asyncritus' question time

asyncritus arguments against evolution

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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asyncritus' question time

#1  Postby halucigenia » Apr 16, 2012 1:40 pm

Oh, well, here we go again it’s petunias time for me.

I came across this character on another forum ages ago and now they are spouting the same old tripe again over on the "Evolution & Natural Selection" sub forum here on rationalskepticism.org.
I thought that I should introduce you all to asyncritus and put the tripe where it belongs before it pollutes the thread that it was raised in.

Fasten your seatbelts we're in for a bumpy ride here. ;)

asyncritus wrote:

Hi Hallucination :smile:

'Tis me again! :crazy:

Still peddling the old tripe, I see! :smile:

The old old question I asked you a while ago still stands unanswered.

Let me grant you that mutations + natural selection produced a bird's wings (for instance) from a reptile's forelimbs. Wildly improbable, of course, but let's suppose. And feathers from scales
Well, feathers are just modified scales, so no problem there, as they could have had uses other than flight to start with.
asyncritus wrote:, and endothermic metabolism from ectothermic metabolism.
Theropod dinosaurs could have been endothermic before they evolved flight so, no problem there either.

asyncritus wrote:Not to mention the entirely new lung structure, in which air enters the lung on exhalation rather than on inhalation.
again, something that could have evolved in theropod dinosaurs prior to wings and flight, so, again there is no problem there either.

asyncritus wrote:All that by the magic of waving the old Random Mutation Selection wand. (Has common sense completely deserted your halls???)
No magic required, all of the examples that you have provided so far could have evolved prior to the evolution of wings and flight. If that is what you are getting at.

asyncritus wrote:
Now the questions:

Bird hatches out from reptile's egg, as Goldschmidt suggested, because he knew that there's no other way for this to happen!
Why?
Why is there no other way for this to happen?
Why can birds not have gradually evolved over time from reptilian ancestors via theropod dinosaurs?
Why can feathers not have gradually evolved in this lineage which provided utility in ways other than flight – insulation or display for example?
Why can an organisms’ metabolism not change from providing little excess body heat to providing more and more body heat over time?
Why can lungs not be modified by random mutation and natural selection from a simple air sac to one with flow through functionality?

Just what do you think actually prevents these things from happening.
And, remember, personal incredulity is not a valid argument.

asyncritus wrote:1 What could the new bird do with the brand new flight apparatus? After all, he's still a reptile in his head. Can you see it? 'Duhhhh! What the hell do I do with these things'? Jumps off cliff. THUDDD! End of bird evolution.
Do we really have to go there again? You sound like you have been to the Stevebee School of argumentation. :rolleyes:
No one, except creationist straw man arguments, propose that an organism suddenly appeared with brand new novel adaptions like a full set of flight apparatus within a single generation. :doh:

asyncritus wrote:
It requires empowering flight instincts - or it couldn't get off the ground, no matter how good the wings etc may be. Think of a fighter plane with an untrained administrative clerk at the controls. Disaster on the way? You bet.
Not all flight ability is instinctual, have you never seen young birds on nature documentaries stretching their wings and learning how to fly. Again, no one except creationists’ straw man arguments propose that an organism suddenly appeared with brand new novel adaptions like a full set of flight instincts within a single generation. :doh:

asyncritus wrote:
so

2 Where did the instincts come from
They evolved in tandem with the flight apparatus, slowly, over time.

asyncritus wrote:3 And how did they enter the genome?
How do any behaviours originate and evolve, there’s nothing magical that has to “enter” the genome, behaviours and the ability to learn do have a genetic component which can be modified and change over time just like any other trait under genetic control.

asyncritus wrote:Remember, Lamarckism is dead, and cannot make any contribution here.
Yes and no one, except creationists’ straw man arguments propose that any Lamarckian process is required for instincts to arise and evolve.

Over to you. :grin:
But nice to see you here and it’s nice to have a new chew toy. ;)
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#2  Postby Animavore » Apr 16, 2012 3:32 pm

Birds actually have scales on their legs. This is especially prominent on large birds. You can see this on my friend's turkeys. As you look up the leg you actually see the scales begin to become more perpendicular to the leg, elongated and feathery, quite quickly, as they near the top of the leg. I really don't see the problem there with that one. Once you pluck a turkey there's no scales under the feathery parts, because the feathers are the scales.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#3  Postby Shrunk » Apr 16, 2012 3:36 pm

Animavore wrote:Birds actually have scales on their legs. This is especially prominent on large birds. You can see this on my friend's turkeys. As you look up the leg you actually see the scales begin to become more perpendicular to the leg, elongated and feathery, quite quickly, as they near the top of the leg. I really don't see the problem there with that one. Once you pluck a turkey there's no scales under the feathery parts, because the feathers are the scales.


Interesting. So a series "transitional forms" right there on an organism that actually lives in the present day. But creationists insist there are no "transitional forms." How could that be? They'd have to be either stupid, ignorant or dishonest to make such a claim.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#4  Postby Animavore » Apr 16, 2012 3:48 pm

Shrunk wrote:
Animavore wrote:Birds actually have scales on their legs. This is especially prominent on large birds. You can see this on my friend's turkeys. As you look up the leg you actually see the scales begin to become more perpendicular to the leg, elongated and feathery, quite quickly, as they near the top of the leg. I really don't see the problem there with that one. Once you pluck a turkey there's no scales under the feathery parts, because the feathers are the scales.


Interesting. So a series "transitional forms" right there on an organism that actually lives in the present day. But creationists insist there are no "transitional forms." How could that be? They'd have to be either stupid, ignorant or dishonest to make such a claim.


Well. I wouldn't jump the gun. I've been doing some quick reading and can't find reference to the effect I'm talking about. It might just be scales ending and small feathers beginning rather than a continuum.

EDIT: That is to say, in light of the knowledge that feathers evolve from scales I may have seen what I wanted to see.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#5  Postby Animavore » Apr 16, 2012 4:02 pm

Here are some feathers at different stages of evolutionary development trapped in amber.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notro ... evolution/
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... 00x450.jpg
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#6  Postby Zadocfish2 » Apr 16, 2012 7:19 pm

Also, this is assuming that the feathered dinosaurs could fly or were built to fly right away. Which is, quite frankly, hilarious.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#7  Postby halucigenia » Apr 16, 2012 11:10 pm

falconjudge wrote:Also, this is assuming that the feathered dinosaurs could fly or were built to fly right away. Which is, quite frankly, hilarious.

Not only were they built to fly right away, they hatched out of a reptilian egg ready to fly right away, apparently... :roll:
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#8  Postby Calilasseia » Apr 16, 2012 11:19 pm

So the fact that Archaeopteryx still exhibits a "reptilian" (or, more rigorously, a vertebrate) forelimb arrangement of bones, and feathers, is something that asyncritus hasn't factored into his strawman caricatures? Quelle surprise.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#9  Postby Dogmatic Pyrrhonist » Apr 17, 2012 2:10 am

falconjudge wrote:Also, this is assuming that the feathered dinosaurs could fly or were built to fly right away. Which is, quite frankly, hilarious.

There is quite a bit in there of assuming changes are large radical jumps from one generation to the next. Which is typical of the strawman used by creotards. It's comic book evolution all the way for them.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#10  Postby asyncritus » Apr 17, 2012 1:52 pm

HI H,

Thanks for doing me the great honour! I'm going to demonstrate my ingratitude now! :smile:

halucigenia wrote:
Let me grant you that mutations + natural selection produced a bird's wings (for instance) from a reptile's forelimbs. Wildly improbable, of course, but let's suppose. And feathers from scales.

Well, feathers are just modified scales, so no problem there, as they could have had uses other than flight to start with. </quote>

Now where did you get that piece of nonsense from, I wonder? Have you ever had a look at the difference between any given scale and say, a flight feather? This is an iguana, which has a load of different types of scale on its body.

Which do you fancy is the best candidate for turning into a flight feather? I personally don't see any hope, but perhaps you can tell me.

Image

And here's a diagram of a flight feather structure:

Image

Add to that the difficulty that there are about 10 different types of feather ON A SINGLE BIRD, your problems increase exponentially.

asyncritus wrote:, and endothermic metabolism from ectothermic metabolism. Theropod dinosaurs could have been endothermic before they evolved flight so, no problem there either.


Could, could, could... Sure pigs can't fly?

asyncritus wrote:Not to mention the entirely new lung structure, in which air enters the lung on exhalation rather than on inhalation.

again, something that could have evolved in theropod dinosaurs prior to wings and flight, so, again there is no problem there either.


No, I'm not having that either. Here are two diagrams of the structures involved:

Image

Honestly, H, can you see any possible way for the left type lungs to become the right type lungs? I can't see it myself, but maybe you can. If you can't, then you're admitting that brainless, blind, and purposeless mutation plus natural selection is much more intelligent than we are. Well, you are maybe! :smile:

asyncritus wrote:All that by the magic of waving the old Random Mutation Selection wand. (Has common sense completely deserted your halls???)

No magic required, all of the examples that you have provided so far could have evolved prior to the evolution of wings and flight. If that is what you are getting at.


But why should they do so? Surely you're not saying that an organ/metabolism/whatever else can evolve IN ADVANCE of being needed. Somebody said words to the effect that something can't evolve in the Cambrian because it might be of use in the Jurassic. So true.

asyncritus wrote:
Now the questions:

Bird hatches out from reptile's egg, as Goldschmidt suggested, because he knew that there's no other way for this to happen!

Why?
Why is there no other way for this to happen?


To be perfectly honest, when I add up the vast differences between a bird and any given reptile, the impossibility of one evolving from the other becomes positively gargantuan. I've indicated some of the difficulties above, and I'm sure that even you can feel the force of some of those points.

Why can birds not have gradually evolved over time from reptilian ancestors via theropod dinosaurs?


They could evolve from fish as far as I'm concerned. The question I'm asking is a deeply fundamental one.
For A to evolve into B, there are major instinctual questions that need some sort of evolutionary answer. For any function, not existent in A, but existing in B, there MUST be pre-existing instincts powering that function, which have entered the genome. (The whole question is raised, expanded and answered in the book 'How does instinct evolve'. You'll find it on google somewhere.)

Why can feathers not have gradually evolved in this lineage which provided utility in ways other than flight – insulation or display for example?


Are yo asking me why a blanket can't evolve into a wing?

Why can an organisms’ metabolism not change from providing little excess body heat to providing more and more body heat over time?


Because the physiology of an ectotherm is very, very different to an endotherm. The amount of heat required to support an andotherm is wildly different to that required by an ectotherm.

Why can lungs not be modified by random mutation and natural selection from a simple air sac to one with flow through functionality?


Because any of the changes required in that change would be immediately fatal. I might as well quote Denton's remarks on the subject for you. You know he's an evolutionist, but not the usual starry-eyed variety.

Just how such an utterly different respiratory system could have evolved gradually from the standard vertebrate design is fantastically difficult to envisage, especially bearing in mind that the slightest malfunction leads to death within minutes.

So one mutation affecting the structure of the lung meant death immediately. One mutation producing a hole in the bottom of the lung meant death. So where do you go from there?

Just what do you think actually prevents these things from happening.
And, remember, personal incredulity is not a valid argument.


I don't argue from incredulity. I make inferences to the best explanation, something that all science does all the time.

asyncritus wrote:1 What could the new bird do with the brand new flight apparatus? After all, he's still a reptile in his head. Can you see it? 'Duhhhh! What the hell do I do with these things'? Jumps off cliff. THUDDD! End of bird evolution.

Do we really have to go there again? You sound like you have been to the Stevebee School of argumentation. :rolleyes:
No one, except creationist straw man arguments, propose that an organism suddenly appeared with brand new novel adaptions like a full set of flight apparatus within a single generation. :doh:


Richard Goldschmidt certainly thought so, or he would never have proposed his Hopeful Monster theory. He knew the facts (such as I've been outlining above) and couldn't produce any kind of sensible explanation. I can't remember reading anyone producing a proper account of how it could have happened, so maybe you can point me in the right direction toward one of them.

You see, if the whole thing didn't appear in one go, then of what use was the intermediate? Szent-Gyorgi proposed his negentropy theory, but the new Law of Asynctropy takes the whole thing to a new level. It says that Every one of the functions of life depends on a POWERING INSTINCT. If the powering instinct is not present or available, THEN THE FUNCTION ITSELF IS ABSENT OR IMPOSSIBLE even if the necessary organ is present.

Which is a pretty profound and far reaching statement of fact. Give it some thought.

asyncritus wrote:
It requires empowering flight instincts - or it couldn't get off the ground, no matter how good the wings etc may be. Think of a fighter plane with an untrained administrative clerk at the controls. Disaster on the way? You bet.


Not all flight ability is instinctual, have you never seen young birds on nature documentaries stretching their wings and learning how to fly. Again, no one except creationists’ straw man arguments propose that an organism suddenly appeared with brand new novel adaptions like a full set of flight instincts within a single generation. :doh:

Sure I've seen them doing that. We all have, I'm sure. But I could spread my wings till the cows come home, and all I'd succeed in doing is breaking my neck every time I jumped off a roof.

THE ABILITY TO LEARN HOW TO FLY MUST BE THERE, or the wings are useless. It's that instinct again.

Remember if Critter A learns how to fly without breaking it's neck, then it CANNOT pass that information down to its offspring who have to start from scratch again - otherwise you're in Lamarckism again. (But I see Dawkins trying to sneak it in by the back door again! Why, because he knows just how ridiculous his theory really is).

so

2 Where did the instincts come from

They evolved in tandem with the flight apparatus, slowly, over time.


Don't you see how hopless ( :lol: } that proposition really is? Bird A (with 1 wing) flaps, is spotted by a predator, gets eaten and the whole thing has to start again.

Bird B (with 1 wing) flaps, is eaten by a predator..... la de da.

I don't see things progressing very far, do you?

asyncritus wrote:3 And how did they enter the genome?

How do any behaviours originate and evolve, there’s nothing magical that has to “enter” the genome, behaviours and the ability to learn do have a genetic component which can be modified and change over time just like any other trait under genetic control.


Again, here's Bird A who's got the equipment, but can't fly. He takes off, narrowly avoids breaking his fool neck, survives and reproduces. How does the information regarding flight enter the genome? Answer, it can't.

But that information MUST enter the genome somewhere along the line - otherwise birds can't fly, ever. So where and how? I read somewhere that some Chinese palaeontologist found the most ancient bird fossils, and the bird could fly. Well it got those flight instincts somewhere. But where?

asyncritus wrote:Remember, Lamarckism is dead, and cannot make any contribution here.

Yes and no one, except creationists’ straw man arguments propose that any Lamarckian process is required for instincts to arise and evolve.


You are forced to do so, that's for certain, much as you may object.

Here we are again:

A (can't fly) --------------X---------------> B (can fly)

How many X's do you want? How many intermediates between A and B? It matters not. Somewhere in that chain, one of them learned to fly AND PASSED THE INFO DOWN TO OFFSPRING.

Unless of course, you want to say that suddenly, a whole flock of fliers appeared. Which is merely another word for creation.

As I see it, you are on some pretty painful horns here. The instinct question, detailed in How Does Instinct Evolve, will kill off evolution theory once this new development of it becomes known.

But nice to see you here and it’s nice to have a new chew toy. ;)


Thanks. I had forgotten our previous encounters. :drunk:
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#11  Postby asyncritus » Apr 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Animavore wrote:Birds actually have scales on their legs. This is especially prominent on large birds. You can see this on my friend's turkeys. As you look up the leg you actually see the scales begin to become more perpendicular to the leg, elongated and feathery, quite quickly, as they near the top of the leg. I really don't see the problem there with that one. Once you pluck a turkey there's no scales under the feathery parts, because the feathers are the scales.


I don't see your point. Fish have a lot of scales too. You saying the birds could have evolved from fish too?
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#12  Postby hackenslash » Apr 17, 2012 2:29 pm

Shrunk wrote:They'd have to be either stupid, ignorant or dishonest to make such a claim.


False trichotomy; they could easily be all three, and in fact often are, as the evidence demonstrates only too readily. ;)
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#13  Postby Oldskeptic » Apr 17, 2012 2:30 pm

asyncritus wrote:
Animavore wrote:Birds actually have scales on their legs. This is especially prominent on large birds. You can see this on my friend's turkeys. As you look up the leg you actually see the scales begin to become more perpendicular to the leg, elongated and feathery, quite quickly, as they near the top of the leg. I really don't see the problem there with that one. Once you pluck a turkey there's no scales under the feathery parts, because the feathers are the scales.


I don't see your point. Fish have a lot of scales too. You saying the birds could have evolved from fish too?


All tetrapods evolved from fish, so yes, birds did evolve from fish. To be precise, lobe-finned fish, beginning about 400 million years ago.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#14  Postby Shrunk » Apr 17, 2012 3:46 pm

asyncritus, please fix up the quote tags in the long post above to make it legible.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#15  Postby blindfaith » Apr 17, 2012 3:52 pm

to asyncritus, so what is your alternative to evolution?

thanks
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#16  Postby Rumraket » Apr 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Shrunk wrote:asyncritus, please fix up the quote tags in the long post above to make it legible.

2nd'ed. If you can construct a coherent, readable post first, you'll start getting responses.

Why are bullshittitionists always having trouble with the quote function?
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#17  Postby Shrunk » Apr 17, 2012 4:57 pm

Rumraket wrote:
Shrunk wrote:asyncritus, please fix up the quote tags in the long post above to make it legible.

2nd'ed. If you can construct a coherent, readable post first, you'll start getting responses.

Why are bullshittitionists always having trouble with the quote function?


Are you sure "bullshittitionist" isn't a personal insult? :ask:
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#18  Postby Zadocfish2 » Apr 17, 2012 7:58 pm

I'm pretty sure it is. We must respect his views until he posts them and we are able to properly evaluate their contents.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#19  Postby Mister Agenda » Apr 17, 2012 8:55 pm

asyncritus wrote:HI H,
Now where did you get that piece of nonsense from, I wonder? Have you ever had a look at the difference between any given scale and say, a flight feather? This is an iguana, which has a load of different types of scale on its body.


Why on earth would you jump straight to flight feathers when no one thinks dinosaurs did? Something resembling down, maybe.

asyncritus wrote:Add to that the difficulty that there are about 10 different types of feather ON A SINGLE BIRD, your problems increase exponentially.


Start with any kind of feather, then diversify. Not so astonishing when you're not advocating some cartoon version of evolution where they all spring forth fully formed for their future functions.

asyncritus wrote:Could, could, could... Sure pigs can't fly?


I think the point is that there is no good reason to believe those features didn't appear prior to flying. In fact, the pneumatized vertebrae of therapod dinosaurs when they are preserved in enough detail indicate their lungs were similar to the lungs of birds, and consistent with continuous flow-through breathing (O'Conner and Claessens).

asyncritus wrote:Honestly, H, can you see any possible way for the left type lungs to become the right type lungs? I can't see it myself, but maybe you can. If you can't, then you're admitting that brainless, blind, and purposeless mutation plus natural selection is much more intelligent than we are. Well, you are maybe! :smile:


I'm sure that brainless, blind, and purposeless mutation plus natural selection is much more intelligent than any of us are, given millions of years to blindly explore 'possibility space'. We're still playing catch up on understanding the results of evolution.

asyncritus wrote:But why should they do so? Surely you're not saying that an organ/metabolism/whatever else can evolve IN ADVANCE of being needed. Somebody said words to the effect that something can't evolve in the Cambrian because it might be of use in the Jurassic. So true.


Very true. But an endothermic metabolism and efficient breathing mechanism have advantages of their own, whether you have wings or not.

asyncritus wrote:
Now the questions:

Bird hatches out from reptile's egg, as Goldschmidt suggested, because he knew that there's no other way for this to happen!


At no point would the offspring of an animal be a different species (or subspecies, or race) from the parents. It will be only slightly different from the parents, but if that slight difference gives it a slight advantage, natural selection will tend to conserve the change.

asyncritus wrote:To be perfectly honest, when I add up the vast differences between a bird and any given reptile, the impossibility of one evolving from the other becomes positively gargantuan. I've indicated some of the difficulties above, and I'm sure that even you can feel the force of some of those points.


If all the steps are possible, and there's enough time for the steps to happen, it's not impossible.

asyncritus wrote:They could evolve from fish as far as I'm concerned. The question I'm asking is a deeply fundamental one. For A to evolve into B, there are major instinctual questions that need some sort of evolutionary answer. For any function, not existent in A, but existing in B, there MUST be pre-existing instincts powering that function, which have entered the genome. (The whole question is raised, expanded and answered in the book 'How does instinct evolve'. You'll find it on google somewhere.)


At no point is there suddenly a novel function. Flying squirrels and lemurs are gliders who clearly wouldn't have to adjust their instincts too much to transition from leaping to gliding in small steps. After all, at first a small gliding membrane would only let you leap a little farther. Their brains would have the opportunity to co-evolve the instincts to take better advantage of gliding capability. It's not difficult to imagine the descendants of one of these animals transitioning gradually from gliding to true flying in baby steps that let its instincts keep up.

asyncritus wrote:Are yo asking me why a blanket can't evolve into a wing?


More like why fur can't evolve into quills, or down into true feathers.

asyncritus wrote:Because the physiology of an ectotherm is very, very different to an endotherm. The amount of heat required to support an andotherm is wildly different to that required by an ectotherm.


But the amount of heat required to support something that is 51% endotherm is not much different from the amount of heat required to support something that is 52% endotherm.

asyncritus wrote:Because any of the changes required in that change would be immediately fatal. I might as well quote Denton's remarks on the subject for you. You know he's an evolutionist, but not the usual starry-eyed variety.

Just how such an utterly different respiratory system could have evolved gradually from the standard vertebrate design is fantastically difficult to envisage, especially bearing in mind that the slightest malfunction leads to death within minutes.

So one mutation affecting the structure of the lung meant death immediately. One mutation producing a hole in the bottom of the lung meant death. So where do you go from there?


A hole in the bottom of the lung leading to an air sac would not only not mean death, it could be advantageous. Air sacs are known to have developed in chameleons, snakes, some lizards, btw. The development of flow-through lungs would be easily survivable if they went through a mixed stage. We have the amphibian's three-chambered heart between the fishy two-chambered one and mammalian four-chambered heart to illustrate how we got from two chambers to four without keeling over. We don't have that intermediate stage to illustrate the development of avian lungs, but it isn't THAT hard to come up with a scenario where the animal has lungs that can do both bi-directional and one-directional air flow. Birds HAVE some bi-directional air flow.

asyncritus wrote:I don't argue from incredulity. I make inferences to the best explanation, something that all science does all the time.


So what's the best explanation?

asyncritus wrote:What could the new bird do with the brand new flight apparatus? After all, he's still a reptile in his head. Can you see it? 'Duhhhh! What the hell do I do with these things'? Jumps off cliff. THUDDD! End of bird evolution.


I'm sure a branch hopper would see immediate benefit from being able to leap a few inches farther thanks to feathers already present on its forearms getting a little longer in the right direction.

asyncritus wrote:Richard Goldschmidt certainly thought so, or he would never have proposed his Hopeful Monster theory.


That was in the 1930s, right? If only we had learned anything more about evolution in the last 70 years.

asyncritus wrote:He knew the facts (such as I've been outlining above) and couldn't produce any kind of sensible explanation. I can't remember reading anyone producing a proper account of how it could have happened, so maybe you can point me in the right direction toward one of them.



One thing I know is that the 'hopeful monster' idea was controversial at the time and has been discarded since.

asyncritus wrote:You see, if the whole thing didn't appear in one go, then of what use was the intermediate?


A lung capable of both bi-directional and one-directional air flow would be more efficient than a lung not capable of one-directional air flow at all.

asyncritus wrote:Szent-Gyorgi proposed his negentropy theory, but the new Law of Asynctropy takes the whole thing to a new level. It says that Every one of the functions of life depends on a POWERING INSTINCT. If the powering instinct is not present or available, THEN THE FUNCTION ITSELF IS ABSENT OR IMPOSSIBLE even if the necessary organ is present.


Google returns no results for the term 'asynctropy'.

asyncritus wrote:Again, here's Bird A who's got the equipment, but can't fly. He takes off, narrowly avoids breaking his fool neck, survives and reproduces. How does the information regarding flight enter the genome? Answer, it can't.

But that information MUST enter the genome somewhere along the line - otherwise birds can't fly, ever. So where and how? I read somewhere that some Chinese palaeontologist found the most ancient bird fossils, and the bird could fly. Well it got those flight instincts somewhere. But where?


If only evolution proceeded in tiny steps so that a whole new set of instincts wasn't needed for the variety of novel functions that appear out of nowhere. Oh, wait.

asyncritus wrote:THE ABILITY TO LEARN HOW TO FLY MUST BE THERE, or the wings are useless. It's that instinct again.


To leap an inch farther thanks to a rudimentary gliding surface doesn't take new instincts. However, any instincts that let the animal get another inch by using the surface it has more efficiently would certainly be conserved. And so on.

asyncritus wrote:Remember if Critter A learns how to fly without breaking it's neck, then it CANNOT pass that information down to its offspring who have to start from scratch again - otherwise you're in Lamarckism again. (But I see Dawkins trying to sneak it in by the back door again! Why, because he knows just how ridiculous his theory really is).


If Critter A has a minor change in its brain wiring thanks to genetic variation that makes it glide slightly more efficiently, that mutation or gene combination or epigenetic configuration will tend to be preserved. By the time you get to critter Z+n, you have fully developed wings and the instincts to go with them because at every single point the offspring with the genetic variation likely to be conserved was the same species as the parent.

asyncritus wrote:Don't you see how hopless ( :lol: } that proposition really is? Bird A (with 1 wing) flaps, is spotted by a predator, gets eaten and the whole thing has to start again.

Again, here's Bird A who's got the equipment, but can't fly. He takes off, narrowly avoids breaking his fool neck, survives and reproduces. How does the information regarding flight enter the genome? Answer, it can't


Therapod A with slightly longer feathers on the back of its forearms manages to jump an inch farther than its parents could and escapes the predator (or catches insects with 3% less effort or whatever the survival advantage actually was), surviving to pass on its slightly longer forearm feathers. And yes, if it gets eaten before reproducing, it wasn't the ancestor of modern birds and some other therapod with slight longer forearm feathers had that honor. Not so implausible once you clear away the straw.

asyncritus wrote:Here we are again:

A (can't fly) --------------X---------------> B (can fly)

How many X's do you want? How many intermediates between A and B? It matters not. Somewhere in that chain, one of them learned to fly AND PASSED THE INFO DOWN TO OFFSPRING.

Unless of course, you want to say that suddenly, a whole flock of fliers appeared. Which is merely another word for creation.

As I see it, you are on some pretty painful horns here. The instinct question, detailed in How Does Instinct Evolve, will kill off evolution theory once this new development of it becomes known.


I suppose the cartoon version of evolution with hopeful monsters and crocoducks might be challenged by it, as it is by pretty much anything.
Last edited by Mister Agenda on Apr 17, 2012 9:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: asyncritus' question time

#20  Postby Mister Agenda » Apr 17, 2012 9:32 pm

For anyone who was watching, sorry about all the edits. Fixing the quotes on my previous post was a bear.
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