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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 211 of 240 (232970)
08-13-2005 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by John Ponce
08-12-2005 11:42 PM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
Have you guys examined ALL the evidence with this comparison while considering there is no evidence today that random brain mutations are increasing human intelligence or brain size?

There's no selection pressure for larger brains (and considerable pressure in the developing world against), but there's considerable evidence of increasing IQ over time. It's a well-known neurological fact that the IQ of a population increases over time.

But, of course, IQ is not intelligence, but education. Since there's no way to measure innate mental intelligence, nor any consensus on what that would actually be, you've asked an impossible-to-answer question (presumably to set your argument behind a bulwark of invincible ignorance.)

There may, in fact, be no “transitional” animals between apes and humans.

Humans are apes. How could there be a transitional fossil between two things that are the same?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by John Ponce, posted 08-12-2005 11:42 PM John Ponce has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by John Ponce, posted 09-03-2005 1:49 AM crashfrog has responded
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 212 of 240 (232973)
08-13-2005 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by John Ponce
08-13-2005 1:14 AM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
Second, the evidence indicates there are practical limits within existing DNA codes.

To what evidence do you refer?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by John Ponce, posted 08-13-2005 1:14 AM John Ponce has not yet responded

  
Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 3811
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 213 of 240 (232980)
08-13-2005 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 203 by John Ponce
08-13-2005 1:24 AM


Re: Welcome & Thanks
John Poncde:
quote:
See msg 201. Could I interest you in a lottery ticket? They're cheap...

No thanks, John: I stopped buying snake oil a long time ago.

Your consistent use of fallacious argument, misdirection and rhetorical sleight of hand demonstrate that you are prepared to abuse reason.

RAZD is correct; there is no gallery. There is a forum community in which I participate as do many others. My appreciation of RAZD is directed at the hard and tedious work required to delineate your abuses of reason for the record; the abuses themselves are apparent.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20326
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 214 of 240 (232996)
08-13-2005 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by John Ponce
08-13-2005 1:14 AM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
My comments:

John Ponce, msg 201 writes:

RAZD claims that DNA code for thicker bird beaks, peppered moths, etc, are the result of “prior DNA mutations” but there is no direct evidence for that from a DNA perspective – only conjecture according to the Darwinian evolutionary paradigm.

Actually there are several studies that have shown this to be the case, and the peppered moths and Galapagos finches are but two of them. They are published, they are peer reviewed. Denial is not evidence to the contrary.

First, we do have human brains today that are roughly twice the size of other human brains – but no more intelligent. There are plenty of significant deviations from the mean.

Because selection was for intelligence, not size, especially as related to creativity.

Second, the evidence indicates there are practical limits within existing DNA codes. In other words, no matter how long we try to selectively breed intelligence into an ape, it will never approach the intelligence of a human.

Prove it. This is just another assertion, based on the argument from incredulity.

Personally I don't doubt that active selective breeding can increase intelligence, but as the experiment has not been done that is just assertion. However in order to say "never" you have to have proof.

RAZD admits this with his example that you cannot continually breed horses to run 10% faster. Then he seemingly contradicts himself by presenting the supposedly unlimited mechanism for change whereby each individual “evolves” from its parents. Under this second scenario, you could eventually breed a cheetah from horse genes.

ROFLOL. You really do not understand. There is unlimited possiblities of change, but the ones that you actually get are based on the mutations available. Each generation is limited in what you can get. You also neglect that all changes are trade-offs, that something is lost as well as gained because there is only so much available resources available for development. You reach the point with the available genes within the horse genome that adding leg length means reduced lungs or reduce muscles or reduced bone strength or some other trade off that negates the gain by length. Does this mean that horses cannot evolve to be faster? Nope. Just that we can't force which mutations occur. Neither can natural selection. Evolution is not directed.

"breed a cheetah from horse genes" typical creationist nonsense. We can (and have) breed horses to be markedly different from their ancestors (although dogs are a better example). Breeding a horse to replicate the running behavior of a cheetah would likely be possible, but breeding one to eat meat or to grow claws would mean waiting for a mutation that would be selected against by the existing population.

Again there is a major difference between selecting features based on natural variation within the species (hair length, speed, color) and selecting for a feature that does not exist within the population.

The only way new features occur is via mutation (with no guarantee of what the new feature is or what it can become) and on it's survival\sexual selection ability to persist within the population.

Third, leaps in intelligence require, as a minimum, a vast increase in structural complexity not size.

To begin with "leaps in intelligence" are not required for individuals in each generation to be more intelligent than their parents. Just an 0.1% increase/generation is still an increase. It just needs a mechanism to select for {creativity\intelligence} because there is sufficient natural variation to provide the base differences.

If a feature is pushed to the limits of its natural variation, then it is fairly obvious that selection has been operating on it. I also note that you have not (yet) gone to the sexual selection thread to discuss the aspects of run-away sexual selection.

The probability of random DNA translation errors producing - just one single mutation - that increased complexity and functionally of the supposed hominid brain is very nearly zero - no matter how much time is allowed.

Unsubstantiated assertion (repeated), based on invalid premise, the conclusion is invalid.

RAZD states in Msg 124 that the 8088 microprocessor was designed by a “random process”.

Not sure if that is what RAZD meant to say but it is absurd. The leap in intelligence from a critter to a human brain is analogous to an 8088 microprocessor morphing into a Pentium 4 processor via random error processes.

You are talking about an artifact made by a species, so it's existence is based on the existence of the species that makes it, as is it's "evolution" from 8088 to pentium. The random process is the one that led to the existence of the artifact making species and the information and ability of that species to try different solutions until one succeeds. The reason that it (and life, evolution) happens is because not only is there a random process but there is a selection process.

More and more evolutionists have come to understand the absurdity of millions of random complex beneficial mutations required by neo-Darwinism.

Two fallacies in one statement: the appeal to authority ("more and more") and the argument from incredulity ("millions of mutations").

The truth of the evidence does not depend on the number of creationists in the world. Or evolutionists. Or monkeys. It just depends on it happening. If it happens it is true. It happens.

You have been asked before to substantiate you claim of "millions of random complex beneficial mutations required" and you were also told that repeating this argument without substantiation is just demonstrating that you have no validation for this assertion, and that it is logically invalid to keep making it.

I again repeat: Prove that more than 200 are needed.

You must have some basis for making this claim that puts it in a league beyond a mere 200. Or it is just another groundless assertion made because it sounds pretty.

RAZD claims millions of mutations are not required for the human brain to evolve from a critter. Again, consider the amount of additional data in blueprints and code required to build a working Pentium 4 processor compared to an old 8088 processor – it is millions, if not trillions.

OOPS. There you go with the multiple repeats of logically challenged arguments again.

RAZD is correct in that I cannot prove these highly unlikely scenarios did not happen. Neither can he prove they did.

au contraire ... the evidence shows that evolution has occurred. In human heads and in life in general. Denial does not make evidence go away. Your inability to substantiate a single assertion is evidence that your position is logically invalid.

Of course trying to classify this as "highly unlikely scenarios" is just another logical fallacy ...

Suppose RAZD lived “across the sidewalk” from me and RAZD managed the state lottery.

To begin with it is "the other end of the sidewalk" and it is a reference to "Where the Sidewalk Ends" - Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein

and you win the lottery every year for those ten years. After some careful thought and analysis, I determine that the lottery outcomes are too incredible to believe that the process is random

But all of a sudden, all the neighbors armed with new knowledge, also suspect my analysis is correct and they also quit investing in RAZD’s lottery.

It took you ten years? More likely they decided that the process was not random based on the evidence in the second or third year. They then visited Javaman to see what his system was, and when he showed them how he selected the tickets they invested their money in his method.

Talk about a bogus analogy. As a point of interest I do not "invest" any money in lotteries.

Personal Incredulity is the same objection, right or wrong, that Einstein expressed for Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle – “God doesn’t shoot craps”.

If only RAZD was available, he could have admonished Einstein for his "willful ignorance".

And yet, strangely, Einstein's critique did not render the Uncertainty Principal suddenly {inactive\inoperable\invalid}. Strangely enough it is still around today, in spite of being attacked by both the argument from incredulity and the argument from authority.

I just love it when your incredulity validates my position.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by John Ponce, posted 08-13-2005 1:14 AM John Ponce has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 215 by jar, posted 08-13-2005 2:03 PM RAZD has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31764
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 215 of 240 (233000)
08-13-2005 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by RAZD
08-13-2005 1:51 PM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
John Ponce writes:

If only RAZD was available, he could have admonished Einstein for his "willful ignorance".

You weren't there but Bohr was and responded for you. LOL


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by RAZD, posted 08-13-2005 1:51 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20326
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 216 of 240 (233005)
08-13-2005 2:24 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by John Ponce
08-12-2005 11:42 PM


Andya?
John Ponce, msg 200 writes:

A pretty convincing refutation?
Which answer would you select based on all the evidence - including a lack of any larger mutated brains that are supposedly “more intelligent” today among seven billion people?

The argument that was convincingly refuted was the one by Gish that the Java skull was obviously apelike:

"Now we can see the skullcap is very apelike. Notice that it has no forehead, it's very flat, very typical of the ape. Notice the massive eyebrow ridges, very typical of the ape" ...

While the Turkana Boy Skull was obviously human:

"The size and shape of the braincase and a few other characteristics of the postcranial skeleton were the only exceptions when the skeleton of this young boy was compared to those for modern humans."

"...the features of the Nariokotome juvenile were remarkably human with few exceptions." (Gish 1995)

Do you disagree that the arguement of Gish is refuted by the obvious similarity of the Java skull to the Turkana skull as shown by the overlay picture?


(image originally from http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/java15000.html)

Now do that with your aborigine skull. I would be interested in the result. Your picture is at too much of a different angle to tell. We should also be dealing with an aborigine skull that predates european influence to ensure no genetic cross breeding eh?

Perhaps we can get Andya to help? (he posts here - see Andya's post record)
http://www.redrival.com/evolusi/humevol5.htm
I believe that aborigines are generally shorter in stature too, but that may be due to "island ecology" effect :D

btw -- nice chart on increased brain volume with evolution of new hominid species.

As a proportion of body size it also shows the relationship to energy consumption, as someone else mentioned as a criteria for increased development.

1) The Javaman and Homo Erectus skulls are very similar to modern human Aborigine skulls and, therefore, may be fully human.

The fact that all of these specimens are members of the family Homo means that they are all, by definition, "fully" human. Or do you mean something else by adding "fully" to human?

Enjoy.

{{edited to change picture source}}

This message has been edited by RAZD, 08*13*2005 02:50 PM


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by John Ponce, posted 08-12-2005 11:42 PM John Ponce has not yet responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20326
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 217 of 240 (233006)
08-13-2005 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by jar
08-13-2005 2:03 PM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
heh, I know. But let's not confuse John with facts eh? :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by jar, posted 08-13-2005 2:03 PM jar has not yet responded

  
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 657 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 218 of 240 (233159)
08-14-2005 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 201 by John Ponce
08-13-2005 1:14 AM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
You seem to agree that within a population (of finches, or butterflies, say) there exists some variation in genetic traits. You also seem to accept that natural or artificial selection can cause some traits to be preferentially expressed in such a way that the morphology of the organism can change. Where you seem to have difficulties with the theory of evolution is that:

1. You don't believe that the variations arise randomly, by mutation;

2. And you believe that there is a limit on the extent to which the morphology of organisms can change by the process of natural or artificial selection.

The second problem I'll leave to another day. For now I'd like to focus on the subject of variation.

Variation

To me the obvious question to ask when faced with this variation in genetic traits is, How did the variation arise?

Generally we find two types of answer to this question:

1. Variation is random and caused by mutation (Darwinian theory);

2. Variation is directed, either by being designed up-front by God or some super-intelligent alien (intelligent design theories), or resulting from changes in the behaviour of the organism (inheritance of acquired characteristics - Lamarckism).

So my second question would be, Do we have evidence for any of these processes causing variation in present day populations?

Random mutations
Well we certainly have evidence that random mutations occur. The following link is to a paper investigating the differences in spontaneous mutations between different strains of the Herpes virus:

Difference in Incidence of Spontaneous Mutations between Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2

Inheritance of acquired characteristics
No one has yet found evidence for the inheritance of acquired characteristics, despite a great deal of investigation, especially by Soviet scientists during the 1930s.

Lamarckism in the Soviet Union

Theories of intelligent design
Although we can't judge theories of intelligent design by the same criteria (because the theories generally claim that the variation was imposed in the past, so you wouldn't expect to see any changes in the current population), we can still make the following observations:

1. First of all, as we do observe change by random mutation in current populations, then it would seem that the total variation in a population must be due to the variation inherent in the original design plus any mutations that have occurred since that time;

2. Second, given observation #1 it must occur to any parsimonious scientist that the notion of an original design is a bit superfluous when the observed mechanism of random mutation could readily account for the development of variation from an unvaried initial state - there doesn't seem to be any need to posit an intermediate designed state;

3. Third, any directed mechanism for generating variation has a fundamental flaw - it must assume a particular future environment for the organism. When you see the word 'random' you probably understand something like 'accidental' or 'mindless'; when I see the word I understand 'unbiased by any assumptions about future conditions'. You see, it's the very randomness of the variation generation that provides organisms with the ability to adapt when circumstances change. The process is ongoing and random, so that at any point in its history the population has a large set of alternative traits that it can call on. If the process were directed by inheritance of acquired characteristics, small changes in environmental conditions would tend to push the whole population in a particular direction all at once. If the process were directed by intelligent design, then the initial variation would be limited by the designers' assumptions about future environmental conditions. Only an omnipotent God could design in all the variation required - but if you appeal to an omnipotent God, you're not doing science any more, you're doing religion.

This message has been edited by JavaMan, 08-14-2005 12:34 PM

This message has been edited by JavaMan, 08-14-2005 12:37 PM


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 224 by John Ponce, posted 09-03-2005 2:40 AM JavaMan has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20326
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 219 of 240 (233171)
08-14-2005 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by JavaMan
08-14-2005 12:33 PM


Mechanisms for Variations
congrats, in only 14 posts no less.

http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=23&t=30&m=10#10


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand

RebelAAmerican.Zen[Deist
{{{Buddha walks off laughing with joy}}}


This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by JavaMan, posted 08-14-2005 12:33 PM JavaMan has responded

Replies to this message:
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JavaMan
Member (Idle past 657 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 220 of 240 (233454)
08-15-2005 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 219 by RAZD
08-14-2005 2:32 PM


Re: Mechanisms for Variations
Thanks.

By the way, I liked your snowballing macaque in the intelligent design thread. That made my day.


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible

This message is a reply to:
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John Ponce
Inactive Member


Message 221 of 240 (240173)
09-03-2005 1:49 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by crashfrog
08-13-2005 12:02 PM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
Hi Crashfrog.

Crashfrog writes:

There's no selection pressure for larger brains (and considerable pressure in the developing world against)...

If that is true, then neo-Darwinism would not have produced larger brains in humans from critters - correct?

Crashfrog writes:

Humans are apes. How could there be a transitional fossil between two things that are the same?

I initially jumped into this forum illustrating what I felt to be absurdity.

I don't know anyone who goes to the city zoo to look for a wife. Do you? Assuming one could somehow develop a certain level of intimacy with an ape, I doubt the conversation would be too stimulating...!
:)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by crashfrog, posted 08-13-2005 12:02 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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Ben!
Member (Idle past 1960 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 222 of 240 (240176)
09-03-2005 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 211 by crashfrog
08-13-2005 12:02 PM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
Hey Crash,

Didn't see this post until now. I have some questions because.. I'm interested in this stuff, but I haven't come across literature stating what you're stating. I'm asking for sources for the purpose of expanding my own knowledge on the subject:

There's no selection pressure for larger brains (and considerable pressure in the developing world against)

I can imagine why this may be so... but I've never read / heard an argument for it. Can you elaborate a bit, and point to a source?

It's a well-known neurological fact that the IQ of a population increases over time.

The wording sounds strange to me... as far as I know, IQ is not descriptive at the level of neurology, but rather psychology. Anyway, I also had no idea that IQ is known to increase over time. Can you point me to a source for that as well?

Thanks Crash.

Ben


I don't want a large Farva, I want a goddamn liter-a-cola.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5587
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 223 of 240 (240177)
09-03-2005 2:12 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by Ben!
09-03-2005 2:04 AM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
Farva writes:

Anyway, I also had no idea that IQ is known to increase over time. Can you point me to a source for that as well?


Google for "Flynn effect".

This message is a reply to:
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John Ponce
Inactive Member


Message 224 of 240 (240180)
09-03-2005 2:40 AM
Reply to: Message 218 by JavaMan
08-14-2005 12:33 PM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
JavaMan, thanks for your response. What did you think of the striking similarities between the JavaMan skullcap and modern human (fully intelligent) Aborigine skull's low forehead and skullcap in message 200?
RAZD seemed to be overwhelmed by the different angle of the picture and would not comment.
Do you consider it a possibility that the JavaMan skullcap may represent an individual who is essentially no different than modern humans with respect to intelligence or DNA?
Or do you consider the JavaMan skullcap to be irrefutable evidence that apes slowly mutated into humans via random mutations?

JavaMan writes:

1. You don't believe that the variations arise randomly, by mutation;
2. And you believe that there is a limit on the extent to which the morphology of organisms can change by the process of natural or artificial selection.

You left out an important word from my previous posts. My view correctly stated:

1. There is no evidence that "beneficial" mutations arise randomly.
The particular focus in this discussion is how random errors in DNA code (combined with natural selection) could possibly produce a human brain from a critter brain (analogous to random processes producing the design for a Pentium 4 microprocessor from a much simpler 8088 microprocessor).

2. The evidence indicates there is a limit on the extent to which the morphology of organisms can change by the process of natural or artificial selection.
Any animal breeder will verify the limits they encounter among dogs, horses, tropical fish, etc. - without exception - when selecting certain traits. Breeders will also attest from experiential evidence that the further we select a given trait, the more propensity we have for developing related problems - and reduced viability - in the selected population. An example would be hip problems for Golden Retrievers.

There are many examples of practical limits to genetic variation: chickens, dairy cattle, etc.

Southern Asssociation of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors writes:

Genetic progress in production has been strong and sustained for many years, but undesirable correlated responses continue to occur in fertility, health, and fitness traits.
http://www.lgu.umd.edu/lgu_v2/homepages/home.cfm?trackID=2354


The negative impact of genetic trait selection limits can sometimes be mitigated with best practices, but the limits are real and cannot be ignored.

Here are some interesting comparisons:
Maned Wolf Skull:

English Bulldog Skull:

Wouldn't Neo-Darwinist theorists have a heyday digging up these bones in the future? They might say the English Bulldog had "mutated" a specialized lower jaw, a higher forehead, and a larger brain to use the jaw in clever new ways...
Note that these dogs are the result of selecting pre-existing genetic traits - there is no evidence of mutations. RAZD protests that these variations were actually the result of "pre-existing mutations" but he neglects to offer any evidence. Genetically - the dogs are still the same old canine species just like Caucasians and Aborigines (and likely Java Man) with different shaped foreheads and skull caps are the same old Homo Sapiens.

JavaMan writes:

Variation
To me the obvious question to ask when faced with this variation in genetic traits is, How did the variation arise?
Generally we find two types of answer to this question:
1. Variation is random and caused by mutation (Darwinian theory);
2. Variation is directed, either by being designed up-front by God or some super-intelligent alien (intelligent design theories), or resulting from changes in the behaviour of the organism (inheritance of acquired characteristics - Lamarckism).
So my second question would be, Do we have evidence for any of these processes causing variation in present day populations?

No evidence of beneficial mutations among humans or other high level organisms that I am aware of. Are you aware of any real evidence - not just conjecture? If so, please share it.

JavaMan writes:

Well we certainly have evidence that random mutations occur. The following link is to a paper investigating the differences in spontaneous mutations between different strains of the Herpes virus:
Difference in Incidence of Spontaneous Mutations between Herpes Simplex Virus Types 1 and 2
Inheritance of acquired characteristics.

Viruses are unable to replicate without a host cell and are typically not even considered living organisms (reference: Dictionary.com). They are essentially complex molecules, and as such, cannot logically support the proposed Neo-Darwinist mechanism for an allegedly beneficial mutation (adding functionality) of replicating DNA within a cell.

JavaMan writes:

No one has yet found evidence for the inheritance of acquired characteristics, despite a great deal of investigation, especially by Soviet scientists during the 1930s.

Lamarkism is a classic example of misguided ideology presented as science - by the Soviets. The Communist government funded much research in Lamarkism even after it was an evidently failed mechanism for evolution. Those Soviet scientists who objected were merely dismissed from their positions or jailed. Was the communist motivation strictly for scientific knowledge? Perhaps they were convinced the Lamarckism dogma was true. We know they felt Lamarckism could be used to promote the supposed strength of the Communist political and philosophical dogma. You may have noted that long after Lamarckism was scientifically invalidated - it was still taught as a valid evolutionary mechanism to Russian school children in the name of "Science".

The giraffe's long neck was a favored example of Lamarckism. Concerning neo-Darwinism, how many beneficial mutations do you suppose it took for the giraffe to develop the structure for its long neck? Do you believe those mutations occurred simultaneously to other supposed mutations for a cardiovascular system complete with blood flow restrictions to prevent too much or too little blood flow to the brain? One without the other would likely be deadly.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence (fossil or otherwise) that neo-Darwinism produced the giraffe's long neck any more than Lamarkism.

JavaMan writes:

Theories of intelligent design
Although we can't judge theories of intelligent design by the same criteria (because the theories generally claim that the variation was imposed in the past, so you wouldn't expect to see any changes in the current population), we can still make the following observations:

I disagree here JavaMan. We can judge all theories of the origin of man equally - based on evidence and analysis. All theories of human origin are equally beyond the reach of the scientific method because we cannot repeat the process. We see no beneficial mutations among humans today. There have been countless (millions?) attempts to use radiation and chemicals to accelerate mutations with multi-celled organisms and create beneficial mutations such as with the fruit fly. The results reveal zero beneficial mutations. All mutational experiments and medical evidence produce one of three results: No immediately apparent affect, degradation in viability, or death.

Now some may disagree and claim that a moldy slime of some sort adapts to its environment but there is no evidence this is a result of "beneficial mutations". Even if it were, that is a far stretch from a long series of supposed critter brain mutations vastly increasing the complexity and functionality for a human brain.

JavaMan writes:

1. First of all, as we do observe change by random mutation in current populations, then it would seem that the total variation in a population must be due to the variation inherent in the original design plus any mutations that have occurred since that time;

Yes. The problem for Darwinian evolution, in my opinion, is random mutations are not a workable mechanism to account for the complexity of the human brain.

JavaMan writes:

2. Second, given observation #1 it must occur to any parsimonious scientist that the notion of an original design is a bit superfluous when the observed mechanism of random mutation could readily account for the development of variation from an unvaried initial state - there doesn't seem to be any need to posit a designed state;

How parsimonious is the notion that random events (mutations) could add functionality (vastly increased brain capacity)? I am asking you to give an example of it among any higher order organisms today (not inanimate complex molecules).
Go into your PC operating system code and start randomly changing ones to zeros and zeros to ones to see how long before your PC crashes (dies). The answer - quickly. Added functionality in your PC operating system typically requires a minimum of thousands to millions of bits of directed code. If every person on earth were randomly changing bits on a PC operating system, there is no parsimonious hope that anyone would ever add functionally before their PC system crashes. Thus, as I see it, there is a necessity to posit a designed state.

Here is another mental exercise. This type of exercise may not be a perfect analogy but it illustrates the problems with Darwinian evolution. Remember, nobody can "prove" anything using science concerning origins. I and many analysts would conclude this type of exercise is useful in determining the viability of a given event over time. This can be used to evaluate proposed mechanisms concerning theories of origin.

The San Francisco Chronicle writes:


Researchers can also compare the code to sequences from different individuals to find slightly misspelled genes associated with disease -- discoveries that could lead to better treatments. Each gene is made up of thousands of chemical compounds called nucleotide bases represented by the letters A, T, C and G. In the ladder-like structure of DNA, matched pairs of the bases form the rungs linking two long backbone strands of DNA.
Reference: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/04/15/MN277794.DTL


So complex brain DNA designs can be represented by a system of "spelling of sorts".

Now - Let's suppose that a beneficial brain mutation in a critter could be modeled using random "spelling" processes and mathematical probabilities.

Let's take a seemingly "small" mutation that could be approximated by randomly spelling "BENEFICIAL MUTATIION" in eight bit ASCII coded text. Although we have no evidence of beneficial mutations occurring today, let's assume that enough random binary events to correctly spell "BENIFICIAL MUTATION" represented "random DNA transfer errors" sufficient to increase critter brain functionality and be promoted by natural selection. All other combinations (misspelling "BENEFICIAL MUTATIONS") are either seemingly neutral, detrimental, or deadly (as in loss of functionality or brain cancer).
Let's generate the required random ASCII text bits once every minute (every minute of the year) until we get the "beneficial mutation" equal to the correct spelling. This gives us 1,440 randomly mutated individuals every day.
Some evolutionists may argue more than one "beneficial" random error sequence. However, the "one beneficial sequence" seems reasonable because there is no evidence of "any" beneficial brain mutations today.

Okay, start randomly generating sets of binary code once per minute (Coin flips would do with heads equal to one and tails equal to zero)...
How many years would statistically be required to produce this random "beneficial mutation" represented by just spelling it correctly?

The answer for this single - seemingly simple - randomly correct spelling, minute by minute, is roughly once every 42 Trillion, Trillion, Trillion years.
This is on the order of 9,200 Trillion, Trillion times the age of the Earth (assuming the Earth is actually 4.6 billion years old).

My friend RAZD likes to call this type of analysis "snake oil" but I suspect even he would not buy a lottery ticket with these odds.

Someone may protest that random mutations do not have to meet this standard of probability in order to increase the complexity of a critter brain. In fact, that is the only reasonable option if you understand the math and remain faithful to the Darwinian dogma.
But this is literally "brain surgery" - not tinker toys. If the code were a few simple blocks, we would have broken it long ago.

NosyNed may respond that I am ignorant of the theory and this "in no way" represents neo-Darwinism as he did before - but he will likely neglect to point out specific inconsistencies.

RAZD may propose that first you only have to partially spell the words and then gradually build on each correct letter. Something like "Nah, it's easy: first spell "Ben", then spell "if" then spell "icial" etc.
But the evidence indicates that partial or incomplete code crashes the system - just like with your PC. The only evidence we have is obvious errors in DNA code (incorrect or incomplete spelling) result in seemingly neutral or undesirable outcomes (crashes) - Nothing beneficial for natural selection to favor.

Remember that a random redesign of a critter brain would most likely require considerably more information content and meet a much higher hurdle that this simple one of spelling the words.

Now consider that many similar recurring random mutation events would be required to design a human brain from a critter brain (ignoring all the other physical attribute mutations that would require a DNA critter to become a DNA human).

There is a reason why beneficial brain mutations are not observed today. Designing any functionality with high degrees of complexity requires directed events. The above hopeless exercise would be analogous to just filling in the title block of the blueprint - the actual blueprint detailed design changes are reasonably orders of magnitude more difficult.

As before, I expect my friend RAZD will proudly proclaim he has "invalidated" this analysis as a "logical fallacy". Meanwhile, he cannot offer "proof" of the Darwinian evolutionary paradigm - and fewer neighbors are buying his "Mega Mutation" lottery tickets.

JavaMan writes:

3. Third, any directed mechanism for generating variation has a fundamental flaw - it must assume a particular future environment for the organism. When you see the word 'random' you probably understand something like 'accidental' or 'mindless'; when I see the word I understand 'unbiased by any assumptions about future conditions'. You see, it's the very randomness of the variation generation that provides organisms with the ability to adapt when circumstances change.

Javaman, do you find it difficult to explain the "Reverse Cone of Diversity" as Gould called it? Many more types of organisms lived in the past than are living today. The evidence indicates that Earth was populated relatively quickly (Cambrian Explosion) with much more diversity than we see today. If ongoing mutations were actually increasing diverse designs and the "ability to adapt when circumstances change", would you not expect a "Forward Cone of Diversity" with respect to time? A parsimomious conclusion based on the evidence would be that random mutations are "reducing population adaptability and viability" of all species - rather than enhancing them.

JavaMan writes:

Point #3 continued: The process is ongoing and random, so that at any point in its history the population has a large set of alternative traits that it can call on.

Again, the evidence indicates that at any point in history since the "Cambrian explosion", the population of Earth (diversity of all organisms) has a "smaller" set of alternative traits that it can call on. Thus so many extinct species through time - and we see no evidence of existing species developing new organs or functionality today.

JavaMan writes:

Point #3 continued: If the process were directed by inheritance of acquired characteristics, small changes in environmental conditions would tend to push the whole population in a particular direction all at once.

Yes, that's the evidence we see. Both environmental and cultural factors may cause the variation of diverse populations and selection of pre-existing genetic traits among humans with different geographic lineages.

JavaMan writes:

Point #3 continued: If the process were directed by intelligent design, then the initial variation would be limited by the designers' assumptions about future environmental conditions. Only an omnipotent God could design in all the variation required - but if you appeal to an omnipotent God, you're not doing science any more, you're doing religion.

Let's see if we can agree on a definition for "science".

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=science writes:


Science:
a) The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
b) Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
c) Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.

Knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena

We do not see critters mutating into humans over the course of recorded history so it is not a "natural phenomenon" for us to examine today. RAZD would likely disagree, arguing that each individual human "evolves" from its parents but there is no evidence of "beneficial" mutations among humans today - only cancer or some other degradation of functionality. Therefore, the scientific method cannot be applied to theories of human origins since the event(s) are not available or repeatable for testing. Thus, we are left with definitions (a) and (c) above.
Do you find this reasonable so far JavaMan?

Let's suppose an Aborigine from an isolated jungle tribe found a Pentium 4 microprocessor on a beach of Australia. Our intelligent Aborigine investigator would likely consider the dark rectangular "rock" with patterned metallic protrusions an odd peculiarity - an "unnatural phenomenon" - not the result of random ocean wave action.

Using your definition of scientific investigation in point #3, our Aborigine investigator would only be permitted to conclude the unnatural object was the result of naturalistic random events. Examining the outside shell of the "small dark rock", he would likely reject your restriction of science to "only naturalistic causes". He would intelligently attribute the origin of the unusual relic to a designer - a "Man in the Gap" explanation.

So our investigator, having no clue of the complexity within the Pentium 4 chip, might assume the peculiar object was fashioned by a native with an artistic flair for honing a decorative piece of adornment. Only much later he learns of the incredible complexity and code (analogous to DNA) designed into the "small dark rock" by literally thousands of scientists and engineers. He also learns that these designers who were not "Omnipotent" or "Omniscient" planned for a wide operating temperature range, voltage supply range, etc, to function and survive in changing environments.

Would you call our Aborigine friend's detailed investigation and recognition of unnatural complexity in the Pentium 4 an exercise in "science"? Or is it "religion"?

As defined in Dictionary.com, it is precisely - the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena - science.
Do you agree Javaman?

Also, please correct me if I'm wrong, but since neo-Darwinism requires a seemingly dogmatic rule that there can be no intelligence in the universe capable of understanding and designing DNA - would you say the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program is probably nothing more than a religious exercise?

Quoting RAZD in Msg 22 of the thread Is there any indication of increased intelligence over time within the Human species? in the Human Origins forum:

RAZD writes:

Any way that succeeds is not wrong. Any way that leads to new solutions is helpful.

This is why I am a former evolutionist. JavaMan, you have thoughtful posts here and I welcome your analysis.

* Edited punctuation.

This message has been edited by John Ponce, 09-05-2005 03:13 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by JavaMan, posted 08-14-2005 12:33 PM JavaMan has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 225 by MarkAustin, posted 09-09-2005 9:17 AM John Ponce has responded
 Message 232 by JavaMan, posted 09-13-2005 8:40 AM John Ponce has not yet responded

  
MarkAustin
Member (Idle past 2153 days)
Posts: 122
From: London., UK
Joined: 05-23-2003


Message 225 of 240 (241739)
09-09-2005 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 224 by John Ponce
09-03-2005 2:40 AM


Re: More invalid conclusions & unsubstantiated assertions in place of any real argume
John Ponce

You said

quote:
JavaMan, thanks for your response. What did you think of the striking similarities between the JavaMan skullcap and modern human (fully intelligent) Aborigine skull's low forehead and skullcap in message 200?
RAZD seemed to be overwhelmed by the different angle of the picture and would not comment.
Do you consider it a possibility that the JavaMan skullcap may represent an individual who is essentially no different than modern humans with respect to intelligence or DNA?
Or do you consider the JavaMan skullcap to be irrefutable evidence that apes slowly mutated into humans via random mutations?

I can't see the aboriginal skull picture - has it been moved or deleted? Could you repost?

However, it has been criticised as being taken from a different angle to the others.

See the skull comparison here. Are you really saying that the erectus skull - flattened on the top, low brows, prominent eye ridges - is the same as the human skull configuration - high rounded top, high brow, eye ridges absent? Also note that while prominent creationists are adamant that some are true human and some ape, they are unable to agree which, thus demonstrating the transitional nature of the fossils.

On relative skull sizez, erectus ranges from c900cc to c1200cc, the top end overlaps (just) the sapiens range, but since erectus evolved into sapiens and the largest brained erectus are the latest, this is exactly what would be expected.

Finally, on brain size let's have one more go at explaining the variance of sizes:

There is no correlation within a species between brain size and intelligence (ignoring obvious conditions such as microcephelism).

However, if you compare average brain sizes between species there is a rough but good correlation between the brain:body mass ratio and intelligence. This correlation improves if brain complexity is considered.

In the fossil records of the hominids, there is a clear progression to larger brain sizes. From this we can conclude an increase in intelligence. More controversially, there appears to be a big cultural shift coinciding with the emergence of sapiens, which has lead some to the conclusion that there was a change in brain organisation at that time leading to an increase in intelligence without an increase in brain size. But, since this sort of thing does not fossilise, it will remain a conjecture.

The main defining charactaristics of the hominids is obligate bipedalism and a large brain/body mas ratio; and this has been a result (note not a cause) of hominid evolution.

Further, it seems that, with sapiens, brain (and hence head) size has reached a maximum: indeed it has declined a bit since Cro Magnon man (although this may be a sampling artifact). This is due to the increased head size causing problems with birth. Although a number of other evolutionary features in women have mitigated this in part it would appear that brain evolution has reached a zero or balance point.


For Whigs admit no force but argument.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by John Ponce, posted 09-03-2005 2:40 AM John Ponce has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 226 by Ben!, posted 09-09-2005 4:50 PM MarkAustin has not yet responded
 Message 227 by John Ponce, posted 09-11-2005 2:33 AM MarkAustin has not yet responded

  
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