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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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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, August 08, 2009

Scientific papers say coevolution is a big problem for evolution theory

For about 3-4 years now, I have been arguing that coevolution is a big problem for evolution theory, but stupid ignoramuses like Kevin Vicklund have been pooh-poohing that coevolution is no problem at all for evolution theory. I have now found some scientific papers that back up my position. One paper's abstract says, "Interspecific mutualisms are widespread, but how they evolve is not clear," and the body of the same paper says, "Mutually beneficial interactions between members of different species play a fundamental role in all ecosystems . . . , but their evolution has challenged theoreticians for decades. " The abstract of another scientific paper says, "Cooperation in organisms, whether bacteria or primates, has been a difficulty for evolutionary theory since Darwin." Yet another paper says, "Mutualisms are of fundamental importance in all ecosystems but their very existence poses a series of challenging evolutionary questions." And I have pointed out some of coevolution's "challenging evolutionary questions" that these papers do not even address.

There have been other examples of where I am considered a crackpot for saying the same things that the "experts" say. For example, Edwin Black, author of the book "IBM and the Holocaust," also said that Jew identification was a big problem for the Nazis. And my contention that my lawsuit against California's unconstitutional smog impact fee belonged in federal court despite states' normal immunity to federal lawsuits against state taxes was vindicated when an expert testified in state court that the fee required the approval of the US Environmental Protection Agency! I argued that California lost its immunity because the state had "left the sphere that is exclusively its own" (Parden v. Terminal Railway of the Alabama State Docks Dept.) by basing the fee entirely on the state's special status under federal auto emissions laws and regulations.

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19 Comments:

Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

You're right, Larry. And Uncommon Descent (August 4) also has a piece on the likes of the pilot fish, which feeds on tidbits of food caught in the teeth of a shark. The shark holds its jaws open and doesn't bite the fish.

That's somewhat advantageous to the shark, probably especially if it's worried about tooth decay. But how did this mutualism supposedly co-evolve, when the first fish driven by a random mutation to approach a shark's jaws, would have been gobbled up?

Darwin-fans probably have faith that in the future the mysteries of co-evolution will be solved, when a random mutation modifies the brains of Darwinists and magically delivers the answer. After all, we must cling to blind faith that chance and natural selection do all.

Saturday, August 08, 2009 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> Uncommon Descent (August 4) also has a piece on the likes of the pilot fish, which feeds on tidbits of food caught in the teeth of a shark. <<<<<<<

Thanks, Jim, you are really on the ball. I should have mentioned that Uncommon Descent piece -- its comment thread is where I got my initial links for those scientific papers I quoted.

>>>>>> how did this mutualism supposedly co-evolve, when the first fish driven by a random mutation to approach a shark's jaws, would have been gobbled up? <<<<<<<

If the pilot fish interacts with several sharks, then a sudden behavior change would be required of all the sharks in an area, not just one or a few.

Originally I called my arguments about coevolution "non-ID criticisms of evolution" because coevolution could be a problem even if the mutations in the individual organisms are not individually irreducibly complex. However, the combinations of corresponding mutualistic mutations can be regarded as irreducibly complex, and hence my arguments about coevolution could be considered to be ID arguments. However, I am leery about calling my coevolution arguments ID arguments, because the term ID has practically become taboo. One of my reasons for calling these arguments "non-ID criticisms of evolution" was to attempt to avoid the stigma of the term "ID."

Sunday, August 09, 2009 4:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please define "big problem"

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Please define "big problem" <<<<<<

Bozo, it's defined by my quotations of the papers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 3:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry, you need to read beyond the abstract. You are confused about the purpose of the paper, which is to present a better model for the development of coevolution. Consider the conclusion:
Nevertheless, our model represents the first specific attempt to combine the Prisoner’s Dilemma approach with the basic features of interspecific mutualisms. Overall, our results suggest that the transition from neutral to mutually beneficial interactions should often occur. Moreover, selection for higher benefits and lower costs, an option we did not model, should further stabilize mutualism once it evolves. Thus, the real evolutionary challenge for mutualism may not be the spread of cheaters in established associations, as has been assumed traditionally by theoreticians, but rather the ability to survive in intimate association in the first place. This may explain why symbionts, although much more diverse than previously realized, often have relatively few independent origins (26, 27). Highly conserved molecular mechanisms for the formation of associations (28) and the origin of new mutualisms through lateral genetic transfer (29) also support this perspective.

I recognize that you are not a scientist, but you need to read the entire article.

Look beyond the abstract and you will see that the researchers are trying to explicate the mechanisms for coevolution through a more viable model; they certainly don't claim it to be problem for evolutionary theory,

Sunday, August 16, 2009 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said,
>>>>>> Larry, you need to read beyond the abstract. <<<<<<

I cited more than one abstract and it would have helped if you had identified which paper you were referring to -- however, I did find the paper quickly.

>>>>>> You are confused about the purpose of the paper, which is to present a better model for the development of coevolution. <<<<<<<

It should not be necessary to read beyond the abstract in order to get the gist of a paper.

One of the main purposes of this post was to show that coevolution can be very complex and can be extremely difficult to explain if it can be explained at all, in contrast to the many claims that coevolution is simple, straightforward and trivial.

Sunday, August 16, 2009 9:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry said, "One of the main purposes of this post was to show that coevolution can be very complex and can be extremely difficult to explain if it can be explained at all, in contrast to the many claims that coevolution is simple, straightforward and trivial"

But that's not what you claim, Larry. You claim that coevolution is a large problem for evolutionary theory. It's not. That's the main point: neither of the papers you cite actually supports your contention that coevolution is a problem in the sense that it can't be explained. They do admit that it's an interesting and complex problem, and are working to explicate solutions.

The papers don't support your claims for them. Either you didn't read the entire paper, or you don't understand the claims they make. The first problem can be solved by more thorough research when you try to support your points. The second can be solved by a rigorous science education.

Monday, August 17, 2009 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> But that's not what you claim, Larry. You claim that coevolution is a large problem for evolutionary theory. It's not. That's the main point: neither of the papers you cite actually supports your contention that coevolution is a problem in the sense that it can't be explained. <<<<<<<

What do you mean, "neither paper"? I cited three papers, not two.

I never claimed that the papers said that coevolution "can't be explained," bozo. But the papers did say that coevolution is a big problem for evolution theory, even if the papers also said that they have come up with some explanations. Here again is exactly what the papers said --

"Interspecific mutualisms are widespread, but how they evolve is not clear."

"Mutually beneficial interactions between members of different species play a fundamental role in all ecosystems . . . , but their evolution has challenged theoreticians for decades. "

"Cooperation in organisms, whether bacteria or primates, has been a difficulty for evolutionary theory since Darwin."

"Mutualisms are of fundamental importance in all ecosystems but their very existence poses a series of challenging evolutionary questions."

Yet whenever I say that coevolution is a big problem for evolution theory, I get this patronizing, pooh-poohing "elementary, my dear Watson" crap from you lousy Darwinists. You Darwinists are so full of living crap that it is coming out your ears.

Monday, August 17, 2009 8:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, my apologies, Larry - you did cite three papers.

The issue here is, once again, your lack of understanding of science, and perhaps a semantic confusion.

Coevolution is a problem solely in the sense that it is a complex set of observations for which the models are not yet sufficiently robust and historical data is hard to come by. This makes it an interesting and challenging area of evolutionary theory.

Coevolution is not a problem in the sense that it poses any kind of challenge to the underlying theory of evolution; nor does it's explanation require any additional, unverifiable mechanism such as "ID".

You may be confusing two different meanings of "problem".

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 6:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, Larry, I'm not a "Darwinist". In case you hadn't noticed, Darwin is dead.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 6:51:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

You Darwinists -- or whatever you want to call yourselves -- are forever optimistic that answers will eventually be found to the unsolved mysteries of evolution.

I will stop using the term "Darwinist" when you Darwinists stop using the term "ID creationism."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 8:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The concept of intelligent design is certainly not a religious one: after all, we HAVE existing examples of "intelligent design". But the overwhelming majority of the folks pushing "intelligent design" as a scientific answer (even they admit there's no theory of ID nor any evidence to support their case) are motivated by their religious beliefs: Philips, Dembski, Meyers, Behe, etc.

The problem is that a religious movement has hijacked a secular concept in order to mask their religious agenda. Hence the term: ID creationism.

Darwinism is a term occasionally thrown around to describe a philosophical opinion; it has nothing whatsoever to do with current evolutionary theory.

I note again a problem of semantic confusion on your part. One of the things that makes science and rigorous discussion possible is clarity of terms.

I am not a Darwinist; your attempts to use this amount to a pejorative that I find amusing, but unavailing.

Given your predilection for such terms, should I begin continually referring to you as a "creationist"? If that's the level of discourse you'd like to adopt, I'm sure I can comply, but why bother? Surely we are both adults here?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Anonymous said...

>>>>>> The concept of intelligent design is certainly not a religious one: <<<<<<

A lot of Darwinists claim that ID is a strictly religious concept. I never liked the name "ID" because it implies the existence of a supernatural designer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 5:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I never liked the name "ID" because it implies the existence of a supernatural designer."

So, you must believe in a "natural designer". Perhaps you could describe for us what that entity would be like, how it would operate, and where it came from?

Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:25:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> So, you must believe in a "natural designer". Perhaps you could describe for us what that entity would be like, how it would operate, and where it came from? <<<<<<<

It is not necessary to describe any designer at all. ID can just be the study of the probability that natural selection and natural genetic variation can account for the complexity and diversity of living things.

Sunday, August 23, 2009 2:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...It is not necessary to describe any designer at all. ID can just be the study of the probability that natural selection and natural genetic variation can account for the complexity and diversity of living things....

We already have a term for that: "evolutionary biology" - though it doesn't restrict itself to selection and variation.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> We already have a term for that: "evolutionary biology" <<<<<<

So why did a judge rule that ID is unconstitutional if it is just another name for part of evolutionary biology?

>>>>>> - though it doesn't restrict itself to selection and variation. <<<<<<

What else is there in evolution?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 2:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, sending astronauts into space was a big problem for Nasa. Therefore, we never went on the moon.

Sunday, September 06, 2009 2:38:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>>> Also, sending astronauts into space was a big problem for Nasa. Therefore, we never went on the moon. <<<<<<<

What a stupid comment.

Monday, September 07, 2009 2:39:00 AM  

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