Eye Mock Stupidity

I’m all in favor of mocking stupidity, and here’s something definitely worth mocking.

In arguing for evolution, author Alan R. Rogers appeals to the Nilsson and Pelger paper on how simple it is to evolve an eye. He writes:

If eyes evolve, they must do so often and easily. Could it really be so easy?

Dan-Eric Nilsson and Susanne Pelger have answered this question. They constructed an evolutionary story much like the one that I told above.

– The Evidence for Evolution. p. 42.

And what did he write about the story that he told above?

This story is of course a fabrication. p. 40

I’m serious! Can it get any more stupid than that?

Do evolutionists believe fabrications? When it comes to how to evolve and eye it would certainly seem so.

524 thoughts on “Eye Mock Stupidity

  1. Rumraket: You are exceedinly deceptive in your quotation and reading of the material.

    LoL. This is your way of demonstrating the principle of charity?

  2. Mung: LoL. This is your way of demonstrating the principle of charity?

    Ahh, so in so far as someone points out the principle of charity exists and recommends it’s use, that person is then failing to apply it?

    No Mung, that’s not going to fly.

  3. colewd: If you don’t have universal common descent as an a priori assumption then by what standard do we determine that two species share a common ancestor?

    How do you answer this?

    Can we be safe assuming that all species with eye’s share a common ancestor? If not has your statement trashed Alan’s argument?

    One thing that people find frustrating about you is that you learn nothing from any responses to your questions. You just ask the same questions over and over again as if there had been no answers.

    We determine that two species share a common ancestor if that hypothesis explains the data better than the hypothesis that they don’t share a common ancestor. But this is seldom (never?) done with just two species. It’s the nested hierarchy in the data taken from multiple species that is the strongest evidence for their common ancestry.

    We can indeed be safe in concluding that all species with eyes share a common ancestor, since they are all animals, and animals all share a common ancestor. The evidence for that is overwhelming, and is of the sort I just mentioned above. Now, what we can’t do is say that the common ancestor had eyes, but it seems likely based on the evidence that the ancestor had some cells that were sensitive to light and were used in a sensory role.

    You would have to explain the relevance of all that to Alan’s argument.

  4. Mung:

    IF all snails are closely related
    THEN all snails will have very similar eyes.
    That’s the freaking argument Rumraket.

    All snails are not equally closely related. We knew that before looking at the eyes. We know that from looking at the snails’ genetic codes and comparing them (among other biological comparisons). So your “in other words” here:

    Yet they don’t, and the author admits it. So the premise is false.

    Put another way:
    Closely related species will have similar eyes.
    All snails do not have similar eyes.
    Therefore, all snails are not closely related.

    …is incorrect.

  5. Robin,

    I’d just like to point out that relationship, even close relationship, is no guarantee that any particular features will be similar, or more similar than some less closely related species are. Evolution can proceed at different rates in different species, and one species may end up quite different from the ancestral condition while its close relative remains unchanged. Off the top of my head, consider the many species of blind cave fish, each one closely related to some species with standard fishy eyes. You should be able to come up with many other examples, not at all limited to eyes.

    In phylogenetics we don’t estimate relationships based on similarity but on fit of the data to a particular tree. That fit allows for variation in evolutionary rates.

  6. John Harshman: I’d just like to point out that relationship, even close relationship, is no guarantee that any particular features will be similar, or more similar than some less closely related species are.

    And I think the eye is a great example of this!

  7. Mung: Because the arguments I am making are not arguments against common descent. Don’t let Rumraket mislead you.

    Rumraket’s comment had nothing to do with it. Two of us, independently, see your comments as inconsistent with acceptance of common descent. It’s more likely that you’re expressing yourself poorly than that you’re being misunderstood. I’m certainly not out to pin rejection of common descent on you. So take a look at what you’ve written, and consider what you might have done better.

  8. John Harshman:
    Robin,

    I’d just like to point out that relationship, even close relationship, is no guarantee that any particular features will be similar, or more similar than some less closely related species are. Evolution can proceed at different rates in different species, and one species may end up quite different from the ancestral condition while its close relative remains unchanged. Off the top of my head, consider the many species of blind cave fish, each one closely related to some species with standard fishy eyes. You should be able to come up with many other examples, not at all limited to eyes.

    In phylogenetics we don’t estimate relationships based on similarity but on fit of the data to a particular tree. That fit allows for variation in evolutionary rates.

    Yes. I sit corrected in my oversimplification. I submit that Mung’s syllogism is erroneous.

  9. John Harshman,

    We can indeed be safe in concluding that all species with eyes share a common ancestor, since they are all animals, and animals all share a common ancestor.

    So you are claiming that humans and trilobites are genetically connected by a common ancestor and the connection is solely through reproduction and genetic variation?

  10. Tom English: Two of us, independently, see your comments as inconsistent with acceptance of common descent.

    Perhaps you and I can take Rumraket’s Course in Charitable Reading together. 🙂

  11. colewd:
    John Harshman,

    So you are claiming that humans and trilobites are genetically connected by a common ancestor and the connection is solely through reproduction and genetic variation?

    What other connection could there be if they do indeed share a common ancestor? FFS

  12. John Harshman: In phylogenetics we don’t estimate relationships based on similarity but on fit of the data to a particular tree.

    What data?

    How do you make a tree to begin with if you aren’t using similarity to make your tree? Is the tree based on pulling cards out of a hat?

  13. John Harshman: We can indeed be safe in concluding that all species with eyes share a common ancestor, since they are all animals, and animals all share a common ancestor. The evidence for that is overwhelming, and is of the sort I just mentioned above. Now, what we can’t do is say that the common ancestor had eyes, but it seems likely based on the evidence that the ancestor had some cells that were sensitive to light and were used in a sensory role.

    Maybe the reason colewd is not learning from you, is because what you are saying is nonsense.

    First you say all species with eyes share a common ancestor, because of the fact that all animals are related. Duh.

    But then you go on to say what the common ancestor most likely was like, when you yourself acknowledge that eyes have arisen multiple times throughout history. So maybe the only common ancestor is some bacteria, that had no eyes whatsoever.

    Or are you now trying to say, that for every animal with the ability to see on this planet, they have all arisen as the offspring of ONE particular lucky individual, a flatworm perhaps, that just so happen to get a lucky light sensitive patch. So everything after that is related to that one crazy little worm?

  14. John Harshman: We can indeed be safe in concluding that all species with eyes share a common ancestor, since they are all animals, and animals all share a common ancestor. The evidence for that is overwhelming, and is of the sort I just mentioned above. Now, what we can’t do is say that the common ancestor had eyes, but it seems likely based on the evidence that the ancestor had some cells that were sensitive to light and were used in a sensory role.

    You would have to explain the relevance of all that to Alan’s argument.

    I’ll give it a shot, since it’s my OP.

    The first thing we discover is that a light sensitive spot is not an eye. So when does an eye become an eye. I don’t think Alan answered that. Another reason to find his tale of how the eye evolved implausible.

    The second thing that we hear is that only animals have eyes. Yet the number of “light-sensitive spots” out there must be absolutely ginormous and not at all restricted to animals. So there’s even less reason to think it’s easy to get from a light-sensitive spot to an eye via natural selection. If only animals have eyes, then it seems like more of a happy accident than something that natural selection would bring about. So now we have even more reasons to think his fabrication implausible.

    How am I doing so far?

    I find passages like the following revealing:

    In solving one problem, the new design has caused another (p 40).

    So it isn’t all sweetness and light after all. The changes on the way to an eye may well be damaging. But let’s pretend that every step is advantageous. No one knows!

    Think of how many tales one could tell in which some deleterious step had to be gone through. Would evolutionists find that tale any less plausible? In fact, throwing a little bit of adversity into the tale might even make it more believable. And then there’s just plain old luck. Toss that into our tale. And a maiden in distress. And an evil genius. Some magic. POOF! AN EYE!

    Don’t be so blasted gullible.

  15. A multiple de novo evolution of eyes or the homology of all eyes are not the only alternatives and it is quite clear that the real picture must be somewhere in between.

    – Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa. The Evolution of Organ Systems

    Taken together, a fascinating picture starts to emerge. It appears that the molecular inventory of photoreceptors not only evolved early in metazoan evolution, but had already diversified into a microvillous and a ciliary ‘kit’ early on. Such kits must have been present in the ancestors of each higher taxon, but they are not expressed in numerous cases (those, in which no photoreceptors can be found).

    – Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa. The Evolution of Organ Systems

  16. Tom English,

    Rumraket’s comment had nothing to do with it. Two of us, independently, see your comments as inconsistent with acceptance of common descent.

    I think Mung may practice reform common descent vs orthodox common descent taught in the schools and used to validate natural selection per Alan’s book. Reform common descent can be practiced daily at Bio Logos. In reform common descent Devine intervention is allowed while in orthodox CD it is forbidden.

  17. colewd: This shows that reform CD has caught up with orthodox CD.

    It shows there was some good to come of the Trump election!

  18. Mung: The first thing we discover is that a light sensitive spot is not an eye. So when does an eye become an eye.

    That’s not even relevant.

    The second thing that we hear is that only animals have eyes.

    The value of light sensitivity depends on the niche. For plants, it provides solar energy. For animals, it provides information about the immediate vicinity.

    How am I doing so far?

    You are not even trying.

  19. Bullshit Alert!

    We saw on p. 42 that a complex eye can evolve from an eye spot in about 360,000 years.

    – The Evidence for Evolution. p. 80

    He must be referring to the Nilsson and Pelger paper. The paper which is “an evolutionary story much like the one that” he told earlier in the chapter. One which “does not need to be true.” One which “does not tell us whether eyes really did evolve.” One which “is of course a fabrication.”

    Darwinism rots your thinking people. Stay away from it.

  20. John Harshman,

    No, it shows that theistic evolution has caught up with creationism. Can’t you even read a simple line plot?

    This is correct. Thanks for the correction. Mung is kicking ass with reform CD and orthodox CD has gone flatline over the last 3 years attracting 19% of the population. Anyone want to make a prediction for 2018?

  21. phoodoo: How long would an eyeball be useful without a blinking eyelid?

    Well, there are many many different eyes, as we have come to see. How many involve an eyeball and eyelid I cannot say.

  22. phoodoo: How would you sleep?

    It makes me shudder to think that the eye evolved. I’m not sure I could sleep at all.

  23. Mung,

    It shows there was some good to come of the Trump election!

    The swamp still seems to be quite full 🙂

  24. In 1977, it was good to have a deep beak, so selection made beaks deeper. In 2004, it was good to have a small one, so selection made beaks smaller.

    lol. i kid you not.

  25. colewd: Mung is kicking ass with reform CD and orthodox CD has gone flatline over the last 3 years attracting 19% of the population. Anyone want to make a prediction for 2018?

    1. Mung has nothing to do with it.
    2. “Reform CD” has gained at the expense of creationism. This is if anything good news for me, not you.
    3. I predict that you will remain clueless in 2018.

  26. John Harshman,

    2. “Reform CD” has gained at the expense of creationism. This is if anything good news for me, not you.

    So you are a reform CD supporter? I think its time to take Mung off ignore. I don’t have any problem with reform CD. I have a problem with people who make the claim that blind unguided processes created the diversity of life.

  27. Bullshit Alert!

    From here on, the evolutionary path is easy to see. (p 42)

    The exact opposite is true.

    The more complex a system is, the greater the number of parts that must be sustained in their proper place, and the lesser the tolerance for errors; therefore, a high degree of regulation and control is required.

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6340/eaal3321.full

    Perhaps, if you actually ignore the requirements for increasing complexity and ignore the evidence of what’s required for complex systems, THEN “the evolutionary path is easy to see.”

    Because it has nothing to do with the facts.

  28. Mung: Well, there are many many different eyes, as we have come to see. How many involve an eyeball and eyelid I cannot say.

    But we can agree, all the eyeballs with eyelids once were eyeballs without eyelids, right?

    Or else there were lots of blinking, wet eyelids, without eyeballs yet?

  29. Question- What do you call an eyelid without any eyeballs?

    Answer- An armpit?

  30. Science, if anything, is logical. Philosophers never thought to deploy logic as a demarcation criterion because, frankly, they never in their wildest imagination could believe that people would seriously set forth fallacious reasoning, with a straight face, as legitimate science.

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-paper-from-gareth-frasers-group.html

    Similarity does not prove evolution. This is the age-old fallacy of affirming the consequent. If P implies Q, then Q implies P, right?

  31. phoodoo: Or else there were lots of blinking, wet eyelids, without eyeballs yet?

    It’s at least plausible. And unless you can prove otherwise, I’m going to go with it.

  32. The general types of photoreceptors can be arranged into an order of increasing complexity and ‘visual potential’. Simple photoreceptors are thereafter flat spots which can only detect differences ences in light intensity. More advanced are cup-shaped shaped photoreceptors, which can additionally detect the direction of light (see Land 1991 for a more detailled account). When the cup becomes deeper and the tissue closes except for a small pore, a camera lucida eye is formed which can project an image onto the sheet of pigment cells. The presence of a lens is a further optimization of this system (see, e.g., Goldsmith 1990, Wolken 1995, Land & Nilsson 2004, Warrant & Nilsson 2006 for further details). It has to be tested whether such a ‘logical’ and physical order of photoreceptors does really mirror evolution.

    – Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa. The Evolution of Organ Systems

    It’s just a story folks. Don’t confuse the story with actual facts.

  33. While both Eakin and Vanfleteren/Coomans assumed a common origin of photoreceptors with subsequent evolutionary change, von Salvini-Plawen & Mayr (1977; see also von Salvini-Plawen 1982) regarded photoreceptors as so diverse and so scattered in distribution that they might have evolved several times in parallel, between 40 and 65 times.

    Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa. The Evolution of Organ Systems

    Not exactly the best candidate if you want to argue for common descent and even less so if you want to prove that natural selection was responsible for all of it.

    This book has some great stuff on the diversity of photoreceptors even within the same groups.

  34. Mung: Perhaps, if you actually ignore the requirements for increasing complexity and ignore the evidence of what’s required for complex systems, THEN “the evolutionary path is easy to see.”

    Sounds like you have an alternate explanation, what is this evidence for what is required of a complex system and how did the designer create it in the life around us?

  35. colewd:
    John Harshman,

    So you are a reform CD supporter?I think its time to take Mung off ignore.I don’t have any problem with reform CD.I have a problem with people who make the claim that blind unguided processes created the diversity of life.

    You’re similar to mung in that you occasionally claim not to have a problem with common descent, yet you reject all the evidence for it. Face it: you’re a creationist. Perhaps it’s time to put you on ignore.

  36. John Harshman,

    You’re similar to mung in that you occasionally claim not to have a problem with common descent, yet you reject all the evidence for it. Face it: you’re a creationist. Perhaps it’s time to put you on ignore.

    I understand the evidence for it yet I don’t believe in orthodox CD based on the evidence against it. I looked at some of the raw data in your paper and saw many single nucleotide deviations between species compared genes (34% based on limited data) between birds you claimed shared a common ancestor and my assumption is this is an orthodox CD claim that it came from reproduction.

    You are right I believe we live in a created universe yet I am uncertain how that creation unfolded. I have enjoyed our conversations but agree that a break in conversation is warranted.

  37. colewd: You are right I believe we live in a created universe yet I am uncertain how that creation unfolded.

    So, no evidence worthy of the name, as usual.

    The issue is so simple when your position is impervious to evidence. No identifiable cause necessary, and the many cases of derivation where intelligence would simply transfer in something better can be ignored. As ever you do.

    Glen Davidson

  38. I find it amusing that after all these years, someone is asking if common descent means common descent. Perhaps we need a thread on terminology.

  39. Mung: Similarity does not prove evolution. This is the age-old fallacy of affirming the consequent. If P implies Q, then Q implies P, right?

    Nobody says mere similarity proves evolution. Nobody.

  40. colewd: my assumption is this is an orthodox CD claim that it came from reproduction.

    Common descent without reproduction? Why are Xtians always trying to spoil the party?

  41. – Honey, why does our baby look so much like the priest?
    – Tim, what are you getting at? we don’t believe similarity implies common descent as orthodox do
    – But they’re the only Asians in town!
    – Riiiight, but even if he’s the father, no reproduction was involved!
    – Of course! what was I thinking? I almost fell for that orthodox CD crap!

  42. petrushka: I find it amusing that after all these years, someone is asking if common descent means common descent. Perhaps we need a thread on terminology.

    First we would have to have a thread on the meaning of the word terminology

  43. colewd: You are right I believe we live in a created universe yet I am uncertain how that creation unfolded. I have enjoyed our conversations but agree that a break in conversation is warranted.

    Do you believe science can tell you how creation unfolded?

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