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Lou FCD



Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2008,10:43   

Roy Zimmerman has some new(er) stuff out I hadn't seen before.

Swallow your coffee before it's too late.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2008,16:32   

@ Daniel:

I would like to add to the following quote from Bill:
Quote
Recall that the problem with supernatural causation is that any observation can be reconciled with it. Because any observation can be reconciled with it, it is incapable of making testable predictions.

This is the case because we know zero about the designer. This problem can only be solved when we have actual candidates for being the designer, candidates from wich we know the capabilities and limitations. This is exactly how real world design detection (in archeology) works.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3565
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2008,17:52   

Quote
When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.


Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.

The Celebrities and Science Review 2008, prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better – including top politicians.

Mr Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," said President-elect Obama. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it," he said.

His words were echoed by Mr McCain. "It's indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it," he said. "There's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in the vaccines."

Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.

Sarah Palin, Mr McCain's running mate, waded into the mire with her dismissal of some government research projects. "Sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not," Ms Palin said. But the geneticist Ellen Solomon takes Ms Palin to task for not understanding the importance of studies into fruit flies, which share roughly half their genes with humans. "They have been used for more than a century to understand how genes work, which has implications in, for example, understanding the ageing process," she said.

Hollywood did not escape the critical analysis of the scientific reviewers, who lambasted Tom Cruise, for his comments on psychiatry being a crime against humanity, and Julianne Moore, who warned against using products full of unnatural chemicals.

"The real crime against humanity continues to be the enduring misery caused by the major mental illnesses across the globe, and the continuing lack of resources devoted to supporting those afflicted," said the psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely.

In answer to Moore, the science author and chemist John Emsley said that natural chemicals are not automatically safer than man-made chemicals, which undergo rigorous testing.

"Something which is naturally sourced may well include a mixture of things that are capable of causing an adverse reaction," Dr Emsley said.

Other mentions went to the chefs Nigella Lawson, who said "mind meals" can make you feel different about life, and Delia Smith, who claimed it is possible to eliminate sugar from the diet. The dietician Catherine Collins said that Lawson's support for expensive allergy foods is a wasted opportunity and too costly for those on limited incomes, while Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation said that sugars are part of a balanced diet.

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as "highly trained medical leeches" which make you bleed. Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.

But top prize went to the lifestyle guru Carole Caplin for denouncing a study showing that vitamin supplements offer little or no health benefits as "rubbish" – it is the third year on the run that she has been mentioned in the review. Science author and GP Ben Goldacre pointed out that the study Ms Caplin referred to was the most authoritative yet published. "Carole should understand that research can often produce results which challenge our preconceptions: that is why science is more interesting than just following your nose," Dr Goldacre said.



http://www.independent.co.uk/news....06.html

--------------
”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
khan



Posts: 1483
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2008,20:10   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 18 2008,21:09)
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,20:23)
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,15:29)
I have fucking SAD; I fell down on the fucking ice and my left fucking hand is now fucking useless.

Going to spend a fucking day or so wallowing in fucking self pity.

Aleve or alcohol?

The swelling is going down, there is less pain, the hand almost works.

That's good to hear, Khan.

If anyone cares:

More than a week later and the pain is pretty much gone and I can do most things again.

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
BWE



Posts: 1896
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,03:44   

Merry Christmas or whatever your particular bent is.

I'm drinking just a little bit and I see Daniel Smith popped up a new one.

Roll another one
just like the other one...

Here's a song that your new phrasing brings to mind.link

Hope all is well with everyone.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,05:04   

Quote (khan @ Dec. 27 2008,21:10)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 18 2008,21:09)
 
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,20:23)
 
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,15:29)
I have fucking SAD; I fell down on the fucking ice and my left fucking hand is now fucking useless.

Going to spend a fucking day or so wallowing in fucking self pity.

Aleve or alcohol?

The swelling is going down, there is less pain, the hand almost works.

That's good to hear, Khan.

If anyone cares:

More than a week later and the pain is pretty much gone and I can do most things again.

That's really really good to hear, Khan!

Edited by Lou FCD on Dec. 28 2008,06:05

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Rrr



Posts: 146
Joined: Nov. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,17:14   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 28 2008,05:04)
Quote (khan @ Dec. 27 2008,21:10)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 18 2008,21:09)
 
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,20:23)
   
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,15:29)
I have fucking SAD; I fell down on the fucking ice and my left fucking hand is now fucking useless.

Going to spend a fucking day or so wallowing in fucking self pity.

Aleve or alcohol?

The swelling is going down, there is less pain, the hand almost works.

That's good to hear, Khan.

If anyone cares:

More than a week later and the pain is pretty much gone and I can do most things again.

That's really really good to hear, Khan!

Hear, hear.
Get even better new year, and next year.  :)

  
khan



Posts: 1483
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,18:09   

Quote (Rrr @ Dec. 28 2008,18:14)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 28 2008,05:04)
Quote (khan @ Dec. 27 2008,21:10)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 18 2008,21:09)
   
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,20:23)
   
Quote (khan @ Dec. 18 2008,15:29)
I have fucking SAD; I fell down on the fucking ice and my left fucking hand is now fucking useless.

Going to spend a fucking day or so wallowing in fucking self pity.

Aleve or alcohol?

The swelling is going down, there is less pain, the hand almost works.

That's good to hear, Khan.

If anyone cares:

More than a week later and the pain is pretty much gone and I can do most things again.

That's really really good to hear, Khan!

Hear, hear.
Get even better new year, and next year.  :)

This is the only place where I can do serious profanity; thank you all for that.

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,19:07   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 22 2008,17:59)
           
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 22 2008,15:41)
As you correctly pointed out (and I stubbornly resisted), my original claim was untestable because it hinged on contingent future events....What if I proposed a more watered down version?

"Life is organized in such a way as to preclude a natural origin for any integral system contained therein."

I believe that this may be a scientific claim - since it does not hinge on future events.  Also, it is not God, or a supernatural mechanism, that precludes a natural origin - it is the organization itself.  So the expectation is that all of life's systems will be organized beyond the capabilities of natural mechanisms and that any attempt to piece together a natural pathway will meet with roadblocks that render such a pathway impassible.  

So the way to test this is to attempt to piece together a natural pathway.  Any such attempt will put my claim to the test.

I know that this may seem a vain attempt to put lipstick on a pig, and that such a claim does not offer much to science - since it offers no alternative mechanism - but I'd just like to get your input as to the "scientific-ness" of it.

First, your original test did not fail because it predicted future contingent events. A model of orbital mechanics that predicts the return of a particular comet at a particular time in the future can be fully scientific, if it makes a specific testable prediction about a specific observation ("Comet RB will return in 43 years, appearing at such and such location is the sky on such and such date."). In that instance a specific dispositive observation can be described before the fact that is capable of tentatively falsifying the hypothesized orbital model ("If comet RB fails to appear on that date in that place, my theory is in trouble"). This is key to this sort of testing: the methods and requisite dispositive observations can be described in detail before the fact.

Your assertion offered no such specifics, so the only method we were left with is "keep watching, see what happens." As a result, it wasn't a scientific prediction, but rather a prediction about science.

I don't think your modified version gets you any further.

Recall that the problem with supernatural causation is that any observation can be reconciled with it. Because any observation can be reconciled with it, it is incapable of making testable predictions. Going to "no mechanism" doesn't improve things in this regard, because, as you imply, in the absence of a proposed mechanism it is impossible to generate empirically testable hypotheses.  In fact, there is nothing to test.

"Any attempt to piece together a natural pathway will meet with roadblocks that render such a pathway impassible" is again a restated prediction prediction about the contingent future success of the biological sciences, and fails for all the reasons I previously described.

"So the way to test this is to attempt to piece together a natural pathway. Any such attempt will put my claim to the test" also fails for reasons earlier cited: there are many reasons other than "organization beyond the capabilities of natural mechanism" that any given test may fail. What is placed at risk and potentially falsifiable by such tests are specific proposed natural mechanisms - which may simply be wrong. It wouldn't follow that living systems are necessarily too complex to have arisen from any such natural mechanism or pathway. And, regardless, all we are left with is the pursuit of empirical research in the context of methodological naturalism. And what is strange (to my ear) is that this leaves you in the position of hoping science will fail in this domain.  

Ultimately, your restatement starts down the road embarked upon by the ID movement: Remove all references to the supernatural and focus upon "design detection," which really boils down to the claim that life is too complex to have arisen (and become increasingly complex) by natural means. ID stirs in highborn terms like "universal probability bound" and "irreducible complexity," but it all boils down to a purely negative position that is scientifically sterile, because incapable of generating positive, testable hypotheses unique to its position.

[edits for clarity]

Bill,

Thanks for your points.  I'm pretty happy with my original unscientific prediction.  Even though it's not "testable", it's tested every time someone attempts to piece together an evolutionary pathway, and even though it's "unfalsifiable", it can be proven false if only one of those pathways is completed.  I'm not as concerned with its scientific-correctness as I am with its correctness.  I'd rather be upfront about my belief in God than try to hide it within science.  Of course, I'm not a scientist.

On the other hand, we have the very scientific issue of front-loaded evolution.  The case for this (in one form or another) has been made by real scientists such as one of Russia's premier biologists - Leo Berg, one of Germany's leading paleontologists - Otto Schindewolf, a leading German/American geneticist - Richard Goldschmidt, and many others.  This is an issue I'm ill prepared to defend, (not being a scientist myself), but which resides on purely scientific grounds.  Some of the cases I've pointed to here - such as phenotypic capacitors and the Trichoplax - confirm (to me anyway) the validity of such hypotheses as well as the Universal Genome and the Prescribed Evolutionary hypotheses.

So I've championed two issues here - one (my own) quite unscientific and based on my faith in God, the other (not mine) utterly scientific and put forth by real scientists whose work you'd have to read for yourself if you truly want to understand.  I've tried to describe their cases here but have failed miserably in conveying the substance of their claims and evidence.

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4243
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,20:40   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 28 2008,20:07)
Bill,

Thanks for your points.  I'm pretty happy with my original unscientific prediction.  Even though it's not "testable", it's tested every time someone attempts to piece together an evolutionary pathway, and even though it's "unfalsifiable", it can be proven false if only one of those pathways is completed.  I'm not as concerned with its scientific-correctness as I am with its correctness.  I'd rather be upfront about my belief in God than try to hide it within science.  Of course, I'm not a scientist.

I don't have much problem with this, so long as you don't claim scientific status for your assertion. It does put you in the peculiar position of hoping that scientific progress within evolutionary biology stalls. And, in my opinion, your belief has prompted you to badly misperceive the current state of evolutionary science.
     
Quote
On the other hand, we have the very scientific issue of front-loaded evolution.  The case for this (in one form or another) has been made by real scientists such as one of Russia's premier biologists - Leo Berg, one of Germany's leading paleontologists - Otto Schindewolf, a leading German/American geneticist - Richard Goldschmidt, and many others.  This is an issue I'm ill prepared to defend, (not being a scientist myself), but which resides on purely scientific grounds.  Some of the cases I've pointed to here - such as phenotypic capacitors and the Trichoplax - confirm (to me anyway) the validity of such hypotheses as well as the Universal Genome and the Prescribed Evolutionary hypotheses.

I invite you to really give some thought to what I previously said about frontloading:
       
Quote
Front loading would require pre-storage of the countless adaptations, speciation events, ecological interactions, arms races, and even extinction events that have characterized the story of the survival of life on earth, such that countless biological adaptations remain tightly coupled to an endless succession of changing environments and ecosystems over billions of years. Yet the environmental transitions that demand these changes result from physical processes (planetary, geological, meteorological, astronomical, etc.) that are themselves inherently contingent and unguided and cannot themselves possibly have been "arranged," "planned," or "predicted." This includes the changing microenvironments and apposite adaptations of every extinct and every extant lineage that has taken its place among the astronomical number of ramifications of the tree of life.

This problem stands regardless of the storage capacity of DNA, the action of imaginary error correction methods, even a mechanism to limit the triggering of the expression of adaptive features such that they conform to the nested patterns we would expect to result from descent with modification. It would require the designer, as he assembled the first organisms and stuffed them with all this information, to either exercise complete foreknowledge of, or anticipate sustaining complete control over, the output of the sun, the timing and consequences of asteroid impacts, the tectonic formation and reformation of continents and oceans, along with the accompanying geological events, climatological changes, advancing and receding ice sheets, and countless other factors, over billions of years.

IMHO, the only agent capable of "front loading" that responds to this description would be God, due to the the requirement for either foreknowledge and/or control. But that creates a problem for your assertion that frontloading is an "utterly scientific" hypothesis - having conceded that an explanatory scheme that revolves around the supernatural cannot be formulated as a scientific assertion.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
khan



Posts: 1483
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2008,20:50   

Quote
So I've championed two issues here - one (my own) quite unscientific and based on my faith in God, the other (not mine) utterly scientific and put forth by real scientists whose work you'd have to read for yourself if you truly want to understand.  I've tried to describe their cases here but have failed miserably in conveying the substance of their claims and evidence.


So god fucker, what is your 'scientific' explanation for my crippling arthritis?

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2008,17:03   

Quote (khan @ Dec. 28 2008,21:50)
So god fucker, what is your 'scientific' explanation for my crippling arthritis?

original sin.

  
khan



Posts: 1483
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2008,17:13   

Quote (rhmc @ Dec. 29 2008,18:03)
Quote (khan @ Dec. 28 2008,21:50)
So god fucker, what is your 'scientific' explanation for my crippling arthritis?

original sin.

Why did I inherit mother's original sin, and not father's?

(I realize you're channeling fundietard)

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2008,18:53   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 28 2008,18:40)
             
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 28 2008,20:07)
Bill,

Thanks for your points.  I'm pretty happy with my original unscientific prediction.  Even though it's not "testable", it's tested every time someone attempts to piece together an evolutionary pathway, and even though it's "unfalsifiable", it can be proven false if only one of those pathways is completed.  I'm not as concerned with its scientific-correctness as I am with its correctness.  I'd rather be upfront about my belief in God than try to hide it within science.  Of course, I'm not a scientist.

I don't have much problem with this, so long as you don't claim scientific status for your assertion. It does put you in the peculiar position of hoping that scientific progress within evolutionary biology stalls. And, in my opinion, your belief has prompted you to badly misperceive the current state of evolutionary science.
                   
Quote
On the other hand, we have the very scientific issue of front-loaded evolution.  The case for this (in one form or another) has been made by real scientists such as one of Russia's premier biologists - Leo Berg, one of Germany's leading paleontologists - Otto Schindewolf, a leading German/American geneticist - Richard Goldschmidt, and many others.  This is an issue I'm ill prepared to defend, (not being a scientist myself), but which resides on purely scientific grounds.  Some of the cases I've pointed to here - such as phenotypic capacitors and the Trichoplax - confirm (to me anyway) the validity of such hypotheses as well as the Universal Genome and the Prescribed Evolutionary hypotheses.

I invite you to really give some thought to what I previously said about frontloading:
                       
Quote
Front loading would require pre-storage of the countless adaptations, speciation events, ecological interactions, arms races, and even extinction events that have characterized the story of the survival of life on earth, such that countless biological adaptations remain tightly coupled to an endless succession of changing environments and ecosystems over billions of years. Yet the environmental transitions that demand these changes result from physical processes (planetary, geological, meteorological, astronomical, etc.) that are themselves inherently contingent and unguided and cannot themselves possibly have been "arranged," "planned," or "predicted." This includes the changing microenvironments and apposite adaptations of every extinct and every extant lineage that has taken its place among the astronomical number of ramifications of the tree of life.

This problem stands regardless of the storage capacity of DNA, the action of imaginary error correction methods, even a mechanism to limit the triggering of the expression of adaptive features such that they conform to the nested patterns we would expect to result from descent with modification. It would require the designer, as he assembled the first organisms and stuffed them with all this information, to either exercise complete foreknowledge of, or anticipate sustaining complete control over, the output of the sun, the timing and consequences of asteroid impacts, the tectonic formation and reformation of continents and oceans, along with the accompanying geological events, climatological changes, advancing and receding ice sheets, and countless other factors, over billions of years.

IMHO, the only agent capable of "front loading" that responds to this description would be God, due to the the requirement for either foreknowledge and/or control. But that creates a problem for your assertion that frontloading is an "utterly scientific" hypothesis - having conceded that an explanatory scheme that revolves around the supernatural cannot be formulated as a scientific assertion.

Bill,

If, in fact, God has done the front-loading, then the 'supernatural' part of the mechanism would only apply to the original front-loading.  The rest of it - its workings throughout history - would be mechanical and detectable.  Neither Berg, Schindewolf or Goldschmidt ever pointed to a supernatural mechanism in their extensive defenses of the concept (though I must point out, they never specifically called it "front-loading" either).  They pointed instead to the fossil record, genetics and direct and experimental observations of phyla.  Berg studied fishes, Schindewolf - cephalopods and corals, and Goldschmidt - moths.  Their books are scientific treatise based on years of studies in the field.  These were not philosophers of science, they were real working scientists - the kind that get their hands dirty.

It's a matter of perspective though - whether you see it or not.  Take the Trichoplax for instance.  It is basically crawling slime - with no limbs, no nerves, no brain, and only four cell types.  Yet this creature has many of the same genes we humans do - genes for development of limbs, nerves, synapses and the like.  From a front-loading perspective, such a creature makes perfect sense.  From the perspective of the current theory, however, such a creature is out of place.  It fits in one place morphologically and another phylogenetically.  The nested hierarchies that always supposedly line up have to be slightly out of whack with this one.

Also, I don't think front-loading requires all the information you seem to think it does.  It could work something like the immune system - which is constantly throwing new variations out there in the hope that one will "stick".  Judging from the large percentage of extinctions throughout history, I'd say such a scenario is likely.  If you read Schindewolf's book on paleontology, you'll see that he detected patterns of spontaneous adaptive radiation in the fossil record, (followed by slow, patterned evolution, which eventually resulted in over-specialization and extinction).  The impression I got (of the spontaneous adaptive radiations) was one of a farmer throwing out seed in a field just to see what came up.  The immune system works in a similar fashion.

Just thoughts.

Dan

--------------
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2008,19:51   

Quote (khan @ Dec. 29 2008,18:13)
Why did I inherit mother's original sin, and not father's?

women are inherently evil, men are merely easily misled.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4243
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2008,21:54   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 29 2008,19:53)
Bill,

If, in fact, God has done the front-loading, then the 'supernatural' part of the mechanism would only apply to the original front-loading.  The rest of it - its workings throughout history - would be mechanical and detectable.  

Without the supernatural component you have no explanation.
   
Quote
Also, I don't think front-loading requires all the information you seem to think it does.  It could work something like the immune system - which is constantly throwing new variations out there in the hope that one will "stick".  Judging from the large percentage of extinctions throughout history, I'd say such a scenario is likely.  If you read Schindewolf's book on paleontology, you'll see that he detected patterns of spontaneous adaptive radiation in the fossil record, (followed by slow, patterned evolution, which eventually resulted in over-specialization and extinction).  The impression I got (of the spontaneous adaptive radiations) was one of a farmer throwing out seed in a field just to see what came up.  The immune system works in a similar fashion.

Essentially you are describing selection. Take that last step to natural selection and you are home:

"It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." - Charles Darwin

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
khan



Posts: 1483
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2008,23:01   

Quote
If, in fact, God has done the front-loading, then the 'supernatural' part of the mechanism would only apply to the original front-loading.  The rest of it - its workings throughout history - would be mechanical and detectable.  


Did it ever occur to to you (and other fundieloons) that 'front-loading' makes even less sense than straight up creationism (or even last-thursdayism)?

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
sledgehammer



Posts: 531
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2008,00:44   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 29 2008,18:53)
 
...Take the Trichoplax for instance.  It is basically crawling slime - with no limbs, no nerves, no brain, and only four cell types.  Yet this creature has many of the same genes we humans do - genes for development of limbs, nerves, synapses and the like.  From a front-loading perspective, such a creature makes perfect sense.  From the perspective of the current theory, however, such a creature is out of place...

Here is a link to thefull Srivastava et. al. article from Nature on the Trichoplax genome.
Show me where it says that genes for "limbs, nerves, synapses and the like" are found in the Trichoplax genome. What it does say is that some genes are homologues to precursors of genes encoding for proteins used by vertebrates in "signalling pathways".
To say that "this creature has many of the same genes we do" when it's entire genome less than 3% the size of ours borders on ridiculous. Until you can show me some better references, I'll assume that your statement above is a gross and misleading exageration, at best.

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The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny is alleviated by their lack of consistency. -A. Einstein  (H/T, JAD)
If evolution is true, you could not know that it's true because your brain is nothing but chemicals. ?Think about that. -K. Hovind

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4243
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2008,09:38   

Daniel is referring to (and somewhat misrepresenting) these findings:
     
Quote
The compact genome shows remarkable complexity, including conserved gene content, gene structure and synteny relative to human and other eumetazoan genomes. Despite the absence of any known developmental program and only a modest number of cell types, the Trichoplax genome encodes a rich array of transcription factors and signalling genes that are typically associated with embryogenesis and cell fate specification in eumetazoans, as well as other genes that are consistent with cryptic patterning of cells, unobserved life history stages and/or complex execution of biological processes such as fission and embryonic development in these enigmatic creatures....

Although the Trichoplax body plan is simple, its genome encodes a rich array of transcription factors and signalling pathways that are typically associated with eumetazoan developmental patterning and cell-type specification. A question remains: what role do these genes have in placozoans? Cellular morphology may be deceptive, and complex gene expression patterns may define functionally distinct but morphologically cryptic cellular subtypes. This would be consistent with models in which transcription factors associated with gene expression patterns for specific differentiated cell functions in the eumetazoan ancestor were co-opted in cnidarians and bilaterians for patterning roles. We speculate that signalling and transcription factor genes may be involved in complex regulatory events required for the known processes of growth, fission and/or swarming, or the as yet undescribed processes of sexual reproduction and embryonic development.

So the first response to the question of the function served by these genes is "We don't know."

The second response is to hypothesize unobserved cellular and behavioral differentiation coded by these genes, differentiation that, in a related lineage that was ancestral to the eumetazoans (including ourselves), were exapted (co-opted) for patterning roles in the building of more complex animal bodies. If so, the animal is quite "in place."

Daniel, you'll notice that this hypothesis generates testable predictions, e.g. the existence of functionally distinct but morphologically cryptic cellular subtypes, a role for these genes in complex known and unknown regulatory, behavioral, sexual and embryological activities, and so on. This is the stuff evolutionary biology thrives on.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2008,14:48   

Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 29 2008,18:53)
Yet this creature has many of the same genes we humans do - genes for development of limbs, nerves, synapses and the like.

Prove it. You know, empirically.

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Daniel Smith



Posts: 970
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,10:50   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Dec. 30 2008,07:38)
Daniel is referring to (and somewhat misrepresenting) these findings:
       
Quote
The compact genome shows remarkable complexity, including conserved gene content, gene structure and synteny relative to human and other eumetazoan genomes. Despite the absence of any known developmental program and only a modest number of cell types, the Trichoplax genome encodes a rich array of transcription factors and signalling genes that are typically associated with embryogenesis and cell fate specification in eumetazoans, as well as other genes that are consistent with cryptic patterning of cells, unobserved life history stages and/or complex execution of biological processes such as fission and embryonic development in these enigmatic creatures....

Although the Trichoplax body plan is simple, its genome encodes a rich array of transcription factors and signalling pathways that are typically associated with eumetazoan developmental patterning and cell-type specification. A question remains: what role do these genes have in placozoans? Cellular morphology may be deceptive, and complex gene expression patterns may define functionally distinct but morphologically cryptic cellular subtypes. This would be consistent with models in which transcription factors associated with gene expression patterns for specific differentiated cell functions in the eumetazoan ancestor were co-opted in cnidarians and bilaterians for patterning roles. We speculate that signalling and transcription factor genes may be involved in complex regulatory events required for the known processes of growth, fission and/or swarming, or the as yet undescribed processes of sexual reproduction and embryonic development.

So the first response to the question of the function served by these genes is "We don't know."

The second response is to hypothesize unobserved cellular and behavioral differentiation coded by these genes, differentiation that, in a related lineage that was ancestral to the eumetazoans (including ourselves), were exapted (co-opted) for patterning roles in the building of more complex animal bodies. If so, the animal is quite "in place."

Daniel, you'll notice that this hypothesis generates testable predictions, e.g. the existence of functionally distinct but morphologically cryptic cellular subtypes, a role for these genes in complex known and unknown regulatory, behavioral, sexual and embryological activities, and so on. This is the stuff evolutionary biology thrives on.

I was referring to the article in SEED magazine by PZ Myers.  I quoted directly from him here.  
Quote
More interesting, however, was the discovery of many genes for which so simple an organism would seem, on first blush, to have no use, genes that biologists long thought were characteristic of more complex animals.  And what's more, the structures of those genes are still quite similar to the versions of those genes found in us

And:                
Quote
Trichoplax lacks limbs and organs and makes only the most rudimentary decisions about where to form a top and bottom sheet of cells, yet it contains a roster of molecules that reads like a who's who of key players in development: JAK/STAT, Notch, Wnt/B-catenin, and TGF-B are all here. Trichoplax also has an assortment of DNA binding molecules, central regulators of gene expression called transcription factors, that are also found in diverse species of multicellular animals.  They even have homeobox genes, a set of genes that we use to stake out positional information along our bodies, and which Trichoplax seems to use in defining boundaries between the top and bottom.
Trichoplax has another set of genes for which it doesn't seem to have much use: those coding for the core cellular machinery of our nerves and synapses.  Despite those genes, it doesn't even have any cells resembling neurons; it really is a brainless, nerveless blob without any kind of fast integrative signaling network.  Yet it contains genes for a variety of ion channels, the switches that are imbedded in the membranes of our nerves and that generate the fluxes of charged molecules that are the current flows in our brain's activity; they have enzymes that make neurotransmitters, the small molecules that flow between neurons to trigger coordinated activity between cells.  The precursors and prerequisites for brain development are imbedded and active in a creature that lacks any nervous system at all.


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"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."  Orville Wright

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question."  Richard Dawkins

  
pzmyers



Posts: 35
Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,12:02   

Typical. You left out the very next paragraph.
Quote
And that’s exactly what we would expect from evolution! Neurons didn’t simply appear out of nowhere, but gradually evolved from cellular processes that were co-opted for new functions. Trichoplax doesn’t generate pulses of electrical activity, but it does have cells that must maintain salt balance, and contains pores and pumps to move charged ions in and out of its cells. It doesn’t have tightly regulated synapses between neurons, but it does respond to the sensation of chemical signals in its environment by releasing other chemicals via vesicle export, a core process of synaptic activity. Of course, Trichoplax does not make a complex organismal form, nor does it make a brain, so evolution has shaped the predecessors of those functions in novel ways to produce more complex animals, but the molecular predecessors were there in the last common ancestor of both the blob-like microbe-grazer and the genome-sequencing bipedal primate. That these similar molecules are shared is further confirmation of common descent and the pattern of animal evolution, but now a more difficult question remains: what are the details that changed in these lineages to produce our distinctive differences?

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4363
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,12:24   

Thanks Dr. PZ!  

Good to see you slumming it here, and of course always happy to have someone to help us laugh at the sheer stupidity of a creationist.

I am NOT shocked that someone would be lying For Jesus - and caught again! Typical says it all.

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,12:36   

No, Daniel, you said
Quote
this creature has many of the same genes we humans do

The quote you give from PZ says
Quote
the structures of those genes are still quite similar

Do you know the difference between "the same" and "similar" Daniel?

Did you perhaps miss that particular episode of Sesame Street?



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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
sledgehammer



Posts: 531
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,14:45   

At the risk of flogging a dead horse, there is a big difference between:
   
Quote (Daniel Smith @ Dec. 29 2008,18:53)
Yet this creature has many of the same genes we humans do - genes for development of limbs, nerves, synapses and the like.

and:

"many of the genes used by single-celled and simple multi-cellular creatures like Trichoplax to control basic cellular machinery are also found in humans and other vertebrates"

The first is "huh"? , the second is "duh"!

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The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny is alleviated by their lack of consistency. -A. Einstein  (H/T, JAD)
If evolution is true, you could not know that it's true because your brain is nothing but chemicals. ?Think about that. -K. Hovind

  
mitschlag



Posts: 235
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,15:57   

Quote (sledgehammer @ Dec. 31 2008,14:45)
At the risk of flogging a dead horse...

Some bozos can use a good flogging.

Happy New Year!

:D

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"You can establish any “rule” you like if you start with the rule and then interpret the evidence accordingly." - George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984)

  
khan



Posts: 1483
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2008,20:12   

Happy New year!

Live long & prosper!

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"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2009,08:05   

Happy New Year Everyone.

This year I resolve to not make any resolutions on the basis that the longest they last is February.

However, I do resolve to revive a number of spectacularly bad habits purely for the sake of the common good.

DAMN! New Year's resolution broken between paragraphs.

Oh well. I hope everyone's hangovers are painless and vomit free. Louis recommends a combination of ibuprofen, codeine, paracetamol, caffeine, "liver salts" and orange cordial. Semi-consciousness, I has it.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2009,14:07   

Quote (Louis @ Jan. 01 2009,06:05)
Happy New Year Everyone.

This year I resolve to not make any resolutions on the basis that the longest they last is February.

However, I do resolve to revive a number of spectacularly bad habits purely for the sake of the common good.

DAMN! New Year's resolution broken between paragraphs.

Oh well. I hope everyone's hangovers are painless and vomit free. Louis recommends a combination of ibuprofen, codeine, paracetamol, caffeine, "liver salts" and orange cordial. Semi-consciousness, I has it.

Louis

HA HA THIS IS LOUIS:



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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 8936
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2009,14:29   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Jan. 01 2009,15:07)
Quote (Louis @ Jan. 01 2009,06:05)
Happy New Year Everyone.

Semi-consciousness, I has it.

Louis

You and me both, buddy.

   
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