Vacuity of ID: Comments on Irreducible Complexity

| 233 Comments

On The Design Paradigm Salvador Cordova ‘responds’ (sic) to various claims about evolution and irreducible complexity. As I will show, the response further establishes the scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design.

Salvador Cordova Wrote:

You said, “You should also read up on existing evolutionary explanations for complexity such as scaffolding and Co-option “. No rather you should try to refute the well reasoned issues posed by the displacement theorem and the improbabilities associated with large scale co-option.

Nice redirection from examples of IC systems arising by natural pathways to yet another poorly developed concept of ID namely the displacement theorem. While the displacement theorem once again shows that ID is all about the supernatural, it also shows that as long as the system is ‘open’ to external information, there are no real issues. In other words, whether the external information is the environment or some supernatural or natural designer, it does not help ID’s cause. See Bad Math for more comments on Dembski’s claims.

As to the probabilities of ‘large scale co-option’ I notice the absence of much of any argument, calculations etc to support this claim.

Sal Wrote:

Evolutionary algorithms are limited in the kinds of structures they can resolve, and that is a mathematical fact.

An unsupported assertion. Since Sal asserts that this is a ‘mathematical fact’ I am sure that he can support his claim, and show its relevance when it relates to biological evolution.

The presumption that biology is architected in a way that is amenable to evolutionary alogrithms is just a presumption, no where near a proven fact, and possibly quite wrong the more we learn about various molecular systems in biology.

Again wrong, read up on evolvability, neutrality etc which all show how evolution itself has evolved. And surprisingly neutrality which increases robustness also increases evolvability. There is much work which shows how evolvability, can evolve from simple processes. What is even more surprising is that neutrality is a selectable trait.

The case for the efficacy of blindwatchmaker evolution is far from closed.

So what? Such is science.

Ricardo Azevedo has addressed various other problems with Salvador’s claims in a posting titled Junk Science. Well worth reading. As are his contributions on robustness in Junk DNA is Junk. He got quite an education.

Science can explain issues of evolvability, neutrality, robustness etc, how does Intelligent design explain it? Please refresh my memory.

233 Comments

Sal must not be aware of the reverse ordination refutation.

It is a devastating refutation of the ID peddlers “latest arguments” that life on earth did not evolve. Frankly, I don’t see how Sal or Dembski or anyone else is going to rebut the reverse ordination refutation of the so-caled displacement theorem (or any other creationist argument). They will be very disappointed when they try! Oh, so very disappointed …

I agree, registered user, it will be quite a task for Sal or anyone else to address let alone rebut the reverse ordination refutation. Would be fun to see them try though

What is the reverse ordination refutation?

I did a google on “reverse ordination” and got nothing that looked like an anti-ID argument.

Why oh why why why won’t Sal answer my simple questions . … . .?

Has any intelligent designer ever been shown to produce designs that are like the forms and “machines” that we find in organisms?

I just thought I’d ask this simple and basic question, the sort of essential question that IDists should answer before we even begin to consider anything else that Sal or other IDists have to say (IOW, they should not be allowed to dictate what is to be discussed–BTW, human tweaking of some structures hardly counts as such an intelligent designer for which I request evidence).

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Lenny Flank Wrote:

Why oh why why why won’t Sal answer my simple questions .…..?

Come on Sal and answer Lenny’s questions!!! Are you chicken? Bet its all “God did it!” “Poof!” Sal, at least you could make up some facts and other make believe world scenarios to Lenny’s questions - you don’t seem too shy when you make up rubbish from the Disco Institute for the benefit of the gullible. Reality is too harsh for you - is that it Sal?

Glen D: Do you mean human intelligent designer? If so, then designs produced by engineers are understandable. Designs evolved via so-called evolutionary algorithms are not, these designs just work, and surprisingly well.

…but maybe that wasn’t your question?

Salvador wrote:

The presumption that biology is architected in a way that is amenable to evolutionary alogrithms is just a presumption, no where near a proven fact[.]

Yet for some reason, they’d like to think that biology IS architected, by an Intelligent Architect. They have this big problem with undirected processes that remain beholden to natural laws, which their presumed designer doesn’t have to pay homage to.

Salvador Cordova wrote:

You said, “You should also read up on existing evolutionary explanations for complexity such as scaffolding and Co-option “. No rather you should try to refute the well reasoned issues posed by the displacement theorem and the improbabilities associated with large scale co-option.

Impudent comments like this often lead to hilarious cases of unintentional Irony. In the field of unintentional irony, the IDers are Supreme Grandmaster Hall of Famers. IDiots saying evolutionists haven’t done enough research. Mind boggling. Sal’s comment reminds me of this one a few days ago from Uncommonly Dense:

Materialists can’t avoid ID by pointing to it’s supernatural implications. In fact, their attempts to do so are what suggest to me that their scientific position is in bad shape, and they know it. The only way they can beat ID is by showing that the teleology that undeniably exists in nature can be plausibly accounted for by way of unintelligent causes. They need to stop throwing out the red herrings of possible supernatural connections to ID and get into the lab or go out into the field and do some research!

Comment by crandaddy — April 16, 2006 @ 7:03 am

When you read that, did your mouth fall open? mine did. In terms of unintentional irony, Intelligent Design is The Show. Those guys play at a rarified level. It’s the greatest thing on the internet.

I’ve said this before, but what the heck, Sal mentioned that displacement theorem paper of Dembski’s again.

On pages 5 and 6, Dembski gives his example of an assisted search:

Let us, therefore, define an assisted search as any search procedure that provides more information about candidate solutions than a blind search. The prototypical example of an assisted search is an Easter egg hunt in which instead of saying “yes” or “no” for each possible place where an egg might be hidden, one says “warmer” or “colder” depending on whether the distance to an egg is narrowing or widening. This additional information clearly assists those who are looking for the Easter eggs, especially when the eggs are well hidden and blind search would be unlikely to find them.

Then Dembski argues that for an assisted search to be better than a blind one, the responses made by the assistant must each at least indicate whether or not the searcher is directly on top of the target:

As Alice proposes candidate solutions x1,x2,…,xm, at each step k (1≤k≤m) Bob respondssith an item of information j(x1,…,xk) from the response space Λ.

In the scheme just outlined, blind search is represented (up to isomorphism) as follows: Λ = {0,1} and j(x1,…,xk) = 1 if xk is in the target T, 0 otherwise. Here 0 tells Alice that xk is not in the target, 1 that it is.…Let us call such a j an indicator function for the target T.

Since assisted search is supposed to augment the information inherent in blind search, the information function associated with an assisted search needs to contain strictly more information than is contained in the indicator function of the corresponding blind search. This strict increase in information can be characterized as follows: An information function j´strictly augments the information in an indicator function j associated with a target T provided there is a function ϕ from Λ to {0, 1} such that ϕ ◦ j´= j and for any such ϕ there is no function ψ from {0, 1} back to Λ such that ψ ◦ ϕ ◦ j´= j´. In other words, composing j´with some function allows Alice to recover the indicator function for T, but j´cannot in turn be recovered from this composition.

And thus Dembski neatly contradicts his own “prototypical example” of an assisted search, the Easter egg hunt, since Alice cannot determine from Bob’s simple response of “warmer” whether she’s reached the egg. (“Cooler” at least tells her she’s not there yet.)

An error this obvious in the first few pages doesn’t bode well for the rest. I must admit I’ve never worked up the spiritual fortitude to carefully read through the entire paper, though. And the bit about

By intelligence, here, I mean something quite definite, namely, the causal factors that change one probability distribution into another and thus, in the present discussion, transform a blind search into an assisted search.

Intelligence acts by changing probabilities. Equivalently, intelligence acts by generating information. For instance, a slab of marble temporarily has a high probability of remaining unchanged. Then, without warning, Michelangelo decides to sculpt David, and the probability of that marble slab taking on a new form (i.e., receiving new information) now changes dramatically.”

didn’t really encourage me.

normdoering Wrote:

I did a google on “reverse ordination” and got nothing that looked like an anti-ID argument.

The sponsored links?

God Calls You to Ministry It’s No Accident You Found Us Today Free Online Christian Ordination trinity-edu.com

The prototypical example of an assisted search is an Easter egg hunt in which instead of saying “yes” or “no” for each possible place where an egg might be hidden, one says “warmer” or “colder” depending on whether the distance to an egg is narrowing or widening

By embarking on an analysis of whether ‘assisted search’ is better than ‘blind search’ Dembski reveals a serious lack of understanding of evolution.

The tone of this argument: (feedback regarding proximity to target) clearly indicates that Dembski (…err… naively?) assumes that an evolving population is aiming for a prespecified goal! Evolution does not have a goal; it simply a consequence of selection on population variation. The only ‘feedback’ that evolution provides in nature comes via selection (natural or sexual), and it is only in the form of “this phenotype is better/worse than the current wildtype”. It is certainly NOT in the form of “you’re getting closer to (e.g.) human”

Before launching into detailed mathematical analysis of such an appallingly fallacious teliological model, he should learn at least something about evolution!

All Dembski has shown is that intentional selection (‘breeding’) works faster than natural selection. This observation is certainly no major contribution to science, and it is totally irrelevant to the analysis of evolution in nature.

However, upon closer examination it does seem to deal a devastating blow to ID! It implies that an intelligent designer could have done it MUCH faster than nature did it. So why did the “intelligent” designer take 3.5 billion years to produce “us”?

I really have no idea what Dembski was going on about in the Displacement Theorem paper. The whole bloody point of evolution is that the algorithm is a function of the search space.

You could indeed characterise that as gathering information from the environment (for some sufficiently non-mathematical definition of “information”). However, since we already know that the environment for evolution exists (it’s called planet Earth, you may have heard of it), that presents no problem whatsoever.

I believe Dembski’s argument is something like “well, the information must be coming from somewhere so the environment must have been designed”. This completely ignores the fact that evolution works more or less regardless of the environment.

Claiming that evolution doesn’t work because of the displacement theorem is roughly equivalent to claiming that rainwater can’t create puddles because who designed the ground the puddles are forming on? If you want to use that as an argument for God then feel free, but I can see absolutely no way that it could ever in a million years be considered a mathematical argument.

I Wrote:

the algorithm is a function of the search space

I meant, of course, the target space. Which is actually a fuzzy set rather than a classical set, if you want to get technical. It’s interesting that Dembski has completely ignored this subtlety.

PvM Wrote:

On The Design Paradigm Salvador Cordova ‘responds’ (sic) to various claims about evolution and irreducible complexity.

Sal also wrote some remarkably ignorant gibberish about Einstein and quantum mechanics. He seems to think QM is unverified and unverifiable, and that Einstein was just as stupid as Sal himself is on this point. Ergo, ID is science, just like QM!

Sal tried to feed me some gibberish about QM, too. Near as I could decipher, he seems to think that, since things require an observer to exist, then the universe itself must have an observer to make it exist, therefore God – uh, I mean an Intelligent Designer – exists.

I immediately asked him what observer observed the Designer to collapse ITS wave function and bring it into existence.

No response yet. (shrug)

[Gilbert&Sullivan]No one expects the reverse ordination refutation![/Gilbert & Sullivan]

'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank Wrote:

Sal tried to feed me some gibberish about QM, too. Near as I could decipher, he seems to think that, since things require an observer to exist, then the universe itself must have an observer to make it exist, therefore God — uh, I mean an Intelligent Designer — exists.

For the record, QM does not require an observer for things to exist. There are interpretations of QM that rely on observers. By choosing a different class of objects to single out as observers, you get a different interpretation of QM. It is completely legitimate, if somewhat odd, to limit the class of observers to all cats, or all amoebas, or all physics PhDs, or to a single person.

In other words, getting God out of QM is possible, if, like Sal, you know absolutely nothing about QM, and, as it seems also true in Sal’s case, absolutely nothing about God. Why some people like to share their incompetence and stupidity with the whole world, I’ll never figure out. No doubt it’s one of those meme things.

Corkscrew wrote: “I really have no idea what Dembski was going on about in the Displacement Theorem paper.

It’s a backdoor way of smuggling in design that could fundamentally undermind his claim that humans create information as intelligent agents.

From another perspective, Denton would be the ultimate “Displacementist”.

Surely Cordova must be delighted that a thread specifically addressing his blabber appeared on PT - he thrives on such occurences. He is one of the most arrogant and impudent ignoramuses in the cyberspace, pretending to be an expert in all sciences, confidently judging real experts, licking Dembski’s boots, and generally emitting an annoying and meaningless noise. Rather than seriously discussing his illiterate piffle, he should be ignored - that is what will hit him the hardest.

Dembski’s “displacement problem” (which he presented in at least two different forms - one in his No Free Lunch book and another in the more recent article pointed to in this thread) - was promptly shown to be a flop, thus belonging in the same category as his so-called law of conservation of information (which plainly contradicts the 2nd law of thermodynamics), or his egregious misuse of the NFL theorems, or his several mutually incompatible definitions of complexity, etc. However, he himself as well as his acolytes (like the notorious Salvador) stubbornly stick to all that crap as if it is something at least partially accepted in the mainstream science. For a while it could be funny, but after many reapperances it has become boring. It must be of interest for psychologists.

Metatalk moved to the Bathroom Wall.

Glen D: Do you mean human intelligent designer? If so, then designs produced by engineers are understandable. Designs evolved via so-called evolutionary algorithms are not, these designs just work, and surprisingly well.…but maybe that wasn’t your question?

No, I don’t think that was the question. More or less I was asking of Sal or any other IDer this:

Has any intelligent designer ever been shown to produce designs that are like the forms and “machines” that we find in organisms?

It’s one of those basic questions, are there any candidate “designers” that would operate to produce organisms? We’re always getting this false analogy from IDists/creationists, that humans produce machines, therefore designers must have made humans. But we haven’t made anything like humans, or plants, ever, and neither has any other “designer”. It’s a disanalogy, or perhaps a dysanalogy.

This is one of those empirically essential questions, one that IDists would have to properly affirm prior to even coming up with a “design” hypothesis–is there a reasonable explanation for any posited design in organisms (and btw, I don’t believe the claims that there is an appearance of “design” in organisms–very rare indeed has there been a mix-up between recognizing the difference between “designed objects” and organisms, while it has been rather more common that we have mistaken “natural objects” and animal creations as having been designed by humans)? The IDCists don’t want to have to explain anything, they simply want a poor analogy to “point to” an amorphous “Cause”.

I’m never too much in favor of answering IDCists on their own terms, since their terms are the first thing that they get wrong. So sure, no problem with pointing out Sal’s many errors, however I wish there would be more attempts to force them to answer first-principles questions, or be shown to fail to do so, as in fact would happen every time.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

I don’t think anyone on the IDC side thinks that Panda’s Thumb is at all helpful to IDC causes. Of course the persecution claims, and the “running scared” tripe are standard IDC practice (as opposed to, for instance, research), and seem to work among the gullible such as the Afdaves. This goes to show that we probably are not altogether addressing the lurkers well when we discuss science, as we so often do, since a few pretenses at taking Galileo’s place, a clatter of non-empirically based calculations, and some put-downs are all that someone like Afdave thinks he needs.

I don’t especially accept this in full measure:

The tone of pro-science posts here ranges from extremely politeness to clever, civil satire (with the occasional mild insult used rarely, in frustration).

Nah, especially the head IDiots get called what they deserve to be called, charlatans, liars, and ignoramuses. We’ve done the analyses, collectively, and we’re still willing to engage those who will follow scientific standards in research and in discourse. But the shameful pseudoscientists who persist in spreading BS no matter how often and how well they are answered, deserve the harsh language that they frequently receive here. I make not the slightest apology for slamming IDiots like Afdave, and DaveScot (could be the same person, who cares?).

What’s the alternative? To respect fools and scammers? No, that’s no alternative at all. I remember Tucker Carlson on TV complaining that IDists are being treated like snake-oil salesmen, when he was sure they were rather better (to his credit, he didn’t pretend that ID was science). Why does he think they’re better than that? Apparently because they are “on his side”, and he simply can’t believe that they’re just snake-oil salesmen, when they seem so nice.

This is why we treat snake-oil salesmen like snake-oil salesmen, because most people accept scientific positions only on reputation. We could use the best anti-ID and evolutionary arguments whatsoever, and many people would accept one or the other based solely upon what scientific consensus was. Others would accept ID based solely upon what the religionists had to say, of course, but these people are already lost to the scientific worldview. It is much better if Tucker Carlson is defending IDists from the charge that they are snake-oil salesmen than that he be able to appeal to any respect accorded to IDCists as “alternative scientists”. IDCists must be on the defensive, not accorded any kind of respect that they don’t deserve.

I am entirely in favor of doing to IDCists what they earned, once they have shown themselves to be incapable of tackling the evidence against them. They have been shown to be snake-oil salesmen, even the very nice ones who quite sincerely place religion over and above biology when explaining life. Then we should treat them like the snake-oil salesmen that they are, and let IDiots like Afdave try to make this well-deserved contempt into a positive. Except among fellow idiots, it is not going to work.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Ungresigtered wrote:

Sal must not be aware of the reverse ordination refutation.

I am not aware of it. If you can present where the refutation can be found, that would be helpful to the people here at PT trying to combat my claims.

So, for their sake, not mine, please provide more information.

ag wrote:

He [sal] is one of the most arrogant and impudent ignoramuses in the cyberspace,

Awh shucks, I can always count on PT to be filled with good will toward me. (sarcasm intended)

corkscrew had the one thoughtful comment:

I believe Dembski’s argument is something like “well, the information must be coming from somewhere so the environment must have been designed”. This completely ignores the fact that evolution works more or less regardless of the environment.

That is the unproven assumption of evolution. Such a “proof” is called affirmation of the consequent, and is a logical fallacy. The displacement theorem helps highlight that fallacy by showing the probability of selective forces to channel biology to high levels of innovation is remote. Darwinists however affix a value of 100% probability to such selctive forces existing even when they’ve never directly observed it. The amount of stealth circularity in Darwinian proofs such as Avida is distressing.

Salvador T. Cordova Wrote:

corkscrew had the one thoughtful comment:

I believe Dembski’s argument is something like “well, the information must be coming from somewhere so the environment must have been designed”. This completely ignores the fact that evolution works more or less regardless of the environment.

That is the unproven assumption of evolution. Such a “proof” is called affirmation of the consequent, and is a logical fallacy. The displacement theorem helps highlight that fallacy by showing the probability of selective forces to channel biology to high levels of innovation is remote. Darwinists however affix a value of 100% probability to such selctive forces existing even when they’ve never directly observed it. The amount of stealth circularity in Darwinian proofs such as Avida is distressing.

Huh? Are you claiming that we haven’t shown that selection can operate? Or just that it can’t operate to produce new feature (such as, say, virulence to new pesticides, or ability to degrade nylon)?

Bob

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As usual, Sal’s post is long on bafflegab, light on content.

Sal Wrote:

The displacement theorem helps highlight that fallacy by showing the probability of selective forces to channel biology to high levels of innovation is remote.

Meaningless. What is ‘high levels of innovation’? In what fashion does the displacement theorem show this (since it doesn’t appear to do so at all)?

Sal Wrote:

Darwinists however affix a value of 100% probability to such selctive forces existing even when they’ve never directly observed it.

We’ve observed selection, Sal. Perhaps you haven’t because you’re not familiar with research or reality.

Sal Wrote:

The amount of stealth circularity in Darwinian proofs such as Avida is distressing.

“Stealth circularity”? Simply more bafflegab.

Enough with the rhetoric, Sal - explain what you mean or remain an apparent fool. Remember that you can always remove that moniker by dealing with the facts.

Darwinists however affix a value of 100% probability to such selctive forces existing even when they’ve never directly observed it. The amount of stealth circularity in Darwinian proofs such as Avida is distressing.

Deal with the predictions of evolution via natural selection and the other associated mechanisms, instead of resorting to the meaningless criterion of “directly observed it”. For once, then, try to deal honestly with the evidence from the beginning, rather than using faulty criteria to attack evolution without having first dealt with the evidence in favor of current evolutionary theory.

Or expect to be treated as well here as you have so richly deserved up to this point.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

PS: “Direct observation” means nothing philosophically. All observations are mediated, and all observations are delayed in time. We have a great deal of “direct evidence” (still not a philosophical distinction, but a useful one in science) in favor of evolution (the only “evolution” that has any empirical standing, RM + NS), including on the phylum scale, and we have also “directly observed” natural selection, albeit for more minor changes. What is more, the two mesh. That is, directly observed natural selection occurs essentially as predicted by current evolutionary theory, and the patterns of life also exist essentially as predicted by current evolutionary theory.

Darwinists however affix a value of 100% probability to such selctive forces existing even when they’ve never directly observed it.

Then tell me how researchers are able to differentiate between “neutral changes” and selection. After all, the literature is rife with such distinctions.

Oh, that’s right, Sal’s (apparently) stupidly thinking of scientists assigning a near 100% chance of natural selection actually taking place, and mischaracterizing it as 100%. Indeed, there is just about 100% chance of natural selection occurring, which I suppose is why IDists like Dembski concede that it happens. But Sal, as usual, can’t keep his various apologetics straight, and ignores the fact that IDists such as Dembski and Behe also claim that natural selection occurred where is hasn’t been “directly observed”. Well, no matter, he can’t deal with science, so why not the bafflegab? Anything to attack, and to obscure his vacuousness.

One trouble with Sal is that he thinks in opposites, essentially dialectically. Someone points out (for the 112,529th time) that ID simply assumes design, and he lashes out with “you too”. He can’t understand how it is that evolution makes predictions, is observed to work in accordance with said predictions, and thus evolution is confirmed while phantom designers are not. In fact he calls the empirical gain in information “affirming the consequent”, as any glib ’60s French philosopher might do (if in a manner uncharacteristic of, say, Derrida). The fact is that once one has cut oneself off from empiricism, as Derrida and Sal have done, one claim becomes as good as another one.

And you can’t make a cat look at itself in a mirror. This is what we have to contend with in dealing with IDists, you can’t make them look at the evidence with unbiased eyes, and you can lead them to the facts, but you can’t make them think. They operate entirely outside the bounds of empirical confirmation, and have made their position impregnable by doing so (if not in the opinion of more open minds). It’s rather natural for most of them, since most have never really confronted empiricism in the raw, and have steeled themselves against problematic data in the interim. Therefore they will likely never take up the empirical attitude that they never had in the first place–and which they have learned is the spiritual enemy.

Which is why it is futile for Sal to come on here. We have to insult his ignorance, because that is about all he exhibits. He has to use fakery and ungrounded philosophical gas to pretend to have anything behind his claims, but of course we’re well aware of the tactics of bad philosophy and pseudoscience, so are simply insulted at such stupidity. There is only one thing that could change these discussions with him–he would have to unlearn much, and learn much more. And he clearly is not inclined to do this.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

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Hi there, Long-time listener, first-time caller.

Sal Says : “Evolvability from existing proteins? Haha… What happens? Change a few amino acids, oops, cripes the organism is dead. Kinda hard to evolve a dead creature…Did it ever occur to you guys that starting from scratch is actually a less laughable scenario than trying to evolve an existing protein to a radically different one? DarLogic at it’s finest.”

Since Mr. van Meurs has already shown you some interesting sights in the world of insulin evolution, I thought I might point out some other ,older faves. Here’s an oldie but goodie, Sal-baby, you wack-a-doo krazy kreashunist kat: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/94/8/3485

Chen et al. demonstrate that an Antifreeze Glycoprotein (AFGP) gene from the Antarctic notothenioid Dissostichus mawsoni derives from a gene encoding a pancreatic trypsinogen. There are now known at least four types of fish AFPs (antifreeze proteins) , all apparently unrelated to each other (AFPs types I, II, III, and AFGP). In the case of “type II” AFP’s, they are found in at least three fish: Atlantic herring , smelt , and sea ravens. These AFP’s arose from C-type lectin genes. (Eek! More …evilushuns!!!)

I found this interesting , not only because of the evolutionary implications, but also because protease zymogens like trypsinogen act as autocatalytic systems in organisms like me and you, Sal: Trypsinogen enters the small intestine, and gets a peptide bond cloven and breaks down into trypsin. Trypsin itself then cleaves lysine peptide bonds, and so, once a small amount of trypsin is generated, it participates in cleavage of its own zymogen, generating – more trypsin! Fascinating, eh, Sal?

Sal, really, now. Do you ever read anything other than Chick tracts? The literature is replete with such examples, as even a cursory search by a non-biologist like me shows. Get your bleedin’ head out of your bleedin’ bum and let your bloody brains breathe, Sal. P.S. Would you view this as an example of cooption? I mean, gosh , it kept the li’l fishies alive and all.

Hey Sal, if ID is science, then why does it get all its funding from fundamentalist Christian political groups and Reconstructionist wackos?

Thanks in advance for not answering my simple question.

Since Sal’s last shot knocked off his penis and lodged in his foot, I thought I’d let him reload and fire again…

me Wrote:
Someone schooling Sal Wrote:

We’re talking about evolvability of an extant functional protein, not random assembly of such a protein from scratch.

Sigh … Sal made THAT false assumption again?

Care to back up and try again, Sal? :)

Pvm cited in favor of gene duplication:

And an oldie Holland PW, Garcia-Fernandez J, Williams NA, Sidow A. Gene duplications and the origins of vertebrate development. Dev Suppl. 1994;:125-33.

PvM,

These articles assume the very thing they wish to prove. We call that circular reasoning.

I’m afrraid your offerings only prove that Darwinists think circular reasoning is a valid mode of deduction.

Salvador

Sal Wrote:

Pvm cited in favor of gene duplication:

And an oldie

Holland PW, Garcia-Fernandez J, Williams NA, Sidow A. Gene duplications and the origins of vertebrate development. Dev Suppl. 1994;:125-33.

PvM,

These articles assume the very thing they wish to prove. We call that circular reasoning.

I’m afrraid your offerings only prove that Darwinists think circular reasoning is a valid mode of deduction.

Salvador

This is rich from an ID activist. It’s ID which calls something complex and thus designed without showing that it matches the complexity criterion. On the other hand real science observes the fact of gene duplications, and understands how such duplications may find various fates. The fact that we find such exquisite examples of for instance hox gene duplications which explain the many ‘innovations’ in life show that rather than circular reasoning, these findings support an evolutionary paradigm. Sal may object that science is ‘circular’ in the sense that the data support the theory but that’s the power of real science. Sal may doubt that natural selection is sufficient in explaining these data and I would agree, natural selection is one of various mechanisms which can cause variation to become (permanently) part of the genome. As science is uncovering neutral variations are another important contributor, also biology’s dark matter of cryptic genetic variation may play a role. Then we have selective sweeps were other alleles can become fixated because of a selective sweep elsewhere.

Perhaps Sal’s real problem is that he does not appreciate how real science works. After all being a YECer in spite of all the contrary evidence suggests that there may be some deeper issues here. Perhaps Sal can start by explaining what in these papers is circular and how such circularity affects the scientific nature.

And finally, Sal can provide us with the ID hypotheses in this area? Let him show how vacuous ID is compared to science.

These articles assume the very thing they wish to prove. No, they don’t. Do you ever get tired of saying the same things over and over? I swear Sal, if Nature hadn’t published that goofy picture of you, I’d take even odds that you did not in fact exist, and were a cut-rate chat-bot.

As it is, I’ll still take it at 3:1.

Perhaps Sal can start by explaining what in these papers is circular and how such circularity affects the scientific nature.

Indeed. I’ve got my popcorn all popped, and got my comfortable computer chair all set. Let the show begin!

If it’s cooption there’s some neat nifty goodies in that icon of design, the vertebrate eye. Lens crystalins come in a number of flavors, but there are some taxon specific lens crystallins that are specific to certain groups of organisms. Many taxon specific crystallins are encoded in a single gene which produce both an enzyme and the lens crystallin. The Zeta crystallin, quinone reductase, found in some mammals is transcribed from a lens specific promoter not present in other mammals. The recruitment of quinine reductase required the evolution of a new lens specific promoter allowing expression in the lens. The lens promoters in 2 distantly related species are both found in the same intron but in different places suggesting an independent origin.

In summary, our data indicate that recruitment of CRYZ by the lens was not the result of neutral evolution but rather derives from a selective mechanism. We would further suggest that a primary factor underlying this selective pressure may be the marked elevation in reduced pyridine nucleotides that occurs in the lens as a result of high CRYZ expression. As has been shown previously, lenses with relatively low levels of reduced pyridine nucleotides appear to be more susceptible to UV radiationinduced oxidative damage than do lenses containing high concentrations of pyridine nucleotides (C. Rao and Zigler 1992). While the molecular mechanism of enzyme/ crystallin recruitment may vary, the fact that the large majority of recruited proteins bind pyridine nucleotides may be of paramount importance. We believe that greater consideration should be given to the possibility that enzyme/crystallin recruitment is, in general, an adaptive process and that enzyme/crystallins may provide specific benefits to the lens. Evidence for Independent Recruitment of &-crystallin/Quinone Reductase (CRYZ) as a Crystallin in Camelids and Hystricomorph Rodents Pedro Gonzalez, P. Vasantha Rae, Susan B. Nun”ez,-t_a nd J. Samuel Zigler, Jr. Mol. Biol. Evol. 12(5):773-781. 1995 .

LDH B is another taxon specific crystallin that is found only in reptiles and birds and also exists as a single copy gene. It is expressed as a house keeping enzymatic activity and a lens crystallin. The enzyme lactate dehydrogenase as a structural protein in avian and crocodilian lenses Graeme J. Wistow, John W. M. Mulders & Wilfried W. de Jong Nature 326, 622 - 624 (09 April 1987)

Duck lens e-crystallin and lactate dehydrogenase B4 are identical: A single-copy gene product with two distinct functions WILJAN HENDRIKS, JOHN W. M. MULDERS, MICHAEL A. BIBB, CHRISTINE SLINGSB, HANS BLOEMENDAL, AND WILFRIED W. DE JONG Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 85, pp. 7114-7118, October 1988

Some taxon specific crystallins are the result of duplicated genes. ALDH is the most abundant crystallin in elephant shrews and some rodents. It exists as a duplicated gene with tissue specific expression and the lens crystalline still has enzymatic activity.

As has been suggested for other cases (1, 2), the primary selective pressure for this gene recruitment may have been the modification of the optical properties of the lens in an ancestor of elephant shrews, “diluting” the specialized g-crystallins, to help make a softer accommodating lens. Other benefits may have been protection against the toxic effects of aldehydes resulting from light-induced oxidation of lens components, or generalized anti-oxidant and UV-filtering effects though sequestration of NAD(H) or retinoids in the lens (1, 28, 43, 44). While there may have been selective advantages for the recruitment of ALDH1/h-crystallin in lens, there is no clear advantage to its collateral recruitment as the major ALDH1 expressed in other parts of the eye A Retinaldehyde Dehydrogenase as a Structural Protein in a Mammalian Eye Lens GENE RECRUITMENT OF h-CRYSTALLIN Caroline Graham, Jason Hodin, and Graeme Wistow Journal of Biological Chemistry Vol. 271, No. 26, Issue of June 28, pp. 15623—15628, 1996.

Then there’s gelsolin, glyceraldye 3 phosphate dehydrogenase, alpha enolase, argininosuccinate lyase, NADPH dependent reductase.

So there are examples of taxon specific crystallins that are recruited from metabolic enzymes by the addition of a lens specific promoter. Others are examples of duplicated genes encoding metabolic enzymes where the duplicate has been recruited to function as a crystallin.

These are all old references, there’s nothing new and cutting edge about this information. If ID has a better mechanism for the occurrence of the taxon specific crystallins and the implications of their distributions i.e. bird/reptile LDHB crystallin, then I would like to hear it. I would like to point out that the bird/reptile relationship extends to alpha and beta chains of alpha crystallin and rhodopsin.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Sal says: “ These articles assume the very thing they wish to prove. We call that circular reasoning. I’m afrraid your offerings only prove that Darwinists think circular reasoning is a valid mode of deduction.”

Well, let’s look at the number of fallacies explicit or implicit in those two sentences , Sal-baby.

You mention one citation by PvM, then say “These articles” as if you adressed each example presented to you. You fail to show that even the one article you name contains circular reasoning. By implication, since you use the collective “these,” you are falsely implying that all PvM’s examples are invalid, but you haven’t shown that.

You leap from these fallacious claims to yet another one: That your assertion alone ( without evidence ) of “circularity” enables you to say you have “proven” something…when you have not shown anything at all. You then move from PVM to “Darwinists”, indicting a whole range of people without showing you have a basis for that indictment.

Now stand back and look at the collection of fallacies you used, Sal. To what purpose did you use them? Answer: To show that “Darwinists” argue illogically and ivalidly. I count at least 5 distinct fallacies in two measly sentences comprising 32 words. And you never *really* address the actual articles cited – you wave your hands and hope they go away?

I forgot to add: after you’ve substantively addressed Mr. van Meurs’ articles, you may address the one I cited. Please do so. (Oh, and in the previous post, it should be “invalidly”)

I’m afrraid your offerings only prove that Darwinists think circular reasoning is a valid mode of deduction.

(yawn) How dreadful.

Hey Sal, if ID is all about science and not religion, then, uh, why does all of its funding come from fundamentalist political groups and Christian Reconstructionist wackos?

Oh, and hey, what part of evolutionary biology is any more “materialistic” or “atheistic” than is, say, weather forecasting or accident investigation or the rules of baseball?

Thanks in advance, once again, for not answering any of my simple questions. I just want every lurker here to see that you are nothing but a loudmouthed coward.

Perhaps Sal can start by explaining what in these papers is circular and how such circularity affects the scientific nature.

Indeed. I’ve got my popcorn all popped, and got my comfortable computer chair all set. Let the show begin!

Sal? Hello?… Sal? My popcorn is getting stale.

Sal, your audience is awaiting your presentation of data to support your claims. Or will ID remain scientifically vacuous yet once again? Don’t worry, we have the patience… 10 years and more and counting.…

only 10 years PvM why not give them until the second coming? 2000 years plus whatever billions of years until its lights out for the universe of circular reasoning is sure to produce something?

Here is a tip Sal the one true test of circular reasoning is it produces mere words and nothing else useful EXACTLY like creationism.

The reason you (Sal) think that creationism is true and science is false is because you are functionally incapable of determining the truth and the reason for that is you believe a lie (creationism) to be true. The reason that lie is created, by religious cults, is to manipulate its followers for fun and profit.… no other reason,the one tried and true method used by priest’s since Adam was a boy. You have heard of Jim Jones and Scientology and the other cults have you not? In fact Sal all religions have a cult methodology to inculcate their followers. The way it is done is by manipulating the followers perception of reality, in short form their minds so that the cult determines what is real and what is not by means of social realism otherwise known as cultural engineering…but then you already know that (good christian soldier) Sal, don’t you? You will do whatever HQ says with no questions asked, just like the good little soldier, salute and execute, no thinking required (or asked for in your case) Sal. If you were able to think you would realize that practically everything the creo’s tell you is false about science, happens to be true in the real world.

Sal you not only have no idea what circular reasoning is, along with every other topic you have ever expounded on here at PT, I’m beginning to think you are genuinely stupid, your brains are practically useless for anything except saying yes Mr. Dembski.

Keep down the insults and give Sal at least a chance to reply. Perhaps he may even surprise us.

Keep down the insults and give Sal at least a chance to reply. Perhaps he may even surprise us.

Right. But that’s not to say we shouldn’t keep reminding him. Today, for those keeping track, is day 3 since Sal was asked to back up this:

Pvm cited in favor of gene duplication: Holland PW, Garcia-Fernandez J, Williams NA, Sidow A. Gene duplications and the origins of vertebrate development. Dev Suppl. 1994;:125-33.

These[sic] articles[sic] assume the very thing they wish to prove. We call that circular reasoning. I’m afrraid your offerings only prove that Darwinists think circular reasoning is a valid mode of deduction.

Today, for those keeping track, is day 3 since Sal was asked to back up this:

Well, since it took ID 10 years to come up with nothing, I’d wonder how long it will take Sal to come up with a response :-)

Maybe the chatbot software needed an upgrade: TurboGoalposts v.3:16, now QuoteMine Enhanced!

4 days and counting Sal. What better evidence to show that ID is scientifically vacuous as the silence from Sal…

19 days and counting and still no response from Sal

This is rich from an ID activist. It’s ID which calls something complex and thus designed without showing that it matches the complexity criterion. On the other hand real science observes the fact of gene duplications, and understands how such duplications may find various fates. The fact that we find such exquisite examples of for instance hox gene duplications which explain the many ‘innovations’ in life show that rather than circular reasoning, these findings support an evolutionary paradigm. Sal may object that science is ‘circular’ in the sense that the data support the theory but that’s the power of real science. Sal may doubt that natural selection is sufficient in explaining these data and I would agree, natural selection is one of various mechanisms which can cause variation to become (permanently) part of the genome. As science is uncovering neutral variations are another important contributor, also biology’s dark matter of cryptic genetic variation may play a role. Then we have selective sweeps were other alleles can become fixated because of a selective sweep elsewhere.

Perhaps Sal’s real problem is that he does not appreciate how real science works. After all being a YECer in spite of all the contrary evidence suggests that there may be some deeper issues here. Perhaps Sal can start by explaining what in these papers is circular and how such circularity affects the scientific nature.

And finally, Sal can provide us with the ID hypotheses in this area? Let him show how vacuous ID is compared to science.

ID indeed seems to be quite vacuous…

Circular reasoning? That’s something that can happen in attempts at deductive reasoning. But support via evidence is not deductive reasoning, and so “circularity” doesn’t apply to it.

Henry

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 16, 2006 5:48 PM.

Lecture on ´Evolution and Intelligent Design´ April 20 was the previous entry in this blog.

The standard genetic code enhances adaptive evolution of proteins is the next entry in this blog.

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