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Author Topic:   why creation "science" isn't science
Cobra_snake
Inactive Member


Message 304 of 365 (4166)
02-11-2002 9:18 PM


"1. Mutations should almost always cause a bad effect. I guess the first thing to do would be to ask to what extent, or at what scale, mutations have effects which can be unambiguously classified as either beneficial, deleterious, or neutral. IMO, The answer would depend on the particular phenomenon you’re trying to explain. As I pointed out above, the most parsimonious explanation for the different adaptations of hares is that some combination of “beneficial” traits –based on lagomorph change over time – allowed each of the distinct species to adapt to their environment. Obviously, these traits would be “beneficial” in the organism’s current context."

Well, a different mutation can be of different use depending on an environment. But (unless you can show me wrong) most mutations either have no real affect or they are deleterious. Even if you grant neutral mutations as evolutionary progress, the large majority of mutations still do not work towards any evolution.

"The deleterious mutation/crash effect would be especially evident in spatially isolated populations such as islands. It turns out that the exact opposite occurs: in geographically isolated ecosystems (such as islands), and dependent on the carrying capacity of the particular area, a net increase in species diversity is observed."

Well, it seems to me that this would be expected. In smaller populations, it would be easier for a change in allelic frequency to occur, and it also increases the chances that any rare beneficial mutations would be passed on. However, neither change in allelic frequency nor beneficial mutations are evidence against Creation.

"2. Mutations should rarely or never increase the amount of information. I have already noted my problem with the concept of “information” when discussing biological systems in my previous post. “Information” is a weak and misleading analogy for genetics. The assumption – taken only at face value – would also presuppose that there is no possibility of increasing the amount of genetic material in an organism. Given the experimental evidence available (some of which I noted previously) showing how new biological pathways can develop, even this assumption falls flat."

This is a part of the debate that has interested me. Go to http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp for more information on the theory. Recently, a few mutations have been shown to me which may indeed increase information. But there are still problems, even if some information can increase. Let's say you start of with 1000 units of information. Let's say mistakes keep occuring to these units over a long period of time.

1000 + 0 + 0 + 1 - 1 -1 + 0 - 1 - 1 + 0 + 0 + 0 - 1 = 996

So, even if every now and then a mutation increased information, it would not make a significant difference when flooded by the mutations losing information and the mutations which do nothing to the information. And beyond that is the difficulty of evolving irreducibly complex structures.

"3. Speciation should occur as a product of the great variability programmed into living things, combined with mutations. In the first place, this assumption would seem to directly contradict your assumption one. The consequences of assumption one – that there will be a net decrease in diversity – indicates there should be less variation observable in nature via subtraction of species which have gone extinct. Another implication is that, given similar environmental conditions, the same “type” of organism will be found where ever these environmental conditions apply (within the limitations imposed by the “programmed variability”, whatever that is, within species). Again, this is not what is observed. Similar niches are filled with (often radically) different organisms. Australia lacks placental wolves or big cats, for ex, but it did have marsupial equivalents. A woodpecker finch is practical only in the absence of woodpeckers - thus there is a Galápagos woodpecker finch, Cactospiza pallidus. The pattern is always by area, not by environment type."

I can see why you would think this violates assumption one. I believe I was not clear on my point. Here is what I really mean:

The overall diversity of species INCREASES over time.
The overall diversity of the new species is less than that of the first species.

For example: Let's say Darwin's finch traveled to the Galapagos. The first two finches had enormous variability programmed into the way their beaks may be. After droughts and environmental conditions or whatnot, certain forms of these beaks begin to become advantageous. Natural Selection picks them over time. Now we have 13 different species with different beaks. But, two Finches with beak A cannot mate and produce babies with beak B. Similarly, beak B finches cannot produce beak A offspring. Therefore, the variety of the species of finch has increased, yet the variability within each species of finch has decreased.

As with species fitting their niches, this is partly due to the great variability in kinds. However, I believe that species can fit into a large number of niches. I'm sure there are potential niches that are not realized all over the earth.

"4. All living things should be fully formed from the start. (i.e. no reptiles with "half-wings" or "half-feathers.") On the face of it, this is a true statement. No organism ever made a living as a transitional form. There are actually two difficulties with this assumption, however. In the first place, there is an implicit assumption of linearity or “purpose” in nature that is not borne out by observation. Living organisms are observed to be, in general, sufficiently functional in their current environment to reproduce their species."

Well the problem is, if there are no half-features, then why would you expect complex things to evolve? For example, feathers are different in numerous ways to scales. There had to be some point in the history of life in which these scales turned into feathers. It seems to me that this process would take many mutations to lead up to a final product.

Another problem with Evolutionist arguments is they point out the most simple form of some structure (like feathers) and make it seem as though evolving the new structure would be no problem. What they don't tell you is that these "primitive" structures are actually fantastically complex. Let's look at your examples:

"All of these organisms have various types of membranes – some more or less effective – to enable them to glide greater or longer distances. Here are “transitional” forms between terrestrial/arboreal and flight. In addition, several species of fish seem to be transitional between fish and amphibian (ex, lungfish and mud skippers) with various adaptations to – at least temporarily – breath air rather than relying solely on gills [there are also several species of goby which I have personally witnessed having the ability to jump out of their intertidal zone pool and survive on land for up to ten minutes by gulping air.]"

The problem with the gliding example is that the mechanism is almost surely already fantastically complex. Also, I don't see how one could use gliding frogs as an example of a transitional form, because not too many people think that birds evolved from frogs. The example with the lungs seems to point towards Creation to me. Something that amazing seems unfathomable if it were to exist by purely natural causes. Again, the problem is that you assume evolving air breathing lungs is no problem, whereas in reality it would involve a large amount of beneficial mutations, and all of these mutations would have to be slowly selected by natural selection. A fish with gills and lungs does not show how either gills OR lungs could evolve, it only shows a fantastically complex creature.

"5. Due to the typically negative effect of mutations, speciations should arise primarily as a result of LOSS or CORRUPTION of information, which makes the species less varied. Although primarily a restatement of assumption one, this assumption more explicitly states that no “improvement” can occur (as such, directly contradicting assumption two, three and four.) The assumption seems to imply that if species change over time, such change would make them less fit for their environment. In addition, this assumption explicitly states that daughter species, if they arose, would have net negative fitness correlation as compared to the parent species."

Actually, I do believe "improvement" can occur, and I am sorry if I did not give you that impression. But improvement can occur by loss of information, as shown many times in nature. The assumption is not meant to imply that species become less fit for their environment, as natural selection would tend to stop that from occuring. However, the new species may be less adapt to environments as a whole. Going back to the finch example: If you were to place a population of finches into a radically different environment, which ones do you think would be more likely to survive in the long run? The original finch with all 13 possible beaks programmed into its genetic code, or one of the more specialized finches that cannot hope for new beaks to appear in its offspring" Obviously, the type of finch with the most programmed variety would be most likely to survive different situations.

"1. Fully formed creatures in the fossil record (no "half-features") True as stated. There can be no such thing as “half features”, for the simple reason that half features would not allow survival. However, the fossil record is replete with forms – obviously related by morphology – which are different in the aggregate, but share numerous traits in common (such as dentition, number and arrangement of phalanges, etc). In addition, the fossil record shows that there is a distinct stratigraphy associated with these fossils: i.e., fossil type A found in a lower (and hence geologically “older”) strata with “primitive” features or traits distinctive of one particular taxonomic order, followed in successively younger strata by fossil type B of obviously related organisms which shares traits with A but which also has traits related to a different taxonomic order. Finally, “pure” forms of this new order (fossil C) are found which share traits with B but not with A, again in younger geologic strata. Now obviously, there may not be a direct linear relationship between A, B, and C. However, it is possible to estimate degrees of relatedeness fairly accurately based on morphological similarity. It may not always be possible to distinguish a direct ancestor, principally because of the vagaries of fossilization, and the disturbance/destruction of fossils over time – in general, a brother or sister of the “missing link” is close enough. The prediction is proven false by the available evidence."

I will admit, the geological column has been my largest headache of all involving my thought on this debate. I want to do more research involving this particular area. I've already mentioned the difficulty of evolving "dumbed-down" versions of traits, so I will see how you respond to that. As for the geological column, it could be that you are seeing what you want to see. For example: the trilobite is thought to have an extremely complex eye, much more efficient than our own. This would be one case in which a "dumbed-down" version of something appeared after a complex one. I would like to get into this area of research a bit more.

"2. An increased genetic burden over time as a result of the negative effect of mutations. This prediction is probably true in the absence of beneficial mutations or natural selection. If this prediction were true in nature, there should be a net decrease in overall population fitness of any given population of organisms over time. If this was the case, the survival of a given population over more than a few generations is questionable, and relates strictly to the rate that major deleterious mutations occur. Even with the action of natural selection (in the sense that it can select against negative mutations), the best that a population can hope for is a very tenuous equilibrium – that would be completely upset if the environment changed. Again, the evidence we would see would include rapid population crashes, and given the interrelatedness of populations within a given ecosystem, continuous (rather than episodic) mass extinctions. This is not the pattern we observe."

Well, I have stated earlier in this post that beneficial mutations are the exception and not the rule. And yes, natural selection does indeed slow down the process of genetic burden. But negative mutations are generally recessive traits, and therefore are not as likely to kill or hurt a species. the problem with this is that if you start off with one recessive gene, you can eventually end up with great-grandchildren that actually have the defect, even though the person that started never had it.

(Here, D stands for dominant gene and r stands for recessive gene)

Dr---DD
'
--------
' ' '
Dr DD Dr
'
------------
' ' ' '
DD DD DD Dr------Dr
'
----------
' ' ' '
DD Dr Dr rr

It doesn't take too long for the reccesive gene to become active, but it is still rare. When the rare rr occurs, natural selection should weed it out, but the problem of the reccessive gene still continues to affect a member of the family every now and then.

The species can still be well fit (due to change in allelic frequency), but the species will have an increased genetic burden.

I hope you find my model at least somewhat scientific,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was certainly a valiant attempt.
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
although I have a feeling not too many people will.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Probably not.

I would like to thank you for continuing this discussion with me. It seems other evolutionists are still claiming nobody has ever made a model, even though they didn't spend much time evaluating my model. If they think my model is unscientific, then they should say so and provide a substantive response. However, it is unfair that they continue to claim nobody has ever made a method, without giving any consideration to my attempt.

I am sorry it took me so long to give you this response, but I have been trying to keep up on the other topics, and my time on a computer is limited. I hope you find this response at least worthy of further argument.

Until later.


Replies to this message:
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gene90
Member (Idle past 2374 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 305 of 365 (4167)
02-11-2002 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 304 by Cobra_snake
02-11-2002 9:18 PM


[QUOTE][b]
So, even if every now and then a mutation increased information, it would not make a significant difference when flooded by the mutations losing information and the mutations which do nothing to the information. [/QUOTE]

[/b]

This is where natural selection comes in. Neutral mutations can fester in a population until they become beneficial or negative. Negative mutations act against the survival and reproduction of their hosts and their spread is arrested. Beneficial mutations increase the probability of survival and rate of reproduction of the hosts so they proliferate through the gene pool. Hence, when looking at the likelihood of an organism inheriting mutations, probability first favors it inheriting primarily beneficial mutations, then neutral mutations, and least likely, negative mutations.


This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 306 of 365 (4184)
02-11-2002 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 298 by KingPenguin
02-10-2002 11:13 PM


quote:
Originally posted by KingPenguin:
i wasnt saying anything about the bible. i was just saying that our incompetent leaders need to be more open. along with you atheist evolutionists.

I accept the evidence for evolution, and I am not an athiest.

In fact, 40% of scientists believe in God.

Besides, what's wrong with being an Atheist? Several of our country's founders were Athiests.


This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 307 of 365 (4186)
02-11-2002 11:17 PM
Reply to: Message 302 by TrueCreation
02-11-2002 6:25 PM


Um, TC, If you read the Behemoth part of the King James version of the Bible, the words "tail" and "stones" are used, and many Biblical scholars translate these words to mean "penis" and "testicles". Certainly, the passages make sense when read this way. At the time of the translation of the KJV, that's what these words meant in daily usage.

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toff
Inactive Member


Message 308 of 365 (4227)
02-12-2002 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 298 by KingPenguin
02-10-2002 11:13 PM


quote:
Originally posted by KingPenguin:
i wasnt saying anything about the bible. i was just saying that our incompetent leaders need to be more open. along with you atheist evolutionists.

Oh, the good old 'atheist evolutionist' line. As if all evolutionists were atheists. They aren't. A belief in evolution has nothing to do with a belief in god, or even a belief in creation by god. ALL it contradicts is fundamentalist, literal-genesis, christians. Sorry. I know you'd like to believe all evolutionists are godless heathens - they're not.


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LudvanB
Inactive Member


Message 309 of 365 (4235)
02-12-2002 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 302 by TrueCreation
02-11-2002 6:25 PM


quote:
Originally posted by TrueCreation:
"Would you care to tell me what exactly i'm supposed to find impressive about the incessant questions God put to Job. There is absolutely nothing in those question that requires a scientific mind. They merely describe things that can be observed by just about anyone. They are cosmetic description of animals and events,not scientific explanations."
--Lets take a look at some of them shall we?

LUD:indeed...lets...

"Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb"
--Topographical plate tectonic shifting.

LUD: Wrong...obvious reference to the flood myth about the "fountains of the deep" bursting forth and then being closed down by God.

"when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness"
--Effects of the Flood, Emense clouds of vapor.

LUD:wrong...visual describtion of the clouds,observable by any science illiterate.

"when I said, `This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?"
--Topographical shifting.

LUD:Wrong...obvious reference to the myth of creation where God supposadly "separate the water with land".

"Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?"
--Springs of the sea, self explanitory (I should surely hope). Recesses of the deep could be the less volcanic activity after the Flood.

LUD:Wrong...again,obvious reference to the so called "fountains of the deep" and recesses means the farthest depth,not anything about volcanic activity.

"What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?"
--The place where lightning is dispersed surelly would not be known back then by Job, as we know where it resides today. East winds take some meteorology.

LUD:Wrong...meteorology is the science of carefull observation of weather paterns...not technology required and fully within the bounds of earlier cultures...the sumerians and the mayans had impressive weather predicting capabilities...there's even a mayan barometer in the metropolitan museum in NYC.

"From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?"
--http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-254.htm

LUD:well you YEC's are the ones saying that there wasen't any ice or snow before the flood. Scientists of archeological and anthropological fields have always maintained that humanity had to contend with snow and ice for a LONG time....much longuer than 4500 years.

"Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?"
--All other star groups visible to the naked eye are unbound, with the possible exception of the Hyades. Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups.

LUD:As i explained to you,Sumerians had very advanced stellar observation techniques,since much of their mythology revolved around them. If the hebrew mythos did indeed come from them,then it would readily explain this quote without the need for divine intervention.

I found some good other ones here: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencebible.html

"And as a side note,i spoke with a friend earlier and she pointed out something about the behemot and the leviatan described in the book of Job. It appeared to her that God was describing an elephant(behemot) and a whale(leviathan) and NOT dinosaures as is often implied by creationists"
--Goodness, hehe, I always get a kick out of this argument, it always reminds me of this classic picture:

LUD:The only description given of the tail is that it moves about. Furthermore,Mamoth and mastodonts had much larger tails than contemporary elephants and scientists believe that they became extinct about 4000 yars ago at most so...



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Christian1
Inactive Member


Message 310 of 365 (4243)
02-12-2002 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nator
01-13-2002 9:22 AM


Creation is a religion, Evolution is a RELIGION, Science is what we can observe and test to be true. My religion is proved over and over and over and over and over and over and evolutionists cannot offer even an shred of solid proof. Yet they call evolution "science". Please do not get this mixed up.
If you have proof of evolution "a scientific experiment, in a complete form with facts and without doubts or other theories" I'm going to tell you where you can get $250,000 for it. Please visit http://www.drdino.com to collect.
Those of you who believe in God and Evolution should watch Dr. Hovind's videos which can be found on the "money link" or even read and understand the bible. The mear fact that evolutionists chalk their religion up as being "science" is painfully mistaken, there is no proof or science experiment that supports the theroy of evolution. I've seen the bible proven to be acurate time and time again and untill it is proven wrong, I will continue have my beliefs as a True Christian and creationist. And keep in mind that God created "TIME" as well, proof is spoken in the book of genius.

This message is a reply to:
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LudvanB
Inactive Member


Message 311 of 365 (4248)
02-12-2002 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 310 by Christian1
02-12-2002 1:22 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Christian1:
Creation is a religion, Evolution is a RELIGION, Science is what we can observe and test to be true. My religion is proved over and over and over and over and over and over and evolutionists cannot offer even an shred of solid proof. Yet they call evolution "science". Please do not get this mixed up.
If you have proof of evolution "a scientific experiment, in a complete form with facts and without doubts or other theories" I'm going to tell you where you can get $250,000 for it. Please visit http://www.drdino.com to collect.
Those of you who believe in God and Evolution should watch Dr. Hovind's videos which can be found on the "money link" or even read and understand the bible. The mear fact that evolutionists chalk their religion up as being "science" is painfully mistaken, there is no proof or science experiment that supports the theroy of evolution. I've seen the bible proven to be acurate time and time again and untill it is proven wrong, I will continue have my beliefs as a True Christian and creationist. And keep in mind that God created "TIME" as well, proof is spoken in the book of genius.

LOL...Crazy Kent Hovind is actually reknown for being a major pain in the butt of most creationists worldwide because of his intolerant view of well just about anyone who doesn't agree with him. He's convinced that evolution scientists and paeontologists are actually servants of lucifer and that communism and nazism are all extensions of evolutionary thinking. I have debated many creationists over the last few months and met some who are actually approaching the question of evolution Vs creation from a purely scientific perspective...their science is often very flawed but at least they are making the effort. Hovind proceed by FIRST admiting that he was convinced of the inerant nature of the Bible BEFORE giving any reflection on the question and THEN accumulates evidence which MAY be interpreted as supporting HIS view of things while completely ignoring evidence which would cast some doubts on it. I watched his online seminar,all 14 hours of it TWICE...once to be informed on what evangelical creationists like him propose and the second time purely for its comedy value...


This message is a reply to:
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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3820
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001


Message 312 of 365 (4250)
02-12-2002 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 310 by Christian1
02-12-2002 1:22 PM


Christian1 - The Hovind challenge has its own thread at:
Topic: Every evolutionist has a chance to win $250,000 http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=1&t=48&p=1

Let's not start it again here.

Moose

------------------
BS degree, geology, '83
Professor, geology, Whatsamatta U
Old Earth evolution - Yes
Godly creation - Maybe


This message is a reply to:
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toff
Inactive Member


Message 313 of 365 (4374)
02-13-2002 6:12 AM
Reply to: Message 310 by Christian1
02-12-2002 1:22 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Christian1:
Creation is a religion, Evolution is a RELIGION, Science is what we can observe and test to be true. My religion is proved over and over and over and over and over and over and evolutionists cannot offer even an shred of solid proof. Yet they call evolution "science". Please do not get this mixed up.
If you have proof of evolution "a scientific experiment, in a complete form with facts and without doubts or other theories" I'm going to tell you where you can get $250,000 for it. Please visit http://www.drdino.com to collect.
Those of you who believe in God and Evolution should watch Dr. Hovind's videos which can be found on the "money link" or even read and understand the bible. The mear fact that evolutionists chalk their religion up as being "science" is painfully mistaken, there is no proof or science experiment that supports the theroy of evolution. I've seen the bible proven to be acurate time and time again and untill it is proven wrong, I will continue have my beliefs as a True Christian and creationist. And keep in mind that God created "TIME" as well, proof is spoken in the book of genius.

Sorry, creationism is a religious belief, evolution is a scientific theory. Evolution does not satisfy the definition of a 'religion' - check any dictionary. It is a science. Creationism is not. And don't waste our time talking about Hovind's offer - the man is a charlatan, a crook, a liar, and probably certifiable. His 'offer' is a fake one, whereby he makes all the rules, determines who is on the jury (no doubt creationists), determines what the jury gets to see...evolution has been proven as fact (or as close to fact as anything is proven by science) to the satisfaction of the world's scientists, who know infinitely more about the subject than Hovind. His 'offer' is a lie, like virtually everything else that comes out of his mouth on the subject.


This message is a reply to:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4423 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 314 of 365 (4376)
02-13-2002 7:11 AM
Reply to: Message 304 by Cobra_snake
02-11-2002 9:18 PM


Hey Cobra, thanks for your response.
quote:
Well, a different mutation can be of different use depending on an environment. But (unless you can show me wrong) most mutations either have no real affect or they are deleterious. Even if you grant neutral mutations as evolutionary progress, the large majority of mutations still do not work towards any evolution.

If you restate this as natural selection cannot operate on neutral mutations unless expressed (and delete the reference to “progress”), then I would agree with you. However, your assumption was “mutations should almost always cause a bad effect”. The vast majority of mutations are actually neutral in terms of their effect on survival. Also, you can’t seem to get away from comparing the two theories, which was not our intent. I merely worked through the implications of your assumption: if all (or nearly all) mutations are bad, populations will quite rapidly come to a situation of error catastrophe or “mutational meltdown” (I love that term). Your assumption, at least as stated, doesn’t even permit epistasis (equilibrium). Either the assumption is invalid, or it needs to be re-examined and modified. It simply cannot stand as a necessary assumption for creationism because both the evidence (of the majority of mutations being either neutral or beneficial) and the implications of the assumption make it invalid as stated. Note: given continually increasing deleterious mutational load, even with natural selection “weeding out” negative mutations at 100% efficiency – which is not observed – any change in the environment will wipe out the population because they are in a very tenuous situation.

quote:
(a) Well, it seems to me that this would be expected. In smaller populations, it would be easier for a change in allelic frequency to occur, and it also increases the chances that any rare beneficial mutations would be passed on. (b) However, neither change in allelic frequency nor beneficial mutations are evidence against Creation.

(a) Agreed. It is readily observed in nature that a small, isolated population is much more rapidly effected by changes in allelic frequency. However, and this is a key concept, changes in allelic frequency ONLY occur in relation to the marginal fitness of the alleles. (This is defined as the average fitness, weighted by frequency, of genotypes containing the allele of interest.) Any direct fitness effects of the allele translate directly into an effect on its marginal fitness. If there is linkage disequilibrium between the allele of interest and other selected alleles, this will also affect the marginal fitness. IOW, if all you have are negative mutations, even if partially offset by natural selection, your population rapidly goes bye-bye because of the net reduction of marginal fitness. A genetic death spiral. I’d appreciate your comments on what I wrote originally about mutational load==>crash vs the persistence of natural populations, which you failed to address.

(b) Correct, they do not provide evidence against creationism. However, changes in allelic frequency based on your assumption #1, because of what I noted in (a), and the existence of beneficial mutations (which is how natural populations survive in the first place) DO invalidate your first assumption – which you have stated is a necessary pre-condition for creationism to be valid (the definition of a scientific assumption in a theory).

quote:
2. Mutations should rarely or never increase the amount of information.
This is a part of the debate that has interested me. Go to http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp for more information on the theory. Recently, a few mutations have been shown to me which may indeed increase information. But there are still problems, even if some information can increase. Let's say you start of with 1000 units of information. Let's say mistakes keep occuring to these units over a long period of time.
1000 + 0 + 0 + 1 - 1 -1 + 0 - 1 - 1 + 0 + 0 + 0 - 1 = 996
So, even if every now and then a mutation increased information, it would not make a significant difference when flooded by the mutations losing information and the mutations which do nothing to the information. And beyond that is the difficulty of evolving irreducibly complex structures.

All very nice. However, once again I need to point out the error in a too-strict application of your idea “information” to genetics, especially when we’re talking about mutation. I didn’t really want to get this deep into it, but it looks like I’ll have to. In the first place, you are misunderstanding what a mutation is. DNA in living organisms undergoes frequent chemical changes, especially during replication. Although most of these changes are quickly repaired, the ones that don’t are called mutations. A mutation, then, can be considered a failure of DNA repair. Your mathematical model is overly simplistic, as it assumes only insertion or deletion of a codon (if I understand what the numbers represent – although what is “0” supposed to be?). Another problem is most mutations occur in non-coding areas of the DNA string (introns). These mutations are, by definition, neutral – “information” can be added, subtracted, multiplied or divided on an intron with absolutely no effect on anything.

There are quite a number of different types of mutation. Just to go into the most common:
a) Single base substitution: A single base, say an A, becomes replaced by another. Single base substitutions are also called point mutations. This can take the form of:
- missense mutation: the new nucleotide alters the codon so as to produce an altered amino acid in the protein
- nonsense mutation: the new nucleotide changes a codon that specified an amino acid to one of the STOP codons. Therefore, translation of the messenger RNA transcribed from this mutant gene will stop prematurely. The earlier in the gene that this occurs, the more truncated the protein product and the more likely that it will be unable to function.
- silent mutations: Most amino acids are encoded by several different codons. For example, if the third base in the TCT codon for serine is changed to any one of the other three bases, serine will still be encoded. Such mutations are said to be silent because they cause no change in their product.
- splice site mutation: The removal of intron sequences, as pre-mRNA is being processed to form mRNA, must be done with great precision. Nucleotide signals at the splice sites guide the enzymatic machinery. If a mutation alters one of these signals, then the intron is not removed and remains as part of the final RNA molecule. The translation of its sequence alters the sequence of the protein product.

b) Frameshift mutations: extra base pairs can be added or removed. The number can be from one to thousands. Frameshifts really mess things up if they occur in an exon in multiples of one or two. In multiples of three, there’s less problem (because the “reading frame” is shifted one full frame, rather than partially.)

c) Duplications are a doubling of a section of the genome. During meiosis, crossing over between sister chromatids that are out of alignment can produce one chromatid with a duplicated gene and the other having two genes with deletions. This is also one way for both new “information” and novel genes to be produced.

d) Translocations are the transfer of a piece of one chromosome to a nonhomologous chromosome. Translocations are often reciprocal; that is, the two nonhomologues swap segments. The break may occur within a gene destroying its function, the new genes may come under the influence of different promoters and enhancers so that their expression is altered, or the breakpoint may occur within a gene creating a hybrid gene (novel function).

Every single one of these mutation types has the capability of either changing or “increasing” information, if you insist on looking at it that way.

quote:
3. Speciation should occur as a product of the great variability programmed into living things, combined with mutations.
The overall diversity of species INCREASES over time.
The overall diversity of the new species is less than that of the first species
For example: Let's say Darwin's finch traveled to the Galapagos. The first two finches had enormous variability programmed into the way their beaks may be. After droughts and environmental conditions or whatnot, certain forms of these beaks begin to become advantageous. Natural Selection picks them over time. Now we have 13 different species with different beaks. But, two Finches with beak A cannot mate and produce babies with beak B. Similarly, beak B finches cannot produce beak A offspring. Therefore, the variety of the species of finch has increased, yet the variability within each species of finch has decreased.

As stated, this makes no sense to me. You seem to be confusing biodiversity with inherited variability. These are two completely different concepts.

Biodiversity refers to the relative numbers of different species within an ecosystem. We often talk about the “richness” of biodiversity. For example, a tropical rainforest is “richer” in biodiversity than a temperate pine forest, because there are simply more, different species for the same size geographical area. Variability refers to the relative frequency of different traits (alleles) within a species. For example, among butterflies there is huge variation in coloration and patterning within a single species – so much so that often only an expert with time on their hands can tell whether a particular specimen is the same or a different species.

Speciation occurs by natural selection (which you apparently accept) operating on inheritable variability. IOW, variability causes (or permits, anyway) biodiversity. I guess my question is: how does an increase in biodiversity translate into a decrease in inheritable variability. By observation, it appears the opposite is true: more species yields more opportunities for mutation to create novel alleles for natural selection to operate on. It isn’t a zero-sum game. The parent species in the Galapagos example gave rise to 13 new daughter species – the parent species is still living in Ecuador. In point of fact, there’s a fourteenth daughter species living on Cocos Island (about 850 km from the Galapagos). Simply because they are different species and can’t inter-breed does not mean there is any loss of variability within species.

quote:
As with species fitting their niches, this is partly due to the great variability in kinds. However, I believe that species can fit into a large number of niches. I'm sure there are potential niches that are not realized all over the earth.

Besides defining “kind” so that it can be used in discussion, you would need to show me some evidence that there were unoccupied niches lying around. Because of the exceptional diversity and apparent plasticity of life, even the most counter-intuitive niches are already filled: there are organisms found on the tops of the Himalayas and at the bottom of the Marianas Trench. There are organisms that live in petroleum and others which don’t even use the same chemistry we do that thrive on submarine thermal vents and metabolize sulfur.

quote:
4. All living things should be fully formed from the start. (i.e. no reptiles with "half-wings" or "half-feathers.")
Well the problem is, if there are no half-features, then why would you expect complex things to evolve? For example, feathers are different in numerous ways to scales. There had to be some point in the history of life in which these scales turned into feathers. It seems to me that this process would take many mutations to lead up to a final product.

Agreed. Complex organisms, or even complex parts of organisms, are formed by natural selection operating on many mutations over very long periods of time. It appears, however, that you are falling into the trap of linearity. To wit, you are assuming the result was known in advance, and that what we see in nature today is some kind of epitome of life. This idea contradicts your earlier assumptions that life is going downhill in a handbasket. The apparent implication of your statement is if wings were fully formed from the start, and all change is negative, then over time birds would no longer be able to fly. That may be an oversimplification, but you do need to take all of the implications of your arguments into consideration when formulating a theory like this.

quote:
Another problem with Evolutionist arguments is they point out the most simple form of some structure (like feathers) and make it seem as though evolving the new structure would be no problem. What they don't tell you is that these "primitive" structures are actually fantastically complex. Let's look at your examples:

Careful, you’re slipping away from defense/support of your theory to attacking ToE. I thought we’d agreed not to do that (I think I’ve been a very good boy in that respect thus far). Remember, you can’t validate a theory by trying to disprove another one. You can only validate a theory by providing positive evidence or inference. It’s fair to argue with, refute, or explain my counter-arguments directed at your assumption, but only by using evidence that I’ve ignored or misinterpreted – not by constructing a strawman to knock down. Who is “they” by the way?

quote:

The problem with the gliding example is that the mechanism is almost surely already fantastically complex. Also, I don't see how one could use gliding frogs as an example of a transitional form, because not too many people think that birds evolved from frogs.

Actually, it isn’t all that complex. If you’ve got skin webbing between grasping members or loose skin between limbs (like the potto), and happen to be a tasty arboreal potential dinner, it is certainly within your interest to be able to jump from limb to limb, tree to tree, or cushion your way to the ground. Natural selection alone (which I remind you you accept) would tend to reinforce this adaptation by increasing the area of skin available as a gliding surface over the generations – he who jumps furthest safely lives longer to reproduce and pass on his jumping ability. BTW: the animals I referred to are living organisms. As such, the gliding frog would not be transitional to birds (which already exist). It could, however, be transitional to a flying frog down the road… Unless, of course, you again assume that change has stopped with what we have today (if that’s the case, you need to include it in your theory, because it invalidates a number of your assumptions and predictions).

quote:
5. Due to the typically negative effect of mutations, speciations should arise primarily as a result of LOSS or CORRUPTION of information, which makes the species less varied. Although primarily a restatement of assumption one, this assumption more explicitly states that no “improvement” can occur (as such, directly contradicting assumption two, three and four.) The assumption seems to imply that if species change over time, such change would make them less fit for their environment. In addition, this assumption explicitly states that daughter species, if they arose, would have net negative fitness correlation as compared to the parent species."

Actually, I do believe "improvement" can occur, and I am sorry if I did not give you that impression. But improvement can occur by loss of information, as shown many times in nature. The assumption is not meant to imply that species become less fit for their environment, as natural selection would tend to stop that from occuring. However, the new species may be less adapt to environments as a whole. Going back to the finch example: If you were to place a population of finches into a radically different environment, which ones do you think would be more likely to survive in the long run? The original finch with all 13 possible beaks programmed into its genetic code, or one of the more specialized finches that cannot hope for new beaks to appear in its offspring" Obviously, the type of finch with the most programmed variety would be most likely to survive different situations.


Wow, there’s a bunch of stuff here. Let’s see:

1. You need to define “improvement” and “loss of information” and then show with an example from nature of what this means. I can’t really follow your argument.

2. You are still back on the assumption of some kind of zero-sum game involved with heritable variation as it relates to biodiversity. I think at this point I would be justified in asking for some positive evidence (i.e., an example from nature) of what you mean.

quote:
1. Fully formed creatures in the fossil record (no "half-features") True as stated. There can be no such thing as “half features”, for the simple reason that half features would not allow survival. However, the fossil record is replete with forms – obviously related by morphology – which are different in the aggregate, but share numerous traits in common (such as dentition, number and arrangement of phalanges, etc). In addition, the fossil record shows that there is a distinct stratigraphy associated with these fossils: i.e., fossil type A found in a lower (and hence geologically “older”) strata with “primitive” features or traits distinctive of one particular taxonomic order, followed in successively younger strata by fossil type B of obviously related organisms which shares traits with A but which also has traits related to a different taxonomic order. Finally, “pure” forms of this new order (fossil C) are found which share traits with B but not with A, again in younger geologic strata. Now obviously, there may not be a direct linear relationship between A, B, and C. However, it is possible to estimate degrees of relatedeness fairly accurately based on morphological similarity. It may not always be possible to distinguish a direct ancestor, principally because of the vagaries of fossilization, and the disturbance/destruction of fossils over time – in general, a brother or sister of the “missing link” is close enough. The prediction is proven false by the available evidence."

I will admit, the geological column has been my largest headache of all involving my thought on this debate. I want to do more research involving this particular area. I've already mentioned the difficulty of evolving "dumbed-down" versions of traits, so I will see how you respond to that. As for the geological column, it could be that you are seeing what you want to see. For example: the trilobite is thought to have an extremely complex eye, much more efficient than our own. This would be one case in which a "dumbed-down" version of something appeared after a complex one. I would like to get into this area of research a bit more.


Ummm, what do you mean “the difficulty of evolving dumbed down versions of traits?” I think I missed that reference. If I did, I apologize and perhaps you could point it out. OTOH, a lot of eyes are complex. I wasn’t aware that trilobite eyes were much more than a pinhole camera – one of the simplest eye types beyond simple photophores. However, I’ll wait until you answer the geology question (or we can table it for now, suspending this prediction pending further review).

quote:
2. An increased genetic burden over time as a result of the negative effect of mutations. This prediction is probably true in the absence of beneficial mutations or natural selection. If this prediction were true in nature, there should be a net decrease in overall population fitness of any given population of organisms over time. If this was the case, the survival of a given population over more than a few generations is questionable, and relates strictly to the rate that major deleterious mutations occur. Even with the action of natural selection (in the sense that it can select against negative mutations), the best that a population can hope for is a very tenuous equilibrium – that would be completely upset if the environment changed. Again, the evidence we would see would include rapid population crashes, and given the interrelatedness of populations within a given ecosystem, continuous (rather than episodic) mass extinctions. This is not the pattern we observe."

Well, I have stated earlier in this post that beneficial mutations are the exception and not the rule. And yes, natural selection does indeed slow down the process of genetic burden. But negative mutations are generally recessive traits, and therefore are not as likely to kill or hurt a species. the problem with this is that if you start off with one recessive gene, you can eventually end up with great-grandchildren that actually have the defect, even though the person that started never had it.


I think you need to provide some evidence for the assertion that “negative mutations are generally recessive traits”. This is not borne out by the evidence. Just a few examples: a missense mutation causes sickle cell anemia, a nonsense (actually 200 different) mutation causes cystic fibrosis, etc. These are certainly not recessive (see below for further amplification).

quote:
(Here, D stands for dominant gene and r stands for recessive gene)
Dr---DD
'
--------
' ' '
Dr DD Dr
'
------------
' ' ' '
DD DD DD Dr------Dr
'
----------
' ' ' '
DD Dr Dr rr
It doesn't take too long for the reccesive gene to become active, but it is still rare. When the rare rr occurs, natural selection should weed it out, but the problem of the reccessive gene still continues to affect a member of the family every now and then.

Actually, we have two problems here. In the first place, you are confusing somatic mutations (which are the most common) with germline mutation (which are the only ones inherited). Also, you don’t take into account inherited sex-linked mutations (which invalidate your oversimplified model). Finally, the model does not apply to asexually reproducing species. IOW, your explanation doesn’t work.

quote:
The species can still be well fit (due to change in allelic frequency), but the species will have an increased genetic burden.

See my response about marginal fitness waaaaay up above. Your assumptions, without being substantially reworked, do not appear to allow this final conclusion.

Maybe it might be useful at this point for you to select a few concrete examples from nature that would provide, if not evidence, at least a point of discussion, for your model.

quote:
I would like to thank you for continuing this discussion with me. It seems other evolutionists are still claiming nobody has ever made a model, even though they didn't spend much time evaluating my model. If they think my model is unscientific, then they should say so and provide a substantive response. However, it is unfair that they continue to claim nobody has ever made a method, without giving any consideration to my attempt.

You’re very welcome. I enjoy this level of discussion. Even if I disagree with you, the obvious effort you’ve put in to it and the depth of discussion is quite refreshing.

Not to be snide, but have you considered fleshing out your model, adding a bit more detail, and trying to get ICR or AiG to publish it? Even if it’s wrong (), it’s a far better model than I’ve ever seen on any of their websites…


This message is a reply to:
 Message 304 by Cobra_snake, posted 02-11-2002 9:18 PM Cobra_snake has not yet responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3746 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 315 of 365 (4378)
02-13-2002 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 304 by Cobra_snake
02-11-2002 9:18 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Cobra_snake:

Well, I have stated earlier in this post that beneficial mutations are the exception and not the rule. And yes, natural selection does indeed slow down the process of genetic burden. But negative mutations are generally recessive traits, and therefore are not as likely to kill or hurt a species. the problem with this is that if you start off with one recessive gene, you can eventually end up with great-grandchildren that actually have the defect, even though the person that started never had it.
(Here, D stands for dominant gene and r stands for recessive gene)
Dr---DD
'
--------
' ' '
Dr DD Dr
'
------------
' ' ' '
DD DD DD Dr------Dr
'
----------
' ' ' '
DD Dr Dr rr
It doesn't take too long for the reccesive gene to become active, but it is still rare. When the rare rr occurs, natural selection should weed it out, but the problem of the reccessive gene still continues to affect a member of the family every now and then.
The species can still be well fit (due to change in allelic frequency), but the species will have an increased genetic burden.

Cobra, congratulations on a great post, this is the type of debate we should be having!
Just to add a bit to Quetzals reply.
Take for example the recessive genes responsible for cystic fibrosis. There are two alleles, one is the recessive mutant. Using mendelian genetics 1 in 4 people SHOULD get cf, globally. However, this is not the case. Why? The recessive genes are selected against, when they are homozygous. Ie the genes are removed from the gene pool when two recessive genes are present. This has the effect of reducing the frequency of the recessive allele. Unfortunately, any one of us could carry the mutant gene, but because we are heterozygous (we have the good, dominant allele that prevents the expression of the recessive mutant one), natural selection doesn’t work against it. What this means is, that the mutant (assuming it started with the same frequency of the healthy allele) would rapidly be selected against, as 1 in 4 of the population had cf. As it became less frequent, the lower the likelyhood of getting 2 recessive genes together, so the rate of elimination decreases. If plotted on a graph, you would get an exponential decay type curve. To the point where it is a minor factor in the populations fitness as a whole. In fact, in Europe the allele is more frequent in the north east, & declines the further south west you go.
So, harmful recessive genes are selected againt, & the frequency of those alleles ends up being much lower than the healthy type. This example is of course using a two allele model, in many cases lots of alleles are extant, making the recessive problem even less likely.

Now, on to neutral mutations. http://psyche.uthct.edu/shaun/SBlack/geneticd.html

You're better off looking at the table in the link. Since I am totally unable to get pics in the post, & I apologise for making such a huge gap in the page with mostly space

TTT Phe
TTC Phe
TTA Leu
TTG Leu
TCT Ser
TCC Ser
TCA Ser
TCG Ser
TAT Tyr
TAC Tyr
TAA Ter
TAG Ter
TGT Cys
TGC Cys
TGA Ter
TGG Trp

CTT Leu
CTC Leu
CTA Leu
CTG Leu
CCT Pro
CCC Pro
CCA Pro
CCG Pro
CAT His
CAC His
CAA Gln
CAG Gln
CGT Arg
CGC Arg
CGA Arg
CGG Arg

ATT Ile
ATC Ile
ATA Ile
ATG Met
ACT Thr
ACC Thr
ACA Thr
ACG Thr
AAT Asn
AAC Asn
AAA Lys
AAG Lys
AGT Ser
AGC Ser
AGA Arg
AGG Arg

GTT Val
GTC Val
GTA Val
GTG Val
GCT Ala
GCC Ala
GCA Ala
GCG Ala
GAT Asp
GAC Asp
GAA Glu
GAG Glu
GGT Gly
GGC Gly
GGA Gly
GGG Gly

Alanine Ala
Arginine Arg
Asparagine Asn
Aspartic Acid Asp
Cysteine Cys
Glutamic Acid Glu
Glutamine Gln
Glycine Gly
Histidine His
Isoleucine Ile
Leucine Leu
Lysine Lys
Methionine Met
Phenylalanine Phe
Proline Pro
Serine Ser
Threonine Thr
Tryptophan Trp
Tyrosine Tyr
Valine Val

In the table is the twenty amino acids & their nucleotide triplet code.

For example, take Valine. It is coded for GTA, GTC, GTT, GTA. So, a substitution in the third nucleotide makes no change to the coded amino acid. Arginine is similar, coded by CGA, CGT, CGC, CGG. In fact, all but two acids, methionine & Tryptophan, can be conserved with a nucleotide substitution in this way. So, any substitutions at these codon position are entirely neutral (I realise that that is not the majority of cases, but bear with me).

http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199505-10/0930.html

“Mutagenesis studies on proteins of the past 15 years has shown that they
are amazingly resilient to many different substitutions. (This happens to
be my own area of biochemical research. I study the effect of changing the
sequence on changing the fold or structure of the protein.) We and others
doing this sort of research find that for many (if not most) positions you
can substitute several different amino acids in that given position. In
many cases you can substitute every amino acid in particular position. Of
the mutants that have been studied nearly all of them are still functional
in addition to folded because function is selected for or assayed for. Bob
Sauer's group at MIT have systematically substituted every amino acid into
every position into the ~100 residue lambda repressor. They conclude that
there are 10^55 (yes, that's fifty-fifth) different sequences that produce
the functional lambda repressor fold (Reidhaar-Olson and Sauer). The
results of the Brian Matthews lab, our lab and others with T4 lysozyme is
similar.”

So, most amino acids in a protein don’t mind what they are, & still retain functionality. The most sensitive part of a protein are its “active sites”, & these are more highly conserved sequences than the non-active parts of the protein.

Just using nucleotide substitutions I hope to have shown that most mutations are in fact, neutral.

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 304 by Cobra_snake, posted 02-11-2002 9:18 PM Cobra_snake has not yet responded

  
Weyland
Inactive Member


Message 316 of 365 (4381)
02-13-2002 8:43 AM


TC Wrote:

"Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion?"
--All other star groups visible to the naked eye are unbound, with the possible exception of the Hyades. Pleiades and Orion as gravitationally bound star groups.

Are you sure about this?
As far as I know, Orion is composed of several different stellar objects, including 2 open clusters (NGC1662 & NGC 1663) and 3 nebulae (M42, M43 and M78) none of which have ever been close enough to interact with each other.

What is your source for this claim?


Replies to this message:
 Message 317 by gene90, posted 02-13-2002 10:45 AM Weyland has not yet responded

  
gene90
Member (Idle past 2374 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 317 of 365 (4389)
02-13-2002 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 316 by Weyland
02-13-2002 8:43 AM


Pleiades: gravitationally bound open cluster, Hyades: gravitationally bound open cluster. Orion: constellation, most stars inside Orion are hundres of LY apart and do not interact, we just group them together because they happen to form a shape we recognize. Oh sure there are some open clusters and nebulae scattered "inside" the constellation, but the constellation itself is just a construct assembled by people's minds.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 316 by Weyland, posted 02-13-2002 8:43 AM Weyland has not yet responded

  
TrueCreation
Inactive Member


Message 318 of 365 (4392)
02-13-2002 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 313 by toff
02-13-2002 6:12 AM


"Sorry, creationism is a religious belief, evolution is a scientific theory."
--Who ever said Creationism was anything more than a belief, and who ever said evolution was not a scientific theory? Actually 'e'volution is fact, 'e'volution even plays a part in the theory for a young earth. If someone says othewize, they are either incorrect, or should emphesize their wording.
------------------


This message is a reply to:
 Message 313 by toff, posted 02-13-2002 6:12 AM toff has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 319 by Percy, posted 02-13-2002 11:31 AM TrueCreation has not yet responded
 Message 320 by gene90, posted 02-13-2002 11:33 AM TrueCreation has responded
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