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Author Topic:   Unintelligent design (recurrent laryngeal nerve)
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3436 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 1 of 480 (530013)
10-11-2009 6:41 PM


The recurrent laryngeal nerve is a branch of the vagus nerve which innervates the larynx. But, instead of branching off in the neck and travelling directly to the larynx, for evolutionary reasons it follows a long, looping course down the neck into the thorax, before doubling back on itself to ascend back up the neck to the larynx. This circuitous route is why it's called "recurrent".

As well as being perverse and wasteful, from a "design" point of view, this anatomical arrangement makes the nerve much more vulnerable to injury. In fish, it goes direct.

Compared with a putative designer of life, the Universe, and everything, I'm not very intelligent, but I think even I would have ironed this one out. Did she have a good day with fish, but an off day with mammals?

Answers on a postcard, please.

http://www.ghorayeb.com/RECURRENT_LARYNGEAL_2.jpg

Edited by Blzebub, : Naughty title, add picture

Edited by Blzebub, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by slevesque, posted 11-16-2009 11:12 PM Blzebub has not yet responded
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 Message 47 by traderdrew, posted 11-22-2009 9:51 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3886
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 480 (530029)
10-11-2009 11:32 PM


Good enough message 1 - Terrible topic title
At least in concept, a proper topic title does much to define the intent and scope of the topic. That said, my impression is that most members are oblivious to what's in the topic title.

Please change the topic title (via editing message 1) to directly and specifically connect up with the message 1 content. And don't include any "IDiot" in it.

Please post an "OK, done" type reply to this message, when you are "done and OK".

Adminnemooseus


  
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3436 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 3 of 480 (530059)
10-12-2009 3:42 AM


Re: Good enough message 1 - Terrible topic title
ok done
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3886
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 4 of 480 (530061)
10-12-2009 4:00 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Unintelligent design (recurrent laryngeal nerve) thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3436 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 5 of 480 (530763)
10-14-2009 6:58 PM


C'mon guys! Where are all the creation/IDists with their glib explanations of the wisdom behind the circuitous route of this extremely important nerve? It's involved in speech, which is an essential human characteristic. Speech distinguishes we chosen ones from the lower orders, after all ;-)

[Let's not discuss the human appendix, which serves the obvious purpose of making surgeons rich.]


Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Blzebub, posted 10-24-2009 1:25 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

Blzebub 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3436 days)
Posts: 129
Joined: 10-10-2009


Message 6 of 480 (532593)
10-24-2009 1:25 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Blzebub
10-14-2009 6:58 PM


.....still no takers?

;-)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Blzebub, posted 10-14-2009 6:58 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

slevesque
Member (Idle past 2836 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 7 of 480 (535602)
11-16-2009 11:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Blzebub
10-11-2009 6:41 PM


There are no takers because first there are very few creationist left on this forum, and second because your argument is simple Dysteleology. These types of arguments are analog to the vestigial organs argument in the 1920's, and the advancement of our knowledge of biological structures will do the same to list of Dysteleological arguments as it did to the long list of once thought vestigial organs.

To make it brief. I hope this helped.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Blzebub, posted 10-11-2009 6:41 PM Blzebub has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Granny Magda, posted 11-17-2009 12:01 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 12 by Larni, posted 11-17-2009 3:52 AM slevesque has responded

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 8 of 480 (535606)
11-17-2009 12:01 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by slevesque
11-16-2009 11:12 PM


Clutching at Straws
Hi Slevesque,

I assume from your message that you have no answer for why the recurrent laryngeal nerve takes the torturous route that it does.

There are no takers because first there are very few creationist left on this forum

That is true. It's always like this. Creationists are outnumbered on this board and that is certainly one reason for the lack of replies.

your argument is simple Dysteleology

So you are saying that the opponents of teleological arguments use dystelelogical arguments? Wow. What was your first clue there?

Any argument that attempts to counter creationism is likely to be a dysteleological argument. There is no news here. This argument however has something else; an alternative mechanism for the origin of the laryngeal nerve, namely common ancestry between fish and tetrapods.

These types of arguments are analog to the vestigial organs argument in the 1920's, and the advancement of our knowledge of biological structures will do the same to list of Dysteleological arguments as it did to the long list of once thought vestigial organs.

You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that creationists have a knock-down argument against vestigial organs and what they tell us about evolution. I have to say, I haven't seen it. All I have seen is the creationist habit of misapprehending what a vestigial organ is and talking nonsense on the subject.

Of course you may be right in one sense. I'm sure that creationists won't understand the laryngeal nerve either and will talk nonsense about that as well.

Basically you can see that you are in a bind here - I mean, the laryngeal nerve of a giraffe is some fifteen feet long! - and all you can do is appeal to the vague possibility that one day, just maybe, someone will come up with a creationist explanation for this other than "Well, God works in mysterious and breathtakingly incompetent ways!". You're clutching at straws. You don't have an explanation for this - the theory of evolution does.

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by slevesque, posted 11-16-2009 11:12 PM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 12:59 AM Granny Magda has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2836 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 9 of 480 (535610)
11-17-2009 12:59 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Granny Magda
11-17-2009 12:01 AM


Re: Clutching at Straws
Can't you feel the Love !

I'm going to take the vestigial organ analogy in order to explain the more recent trends of dysteological arguments.

When Darwin released his theory of evolution, one of the first argument put forward for it was vestigial organs, especially in the human body. A list as long as 180 organs were claimed ot be vestigial (with the classical definition of vestigial as an organ who has lost it's function in the course of evolution). Impressive, and surely it greatly help the acceptance of evolution in the scientific circles.

But it was only feeding on the lack of knowledge of the time. What was once a very long list is now no more than a few names long, all the ones left being disputable. The progress of our knowledge of the human body gradually found a function, sometimes even a critical one, to all the once thought vestigial organs. The ones left who are still viewed as vestigial have all being found to have a function, and in fact to keep their status of vestigial the very definition of the word changed gradually from 'functionless' to what it is today.

Now I see the current dysteological arguments going down a similar track. They once again feed on our current lack of knowledge in biology. a brilliant example can be seen with Dawkin's ''the eye is wired backwards'' where he would say that God wouldn't have done it this way. It turned out that it was rather an optimal wiring system.

Now for the RLN, do you not think that it's wiring could end up having a positive effect, a function ? It passes right up tight under the aorta, don't you think that all this serves a biological purpose ? I think it in fact will prove to be a very useful feature, and like so many vestigial organs before, and other Dysteological arguments, it will go by and pass in this endless debate.

PS Mind you that Dysteological arguments are not scientific, but theologic. They are of the kind: ''Why would God do it this way'' with sometimes a variant ''well if I was God, I would not have done it this way''. This is imposing a criteria on God on what he would and would not do, and then judging his existence upon this criteria.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Granny Magda, posted 11-17-2009 12:01 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Granny Magda, posted 11-17-2009 1:31 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 14 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-17-2009 5:56 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 31 by Blzebub, posted 11-18-2009 2:08 PM slevesque has not yet responded
 Message 94 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-24-2009 9:28 AM slevesque has responded

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 10 of 480 (535616)
11-17-2009 1:31 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by slevesque
11-17-2009 12:59 AM


Re: Clutching at Straws
I'd love to see you back this claim up with some hard facts;

When Darwin released his theory of evolution, one of the first argument put forward for it was vestigial organs, especially in the human body. A list as long as 180 organs were claimed ot be vestigial

180 sounds like an exaggeration to me, but I'll be happy to recant if you can show me the list.

The progress of our knowledge of the human body gradually found a function, sometimes even a critical one, to all the once thought vestigial organs. The ones left who are still viewed as vestigial have all being found to have a function, and in fact to keep their status of vestigial the very definition of the word changed gradually from 'functionless' to what it is today.

This is of course, nonsense. Darwin knew full well that vestigial (or to use his term "rudimentary" organs can have a purpose. The meaning has not changed.

Darwin writes:

An organ serving for two purposes, may become rudimentary or utterly aborted for one, even the more important purpose, and remain perfectly efficient for the other. Thus in plants, the office of the pistil is to allow the pollen-tubes to reach the ovules protected in the ovarium at its base. The pistil consists of a stigma supported on the style; but in some Compositae, the male florets, which of course cannot be fecundated, have a pistil, which is in a rudimentary state, for it is not crowned with a stigma; but the style remains well developed, and is clothed with hairs as in other compositae, for the purpose of brushing the pollen out of the surrounding anthers. Again, an organ may become rudimentary for its proper purpose, and be used for a distinct object: in certain fish the swim-bladder seems to be rudimentary for its proper function of giving buoyancy, but has become converted into a nascent breathing organ or lung. Other similar instances could be given.

(from the Origin of Species)

Now I see the current dysteological arguments going down a similar track. They once again feed on our current lack of knowledge in biology. a brilliant example can be seen with Dawkin's ''the eye is wired backwards'' where he would say that God wouldn't have done it this way. It turned out that it was rather an optimal wiring system.

This also is wrong. The brain has to flip the image for us to see things the right way up. This is all very well until some unlucky soul suffers neurological damage and loses that ability - leaving him with an upside-down view of the world. I assure you, this has actually happened and it speaks of a very much less than optimal design. You have no basis for this claim.

Now for the RLN, do you not think that it's wiring could end up having a positive effect, a function ?

Maybe - name it.

It passes right up tight under the aorta, don't you think that all this serves a biological purpose ?

Could do - name it.

I think it in fact will prove to be a very useful feature, and like so many vestigial organs before, and other Dysteological arguments, it will go by and pass in this endless debate.

Yes, and I think that I'm going to be bitten by a radioactive spider and get superpowers. Any day now. *crosses fingers*

What you think and what you hope are completely irrelevant. You can hope whatever you like. The fact remains that evolution presents a complete and compelling explanation for the position of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and creationism doesn't.

All you have is to appeal to a solution that might come along any day now...

That is nothing to shout about. Until you can actually come up with an explanation for this, you have no argument.

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 12:59 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 3:09 AM Granny Magda has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2836 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 11 of 480 (535625)
11-17-2009 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Granny Magda
11-17-2009 1:31 AM


Re: Clutching at Straws
180 sounds like an exaggeration to me, but I'll be happy to recant if you can show me the list.

Wiedersheim originally had a list of 86 human vestigial organs in 1893, and it grew up to 180 by the scopes trial (''There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.'' Zoologist Newman, Scopes trial)

This is of course, nonsense. Darwin knew full well that vestigial (or to use his term "rudimentary" organs can have a purpose. The meaning has not changed.

He is adressing the specific case of an organ with two functions which loses one, and retains the other. Of course, this is not how the argument was used or how vestigial organs came to be defined soon after. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionnary defines it as: ''degenerate or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution.'' The world book Encyclopedia defines it as: ''Vestigial organs are the useless remains of organs that were once useful in an evolutionary ancestor''

It is also the clear definition that Zoologist Scadding refers to when he writes Do vestigial organs provide evidence for evolution?’ Evolutionary Theory 5:173–176, 1981:

Abstract:

ABSTRACT: The existence of functionless 'vestigial organs' was presented by Darwin, and is
often cited by current biology textbooks, as part of the evidence for evolution. This paper
examines the origin and nature of this argument tracing it to the works of Darwin, Haeckel, and
particularly Wiedersheim. An analysis of the difficulties in unambiguously identifying
functionless structures and an analysis of the nature of the argument, leads to the conclusion that
'vestigial organs' provide no evidence for evolutionary theory.
* * *
In almost all biology textbooks that discuss the "evidence for evolution", vestigial organs
are cited as one piece of evidence that supports evolutionary theory (Johnson et al. 1972;
Kimball 1974; Moody 1970; Stephens and North 1974; Taylor and Weber 1968; Villee and
Dethier 1971). The argument is usually presented in the following manner. Virtually all animals
possess organs or structures that have no function. These are homologous to organs or structures
that are functional in other related animals. Consequently, these vestigial organs are interpreted
as organs that, having lost their usefulness, are in a process of evolutionary decay and can be
expected to be eliminated during the course of future evolution.

You should read it by the way, interesting article (http://rac.myweb.uga.edu/papers/Scadding1981.pdf)

This also is wrong. The brain has to flip the image for us to see things the right way up. This is all very well until some unlucky soul suffers neurological damage and loses that ability - leaving him with an upside-down view of the world. I assure you, this has actually happened and it speaks of a very much less than optimal design. You have no basis for this claim.

You seemed to have typed faster then thinking here, because I wonder how you could 'wire' the eye as to make the lens project the image upside-up. Maybe God should have reversed the lens I guess ... (Hint: inverse image is a physics property of lens, and is not what I was reffering to: See Dawkin's 'eye wired backwards' argument instead)

Yes, and I think that I'm going to be bitten by a radioactive spider and get superpowers. Any day now. *crosses fingers*

What you think and what you hope are completely irrelevant. You can hope whatever you like. The fact remains that evolution presents a complete and compelling explanation for the position of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and creationism doesn't.

All you have is to appeal to a solution that might come along any day now...

That is nothing to shout about. Until you can actually come up with an explanation for this, you have no argument.

I have not shouted about anything, I only made a brief response as to why no one had responded to the subject. I find my appeal to a solution a distinct possibility, that is not anywhere near implausible from any perspective you look at it, evolutionnary or otherwise. Again, reading the previous referenced article, I hope you will realized that if anything, feeding of our gaps of knowledge in biology makes for a very poor line of reasoning to support evolution ...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Granny Magda, posted 11-17-2009 1:31 AM Granny Magda has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Granny Magda, posted 11-17-2009 5:41 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 16 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-17-2009 7:52 AM slevesque has responded
 Message 92 by Dr Adequate, posted 11-24-2009 8:55 AM slevesque has responded

Larni
Member
Posts: 3984
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 12 of 480 (535636)
11-17-2009 3:52 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by slevesque
11-16-2009 11:12 PM


There are no takers because first there are very few creationist left on this forum,

I'm not sure you can state this as fact concidering that there are (at this point) 6060 members on this forum.

Some have to be creos.

I think your point would be better made if you state that there are no takers because there are very few creationist who can field this question, left on the forum.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by slevesque, posted 11-16-2009 11:12 PM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 3:45 PM Larni has responded

  
Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 86 days)
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 13 of 480 (535643)
11-17-2009 5:41 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by slevesque
11-17-2009 3:09 AM


Re: Clutching at Straws
Okay,

Wiedersheim originally had a list of 86 human vestigial organs in 1893, and it grew up to 180 by the scopes trial (''There are, according to Wiedersheim, no less than 180 vestigial structures in the human body, sufficient to make of a man a veritable walking museum of antiquities.'' Zoologist Newman, Scopes trial)

So you claim that Newman claimed that Wiedersheim claimed 180. But you provide no evidence of any of it. I am still sceptical. To me, this sounds like a tale that has grown in the retelling somewhere.

He is adressing the specific case of an organ with two functions which loses one, and retains the other.

He also makes clear that a new function might arise. Darwin still considers such organs to be vestigial.

Darwin writes:

Any change in function, which can be effected by insensibly small steps, is within the power of natural selection; so that an organ rendered, during changed habits of life, useless or injurious for one purpose, might easily be modified and used for another purpose. Or an organ might be retained for one alone of its former functions.

This is how biologists have defined the term since. There has been no change in meaning, no conspiracy. You're just wrong, that's all.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionnary defines it as...

The Shorter Oxford Dictionary?! Do you really expect to find nuanced descriptions of biological terms in a shortened layman's dictionary? Showing me a couple of bad definitions by non-biology reference works aimed at laymen is worthless. Your claim of a change in meaning stands refuted.

It is also the clear definition that Zoologist Scadding refers to when he writes Do vestigial organs provide evidence for evolution?’ Evolutionary Theory 5:173–176, 1981:

And Scadding was duly criticised for his error only a year later. Naturally, creationist sources don't usually mention that bit, or the fact that Scadding was publishing in a very left-field journal, with lax peer-review. Here is Bruce Naylor on the Scadding paper;

Naylor writes:

In considering what vestigial organs are, the proper use of words and their proper definitions are critical. My dictionary (Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary, 1966 ed.) provides the following definitions:

1. Rudiment: "a part, organ, or other structure that has become aborted or stunted and will always be undeveloped; a vestige."
2. Atrophy: "a stoppage of growth and development."
3. Abort: "to fail of complete development."
4. Vestigial: (from vestigium, a footprint): "of, or of the nature of a vestige; surviving in small or degenerate form."

Darwin used the adjectival forms of the first three terms to refer to those organs that, today, we call vestigial. Therefore, it is not essential that a vestigial organ be totally without function. Although Darwin's (1979, p. 428) treatment largely concerns those organs "bearing the stamp of inutility," he also (pp. 431-432) writes "that an organ rendered, during changed habits of life, useless or injurious for one purpose, might easily be modified and used for another purpose. Or an organ might easily be retained for one alone of its former functions." This shows that, for Darwin, vestigial organs were largely, but not exclusively, useless to their possessors. It would seem evident that the human coccyx, that homolog and vestige of the pre-anthropoid tail, fits precisely into the concept embodied in this quotation. Certainly it is functional (Scadding, 1981), but just as certainly it is not functioning as an external tail for balance or grasping. It is a functional, vestigial organ (contra Scadding, 1981).

One bad paper is not sufficient to prove that your definition carries any weight.

You seemed to have typed faster then thinking here... See Dawkin's 'eye wired backwards' argument instead

Oh, I see. You are arguing that an eye design which ensures a blind spot is somehow optimal.

Good luck with that. Repeat it often enough, you might even blow up enough of a smokescreen to distract from the fact that you have no explanation for the laryngeal nerve (remember that?).

I have not shouted about anything, I only made a brief response as to why no one had responded to the subject.

What you were doing was claiming that an explanation will be forthcoming, despite having no reason to think this other than your being feebly wrong about an essentially unrelated matter.

You have no explanation for the path of the laryngeal nerve. That's it. The bottom line. You have no argument. That is the real reason why Blzebub has received no replies. The creationist contingent has no answer.

I find my appeal to a solution a distinct possibility

And I expect to be given an Oscar for the film I might just possibly direct at some point in the future. But until I actually produce a film, no-one is going to care. people get Oscars for films they have actually made not pipe dreams. Similarly, until you actually provide an argument, your pipe dreams about how a-good-argument-will-be-along-any-minute-now are just so much mental masturbation. No-one is going to care.

Shit or get off the pot dude.

Provide a creationist argument for the laryngeal nerve or stop blowing smoke around the place.

Mutate and Survive


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 3:09 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 3:41 PM Granny Magda has responded

  
Jumped Up Chimpanzee
Member (Idle past 3138 days)
Posts: 572
From: UK
Joined: 10-22-2009


Message 14 of 480 (535645)
11-17-2009 5:56 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by slevesque
11-17-2009 12:59 AM


Re: Clutching at Straws
Hi Slavesque

The ones left who are still viewed as vestigial have all being found to have a function

I think if you are going to make this sort of claim, you should explicitly state exactly what those functions are and also explain why it is a better design to have those organs as they are.

Specifically:

The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve - what is the function of having this nerve deliberately routed from the brain, down the neck and into the chest, and then back up the neck to the larynx? And why is that better than routing it directly to the larynx?

The Blind Spot in the Retina - what is the function of having the nerve connections on the front of the retina (where they will interfere with light reaching the retina) and then passing through the blind spot (which..er..gives us a blind spot) in order to get to the brain? And why is that better than having the nerve connections at the back of the retina where they can connect straight to the brain without giving us a blind spot?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by slevesque, posted 11-17-2009 12:59 AM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3984
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 15 of 480 (535652)
11-17-2009 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee
11-17-2009 5:56 AM


Re: Clutching at Straws
And why is that better than having the nerve connections at the back of the retina where they can connect straight to the brain without giving us a blind spot?

And why are the V areas at the back of the brain?

Craziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, posted 11-17-2009 5:56 AM Jumped Up Chimpanzee has not yet responded

  
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