Brown's Evidence - Originally posted to the kcfs.org discussion forum

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Permalink | forthekids | 06-03-2005 | 12:03 PM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

Before considering how life began, we must first understand the term “organic evolution.” Organic evolution, as theorized, is a naturally occurring, beneficial change that produces increasing and inheritable complexity. Increased complexity would be shown if the offspring of one form of life had a different and improved set of vital organs. This is sometimes called the molecules-to-man theory——or macroevolution. [See Figure 4 at
http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences2.html#wp1090370]

Microevolution, on the other hand, does not involve increasing complexity. It involves changes only in size, shape, color, or minor genetic alterations caused by a few mutations. Macroevolution requires thousands of “just right” mutations. Microevolution can be thought of as “horizontal” change, whereas macroevolution, if it were ever observed, would involve an “upward,” beneficial change in complexity. Notice that microevolution plus time will not produce macroevolution. [micro + time … macro]

Creationists and evolutionists agree that microevolution occurs. Minor change has been observed since history began. But notice how often evolutionists give evidence for microevolution to support macroevolution. It is macroevolution——which requires new abilities, increasing complexity, and new genetic information——that is at the center of the creation-evolution controversy. Therefore, in this book [In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and Evolution], the term “organic evolution” will mean macroevolution.

1. The Law of Biogenesis
Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. All observations have shown that life comes only from life. This has been observed so consistently it is called the law of biogenesis. The theory of evolution conflicts with this scientific law when claiming that life came from nonliving matter through natural processes.(a) Evolutionary scientists reluctantly accept the law of biogenesis.(b) However, some say that future studies may show how life could come from lifeless matter, despite the virtually impossible odds. Others say that their theory of evolution doesn’t begin until the first life somehow arose. Still others say the first life was created, then evolution occurred—with or without God’s help. All evolutionists recognize that, based on scientific observations, life only comes from life.
_________________________________
a. And yet, leading evolutionists are forced to accept some form of spontaneous generation. For example, a former Harvard University professor and Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine acknowledged the dilemma.
The reasonable view [during the two centuries before Louis Pasteur] was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. George Wald, “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, Vol. 190, August 1954, p. 46.
With no rationale given, Wald goes on to accept the impossible odds of spontaneous generation rather than creation.
One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are—as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation. Ibid.
b. “The beginning of the evolutionary process raises a question which is as yet unanswerable. What was the origin of life on this planet? Until fairly recent times there was a pretty general belief in the occurrence of ‘‘spontaneous generation.’’ It was supposed that lowly forms of life developed spontaneously from, for example, putrefying meat. But careful experiments, notably those of Pasteur, showed that this conclusion was due to imperfect observation, and it became an accepted doctrine [the law of biogenesis] that life never arises except from life. So far as actual evidence goes, this is still the only possible conclusion. But since it is a conclusion that seems to lead back to some supernatural creative act, it is a conclusion that scientific men find very difficult of acceptance. It carries with it what are felt to be, in the present mental climate, undesirable philosophic implications, and it is opposed to the scientific desire for continuity. It introduces an unaccountable break in the chain of causation, and therefore cannot be admitted as part of science unless it is quite impossible to reject it. For that reason most scientific men prefer to believe that life arose, in some way not yet understood, from inorganic matter in accordance with the laws of physics and chemistry.” J. W. N. Sullivan, The Limitations of Science (New York: The Viking Press, Inc., 1933), p. 94


Permalink | Pete | 06-03-2005 | 12:39 PM

FtK,

I assume at some point your going to post something that demonstrates evidence FOR creation. You seem not to understand that 'evidence' against something is not evidence for something different. I thought Walt had powerful scientific evidence for creation. When are we going to see that. I wanna see 'poof' something was created. Maybe you could suggest an experiment where something is created.

That would be science.

The burden is on Walt to prove creation.

(notice i did this without using the G word)

-- Pete


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-03-2005 | 01:23 PM

Walt Brown is a Mechanical Engineer. Big surprise.

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Walt_Brown [Roll Eyes]


Permalink | KC | 06-03-2005 | 01:28 PM

quote:
The words “microevolution” and “macroevolution” are relative terms, and have only descriptive meaning; they imply no differences in the underlying causal agencies.

--Theodosius Dobzhansky, (1951) Genetics and the Origin of Species, Third Edition, Revised, p. 17

KC


Permalink | EB | 06-03-2005 | 01:52 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

1. The Law of Biogenesis
...Still others say the first life was created, then evolution occurred—with or without God’s help.
_________________________________
a. ... the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. [/QB]

Previously stated by fTk: ...Remember, no religion and no ad hominem attacks, just science. ...and he is deathly opposed to bring religion into the public schools.

It looks as if religion is being introduced by Brown himself. Creationism = religion. How can this be a serious scientific debate, when you say no religious arguments, and then begin with a religious argument?

If there are any holes in the evolutionary theory, filling them with god, or a supernatural being, or a creator, or whatever you want to call it, is not science, it's religion. Is there any evidence showing that life absoultely cannot come from non-organic material? Where's the proof?

Observations take place in the quantum world that would have been considered virtually impossible, and against all odds, a hundred years ago. Now, through our understanding of quantum mechanics, we know some quantum phenomena are possible. This has been shown experimentally as well as theoretically. And god is not mentioned in the theory, interestingly enough.

When you have evidence that shows "instant creation", I don't see how the scientific community can ignore it. (And don't talk about conspiracy, please). But it seems like this is just pointing out gaps in current theory. That's not supporting evidence of your theory.

Eric


Permalink | Connor J | 06-03-2005 | 02:00 PM

"But it seems like this is just pointing out gaps in current theory."

Sadly, it's not even that. It's deliberately misrepresenting current theory, twisting it into a caricature with more glaring gaps than the actual theory, and then pointing to those: "Look at these gaps I fou-- er, made."

And that last citation is from 1933!
"The Limitations of Science" indeed.


Permalink | apple | 06-03-2005 | 02:21 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:


Creationists and evolutionists agree that microevolution occurs. Minor change has been observed since history began. But notice how often evolutionists give evidence for microevolution to support macroevolution. It is macroevolution——which requires new abilities, increasing complexity, and new genetic information——that is at the center of the creation-evolution controversy. Therefore, in this book [In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and Evolution], the term “organic evolution” will mean macroevolution.


Is that true? Does organic evolution mean macroevolution?

And another question..What about the term 'evolutionist'? What is exactly an evolutionist? (I know academically that it is a designatable title) Of what is it a subset of, assuming the main category is Biologist. (sorry I am not veryscientific.. at all.)


Permalink | Connor J | 06-03-2005 | 02:45 PM

"Macroevolution" is not well defined. It isn't a term used by scientists.

Basically, since Darwin's central insight (that apparent "design" could arise from the differential survival of replicators over geological time) is based on irrefutable logic, creationists pretty much had to accept it, in some form, or look even more ridiculous than they do anyway.

So the form in which they chose to accept it they call "microevolution." It's an incoherent distinction, like most creationist ideas.


Permalink | Pete | 06-03-2005 | 02:52 PM

Since Walt has used the G-word. Is the debate over?

who won?

-- Pete


Permalink | forthekids | 06-03-2005 | 03:01 PM

Pete writes:

quote:
FtK,

I assume at some point your going to post something that demonstrates evidence FOR creation. You seem not to understand that 'evidence' against something is not evidence for something different. I thought Walt had powerful scientific evidence for creation. When are we going to see that. I wanna see 'poof' something was created. Maybe you could suggest an experiment where something is created.

That would be science.

The burden is on Walt to prove creation.

(notice i did this without using the G word)

-- Pete

Patience, Pete. “Powerful scientific evidence” for creation and the flood in due course.

So far, we have only looked at #1 of 133. But don’t you agree that the Law of Biogenesis — and its powerful implications for the theory of evolution—should be taught to at least high school students? I think most of us in Kansas feel that way.

BTW, Brown stresses that the word “prove,” which you like to use, is inappropriate when used in a science context. I quote:
quote:
Science doesn’t : \prove anything. Proofs occur only in mathematics. Furthermore, mathematical proofs are not absolutely true, since one begins with assumptions called axioms and postulates. If they change, your “proofs” change. In science, nothing is ever absolute. Those who use the word “prove” in a scientific context usually are overstating something. Hardly ever will you hear an experienced scientist say that something in science has been proved. Better terms are: indicates, suggests, confirms, and supports. In science, explanations (hypotheses and theories) are made increasingly plausible or implausible by evidence.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-03-2005 | 03:28 PM

Prove can be applied in scientific contexts. For instance, one can prove that natural selection works in principle by developing the mathematical logic, and one can prove that it occurs by conducting carefully controlled experiments.

Natural selection assumes that certain heritable traits make an individual more likely to reproduce, and that more offspring are born than can survive and reproduce. If those assumptions are met, natural selection must occur. One can do demographic research and show that more offspring are born than survive and reproduce. Genetic studies can show that certain traits are heritable, and careful ecological study can demonstrate that certain heritable traits convey a higher probability of leaving offspring. By doing those things, you prove that natural selection is at work.

What Pete wants (I expect) is a logically consistent Theory of Creation, and experimental or observational evidence to support it.

In Brown's book, he assumes his giant caverns full of water. What I want is evidence that the assumption is justified. If his theory is that natural selection cannot ever produce species level changes or greater, he needs to provide a logical model of Creation that can be tested using experimental or rigorous observational data.

As for biogenesis: Evolution says nothing about where life came from, only how life changes over time. That's a canard. Move on.


Permalink | Pete | 06-03-2005 | 03:41 PM

Perhaps that was a poor choice words, but I can point you to several threads where I have discussed this in detail.

Prove: How about "support with observation data and experiments."

I think Brown should be able to argue his case without mentioning evolution.

Of course IF creation IS an absolute truth maybe it CAN be proven.

-- Pete


Permalink | forthekids | 06-03-2005 | 04:02 PM

Pete writes:

quote:
Prove: How about support with observation data and experiments.
Gosh, you know what? When I first entered this forum, I used the word prove and proof and I got reprimanded (quite a few times actually). I wonder if it was the context? Hmmm... I better go back and re-read those entries. Must have been my presentation or something... [Confused]


Permalink | Pete | 06-03-2005 | 04:25 PM

Ftk Let me help you out:

here are some references on uncertainty and "Laws of Physics"

http://www.kcfs.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000207;p=1#000012
http://www.kcfs.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000278;p=1#000017

This one's particularly precise in its definition:

quote:
Pete said:
From a rigorous scientific perspective, you never prove a theory. A theory is demonstrated to be consistent with observation to within some uncertainty. These ideas are often stated in introductory physics courses, but with little emphasis . However, A theory can be 'falsified'

Of course once Walt used the G-word, the rigorous scientific perspective went out of the 'tent' and the camel came in.

you agree?

Man I can't rememeber ever writing a peer-reviewed paper without a mistake? [Wink]

-- Pete


Permalink | Jason Meyers, PhD | 06-03-2005 | 04:37 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:

Microevolution [...] involves changes only in size, shape, color, or minor genetic alterations caused by a few mutations. [...]Notice that microevolution plus time will not produce macroevolution. [micro + time … macro] "


I fail to understand the last sentence here. What are some possible mechanisms for "microevolution"?
* Polymerase error
* Environmental mutagens
* Recomination
* Viral insertion/mutation
* Genetic duplication
Others?

Apparently the author is willing to agree that these DNA changes can alter protein structure, funtion or expression sufficiently to alter shape and size (presumably of the organism). So what in any of the above mechanisms prohibits accumulation of mutations or prevents the mechanisms from having more than a subtle change in protein function?

Just taking polymerase error, we know many of the rates of errors for various polymerases. To my knowledge, none of them have shown the peculiar character of only making errors until some percentage of errors have been reached and then no longer make errors. That is, if we pick up ~64 DNA errors per sexual generation (estimate from Drake, 1999), the polymerases will not realize in 100 generations that they've made 6400 errors and can't make any more without crossing the line to "macroevolution" (or whereever the proposed dividing line is). The only difference between accumulating 64 mutations and 6400 mutations (or 640,000) is time, assuming a constant rate of mutation.

Next, a single point mutation could completely destroy the function of a protein. Or it could change its substrate selectivity. Or it could change its kinase activity. Or it could have no affect whatsoever on the protein.
On a protein level, it's not the number of mutations that matter, it's where they are and what the amino acid change is. A conservative amino acid change (that is replacing an amino acid with one that has nearly the same properties) may have very little effect on the protein. Changing an amino acid in the active site to a completely different amino acid may well kill the activity. Changing a normally phosphorylated amino acid to a non-phosphorylatable one could make a protein more or less active than the unmutated one. What I'm trying to get at here is that there is not some magic threshhold of mutations after which a protein will change function. A single change in the right place could have a small or tremendous effect, or hundreds of changes in neutral locations could have no effect. A new stop-codon could make a useless protein or could make a protein that cannot be turned off. A new splice site could remove a critical piece of a protein or could open it up to slightly different function. When does the change in a protein go from microevolution to macroevolution and how does the cause of the mutation know to only make micro changes?

Finally, what are the actual differences between humans and apes (leaving the soul aside)? A few changes in size, shape of some bones, a bigger brain, loss of hair, changes in teeth, and a few other things. Now, since microevolution is sufficent to explain changes in size and shape, is there really anything macro that has changed in human evolution? Probably the biggest thing is the brain size, but as many neurobiologists are finding, relatively subtle changes in expression or activity of a few genes can all lead to enhanced growth of the brain (and the author agrees that microevolution can explain changes in size of things). Most of the general mechanisms for wiring of the brain are highly conserved and are not substantially different in most vertebrates. Or put another way, there really isn't that much different from chimps that requires de novo development of radically new systems, proteins, etc.

So where is the magic line in the sand between the last common ancestor of chimps (or bonobos) and humans across which CANNOT be crossed? How do the polymerases know that they can no longer make errors once they've made too many to be just microevolution? How do they know to only make errors in regions that lead to small changes in protein function?

Science's answer is simple. There is no difference between macroevolution and microevolution. Genetic changes will accumulate if they are beneficial and will be weeded out if they are not. There is no magic dividing line or novel mechanisms required for micro and macro to never meet.


Permalink | apple | 06-03-2005 | 05:21 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Jason Meyers, PhD:

Science's answer is simple. There is no difference between macroevolution and microevolution. Genetic changes will accumulate if they are beneficial and will be weeded out if they are not. There is no magic dividing line or novel mechanisms required for micro and macro to never meet.

thank you.. (I don't know if the explanation was simple but I did follow it)


Permalink | Jeremy Mohn | 06-03-2005 | 07:06 PM

quote:
It is macroevolution——which requires new abilities, increasing complexity, and new genetic information——that is at the center of the creation-evolution controversy.
Well then, by Brown's definition of "macroevolution," discoveries like this one must have resolved the controversy years ago:

Evolution and INFORMATION - the Nylon Bug!

If you read about the "nylon bug," you will find all three of Brown's supposed requirements of macroevolution:

1. new abilities? check
2. increasing complexity? check
3. new genetic information? check

Since Dr. Brown already used the G-word and, by his definition, "macroevolution" has already been observed, is this "debate" over now?


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-03-2005 | 09:19 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Pete writes:
quote:
Prove: How about support with observation data and experiments.
Gosh, you know what? When I first entered this forum, I used the word prove and proof and I got reprimanded (quite a few times actually). I wonder if it was the context? Hmmm... I better go back and re-read those entries. Must have been my presentation or something... [Confused]

Yep. You've learned since then, so we can move on. Scientists do use terms like "prove" even though they don't apply in the strictest sense. Sort of like talking about molecular machines. It's a useful simplification.

You've graduated from the easy mistakes, which is why we can deal with the bigger issues.

You understand enough about the way scientists think that you can see why we object to Brown's evidenceless claims. You aren't a scientist, you wouldn't claim to have been "converted" to "Darwinism," but you learned the material.

Why don't you think high school students can do the same?


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-04-2005 | 12:44 AM

FTK,

Still waiting for that "powerful scientific evidence" of creation.

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...

Et cetera.

Science emerged in the 16th century. It's now more than 400 years later.

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...

How long is "in due time?"

By the way, it's not up to you, personally, FTK, to provide scientific evidence of creation. You can't. It's up to the creationist community. They've had... what... since the emergence of science more than 400 years ago? They can't, either.

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...

Meanwhile, science reveals more discoveries every day. Where are the creationist discoveries? What are they? If there are none, why not?

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...

Still waiting.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 09:00 AM

OK guys,

Day two...

I’ll post category #2 below. Feel free to fire away.

I’m still thinking about how to fairly select your various comments that Dr. Brown should address from each category. In regard to yesterday's posts, I think Dr. Meyers offered some comments worth consideration.

There will be 16 categories posted before Dr. Brown will respond.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 09:07 AM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

2. Acquired Characteristics

Acquired characteristics cannot be inherited.(a) For example, large muscles acquired by a man in a weight-lifting program cannot be inherited by his child. Nor did giraffes get long necks because their ancestors stretched to reach high leaves. While almost all evolutionists agree that acquired characteristics cannot be inherited, many unconsciously slip into this erroneous belief. On occasion, Darwin did.(b)

However, stressful environments for at least some animals and plants cause their offspring to express various defenses. New genetic traits are not created; instead, the environment can switch on genetic machinery already present . The marvel is that optimal(c) genetic machinery already exists to handle various contingencies, not that the environment or “a need” can produce the machinery.(d)

Also, rates of variation within a kind (microevolution, not macroevolution) increase enormously when organisms are under stress, such as starvation.(e) Such situations would have been widespread in the centuries after a global flood.
____________________________________________
a. The false belief that acquired characteristics can be inherited, called Lamarckism, would mean that the environment can directly and beneficially change egg and sperm cells. Only a few biologists try to justify Lamarckism. The minor acquired characteristics they cite have no real significance for any present theory of organic evolution. For example, see “Lamarck, Dr. Steel and Plagiarism,” Nature, Vol. 337, 12 January 1989, pp. 101–102.

b. "This hypothesis [called “pangenesis” which Darwin proposed] maintained the idea of inheritance of acquired characteristics." A. M. Winchester, Genetics, 5th edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1977), p. 24.

c. "...it is a perplexing evolutionary question how a population might move to a different local optimum without an intervening period of reduced fitness (adaptive valley)." Christine Queitsch, et al., “Hsp90 as a Capacitor of Phenotypic Variation,” Nature, Vol. 417, 6 June 2002, p. 623.

d. "...genes that were switched on in the parent to generate the defensive response are also switched on in the offspring." Erkki Haukioja, “Bite the Mother, Fight the Daughter,” Nature, Vol. 401, 2 September 1999, p. 23.

- "...non-lethal exposure of an animal to carnivores, and a plant to a herbivore, not only induces a defence, but causes the attacked organisms to produce offspring that are better defended than offspring from unthreatened parents." Anurag A. Agrawal et al., “Transgenerational Induction of Defences in Animals and Plants,” Nature, Vol. 401, 2 September 1999, p. 60.

- "...hidden genetic diversity exists within species and can erupt when [environmental] conditions change." John Travis, “Evolutionary Shocker?: Stressful Conditions May Trigger Plants and Animals to Unleash New Forms Quickly,” Science News, Vol. 161, 22 June 2002, p. 394.

- "Environmental stress can reveal genetic variants, presumably because it compromises buffering systems. If selected for, these uncovered phenotypes can lead to heritable changes in plants and animals (assimilation)." Queitsch, et al., p. 618.

e. Marina Chicurel, “Can Organisms Speed Their Own Evolution?" Science , Vol. 292, 8 June 2001, pp. 1824-1827.


Permalink | Jeremy Mohn | 06-04-2005 | 09:34 AM

quote:
Also, rates of variation within a kind (microevolution, not macroevolution) increase enormously when organisms are under stress, such as starvation.(e) Such situations would have been widespread in the centuries after a global flood.
forthekids-

Can you define "kind" for me? I'm not familiar with that term.

What type of changes would qualify as "variation within a kind?" Is there a distinct barrier that prevents one "kind" from changing into another? Or is "kind" one of those terms with a flexible definition that changes with the argument (kind of like "microevolution")?


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-04-2005 | 11:10 AM

This is called developmental plasticity.

Most organisms have evolutionary histories which include variable environments, so they have adaptations to different environments. There's a lot of fascinating work on all of that, and it is predicted by evolution. I fail to see how it would be a problem. Yes, Darwin had a flawed view of inheritance. Move on.

How does Mr. Brown explain it?


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-04-2005 | 11:33 AM

FTK,

There will be 16 categories presented before Dr. Brown will respond?

Who is he, The Great Oz?

And besides, why would he need to respond to anything? His words are out there for all to see. They are what is being analyzed and criticized. What's he going to do, change his mind in the light of scientific evidence? I don't think so.

If Dr. Brown actually responds to anything, I will be extremely surprised.


Permalink | RBHoppe | 06-04-2005 | 12:15 PM

I'll comment on just one quotation from FTK's posting above:

quote:
c. "...it is a perplexing evolutionary question how a population might move to a different local optimum without an intervening period of reduced fitness (adaptive valley)." Christine Queitsch, et al., “Hsp90 as a Capacitor of Phenotypic Variation,” Nature, Vol. 417, 6 June 2002, p. 623.
Just for the heck of it I went and read that paper. Not to my surprise, that turns out to be an instance of pure quote mining on Brown's part. The quotation comes from a paragraph in the Discussion section of that paper, and in the very next sentence Queitsch, et al., identify no fewer than three evolutionary mechanisms (genetic drift, compensatory mutations, and gene conversion) that answer that question, and in the next sentence after that the authors suggest that the mechanism (Hsp90 buffering) that the paper reports research about also can answer the question.

Whenever one sees a sentence like that in a scientific paper, there's a very good chance that it is a framing sentence, setting the stage to discuss solutions to the problem it describes. That's the case in this instance. Brown quotes the framing sentence but neglects to mention that the question is answered in the very same paragraph, thereby misleading his reader. That's called intellectual dishonesty. To be blunt, FTK, Brown is misleading you.

RBH


Permalink | Jeremy Mohn | 06-04-2005 | 12:22 PM

quote:
Josh said:

This is called developmental plasticity.

Most organisms have evolutionary histories which include variable environments, so they have adaptations to different environments.

There's a lot of fascinating work on all of that, and it is predicted by evolution. I fail to see how it would be a problem.

Josh-

Didn't you read the quotes in Dr. Brown's citations? Scientists have identified "perplexing evolutionary questions" in relation to this topic! That obviously means that we'll never be able to understand how it happens. Hence, it must be the work of an "intelligent designer." [Roll Eyes]


Permalink | Bill A | 06-04-2005 | 12:29 PM

I'm just a physicist, so forgive me if I'm asking a basic biology question. I can see that the Lamarckan hypothesis isn't workable, but haven't experiments shown that some bacteria within a colony already have a pre-existing resistance to an antibiotic prior to exposure because of random mutations? Isn't this a way for advantageous mutations to become the norm?


Permalink | Les Lane | 06-04-2005 | 01:05 PM

Bill-

Creationists readily accept this (antibiotic resistance), but dismiss it as microevolution (trivial). We're dealing with people for whom the quotation at the bottom of your message is especially apt.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 02:26 PM

Hi guys - just checking in.

Walt Brown has asked me to thank Eric Burkhardt for pointing out (June 03, 2005, 12:52 P.M.) five words that Walt should have omitted. The words, "with or without God's help," will be permanently removed.

The words by Nobel laureate, George Wald, that
The reasonable view [during the two centuries before Louis –Pasteur] was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position.
do not inject a religious bias, but simply state a conclusion obvious to most people during the two centuries before Louis –Pasteur.

Walt firmly believes, as do almost all creation scientists, that religion does not belong in the public science classroom. Although the subject has important religious implications, only scientific evidence (for and against evolution) and their logical implications should enter the classroom. Religious aspects should be left for the home, private schools, church, synagogue, mosque, and, most importantly, the student's personal examination.


Permalink | Jack Krebs | 06-04-2005 | 02:36 PM

Hi FTK.

In a recent post here, RBH wrotee,

quote:
I'll comment on just one quotation from FTK's posting above:

quote:c. "...it is a perplexing evolutionary question how a population might move to a different local optimum without an intervening period of reduced fitness (adaptive valley)." Christine Queitsch, et al., “Hsp90 as a Capacitor of Phenotypic Variation,” Nature, Vol. 417, 6 June 2002, p. 623.

Just for the heck of it I went and read that paper. Not to my surprise, that turns out to be an instance of pure quote mining on Brown's part. The quotation comes from a paragraph in the Discussion section of that paper, and in the very next sentence Queitsch, et al., identify no fewer than three evolutionary mechanisms (genetic drift, compensatory mutations, and gene conversion) that answer that question, and in the next sentence after that the authors suggest that the mechanism (Hsp90 buffering) that the paper reports research about also can answer the question.

Whenever one sees a sentence like that in a scientific paper, there's a very good chance that it is a framing sentence, setting the stage to discuss solutions to the problem it describes. That's the case in this instance. Brown quotes the framing sentence but neglects to mention that the question is answered in the very same paragraph, thereby misleading his reader. That's called intellectual dishonesty. To be blunt, FTK, Brown is misleading you.

I would be interested in your reply to this. How do you defend such behaviour on Brown's part?


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 02:54 PM

Jack writes:

quote:
Hi FTK.

In a recent post here, RBH wrotee,

quote:

I'll comment on just one quotation from FTK's posting above:

quote:c. "...it is a perplexing evolutionary question how a population might move to a different local optimum without an intervening period of reduced fitness (adaptive valley)." Christine Queitsch, et al., “Hsp90 as a Capacitor of Phenotypic Variation,” Nature, Vol. 417, 6 June 2002, p. 623.

Just for the heck of it I went and read that paper. Not to my surprise, that turns out to be an instance of pure quote mining on Brown's part. The quotation comes from a paragraph in the Discussion section of that paper, and in the very next sentence Queitsch, et al., identify no fewer than three evolutionary mechanisms (genetic drift, compensatory mutations, and gene conversion) that answer that question, and in the next sentence after that the authors suggest that the mechanism (Hsp90 buffering) that the paper reports research about also can answer the question.

Whenever one sees a sentence like that in a scientific paper, there's a very good chance that it is a framing sentence, setting the stage to discuss solutions to the problem it describes. That's the case in this instance. Brown quotes the framing sentence but neglects to mention that the question is answered in the very same paragraph, thereby misleading his reader. That's called intellectual dishonesty. To be blunt, FTK, Brown is misleading you.

I would be interested in your reply to this. How do you defend such behaviour on Brown's part?

Jack & RBH,

I am NOT speaking for Dr. Brown, but I don’t find that quote misleading. The paper goes on to mention mechanisms that MAY help to answer the question, but it IS STILL A PERPLEXING EVOLUTIONARY QUESTION..... Don’t you think?? Those mechanisms mentioned have not been witnessed in regard to macroevolution have they? I may be way off here, so enlighten me. It’s a learning process.


Permalink | apple | 06-04-2005 | 04:02 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
I may be way off here, so enlighten me. It’s a learning process.

If you were honestly serious about actually learning the last thing you would be doing would be promoting a book that 'discounts' learning.
There is absolutely nothing besides frivolity in what I've read of Brown (thanks to contributions here).


Permalink | Jeremy Mohn | 06-04-2005 | 04:03 PM

quote:
forthekids asked:

The paper goes on to mention mechanisms that MAY help to answer the question, but it IS STILL A PERPLEXING EVOLUTIONARY QUESTION..... Don’t you think??

No, I don't think so. I must admit that when I first read Dr. Brown's category #2, I was mildly concerned that the "problem" he mentioned was indeed significant. I even referred to the "perplexing evolutionary question" in one of my previous posts.

Then I read the actual paper and realized that the question may have been perplexing at first, but authentic scientific research has uncovered some significant possible answers. In my opinion, a truly "perplexing" question would be one for which no viable answer has yet been proposed.

In the paper in question, Queitsch, et al. mention four possible answers that are supported by actual scientific research. For me, these proposed answers downgrade the question from "perplexing" to "intriguing."

FTK, why do you think Dr. Brown didn't bother to mention that there are at least four proposed answers to this supposedly "perplexing evolutionary question?"

quote:
Those mechanisms mentioned have not been witnessed in regard to macroevolution have they?
First, several people have pointed out that the micro/macro distinction is very slippery. If you insist on still using these terms, will you please address the issues raised by myself, KC, and Jason Meyers?

Second, I assume that Dr. Brown cited the paper in question to support his notion that the "optimal genetic machinery" seen in organisms today was created, not evolved. He then suggested that "rates of variation within a kind" increased enormously in the centuries after the flood because of environmental stresses like starvation. So, according to his own definitions, wouldn't these changes be an example of "microevolution" not "macroevolution?"

In addition, Queitsch, et al. would most likely tell you that the mechanisms they mention are "microevolutionary" mechanisms (as in generation-to-generation change in a gene pool).

You seem to be the only one suggesting that these mechanisms should have anything to do with "macroevolution." What makes you think that?


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 04:40 PM

apple writes,

quote:
If you were honestly serious about actually learning the last thing you would be doing would be promoting a book that 'discounts' learning.
apple,

Would you please refrain from remarks like this? This is a wonderful opportunity for learning, and Dr. Brown has agreed to participate.

If we are to honestly make an attempt to learn from this, we must be willing to look at both sides of the issues. That is what I am attempting to do. I am giving you all a chance to make your case against his work.

When you make statements that discount his integrity and credibility, please be very careful. You may find that when you read his rebuttal, you'd wish you'd have kept quiet. He may not be as dishonest as you think.

[edited per Liz's spell check]


Permalink | apple | 06-04-2005 | 05:12 PM

honesty is very important to me forthekids..

I don't think it is honest to create scientific rhetoric to discredit science and prove belief.

I can refrain from discussing that if you wish.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 05:39 PM

Jeremy,

Thank you for providing the paper by Queitsch, et al. That was very helpful.

I am sure that Dr. Brown will comment on the issues you've addressed. He will respond after the categories from Conclusion #1 have been offered.

I knew I could count on you for some appropriate dialogue.


Permalink | Glyn | 06-04-2005 | 09:03 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:


Walt firmly believes, as do almost all creation scientists, that religion does not belong in the public science classroom. Although the subject has important religious implications, only scientific evidence (for and against evolution) and their logical implications should enter the classroom. Religious aspects should be left for the home, private schools, church, synagogue, mosque, and, most importantly, the student's personal examination.

So Walt would not allow his book to be used as a text for Intelligent Design in public school?


Permalink | forthekids | 06-04-2005 | 09:48 PM

Glyn writes:

quote:
So Walt would not allow his book to be used as a text for Intelligent Design in public school?
No. His 7th edition includes religious issues.


Permalink | Glyn | 06-05-2005 | 06:04 AM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Glyn writes:
quote:
So Walt would not allow his book to be used as a text for Intelligent Design in public school?
No. His 7th edition includes religious issues.

That, at least, is good to know.

I am looking forward to his rebuttal to the scientists that have posted here.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-05-2005 | 08:09 AM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

3. Mendel's Laws

Mendel’s laws of genetics and their modern-day refinements explain almost all physical variations observed in living things. Mendel discovered that genes (units of heredity) are merely reshuffled from one generation to another. Different combinations are formed, not different genes. The different combinations produce many variations within each kind of life, such as in the dog family.
[See Figure 3 at http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences.html.]
A logical consequence of Mendel’s laws is that there are limits to such variation. (a) Breeding experiments(b)and common observations(c)also have confirmed these boundaries.
_________________________________________
a. Monroe W. Strickberger, Genetics , 2nd edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1976), p. 812.

-Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently proposed the theory of organic evolution slightly before Charles Darwin, was opposed to Mendel’s laws of genetics. Wallace knew Mendel’s experiments showed that the general characteristics of an organism remained within distinct boundaries. In a letter to Dr. Archdall Reid on 28 December 1909, Wallace wrote:

But on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions. James Marchant, Letters and Reminiscences (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916), p. 340.

b. "Every series of breeding experiments that has ever taken place has established a finite limit to breeding possibilities." Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong (New Haven, Connecticut: Ticknor and Fields, 1982), p. 55.

- "All competent biologists acknowledge the limited nature of the variation breeders can produce, although they do not like to discuss it much when grinding the evolutionary ax." William R. Fix, The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984), pp. 184–185.

- "A rule that all breeders recognize, is that there are fixed limits to the amount of change that can be produced." Lane P. Lester and Raymond G. Bohlin, The Natural Limits to Biological Change (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), p. 96.

- Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason(Ipswich, Massachusetts: Gambit, 1971), p. 36.

- William J. Tinkle, Heredity (Houston: St. Thomas Press, 1967), pp. 55–56.

c. "...the distinctions of specific forms and their not being blended together by innumerable transitional links, is a very obvious difficulty." Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 6th edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1927),
p. 322.

- "Indeed, the isolation and distinctness of different types of organisms and the existence of clear discontinuities in nature have been self-evident for centuries, even to non-biologists." Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory In Crisis (London: Burnett Books, 1985), p. 105.


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 09:14 AM

ftk cites Walt Brown citing Strickberger:

quote:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

3. Mendel's Laws

Mendel’s laws of genetics and their modern-day refinements explain almost all physical variations observed in living things. Mendel discovered that genes (units of heredity) are merely reshuffled from one generation to another. Different combinations are formed, not different genes. The different combinations produce many variations within each kind of life, such as in the dog family.
[See Figure 3 at http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences.html.]
A logical consequence of Mendel’s laws is that there are limits to such variation. (a) Breeding experiments(b)and common observations(c)also have confirmed these boundaries.
_________________________________________
a. Monroe W. Strickberger, Genetics , 2nd edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1976), p. 812.

Funny, but Strickberger, in his first edition, has Part II devoted to Change and Structure of Genetic Material. And what does he say at the beginning of this section (my emphasis)?

quote:
In our development of many of the principles considered up to now, we have assumed the constancy of genetic material during the period of observation. This has made it easier to derive the various genetic laws [which he does in his section on Mendel] without having to be concerned about unexplained changes that may occur in the midst of an experiment.. At the same time, however, we have seen that genetic differences exist, and it is these differences that provide the variation between individuals that furnishes the basis for the derivation of genetic laws. What kinds of genetic differences are theer and what are their origins?
Strickberger then devotes a chapter each to:

Chromosome Variation in Number

Changes in Chromosome Structure

Gene Mutations

Induced Genetic Changes


Then, in Part VI, Course of Genetic Material in Populations, he says this (my emphasis):

quote:
The genetic changes by which species adapt to their environments are the underlying structure of evolutionary progress. However, genetic opportunity at any one time is limited. The reason for this is that the cost of evolution to a population is probably high, especially if many gene changes are being selected simultaneously. It is, therefore, hardly surprising to find that many species become extinct because of changing environments to which they are unable to respond effectively. These evolutionary limitations extend also to the direction towards which a species is capable of evolving. For example, given their genetic architecture and the conditions under which they live, it is most unlikely that verterbrates could evolve insect forms and vice versa
.

So, when Strickberger was talking about limitations to variation, he was talking about constraints to evolution which are understood and pose no challenge at all to the theory of evolution in general. Walt Brown has quote mined this one passage without providing the extensive (and essential) context in which it was made.

KC


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 09:29 AM

ftk cites Walt Brown citing Merchant (my emphasis):

quote:
But on the general relation of Mendelism to Evolution I have come to a very definite conclusion. This is, that it has no relation whatever to the evolution of species or higher groups, but is really antagonistic to such evolution! The essential basis of evolution, involving as it does the most minute and all-pervading adaptation to the whole environment, is extreme and ever-present plasticity, as a condition of survival and adaptation. But the essence of Mendelian characters is their rigidity. They are transmitted without variation, and therefore, except by the rarest of accidents, can never become adapted to ever varying conditions. James Marchant, Letters and Reminiscences (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1916), p. 340.
RA Fisher's The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, one of the most influential works in biology of the 20th Century, dealt with this in 1929. Why is Walt citing such outdated material?

KC


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 09:44 AM

ftk cites Walt Brown citing Darwin:

quote:
c. "...the distinctions of specific forms and their not being blended together by innumerable transitional links, is a very obvious difficulty." Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 6th edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1927),
p. 322.

Funny how Brown cites Darwin stating the problem, but leaves out entirely his extensive answer to that problem. I find this quote mining tactic rampant anmong creationists, and extremely distasteful.

KC


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 10:49 AM

Curious about "Dr." Walt Brown, I asked Lenny Flank, listowner of the DebunkCreation list about him. Here's Lenny's terse answer:

quote:

He's an old YEC has-been who nobody pays any attention to any more.


Well, at least one person here does, evidently.


Permalink | EB | 06-05-2005 | 11:32 AM

Once again, I don't see ANY evidence that shows an outside creator doing the designing. This 3rd argument, once again, seems to be criticizing evolution only, without showing evidence for intelligent design "theory".

On another point, why is it that ID supporters so desparately want this so-called controversy taught in the public schools, when supposedly, such a controversy actually exists? In other words, if there is such a huge controversy, why would you want our children to work it out, rather than the scientific community?

It seems to me that the only reason ID supporters are wanting this in the public schools is to indoctrinate the children so that they grow up with a misunderstanding of true science, always skeptical of science. I'm not saying it's bad to question science, indeed, it should be highly incouraged, but you have to put some trust into it, especially the fundamentals, and work within the scientific method. I don't see that happening with Dr. Brown's work here. What I see is another attempt to create total mistrust of all science and the scientific method.

Eric


Permalink | Pete | 06-05-2005 | 11:39 AM

quote:
He's an old YEC has-been who nobody pays any attention to any more.

No disrespect to Lenny Flank

However, for the moment, several professionals on this forum ARE paying attention to Dr. Walt Brown.

This should not go unnoticed by Walt.

However, Walt should also be very careful about any future references. If they do not support his position he should state this up front. This is the standard by which scientists are measured. If this level of integrity and scholarship cannot be maintained. I for one will lose interest.

Personally I would also like to see some positive creation theories. Math making predictions that can be tested would be nice.

-- Pete


Permalink | Bill A | 06-05-2005 | 11:49 AM

quote:
quote:
He's an old YEC has-been who nobody pays any attention to any more.
Well, at least one person here does, evidently.
Liz,

I don't think bringing stuff like this up will be particularly helpful to the debate. We've been specifically asking Walt Brown to participate in this forum, so as Pete points out, at least several of us are paying attention to him now. FTK feels that Brown has strong evidence to support creationism, so let's see it.


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 12:38 PM

It is evident from the refutations of Brown's work that have already been posted here that he is completely off-base. It has also been pointed out that he quote-mines, which is dishonest.

Frankly, I don't know why anyone here IS bothering with Brown's arguments, especially when scientists' comments are being filtered through FTK to Brown, and he refuses to respond until certain of *his* conditions have been met.

I do not really believe Brown will post here. In my opinion, if he won't come here to talk about his ideas personally, then it is a waste of time to bother with them.

I'm not sure if FTK is part of Brown's organization, or what her particular interest is in acting as a front person for Brown, but I think the filter is unnecessary and irrelevant. Let Brown speak for himself.


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 12:56 PM

More misquoting from Walt Brown

quote:
“In a generous admission Francisco Ayala, a major figure in propounding the Modern Synthesis [neo-Darwinism] in the United States, said ‘We would not have predicted stasis [the stability of species over time] from population genetics, but I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate.’ ” Ibid., p. 884.
Yet, in a letter to Richard Arrowsmith, Ayala had this to say (my emphasis):

quote:
Dear Dr. Arrowsmith:
[please note that the "Dr" is Dr Ayala's error/assumption and I did not misrepresent my credentials!]
I don't know how Roger Lewin could have gotten in his notes the quotation he attributes to me. I presented a paper/lecture and spoke at various times from the floor, but I could not possibly have said (at least as a complete sentence) what Lewin attributes to me. In fact, I don't know what it means. How could small changes NOT accumulate! In any case, virtually all my evolutionary research papers evidence that small (genetic) changes do accumulate.
The paper that I presented at the conference reported by Lewin is virtually the same that I presented in 1982 in Cambridge, at a conference commemorating the 200 [sic] anniversary of Darwin's death. It deals with the claims of "punctuated equilibrium" and how microevolutionary change relates to macroevolution. (I provide experimental results showing how one can obtain in the laboratory, as a result of the accumulation of small genetic changes, morphological changes of the magnitude observed by paleontologists and presented as evidence of punctuated equilibrium.) The paper was published as part of the conference proceedings:
Ayala, F.J. 1983. Microevolution and macroevolution. In: D.S. Bendall, ed., Evolution from Molecules to Men (Cambridge University Press), pp. 387-402.

More accessible are two papers dealing with the same topic, written with my colleague G.L. Stebbins: Stebbins, G.L. and F.J. Ayala. 1981. Is a new evolutionary synthesis necessary? Science 213:967-971. (I quote from the abstract of the paper:
"Macroevolutionary processes are underlain by microevolutionary phenomena and are compatible with the synthetic theory of evolution." But, please, read the whole paper to get the wealth of results and ideas that we are discussing; and read also the following paper:

"Stebbins, G.L. and F.J. Ayala. 1985. The Evolution of Darwinism. Sci. American 253:72-82."
You may quote from this letter so long as you don't quote out of context or incomplete sentences.
Sincerely yours,
Francisco J. Ayala

From: Ayala Misquote


This is getting tiresome, I know, but how much more quote mining does it take before our creationist friends stop relying on Brown's shoddy scholarship to support their positions?

KC


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 01:17 PM

More Up-to-Date Information from Walt Brown

quote:
“Most mutants which arise in any organism are more or less disadvantageous to their possessors. The classical mutants obtained in Drosophila [the fruit fly] usually show deterioration, breakdown, or disappearance of some organs. Mutants are known which diminish the quantity or destroy the pigment in the eyes, and in the body reduce the wings, eyes, bristles, legs. Many mutants are, in fact, lethal to their possessors. Mutants which equal the normal fly in vigor are a minority, and mutants that would make a major improvement of the normal organization in the normal environments are unknown.” Theodosius Dobzhansky, Evolution, Genetics, and Man (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1955), p. 105.
Maybe Walt was planning to add this in his 8th Edition:

Schlenke, TA and DJ Begun (2004). Strong selective sweep associated with a transposon insertion in Drosophila simulans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(60: 1626-1631.

From the abstract:

quote:
In this study, we document the existence of a 100-kb chromosomal region that has extremely reduced heterozygosity in a Drosophila simulans population sample from California, but not in a sample from Africa, indicating the recent and geographically restricted sweep of a unique, beneficial mutation. Furthermore, we report the unusual observation of an intact transposable element in this region, which occurs at very high frequency in the California, but not Africa, sample. The transposon insertion is associated with increased transcript abundance of the downstream cytochrome P450 gene Cyp6g1. These data are consistent with the notion that the transposable element insertion is the beneficial mutation responsible for the selective sweep.
KC


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 01:26 PM

Still More from Brown


Brown quotes from one of ID's Golden Boys, Mike Behe:

quote:
“There has never been a meeting, or a book, or a paper on details of the evolution of complex biochemical systems.” Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box (New York: The Free Press, 1996), p. 179
Oh Really?


LOL


KC


Permalink | Bill A | 06-05-2005 | 01:29 PM

Hi Liz,

As I understood it, the premise of this thread was that Dr. Brown's evidence for creationism would be spelled out. So far that hasn't happened. Arguments against evolution don't provide evidence for creationism.

And you're right, the quote mining issue is very serious. I thought the exchanges would be more of the form of questions from people asking stuff like "How does that explanation of 'X' fit with what we know about 'Y'?" rather than of the form "I don't think that's what that reference really says."

Instead of this being a discussion of whatever pro-creation evidence there might be, I'm afraid we run the risk of this becoming an inadvertent book editing exercise. Perhaps that discussion is still to come.


Permalink | KC | 06-05-2005 | 01:34 PM

And the Beat Goes On

From Walt Brown's book:

quote:
. “... no human has ever seen a new species form in nature.” Steven M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1981), p. 73.
Oh Really?


KC


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 01:42 PM

Bill,

That's right. I had forgotten that the initial promise was there would be conclusive evidence for creation forthcoming "all in good time" from Walt Brown.

The quotes from his book do not provide that evidence-- as you said, they are criticisms of the supposed falsity of evolutionary science.

FTK seems to have some "in" with Brown, so maybe she can tell us when his "evidence for creation" will appear.

As I said before...

Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick...


Permalink | Glyn | 06-05-2005 | 03:33 PM

It's been such a busy weekend - but I made time to check and see Walt's rebuttal to the scientists here...still nothing.

Well, maybe this is why scientists don't like to waste time debating Creationists - the Creationists don't provide any evidence to defend their theory.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-05-2005 | 04:03 PM

Glyn & Liz - you have private messages.


Permalink | apple | 06-05-2005 | 05:00 PM

how long has this discussion been going on?

http://gondwanaresearch.com/hp/walt_brown.htm


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 05:04 PM

I don't see any private message. Maybe it'll turn up eventually.

But back to FTK's statement that she considers religion and science two separate issues. There we can agree.

So why is FTK not aware of the irony of her support for Walt Brown, who she assures us will provide "scientific evidence for creation???" The moment you say the word "creation," you're in religious territory.

I scanned some pages from his book, and every page has some vage nonscientific verbiage, followed by some Bible verse that purports to support it. I would say Walt does not share FTK's view that science and religion are separate topics at all.

And I don't get FTK's statement that scientists change their religious beliefs to fit their science. I'm not sure how FTK knows the religious beliefs of every scientist on this forum. ESP?


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 05:29 PM

Forum members:

FTK sent me a private message asking me to "chill," because certain people were taking her challenge seriously -- to answer Brown's ridiculous claims -- and she didn't want anybody to be discouraged from participating by my "nonsense.:"

Here's my reply, and Jack, I'm sorry, but I don't believe there is anything insulting about the following. It is an expression of the complete frustration I feel with Walt Brown's "fine work" being taken seriously by anyone, and by FTK telling me how to behave.


A few questions for you, FTK:

What's your connection with Walt Brown?

What do you personally hope to get out of conducting this exercise?

And why won't he come to the forums himself right now?

It sounds to me as if he wants to get his book edited for free by people on this forum. I resent your bringing this nonscientific nonsense in here and calling it "fine" work. If you read it with any understanding of science, you would realize the only "fine" things he's done are some exceptional quote-mining and distortions of reality.

The American Scientific Affiliation (an organization of scientists who are Christians) has been trying since the 30s to get Christians to quit promoting Flood Geology (which Brown evidently believes in) because it is so clearly wrong. They understandably worried that preposterous, non-scientific claims by scientists would damage Christian faith and harm the reputations of scientists who were Christians.

Of course, Walt is not a scientist, he's a mechanical engineer. He is certainly no danger to science, but the things he and others like him do, I believe, are a danger to religious faith.

And by the way, don't tell me how to behave. You behave, and quit playing games. Get Walt over here. Bet you a nickel we never see him at all.


Permalink | apple | 06-05-2005 | 05:40 PM




Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 05:43 PM

From Walt's website:

Animation:
Those who have QuickTime installed on their computer can see a 5-minute animation of the Hydroplate Theory at

http://www.thetaxpayerschannel.org/graphics/creation/fonte23.mov


Permalink | Glyn | 06-05-2005 | 11:03 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Liz Craig:
Forum members:

FTK sent me a private message asking me to "chill," because certain people were taking her challenge seriously -- to answer Brown's ridiculous claims -- and she didn't want anybody to be discouraged from participating by my "nonsense.:"

Here's my reply, and Jack, I'm sorry, but I don't believe there is anything insulting about the following. It is an expression of the complete frustration I feel with Walt Brown's "fine work" being taken seriously by anyone, and by FTK telling me how to behave. .

LOL - I got one, too. Called my posts "venom". I didn't think I posted anything on this thread that came close...just asked where the absent Mr Brown was.

The fact is - FTK claims to be some sort of manequin, through which Walt speaks - but none of us know if she is pulling our leg - or not.

If Walt is waiting to make some grand entrance - do it already.

Otherwise - I think FTK is fabricating this whole thing.

I want to see a post from Brown and a confirmation from Jack of the location of the IP.

There are some real scientists here who have put forth some VERY intelligent evidence. And it is NOT religious.

To Walt Brown:

If you have any integrity at all - and you ARE communicating through FTK - quit hiding behind her skirts and debate the gentlemen that you baited on your site.

You set forth the challenge - they have risen to it - ony to have you hide in the corner.

Can you substantiate your Creationist claims?

Or are you going to refuse to stand up and intelligently discuss your theory?

What would Jesus think? You denying Him, and all?


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-05-2005 | 11:33 PM

quote:

apple writes,

quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you were honestly serious about actually learning the last thing you would be doing would be promoting a book that 'discounts' learning.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
apple,
Would you please refrain from remarks like this? This is a wonderful opportunity for learning, and Dr. Brown has agreed to participate.

If we are to honestly make an attempt to learn from this, we must be willing to look at both sides of the issues. That is what I am attempting to do. I am giving you all a chance to make your case against his work.

When you make statements that discount his integrity and credibility, please be very careful. You may find that when you read his rebuttle [sic], you'd wish you'd have kept quite [sic]. He may not be as dishonest as you think.

Oh, he may not be as dishonest as I think? LOL!

Well, I may be mistaken in thinking he is extremely dishonest. How dishonest is he?

• Very?
• Somewhat?
• Neither honest nor dishonest?
• Somewhat honest?
• Very honest?

You say you know the man. Choose one.

I will not apologize for my opinion that extensive quote-mining and promoting nonscientific claptrap as science constitute dishonesty.

On the other hand, maybe he is not dishonest but sincerely believes what he writes. In that case, he is deluded.

Walt Brown: Dishonest or deluded? Which do you think, FTK?


Permalink | forthekids | 06-05-2005 | 11:51 PM

Hey, Liz, thanks for the spell check. That was helpful. Changes were made accordingly. [Smile] Hey, BTW, how do you make those bullets on this forum? Haven't figured that one out yet.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-06-2005 | 07:22 AM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

4. Bounded Variations

While Mendel’s laws give a theoretical explanation for why variations are limited, broad experimental verification also exists.(a) For example, if evolution happened, organisms (such as bacteria) that quickly produce the most offspring should have the most variations and mutations. Natural selection would then select the more favorable changes, allowing organisms with those traits to survive, reproduce, and pass on their beneficial genes. Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring. We see the opposite. In general, more complex organisms, such as humans, have fewer offspring and longer reproduction cycles.(b) Again, variations within existing organisms appear to be bounded.

Organisms that occupy the most diverse environments in the greatest numbers for the longest times should also, according to evolution, have the greatest potential for evolving new features and species. Microbes falsify this prediction as well. Their numbers per species are astronomical, and they are dispersed throughout practically all the world’s environments. Nevertheless, the number of microbial species are relatively few.(c) New features apparently don’t evolve.
__________________________________________________
a. "...the discovery of the Danish scientist W.L. Johannsen that the more or less constant somatic variations upon which Darwin and Wallace had placed their emphasis in species change cannot be selectively pushed beyond a certain point, that such variability does not contain the secret of 'indefinite departure'." Loren Eiseley, Darwin's Century (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1958), p. 227.

b. "The awesome morphological complexity of organisms such as vertebrates that have far fewer individuals on which selection can act therefore remains somewhat puzzling (for me at least), despite the geological time scales available..." Peter R. Sheldon, “Complexity Still Running,” Nature , Vol. 350, 14 March 1991, p. 104.

c. Bland J. Finlay, “Global Dispersal of Free-Living Microbial Eukaryote Species,” Science, Vol. 296, 10 May 2002, pp. 1061–1063.


Permalink | apple | 06-06-2005 | 08:36 AM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed


What is that supposed to mean? People do not live long enough to actually observe it, but the simple fact that there is more than one single type of organism suggests otherwise. Is that what our children would be taught if ID ideas were interspersed amongst education?

Here is a website that suggests that evolution is bunk.

http://www.evolutionfantasy.org/

Here is a quote from that website that I feel is totally bunkish.

"Even though the fantasy of organic evolution is dead, completely discredited, totally unscientific, and without any evidence or basis in fact, the notion continues to be published in textbooks and taught by teachers following after the error of Balaam and disobeying God's Word. "They are not only dead, but doubly dead. . . They wander around looking as bright stars, but ahead of them is everlasting gloom and darkness that God has prepared for them" (Jude 12-13 TLB). And, the students they teach are burdened with false information about creation and the truth of God's Word."

Maybe Brown's book would be a hit there. It certainly does not seem to going over too good here.

In property taxes alone, we contribute 700$ to public education in Kansas. (Of course education receives funding from Federal, state and other local sources. Altho I send my children to Catholic School, I certainly want to have a say in the quality of education we offer children. Our future depends on steps we take today. I think it is imperative that at least we do not teach untruth. (I realize FTK that you and others believe that science is not true....)


Permalink | KC | 06-06-2005 | 09:41 AM

ftk cites Walt Brown:

quote:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

4. Bounded Variations

While Mendel’s laws give a theoretical explanation for why variations are limited, broad experimental verification also exists.(a) For example, if evolution happened, organisms (such as bacteria) that quickly produce the most offspring should have the most variations and mutations. Natural selection would then select the more favorable changes, allowing organisms with those traits to survive, reproduce, and pass on their beneficial genes. Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring. We see the opposite. In general, more complex organisms, such as humans, have fewer offspring and longer reproduction cycles.(b) Again, variations within existing organisms appear to be bounded.

Organisms that occupy the most diverse environments in the greatest numbers for the longest times should also, according to evolution, have the greatest potential for evolving new features and species. Microbes falsify this prediction as well. Their numbers per species are astronomical, and they are dispersed throughout practically all the world’s environments. Nevertheless, the number of microbial species are relatively few.

:::deep sigh:::

Walt is apparently unaware that the concept of species for asexual organisms is radically different than that for sexual organisms:


Cohan FM (2002). What are bacterial species? Annu Rev Microbiol 56:457-487.

Here's the abstract (my emphasis):

quote:
Bacterial systematics has not yet reached a consensus for defining the fundamental unit of biological diversity, the species. The past half-century of bacterial systematics has been characterized by improvements in methods for demarcating species as phenotypic and genetic clusters, but species demarcation has not been guided by a theory-based concept of species. Eukaryote systematists have developed a universal concept of species: A species is a group of organisms whose divergence is capped by a force of cohesion; divergence between different species is irreversible; and different species are ecologically distinct. In the case of bacteria, these universal properties are held not by the named species of systematics but by ecotypes. These are populations of organisms occupying the same ecological niche, whose divergence is purged recurrently by natural selection. These ecotypes can be discovered by several universal sequence-based approaches. These molecular methods suggest that a typical named species contains many ecotypes, each with the universal attributes of species. A named bacterial species is thus more like a genus
Don't be led astray here: Walt Brown is comparing apples and oranges.

KC


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-06-2005 | 10:26 AM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

4. Bounded Variations

While Mendel’s laws give a theoretical explanation for why variations are limited, broad experimental verification also exists.(a) For example, if evolution happened, organisms (such as bacteria) that quickly produce the most offspring should have the most variations and mutations. Natural selection would then select the more favorable changes, allowing organisms with those traits to survive, reproduce, and pass on their beneficial genes. Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring. We see the opposite. In general, more complex organisms, such as humans, have fewer offspring and longer reproduction cycles.(b) Again, variations within existing organisms appear to be bounded.

Organisms that occupy the most diverse environments in the greatest numbers for the longest times should also, according to evolution, have the greatest potential for evolving new features and species. Microbes falsify this prediction as well. Their numbers per species are astronomical, and they are dispersed throughout practically all the world’s environments. Nevertheless, the number of microbial species are relatively few.(c) New features apparently don’t evolve.
__________________________________________________
a. "...the discovery of the Danish scientist W.L. Johannsen that the more or less constant somatic variations upon which Darwin and Wallace had placed their emphasis in species change cannot be selectively pushed beyond a certain point, that such variability does not contain the secret of 'indefinite departure'." Loren Eiseley, Darwin's Century (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1958), p. 227.

b. "The awesome morphological complexity of organisms such as vertebrates that have far fewer individuals on which selection can act therefore remains somewhat puzzling (for me at least), despite the geological time scales available..." Peter R. Sheldon, “Complexity Still Running,” Nature , Vol. 350, 14 March 1991, p. 104.

c. Bland J. Finlay, “Global Dispersal of Free-Living Microbial Eukaryote Species,” Science, Vol. 296, 10 May 2002, pp. 1061–1063.

Brown is making things up. There's no need for high reproductive rate to be associated with more mutation.

We can also point out that there are more species of bacteria than of any other group of organisms. The biomass and species diversity of bacteria is truly stunning, and the fact that he failed to do the basic research to figure that out is laughable.

While the amount of variation possible from a parent to child is limited, the amount possible from parent to grandchild is at least twice as large, and so forth. Phylogenetic constraints explain the absence of six legged horses as well as the incredible diversity that has taken place within the mammals (~5,000 species).

Is our job here to fact-check his nonsense or to discuss it? There's not a lot of discussion from his side.


Permalink | KC | 06-06-2005 | 11:07 AM

I just noticed this... serves me right. When Walt Brown talks about there being relatively few microbial species, he references an article that refers to a distribution of eukaryotic microbial species. Bacteria are prokaryotic, guys, not eukaryotic. I may be able to take a look at this article tonight (Monday is my library night) to make sure the author's exact quote was referring to eukaryotic microbial species.

KC


Permalink | EB | 06-06-2005 | 11:28 AM

forthekids wrote:

quote:
Talked with Walt Brown just now, and he is willing to respond in detail to your best shot for each of the nine conclusions.
FtK: you wrote this before starting this thread.

When do you expect the responses will begin?

Or is this just a free proofreading exercise for the next edition?

Eric

PS. I still don't see any evidence of intelligent design. From what most of the respondents are saying, this is obviously just misleadingly attempting to poke holes in the theory of evolution.


Permalink | Jason Meyers, PhD | 06-06-2005 | 11:56 AM

quote:
Therefore, organisms that have allegedly evolved the most should have short reproduction cycles and many offspring.

I just can't let this pass.

First of all, which organisms have evolved "the most"? All species in existance today are evolved. Each is trying to fit their own niche. Just because humans have the biggest brain doesn't mean we are most evolved. Other species hear better, see better, move faster, live in environments we cannot, etc.

Second, the author needs to learn about r-selected and K-selected reproduction. Basically, all species have to choose somewhere on the continuum of "make as many offspring as you can" (r-selection) and "care as best you can for the offspring you have" (K-selection). Mammals, due to the need to nourish their young, cannot have 100+ offspring per day like the fish I work on. Zebrafish dump out thousands of times the offspring and just entrust them to the law of averages with no prenatal or postnatal care necessary (not to mention eating many of their offspring themselves).

Is one strategy better or worse? No, it depends on the life history, environment, etc. of the species.

Humans are one of the most K-selected species, and it has been argued that the increased parental contact is at least part of why we have the intelligence we have. Notably, we are becoming even more K-selected, a trend that leads to sub-replacement levels in some populations.

Finally, the article "Global Dispersal of Free-Living Microbial Eukaryote Species" by Findlay cited by Dr. Brown [(c) below] is completely misinterpreted (shocking, I know).

quote:

Organisms that occupy the most diverse environments in the greatest numbers for the longest times should also, according to evolution, have the greatest potential for evolving new features and species. Microbes falsify this prediction as well. Their numbers per species are astronomical, and they are dispersed throughout practically all the world’s environments. Nevertheless, the number of microbial species are relatively few.(c) New features apparently don’t evolve.

From the article
quote:
If ubiquitous dispersal is typical of most (if not all) microbial eukaryotes, we would expect relatively low global species richness.
To try to summarize the article, because individual species of microbial eukaryotes are present almost everywhere, there is less pressure for speciation. These microbes are well adapted to live in almost every environment that has been examined, so there isn't any geographical isolation (which is a key part of speciation) or need to develop alternative life strategies for different environments, thus less need and less ability for speciation.

This is exactly contrary to what Dr. Brown claims evolution teaches. He simply takes the information that there are fewer species of protozoa than insects and draws his own expectations claiming that they disprove evolution when the paper shows exactly why the evidence supports evolution and selection.

I'm tiring of this shoddy research, forthekids. Are you noticing a trend? Quotes unsupported by data (or even the uncited rest of the quote). "Evidence" which is nearly the opposite of what is claimed. And still no positive predications of his own?

Do us a favor, and before you post more from Dr. Brown, try to look closely at the claims. If you live near a university library try to find the articles or books he cites and see for yourself how badly he is manipulating quotes and evidence.

I'd also really like to hear your thoughts on everything that we've been posting. You've said that you read them and that Dr. Brown will be replying at the end, but what is your brain telling you? Forget about religion (since you want to consider them separately) and look at the science Dr. Brown is claiming versus what the rest of us are showing from the primary literature. What is this telling you? What does your own critical-thinking skill tell you?


Permalink | Jim Swan | 06-06-2005 | 12:19 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

Before considering how life began, we must first understand the term “organic evolution.” Organic evolution, as theorized, is a naturally occurring, beneficial change that produces increasing and inheritable complexity. Increased complexity would be shown if the offspring of one form of life had a different and improved set of vital organs. This is sometimes called the molecules-to-man theory——or macroevolution. [See Figure 4 at
http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences2.html#wp1090370]


Evolution neither assumes that changes are 'beneficial' nor that they increase complexity. Being 'beneficial' depends among other things upon the circumstances: what is beneficial in one situation may not be in another. When a change is beneficial, if it increases the likelihood of reproductive success, then that change may be more likely to be retained. Likewise, evolutionary change may lead to greater complexity, depending on one's definition of 'complexity,' but need not do so. For example, the loss of eyes among cave-dwelling organisms might well be described as involving loss of complexity; but the change is nevertheless an example of natural selection.



Microevolution, on the other hand, does not involve increasing complexity. It involves changes only in size, shape, color, or minor genetic alterations caused by a few mutations. Macroevolution requires thousands of “just right” mutations. Microevolution can be thought of as “horizontal” change, whereas macroevolution, if it were ever observed, would involve an “upward,” beneficial change in complexity. Notice that microevolution plus time will not produce macroevolution. [micro + time … macro]


And here's one of your problems: you want to be able to define terms for science. You cannot. Setting up paper scientists and then knocking them down may be fun for you; but it has nothing to do with how science works.


Creationists and evolutionists agree that microevolution occurs.


Actually, Creationists, including ID advocates, often make this claim; but it is often preperatory to disputing even 'minor changes.' I no longer believe Creos' claims to accept "microevolution." You lie too much for me to accept your integrity.


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-06-2005 | 12:33 PM

Here's an interesting reply I got from "Peggy" at Walt's organization when I wrote to ask when Brown was going to show up here and start defending his nonsense:

quote:

Ms. Craig,

You may not have read the notice posted at the KCFS web site (on 3 June,
2005, 10:57 AM) that Dr. Brown agrees to "respond in detail to the best
shots to each of his nine conclusions." Relax, keep an open mind, smile,
and read carefully.

Dr. Brown is looking forward to posting his responses when all 16
categories of evidence supporting his first conclusion are presented. So
far, people in the KCFS chat room have only examined 4 categories of
evidence (out of 133). What he agreed to will happen in due course, Ms Craig.

Walt Brown does not need "to rely on a fan" to defend his book.

Thank you for your concern.

Peggy
CSC

So in other words, as soon as you scientists have done all Walt's homework for him on 133 different topics, he will be only too glad to show up here and talk to you.

The Great Oz has spoken.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-06-2005 | 01:50 PM

Peggy writes:

quote:
Dr. Brown is looking forward to posting his responses when all 16 categories of evidence supporting his first conclusion are presented.
Liz writes:
quote:
So in other words, as soon as you scientists have done all Walt's homework for him on 133 different topics, he will be only too glad to show up here and talk to you.
No Liz, use your reading comprehension skills here. After 16 categories are offered to the forum members, Dr. Brown will respond. Then we will move on to the categories of the next conclusion. He will make a total of 9 responses, one for each conclusion. There will be more to come in regard to how this will proceed. I’ve contacted Jack, and await his reply.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-06-2005 | 04:28 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Peggy writes:
quote:
Dr. Brown is looking forward to posting his responses when all 16 categories of evidence supporting his first conclusion are presented.
Liz writes:
quote:
So in other words, as soon as you scientists have done all Walt's homework for him on 133 different topics, he will be only too glad to show up here and talk to you.
No Liz, use your reading comprehension skills here. After 16 categories are offered to the forum members, Dr. Brown will respond. Then we will move on to the categories of the next conclusion. He will make a total of 9 responses, one for each conclusion. There will be more to come in regard to how this will proceed. I’ve contacted Jack, and await his reply.

I'm increasingly unsatisfied with the structure of this.

If Brown wants us to respond to him, he can't just pop in here and there, depositing a steaming pile of new material, and leave us to clean it up. If he wants engagement, let him engage. If he wants to play games, let him head for the swingset.


Permalink | Glyn | 06-06-2005 | 06:42 PM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
After 16 categories are offered to the forum members, Dr. Brown will respond. Then we will move on to the categories of the next conclusion. He will make a total of 9 responses, one for each conclusion. There will be more to come in regard to how this will proceed. I’ve contacted Jack, and await his reply.

Then post all 16 categories NOW. The scientists here can read through them, as we all can, and then respond.

This game of 'wait and see' or 'hide and seek' is silly and childish. What kind of games is this man into???

Brown is looking for an excuse NOT to come here. If everyone gets impatient and writes him off - he thinks he will be able to 'bow out'.

Not a chance.

Post all categories.

The ball's in Brown court. But it looks like he's gonna whiff.


Permalink | apple | 06-06-2005 | 08:17 PM

don't hold your breath..

http://gondwanaresearch.com/hp/walt_brown.htm


Permalink | Liz Craig | 06-06-2005 | 10:19 PM

FTK writes:

quote:

Dr. Brown is looking forward to posting his responses when all 16
categories of evidence supporting his first conclusion are presented. So
far, people in the KCFS chat room have only examined 4 categories of
evidence (out of 133). What he agreed to will happen in due course, Ms Craig.

She tells me to brush up on my reading skills to understand that she did not mean 133 categories, though she specifically said 133 categories above.

Again:

quote:


4 categories of evidence (out of 133)


Brush up on your writing skills, FTK. Which is it, 16 categories or 133?

Never mind. Whatever the number, it's too many. Get Walt over here or quit posting his stuff and trying to manipulate scientists into obeying your rules to participate in a "learning experience." For whom, I might ask?


Permalink | forthekids | 06-07-2005 | 07:29 AM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

5. Natural Selection

An offspring of a plant or animal has characteristics that vary, often in subtle ways, from its “parents.” Because of the environment, genetics, and chance circumstances, some of these offspring will reproduce more than others. So a species with certain characteristics will tend, on average, to have more “children.” In this sense, nature “selects” genetic characteristics suited to an environment—and, more importantly, eliminates unsuitable genetic variations. Therefore, an organism’s gene pool is constantly decreasing. This is called natural selection.(a)

Notice, natural selection cannot produce new genes; it only selects among preexisting characteristics. As the word “selection” implies, variations are reduced, not increased.(b)

For example, many mistakenly believe that insect or bacterial resistances evolved in response to pesticides and antibiotics. Instead,
*a previously lost capability was reestablished, making it appear something evolved,(c)
*a mutation reduced the binding ability, regulatory function, or transport capacity of certain proteins,
*a damaging bacterial mutation or variation reduced the antibiotic’s effectiveness even more,(d)or
*a few resistant insects and bacteria were already present when the pesticides and antibiotics were first applied. When the vulnerable insects and bacteria were killed, resistant varieties had less competition and, therefore, proliferated.(e)
While natural selection occurred, nothing evolved and, in fact, some biological diversity was lost.

The variations Darwin observed among finches on different Galapagos islands is another example of natural selection producing micro- (not macro-) evolution. While natural selection sometimes explains the survival of the fittest, it does not explain the origin of the fittest.(f) Today, some people think that because natural selection occurs, evolution must be correct. Actually, natural selection prevents major evolutionary changes.(g)
_______________________________________________________________
a. In 1835 and again in 1837, Edward Blyth, a creationist, published an explanation of natural selection. Later, Charles Darwin adopted it as the foundation for his theory, evolution by natural selection. Darwin failed to credit Blyth for his important insight. [See evolutionist Loren C. Eiseley, Darwin and the Mysterious Mr. X (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1979), pp. 45–80.]

Darwin also largely ignored Alfred Russel Wallace, who had independently proposed the theory that is usually credited solely to Darwin. In 1855, Wallace published the theory of evolution in a brief note in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, a note that Darwin read. Again, on 9 March 1858, Wallace explained the theory in a letter to Darwin, 20 months before Darwin finally published his more detailed theory of evolution.

Edward Blyth also showed why natural selection would limit an organism’s characteristics to only slight deviations from those of all its ancestors. Twenty-four years later, Darwin tried to refute Blyth’s explanation in a chapter in The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (24 November 1859).

Darwin felt that, with enough time, gradual changes could accumulate. Charles Lyell’s writings (1830) had persuaded Darwin that the earth was at least hundreds of thousands of years old. James Hutton’s writings (1788) had convinced Lyell that the earth was extremely old. Hutton felt that certain geological formations supported an old earth. Those geological formations are explained, not by time, but by a global flood. [See pages 84–225 of In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood .]

*“ Darwin was confronted by a genuinely unusual problem. The mechanism, natural selection, by which he hoped to prove the reality of evolution, had been written about most intelligently by a nonevolutionist [Edward Blyth] . Geology, the time world which it was necessary to attach to natural selection in order to produce [hopefully] the mechanism of organic change, had been beautifully written upon by a man [Charles Lyell] who had publicly repudiated the evolutionary position .” Eiseley, p. 76.

*Charles Darwin also plagiarized in other instances. [See Jerry Bergman, “Did Darwin Plagiarize His Evolution Theory?” Technical Journal , Vol. 16, No. 3, 2002, pp. 58–63.]

b. “[Natural selection] may have a stabilizing effect, but it does not promote speciation. It is not a creative force as many people have suggested .” Daniel Brooks, as quoted by Roger Lewin, “A Downward Slope to Greater Diversity,” Science , Vol. 217, 24 September 1982, p. 1240.

*“ The essence of Darwinism lies in a single phrase: natural selection is the creative force of evolutionary change. No one denies that natural selection will play a negative role in eliminating the unfit. Darwinian theories require that it create the fit as well. Stephen Jay Gould, “The Return of Hopeful Monsters,” Natural History, Vol. 86, June–July 1977, p. 28.

c. G. Z. Opadia-Kadima, “How the Slot Machine Led Biologists Astray,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 124, 1987, pp. 127–135.

d. Eric Penrose, “Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics—A Case of Un-Natural Selection,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 35, September 1998, pp. 76–83.

e. Well-preserved bodies of members of the Franklin expedition, frozen in the Canadian Arctic in 1845, contain bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Because the first antibiotics were developed in the early 1940s, these resistant bacteria could not have evolved in response to antibiotics. Contamination has been eliminated as a possibility. [See Rick McGuire, “Eerie: Human Arctic Fossils Yield Resistant Bacteria,” Medical Tribune, 29 December 1988, p. 1.]

*“ The genetic variants required for resistance to the most diverse kinds of pesticides were apparently present in every one of the populations exposed to these man-made compounds.” Francisco J. Ayala, “The Mechanisms of Evolution,” Scientific American, Vol. 239, September 1978, p. 65.

f. “ Darwin complained his critics did not understand him, but he did not seem to realize that almost everybody, friends, supporters and critics, agreed on one point, his natural selection cannot account for the origin of the variations, only for their possible survival. And the reasons for rejecting Darwin's proposal were many, but first of all that many innovations cannot possibly come into existence through accumulation of many small steps, and even if they can, natural selection cannot accomplish it, because incipient and intermediate stages are not advantageous.” Søren Løvtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (New York: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 274–275.

It was a shock to the people of the 19th century when they discovered, from observations science had made, that many features of the biological world could be ascribed to the elegant principle of natural selection. It is a shock to us in the twentieth century to discover, from observations science has made, that the fundamental mechanisms of life cannot be ascribed to natural selection, and therefore were designed. But we must deal with our shock as best we can and go on. The theory of undirected evolution is already dead, but the work of science continues .” Michael J. Behe, “Molecular Machines,” Cosmic Pursuit , Spring 1998, p. 35.

g. In 1980, the “Macroevolution Conference” was held in Chicago. Roger Lewin, writing for Science, described it as a "turning point in the history of evolutionary theory." He went on to say:
The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No. Roger Lewin, “ Evolution Theory under Fire,” Science , Vol. 210, 21 November 1980, p. 883.

In a generous admission Fransciso Ayala, a major figure in propounding the Modern Synthesis [neo-Darwinism] in the United States, said 'We would not have predicted stasis [the stability of species over time] from population genetics, but I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate ” Ibid., p. 884.

As stated earlier, micro + time /= macro. (/= represents not equal - forum glitch)

*“One could argue at this point that such ‘minor’ changes [microevolution], extrapolated over millions of years, could result in macroevolutionary change. But the observational evidence will not support this argument … [examples given] Thus, the changes observed in the laboratory are not analogous to the sort of changes needed for macroevolution. Those who argue from microevolution to macroevolution may be guilty, then, of employing a false analogy—especially when one considers that microevolution may be a force of stasis [stability] , not transformation.
… For those who must describe the history of life as a purely natural phenomenon, the winnowing action of natural selection is truly a difficult problem to overcome. For scientists who are content to describe accurately those processes and phenomena which occur in nature (in particular, stasis), natural selection acts to prevent major evolutionary change.
” Michael Thomas, “Stasis Considered,” Origins Research, Vol. 12, Fall/Winter 1989, p. 11.


Permalink | EB | 06-07-2005 | 09:13 AM

I've lost track. Is this number 5 or 6? How many of these are there? 16?

(imagine a whiny, childlike voice): Are we there, yet?

Ho hum...

Please excuse the previous humorous interlude --- it adds nothing to the discussion at hand.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-07-2005 | 09:20 AM

Sorry Eric, #5, edited accordingly.


Permalink | csadams | 06-07-2005 | 09:25 AM

I guess I'm getting lost again -
how is this direct evidence for the hydroplate theory?

This just seems to be S^2 D^2 - trying to poke holes in evolution.

csa


Permalink | apple | 06-07-2005 | 09:26 AM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

Today, some people think that because natural selection occurs, evolution must be correct. Actually, natural selection prevents major evolutionary changes.(g)

ok - well I disagree.


Permalink | Jason Meyers, PhD | 06-07-2005 | 11:23 AM

I, like Dr. Brown, will refrain from replying further until all of the claims have been posted.
It's clear that the work is shoddy, so we might as well wait until the entire flow of the argument is out there to detail it's flaws.


Permalink | KC | 06-07-2005 | 11:33 AM

quote:
f. “ Darwin complained his critics did not understand him, but he did not seem to realize that almost everybody, friends, supporters and critics, agreed on one point, his natural selection cannot account for the origin of the variations, only for their possible survival. And the reasons for rejecting Darwin's proposal were many, but first of all that many innovations cannot possibly come into existence through accumulation of many small steps, and even if they can, natural selection cannot accomplish it, because incipient and intermediate stages are not advantageous.” Søren Løvtrup, Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (New York: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 274–275.
Why must every step have to be advantageous? Why can't some just be neutral?

KC


Permalink | KC | 06-07-2005 | 11:34 AM

quote:
“ In a generous admission Fransciso Ayala, a major figure in propounding the Modern Synthesis [neo-Darwinism] in the United States, said 'We would not have predicted stasis [the stability of species over time] from population genetics, but I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate ” Ibid., p. 884.
Ayala never said this. A flagrant misquote. Next.

KC


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-07-2005 | 01:07 PM

I'm tempted to join Brown and Meyers. Brown quotes selectively and incorrectly. If this means he reads selectively and incorrectly, there's no point arguing with him (he's too ill-informed for the debate to be useful for people in the middle), and if he's doing that out of dishonesty, there's no point engaging in honest debate with him.

He incorrectly states that natural selection is always stabilizing, but he's wrong. It is frequently stabilizing (infant mortality is much more common in unusually large and unusually small humans), but it can also be direction, or divisive.

Again, if he's spent any time with a basic textbook in biology, he knows that. If he says it anyway, he's a liar, and if he hasn't spent the time in the literature, he's not qualified for the debate. If he has an actual disagreement about directional selection, let him make his case.

He'll lose, because directional natural selection has been documented in the wild and in the lab.


Permalink | KC | 06-07-2005 | 01:17 PM

quote:
g. In 1980, the “Macroevolution Conference” was held in Chicago. Roger Lewin, writing for Science, described it as a "turning point in the history of evolutionary theory." He went on to say:
The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No. Roger Lewin, “ Evolution Theory under Fire,” Science , Vol. 210, 21 November 1980, p. 883.

Why do creationists ALWAYS stop here and leave out the rest of the paragraph?

quote:
WHat is not so clear, however, is whether microevolution can be decoupled from macroevolution. The two can more probably be seen as a continuum with a notable overlap".
Of course, the article deals mostly with Punctuated Equlibria, which even its originators--Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge--admit is Ernst Mayr's (about as staunch a Darwinian as you can get) allopatric speciation model expressed in paleontological terms.

KC


Permalink | Pete | 06-07-2005 | 01:37 PM

My interest in this exercise has ended

-- Pete


Permalink | Glyn | 06-07-2005 | 05:53 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Jason Meyers, PhD:
I, like Dr. Brown, will refrain from replying further until all of the claims have been posted.
It's clear that the work is shoddy, so we might as well wait until the entire flow of the argument is out there to detail it's flaws.

I think that's fair, although I eagerly await your posts since they are so in-depth, and written in such a way as to be fascinating. So far - Brown's stuff has not made a lot of sense - but yours has.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-08-2005 | 06:35 AM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

6. Mutations

Mutations are the only known means by which new genetic material becomes available for evolution.(a) Rarely, if ever, is a mutation beneficial to an organism in its natural environment. Almost all observable mutations are harmful; some are meaningless; many are lethal.(b) No known mutation has ever produced a form of life having greater complexity and viability than its ancestors.(c)
______________________________________
a. “Ultimately, all variation is, of course, due to mutation.” Ernst Mayr,
“Evolutionary Challenges to the Mathematical Interpretation of Evolution,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, proceedings of a symposium held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 25–26 April, 1966 (Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute Press, 1967), p. 50.

*“Although mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, it is a relatively rare event,…” Ayala, p. 63.

b. “The process of mutation is the only known source of the raw materials of genetic variability, and hence of evolution. … the mutants which arise are, with rare exceptions, deleterious to their carriers, at least in the environments which the species normally encounters.” Theodosius Dobzhansky, “On Methods of Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology,” American Scientist, December 1957,
p. 385.

* “Accordingly, mutations are more than just sudden changes in heredity; they also affect viability, and, to the best of our knowledge, invariably affect it adversely.” C. P. Martin, “A Non- Geneticist Looks at Evolution,” American Scientist, January 1953, p. 102.

* “Mutation does produce hereditary changes, but the mass of evidence shows that all, or almost all, known mutations are unmistakably pathological and the few remaining ones are highly suspect.” Ibid., p. 103.

“[Although mutations have produced some desirable breeds of animals and plants,] all mutations seem to be in the nature of injuries that, to some extent, impair the fertility and viability of the affected organisms. I doubt if among the many thousands of known mutant types one can be found which is superior to the wild type in its normal environment, only very few can be named which are superior to the wild type in a strange environment.” Ibid., p. 100.

* “If we say that it is only by chance that they [mutations] are useful, we are still speaking too leniently. In general, they are useless, detrimental, or lethal.” W. R. Thompson, “Introduction to The Origin of Species,” Everyman Library No. 811 (New York: E. P. Dutton & Sons, 1956; reprint, Sussex, England: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1967), p. 10.

*Visible mutations are easily detectable genetic changes such as albinism, dwarfism, and hemophilia. Winchester quantifies the relative frequency of several types of mutations.
Lethal mutations outnumber visibles by about 20 to 1. Mutations that have small harmful effects, the detrimental mutations, are even more frequent than the lethal ones. Winchester, p. 356.

* John W. Klotz, Genes, Genesis, and Evolution, 2nd edition, revised (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1972), pp. 262–265.

* “… I took a little trouble to find whether a single amino acid change in a hemoglobin mutation is known that doesn’t affect seriously the function of that hemoglobin. One is hard put to find such an instance.” George Wald, Mathematical Challenges to the Neo- Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, pp. 18–19.

However, evolutionists have taught for years that hemoglobin alpha changed through mutations into hemoglobin beta. This would require, at a minimum, 120 point mutations. In other words, the improbability Wald refers to above must be raised to the 120th power to produce just this one protein!

* “Even if we didn’t have a great deal of data on this point, we could still be quite sure on theoretical grounds that mutants would usually be detrimental. For a mutation is a random change of a highly organized, reasonably smoothly functioning living body. A random change in the highly integrated system of chemical processes which constitute life is almost certain to impair it—just as a random interchange of connections in a television set is not likely to improve the picture.” James F. Crow (Professor of Genetics, University of Wisconsin), “Genetic Effects of Radiation,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 14, January 1958, pp. 19–20.

* “The one systematic effect of mutation seems to be a tendency towards degeneration.” [emphasis in original] Sewall Wright, “The Statistical Consequences of Mendelian Heredity in Relation to Speciation,” The New Systematics, editor Julian Huxley (London: Oxford University Press, 1949),
p. 174.

* In discussing the many mutations needed to produce a new organ, Koestler says: Each mutation occurring alone would be wiped out before it could be combined with the others. They are all interdependent. The doctrine that their coming together was due to a series of blind coincidences is an affront not only to common sense but to the basic principles of scientific explanation. Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1968), p. 129.

c. “There is no single instance where it can be maintained that any of the mutants studied has a higher vitality than the mother species.” N. Heribert Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (Lund, Sweden: Verlag CWK Gleerup, 1953), p. 1157.

"It is, therefore, absolutely impossible to build a current evolution on mutations or on recombinations.” [emphasis in original]Ibid., p. 1186.

* “No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.” Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 88.

* “I have seen no evidence whatsoever that these [evolutionary] changes can occur through the accumulation of gradual mutations.” Lynn Margulis, as quoted by Charles Mann, “Lynn Margulis: Science’s Unruly Earth Mother,” Science, Vol. 252, 19 April 1991, p. 379.

* “It is true that nobody thus far has produced a new species or genus, etc., by macromutation. It is equally true that nobody has produced even a species by the selection of micromutations.” Richard B. Goldschmidt, “ Evolution, As Viewed by One Geneticist,” American Scientist, Vol. 40, January 1952, p. 94.

* “If life really depends on each gene being as unique as it appears to be, then it is too unique to come into being by chance mutations.” Frank B. Salisbury, “ Natural Selection and the Complexity of the Gene,” Nature, Vol. 224, 25 October 1969, p. 342.

* “Do we, therefore, ever see mutations going about the business of producing new structures for selection to work on? No nascent organ has ever been observed emerging, though their origin in pre-functional form is basic to evolutionary theory. Some should be visible today, occurring in organisms at various stages up to integration of a functional new system, but we don’t see them: there is no sign at all of this kind of radical novelty. Neither observation nor controlled experiment has shown natural selection manipulating mutations so as to produce a new gene, hormone, enzyme system or organ.” Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (London: Rider, 1984), pp. 67–68.


Permalink | Jack Krebs | 06-08-2005 | 08:05 AM

Although I have pretty much not participated in this discussion about Brown, I find it interesting to note that not only is all the "evidence" being presenting merely one line quotes (which people have shown to often be taken out of context,) but also the dates of the quotes are often so old as to be irrelevant.

This is not the type of "research" scientists do, and this is not what evidence is.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-08-2005 | 09:23 AM

Mutations are rare, often lethal or neutral.

But there are plenty of instances of beneficial mutations.

http://evolutionproject.blogspot.com/2005/04/445-evolutionary-biology-channels-of.html
http://evolutionproject.blogspot.com/2005/03/323-causes-of-hiv-resistance-in-europe.html

Or look at the links from Orac's Reply to a 14-year-old creationist.

I need to get back to updating the Evolution Project. That was good stuff. Had I but world enough and time…


Permalink | KC | 06-08-2005 | 09:35 AM

quote:
* “Accordingly, mutations are more than just sudden changes in heredity; they also affect viability, and, to the best of our knowledge, invariably affect it adversely.” C. P. Martin, “A Non- Geneticist Looks at Evolution,” American Scientist, January 1953, p. 102.

* “Mutation does produce hereditary changes, but the mass of evidence shows that all, or almost all, known mutations are unmistakably pathological and the few remaining ones are highly suspect.” Ibid., p. 103.

“[Although mutations have produced some desirable breeds of animals and plants,] all mutations seem to be in the nature of injuries that, to some extent, impair the fertility and viability of the affected organisms. I doubt if among the many thousands of known mutant types one can be found which is superior to the wild type in its normal environment, only very few can be named which are superior to the wild type in a strange environment.” Ibid., p. 100.

Outdated, and wrong.

quote:
* “If we say that it is only by chance that they [mutations] are useful, we are still speaking too leniently. In general, they are useless, detrimental, or lethal.” W. R. Thompson, “Introduction to The Origin of Species,” Everyman Library No. 811 (New York: E. P. Dutton & Sons, 1956; reprint, Sussex, England: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1967), p. 10.
What’s a ‘useless’ mutation? Any mutation that meets the minimum requirements of the given environment is not useless.

quote:
*Visible mutations are easily detectable genetic changes such as albinism, dwarfism, and hemophilia. Winchester quantifies the relative frequency of several types of mutations.
Lethal mutations outnumber visibles by about 20 to 1. Mutations that have small harmful effects, the detrimental mutations, are even more frequent than the lethal ones. Winchester, p. 356.

* John W. Klotz, Genes, Genesis, and Evolution, 2nd edition, revised (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1972), pp. 262–265.

Outdated. Neutral mutations are not considered here.

quote:
* “… I took a little trouble to find whether a single amino acid change in a hemoglobin mutation is known that doesn’t affect seriously the function of that hemoglobin. One is hard put to find such an instance.” George Wald, Mathematical Challenges to the Neo- Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, pp. 18–19.

However, evolutionists have taught for years that hemoglobin alpha changed through mutations into hemoglobin beta. This would require, at a minimum, 120 point mutations. In other words, the improbability Wald refers to above must be raised to the 120th power to produce just this one protein!

Laughably wrong. Just look at the enormous amount of non-detrimental variation in single hemoglobin chains in human populations today:

Sternberg, MH and JG Adams (1991). Hemoglobin A2: origin, evolution, and aftermath. Blood 78(9): 2165-2177.


quote:
* “Even if we didn’t have a great deal of data on this point, we could still be quite sure on theoretical grounds that mutants would usually be detrimental. For a mutation is a random change of a highly organized, reasonably smoothly functioning living body. A random change in the highly integrated system of chemical processes which constitute life is almost certain to impair it—just as a random interchange of connections in a television set is not likely to improve the picture.” James F. Crow (Professor of Genetics, University of Wisconsin), “Genetic Effects of Radiation,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 14, January 1958, pp. 19–20.
Outdated, and wrong. Dr Crow is a prominent theorist in population genetics, and in the 1960’s, along with his brilliant student Motoo Kimura, wrote about, among other things, gene substitutions occurring due to selection. Obviously, he didn’t throw up his hands in despair over the lack of beneficial mutations. Why does Brown ignore most of Crow’s later work?

quote:
* “The one systematic effect of mutation seems to be a tendency towards degeneration.” [emphasis in original] Sewall Wright, “The Statistical Consequences of Mendelian Heredity in Relation to Speciation,” The New Systematics, editor Julian Huxley (London: Oxford University Press, 1949),
I smell a context issue. Does Dr Brown have a copy of this book so we can check?

quote:
* In discussing the many mutations needed to produce a new organ, Koestler says: Each mutation occurring alone would be wiped out before it could be combined with the others. They are all interdependent. The doctrine that their coming together was due to a series of blind coincidences is an affront not only to common sense but to the basic principles of scientific explanation. Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1968), p. 129.
And Koestler’s expertise was…what, exactly?


quote:
c. “There is no single instance where it can be maintained that any of the mutants studied has a higher vitality than the mother species.” N. Heribert Nilsson, Synthetische Artbildung (Lund, Sweden: Verlag CWK Gleerup, 1953), p. 1157.
Evolution is pure demographics. If I possess a trait that enables me to have more offspring than you, my trait will eventually become common in the population. Vitality isn’t necessary here. Differential reproductive success is.

quote:
"It is, therefore, absolutely impossible to build a current evolution on mutations or on recombinations.” [emphasis in original]Ibid., p. 1186.
LOL.

quote:
* “No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution.” Pierre-Paul Grassé, Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 88.
Laughably wrong. Since evolution is the change of allelic frequencies within a population, any variant (i.e., mutation), even if it is found in only one individual, changes the allelic frequency of a population by definition.


KC


Permalink | forthekids | 06-08-2005 | 09:35 AM

Jack writes:

quote:
Although I have pretty much not participated in this discussion about Brown, I find it interesting to note that not only is all the "evidence" being presenting merely one line quotes (which people have shown to often be taken out of context,) but also the dates of the quotes are often so old as to be irrelevant.

This is not the type of "research" scientists do, and this is not what evidence is.

Jack,

If you believe those quotes are old and irrelevant, perhaps the thing to do would be to supply more recent quotes that rebuke this evidence. Josh and KC are at least giving it a shot.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-08-2005 | 09:44 AM

I'm giving it a shot, but getting bored. Don't you see the pattern here? Pretty soon, FtK, I'll let you stand on your own, and expect you to edit these things down to eliminate quotes that are out of context or statements you know to be false. At that point, this thread peter off. All he has are misrepresentations and lies about the state of science.


Permalink | csadams | 06-08-2005 | 09:57 AM

ftk -

From one who has the attention span of an adolescent ferret on caffeine -

Still wondering - how does this support hydroplate theory?

csa


Permalink | Jack Krebs | 06-08-2005 | 10:59 AM

FtK, there are innumerable papers, not just quotes, that deal with genetic mutations. I went to PubMed on the internet, typed in genetic mutations, and got 350,000 hits.

Brown's standard creationist contention that genetic mutations cannot add new information or new functions is just flat out wrong, and there are hundreds and hundreds of studies that have added to that collective and consensual conclusion.

In order to see the difference between Brown's type of pseudoscientific presentation of "evidence" (nothing more than one line quotes) and real science, you should go read some of those papers to be found at PubMed.


Permalink | Josh Rosenau | 06-08-2005 | 11:32 AM

quote:
Originally posted by csadams:
From one who has the attention span of an adolescent ferret on caffeine -

Still wondering - how does this support hydroplate theory?

If any biologist ever wrote a sentence which could be construed as doubting, questioning, challenging, or in any way rethinking any component of evolution, it clearly shows that geology is wrong, wrong, wrong.


Permalink | forthekids | 06-09-2005 | 07:20 AM

Conclusion #1: Organic Evolution Has Never Been Observed

7. Fruit Flies

A century of fruit fly experiments, involving 3,000 consecutive generations, gives absolutely no basis for believing that any natural or artificial process can cause an increase in complexity and viability. No clear genetic improvement has ever been observed in any form of life, despite the many unnatural efforts to increase mutation rates.(a)
_____________________________________
a. “Most mutants which arise in any organism are more or less disadvantageous to their possessors. The classical mutants obtained in Drosophila [the fruit fly] usually show deterioration, breakdown, or disappearance of some organs. Mutants are known which diminish the quantity or destroy the pigment in the eyes, and in the body reduce the wings, eyes, bristles, legs. Many mutants are, in fact, lethal to their possessors. Mutants which equal the normal fly in vigor are a minority, and mutants that would make a major improvement of the normal organization in the normal environments are unknown.” Theodosius Dobzhansky, Evolution, Genetics, and Man (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1955), p. 105.

* “A review of known facts about their [mutated fruit flies’] ability to survive has led to no other conclusion than that they are always constitutionally weaker than their parent form or species, and in a population with free competition they are eliminated. Therefore they are never found in nature (e.g., not a single one of the several hundreds of Drosophila mutations), and therefore they are able to appear only in the favourable environment of the experimental field or laboratory …” Nilsson, p. 1186.

* “In the best-known organisms, like Drosophila, innumerable mutants are known. If we were able to combine a thousand or more of such mutants in a single individual, this still would have no resemblance whatsoever to any type known as a [new] species in nature.” Goldschmidt, p. 94.

* “It is a striking, but not much mentioned fact that, though geneticists have been breeding fruitflies for sixty years or more in labs all round the world—flies which produce a new generation every eleven days—they have never yet seen the emergence of a new species or even a new enzyme.” Gordon Rattray Taylor (former Chief Science Advisor, BBC Television), The Great Evolution Mystery (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 48.

* “Fruit flies refuse to become anything but fruit flies under any circumstances yet devised.” Hitching, p. 61.

* “The fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), the favorite pet insect of the geneticists, whose geographical, biotopical, urban, and rural genotypes are now known inside out, seems not to have changed since the remotest times.” Grassé, p. 130.


Permalink | apple | 06-09-2005 | 09:33 AM

quote:
Originally posted by forthekids:
]“The fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), the favorite pet insect of the geneticists

that's kind of cute


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