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Author Topic:   Why can creationists give straight answers?
derwood
Member (Idle past 426 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 1 of 56 (15157)
08-10-2002 1:02 PM


Occasional particiapant YEC Fred Williams simply cannot or will not respond to simple, direct questions. In a thread on the Baptist Board, Williams has repeatedly been asked a simple, straightforward question (one that I have asked him probably dozens of times):

"What is the evidence that 1667 beneficial mutations can’t account for human evolution? You can end this debate by putting your cards on the table. I think it is becoming clear to everyone that you are holding no cards, so you have no choice but to bluff and misdirect."

(see http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=36;t=000111;p=5)

Williams' response?

"But common sense alone suggests that 1667 beneficial changes is way too low given that there are at least 30 million bp differences separating us from chimps (more on this below). Yes, many of these may be neutral differences, but only 1667 beneficial? I don’t think so. I think it’s a pipe-dream to believe otherwise, but I cannot prove it and never claimed I could."

So, Williams 'admits' that there is no support for his repeated (and borrowed) mantra. Does anyone think this will stop Williams from repeating his assertions over and over ad nauseum?

Of course not.

Williams makes a number of errors and false claims in his latest reply there, which I will expose shortly.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by wj, posted 08-10-2002 1:20 PM derwood has not yet responded
 Message 3 by mark24, posted 08-10-2002 2:14 PM derwood has responded

  
wj
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 56 (15159)
08-10-2002 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by derwood
08-10-2002 1:02 PM


Scott

Better hurry. Last time I checked the administrator had decided to close the thread after Robert (Williams?) and Fred Williams posted summaries. Didn't John Paul drop out rather abruptly. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for JP or Fred to return to this board to reopen the issue.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by derwood, posted 08-10-2002 1:02 PM derwood has not yet responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3745 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 3 of 56 (15160)
08-10-2002 2:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by derwood
08-10-2002 1:02 PM


Scott,

Hasn't the mutation "limit" been shown to be exceeded experimentally anyway?

That is, that the maths that the 1667 beneficial mutation limit was derived from, has been shown to be wrong in studies on other organisms?

Not sure if I'm confusing two different things.......

Mark

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by derwood, posted 08-10-2002 1:02 PM derwood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by derwood, posted 08-11-2002 1:22 PM mark24 has responded

  
derwood
Member (Idle past 426 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 4 of 56 (15203)
08-11-2002 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by mark24
08-10-2002 2:14 PM


quote:
Originally posted by mark24:
Scott,

Hasn't the mutation "limit" been shown to be exceeded experimentally anyway?

That is, that the maths that the 1667 beneficial mutation limit was derived from, has been shown to be wrong in studies on other organisms?

Not sure if I'm confusing two different things.......

Mark


Hi Mark,

Haldane's model (from where the 1667 thing comes from) was a theoretical model devised in the late 1950s which 'limits' the speed of adaptive evolution to 1 beneficial allele per 300 generations. The model entailed what I (and many others) believe to be unrealistic assumptions, such as a constant population size and selection always being minor. Of course, the model had a lot going for it, too, though Haldane himslef admitted that his numbers would probably need 'drastic revision.'

ReMine latched onto "Haldane's Dilemma" as it became known and made much of it. ReMine, as Williams and John Paul have done repeatedly, simply asserts that 1667 beneficial mutations and some number of neutral ones is too few to account for human evolution from an apelike ancestor.

For this repeated assertion, they provide no evidence whatsoever - indeed, Williams finally admitted as much in the thread I linked to.

But the assertion begs some questions - what was the ancestor? How many mutations are required to account for various phenotypic changes? ReMine, nor any of his followers (whom, interestingly, all seem to be engineers like he is) has even attempted to address this issue.

That is, theirs is an argument based on ignorance.

As to the question, there are some documented examples of Haldane's 'limit' being exceeded, and, contrary to ReMine's claims, the issue had been discussed frequently in the literature and at conferences over the years, and many talented and knowledgible geneticists have provided 'solutions' premised on more realistic scenarios which have gone ignored by the Dilemma mongers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by mark24, posted 08-10-2002 2:14 PM mark24 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by mark24, posted 08-11-2002 2:18 PM derwood has responded

  
derwood
Member (Idle past 426 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 5 of 56 (15204)
08-11-2002 1:34 PM


Oh - as for replying at BB -

http://geocities.com/huxter4441/baptist.html

easier to win the debate when you don't allow the opposition to take aprt...


  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3745 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 6 of 56 (15207)
08-11-2002 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by derwood
08-11-2002 1:22 PM


Scott,

Thanks for the reply.

So basically, Haldanes "limit" of 1 beneficial allele fixed/300 generations has been shown false.

In that case the model has been clearly found wanting, so (rhetorical question imminent) how can you form an argument claiming a falsification, when the model you get that falsification from, is shown to be faulty?

IMO, Scott, you needn't have asked the question "do we know that 1667 beneficial mutations weren't enough to separate man from chimps?" Since the question is already moot.

Whilst I'm at it, it has just occurred to me that it's 1667 ben. mut. to go from a common ancestor of humans & chimps, to humans & chimps. This assumes that chimps ARE the common ancestor of man, & have had no beneficial mutations fixed themselves. This means you should roughly double the figure, since the chimps are getting 1667 be. muts. as well, not just humans. So wouldn't there have been 3334 fixed beneficial alleles in the two species from divergence (according to Haldane in '57), or has this been taken into account?

Hope that made sense

Mark

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by derwood, posted 08-11-2002 1:22 PM derwood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by derwood, posted 08-11-2002 2:55 PM mark24 has not yet responded
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 Message 9 by Peter, posted 08-12-2002 9:29 AM mark24 has responded

  
derwood
Member (Idle past 426 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 7 of 56 (15209)
08-11-2002 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by mark24
08-11-2002 2:18 PM


quote:
Originally posted by mark24:
Scott,

Thanks for the reply.

So basically, Haldanes "limit" of 1 beneficial allele fixed/300 generations has been shown false.


Thats the rubber hen... It has been shown not to apply is some circumstances, but its general thrust is claimed by many to be intact (though not a 'dilemma').

quote:

In that case the model has been clearly found wanting, so (rhetorical question imminent) how can you form an argument claiming a falsification, when the model you get that falsification from, is shown to be faulty?

Indeed.

quote:

IMO, Scott, you needn't have asked the question "do we know that 1667 beneficial mutations weren't enough to separate man from chimps?" Since the question is already moot.

Well, that is not really the question, at least when applied strictly to Haldane's Dilamma as portraye dby the YECs. The question is Is 1667 fbms enough to account for humans from an ape-like ancestor which would have also been the ancestor of chimps.

quote:

Whilst I'm at it, it has just occurred to me that it's 1667 ben. mut. to go from a common ancestor of humans & chimps, to humans & chimps. This assumes that chimps ARE the common ancestor of man, & have had no beneficial mutations fixed themselves. This means you should roughly double the figure, since the chimps are getting 1667 be. muts. as well, not just humans. So wouldn't there have been 3334 fixed beneficial alleles in the two species from divergence (according to Haldane in '57), or has this been taken into account?

Hope that made sense

Mark


[Added missing close quote. --Admin]

While it is obviously useful to examine chimps as well as humans in pursuing this issue, ReMine insists that it is irrelevant. Chimps, of course, are under the same pressures (or rather their genomes are) that we are, and so would have experienced substitutions and such just like us, as you say. But they are not our ancestors any more than a person's cousin is their ancestor.

[This message has been edited by Admin, 08-12-2002]


This message is a reply to:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 56 (15230)
08-11-2002 9:13 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by mark24
08-11-2002 2:18 PM


'scusa me. I have a question.

quote:
Whilst I'm at it, it has just occurred to me that it's 1667 ben. mut. to go from a common ancestor of humans & chimps, to humans & chimps. This assumes that chimps ARE the common ancestor of man, & have had no beneficial mutations fixed themselves. This means you should roughly double the figure, since the chimps are getting 1667 be. muts. as well, not just humans. So wouldn't there have been 3334 fixed beneficial alleles in the two species from divergence (according to Haldane in '57), or has this been taken into account?

The 1667 mutations? This number represents the mutations seperating humans and chimps? Basically, how is this figure calculated?

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


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Peter
Member (Idle past 29 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 9 of 56 (15283)
08-12-2002 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by mark24
08-11-2002 2:18 PM


Couldn't you get from a common ancestor to chimps & man
with 1667/2 (if 1667 is an ok number ... dunno where it
came from but hey ...)?

If the 1667 were split in half (I know, I know it's odd),
but where in different locations in the two lines,
you'd end up with 1667 differences.

So from a common (and different genetically) ancestor, you would
have to split the 1667 amongst the two lines.

Or however many mutations were actually accumulated.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by mark24, posted 08-11-2002 2:18 PM mark24 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by John, posted 08-12-2002 9:43 AM Peter has not yet responded
 Message 11 by mark24, posted 08-12-2002 9:50 AM Peter has responded

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 56 (15285)
08-12-2002 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Peter
08-12-2002 9:29 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Peter:
Couldn't you get from a common ancestor to chimps & man
with 1667/2 (if 1667 is an ok number ... dunno where it
came from but hey ...)?

That's where I was going when I asked what the number 1667 actually represents. If that number represents the difference between humans and chimps, then I am thinking, like you, that we should divide it by 2 to get a rough approximation of change along one lineage.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


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mark24
Member (Idle past 3745 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 11 of 56 (15286)
08-12-2002 9:50 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Peter
08-12-2002 9:29 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Peter:
Couldn't you get from a common ancestor to chimps & man
with 1667/2 (if 1667 is an ok number ... dunno where it
came from but hey ...)?

If the 1667 were split in half (I know, I know it's odd),
but where in different locations in the two lines,
you'd end up with 1667 differences.

So from a common (and different genetically) ancestor, you would
have to split the 1667 amongst the two lines.

Or however many mutations were actually accumulated.


The 1667 fixed beneficial mutations is a limit set by Haldanes 1957 model. 1 fbn/300 generations. Rather than an estimated difference between humans & chimps. Creationists think this too low, but are unable to say why.

My point above was, if human/chimp divergence was 5 mya (or whatever), & Haldanes model allows 1667 fbm in that time, then surely the chimp clade gets 1667 fbn (or thereabouts) as well as us. This means that, according to Haldane in '57, there are 1667*2 = 3334 fbm (not /2) allowed as differences between humans & chimps. It's 1667 fbm each back to their most recent common ancestor, therefore 3334 fbm mutations relative to each other.

As Scott laboriously points out whenever this comes up, Haldane himself recognised the weakness of his model, in that it was based on estimated assumptions, & not derived data. Today, his the maximum number of fbm has been shown to have have been exceeded experimentally.

Hope this helps.

Mark

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Peter, posted 08-12-2002 9:29 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
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Peter
Member (Idle past 29 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 12 of 56 (15287)
08-12-2002 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by mark24
08-12-2002 9:50 AM


Oh ... so the idea is that there could only have been
1667 fbm's from present back to a common ancestor
with chimps (or forward from it rather).

But, yes that would be each, allowing a difference of
1667*2 = 3334 possible differences between chimp and man.

What is the genetic difference between chimps and man?
How is the 4my (or is it 5) calculated?


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derwood
Member (Idle past 426 days)
Posts: 1457
Joined: 12-27-2001


Message 13 of 56 (15300)
08-12-2002 2:47 PM


The 1667 figure represents only fixed, beneficial (adaptive) mutations. These are not necessarily point mutations (indeed, many are probably not), nor are all of them necessarily in coding regions.

Neutral mutations (those changes that do not affect fitness) can reach fixation in a population at a rate comparable to the rate of occurrance of these mutations, that is, at a much higher rate than adaptiove mutations.

Then, of course, there are intraspecies polymorphisms which do not necessarily affect phenotype.

So, when we look at a human and a chimp genome, they differ by about 1.1%, or roughly 35 million bps total.

Which means that roughly 17.5 million of these will be in each lineage, many of which are polymorphisms, most of which are neutral.


Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Fred Williams, posted 08-13-2002 6:17 PM derwood has responded

  
Fred Williams
Member (Idle past 3405 days)
Posts: 310
From: Broomfield
Joined: 12-17-2001


Message 14 of 56 (15387)
08-13-2002 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by derwood
08-12-2002 2:47 PM


quote:

Mark:: My point above was, if human/chimp divergence was 5 mya (or whatever),

The assumption is 10mya to arrive at 1667. If we assume 5 mya the number is 833.

quote:
Mark: Today, his the maximum number of fbm has been shown to have have been exceeded experimentally.

This is big news! Please provide the experimental study that has shown this.

quote:
Scott: The 1667 figure represents only fixed, beneficial (adaptive) mutations. These are not necessarily point mutations (indeed, many are probably not), nor are all of them necessarily in coding regions.

Why would “many probably not” be point mutations? From what we know of mutations, by far the best candidates are point mutations because 1) they are the most frequent, 2) the other types are far more likely to be harmful. Regarding transposons (which are also infrequent), they give all the appearances of non-random mutation. I think very few would be non-point mutations.

quote:

Scott: Neutral mutations (those changes that do not affect fitness) can reach fixation in a population at a rate comparable to the rate of occurrance of these mutations, that is, at a much higher rate than adaptiove mutations.

This is not necessarily true. To illustrate, consider a clade that regularly receives two new mutations each generation, a beneficial mutation and a neutral mutation. If one were to take Scott’s statement above at face value, the neutral mutations will fix at a greater rate than the beneficial ones. I’d love to see him try to support this claim mathematically! The qualifier that needs mentioning is that in order for neutrals to fix faster than adaptive mutations, you need a higher ratio of neutrals to adaptives to begin with. There is some ratio of neutrals to adaptives that represents the threshold where neutrals surpass adaptives in fixation rate. I’d be curious to know if Kimura or anyone else ever attempted this calculation (the key dependency would of course be the adaptive mutations’ assumed selection value).

quote:
So, when we look at a human and a chimp genome, they differ by about 1.1%, or roughly 35 million bps total. Which means that roughly 17.5 million of these will be in each lineage, many of which are polymorphisms, most of which are neutral.

Not this again! An accurate measure of difference between chimps and man cannot, must not, include polymorphisms. The differences must be in fixed bps in order for it to count as a “difference” between chimp/man. SNPs (single-nucleotide polys) represent noise, so they are useless in such a comparison. The only time I think you could consider an SNP is if it is at a high frequency, while its corresponding SNP in the other species is at a low frequency. Only then should it be logged as a “difference”.

I realize that the 1.1% estimate is not based on a complete sequence comparison of the two. But if it were, any bp counted as a difference that was later discovered to be an SNP would have to be removed from the “difference” ledger. So, if 1/5th of the bps counted as “different” turned out to be SNPs, this would reduce the “difference” number from 1.1% to .088%.

[I have family in town, so may not be able to respond for a while]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by derwood, posted 08-12-2002 2:47 PM derwood has responded

Replies to this message:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 56 (15401)
08-13-2002 10:58 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Fred Williams
08-13-2002 6:17 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Fred Williams:
The assumption is 10mya to arrive at 1667. If we assume 5 mya the number is 833.

But the assumption is an assumption. As I understand the 1667 figure is based upon a calculation made by Haldane(?) If his assumptions are proven wrong the whole thing collapses.

What you are doing is taking like taking a estimated measure of distance-- say one hundred feet. Then walking that distance and realizing that the distance is actually 125 feet. Then, turning around and arguing that the distance isn't 125 feet because the estimate said it can't be.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
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