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Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2009,08:15   

you mighta broke thattun

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2009,08:33   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Dec. 08 2009,08:15)
you mighta broke thattun

No way.

Evidence and reasoning have never had the slightest effect on a creationist.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5378
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2009,10:09   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Dec. 08 2009,02:58)
Quote (rhmc @ Dec. 08 2009,03:38)
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 07 2009,16:50)
ETA: Anyone added this to FSTDT yet?

thanks for the link.  :)

WOW! I feel dizzy now...

Sorry fellas. FDA regulations clearly stipulate that warning labels should be attached to all links to FSTDT. I totally dropped the ball on that one.

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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

   
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2009,21:00   

Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 08 2009,11:09)
Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Dec. 08 2009,02:58)
Quote (rhmc @ Dec. 08 2009,03:38)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 07 2009,16:50)
ETA: Anyone added this to FSTDT yet?

thanks for the link.  :)

WOW! I feel dizzy now...

Sorry fellas. FDA regulations clearly stipulate that warning labels should be attached to all links to FSTDT. I totally dropped the ball on that one.

yeah, there is some serious ass hattery goin' on in that site.  
swmbo took a look and said some of them were "dumber than a headless chicken".

it's not the high grade tard-ore found in other sites but it is tailings of a high enough grade to make one want to drown most of humanity.

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 09 2009,09:22   

Quote (JLT @ Dec. 07 2009,18:30)

Quote
Quote (MichaelJ @ Dec. 07 2009,19:23)
   
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 08 2009,03:48)
   
Quote
But this type of speciation does not result in a new species.


I'm dazzled.

Inquiry, you do realize that this is what you're actually saying?:

     
Quote
When a new species is created, it doesn't result in a new species.

I think that he means biblical 'kinds'. So, harking back to the other discussion what 'kind' is a tasmanian wolf? A Kangaroo kind or a wolf kind and please show working.

If all plants are the same kind, then, I'm afraid, marsupials, wolfs, dinosaurs, octopi, and probably sponges all belong to one kind, too.


Too limiting. Clearly everything is one "kind" except humans. We are another "kind", though as the bible shows we are, at least in God's eyes, anything but kind. And God is clearly still another "kind" and got a bit kinder as over the course of the bible...

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
MichaelJ



Posts: 455
Joined: June 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 09 2009,14:33   

These guys need to go back to kindergarten

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 09 2009,14:41   

Quote (MichaelJ @ Dec. 09 2009,14:33)

Quote
These guys need to go back to kindergarten


You think they'd get more out it the second time around?

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Badger3k



Posts: 861
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 09 2009,20:14   

Quote (Robin @ Dec. 09 2009,09:22)
[quote=JLT,Dec. 07 2009,18:30][/quote]
Quote
 
Quote (MichaelJ @ Dec. 07 2009,19:23)
   
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Dec. 08 2009,03:48)
     
Quote
But this type of speciation does not result in a new species.


I'm dazzled.

Inquiry, you do realize that this is what you're actually saying?:

     
Quote
When a new species is created, it doesn't result in a new species.

I think that he means biblical 'kinds'. So, harking back to the other discussion what 'kind' is a tasmanian wolf? A Kangaroo kind or a wolf kind and please show working.

If all plants are the same kind, then, I'm afraid, marsupials, wolfs, dinosaurs, octopi, and probably sponges all belong to one kind, too.


Too limiting. Clearly everything is one "kind" except humans. We are another "kind", though as the bible shows we are, at least in God's eyes, anything but kind. And God is clearly still another "kind" and got a bit kinder as over the course of the bible...

It quite clearly says "mankind" not "man-and-ape-kind" - so the words themselves give away the truth.  Just like wolves and marsupial wolves - they have the same name so they must be the same.  Mankind and apekind are separate kinds.  Simple, really (in more ways than one).

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"Just think if every species had a different genetic code We would have to eat other humans to survive.." : Joe G

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:31   

Since I had numerous responses I’m going to try to respond to as much as I can by posting a series of replies. I apologize in advance if you feel this is too much at once, but I figured it is the best way to address everyone’s (more or less) comments.

Evolutionary / Darwinian species  
A group of organisms that shares an ancestor; a lineage that maintains its integrity with respect to other lineages through both time and space. At some point in the progress of such a group, some members may diverge from the main population and evolve into a subspecies, a process that eventually will lead to the formation of a new full species if isolation (geographical or ecological) is maintained.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species#Definitions_of_species


I think this most accurately defines what I mean by species. Additionally, species for me includes organisms that are asexual (bacteria for example), able to sexually reproduce, and no longer living (found in the fossil record).

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:32   

Now I agree that we do see modifications within existing species. For example, flies with a high number of bristles bred with flies with a low number of bristles after twelve generations resulted in two populations of flies that resulted in differences in hair number and partial isolation (J.M. Thoday & J.B. Gibson, 1962). Yet they remained flies.

In the 1980’s George W. Salt and William R. Rice exposed fruit flies to eight different environments, then put the flies that preferred the two most extreme environments together to breed. After thirty generations the flies did divide into two populations. However they remained flies.

JLT referred me to articles on-line that showed that fruit flies can and do undergo certain modifications. I’m not disagreeing with this. I’m not disagreeing that reproductive isolation is possible.

I agree with what Scott Gilbert, John Opitz, and Rudolf Raff said in Developmental Biology, “Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but micro- evolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest.” (Scott F. Gilbert, John M. Opitz, and Rudolf A. Raff, “Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology,” Developmental Biology 173 (1996): 357-372)

Microevolution- Small scale changes in organisms (structurally and genetically).

Macroevolution –Large scale changes (structurally and genetically).

(In case any one asks)

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:33   

If an organism is in an environment where having a characteristic is particularly beneficial then genes can/do combine in such a way to produce the characteristic/s that is beneficial for survival in that environment. Birds for example may have shorter extremities and larger bodies or vice-versa depending on the climate they’re in. A person living in Iceland may have different physical characteristics than someone living in south Florida. Natural selection can help this process in favoring a gene combination that enables an organism to survive in its environment.  

The question I have is how do we go from species that are modified in some way (flies with differences in wing size, etc.), to a completely new species? (fish to amphibian, reptiles to mammals). JLT mentioned the possibility of two separate species coming about by the separation of a population that could eventually lead to an inability to reproduce (due to the genetic changes from the differing environments), hence two separate species.

JLT, can you tell me how you define species? Are saying that the environment has an effect on the species to change it in some way to adapt, yet the species remains the same thing (a monkey remaining a monkey yet the shape of its tail changes for example)? And eventually there is enough genetic change in both separated populations that reproduction cannot occur between these monkeys? (Of course this would not explain how we get from reptiles to mammals, etc.)

What I’m looking for is what material mechanisms can account for fish to amphibians to reptiles, etc. Where is the actual evidence that shows us where this evolutionary process has taken place? So far what I have read and been referred to has shown microevolution as empirically true.  Where is the evidence for macroevolution?

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:34   

I think JLT referred to change in chromosome number in particular with plant speciation (BTW thanks JLT for responding with reasons why you believe what you do and providing resources). If I understand this correctly, chromosome mutation brings about replication of sections of DNA. This can result in replication of a section of DNA that could then be potentially used to serve some function independent of the gene it was replicated from. But this replicated section is dependent upon either further chromosome mutation or point mutations (which are extremely rare and usually damaging). I know this is a popular theory for macroevolution but it seems to have significant problems. For a more detailed explanation: “Simulating  Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features that Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues,” Protein Science 13 (2004): 1-14. It’s written by Michael J. Behe (not your favorite person I know) and David W. Snoke

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:36   

What follows are some reasons I believe a designer is a more probable explanation for biological organisms. When looking at these organisms they are not just a combination of various structures but a combination of coordinated structures. I can throw all the necessary components of a building together at random, but that does not result in a fully formed and functioning building.

What needs to happen (taken from Dembski another one of your favorites) is all of the parts that make up the system have to be available, available at the right time, the parts have to be able to break free from systems they are incorporated with at the time (without damaging that system), other harmful parts have to be excluded, the parts have to be compatible with one another (structured in such a way that they fit together to form a system that can function), the parts have to be assembled in the right order, and they have to be arranged correctly in order for the system to function

How does random variation and natural selection account for this? Further random variation and natural selection is only interested in what’s profitable for the moment not for what may come in the future. An intelligent designer/s plans and coordinates with a particular end in mind. This being the case this agent or agents can coordinate everything that needs to happen in order to get the final product. For example, in building an apartment complex an intelligent agent/s know the benefit of building a foundation, walls, etc. for the end goal of making this an inhabitable place to live. Darwinian mechanisms can only see an immediate benefit such as putting on a roof for protection from bad weather but doesn’t know to accumulate other parts for some greater end goal.

In other words since Darwinian mechanisms do not have an end goal in mind it seems highly improbable that these mechanisms account for such complex biological structures that serve specific purposes.

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:39   

There exists within the cell highly complex machines. These molecular machines are made up of multiple parts that perform a specific function.  If any part of the system is tampered with it no longer can perform the original function. This is known as the irreducible core. Can natural selection account for such irreducibly complex machines? In direct Darwinian pathways natural selection improves upon a system through the evolutionary process, yet the function of the system remains the same throughout the process. However, the irreducible core for the cell is quite complex. The function of the cell is dependent upon its complex components. In order for a direct Darwinian pathway to be a viable option the complexity of the cell came about by the evolution of simpler systems that had the same function. But if you any of the parts of the cell are missing it can no longer serve its function. Therefore, there could not be prior simpler systems that performed the same function.  Natural selection supposedly starts to work on a simple organism, yet nothing more simplified could perform the same function as this complex system. The only option would be for the complex system to come to be all at once. An alternative to a direct pathway is an indirect pathway whereby the system and the function itself evolve over time. As far as I know there is no empirical evidence to support such a claim.

  
inquiry



Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,13:40   

Design proponents have offered ways to measure probability in particular when it comes to detecting specified complexity (something that is both complex [not reproduced easily by chance] and specified [independently given pattern]. Something is specified when a specific pattern repeats over and over again like a tile pattern on a kitchen floor. Complexity is defined as a complex pattern that is random such as pouring alphabet soup into a bowel with the letters of the alphabet randomly floating around in the broth. Neither one of these phenomena would be considered a product of an intelligent designer per se. However when the letters in the soup come together to form a sentence we have both a specified and complex pattern and are led to believe a designer caused it. Specified complexity has three components: probabilistic complexity deals with the improbability for something to occur by chance. A combination lock is often used as an example. The more possible combinations (the more complex) the less likely the lock can be opened by chance (the greater the complexity the smaller the probability). This is the complexity aspect of specified complexity. Descriptive complexity refers to how easy it is to describe the pattern. In order for something to show specified complexity it has to have both a low descriptive complexity (easy to describe) yet highly unlikely to happen by chance. Probabilistic resources pertains to the amount of opportunities for something to take place and be specified. This helps to determine whether or not something that you witness is designed or a chance occurrence. This is divided into replicational (number of opportunities for an event) and specificational (number of opportunities to specify an event).

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2137
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,14:51   

Quote
Design proponents have offered ways to measure probability in particular when it comes to detecting specified complexity (something that is both complex [not reproduced easily by chance] and specified [independently given pattern].


And yet, for some reason, they've never actually, you know, done the measurement.  What are the units, and how do you apply them? Come on, inquiry, the Nobel awaits!

What's the CSI rating of E. coli K-12? Drosophila melanogaster?  The slippers I'm wearing?

You clearly know fuck all about how evolution actually works. You got all your misinformation from creationist literature, didn't you?

Are you going to play the "no transitional fossils" card, too? (That card is a joker, by the way)

How about C-decay?  Vapour canopy? 2LOT?

Dude, just admit it. You think GODDIDIT is an explanation because that's the explanation you want to be true.  Well guess what: reality doesn't give a flying what you want.

Grow up.

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:08   

Irreducible complexity? Seriously? Next you'll be asking, "What good is half a wing?" Try using an argument that hasn't already been demolished a thousand times already.

Oh, right. There aren't any.

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
JohnW



Posts: 2268
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:13   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,11:40)
Complexity is defined as a complex pattern that is random such as pouring alphabet soup into a bowel with the letters of the alphabet randomly floating around in the broth.

Congratulations, inquiry!  You win the Disturbing Mental Image Of The Week Award.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
Cubist



Posts: 350
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:16   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,13:31)
Since I had numerous responses I’m going to try to respond to as much as I can by posting a series of replies. I apologize in advance if you feel this is too much at once, but I figured it is the best way to address everyone’s (more or less) comments.

Evolutionary / Darwinian species  
A group of organisms that shares an ancestor; a lineage that maintains its integrity with respect to other lineages through both time and space. At some point in the progress of such a group, some members may diverge from the main population and evolve into a subspecies, a process that eventually will lead to the formation of a new full species if isolation (geographical or ecological) is maintained.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species#Definitions_of_species


I think this most accurately defines what I mean by species. Additionally, species for me includes organisms that are asexual (bacteria for example), able to sexually reproduce, and no longer living (found in the fossil record).
Groovy. Now, what the heck is a 'kind'? I ask because now that you agree with real scientists that evolution can indeed produce new species, your 'reasons' for rejecting evolution appear to have been reduced to yeah, but that's just new species and not new kinds, so I really want to know what, exactly, this 'kind'-thingie decently is. Because if you can't tell what 'kind' a critter is, complaining that evolution can't produce new 'kind's is exactly as meaningless as complaining that evolution can't produce new 'zibbleblorf's. Okay?

  
JohnW



Posts: 2268
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:20   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,11:31)
Since I had numerous responses I’m going to try to respond to as much as I can by posting a series of replies. I apologize in advance if you feel this is too much at once, but I figured it is the best way to address everyone’s (more or less) comments.

Evolutionary / Darwinian species  
A group of organisms that shares an ancestor; a lineage that maintains its integrity with respect to other lineages through both time and space. At some point in the progress of such a group, some members may diverge from the main population and evolve into a subspecies, a process that eventually will lead to the formation of a new full species if isolation (geographical or ecological) is maintained.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species#Definitions_of_species


I think this most accurately defines what I mean by species. Additionally, species for me includes organisms that are asexual (bacteria for example), able to sexually reproduce, and no longer living (found in the fossil record).


Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,11:33)
The question I have is how do we go from species that are modified in some way (flies with differences in wing size, etc.), to a completely new species? (fish to amphibian, reptiles to mammals). JLT mentioned the possibility of two separate species coming about by the separation of a population that could eventually lead to an inability to reproduce (due to the genetic changes from the differing environments), hence two separate species.

You're still using "species" in radically different ways in different posts.  Within minutes of each other.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
Cubist



Posts: 350
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:28   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,13:33)
The question I have is how do we go from species that are modified in some way (flies with differences in wing size, etc.), to a completely new species? (fish to amphibian, reptiles to mammals).
What do you mean when you say "completely new species" (emphasis added)? I ask because if I take the words of that phrase at face value, it's not clear whether any species on the planet can truly be considered to be completely new. Take a look at us humans -- we breathe oxygen (not something which originated in humans); we use hemoglobin (not something which originated in humans) to carry oxygen to our cells; we use the same genetic code as Christ knows how many other, older, species than our own. So do we humans qualify as a completely new species, or not?

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:30   

Quote (JohnW @ Dec. 10 2009,15:13)
Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,11:40)
Complexity is defined as a complex pattern that is random such as pouring alphabet soup into a bowel with the letters of the alphabet randomly floating around in the broth.

Congratulations, inquiry!  You win the Disturbing Mental Image Of The Week Award.

When given for creative spelling errors, that award should be named the FtK Disturbing Mental Image of the Week Memorial Award.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:33   

Quote
evolution can't produce new 'zibbleblorf's.


Hey! I'm still working on that!

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Cubist



Posts: 350
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,15:45   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,13:34)
I think JLT referred to change in chromosome number in particular with plant speciation (BTW thanks JLT for responding with reasons why you believe what you do and providing resources). If I understand this correctly, chromosome mutation brings about replication of sections of DNA. This can result in replication of a section of DNA that could then be potentially used to serve some function independent of the gene it was replicated from. But this replicated section is dependent upon either further chromosome mutation or point mutations (which are extremely rare and usually damaging). I know this is a popular theory for macroevolution but it seems to have significant problems. For a more detailed explanation: “Simulating  Evolution by Gene Duplication of Protein Features that Require Multiple Amino Acid Residues,” Protein Science 13 (2004): 1-14. It’s written by Michael J. Behe (not your favorite person I know) and David W. Snoke

Been there, done that. Or, less cryptically: Ian F. Musgrave, Steve Reuland, and Reed A. Cartwright demolished Behe & Snoke's conclusions in Theory is as Theory Does. I'm sure that an upstanding, truth-seeking Christian such as yourself will be sure to read and understand the criticisms in that response, and if you still think the B&S paper is valid, you'll be able to point out all the bits where Musgrave & co. went wrong in their criticism. Right? Because you are a truth-seeker -- someone who follows the Truth wherever it leads, and not someone who only follows the Truth if it leads to where he's comfortable with it going -- aren't you?

  
JohnW



Posts: 2268
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,16:06   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,11:33)
The question I have is how do we go from species that are modified in some way (flies with differences in wing size, etc.), to a completely new species? (fish to amphibian, reptiles to mammals).

Tiktaalik, inquiry.  Fish or amphibian?

How about Panderichthys?  Or Acanthostega?  Ichthyostega?  Eusthenopteron?

If fish-to-amphibian is such a huge gap, you have a reliable methodology for classifying these, yes?

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
Cubist



Posts: 350
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,16:21   

Quote (inquiry @ Dec. 10 2009,13:39)
There exists within the cell highly complex machines. These molecular machines are made up of multiple parts that perform a specific function.  If any part of the system is tampered with it no longer can perform the original function. This is known as the irreducible core. Can natural selection account for such irreducibly complex machines? In direct Darwinian pathways natural selection improves upon a system through the evolutionary process, yet the function of the system remains the same throughout the process. However, the irreducible core for the cell is quite complex. The function of the cell is dependent upon its complex components. In order for a direct Darwinian pathway to be a viable option the complexity of the cell came about by the evolution of simpler systems that had the same function. But if you any of the parts of the cell are missing it can no longer serve its function. Therefore, there could not be prior simpler systems that performed the same function.  Natural selection supposedly starts to work on a simple organism, yet nothing more simplified could perform the same function as this complex system. The only option would be for the complex system to come to be all at once. An alternative to a direct pathway is an indirect pathway whereby the system and the function itself evolve over time. As far as I know there is no empirical evidence to support such a claim.
"Direct Darwinian pathway" is Behe's term for a multi-step process in which every step is "add a new part to the system". This is all well and good, but it's worth noting that evolutionary changes aren't limited to just adding new parts; in addition, an evolutionary change can also (a) remove an existing part, and (b) modify an existing part. Therefore, there are any number of Darwinian pathways which include at least one step other than "add a new part to the system" -- which means there are any number of Darwinian pathways which do not fit Behe's definition for "direct Darwinian pathways"
Personally, I think Behe is right that his "direct Darwinian pathways" aren't capable of generating an irreducibly complex structure. Where he and I differ is that he thinks this restriction on "direct Darwinian pathways" applies to any and every Darwinian pathway whatsoever, direct or otherwise, and I call bullshit on that.
Now, Behe has already acknowledged that very simple Irreducibly Complex systems can arise by chance, no Designer needed. So let's look at a hypothetical IC system with only two parts, A and B. Since this system is IC, both of these parts are required for the system to do its job; if either part A or part B should be broken or absent, the system don't do its job. So this simple, two-part system chugs along, doing its job, until a mutation adds a new part, C, to it. At this point, part C is something the system can take or leave; the presence of part C might be helpful, but its absence won't hurt anything, either. And so our three-part system chugs along, doing its job with part C as a helpful-but-unnecessary attachment... until a new mutation hits part A, modifying part A in such a way that now part A needs part C in order to do its job. This modification of part A has rendered part C a necessary component of the system; at this point, what had formerly been a two-part IC system is now a three-part IC system. And there's nothing to keep new parts D, E, F, G, etc, from being incorporated into this IC system, with each new part being incorporated by an add-a-new-part/modify-an-existing-part tango.
Again: For Behe, a direct Darwinian pathway consists entirely of "add a new part" steps, so the scenario I just outlined, which includes a "modify an existing part" step, is not what Behe would call a direct Darwinian pathway! Therefore, everything Behe says about direct Darwinian pathways does not apply to the scenario I just outlined.
If Behe, or anybody else, wants to argue that evolution cannot produce IC systems, fine: All they have to do is figure out what's going to prevent mutations from modifying biological systems in such a way that parts of those systems get 'promoted' from helpful-but-unnecessary to required-in-order-to-function-at-all.

  
phantom menace



Posts: 7
Joined: Dec. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,23:07   

Hey folks, just thought I would drop in on this conversation and add a few observations.

1) I noticed several refernces to natural law in relation to the origin of biological diversity, but I didn't see an account given of natural law itself from what appears to be some unexamined materialist assumptions. Anyone care to explain why the universe has "laws" rather than just chaos? And by explain, I mean give us your empirical observations since that seems to be the only grounds for knowledge you guys consider valid.

2) It would seem to me that the issue of isolated populations is an example of devolution and not evolution. In fact it is becoming quite clear that genetic entropy accounts for this phenomena much better than natural selection, beneficial mutations, etc. Since negative mutations far exceed positive mutations (assuming that there are some actual net-positive mutations) it is no wonder that organisims can actually lose functionality when isolated.

3) Inquiry - the definition you offered for "species" assumes evolution to be true. You are equivocating on the term if you then try to argue against the formation of a new species through natural processes. Don't worry though, Darwin's definition is just an assumption that he made and has no biological necessity to it. If we assume the process of evolution in defining a species then of course evolution has "produced" new species. What I would like to know is if your opponents can define a species apart from an evolutionary assumption?

4) I would hope that those who choose to respond to my posts would do so with actual arguments and evidence, rather than the silly name calling that has so far permeated this thread. Remember, you are betrayed as unable to answer your opponent as soon as you stoop to name calling. Just listen to Sean Hannity and you will see what I mean. But I suppose some of you will insist on imitating him.

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3573
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,23:35   

Speaking to the question of natural law: laws are generalizations -- usually expressed in an equation -- of observed phenomena. Laws are subject to refinement based on additional or more precise observation.

Laws are often limited to a range of conditions and fail at the extremes of those conditions. So what exactly is it about laws that requires explanation?

Populations either survive or not. Isolated populations may develop successful adaptions to new conditions, or they may go extinct. It may seem a bit tautological, but living populations have not gone extinct due to genetic entropy. Considering that most living things are single celled, and reproduce in minutes rather than years or decades, genetic entropy doesn't appear to be much of a threat to the survival of populations.

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

Pat Robertson

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3573
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2009,23:41   

The term "species" existed long before Darwin. It has never had a perfect definition.

Evolution assumes that transitions to new species are gradual, and that there is never a child that is obviously of a different species from its parents. For this reason, evolution has no trouble dealing with awkward problems of interspecies fertility. If you assume that all things are cousins, you are not surprised when cousins are interfertile. Fertility between species is a continuum.

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

Pat Robertson

  
Cubist



Posts: 350
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 11 2009,04:25   

Quote (phantom menace @ Dec. 10 2009,23:07)
1) I noticed several refernces to natural law in relation to the origin of biological diversity, but I didn't see an account given of natural law itself from what appears to be some unexamined materialist assumptions.
So what? What it's true that we do not yet have a good explanation for how come natural laws exist, it's also true that the existence (or lack thereof) of said natural laws is not in any way affected by our lack of an explanation for their origin. Yes, it would be nice if we did have a good explanation for how come natural laws exist... but we don't yet, and for all I know, we may never have such an explanation. What of it? Is it your position that our understanding of biological diversity is somehow flawed as a result of our not having a good explanation for how natural laws come about? For bonus points, please explain why the lack of an explanation for how natural laws came about is especially problematic for biology in particular, as opposed to being equally problematic for all fields of science in general.
And what "unexamined materialist assumptions" do you refer to, please? Are you laying the foundation of a later "evolution = TEH ATHEISM" argument, by any chance?
Quote
Anyone care to explain why the universe has "laws" rather than just chaos? And by explain, I mean give us your empirical observations since that seems to be the only grounds for knowledge you guys consider valid.
I can 'explain' it in two words: "Beats me." If you think you've got a better explanation than that, how about you lay it out so's I can take a look at it?
Quote
2) It would seem to me that the issue of isolated populations is an example of devolution and not evolution. In fact it is becoming quite clear that genetic entropy accounts for this phenomena much better than natural selection, beneficial mutations, etc. Since negative mutations far exceed positive mutations (assuming that there are some actual net-positive mutations) it is no wonder that organisims can actually lose functionality when isolated.
Hold it. What do you think "genetic entropy" means?
Quote
3) Inquiry - the definition you offered for "species" assumes evolution to be true. You are equivocating on the term if you then try to argue against the formation of a new species through natural processes. Don't worry though, Darwin's definition is just an assumption that he made and has no biological necessity to it. If we assume the process of evolution in defining a species then of course evolution has "produced" new species. What I would like to know is if your opponents can define a species apart from an evolutionary assumption?
First: It's worth noting that if evolution is true, this "species" concept should be difficult to define -- there should be "edge cases", critters which are genuinely difficult to classify because they've got a mosaic/mixture of traits from different species. But if Creationism is true, there's no reason at all to expect any such "edge cases" to exist -- not unless you know the Creator's mind/goals/will, and Creationism has historically been very explicit about how us puny humans do not and cannot know the Creator's mind/goals/will. Personally, I've never been clear on how it helps science to invoke a poorly-defined entity which is literally capable of doing anything at all, at any moment, for reasons which we humans are intrinsically incapable of comprehending... do you think you could explain that for me, PM?
Second: You want a "species" concept which is not based on an "evolutionary assumption"? Fine: Try the Biological Species Concept on for size.
Quote
4) I would hope that those who choose to respond to my posts would do so with actual arguments and evidence, rather than the silly name calling that has so far permeated this thread. Remember, you are betrayed as unable to answer your opponent as soon as you stoop to name calling. Just listen to Sean Hannity and you will see what I mean. But I suppose some of you will insist on imitating him.
Gosh, PM, it sure is a good thing you don't sneer at your opponents or make veiled accusations of intellectual incapacity or anything like that, because if you did, that would make you some kind of hypocrite...

  
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