The Third Way?

Over at the “IDM collapse” thread I rather churlishly rejected CharlieM’s invitation to read an extensive piece by Stephen L. Talbott. Discovering he is a fan of Velikovsky did little to encourage me (that is, I fully realise, an argument from authority, but life is short and authors many. One needs a filter). What did catch my eye, however, is the fact that he is a contributor to Third Way of Evolution. This, on their front page, is what one might term their ‘manifesto’.

The vast majority of people believe that there are only two alternative ways to explain the origins of biological diversity. One way is Creationism that depends upon intervention by a divine Creator. That is clearly unscientific because it brings an arbitrary supernatural force into the evolution process. The commonly accepted alternative is Neo-Darwinism, which is clearly naturalistic science but ignores much contemporary molecular evidence and invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation. Neo-Darwinism ignores important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications. Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.

That puzzles me. We need a root-and-branch rethink because of the widely-accepted phenomena of endosymbiosis, HGT, transposons and epigenetics? I honestly don’t get it. These are refinements easily, and already, accommodated. Neo-Darwinists do not ‘ignore’ these phenomena, nor consider them unimportant. They may fall outside a strict framework of genetic gradualism by ‘micromutation’, but are hardly keeping anyone awake nights.

Perhaps, on reflection, I should punt them my musings on the Evolution of Sex. It is non-Darwinian in the sense they appear to mean, so it should be right up their street!

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500 thoughts on “The Third Way?

  1. Flint: I’m convinced that you don’t think the evolution story has achieved this goal, but I’m not quite sure why. Candidate possibilities are:

    You just miss the biggest one: nothing works in “evolution”. Not one thing.

    Corneel: Please, engage with the arguments. Is “one e coli strain to another e coli strain as an elephant is to a grasshopper?” I said it is. You disagreed. So how do you support your assertion?

    I provided the link. DNA is demonstrably not the whole story. And you probably discarded most of the genome (true?). You can just as well classify by volume, lifespan, etc. Your preference for one measure is arbitrary. Hence your conclusion unsupported.

    Corneel: LOL, you care a great deal about classifications, especially humans.

    Eugenics? Not me. Maybe your evo-friends.

    Corneel: It did take over its world.

    It’s like saying: “the scrawny deer take over their world during hunting season”. If you think that’s “taking over”, you’re from a different planet as I suspected.

    Corneel: Please engage with the arguments -once again-.

    Why? You keep asking irrelevant silly questions. If you want to say something, just do it. And you will be called on it when wrong or unsupported (like “elephant to grasshopper”).

    Corneel: The design must be tailored to its intended environment in order to be functional.

    Define “intended environment”. How would you ever know?

    Corneel: Whether it is “to be expected” or a “miracle of evolution”, antibiotic resistance is only useful to a bacterial strain if an antibiotic is present in its environment.

    Ab-resistance is ubiquitous, you and me included. Not sure what your problem is.

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  2. Mung,

    I do like it, actually. What about it? Betty certainly isn’t pro-IDT. Don’t be silly.

    What’s happened with you sounds like relapse. We’ve been through all this stuff here with you before. You seemed to somewhat understand the contours of the conversation.

    Now it just sounds like you pro-ID theory + anti-evolution fell off the wagon, Mung. Straight up.

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  3. Gregory,

    Attitudes and decisions regarding religion are not held and changed easily. There is tradition, culture, community deeply embedded (in our souls, if you like) and it involves the emotions. And for most of us who are not politically powerful, it is harmless.

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  4. Alan Fox: There is tradition, culture, community deeply embedded (in our souls, if you like) and it involves the emotions.

    Plus the religion mutation which confers a reproductive success!

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  5. phoodoo: Plus the religion mutation which confers a reproductive success!

    In some cases. Many of your priests in the religion you support seemed not to realize they were unable to reproduce by sticking it there but they kept on trying…

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  6. Nonlin.org: You can just as well classify by volume, lifespan, etc. Your preference for one measure is arbitrary. Hence your conclusion unsupported.

    Ignoring the fact that the preference for molecular genetic measures is not *quite* an arbitrary decision, I note that you haven’t addressed my request. My question was how YOU supported YOUR conclusion. You can start presenting your supporting data from variation in life span in E. coli. I am dying to see those.

    Nonlin.org: Why? You keep asking irrelevant silly questions.

    Because the readership of TSZ is smart enough to spot when you are dodging questions you feel uncomfortable with. You don’t want to lose the argument, do you?

    Nonlin.org: Define “intended environment”. How would you ever know?

    If I present you with the blueprints of a submarine, you should be able to spot the intended environment is underwater. You can tell, because the machine would clearly be completely useless on land. Since you insist that organisms are designed, analogous to manmade contrivances, a similar procedure should be possible for living things. Since any three-year old could tell you where penguins belong, I am starting to suspect that you are just playing silly buggers with me.

    Nonlin.org: Ab-resistance is ubiquitous, you and me included. Not sure what your problem is.

    This is most tiresome, Nonlin. Why don’t you read the bleedin’ book by reverend Paley you so admire? The problem at hand is that of adaptation, which is what gives the appareance of organismal design. Like the design of a plane is clearly intended for the purposes of flying, so is the build of a swallow. That is why both planes and swallows don’t do so well underwater.

    Why oh why do I need to explain these very basic arguments of your heroes to you? Do you have any idea how weak that makes your position look?

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  7. Gregory: Now it just sounds like you pro-ID theory + anti-evolution fell off the wagon, Mung.

    And you suck at mind-reading and need to give it up. You have no idea where I am at with respect to “Intelligent Design Theory” and seem to have missed the few clues that I’ve left for you.

    And since when have I ever been anti-evolution? You seem unable to make important distinctions. You should work on that.

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  8. Nonlin.org: You just miss the biggest one: nothing works in “evolution”. Not one thing.

    You are quite right, I listed only plausible reasons. If I asked if there was water on the moon, I wouldn’t list “because it’s made of cheese, stupid” as a possible argument.

    Molly Ivins once described a military denier as someone who could look you straight in the eye, tell you you’re not there, and believe it! You have missed your calling; you should apply at the pentagon.

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  9. Mung: And since when have I ever been anti-evolution?

    Oh gee nobody could ever come up with any reason to think that. One could supply a lifetime’s worth of you arguing with evolutionists, but unless we quote you directly stating “I, Mung, am anti-evolution since XX.XX.XXXX” you’ll pull the plausible deniability angle and act indignant anyone could think otherwise at the same time.

    Bullshit Mung, Bullshit! Nobody here need waste any second wondering about what goes on in your head on this question. Your history on this and numerous other forums speaks for itself.

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  10. Corneel to Nonlin:
    Because the readership of TSZ is smart enough to spot when you are dodging questions you feel uncomfortable with. You don’t want to lose the argument, do you?

    Nonlin doesn’t seem to do anything else but dodge questions (s)he feels uncomfortable with and lose arguments..

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  11. Entropy: Nonlin doesn’t seem to do anything else but dodge questions (s)he feels uncomfortable with and lose arguments..

    The way I see it, nonlin doesn’t do anything but make unsupported claims. He only declaims and asserts. He never argues, never justifies, never reasons. He responds to comments only in the sense that he quotes them, but his reactions to what he quotes are less responsive than a magic 8 ball (or maybe a chatty Cathy). The old Eliza (or Perry) programs did a much better job, because they put more thought into their responses.

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  12. Rumraket: Your history on this and numerous other forums speaks for itself.

    Yes it does. I accept common descent. Sadly that never seems to sink in with you.

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  13. Entropy: Nonlin doesn’t seem to do anything else but dodge questions (s)he feels uncomfortable with and lose arguments..

    I have always been of the conviction that in the evolution – creationist debates the participants that convince most fence-sitting onlookers that the ID/creationist side has an utterly vacuous position are not on our side of the fence.

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  14. Mung: Yes it does. I accept common descent. Sadly that never seems to sink in with you.

    Perhaps it is statements to the effect that “evolutionary theory remains little more than a collection of ad hoc just-so stories” and “it isn’t science” that leads people to believe otherwise. Evolutionary theory is a broad scientific discipline. You may want to specify what particular parts you take issue with.

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  15. Mung: You have no idea where I am at with respect to “Intelligent Design Theory” and seem to have missed the few clues that I’ve left for you.

    Nobody cares that much to play your game. Who do you think you are?

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  16. phoodoo: Did it hurt?

    Does it hurt to know your flailings on fitness start and end in this low readership blog? That the most impact your ‘ideas’ will have is to be discarded by people who think you are an idiot?

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  17. Mung: Yes it does. I accept common descent. Sadly that never seems to sink in with you.

    No, you accept something else.

    Why can’t it be both descent and design?

    It can be, but then it’s something else. So don’t pretend you accept ‘common descent’. You don’t.

    And why would you accept something that predicts everything and therefore nothing?

    What if a gene or feature remains substantially unchanged? Is that also a “prediction” of common descent? What if it’s lost completely? Is that also a “prediction” of common descent (ht: jdd)? What if it disappears then reappears? Also a prediction of common descent?

    What does common descent not predict, then? It seems to “predict” everything we observe.

    Do tell why “predict” is in scare quotes.

    And why do you believe something based on circular reasoning ?

    I can be a bit thick at times, I’ll admit. But can someone explain how using the presence of some marker to argue for a recent common origin of two species, and then turning around and using a recent common origin of two species to explain the presence of that marker is not an exercise in circular reasoning?

    Just trying to grasp the logic of “common descent” reasoning. Carry on.

    Just trying to grasp the logic of you saying you support common descent at the same time claiming it’s based on circular reasoning and claiming it can be both descent and design. You actually mean something quite different and perhaps one day you will see that for yourself.

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  18. Corneel: You may want to specify what particular parts you take issue with.

    What I take issue with is pretty plan given what I’ve written and the context in which it has been written. If you don’t get it let me know. I’ve always liked you, so I don’t mind explaining it to you.

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  19. Corneel: My question was how YOU supported YOUR conclusion. You can start presenting your supporting data from variation in life span in E. coli.

    If you read again, my conclusion is that your claim is baseless. As shown. That’s all. You mistake “your claim is baseless” with “I take the OPPOSITE alternative view A or B or…” which is not the case.

    Corneel: Because the readership of TSZ is smart enough to spot when you are dodging questions you feel uncomfortable with. You don’t want to lose the argument, do you?

    Yes, I am uncomfortable answering silly questions. Nothing wrong with that.

    Tell you what: I will be delighted to lose an argument – that means I learned something. And if you remember, on the very rare occasions it happened, I gave you and others FULL CREDIT for smart comments.

    Corneel: If I present you with the blueprints of a submarine, you should be able to spot the intended environment is underwater. You can tell, because the machine would clearly be completely useless on land.

    False and sooo backwards. You put the cart before the horses. You only know about submarines because you were only showed them under water and were told how they work. Same with penguins. The three year old only knows what he was shown – namely penguins in the cold. Provided he hasn’t seen them in the circus in which case he will KNOW FOR SURE they belong in the circus.

    Corneel: The problem at hand is that of adaptation, which is what gives the appareance of organismal design. Like the design of a plane is clearly intended for the purposes of flying, so is the build of a swallow.

    Cart before horses again. Yes, we know planes to have been designed for a purpose because we learned about Wright Bros. But birds, unless you accept the biblical account – which you don’t, you have no way of knowing what their purpose is. Despite inferring that they are better at flying than turtles. Well, it really depends on the density of the medium, doesn’t it?

    You don’t do well with subtleties. Something you should consider improving…
    Flint,

    Yeah, I don’t think you understand much.
    Corneel,

    Agree with Corneel. I have no idea what your position is, Mung. Not that it much matters.

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  20. Meanwhile we have e coli – maybe the easiest organism to work with – that refuses to “evolve”. And we have ONLY “contingent beneficial” mutations which are NOT AT ALL the same as “beneficial” mutations. And math challenged (fka math genius) that mistakes “subset” for “contingent” (ouch).

    … to not mention “genetic drift” that must be: either a force – and if so it demands an explanation – or a random error – in which case it doesn’t do anything.
    …and let’s not forget the unforgettable admission of truck driver that there’s no such thing as “fitness” – icing on the most wonderful cake.
    … not counting the admission that the concept of “species” doesn’t work.

    Is everyone having as much fun as I do? Wonderful!

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  21. Mung,

    “And since when have I ever been anti-evolution?”

    Just going by what you wrote requires no mind reading, Mung. You’ve been away for a while. Then you came back, posting garbage, like the following:

    “Why ‘evolutionary theory’ continues to b a joke” & “the fact remains that ‘evolutionary theory’ remains little more than a collection of ad hoc just-so stories. It isn’t science.”

    I asked: “Relapse? Hit your head? Too many hours behind the screen got the wires tangled?

    Mung’s response

    “You may like: Unifying Biology”

    Yeah, Betty’s work is known to me. But no explanation why Mung cited it. Can he not explain anything clearly himself; just innuendo?

    “You have no idea where I am at with respect to ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ and seem to have missed the few clues that I’ve left for you.”

    Your “clues” might indeed have been missed. Could you please state them more clearly so not everyone has to always guess at what you’re saying?

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  22. Mung: I’ve always liked you

    Likewise. Thanks.

    Mung: If you don’t get it let me know.

    My impression was that you were indulging Jock’s creationist bingo, but such subtleties often gets lost on internet fora.

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  23. Nonlin.org: You mistake “your claim is baseless” with “I take the OPPOSITE alternative view A or B or…” which is not the case.

    You worded it slightly stronger, but that’s ok. Since you don’t endorse the opposing view, you agree that two E. coli isolates might indeed be as a different from each other as an elephant and a grasshopper?

    Nonlin.org:You only know about submarines because you were only showed them under water and were told how they work. Same with penguins.

    […]

    Yes, we know planes to have been designed for a purpose because we learned about Wright Bros. But birds, unless you accept the biblical account – which you don’t, you have no way of knowing what their purpose is.

    Is that not the heart of the teleological argument though? If it is impossible to tell the purpose of an artifact without knowing it beforehand, how can we possibly recognize any designed object as such? What are the qualities in which organisms resemble manmade contrivances if not the purposeful arrangement of parts, as we are repeatedly told by people on your side of the fence?

    Nonlin.org: Despite inferring that they are better at flying than turtles. Well, it really depends on the density of the medium, doesn’t it?

    So swallows are NOT better at flying than turtles because that ability is conditional on the density of the medium?
    A penguin is not better at swimming than a hummingbird because that ability is conditional on the density of the medium?
    A boat is not better at sailing than a brick because that ability is conditional on the density of the medium?

    Oh, and a conditionally beneficial mutation is not beneficial at all, right?

    This is getting more and more amusing.

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  24. Corneel: If it is impossible to tell the purpose of an artifact without knowing it beforehand, how can we possibly recognize any designed object as such?

    Can you answer this?

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  25. phoodoo: Can you answer this?

    I am guessing one could use orderliness and complexity as clues, but I have not seen any IDer abandon the claim that they can see purpose or direction in organismal design before. It is an uncontroversial point that I am usually willing to concede.

    Do you agree with nonlin that we cannot see the purpose of design unless we are told? Do you think it is wise to argue that you can clearly see design in nature but that you are buggered if you know what the purpose of it all is?

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  26. phoodoo: Can you answer this?

    Tray an example (one favoured by The infamous JoeG/various peudonyms).

    Was Stonehenge designed? Who designed it? What was its purpose?

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  27. Corneel: Since you don’t endorse the opposing view, you agree that two E. coli isolates might indeed be as a different from each other as an elephant and a grasshopper?

    No. Not regarding the issue under consideration, namely the refusal to “evolve” of the e coli. Remember, your argument is that e coli doesn’t “evolve” because strains are too far removed genetically. This is false for several reasons as discussed, the main one being that e coli “evolution” doesn’t happen even between closely related strains (with a very recent common ancestor).

    Corneel: What are the qualities in which organisms resemble manmade contrivances if not the purposeful arrangement of parts, as we are repeatedly told by people on your side of the fence?

    One can easily infer design without knowing the actual purpose. It happens all the time in archaeology. Everyone with a modicum of education knows this much.

    Corneel: So swallows are NOT better at flying than turtles because that ability is conditional on the density of the medium?

    You understand nothing? What is flying if not swimming through a very light medium? What is swimming if not flying through a denser medium?

    Corneel: Oh, and a conditionally beneficial mutation is not beneficial at all, right?

    What does “beneficial at all” mean? The claim was “beneficial”, not “beneficial at all”. And you should know this much elementary math. Bait and switch?

    phoodoo: Can you answer this?

    Haha. Good one!

    Corneel: Do you agree with nonlin that we cannot see the purpose of design unless we are told?

    Not what I said. You either didn’t take the advice to beef up on attention to details or you really like to bait and switch. Or perhaps didn’t want to express as much embarrassment as warranted.

    Alan Fox: Was Stonehenge designed? Who designed it? What was its purpose?

    The answer to the first one is obvious to everyone. Second and third questions go beyond what’s being discussed here.

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  28. Nonlin.org:
    One can easily infer design without knowing the actual purpose. It happens all the time in archaeology. Everyone with a modicum of education knows this much.

    But those with more than a modicum of education know this isn’t correct. Archaeologists infer design because they know the purpose of what they unearth. It’s quite unusual that the purpose of some artifact is completely unknown, and unless an artifact of some unknown purpose is spectacularly artificial, it probably won’t even be recognized as a design.

    Granted, the purpose of some ancient constructions is speculative in some respects. For example, things built in the interest of long-lost religious ceremonies can be identified as likely religious in nature, even though the details of the ceremonies may never be discovered.

    In general, we know human needs, abilities, and motivations. We apply this knowledge in determining whether something is or isn’t a deliberate design.

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  29. Nonlin.org: Remember, your argument is that e coli doesn’t “evolve” because strains are too far removed genetically.

    No, my argument is that a mutation that is beneficial in one strain is not expected to sweep through all strains labeled Escherichia coli, like you insisted.

    Nonlin.org: Me: What are the qualities in which organisms resemble manmade contrivances if not the purposeful arrangement of parts, as we are repeatedly told by people on your side of the fence?

    Nonlin: One can easily infer design without knowing the actual purpose. It happens all the time in archaeology. Everyone with a modicum of education knows this much.

    Then it should be very easy to answer my question. So far we only got “it’s easy”, “it’s obvious” and “you’re uneducated if you can’t tell”, but no actual answers. Hmmmm, is it possible that Nonlin doesn’t know and is trying to bluff his way out?

    Nonlin.org: You understand nothing? What is flying if not swimming through a very light medium? What is swimming if not flying through a denser medium?

    Yet a tortoise cannot fly and a swallow cannot swim. Neither does a submarine fly, nor can a jumbo jet sail. It is almost like the designs are adapted to the actual environment in which they are intended to function.

    Stop digging, Nonlin. You are making yourself look really silly.

    Nonlin.org: What does “beneficial at all” mean? The claim was “beneficial”, not “beneficial at all”. And you should know this much elementary math.

    If you insist on playing set theory word games, you better engage with Jock’s comment.

    Nonlin.org: Me to phoodoo: Do you agree with nonlin that we cannot see the purpose of design unless we are told?

    Nonlin: Not what I said.

    Yes, you did:

    You only know about submarines because you were only showed them under water and were told how they work.

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  30. Flint: But those with more than a modicum of education know this isn’t correct.

    Flint: Granted, the purpose of some ancient constructions is speculative in some respects.

    Contradict yourself are you.

    Corneel: No, my argument is that a mutation that is beneficial in one strain is not expected to sweep through all strains labeled Escherichia coli, like you insisted.

    And I granted you that, despite being speculative as shown. Yet you still have a major problem as the “sweeping” doesn’t happen at all. Not even to the closest relatives. No “beneficial”, no “fit”, no “selection”, no “evolution” in the cit plus e coli case. Nothing! And if nothing in e coli, nothing anywhere else. Still dancing around this, are you?

    Corneel: Then it should be very easy to answer my question.

    Is your question:
    “What are the qualities in which organisms resemble manmade contrivances if not the purposeful arrangement of parts?”
    If so, YES. But the actual purpose need not be known as you incorrectly insist.

    More precisely, we infer purpose from non-random patterns. This is nothing more than the famous random null hypothesis rejection that you and math-challenged (demoted) have a problem with.

    Corneel: Yet a tortoise cannot fly and a swallow cannot swim.

    Meh. If you don’t get that they all do fluid dynamics, so be it.

    Corneel: If you insist on playing set theory word games, you better engage with Jock’s comment.

    Only conditional beneficial is not set theory. Hence the demotion from math genius to math challenged. Haha!

    Corneel: Yes, you did:

    No, I didn’t. You confuse one example with a generalization. A quite elementary mistake.

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  31. Nonlin.org: No “beneficial”, no “fit”, no “selection”, no “evolution” in the cit plus e coli case.

    The scientific world discounts your singular and unsupported assertion.

    If you don’t like the E. coli example, what about the SNP (single point mutation) in humans that is found in a gene that codes for the protein haemoglobin. The genetic mutation results in a change of one amino-acid in the protein from glutamic acid to valine. This affects the protein’s solubility and, in homozygous form, produces the symptoms known as sickle cell disease. The disease is debilitating, incurable and, untreated, leads to premature death. Yet the mutation persists, particularly where malaria is prevalent as the heterozygous condition protects against malarial infection.

    So having the mutation in heterozygous configuration is beneficial in protecting an individual from malaria (where malaria is rife) but deleterious in homozygous form, leading to disability and premature death.

    Context is everything.

    ETA SPM not SNP (The Scottish National Party)

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  32. So the same mutation can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on the environment it is expressed in?

    nonlin? agree/disagree?

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  33. Nonlin.org: Yet you still have a major problem as the “sweeping” doesn’t happen at all. Not even to the closest relatives.

    Yes, it did. What other populations should it have spread to?

    Nonlin.org: Is your question:
    “What are the qualities in which organisms resemble manmade contrivances if not the purposeful arrangement of parts?”
    If so, YES. But the actual purpose need not be known as you incorrectly insist.

    I can clearly see my car has colour, but I cannot tell you which colour.
    I also can clearly see the word “hkhusbjjf” has meaning, but I cannot tell you what it means.

    ROFLMAO!

    That is utter nonsense, Nonlin!

    Nonlin.org: More precisely, we infer purpose from non-random patterns.

    That is what we technically call OR-DER. Order does not imply purpose. A snowflake displays an ordered pattern, but has no intentional purpose.

    Nonlin.org: Meh. If you don’t get that they all do fluid dynamics, so be it.

    Fluid dynamics has nothing to do with it. Swimming is not flying. You are twisting the meaning of words way beyond their common use, just to avoid conceding the point.

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  34. Alan Fox: The disease is debilitating, incurable and, untreated, leads to premature death. Yet the mutation persists, particularly where malaria is prevalent as the heterozygous condition protects against malarial infection.

    With your own words, you defeat yourself as that mutation is obviously NOT “beneficial”.

    OMagain: So the same mutation can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on the environment it is expressed in?

    nonlin? agree/disagree?

    The mutation itself is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. And why anthropomorphise bacteria?

    Corneel: Yes, it did. What other populations should it have spread to?

    This has been discussed.

    Corneel: I can clearly see my car has colour, but I cannot tell you which colour.
    I also can clearly see the word “hkhusbjjf” has meaning, but I cannot tell you what it means.

    You don’t make any sense.

    Corneel: Order does not imply purpose. A snowflake displays an ordered pattern, but has no intentional purpose.

    And your proof of that is…?

    Corneel: Fluid dynamics has nothing to do with it.

    Haha.

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  35. Nonlin.org: With your own words, you defeat yourself as that mutation is obviously NOT “beneficial”.

    The mutation is beneficial to those individuals carrying it if they are in an environment where exposure to malaria is high. If it were not beneficial in this context, it would rapidly disappear from the gene pool by genetic drift. And, where malaria is not prevalent, this is what is observed.

    I’m wondering, are you just in total denial about unsuitable facts or do you have an alternative explanation for the facts in your head that you’d rather not share?

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  36. Nonlin.org: The mutation itself is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’.

    Nonlin.org:

    Corneel: Yes, it did. What other populations should it have spread to?

    This has been discussed.

    Well, not in any substantive way by you. The point is, again, context. In the niche of Lenski’s flasks, awash with citrate in an aerobic environment, the mutation allowing citrate digestion was a bonanza causing the mutant to outgrow and overwhelm the wild type. Outside the flasks and in someone’s gut, not beneficial.

    Context is everything!

    Context is, I repeat for the hard of comprehending, everything!

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  37. Alan Fox,

    So you are now going to call mutations “beneficial” for some individuals and not beneficial for other individuals, and still try to claim the concept of fitness has some meaning?

    You clearly haven’t thought this through.

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  38. phoodoo to Alan Fox,
    So you are now going to call mutations “beneficial” for some individuals and not beneficial for other individuals,

    Why not? Didn’t you understand “context is everything”?

    phoodoo to Alan Fox,
    and still try to claim the concept of fitness has some meaning?

    Why not? If the mutation is beneficial for individuals under some context, then their fitness is higher in that context. This is so easy you could have saved the embarrassment by thinking just a tiny bit more.

    phoodoo to Alan Fox,
    You clearly haven’t thought this through.

    Yet another irony-meter blown up.

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  39. phoodoo:
    Alan Fox,

    So you are now going to call mutations “beneficial” for some individuals and not beneficial for other individuals, and still try to claim the concept of fitness has some meaning?

    You clearly haven’t thought this through.

    So I (mostly) stop reading the evolution threads for a month, drop in to the latest post, and nothing has moved since the first day of this site. Not budged an inch.

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  40. Entropy,

    Right, the context being if it survived it was beneficial, for others if they didn’t survive it must have been deleterious. Now tell me it’s not a circular argument.

    See what I mean about not thinking it through? No, I guess you wouldn’t.

    Ask yourself, do beneficial mutations help survival? Depends on the context, if they do they do.

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  41. phoodoo: . Now tell me it’s not a circular argument.

    It’s not an argument. It’s an observation. Organisms and their niches. Never find golden moles frolicking in the deep ocean, never find great white sharks exploring the Namib desert.

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  42. petrushka: So I (mostly) stop reading the evolution threads for a month, drop in to the latest post, and nothing has moved since the first day of this site. Not budged an inch.

    I dunno. The anti-evolution arguments never evolve into better arguments but the variation in the anti-evolution gene pool is reducing and maybe is on the road to extinction.

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