Who’s Skeptical of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis?

Is anyone here skeptical of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) in biology/biological sciences? If so, why? If not, why not?

Background: A couple of days ago I interviewed one of the participants in the Royal Society’s recent ‘New Trends’ meeting (audios now available), who is obviously pro-EES ,as part of a nearly completed research project from the past couple of years.

My interviewee gave the (ahem) ‘brilliant’ answer of a stone when asked to speak about ‘things that don’t evolve’ (one of those interviewer places where it’s really hard to mask a delighted smile with neutrality!) after claiming not to understand the question: “What are the limits of evolution as a scientific theory?” (we had already been discussing its ‘possibilities’ and I explained earlier that I would ask both about the possibilities and the limits of evolutionary theories). Undergrad students around the world chuckle when they hear the Rock answer (as if geological evolution doesn’t exist in the minds of biologists)!

It’s just a ‘play of scales,’ after all, that slips us into the ‘evolution of everything,’ don’t forget 😉

157 thoughts on “Who’s Skeptical of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis?

  1. Larry Moran: The term “Modern Synthesis” refers to a particular version of evolutionary theory. That version was described by it’s leading proponents back in the 1960s. We now know that it was insufficient because it only referred to natural selection as a mechanism of evolution.

    But it doesn’t make it dead, only incomplete.

    Evolutionary theory can be extended and modified but the old-fashioned theory called “Modern Synthesis” is dead.

    It’s probably a semantic distinction but if you retain the essential elements of a theory and extend and modify it, I don’t see how it can then be described as dead.

    Modern population genetics and experimental facts demonstrate that neutral alleles can be fixed by drift, most beneficial alleles are lost by drift, and deleterious alleles can be fixed by drift. Which one(s) of those facts are you skeptical of?

    None of them, as such. My difficulty is seeing how these purely unbiased processes (if I understand correctly) result in cumulative evolutionary change, if there is no input from the niche.

    No, mutationism as per Masatoshi Nei and others. See Arlin Stoltzfus explains evolutionary theory.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. Frankie: That neutral alleles can be fixed by drift.Perhaps in a small population or under artificial scenarios. But what about in the wild?

    [sarcasm font] And, of course, small populations don’t exist in the wild.[/sarcasm font]

  3. Larry Moran: See Arlin Stoltzfus explains evolutionary theory.

    Following your link, I’m led to Arlin Stoltzfus’ paper on constructive neutral evolution.

    I was rather swayed by the remarks of one of the reviewers, Alex Kondrashov:

    It is hard for me to provide a useful review for this manuscript, because it consists, almost exclusively, of rather general reasoning, instead of precise, falsifiable statements. I do not see much value in almost-philosophical consideration of “Modern Synthesis” and “neo-Darwinism”, whatever these expressions might mean. I fully agree with the original claim of the author, made in 1999, that fixations of effectively neutral alleles may result in something new and that limitations imposed by availability of mutations on the outcomes of adaptive evolution are crucial (if becoming humans depended on inserting a specific segment of 10 amino acids into a particular site of a particular protein, we would remain apes forever, because the probability of such an insertion is vanishingly low). Statements of this kind were made many times (e.g., [62]), but here I am not concerned about priority. Instead, I do think that our understanding of evolution at the level of sequences already matured past the phase when discussions of basic principles are useful for professionals. We all believe in mutation, selection, and drift, I hope.

  4. Frankie: That neutral alleles can be fixed by drift.Perhaps in a small population or under artificial scenarios. But what about in the wild?

    The human and chimpanzee genomes differ at 45 million sites. Population genetics predicts that neutral changes will be fixed by random genetic drift at the mutation rate. This is independent of population size. The result matches the prediction. Thus, we conclude that >99% of all fixations in the human lineage are due to random genetic drift. [see Why are the human and chimpanzee/bonobo genomes so similar?]

  5. “The theory changed, was extended, you might say evolved, even.”

    Cute & incoherent nonsense, thy strategy is foxy! 😉 Notice the passive voice (was extended, somehow, from the outside or undefined ‘inside’) as well as loose from-the-hip analogy. Nevertheless, Alan is right to ask Larry: “how extended?” and “what exactly is extended or not extended?”

  6. Alan Fox: Following your link, I’m led to Arlin Stoltzfus’ paper on constructive neutral evolution.

    I was rather swayed by the remarks of one of the reviewers, Alex Kondrashov.

    And here is Arlin’s response to that criticism.

    The aspiration to derive a common understanding of causation from basic, universally accepted principles may be a laudable ideal, but as a description of reality, this view is indefensible. The reality of scientific practice is that selection, mutation and drift are not basic principles with universally agreed implications, but complex concepts freighted with history and metaphor, whose implications are disputed and problematic. For instance, if one simply consults the contemporary Oxford Encyclopedia of Evolution, the topic article[63]provides multiple conflicting descriptions of natural selection, including as a “theory” entangled with Darwinian assumptions (e.g., “natural selection differs from most alternative theories of evolution in the independence between the processes that direct variation and that direct evolution”; “In evolution by natural selection, the processes generating variation are not the same as the process that directs evolutionary change. Variation is undirected”). Evidence that the implications of such concepts are not a matter of universal agreement is given in my article, e.g., cases in which evolutionary biologists make mistakes due to the influence of an “opposing pressures” argument that goes back to Fisher and Haldane. I listed several principles of causation that follow under origin-fixation conditions, and stated that these principles will not be found in any textbook (which is perhaps my article’s only “precise falsifiable statement”, albeit a meta-scientific one).

    Thus, while Kondrashov may find my comments about evolutionary causes rather obvious, I doubt that they will be so obvious to everyone, and clearly they have not been obvious in the recent history of our field.

    Arlin is correct. Most evolutionary biologists don’t know about constructive neutral evolution or if they do they reject it. (Or they are extremely skeptical.)

    Constructive Neutral Evolution is a valid, and important, contribution to our understanding of evolution. It’s a far more radical view than niche construction or any of the other views proposed at the Royal Society meeting. The participants at the meeting would dismiss out of hand the idea that fixation of neutral alleles could lead to anything constructive. They are stuck attacking a strawman version of evolution from 50 years ago.

    See: Constructive Neutral Evolution (CNE), or read The Logic of Chance by Eugene Koonin and The Origins of Genome Architecture by Michael Lynch.

  7. Of course it may seem uncontroversial to claim that language ‘evolves’, that is, until Chomsky (& less known figures before him) comes along & says ‘no, it doesn’t. Change & evolution are not synonyms.’

    Language changes, of course. But change is the master category. Try a little parsing with your Grammar next time? Even the term ‘evolutionary change’ suggests the alternative of ‘non-evolutionary change’, though that taste may sting to evolutionists of unfamiliar perplex.

    People just don’t try to make an argument that evolution is the master category over change. It is too obvious that change is the primary category. A ragged crew of wannabe evolutionist monopolists over change made up of retrograde philosophers and philosophists (who Larry said he didn’t even want to listen to in London!) nevertheless does persist in certain impolite societies.

    The obvious question that nobody has seemed to ask until now is: what does the over-extension of evolutionary theories (potentially) look like? Once one honestly tries to face that question, a whole domino effect can take place depending how the pieces are placed in one’s intellectual apparatus. What, you say you have no potential or ability to even TRY to say what that ‘might look like’?!

    “It’s not what I thought it was (as a theory)!” “It’s over-extended in ________ disciplines.” “What rubbish using ‘evolution’ to pass for ‘science’ in __________ field(s).” “When I saw the over-extension of the ‘modern evolutionary synthesis’ into _______ fields, I firmly became opposed to ideological evolutionism in favour of academic freedom, balance and proportionality … and new exciting discussions of ‘things that don’t evolve’.” Etc.

    At least 1/3 of the EES conversation involves philosophy and social sciences, according to the Royal Society. In my view it involves much more than that and we now see rather baldly the field of biology under duress, facing cross-pressures, cliques and conflicting camps. That’s simply a sociological analysis that suggests something deeper is at stake here.

    So far, only Joe, Larry & Kan’tbReal are speaking on topic. Who else is skeptical of the EES? Why or why not? This is not an irrelevant conversation with a big Templeton cheque putting food on the tables of EES-proponents’ families in 2017 and counting. And frankly (please don’t comment anymore Frankie), I’m enjoying the fact that both pro- and anti-EES folks have a lot of answering to do right now and nobody, not Laland, Pigliucci, Noble, or anyone else has the golden ticket (likely they want to go to Wonka’s Factory – but not I and others!).

  8. Larry Moran: And here is Arlin’s response to that criticism.

    The aspiration to derive a common understanding of causation from basic, universally accepted principles may be a laudable ideal, but as a description of reality, this view is indefensible. The reality of scientific practice is that selection, mutation and drift are not basic principles with universally agreed implications, but complex concepts freighted with history and metaphor, whose implications are disputed and problematic. For instance, if one simply consults the contemporary Oxford Encyclopedia of Evolution, the topic article[63]provides multiple conflicting descriptions of natural selection, including as a “theory” entangled with Darwinian assumptions (e.g., “natural selection differs from most alternative theories of evolution in the independence between the processes that direct variation and that direct evolution”; “In evolution by natural selection, the processes generating variation are not the same as the process that directs evolutionary change. Variation is undirected”). Evidence that the implications of such concepts are not a matter of universal agreement is given in my article, e.g., cases in which evolutionary biologists make mistakes due to the influence of an “opposing pressures” argument that goes back to Fisher and Haldane. I listed several principles of causation that follow under origin-fixation conditions, and stated that these principles will not be found in any textbook (which is perhaps my article’s only “precise falsifiable statement”, albeit a meta-scientific one).

    Thus, while Kondrashov may find my comments about evolutionary causes rather obvious, I doubt that they will be so obvious to everyone, and clearly they have not been obvious in the recent history of our field.

    I’m not seeing anything here that rebuts Kondrashov’s “It is hard for me to provide a useful review for this manuscript, because it consists, almost exclusively, of rather general reasoning, instead of precise, falsifiable statements”.

  9. Larry Moran,

    The participants at the meeting would dismiss out of hand the idea that fixation of neutral alleles could lead to anything constructive

    Why do you think they are wrong? What constructive evolutionary changes might we expect from fixation of neutral alleles?

  10. Alan Fox: But it doesn’t make it dead, only incomplete.

    It’s probably a semantic distinction but if you retain the essential elements of a theory and extend and modify it, I don’t see how it can then be described as dead.

    Specific theories have names. Newtonian physics was incomplete. It was extended by more modern ideas in the twentieth century. Today, we do not say that that the Newtonian view of physics is the prevailing theory.

    Similarly, the Modern Synthesis refers to a specific view of evolution; one that limited evolution to natural selection and adaption. Evolutionary theory has moved beyond that particular view but it’s wrong to say that it’s still called “Modern Synthesis.” That would mean a specific theory that no longer reflects what it’s proponents thought when they named it. [see Don’t call it “The Theory of Evolution”; More calls to extend the defunct Modern Synthesis; and Is the “Modern Synthesis” effectively dead?]

  11. Gregory: Who else is skeptical of the EES? Why or why not?

    I didn’t find the site you linked to that helpful. I learn from Wikipedia that Massimo Pigliucci wrote a seminal paper in 2007. Would Gregory consider this a still-current account of EES?

  12. “The aspiration to derive a common understanding of causation from basic, universally accepted principles may be a laudable ideal, but as a description of reality, this view is indefensible. The reality of scientific practice is that selection, mutation and drift are not basic principles with universally agreed implications, but complex concepts freighted with history and metaphor, whose implications are disputed and problematic.” – Arlin Stoltzfus

    Just responding to these 2 sentences. I chuckle at the 1st sentence’s challenge from a biologist to thinkers in higher level fields, much greater in complexity.

    Real vs. ideal, says the dirt-covered biologist, unequipped intellectually (they still don’t study HPS much while getting their PhDs!) have a serious conversation on the topic. Causality, he whiffs. Strictly biological is the discussion, or greater regarding ‘causation’?

    What about applications of EES at all of the higher and more complex levels than biology, which almost everyone (who are non-biologists, minus one idiot) acknowledges, that don’t give a hoot about ‘biological constructive neutral evolution’ (BCNE), which sounds like a mash of wanna-be agent-like nonsense anyway?

    At least it’s nice to hear a first name framed as oppositional to the EES!

    No time for higher ‘battles.’ It’s just “back to the lab again”? Mindless matter thy calling to study & proclaim less meaning than information.

    I agree with his 2nd sentence above about complex concepts. That’s now known as ‘philosophy IN science’ (Krakow method). But this site is mainly pop-fuzz skepticism. And I’ve seen very little coherent skepticism of the EES here so far.

  13. “Evolutionary theory has moved beyond that particular view but it’s wrong to say that it’s still called ‘Modern Synthesis’.” – Larry Moran

    To correct this ‘objectivistic’ (quasi-scientific) spin on language, no possession of ‘agency’ is attributed to ‘evolutionary theory’ itself. Restated, neither evolution nor natural selection are ‘agents’. People move beyond particular views, but theories themselves are impotent without human minds. It’s a small flip you could make in communication that pragmatically means a lot. Carry on.

  14. colewd: What constructive evolutionary changes might we expect from fixation of neutral alleles?

    If 99% of all fixations in the human lineage since our divergence with chimps, are due to random genetic drift, then I guess pretty much everything that differentiates us from chimps was constructed by means of random genetic drift

  15. Larry Moran: Similarly, the Modern Synthesis refers to a specific view of evolution; one that limited evolution to natural selection and adaption. Evolutionary theory has moved beyond that particular view but it’s wrong to say that it’s still called “Modern Synthesis.”

    I’d query that the Modern Synthesis limited evolution to natural selection and adaptation. But the nub of my scepticism revolves around what genetic drift supplies to evolution other than material for selection to work on.

  16. colewd:Larry Moran,Why do you think they are wrong?What constructive evolutionary changes might we expect from fixation of neutral alleles?

    Gray, M.W., Lukeš, J., Archibald, J.M., Keeling, P.J., and Doolittle, W.F. (2010) “Irremediable complexity?” Science 330: 920-921. [doi: 10.1126/science.1198594]

    Lynch, M. (2005) Simple evolutionary pathways to complex proteins. Protein science, 14:2217-2225. [doi: 10.1110/ps.041171805]

    Lynch, M., Bobay, L.-M., Catania, F., Gout, J.-F., and Rho, M. (2011) The repatterning of eukaryotic genomes by random genetic drift. Annual review of genomics and human genetics, 12:347-366. [doi: 10.1146/annurev-genom-082410-101412]

    Lukeš, J., Archibald, J.M., Keeling, P.J., Doolittle, W.F., and Gray, M.W. (2011) “How a neutral evolutionary ratchet can build cellular complexity.” IUBMB life 63: 528-537. [PDF]

    Sarkar, S. (2014) The genomic challenge to adaptationism. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, axu002. [doi: 10.1093/bjps/axu002]

    Stoltzfus, A. (1999) “On the possibility of constructive neutral evolution.” J. Mol. Evol. 49: 169-181.

    Stoltzfus, A., and Cable, K. (2014) Mendelian-mutationism: the forgotten evolutionary synthesis. Journal of the History of Biology, 47:501-546. [doi: 10.1007/s10739-014-9383-2]

  17. dazz: If 99% of all fixations in the human lineage since our divergence with chimps,are due to random genetic drift, then I guess pretty much everything that differentiates us from chimps was constructed by means of random genetic drift

    If you refer to the whole genome, you include non-coding regions that can drift without consequence. Is that correct, 99%? How would one establish whether a DNA difference was entirely due to drift rather than some slight selective pressure in human and chimp populations?

  18. Gregory: Of course it may seem uncontroversial to claim that language ‘evolves’, that is, until Chomsky (& less known figures before him) comes along & says ‘no, it doesn’t.

    Consider the possibility that Chomsky is wrong.

  19. “…it’s wrong to say that it’s still called ‘Modern Synthesis’.” – Larry Moran

    LOL – that’s the same thing that the proponent of EEC I just interviewed said too. =) The MS doesn’t work anymore. It excluded things that can’t be excluded anymore. O.k. so then there needs to be a new name. What is the new name?

    Is it ‘modern evolutionary synthesis’ or just ‘modern evolutionary theory’ vs. ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ then? 😉

  20. Alan Fox: If you refer to the whole genome, you include non-coding regions that can drift without consequence. Is that correct, 99%? How would one establish whether a DNA difference was entirely due to drift rather than some slight selective pressure in human and chimp populations?

    It was a reference to this comment from Larry

    Larry Moran: The human and chimpanzee genomes differ at 45 million sites. Population genetics predicts that neutral changes will be fixed by random genetic drift at the mutation rate. This is independent of population size. The result matches the prediction. Thus, we conclude that >99% of all fixations in the human lineage are due to random genetic drift. [see Why are the human and chimpanzee/bonobo genomes so similar?]

    Not sure my interpretation is right, any comments or corrections are appreciated, as always

    P. S. Alan, Are you sure you meant to say “non-coding” there? Wouldn’t that be junk DNA?

  21. Gregory: To correct this ‘objectivistic’ (quasi-scientific) spin on language, no possession of ‘agency’ is attributed to ‘evolutionary theory’ itself. Restated, neither evolution nor natural selection are ‘agents’. People move beyond particular views, but theories themselves are impotent without human minds. It’s a small flip you could make in communication that pragmatically means a lot.

    No possession of agency is attributed to Newtonian mechanics. Neither force nor mass are agents.

  22. dazz: It was a reference to this comment from Larry

    Not sure my interpretation is right, any comments or corrections are appreciated, as always

    P. S.Alan, Are you sure you meant to say “non-coding”there? Wouldn’t that be junk DNA?

    Yes, you rightly point out the distinction between non-coding and non-functional. Sorry for being sloppy.

  23. Alan Fox: If you refer to the whole genome, you include non-coding regions that can drift without consequence. Is that correct, 99%? How would one establish whether a DNA difference was entirely due to drift rather than some slight selective pressure in human and chimp populations?

    The following facts are available to you from reading the references.

    Approximately the same number of fixations occurred in each of the two lineages.
    The rate of fixation corresponds to the mutation rate which is what you predict if most of the alleles were neutral and were fixed by random genetic drift.
    90% of the genomes are junk so the vast majority of fixations occur in junk DNA.
    The mutations are scattered randomly in the genome [see: How do you explain the differences between chimpanzees. humans, and macaques?]

    Feel free to propose an adaptationist explanation of the data.

    I realize that these ideas may be new to you but give people a little credit. They aren’t just making up just-so stories about random genetic drift. Most of these ideas are covered in the standard textbooks on evolution.

  24. Larry Moran: The following facts are available to you from reading the references.

    Approximately the same number of fixations occurred in each of the two lineages.
    The rate of fixation corresponds to the mutation rate which is what you predict if most of the alleles were neutral and were fixed by random genetic drift.
    90% of the genomes are junk so the vast majority of fixations occur in junk DNA.
    The mutations are scattered randomly in the genome [see: How do you explain the differences between chimpanzees. humans, and macaques?]

    I appreciate you taking the trouble in supplying information.

    Feel free to propose an adaptationist explanation of the data.

    I’m only a doubtful layman. But I need no convincing about genetic drift in non-functional DNA sequences. I just have difficulty in seeing where drift alone results in adaptive evolutionary change. If there’s never feedback from the niche…

    I realize that these ideas may be new to you but give people a little credit. They aren’t just making up just-so stories about random genetic drift. Most of these ideas are covered in the standard textbooks on evolution.

    As I’ve come across Michael Lynch, I’ll read those first. In fact, I glanced at his 2005 paper already. It mentions Behe and Snoke a lot.

  25. Alan Fox: I just have difficulty in seeing where drift alone results in adaptive evolutionary change. If there’s never feedback from the niche…

    I’d like a bit more explanation here as well. My (very) layman’s understanding is that selection operates on the output of drift just as surely as it operates on anything, but where there is not enough relationship to fitness, it’s a coin toss. So changes can become fixed in a population not because they offer any selectable advantage, but because they don’t offer much in the way of either advantage or disadvantage and they just happen to spread by coincidence.

  26. I’m confused too. The 44.8 million base pairs distributed throughout the entire genome obviously include junk DNA as Alan pointed out, But for all I know the 98,6% difference refers to functional DNA, and the resulting 121 mutation figure is also for functional DNA.
    I must be missing something obvious here

  27. Larry Moran: The human and chimpanzee genomes differ at 45 million sites. Population genetics predicts that neutral changes will be fixed by random genetic drift at the mutation rate. This is independent of population size. The result matches the prediction. Thus, we conclude that >99% of all fixations in the human lineage are due to random genetic drift. [see Why are the human and chimpanzee/bonobo genomes so similar?]

    Umm that assumes the two had a common ancestor. Humans and chimps are so similar due to a common design. And that extends to the genome. Do you have a testable mechanism that can account for all of the differences between chimps and humans?

    There was an experiment with fruit flies trying to get an allele to reach fixation and yet after more than 600 generations it hadn’t become fixed. This was a trait under positive selection in an artificial environment. Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila

  28. I wonder if Alan and Allan and DNA Jock will be brave enough now to admit that there is no “theory of evolution”?

  29. phoodoo:
    I wonder if Alan and Allan and DNA Jock will be brave enough now to admit that there is no “theory of evolution”?

    You mean, as opposed to identified mechanisms for evolution?

  30. Larry Moran,

    Larry:

    They assume that the intelligent designer created a model primate and then tweaked it a little bit to give chimps, humans, orangutans, etc. That’s why the genomes of these species are so similar.

    That is not any assumption I am aware of. There could very well be two different archetypes there- lower primates [chimps, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans] and us. Also if ID is right then the genomes do not determine what type of organism will develop they just facilitate the development of the organism the programming entails.

    Unfortunately for them, there’s a bit more to it than that. Their model of intelligent design also has to account for the fact that humans are more similar to chimps/bonobos than to gorillas and all three are about the same genetic distance from orangutans. This sequence data correlates with the fossil record over a period of about 10-15 million years.

    The genomes are similar due to similar needs during development and similar needs for everyday living. The degree of starting similarity and differences would have changed over the generations due to convergence and divergence based on environmental cues.

  31. Flint: You mean, as opposed to identified mechanisms for evolution?

    The identified mechanisms appear to impotent with respect to universal common descent and building protein machinery. So we were looking to see if you had anything else in your bag of tricks.

  32. Frankie,

    There was an experiment with fruit flies trying to get an allele to reach fixation and yet after more than 600 generations it hadn’t become fixed. This was a trait under positive selection in an artificial environment. Genome-wide analysis of a long-term evolution experiment with Drosophila

    So if we assume that it takes at least 12000 years to fix an allele (600×20) and if the current theory says that man and chimps split 6 million years ago that would say we would expect at most 500 fixed alleles?

  33. colewd: So if we assume that it takes at least 12000 years to fix an allele (600×20) and if the current theory says that man and chimps split 6 million years ago that would say we would expect at most 500 fixed alleles?

    No, it wouldn’t.
    A basic understand of the theory of evolution (yes, phoodoo, it exists) would help you avoid such glaring mistakes.

  34. Frankie: The identified mechanisms appear to impotent with respect to universal common descent and building protein machinery. So we were looking to see if you had anything else in your bag of tricks.

    FrankenJoe is upset that his IDiot idols are so impotent when it comes to providing anything positive to say about ID. They have no testable hypotheses, no evidence, no way forward at all.

  35. DNA_Jock,

    A basic understand of the theory of evolution (yes, phoodoo, it exists) would help you avoid such glaring mistakes.

    What is your estimate? Show me how the evo pros do it 🙂

  36. If colewd were in charge, every allele would politely wait its turn before commencing the process of fixation.

  37. colewd:
    Frankie,

    So if we assume that it takes at least 12000 years to fix an allele (600×20) and if the current theory says that man and chimps split 6 million years ago that would say we would expect at most 500 fixed alleles?

    You still don’t understand simple concepts like the difference between serial events and parallel events I see.

  38. keiths:
    If colewd were in charge, every allele would politely wait its turn before commencing the process of fixation.

    Sure. Like maybe a nice cornea can fixate, then later you can get a fluid filled sack and a pupil to lay it on top of.

    That would be useful for the optic nerve just laying around, waiting for something to do, to attach to.

  39. phoodoo: Right.You are just not allowed to tell anyone what it is.

    I thought Frankie / Joe G’s claim there’s no such thing as the Theory of Evolution was the stupidest thing ever posted on the web, until I saw another IDiot agree with him.

  40. phoodoo: Sure.Like maybe a nice cornea can fixate, then later you can get a fluid filled sack and a pupil to lay it on top of.

    That would be useful for the optic nerve just laying around, waiting for something to do, to attach to.

    In IDiotland things never evolve and develop in parallel. Each piece has to evolve independently until one day they all fall together.

    Then they wonder why they get referred to as IDiots.

  41. I’m skeptical of EES however support its extension as long as its headed for extinction.
    They needed a extension to save evolutionary biology. It won’t save it.
    Its not breaking down due to scientific investigation but rather to a breakdown in the reasoning behind it.
    As people got smarter the logic began to fail. Not lab work.
    There is no lab.
    most likely more reasoning is coming however the whole thing should of been only defined as a unsupported hypothesis.
    There is no practical, NO, scientific biological evidence for evolution.

  42. Adapa,

    In IDiotland things never evolve and develop in parallel. Each piece has to evolve independently until one day they all fall together.

    Then they wonder why they get referred to as Idiots.

    Were talking about waiting time for alleles to get fixed in a population. Larry provided Lynch’s mathematical model for this. Frankie added some experimental evidence. I was asking Frankie to clarify what he meant in terms of human evolution. Are you willing to estimate how many fixed alleles we should expect since man and chimps split? Any of the evolutionists willing to step up?

  43. colewd,

    Well, your estimate for how long a mutation would take to fix in a primate population is waaay too short, but thanks to your parallel / serial fail, your estimate for the number of fixed alleles is waaay too small. I would estimate that there have been 500 mutations fixed since the split between the US and the UK. But there is no way that I am an “evo pro”: decades ago, I used to be a molecular biologist; I have only a passing understanding of population genetics.
    Hint: if the human population were not growing, then we would expect roughly 100 neutral alleles to fix every generation.
    [Cue more spittle-infested incredulity from phoodoo]

  44. colewd:

    Were talking about waiting time for alleles to get fixed in a population.

    No you weren’t. You were trying to use the fruit fly experiment with fixation time for one specific gene to show fixation of all human/chimp differences were not possible.

    It’s funny watching you continually stick your foot in your mouth. It’s hilarious watching you squirm to cover the mistakes.

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