According to Michael Skinner; Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck… Really now?!

Let’s just call this my random act of mischief for the day!                   😉

Michael Skinner, professor of biological science at Washington State University just came out with the following in the popular press:

Unified theory of evolution Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck

Is it indeed time to revise the theory of evolution?  Or… Is Skinner in error and invoking a common misconceived textbook caricature of Lamarck?  IMHO: Short answers = NO! & YES!

I urge any and all to read Mark Ptashne’s insights before weighing in the discussion.

Bottom Line: Nucleosome modifications may be necessary for epigenetic responses, but they are not sufficient.

To quote PZ Myers, who cuts to the chase:

We say epigenetics is really important in development and in physiological adaptation — it’s good to know more about it, and is essential for understanding the state of the organism. But evolution? Meh. Acquiring the process of semi-permanently modifying the cell state is something that was a key innovation (OK, many innovations) in EVOLUTION [emphasis mine], but it’s been overhyped as an information transfer process on evolutionary timescales…

So who got the epigenetics story right? PZ Myers & Mark Ptashne?… or Michael Skinner?…

160 thoughts on “According to Michael Skinner; Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck… Really now?!

  1. Frankie,

    Just so we are clear, Joe, I happen to think that repeating refuted claims often enough is akin to spamming the site. You can tell us you are not convinced by the evidence and arguments that support the theory of evolution. you could even try telling us why you’re not convinced. But please stop with the “there is no theory of evolution” nonsense.

  2. Alan Fox,

    No that is bullshit Allan. If you ask ten evolutionists what the theory of evolution is you get ten answers.

    It goes about like this:

    “Random mutations or genetic drift, or something or something we don’t know yet, or combinations of things we don’t know yet, but are finding and still looking, causes change. The change might be beneficial enough or at least not detrimental enough, or sometimes not detrimental enough to last longer, then something else might cause some changes (you can’t prove its impossible) then one day you have new things.”

    That’s pretty much the gist of it.

    If pointing that out is spam, then this whole site is spam Alan.

  3. Alan Fox,

    Alan, it is very telling that neither you nor anyone else can link to this alleged theory of evolution. And until you do my claim is not refuted. You can’t refute a claim by making unsupported announcements. So either ante up with the theory or admit that you might be wrong.

    BTW I have told you why I am unconvinced by the claims of evolutionism-> they cannot be tested. For example no one knows how to test the claim that ATP synthase arose via stochastic processes.

  4. phoodoo: If you ask ten evolutionists what the theory of evolution is you get ten answers.

    Well then! That amounts to ten theories, not none.

  5. Alan Fox: Well then! That amounts to ten theories, not none.

    Ideas and concepts do not amount to scientific theories. Scientific theories require testable claims. Evolutionism doesn’t have that

    Why can’t anyone find the theory of evolution? My answer is because it doesn’t exist. What do you say?

  6. Frankie: Alan, it is very telling that neither you nor anyone else can link to this alleged theory of evolution. And until you do my claim is not refuted. You can’t refute a claim by making unsupported announcements. So either ante up with the theory or admit that you might be wrong.

    Joe, Charles Darwin published the first comprehensive exposition of his theory of natural selection in 1859. That has been built on and improved, notably to incorporate genetic inheritance, the mechanism of which Darwin was unaware.

  7. Frankie: And until you do my claim is not refuted.

    But given that you are a pseudo-anonymous internet commenter who has displayed no understanding of the debate over the past decade or so and who has never done the work to make their opinion count, what does it matter that your claim is not refuted to your satisfaction?

    I’ll tell you. It matters not a whit.

  8. Alan Fox:
    Frankie,

    Find another way of saying it. Claiming the theory of evolution does not exist is nonsensical.

    Alan- link to it or admit that I am right. It is that easy- and Darwin’s wasn’t a theory in the scientific sense- no testable hypotheses.

    I can quote biologists who agree with me. How can that be?

  9. Frankie: BTW I have told you why I am unconvinced by the claims of evolutionism-> they cannot be tested. For example no one knows how to test the claim that ATP synthase arose via stochastic processes.

    So what? If you had contributed to the debate by doing some original research or some meta research and had come up with something novel that nobody had thought of before and contributed to the body of knowledge we call science then it might matter to more then just you that you are unconvinced by the claims of evolutionism.

    As it stands, my pet dog and you are both unconvinced by the claims of evolution and the consequences of that are exactly the same for both you and the dog. None whatsoever.

    Your opinion is not one that is counted Joe. It does not count now and it never has counted. So remain unconvinced, it matters not.

  10. Continuing to claim the theory of evolution exists without actually linking to it is a sign of desperation. Your alleged authority is not an argument nor does it refute my claim

  11. Frankie: I can quote biologists who agree with me. How can that be?

    You have not understood what those biologists are saying. It’s simple really.

  12. Frankie: Continuing to claim the theory of evolution exists without actually linking to it is a sign of desperation.

    Is it? Then I guess that Intelligent Design must be suicidal.

  13. Frankie: link to it or admit that I am right.

    That’s all you really want out of this Joe, and it’s terribly sad. I actually often feel sorry for you. All you want is for someone, even a random internet commenter, to say that Joe is right for once.

    poor baby. Was your recent hiatus due to a medical condition? Physical or mental? I know what my money is on….

  14. Frankie,

    The theory of evolution is not fixed from when Darwin proposed the idea of selection acting on variation to produce change. Later developments in genetics revealed the mechanism and the explosion of information resulting from genome sequencing means the theory has developed and may change again in the light of future discoveries. But the basic idea of selection acting on heritable variation has stood the test of time and evidence.

  15. Alan Fox:
    Frankie,

    The theory of evolution is not fixed from when Darwin proposed the idea of selection acting on variation to produce change. Later developments in genetics revealed the mechanism and the explosion of information resulting from genome sequencing means the theory has developed and may change again in the light of future discoveries. But the basic idea of selection acting on heritable variation has stood the test of time and evidence.

    LoL! Natural selection is passive and doesn’t act on anything. Link to the theory, Alan. Or apologize to me.

    “There is no theory of evolution”- cytologist Jerome Lejeune at the 1982 close of the meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (no one disagreed and the meeting ended)

    “There never really has been a scientific “theory” of evolution.” geneticist and former editor of a peer-review journal, Giuseppe Semonti, in “Why is a fly not a horse?”

  16. Frankie,
    Would you agree this is the theory of Intelligent Design?

    Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

    If not, can you link me to the real theory officially approved by you?

  17. Natural selection has never been observed to create functional multiprotein complexes. No one even knows how to test the claim- so what, exactly, has stood the test of time and evidence?

  18. phoodoo:
    Alan Fox,

    Right, so which one is correct?All?None?

    The essential idea that variation in individuals in a population is subject to a selective process of differential reproduction is well documented. The Lenski LTEE being one neat example of supporting evidence.

  19. Alan Fox: The essential idea that variation in individuals in a population is subject to a selective process of differential reproduction is well documented. The Lenski LTEE being one neat example of supporting evidence.

    Lenski has proven that evolution is very limited. He has all but proven the Creationist concept of variation within the Kind.

  20. Frankie: Natural selection has never been observed to create functional multiprotein complexes.

    That is not a claim of evolutionary theory. Variation occurs by various mechanisms, selection biases survival.

    No one even knows how to test the claim- so what, exactly, has stood the test of time and evidence?

    You have the claim wrong so. Darwin’s essential idea about selection has stood the test of time.

  21. Alan Fox: That is not a claim of evolutionary theory. Variation occurs by various mechanisms, selection biases survival.

    You have the claim wrong so. Darwin’s essential idea about selection has stood the test of time.

    Alan, until you link to the theory of evolution you don’t get to say what it says.

    BTW Darwin’s claim was that NS is a designer mimic and it can produce what we observe in biology. ATP synthase is part of biology and must be explained. If the alleged theory of evolution doesn’t cover that then it is clear it isn’t a scientific theory and doesn’t apply to the bulk of biology

  22. Frankie: “There is no theory of evolution”- cytologist Jerome Lejeune at the 1982 close of the meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (no one disagreed and the meeting ended)

    Hardly

    ‘We have no acceptable theory of evolution at the present time. There is none; and I cannot accept the theory that I teach to my students each year. Let me explain. I teach the synthetic theory known as the neo-Darwinian one, for one reason only; not because it’s good, we know it is bad, but because there isn’t any other. Whilst waiting to find something better you are taught something which is known to be inexact, which is a first approximation…’

    From a French recording of internationally recognised geneticist, Professor Jerome Lejeune, at a lecture given in Paris on March 17, 1985. Translated by Peter Wilders of Monaco.

    Just think Joe, if you could come up with that other, better, theory then your name would ring alongside Darwin’s for all time.

    But it won’t. All you are left with are pathetic quote mines.

  23. Frankie: ATP synthase is part of biology and must be explained. If the alleged theory of evolution doesn’t cover that then it is clear it isn’t a scientific theory and doesn’t apply to the bulk of biology

    ATP synthase is part of biology and must be explained. If the alleged theory of Intelligent Design doesn’t cover that then it is clear it isn’t a scientific theory and doesn’t apply to the bulk of biology.

    How does ID explain ATP synthase Frankie?

  24. Alan’s refusal or inability to link to the (alleged) theory of evolution speaks volumes. If this was a formal debate Alan would have lost, miserably.

  25. Frankie: Lenski has proven that evolution is very limited.

    Evolution? What’s that? Can you link to the theory of evolution? If not, what are you talking about? How can something undefined also be very limited?

  26. Frankie: ATP synthase is part of biology and must be explained. If the alleged theory of evolution doesn’t cover that then it is clear it isn’t a scientific theory and doesn’t apply to the bulk of biology.

    As OM points out, ToE is not a complete explanation of everything biological. But it is a good start. What alternatives are there? Creationism, for instance, is childish nonsense when it comes to explaining past and current diversity of life on Earth and explaining why it is found when and where it is.

  27. Frankie: “There never really has been a scientific “theory” of evolution.” geneticist and former editor of a peer-review journal, Giuseppe Semonti, in “Why is a fly not a horse?”

    We can look at how his work has been received in the past, you know that right?
    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/06/of-form-over-su.html

    Sermonti is a retired professor at the University of Perugia in Italy. He did some important work in bacterial genetics in the ?50s and early ?60s, but by the end of that decade he seemed to have become progressively disillusioned with the scientific enterprise. In 1971 he published a post-modernist, religiously inspired critique of modern science, Il crepuscolo dello Scientismo (The twilight of Scientism), filled with pessimistic reflections about the futility of science, and its exploitative and alienating nature. Sermonti’s first anti-Darwinian book (Dopo Darwin – After Darwin) appeared in 1980, and with a pattern common to many biologists-turned-Creationists, his publication record, as far as practical scientific work, had dried up by the mid ?80s. Since 1979 Sermonti has been editor of the Italian-published biology journal Rivista di Biologia ? Biology Forum. Under his guidance, this old and reputable journal has become a veritable haven for anti-evolutionary tracts by a motley crew of respectable structuralists, young-earth creationists, veritable cranks and Intelligent Design advocates (among them, some Discovery Institute fellows and acolytes), as well as for an assortment of fringe- and outright pseudo-science papers

    I’m not surprised you hang on his every word Frankie. And yet words from people with actual relevant work are ignored by you. How very strange. It’s almost as if the veracity of what people are saying is directly related to if you agree with what they are saying! But knowing you as I do, as an honerable and honest person, I must be mistaken.

  28. LoL! ATP synthase as evidence for ID has been discussed ad nausea. And willful ignorance is not a refutation of such discussions.

    There wasn’t any quote-mine of the French cytologist

    And one can discuss evolution even in the absence of a theory of evolution

  29. phoodoo:
    Alan Fox,

    If the variation is teleological in nature, is it still the theory of evolution

    I can’t rule out a God designing the Universe in such a way that life on Earth turned out as it did.

  30. Alan Fox: As OM points out, ToE is not a complete explanation of everything biological. But it is a good start. What alternatives are there? Creationism, for instance, is childish nonsense when it comes to explaining past and current diversity of life on Earth and explaining why it is found when and where it is.

    Link to the ToE, Alan. Obviously you can’t. And that speaks volumes about you and your claims.

  31. Frankie: If this was a formal debate Alan would have lost, miserably.

    No, if this was a formal debate you’d have been removed from the premises after your Nth outburst from the audience, after we’ve all had a good laugh at your creationist tropes.

    If this was a debate you’d find that the (claimed) lack of support for one position is not support for what you claim as the only alternative. But then again, logic is not really your thing is it?

  32. Frankie: Link to the ToE, Alan. Obviously you can’t. And that speaks volumes about you and your claims.

    Link to the ToID, Joe. Obviously you can’t. And that speaks volumes about you and your claims.

  33. Frankie: ATP synthase as evidence for ID has been discussed ad nausea.

    Discussed, sure. Scientific work? Not so much.

    Frankie: There wasn’t any quote-mine of the French cytologist

    I just demonstrated otherwise. If there is no theory as you claim, what is he teaching? Answer that simple question why don’t you.

    Frankie: And one can discuss evolution even in the absence of a theory of evolution

    One can, but you can’t. You don’t understand the basics.

  34. OMagain,

    You evolutionists have the hardest time following even the simplest of rules. I wonder if it is because of some trauma you suffered.

  35. Frankie: Link to the ToE, Alan. Obviously you can’t. And that speaks volumes about you and your claims.

    I open Google search engine. I enter “evidence for evolution”. Try it.

    Here’s one source that seems pretty simple to follow.

  36. phoodoo:
    OMagain,

    You evolutionists have the hardest time following even the simplest of rules.I wonder of it is because of some trauma you suffered.

    Put him on ignore.

  37. Joe says there is no theory of evolution.
    Professor Jerome Lejeune says he teaches the synthetic theory known as the neo-Darwinian one.

    Who to believe, Joe or the professor’s own words, Joe or a professor….

    Yeah, you know what Joe, given your total credibility and honesty coupled with your demonstrable honourable behaviour over many years it has to be you!

  38. Alan Fox: I open Google search engine. I enter “evidence for evolution”. Try it.

    Here’s one source that seems pretty simple to follow.

    LoL! So “evidence for evolution” is now the ToE? Really? UC Berkeley does not offer up a ToE. They don’t even cite it.

    You do realize that ID is not anti-evolution and even YECs accept a change in allele frequency over time…

  39. phoodoo,

    I wonder of it is because of some trauma you suffered.

    Dunning–Kruger effect much?

  40. phoodoo:
    OMagain,

    You evolutionists have the hardest time following even the simplest of rules.I wonder of it is because of some trauma you suffered.

    Just curious, phoodoo. Are you aware of an alternative scientific theory for evolution of life on Earth? Or are you opposed to ToE on religious grounds only?

  41. Frankie: You do realize that ID is not anti-evolution and even YECs accept a change in allele frequency over time…

    What theory of evolution is ID not anti?

  42. Alan Fox: Just curious, phoodoo. Are you aware of an alternative scientific theory for evolution of life on Earth? Or are you opposed to ToE on religious grounds only?

    There isn’t a scientific ToE, Alan. However ID explains the evidence better than natural selection and drift can

  43. Theory:

    a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.

    The Theory of Evolution:

    The theory has two main points, said Brian Richmond, curator of human origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. “All life on Earth is connected and related to each other,” and this diversity of life is a product of “modifications of populations by natural selection, where some traits were favored in and environment over others,” he said.

    More simply put, the theory can be described as “descent with modification,” said Briana Pobiner, an anthropologist and educator at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who specializes in the study of human origins.

    Is that sufficiently simple and bolded for you Joe? If you’d like to know more there are many textbooks available that go into as much detail as you like.

    http://www.livescience.com/474-controversy-evolution-works.html

  44. Frankie: However ID explains the evidence better than natural selection and drift can

    That’s demonstrably untrue. And you know it.

    Let’s play a game. Search for “evidence for evolution” and pick something. Then show how ID explains that more convincingly?

  45. Frankie: However ID explains the evidence better than natural selection and drift can

    Then why is ID failing so badly? Even Dembski has abandoned it.

  46. Frankie: There isn’t a scientific ToE, Alan.

    This is plainly nonsense. Please stop repeating it. As I’ve said already, you can find vast resources merely by googling “theory of evolution” and “evidence for evolution”.

    However ID explains the evidence better than natural selection and drift can

    Well let me make the same challenge to you. I’ve not seen a scientific theory of “Intelligent Design” that purports to offer an alternative explanation for the diversity of life on Earth that has existed and that we see today. Can you link to it?

    ETA

    PS and is there an ID explanation for the existence of ATP synthase

  47. Alan Fox: PS and is there an ID explanation for the existence of ATP synthase

    you get to choose between ‘poof’ and ‘POOF’.

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