Review: The Riot and the Dance: Foundational Biology

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The Riot and the Dance: Foundational Biology
The Riot and the Dance: Foundational Biology by Gordon Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t usually read biology textbooks (as in, never), but I read this one because my brother Gordon wrote it. Unlike other textbooks, the kind written by a committee of soulless engineers trying to write a phone book, the writing here has obvious personality. This is good and necessary because the author of the world being described has an out-of-control personality.

Get a load of this:

“Female Darwin frogs in South America lay eggs on the forest floor. When the babies hatch as tadpoles, the male gobbles them up and stores his kids in his vocal sac, where they continue to develop. Once they are fully developed froglets, they hop out of dad’s mouth” (p. 343).

Not only does the Creator have an out-of-control personality, He frequently operates in very bad taste.

This book does not just display the staggering and infinite genius of the Creator, but it does so in ways that simply overwhelm. For unbelievers to look at this and see nothing more than the blind fumbling of chance is like listening to For Elise and hypothesizing that it must have been composed by a drunken chimpanzee banging on the piano in the study, with oven mitts on.

This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be awed by the Creator. If you have a biology course in your future somewhere, you need to get this book into it.

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bethyada
5 years ago

For unbelievers to look at this and see nothing more than the blind
fumbling of chance is like listening to For Elise and hypothesizing that
it must have been composed by a drunken chimpanzee banging on the piano
in the study, with oven mitts on.

Those sentences, especially the last phrase; Rachel Miller, that is why we read Wilson.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

A lift and clumsy reframe of the intellectually empty ‘747 in a junkyard’ hilarity.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Hey randi, (aka “mini-mob”)

So how did rocks mutate into humans again? Just the facts please.

Anyway, you have evloved an effective means to get some attention when you need it.
You even evolved this means without any mutations! Great!

Even more:
“Not only does the Creator have an out-of-control personality, He frequently operates in very bad taste.”

From the above it appears that you have some traits in common with God. (as do I)
I wonder if you will warm to the Faith? (I mean in God, I can see you have faith in no god.;-)

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I reply to things that concern and/or interest me. Evolution is tremendously interesting. And dude, no need to call names and go ad hom. I won’t to you either. Rocks are of course not living things, so I am not sure where you are going with that. Google ‘common ancestor’ if you are at all serious. I won’t respond to the rest and will assume it is frustrating to argue with facts- not mine of course, but those of the entire scientific community. ‘Faith in no god’ makes no sense unless you are perverting logic. But whatever gets you through… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Randi,

“So, spare me the Wilson brown-nosing. I can think for myself and know what someone covering their ass looks like. Do you?” Randman.

Try to take more interest in your own evolution, and the ad hom and name calling that you say that you don’t do. ; -) dude.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Hmm… well fair enough. I was talking mostly about Doug there. He has spent much of the past month covering his ass on his poor judgement of the pedophiles and rapists in his community and his failure there.

And he still is with these last few ‘hot topic’ posts. That seems to be his move. But I like this topic.

And no real personal offense, but I do believe you were kissing his ass there a little back there.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Randi,
“Ad humor, not hom.”
One of my prime motivations! ; – )

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Did logic evolve?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

i don’t know what you are asking really and unless you can explain how it pertains to evolution and biology, not really interested in following it.

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

No problem. I’m always interested in hearing if the rules of logic have always been stationary, or if they evolved along with the rest of the universe. Not sure how it would work either way.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

RandMan does not address deep questions. His is a position of rage and posturing masquerading as profound truth.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

timothy, don’t go after me personally, go after evolution.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I am not obligated to do your work for you. Make your case. “Go google it” is not a case. It is you deflecting and redirecting. It won’t work with me.

Tim Paul
Tim Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Randman, please offer us here your general epistemoligical theory by which you could prove anything to be true or false. You do presuppose laws of logic to argue for the truth of evolution yet those laws have no foundation in your worldview. You are a bonafide parasite, a leech, using the Christian worldview to argue against it. You sit on God’s lap and slap the Father’s face and assume you can do that through the power of your own autonomy. The unbridled arrogance makes me ill.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim Paul

I can prove things true or false by repeatedly: observing them, testing them and repeating results. Or relying on information that I know has rigorously been subjected to the same. The rest makes almost zero sense to me. Except for the part where I make you ill. That seemed heartfelt. Laws of logic have no foundation in my world view? It is the theistic christian worldview in not based on evidence and testing. It’s based on faith alone. Why not own that? Redefining logic with rhetoric doesn’t help any of you. The need to make your beliefs into something rational… Read more »

Tim Paul
Tim Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

You are epistemically illiterate.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

The need to make your beliefs into something rational is what kills your position in the end The vainglorious ignorance , it burns! Metaphysics supports physics, the non-rational is fundamental to the king of sciences. You claim to support the super-structure as the highest standard of how we are to order our lives and think about things, while you stupidly, ignorantly disparage the foundation. Reason is the use of the existing rules to explain, explore, define, etc….it is the laws of how we think and is expressed in amazing ways from literature, to logic to math to rhetoric to music… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

For shame timothy, you were so close; you just ruined a perfectly rambling and unintelligible post with a direct and clear personal insult.

Your faith was my faith once. :)

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Yours is not worth aspiring to. You have demonstrated your foolishness and hubris. You have added nothing to this topic, having only spouted the usual talking-points.

The insults, you earned; you worked hard for them.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

P.s. A lot of you try to slip this one in. It is a magic trick. ‘Why?’, ‘Well then, how do you account for x?’ See! god! You guys and your transcendental argument for god via logic is a red herring. You are trying to account for the consistent behavior of nature that can’t be accounted for. You cant account why god exists instead of not existing. He ‘just exists’ for no reason and no cause, and just has the properties he has for no reason and no cause. His will is effective rather than ineffective, for no reason and… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

n other words you cannot account for the existence or capabilities of the being you are appealing to as the foundation of logic. So you account for nothing. That’s why its call faith. We do not derive God, we meet Him and then get to know Him, then we trust Him, then He sanctifies us. The entire process is made possible by His redemption of us at Calvary. It is you who insist on deriving God via “science” or “logic” or “reason”. It is not our fault that you are spinning on the windmills you keep catching, yelling “aha! Got… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Ah, well. Plenty of people testify to their relationships with lots of invisible beings. How do we make the distinction? Why your particular one? What about all the others? They have the same proof you do: faith and revelation. I dismiss your claim with no evidence as you dismiss theirs. It’s the same.

I don’t recall stomping my feet on this at all btw. You are the one that seems a little frustrated.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

How do we make the distinction? Why your particular one? What about all the others? . Here, I will leave you in the hands of people who are well versed in apologetics. It too is a form of witness. They have the same proof you do: faith and revelation Professed faith and revelation are not proofs. When I say “I met C.S. Lewis at the pub” my statement is not a proof. It is an assertion. I am either telling the truth or I am not. To get at that truth, you need a different tool set. I don’t recall… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

I disagree that we need different tool sets. Of course I agree that faith and revelation are not proof, irony. Apologetics are a fail that only work for certain christians who keep their arguments in house with one another and civilians who aren’t aware of the bucket of disinformation and dissemination coming at them. I grew up with it and it is paper thin to me. My all caps response was a joke at his spectrum-y style and constant use of bold and weird inability to address anyone except in the third person. (And a joke at my own expense… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I disagree that we need different tool sets. Give it a decade or so then. You are hitting everything with a hammer when most things are not nails. Apologetics used to be ridiculous to me as well. Probably the stupidest one was for why men must keep their hair short and women long–“Men have a natural hair line….” and I thought, “Women have natural hair lines too…” and that was the end of my taking Christian thought seriously. The Church is made up of men and women. That means a lot of detritus is in it; we are the scum… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

In a debate between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox, Dawkins was going on about the cold hard “reality” of materialism. He asked, “What is theism but a fairy tale for those who are afraid of the dark?” Lennox asked ” What is atheism but a fairy tale for those who are afraid of the light?”

Boom!

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Of course the christian apologists here with heir instance on logic and definition will be the first to point out that atheism is not an assertion, but the rejection of an assertion due to lack of evidence for said assertion.

Or as (and I don’t usually like him either,) Bill Maher said: “If atheism is a religion, then abstinence is a sexual position.”

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

In the same debate, Dawkins said “your position is one of faith, atheism is not a faith”, Lennox says “I’m sorry Richard, I thought you believed in it.”

Boom!

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Tom, stop the ‘boom’-ing. I am trying to be less ‘snarky’ and it is not helping.

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

It wasn’t as much snark as an attempt to keep the conversation light.
I pretty much say what I want to say the way I want to say it, within the bounds of courtesy and respect.
I’m not a big fan of snark either, but I’m even less of a fan of the language police.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

No, I was not accusing you of snark, rather I was making fun of myself. If I had a dime for every post that accused me of snark, bitterness, or slander…

I was teasing you about the ‘boom’.

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Ohhhhhh sarcasm
nicely done!

Boom!

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Doh!

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

I never heard of Lennox. From wikipedia:

John Carson Lennox is a Northern Irish mathematician, philosopher
of science, Christian apologist, and Professor of Mathematics at the
University of Oxford.

heh. I giggle when I hear, “Christianity is for the irrational”

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Yes, that’s him.
He actually studied under C.S. Lewis at Cambridge, or at least sat in on a few lectures.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

So, do you have an explanation? Why does anything exist in your materialistic world?

If He demands faith, He wouldn’t have been too smart to have created a universe in which His existence could be proven through scientific experiment; would He?

timothy
timothy
5 years ago

If you think on this, its simple decency. I don’t ask you to prove you exist, I shake your hand and say, “hello”. If, before extending my hand, I where to say to you, “prove you exist” it would be very rude on my part.

The simplest courtesy is to acknowledge another’s existence.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago

Yours is a perfect circle of logic JFK.

I don’t claim to know how it all started and that is okay with me. But Occam’s razor works just fine here. You are postulating a more complicated answer. It is the right question to ask based on the overwhelming evidence for the process that followed. Evolution pushes god back to almost nothing. One reason I stopped believing.

Once again I have to say it’s on you to explain the more complicated solution you offer to explain why anything exists.

lloyd
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Not Timothy here, but… How do you explain speciation, specifically between organisms with different numbers of chromosomes? I can understand the DNA changes, the idea of small changes adding up to the large visible change. (I can understand it, though I can’t repeatedly test it or observe it, ie test it scientifically.) but I can’t understand how a creature with 20 pairs of chromosomes can give birth to one with 21. If there’s a mutation that causes that change, fine. But what of the new species now? Who does this new individual mate with? A member with the exact same… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  lloyd

Before I give specify answers to your post. I want to make sure you truly don’t understand speciation and how chromosome parings could mutate. There are so many places online that answer this question generally and re chromosomes so well, I couldn’t even choose which I liked the best. If you really can’t find the answer with a single google, I will for you. But please research it. If you don’t feel like it than I can plaster this thread with the technical details, but none wants that- even me. No offense meant by this but you are misrepresenting the… Read more »

lloyd
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

You’re the one who said you wanted to discuss it. I can assure you Ive done many google searches and gone through several pop-science books. The explanations I’ve found are certainly not enough to base life changes on. And I’d like to here how my foolish comment unravels itself and disappears. That, actually would be more interesting. I would also like for you to talk about how I am “misrepresenting the process and also misunderstanding how scientific verification works.” I’m not trying to do that. I actually believe in a lot more than “science,” but I’m not sure how I’ve… Read more »

lloyd
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Google must be running a bit slow these days… And I’m sorry: was it you who believes in evolution or Google?

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I won’t respond to the rest and will assume it is frustrating to argue
with facts- not mine of course, but those of the entire scientific
community.

Utter rubbish.

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Wow, so facts are things that exist only in certain people’s heads, but not in others. Man, atheists today, amirite?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

Why not address the scientific theory instead of me? Find me a reputable scientist that doesn’t believe in evolution.

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I don’t like this appeal to authority. It’s pretty weaksauce. A man should defend where he stands and not kick the can to the big boys who live up the street.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

You are the one not responding. The authority is for all intents and purposes the entirety of the scientific community. What other authority could I appeal to in matters of science if not that one. The .05%? The Discovery Institute?

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

But you’re not saying majority rules, right? You’re saying something else, correct? I mean, why are you saying we must follow what a bunch of other people say? Why is disagreement impermissible on this point? I think it’s a good and easy question, really.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

No I am not. Expertise rules. Scientific consensus rules

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

And here’s where we differ. Modern scientists (thanks to a fawning culture) have a tendency to step outside of their expertise and make pronouncements anyway, while still cloaked in the garb of their expertise. How do you gauge when a scientist has stepped outside of his or her expertise and then no longer holds sway?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

When other scientists take the ideas down, ridicule them and prove them false. See cold fusion, phrenology, the flat earth, earth-centric universe etc.

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

IOW, I would say epistemological concerns do not go away just because you appeal to expertise. How do you know someone has expertise? How do you know if someone has stepped outside his or her expertise and is just bloviating? If the scientific community is a prone to peer pressure as anyone else (being just as human as the rest of us) and thus has fooled itself in the past — which it certainly has — then how do we know it is not fooling itself now? Note that this is not an argument for or against evolution, cholesterol, tobacco,… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

You seem to be bouncing between an appeal to authority (god) and an appeal to lack of authority. (how can ‘experts’ know anything? There very idea of ‘experts’ is suspect.) Which is it? The scientific community stand on a much more solid foundation than that. I am guessing you understand the nature of peer review and evidence and are trying to muddy the water with your apologetic. Science unlike religion attacks the ideas put forth, trying to kick the legs out from under the chair to upend it. This is done by repeatable, testable, observable experiments. That is how we… Read more »

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

This is how “scientism” tried to gobble up the world. Everything that is untestable doesn’t exist? Is that your real belief? I don’t want to misquote you, because that’s quite the statement there.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

I do not believe in the supernatural.

We’re not specifically speaking about things that are untestable; we are speaking about evolution by means of natural selection.

Observable, testable, repeatable.

What besides your idea of god that is untestable are you worried about?

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Worried? Nah, everything that is intangible is untestable and thus by definition outside the realm of science. Doesn’t mean stuff like logic, love, and the supernatural don’t exist. It means raw science just cannot make a determination one way or the other. I mean, that’s cool. Science is a fantastic hammer, but the world is more than nails.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

I would tentatively agree with you there. Of course logic exists, it is a form of reason/thinking. Love exists, but very well may be biological in nature. We don’t know that yet. But the supernatural? That is a jump I will not make. To immediately posit a god is to give away the game.

You and I could both make a huge list of things that once were historically the purview of the gods, things that science and more sophisticated human understanding of physics and nature have proven to be simply natural phenomena.

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Well, I hope logic is more than just a form of reason/thinking. Does logic itself exist anywhere besides in people’s minds?

OK, we’re getting far afield of whatever the original point was! Anyway, ah, it’s all good, and good night!

Laura
Laura
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

“Science is a fantastic hammer, but the world is more than nails.”

That. I’d just change the “but” to an “and” because science and those things that transcend ideally are in harmony, not opposition.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

What is your definition of supernatural? Mine is NDT telling me how to ‘observe’ my surroundings in a black hole while I am a piece of spaghetti.
Furthermore, I would love to see this Observable, testable, and repeatable species change. Seriously. I don’t know that much about what goes on in labs these days.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Do you need to be in the event horizon of a black hole to observe it. We know of presence of black holes and study them by detecting their effect on other nearby matter.

The evidence of humans evolution is massive. We have DNA, the fossil record etc.

If you don’t know anything about what goes on in labs these days re evolution, why not do little research? Here, check out The National Academy Of Sciences. 300+ Nobel laureates.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I would need to be in the event horizon to be able to observe it from the inside. I am not antagonistic toward descriptions from the outside though. Really fascinating stuff which IMO borders on what could be called supernatural. Phenomenon that cannot be fully explained or experienced is the topic of both science and religion, which is redundant. Personally, I don’t care much about the evolution debate as it affects my life -zero. It is an unfortunate red herring in any of these debates. How God works out his dominion certainly happens by his providence over natural selection, genetic… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

I agree, I do not believe in an afterlife. I find this thought comforting. It gives my life here and now tremendous worth and meaning. When I am gone I will care as much as before I was born. I don’t begrudge deism. I personally don’t see the point, and view it as a placebo and wish-fulfillment. I also agree with you that what science considers truth will continue to change. But there are some things that are irrefutable enough to not worry about: gravity, heliocentrism, germ theory, evolution. Seems like we agree on much. But even if we did… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Consensus ahhh….

The steady state universe.
Electrons orbit the nucleus.
The cell is full of “gook”

yes, consensus.

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

That is, if you’re not interested in defending your theory of epistemology at least a little, then I’m not sure why we should listen to you about anything else. “I like shooting targets. But guns and ammo bore me.”

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

This post is about the biological theory of evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation. Not the theory of knowledge.

Clearly you have some point in reserve you are trying to make? Just make it and I’ll respond. Here is mine: Evolution is as close to a fact as any real scientist would admit. On par with heliocentrism, germ theory, gravity, plate tectonics etc.

The method: Observation and testable, repeatable results.

Susan Gail
Susan Gail
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Observable does not equal testable.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Gail

You are correct. Nor did I say that.

Tim Paul
Tim Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

“Reputable?” Who put scattered evolutionary brain in charge of making that determination? God has judicially blinded you. You are as the bible states, an utter fool. Go chase more windmills.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim Paul

Just ignore me.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Sorry, you’re right. Hyperbole on my part. Only 99%.

Rick Davis
Rick Davis
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Observable. Testable. Repeatable. None of these things describe evolution. No laboratory in the world has observed (macro)evolution or caused (macro)evolution in an experiment (much less a repeatable experiment). The theory of evolution is the result of looking at evidence, and trying to abductively construct a case for what brought about the results we see. It’s not the process of hypothesizing, creating an experiment to test the hypothesis, performing the experiment and recording the results. As such, evolution is not direct scientific demonstration. There’s nothing wrong with that per se. You just can’t take abductive reasoning and demand that people treat… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Rick Davis

There is no relevant difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Both happen in the same way and for the same reasons, so there is no real reason to differentiate them. Macroevolution is merely the result of a lot of microevolution over a long period of time. So yes, no laboratory has directly observed what you are inaccurately, broadly calling macroevolution. So let’s move away from that easily dismissible dead end and say: evolution. When actual (i.e. non-creationist) biologists do use the different terms, it is simply for descriptive reasons. We do not need a direct demonstration to understand that evolution is… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

There is no relevant difference between microevolution and macroevolution. At the end of the day, after the Finch’s beaks have grown then shrunk again, it is still a Finch. I missed the testable, repeatable, observed instance of a new body-plan evolving or the testable, repeatable observable process by which the Cambrian explosion suddenly had hundreds of radically different body plans ‘all at once’. Gradual change over time does not explain the formation of those critters. I missed the testable, repeatable, observed experiment where inducing mutations in fruit-flies produced something more fit, rather than degraded. I missed the testable, repeatable, observed… Read more »

Dee Parsons
Dee Parsons
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

The *sudden* Cambrian Explosion took place over 20-25 million years which is sudden in evolution.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Mutations are harmful 99.999999% of the time . There are thousands of labs in the world using the common fruit fly with a new generation approximately every 2 weeks. The entire genome has ben mapped. There has never been a mutation that produced a better fruit fly. Yes, some flies have been bred that make them seem to have an advantage. But further work reveals that the mutation added something, for example, a large body, but the organism was hurt in other ways, often related to lifespan. So you have had literally millions of generations of fruit flies and you… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

My apologies on never remembering your username.
Thank you for reminding me of this fact.

This subject comes up so much, I have started collecting the arguments pro and con to a notes file. Yours is the first entry.

Thanks again.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Yes, most mutations are harmful. It that supposed to be a smoking gun? That has always been the case- then occasionally over geological time they aren’t and they supply an adaptive evolutionary advantage. Evolution doesn’t move toward ‘better’ or ‘more complex’, (as you obviously know as a biologist. Are you being purposefully coy about that?) It is a blind algorithm. If you really are a biologist, I would say that you’re position above re macro evolution is akin to a professional composer denying that 12 tone western harmony exists. Good luck being taken seriously by anyone except those who know… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Can’t some mutations be both? I am thinking of something like sickle cell which confers a benefit in Africa but not here.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Some mutations can be advantageous (in a specific environment), but there are no convincing information gaining mutations. That is, all beneficial mutations are loss of function: loss of a protein, loss of variety, genetic switches turned permanently on, etc.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Would this largely depend on the definition of information in this context? I was taught that while some mutations subtract information from a genome, others add it. Would you consider the evolution of new genetic material, or greater genetic diversity, to be an increase in information?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I would consider a new functional gene new information.

It depends on what is meant by greater diversity. If hair growth is mutated such that hair does not stop growing and one gets a freak long haired dog, that would increase diversity but I would not consider a broken gene to be increased information.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Every one of us has extra copies of some genes, something called copy number variation.

The most common way for a new gene to evolve is for an existing gene to be duplicated. Once there are two or more copies, each can evolve in separate directions.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

That is a theory of what could happen. But we haven’t seen examples of a completely new functional gene arising.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Besides that being false, “new genes generally arise by the duplication of existing genes. In recent years, the classic model of whole gene duplication and subsequent divergence has been enlarged to include phenomena such as exon shuffling, gene fusion and fission, retrotransposition, and lateral gene transfer. Nevertheless, despite their additional complexity, these mechanisms remain essentially duplicative, in the sense that sequences encoding one or more protein-coding genes are copied, by one mechanism or another, and used as the starting point for a new gene sequence.” -Siepel In other words, you are playing with a straw man here. We don’t need… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

The first paragraph is just a claim by someone who is already convinced that evolution is true.

Secondly, duplicated genes in and of themselves, are not new information; just as a copy of a book isn’t new information, just a copy of existing information.

I read your second long study quickly. It appears that they have sequenced different species in existence, assumed evolution is true, and stated that these new genes have arisen. This is not proof.

(I note most of what they found was duplication and shifting of genes).

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

We can safely assume evolution is true. As we can assume gravity is true.

And as I said before all that, we don’t need ‘new’ genes. But they can happen.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

We are talking about proof. There is direct repeatable evidence for gravity. There is no direct evidence for new information in genes. There is much evidence that evolution is false.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Oh man, believe it or not. That just makes me feel tired right now. I will have to get back to you. I promise I will. :) And really Byada, you know as well as I do that if you were to drop the confirmation bias for just 5 minutes, and do some real research, on real science, you might be able to figure that one out. There is no evidence that evolution is false. Just little gotchas that you guys keep in play to muddy the waters. But I promise we can get into it. I just have to… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

There is no evidence that evolution is false. No! None! Really? This sort of comment really doesn’t grasp evidence. Of course there is evidence against it. There is evidence for and against most things. That’s how evidence works. Now you may not find it convincing, but that is not the same as no evidence. Let’s say we are trying to date an event. The event is say x years ago. We try 10 methods and 10 different results. The methods that give the true result x are evidence for x and the methods that give the false results w, y… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

‘Evidence’ that proves nothing is not evidence. Stop that bs up there and lets talk shop.

What major pillar of evolutionary theory do you deny? Natural selection, mutation, artificial selection? Geological time? Dating methods? The fossil record?

Hit me.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

It is not bs. This is the nature of stuff I read continuously. Various evidences being weighed up. Some people find some stuff more convincing than others. Scientific truth is not deductive like logic, it is inductive. Things can be thought of as true then overturned. While they are though to be true they have evidence for them (often). After they are overturned the previous evidence is still there, it is just that other evidence is more compelling, or the previous evidence was incomplete, or understood incorrectly. I am happy to answer the other question but not certain how useful… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I do not default to what I personally find convincing. I default to what is observable, repeatable and testable. In other words, the scientific method.

If you cannot agree to the yardstick of the scientific method to discuss science than what is there to say? You have punted. You are left holding hands with discredited ideas like ID and ignored and marginalized outfits like the Discovery Institute. Or Ken Hamm for that matter. What bedfellows.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I default to what is observable, repeatable and testable. In other words, the scientific method.

The problem being you have described operational science. Unfortunately the Grand Theory of Evolution falls under the category of inferential science.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I appreciate that you have your own thing going there. But you present as if that doesn’t bolster the case for evolution. Inferential science in this case would be: Biogeography, which not only provides significant inferential evidence for evolution and common descent, but it also provides… wait for it bethyada: testable predictions. Homologies: vestigial organs, junk DNA etc., genetic and protein homologies. And of course the fossil record. We would predict that we could find organisms showing characteristics that are intermediate in nature between the different organisms that evolved from it and from the organisms from which it evolved. And… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

You are so tangential at times. My comment was to show that you appealed to operational science for something that is actually inferential. You really don’t think I understand science, or biology, or the arguments for evolution, or the arguments against it. You really don’t get how much of what you call science has a large degree of philosophy in it? What if other theories make predictions, how does one choose? If 2 evidences give different answers, why do we favour one over another? Evidence that is consistent with 2 theories is not discriminatory. Evidence interpreted after the fact is… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Biogeography, which not only provides significant inferential evidence for evolution and common descent, but it also provides… wait for it bethyada: testable predictions. When do you predict a multi-cell organism will evolve from a single cell organism? We have mapped the cyclical nature of the Finch’s beak–it grows, shrinks–with the changing climate and we can make predictions that in x hundred years the beaks will be y long. Unfortunately, the finch is a finch is a finch. What, on average, is the time we should expect an evolutionary event defined as, say gfzzzds’s fruit fly example. Homologies: vestigial organs, junk… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Descent.

HGT just killed it.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

We already went over that timothy. Don’t think I forgot. LGT is an interesting new discovery and as I pointed out to you earlier is negligible in the greater scheme of natural selection and far from disproving descent, merely adds to it. It is an ‘and’ not an either/or.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Try again.

The theory was wrong.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Try this.

You moved the goalposts. Yesterday, the indisputable fact was Darwinism.
Today it is Darwinism+HGT
Tomorrow it will be something different.

Your narrative just got more complicated, not less so.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Nope. You and I discussed this the last time you brought it up a week or two back.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

When 10 more things besides HGT are added, will it still be Darwinian TENS?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

If that happens we can follow the evidence. Like good science.

But for now, let’s talk about something equally likely: the 10 more monkeys that are soon to fly out of my butt.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

If that happens we can follow the evidence. Like good science.

And reject what is out of date. The very thing you are so adamantly claiming is true today.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

timothy, you got anything real or substantive?

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

yes, logic.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Hi Bethyada, I gathered from your reply to one of my earlier comments that at one time you were more inclined to accept the theory of evolution. Would it be possible for you, in really general terms, to explain what first led you to re-evaluate? Was this part of your conversion, or did it predate it? I’m certainly not asking about specifics–which I would not understand anyway–but was there one or two particular claims that made you begin to reconsider?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I had a Christian upbringing. Evolution wasn’t a big part of secular schooling at the time though I guess I was familiar with the concept; I was a science kid but more the hard sciences. I took Biology in (your) Grade 12 and evolution was covered there. I remember reading a book about that time (a year later) that postulated Adam being a hominid, or something like that. I was open to the idea that the universe was billions of years old. I can’t be certain of the exact situation. (Generally, my memory of facts is good, but my memory… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Probably the best example is enzymes processing nylon but in the case (I believe) the active site is less specific.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

That is just flat out wrong. Most mutations can be reversed by subsequent mutations. Reverse mutation or “reversion” is common. For any mutation that results in a loss of information, logically, the reverse mutation must result in its gain. So the claim that mutations destroy information but cannot create it not only defies the evidence, it also defies logic.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Yes, I am aware of this. It is trivially true. Much as a book might contain a typo and a reprint may accidentally “correct” the typo. But it doesn’t explain the origin of the sentence.

It is questionable whether this is truly information gain as the original had the information.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I am irritated with myself that I didn’t check the facts there w regard to harmful mutations. I was thinking about the small number of mutations that confer evolutionary advantage and didn’t bother with his false claim that most are harmful. Most are benign: 4 non-neutral mutations out of every 150-175 mutations. The vast majority of mutations have no effect.

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I,m not here to discuss your qualifications but the statement that mutations harmful mutations become “good” mutations is at best Laughable. If a mutation is detrimental to an organism then it is unlikely that organism would reproduce. You don’t seem to understand the difference between macro and micro evolution. You might want to start with Millers experiments and work forward.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

You might want to start with say… any scientific discussion of evolution anywhere. There is no real difference between micro and macro evolution except scale. Evolution at both of these levels relies on the same, established mechanisms of evolutionary change.

If you are actually a biologist and denying this then you are as trustable as a physician denying the germ theory of disease.

And where did I say: harmful mutations become “good” mutations?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Don’t want to start with Miller, heh? Maybe because his work and conclusions were rubbish? For an atheist you sure spend a lot of time on this site. The Lord is working in your life.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Okay, let’s start with Kenneth Miller. Creationist and credentialed biologist, professor at Brown University: Many opponents of evolution will sort of retreat and say, “Well, okay, but those species are really similar to each other. Show us a species that is dramatically different.” But that initial splitting, that’s the phenomenon that actually drives evolution. You shouldn’t expect to see a cat suddenly give birth to a dog or something along those lines. At the moment when one species splits into two, you should see two distinctly different species that still show the similarities that previously united them within a single… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  gfkdzdds

Is it possible that altruism can confer an evolutionary advantage? It has been observed in some of the larger primates. Couldn’t it be argued that the whole point of women and children first is, on some deep primal level, so that the species has a chance to survive?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

No. Nice try but no. Gould said all behavior can be traced to an organism doing what is necessary to pass on their genetic material. His “theory” fails because he can’t explain why a couple would spend thousand of dollars, multiple resources and time to adopt, say a child, from China. The couple has lost resources that could have been used to support their own offspring. Their altruism does nothing but decrease the likelihood of passing on their genes. Same for a soldier who jumps on a grenade to save the lives of his buddies. His altruism served no purpose… Read more »

Jon Swerens
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

It is hilarious, because, really, who created the junkyard, right?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Jon Swerens

Evolution of course doesn’t address what started things moving, but how they developed once the movement started. Positing some supreme intelligence that could create a universe still leaves you with an even bigger question mark in front of the whole problem. To say ‘a god made it!’ is to duck under question entirely- science at least admits not knowing.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

“Not only does the Creator have an out-of-control personality, He frequently operates in very bad taste.” 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (that’s in bad taste!) 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Don’t forget Duke Engineers.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Bro. Steve

This conversation is reeling dangerously close to a release of Texas a + m Aggie jokes.
A dyke should be engineered to hold back any such flood!

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
5 years ago

Grr. Engineers are not soulless.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Bro. Steve

Easy there Bro. Steve, “soulless engineers” were only one half of the spectrum.

On the other side, Dike engineers created Holland, and they have so much soul, they like tulips as well!

I bet you are a full souled engineer right in the middle. But if not…

Helllllp! Helllllp! Rachel Miller!

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

And the other kind is Dike engineers? Right?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Of course there is nothing ‘chance’ about evolution. Except for the randomness of the mutation. Helpful mutations are not more likely than non-helpful ones, and organisms do not “know” how they “need” to mutate in order to survive. It is merely that the ones that do mutate in helpful ways survive better and reproduce more than those that do not. It is called natural selection for a reason. It is an algorhythmic process. Come on Doug. You can distract from your child abuse problems better that this. This is one of my favorite jaw-dropping christian activities- the denial of evolutionary… Read more »

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Evolution cannot be anything other than a theory. That’s how science works. You do know how science works don’t you?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

No, please school me!

Tell me about scientific theory. That would be a great start.

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

It may be quicker if I help you see your misconceptions. And if I ask you a question I will also be able to get a better feel for how sincere you are from your answer. So here’s the question:

Your ‘just a theory’ quote marks seem to indicate a bit of scorn for the idea that evolution is a theory, so please tell me what else evolution could be?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

That is the wrong question. Back at you: How do scientists define theory and is this different than the layperson’s definition?

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Sorry, don’t have time for snark peddlars. If you were willing to engage meaningfully I would be happy to. God bless, Michael

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

Excuse my jumping in, but I think Randman was quoting the many anti-evolutionists who dismiss natural selection as “just a theory”–where theory is used to mean a hair-brained idea as opposed to a well-tested explanation of many disparate facts.

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Or perhaps he was using it to belittle the many rational people who have an alternative theory that is not accepted by the “science is in” establishment who treat the theory of evolution as if it were the fact itself and bristle and bluster when reminded that evolution is indeed just a theory.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

Jellybean is indeed correct. You should research your position little bit. The ‘just a theory’ argument is not even worth discussing really. Just google it. Science has nothing to say about god as there is no evidence for any of the current of former gods. An untestable idea- certainly not a theory. I am not belittling people. But I would certainly belittle bad ideas. Or the rejection of good ideas. Doug’s gleeful claptrap is entirely empty and just a distraction. Check his timely his ‘homo-mafia’ blog and this one- sure to get some blood moving, and keep people from talking… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

There is no ‘alternative’ theory to evolution that holds any scientific validity in the scientific community at large.

The appeal to the majority. How, so… scientific.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Not an appeal to the majority of course. But I am sure you know that you are misusing the definition there. The views of the majority of all scientists. 99% of them (I’ll give you a few decimals for good measure.)

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Of course most scientists believe in the Grand Theory of Evolution. You are appealing to the majority of scientists.

But then scientific truth wasn’t supposed to be derived from consensus.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

No, I am referencing the acceptance of the theory of evolution by 99.9% of the scientists in the world.

You know, there are a handful of scientists, some very important ones, who believe in god. Francis Collins for example- who did some important work you may have heard of. And Catholic scientist Kenneth Miller, who argued creationism out of school in Dover. Why not follow their lead?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Because they are wrong.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Okay.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I am responding as a Catholic who does believe in theistic evolution. Because I’m Catholic, I have more leeway in interpreting some parts of scripture as metaphor rather than scientific fact. However, I have been on this board for some years, and I think I can explain why many here cannot follow Miller’s lead (by the way, he is one of my heroes). I think Reformed Christian teaching is that death came in to the world only after the fall. Before that, there was no illness, no death, no deformity. It is not possible to harmonize this teaching with evolutionary… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I very much appreciate you taking the time to spell that out. Kind of blows my mind. It is willful ignorance. I know it, I was brought up in the church myself. None in my family believes in evolution either for this very reasons. Much like here. And use the same evasive techniques to get around it. Mostly they just won’t engage. I think mostly because they are very smart people and it makes them itch when they admit the superstition out loud, yet they get on a plane, get vaccinated (evolution is action!) or any number of things that… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I really don’t see it as willful ignorance. I don’t think people believe what they choose but rather what they must, and as long as they are faithfully following the light they have been given, no one can ask for more. There is no doubt that if I told you some mandatory Catholic doctrine in which I believe but which sounds totally ridiculous to anyone outside the fold, you would think I was also engaging in cognitive dissonance!

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Hi Bethyada, I always enjoy interacting with you for the patience and courtesy of your responses. I don’t know if your background is in the life sciences, but I wondered about a thought experiment. If God had not given us the creation narratives–if He had simply said something like “Everything came to be at My good pleasure”–would you still find the evidence for evolution unconvincing?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Absolutely. While I find the Biblical arguments more compelling now, when I came to disbelieve evolution (though I was not committed to it) it was the scientific evidence that swayed me.

What convinces me especially is the nature of information. This is a topic I wish more people had a grasp of, including Christians who have an interest in this topic. DNA is a language. It is not just that it spells out words, it is that there is a language. This has significant implications.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

There is no reputable scientific evidence that disproves evolution.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Nonsense. There is heaps. Even evolutionists acknowledge that there is evidence that is difficult to fit into their paradigm.

Coal carbon dated to much younger than the surrounding rock. Diamonds the same.

Red cells, soft tissue, and perhaps DNA in dinosaur fossils.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Show me a reputable scientist who agrees with those non-issues as proof against the theory of evolution. The is no controversy whether evolution is true.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

You asked for evidence, now you want evidence that a person already committed to evolution finds convincing. The fact is that if a 2 rocks date to millions of years and the coal lying between them dates to thousands of years that is a problem. To say that you accept the millions of years dates and claim there must be an explanation of the thousands of years date just shows your commitment to your worldview. That’s understandable, but in no way an explanation of the problem. The problem is real. There are very real problems that people well researched in… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

2 rocks? Coal between the two rocks? Huh. Show me the research. Real scientific research that highlights this mystery you are spinning.

I accept no such claim that you make. Show me proper evidence.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Coal is laid down in massive seams. The seams lie between sedimentary rock layers. The rock can be dated by various metal radio-isotopes. These give an age in the order of millions of years. The coal that was laid between the bottom layer and the top layer (ie of intermediary age) can be dated by carbon dating. All specimens of coal tested show thousands of years not millions of years.

Similarly with diamonds within rocks supposedly billions of years old, the diamonds are dated to be less than 100,000 years or so.

This is documented.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Hilarious. Show me the documentation.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

You seriously don’t believe me? You really think I am just making this up?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Yes.

Susan Gail
Susan Gail
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

But of course you define anyone who doesn’t believe in evolution as “disreputable.” Now THERE is a straw man.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Gail

I think it is willfully ignorant in light of what we know. If you did not believe the sun was not the center of the solar system or microorganisms were not cause disease I would also call that foolish. There is no controversy or straw man here.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Define evolution.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Define, define… Come on timothy, really?

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Here are six, there are more. 1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature. 2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population. 3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor. 4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations. 5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor. 6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Well, seeing as how your information is coming from the Discovery Institute, that purveyor of ‘Intelligent Design’, religious creationism by any other name, I could direct you to some more legit websites about the actual science.

But sure, I’ll bite.

Let’s go with the version of evolution I have already typed about 4 or 5 time on this post. Evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation. Number 6 is the Dawkins quote is it not?

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Good. You admit your error. There are multiple definitions of ‘evolution’; your dismissal Define, define… Come on timothy, really? Shows your ignorance. As for genetic fallacy in dismissing the claims based on the source, I will remind you that the Climate Skeptics have been proved right and that 10 years ago or so we “Climate Deniers” who questioned Science (inc) and looked at differing viewpoints where correct. Per Feynman we should look for reasons why a theory is wrong. So there is your methodology (go google it) dissected. You obviously have nothing interesting to say on the matter. Maybe you… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

timothy, I love it when we agree! Of course we should look for reasons why a theory is wrong. And that a major the difference between science and religion.

timothy,for the rest, to quote my own personal God(father of soul) You, Talkin’ Loud And Sayin’ Nothing.

If you don’t know that scripture- Google it.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

And that a major the difference between science and religion.

That is B.S. God likes it when we wrestle with Him. Your conception of God is as atrophied as your knowledge of TENS.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Change over time.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The type of change is key. Finch beaks cycling in size over time is one form. Modification, Selection and Descent (Darwinism or TENS) is not true (The “Descent” having been blown up by HGT (Horizontal (or lateral) Gene Transfer).
Prior to HGT/LGT it lacked explanatory power for very basic things…rate of evolution, explaining the Cambrian Explosion, structure of “evolutionary tree” etc. Put together, these criticisms put the lie to the idea that TENS is fact. The discovery of HGT put the nail in the coffin.

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

The discoveries made fairly recently about the amount of information held within DNA and it’s intricate dance with RNA are staggering.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

An interesting turn of phrase is in the lexicon “Where did information come from?” in that you cannot have life without information.

This could be an artefact of our scientific age.The old models where mechanistic, then atomic, and now information.

Fascinating stuff.

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Yes, and the complex way it is stored and processed. It turns out we were in the Information Age all along.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Thought you would enjoy this: The intelligibility and intrinsic rationality of reality cannot be taken for granted. (Unless you are a Modified Humian Utilitarian or named Rand-just google it-Man) Even the greatest scientists, such as Einstein, have seen that the intelligibility of the world is a mystery. He famously remarked that “the eternally incomprehensible thing about the world is its comprehensibility.” Like the way in which mathematics seems to map the intrinsic rational structure of the physical world, this is presupposed within science and cannot be given a scientific explanation. It appears to be a metaphysical fact, and the explanation… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

That’s the Einstein quote I was thinking of!
Thanks

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

timothy, many scientists before the genius Einstein have believed in a deity. Although AE was clearly not a theist, he was of his time and perhaps he needle was somewhere in deism. I suspect that he like most scientists in the advent of he discoveries of the 20th century would most likely lean towards atheism. But maybe not? It doesn’t matter as what Einstein thinks does nothing to disprove the facts of evolution. You are rightly concerned that evolution pushes god further back into a smaller corner. It does. Jonas Salk was viewed, perhaps quite unfairly, as pedestrian by his… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Ha! Well, like the man said, imagination is more important than knowledge.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

You are rightly concerned that evolution pushes god further back into a smaller corner.

You misunderstand faith. While there are unanswered questions about how Scripture jibes with science, they are irrelevant given His Being. You have not experienced it (yet) but I have. I use the phrase “He is more real than reality” to describe Him. We are dust, our existence and our universe but vapor before Him.

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Do you notice that you have used the word fact in two different ways between your original comment and this last: “denial of evolutionary fact” vs “observed facts” Also using the word theory in two different ways: “tell me about scientific theory” and “‘alternative’ theory”
And yet you seek to take the high moral (err, scientific) ground and act as expert.

And yes, more snark and no answer to the question.

So, again, what is evolution if it is not a theory?

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

Evolution is a scientific theory of course. But you know the different use of the term theory that science claims right? Just google it and get back to me. We can talk about it.

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Ok, so to load the comment ‘just a theory’ with sarcasm and scorn is unreasonable because you acknowledge that it is a theory. When someone says evolution is a theory they are entirely correct.
For you to dump that scorn and sarcasm in there you must assume that they are using the term ‘theory’ colloquially to mean a doubtful proposition. But this is an assumption of yours and not necessarily the true situation.
Your comment carries the hubris of “anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot” and not the humility required for genuine engagement

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

That comment is in response to Douglas if you notice. When someone says evolution is ‘just a theory’ they mean to try and hoodwink those who do not understand the difference that the word theory holds to a scientist and to a layman respectively. You know it, I know it and everyone in this theological game knows it. For a scientist to say that something is a theory is to say it is predictably provable and testable. Like gravity, like plate tectonics, heliocentrism, germ theory, general and special relativity and yes, evolution. So yes, when I read something written by… Read more »

Michael Hutton
Michael Hutton
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

See, you know their motive. You know what I know. And see, if he dares disagree with you he is an idiot. hubris or animus? I don’t know which.

I’m sorry for whatever made you bitter but you won’t find answers or contentment until you can deal with it and engage with some openness.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

This.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

Here, let me do the heavy lifting of google for you. From The National Academy Of Sciences, consisting of over 300 Nobel Laureates. (Probably ‘homo-jihadis tho, right DW?)

http://www.nas.edu/evolution/TheoryOrFact.html

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hutton

Yah, just like gravity is a theory and relativity is a theory.
You do know that in science, “theory” is a term of art, don’t you?

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Here are just a few of the great scientists who “operated under staggering levels of cognitive dissonance”:
Albert Einstein
Galileo
Isaac Newton
Johannes Kepler
Louis Pasteur
Max Plank
Michael Faraday
Copernicus

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Yes most of the genius in science before the 20th century believed in god. It made cultural sense, just as a earth-centric astronomy made sense and the flat earth made sense and so on and so on at whatever point in human history. They could not have foreseen the seismic shift in thought that was Darwin’s identification of the nature of evolution. It is a big one and clearly has taken some getting used to for most americans at least. As for Einstein: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Did Einstein’s attitude of humility come from cognitive dissonance?
As for science today that’s simply not true. The idea that evolution is the only game in town is the result of a culture shift, having more to do with government funding and political correctness than science.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

So Einstein was human. What can I say? He identified as agnostic. He did however call the idea of a personal god childlike. so humble by christian standards? Maybe not.

Whatever the case, we are taking about evolution by means of natural selection and random mutation here. An established scientific fact, if there ever was one.

The rest: totally ridiculous.

You have a computer in your lap. Though I know you won’t, your understanding is a few search entries away.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Hi Tom, does the cognitive dissonance referred to above mean the belief in God or the non-acceptance of the theory of evolution? I believe Randman is mistaken if he thinks acceptance of evolution logically requires a disbelief in God. As a Catholic, I am a happy lifelong theistic evolutionist. But if you mean that the scientists in your list above rejected evolution due to their belief in God, I think the list is a little misleading. Several predate the Origin of Species (1859) by centuries; hardly any were biologists; all did their work before Mendel’s genetics and Watson & Crick’s… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Jill, evolutionary ideas long antedate Darwin. And the examples given* were scientists who held to a fiat creation several thousand years before Christ.

*Save Einstein who believed in an ancient universe. From my reading best categorise him as an agnostic.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

What were the evolutionary ideas that long predated Darwin?

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Thank you. I don’t know much about the people who pre-dated Darwin, but I did know it was not a startlingly new theory when he wrote Origin of Species. I think I was taught that Darwin’s unique contribution was the theory of natural selection.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Natural selection was artificial selection applied to the environment. Several people considered the idea of natural selection including Christians. It was deemed a culling device (which it probably is). Darwin’s contribution was to look at minor inconsequential variation such as finch beaks and extrapolate enormously and claim the mechanism behind these changes also explain a bacteria becoming a dinosaur.

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Hi jillybean, I was referring to the notion that that the belief in intelligent design is somehow a denial of reality. I see your point about the progression of scientific discovery. There have been revolutions and whole models disproven, but what drove these scientists was their wonder at God’s creation. They strove to think God’s thoughts after him. Einstein had his reservations about religion, but he believed in an intelligent designer. I should have included Charles Darwin to the list, but of course the argument is that if he had known about the DNA discoveries he would have recanted his… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Actually I was surprised to read that even Ken Ham over at Answers in Genesis does not believe there is convincing evidence that Darwin recanted on his deathbed. He includes this in his list of arguments not to use in debating evolutionists. But, if evolution is true, then Darwin’s alleged recantation would be meaningless in any event. Galileo’s forced recantation did not make his discoveries any less valid.

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I don’t know what happened at Darwin’s death bed, but I think you will agree that whether or not he was right about evolution is if infinitely less important than whether or not he made peace with his maker. Contrary to popular belief, there are many ID scientists today who recognize the evidence of the big bang and that the universe is about 14 billion years old. I’m not ready to buy in to genetic mutation as the origin of species, but if it all came about that way it was the dues in the machina and is no less… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

There is no convincing (edit sp) evidence for god. Intelligent design is not taken seriously by anyone in the established science community because it is essentially creationism, which is completely unprovable. The fine-tuning argument is a bust. Our universe is not fine tuned to us. We are fine tuned to it. Does a universe without life therefore prove that God does not exist? No, so why should it work the other way? Victor Stenger writes: If the values of the constants depend on each other in some way, then it’s erroneous to assume that they could have taken on a… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Your back and forth with Jon was pretty interesting. Of course you will be shocked when I tell you that he is right and you are wrong. To say that we are fine tuned to the universe or to say that the universe is fine tuned to us is to essentially say the same thing. That is the reason Einstein believed in God. He said that the most amazing thing about the universe is not that it is rational, but that we are able to perceive it rationally. He believed the only explanation was a transcendent God. Is the mind… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Totally shocked! :) The scientific method is the only way of knowing we have that is verifiable. To accept things (your christian god) on faith alone it to give away any right to criticize other faith-based ideas: Astrology, Scientology, Islam. (I assume you would dismiss most if not all of these faith-based claims with a snort?) Russell’s cosmic teapot analogy illustrates this very well. To your other point, the universe is not fine-tuned for life. That claim is on you to prove. If every single star had a habitable planet around it, then only one billionth of one billionth of… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

…says the very much alive and kickin Rand Man!

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Of course I do not presuppose agency for evolution. You do. Nor do I nor any scientist recognize any real distinction between micro and macro evolution even if you continue to type it. I do not claim to know what set the inflation of the universe in motion 13+ billion years ago. But it is inflating nonetheless. To put God in front of that, complicates the process exponentially and leaves us no closer to understanding anything. Who created god? If ‘no-one, he was always there’, then why not say the same thing about the universe? Why not the multiverse? That… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

It’s turtles all the way down with the multiverse. Where did this one come from? The one before. Where that one come from? The one before…
Plato’s unmoved mover puts an end to infinite regression. It also happens to work nicely with the creation account in Genesis.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Whether you understand the concept of the multiverse or not (hint: it is not merely linear or time based,) you still have the bigger problem explaining the presence of an intelligence so vast as to create the universe. Sorry. ‘God did it’ is unsatisfying to say the least and without any evidence whatsoever. In any case, how things got started may or may not ever be solved. We do know there was the big bang and can measure it to the micro second. We know the universe is inflating, and we know that evolution is the mechanism that explains how… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I don’t pretend to completely understand the theory, but I do understand the parallel aspect of it. The analogy with the turtles is ontological. The question is what was on the other side of the big bang? It is a scientific fact that our universe had a beginning, which is problematic for the materialist who insisted that the universe just always was. How is the idea that God always existed any more fantastic than the idea that universes have always existed? I can can just as easily criticize you for your materialism as you criticize me for my faith, but… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

I agree that the idea of god is no more or less fantastical than the multiverse. The difference is this: I don’t create a theology based on the idea of an infinite number of multiple universes. Although, according to the multiverse idea, there is one where we are chatting and I do! I am not criticizing you. I am criticizing the parochial idea of postulating the god of christianity. It is not personal, please do not misunderstand me there. And my views are entirely not faith-based at all. And by faith I mean , beliefs held without verifiable proof. I… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Nah man, I didn’t take it personally. We’re just batting ideas around, That’s what we’re here for.

I would refer you to the universe where you concede that I am right and you are wrong. Boom!

Wait, that would confirm the multiverse theory.

never mind

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Excellent!

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

And my views are entirely not faith-based at all. And by faith I mean , beliefs held without verifiable proof

Here is one: “life began”. You have no proof, no mechanism, no theory.

Nord357
Nord357
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Nor can single celled organisms to multi celled to fish to reptile to mammal to man progression be tested. Ergo faith based. A belief that takes way more faith than I can muster.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Nord357

thats dumb

Nord357
Nord357
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

So we agree

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Nord357

Ah! Single cell to multi cell does not happen? Thanks, I learned something.

I would expect this to be the basic example of TENS if it where true.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

I don’t think there is much reason to believe that Darwin repented and turned to God on his deathbed, but I certainly hope so. No one knows what happens in those last few hours and moments. I understand the point you are making, but an acceptance of evolution can coexist easily with a firm belief in God. I know many people who accept evolution yet are not secular humanists. I think that sometimes there is confusion between scientific materialism and philosophical materialism. As I understand it, the scientific method rejects any aspect of the supernatural in explaining why events occur.… Read more »

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I agree that a belief in evolution can coexist with a belief in God. A good example of this would be C.S. Lewis, but he made the distinction between science and ‘scientism’ which he described as the misguided effort to apply science to areas outside it’s proper bounds.

I’m afraid what we have today is ‘evolutionism’ as the basis for moral relativism and a rejection of the God of Christianity.

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

I.D. guys are doing good work.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom©

Intelligent design is just creationism by another name. Why lie about it? No one is fooled except creationists who think they have an argument. It’s day is really done.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

I think this depends on what one means by intelligent design. As the term was used in the Kitzmiller trial, ID was indeed a synonym for creationism and the school board used it disingenuously, hoping to get around rulings like Epperson v. Arkansas. In the book “Of Pandas and People,” every earlier reference to creationism was deleted and replaced with the term ID. I believe that ID is fundamentally a religious concept which does not belong in lab science classes. But, as a theistic evolutionist, I do believe in a master intelligence whom I see as God and Creator. You… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Hi Jillybean,

ID states that the best explanation for how complex structures like a single cell came into being is that they where designed. As science learns more about life, the complexity and information processing required are not explained by random mutations and fitness, but by postulating a designer.

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I very much respect your deism jellybean. I have little to quarrel with re deism. But postulating a god does deny science. There is no testable evidence for a god. And as I keep having to repeat, putting him before the big bang leaves us no closer to any kind of answer. I understand why this so perturbs the faithful as the next step is pretty obvious- it was to me at least: why bother with god at all? I know some would say morality- but that is equally answerable and worth another round of discussion. It is pretty simple… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

Does postulating a God deny science if they are seen as separate but overlapping magisteria? If there were testable evidence for God, acceptance of God would be a matter of science, not of faith. But. as the Sensuous Curmudgeon says, the scientist is simply not in a position to say “Bring me my angel detector!” In my understanding (and I am not a biologist or indeed any kind of scientist), postulating the existence of God only becomes a problem when that assumption is used to explain the otherwise inexplicable. If the answer to “why is the ocean salty” is “because… Read more »

RandMan
RandMan
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Hi jillybean, and your last sentence is why I have no problem with that idea of god! (though I don’t personally believe to to be true.) My wife has a similar viewpoint as you do. I think what you are saying is that science and religion are separate ways of knowing things but in certain specific, (but important) areas they overlap and interact? Is that accurate? What you are describing essentially is deism no? A god who created the universe and the laws of physics, set them in motion and now stands back to let them roll? But you have… Read more »

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  RandMan

There are biological facts and then there is the grand theory of evolution which is more asumed than proven as fact.

Nord357
Nord357
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Thank you.

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Too late! “Soulless” is a trigger word. I demand you pay for my grief counselors, perform 30 groveling apologies on Twitter, and attend a Social Actions course exploring the souls of engineers.

ME
ME
5 years ago

Now that book sounds absolutely delightful and right up my alley.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago

Ahem…in order for chimps to bang out the “Fur Elise” with oven mitts on, you must presume the presence of a piano…

Ellen
Ellen
5 years ago

I think your spell check couldn’t handle Für Elise. Kind of spoils the sentence, so I hope you can correct the corrector.

Ihaveaquestion
Ihaveaquestion
5 years ago

Pastor Wilson what is your stance on dragons and knights slaying dinosaurs in the middle ages?

Nord357
Nord357
5 years ago

I find it absolutely amazing that anyone can stare at something,anything that is obviously designed, and deny that there is a design.