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. the bystander: How would you understand the paper ?

    I get your point. You make a question that does not make sense and when I answer that I don’t understand your question you blame my lack of understanding.

    It’s what you’ve been doing the whole debate.

    By the way, Steve answered your question and you ignored him. Another example of ID attitude?

  2. OMagain: I guess the margins are just too small huh?

    try typing these in latex and explaining to someone who wouldn’t have a clue what it is:
     text{pproximate} text{the} text{third}-text{and} text{dynamical} text{order} text{variables} leftlangle q^3rightrangle  leftlangle text{pq}^2rightrangle {}_{mathit{s}}

  3. 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?

    Is this related to your theory that goes beyond evolution? Then this is quantum woo..

  4. the bystander: try typing these in latex and explaining to someone who wouldn’t have a clue what it is:
    \text{pproximate} \text{the} \text{third}-\text{and} \text{dynamical} \text{order} \text{variables} \left\langle q^3\right\rangle\left\langle \text{pq}^2\right\rangle {}_{\mathit{s}}

    Exactly: TRY.

    I have tried many times to explain things to people who didn’t understand them. It is possible.

    What is impossible is to explain a theory that does not exist.

  5. Guillermoe: Is this related to your theory that goes beyond evolution? Then this is quantum woo..

    No that’s absolute basic math. Here’s something you should know:
    Approximate this 3rd order dynamical variable
     leftlangle q^3 r ight r angleleftlanglet   ext {pq}^2 r ight r angle {} _ {mathit {s}}
    Despite typing the latex accurately, it doesn’t work. Do you see the difficulty in explaining ? As I said, it is not a simple typing a sentence theory. You just need to wait till the paper is published.
    They way you keep ridiculing with yours woos and hoos, I guess you have no disposition to learn.

  6. Steve Schaffner: 61%, .001%, 7e-11%

    Cute. But you will get in trouble with teacher if he spots what you did there. You’ll get kicked out of class.

    My answers:
    6.05e-1
    1.02e-5
    6.87e-11
    nowt to do with QM, though.

    May I stay?

  7. the bystander: try typing these in latex and explaining to someone who wouldn’t have a clue what it is

    Yes, I’m very impressed. You know some things. Congratulations. Now, when you are finished with your intellectual masturbation, being so very proud of yourself, perhaps you’ll actually say something of note?

  8. Class dismissed. You don’t get to abuse the teacher right from the start of the thread and yet somehow pretend that you actually want to learn something which is not as inane as ToE.

  9. the bystander: Class dismissed.

    You may go and claim victory at UD now.

    the bystander: You don’t get to abuse the teacher right from the start of the thread and yet somehow pretend that you actually want to learn something which is not as inane as ToE.

    Yeah, there’s always some reason why you can’t do the thing you said you could do.

    Of course, you do know nobody believes the reason you are not sharing your theory with us is because of the “abuse” you’ve received.

    We all actually know the real reason….

    But you may leave in any case, if that’s what you want. It matters not. Your theory will be published soon in any case and then we can have an OP and talk about it then instead!

  10. the bystander: Despite typing the latex accurately, it doesn’t work. Do you see the difficulty in explaining ?

    What I find difficult is to understand how that could have a biological meaning, and how that meaning could “go beyond evolution”.

    the bystander: As I said, it is not a simple typing a sentence theory

    Many scientific theories are not “one sentence theories”. And they can be explained and understood. If it is a biological theory, it can be explained in terms of the behavior of living organisms or biological structures.

    the bystander: You just need to wait till the paper is published.

    You are the first case I know of a scientist who doesn’t want to discuss his results. Remind me of your paper when it’s published.

    the bystander: They way you keep ridiculing with yours woos and hoos, I guess you have no disposition to learn

    Fair enough. What can you guess from your reluctance to talk about your theory? What should we guess?

  11. the bystander: You just need to wait till the paper is published.

    I’m holding my breath.

    Seriously.

    I have followed these discussions on the net since about 1998, looking for something from the ID crowd besides creationist talking points.

    So far I have waited patiently for Behe or Dembski to come up with something, but nothing has appeared.

    I am not impressed by physical scientists who expound outside their field of specialty. Linus Pauling was a medical crank. There are whole web pages devoted to the crank ideas of Nobel Prize winners. Intelligence and competence are not good indicators of correctness.

    There is nothing in QM that can be relevant to a discussion of evolution without it being possible to express the entailments of the new theory or concept. It is quite possible that a QM idea could be beyond the ken of most people here, but if it is relevant, it will assert something concrete and relevant that the theory entails. What biological phenomenon required by evolution is forbidden by the laws of nature? One needs to be specific.

  12. Guillermoe: You are the first case I know of a scientist who doesn’t want to discuss his results. Remind me of your paper when it’s published.

    It will be published just as soon as Gary Gaulin’s theory is published. Perhaps in the same journal.

  13. Here’s a simple challenge that bystander could respond to without invoking hard to post formulas.

    What chemical reaction required by evolution is actually impossible? I don’t ask for proof, just a description of some physical/chemical process that evolutionary biologists claim happens, but which is impossible due to the laws of nature.

  14. the bystander:
    something which is not as inane as ToE.

    It’s remarks like that that make me doubt. You may think Darwin’s theory is flawed or incomplete or on the wrong track. But inane?

    That suggests to me that a religious opposition rather than a scientific impulse to learn more is at work. I don’t think Einstein or Heisenberg ever suggested that Newton was inane. I don’t think Copernicus took Ptolemy’s work to be inane. That’s a “cast down” remark, I think.

  15. walto,

    How does one decide if an organism survived because of dumb luck or because of fitness? Since the definition of fitness is surviving, the question is meaningless.

    You failed your logic exam.

    Now, about that theory of evolution that Steve keeps dodging…are all scientists such dishonest debaters are is this site unique?

  16. Sorry, but the definition of “fitness” isn’t surviving. This has been explained to you maybe 50 times now. So you’ll excuse me if I don’t take my grade from you too seriously.

    I also point out here, that your blind support for bystander’s unseen “theory” also suggests to me that nothing is at work but religious sentiment. I know it’s very important to you that ToE be wrong (because it wasn’t set forth in some set of Holy Scriptures that you admire). So what’s going on here is nothing more than “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That too is not a scientific sentiment. It’s just tribal and infantile. My guess is that nothing in bystander’s “theory” (if there actually IS one) will be set forth in your Scriptures either. So be prepared to start damning him too and calling stuff that he writes tautologous (or some other thing you have some vague sense is bad).

  17. walto,

    You just proved yourself to not only be wrong in this post, but also kind of off your rocker. I have not given my opinion about bystanders theory at all, so you must be drunk or crazy to say I have.

    Secondly, the definition of fitness is the ability to survive. Sorry, you can’t get that.

    So you are both crazy (or impaired), wrong, and it also seems religiously motivated, as you brought up religion, not me.

    That makes you not a very worthy opponent.

    Now, about this so called ToE…hmmm…how can something that doesn’t even exist be important to be wrong to me?

  18. phoodoo: How does one decide if an organism survived because of dumb luck or because of fitness?

    The answer makes no difference, unless one is trying to engineer a specific function.

    But let’s parse the question of luck. Every human is born with a number of mutated alleles. Most are invisible. They either make no functional difference, or the functional difference doesn’t affect viability. Eye color, for example.

    Other variations are the result of recombination. We can inherit traits from grandparents that are not observed in our parents.

    Survival is always hostage to luck. Accidents happen that have nothing to do with genes. Fitness is a matter of luck. What is fit in one context is less fit in another.

    What we observe in populations is changes in the frequency of alleles. It makes no difference whether we say this is due to drift or to fitness. Among viable variants, some win and some lose.

    What can be traced is ancestry, and theories of fitness do not alter the evidence supporting common ancestry.

  19. the bystander: yet somehow pretend that you actually want to learn

    We’ve been asking you this whole time and YOU REFUSED to expose your ideas. You are the only one pretending here..

  20. phoodoo: How does one decide if an organism survived because of dumb luck or because of fitness?

    Because you have an adequate sample. You don’t work with ONE individual.

    phoodoo: Since the definition of fitness is surviving, the question is meaningless.

    Why on Earth the reason of survival would not be meaningful? The definition of death is cease to live so it doesn’t matter how a person dies?

    phoodoo: You failed your logic exam

    Because you made the most stupid question? I don’t think so. Stop avoiding our question. We answered yours.

    phoodoo: are all scientists such dishonest debaters are is this site unique?

    I ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION. Why do you complain of not getting answers if you GOT THEM.

  21. phoodoo: about that theory of evolution that Steve keeps dodging

    What’s the problem with my definition? Maybe it’s too good? You prefer not to mess with someone who knows what he says?

  22. phoodoo:
    walto,

    You just proved yourself to not only be wrong in this post, but also kind of off your rocker. I have not given my opinion about bystanders theory at all, so you must be drunk to crazy to say I have.

    Secondly, the definition of fitness is the ability to survive.Sorry, you can’t get that.

    So you are both crazy (or impaired), wrong, and it also seems religiously motivated, as you brought up religion, not me.

    That makes you not a very worthy opponent.

    Now, about this so called ToE…hmmm…how can something that doesn’t even exist be important to be wrong to me?

    bystander, as phoodoo here says both that he is unaware of the ToE and that he is no friend to your (perhaps phantom) theory, I hereby remove the taint of his (wack) support from anything you have said. I should not have attributed his support to your views, and I’m guessing it must be a relief not to have to have this goofus as an ally.

    phoodoo, I’m not sure how to break this, but I’m not terribly upset that you have not found me “worthy” either. I can’t imagine how or why anybody would value that. As to my alleged craziness, if I was wrong to call you an ally of bystander’s, it’s he that should be angry. I’ll just close here by saying (i) “tautology” actually means something, and if you’re going to keep talking about it it might make sense to learn what it means; and (ii) If you don’t think the ToE actually exists, as you say above, it’s weird that you keep criticizing it. It’s like carping that some imaginary dragon really has no teeth.

  23. petrushka,

    What is there to parse out. Fitness is equivalent to survival. So being lucky is part of being fit. There is no separation, if one is lucky but survives, by definition they are fit.

    That is why the tautology of fitness and survival are a problem. In order to be fit, one simply must survive, and if one survives , they are fit.

    The ToE…..no such thing really. And Steve is a liar. I answered his question.

  24. phoodoo: Secondly, the definition of fitness is the ability to survive.

    Walto is not wrong. You said that definition of fitness is surviving. The ability to survive and actually surviving are different things. Plus, you are forgetting reproduction: fitness – the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms; also : the contribution of an allele or genotype to the gene pool of subsequent generations as compared to that of other alleles or genotypes.

  25. phoodoo: So being lucky is part of being fit

    No, it’s not, becuase chance is not a characteristic of the organism itself. Now, you are contradicting YOUR OWN definition (ability to survive). Luck DOES NOT count as one’s ability.

    phoodoo: In order to be fit, one simply must survive

    Sorry for saying fucking idiot, but No, fucking idiot, in order to survive you must have certain characteristics and abilities. In order to win a race, you have to be quick. That’s what we claim. Your saying that “in order to win the race you must win the race” is a tautology, BUT IT’S NOT WHAT WE ARE SAYING.

    You are fitter IF YOU HAVE CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS. You survive and reproduce more IF YOU HAVE CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS.

    That’s the claim!!!

  26. phoodoo:
    petrushka,

    What is there to parse out.Fitness is equivalent to survival.So being lucky is part of being fit.There is no separation, if one is lucky but survives, by definition they are fit.

    That is why the tautology of fitness and survival are a problem.In order to be fit, one simply must survive, and if one survives , they are fit.

    The ToE…..no such thing really.And Steve is a liar.I answered his question.

    No, phoodoo.
    You appear to be unable to distinguish between fitness, the propensity, and reproduction, the outcome.
    Consider baseball’s OBP. It’s a measured outcome. But there is also an attribute that batters have, let’s call it “baseness”, which describes their propensity to get on base. Scouts can study “baseness”, looking at different contributing factors; they can explore how a batter’s OBP may vary under different circumstances. LHP vs RHP? How do they fare when they swing at the first pitch? This analysis may lead to predictions: you need to learn how to hit a curveball, stop swinging at outside pitches. They can test these predictions. Yes, these tests involve measuring OBP, but what you are saying re evolution is equivalent to “Batters who get on base, get on base. Therefore Sabremetrics is a tautology.”
    Your understanding of statistics appears lacking. What is a p-value, BTW?

  27. Guillermoe: No, it’s not, becuase chance is not a characteristic of the organism itself.

    I thin everyone needs to step back and take a breath.

    In the original Darwinian model, selection operated on some inherited characteristic, and this inspired the phrase, “survival of the fittest.”

    We have known for at least 50 years that most variation (assuming it is not fatal) is neutral or nearly neutral, and that most change is drift. Personally, I would like to point out that when a neutral change begins to dominate in a population, it is still being selected. It is selected in preference to variants that are fatal or severely detrimental. But the point of neutral theory is that selection does not steer toward perfect adaptation. There’s a lot of slop in the steering wheel.

    None of this is in any way an argument against evolution. We will not see phoodoo or bystander answer my challenge to describe a physical process required by evolution, but which is impossible.

  28. petrushka: I thin everyone needs to step back and take a breath.

    We have known for at least 50 years that most variation (assuming it is not fatal) is neutral or nearly neutral, and that most change is drift.

    I seemed to have missed that knowledge. I was too busy 50 years ago doing theoretical population genetics to notice it, I guess.

    I was always under the impression that, say, a 10% difference in fitness among genotypes in a population of 1,000 individuals would be a big enough difference to have a very large effect on the probability of fixation or loss of the alleles.

    It was not obvious then, and still is not entirely obvious, that most nonlethal genetic variation is neutral, just because it is nonlethal.

  29. But how many mutations result in a ten percent advantage?

    What is the percentage of change that has this kind of selection advantage.

    Perhaps I’m just writing badly, but I’d like to hear how you would describe the difference between selectionism and driftism.

  30. DNA_Jock:

    No, phoodoo.
    You appear to be unable to distinguish between fitness, the propensity, and reproduction, the outcome.
    Consider baseball’s OBP.

    Good luck, DNA_Jock. I tried it with batting averages on the tautology thread, but phoodoo and William were either unable to grasp it or unable to admit that they grasped it.

    Pretty embarrassing that every Jane or Joe Sixpack understands something that eludes these two great ID thinkers.

  31. keiths: great ID thinkers

    I think you’ve identified the source of the problem. Is oxymoron the opposite of tautology?

    I’m not going to bother working that out.

  32. phoodoo: And Steve is a liar.

    It’s against the rules to accuse fellow posters of lying. We must assume (though we do not have to believe) that other commenters are posting in good faith.

  33. petrushka,

    I think you’ve identified the source of the problem. Is oxymoron the opposite of tautology?

    🙂

  34. petrushka:
    But how many mutations result in a ten percent advantage?

    What is the percentage of change that has this kind of selection advantage.

    Perhaps I’m just writing badly, but I’d like to hear how you would describe the difference between selectionism and driftism.

    Be wary of dichotomous thinking. (Also, in this neck of the woods, we should be wary of “isms”. [Pauses, looks over shoulder. Wipes sweat from brow])
    I believe this is a recurrent problem amongst evolution-deniers. EricB, for example, was unable to grasp that there could be anything inbetween “strongly selectable” and “neutral” mutations. He was convinced that Very Slightly Deleterious Mutations must accumulate, causing mutational overload. He could not understand that Very Slightly Advantageous Mutations (e.g. the back-mutations) have a slightly higher chance of fixing. There’s a continuum.
    As I understand it, the change in thinking has been the recognition that VSDM’s and VSAM’s are far more common than originally thought. Polymorphism, it’s good for you.
    Joe F can provide the equations, however.

  35. the bystander:
    First thing first. Forget stopping unguided evolution – Apoptosis (PCD) itself is not a simple process. Please read about it. I can’t imagineit evolving from an unguided process.

    What you are incapable of imagining is not a valid argument against evolution. From a rational perspective, we don’t even need to tell you anything about evolution or how this or that could happen. You have not demonstrated a problem with anything but your own imagination.

    You have also not demonstrated in any way that you are even capable of being a reasonable individual who is willing to honestly and openly consider evidence that would entail you alter your opinion the matter.

    In fact at this stage it seems to me that your incapacity to *imagine* certain things is not so much a matter of a lack of any intrinsic imagination on your part (you probably have no problem imagining a divine power instantaneously wishing a living cell, or an entire universe, into existence from nothing). Nor that what you are failing to imagine, cannot in fact be imagined or rationally explained in the manner you are asking for.

    I think your problem is one of personal convictions and deliberate denial. Likely due to a combination of emotional bias and personal pride. Pride because you have some degree of personal interest in not conceding your “case” in this discussion, it would bother you to do so. You would feel some kind of “defeat” if that were to happen. Probably because other people who’s respect you desire, and which you imagine hinges on your ability to “resist”, also read it. Friends and/or allies of yours, so to speak.

    Emotional bias because if you went and accepted the already plentiful of rational explanations for how modern programmed cell-death could evolve in a stepwise fashion from simple beginnings, this would entail (at the least) you alter your conclusion about how life could have come about, which would force you to reconsider many aspects of your worldview and thus your life (primarily your certainty and thus the strength with which you hold certain convictions). It could be too much change in a single sitting, which you are simply not ready for.

    I suggest you take a long hiatus exloring your emotions and desires, wherein you ponder whether you are really looking for explanations for how the evolutionary process could produce something, or whether you are just here to advertise your ability to resist changing your opinion. Try asking that question to yourself and spending an hour thinking about it, every day for a month, then come back here and let’s discuss the matter again.

  36. Alan Fox: It’s against the rules to accuse fellow posters of lying. We must assume (though we do not have to believe) that other commenters are posting in good faith.

    Why must we assume things in the face of overwhelming evidence against them? That seems totally irrational.

  37. Rumraket: Why must we assume things in the face of overwhelming evidence against them? That seems totally irrational.

    As much as I can speak for her, one of Lizzie’s intentions in setting up this blog was to allow dialogue between people of widely differing views.

    She says here:

    My motivation for starting the site has been the experience of trying to discuss religion, politics, evolution, the Mind/Brain problem, creationism, ethics, exit polls, probability, intelligent design, and many other topics in venues where positions are strongly held and feelings run high. In most venues, one view dominates, and there is a kind of “resident prior” about the integrity, intelligence and motivation of those who differ from the majority view.

    That is why the strapline says: “Park your priors by the door”. They may be adjusted by the time you leave!

    and set out the rules as a way of trying to achieve that aim.

  38. DNA_Jock: Be wary of dichotomous thinking. (Also, in this neck of the woods, we should be wary of “isms”. [Pauses, looks over shoulder. Wipes sweat from brow])

    Joe F can provide the equations, however.

    Basically, if the population size is N, and the selection coefficient is s, there will be a substantial effect of selection on the gene frequency if Ns > 1, and particularly if Ns > 10. (If s is negative use the absolute value of s).

    So with a population size of 10,000, selection coefficients will be effective down to s = 0.0001 and certainly if s = 0.001.

    I just used s = 0.1 because you placed ineffectiveness at anything other than lethality or sterility.

    I realize that you may have meant that empirically, either variants are lethal or they are neutral. We actually don’t know that, partly because we have so much trouble telling 0.0001 from 0 in empirical measurements, even though 0.0001 may be quite enough to cause changes of gene frequency in the long run (say with N = 1,000,000).

  39. Alan Fox,

    Steve said that he would answer my question after I answered his. I answered his, his has not answered what the ToE is.

    Its an objective observation. Its a fact.

  40. keiths,
    Keiths,

    Your desperation is showing.

    Come up with something substantive, and I’ll respond. Until then, you’re on the ignore list.

  41. phoodoo: Steve said that he would answer my question after I answered his. I answered his, his has not answered what the ToE is.

    No, you did not answer to his question (which population will have higher survival rate in a medium with chloroquine: choloroquine resistant parasites or chloroquine susceptible parasites?) and I did answer your question.

  42. Guillermoe,

    I thought Steve asked which is fitter, not which will have a higher survival rate…oh, wait wait, they are the same thing. Now I see why you didn’t need to ask which is fitter-same thing.

    So the one that survives better will have the higher survival rate.

    THIS is why I don’t accept your defintion of the ToE as being anything definitive, and why I asked Steve (supposedly this is his expertise, not yours).

    He couldn’t answer this question. And his claiming its because he doesn’t like my answer about which survives better is really childish and transparently dishonest. But I think Alan would just prefer I say that he is a fucking idiot, as that is more acceptable behavior here.

  43. phoodoo:

    Keiths,

    Your desperation is showing.

    Come up with something substantive, and I’ll respond. Until then, you’re on the ignore list.

    Poor phoodoo is feeling Mung’s pain.

  44. I just realized something, Keiths counted how many times Andre talked about Programmed Cell Death (which is clearly impossible for the nonexistent ToE to explain) whilst complaining that Andre must have OCD. Keiths counted.

    I wonder how many times Keiths has mentioned batting averages, and nested hierarchies in his bomb thread? I think I will count…No, no . I am not going to count.

  45. phoodoo: which is clearly impossible for the nonexistent ToE to explain

    My offer is that for every word you give me explaining the Theory of Intelligent Design I will give you an equivalent number of words that explains ToE.

    Also, it seems to me that if you think the ToE does not exist the I’d not shout about that too much. After all, it just means that ID has been beaten by something that apparently does not even exist!

    So, give me 100 words on ToID and I’ll give you 100 on ToE.

    Are you up for it?

  46. phoodoo:
    … Andre talked about Programmed Cell Death (which is clearly impossible for the nonexistent ToE to explain)

    I have to agree, a nonexistent theory cannot possibly explain programmed cell death.

    However, that says nothing about the actual existing theory’s capability. Do you wish to assert that is impossible too? If so, prove it.

  47. phoodoo:
    DNA_Jock,
    DNA Jock, is luck one of those attributes of baseness?

    No, it is not. “Luck” is the unavoidable noise that confounds all measurements of baseness. Hence the caveats “in the long run” and “all other things being equal”. It turns out that most so-called “hot streaks” are the result of naive human observers’ tendency to see patterns where none exist.
    You really don’t understand statistics, do you?

  48. phoodoo: So the one that survives better will have the higher survival rate.

    Ok, my mistake for not using the stupid-proof question:

    Which population will have higher survival rate in a medium with chloroquine: (A) choloroquine resistant parasites or (B) chloroquine susceptible parasites?

    Select A or B as an answer. Or explain why you can’t choose any.

    phoodoo: THIS is why I don’t accept your defintion of the ToE as being anything definitive, and why I asked Steve (supposedly this is his expertise, not yours).

    Because you are an idiot who doesn’t understand the question? “What do you like most, chocolate or honey? I like most the thing that I like the most, what a silly question; it’s a tautology”.

    phoodoo: He couldn’t answer this question.

    He said he would after you answered his question (i.e. choose between population A or B or explain why you can’t choose) and you didn’t.

    It’s funny, because your answer WAS a tautology: “What’s faster: a snail or a horse? The one that moves faster is faster”. Really?

    So, we now see where this tautology nonsense comes from: YOUR LACK OF UNDERSTANDING.

  49. phoodoo: Programmed Cell Death (which is clearly impossible for the nonexistent ToE to explain)

    And what theory DOES explain it?

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