Sticklebacks, Manatees, and Creationists

| 60 Comments

The other night our local PBS station re-aired a NOVA two-hour special, What Darwin Never Knew. It was pretty cool stuff, and incidentally featured Sean Carroll of UW Madison. I mention that because I want to digress for a moment. I live in Madison and since July of 2009 have been organizing Madison Science Pub. Every month I invite a different UW science professor to come to Brocach Irish Pub on the downtown square and talk about their field to a very interested, attentive, and inquisitive audience. I have an open invitation to Dr. Carroll to come talk, but he always seems to be too busy or something. Yes, yes, I know he runs a lab, and is Vice President for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, teaches, publishes, has a family, etc., etc., but come on, Sean… free beer! There. I’ve said my piece, back to the matter at hand.

The show was full of great stuff, but I had an authentic “oh wow!” moment about halfway through the program. The scene switched to a lake in British Columbia populated by fish called sticklebacks. Species of sticklebacks in the ocean have “a pair of fins on its belly that are like spikes. They are for defense. The spikes make the stickleback hard to eat,” but the lake sticklebacks have lost them.

Researchers David Kingsley and Dolph Schluter wanted to find out how the lake sticklebacks lost their spikes, and went digging through the fish’s DNA. “We know these genetic switches exist. But they’re still very hard to find,” Kingsley said. “We don’t have a genetic code that lets us read along the DNA sequence and say, ‘There’s a switch,’ to turn a gene on in a particular place.”

(In the show transcript Kingsley is identified with the HHMI. Hey, Kingsley, next time you see Carroll getting something out of the vending machine in the hall, remind him about Science Pub.)

Eventually Kingsley and colleagues found the switch, and sure enough it was mutated and no longer turns on the gene that makes spikes. They believe that this has implications for other more distantly related species and might even explain why manatees lost their legs when they left land for water. (I’ve developed this habit whenever I hear something like this to immediately wonder what Answers in Genesis has to say on the matter. Keep reading to find out.)

Additionally, the sticklebacks teased the researchers with a tantalizing clue. From the show, “the lake stickleback may have lost its spikes, but evolution has left behind some tiny remnants: the traces of bones. And they are lopsided, bigger on the left than on the right.”

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if, in fact,” Kingsley said, “this classic unevenness is the signature of using the same gene to control hind-limb-loss in incredibly different animals?” Well, the evidence continued to mount, because Kingsley and team then examined “boxes” of manatee bones and found the same left-right lopsided pattern. Manatees have left pelvic bones bigger than their right.

After the show I plugged “sticklebacks manatees limb loss” into Google and started clicking links. The most laydude friendly post I found, unsurprisingly, was on one of my favorite sites, sciencedaily.com, published on June 4, 2009. It’s an interesting piece and I highly recommend you read it, but I’ll touch on a few points here.

Mike Shapiro, first author on the paper cited in the Science Daily post, said, “We knew that in many cases of evolution, the same gene has been used over and over again - even in different species - to give the same anatomy.” But here the story gets more complicated, because, at least according to this post, different genes may be responsible for the spike loss in different species of stickleback. “This is very surprising because these species are fairly closely related,” said Shapiro.

What’s noted in this piece that was absent from the PBS show is the actual gene responsible for the sticklebacks spikes: Pitx1. Interestingly, in the last paragraph of the post we read, “While the new study shows different genes can control the same trait in two closely related species of sticklebacks, researchers already knew that in some cases, the same gene can control similar traits in distantly related species. Pitx1 controls loss of the pelvis in threespine sticklebacks and is tied to club foot in humans.”

In fact, it looks like Pitx1 was suspected even further back then the NOVA show, or the 2009 Science Daily post, because I also found this paper from the April 2004 issue of Nature. Shapiro and his co-authors closed the paper saying, “Many other populations show the same left-right asymmetry that is a characteristic feature of Pitx1-linked pelvic reduction in mice … Mutations in or closely linked to the Pitx1 locus may contribute to many other examples of evolutionary reduction of pelvic structures in natural populations, a possibility that can now be tested by further genetic studies and direct analysis of Pitx1 structure and regulation in multiple populations, species and genera.”

So it looks like a pretty compelling case for Pitx1, and regulatory switches related to its expression, being responsible for limb loss in many different species, including manatees. What’s interesting after reading up a bit on a topic like this is to search for it on the Answers in Genesis site. The sheer breadth of topics AiG manages to cover is pretty impressive, until you realize that the depth with which they cover them is, well, very unimpressive.

Plugging Pitx1 into AiG’s search engine finds an article called “How Manatees Lost Their Legs?” by Dr. Georgia Purdom. After recapping the basics of the research, she states that “[t]he changes in the regulatory region of the gene are thought to be quite ‘young’ (10,000-20,000 years ago).” Wait, what? I thought that the world was only about 6000 years old! But it’s okay; she’s just reporting what scientists think. She then adds, “[f]rom a creationist standpoint, this change may have happened as a post-Flood event [after about 2304 BC, that is] when rapid speciation occurred as a result of the drastic changes in environment and predator-prey interactions.”

Now prepare yourself for some weapons-grade irony, folks. In the very next section, under the heading “Where’s the Evidence,” Purdom faults the research for extrapolating the possibility that manatees lost their hind limbs through the same mutation and mechanisms that sticklebacks have in the wild, that have caused club feet in humans, that have caused reduced limbs in lab mice (more in the 2004 Nature paper), because the actual genes in manatees have not yet been sequenced to show the mutations.

There is more research to do, no doubt, but it’s more than reasonable after the work the researchers have done so far to think about Pitx1 in other species, including manatees. But for Purdom to make this the central point of her objection to the research after proposing spikeless sticklebacks the result of “a post-Flood event when rapid speciation occurred” is hilarious. If only AiG were held to the same standard for evidence as actual scientists!

If Purdom’s main problem with the research is that Shapiro “has not examined the Pitx1 gene in manatees yet,” wouldn’t this be a golden opportunity for Dr. Purdom, who has a PhD in molecular genetics, to ask Ken Ham for a budget to do the research and show that there is no correlation between Pitx1 and limb loss or reduce pelvis size in manatees? (This is yet another project for the list of unfunded creationist research that I started assembling in my previous post, of course.) I’m sure that Shapiro, Kingsley and a lot of other scientists, would welcome the opportunity to review her published results as she has done theirs.

(This piece is cross-posted to ScienceDenial.com.)

60 Comments

Interestingly, Pitx1 is also involved in early pituitary patterning and cellular differentiation during embryonic development (at the Rathke’s pouch stage) and in the maintenance of anterior pituitary cell identity and function in the mature gland. It’s full name is actually “pituitary homeobox-1”.

I am SO GLAD to see Panda’sThumb back up. This is the type of entry I missed. Welcome back “thumb” it is so much easier to “grasp” things with you back in place.

I’m stealing a friend’s words here:

“This is, like, 27 different kinds of awesome.”

Thank you!

The No Answers in Genesis reply:

1) They are still fish

2) We don’t have to do any actual research. We’ll let real scientists do the actual work, then we’ll just say that we have “different conclusions”. It doesn’t matter if our conclusions make any sense or not, it doesn’t matter if all of the real experts who actually know what they are talking about say we are wrong, what matters is that we must disagree and make it appear that there is some other interpretation. After all, then kind of people we are trying to convince are not generally going to know the difference, so we can fool everybody and never actually do anything. If anyone objects, we can just call them elitist and claim there is some big conspiracy. Yea that’s it, a conspiracy. It doesn’t matter if that make s any sense either, the gullible will lap it up.

I expect biologists are finding that genes are turned off or regulated in hundreds of different ways, as if Nature was finding ways to regulate and turn off genes entirely by accident…

DS, you forgot “all this proves is that evolution can destroy, but not create, so it really supports ID”.

And, “that shows a Common Designer”. (Or is that covered by DS’s #2, under the provision that it doesn’t have to make sense?)

Creationists can’t afford to do too much research into rapid speciation. If they don’t find any, then their young Earth hypothesis is trashed, but even if they do, then they have to explain why, if there was such rampant and rapid speciation that it transformed a few dozen “kinds” into thousands of highly diverse and widely distributed species in just a few decades, they always claims that mutations and speciation are so terribly hard to come by.

The dirty little secret of creationism is that post-flood evolutionary processes are evolution on a huge dose of steroids – far beyond anything any credible scientist would claim was possible.

Kudos to the author, Skip, for a very sharp observation!

Good find. I will be sure to use this one the next time the opportunity arises.

It’s a great example of how evidence-based reasoning (e.g. science) is true because it makes predictions that turn out to be accurate, and how faith-based reasoning (e.g. creationism) is false because when it makes any predictions at all, those predictions turn out to be just wrong.

This is the one test that faith will always fail on: It just doesn’t work. Fact.

Doubt me? Let’s put it to the test! Just be prepared to admit that you were wrong when it turns out my prediction that “Faith fails” turns out to be accurate (yet again). Not willing to put your faith to the test? Then your faith has failed (to convince us; yet again). Either way: evidence wins; faith fails.

Science Avenger said:

DS, you forgot “all this proves is that evolution can destroy, but not create, so it really supports ID”.

Right. Sorry, I forgot.

Let’s say that AIG did fund some research. How would they explain the following if they found it:

1) All of the genes required for limb development are present in the Manatee

2) Pitx 1 is present in the manatee but down regulated due to mutations in the promoter or enhancer

3) Pitx 1 is present in the manatee but down regulated due to mutations similar, but not identical, to those found in the sticklebacks

Would these features be due to an incompetent designer who lacked any ability for foresight or planning? Would they be due to an unimaginative designer who only knew one trick and used it indiscriminately? Would they be due to an ignorant designer who couldn’t even remember the trick he used on one species? Would they be due to the “fall” of the manatees? How could they rule out the possibility that these adaptive changes could be produced due to random mutations? How could they rule out the role of selection in shaping these adaptive features? How could they explain all of the other example of such things in thousands of different organisms?

Maybe this is the real reason why creationists don’t publish anything, even in their own journals. Maybe everything they discover when the actually do some research really supports evolution.

But if Darwin didn’t know that, clearly his theory must be false…or something.

After all, Darwin is just the atheist Bible, and evolution the atheist myth.

At least if your mind is too small to imagine something that isn’t just a version of creationist myth.

Glen Davidson

https://me.yahoo.com/a/JxVN0eQFqtmg[…]X_Zhn8#57cad said:

But if Darwin didn’t know that, clearly his theory must be false…or something.

After all, Darwin is just the atheist Bible, and evolution the atheist myth.

At least if your mind is too small to imagine something that isn’t just a version of creationist myth.

Glen Davidson

I think that’s a pretty profound insight, actually. It certainly helps me make sense of the slander and character attack efforts and focus on out-dated sources of information.

Several points here.

Finding creatures can change is fine with creationism and like creationists like me a very welcome thing. I love the sickleback stuff. I

In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere. I don’t accept its a mutation out of the blue but more likely a part of another mechanism process to let creatures adapt. In fact i don’t see why finding a single mutation happening everywhere is welcome to evolutionism. It seems unlikely to be that random but has purpose.

Yes I’m confident marine mammals were first land creatures who adapted in a post flood world. Yes we need a mechanism but no not random mutationism.

Finding genetic indicators for change is by the way finding nothing about its origin. It could only be that biological change is intimately genetic and has a trail.

Finding genetic elements turned off is not finding the origin of why that is so. They are trying here to make the case for mutations leading to all biological change and the skys the limit on that. All facts here fit fine with creationist ideas.

SA called it.

Robert Byers said:

In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere. I don’t accept its a mutation out of the blue but more likely a part of another mechanism process to let creatures adapt. In fact i don’t see why finding a single mutation happening everywhere is welcome to evolutionism. It seems unlikely to be that random but has purpose.

Nonsense. If it turns out (as this research appears to indicate) that a single mutation in one of a small number of genes is responsible for a major bodily changes, like the loss of certain limbs, and that many species share those genes, then it stands to reason that random mutations will occasionally strike those same genes in disparate species in the same way. The theory of evolution is strengthened by such discoveries, not weakened.

Yes I’m confident marine mammals were first land creatures who adapted in a post flood world. Yes we need a mechanism but no not random mutationism.

Why? What’s the problem with whales not being able to wait out the flood in the water? Surely God could have kept them from being beached in the Himalaya’s when the water receded. In fact, why are you bothering to apply any scientific reasoning at all to what was clearly supposed to be a supernatural event, from start to finish? After all, the amount of evolution required to get from an ark-full of animals to the vast variety of species the world has (and has had in all of recorded history), is far harder to swallow than the modest claims of evolutionists.

All facts here fit fine with creationist ideas.

Perhaps, if you’re happy with superficial readings and interpretations. Unfortunately for you, science doesn’t settle for the superficial.

At least if your mind is too small to imagine something that isn’t just a version of creationist myth

My take is that their minds are generally too authoritarian and narcissistic to imagine that they can’t make something true just by declaring it to be true, and coercing others into “admitting” that it’s true.

Although they make sufficient exceptions to permit themselves to live, in general, they conceive of reality as something they can change just by whining, threatening, and denying.

The idea that evolution was going on before any humans had figured it out and will go on even if human knowledge of it is lost is alien to them.

Robert Byers, in your latest mental vomiting, I noticed you again failed to explain why or even how Young Earth Creationism is supposed to be a science magically superior (Evolutionary) Biology.

So, where is all this research you did to prove that manatees were actually land animals that magically transformed themselves into sea animals using magical non-evolutionary hyperevolution over the course of 4000 years?

Oh, wait, no, you’ve made a complete Idiot for Jesus out of yourself again.

harold said:

The idea that evolution reality was going on before any humans had figured it out and will go on even if human knowledge of it is lost is alien to them.

There, fixed.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/c5rNlpg124BV[…]mOk9jw#8caf8 said:

Robert Byers said:

In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere. I don’t accept its a mutation out of the blue but more likely a part of another mechanism process to let creatures adapt. In fact i don’t see why finding a single mutation happening everywhere is welcome to evolutionism. It seems unlikely to be that random but has purpose.

Nonsense. If it turns out (as this research appears to indicate) that a single mutation in one of a small number of genes is responsible for a major bodily changes, like the loss of certain limbs, and that many species share those genes, then it stands to reason that random mutations will occasionally strike those same genes in disparate species in the same way. The theory of evolution is strengthened by such discoveries, not weakened.

Yes I’m confident marine mammals were first land creatures who adapted in a post flood world. Yes we need a mechanism but no not random mutationism.

Why? What’s the problem with whales not being able to wait out the flood in the water? Surely God could have kept them from being beached in the Himalaya’s when the water receded. In fact, why are you bothering to apply any scientific reasoning at all to what was clearly supposed to be a supernatural event, from start to finish? After all, the amount of evolution required to get from an ark-full of animals to the vast variety of species the world has (and has had in all of recorded history), is far harder to swallow than the modest claims of evolutionists.

All facts here fit fine with creationist ideas.

Perhaps, if you’re happy with superficial readings and interpretations. Unfortunately for you, science doesn’t settle for the superficial.

Marine mammals by much evidence seem clearly to have been special cases of dramatic anatomical change coupled with envirorment change. Then there is no fossil evidence of them below the k-t line(fdlood line) and then the seas below the line were filled with so much of so many different types of great sea life.

You say creatures share the same genes for some things and so a common mutation can bring a common change. This line of reasoning is fine. Yet evolution is all about random and happanchance mutations as the driving force. If single mutation type is so able to hit everyone then it suggests its more of a reaction to need then chance. It seems unlikely to have such helpfull mutations just when needed.

The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here) . It seems more likely there is another mechanism that is just revealed by this mutation . The mutation did not just come along.

Further these are still special cases of atrophy and not the origin of new features.

Robert,

Take a course in biology. Learn the meaning of the term natural selection. Then come back and explain to us why the same mutation must have occurred in every organism that now possesses it. Until then, take my word for it, you haven’t got a clue. Mutations are not a reaction to need. There is a vast literature of elegant experiments that disprove this. You are almost as wrong as you are ignorant.

So, Robert Byers, where in the Bible did it say that whales and all other marine mammals are descended from land-dwelling refugees from Noah’s Ark, having magically transmuted themselves into sea-dwelling animals in less than 4,000 years?

Where are the evidence you found and the research you did to support this inane claim of yours?

Otherwise, your so-called “creationist criticism” is childish nonsense.

I am replying to Robert Byers because what he said is coherent (wrong, but coherent) and worth replying to.

How he improved his spelling so much I don’t know. I assume he’s getting some help. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Marine mammals by much evidence seem clearly to have been special cases of dramatic anatomical change coupled with envirorment change. Then there is no fossil evidence of them below the k-t line(fdlood line) and then the seas below the line were filled with so much of so many different types of great sea life.

So you accept that marine mammals evolved from terrestrial mammals, but you think it happened more recently and more rapidly than the scientific evidence indicates.

You say creatures share the same genes for some things and so a common mutation can bring a common change. This line of reasoning is fine. Yet evolution is all about random and happanchance mutations as the driving force. If single mutation type is so able to hit everyone then it suggests its more of a reaction to need then chance. It seems unlikely to have such helpfull mutations just when needed. The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here) . It seems more likely there is another mechanism that is just revealed by this mutation . The mutation did not just come along.

The number of germ cells that divide and differentiate every day, or every second, for that matter, in the biosphere, is an incredibly large number.

To use humans as an example, there are 3 billion base pairs in the human genome. There are 7 billion humans on the planet, and certainly at least a billion or two of them are fertile adults (neither children nor elderly). Each fertile human adult male generates massive numbers of sperm every day. The production of a single sperm cell requires multiple cell divisions. Each division results in quite a few mutations.

The ability of the biosphere to generate genetic diversity is massive, and it is not at all surprising that mutations in homologous genes occur independently in different lineages.

Further these are still special cases of atrophy and not the origin of new features.

This semantic game borders on seeming reasonable when one looks only at the limbs of marine mammals. Even then, it’s not really true - they don’t merely have “atrophied legs” they have highly functional limbs for a marine environment.

However, marine mammals also have many other adaptations, which cannot reasonably be termed “atrophy”.

DS said:

Robert,

Take a course in biology. Learn the meaning of the term natural selection. Then come back and explain to us why the same mutation must have occurred in every organism that now possesses it. Until then, take my word for it, you haven’t got a clue. Mutations are not a reaction to need. There is a vast literature of elegant experiments that disprove this. You are almost as wrong as you are ignorant.

I thought he was making the less extreme, but still totally wrong, claim that it was “too unlikely” for similar mutations to have occurred in different lineages.

However, it looks as if your interpretation is the correct one.

I unconsciously modeled his argument as being more reasonable (albeit still wrong) than it really was.

harold said:

DS said:

Robert,

Take a course in biology. Learn the meaning of the term natural selection. Then come back and explain to us why the same mutation must have occurred in every organism that now possesses it. Until then, take my word for it, you haven’t got a clue. Mutations are not a reaction to need. There is a vast literature of elegant experiments that disprove this. You are almost as wrong as you are ignorant.

I thought he was making the less extreme, but still totally wrong, claim that it was “too unlikely” for similar mutations to have occurred in different lineages.

However, it looks as if your interpretation is the correct one.

I unconsciously modeled his argument as being more reasonable (albeit still wrong) than it really was.

Actually, I suppose that neither one of us, or anyone else for that matter, ever really knows what Byers is on about. You would think that he would would be embarrassed enough about his incoherence to keep his mouth shut. Apparently not. He somehow has the idea, that even though he can’t form a coherent thought, that he is more qualified that any real biologist to determine what evolution could and could not do. At least he has no problem in the ego department.

Byers: The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here).

Why? If my 50-times great grandfather had a beneficial mutation, why would it be unlikely that his thousands of descendants got it too? Of course, it’s unlikely that the same mutation would pop up in thousands of people independently. But if you think that’s the only way for thousands to have the mutation, you slept through HS biology.

“In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere.”

Whenever creationists argue about the chances of such-and-such protein evolving “by chance,” they always make the same error that would get marked wrong in an undergrad probability course: they split joint probabilities of events that aren’t independent. And yet here you are, talking about a very situation where the events in question (transcription errors in the genes of two different species) has much weaker correlation.

The only way for your claim to make sense at all is to invoke a deity. This is why real scientists, even the religious ones, leave their gods at the door: they are idealizations, crutches like the frictionless pulleys of physics textbooks, useful to simplify concepts at the beginning, but soon failing to adequately explain observed phenomena. Of course, where in physics this results in epicycles, in theology this results in projection, and the people lose the ability to distinguish between themselves and their gods.

Oh, my. How did that become a rant? I guess I get a little overprotective of math.

John_S said:

Byers: The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here).

Why? If my 50-times great grandfather had a beneficial mutation, why would it be unlikely that his thousands of descendants got it too? Of course, it’s unlikely that the same mutation would pop up in thousands of people independently. But if you think that’s the only way for thousands to have the mutation, you slept through HS biology.

As I said the criticism to be teased out here by creationism would be its unlikely that a like mutation creating a like result in unrelated creatures is likely. If mutations are the motive of the change in different creatures then the same mutation appearing and acting the same in creatures is not welcome to evolution ideas.

The appearance of this mutation is suspicious. Again there can be other prompts to genetic change and any mutation, if so relevant indeed, is along for the ride.

Evolution is about the wild randomness of mutations having effects. This idea of mutations orderly appearing seems a retreat.

Michael said:

“In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere.”

Whenever creationists argue about the chances of such-and-such protein evolving “by chance,” they always make the same error that would get marked wrong in an undergrad probability course: they split joint probabilities of events that aren’t independent. And yet here you are, talking about a very situation where the events in question (transcription errors in the genes of two different species) has much weaker correlation.

The only way for your claim to make sense at all is to invoke a deity. This is why real scientists, even the religious ones, leave their gods at the door: they are idealizations, crutches like the frictionless pulleys of physics textbooks, useful to simplify concepts at the beginning, but soon failing to adequately explain observed phenomena. Of course, where in physics this results in epicycles, in theology this results in projection, and the people lose the ability to distinguish between themselves and their gods.

Oh, my. How did that become a rant? I guess I get a little overprotective of math.

I have no interest in math. This is biology. The rub here is the idea of evolutionists invoking the same mutation popping up everywhere for everyone to great effect. Naw.

Robert, 5 words:

Whale

Fossils

In

The

Desert

Those 5 words disprove all of your notions. Unless you invoke multiple miracles. That is the only recourse you have to any actual science is to require multiple miracles.

BTW: If you have no interest in math and think that it doesn’t apply to Biology, then I would encourage you to answer this question without math: What is the percentage chance of an offspring being homozygous for a particular allele if both parents are heterozygous. That’s 7th grade stuff… just wait until you get to actual science (ever heard of statistics?).

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Byers: The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here).

Why? If my 50-times great grandfather had a beneficial mutation, why would it be unlikely that his thousands of descendants got it too? Of course, it’s unlikely that the same mutation would pop up in thousands of people independently. But if you think that’s the only way for thousands to have the mutation, you slept through HS biology.

As I said the criticism to be teased out here by creationism would be its unlikely that a like mutation creating a like result in unrelated creatures is likely.

Yes, it’s very unlikely indeed that any mutation which occurs in Critter X would (or even could) have ‘a like result’, nor yet any result whatsoever, in critters which are not related to Critter X. How likely is it that a mutation which occurs in Critter X might have ‘a like effect’ in those descendants of Critter X who happen to have inherited that mutation from Critter X?

If mutations are the motive of the change in different creatures then the same mutation appearing and acting the same in creatures is not welcome to evolution ideas.

Because it’s obviously not possible for a mutation to be passed down from the critter in which it occurred, to any descendants that critter may produce. And even if, by some fluke of statistics, that mutation is passed down from the critter in which it occurred, to any descendants that critter may produce, it’s clearly not possible, or perhaps just astronomically unlikely, that that mutation could have the same effect on any of those descendants as it did on the ancestral critter in which that mutation originally occurred.

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Byers: The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here).

Why? If my 50-times great grandfather had a beneficial mutation, why would it be unlikely that his thousands of descendants got it too? Of course, it’s unlikely that the same mutation would pop up in thousands of people independently. But if you think that’s the only way for thousands to have the mutation, you slept through HS biology.

As I said the criticism to be teased out here by creationism would be its unlikely that a like mutation creating a like result in unrelated creatures is likely. If mutations are the motive of the change in different creatures then the same mutation appearing and acting the same in creatures is not welcome to evolution ideas.

The appearance of this mutation is suspicious. Again there can be other prompts to genetic change and any mutation, if so relevant indeed, is along for the ride.

Evolution is about the wild randomness of mutations having effects. This idea of mutations orderly appearing seems a retreat.

Actually, since the developmental toolkit genes are fundamentally similar in most animals, this isn’t at all unreasonable. But then again, if you don’t know anything about math and don’t think it applies to biology. then it’s unlikely that you would be able to make, or even understand a probability calculation. Therefore, you have once again removed yourself from the realm of any possible rational discussion.

Robert Byers said:

The rub here is the idea of evolutionists invoking the same mutation popping up everywhere for everyone to great effect. Naw.

Not the same mutation, but mutations within the same gene family. Different variants (i.e. mutations) of the Pitx1 gene probably cause similar effects since the gene in its normal form controls growth of the pelvic area and limbs in a variety of animals. And the working versions of the gene don’t have to be identical either (in fact I’d expect differences among them for distantly related creatures). Since you’re not interested in math but biology, why don’t you trawl the literature for the different variations of the Pitx1 gene? It’s a relatively well-studied one and should give you a lot of reading.

-Wheels

DS said:

Robert Byers said:

John_S said:

Byers: The creationist criticism here would be that its unlikely that everyone is getting the same mutation happening to bring such needed results (I am not questioning this mutation is responsible here).

Why? If my 50-times great grandfather had a beneficial mutation, why would it be unlikely that his thousands of descendants got it too? Of course, it’s unlikely that the same mutation would pop up in thousands of people independently. But if you think that’s the only way for thousands to have the mutation, you slept through HS biology.

As I said the criticism to be teased out here by creationism would be its unlikely that a like mutation creating a like result in unrelated creatures is likely. If mutations are the motive of the change in different creatures then the same mutation appearing and acting the same in creatures is not welcome to evolution ideas.

The appearance of this mutation is suspicious. Again there can be other prompts to genetic change and any mutation, if so relevant indeed, is along for the ride.

Evolution is about the wild randomness of mutations having effects. This idea of mutations orderly appearing seems a retreat.

Actually, since the developmental toolkit genes are fundamentally similar in most animals, this isn’t at all unreasonable. But then again, if you don’t know anything about math and don’t think it applies to biology. then it’s unlikely that you would be able to make, or even understand a probability calculation. Therefore, you have once again removed yourself from the realm of any possible rational discussion.

Robert Byers long ago removed himself from the realm of rational discussion what with his confession (and numerous demonstrations) of how he is not interested in discussing anything.

Robert Byers said: In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere. I don’t accept its a mutation out of the blue but more likely a part of another mechanism process to let creatures adapt. In fact i don’t see why finding a single mutation happening everywhere is welcome to evolutionism. It seems unlikely to be that random but has purpose.

Hi Robert,

Perhaps I see your misunderstanding here. Let me try to explain.

1. What Evolutionary Scientists have found is that many different kinds of animals have a gene that looks something like Pitx1. In each different species, the gene is slightly different, but in each species it does pretty much the same kind of thing: it has a major effect on the development of the pelvic region in the embryos of each species.

2. Mutations are random. A mutation can happen in any gene in any animal. Sometimes these mutations are passed on to next generation of that animal, and spread through the population.

3. When a random mutation happens to hit the Pitx1 gene, we observe certain changes in the development of the pelvic region of the embryo of that animal.

4. When a different random mutation randomly happens to hit a Pitx1-like gene in another species, then Evolutionary Scientists see similar kinds of changes in the development of the pelvic region of the embryo of that different animal.

5. Evolutionary Scientists therefore infer, or extrapolate, that if a different random mutation were to randomly happen to hit a Pitx1-like gene in a third species, then that animal would also have similar kinds of developmental changes. Conversely, when Evolutionary Scientists see similar kinds of developmental changes, they infer that such changes could be caused by a similar random mutation that had randomly happened in *that* species at some point in its lineage. They then do experiments to see if that other animal has a similar change in its version of the Pitx1-like gene.

6. More evidence, more experiments, stronger inferences, stronger conclusions.

No one but creationists is arguing that mutations happen at the same time in different species, or that the same mutation happens in all species deterministically. In one small way you are correct. IF we ever found “a single mutation happening everywhere”, it would indeed not be random, and that would indeed be a blow to Evolution. But that hasn’t happened, there is no evidence for that, and no one is claiming that it ever did happen.

All we’re saying is that, *if* such a random mutation does, by chance, happen in a different species at some point in time, then the changes in the animal that are the results of that mutation are likely to be similar to the changes seen in other animals due to similar mutations.

Scott F said: IF we ever found “a single mutation happening everywhere”, it would indeed not be random, and that would indeed be a blow to Evolution. But that hasn’t happened, there is no evidence for that, and no one is claiming that it ever did happen.

Hi Robert,

Just in case there is a different misunderstanding, I wanted to elaborate this point. Evolutionary Scientists are not claiming that the exact same mutation happens at the same time to the same gene in every individual in the same species. That’s not how Evolution works.

What happens is that there are lots of random mutations in lots of genes between each parent and each child in every generation in every species. These mutations result in small changes: your child has longer legs than you do, or shorter legs. If having shorter legs is an advantage to your child, then that child is likely to have more offspring than your children with longer legs, and the mutation for shorter legs contained in that child is passed on to more grand children. Over time, the mutation for shorter legs becomes the norm for the species.

Thus, it is not necessary that a random mutation in a Pitx1-like gene happen in more than one individual of a species. If that mutation results in advantages for that individual, then that one-time one-individual random mutation will, over many generations, become the “same” mutation in all individuals in that species.

This is just a version of the Creationist fallacy that pretends that a male with mutation X-prime has to find a female with the exact same mutation X-prime. If the male and female X-primes don’t meet, the X-prime mutation doesn’t get passed on. This is a Creationist myth; it is a lie. That is not how genetics works. Humans have known this for over 100 years.

ogremk5 said:

Robert, 5 words:

Whale

Fossils

In

The

Desert

Those 5 words disprove all of your notions. Unless you invoke multiple miracles. That is the only recourse you have to any actual science is to require multiple miracles.

BTW: If you have no interest in math and think that it doesn’t apply to Biology, then I would encourage you to answer this question without math: What is the percentage chance of an offspring being homozygous for a particular allele if both parents are heterozygous. That’s 7th grade stuff… just wait until you get to actual science (ever heard of statistics?).

Seventh grade? Where?

Whale fossils would only be in a desert that is close to the sea. Simply the sudden raising or dropping of the continents would flood the outskirts. In my creationist model I see a sudden great earth upheaval, a few centuries after the flood, that accounts for the fossilization of sediment/life and modern flooding of land. I welcome marine mammals being found caught up in this action. Its quite common in South America.

ksplawn said:

Robert Byers said:

The rub here is the idea of evolutionists invoking the same mutation popping up everywhere for everyone to great effect. Naw.

Not the same mutation, but mutations within the same gene family. Different variants (i.e. mutations) of the Pitx1 gene probably cause similar effects since the gene in its normal form controls growth of the pelvic area and limbs in a variety of animals. And the working versions of the gene don’t have to be identical either (in fact I’d expect differences among them for distantly related creatures). Since you’re not interested in math but biology, why don’t you trawl the literature for the different variations of the Pitx1 gene? It’s a relatively well-studied one and should give you a lot of reading.

-Wheels

In “science” what does PROBABLY count for?

Not the same mutation but the same gene family with different mutations. Okay things are changing. I don’t like genetics however the thing that caught my attention was the concept of a “single” mutation clearing the deck of a lot of biology. Something not traditionally evolutionish.

Scott F said:

Robert Byers said: In fact you are making the case not for random mutations but a single mutation happening everywhere. I don’t accept its a mutation out of the blue but more likely a part of another mechanism process to let creatures adapt. In fact i don’t see why finding a single mutation happening everywhere is welcome to evolutionism. It seems unlikely to be that random but has purpose.

Hi Robert,

Perhaps I see your misunderstanding here. Let me try to explain.

1. What Evolutionary Scientists have found is that many different kinds of animals have a gene that looks something like Pitx1. In each different species, the gene is slightly different, but in each species it does pretty much the same kind of thing: it has a major effect on the development of the pelvic region in the embryos of each species.

2. Mutations are random. A mutation can happen in any gene in any animal. Sometimes these mutations are passed on to next generation of that animal, and spread through the population.

3. When a random mutation happens to hit the Pitx1 gene, we observe certain changes in the development of the pelvic region of the embryo of that animal.

4. When a different random mutation randomly happens to hit a Pitx1-like gene in another species, then Evolutionary Scientists see similar kinds of changes in the development of the pelvic region of the embryo of that different animal.

5. Evolutionary Scientists therefore infer, or extrapolate, that if a different random mutation were to randomly happen to hit a Pitx1-like gene in a third species, then that animal would also have similar kinds of developmental changes. Conversely, when Evolutionary Scientists see similar kinds of developmental changes, they infer that such changes could be caused by a similar random mutation that had randomly happened in *that* species at some point in its lineage. They then do experiments to see if that other animal has a similar change in its version of the Pitx1-like gene.

6. More evidence, more experiments, stronger inferences, stronger conclusions.

No one but creationists is arguing that mutations happen at the same time in different species, or that the same mutation happens in all species deterministically. In one small way you are correct. IF we ever found “a single mutation happening everywhere”, it would indeed not be random, and that would indeed be a blow to Evolution. But that hasn’t happened, there is no evidence for that, and no one is claiming that it ever did happen.

All we’re saying is that, *if* such a random mutation does, by chance, happen in a different species at some point in time, then the changes in the animal that are the results of that mutation are likely to be similar to the changes seen in other animals due to similar mutations.

Okay this was well said and taught. I did imagine they were saying a same single mutation was appearing everywhere with like results in bodies. It does require here different types of mutations. Theres not much here for a creationist, or this one, to jump on. Its okay to have mutations bring atrophy to parts. JUst not positive gains.

Robert Byers said:

In “science” what does PROBABLY count for?

Everything Robert, because as you have repeatedly been told, Science does not do proof, only the most probable explanation of observation

Robert Byers said:

ogremk5 said:

Robert, 5 words:

Whale

Fossils

In

The

Desert

Those 5 words disprove all of your notions. Unless you invoke multiple miracles. That is the only recourse you have to any actual science is to require multiple miracles.

BTW: If you have no interest in math and think that it doesn’t apply to Biology, then I would encourage you to answer this question without math: What is the percentage chance of an offspring being homozygous for a particular allele if both parents are heterozygous. That’s 7th grade stuff… just wait until you get to actual science (ever heard of statistics?).

Seventh grade? Where?

Whale fossils would only be in a desert that is close to the sea. Simply the sudden raising or dropping of the continents would flood the outskirts. In my creationist model I see a sudden great earth upheaval, a few centuries after the flood, that accounts for the fossilization of sediment/life and modern flooding of land. I welcome marine mammals being found caught up in this action. Its quite common in South America.

Well it’s in the seventh grade science standards in Michigan and probably lots of other states. But never having taken any science I guess you wouldn’t understand that. Here is a hint, look up Mendelian genetics and Punnett squares. Here is another hint, you will have to use math.

Oh and your made up bullshit about whale fossils is all wrong, but what can you expect from a guy who thinks the world is only thousands of years old.

Statistics is used a lot in biology. Comparing experimental groups against control groups is stuff that 9th graders begin to do in the lab portions of their biology classes. That requires using various statistical tests and understanding what they mean. And many of these kids take statistics either in the form the Advanced Placement statistics courses or as part of their Integrated Math courses.

In either case, the mathematical methods are usually taught as part of the biology course.

Man, the trolls that hang out here seem to be some of the stupidest people on this planet. They not only don’t know what most high school students learn, they all seemed to have stopped learning somewhere before middle school. It’s as though most of these trolls have dropped out before ever getting to high school; yet they think they can make expert claims about science and what should or should not be taught.

A sudden great Earth upheaval, a few centuries after the Flood, eh?

Which would put it at around 2300 BCE, right?

Byers, I know you don’t know this, and you don’t want to know this, but there isn’t any possible way that could happen and not leave marks that could be easily be seen now. The Sahara Desert, which is where not one, not two, but generations of basilosaurus whale fossils have been found, could not possibly be a sea four thousand years ago and bone-dry now. It can’t happen.

There was a major literate civilisation building large monuments right by there, right then, and that civilisation never noticed, never even considered, the existence of a wide open sea a hundred miles to their west? What are you, crazy? (Why do I ask such questions? Of course you’re crazy!)

All Egyptian legends, stories, knowledge about the land to their west emphasised that it was a stark, waterless, lifeless desert. “To go west” was to die. Nothing came out of that empty waste but dust and wind. There was no sea there then, nor at any time in human history.

And the Egyptians never noticed this “great Earth upheaval”, either, sez you. The land rose out of this sea, and they never even realised it was happening. Their great buildings remained intact while cataclysmic tectonic events, with upthrust on a time-scale unheard-of today, were happening a few hundred miles away. Earthquakes that would have made the last Japanese shift and tsunami - over eight on the Richter at point of origin - look like a minor twitch, were happening every couple of days for a century, and nobody took any notice? Oh, come on!

On the same scale, the Thera explosion of around 1570 BCE would be like popping a zit, but its effects can be clearly read on Minoan civilisation. A little digging on Thera itself turns up a whole shattered city, ruined, destroyed, never resettled. Thebes or Luxor would have been hit much worse by this “great Earth upheaval”. Were they? Why, no, they weren’t. The archeology of both cities testify to thousands of years of almost completely peaceful continuous occupation.

You’re nuts, Byers. You’re barking, gurgling, rolling-eyed, drooling, foaming at the mouth, wetting your pants doolalli. You’re insane. I’ve found you occasionally entertaining in the past - but that is now, for me, overlaid with the shame of realising that in the eighteenth century people went to Bedlam Hospital to be amused by the mad, and I am doing the same. I am ashamed of myself for that.

First, Byers, thanks more making me look up more stuff to refute you and learning something very cool in the process.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livyatan_melvillei Livyatan melvillei (literally Melville’s Leviathan (from the original Hebrew spelling) was found 23 miles south of Ica, Peru. A quick check of Ica, Peru shows that the altitude is 406 meters and it is a desert climate. L. melvillei was dated at 12-13 million years old… that’s only about 5 orders of magnitude more than you think the entire Earth has existed.

Of course, Wadi Al-Hitan, 150 kilometers SW of Cairo (as Dave mentioned) contains not one, but multiple species of whale that are A) 100% marine whales and 2) do not exist today. BTW: 150 km SW of Cairo is something we call desert. The Wadi Al-Hitan fossils are 30-40 million years ago.

Ten million years after Livyatan melvillei lived, a large group of whales seems to have become stranded and are now fossils in the Chilean desert. http://news.yahoo.com/whales-desert[…]5321328.html

So we have three different groupings of whale fossils, all currently in desert environments, over a span of nearly 48 million years. Even the most recent of which is still several orders of magnitude older than you believe the entire Earth to be.

You might also want to study desertification and how long that process takes… and fossilization and how long that process takes… and, well, 7th grade Biology.

BTW: Even TEXAS requires knowledge of basic genetics in the 7th grade. Including population dynamics and natural selection.

Robert Byers said:

ogremk5 said:

Robert, 5 words:

Whale

Fossils

In

The

Desert

Those 5 words disprove all of your notions. Unless you invoke multiple miracles. That is the only recourse you have to any actual science is to require multiple miracles.

BTW: If you have no interest in math and think that it doesn’t apply to Biology, then I would encourage you to answer this question without math: What is the percentage chance of an offspring being homozygous for a particular allele if both parents are heterozygous. That’s 7th grade stuff… just wait until you get to actual science (ever heard of statistics?).

Seventh grade? Where?

Whale fossils would only be in a desert that is close to the sea. Simply the sudden raising or dropping of the continents would flood the outskirts. In my creationist model I see a sudden great earth upheaval, a few centuries after the flood, that accounts for the fossilization of sediment/life and modern flooding of land. I welcome marine mammals being found caught up in this action. Its quite common in South America.

Where in the Bible did it say that there was a magic upheaval? Where in the Bible did it say that whales are descended from magically hyper-evolving land-dwelling escapees from the Ark?

All you are doing is bullshitting us, and whining at us to swallow your bullshit because you are lying that the Bible agrees with you.

Where in the Bible did it say that there was a magic upheaval?

It doesn’t. The closest it come is to say the “fountains of the deep were broken up (or burst forth)” The supposed upheaval is an ad hoc hypothesis* that modern creationists pulled out of thin air and added to explain things like how the Flood could cover Mt. Everest (big mountains didn’t exist until the magic upheaval created them), how it could create the Grand Canyon in less than a year and why fossil clam shells are found in deserts and imbedded in mountain tops.

* From the Skeptic’s Dictionary: An ad hoc hypothesis is one created to explain away facts that seem to refute one’s belief or theory. Ad hoc hypotheses are common in paranormal research and in the work of pseudo-scientists.

Dave Luckett said:

A sudden great Earth upheaval, a few centuries after the Flood, eh?

Which would put it at around 2300 BCE, right?

Byers, I know you don’t know this, and you don’t want to know this, but there isn’t any possible way that could happen and not leave marks that could be easily be seen now. The Sahara Desert, which is where not one, not two, but generations of basilosaurus whale fossils have been found, could not possibly be a sea four thousand years ago and bone-dry now. It can’t happen.

There was a major literate civilisation building large monuments right by there, right then, and that civilisation never noticed, never even considered, the existence of a wide open sea a hundred miles to their west? What are you, crazy? (Why do I ask such questions? Of course you’re crazy!)

All Egyptian legends, stories, knowledge about the land to their west emphasised that it was a stark, waterless, lifeless desert. “To go west” was to die. Nothing came out of that empty waste but dust and wind. There was no sea there then, nor at any time in human history.

And the Egyptians never noticed this “great Earth upheaval”, either, sez you. The land rose out of this sea, and they never even realised it was happening. Their great buildings remained intact while cataclysmic tectonic events, with upthrust on a time-scale unheard-of today, were happening a few hundred miles away. Earthquakes that would have made the last Japanese shift and tsunami - over eight on the Richter at point of origin - look like a minor twitch, were happening every couple of days for a century, and nobody took any notice? Oh, come on!

On the same scale, the Thera explosion of around 1570 BCE would be like popping a zit, but its effects can be clearly read on Minoan civilisation. A little digging on Thera itself turns up a whole shattered city, ruined, destroyed, never resettled. Thebes or Luxor would have been hit much worse by this “great Earth upheaval”. Were they? Why, no, they weren’t. The archeology of both cities testify to thousands of years of almost completely peaceful continuous occupation.

You’re nuts, Byers. You’re barking, gurgling, rolling-eyed, drooling, foaming at the mouth, wetting your pants doolalli. You’re insane. I’ve found you occasionally entertaining in the past - but that is now, for me, overlaid with the shame of realising that in the eighteenth century people went to Bedlam Hospital to be amused by the mad, and I am doing the same. I am ashamed of myself for that.

It doesn’t matter if the areas are deserts today. These are areas fairly close to the great water bodies. I do say the fossils/sediment are from sudden creations from earth upheavals. Thats why they find the creatures in bunches. it was a sudden event. All one has to do is squeeze it within a biblical dateline. The African ones could be before the people separated a century after the ark and the S american ones a century or so after that.

Therefore these events were before people settled these areas. AS a creationist I welcome discoveries of creatures in these areas as evidence of water catching them or depositing remains. I see the k-t line as the flood line.

Robert Byers said:

It doesn’t matter if the areas are deserts today. These are areas fairly close to the great water bodies. I do say the fossils/sediment are from sudden creations from earth upheavals. Thats why they find the creatures in bunches. it was a sudden event. All one has to do is squeeze it within a biblical dateline. The African ones could be before the people separated a century after the ark and the S american ones a century or so after that.

Therefore these events were before people settled these areas. AS a creationist I welcome discoveries of creatures in these areas as evidence of water catching them or depositing remains. I see the k-t line as the flood line.

As a creationist, do you welcome the fossils that are intermediate between whales and their terrestrial ancestors? Do you welcome the genetic evidence that whales had terrestrial ancestors? Do you welcome the developmental evidence that whales had terrestrial ancestors? Or do you ignore other fields of science as well when they don’t agree with your inviolate preconceptions? How do you explain all of this evidence, as well as the fact that all of the independent data sets give exactly the same answer and it doesn’t have anything to do with the magic flood?

By the way Robert, the fact that you “see the KT line as the flood line” is evidence of a serious problem with schizophrenia. Look it up.

Byers: All one has to do is squeeze it within a biblical dateline.

All one has to do is require a whole cascade of uncovenanted miracles, geological, geographical, and historical.

All one has to do is to assume that the entire chronology of Egyptian history, well established for a century now, is not merely totally bogus, but completely fraudulent. That chronology places the unification of the crowns of Lower and Upper Egypt at about 3100 BCE. Of course there were kingdoms there before that, and people farming and keeping records in the lower Nile Valley even further back. At the time the Bible says Noah was floating an impossible boat in an impossible flood, doing an impossible task for an impossible god, the mighty monuments at Giza were already rising.

All one has to do is destroy everything we know, relinquish reason, eschew thought, blow away scholarship and evidence and rationality. That’s all. Why, that would be no loss at all - to Byers.

Dave Luckett said:

Byers: All one has to do is squeeze it within a biblical dateline.

All one has to do is require a whole cascade of uncovenanted miracles, geological, geographical, and historical.

All one has to do is to assume that the entire chronology of Egyptian history, well established for a century now, is not merely totally bogus, but completely fraudulent. That chronology places the unification of the crowns of Lower and Upper Egypt at about 3100 BCE. Of course there were kingdoms there before that, and people farming and keeping records in the lower Nile Valley even further back. At the time the Bible says Noah was floating an impossible boat in an impossible flood, doing an impossible task for an impossible god, the mighty monuments at Giza were already rising.

All one has to do is destroy everything we know, relinquish reason, eschew thought, blow away scholarship and evidence and rationality. That’s all. Why, that would be no loss at all - to Byers.

Discovery usually overthrows previously well held ideas. Surely everyone must understand the poverty of evidence to demonstrate human civilization. The Egyptian stuff is wrongly dated and presumes a klong slow process from huts to kingdoms. In fact Egypt was settled suddenly, lots or people, and the ease of food brought instantly other agendas to build the area up. No need for slow dumb guys getting their act together. They were smart people who simply had easy access to food and beat everyone else.

Robert Byers said:

In fact Egypt was settled suddenly, lots or people, and the ease of food brought instantly other agendas to build the area up. No need for slow dumb guys getting their act together. They were smart people who simply had easy access to food and beat everyone else.

Because… uhh… you say so, right?

Robert Byers said:

Dave Luckett said:

Byers: All one has to do is squeeze it within a biblical dateline.

All one has to do is require a whole cascade of uncovenanted miracles, geological, geographical, and historical.

All one has to do is to assume that the entire chronology of Egyptian history, well established for a century now, is not merely totally bogus, but completely fraudulent. That chronology places the unification of the crowns of Lower and Upper Egypt at about 3100 BCE. Of course there were kingdoms there before that, and people farming and keeping records in the lower Nile Valley even further back. At the time the Bible says Noah was floating an impossible boat in an impossible flood, doing an impossible task for an impossible god, the mighty monuments at Giza were already rising.

All one has to do is destroy everything we know, relinquish reason, eschew thought, blow away scholarship and evidence and rationality. That’s all. Why, that would be no loss at all - to Byers.

Discovery usually overthrows previously well held ideas. Surely everyone must understand the poverty of evidence to demonstrate human civilization. The Egyptian stuff is wrongly dated and presumes a klong slow process from huts to kingdoms. In fact Egypt was settled suddenly, lots or people, and the ease of food brought instantly other agendas to build the area up. No need for slow dumb guys getting their act together. They were smart people who simply had easy access to food and beat everyone else.

So, are you saying that the Ancient Egyptians were magically poofed into existence in 4004 BC, and were already finished building the Pyramids at Giza when Noah and his family were getting off the Ark?

At the same time all those land-animals magically hyperevolved into whales, too?

How come you refuse to show any evidence for your inane just-so stories?

Multiply the height of a pyramid by the height to the center-of-mass of the pyramid. This gives the potential energy of the pile of stones. This tells how much work is involved in just stacking up the pyramid without accounting for the work done in the stone quarries and the friction in dragging the stones to and up the pyramid.

That additional work can also be estimated fairly accurately. Totaling it all up gives the total amount of work to build a pyramid. Divide that by the energy consumed by an average human in a year and that will tell you how many humans cut, dragged around, and piled up those stones in a year.

In other words, we can calculate the number of man-years required to build a pyramid. This was one of the end-of-chapter problems in a popular physics textbook I taught out of many years ago.

If one can get further estimates on what the human population in Egypt was at the time and what proportion of them were pyramid-building slaves, you can get an estimate of the number of years it took to build the pyramid.

The bottom line to all this is that there is no way one could have obtained such large populations in Egypt after the supposed Noachian Flood.

Mike Elzinga said:

Multiply the (h)eight of a pyramid by the height to the center-of-mass of the pyramid.

Correction:

Multiply the weight of a pyramid by the height to the center-of-mass of the pyramid.

apokryltaros said: So, are you saying that the Ancient Egyptians were magically poofed into existence in 4004 BC, and were already finished building the Pyramids at Giza when Noah and his family were getting off the Ark?

At the same time all those land-animals magically hyperevolved into whales, too?

How come you refuse to show any evidence for your inane just-so stories?

This does provide a hint as to why “Intelligent Design” has studiously abandoned any description of their “alternative”.

In fact Egypt was settled suddenly, lots or people, and the ease of food brought instantly other agendas to build the area up. No need for slow dumb guys getting their act together. They were smart people who simply had easy access to food and beat everyone else.

Sort of suburban sprawl writ large, huh! Some hardhats drain swamps and build shopping malls. These guys drained oceans erected the pyramids. They need their own reality TV show.

Modern construction workers are pussies compared to these guys. Walk like an Egyptian, Baby!

Red Right Hand said:

In fact Egypt was settled suddenly, lots or people, and the ease of food brought instantly other agendas to build the area up. No need for slow dumb guys getting their act together. They were smart people who simply had easy access to food and beat everyone else.

Sort of suburban sprawl writ large, huh! Some hardhats drain swamps and build shopping malls. These guys drained oceans erected the pyramids. They need their own reality TV show.

Modern construction workers are pussies compared to these guys. Walk like an Egyptian, Baby!

God was apparently building the Egyptians up so He could smite them hard with the 10 Plagues.

apokryltaros said:

So, are you saying that the Ancient Egyptians were magically poofed into existence in 4004 BC, and were already finished building the Pyramids at Giza when Noah and his family were getting off the Ark?

Well if the unknown Designer could poof, I mean speak, the Heavens into existence, it would be no problem to speak all the Egyptians and the Pyramids into existence too.

On a Thursday.

Simple.

Problem solved.

How easy was that?

(I think you’ve just strengthened Byers conviction.)

prongs said:

apokryltaros said:

So, are you saying that the Ancient Egyptians were magically poofed into existence in 4004 BC, and were already finished building the Pyramids at Giza when Noah and his family were getting off the Ark?

Well if the unknown Designer could poof, I mean speak, the Heavens into existence, it would be no problem to speak all the Egyptians and the Pyramids into existence too.

On a Thursday.

Simple.

Problem solved.

How easy was that?

Yes, problem “solved.” Yet, some people still wonder why Creationists can’t and won’t do science.

(I think you’ve just strengthened Byers conviction.)

It doesn’t matter what we say. Byers is denser than a bar of tantalum. In fact, a bar of tantalum would make an intellectually superior conversationalist than Byers the Idiot For Jesus, if only because it wouldn’t continuously pull logic-hating, ad hoc just-so-because-I-say-Jesus-said-so stories out of its ass.

prongs said:

apokryltaros said:

So, are you saying that the Ancient Egyptians were magically poofed into existence in 4004 BC, and were already finished building the Pyramids at Giza when Noah and his family were getting off the Ark?

Well if the unknown Designer could poof, I mean speak, the Heavens into existence, it would be no problem to speak all the Egyptians and the Pyramids into existence too.

On a Thursday.

Simple.

Problem solved.

How easy was that?

(I think you’ve just strengthened Byers conviction.)

Somehow, this seems appropriate at this point in the disussion (although some content on the page might not be appropriate in some workplaces).

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This page contains a single entry by Skip published on January 18, 2012 7:00 AM.

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