'Oh, the pollen in this plant needs to be shaken loose, so let's try buzzing the plant.'"

>>>>> Are you really presenting that as an argument? That because a mutation results in an advantage, it must be guided? <<<<<<

I never said that. What I did say is that when you set up a complex set of conditions (like the insects just happening to already have some special flying muscles that could be used for buzzing the plants) for an evolutionary process for creating buzz pollination, then that evolutionary process appears to be designed. And there is the implication that proposed evolutionary processes for some other co-dependent relationships would also have the appearance of being designed, if an evolutionary process could be imagined at all.

You have just been making up these just-so cock-and-bull stories about evolutionary processes as you go along and you are cherry-picking which questions you respond to -- you have not answered my questions about (1) the general problem of co-evolution, that problem being that there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent trait in the other organism is likely to be locally absent (this is a problem even for gradual co-evolution) and (2) the lack of conceivable evolutionary pathways for complex parasitic relationships.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 10:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> you are cherry-picking which questions you respond to

Larry is projecting again.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 4:58:00 AM  
Anonymous brossa said...

>>>>the general problem of co-evolution, that problem being that there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent trait in the other organism is likely to be locally absent (this is a problem even for gradual co-evolution)<<<<

Trillions of mutations that might or would be beneficial under different circumstances are being lost even as we speak. I don't lose any sleep over this fact. It presents no impediment to evolution. It is hardly a revelation to argue that co-evolution cannot occur if one species is absent. A mutation that is not beneficial because another species lacks a second mutation is not selected for.

>>>>the lack of conceivable evolutionary pathways for complex parasitic relationships.<<<<

The lack of 'conceivable pathways' arises more from your ignorance of biology than from a lack of pathways. For example, if you think that bees need unique muscles to buzz (they don't) and that bee behavior isn't genetically controlled (it is) and that bees can't benefit from buzzing without specialized flowers (they can) and that buzzing and specialized flowers had to arise simultaneously (they didn't) and that buzz-specialized flowers can't be produced incrementally (they can) and that buzzing bees depend on buzz-flowers for survival (they don't), and, and, and... then you might be susceptible to the ID argument from ignorance. But the more you learn about the systems involved, the less credence you give to that argument.

Take this discussion of buzz pollination. At the beginning you thought the following things:

>>>where the pollen is shaken loose by the vibrations of insects' wings,<<<

>>>insects have special muscles that vibrate their wings in a special way<<<

>>>>there are whole new structures, the tubes, which contain the pollen.<<<<

Presumably you now know that these statements of fact are not true. If you continue to study the matter, you will come to realize that the following inferences are also false:

>>>Large numbers of the plants and insects with the buzz pollination traits would have to suddenly appear in the same place at the same time<<<

>>>the required changes are of kind and not degree.<<<

If you want to discuss a specific parasitic relationship, bring it up in a new post and we'll talk about it. There's no point in me trying to explain all parasitic relationships to you. One topic at a time, please.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 7:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: Here the lousy troll is saying that all of the ideas written in several ID books published after "Pandas," one of the first ID books, are contained in "Pandas."

Behe wrote half a chapter on the blood clotting cascade, accounting for "irreducible complexity." The flagellum argument is in there. The specified complexity argument is there as well, although "Pandas" calls it "functional information" instead. The argument that multiple simultaneous mutations are too unlikely? In there.

Larry wrote: I didn't miss anything -- I was asking about how buzz-pollinated plants got here in the first place.

Gee, that's funny, because the only comment you made after I said Brossa had posted a good explanation was that Brossa "did not explain what happens to buzz-pollinated plants when buzz-pollinating insects are absent."

Here I thought that you had actually managed to read and understand a rebuttal for once. I should have known better.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 8:03:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Voice in the Urbanness driveled,

>>>>>>> you are cherry-picking which questions you respond to

Larry is projecting again. <<<<<<<

As this blog's foremost purveyor of comments that are inane, dogmatic, and unsupported, you should talk. You are a lousy troll who kept repeating over and over again that Judge Jones told a newspaper that he was going to follow the law whereas he actually told the newspaper that the school board election results would not affect his decision.

Unlike the trolls here, I am a busy person. I need time for writing new articles, many of which require a lot of research, and for commenting on other websites. I try to answer a lot of the comments here, but then I am condemned for leaving discussions. As I said, many authors of blog articles participate little or not at all in the discussions.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Brossa said,
>>>>> It is hardly a revelation to argue that co-evolution cannot occur if one species is absent. <<<<<<

But what is apparently a revelation to a lot of people is the idea that this is a big impediment to co-evolution because beneficial or potentially beneficial mutations of any kind are rare and it is very unlikely that two mutually co-dependent mutations would exist in two different kinds of organisms at the same time in the same place.

>>>>>>>the lack of conceivable evolutionary pathways for complex parasitic relationships.

The lack of 'conceivable pathways' arises more from your ignorance of biology than from a lack of pathways. For example, if you think that bees need unique muscles to buzz (they don't) and . . .<<<<<<<

Here I was talking about parasitic relationships and you change the subject by talking about bees and flowers.

>>>>>>The examples are right here.

I read that post, and I don't see anything approaching an argument. There is no single answer for how all parasite relationships arise. If you want to discuss examples one at a time, bring them up in new posts. <<<<<<<

To help keep things organized, I don't want to make whole new posts for these relationships unless I have something new to present, so if you have any comments to make, please leave them under that post about parasitisms (with a notice or link here or in another recent comment thread). Or you are welcome to leave the comments here, if you prefer.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy:
>>>>> Larry wrote: I didn't miss anything -- I was asking about how buzz-pollinated plants got here in the first place.

Gee, that's funny, because the only comment you made after I said Brossa had posted a good explanation was that Brossa "did not explain what happens to buzz-pollinated plants when buzz-pollinating insects are absent." <<<<<<<<

I was obviously talking about what happens to buzz-pollinated plants that suddenly appear someplace where buzz-pollinating insects are absent. Duh.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: I was obviously talking about what happens to buzz-pollinated plants that suddenly appear someplace where buzz-pollinating insects are absent.

You may as well ask what would happen to buzz-pollinated plants that "suddenly appear" on the surface of Venus or the depths of the Marianas Trench. The question is pure gibberish; plants don't "suddenly appear."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:56:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Martian Buddy said...

>>>>> Larry wrote: Here the lousy troll is saying that all of the ideas written in several ID books published after "Pandas," one of the first ID books, are contained in "Pandas."

Behe wrote half a chapter on the blood clotting cascade, accounting for "irreducible complexity." The flagellum argument is in there. The specified complexity argument is there as well, although "Pandas" calls it "functional information" instead. The argument that multiple simultaneous mutations are too unlikely? In there. <<<<<<<

If there were any truth to your ridiculous claims, I would have seen them a long time ago -- I have been closely following the evolution controversy for a long time.

>>>>> You may as well ask what would happen to buzz-pollinated plants that "suddenly appear" on the surface of Venus or the depths of the Marianas Trench. The question is pure gibberish; plants don't "suddenly appear." <<<<<<

Mutations appear suddenly.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 2:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Behe first developed the concept of irreducible compexity in Darwin's Black Box, not in Pandas. Specified complexity as a well-defined concept was first developed by Dembski in The Design Inference; which was published in 1998, I believe, by Cambridge University Press and extensively peer-reviewed before publication. In the Edge of Evolution (2007) Behe developed an entirely new argument that has nothing to do with irreducible complexity. But of course those from Mars haven't read thre book.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

These trolls probably read only The Collected Spoutings of PZ and Eugenie, which is not an accurate source of information. Behe wasn't the first to hold that the blood-clotting and immune systems couldn't have evolved by Darwinist processes: the great French zoologist and evolutionary biologist Pierre Grasse said the same thing in his book The Evolution of Living Organisms (1977.) So Behe's main contribution was Darwin's Black Box (1996,) in which he developed the concept of irreducible complexity. Grasse, by the way, didn't advocate ID, but thought that some unknown non-Darwinist natural process must be behind evolution. He regarded Darwinism as "pseudoscience" and "daydreaming." Dembski's full development of specified complexity didn't come until The Design Inference (1998.) The idea that "Pandas" was some sort of authoritative text is just Darwinist propaganda: it was an early book containing some errors.
In The Edge of Evolution (2007,) Behe's central argument is a newnumerical one based on empirical evidence; it has nothing to do with irreducible complexity.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 3:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: If there were any truth to your ridiculous claims, I would have seen them a long time ago -- I have been closely following the evolution controversy for a long time.

Behe's definition of Irreducible Complexity from "Darwin's Black Box," published in 1996.

"A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

Compare that to this quote from "Of Pandas and People:"

"..it has not been demonstrated that mutations are able to produce the highly coordinated parts of novel structures needed again and again by macroevolution."

This 1983 quote from Gish:

""But, why would he need the communication network and the signal until he had everything else? But everything else without the network does him no good either. You see, you have to have everything complete. You must have the storage chamber, the two chemicals, the inhibitor, the anti-inhibitor, the twin combustion tubes, and the communication network. Then and only then will you have a bombardier beetle. Up until that time you have nothing but disaster. You have no way of getting from one to the other."

And this 1974 quote from Henry Morris:

"This issue can actually be attacked quantitatively, using simple principles of mathematical probability. The problem is simply whether a complex system, in which many components function unitedly together, and in which each component is uniquely necessary to the efficient functioning of the whole, could ever arise by random processes."

"Pandas" presents the exact same argument and uses the examples of the blood clotting cascade and the flagellum - it's why there was so much testimony about both at the trial.

Moving on to "Specified Complexity," Dembski states "[t]his strong proscriptive claim, that natural causes can only transmit CSI but never originate it, I call the Law of Conservation of Information."

Compare to the following from "Pandas:"

"the problems of speciation pale by comparison to the problems in accounting for the sources of functional information that code for the spectacular pageant of life on earth."

and:

"As a unit of functional information in the cell, a coding gene is much like a word( a unit of meaningful information) in a book. What do you think would happen if we randomly changed the letters in some of the words in this book? Would the book be improved? On the contrary, it is probable that random changes in the words of this book would decrease rather than increase the
meaningful information they carry."

Henry Morris was making the same information-based argument in 1987:

""If evolution is true, there must be a universal prinicple operating in nature that brings organization to random systems and adds information to simple systems. Over the ages, if evolution is true, primeval particles have evolved into molecules and galaxies, inorganic chemicals have developed into living cells..."

Lastly, the claim that Behe presents a new argument in "The Edge of Evolution" is simply absurd; he references irreducible complexity over and over, even entitling one section of chapter 5 "Irreducible Complexity Squared." It's another variation of the old creationist claim that mutations can only destroy, not create (he compares it to "throwing a wad of chewing gum into a finely-tuned machine,) including a lot of questionable math to supposedly demonstrate that the evolution of protein-protein binding sites is too improbable to have occurred.

Compare that to this text from "Pandas:"

"How likely is it that random mutations will come together and coordinate to form just one new structure? Let's say the formation of an insect wing requires only five genes (a very low estimate). Most mutations are harmful, and scientists estimate that only one in 1,000 is not. The probability of two non-harmful mutations occurring is one in one thousand million million. For all practical purposes, there is no chance that all five mutations will occur within the life cycle of a single organism."

and:

"Mutations do not create new structures. They merely alter existing ones. Mutations have produced, for example, crumpled, oversized, and undersized wings. They have produced double sets of wings. But they have not created a new kind of wing. Nor have they transformed the fruit fly into a new kind of insect. Experiments have simply produced variations within the fruit fly species. . . ."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Martian Buddy said...

Larry wrote: If there were any truth to your ridiculous claims, I would have seen them a long time ago -- I have been closely following the evolution controversy for a long time.

Behe's definition of Irreducible Complexity from "Darwin's Black Box," published in 1996.

"A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."

Compare that to this quote from "Of Pandas and People:"

"..it has not been demonstrated that mutations are able to produce the highly coordinated parts of novel structures needed again and again by macroevolution."

This 1983 quote from Gish:

""But, why would he need the communication network and the signal until he had everything else? But everything else without the network does him no good either. You see, you have to have everything complete. You must have the storage chamber, the two chemicals, the inhibitor, the anti-inhibitor, the twin combustion tubes, and the communication network. Then and only then will you have a bombardier beetle. Up until that time you have nothing but disaster. You have no way of getting from one to the other."

And this 1974 quote from Henry Morris:

"This issue can actually be attacked quantitatively, using simple principles of mathematical probability. The problem is simply whether a complex system, in which many components function unitedly together, and in which each component is uniquely necessary to the efficient functioning of the whole, could ever arise by random processes."

"Pandas" presents the exact same argument and uses the examples of the blood clotting cascade and the flagellum - it's why there was so much testimony about both at the trial.

Moving on to "Specified Complexity," Dembski states "[t]his strong proscriptive claim, that natural causes can only transmit CSI but never originate it, I call the Law of Conservation of Information."

Compare to the following from "Pandas:"

"the problems of speciation pale by comparison to the problems in accounting for the sources of functional information that code for the spectacular pageant of life on earth."

and:

"As a unit of functional information in the cell, a coding gene is much like a word( a unit of meaningful information) in a book. What do you think would happen if we randomly changed the letters in some of the words in this book? Would the book be improved? On the contrary, it is probable that random changes in the words of this book would decrease rather than increase the
meaningful information they carry."

Henry Morris was making the same information-based argument in 1987:

""If evolution is true, there must be a universal prinicple operating in nature that brings organization to random systems and adds information to simple systems. Over the ages, if evolution is true, primeval particles have evolved into molecules and galaxies, inorganic chemicals have developed into living cells..."

Lastly, the claim that Behe presents a new argument in "The Edge of Evolution" is simply absurd; he references irreducible complexity over and over, even entitling one section of chapter 5 "Irreducible Complexity Squared." It's another variation of the old creationist claim that mutations can only destroy, not create (he compares it to "throwing a wad of chewing gum into a finely-tuned machine,) including a lot of questionable math to supposedly demonstrate that the evolution of protein-protein binding sites is too improbable to have occurred.

Compare that to this text from "Pandas:"

"Mutations do not create new structures. They merely alter existing ones. Mutations have produced, for example, crumpled, oversized, and undersized wings. They have produced double sets of wings. But they have not created a new kind of wing. Nor have they transformed the fruit fly into a new kind of insect. Experiments have simply produced variations within the fruit fly species. . . ."

And:

"How likely is it that random mutations will come together and coordinate to form just one new structure? Let's say the formation of an insect wing requires only five genes (a very low estimate). Most mutations are harmful, and scientists estimate that only one in 1,000 is not. The probability of two non-harmful mutations occurring is one in one thousand million million. For all practical purposes, there is no chance that all five mutations will occur within the life cycle of a single organism."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:39:00 PM  
Anonymous brossa said...

There seem to be nine or ten posts missing from this thread; what gives?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:45:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

This comment is a test to try to find out why comments have been disappearing from this thread.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:11:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

I can't post comments here and I don't know why.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

still having trouble here in posting comments.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Still having trouble

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

keep trying

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:49:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:54:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:54:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:55:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:55:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:56:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:58:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 9:59:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

again

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

more

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

more

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

more

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

will it work now?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

will it work now?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Dschugasch said...

what happened

Thursday, August 07, 2008 1:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Test.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Test

Friday, August 08, 2008 10:31:00 AM  

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