DI claims evolutionists have “no comment” on RNA World – but they rejected my comment!

| 41 Comments

Over on the DI blog, David Klinghoffer wrote:

Darwinists on RNA World: “No Comment” David Klinghoffer August 19, 2011 6:00 AM | Permalink

Darwinists routinely complain about our policy on comments here: we allow them when we do, and don’t when we don’t. The impression is that they are just itching to have at our science writers. Yet we opened comments the other day on Jonathan M.’s thoughtful take-down of the RNA World hypothesis as a solution to the origins-of-life conundrum – and no critics showed up for the party. Only friendlies did so. Come on, gentlemen! Jonathan’s conclusion:

Michael Marshall’s New Scientist article does not even come close to demonstrating the feasibility of the RNA world hypothesis, much less the origin of the sequence-specific information necessary for even the simplest of biological systems. Since information is a phenomenon uniformly associated with intelligent causes, it follows inductively that intelligent design constitutes the best – most causally sufficient – explanation for the information-content of the hereditary molecules DNA and RNA.

Go there and let us know why you disagree.

Hmm, that’s quite odd, since I’ve been commenting on JonathanM’s pieces occasionally over the last few weeks, mostly at Uncommon Descent.

The common feature of JonathanM’s posts is above-average research for an IDist, but way below-par research in terms of actual scholarship. He knows just enough to seem informed, but doesn’t bother to look up any of the actual research on the questions he asks – he just assumes that whatever problem with evolution that he thinks up over breakfast is some crushing objection that none of the experts has ever thought about before.

Usually this boils down to not a God-of-the-Gaps-Human-Knowledge argument, but a God-of-the-Gaps-in-JonathanM’s-Knowledge argument, which is, I think, an even more devastating mistake than the usual God-of-the-Gaps argument.

Anyhow, as background to the below, a week or two ago JonathanM made a post on UD that claimed various half-baked problems for the natural origin of life, one of which was that the assembly of RNA was difficult, because nature would have to separately sugars, bases, and phosphates separately, and then assemble them. The only problem with this argument, whatever its original merits, is that it was directly falsified by the Sutherland Group’s famous experiments in 2009. Oops! I pointed this out on UD, and although it took some tooth-pulling, got some UD people to more-or-less admit that JonathanM made a mistake there. JonathanM, though, seems to be acting like his sure-thing takedown of the origin of life from a few weeks ago never happened.

All of this may explain why, when I posted the following comment to JonathanM’s RNA World post at the DI website – hours after the original RNA World post was published, if I recall correctly – it said “comment received”, but the moderators never approved it. So there you go, David Klinhoffer – an answer to your question about why there were no challenges to JonathanM.

JonathanM – Well, I don’t see a forthright admission that you made a mistake last week when you claimed that the OOL was impossible because it was hard to assemble RNA monomers from separate bases, sugars, and phosphates – an argument which was disproven in 2009 by Sutherland’s work – but I’ll take it.

Other points:

“Since information is a phenomenon uniformly associated with intelligent causes, it follows inductively that intelligent design constitutes the best – most causally sufficient – explanation for the information-content of the hereditary molecules DNA and RNA.”

It’s not true that “information is a phenomenon uniformly associated with intelligent causes”. The natural processes of gene duplication plus mutation and selection produces new genetic information all the time. This explodes the core of the ID argument, by your own admission of what the argument is.

Your overall article is taking a very strange line. Basically, you admit that the RNA world hypothesis has made all kinds of advances – better, simpler syntheses have been discovered, better replicases have been discovered, RNA enzymes have been found in all sorts of places in biology where they aren’t strictly necessary given that proteins should work better as enzymes, etc. But, then you say we should ignore all these advances in the research program, they haven’t solved everything so it’s all worthless and we should believe that God created life with a miracle as the explanation instead.

Also, this is a peculiar argument:

Moreover, as I documented in a review of Nick Lane’s book, the conundrum of making the individual ribonucleotides is only part of the story. They will only polymerize if the nucleotides are present at high concentrations. When the nucleotides are present in high concentrations, it is conceivable that they would spontaneously polymerize (this, of course, ignores the problem of sequence-specificity, but we can leave that aside). In the case of low concentration, conversely, the RNA breaks down into its constituent nucleotides. But here’s the thing: Synthesis of the novel RNA strand requires that nucleotides be consumed (thus decreasing their concentration). The pool of nucleotides, therefore, would have to be perpetually replenished at a rate faster than it is consumed. Please see my response to Nick Lane’s notions of the origin of life in hydrothermal vents for a rebuttal to a common attempted resolution of this problem.

You seem to view the natural production of certain molecules as a one-shot deal. Why? If a geochemical process produced the molecules once it could produce them again – in fact, that would be more likely than not producing them again, given similar conditions. In fact, the most common situation in nature would be that molecules would exist at some kind of equilibrium. For example, phosphate, one of the relevant molecules here, dissolves out of certain rocks at a certain rate, and then is consumed by reactions or precipitation at a certain rate. If some polymerization process starts that begins to consume phosphate, it’s not as if the phosophate will suddenly magically stop coming out of the rocks. And yet for some strange reason you confidently assume otherwise!

As for the origin of replication, given the right building blocks, not every paper deals with every issue, and it’s not fair to criticize papers devoted to specific topics like RNA chemistry for not addressing other specific topics – at least, not without being a responsible scholar and having a look at the literature for other papers that address your problem. Here’s one. And let’s not have “oh but there’s no chemistry” – that what the chemistry papers are for.

Prevolutionary dynamics and the origin of evolution

Martin A. Nowak† and Hisashi Ohtsuki

+ Author Affiliations

Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

Communicated by Clifford H. Taubes, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, July 14, 2008 (received for review May 31, 2008)

Abstract

Life is that which replicates and evolves. The origin of life is also the origin of evolution. A fundamental question is when do chemical kinetics become evolutionary dynamics? Here, we formulate a general mathematical theory for the origin of evolution. All known life on earth is based on biological polymers, which act as information carriers and catalysts. Therefore, any theory for the origin of life must address the emergence of such a system. We describe prelife as an alphabet of active monomers that form random polymers. Prelife is a generative system that can produce information. Prevolutionary dynamics have selection and mutation, but no replication. Life marches in with the ability of replication: Polymers act as templates for their own reproduction. Prelife is a scaffold that builds life. Yet, there is competition between life and prelife. There is a phase transition: If the effective replication rate exceeds a critical value, then life outcompetes prelife. Replication is not a prerequisite for selection, but instead, there can be selection for replication. Mutation leads to an error threshold between life and prelife.

Both this work and the replicase work assume that the key event in the origin of life was the origin of one self-replicating molecule, but others have pointed out that a collection of smaller short-sequence RNAs might be a more likely route, if it turns out that a replicase has a large minimum size (which we don’t actually know). People have barely started exploring these possibilities in the RNA world. How can you just throw up your hands and say “God/ID didit!” when it’s clear that research progress is being made?

41 Comments

1) Origin of life research is a source of panic for creationists. Which is interesting, since it will only ever produce models of what might have happened. Life evolves right now no matter how it originated. Apparently even a good model of what might have happened causes them intense discomfort.

2) Information is defined by the observer. If I decide to go out right now and count the number of pebbles on a particular square of sidewalk, I just made that into information. It does not remotely imply “creation by intelligence”.

Well he’s obviously joking. Look at this:

have at our science writers

Science writers. Seen any science writers over there, ever?

Glen Davidson

Whenever I think of the DI, I think of kids dressing up in their parents’ clothes. The only difference is that kids are actually aware that it’s just make believe.

“Information is a phenomenon uniformly associated with intelligent causes?” Nice example of a tautology. Snowflakes contain information – does the Intelligent Designer sit around making each one?

I vaguely recall somewhere, some biologist speculating that given the right conditions, the spontaneous origin of some sort of life is highly likely, perhaps certain. Do I recall correctly?

But the question then becomes how likely is it for those conditions to occur together?

Once again origin of life research has failed, as it always does and always will. Man can never be God. This is the temptation of Nimrod.

Even if Man could attain such godlike powers to create life, it would only prove intelligent design since it would show godlike powers are necessary to create life.

Finally, governments around the world spend billions of dollars, pounds, and euros on research like this only to fulfill the fetishes of Christ-haters! To add insult to injury, they call it “Separation of Chrurch and State!”

The Dumfuck said:

Once again origin of life research has failed, as it always does and always will. Man can never be God. This is the temptation of Nimrod.

Even if Man could attain such godlike powers to create life, it would only prove intelligent design since it would show godlike powers are necessary to create life.

Finally, governments around the world spend billions of dollars, pounds, and euros on research like this only to fulfill the fetishes of Christ-haters! To add insult to injury, they call it “Separation of Chrurch and State!”

Your claims would make sense if in fact anyone in science was trying to be godlike. But it appears the only one trying to do that is YOU! Your attitude could also be used to condemn all modern medicine, you idiot! Are doctors being godlike when they make efforts to cure illnesses? Or is it that religion failed to do so?

I just added the following to Jonathan M’s original post:

According to a current Pandasthumb post a comment by Nick Matzke is currently waiting to get approved by you.

. As usual it is in moderation. Surprisingly, David Klinghoffer doesn’t allow comments.

It’s always amusing when the ID/Creationists complain that scientists/sceptics suppress their ideas, especially when they do it in comment sections such as PT. Their problem is that those who are able to argue their case know the weaknesses and don’t particularly want their flock exposed to the idea of independent thought.

”… origin of information.…. blah blah blah!”

Any of you creationists/IDer’s who want to learn about the origin of coding (which occurred after the origin of replicating systems) can search on PT for one of the last of Art Hunt’s posts in which the work of Michael Yarus was discussed.

And wait for this by Steve Freeland:

Freeland S and Philip G.K., Astrobiology (in press). “Did evolution select a non-random “alphabet” of amino acids?”

While you’re waiting, see also Freeland’s:

(pubmed) Lu Y and Freeland SJ, J. Theor Biol. 250:349-61 (2008) “A quantitative investigation of the chemical space surrounding amino acid alphabet formation.”

(free version online) Y. Lu and S.J. Freeland. Genome Biology, 7:102 (2006) “On the evolution of the standard amino-acid alphabet.”

And see pubmed for E Trifonov.

Nick M wrote:

Both this work and the replicase work assume that the key event in the origin of life was the origin of one self-replicating molecule, but others have pointed out that a collection of smaller short-sequence RNAs might be a more likely route,

It is very difficult to conceive how a single self-replicating molecule could subsequently continue to evolve, since the process would be quite specific.

A auto-catalytic system of mutually replicating molecules would have more “slop”, more margin of error in catalyst rates, etc., and so could continue to evolve.

JohnK (not Kwok)

I’m having trouble locating the comments for Klinghoffer’s blog post … how strange …

The Jumbuck said:

Finally, governments around the world spend billions of dollars, pounds, and euros on research like this only to fulfill the fetishes of Christ-haters! To add insult to injury, they call it “Separation of Chrurch and State!”

SPELLING, that should be crutch.

would have to separately sugars, bases, and phosphates separately, and then assemble them.

There seems to be a word missing in this clause.

Ugh, can I say this new comment system is suboptimal? I don’t see any obvious way to either include my whole name on any of the services I’ve signed up for, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any easy way to include a link back to my blog. Old system was better.

Its difficult to understand why these IDiots can’t have faith in a God powerful enough to create a universe capable of fulfilling God’s intent without him tinkering with it. A god who has to constantly tinker with the universe to make it work seems like a lesser being to me.

weldonelwood#ca23d said:

Its difficult to understand why these IDiots can’t have faith in a God powerful enough to create a universe capable of fulfilling God’s intent without him tinkering with it. A god who has to constantly tinker with the universe to make it work seems like a lesser being to me.

Yeah, but then he’d be hard to tell from an absentee landlord. So the Big G, as the cosmic apartment manager, decided not to do a perfect job so he could drop in and make fixes – though He’s discreet enough to make them so nobody actually sees Him doing it.

mrg said:

weldonelwood#ca23d said:

Its difficult to understand why these IDiots can’t have faith in a God powerful enough to create a universe capable of fulfilling God’s intent without him tinkering with it. A god who has to constantly tinker with the universe to make it work seems like a lesser being to me.

Yeah, but then he’d be hard to tell from an absentee landlord. So the Big G, as the cosmic apartment manager, decided not to do a perfect job so he could drop in and make fixes – though He’s discreet enough to make them so nobody actually sees Him doing it.

Plus, god still has to ride in to save people from death.

Matt G said: Plus, god still has to ride in to save people from death.

There’s a certain obvious rejoinder to that, but I’ll wait and see how long it takes someone else to make it. Not long I wager.

Censoring out all informed responses, and then claiming their opponents “have no answers to these questions” is so quintessentially creationist that you really have to laugh. When reality won’t fit your claims, you MAKE it fit, and then lie about it. Why should this time-tested technique be abandoned?

mrg said:

Matt G said: Plus, god still has to ride in to save people from death.

There’s a certain obvious rejoinder to that, but I’ll wait and see how long it takes someone else to make it. Not long I wager.

There was a big flood, and a guy was stranded on top of his house…

Sorry, couldn’t help it :)

harold Wrote:

1) Origin of life research is a source of panic for creationists.

Or it would be if the great majority of people, inlcuding most who don’t deny evolution, didn’t fall for the bait-and-switch between evolution and abiogenesis. What a wonderful world it would be if the average person-on-the-street replied to those who deny (or pretend to deny) “macroevolution”: “So if you think that all sorts of ‘kinds’ originated independently, why aren’t you conducting research into the origin-of-life? Evolution does not need a theory for the origin-of-life, but your ‘theory’ does, and yet ‘evolutionists’ are doing all the origin-of-life research. Why is that?”

Flint said:

I vaguely recall somewhere, some biologist speculating that given the right conditions, the spontaneous origin of some sort of life is highly likely, perhaps certain. Do I recall correctly?

You might mean Stuart Kauffman. As a chemist who follows at least some of his math, I find his argument for “crystallization” of autocatalytic systems fairly convincing. Unfortunately I also suspect that we’d need an earth-sized “test tube” that is free of competing life to properly test it.

weldonelwood#ca23d said:

Its difficult to understand why these IDiots can’t have faith in a God powerful enough to create a universe capable of fulfilling God’s intent without him tinkering with it. A god who has to constantly tinker with the universe to make it work seems like a lesser being to me.

With the usual caveat that I can’t read minds, I strongly suspect that they do privately have faith in the God that you describe (as theistic evolutionists do). But they fear that the “masses” need a “tinkering” god to behave properly.

In his review of Nick Lane’s Life Ascending, quoted by Nick, JonathanM wrote

Moreover, as I documented in a review of Nick Lane’s book, the conundrum of making the individual ribonucleotides is only part of the story. They will only polymerize if the nucleotides are present at high concentrations.

In the case of low concentration, conversely, the RNA breaks down into its constituent nucleotides. But here’s the thing: Synthesis of the novel RNA strand requires that nucleotides be consumed (thus decreasing their concentration). The pool of nucleotides, therefore, would have to be perpetually replenished at a rate faster than it is consumed. Please see my response to Nick Lane’s notions of the origin of life in hydrothermal vents for a rebuttal to a common attempted resolution of this problem.

I read Lane’s book a while back during my convalescence and saw something fishy in JonathanM’s summary, in particular with his review of Lane that he referenced. And indeed there are several somethings that are fishy.

JonathanM said in that review

However, as noted previously, problems abound for this hypothesized account. For example, at 100 degrees Centigrade (the boiling point of water), the half lives of the nucleic acids Adenine and Guanine are 1 year. The half life of Uracil and Cytozine is 12 years and 19 days respectively. Remember that in hydrothermal vents the temperatures would be much higher than this. Such short-lived molecules could never be stockpiled in the way in which Lane envisions.

Jonathan’s problem is that Lane is not talking about the commonly known ‘black smokers’ that are found closely associated with mid-ocean ridges, which do have high temperatures. In that section Lane is actually talking about a different sort of oceanic vents called ‘white smokers,’ cool alkaline vents found further away from mid-ocean ridges. Their temperatures range from less than 40C to as high as 90C. So JonathanM’s claim of “much higher” than 100C is false.

JonathanM also claimed

But there is a further, and even more damning, problem with Lane’s proposed solution. If the origin of life took place in an aqueous solution of pre-biotic monomers (as Lane’s proposal maintains), then – according to Le Chateliers Principle – the presence of a product (water, in this case) will slow the reaction. It is not possible to polymerize an appreciable amount of monomers into polymers in an aqueous solution (where water acts as the solvent). Thus, the necessary polymerization step in the reaction could not take place in water.

But Lane specifically discusses modeling research on how in the porous physical context of ‘white smokers,’ thermal gradients and thermal diffusion of molecular products in various-sized rock pores can produce very high concentrations of both nucleotides and polynucleotides, concentrations that are many orders of magnitude greater than produced without those thermal gradients. From the abstract:

We simulate molecular transport in elongated hydrothermal pore systems influenced by a thermal gradient. We find extreme accumulation of molecules in a wide variety of plugged pores. The mechanism is able to provide highly concentrated single nucleotides, suitable for operations of an RNA world at the origin of life. It is driven solely by the thermal gradient across a pore.

We find that interlinked mineral pores in a thermal gradient provide a compelling high-concentration starting point for the molecular evolution of life.

Finally, it’s amusing that JonathanM invokes Le Chatelier’s Principle. That principle is a qualitative description of the fact that in a thermodynamically closed and isolated chemical system, if a reaction is subjected to a shock, the reaction will ‘seek’ to restore some asymptotic equilibrium rate, the asymptote depending on several variables. But a significant strength of the white smoker model is that the system is not thermodynamically closed; energy (and raw materials) flow through the system in a sort of bioreactor, so Le Chandelier’s Principle is largely irrelevant.

So JonathanM misrepresents Lane in his review and in the process reverts once again to the good old creationist Second Law argument.

Richard B. Hoppe said:

But Lane specifically discusses modeling research on how in the porous physical context of ‘white smokers,’ thermal gradients and thermal diffusion of molecular products in various-sized rock pores can produce very high concentrations of both nucleotides and polynucleotides, concentrations that are many orders of magnitude greater than produced without those thermal gradients. From the abstract:

We simulate molecular transport in elongated hydrothermal pore systems influenced by a thermal gradient. We find extreme accumulation of molecules in a wide variety of plugged pores. The mechanism is able to provide highly concentrated single nucleotides, suitable for operations of an RNA world at the origin of life. It is driven solely by the thermal gradient across a pore.

We find that interlinked mineral pores in a thermal gradient provide a compelling high-concentration starting point for the molecular evolution of life.

Finally, it’s amusing that JonathanM invokes Le Chatelier’s Principle. That principle is a qualitative description of the fact that in a thermodynamically closed and isolated chemical system, if a reaction is subjected to a shock, the reaction will ‘seek’ to restore some asymptotic equilibrium rate, the asymptote depending on several variables. But a significant strength of the white smoker model is that the system is not thermodynamically closed; energy (and raw materials) flow through the system in a sort of bioreactor, so Le Chandelier’s Principle is largely irrelevant.

So JonathanM misrepresents Lane in his review and in the process reverts once again to the good old creationist Second Law argument.

In other words, the white smoker model incorporates the composition and energy gradients that can lead to the spontaneous formation of dissipative structures and autocatalytic systems … shown by Prigogine to be completely consonant with the second law of thermodynamics.

I am shocked, shocked to find that someone associated with the DI has botched a thermodynamic argument!

Nick Matzke: “All of this may explain why, when I posted the following comment to JonathanM’s RNA World post at the DI website – hours after the original RNA World post was published, if I recall correctly – it said “comment received”, but the moderators never approved it. So there you go, David Klinhoffer – an answer to your question about why there were no challenges to JonathanM.”

Same with me. I posted a short piece of legitimate criticism several days ago; apparently the moderators have rejected it, and apparently, contrary to what Klinghoffer said, only praise messages get approved. A quick review of the messages posted show each of them to be praise messages.

RM (Old Earth Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

Ray Martinez said:

Nick Matzke: “All of this may explain why, when I posted the following comment to JonathanM’s RNA World post at the DI website – hours after the original RNA World post was published, if I recall correctly – it said “comment received”, but the moderators never approved it. So there you go, David Klinhoffer – an answer to your question about why there were no challenges to JonathanM.”

Same with me. I posted a short piece of legitimate criticism several days ago; apparently the moderators have rejected it, and apparently, contrary to what Klinghoffer said, only praise messages get approved. A quick review of the messages posted show each of them to be praise messages.

RM (Old Earth Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

In your case, a person as stupid as you should be allowed to post just for the sake of allowing others to rip your totally false assumptions apart.

Dale Husband said:

Ray Martinez said:

Nick Matzke: “All of this may explain why, when I posted the following comment to JonathanM’s RNA World post at the DI website – hours after the original RNA World post was published, if I recall correctly – it said “comment received”, but the moderators never approved it. So there you go, David Klinhoffer – an answer to your question about why there were no challenges to JonathanM.”

Same with me. I posted a short piece of legitimate criticism several days ago; apparently the moderators have rejected it, and apparently, contrary to what Klinghoffer said, only praise messages get approved. A quick review of the messages posted show each of them to be praise messages.

RM (Old Earth Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

In your case, a person as stupid as you should be allowed to post just for the sake of allowing others to rip your totally false assumptions apart.

I am relieved to be considered stupid by a person who thinks apes morphed into men over the course of millions of years.

Ray Martinez said:

I am relieved to be considered stupid by a person who thinks apes morphed into men over the course of millions of years.

Add me to that list. Increase your relief.

Ray Martinez said:

Dale Husband said:

Ray Martinez said:

Nick Matzke: “All of this may explain why, when I posted the following comment to JonathanM’s RNA World post at the DI website – hours after the original RNA World post was published, if I recall correctly – it said “comment received”, but the moderators never approved it. So there you go, David Klinhoffer – an answer to your question about why there were no challenges to JonathanM.”

Same with me. I posted a short piece of legitimate criticism several days ago; apparently the moderators have rejected it, and apparently, contrary to what Klinghoffer said, only praise messages get approved. A quick review of the messages posted show each of them to be praise messages.

RM (Old Earth Paleyan IDist-species immutabilist)

In your case, a person as stupid as you should be allowed to post just for the sake of allowing others to rip your totally false assumptions apart.

I am relieved to be considered stupid by a person who thinks apes morphed into men over the course of millions of years.

Scientifically speaking men are just a type of ape, so it really doesn’t sound so stupid to say one type of ape gave rise in the course of a million years to another (or several other) type(s) of ape(s).

Ray Martinez said:

I am relieved to be considered stupid by a person who thinks apes morphed into men over the course of millions of years.

I guess you haven’t had a good look at the fossil record. I wouldn’t call it morphing, exactly, but it isn’t too far off.

I remember a story about a newly reported hominid skull a few years back. Creationists, who assure us that “kinds” are mutable but can’t change into other kinds, apparently didn’t get their story straight: half thought it was of the human kind, and the other half thought it of the ape kind. Ooops!

Weird – JonathanM replies here…

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/0[…]i049871.html

…but seems to just forget that it was he himself who wrote, on August 15, 2011,

Leaving aside the problems of attaining an RNA-based replicase (for that discussion, see Signature in the Cell), the problem is that the difficulties outlined above with regards the formation of polypeptides are really quite trivial in comparison to the difficulty of obtaining polynucleotides, in part because of the different kinds of bonds which need to be made and broken and the very different reaction conditions which are necessary at each stage. Nucleotides are composed of three chemical subunits – a ribose sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base. Not only do these components need to be present and react together in an appropriate fashion in order to produce one nucleotide, but these nucleotides then have to be polymerized, a process which requires a series of endothermic condensation reactions, thereby requiring a high-energy condensing agent in order to perform them. In order to obtain nucleosides (i.e. base and ribose), one would need to begin with a mixture of nitrogenous bases and ribose and an appropriate condensing agents. To obtain nucleotides requires the mixing of nucleosides with phosphate and a different condensing agent.

…apparently, in complete lack of awareness that the Sutherland lab synthesized nucleotides in 2009 without first building base, phosphate, and ribose separately. JonathanM, just admit that you made a mistake, it’s not that hard! Scientists admit mistakes all the time. If you don’t, though, your cred is shot with anyone who knows the science!

Ray Martinez said:

I am relieved to be considered stupid by a person who thinks apes morphed into men over the course of millions of years.

If you think that’s how evolution works, you are even dumber than I thought. Individuals do not “morph” in evolution. It works over many generations on a population, so that the members of a population will be different in genetic makeup than the members of that population millions of years earlier.

And since humans are merely an unusual type of ape.….

And since humans are merely an unusual type of ape.….

With the amount of hair being one of the more obvious differences…

Henry J said:

And since humans are merely an unusual type of ape.….

With the amount of hair being one of the more obvious differences…

Isn’t it more the length and thickness of hairs rather than their number? Humans have hair pretty much everywhere, but it’s mostly very fine, barely visible, especially in women.

Unusual?? Aren’t humans the majority of the ape population?

Frank J said:

Unusual?? Aren’t humans the majority of the ape population?

We are unusual because there are proportionately so many of us :)

Matt G said: Ooops!

Right, pearls for swine was considered bad form even in Biblical times.

The past 150 years of science are irrelevant to RM. Mainstays of his platform are the Bible, Paley, Dr. Eugene Scott and Immanuel Velikovsky.

Like as it does to Kurt Wise, also to RM the Bible takes precedence. But unlike Kurt Wise, RM doesn’t acknowledge science.

Frank J said: Unusual?? Aren’t humans the majority of the ape population?

Yes, but as the Pandas know only too well from experience … “some are more unusual than others.”

Frank J said:

Henry J said:

And since humans are merely an unusual type of ape.….

With the amount of hair being one of the more obvious differences…

Isn’t it more the length and thickness of hairs rather than their number? Humans have hair pretty much everywhere, but it’s mostly very fine, barely visible, especially in women.

Well, “amount” could be taken as either number or mass, even if I was thinking “number” at the time I wrote that. :p

I don’t even consider polyphosphate synthesis an absolute requirement for abiotic nucleotide synthesis. However, there are many ways in which one can generate polyphosphates from dihydrogen phosphate and a considerable number, too many to list here, are compatible with organic molecules.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on August 19, 2011 3:56 PM.

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