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. Alan Fox: 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”.

    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

    LoL! I can get google hits for “Santa Claus”, Alan. By your logic that means Santa really exists.

    You are desperate and you are losing this debate. You cannot find this alleged ToE. You have no idea what it actually says.

    If my claim is nonsense you are unable to demonstrate that. So please stop saying it as if it means something.

    The ID explanation for ATP synthase is that it was intelligently designed. And all peer-review supports that claim. We come to that inference due to the fact that no one knows how to test the claim that natural selection and drift produced it AND it meets the design criteria as a discrete combinatorial object.

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

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

    But he asked you what the theory of evolution is Alan. Why would he type in evidence for it? He wants to know what it is evidence for.

  3. Again:

    “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?”

  4. 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)

    Jerome Lejeune said in his own words that he teaches a theory of evolution. Funny how you believe his own words sometimes (when they say something you agree with) but not other times (when they say something you don’t disagree with).

    Cherry-pick much Joe?

  5. Frankie: The ID explanation for ATP synthase is that it was intelligently designed.

    How? When? Where? By what or by whom? And what evidence suggests that ATP synthase was “intelligently designed”?

  6. Frankie: The ID explanation for ATP synthase is that it was intelligently designed.

    If that’s your idea of what an explanation is, it’s no wonder you are totally confused by what a theory is.

  7. Alan Fox: How? When? Where? By what or by whom? And what evidence suggests that ATP synthase was “intelligently designed”?

    I told you what the evidence is. And those other questions are irrelevant when trying to determine designed or not.

  8. Alan Fox: And what evidence suggests that ATP synthase was “intelligently designed”?

    A load of books and desperate trash from the DI where they talk about how complex stuff is and then at the end say “and we intuitively know that such things are designed”. It’s cargo cult science from start to end.

  9. Frankie: I told you what the evidence is.

    No you did not.

    Frankie: And those other questions are irrelevant when trying to designed or not.

    But you’ve already demonstrated it’s designed! So now is exactly the time to move onto those other questions!

    Frankie: The ID explanation for ATP synthase is that it was intelligently designed. And all peer-review supports that claim.

    How? When? Where? By what or by whom? Now you know it was designed 100% for sure, you can start to look at how? When?

    Or give further excuses. Perhaps the Darwinists are preventing research into this somehow? Or perhaps such research won’t be published due to the Darwinist cabal controlling all the journals (even the ID ones!)?

  10. phoodoo: But he asked you what the theory of evolution is Alan.

    And I can say again that the theory simply states that given a population of reproducing organisms competing for scarce resources in a particular niche, and heritable variation in that population, then over selection will result in change in that population. More technically, we can talk about change in allele frequency.

    That’s my understanding of the theory. We can find many other attempts to briefly state the theory but the overall concept is the same. It explains the pattern of variation in life that we observe.

  11. OMagain: A load of books and desperate trash from the DI where they talk about how complex stuff is and then at the end say “and we intuitively know that such things are designed”. It’s cargo cult science from start to end.

    I think you are overstating their case!

  12. BTW to refute the design inference all you have to do is ante up and demonstrate natural selection and drift are up to the task. Whining about the design inference is not a refutation of it. But we know that whining about it is all we are ever going to get

  13. Frankie: How did you get your understanding of the theory seeing that you have never read it?

    You’ve had the core of the theory quoted to you several times now. It does indeed seem that there are none so blind as those that refuse to see.

    That you can’t understand how something complex can come from something simple is a failure on your behalf, not the theory’s.

  14. Frankie: BTW to refute the design inference all you have to do is ante up and demonstrate natural selection and drift are up to the task.

    That’s incorrect. Failure to support X does not then support Y. It’s your job to support your claims. Again it’s no surprise you don’t understand this, otherwise you’d likely not be an ID supporter.

    Frankie: Whining about the design inference is not a refutation of it. But we know that whining about it is all we are ever going to get

    Just like you don’t count and therefore don’t need to be refuted the design inference does not count and does not need to be refuted. A negative claim does not need to be refuted as it cannot be refuted.

  15. To refute evolutionism Darwin said one has to prove a negative. Yet proving a negative isn’t how science operates, Neither Darwin nor anyone since has said how to test the claims of evolutionism.

  16. Frankie: BTW to refute the design inference all you have to do is ante up and demonstrate natural selection and drift are up to the task.

    Even here you don’t understand the basic tenants of ID. If an event is statistically unlikely to be explained by chance, and contains an independently given pattern, then it may be attributed to design, according to the EF.

    May be.

    All the design inference does is say that something may be designed. Not that it is designed or was designed, but that it might be designed.

    If you could give a convincing example of, say, running ATP through the EF then perhaps that would change a few minds. But we both know that’s not going to happen, right Joe? Especially when you think that peer reviewed science has already shown ATP to be designed…..

  17. Frankie: To refute evolutionism Darwin said one has to prove a negative.

    It’s easy to quote Darwin. Odd how you chose not to, and yet make a claim in his name.

    Frankie: Neither Darwin nor anyone since has said how to test the claims of evolutionism.

    What claims? Without a theory how can there be claims? Is there now a theory Joe? Or not?

  18. A load of books and desperate trash from the evos where they talk about how complex stuff is and then at the end say “and we intuitively know that such things are evolved by natural selection and drift”. It’s cargo cult science from start to end.

  19. Frankie: A load of books and desperate trash from the evos where they talk about how complex stuff is and then at the end say “and we intuitively know that such things are evolved by natural selection and drift”. It’s cargo cult science from start to end.

    It’s always hard to be on the losing side Frankie, but have some dignity for pitys sake!

  20. Here Frankie corrects a mistake he percieves in the theory of evolution. A theory that does not exist.

    I guess it’s all gone a bit quantum. Sometimes it exists, sometimes it does not, whatever suits Frankie’s purposes more at the time.

  21. Darwin, on proving a negative:

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” [Darwin1859, pg. 175].

    Also claims can exist absent a theory. OM is sick of being on the losing side,,,

  22. Frankie: Darwin, on proving a negative:

    Context: This passage, in Darwin’s hand, comes from chapter 6 (p. 189) of On the Origin of Species (1859, Murray: London), “Difficulties on theory,” in a section where he covers organs of extreme perfection. Immediately following the quoted passage, Darwin wrote: “But I can find out no such case.” This is a perfect example of quote-mining in which a sentence immediately following a passage that works for creationist purposes (to make Darwin seem like he doubts his own theory or idea) is simply not shown.

    https://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/three-darwin-quote-mines-corrected/

  23. Frankie: OM is sick of being on the losing side,,,

    That’s interest in ID over the past 5 years. If I add in ‘evolution’ as a comparison the ID line just goes flat at the bottom of the graph. In another 5-10 years, Frankie, ID will be at the zero axis of interest.

  24. Frankie creates an OP asking if there is a theory of evolution immediately after blatantly quote mining Darwin.

  25. OMagain,

    That’s not a quote mine Omagain, how ridiculous. So what if Darwin never found one in his lifetime. If we find one now, it is a valid refutation of Darwinism.

    That doesn’t make it a quote mine ( a stupid term anyway), it makes it a part of what Darwin thought. Your criticism is completely without merit.

  26. OMagain,

    If Darwin’s quote wasn’t an expression of some reservations about his theory, then why the heck did he write it at all? Just to say how confident he was in his theory?

    I feel sorry for you sometimes Omagain. You poor baby. Do you have a medical condition? Is it mental or physical? I think we can all guess…

  27. Thank you phoodoo.

    My quote of Darwin was not a quote-mine. That is what he accepted as a falsification of his claims. Just because he couldn’t think of any is irrelevant to the quote showing Darwin required one to prove a negative in order to falsify his concept.

    It should also be noted that neither Darwin nor anyone else has “demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications”. So that would be a huge problem that seems to be conveniently overlooked

  28. Frankie: My quote of Darwin was not a quote-mine. That is what he accepted as a falsification of his claims. Just because he couldn’t think of any is irrelevant to the quote showing Darwin required one to prove a negative in order to falsify his concept.

    Would you like some dressing with that?

    Frankie: So that would be a huge problem that seems to be conveniently overlooked

    Write a letter to Nature then.

  29. phoodoo,

    If Darwin’s quote wasn’t an expression of some reservations about his theory, then why the heck did he write it at all? Just to say how confident he was in his theory?

    Why indeed. An excellent question. And one to which there is an easily found, readily available answer.

    I feel sorry for you sometimes Omagain. You poor baby. Do you have a medical condition? Is it mental or physical? I think we can all guess…

    What specific behaviour of mine is it that leads you to feel that way?

  30. phoodoo,

    If we find one now, it is a valid refutation of Darwinism.

    What, an organ that could not have evolved? Are you admitting you think organs evolved then?

  31. Frankie: It should also be noted that neither Darwin nor anyone else has “demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications”.

    There are entire books on the subject.
    http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566687.001.0001/acprof-9780198566687

    Organs do not appear suddenly during evolution: instead they are composed of far simpler structures. In some cases, it is even possible to trace particular molecules or physiological pathways as far back as pre-animal history. What emerges is a fascinating picture, showing how animals have combined ancestral and new elements in novel ways to form constantly changing responses to environmental requirements.

    Name an organ that you don’t think could have a precursor and we can look at the research on that organ. We can compare and contrast what light the theory of evolution can shed compared to the theory of Intelligent Design.

    Dare you.

  32. Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution so linking to books that give lip service to the word “evolution” demonstrates equivocation.

    Please link to the peer-reviewed paper that demonstrates any eukaryotic vision system can arise via stochastic processes. It has to include the genes involved.

  33. Frankie: Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution so linking to books that give lip service to the word “evolution” demonstrates equivocation.

    Says you.

    Frankie: Please link to the peer-reviewed paper that demonstrates any eukaryotic vision system can arise via stochastic processes. It has to include the genes involved.

    I have such a paper but I can’t link to it as because it includes the genes involved it has to be kept in a humidified enclosure. Otherwise they’d dry out you see. If you would like to make an appointment to see the paper, perhaps in a car park of your choosing, I’m sure that can be arranged.

  34. Proof that OMagain doesn’t understand science:

    BTW to refute the design inference all you have to do is ante up and demonstrate natural selection and drift are up to the task.

    OMagain:

    That’s incorrect.

    What I said is a fact as ID says that natural selection and drift are not up to the task. Thank you for proving you don’t understand how science works

  35. OMagain:
    phoodoo,

    What, an organ that could not have evolved? Are you admitting you think organs evolved then?

    I have no idea what you mean by the word evolved anymore.

  36. Frankie: What I said is a fact as ID says that natural selection and drift are not up to the task.

    How was this ‘fact’ determined? Presumably not by you. So who?

  37. OMagain admits it is ignorant of what ID claims. Educating yourself will cure that. HINT- Behe, Dembski and Meyer have all said what I did- that natural selection (and drift) are not up to then task.

  38. Dr Behe- Philosophical Objections to Intelligent Design:
    Response to Critics
    :

    In fact, my argument for intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.(1)

    Let’s turn the tables and ask, how could one falsify the claim that, say, the bacterial flagellum was produced by Darwinian processes? (Professor Coyne’s remarks about a Precambrian fossil hominid are irrelevant since I dispute the mechanism of natural selection, not common descent. I would no more expect to find a fossil hominid out of sequence than he would.) If a scientist went into the laboratory and grew a flagellum-less bacterial species under selective pressure for many generations and nothing much happened, would Darwinists be convinced that natural selection is incapable of producing a flagellum? I doubt it. It could always be claimed that the selective pressure wasn’t the right one, or that we started with the wrong bacterial species, and so on. Even if the experiment were repeated many times under different conditions and always gave a negative result, I suspect many Darwinists would not conclude that the claim of its Darwinian evolution was falsified. Of complex biochemical systems Coyne himself writes “we may forever be unable to envisage the first proto-pathways. It is not valid, however, to assume that, because one man cannot imagine such pathways, they could not have existed.” (Coyne 1996) If a person accepts Darwinian paths which are not only unseen, but which we may be forever unable to envisage, then it is effectively impossible to make him think he is wrong.

    ID is falsifiable, evolutionism not so much.

  39. Frankie:

    To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.(1)

    ID is falsifiable, evolutionism not so much.

    That wouldn’t serve to falsify IDC. The problem, aside from there being no scientific theory of ID, is that IDCists scrupulously avoid saying anything about the capabilities or limitations of their gods Designer. That means that if a flagella were to appear under laboratory conditions, there is no way to confirm that god the Designer didn’t cause it to happen.

  40. Patrick: ID is falsifiable, evolutionism not so much.

    That wouldn’t serve to falsify IDC.The problem, aside from there being no scientific theory of ID, is that IDCists scrupulously avoid saying anything about the capabilities or limitations of their gods Designer.That means that if a flagella were to appear under laboratory conditions, there is no way to confirm that god the Designer didn’t cause it to happen.

    You don’t get to say, Patrick. That is because you are on an obvious agenda. BTW ID is not about the designer nor does the designer need to be any God.

    IDists have said what it would take to falsify ID and your whining about it is meaningless. And don’t worry- given Lenski’s results we won’t be seeing any flagella nor any multi-protein machine arising in any experiment.

    Also there doesn’t need to be a scientific theory of ID for ID to make testable claims.

  41. Frankie: You don’t get to say, Patrick. That is because you are on an obvious agenda. BTW ID is not about the designer nor does the designer need to be any God.

    IDists have said what it would take to falsify ID and your whining about it is meaningless. And don’t worry- given Lenski’s results we won’t be seeing any flagella nor any multi-protein machine arising in any experiment.

    Also there doesn’t need to be a scientific theory of ID for ID to make testable claims.

    That’s a lot of blather without directly answering my criticism of Behe’s claims. Try again with fewer words and more thought.

  42. Patrick: That’s a lot of blather without directly answering my criticism of Behe’s claims.Try again with fewer words and more thought.

    Your alleged criticism amounts to whining. You need to try again with more thought.

  43. Frankie: Your alleged criticism amounts to whining. You need to try again with more thought.

    More content free bluster. What’s your point in commenting here?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.