Joined: Aug. 2006
|Quote (Assassinator @ Jan. 09 2008,06:48)|
|Thanks Coyote and Henry J :)|
But I still have some questions, next to rebutals of Behe's book, does anyone know what Behe says in his book? Does anyone also knows wich experiments the guy I'm discussing with is reffering to? I've asked, but he ignored it. Does anyone also new were the article in the 3th link in Coyote's link went? It seems like really interesting rebutal, but it's kinda gone.
Disclaimer - I haven't read Behe's book. I'm 45 and there are a lot of great books I want to read before I die. I'll get to Behe around the time I get to L Ron Hubbard and Kevin Trudeau.
Mark Chu-Carroll has a splendid review of the horrible mathematics at the core of Behe's argument:
|The part of the book that is most annoying to me, and thus the part that I'll focus the rest of this review on, is chapter three, "The Mathematical Limits of Darwinism". This is, basically, the real heart of the book, and for obvious reasons, it seriously ticks me off. Behe's math is atrociously bad, pig-ignorant garbage - but he presents it seriously, as if it's a real argument, and as if he has the slightest clue what he's talking about.|
The basic argument in this chapter is the good old "fitness landscape" argument. And Behe makes the classic mistakes. His entire argument really comes down to the following points:
1. Evolution can be modeled in terms of a static, unchanging fitness landscape.
2. The fitness landscape is a smooth, surface made up of hills and valleys, where a local minimum or maximum in any dimension is a local minimum or maximum in all dimensions.
The fitness function mapping from a genome to a point of the fitness landscape is monotonically increasing.
The fitness function is smoothly continuous, with infinitessimally small changes (single-point base chanages) mapping to infinitessimally small changes in position on the fitness landscape.
A "fitness landscape" can be thought of as a map (in many dimensions) of survival probabilities - as the size, shape, or behaviour of a species changes, the psoition on the "landscape" changes (get bigger and we move a bit this way, turn a darker colour and we move a bit that way, etc.) and hence the probability of survival changes. Behe's claim is that species become "trapped" at a local maximum in the fitness landscape - if we move a bit in any direction, the probability of survival decreases. This means that evolution is no longer possible.
This claim is rubbish for many reasons, as outlined in Mark's demolition referenced above. (Read the whole thing. It's brutal). Just as an example, this argument only has a chance if the fitness landscape never changes - which of course it does. Climates get warmer or wetter. Continents drift. Mountains rise and fall.
Regarding the "experiments" your opponent is referring to - why don't you ask him for a reference? Don't let him escape by saying "lots of them" - if they are, as he says, countless, then it should be easy for him to find them. As there have in fact been no such experiments, if you press the guy on this, he's going to either cite something silly, or be forced to back down.
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers