Irreducible Complexity – a Weak Argument

A lot has been argued about Irreducible Complexity. Here is a proposed solution to the conundrum.

  1. Darwin’s call to challengers is absurd. In The Origin of Species (1859), he wrote, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.” This is NOT how science works! You do not get to formulate whatever fantastic theory you please that then stands until someone disproves it in the exact manner you specify. Instead, it is your duty to prove your claims. This case shows that, when the foregone conclusions fit the religious views of its proponents, the scientific rigor is often cast aside.
  2. Ignorance cuts both ways. Irreducible Complexity was called the “argument from personal incredulity” or “argument from ignorance”. This is indeed correct. And because of this, Irreducible Complexity is flawed… as are all arguments for “evolution”… given an argument from ignorance asserts that “a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false [“evolution”] or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true [irreducible complexity]. Evolutionists (Darwin’s quote in particular) err by claiming the unknown supports “evolution”. We certainly do not know the origin of the eye, much less have seen any eye “evolve”. Yet a just-so story of eye “evolution” has been put together by imaginarily linking disparate optical sensors designs. Therefore, if Irreducible Complexity is a bad argument, so is “evolution” itself.
  3. Michael Behe engages in a game rigged against him. There are many and much better ways to show “evolution” impossible. Irreducible complexity is an argument against imagination. And imagination always wins because it is infinite. But the game is further rigged. When Michael Behe used the mousetrap as an illustrative example of this concept, Kenneth R. Miller challenged him by observing he can use the mousetrap components to make a spitball launcher (catapult), a tie clip, key chain, clipboard, tooth pick. Yet, by “nonfunctional”, Behe does not mean that the precursor cannot serve any function – a mousetrap missing its spring can still act as a paperweight. It just cannot serve the specific function (catching mice) by means of the same mechanism (a spring-loaded hammer slamming down upon the mouse). A function is obviously not the same as a specific
  4. Asymmetry improves Behe’s argument. Degradation to new function is much easier done than buildup to new function. If you have an optimized mousetrap and need an ad-hoc catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick, all you need is to remove some parts. That’s almost instantaneous and effortlessly. But if you have an optimized catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick, you need a lot of engineering to make an ad-hoc mouse trap out of those. Even if you have them all at once which is impossible in real life. Why optimized? Because that’s what “natural selection” creates… presumably. This doesn’t prove Irreducible Complexity, however. Because, as shown, the argument is flawed and the game is rigged.
  5. The impossible changeover further improves Behe’s argument. The “evolution” model demands continuous improvement every generation and a slow, multigenerational incremental process. Or as Darwin put it: “numerous, successive, slight modifications “. However, this cannot be done when changing function as the old function must degrade well before the new function is developed. Manufacturing changeover works because it is done within a fraction of a generation. Still, the process is interrupted and the system goes through a loss of function during the changeover. Generally, an inventory is built up in anticipation while extra resources are thrown in long before and after the actual changeover to limit the impact. If extra resources were not available, or an inventory buildup were not possible, or organizational capability were lost in a long process (who would stick around for decades even paid for idleness?), then the enterprise would not survive (extinction event in biology). The mousetrap example fits perfectly. Once it starts to be dismantled and before the catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick becomes functional, for a while, the system has no function whatsoever. This time would actually be multigenerational in real life biologic systems that, being functionless, would go extinct and thus never get to the other side (the new function). Now take the bacterial flagellar motor, and the bacterial injectisome. If either one “evolved” into the other, at some point one function would be lost before the other would become available, thus leaving the bacteria without either function, and thus at a competitive disadvantage to the original. The “innovator” would go extinct before having a chance to compete. And having both systems functional at the same time before renouncing the old one wouldn’t work because real life resources are limited as opposed to infinite when imagined. And how would – whichever came first – have happened from scratch is, once again, left to imagination.
  6. Are “phlogiston” and “ether” teaching us anything? Let’s compare and contrast. “Phlogiston” and “ether” were bad theories like “evolution” that were eventually abandoned. Which is exactly what will happen to “evolution” too. They were disproved by whatever means possible, not by a prescribed method proposed by their proponents as Darwin’s. They were tested against the claims and implication of those theories and were found lacking. In the case of ether, by their own supporters, Michelson and Morley. In the same manner, we can test the positive claims of “evolution” from “gradualism” to “fitness”, “divergence of character”, “natural selection”, etc. And all fail. So there is no need to follow Darwin’s guidance on how to disprove his theory especially when febrile imagination is the only support offered in a rigged game.

 

Links:

https://chem.tufts.edu/AnswersInScience/MillerID-Collapse.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

https://www.gotquestions.org/irreducible-complexity.html

https://www.discovery.org/a/24481/

https://evolutionnews.org/2015/07/why_the_type_ii/

249 thoughts on “Irreducible Complexity – a Weak Argument

  1. CharlieM: Why do we find it so hard to admit to our own faults and errors?

    What fault do people crippled by back pain have? Do tell.

    When a nerve is trapped or a disk crumbles that’s the fault of the person is it?

    Normally I’d never wish such pain on another person, but I’d like you to have a couple of hours worth, frankly.

    And don’t you think it’s worth blaming the ‘tool’ if the ‘tool’ was for a totally different purpose originally? That ‘tool’ should not have put itself forwards for a job it was not suitable for.

  2. OMagain:
    CharlieM: I speak from experience: Misuse of what we are given Why do we find it so hard to admit to our own faults and errors?

    OMagain: I also speak from experience. Fuck off and die?

    I’m not sure how to answer that question.

  3. OMagain:
    CharlieM: Why do we find it so hard to admit to our own faults and errors?

    OMagain: What fault do people crippled by back pain have? Do tell.

    Individual cases would need to be assessed as appropriate. But generally speaking I would say the majority of back problems are down to how we use and misuse our bodies. I have had extended periods where I could hardly move never mind go to work because of back pain. I know that my actions over the years contributed greatly to the problem. My job involved a lot of heavy lifting and often I wasn’t very careful in how I went about it

    OMagain: When a nerve is trapped or a disk crumbles that’s the fault of the person is it?

    Sometimes, yes. But there can be many reasons. Previous injuries, lack of a proper diet, not enough vitamin D, things like that. Much of this may be out of the person’s control but still avoidable in society as a whole.

    Omagain: Normally I’d never wish such pain on another person, but I’d like you to have a couple of hours worth, frankly.

    Why do you assume I haven’t?

    And don’t you think it’s worth blaming the ‘tool’ if the ‘tool’ was for a totally different purpose originally? That ‘tool’ should not have put itself forwards for a job it was not suitable for.

    What about those people who live a long and healthy life without having any back problems (and I’ve known a few)? How is it that the tool works perfectly well for them?

    And what makes you think that having a stack of vertebrae and discs aligned basically horizontal is better than having them in a more vertical orientation?

  4. Nonlin.org,

    You can steal a bad idea too, can’t you?

    Of course. Still funny though. The idea is to discredit evolution by discrediting the character of its best-known exponent. “Evolution’s bollocks because its best-known exponent was a man of poor character. Among his flaws: stealing the very idea of which he is the best-known exponent. I mean, how can we trust the idea if we can’t trust the man who appropriated it?”. 🤣

  5. CharlieM: What about those people who live a long and healthy life without having any back problems (and I’ve known a few)? How is it that the tool works perfectly well for them?

    https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/childrens-cancers

    There are around 1,900 new children’s cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s around 5 every day

    Guess those kids should have taken better care of their bodies huh?

    CharlieM: And what makes you think that having a stack of vertebrae and discs aligned basically horizontal is better than having them in a more vertical orientation?

    Science.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200305132047.htm

    The latest research is the third study that the researchers have conducted linking vertebral shape and back pain to the evolutionary history of our lineage. Previously, they have demonstrated that humans with intervertebral disc hernias have vertebrae that are more similar in shape to those of modern chimpanzees and those of our fossil ancestors than are humans with healthy spines.

    “We can picture vertebral shape variation in humans as a spectrum with one end having vertebrae with an ancestral shape and the other end having vertebrae with exaggerated bipedal adaptations. Where an individual’s vertebrae lie within this distribution has a bearing on their spinal health,” says Mark Collard, SFU archaeology professor and Canada Research Chair in Human Evolutionary Studies.

    It’s been suspected for a long time however.

  6. OMagain,
    OMagain,

    You’re repeating yourself because you failed to read.

    OMagain: So it is your position that appendicitis is not real?

    Now, that’s one of the most stupid questions ever.

    OMagain: Also the human body is terribly designed for upright walking. Many many people have indescribable back pain and knees are very unreliable.

    It’s because our ancestors used to walk on all fours

    No one is stopping you from walking on all four.

    OMagain: I’m going to guess that you are also an anti-vaxxer?

    Guess away.

    Alan Fox: But no-one here regards irreducible complexity as a problem for evolutionary theory. As you titled the thread:

    Irreducible Complexity – a Weak Argument

    Congrats on making it through the title. Hard work, eh? Now, if you go on, you will learn that:
    1. Darwin was an idiot
    2. “Evolution” is an argument from ignorance
    3. Asymmetry (buildup vs degradation) makes “evolution” impossible
    4. The impossible changeover (old function to new function) further makes “evolution” a laughingstock

    But take your time.

    Alan Fox: “Intelligent Design” is not a theory, let alone a scientific one. It’s merely a poorly disguised Creationist attempt at a religious objection to evolution.

    You are delusional. “Evolution” is a recent cretinism while people have embraced ID for ever. And smart ones still do. In fact, there was never anything wrong with ID, so Darwin’s “alternative” “theory” (call it myth) didn’t add any value.

    Alan Fox: We can observe aspects of the universe and produce models that we can then test.

    That’s what a “logical universe” means. You cannot produce any models on something illogical.

    Alan Fox: I suspect we’d be in trouble with mathematical models if the universe presented as non-linear.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about, do you? Yes, nonlinearities can be modeled. And yes, the universe is nonlinear.

    Alan Fox: You claimed there was some connection between Darwin and Hitler’s nazis. I’d like you either to back it up or withdraw it.

    Already did. Read.

    OMagain: When a nerve is trapped or a disk crumbles that’s the fault of the person is it?

    Walk on your knuckles. Like little cousin.

    Allan Miller: Of course. Still funny though. The idea is to discredit evolution by discrediting the character of its best-known exponent.

    Every Darwinist that writes a book, feels the need to explain away that episode. I personally don’t give a fuck about what Darwin stole and from who. You can say Darwin is the Moses of atheism complete with a beard. But we can all see through that into his stupid degenerate brain, can’t we?

    BTW, don’t forget about bacteria and M&Ms. You’ll let a lot of people down if you run away from your obligations.

    OMagain: Science.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200305132047.htm

    And yet, backpain is not a leading cause of death among humans. But what quadruped do you exactly envy?

  7. Nonlin.org: No one is stopping you from walking on all four.

    I realise you have no coherent arguments to offer but try to make it less obvious. I’m embarrassed for you.

  8. Nonlin.org: 1. Darwin was an idiot

    Irrelevant to whether evolutionary theory is a good model of reality.

    2. “Evolution” is an argument from ignorance

    Nope. It is an explanation for the observation of common descent.

    3. Asymmetry (buildup vs degradation) makes “evolution” impossible

    Word salad.

    4. The impossible changeover (old function to new function) further makes “evolution” a laughingstock

    More word salad.

  9. Nonlin.org: But we can all see through that into his stupid degenerate brain, can’t we?

    Again, irrelevant to whether evolutionary theory has merit. Darwin died in 1882. His theory has been expanded and adapted as knowledge expands.

  10. Nonlin.org: And yes, the universe is nonlinear.

    I don’t think I expressed a view about the universe. I merely pointed out that mathematical models tend to assume regularity. As I said, the universe doesn’t care.

  11. Nonlin.org: 4. The impossible changeover (old function to new function) further makes “evolution” a laughingstock

    What does that make your idea then, that it cannot beat a laughingstock idea?

  12. Nonlin.org: I don’t much care who your favorite Nazi is, or why you shield him from some charges but not others. The topic here today is Irreducible Complexity. Focus! And make a contribution to THAT discussion.

    Dude, if you don’t want to talk about nazi’s, then STOP GODWINNING THIS THREAD.

    Nonlin.org: Me: Could you tell me the difference between evolution and design please, apart from the fact that you really dislike the former?

    Nonlin: ‘LOGIC’ is the difference. See above.

    True, but I meant apart from the fact that intelligent design theory is completely devoid of logic.
    If evolutionary change and “designed change” are mutually exclusive, then you could easily list the criteria separate them, right? To be honest, I don’t think you can because you have no clue what either of them means.

    Nonlin.org: Could it be YOU the one that doesn’t understand anything about “evolution”?

    Then why is it that all professional biologists on this site are constantly telling YOU that you are wrong?

    I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.

  13. Alan Fox: Word salad.

    Not everything you don’t understand is “word salad”. If you even tried to read the argument. Doubtful given you barely got beyond the title.

    Alan Fox: Again, irrelevant to whether evolutionary theory has merit. Darwin died in 1882. His theory has been expanded and adapted as knowledge expands.

    Very much relevant – good ideas don’t come from stupid people that cannot prove one iota of their nonsense.

    And “expanded and adapted” stands for “trying to fix the leaks of this sinking boat” with more bloatware. Contrast true scientific theories that WORK with “evolution”. You can write the former on a napkin, but you need book after book after book of nonsense to keep the gullible in line for the latter.

    Corneel: True, but I meant apart from the fact that intelligent design theory is completely devoid of logic.

    Let’s explore this: how is Intelligent Design “devoid of logic”?

    And about logic… You look at a pump and say “designed” and then look at another and say “not designed”. Imagine you go to Mars and find a pump there that doesn’t look like either of the two on Earth. You know nothing more. What would you think? Designed or not designed?

    Or you may say something stupid like “designed by the environment”. If so, why do we employ designers and don’t just let the environment design for us?

    Corneel: If evolutionary change and “designed change” are mutually exclusive, then you could easily list the criteria separate them, right?

    What “change” are we talking about? What’s “evolutionary change”? Why would change of any kind be “evolutionary”?

    Corneel: Then why is it that all professional biologists on this site are constantly telling YOU that you are wrong?

    So once again, “vote for science” because science is majority rule, right? As far as “professional biologists”, to the extent they work on something useful to society, that is not “evolution”. And if they work on “evolution”, that is not useful to society and therefore they are leaches on the taxpayer. Chose ‘one’ OR ‘the other’. No overlap.

  14. Nonlin.org: Not everything you don’t understand is “word salad”.

    True but in the case of what you wrote, the words you use are not the issue. It is how they are tossed together in seemingly random fashion, like a salad of words.

    Asymmetry (buildup vs degradation) makes “evolution” impossible

    Can anyone else make sense of this? ^^^^

    ETA and this?

    The impossible changeover (old function to new function) further makes “evolution” a laughingstock

  15. Nonlin.org: they are leaches on the taxpayer

    When taking others to task for failing to understand what you write, it might be worth paying more attention to the words you use.

  16. OMagain:
    CharlieM: What about those people who live a long and healthy life without having any back problems (and I’ve known a few)? How is it that the tool works perfectly well for them?

    OMagain: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/childrens-cancers

    There are around 1,900 new children’s cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s around 5 every day

    Guess those kids should have taken better care of their bodies huh?

    There’s a great variety in the causes of cancer. And society must take responsibility for the amount of carcinogenic substances that are being released into the environment. But I’m not sure how you get from poor posture and behaviour which overstrains the body to cancer.

    CharlieM: And what makes you think that having a stack of vertebrae and discs aligned basically horizontal is better than having them in a more vertical orientation?

    OMagain: Science.
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200305132047.htm

    The latest research is the third study that the researchers have conducted linking vertebral shape and back pain to the evolutionary history of our lineage. Previously, they have demonstrated that humans with intervertebral disc hernias have vertebrae that are more similar in shape to those of modern chimpanzees and those of our fossil ancestors than are humans with healthy spines.

    “We can picture vertebral shape variation in humans as a spectrum with one end having vertebrae with an ancestral shape and the other end having vertebrae with exaggerated bipedal adaptations. Where an individual’s vertebrae lie within this distribution has a bearing on their spinal health,” says Mark Collard, SFU archaeology professor and Canada Research Chair in Human Evolutionary Studies.

    It’s been suspected for a long time however

    The study in your link focuses on one small bone at the base of the spine and they say it may be due to the evolution of bipedalism and that it occurs in bones that have overshot the form that is optimised for bipedalism. People with more optimal shaped bones do not have this problem. It is common in athletes, especially young athletes with bones that are still developing.

    Spondylolysis:
    “Spondylolysis is a crack or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, the small bones that make up the spinal column. The injury most often occurs in children and adolescents who participate in sports that involve repeated stress on the lower back, such as gymnastics, football, and weight lifting…”

    Have you ever had a close look at the vertebral column to see what a marvellous structure it is? The same basic form is suitable for the vast range of animal species that possess one. How it protects the spinal cord while still allowing for flexibility. Just look at the atlas and axis bones, how they are formed to interact with the skull. Your criticism of its form seems to be misplaced if you would only study it without any preconceptions.

  17. CharlieM: There’s a great variety in the causes of cancer. And society must take responsibility for the amount of carcinogenic substances that are being released into the environment. But I’m not sure how you get from poor posture and behaviour which overstrains the body to cancer.

    How do you delineate what “A bad workman blames his tools” applies to then? Cancer can be caused by personal choices, as well as bad backs.
    Cancer also happens to people who have made all the right choices, as do bad backs.

    Why can we say that phrase applies to one and not the other? There are a great variety of causes for bad backs also. And society must take responsibility for not educating people how to lift correctly, also.

    CharlieM: that it occurs in bones that have overshot the form that is optimised for bipedalism.

    Tsk, a bad workman blames his tools! Make the best of what you’ve been given, optimum or not!

    The point you seem resistant to is given two people, one optimized and one not, you have no way of knowing who you are talking to with your “blame” trope.

    Keep digging.

  18. OMagain:
    CharlieM: I’m not sure how to answer that question.

    OMagain: Think about it a little then.

    I prefer not to if you don’t mind. Aren’t you embarrassed at having to resort to an outburst like that? You do know its okay for people to have differences of opinion don’t you? What sort of world would it be if we all agreed with each other?

  19. OMagain:
    CharlieM: There’s a great variety in the causes of cancer. And society must take responsibility for the amount of carcinogenic substances that are being released into the environment. But I’m not sure how you get from poor posture and behaviour which overstrains the body to cancer.

    OMagain: How do you delineate what “A bad workman blames his tools” applies to then? Cancer can be caused by personal choices, as well as bad backs.
    Cancer also happens to people who have made all the right choices, as do bad backs.

    It was you who started the blame game. You blamed design without any consideration of other factors.

    OMagain: Why can we say that phrase applies to one and not the other? There are a great variety of causes for bad backs also. And society must take responsibility for not educating people how to lift correctly, also.

    Individuals can take personal responsibility for how they use their bodies but it’s much more difficult to shield oneself from environmental dangers.

    CharlieM: that it occurs in bones that have overshot the form that is optimised for bipedalism.

    Tsk, a bad workman blames his tools! Make the best of what you’ve been given, optimum or not!

    I’m not blaming anyone or anything, I’m just repeating what the researchers you linked to said. It’s a fact that you must take into account if you are criticising the design of the human spine

    The point you seem resistant to is given two people, one optimized and one not, you have no way of knowing who you are talking to with your “blame” trope.

    Keep digging

    Don’t forget you started the “blame” trope. It’s your hole we are digging.

  20. Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    If you even tried to read the argument. Doubtful given you barely got beyond the title.

    Couldn’t be more self describing. Looking at a mirror there Nonlin?

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    Very much relevant – good ideas don’t come from stupid people that cannot prove one iota of their nonsense.

    Looks as if you’re surrounded by mirrors Nonlin!

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    And “expanded and adapted” stands for “trying to fix the leaks of this sinking boat” with more bloatware. Contrast true scientific theories that WORK with “evolution”. You can write the former on a napkin, but you need book after book after book of nonsense to keep the gullible in line for the latter.

    Sure. Everything more complicated than gravitation must be mere hoaxes then.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    Or you may say something stupid like “designed by the environment”. If so, why do we employ designers and don’t just let the environment design for us?

    Do you truly miss the irony in responding to something you consider stupid, by writing something so spectacularly stupid?

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    What “change” are we talking about? What’s “evolutionary change”? Why would change of any kind be “evolutionary”?

    Because that’s what evolution means in biology.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    So once again, “vote for science” because science is majority rule, right?

    Nope. Because science has methodologies to get to better and better understanding, while illiterates like yourself are impervious to reason.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    As far as “professional biologists”, to the extent they work on something useful to society, that is not “evolution”.

    Leaving aside that a lot of humanity cares to understand how what surrounds us came to be the way it is, for the sake of understanding, I know plenty of biomedical research that uses evolutionary theory to guide their approaches. For example, understanding of what’s going on with this sars-cod-19 virus and their variants.

    Nonlin.org to someone else (doesn’t matter):
    And if they work on “evolution”, that is not useful to society

    Yet the epidemiologists working on the covid-19 virus seem to care about society, and society seems to care about their results. Maybe you should consider that you’re not qualified to speak for society Nonlin.

  21. Alan Fox: Asymmetry (buildup vs degradation) makes “evolution” impossible

    Can anyone else make sense of this? ^^^^

    ETA and this?

    The impossible changeover (old function to new function) further makes “evolution” a laughingstock

    How can you possibly understand if you don’t read the OP?!? Go read par 4. and 5.

    Alan Fox: Evolutionary theory has moved on from Darwin.

    I keep hearing that. But why do you hang on to his failed concepts then? And wtf would be left of the pseudo-theory without Darwin’s claims?!?
    Alan Fox,

    Spelling error is your best argument. Make more hay.

    In other news, little monkey thinks viruses “struggle for survival”. They fight for “molecular rights” and against “molecular discrimination”. Haha.
    He also thinks epidemiologists, as well as miners astronauts, and homemakers work on “evolution”. 3xha.
    Also, “evolution” is much harder than gravity. So much so that some know-nothing imbecile got it all figured out all by himself. In your face, Newton, Einstein, and all other lesser scientists working on your trivial theories.

    CharlieM: Have you ever had a close look at the vertebral column to see what a marvellous structure it is?

    No worries. OMagain will make it much better. Because he has the magic powers of “evolution”.

  22. Nonlin.org:
    In other news, little monkey thinks viruses “struggle for survival”.

    Sorry little monkey, I forgot you prefer to play the imbecile than understand the issues, or maybe you can’t help it because being an imbecile is part of your nature. So, the fact that some virus variants are outcompeting other variants is not “struggle for existence,” you poor mentally ill monkey? Why not? Because they don’t sweat? Because you cannot deal with similes/metaphors/analogies?

    Even better, that they outcompete other variants is not a change in allele frequencies, you poor mentally ill monkey? Why not? Because you don’t know what the words “allele” and “frequency” mean in this scenario? Because you cannot grasp the concept of a “population”?

    Nonlin.org:
    They fight for “molecular rights” and against “molecular discrimination”. Haha.

    Talk about grasping at straws. If you wanted to show how much you understand about evolution, you made the right move: this shows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you have no idea little monkey.

    Nonlin.org:
    He also thinks epidemiologists, as well as miners astronauts, and homemakers work on “evolution”. 3xha.

    No, you poor illiterate buffoon, I only mentioned epidemiologists as examples of people who make use of evolutionary theory. I know you’re both illiterate and desperate, but you should try and avoid ridiculing yourself so openly.

    Nonlin.org:
    Also, “evolution” is much harder than gravity.

    More complex you illiterate monkey. Can you read at all? It’s not a matter of one or two variables. Life is complex. Ecological interactions are complex. It’s astoundingly stupid of you to expect a napkin equation to describe all of life, their histories, their lineages, etc. You have described complex scientific studies before, pretending to understand that some would not be describable by single equations, that each has its own tools and methods. Yet, here you are, ignoring yourself in order to pretend that evolution is not science because it’s not physics. What a moron.

    Nonlin.org:
    So much so that some know-nothing imbecile got it all figured out all by himself.

    It’s complex enough, that you, some illiterate know-nothing imbecile, cannot grasp the simplest concepts, nor read the very “Nuttipedia” pages cited in her/his own OPs. Complex enough that a simple difference, like that between phenotype and genotype, gets you in enough trouble for you to rather ignore any comments mentioning them, for fear that I’ll laugh at your ignorance and incompetence yet again. Complex enough that you don’t understand the meaning of “allele”, or “frequency,” or “populations.” Complex enough that every time you try and use those concepts, I laugh at your incoherence. Too complex for a little illiterate monkey like yourself.

    Nonlin.org:
    In your face, Newton, Einstein, and all other lesser scientists working on your trivial theories.

    I am not the one who measures the merit of a research field against the number and length of equations needed to understand what’s going on. That’s just you little monkey. I do appreciate the intelligence needed to deal with each kind of problem, regardless of variables and equations. Appreciating other people’s work might be foreign to you. Might be beyond your capabilities. But I’m not a little monkey like yourself.

  23. Nonlin.org: Go read par 4

    Degradation to new function is much easier done than buildup to new function. If you have an optimized mousetrap and need an ad-hoc catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick, all you need is to remove some parts. That’s almost instantaneous and effortlessly. But if you have an optimized catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick, you need a lot of engineering to make an ad-hoc mouse trap out of those. Even if you have them all at once which is impossible in real life. Why optimized? Because that’s what “natural selection” creates… presumably. This doesn’t prove Irreducible Complexity, however. Because, as shown, the argument is flawed and the game is rigged.

    This is just poor analogy. Environmental design produces adaptations that are good enough, not optimal. To stay in the race, you just need not to lose.

  24. Nonlin.org: and [read] 5.

    The “evolution” model demands continuous improvement every generation…

    No, evolution is a theory, not an entity. Variation happens. In an artificially stable environment such as Lenski’s LTEE, mutations still happen and most are lost via purifying selection. Drift also degrades any redundant sequences. The occasional beneficial (in that niche) spreads rapidly. We see that too in the Giant petri dish experiment with the mutations producing antibiotic resistance. It’s a passive process.

    …and a slow, multigenerational incremental process. Or as Darwin put it: “numerous, successive, slight modifications “. However, this cannot be done when changing function as the old function must degrade well before the new function is developed.

    Unsupported assertion. If it were correct, we’d need another explanation for what we observe. Come up with some evidence for this assertion if you can.

    Manufacturing changeover works because it is done within a fraction of a generation. Still, the process is interrupted and the system goes through a loss of function during the changeover. Generally, an inventory is built up in anticipation while extra resources are thrown in long before and after the actual changeover to limit the impact. If extra resources were not available, or an inventory buildup were not possible, or organizational capability were lost in a long process (who would stick around for decades even paid for idleness?), then the enterprise would not survive (extinction event in biology). The mousetrap example fits perfectly. Once it starts to be dismantled and before the catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick becomes functional, for a while, the system has no function whatsoever. This time would actually be multigenerational in real life biologic systems that, being functionless, would go extinct and thus never get to the other side (the new function). Now take the bacterial flagellar motor, and the bacterial injectisome. If either one “evolved” into the other, at some point one function would be lost before the other would become available, thus leaving the bacteria without either function, and thus at a competitive disadvantage to the original. The “innovator” would go extinct before having a chance to compete. And having both systems functional at the same time before renouncing the old one wouldn’t work because real life resources are limited as opposed to infinite when imagined. And how would – whichever came first – have happened from scratch is, once again, left to imagination.

    One long evidence-free assertion.

  25. Alan Fox:
    Nonlin’s OP: However, this cannot be done when changing function as the old function must degrade well before the new function is developed.

    Alan: Gene duplication, nonlilin.. Read up on it to see why your assertion can be ignored.

    I love the “must degrade.” It’s a “must” because Nonlin said so. No need to reason about it.

    It is well known, at least to biochemists, that enzymes can often recognize more than just their “normal” substrates, and that they can catalyze reactions besides their “normal” reactions. This is the basis for the “subfunctionalization” model. In subfunctionalization, the “lesser” functions are improved by small mutations and allow competition in the presence of new substrates. Scientists even arrange for this to happen in pathway engineering. The knock-out of some enzyme “pressures” another, a homolog that works on a similar substrate, to evolve the lost function. Then the original, knocked-out, enzyme is reinstated and then those engineers have twice the proteins performing the same work.

    I have heard very interesting talks about this kind of work. Other talks, for example, are about some enzyme that has been named after a substrate that’s not its natural substrate. It’s fascinating.

  26. Entropy,
    That’s the problem nonlin needs to face up to. Evolutionary theory is provisional, developing and expanding. I guess that’s why he tries to attack Charles Darwin as some kind of scientific equivalent of a Biblical prophet.

  27. CharlieM: It’s a fact that you must take into account if you are criticising the design of the human spine

    So, it’s perfect then?

  28. Alan Fox,

    Well, the problem is that those facts and models don’t fit into a napkin, thus biochemistry is not real science.

    🤣

  29. OMagain:
    CharlieM: It’s a fact that you must take into account if you are criticising the design of the human spine

    OMagain: So, it’s perfect then?

    To describe any physical system as perfect is a bit silly. Perfect in what way? Perfect strength to weight ratio? Perfect flexibility? Perfect support structure? It makes no sense to attempt to describe physical structures in this way.

    What we can do is make comparisons of the anatomy of various creatures to see how optimally suited they are for their particular lifestyles.

    Comparing animals, the most optimal skeletal system for a creature to be a creative, rational thinking being is the human skeleton. The most optimal system for a flying mammal is the skeleton of a bat. That of a fully aquatic mammal is seen in cetaceans. Moles are optimally suited to a life burrowing underground.

  30. CharlieM: Comparing animals, the most optimal skeletal system for a creature to be a creative, rational thinking being is the human skeleton.

    I disagree. Centaurs are much better designed.

  31. DNA_Jock:
    CharlieM: Comparing animals, the most optimal skeletal system for a creature to be a creative, rational thinking being is the human skeleton.

    DNA_Jock: I disagree. Centaurs are much better designed.

    I beg to differ. They’re pathetic at driving. When they do manage to squeeze into any vehicle all those hooves just get in the way of the peddles. Also, don’t ask a centaur to fix your roof, they’re rubbish at shimmying up ladders. 🙂

  32. CharlieM: When they do manage to squeeze into any vehicle all those hooves just get in the way of the peddles. Also, don’t ask a centaur to fix your roof, they’re rubbish at shimmying up ladders.

    Yes but this is niche construction. Centaurs would design better access equipment. (Better for them, if that needed adding.)

  33. ROFL
    Charlie’s anthropocentrism is so deeply ingrained that he is entirely oblivious to it. How would Charlie manage in a centaur-designed car, with their independent throttles and brakes for each wheel?

  34. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: When they do manage to squeeze into any vehicle all those hooves just get in the way of the peddles. Also, don’t ask a centaur to fix your roof, they’re rubbish at shimmying up ladders.

    Alan Fox: Yes but this is niche construction. Centaurs would design better access equipment. (Better for them, if that needed adding.)

    So where is all this centaur designed equipment? Centaurs may not be a reality of nature, but the myth of the centaur was created for a purpose, it points to the reality of our becoming.

    There is a dual nature of humanity where we are poised between angels (spiritual. mind) and animals (carnal, body), between rational thinking and letting feelings and desires rule our actions. But we haven’t just appeared ready made at this point. We have emerged from a previous existence before individual rational thinking had developed in us. The myth of the centaur points to the transition as we emerged from a more instinctive animal like existence to becoming self-conscious rational beings. And this transition is in no way complete. It is occurring in human evolution as a whole and it happens in the development of each individual.

    That is the reality we ‘see’ when we study the centaur. The sphinx poses a similar riddle.

  35. DNA_Jock:
    ROFL
    Charlie’s anthropocentrism is so deeply ingrained that he is entirely oblivious to it. How would Charlie manage in a centaur-designed car, with their independent throttles and brakes for each wheel?

    Your fantasies about centaurs misses the real meaning behind the myth.

  36. CharlieM,

    The idea of centaurs is explained by people unfamiliar with horses being ridden, thinking they were seeing centaurs rather than humans on horseback. A few seconds thinking about the physiology rules out the possibility that such chimeras could exist in reality.

    The Sphinx? Do tell.

  37. Alan Fox: This is just poor analogy. Environmental design produces adaptations that are good enough, not optimal. To stay in the race, you just need not to lose.

    You finally got through reading (or at least copy-paste). Next step: try to understand. Just enough to say something intelligent.

    Alan Fox: Nonlin: The “evolution” model demands continuous improvement every generation…

    Alan Fox: No… mutations still happen and most are lost via purifying selection. Drift also degrades any redundant sequences. The occasional beneficial (in that niche) spreads rapidly.

    Why “no”? You’re saying the same thing. Continuous improvement is anything ‘zero-plus’.

    Alan Fox: Unsupported assertion. If it were correct, we’d need another explanation for what we observe.

    Huh? You observe change of function in “a slow, multigenerational incremental process”? Where exactly?

    Alan Fox: One long evidence-free assertion.

    Are you disputing:
    1. How manufacturing processes work? If so, go study.
    2. How the mousetrap must be dismantled before the catapult / tie clip / key chain / clipboard / tooth pick becomes functional? If so, demonstrate.
    3. How bacterial flagellar motor / bacterial injectisome requires a loss of function before the other would become available, thus leaving the bacteria without either function, and thus at a competitive disadvantage to the original? If so, how would that happen?

    Alan Fox: Gene duplication, nonlilin.

    Like I explained, http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/irreducible-complexity-a-weak-argument/comment-page-1/#comment-283216
    “Neither the bacterial flagellar motor, nor the injectisome are the products of a single gene. Aside from the fact that even one gene duplication story is itself a very big and unsupported stretch:
    “Gene duplication is believed to play a major role in evolution”
    Belief without proof takes you only so far (not far at all) in science.”

  38. Nonlin.org,
    There’s no discussion to be had with you. Insistence on your part that you have something new and concerning to say on evolution is repetitive and without substance.

    As I said, you need a new hobby.

  39. Alan Fox:

    The idea of centaurs is explained by people unfamiliar with horses being ridden, thinking they were seeing centaurs rather than humans on horseback. A few seconds thinking about the physiology rules out the possibility that such chimeras could exist in reality.

    The Rudyard Kipling school of evolution applied to mythology. I suppose the myth of the Minotaur was inspired by an ancient vet giving a bull a rectal examination.

    Alan Fox: The Sphinx? Do tell

    I fear I’d be wasting my time not to mention getting further away from the topic of the thread..

  40. CharlieM: The Rudyard Kipling school of evolution applied to mythology. I suppose the myth of the Minotaur was inspired by an ancient vet giving a bull a rectal examination.

    *chuckles*

    Well, there was a slightly serious point in that chimeras usually have fatal design flaws. With the centaur, how would the airways hook up, with a set of human lungs and horse lungs ditto, digestive tract, hearts; etc. The Minotaur would have less complications with a neck-to-neck splice but the spine and musculature wouldn’t meld well.

  41. CharlieM: I fear I’d be wasting my time not to mention getting further away from the topic of the thread..

    No off-topic rules here, I think the original topic has long expired.

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