Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

Intelligent design v Devolution

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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#61  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 11:31 am

Wortfish wrote:
laklak wrote:In terms of trustworthiness, Behe ranks somewhere between a three-card Monte dealer and a Subic Bay hooker.


I would offer a more nuanced response. Natural selection can do the following in molecular biology:

1. Keep things as they are: a conserving force that rejects changes which degrade functionality.
2. Destroy a functional system if it provides a reproductive benefit in an extreme situation: as with antibiotic resistance.
3. Tweak an existing feature to optimize its effectiveness: as with the novel coronavirus' protein coat.

What natural selection cannot do, as Darwin envisaged, is cumulatively build up a complex system from scratch.



Not even wrong. Next.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#62  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 11:33 am

Wortfish wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:The complex molecular machine develops step by step with most "versions" at every step being selected against or ignored. Natural selection doesn't need to plan it. The bits that work hang around and the bits that don't, don't. It's social. Over time the complexity of the machine increases. Sometimes those complex machines play different roles at particular steps. Sometimes a single mutation results in a molecular machine performing a different function that is selected for.

If foresight were involved it would happen much faster than it does via natural selection, which is gradual, and probably wouldn't fulfill intermediate roles. There would be a distinct endpoint goal to work towards. Nevertheless, natural selection worked for a long time. Now we regularly avoid being selected against because we research and plan and experiment. Natural selection has happened up until now without us exerting any influence though.


You need to have something functional and useful already in place for which to "select". That is the fundamental flaw in the Darwinian argument.


You're talking nonsense as usual Wortfish.

You don't need something 'functional and useful' in place to select, and you don't know what select means.

Here's the problem - you refuse to educate yourself, so you're just blathering nonsense. Educating yourself to a point where you could hold a meaningful conversation would take you an afternoon or two, but here you are still blathering after years of blathering. Creationism does that to you - it makes you feel like you know what you're talking about when you factually don't have a clue.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#63  Postby Wortfish » Apr 10, 2020 11:34 am

newolder wrote:
Your problems with evolutionary molecular biology are clear and you've even labelled them. There was a time before eyes, there was a time before the first light sensitive cell and indeed, there was a time before cells. That you fail to grasp the ideas of evolution through natural selection remains a sad reflection on your education.


I would appreciate it if you would actually engage with my three points rather than just talk about a time before this and that.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#64  Postby Wortfish » Apr 10, 2020 11:35 am

Spearthrower wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:The complex molecular machine develops step by step with most "versions" at every step being selected against or ignored. Natural selection doesn't need to plan it. The bits that work hang around and the bits that don't, don't. It's social. Over time the complexity of the machine increases. Sometimes those complex machines play different roles at particular steps. Sometimes a single mutation results in a molecular machine performing a different function that is selected for.

If foresight were involved it would happen much faster than it does via natural selection, which is gradual, and probably wouldn't fulfill intermediate roles. There would be a distinct endpoint goal to work towards. Nevertheless, natural selection worked for a long time. Now we regularly avoid being selected against because we research and plan and experiment. Natural selection has happened up until now without us exerting any influence though.


You need to have something functional and useful already in place for which to "select". That is the fundamental flaw in the Darwinian argument.


You're talking nonsense as usual Wortfish.

You don't need something 'functional and useful' in place to select, and you don't know what select means.

Here's the problem - you refuse to educate yourself, so you're just blathering nonsense. Educating yourself to a point where you could hold a meaningful conversation would take you an afternoon or two, but here you are still blathering after years of blathering. Creationism does that to you - it makes you feel like you know what you're talking about when you factually don't have a clue.


True. It doesn't have to be functional, but it does have to be useful. Why else would it be "selected for"?
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#65  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 11:36 am

Wortfish wrote:

Let's read the Origin of Species:



Why?

How typical of a Creationist to pretend that Darwin's book is deemed as the last word in knowledge as if science operated like religion.

Darwin came up with the basic principle of evolution by natural selection, but the intervening 150 years furnished us with mountains of evidence, so if you want to discuss some aspect of evolutionary biology, there's no logical reason to go back to the knowledge of 150 years ago, is there?
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#66  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 11:40 am

Wortfish wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Wortfish wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:The complex molecular machine develops step by step with most "versions" at every step being selected against or ignored. Natural selection doesn't need to plan it. The bits that work hang around and the bits that don't, don't. It's social. Over time the complexity of the machine increases. Sometimes those complex machines play different roles at particular steps. Sometimes a single mutation results in a molecular machine performing a different function that is selected for.

If foresight were involved it would happen much faster than it does via natural selection, which is gradual, and probably wouldn't fulfill intermediate roles. There would be a distinct endpoint goal to work towards. Nevertheless, natural selection worked for a long time. Now we regularly avoid being selected against because we research and plan and experiment. Natural selection has happened up until now without us exerting any influence though.


You need to have something functional and useful already in place for which to "select". That is the fundamental flaw in the Darwinian argument.


You're talking nonsense as usual Wortfish.

You don't need something 'functional and useful' in place to select, and you don't know what select means.

Here's the problem - you refuse to educate yourself, so you're just blathering nonsense. Educating yourself to a point where you could hold a meaningful conversation would take you an afternoon or two, but here you are still blathering after years of blathering. Creationism does that to you - it makes you feel like you know what you're talking about when you factually don't have a clue.


True. It doesn't have to be functional, but it does have to be useful. Why else would it be "selected for"?



It?

What's "it"?

You've got a quirky, outdated and nonsensical understanding of evolution. What you're actually talking about is adaptation. Not all evolution is adaptive, not even the majority of evolution is adaptive. The majority of evolution is neutral via genetic drift, that means there's no selective component at all.

This is hardly cutting edge - this has been commonly understood and an accepted fact in evolutionary biology for well over 50 years. That's probably older than you are. So why do you pretend to yourself that you know enough about this subject for your uneducated opinions to have any bearing whatsoever?

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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#67  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Apr 10, 2020 11:41 am

I repeat: We look to Darwin's works as nothing more than contributions to the science of evolution. We don't accept his musings as accurate. We think about the research hypothesess underlying them, look at our own research and ask "why" questions.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#68  Postby newolder » Apr 10, 2020 11:47 am

Wortfish wrote:...

I would appreciate it if you would actually engage with my three points rather than just talk about a time before this and that.

I would appreciate you understanding evolution by means of natural selection but that ain't gonna happen either. :snooty:
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#69  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 12:19 pm

Wortfish wrote:
In the case of 1) a gradual approach won't do since each step must confer some improvement on the previous one. Selection won't select anything which does not make the nerve cell more sensitive. Mivart heavily criticized Darwin's theory, claiming that the incipient and intermediate stages in the hypothetical evolution of a new feature probably conferred no biological utility or could even be harmful.

In the case of 2) and 3) sensitivity to light alone is not useful, however functional, if it does not trigger a response that improves the survival of the organism. If all it does is cause the animal to twitch ever so slightly, then it won't be selected for, and therefore, lost.


So much wrong in so few words.

Sensitivity to light alone is not enough? No one would ever suggest that is all there is. Organisms already had flight responses when they detected they were being attacked, whether that be from pressure on their cell wall, or from perturbations in the medium around them - the solitary light sensitive cell simply gave them another way to detect the approach of a threat and to then employ existing behaviors in response to that detection.

No 'slight twitch' - a concerted effort to move away. Detect sudden loss of light - move. It doesn't need to guarantee successful evasion of a predator; it only needs to offer a statistically greater chance of surviving long enough to reproduce, or longer to reproduce more to ensure that the gene producing that photosensitive spot would be preferentially retained.

The thing is, this is such basic stuff, and the eye... I mean, seriously? Why do Creationists invariably rattle on about the eye when it's been studied from the context of evolutionary biology for the better part of a century? Just how outdated you folks are!
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#70  Postby laklak » Apr 10, 2020 12:59 pm

More nuanced? OK. Behe's trustworthiness lies somewhere between a three-card Monte dealer on the corner of Main and 3rd in Omaha and a Subic Bay one-legged hooker on a Friday night.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#71  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 10, 2020 1:02 pm

I think Wortfish is pretending, or playing the role of a Poe, to troll us.

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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#72  Postby Wortfish » Apr 10, 2020 6:28 pm

newolder wrote:
Wortfish wrote:...

I would appreciate it if you would actually engage with my three points rather than just talk about a time before this and that.

I would appreciate you understanding evolution by means of natural selection but that ain't gonna happen either. :snooty:


I am referring to Darwin because he came up with the idea that biological structures, like the eye, could be built up gradually over successive and related steps through the selection of random variations. It is an interesting idea, but it doesn't really have any supporting evidence, and there are serious theoretical problems in supposing that the hypothetical incipient stages in the evolution of a new structure would be sufficiently useful to be preserved by natural selection. I refer you again to St. George Mivart's devastating critique of the theory of natural selection: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Genesis_of_Species/II

Natural Selection, simply and by itself, is potent to explain the maintenance or the further extension and development of favourable variations, which are at once sufficiently considerable to be useful from the first to the individual possessing them. But Natural Selection utterly fails to account for the conservation and development of the minute and rudimentary beginnings, the slight and infinitesimal commencements of structures, however useful those structures may afterwards become.


This is true of the vertebrate eye, the tetrapod limb, the avian feather, the cetacean fluke etc...
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#73  Postby newolder » Apr 10, 2020 6:33 pm

Yep. You have proven that you have little to no grasp on evolution by natural selection. You seem to think that words alone disprove the edifice of pertinent ideas but you are sadly mistaken there too.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#74  Postby theropod_V_2.0 » Apr 10, 2020 6:44 pm

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/earth ... 25365.html

Read the thread linked above, which can be found in the “Earth Sciences” sub forum right here on RatSkep, about how we KNOW for a fact that modern birds are the direct descendants of maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs. There is enough hard evidence presented therein to shoot your stupid fucking assertion fest through the roof of the mouth with a hollow point .44 magnum. Of course, being the contrary for the sake of being contrary, you won’t bother. If on the off chance you do bother to look you will refuse to accept anything and everything therein, even though the empirical physical evidence is well in hand. You have absolutely nothing but an argument, and it is very poorly formed.

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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#75  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 7:45 pm

Wortfish wrote:
I am referring to Darwin because he came up with the idea that biological structures, like the eye, could be built up gradually over successive and related steps through the selection of random variations.


One hundred and fifty years ago, for crying out loud. Don't you think there might just be a little more information that's arisen in the intervening time?


Wortfish wrote: It is an interesting idea, but it doesn't really have any supporting evidence,..


Abject tosh. Stop blathering bullshit at people that know better, Wortfish.

The eye, of all things, is fucking insane to appeal to - it's hilarious how many times Creationists churn out this rubbish completely ignorant of the hundreds of studies with god knows how much evidence establishing beyond any credible doubt the numerous paths that eye evolution has taken. And the fucking insanely stupid thing about your declaration is that there are extant animals possessing all the various stages of eye which would result in the more complex eyes through small stages.

Again, all you are showing is your ignorance. If you stopped making confident declarations and sought to learn, you wouldn't keep showing yourself up. But then, if you were seeking to learn - you almost certainly wouldn't be a Creationist.


Wortfish wrote:... and there are serious theoretical problems in supposing that the hypothetical incipient stages in the evolution of a new structure would be sufficiently useful to be preserved by natural selection.


Rubbish. Your appeal to incredulity is dismissed because it lacks any relevant understanding of the topic matter. You need to educate yourself.


Wortfish wrote: I refer you again to St. George Mivart's devastating critique of the theory of natural selection: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Genesis_of_Species/II


It's hilariously dopey that you think this actually amounts to a 'devastating critique' when it's well over a hundred years old and completely lacking the reams of empirical data and observation that have occurred in that century or more. It doesn't even amount to grasping at straws, not least because Mivart accepted evolution and Darwin addressed Mivart's arguments 150 fucking years ago! :doh:


Wortfish wrote:
Natural Selection, simply and by itself, is potent to explain the maintenance or the further extension and development of favourable variations, which are at once sufficiently considerable to be useful from the first to the individual possessing them. But Natural Selection utterly fails to account for the conservation and development of the minute and rudimentary beginnings, the slight and infinitesimal commencements of structures, however useful those structures may afterwards become.


This is true of the vertebrate eye, the tetrapod limb, the avian feather, the cetacean fluke etc...


Wrong on all accounts - presumably this is why we learn about Darwin's idea and not Mivart's.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#76  Postby Spearthrower » Apr 10, 2020 7:48 pm

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ICsilly.html

Behe's flawed argument

Behe claims that irreducibly complex systems cannot be produced directly by gradual evolution3. But why not? Behe's reckoning goes like this:

(P1) Direct, gradual evolution proceeds only by stepwise addition of parts.
(P2) By definition, an irreducibly complex system lacking a part is nonfunctional.
(C) Therefore, all possible direct gradual evolutionary precursors to an irreducibly complex system must be nonfunctional.

Of course, Behe's argument is invalid since the first premise is false: gradual evolution can do much more than just add parts. For instance, evolution can also change or remove parts (pretty simple, eh?). In contrast, Behe's irreducible complexity is restricted to only reversing the addition of parts. This is why irreducible complexity cannot tell us anything useful about how a structure did or did not evolve.

The Mullerian two-step

With Behe's error now in hand, we immediately have the following embarrassingly facile solution to Behe's "irreducible" conundrum. Only two basic steps are needed to gradually evolve an irreducibly complex system from a functioning precursor:

Add a part.
Make it necessary.

It's that simple. After these two steps, removing the part will kill the function, yet the system was produced directly and gradually from a simpler, functional precursor. And this is exactly what Behe alleges is impossible.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#77  Postby Wortfish » Apr 10, 2020 10:20 pm

Spearthrower wrote:

So much wrong in so few words.


Let's see.

Sensitivity to light alone is not enough? No one would ever suggest that is all there is. Organisms already had flight responses when they detected they were being attacked, whether that be from pressure on their cell wall, or from perturbations in the medium around them - the solitary light sensitive cell simply gave them another way to detect the approach of a threat and to then employ existing behaviors in response to that detection.


Sensitivity to light is not a trivial development. It requires light-sensitive proteins and phototransduction circuits, the combination of which require more than just a couple of mutations.

No 'slight twitch' - a concerted effort to move away. Detect sudden loss of light - move. It doesn't need to guarantee successful evasion of a predator; it only needs to offer a statistically greater chance of surviving long enough to reproduce, or longer to reproduce more to ensure that the gene producing that photosensitive spot would be preferentially retained.


You don't seem to understand that a rudimentary system would not produce that kind of response. The robust response which you envisage would only happen once further changes and improvements had been made.

The thing is, this is such basic stuff, and the eye... I mean, seriously? Why do Creationists invariably rattle on about the eye when it's been studied from the context of evolutionary biology for the better part of a century? Just how outdated you folks are!


Maybe because Darwin wrote the following:

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#78  Postby Wortfish » Apr 10, 2020 10:28 pm

theropod_V_2.0 wrote:http://www.rationalskepticism.org/earth-sciences/birds-are-theropod-dinosaurs-t25365.html

Read the thread linked above, which can be found in the “Earth Sciences” sub forum right here on RatSkep, about how we KNOW for a fact that modern birds are the direct descendants of maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs. There is enough hard evidence presented therein to shoot your stupid fucking assertion fest through the roof of the mouth with a hollow point .44 magnum. Of course, being the contrary for the sake of being contrary, you won’t bother. If on the off chance you do bother to look you will refuse to accept anything and everything therein, even though the empirical physical evidence is well in hand. You have absolutely nothing but an argument, and it is very poorly formed.

RS


Alan Feduccia would disagree with you: https://bio.unc.edu/files/2019/04/Journ ... -20141.pdf

Along with unique adaptations for an arboreal lifestyle, Scansoriopteryx fulfills predictions from the early twentieth century that the ancestors of birds did not evolve from dinosaurs, and instead were derived from earlier arboreal archosaurs which originated flight according to the traditional trees-down scenario


The idea that birds evolved from cursorial maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs is just too ridiculous to consider.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#79  Postby Wortfish » Apr 10, 2020 10:30 pm

laklak wrote:More nuanced? OK. Behe's trustworthiness lies somewhere between a three-card Monte dealer on the corner of Main and 3rd in Omaha and a Subic Bay one-legged hooker on a Friday night.


Explain why 50 years after Darwin published his famous work, the majority of scientists had rejected his claim about natural selection.
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Re: Coyne's review of Behe's new book on Darwinism

#80  Postby laklak » Apr 10, 2020 10:38 pm

You wouldn't understand. Go back to your coloring books.
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