The Results For Testing Natural Selection On Fruit Flies

During a speech urging the federal government to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) then governor, Sarah Palin in October 2008 became critical of spending money for fruit fly research…

She said…

“Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.”

Being a conservative and a creationist, she was subjective to all sorts of name calling to “anti-science” rants. However, she was unaware (like most people) that fruit fly research was being used for trying to understand autism. But it’s not the only type of researching going on. A recent study performed an experiment on fruit flies to test the limits of natural selection. It was a major blow to the evolution is an indisputable fact crowd…

The experiment showed only minor changes after 600 generations and what is even more interesting, there was less so-called evolution in these organisms than in similar experiments conducted with microbes, like bacteria and yeast! And success is a lot less likely in the wild than under ideal lab conditions! The paper in Nature is called, “Experimental evolution reveals resistance to change” where it says…

“Experimental evolution systems allow the genomic study of adaptation, and so far this has been done primarily in asexual systems with small genomes, such as bacteria and yeast.  Here we present whole-genome resequencing data from Drosophila melanogaster populations that have experienced over 600 generations of laboratory selection for accelerated development.”

“Flies in these selected populations develop from egg to adult ~20% faster than flies of ancestral control populations, and have evolved a number of other correlated phenotypes.  On the basis of 688,520 intermediate-frequency, high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms, we identify several dozen genomic regions that show strong allele frequency differentiation between a pooled sample of five replicate populations selected for accelerated development  and pooled controls.”

“On the basis of resequencing data from a single replicate population with accelerated development, as well as single nucleotide polymorphism data from individual flies from each replicate population, we infer little allele frequency differentiation between replicate populations within a selection treatment.”

“Signatures of selection are qualitatively different than what has been observed in asexual species; in our sexual populations, adaptation is not associated with ‘classic’ sweeps whereby newly arising, unconditionally advantageous mutations become fixed.  More parsimonious  explanations include ‘incomplete’ sweep models, in which mutations have not had enough time to fix, and ‘soft’ sweep models, in which selection acts on pre-existing, common genetic variants.”

“We conclude that, at least for life history characters such as development time, unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise, are associated with small net fitness gains or cannot fix because selection coefficients change over time.”

In other words, they were looking for a “signature” of beneficial mutations becoming fixed in the population. Despite their success in creating mutations with the fruit flies, their designed bodies resisted change. And not only that but the fruit flies went in the other direction on what secular scientists call, “reverse-evolution.” Instead of new mutations, there were variants of them. The last paragraph describing the fruit fly research displays disappointment and surprise over this…

“Our work provides a new perspective on the genetic basis of adaptation.  Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.  This is notable because in wild populations we expect the strength of natural selection to be less intense and the environment unlikely to remain constant for ~600 generations.”

“Consequently, the probability of fixation in wild populations should be even lower than its likelihood in these experiments.  This suggests that selection does not readily expunge genetic variation in sexual populations, a finding which in turn should motivate efforts to discover why this is seemingly the case.”

Why are the planets moving backwards? We must figure out why this gap is seemingly the case in the theory of Geocentrism. Perhaps Heliocentrism is a better alternative! Nah, geocentrism is an undisputable fact, eventually this observation will be explained thus preserving it…Ok, that’s not about fruit flies and Darwinian evolution, but you get the idea. Natural selection is presumed to be a miracle worker, that can produce the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth in a step by step process using mutations. However, it doesn’t work theoretically nor historically, nor experimentally. It’s a failed ‘theory’ that relies on story telling.

Sarah Palin was wrong about how valuable fruit fly research can be not only for understanding or fighting diseases, but understanding how variation works within it’s own kind, and how it disproves the idea of evolution as an “indisputable fact.”

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47 thoughts on “The Results For Testing Natural Selection On Fruit Flies

  1. Michael’s contention here is that, if the mechanism of a theory is shown to be wrong, then the underlying facts are perforce also wrong.

    Let’s illustrate this with Michael’s own analogy to the Nature results to planetary motions. The planets move in the sky. [1] Astronomers through thousands of years compiled data describing how they move (facts). The question then became, why do they move in that way (theory)? We went from Ptolemaic circles & equants to Tycho Brahe’s compound orbits to Copernican heliocentric circles to Keplerian ellipses to Newtonian gravitation to Einstein’s relativity. But the facts remained. Only the the explanatory theory changed. And each change could organize the facts more cogently. And each one had a few anomalies that seemed puzzling or anomalous.

    Returning to biological evolution, the facts show common ancestry over billions of years. Genetic histories show nested hierarchies of genomes. Defunct proteins have been traced back hundreds of millions of years to a common functional progenitor. The fossil record, despite its incompleteness, shows early simple organisms and more complex later ones, separated by eons of time. Biogeography successfully groups animals and plants consistently with known geologic processes and migration capabilities. Genetic histories of human migrations over a hundred thousand years have been traced, and corroborated by linguistics and other evidence. Each of these supports the fact of evolution.

    Evolutionary theories propose mechanism, such as natural selection, sexual preference, genetic drift, random mutation, and gene fixation as useful ways to understand the facts, to organize the facts, and to predict new facts of evolution. Biologists test the usefulness of these mechanisms by predicting facts, then comparing what the theory predicts against experimental results.

    In this instance, the mechanism that was built up for the evolution of asexual organisms seems to predict results that differ from the evolution of (at least some aspects of at least some) sexually reproducing animals. But the facts are that both the asexual and the sexual organisms have evolved. The fruit flies did evolve the studied characteristic—just not as much as predicted.

    So Michael attempts to deny the fact of evolution because one of the theoretical mechanisms for that evolution may be deficient. Returning to Michael’s planetary analogy, this would be akin to asserting that, because Newtonian gravitation predict subtle differences from actual observations of the orbit of Mercury, Mercury does not move.

    If Michael had the slightest inkling of the nature of scientific theories, or if he had any qualifications whatever to discuss any field of science, then he wouldn’t make such ignorant assertions. Confusion of fact and theory is only one more reason that scientists laugh at creationists. [2]

    ====================

    [1] After all, the word means: “traveler” in Greek.

    [2] The most recent lecture in my “Science Wars” series was devoted to using intelligent design as a paradigm for applying various historical criteria to determine whether a theory is scientific or not. Except for a blipp during post-modernism in the 1990s, ID is roundly rejected under the teachings of everyone from Roger Bacon to Richard Boyd. (Our lecturer, by the way, is a colleague of Michael Behe at Lehigh University.)

  2. Micheal is now bringing a political personality into a creation/evolution debate. Sara Palin isn’t am authority on fruit flies, so it doesn’t matter what her perpective is on the subject whether she is a creationist or a science advocate.

    In other words, they were looking for a “signature” of beneficial mutations becoming fixed in the population. Despite their success in creating mutations with the fruit flies, their designed bodies resisted change.

    Of course they resisted change. No one expected MASSIVE change. The change you are refering to takes MUCH LONGER on it’s own..

    And not only that but the fruit flies went in the other direction on what secular scientists call, “reverse-evolution.”

    Huh?!?!?!

    Michael… I have told you a million times….there is NO SUCH THING as “reverse evolution.” It has no direction. You don’t move forwards of backwards. It is not a ladder. There is no “higher” or “lower” species.

    you get the idea. Natural selection is presumed to be a miracle worker, that can produce the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth in a step by step process using mutations

    No, natural selection is not a miracle. — And no one has EVER said that natural selection “produces” new traits…. NO ONE!!!!

    In basic Biology, i was taught “Natural Selection doesn’t produce features.” — There, got it?!

    Mutation is what pruduces variation, NOT natural selection…… Natural Selection simply acts independently on the variation AFTER it is produced.

    I keep telling you that!!!! Or are you just a willfull ignoramous?!

    Perhaps Heliocentrism is a better alternative! Nah, geocentrism is an undisputable fact, eventually this observation will be explained thus preserving it

    Are you being sarcastic here? Or are you a geocentist?

  3. And not only that but the fruit flies went in the other direction on what secular scientists call, “reverse-evolution.”

    Kris, I think what Michael meant was that the early-development effwect that the authors sought actually went in the opposite direction, of later development.

    The reason you perhaps missed that is BECAUSE IT’S SO WRONG. The Nature paper did not say that. What they said was that the development became earlier as expected, but not as much as they had expected. It’s yet another failure of basic reading comprehension on Michael’s part.

    You can’t interpret Michael’s posts as you would a normal text. You have to really really get it into your head that Michael has no clue what he’s talking about. That he is approaching these subjects from the (dis?)vantage point of total sand-pounding head-bashing supernova-force ignorance.

    I would not, however, advise practicing this mindset often; it can lead to irreversible brain rot.

  4. Except for a blipp during post-modernism in the 1990s, ID is roundly rejected under the teachings of everyone from Roger Bacon to Richard Boyd.

    Actually, we can go back before Roger Bacon (13thC). Adelard of Barth, 1080-1152, had earlier laid down criteria for scientific theories that would exclude intelligent design. In particular, he required that natural phenomena be explainable by natural means.

  5. September 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm | #2 . . . . . . . . krissmith777

    Micheal is now bringing a political personality into a creation/evolution debate. Sara Palin isn’t am authority on fruit flies, so it doesn’t matter what her perpective is on the subject whether she is a creationist or a science advocate.

    Yea, Michael. What exactly was the point of the Sarah Palin story? Has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post. And perhaps you thought that not many people knew how wrong she was about fruit-fly research, but everyone knows that her grasp of the facts is tenuous at best.

  6. And Michael, I am still waiting for your answers to my flagellum challenge. And I would like you to answer my question on your post on Stephen Hawking’s new book

  7. For Kris, from the paper here under discussion:

    This soft sweep model predicts partial losses of heterozygosity flanking selected sites, provided that selection begins acting when mutations are at low frequencies 12,17, and this is consistent with our observed data. However, if a large fraction of the total adaptive response is due to loci fixed by means of soft sweeps, there should be insufficient genetic variation to allow reverse evolution in these populations. But forward experimental evolution can often be completely reversed with these populations, which suggests that any soft sweeps in our experiment are incomplete and/or of small effect (Supplemen- tary Fig. 5).

  8. CbD

    I already told you a million times that several science papers use purposeful misleading language for laypeople’s benefit. You know that aleady, so it’s no use to push it. I already told you this months ago.

  9. —And CbD,

    Don’t try to argue that Scientists do not get misleading language in peer-reviewed journals, because even they admit that they do!!

    For example, Chris Colby in his Introduction to Evolutionary Biology says:

    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.

  10. Perhaps Chris Colby is completely mistaken.

    Once again, I have to get my science by consulting you and not the peer-reviewed text.

    If you don’t like what the text says, you claim it’s “a mistake”. So, you — a non-scientist, supposedly correct the mistakes of scientists who are more qualified than you are.

    Now, explain again why I should accept anything about Darwinian theory? Peer-reviewed scientific texts are “permeated” with mistakes. Then I’m supposed to believe a textbook that says they have the “truth” about it? Mr. Colby could very well be the person making the biggest mistake here. How do you prove that’s not the case?

    This clearly falsifies the notion that the opinion of “a majority of scientists” is necessarily correct or can even be trusted at all.

  11. … There are no weaknesses in the theory of evolution …

    This works great as long as you remember that evolutionary textbooks and peer-reviewed papers are “permeated with mistakes”.

    When you discover contradictions in claims about evolutionary theory, that’s not an indication of weakness in the theory at all. It just means you have to find the true, true evolutionary scientists who know the correct answers and avoid the evolutionists who make mistakes in their peer-reviewed academic studies.

    How do I find the true, true evolutionists and avoid the evolutionists who permeate their textbooks and papers with mistakes?

    I guess you find them by coming here and asking Kris and Olorin to tell you the truth about evolution that the scientists couldn’t get right for themselves?

  12. CbD

    Wow, there is no convincing you, is there.

    Perhaps Chris Colby is completely mistaken.

    Once again, I have to get my science by consulting you and not the peer-reviewed text.

    If you don’t like what the text says, you claim it’s “a mistake”. So, you — a non-scientist, supposedly correct the mistakes of scientists who are more qualified than you are.

    I’m not even the one making the judgement. I am simply telling you that it is a misleading term PURPOSLEY USED. I already told you this before several times, but apparetnly you are too dense to get it.

    Now, explain again why I should accept anything about Darwinian theory? Peer-reviewed scientific texts are “permeated” with mistakes.

    What you used here is called a Genetic Fallacy, and therefore is flawed reasoning, and therefore no refutation is needed. ..Besides,the only error here is only semantic and can simply be explained as a sceintist using oversimplified language to make what he said more understandable.

    How do you prove that’s not the case?

    Typical creationist argumentum: “I will not accept what you say unless you prove it beyond a shaddow of a doubt.” You are arguing over a scientist’s persona;l semantics which is not a valid argument, which I am sure you would agree with me since Atheists use similar arguments against God’s existence.

    This clearly falsifies the notion that the opinion of “a majority of scientists” is necessarily correct or can even be trusted at all.

    Even if it does, nobody here has been saying this. Logical Fallacy: Strawman Argument.

    When you discover contradictions in claims about evolutionary theory, that’s not an indication of weakness in the theory at all. It just means you have to find the true, true evolutionary scientists who know the correct answers and avoid the evolutionists who make mistakes in their peer-reviewed academic studies.

    You are delusional. I am tearing down one scientist and building up another. I’m simply saying his symantics are wrong, which even HE likely knows as well. Andagain, this is what makes your insistence so ridiculous, since you are clinging to symantics to base your argument.

  13. I am tearing down one scientist and building up another.</blockquote.

    Right. You're saying one evolutionist cannot be trusted but the other can be.

    So, the only trustworthy scientists are the ones you agree with. :-)

  14. -CbD

    A clear reading of the rest of what I said shows I accidentely left out a word. And you know that.

  15. CbD
    — And no, I do not “agree” with scientists. I trust them. I don’t pick and chose which ones I trust.

    I notice a trend with you since the beginning…You always pick out a phrase I accidentely leave out a word in, or you take a partial phrase, and misapply it.

  16. Cbd,

    I know full well what the Dissent from Darwin list is..

    First of all, the signers were not signing a statement that is necessarily anti-evolution. The statement they signed was this:

    We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

    It’s a statement that encourages skepticism and careful examination of the evidence. Any scientist would sign such a statment. — Hey, I would sign that statement… Who wouldn’t say that skepticism and careful examination of the evidence?

    It is interesting to note that on one of the older versions of this list (which is updated from time to time) Bob Davidson sined his name to it, and he even says the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. Also, he doesn’t have pleasant things to say about the Discovery Institute. (See Daily Kos: Discovery Institute losing scientists?)

    Another relavant detail is that many of the scientists on the list (about 75%) are not even biologists or geneticists… Instead, they are mostly mathemitians, engineers, and many other fields that have nothing to do with Biology.

    In short, most of the people on the list are talking out of their field. Logical fallacy committed: Appeal to irrelevant authority.

    Even CreationWiki is not crazy about this list, since on their comments about the DI list, they say:

    While this is interesting, it is not really relevant. Not only is the number insignificantly small; even compared to the number of open Creation Scientists; but at most they were expressing skepticism of a “purely naturalistic” evolution while still supporting the idea of common ancestry via a “guided intelligence.”

  17. We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.

    Ok, you are skeptical of the claims of evolutionary theory. That’s good.
    This means that you don’t think evolutionary theory has provided convincing evidence and you remain skeptical of those claims.

    That’s quite a major weakness in the theory.

    Are you skeptical of the theory that 2+3=5?

  18. CbD,

    The statement can be easily construed to say “We are skeptical that this is the only way evolution occured.” Well, of course scientists could be skeptical about that, and there is nothing wrong with that since no one claimed natural selection and mutation were the only possible mechanisms for evolutionary change.

    Again, it is not an anti-evlution statement since evolution is not even mentioned. All the statement mentions is natural selection and mutation which ARE a couple of mechanisms for neo-Darwinian evolution…HOWEVER, even if these two mechanisms were wrong, that would have no implication for whether or not evolution and common decent occures.

    Evolution is both theory AND fact. It’s a theory because we do not understand everything about it. It is a fact because we have actually seen it occure. Even if it were a “weakness in the theory” as you say…. the fact of evolution would still be strong, and even Michael Behe wouldn’t say no to this:

    I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. (Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, pg 5)

  19. Kris,
    Yes, that’s true, but if the mechanisms are wrong we would have to consider some other way that common descent could have occurred.
    We could then say “this may be evidence that some Intelligence had to be involved in the process”. Why? Because there would be no known unintelligent-mechanisms that can produce the result, and we know that intelligence can.

  20. CbD

    We could then say “this may be evidence that some Intelligence had to be involved in the process”.

    Negative evidence against Natural Selection and mutation would not constitute as evidence for Intelligent Design.

    Why? Because there would be no known unintelligent-mechanisms that can produce the result, and we know that intelligence can.</

    You have just committed the fallacy of an argument from ignorance, (i.e.,”we don’t know how natural processes could have done it, therefore you have to accept that they couldn’t have done it.) Not knowing how something could have happened is not evidence that the opposite did.

  21. We don’t know any natural processes that can do it, but we know of intelligent process that can.

    That’s not ignorance but an inference on the most reasonable solution from what we do know.

  22. We don’t know any natural processes that can do it, but we know of intelligent process that can.

    Yer on, CbD. Name an intelligent process that can “do it.” (I assume “it” refers to creating life from non-life, and/or designing and implementing the major body plans. If not, please supply your definition of “it.”)

    By the way, you must show evidence that this intelligence was on the scene when the events took place, and its capabilities must be demonstrated. That is: If you believe that the intelligence was corporeal, then we need physical evidence—footprints, so to speak—of it at the time in question. If incorporeal, then please provide evidence of a means whereby a nonphysical entity can be shown to affect physical substances.

  23. CbD,

    We don’t know any natural processes that can do it, but we know of intelligent process that can.

    Actually, we do know that natural processes can cause change….and, YES, even design.

    Mutation is knows to cause variation that is passed down to subsequent generations. A good example is the CCR5-Delta 32, which causes resistence to HIV. It certainly wasn’t designed and placed into all the first humans, or we ALL would have it. Most people don’t have it, and therefore it is a NEW occurance, and it’s carriers are able to transmit it to subsequent generations, and in an enviorment where there is plenty of HIV, they are favored by…..you guessed it, natural selection. –Granted, it is a small change, in and of itself, but it is perfectly valid to showing how mutation can cause new features which Natural Selection can act on… Having more new genetic variations will only add up to speciation of varieties and there is no limit as to why they cannot have macro-change from these two processes. If there were a limit, we would know of a core which would never change which does not exist.

    That’s not ignorance but an inference on the most reasonable solution from what we do know.

    You would have to rule out the possibility that natural processes cannot cause design before you can make such a claim, and the truth is you can’t. Nature can, and does, design. — A good example is the under water “pyramid” that is right off the coast of Japan. It looks as if it were designed by human hands, but most geologists consider it a natural formation (even the one geologist that thinks that the sphinx is older than what historians think). Mostly, the people who think it is not a natural formation are the “Atlantis is the father of civilization” crowd.

  24. You would have to rule out the possibility that natural processes cannot cause design before you can make such a claim …

    I’m taking as my starting point that you are skeptical about the claims that mutations and natural selection can cause the design that we see.

    There is skepticism from scientists because the claims are not convincing. Darwinian processes have not shown that they could produce various things that are observed in nature.

    To date, there is no known source for specified functional information, of the kind that is found abundantly in the cell, other than intelligence.

    Thus, the most reasonable inference is that intelligence was involved in the development of the digital code in the cell.

  25. CbD

    To date, there is no known source for specified functional information, of the kind that is found abundantly in the cell, other than intelligence.

    This is absolutely not true. I already mentioned the CCR5-Delta 32….WHICH IS new information, and it functions.

    There is the Eosinophil Cationic Protein (or the ECP) which is toxic to bacteria by making their cell mambranes porus. Also, it is useful in the management of Asthma, despite it’s limitations. — Then there is the Eosinophil-Derived Neurotoxin (the EDN) which helps to prevent viral infections.

    All these are mutations. They weren’t there before, so they by definition NEW information… I just told you how they function, so it cannot be claimed there is no example of functioning information.

    All three of these positively functioning mutations occured naturally.

  26. creationbydesign October 8, 2010 at 8:33 am | #25

    I’m taking as my starting point that you are skeptical about the claims that mutations and natural selection can cause the design that we see.

    No. What Kris said seems simple enough—why can CbD not understand it?

    Kris is skeptical that mutation plus natural selection are the total cause of evolution. Almost all the evolutionary biologists in the world would agree with that view. Everyone (except creationists) agree that random drift powers evolution, that genome duplication powers evolution, that epigenetic methylation powers evolution. Arguments abound as to whether group selection powers evolution. Research is underway to find yet other mechanisms that power evolution. The claimed relative efficacy of natural selection in this mix varies from year to year and paper to paper. So, yes, we are skeptical that only mutation and natural selection contribute to evolution.

    Again, the illustration in astronomy. We still call heliocentrism “Keplerian astronomy.” Even though Copernicus found that the planets did not travel in the circular orbits of Kepler’s theory. Even though Newton replaced the crystal spheres of the earlier theories with an impalpable force.. Ans Einstein deep-sixed Newton’s force in favor of space-time curvature. We still credit Kepler, even though most of what he hypothesized was not true. The theory changed.

    Yet, through all this tumult and upheaval, the fact remains that the planets still orbit the sun. And evolution still occurred, even though our understanding of its mechanism may undergo repeatedly revision. Religious revelation may bide fixed forever, but scientific theories change. Thus we must always remain skeptical of the current theory.

  27. Now CbD thinks i do not accept natural selection and mutation as viable mechanisms form evolutionary change and natural design. The fact is I do. I’ve said before he seems to have bad reading comprehension, and this seems to confirm it. I’d rather believe that than think that he is just dishonest since dishonesty in the name of God benefits neither man nor God. Or maybe is is just skimming what I am saying and not reading the entire context.

    Despite his believe that if it looks designed by a man, it must be intelligently designed, I have given a good example of nature giving design. I already mentioned a geological formation of the coast of Japan which looks like a man-made pyramid…though most geologists think it is a natural formation. For the most part, the only ones who cry foul on that are the “Atlantis” crowd, but then even most Creationists don’t even take them seriously. — So I am waiting for him to give me a response to this, since I have proven that nature can design and make design that “looks designed by a man.”

    He claimed earlier “To date, there is no known source for specified functional information, of the kind that is found abundantly in the cell, other than intelligence.” — Not only did I give a good example of functioning information in the very comment he was responding to, I gave two more right after that as well to MY responce. I am currently waiting for a response to that as well.

  28. So I am waiting for him to give me a response to this, since I have proven that nature can design and make design that “looks designed by a man.”

    You’ve provided no measure of design in this claim that it “looks designed by man”. The amount and kind of information found in a geological formation is not even close to the specified complexity found in cellular code anyway.

    To falsify the claims of ID, you have to show that natural causes created the results under observation. Not that they created other results.

    As for your examples of specified, functional information — again, what measures did you use to determine the kind and quantity of functional information is found in those organisms? What is the metric that you used?

  29. The fact is I do.

    I’d prefer to think of you as a person who feels he has to make up stories in order to win an argument than to consider you to be a dishonest liar. Dishonesty in the name of God is a grave evil and I won’t like to think you’d do that.

    You claimed that you’d sign the Discovery Institute statement affirming skepticism about natural selection and mutations.

    You then “construed” this to mean that you don’t have any skepticism about the claims at all.

    You’ve also stated that “there are no weaknesses in evolutionary theory”, all while willing to sign a statement affirming skepticism about evolutionary claims.

    I can understand your need to disguise these facts.

    So again, please provide me the scientific measures of specified, functional information you used to determine that a rock formation “looks designed” and to measure the kind and quantity of functional information found in the bacterial examples you provided.

  30. So, yes, we are skeptical that only mutation and natural selection contribute to evolution.

    I notice that Olorin needs to rewrite the statement by adding the word “only”.

    Perhaps you ought to read some of your own moralistic rants about intellectual honesty and sleazy creationists.

    You both might want to consult your Bibles to read about the Pharisees also.

    Feel free to continue this discussion with yourselves.

    I’ve had enough of these Darwinian deceptions and con games.

  31. CbD

    You’ve provided no measure of design in this claim that it “looks designed by man”. The amount and kind of information found in a geological formation is not even close to the specified complexity found in cellular code anyway.

    It was simply to show natural processes CAN create design… And actually, it is a VERY complex design, by the way. If nature can create complexity naturally in one place, then there is no reason why it cannot create in another place. — If in physics and geology complexity can come about naturally, then why would it be any different in biology?

    To falsify the claims of ID, you have to show that natural causes created the results under observation.

    This is a double edge sword since I can actually say that you would have to show the opposite in order to falsify evolution.

    Not that they created other results.

    Actually, if natural processes can create complexity in one place, then they can create it in another. It is known to happen in physics, geology, and many other scientific fields. There is no reason why Biology should be exempted… And unless you give a good reason why it should be, then you are simply begging an acception.

    As for your examples of specified, functional information — again, what measures did you use to determine the kind and quantity of functional information is found in those organisms? What is the metric that you used?

    First of all, the “organisms,” my examples are found in, are us: homo sapiens. They are human mutations.

    Secondly, the question of what “metric” I used . . . I mentioned the CCR5-Delta 32 which slows down and has even been known to cause immunity to HIV. — Gee, how would you rate that one, I wonder? — The other two I gave function for detecting and controling Athsma. How is this not worth anything?

    You asked for “functional information,” so I gave it. And that is really all that matters. Even if a mutation were to only be partially functional, it would still count. The question of a “meter stick” is really irrelevant.

  32. You asked for “functional information,” so I gave it.

    I asked you for the scientific measures of kind and quantity of functional information and you haven’t provided any at all.

    You would benefit from reading some of the recent peer-reviewed ID research (see Durston and Abel) which would provide you the tools you’d need to answer that question.

    As it stands, you’re offering empty claims and speculation about information and function.

    But I will look for whatever you can provide in the future.

  33. CbD

    I’d prefer to think of you as a person who feels he has to make up stories in order to win an argument than to consider you to be a dishonest liar. Dishonesty in the name of God is a grave evil and I won’t like to think you’d do that.

    Yet Creationists do this all the time. Makes me wonder hos close some of those at the DI and AiG are to smelling the smoke down there.

    You claimed that you’d sign the Discovery Institute statement affirming skepticism about natural selection and mutations.

    I would, as did one scientist I mentioned who also says the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.– Singing the statement is not the same as saying “natural selection and mutation is wrong.” It is simply saying is accounts for all complexity in life. And that I agree with.

    You then “construed” this to mean that you don’t have any skepticism about the claims at all.

    Your reading skills really suck. I never said that I was skeptical that natural selection and mutation worked. What I said was that they do work, but that I am skeptical they are all that is needed for evolution to work.

    You’ve also stated that “there are no weaknesses in evolutionary theory”, all while willing to sign a statement affirming skepticism about evolutionary claims.

    I just looked over my comments here on this post, and I fail to find anyone in which i say that there is no weakness in evolutionary theory. As far as I can tell, you made that quote up.

  34. I don’t even know what you mean by “scientific measures.” Sounds like you are talking about a metric stick.

  35. CbD-

    I asked you for the scientific measures of kind and quantity of functional information and you haven’t provided any at all.

    I don’t know what you mean by this. If you mean “How functional is the new information?” then that really is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the new gene as a result of mutation is fully or partially functional, as long as 1) it is new information, and 2) it is functional AT ALL.

    You would benefit from reading some of the recent peer-reviewed ID research (see Durston and Abel) which would provide you the tools you’d need to answer that question.

    I would wonder: Have you even read the paper you are citing here? Because I have the paper right here with me printed out, and it is NOT an Intelligent Design paper, and there is nothing in here that is even supportive of what you are saying.

    In fact, the paper even implies support for evolution, and yes….novel function. For example, when it says this:

    he mutating component is the portion of Xfa that must change to achieve either the new function fb, where the new function is to be understood as either a new level of efficiency for the existing function, or a novel function different from fa. (Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins)

    You called it a peer reviewed Intelligent Design paper, which it is not.

  36. — Or if you are citing the 2005 paper from Abel and Trevors, then I would only refer yet againt to the one I text linked in my last comment since THAT ONE I linked is setting out to answer questions that the 2005 one starts out asking.

  37. CbD inquires of Kris—

    creationbydesign . . . . . . October 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm | #29

    As for your examples of specified, functional information — again, what measures did you use to determine the kind and quantity of functional information is found in those organisms? What is the metric that you used?

    This is ridiculous on its face. It is as though an exorcist demanded that an MD specify how many demons there are in a diabetic.

    Let’s say I am Newton, and I claim that some kind of unseen “force” causes objects to fall. 17thC skeptics, who see all interactions as requiring physical contact between two bodies, challenge me to define this impalpable woo. OK, sez I. A force exists whenever a body accelerates. The magnitude of the force is the mass of the body times its acceleration. And, BTW, here’s how you can measure the mass, and the acceleration.

    William (The Dover Disappearing Witness) Dembski put forth complex specified information as the fundamental concept that differentiates between undirected processes and those that require intelligence. Therefore, it behooves the ID acolytes to define this attribute. Scientists understand Shannon information, and Kolmogorov information, and half a dozen different definitions of complexity. Dembski asserts that complex specified information is none of these, but has to do with “function” in some manner.

    Neither Dembski nor anyone else has ever defined a metric for CSI. By what stretch of chutzpah does CbD demand a definition of CSI from those who do ot believe there is such a thing?

    So what is your metric for complex specified information. CbD? How much CSI is there in a citric-acid cycle, or in a nematode? Or in a creationist?

  38. Olorin,

    This is ridiculous on its face. It is as though an exorcist demanded that an MD specify how many demons there are in a diabetic.

    CbD’s question looks more like a case of him moving the goal postes than anything else. He asked for examples of functioning inform. After I gave him three examples, it it just was not good enough. Now he wants it measured on a scale. Wow! I didn’t even know there was a scale to measure it on. But you and I know what could convince a creationist: Nothing.

    He then tried to cite a paper he claimed was a peer reviewed paper written by Intelligent Design proponents. He didn’t give the title of the paper, but only the last names of the authors. So I cannot actually say which one it is, though I have two candidates for the paper. He said that the authors were Able and Trevors, and I know of two papers that were written by them (both are from Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling.

    The fist one is called “Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information,” (published August 11, 2005). This paper concludes that there is no emperical evidence of Random and Ordered Sequence Complexities (abbriviated as “RCS” and “OCS”) producing a single “sophisticated biological organization.”

    The second paper is entitled Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins (published December 6, 2007).Interestingly enough, this second paper seems to be an update of the last one, even though I could understand why creationists would enjoy the first paper I mentioned, THIS SECOND ONE seems to take a stance that Creationists would despise. It looks to me that the first one is simply raising questions, and that the second one is an attempt to answer them, though I would recommend you to take a look at them to get a better idea of them whish is why I am linking them.

    Whatever the case, even if Trevors and Abel were Intelligent Design proponents publishing in a peer reviewed journal, the topic that they published on in these papers is irrelevant to what we have been talking about here, at best. And at worst, the second one goes against CbD since it actually (between the lines) talks about novel function as if it actually happened.

    Oh well, I let his distract me. Mea culpa.

  39. You made claims about functional information which are simply more Darwinian fairytales.

    Give me the measurements of specified functional information that you used or else keep working on it. You might try reading more about the topic.

  40. CdB likes to place demands upon orthers. Burt he simply ignores challenges to his own positions. As does Michael. As do they all, all the creationists.

    We don’t know any natural processes that can do it, but we know of intelligent process that can.

    Yer on, CbD. Name an intelligent process that can “do it.”

    How about it, CbD?

    Chirp . . . chirp . . . chirp.

  41. CbD

    You made claims about functional information which are simply more Darwinian fairytales.

    Darwinian fairy tail, huh? The CCR-5 Delta 32 (a mutation in some populations) is a fairy tail? The ECP and the EDN duplicate genes which function for controling asthma are fairy tails? — I have actually given examples, and since you are simply reduced to calling them fairy tails without giving any refutation or evidence to the contrary shows you have lost this point and just do not want to admit it.

    Give me the measurements of specified functional information that you used or else keep working on it. You might try reading more about the topic.

    You have already moved the goal posts by asking this of me. If I go with this, I will only give you an excuse to move them even further. Besides, a scientific mesurement on how much new information works is not even necessary. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT IT DOES FUNCTION, AND THAT IT IS NEW INFORMATION!

  42. Olorin,

    There’s our answer, Kris. Four days, and not a peep from CbD.

    Yeah, well, Creationists hold science advicates at a much higher level than they hold themselves. CbD didn’t even answer you, and yet he expects us to indulge him… Double standard.

    I’m fine if he is ctitical of evolution. He has a right to be, but if he is going to argue against it, he should give better reasons, and most of his reasoning (as I hav pointed out) is mostly comprised of various logical fallacies.. (Thank God I am taking that critical thinking class. It sure helps me pick out when someone makes such blunders).

    I would like to pose this question to him: That is, how would his view be affected if evolution and Darwin were to be proven before his eyes? — I want that answer…. I can tell you.. I would be fine if either creation or evolution turned out to be true, since my view would not be affected.

  43. Eelco :Michael: “Why are the planets moving backwards?”
    Do they move backwards ??? Eh ?

    If they do, we have to ask ourselves this question: Backwards by whoes standards?

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