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Author Topic:   J.C.Sanford: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 1 of 55 (393568)
04-05-2007 7:40 PM


No mystery, really. With the term "Entropy" in the title, you know how this one has to end. I just spent the last 2 days on this book.

Dr. Sanford was a professor for Cornell University. Ah why bother. Here's a bio link to wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_C._Sanford

Dr. Sanford, a former Darwinist, begins like a veteran: "Modern Darwinism is built on what I will be calling 'The Primary Axiom'. The Primary Axiom is that man is merely the product of random mutations plus natural selection." No quibbling about "change" here. He defines his target.

Some may contend that it has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution; in that case they won't shed any tears over this book. After defining his target, Sanford takes only a little time to deal it a death blow. But he's just getting warmed up. The fatal blows continue. Can't blame him.

And this book is so readable! Unable to fault the science, some critics put it down on this account. Don't you just love it! Sanford's experience as a teacher shows. He's able to communicate complicated scientific concepts using uncomplicated language (usually) and vivid, accurate analogies.

Here's an overly simplified analogy of my own, so as not to steal from the author. Evolution can't make much progress taking 50 steps backward for every step forward. That's something I've long believed, but I haven't proven it myself.

How convincing is this book? Here's a link I found to an evolutionist in crisis. Read carefully: He's forced to categorize ALL mutations as beneficial in order to save his faith! Then he criticizes Sanford for failing to "understand evolution".
http://thatsbs.blogspot.com/2006/12/genetic-entropy-first-impressions.html

And for the record, Sanford's models and math assume beneficial mutations. He's pretty consistent about giving his target the most generous estimates scientifically available.

I should give links to some other reviews, since I'm a rookie.

http://www.amazon.com/Genetic-Entropy-Mystery-Genome-Sanford/dp/customer-reviews/1599190028
http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/respected-cornell-geneticist-rejects-darwinism-in-his-recent-book/

Edited by CTD, : Deleted an OT remark which was intended as humour, but really was not funny.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 04-05-2007 7:49 PM CTD has responded
 Message 8 by Trae, posted 04-05-2007 11:48 PM CTD has responded
 Message 9 by Trae, posted 04-05-2007 11:52 PM CTD has not yet responded
 Message 10 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-06-2007 11:40 AM CTD has responded
 Message 12 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-06-2007 11:59 AM CTD has responded
 Message 20 by Chiroptera, posted 04-07-2007 2:43 PM CTD has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 55 (393572)
04-05-2007 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by CTD
04-05-2007 7:40 PM


Not to debate, but to clarify:
"Modern Darwinism is built on what I will be calling 'The Primary Axiom'. The Primary Axiom is that man is merely the product of random mutations plus natural selection." No quibbling about "change" here. He defines his target.

He seems a little anthropocentric. Does he dispute that just humans are the product of evolution, or that all organisms are?

It seems weird to set humans apart since we're so similar to other organisms. But if that's what he does, then it seems like he's predicated his entire book on a faulty understanding of evolution and biology.

Also - do you find it significant that, like everybody else, Dr. Sanford only rejected the copious evidence for evolution after his conversion to conservative, evangelical Christianity? It's curious that it never works the other way around - the evidence for creationism never seems to convince anybody who isn't already under a religious obligation to believe it.

And I wonder why there's no evidence of his "deteriorating genome" to be found in any peer-reviewed research.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 7:40 PM CTD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 9:19 PM crashfrog has responded

  
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 3 of 55 (393600)
04-05-2007 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by crashfrog
04-05-2007 7:49 PM


Re: Not to debate, but to clarify:
The book uses very up-to-date sources, as well as Dr. Sanford's own work. The Human Genome Project (or whatever they're calling it these days) has given us a large amount of information about human genetics. I assume it is disproportionate to the information about animals.

The book focuses primarily on humans, apparently for this reason. Later in the book animals are discussed as well.

I'm not aware of the chronology. I know there are already ad-hom responses that neglect to mention Dr. Sanford ever was anything other than a creationist.

The following links are doubly relevant. They may give insight into your last question, and it also explains why a few of Dr. Sanford's references in the book are from the 60's and 70's, yet they are the most up-to-date sources available on specific topics.

http://www1.minn.net/~science/a_tale_of_peer-review.htm
http://saintpaulscience.com/Haldane.htm

I'm still googling for responses to the actual science in the book, but I've had no success. I'm curious what talkdeceptions and the others will come up with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by crashfrog, posted 04-05-2007 7:49 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 04-05-2007 9:32 PM CTD has responded
 Message 11 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-06-2007 11:44 AM CTD has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 55 (393602)
04-05-2007 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by CTD
04-05-2007 9:19 PM


Re: Not to debate, but to clarify:
I really wouldn't consider ReMine a credible source on Haldane's Dilemma.

If that's all the book is - Haldane's old dilemma in new packaging - then it's really not worth taking a look at. Haldane's dilemma is no dilemma at all. It was based on assumptions that even Haldane eventually recognized were unjustified, and regardless of what ReMine will tell you, it hasn't presented a challenge to biology for several decades, now.

{Page's misuse of Haldane's Dilemma seems to be our resident "Haldane's Dilemma" topic. - Adminnemooseus adds by edit}

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : See above.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 9:19 PM CTD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 10:41 PM crashfrog has responded

  
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 5 of 55 (393607)
04-05-2007 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
04-05-2007 9:32 PM


Re: Not to debate, but to clarify:
No, that's hardly the case. Haldane's Dilemma is listed in Appendix 1, along with notes. But Haldane's deals primarily with "good" mutations, and the primary focus of this book is entropy. There's a later chapter (maybe two) which deal with the problems in selecting for "good" mutations, and Haldane's is explained there also.

I would be interested in how Haldane's is to be currently solved, since the number of "genetic units" is now known to be 3 million, much greater than Haldane or anyone else was aware of in those past decades.

Or should the observations of the Human Genome Project be discarded in cases like this?

Indeed, Sanford isn't the only one aware of the entropy issues. One of the main reasons they're reluctant to admit "junk DNA" might not be junk is because it gives them a statistical landfill for bad mutations. But the landfill isn't big enough, so it's a wasted effort.

But you don't need to read the book to find that out. Just watch 'em argue over every percentage point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by crashfrog, posted 04-05-2007 9:32 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by crashfrog, posted 04-05-2007 10:57 PM CTD has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 55 (393608)
04-05-2007 10:57 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by CTD
04-05-2007 10:41 PM


Re: Not to debate, but to clarify:
One of the main reasons they're reluctant to admit "junk DNA" might not be junk is because it gives them a statistical landfill for bad mutations.

Well, I know you're mistaken about this. I've worked in genetics fields now for several years, I'm close to a number of researchers working in genetics, and absolutely nobody I know calls it "junk DNA". That's a popular term used in the media but it's not a conception that's used in the field. It's certainly not some kind of conspiracy; every biology freshman learns that the majority of our genes are sequences that get spliced out of the mRNA product. "Introns", they're called.

Just watch 'em argue over every percentage point.

I guess I don't know what argument you're talking about.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 10:41 PM CTD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 11:17 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 7 of 55 (393611)
04-05-2007 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by crashfrog
04-05-2007 10:57 PM


Cool
Good to know. I have trouble keeping up-to-date. And to be fair, I've long suspected it was partly due to "We finish in triumph" vs. "We need an excuse for more funding" issues.

As you might expect, I consider junk DNA about as common as vestigial organs.

Edited by CTD, : Deleted remark which was not as humerous as I intended.


This message is a reply to:
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Trae
Member (Idle past 720 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 8 of 55 (393614)
04-05-2007 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by CTD
04-05-2007 7:40 PM


quote:
Here's an overly simplified analogy of my own, so as not to steal from the author. Evolution can't make much progress taking 50 steps backward for every step forward. That's something I've long believed, but I haven't proven it myself.

Well as you didn’t post his analogy let me comment on yours. How would I sound if I said science cannot really progress since the vast majority of humans fail to get advanced degrees or contribute to the advancement of science?

Let me ask you a question, if the author is putting forward the claim in a manner close to how you present it here, does the author explain why all life simply doesn’t end? Consider if the steps are as backwards as you seem to suggest then why don’t we simply mutate ourselves out of existence?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 7:40 PM CTD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by CTD, posted 04-07-2007 6:03 AM Trae has acknowledged this reply

  
Trae
Member (Idle past 720 days)
Posts: 442
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 06-18-2004


Message 9 of 55 (393615)
04-05-2007 11:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by CTD
04-05-2007 7:40 PM


Dup post

Edited by Trae, : Dup post


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 7:40 PM CTD has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12678
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 10 of 55 (393682)
04-06-2007 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by CTD
04-05-2007 7:40 PM


How convincing is this book? Here's a link I found to an evolutionist in crisis. Read carefully: He's forced to categorize ALL mutations as beneficial in order to save his faith!

I read carefully. He says no such thing, you made that up.

I notice that you haven't told us what Sanford's wonderful new idea actually is, preferring, for some reason, to spout falsehoods about his critics.

And this book is so readable! Unable to fault the science, some critics put it down on this account. Don't you just love it!

I'm not sure I'm going to take your word for this.

Here's an overly simplified analogy of my own, so as not to steal from the author. Evolution can't make much progress taking 50 steps backward for every step forward.

And evolution does not take 50 steps backward for every step forward except in the imaginary made-up world in your head.

This all you've got?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 7:40 PM CTD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by CTD, posted 04-07-2007 6:54 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12678
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 11 of 55 (393683)
04-06-2007 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by CTD
04-05-2007 9:19 PM


Re: Not to debate, but to clarify:
I'm still googling for responses to the actual science in the book, but I've had no success.

Possibly there is no actual science in the book?

If you think there is, you could post it here, and I'm sure you'll get a response.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 9:19 PM CTD has not yet responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 12678
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 12 of 55 (393686)
04-06-2007 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by CTD
04-05-2007 7:40 PM


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/respected-cornell-geneticist-rejects-darwinism-in-his-recent-book/

Interesting.

Here's what he has to say about the theory of evolution:

Constantly mouthed mantra ... “sacred cow” ... faith alone ... extremely vulnerable ... essentially indefensible ... bluster, smoke, and mirrors ... mystical faith, which the true-believers have in the omnipotence of natural selection ... deep-seated faith in natural selection was typically coupled with a degree of ideological commitment – which can only be described as religious ... religion ... most definitely wrong ... most sacred of cows ... catastrophic ... the Emperor has no clothes!

And here, in full, is what he has to say about why he thinks the theory of evolution is wrong:

...

---

I was most interested to see him say that in the theory of evolution, natural selection is supposed to be "omnipotent". His qualifications preclude the excuse of ignorance: he is lying or insane.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by CTD, posted 04-05-2007 7:40 PM CTD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by CTD, posted 04-07-2007 7:28 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 13 of 55 (393792)
04-07-2007 6:03 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Trae
04-05-2007 11:48 PM


Trae writes:
Let me ask you a question, if the author is putting forward the claim in a manner close to how you present it here, does the author explain why all life simply doesn’t end? Consider if the steps are as backwards as you seem to suggest then why don’t we simply mutate ourselves out of existence?

I don't dispute the observation that we have not mutated ourselves out of existence. Dr. Sanford does not dispute it either.

Due to copyrights & other issues, I'll not be publishing the book here. As I see it, Sanford is using accepted evolutionary formulae and models; and plugging in the numbers. Evolutionists have already obtained similar results. For example, he cites Dr. J.F. Crow 1997 {PNAS 94:8830-8386}. Crow maintained that harmful mutations are accumulating and fitness is declining. Sanford maintains that the selection model Crow applies to 'solve' the problem is "unrealistic".

I would tend to agree. If Crow's selection model (I haven't read it) is realistic, why isn't it solving the problem already?

The book does not rely on one single line of reasoning. It will not be easy to dismiss without throwing out the latest observations, and contemporary evolutionary models.

It has been maintained that anyone who scientifically overturns a predominant paradigm WILL receive a Nobel prize. Somebody better get busy, if that statement is to stand up to the evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Trae, posted 04-05-2007 11:48 PM Trae has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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 Message 26 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-07-2007 3:30 PM CTD has responded

    
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 14 of 55 (393794)
04-07-2007 6:54 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Dr Adequate
04-06-2007 11:40 AM


Dr Adequate writes:
I read carefully. He says no such thing, you made that up.

I notice that you haven't told us what Sanford's wonderful new idea actually is, preferring, for some reason, to spout falsehoods about his critics.

Ha! The link's there for all to see. The writer's meaning is clear: when mutations pile up, evolution advances. There's no race at all between constructive and destructive, and only a creationist would ever be so ignorant as to assert such a thing.

Under this reasoning, inbreeding's a shortcut to utopia!

And I wonder how surprised Muller, Kondrashov, Crow, Kimura, and the rest would be to find out that their studies are just misguided creationism!

Dr Adequate writes:
I'm not sure I'm going to take your word for this.

Oh yeah? Well I'm not going to take YOUR word that you aren't going to take my word, so there!

And evolution does not take 50 steps backward for every step forward except in the imaginary made-up world in your head.

This all you've got?

50 to 1 is not a realistic ratio, if that's what you mean. But I don't have reason to believe anyone can formulate an argument that would convince you, including the names listed above.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-06-2007 11:40 AM Dr Adequate has responded

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 Message 23 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-07-2007 3:07 PM CTD has not yet responded

    
CTD
Member (Idle past 2282 days)
Posts: 253
Joined: 03-11-2007


Message 15 of 55 (393795)
04-07-2007 7:28 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Dr Adequate
04-06-2007 11:59 AM


Dr Adequate writes:
I was most interested to see him say that in the theory of evolution, natural selection is supposed to be "omnipotent". His qualifications preclude the excuse of ignorance: he is lying or insane.

From the link:

"...A large part of what keeps the Axiom standing is an almost mystical faith, which the true-believers have in the omnipotence of natural selection. Furthermore, I began to see that this deep-seated faith in natural selection was typically coupled with a degree of ideological commitment – which can only be described as religious."

So you interpret "the theory of evolution" from his term "an almost mystical faith"?

I maintain that the closest term to "the theory of evolution" in his sentence is "the Axiom". He doesn't say "the Axiom" is a faith, but rather that it is upheld by faith instead of science.

Twist that, if you can.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-06-2007 11:59 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Brad McFall, posted 04-07-2007 7:44 AM CTD has responded
 Message 24 by Dr Adequate, posted 04-07-2007 3:12 PM CTD has not yet responded

    
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