Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 3038 on April 5, 2007 03:50 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/3028

From YouTube:

Latest product of basic evolution program.

A creatures probability of survival is dependent its compatibility to the environment relative to its fellows.

Anyone who survives can breed.

This shows that evolution is an intrinsic property of any system where offspring are different from their parent, and suffer environmental attrition. Life is such a system.

Note that with the population sizes shown, it is more likely that random genetic drift will be stronger than selection. And chimps were not the ancestors of humans et al.

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Comment #168235

Posted by realpc on April 5, 2007 4:29 AM (e)

Species can adapt to changing environments over long periods of time, because of natural selection. No one really doubts that.

But we have no reason to believe that is the cause of increasing complexity.

You are always arguing for something no one disagrees with, except literal bible-believers.

Comment #168237

Posted by Troff on April 5, 2007 4:40 AM (e)

(Disclaimer: I’m not a biologist, I’m in IT)

Realpc:

You’ve got the first line wrong: natural selection kills off unsuitable members of the species. How does the “adaption” occur if there’s no changing/mutating influence?

You’ve got the second line wrong: nobody believes that natural selection alone is the (sole, unaided) cause of “increasing complexity”. The mutation aspect is what you keep missing. By the way, even with the typical Creationist mixups of information and complexity, you’ve still got that wrong: if two members of a species develop differently from a common ancestor and each have a different makeup… isn’t there more information? Isn’t there an increase in “information” right there?

You’ve got the third line wrong: not always arguing. Just when creationist claims get it wrong. And literal bible-believers keep throwing crap into the argument, so that more people are hobbled with incorrect understanding and facts.

Disclaimer: I’m not a biologist… but even I can see the flaws in those arguments.

Comment #168245

Posted by Elf Eye on April 5, 2007 6:32 AM (e)

Somebody clear something up for me. Realpc refers to “increasing complexity.” I was under the impression that “increasing complexity” was not necessarily a sign of evolution and that evolution could lead in effect to -decreasing- complexity, as in a case where a feature is no longer useful and is therefore lost. I’m thinking of the examples of fish losing the capacity to see in caves that admit no light or whales losing weight-bearing limbs. Evolution isn’t about ‘progress’, is it, in terms of going from the simple to the complex? I’m an English professor, by the way, so please excuse the fact that this is a ‘simple’ rather than ‘complex’ question.

Comment #168247

Posted by Richard Simons on April 5, 2007 7:01 AM (e)

Elf Eye:
You are quite correct in saying that evolution can lead to a decrease in complexity. Another point is how the heck is complexity measured? I think it is reasonable to say that we are more complex than sea slugs, but are humans more complex than chimps or dogs? Human society is more complex than chimp society, but individual humans? You could argue that our brains are more complex (I’m not sure how justified this is) but no doubt a dog could argue that our olfactory equipment is less complex.

BTW, you will notice that if Realpc is asked to justify his (her?) implication that individual humans are more complex than chimps with a citation to a peer-reviewed paper the question will be avoided. He rarely, if ever, gives any justification for what he writes.

Your apologizing for asking a simple question reminds me of my undergraduate professor (in the UK, where it is equivalent to a permanent department chair) who used to ask apparently simple questions that could be very difficult to answer - although sometimes it was simple and he should have known the answer. It was very effective in encouraging us to also ask questions.

Comment #168248

Posted by ben on April 5, 2007 7:04 AM (e)

no doubt a dog could argue that our olfactory equipment is less complex

Maybe–only a really complex dog could argue that. Right unrealpc?

Comment #168249

Posted by Michael on April 5, 2007 7:08 AM (e)

Yes Elf Eye, you are absolutely correct! RealPC has shown repeatedly that he hasn’t a clue about evolution and is either a troll or a DI shill.

OK OK OK on to better things…Who’s going to be the first to post a comment about Dr. Jeffery Bada’s article in SciAm concerning his vindication of the Miller-Urey experiment?

Another soapbox has just been kicked out from under the creationists’ feet! Who needs an intellegent designer if forces of nature can kick-start the whole process unassisted?

Comment #168253

Posted by Torbjörn Larsson on April 5, 2007 7:27 AM (e)

Elf wrote:

I was under the impression that “increasing complexity” was not necessarily a sign of evolution

Besides the problem of defining complexity, I think that is correct. Selection or drift can take a population anywhere as long as it is fit enough, and there are many examples as you discuss.

Realpc doesn’t seem to understand the theory discussed, which is why you see such oddities as here. Also, creationists are stuck in the past, still picturing the faulty ‘ladder of progress’ and making it a strawman for evolution.

But that is the simple part of the answer. I hope a biologist will help answer the remainder. As I see it, because life started out with simple cells, the initial condition would permit an increase in complexity, for example defined as more characters. (In other words, the initial condition was asymmetric, but the process can go either way, it is symmetric.)

So in the overall perspective, not the local one as above, one would not be surprised to see some developments towards complexity, IMHO.

That said, the overwhelming number of species and individuals are monocellular. The average complexity hasn’t changed all that much.

Comment #168258

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 9:41 AM (e)

I have to admit I have a hard time seeing the argument for “complexity” as support for “design” in any way. Generally, the lack of a clear definition of “complexity” is a problem, but even if there were a clear definition, the argument just doesn’t hold water.

Is a brick more complex than a weirdly-shaped rock? By most definitions, it would seem that the brick is less complex - at least, you can describe its shape in mathematical terms much more simply than the shape of the rock. Yet the brick is designed, but the rock isn’t.

Or what if I take a bigger rock, and chisel away at it so that it looks exactly like the other rock? The two objects would be identical, yet one is designed and the other isn’t.

Comment #168260

Posted by Doc Bill on April 5, 2007 10:16 AM (e)

“Increasing complexity” is nothing more than the latest creationist buzzword.

It means precisely this: nothing.

And, realpc, please stop using the word “we.” You were voted out of the species last week. Thought you got the memo.

Comment #168261

Posted by raven on April 5, 2007 10:25 AM (e)

Evolution isn’t about ‘progress’, is it, in terms of going from the simple to the complex?

Evolution is blind. Roughly speaking evolution increases the useful, neglects the useless, and eliminates the deleterious.

More specifically, evolution drives a species towards short term optimal adaptations to the existing environment.

The idea of “progress” is a complicated one that has many different viewpoints. Are we any more complex than a dinosaur? After all they were there for hundreds of millions of years and kept the mammals in check. They didn’t die out or get outevolved. Bad luck when a large asteroid slammed into Yukatan.

On the other hand, for most of the earths history, life was single celled prokaryotes. To my eye, humans look more complex than bacteria. So on long term timescales, it does look like increasing complexity.

Really need a rigorous definition of “complexity” and/or “progress” and some measurement(s) to answer that right. Not aware of either.

Comment #168268

Posted by PvM on April 5, 2007 11:02 AM (e)

RealPC wrote:

But we have no reason to believe that is the cause of increasing complexity.

Even though science had shown that it is a sufficient cause for increase in information and complexity?

Comment #168277

Posted by realpc on April 5, 2007 11:50 AM (e)

“Is a brick more complex than a weirdly-shaped rock?”

No, the brick is more regular, but not more complex. It shows evidence of having been designed by an intelligent being because the brick’s shape is unlikely to occur as a result of non-living physical forces.

You cannot determine which is more complex, the brick or the rock, based on their shapes. You can say that a wall built out of bricks is more complex than a single brick.

You cannot equate irregularity, or disorderliness, with complexity. The definition of complexity must include purpose and function. So, for example, a computer program that is badly organized might seem more complex than a well-organized one, but that is only a superficial impression of the program’s complexity. Knowing the real complexity of the program depends on knowing its purpose and function.

Comment #168278

Posted by Raging Bee on April 5, 2007 12:05 PM (e)

It shows evidence of having been designed by an intelligent being because the brick’s shape is unlikely to occur as a result of non-living physical forces.

Didn’t we make a similar mistake in regard to the Giants’ Causeway?

You cannot determine which is more complex, the brick or the rock, based on their shapes.

Yes, you can: there are simple shapes and complex shapes.

The definition of complexity must include purpose and function.

Wrong again: the artificiality and function of a screwdriver do not make it more “complex” than a geode – even if the maker stamps a really fancy logo on it.

I also notice that you refer to “THE definition of complexity,” as if there was only one. Funny, you don’t actually DEFINE the concept, you merely blither about what that definition “includes.”

If you don’t have anything in the way of an actual definition of “complexity,” then your General Unspecified ‘Theory’ of Complexity and Stuff is what the software folks call “vapor-ware.” Just like everything else you’ve posted here.

Comment #168279

Posted by CJO on April 5, 2007 12:13 PM (e)

What is the purpose and function of a baby?

Comment #168281

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 12:29 PM (e)

realpc: Did you just miss the entire point of my post, or are you deliberately misrepresenting it?

You cannot determine which is more complex, the brick or the rock, based on their shapes.

Wrong. By any of a number of definitions (including Dembski’s!), the rock is more complex than the brick. By at least one other definition, the brick is more complex than the rock. All of them require us to know nothing more about the rock and the brick than their physical properties.

You cannot equate irregularity, or disorderliness, with complexity.

Wrong again.

The definition of complexity must include purpose and function.

As far as I can tell, the only person who uses this “definition” is you. So what, pray tell, is this definition?

Comment #168282

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 12:30 PM (e)

What is the purpose and function of a baby?

Its purpose is to BE complex!!! Whoah…

Comment #168283

Posted by Raging Bee on April 5, 2007 12:42 PM (e)

realpc: Did you just miss the entire point of my post, or are you deliberately misrepresenting it?

Yes.

Comment #168284

Posted by harold on April 5, 2007 12:51 PM (e)

The video is a lot better than nothing. It does illustrate the inevitability of evolution in a population that reproduces with variation (especially when natural selection is present, but technically, all you need is the variation). Overall, I strongly applaud the creativity and insight of those who created it.

Reed A. Cartwright identifies two major annoying errors. It ignores the role of random genetic drift (which is the logical equivalent, roughly, of thinking that a group of gamblers at a crap table will all lose their money at an exactly equal rate, even in the very short term, because they’re all at the exact same relative disadvantage to the environment - we might crudely say that ignoring genetic drift is like ignoring variance), and, even less forgiveably, it implies that humans evolved from chimpanzees.

I have a third complaint - the use of the hackneyed term “survival”. While not technically absolutely wrong, it is a deceptive term to use. The main reason for this is that “survival” is often taken as a synonym for “longevity” (and that’s roughly what this video uses it to mean).

One of the more annoying misconceptions about evolution - and possibly one that makes it needlessly emotionally upsetting to some people - is the implication that it acts mainly or exclusively through the mechanism of sudden, painful death for “unfit” creatures. (With apologies for the animal-centric language.)

Natural selection for an allele within a population simply means that the carriers of one allele have some reproductive advantage, however imperceptible, relative to the carriers of some other allele.

Most sudden or premature deaths among populations of highly adapted animals are probably either random, or related to age (young and old being easier to prey on). Obviously relatively faster antelope ancestors, at some point, had some reproductive advantage, probably related to fleeing predators, otherwise antelopes wouldn’t be fast. No doubt a severe genetic abnormality that made an antelope slow would be selected against even today, at least where the full phenotype was expressed. But it’s silly to think that the selective pressures on a population of highly adapted organisms relate exclusively to avoidance of sudden premature death, or that sudden premature death is always directly the “fault” of some genetic trait. Yet this is what many seem to think.

This is especially true when we consider that the relationship between individual longevity and reproductive output, while certainly a positive one (organisms have to survive to maturity to reproduce and the longer they live, to some degree, the more chances they get), is by no means a straight line. Even among long-lived humans, there are many examples of short but fecund lives, and many people who live long lives with little or no reproduction.

Evolution is just what happens when there is reproduction with variation, especially in an environment with limited resources. It isn’t “good” or “bad” or “gentle” or “harsh” or “driven by the goal of producing complexity” or “driven by the goal of producing simplicity” or anything else. It’s just how the physical world works.

Comment #168286

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 1:10 PM (e)

Evolution is just what happens when there is reproduction with variation, especially in an environment with limited resources.

Hmm, think you can drop the “especially” here - if resources are unlimited, even the least efficient organisms will find resources.

Comment #168288

Posted by Larry Moran on April 5, 2007 2:13 PM (e)

Reed says,

Note that with the population sizes shown, it is more likely that random genetic drift will be stronger than selection. And chimps were not the ancestors of humans et al.

In other words, the program doesn’t tell us a heck of a lot about real biological evolution. It confuses evolution with natural selection. It exaggerates the effect of natural selection; over-emphasizes the role of environment; grossly magnifies the rate of mutation; and screws up primate evolution.

Is that why it’s called “Evolution for Idiots”?

Comment #168290

Posted by harold on April 5, 2007 2:25 PM (e)

Dizzy -

Well, technically…

If we had a bunch of near immortal organisms, in an environment with near infinite resources, and they reproduced with variation, including variation in the rate of reproduction, there would STILL be evolution. (And presumably, over a long period of time, traits associated with the fastest rate of reproduction would come to predominate.)

There certainly wouldn’t necessarily be the kind of tight adaptation to specific niches that we see in a (real-life) limited resource environment. But there would certainly be evolution.

The only way to prevent evolution is with invariant reproduction, which is physically impossible.

Caveat to my comments above - I don’t mean to address spiritual ideas about the human mind or soul at all here. However, biological evolution is just something that invariably happens to all life - plants, microbes, etc. It’s like gravity. It’s the way any rational observer who accepts the basic axioms and logic processes that underly science (and that almost all people implicitly accept) can see that the physical world works. I’m not addressing any extra-scientific questions. Some people who fully accept and understand science believe that some purpose or goal underlies that way the universe works, and unlike some posters here, I’m sympathetic to that idea. But it doesn’t make sense to say that “gravity”, “electricity”, “evolution”, or the like have “goals”.

Comment #168292

Posted by clastito on April 5, 2007 2:37 PM (e)

This is the problem. Some people think that by grasping an idea as simple as natural selection, they have grasped the intellectual core of evolutionary biology. It’s just THAT simple for them. Utradarwinism: thinking that you’ve got the best all covered just by understanding natural selection, is the initial stage for the amateur know-nothings that have decided to go evolutionary (a stage I went through when I was about 14)
Which, by the way, is the state that many “rationalists” are stuck in. Do they need to know anything else? those boring details of the history of life on earth? just one theory is enaough to discard creationism and that is all that they really care about (NOT the study of evolution)

Comment #168293

Posted by chunkdz on April 5, 2007 2:49 PM (e)

Are there any limits to what random mutation and natural selection can accomplish?
(I mean in the real world, not in Reed’s brilliant you-tube video)

Comment #168295

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 2:57 PM (e)

just one theory is enaough to discard creationism and that is all that they really care about (NOT the study of evolution)

Are you trying to bring attention to the fact that there exist “evolution flag-wavers,” just as there are “creationist flag-wavers”? Well, of course there are.

But plenty (if not most) of the ones that “go evolutionary” understand the explanatory and predictive power of evolutionary theory, and are familiar with the “boring details.” None of the creationists understand the explanatory and predictive power of creationism - because it has none.

Comment #168296

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 3:00 PM (e)

Are there any limits to what random mutation and natural selection can accomplish?

“Accomplish” in what sense? Like, “is evolution by natural selection ever going to produce Spider-Man?”

Comment #168297

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on April 5, 2007 3:01 PM (e)

Chunkdz, you’re question isn’t phrased well. It is too broad to be given a good answer. You’ll need to be more specific. For instance, are you asking what types of adaptations can natural selection produce?

Taken literally, one could answer that natural selection is not able to power the sun, but then again such an answer is not enlightening. (Haha).

Comment #168300

Posted by Clastito on April 5, 2007 3:10 PM (e)

IF we stoop to comparing ourselves with creationists, we will be able to feel happy quite easily , since their mistakes are pretty silly. But this is what I mean. A genuine interest in evolution has much higher standards than being better than those creationist clowns, right?
But to the avergae cultural warrior, being better than creationists is what it’s all about. And, many alleged evolution lovers do NOT know basic stuff of natural shitory. How many really can explain what Willi Hennig did for phylogenetic systematics? all you’ll see is a big question mark floating over their heads…

Comment #168301

Posted by realpc on April 5, 2007 3:12 PM (e)

realpc: The definition of complexity must include purpose and function.

Dizzy: As far as I can tell, the only person who uses this “definition” is you. So what, pray tell, is this definition?

If you’re analyzing the complexity and efficiency of an algorithm you have to know its purpose. It should have the smallest number of operations that will accomplish its goal. Without knowing the goal of a system, you cannot determine this.

If an algorithm has more steps than it needs to accomplish its goal, that does not make it more complex than a shorter algorithm which accomplishes the same goal. That just makes it inefficient.

If the goal of life is, lets say, consciousness, then humans are more complex than chimps. If the goal is merely survival and reproduction (as Darwinism claims), then it’s hard to compare the complexity of organisms. Is a dolphin any better at surviving than a shark? Probably not. But the dolphin is, most of us would agree, more conscious.

When analyzing the complexity of non-living things, like crystals, we do not simply measure how irregular the shape is. We definitely look for orderly patterns. A snowflake seems more complex to us than an ice cube.

According to chaos theory, and information theory, information depends on a balance somewhere between absolute order and absolute chaos. In human communication, we consider a message meaningful when it tells us something new, but is somehow related to things we already knew. In other words, it’s somwhere between what is completely unfamiliar to us (chaos) and what is completely familiar (order).

So I could also define complexity as information. Something is relatively complex, from my perspective, if it seems to convey a meaningful message. This definition also depends on there being some kind of purpose involved, since every meaningful message must have a purpose.

These definitions are philosophical. Quantifying complexity would depend on a particular context, and would involve some kind of comparison. In other words, it is relative. You can’t just say this thing has more corners than that thing, and is therefore more complex.

Comment #168302

Posted by Clastito on April 5, 2007 3:17 PM (e)

Chunkdz,
In darwinian lingo, “random” only refers to the fact that the occurrence of mutations is not causally linked to the advantages they may offer. It certainly does not mena that “anything” can be produced by a mutation. There certainly ARE very clear limits as to what natural selection and mutation can do to a REAL organism (for instance whales cant breathe water no matter how adavantageous…and never will)

Comment #168304

Posted by Raging Bee on April 5, 2007 3:32 PM (e)

If you’re analyzing the complexity and efficiency of an algorithm you have to know its purpose.

No, we don’t. Its complexity has nothing to do with its purpose. (If the algorithm has a bug that causes it to fail, does that make it less complex?)

If an algorithm has more steps than it needs to accomplish its goal, that does not make it more complex than a shorter algorithm which accomplishes the same goal.

Yes, it does. A Baroque painting is more complex than an abstract-expressionist one, regardless of what “purpose” we assign to either of them.

If the goal of life is, lets say, consciousness, then humans are more complex than chimps.

And if we suddenly decide that the “goal of live” is NOT “consciousness,” does that decision, ipso facto, make humans less complex?

“Purpose” is a subjective attirbute, not an intrinsic property of any object, natural or artificial. Once again, you’re blind, clueless, and talking out of your ass.

Comment #168306

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 3:42 PM (e)

And, many alleged evolution lovers do NOT know basic stuff of natural history. How many really can explain what Willi Hennig did for phylogenetic systematics? all you’ll see is a big question mark floating over their heads…

(Took the liberty of correcting your humorous typo)

Well, I for one would certainly agree that the “my team is better than your team” mentality doesn’t do much to help folks who are trying to combat pseudoscience with science. If one can’t articulate “why” because one is ignorant of the basic facts that support it, there’s really not much to distinguish the one “team” from the other.

I would probably take issue with the specific example you mention, though. Is knowledge of modern phylogenetics really required to provide empirical support for evolutionary theory? I think one would be hard-pressed to answer “yes,” since the former wasn’t quite “systematized” (thanks to Hennig) until about half a century ago…and one might argue that phylogenetic systematics doesn’t necessarily depend on natural selection at all (as a Lamarckian might), although it is certainly one area of study that can provide support for (or potential evidence against) it…

Comment #168311

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 4:28 PM (e)

If you’re analyzing the complexity and efficiency of an algorithm you have to know its purpose. It should have the smallest number of operations that will accomplish its goal. Without knowing the goal of a system, you cannot determine this.

Haven’t people pointed out your despicable bait-and-switch tactics enough to discourage you from using them? Apparently not.

Nobody said jack sh*t about “efficiency.” Nobody, anywhere, except apparently you, equates “complexity” with “efficiency,” you lying troll.

According to chaos theory, and information theory, information depends on a balance somewhere between absolute order and absolute chaos. In human communication, we consider a message meaningful when it tells us something new, but is somehow related to things we already knew. In other words, it’s somwhere between what is completely unfamiliar to us (chaos) and what is completely familiar (order).

And more of the bait-and-switch BS. So complexity equals information now? Once again, you demonstrate that you have no damn clue wtf you are talking about.

Comment #168312

Posted by Dizzy on April 5, 2007 4:38 PM (e)

“Purpose” is a subjective attirbute, not an intrinsic property of any object, natural or artificial.

Hey realpc, put your helmet on and try to make it through this exercise (courtesy of Dennett):

Vending machine V produces a gumball when an object of type K is inserted into its slot. American quarters are objects of type K. Panamanian quarters also happen to be objects of type K.

V gets placed in a shopping mall in Cleveland; its owner wants it to accept American quarters and not Panamanian quarters, but instead it does both.

He sells the machine to an airport administrator in Panama, and the administrator places V in an airport terminal. The administrator wants it to accept Panamanian quarters AND American quarters, which it does.

In Cleveland, V was serving its purpose when it accepted American quarters, but not serving its purpose when accepting Panamanian quarters. In Panama, it was serving its purpose when it accepted either. So its complexity changed when it moved from Cleveland to Panama?

Comment #168313

Posted by CJO on April 5, 2007 4:56 PM (e)

So complexity equals information now?

Sweet!
And if “specification” meant “information” too, then Dembski’s CSI could be “Informative Informational Information”!

ID is goin’ places, I tell you.

Comment #168322

Posted by AC on April 5, 2007 5:43 PM (e)

realpc, I’m a computer engineer. Regarding comment #168301, you haven’t the faintest clue what you’re talking about. You haven’t the faintest clue about various other subjects either, but I thought I’d mention that specifically.

There is some discussion on this thread about the video that you might find interesting, if only you could stop viewing the entire subject with antagonism.

Comment #168402

Posted by realpc on April 6, 2007 8:49 AM (e)

AC,

You probably just don’t understand my comments. You may have memorized textbook definitions of complexity, but that is not what I’m talking about.

And I do understand the Darwinist concept shown in the video. It’s an utterly simple idea, which in my opinion does not explain the increasing complexity of nature.

Comment #168407

Posted by Raging Bee on April 6, 2007 9:04 AM (e)

realpc: yes, we understand your comments all too well. In fact, we’ve repeatedly debunked and refuted them, and instead of acknowledging what’s painfully obvious to the rest of us, all you can do is whine about how misunderstood your General Theory of Unspecified Complexity and Stuff is.

Comment #168427

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on April 6, 2007 11:24 AM (e)

You probably just don’t understand my comments. You may have memorized textbook definitions of complexity, but that is not what I’m talking about.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”
Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (1832-1898), “Through the Looking Glass”

Comment #168429

Posted by realpc on April 6, 2007 11:28 AM (e)

Raging Bee,

Things are obvious to you because you talk to each other, discouraging outsiders with different opinions. You are skilled at profanity and personal insults – this discourages all but ditto-heads from entering the conversations. If a commenter doesn’t say, essentially “Yay, me too, you tell ‘em” they are called a troll.

The really hard philosophical and scientific questions have no clear or simple answers. If they did, they would no longer be questions and there would be no debate. We know the earth isn’t flat, and that’s easy to prove beyond doubt. We know that evolution occurred, and that old debate is pretty much over.

The current evolution debate is about things that have not been answered, and that will probably never have simple answers. The neo-Darwinist explanation of evolution is simple. You desperately want it to be true, but you have no evidence. So you’re raging. What if something is involved beyond our familiar physical reality?

You love to see yourselves as “enlightened” “brights,” looking down with pity, sorrow, and outrage, at the stupid religious masses.

That’s my analysis of why you’re so angry.

Comment #168434

Posted by Raging Bee on April 6, 2007 12:00 PM (e)

Things are obvious to you because you talk to each other, discouraging outsiders with different opinions.

And that’s not fair because you have no one to talk to who agrees with your nonsensical assertions?

You are skilled at profanity and personal insults…

First, if you really wanted to address issues of substance, you could simply ignore the insults, quote the substantive points, and respond to them, as we have done to yours. Second, you know as well as I do that not all of my comments have been insulting: many of us, myself included, have also given factual and logical refutations of your assertions – and you have never even acknowledged the posts, let alone addressed the points made. You certainly didn’t address ANY of the substantive points of my last THREE posts. Your whinery about “profanity and personal insults” is nothing but a dodge, and it’s not fooling anybody.

The really hard philosophical and scientific questions have no clear or simple answers.

That’s no excuse for you to spout nonsense, or to further muddy the waters by blithering incoherently about abstract concepts you never even try to define, despite repeated requests to do so.

What if something is involved beyond our familiar physical reality?

We’ll consider that question when reliable objective evidence of the existence and effect of this “something” is provided.

You love to see yourselves as “enlightened” “brights,” looking down with pity, sorrow, and outrage, at the stupid religious masses.

I thought this debate wasn’t about religion.

And no, most of our “outrage” is not directed at religious people; it’s directed at liars like yourself, who pretend to know what you clearly don’t, pretends no one knows things we clearly do, and then cries about how harsh we are when we express doubts about your claims.

Comment #168441

Posted by realpc on April 6, 2007 12:38 PM (e)

“I thought this debate wasn’t about religion.”

It’s about science, not religion. However, religion does get involved because materialist atheism rests on the neo-Darwinist version of evolution. Christians would like to see the demise of neo-Darwinism, because that would open the door to alternatives.

I am not a Christian, do not belong to any religious tradition. However, I think there is something valid about some of the Christian mythology, and that of other relgions. When you see only the literal, simple-minded, versions of Christianity (or mystical traditions in general), it’s because you are not acquainted with super-physical aspects of reality.

The mythology – which I admit can sound pretty stupid and is full of contradictions – helps devout Christians to focus their attention on something infinitely beyond our ordinary reality. You dismiss all of that as hallucinations and illusions. Do you realize how many human beings experience similar hallucinations and illusions? (Well yes, of course, it’s merely because we are genetically programmed to experience them, easily explained by some reproductive advantage.)

The universes are infinitely beyond our little experience of our little corner of reality. Most people, at some point in their lives, get a glimpse or two of the unimaginable strangeness of what lies beyond. Some experience more of this than others.

It’s like the Matrix movies – we all exist in this shared virtual reality, and the real reality is outside the matrix. Of course, in the movie the real reality is physical not mystical. But I’m talking about the general concept of existing within a matrix that, most of the time, blinds us to whatever is outside that matrix.

The reason some Catholics and fundamentalist Christians now oppose neo-Darwinism is that they would like to see the end of the materialist domination of science. Not because they believe the Christian creation myth (well some do, but they are ignorant of the scientific facts, or in denial). It’s because they would like science to be freed of the restrictions of materialism.

As I said, I am not Christian, but I agree with Christians in believing there is infinitely more going on than what science currently accepts. I would like to see science expand its horizons. There is lots of alternative science research going on, but you automatically categorize it all as voodoo science, because they don’t publish in journals you’re familiar with. They have their own journals, because the mainstream will not open its mind to anything that questions the orthodox assumptions. They get enraged, like you Raging Bee.

Comment #168445

Posted by Richard Simons on April 6, 2007 1:01 PM (e)

Realpc:

I agree with Christians in believing there is infinitely more going on than what science currently accepts.

Such as … ?

I would like to see science expand its horizons.

What specifically do you think scientists should do? Just saying that you think scientists should ponder on the mystical is too vague. Give us an example of an experiment, for instance.

Comment #168446

Posted by Raging Bee on April 6, 2007 1:08 PM (e)

You dismiss all of that as hallucinations and illusions.

No, “we” – by which I mean scientists of all religious beliefs, not just the atheist ones – merely maintain that subjective beliefs do not trump disciplined methods of observation, experimentation and reasoning when trying to explain events in the material world.

When you see only the literal, simple-minded, versions of Christianity (or mystical traditions in general), it’s because you are not acquainted with super-physical aspects of reality.

Neither are the creationists. If they did, they wouldn’t be pushing their narrow, materialistic literalism as “science” or as “religion.”

The reason some Catholics and fundamentalist Christians now oppose neo-Darwinism…

Only “some” Catholics? Ever looked up what the Vatican says about evolution? Or the Lutherans? As long as you’re pretending to be interested in religious traditions, you might want to have a look. (Hint: they do NOT support the injection of muddy religious, philosophical or metaphysical notions into science, and accept science, and METHODOLOGICAL (not philosophical) materialism, as THE proven means of explaining the physical world.

There is lots of alternative science research going on, but you automatically categorize it all as voodoo science, because they don’t publish in journals you’re familiar with.

They have no actual scientific work or insight to publish in ANY journal. No proof, no peer-reviewed papers, no ground-breaking new insights leading to advancement in ANY field of endeavor except bigoted politics, fund-raising and propaganda.

They get enraged, like you Raging Bee.

When we find ourselves lied to, and blamed for such atrocities as eugenics and the Holocaust, by people whose intent is clearly the enforcement of a single minority religion on all people, rage is the appropriate response. If you have a problem with that, you’re probably on the wrong side.

Comment #168447

Posted by Bill Gascoyne on April 6, 2007 1:10 PM (e)

super-physical aspects of reality

And, pray tell, how might one objectively distinguish between that and fantasy or delusion?

some Catholics and fundamentalist Christians… would like science to be freed of the restrictions of materialism.

IOW, they wish to usurp the societal influence of science by changing the definition of science.

IINM, one of the hallmarks of adulthood is the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. I would say this is very similar to distinguishing between subjective and objective. Recognizing “super-physical aspects of reality” is, I would argue, objectively indistinguishable from confusing subjective with objective, or fantasy with reality.

Comment #168449

Posted by Dizzy on April 6, 2007 1:20 PM (e)

Changing the subject again, eh rpc?

Let me guess…you would have explained to us what your definition of “complexity” actually is, but your time was better spent going on a 15+ paragraph rant about how scientists are meanies because they point out that you’re full of sh*t?

The insults directed at you are well deserved, actually - there’s plenty of empirical support for them in this thread alone.

And the downside of banning this troll is…?

Comment #168453

Posted by Darth Robo on April 6, 2007 1:42 PM (e)

“And the downside of banning this troll is…?”

Entertainment. :)

Comment #168476

Posted by fnxtr on April 6, 2007 4:49 PM (e)

realpc:

Show me how your metaphysical woo would work in any field of science.

Use your “theory of increasing complexity”, or more accurately, your “theory of making shit up”, and show me just how it explains the past and predicts the future.

Show me how it accounts for degenerate parasitic forms, the loss of flight in kiwis, the human vestigial appendix and our inferior olfactory abilities. Explain why it has an inordinate fondness for beetles.

Or point me to someone who can.

You keep arguing that methodological naturalism can’t be enough, but you continuously fail to explain why. I think it’s just because you don’t want it to be enough, so you go off on your rationalizing tangents.

Prove me wrong.

Comment #168481

Posted by Thunderf00t on April 6, 2007 5:19 PM (e)

I few words on the making of this vid.

Creationism is not a scientific but political movement.

To try to engage creationists on a scientific level is basically pointless, the scientific consensus was won over 100 yrs ago. These people are not interested in truth but in pursuing political agendas (see the ‘wedge agenda’ on wiki)

As such the most effective way to combat the misinformation of these ppl is to target their audience (ppl with basically no scientific knowledge) with something they can understand. This vid was meant to a mega dumbed down version of evolution. There is no sexes, or mutations that can create entirely new features (hard to code). The population is EXCEPTIONALLY small, and so genes get moved around v. quickly, there is random death, but no death from old age etc etc. However for the ppl who need to be convinced, this is all pointless and confusing detail (which is why i make no attempt to explain it).

The principal feedback ive had from the scientific community is we did not descend from chimp. Yup I know this and made the vid. deliberately ambiguous such that this is not what it actually says (take a logical population and give it 1 million years, it doesnt say take chimps 1 million years ago). But I needed photos:
Having watched lots of creationist videos (a sickening task to be sure), i have found they make a big point that the only evidence for evolution is in drawings of ape like ancestors and missing links, creatures with human and ape like features.

My choice was take a drawing of an ape like ancestor and morph it into humans, or morph piccies of primates.

I went for the latter to side step the ‘but the only evidence u have is a drawing’ issue and left the language deliberately vague. It lacks scientific precision, however (I hope!) it gets the point over well to the target audience.

Comment #168482

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on April 6, 2007 5:25 PM (e)

Thunderf00t,

With such small population sizes, I hope you realize that your model is more influenced by genetic drift than natural selection.

Comment #168494

Posted by realpc on April 6, 2007 7:07 PM (e)

Show me how it accounts for degenerate parasitic forms, the loss of flight in kiwis, the human vestigial appendix and our inferior olfactory abilities. Explain why it has an inordinate fondness for beetles.

As I said, the system as a whole increases in complexity, not each species. The diversity of life forms has increased greatly. One-celled organisms began to cooperate and form specialized organs and hierarchical arrangements. This shows an obvious increase in complexity of the system.

This does not mean that newer species are superior in all ways to older species. Increasing complexity does not necessarily mean continual improvement. Humans are newer than dogs, but we have no reason to expect humans to be superior to dogs in every way. We are obviously inferior to many other animals in many respects. But we do have the most complex culture, by far, and probably the most complex brain.

Dawinism suggests that evolution would result in continual improvements in fitness, but not in complexity. Unless you assume that greater complexity means greater fitness. I don’t think it does – we can easily think of examples of relatively simple organisms that are great survivors.

So that’s another problem for Darwinism – how to explain increasing complexity when it does not seem to generally improve fitness. If it did, the simpler organisms would have lost the competition for survival.

So the whole problem is much more complicated than neo-Darwinists admit. Dawkins raves about the beautiful simplicity of the chance-plus-selection idea. Yes it’s nice to have a simple explanation, but simplicity alone does not make it correct.

Comment #168496

Posted by Steviepinhead on April 6, 2007 7:40 PM (e)

“realpc” troll:

Humans are newer than dogs

Okay, now you’ve surpassed yourself in marooniosity.

You’ve managed to compress more completely bonkers tard into five words than anybody since, well, since AFDave.

Of course, not everyone would consider that an accomplishment, but you work with what you’ve got.

Just for the record, and in case anyone might otherwise be misled, humans are NOT “newer” than dogs, fer cryin’ out loud. Modern homo sapiens go back at least 30-40K in terms of cultural and technologic markers, some would argue much further, and ~200K in terms of phenotype. Humans domesticated dogs!–or, agruably, dogs may have self-domesticated around humans–from wolves within the last 10-15K years. Heck there’s an article out today about the genetic determinants of size in dogs which gives a fair overview. For those who haven’t yet figured it out, this one five-word tard-dropping tells us all we need to know about why we don’t need to take anything this maroon says seriously…

Comment #168500

Posted by CJO on April 6, 2007 8:10 PM (e)

Dawinism suggests that evolution would result in continual improvements in fitness, but not in complexity. Unless you assume that greater complexity means greater fitness. I don’t think it does – we can easily think of examples of relatively simple organisms that are great survivors.

The best, even. And there lies the solution to the not-very-confounding conundrum you harp on.

See, there’s a minimum level of complexity for a living system, represented by prokaryotic life-forms. So, think of evolution as a random walk, with a “left wall.” Complexity has to increase over time, and “Darwinism” isn’t needed to explain it at all.

Stephen J. Gould trated this subject, under the phrase “the modal bacter.” In this view, all life, to a first aproximation, is prokaryotic. Multicellular life is a “tail” on the graph. No spooky universal drive toward complexity required.

Comment #168501

Posted by realpc on April 6, 2007 8:25 PM (e)

I was obviously not talking about domesticated dogs, Stevinpinhead.

Comment #168504

Posted by David B. Benson on April 6, 2007 9:05 PM (e)

realpc — You post so poorly that nothing you attempt to communicate is obvious.

Except that you are obviously wrong about almost everything about biology.

Including canines…

Comment #168511

Posted by Henry J on April 6, 2007 9:49 PM (e)

Re “So the whole problem is much more complicated than neo-Darwinists admit.”

I have to wonder if there’s even one fact in that note that isn’t common knowledge among biologists.

——-

Re “Explain why it has an inordinate fondness for beetles.”

An recent article indicated the large number of beetle (and insects in general) species might just be a result of them having been around longer than some other groups that have fewer species.

Henry

Comment #168514

Posted by David Stanton on April 6, 2007 10:35 PM (e)

I see realpc has derailed yet another thread. For those of you who are not familiar with his brand of argument, he uses the MSU method (making stuff up). Here is a list of some of the claims he has made on various threads. Of course he has presented absolutely no evidence for any of these claims and he has repeatedly failed to acknowledge any evidence to the contrary. Feel free to add to the list if I have missed anything.

(1) The “Law of Complexity” states that some things complexify themselves at some times by some unknown mechanism for some unknown reason.

(2) The “Theory of Creative Evolution” states that things get better and better for some reason, or something like that.

(3) The “intelligence” of your body means that you can somehow create beneficial mutations whenever you need them and that this process is entirely “natural” even though there is no known mechanism by which it could occur.

(4) DNA does not “know” enough to “orchestrate” the process of development (and so apparently we don’t have any idea how it could possibly work).

(5) Development violates the laws of physics (not the known laws of physics just the unknown ones).

(6) “Natural” means understood by science (presumably anything not yet understood is not natural). I know, this directly contradicts number three, but I’m not the one making this stuff up.

(7) “Complexity” cannot be determined unless we know the purpose and function of something (apparently the complexity changes if the perceived purpose changes).

(8) We all exist in a shared virtual reality and the real reality is outside the matrix. (Wait I saw that movie, he might be right about this one. Anyway, I guess no one can prove him wrong).

(9) Humans are “newer” than dogs. (Even though Canis familiaris arose in Asia about 15,000 years ago). See Science 298:1610-1613 (2002) for example.

realpc seem to be really hung up on what is known and what is unknown. However, by his own admission, he has never studied any Biology so he has no idea what is known in this field. Remind me again, why do we keep responding to his MSU crap?

Comment #168518

Posted by brightmoon on April 6, 2007 11:41 PM (e)

“So that’s another problem for Darwinism – how to explain increasing complexity when it does not seem to generally improve fitness. If it did, the simpler organisms would have lost the competition for survival.”

the only problem for darwinism seems to be your basic ignorance of how organisms evolve and function function in real evironments, realpc

some parasites , which for example, can degenerate to little more than just a mouth and reproductive organs in tapesworms, are usually simpler organisms than the freeliving ancestors they evolved from ….they tend to lose motility …limbed organisms lose their limbs….intestinal parasites the tend to lose digestive organs as well

Comment #168548

Posted by Science Avenger on April 7, 2007 6:37 AM (e)

Realpc trolled thusly:

As I said, the system as a whole increases in complexity, not each species.

No it doesn’t. As a whole, the system is virtually as complex as it ever was, dominated by very simple life forms. Adding 100 or so complex species to millions of extremely simple ones doesn’t increase the complexity of the system as a whole by any meaningful measure.

Dawinism suggests that evolution would result in continual improvements in fitness, but not in complexity.

Says who Troll? Random drift says complexity (defined any reasonable way) will increase, so any selection process is only going to add to that effect.

Comment #168559

Posted by realpc on April 7, 2007 7:42 AM (e)

“Random drift says complexity (defined any reasonable way) will increase,”

Random drift, like natural selection, is something that must happen. Yes, luck is involved as well as fitness. How does that explain increasing complexity?

I noticed that some of you here are complexity-deniers and others say complexity is easily explained. Apparently there is a lack of consensus among standard theory believers.

When I say that chance alone doesn’t seem adequate to explain complexity I get an answer like – “But you don’t understand the theory! There is much more than chance involved – there is natural selection!”

And if I say that chance plus natural selection would suggest ever-increasing fitness, which is not the same as complexity the answer is – “But you don’t understand the theory! There is much more than natural selection involved – there is chance!”

Comment #168560

Posted by Richard Simons on April 7, 2007 7:43 AM (e)

Realpc the Troll:

As I said, the system as a whole increases in complexity, not each species.

So that’s another problem for Darwinism – how to explain increasing complexity when it does not seem to generally improve fitness. If it did, the simpler organisms would have lost the competition for survival.

(My emphasis)

You really are woolly about what you are referring to as being ‘complex’, aren’t you?

Comment #168561

Posted by Richard Simons on April 7, 2007 7:51 AM (e)

Yes, I know that the populations are too small to be realistic and yes, I know that we did not really descend from chimps, but I think the video does a good job in pointing out that many imperceptible changes can result in large differences between populations.

I hope that the flurry of critical posts means that we will soon have a plethora of clear, instructive and entertaining videos to illustrate the process of evolution to naive audiences.

P.S. for American readers - in English English ‘between’ is used when the relationships are more or less well defined, ‘among’ is used for vague relationships :-)

Comment #168569

Posted by David Stanton on April 7, 2007 8:35 AM (e)

realpc,

Both drift and selection play a role in the evolution of complexity. Here are some references you can read on the subject. They show that known natural processes are sufficient to explain the origin of complexity in biological systems. If you disagree with the conclusions of these papers please give a detailed refutation of their claims. Your hand-waving argument from incredulity does not convince anyone, especially since it is clear that you are often unaware of relevant literature. By the way, until you have read and responded to the papers, please do not make any more claims about what you think could not happen or what you think cannot be explained.

Evolution of Biological Complexity PNAS 97:4463-4468 (2000)

The Evolutionary Origin of Complex Features Nature 423:139-144 (2003).

Evolution of Complexity in Signaling Pathways PNAS 103:1633-16342 (2006).

Comment #168570

Posted by fnxtr on April 7, 2007 8:42 AM (e)

I was taught that you can only be ‘between’ two things (see etymonline dot com): Scylla and Charybdis, rock and a hard place, etc.

If there are more than two, you are ‘among’ them: “Amongst our weaponry: fear, suprise, ruthless efficiency…”

Comment #168573

Posted by Scienceavenger on April 7, 2007 9:05 AM (e)

Realpc gratuitously asserted:

Random drift, like natural selection, is something that must happen.

No it isn’t. They only happen because the replication process is imperfect. Were children perfect clones of their parents, neither drift nor selection would occur.

Yes, luck is involved as well as fitness. How does that explain increasing complexity?

If offspring are variably complex (and again I am using the dictionary definition, not the troll-invented one) relative to their parents, it is trivially true that some lines of descent will involve increased complexity.

Since creationists like analogies to language, let’s start with a this being: Cat. If it point mutates, it might produce “Cot”. If that experienced gene duplication, it might become “Colt”. “Colt” is more complex than “cat”. QED

I noticed that some of you here are complexity-deniers and others say complexity is easily explained. Apparently there is a lack of consensus among standard theory believers.

Most of that difference is due to the fact that you refuse to define “complexity”, thus forcing us to either guess what you mean, or in my case, insist on using the English definitions of English words. Obviously if people are using different definitions for the same word, they are going to have different opinions about it.

But more fundamentally, and I note the pun, differences of opinion is a virtue, not a vice, of scientific inquiry. To draw an analogy with evolution, heterogeneity of opinion is the genetic variation, and the peer review process (and more directly, the experimental data) is the selection. Contrast this to the unformity of opinion demanded on ID sites, which I suppose would be analogous to excessive inbreeding, complete with the appropriate intellectual stagnation.

Comment #168574

Posted by Scienceavenger on April 7, 2007 9:08 AM (e)

If it point mutates, it might produce “Cot”. If that experienced gene duplication, it might become “Colt”. “Colt” is more complex than “cat”. QED

Should be:

If it point mutates, it might produce “cot”. If that experienced gene duplication, it might become “coot”. One more point mutation and we could have “colt”. “Colt” is more complex than “cat”. QED

Comment #168588

Posted by realpc on April 7, 2007 12:23 PM (e)

“Contrast this to the unformity of opinion demanded on ID sites”

But ID doesn’t claim to have any simple explanation, so there can’t possibly be uniformity of opinion. The only thing they agree on is that the standard theory is too simple and fails to explain important aspects of evolution.

Ok, I should not expect all standard theory believers to agree on everything. But you seem to consider your theory definitive – Dawkins certainly does. Dawkins is a fanatic, in my opinion, but you seem to respect him here. Dawkins does not, as far as I know, think the theory of evolution is evolving. He does not, as far as I know, see any major defects in the theory.

Therefore, if you are a Dawkinite, you should be bothered by the lack of consensus regarding whether complexity increases or not.

And yes, we have the age-old problem of trying to define complexity.

From wikipedia:
“In computational complexity theory, the time complexity of a problem is the number of steps that it takes to solve an instance of the problem as a function of the size of the input (usually measured in bits), using the most efficient algorithm.”

That was one of the definitions I had proposed, but a computer engineer here told me I don’t know anything, because I used slightly different words. This definition doesn’t use the word “purpose,” but it does say “an instance of the problem.” So if you learned rather than memorized, you would see it means the same thing.

Much more could be said on how to define complexity. As I said before, it is a philosophical problem. Different fields define it differently. I was trying to explain to some commenters here that they were over-simplifying the concept.

Comment #168590

Posted by stevearoni on April 7, 2007 1:03 PM (e)

RealPC wrote….

Ok, I should not expect all standard theory believers to agree on everything. But you seem to consider your theory definitive

Please feel free to suggest a viable alternate.

But- and this is the important thing - don’t just wave your hands in the air, and complain about “Darwinism”.

Be specific and tell us how we can actually test your alternate, just like we tested evolution when it was the new kid on the block.

Comment #168591

Posted by Science Avenger on April 7, 2007 1:09 PM (e)

Realpc said: ID doesn’t claim to have any simple explanation, so there can’t possibly be uniformity of opinion. The only thing they agree on is that the standard theory is too simple and fails to explain important aspects of evolution.

And you aren’t allowed to talk about the age of the earth…
or that the designer demands a designer…
or ask what the nature of the designer is…
or question why any even semi-intelligent designer would design what we find……and on and on. There is nothing remotely similar on ID sites to the kind of intense discussion and difference of opinion we see here and on other real science sites. Any disinterested observer would conclude that it is IDers who are in lock step and demanding conformity, not the scientists.

A simple explanation? ID claims no explanation. Ignorant criticisms of evolution do not qualify as an explanation.

As far as comnplexity goes, IDers only play games with the term because all the standard definitions don’t give them the answers they want. Otherwise, it is totally obvious how evolution does what it does. Cat=>Cot=>Coot=>Colt. Four letters is more complex than three. Simple.

Comment #168608

Posted by David Stanton on April 7, 2007 3:00 PM (e)

realpc,

No real scientist considers any theory “definitive”, it isn’t even a theoretical possibility. The reason why scientists usually converge on a concensus is that our opinions are typically constrained by evidence. We don’t all look at the same evidence and we don’t always reach the same conclusions, therefore there need not be a strict concensus. By the way, why do you think the major religions of the world cannot agree on anything?

Speaking of evidence, have you read any of the five references I recommended yet? Got any evidence for those “undomesticated dogs” you were talking about? Were they prarie dogs maybe?

I can sympathize with your difficulty in defining complexity. Many others have the same problem. Still, no one else was talking about “computational complexity” and wikipedia is probably not the most definitive reference you could give.

Comment #168634

Posted by realpc on April 7, 2007 7:27 PM (e)

By the way, why do you think the major religions of the world cannot agree on anything?

They mostly agree on the important things. William James said, and I agree, that all religions have the same mystical essence. It’s the feeling of being connected to something greater. The things different religions fight about are mostly political and cultural details, having nothing to do with what religion is about.

Got any evidence for those “undomesticated dogs” you were talking about? Were they prarie dogs maybe?

Humans did not create domesticated dogs as a new species. They were bred from pre-existing dog or dog-like species. And there are still dog species that were never domesticated.

Comment #168635

Posted by David Stanton on April 7, 2007 7:45 PM (e)

Sorry realpc, wrong again. Canis familiaris was derived from Canis lupus the Gray Wolf. The ancestral species was not a “dog”. There is no such thing as a “nondomesticated dog”. But then again, how could you possibly have known that? Only three people pointed it out to you and only one of them provided you with a reference from the scientific literature! Care to name the mythical “dog species that was not domesticated”? Or did you just MSU again?

By the way, I think it speaks volumes that you are comfortable with the fact that major religions “mostly agree on the important things” while apparently being uncomfortable with the fact that there is not always complete agreement among scientists.

Comment #168636

Posted by David B. Benson on April 7, 2007 8:04 PM (e)

A short, simple web trawling shows that wild dogs are not genus Canis, therefore not closely related to domesticated dogs.

Another short, simple web trawling shows that feral dogs are a growing problem in the United States.

Your daily quota of factoids…

Comment #168643

Posted by David Stanton on April 7, 2007 9:13 PM (e)

Thanks David Benson. Wow, it looks like I owe realpc an apology. There are in fact some members of the family Canidae that have the term “dog” somewhere in ther common names. They are not in the genus Canis and there is no evidence that they were ever domesticated. Some species may even be older than the human lineage. How silly of me not to have realized that this is in fact what he meant when he used the term “dog”. Man, I wonder why he didn’t just say so when I asked him for examples? Do you suppose this means all his other arguments might have some basis as well? It would be really neat if he could explain that matrix theory.

Comment #168657

Posted by fnxtr on April 8, 2007 1:13 AM (e)

….. and cue realpc googling “Dingo” in 3, 2, 1…

Comment #168827

Posted by James Collins on April 9, 2007 8:22 AM (e)

The video was humorous, but silly, but…
If evolutionists want to end the arguments all they have to do is, get their brilliant heads together and assemble a ‘simple’ living cell. This should be possible, since they certainly have a very great amount of knowledge about what is inside the ‘simple’ cell.

After all, shouldn’t all the combined Intelligence of all the worlds scientist be able the do what chance encounters with random chemicals, without a set of instructions, accomplished about 4 billion years ago,according to the evolutionists, having no intelligence at all available to help them along in their quest to become a living entity. Surely then the evolutionists scientists today should be able to make us a ‘simple’ cell.

If it weren’t so pitiful it would be humorous, that intelligent people have swallowed the evolution mythology.

Beyond doubt, the main reason people believe in evolution is that sources they admire, say it is so. It would pay for these people to do a thorough examination of all the evidence CONTRARY to evolution that is readily available: Try answersingenesis.org. The evolutionists should honestly examine the SUPPOSED evidence ‘FOR’ evolution for THEMSELVES.

Build us a cell, from scratch, with the required raw material, that is with NO cell material, just the ‘raw’ stuff, and the argument is over. But if the scientists are unsuccessful, perhaps they should try Mother Earth’s recipe, you know, the one they claim worked the first time about 4 billion years ago, so they say. All they need to do is to gather all the chemicals that we know are essential for life, pour them into a large clay pot and stir vigorously for a few billion years, and Walla, LIFE!

Oh, you don’t believe the ‘original’ Mother Earth recipe will work? You are NOT alone, Neither do I, and MILLIONS of others!

Comment #168830

Posted by Raging Bee on April 9, 2007 8:28 AM (e)

realpc seem to be really hung up on what is known and what is unknown.

And he doesn’t know shit about either, which could be why he’s so hung up.

Comment #168834

Posted by Raging Bee on April 9, 2007 8:45 AM (e)

James: you know as well as we do that if the experiment you recommended were done, you and your creationist buddies would merely say “Yes, you created life in a lab, but that doesn’t mean it could have happened naturally;” and you would go on denying every fact or observation that contradicted the stories you were spoon-fed in your home-schools. Your assertion proves your dishonesty.

Comment #168837

Posted by Richard Simons on April 9, 2007 8:53 AM (e)

James Collins says

If evolutionists want to end the arguments all they have to do is, get their brilliant heads together and assemble a ‘simple’ living cell. This should be possible, since they certainly have a very great amount of knowledge about what is inside the ‘simple’ cell.

No, it would not end the arguments. ID proponents would say ‘See, intelligence was required.’

Why, exactly, do you believe that all the world’s biologists (except for a handful, comparable with the number of people who think they are the reincarnation of Julius Caesar) are wrong to think that the theory of evolution is the best explanation for the origin of life? What is your alternative? What evidence do you have to support it?

I expect that in the unlikely event you respond you will show almost complete ignorance of the theory of evolution and biology.

Trackback: Evolution Visualized and Explained

Posted by A Blog Around The Clock on April 5, 2007 3:05 PM

I think I will show this in class in May when I teach the evolution lecture again. Update: Reed adds some caveats I am sure to point out in the classroom....