So…soap bubbles must be designed!

| 224 Comments

You've probably noticed that as a soap bubble thins, it acquires a rainbow of iridescent colors across its surface. Or perhaps you've noticed that a film of oil on a mud puddle shows beautiful colors. These are common physical properties of thin film interference.

The way it works is that light entering a material with a higher refractive index is both reflected and transmitted. Some of the light bounces back with a partial phase shift, and some of it passes through. In a thin film, it passes through but doesn't travel far before it hits another boundary, for instance between the film and the water underneath it, and again, some of it is reflected and some transmitted. This second reflected beam of light, though, is out of phase with the first, by an amount that depends on the thickness of the film. What that means is that certain wavelengths will be shifted in such a way as to reinforce the first reflected beam, generating constructive interference that will make that wavelength brighter. Other wavelengths will be shifted the same amount, but they will be out of phase with light in the first reflected beam — there will be destructive interference, and that wavelength will be damped out.

The net result: the light reflecting off the film will be colored, and the color will depend on the thickness of the film. It's a simple physical process. Cephalopods use it to generate their colors — just by shifting thin reflecting membranes by a tiny distance of a fraction of a wavelength of light, they shift which wavelengths constructively and destructively interfere with each other, and thus change their color. Now engineers are exploiting the same principle to build television screens: they use a thin film that can be expanded by fractions of a wavelength of light by applying a voltage to build reflective color screens. This will be very cool. If you've got a Kindle or one of the other e-book readers, you know they use a reflective screen with no backlight that depends on ambient lighting to be visible…and that right now you only get shades of gray. With this technology, we'll be able to have color electronic paper. I'll be looking forward to it.

Unfortunately, we'll also enable incomprehending gomers. Case in point: Casey Luskin thinks that thin-film interference patterns implies design. Well, actually, it's stupider than that — he actually thinks that because TVs are being designed to use thin-film interference, and because cephalopod skin uses thin-film interference to generate color, that implies that cephalopod skin is also designed. I kid you not.

So we may soon have affordable, energy-efficient, cuttlefish inspired flat screen TVs and computer monitors everywhere. But of course, there's no design overtones to see here folks. None whatsoever.

Right. And because trebuchets were designed to use gravity to generate force, and because rocks on mountains will tumble down due to gravity, avalanches are therefore designed. We make fire by design to produce the release of energy by rapid oxidation of carbon compounds; cells also oxidize carbon-containing compounds to produce energy; therefore, cells must have been set on fire on purpose. This is what the IDiots are reduced to: if something designed and something evolved make use of the same properties of our common physical universe, that means the evolved object must be designed, too. It's ridiculous, but it's all they've got.

224 Comments

Casey Luskin is as dumb as a rock. Since rocks are not designed, Casey Luskin must also not have been designed.

“There are some drawbacks to this design.”

Heh. Too bad for the cuttlefish the designer wasn’t smart enough to figure out back-lighting.

The only new thing here is the new inappropriate analogy.

The two basic arguments that ID has been making at least since 1999 are -

1) If something is designed by a known natural organism (say, Mt Rushmore or an ant hill), then anything else that can be analogized to the first thing, in however strained a fashion, must have been “designed” by an unknown (wink wink) supernatural designer. That’s the one we see here in use by Luskin.

2) If we don’t know exactly how something arose (or if we do, but the creationist claims we don’t), it must have been “designed” by an unknown (wink wink) supernatural designer. (For example, Dembski’s “filter” is an elaborate variation of this claim.)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ID advocate say anything that can’t be boiled down to one of these logically flawed statements.

ben said:

Casey Luskin is as dumb as a rock. Since rocks are not designed, Casey Luskin must also not have been designed.

I have to take issue with that comment, Ben. I am almost certain that I read in an article right here on PT that each and every rock was (is) designed. It may even have been quoted from a Luskin article on the Deception Institute website (someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I am almost certain I read that – I just cannot remember the article). Therefore, if true, I would have to conclude that Luskin was designed; designed to be as dumb as a rock – which is not much of a compliment for the ‘designer.’

I’ve always found it amusing that humans first looked to nature to design the airplane wing– not the other way around.

Evolution has been randomly exploring and sampling many of Nature’s laws for billions of years.

It should be no surprise that any creature that exists in this physical universe would obey the rules of chemistry and physics. Any creature that didn’t obey those laws doesn’t exist.

And there are phenomena that exist in nature that evolution hasn’t yet exploited (at least on this planet); namely bodies of creatures that are superconducting, employ magnetic levitation, use plasma drive propulsion, sprocket-and-chain drive, diesel engine propulsion, laser gyro-compasses, or a whole host of other phenomena that take place in energy ranges outside the ranges in which life on this planet exists.

However, in the relatively narrow energy ranges in which life here exists (roughly within the ranges of liquid water), there are literally thousands if not millions of subtle phenomena that living organisms exploit. It is these phenomena that also go into building these creatures from their earliest ancestors right on up through the chains of ancestors leading to the given creature.

No surprises here. Just because we discover and come to understand these phenomena after billions of years of evolution have already taken place doesn’t make them retroactively designed.

nothing new here, except I’m afraid it hasn’t been stated clearly and explicitly enough for it to become a point of ridicule: anytime man creates something that already exists in biology, the biological example becomes obvious design. most of ID is suspended from this argument, and we probably haven’t seen enough “cells deliberately set on fire” examples in the past

harold said:

The two basic arguments that ID has been making at least since 1999 are…

AKA, Paley’s argument by analogy fallacy and the argument from ignorance fallacy.
Rinsed & repeated at least since 400 BC.

PZ: how could the Atheist ever recognize the concept of design to exist in nature? To do so would be admitting to the existence of invisible Designer (= God).

Nature and its inhabitants are self-evidently designed—bat sonar to electric fish.

Evolution is a systematic denial of design because the secular world does not want to come under the authority of a Creator. They would rather deny the obvious and take their chances.

To say some unguided material process produced the marvels of nature, and not Intelligence, is moronic and only explained by hatred of coming under the authority of the Biblical Theos.

Ray, you’re joking, right? Please say you’re joking.

I wonder what Miller, Ayala, and the Pope think…

Ohhh, Ray. I don’t want to deny the obvious. Please save me. I wish to learn. Did God tell the Israelites to practice racial purity, and also say that all humans are his children. How did Judas die? Did he hang himself or fall down? Who was Jesus’s most beloved disciple? Was Adam created before the animals or after? OOOhhhh, I have many more questions, Ray. Show me the obvious.

fnxtr said:

Ray, you’re joking, right? Please say you’re joking.

I wonder what Miller, Ayala, and the Pope think…

Ray is not joking; he is projecting. They all do it. He talks just like those paranoid preachers on the TV religion channels.

Ray Martinez said:

Evolution is a systematic denial of design because the secular world does not want to come under the authority of a Creator. They would rather deny the obvious and take their chances.

To say some unguided material process produced the marvels of nature, and not Intelligence, is moronic and only explained by hatred of coming under the authority of the Biblical Theos.

Except, of course, for all those Christians who see no conflict between evolution and their faith.

So, what of folks like us, Ray? How do we fit into your nice black-and-white dichotomy?

gabriel said:

So, what of folks like us, Ray? How do we fit into your nice black-and-white dichotomy?

According to Ray, those Christians who have no conflict between faith and understanding Evolutionary Biology are not Christians, and according to Ray, “not Christian” is synonymous with “not human” and “pagan devil worshiper”

gabriel said:

Ray Martinez said:

Evolution is a systematic denial of design because the secular world does not want to come under the authority of a Creator. They would rather deny the obvious and take their chances.

To say some unguided material process produced the marvels of nature, and not Intelligence, is moronic and only explained by hatred of coming under the authority of the Biblical Theos.

Except, of course, for all those Christians who see no conflict between evolution and their faith.

So, what of folks like us, Ray? How do we fit into your nice black-and-white dichotomy?

Why do all Atheists support and defend evolution with fanatical zeal?

Answer: Because evolution, if true, means Genesis is false—the Text is man-made, the Deity does not exist.

Why do so called Christians agree with evolution and all Atheists, rejecting design to exist in nature?

Answer: the fact of rejection is evidence supporting the fact that said Christians are not real Christians because real Christians do not agree with Atheists concerning design.

fnxtr said:

Ray, you’re joking, right? Please say you’re joking.

I wonder what Miller, Ayala, and the Pope think…

Are you telling me that the Pope and Richard Dawkins accept the same biological production theory?

Ray,

Have you ever looked at the first part of your bible? The part before genesis where honest bibles describe how the bible has been assembled, edited, and modified by people through time? Try opening your bible and going the part before genesis.

Rob

Ray Martinez said:

fnxtr said:

Ray, you’re joking, right? Please say you’re joking.

I wonder what Miller, Ayala, and the Pope think…

Are you telling me that the Pope and Richard Dawkins accept the same biological production theory?

Yes. The current Pope, as well as his immediate predecessor have both made several statements about accepting the reality of Evolutionary Biology has no bearing on one’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Not that you’d care about anything beyond spouting your nonsensical hellfire sermons here.

So does this mean I can play blu-ray movies on my cuttlefish?

Ray Martinez said: Are you telling me that the Pope and Richard Dawkins accept the same biological production theory?

I would rather surprised to hear that either of them believed in The Stork.

Stanton said:

Ray Martinez said:

fnxtr said:

Ray, you’re joking, right? Please say you’re joking.

I wonder what Miller, Ayala, and the Pope think…

Are you telling me that the Pope and Richard Dawkins accept the same biological production theory?

Yes. The current Pope, as well as his immediate predecessor have both made several statements about accepting the reality of Evolutionary Biology has no bearing on one’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Not that you’d care about anything beyond spouting your nonsensical hellfire sermons here.

Reply evades completely the inescapable rhetorical point and logical impossibility of the Pope (= arch-Theist) and Richard Dawkins (= arch-Atheist) accepting the same biological production theory. Why? Why is my opponent evading and yawning over said absurdity? Answer: because he cannot explain the egregious and unpleasant contradiction, unlike myself. Logic dictates that one party is not genuinely as such, that is, our arch-Theist is not a real Theist or our arch–Atheist is not a real Atheist because real Atheists and real Theists do not agree with one another concerning biological production. Theists accept the existence of a personal God while Atheists reject the existence. All Atheists support evolution because evolution, if true, means God does not exist. My opponent MUST downplay these basic and fundamental objective facts because everyone believes that Richard Dawkins is a real Atheist.

[Note: I have never seen an actual quote from the mouth of Pope Benedict in support of evolution.]

Rob said:

Ray,

Have you ever looked at the first part of your bible? The part before genesis where honest bibles describe how the bible has been assembled, edited, and modified by people through time? Try opening your bible and going the part before genesis.

Rob

You have misunderstood these textual commentaries. They are not written in support of Atheism.

So Ray, do you accept gravitational theory? Heliocentric theory? The germ theory of disease? The chromosome theory of inheritance? If so, please explain why you accept theories that every atheist I know also accepts.

Also, like I’ve said to you before, you don’t get to decide who is a “true” Christian or not. You might well ask yourself why you reject God’s general revelation in nature.

Frank B said:

Ohhh, Ray. I don’t want to deny the obvious. Please save me. I wish to learn. Did God tell the Israelites to practice racial purity,.…

Yes*, and 1900 years later evolutionary theorists, including Charles Darwin, practiced much worse.

In fact Ronald Fisher, who Richard Dawkins called the greatest scientist since Darwin, was Professor of White Superiority (= eugenics). And very recently, arch-Darwinist James Watson was caught saying that Africans are not as intelligent as white people.

The usual false dichotomy. “You don’t accept Scriptural literal inerrancy in anything in it that I choose to designate as not metaphorical, so therefore you don’t accept Scripture, so therefore you aren’t a Christian.”

Nonsense, and nonsense again. And heresy and blasphemy as well. Mr Martinez thinks that his own perceptions and opinions, not merely those of Scripture, are infallible, which means that in his mind he has usurped the attributes of Almighty God. His hubris and arrogance reek to the eye.

Ray Martinez typed:

[Note: I have never seen an actual quote from the mouth of Pope Benedict in support of evolution.]

Here you go:

Pope Benedict XVI said:

Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: those who believe in the Creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, and those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: where does everything come from? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man?

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/b[…]dore_en.html

We have, from “the mouth of Pope Benedict”, a statement that Ray’s position is “absurd”.

Ray Martinez said:

Frank B said:

Ohhh, Ray. I don’t want to deny the obvious. Please save me. I wish to learn. Did God tell the Israelites to practice racial purity,.…

Yes*, and 1900 years later evolutionary theorists, including Charles Darwin, practiced much worse.

In fact Ronald Fisher, who Richard Dawkins called the greatest scientist since Darwin, was Professor of White Superiority (= eugenics). And very recently, arch-Darwinist James Watson was caught saying that Africans are not as intelligent as white people.

So, James Watson says “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically.”

According to Ray, this is “much worse” than

Joshua 8

1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves.” …

24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai. … 27 But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the LORD had instructed Joshua.

28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day. 29 He hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening.

So, Ray, why is a statement about intelligence “much worse” than a command from Yahweh to kill, plunder, steal, burn, and destroy?

Hi Dan,

Don’t let Ray distract you. Frank B’s post was about contradictions in the Bible – God ordering monstrosities on one hand and proclaiming that all people are his children on the other, in his first example. The actual monstrousness of the monstrosities wasn’t really the point (although it’s sporting of Ray to concede that God’s command was immoral).

Cheers,

PP

Ray Martinez said:

PZ: how could the Atheist ever recognize the concept of design to exist in nature? To do so would be admitting to the existence of invisible Designer (= God).

Nature and its inhabitants are self-evidently designed—bat sonar to electric fish.

Evolution is a systematic denial of design because the secular world does not want to come under the authority of a Creator. They would rather deny the obvious and take their chances.

To say some unguided material process produced the marvels of nature, and not Intelligence, is moronic and only explained by hatred of coming under the authority of the Biblical Theos.

A typical Martinez statement. He is famous for his creationist stubbornness. No argument no matter how correct and well documented will make an impression on him.

Self-evidence is one of his favorite arguments, another is creating strawmen, like “Darwinism = Atheism”; all atheists are liars. Being criticized by a Darwinist makes Ray proud; that is evidence that he is right.

Nothing short of the designer himself stepping down from heaven punching Ray in the nose can convince him that everything is not quite the way he argues.

And science, that definitely is not Ray’s cup of tea.

In short, he’s better left alone with his delusions. He’s promised to publish a paper that will be the end of the theory of evolution, making the lives of all us evolutionists miserable.

Dan said:

Ray Martinez said:

Frank B said:

Ohhh, Ray. I don’t want to deny the obvious. Please save me. I wish to learn. Did God tell the Israelites to practice racial purity,.…

Yes*, and 1900 years later evolutionary theorists, including Charles Darwin, practiced much worse.

In fact Ronald Fisher, who Richard Dawkins called the greatest scientist since Darwin, was Professor of White Superiority (= eugenics). And very recently, arch-Darwinist James Watson was caught saying that Africans are not as intelligent as white people.

So, James Watson says “There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically.”

According to Ray, this is “much worse” than

Joshua 8

1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves.” …

24 When Israel had finished killing all the men of Ai in the fields and in the desert where they had chased them, and when every one of them had been put to the sword, all the Israelites returned to Ai and killed those who were in it. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day—all the people of Ai. … 27 But Israel did carry off for themselves the livestock and plunder of this city, as the LORD had instructed Joshua.

28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day. 29 He hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening.

So, Ray, why is a statement about intelligence “much worse” than a command from Yahweh to kill, plunder, steal, burn, and destroy?

Unfortunately for the Bible, Ai didn’t actually exist when the battle was supposed to have happened. I wonder why people like Matinez keep trying to hack away at a settled theory when the book underlying his beliefs is so full of problems.

Dave Luckett said:

The story of Lot’s wife, maybe, considering that “salted” is metaphorical for “purified”?

Technically speaking, “turn to salt” an ancient expression for becoming infertile, in that, when a woman became barren, it was as though someone salted her fields. And when a woman turned to salt, well, that was grounds for divorce in ancient times.

Stanton said:

Dave Luckett said:

The story of Lot’s wife, maybe, considering that “salted” is metaphorical for “purified”?

Technically speaking, “turn to salt” an ancient expression for becoming infertile, in that, when a woman became barren, it was as though someone salted her fields. And when a woman turned to salt, well, that was grounds for divorce in ancient times.

I am instructed. A particularly rich metaphor, then.

Dave Luckett said:

See, the problem with being a literalist is that you still have to pick and choose what bits of the Bible you consider literal. Even literalists agree that the parables of Jesus are metaphors - He Himself said as much. But when He said that He stood at the door and knocked, did He actually mean He was doing that, right now? No? When He said He was the true vine, did He mean He put out new leaves every spring? Um…another metaphor, then. Only He didn’t say that those were metaphors, so some of the Bible’s metaphors are unannounced. So… what else is metaphor? …

A beautiful post, Dave.

Here’s another passage, a very famous one, from Psalm 23:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.

This passage has a very personal meaning for me. Five years and four months ago, my wife of 26 years died of brain cancer. In her last horrible month, when her strength diminished and her mind failed and our sons cried and my world fell apart, this passage was a source of hope and stability for her, for me, and for our sons. It gave me the strength I needed to go on and care for her in the way she deserved. I am certain that it has played this same role for millions of families as they faced the horrors of death.

How would a Biblical literalist approach the passage? He’d ask questions like “What is the latitude and longitude of the valley of the shadow of death? How deep is it? What is the flow rate of the river running through it? Has it been nominated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site?” In short, a Biblical literalist would completely miss the point.

I approach the Bible as a moral guide, as rich and inspired poetry, and as a rollicking good tale of a scrappy little nation fending off huge rivals against enormous odds. To me, the Bible sits in the company of the Iliad and Shakespeare’s works and The Brothers Karamazov. The fact that Shakeseare’s plays contain contradictions in no way diminishes their role in inspiration and moral uplift, or the revealing light they shine on the human condition. The same is true of the Bible.

A Biblical literalist, in contrast, approaches the Bible as a set of dry facts. To him, the Bible is like a table of logarithms.

Which person venerates the Bible … the one who treats it as great literature or the one who treats it as a logarithm table?

(Note to the below-50 crowd: In the days before cheap personal computers and cheap hand-held calculators, we used to find logarithms [and sines and cosines …] not by pressing a button but by looking them up in tables:

http://www.sosmath.com/tables/logta[…]ogtable.html

If you’ve never done this, you’re fortunate. But even you fortunates can see that it was a boring process.]

My God told me Ray isn’t a True Christian ™ because he denies the signs of His work, and scorns His gift of reason. Ray doesn’t worship God or Christ, he worships scriptures written by fallible men. Have fun in Hell, Ray, that’s where my God says you’re going.

Stanton said: Technically speaking, “turn to salt” an ancient expression for becoming infertile, in that, when a woman became barren, it was as though someone salted her fields. And when a woman turned to salt, well, that was grounds for divorce in ancient times.

That’s interesting to learn. Here I thought the story of Lot was a variation on the Orpheus myth: bad stuff happens to righteous man; makes bargain with Power to save loved one(s); gets “you can save them but don’t look back” condition; fails condition; goes on to help found civilization(s). Though Orpheus did that last one with his contributions to music and art, not by sleeping with his daughters…

Stanton said: Technically speaking, “turn to salt” an ancient expression for becoming infertile, in that, when a woman became barren, it was as though someone salted her fields. And when a woman turned to salt, well, that was grounds for divorce in ancient times.

[Apologies if this is a repost…server problems…]

That’s interesting to learn. Here I thought the story of Lot was a variation on the Orpheus myth: bad stuff happens to righteous man; makes bargain with Power to save loved one(s); gets “you can save them but don’t look back” condition; fails condition; goes on to help found civilization(s). Though Orpheus did that last one with his contributions to music and art, not by sleeping with his daughters…

eric said:

Stanton said: Technically speaking, “turn to salt” an ancient expression for becoming infertile, in that, when a woman became barren, it was as though someone salted her fields. And when a woman turned to salt, well, that was grounds for divorce in ancient times.

[Apologies if this is a repost…server problems…]

That’s interesting to learn. Here I thought the story of Lot was a variation on the Orpheus myth: bad stuff happens to righteous man; makes bargain with Power to save loved one(s); gets “you can save them but don’t look back” condition; fails condition; goes on to help found civilization(s). Though Orpheus did that last one with his contributions to music and art, not by sleeping with his daughters…

Well, no, but alcohol and wackiness was a major factor involving his untimely demise.

Stanton said:

Dave Luckett said:

The story of Lot’s wife, maybe, considering that “salted” is metaphorical for “purified”?

Technically speaking, “turn to salt” an ancient expression for becoming infertile, in that, when a woman became barren, it was as though someone salted her fields. And when a woman turned to salt, well, that was grounds for divorce in ancient times.

Just out of curiosity, what’s your source for that? An “ancient expression” is pretty vague… what language/culture does it come from? Thanks.

Sylvilagus said:

Just out of curiosity, what’s your source for that? An “ancient expression” is pretty vague… what language/culture does it come from? Thanks.

I had remember reading a book that said that “(to) turn to salt” meant becoming barren (i.e, ala “salting the earth”), but, after checking on Google, apparently I and that book were mistaken, as to “turn to salt” back in ancient Israel was used in the same way English speakers talk of “being scared stiff” or “petrified” to refer to experiencing fear-induced paralysis.

So, metaphorically speaking, Lot’s wife looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah, was scared stiff, and was left behind.

http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/roby[…]es/0164.html

Lynn said:

Dave Luckett said:

There is an energy cost to all biological structures. They have to be maintained, healed, nourished, oxygen has to be conveyed to them, cells die and have be replaced, and so on. If this energy cost is an actual disadvantage, in that the structure has no purpose (any more), or a purpose so reduced as not to justify the cost, then the structure will become vestigial, because evolution will select for less disadvantage, which is “more advantage” the other way up.

So a dog’s tail is sufficient of an advantage to be maintained in the species. It has purposes that advantage the dog. It would seem that using it as a communication device for other dogs (and people) is one of those purposes.

A cave fish, on the other hand, which lives in permanent complete darkness, is not advantaged by having a sense of sight, and so the structures that provide it - the eyes, their nerves, and the visual cortex itself, all of which have an energy cost - become vestigial because they have been selected out. All species of cave fish are blind, because sight does not provide an advantage for them - only a cost, which can be obviated. The fact that a sighted cave fish could reproduce is not sufficient to retain a sense of sight. The sense has to provide an advantage greater than the disadvantage of maintaining it. In the environment cave fish live in, it does not do that.

Dave, I definitely understand that there would be a cost to new features. But are you saying that features go away because they are not needed in an environment? I don’t think that’s exactly what you are saying. I think that goes against all I’ve learned about evolution. To look at your cave fish, if being without good sight still allowed them to reproduce, then I would expect poor-sightedness would remain in the population. Same goes for good sight. Unless you mean that having sight in a dark environment cost the organism so much, they COULDN’T reproduce and sightedness would disappear, then again, it goes back to my simple explanation: If a change doesn’t keep an organism from reproducing (the harm someone else mentioned), there’s a chance it will stay around.

I expect it’s rather more like the ancestor of a poor sighted cave fish was able to use it’s poor sightedness in a new environment and the population with poor sight began to grow in dark environments, while of course, populations with good sight stayed in their environment.

What do you think?

If I am not mistaken, the degeneration of the visual system in cave fish was not so much due to energetic considerations, but the fact that mutations detrimental to the functioning of that system were no longer problematic to the survical and reproductive capacity of the mutant, and so were preserved, and eventually even became beneficial in that the energetic demands of the visual system were no longer present. The initial mutations however were not so much beneficial as neutral.

In other words, random, nondirected, chance, “blind” evolution at it again.

zingzang said:

I question the explanatory power of neo-darwinian evolution.

(Having said that, I’ll save everybody some time…) Clearly I’m an ignorant, dishonest, uneducated, unqualified, disingenuous, religiously motivated, lazy-minded, lying, quote mining, mind-yanking, bullshit spouting, disgusting, full of crap, unscientific, obnoxious, sock puppet troll.

I catch on quick, don’t I?

What’s your question? You said “I question …” but then just gave a list of adjectives. If you have a question, you might get an answer.

zingzang wrote:

“I question the explanatory power of neo-darwinian evolution.”

Fine. I question the explanatory power of any alternative proposed so far. They are all a distant second, if they offer any explanations at all.

Chris Ashton said:

In other words, random, nondirected, chance, “blind” evolution at it again.

Couldn’t have said it better Chris.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on June 9, 2009 1:33 PM.

Fregata magnificens was the previous entry in this blog.

Freshwater brings suit against Board of Education is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter