Design by Natural Selection: The LTEE

Lenski’s Long Term Evolutionary Experiment

Richard Lenski began the LTEE with 12 populations (six Ara^+ and six Ara^-) of the bacterium Escherichia coli on 24th February, 1988. The experiment is currently housed at Michigan State University and has run continuously apart from a short break while relocating to the present site and another during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The method is very straightforward. Each 24 hours, from flasks of the bacterium in a growth medium known as Davis minimal broth dosed with glucose at 25 mg per litre (DM25), are extracted by pipette a random sample of 0.1 ml which is added to a new volume of 9.9 ml DM25 in new flasks which are then incubated at 37°C for 24 hours and the procedure repeated indefinitely.

What the experiment does is to provide a consistent, stable and simplified niche for the twelve lines allowing them to proceed in parallel isolation (great care is taken to avoid cross-contamination). This allows the researchers to test whether evolutionary change is inevitable, repeatable or unpredictable.

One objection often made by critics is that, being designed, the experiment is not a true test of natural evolution. But Lenski chose the environment, he does not design the bacteria. A random (the flasks are continuously agitated on a mixing plate to ensure uniform distribution of cells) sample makes it through to the next generation (70,000 and counting in the thirty years the experiment has been running) but, over time, the twelve lines have undergone changes that can be observed. Cells have become larger, redundant (in the experimental niche) parts of the genome have become broken.

The most spectacular change so far has been the arrival of the ability of one line to metabolise citrate aerobically. The change has been well-studied because deep-frozen samples are retained every 75 days and DNA sequences (thanks to cheaper and quicker DNA sequencing) can be compared to match genomic changes against phenotypic changes. The ability to digest citrate involved changes at more than one locus, a beautiful illustration of neutral evolution and genetic drift.

The LTEE also is an excellent refutation for Creationist John Sandford and his “Genetic Entropy” idea. I’m sure others can point out errors but this OP is meant only to provoke discussion and not to be authoritative so please jump in with comments.

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218 thoughts on “Design by Natural Selection: The LTEE

  1. Entropy,

    Why do yo insist on calling that “Sal’s flower”? Were those genomes sequenced by Sal? Did Sal get involved at all in those analyses? If so, was Sal the one and only author?

    Sal was the first to cite this evidence. He did this on the famous 5000 comment blog on Common Design vs Common descent.

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  2. Entropy,

    Nope. It would be circular reasoning if there was no evidence about connections, but there’s plenty of evidence, and whether we know how new genes form or not doesn’t matter. We don’t need to know every detail to understand that there’s connections.

    This all depends on what you mean by connections. Connections could mean a common creator. When I used it I meant connection by direct inheritance. What you lack is evidence how this happened as you concede. If you assert it did happen based on this your argument is indeed circular.

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  3. colewd:
    Sal was the first to cite this evidence.He did this on the famous 5000 comment blog on Common Design vs Common descent.

    Sad state of affairs if you think Sal deserves “credit” for a figure he didn’t produce and for being unable to understand it.

    colewd:
    This all depends on what you mean by connections. Connections could mean a common creator. When I used it I meant connection by direct inheritance.

    I know that’s what you meant, which is why I rephrased. Did you notice that? It’s a bit disappointing that you don’t seem to try and read what we explain.

    colewd:
    What you lack is evidence how this happened as you concede.

    I did not concede anything. I just tried to get you to understand the flaw in your “logic”, the flaw being that establishing a connection, by inheritance, doesn’t require us to know every single detail about how it happened.

    colewd:
    If you assert it did happen based on this your argument is indeed circular.

    The evidence says it did happen. Again, nothing circular. Furthermore, the assumption remains even if we change the language, with the implication being that, if instead of helping us figure out a plausible history of those genes, the intermediary forms made it pretty much clear that there’s no “ancestral” connections, then the assumption would break. You fail to understand that assumptions play a role in the experimental design, because that’s how we can test them.

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  4. Flint: Are you saying here that differential reproductive success is entirely random? That organisms have evolved astounding levels of suitability for their environments through sheer good luck?

    Am I that bad at explaining? Noooooo. What I am saying is that differential reproductive success does not only depend on who gets to live to reproduce, but also when they reproduce, how many offspring they have, how large those offspring are, andsoforth, andsoforth. None of those things necessarily require that the carrying capacity of the environment has been reached.

    Flint: I think you are missing something important here. You are focusing exclusively on HOW descent with modification works, while completely ignoring WHY this happens.

    I don’t think so. It’s just that there are a lot more ways that natural selection comes into play than the word “selection” may convey.

    +1
  5. Entropy,

    I did not concede anything. I just tried to get you to understand the flaw in your “logic”, the flaw being that establishing a connection, by inheritance, doesn’t require us to know every single detail about how it happened.

    You need to identify a mechanism powerful enough to support the claim. Experiments like Lenski’s did not support reproduction being able to create major transitions.

    The evidence says it did happen. Again, nothing circular.

    Repeating assertions confirms circular reasoning. A claim of parsimony as Darwin made is an excuse for circular reasoning. You complain that you don’t need every detail yet you don’t have even the beginning of an explanation that is supported by experiment. If you start with animal populations then the math works. This pretty much confirms the accuracy of the Genesis claim that animals arrived fully formed. This is also confirmed by “Sals” flower. The claim that more intermediate genetic evidence will solve the problem is problematic as two of the species are both mammals yet the genetic divergence is similar.

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  6. Corneel: It’s just that there are a lot more ways that natural selection comes into play than the word “selection” may convey.

    The early evolution of SARS CoV-2 comes to mind.

    +1
  7. colewd: You complain that you don’t need every detail yet you don’t have even the beginning of an explanation that is supported by experiment.

    And the bible and special creation is supported by what experemine, exactly?

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  8. colewd: This pretty much confirms the accuracy of the Genesis claim that animals arrived fully formed.

    Notice Brave Bill won’t even try to explain the 3.8 billion years’ worth of fossil evidence we have. That includes the evidence of at least 5 major mass extinctions and subsequent re-radiations of different species into open ecological niches.

    Must be that disembodied magic mind at work again. 🙂

    +2
  9. Adapa,

    Now I understand why you have little patience with Bill. I answered quite a bit, yet Bill insisted on what I had already answered right there! Shit!

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  10. OMagain,

    And the bible and special creation is supported by what experemine, exactly?

    Start with the experiments that show the structure of transcription and translation mechanisms that helped give us the inference of intelligent cause.

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  11. Entropy,

    Would you please try and read the whole thing for comprehension? Is that too much to ask?

    You are stuck because you cannot model how the transitions occurred. This is most likely due to the difficulty of modeling the working of a mind planning an event. What you are left with is your opinion that they were the result of reproduction and variation.
    An opinion that has almost nothing going for it but some level of popularity.

    When you look at what we know about the biochemistry of eukaryotic cells it is a complex arrangement of parts that perform a purposeful function. No one has successfully countered Behe’s argument that this can be inferred to be the result of a mind. We can point to a Divinely inspired book that confirms this. A book you used to believe in.

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  12. colewd: No one has successfully countered Behe’s argument that this can be inferred to be the result of a mind.

    Nobody has refuted unicorns. Why does anyone need to address the idea of disembodied minds?

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  13. Alan Fox,

    Nobody has refuted unicorns. Why does anyone need to address the idea of disembodied minds?

    The reason is the overwhelming empirical evidence that there is a mind behind the universe. There is also documented evidence that has convinced many people that the mind is the Judaeo Christian God. I personally find the Bible very credible after careful examination over the last couple of years.

    We do not see the Divine Mind from our perspective as we until recently could not see atoms. That does not mean God or atoms do not exist. The unicorn argument is a logical fallacy because of false equivalence.

    I think the problem that people are struggling with is that they don’t like the Christian movements politics which is forcing them to deny objective reality. I have empathy for this feeling but felt I must work around it due to the evidence. It’s forced me to change my life style somewhat but overall its created tradeoffs that are overall positive.

    From a fully materialistic perspective universal common descent is by far the best explanation for life. The problem that surfaced is that there is clearly information behind the universe as evidenced by the arrangement of DNA and proteins. It takes a very powerful mechanism to explain this way beyond the known laws of physics, chemistry, reproduction and chance.

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  14. colewd,

    No Bill. You’re stuck. To respond to your prior comment to me, all I had to do was repost what I had already told you, but you’d ignore it again and repeat the very same shit. After this many times it’s obvious that either you lack the capacity, or you don’t care to read those answers. By the site’s rules I have to assume the former, though I’m inclined for the latter.

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  15. colewd:
    You are stuck because you cannot model how the transitions occurred.

    I’m not stuck. I’m in no need for modelling how those transitions occurred. Others have done plenty of work for me to have a good understanding about what happened, even if I don’t have all the tiniest details myself.

    colewd:
    This is most likely due to the difficulty of modeling the working of a mind planning an event.

    Why would I want a model of a mind planning an event? This doesn’t make the slightest sense. Is it here where I should say “this is circular reasoning” as per your MO?

    colewd:
    What you are left with is your opinion that they were the result of reproduction and variation.

    If you want to call my knowledge an opinion that’s fine. But, despite the derogatory intent, it’s a very well informed opinion. It’s not mere guessing.

    colewd:
    An opinion that has almost nothing going for it but some level of popularity.

    Says the guy who goes for the religion that has the highest level of popularity around him. Mere projection here Bill.

    colewd:
    When you look at what we know about the biochemistry of eukaryotic cells it is a complex arrangement of parts that perform a purposeful function.

    “Purposeful function”? And you want to tell me that I engage on circular reasoning?

    colewd:
    No one has successfully countered Behe’s argument that this can be inferred to be the result of a mind.

    I doubt Behe has ever said such a thing. So, no wonder nobody has even tried to counter such an argument. The claim is incoherent at the most basic level.

    colewd:
    We can point to a Divinely inspired book that confirms this.

    An incoherent book confirms that the biochemistry of an eukaryotic cell is a complex arrangement of parts that perform a purposeful function? I learned biochemistry from a book by Lehninger and another by Zubay (I think), though neither showed any evidence that such biochemistry was a “complex arrangement of parts that perform a purposeful function.” Had I known that all that biochemistry was in the bible, I could have saved the time to go to the library and read those books. In which page do the biochemistry lessons begin?

    colewd:
    A book you used to believe in.

    Well, I was a child once. Now it’s clear as water to me that the book belongs with the rest of mythology.

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  16. Corneel: Am I that bad at explaining? Noooooo. What I am saying is that differential reproductive success does not only depend on who gets to live to reproduce, but also when they reproduce, how many offspring they have, how large those offspring are, andsoforth, andsoforth. None of those things necessarily require that the carrying capacity of the environment has been reached.

    I don’t think so. It’s just that there are a lot more ways that natural selection comes into play than the word “selection” may convey.

    I think we are talking past one another. Let me try a different approach. Imagine a species with a finite population. Now, for any and all of these various factors you list, SOME of those individuals will reproduce, others will not (or at least below replacement rate). That’s my idea of what differential reproduction means. For the population not to diminish and ultimately vanish, the winners must reproduce enough to replace the less-reproducing losers. Those offspring MIGHT precisely replace those that died without full replacement, but of course must AT LEAST equal those lost to the population, or the species faces eventual extinction.

    Now, since nobody is counting and since species persist, the way this has always been accomplished is to produce MORE offspring than exact replacement requires. And clearly, THAT process cannot continue indefinitely, because resources are also finite. Generally speaking, ALL populations find an equilibrium size which just happens to match what the environment will support. This is not coincidence; it’s a natural result of excessive offspring.

    This doesn’t seem complicated to me. Imagine you wish to fill a bowl with some liquid, you have an endless supply of that liquid but you have NO IDEA how large the bowl is, how much it will hold, whether it leaks, etc. How to you ensure it gets full and stays full? You just keep adding as fast as you can. You don’t care if the bowl spills over, or how much spills or leaks out. Your approach guarantees that it stays full, which was your goal.

    And this doesn’t depend on who’s pouring, or when you pour, or the viscosity of the liquid, or whether there are impurities in the liquid, etc. In chemistry experiments, this used to be called “quant. suff.”, that is, as much from an infinite supply as the reaction needs. In evolution, “quant. suff.” is the continuing supply of new offspring from those individuals who breed successfully. More than enough (excess reproduction) is an absolute necessity to ensure that the “as many as the environment can hold” equilibrium is maintained.

    +1
  17. Flint:
    ALL populations find an equilibrium size which just happens to match what the environment will support

    I doubt this to be the case. (I even doubt they reach an equilibrium.) I’d agree that it happens to be less than what the environment would support, for the very evident reason that it cannot support more, but I seriously doubt they reach a population as large as the environment would be able to support because of the complex interactions with other organisms and so on. I’d imagine populations to be in chaotic ups and downs (as in Chaos Theory, not as in colloquial usage).

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  18. Entropy: I doubt this to be the case. (I even doubt they reach an equilibrium.) I’d agree that it happens to be less than what the environment would support, for the very evident reason that it cannot support more, but I seriously doubt they reach a population as large as the environment would be able to support because of the complex interactions with other organisms and so on. I’d imagine populations to be in chaotic ups and downs (as in Chaos Theory, not as in colloquial usage).

    OK, I read this as saying that a population of some species in some location isn’t going to be constant. I think of lemmings, who (in the cartoon image, anyway) experience population booms and busts. I suspect this is a common dynamic, and I suspect it’s as you say, that booms occur for a variety of causes, and busts for a different variety. I don’t think this continuous change in population density is inconsistent with the universal practice of overbreeding.

    I saw an interesting article recently. Some naturalists had counted the number of various (larger) critters in a valley. Things like deer, raccoons, lynx, etc. This count was done shortly before a neighboring valley of about the same size was to be inundated, because a dam was turning the valley into a lake. So a bunch of people collected as many of the larger animals as they could from that valley, many hundreds of animals, and moved them all to the counted valley. This approximately doubled the number of individuals of multiple species.

    A year later, they went back and recounted, and by golly, these populations had reverted to the original count. I’m referring to these counts as a rough population equilibrium for these animals. Which is, I would say, quite exactly analogous to these species overbreeding — which is what they’d been doing by themselves anyway. Perhaps this well-meaning project resulted in a tiny increment of net fitness in these populations.

    (Oh, and I might add that population booms frequently result in a larger population than the environment can support. Which is a major causes of implosions. There is good evidence that the global human population, borrowing madly from the future, has exceeded the earth’s carrying capacity of our species.)

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  19. Flint: I think we are talking past one another.

    No, we are not. I understand perfectly what you mean. I just seem to be unable to clarify myself. My fault. Let me try again:

    Flint: Now, for any and all of these various factors you list, SOME of those individuals will reproduce, others will not (or at least below replacement rate). That’s my idea of what differential reproduction means.

    Exactly, but this is not necessary. Consider the bacterial strains from the OP. Suppose you start a mixed population by introducing the ancestral and an evolved strain into a large culture flask. Then at some point both strains will be growing exponentially. Yet due to their higher growth rate the proportion of descendants of the evolved strain will be increasing! Note that we are nowhere near carrying capacity. Also note that the ancestral strain that is being steadily displaced is still growing at breakneck speed. But there is a change in the genetic composition, so the mixed population is definitely evolving by natural “selection”.

    Flint: Generally speaking, ALL populations find an equilibrium size which just happens to match what the environment will support. This is not coincidence; it’s a natural result of excessive offspring.

    Sure, you are adding in some ecology, which is absolutely fine. Real life populations run into all kinds of limitations, including limitations on food and habitat. I am NOT arguing with that.
    What I am saying is that evolution by natural selection is not dependent on an excess of offspring beyond the carrying capacity of the environment. We observe it during the exponential growth phase of a bacterial population. We observe it in mathematical models that have no population bounds. But the four postulates are always true.

    BTW, I will be very busy the coming weeks, so may be rather slow in replying.

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  20. For a real world example of what Corneel is describing, consider the early evolution of the SARS-CoV2 virus, in particular the D614G variant.

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  21. Corneel: What I am saying is that evolution by natural selection is not dependent on an excess of offspring beyond the carrying capacity of the environment. We observe it during the exponential growth phase of a bacterial population. We observe it in mathematical models that have no population bounds. But the four postulates are always true.

    I wouldn’t describe the excess of offspring as “beyond the carrying capacity of the environment”. It is an excess above the number needed to simply replace the population (for a clonal organism, an expected number of surviving offspring greater than 1, for biparental reproduction, greater than 2). That counts only offspring that survive to the age of reproduction, at low population density. The carrying capacity is the population density that results in the expected number of surviving offspring being reduced to 1 (or 2) in these cases, as a result of reduced fecundity or increased mortality or both.

    The population can go above the carrying capacity, since the population density will fluctuate up and down with changes in the environment or with random happenstance of births and deaths. The carrying capacity is the density which the population approaches in the long term.

    If there is no excess of offspring at low population density, then the population will continue to decrease and it will go extinct (unless there is migration into the population). So we normally expect an excess of reproduction.

    During all this, natural selection continues if genotypes differ in ability to survive or in fecundity. Population density-dependent mortality and reduction in fecundity can also cause natural selection, if they differ from genotype to genotype. The modern understanding of natural selection would not say that it only occurs when population density is near the carrying capacity. Darwin’s postulates give the impression that natural selection is somehow dependent on the population pressing against the limits of its resources.

    +3
  22. Why would I want a model of a mind planning an event? This doesn’t make the slightest sense. Is it here where I should say “this is circular reasoning” as per your MO?

    The ability to model and test is something that separates science from just real world opinions. It’s a very powerful tool developed, I believe, originally by Aristotle and refined by Francis Bacon we call the Scientific Method. I know you understand all this and I am writing this just to communicate where my skepticism comes from.

    While we can model events occurring in populations very well where evolutionary models break down is the origin of those populations. I believe there is a reason for this and that is identifying the ultimate cause of those populations is not available to us. For the scientific method to work we need to identify a powerful enough mechanism to explain what we are observing.

    The scientific method is about identifying the cause of what we are observing. Most of the time the cause breaks down to properties of chemistry and physics and in biology it often breaks down to the properties of the cell. The depth of understanding does not come from opinion but from the integrity of the method of understanding the observation…the scientific method.

    When we build theory on opinions what I am observing is a house of cards and great waist of time for all involved. If you use methodological naturalism as a standard you must also use the scientific method IMO. Otherwise causes that are not available to us by observation will be ignored yet they could be the actual cause. At this point the “best natural explanation” will put you on the wrong track. This is what appears to be going on in biology at this point.

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  23. Corneel: What I am saying is that evolution by natural selection is not dependent on an excess of offspring beyond the carrying capacity of the environment. We observe it during the exponential growth phase of a bacterial population. We observe it in mathematical models that have no population bounds. But the four postulates are always true.

    Of course mathematical models do what their creators want, so that’s 100% ID. As far as nature, we just observe phenotypes, genetics, and outcomes. Never any “fitness”, “natural selection”, or “evolution”.

    Food for thought:
    The same exact thing we see with “evolution” happened with the caloric, aether, vitalism, phlogiston, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_theories_in_science

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  24. I think I’ve got it! By George, I’ve got it!
    By “evolution”, nonlin really means Lysenkoism. Which does feature on his list of superseded theories in science.
    It all makes more sense now: nonlin has advanced from Fleeming Jenkin ~1867 to Trofim Lysenko ~1928.
    He’s nearly halfway there!

    +1
  25. colewd: If you use methodological naturalism as a standard you must also use the scientific method IMO. Otherwise causes that are not available to us by observation will be ignored yet they could be the actual cause. At this point the “best natural explanation” will put you on the wrong track. This is what appears to be going on in biology at this point.

    Very well.

    At the point at which religion takes over from science, i.e. explaining the origin of the fully formed kinds which then allow evolutionary equations to work due to the populations they work on now existing, do you have a comparison of the various competing origin religions explanations on offer? Many religions ‘explain’ the origin of the universe, the plants, animals and so on.

    You have made it clear that you think the bible contains the true origin story, but at this point the “best religious explanation” will put you on the wrong track. This is what appears to be going on in your worldview at this point. You need to step back and apply the scientific method, if you are going to use methodological naturalism as a standard. As proclaiming “the bible did it” is not at all scientific is it when you’ve not scientifically compared the alternatives.

    Unless you have, of course? Published it somewhere? Unless you have it seems you are now caught by the trap of your own words and standards.

    Many believe that God Shiva is a Sayambhu – which means He is not born from a human body. He was created automatically! He was there when there was nothing and He will remain even after everything is destructed. That is why; he is also loving called as the ‘Adi-Dev’ which means the ‘Oldest God of the Hindu mythology.’

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  26. colewd: For the scientific method to work we need to identify a powerful enough mechanism to explain what we are observing.

    You’ve had that mechanism explained to you ad nauseum Bill. It’s called evolutionary theory. It will still be here providing an excellent explanatory framework no matter how many times you lie about it. But since your goal in life seems to be to convince every last person you’re a dishonest dumbass, keep up the Creationist blithering.

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  27. DNA_Jock: I think I’ve got it! By George, I’ve got it!

    The real breakthrough is that you’re not disputing anything I say about “evolution”. But then again, you really, really wanted but couldn’t, right? Because you would have had to SHOW some actual “fitness”, “natural selection”, and “evolution”. And we both know neither of those is real.

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  28. Nonlin.org: The real breakthrough is that you’re not disputing anything I say about “evolution”.

    Not to speak for others but for me it’s because most of the time you are not even wrong.

    +1
  29. Nonlin.org: “natural selection”, and “evolution”

    Natural selection and evolution (and the link between genotype and phenotype) are beautifully illustrated in Lenski’s LTEE.

    +2
  30. OMagain,

    You have made it clear that you think the bible contains the true origin story, but at this point the “best religious explanation” will put you on the wrong track. This is what appears to be going on in your worldview at this point. You need to step back and apply the scientific method, if you are going to use methodological naturalism as a standard. As proclaiming “the bible did it” is not at all scientific is it when you’ve not scientifically compared the alternatives.

    This is not my position. Methodological naturalism can be used for science and you can do science without it. My only point is if you use it you better stick the discipline of the scientific method which requires tested verification.

    The veracity of Christianity is based on analysis of documented evidence an analysis which is more compelling if you have concluded the universe was created.

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  31. Alan Fox,

    Agreed. I am hard pressed to think of a time when I bothered to “dispute” something that nonlin wrote about “evolution”. I have noted his profound ignorance of biology; “Not even wrong” seems accurate.
    I restrict myself to highlighting his errors in High School math; it is a much simpler subject, and thus his errors are much more readily demonstrated.

    +2
  32. Nonlin.org: Of course mathematical models do what their creators want, so that’s 100% ID.

    Wonderful. So any natural process that we can model must be ID too. Brownian motion? (It must be the Designer pushing all those molecules around). Erosion of river banks? (The Designer is making all that soil fall into the river). Celestial mechanics? (Angels pushing the planets around).

    And so on. What a profound argument!

    +3
  33. colewd: Methodological naturalism can be used for science and you can do science without it.

    How do you do science without relying 100% on Methodological Naturalism Bill? You’ve only been making the same stupid claim for years and can never actually describe your supernatural including methodology

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  34. Joe Felsenstein: It is an excess above the number needed to simply replace the population

    I didn’t realize “excess of offspring” had a formal meaning. If I have ever learned that, then I have forgotten it.

    Joe Felsenstein: Darwin’s postulates give the impression that natural selection is somehow dependent on the population pressing against the limits of its resources.

    Apparently so, but I wasn’t really aware of that. I guess that makes sense given how the writings of Malthus influenced him.

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  35. Nonlin.org: Of course mathematical models do what their creators want, so that’s 100% ID.

    Hanky’s do exactly what their creator wants, so when I blow my nose, that’s 100% ID.

    +1
  36. Corneel,

    No. When you use a hanky to catch what you have blown from your nose, you are doing science. You are gathering evidence. 🙂

    I had an argument with an ID supporter once who mocked my wide view of science by saying “I suppose you’d claim you are doing science when you blow your nose”.

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  37. colewd: The veracity of Christianity is based on analysis of documented evidence an analysis which is more compelling if you have concluded the universe was created.

    Do you have that scientific analysis that shows Christianity is objectively true while all other religions are false?

    It seems to me you want to use science when convenient, but when your claims are in question you want to stop using scientific methodology.

    How convenient. How telling. How confidence you must be in your position to want to avoid rigorous scrutiny, the same scrutiny you want to apply to others.

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  38. Alan Fox: Not to speak for others but for me it’s because most of the time you are not even wrong.

    DNA_Jock: “Not even wrong” seems accurate.

    I know I’m NOT wrong. You are.

    Alan Fox: Natural selection and evolution (and the link between genotype and phenotype) are beautifully illustrated in Lenski’s LTEE.

    Like here. Once again you’re claiming generalities without specifics. Where’s you’re ACTUAL “fitness”, “natural selection”, “phlogiston”, or what have you?

    DNA_Jock: I restrict myself to highlighting his errors in High School math;

    I like how you keep going back to your HS level errors. That’s what I call “proper self flagellation”.

    Joe Felsenstein: So any natural process that we can model must be ID too.

    No, Joe. That doesn’t follow. Not from this. If you’re an Elvis impersonator, that doesn’t actually make you Elvis.

    What follows though, is that you’re not allowed to present your ID generated models as proof that the event you’re modeling is undirected.

    In an even more concrete example. Darwin trying to demonstrate “natural selection” by describing animal breeding is a fallacy.

    Corneel: Hanky’s do exactly what their creator wants, so when I blow my nose, that’s 100% ID.

    Unless you think that’s “evolution”. Do you?

    Which brings me to a question you left unanswered re your repeated returns after leaving:
    “But why do you expose yourself in the first place? Lots of people are afraid – rightfully so – that allowing any critical analysis of “evolution” may destroy the sand castle. Hence the vicious propaganda war against all criticism. What’s up with your bipolar approach?”

    I’d ask the same of Joe that has his own sandbox that doubles as an echo-box. Why Joe?

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  39. Nonlin.org: Me: Hanky’s do exactly what their creator wants, so when I blow my nose, that’s 100% ID.

    Nonlin: Unless you think that’s “evolution”. Do you?

    Only when a Nazi does it.

    But let me get this straight: You actually consider blowing one’s nose as an act of Intelligent Design?

    +1
  40. Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    I know I’m NOT wrong. You are.

    You cannot even agree with yourself. That says you’re wrong and unaware of it. It also says you’ll remain unaware no matter what.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    Like here. Once again you’re claiming generalities without specifics. Where’s you’re ACTUAL “fitness”, “natural selection”, “phlogiston”, or what have you?

    Where there’s life, there’s both, fitness and natural selection. You don’t see it because you cannot grasp those concepts. Not surprising, since you cannot even agree with yourself.

    As per “phlogiston”, it was a failed attempt to explain combustibility. So it’s in a much better position than “god-did-it”, which doesn’t qualify for anything else but fantasy. Try and remember that next time you want to ridicule failed attempts at explanations for the simple fact that they failed. At least they’re true attempts and honesty got them out of the table. You hold your position against self-unaware incoherence and conscious hypocrisy.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    I like how you keep going back to your HS level errors. That’s what I call “proper self flagellation”.

    You have no basis to know if anything is even at HS level, since your mistakes don’t qualify you for kindergarten. You cannot even agree with yourself.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    No, Joe. That doesn’t follow. Not from this. If you’re an Elvis impersonator, that doesn’t actually make you Elvis.

    What follows though, is that you’re not allowed to present your ID generated models as proof that the event you’re modeling is undirected.

    It’s not about proving that something is undirected, but about testing, yes, testing, not proving, if a system fed with the variables we think to be involved do the job expected from them. The test can go either way: it might work, or it might not work. Whether it works is not controlled by the modeller. If your stupidity reigned, the law of gravitation (a model), would not “prove” that mass is involved in the phenomenon, some imbecile would be insisting that it “proves” that an Intelligent Mover is doing the job because the law of gravitation was done by an “intelligent mover.”

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    In an even more concrete example. Darwin trying to demonstrate “natural selection” by describing animal breeding is a fallacy.

    No you poor illiterate. Darwin was not “demonstrating” natural selection. Darwin presented the observation that when breeders select for individuals with their preferred characteristics, they would obtain varieties that could not be expected from looking at the original populations. From there, Darwin took the word “selection” as a metaphor for the phenomenon he was about to describe, natural selection. Breeding was not “proof,” it was an element leading to Darwin’s discovery.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    Unless you think that’s “evolution”. Do you?

    It’s also a form of evolution, since the environment, in that case, includes the breeder.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    Which brings me to a question you left unanswered re your repeated returns after leaving:

    And you couldn’t help but repeating your ass-holery, could you spoiled brat?

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    “But why do you expose yourself in the first place? Lots of people are afraid – rightfully so – that allowing any critical analysis of “evolution” may destroy the sand castle. Hence the vicious propaganda war against all criticism. What’s up with your bipolar approach?”

    Corneel’s, and everyone else’s, exposure is to your childish insults and mentality. Nobody here thinks that they’re having a scientific discussion with you, because you’re just an uneducable simpleton. You’re the prime example of the Dunning/Kruger effect, nothing else.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    I’d ask the same of Joe that has his own sandbox that doubles as an echo-box. Why Joe?

    Truly laughable that you would mistake your incoherence for scientific challenges, at the levels of professional scientists no less. You poor, tiny, incoherent, meaningless, self-unaware, illiterate imbecile. You could not be any more pathetic.

    0
  41. Nonlin.org: I know I’m NOT wrong. You are.

    So binary! I’d link to Asimov’s essay if I thought there was a chance you’d read it. But it’s your choice how you spend your time. I have to admire your confidence, misplaced as it is. Don’t you think it’s time for a wider audience now you have honed your arguments razor-sharp here? The World awaits your rightness. Go get’em Cowboy.

    +1
  42. Entropy: Truly laughable that you would mistake your incoherence for scientific challenges, at the levels of professional scientists no less. You poor, tiny, incoherent, meaningless, self-unaware, illiterate imbecile. You could not be any more pathetic.

    Thankfully, even when nonlin insults one of the World’s leading geneticists, we can’t help not being offended. It is, as you say (and in the exact meaning of the word) pathetic.

    +2
  43. Soon no objections will be raised to any of nonlin’s “points” and he can finally be happy to have won yet another forum over.

    “Science” by making everybody so bored they stop responding. Guess you’ll finally have to publish then, right?

    narrator: he didn’t. He just found another forum and started over

    0
  44. Alan Fox,

    Thankfully, even when nonlin insults one of the World’s leading geneticists, we can’t help not being offended. It is, as you say (and in the exact meaning of the word) pathetic.

    Are you claiming it is ok to insult some people and not others? This does not appear to support the philosophy of this blog.

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  45. colewd:
    Are you claiming it is ok to insult some people and not others? This does not appear to support the philosophy of this blog.

    It’s in the bible Bill, it’s about reaping what you sow. Look it up. You would do well to show that to Nonlin once you find it, because Nonlin doesn’t seem to believe me that’s in the bible.

    Or maybe Nonlin interprets it to mean, insult everybody else and expect respect and admiration in return.

    0

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