Ooo, pretty pictures!

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polychaete cartilage

Hmmm, it's awfully quiet around the Panda's Thumb today—everyone must be busy preparing thunderbolts of enlightenment to hurl at benighted creationists. While you're waiting for the fun to begin, I'll mention that I've just posted some information about comparative histology and invertebrate cartilage over at Pharyngula…come on over and look at the pretty pictures.

21 Comments

Another worthy anti-evolution site is found at:

Perhaps you have been here already, but your blog has become so large that I am unable to ascertain this without spending many hours, so I will take a chance and place it here for your comments.

http://www.godandscience.org/evolut[…]tdesign.html

It seems that The Messenger’s website is much more sensible and honest than most ID advocates:

In an attempt to be all-inclusive, most ID proponents have failed to

1. define the Intelligent Designer 2. reject young-earth creationism

A nebulous theory can never be tested. The Designer must be proposed or there will be no model to test.

Characteristics of a successful ID model: A reasonable ID model must possess all of the following characteristics:

1. The intelligent Designer is identified 2. The model is detailed 3. The model can be refined 4. The model is testable and falsifiable 5. The model can make predictions

Messenger’s site is different from many ID sites, but it sure doesn’t say anything about the thread topic, “histology.”

Does the appearance of different types of cartilage in vertebrates and invertebrates somehow provide “testable and falsifiable” information to test the ID model?

Or, a la ReMine, does Messenger think that commonalities in cartilages show evidence of a “common designer,” while the numerous differences therein point to that “common designer’s” creativity?

Just curious.

I have recently thought of a major flaw in ID that isn’t mentioned in the above list. Just suppose, that I am the designer. I have this cool animal design. The question is, “How do I implement the design?” I want to create a bear, where do I start? Do I take an existing bear and mutate a gene I of course designed earlier and see if I get the bear I want?

If you flesh out the ID model, you end up with something that makes “Nature” the designer and random mutation as the tools to alter the design. And… Uh… Don’t you end up with… oh I don’t know … “Evolution”?

No wait, we need a scientific approach that isn’t evolution. I know, we just create the bear from dirt. Allakazzam! New bear. That’s scientific isn’t it?

So what is all this talk about how ID should be held to a higher level of evidence than evolution?

Evolution sees a bunch of mutations it doesn’t understand and calls it randomness.

ID sees a bunch of mutations it doesn’t understand and calls it intelligent design.

Its obvious that macro mutations are not random. If they were you would be unable to identify a new lifeform or catagorize the tree of life etc.

Using micro mutations that are much more random to try and argue that they are the cause of macro mutations is a statement of faith as you are unable to test macro mutations in a controlled enviornment due to having not experienced it in real time.

You are calling the kettle black you potheads.….lol

What on earth is a “macromutation”?

Or will I be sorry I asked?

Henry

So what is all this talk about how ID should be held to a higher level of evidence than evolution?

Do you know what the fossil record is? It is a huge pile of evidence that supports evolution. I have not seen one shred of convincing evidence that ID is anything but hocus pocus. IE, we don’t know how animals came to be so we are saying they were designed. Give me a mechanism.

Evolution sees a bunch of mutations it doesn’t understand and calls it randomness.

ID sees a bunch of mutations it doesn’t understand and calls it intelligent design.

There is the line between “Science” and “Pseudo-science” right there. If science cannot determine a cause of something such as mutation, they continue to look for the cause. Pseudo-science comes up with an explanation to fill in the gaps.

Example: Why does lightning strike?

Science: It is the build-up of static electricity between the sky and the ground the eventually leads to a spark. Lightning.

Pseudo-science: The gods are angry and to remind people to behave, they toss down a lightning bolt every now and then.

Its obvious that macro mutations are not random. If they were you would be unable to identify a new lifeform or catagorize the tree of life etc.

Let us assume that there is something called “macro mutation.” What causes this. In evolution we would call this millions of years of evolution. A concept that may be foreign to some, but then again we have barely 5000 years of documented history. We do have millions of years of fossils which do not point to jumps in creatures, but gradual transitions from one group of forms to another.

Using micro mutations that are much more random to try and argue that they are the cause of macro mutations is a statement of faith as you are unable to test macro mutations in a controlled enviornment due to having not experienced it in real time.

We cannot cause macro-mutation because no one would rent us some lab space for the next million years or so. If you’ll fit the bill, I’ll get on it.

Be that as it may, look at wolves. With human intervention, we turned members of the wolf family into dogs from the chihuahua to the golden retriever to the bull mastiff. All recognizably different. No macro mutation required.

If anyone reading this blog is interested in knowing if Intelligent Design (ID)is a valid scientific theory, I encourage you to go back to the site given in comment #19322 and read the entire argument, not just the beginning statement. Most of you are well read in the theory of evolution and most of you know what evolutionist have to say concerning Intelligent design and creation, but I encourage you to see for yourself what these scientist are saying on this site. This is not for all of you, but I find it worth the time it takes to read and explore the site.

I see DonkeyKong is getting terms wrong again. We’ll probably have the whole 2nd law is really the 3rd law but oh its called the 2nd law of thermo argument again.

micro evolution - small genetic changes in a population. macro evolution - science definition - a number of micro evolution events that cause a population to be classed as a new species creationist definition - some weird invisible line they created saying mutations can not cross. Mega evolution (not kidding this is being used now) - a term created by some creationist when their “macro evolution can never happen” was shown to be false.

DK with your great scientific understanding please define micro and macro mutation. What constitutes either at the genetic level?

Is a frame shift a micro or macro mutation? Is an insertion event a micro or macro mutation? Is a chromosomal duplication event a micro macro mutation?

For the rest of the people scratching their head trying to figure out what mushrooms DK has been eating remember he’s also told us that you can’t have organisms with an odd number of arms/legs or 3 eyes despite a good number of animals that have those traits.

Monty

“There is the line between “Science” and “Pseudo-science” right there. If science cannot determine a cause of something such as mutation, they continue to look for the cause. Pseudo-science comes up with an explanation to fill in the gaps.

Example: Why does lightning strike?

Science: It is the build-up of static electricity between the sky and the ground the eventually leads to a spark. Lightning.

Pseudo-science: The gods are angry and to remind people to behave, they toss down a lightning bolt every now and then.”

*** Then you understand that evolution is pseudo-science by virtue of claiming the gods are random as opposed to the gods are angry.

Claiming an unsupported fact is claiming an unsupported fact. Non-Random vs Random are equally science or equally pseudo-science there is no evidence seperating them.

Wayne

Micro mutation- A single base change or other mutation caused by a random event such as alpha radiation causing DNA damage. Not strictly limited to a single base but limited to a single event.

Macro mutation is a collection of micro mutations seperated by time intervals of no mutation. I was using macro similiar to how you defined it.

Evolution depends on a guiding function (survival of fittest for example) that takes the randomness of micromutations and produces a quasi random macro mutation.

The problem is that either this funciton works in which case not all genetic destinations are ever possible due to non-randomness being enforced, IE design inherent in the mechanism of evolution.

or

The guiding function does not work and macro mutations are truely random and one is more likely to arrive at a destination via a large micro mutation than via a complex micro mutatmion event. Macro mutations that are truely random would take too much time for the earth enviornment.

Either way ID wins.

Then you understand that evolution is pseudo-science by virtue of claiming the gods are random as opposed to the gods are angry.

While I hate to comment on this non-sequitar…

Evolution does not claim the “gods are random.” They claim that the mutations are random. These mutations stem from environmental and genetic influences. There is loads of support for this, but I know, you’re ignoring it.

Claiming no supernatural influence on the genetic influence is what makes evolution a “Science”.

Claiming a designer influences the genes is “psuedo-science.”

Claiming an unsupported fact is claiming an unsupported fact. Non-Random vs Random are equally science or equally pseudo-science there is no evidence seperating them.

Ignoring the fact there there is no such thing as an unsupported fact, random and non-random are huge distances apart.

Random implies NO INFLUENCE. No magical being tweeking things. If you place a pregnant dog in a kennel, it is expected that she has puppies. Those puppies will have some charataristics from the father and some from the mother. The amount of each characteristic is random. This is a FACT. Thus, when developing a scientific hypothesis, we must logically conclude that there is no outside force tinkering with the genetic make-up of those puppies.

On the other hand, if we proclaim that the puppies characteristics were chosen after conception by a designer, and thus not random we are making an enormous assumption that is completely devoid of facts. It is just superstition. Thus, if you bury a gray hair in an oak leaf under the spot of conception the dog will be gray would not be out of the question. This is the kind of thing that stems from pseudo-science. Further, if there is a designer, why would we expect puppies at all? If this designer wanted more hippos or muskrats in the world, why would it be out of the question for this dog to have one of those? Or, why not some brand new unknown creature? Or, some combination? This seems like an unreasonable assumption. Pseudo-science.

It is logical to assume no influence. IE Random. It is not logical to assume influence IE Not Random. That is where the line is. All the evidence points in one direction – randomness. To assume the opposite with no data (unsupported data was what you were looking for) is not science.

I believe that you are referring to hereditary information found within the nucleus of the living cell that is placed there in a chemical “code”. Most agree that this code is universal in nature. Gregor Mendel studied and is credited with fathering the scientific study of genetics and Mendel’s laws of genetics. What Monty just described is not really an example of randomness in action. It is an example of the perfection of the genetic code at work. Hereditary information is transmitted from one generation to the next by means of a code resident in the specific sequence of certain constituents of the DNA molecule. At conception, whatever code is passed on, that genetic code’s chemical instructions are copied faithfully each time. The information in DNA is presented in coded form, and codes are not known to arise spontaneously. Just as creation denotes a creator, a code denotes a code writer or producer. While we who are awaiting the puppies, or kittens, or human baby, may be surprised by the traits that we see, they are not random traits. The traits were predetermined by the law of genetics and the heritage of the infant. It is not magic or pseudo science. It is the handiwork of a designer who wrote a marvelous code that has worked effectively and efficiently down through the ages. For those who have pitted evolution against ID and feel that for one to win the other must lose, may I suggest that the presence of an Intelligent Designer is a win for all of us. It suggest that there is meaning and purpose to the life that we live and that none of us are here by accident.

I read the site. Indeed, I have read much of it before. It continues to be inaccurate. Consider the section at the end of the ‘intelligent design’ subject:

There is an attempted comparison of predictions of “Naturalism” and “Creationism”.

There is no evidence for more than one universe or one creation event.

Naturalism does not address the question of multiple or single universes.

Examples of fine tuning continue to increase. Some parameters designed to within a part in 10120.

This is begging the question by attributing something to ‘design’; and then offering a meaningless and unsupportable number. Since we do not know how much these factors can vary if at all, such a number is meaningless.

No other rocky planets have been found. Most planets found are large gas giants orbiting very close to their stars.

Naturalism does not speak to the existence or non-existence of other ‘Earth-like’ planets.

No other life found. SETI has been completely unsuccessful.

So far, yes.

It is impossible to chemically produce many basic molecules required for any living system.

I believe this is factually incorrect, but since the site doesn’t specify which molecules are immune to synthesis, it’s hard to comment further.

Neither the biochemical nor replicative pathways have been described. In fact, many scientists think that they could not have arisen by any naturalistic means.

Blatantly false. A tiny percentage of religiously biased scientists - or, more precisely, people who used to be scientists allow their religious beliefs to influence their opinions on this subject. They are routinely ignored, when they are noticed at all.

Contrary to the expectations of evolutionary theory, the fossil record is replete with complex transitions and new designs whereas simple transitions (intermediates) are rare. Evolutionary theory would expect the opposite to be true and to be reflected in the fossil record.

Factually incorrect.

Evolution predicts slow recovery following extinctions and that those recoveries will be filled by the species surviving the extinction event. However, the fossil record indicates rapid recovery with completely different designs and species appearing within a period of tens of thousands of years or less.

Again, factually incorrect: the opening of many ecological niches without serious competition should produce rapid speciation.

The rest of the site has similar or worse distortions, inaccuracies, strawmen, and outright lies.

I knew that the site would not be for everyone. Monty, did you see this? I believe that you are referring to hereditary information found within the nucleus of the living cell that is placed there in a chemical “code”. Most agree that this code is universal in nature. Gregor Mendel studied and is credited with fathering the scientific study of genetics and Mendel’s laws of genetics. What Monty just described is not really an example of randomness in action. It is an example of the perfection of the genetic code at work. Hereditary information is transmitted from one generation to the next by means of a code resident in the specific sequence of certain constituents of the DNA molecule. At conception, whatever code is passed on, that genetic code’s chemical instructions are copied faithfully each time. The information in DNA is presented in coded form, and codes are not known to arise spontaneously. Just as creation denotes a creator, a code denotes a code writer or producer. While we who are awaiting the puppies, or kittens, or human baby, may be surprised by the traits that we see, they are not random traits. The traits were predetermined by the law of genetics and the heritage of the infant. It is not magic or pseudo science. It is the handiwork of a designer who wrote a marvelous code that has worked effectively and efficiently down through the ages. For those who have pitted evolution against ID and feel that for one to win the other must lose, may I suggest that the presence of an Intelligent Designer is a win for all of us. It suggest that there is meaning and purpose to the life that we live and that none of us are here by accident.

Messenger, was there any particular reason you simply reposted your long screed? It reads the same way the second time as it did the first: unsupported conjecture, apparently driven by an emotional need to have a ‘purpose.’

In addition, you failed to address any of my points. Your site in generally inaccurate and deceptive. You should not recommend poor material such as this to people.

I did not address your points because I see no reason to address what is made clear on the web site. I reposted because I wanted Monty to see and respond to what I had addressed to him.

Monty Zoom

The point I am making is that being unable to explain logically your random process is not better than being unable to explain a non-random process. You have your own brand of mystism. You just can’t see the forest for the trees.

A truely random spontaneous human is 4^4300000000:1 against. And thats assuming that all you had was DNA bases to play with. Your random mutation theory needs a rate of mutation that is fast enough to evolve in time. The majority of evolution occured in 40 million years or less during the cambrian explosian.

Although 40 million seems like a long time and long enough for a random process to do basically anything, in reality it is not. But you rely on the magic of random gods and laugh at people who at least understand that they are relying on gods.

You said “Claiming no supernatural influence on the genetic influence is what makes evolution a “Science”.”

Evolution by virtue of its inability to make predictions related to the mechanisms that it claims directed evolution is NOT SCIENCE. Science explains its theory and puts them out for others to disprove.

Evolution has been disproven in part over and over and over again. But you drop the claim to life on jupiter, venus, the moon, biogenesis and claim that evolution has never been disproven. Then you shy away from Survival of the fittest as postulated by Darwin (and I know he used the words natural selection but survival of fittest was an accurate description).

You claim that large gaps are acceptable because the forcing function removes the less fit species but then say that monkeys remaining after the superior human ancestor evolved is not a problem. All the time being unable to articulate what mechanism of “Natural selection” you will use this week. The definition of Natural selection is basically the species that remains and is improperly formed because there is no test that can dispute it because if the species did not remain it wasn’t selected and if it did remain it was selected.

Evolution very clearly postulates a Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) yet has no evidence to support it except that their is life that is drastically different from it. Since you think the life descended from LUCA you claim LUCA existed because their is life. Circular reasonoing…not science.

Mr. DK - your post appears to be mostly rant, with very little accurate information. Permit me to demonstrate

The point I am making is that being unable to explain logically your random process is not better than being unable to explain a non-random process. You have your own brand of mystism. You just can’t see the forest for the trees.

Evolution is not a random process; it is a stochastic process.

A truely random spontaneous human is 4^4300000000:1 against. And thats assuming that all you had was DNA bases to play with. Your random mutation theory needs a rate of mutation that is fast enough to evolve in time. The majority of evolution occured in 40 million years or less during the cambrian explosian.

Since evolution is not a random process, but a stochastic process, you numbers are meaningless.

Although 40 million seems like a long time and long enough for a random process to do basically anything, in reality it is not. But you rely on the magic of random gods and laugh at people who at least understand that they are relying on gods.

Evolution is not a random process; it is a stochastic process - 40 million years is sufficient time for the development of body plans, etc.

You said “Claiming no supernatural influence on the genetic influence is what makes evolution a “Science”.”

Evolution by virtue of its inability to make predictions related to the mechanisms that it claims directed evolution is NOT SCIENCE. Science explains its theory and puts them out for others to disprove.

And that is what has been done. The theory is easily available, on any number of authoritative web-sites (talk origins is particularly well-written). You can also pick up a textbook (Futuyma is an excellent place to start). The point is that no one has disproved the Modern Synthesis. And evolution makes many predictions, all of which have been confirmed (non-matching genetic basis for homologies, for example; or the matching of morphological and genotypical trees.)

Evolution has been disproven in part over and over and over again.

A false statement. Please cite the research which has ‘disproved’ evolution.

But you drop the claim to life on jupiter, venus, the moon, biogenesis and claim that evolution has never been disproven.

The theory of evolution does not now and never has contained any predictions regarding life on other plants or biogenesis. If you believe that the theory has been disproved, it’s easy to prove yourself right: cite the research.

Then you shy away from Survival of the fittest as postulated by Darwin (and I know he used the words natural selection but survival of fittest was an accurate description).

No one ‘shies away’ from it. We simply point out that people who are clearly ignorant of the details of the theory - such as yourself - misuse and misunderstand the terminology Darwin offered.

You claim that large gaps are acceptable because the forcing function removes the less fit species but then say that monkeys remaining after the superior human ancestor evolved is not a problem.

Correct. Evolution takes place in limited populations dwelling in limited environments. It is highly unlikely that the evolution of a new species would result in the complete extermination of the ‘parent’ species. Particularly since the most likely scenario involves evolution taking place in new ecological niches.

All the time being unable to articulate what mechanism of “Natural selection” you will use this week.

Natural Selection is a mechanism. The definition of which has not changed since Darwin first offered it for consideration. Perhaps you should educate yourself on the theory and the history of the theory.

The definition of Natural selection is basically the species that remains and is improperly formed because there is no test that can dispute it because if the species did not remain it wasn’t selected and if it did remain it was selected.

Factually incorrect - see, I told you need to learn something about the theory. Your ignorance leads you to make ridiculous statements such as the one above. Natural Selection is the simply a differential in reproductive success based on morphology. It’s really very simple.

Evolution very clearly postulates a Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) yet has no evidence to support it except that their is life that is drastically different from it.

No, actually it doesn’t. Even Darwin didn’t postulate such a thing. It is highly likely that such an ancestor exists, but the theory does not require it. See how foolish ignorance can make you look?

Since you think the life descended from LUCA you claim LUCA existed because their is life. Circular reasonoing … not science.

Since no scientist says this, it can hardly be ‘circular reasoning.’

Feel free to ask these little questions; eduction of the less knowledgeable is something I enjoy!

Rilke’s Grand-daughter

You have mastered the skill of making a claim.

Evolution is a stochastic process therefore it is not random and is not limited by random events.

The processes by which this is limited is called natural selection. Natual selection cannot be disproven.

Species A dies out. Species A is unfit. Natural selection is valid.

Species A dies out and is replaced by Similiar Species B. Natural selection says that B was more fit than A and evolved from it. Natural selection is Valid.

Species A dies out and is replaced by Dis-Similiar Species B. Natural selection says that B was more fit than A and evolved from whatever species is most similiar to B. Natural selection is Valid.

Species A lives. No species B is attributed to it. A is fit. Natural selection is valid.

Species A lives. Similiar Species B is introduced. A is fit and B evolved from it. Natural selection is valid.

Species A lives. Dis-Similiar Species B is introduced and attributed to the most similiar species to it. A is fit and B evolved from it. Natural selection is valid.

Because natural selection cannot be disproven it is not science.

Specific incarnations of Natural selection such as survival of the fittest or gene competition are science as they can be disproven at least in theory because they delve into HOW.…But incarnations of Natural selection have been shown to be unlikely and have gone out of vogue and most evolutionists won’t even talk about Darwins real beliefs regarding Natural selection, like Frued much of his work has been discredited over time.

gene competition wouldn’t exist if evolutionists believed Darwins species sexual competition filtered by hunting viability etc. Heck you guys won’t even say survival of the fittest anymore.…

Ok, let us get back on track here. DK, I understand that you are not convinced that the Cambrian Explosion could happen under given scientific explanations. Actually, that is a very good stance. Skeptisism on the issue should lead to more study to come up with a more comprehensive and compelling explanation. However, we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Just because you’re not convinced that it couldn’t happen shouldn’t lead to evolution being completely invalid. Second, filling in the “We can’t explain the Cambrian Explosion” with “A designer must have done it” is where you lose your science.

“We don’t know what causes lightning.” -> “Zeus must be hearling lightning bolts at people”

That is where you leaped, and that is not scientific, and nothing you can say or do will make it scientific. I can give you an “Evolution Based” theory but I’m sure you are stuck on disbelieving, so there isn’t any point.

Now to this:

Evolution by virtue of its inability to make predictions related to the mechanisms that it claims directed evolution is NOT SCIENCE. Science explains its theory and puts them out for others to disprove.

I’m not sure what you are trying to say here, but it doesn’t make any sense. Evolution by its very nature indicates that creatures and organisms are evolving as we speak. This is what evolutions predicts. Thus, what you said here is incorrect. Further, science isn’t a bunch of theories strung together waiting to be disproven. In fact, PROVING things is the point.

Dis-proof or falsification must be possible. The ability to know whether a theory is correct or not. The only way to disprove ID is to prove the non-existence of the designer. This isn’t something that can be done. However evolution can be disproven. However, this has NEVER been done. A gap in an explanation does not disprove it. Contrary evidence is the only way to prove it. This is very difficult in the case of evolution because the theory has loads of evidence to back it up.

The rest of your arguments are tired and old. Apes still exist so why do humans, which are far more fit, still exist? Perhaps because they filled different niches. The bicycle still exists, but the car is a far better form of transportation. For that matter, horses still exist. Why? Because they fill niches. One branch of ape filled one niche another filled another. This is the type of stuff that shows a basic non-understanding of evolution. Evironmental influences push in many directions, thus the whole tree of life thing.

The reason “Survival of the Fittest” is not being used is because what determines “Fitness?” Is a cockroach more fit than a Panda Bear? Both have differing strategies for survival. Why is the Panda endangered? Is it because it lacks fitness? Or perhaps it is that its environment has drastically changed and the niche that it filled is going away. You cannot quantify fitness because what was fit once isn’t when the environment changes. This is one of YOUR misconceptions about evolution.

There is a field of flowers. For whatever reason, one flower grows taller than the rest. (Is it more fit?) This height may be an advantage. The bee may be more likely to visit a taller flower, thus take its genetic material to the other flowers of the field. Thus, spreading its DNA more widely. Perhaps leading to taller flowers in general. Thus, it sounds like a good strategy and thus more fit.

On the other hand, this tallness may not only draw the attention of the bee, but the cow. It may get eaten by the cow more readily than a flower closer the to ground. Thus, preventing its DNA from being passed around and thus lead to shortening of flowers.

You see, the only difference is the environment. We cannot say which flowers were more fit without taking the environment into account. Hence, Natural Selection. Also, there is your “How” natural selction / evolution works.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on March 8, 2005 12:37 PM.

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