“Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinism theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories and consequently orient their research in a given direction, whether it be in the field of ecology, ethology, sociology, demography (dynamics of populations), genetics (so-called evolutionary genetics), or paleontology. This intrusion of theories has unfortunate results: it deprives observations and experiments of their objectivity, makes them biased, and, moreover, creates false problems.” ~ P. P. Grasse
I posted a response to the above video on YouTube and have a bit of engagement going on. The first conversation was with a layman. The second is with a person who says he is a degreed biologist. He has a Google account, Prototype Atheist. I have yet to see a degree (what level of a degree) Prototype Atheist has, but, I have engaged with doctoral holding professors of biology in the past. (And may I say, there are similarities to how these two wish to co-opt language.) So, below will be the “evolving” engagement from this post. Enjoy real conversation:
Here is my original post regarding the video:
@Bill Walton “I believe in science” = Dumb. As if science has anything to do with history. These scientists believe in science AND ARE young earth creationists… showing that origin science (historical sciences) has no bearing on working science (the nuclear weight of something or the chemical make-up of another):
▼ Professor Dr Bernard Brandstater—pioneer in anesthetics. Amongst many other achievements, he pioneered assisted breathing for premature babies with prolonged incubation and developed an improved catheter for epidural anesthesia, both adopted around the world. ▼ Prof. Stuart Burgess—a world expert in biomimetics (imitating design in nature). He is Professor of Engineering Design, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (UK) and leads the Design Engineering Research Group at the university. Dr Burgess is the author of over 40 papers published in science journals, and another 50 conference proceedings. He has also registered 7 patents and has received various awards, the Wessex Institute Scientific Medal being the most recent. ▼ Professor Dr Ben Carson—pioneer pediatric neurosurgeon. He was long-term director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. He was the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head and also pioneered surgery to cure epilepsy in young children, and much else. He has been awarded 51 honorary doctorates, including from Yale and Columbia universities in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He is a member of the Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans, and sits on numerous business and education boards. In 2001, CNN and Time magazine named Ben Carson as one of the nation’s 20 foremost physicians and scientists. In that same year, the Library of Congress selected him as one of 89 ‘Living Legends’. In February 2008, President Bush awarded Carson the Ford’s Theater Lincoln Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the USA’s highest civilian honors. ▼ Dr Raymond Damadian—largely responsible for developing medical imaging using magnetic resonance (MRI). He has been honored with the United States’ National Medal of Technology, the Lincoln-Edison Medal, and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame alongside Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright brothers. In 2001 the Lemelson-MIT program bestowed its lifetime achievement award on Dr Damadian as “the man who invented the MRI scanner”. It is commonly recognized that he was discriminated against in not at least sharing a Nobel Prize for his work (two others shared the award), although Damadian was the discoverer that diseased tissue would have a different signal from healthy.’ ▼ Dr John Hartnett—developed the world’s most precise atomic clocks, which are used in research and industry around the globe. He is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, where he is an Associate Professor. In his relatively short career, he has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. ▼ Dr Raymond Jones—solved the major problem of the indigestibility of Leucaena (a tropical legume) for grazing cattle in Australia, among other achievements. This research has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian beef industry. He was honored with the CSIRO Gold Medal for Research Excellence, and the Urrbrae Award. ▼ Dr Felix Konotey-Ahulu—many pioneering contributions, especially in sickle cell disease management. He is Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, and Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor in Sickle Cell and Other Haemoglobinopathies, Phoenix Hospital Group, London, UK. Ironically, sickle cell disease is often incorrectly held up as a ‘proof of evolution’ in science textbooks. Dr Konotey-Ahulu has received many awards in recognition of his work. ▼ Dr John Sanford—has been granted over 30 patents arising from his research in plant breeding and genetics. His most significant scientific contributions involve three inventions, the biolistic (`gene gun’) process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization. A large fraction of the transgenic crops (in terms of both numbers and area planted) grown in the world today were genetically engineered using the gene gun technology developed by John and his collaborators. Dr Sanford was honoured with the Distinguished Inventor Award by the Central New York Patent Law Association in 1990 and 1995) ▼ Dr Wally (Siang Hwa) Tow—groundbreaking research in ‘molar pregnancy’, a poverty-related disease. He was invited to lecture in some fourteen top Obstetrics-Gynaecology departments in America in 1962-3, including leading universities such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, New York, UCLA, Cornell, and Stanford. He was awarded the William Blair Bell Lectureship by the RCOG in recognition of the importance of this work. He served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University of Singapore.
Here is the response TO ME by RoflMcCopter:
@PapaGiorgioSo a handful of people (several in completely unrelated fields) believe fantasy over reality. Look up appeal to authority.
(You will note the “strong armed patriotic guy” will always stand for me) I respond:
@RoflMcCopter I am not concluding creation to be true because scientists believe in it. You miss the point, and I do not need to go to my home library to get a definition from my many philosophy dictionaries, philosophy textbooks, or books on logic. I will again post the above:
▼ “As if science has anything to do with history. These scientists believe in science AND ARE young earth creationists… showing that origin science (historical sciences) has no bearing on working science (the nuclear weight of something or the chemical make-up of another).”
Another example. Wernher von Braun, he is the guy who is most credited in getting us to the moon. He worked side-by-side with people at NASA who were ardent evolutionists. Both he and they could operate at high levels of science that is applicable to the real world. Evolution is not this. That is, it is not “science” but historical science. With historical science there are lots of presuppositions, guesses, interpretation, and the like. Most of which are based on a starting premise. I will give an example of one such starting (metaphysical) starting point:
▼ “…because we have a priori commitment, a commitment — a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” ~ Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin.
This is not a scientific starting point. It is a metaphysical one. I will allow the past senior paleontologist at the prestigious British Museum of Natural History (which houses the world’s largest fossil collection – sixty million specimens) make a point:
▼ “For almost 20 years I thought I was working on evolution…. But there was not one thing I knew about it…. So for the last few weeks I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: ‘Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all i got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘Yes, I do know one thing -–it ought not to be taught in high school.’ … During the past few years… you have experienced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith…. Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge.” ~ Colin Patterson
@PapaGiorgioSurely. Why else would you post a list of scientists who agree with you, if not for argument from authority?
Make up what points you wish, but it feels like thou doth protest too much.
@RoflMcCopterWhy else”? I clearly explained why. Very clearly.
You see, when Bill Walton said he believes in “science,” so do all the Nobel winning scientists and current stack of thousands of young earth professors and research scientists and medical doctors; as well as the thousands of ID’ers (professors and scientists and medical doctors). They ALL believe in science. Darwinism is not science.
Come up with all the points y o u wish, wrong points at that: saying I am appealing to authority when in fact I am not. My appeal shows Walton’s category mistake between working and origin science. He may believe in both, science proper, and Darwinism. But he would still be driving a car and shaving with an electric razor if we — as a world/country — believed in any of the following:
a) Punctuationist b) Macromutationist c) Neutral Selectionist d) Structuralist e) Natural Order Systematics f) Transformed Cladist g) Panspermia h) Discontinuitist i) Special Creation j) Theistic Evolutionism k) Design Theorist l) Darwinism m) Neo-Darwinism
Science works independent of the above metaphysical positions.
This is where Prototype Atheist hops into the conversation. The “A” with the swirl is kinda the universal [one of them] symbol for atheism:
@PapaGiorgioNo, this attempt to separate science into “observational” and “historical” is 100% bullshit creationist propaganda. There is no such differentiation. Or are you attempting to tell me that we should never convict murderers based upon the physical evidence, only if a witness was there and observed what occurred?
First of all, we can and do observe evolution all the time. Every day. Evolution is simply the change in allele frequencies in a population over time. What you call “macroevolution” is just the result of this process over longer periods of time, and the evidence from the fossil record and phylogenetics and molecular biology and many other fields confirm this. Asking us to observe “macroevolution” is like me telling you boil an egg in a nanosecond, and then when you can’t, telling you that it’s impossible to boil an egg. The process requires time. Period.
The fact that scientists can be religious is wholly irrelevant. I was still a Christian even after having earned an advanced degree in molecular biology and having studied evolution extensively. I simply never bothered to reconcile my beliefs with my knowledge. It’s very easy to compartmentalize or fail to scrutinize your beliefs, especially if they are comforting or have been with you since a young age. You just have to be honest with yourself. Besides, knowing how to put a rocket into space has little bearing on understanding why the god of the Bible doesn’t exist. However, understanding the cosmological timeline, evolution, genetics, etc. will definitely bring any Christian to the point of cognitive dissonance.
@PrototypeAtheist(Just to note… my original point stands, because, science is about the observable and repeatable… you just said [as Dawkins does], macro evolution is not observable in our lifetime. So by definition then, it is interpretive.)
No. Allele change is not macro-evolution. All creationists, intelligent design theorists, and the like believe in micro change. We are not talking about change in eye color, long, short, or medium hair in dogs, etc. We are talking about an odorless and colorless gas ending up with a B.O. ridden South East Asian man coming home from an engineering job.
In fact, Dr. Melendy proffered evidence of macro evolution early in a conversation. It ended up being a fish bred to be smaller in size (PART 1 of our discussion; PART 2). Dr. Melendy, like yourself, are making semantic errors. For the purposes of the above and below discussion, “evolution” is defined as the “General Theory of Evolution” (GTE): “the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.”
Maybe this mock conversation will help:
▼ Creationist: Before we get started, we’ve got to clear up some terms. Words can be used a lot of different ways. ▼ Evolutionist: That’s what we have dictionaries for. ▼ Creationist: This is a little trickier than that. like, how would you define the word “adult?” ▼ Evolutionist: Mature. Responsible. Grown up. Why? ▼ Creationist: So, when you (as a mature, responsible grown-up) want something to read, do you shop at an adult bookstore?… I don’t think so. We have the same problem here. “Evolution” and “creationism” are both wagon words. “ ▼ Evolutionist: Wagon words? ▼ Creationist: Yeah, you know, loaded with other stuff that comes along when you pull the handle [of a wagon]. ▼ Evolutionist: How do you mean? ▼ Creationist: Well, take “evolution.” Some people talk as though all it means is “change over time.” If that were all it meant, I’d buy it. ▼ Evolutionist: You mean I win already? ▼ Creationist: No, of course not. All I’m saying is that nobody in their right mind questions that some animals have changed some through the course of their existence on earth. What I find, though, is that when I grab the [wagon] handle, all sorts of other things come along with it. Things like a belief that an unguided, purposeless process can cause the accumulation of minor changes and cascade them into major complex innovations. ▼ Evolutionist: What about “creationism?” ▼ Creationist: Well, I prefer to be called a design theorist. My major point is that some things in the natural world are so complex that it seems more likely that they were designed rather than arose by chance. Unfortunately, when I pull this handle… you find that you’re also stuck with defending a geologically young earth… and the idea that everything we see on earth was created in six calendar days. ▼ Evolutionist: So you’re saying that the terms are too broad? ▼ Creationist: Yeah. I’ve seen people use “evolution” to refer to something as simple as minor changes in bird beaks. I’ve also seen people use the term to mean the sponatanious appearance of life… its unguided creation of major innovations (like the birds themselves)… and its purposeless progression into incredible complexity (like the human brain). ▼ Evolutionist: And I’ve seen people use the term “creationism” for everything from a strict literal reading of Genesis… all the way to the idea that God started the ball rolling and then let nature take its course. Yeah, I guess you’re right – the terms are too broad. ▼ Creationist: May I suggest that we use these terms so that we don’t end up pulling more than we want?
Creation or Creation-science: The belief that the earth is no more than 10,0000 years old, and that all biological life forms were created in six calendar days and have remained relatively stable throughout their existence.
Intelligent Design or Design Theory: The belief that the earth and biological life owe their existence to a purposeful, intelligent creation.
Darwinism: The belief that undirected mechanistic processes (primarily random mutation and natural selection) can account for all the diverse and complex living organisms that exist. Insists that there is no long range plan or purpose in the history of life (i.e., that changes happen without intent).
Micro-evolution: Refers to minor variations that occur in populations over time. Examples include variation in moth population and finch beaks, and the emergence of different breeds of dogs.
Macro-evolution: Refers to the emergence of major innovations or the unguided development of new structures (like wings), new organs (like lungs), and body plans (like the origin of insects and birds). Includes changes above the species level, especially new phyla or classes. [species and classes are a hot – debatable – topic.]
Common Descent: The theory that all currently living organisms are descended from a common [or a few common] ancestor[s].
And, as already note:
General Theory of Evolution (GTE): “the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.”([icon name=”bookmark-o” class=””] See Below)
Even with Theodosius Dobzhansky increasing mutation rates in fruit flies by 15,000-percent. All he got were inferior fruit flies. Ernst Mayr described one such experiment which set out to increase the number of bristles in one group, but with both groups starting from the same stock with an average of 36 bristles. By selecting for lower-than-normal number of bristles over thirty generations, the experimenters were able to reduce the average carried by the offspring to 25 bristles. After thirty generations, however, the line became sterile and died out. The second group was selected for higher than average number of bristles and over twenty generations the average rose from 36 to 56. Again, however, sterility became so common that the experiment was wound up.
▼ “Obviously,” says Mayr, “any drastic improvement under selection must seriously deplete the store of genetic variability.”. “The most frequent correlated response of one-sided selection is a drop in general fitness. This plagues virtually every breeding experiment.”
This limit to the amount of genetic variability in species, Mayr termed “genetic homeostasis.” So stop the semantics. I am talking about the BIG theory… the “life coming from cooling rocks” scenario.
Here is the definition I used for the GTC above. I will dig out Kerkut’s book when I have the time to put into context HIS definition [here is Kerkut’s quote if you wish]:
[icon name=”bookmark-o” class=””]A. Kerkut emphasizes that all seven basic assumptions on which evolutionary theory rests are “by their nature… not capable of experimental verification” (Implications of Evolution, p. 7). The assumption that “nonliving things gave rise to living material… is still just an assumption” (ibid., p. 150).  The assumption that “biogenesis occurred only once… is a matter of belief rather than proof” (op. cit.). The assumption that “Viruses, Bacteria, Protozoa and the higher animals were all interrelated” biologically as an evolutionary phenomenon lacks definite evidence (ibid., p. 151). The assumption that “the Protozoa gave rise to the Metazoa” has no basis in definite knowledge (ibid., pp. 151 ff.). The assumption that “the various invertebrate phyla are interrelated” depends on “tenuous and circumstantial” evidence and not on evidence that allows “a verdict of definite relationships” (ibid., pp. 152 f.). The assumption that “the invertebrates gave rise to the vertebrates” turns on evidence gained by prior belief (ibid., p. 153). Although he finds “somewhat stronger ground” for assuming that “fish, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals are interrelated,”  Kerkut concedes that many key fossil transitions are “not well documented and we have as yet to obtain a satisfactory objective method of dating the fossils” (ibid., p. 153). “In effect, much of the evolution of the major groups of animals has to be taken on trust” (ibid., p. 154); “there are many discrete groups of animals and… we do not know how they have evolved nor how they are interrelated” (ibid., p. vii). In short, the theory that “all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form,” says Kerkut, has insufficiently strong evidential supports “to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis”(ibid., p. 157). He thinks “premature and not satisfactorily supported by present-day evidence,” therefore, “the attempt to explain all living forms in terms of an evolution from aunique source,” that is, from a common ancestor (ibid., pp. vii f.)
It is therefore understandable why commentators speak more and more of a crisis of evolutionary theory. Establishment science’s long regnant view that gradual development accounts for the solar system, earth, life and all else is in serious dispute. Not in many decades has so much doubt emerged among scientists about the so-called irrefutable evidence that evolution is what accounts for life on planet earth. Although it was still taught long thereafter in high schools, Ernst Haeckel’s “biogenetic law” that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” had collapsed already in the late 1920s. The absence in recent texts of evolutionary charts depicting the common descent even of trees from a single form is noteworthy. Darwin’s insistence that nature makes no leaps, and that natural selection and chance adequately account for change in species, has lost credibility. Paleontologists and biologists are at odds over the significance of the fossil record, while gradualists and episodists disagree over the supposed tempo of evolution or whether the origin of species is consistent with microevolution or only with sudden gaps in the forms of life.
Gould, for example, opts for natural selection and, remarkably, combines it with saltation. He grants that “the fossil record does not support” the belief “in slow evolutionary change preached by most paleontologists” (and projected by Darwin); instead, “mass extinction and abrupt origination reign.. . . Gradualism is not exclusively valid (in fact, I regard it as rather rare). Natural selection contains no statement about rates. It can encompass rapid (geologically instantaneous) change by speciation in small populations as well as the conventional and immeasurably slow transformation of entire lineages” (Ever Since Darwin, p. 271). Natural selection here becomes an elastic phrase that can accommodate to everything while requiring no significant empirical attestation.
University of Glasgow scientists Chris Darnbrough, John Goddard and William S. Stevely indicate problem areas that beset evolutionary theory: “The experiments demonstrating the formation of a variety of organic molecules from presumptive prebiotic soups,” they write, “fall far short of providing a pathway for chemical evolution. Again, it is self-evident that the fossil record leaves much to be desired and few biologists recognize the dependence of the geological column on radiometric dating methods based on questionable assumptions about initial conditions. The whole history of evolutionary thought is littered with the debris of dubious assumptions and misinterpretations, especially in the area of fossil ‘hominids.’ To come up to date, protein and DNA sequence data, generally viewed as consistent with an evolutionary explanation of diversity, are invariably interpreted using methods which presuppose, but do not demonstrate evolutionary relationships, and which use criteria that are essentially functional and teleological. Finally, there is a collection of isolated fragmentary pieces of evidence which are usually dismissed as anecdotal because they are irreconcilable with the evolutionary model” (“American Creation” [correspondence], by Chris Darnbrough, John Goddard and William S. Stevely, Nature, pp. 95 f.).
From ongoing conflicts and readjustments it is apparent that there never was nor is there now only one theory of evolution. Many nontheistic scholars, to be sure, insist that evolution is and has always been “a fact.” Laurie R. Godfrey affirms that “there is actually widespread agreement in scientific circles that the evidence overwhelmingly supports evolutionism” and quotes Gould as saying that “none of the current controversy within evolutionary theory should give any comfort, not the slightest iota, to any creationists” (“The Flood of Antievolution,” pp. 5-10, p. 10). If, as Godfrey insists, even the most sweeping revisions and reversals of scientific theory ought to be viewed not as weaknesses in evolutionary claims but rather as reflections of ongoing differences that inhere in “doing science—posing, testing and debating alternative explanations,” then the emphasis is proper only if Godfrey refuses to attach finality and a universal validity-claim to anticreationist evolutionary theses.
The history of evolutionary theory is far from complete and its present status ambiguous. Hampton L. Carson notes the difficulty of integrating the dual lines of study pursued by biological evolutionists when on the one hand they project the course of evolution that is held to produce contemporary organisms, and when on the other they analyze supposed evolutionary causation. Carson notes, moreover, that presentation of new approaches even to student audiences now requires an understanding of sophisticated computer techniques and an awareness of complex and sometimes esoteric theory; he ventures the bold observation that “new mutations and recombinations” of evolutionary theory will themselves “be subject to natural selection” (“Introduction to a Pivotal Subject” [review of Evolution by Theodosius Dobzhansky and others, and of Organismic Evolution by Verne Grant], pp. 1272 f.).
Yet most secular evolutionists continue to assume that evolution is a complex fact and therefore debate only its mechanism. Appealing to consensus rather than to demonstrative data, G. G. Simpson states that “no evolutionist since [Darwin has] seriously questioned that man did originate by evolution”; he insists, moreover, that “the problem [the origin of life] can be attacked scientifically” (“The World into Which Darwin Led Us.” pp. 966-974). Simpson’s advance confidence in naturalistic explanation exudes a strong bias against theistic premises.
But Thomas S. Kuhn considers the physical sciences to be grounded less on empirical facts that on academically defined assumptions about the nature of the universe, assumptions that are unprovable, questionable and reversible (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions). His approach differs somewhat from Michael Polanyi’s assault on the objectivity of human knowledge (Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy), a view that Christian theism disputes on its own ground. Yet both Kuhn’s emphasis and Polanyi’s tend to put a question mark after absolutist evolutionary claims.
Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority, Vol VI: God Who Stands and Stays (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1983), 182-184.
This descent with modification might involve only a slight change in the proportion of different alleles (that is, different forms of a gene), or it might involve substantial changes in the genome that eventually cause the divergences that form the phylogenetic tree of life.
Robert T. Pennock, Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationists (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999), 98. (emphasis added)
Evolution by natural selection and the various other mechanisms mentioned above may lead, over time, to slight changes or very large changes in the descendants of the original organisms. Biologists sometimes divide evolution into two processes: micro-evolution, or change in gene frequency within a population, which may lead to the formation of new species; and macroevolution, which involves evolutionary change above the species level…
Tim M. Berra, Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolutionary Debate (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990), 11-12. (emphasis added)
I just wish to note that American Heritage Science Dictionary defines macroevolution as “evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.“ Philip Kitcher notes evolutionary bilogist’s, Stephen J. Gould, rejection of micromutational changes stacking up to equal a macro-change. (Side-note: knowing Dr. Gould’s worldview (Marxism), one can attribute a Hegelian dialectic involved in his metaphysical view of origins. Thus, this is another hint at how assumptions interpret the evidence.):
Some biologists, notably Gould, think that the further arguments can be given and that gradualists are wrong about both the tempo and the mode of evolution. Gould denies that the well-understood cases of allelic replacement in fruit flies or peppered moths provide a basis for extrapolation. He maintains that large-scale morphological shifts [macromutation/macroevolution] need not result from a succession of genetic changes, each producing a small phenotypic effect.
Philip Kitcher, Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982), 148.
To better define Dr. Gould’s and other views on this gradual versus large leaps in evolution that lead to new taxonomic groups, here is the Oxford Dictionary of Biology’s definition of punctuated equilibrium:
A theory proposing that plant and animal species usually arise very quickly in terms of geological time (in less than 100 000 years) and seldom through a process of gradual change. It thus questions the traditional Darwinian theory of evolution, citing as evidence the discontinuities observed in the fossil records of certain animal groups (e.g. the ammonites).
For extended quotes, click books.
This is an issue, macro versus micro, species versus genus or order, and the like… are mixed up by some of the smartest people. For instance, Michael Shermer in his Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design, he notes as an example of macroevolutoin an inter-species adaptation that was already innate in the E. Coli baterium already (pp. 75-76). In fact, the founding scientist of this program at the University of Michigan grew so frustrated with the idea that he was getting nowhere, he turned to a computer simulation to get his desired data:
According to biology professor Dr Scott Minnich, the evolutionist researcher Dr Richard Lenski bred bacteria for more than 20,000 generations with all sorts of selective environments in the hope of getting a spontaneous increase in complexity—i.e. real evolution in the lab. He showed that they adapted to their environment, but the experiment failed to demonstrate the emergence of true novelty or spontaneous complexity. The bacteria were not only still bacteria, they were the same types of bacteria. So, says Minnich, he decided to work on digital organisms instead—computer simulations, which gave him the result he wanted in 15,000 generations. The lesson is clear: the real world of biology is very different from the carefully set up and manipulated world of electronic on-screen simulations. (Blast from the Past)
Similarly, in my discussion with Dr. Melendy, he as well mixes up this distinction. Early in the discussion Dr. Melendy says macroevolution is observable in the laboratory. I ask multiple times to give me an example: “@TomMelendy, I missed the observation MACRO evolutionary proof. Please explain what this observation has been. Is there a peer reviewed article you can refer me to.” Here is the portion that triggered my interest in this strain (I will emphasize what caught my eye):
Tom Melendy Gravity is called a law and can be and has been observed. Macro-Evolution has never been observed…
Dr. Melendy responds, and I will emphasize the point that concerned me:
Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for. And Jim, I NEVER said that belief in evolution in inconsistent with a belief in God. I am merely saying that the case for evolution is overwhelming and cannot be denied by any rational person who bothers to examine the evidence. Belief in God is based on faith, not evidence; and it would be entirely appropriate to believe that evolution, like the other laws of the universe, are merely the hands of God shaping the world we live in. As for referring to evolution as “intelligent design”, I would have to agree – there can be no more intelligent a design program than the evolution that created the amazing diversity of life on this planet including mankind himself.
After pressing the point, I prodded him some more…
@Dr.Melendy, you said:
1) Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.
2) I pointed out how a macroevolutionary experiment cannot be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur.
Miniaturizing a fish is not macro-evolution!? You have a Ph.D. alright — in obfuscating terms.
★ American Heritage Science Dictionary: “Evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.” ★ From an old 1962 textbook (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, … probably when you were going through school?) Evolution and Genetics: “The Modern Theory of Evolution:Quantum evolution, also known as mega- and macroevolution, is the term applied to the rapid shift of a population to a new equilibrium distinctly unlike the ancestral condition, thus leading to the origin of higher taxonomic categories such as new orders and classes.” ★ What Is Evolution, Ernst Mayr: “Evolution above the species level; the evolution of higher taxa and the production of evolutionary novelties, such as new structures.”
Species is the key… you seem to be conflating it a bit.
So are you positing that this “smaller fish,” which in one breath you say is evidence of “Quantum evolution” a new taxonomy? Or is it [Quantum evolution] not able to be done in the laboratory because of the time frame required for cytogenetic changes to occur is not long enough in human terms?
So, Macroevolution is not observable, correct?
re-read!!! – I never said “macro” evolution could be observed. I was referring to the microevolutionary changes…
I didn’t take kind to this obfuscation of the conversation. I continued:
Let us get into the nitty-gritty later, I want to define terms first.
SPECIES and MACROEVOLUTION:
Species is not well defined. Example: Canis Domesticus (say, a, German Shepherd) and Canis Lupus (wolf) are classified as two separate species. But they can interbreed (i.e. a Wolf and a German Shepherd). But a Chihuahua and a Great Dane cannot breed, but they are both Canis Domesticus (the same species). The arctic hair cannot breed with the Florida hair, but both breed with the Dakota hair. Evolutionists recognize certain bowerbirds as distinct species even though they often interbreed.
Or consider the case of two different kinds of squirrels separated by the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab squirrel inhabits the north side of the canyon, while the Abert squirrel inhabits the south side. It seems evident the two descended from one original population. Rarely, however, can squirrels from both populations come together, and thus there is no interbreeding between them. And, for some time biologists have disagreed as to whether the squirrels had reached the level of two separate species.
Look, you could go to Galapagos Islands and get a pair of finches and bring them back to a laboratory and just let them have sex. After a few generations you will have small beaked, medium beaked, large beaked finches. The information is already in there genome, nothing new was created, specificity was lost if anything. Now if you simulate a drought, like on Galapagos, so that the seeds become hard and more beak strength is needed to open them, then of course the larger beaked finch will survive. A creationist came up with the survival of the fittest twenty-four years prior to Darwin. After all the other “parent” finches die off, you are left with only large beaked finches in the laboratory. This is not evolution; no new information was gained in the process. There are limits to its change, strep-throat may change into a flesh eating virus, but it loss specificity to get to that point or already had the information in its genome. It’s still strep-throat.
That finch didn’t turn into a dinosaur; that dog didn’t turn into a cat; that ape didn’t turn into a man, etc.. The genetic barriers wont and don’t allow it. You can post all the sites in the world, but you will never be able to find one proof of macroevolution in the fossil record or in the living world. All we have ever seen is what evolutionists’ call “subspeciation” (variation within a type), never “transpeciation” (change from one type to others). The primrose is a prime example of my point. The alleged new species of primrose that de Vries thought he had “discovered” were not new species at all but rather mere variations of the same species.
This “sport” (a certain primrose that de Vries created), with it’s doubled chromosome [no new information was added, it merely doubled the information that was already there], is still a primrose. Stickleback fish may diversify into fresh-water dwellers and salt–water dwellers, but both remain sticklebacks. One fruit fly may breed on apple trees and another on hawthorn trees, but both remain fruit flies. Speciation is a means of creating diversity within types of living things, but macroevolution is much more than diversity.
Macroevolution requires an increase of the gene pool, the addition of new genetic information, whereas the means to speciation discussed above represent the loss of genetic information (how so?). Both physical and ecological isolation produce varieties by cutting a small population off from its parent population and building a new group from the more limited genetic information contained in the small population. A large population carries genetic reserve, a wealth of concealed recessive genes. In a small group cut off from the parent population, some of these recessive traits may be expressed more often. This makes for interesting diversity, but it should not blind us to the fact that the total genetic variability in the small group is reduced!.
The appearance of reproductively isolated populations represents microevolution, not macro-evolution. Vertical change – to a new level of complexity – requires the input of additional genetic information. Can that information – the ensembles of new genes to make wrens, rabbits, and Hawthorne trees be gleaned from random mutations?
Thus far, there appears to be good evidence that the roles mutations are able to play are severely restricted by and within the existing higher-level blueprint of the organism’s whole genome.
To go from one-celled organisms to a human being means that information must be added to the genetic messages at each step of the way. Mechanisms for the loss of genetic information cannot be used as support for a theory requiring vast increases of genetic information.
Speciation is actually akin to what breeders do. They isolate a small group of plants or animals and force them to interbreed, cutting them off from the larger gene pool to which they belong. A century of breeding testifies to the fact that this produces limited change only. It does produce the open-ended change required by Darwinian evolution. Some think, as do I, that the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred because they didn’t have the genetic diversity to adapt to environmental changes.
Percival Davis & Dean H. Kenyon, with Charles B. Thaxton as Academic Editor, Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins, 2nd Edition (Dallas, TX: Haughton Publishing Co., 1993), 19-20.
After disagreeing with my point, he mentioned that, “Macroevolution does NOT require an “increase in the gene pool” – the gene pool of the horse and donkey are virtually identical, yet they are separate species (yet closely related enough to produce sterile offspring). The reason they are different species is due to the cytogenetic changes (note that does NOT involve additional genetic material or a greater gene pool).”
To which I again respond:
You are telling me that a donkey and a horse are a donkey ARE proof of macroevolution? You are telling me as well that Cats (Felidae) are a diverse group of carnivores that includes domestic cats, lions, tigers, ocelots, jaguars, caracals, leopards, mountain lions, lynx and many other groups of cats are not the same kind?
Let me restate that, wolves and a few other dog kind (Canidae) have all the genetic information in them that breeders are then able to change through intelligent input. So a Chihuahuas is still a Canidae, but with much less specified complexity — the bottom of the gene pool so-to-speak. [Left to its own devices with no help from man, the wolf, coyote, etc would survive, but the Chihuahuas would probably die out.]
You seem to be conflating “species” with other classification titles (http://tinyurl.com/3npkel8) [*SEE YOUR OWN STATEMENT BELOW* ~ not capitalized to yell, merely to emphasize]. I want you to be clear and concise so a high school student from L.A. Unified can understand you: “are you saying small changes in specie level adaptation (centimeter beak change in birds, or Brussels sprouts to hit a bit closer to home to your point [http://creation.com/eat-your-brussels-sprouts]) are more than that, they are evidence of macroevolution?
…. I still think this statement by you @Tom Melendy is a bit of an overreach:
Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.
Please give me the name of the fish you referenced… and through observed “quantum evolution, also known as mega- and macroevolutionary” what other Order this fish became under observation. You see Tom, we are still at one of your opening statements, which you have not clearly, eruditely, and concisely explained. So you lied to Jim? Or you were mistaken in your wording? What.
Dr. Melendy walks back his previous statements a bit, as well as FINALLY giving the fish’s name in the discussion leading up to this point (I will note by emphasis some items that caught my eye. The most egregious being the admitted “bait-and-switch” of definitions regarding “macroevolution”):
My apologies for the lack of clarity on my part. When this thread first started we were talking about common evolution in the lab. This is commonly seen with microorganisms. Someone asked what about non-microorganisms. I responded that you could see macro evolution in the lab in fish (macro just to differentiate from micro-organisms). Once you began defining your terms as micro and macro evolution as being the small changes due to variation and selection, versus the larger changes that produce different species that of course made my previous point unclear – I was referring to micro-evolution (variation and selection) being studied in a macroorganism (fish). It wasn’t an over-reach, it was a miscommunication due to us not having established an accepted nomenclature prior to that statement. Often different branches of science will utilize the same term to mean different things in different fields. As to your question of which fish – Atlantic silversides. Here’s the website showing you the surprising result that within just a handful of generations the fish size could be decreased dramatically. (Berkeley, Evolution in the Lab)
I will jump to my response to the Baccacio rockfish example, via a creationist site:
…For some years now, many fisheries management authorities around the world have instituted legal minimum size requirements for various fish species. Thus anglers must return ‘undersized’ fish to the water unharmed. Similarly, commercial fishermen use large-meshed nets to spare the smaller fish—with the aim of ensuring the long-term viability of the fishery.
However, the fish that are genetically predisposed to mature at larger sizes are the ones most likely to be caught before they can reproduce. Thus there has been a strong selection pressure favouring scrawny fish that never reach the minimum legal size. Hence the genes for late-maturing larger-sized fish have been progressively lost from many fish populations, leaving early-maturing smaller-sized ones to dominate the gene pool. (So, ironically, by catching only the biggest fish and letting the others go, humans have unintentionally selected against that which they desire most!)
Note that this is not evolution because the selection pressure—which is essentially an artificially-imposed version of ‘natural selection’—simply favours certain genes over others; it cannot generate any new genetic information. Neither such ‘artificial’ nor ‘natural’ selection can turn plaice into people; it can only operate on (i.e. cull out) genetic information that already exists.
Fisheries scientists David Conover and Stephan Munch, of the State University of New York, observed that size-specific culling of Atlantic silversides rapidly changes the genetic makeup of the population.7 After just four generations, fish populations from which the largest 90% of silversides were removed before breeding averaged just half the size of fish in populations from which the smallest 90% had been culled. In other words, removing big fish soon results in a population of little fish (and vice versa).
This is not evolution, as the genes for big or little fish were already present in the population beforehand. Note that the limits to how big or little the fish can be in the final population are determined by the amount of pre-existing genetic variety. Conover and Munch wrote: ‘Management tools that preserve natural genetic variation [i.e. pre-existing variety] are necessary for long-term sustainable yield.’ In other words, we need to leave at least some of the big fish in the water, so that their desirable genes (from a human perspective) remain in the fish population.
Despite this anti-evolutionary insight, their research paper refers to fish demonstrating ‘evolutionary effects’ and having ‘evolved rapidly’. That last claim took many of their fellow evolutionists by surprise. David Conover reported: ‘Even some fisheries’ scientists have been unwilling to accept that evolution is happening within a few fish generations.’…
I make this point in my earliest debate with a neo-Darwinist, in which I end with Theodosius Dobzhansky, one of the twentieth centuries leading Darwinists, acknowledged this:
“And yet, a majority of mutations, both those arising in laboratories and those stored in natural populations, produce deteriorations of viability, hereditary diseases, and monstrosities. Such changes, it would seem, can hardly serve as evolutionary building blocks.”
Mr. Hitchings: “On the face of it, then, the prime function of the genetic system would seem to be to resist change: to perpetuate the species in a minimally adapted form of response to altered conditions, and if at all possible to get things back to normal. The role of natural selection is usually a negative one; to destroy the few mutant individuals that threaten the stability of the species.”
Goldschmidt said: “It is true that nobody thus far has produced a new species or genus, etc., by macromutation. It is equally true that nobody has ever produced even a species by selection of micromutaions.”
Goldschmidt would have known – he bread gypsy moths for twenty years and a million generations in various environments. All he ever got was more gypsy moths. Anyone who thinks that an accumulation of mutations (information-losing processes) can lead to Macroevolution (a massive net gain of information) “is like the merchant who lost a little money on every sale but thought he could make it up on volume.” (Spetner)
So the example of the fish is something that if defined properly doesn’t support the grand changes that Darwinism implies. Nor, if properly defined, no creationist finds anything wrong with it… other than someone takes this loss of information and applies it to the past spuriously [stepping out of science and using a meta-narrative to state something that is unobservable] to say, “see, I am related to a banana in the tree of life.”
THAT, is, well… bananas!
What you have here is similar to what Leftist do in politics, what anthropogenic global warming advocates do, as well as evolutionists. That is, co-opt language and offer an alternative definition to obfuscate the issue. Just fair warning to my fellow apologists. See my post Evolutionary Illusions for an in-depth look at how terminology is being misused.
…continuing with my aside.
@TomMelendyI still think you were passing false information on in this regard to Jim:
Jim, Macro evolution has been observed in the laboratory under controlled conditions – within just a few generations you can “breed” fish to be miniature fish, which reproduce and “grow” up while never getting bigger than the size they were bred for.
As well as continuing to do so with me:
Macroevolution does NOT require an “increase in the gene pool” – the gene pool of the horse and donkey are virtually identical, yet they are separate species (yet closely related enough to produce sterile offspring). The reason they are different species is due to the cytogenetic changes (note that does NOT involve additional genetic material or a greater gene pool).
You should know what the other side believes before asking a question, its 101, you asked: “If God created all the SPECIES currently on the Earth either 6000 years ago, or through intelligent design, why is there so much evidence that supports Evolution?” He didn’t, God created the “Kinds,” which is more like Order (Felidae, Canidae, etc). You have a doctorate, right? Do you get it yet? Order… species… different.
In every Oxford dictionary and companion book to biology, physics, and the like, textbooks (I have many university level texts)… macroevolution has the same definition. I think you telling people on this site that special change is evidence of macro-evolution is deplorable. But maybe you thought no one would catch this because you were degreed. You did back away from this though… in many more words though than just saying “I was wrong.” I even had to throw in an elementary picture to make the point.
[I will now quote a creationists understanding of this that is more in line with the standard definitions]:
It is very important not to confuse the “created kind” with the modern use of the word species. Although animals like the fox and coyote might be considered different taxonomic species, they are still parts of the same “kind” of animal. The created kind is thought to be more often synonymous with the “Family” level of classification in the taxonomic hierarchy; at least in mammals; and occasionally it can extend as high as the order level. Here are some examples:
Felidae — Scientists from Creation Ministries International and the Institute for Creation Research have proposed that the original feline kind was comparable to the Liger and the Tigon. Canidae — Including Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, and Domestic dogs. Camelidae — Including both the Camel and the Llama, which are reproductively compatible, their hybrid offspring being known as “Camas.” Bovidae — Including Cattle, Buffalo, Bison, and Yaks. Equidae — Including Horses, Zebras, and Asses. Caprinae — Including Sheep, Goats, and Ibex. Crocodilia — Including all the varieties of Alligators, Crocodiles, and Gharials. Elephantidae — Including African and Asian elephants, Mammoths, Mastodons, and Gomphotheres.
Thus the created kind corresponds roughly to the family level of taxonomic classification, and possibly even the order, with the notable exception of humanity wherein the genus is representative. Humanity — Dr. Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer of the University of Munich concluded that H. erectus/H. ergaster, Neanderthals and H. sapiens were members of the same basic type (which corresponds to a monobaramin) genus Homo.
@PapaGiorgio I’m not making semantical arguments, that’s what creationists do to falsely equivocate evolution as a “religion” which requires “faith” to believe.
I’m a molecular biologist. I can tell you that evolution is a fact. It is undeniable if you actually understand it and have studied the evidence. I can also tell you that the god of the Bible is irreconcilable with the historical and scientific evidence, and this is coming from a Christian of 30 years who is still married to a Christian. I have no reason to lie about this. I have no reason to be an atheist other than the fact that I can’t lie to myself. You, on the other hand, have been indoctrinated with all of this propaganda and will parrot back all of the fallacious arguments as you completely ignore the evidence and arguments against your position.
Yes, “macroevolution” is allele change over a longer period of time (along with other ways that genetic information can be added, removed, altered, etc.). Are you a biologist? Have you studied this subject at all from an objective standpoint, or do you just have a cursory understanding based upon what creationists have told you? Be honest with yourself.
I try to narrow the conversation:
@PrototypeAtheistPlease, give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome.
@PapaGiorgioWhat do you mean “increase the information”? Mutations do “increase the information” because they are different configurations which can be passed on to future generations. Changes can occur to genetic sequences in a variety of ways…but I bet you’re going to try to argue that mutations are only deletions?
@PrototypeAtheist Since you did not choose one, and I asked for a specific example, I will give a few examples to try and get this [you] biologist to dive in and defend a position instead of being “vague” as you have so far. Rats have developed resistance to the poison warfain. Many hundreds of insect species and other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides used to combat them – even to chemical defenses genetically engineered into plants. The continual evolution of human pathogens has come to pose one of the most serious health problems facing human societies. Many strains of bacteria have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics as natural selection has amplified resistant strains that arose through naturally occurring genetic variation. On-and-on.
What about this example of bacteria resisting antibiotics? Actually, some bacteria possess a natural genetic capacity to resist certain antibiotics; mutations are not involved in these (*postscript in fallowing comment after this one). Mutations cause a structural defect in ribosomes – the cellular constituents that antibiotics like streptomycin attach to. Since the antibiotic doesn’t connect with the misshapen ribosome, the bacterium is resistant.
SPETNER: “We see then that the mutation reduces the specificity of the ribosome protein, and that means losing genetic information… Rather than say the bacterium gained resistance to the antibiotic, we would be more correct to say it lost its sensitivity to it. It lost information. The …[‘General Theory of Evolution’ (GTE)]… is suppose to explain how the information of life has been built up by evolution… Information cannot be built up by mutations that lose it. A business can’t make money by losing it a little at a time.”
In other cases, some mutant bacteria, because they have defective membranes, don’t absorb nutrients well. Fortuitously for them, that inefficiency also prevents their absorbing antibiotics. And so, in this instance also, they survive better than their normal cousins. But the mutation did not make them stronger or create new information, or “evolve” to a higher state. Likewise, if the world’s light suddenly disappeared, blind people might have an advantage over others, since they were already accustomed to operating in darkness. Nevertheless, we cannot then interpret blindness as positive, or representing new information or evolutionary advance.
C.P. MARTIN, writing in American Scientist, made a similar point when he compared x-rays’ effects on the body to being kicked and beaten:
▼ “It is quite possible that violent knocking about might dislocate a man’s shoulder, and that continued knocking about might actually reduce the previous dislocation… no sane person would cite such a case as this to prove that the results of knocking a man about are not injuries; nor would anyone refer to the result as evidence that knocking a man about can produce an improvement over the normal man. For a truly progressive or evolutionary-apt mutation must result in an improvement over the normal condition. The truth is that there is no clear evidence of the existence of such helpful mutations. In natural populations endless millions of small and great genic differences exist, but there is no evidence that any arose by mutation.”
Remember, if we are talking about “micro-evolution,” you should supply examples that can lead to MACRO changes. Even in “gene duplication” (pictured here: http://tinyurl.com/n9m4fwd) in every instance is a decrease in specificity: Down’s syndrome for example. Again, there is a copy of the same info… but nothing new. And this same info causes ALWAYS a detrimental (arm dislocating) event — a… loss of specificity (or a fit version/copy of itself) for survivability.
Another way to look at this is to say [assume] anthropogenic global warming predictions are true. Coupled with that a disease (or mankind) kills all the wild canines in the world. So all the exists are Chihuahuas. (I know, a stretch, but I have a point). You would never to selectively breed back to a wolf (Arctic, Red, Ethiopian, or the like). The genic information of the parent population is lost. AND, the “fitness” of this loss (specificity) is lost as well. So, if a new ice-age came upon us after the above fictitious event, and mankind did not shelter these “rodent dogs,” all canid population could feasibly disappear.
So, have I knocked your head enough for you to proffer an example and defend it?
[The promised postscript will follow]
This intro was geared at Prototype Atheist: This postscript comes from a previous debate I had — and you can see a bit of it in the above). I have written over 6,000 responses to items of politics, religion, science, history, philosophy, economics, and the like for a time-period expanding about 20-years. My home library includes many texts that are pro as well as con to all my views [well over 5,000 books and 600DVD documentary style subjects similar to the above list of topics… but much more formal debates at universities are in this DVD collection]. For my bio, you are welcome to see it here.
▼ It has been proven that resistance to many modern antibiotics was present decades before their [the antibiotics] discovery. In 1845, sailors on an ill-fated Arctic expedition were buried in the permafrost and remained deeply frozen until their bodies were exhumed in 1986. Preservation was so complete that six strains of nineteenth-century bacteria found dormant in the contents of the sailors’ intestines were able to be revived! When tested, these bacteria were found to possess resistance to several modern-day antibiotics, including penicillin. Such traits were obviously present prior to penicillin’s discovery, and thus could not be an evolutionary development. (Medical Tribune, December 29, 1988, p. 1, 23.)
In 1998, the National Academy of Sciences published and distributed a book to public schools and other institutions entitled Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D., F.M., wrote a book, Refuting Evolution, which is a topic by topic rebuttal to this Academy of Sciences publication. Under the evidence for evolution in the evolutionist text is the following quote:
▼ Similar episodes of rapid evolution are occurring in many different organisms. Rats have developed resistance to the poison warfain. Many hundreds of insect species and other agricultural pests have evolved resistance to the pesticides used to combat them – even to chemical defenses genetically engineered into plants.
(Sarfati’s reply – any words in the [boxes] are mine):
▼ However, what has this to do with the evolution of new kinds with new genetic information? Precisely nothing. What has happened in many cases is that some bacteria already had the genes for resistance to the antibiotics. In fact, some bacteria obtained by thawing sources which had been frozen before man developed antibiotics have shown to be antibiotic-resistant [6 different antibiotics in fact, penicillin in modern doses – which is way beyond the strength of natural penicillin found in nature]. When antibiotics are applied to a population of bacteria, those lacking resistance are killed, and any genetic information they carry is eliminated. The survivors carry less information [or specificity], but they are all resistant. The same principle applies to rats and insects “evolving” resistance to pesticides. Again, the resistance was already there, and creatures without resistance are eliminated.
[Much like if we killed all dogs (including Canis Domesticus and Canis Lupus) except for Chihuahuas, we would permanently lose the information of the parent population. You could then breed Chihuahuas for a millennium and not get an Irish Wolfhound]
▼ …In other cases, antibiotic resistance is the result of a mutation, but in all known cases, this mutation has destroyed information. It may seem surprising that destruction of information can sometimes help. But one example is resistance to the antibiotic penicillin. Bacteria normally produce an enzyme, penicillinase, which destroys penicillin. The amount of penicillinase is controlled by a gene. There is normally enough produced to handle any penicillin encountered in the wild, but the bacterium is overwhelmed by the amount given to patients. A mutation disabling this controlling gene results in much more penicillinase being produced.
[Thus, the bacteria found frozen in 1845 already had the mutation to overcome modern medical doses of penicillin. So the mutation wasn’t the result of the penicillin in modern doses, thus seemingly becoming resistant… it already had the resistant mutation – informational or specificity losing – in the population. In other words, no new information was added to the parent population!]
I wish to note he doesn’t respond with a) evidence, and b) with appeals to authority, as well as a response that has c) nothing to do with modern science… which is the drive of the conversation.
@PapaGiorgio You haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. You’re parroting back creationist arguments that you’re heard from some charlatan somewhere, probably a Ken Ham or Ray Comfort-type, if not those guys themselves, which is obvious by your reference to “observational” and “historical” science.
Do you really think that you know more about biology than a molecular biologist and the overwhelming consensus of biologists? Because a demonstrably false, unreliable, and contradictory tome of Bronze Age Middle Eastern mythology says otherwise?
You went to school to learn about an ancient superstition. I earned a degree which allows me to understand the evidence which makes evolution one of the most highly supported theories in all of science. It’s essential to biology. Our entire understanding of biology comes from evolution.
Your understanding of the universe comes from people trying to make up reasons behind natural phenomena they didn’t understand.
Remember, I am talking about modern science and not a mythological position from the Bronze Age. I wish to note as well that Prototype Atheist has his history woefully wrong. I will quote Building Old School Churches in regards to a response:
1) It’s Grossly Inaccurate: The vast majority of the Old Testament was written during the Iron Age (1200 BC – 500 BC) and the entire New Testament was written in the 1st Century AD and entirely postdates both the periods referred to as the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. If you want to use a snarky chronologically arrogant term to imply you are smarter than the people who preceded you merely because you were born after them, the correct term would be “Ancient Book.”
2) It’s Doesn’t Even Prove What it’s Supposed to Prove: Apart from the foolishness of asserting that people like Moses, Solomon and Aristotle were clearly idiots because they were around a long time ago and didn’t have things like Google, Microwaves, or Cup O’ Noodles, age doesn’t nullify truth or the factual nature of a record any more than the fact that something was generated recently makes it true.
For instance, “I, Rigoberta Menchu,” an autobiography that won Menchu the Nobel Prize, was written in the late 20th century, and became wildly popular and was considered by American academics to be “the gospel truth” about oppression in Central America. Subsequent investigations however revealed that Rigoberta Menchu had made up much of her life story.
In the case of the bible, if the events it records happened, the fact that they were written down a long time ago doesn’t change that factual nature of the record, and to date, every historical event the bible records that can be confirmed by archaeologyand other histories has been confirmed.
Hardly anybody ever mentions it, but two of the most well-known verses in the Old Testament have significant apologetic implications, lending support to the Bible’s supernatural origins. One of them I’m sure will be a surprise to many readers here; the other might also.
I will preview the argument before telling you which verses they are. In brief form it goes like this.
The ancient Hebrews’ conception of God and his relation to his creation was vastly different from that of others in the Ancient Near East. From a philosophical perspective it has been exceedingly successful for millennia since then: it was, in that sense, very highly advanced philosophy. Such uniquely prescient and enduringly successful thinking is not explained by any prior tradition, for there is no indication of advanced thought leading up to it either among the Hebrews or in any neighboring culture. Did it come from nowhere at all? Or did it come by revelation from God?
The ancient Hebrews were astonishingly advanced metaphysical thinkers. They produced a monotheism that stood in complete contrast to all other systems of thought at the time, that still works philosophically, and that today remains coherent within its own framework. How did these Bronze Age nomads and farmers accomplish that?
I have often heard it asked, “why should we look to ancient Bronze Age or Iron Age nomads/sheepherders/farmers for wisdom? What could they possibly say to us who have the advantage of so much more knowledge and science?” Good question. How could they have known anything at all that would stand the test of centuries of inquiry? But our two “overlooked apologetics verses” have done that. They are, as I said, very familiar:
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Exodus 3:13-14a “Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
The creation account in Genesis is astonishingly different from all other creation stories. Quoting from page 32 and following of Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Creation out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration:
Genesis is quite unlike the Mesopotamian cosmogonies [accounts of the origin of the cosmos], for instance, which are intertwined with theogonies—accounts of the origins of the gods. In them, we are not told so much about how the universe came about—the origin of the worlds is really accidental or secondary in ANE [Ancient Near East] accounts—but how the gods emerged. And in addition to the fact that these Mesopotamian cosmogonies are really concerned with the ancestors of the gods and how they got themselves organized, they do not even identify these gods as creators. So when it comes to the elements of the universe (the waters/deep, darkness), a deity either controls one or is one….
Further, Yahweh simply speaks, thereby creating; in other ANE cosmogonies, deities struggle to divide the waters. Also in Genesis 1, the astral bodies are not gods (as in ANE accounts) but are creations.…
Gerhard von Rad makes the powerful point that Israel’s worldview, as reflected in Genesis, drew a sharp demarcating line between God and the world. The material world is purged of any quality of the divine or the demonic….
In Genesis, we read of something marvelously different than in [Ugaritic cosmogony], with its gods and hostile powers (darkness, the waters/the deep): “These cosmic monsters are no longer primordial forces opposed to the Israelite God at the beginning of creation. Instead, they are creatures like other creatures rendered in this story.” Genesis 1 depicts a “divine mastery” over these forces….
In contrast to ANE myths, there are no rivals to the Creator in Genesis [chapter] 1—let alone preexistent matter…. There is no cosmic dualism or struggle at all.
There is more but I think you can see the point: the Genesis view of God and creation is starkly different from all other views of cosmic origins and of deity…
After all this, Prototype AtheistTweeted this about lil’~ol’~me:
I am flattered. To think, me, sitting in a two bedroom condo… SeanG (AKA Papa Giorgio), has such an influence as to “hold back science” as well as “humanity.” Or.. Prototype Atheist (call me when the production model is shipped) got bested in an area where he has a degree in. In his Tweet he tries to make this a moral issue by saying I am holding back humanity. Who would want to even talk with such a person that is “holding back science and humanity… it is akin to the labels thrown around in the political world: sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, bigoted (S.I.X.H.I.R.B.). Going to ad hominem attacks and mislabeling LARGE swaths of history (the Bronze Age thingy). That’s what he is really good at, that is, lashing out on via Twitter account.