Natural Selection – Evolution Magic

Natural Selection is described as “the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype”. To this, some add “blind, mindless, and purposeless environmental process” that nonetheless is imagined turning random genetic mutations into superior new features enhancing descendants’ survivability (fitness). Accumulation of these features supposedly turns one lifeform into another over time. Natural Selection seeks to explain the appearance of design in nature without appealing to a designer.

This definition however fails the simplest test as different phenotypes survive different environments thus delinking phenotype from survivability. In a small farm, only organisms closely related to their wild cousins survive, but agribusinesses select for chickens with oversize breasts and research labs select for populations with specific genetic mutations requiring tight environments to survive. Although all these have different phenotypes, they do not possess an intrinsic phenotype “fitness” independent of the environment. In addition, who decides what is natural and what is not? Darwin considered domestication natural enough to include it as supporting argument. And as far as “blind, mindless, and purposeless”, all these are impossible to prove in addition to being utterly incompatible with the anthropic concepts of “better adapted” and “better fit”, both of which cannot be evaluated independent of survivability anyway.

Natural Selection is supposed to tie both ways survivability with phenotype, but this leaves out the environment which not only affects survivability directly, but also phenotype, itself a sum of genotype plus the environment, and even genotype that is a recurrent function of previous genotypes and the environment again. So in the end, survivability is a recurrent function of genotype, an infinite continuum of environments, and other unknown factors. While survivability can be measured as can be the individual genotype, measuring a population’s genotype is daunting at best, and the impact of the ever changing environment is simply impossible to evaluate. Phenotypes are impossible to define and measure in entirety even for one individual and, in addition, phenotype changes constantly from birth to adult to old age. We do see genetic mutations (unknowable if random) and we do know that, given a similar environment, extreme genotypes reduce survivability, yet we also know that a large variety of genotypes survive just fine in any population.

Fitness is never defined independently of survivability – this renders the fitness concept redundant especially since survivability can be measured while fitness cannot. Evolutionary Fitness is defined as the quantitative representation of natural and sexual selection (reproductive success) of a genotype or phenotype in a given environment. “Survival of the fittest” is interpreted as: “Survival of the form (phenotypic or genotypic) that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.” Not only is survivability the only measure, but survivability also changes with the environment.

Natural Selection is Intelligent Selection which is always done by an Intelligent Selector such as Darwin’s breeder which is an intelligent and willful player that takes intentional actions to reach preset goals. Predators, plants, birds, insects or bacteria, all show intelligence and the willful pursuit of predetermined goals. When interacting with the inert environment, organisms self-select rather than being selected by this environment. As soon as the organism dies and becomes part of the lifeless universe, all selection of that entity ceases.

Selection is limited to a narrow set of possible adaptations – what is not there, cannot be selected. Among the most common adaptations are body color/size/shape, hair type, antibiotic/chemical resistance, and behavior, and even these are limited in scope. Farmers would like to grow walking chicken breasts the size of hogs that grow much faster and come in various flavors, but this is not happening despite their best efforts. Antibiotic resistant bacteria still cannot survive extreme temperatures and chemical concentrations and their resistance decreases when the stimulus is removed. Rabbits cannot turn green when hopping over grass and white just over winter, despite the clear advantage such camouflage would bring. Size of tails, horns, beaks, trees, etc. are all stable over time as tradeoffs limit their growth. Human intelligence, flying, swimming, venom, and all other desirable capabilities remain restricted to specific organisms. Domestication has greatly helped mankind’s progress, but it has not changed the nature of the target animals and plants despite intensive efforts to accelerate their evolution. Instead, humans only enhanced the built in characteristics of domestic organisms and simply did without – a huge civilization disadvantage – when those plants and animals were unavailable. Hence, selection does not “design”, is limited in scope to a few available characteristics, and is reversed as soon as the selection pressure ends.

Extinct organism were not flawed and their features were not “selected away”. Most characteristics of the extinct survive just fine in current organisms of which some changed so little over time they are called living fossils. Sure, the mammal eye might provide superior vision to insect eye, but nothing comes for free and tradeoffs ensure both survive. Organisms that have completely vanished cannot be characterized as flawed and it would not take much imagination to see them thriving in a current landscape. The environment may have changed dramatically over time, however on a macro scale, the environment affected all organisms making the “natural selection” explanation highly doubtful regarding why some organisms survived in their old form, why some went extinct and why others would survive in a changed form. Humans and apes shared the same environment in Africa so common genotype would not have caused our dramatic differences just as lions are not that different than leopard, the cheetah and the others.

What if anything should replace Natural Selection? Humans have applied the most intensive and targeted selective pressure on us and others with great results for our existence. Yet we have not transformed even one organism into another – not even the lowly eColi after decades of laboratory work (Lenski). Our dogs are still basic canines and our cats are still basic felines, not much different than their wild cousins. If anything, we had to adapt to them rather than them to us. The finch, the moth, the antibiotic resistant bacteria are still the original organisms, their hailed changes having reverted or proven simple adaptations. We are no smarter, more powerful or longer living (in absolute) than out primitive ancestors. Selection is not transformative, much less creative.

Humans would apply the Natural Selection method if feasible. But we don’t because it isn’t. A Natural Selection software would use a random generator and a selection criteria to maximize survivability in an available niche. For instance, a family vehicle should optimize the transport function (survivability) given a set of environmental constraints (regulations) and an existing design as starting point. Random minute changes could be tested and retained if the transport function is improved. However, this method can only remove minor oversights but will never create any new designs. Any significant departure such as a new fuel, material or environment either results in a suboptimal design, or requires a cascade of changes to improve the survivability function. That is why the auto industry, like most other industries, introduces minor redesign annually and major revamps every few years. And while even the minor improvements must come in harmonized packages rather than one off (to reduce negative ramifications), in the absence of those major redesigns a firm would shortly go extinct.

Designs do not transform into better designs without crossing an inevitable optimization gap. Given a certain environment, once a design is optimized for a certain function, it becomes suboptimal as soon as the function, the structure, or the materials changes. Until the new design is optimized for that particular change, it remains inferior to an old design already optimized to that environment. Humans optimize new designs (with multidimensional differences from previous versions) conceptually before abruptly replacing old designs. A Darwinist biologic gradual design transition would thus be impossible hence never observed in nature. Had the compound eye been optimized first, a transition to non-compound eye would inevitably had to be suboptimal for a while and vice versa. Only if all eye designs had started from the same point, each following an independent path and at the same pace would we have so many different designs today, each optimized for its function. This however implies a coordinated original grand design incompatible with Darwinian evolution.

Pro-Con Notes

Con: What about organic design? Isn’t that natural selection at work?

Pro: No. This is just iterative optimization of a given design. In this case, the wing shape, the material, the environmental forces and the optimization target are all given. The algorithm will not generate a new wing shape or material and it will stop converging as soon as the environment is less than perfectly defined. In addition, this design is radically different from the previous one, and the next iteration will certainly be radically different than this one (no gradualism).

Con: You just don’t understand natural selection.

Pro: If “natural selection” were hard to understand it would not be taught to young children. Instead, “natural selection” is more like very bad street magic where the bus is covered with the cloth and we then are asked to imagine it disappeared without even removing the cloth and showing us the empty space.

663 Replies to “Natural Selection – Evolution Magic”

  1. dazz dazz
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: You are confused. The bacteria were grown without anbitiotic present, and were then transferred to a plate with antibiotic. Only some of the original colonies transferred were able to continue growing, which shows that only some of the bacteria had the mutations that give resistance to the antibiotic. And these must have occurred before exposure to the antibiotic, which implies those mutations did not occur in response to the need for antibiotic resistance. They had occurred regardless, and by chance some of those mutations gave the bacteria antibiotic resistance.

    What superior alternative interpretation of the facts:
    1. Bacteria were grown without antibiotic on a plate.
    2. When transferred to another plate with antibiotic, only some of the transferred colonies could grow there.
    – can you offer?

    That also seems to suggest that antibiotic resistance in not precisely an astronomically rare function as islanders of function make it out to be, right?

  2. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    dazz: That also seems to suggest that antibiotic resistance in not precisely an astronomically rare function as islanders of function make it out to be, right?

    Yep, that too.

  3. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel: Now please go back and answer John’s question

    Hm, I realize I have been a bit unclear here. I meant this:

    With regard to the peppered moth, how is this design feature implemented? Does some feature of the environment cause just the right mutation to appear so as to produce melanism? Does some feature of the environment cause that mutation to occur independently all through the population so it transforms into a melanistic population?

    And remember; we know the carbonaria morph is genetically determined.

  4. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    DNA_Jock: I disagree.
    gpuccio’s definition of functional information (FI) aligns with Hazen et al, 2007.
    There’s nothing wrong with that definition of FI. It’s how gpuccio applies it that is utter garbage:
    1) The only probability that it represents is of an arbitrary (i.e. random) sequence in an equiprobable space.
    2) Using an observed level of functionality as a threshold is, in fact, Texas Sharp Shooter.
    3) gpuccio never ever considers the “other peaks”

    If Gpuccio is using Hazen et al 2007 to calculate functional information, that runs a veritable freight-train through his claim that evolution can’t produce any, or enough, functional information.

    According to Hazen et al 2007:
    “Functional information is determined by identifying the fraction of all sequences that achieve a specified outcome.

    Consider, for example, sequences of 10 letters that have a high probability (Ex ≅ 1) of evoking a positive response from the fire department. Such sequences might include “FIREONMAIN,” “MAINSTFIRE,” or “MAPLENMAIN.” Additionally, some messages containing phonetic misspellings (FYRE or MANE), mistakes in grammar or usage (FIREOFMAIN), or typing errors (MAZLE or NAPLE) may also yield a significant but lower probability of response (0 ≪ Ex < 1). Given these variants, on the order of 1,000 combinations of 10 letters might initiate a rapid response to the approximate location of the fire. Thus
    I(1) ≈ -log2[1000/(26^10)] ≈ 36 bits."

    Using this definition, we can calculate exampes of functions in evolution experiments to see how many bits of functional information have evolved. Taking the example of Hayashi et al, they evolve a 139 amino acid polypeptide to be able to assist in infectivity by phage (even the starting random polypeptide could perform the function). They generate thousands of variants capable of performing the function. So let’s say 10.000 variants. What does that give?

    -log2(10.000/(20^139)) ≈ 587 bits of functional information.

    And that was in a mere 20 generations of selection and mutation. I don’t think Gpuccio wants to use that definiton of functional information. It would also render gene-duplications extremely powerful information creators as the most significant variable that affects information quantity is sequence length.

  5. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel,

    You’re expecting thinking beyond Nonlin’s will and capabilities.

  6. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: You’re expecting thinking beyond Nonlin’s will and capabilities.

    Boy, it’s like riding a teeter totter. We are told that that industrial melanism was not achieved through phenotypic plasticity, but neither did it involve mutations. That pretty much exhausts the list of possibilities for me, so I really would like to know how those fancy adaptation features work. Unfortunately, this is not something that Nonlin seems to have expended a lot of energy on. Mere mortals should not meddle in the Designer’s affairs, I guess.

  7. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: 587 bits of functional information.

    And that was in a mere 20 generations of selection and mutation. I don’t think Gpuccio wants to use that definiton of functional information.

    Yes, that sounds exactly like the definition that gpuccio is using. The trick is of course in downplaying the results from the Hayashi paper by only accepting the wildtype level as a biologically meaningful degree of function (which is the Texas Sharp Shooting part) and denying that there exists a path from local peaks to the wildtype peak (which requires recombination, in addition to substitutions).

  8. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel: You can squirm all you want, but the fact remains that this particular adaptation required a mutation, not some “endowed adaptation feature” (whatever that means).

    As far as I can tell, mutations are endowed adaptation features. How did you decide mutations are not compatible with adaptations?

    Rumraket: I was rebutting Mung’s implicit claim that mutations occur in response to need (I objected that they occur regardless of need).

    Your claim that “mutations occur regardless of need” is too strong… unless you have clear evidence that is. Do you? I can certainly design a system that relies on random inputs. Think a widget factory that decides to test every n-th unit based on a dice roll. Is that widget factory not designed because of that bit of randomness in your opinion?

    Rumraket: …some of the bacteria had the mutations that give resistance to the antibiotic. And these must have occurred before exposure to the antibiotic, which implies those mutations did not occur in response to the need for antibiotic resistance. They had occurred regardless, and by chance some of those mutations gave the bacteria antibiotic resistance.

    No. You are confused. AB-resistance is part of the bacterial arsenal – why is this hard to understand? Would you be surprised when some national defense is ready to act despite not seeing a particular enemy? Check out the history book – defense is sometimes ready and effective and sometimes not so much.

    Corneel: We are told that that industrial melanism was not achieved through phenotypic plasticity, but neither did it involve mutations.

    I didn’t say any of that. What is “phenotypic plasticity” anyway?

  9. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org: Rumraket: I was rebutting Mung’s implicit claim that mutations occur in response to need (I objected that they occur regardless of need).

    Nonlin: Your claim that “mutations occur regardless of need” is too strong… unless you have clear evidence that is. Do you?

    Yes. Cancer. Nobody needs cancer.

    I can certainly design a system that relies on random inputs. Think a widget factory that decides to test every n-th unit based on a dice roll. Is that widget factory not designed because of that bit of randomness in your opinion?

    I don’t care what you can design. And your example bears no relevant analogy to what we are discussing.

    Rumraket: …some of the bacteria had the mutations that give resistance to the antibiotic. And these must have occurred before exposure to the antibiotic, which implies those mutations did not occur in response to the need for antibiotic resistance. They had occurred regardless, and by chance some of those mutations gave the bacteria antibiotic resistance.

    Nonlin: No. You are confused. AB-resistance is part of the bacterial arsenal

    Wrong.

    – why is this hard to understand?

    Because that rationalization doesn’t explain the facts before us. If it was already part of their arsenal then they should all be able to grow unhindered in the presence of any antibiotic. But they can’t, and it usually takes many cell divisions before one that can do that happens to appear. There’s a perfectly good explanation for that, and it isn’t the silly rationalization you are invoking.

    Only a few colonies in the linked experiment were able to grow and divide in the presence of the antibiotic, indicating that the rest of the bacterial colonies had no defense against it (so it can’t have been part of their “arsenal”). That implies it had to evolve by mutation. If it has to evolve by mutation and isn’t in effect to begin with, then it isn’t “part of the bacterial arsenal”.

    Nothing you say seem to be able to explain the results of the experiment.

    Would you be surprised when some national defense is ready to act despite not seeing a particular enemy? Check out the history book – defense is sometimes ready and effective and sometimes not so much.

    Once again you don’t understand the experiment. The experiment is started from a single isogenic colony (meaning they start out as clones) which is known by empirical test to NOT be resistant to antibiotic at the experiments initiation, are then grown in some media (meaning they divide a lot and some of them get mutations), and from this liquid culture they are then plated on agar in petri dishes.

    When the petri dish that now has colonies growing on it, is then later imprinted on another dish with antibiotic, only a few of the transferred colonies can grow. Those are the ones that got the right mutations that give antibiotic resistance. The rest of the colonies fail to grow. They didn’t have resistance in “their arsenal”. Because they didn’t get the right mutations.

    There are many other similar experiments that show effectively similar results. The bacteria initially have no resistance to the antibiotic, it isn’t in “their arsenal”, because the antibiotic kills them or inhibits growth if they get near it. But they are grown for many generations without the antibiotic, and are continuously tested against the antibiotic. Billions and billions of bacteria fail to survive or divide in the presence of it, until suddenly one of them can and a colony forms on a plate (or growth media containing antibiotic turns cloudy due to bacterial growth). Because it had suffered the right kind of mutations.

    This one is so simple a dog should be able to get it.

    Look at that video with a willingness to understand and learn instead of this strange denialist state of mind you have entered into. Notice how the bacterial expansion pauses at every concentration barrier, and only a single or few initial colonies manage to penetrate into the next layer after some time. If they all had the ability to deal with the antibiotic to begin with then they’d all be able to just grow straight through the layers, rather than wait on rare mutants among billions upon billions of failures.

    Your “it’s in their arsenal” rationalization is incapable of rationally accounting for the facts. For several bacteria the molecular basis for their resistance is actually known and can be traced to the particular mutation that gave them the initial resistance.

  10. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org: What is “phenotypic plasticity” anyway?

    Ah, that explains a lot. Why didn’t you ask before?

    We speak of phenotypic plasticity when organisms produce different phenotypes in response to the environment, independent of the genotype. Some of this is adaptive. I think a suitable example here is seasonal polymorphism in butterflies, such as the distinct coloration of the spring and summer morph of the map (Araschnia levana).

    The differences result from having alternative developmental pathways in response to environmental cues (in this case photoperiod: daylight length), so are not genetical in origin. This is the type of stuff I assumed you meant with “endowed adaptation features”. Apparently I was wrong and we were talking past each other. Now, an adaptive phenotypic change at the population level requires either a genetic change, possibly as the result of natural selection or it doesn’t, and then we are dealing with a phenotypic plastic change, like this one. So, for Biston betularia, what is it going to be?

    picture from here

  11. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket:
    1. Yes. Cancer. Nobody needs cancer.

    2. I don’t care what you can design. And your example bears no relevant analogy to what we are discussing.

    3. Because that rationalization doesn’t explain the facts before us. If it was already part of their arsenal then they should all be able to grow unhindered in the presence of any antibiotic.
    4. Only a few colonies in the linked experiment were able to grow and divide in the presence of the antibiotic, indicating that the rest of the bacterial colonies had no defense against it (so it can’t have been part of their “arsenal”). That implies it had to evolve by mutation. If it has to evolve by mutation and isn’t in effect to begin with, then it isn’t “part of the bacterial arsenal”.

    5. The experiment is started from a single isogenic colony (meaning they start out as clones) which is known by empirical test to NOT be resistant to antibiotic at the experiments initiation, are then grown in some media (meaning they divide a lot and some of them get mutations), and from this liquid culture they are then plated on agar in petri dishes.

    When the petri dish that now has colonies growing on it, is then later imprinted on another dish with antibiotic, only a few of the transferred colonies can grow. Those are the ones that got the right mutations that give antibiotic resistance. The rest of the colonies fail to grow. They didn’t have resistance in “their arsenal”. Because they didn’t get the right mutations.

    6. There are many other similar experiments that show effectively similar results. The bacteria initially have no resistance to the antibiotic, it isn’t in “their arsenal”, because the antibiotic kills them or inhibits growth if they get near it. But they are grown for many generations without the antibiotic, and are continuously tested against the antibiotic. Billions and billions of bacteria fail to survive or divide in the presence of it, until suddenly one of them can and a colony forms on a plate (or growth media containing antibiotic turns cloudy due to bacterial growth). Because it had suffered the right kind of mutations.

    7. This one is so simple a dog should be able to get it.
    Look at that video with a willingness to understand and learn instead of this strange denialist state of mind you have entered into. Notice how the bacterial expansion pauses at every concentration barrier, and only a single or few initial colonies manage to penetrate into the next layer after some time. If they all had the ability to deal with the antibiotic to begin with then they’d all be able to just grow straight through the layers, rather than wait on rare mutants among billions upon billions of failures.

    8. Your “it’s in their arsenal” rationalization is incapable of rationally accounting for the facts. For several bacteria the molecular basis for their resistance is actually known and can be traced to the particular mutation that gave them the initial resistance.

    1. You’re talking nonsense as always. The discussion was about “benefic” mutations that confer AB-resistance. Cancer is totally unrelated to the experiment or AB-resistance.
    2. Very much relevant argument against the “random benefic” mutations claim. But it seems you were way off per above.
    3. What are you talking about? Not necessarily “they should all be able to grow unhindered”. As shown, not all arsenals work perfectly all the time. Also as shown apparent “random” mutations can and often are part of a strategy.
    4. No strategy is guaranteed to save all. No such thing as “evolve by mutation”. Yes, apparent “random” mutations can be part of the strategy. How strong was the antibiotic? Likely more survive a weaker antibiotic and fewer a stronger one. No surprise there.
    5. None of these negates my explanation. Again, more would survive a weaker antibiotic and fewer a stronger one. It is a valid group survival strategy.
    6. Look at all military defense systems. They work EXACTLY the same way and have the same shortcomings.
    7. Then dogs are smarter than you.
    8. My scenario makes perfect sense – we KNOW bacteria develops antibiotics and AB-resistance and we KNOW they continuously engage in antibiotic wars. Furthermore, you have no logic alternative explanation including for the disappearance of AB-resistance after the stimulus is removed.

  12. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel: Now, an adaptive phenotypic change at the population level requires either a genetic change, possibly as the result of natural selection or it doesn’t, and then we are dealing with a phenotypic plastic change, like this one. So, for Biston betularia, what is it going to be?

    So what’s your point again?

    You never answered: “How did you decide mutations are not compatible with adaptations?”

    How did you insert the pictures in the comment?

    Why would you keep talking about “natural selection” when you were shown there’s no such thing? See the conclusions of the OP – you have not managed to dispute a single one of them!

  13. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org: So what’s your point again?

    *sigh*
    The point is that you are unable to provide us with a satisfying alternative explanation. Encore

    With regard to the peppered moth, how is this design feature implemented? Does some feature of the environment cause just the right mutation to appear so as to produce melanism? Does some feature of the environment cause that mutation to occur independently all through the population so it transforms into a melanistic population?

    Nonlin.org: You never answered: “How did you decide mutations are not compatible with adaptations?”

    They are perfectly compatible. I assumed you meant a phenotypic change whenever you said “endowed adaptation features”.

    Nonlin.org: How did you insert the pictures in the comment?

    See here.

    Nonlin.org: Why would you keep talking about “natural selection” when you were shown there’s no such thing? See the conclusions of the OP – you have not managed to dispute a single one of them!

    I have managed to dispute a great many of them, but it is true that I have failed to convince you that they are utterly wrong. This has nothing to do with the quality of my objections but rather with your refusal/inability to evaluate my superb arguments. Therefore I will happily continue talking about natural selection.

    Also, there are several “non-darwinistas” on TSZ and UD that accept limited forms of natural selection (e.g. gpuccio). I find it is easier to discuss with them starting from some common ground.

  14. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel:
    1. The point is that you are unable to provide us with a satisfying alternative explanation. Encore. With regard to the peppered moth, how is this design feature implemented? Does some feature of the environment cause just the right mutation to appear so as to produce melanism? Does some feature of the environment cause that mutation to occur independently all through the population so it transforms into a melanistic population?
    2. They are perfectly compatible. I assumed you meant a phenotypic change whenever you said “endowed adaptation features”.
    3. See here.
    4. I have managed to dispute a great many of them, but it is true that I have failed to convince you that they are utterly wrong. This has nothing to do with the quality of my objections but rather with your refusal/inability to evaluate my superb arguments. Therefore I will happily continue talking about natural selection.
    5. Also, there are several “non-darwinistas” on TSZ and UD that accept limited forms of natural selection (e.g. gpuccio). I find it is easier to discuss with them starting from some common ground.

    1. Color changes as well as metabolic, antibiotic, antibiotic-resistance, and many other adaptations is what organisms do day in and day out. Some of those mechanisms are known while others are not. Alternative to what? To “just so” stories? See http://nonlin.org/missing-evidence/
    2. Assume less.
    3. You’re a nice guy. Don’t believe everything they say about you 🙂
    4. Can you summarize your “superb arguments” again? And I mean ‘summarize’. I don’t want to miss something important. We’re 560 comments into this topic and I feel we’ve only touched a few ideas, let alone successfully disputed anything. This being said, let me re-state my appreciation for any thoughtful, challenging counterarguments.
    5. Nobody’s perfect. I explained gpuccio several times he makes a big mistake when using the Darwinist wooden tongue. We disagree on several other topics – enjoy this example: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/defending-intelligent-design-theory-why-targets-are-real-targets-propabilities-real-probabilities-and-the-texas-sharp-shooter-fallacy-does-not-apply-at-all/#comments

  15. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org: 1. Color changes as well as metabolic, antibiotic, antibiotic-resistance, and many other adaptations is what organisms do day in and day out.

    This is evading, not explaining.

    Nonlin.org: 2. Assume less.

    Explain more.

    Nonlin.org: 3. You’re a nice guy. Don’t believe everything they say about you 🙂

    Did I just get a compliment? Am I still on TSZ?

    Nonlin.org: 4. Can you summarize your “superb arguments” again? And I mean ‘summarize’. I don’t want to miss something important.

    Heh, the “superb” was meant to be taken ironically, to mirror your confident conviction that I failed to dispute any of your conclusions. If there is one thing you should be seriously reconsidering though, it would be your bizarre notion of phenotype. Nobody will accept it, not here, not at UD, hell not even you yourself when we switch to a different topic.

    Nonlin.org: 5. Nobody’s perfect. I explained gpuccio several times he makes a big mistake when using the Darwinist wooden tongue.

    Just pointing out that people need not be brainwashed “darwinistas” to see some merit in the concept. You will be unable to dissuade others until you understand yourself how natural selection explains adaptation.

  16. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel:
    1. This is evading, not explaining.
    2. Explain more.
    3. Did I just get a compliment? Am I still on TSZ?
    4. Heh, the “superb” was meant to be taken ironically, to mirror your confident conviction that I failed to dispute any of your conclusions. If there is one thing you should be seriously reconsidering though, it would be your bizarre notion of phenotype. Nobody will accept it, not here, not at UD, hell not even you yourself when we switch to a different topic.

    5. Just pointing out that people need not be brainwashed “darwinistas” to see some merit in the concept. You will be unable to dissuade others until you understand yourself how natural selection explains adaptation.

    1. Nothing to explain. Organisms have been designed with the adaptability we observe. I am not the designer so can’t answer “why and how”.
    2. I have been explaining for a long time. Meanwhile it boggles the mind how you and others can continue to believe order just comes out of random noise and without intervention.
    3. You’ll get many more compliments when you start to understand what’s going on.
    4. So you can’t summarize? Then why are we arguing? Are we trying to establish some truth here, or are we just fans of different random sports teams? That’s the thing, “Nobody” can successfully dispute with logical arguments either. What is “bizarre” about “Phenotype is an unstable infinite set (hence unknowable and theoretical)”? Feel free to take it apart word by word if it helps. The contradiction is only in your head – there’s a big difference between commenting on distinct traits and claiming “phenotype” is anything other than a theoretical concept.
    5. You overstate your agreement with gpuccio – does he know you put words in his mouth? Anyway, opinions of 3rd parties are irrelevant.

    Is this discussion going anywhere?

  17. Corneel Corneel
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org: I am not the designer so can’t answer “why and how”.

    You don’t know how stuff works unless you designed it yourself? Heehee, did you figure out how to tie your shoelaces?

    Nonlin.org: Meanwhile it boggles the mind how you and others can continue to believe order just comes out of random noise and without intervention.

    Whereas the creation of all living things by an omnipotent Designer is so easy to imagine … not.

    Nonlin.org: 3. You’ll get many more compliments when you start to understand what’s going on.

    Oh. Too bad then.

    Nonlin.org: 5. You overstate your agreement with gpuccio

    I believe he accepts that NS can fix a single beneficial allele in ecological time (microevolution). This is all you were asked to accept in the Biston betularia example as well.

    Nonlin.org: Is this discussion going anywhere?

    ‘Fraid not, but you should just enjoy the journey instead. I do.

  18. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel:
    Nonlin.org: Meanwhile it boggles the mind how you and others can continue to believe order just comes out of random noise and without intervention.

    I really don’t understand why creationists think that we believe that order comes out of “random noise.” I certainly don’t believe that, and I certainly don’t believe that a magical being in the sky did anything either. They hold to a false dichotomy. It’s not either “random noise” or “magical being in the sky.” It’s also whatever the way nature works. Shit, we don’t even have to have a precise answer. It’s not as if “we don’t know therefore magical being in the sky.” That would be patently stupid.

  19. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: I really don’t understand why creationists think that we believe that order comes out of “random noise.” I certainly don’t believe that, and I certainly don’t believe that a magical being in the sky did anything either. They hold to a false dichotomy. It’s not either “random noise” or “magical being in the sky.” It’s also whatever the way nature works. Shit, we don’t even have to have a precise answer. It’s not as if “we don’t know therefore magical being in the sky.” That would be patently stupid.

    The “order” and the genetic information arises as part of a process where energy flows through the ecosystem, which you need to have to have any replacement of individuals by their descendants. So at the same time the entropy of the whole solar system is increasing.

    Some creationists, such as Granville Sewell who should know better, attempt quantitative accounts of this which ignore the nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and try to persuade us that evolutionary biologists are invoking magic of some sort.

  20. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Corneel:
    1. You don’t know how stuff works unless you designed it yourself? Heehee, did you figure out how to tie your shoelaces?

    2. Whereas the creation of all living things by an omnipotent Designer is so easy to imagine … not.

    3. I believe he accepts that NS can fix a single beneficial allele in ecological time (microevolution). This is all you were asked to accept in the Biston betularia example as well.

    1. I should have said “can’t answer why” – we might learn some of the “how”. See? I admit you’re right when you are. You might want to print this and frame it as this might be your only win 🙂

    2. Absolutely. See below.

    3. And he is wrong. There’s no such thing as “beneficial allele”. All mutations have tradeoffs. None of the normal adaptations often cited as “benefic” has ever been observed to become permanent after the triggering stimulus has been removed, and none has ever been observed to cause “divergence of character” transmutation into other organisms.

    Joe Felsenstein: The “order” and the genetic information arises as part of a process where energy flows through the ecosystem, which you need to have to have any replacement of individuals by their descendants.

    How do you come up with nonsense like this? When have you ever seen something “arise”, and how can you invoke a “process” when process is “a set of steps taken towards an END”, hence incompatible with your views?

    How can information “arise” when only intelligent agents generate information?

    We need to base our beliefs on the Observable, not on Darwin’s brain farts. And we DO observe designers at work creating order all the time but never the “arising” nonsense. Smart people have always recognized there is a Higher Force responsible for everything, therefore have always been theists with few exceptions. Theism makes perfect sense.

    Atheism is mostly encountered in stable environments where people are subject to the illusion of control (i.e. “we are the masters of our own destiny”). Young, healthy, employed, urban, males in affluent societies are prime candidates, as this cohort has little exposure to life’s uncertainties outside their bubble of stability. More precarious living reminds people of their limitations and that they were gifted with abilities they did not earn. In the animal world, a farm animal would be an atheist while a wild one would be a theist.

  21. Nonlin.org
    Ignored
    says:

    Bonus: the five full retard claims of “natural selection”:

    1. Design by multiple choice is full retard
    2. Multiple choice from random answers is full retard
    3. Designing without trying is full retard
    4. Self design is full retard
    5. Design by incremental optimization is full retard

  22. Neil Rickert
    Ignored
    says:

    Moved a post to guano.

  23. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Nonlin.org,

    Nonlin,
    Regarding natural selection and its magical abilities one thing is worth mentioning: its magical ability to add information in the cell differentiation process of embryo development that is independent or beyond DNA as indicated by category theory…
    Unless natural selection can operate on subatomic level rearranging quantum information… 😉

  24. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac,

    Can anyone, including J-Mac, explain what J-Mac is talking about above?

  25. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman:
    J-Mac,

    Can anyone, including J-Mac, explain what J-Mac is talking about above?

    No

  26. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Welp, that’s settled then. 🙂

  27. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket,

    Seems you and Harshman never look outside of the box of the preconceived dogma of Darwinism for obvious reasons..
    Each stage of embryo development violates the DNA based information only concept of cell differentiation as established by mathematical formula of category theory… In other words, the increase of information required for embryo development can’t be explained by DNA based information only… I propose quantum information based increase of information but that would mean that natural selection operates on subatomic level by rearranging quantum information to account for the information increase… That would mean that Darwinism is false because the mechanisms of the information increase would reach into the magical world of quantum mechanics… lol

    Look it up!

  28. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac,

    Where would I look up this particular bit of woo?

  29. keiths keiths
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac:

    Each stage of embryo development violates the DNA based information only concept of cell differentiation as established by mathematical formula of category theory… In other words, the increase of information required for embryo development can’t be explained by DNA based information only…

    John:

    Where would I look up this particular bit of woo?

    What a surprise. It’s from a chapter of the book Theistic Evolution entitled Why DNA Mutations Cannot Accomplish What Neo-Darwinism Requires, by none other than Jonathan Wells.

  30. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman:

    Where would I look up this particular bit of woo?

    You don’t know what it is and yet you already assumed it’s woo…
    So much for being unbiased…

  31. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    keiths:
    J-Mac:

    John:

    What a surprise.It’s from a chapter of the book Theistic Evolution entitled Why DNA Mutations Cannot Accomplish What Neo-Darwinism Requires, by none other than Jonathan Wells.

    Put out by the Discovery Institute with chapters by professional IDiots Meyer, Axe, Gauger, and the rest of the DI clown circus.

    Special guest chapters by Casey “attack gerbil” Luskin.

    ALL SCIENCE SO FAR!

  32. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    keiths:
    J-Mac:

    John:

    What a surprise.It’s from a chapter of the book Theistic Evolution entitled Why DNA Mutations Cannot Accomplish What Neo-Darwinism Requires, by none other than Jonathan Wells.

    You mean you have an answer?

  33. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: You mean you have an answer?

    An answer to what? The baseless assertions made in a popular press book by a well known ID-Creationist Liar-For-Jesus?

  34. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    Adapa,

    An answer to what? The baseless assertions made in a popular press book by a well known ID-Creationist Liar-For-Jesus?

    A baseless assertion that your opponent is making a baseless assertion. Do you have a skill beyond ad hominem attacks?

  35. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    Adapa,

    A baseless assertion that your opponent is making a baseless assertion.Do you have a skill beyond ad hominem attacks?

    Don’t even bother… it’s a waste of time…

  36. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: Don’t even bother… it’s a waste of time…

    On that we can agree.

  37. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    Adapa,

    A baseless assertion that your opponent is making a baseless assertion.Do you have a skill beyond ad hominem attacks?

    “Moonie” Wells is well known for his ID-Creationist blithering and his dishonest attacks on science. Not a thing in his latest trash book is backed up with the slightest scientific evidence.

    When the clowns you hold up as heroes start actually doing some science instead of selling popular press garbage books to Creationist morons, let us know.

  38. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    Adapa,

    A baseless assertion that your opponent is making a baseless assertion.Do you have a skill beyond ad hominem attacks?

    Do you have a skill beyond blindly regurgitating the same ID-Creationist stupidity you’ve already seen refuted a dozen times?

  39. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman: On that we can agree.

    I’ve learned one thing @ TSZ: to ignore those whose the only argument is anger when their beliefs are contradicted and they resort to ad hominem, as colewd righty put it…

    For what is worth:
    bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/download/BIO-C.2014.2/85
    or search:
    Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA Jonathan Wells

  40. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Essentially, it is clear that the information for cell differentiation as well as body plans is not found in DNA. If it did, the many mutagenesis experiments over 100 years by now would have produced new organisms with new body plans. Drosophila experiments are the perfect example of the failure…

    Essentially, the evolution of new body plans is impossible due to the law of recurrent variation, as formulated and experimentally proven by Dr. Loennig over 45 years at the Planck Institute…

    Mutation breeding, evolution, and the law of recurrent variation

    http://www.weloennig.de/Loennig-Long-Version-of-Law-of-Recurrent-Variation.pdf

  41. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac: I’ve learned one thing @ TSZ: to ignore those whose the only argument is anger when their beliefs are contradicted and they resort to ad hominem, as colewd righty put it…

    For what is worth:
    bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/download/BIO-C.2014.2/85
    or search:
    Membrane Patterns Carry Ontogenetic Information That Is Specified Independently of DNA Jonathan Wells

    Why do you think Wells had to publish this blockbuster paper in an online creationist fake journal? Is it because the evolutionist conspiracy bars him from more conventional publications?

  42. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman,

    Why do you think Wells had to publish this blockbuster paper in an online creationist fake journal?

    On what objective basis do you determine if a journal legitimate?

  43. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman: Why do you think Wells had to publish this blockbuster paper in an online creationist fake journal? Is it because the evolutionist conspiracy bars him from more conventional publications?

    Feel free to review the paper and I will make sure it gets published.

  44. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    John Harshman,

    On what objective basis do you determine if a journal legitimate?

    Yeah, Darwinists can’t wait but to publish papers that shed doubts on the fundamentals of their theory. Their livelihoods are at stake, not just science fiction…

    Same applies to cosmologists eager to publish the interpretation of data that the axis of evil destroyed the materialistic assumptions of the origins of the universe since Copernicus…

  45. John Harshman John Harshman
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    John Harshman,

    On what objective basis do you determine if a journal legitimate?

    I’m afraid you don’t deserve a response.

  46. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    John Harshman,

    I’m afraid you don’t deserve a response.

    Or perhaps you made a claim you cannot intelligently support.

  47. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    John Harshman,

    Or perhaps you made a claim you cannot intelligently support.

    The only way to respond to this challenge is to provide the evidence that Darwinism, or any other known evolutionary mechanism, can not account for the phenomenon of information increase in cell differentiation process…
    Why would Harshman chop the branch he is sitting on?
    As far a I known, even Wells has no explanation for this phenomenon.
    I suspect if there is ever one, it’d have something to with quantum mechanics…

  48. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac,

    As far a I known, even Wells has no explanation for this phenomenon.

    I agree. The paper is speculative at best. The objection I have is when an intelligent scientist acts like a politician and tries to discount a paper by naming the publisher.

    People need to wake up and smell the coffee that this evolutionist political lobby that exists in this country making unsupported claims for political reasons is hurting everyone.

  49. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: The paper is speculative at best.

    I disagree. The paper makes a serious challenge to Darwinism. It quotes several papers that attempted to explain this phenomenon to no avail. Harshman gave up because there is no literature that seriously addresses the issue. It won’t go away though.
    The answer lies likely within quantum biology…

  50. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    J-Mac,

    The answer lies likely within quantum biology…

    Your hypothesis is interesting but you have some work to do:-)

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