Andre: “PCD stops unguided evolution in its tracks”

UD commenter Andre has a bad case of PCD OCD.

PCD stands for “programmed cell death”. Andre is convinced that it is the death knell not only of cells, but of modern evolutionary theory. He has been spamming the “bomb” thread at UD in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade us of this. (112 mentions of PCD in that thread, but no intelligible argument from Andre.)

Rich suggested that we set up a thread for him here, which I think is a great idea.

Here you go, Andre.  Tell us why PCD is an unguided evolution killer, and be prepared to learn why it is not.

343 thoughts on “Andre: “PCD stops unguided evolution in its tracks”

  1. Just wearily observe one more terrible bluff.

    In fact, it would be you admitting your theory is nothing but woo, probably quantum woo.

    People here might learn something. You might too.

    “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”, but you did not seem to get my Lloyd Bentsen reference. Sigh.

    The combination of evasiveness and condescension that you’re displaying is an excellent approach if your goal is to look like a crank.

    *Shrug* Whatever

  2. Guillermoe,

    Well, if I ask you about your theory, and then Steve comes along and says his definition of the theory is completely different than yours, we will just go round and round in circles, right? So since Steve has expressed that there are many people with deep science backgrounds, certainly including him, it is more productive if he answers.

  3. phoodoo: What is the theory of evolution?

    Perhaps you should ask Michael Denton?

    He wrote a book called:

    Evolution: A Theory in Crisis

    So I guess you could look there?

  4. There are many statements of what the theory of evolution is that are publicly available, not only on the ‘net but in books. There is no actual point in a summary here, although one was just supplied above anyhow.

    What there has been no statement of whatever, here or anywhere else, is this new and spiffing theory of bystander’s, because, he says, people here are too mean or too stupid (or both) for him to share it.

    Who, anywhere in the world, would not see that as a bullshit dodge? Put up or shut up.

  5. phoodoo:
    As you have said, you clearly have a strong science background.What is the theory of evolution?

    As I recall, you still owe me answers to a couple of questions. Why not clear those up before moving on to such a broad topic?

    To refresh your memory, here they are:
    1) Are malaria parasites with pfcrt mutations more fit than wild-type parasites in an environment that includes chloroquine?
    2) If the answer is yes, is that a tautological statement?

    Feel free to substitute “survive and reproduce better” for “are more fit” if you are more comfortable with the former description.

  6. phoodoo: if I ask you about your theory, and then Steve comes along and says his definition of the theory is completely different than yours, we will just go round and round in circles, right?

    No, we’ll discuss our views and see the pros and cons of each of our views, which can be an enlightening exercise.

    It’s odd how some people think that discussing ideas is wrong. That one simply has to listen to the self-proclaimed “wiser than the rest” and just accept what he says.

    I told you what I understand for ToE. Steve is free and welcome to criticize what I said, as well as you are, and both of you are free and welcome to explain yur own views.

  7. walto: What there has been no statement of whatever, here or anywhere else, is this new and spiffing theory of bystander’s, because, he says, people here are too mean or too stupid (or both) for him to share it.

    Who, anywhere in the world, would not see that as a bullshit dodge? Put up or shut up.

    phoodoo has no idea of a new theory ( which is not connected to ID in any way) and me not putting that up here doesn’t mean I am not going to be putting it up at arXiv with my microbiologist friend as the main author.

  8. I wasn’t talking to phoodoo–I was talking to you. Why not give us at least a taste of what you’re planning to show the world. Isn’t that how theories get improved? Trial by fire and all that?

  9. Steve, I answered you very clearly, do I need to go back and show you the post? I said, since the definition of being more fit is surviving better, then malaria parasites with pfcrt mutations are more fit if and only if they survive better. There is no other definition for being fit.

    Now, what is the definition of the ToE? With your science background, and with your desire to promote the ToE, wouldn’t it make sense for you to simply answer?

  10. So Steve, as you rightly just pointed out, one can ask, is something more fit, or does it survive and reproduce better, they are both asking the same question.

  11. the bystander: me not putting that up here doesn’t mean I am not going to be putting it up at arXiv with my microbiologist friend as the main author

    Yes, it means exactly that. You can’t publish whay you don’t have.

  12. phoodoo: since the definition of being more fit is surviving better, then malaria parasites with pfcrt mutations are more fit if and only if they survive better

    Would you expect mutant chloroquine-resistant parasites to survive better than regular chloroquine-susceptible parasites in an environment with chloroquine? Can you test that? What do the experiments show?

  13. phoodoo:
    So Steve, as you rightly just pointed out, one can ask, is something more fit, or does it survive and reproduce better, they are both asking the same question.

    Yes, they are two ways of saying the same thing. Science does not say that “the fittest reproduces better”. Science says that BEING FITTER depends on physical characteristics of the individual and those characteristics can be inherited.

    That was also the idea of Darwin: those with certain characteristics reproduce better, survive more, than others without those characteristics.

  14. phoodoo:
    So Steve, as you rightly just pointed out, one can ask, is something more fit, or does it survive and reproduce better, they are both asking the same question.

    Exactly. And that’s the question I want you to answer, as I have made abundantly clear.

  15. Guillermoe: Yes, it means exactly that. You can’t publish whay you don’t have.

    I am amused and a little bemused by what you claim to know

  16. phoodoo:
    Guillermoe,
    The test is, do they survive better.That is the only test.

    There is no test.

    What we observe is that some variations get passed on with greater frequency.

    We can make hypotheses about why. Darwin’s hypothesis was that certain variations conferred benefits. That turns out to be true, but incomplete.

    Among nearly equal variants, some will have more offspring for arbitrary reasons. Just luck, possibly.

    Theories about why certain variants prosper will continue to be refined. But what hasn’t change since Darwin is common descent. Everything still points to common descent.

  17. phoodoo:
    Guillermoe,

    The test is, do they survive better.That is the only test.

    You have two populations: TWO. The question WE are asking is: in an environment with chloroquine, does the chloroquine-resistant population have a higher reproductive rate than the chloroquine-susceptible population? What would expect? Can you test it?

    Can you answer this questions?

  18. Steve Schaffner,

    Steve, they are more fit if they are more fit. One measures if they survive better, and if they survive better they survive better-that is the answer.

    Now, you made a comment to bystander, telling him how there are many people here with significant science backgrounds, who are more than willing to discuss the science of evolution, so doesn’t that make it sort of strange that you now refuse to answer a simple question. Doesn’t it make it obvious that there are many in the science community who really don’t wish to discuss the topic, but would rather play games?

  19. phoodoo: Doesn’t it make it obvious that there are many in the science community who really don’t wish to discuss the topic, but would rather play games?

    If you were serious, you’d learn the basics first then you’d be equipped to discuss more then your strawman of mis-understanding.

    Just because you can’t find anyone to spoonfeed you does not mean the answers are not out there, just that you are not deserving of such treatment.

  20. phoodoo:
    Steve Schaffner,

    Steve, they are more fit if they are more fit.One measures if they survive better, and if they survive better they survive better-that is the answer.

    So are they more fit or not? “I don’t know — I haven’t looked at the data” is a perfectly valid answer.

  21. Guillermoe,

    Is there anything else in the environment? What are the conditions? How would one know unless they simply do the test and see if they survive better? There must be other things in the environment right, like say oxygen, and maybe water, and maybe salt, and who knows what else. So, all one can do is test if they survive. Simple as that. It seems that is enough of trying to change the subject for now.

  22. phoodoo: they are more fit if they are more fit

    Stop dodging the question!!! Do you expect BOTH populations to be equally fit? Can you test that? Can you test if fitness is affected by a specific trait?

  23. Guillermoe: prove ME WRONG

    Acting as if you are really interested ? I am wearily observing one more terrible bluff. P.S: I am loving quoting back all that was spewed at me.

  24. phoodoo:

    Is there anything else in the environment?

    Nutrients and an adequate temperature for the organism.

    What are the conditions?

    Except for the chloroquine, both populations are under the same conditions, which are suitable conditions for this organism.

    How would one know unless they simply do the test and see if they survive better?

    That’s what we are testing: if they “survive better”. If a condition of one of the populations (resistance to chloroquine) affects survival (or reproductive) rate.

    There must be other things in the environment right, like say oxygen, and maybe water, and maybe salt, and who knows what else.

    The exact same composition for both populations except for the chloroquine.

    So, all one can do is test if they survive.

    You have TWO populations. You can COMPARE THEIR SURVIVAL RATES!!!!

  25. the bystander: I am wearily observing one more terrible bluff.

    Of course: you are bluffing. How couldn’t you not observe yourself.

    And I am not acting interested. I am. It’s easy to verify. Expose your theory (if it really exists) and see how I react.

  26. OMagain,

    So Omagin, when Steve said:
    “There are plenty of people here with strong scientific backgrounds. The combination of evasiveness and condescension that you’re displaying is an excellent approach if your goal is to look like a crank.”

    Steve is a crank, right?

  27. phoodoo:
    OMagain,

    So Omagin, when Steve said:
    “There are plenty of people here with strong scientific backgrounds. The combination of evasiveness and condescension that you’re displaying is an excellent approach if your goal is to look like a crank.”

    Steve is a crank, right?

    I’m trying to get you to defend a claim you made about what I do for a living. Why are you so reluctant to do so? Why can’t you answer a simple question?

  28. Steve Schaffner: I’m trying to get you to defend a claim you made about what I do for a living. Why are you so reluctant to do so? Why can’t you answer a simple question?

    Steve, I answered some questions above about your work (the conditions of the experiment). Are the answers right?

  29. Steve Schaffner,

    How can I defend a claim that you made about what you do for a living? Are you now saying you are not a biologist, and you never were a physicist?

    That’s fine.

  30. phoodoo: Steve is a crank, right?

    Ask a specific, focussed question. Explain what your problem is with the answer, if anybody can be bothered to give you such.

    Or just carry on doing what you are doing, it’s a great advertisement for how ID proponents behave.

  31. A specific, focused question? You mean like “What is the theory of evolution?”

    That kind of question?

  32. Guillermoe: Steve, I answered some questions above about your work (the conditions of the experiment). Are the answers right?

    Sure, they’re a valid set of conditions. Another would be starting to give malaria patients chloroquine in an otherwise unchanged environment. Actually, the conditions hardly matter at all. If you’re exposing the parasites to substantial levels of chloroquine, the chloroquine-resistant mutants will do better.

    The point of my questions, of course, is that assigning fitness is an empirical, contingent statement about the real world. For my purposes, it doesn’t matter whether the answer is yes or no; what matters is that you have to look to find out the answer.

    Which leads to my second question, the one that phoodoo simply ignores: Is the statement “the mutants are more fit” a tautology? If you don’t know whether they’re fitter until you do the experiment, then it can’t possibly be a tautology. But phoodoo can’t admit that, because that would make his head explode.

  33. phoodoo: It seems that is enough of trying to change the subject for now.

    phoodoo: Are you now saying you are not a biologist, and you never were a physicist?

    No, seems it was no enough of trying to change the subject.

    phoodoo: How can I defend a claim that you made about what you do for a living?

    You made about fitness not being a testable characteristic. Steve described an experiment he worked on. Could you stop messing and answer the question?

    Two populations: a chloroquine-resistant population and a chloroquine-susceptible population. The media they are on is the same and contains chloroquine. Do you expect both populations to have a similar survival rate? Can you test it?

  34. phoodoo:
    A specific, focused question?You mean like “What is the theory of evolution?”

    That kind of question?

    You have already received an answer fo that question. Yet, you refuse to answer the question addressed to you. It’s quite unfair.

  35. Steve Schaffner,

    Steve,

    The tautology is not in asking if something survives better. I have said this 100 times. The tautology exists in asking if something survives better is it more fit?

    Now, about that theory of evolution….?

  36. phoodoo:
    A specific, focused question?You mean like “What is the theory of evolution?”

    That kind of question?

    No. That sort of question is the sort of question that you answer yourself by studying hard for a few years.

    As that won’t happen, I sense you have no real interest here other then sniping at what you see (from your position of ignorance) as problems.

    But that’s ok. We all start out ignorant. It’s what we do about it that counts.

    Any anyway, you should not be too upset that people are ignoring your “killer” question, you are ignoring most questions directed at you in any case!

  37. Tell you what Poo. When you answer “What is the Theory of Intelligent Design?” I’ll answer your question to the same level of detail!

    This is an honest offer to move the conversation forward. Will you dare take me up on it?

  38. phoodoo:
    Steve Schaffner,

    How can I defend a claim that you made about what you do for a living?Are you now saying you are not a biologist, and you never were a physicist?

    That’s fine.

    You can defend the claim that describing something as fit is a tautology. For a living, I study the fitness of different alleles. You made a claim about that. Got it?

  39. Guillermoe: see how I react.

    Let me see if you will understand by asking simple questions :
    Q1
    If I play a game simultaneously with 50 of you here and I lose about 1% of such games, what is probability of my losing 0,6 and 10 games?

  40. phoodoo:
    Steve Schaffner,

    Steve,

    The tautology is not in asking if something survives better.I have said this 100 times.The tautology exists in asking if something survives better is it more fit?

    Now, about that theory of evolution….?

    And I’ve told you many times that no one asks the question you think is a tautology. Not biologists, anyway. We ask questions like, “Are pfcrt mutants more fit?” And unlike you, we’re able to answer them.

    So, about those questions you keep talking about answering:
    Are pfcrt mutants more fit in an environment with chloroquiine?
    Is the statement that they’re more fit a tautology?

  41. phoodoo: The tautology exists in asking if something survives better is it more fit?

    And who’s asking that? Did you read the questions we made?

    “Two populations: a chloroquine-resistant population and a chloroquine-susceptible population. The media they are on is the same and contains chloroquine. Do you expect both populations to have a similar survival rate? Can you test it?”

  42. the bystander: Let me see if you will understand by asking simple questions :
    Q1
    If I play a game simultaneously with 50 of you here and I lose about 1% of such games, what is probability of my losing 0,6 and 10 games?

    61%, .001%, 7e-11%

  43. the bystander,

    How can you win half a game? 1% of 50 is 0.5.

    Anyway, I am not interested in probabilities of hypothetical games. I am interested in the theory you claim to know that goes beyond evolution.

  44. phoodoo: The tautology exists in asking if something survives better is it more fit?

    Your remark here is just as confused as your past statements on this subject. First, no tautology is a question or consists in asking a question. Second, the claim that something has “survived better” because it is more fit is not tautologous. A species might survive while another with more survival-enhancing characteristics does not because of, e.g., dumb luck. So the exemplification of more fitness-enhancing characteristics than some other species doesn’t guarantee that one will survive and the other will not. That’s empirical. There may be both ex-ante and ex-post expectations but they do not guarantee anything.

    The only near-tautology seems to be that this misinformation regarding both what tautologies are and what statements involving evolutionary theory are tautologous will be repeated ad nauseam by various ID-proponents who have no idea what the words they are using even mean.

    ETA: To be fair, I suppose one might want call the question “Is it true that it is either raining or not raining?” a tautologous question, and it doesn’t seem exactly horrible to do so. Strictly, however, tautologies are statements that are true in virtue of the meaning of the words involved, and questions are not true or false.

  45. Guillermoe: How can you win half a game. 1% of 50 is 0.5.

    Ha well you are not going to understand. Sorry. You wouldn’t be able to understand even Heisenberg representation of equation of motion. How would you understand the paper ?

  46. FWIW, bystander,I don’t expect to understand all of your paper. Maybe I won’t even understand any of it. So what? As I said above, that seems like a pretty weak reason not to at least post a summary of it.

    In addition, my ignorance or that of others here, will give you the opportunity to try to explain the theory in a manner that can be comprehended by more than a few adepts. Why would that be a bad thing? If a half dozen people here understand only a total of half what you write, there is still the possibility that both you and they will learn something, no?

    Finally, you could shut people up who say you’re bluffing rather than continue to suggest the truth of that suspicion by your actions.

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