why evolution didn’t really need darwin

April 19, 2013 — 28 Comments

darwin

Generally, we tend to associate powerful theories with the people who first proposed them and say that without Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Heisenberg, Turing, or all the other scientists featured in countless books as visionaries, our world wouldn’t be the same, and the knowledge we take for granted now would’ve never made it to us. Well, this is somewhat true. Change who discovered, say, germ theory and how it was proposed, and you’d have different criticisms and politics, and adoption curve by the scientific establishment of the day so the world would indeed be a different place. But when it comes to the knowledge, it would largely be similar. That’s one of the greatest things about science. Call physics "objectology" and change the variables in the formulas, and the body of work will still describe pretty much the same processes with the same mechanics because that’s just the way nature works. The differences would be in what bleeding edge ideas would dominate the debate among the experts and professionals, not the basics.

And so, a new book by historian Peter J. Bowler, argues that without Darwin, biology as we know it today would be virtually the same. Were the young naturalist thrown overboard during a storm as he traveled the world, compiling evidence for his theory, there were many scientists waiting to fill the role of evolution’s historical focal father. Wallace probably fits the bill best since it was his version of the theory that prompted Darwin to dust off his by then 20 year old manuscript. And if Wallace’s ideas failed to get any attention, the idea of natural selection was still in the air, it just needed a solid footing to really take off and fuse with genetics. If anything, argues Bowler, neo-Darwinian synthesis might have actually been expedited with Wallace because his theories had more developmental underpinnings, and would turn the field’s focus to complex genetics we’re trying to master to the forefront sooner. And of course there would’ve still been vocal creationist opposition to the idea in all forms. It’s basically a given, much like gravity and entropy.

Even the charges of evolution inspiring eugenics and the horrors of the Holocaust would’ve still persisted because the people who were ultimately responsible for them were looking for any kind of excuse to reshape humanity to their liking. Considering that their understanding of selection was pitiful and their knowledge of hereditary mechanisms was non-existent, they weren’t exactly interested in the science. They just wanted a patina of facts to hide their bigotry and racism, and anything that sounded like it could be bastardized into serving their goal was used. Hundreds of years before them, religion was used to justify mistreatment of minority groups throughout much of the Western world, be it selective accusatory clauses from the Old Testament, or invoking the loathsome Deicide Doctrine to defend systematic segregation and prosecution of Jews. In fact, much of the legendary Witch’s Hammer reads like the furious ranting of a misogynist who would easily show up any self-appointed Men’s Rights Activist on the web, the 15 century male version of Andrea Dworkin. Would Kramer have abused evolution to fuel his misogyny? Absolutely.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that Darwin’s accomplishments were trivial or that Galileo was simply stealing from Eratosthenes, or that the re-invention of the steam engine was no big deal. There was a good deal of research, work, and insight involved in doing what they did and being the first to have your work recognized and adopted so widely is still a feat. It doesn’t matter that others could’ve done it too because how nature works will always be there for someone to come along and discover. What matters is that they seized the moment and advanced our civilization, giving us new fields to explore. But Bowler’s exercise also proves an important point. Science is ultimately about the facts. The data comes first, the theory to explain why the data is this way is second, and the people who put it all together come third. And while visionaries deserve all their accolades, they are not completely indispensable At worst, their absence from history would’ve delayed a discovery. Nature didn’t uniquely open up to them to grant them insight Anyone can discover something new and fascinating, and sometimes something that can change the way we think about the entire universe. And that’s what makes science such a terrific endeavor.

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  • TheBrett

    In general, scientific and technology advancement seem to be products of their time, particularly if you’ve got a general societal environment that rewards discoveries and innovation. Wallace and Darwin discovered evolution in the same time period, the telephone was discovered by several people in the same period of time, and there were a ton of scientists all looking into new models of astronomy back in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries across Europe.

  • Professor Layman

    Rather wonderful thought really. Almost a harmonic resonance of insight.
    “We’re all on the same wavelength here.”

  • Paul451

    Why the specific exception for germ theory? There were researchers before Pasteur who believed in infection (and not “miasma”.) At most there might have been a delay in widespread acceptance.

    Darwin’s story is interesting, because there seems to have been no contemporary rivals except, belatedly, Wallace. That’s how he was able to sit on his work for so long. It’s weird, given how quickly the theory was embraced, and how long scientists had already believed in the broader idea of evolution (Darwin’s grandfather being an obvious example). But for some reason, the theory of natural selection needed travellers in particular areas, with a particular background in biology, in order to prompt that “a ha!” moment.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    Evolution would have been far better off without Darwin’s bungling. His unfortunate choice of words in his book have steered biology off course so badly that we are only beginning to steer back. We already knew about evolution in Darwin’s time, but the question was (and still is) the matter of how it happens.
    He wrongly concluded that changes are random, with no regard to environmental need, but we now know that to be completely false. Genetic changes are NOT random and they do correspond directly with environmental need, as demonstrated repeatedly in evolution experimentation of the past 30-plus years. Moreover, literally all mathematicians who have examined the theory have disproven the concept of random mess causing complex function.
    He also assumed that evolution was slow and steady with “numerous successive, slight changes”. It is nothing of the kind. Evolution is mostly rather static with sudden fast large leaps of speciation and of fully-formed features.
    His worst mistake, however, was his coining and crediting “selection” as a cause of evolution. Selection only happens AFTER the evolving takes place, so it can not be the cause of itself. This rather obvious logic fallacy is ignored largely because pseudoscientists want to avoid admitting that their theory is 100% luck.
    Darwin’s joke of a “theory” couldn’t create a hand crank can-opener, let alone a planet load of functional, thinking beings. Darwinism is the most destructive force imaginable: random chaos. His failure has ruined Life Science and the medical sciences to the point where millions have lost their lives because he didn’t do his homework mathematically nor did he follow the evidence nor scientific method.

  • gfish3000

    He wrongly concluded that changes are random, with no regard to environmental need…

    You must’ve read a different Origins of Species than the rest of the world. That statement would undermine the entire idea of natural selection being an evolutionary mechanism.

    Genetic changes are NOT random and they do correspond directly with environmental need…

    Genetic changes are pseudorandom and they stick around due to selection. Darwin basically had half of the puzzle solved, Mendel found the keys to the other half.

    Moreover, literally all mathematicians who have examined the theory have disproven the concept of random mess causing complex function.

    Why are mathematicians examining biology? That’s like getting a chemist to sign off on the structural integrity of a skyscraper and citing his opinion as the basis for granting the building permit. The only anti-evolutionary math I’ve ever seen basically calculates the odds of either spontaneous generation or an exact 4.5 billion year cell-by-cell-mutation-by-mutation replay of life on Earth, showing that those who created these calculations do not understand what evolution is or how it works.

    Evolution is mostly rather static with sudden fast large leaps of speciation and of fully-formed features.

    Could you please cite the dark intestinal voids from which this was pulled? Evolution’s rate depends on the population and the reproductive rate so evolution in bacteria and evolution in humans will flow at very, very different rates. To create an average rate of evolution metric is simplistic and wrong, especially since fast evolving bacteria are the overwhelming majority of life on Earth.

    Selection only happens AFTER the evolving takes place, so it can not be the cause of itself.

    Selection is half of evolution. You’re basically saying that when you press the gas pedal, acceleration only happens after you inject the fuel into the engine. That’s asinine. You accelerate because gas is coming into the engine. Likewise, evolution works because debilitating traits are bred out as those affected by them fail to reproduce at a sufficient rate to pass on their weaknesses to future generations permanently. When that does manage to happen, the entire species goes extinct, via… wait for it… natural selection.

    This rather obvious logic fallacy is ignored largely because pseudoscientists want to avoid admitting that their theory is 100% luck.

    Yeah, I’m thinking you might want to actually learn a thing or two about their theory before you judge how valid it is. You know pretty much next to nothing about evolution. Actually, come to think of it, knowing nothing would’ve been preferable to your smug pseudoscientific ejaculations.

    His failure has ruined Life Science and the medical sciences to the point where millions have lost their lives…

    Really? You mean all the millions of people who died of smallpox that we eradicated, the millions who died of infections against which we created antibiotics and update them to keep up with drug resistant bacteria, or the millions who died form the viruses against which we can vaccinate because we understand how to track their evolution? Also, what color is the sky in your world? Just curious…

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish, Darwin DID wrongly claim that evolutionary modifications were random, just as the Neo-Darwinists insist that unseen random mutations somehow improve things. Kind of like NASA accidentally building a spacecraft…oooops, oh hey look at that! What luck!

    Your theory is a laughable joke.

    Did you seriously ask why mathematicians should be calculating probabilities?? If you are proposing a Luck Theory, which is all Darwin did anyway, then you step aside and let the mathematicians do THEIR work. Probabilities require mathematics. Why does that stump you?

    As to stasis and saltation, have you seriously never heard of punctuated equilibrium? I thought this was established fact even by sloppy Darwinian standards. Odd.

    Who is this “WE” who saved lives? Darwinians? LOL. The medical professions save lives by ignoring Darwin’s stupidity. We follow the evidence rather than find an excuse to ignore evidence as Darwin did. We see that bacteria evolve quickly and adaptively, when and only when, the need arises. With this anti-Darwinian interpretation of evolution, we DO save lives.

    Darwin was wrong.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish, if evolution is the “gas pedal”, then selection is the brakes.
    Selection is NOT “half of evolution”. It is not any part of evolution nor could it possibly be conflated that way. Evolution is change. Selection is staying that same. These are direct opposites. The very moment a trait is passed along to a second generation, that trait has stopped evolving.
    Darwinists always try to redefine “change” (evolution) to mean “keeping things as they are” (selection), but it doesn’t work. Scientific rigor demands precision in our definitions.
    We are trying to explain why organisms change beneficially, not what would happen to them if they did. OF COURSE if they get a new trait that makes them more able to survive, then they will be more likely to survive, but that is tautologically circular illogic, not an explanatory “mechanism”.
    You may as well claim that standing still is “half of moving”. (….and then use standing still as your primary mechanism of movement.)
    The stupidity of Selectionism is astounding….

  • gfish3000

    Kind of like NASA accidentally building a spacecraft…oooops, oh hey look at that! What luck!

    I’m sorry, could you refrain from copy/pasting from CreationistTalkingPoints.org? Thanks. Random mutations can both improve things and inhibit them. Nature has ample examples of both. Only creationists boldly claim that all mutations are supposed to make things better.

    Your theory is a laughable joke.

    Says someone with less of a grasp on said theory than a toddler has on the Schrodinger equation…

    Did you seriously ask why mathematicians should be calculating probabilities?

    It helps when you know the probability of what you’re calculating. Anti-evolution math declares impossible things as fact, then proceeds to calculate the odds of them happening, claiming that they’re tenets of evolution when in fact they have nothing to do with the theory.

    As to stasis and saltation, have you seriously never heard of punctuated equilibrium?

    Punctuated equilibrium is still rather controversial and applies to observations of only some species. It’s far from being a mainstay of the theory.

    The medical professions save lives by ignoring Darwin’s stupidity.

    A statement only an idiot can make.

    If the medical profession ignored Darwin, say goodbye to modern antibiotics and vaccines because both of them require tracking the evolution of the target organisms to create effective remedies and preventative measures.

    We see that bacteria evolve quickly and adaptively, when and only when, the need arises.

    You just demonstrated that you don’t understand selective pressure and mutations for the umpteenth time with the arrogance of someone who thinks he knows absolutely everything. Bacteria evolve quickly and they’re under selective pressure from antibiotics we create. If they were truly “adaptive,” it would be impossible to make effective antibiotics because the bacteria would mutate to resist it in months, not decades.

  • gfish3000

    Evolution is change. Selection is staying that same.

    From where do you get this insipid claptrap? Any middle school science teacher with a shred of self-respect and a real education would give you an F for this statement.

    OF COURSE if they get a new trait that makes them more able to survive, then they will be more likely to survive, but that is tautologically circular illogic, not an explanatory “mechanism”.

    Actually it is because evolution predicts a lot of losers and very few winners. Only small subsections of populations will manage to evolve beneficial traits and those traits will be beneficial for only so long. The fact that 99% of all species we know ever lived on this planet are now extinct should give you some food for thought if you weren’t too busy reciting nonsense we’ve all heard form creationists before and refuted a thousand times with the smug arrogance of a know-nothing so out of touch he doesn’t even realize how much he doesn’t understand.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish, I’ve never heard of “creation/talkingpoints” and I would never read it if I did, since I am not a creationist. I am an evolutionist, and you, mr. fish, are not, because you have no clue what evolution is. Evolution is change, not the stasis that occurs AFTER the evolving stops.

    It doesn’t take months OR decades for bacteria to adapt to anti-biotics. It happens in a matter of days. There is nothing random about it. Without the anti-biotics, it will NEVER happen, because the need is not there. Adaptive mutation is well documented and I know of no credible scientists who still think Darwinism is happening in evolution.

    There is no such thing as “selective pressure” and in fact there isn’t even really any thing called “selection” that actually does anything. Evolution is 100% modifications within an organism and 0% external “pressure”. Pressure pushes and there is no pushing force exerted at all.

    “gf: It helps when you know the probability of what you’re calculating.”

    That wouldn’t be calculating probabilities, now would it? They would already be calculated by the time you knew them. (???!!???) Common sense tells 90% of the population that Darwinist random mess is hopeless as a creative force, but to the 10% religious fanatics like yourself, even hard math doesn’t register a blip on your radar screen. But the numbers don’t lie.

    gf: “Random mutations can both improve things and inhibit them.”

    No, random accident destroys, but NEVER improves functional complex order, which is one of many reasons we know they aren’t random.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    I’ll say it again: “Evolution is change. Selection is staying the same.” The word “evolve” means “change” as any dictionary can settle for you. Darwinists switch the meanings to deceive the weak-minded into thinking they have explained functional changes by explaining what would happen AFTER the changes. Hey, it fooled you.

    So an English teacher would give YOU an F, but it depends on which science teacher you get, I suppose. Some 70% of HS science teachers refuse to “teach” this Darwinian garbage and only 10% actually believe Darwinism. I have no idea how any thinking adult could subscribe to Darwinism.
    You don’t speak for “evolution” because you have no idea what it is. We DO predict a lot of death and extinction, but NOT randomness. Nothing in any life form is random, least of all genetics. You can type a message that is useless and extremely poor reasoning, but it isn’t gibberish, so we know it was typed purposefully.
    Evolution is about changes, not death. The changes are NOT random. Humans get well over 100 point mutations with every birth and well over 99% of them fit the form, function and context of the individual.
    Apply mutagenic radiation or chemicals in high doses and you will lower those numbers, but that only further proves that standard mutations can’t be random. A colony of 1000 lab mice with hundreds of thousands of mutations will get no harmful mutations, but ONE mouse under radiation WILL get detrimental mutations with far fewer total actual nucleotide changes.
    The vast majority of the actual errors are REPAIRED to their original genetic code. The exceedingly rare synthetically caused mishaps that don’t repair are not heritable. Moreover, genetic sequences are thousands of bits of information in length, yet these lengthy repeaters don’t break, except always at the ENDS. That is the equivalent of random copy-pasting blindfolded and always getting full sensible paragraphs by luck.
    Genetic changes are NOT random.

  • gfish3000

    It doesn’t take months OR decades for bacteria to adapt to anti-biotics. It happens in a matter of days.

    Erythromycin was developed in the laste 1940s and launched in 1952. As of 2004, only 7% of bacteria have resistance to this antibiotic. That’s 52 years to have 7% resistance in a random bacterial sample for a generic antibiotic used as a front line defense. If your claim was correct, erythromycin should’ve been useless by the mid-1950s.

    I know of no credible scientists who still think Darwinism is happening in evolution.

    So over 99% of the National Academy of Sciences is not credible? What does that make them, incredible? Or are you just saying you don’t know any scientists?

    No, random accident destroys, but NEVER improves functional complex order…

    What studies can you cite on the subject? Also, “functional complex order”? Really? Are we just adding pseudoscientific buzzword salad now?

    Your ability to randomly claims things that people who managed to pass a science class know aren’t true doesn’t prove your points. How about you put in some citations for your claims? I’ve yet to see a single one. You just posit asinine claim after asinine claim as if your devotion to self-repetition somehow makes for an argument.

  • gfish3000

    So an English teacher would give YOU an F…

    I would get an F because you don’t understand the meaning of the word selection and what it means to select something?

    Hey, it fooled you.

    I doubt it. I have a functional command of English and I actually studied biology somewhere other than a church group or a fundamentalism homeschool.

    Some 70% of HS science teachers refuse to “teach” this Darwinian garbage and only 10% actually believe Darwinism.

    And you can back this up with which survey or study exactly…?

    I have no idea how any thinking adult could subscribe to Darwinism.

    Well that sounds like a personal problem. I have no idea how there are functioning adults who think that the Flintstones wasn’t an animated Honeymooners rip-off but a fictionalization of like 5,000 years ago. We all have our challenges to overcome.

    You don’t speak for “evolution” because you have no idea what it is.

    Oh, the irony here is thick. It’s like being told you’re an ignoramus by a Flat Earther or a geocentrist…

    Nothing in any life form is random, least of all genetics.

    Then explain cancers. Why exactly do certain cells lose their ability to self-destruct and grow into lethal tumors that spread all over the body? Do that for each of the 200+ cell types and please proceed to collect your Nobel Prize for creating a way to cure all cancers.

    Evolution is about changes, not death.

    The changes can lead to death. If they didn’t, we’d still have trilobytes in the oceans and giant birds of prey roaming the plains. We’d also have no inbreeding, birth defects, or hereditary diseases. You are aware that there are diseases passed on through genes, right?

    The changes are NOT random.

    Some are, some are not. Many are transcription errors, a number occur due to exposure to external mutagens like UV light. But you cannot predict what genes will change under certain level of exposure. If you can, why are you not on the cover of every magazine and science journal in the world? You can chant this mantra all you want, it doesn’t make it true.

    Humans get well over 100 point mutations with every birth and well over 99% of them fit the form, function and context of the individual.

    There are 6 billion nucleotides in the human genome. If there was no slack or room for error, like say in the various permutations of codons that encode the same amino acid, a single point mutation would kill an organism before it could pass on its genes. Life would be impossible because it couldn’t reproduce fast enough to sustain itself for enough time to gain a foothold.

    And what do you mean by “fit the form, function, and context?” That a human didn’t turn into a potato? Well, what did you expect? The homebox genes already did their job and got a humanoid developed in the womb. After birth is a little too late to shape-shift.

    A colony of 1000 lab mice with hundreds of thousands of mutations will get no harmful mutations…

    Actually, some lab mice are extremely prone to cancerous tumors because of natural mutations. This is why they’re used for cancer studies, they’re very prone to cancers in their old age.

    … but ONE mouse under radiation WILL get detrimental mutations with far fewer total actual nucleotide changes.

    Radiation affects all the nucleotides of a genome because it’s basically energy trying to scramble your genes, and the changes will be local, otherwise there would be no tumors, the entire organism would become one giant tumor. Which tumors are changed and how depends on a lot of factors. How you know how many nucleotides are affected by certain radioactive expose would also be fascinating to biologists and Nobel Prize worthy.

    The exceedingly rare synthetically caused mishaps that don’t repair are not heritable.

    They absolutely are if they’re in the gametes because that will send the altered DNA to the other genetic donor. You also just ruled genetic disorders and diseases with strong genetic components like trisomies, cystic fibrosis, certain cancers, ALS, etc. to be impossible because they can’t happen naturally and the deleterious genes that cause them can’t be inherited. Are you now also going to claim that artificial insemination can’t lead to a pregnancy? Or that the sky’s usual color on Earth is beige?

    Genetic changes are NOT random.

    Hmm… I shouldn’t have called this your mantra. It sounds more like an incantation at this point…

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish, you could be half as longwinded if you could follow the discussion rather than dreaming up and attacking straw man absurdities that I would never say. The other half of your diatribes could be wiped clean by coherent thought.

    When you have fallen to comical “Flintstones” references, we have strayed pretty far from the discussion. Save that for your next tussle with a YEC. I think I made it clear I am an evolutionist and I firmly accept Universal Common Descent, evolutionary speciation and a 3.5 billion year old earth…. a spherical one.
    How ’bout discussing where we differ? I don’t buy into your “lucky chemicals” concept of life or evolution. It is unscientific lunacy and opposes all evidence.
    I’ll look through your novels to see if there is anything relevant to respond to later….

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish, I know what selection means too, and it doesn’t fit where Darwin used it, and it certainly does not mean evolving. Even you, a Darwinist, ought to be able to discern between “change” (evolution) and “keep it the same” (selection). This isn’t difficult.

    gf: “you can back this up with which survey or study”?

    http://www.americanscientist.org/science/content1/11778

    gf: “Then explain cancers.”

    Cancers are caused by carcinogens, an interference in the natural process.

    gf: “Life would be impossible because it couldn’t reproduce fast enough to sustain itself for enough time to gain a foothold”

    My point exactly. Yes, some of the mutations happen to introns and do not have a phenotypical expression, but that just further defeats the concept of “selection” keeping the LINE sequences intact.

    gf: “And what do you mean by ‘fit the form, function, and context?’ That a human didn’t turn into a potato?”

    No, if it turned into a potato, that would be functional change and it would sure settle the question of large-leap speciation. If genetic changes were random at all, they would never be functional and all expressed changes would cause death, disfigurement and uselessness.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gf: “The changes can lead to death.”

    Yes, but death can’t lead to genetic changes, which is the point. Selection can’t cause evolution. It can only be the other way around. Selection, death or life, is the result, not the cause.

    gf: “After birth is a little too late to shape-shift.”
    Who said anything about “after birth”? WTF? Your the one who thinks evolution is still happening after the evolving stops.

    gf: “some lab mice are extremely prone to cancerous tumors”

    It doesn’t matter what the particular species is, Einstein. The reality is that mutagens, including both radiation and toxins, DO cause truly random mutations, and the more exposure, the worse it gets. If ALL mutations were random that damage would be the same as standard transcription editing, but it isn’t the same. True damage IS random, while standard editing is not. That’s why the results are so different.

    You seem to understand this (sorta) when you say: “Some are, some are not.” (random). As you say yourself: “you cannot predict what genes will change under certain level of exposure.”

    Precisely the point. We can’t predict changes under UV exposure nor other mutagenic damage, but we CAN predict very specific nucleotide changes during experiments that change the environment.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gf: “That’s 52 years to have 7% resistance in a random bacterial sample for a generic antibiotic used as a front line defense.”

    A COLONY of bacteria develop the resistance ONLY when they are exposed to the anti-biotic and here you are discussing a percentage of the world’s population!!

    Do you think that ANY bacteria had the ability to resist erythromycin 300 years ago? To digest nylon? To use high levels of radiation as a nutrient? They developed these traits only when they needed to for use in their modern day environment.

    If you have bacteria exposed to erythromycin in one petri dish and a control group that is not exposed, the one that is exposed will quickly develop a resistance (along with a spike in mutation rate) and the control group will not. It does not take 50 years….wow.

    ALL beneficial evolution depends on the environment around the organism and the resultant needs of the organism. Organisms adapt to fit their environmental needs. Evolution, in a nutshell, is precisely the opposite of what Neo-Darwinists predicted.

  • gfish3000

    Considering that antibiotics have been used as a frontline defense against everything, one would expect a lot more resistance if bacteria magically became resistant as needed right after exposure. Yes, it’s true that we have novel strains of bacteria that have evolved resistance to our medicine or use our synthetic materials as food but this in no way proves that they just gained these abilities on cue. There are countless swarms of bacteria in and on our bodies in constant contact with cotton, polyester, leather, and plastic. Why did they not all gain genes to digest these materials if mutations to do that are supposedly non-random and happen perfectly on cue? Why couldn’t there just be bacteria with mutations that geve them an advantage like resistance to antibiotics or a new food source and they thrived where their ancestors were killed ir starved to death?

  • gfish3000

    I couldn’t help but notice that in your righteous indignation at my digs you didn’t address the actual points, saying they could be “wiped clean with coherent thought.” Well wipe then instead of running to the fainting couch!

    Yeah, I get it, you have a problem with randomness playing any role in evolution or biochemistry. But in the absence. Of evidence otherwise, I’m afraid you’re stuck. Your inability to deal with it us not my problem and your savaging of the relevant science is just as bad as any YEC’s wishful revision of thousands of years if human progress for their iwn self-righteous comfirt.

  • gfish3000

    Ok, just try to follow your own train of thought for a moment. Death means no further genetic contributions from an organism, right? Right. So if the organism is so poorly suited to the environment that it dies before it can reproduce and create enough fertile offspring, it’s genetic line is gone, right? Again, you seem to agree.

    What follows from this is that fertile, thriving species survive, and less fertile ones or ones that can’t compete withe the fertile, successful ones die off. Add in some genetic drift and you have classic selection which you say is impossible.

    And yes, mutations accumulated over the lifetime of an organism can be passed on, even if they are deleterious. As long as they’re not too widespread, the species can thrive. You basically accept every point of selection while ignoring basic genetics and declaring Punnet squares and selection as impossible pseudosciences.

    Even more bizarrely, you accept that mutations can be random, but you seem incapable of conceiving that even one mutations across 6 billion base pairs carrying genes that have been around for more than 3.5 billion years with redundancy in codons could be beneficial even though things like a malformed call receptor due to a genetic error can make some people highly resistant to HIV.

    Your position is paradoxical to put it mildly. You’re cherry picking randomness out of biology because you can’t deal with it. And as I said in another comment, nature could not give less of a damn what you “buy” or “don’t buy” or how it makes you feel. It’s not your therapist.

  • gfish3000

    Evolution is any change in living things. That includes populations because this reflects the genetic diversity available to a species. The less diversity, the more inbreeding, and the more susceptibility to genetic defects that will wipe it out. You basically agree with selective pressures being there but refuse to call them as such. You accept random mutations but refuse to believe that some can be beneficial and most are neutral due to the redundancy in codon chemistry. How is 8th grade science so hard for you to fully digest?

    Cancers are caused by carcinogens, an interference in the natural process.

    Really? Is this why BRCA genes that cause breast cancer are inheritable and have been around for many thousands of years? What carcinogens did ancient Egyptians have? And how do they get passed down if you just insisted that “synthetic messups” in genes can’t be passed on? What about the same problems with genes that predispose people for Alzheimer’s? Or ALS? Or ovarian cancer? Or colon cancer?

    If genetic changes were random at all, they would never be functional and all expressed changes would cause death, disfigurement and uselessness.

    So again, out of 6 billion nucleotides, one random change means death, disease, and debilitating defects? Not a single useful one could’ve arisen by chance over 3.5 billion years through trillions of generations by trial and error?

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish… one more thing. the NAS does now finally accept that evolution is adaptive, meaning organisms change according to need, not randomly. The NAS had been the most stodgy, intransigent bunch of Darwinist hard-heads, and even they now accept adaptive evolution as fact, so your claim of “99%” is as incorrect as your luck theory.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gfish, I think you need to rethink the idea that any cognitive evolution could only either be perfect and immediate or a random crap shoot with nothing in between. If bacteria immediately evolved resistance, then antibiotics would be useless. It is a race against time in use of antibiotics and the time is much longer than a creationist would have us believe and much shorter than a Neo-Darwinist would have us believe.

    The fact that the same resistance is NOT evolving in bacteria NOT exposed is telling, as is the spike in mutation rate when genetic changes are needed as well as signals given and received for beneficial horizontal gene transfer through conjugation. The evolution happens when needed and ONLY when needed.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    Ugh… Darwinists, ya gotta love ‘em.

    gf: “you have classic selection which you say is impossible.”
    I do not say selection is impossible! Given that the awkward definition of it includes both living and dying, it would be impossible for it to NOT happen! Selection is a tautology, which means it is always true, but useless. It does nothing. It can not be a cause of evolution, as it is merely a term used to discuss what happens AFTER evolution.
    Do you realize that everything you said about selection happens after evolution has completed its job?
    It isn’t just that I “don’t buy” lucky chemicals guesswork. It is simply not mathematically even remotely possible. No, not even one beneficial change has ever happened randomly, presuming the result is complex. Could a house self-build by random luck? No, never. Could you get just upgraded plumbing by luck? No, never. Could you get something as simple as a misshapen doorstop? Maybe, because it is a simple construct, but you would need trillions of tries and still a lot of luck.
    I reject randomness from biology because it is never observed nor demonstrated, and yet non-random purposive formations, activities and thoughts abound ubiquitously and uniformly. The evidence against materialism is, simply put, overwhelming and undeniable.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    gf: “Evolution is any change in living things.”

    You’re getting warmer, but add the word “heritable”. Amputation is a change, but it isn’t evolution.

    gf: “That includes populations because this reflects the genetic diversity available to a species.”

    Not so much. Evolution is parent to offspring, and it would only include “populations” (as the Darwinists describe it) if the entire population gets the new trait at once. If the same trait stays for multiple generations, that is not evolution but stasis.

    gf: “The less diversity, the more inbreeding, and the more susceptibility to genetic defects that will wipe it out.”

    Again, that is death, not evolution.

    gf: “You basically agree with selective pressures being there but refuse to call them as such.”

    NO!!! There is NO pressure being exerted at all in the Darwinian paradigm. If you can’t get a beneficial trait by luck, then there is nothing about selection that can push, pull, prod or even nudge you a little in that direction. It can only accept or reject after the evolving, but it can not cause evolution.

    Selection rejecting the novel trait means death and is not helpful, and accepting the new trait adds nothing and is not helpful. My neighbor didn’t slice my tires last night, so do I owe him credit for me making it to work today? To say “not destroy” is not to say “create”.

    Selection is falsely portrayed by Darwinians as a “steering” or “push”, but it does no such thing. It is luck out or die and the death filter is perfectly ok with everything dying. Nothing about selection pushes evolution in the right direction.

    gf: “You accept random mutations but refuse to believe that some can be beneficial and most are neutral due to the redundancy in codon chemistry.”

    All damage due to mutagenic toxins or radiation is random and deleterious. Most of these are repaired, but if not, they are about as helpful to evolution as typos to a book.

    All natural genetic engineering is potentially beneficial, including the redundancy you mention. Saving your work on both a thumb drive and a hard drive is potentially beneficial, just as repeaters or genome duplication are.

    Neutral? Most mutations are unexpressed but potentially useful and thus, beneficial. The ENCODE project has already identified over 80% of the human genome as functional (or it would be if activated). This would have been impossible had randomness actually turned out to be detected anywhere. Whether there are any “neutral” mutations at all is a matter of opinion, but it would be quibbling over minor aesthetic diversity or the pros and cons of various traits.
    Even counting these types of mutations as neutral, nearly all genetic changes are either neutral or beneficial. Failure is exceedingly rare, has a cause and is almost always repaired anyway. Try that success rate by randomly tapping keys all over your next message.

  • IntelligentAnimation

    Darwinians live in somewhat of an opposite world. Death causes life. Random mess is a brilliant explanation for complex functional order. Stasis means change. Results cause themselves. Life shows no evidence of intelligence.

    So I suppose we should excuse them for reversing the body’s attempts to fight disease with genetics actually CAUSING disease.

    gf: “Is this why BRCA genes that cause breast cancer”

    Stop right there. BRCA genes do NOT CAUSE cancer. On the contrary, they PREVENT cancer. They are among many “caretaker genes” and other regulatory genes that help us fight cancer. It is when mutagenic chemicals or radiation damage the BRCA genes that the breast cancer goes unchecked.

    gf: “What carcinogens did ancient Egyptians have?”

    Too much UV sunlight can disrupt natural genetic engineering, and although there were far fewer carcinogens in that era, they certainly existed.

    gf: “And how do they get passed down if you just insisted that ‘synthetic messups’ in genes can’t be passed on?”

    Cancer is not inherited to a next generation. Cancer prevention genes are passed on, though.

    gf: “What about the same problems with genes that predispose people for Alzheimer’s?”

    Likewise, what are often considered to be “predisposal to disease” genes are actually the genetic inability to fight the disease. The genes aren’t the problem. They are the heroes, but not always there when we need them. We evolve to fight off pathogens, but we don’t always win the fight, as it is a matter of time and exposure to the disease. We evolve fast, but not always fast enough.

    gf: “So again, out of 6 billion nucleotides, one random change means death, disease, and debilitating defects?”

    If there were only one change and we started with the genome we have today, then extreme luck could theoretically cause a reversion mutation, but this concept fails for many reasons.

    The reversion would have to be either a frameshift or a master gene, either way involving previously inactive sequences. These pre-existing, but unexpressed sequences would need to have formed by luck and stay intact despite supposedly random changes.

    Its like typing in a lot of data on your computer and then someone accidentally bumps the key and enters all of the information at once. The one inadvertent bump isn’t really the cause of the functional upgrade, just the last step. One step luck can happen, but it can’t be the whole story. And the whole story can’t happen by random accident.

    gf: “Not a single useful one could’ve arisen by chance over 3.5 billion years through trillions of generations by trial and error?”

    Absolutely not and this has been demonstrated by the world’s best mathematicians. Even the rosiest calculations of the simplest functional protein by chance is something like 1 out of 10 to the 45000 power and we only have 1 out of 10 to the 90th particles in the universe. There is no hope. The chemicals needed are too complex. Its why we never get such complex chemicals such as DNA in non-biotic nature and we can’t get functional DNA in a lab.

    And we need trillions x trillions x trillions of successful lottery wins. And ongoing luck before our very eyes, but ONLY when we need the luck somehow..

    Face it, we can’t even get ANY replication on any cell without teleological movements. When we do manage to get synthetic RNA in a lab, it doesn’t work. It just sits there lifeless.

    There is no hope whatsoever for materialist religions.

  • gfish3000

    Where do you get this nonsense? Where can one find a press release on the subject? Their page on evolution begins with a salute to Darwin and uses the words “evolution by natural selection.” You’re either lying or talking out of your rear end as you have been this entire thread.

  • gfish3000

    The evolution happens when needed and ONLY when needed.

    This. Makes. No. Sense. At. All.

    Yes, obviously bacteria reacted to a selective pressure but you haven’t proven that their resistance wasn’t selective pressure acting on random mutations. Remember that some bacteria being constantly exposed to certain antibiotics never evolved resistance as well and in the process, countless colonies try to evolve resistance and die off.

    I’m really not sure what you’re arguing at this point and I don’t think you do either. Your grasp of basic genetics is virtually non-existent and you keep making claims that are simply false. You’ve argued for the existence of selective pressures and its role in changing genomes (which you insist it doesn’t do) in one breath, then vehemently deny your own claims through tortured semantic tricks.

    On top of that you’re doing this obnoxious, bizarre Gish gallop in which you make more and more and more branching comments in which you spew your struggle with both biology and the English language. First it was two, then three, now we’re up to five. Well no thank you, I’m done. I’m not your remedial biology teacher and I’m not obliged to tolerate your inability to keep your thoughts coherent.

    When you figure out how to discuss a scientific topic with citations rather than the kind of logical limbo that would make lawyers take notice and then take notes, and how not to Gish gallop by thread metastasis, maybe we can talk. But for now I’m cleaning up your nonsense and putting you in time out. You have been humored long enough.