Stephen Hawking’s New Book Falls Into Anti-Realism

The Grand Design sounds more like a creationist or ID book rather than a consequence of the law of gravity. With this new book, Hawking decided to abandoned his hope in mankind’s ability to come up with a “theory of everything” as promised in A Brief History of Time. Three decades ago, he stated there was a fifty per cent chance of completing a “theory of everything” by 2000 but to no avail. His prediction wasn’t based on a possible acceptance of a creator, rather he used “God” as a metaphor because the vast majority of the population are theists.

The Grand Design has caught the attention of the mainstream media where it’s been hyped up and even my local newspaper picked up the story from the Associated Press. In one of the reviews about his new book, New Scientist says…

M-theory in either sense is far from complete. But that doesn’t stop the authors from asserting that it explains the mysteries of existence: why there is something rather than nothing, why this set of laws and not another, and why we exist at all. According to Hawking, enough is known about M-theory to see that God is not needed to answer these questions. Instead, string theory points to the existence of a multiverse, and this multiverse coupled with anthropic reasoning will suffice. Personally, I am doubtful.”


Take life. We are lucky to be alive. Imagine all the ways physics might have precluded life: gravity could have been stronger, electrons could have been as big as basketballs and so on. Does this intuitive “luck” warrant the postulation of God? No. Does it warrant the postulation of an infinity of universes? The authors and many others think so. In the absence of theory, though, this is nothing more than a hunch doomed – until we start watching universes come into being – to remain untested and untestable. The lesson isn’t that we face a dilemma between God and the multiverse, but that we shouldn’t go off the rails at the first sign of coincidences.”

This review is refreshing and more realistic than other publications that I have seen. The Grand Design falls into anti-realism where there are multiple independent views of reality which are considered possible, each one model-dependent without providing an example of reality. A theory for everything could also fit into anti-realism as well. This is what I call storytelling or science fiction!

Hawkings looks even more lost as he tries to explain away God being the creator. The problem with something being created out of nothing defies the laws of physics. So he did what Darwinian evolution does, you start out with something and go from there. Hawkings claims there was pre-existing gravity and a multi-universe instead of nothing and this is his vain imagination is why he argues against God being the Creator. Where did the laws of nature come from? Where did gravity come from? To suggest pre-existing material for natural evolving purposes that is eternal would be going against the law of entropy!

Updated September 17, 2010: From the Wallstreet Journal

Krauss, a cosmologist, is director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University writes…

“It appears that the dominant energy in our universe doesn’t reside in normal matter, or even mysterious dark matter. Rather, it is located in a much more mysterious form of energy in empty space. Figuring out why empty space has energy is perhaps the biggest mystery in physics and cosmology today.”

“The existence of this energy, called dark energy, has another consequence: It changes the picture so that knowing the geometry of the universe is no longer enough to determine its future. While this may be a disappointment, the existence of dark energy and a flat universe has profound implications for those of us who suspected the universe might arise from nothing.”

“Why? Because if you add up the total energy of a flat universe, the result is precisely zero…Think about it: If our universe arose spontaneously from nothing at all, one might predict that its total energy should be zero.”

There is no way that secular scientists or other people in general would believe that thunderstorms are created out of nothing with zero energy popping out of empty spaces, nor mountains, nor the grass that grows on our lawns! Stephen Hawking and Krauss alike are fools professing himself to be wise as they sink deeper into anti-realism of absurdity which defies natural laws which they profess to believe in while also denying the ever growing evidence for a Universe created by God which we as Christians rejoice in!

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140 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking’s New Book Falls Into Anti-Realism

  1. Michael: “To suggest pre-existing material for natural evolving purposes that is eternal would be going against the law of entropy!”

    So why would that be ? As you have no understanding of science, including physics, I take it that this statement comes from somewhere else. Perhaps you can provide the reference.

    Michael: “Stephen Hawking is a fool …”

    I’n not a fan of Hawking myself, but insulting is a bit cheap.

  2. In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics…the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theory.

    In my e-book on comparative mysticism is a quote by Albert Einstein: “…most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty – which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive form – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of all religion.”

    Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is probably the best known scientific equation. I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (fx raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

    In “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking postulates that the M-theory may be the Holy Grail of physics…the Grand Unified Theory which Einstein had tried to formulate and later abandoned. It expands on quantum mechanics and string theory.

  3. Stephen Hawking is a fool professing himself to be wise as he sinks into anti-realism which defies natural laws that he professes to believe in while also denying the ever growing evidence for a Universe created by God which we as Christians rejoice in!

    Please describe exactly how anti-realism defies any natural law. I thought not.

    Michael again displays his abysmal ignorance. This time, ignorance in the rudiments of philosophy. To call Weinberg an “anti-realist” is ridiculous. Weinberg could be considered a leading proponents of realism.

    Just one more area of human knowledge in which Michael is a fool. Let’s see: science, history, philosophy—even theology!

    Of course, if Michael would set forth his qualifications to discuss any of these subjects,, then we would have a better idea whether he is merely ignorant or is deliberately lying to us.

  4. The Grand Design sounds more like a creationist or ID book rather than a consequence of the law of gravity.

    Soc Puppette suggests that Michael sue for false advertising. He apparently grabbed the book off the shelf thinking that Hawking had gone over tot he dark side.

    The Grand Design has caught the attention of the mainstream media where it’s been hyped up and even my local newspaper picked up the story from the Associated Press.

    It is amazing that your local newspaper, the East Overshoe News-Free Press, even has an AP feed. Can we ask Editor Billy-Bob Smif to explain the concept of Hawking Radiation for us?

  5. Hawkings [sic] looks even more lost as he tries to explain away God being the creator. The problem with something being created out of nothing defies the laws of physics.

    If Michael knew more than diddly-squat squared about modern cosmological theories, the would know that most of them say that the total amount of mass/energy in the universe is ZERO. So they create nothing out of nothing.

    Michael obviously is also unaware that billions of virtual particles are being created out of empty space right before his eyes every second. we can even measure the amount, via the Casimir effect, using two closely spaced metal plates. (This is what led Hawking to discover “Hawking radiation,” the creation of particles near black holes.)

    So much for the impossibility of creating “something” from “nothing.” One more reason that scientists laugh at creationists.

    .

    Yet that pales in comparison to the following mish-mash of muddled physics—

    To suggest pre-existing material for natural evolving purposes that is eternal would be going against the law of entropy!

    Please explain:

    (a) What pre-existing material has to do with entropy?

    (b) Why evolution might require eternal materials?

    (c) How evolution goes against anyone’s law of entropy, including creationists’?

    Really desperate, Michael, really desperate this time.

  6. Michael, I have a some questions.

    1. Do you have Hawking’s book?
    2. If so, have you actually read it?
    3. What does this have to do with evolution?
    4. Why are you pre-occupied with Hawking at all?
    5. Have you even read up on entropy? Honestly?

  7. Olorin,

    You said, “Michael obviously is also unaware that billions of virtual particles are being created out of empty space right before his eyes every second. we can even measure the amount, via the Casimir effect, using two closely spaced metal plates. (This is what led Hawking to discover “Hawking radiation,” the creation of particles near black holes.)”

    Hawking claims that physics is in conflict with God but it is not. Physics my friend, doesn’t create anything! All it does is it explains what happens under certain conditions which is not an anti-God concept. For example, Hawking implies we should choose physics over an aeronautical engineer. We can use physics to explain how a plane engine works and how it flies, but someone has to build that plane in operating condition. In other words, if we just rely on accepting physics to build a plane then no plane would be built! It’s the same with the Universe!

    You ask, (a) What pre-existing material has to do with entropy?

    Circular questioning! I’ll answer (b) too. According to Hawking and I have said this in my main post, Hawking believes in more than one Universe existed before our universe was formed. Which means, gravity and another universe is required under Hawking’s proposal to supposedly create a new one, then how was the very first Universe formed? How was gravity created? His proposal is circular.

    Modern Astronomers have decided the universe will expand forever till it ends in a heat death according to a report by the BBC. One researcher boasted this study proves the fate of the Universe. This is not a breakthrough by any means, but a reaffirmation of what some physicists did in the 19th century using the second law of thermodynamics without all the other complexities such as dark energy, predicted such an end to the Universe. There is no process that is able to prevent the increase of entropy, thus it’s not eternal.

  8. Michael, first you say: ” Physics my friend, doesn’t create anything! ”
    and then: “Hawking believes in more than one Universe existed before our universe was formed. ”

    That is a clear contradiction, for a start. And I do not think Olorin is your friend.

    Of course in physics lots of things are created all the time: particles out of energy, for example.
    You clearly haven’t got a clue about neither physics nor cosmology.

    And of course physics is not anti-god (or anti-goddess): it does not need any god (of whatever type) either. A god/goddess is simply not needed. That is not anti or pro.

  9. Oops, that should be:

    Michael, you clearly haven’t got a clue about either physics or cosmology.

  10. Eelco: “And I do not think Oloring is your friend.”

    I must be Michael’s friend. Every time I look at the box to post a new comment, it says “Welcome back, Olorin.”

  11. Hawking claims that physics is in conflict with God but it is not.

    I will agree with Michael on that. But that is a philosophical position, not a scientific one. Hawking’s position is philosophical, not scientific. Because the province of science is investigation of “natural” phenomena, which excludes “supernatural” causes (God) by definition.

    When Hawking—and Dawkins and others—attempt to use scientific evidence to argue a philosophical position, they overreach science.

    But Michael is guilty of exactly the same sin. He attempts to employ scientific evidence to prove the philosophical position that God does exist. i would gladly cease trashing this blog if Michael would give up his attempt to misuse science in theology—and vice versa. Hey, I’d go away if he merely stops lying about science for this purpose.

  12. Physics my friend, doesn’t create anything! All it does is it explains what happens under certain conditions which is not an anti-God concept. For example, Hawking implies we should choose physics over an aeronautical engineer. We can use physics to explain how a plane engine works and how it flies, but someone has to build that plane in operating condition. In other words, if we just rely on accepting physics to build a plane then no plane would be built! It’s the same with the Universe!

    Michel has muddled together several different concepts into an unintelligible pastiche.

    Chemistry doesn’t create plastics, either. We can use chemistry to explain the properties of plastics, buit someone needs to actually mix the ingredients together. If we relied on chemistry tio make plastics, then no juice bottle would ever be made.

    Well, duh.

    .

    But your original contention was that God is necessary because no one can make “something” out of “nothing.” My answer was that natural cosmology does not claim to have done that. Yopu response does not deal with that.

  13. You ask, (a) What [sic] pre-existing material has [sic] to do with entropy?

    Circular questioning!

    First, what do you mean by “circular questioning?” I have never heard this term before. And I suspect no one else has either.

    Second, what does pre-existing material have to do with entropy?

  14. blockquote>
    I’ll answer (b) too. According to Hawking and I have said this in my main post, Hawking believes in more than one Universe existed before our universe was formed. Which means, gravity and another universe is required under Hawking’s proposal to supposedly create a new one, then how was the very first Universe formed? How was gravity created?

    The question, once again, was “(b) Why evolution might require eternal materials?”

    Evolution started with the abuility of a primitive life form to reproduce with variation. There is a definite starting point. In what way does that require “eternal” materials? What do multiple universes have to do with evolution?

  15. Michael, you have not yet attempted the third question—

    “(c) How evolution goes against anyone’s law of entropy, including creationists’?”

    You should probably start by defining the creationist law of entropy, because it seems to differ from everyone else’s.

  16. Eelco,

    You say,“Of course in physics lots of things are created all the time: particles out of energy, for example.” Energy is not eternal or self substaining, only in the realm of the occult (which goes against natural law) is energy eternal but that is not science nor is it biblical. For example, the universe’s energy is doomed, it will not last forever! So energy has to be created which means things like gravity would also have to be created. It’s a model you should go by instead of the occult. Things in the natural world have a beginning and an end. Steven Hawking’s does the same thing, you start out with something and go from there which supposedly explains how something created itself out of nothing. Circular reasoning which defies the laws of physics!

  17. Michael,

    Energy is not eternal or self substaining, only in the realm of the occult (which goes against natural law) is energy eternal but that is not science nor is it biblical.

    It’s called the First Law of Thermydynamics. The first lay says energy can be transformed, BUT that it can be neither created or destroyed. — Since this is a basic concept of physics and science, how can you therefore say it is unscientific?

  18. Kriss,

    Your trying to be slick but that’s not what they are proposing (…a change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings)

    I updated the main post to include some of the comments made by Krauss, who is a cosmologist from the Arizona State University…He wrote in the Wallstreet Journal…

    “Think about it: If our universe arose spontaneously from nothing at all, one might predict that its total energy should be zero.”

    Let’s see, scientists do not believe a thunderstorm can be created out of nothing at all with zero energy but yet claim the universe is able to do it? This is one of the reasons why I call the proposal based on anti-realism (being created from nothing) that also includes extra dimensions and infinite number of universes, unscientific rather I call it occultic!

  19. Michael,

    Your trying to be slick …

    Uh, no I’m not. That is what the first law of thermodynamics means.

    Let’s see, scientists do not believe a thunderstorm can be created out of nothing at all with zero energy but yet claim the universe is able to do it? This is one of the reasons why I call the proposal based on anti-realism (being created from nothing) that also includes extra dimensions and infinite number of universes, unscientific rather I call it occultic!

    Michael, I cannot see your problem with the universe coming from nothing. That is consistent with the Judeo-Christian-Muslum view that God created it from nothing.

  20. Michael :
    Eelco,
    You say,“Of course in physics lots of things are created all the time: particles out of energy, for example.” Energy is not eternal or self substaining, only in the realm of the occult (which goes against natural law) is energy eternal but that is not science nor is it biblical. For example, the universe’s energy is doomed, it will not last forever! So energy has to be created which means things like gravity would also have to be created. It’s a model you should go by instead of the occult. Things in the natural world have a beginning and an end. Steven Hawking’s does the same thing, you start out with something and go from there which supposedly explains how something created itself out of nothing. Circular reasoning which defies the laws of physics!

    Que ? Energy is ‘doomed’ ? Are we using the same word for the same thing ? Probably not …
    And no, there is no reason at all that all things in the natural world have a beginning and an end. There is no reason the universe should have a beginning (we do not know).

  21. Eelco,

    And no, there is no reason at all that all things in the natural world have a beginning and an end. There is no reason the universe should have a beginning (we do not know).

    Even if the “Big Bang” theorizes that the universe came from nothing, I see a real inconsistency in Michael’s thinking… Assuming his understanding of what scientists say about the origin of the universe is true (that the universe came from nothing), then I fail to see his problem with that since it is CONSISTENT (though not insistent) with the Creationist view of God Creating the universe from nothing to begin with.

    I don’t get what his problem here is, unless it is that Scientists just do not invoke God..

  22. Eelco,

    You say,“Que ? Energy is ‘doomed’ ? Are we using the same word for the same thing ? Probably not …
    And no, there is no reason at all that all things in the natural world have a beginning and an end. There is no reason the universe should have a beginning (we do not know).”

    Really, there is no reason to think the sun’s energy had no beginning, and there is no reason to think it’s going to end either? So let me get this straight, there is no belief in your system of reality that the universe is on course to become a cold, dead wasteland with a temperature approaching what scientists term “absolute zero”?

    Lets me take on another angle which believes as you do…

    Back in 2003, in The Guardian, it said…“There is good astronomical evidence that the universe began in a state of almost total blandness…” What evidence does the author come up with to prove this? Here it is…

    “The richness and diversity of physical systems we observe today have emerged through a long and complicated series of self-organising and self-complexifying processes. Viewed this way, the conspicuous story of the universe so far is one of unfolding enrichment, not decay. There is nothing within science as such to compel one to favour entropy over organised complexity in characterising the evolution of the universe…”

    So the stars like the sun according to the author will not burn forever which is correct but since there is a story about evolution happening on earth, why then one cannot favor entropy….ha. So you think the story of evolution on earth is going to last forever? It’s the very reason why scientists who studied Abell 1689 believe our universe’s energy is doomed but maintain it will expand forever because they believe evolution is happening on earth…Rejection of evolution leads to the law of entropy which is observed in the universe today instead of circular reasoning promoted by evolutionary theory.

  23. Michael, you apparently have no idea what the word ‘energy’ means in physics …

    No, stars were formed, and will die. Same for the sun, as that obviously is a star as well. But the energy itself does not die ! It has been transformed, and much of it has been or will be radiated away. But it is not ‘doomed’, as you put it.

    And I do not ‘believe’: I am not a religious person.

  24. Michael: “It’s the very reason why scientists who studied Abell 1689 believe our universe’s energy is doomed but maintain it will expand forever because they believe evolution is happening on earth…Rejection of evolution leads to the law of entropy which is observed in the universe today instead of circular reasoning promoted by evolutionary theory.”

    One more time: que ? I’m actually a scientist who studied Abell 1689 (observed it and wrote a paper about it in the Astrophysical Journal, a while back now), but I have no idea what you are on about when you talk about ‘doomed’ energy.

  25. Michael,

    So the stars like the sun according to the author will not burn forever which is correct but since there is a story about evolution happening on earth, why then one cannot favor entropy….ha.

    It is true that the stars will not burn forever, BUT the matter and energy that makes them up has existed and will exist forever. — The first law of thermodynamics proves that.

    And you do not seem to understand entropy when it comes to evolution. (I am certain you are trying to cite the second law of thermodynamics here.) The second law does not apply to open systems, and living things ARE open systems.

  26. And Michael…

    LEt me re-ask my question, and I would like an answer:

    I cannot see your problem with the universe coming from nothing. That is consistent with the Judeo-Christian-Muslum view that God created it from nothing. So what’s the problem?

  27. Micheal, I’m waiting. I really want an answer here: What is your problem with the idea of the universe coming into existence from nothing?– How is that inconsistent with the idea of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God creating it with a word ex nihlo (i.e., from nothing)??

    Please, answer.

  28. Well, until Michel answers my question, here is some food for thought….

    Creationists object to conventional science because they feel that to exclude God from scientific hypothesis is to argue in favor of atheism, or to remove God’s importance.

    When I was a Creationist, someone once asked “Why would anyone believe in God?” My answer was a really simplistic (and dangerous) “Well we couldn’t have come from nothing.” — I now know the position I had was inaccurate and potentially dangerous…

    I hear many Creationists says “Those evolutionists are so irrational…..They believe life and the universe came formed from nothing.” — But when I hear Creationist apologists (like Harun Yahya and Ken Ham), I hear them either just imply or say outright “God created this universe from a word …..out of nothing!”

    Wait!!!! Hold on!!! Aren’t these the same people who tell us that it is irrational to believe that it is irrational for something to come from nothing? And yet—Here they are saying it themselves.

    The truth is, even if scientists thought the universe came from nothing, that fact would not be inconsistent with the view that God created from nothing.

  29. Wait!!!! Hold on!!! Aren’t these the same people who tell us that it is irrational to believe that it is irrational for something to come from nothing? And yet—Here they are saying it themselves.

    What???? You expect consistency from a creationist??

  30. Krisssmith777 If you are going to be a consistent proponent of naturalism you cannot argue that absolute nothing gave rise to something. If you heard an explosion in your back yard and somebody, what was that noise? And they replied, oh nothing! You would think they were insane! If a little bang has a cause, then so do big bangs. When Hawking’s postulates nothing he doesn’t mean absolute nothing; because the gravitational fluctuation is indeed something! Here is the Kalaam argument:

    1: That, that begins to exist has a cause

    2: The universe began to exist, therefore it has a cause

    3: Since the universe has a cause; that cause must be

    a) Timeless: since space and time began with the initial cause of the universe

    b) Changeless: Because apart from time change cannot occur

    c) Abstract: Because apart from space material matter cannot exist

    d) Transcending: Because a cause that is Timeless, changeless and abstract is totally apart from the natural world

    Conclusion: The cause of the universe is intelligence, mind, God

    Several attempts to refute the Cosmological argument includes Famed Physicist Stephen Hawking’s in His book “The Grand Design”

    Hawkins argues: “Since the law of gravity exist, a universe can and will create itself out of nothing”
    But there are several problems with Hawking’s conclusion.

    1) Hawking’s definition of “nothing” is actually “something.” Because a vacuum of gravitational fluctuation is something.

    2) Where there are fluctuations there is change, and change can only occur in time.

    a) Hawking’s presupposes that these vacuum gravitational fluctuations of nothing existed before space and time

    b) Erroneously claims that the abstract law itself is the cause, to avoid a physical cause

    3) The “law of gravity” though “abstract” cannot create or have causational effect

    a) As Professor John Lennox points out: The laws of physics can tell us how pool balls move across a pool table and predict what path they may take under various conditions; but, the cause typically is the result of striking the cue ball into the other balls on the table with a pool cue. Other causes may include: tilting the table, a earthquake, wind, a push with ones hand: but never, ever will the balls move across the table by the abstract laws of physics.

    b) John Lennox’s second point he made when he soundly spanked Richard Dawkins in their debate, was this: If you place $50.00 on your table and turn your back, if when you turn back around the $50.00 is missing, you wouldn’t ’ say “the laws of math have been broken” you would say “The laws of Alabama have been broken” Hawking’s either willfully or ignorantly attributes agency to the laws of physics.

    Conclusion: We don’t care if the Kalaam argument meets your definition of science, because all scientist make inferences to what best explains the evidence.
    However, Dawkin’s and Hawking’s chooses to postulate that the evidence that best explains the first cause, the fine tuning, and the intelligibility of the universe is a figment of our imagination. If you have to reject reality and common sense to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, have at it. In the mean time, I will argue that God by definition did not begin to exist, therefore does not require there being a cause. I can say that because I am not a naturalist. But if you are a naturalist, then you need a natural physical explanation for the initial cause that is: timeless, changeless, abstract, and transcending! The law of gravity existing is not it, the square root of 7 is not it; so you are compelled to infer the best explanation. What is it?

  31. @krydan

    Krisssmith777 If you are going to be a consistent proponent of naturalism you cannot argue that absolute nothing gave rise to something.

    And if you knew my position at all, you would not assume that I believe that “nothing gave rise to nothing.” I have never said nor even thought such a thing. Being a Christian myself, I do not even believe that statement.

    Here is the Kalaam argument:

    Again, I am a Christian. So no need to try to convince me that God exists. I am not an Atheist, if that is how you are stereotyping me.

    The kalaam cosmological argument is based on a false premise. Radioactive Decay, for example, doesn’t have a cause, and yet it has a beginning; Quantum Vacuums come into existence without a cause as well.. I would advise Christians against using that argument.

    That said, I do believe a cosmological argument CAN be made that is much better:

    1. There was no time before the big bang.
    2. The Laws of nature did not exist before the big bang, as there was no time before.
    2. Therefore the cause of the big bang could not have been natural if the laws of nature did not exist yet. The cause has to be outside the laws of time and nature.

    That argument I consider to be much better, not least of all because it could also include quantum mechanics as being subject to the laws of nature.

  32. Krisssmith777

    Sorry if I misunderstood your position. But you wrote “when I was a “Creationist” I see now that you probably was referring to once being a Young Earth Creationist. Shortly on that point: God speaking something into existence is not the same as a naturalist saying that the universe could create itself out of nothing. God creative power is not nothing, it is something.God speaking something into existence may be appealing to the supernatural, but guess what? God is supernatural! But the naturalist doesn’t appeal to supernaturalism, so he is forced to say that none-matter gave rise to matter; which is nothing less than a supernatural cause minus God.

    On your other objections to the Kalaam argument: Not sure what you mean by “Radioactive decay doesn’t have a cause” While it may not be deterministic, that is not the same as saying that it doesn’t have a cause. Besides, the Kalaam argument states: That, that “BEGINS” to exist has a cause. So It is it’s beginning that must have a cause, not it’s decline or decay rate.

    Here is a link to one explanation of the cause of the decay rate.
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/phy00/phy00774.htm

    The Quantum Fluctuation: and nothing from something

    Well I can only go by your words: When you argue that a quantum vacuum doesn’t have a cause. That would imply that such is either infinite, or arose from nothing. Do you believe a quantum vacuum is truly absolute nothing? Or is it actually something? If it is actually something, is it 1) Infinite? 2) came into being? If it began to exist without a cause, then I am sorry to say, but you believe that nothing can give rise to something. So my answer to the question you’ve asked of Michale is this: I do not believe that God is nothing, so when God speaks something into existence it has a cause, and a purpose according to his divine will.

  33. @Krydan

    Sorry if I misunderstood your position. But you wrote “when I was a “Creationist” I see now that you probably was referring to once being a Young Earth Creationist.

    I was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist, so at one point I was a Young Earth Creationist. Modern Young Earth Creationism was influenced by the Ellen G. White, who intern influenced George Price…who in turn influnced Henry Morris to write “The Genesis Flood” and found the “Institute for Creation Research.” — I find this really ironic on the part of Young Earth Creationists because MANY of them consider Ellen White to be a false prophet, and yet their views are in the long term based on her “revelations.”

    I became an old-earth creationist, and then accepted Evolution in 2009.

    Besides, the Kalaam argument states: That, that “BEGINS” to exist has a cause. So It is it’s beginning that must have a cause, not it’s decline or decay rate.

    I know the argument really well. But thanks.

    Well I can only go by your words: When you argue that a quantum vacuum doesn’t have a cause. That would imply that such is either infinite, or arose from nothing.

    It is NOT infinite since they also go out of existence randomly with no cause as well.

    Do you believe a quantum vacuum is truly absolute nothing? Or is it actually something? If it is actually something, is it 1) Infinite? 2) came into being?

    Let me get this straight. I do not “believe” that quantum fluctuations come into existence without a cause. That IS what quantum mechanics says. — I would not call them infinite, however, because they also go out of existence, and by definition are NOT eternal.

    If it began to exist without a cause, then I am sorry to say, but you believe that nothing can give rise to something.

    Within the laws of nature, yes I would say that some things can arise without a cause and from nothing. BUT please notice my wording that says “within the laws of nature.” I am not saying that was the way the universe came about.. In fact, I made this disclaimer in my last post.

    I’ll explain: In my last post, I gave MY OWN Cosmological argument, which I will word better:

    1. There was no time before the universe existed.

    2. There were also no “laws of nature” before the universe existed.

    3. If the first two premises are true, then whatever the reason the universe came to be, it was not bound by either time or by the “the laws of nature.”

    I want you to take notice that I include “quantum mechanics” within the realm of “the laws of nature,” meaning that even though I would say that quantum fluctuations have no cause, these events would not happen BEFORE the existence of time or that of “the laws of nature.”

    Am I saying that something can come from nothing? Yeah. Quantum mechanics shows that. — Am I saying the universe came from nothing? Not really because quantum fluctuations are part of the natural world and it’s laws, and therefore “coming from nothing” can ONLY happen in a natural realm that already exists, not in one that does not. — Now, would I tell Christians to discard the kalaam cosmological argument? In a heartbeat! The first premise is wrong.

  34. A couple of questions: When you say you accepted evolution; does that imply all tenets of evolution. Such as 1) it is an unguided random purposeless process?
    2) That you now concede that because we observe slight modifications occurring in species, that all species share a common ancestor?

    As for what quantum mechanics says: There are 10 different interpretations to what quantum mechanics means, so not sure which interpretation you personally adhere to? If you are under the impression that one interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is somehow universally accepted or even widely accepted you’d be wrong.

    One reason I question your interpretation of the Quantum Vacuum is the fact that I have listened to a dozen debates by William Lang Craig, and if that argument was ever used by one of his opponents, he quickly shot it down and the debate went a different direction. I believe a more recent debate between him and Krause may have touched upon it, but I didn’t listen to it the whole way through: because Krause was totally talking in circles and didn’t seem to be much of a challenge for Craig. So I find it odd that the most proficient proponent of the Kalaam argument doesn’t get more of a challenge from well known physicist if quantum mechanics absolutely proves that a quantum vacuum can arise from nothing (in or out of time.) Most just ignore his premises rather than try and find another causeless example. Below is a few links; 1 to Craig’s main page, and a couple of his free podcast debunking Hawking’s book “The Grand Design” I think if you haven’t watch Craig debate folks like Hitchens, Krause, or Peter Atkins, you should search and watch some of his debates on YouTube, or listen to some on his website. Then ask him personally, he answers a question a week, and loves a good challenge.

    Here are the links:

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer

    [audio src="http://www.rfmedia.org/RF_audio_video/RF_podcast/Has_Hawking_Eliminated_God_1.mp3" /]

    [audio src="http://www.rfmedia.org/RF_audio_video/RF_podcast/Has_Hawking_Eliminated_God_2.mp3" /]

  35. @krydan

    A couple of questions: When you say you accepted evolution; does that imply all tenets of evolution. Such as 1) it is an unguided random purposeless process?

    This first question is based on a false premise. Evolution has a guide; it’s called natural selection. Also it is not true that it has no “purpose.” The purpose is for adaption to survive in a new environment.

    2) That you now concede that because we observe slight modifications occurring in species, that all species share a common ancestor?

    Again, the question is based on a false premise. I do accept that all creatures (including us) all share a common ancestor, but my reason is not because of small variation. My reasons for accepting common decent include genetic evidence as well as the fossil record.

    “Slight modifications” are only part of the picture, but there is no genetic boundary to impede more change with time.

    One reason I question your interpretation of the Quantum Vacuum is the fact that I have listened to a dozen debates by William Lang Craig, and if that argument was ever used by one of his opponents, he quickly shot it down and the debate went a different direction

    Frankly, it means nothing if William Lang Craig can shoot down an argument. Richard Dawkins could shoot down some arguments himself, but I doubt that either you or myself would necessarily take that to mean that he was right in his conclusion. Likewise, Kent Hovind shoots down arguments, but that indicates nothing. — Remember: Debating is a sport.. The fact that someone wins a debate has nothing to do with whether the person’s arguments are sound.

    ecause Krause was totally talking in circles and didn’t seem to be much of a challenge for Craig. So I find it odd that the most proficient proponent of the Kalaam argument doesn’t get more of a challenge from well known physicist if quantum mechanics absolutely proves that a quantum vacuum can arise from nothing (in or out of time.)

    Again, debating is a sport. It depends on who can talk the best; it doesn’t determine who is right or wrong.

    Another detail that contributes to scientists not doing well in debates is that many of them tend not to be good debaters. They usually have their research to worry about and do not get training for debates. . . Craig spends a lot of his time debating, so he gets lots of practice, unlike most scientists.

  36. Krydan: “.. not the same as a naturalist saying that the universe could create itself out of nothing. ”

    No naturalist will say that … and of course no-one knows whether the universe was actually created. It can certainly have always existed (cyclic universe): we cannot yet tell.

    Krydan: “Am I saying that something can come from nothing? Yeah. Quantum mechanics shows that. ”

    I’ve never seen this shown by quantum mechanics (i’m an astrophysicist), so where did you get this impression from ? Are you talking about virtual particles, perhaps, which ‘borrow’ energy from the vacuum (to put it simplistically) ?
    Real particles (all of them !) are ‘created’ from energy – not from nothing.

  37. “Another detail that contributes to scientists not doing well in debates is that many of them tend not to be good debaters. ”

    Absolutely. But science is not done through debates: that’s politics. Science is done through collaboration (with some competition, surely), and by testing hypotheses.
    So why should scientists be good debaters if that is not part of their working method ?

  38. @Eelco

    ’ve never seen this shown by quantum mechanics (i’m an astrophysicist), so where did you get this impression from ? Are you talking about virtual particles, perhaps, which ‘borrow’ energy from the vacuum (to put it simplistically) ?
    Real particles (all of them !) are ‘created’ from energy – not from nothing.

    This was probably my bad.

    I got the info from here though:http://talkorigins.org/faqs/astronomy/bigbang.html#firstlaw

    Perhaps I oversimplified, in which case, my bad.

  39. @Eelco

    Absolutely. But science is not done through debates: that’s politics. Science is done through collaboration (with some competition, surely), and by testing hypotheses.
    So why should scientists be good debaters if that is not part of their working method ?

    Precisely my point to krydan. Debaters debate; scientists do science. — I plan on becoming a historian, but I would not know how well I would do against someone saying all civilizations came from Atlantis since I do not care much for the “atlantis” crowd.

  40. “Perhaps I oversimplified, in which case, my bad.”

    Ah, the talkorigins piece does say that particles appear to come out of nothing, but I don’t like the way they state this. The particles themselves appear and disappear, of course, but the energy can be ‘borrowed’ for a short time from the vacuum, as set by the uncertainty principle.

  41. Krisssmith777: Well you are absolutely wrong: According to naturalistic evolution:

    1) Natural selection by definition can only select that which arises via random mutations.

    2) Random mutations by definition is unguided and purposeless.

    According to naturalistic evolution a 300 digit amino acid genetic code self arranges and folds into a functional protein by random combinations and then, and only then can it be accepted or rejected by natural selection; or have any value or purpose for ones survival. Saying that natural selection is what guides random mutations is a false claim.

    Then you say that you accept common ancestry based on the FOSSIL RECORD?
    You mean the fossil record that shows the sudden appearance of all body plans during the Cambrian explosion with no intermediate record, though soft bodied worms, and embryos are found in strata immediately below it?

    Then you say genetics, but fail to give one example: The whole chimp sharing 95% or whatever was based on 2% of the genetic code. Meaning we share 95% of 2% with chimps. That certainly is no more proof of common ancestry than it is common design. I would expect that creatures with physical similarities would share similar coding. But such doesn’t prove common ancestry.

    Then you use the no boundaries over time argument: But you can’t prove that, so your conversion to evolution is as faith based as your once Young Earth Creationist view.

    Then you make the argument that Craig making better arguments then his opponents doesn’t prove he is right, well on the flip side it doesn’t prove that he is wrong. It comes down to which argument is more feasible, or logical. And since Dawkins, Krause, and even Hawking’s are willing to reject reality in order to prop up their positions, I think it is a quantum leap to place Craig into that category. As far as scientist not making good debaters: Well, all they have to do is present an argument that is as feasible or logically attainable as Craig’s. Sure I don’t believe winning or loosing a debate is proof; but you would think that one could at least come up with an argument, considering Craig uses much of the same points debate after debate. So it appears as if you are willing to accept the naturalistic view, despite any good arguments for it.

    Lastly, if you believe that Jesus descended from heaven and at the same time a descendant of a lower life form than a monkey; then you are not reading the same Bible I am reading.

  42. @krydan:

    Natural selection is guided, by the environment …
    so mutations are random, indeed, but natural selection is not.

  43. Eelco

    All you have to do is read the book that this blog is all about: Hawking’s says this:

    “Because the law of gravity exist, the universe can create itself out of “NOTHING”

    And scientist make inferences to the best explanation all the time based on their interpretation of the evidence and according to their presuppositions and world view. Evidence and facts are two different things. Saying you have evidence for something, doesn’t imply that it proves your hypothesis or theory. When you have ten different interpretations of quantum mechanics you can call them all true. When you have a dozen different theories on Big Bang cosmology, you can’t claim that there is a scientific consensus on the matter. You can only infer the best explanation based on the evidence: and evidence is a matter of interpretation in many fields of theoretical science.

  44. I’m not a big fan of Hawking, myself …

    But saying something ‘can’ in some theoretical framework is not the same as saying that it has happened. We do not know whether the universe had a beginning (or an end).

    And I do not think there are lots of Big Bang theories – there actually is reasonable consensus at the moment.

  45. Eelco

    Natural selection is like saying “He who smokes a joint is most likely to get high”
    Natural selection has no power, nor is it a force of nature. It simply means that if the mutation is beneficial to the species those who carry that mutation will more likely survive, while those who do not will most likely die out. But how those mutations arises in the first place according to naturalistic evolution is by a purely random unguided and purposeless process. Natural selection can not account for a 300 digit amino acid code self arranging and folding into a functional protein. Nor can the environment account for the specific order of the digital code. There is no chemical mechanism shown to align the code in any specific order. A 300 amino acid code has 10^120 different possible combinations. Yes, that is a number twice as great as the estimated atoms in the whole observable universe. Even arranging thousand of possible combinations a second, there would not be enough time to go through all the possible combinations since the beginning of our universe.

    It is up to the naturalist to explain what the mechanism is that causes the digital code to arrange in a specific order then fold into a functional protein so it can be of some benefit to the species. The environment, random mutations, or natural selection are not mechanisms. The only known cause for specified digital code is intelligence. We conclude that knowing what we know, that intelligence is the best inference to the specified information called DNA. Since specified language and or digital code is not known to arise by any other known means. God best explains the language of DNA

  46. Eelco

    If I can find it I will send the link to you, but there was a resent documentary on Big Bang cosmology. And there are about a dozen different theories, a couple even questioning it all together. But according to Hawking’s theory, the universe had a beginning, of course so does his 10^500 other imaginary universes. Also aside from a few, like Penrose’s infinite cycle theory, most scientist agree that the universe began about 13.7 billion years ago from a singularity. Only a few might hole to an infinite universe, but it certainly is not a commonly held view.

    Here is a link to Craig dissecting Perose’s cyclical universe theory.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6115

  47. “most scientist agree that the universe began about 13.7 billion years ago from a singularity. ”

    Well no … most scientists agree that OUR universe (our bit of it) started expanding and producing particles around 13.8 billion years ago, but not THE universe. There is a subtle but important difference there.

    To be honest, I am a professional astrophysicist (cosmology), for quite some time now, so no need to send a link to a documentary. It is my own research field, after all. Which does not imply that I’m automatically right about anything, of course !

    As for the number of theories: of course there are plenty, but there is some consensus about the best working one at the moment … not all theories are equal.

  48. “Natural selection has no power, nor is it a force of nature. It simply means that if the mutation is beneficial to the species those who carry that mutation will more likely survive, while those who do not will most likely die out. ”

    Of course it is a force of nature: after all, it is nature who decides which mutations are beneficial and which are not. There is the guiding force. The mutations are random, but natural selection is all but random.

  49. @krydan.

    Krisssmith777: Well you are absolutely wrong: According to naturalistic evolution:

    1) Natural selection by definition can only select that which arises via random mutations.

    Natural Selection does not just select in mutations; it also selects outward features as well. If either an outer feature or a genetic mutation is detrimental, then it gets selected out…Hence, it is a guide.

    2) Random mutations by definition is unguided and purposeless.

    As far as mutations by themselves go, yes.. But Natural Selection is the opposite of chance. The END result is already determined by natural selection, so evolution is not just pure chance.

    According to naturalistic evolution a 300 digit amino acid genetic code self arranges and folds into a functional protein by random combinations and then, and only then can it be accepted or rejected by natural selection; or have any value or purpose for ones survival. Saying that natural selection is what guides random mutations is a false claim.

    Evolution says nothing of the sort. Talking about amino acids is more related to chemistry than it is to evolution, and their arrangement is determined by the laws of chemistry, not by evolution…and not by natural selection for that matter.

    Then you say that you accept common ancestry based on the FOSSIL RECORD?
    You mean the fossil record that shows the sudden appearance of all body plans during the Cambrian explosion with no intermediate record, though soft bodied worms, and embryos are found in strata immediately below it?

    This shows that you do not understand the Cambrian “explosion.” Actually, the Cambrian “explosion” was not so explosive, lasting between 10 to 25 Million years; rapid in geologic time, but a perfectly reasonable time for fauna to evolve.In fact, statistical analysis was done on the fossils from the Cambrian, and it shows that even though speciation sped up, it was nothing special:

    Link: http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/43/1/229.full

    We have actual animal fossils of plausible intermediates before then. For example, some of the Ediacaran fauna that came before the Cambrian show features that are characteristic of trilobites such as Spriggina floundersi, the so-called “Soft-bodied trilobite,” as well as Parvancorina.

    Link: http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2001/PSCF3-01Morton.html

    From the Doushantuo Formation in China, we have many examples of fully fleged, Bilaterian animals that come from as early as 25 million years, and even as early as 50 million years before the Cambrian “explosion.”

    Then you say genetics, but fail to give one example: The whole chimp sharing 95% or whatever was based on 2% of the genetic code. Meaning we share 95% of 2% with chimps. That certainly is no more proof of common ancestry than it is common design.

    It is not just genetic coding. The shared genetic mistakes we share with out relatives themselves are proof. We share the endogenous retrovirus in seven locations with chimpanzee. The likelihood of even sharing one without common decent is hight enough; seven make it improbable.

    Then you use the no boundaries over time argument: But you can’t prove that, so your conversion to evolution is as faith based as your once Young Earth Creationist view.

    If the genetic boundary to stop change exists, then give the mechanism. Geneticists certainly do not know that it exists.

    Lastly, if you believe that Jesus descended from heaven and at the same time a descendant of a lower life form than a monkey; then you are not reading the same Bible I am reading.

    There is no such thing as a lower form or life. Evolution is not a ladder; it’s a tree.

    The Bible itself says that Jesus was made lower when he humbled himself. (Philipians 2:5,6, and Hebrews 2:7)

  50. Another matter on the Cambrian “explosion” is that even though it is considered by most to be a “real event,” the many fossils that have been found in the last decade that predate the Cambrian are actually now causing several scientists to doubt that the event ever really happened.

    Molecular Clocks certainly speak out against the Cambrian “explosion” since they imply that the event never happened. They show that the diversification from the “last common ancestor” occurred between 800 million to around 1.2 Billion years.

    Of course, Creationists -in particularly- Young Earth Creationists like to point at the molecular clocks and say that they are inflated. Indeed this can be true, however they are proving to be more accurate than they give them credit for. The fossils in the Doushantuo Formation are showing this to be the case, as many of fossil, Bilaterian animals being discovered there have been dated to between 20 to 25 million years old. The oldest there yet known are shown to be between 40 and 55 million years old. [1]

    Even as early as 2.1 billion years ago, we have multi-cellular life that has recently been discovered.

    All this speaks out against the Cambrian “explosion” being a real event. Personally, I think the event never happened since the fossil record and the genetic evidence both speak out against it.

    ————-
    [1] The film Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Explosion, which was distributed by the Discovery Institute, fossils from China were cited as evidence for their position that the fossil record discredited evolution. Since they liked China so much, I found it interesting that they avoided mention of fossils near by that would have blown their case out of the water. It is not as if the fossils I am citing were unknown at the time of the making of the film; it was made in 2009 while the papers that talk of the bilaterian life forms I am talking about were published between 2001 and 2005.

  51. When I say this:

    The fossils in the Doushantuo Formation are showing this to be the case, as many of fossil, Bilaterian animals being discovered there have been dated to between 20 to 25 million years old. The oldest there yet known are shown to be between 40 and 55 million years old.

    I meant to say “20 to 25 million years OLDER” and “40 to 55 million years BEFORE” the Cambrian.

  52. Kisssmith777

    Natural selection is not a mechanism, nor is it a force of nature. It doesn’t have any foreknowledge rather the mutation will be beneficial or not. If by chance the mutation is beneficial, then those who acquire that benefit will be more likely to survive, wherein those who do not possess the new benefit will more likely eventually die out. But natural selection is not a measurable force or a physical law of nature: because whether or not some mutation “may” be useful is determined by countless and variable conditions. So seeing that natural selection has no foresight the end result is not predetermined, because the mutation has to first arise by a random unguided natural process according to the naturalist. That is why it is refereed to as the blind watch maker. Natural selection has absolutely no foresight of how all the individual mechanisms will eventually self arrange and become a new functional organ or complex molecular machine to be useful in regards of survival.

    You say the specified arrangement of amino acids is due to “the laws of chemistry” Would you like to explain what law that is? There is absolutely no law or chemical attraction to account for the arrangement. I have read Stephen C Meyer’s “Signature In The Cell” and yet to find a single scientist, biologist or chemist offer a mechanism for why the amino acids arrange into a specified order to become a functional protein. If you have solved the DNA enigma, you may consider debunking Stephen C Meyer’s claim that such a mechanism does not exist!

    You indicate that winning a debate doesn’t prove one side or the other. Yet when you have opposing views on a particular topic, the best way to come to a conclusion is by studying the arguments presented from both sides, then determine which is the best interpretation based on the evidence. I find it odd that you would link to websites wherein someone is arguing their position, yet dismiss a counter argument as being meaningless, because it doesn’t really matter who has the best argument when debating such topics.

    Well Michale Shermer is in fact a skilled debater as is Stephen C Myers; as is Prothero and Sternberg. The 4 engaged in a debate that concluded with a embarrassing smack down to Shermer and Prothero’s argument of whether or not 25 or 50 million years is enough time to account for the hundreds of thousands if not millions of necessary and positive mutations. Behe, recently had a pier reviewed article wherein he shows that the overall vast majority of mutations are negative, and few show any true benefit, and virtually none show to add new information top the system. This is the result from dozens of years of observational studies on Malaria, and E-coli. The link below is a link to the 2 part of the Shermer Prothero, Meyer’s Sternberg debate/ The first video is just an introduction. If you don’t listen to the whole debate, at least catch the last couple wherein they get into the Cambrian explosion.

  53. Likewise

    There is growing evidence that ERV’s are in fact functional, as is there growing evidence that more and more of the so called Junk DNA is actually functional. What was once thought to have been junk and random insertions is now becoming obvious that they are necessary and important to development expressions.

    Then you ask that one point to the mechanism that proves there are boundaries to slight observed modifications. Well give me evidence that the mechanism has no boundaries? It is widely believed that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light; while some hypothesize that perhaps someday that may be disproved, but as of right now, there is no reason to believe that there is not a limit to how fast something can travel. So I see no reason to believe that dogs may someday evolve into something more or the order of a Mastodon. Your conversion to believing naturalism by faith, while rejecting that “God created all things after there own kind” is nothing short of replacing one faith with another. With the latest discoveries in functional ERV’s and expressions is supposedly junk DNA, folding proteins, the DNA enigma, and the lack of evidence for functional new information etc… Darwinism is crumbling.

  54. @krydan

    Natural selection is not a mechanism, nor is it a force of nature. It doesn’t have any foreknowledge rather the mutation will be beneficial or not.

    1.Yes it is a force of nature. Ask any Biologist.

    2. No one has said that it has “foreknowledge.” The fact that it doesn’t does not exclude it from being a guide.

    If by chance the mutation is beneficial, then those who acquire that benefit will be more likely to survive, wherein those who do not possess the new benefit will more likely eventually die out.

    And I rest my case. This is what makes Natural Selection a guide.

    But natural selection is not a measurable force or a physical law of nature: because whether or not some mutation “may” be useful is determined by countless and variable conditions.

    So now you are saying it should be a “law” to be valid? There are several scientic facts that are hardly laws. The fact that the earth is round is not a law, for example.

    You say the specified arrangement of amino acids is due to “the laws of chemistry” Would you like to explain what law that is? There is absolutely no law or chemical attraction to account for the arrangement.

    Proof that this occurs by natural process is found in the fact that we know of amino acids that have been found on meteorites abiotically, even more so than they are here on earth.. And it certainly would not make sense for the designer to be making those arrangements on meteors where life cannot exist.

    You indicate that winning a debate doesn’t prove one side or the other. Yet when you have opposing views on a particular topic, the best way to come to a conclusion is by studying the arguments presented from both sides, then determine which is the best interpretation based on the evidence. I find it odd that you would link to websites wherein someone is arguing their position, yet dismiss a counter argument as being meaningless, because it doesn’t really matter who has the best argument when debating such topics.

    The difference here is I already know the arguments that William Lang Craig and other Creationists well. (I know the Kalaam Cosmological argument and the Argument from design well). — In other words, I DO know both sides. I posted one link that explained the “other side” from your perspetive because you obviously do not know the arguments counter to your own; if you did, you would certainly not have cited the Cambrian “explosion” as evidence against evolution. — The other links I posted are from peer-reviewed papers that DO NOT even mention Creationism, though they are still relevant to showing how your arguments are outdated.

    Well Michale Shermer is in fact a skilled debater as is Stephen C Myers; as is Prothero and Sternberg. The 4 engaged in a debate that concluded with a embarrassing smack down to Shermer and Prothero’s argument of whether or not 25 or 50 million years is enough time to account for the hundreds of thousands if not millions of necessary and positive mutations

    Interesting you would even mention this, since I was not even citing Shermer or Prothero [1]. I did not even get the information in my comments from them at all. I got my facts on the “Precambrian” animals from published, peer reviewed papers [2] written by scientists who have worked in the field of paleontology. — I also find it interesting that you have not answered my rebuttal to your claims about the Cambrian “explosion.”

    Whether a “mutation” is necessary or “positive” is within the eye or the beholder, so that comment cannot be taken up unless I know your definition of “necessary.” As to the time for mutations, the mutation rates are unpredictable, hence the apparent inflated dates that molecular clocks sometimes give. It seems to me that your statement that 50 million years cannot account for the “necessary mutations” is based on an assumption that the mutation rates are necessarily static; they are not.

    Behe, recently had a pier reviewed article wherein he shows that the overall vast majority of mutations are negative, and few show any true benefit, and virtually none show to add new information top the system. This is the result from dozens of years of observational studies on Malaria, and E-coli.

    I can tell you that Michael Behe is wrong. E-coli HAS been observed to gain new information. Experiments done in 1991 had shown a case where the descendants of one e-coli was isolated their ancestor. After thousands of generations, and after being exposed to different environments, many of the younger e-coli had developed more fitness in comparison to their ancestor; this could only have happened with new genetic information.

    Link: http://www.d.umn.edu/~jetterso/documents/BennettandLenski1992.pdf
    ————————————
    [1] To my understanding, Donald Prothero debated only once with Duane Gish only to say that he did it. He was not interested in participating and has not done it since.

    [2] The one paper that I cited that was not peer-reviewed is by Glenn Morton, and yet he is a valid source since he has worked in the field. He used to be a Young Earth Creationist, and his research was what turned him. He is still a big-time Christian apologist as well.

  55. @krydan

    There is growing evidence that ERV’s are in fact functional, as is there growing evidence that more and more of the so called Junk DNA is actually functional.

    1. Whether ERVs are functional or not has nothing to do with whether or not they are evidence for evoltion. The point is that they are shared genetic mistakes; function is irrelevant to whether or not they are mistakes as we know of genetic mistakes that have gained function. Also, you do not want a fully functional ERV, since ERVs when fully functional are dangerous.

    2. There is no such thing as “junk DNA.” A more accurate term is “non-coding” DNA. No aspect of Darwinian evolution would be falsified if even ALL of non-coding DNA had function.

    Then you ask that one point to the mechanism that proves there are boundaries to slight observed modifications. Well give me evidence that the mechanism has no boundaries? I

    I asked you first. Don’t try to shift the burden of proof on me. — Again, no geneticist knows of any boundary. For such a boundary to exist, there would have to be a core that is impervious to change. But every gene, to our knowledge, is capable of mutating. Geneticists do not know of anything to stop the change.

    ….and the lack of evidence for functional new information etc… Darwinism is crumbling.

    The CCR5-Delta-32 would be considered new information, and quite functional. It is useful for either slowing down or even causing immunity to HIV, depending on whether the mutation is heterozygous or homozygous.

    Lactose Tolerance is also a somewhat new mutation: It’s function is within the name itself.

  56. Since this has expanded into multiple points, I will keep it to just a couple.

    Natural selection is absolutely not a force! According to naturalistic Evolution

    1) Both positive and negative random unguided mutations will occur
    2) Those mutations that tend toward being positive and beneficial will continue
    3) Those mutations that tend to be negative or even detrimental will over time die out

    Natural selection is nothing more than a term that states the obvious. He who drops his champaign glass is more likely to break his Champaign glass and spill his Champaign. Well the cause of the breaking glass is the impact of it hitting the floor. The cause of the spilling of the Champaign is in his dropping the glass and the force of gravity. It is not in the statement “He who drops his Champaign glass is more likely to break his glass and spill his champaign. That is nothing more than a statement expressing the obvious! So I don’t care what most or even all biologist says, natural selection is nothing more than a circular term that states the obvious. It does not cause the mutation, nor does it determine its benefit, there are many factors that will determine whether or not it is beneficial for a particular host in a particular environment . But primarily what determines it’s beneficial aspect is whether or not the random mutation is in fact initially beneficial or not. Saying that the detrimental or none beneficial will die out is not pointing to a mechanism, rather it is merely a statement of the obvious. I say natural selection is nothing more than semantics, and has nothing to do with a guiding force, or a physical law.

    I never said you got your information from Shermer, I linked to it to show that their is other interpretations and problems with yours. And as far as your Pier reviewed articles. That means absolutely nothing to me: Pier reviewed articles is a joke, and nothing more than one guys opinion being reviewed by some other guys who shares his opinion. It doesn’t make his interpretation of the evidence any more true than someone who opposes his view. Behe, has pier reviewed articles as does Sternberg, Stephen Meyers, etc…. So by your own argument, you would be forced to accept that they are absolute fact, and not just their hypothesis, or personal opinion. Amino acids found on meteorites lack something significant, they are not in a specified order to be called a living organism. And your argument is like saying it doesn’t make sense why there is water a necessary element on the moon for life if God didn’t plan on life evolving on the moon. You say you believe in God but you seem to want to exclude God and appeal to a complete naturalistic world view of how life began. And if Michale Behe is wrong, you better backtrack on you giving any merit to pier reviewed articles, because he just published a pier reviewed article on the very subject of E-coli ~

    Then you say that it doesn’t matter if ERV’s have a function, because the are shared mistakes. Well the argument from intelligent design is that they are not mistakes but designed for a specific purpose. Since you have rejected that God created all things as the scriptures says he did; I wouldn’t expect you to believe that it’s a part of the design and not later random insertions of a retrovirus!

    As for some of your other points on Behe, and beneficial mutations. He doesn’t claim there is no beneficial mutations, but rather that the over all majority of mutations are harmful and detrimental. So you giving one or two or even a dozen examples doesn’t counter the fact that one beneficial mutation out of a million negative mutations is not what one would expect to hang there faith in evolution on.

    As far as the Cambrian it is not a outdated debate. You have decided to adhere to a particular side of interpretation. I have no real desire to spend hours going over the various interpretations of the details or lack thereof. The point is, the fossil record proves nothing but that a buch of living things were preserved in the ground, You can’t that they is any connection or relation based “Oh they look similar” I couldn’t change your mind, and there is no way you could even in 20 or 50 billion yrs get me to accept that your interpretation of the fossil can be absolutely proven or can account for the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of necessary mutations, when you can’t find over a few observable mutations to hang your evolutionary faith on!

  57. @krydan

    Since this has expanded into multiple points, I will keep it to just a couple.

    You expanded them; not me. I was simply correcting your misunderstandings.

    Natural selection is nothing more than a term that states the obvious. He who drops his champaign glass is more likely to break his Champaign glass and spill his Champaign. Well the cause of the breaking glass is the impact of it hitting the floor. The cause of the spilling of the Champaign is in his dropping the glass and the force of gravity. It is not in the statement “He who drops his Champaign glass is more likely to break his glass and spill his champaign. !

    Not completely. He who cannot adapt dies is more of an accurate way to say it. But that is what makes Natural Selection true.

    That is nothing more than a statement expressing the obvious!

    Let’s talk about gravity: “What goes up must come down.” –I just stated the obvious. The same thing applies to several scientific theories, so I real to see the problem here.

    It does not cause the mutation, nor does it determine its benefit, there are many factors that will determine whether or not it is beneficial for a particular host in a particular environment

    1. Nobody ever said that Natural Selection causes mutations.

    2. Yes, Natural Selection does determine if a mutation is beneficial in a certain environment. — If an animal gets a mutation that, for example, causes his fur to become a heavy coat, that may or may not be a beneficial mutation. If the environment is on the equator and hot, that trait caused by the mutation would be detrimental to the survival of the animal since he would not be suited to the conditions and it wouldn’t be likely to survive. BUT if it lives in the arctic, then it would have an advantage and therefore would be favored by Natural Selection.

    Pier reviewed articles is a joke, and nothing more than one guys opinion being reviewed by some other guys who shares his opinion. It doesn’t make his interpretation of the evidence any more true than someone who opposes his view.

    1. It’s spelled as “Peer Review.”

    2. I never said Peer Review was a perfect process, but it is useful for safeguarding against errors and even sensationalism in the paper itself.

    It doesn’t make his interpretation of the evidence any more true than someone who opposes his view. Behe, has pier reviewed articles as does Sternberg, Stephen Meyers, etc…. So by your own argument, you would be forced to accept that they are absolute fact, and not just their hypothesis, or personal opinion

    And you just got through calling peer reviewed papers “a joke,” so by YOUR definition, Behe’s and Meyer’s “peer reviewed” articles are a joke.

    I did not say that we have to accept peer reviewed papers as fact. But peer reviewed papers in reputable journals are safe-guarded. I never said that made the process perfect or infallible.

    Amino acids found on meteorites lack something significant, they are not in a specified order to be called a living organism.

    Actually, amino acids on meteorites are better than the ones here on earth. Creationists like to point out we need “left handed” proteins; the amino acids and proteins on meteors that we found actually have more “left handed” than the ones here on earth. So under the right conditions, why couldn’t they ever eventually become a living organism?

    You say you believe in God but you seem to want to exclude God and appeal to a complete naturalistic world view of how life began.

    God governs this world through natural laws, does he not? Then how could you say that God did not use natural laws to create us?

    And if Michale Behe is wrong, you better backtrack on you giving any merit to pier reviewed articles, because he just published a pier reviewed article on the very subject of E-coli ~

    And I linked you another peer-reviewed article done in 1991 that completely blows Behe’s argument out of the water…. That paper was done 20 years ago… I guess that makes Behe’s newly published paper obsolete 20 years before he even touched pen to paper for it.

    Then you say that it doesn’t matter if ERV’s have a function, because the are shared mistakes. Well the argument from intelligent design is that they are not mistakes but designed for a specific purpose.

    If you want to say that ERVs are “designed for a specific purpose,” then be my guest. — ERVs are disease; genetic malformations that cause cancer, among other things— IF you want to argue that God designed the ERVs, then you are implicating him in a cause for cancer. And let’s not forget that ERVs are linked to AIDS and Leukemia. Are you sure you want to link God to designing AIDS and Leukemia?

    As far as the Cambrian it is not a outdated debate. You have decided to adhere to a particular side of interpretation.

    Actually, even when I was a Creationist, I was not crazy about the so-called Cambrian “explosion.” Ironically, the very people who gave me the first information I needed to drop that creationist argument came from the Institute for Creation Research. On an article published on their site entitled “Fossil Footprints Trample Evolution’s Timeline,” they cited track left by an arthropod in Nevada in Precambrian strata. They insinuated that since arthropods were not supposed to have evolved yet, that therefore this falsified the “timeline.” (link: http://www.icr.org/article/fossil-footprints-trample-evolutions-timeline/ )
    — Even as a Creationist, though I saw this could readjust the timeline, this find actually singlehandedly destroyed the argument about the Cambrian “explosion” in my eyes because it showed that even if we did not have the actual fossils of the ancestors of the Cambrian Fauna, the proof that precursors existed was right there… The folks at ICR never seemed to get the implication.

    The point is, the fossil record proves nothing but that a buch of living things were preserved in the ground,

    I made this argument once; I even remember why…. And I made it against Eelco. — I made THAT argument because I HAD NO real argument. — Eelco told me that this was an argument designed to make any debate and research invalid. I am here to tell you the same thing now.

    You can’t that they is any connection or relation based “Oh they look similar” I couldn’t change your mind

    “They is?” Could you please get your subject-verb agreement right?

    …and there is no way you could even in 20 or 50 billion yrs get me to accept that your interpretation of the fossil can be absolutely proven…

    Science is not about proof. It’s about evidence and testing.

    the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of necessary mutations, when you can’t find over a few observable mutations to hang your evolutionary faith on!

    I named two observed mutations, but I guess you didn’t read that part of my comments. Here they are again with some others:

    1. The CCR5-Delta 32 mutation. This mutation is useful against HIV, by either causing immunity or slowing it down.

    2. Lactoce Tolerance. This mutation causes us to be able to ingest dairy products. It is a relatively new mutation that occurred recently.

    3. Eosinophil Cationic Protein. This mutation is a duplicated gene which is toxic to bacteria and makes their cells porous. It is also useful for controlling Asthma.

    4. Eosinophil-Derived Neurotoxin. Another duplicated gene that helps against viral infection.

    I gave you four examples. These are observable and meet the criteria of any open-minded individual.

  58. First all all I have studied for 25 years and have no need for you to explain your new found faith in naturalism to me. I am quite aware of what they say, and the logic, or more often than not “lack” of logic in their arguments.

    As I said, Natural selection is only true in that it is a term to explain the obvious; but that it can’t be measured. I stand by that claim! Gravity can be measured because it is a physical force of nature. You haven’t given a single example of how you measure Natural Selections so called physical attributes other than saying, if a mutation is detrimental to survival it will be less likely to survive. Well no duh! Give me an example of how you can measure it’s physical attributes? I maintain that it is nothing more than a term! Such as: He that drinks arsenic is more likely to die? Sure, ah, ah okay! Well you drinking the arsenic is what makes it more probable that you will die. Well if via a random mutation you inherit a detrimental gene, guess what? That is why it is more likely that you will not survive. It is the result of the mutation itself, and/or dependent upon other factors such as the environment etc…

    So please, don’t give me the semantics, show me some sort of observable evidence that natural selection is a physical force! Your argument of an animal getting a mutation that causes a heavy coat will be detrimental in extreme heat, and beneficial under cooler conditions is exactly my argument. It is a combination of the mutation and the conditions that determines whether or not it is better equipped to survive, not some mystical invisible force called natural selection. Natural selection didn’t cause it to die, or it’s offspring to die out, but rather it’s unfortunate mutation to acquire a heavy coat in extremely hot conditions caused it to be less likely to survive, and the same mutation in colder conditions would prove just the opposite. Where does a physical force called natural selection come into play in your analogy? It doesn’t!

    Please don’t play twister with logic: You are the one who said that you placed more faith on peer reviewed publications. I can read Behe’s or Meyer’s work and agree or disagree rather they appear in a peer reviewed publication or not. And Behe’s latest work and peer reviewed article or mutations, and E-Coli is a 2010 peer reviewed publication.
    So it has little baring on me that you wish to go back to a 1991 to an outdated peer reviewed article, then have the audacity to say it debunks Behe’s 2010 peer reviewed publication before he put pen to paper. Have you read his latest work? Then debunk it! But don’t appeal to an outdated article almost 20 years ago: You know there have been more extensive studies since then? I am afraid that along with you rejecting God’ hand in biology, you’ve also set aside common sense when trying to make a point. I only mentioned that Behe’s had a new peer reviewed article, because you think it makes it more true if it is approved by other scientist. So I still could care less if a thousand scientist reviewed a particular argument, there could still be tens of thousands that disagreed with it’s findings or interpretation. That was and still is my position, and now that you know that Behe, just published a peer reviewed article on E-coli and random mutations, you will reject it as being debunked 20 years ago. A Typical double standard!

    Likewise glad to see you have also adopted the atheist mentality of pointing out typos, as if that makes your position more reasonable. Today I was off work, and have in fact been dealing with two atheist on another site, as well as dealing with responding to your borrowed atheist tactics. So if my misspelling of Peer reviewed or messing up a few places on punctuation and grammar makes you feel better about yourself; well that is good; but, I believe you would feel a lot better if you could actually apply some logical arguments to go along with your mastering of English! : )

  59. @krydan,

    Give me an example of how you can measure it’s physical attributes? I maintain that it is nothing more than a term! Such as: He that drinks arsenic is more likely to die? Sure, ah, ah okay! Well you drinking the arsenic is what makes it more probable that you will die..

    You didn’t just describe natural selection. By definition it is “natural,” and not defined by suicide.

    So please, don’t give me the semantics, show me some sort of observable evidence that natural selection is a physical force!

    I HAVE given you an example. It was above when I linked a paper on the evolution of E-coli.

    The HIV virus is also a good example. Is been called the “great evolver.” The reason we have needed so many new drugs to control it was because it has been evolving to adapt to it. We have seen natural selection work in our lifetime on the HIV virus. Below is a video from PBS about it:

    It is a combination of the mutation and the conditions that determines whether or not it is better equipped to survive, not some mystical invisible force called natural selection. Natural selection didn’t cause it to die, or it’s offspring to die out, but rather it’s unfortunate mutation to acquire a heavy coat in extremely hot conditions caused it to be less likely to survive, and the same mutation in colder conditions would prove just the opposite

    Uhhh, that “combination of the mutation AND the conditions,” as you put it IS NATURAL SELECTION!! — Natural Selection IS NOT a “mystical invisible force,” as you describe it. If it were, it would be called “mystical selection.”

    So it has little baring on me that you wish to go back to a 1991 to an outdated peer reviewed article, then have the audacity to say it debunks Behe’s 2010 peer reviewed publication before he put pen to paper.

    My point of citing the paper from 1991 is that it proves that his view has been debunked 20 years before he made the claim. Behe is 20 years behind in his research. THAT was my point.. But even as recently as last year, experiments with e-coli have been giving similar results to the ones given in that “outdated paper” as you call it.

    Here is a paper on the evolution of e-colui from 2010 which supports the older one which I will quote:

    After 2000 generations, the fitness of all populations had increased relative to the common ancestor, but to different extents. Populations evolved in glucose improved the least, whereas populations evolving in maltose or lactose increased the most in their respective sets.( http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/10/11 )

    This is a paper on “OBSERVING” the generations..so the evolution of e-coli HAS been observed.

    Likewise glad to see you have also adopted the atheist mentality of pointing out typos, as if that makes your position more reasonable

    No, my attention span is already bad enough for reading off a screen. Typos only aggravate the problem. So I prefer to print and THEN read, but I cannot do that.

    Throwing around the term “atheist” is fruitless, as I am not an atheist, nor am I close to being one.

  60. @krydan:

    of course natural selection is a “force of nature” (or rather, a mechanism), and you can most definitely measure it: just google on “measuring natural selection”.
    Natural selection pushes populations upwards in the fitness landscape, just like gravity moves masses downward in the gravitational potential.

    BTW: gravity actually isn’t a force, technically: in general relativity, the effects of gravitation are ascribed to spacetime curvature instead of a force.

  61. First, my analogy did not imply or in anyway indicate that the arsenic was taken intentionally or that it was a case of suicide. It would not matter if it was intentional or a random accident aka mutation. The point was that the mutation itself is a major factor whether or not it will be beneficial or be detrimental to the host, and in some cases that may be further determined by other conditions such as the environment.
    According to naturalistic evolution, natural selection doesn’t nudge or push toward a certain goal or beneficial outcome, that would imply foresight and design. It can only select that which is passed on by the process of random mutations. When a bug adapts or becomes immune to certain pesticide you’d have to say that, that occurs purely by the blind unguided process of random mutations, otherwise it is not random, but rather a guided mutation. The problem I see with the naturalistic definition of so called “Natural selection” is, that it is dependent on the blind unguided process called random mutations. So natural selection is nothing short of a term used to describe when a random mutation finally gets it right. So I find it rather amusing that so many people toss the word “Natural Selection” around to explain everything in biology as if it is some sort of physical force that drives or nudges organism toward adapting in order to better survive. I think some are under the impression that natural selection somehow is sorting through and tossing the bad mutations aside and allowing the good mutations to flow on through. But it has absolutely no physical attributes, because it is nothing more than a definition of stating what will ultimately occur when the process of random mutations stumbles upon the right combination. If it was a physical force with an end goal or somehow pushing organism toward surviving, then that would be an argument for intelligent selection!

    So I will ask again: Give an example of the physical attribute, or physical force of natural selection?

    I think you should seriously consider reading Behe’s latest Peer reviewed article, before assuming that has been debunked 20 years ago. He doesn’t argue that there is no modification or changes or new information. But rather that the ratio of beneficial mutations when compared to detrimental or negative mutations is minuscule, and that mutations that show both a benefit and a over all increase in new information is a rare find, and should be covered under the endangered species act : ) (My words, not his)

    I do not recall calling you an atheist or being close to one. I made a reference to you using typical arguments that you obviously learned debating atheist. That was my point I was trying to make anyway.

    But as a former Creationist (young earth or old) you know that the argument is not about slight modifications or micro-evolution. You said in an earlier post, and somehow I may have let that go to try and explain why I do not believe that natural selection is a physical force. But on whether or not there is boundaries or limitations to evolution depends on your world view. I see no reason to believe that slight modifications or adaptations within a species translates into no boundaries. I know this is going to sound like Hovine, because it was one of his arguments: But do you believe a dog can evolve to be the size of a flea, or the size of Texas? Certainly you believe there is some limitation to what random mutations can produce? After all a Toy Chihuahua is only about a half of a pound away from being the size of a flea now. But do you honestly believe that at some point it would change and become something other than a dog or become a brand new species. Well what or who determines what a species even is: Why is a Malamute and a Chihuahua considered the same species, but, a wolf and a Malamute a different species? You know what determines it: What class mortal men desires to label it! It doesn’t make it a new species, because some person or group of so called intellectuals decides to call it a new species. So unless you have seen changes in E-coli that is more significant then the difference in a Malamute and a Chihuahua; your are going to be hard pressed to convince me that those modifications proves there is no limitation to micro-evolution!

  62. Krydan: “According to naturalistic evolution, natural selection doesn’t nudge or push toward a certain goal or beneficial outcome, that would imply foresight and design.”

    Yes, natural selection DOES push towards something: a maximum in the fitness landscape. But this is not a ‘goal’: it is a maximum, which can actually change if the environment (which sets the fitness landscape) changes. It is set by nature, not by someone or by design.

  63. @krydan

    I’m not going to argue with your definition of natural selection anymore because it it clear that you are bent on re-defining it despite it’s definition for the last 150 years.

    I know this is going to sound like Hovine, because it was one of his arguments: But do you believe a dog can evolve to be the size of a flea, or the size of Texas? Certainly you believe there is some limitation to what random mutations can produce?

    The size of the animal is irrelevant.

    Certainly you believe there is some limitation to what random mutations can produce? After all a Toy Chihuahua is only about a half of a pound away from being the size of a flea now. But do you honestly believe that at some point it would change and become something other than a dog or become a brand new species. Well what or who determines what a species even is: Why is a Malamute and a Chihuahua considered the same species, but, a wolf and a Malamute a different species? You know what determines it: What class mortal men desires to label it! It doesn’t make it a new species, because some person or group of so called intellectuals decides to call it a new species.

    This shows you do not understand the process of speciation. Speciation takes place through isolation, sexual selection, genetic drift…and time. — Dogs been domesticated for only a few thousand years; not nearly enough time for true speciation to occur.

    So unless you have seen changes in E-coli that is more significant then the difference in a Malamute and a Chihuahua; your are going to be hard pressed to convince me that those modifications proves there is no limitation to micro-evolution!

    Playing the “have you see it?” card is simply a way of “moving the goal posts.”. I already told you that no geneticist knows of any boundaries for potential change. If you can show that isn’t the case, you’ll have a Nobel prize.

  64. I am not trying to redefine the term. The term by definition is: “Natural Selection is survival of fittest: the process by which organisms that adapt well to their environment produce offspring, while those that do not adapt die out, resulting in gradual changes in a species. Selection may take place naturally natural selection or as the result of breeding for specific characteristics artificial selection.”

    The reason you are not going to argue the definition is because nowhere in the definition does it imply that natural selection is a physical force!

    It would be real simple: Explain how natural selection can guide from a blind unguided pool of mutations. Even if it actually did have a physical attribute it could only select from the pool of unguided mutations that is available to choose from. If you want to hold to the position that natural selection pushes DNA to come up with new mutations so that it can adapt to it’s new environment; then it is you who is re-defining the term!

    The size is irrelevant? It isn’t if there is no limitations or boundaries! And you don’t get to determine where the goal post is or deny that one even exist to support your indefensible new found faith. You can’t set the terms of the game, and only change to rules when it is beneficial for the survival of your crumbling theory. If you can prove that there are no boundaries or limitations to what the mystical powers of natural selection can do; then maybe you can build a whole new religion around it’s Omnipotent and Omnipresent attributes and totally abandon your faith in God

  65. Krydan: “The reason you are not going to argue the definition is because nowhere in the definition does it imply that natural selection is a physical force!”

    First it was a ‘force of nature’, and now you talk about a physical force. I would rather use the term ‘biological force’. Other than that I refer to my earlier comments.

  66. Eelco

    Adding a new word to the equation “Maximum” is not going to change the fact that according to naturalistic evolution First: random mutations occur, secondly: Naturally those mutations that are most beneficial will survive, while those that are not beneficial or detrimental will die out. There is nothing pushing or moving organisms to maximum potential, it is totally dependent upon the blind unguided random mutations added to the system and rather or not any of those unguided mutations helps the organism better survive in it’s particular environment or under certain conditions. It cannot be measured or considered a physical law of nature because it is totally dependent upon 1) The random mutation 2) An ever changing environment and conditions. aka LUCK!

  67. Eelco

    I asked that you define it: Is it a physical force? Is it a force of nature? Does it just simply state that random unguided mutations that is best fit to survive will survive under changing and various environmental conditions? If God doesn’t not exist or does not have a hand in guiding living organism to a specified end goal: Then welcome to the world of blind luck! Some like to say it isn’t luck, it’s random mutations by natural selection. Yeah, Blind random mutations co-dependent on blind random condition in the environment. LUCK!

  68. Krydan, natural selection has nothing to do with luck. It is not a chance process. It does NOT make populations wander randomly around the fitness landscape (google for this term if you don’t know what it is), but up the gradient towards a maximum. Just like gravity does make a mass go down the gradient towards a minimum.

  69. You explain it! Adding new words or telling me to search on Google is not an explanation. I have read and know how they will twist and bend in fifteen different directions trying to explain it. I am asking you to give me an example of the process. Not by just tossing more semantic around ” gradient towards a maximum”
    That is not an example of the process. That term only defines the rate of growth, but says nothing about natural selection having physical attributes, or being the cause or driving, pushing, nudging that growth. It still says nothing more then that unguided random mutation that is beneficial will survive, and those mutations that are detrimental will not or will die out. But that is dependent solely on the random pool of mutations and the various environmental conditions. Natural selection can not drive what is randomly mutated, nor can it determine the environmental conditions wherein that random mutation is more likely to survive. It is nothing more than a statement expressing the obvious, and is totally dependent on those few lucky mutations that better survives to a particular environment. I am quite aware of what they say about natural selection, and quite aware that what they say is nothing more than semantics and word games!

  70. @Krydan

    I am not trying to redefine the term. The term by definition is: “Natural Selection is survival of fittest: the process by which organisms that adapt well to their environment produce offspring, while those that do not adapt die out, resulting in gradual changes in a species. Selection may take place naturally natural selection or as the result of breeding for specific characteristics artificial selection.”

    The term “survival of the fittest” is not a Darwinian term. The term was coined by “Herbert Spencer” who misunderstood Darwinian Evolution. From his misconceptions derive many of the Creationist misunderstandings about it.

    “The survival of the fit enough” is a more accurate term.

    The reason you are not going to argue the definition is because nowhere in the definition does it imply that natural selection is a physical force!

    Even if it isn’t, that doesn’t work. It is a common sense mechanism which HAS been observed to work.. — I refer back to the PBS video that describes what WE HAVE OBSERVED on natural selection with HIV.

    f you want to hold to the position that natural selection pushes DNA to come up with new mutations so that it can adapt to it’s new environment; then it is you who is re-defining the term!

    I feel like slamming my head against the wall with this comment here, because I have never said, NOR has any biologist before me said, that Natural Selection works this way. –You are arguing a strawman which I have only heard Kent Hovind use.

    The size is irrelevant? It isn’t if there is no limitations or boundaries!

    It is irrelevant. Different size does not make a new species. It isn’t even a step in the process.

    nd you don’t get to determine where the goal post is or deny that one even exist to support your indefensible new found faith. You can’t set the terms of the game, and only change to rules when it is beneficial for the survival of your crumbling theory.

    1. Evolution is not faith. It is a fact with as much a basis as gravity.

    2. There are no rules.

    If you can prove that there are no boundaries or limitations to what the mystical powers of natural selection can do;

    Again, natural selection is not mystical. It is common sense. And again, Science is not about proof. Faith and science are to be kept separate.

    then maybe you can build a whole new religion around it’s Omnipotent and Omnipresent attributes and totally abandon your faith in God

    My faith in God is likely much stronger than yours. The good thing about m position is whether Evolution or Creationism is true, I can remain a Christian…. You on the other hand are setting yourself up to become an Atheist if YOUR position is wrong.

  71. 1) The definition I gave you was directly out of the dictionary
    2) I don’t want to watch a PBS special on HIV. I assumed that you could describe the steps in your own terms or give an analogy or example. I guess I was wrong.
    3) Please slam your head on the wall, maybe you can knock some sense into your head. Because I was merely pointing out that the selection follows the unguided random mutation “Unless” you were willing to say it was the other way around.

    And yes it is your faith, because it is built on nothing more than your interpretation of the evidence and not facts. You can’t even explain in your own words why you believe that natural selection is a force or has physical attributes. So don’t talk to about facts, when you can’t even explain why you believe that!

    Then you say “Science is not about proof’ Well could you then explain what the difference between” facts” and “proof”? You just wrote: Evolution is based on facts, now you say it has nothing to do with proof. And yes, if God does not exist, or does not have a hand in it, then it is just common sense. But that is all it is a statement that says that says that a beneficial random mutation will more likely survive, and that which is not beneficial or even detrimental will cause the host less likely to die out. That does not show that natural selection is driving that. I maintain that it is the random mutation, and the particular environment that determines that. The is no logical reason to believe that a natural force can guide an unguided process. Even God can’t guide an unguided process.

    I can follow where the evidence leads, more accurately where the sound facts lead. But I will not reject clear teachings in the Bible based on someones interpretation of the evidence, or their playing semantics with words .

  72. @krydan:

    Semantics ??? I’m explaining what natural selection does ! You do not seem to be interested in what I’m saying, though.

    Examples are no proof, by the way. But Lenski’s experiments are what you want to look at, I guess.

    You then say: “Natural selection can not drive what is randomly mutated, nor can it determine the environmental conditions wherein that random mutation is more likely to survive. ”

    Of course not. Who said something like that ? Natural selection operates with what it has (random mutations -> variation !), just like gravity operates with what it has (an object of a certain mass, shape and velocity). The environment determines the fitness landscape (a normal term in biology which apparently you refuse to look up …), and thus where the population goes, just like gravity is determined by the mass distribution around us (to quite far out, in fact).

    But both are forces: one is biological (it pushes populations around the fitness landscape in a non-random way), the other physical (it pushes mass around in a non-random way).

    ” I am quite aware of what they say about natural selection,”
    Well, apparently not. Not at all, in fact.

    ” and quite aware that what they say is nothing more than semantics and word games!”
    That’s just a insult, not an argument.

  73. Krydan: “Because I was merely pointing out that the selection follows the unguided random mutation ”

    It doesn’t follow the random mutations. That would be random selection (i.e. no selection), not natural selection. It seems you really do not grasp the concept of natural selection: it is NOT random.

  74. @krydan

    1) The definition I gave you was directly out of the dictionary

    If that dictionary listed “survival of the fittest” as a definition, then throw it away and get a new one, since “survival of the fittest” is a misnomer. The term is based on Herbert Spencer’s misunderstanding of Evolution.

    ) I don’t want to watch a PBS special on HIV. I assumed that you could describe the steps in your own terms or give an analogy or example. I guess I was wrong.

    It’s only seven minutes long, so if you want to know then you only have to click the link. It’s not that hard. I don’t need to explain it to you since I have already explained it to you in my own words by using other illustrations. The fact that you do not want to take seven minutes to watch an explanation on it suggests that you are not interested in learning.

    3) Please slam your head on the wall, maybe you can knock some sense into your head. Because I was merely pointing out that the selection follows the unguided random mutation “Unless” you were willing to say it was the other way around.

    You were claiming that I believed that natural selection pushes “DNA to come up with new mutations.” Only someone ignorant of the understanding would make such a strawman.

    And yes it is your faith, because it is built on nothing more than your interpretation of the evidence and not facts.

    1. It’s a fact that we are no different biologically from animals.

    2. It’s a fact that the further we go back in time, we have fossils of creatures that look sort of like us and sort of not. The further back we go, the less they look like us and the closer we come to our own time the more they look like us.

    3. It’s a fact that we have an overall trend in the fossil record of simplicity eventually becoming into complexity.

    4. It’s a fact that we have genetic links to other species of animals (If you accept DNA evidence as evidence of ancestry between a father and son, they why reject it when it indicates that we share ancestors with other animals? After all, the methods for both conclusions are based on THE SAME principle. You cannot accept the results when it suits you and reject them when you don’t like them.)

    Then you say “Science is not about proof’ Well could you then explain what the difference between” facts” and “proof”? You just wrote: Evolution is based on facts, now you say it has nothing to do with proof.

    And hence you show you do not know how scientists define terms: A “fact” in science does not mean “ABSOLUTE certainty.” Scientists are not interested in “proving” theories; it is about TESTING them, and so far common decent has not failed a single test.

    And yes, if God does not exist, or does not have a hand in it, then it is just common sense.

    I don’t believe God went “Push, push, push,” if that’s what you mean. — In order to create, God has NO NEED to design or even to “guide” evolution. He knows the result without guiding it, and so he has no need to intervene.

    I can follow where the evidence leads, more accurately where the sound facts lead. But I will not reject clear teachings in the Bible based on someones interpretation of the evidence, or their playing semantics with words .

    No one is telling you to reject the Bible; the Bible has nothing to do with creationism. All it does is say “God Created,” but it does not give the mechanism for Creation.

  75. Krisssmith777

    I can’t throw the dictionary away, it’s built into Microsoft Works! So blame Bill Gates!

    It may not be that hard to watch, but I was busy dealing with four discussions yesterday. A simple logical explanation from you would have been nice.

    According to your video it is via rapid RANDOM copying mistakes that new RANDOM mutations occur. This happens by pure chance seeing that the mistake are “Random mutations” Some of these copying mistakes produce strains of HIV that are immune to the latest drugs that were developed to kill the old strains. But the new strains is not the result of Natural selection, but rather the rapid new random and unguided mutations that arise by pure chance via copying mistakes.

    I did not claim that you were saying that natural selection drove the new mutations, but in order for Natural selection to be the cause or force driving evolution, it would have to proceed the random mutation! Seeing that it is the random mutation (which is by pure blind luck) that provides the pool of information that survives or dies out. If by chance a random mutation makes certain changes via copying mistakes that is more beneficial or apt to survive in that particular environment, the organism will have a better chance at survival. My contention is “That natural selection is nothing more than a term that states the obvious. “Copying mistakes that are beneficial will more likely survive, than copying mistakes that are none beneficial or detrimental to the organism. So I find it still amusing that evolutionist will say “It’s not luck, It’s random mutations by natural selection” It is luck!

    We share 50% of the same proteins with a banana, that doesn’t make us closely related to a banana! The DNA test to show paternity is not the same as the test they use to show how we are kin to Cheetah! The 95% shared DNA with a chimp came from test on 2% of a code that is trillions of digits long. So it was a shared 95% on that 2% . If you honestly think that the amount of DNA for our frontal cortex alone compared to a chimps brain wouldn’t show a larger gap between coding then 5% then I don’t know what to tell ya, other than believe what they spoon feed you!

    As far as species sharing a common ancestor with those after there own kind; well, a Young Earth Creationist wouldn’t reject that. In fact it was obvious long before Darwin that animals such as dogs and cats etc came in different varieties, shapes and sizes. Yet, universal common ancestry is another topic.

    As far as the Bible you’d have to throw out over thirty references of Adam, including the references in the New Testament such as 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 1 Corinthians15:45-49 that say’s that Adam was the first human, and that sin entered into the world through his transgression. Paul also confirms That he (Adam) was a living person, and that God had formed him ( I would consider that as God intervening) In Gen 2-7 : It says “And the LORD God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Now since The OT and the NT both agree that Adam was a living soul (person) and that God specifically formed him out of the dust and breathed life into him. Well, then I have no reason to accept your claim that God does not intervene, or that Adam evolved from an ancestor lower than a monkey!

  76. @krydan

    But the new strains is not the result of Natural selection, but rather the rapid new random and unguided mutations that arise by pure chance via copying mistakes.

    No, it is not the “result” of natural selection. Natural Selection simply favors the new strains.

    We share 50% of the same proteins with a banana, that doesn’t make us closely related to a banana!

    Not closely related, no. We are related through common decent though. All living things from bacteria to fungus and plants (even your banana) are all descended from a common ancestor. The genetic difference between us and a banana is more reflective of the variations of the mutation rates between our lineages from our common ancestors.

    The 95% shared DNA with a chimp came from test on 2% of a code that is trillions of digits long. So it was a shared 95% on that 2% . If you honestly think that the amount of DNA for our frontal cortex alone compared to a chimps brain wouldn’t show a larger gap between coding then 5% then I don’t know what to tell ya, other than believe what they spoon feed you!

    The 5% gap depends on the geneticists making the estimates. Most tests show the similarity as being much greater than 95%. There was one test that showed our shared genetics with chimps as 86%, but since no other testing supports that one, it is considered an out-lier.

    As far as species sharing a common ancestor with those after there own kind; well, a Young Earth Creationist wouldn’t reject that. In fact it was obvious long before Darwin that animals such as dogs and cats etc came in different varieties, shapes and sizes. Yet, universal common ancestry is another topic.

    Certainly it’s another topic, but Young Earth Creationists back themselves up into a corner by saying that only “a little change” is okay while more is not. Young Earth Creationists would argue that Mammoths, Mastodons and Elephants are a single “kind,” as an example of what you said…But the problem with that claim is that there are around 350 species of these creatures.. Many of them have differences that can only be explained as “macro-evolution.” For example, Deinotherium is obviously related to the above species, but it has variations that cannot be explained as “micro-evolution.” If Young Earth Creationists want to argue the “Biblical Kind” view, then they are in a quagmire of where they should draw the line of where the change should stop. This would also pose the question: If all these above creatures can be called “one kind,” then why can’t all primates such as humans, apes and monkeys also be considered “one kind”?

    — Post Flood speciation, for example, is problematic for YECs since it suggests rates of evolution that even the most enthusiastic “Darwinist” would be skeptical of.

    Even Creationists have refuted the “Biblical Kinds” argument. Below is a Creationist link that refutes it:

    Link: http://www.reasons.org/rapid-post-flood-speciation-critique-young-earth-model

    s far as the Bible you’d have to throw out over thirty references of Adam, including the references in the New Testament such as 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 1 Corinthians15:45-49 that say’s that Adam was the first human, and that sin entered into the world through his transgression. Paul also confirms That he (Adam) was a living person, and that God had formed him ( I would consider that as God intervening)

    This shows that you do not even know what Theistic Evolutionists believe. Many if them (even me) do not discount that Adam could have existed. Some do not think he did, but others do.

    The website TheisticEvolution.Org helps to clear up this Creationist misunderstanding:

    Misconception #3 – acceptance of Theistic Evolution means denying the existence of a literal Adam and Eve.

    Not necessarily. The Theistic Evolution viewpoint can actually lean either way. Belief in a literal Adam and Eve and belief in an allegorical Adam and Eve are both complementary to Theistic Evolution. http://www.theisticevolution.org/misconceptions.html

    n Gen 2-7 : It says “And the LORD God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    This could still be true, whether evolution or creationism is true. — In scientific thinking, all living things ultimately came from the earth itself; our common ancestor would have had it’s origins in the “dust of the earth,” so to speak.

    Before you argue that Adam was created “directly,” you need to realize that the Bible does not give ALL the details in the historical accounts. For example, in the Book of Daniel, there are three kings that Daniel skips mention of before he mentions Belshazzar. The Biblical writers wrote ONLY WHAT THEY THOUGHT to be important. If the writers of Genesis did not care about all the details of creation, then why would they be bothered to give them?

    Now since The OT and the NT both agree that Adam was a living soul (person) and that God specifically formed him out of the dust and breathed life into him. Well, then I have no reason to accept your claim that God does not intervene,

    Again, I do not discount the probability that Adam existed.

    or that Adam evolved from an ancestor lower than a monkey!

    Monkeys are not considered “low species,” since in evolution no animal is considered higher or lower than the other.

  77. Krydan: “So I find it still amusing that evolutionist will say “It’s not luck, It’s random mutations by natural selection”

    “Evolutionists” (I guess you mean to say evolutionary biologists) won’t say that, because that is not what evoutionary biology proposes. You keep on throwing strawman hypothesis around.

  78. To beat this dead horse one last time:

    I see no need to have the middle man “Natural selection” at all! The fact that the random mutation is different via random copying mistakes is what determines whether or not it will be susceptible to the current drugs being used.
    Therefore there is no need for any law, force, or mechanism to do anything. If the conditions is right, and the unguided mutation luckily stumbles upon the right copying error the new strain will likely survive, if not it will succumb to the current drugs being used. So what roll does natural selection play? Understand I am not questioning whether or not modifications or changes are taking place; I am only questioning what roll natural selection plays? I’ll be honest; I can’t see how it could get a screen credit in an Edward Wood film!

    On the other points about DNA: The point was it was a pick and choose of what sections of the DNA was tested. The results of the 95% or higher was from a controlled test on a mere 2% So whether it was 95% or 99.9% makes little difference since it was a controlled test As Shania Twain would say “That doesn’t impress me much”
    The point of the Banana was to show that if we are 95% related to a monkey, we must be 50% related to a banana using that same logic. Anyone with an IQ at least 1 degree above an idiot would know that with all the physical differences between Chimps and Humans that our DNA would differ far greater than 5% or less!
    I would expect that there would be some similarities considering that there are some physical similarities. And since our DNA is what makes up all those attributes and similarities, I would expect that taking the coding from a particular source where those physical similarities is the greatest, you’d get the results you were looking for. Well congratulations, they can fool some of the people some of the time!
    You are free to believe such sensationalism and media hype; But I choose call it what it is, nonsense!

    On the Biblical points: The Bible clearly indicates that God personally formed Adam from the dust! That implies special creation for mankind. That he breath in his nostrils and he became a living soul shows that man has personal relationship with God. And the fact that the Bible teaches that man was given dominion over all other creatures, and that we are created in Gods image places us higher, rather evolution teaches that or not: My Bible surely does! I am not saying that you are not a Christian or on dangerous ground; but I honestly can not see how the Bible and universal common ancestry can be compatible. I agree that many time that the writers wrote what details was important to the narrative. In fact most so call contradictions in the Gospels fall under the category of one writer giving more or less details in their narratives than the other writers. So I understand your point, well to a point. The problem is: The narrative of the Creation of Adam is detailed. It clearly states that God formed him, and that God breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul. Paul also makes reference to this account: In Luke’s genealogy it follows all the way back to Adam and calls him the son of God: showing that he was not only real but that he was the first created having no mother of father, thus the son of God. Luke’s Genealogy is important because it follows Jesus’s natural linage back to Adam, wherein Mathews genealogy follows Josephs linage and includes other adoptions that doesn’t show a direct blood link back to the Patriarchs. I just can’t see how humans sharing universal common ancestry with, as you say “even a banana” can be rectified with the Biblical of the First man Adam, which was the son of God!

  79. Eelco:

    Are you saying that evolutionary biologist believe it is luck? When I here evolutionary biologist debate Stephen C Meyer’s or John Lennox, or William Lane Craig one of there main objections to the Intelligent design argument is to say “It’s not luck, it’s random mutation by natural selection” Dawkin’s says it’s a tiny bit luck, but Darwin gave us the answer with natural selection. I notice you pooped in long enough to make a false accusation: Trust me I can find plenty of videos of Biologist making that statement, but like you’d say: Go Google it, or search on YouTube. Watch the Dawkin’s and John Lennox debate: Or Stephen C Meyers and Peter Ward debate and you’ll here a biologist, and a geologist say it. So your accusation is a straw man argument! and Funny you didn’t address my question of what roll natural selection plays? It’s a simple question: If the random unguided copying error “mutation” produces a new strain less susceptible to the current drugs being used: What roll does natural selection play, seeing that the copying error is what produced and introduced the beneficial mutation?

  80. Krydan: “Are you saying that evolutionary biologist believe it is luck?”

    No, of course not ! Have you not read anything I wrote so far ? The mutations are random, but natural selection is not. It is not random selection, but natural selection. You clearly still do not grasp the concept of natural selection … it is not luck.

    Krydan: “Funny you didn’t address my question of what roll natural selection plays? ”
    I’ve explained it quite a few times by now …

    Krydan: “What roll does natural selection play, seeing that the copying error is what produced and introduced the beneficial mutation?”

    Actually selecting the beneficial mutation for the next population, and thus increasing the fitness of the population (moving up in the fitness landscape) ! Having beneficial mutations in a population is only any good if these are selected (naturally) instead of the harmful ones, otherwise your next population will not have changed for the better (‘better’ as in better suited for the environment, i.e. a higher fitness).

  81. Krydan: “So your accusation is a straw man argument! ”

    It was a strawman hypothesis you provided: I actually have read a lot of biology books (university textbooks, mostly, for example Stearns & Hoekstra), where you won’t read what you seem to think evolutionary theory is proposing. I have never pointed you towards YouTube, only asked you to google for terms you apparently never heard of.

  82. No! I have not read what you said! However, I have read what you’ve typed! How could I possibly read what you say? Now, I didn’t write that to be sarcastic, but rather to make a point. There are expression and terms that are so ingrained in our system of thought that whether or not they are logical or not we feel comfortable using those terms because they are universally accepted.

    But there is no mechanism actually doing the sorting! Bad mutations are past on to the next generation all the time. Some families are more susceptible to certain diseases, allergic to certain foods, passes on diabetes and other none beneficial traits on to the next generation. We inherit the good and the bad! It is only when a mutation is detrimental and the organism or person dies before it reaches the age of being able to procreate that it won’t pass that gene on to it’s offspring. Sometimes these negative or none-beneficial genes skip a generation or may even lay dormant for long periods and re emerge. So you saying that it selects only the beneficial mutations for the next generation is as illogical as asking if I had read what you said! Seeing that inherited and none beneficial traits abound and is the driving force behind millions dying to inherited heart disease, inherited diabetes, inherited susceptibility to cancer etc… That should be a good indication that your claim that only good mutation pass on to the next generation is false!

  83. Krydan: “That should be a good indication that your claim that only good mutation pass on to the next generation is false!”

    I did not claim that ! I did not use the word ‘only’ which you insert here. It is a statistical process, operating on populations. Of course also some ‘bad’ mutations are passed on, but often these do not last – you need to think lots of populations. See Lenski’s experiments, coming back to your request for examples.

    Krydan: “But there is no mechanism actually doing the sorting!”

    Well yes, there is such a process. It is called ‘natural selection’. But I never said that it will ‘only’ sort out ‘good’ mutations. It tends to pass on more good than bad ones, in a statistical way.

  84. Krydan: “No! I have not read what you said! However, I have read what you’ve typed! How could I possibly read what you say?”

    Ha ha.

    Unfortunately, I actually wrote “Have you not read anything I wrote so far ?” and NOT “Have you not read anything I said so far?”.
    So your attempt at humour fails, I’m afraid …

  85. @krydan

    The fact that the random mutation is different via random copying mistakes is what determines whether or not it will be susceptible to the current drugs being used.

    And what you don’t want to understand is Natural Selection is what will FAVOR the non-susceptible strands. That’s just how it works. You sometimes have explained it really well, and you don’t seem to know it.

    So what roll does natural selection play? Understand I am not questioning whether or not modifications or changes are taking place; I am only questioning what roll natural selection plays? I’ll be honest; I can’t see how it could get a screen credit in an Edward Wood film!

    I don’t get why you cannot see it, as it is so simple. If the new information strand is beneficial in a certain environment, then it will be favored by natural selection. If it is a burden in the environment, then it will be selected out.

    Anyone who knows and understand how evolution works knows this.

    The point of the Banana was to show that if we are 95% related to a monkey, we must be 50% related to a banana using that same logic.

    That logic is true. We ARE that much related to bananas.

    Anyone with an IQ at least 1 degree above an idiot would know that with all the physical differences between Chimps and Humans that our DNA would differ far greater than 5% or less!

    And what you do not seem to understand is that it doesn’t necessarily take huge genetic changes to make a huge difference. Take a Physical Anthropology class and find out for yourself.

    MAny of the differences between chimps and humans genetically are insertions and deletions, and overall there would not be to many. Also some of them are “recombinations” which even Young Earth Creationists accept as valid.

    The Bible clearly indicates that God personally formed Adam from the dust! That implies special creation for mankind. That he breath in his nostrils and he became a living soul shows that man has personal relationship with God.

    The words “personally” and “directly” are not even in the context. — I am not now, nor have I ever said that man was not special. That just depends on your definition of “special.”

    Even if God did not intervene in the physical formation of man DIRECTLY, that does not exclude him from creating man’s spirit (notice I do not say “soul,” I said “spirit”). — Notice, I never said God never intervened AFTERWARDS… I simply said that I don’t think God went “push, push, push” DURING the evolutionary process.

    Paul also makes reference to this account: In Luke’s genealogy it follows all the way back to Adam and calls him the son of God: showing that he was not only real but that he was the first created having no mother of father, thus the son of God.

    Paul could have called any other human “a son of God.” That doesn’t make him directly created. But this point can also be true in Adam’s case with what I said just a moment ago.

  86. @Eelco

    I did not claim that ! I did not use the word ‘only’ which you insert here. It is a statistical process, operating on populations. Of course also some ‘bad’ mutations are passed on, but often these do not last – you need to think lots of populations. See Lenski’s experiments, coming back to your request for examples.

    I am this close to giving on on krydan. No matter how many times we explain to him what Natural Selection is, he continually insists on his strawman definition of the term. No scientist defines Natural Selection in the manner that he does. I don’t define it perfectly, but I think I have a much better grasp on the concept than he does. There are a few moments where he describes it really well, but then backs up and says “Oh, that is not ‘Natural Selection.'” It really makes me wonder if he is really interested in learning the subject or not.

    I have explained to him numerous times that it is not a “mystic force,” but somehow he contents himself with using that term as if it were magic; it is far from a magic trick. Animals appearing fully formed grazing on the hills out of nothing; now THAT would be considered “magic.” But that is what Creationism proposes.

    One of the biggest inconsistencies that he says is the following:

    I can follow where the evidence leads, more accurately where the sound facts lead. But I will not reject clear teachings in the Bible based on someones interpretation of the evidence, or their playing semantics with words .

    He is essentially saying, “I will except the evidence…unless it goes against my view of what the Bible says.” — Ironically, this statement is not only inconsistent, it is also unbiblical, as the Bible itself says to “test all things,” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) That means following the evidence, even if it leads to a conclusion that is uncomfortable for us; even if it goes against certain dearly held beliefs.

    There is another ironic detail in his statement is that even though he is not going to reject what the Bible says based on an “interpretation” of the evidence; that is that even his own view of what the Bible means is also just an interpretation, as is my own view. There are several competent Biblical scholars that do not even read the Bible the same way that HE does, and yet they would know much more than he would on the subject.

    It was a strawman hypothesis you provided: I actually have read a lot of biology books (university textbooks, mostly, for example Stearns & Hoekstra), where you won’t read what you seem to think evolutionary theory is proposing. I have never pointed you towards YouTube, only asked you to google for terms you apparently never heard of.

    Well, I was the one that pointed him to a YouTube video, but telling him to google terms is perfectly acceptable. I would hope that he wouldn’t go to the Search Engine for Answers in Genesis since it so happens they are powered by Google. — But I digress.

    His usage of Strawmen arguments is characteristic of someone who either has never studied Evolutionary theory, except in the “dark” of Creationist websites and publications. — For example, only a Creationist who never studied evolution would use terms such as “lower than a monkey.” You and I both know that there are no “lower” life forms. Darwin’s theory of evolution actually debunked the idea of one animal being higher than another. But since Herbert Spencer coined the term “survival of the fittest,” this has caused many –not the least, Creationists– to misunderstand how evolution works. Krydan’s arguments are all based on these misconceptions. Two wit, he is yet to even argue against Evolutionary theory as scientists know and understand it.

  87. I assume you meant “give up on Krydan? who cares? But You haven’t even begun to explain it. You have a better grasp? How do you have a better grasp when you can’t give one single example, or define it?

    here it is again:

    1) A random mutation is 100% luck, otherwise it would not be called random!
    2) So the very first step of the process is agree that it is 100% luck!
    3) The mutation is cause by random errors in the copying aka random mistakes
    4) Out of those mistakes a overwhelming amount are detrimental and negative
    If you want proof just look at any medical book and count off the thousands of bad mutations that causes diseases and deformities, then compare that with your Finch beaks and Peppered Moths and a hand full of other silly examples you can point to of a beneficial mutation. And the majority of those mutations that are beneficial is a loss of information; such as: A Polar bears loss of pigmentation coding that helps it blend better into it’s surroundings.

    5) I clearly described how the HIV strains mutation ( Remember A Mutation IS 100% LUCK) is what determines if it will survive or not. If it doesn’t mutate it won’t survive the current drugs being used to fight against it, if it does mute it is more likely to survive. There is no need for a mechanism to determine that!

    6) So Natural selection is totally and completely Dependant on there being a good unguided random mutation to select in the first place. And I will repeat my main point again: The mutations are random copying errors which by definition is 100% luck. Both good and bad (mostly bad copying errors” can be past on to your offspring. It is a well know fact that certain races and cultures have a greater chance of acquiring bad genes from their ancestors that acquired the gene because of poor living condition or because of personal habits and choices. Those who’s ancestors eat a lot of greasy foods and unhealthy junk food is why whole populations today suffer with diabetes, heart disease, obesity etc… Many times of the mutations are the result of personal habits and practices, living conditions etc… They are not random, they are the result of variable conditions habits and I believe many times SIN!
    Over exposer to dangerous levels of radiation, synthetic drugs, cigarettes etc.. can result in birth defects and bad mutations that will spread and effect generation after generation. So much of your so called random mutations are not accidental random mutations, they are the result of a butterfly effect, wherein conditions and personal choices can have major and negative effects on future populations and entire species for generations to come. Natural selection doesn’t favor beneficial mutation, human nature and environmental conditions brought on by sin and personal choices and habits drives the breakdown in the genetic code and breaks down our immune system making us more susceptible to new viral infections wherein our own built in immune system can no longer fight against them.

    7) Darwin showed that there is no such thing as lower life forms? Funny considering the first 4 Chapter headings in “The Descent Of Men

    Chapter 1 “THE EVIDENCE OF THE DESCENT OF MAN FROM SOME LOWER FORM”

    Chapter 2 “ON THE MANNER OF DEVELOPMENT OF MAN FROM SOME LOWER FORM”

    Chapter 3 “COMPARISON OF THE MENTAL POWERS OF MAN AND THE LOWER ANIMALS.”

    Chapter 4 ” COMPARISON OF THE MENTAL POWERS OF MAN AND THE LOWER ANIMALS (Continued).”

    It is typical for atheist to hide behind calling everything a straw-man argument, because they can’t answer the over all point, or even define what their position is. So then they, as do you keep moving and contorting like a rubber chicken playing twister to try and avoid answering any objection to your silly imaginary randomly unguided guided process.

    Unlike you I’ve read Darwin’s work: Obviously you haven’t or you would know that not only did he believe in lower life forms, but that he refereed to certain races as being classified as “The Lowest Savages”

    Excerpt 1 The Descent of Man Chapter 5

    “Apes are much given to imitation, as are the lowest savages; and the simple fact previously referred to, that after a time no animal can be caught in the same place by the same sort of trap, shews that animals learn by experience, and imitate the caution of others.”

    Excerpt 2 The Descent of Man Chapter 5

    We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

    So Darwin was a saint and believed there was no lower class of human or even animal huh? Then you have the gall to say I haven’t read or studied something? You have the gall to say that I used a straw man argument by saying “lower life form?”
    For Christ sake stop saying that I am using a straw-man argument, and using that as an excuse to avoid answering my questions or defending what you do believe!

    As for your Biblical exegesis: The Bible doesn’t say to reinterpret or toss out clear Biblical doctrine to accommodate every hypothesis or imagination of man that comes along. Ironically you failed to post the whole verse it reads: 1 Thes: 5-21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. I am holding fast to that which is good.

    And your reinterpretation of what I said about following the evidence: Your interpretation are not facts, it is your interpretation that I believe is a damnable heresy!

    I said better yet “WHERE THE SOUND FACTS LEAD” Just like many atheist you can’t differentiate between “Facts” and “Evidence” You believe they are the same thing! You believe your interpretation of the “Evidence” is the gospel truth!
    I never said I would not follow sound evidence: I said I am not going to toss half of my Bible away for your “interpretation” of the evidence, your re-interpretation of sound doctrine, or your narrow minded world view! You’ve proved yourself to be a hypocrite. To claim that I use a straw man argument when I can prove that Darwin believed in lower life forms, including lower human life forms. Then you turn around and willfully twist and try to tell somebody else what my words mean! Yeah, your some Christian!

  88. Krydan: “here it is again:”

    Just repeating yourself endlessly doesn’t make it right: in fact, it still isn’t. But I am not going to repeat myself, as you ignore the explanations I provided anyway.

  89. You never once explained how the process can begin from a random mutation which by definition is 100% LUCK, and maintain that LUCK has nothing to do with it? I said even if Natural selection is a true real objective mechanism it is dependent upon accidental copying errors. That makes it a game of chance! It like playing the lottery then selecting to cash in the winning tickets and throwing away the loosing tickets. Not sure how people who claim to be so smart can’t understand that simple logical fact!

  90. You again prove not to grasp the concept of natural selection. It acts on random mutations, but the natural selection process itself is anything but random.
    It is that simple.

  91. Krydan: “You never once explained ”

    I explained it many, many times in this blog before. Did you not read any of that ??

  92. No I did not read this entire blog!

    It should take you about three minutes to answer my points straight out, no dancing around, no “that’s a straw man argument” no “you just don’t understand”. Just a straight simple yes or no answer: Then a simple brief explanation!

    Yes or no:

    1) The process begins with mutations that are random copying errors, a mere accidental process of pure chance?

    2) Natural selection is limited to selecting from those copying errors and random mutations?

    If yes to both of the above questions:

    A brief answer:
    3) How does the second step in the process “natural selection” take away from the fact that the first step is totally random and accidental products of chance ?

    Another brief answer:
    4) If I buy 50 lottery tickets and randomly win 2 out of the 50, I select the two winning tickets and cash them in and discard the 48 loosing tickets. How is my selecting those that are beneficial to my financial needs take away from the fact that my two wins were pure luck?

    It’s that simple!

  93. Krydan: “No I did not read this entire blog!”

    Well, then do so ! I have not been dancing around, and I did explain what natural selection is.

    But here we go:
    1) no, because the mutations are not part of the ‘natural selection’ process. As I have said many times before, even this morning, natural selection acts on the mutations.
    2) yes, of course it is limited. That’s why we are limited as well.
    3) it is not the second step: it is the only step for natural selection. Mutations are not part of natural selection, natural selection acts on mutations.
    4) a lottery is random selection, not natural selection. I’ve said this before as well.

    All clear now ?

  94. No all is not clear, because you danced a Texas two step!

    1) I doesn’t matter if random mutations it’s apart of natural selection; what matters is that first random mutations has to occur before natural selection can act on them or select from them. You danced and went back to your little game of semantics rather than accept that I got you in a check mate!

    2) I said the second step of the process “Not for natural selection” But in the sense that first the random mutations occur chronologically before natural selection can act on the mutation. Once again you danced!

    3) In my analogy it was I who naturally selected the beneficial winning tickets from the pool of none-winning tickets. I was playing the part of natural select acting on my beneficial random wins, and discarded the unnecessary loosing tickets . Again you danced!

    I was seriously expecting that you would at least try to give a logical straight forward answer, or admit that natural selection it totally dependent on selecting from random acts of luck or accidental copying mistakes!

    I was wrong!

  95. Of course it matter whether mutations are part of natural selection. They are not.
    And of course you need random mutations to act on, just like you need a matter distribution (randomly laid out by random quantum fluctuations in the early universe) for gravity to act on.

    But both natural selection and gravity are non-random processes, which is what this whole discussion was about.

    Gravity without a matter distribution is still gravity, even though nothing would happen in that case. Gravity is still a force then. Put matter there, and something does happen, in a non-random way, even if you put the matter there randomly.
    Same with natural selection.

    ” I was playing the part of natural select ”
    Ah, I now understand the analogy: you are selecting, not the lottery.
    But then that is odd. Now you are saying that natural selection is a non-random process, as you only kept the winning numbers, not the losing ones. That is, you did not keep two tickets at random, but non-randomly selected the two winning ones. So you should actually understand now that natural selection is not at all a random process.

  96. BTW: natural selection would also work well on non-random mutations: it does not care about how the mutations came about: it just selects the ones most adapted to the environment (the fittest): it pushes populations upwards in the fitness landscape, which is a non-random process.

  97. Another BTW: your lottery analogy does not work in the sense that a lottery win is not a heritable trait: you cannot copy it to your offspring, as the funds will need to be divided up, and you’ll likely need to pay inheritance tax. So it will not benefit the population in the long run, which is what fitness is all about.

  98. You asked me several times if I read what you wrote. Now I wonder if you read what I wrote or just looked to find something that you can twist to try to escape from the fact that you can’t answer the question we moved on to! I had said that we would put aside the question of natural selection being random and say it is an objective real mechanism. Then you go right back to arguing that point as if I never said that!
    We moved on to how if it can only select “by it’s none-random process” from a pool of random mutations can you say it’s not luck? Not the selection itself, but the pool it chooses from? The pool is a random pool of luck, just like my pool of randomly chosen lottery tickets. By my none random selection of the winning tickets from my pool of random loosing lottery tickets I cash my winning tickets in and discard my loosing tickets; but, my two winning tickets are still a random act of luck! My none random selection of the winning tickets from my none random discarding of the loosing tickets, Doesn’t… Doesn’t … Absolutely DOES NOT make the two winning tickets any less of a random act of luck!

    You understand that you are up against the wall and have no place else to go but play your little Texas Two Step.

  99. The whole discussion was about the process of natural selection being random or not, not about evolution having a random component (the random mutations). If you want to move goalposts, fine, but first let us establish that natural selection is NOT random. That was what you vehemently disagreed with, and that was what the discussion was about.

    That you seem to have agreed now is a good thing.

    So I am not up against any wall …

  100. 1) That wasn’t the whole discussion it was just one of the problems I see with Darwinian Evolution.

    2) I never said there isn’t a mechanism, my position is that there isn’t a godless, purposeless, “Natural” mechanism. I don’t believe your theory that begins with 100% luck can account for the complexity of molecular machines and eventual complex organs and human life in a trillion trillion years, let alone in a few billion years since the earth cooled.

    3) So I do not agree, my main goal was to show that the foundation of Darwinian evolution is a foundation built on 100% luck!

    4) I haven’t moved the goal post: The argument is over whether or not it is “Natural” or the work of “intelligent design” not whether there is a mechanism. I believe the mechanism is intelligence built into the system by a intelligent designer.

    Conclusion: I don’t believe “natural” selecting from a pool of random accidents can put Humpty Dumpty together in the first place!

    .

  101. 1) it was certainly the discussion we were having. I pointed out that natural selection is a non-random process, i.e. it has nothing to do with luck, just like gravity

    2) you maintained that natural selection is not a ‘force of nature’ (a biological force, I’d rather say): see your reaction of April 12, 2011 at 4:12 am
    It most certainly is.

    3) then you still do not understand evolution. Only mutations are random (and not always so), but natural selection and other mechanisms of evolution are not. So there is a random component, but evolution is by no means random. Have you already looked up fitness landscapes by now ?

    4) you clearly moved the goals posts by moving away from the discussion on natural selection to discussing evolution.

  102. @krydan

    1) A random mutation is 100% luck, otherwise it would not be called random!

    No, it’s random because it can happen at anytime and at anywhere. That is not necessarily luck

    7) Darwin showed that there is no such thing as lower life forms? Funny considering the first 4 Chapter headings in “The Descent Of Men

    Darwin was writing a book for the laypeople to grasp. When scientists do that, they tend to oversimplify statements. That’s what Darwin was doing now… If you read more of what he actually proposed, then you would have read this that he wrote in his log against the idea that one animal is being higher or lower than another:

    It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another…”

    Don’t try to object that Darwin and other scientists use oversimplified terms to describe things to laypeople because it is the truth. There are several examples I can give you now of scientists doing that:

    1. Calling Dinosaurs “reptiles.” They were not reptiles.

    2. Calling ancestral mammals “Mammal like reptiles.” The term is misleading; the actual term is “Synapsid.”

    3. The “march to progress,” is also a huge oversimplification, not to mention a mention it is also a misrepresentation.

    4. Calling the “big bang” an explosion. It was not an explosion; more of an expansion.

    All these are the product of scientists oversimplifying and even misrepresenting terms in order to help laypeople get at least some understanding. Darwin was doing the same thing; his literature written by him and FOR him only contradicts the idea of one animal being lower than another.

    So Darwin was a saint and believed there was no lower class of human or even animal huh? Then you have the gall to say I haven’t read or studied something? You have the gall to say that I used a straw man argument by saying “lower life form?”

    Then I will have the gall to say it again. You are using a strawman argument by saying Darwin actually believed one animal was lower than another. His theory of evolution is of a “tree”..not a “ladder.” Even said so.

    I am not saying Darwin was a Saint. That is a completely different matter. For his time though, he was an honorable and honest man.

    As for your Biblical exegesis: The Bible doesn’t say to reinterpret or toss out clear Biblical doctrine to accommodate every hypothesis or imagination of man that comes along. Ironically you failed to post the whole verse it reads: 1 Thes: 5-21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. I am holding fast to that which is good.

    Funny. Early Christians and even Jews were willing to reinterpret. Saint Augustin was against holding to a dogmatic interpretation if nature proved the interpretation wrong. — Early Christians could not even agree on what Genesis means; they were all over the place, but the dominant idea was that the interpretation was “unclear.”

    And your reinterpretation of what I said about following the evidence: Your interpretation are not facts, it is your interpretation that I believe is a damnable heresy!

    That’s your opinion. But many Christians could call eachother heretics over several other internal details, so it is also an irrelevant point. I could also call Creationism a heresy, which I personally believe it is. But that will get us nowhere.

    I said better yet “WHERE THE SOUND FACTS LEAD” Just like many atheist you can’t differentiate between “Facts” and “Evidence”

    No I don’t think evidence and facts are the same. But if the evidence all points in one area, then that is another matter.

    You believe your interpretation of the “Evidence” is the gospel truth!

    What? Are you a mind-reader now? No I do not think this way. The “gospel of truth” has no relationship to Science. They are to be kept separate. — What can I say? I am a proponent of Stephen Gould’s NOMA.

    You’ve proved yourself to be a hypocrite. To claim that I use a straw man argument when I can prove that Darwin believed in lower life forms, including lower human life forms. Then you turn around and willfully twist and try to tell somebody else what my words mean! Yeah, your some Christian!

    Truth is, you DID use a strawman, as I have already proven above. And I know what your words mean, because I used them before. So I know I am not twising them.

    My Christianity is probably stronger than yours, because I can follow the evidence wherever it leads without my beliefe in God being affected. If ideas of God are falsified, I simply adjust my view of God so that it fits in with the evidence. — You, however, cannot do that since you think you have the absolute truth. The disadvantage of claiming to have the “Absolute truth” is that you can never admit when you are wrong, I never make the claim, so I can admit when I am wrong.

  103. I am not moving away from the subject or the goal post: You are obviously to ignorant to understand that I still do not believe in NATURAL selection. It isn’t the mechanism! Intelligent design built into the system is the mechanism. Your theory is built on the foundation of a pool of random accidents. I still maintain it is not a force: in fact I maintain that it is a figment of your imagination.

    It doesn’t matter if you have 20 mechanisms in operation, you can’t avoid the fact that the foundation, the pool of information used to select from is by your own acknowledgement a pool of accidental mutations. Everything following that is working from the pool of random unguided accidents.

    Natural selection is your main component of evolution, so don’t try that lame game of breaking it up as if it’s a different subject. We are starting with the foundation of your theory, which I have shown to based on 100% luck. Adding a none-random mechanism to filter through your pool of luck, does not take away from the fact that the pool of information by your own definition is random copying mistakes!

  104. Krydan: “I am not moving away from the subject or the goal post: You are obviously to ignorant to understand that I still do not believe in NATURAL selection.”

    You demonstratively moved from natural selection to evolution. Read back if you like. The discussion was on natural selection, not all of evolution (natural selection is an important ingredient, sure, but most certainly not the only one – genetic drift is another).

    Krydan: ” I still maintain it is not a force: ”
    This is becoming repetitive. So one last time: natural selection is a force. It is quite normal to talk about ‘selection forces’, just like in physics you talk about ‘gravitational forces’. Maybe you should start reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection ?

    Krydan: “Natural selection is your main component of evolution, so don’t try that lame game of breaking it up as if it’s a different subject. ”
    I’m not playing lame games (another insult from you): natural selection is an important process in evolution, but only a part of it. And it is a clearly non-random part.

    And of course I never denied that random mutations are random, so your last sentences are pointless.

  105. Somebody here needs to take an introductory course in Evolutionary Biology, and desperately too.

    There are several resources online which do not cost a cent.

    Chris Colby’s paper is really useful for explaining how evolution work, as well as clearing away Krydan’s misconceptions of how evolution works:

    Link: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

    I will quote the relevant areas:

    As for “higher” and lower” organisms:

    One common mistake is believing that species can be arranged on an evolutionary ladder from bacteria through “lower” animals, to “higher” animals and, finally, up to man. Mistakes permeate popular science expositions of evolutionary biology. Mistakes even filter into biology journals and texts. For example, Lodish, et. al., in their cell biology text, proclaim, “It was Charles Darwin’s great insight that organisms are all related in a great chain of being…” In fact, the idea of a great chain of being, which traces to Linnaeus, was overturned by Darwin’s idea of common descent.

    There we go. “Higher” and “lower” animals has no place in Darwinian evolution.

    And Furthermore:

    Evolution is not progress. Populations simply adapt to their current surroundings. They do not necessarily become better in any absolute sense over time. A trait or strategy that is successful at one time may be unsuccessful at another.

    Now, as for misconceptions about Natural Selection:

    The phrase “survival of the fittest” is often used synonymously with natural selection. The phrase is both incomplete and misleading. For one thing, survival is only one component of selection — and perhaps one of the less important ones in many populations. For example, in polygynous species, a number of males survive to reproductive age, but only a few ever mate. Males may differ little in their ability to survive, but greatly in their ability to attract mates — the difference in reproductive success stems mainly from the latter consideration. Also, the word fit is often confused with physically fit. Fitness, in an evolutionary sense, is the average reproductive output of a class of genetic variants in a gene pool. Fit does not necessarily mean biggest, fastest or strongest.

    As for the claim that evolution is pure chance, another good paper to read is here:

    Link: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance.html

    This other paper points out,

    Genetic changes do not anticipate a species’ needs, and those changes may be unrelated to selection pressures on the species. Nevertheless, evolution is not fundamentally a random process.

    If krudan wants more explanation, he needs to actuall read these links, and read them well….not skim over them.

  106. l

    Kriss you need to take a introductory course in common sense : )

    I wrote: 1) A random mutation is 100% luck, otherwise it would not be called random!

    You wrote: “No, it’s random because it can happen at anytime and at anywhere. That is not necessarily luck.”

    My reply: “Random” relating or belonging to a set in which all the members have the same probability of occurrence. By definition, that my friend is pure luck! There are many factors that contribute to mutations or random copying errors. I’ve listed some before: The environment, poor living conditions, exposer to high radiation levels, personal habits such as eating the wrong foods, drug use, alcoholism, illicit unprotected sex etc… Each one of these, as well as countless other factors contribute to changes that have a rippling effect that will ultimately change the course in which species have and will evolve.

    Like the Butterfly effect that says a Butterfly flapping it’s wings in the Congo 10 years ago can lead to a rippling effect that could result in a tornado touching down in South Texas tomorrow, or on the flip side, cause it to not touch down whereas it otherwise would have. This same principle applies to virtually every aspect of science. Every decision we make large or small has a rippling effect that can change not only our lives but the lives of every species on the planet. And not just our actions, every minute change in our environment results in this same rippling effect, so does every event in history both large and small. While mutations are random that does not mean they are without a cause or have not been effected by many different factors; like every event large and small that has ever occurred since the beginning of time. Now when you consider that even the slightest minute change could have completely changed the course of history including ever step along the way in evolutionary biology; suddenly your insistence that chance has little or nothing to do with evolution sounds not only mildly ridiculous, but absolutely ridiculous.

    I wrote: 7) Darwin showed that there is no such thing as lower life forms? Funny considering the first 4 Chapter headings in “The Descent Of Men

    You wrote: Darwin was writing a book for the laypeople to grasp. When scientists do that, they tend to oversimplify statements. That’s what Darwin was doing now… If you read more of what he actually proposed, then you would have read this that he wrote in his log against the idea that one animal is being higher or lower than another:

    It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another…”

    I wrote: Where is the above quote taken from?

    You wrote: Don’t try to object that Darwin and other scientists use oversimplified terms to describe things to laypeople because it is the truth. There are several examples I can give you now of scientists doing that:

    1. Calling Dinosaurs “reptiles.” They were not reptiles.

    2. Calling ancestral mammals “Mammal like reptiles.” The term is misleading; the actual term is “Synapsid.”

    3. The “march to progress,” is also a huge oversimplification, not to mention a mention it is also a misrepresentation.

    4. Calling the “big bang” an explosion. It was not an explosion; more of an expansion.

    Kriss, Lets add a couple more more

    5) Calling a mere flea as high on the tree of evolution as Einstein.
    6) Saying that random mutations effected by habits, living conditions, environmental conditions, exposer to radiation, illicit and proscribed synthetic drugs etc… Is not a game of chance!
    7) Ignoring the Butterfly effect in Biology in order to pro up a naturalist world view.

    BTW: Trees grow upwards and out, whereas a ladder doesn’t branch out. But your analogy that it isn’t a ladder doesn’t fit well with that a tree is a vertical.

    You wrote: All these are the product of scientists oversimplifying and even misrepresenting terms in order to help laypeople get at least some understanding. Darwin was doing the same thing; his literature written by him and FOR him only contradicts the idea of one animal being lower than another.

    Kriss, Nice try but I’ve read the Descent Of Man, and I know how he separates the savages from the civilized white folk: even predicting that in the not to distant distant future that the Civilized Nations would war against the savages widening the gap between man and Ape. “The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as present between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

    The Descent of Man In Chapter 6, On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man,

    Note in the above excerpt that your decent honest man wrote: “AS WE MAY HOPE” When discussing this widening of the gap that would result in a pure civilized Caucasian race.

    I wrote: So Darwin was a saint and believed there was no lower class of human or even animal huh? Then you have the gall to say I haven’t read or studied something? You have the gall to say that I used a straw man argument by saying “lower life form?”

    You wrote: Then I will have the gall to say it again. You are using a strawman argument by saying Darwin actually believed one animal was lower than another. His theory of evolution is of a “tree”..not a “ladder.” Even said so.

    Kriss, a tree go up like a ladder, the only difference is that it branches out. To try and reinterpret Darwin’s words to fit your Neo-Darwinian view is quite amusing, as is your re-writing the Bible for the same ends! You may, or some modern evolutionist may have a new twist on it: But Darwin specifically used the terms lower, savages, civilized etc… Your excuse that he wrote in those terms to avoid confusing the layman is quite funny considering it has had the opposite effect, and if he didn’t intend to paint certain races as savages and others as civilized, or intend to portray baboons lower than apes; he could have done so that mere little laymen could understand it! Stop trying to spin what he write!

    You wrote: I am not saying Darwin was a Saint. That is a completely different matter. For his time though, he was an honorable and honest man.

    Kriss: Read the 6th chapter of “the Descent Of Man” and the words following his prediction that the Civilized Nations would war against the savage Nations “As he would hope” the gap between Caucasians and certain apes and lower baboons would be wider. That is not describing species and fellow human beings as being equal on his metaphorical tree. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night!

    As for your Biblical exegesis: The Bible doesn’t say to reinterpret or toss out clear Biblical doctrine to accommodate every hypothesis or imagination of man that comes along. Ironically you failed to post the whole verse it reads: 1 Thes: 5-21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. I am holding fast to that which is good.

    Funny. Early Christians and even Jews were willing to reinterpret. Saint Augustin was against holding to a dogmatic interpretation if nature proved the interpretation wrong. — Early Christians could not even agree on what Genesis means; they were all over the place, but the dominant idea was that the interpretation was “unclear.”

    We wasn’t discussing what Genesis says or the interpretation of general creation. I only mentioned Adam. and the fact that Paul and the NT writers believed that he was the First man, and that God had formed him!

    And your reinterpretation of what I said about following the evidence: Your interpretation are not facts, it is your interpretation that I believe is a damnable heresy!

    That’s your opinion. But many Christians could call eachother heretics over several other internal details, so it is also an irrelevant point. I could also call Creationism a heresy, which I personally believe it is. But that will get us nowhere.

    Again we are not talking about general creation, or literal six days, or any gap theory, or ruin re-creation theory. I was talking about the first man Adam. which the old and NT mentions over thirty times including the Apostle Paul recounting that God formed Adam and he was the first man. Not evolved from (to make you happy) a none human ancestor!

    I said better yet “WHERE THE SOUND FACTS LEAD” Just like many atheist you can’t differentiate between “Facts” and “Evidence”

    No I don’t think evidence and facts are the same. But if the evidence all points in one area, then that is another matter.

    The evidence doesn’t point in one direction: We could get into a bunch of metaphysical discussions and points about the B theory of time, which if is true, would mean that time is nothing more than stretched out like a ruler; the past, present and future equally exist concurrently on that ruler of time: Which means that life has existed in the future before it evolved in the past. Some physicist have even proposed that humans in the future came back in time and created us! Sound silly? You betcha! But that doesn’t keep them or folks like Stephen Hawking’s from coming up with wild Model Dependent Realism and other crazy theories. If Hawking’s is right, your evidence is purely illusory. So when you talk about evidence, you need to determine what model of reality you hold to. He even argues that YEC can not be said to be less true than Big Bang cosmology, though our current perception of the evidence would suggest that the Big Bang is the better model, but that doesn’t make it any more of a real model. So when you have brilliant minds like Hawking’s proposing such uncertainty about our perception of reality, I find it odd that you would attack YEC, or suppose that your model is any more real. The point being, people will say or do anything to prop up their interpretation of the evidence, even denying reality!

    You believe your interpretation of the “Evidence” is the gospel truth!

    What? Are you a mind-reader now? No I do not think this way. The “gospel of truth” has no relationship to Science. They are to be kept separate. — What can I say? I am a proponent of Stephen Gould’s NOMA.

    Stephen J Gould’s NOMA? Sorry to hear that! Didn’t he have a different interpretation of the evidence and hold to the theory that there are quantum leaps in evolution? Know I can’t read your mind! But you in fact misrepresented my words; because I didn’t say I would reject solid evidence or facts, I said I reject your interpretation of the evidence. That is two different things!

    Truth is, you DID use a strawman, as I have already proven above. And I know what your words mean, because I used them before. So I know I am not twising them.

    Kriss, you didn’t know or understand the definition of “random” How am I supposed to think you understand what truth is?

    My Christianity is probably stronger than yours, because I can follow the evidence wherever it leads without my beliefe in God being affected.

    Kriss, You can follow where your interpretation of the evidence leads you and will: just because I don’t accept your world view or your interpretation of the evidence, doesn’t mean I don’t follow the evidence. You haven’t given any convincing evidence for your theistic evolutionary theory, or evidence that would falsify intelligent design!

    If ideas of God are falsified, I simply adjust my view of God so that it fits in with the evidence.

    Kriss, now you are talking about something being falsified, that is something different from your interpretation of the historical evidences, and your interpretation of observational evidence. 15 or 20 years ago scientist new that none coding DNA was just left over junk. Are you willing to make a prediction on how much of that is none-functional today? Give me a percentage of how much will be considered none coding or functional 10 years from now? I will predict that most if not all will prove to be where genes get their expression, and that what makes us different from chimps is in the RNA and expression of genes, not shared genes! You want to make a prediction? I also predict that by labeling it as leftover junk, and none-coding will be the biggest blunder in modern science.

    — You, however, cannot do that since you think you have the absolute truth. The disadvantage of claiming to have the “Absolute truth” is that you can never admit when you are wrong, I never make the claim, so I can admit when I am wrong.

    I never said I can’t admit when I am wrong: I used to be a young earth creationist myself! I am constantly changing and reevaluating my views, that is why I engage in these discussions.

    Rather than address my over all objection to your position, or defend the strong points I make against your argument that naturalistic evolution is not a game of chance when you consider that it’s foundation is 100% chance, and then when you throw the Butterfly effect into the mix which can and will drastically effect what mutation nature can choose from; rather than counter my points or my argument, you just hide behind that it is a straw man argument. I know you don’t say it’s luck; I am saying that from a naturalistic world view, when you begin with random mutations, then rely on ever possible effect that personal choices and habits, environment, social standing, nuclear testing, synthetic drugs: when you have all these elements and any one of them could potentially alter the direction or effect what copying errors or what path evolution could take; I argue that, that is my view that it is luck. It is up to you to counter those arguments with why it isn’t and why your interpretation is the correct one?

  107. Krydan: ““Random” relating or belonging to a set in which all the members have the same probability of occurrence. ”

    Oy dear … basic statistics is not your strong point either. Only for uniform probability distributions you’ll have the same probability of occurrence for all members, but there are many other, and very common, probability distributions. The Guassian one, for example. All numbers drawn from such probability distributions are called random numbers, but random does not at all imply a UNIFORM probability distribution (see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_distributions ).

    Krydan: ” your insistence that chance has little or nothing to do with evolution sounds not only mildly ridiculous, but absolutely ridiculous.”

    Can you point to where Krisssmith777 has said that ? I don’t think so. This is what he said on April 12:
    “But Natural Selection is the opposite of chance. The END result is already determined by natural selection, so evolution is not just pure chance.”
    So again, the ‘chance or no chance’ discussion was about natural selection, not about evolution as a whole.

  108. Eelco
    The point with the definition of “random” While it is true that any combination in the copying error is just as likely to occur; the probability of getting the right code for a specific instruction is astronomical. It needs to be uniformed and specified for specific new instructions! And Unless the code is duplicated, wherein one is mistakenly copied and one copied correctly you end up loosing the initial code. So you lose a function in order to gain a new function. You can’t build a house from the ground up if you remove a brick for every new brick you lay down.

    Another definition of “random” is: occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern: the random selection of numbers.

    Again Eelco: the end result is “NOT” determined by Natural selection, because it is totally dependent on selecting from a pool of random copying mistakes. The mistake has to occur before it can be selected.. PERIOD

    Not sure why you have so much trouble comprehending that concept?

    Further more you totally ignored my argument of the numerous conditions, personal habits, the environment, living conditions, drug use etc… And the Butterfly effect those conditions would have on determining what mutations might possibly occur that could possibly be selected. One shouldn’t have to consider very long what effects poor living conditions, unhealthy lifestyles, drug use, or even cigarettes have; such as birth defects and genetically inherited medical abnormalities. If you want to compare all the duplicated beneficial mutations that show a net increase of new information that you can point to, with all the genetic abnormalities and copying mistakes and negative and often detrimental inherited medical conditions I can point to; I would gladly have that debate! Because all I would have to do is tell you to buy a medical book!

  109. Krydan, my point about random was that you said that random always meant drawing from a uniform probability distribution, which of course it doesn’t. That’s what I said.

    Of course the result of evolution is determined by natural selection AND the variation provided by random mutations, AND all the other process like genetic drift that are important as well. With ‘end result’ Krissmith777 meant that natural selection is the last step in the mutation + natural selection steps between each generation. That’s how I read it, but Krissmith777 can correct me if I’m wrong.

    Still, the discussion was about NATURAL SELECTION being a random or non-random process, and it is of course non-random.

    “Not sure why you have so much trouble comprehending that concept?”

    Because it’s wrong. You are the one not comprehending natural selection. Of course you need mutations to happen before they can be selected, but that is only a matter of time (generations) and population size. For large populations and large amounts of time (you have a few billion years, after all) the randomness of mutations is not essential for getting to the end result, which is mostly driven by fitness considerations. Mostly, but not completely. There are interesting research papers on what would happen if you could restart the whole evolution process again, with the same environment. Lenski’s is an interesting one: 50000 generations in 12 tubes, with the same conditions. Mostly the same happens, with some variation amongst the tubes.

    Your arguments about the environment are just standard evolutionary theory: of course the environment determines the fitness landscape and where natural selection will drive the population to.

    What chaotic behaviour (the ‘butterfly effect’) has to do with all this I do not know.

  110. @krydan

    I wrote: Where is the above quote taken from?

    It is taken from Darwin’s 1837 notebook.

    5) Calling a mere flea as high on the tree of evolution as Einstein.

    Good, you’re getting it. A flea is not higher or lower than Einstein, scientifically speaking. Now, if you mean in intellect, then that is a completely different story.

    BTW: Trees grow upwards and out, whereas a ladder doesn’t branch out. But your analogy that it isn’t a ladder doesn’t fit well with that a tree is a vertical.

    The point of the tree is that all species are related; it is not to say what is higher or lower.. Also, by your definition, there would be “higher” creatures a lot closer to the base than we are, so YOUR definition is what doesn’t work.

    Note in the above excerpt that your decent honest man wrote: “AS WE MAY HOPE” When discussing this widening of the gap that would result in a pure civilized Caucasian race.

    Darwin was a racist! How many Victorian men of his time were not? Most Christians of his time were racists as well. But Darwin’s personal views on human race are completely irrelevant to the subject of how evolution works. Evolution is based on empirical evidence, not on an opinion.

    You can follow where your interpretation of the evidence leads you and will: just because I don’t accept your world view or your interpretation of the evidence, doesn’t mean I don’t follow the evidence. You haven’t given any convincing evidence for your theistic evolutionary theory, or evidence that would falsify intelligent design!

    And I hear the screeching sound of the moving of the goal posts! We were not talking about intelligent design!

    I also predict that by labeling it as leftover junk, and none-coding will be the biggest blunder in modern science.

    I have already made it clear that there is no such thing as “junk” DNA. –Also, not even Creationists object to calling it non-coding DNA.

    Stephen J Gould’s NOMA? Sorry to hear that! Didn’t he have a different interpretation of the evidence and hold to the theory that there are quantum leaps in evolution?

    It is not “quantum” leaps, if you mean the “Punctuated Equilibrium.” — In which case, I must ask you: Have you even read the original paper of the punctuated equilibrium? I have read it myself. In fact I have it. He does not propose “quantum leaps.”

    Different interpretations are not to be rejected if they have a solid basis in evidence, and his idea of the “Punctuated Equilibrium” has been accepted by many scientists. And neither is “punctuated equilibrium” mutually exclusive to gradualism since one may happen at one point, and the other may happen at a different point.

    My point is I am a proponent of NOMA. Science has no place in Religion, nor does religion have a place in science.

    We wasn’t discussing what Genesis says or the interpretation of general creation. I only mentioned Adam. and the fact that Paul and the NT writers believed that he was the First man, and that God had formed him!

    No, we “wasn’t” discussing Genesis, per say. But you “was” talking about how you would not reject a certain interpretation of the Bible.. And unless I am mistaken, Genesis is the portion of the Bible that ultimately is causing you to make up your mind, unless it is probably the Book of Revelation. I will quote you on this topic again:

    I can follow where the evidence leads, more accurately where the sound facts lead. But I will not reject clear teachings in the Bible based on someones interpretation of the evidence, or their playing semantics with words .

    The second sentence clearly indicates that you already have your mind made up at the beginning. That is NOT how science is done. –And yes, it is YOUR interpretation of the Bible. The interpretation of the Bible depends on who is reading it.

    Again, thank God for NOMA.

    I never said I can’t admit when I am wrong: I used to be a young earth creationist myself! I am constantly changing and reevaluating my views, that is why I engage in these discussions.

    Obviously, you have drawn the line on where to reevaluate.

    Rather than address my over all objection to your position, or defend the strong points I make against your argument that naturalistic evolution is not a game of chance when you consider that it’s foundation is 100% chance, and then when you throw the Butterfly effect into the mix which can and will drastically effect what mutation nature can choose from; rather than counter my points or my argument, you just hide behind that it is a straw man argument. I know you don’t say it’s luck; I am saying that from a naturalistic world view, when you begin with random mutations, then rely on ever possible effect that personal choices and habits, environment, social standing, nuclear testing, synthetic drugs: when you have all these elements and any one of them could potentially alter the direction or effect what copying errors or what path evolution could take; I argue that, that is my view that it is luck.

    Again, no scientist thinks it is luck; only Creationists do.

  111. Oh my God man: How many times do I have to say that we moved past whether or not natural selection was random? Even if it is totally non random it is still absolutely dependent chronologically to a total random process to give it the information and tools to work with to work with. My point there was: Every-time I say that Darwinian Evolution requires a lot of luck, I always get: It’s not luck, natural selections not luck! Well the process feeding it the information is 100% luck! Natural selection couldn’t get the information to build complex molecular machines, and complex organs in the earlier stages of evolution unless the information to build those complex machines, and complex organs was provided by random copying mistakes.

    It’s only a matter of time that random mutations will come up with the right information and copying mistakes? A 300 amino acid protein has something like 10^120 possible of different combinations before it will fold into a functional protein before it can be selected. If nothing is driving that, and studies have shown that there is no chemical attraction; so they 20 digit code 300 digits long has 10^120 different possible combinations to stumble upon the right combination to add a new step in the process. It’s only a matter of time? As Stephen C Meyers argues; thats like finding one single marked atom in the entire universe. Greater than that: I think the estimated atoms in the entire observable universe is something 10^65 or 10^70! There are 10^120 different possible combinations, and studies have shown that the slightest change in the combination will either result in a none-folding protein, bad mutation, or no new function, or a loss of a previous function.

    And the point of the Butterfly effect is this: The events and condition I mentioned has an effect on the mutation that natural selection will have to chose from. It’s bookend between determining factors of what will be in the pool to select from. Again, one doesn’t have to use much of an imagination to know that poor living conditions, and drug use, and other factors will cause defective and bad mutations, because birth defects and other medical inherited traits are clearly linked to these habits, and conditions and well documented, and you can see the rippling effect in different cultures and peoples: Such as blacks having a higher rate of certain negative genetic traits that make them a higher risk to heart disease, diabetes, etc.. This is a ripple effect from poor living conditions generations ago. Even Darwin talked about us building asylums, and tending to the sick with small pox that would have otherwise died out, and by prolonging there lives and allowing them to procreate would have a negative effect on humanity as a whole. He didn’t call it the Butterfly effect, but that is what he was describing, a ripple effect that would have consequences. But like the butterfly flapping it’s wings, its a chaotic random effect that it may have on future events or future effects. So it was my point to show that natural selection is bookend between too random chaotic factors; unless there is something else front-end loaded driving the mutations and information to find a way, natural selection is selecting from a pool of chance!

  112. Krydan: “How many times do I have to say that we moved past whether or not natural selection was random? ”

    So you agree now that natural selection is not random ? You have not made that clear at all. If you agree we can move on to other points.

    And I do not at all see what chaotic behaviour has to do with evolution: your link to living conditions is not clear at all. Again, living conditions set the fitness landscape: I can only repeat that again.

  113. Eelco

    No I don’t agree! Because I believe in intelligent design not “Natural” selection. “Natural” implies that it isn’t not designed or built into the system.
    I agree that you think it is a natural force! You haven’t presented one argument for it being a natural force. Your analogy of it working like gravity is flawed, because gravity is a fine tuned physical constant: Definition: “a natural force of attraction between any two massive bodies, which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them” Your understanding of natural selection is bookend between random mutations that are not constant and are unpredictable, and conditions such as ones life style or poor living condition can and effect the unpredictability of the mutations that can be selected from: wherein, whole population such as in undeveloped Nations that has a higher mortality rate, birth defects etc… Or the US that has a higher rate of obesity, and heart disease because of our life style; and observation shows that those traits are passed on from generation to generation. You haven’t showed me how when the overall majority of mutations are bad, how the hand full of beneficial ones you can point to, can even in your widest dreams indicate that it will naturally select out the bad and keep the good ones. I know, it takes time right? You have to first assume that natural selection working on random mutations is the mechanism, because after all what other game in town is there for the naturalist?

  114. Krydan: “You haven’t presented one argument for it being a natural force. ”

    I have presented lots of arguments, and explained this is great detail. Just read back the blog. I’m not going to repeat that all.

    That you don’t ‘believe’ in natural selection is your good right: but remember that believe has no role in science. Science is not about believing.

  115. I have read plenty of books, opinions. and have been debating, discussing and talking different ideas for 25 years. I know what the arguments are from your side. I have watched dozens of debates if not hundreds. But I know your blog doesn’t answer most of my direct questions because the y are my points, my personal objections to your interpretation of the evidence. When I discuss the subject I try to make my own argument, while including some points by those who share at least part of my view. I try to give a detailed description of my objections to your sides positions. But as you know, often there is no real consensus on much of the details. So reading your entire blog would not answer my particular questions point by point no more than reading any evolutionary biology book. Whether you like it or not, though they may not be as large in numbers, there are plenty of well educated honorable people like Stephen C Myers, Michale Behe, etc.. That have genuine points whether or not natural selection working on random, unguided, purposeless, random copying mistakes can build complex and specified molecular machines.

    Your last point is what makes many of us on the opposing side question about how seriously you’v considered alternative arguments. “Scientist make inference to the best explanation all the time” They BELIEVE that their interpretation of the evidence observed and testable best explains the historical evidences. But to say that science has nothing to do with “Belief” is an absolutely ridiculous statement. Of course you BELIEVE your interpretation! Of course you BELIEVE that your inference to the best explanation and historical evidence is true, otherwise rather than just objecting to other arguments you would actually consider them rather then reject them on your presupposition that natural selection working on random mutations can and will eventually answer all the questions. If you reject intelligent design, natural selection working on random mutations is the only other game in town. Don’t tell me you don’t BELIEVE it’s the only game in town!

    In the end I don’t care if my position fits your definition of what science is, I only care if it’s true or not. Those who believe that Darwinian evolutionary theory fails to answer the complexity of life, believe there is another game in town. That is what the debate is about! So you are only fooling yourself into believing that science isn’t about what you BELIEVE; of course it is, otherwise you wouldn’t believe it!

  116. “Scientist make inference to the best explanation all the time” They BELIEVE that their interpretation of the evidence observed and testable best explains the historical evidences. But to say that science has nothing to do with “Belief” is an absolutely ridiculous statement.”

    It’s also a religious statement. In practical application, hedging words like probably, might, may, and suggesting, are commonly used in research papers, not by empirically justified inferences as some would like to imply. The laws of nature for example do not create anything out of nothing, they merely describe what happens. Take moving particles rushing outward from a central location (the so-called, Big Bang) where outer space is frictionless making it impossible to slow the particles down let alone unite them. These same particles would continue their same speed and direction in empty space that would last forever. There is no natural way to change the direction of even one particle which means particles would be unable to form into atoms or cluster into gaseous clouds. Is that really the best explanation on how the universe began? Isn’t this really an explanation based on blind faith or anti-reality rather than reality itself?

  117. @Micheal,

    It’s also a religious statement. In practical application, hedging words like probably, might, may, and suggesting, are commonly used in research papers, not by empirically justified inferences as some would like to imply.

    Funny that Michael would object to statements with a “maybe” of a “might be” in them when so many in his crowd use the same terms for their own “Creation Models.” — For example:

    1. The Pre-flood mountains “may have bee” smaller than the present day mountains.

    2. God “may have” put genetic information in animals so they could adapt to post-flood conditions.

    3. The pre-flood humans “may all have been” giants. (Qualification on this one because the Bible does mention the Nephilim which seems to have been a race of giants.. But that is not the same as saying ALL humans at the time were giants.)

    What Michael does not understand about the terms in scientific papers is that they are used WHEN they are scientifically plausible; they do not mean that it is absolutely true, and they are admitting that it may not be that way. They are also implying that more research must be done before a more rough statement of fact can be made. This is not the same thing as the idea of “faith” that Michael is trying to convey on the part of the scientists…… Meanwhile, the examples I give about Creationist arguments have NO scientific viability in the least.

  118. Kriss777

    It is taken from Darwin’s 1837 notebook.

    Well that’s is nice, a chapter would have been nice!

    Good, you’re getting it. A flea is not higher or lower than Einstein, scientifically speaking. Now, if you mean in intellect, then that is a completely different story.

    I don’t care about your scientifically speaking, double speak! When I say lower, I mean in the sense of value. As usual you just play your silly word games to avoid addressing the points. I maintain that Biblically (which is what we were discussing) that a monkey is lower than man. I don’t care what Darwin’s definition of lower meant to help the poor ignat fok unerstan!

    The point of the tree is that all species are related; it is not to say what is higher or lower.. Also, by your definition, there would be “higher” creatures a lot closer to the base than we are, so YOUR definition is what doesn’t work.

    Be nice if you had evidence for that claim, huh? Can you prove that bio-genesis didn’t occur more than once? Maybe Francis Crick was right, and it came from outer-space and spawned on more than one occasion, producing different species from different starting points. Can you prove that theory wrong? If not, then you have no bases for universal common ancestry!

    Darwin was a racist! How many Victorian men of his time were not? Most Christians of his time were racists as well. But Darwin’s personal views on human race are completely irrelevant to the subject of how evolution works. Evolution is based on empirical evidence, not on an opinion.

    While many so called Christians were in fact racist, and still are, most did not hold the view that they would eventually be wiped out “AS WE MAY HOPE”
    That was in response to you saying he was an honorable man for his day!
    If you watch the documentary History on racism, you will see that the BBC even admits that wherein the Christians held that the slave and other minorities could be Christianized and educated into Western society, it was the social Darwinist that held that they were less than human: And just where would they have gotten that from?

    You can follow where your interpretation of the evidence leads you and will: just because I don’t accept your world view or your interpretation of the evidence, doesn’t mean I don’t follow the evidence. You haven’t given any convincing evidence for your theistic evolutionary theory, or evidence that would falsify intelligent design!

    And I hear the screeching sound of the moving of the goal posts! We were not talking about intelligent design!

    Yes we have been, or at least I have been: You’ve been talking about “natural” selection working off random mutations, and I’ve been arguing that it is built into the system from the top down.

    I also predict that by labeling it as leftover junk, and none-coding will be the biggest blunder in modern science.

    I have already made it clear that there is no such thing as “junk” DNA. –Also, not even Creationists object to calling it non-coding DNA.

    It was called useless leftover junk and used as an argument against intelligent design, and you know that! So please stop trying to cover for when your side got it wrong.
    I’ve read and have heard evolutionist use the term Useless JUNK. Which is exactly what your arguments have been thus far. Because, silly semantics proves nothing nor does it add anything to the conversation. You want to make a prediction on how much is none-coding, or none- functioning?

    Stephen J Gould’s NOMA? Sorry to hear that! Didn’t he have a different interpretation of the evidence and hold to the theory that there are quantum leaps in evolution?

    It is not “quantum” leaps, if you mean the “Punctuated Equilibrium.” — In which case, I must ask you: Have you even read the original paper of the punctuated equilibrium? I have read it myself. In fact I have it. He does not propose “quantum leaps.”

    Again with the semantics? No, I haven’t read up on it much, but I have heard both sides reference it as “Quantum leaps” Not real sure why you are so hung up on semantics? The only point was, is, that he held a view that is quite different from what others hold. Just like some hold to dinosaurs evolving into Tweety Bird, and others totally rejecting it as nonsense. So it was in the context that much of the details is not a universally held consensus.

    Different interpretations are not to be rejected if they have a solid basis in evidence, and his idea of the “Punctuated Equilibrium” has been accepted by many scientists. And neither is “punctuated equilibrium” mutually exclusive to gradualism since one may happen at one point, and the other may happen at a different point.

    I never said they should be rejected: but only in your world could you have solid bases for for two conflicting interpretations and they both be right! Well, in Orwell’s imaginary world in “1984” that was the case. Again the point was that evidence is a matter of interpretation, and doesn’t prove anything. But when you have conflicting views, that proves one must be false and possibly both are false, unless, you want to get into discussions about the law of contradiction?

    My point is I am a proponent of NOMA. Science has no place in Religion, nor does religion have a place in science.

    I only care about whether or not something is true; saying that you can’t infer God as the best explanation because it doesn’t fit your definition of science, does nothing to say whether it is true or not.

    We wasn’t discussing what Genesis says or the interpretation of general creation. I only mentioned Adam. and the fact that Paul and the NT writers believed that he was the First man, and that God had formed him!

    No, we “wasn’t” discussing Genesis, per say. But you “was” talking about how you would not reject a certain interpretation of the Bible.. And unless I am mistaken, Genesis is the portion of the Bible that ultimately is causing you to make up your mind, unless it is probably the Book of Revelation. I will quote you on this topic again:

    I can follow where the evidence leads, more accurately where the sound facts lead. But I will not reject clear teachings in the Bible based on someones interpretation of the evidence, or their playing semantics with words .

    Yes Kriss: And I still hold to that! I am not going to reject sound doctrine for every heresy that comes along, unless the evidence can prove absolutely and objectively that my interpretation is wrong. There has been hundreds of cases of scientist having a general consensus on something that was latter proven to be wrong. I am not going to reject sound doctrine because of your, or anybody else’s interpretation of the Bible, or your interpretation of evidence. Get it “Interpretation” of the evidence!
    If you don’t know the difference, there is not much more I can say to explain any better. I am not going to follow your world view or your weighing of the evidence, I am going to be true to myself, and that means questioning every detail and making my own conclusions. Sorry I don’t bow down to the theistic evolutionary view to follow the generally held consensus of fallible scientist that can’t even agree among themselves; other than to say we can’t say God, because that doesn’t fit our naturalist world view. You are free to do so, I choose not to! Sorry I won’t let you or anybody else do my thinking for me!

    The second sentence clearly indicates that you already have your mind made up at the beginning. That is NOT how science is done. –And yes, it is YOUR interpretation of the Bible. The interpretation of the Bible depends on who is reading it.

    Kris, I have already said, I have changed my views on plenty of things, or came to realize that my interpretation of certain passages were wrong. But what I won’t do is accept every new hypothesis or tiny piece of evidence based on popular opinion.

    Again, thank God for NOMA.

    You would!

    I never said I can’t admit when I am wrong: I used to be a young earth creationist myself! I am constantly changing and reevaluating my views, that is why I engage in these discussions.

    Obviously, you have drawn the line on where to reevaluate.

    Obviously I will not let your naturalistic world view or interpretation of the evidence, or rewriting of the Bible draw that line for me!

    Rather than address my over all objection to your position, or defend the strong points I make against your argument that naturalistic evolution is not a game of chance when you consider that it’s foundation is 100% chance, and then when you throw the Butterfly effect into the mix which can and will drastically effect what mutation nature can choose from; rather than counter my points or my argument, you just hide behind that it is a straw man argument. I know you don’t say it’s luck; I am saying that from a naturalistic world view, when you begin with random mutations, then rely on ever possible effect that personal choices and habits, environment, social standing, nuclear testing, synthetic drugs: when you have all these elements and any one of them could potentially alter the direction or effect what copying errors or what path evolution could take; I argue that, that is my view that it is luck.

    Again, no scientist thinks it is luck; only Creationists do.

    I’ve proved that that your naturalistic view is dependent on selecting from a random pool of copying mistakes. You haven’t even attempted to make an argument against that undeniable proof! Your position is self contradictory: You can’t draw from a random pool of luck to get new information and say it’s is not luck! If so you would have addressed that point instead of playing silly games of semantics, and what your side believes. And your claim that “No” Scientist believes that natural selection working on random mutations is a definition of luck; well, you are either willfully lying or willfully ignorant on the reason why all the scientist who rejects that natural selection working on random mutations can not (repeat) can not account for the complexity of life. So don’t say no scientist would say that!

  119. @krydan

    I don’t care about your scientifically speaking, double speak! When I say lower, I mean in the sense of value. As usual you just play your silly word games to avoid addressing the points. I maintain that Biblically (which is what we were discussing) that a monkey is lower than man. I don’t care what Darwin’s definition of lower meant to help the poor ignat fok unerstan!

    So NOW you finally decide to define your terms. I wouldn’t have argued with you on this had you done that. — Spiritually speaking, I would agree that a monkey is lower than a human, but that is different from talking about it’s scientific place since Religion and Science cannot mix.

    Be nice if you had evidence for that claim, huh? Can you prove that bio-genesis didn’t occur more than once?

    This is a red herring; you are no longer addressing the original topic. You are going off into different topics that we have never even talked about. I was not not talking about Biogenesis and Abiogenesis; I haven’t even mentioned them in the entire conversation.

    Science is not about proof, and I most certainly have never tried to “prove” that Abiogenesis happened , nor will I ever attempt to, even for your benefit.

    Even if abiogenesis did happen, that does not negate God himself from authoring the laws of nature that caused it to happen. I already said in the beginning of the conversation that I DO credit God for the natural laws of the universe, in which case God still gets the credit. And God, who is all knowing, would certaily know in advance what the natural result would be, and therefore it would all have been intentional.

    It was called useless leftover junk and used as an argument against intelligent design, and you know that! So please stop trying to cover for when your side got it wrong.

    Again, I repeat myself. It is not “junk.” I know that scientists mislabeled it, but now scientists are clear that “Junk” DNA does not exist. .. But No prediction of Darwinian evolution would ever be falsified even if ALL Non-Coding DNA had function… That is because Darwinian Evolution deals EXCLUSIVELY with adaption in new environments, genetic change, and the passing down of traits.

    Scientists are allowed to get something wrong. They are not the ones claiming to represent “absolute truth.”

    Kris, I have already said, I have changed my views on plenty of things, or came to realize that my interpretation of certain passages were wrong. But what I won’t do is accept every new hypothesis or tiny piece of evidence based on popular opinion.

    I’m not telling you too, and my acceptance of Evolution has nothing to do with popular opinion. To an extent, I could be called a climate skeptic, though I do not question the integrity of most scientists that do the research. I do not accept something just because most people think it.

    Yes Kriss: And I still hold to that! I am not going to reject sound doctrine for every heresy that comes along, unless the evidence can prove absolutely and objectively that my interpretation is wrong.

    The problem with your logic is this becomes a double-edged sword: Can you prove your doctrine? No you can’t; not without making a priory judgement. — Darwin began with the belief that Animals were “not mutable.” He did not come to his conclusions a priory to his research; neither Alfred Russel Wallace.

    Again, Science is not about proof. I can’t “prove” your interpretation of the Bible wrong, anymore than YOU can “prove” MINE wrong, since the Bible’s interpretation depends on who’s reading it.

    There has been hundreds of cases of scientist having a general consensus on something that was latter proven to be wrong.

    So what?! That’s how science works.

    Again with the semantics? No, I haven’t read up on it much, but I have heard both sides reference it as “Quantum leaps”

    Not semantics at all. That is not how Punctuated Equilibrium works. And whoever described it as “quantum” leaps does not understand it; either that, or they are simplifying it to the absurd. — Since you have not read the actual literature on it, you are in no place to criticize it for yourself.

    Not real sure why you are so hung up on semantics? The only point was, is, that he held a view that is quite different from what others hold. Just like some hold to dinosaurs evolving into Tweety Bird, and others totally rejecting it as nonsense. So it was in the context that much of the details is not a universally held consensus.

    Again, you are going off into other topics. If you want to talk about the evolution of birds, then just say so.

    Obviously I will not let your naturalistic world view or interpretation of the evidence, or rewriting of the Bible draw that line for me!

    Certainly the acceptance of Scientific investigation needs evidence. But by bringing the Bible into this is to open a door even I would not want to go into. I guess I have to ask you anyway: I do not claim that Science is immune to Criticism, so are YOU going to claim that the Bible is immune to criticism?

    I’ve proved that that your naturalistic view is dependent on selecting from a random pool of copying mistakes. You haven’t even attempted to make an argument against that undeniable proof!

    Eelco and I have already explained this. I see no sense in talking about this detail anymore since you will have none of it.

    Your comments are getting increasingly harder to read since you are not putting quotations or a blockquote. It makes your words much harder to distinguish from mine.

  120. Kriss

    You never defined “Lower” other than to say it’s not a ladder it’s a tree.
    Just because you want to play semantics with words, because you have no common sense arguments, doesn’t mean that science and religion are incompatible. They do mix, scientific should be about the truth, not whether or not there is certain implications in that truth. You can’t say “We can’t infer intelligence, because that has an implication for God” If you reject intelligence as a presupposition or because it has implications; that just leaves your naturalistic world view doesn’t it? Well that is narrow minded and not allowing the evidence to lead to the truth. Now who is not willing to follow the truth where it leads? That would be you!

    Kriss, concerning “bio-genesis” Yes;universal common ancestry was the topic, but that is based on an assumption that all life evolved from a single bio-genesis.
    So now it appears that you don’t even believe that your science is compatible with your science. You can’t proved that all live began from one bio-genesis, so that makes universal common ancestry your opinion based on zero facts~

    Kriss then you said: Even if abiogenesis did happen, that does not negate God himself from authoring the laws of nature that caused it to happen. I already said in the beginning of the conversation that I DO credit God for the natural laws of the universe, in which case God still gets the credit. And God, who is all knowing, would certaily know in advance what the natural result would be, and therefore it would all have been intentional.

    Well why can’t you give God credit for design. and say that the mutations are not “Random” but rather designed to find a way, and that the bad mutations are the result of sin and the break down of that original plan?

    As for the so called Junk DNA, that is what I said, that some scientist once considered it useless leftover junk. But the reason they believed it was junk Kriss, was because of their presupposition that Darwinian evolution would expect that there would be left over none coding DNA. It’s showing more and more, how wrong it can be to force your presuppositions on science regardless of it’s implications!

    You wrote: “Scientists are allowed to get something wrong. They are not the ones claiming to represent “absolute truth.”

    Well Kriss, if you remove “designed to find a way” and insist on “Natural selection working from “Random mutations” because design has implications, they are saying that 1) That is the truth. or 2) Design has implications for God, and they don’t want to know the truth. Because take away design, you have nothing left but your world view to choose from! That’s a little biased don’t ya think?

    You wrote: The problem with your logic is this becomes a double-edged sword: Can you prove your doctrine? No you can’t; not without making a priory judgement. — Darwin began with the belief that Animals were “not mutable.” He did not come to his conclusions a priory to his research; neither Alfred Russel Wallace.

    You are wrong Kriss, Darwin who was brought up religious couldn’t accept that God created such a cruel world as was observed in nature. He sought to show that Gods hand wasn’t directing the process, because that didn’t make sense to him, or many others leading up to him. He wasn’t the first to entertain that nature could or would someday explain these mysteries. He started with a presupposition that nature could explain it; and natural selection working off random mutations was born. But I argue that natural selection is not working off of “random mutations”, but rather it is programed into the system to find a way, and that most mutations are bad and a result of sin and a breaking down of the program.

    I wrote: There has been hundreds of cases of scientist having a general consensus on something that was latter proven to be wrong.

    You wrote: So what?! That’s how science works.

    Yeah, that is how it works unless it has implications for God, right? I know how it works, that is why I am not going to accept their interpretation without all the facts. DNA, now RNA, and such is a relatively new frontier, I see no need in playing hopscotch with my faith on every new interpretation of science that comes along.

    I have to head to work and will address to couple of other points when I get home!

  121. @krydan

    You never defined “Lower” other than to say it’s not a ladder it’s a tree.
    Just because you want to play semantics with words, because you have no common sense arguments, doesn’t mean that science and religion are incompatible.

    By saying it is not a ladder IS the definition, in scientific terms.

    Kriss, concerning “bio-genesis” Yes;universal common ancestry was the topic, but that is based on an assumption that all life evolved from a single bio-genesis.

    Common descent IS the topic, BUT biogenesis IS not. Biogenesis is simply the term that indicates that life comes from life. Evolution begins AFTER the first life.

    You can’t proved that all live began from one bio-genesis, so that makes universal common ancestry your opinion based on zero facts~

    Universal Common Genetic Code is a confirmation. It doesn’t prove it, but considering that there are over 100 different possible routs the genetic code could have taken, BUT it is an indication. Proof that common decent is wrong would be many different genetic codes.

    Well why can’t you give God credit for design.

    I do, I just do not give him DIRECT credit.

    and say that the mutations are not “Random” but rather designed to find a way, and that the bad mutations are the result of sin and the break down of that original plan?

    The claim that God designed mutations “to find a way” flies into the face of everything we know about mutations. It would also implicate God in many harmful mutations..

    Saying bad mutations are the result of sin also makes no sense, not unless you want to claim that they are the result of Adam eating a piece of fruit.

    You are wrong Kriss, Darwin who was brought up religious couldn’t accept that God created such a cruel world as was observed in nature.

    No, you are the one who is wrong. Darwin was a believer in God for many years; even when he was working on his theory of evolution. His theory had NOTHING to do with his rejection of God, but rather the death of his favorite daughter.

    All this shows is you never studied about the man’s life.

    Yeah, that is how it works unless it has implications for God, right?

    This statement is bogus, considering that 33% of scientists believe in God and 18% believe in an higher power..That makes 51% (A MAJORITY) that DO NOT rule God out.
    Link: http://people-press.org/2009/07/09/section-4-scientists-politics-and-religion/

    So no, implications for God have nothing to do with the interpretations of evidence that scientists make.

  122. @Krydan

    About the claim that Darwin wanted to rule out God’s existence completely, here is a reliable source that shows that you are wrong:

    Now, there appears to be a common misconception regarding the religious views of Charles Darwin. First of all, Darwin was never an atheist. While it is true that in his later years he was not religious to any extent, he never entirely discounted the existence of god. In his Autobiography, Darwin says he was a theist by the time he wrote “Origin of Species” and that he believed in an intelligent first cause. However, it was his view that the nature of this “first cause” was something beyond man’s vision. The death of his daughter, Annie, on 23 April 1851 was a crushing blow to his religious beliefs, and from this time forward he stopped attending church with his family. It was only after a very long and slow process spanning his entire life that Darwin came to be an agnostic.

    A reliable link, NOT a creationist source: http://www.aboutdarwin.com/darwin/whowas.html

    So much for your claim that he sought to rule God out completely. You show really clearly that you have no knowledge of the man.

  123. By saying it is not a ladder IS the definition, in scientific terms.

    I didn’t use the world “ladder” I used the word “lower” just as Darwin described species and races as being lower and higher, civilized and savages. You still never gave a Chapter to show that Darwin only used the term “lower” to make it easier for the layman to understand.

    Common descent IS the topic, BUT biogenesis IS not. Biogenesis is simply the term that indicates that life comes from life. Evolution begins AFTER the first life.

    But Kriss, do you not base your belief in common descent on the presupposition that all of life had a single starting point? So when you say “first life” you reject that life always gives rise to life? At least once none-life gave rise to life, correct? My point is, if it happened once, how can you be so sure that it didn’t happen more than once, separated by either space or time, or both? In theory, there could be several trees, right? And each tree would possibly evolve different life forms fromr the same 20 amino acids , with different body plans etc.. ? So universal common descent is based on the assumption that it only happened once, correct?

    Darwin said he was making one long argument, so all theses different areas have to be considered together to see the big picture: If you are going to accept 1 evolutionary tree, why not 2, and if 2, why not a rain Forrest of them? I think that is a valid question if someone is seriously seeking the truth!

    You can’t proved that all live began from one bio-genesis, so that makes universal common ancestry your opinion based on zero facts~

    “Universal Common Genetic Code is a confirmation. It doesn’t prove it, but considering that there are over 100 different possible routs the genetic code could have taken, BUT it is an indication. Proof that common decent is wrong would be many different genetic codes.”

    Kriss, all life as we know it shares the same 20 amino acids, thats all! But that says nothing about whether it began from a single living organism, or at the same spot or place in time! Different organisms and forms could have evolved at different times, and places using similar conditions and the same 20 amino acid building blocks. So your belief in universal common descent is based on an assumption, not evidence, since no one knows how, exactly when, or how many times it could have occurred.

    “The claim that God designed mutations “to find a way” flies into the face of everything we know about mutations.”

    No Kriss, it flies in the face of your assumption that they are undirected and random. Which means it would have to filter through the trillions of possible combinations of random mistakes to get the exact code for the right instructions for building such a complex system. It would be like you trying to build a Skyscraper and waiting for others without instructions to randomly come by and provide you with the right material and tools to build your equipment, and then the right material and tools to build your skyscraper. I’m sorry, but I don’t have enough faith to believe in that kind of luck!

    “It would also implicate God in many harmful mutations..”

    No, it would imply that sin and the fall brought death and decay, via a breakdown in the genetic code.

    “Saying bad mutations are the result of sin also makes no sense, not unless you want to claim that they are the result of Adam eating a piece of fruit.”

    Kriss, I personally believe that Genesis uses metaphors, but a metaphor doesn’t imply that the message or Adam’s disobedience wasn’t true. BTW: the story doesn’t say it was because Adam ate a piece of fruit, it was because he and Eve disobeyed what God had told them. A tree is often used metaphorically to describe Israel, or to describe the Church and Israel. For instance in Rom: 11 Paul refers to Israel Israel as “The Olive Tree” in which the Gentile were later grafted into because of Israels rejection of Christ redemption on the Cross (another yet literal tree) In Revelations it also mentions the “tree of life” baring twelve (The Twelve tribes of Israel, and the 12 Disciples = The Church, including the Gentiles that were grafted in) varieties fruit and yielding each month, and the leaves are for the healing of the Nations. Remember it was not because they had eaten from the “Tree of life” but because they ate of the “tree of knowledge, knowing good and evil” That they were driving out of the Garden and away from the “tree of life.” They were separated from the tree of life because of their disobedience to Gods command not to eat thereof. They chose sin (to become as gods) over the tree of life (Christ) Jesus dying on the cross ( a literal tree) made it possible that whosoever shall call upon his name shall have eternal life (Jesus is, was, and always will be the tree of life) Adam and Eve, chose Satan over Christ, sin and self over God and righteousness. And whether or not my exact interpretation of the details of the metaphor is correct or not, the over all story is that they were disobedient to God. Metaphors and parables represents a literal truth. If you reject the fall (The over all message) Then you do not fully comprehend what a metaphor or parable is!

    I wrote: You are wrong Kriss, Darwin who was brought up religious couldn’t accept that God created such a cruel world as was observed in nature.

    You wrote ” No, you are the one who is wrong. Darwin was a believer in God for many years; even when he was working on his theory of evolution. His theory had NOTHING to do with his rejection of God, but rather the death of his favorite daughter”

    You know Kriss, I don’t know if you are playing games or simply have trouble understand context. No where did I say that he rejected God, I know he was religious. That is exactly what I said; that he was brought up religious and couldn’t accept the fact that God created such a cruel world, so he looked for a natural cause to take the appearance of God being responsible for the savagery in nature. Just like you said if the mutations are apart of design to guide life to find a way, that, that would implicate that God is responsible for bad mutations. No Kriss, sin and the fall of mankind is responsible for the breakdown in the genetic code; and the overwhelming number of diseases and abnormalities that is the result of illicit sexual practices, drugs, alcohol, gluttony, pollution etc… The fact that our habits and lifestyles have health consequences is well documented fact that we both should be able to agree on!

    “All this shows is you never studied about the man’s life.”

    No it shows that instead of reading what I write, you read into it something that isn’t there. He didn’t believe that God could have created or been responsible for the cruelty in nature, so he began with that presupposition to find a way to remove Gods hand out of biology. I never said he didn’t believe in God; though most would say that by the end of his life he was most likely an agnostic. You seemed to suggest that he just stumbled upon Natural selection working on random mutations, that is wasn’t because of a presupposition. In fact it was because of a religious presupposition that God couldn’t be responsible for the cruelty of nature that led him to consider how to shift the appearance that God was in the drivers seat, to a pure naturalistic explanation. But no one believes that God is moving amino acids around or that every mutation is controlled by the hand of God, but rather that the system was intelligently built from the top down with it’s own built in intelligent’s to survive. It was by one man that sin entered into the world and brought death to man; and that we all have sinned though not in the same manner that Adam had sinned, but it is the sins of all of mankind that has corrupted the genetic code wherein we are susceptible to bad mutations.

    I wrote: Yeah, that is how it works unless it has implications for God, right?

    “This statement is bogus, considering that 33% of scientists believe in God and 18% believe in an higher power..That makes 51% (A MAJORITY) that DO NOT rule God out.”

    Again you are taking what I said out of context: You have said that science and religion doesn’t mix: My argument is: If the evidence points toward intelligent design, if you reject that evidence because it has an implication that you don’t like, such as, religious implications; then it is obvious that you are willing to reject the evidence because it may religious implication that doesn’t fit your presupposition or definition of scientific inquiry. After all, if you reject intelligent design regardless of the evidence because of it’s implication; that conveniently leaves your naturalistic presupposition as the only game in town. Funny you would say that I would refuse strong evidence if it had serious implications on my interpretation of the Bible, yet you willfully admit that you are willing to dismiss the evidence if it has implications on your definition of proper scientific inquiries. I won’t call you a hypocrite, but rather logically inconsistent.

  124. About the claim that Darwin wanted to rule out God’s existence completely, here is a reliable source that shows that you are wrong:

    Please Kriss: Post where I ever said that! I said that he was brought up religious and couldn’t accept that God created what he viewed as a cruel world” It was because he was “RELIGIOUS” and couldn’t accept that God could have created what he thought was a cruel and savage world. That is the truth! My point as mentioned before was that it was because of a religious implication that he sought to consider a naturalistic explanation, because he couldn’t accept that God would have purposely created such a cruel and brutal world.

    “Now, there appears to be a common misconception regarding the religious views of Charles Darwin. First of all, Darwin was never an atheist. While it is true that in his later years he was not religious to any extent, he never entirely discounted the existence of god. In his Autobiography, Darwin says he was a theist by the time he wrote “Origin of Species” and that he believed in an intelligent first cause. However, it was his view that the nature of this “first cause” was something beyond man’s vision. The death of his daughter, Annie, on 23 April 1851 was a crushing blow to his religious beliefs, and from this time forward he stopped attending church with his family. It was only after a very long and slow process spanning his entire life that Darwin came to be an agnostic.”

    I am quite aware of that, I mentioned it first!

    A reliable link, NOT a creationist source: http://www.aboutdarwin.com/darwin/whowas.html

    “So much for your claim that he sought to rule God out completely. You show really clearly that you have no knowledge of the man.”

    Kriss, you show really clearly that you only know how to twist the context, cut and paste what you want to put your spin on, and ignore the central points you have no answer for: Oh, and you play a pretty good game of semantics as well!

    So unless you are willing to actually give an explanation or counter argument to my main point that you’ve avoided like the plague, there is no reason waiting either your time or mine playing games/

    Here it is one last time: yes or no:

    1) Is natural selection dependent on selecting from random unguided mutations

    2) Does ones life style and habits such as using illicit drugs and smoking cigarettes cause birth defects and other hereditary medical abnormalities and none-beneficial mutations ?

    Saying that it is not luck does not answer those questions
    Saying that no Biologist believes it is luck is not an answer to those questions. Posting links to endless articles explaining why the selecting isn’t random isn’t and answer to the fact that it is selecting from a random pool of luck
    Playing semantics doesn’t answer the those questions.
    Taking my words out of context doesn’t answer those questions.
    Saying that I just don’t understand biology doesn’t answer those questions

    The only way you can answer those questions is by presenting a logical explanation on how selection from a pool of random accidental mutations is not luck. Without a mutation hitting upon the lucky combination, it can not be selected seeing that it wouldn’t exist!

  125. @krydan

    I didn’t use the world “ladder” I used the word “lower” just as Darwin described species and races as being lower and higher, civilized and savages. You still never gave a Chapter to show that Darwin only used the term “lower” to make it easier for the layman to understand.

    I don’t have to. That’s what scientists do. Darwin does not have to have said THAT outright. The fact he was writing a book for laypeople is enough to indicate when he would use certain terms in a certain way.

    No where did I say that he rejected God, I know he was religious. That is exactly what I said; that he was brought up religious and couldn’t accept the fact that God created such a cruel world, so he looked for a natural cause to take the appearance of God being responsible for the savagery in nature.

    Even Creationists agree with this logic that Darwin had:

    1) God created the world to be “good.”
    2) Death, disease and suffering are not “good.”
    3) Therefore a loving God cannot be responsible for death disease and suffering.
    4) Therefore it must be our fault.

    Darwin’s #4 would agree partially, only that God was not, at least NOT directly, involved in the creation. The advantage of adopting at leas part of Darwin’s version here is that it is more logical that saying that all the evil in the word is all because the first humans made a mistake: Pre-mature death, pestilence, starvation, the death of unborn babies in the womb, genetic diseases and genocide….All because the first generation of humans sinned once.

    What both Darwin and many Creationists both missed is that the word “Good” is not synonymous with saying that it was “perfect.”

    Darwin said he was making one long argument, so all theses different areas have to be considered together to see the big picture: If you are going to accept 1 evolutionary tree, why not 2, and if 2, why not a rain Forrest of them? I think that is a valid question if someone is seriously seeking the truth!

    The tree has turned out to be more of a branching bush.. It has been confirmed when certain species branched off to start new lineages. If there were evidence that there were other trees or bushes, then the genetic evidence would have detected it in the oldest possible reaches of the genetic molecular clock.

    Kriss, I personally believe that Genesis uses metaphors, but a metaphor doesn’t imply that the message or Adam’s disobedience wasn’t true. BTW: the story doesn’t say it was because Adam ate a piece of fruit, it was because he and Eve disobeyed what God had told them.

    It doesn’t matter whether it was Adam or Eve who disobeyed. The ultimate consequence would have been the same.

    And whether or not my exact interpretation of the details of the metaphor is correct or not, the over all story is that they were disobedient to God. Metaphors and parables represents a literal truth. If you reject the fall (The over all message) Then you do not fully comprehend what a metaphor or parable is!

    I’m confused now. Are the first chapters of Genesis literal, or parable or both? If they are both, then how do you sort out the parable from the literal description? And what criteria do you use?

    It was by one man that sin entered into the world and brought death to man; and that we all have sinned though not in the same manner that Adam had sinned, but it is the sins of all of mankind that has corrupted the genetic code wherein we are susceptible to bad mutations.

    Sins of all mankind cause bad mutations? What mechanism do you have to back that up? It’s easier to believe that we were always susceptible to mutations, good, bad or neutral.

    My argument is: If the evidence points toward intelligent design, if you reject that evidence because it has an implication that you don’t like, such as, religious implications; then it is obvious that you are willing to reject the evidence because it may religious implication that doesn’t fit your presupposition or definition of scientific inquiry.

    No, actually, I would be thrilled if intelligent design would turn our to be true. The problem is it makes no predictions, and it is mostly just a negative argument; you cannot build a scientific paradigm on a negative argument.

    No Kriss, sin and the fall of mankind is responsible for the breakdown in the genetic code; and the overwhelming number of diseases and abnormalities that is the result of illicit sexual practices, drugs, alcohol, gluttony, pollution etc…

    Link “sin” to a probable cause of genetic break down.

    Again you are taking what I said out of context: You have said that science and religion doesn’t mix: My argument is: If the evidence points toward intelligent design, if you reject that evidence because it has an implication that you don’t like, such as, religious implications; then it is obvious that you are willing to reject the evidence because it may religious implication that doesn’t fit your presupposition or definition of scientific inquiry.

    The claim “God did it” offers nothing to science. It is not even an actual answer. No one is denying that could be an ultimate answer, but when scientists go on looking for an actual detailed explanation, they are trying to figure out “how God did it.” This has nothing to do with rejecting religious implications.

    1) Is natural selection dependent on selecting from random unguided mutations

    No, natural selection is NOT dependent on anything. It would still happen BEFORE certain mutations occur. Even if zero mutations occurred, natural selection would still be at work..

    2) Does ones life style and habits such as using illicit drugs and smoking cigarettes cause birth defects and other hereditary medical abnormalities and none-beneficial mutations

    They don’t cause “non-beneficial” mutations; they cause “detrimental mutations.” Just because a mutation is not beneficial, it doesn’t make it detrimental since many mutations are neutral. The mutations they produce would not NECESSARILY kill off the offspring, but they would be at a disadvantage.

    Saying that no Biologist believes it is luck is not an answer to those questions. Posting links to endless articles explaining why the selecting isn’t random isn’t and answer to the fact that it is selecting from a random pool of luck

    And you obviously have not read them, as they could answer you much better than I can. Unless you have no interest in learning, you have no excuse to not look into them.

    Playing semantics doesn’t answer the those questions.

    No semantical games are being played here. It’s all in your head.

    Taking my words out of context doesn’t answer those questions.

    If I misapplied words, it is because they could logically means you were trying to imply something between the lines.

    Saying that I just don’t understand biology doesn’t answer those questions

    It certainly explains why your understanding of evolutionary theory is completely incorrect. And your unwillingness to learn can be explained as “willful ignorance.”

    The only way you can answer those questions is by presenting a logical explanation on how selection from a pool of random accidental mutations is not luck

    No one is saying “a pool of random mutations.” That is your wording. And that is not even the current understanding.

    Without a mutation hitting upon the lucky combination, it can not be selected seeing that it wouldn’t exist!

    The mutations would accumulate over a long period of time. There would be several neutral to negative experiments in the time in between. . Also, just because one mutation would can not help in a certain place, it does not rule out that several OTHER mutations cannot also in it’s place. There would be more than just one possible “lucky combination.” There are potentially millions.

  126. @Krydan

    You completely missed my ORIGINAL point about Darwin.

    I said:

    Darwin began with the belief that Animals were “not mutable.” He did not come to his conclusions a priory to his research; neither Alfred Russel Wallace.

    Darwin did not even believe that animals changed. Before his research, he believed in the fixity of species. He used to believe animals were INDEPENDENTLY created from eachother:

    I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgement of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained — namely, that each species has been independently created — is erroneous.

    His words clearly show that he began with the assumption that species did not change. He went into his research with NO presupposition to the contrary.

    The same goes for Alfred Russel Wallace.

  127. “The only way you can answer those questions is by presenting a logical explanation on how selection from a pool of random accidental mutations is not luck. Without a mutation hitting upon the lucky combination, it can not be selected seeing that it wouldn’t exist!”

    I call it, “stuff happens” which is often times used in secular research papers as well. Is there anything directing mutations to manufacture particular information? The evolutionist response, “stuff happens” but its not luck…lol Yea right! I find that much of what they argue is purely on an emotional level rather than having something to back it up with.

  128. @Michael

    I call it, “stuff happens” which is often times used in secular research papers as well. Is there anything directing mutations to manufacture particular information? The evolutionist response, “stuff happens” but its not luck…lol Yea right! I find that much of what they argue is purely on an emotional level rather than having something to back it up with.

    You CAN call mutations “chance,” because they ARE chance. But that is NOT chance is Natural Selection. All the more proof that you do not grasp the concept yourself.

  129. Kriss,

    This will most likely be my last reply, unless you ask a specific question on one of the multiple areas this has evolved into : )

    On the topic of “lower” species: I was using Darwin’s use of the word just in case some laymen happened to be reading our discussion : ) Darwin clearly viewed the so called “savages” as having a “Lower” intellect, as well as being more closely related to our common ancestor. He predicted future wars wherein the Civilized Nations would war against them and “As we may hope” the gap between the Caucasian and certain apes and lower baboons would be greater. So tell us in scientific terms what he meant by that?

    You wrote: “Darwin’s version here is that it is more logical that saying that all the evil in the word is all because the first humans made a mistake: Pre-mature death, pestilence, starvation, the death of unborn babies in the womb, genetic diseases and genocide….All because the first generation of humans sinned once.”

    Kriss, as mentioned before, what you are missing is that the Bible says that sin entered because Adam sinned, but “ALL HAVE SINNED” though not in the same manner as Adam had sinned. If you deny the fall, or deny that sin is the reason for evil, then just how do you interpret Jesus dying on the cross to redeem fallen man?

    We as humans sometimes measure “good and evil” or “good and bad” based on physical or emotional pleasures or displeasure. Say a child dies prematurely, we in fact do experience emotional pain, but what if that child grew up and died having rejected Christ? From a our perspective that death of the child is heart wrenching, but in God’s eyes the loss of that child’s soul is that much more heart wrenching! It is easy from our perspective to say “why couldn’t God create a world free of evil?” I believe only the doctrine of “free will” can rightly explain that! Sin and death is the result of “ALL HAVE SINNED” If you reject the fall of man, then you reject the most logical Biblical explanation for why evil exist: It exist because sin via free will and the fall!

    The reason evil exist is:

    1) God cannot create a world wherein you are forced to freely choose him, because such is a self contradiction!

    2) If God created a world wherein species are forced to do the right thing, then they are not truly free but rather robots in the longest running show in history.

    3) If the fall did not did not bring death to mankind, that makes Jesus dying for our sins in order to deliver us from our sin and death unnecessary.

    You wrote: “The tree has turned out to be more of a branching bush.. It has been confirmed when certain species branched off to start new lineages”

    Tell me Kriss, what is a species? Why is a Malamute and a Toy Chihuahua classified as the same species, but a wolf and a malamute is not? I once owned a Malamute/wolf mix, but I’ll be darned if I have ever seen a Malamute/Toy Chihuahua mix! So isn’t it true that there is no clear consensus or consistent definition of what a species even is? Why should I put faith in any of the various interpretations of what constitutes a new species, when there is not even a consensus for what one is? If there was, it would still be mans interpretation what a species is, but that is not an objective truth, but rather a subjective popular opinion.

    You wrote: If there were evidence that there were other trees or bushes, then the genetic evidence would have detected it in the oldest possible reaches of the genetic molecular clock.

    Kriss, that clock only goes back thousand years, not millions, and certainly not billions of years. So the different trees would have predated that; and maybe even account for the lack of evidence for how the 35 different body plans appeared in the Cambrian . Even if you have a few examples of pre-Cambrian fossils, it certainly isn’t enough to account for all the varieties, and different body plans that appears in the Cambrian. So sense the genetic So, sense the genetic clock does not extend back that far, you are basing your assumption on appearance alone. I personally think Angelina Jolee and Megan Fox look close enough to be sisters or at least 1st cousins; yet, that doesn’t make it so, does it? A toy Chihuahua if dug up a million yrs from now would looked closer to a rat than a German Shepherd to a future observer.

    You wrote: It doesn’t matter whether it was Adam or Eve who disobeyed. The ultimate consequence would have been the same.

    Perhaps, but the Bible says that it was because Adam had sinned. Paul says that it was because of Adam’s transgression that sin entered the world. So you’ll have to take your politically correct beef up with the Apostle Paul!

    I previously wrote: “And whether or not my exact interpretation of the details of the metaphor is correct or not, the over all story is that they were disobedient to God. Metaphors and parables represents a literal truth. If you reject the fall (The over all message) Then you do not fully comprehend what a metaphor or parable is!”

    You wrote: I’m confused now. Are the first chapters of Genesis literal, or parable or both? If they are both, then how do you sort out the parable from the literal description? And what criteria do you use?

    Kriss, a parable or a metaphor is used to paint a literal truth. It is not just some words to fill in space. When the Bible says that Jesus is “the door” it does not mean he is wood and hinges, it means he is the entrance and the way. Just because the door is metaphoric that does not make Jesus none literal does it? It is speaking a spiritual truth. The words “the fall” is not actually mentioned in Genesis, but whether or not the trees in the garden were real or a metaphor, the story deals with sin entering because the first man Adam had sinned. So, It was because of the fall, that Jesus was lifted up.

    Once again, the reason Adam, is considered to be a real person is because he is mentioned 30 times in the Bible, including with Paul’s parallel of how sin entered and brought death, and he compares it to Christ redemption and eternal life for all who call upon his name. Likewise: Adam is also listed in Luke’s genealogy as being the first human and a direct link to Christ. By what consistent exegesis of the text do you interpret that Luke’s genealogy is a metaphor? Or that Adam was not the first human?

    You wrote: “Sins of all mankind cause bad mutations? What mechanism do you have to back that up?”

    That is a double standard to ask that question Kriss, you believe that the mechanism is natural selection working from a pool of random mutations despite the fact that you can only point to a hand full of observational examples, and they include either a loss of previous function, or a loss of over all information. Give me a list of examples of a gain of function and new information when there is a random copying error. If you want a list of bad mutations that arise from copying errors, just pick up a medical book and flip through the pages. So you believe that random mutations can build molecular machines, complex new organs including the human brain; yet you cannot point to a single example of any complex new organ or molecular machine, or new “parts” that haven’t already existed. So your belief in a mechanism working from a pool of random mutations can build complex new structures from scratch is not based on empirical science.

    You wrote: “It’s easier to believe that we were always susceptible to mutations, good, bad or neutral.”

    Well from a Christian point of view it is easier to believe that death is the result of sin. I think there is plenty of evidence to show that our desires to satisfy our sinful nature has brought about sexually transmitted diseases, a breakdown in our immunity to fight off diseases, that gluttony and eating unhealthy foods have lead to diabetes, and heart disease etc…. I’s is easier for me to believe that the Bible and modern science both confirm that our own actions contribute significantly to the breakdown of our genetic code.

    I previously wrote: My argument is: If the evidence points toward intelligent design, if you reject that evidence because it has an implication that you don’t like, such as, religious implications; then it is obvious that you are willing to reject the evidence because it may religious implication that doesn’t fit your presupposition or definition of scientific inquiry.

    No, actually, I would be thrilled if intelligent design would turn our to be true. The problem is it makes no predictions, and it is mostly just a negative argument; you cannot build a scientific paradigm on a negative argument.

    It does make predictions: I have given you one already: What separates all species or kinds is in the way genes are expressed, and that is in the so called none-coding DNA. . Again, when you compare the hyped up Chimp/Human shared genes at being 95% or more, anybody with any sense at all knows that there is more than that many genetic differences or expressions in our brains alone! Then look at a banana where we share 50% of the same genes. It is not in the genes, it is how they are expressed that make a banana a banana, and Chimp a Chimp, and a Human a human. And what predictions does taking intelligent design out of the equation predict? The only difference is that we believe that life was designed to adapt and to find a way; wherein the evolutionist predicts that it is working from a pool of random unguided mutations. And again, because Darwinian evolution predicted that there would be left over non-functional or none coding DNA left over, they made a wrong prediction that has hindered progress! I always find it amusing how Darwinian evolutions regardless of what advances are made, will interpreted the evidence in light of their presupposition of Darwinian evolution and claim that it makes predictions.

    You wrote: Link “sin” to a probable cause of genetic break down.

    Kriss, I have! Pick up a medical book, then think of the results and effects that illicit sex, smoking, pollution, drug use etc.. In fact one of the central arguments for why the laws in ancient Israel were so strict when it came to adultery, fornication etc.. It’s because of the plagues that came upon the nations because of certain desires to satisfy the flesh. Again, Biblically and scientifically a argument can be made that our choices are often the result of genetic disorders. Not sure what world you are living in if you deny that diseases and hereditary infirmities are linked to things the Bible clearly identify as being sinful. Illicit sex, gluttony, putting thing unnecessarily in your body (temple) knowing that it is harmful.

    You wrote: “The claim “God did it” offers nothing to science. It is not even an actual answer.”

    Neither is “nature did it” or “it just happened” or saying that it appears designed but it’s just an illusion! Nor does, saying “God didn’t do it!”

    You wrote: “No one is denying that could be an ultimate answer, but when scientists go on looking for an actual detailed explanation, they are trying to figure out “how God did it.” This has nothing to do with rejecting religious implications.”

    Kriss, my position is that natural selection working on random mutations can not account for the complexity of life, the double helix, the arrangement of a 20 characters in 300 digit amino acid code randomly arranging to fold into a functional protein before it can be selected by natural selection. If you truly seek the truth, I recommend that you read Stephen C Meyers award winning book “Signature In The Cell” He explains in details how each theory to try and explain the specificity of information found in DNA has failed. Even a couple of hard core atheist applauded his work.

    I previously wrote: 1) Is natural selection dependent on selecting from random unguided mutations

    You answered: No, natural selection is NOT dependent on anything. It would still happen BEFORE certain mutations occur. Even if zero mutations occurred, natural selection would still be at work..

    But it couldn’t build a complex molecular machines, or organ unless the proteins and the expression of those proteins necessary for the specific instructions first randomly mutated: In other words, the twenty some proteins that makes up the bacterium flagellum would have to randomly occur. Kenneth Miller was able to show that one of those proteins is found elsewhere in the genome, and argues that, that shows that it wasn’t designed. But using the same genes in various places in the genome doesn’t disprove design; designers use the same materials for various applications all the time. Besides, it is how those genes are expressed, and what necessary function each of the twenty some parts performed prior to coming together as a multi-part molecular machine. Then when you consider the time that it must have taken for these 20 some random proteins to be added and then come together to make the complex machine, it takes a quite of bit faith, on the order of a miracle to believe that each protein was the result of a blind unguided random mutation. The probability of it occurring is so improbable even if it occurred naturally it would be a miracle and a argument for God!

    2) Does ones life style and habits such as using illicit drugs and smoking cigarettes cause birth defects and other hereditary medical abnormalities and none-beneficial mutations

    You wrote: They don’t cause “non-beneficial” mutations; they cause “detrimental mutations.” Just because a mutation is not beneficial, it doesn’t make it detrimental since many mutations are neutral. The mutations they produce would not NECESSARILY kill off the offspring, but they would be at a disadvantage. ”

    So you are saying in terms of the course of evolution or on future generations they would not be necessarily detrimental, just non beneficial? I am pretty sure that is what I said! But, again you don’t know that it would lead to a detrimental mutation or a beneficial mutation. Just like good intentions doesn’t always work out the way you may have planned, it is not necessarily true that you could predict what long term effects they may have on future generations.

    I previously wrote: Saying that no Biologist believes it is luck is not an answer to those questions. Posting links to endless articles explaining why the selecting isn’t random isn’t and answer to the fact that it is selecting from a random pool of luck

    You wrote “And you obviously have not read them, as they could answer you much better than I can. Unless you have no interest in learning, you have no excuse to not look into them”

    Kriss, I have been reading and studying this topic for 25 years, I am quite aware of pretty much every argument that they make. I also have been asking for yrs the same questions I have been asking you. Like how do you start with a random pool of mutations, then with a straight face say it isn’t luck? It a self contradiction, and the reason you can’t explain it as well. is, they use all sorts of finagling and twisting and adding one assumption after another to try and get around a very simple question!

    I previously wrote: Playing semantics doesn’t answer the those questions.

    No semantical games are being played here. It’s all in your head.

    No Kriss, you’ve spent days now playing around with the definition of words, knowing full well the context in which I wrote it. Like playing games over the word “Lower” Then when I proved that Darwin use that very term, you said, it was just for the lay folks who wouldn’t understand. Obviously you’ve never read “The DESCENT Of MAN” I have!

    I previously wrote: Taking my words out of context doesn’t answer those questions.

    You replied: “If I misapplied words, it is because they could logically means you were trying to imply something between the lines.”

    It could logically mean that instead of addressing the issue you would rather scan every word I write to find something to get off topic about, because you don’t have a logical answer to the over all point. Just saying!

    I previously wrote: Saying that I just don’t understand biology doesn’t answer those questions

    You wrote: certainly explains why your understanding of evolutionary theory is completely incorrect. And your unwillingness to learn can be explained as “willful ignorance.”

    I understand what you side believes, and I understand it to be an illogical and ignorant belief based a one sided interpretation of the historical facts, and virtually zero empirical evidence that a blind unguided processes can account for the complexity of life.

    I previously wrote: The only way you can answer those questions is by presenting a logical explanation on how selection from a pool of random accidental mutations is not luck

    You replied: No one is saying “a pool of random mutations.” That is your wording. And that is not even the current understanding.

    Well if it is working off of random mutations, each step along the way of every thing in biology began and is dependent on what random mutations becomes available for natural selection to work with. That is a whole lot of luck!

    I previously wrote: Without a mutation hitting upon the lucky combination, it can not be selected seeing that it wouldn’t exist!

    You repleid: The mutations would accumulate over a long period of time. There would be several neutral to negative experiments in the time in between. . Also, just because one mutation would can not help in a certain place, it does not rule out that several OTHER mutations cannot also in it’s place. There would be more than just one possible “lucky combination.” There are potentially millions.

    Obviously you don;t understand evolution: Each step in the process has to have a necessary function during that long period of time. That is a part of the debate back and forth with Miller, and Behe: “The flagellum” Each of the 20 some parts would have to independently perform a necessary function. If you remove any of those parts the flagellum is useless! Again, Miller was able to show that one protein found in the flagellum is found elsewhere in the genome. That only leaves 23 that hasn’t been found elsewhere. And his argument comes no where close to explaining how each of the individual parts came together to form a multi part molecular machine. They had to come together simultaneously, because you remove any one part and it can not function.

    So I have read and listened to both sides, and I am not impressed by the logic the Darwinian evolutionist uses to prop up their theory, despite the overwhelming improbabilities that it can explain the complexity that continues to prove to be more and more complex with each new discovery.

  130. @krydan

    Kriss, as mentioned before, what you are missing is that the Bible says that sin entered because Adam sinned, but “ALL HAVE SINNED” though not in the same manner as Adam had sinned. If you deny the fall, or deny that sin is the reason for evil, then just how do you interpret Jesus dying on the cross to redeem fallen man?

    The Bible itself indicates that death existed before the fall. The fact that God told Adam to “eat” and to “be fruitful and multiply” BEFORE they sinned is in itself an indication. If there was no death then what would be the point in them eating? In fact, what would the point be for the “tree of life” in the Garden?” If they were incapable of dying before the fall, then there would be no point in this.

    The fact that we are all sinners is enough for us to warrant the need for redemption. If we are to claim that Jesus died ultimately because Adam and Eve sinned, then that would make sin and salvation only about certain events that happened thousands of years ago; ergo, that would actually make Christianity irrelevant for today.

    Once again, the reason Adam, is considered to be a real person is because he is mentioned 30 times in the Bible, including with Paul’s parallel of how sin entered and brought death, and he compares it to Christ redemption and eternal life for all who call upon his name.

    If that’s what Paul thought, then so be it. Paul also said women should not teach. Not certain I agree with that, but if that’s what he thought, then so be it. — I did say that the Bible is divinely inspired; I never said, however that the Bible is perfect.

    That is a double standard to ask that question Kriss, you believe that the mechanism is natural selection working from a pool of random mutations despite the fact that you can only point to a hand full of observational examples, and they include either a loss of previous function, or a loss of over all information. Give me a list of examples of a gain of function and new information when there is a random copying error. I

    I already did. Or have you not read everything I have written?! Fine, I will list my four examples of new function as a result of copying error, In an earlier comment I listed THESE examples in response to you, and you never took them on.

    1. The CCR5-Delta 32 mutation. This mutation is useful against HIV, by either causing immunity or slowing it down.

    2. Lactoce Tolerance. This mutation causes us to be able to ingest dairy products. It is a relatively new mutation that occurred recently.

    3. Eosinophil Cationic Protein. This mutation is a duplicated gene which is toxic to bacteria and makes their cells porous. It is also useful for controlling Asthma.

    4. Eosinophil-Derived Neurotoxin. Another duplicated gene that helps against viral infection.

    This is the second time I have mentioned these, and it will be the last time. I won’t continually repeat myself.

    Kriss, that clock only goes back thousand years, not millions, and certainly not billions of years

    This is just not true, and I know you have no support for this claim, so I will be calling your bluff here. ——-(See: Molecular Clocks Do Not Support the Cambrian Explosion, and also see Testing the Cambrian explosion hypothesis by using a molecular dating technique)

    .

    So the different trees would have predated that; and maybe even account for the lack of evidence for how the 35 different body plans appeared in the Cambrian . Even if you have a few examples of pre-Cambrian fossils, it certainly isn’t enough to account for all the varieties, and different body plans that appears in the Cambrian.

    We don’t have a “few” Precambrian fossils; We have MANY. The fact that we now have plenty of Bilaterian life and evidence of Arthropods several millions of years before the Cambrian itself is an indication that they have their ancestor much earlier.

    Besides, the position that these “body plans” have appeared in the Cambrian is incorrect with the evidence we now have. With the fossil evidence we have from before the Cambrian, the number is actually being reduced since we now know that Bilaterian animals appeared 50 million years before.

    So you are saying in terms of the course of evolution or on future generations they would not be necessarily detrimental, just non beneficial? I am pretty sure that is what I said! But, again you don’t know that it would lead to a detrimental mutation or a beneficial mutation. Just like good intentions doesn’t always work out the way you may have planned, it is not necessarily true that you could predict what long term effects they may have on future generations.

    “Good” or “bad” mutation is sometimes a relative term. What is beneficial for one species may not be beneficial for another. Again, it all depends on the environment.

    Obviously you don;t understand evolution: Each step in the process has to have a necessary function during that long period of time.

    You completely missed the point. I was not saying there would not saying that every intermediate would have to be functional.. When I said “failed” and neutral” experiments, I was saying that the time interval between the relavent intermediates would also produce those as well “THROUGH EXPERIMENTS.”

    I very clearly said “EXPERIMENTS.”

    I was simply responding to your claim about a “lucky combination of mutations.” I was saying that there are potentially thousands or even millions of possible combinations that could possibly work; not just one possible combination… My point to that is that since there are that many combinations that would function well, then it is not so much luck that we get one combination out of millions of potential millions of others that would ALSO work.

    And I do not need you telling me I do not understand Evolution, since I know (and I suspect you do too) that I understand it much better than you do.

  131. @krydan,

    That is a part of the debate back and forth with Miller, and Behe: “The flagellum” Each of the 20 some parts would have to independently perform a necessary function. If you remove any of those parts the flagellum is useless!

    As for the argument that if any of the 20 parts is removed, the flagellar system doesn’t function…This is actually a good argument for bad, defective design because now you are saying that the arrangement of the flagellum is just good enough, ..to the point that if there is just one single skrew up, the entire system fails. ..So essentially, God made the flagellum to be just good enough, but he has no backup plan for the slightest, tiniest error that occurs in a single flagellum.

    A lot of your argument rests on the assumption that the flagellum, before it reached a certain stage, would always have had the same function. It would not necessarily be the case. In fact, Darwin’s theory of evolution predicts that change of function occurs.

    ain, Miller was able to show that one protein found in the flagellum is found elsewhere in the genome. That only leaves 23 that hasn’t been found elsewhere.

    You really need to update your information. The number of proteins you are giving is outdated, and more recent literature indicate that the number is now considered to be much lower. — Right now, there are only 11 that now are considered to have unknown homologies…In other words, scientists have discovered homologies for 12 of the proteins that you are citing basically cutting the number in half. — I will post a link to a table below:

    Link: http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v4/n10/fig_tab/nrmicro1493_T1.html

    I know you will probably say that I am still left with explaining the origin of 11 proteins, but considering that your number has been seriously reduced, I would think twice before making THAT argument.

    And his argument comes no where close to explaining how each of the individual parts came together to form a multi part molecular machine. They had to come together simultaneously, because you remove any one part and it can not function.

    Overlooking the logical fallacy of an appeal to ignorance, your argument is dependent on the assumption that the precursors to the flagellum as we know it would have had the same function. As I have told you, Darwinian evolution predicts that change of function can happen, as Darwin himself said:

    The one new point which appears to have struck many readers is, “that natural selection is incompetent to account for the incipient stages of useful structures.” This subject is intimately connected with that of the gradation of characters, often accompanied by a change of function,—for instance, the conversion of a swim-bladder into lungs,—points which were discussed in the last chapter under two headings. (Origin of Species, Sixth Edition, page 177)

    Long before Intelligent Design proponents used the claim that “all has to be in order, or else the whole thing fails,” the very same argument was used as a prediction of Evolutionary theory. — Even as early as 1918, geneticist Herman J. Muller used Darwinian Evolutionary Theory to make such a prediction. He said:

    Most present-day animals are the result of a long process of evolution, in which at least thousands of mutations must have taken place. Each new mutant in turn must it produced upon the “reaction system” that had been brought into being have derived its survival value from the effect which by the many previously formed factors in cooperation; thus a complicated machine was gradually built up whose effective working was dependent upon the interlocking action of very numerous different elementary parts or factors, and many of the characters and factors which, when new, were originally merely an asset finally became necessary because other necessary characters and factors had subsequently become changed so as to be dependent on the former. It must result, in consequence, that a dropping out of, or even a slight change in any one of these parts is very likely to disturb fatally the whole machinery; for this reason we should expect very many, if not most, mutations to result in lethal factors. (link:http://www.genetics.org/cgi/reprint/3/5/422 )

    Notice the bold most of all, though the entire quote is important. Muller, in 1918, that is 78 years before Michael Behe, is predicting the existence of such organisms.

    Now my question to you is this: If your argument were such a threat to Evolution like you and Behe says, then why did scientists so long before him use “Darwin’s hated theory” to predict the existence of such complex organisms?

  132. Kriss, It may take me a few days to respond to your previous post, I’ve got some things to attend to, and do not have time over the next couple of days to address all the points you raised; and I want to read the link yo sent on the molecular clock and respond to it in detail..

    But for now, you are not fully understanding or have been mislead to follow a red herring argument against Behe’s irreducible complexity argument.

    You wrote: “As for the argument that if any of the 20 parts is removed, the flagellar system doesn’t function…This is actually a good argument for bad, defective design because now you are saying that the arrangement of the flagellum is just good enough.”

    Right Kriss, “good enough” it doesn’t have to be better than good enough to have been designed or to get the job done. You are side stepping the issue, rather than address how each part came together to become a good enough functional molecular machine? Your argument that if God had designed it, anything less than indestructible is a bad design, is a bad argument. It is only necessary to preform it’s desired function. Likewise, we believe that the genome has deteriorated from the initial conditions.

    Just shortly on the previous post: I personally believe what you said is true “Good” does not mean perfect! But I believe that death came to “Man” after the fall when Adam was driven out and away from the tree of life which was in the garden. Continuing to live was conditioned on being obedient, and on the tree of life in the garden. When they were driven out out of the garden, that is when they began to die. I believe that the outside world was already in a fallen state from the rebellion of Satan.

    Back to Behe and Miller

    You wrote: A lot of your argument rests on the assumption that the flagellum, before it reached a certain stage, would always have had the same function. It would not necessarily be the case. In fact, Darwin’s theory of evolution predicts that change of function occurs.

    Kriss, that doesn’t explain the assembling of the parts as they now are. If all can be found to exist elsewhere in the genome, it doesn’t answer where the assembling instructions to drop their former function and join with the other parts to make a new multi-part functional molecular machine. The flagellum could not have come about piece meal, because they perform no necessary function in accordance with each other unless all parts are there.

    I previously wrote: Miller was able to show that one protein found in the flagellum is found elsewhere in the genome. That only leaves 23 that hasn’t been found elsewhere.

    You responded: You really need to update your information. The number of proteins you are giving is outdated, and more recent literature indicate that the number is now considered to be much lower. — Right now, there are only 11 that now are considered to have unknown homologies…In other words, scientists have discovered homologies for 12 of the proteins that you are citing basically cutting the number in half. — I will post a link to a table below:

    Kriss, you seem to be missing the point, it doesn’t matter if they all are found; that doesn’t explain the assembling and the individual functions of the flagellum each step along the way. You have to show how the machine came to be, and how “IT” functioned before all the parts were in place.

    Link: http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v4/n10/fig_tab/nrmicro1493_T1.html

    You wrote: I know you will probably say that I am still left with explaining the origin of 11 proteins, but considering that your number has been seriously reduced, I would think twice before making THAT argument.

    Kriss, I will try to explain it in layman’s terms to show you where your real dilemma is. I used to do tattoos years ago; I started out because of a lack of money building my own tattoo guns. So I would disassemble a hairdryer and use the motor and take a transformer and electric cord from an old radio, use the high/low switch off the hairdryer, heat up and bend an old tooth brush, pop the ball out of a ball point pen, use electrical tape to tape the pen on top of the toothbrush, solder a cut off nail on the metal pin that sticks out of the hairdryer motor, cut and sharpen the tip of a high “E” string off of an electric guitar; place one end of the guitar string over the offset nail, run the “E” string through the modified ink pen cylinder; hot dang, a tattoo gun! In my home each one of these items may have had a previous function, but during the assembly of my homemade tattoo gun, the gun would not function if all the parts were not present and properly assembled. That is a personal example of Behe’s mousetrap argument. Millers argument for finding the proteins or even another function elsewhere doesn’t address Behe’s central argument for irreducible complexity. How do you explain 3/4 of a flagellum and it’s function, or a half of one, or a quarter of a flagellum?

    The rest of your post just danced around the argument, by ignoring the central point. It doesn’t matter if all parts had a previous function, or even still do elsewhere, that is not relevant to how the flagellum functioned each step along the way, or how it came to be assembled in just the right fashion to preform the function that it currently has?

  133. @krydan,

    Right Kriss, “good enough” it doesn’t have to be better than good enough to have been designed or to get the job done. You are side stepping the issue, rather than address how each part came together to become a good enough functional molecular machine? Your argument that if God had designed it, anything less than indestructible is a bad design, is a bad argument. It is only necessary to preform it’s desired function. Likewise, we believe that the genome has deteriorated from the initial conditions.

    You call it a bad argument, but you are hardly explaining why it is a bad argument. In fact, the view that several things are “good enough” fits perfectly with the evolutionary explanation: Evolution is not the “survival of the fittest.” It is rather the “survival of the fit enough.”

    But by calling talking about the “desired function” of the bacterial flagellum…That makes me wonder if you know what the over-all function of the flagellum is; besides moving around, that it. —The bacterial flagellum is linked as a cause to lots of disease; that is the apparent “purpose” of the flagellum…if you want to assign it a “desired function.”

    Kriss, that doesn’t explain the assembling of the parts as they now are. If all can be found to exist elsewhere in the genome, it doesn’t answer where the assembling instructions to drop their former function and join with the other parts to make a new multi-part functional molecular machine

    I wish I had perfect knowledge myself. I am not a geneticist, but this answer would simply be tossed as for what it is: the logical fallacy of an “appeal to ignorance.”

    Kriss, you seem to be missing the point, it doesn’t matter if they all are found; that doesn’t explain the assembling and the individual functions of the flagellum each step along the way. You have to show how the machine came to be, and how “IT” functioned before all the parts were in place.

    If it doesn’t matter if all the homologies are found, then you should not
    No one is saying that all the parts were not in place. There are other possible evolutionary routs it could have taken. It could have had more parts before the present time, it could have had less. It could have had the same amount and the pieces evolved together to interlock.

    How do you explain 3/4 of a flagellum and it’s function, or a half of one, or a quarter of a flagellum?

    How do I explain it? In front of me right now, I have a paper published in April 1988 of a lab test done by Goro Kuwajima on the flagellum. In the paper, he shows that he performed “various deletions” of the 497 residues of the flagellum and it retained only 193 N-terminal residues and only 117 C-terminal residues.. That means that he removed 187 residues in total, which means he deleted well over a 3/4 of it.. He also says it happened “without destroying it’s ability to form flagellar fillaments. — I.e., the flagellum still works fine when you perform plenty of deletions on it.

    Here’s the original paper: http://jb.asm.org/cgi/reprint/170/7/3305.pdf

    But I asked something in my last post that I really want you to answer and you didn’t. I will copy and paste myself here as well:

    Long before Intelligent Design proponents used the claim that “all has to be in order, or else the whole thing fails,” the very same argument was used as a prediction of Evolutionary theory. — Even as early as 1918, geneticist Herman J. Muller used Darwinian Evolutionary Theory to make such a prediction. He said:

    Most present-day animals are the result of a long process of evolution, in which at least thousands of mutations must have taken place. Each new mutant in turn must it produced upon the “reaction system” that had been brought into being have derived its survival value from the effect which by the many previously formed factors in cooperation; thus a complicated machine was gradually built up whose effective working was dependent upon the interlocking action of very numerous different elementary parts or factors, and many of the characters and factors which, when new, were originally merely an asset finally became necessary because other necessary characters and factors had subsequently become changed so as to be dependent on the former. It must result, in consequence, that a dropping out of, or even a slight change in any one of these parts is very likely to disturb fatally the whole machinery; for this reason we should expect very many, if not most, mutations to result in lethal factors. (link: http://www.genetics.org/cgi/reprint/3/5/422 )

    Notice the bold most of all, though the entire quote is important. Muller, in 1918, that is 78 years before Michael Behe, is predicting the existence of such organisms.

    Now my question to you is this: If your argument were such a threat to Evolution like you and Behe says, then why did scientists so long before him use “Darwin’s hated theory” to predict the existence of such complex organisms?

  134. Kriss,

    Sorry I hadn’t got back sooner, but with the holiday I’ve been rather busy. As for your E-coli paper; understand that their are many different types of “Flagellum” Including in bacteria: And it is in the parts and their assembly that is at the center of the debate. For instance, the shape shifting protein that allows the bacteria flagellum to suddenly and rapidly change direction in the fraction of a second is an amazing discovery in and of itself. The subject is not just the proteins but how they are expressed in the various parts that make up the bacteria flagellum. Like dissembling an outboard motor, which the bacteria flagellum is similarly designed; you have various necessary parts that work in unison to perform a function as a whole unit. You remove the tail, it can’t move, you remove the shape shifting protein in the tail and it can’t shift direction etc… According to Darwin, if there ever was something found that couldn’t be explained by arising from gradual mutations over long periods of time, then that would be a death nail to his theory. Kenneth Miller and others have tried and failed to come up with a logical explanation for how the bacteria flagellum evolved via gradual mutations by natural selection over a long period of time. In between the time gaps, the flagellum had to perform a necessary function with not just some parts missing, but all the parts gradually being added to the system from stage 1 through 23. Again, even if the parts or proteins that built the parts can be found elsewhere, that still doesn’t answer how they came to assemble together to become what they now are. And you are confusing the amount of proteins with the amount of different individual parts of the bacteria flagellum. So if they have found 11 proteins, that is out of over 30 including a shape shifting protein in the tail, however there are 23 individual moving parts to the machine. Again, you are not fully grasping the need for expressions and the precise instructions including the tail being the right length in order for it to function properly.

    And I am quite aware of what Bacteria flagellum is: The point of using “desired” was in regards to the system in-which it belongs. Perhaps a poor choice of words; but we are talking about evolution as a whole, or whether or not Natural selection selecting from gradual random mutations can account for such complexity in the bacteria flagellum or any complex living organism, rather it be good or bad bacteria or a perceived good or bad design. Would you not argue that E-Coli in the grand scheme of things is struggling to survive and is not any higher or lower in scientific terms?

    Likewise, something potentially detrimental today may not have been so originally or even in the future. For instance, you argue that “ERV’s are random virus insertions, yet some now have a beneficial function” It stands to reason, that you would agree that just because viruses or bacteria can be detrimental, that they also may have some future beneficial function unforeseen by us or natural selection. The real problem lies in the breakdown of our immune system to fight off or against bad bacteria and against viruses. And as you know, often such viruses and bacterial infections are the result of poor hygiene or ones lifestyle or an inherited susceptibility to certain immune deficiencies.

    And the number of proteins are somewhat higher than the number of parts: Behe argues that if you remove any or combination of any of the current assembled parts the machine won’t function.

    So I am not real sure why you keep going back to papers that were written in the 70’s or beyond to try and make a point. The paper on E-coli has no barring on the topic that is continually debated by Miller and Behe. Watch this seven minute video on just how complex and precise even down to the length of the tail and the shape shifting function it performs in order for it to function and make sudden high speed changes in direction.

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994630/bacterial_flagellum_a_sheer_wonder_of_intelligent_design/

    Then here is a link to Doug Axe’s bio-complexity article recently published.

    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.4/BIO-C.2010.4

    Read here on the discovery of the shape shifting protein for the flagellum shifting directions at unbelievable high speeds.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/09/shape-shifting_protein_in_bact038551.html

    The so called prediction from 1913, is not relevant to anything: They used terms like “machine” to describe any complex organ such as the eye etc… He wasn’t making a prediction for molecular complex machines, but rather arguing that evolution would expect such complexity. But that is not a prediction, evolution would expect such complexity was a statement in regards to observable complex biological structures that were well known at the time. Besides: Saying that complexity is expected doesn’t explain how something arose. Perhaps he understood that there was something more going on then was available in his day, and he was preparing those who followed to expect more challenges to the theory as the complexity of living organism arose. But predicting that it may be more complex than what was being observed at the time is no more argument for naturalism than it is for design. Design would predict that it is more complex than natural selection working on unguided random mutations can account for.

    Some more links to Miller and Behe’s response!

    Behe Miller debate: http://www.discovery.org/a/579

    The latest ID defense of Behe’s Irreducible complexity argument

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/03/michael_behe_hasnt_been_refute044801.html

    New irreducible complexity in the left and right barb assembling for bird wings. Peer Reviewed article:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/01/peer-reviewed_pro-intelligent042261.html

    http://journals.witpress.com/paperinfo.asp?pid=399

    Peer reviewed study on Stephen Meyer V’s Kenneth Miller take on Schneider’s “EV” Simulation.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/12/bio-complexity_paper_co-author042141.html

    Peer Reviewed Article
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.3/BIO-C.2010.3

    On the molecular clock: The simple fact is this: Unless preserved in ice, DNA has a relatively short half life and is not found in fossils dating millions of years old. With permission from John Wells, I will post a question answer response between NCSE and himself concerning the Cambrian explosion, and homology.

    My Question: DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE. Why don’t textbooks discuss the “Cambrian explosion,” in which all major animal groups appear together in the fossil record fully formed instead of branching from a common ancestor–thus contradicting the evolutionary tree of life?

    NCSE’s Answer: Wells is wrong: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals all are post-Cambrian–aren’t these “major groups”? We would recognize very few of the Cambrian organisms as “modern”; they are in fact at the roots of the tree of life, showing the earliest appearances of some key features of groups of animals–but not all features and not all groups. Researchers are linking these Cambrian groups using not only fossils but also data from developmental biology.

    My Response in Outline:
    (a) The NCSE is wrong: Fish DID make their first appearance in the Cambrian explosion.
    (b) The “major groups” to which my question refers are the animal phyla. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are sub-groups (classes) of a single phylum. The NCSE is using semantics to give the illusion that the Cambrian explosion never happened.
    (c) It is through assumption and extrapolation, not “fossils” and “data from developmental biology,” that Darwinists are supposedly “linking” the Cambrian groups.

    My Response in Detail:
    (a) The fossil record shows that fish were among the animals that made their first appearance in the Cambrian explosion. (4)
    (b) Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are not the “major groups” to which my question refers. As every biologist knows, animals are classified into a hierarchy of groups: species, genera, families, orders, classes, and phyla. The phyla are the several dozen major categories that distinguish mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, annelids and chordates, among others. (Modern representatives of the five phyla listed include snails, insects, starfish, earthworms and mammals, respectively.) Fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are sub-groups (classes) of the chordate phylum. Since fish first appeared in the early Cambrian, this phylum was present in the Cambrian explosion, even though not all of its sub-groups were. Representatives of the five phyla listed here, and most of the other phyla as well–the “major groups” of animals recognized by all biologists–appear in the Cambrian explosion, with no fossil evidence that they evolved from a common ancestor. Berkeley paleontologist James Valentine and his colleagues wrote in 1991 that the Cambrian explosion “was even more abrupt and extensive than previously envisioned” and gives the impression that animal evolution “has by and large proceeded from the ‘top down’.” This does not fit Darwin’s theory that major differences should have evolved over millions of years from minor differences in a single ancestral species–that is, from the “bottom up.” By labeling vertebrate classes “major groups,” the NCSE uses a semantic trick to give the illusion that the Cambrian explosion never happened, and that the conflict with Darwin’s theory doesn’t exist. Similarly, most biology textbooks avoid any mention of the Cambrian explosion, and the few that do mention it try to dismiss it. The NCSE, like the textbooks, is concealing a problem with the fossil record so significant that Darwin himself considered it a “valid argument” against his theory. (5)
    (c) The NCSE’s claim that “researchers are linking these Cambrian groups using not only fossils but also data from developmental biology” is profoundly misleading. First, the principal lesson of the Cambrian explosion is that the fossils needed for “linking” the phyla to a common ancestor are nonexistent. Second, with a few rare exceptions developmental data are available only from living animals. Although embryological similarities and differences can help us to classify living animals into phyla, we can only speculate how most extinct animals developed. Darwinian researchers ASSUME the existence of a common ancestor, and then extrapolate modern similarities and differences hundreds of millions of years into the past to guess what the hypothetical ancestor might have been or how it might have developed. Thus it is through assumption and extrapolation, not “fossils” and “data from developmental biology,” that Darwinists are “linking” the Cambrian groups.

    My Question: HOMOLOGY. Why do textbooks define homology as similarity due to common ancestry, then claim that it is evidence for common ancestry–a circular argument masquerading as scientific evidence?

    NCSE’s Answer: The same anatomical structure (such as a leg or an antenna) in two species may be similar because it was inherited from a common ancestor (homology) or because of similar adaptive pressure (convergence). Homology of structures across species is not assumed, but tested by the repeated comparison of numerous features that do or do not sort into successive clusters. Homology is used to test hypotheses of degrees of relatedness. Homology is not “evidence” for common ancestry: common ancestry is inferred based on many sources of information, and reinforced by the patterns of similarity and dissimilarity of anatomical structures.

    My Response in Outline:
    (a) I thank the NCSE for conceding my main point: Homology (defined by modern Darwinists as similarity due to common ancestry) is not evidence of common ancestry.
    (b) Yet many biology textbooks tell students that it is. When the NCSE launches its campaign to correct textbooks that treat the origin of life as part of evolution, it should also correct textbooks that treat homology as evidence for common ancestry.
    (c) At the level of the animal phyla, common ancestry is not inferred from “sources of information” such as fossils, molecules or embryos; instead, it is assumed on theoretical grounds.

    My Response in Detail:
    (a) As the NCSE acknowledges, homology (defined by modern Darwinists as similarity due to common ancestry) is not evidence of common ancestry.
    (b) Why, then, do many biology textbooks tell students that homology is evidence of common ancestry? For example, Starr and Taggart’s Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life (8th Edition, 1998), states that the “pattern of macroevolution – that is, change from the form of a common ancestor – is called morphological divergence… Homology [is] a similarity in one or more body parts in different organisms that share a common ancestor…. Homologous structures provide very strong evidence of morphological divergence.” In a section on “The Evidence for Evolution” in the teacher’s edition of Johnson’s Biology: Visualizing Life (1998), students are told that “homologous structures are structures that share a common ancestor,” and an accompanying note tells the teacher that “such structures point to a common ancestry.” According to Campbell, Reece and Mitchell’s Biology (5th Edition, 1999), “similarity in characteristics resulting from common ancestry is known as homology, and such anatomical signs of evolution are called homologous structures. Comparative anatomy is consistent with all other evidence in testifying [to] evolution.” Raven and Johnson’s Biology (5th Edition, 1999), in a section titled “The evidence for macroevolution is extensive,” includes the following: “Homology: Many organisms exhibit organs that are similar in structure to those in a recent common ancestor. This is evidence of evolutionary relatedness.” A few pages later, the same textbook explicitly defines homologous structures as “structures with different appearances and functions that all derived from the same body part in a common ancestor.” Audesirk, Audesirk and Byers’s Life On Earth (2nd Edition, 2000) calls homology “evidence of relatedness” in a section titled “Comparative Anatomy Provides Structural Evidence of Evolution.” The textbook tells students: “Internally similar structures are called homologous structures, meaning that they have the same evolutionary origin despite possible differences in function. Studies of comparative anatomy have long been used to determine the relationships among organisms, on the grounds that the more similar the internal structures of two species, the more closely related the species must be, that is, the more recently they must have diverged from a common ancestor.” When the NCSE launches its campaign to correct textbooks that treat the origin of life as part of evolution, it should also correct textbooks that treat homology as evidence for common ancestry. (6)
    (c) According to the NCSE, “common ancestry is inferred based on many sources of evidence.” As we have seen, however, at the level of the animal phyla the fossil record does not support such an inference. Neither does the molecular evidence. As biologist Michael Lynch wrote in 1999: “Clarification of the phylogenetic [i.e., evolutionary] relationships of the major animal phyla has been an elusive problem, with analyses based on different genes and even different analyses based on the same genes yielding a diversity of phylogenetic trees.” And as the next question demonstrates, the embryological evidence does not support common ancestry even at the level of the vertebrate classes, much less at the phylum level. At these levels, common ancestry is assumed on theoretical grounds, not inferred from evidence.

    For all 10 Q&A with John Well’s and NCES follow this link

    http://www.discovery.org/a/1106

    Since you decided to send links rather than explain in your own words why you believe what you believe, I think it only fair that I respond with links with the counter argument. After reading the exchange between NCES and John Well’s and if you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say that that the scientific community would not use outdated and or factually inaccurate material, as well as circular reasoning to prop up their theory; then, I don’t know much more I could show you to prove that their interpretation of the evidence is held hostage by their presupposition that their theory is true. Again, you take a designer or God out of the equation, Darwinian evolution is the only game in town, and it allows you to argue in circles to make your points; as well as use one assumption to prop up another assumption and so on, and so on.

  135. Krydan,

    Just to inform you, the filter for this blog will flag a comment for a certain amount of links for possible spam. Not that I care how many you put in your comments as long as they are relevant. But just letting you know in case your comments don’t appear right away like it normally does.

  136. @Krydan,

    The so called prediction from 1913, is not relevant to anything: They used terms like “machine” to describe any complex organ such as the eye etc…

    It was in 1918, and it most certainly IS relevent.

    He wasn’t making a prediction for molecular complex machines, but rather arguing that evolution would expect such complexity.

    He was arguing in general, so yes that would include molecular machines as well. Muller was a geneticist, so how could he not be including such details in mind?

    He was talking about mutations in the context as well, as I have included in the quote, so frankly anything involved with mutations would be applicable, and that includes molecular machines.

    But that is not a prediction, evolution would expect such complexity was a statement in regards to observable complex biological structures that were well known at the time..

    Yes, it was a prediction. In fact, you are giving the basis of the prediction as well, and you do not even know it. Known biological structures at the time ARE the reason he came to his prediction.

  137. @Krydam

    It is getting increasingly difficult to talk to you, mostly because you keep straying into several different topics that no one here has even mentioned.

    I will only talk about one thing at a time. It makes it easier for me to focus.

  138. @Krydan

    Again, even if the parts or proteins that built the parts can be found elsewhere, that still doesn’t answer how they came to assemble together to become what they now are.

    Even if they did explain how the flagellum could have come together, would you accept that explanation as valid? I seriously doubt it. A while ago in a different discussion with a creationist as I linked papers to different models of how the flagellum could have evolved, he then shifted ground and said that it was invalid as long as I couldn’t show him that it happened in exactly that way.

    If you want to talk about how the flagellum could have assembled, then I am the wrong person to ask. I would recommend that you read Nick Matzke’s paper. So far, his model has really stood up to scrutiny in the scientific community:

    Link: http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/flagellum.html

    In between the time gaps, the flagellum had to perform a necessary function with not just some parts missing, but all the parts gradually being added to the system from stage 1 through 23.

    I don’t know what you mean by “gradually added.” Do you mean they were added one-by-one? If so, then I would have to tell you that evolution doesn’t necessarily have to work that way. — If something is irreducible, then why can’t it be that it has been reduced naturally to the point until it has become what it is today? Evolution is not about just adding. It can also be about taking away as well as adapting what ALREADY exists. I have already explained that to you.

    but we are talking about evolution as a whole, or whether or not Natural selection selecting from gradual random mutations can account for such complexity in the bacteria flagellum or any complex living organism, rather it be good or bad bacteria or a perceived good or bad design. Would you not argue that E-Coli in the grand scheme of things is struggling to survive and is not any higher or lower in scientific terms?

    I would not argue that e-coli is trying to survive, no. It is trying to survive in the same way that we do (nourishment and reproduction). I wouldn’t say that it has to “struggle” for it since e-coli is not in danger of extinction.

    But judging by your wording in which you ask how “Natural selection selecting from gradual random mutations can account for such complexity”, — I should ask if you think I or any scientists believes that natural selection and mutation ALONE necessarily accounts for ALL complexity? — If that’s what you mean, then not necessarily. There may be other mechanisms out there that scientists have not figured out yet.

    Since fish first appeared in the early Cambrian, this phylum was present in the Cambrian explosion, even though not all of its sub-groups were.

    I know this is a small detail, but to my understanding fish appeared 530 million years ago—The Cambrian “explosion” itself bagan in 542 million years ago and lasted between 10 to 25 million years, so fish hardly appeared early on. They were late, appearing 12 million years afterwards.

    Berkeley paleontologist James Valentine and his colleagues wrote in 1991 that the Cambrian explosion “was even more abrupt and extensive than previously envisioned” and gives the impression that animal evolution “has by and large proceeded from the ‘top down’.”

    Most paleontologists and geologists do not agree with them though. The estimates, as I have given them, range between 10 to 25 million years, though some go much higher. This is “abrupt” in geologic terms, but hardly so in biological terms. This is plenty of time.

    Also statistical analysis done by Bruce Liberman in 2002 based on the fossils themselves shows that even though speciation rates picked up during the cambrian, they are not unusual. I recommend you read his paper.

    Link: http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/43/1/229.full

    This does not fit Darwin’s theory that major differences should have evolved over millions of years from minor differences in a single ancestral species–that is, from the “bottom up.”

    I don’t see why it wouldn’t match his theory since the prediction is that species long before then were softer, and therefore much less likely (though not impossibly) preservable… It so happens we do have animals from several million of years before the cambrian that ARE soft, and DO resemble some of the Cambrian fauna. I have even given examples much earlier in this discussion.

    We even have arthropod tracks that were preserved but fewer arthropods from before. That itself indicates that they were probably too soft to be preserved, but proof enough that they did exist.

    By labeling vertebrate classes “major groups,” the NCSE uses a semantic trick to give the illusion that the Cambrian explosion never happened, and that the conflict with Darwin’s theory doesn’t exist.

    The NCSE can do whatever it wants. — Personally, I do not consider the Cambrian “explosion” a real event either. That said, my reasons for thinking it never happened have to do with both the new wealth of fossil evidence we have gained in the last decade–particularly in China—as well as the evidence from the molecular clocks that show that diversification occurred much earlier.

  139. @krydan

    Another detail about the “irreducibility of the flagellum,….”

    The very same table that I linked that showed the list of proteins and how many of their homologies were still unknown…. The list of proteins shows that there are a total of 38 proteins.. It also shows that ONLY 20 of them are “indispensable” for the function of the flagellum.

    The implication from this is that you can reduce the flagellum by almost half and it will still function.

    For your convenience, I will link the table below again:

    Link: http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v4/n10/fig_tab/nrmicro1493_T1.html

    That combined with the paper I link in which over a third of the residues have been taken from it without harming it’s function are enough to debunk the myth that the flagellum is irreducibly complex.

    Even if it were irreducibly complex, the conclusion of design does not follow.

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