Random Evolutionary Research: Strange to Bizarre

Biologists at Rice University proposed a new method which views organisms in light of organization rather than the structure of their parts.  They concluded based on a pattern that animals were designed with a purpose!  This is actually a good method but the interpretation of the origin in evolutionary circles remains a conflict.

What they conceptualize makes it really strange. A technical report published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, stated, “All organisms originated from groups of simpler units that now show high cooperation among the parts and are nearly free of conflicts.” How did a non-propose natural process create organisms and then create propose as they got more complex? For example, honeybee colonies (which is similar to man-made cities) work together for an overall purpose with a maximum amount of cooperation with minimum conflict. Basically they are trying to re-define “purpose” without needing intelligence to accomplish it. While the method could be of value for creationism, the conclusion in evolutionary circles is strange nevertheless…Speaking of strange it gets more bizarre…

Another hypothesis advocating purpose which was published in New Scientist, “Early birds may have dropped teeth to get airborne.” Talk about almost falling out of your seat, because of laughing so hard! Speculation running ramped here, 20 million years after the first bird, the animals went toothless so they could fly according to Chinese researchers. Teeth have little if nothing to do with air balance. And again, what mechanism decided to lose their teeth? The goofy things New Scientist decides to publish without much of a challenge to such foolishness in science research.

“They discovered Zhongjianornis yangi, a toothless bird from 122 million years ago in China’s Liaoning province. Their analysis shows that Z. yangi belonged to one of four bird groups that independently lost their teeth, implying that this loss was no evolutionary fluke. Z. yangi‘s group is the most primitive among them, suggesting it could provide clues as to why tooth loss occurred.”

If one theory is as good as any other, is it also as bad as any other? Now on to another bizarre research in the evolutionary realm, miraculous meteorites are claimed to have started, “oxygenic photosynthesis.” Yep, one of the most complex mechanisms one can find in the living world. Same MO, starts of as an accident then becomes purposeful…It’s interesting to note, this research got $867,000 from the National Science Foundation. Waste of money which could have been used for fighting diseases.

Evolutionary research has been strange with it’s storytelling but the more they see design with purpose the more bizarre they get in explanations, what we actually observe in nature is intelligence with a purpose namely, God!

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8 thoughts on “Random Evolutionary Research: Strange to Bizarre

  1. I don’t believe you’re still arguing about purpose and complexity. Darwin nailed it more than a hundred years ago with a “simple idea”, which many still refuse to accept for emotional reasons: natural selection.

    Birds that had no teeth had reproductive advantages, they reproduced more, and so, there were more and more birds without teeth. That’s it. Is this so difficult to understand?! There are so many cases of this natural selection happening in the fossil record, and even in our lifetime (see this case). I don’t even know why we keep arguing.

    Pablo
    Pablo’s Origins Blog

  2. Pablo: natural selection has never produced anything new, all it does is choose which trait is dominate. Only irrational Darwinists take it to the extreme and argue from a point of ignorance and emotion.

  3. Michael’s Puppetteer: “How did a non-propose [sic] natural process create organisms and then create propose [sic] as they got more complex?”

    Because you have it exactly backward, Michael. Complex systems can generate purpose. It’s a product of “emergence,” and quite a few complex systems exhibit it. As in your very next example:

    MP: “For example, honeybee colonies (which is [sic] similar to man-made cities) work together for an overall purpose with a maximum amount of cooperation with minimum conflict. Basically they are trying to re-define ‘purpose’ without needing intelligence to accomplish it”

    No, you are the one who inserted intelligence as a requirement for purpose. The problem is due, as usual, to your own ignorance. I’ll say it once more: Complex systems[1] can evolve emergent properties, some of which can manifest themselves as purposes of the systems. An overall organizing “intelligence,” “guide,” or “creator” is entirely unnecessary [2]

    If you’d like to argue with the mathematics, please feel free. But you’ll have to know a lot more about it than you do now.[3] Honeybee colonies are frequently used as an example of how purposive behavior emerges from simple rules followed by the components (individual bees) without any overall or high-level organization. Also ant colonies. Anf global weather patterns. And financial systems.

    In fact, the usual result of trying to impose top-down “intelligent” control on a complex system is to degrade it and to make it less able to recover from injuriy.

    ==============
    [1] Defined mathematically as systems whose components are diverse, interconnected, adaptive, and interdependent within a defined range.

    [2] Creationists can’t even conceive that the mathematics might demonstrate this. Their only defense is to remain ignorant.

    [3] On the off chance that your readers might be interested in learning about this subject, which is relatively new, often counterintuitive, and is becoming very important in a number of sigfnificant areas of our lives, here are a few references:

    Auyang, “Foundations of Complex-system Theories: In Economics, Evolutionary Biology, and Statistical Physics”(Cambridge U. Press, 1999). A reviewed wrote, “This is an amazing book,” and evinces “A lot of depth in her philosophical explorations of the complexity ideas, ” requiring only “college level maths and some physics” to understand. Another writes: “The author demonstrates that she has command over a number of different fields.”

    Erdi, “Complexity Explained” (Springer; 2007) The book includes “some excellent tutorials in relevant basics in the physical and life-sciences (e.g., Hamiltonian dynamics, statistical thermodynamics, chaotic itinerancy and so on).” SAnother review: “It is shown that very different complex phenomena of nature and society can be analyzed and understood by nonlinear dynamics since many systems of very different fields, such as physics, chemistry, biology, economics, psychology and sociology etc. have similar architecture.”

    Gros, “Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems: A Primer” (Springer; 2008), is a textbook “appropriate for graduate students in physics, economics, and engineering”.

  4. mcoville: “Pablo: natural selection has never produced anything new, all it does is choose which trait is dominate. [sic] ”

    mcoville gets something right—for the first time. “Variation” is where the new stuff; come “selection” winnows out the bad varaitions, producing a net gain in fitness.

    Too bad, mcoville. Your correct statement has nothing to do with your argument.

  5. Michael: “Another hypothesis advocating purpose which was published in New Scientist, ‘Early birds may have dropped teeth to get airborne.'”

    No, Michael. You are looking through the wrong end of the telescope again. Toothless birds are lighter. Therefore, those birds having fewer or smaller teeth flew better than comparable birds with more or larger teeth. Lighter birds could exploit their environmental niches better. There fore they reproduced more successfully.

    Michael: “Teeth have little if nothing to do with air balance.”

    Even your dullest reader can see through that one. See above.

    Michael: “And again, what mechanism decided to lose their teeth?”

    Your insistence upon forcing intelligence into everything is astounding.. See above.

    Michael: “The goofy things New Scientist decides to publish without much of a challenge to such foolishness in science research”

    And your qualifications to judge that are…?

    Shall we try just one of the basic questions again? You’ve been ducking them for a long time now…. A study has found that the highest concentrations of creationists are in towns with the smallest populations. Where would you expect to find the lowest concentration of creationists? Go ahead, make a stab, Michael. Or call a friend. Mcoville?

  6. Here’s an even more introductory book on complex systems: Mitchell, “Complexity, A guided Tour” (Oxford University Press, 2009). Prof Mitchell is a member of the Santa Fe Institute, as is Scott Page, the professor for my course on complexity theory.

    A passage from pager 4 of the book is instructive. After an example of a colony of army ants, Prof. Mitchell writes:

    The mysteries of the army ants are a microcosm for the mysteries of many natural and social systems that we think of as ‘complex.’ Similarly mysterious is how the intricate machinery of the immune system fights disease; how a group of cells organizes itself to be an eye or brain….

    “Such questions are the topic of complex systems, an interdisciplinary field of research that seeks to explain how large numbers of relatively simple entities organize themselves, without any central controller, into a collective whole that creates patterns, uses information, and evolves and learns.”

    This book may be a better first introduction, requiring less mathematics than the books listed above. At less than $20, it’s also a lot less expensive. Happy reading.

  7. NEWS FLASH: Does “junk DNA” have a function after all?

    Over at Genomicron, T. Ryan Gregory hypothesizes[1] that soi-disant “junk DNA” provides a protective shield against damage from mutations in the rest of the genome.

    You missed this one big time, Michael. This is one of your favorite themes. Since you have no qualifications yourself to make head or tail of Gregory’s argument, you could beg your anonymous source to write a post for you.

    And, while you’re at it, ask him for the review of Stephen Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell,” which you promised back in July. Yawwwwnn.

    =================
    [1] http://www.genomicron.evolverzone.com/2009/12/does-junk-dna-protect-against-mutation/
    (13 Dec. 2009)

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