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evolution

Macro-Evolution in Action

It’s a shame the author of this picture didn’t check his grammar. I’m always annoyed by the misuse of “its” and “it’s.” Nevertheless, this is a great illustration of the principles of micro- and macro-evolution.  As you can see, there is no clear dividing line between any of the colors.  So it is with life.  There was no “first human” in the Biblical sense.  Our ape-like ancestors simply became more and more human-like.  Today, we can look at ourselves and say, “Yep.  Definitely human.”  And we can look at the bones of our ancestors and say, “Nope.  Definitely not human.”  There have been many thousands of intermediate steps, each becoming slightly more human.

It’s nonsensical to ask about the first human, as much as it’s nonsensical to ask where the text becomes red.

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Discussion

67 thoughts on “Macro-Evolution in Action

  1. We all know how the Darwinian model is supposed to work, but the problem is lack of evidence. The fossil record stubbornly refuses to yield the gradualism required by the model. Sure, we have phenotypes X and Y and their common ancestor W, but we simply do not have the ten thousand phenotypes between W and X, nor the ten thousand between W and Y. There is a copious amount of stasis in the fossil record. Phenotypes all-too-often appear suddenly, fully formed with no apparent predecessors, exist for a million years, then go extinct.

    The gradual color change is a misleading and inappropriate analogy. Life is information-based, which is something completely unknown at the time of Darwin. By information-based, I mean to say that the genome contains information used to construct a given phenotype, via embryonic development. If we want a more appropriate analogy, consider converting “Row Row Row Your Boat” into a large novel like “Atlas Shrugged” by randomly converting and adding characters to the text, by introducing copying errors into the text. Bear in mind that the text has to still make sense every step of the way. Sure, we can tolerate an odd typo every once in a while, but these cannot simply add up to something meaningless and then eventually become meaningful again at a later date. Meaningless text translates into a dead, extinct organism.

    This is what the neo-Darwinian synthesis expects us to believe, that a one-celled organism (“Row Row Row Your Boat”) can evolve into “Atlas Shrugged” by random variation (character changes and additions, analogous to copying errors) filtered by natural selection (the resulting text has an increased survival likelihood over its unchanged rivals). This exercise can no doubt be done at a trivial level, one word or even a short sentence, but a genome is definitely not trivial.

    No analogy is perfect, of course, but the point to be addressed is how these analogies compare, and how comparatively misleading they therefore are or are not.

    Posted by CB | May 6, 2011, 10:22 pm
  2. the problem is lack of evidence. The fossil record stubbornly refuses to yield the gradualism required by the model

    If your point were to criticize the explanatory power of phyletic gradualism compared to punctuated equilibrium, then I would agree with you. If your point were to note that we still have a lot to learn about genetics, then I would agree with that too. But to deny that science can answer this question, when we have a good theory and all the evidence we would expect to find if it were true, that’s…well, that’s science denialism.

    If you want to say that it’s possible that there was supernatural intervention in evolution, okay (I would guess that the evolution of human intelligence is practically inevitable, as it functions very much like a sense organ, and natural selection does favor such things, but that’s just my guess). If you want to say that evolution is the answer to “how” and not “why,” okay.

    But when you say macro-evolution can’t work, that’s when the denying of the science starts, and I’m terribly sorry, but that lands you square in the middle of Wackaloonville.

    P.S. If you did manage to derive “Atlas Shrugged” from “Row Row Row Your Boat,” by randomly converting and adding characters to the song, that would not represent the evolution of something that makes sense, so I don’t think your analogy is very appropriate.

    Posted by Ian | May 7, 2011, 6:17 am
  3. If you did manage to derive “Atlas Shrugged” from “Row Row Row Your Boat,” by randomly converting and adding characters to the song, that would not represent the evolution of something that makes sense, so I don’t think your analogy is very appropriate.

    It’s a terrible analogy. But let’s take something shorter as an example. Just one word. Let’s suppose we want to “reverse engineer” the evolution of “Pernicious.” We can start with this:

    kaanbtYqrw

    Ok… for simplicity, we’re starting with ten letters, and we’ll keep that. There’s one letter that’s already in place. So we keep it. And we roll the random letter dice again, leaving the one letter that “works.”

    bPrnoJevkt

    Now we’ve got two letters: rn in position 3 and 4. So we keep those. We repeat this process over and over, and eventually we get the word. That’s how evolution works, except without the prior intent. That is, it’s not shooting for any particular word. Just a word that works. Any word at all.

    The point being: It’s not a random roll of the dice every time. And it’s not Row Row Row trying to become Atlas Shrugged. It’s just trying to become ANYTHING that works. And there are billions, maybe trillions of ways you can put letters together to make something that makes sense. So we’d be shocked if we DIDN’T come up with something interesting to read.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 7, 2011, 1:22 pm
  4. To say that you guys have a remarkable talent for utterly missing and/or evading a point would be a legendary understatement, considering that I explicitly stated that point in the final senetence of my post. While you stumble all over each other in your mindless stampede to denounce my analogy, I observe that no one raises even a whisper of a protest against the original analogy, which is utterly superficial in its scope and far more misleading than the one I presented.

    But to deny that science can answer this question…

    Kindly point out this alleged “denial” on my part. What I have denied is that we have actual evidence to support the color-change analogy, and that is a fair statement to make. While Alex may claim we have “plenty of gradual change in the fossil record”, he needs to understand that the presence of apparent transitionals (such as tiktaalik) is not the same as the presence of gradualism, and he also needs to understand that the lack of gradualism, the highly prevalent presence of stasis, is a real problem for the Darwinian theory:

    Paleontologists just were not seeing the expected changes in their fossils as they pursued them up through the rock record. … That individual kinds of fossils remain recognizably the same throughout the length of their occurrence in the fossil record had been known to paleontologists long before Darwin published his Origin. Darwin himself, … prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search … One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin’s predictions. Nor is the problem a miserly fossil record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction is wrong.

    The observation that species are amazingly conservative and static entities throughout long periods of time has all the qualities of the emperor’s new clothes: everyone knew it but preferred to ignore it. Paleontologists, faced with a recalcitrant record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin’s predicted pattern, simply looked the other way.

    Eldredge, N. and Tattersall, I. (1982)
    The Myths of Human Evolution
    Columbia University Press, p. 45-46

    —–

    No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history.

    Eldredge, Niles (1995)
    Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate
    phoenix: London, 1996, p. 95

    —–

    [S]tasis, or nonchange, of most fossil species during their lengthy geological lifespans was tacitly acknowledged by all paleontologists, but almost never studied explicitly because prevailing theory treated stasis as uninteresting nonevidence for nonevolution. [T]he overwhelming prevalence of stasis became an embarrassing feature of the fossil record, best left ignored as a manifestation of nothing (that is, nonevolution).

    Gould, S.J. (1993)
    “Cordelia’s Dilemma”
    Natural History, February, p. 15

    The evidence (or lack thereof) is what it is. Stating that is not “science denial”. On the contrary, by insisting on the accuracy of the color-change analogy in spite of the lack of evidence to support it, you are the one(s) engaged in science-denial. If the evidence fails to support a hypothesis, the scientific thing to do is revisit the hypothesis, or keep seeking evidence. But claiming that the evidence supports a hypothesis when it clearly does not, isn’t “science”.

    You can claim that my analogy isn’t perfect (you can even call it “terrible” if it gives you catharsis), but I beat you guys to the punch by stating that no analogy is perfect. And while Alex may have a legitimate argument against my analogy, it still misses the point, which is that my analogy is still better than the color-change analogy, in spite of the flaws in my analogy.

    I could take the time to explain my analogy, but I suspect that you do get it, your obtuse claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Alex’s response shows that he does get it. For the record, I am fully aware of gene duplication, and I am fully aware of tiktaalik and other such apparent transitionals. The point you guys seem hell-bent on avoiding is that the genome of every creature between single-celled organism and man must make sense — it cannot just be a random sequence of nucleotides (or characters, correspondingly). That was the intent of my analogy, which again, is a valid one, your protestations notwithstanding.

    Posted by CB | May 9, 2011, 2:30 pm
  5. Oh, one more thing, before you guys rush in to call me a “science denier” again (as opposed to providing a reasonable, rational argument against my position) — I do not deny that macro-evolution happened. Obviously, it did. All I am doing is pointing out the fact that, according to the scientists I quoted (I know you guys utterly hate it when I do that) the fossil record does not have evidence of the gradualism indicated by the color change analogy, and am therefore questioning whether the Darwnian model is sufficient to account for those macro-evolutionary events.

    Posted by CB | May 9, 2011, 2:49 pm
  6. as opposed to providing a reasonable, rational argument against my position

    We can’t do that until you have an actual position. All you’ve done so far is question the accepted position (which is fine to do, but admit that’s all you’re doing).

    Of course, we’ve been through all this with you before, and eventually you’ll get to your position, which is some form of ID, and then we’ll be right back here. Save some time, and skip straight there now, that’s all we’re doing.

    To further clarify this analogy, imagine millions of years from now all we have left of this paragraph is a few scattered letters, maybe a word or two here and there, but little else. That’s the fossil record (at least until such time as there is an alternate explanation that fits as much of the evidence as evolution does now).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 9, 2011, 6:11 pm
  7. Hey CB–as I said, if you don’t like phyletic gradualism, that’s great (Gould, whom you quoted, was also, obviously, in the same quote).

    But I don’t think you understand punctuated evolution. By that model, you get long periods of near-stasis in which the species wobbles around a phenotype. This is punctuated by shorter periods of change.

    Gradual change.

    Posted by Ian | May 9, 2011, 8:36 pm
  8. But I don’t think you understand punctuated evolution. By that model, you get long periods of near-stasis in which the species wobbles around a phenotype. This is punctuated by shorter periods of change.

    Gradual change.

    For all the press it got, the debate between punctuated equilibrium and gradualism was really a bit of a non-event, scientifically. In the end, it boils down to scale. Nothing more.

    From a distance, stairs look like a smooth line. So too with P.E. If you move in close enough, any gradual change is going to look like periods of stability punctuated by periods of change.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 10, 2011, 3:38 pm
  9. One reason I take a long time to respond is that I honestly have a tough time deciding where to begin. I suppose we can simply be chronological…

    We can’t do that until you have an actual position.

    My position is that there is simply no evidence in the fossil record to support the gradualism suggested by the color-change analogy, and hence, if you believe in gradualism, you believe in something without evidence, you take something on faith.

    …eventually you’ll get to your position, which is some form of ID…

    I keep saying over and over, it’s you guys who keep bringing it up, not me.

    To further clarify this analogy, imagine millions of years from now all we have left of this paragraph is a few scattered letters, maybe a word or two here and there, but little else. That’s the fossil record (at least until such time as there is an alternate explanation that fits as much of the evidence as evolution does now).

    There are two responses that come immediately to mind…

    #1. You appear to be admitting that natural forces, over time, tend to destroy information, or raw data, in this case the fossil record. Yet you apparently expect me to believe that natural forces are capable of building information content, namely, the information content of the genome. That was what my analogy was meant to illustrate, that random natural forces are believed to be able to increase information content, when the observable reality is the opposite.

    #2. What you are doing is assuming the truth of the Darwinian model up front and using that assumed truth to explain away evidence that doesn’t exist. That is not how science is supposed to work. Science is suppose to explain the evidence we have, not fabricate reasons to explain away the lack of evidence. Like I said before, if you don’t have evidence to support a hypothesis, the scientific thing to do is revisit the hypothesis, or keep seeking evidence. Fabricating reasons why the evidence fails to support a hypothesis is anti-science, unless those reasons then become another testable, falsifiable hypothesis. But if those reasons are merely debate points, you have left the realm of science.

    But I don’t think you understand punctuated evolution.

    I am curious as to why you jump to this erroneous conclusion, given that I never even mentioned PE in this thread (the “E” stands for “Equilibrium” by the way, not “Evolution”).. I am fully aware that the evolution which takes place during the periods of “punctuation” is assumed to be gradual, but the simple fact is that we still don’t have evidence to support that assumption. It’s actually kind of funny — what we do have copious evidence for are those long periods of stasis (“Equilibrium”), but not so much for those comparatively brief periods of time when evolution actually takes place, and this poses another problem: If you need a certain number of mutations to take place, but you have a limited span of time for them to occur, again the model starts to break down, especially when you consider that the majority of mutations are neutral (providing little or no change to the phenotype, and providing no selective advantage whatsoever), and the next largest group are detrimental to the phenotype, and are decidedly a selective disadvantage and are therefore selected against. That means, of all the mutations that do occur, a definite minority of them provide the selective advantage for evolution to build on.

    When you start doing that math, the model looks rather shakey…

    From a distance, stairs look like a smooth line.

    Maybe so, but this explanation fails to mitigate the unassailable fact that a staircase remains a staircase, even if we stand further back or otherwise distort our vision to make it look like a smooth ramp, and it’s a smooth ramp that’s being suggested by the color-change analogy, not a staircase. So it appears that you are admitting the color-change analogy to be misleading.

    So too with P.E. If you move in close enough, any gradual change is going to look like periods of stability punctuated by periods of change.

    Again, maybe so, but we don’t have much evidence of what allegedly takes place during those periods of “punctuation”, so this is pure speculation. Again, what we have lots of evidence for are those periods of “equilibrium”, which is to say “stasis”, which is to say “non-evolution”.

    Posted by CB | May 12, 2011, 1:02 pm
  10. My position is that there is simply no evidence in the fossil record to support the gradualism suggested by the color-change analogy, and hence, if you believe in gradualism, you believe in something without evidence, you take something on faith.

    That’s a retarded position. I don’t mean that as an insult. It’s a descriptor. If you had said the same thing 75 years ago, it might have been feasible. (Maybe.) But today, it’s an anachronism at best and willful ignorance at most.

    However… let’s talk briefly (HA!) about what you still haven’t grasped. Gradualism and Punctuated Equilibrium are THE SAME THING. They’re two different scales for looking at the same process.

    Let’s go over this again. Take a look at this photograph:

    See all the jagged edges? The stair-steps going up diagonally? That’s punctuated equilibrium.

    Now, look at this one:

    It’s like magic!! A straight line where stair steps used to be!!!!

    This is the same pyramid viewed from a close perspective and a distant perspective. THAT’s the difference between PE and gradualism, and why your objection is stupid.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 12, 2011, 1:09 pm
  11. That’s a retarded position.

    Oh, of course it is…

    I don’t mean that as an insult.

    Oh, of course you don’t…

    Let’s go over this again.

    Yes, let’s, not that it’ll do you any good…

    Take a look at this photograph:…Now, look at this one:…It’s like magic!!

    Yes it is. That’s the most honest description of the Darwinian model you have given us, Hamby.

    Apparently you merely equivocate on “scale”, regardless of what the scientists I quoted actually said (emphasis added):

    ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS OF PALEONTOLOGICAL RESEARCH LATER, IT HAS BECOME ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT THE FOSSIL RECORD WILL NOT CONFIRM THIS PART OF DARWIN’S PREDICTIONS. NOR IS THE PROBLEM A MISERLY FOSSIL RECORD. THE FOSSIL RECORD SIMPLY SHOWS THAT THIS PREDICTION IS WRONG.

    —–

    PALEONTOLOGISTS, FACED WITH A RECALCITRANT RECORD OBSTINATELY REFUSING TO YIELD DARWIN’S PREDICTED PATTERN, SIMPLY LOOKED THE OTHER WAY.

    —–

    NO WONDER PALEONTOLOGISTS SHIED AWAY FROM EVOLUTION FOR SO LONG. IT SEEMS NEVER TO HAPPEN.

    —–

    …VERY OCCASIONAL SLIGHT ACCUMULATION OF CHANGE OVER MILLIONS OF YEARS, AT A RATE TOO SLOW TO REALLY ACCOUNT FOR ALL THE PRODIGIOUS CHANGE THAT HAS OCCURRED IN EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY.

    Showing me pics of pyramids doesn’t mitigate the fact that the evidence simply ain’t there, unless you’re talking about an absurdly large “scale”.

    Out of one side of your mouth, you pretend that there is fine gradualism in evolution, as suggested by the imperceptible color-changes shown in your original analogy (emphasis added):

    As you can see, there is no clear dividing line between any of the colors. So it is with life.

    When called onto the carpet, you respond, “but but but STAIRCASES! PYRAMIDS! STOOPID! RETARDED!”

    The simple fact is that there IS a clear dividing line between steps, or pyramid blocks. Making the image fuzzy doesn’t change that. And there ARE clear dividing lines between the phenotypes in the fossil record, and calling my position “retarded” doesn’t change that.

    You’re simply equivocating, which comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever.

    Posted by CB | May 12, 2011, 2:15 pm
  12. What you’re missing is that each step is a generation. We only have fossils for some of them. So, when you can give us a detailed photo of every generation, feel free to deny what the evidence points to. Until then, you don’t actually have a position, only a dispute with this one. And your dispute is wrong.

    Alternative explanation for the evidence we have (that we are related to every other species on the planet, changes occur over time, the fossils we do have, everything you accept as fact)?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 12, 2011, 3:08 pm
  13. What you’re missing is that each step is a generation. We only have fossils for some of them.

    CB is illustrating the absurdity of the demands placed on evolutionary theory by Christians. If we extracted every bit of scientific knowledge we have that was based at some level on inference, we’d still be wandering around picking berries and stabbing at animals with sharp sticks.

    You also make a very, very good point: There is no viable alternative hypothesis suggested by gaps in the fossil record. In fact, if there WERE NOT gaps in the fossil record, we would be absolutely shocked, and it would necessitate a complete rethink of plate tectonics.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 12, 2011, 3:27 pm
  14. CB wrote:

    what we do have copious evidence for are those long periods of stasis (“Equilibrium”), but not so much for those comparatively brief periods of time when evolution actually takes place

    Which is what you would expect, based on the rate at which fossils form.

    of all the mutations that do occur, a definite minority of them provide the selective advantage for evolution to build on.

    And that’s all you need for the model to work.

    I think you’re assuming that all the advantageous mutations have to occur during the “punctuation” periods–this is not so. The periods of punctuation would represent periods in which something exerts selection pressure on the species (due to climactic change, the introduction of competition from another species, etc.), which causes mutations which were present in the population during periods of equilibrium (thank you) but not widespread (due to the fact that they were neutral during the period of equilibrium) to suddenly be disproportionately selected for. It’s the change in the environment that changes the mutations from neutral to advantageous.

    Once change begins, the species will continue to undergo relatively rapid change (which involves evolutionary arms races, tradeoffs, etc.) until it reaches another state of equilibrium.

    When you start doing that math, the model looks rather shakey…

    It would be quite an embarrassment for evolution if life had made a beeline straight to present day species, with relatively few extinctions. Considering the relative rarity of advantageous mutations, that would be pretty hard to explain.

    But when you consider that 99.9% of all species which have ever lived have gone extinct, I think the math supports macroevolution by gradual change just fine, thank you.

    Posted by Ian | May 12, 2011, 3:50 pm
  15. If we extracted every bit of scientific knowledge we have that was based at some level on inference, we’d still be wandering around picking berries and stabbing at animals with sharp sticks.

    At what point do inferences become accepted facts? Therein lies the only weak link in science. The armour we plate it with is that to scientists, the answer is never. Most will never say there is no way to prove X wrong, whatever X is, as to do so would be to put it into the “faith” category instead of “science”.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 12, 2011, 3:50 pm
  16. Bill wrote:

    CB is illustrating the absurdity of the demands placed on evolutionary theory by Christians.

    I’d like to see them apply that degree of skepticism to historical Jesus studies. The mere suggestion that he might have been a historical person would get you laughed out of every church and seminary in the land, if they were to require that the New Testament meet the same burden of proof they place on evolution.

    Posted by Ian | May 12, 2011, 4:06 pm
  17. At what point do inferences become accepted facts? Therein lies the only weak link in science.

    It’s not really a “weak link,” as this implies that it should not be this way. But in fact, that is precisely what science is designed to do — give us reliable knowledge of that which we must infer!

    Think about it this way: When something is self-evident, we don’t need science. We can just see that it is what it is. Science is a way of determining that which we cannot know at face value.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 12, 2011, 4:36 pm
  18. I’d like to see them apply that degree of skepticism to historical Jesus studies.

    Hehe… Good luck with that…

    The mere suggestion that he might have been a historical person would get you laughed out of every church and seminary in the land, if they were to require that the New Testament meet the same burden of proof they place on evolution.

    LOL!

    No, really… I had to stop typing for a minute to belly laugh. I’m totally stealing this.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 12, 2011, 4:37 pm
  19. Wow…

    You guys really have a hard time admitting to faith, yes? I make the statement that we don’t have evidence for something, which happens to be a true statement, and I get an avalanche of faith-based assertions, straw man arguments, and so forth from you guys, as you fall all over each other in your collective effort to shout me down. Being accused of faith really sends the lot of you into a tailspin, apparently.

    Posted by CB | May 12, 2011, 6:24 pm
  20. And you’re still equivocating.

    Posted by CB | May 12, 2011, 6:35 pm
  21. Being accused of faith really sends the lot of you into a tailspin, apparently.

    Being lied about tends to do that to rational people.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 12, 2011, 6:39 pm
  22. It’s not really a “weak link,” as this implies that it should not be this way. But in fact, that is precisely what science is designed to do — give us reliable knowledge of that which we must infer!

    That was the point of the second half of that statement. The first was from the theist perspective, which is wrong, obviously.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 12, 2011, 6:40 pm
  23. CB wrote:

    I make the statement that we don’t have evidence for something, which happens to be a true statement

    What definition of “evidence” are you using? All of the following are evidence for macroevolution:

    -observed mechanisms: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, gene flow
    -fossil evidence: billions of fossils confirming the predictions of evolution by natural selection
    -genetic evidence: transposons, endogenous retroviruses, etc.
    -observation of microevolution in action

    The following all increase the likelihood of macroevolution, compared to what the likelihood would be if these facts didn’t exist, don’t they?

    What you tried to argue was that the non-conformity of the fossil record to gradualism disconfirmed macroevolution. You never made a case that there is no evidence for macroevolution, you just tried to throw that out as evidence against it–an observation in conflict with what the theory predicts.

    I argued, however, that if your argument is correct, it only disconfirms phyletic gradualism. And I defended punctuated evolution against your attacks against it.

    So it would seem that there is plenty of evidence for macroevolution, and your assertion that we accept it due to “faith” is simply absurd.

    Posted by Ian | May 12, 2011, 9:30 pm
  24. What you tried to argue was that the non-conformity of the fossil record to gradualism disconfirmed macroevolution.

    All I can say is wow…again.

    You are so unbelievably wrong that mere words fail to express the depth. Apparently, you either failed to read or failed to comprehend my statements from just three days ago:

    Oh, one more thing, before you guys rush in to call me a “science denier” again (as opposed to providing a reasonable, rational argument against my position) — I do not deny that macro-evolution happened. Obviously, it did.

    Posted by CB | May 9, 2011, 2:49 pm

    So what part of that are you having trouble comprehending, chief?

    Be that as it may, we still don’t have evidence of gradualism — the actual scientists I quoted (as opposed to the highly-opinionated bloggers I encounter here) flat-out stated that the gradualism Darwin predicted simply isn’t in the fossil record, and Darwin himself admitted that this was one major objection to his proposed theory. That doesn’t “disconfirm” anything beyond that one prediction of gradualism, but it was that gradualism that launched this entire thread, and it’s only the gradualism I am challenging, based on the actual evidence.

    But it is rather amusing to watch you guys stumble around with your non-sequiturs, straw men and goal-post moving antics.

    So it would seem that there is plenty of evidence for macroevolution, and your assertion that we accept it due to “faith” is simply absurd.

    No, what’s absurd is your apparent inability or unwillingness to argue against what I actually assert, and insist on arguing against straw men instead. What I said was that you take gradualism on faith, nothing more. But even that won’t sit well with you, as you have an apparent phobia toward that word.

    Posted by CB | May 12, 2011, 11:33 pm
  25. CB is illustrating the absurdity of the demands placed on evolutionary theory by Christians.

    What “demands”? As I told your buddy Ian, I am on record as having stated that macro-evolution has happened. Do neither one of you comprehend written English?

    Posted by CB | May 12, 2011, 11:55 pm
  26. Being lied about tends to do that to rational people.

    Then show me the evidence of that gradualism the the scientists I quoted failed to find. Provide some evidence that I lied. Otherwise, you demonstrate the polar opposite of rational behavior.

    Posted by CB | May 13, 2011, 12:07 am
  27. Gradualism is an inference. Since nothing else explains the evidence we have for evolution (which you accepted as fact) we accept it provisionally until it is disproven or a better theory is offered. If that meets your definition of faith, you’re an idiot.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 13, 2011, 7:19 am
  28. P.s. it is asinine that we have to explain that to you. That is how science works. Only the religious hold to beliefs in opposition to evidence. Scientists might disagree but ultimately the correct answer comes to be accepted. Evolution, gravity, relativity, all the best theories because scientists disagreed until there was no room to disagree. The difference here is that you no longer disagree, you just want us to be as irrational as you are. We aren’t and never will be. Show us a better alternative with equal explanatory power and we will accept that (in place of gradualism). Until then, the science says shut up and get back in the lab/field/research library.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 13, 2011, 7:32 am
  29. If that meets your definition of faith, you’re an idiot.

    The reason I’m an “idiot” is that I’m not one of you guys, plain and simple. That I infer something different from the evidence than you do is what makes me an “idiot”. That I don’t buy your spin is what makes me an “idiot”. Given that one definition of faith is “belief that is not based on proof”, and since there is no evidence of gradualism according to those scientists I quoted, it stands to reason that your belief in gradualism is, in fact, not based on proof, but on “inference”, which is not proof. Which means you have faith.

    If I’m an “idiot” for realizing this, well, so be it.

    P.s. it is asinine that we have to explain that to you.

    You aren’t “explaining” so much as you are “spinning”.

    Only the religious hold to beliefs in opposition to evidence.

    See what I mean? You hold to a belief in gradualism in opposition to the actual fossil evidence, which shows a lack thereof. I guess that makes you religious, according to your own words.

    Posted by CB | May 13, 2011, 9:38 am
  30. CB wrote:

    You are so unbelievably wrong that mere words fail to express the depth.

    CB, your objection is completely incoherent. You say you’re objecting to gradual change but not macroevolution? Macroevolution is gradual change. As Bill tried to explain to you, things look different from different scales. In macroevolution, we’re justing zooming out and looking at the same thing that goes on in microevolution–intra species change–at or above the level of species.

    I think the idea you’re trying to express is that you accept common descent. If you accept macroevolution, then you accept evolution by natural selection as predicted by Darwin, which is to accept gradualism.

    If you don’t like my definition, take a look at the ID movement, and their literature on the subject. They have the same objections that you do, only they formulate them (more) coherently, hence their objections to macroevolution.

    Most intelligent design proponents accept microevolution but question if macroevolutionary changes are possible…intelligent design holds that evolution is not capable of producing all aspects of life.

    -Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center (http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1153)

    Now, I’ve explained that punctuated equilibrium answers all of your objections to gradualism, and you have yet to reply. But while you’re collecting your thoughts, here are some additional challenges for you to grapple with:

    1. Rice, W.R.; Hostert (1993). “Laboratory experiments on speciation: what have we learned in 40 years”. Evolution

    2. Jiggins CD, Bridle JR (2004). “Speciation in the apple maggot fly: a blend of vintages?”. Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)

    3. Weinberg JR, Starczak VR, Jorg, D (1992). “Evidence for Rapid Speciation Following a Founder Event in the Laboratory” Evolution.

    4. Kirkpatrick, Mark; Virginie Ravigné (2002-03). “Speciation by Natural and Sexual Selection: Models and Experiments” The American Naturalist.

    All of these peer-reviewed studies document macroevolution occurring under laboratory conditions.

    Posted by Ian | May 13, 2011, 9:47 am
  31. You hold to a belief in gradualism in opposition to the actual fossil evidence, which shows a lack thereof. I guess that makes you religious, according to your own words.

    To continue to insist that we believe in gradualism in opposition to fossil evidence, after I explained that the fossil evidence is consistent with gradualism, is just inane. You can blurt out all the baseless assertions you want, but if you want to make an actual argument, you need to answer my defense of punctuated equilibrium. I’ll repost it for your convenience:

    CB wrote:

    what we do have copious evidence for are those long periods of stasis (“Equilibrium”), but not so much for those comparatively brief periods of time when evolution actually takes place

    Which is what you would expect, based on the rate at which fossils form.

    of all the mutations that do occur, a definite minority of them provide the selective advantage for evolution to build on.

    And that’s all you need for the model to work.

    I think you’re assuming that all the advantageous mutations have to occur during the “punctuation” periods–this is not so. The periods of punctuation would represent periods in which something exerts selection pressure on the species (due to climactic change, the introduction of competition from another species, etc.), which causes mutations which were present in the population during periods of equilibrium (thank you) but not widespread (due to the fact that they were neutral during the period of equilibrium) to suddenly be disproportionately selected for. It’s the change in the environment that changes the mutations from neutral to advantageous.

    Once change begins, the species will continue to undergo relatively rapid change (which involves evolutionary arms races, tradeoffs, etc.) until it reaches another state of equilibrium.

    Posted by Ian | May 13, 2011, 10:01 am
  32. See what I mean? You hold to a belief in gradualism in opposition to the actual fossil evidence, which shows a lack thereof. I guess that makes you religious, according to your own words.

    No, I don’t hold a belief in gradualism. I accept it provisionally based on the evidence for it (of which inference is an accepted type). How many times does this have to be explained to you before you get it?

    That I infer something different from the evidence than you do is what makes me an “idiot”.

    Exactly what would it be that you infer instead of gradualism that explains everything else equally (or preferably better)? Don’t worry, we’ll wait while you submit the studies you’ve done for peer review…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 13, 2011, 11:05 am
  33. All of these peer-reviewed studies document macroevolution occurring under laboratory conditions.

    How inconvenient! Now creationists are going to have to come up with a new objection besides “There’s no evidence for macro-evolution.”

    Actually, Ian, it’s been amusing to me to watch supposedly well-informed IDers stammer and stumble when they’re told that we’ve had direct laboratory evidence of macro-evolution for 20 years.

    On the other hand… CB has been told this repeatedly. It’s not likely this information will have any effect this time, either.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 13, 2011, 11:59 am
  34. Now creationists are going to have to come up with a new objection besides “There’s no evidence for macro-evolution.”

    I think the only fallback position they have now is to just make stuff up, like Dembski and Behe do. I feel so sorry for kids educated in Christian schools, having to learn about things like “irreducible complexity” and “laws of conservation of information.” Stuff like that always reminds me of the passage from Prince Caspian, where C. S. Lewis describes what the Telmarines teach as “duller than the truest history you ever read and less true than the most exciting adventure story.”

    Posted by Ian | May 13, 2011, 2:34 pm
  35. I don’t recall which article it was in, but I recently said that I believe Christians are going to have to accept evolution very soon — like they eventually did for heliocentricity and so forth.

    I’m confident that Christian theology can survive evolution, but it will — ironically — have to adapt.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 13, 2011, 2:43 pm
  36. There is a saying that Darwinists are like drunks looking for their keys under a lampost! Will they ever dare to investigate evolution as it relates to “life is information based” as stated by CB? Naaaaaaa!

    Ian wrote
    “Now, I’ve explained that punctuated equilibrium answers all of your objections to gradualism, and you have yet to reply. But while you’re collecting your thoughts, here are some additional challenges for you to grapple with:

    1. Rice, W.R.; Hostert (1993). “Laboratory experiments on speciation: what have we learned in 40 years”. Evolution

    2. Jiggins CD, Bridle JR (2004). “Speciation in the apple maggot fly: a blend of vintages?”. Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)

    3. Weinberg JR, Starczak VR, Jorg, D (1992). “Evidence for Rapid Speciation Following a Founder Event in the Laboratory” Evolution.

    4. Kirkpatrick, Mark; Virginie Ravigné (2002-03). “Speciation by Natural and Sexual Selection: Models and Experiments” The American Naturalist.

    All of these peer-reviewed studies document macroevolution occurring under laboratory conditions.

    PG says:
    Let me get this straight, there has been an alleged billions of years of macroevolution and the only specific reference that is offered for review here on this blog is …wait for it…… Intelligently Designed evolution in a lab.

    Sweet!

    The question is… Did any of these new species create new taxonomic groups? Nope.

    Now before you radical Jihadist Darwinists get your “I Hate God” panties in a twist just know that I believe in “rapid” evolution and it seems that Im in good company. Your High priest Jerry Coyne wrote a book “What Darwin got Wrong” questioning the validity of natural selection and mutations and stating that there are other evolutionary mechanisms that can better explain the extreme complexity of lifeforms we see today.

    After all, according to Darwinian evolution, it is quite possible that Humans can mutate throgh natural selection down to 5 inches tall and grow pretty wings and learn to live under mushrooms…

    Now Ian listed a couple of these observed complex evolutionary mechanisms. however, these mechanisms such as transposition, and Horozontal gene transfer, are not random…

    Once the discussion is focused on “Life is information based” as stated by CB, the game is over.

    Ill leave you with these famous scienists and their positions…

    “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.

    In a generous admission Francisco Ayala, a major figure in propounding the Modern Synthesis in the United States, said “We would not have predicted stasis from population genetics, but I am now convinced from what the paleontologists say that small changes do not accumulate.”

    Lewin, R. (1980)
    “Evolutionary Theory Under Fire”
    Science, vol. 210, 21 November, p. 883

    lets talk information!!!!

    Posted by PG | May 13, 2011, 8:28 pm
  37. Well hey PG, haven’t seen you in a while.

    I realize that these matters appear confusing when you read the propaganda issued by the intelligent design movement, but that’s because they take a deliberately obscurantist approach to science. As an example, here’s a letter from Dr. Ayala, regarding the statement Lewin attributed to him, which you quoted:

    Dear Dr. Arrowsmith:

    I don’t know how Roger Lewin could have gotten in his notes the quotation he attributes to me. I presented a paper/lecture and spoke at various times from the floor, but I could not possibly have said (at least as a complete sentence) what Lewin attributes to me. In fact, I don’t know what it means. How could small changes NOT accumulate! In any case, virtually all my evolutionary research papers evidence that small (genetic) changes do accumulate.

    The paper that I presented at the conference reported by Lewin is virtually the same that I presented in 1982 in Cambridge, at a conference commemorating the 200 [sic] anniversary of Darwin’s death. It deals with the claims of “punctuated equilibrium” and how microevolutionary change relates to macroevolution. (I provide experimental results showing how one can obtain in the laboratory, as a result of the accumulation of small genetic changes, morphological changes of the magnitude observed by paleontologists and presented as evidence of punctuated equilibrium.) The paper was published as part of the conference proceedings:

    Ayala, F.J. 1983. Microevolution and macroevolution. In: D.S. Bendall, ed., Evolution from Molecules to Men (Cambridge University Press), pp. 387-402.

    More accessible are two papers dealing with the same topic, written with my colleague G.L. Stebbins: Stebbins, G.L. and F.J. Ayala. 1981. Is a new evolutionary synthesis necessary? Science 213:967-971. (I quote from the abstract of the paper:

    “Macroevolutionary processes are underlain by microevolutionary phenomena and are compatible with the synthetic theory of evolution.” But, please, read the whole paper to get the wealth of results and ideas that we are discussing; and read also the following paper:

    “Stebbins, G.L. and F.J. Ayala. 1985. The Evolution of Darwinism. Sci. American 253:72-82.”

    You may quote from this letter so long as you don’t quote out of context or incomplete sentences.

    Sincerely yours,
    Francisco J. Ayala

    Posted by Ian | May 14, 2011, 5:45 am
  38. Psssst IAN,
    That letter from Ayala is directed to Rojer Lewis a renouned evolutionist, and is not addressed to any Intelligent Designer proponent. This “propoganda” came directly from within the ranks of the evolutionists camps.
    Now that you stand corrected will you be professional and now retract your statement about IDers and now accuse these evolutionists of “take a deliberately obscurantist approach to science?” as you stated?

    and

    Will you even dare acknowledge the findings of that science conference:
    “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.”

    Porbably not, because in both cases, it does risk doing violence to your position…

    Peace

    Posted by PG | May 14, 2011, 11:07 am
  39. Hey IAN,

    Lets move on, Thats the past. As you stated, science in the 21st century have observed speciation macroevolution in the Evolutionists lab. These observed events confirms the findings of that Chicago conference. However, these observations create a major problem for any evolutionists with an atheists agenda because these macroevolution events are not driven by gradual random undirected mechanics, but from rapid highly complex decision making communicative information processes.

    Let me state this again, the empirical evidence from evolutionists concludes that macroevolution events are not driven by random undirected mechanics, but from rapid highly complex decision making communicative information processes.

    These evolutionsts are still attempting to find natural evolutionary processes that could account for a cell with highly complex decision making communicative information processes.

    Im fine with that, however, these evolutionists will never acknowledge that a cell with highly complex decision making communicative information processes is a prediction squarely centered within the Intelligent Design paradigm.

    Ill present the findings after the other bloggers finish climbing all over themselves to attempt to deflect away from this very discussion.

    Peace

    Posted by PG | May 14, 2011, 11:40 am
  40. PG wrote:

    This “propoganda” came directly from within the ranks of the evolutionists camps.

    Not it didn’t–it’s beyond tendentious to interpret Lewin’s article as a criticism of macroevolution. I believe the following quotes from Lewin’s article, “Evolutionary Theory Under Fire,” more accurately represent his position:

    So how can paleontologists suggest that species remain the same through most of their existence? And who in their right mind would contemplate speciation occurring in an instant? The resolution of this apparent conflict is this. Species do indeed have a capacity to undergo minor modifications in their physical and other characteristics, but this is limited and with a longer perspective it is reflected in an oscillation about a mean: to a paleontologist looking at the fossil record, this shows up as stasis.

    The troubling specter of “instant” speciation is again a product of misunderstandings over scale. What is an instant to a paleontologist is an unimaginable tract of time to either an ecologist or a population geneticist. “I’d be happy to see speciation taking place over, say, 50,000 years,” said Gould, “but that is an instant compared with the 5 or 10 million years that most species exist.”

    However, even the most ardent punctuationists do not dismiss gradual change as a force in evolution.

    PG wrote:

    Now that you stand corrected will you be professional and now retract your statement about IDers

    Fuck those obscurantist IDers.

    Lets move on

    Please, let’s do!

    the empirical evidence from evolutionists concludes that macroevolution events are not driven by random undirected mechanics, but from rapid highly complex decision making communicative information processes.

    Oh bloody hell, not this again.

    You mean a code, right? Go read https://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/dna-is-not-a-code/. And then read it again. And again. Until you get it, or finally decide to move on with your life.

    Posted by Ian | May 14, 2011, 5:59 pm
  41. You mean a code, right? Go read https://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/dna-is-not-a-code/. And then read it again. And again. Until you get it, or finally decide to move on with your life.

    It never ceases to amaze me what lengths you guys go to in order to avoid admitting the obvious…

    Posted by CB | May 14, 2011, 6:26 pm
  42. Just because Hamby asserts that DNA ain’t a code, it doesn’t men it ain’t a code. It just means atheists don’t want to call it a code, most likely due to the obvious theistic implications of doing so. Comparing DNA to an exposion is absurd, but it’s the kind of absurdity I’ve come to expect from you guys.

    Same with gradualism. Hamby started the thread off by claiming that evolution went from single-celled organism to man via imperceptibly gradual changes, but the simple fact is that the fossil record utterly fails to support such an assertion. When that fact is brought to your attention, you guys convulse and foam at the mouth with your straw men, non sequiturs, goal-post moving, name-calling and so on, but none of that mitigates the fact that the fossil record shows lots and lots of stasis, and very little by way of gradualism.

    On the one hand, Hamby admits that the path is more like a large staircase with definite abrupt changes from one level to the next, while Ian insist that there is simply high-speed gradialism between the steps. So one tries to hide behind “scale” (“step far enough away and the jagged pyramid looks like a smooth line”) while the other insists on gradualism in spite of the lack of evidence.

    You guys can impugn my character and intelligence until the universe burns out, but none of that changes the facts.

    Posted by CB | May 14, 2011, 6:39 pm
  43. Oh, its pretty gullible here to back up crazy bastard. Yes this was pointless. Still fun though.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 14, 2011, 11:26 pm
  44. IAN wrote:

    “Not it didn’t–it’s beyond tendentious to interpret Lewin’s article as a criticism of macroevolution. I believe the following quotes from Lewin’s article, “Evolutionary Theory Under Fire,” more accurately represent his position:…”

    PG responds:

    Typical ignorant response. You didnt even read my post to see that I endorse macroevolution. Lewin didnt believe that microevolution could account for macroevolution. I dont know if Your sloppy accusation is intillectual dishonesty or ignorance.

    IAN wrote:
    Fuck those obscurantist IDers.

    PG responds.
    This answers my above question, its both!

    IAN wrote:

    Oh bloody hell, not this again.

    You mean a code, right? Go read https://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/dna-is-not-a-code/. And then read it again. And again. Until you get it, or finally decide to move on with your life.

    PG says:
    This doesent suprise me anymore about Atheists who state that their beliefs are grounded in science. For the last year I have provided peer reviewed papers, University websites, and even a highly debated federal court ruling confirming that DNA is a code and not simply chemical reactions, and the only reference the Atheist can muster up from an obscure bloggerwith absolutely no scientific credentials.

    Regardless,
    Read carefully:
    I stated very clearly that it is evolutionary scientists, and not IDers, who are now providing empirical evidence from evolutionists concludes and Ill re-post:

    “That macroevolution events are not driven by random undirected mechanics, but from rapid highly complex decision making communicative information processes.

    These evolutionsts are still attempting to find natural evolutionary processes that could account for the empirical evidence of cells with highly complex decision making communicative information processes”

    They admit now that their jobs just got infinately more difficult. However, The recent confirmations by eminent scientists of these peer reviewed papers is not good news for Darwinists with Atheist agendas who view the universe as simply ramdom accidents.

    So Science is basically saying “Fuck those obscurantist Darwinists!”

    Im fine with that. AS I stated before, Ill present the publications after all the typical BS posts like yours are exhausted.

    Peace

    Posted by PG | May 15, 2011, 9:26 pm
  45. Lewin didnt believe that microevolution could account for macroevolution.

    That’s an obvious, blatant misrepresentation of Lewin’s article. The controversy was over whether Modern Synthesis could account for what paleontologists observed in the fossil record. That was the point of the passages I quoted–you were supposed to read them and try to comprehend their contents.

    Read the whole article if you want: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/1749917/8-25-science-evolutionary-theory-under-fire-pdf?dn=y

    For the last year I have provided peer reviewed papers, University websites, and even a highly debated federal court ruling confirming that DNA is a code and not simply chemical reactions

    The reason those papers aren’t the least bit persuasive is that they don’t contradict Bill’s article. A scientist’s use of the word “code” in reference to DNA doesn’t mean it was intelligently designed.

    What you need for your position to rise above the level of crank is for notable evolutionary biologists to endorse the claim that DNA is intelligently designed. Show me those papers, and I’ll consider your argument. Until then, your argument is pure crank.

    Posted by Ian | May 16, 2011, 6:13 am
  46. The reason those papers aren’t the least bit persuasive is that they don’t contradict Bill’s article. A scientist’s use of the word “code” in reference to DNA doesn’t mean it was intelligently designed.

    I would prefer to say that those papers are perfectly persuasive as to their conclusions and implications. CB’s reference of these papers as evidence of his crank theory is a rather persuasive demonstration that CB is incapable of comprehending college level science papers.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | May 16, 2011, 1:46 pm
  47. CB’s reference of these papers as evidence of his crank theory is a rather persuasive demonstration that CB is incapable of comprehending college level science papers.

    On the contrary, given that I didn’t reference any “papers” regarding “Bill’s article [on DNA’s being a code]” or the use of the word “code”, it’s blatantly obvious that it’s Hamby who doesn’t comprehend written English…

    Posted by CB | May 16, 2011, 2:27 pm
  48. Ian wrote;
    “The reason those papers aren’t the least bit persuasive is that they don’t contradict Bill’s article. A scientist’s use of the word “code” in reference to DNA doesn’t mean it was intelligently designed”.

    PG:
    Its quite evident that you dont ever read any posts but simply respond with atheist rhetoric, so let me correct you…..again.

    Hamby’s unsubstantiated “opinion” is that DNA is a “code” in only a metaphorical description.

    However,

    The current scientific convention rebukes Hamby’s opinions.

    Hubert Yockey, perhaps the worlds formost scientist in Bioinformatics:
    “Information, transcription, translation, code, redundancy, synonymous, messenger, editing, and proofreading are all appropriate terms in biology. They take their meaning from information theory (Shannon, 1948) and are not synonyms, metaphors, or analogies.” (Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory, Evolution, and the Origin of Life, Cambridge University Press, 2005)

    Yockeys statement is a complete contradiction of Hamby’s position.Your reluctance to accept Yockeys postion over a social internet blogger’s opinion is breathtaking and begs the question:

    Q:Why dont Atheists simply accept Yockeys and the othwer numerous scientific citations that “DNA is a literal code”?
    A: Because ultimately when critically thought out to its logical conclusions, it completely undermines those with deeply held belief systems of an Atheist purposeless paradign.

    Think about it!

    .

    Posted by PG | May 16, 2011, 2:57 pm
  49. Regardless,

    The “DNA is a code” is an older debate has been going on for several decades. The problem for Atheists now is that the new discoveries over that same time period have provided the empirical evidence that validates Yockeys position and now evidences evolution as an information based decision making process and definately not a random mechanical process.
    These evolutionists then state that the empirical evidence dismisses Darwinian and the modern synthesis as outdated theories.

    These evolutionists also then state that the reality of evolution as an information based process make discovering materialistic mechanisms for the origin of life much more difficult. However, they stand committed to find materialistic explanations.

    Sweet! These scientists can knock themselves out trying to find out how random purpossless material entities can evolve a non-material entity of complex information.

    I think we are due for science to find a yet undiscovered physical law… HEHEHE

    In the mean time, once these new facts become more published, the rest of the world will no longer have to endure uninformed atheists blogging about microevolution extrapolating to macroevolution, or random mutations and other 19th century musings.

    Welcome to the 21st century of information Atheists!

    Posted by PG | May 16, 2011, 3:00 pm
  50. Go read https://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/2009/07/05/dna-is-not-a-code/. And then read it again. And again.

    Reading that stupid post “again and again” only reveals with blinding clarity just how utterly stupid it is.

    Neither DNA nor RNA is sentient. They are both just doing what chemicals do.

    Neither a Windows PC nor a Mac are sentient. They are both just doing what computers do.

    Or, perhaps a more accurate analogy…

    Neither Microsoft Excel nor Microsoft Word are sentient. They are both just doing what computers programs do.

    Seriously, it’s hard to convey with mere words just how colossally stupid this “argument” is, and I am being f*cking generous even calling it an argument, even with the scare quotes..

    DNA is not an arbitrary set of symbols that “stand for” something else that will be interpreted through some kind of a legend.

    Another colossally stupid statement, for that is precisely what DNA is, at least for those sections which actually do code for proteins and enzymes:

    Genetic Code Chart (PDF)
    The Genetic Code
    Codon Table

    And so on. Seriously, denying that DNA is truly a code is taking being utterly disingenuous to a whole new level…

    Posted by CB | May 17, 2011, 9:14 am
  51. The point of that post is that DNA is not a code in the sense of a designed code. If your definition of “code” includes DNA, it must include things like rock wear patterns in streams, erosion patterns in deserts, tree rings, bee dances, and most animal pheromone systems. All of these things convey information about something, none of them have been designed.

    Unless you’re arguing for ID. If you accept macro evolution, you must accept that all of these mechanisms for conveying information evolved for that purpose… The appropriate inference is that DNA did the same.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 17, 2011, 5:35 pm
  52. If your definition of “code” includes DNA, it must include things like rock wear patterns in streams, erosion patterns in deserts, tree rings, bee dances, and most animal pheromone systems.

    It’s downright comical how you guys hurl invecrtive in my direction, and then turn around and present something like that absurdity as an argument for your position. None of your examples qualify as codes, as there is no translation mechanism involved as there is in DNA. The example charts I provided in my last post clearly show a 3:1 mapping scheme from nucleotides to amino acid molecules — there is nothing analogous whatsoever in your examples.

    It’s pretty evident that militant atheists who pretend to base their various biases on “science” see only what they want to see, and cling to some rather absurd false dichotomies in the process, like forcing such nonsense items as “erosion” into the realm of “codes” in an utterly lame attempt to show how DNA doesn’t qualify as a code, unless “erosion” also qualifies. Either virtually everything in nature is a “code” or virtually nothing is.

    I think I may start losing IQ points just from reading this piffle. (I’m confident that the angry atheists in this venue would retort that I have few to spare…)

    If you accept macro evolution, you must accept that all of these mechanisms for conveying information evolved for that purpose…

    Not unless one is a materialist up front — that macro-evolution happened does not preclude the possibility that it was a telic process, but the Darwinian explanation precludes that possibility. I accept macro-evolution, but I don’t accept the Darwinian explanation, and the information content of DNA is one reason why I don’t.

    Ironically, your own choice of rhetoric implies a telic mechanism, but I suspect that such is not what you meant to convey.

    Posted by CB | May 17, 2011, 9:01 pm
  53. Alex stated:
    The point of that post is that DNA is not a code in the sense of a designed code. If your definition of “code” includes DNA, it must include things like rock wear patterns in streams, erosion patterns in deserts, tree rings, bee dances, and most animal pheromone systems. All of these things convey information about something, none of them have been designed.

    PG says:
    Alex,
    You need to re-read the cited papers on that post. Their conclusions are that DNA language is isomorphic with languages designed by man….Just far more sophisticated!

    Lets review:
    The most simple definition of a code is:
    “A Code is defined as communication between an encoder (a “writer” or “speaker”) and a decoder (a “reader” or “listener”) using agreed upon symbols which are independant from the medium used to transmit the symbols message (an idea, plan, or instructions)”

    By that simple definition, all of your examples of a naturally occurring code are eliminated except bee Waggles, and most animal pheromone systems.

    Observe that in both your correct examples, their is a intentional conveyance of information.

    Evolutionary science is now finally providing empirical evidence that macroevolution events are not driven by random undirected mechanics, but from rapid highly complex decision making communicative information processes, which is further evidence consistant with DNA being an actual code.

    BTW, do you have any scientific evidence that “None of them are designed” or is it just your opinion.

    Posted by PG | May 17, 2011, 10:13 pm
  54. One of the idiots said:

    BTW, do you have any scientific evidence that “None of them are designed” or is it just your opinion.

    Just my opinion, but until you can prove otherwise, what other position should there be? We should believe “something” designed them, based on your opinion that all codes are designed (despite evidence to the contrary)?

    They also said:

    Not unless one is a materialist up front — that macro-evolution happened does not preclude the possibility that it was a telic process, but the Darwinian explanation precludes that possibility.

    By telic process, you mean what? I thought you weren’t arguing for ID?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 18, 2011, 12:39 am
  55. I thought you weren’t arguing for ID?

    I’m not — I am merely clarifying why your assertion isn’t correct.

    Posted by CB | May 18, 2011, 9:01 am
  56. Captain Blockhead said:

    I’m not

    Then we can safely leave out any discussion of telic processes. Why bring up something that you are not arguing in favor of?

    Pissy Grandpa said:

    By that simple definition, all of your examples of a naturally occurring code are eliminated except bee Waggles, and most animal pheromone systems.

    Actually, if the “writer” is the tree, and the “reader” is whoever wants to look at the tree rings, they qualify. They convey specific information about past growing seasons.

    If the “writer” is the river and the “reader” is whoever looks at the rocks, rock wear patterns qualifies. They convey specific information at past flow parameters.

    Let’s throw in glacial erosion as well. The glacier “writes” the history of its passage into the landscape (see stonehenge for example) and we “read” these details.

    Again, by your own definition of a code, all these things fit. Unless it has the additional property of some sort of intelligence involved, which arbitrarily limits the field in no functional way. The burden of proof lies on you to show that all of these were “designed” by “someone”, which is difficult if not impossible without proving that said “someone” exists in the first place. Good luck with that…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 18, 2011, 10:45 am
  57. p.s. Just because I’m being an ass:
    Their != they’re != there. Really can’t get this correct?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 18, 2011, 10:46 am
  58. Alex,

    You seem to have absolutely no comprehension of the difference between a literal code and a pattern, so let me dumb it down to your new lower level.

    By definition:

    Did the reader and the tree BOTH AGREE that the tree rings would be the symbols used to convey the information?

    Did the reader and the river BOTH AGREE to use rocks as symbols to convey information?

    Did the reader and the glacier BOTH AGREE that erosion patterns would be used to convey information?

    No! You are simply citing examples of the the reader’s observations of patterns in trees, rocks, and erosion.
    The trees, rocks, and glaciers are not trying to communicate any information whatsoever to any reader.

    Brainwashed Billy said:
    “But, but, but, if scientists have discovered that DNA not just a molecule with a pattern but is a highly innovative communication code with a Sender and Reader, that would mean that macroevolution is not random, error prone, and purposeless, but intentional, highly technical, and purposeful. And that would mean much of what I learned about Darwinian and the modern synthesis theory of evolution in school is bullshit!
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

    Brainwashed Billy’s Atheist friends chime in:
    “Dont worry Brainwashed Billy,
    Its wonderful to know that science can Discover and learn from its mistakes and eliminate the major components of Darwinian and modern synthesis from evolutionary theory and move forward.
    Even though these new discoveries will require science to work even harder to discover new mechanisms to explain how simple chemicals can randomly and RAPIDLY innovate and produce information that is isomorphic and far more sophisticated than any software program or computer ever designed by microsoft or HP, to entertain the possibility of a designer of these sophisticated information programs and their accompanying machinery is simply absurd! Your stratagy of focusing less on the IDers message and more on correcting their grammer will help you greatly in the learning process.”

    Posted by PG | May 18, 2011, 1:05 pm
  59. (Continued)

    Brainwashed Billy responds:
    But, But, But, I currently believe that chemicals can only create chemical reactions, not information where the sender and reciever “agree” upon the use of the symbols and the communication medium! Agreement implies inte…….. Nooooooooooooooooo!

    Atheist Friends respond:
    Look, those IDers may have correctly predicted that the major mechanisms of Darwinian and modern synthesis evolution is incorrect but pay them no attention. One day science will prove that rocks, rivers, glaciers, chemicals, whatever, are capable of producing information far superior than anything human intelligence can produce.
    You just need to have fai…,opps, We mean persistance!

    Brainwashed Billy responds:
    But, But, But, Christians will learn to embrace evolution if it involves intentional information, while Atheists will have to continue to chant that information can evolve from random unintelligent processes! Noooooooooooooooooooo!

    PG says:
    Before ther was Dawkins, there was Anthony Flew! Read Anthony Flew’s book,
    “There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind”

    This can be best summed up by the following:
    “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism that fails to take account of this will not survive one day.” -Norbert Weiner, The father of cybernetics,

    Atheists:
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    .

    Posted by PG | May 18, 2011, 3:50 pm
  60. You seem to have absolutely no comprehension of the difference between a literal code and a pattern, so let me dumb it down to your new lower level.

    That’s because functionally there is no difference.

    Did the reader and the tree BOTH AGREE that the tree rings would be the symbols used to convey the information?

    Did the reader and the river BOTH AGREE to use rocks as symbols to convey information?

    Did the reader and the glacier BOTH AGREE that erosion patterns would be used to convey information?

    No! You are simply citing examples of the the reader’s observations of patterns in trees, rocks, and erosion.
    The trees, rocks, and glaciers are not trying to communicate any information whatsoever to any reader.

    I must have missed the convention where DNA and scientists agreed on anything? Can I attend the next one?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | May 18, 2011, 3:52 pm
  61. Alex says:
    “That’s because functionally there is no difference.”

    PG says:
    Alex,
    Before we continue, I need to make sure that Im not communicating with a fucking idiot who thinks he is talking to trees. I need to make sure. My questions:

    In order to satisfy Yockeys requirements to be defined as a literal code:
    When did tree’s communicate to you or any other recievers that tree rings will represent the age of the tree?

    Yockey and all Scientists know that trees never communicate any intentional meaning into tree rings and that observers are simply gleeming information from tree patterns. Thats a true statement!

    Science also recognizes that within DNA, there is an observed communictaion between “Sender” and “reciever” and the symbols used to transmit the information. The fact that you cant distinguish between simple tree ring patterns and a highly complex coded information with the instructions and machinery to build your entire Body plan is quite disturbing but predictable. You are commited to a purposeless Agnostic/Atheists paradign.

    Will you follow the truth wherevever it leads?

    So far, nope!

    Posted by PG | May 18, 2011, 5:46 pm
  62. Repost ( The new peer reviewed papers have finally been published.)

    The “DNA is a code” is an older debate has been going on for several decades. The problem for Atheists now is that the new discoveries over that same time period have provided the empirical evidence that validates Yockeys position and now evidences evolution as an information based decision making process and definitely not a random mechanical process.
    These evolutionists then state that the empirical evidence dismisses Darwinian and the modern synthesis as outdated theories.

    These evolutionists also then state that the reality of evolution as an information based process make discovering materialistic mechanisms for the origin of life much more difficult. However, they stand committed to find materialistic explanations.

    Sweet! These scientists can knock themselves out trying to find out how random purpossless material entities can evolve a non-material entity of complex information.

    I think we are due for science to find a yet undiscovered physical law… HEHEHE

    In the mean time, once these new facts become more published, the rest of the world will no longer have to endure uninformed atheists blogging about microevolution extrapolating to macroevolution, or random mutations and other 19th century musings.

    Welcome to the 21st century of information Atheists!

    Watch the video here:

    His long anticipated book is out!

    Here’s a quote:

    As many professional and popular press articles attest, the accidental, stochastic nature of mutations is still the prevailing and widely accepted wisdom on the subject.

    In the context of earlier ideological debates about evolution, this insistence on randomness and accident is not surprising. It springs from a determination in the 19th and 20th Centuries by biologists to reject the role of a supernatural agent in religious accounts of how diverse living organisms originated. While that determination fits with the naturalistic boundaries of science, the contined insistence on the random nature of genetic change by evolutionists should be surprising for one simple reason: empirical studies of the mutational process have inevitably discovered patterns, environmental influences, and specific biological activities at the roots of novel genetic structure and altered DNA sequences. The perceived need to reject supernatural intervention unfortunately led the pioneers of evolutionary theory to erect an a priori philosophical distinction between the “blind” processes of hereditary variation and all other adaptive functions. But the capacity to change is itself adaptive. Over time, conditions inevitably change, and the organisms that can best acquire novel inherited functions have the greatest potential to survive.

    The capacity of living organisms to alter their own heredity is undeniable. Our current ideas about evolution have to incorporate this basic fact of life. . . . .

    (My REPEAT) The capacity of living organisms to alter their own heredity is undeniable. Our current ideas about evolution have to incorporate this basic fact of life. . . . .

    Today, instead, we endeavor to understand how complex vital capacities arose in the course of evoluton and contributed to the ability of myriad orgaims to survive, proliferate, diversify, and reorganize their environment in the course of at least 3.5 billion tumultous years of Earth history. How did evolutionary inventions help shape the biosphere and influence the nature of the organisms that inhabit it today?

    Atheists will soon be hearing a great deal more about Dr Shapiro

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 1:43 am
  63. Then we can safely leave out any discussion of telic processes. Why bring up something that you are not arguing in favor of?

    To counter your assumption, to point out the fact that you were making an assumption, and making the assumption without evidence to back it up. As long as you keep assuming that a given code is not designed, I am well within my rights to remind you that it could be designed, and that your assumption that it isn’t designed is not an evidence-driven assumption.

    Posted by CB | January 20, 2014, 10:06 am
  64. Then we can safely leave out any discussion of telic processes. Why bring up something that you are not arguing in favor of?

    You really are a blunt instrument, aren’t you? You were assuming, without evidence that a process was not telic, and trying to tell me what I must therefore “accept” based on that assumption. I was just pointing out that the assumption could very well be invalid. That is why I brought it up.

    Posted by CB | January 21, 2014, 2:51 pm
  65. Macroevolution is gradual change.

    Nope. We have evidence of the one, but not of the other. Equating them is just wishful thinking.

    Posted by CB | April 7, 2014, 11:22 am
  66. Now, I’ve explained that punctuated equilibrium answers all of your objections to gradualism, and you have yet to reply.

    Okay, here’s my reply: You have provided a “just so” story, a belief in how it works.

    BUT. THERE. IS. STILL. NO. EVIDENCE.

    All of these peer-reviewed studies document macroevolution occurring under laboratory conditions.

    Yes. Under laboratory conditions.

    Just how do we objectively “know” that the universe isn’t God’s laboratory?

    Posted by CB | April 9, 2014, 2:14 pm

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