Project Steve’s 10th Anniversary

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Today is the 10th anniversary of NCSE’s Project Steve:

“Project Steve” is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of “scientists who doubt evolution” or “scientists who dissent from Darwinism.”

Conceived in discussions amongst NCSE staffers and members of the old TalkDesign group (several of whom went on to be founding contributors to Panda’s Thumb), the Steve-O-Meter currrently shows 1,239 scientists whose first name is Steve or a cognate, including the two eligible living Nobel winners (Chu and Weinberg), who have signed on to this statement:

Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to “intelligent design,” to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation’s public schools.

Since “Steve” and cognates comprise roughly 1% of first names, that corresponds to over 120,000 scientists concurring with the statement.

Compare that to the wishy-washy Scientific Dissent from Darwinism statement maintained by the Disco ‘Tute:

We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

240 Comments

That was a lot of fun. As I recall it was Matt Inslay (Sp?) who made the initial suggestion. Wasn’t Stephen “Steve” Hawkings the first noble holder to sign? (And the first person not a biologist).

Ill fate bestowed on me, to mention the ‘s’… Yes, I am a nitpicker from way back, I am burdened with an eye for typos.

Hawking signed, but doesn’t have a Nobel.

Rolf, I don’t see it.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Right! I can’t keep all these guys straight.

For a change, Byers is somewhat coherent. He’s merely catastrophically wrong in fact.

He applies a particularly disgusting double standard to the ICR vs Project Steve. Both lists of signatories include scientists who are not evolutionary biologists, but Byers criticises only Project Steve for this, and ignores the fact that the ICR’s list includes many who are not working scientists at all. He also ignores the fact that the signatories to the ICR’s list are not actually endorsing creationism, whereas the signatories to Project Steve are specifically endorsing evolution.

With the complete insouciance of the severely deranged, he also simply ignores his own earlier vox populi arguments. Faced with the undeniable fact that the opposition to evolution among actual scientists is vanishingly negligible, he tells us that it doesn’t matter. But Byers has spent years here pushing the idea that creationism must be true, because a lot of Americans believe it. He only introduces this counterargument now because it is convenient to him.

He wants evidence, he says. This is simply untrue. There is no evidence that would satisfy Byers. He shows no sign of understanding it or even admitting it into existence.

What does he want demonstrated? Common descent? The SINE insertion data is unequivocal evidence for it. Deep time? Sedimentary stratification alone was enough to convince the first real geologists; since then the evidence has gone from convincing to overwhelming to undeniable several times over. Speciation? Observed in the field multiple times: The London Underground mosquito; the apple maggot fly; several others. Morphological change over deep time? The fossil record provides a huge amount of evidence. There are studies from sediments in African lakes that plainly show detail changes appearing, spreading through a population and new species radiating.

Watch this space. If he’s allowed to, Byers will simply ignore or deny it all.

It should be noted that the DI keeps C. Steven Murphree on their Dissent from Darwinism list although he left the dark side to become the 1184th Steve back in January 2012.

David H. Bailey has a nice graph on his pages displaying the following facts

As of October 2012, the NCSE list had 1229 names, compared with 840 on the Discovery Institute list. If we count only those persons on these two lists who had a Ph.D. degree and/or professional position in a core field closely related to evolution (Anatomy, Anthropology, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biophysics, Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Epidemiology, Genetics, Geology, Geophysics, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Neurophysiology, Paleontology, Physiology, Taxonomy, Virology or Zoology), who thus are particularly well-qualified to make such a declaration, then 683 (55.6%) of the names on the NCSE list were so qualified, compared with only 236 (28.1%) of the Discovery Institute list, according to a detailed check performed by the present author. If we then further limit the Discovery Institute core field list to those persons named Steve or one of the variants above, so that the size of this list can be directly compared with the NCSE core field list, then only two signers remain (in general agreement with the fact that persons named Steve or one of the above variants constitute roughly 1% of the U.S. population).

Since Bailey doesn’t mention him it seems likely that he counted Murphree as one of the two Steves on the DI list.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]vtiF0BBqF10Q said:

It should be noted that the DI keeps C. Steven Murphree on their Dissent from Darwinism list although he left the dark side to become the 1184th Steve back in January 2012.

David H. Bailey has a nice graph on his pages displaying the following facts

As of October 2012, the NCSE list had 1229 names, compared with 840 on the Discovery Institute list. If we count only those persons on these two lists who had a Ph.D. degree and/or professional position in a core field closely related to evolution (Anatomy, Anthropology, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biophysics, Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Epidemiology, Genetics, Geology, Geophysics, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Neurophysiology, Paleontology, Physiology, Taxonomy, Virology or Zoology), who thus are particularly well-qualified to make such a declaration, then 683 (55.6%) of the names on the NCSE list were so qualified, compared with only 236 (28.1%) of the Discovery Institute list, according to a detailed check performed by the present author. If we then further limit the Discovery Institute core field list to those persons named Steve or one of the variants above, so that the size of this list can be directly compared with the NCSE core field list, then only two signers remain (in general agreement with the fact that persons named Steve or one of the above variants constitute roughly 1% of the U.S. population).

Since Bailey doesn’t mention him it seems likely that he counted Murphree as one of the two Steves on the DI list.

The Discovery Institute list has two Steves, two Stevens and two Etiennes (no Stephanies, no Stefans, no Estebans, etc); so six members including “non-core” members.

This compares to 1239 Steves/Stephanies/Stevens/etc on Project Steve as of Feb 7 2013.

If Byers wants to respond, he will need to reply on the BW. Several have already replied there starting here:

http://pandasthumb.org/bw/index.htm[…]mment-300106

Richard B. Hoppe said:

Hawking signed, but doesn’t have a Nobel.

Rolf, I don’t see it.

Sorry, my bad. When a quick google would have saved me the embarassment. But there are a couple of points that ease my shame a little. While familiar with names like Hawking and Hawkins, I had never heard ‘Hawkings’ before. Add to that mention of a “nobel price”. It so happens that in my language, nobel means - noble! So I didn’t connet with Nobel, but more like a ‘noble’ price, just as we don’t say ‘Gold medal’ inside a sentence. Taken all together, while I had misgivings and I really was a little puzzled by the whole thing, what heppened happened.

Sorry Rolf. The life of a copy editor sucks.

there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred

Depends entirely on how “evolution” is defined since virtually all creationists accept that living organisms can change/evolve within natural limits. The NCSE can’t seem to do something as basic as that.

or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence.

Natural selection is not a “mechanism”. It is just the inevitable outcome of differential reproduction. It explains why things stay the same rather than why they change. It fails to account for creativity in evolution.

Variation + selection effects + feedback loops -> occasional creativity

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred

Depends entirely on how “evolution” is defined since virtually all creationists accept that living organisms can change/evolve within natural limits. The NCSE can’t seem to do something as basic as that.

or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence.

Natural selection is not a “mechanism”. It is just the inevitable outcome of differential reproduction. It explains why things stay the same rather than why they change. It fails to account for creativity in evolution.

There is no scientific doubt as to a single origin of life or descent with modification. Those who are too obstinate to admit it notwithstanding.

Now where have we heard this nonsense about natural selection before? Get another string for your bango.

DS said: There is no scientific doubt as to a single origin of life or descent with modification. Those who are too obstinate to admit it notwithstanding.

So is W. Ford Doolittle not a scientific voice of doubt on the subject of universal common ancestry?

http://shiva.msu.montana.edu/course[…]prooting.pdf

Now where have we heard this nonsense about natural selection before? Get another string for your bango.

It isn’t “nonsense” to deduce that natural selection works by reducing variation and preserving DNA sequences. You need to read up on Stephen Jay Gould:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arc[…]nation=false

In the most stunning evolutionary discoveries of our decade, developmental biologists have documented an astonishing “conservation”.….most biologists feel that such stability acts primarily as a constraint upon the range and potentiality of adaptation.

Depends entirely on how “evolution” is defined since virtually all creationists accept that living organisms can change/evolve within natural limits. The NCSE can’t seem to do something as basic as that.

Semantic word game/presumption of privilege.

You’re free to make up your own “true definition” of evolution”, just don’t expect anyone else to care. Your perfect right to privately use words as you wish does not give you a right to force others to use them as you demand.

Natural selection is not a “mechanism”. It is just the inevitable outcome of differential reproduction.

Semantic word game/non sequitur.

Natural selection is indeed the inevitable result of differential reproduction. It is still a mechanism.

It explains why things stay the same rather than why they change.

Self-contradiction. This would make it a mechanism, even by your own claims.

In fact, it sometimes does, in very adapted populations in stable environments, tend to reinforce stasis. Just not always.

It fails to account for creativity in evolution.

Gross misunderstanding of the basic subject under discussion.

Natural selection applies to phenotypes that have already been “created” by genetics, developmental environment, etc.

Also a semantic word game.

Let’s see, we’ve got three semantic word games, a non sequitur, a self-contradiction, and, of course, gross misunderstanding of the underlying subject matter, all in one short comment.

I call POE. Unless this is yet another cretin trying to quote mine Gould. Now who would do such a thing? I wonder.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said: all creationists accept that living organisms can change/evolve within natural limits

There’s a good chance for you to explain exactly what a “natural limit” is. But you’ve tried and failed before, haven’t you?

So is W. Ford Doolittle not a scientific voice of doubt on the subject of universal common ancestry?

1) Gross misunderstaning of the subject matter - link leads to an article that does not question common ancestry, nor promote creationism.

2) Not only an appeal to authority, but a special type of appeal to authority that creationists love, which is even more flawed than typical appeal to authority. Hypocritical ppeal to authority of one individual, while ignoring the view of other experts with the same qualifications. Here it doesn’t matter, since you’ve lied about the writer’s intent to begin with.

It isn’t “nonsense” to deduce that natural selection works by reducing variation and preserving DNA sequences. You need to read up on Stephen Jay Gould:

Gross misunderstanding of the subject matter and misrepresentation of another person’s views again.

Son, dishonest, illogical, and arrogant is no way to go through life.

DS said:

I call POE. Unless this is yet another cretin trying to quote mine Gould. Now who would do such a thing? I wonder.

Either very good satire or very typical clueless dishonesty.

I hope you are right.

co said: There’s a good chance for you to explain exactly what a “natural limit” is.

I would strongly recommend reading this explanation of the limits to biological change by natural selection offered by two evolutionary biologists: Limits to natural selection:

http://www.ufscar.br/~evolucao/popgen/ref12-5.pdf

Enjoy.

harold said: 2) Not only an appeal to authority, but a special type of appeal to authority that creationists love, which is even more flawed than typical appeal to authority. Hypocritical ppeal to authority of one individual, while ignoring the view of other experts with the same qualifications. Here it doesn’t matter, since you’ve lied about the writer’s intent to begin with.

You are aware that the subject of this thread is precisely about an appeal to scientific authority by the NCSE? This “objection” you raise is a joke on your part, right?

Gross misunderstanding of the subject matter and misrepresentation of another person’s views again.

It is just a fact that natural selection has conserved DNA sequences right across the phylogenetic board. Those in comparative genomics know this only too well.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

co said: There’s a good chance for you to explain exactly what a “natural limit” is.

I would strongly recommend reading this explanation of the limits to biological change by natural selection offered by two evolutionary biologists: Limits to natural selection:

http://www.ufscar.br/~evolucao/popgen/ref12-5.pdf

Enjoy.

Yeah. Cute. Old concepts, applied to a population evolving to a steady state in the absence of changing environment. Want to try again, Joe?

Yep, this is probably Joe.

That tragic pattern of actually almost being able to understand, and then getting unhinged and derailed by obsession.

It is just a fact that natural selection has conserved DNA sequences right across the phylogenetic board. Those in comparative genomics know this only too well.

This statement, of course, is true. (It’s just that natural selection doesn’t only conserve, and that it conserves some things strongly, like the enzymes of basic metabolic pathways, while other aspects of the phenotype may be much less constrained.)

Although “a masked panda” is getting the science wrong, he’s getting a little closer than, say, the typical internet creationist, or, say, Casey Luskin, would be able to.

But not quite close enough to be Todd Wood.

Sure sounds like Joe.

It’s been a glorious ten years for Project Steve. I thought it was a very fitting and clever response when it first came out, and the same still holds true today.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

harold said: 2) Not only an appeal to authority, but a special type of appeal to authority that creationists love, which is even more flawed than typical appeal to authority. Hypocritical ppeal to authority of one individual, while ignoring the view of other experts with the same qualifications. Here it doesn’t matter, since you’ve lied about the writer’s intent to begin with.

You are aware that the subject of this thread is precisely about an appeal to scientific authority by the NCSE? This “objection” you raise is a joke on your part, right?

Gross misunderstanding of the subject matter and misrepresentation of another person’s views again.

It is just a fact that natural selection has conserved DNA sequences right across the phylogenetic board. Those in comparative genomics know this only too well.

That’s right Joe. And not one of them ever said that that meant that all of the diversity of life could not be produced by this process.

You’re about to be dumped again. Bye bye.

An anonymous commenter said

I would strongly recommend reading this explanation of the limits to biological change by natural selection offered by two evolutionary biologists: Limits to natural selection:

http://www.ufscar.br/~evolucao/popgen/ref12-5.pdf

Enjoy.

Of course there are limits to what evolution by random heritable variation and natural selection (along with a couple of other mechanisms) can do. That’s what a good scientific theory does: it defines constraints on what will occur, what will be observed in lab or field. That’s how one tests theories: by ascertaining whether those constraints are violated in nature or laboratory.

What this anonymous commenter implies, but does not show, is that the constraints on variation and natural selection in the theory of evolution prohibit the naturalistic evolution of the array of diverse biological structures and processes we observe. That he/she has not done. Nor does the linked paper suggest that’s the case. Nowhere does it suggest that the various forms of constraints it describes make evolutionary theory unable to account for the observed phenomena.

Now contrast that with the so-called “theory” of intelligent design. It places no constraints whatsoever on the actions of the putative designer(s). As a consequence, it is untestable. By being able to explain absolutely anything, by placing no constraints on what the putative designer(s) can do, it explains nothing at all.

Richard B. Hoppe said: Nor does the linked paper suggest that’s the case. Nowhere does it suggest that the various forms of constraints it describes make evolutionary theory unable to account for the observed phenomena.

The authors of the paper have this to say: “The most obvious limit to natural selection is that suitable variation may not be available.”

They cite some examples of where this is a real problem. It is an extremely pertinent point to note because natural selection can only work with what is available, and not with the variations that some evolutionary biologists speculate might be possible.

Now contrast that with the so-called “theory” of intelligent design. It places no constraints whatsoever on the actions of the putative designer(s). As a consequence, it is untestable. By being able to explain absolutely anything, by placing no constraints on what the putative designer(s) can do, it explains nothing at all.

The authors go on to say this: “Darwin’s strongest evidence for the power of natural selection was by analogy with the dramatic success of artificial selection.”

Except that human experience with artificial selection has shown that there are indeed limits to the manner in which we can induce change in organisms, as any breeder is aware. And, moreover, artificial selection is a form of intelligent design. We can’t get pigs to grow wings and fly even if we wanted to achieve this (ask Jerry Fodor).

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

Richard B. Hoppe said: Nor does the linked paper suggest that’s the case. Nowhere does it suggest that the various forms of constraints it describes make evolutionary theory unable to account for the observed phenomena.

The authors of the paper have this to say: “The most obvious limit to natural selection is that suitable variation may not be available.”

They cite some examples of where this is a real problem. It is an extremely pertinent point to note because natural selection can only work with what is available, and not with the variations that some evolutionary biologists speculate might be possible.

Now contrast that with the so-called “theory” of intelligent design. It places no constraints whatsoever on the actions of the putative designer(s). As a consequence, it is untestable. By being able to explain absolutely anything, by placing no constraints on what the putative designer(s) can do, it explains nothing at all.

The authors go on to say this: “Darwin’s strongest evidence for the power of natural selection was by analogy with the dramatic success of artificial selection.”

Except that human experience with artificial selection has shown that there are indeed limits to the manner in which we can induce change in organisms, as any breeder is aware. And, moreover, artificial selection is a form of intelligent design. We can’t get pigs to grow wings and fly even if we wanted to achieve this (ask Jerry Fodor).

Keep setting up strawmen and burning them down, Joe. You appear to be good at it. Stick with what you know.

The anonymous commenter wrote:

Richard B. Hoppe said: Nor does the linked paper suggest that’s the case. Nowhere does it suggest that the various forms of constraints it describes make evolutionary theory unable to account for the observed phenomena.

The authors of the paper have this to say: “The most obvious limit to natural selection is that suitable variation may not be available.”

Well, of course. Variation is the raw material on which selection operates. But that statement doesn’t imply that there was insufficient variation over billions of years to produce the biogical diversity we see.

They cite some examples of where this is a real problem. It is an extremely pertinent point to note because natural selection can only work with what is available, and not with the variations that some evolutionary biologists speculate might be possible.

What specific examples are you referring to here?

RBH: Now contrast that with the so-called “theory” of intelligent design. It places no constraints whatsoever on the actions of the putative designer(s). As a consequence, it is untestable. By being able to explain absolutely anything, by placing no constraints on what the putative designer(s) can do, it explains nothing at all.

Anonymous commenter: The authors go on to say this: “Darwin’s strongest evidence for the power of natural selection was by analogy with the dramatic success of artificial selection.” Except that human experience with artificial selection has shown that there are indeed limits to the manner in which we can induce change in organisms, as any breeder is aware. And, moreover, artificial selection is a form of intelligent design. We can’t get pigs to grow wings and fly even if we wanted to achieve this (ask Jerry Fodor).

Once again, of course there are limits: not everything is possible to be evolved by natural selection operating on random variation, and we don’t see pigs flying precisely because of constraints on what is possible. Evolution is descent with modification. But once again, the authors do not suggest that precludes accounting for the diversity of biological life that we observe. The authors wrote

In a broad sense, this is clearly why different lineages are constrained to particular ways of life: almost all of the multiple changes needed to allow a pig to fly would be deleterious. However, there is a sequence of ancestral phenotypes that connects pigs with bats and birds, and a combination of appropriate environments and appropriate genetic variability has taken organisms along this path.

Pigs don’t fly, but their evolutionary cousins do. And we know why extant pigs won’t evolve to fly. Intelligent design “theory” gives us no reason to suppose that some intelligent agent couldn’t produce flying pigs. After all, an intelligent agent could skip over all those pesky intermediate forms.

In addition, we’re back to the “if it’s an experimental outcome, it’s intelligent design” foolishness. And I’ll also note that “human experience” spans a tiny fraction of the time available for the diversification of life.

1686 said:

stevaroni said: Like Einstein said, all it takes is one good piece of evidence.

Um… so… got any of that?

There is no one silver bullet that can kill the monster of Darwinism.Its demise will be slow and gradual.

Making impossible demands over inconsequential quibbles will do absolutely nothing to harm Evolutionary Biology.

1686 quibbled vociferously:

DS said: Doesn’t have to. It show the mutations are beneficial. Deal with it.

BUT NOT WITHOUT A COST. Deal with that. All “beneficial” mutations turn out to be examples of antagonistic pleiotropy. They only improve fitness by messing up something else.

And how is this supposed to magically disprove Evolution? If anything it demonstrates that the Intelligent Designer is supremely inefficient and incompetent to boot.

DS said:

Think of it this way Joe. It is well established that whales evolved from terrestrial ancestors. The mutations that transformed their forelimbs into flippers had a cost, whales can no longer walk on land. Now Joe, are you seriously trying to claim that those mutations are not beneficial to the whales? Really? Really? Give it up Joe, you’re a loony and everybody knows it.

And that this somehow magically disproves Evolution. Yes, that’s what he’s saying. But, then again, when you’re a raving, science/reality denying idiot, well…

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

DS said: Doesn’t have to. It show the mutations are beneficial. Deal with it.

BUT NOT WITHOUT A COST. Deal with that. All “beneficial” mutations turn out to be examples of antagonistic pleiotropy. They only improve fitness by messing up something else.

It doesn’t matter what the cost is. As long as the benefit outweighs the cost, it is a net benefit. It costs the cell energy to make any protein. But if the benefit of the protein brings more energy into the cell than it costs to make (overall), then the cell will continue to make that protein. Similarly, if the benefit of the protein saves the cell more energy than it costs to make the protein, then it will continue to make the protein.

Or rather, in the evolutionary sense, cells which make the protein will be at a competitive advantage, while cells that do not make the protein will be at a competitive disadvantage.

But what you’ve already admitted is that the “compensatory” mutation is, even by your definition, a “beneficial” mutation. The bacterium is better off with the “compensatory” mutation than it is without. You have admitted this. Even if the “compensatory” mutation doesn’t bring the cell back to it’s “ground state”, it is still better off with the “compensatory” mutation than without it. Even by your definition, that is a “benefit”.

The problem is that you then move the goal posts. “Well, it’s not beneficial enough. Therefore beneficial mutations don’t exist.” I believe that’s an example of the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy.

What about the blow hole Joe. You know it would have a significant cost on the golf course. A dolphin could be in serious trouble if a golf ball got caught in there. So I guess there is a cost to the blow hole, right?. So, according to you, the position of the blowhole is not beneficial in dolphins, right?

Why don’t you shut your own blow hole Joe? The cost is way too high.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

stevaroni said: Like Einstein said, all it takes is one good piece of evidence.

Um… so… got any of that?

There is no one silver bullet that can kill the monster of Darwinism.Its demise will be slow and gradual.

So then… no. No evidence.

Thought so. Just checking.

stevaroni said:

1686 said:

stevaroni said: Like Einstein said, all it takes is one good piece of evidence.

Um… so… got any of that?

There is no one silver bullet that can kill the monster of Darwinism.Its demise will be slow and gradual.

So then… no. No evidence.

Thought so. Just checking.

What did you expect from a group of science-hating science-deniers who whine that they’re actually not obligated to do science/explain anything with Intelligent Design?

Magic bullets? Sorcerery spitballs?

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

stevaroni said: Like Einstein said, all it takes is one good piece of evidence.

Um… so… got any of that?

There is no one silver bullet that can kill the monster of Darwinism.Its demise will be slow and gradual.

Now, here’s the non-smart answer.

The thing is, 51686, that there are things like magic bullets that would kill evolution as a theory.

A rabbit fossil from the Precambrian.

The discovery that there was a unique rip-up-and-rewrite in human DNA.

A truly de-novo feature for which there is no incremental precursor.

There are lots of things science can think up that would send conventional darwinian evolution to the dustbin of history to take its place alongside the aether, phlogiston, and Piltdown man.

Problem is, that in 150 years of testing, often by rabidly biased investigators that want to discredit evolution at all cost, nobody has ever found that scrap of evidence.

Creationists are left with inventing math that nobody else can duplicate (Dembski) or claiming with a straight face that certain structures don’t have antecedents when simple research clearly shows they do (Behe).

This is simple barnyard biology. If it doesn’t work as described “magic bullets” to demonstrate so should be everywhere.

Magic bullets should be downright mundane.

It should be no harder to disprove Darwinian evolution that is is to disprove geocentrism.

And yet… you can’t.

You side has been trying for fifteen decades. Since steam locomotives and telegraphs were cutting-edge technology.

And after a century and a half… you got nuthin.

Speaks volumes right there.

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

DS said: Doesn’t have to. It show the mutations are beneficial. Deal with it.

BUT NOT WITHOUT A COST. Deal with that. All “beneficial” mutations turn out to be examples of antagonistic pleiotropy. They only improve fitness by messing up something else.

Wrong again Joe. Remember this reference:

Lenski, et.al. (2005) Pleiotrophic effects of beneficial mutations in E. coli. Evolution 59(11)2343-52.

From the abstract:

Our results show that the majority of mutations had significant fitness effects in alternative resources, such that pleiotropy was common. The predominant form of this pleiotropy was positive–that is, most mutations that conferred increased fitness in glucose also conferred increased fitness in novel resources. We did detect some deleterious pleiotropic effects, but they were primarily limited to one of the five resources, and within this resource, to only a subset of mutants.

So some mutations can have beneficial effects in almost every environment. What you have to do is provide evidence that everyone of them has some negative effect in some environment. And even if you can do that, so what? The mutations are still beneficial, probably even beneficial in most environments, if not all. The fact that some of them might have some cost in some environment that is never encountered is irrelevant.

There is no one silver bullet that can kill the monster of Darwinism.Its demise will be slow and gradual.

I thought this was Ray Martinez, but that pronouncement sounds like Joe, all right. It has the ring of his grandiloquent florid lunacy, the delusions of grandeur that he trails around like the smell of a well-used sneaker. Ray’s more into blank flat prosaic denial of reality, without the flourishes.

Isn’t it fun, playing “spot the troll”? Is it loony one, loony two, or loony three?

apokryltaros said: What did you expect from a group of science-hating science-deniers who whine that they’re actually not obligated to do science/explain anything with Intelligent Design?

Magic bullets? Sorcerery spitballs?

I think Darwinism will collapse due to its own internal contradictions and failures, rather like how Communism collapsed. When the end/liberation does come, I expect it to happen quite quickly. Thereafter, a new paradigm and scientific regime will take hold.

DS said:

What about the blow hole Joe. You know it would have a significant cost on the golf course. A dolphin could be in serious trouble if a golf ball got caught in there. So I guess there is a cost to the blow hole, right?. So, according to you, the position of the blowhole is not beneficial in dolphins, right?

Why don’t you shut your own blow hole Joe? The cost is way too high.

You really ought to read more science, DS, and watch less Seinfeld. You are no marine biologist.

Why don’t you hold your breath?

https://me.yahoo.com/a/HVJnIBo.k9XN[…]rLK_k-#51686 said:

apokryltaros said: What did you expect from a group of science-hating science-deniers who whine that they’re actually not obligated to do science/explain anything with Intelligent Design?

Magic bullets? Sorcerery spitballs?

I think Darwinism will collapse due to its own internal contradictions and failures, rather like how Communism collapsed. When the end/liberation does come, I expect it to happen quite quickly. Thereafter, a new paradigm and scientific regime will take hold.

So that would be a no. Joe has no answer for the reference I provided. Funny, since he provided none of his own. You lose again Joe. You should stick to watching the Flintstones. Your are no biologist of any kind.

Banned Troll bullshitted:

apokryltaros said: What did you expect from a group of science-hating science-deniers who whine that they’re actually not obligated to do science/explain anything with Intelligent Design?

Magic bullets? Sorcerery spitballs?

I think Darwinism will collapse due to its own internal contradictions and failures, rather like how Communism collapsed. When the end/liberation does come, I expect it to happen quite quickly. Thereafter, a new paradigm and scientific regime will take hold.

Can the Administrators re-ban Atheistoclast?

This thread is a good example of Schiller’s famous observation “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.”. Googling around I also found an old favourite, the great Isaac Asimov and a novel I would like to read. Think I deserve a relief from the stoopid.

His name is not Steve. The insanity of Joe Bozorgmehr:

Joe says: “Btw, just killing is part of my religion. Did not the prophet Elijah slaughter 450 priests of the false god, Ba’al (1 Kings 18:40)?”

Joe says: ”…wiping out a conference of evolutionary biologists but reasoned that it would not produce the intended result.”

Joe says: “I will admit that it did occur to my mind that conferences were ideal places to wipe out all of the current dinosaurs within the scientific establishment in one fell swoop”.

Joe fails on the age of the Earth: “By my calculations, there is a disparity between the age of the planet and the material it is made from. …But if you had to press me, I would say the planet is between 0.8bn to 1.5 bn years old. … It is based on iridum dating for isotopes 191Ir and 193Ir. I have also studied lava flows and rock formations. The figure of 4.6bn years is much too high. … The math is beyond the ken of everyone here. I can’t reduce it to baby steps. There is some serious calculus involved with double integrals and the like. … Like I say. It is complicated. I would need 4 pages of pure math just to explain it to you. It also involves some very taxing stochastic differentiation.”

Foolish Joe: Where is the math? Where is the evidence?

Joe says: “… The fusion of chromosome 2a and 2b, again, does not indicate common ancestry. It could so easily refer to the fact that Adam had 48 chromosomes but Noah and his descendants had 46 thanks to a translocation…”

Joe says: “Morphogenetic fields are non-energetic organizing principles that impose order on otherwise indeterminate structures.”

Joe says: “… I am not here to be liked - I am here to shatter the idols of ignorance and to pave the way for a new era in science and philosophy. Like it or not, I represent the future of humanity whereas you represent only the fossilized remains you examine.”

Joe says: “I’m gloating, all right. I just can’t wait to see the full data when it is made available. I am giggling like a little girl.”

Joe jokes: “I am not just some guy who rattles his keyboard on talk forums. I am a bigtime player and I’m playing to win.”

Joe says: “So what if I have a healthy sense of self-confidence? I know I’m right, but it is hard to convince everyone here to think the way I do.”

Years ago Joe says: “… Bozorgmehrism is going to take just a few years to become mainstream. You’ll see.”

Merriam-Webster’s definition of megalomania: a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur.

Outstanding summary rob.

Until Joe can once again be banned, any responses by me to him will be on the bathroom wall. If the administrators cannot or will not ban him permanently and make it stick. they might as well close down the site. No more discussion of science will ever occur here.

1686 said:

For example, natural selection has acted fairly stringently to preserve the sequence of the ubiquitin protein among all eukaryotes: the protein in yeast is 96% identical with that of humans.

-snip-

What Natural selection does not do is explain the diversity of the protein repertoire and, more importantly, the diversity of form and patterns of behavior among organisms.

HuH?

Evolution fails because a) there is too much commonality to explain and b) there is too much diversity to explain.

Do you actually read what you write, 1686?

DS said:

No more discussion of science will ever occur here.

Does any discussion of science ever occur with the creaobots?

stevaroni said: HuH?

Evolution fails because a) there is too much commonality to explain and b) there is too much diversity to explain.

Do you actually read what you write, 1686?

It is very simple. Natural selection has acted against change in the vast majority of protein sequences. It is an anti-evolutionary force. It keeps things, like ubiquitin, as they are. Unfortunately, the Neo-Darwinists don’t view natural selection as the conserving force in biology that it really is, but instead as a creative agency that (although blind and dumb) can somehow circumvent the need for an intelligent designer.

And yet, you make this pronouncement without ever having done any research, Atheistoclast. Too busy writing up your list of people to murder publicly execute when you take power at the universities?

1686 said:

Natural selection has acted against change in the vast majority of protein sequences. It is an anti-evolutionary force. It keeps things, like ubiquitin, as they are.

Natural selection does not prevent change; it permits change when change is necessary. As long as a protein sequence like ubiquitin is beneficial to the organism/species, there is no need for change. You know — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

1686 said:

It is very simple. Natural selection has acted against change in the vast majority of protein sequences.

True.

It is very difficult for evolution to produce a beneficial mutation. The vast majority of mutations are neutral (because the largest fraction of DNA is broken junk) but of the vast majority of the remainder are harmful.

DNA is a fragile system. It’s now estimated that half of all fertilized human eggs fail to develop because, essentially, of an “unbootable program”.

But the key word is “vast majority”. That means that some beneficial mutations do happen.

Given the enormous number of times mother nature rolls the dice, even tiny probabilities add up.

Michael Behe was famous for asserting that certain mutations were too infrequent to ever happen. Then was forced to run the actual numbers during the Dover trial an - surprise - when you do the math it turns out that his “impossible” mutations were statistically happening every 50 minutes or so with just the cells present inside the courtroom.

Lenski’s long term e-coli experiment is similar. He took 20,000 generations to evolve citrate-eating bacteria. Each generation involved hundreds of millions of organisms. That was because evolution is inefficient. It is sloppy. Most mutations are neutral of harmful.

But evolution has numbers on it’s side. It rolls the dice trillions of times a second.

More importantly, it has feedback. Nature viciously selects against harmful mutations and generously rewards useful ones.

While humans tend to think of 20,000 generations as a “long time”, it’s a blink of the eye to mother nature (and nature evolved the eye in various incarnations about 16 separate times).

It is an anti-evolutionary force. It keeps things, like ubiquitin, as they are. Unfortunately, the Neo-Darwinists don’t view natural selection as the conserving force in biology that it really is, but instead as a creative agency that (although blind and dumb) can somehow circumvent the need for an intelligent designer.

Um… sorry…

This got trapped on the bottom of my last comment, because I was sloppy with my cutting and pasting

stevaroni said:

It is an anti-evolutionary force. It keeps things, like ubiquitin, as they are. Unfortunately, the Neo-Darwinists don’t view natural selection as the conserving force in biology that it really is, but instead as a creative agency that (although blind and dumb) can somehow circumvent the need for an intelligent designer.

That’s actually a quote from 1686.

I, on the other hand, have no problem at all with blind, dumb agents circumventing the need for an intelligent designer.

In fact, I’ll put money on it.

This got trapped on the bottom of my last comment, because I was sloppy with my cutting and pasting

The Designer did it!!111!!!one!!!!

It is an anti-evolutionary force. It keeps things, like ubiquitin, as they are. Unfortunately, the Neo-Darwinists don’t view natural selection as the conserving force in biology that it really is, but instead as a creative agency that (although blind and dumb) can somehow circumvent the need for an intelligent designer.

I know it is useless to say anything, but when you weed out the less fortunate from a population - and you are of course aware there is fierce competition in nature,

Q: who remains alive and kicking (in lieu of the more folksy f’word) to enjoy propagating the species?

A: The more competitive.

Or are you telling us that they all share the same genes 100%? That the entire process, from mating behaviors to all that follows, are of no comsewuence, that by doing away with the way life is played in real life is of noe consequences whatosever?

So why do they do it, why waste so much energy and resources on a bird’s tail, a moose’s horns, deer antlers, all the fantasic features, appendages, intricate bird dances and so on and on?

Wherever I look at nature, I find evidence of natural evolution. Although in some places, only creationistic narrowmindedness, if not even worse.

For the record: I missed the review button for proofreading.

I find it both ironic and irritating that a troll using the name “… panda …” has derailed this thread from more important issues and personages obviously germane to the topic at hand.

To wit: why has it been so long since we’ve seen posts by and/or reports on the activities, researches, and adventures of Prof. Steve Steve?

Pierce R. Butler said:

I find it both ironic and irritating that a troll using the name “… panda …” has derailed this thread

By all means be annoyed by the derailing, but anyone posting as a guest (vs. a login account) is called “a masked panda” followed by a string. So don’t be annoyed about that. :)

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on February 16, 2013 1:01 PM.

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