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The Edge of Evolution - Page 2

post #41 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

No. HIV cannot spare to turn off things -- every mutation HIV conferring resistance to a drug has been on an actively used protein (and it doesn't matter that these organisms are turning off things anyway -- that means the things that aren't being used can be further modified, evolved to match some new needed function). Scientists are realizing this and trying to out design HIV's built in evolutionary device buy forcing new drugs to look as much like natural substrates as possible so that it would be all but impossible for HIV to mutate a resistance. But you know what, it might work a little better, but I suspect it will fail just the same. HIV is SOOOO smart.



Yes... you can and people have. Using a leaky polymerase people have done amazing things in the modification of protein function (there are other methods, of course, but the polymerase reactions are the most natural off them) selected, but not designed. In order to see anything on a laboratory time scale you have to increase the rate of mutation 10^6 to 10^9 times. This barely gets you over the preservation of function tendencies nature has evolved.

Why Behe thinks that e. coli or malaria is evolving any faster than than it has in the past, I will never know....

I also have to point out that MOST scientists aren't looking for spontaneous gain of function when they work with any of these organisms... I don't know of a single one looking at evolution at the scale of bacteria in any event...

Evolution is used as a theory to explain observed results... And like the young universal gravitation it has its yips that proclaim that it must be false because the moon hasn't crashed into the earth, and when the scientists respond that actually the moon is moving away from earth due to tidal effects, they proclaim that the end is nigh for gravitation...

Alright, that seems fair enough -- as long as Behe isn't pulling statistics out of thin air on the protein thing.

We are probably at a point of interpretation over whether we should be seeing bacteria, and viruses, things like malaria evolving new features. I'd imagine that's where the punditry will center.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #42 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

...our species being the last from that branch.

I think you meant to type bush.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #43 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I think you meant to type bush.

I guess so.

I think of it as a rather confusing "bush" with individual branches rejoining at various points in time (from isolated populations that are still able to interbreed).

That certain traits like "beauty" (e. g. less hairy), "rank" (e. g. alphas), and "intelligence" (e. g. tool use, capability to use natural resources), were three (of perhaps many) traits that we humans consciously selected.

But now, I'm going out on a limb!
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post #44 of 146
Why would an intelligent being design life as we experience it when, it must be so "evolved" that any kind of physical intereaction with "it's" environment or reality would be something like a hobby or simple entertainment at best. A being this advanced, above all physical laws, above any temporal constraints had to come to be somehow. Was it itself intelligently designed?

Why has it stopped designing us?

Maybe it has abandoned us as a bad idea? or it simply got bored, eternal life is afterall eternally boring.
post #45 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

Why would an intelligent being design life as we experience it when, it must be so "evolved" that any kind of physical intereaction with "it's" environment or reality would be something like a hobby or simple entertainment at best. A being this advanced, above all physical laws, above any temporal constraints had to come to be somehow. Was it itself intelligently designed?

Why has it stopped designing us?

Maybe it has abandoned us as a bad idea? or it simply got bored, eternal life is afterall eternally boring.

I can't go there, jamac, that's just too much projection. If you start (and mind you don't have to start there) with an infinite being, whom we derive our existence from, at some point you have to let the metaphysics go. All we end up doing is creating mythologies to basically give God a pass on His 'behavior.' It's contradictory.

I guess you can put God on the witness stand, but at some point in that process he stops being 'God.'

(but this is not really the point of wondering whether malaria should be evolving new features.)

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #46 of 146
hardeeharhar:

Your posts have been very informative as far as the science of this issue is concerned. Thank you very much.
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post #47 of 146
Wow. This thread amazes me. Science education an America is in worse shape than I thought. I won't even enter the fray.

Do beware the RNA agenda crowd. They are very unstable folks.
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post #48 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I can't go there, jamac, that's just too much projection. If you start (and mind you don't have to start there) with an infinite being, whom we derive our existence from, at some point you have to let the metaphysics go. All we end up doing is creating mythologies to basically give God a pass on His 'behavior.' It's contradictory.

I guess you can put God on the witness stand, but at some point in that process he stops being 'God.'

(but this is not really the point of wondering whether malaria should be evolving new features.)

Finally you have become an atheist, welcome to the "smart" side!

One more question, why "His". Are you applying gender to the "Intelligent Designer" or is "His" and evolutionary term?
post #49 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

Finally you have become an atheist, welcome to the "smart" side!

One more question, why "His". Are you applying gender to the "Intelligent Designer" or is "His" and evolutionary term?

Self-identification thing?

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #50 of 146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Why Behe thinks that e. coli or malaria is evolving any faster than than it has in the past, I will never know....

Looking at that again -- just to clarify: with 10^20 each of HIV viruseseses and malaria organisms coming and going without any new features, you're basically saying that it's not a sign of darwinism running out of gas, or failing for some odd reason, but simply a lack of time? Or something else?

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #51 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Looking at that again -- just to clarify: with 10^20 each of HIV viruseseses and malaria organisms coming and going without any new features, you're basically saying that it's not a sign of darwinism running out of gas, or failing for some odd reason, but simply a lack of time? Or something else?

First off, I don't have a clue.

Who defines "new" features?

E. coli (bacteria), HIV (virus), and Malaria (parasite) all need a host to reproduce, do they not? They are not able to reproduce independent of the host, so that it would seen that their evolutionary pathways are severely constricted.

How do we know that new adaptations haven't occurred, I seem to remember reading that HIV has "evolved' (e. g. micro-evolution (?)).

Has any serious sequencing been undertaken to establish variation within each of these? And if so over what time scale?

And how exactly would these variations be introduced "into the wild" as it were, given their host nature, and to me anyway, very constricted pathways available to these types of organisms?

And what pressures/externalizies are necessary to cause significant adaptations anyway, among any species. I think extinction rates, and other environmental/ecosystem externalizes play a much larger role in evolutionary rates than what appear in "stable" populations.

I guess I need to head over to The Panda's Thumb to read up on the counter arguments to Behe assertions.

EDIT - And what's the big deal with 10^20, it "looks" like a large number but what's the context, for example if there have been 10^8 humans (100,000,000) infected with HIV that means each have 10^12 HIV viruses. For E. coli yearly humanity excretes 10^12 * 6.6 * 10^9 * 365 = 2.4 * 10^23

Quote:
E. coli are abundant: the number of individual E. coli bacteria in the feces that a human defecates in one day averages between 100 billion (10^11) and 10 trillion (10^13).
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post #52 of 146
I bought a copy of the book this morning and I am about 80 pages into it.

Wow... this is garbage. But I'm going to finish it!

He states things very very very authoritatively and offers very little (mostly nothing) to back the ideas up. He is not a great thinker or writer. It is painful work, but it must be done.
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post #53 of 146
Of course evolution exists.

That for which is better suited to it's enviornment has a higher likelyhood to survive and reproduce, passing on it's characterstics in it's offspring. This is not debatable whatsoever.

An prime example of evolution:

Before the Industrial Revolution, a certain white moth was much more prevalant than it's black counterpart because it was more easily suited for camoflage with it's enviornment, thus less likely to be eated, and thus more likely to reporduce. After the Industrial Revolution however, with a lot of soot on trees darkening the bark color, the black moth was better suited to the enviorment and their numbers in proportion to the white moths increased tremendously.

Think about how technology evolves.
post #54 of 146
post #55 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

E. coli (bacteria), HIV (virus), and Malaria (parasite) all need a host to reproduce, do they not? They are not able to reproduce independent of the host, so that it would seen that their evolutionary pathways are severely constricted.

How do we know that new adaptations haven't occurred, I seem to remember reading that HIV has "evolved' (e. g. micro-evolution (?)).

Has any serious sequencing been undertaken to establish variation within each of these? And if so over what time scale?

A-ha -- Panda's Thumb -- another place keep an eye on. I noticed "UD people" kept coming up on PZ's site -- It has dawned on me that that is William Dembski's site Uncommon Descent -- there's a bit of repartee between the two. They're basically the alter ego of each other -- both fairly technical in nature. UD has been critical of a few more than a few points of Sean Carroll's review (the one I quote at the beginning of the thread.)

Apparently the quote:
Quote:
...and pyrimethamine resistance in malarial parasites (6)--a notable omission given Behe's extensive discussion of malarial drugresistance.

...is a stinker, Behe does specifically mentions it in his book. There are a couple of other criticisms over his evidence on protein binding sites, and more over his citation of what is basically just [destructive] advantageous changes.

However, one person did bring up the 'how much do we know/how recently have we looked at the genomes to make sure that this is not happening.' That might be interesting. Although, if something new cropped up in malaria, it seems like we'd know it the hard way.

It will be interesting to see how Behe responds. The beauty of the blogoshpere is that no one will be getting away with a snow job. If the research is out there, between PZ's site and UD, and others, it should be easy enough to spot.

My guess is that, like T-Rex marrow, there will be an "unknown process" introduced to keep things as they are.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #56 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post


Oh, thank you soooo much for the imagery, you jerk! I immediately thought of transforming the old sunday school song into 'Jesus loves the little raptors...'

...I am so going to hell now.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #57 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

E. coli (bacteria), HIV (virus), and Malaria (parasite) all need a host to reproduce, do they not? They are not able to reproduce independent of the host, so that it would seen that their evolutionary pathways are severely constricted.

No. Viruses yes. Bacteria and parasites no. bacteria and parasites can survive without a host, though in some cases their survival is benefited by interactions with a host, it is not a strict requirement.
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post #58 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Looking at that again -- just to clarify: with 10^20 each of HIV viruseseses and malaria organisms coming and going without any new features, you're basically saying that it's not a sign of darwinism running out of gas, or failing for some odd reason, but simply a lack of time? Or something else?


Do they need new features? What selective advantage has been given for new features?

(other than drug resistance, which is a new feature -- which I think patently proves the point).

You or I can arbitrarily decide what a new feature is. I can claim for instance that a protein gaining the ability to function in the presence of an inhibitor that at one point prevented it from functioning is a new feature. It is classical micro-evolution. It has been observed.

This push back against microevolution is particularly funny since it is a fact and has been observed countless many times.
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post #59 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Do they need new features? What selective advantage has been given for new features?

(other than drug resistance, which is a new feature -- which I think patently proves the point).

You or I can arbitrarily decide what a new feature is. I can claim for instance that a protein gaining the ability to function in the presence of an inhibitor that at one point prevented it from functioning is a new feature. It is classical micro-evolution. It has been observed.

This push back against microevolution is particularly funny since it is a fact and has been observed countless many times.

Right, but that's Behe's whole point: that this is the very sort of thing that happens literally all the time, but as we observe it, its overall effects are destructive of the genome. That, in all observed cases, in order to survive, we see organisms and viruseseses basically burning bridges instead of building new ones.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #60 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Right, but that's Behe's whole point: that this is the very sort of thing that happens literally all the time, but as we observe it, its overall effects are destructive of the genome. That, in all observed cases, in order to survive, we see organisms and viruseseses basically burning bridges instead of building new ones.

No. He is wrong. Evolution isn't about how an organism survives, it is only that it does survive. Secondly, in no way has HIV, E. coli, or malaria burned bridges as Behe says. HIV for instance has lost NO functionality in developing resistance to drugs, nor for that matter has E. coli, that much I can say for sure. And malaria is still infecting people at prodigious rates, so what possible bridges could it have burned? Behe is assigning an arbitrary value to the proteins that get turned on or off -- resistances in E. coli often are the result of turning ON certain types of transporters.

He and you are looking at this the wrong way: Before mutation: organism is dead, after mutation: organism is alive even if a bit sick. Sick > dead. Sick can be repaired. Dead can't. That is the worst case scenario for an evolutionary process, choosing between sick and dead. But it gives the organisms an out, a way to become healthy again (which has a lower selective advantage than not being dead, obviously, and should take more time). But not all mutations cause the organism to be sick. The common mutation conferring antimicrobial resistance to Cipro has absolutely NO ill effects on the bugs that have it. None. None at all. It is neutral, or rather Alive and healthy >> dead. So there you go.
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post #61 of 146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

No. He is wrong. Evolution isn't about how an organism survives, it is only that it does survive. Secondly, in no way has HIV, E. coli, or malaria burned bridges as Behe says.

But they do, if Behe's telling the truth.
Quote:
...In the case of pyrimethamine..., the drug interferes with an enzyme abbreviated DHFR. However, when a mutation appears in the enzyme and changes amino acid at position number 108 from serine to asparagine, the drug loses its effectiveness...

There is 'switching off' going on, but the out-and-out damage to the genome is significant.

One other thing, there seems to be a problem fixing this sort of damage in the population. Apparently once those treatments stop, this damage is self-defeating and the organisms have to compete on a level playing field with organisms without this damage. They end up losing out, and the whole process can repeat.

This would seem to make the problem even worse for darwinists.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #62 of 146
(Behe isn't telling the truth, BTW -- the quote in your post doesn't indicate that the enzyme is being turned off at all, changed, yes, but turned off, no)

No it doesn't. That is exactly what you would expect to happen DMZ...

Selective advantage in some conditions could lead to disadvantage in others particularly if it is a point source of selection. It happens in the lab, it is actually predicted to happen by evolutionary theory. The idea is that evolution will occur more rapidly if the selection pressure is constant. If it is itinerant, then it will take a long time for some organism to arise that can play well in all conditions. But it will happen.
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post #63 of 146
Thread Starter 
Interesting point -- I'll be watching the blogs for the fireworks.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #64 of 146
Im sooo tempted not to make any comment, but I just have too.

There you go folks - the existance of God depends upon whether the stuff in your shit can have its features turned off.

If any of you athiests want to experience God, I'm quite happy to send you a ....

Sounds perfectly fitting and reasonable to me!
post #65 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

This would seem to make the problem even worse for darwinists.

Maybe to someone:
  1. Without any formal scientific training
  2. Who nevertheless feels inclined to speak authoritatively about highly technical matters in the field
  3. Without any sense of context that such an education gives [and]
  4. Whose respect for the field is all too glaringly absent with his pejorative "Darwinists" name-calling.
Yeah, you're credible.
post #66 of 146
Sorry to be arrogant, but I am convinced that it takes years of study to really appreciate the beauty of evolution and natural selection. Learning a few science buzz words doesn't get it done. Genomes are continuously experimenting with new variations. Some make it;most do not. And it isn't always random. This is fascinating stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_mutation
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post #67 of 146
Thread Starter 
Both of you guys -- Behe has raised a very specific question, in that we have huge numbers of things like HIV or malaria, but no new features.

This is a specific question, with only a few answers. Either it's happening and we're not "seeing" it, or it's not happening at all. or not at the moment [the development of new features, protien bonds, etc.]

If it is not happening, that will need an explanation.

Now, the whys and hows might be very technical, but the question of whether new features are being created, is not.

Check the various blogs guys, bounce around, PZ and Dembskis, etc. -- this one is going to be fun.











Shutting up.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #68 of 146
This "new feature" term is not clear to me. There are always new features developing at the molecular level. These features are not observed en masse unless they are selected for or otherwise give an advantage.
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post #69 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Just because you can't fathom something to be possible doesn't make it impossible. It just means that your capacity for understanding random probability is poor. Or you're in denial of the obvious. Either way, you're dumb.


You really should not talk about Darwinists like this.... Surly they deserve more credit than your harsh words seem to suggest.

and to quote: "Either way, you're dumb"

Wow what a powerful argument / judgement.



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post #70 of 146
post #71 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

No. Viruses yes. Bacteria and parasites no. bacteria and parasites can survive without a host, though in some cases their survival is benefited by interactions with a host, it is not a strict requirement.

Thanks for the help, I'm trying not to be too much of a n00b, but on this one, I'm a n00b!

But I'm still wondering where this 10^40 number (and the 10^20 number) comes from and what does it mean?

Is this some sort of estimate for current Biology, or the cumulative total going back some ~4 billion years?

Quote:
There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a millilitre of fresh water; in all, there are approximately five nonillion (5×10^30) bacteria in the world.

Bacteria

And of what importance is "playing with the numbers" or "cooking the books" anyway (e. g. Behe's seemingly arbitrary statistical assumptions)?

Quote:
The most common estimates suggest that we have studied only about 1% of all of the microbes in any given environment.

Microbiology
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post #72 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by southside grabowski View Post

This "new feature" term is not clear to me. There are always new features developing at the molecular level. These features are not observed en masse unless they are selected for or otherwise give an advantage.

Bingo...

Wait? Has southside taken a liking to science?

*shudders*

(kidding, at some level, not kidding at another)
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post #73 of 146
dmz:

Quote:
Right, but that's Behe's whole point: that this is the very sort of thing that happens literally all the time, but as we observe it, its overall effects are destructive of the genome. That, in all observed cases, in order to survive, we see organisms and viruseseses basically burning bridges instead of building new ones.

What would it look like if an organism were to be caught "building new ones".

Reading through the book, it is just another case of Behe making no real arguments, just mischaracterizing issues and then dismissing it all authoritatively without any real reason to do so.

For instance, take dmz's "no new features" assertion... what would a "new feature" look like, what would it be?
More importantly to the question, what "new features" would evolutionary theory predict? (Remember, the point is the discredit evolutionary theory.)

dmz (and Behe) take it for granted that evolutionary theory simply must make certain predictions, yet neither actually show that any such prediction has ever been made by evolutionary theory. It is the world's largest straw man.
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post #74 of 146
Just finished this piece of shit.

I was not expecting anything, and nothing is what I got. I enjoyed Darwin's Black Box far more than this, because DBB, for all its intellectual dishonesty, was not deliberately obscurantist. The Edge of Evolution, however, is the very picture of obscurantist nonsense.

One would think that the intervening time between DBB and TEoE and his humilation in the Kitzmiller case would have lessened his enthusiasm for irreducible complexity, but I daresay he is even more childlike in this book than the previous.

I really have nothing more to add that the many available blastings do not already cover (and far better than I could), other than to say that I am glad to have read it, even though it is a large chunk of waste.

There really is room in science for a rational skeptic (I hope that all scientists are skeptics) to point out the many flaws and holes in evolutionary theory (they are there), but where Behe goes off the reservation is to state, out of thin air, that a divine causation must necessarily exist.

"These numbers are big and prove that evolution can't happen."
- "But we live in a big universe whose condition is entirely composed of big numbers."
"BIG GIANT NUMBERS! RAAAAWR!"

As I have said previously, the book is one massive obscurantist straw man attack. Behe outlines a series of definitions of what evolutionary theory is (and predictions that evolutionary theory makes) that are completely disconnected from what evolutionary theory actually is and what evolutionary theory actually predicts.

After constructing this false idol, he proceeds to tear it down. Predictably, he is baffled why everyone cannot see how his tearing down the false idol is not the same as tearing down the real thing.

The golden calf may have been ground to dust and swallowed by those who were, in turn, slaughtered by the priests, but god still sits on Sinai, wondering just what the hell Behe was down there doing playing with his Legos, stacking them up, and then knocking them over, screaming triumphantly.
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post #75 of 146
I was talking about this book with a friend of mine (genetic biology post-grad at Rice U) and I realized that Behe has really evolved since Darwin's Black Box. In his initial ID enthusiasm, he made actual claims and statements that could be evaluated. He singled out specific problems with evolutionary theory and then outlined clearly what those problems where. What I enjoyed about DBB is that it actually said something. Well, it turns out that something it said was a load of crap, and since the release of the book, scientists have made a complete mockery of the book.

The new book, however, is sufficiently dodgy, non-specific, and vague so as to not set itself up for scrutiny the way DBB did. That is not to say that there is not a lot in there to affirmatively dismiss (or confirm), but it is a very different animal than DBB, and it reveals a Behe that is very different from what he used to be. His writing style hasn't really changed, and his tone is just as irritatingly confident, but the substance went from assured correctness to snarky bitterness.

His stressed allegiance with evolution on so many issues, though, is very interesting. I do wonder if the good doctor is not as confident in his creationist leanings as he purports himself to be. In being so wishy-washy, he falls into the trap of not having any kind of intellectual home. This is not necessarily bad, but it is certainly bad if one does not have firm ground to stand on between the two big chunks of land. His arguments rather remind me of Newton's idea that god had to come in and mess with things every once-in-a-while to keep them from collapsing, and also bring to mind the necessary question, "Well, why couldn't god have gotten it right in the first place?"

Behe may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb and admit he's full of crap and that evolution via natural selection is the only rational explanation currently available, but something is swirling around in his mind that he cannot quite get hold of.
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post #76 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball View Post

Of course evolution exists.

That for which is better suited to it's enviornment has a higher likelyhood to survive and reproduce, passing on it's characterstics in it's offspring. This is not debatable whatsoever.

An prime example of evolution:

Before the Industrial Revolution, a certain white moth was much more prevalant than it's black counterpart because it was more easily suited for camoflage with it's enviornment, thus less likely to be eated, and thus more likely to reporduce. After the Industrial Revolution however, with a lot of soot on trees darkening the bark color, the black moth was better suited to the enviorment and their numbers in proportion to the white moths increased tremendously.

Think about how technology evolves.

Arrrrr!!!!

This argument that gets repeated over and over (especially in school textbooks) really pisses me off, because it is extremely bogus. In order to prove that dark-color moths evolved due to the Industrial Revolution, you must first prove that there were NO dark-colored moths or the genetic material associated with that trait prior to the new conditions. In other words, you must prove first that a mutation occurred and secondly that natural selection caused that mutation to dominate. In fact this is simply not the case.

If the population of moths before the Industrial Revolution was examined you would find both dark and light moths in existence. The proportion of dark to light was very low, but there were dark moths. In the same way, in the post pollution period you cannot claim that there are NO light colored moths or the associated genes within the population. So this example does not prove evolution, it proves natural selection within a species, something so logical that no one denies it.

The same holds for the Doonesbury cartoon. Can anyone claim that pre-antibiotics, when TB was being treated with streptomycin, that there was a 100% cure rate? The fact is that there were resistant strains in existence then. With the use of streptomycin, the percentage of those strains in the entire population would naturally increase and, given favorable conditions and contagiousness, even increase in absolute numbers until it became necessary to find another drug to treat "the disease" (in quotes because the disease really consists of many different similar strains).

Stop with the smokescreen "real-life examples" and stick with the issues! In most cases "simple" examples to "prove" this extremely complicated question are just a means of tricking simple people into one's point of view. Same is probably true for TEoE, although not having read it, I can't say for sure.
post #77 of 146
[QUOTE=meelash;1100556]Arrrrr!!!!

This argument that gets repeated over and over (especially in school textbooks) really pisses me off, because it is extremely bogus. In order to prove that dark-color moths evolved due to the Industrial Revolution, you must first prove that there were NO dark-colored moths or the genetic material associated with that trait prior to the new conditions. In other words, you must prove first that a mutation occurred and secondly that natural selection caused that mutation to dominate. In fact this is simply not the case.

If the population of moths before the Industrial Revolution was examined you would find both dark and light moths in existence. The proportion of dark to light was very low, but there were dark moths. In the same way, in the post pollution period you cannot claim that there are NO light colored moths or the associated genes within the population. So this example does not prove evolution, it proves natural selection within a species, something so logical that no one denies it.

QUOTE]

Natural selection does not necessarily create new genetic variants. There is a ton of genetic variation out there. Under natural selection (or artificial selection), low frequency events become visible and dominate the population. There is a lot of room for variation in color. It is often modulated by several genes (don't know the genetics of color in moths).
"some catch on faster than others"
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post #78 of 146
Exactly, selective pressure changes the genetic variance of a species. This is adaptation -- if there were no preexisting resistant individuals the species would likely die out before a random mutation happened to create a novel resistance. Evolution has never made a claim of intentionality in the mutations -- the creationists have but that is a smoke screen.
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #79 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by southside grabowski View Post

Natural selection does not necessarily create new genetic variants. There is a ton of genetic variation out there. Under natural selection (or artificial selection), low frequency events become visible and dominate the population. There is a lot of room for variation in color. It is often modulated by several genes (don't know the genetics of color in moths).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Exactly, selective pressure changes the genetic variance of a species. This is adaptation -- if there were no preexisting resistant individuals the species would likely die out before a random mutation happened to create a novel resistance. Evolution has never made a claim of intentionality in the mutations -- the creationists have but that is a smoke screen.

Agreed and agreed! It really bugs me when people, usually laymen, use that elementary school "example" of evolution to attempt to prove something which it does not prove. Sorry for the slight tangent.
post #80 of 146
so I was just at this party and out of the blue this guy says he is taking his fam to kentucy to see the creationist museum and man I bit my tongue for awhile but finally I am like, "so whats that all about". he goes on to spout the ID BS and how he knows a Physicist who supports the 6000 year old earth.

Wow one physicist thats great. Sure Behe is one of a few dozen 'experts' who can come up with some fud but evolutionists have tens of thousands of really smart supporters. There is no controversy (except among the unlearned).
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