PvM posted Entry 1142 on October 13, 2005 11:16 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1140

Since there appears to be an ongoing confusion about the work by Haeckel, the relevance of his work to Darwinian theory and the work by von Baer, I have researched these issues and despite the somewhat unorganized nature of my thoughts and findings, I have decided to present the results now rather than wait another 1 or 2 months before I have time to revisit this issue in more depth.

In Iconoclasts of Evolution: Haeckel, Behe, Wells & the Ontogeny of a Fraud The American Biology Teacher Volume: 67 Issue: 5 Pages: 275-282, authors, Pickett, Kurt M., Wenzel, John W., and Rissing, Steven W. examine the arguments by Behe and Wells about Haeckel and von Baer.

They conclude that, contrary to the claims (by Wells and Behe):

Darwin did not rely on Haeckel, but rather on von Baer. von Baer’s stance against ‘evolution’ is irrelevant. Behe (1998) and Wells (1999, 2000) are deeply confused or intentionally confusing regarding the history and significance of this well-known field, an area they claim has special meaning in their political movement.

A particular ironic statement is made by Wells:

But Darwin persisted in citing him [von Baer] anyway, making him look like a supporter of the very doctrine of evolutionary parallelism he explicitly rejected

Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution 2000, page 86.

I wonder how Wells feels about the DI bibliography, given the above objections….

A companion presentation (available in both Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote formats) for use by teachers that parallels the arguments discussed here is available via free anonymous download at this FTP site.

But as Pickett et al argue, that Darwin incorporated other data and cited work by others, is not surprising. Any new theory will have to deal with the existing data. And this is the problem with ID namely that is has no theory to deal with the existing data, let alone with additional data. I apologize to the interested reader and hope that the links and references provide sufficient resources for the reader to explore these issues in further detail.

Pickett et al. explain why they are addressing this topic:

The confusion by Behe and Wells, while obvious to trained scientists, needs some explanation for teachers [and ID proponents PvM].

Their argument is simple: Darwin could not have relied on Haeckel since he published his work 15 years after “Origins”. And while Darwin did rely on von Baer, the argument that he cannot rely on von Baer because he disagreed with Darwin is irrelevant.

In other words, a strawman was created and refuted, and Darwinism survives. But that may not be self evident to the casual observer, especially those who rely on the arguments as presented by ID about Haeckel and Darwinian theory.

Support from embryology has been challenged throughout history in various ways by early critics of evolution including creationists, who now speak under the banner of ‘Intelligent Design.’ Behe (1998) and Wells (1999) claimed that embryological support for Darwinian evolution is based on the drawings of 19th century embryologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). They reiterate Richardson et al.’s (1997) work indicating has been known since at least 1894 Haeckel’s embryological drawings are inaccurate perhaps fraudulent. Accordingly, Behe (1998) claims  that because of this, ” … the problem of within evolution remains unsolved.” Later, Wells (2000, Chapter 5) claimed that the embryological Darwinian evolution is based on the work 19th century embryologist, Karl von Baer (1792-1876). Wells says that as von Baer was not a proponent of evolution, so Darwin’s use of his embryological contributions in support of evolutionary theory is in fact misuse.
Later in the same chapter, Wells (2000) claims Baer’s laws-which describe continual change and specialization during development-cannot accommodate reality because they do not allow for the Haeckelian notion of a conserved stage midway during development. As we will show, von Baer’s view, and sequent view of a mid-embryological conserved overwhelmingly supported by available data.  Notwithstanding this, Behe (1998) and Wells both claim that the alleged existence of stage midway through development shows, also, that Haeckel’s biogenetic law, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” is false.
Wells and Behe claim that Darwin’s thesis, as set forth in On the Origin of Species, relied upon embryological conclusions drawn before and after the publication of Origin. Further, they imply that current support of Darwinism is based on either von Baer or Haeckel, and that if embryological support for evolution comes from von Baer, then it is misuse; if it comes from Haeckel, it is fraudulent. While these simplistic claims are easily dismissed by embryologists and systematists, it can seem quite confusing to other biology teachers. We present the background necessary for teachers and students to evaluate this conflict objectively.

Source: The powerpoint presentation

Recent Attacks on Embryological Support for Darwinism

Support from embryology has been challenged throughout history in various ways by early critics of evolution including creationists, who now speak under the banner of “Intelligent Design.”  Behe (1998) claimed that embryological support for Darwinian evolution is based on the drawings of 19th century embryologist Ernst Haeckel by reiterating Richardson et al�s (1997) work indicating what has been known since at least 1894 (Sedgwick):  Haeckel’s embryological drawings are inaccurate and perhaps fraudulent.  Accordingly, Behe claims that because of this, ” … the problem of development within evolution remains unsolved.”  Later, Wells (2000) claimed that the embryological support for Darwinian evolution is based on the work of another 19th century embryologist, Karl von Baer.  Wells says that as von Baer was not a proponent of evolution, so Darwin’s use of his embryological contributions in support of evolutionary theory is in fact misuse.  Later in the same chapter, Wells (2000) claims that von Baer’s laws cannot accommodate reality because they do not allow for a conserved stage midway during development.  Wells (2000) and Behe (1998) both claim that the existence of a conserved stage midway through development shows, also, that Haeckel’s biogenetic law, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” is false.
Essentially, Wells and Behe claim that embryological support of Darwinism is based on either von Baer or Haeckel, and that if embryological support for evolution comes from von Baer, then it is misuse; if it comes from Haeckel, it is fraudulent.

  • Behe (1998): Support is based on Ernst Haeckel’s embryo drawings, which are inaccurate.  [1]

  • Wells (2000): Support is based on work of Karl von Baer, who was not an evolutionist [2]

  • Wells(2000):  Support based on von Baer cannot accommodate the conserved stage. [3]

BUT …

The real story

We show

(1) the validity of Haeckel’s drawings or his “biogenetic law” has no impact on Darwinian evolution because Darwin published On the Origin of Species some 15 years before Haeckel’s drawings were published;

(2) Richardson et al.’s (1997) critical claim is there no conserved stage during development, and it is incidental that Haeckel’s drawings are in error; and

(3) von Baer’s rejection of Darwin is immaterial because his primary, empirical data support Darwin.

  • The validity of Haeckel’s drawings has no impact on Darwinian biology because Darwin published Origin 15 years before Haeckel’s drawings. [4]

  • Von Baer’s rejection of Darwin is immaterial.

  • There is no conserved stage of embryological development.

Conclusions

  • Darwin did not rely on Haeckel, but rather on von Baer.

  • Von Baer’s stance against evolution is irrelevant.

  • Behe (1998) and Wells (1999, 2000) are deeply confused regarding the history and significance of this well-known field, and area they claim has special meaning in their political movement

Footnotes

[1]  Letter by Behe MJ Embryology and evolution SCIENCE 281 (5375): 348-348 JUL 17 1998

[2] Wells Icons of Evolution

… Wells (2000, Chapter 5) claimed that the embryological support for Darwinian evolution is based on the work of another 19th century embryologist, Karl von Baer (1792-1876).
Wells says that as von Baer was not a proponent of evolution, so Darwin’s use of his embryological contributions in support of evolutionary theory is in fact misuse. Later in the same chapter, Wells (2000) claims that von Baer’s laws, which describe continual change and specialization during development, cannot accommodate reality because they do not allow for the Haeckelian notion of a conserved stage midway during development. As we will show, von Baer’s view, and not the subsequent view of a mid-embryological conserved stage, is overwhelmingly supported by available data.

Chapter 5, Icons of Evolution From ICONS OF EVOLUTION? Why much of what Jonathan Wells writes about evolution is wrong by Alan D. Gishlick

HAECKEL’S EMBRYOS

Although Darwin did not use Haeckel on embryology, he did use von Baer. Recognizing Darwin’s use of von Baer, Wells then accuses Darwin of “misusing” von Baer’s work, twisting the data to fit his views. But Darwin does not. Wells claims that von Baer’s embryological laws are incompatible with Darwin’s conclusions, but they are not. Von Baer may have disagreed with Darwin about his conclusions, but his laws do not prohibit development elucidating common ancestry. Darwin came to a different conclusion from the same body of evidence — this is not “distorting” the evidence. Darwin was making a general inductive argument and searched for data that could test the general proposition of common descent; he argued that von Baer’s data could be reinterpreted in terms of common ancestry. This was no more a “misuse” of von Baer than was Alfred Wegener’s reinterpretations of the data of geology in light of mobile continents. New scientific theories always use previous data. Is Wells implying that evolutionary biology cannot cite any research that predates 1859? Is Wells implying that developmental sequences such as those illustrated by von Baer and others are not data?

[4]Wells does mention that Darwin quoted Haeckel in “On the origin of Species”, 1859. In Chapter XIV. Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology — Embryology — Rudimentary Organs On the nature of the affinities connecting organic beings Darwin wrote:

Professor Haeckel in his “Generelle Morphologie” and in another works,  has recently brought his great knowledge and abilities to bear on what he calls phylogeny, or the lines of descent of all organic beings. In drawing up the several series he trusts chiefly to embryological characters, but receives aid from homologous and rudimentary organs, as well as from the successive periods at which the various forms of life are believed to have first appeared in our geological formations. He has thus boldly made a great beginning, and shows us how classification will in the future be treated.

But it was not until 1874, 15 years after Darwin published his Origins, that Haeckel published the infamous drawings.

Darwin is quoted by Wells as “[Darwin conluded that early embryos] show us, more or less completely, the condition of the progenitor of the whole group in its adult state” but the quote is from a chapter  which does not mention Haeckel but does mention von Baer.

More links on Haeckel and von Baer

  • Richardson MK, Keuck G. (2001) A question of intent: when is a �schematic� illustration a fraud?  Nature. 2001 Mar 8;410(6825):144.

  • Richardson MK Keuck G (2002). Haeckel�s ABC of evolution and development. Biol. Revs. 77 495-528.


    One of the central, unresolved controversies in biology concerns the distribution of primitive versus advanced characters at different stages of vertebrate development. This controversy has major implications for evolutionary developmental biology and phylogenetics. Ernst Haeckel addressed the issue with his Biogenetic Law, and his embryo drawings functioned as supporting data. We re-examine Haeckel’s work and its significance for modern efforts to develop a rigorous comparative framework for developmental studies. Haeckel’s comparative embryology was evolutionary but non-quantitative. It was based on developmental sequences, and treated heterochrony as a sequence change. It is not always clear whether he believed in recapitulation of single characters or entire stages. The Biogenetic Law is supported by several recent studies - if applied to single characters only. Haeckel’s important but overlooked alphabetical analogy of evolution and development is an advance on von Baer. Haeckel recognized the evolutionary diversity in early embryonic stages, in line with modern thinking. He did not necessarily advocate the strict form of recapitulation and terminal addition commonly attributed to him. Haeckel’s much-criticized embryo drawings are important as phylogenetic hypotheses, teaching aids, and evidence for evolution. While some criticisms of the drawings are legitimate, others are more tendentious. In opposition to Haeckel and his embryo drawings, Wilhelm His made major advances towards developing a quantitative comparative embryology based on morphometrics. Unfortunately His’s work in this area is largely forgotten. Despite his obvious flaws, Haeckel can be seen as the father of a sequence-based phylogenetic embryology.

  • Scott F. Gilbert The Reception of Karl Ernst von Baer’s Law

    In September 10, 1860, Charles Darwin wrote to his friend, the Harvard biologist Asa Gray, “Embryology is to me by far the strongest class of facts in favor of change of forms.” This statement is remarkable in that it had been assumed that embryology provided evidence against evolution, and another Harvard biologist, Louis Agassiz, indeed was using embryology against Darwin’s hypothesis. How could Darwin say that embryological evidence supported evolution? The key was the embryological law of Karl Ernst von Baer, a law that was supposed to be against the transformation of species.


    Von Baer’s law of development provided Darwin with three essential pieces of his evolutionary theory. First, it offered Darwin a natural mechanism for a branched tree-like pattern of evolutionary divergence. Darwin’s evolutionary theory would not have to be confined to the linear view of the transformationists before him. Second, von Baer’s observations of vertebrate embryos offered Darwin the notion that homologous structures could be explained by common descent. Third, and conversely, it gave him the insight that embryonic structures could provide the basis for biological classification. Thus, he would conclude in the Origin of Species, (1859, p. 449) “Community of embryonic structure reveals community of descent.”

  • John Wilkins Darwin’s Precursors and Influences

  • PZ Myers
    Wells and Haeckel’s Embryos: A Review of Chapter 5 of Icons of Evolution

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #52270

Posted by mark on October 14, 2005 8:11 AM (e)

If we set aside traditional methodological naturalism, the new theistic science allows for Darwin to have incorporated Haeckel’s later works with no difficulty.
If you can’t get the simple stuff correct, how can you hope to understand the Irreducibly Complex stuff?

Comment #52275

Posted by Henry J on October 14, 2005 10:26 AM (e)

Re “Wells says that as von Baer was not a proponent of evolution, so Darwin’s use of his embryological contributions in support of evolutionary theory is in fact misuse.”

In that case, that would imply that I.D. advocates also can’t properly use any data from research done by “evolutionists”. So where does that leave them?

Henry

Comment #52277

Posted by wildlifer on October 14, 2005 10:45 AM (e)

In that case, that would imply that I.D. advocates also can’t properly use any data from research done by “evolutionists”. So where does that leave them?

Floating in the intellectual vacuum they created?

Comment #52284

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 14, 2005 11:53 AM (e)

Coincidentally, Wells’ Icons of Evolution is mentioned in today’s coverage by the
York Daily Record, which deals with testimony by Kevin Padian.

I am pleased to say that I bought a copy of Wells’ book recently, thus keeping ot out of more gullible hands. Since it was at a used book sale, I am even more pleased to say that none of my money went to the author or publisher.

Comment #52289

Posted by AR on October 14, 2005 12:01 PM (e)

The full text of Pickett et al’s paper is available online since June 2005 on Talk Reason site - see here.

Comment #52293

Posted by PvM on October 14, 2005 12:25 PM (e)

Excellent, thanks AR

Comment #52294

Posted by Gary Hurd on October 14, 2005 12:43 PM (e)

I had not seen the connection of the notion of genetic “front loading” popular with some IDiots and the failed argument of ‘preformationism.’

Second, if preformationism were true – if there was no such thing as development, but simply unfolding – then the full-grown mother-to-be, so she must have in her eggs her own daughters – and in their eggs, their daughters – and so on, like nested Russian dolls, to infinity. Thus, the questionable necessity that all generations of humanity were preformed in Eve’s body. In addition, preformationism did not account for the mixture of parental traits observed in offspring. from Iconoclasts of Evolution: Haeckel, Behe, Wells & the Ontogeny of a Fraud

Comment #52301

Posted by Alienward on October 14, 2005 2:18 PM (e)

In his expert witness report submitted to the Dover case, Behe tries to use Haeckel in a claim that falsification is a problem for evolution. I hope someone points out that Haeckel’s drawings do show those gill slits and tails extending past the anus common to all chordates at some time in their lives.

Comment #52305

Posted by Ed Darrell on October 14, 2005 3:24 PM (e)

ID folk get apoplectic at the term “gill slits,” claiming that, since they don’t develop into gills, they can’t properly be called gill slits, even colloquially – and, therefore, “all of science is false.”

For want of an accurate term, the gill slit was lost; for want of a gill slit, the creature was lost …

But if you really want entertainment, admit the term “gill slit” is inaccurate, and describe what they really are, and how they really demonstrate the stuff that ID folk don’t want demonstrated. They will accuse your grandmother of being a communist …

And if you really get technical and tell them of the relationship between the gill slits and the lousy design of the giraffe’s vagus nerve, be sure you have one of those automated defibrillators on hand.

Comment #52323

Posted by Schmitt. on October 14, 2005 9:42 PM (e)

Reading Pharyngula and creationist nonsense - where it seems odd that contemporary IDers are making precisely the same mistakes as young Earth creationists in the way they miss the point about their usefulness as evidence of common descent - has rather drilled ‘pharyngeal arches’ into my vocabulary.

-Schmitt.

Comment #52330

Posted by "archbishop" Dr Hi'yall on October 14, 2005 11:47 PM (e)

Perhaps what Wells meant was that Darwin kept presenting von Baer as a supporter of a some form of evolution when he wasn’t? I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivelant to a deviation IQ of 170 something made such an obvious mistake. Perhaps Bono was right about the intelligence trap. Either that or Wells doesn’t spend enough time thinking about what he writes, or he’s being sophistical.

Comment #52333

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 15, 2005 6:55 AM (e)

Either that or Wells doesn’t spend enough time thinking about what he writes, or he’s being sophistical.

Or he’s just a lying propagandist.

Comment #52335

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 15, 2005 6:59 AM (e)

“archbishop” Dr Hi’yall

Hey, my “ordination” cost me six bucks, and my “doctorate” was an additional two bucks.

How much did it cost you to get made an “archbishop”?

Comment #52336

Posted by Chip Poirot on October 15, 2005 7:59 AM (e)

This is a very interesting piece and I plan to read it more carefully later.

But what I find interesting is the strategy of trying to discredit modern Neo-Darwinist theories by stating that Darwin might have got things wrong. It’s silly. Suppose as a thought experiment thatn Wells is right. Then so what?

My understanding is that the modern view is that embryonic development mirros that of closely related species rather than recapitulating phylogeny. The proper method of coming to that conclusion is not by reading Darwin, but by studying fetal development.

The point that scientists cannot build on work that disagrees with their view is also patently absurd.

Comment #52337

Posted by "archbishop" "Dr" Hi'yall ( all round overlord of everything) on October 15, 2005 8:13 AM (e)

“Or he’s just a lying propagandist.”

I know this will sound pedantic but I covered that one with “or he’s being sophistical.” ( sophistical as in sophistry, sophistry meaning intentionally fallacious arguementation).

I declared myself archbishop of the wuguwalla when the religion was formed, just a few hours ago. Keep your eye’s on the uncyclopedia for more information, our holy symbol is the venn digram ( we just luv set theory, even if we don’t really understand it ) and our prayer goes like this.

In Soviet Russia the Venn diagram draws you!

You have to say it backwards and forwards twenty times, or else your body will be cut up in a way so complex that it would take a Venn diagram the size of Sydney to describe the result. You also have to email the prayer to 45390752343 of your friends within 1·61803 39887 49894 84820 seconds otherwise hell will open up and devour everyone you love, but not before your dog/cat/budgie is brutally killed by repeated exposure to Britney spears and the Spice Girls music.

The religion isn’t actually a mockery of religion rather it’s a mockery of cyberage kistch.

Comment #52338

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 15, 2005 9:07 AM (e)

Henry J wrote:

Re “Wells says that as von Baer was not a proponent of evolution, so Darwin’s use of his embryological contributions in support of evolutionary theory is in fact misuse.”

In that case, that would imply that I.D. advocates also can’t properly use any data from research done by “evolutionists”. So where does that leave them?

I believe you are getting near the source of this idea. Creationists have been slammed for misusing quotes and references from evolutionists, for example in Ohio, where they presented a list of journal articles they claimed supported Intelligent Design. So this is a “No I’m not, you are” comeback. In that respect it is similar to Behe’s claim htat his detractors are making an argument from ignorance. I also see similarities to many separation of church and state issues, where any attempt to impede the use of government institutions to shove a certain brand of religion down everyone’s throat is being framed as religious discrimination.

Of course they do not seem to make the distinction between use and misuse of the work of an opponent, which ultimately gets back to intellectual depth and integrity.

Comment #52342

Posted by Russell on October 15, 2005 11:47 AM (e)

some endearingly naive or amusingly tongue-in-cheek commenter wrote:

I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivelant to a deviation IQ of 170 something made such an obvious mistake.

Wells is spreading this autobiographical tidbit? For real? Too hilarious! A link, please.

What is it with the neo-creos? It seems as if making a fool of oneself with these supposed proofs of hyperintelligence is part of the playbook. I’ve lost track of how many have publicly declared their “IQ’s” - even posted scanned Mensa cards! - in lieu of any direct evidence of cognitive ability. I do hope none of Our Side has committed this act of cyberonanism.

But in case this commenter was serious, please read the review of “Icons” by any literate science reviewer, and tell me something that Wells didn’t get wrong. Start with “Icons of Obfuscation” by Matzke (or some anagram thereof), or “The Talented Mr. Wells” by Gishlick & Padian.

Comment #52348

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 15, 2005 3:44 PM (e)

I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivelant to a deviation IQ of 170 something made such an obvious mistake.

I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivilent to a deviation IQ of 170 something believes that a fat old South Korean guy is actually the son of God and the younger brother of Jesus Christ – and also gets to tell us who we should marry. (shrug)

As an utterly irrelevant aside, folks, here is a funny little thingie that manages to combine two of my favorite topics — beer and evolution. (You need a movie player that can handle Apple .mov files)

http://tinyurl.com/9lxoo

Comment #52351

Posted by "archbishop" "Dr" Hi'yall ( all round overlord of everything) on October 15, 2005 6:53 PM (e)

I got the data of MikeGene. I’ve never known Mike to actually coldly lie, so I assumed it’s true. He also seems like the sort who wouldn’t fall for obvious B***S***.

Comment #52352

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on October 15, 2005 10:09 PM (e)

I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivelant to a deviation IQ of 170 something made such an obvious mistake.

LOL. Wells still goes around saying that peppered moths don’t rest on tree trunks, and that this invalidates Kettlewell’s data and the predation hypothesis for industrial melanism.

In fact, Icons of Evolution is full of “obvious mistakes”. The question is, is Wells smart enough to know they are mistakes, and he just lies about stuff for the glory of Rev. Moon, or is he deluded enough that he thinks he’s actually telling the truth and all scientists in the world are lying? (Of course, any follower of Moon must be delusional enough to start with.) Honestly, I haven’t figured that one out yet.

Comment #52353

Posted by Steve S on October 15, 2005 10:30 PM (e)

Is he still a Moonie? I seem to remember someone commenting Wells is an ex-Moonie. Anyone know?

Comment #52355

Posted by "archbishop" "Dr" Hi'yall ( all round overlord of everything) on October 16, 2005 12:50 AM (e)

“In fact, Icons of Evolution is full of “obvious mistakes”. The question is, is Wells smart enough to know they are mistakes, and he just lies about stuff for the glory of Rev. Moon, or is he deluded enough that he thinks he’s actually telling the truth and all scientists in the world are lying? (Of course, any follower of Moon must be delusional enough to start with.) Honestly, I haven’t figured that one out yet.”

Being a deluded meglomaniac is no barrier to being a genius. I’d say Hegel was a deluded meglomaniac ( he thought he was literally a delieverer of the highest philosophical insight possible, and that philosophy itself was the highest of all activities.), but he was still a genius.

Does anyone know if Dembski’s claims that Micheal Ruse will be interviewed by Playboy are for real? I know Playboy does do serious interiviews ( they are renowed for there depth, and the amount of time which goes into each, usually a whole day’s intensive grilling. Ayn Rand was interviewed once.) And parts of the post seem to corrbrate the claim ( i.e Ruse saying “actually, it was not until I was asked that I realized that Playboy actually carries written material other than dirty jokes” sounds like something a real person would say). But it does seem a little unbelievable. The address is http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/399

Comment #52357

Posted by Steve S on October 16, 2005 2:24 AM (e)

they are renowed for there depth, and the amount of time which goes into each, usually a whole day’s intensive grilling. Ayn Rand was interviewed once.

Well it would probably take all day to get down one of her speeches. I’ve never seen a writer more in need of an editor.

Comment #52367

Posted by Russell on October 16, 2005 10:41 AM (e)

[Steve S:]Is [Jonathan Wells] still a Moonie? I seem to remember someone commenting Wells is an ex-Moonie. Anyone know?

Somebody mentioned that in connection with the Kansas Kangaroo Kourt testimony. The transcripts are all on line now, so you can check for yourself. I don’t think there’s any recantation in there, but I haven’t gone through it with a fine tooth comb.

[Hiyall:]Being a deluded meglomaniac is no barrier to being a genius. I’d say Hegel was a deluded meglomaniac ( he thought he was literally a delieverer of the highest philosophical insight possible, and that philosophy itself was the highest of all activities.), but he was still a genius.

Whether or not Hegel was a genius - whatever that means - one counterexample hardly persuades me that “being a deluded megalomaniac is no barrier to being a genius”. Especially in matters of getting facts straight and keeping scientific analysis free of delusional preconceptions, I’d argue that any significant impairment of mental function indeed poses a serious barrier.

Does anyone know if Dembski’s claims that Micheal Ruse will be interviewed by Playboy are for real?

Don’t know; don’t care. With friends like Ruse, science doesn’t really need any enemies.

Comment #52369

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 16, 2005 12:25 PM (e)

Steve S wrote:

I’ve never seen a writer more in need of an editor.

Have you ever read Moby Dick by Herman Melville?

Comment #52373

Posted by Steve S on October 16, 2005 2:38 PM (e)

Have you ever read Moby Dick by Herman Melville?

No, why, does Queequeg give a friggin 40 page speech?

Comment #52375

Posted by "archbishop""Dr"Hi'yall ( all round ruler of everything.) on October 16, 2005 5:24 PM (e)

“Whether or not Hegel was a genius - whatever that means - one counterexample hardly persuades me that “being a deluded megalomaniac is no barrier to being a genius”. Especially in matters of getting facts straight and keeping scientific analysis free of delusional preconceptions, I’d argue that any significant impairment of mental function indeed poses a serious barrier.”

Being a genius has little to do with actual acheivement, it’s about potenial to acheive something great, if given the opporturnity, the work ethic and, most often, the proper connection with reality ( though I still maintain many sucessful geniuses were mad) the reason most geniuses never manage much with their lives is because they lack 1 or more of the above. Most geniuses never manage anything earth shattering with their lives. That’s one of the major reasons why it’s possible to be a genius and deluded.

Comment #52376

Posted by Russell on October 16, 2005 5:36 PM (e)

Being a genius has little to do with actual acheivement

Exactly. So why do you bring up Jonathan Wells’s claiming to be a “genius” as something at all relevant to whether he’s got his facts straight, or whether his Moon worship might taint his credibility?

Comment #52377

Posted by RBH on October 16, 2005 5:52 PM (e)

Hi’yall wrote

Perhaps what Wells meant was that Darwin kept presenting von Baer as a supporter of a some form of evolution when he wasn’t? I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivelant to a deviation IQ of 170 something made such an obvious mistake.

Like Russell, I’d like to see a reference for that claim.

RBH

Comment #52378

Posted by "archbishop""Dr"Hi'yall ( all round ruler of everything.) on October 16, 2005 7:21 PM (e)

Russell, I am not defending Well’s scientfic credibility, if anything I am attacking him for having a good brain and not using it properly.

RBH, my reference is MikeGene, as I elaborated earlier.

Comment #52379

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on October 16, 2005 7:50 PM (e)

To be clear, whether Wells is still a follower of Moon is irrelevant to the point that we cannot tell if the falsehoods contained in Icons and his later work are conscious or not. Anyone who ever truly believed Moon is the second coming of Christ clearly has a personality susceptible to delusion and brain-washing, just like other cultists (raelians, scientologists, etc). Of course, people with such personality can also be smart and well-functioning, as long as their beliefs aren’t challenged. This works to Wells’s advantage, in a sense - if it wasn’t for his past with the Unification Church, we would probably be forced to conclude that he is a shameless liar.

Comment #52381

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 16, 2005 9:47 PM (e)

Gary Hurd wrote:

I had not seen the connection of the notion of genetic “front loading” popular with some IDiots and the failed argument of ‘preformationism.’

But Gary, this was in the same paragraph.

Preformationism, formalized by Charles Bonnet in 1745, argued that all adult structures exist in the gametes, and that they merely unfold, or unroll as the individual develops. This, in fact, is the original meaning of the word evolution. An example of preformationism is the concept of the homunculus : a perfectly formed miniature person inside a sperm, who only needs to grow to become adult.
http://www.talkreason.org/articles/fraud.cfm

How can you possibly confuse “front-loading” with “preformationism”?

Comment #52382

Posted by jeffw on October 16, 2005 11:16 PM (e)

.I can’t believe someone who got a perfect score on the old SAT, equivelant to a deviation IQ of 170 something made such an obvious mistake.

I don’t know what his IQ or SAT’s are, but I watched him in a PBS debate with a biologist (can’t remember the name). He came across as a doddering grandfather-like figure who didn’t say much. I wasn’t impressed. Perhaps his opponent’s well-articulated arguments silenced him.

Comment #52383

Posted by "archbishop" "Dr" Hi'yall ( all round overlord of everything) on October 17, 2005 1:01 AM (e)

A clarification, by “I can’t believe it” I meant the less literal sense of the phrase as in, “I can believe it, but I can’t understand why, unless he’s lying or something like that.” The critical comments about my post seem to be based on the misconception that what I meant was “he’s so smart, it can’t really be mistake.”

Comment #52388

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 17, 2005 6:52 AM (e)

How can you possibly confuse “front-loading” with “preformationism”?

Maybe it’s because IDers, like you, consistently refuse to tell us what “frontloading” actually *IS*.

Are the super-mice an example of “frontloading”? How can you tell? Point us to an observed example of “frontloading”. How can you tell?

(sound of crickets chirping)

Once again, we see that ID simply has nothing to offer.

Comment #52390

Posted by K.E. on October 17, 2005 8:03 AM (e)

Hey Lenny

ID must have something to offer otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about it.

Let me speculate ….. ID offers a means by which the truly weak minded can justify their lot in life by saying its not their fault they can’t figure out something that looks so damn complicated as to appear indistinguishable from magic that they’ll take ID and give up thinking altogether.
There are so many people who fit this model … the snake oil salesmen, charlatans, spivs, hucksters are having a field day.

Blastfromtheposteroir is doing a Heddle by looking under rocks, down microscopes, up telescopes etc. trying to find evidence of a his own little miracle so… get this… he can claim he is not a sheep.

Heck I’ve got my own theory of Intelligent Design “*insert any Deity/creator here* is a thought virus that recipients get embedded into the obedience functioning part of the brain and its passed from person to person by talking, it has all the properties of a virus:- self replicating, uses the hosts resources, unable to survive outside of the host, and is indistinguishable from real things in the world to the host. If it did exits outside the mind scientists would be able to tag it and label it…but science as we all know can’t as yet label a thought.

The thought virus is believed to have evolved at the same time as humans discovered language and began to think they were intelligent.

Comment #52395

Posted by Russell on October 17, 2005 9:20 AM (e)

The critical comments about my post seem to be based on the misconception that what I meant was “he’s so smart, it can’t really be mistake.”

Exactly. Sorry about the confusion.

Comment #52396

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 17, 2005 9:50 AM (e)

A piece by Wells appeared October 13 “Special to World Peace Herald”. I don’t know who runs the World Peace Herald, but they have links to the Washington Times on their pages, and I know that’s owned by Moon.

The Wells article has nothing new or impressive.

Comment #52402

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 17, 2005 11:29 AM (e)

RDLenny Flank wrote:

Are the super-mice an example of “frontloading”? How can you tell? Point us to an observed example of “frontloading”. How can you tell?

This is another question that I’ve already answered a long time ago. A rather silly question really.

This is the last time, Lenny.

No, supermice are not an example of “frontloading” for the very obvious reason that NO NEW INFORMATION is necessary to produce it. If growth hormone is produced during development for a longer period of time, viola, a “supermouse.” The growth hormone is already in place; the sequence code for it is already in place. Why would you even consider invoking “frontloading” in such a situation?

The best example of “frontloading”–to date–would be bird feathers, where the basic structure for its final detailed form is present from the beginning. In other words, its follicular structure, found in flightless birds, is present from the beginning. You can tell its “front-loaded” because even in its primitive development it already contains the structure that will be needed later on for flight.

End of story, Lenny.

Comment #52404

Posted by qetzal on October 17, 2005 12:11 PM (e)

BlastfromthePast wrote:

No, supermice are not an example of “frontloading” for the very obvious reason that NO NEW INFORMATION is necessary to produce it. If growth hormone is produced during development for a longer period of time, viola, a “supermouse.” The growth hormone is already in place; the sequence code for it is already in place. Why would you even consider invoking “frontloading” in such a situation?

Isn’t “frontloading” the concept that creatures contain genes for traits that they (or their descendents) will “need” some time in the future? I.e., traits that weren’t previously selected for by conventional evolution, but were somehow included “up front” by a designer who knew they would be needed later?

If so, I don’t understand your point about needing no new information, since the growth hormone gene & sequence code are already in place. How does that make it “very obvious” that this isn’t frontloading. Wouldn’t frontloaded traits necessarily be already in place? Isn’t the whole idea of frontloading that the information already exists, and is just waiting to be used?

The best example of “frontloading”—to date—would be bird feathers, where the basic structure for its final detailed form is present from the beginning. In other words, its follicular structure, found in flightless birds, is present from the beginning. You can tell its “front-loaded” because even in its primitive development it already contains the structure that will be needed later on for flight.

I am completely baffled by that paragraph. Present from the beginning of what? In the ancestral dinosaur lineage, prior to the appearance of the first birds? How would you know that? What is “it” that shows the primitive structural development in the last sentence? How are flightless birds relevant, given that they are descendents of flying birds, not ancestral forms?

I assume you’re trying to make some valid points, but I can’t follow them at all. I thought I understood “front-loading,” at least in general. Now I wonder….

Comment #52414

Posted by K.E. on October 17, 2005 4:00 PM (e)

nice one Lenny

Blast your efforts remind me of the young Parsifal stealing a salmon roasting on a fire of the knight’s empty campsite.

But I think I can help.
Read down the link below and you will find it.

http://www.metanexus.net/metanexus_online/show_article.asp?2631

This site, unbelievably almost, seems to shine a light of reason on an ideal science religion relationship, to me at least

With statements such as this for the muddler.

“We should not be seduced by science-envy to adopt methods either unsuited to the Source or idolatrous in their expectation of certainty.”

I know the Dr. Rev. will love their ‘10 reasons for constructive engagement between science and religion’ Which includes teaching comparative religion… Allah Akbar, Hallelujah -yes all of them! have a look I know you’ll love it.

Haven’t found any pages on the ID debate -can’t seem to get a list serve password.

Comment #52419

Posted by DrFrank on October 17, 2005 5:50 PM (e)

I too understand ‘front-loading’ ID even less now as I’m trying to figure out where the viola fits into the whole picture ;)

Comment #52425

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 17, 2005 6:39 PM (e)

No, supermice are not an example of “frontloading” for the very obvious reason that NO NEW INFORMATION is necessary to produce it.

How can you tell?

The LAST time you blithered stupidly about this, I pointed out to you that the entire genome of _Mus musculus_ has been sequenced, and asked you to point to the “super mice” sequences anywhere in that sequenced genome.

You responded with thundering silence. Just like you will this time, too.

The best example of “frontloading”—to date—would be bird feathers, where the basic structure for its final detailed form is present from the beginning. In other words, its follicular structure, found in flightless birds, is present from the beginning. You can tell its “front-loaded” because even in its primitive development it already contains the structure that will be needed later on for flight.

“From the beginning” of WHAT, Blast? What the hell are you gibbering about?

Did the dinosaur ancestors of birds have the “structure that will be needed later on for flight?” How can you tell? How about the thecodont ancestors of dinosaurs? The amphibian ancestors of thecodonts? How far back does this “frontloading” go? Behe seems to think it goes ALL the way back — the original living cell had all present “genetic information”. If so, would you mind pointing to the “feather gene” somewhere in, say, algae or fish? How about a chlorophyll gene in any living animal?

If all the “information” was “frontloaded” “from the beginning”, Blast, then we would see groups of animals sharing ALL of their “frontloaded” genes, with no new ones appearing. All smakes, for instance, would have the same genes, inherited “from the beginning”, and no new ones would ever have appeared afterwards. Hmmmm. Show me this, Blast. Show me a “frontloaded” gene for cobra toxin in a garter snake, Blast. After all, it was “there from the beginning”, right? The “original” snake must have had not only genes for cobra toxin, but also rattlesnake, sea snake, ophisthoglyph snakes, any other. So show me. Show me a gene for cobra toxin in a garter snake. Show me a gene for boomslang venom in a garter snake.

Or did all these genes evolve later, and represent NEW INFORMATION (exactly what you keep telling CANNOT happen)?

Once again, the LAST time I asked you about this, you responded with thundering silence. Just like you will this time. Again.

But hey, let me thank you yet again for demonstrating to all the lurkers that your “frontloading” is just a lot of arm-waving, and you can’t answer even the most basic of questions about it.

But then, waddya expect from someone who wanted to blither and yammer all about bird evolution, but didn’t know what _Caudipteryx_ was. (snicker) (giggle)

Comment #52451

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 18, 2005 6:53 AM (e)

As I expected, thundering silence from Blast.

Comment #52468

Posted by Henry J on October 18, 2005 10:32 AM (e)

Coelurosauria has a set of links near the bottom of the page for Caudipteryx.

Comment #52483

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 18, 2005 2:58 PM (e)

RDLenny Flank wrote:

The LAST time you blithered stupidly about this, I pointed out to you that the entire genome of _Mus musculus_ has been sequenced, and asked you to point to the “super mice” sequences anywhere in that sequenced genome.

And I answered you. You repeat your silly questions, and then don’t bother reading the responses.

Tell me, Lenny, the coding portion of the mouse genome is 3%. Please tell me what the other 97% is. The answer to “front-loading” will only come when scientists begin to know what to look for as they search sequenced genomes. I’ve stated that twenty times now.

RDLenny Flank wrote:

Did the dinosaur ancestors of birds have the “structure that will be needed later on for flight?” How can you tell? How about the thecodont ancestors of dinosaurs? The amphibian ancestors of thecodonts? How far back does this “frontloading” go?

There is much controversy here, Lenny, as you well know. Paleontologists argue over what lineage led to birds, was it dinosaur or not, was it this line of dinosaurs or that one. Then they argue over whether “proto”-feathers exist or not. So I’m supposed to come along and resolve that for you? You’re being ridiculous here.

What I wrote is based on Prum and Brush’s 2003 paper on the evolution of feathers. It “appears” that the follicular structure that would later on be needed for feathered flight was there from the beginning–as if evolution knew what was coming. Disagree all you want. That’s not important. What’s important is that what Prum and Brush write is suggestive of “front-loading”, and that, eventually, it will either be PROVEN or DISPROVEN. So why not stop the whining silliness in the meantime?

RDLenny Flank wrote:

If all the “information” was “frontloaded” “from the beginning”, Blast, then we would see groups of animals sharing ALL of their “frontloaded” genes, with no new ones appearing. All smakes, for instance, would have the same genes, inherited “from the beginning”, and no new ones would ever have appeared afterwards. Hmmmm. Show me this, Blast. Show me a “frontloaded” gene for cobra toxin in a garter snake, Blast.

You’re showing your ignorance here, Lenny. There are very few genomes that have been completely sequenced. The spaces that have been sequenced are not free of errors. And when there is such ignorance as to how the other 97% of the genome acts epigenetically on the 3% that codes, then how do we know that these poisons aren’t simply a variant of some preexisting protein, and that the poisons are produced when repressors for the poison variants are deactivated? If you really tried to think this thing through, you wouldn’t even be asking these kinds of questions.

Finally, ID doesn’t “demand” front-loading; it only suggests it.

Comment #52485

Posted by sir_toejam on October 18, 2005 3:56 PM (e)

… and if you bothered to think at all, blast, you wouldn’t even bother with your nonsense.

the “controversy” you mention has NOTHING at all to do with ANY of the ideas your poor little brain keeps spouting; but, you mention it in order to attempt to provide false support for you unsupported ramblings.

there is little point in discussion with you. I’m always shocked lenny even bothers.

Comment #52488

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 18, 2005 4:19 PM (e)

sir toejam wrote:

the “controversy” you mention has NOTHING at all to do with ANY of the ideas your poor little brain keeps spouting; but, you mention it in order to attempt to provide false support for you unsupported ramblings.

Time will tell who has the poor little brain and who not.

Comment #52489

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 18, 2005 4:23 PM (e)

Blast blathers:

Finally, ID doesn’t “demand” front-loading; it only suggests it.

Since there is no ID theory and, thus, no ID hypotheses or predictions, where, when, how, and by whom does ID suggest this, Blast? Please provide a link supporting this contention. And then please provide a link to any evidence (which, needless to say, should have been published in an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal) you claim supports this suggestion.
Thanks ever so.

Comment #52494

Posted by sir_toejam on October 18, 2005 4:45 PM (e)

[quote]
Time will tell who has the poor little brain and who not.
[/quote]

the funny thing is, it already has. you just can’t seem to realize it.

Comment #52505

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 18, 2005 6:00 PM (e)

And I answered you.

Liar.

Did the dinosaur ancestors of birds have the “structure that will be needed later on for flight?” How can you tell? How about the thecodont ancestors of dinosaurs? The amphibian ancestors of thecodonts? How far back does this “frontloading” go?

There is much controversy here, Lenny, as you well know. Paleontologists argue over what lineage led to birds, was it dinosaur or not, was it this line of dinosaurs or that one.

Don’t change the subject, Blast.

WHICHEVER lineage led to birds, YOU made the claim that it already cotnained the “genetic information” for feathers. I asked you how you know.

I’m still waiting for you to tell me.

If all the “information” was “frontloaded” “from the beginning”, Blast, then we would see groups of animals sharing ALL of their “frontloaded” genes, with no new ones appearing. All smakes, for instance, would have the same genes, inherited “from the beginning”, and no new ones would ever have appeared afterwards. Hmmmm. Show me this, Blast. Show me a “frontloaded” gene for cobra toxin in a garter snake, Blast.

You’re showing your ignorance here, Lenny.

OK, so you CAN’T show me, and now you jsut want to wave your arms about it and hope that no one notices that you CAN’T show me.

There are very few genomes that have been completely sequenced.

Venom sequences are used in snake taxonomy, Blast. You’d know that if you didn’t get all your science information from creationist religious tracts.

But that sounds like a testible statement, Blast. Would you agree with me, then that when any snake’s genome IS sequenced and shows NO sign of rattlesnake or cobra toxin, then your “frontloading” is a load of cow cakes? Or will you just move the goalposts. Again.

But hey, don’t like the snake example? Then pick one you DO like. Show me an observed example of this “frontloading”. Show me the ancestor group, show me the new group, and show me how any “new genes” in the new ones are actually already there in the old one.

Quit waving your arms and just SHOW ME.

Oh, and I notice you didn’t answer my question about “in the beginning” of WHAT. Your pal Behe says all genes were “frontloaded” into the original cell. If so, then shoiw me a gene for chlorophyll in any animal, Blast.

Oh, and if you disagree with your pal Behe that all genes were “frontloaded” into the original cell, then (1) when DO you think genes are “frontloaded” and (2) how can you tell.

I await your thundering silence, yet again.

Finally, ID doesn’t “demand” front-loading; it only suggests it.

OK, so you want to begin moving the goalpoats ALREADY …

ID “only suggests” EVERYTHING. ID is very very careful NOT to make ANY testable statements, of any sort. After all, ID doesn’t want to get its head handed to it. Again. (shrug)

Comment #52508

Posted by Steve S on October 18, 2005 6:14 PM (e)

Blast jabbered:

The answer to “front-loading” will only come when scientists begin to know what to look for as they search sequenced genomes. I’ve stated that twenty times now.

and yet strangely, no one cares.

Comment #52511

Posted by sir_toejam on October 18, 2005 6:21 PM (e)

I still say that “front-loading” is more appropriately termed “pants-loading”.

Comment #52514

Posted by sir_toejam on October 18, 2005 6:36 PM (e)

But that sounds like a testible statement, Blast. Would you agree with me, then that when any snake’s genome IS sequenced and shows NO sign of rattlesnake or cobra toxin, then your “frontloading” is a load of cow cakes? Or will you just move the goalposts. Again.

he will say the same thing that he is saying here, that the missing “pant-loaded” genes are in the non-coding section of the genome (the 90 plus percent that doesn’t appear to code for anything). at least, that’s what i understand based on his current ramblings. hell, he could mean something magical that he has yet to express coherently, for all i know.

what he doesn’t udnerstand is what it means when we map the whole genome, it doesn’t matter if specific genes are still coding or not; the sequences are STILL THERE and can still be compared to other organisms. it’s not like the other 95% of the genome is unknown, simply because it doesn’t appear to actively code for a protein sequence. However, you won’t be able to get blast to understand that, because he is just using his own “god of the gaps” argument, without even understanding that we aren’t actually talking about gaps at all.

BLAST:

assuming i am correct that you are trying to imply the missing gene sequences would be found in “the other 97%”, please try to follow along… when a genome is completely sequenced ALL sequences are known and can be compared, not just those that are currently “active”. so, if you sequence a complete snake genome, and find no genes for the coding of poison anywhwere (either in the active or inactive segments), what would you make of that? was the information for poison coding lost in that species? how? if all the information is contained in every genome, why wouldn’t there be coding for poison in every snake genome, eh?

like i said, you have a poor little brain with poor thinking skills. why do you continue? what is your purpose for confusing yourself thus?

Comment #52517

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 18, 2005 6:40 PM (e)

he will say the same thing that he is saying here, that the missing “pant-loaded” genes are in the non-coding section of the genome (the 90 plus percent that doesn’t appear to code for anything). at least, that’s what i understand based on his current ramblings. hell, he could mean something magical that he has yet to express coherently, for all i know.

Near as I can tell, that appears to me too to be what Blast is trying to say.

Apparently Blast is too pig-ignorant to know that the ENTIRE GENE SEQUENCE, coding AND non-coding, is sequenced.

But then, waddya expect from someone who presumes to blither to us all about bird and whale evolution, but odesn’t know what “Caudipteryx” or “Pakicetus” are. (shrug)

I thank Blast, once again, for showing all the lurkers just how silly, uninformed and utterly vapid IDers really are.

Comment #52571

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 19, 2005 12:08 AM (e)

RDLenny Flank wrote:

Liar.

As I’ve said before, you’re a pathetic person. I answered you before. You did not take the time or effort to notice, and now you resort to slander.

Your response to my post demonstrates that you still don’t have either the capacity or willingness to deal with the issues. In the final analysis, ID does not demand “front-loading”. In the final analysis, as scientists come to understand the 97% of the chromosomes that they don’t understand now, then it will become abundantly clear whether “front-loading” is a viable model or not. If it proves to be wrong, then I will happily accept that fact.

But when neo-Darwinism is demonstrated to have been a giant weight around the necks of biologists, will you be willing to accept that?

Lenny: end of discussion. If you want to rant and rave, fine. I’ve got better things to do then deal with your silliness.

I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I ignore your posts.

Comment #52572

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 12:21 AM (e)

well, you can ignore the truth if you want, but the rest of us will see you for what that defines you as: ignorant. man, the only pathetic person i see here is yourself.

we don’t NEED to understand the other 97% of chromosome material not involved in coding to answer your question (not that there isn’t a lot of research that has already been done on introns/exxons etc).

can’t you read?? once the entire genome sequence is known, it is an easy matter to look for a specific gene sequence that would or could code for a specific protein, like a specific snake venom. why the hell do you think folks bother to try and sequence entire genomes to begin with? fun? it’s a rather tedious and long process to be doing for fun.

why is your mind so closed off you can’t even recognize this simple fact?

that’s right, run away, little boy. run away from the truth, just like all the other little fundies. put on your rose glasses (coke bottles in your case) and just pretend reality doesn’t affect you or your ideas.

ignorance is bliss, eh?

i see evopeach as only being slightly more out of touch with reality than yourself.

Comment #52573

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 12:32 AM (e)

I’ve got better things to do then deal with your silliness

well then, please do. seems to be that you have very little else to do based on the content and frequency of your posts here.

as lenny would “say”

*shrug*

Comment #52590

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 19, 2005 7:17 AM (e)

As I’ve said before, you’re a pathetic person. I answered you before.

Liar.

. In the final analysis, ID does not demand “front-loading”.

Is that (finally) your way of admitting that “frontloading” is baloney and/or that you can’t defend any of it?

In the final analysis, as scientists come to understand the 97% of the chromosomes that they don’t understand now, then it will become abundantly clear whether “front-loading” is a viable model or not.

It’s already clear, Blast. The complete genomes of several different organisms have already been sequenced. There aren’t any “frontloaded genes” there. If you feel otherwise, please point to them for me. But you can’t, can you.

But when neo-Darwinism

What the hell is “neo-Darwinism”? Is it anything like “neo-Newtonism” or “neo-Faradyism”?

is demonstrated to have been a giant weight around the necks of biologists, will you be willing to accept that?

Sure, Blast. No problem. All you gotta do is demonstrate it.

Alas, you can’t.

I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I ignore your posts.

I won’t mind at all, Blast. I’ll just go right ahead and continue to point out to all the lurkers, every time you post anything, that you are just a pig-ignorant uneducated uninformed dolt who doesn’t possess the most basic knowledge of the topics he presumes to expound upon, and therefore can’t make any rational arguments or defend any of them when asked.

I don’t need your cooperation to do that, Blast. (shrug)

But PLEASE keep posting here, Blast. As often as you can. You do a much beter job than I ever could to demonstrtae to all the lurkers just how silly, stupid, and vapid ID “arguments” really are. I thank you for that.

Comment #52645

Posted by Henry J on October 19, 2005 2:00 PM (e)

But at least he isn’t demanding that biologists explain the fusion of light elements to form heavier elements…

Henry

Comment #52661

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 2:35 PM (e)

lol. yeah, that’s why I concluded he was slightly more rational than evopeach.

Comment #52682

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 19, 2005 4:09 PM (e)

RDLenny Flank wrote:

BlastfromthePast wrote:

In the final analysis, as scientists come to understand the 97% of the chromosomes that they don’t understand now, then it will become abundantly clear whether “front-loading” is a viable model or not.

It’s already clear, Blast. The complete genomes of several different organisms have already been sequenced. There aren’t any “frontloaded genes” there. If you feel otherwise, please point to them for me. But you can’t, can you.

You’re dimwitted Lenny. I’ve tried three times to explain things to you and you never get it. So I’ll go real slow.

First, why would expect “new” genes, or “different” genes to appear in sequenced genomes? Why replicate them? The so-called “genes” that we know about are simply another way of saying that we understand this code, and it corresponds to the sequencing of proteins. You can “build” organisms using those genes.

Second, if your point is that in the human gene you don’t find the gene for a toxin, that simply means it’s not sitting there in its entirety as an extra gene. This doesn’t preclude, as I explained in the previous post, the possibility of genetic material being in place somewhere in the 97% of the chromosome that has not been decoded from having the ability to “construct” such a toxin (protein) using an already existent protein, by derepressing a portion of the genome that contains said directions.

Now you may not like that possibility; and you may think it’s highly improbable. But you cannot completely rule it out. You’ve already been mildly rebuked by one of your compadres about pushing your insistence on this point too far. But I guess you don’t remember such things very well–just like you don’t remember the answers I’ve given to you before. Why don’t you try being honest with yourself?

As I’ve said time and time and time again, ID doesn’t hinge on “front-loading.” So why don’t you try a little humility, and simply admit that science has to work a little longer and harder for it to be either confirmed or eliminated.

You talk about lurkers: yeah, is that why you keep repeating the same stupid questions and then lying by saying I haven’t answered them?

Get a life.

Comment #52687

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 19, 2005 4:32 PM (e)

My kid’s lego set is frontloaded for cars, boats, spaceships, all kinds of stuff…

Just because it came in a box in little pieces– awwww, hell. I can’t do it. I’d make a lousy creationist.

Comment #52689

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 4:37 PM (e)

jesus your dense.

do you even understand the simple concept of a sequenced genome?

Second, if your point is that in the human gene you don’t find the gene for a toxin, that simply means it’s not sitting there in its entirety as an extra gene. This doesn’t preclude, as I explained in the previous post, the possibility of genetic material being in place somewhere in the 97% of the chromosome that has not been decoded from having the ability to “construct” such a toxin (protein) using an already existent protein, by derepressing a portion of the genome that contains said directions.

one, that was MY point, so don’t bother lenny with your endless prattling any more.

i’ll write this slowly, cause i know your reading comprehension is close to nil….

WHEN… A.. GENOME… IS… SEQUENCED… ALL… SEQUENCES… ARE… KNOWN…

THE… 97%… OF… NON… CODING… MATERIAL… IS… STILL… KNOWN…

If you can’t find a sequence that could code for a protein (or even close to that sequence) in ANY part of the genome (coding or not). then it DOESN’T EXIST. repressed/derepressed doesn’t even come into it.

Imagine you have a room full of lamps. a few are lit, but most are not. however, you can count all the lamps, see what kind of lamps they are, and even examine each light bulb in each lamp to see what kinds they are. does it matter then, if you want to know what kinds of lamps you have, if some of the lamps are on and some are off? It’s easy enough to tell whether you have a specific kind of lamp and bulb simply by looking at it. Assuming we have no “outside” intervention, if I have room (1) where 3 lamps are on and 20 are off, and one of those lamps that are on uses a 100 watt bulb, and i have room (2) with 3 lamps on and 20 off, where none of the on lamps use a 100 watt bulb, and none of the off lamps does either; is there any chance that room (2) could ever have a 100 watt lamp turn on without some sort of external intervention (hint - it would require… some sort of “mutation”, eh?). Now if we found that in room (2) one of the off lamps had a 100 watt bulb, we could conclude that it WAS possible that at some point that bulb had been/will be turned on, yes?

can you now see that if we completely sequence 2 snake genomes, and one contains a sequence that codes for snake venom, and the other does not, that would mean that the venom sequence could NOT HAVE BEEN FRONT LOADED, THAT IT WOULD HAVE HAD TO *GASP* EVOLVE?

i would hope that would it make it clear for you, and why we currently have the technology to completely reject the “pant-loading” hypothesis quite readily. However, I’m sure even as simple an explanation as this will simply bounce off of your extremely thick skull and go off into the aether of your inane ramblings. don’t think i don’t understand what you are talking about, i understand what you mean by “front loading” quite well. I think it is you who have demonstrated time and time again that you have no clue what you are talking about. we have asked you time and time again to pick up a textbook and actually learn something about that which you choose to promote, but you appear to refuse to do so.

I do hope that any lurkers out there are at least clear on this point.

Comment #52693

Posted by qetzal on October 19, 2005 4:51 PM (e)

BlastfromthePast wrote:

Second, if your point is that in the human gene you don’t find the gene for a toxin, that simply means it’s not sitting there in its entirety as an extra gene. This doesn’t preclude, as I explained in the previous post, the possibility of genetic material being in place somewhere in the 97% of the chromosome that has not been decoded from having the ability to “construct” such a toxin (protein) using an already existent protein, by derepressing a portion of the genome that contains said directions.

Your ignorance is really showing here, Blast. It’s quite clear from this that you lack a basic understanding of how genomes encode information, what a gene is, or how a protein is “constructed.”

I don’t mean that to be insulting. Rather, I suggest if you want to discuss such subjects intelligently, you need to (re-)learn basic, high-school molecular biology.

Comment #52696

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 19, 2005 5:03 PM (e)

Blast. Take a deep breath. Good, now exhale slowly. Good, now take another deep breath. Repeat as often as necessary until the red mist has vanished from your vision.

Now read this veerrry slowly:
For a snake venom gene to be “derepressed,” the snake venom gene still has to be there in the first place. Not in the 97% of the genome where you hope your magic is lurking, but in the 3% of the genome that codes for, well, genes (your proportions are well off for the snake genome but, hey, we know you hate it when we annoy you with actual facts).

Even if the snake venom gene wasn’t in the, um, protein-coding part of the genome, it would still be recognizable, even if (for some mysterious magical reason known only to the Designer and her adherents) it was sliced into multiple parts and thoroughly dispersed amongst the junk. Truly, ahem, intelligent designers have generated software programs that look for matching stretches of code, Blast, even when they are mixed-up, misaligned, and generally, um mutated well beyond easy recognition.

In fact, they’re getting pretty good at finding lengths of “derepressor” regulatory elements too, Blast…

The reason they call the “junk” part of the genome, well, junk is that it does NOT contain code for any recognizable function. Some portions of it may do some things that aren’t yet recognizable, but the code for building things like snake venom–or for derepressing the expression of snake venom–just doesn’t fall into the not-yet-recognizable category.

If you have any good reason to think otherwise, of course, Blast, you could just answer Lenny’s questions. In the meantime, simply throwing out wild speculations about highly-improbable possibilities does not a scientific debate, um, create.

There simply aren’t any snake-venom genes waiting around to be unfolded or otherwise “derepressed” in rabbits, pineapples, and other miscellaneous critters, Blast. You need to do your biology research somewhere other than in JAD’s silly scribblings. Get over it, Balst, and then get on with your own life–Lenny’s already got a long and colorful one (there’s probably some chore somewhere that you could be re-trained to accomplish in a productive manner, but posting on evolutionary biology blogs, though, isn’t it).

Comment #52699

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 5:19 PM (e)

For a snake venom gene to be “derepressed,” the snake venom gene still has to be there in the first place. Not in the 97% of the genome where you hope your magic is lurking, but in the 3% of the genome that codes for, well, genes

yeah, i tried to make it even simpler for him by not even including current coding theory, but allowing him the entire genome to play with. i think being more precise will just confuse him further. hell, anything is possible tho.

Comment #52715

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 19, 2005 6:10 PM (e)

Thanks, Sir Toe. Several of you said it better than I.

And, yes, I know that the details do tend to confuse and baffle the Blaster, but then–as I try to remember–we’re not really writing for him, but for those genuinely-uncertain but hopefully open-minded lurkers who might otherwise be as confused and baffled by some of the Blatt’s rhetorical shenanigans as he is by the facts…

Comment #52725

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 19, 2005 6:36 PM (e)

Second, if your point is that in the human gene you don’t find the gene for a toxin, that simply means it’s not sitting there in its entirety as an extra gene. This doesn’t preclude, as I explained in the previous post, the possibility of genetic material being in place somewhere in the 97% of the chromosome that has not been decoded from having the ability to “construct” such a toxin (protein) using an already existent protein, by derepressing a portion of the genome that contains said directions.

Now you may not like that possibility; and you may think it’s highly improbable. But you cannot completely rule it out.

(sigh) Jesus H Christ, you are one stupid MF.

Let me say this VEEERRRYYYY SSSLLLOOOWWWLLLLLYYYYY, Blast ———–

The ENTIRE GENOME has been sequenced in several different species.

Let me repeat that for you so it sinks into that soundproof head of yours, Blast.

THE ENTIRE GENOME has been sequenced.

ENTIRE.

As in “all of it”.

As in “every bit of it”.

As in “noncoding AND coding”.

All.

A-L-L.

What part of “all” are you too stupid to understand, Blast.

It has ALL been sequenced. And there aren’t any “frontloaded” genes there.

Game over. You lose.

But thanks, once again, for showing all the lurkers, so clearly and explicitly, that ID simply has nothing scientifically useful to offer.

As I’ve said time and time and time again, ID doesn’t hinge on “front-loading.”

That’s a good thing for you, since “frontloading” has already been shown to be a big fat steaming pile of cow crap. Which, of course, doesn’t prevent YOU from bringing it up anyway, even though you are too uninformred and uneducated ot defend any of it.

Why you wish to make yourself look so pig-ignorant in front of so many people is … well … not a question for me to answer. Maybe it has something to do with that massive martyr complex that you and all fundies seem to share.

In any case, now you’ve piqued my curiosity once again — if ID doesn’t hinge on “frontloading”, then … well . . what **does** ID hinge on? What would, in princple, show ID to be wrong?

And Blast, PLEASE try to answer my question this time, without making me sit through half a dozen instances of your arm-waving and blustering, first.

Comment #52728

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 19, 2005 6:41 PM (e)

You’re dimwitted Lenny.

By the way, Blast, I thought you said you weren’t going to talk to me any more.

Or were you just BS’ing us about THAT, too.

Comment #52735

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 19, 2005 7:06 PM (e)

sir toejam wrote:

If you can’t find a sequence that could code for a protein (or even close to that sequence) in ANY part of the genome (coding or not). then it DOESN’T EXIST. repressed/derepressed doesn’t even come into it.

You don’t know what you’re talking about. Can any of you people think?

I can’t believe you still don’t get this. Try to think it through. If you copied a book in Swahili character by character, does that mean you understand it? So how do you know a “repressor” isn’t present?

If you can’t figure this stuff out, I’m not going to waste my time with you.

Comment #52739

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 7:16 PM (e)

I’m not going to waste my time with you.

oh PLEASE say it’s so! can we call you a liar when you come back yet again with more drivel to spout, as I’m sure you will despite my hopes that your statement contains even a smidgeon of truth to it?

It’s obvious you live in a different dimension with it’s own rules and reality, so how can you possibly communicate to us from your dimension and expect to be understood?

are you sure there is nobody else living in your dimension you could jabber with?

really, I see the same drivel coming from you for months. new folks come and go, see your babbel, respond to it in kind, and yet you “doesn’t lurn nuttin’”. the sure sign of a crank is that when literally EVERYBODY shows you to be incorrect both in your assumptions and your application of them, you continue to maintain that somehow we just don’t understand you.

I seriously think you need professional counseling.

now be true to your word and don’t waste time with us any more. please visit the nearest mental health center as quickly as possible.

Comment #52740

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 19, 2005 7:18 PM (e)

You don’t know what you’re talking about. Can any of you people think?

I can’t believe you still don’t get this. Try to think it through. If you copied a book in Swahili character by character, does that mean you understand it? So how do you know a “repressor” isn’t present?

If you can’t figure this stuff out, I’m not going to waste my time with you.

Translation: “C’mon people! You never heard a God of the gaps argument before?”

Because what Blast is trying to get across is that so-called “junk” DNA is weird, mysterious stuff that science hasn’t figured out yet in sufficient detail that God can’t find a cozy home there for the time being.

Sheesh. Get with the program.

Comment #52741

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 7:19 PM (e)

oh, and take evopeach with you when you go, eh?

Comment #52742

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 7:23 PM (e)

Because what Blast is trying to get across is that so-called “junk” DNA is weird, mysterious stuff that science hasn’t figured out yet in sufficient detail that God can’t find a cozy home there for the time being.

yeah, we got that. we also clearly pointed that even IF we had no clue what “junk dna” does, it makes absolutely no difference to the front loading argument. however, he so poorly understands how the front loading argument works, he MAKES it into a god of the gaps argument, when it’s obvious it isn’t.

I gave him the whole genome to play with, and still proved that even with our current knowledge, the front loading argument can’t work.

whatever.

Comment #52743

Posted by sir_toejam on October 19, 2005 7:29 PM (e)

If you copied a book in Swahili character by character, does that mean you understand it?

that depends on whether you have another book that can traslate what the swahili characters mean… which we do, so your analogy is a rather poor one for whatever point you are trying to make with it.

this is why we keep pointing out to you that you need to pick up a college level text on protein translation, genetic sequencing, etc., so you have some clue what you yourself are even talking about, let alone what we are.

if you are going to continue relying on folks like dembski and behe for your source materials, it’s analgous to relying on charles manson to learn social skills.

good luck with that.

Comment #52749

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 19, 2005 8:09 PM (e)

Urrgghh!

You couldn’t do it, couldja, Blast?

You couldn’t take just a few moments to decompress and think about what you were being told.

No, you had to roar back in here, and huff, and puff……and blow yourself to smithereens yet again, live, on the international web.

If you copied a book in Swahili character by character, does that mean you understand it? So how do you know a “repressor” isn’t present?

Blast, one last time: it doesn’t matter whether there is some undiscovered frickin’ repressor buried somewhere in the nonconding “junk” DNA of which you are so moronically enamoured! A repressor needs a gene to repress. We know what snake-venom genes look like. Something like 300 different organisms have now had their ENTIRE genomes sequenced. Except for venomous snakes, the rest of them have no snake venome genes to be repressed.

That writes The End to your little fable (I’d say finitus, but we know you have trouble with the latinate phraseology). Story time is over, Blast! Go out and find a new myth, but please don’t delude yourself any longer with this one. It’s excruciating to watch…!

Not to mention, ahem, depressing! Since, of course, somewhere in that junk DNA, you’d need the whole, um, sequence of repressors and dereppressors and re-de-tee-hee-hee-pressors, for every unfolding sequence over all of evolutionary time for every organism that ever lived and died from Proto-replicator Mark I to the present high’y-diverse biosphere and on into the potentially-infinite future of terrestrial life. Sheesh! Evo-Devo is complicated enough, without trying to cram all of your fantasies into one finite Ultra-super-duper-genome.

You have heard of the Russian doll problem with this sort of preformationist garbage, one trusts, Blast, right? There’s not enough junk DNA in the universe to accomplish what you’re imagining. Much less hiding between the gaps of the sequencing that’s already been done.

Comment #52751

Posted by Henry J on October 19, 2005 8:14 PM (e)

Course that 3% is most likely scattered haphazardly around among the 97% - it isn’t going to be sitting in a clump.

Henry

Comment #52753

Posted by Steve S on October 19, 2005 8:20 PM (e)

Front loading is a stupid idea, even for a creationist.

Comment #52763

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 19, 2005 8:49 PM (e)

If you can’t figure this stuff out, I’m not going to waste my time with you.

OK. Bye. (waving as Blast rides off into the sunset on his white horse)

Quit telling us that you are GOING TO leave, Blast, and just LEAVE.

Why do you want to make a big production out of it? OD you expect that someone is going to pipe up and say “NOO!!!! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE BLAST !!! PLEASE STAY AND EDUCATE US SIMPLE-MINDED MORONS!!” ?

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that, Blast.

You’ve made your threat. “I’m leaving! I’m really really leaving !! Just watch me leave !! I’m leaving right now !!!!”

Goodbye, already. Geez.

Comment #52802

Posted by Wayne E Francis on October 20, 2005 12:38 AM (e)

I’ve realised JAD and Blast are correct. I’ve found that all genes are front loaded!

A, T, C, and G

There you go! Those are in every genome and they can make up EVERY gene we’ve sequenced!

We won’t talk about the 3FB which is not front loaded but that is a different story.

To those that are wondering about Blasts claim about front loading here is a simple explanation of what is going on.

We know the genetic sequence needed to produce some snake venoms.
We know the entire genetic sequence for many organisms
We can search the entire genetic database for the sequence needed to produce the snake venom in question.
We don’t find it anywhere in the genomes.
We don’t need to know what an entire genome does to look something we do know. For example

En passant dans un bois, elle rencontra compère le loup, qui eut bien envie de la manger ; mais il n’osa pas, à cause de quelques bûcherons qui étaient dans la forêt. Il lui demanda où elle allait ; la pauvre enfant, qui ne savait pas qu’il est dangereux de s’arrêter à écouter un loup, lui dit : “Je vais voir ma Mère-grand, et lui porter une galette avec un petit pot de beurre que ma Mère lui envoie.”

While you might not know French if I told you that “loup” means wolf then

if you saw

Le Petit Chaperon rouge, qui entendit la grosse voix du loup eut peur d’abord, mais croyant que sa mère-grand était enrhumée, répondit : “ C’est votre fille le Petit Chaperon rouge, qui vous apporte une galette et un petit pot de beurre que ma mère vous envoie. “ Le loup lui cria en adoucissant un peu sa voix : “ Tire la chevillette, la bobinette cherra. “

then you could find loup, a.k.a. wolf, in that paragraph without having to know any of the rest of the paragraphs meaning

So if you look at

Mon Dieu, que vous êtes vulgaire! Pour moi, un de mes étonnements, c’est que vous avez pu faire une fille si spirituelle que moi. A-t-on jamais parlé dans le beau style de Cathos ni de Magdelon ? et ne m’avouerez-vous pas que ce serait assez d’un de ces noms pour décrier le plus beau roman du monde?

you can see there is no loup to be found anywhere in there. Again you don’t need to know any of the other words in that paragraph to know that loup is not there.

Like wise we can search genomes for sequences without knowing what all the sequences do. To even make it more reliable not only can we search for that one sequence but many different sequences that could code for the same needed protein.

This is kind of like looking for “Wolf” but the search will return anything with
Canis Rufus, canid, canine, coyote, canis lupus

hope this puts it in terms you can understand and why blast has no clue of what he is talking about yet has no problem lying for Jesus.

Comment #52803

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 20, 2005 12:38 AM (e)

From Nature:

“This study analyzed the origin and evolution of snake venom proteome by means of phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences of the toxins and related nonvenom proteins. The snake toxins were shown to have arisen from recruitment events of genes from within the following protein families: acetylcholinesterase, ADAM (disintegrin/metalloproteinase), AVIT, complement C3, crotasin/ defensin, cystatin, endothelin, factor V, factor X, kallikrein, kunitz-type proteinase inhibitor, LYNX/SLUR, L-amino oxidase, lectin, natriuretic peptide, nerve growth factor, phospholipase A2, SPla/Ryanodine, vascular endothelial growth factor, and whey acidic protein/secretory leukoproteinase inhibitor. Toxin recruitment events were found to have occurred at least 24 times in the evolution of snake venom. Two of these toxin derivations (CRISP and kallikrein toxins) appear to have been actually the result of modifications of existing salivary proteins rather than gene recruitment events.”
http://www.genome.org/cgi/content/full/15/3/403

Why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee?

Comment #52804

Posted by PvM on October 20, 2005 12:56 AM (e)

Your point Blast? can you tell us what you believe this article states and then explain to us how this is relevant to your ‘argument’?

Comment #52816

Posted by sir_toejam on October 20, 2005 4:41 AM (e)

Blast, er, blasted:

I’m not going to waste my time with you.

damn! i shoulda bet money you couldn’t even stay away for more than a few hours.

you cost me money, you liar!

oh and about the nature cite… uh, you do understand what the sentence you italicized actually means, don’t you? since you decided to quote it and all. Care to explain it to all us “sleeping” idjoots out here? Please be specific and tell us exactly what the term “gene recruitment event” means, if you would be so kind, and then differentiate what they mean by “modification of existing protein” from that. then stumble your way through explaining how any of that supports pant-loading.

I guess you missed the sentence JUST ABOVE THE ONE YOU ITALICIZED, you frickin brain dead moron!!!!

shall i point it out for you?

it says (in case you can’t read, which i’m highly suspecting is the case):

“Toxin recruitment events were found to have occurred at least 24 times in the evolution of snake venom”

do you know what THAT means?

look, just because you can quote a cite from nature that other methods for producing specific proteins exist that don’t depend on direct translation/transciption, doesn’t support your assertion of “pant-loading” in the slightest. it just keeps reinforcing the now abundantly clear picture we have of you as someone who simply doesn’t understand any of the research he reads, simply because you don’t even understand or know the basics underlying the research to begin with.

Please, do yourself and all of us a favor and be true to your word. go bother somebody else with your nonsense for a while, eh?

Comment #52827

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 20, 2005 7:06 AM (e)

Why don’t you wake up and smell the coffee?

I thought you were leaving, Blast.

Again.

Comment #52828

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 20, 2005 7:08 AM (e)

Toxin recruitment events were found to have occurred at least 24 times in the evolution of snake venom.

So there are 24 examples of “frontloading” that Blast can’t find.

Thanks for posting that, Blast.

Of course, I *do* understand that YOU didn’t understand a word of it, but just found it using a Google search for “snake venom genome”.

But then, we EXPECT you to blither stupidly aboutn topics that you don’t know a bloomin’ thing about, Blast. (shrug)

Comment #52859

Posted by AltheBrit on October 20, 2005 11:34 AM (e)

Wow!

I am a long time lurker from the UK, where this whole creationism/ID business is pretty much a non-issue (although the current P.M. does have worrying woo-woo tendencies). I stumbled across the T.O. Archives a while ago and became interested - partly from a “there-can’t-really-be-people-who-still-believe-this-medieval-twaddle” point of view. From there I found the Thumb.

The recent exchanges between Blast and the sentient beings on this blog over the front-loading issue have forced me to break cover. I want to personally thank Blast for the entertainment he has provided. John Cleese couldn’t write stuff like this. I usually have a look at the Thumb during my lunch break; quite often I learn something new. This time I had to show some colleagues the latter part of this thread – I think one of them has now pulled a muscle he laughed so much.

What I find so excruciatingly hysterical is Blast’s total lack of self-awareness (this seems to be the case generally for the religious fruit-cakes that post here). It is incomprehensible that he could think that he comes over as anything other than a half-wit. First he tells a group of actual scientists “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Can any of you people think?” and then to support his position (for want of a better word) posts an extract from an article which completely destroys it - priceless!

To all you regulars who have the patience to keep responding to the Blasts, Cordovas, Heddles and other assorted crack-pots, please be assured that it is worth it. We all know that they will not be convinced by mere reason and logic, but the reality is obvious to all us lurkers.

To Blast and his ilk, please come back (only occasionally, not too often). You can rest assured that each time you post, several thousand miles away, a middle aged Brit will be having a damned good belly laugh!

Comment #52863

Posted by K.E. on October 20, 2005 11:59 AM (e)

Yesssssss

And Parsifal I mean Blastifal once again leaves the mysterious castle without the Holy Grail all for want of the right question.

You know Wagner wrote a whole Opera about this sort of thing.

But in those days I think you could just lock up the insane and throw away the key.

and on a lighter note

The graves which hide us from the scorching sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus playing post we to our latest rest,
And then we die in earnest, not in jest.

Sir Walter Raleigh

“not in jest of others” to you Blastifal

Comment #52865

Posted by K.E. on October 20, 2005 12:19 PM (e)

Interesting fellow was Sir Walter
When he arrived in the Americas and saw all the new animals, he understood being a master mariner it would be absolutely impossible for Noah to have packed examples of every species onto a ship.

Comment #52874

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 20, 2005 1:09 PM (e)

sir_toejam quoting Blast, who mindlessly mangles his own argument with a quote from Nature:

“Toxin recruitment events were found to have occurred at least 24 times in the evolution of snake venom”

do you know what THAT means?

look, just because you can quote a cite from nature that other methods for producing specific proteins exist that don’t depend on direct translation/transciption, doesn’t support your assertion of “pant-loading” in the slightest.

Um, Blast, why exactly would Da Great Deziner In Da Sky, cough, “pre-program” all these different species of venomous snakes to “unfold” (recruit/modify) 24 different genes or proteins if there’s already a perfectly-good venom gene already lurking in the genome of EVERY species that ever lived just waiting to be activated at the pre-pregrammed time?

You are a truly hopeless case.

Comment #52913

Posted by sir_toejam on October 20, 2005 4:31 PM (e)

John Cleese couldn’t write stuff like this.

how dare you sir! Cleese has more wit in his little finger than Blast has ever had in his whole body.

I’m sure Cleese himself would demand an apology for you using his name is such banal fashion.

;)

Comment #52978

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 20, 2005 8:51 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

Your point Blast? can you tell us what you believe this article states and then explain to us how this is relevant to your ‘argument’?

I don’t have access to the entire article. What the abstract suggests is that saliva proteins were modified. These modified saliva proteins became toxins. Hence, if you were hypothetically able to look at the genomes of their pregenitors, you would likely not find the “toxin” gene; just saliva genes. So the absence of the “toxin” gene from this or that genome does not preclude the possibility that the elements for making the toxin are there.

This parallels the argument I’ve made here perfectly.

Comment #52981

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 20, 2005 9:10 PM (e)

I don’t have access to the entire article.

And wouldn’t understand it if you did.

What the abstract suggests is that saliva proteins were modified. These modified saliva proteins became toxins.

In other words, they EVOLVED. They appeared through a mutation that altered a pre-existing gene for salivary proteins.

Nothing “frontloaded” about it.

Hence, if you were hypothetically able to look at the genomes of their pregenitors, you would likely not find the “toxin” gene;

Hence it was NOT “frontloaded”. It appeared later, as a NEW GENE, through a modification of the salivary gene.

Gee, Blast, you’re sure making this simple.

just saliva genes.

Right. No “frontloaded” venom genes. The venom genes appeared later. They are, in ID terminology, “new genetic information”.

So the absence of the “toxin” gene from this or that genome does not preclude the possibility that the elements for making the toxin are there.

(slaps forehead)

So let me get this straight, Blast —— you are arguing (apparently with a straight face) that the fact that NO TOXIN GENE IS THERE, DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY THAT IT IS THERE.

Am I reading you right, Blast?

No WONDER everyone thinks you’re a pig-ignorant pudknocker, Blast. (shrug)

This parallels the argument I’ve made here perfectly.

Riiigggghhhhttttt. In Blast’s world, the fact that snake venom genes evolved from salivary genes, shows that they were frontloaded and didn’t evolve, since the venom genes were there all along, even though they’re not there.

Thanks for, uh, sharing that, Blast.

In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon”.

Comment #52983

Posted by jeffw on October 20, 2005 9:10 PM (e)

BlastfromthePast wrote:

So the absence of the “toxin” gene from this or that genome does not preclude the possibility that the elements for making the toxin are there.

Yes, and those elements are called mutation, natural selection, drift, recombination, some time, etc.

Comment #52984

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 20, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

*sigh*

right… so the fact that even in the abstract, the article mentions the that venom has EVOLVED no less that 24 times in the simple subset they looked at means nothing to you.

there is no point in trying to educate you, Blast. You are simply a bore.

follow your own advice and go away. you know nothing, and obviously care not to learn. You are worse than ignorant, you go beyond rock-headed. i can’t even think of an appropriate term to describe how you link totally irrational thought patterns together like you do; maybe someone with better linguistic skills can contribute.

go fantasize about your ridiculous conceptualizations of things you have NO clue about somewhere else.

I’m hoping that the miniscule void you leave behind might actually get filled by someone who at least knows something about what they are talking about.

if you are going to stick around, can you explain to us why you lied to us and said we weren’t worth your time?

are you a habitual liar, as lenny has pointed out?

now those should be questions even you can answer.

Comment #52985

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 20, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

*sigh*

right… so the fact that even in the abstract, the article mentions the that venom has EVOLVED no less that 24 times in the simple subset they looked at means nothing to you.

there is no point in trying to educate you, Blast. You are simply a bore.

follow your own advice and go away. you know nothing, and obviously care not to learn. You are worse than ignorant, you go beyond rock-headed. i can’t even think of an appropriate term to describe how you link totally irrational thought patterns together like you do; maybe someone with better linguistic skills can contribute.

go fantasize about your ridiculous conceptualizations of things you have NO clue about somewhere else.

I’m hoping that the miniscule void you leave behind might actually get filled by someone who at least knows something about what they are talking about.

if you are going to stick around, can you explain to us why you lied to us and said we weren’t worth your time?

are you a habitual liar, as lenny has pointed out?

now those should be questions even you can answer.

Comment #52986

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 20, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

*sigh*

right… so the fact that even in the abstract, the article mentions the that venom has EVOLVED no less that 24 times in the simple subset they looked at means nothing to you.

there is no point in trying to educate you, Blast. You are simply a bore.

follow your own advice and go away. you know nothing, and obviously care not to learn. You are worse than ignorant, you go beyond rock-headed. i can’t even think of an appropriate term to describe how you link totally irrational thought patterns together like you do; maybe someone with better linguistic skills can contribute.

go fantasize about your ridiculous conceptualizations of things you have NO clue about somewhere else.

I’m hoping that the miniscule void you leave behind might actually get filled by someone who at least knows something about what they are talking about.

if you are going to stick around, can you explain to us why you lied to us and said we weren’t worth your time?

are you a habitual liar, as lenny has pointed out?

now those should be questions even you can answer.

Comment #52987

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 20, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

*sigh*

right… so the fact that even in the abstract, the article mentions the that venom has EVOLVED no less that 24 times in the simple subset they looked at means nothing to you.

there is no point in trying to educate you, Blast. You are simply a bore.

follow your own advice and go away. you know nothing, and obviously care not to learn. You are worse than ignorant, you go beyond rock-headed. i can’t even think of an appropriate term to describe how you link totally irrational thought patterns together like you do; maybe someone with better linguistic skills can contribute.

go fantasize about your ridiculous conceptualizations of things you have NO clue about somewhere else.

I’m hoping that the miniscule void you leave behind might actually get filled by someone who at least knows something about what they are talking about.

if you are going to stick around, can you explain to us why you lied to us and said we weren’t worth your time?

are you a habitual liar, as lenny has pointed out?

now those should be questions even you can answer.

Comment #52988

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 20, 2005 9:11 PM (e)

Hey Blast, I thought you were leaving?

Or were you just BS’ing us about that, too?

Comment #52990

Posted by sir_toejam on October 20, 2005 9:17 PM (e)

hey, I’m so clever… i managed to post 4 times with one click!

woot! I’m a genius.

must be all that front-loaded information i was born with.

or maybe it’s a glitch in my firewall…

hmm.

Comment #52991

Posted by sir_toejam on October 20, 2005 9:22 PM (e)

I have to admit, there is ONE sentence in Blast’s last post that actually does make sense, in a twisted sort of way:

This parallels the argument I’ve made here perfectly.

i can’t argue with the fact that indeed, one inane post by blast certainly parallels another, at least with the level of logic involved.

*snort*

Comment #52997

Posted by PvM on October 20, 2005 10:36 PM (e)

Blast wrote:

I don’t have access to the entire article. What the abstract suggests is that saliva proteins were modified. These modified saliva proteins became toxins. Hence, if you were hypothetically able to look at the genomes of their pregenitors, you would likely not find the “toxin” gene; just saliva genes. So the absence of the “toxin” gene from this or that genome does not preclude the possibility that the elements for making the toxin are there.

This parallels the argument I’ve made here perfectly.

Is your argument that evolutionary mechanisms are similar to front loading? In that case, you may want to reconsider your argument since it becomes indistinguishable from evolutionary theory.

Precursors of various genes coding for toxins may be there but that’s not surprising given common descent.
Front loading however is quite a different concept which would suggest that the various toxin genes are all to be found in all life forms. That of course is plainly wrong. Evidence does show that these toxins all trace back to common origins.

So perhaps you may want to more clearly present your argument because at this moment you seem to be arguing in favor of evolutionary theory (although in a somewhat confusing manner). Perhaps access to some science journals and their full text may be helpful in understanding evolutionary science.

ID of course is a scientifically vacuous concept. No need to elaborate further on that.

Comment #53001

Posted by sir_toejam on October 20, 2005 11:06 PM (e)

no! PLEASE don’t encourage him PvM!!! you damn well know he is incapable of presenting a coherent argument!

invite others in that actually can form rational statements.

I can’t see how Blasts’ ramblings have any value whatsoever. they are so irrational that even countering them teaches nothing to any observers out there.

it’s like arguing with someone who insists that 2+2=5, and to attempt to support his contention quotes random excerpts from quantum theory.

really. no point.

Comment #53046

Posted by Wayne E Francis on October 21, 2005 12:18 PM (e)

Comment # 52978

BlastfromthePast wrote:

Comment #52978
Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 20, 2005 08:51 PM (e) (s)

I don’t have access to the entire article.

A little clue Blast, there are these buildings with lots of books in them. They are called libraries. They are great places where you can get access to make books, magazines, journals and more all for free.

BlastfromthePast wrote:

What the abstract suggests is that saliva proteins were modified. These modified saliva proteins became toxins. Hence, if you were hypothetically able to look at the genomes of their pregenitors [sic], you would likely not find the “toxin” gene; just saliva genes. So the absence of the “toxin” gene from this or that genome does not preclude the possibility that the elements for making the toxin are there.
This parallels the argument I’ve made here perfectly.

I’ll take a bit of a position here and give you the benefit of the doubt. You’ve realized what evolution is haven’t you!

No where does evolution say that a gene POOFS into existence. All genes we see are a modification on a previous gene. Many times the gene has a similar function to the previous gene, sometimes it can be totally different. It all depends on how the gene was altered. Or more correctly what the mutated gene turns into.

So I for one am glad you accept this Nature paper and understand that it explains venom by evolutionary mechanisms not intelligently designed mechanism via front loading.

Comment #53071

Posted by sir_toejam on October 21, 2005 3:46 PM (e)

what’s funny is, i think one part of his mind actually grasps how the very paper he selected is yet another wonderful example of how evolution works, while another part of his mind is screaming “NOOOOO!!!”

I envision that part of his mind a bit like Luke Skywalker screaming “NOOOO!!!” on the catwalk when Darth tells him he’s his father…

search your feelings, Blast, you know it to be true…

one slight correction to your post Wayne, most regular public libraries don’t have access to scientific periodicals (tho some DO have electronic access). For anyone interested, I would highly recommend a trip to your nearest university library to get access to the latest periodicals. Still free, and most have very helpful staff to get you started.

Of course, the bigger the university, typically the bigger the periodical collection (at least in print).

If you go, do be sure to ask about electronic access to periodicals as well, via Current Contents or Medline. You can print out articles directly from these as well. very convienient.

also, if you find a specific article in the subject you are looking for that seems an important one, you can use the Science Citation Index to see who has cited that article since it’s original publication, and get a great idea of how the field the paper is concerned with has progressed since it’s originial publication.

just thought i would throw that out there so folks can see that everything they need to make their own decisions is out there, and there are folks that will help them find it if they just ask.

Comment #53148

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 21, 2005 11:54 PM (e)

PvM wrote:

Is your argument that evolutionary mechanisms are similar to front loading? In that case, you may want to reconsider your argument since it becomes indistinguishable from evolutionary theory.

Though it might sound like I’m saying that, I definitely am not.

But since you’re bringing up this point, let me say that as I muse on what is at issue, my sense is that in the final unfolding of all this we’ll likely find what you might call “quantum” geneticism; viz., that while there are real similarities between genetic systems, and while there might be an over-abundance of information present in genomes across species, that there are certain activation factors that separate higher and lower taxonomic groups. So, there will be “missing links” between taxonomic groups, but enough similarity that arguable pathways between this group, and that group, might be plausible.

PvM wrote:

So perhaps you may want to more clearly present your argument because at this moment you seem to be arguing in favor of evolutionary theory (although in a somewhat confusing manner). Perhaps access to some science journals and their full text may be helpful in understanding evolutionary science.

I think I understand evolutionary science well enough–it’s not that complicated. In fact, the more I read, the more RM+NS seems untenable–not the other way around.

I’m a very intuitive type person. Intuition goes after first principles. Neo-Darwinism is not a sufficient first principle to explain evolution. Neutral Theory, while more plausible/sensible, just isn’t powerful enough to answer all the questions that biological complexity and diversity require.

When it comes to understanding the real science of development–I suppose you would say: “evo-devo”–we’ve only just begun. But what seems entirely clear to me is that we’re dealing with an information system that is well beyond anything we might envisage, one that has the most sophisticated messaging system ever encountered (I’m thinking here of siRNAs,e.g.; but even these are the ‘tip of the iceberg’). That means that what’s most important in biological life is not the basic ingredients (proteins=codons) but the interaction (messaging) between information centers.

To believe that ID postulates that the genome contains all the genes, of all organisms, let’s say, end-to-end, makes very little sense—most organisms share very similar genes (I’m thinking here of Hox genes, in particular), and the coding portions only represent a very small percentage of the entire genome anyways. This is certainly NOT what I have in mind when I speak of “front-loading”. “Front-loading” is about “information.” We still don’t know enough about the genome to figure out where, and how, this information is stored. (So we call it “junk” DNA in the meantime). For me it’s obvious that the more important portion of the genome is the so-called “non-coding” (or “junk”) part of the DNA. And it’s there that the information for changing “saliva” proteins to “toxins” resides. The future should clarify all this.

By the way, I routinely–through email alerts–review Nature, Nature Genetics, Gene Therapy and The Scientist. I look at New Scientist daily. And, of course, the local Barnes and Noble is a much nicer environment to read articles I consider worth reading.

In fact, I read one today on “structural variation.” To me, this only adds to the problems of current evolutionary theory: insertions, deletions, inversions, duplications, etc., in differing numbers between INDIVIDUALS! What can a little ole, measley, point mutation hope to accomplish?

Comment #53150

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 22, 2005 12:48 AM (e)

I’m a very intuitive type person

yikes; if that’s what you call intuition, I’d be scared to see what you call logic.

really tho, many scientific theories are not “intuitive” to most folks on the face of them, that certainly doesn’t make them incorrect.

just because you can look at abstracts and decipher the words on the page, doesn’t mean you understand what is being said there, as you have demonstrated over and over and over again.

you are jumping way far ahead of where you need to be focusing your attentions.

if you want to come up with your own definition of front-loading, or even “intelligent design” and develop a hypothesis from there, please feel free. However, whatever you come up with has to at least explain observable data as well as current theory, and also add something new; and I’m sorry to say you haven’t even come close to doing so. not in the ballpark, not even in the same zipcode. I am humored constantly by your flailing attempts, even if they are getting a bit tiresome.

if you don’t even understand the current observable data and what it means, how on earth can you claim to use “intuition” to develop an even remotely plausible hypothesis?

look, if you don’t want to be considered completely whacky (wayyy to late for that in my book, but there’s always the future), you need to actually be able to converse on a real-world level, and be able to express at least a basic level of understanding of the data and observations used in testing theory. Just because you say you can read, doesn’t give us any clue you actually understand what you are reading.

As an example, I finished top of my class in college physics, but I certainly wouldn’t feel competent to understand or comment on the latest data or observations being used in quantum theory. If I did wish to converse with a quantum theorist, I figure i would have to spend a couple of years getting a good grasp of the current concepts and data first (that’s putting it mildly).

do you REALLY feel you have a sufficient grasp of population genetics, heritability, cellular biology, transcription/translation, protein chemistry, genetic structure, introns/exons, ecology, ethology (animal behavior), game theory, etc etc to be able to comment like you do, or to even go further and assume you can create ad hoc a better theory to explain the hundreds of years of observed data in ALL of these fields?

if you do believe thus, would you be willing to take a basic college level examination in these fields to show us just how much you think you know? I could easily set up a basic exam with just a hundred or so questions (multiple choice even) you could wow us with your understanding of the underlying fields that go into evolutionary theory. If you scored even 50% on such an exam, I personally would no longer think you completely ignorant.

Look, you seem to be laboring under the false impression that evolutionary theory is just some “made up” assumptions by a group of intellectual ellitists that just sat down one day and wrote the theory on a paper napkin or something. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Your perpetual search for “design” as a signpost for your beliefs will endlessly meet with the same result: dissapointment.

really, get over it. keep your faith unto itself, and use your senses to see the world as it is, not as you would impose yourself onto it.

god doesn’t need you, or me, or science, or anything to prove he exists. your constant attempts to do so only imply your continuing weakness of faith. 2500 years of trying to find god in the works has failed. have you ever thought there might be obvious reasons for this that have nothing to do with any lack or limitation on the part of current scientific theory?

You have two choices, imo:

-waste the rest of your life trying to find design in things that are not, by any observable measure, designed, and continuing to demonstrate the weakness of your faith by doing so,

or

-let your faith speak for itself, and learn how the examine the world in a more pragmatic fashion; in other words, look at science for what it is, simply a method for examing the world in a pragmatic fashion that has produced the most consistent and useable results of any approach humans have invented. It’s not evil, not a “worldview” but merely a toolbox we utilize to objectively examine what we observe around us.

Please, Blast, it’s so obvious that you have NO clue what “problems” evolutionary theory has, and that the problems YOU see are simply related to your “intuition” it’s just painful to watch you twisting like this.

you can take your show to any science board in the world, and you will find the exact same responses to your “intuition” - intuition is not science, never has been, never will be.

go rethink your life

Comment #53152

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 22, 2005 1:14 AM (e)

ok, now i take a breath…

Blast, your looking for information where it isn’t really cogent. how do you think you can contend that the most important part of the genome is the non-coding part, when, uh, you yourself are essentially entirely made up of proteins generated by the CODING part of your genome, eh?

since we have sequenced your entire genome (well, at least the HUMAN genome anyway), we KNOW where the information is that makes you what you are. you can’t simply say that all the important bits are in the non-coding portion when it has physically been demonstrated not to be so.

If you don’t want to take my advice and start over learning basic concepts, you could launch yourself into the actual scientific literature surround current theory and experiments on non-coding segments of the genome (none of which you have apparently examined yet).

I wouldn’t recommend you spend time at Barnes and Noble trying to get access to the primary literature however. Take my advice and head to your local university to get access to the primary literature on the subject.

If you could ever demonstrate you actually understand what is in those papers, you might be on the road to actually doing science, rather than presenting your ignorance here like a flag you wave proudly.

moreover, ask yourself why dembski, behe, and all the other IDers have totally ignored the stacks of literature on the very subjects under discussion here.

hell, go ask dembski what he thinks of the article on the evolution of snake venoms you located; I’m sure his response would be instructive to you.

Comment #53154

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 22, 2005 2:00 AM (e)

Sir Toejam wrote:

Blast, your looking for information where it isn’t really cogent. how do you think you can contend that the most important part of the genome is the non-coding part, when, uh, you yourself are essentially entirely made up of proteins generated by the CODING part of your genome, eh?

Think of an analogy. Most office buildings are made out of glass, wire, steel and concrete. Are those the most important part–or wouldn’t you say the blueprints is the most important?

That’s the analogy. Now, consider that the chimp and humans are what, 99.7% the same when it comes to genes? Do you really think that .3% makes all the difference in the world? Sorry, that just doesn’t add up.

All your patronizing prattling would be much harder to take if it didn’t seem like you mean well by it. So I do appreciate your sincerity. But the fact is that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy looking for a plausible theory of evolution. There isn’t one that measures up. Intelligent Design is a plausible theory; but it is in its infancy. I’ve stated more than once on this post that I’m not so wedded to ID as I’m almost completely dissatisfied with Darwinian theory.

Sir Toejam wrote:

do you REALLY feel you have a sufficient grasp of population genetics, heritability, cellular biology, transcription/translation, protein chemistry, genetic structure, introns/exons, ecology, ethology (animal behavior), game theory, etc etc to be able to comment like you do, or to even go further and assume you can create ad hoc a better theory to explain the hundreds of years of observed data in ALL of these fields?

Yes, I’m fairly versant in all those areas. I’m learning all the time. You talk about a library–I have one. I have two books on developmental biology, three on population genetics, one on cell biology, etc. There’s plenty on the internet–Wikipedia, e.g.

I have yet to find a plausible mechanism for evolution. I find nothing that is satisfying. PvM tries to get me to look more seriously at Neutral Theory; I won’t go into why I’m not satisfied with it–it certainly is more plausible a theory since you have a mechanism that can “jump” and thus create significant barriers between forms–but it’s still not enough.

Darwinism is on the rocks, though. A million nucleotides from a highly conserved area of the mouse genome were excised. The mice that developed were perfectly normal. This is a deathblow to Darwinism. The game’s up. Now it’s simply a matter of trying to find a mechanism that makes sense. But, of course, as long as we’re barking up the wrong tree, that isn’t going to happen (though it will, since as science proceeds, Darwinism will be seen to be more and more unsatisfactory.).

If you can propose–or point out someone else who proposes–a sensible mechanism, fine; but, otherwise, I’m not buying. RM+NS is at the level of “myth.”

Comment #53155

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 22, 2005 2:25 AM (e)

Think of an analogy. Most office buildings are made out of glass, wire, steel and concrete. Are those the most important part—or wouldn’t you say the blueprints is the most important?

uh, no, we are only talking about the blueprints here. a better analogy would be what are the most important part of the blueprints here, the lines and the numbers, or the blue part of the paper?

think you could build a building with the blue part of the blueprints alone? uh, then you might as well have a blank piece of paper, yes?

I can’t figure why this concept is so hard to grasp for you, but whatever, let somebody else bang on that rock head of yours.
However it does explain, at least tangentially, why you also seem incapable of understanding where the information lies in evolutionary theory as well. there must be some mental block you just can’t wrap your head around. you keep forgetting that evolutionary theory ALREADY DOES EXPLAIN THE OBSERVED DATA QUITE NICELY. Even behe, dembski and others do NOT deny this - go watch dembski admit the evidence supports common descent if you don’t believe me.

I’m sorry, but NOTHING you have presented here, or in all the months of your posting, has even attempted to address any real observable shortcomings of evolutionary theory, natural slection, or anything else for that matter. I suspect it’s simply because you are unable to conceptualize how the model works, which is why i suggested you go back to basics and learn the underlying principles. then maybe it might make more sense to you from an “intuitive” perspective, as it does to all the rest of the millions of scientists who have used it to test thousands of individual case scenarios and observed phonomena for decades now.

Yes, I’m fairly versant in all those areas.

but are you willing to show that to be the case? you haven’t said so.

You talk about a library—I have one. I have two books on developmental biology, three on population genetics, one on cell biology, etc. There’s plenty on the internet—Wikipedia, e.g.

*sigh* but do you ever read them? If you list the titles of the texts you have read, would you be able to answer basic questions about the principles contained therein?

the internet sucks for getting access to primary literature unless you have a subscription to a periodicals database that gives you access to the full articles. Usually those cost big bucks, so it’s why i suggested you go to a university library, where you can get access to these resources for free.

6 texts on basic biology do not a library make.

I’m sorry, but continuing discussion with you seems utterly pointless to me; i have even tired of the humor aspect of it.

good luck

Comment #53164

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 22, 2005 6:53 AM (e)

But since you’re bringing up this point, let me say that as I muse on what is at issue, my sense is that in the final unfolding of all this we’ll likely find what you might call “quantum” geneticism; viz., that while there are real similarities between genetic systems, and while there might be an over-abundance of information present in genomes across species, that there are certain activation factors that separate higher and lower taxonomic groups. So, there will be “missing links” between taxonomic groups, but enough similarity that arguable pathways between this group, and that group, might be plausible.

You’re gibbering again, Blast.

I have yet to find a plausible mechanism for evolution.

Speaking from your, uh, vast education and experience again, Blast? Who the hell are you again, Blast?

No one cares about your uninformed uneducated pig-ignorant opinion on the matter, Blast. (shrug)

Comment #53167

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 22, 2005 7:18 AM (e)

Darwinism is on the rocks, though.

Waterloo !!!!! Waterloo !!!!!! Waterloo !!!!!!!!!!

(snicker) (giggle)

Comment #53196

Posted by BlastfromthePast on October 22, 2005 3:37 PM (e)

Sir Toejam wrote:

I’m sorry, but NOTHING you have presented here, or in all the months of your posting, has even attempted to address any real observable shortcomings of evolutionary theory, natural slection, or anything else for that matter.

You’re in denial. I can’t help you.

Comment #53198

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 22, 2005 3:48 PM (e)

hold that mirror up real high, Blast.

Comment #53199

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 22, 2005 3:53 PM (e)

oh, btw, since you decided against actually showing us that you actually know anything about the subjects we are discussing here, the only conclusion anyone can make from that is that you really don’t.

or did you want to pick up my gauntlet and actually show us you do know something by taking a college level exam on the subjects?

hell, i’d be satisfied if you took a high-shcool graduate level exam…

yet you remain silent…

if it wasn’t obvious to any lurkers before, it should be blatantly obvious now. You know nothing, don’t really care about learning, and YOU are the one in denial.

pathetic.

Comment #53207

Posted by qetzal on October 22, 2005 4:50 PM (e)

Blast wrote:

I’m a very intuitive type person.

Followed by:

For me it’s obvious that the more important portion of the genome is the so-called “non-coding” (or “junk”) part of the DNA.

And later:

But the fact is that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy looking for a plausible theory of evolution. There isn’t one that measures up.

That’s pretty much the whole problem right there. Blast’s criterion for what “measures up” is his intuition. His gut feeling. If it seems “obvious” to him, then it must be right.

We can argue the evidence with him forever; it won’t matter. He doesn’t care which way the evidence points. It’s not about evidence for him. It’s all about intuition and obviousness.

Bah.

Comment #53209

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 22, 2005 5:33 PM (e)

Blast’s criterion for what “measures up” is his intuition. His gut feeling. If it seems “obvious” to him, then it must be right.

Gut feelings aren’t a bad thing, of course, if one knows enough about the subject to judge it intuitively.

Blast, on the other hand, consistently demonstrates that he’s utterly pig-ignorant on every topic that he presumes to blither about. (shrug)

Comment #55454

Posted by Martin LaBar on November 6, 2005 8:29 PM (e)

There’s a mention of a Scott Gilber [sic] in your post. I’m pretty sure it should be Scott Gilbert.