Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 78 (8896 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 03-24-2019 5:55 AM
42 online now:
caffeine (1 member, 41 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 848,612 Year: 3,649/19,786 Month: 644/1,087 Week: 13/221 Day: 13/36 Hour: 2/2


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
...
56
7
8910Next
Author Topic:   "The Edge of Evolution" by Michael Behe
Colin
Junior Member (Idle past 3324 days)
Posts: 27
From: Adelaide, Australia.
Joined: 10-14-2009


Message 91 of 149 (532560)
10-24-2009 2:02 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by bluegenes
10-23-2009 10:09 AM


Re: Nuts & Bolts
I understand your argument, but you are talking about the chances of an individual person being born. Behe was not talking about an individual creature or even an individual mutation. The only target set was adaptation to the drug, by any means.

In reality, species have a range of options by which to gain a advantage, and this would make the true set of targets for that species. And then there are numerous species each with their own complete set of options, which would constitute the complete set of all targets for evolution.

I use the word 'targets' purposely, because we are told that evolution is the mechanism responsible for causing great diversification in life on Earth by adaptation to environments. To test this, I need to give evolution the target of causing a species to adapt and change. If you say that evolution doesn't have a trend towards adaptation, then what exactly is the theory saying? Is the adaptation required for resistance so uniquely difficult and complex, that it should be considered a statistical anomaly within evolution?

Whether or not a mutation is essential at the time is beside the point. Changes still need to be made, and those changes need to be significant enough to appear on natural selections radar. All life on Earth originated from a single species correct? If so, this is an incredible claim. Massive changes (or countless little ones), need to have taken place. Behe is showing that at least in this case, even modest adaptation is alarmingly slow considering the sheer numbers of reproduction.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by bluegenes, posted 10-23-2009 10:09 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 93 by bluegenes, posted 10-24-2009 4:46 PM Colin has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 92 of 149 (532577)
10-24-2009 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by Colin
10-23-2009 4:36 AM


Re: Nuts & Bolts
Also, as it turns out, the probability was not actually calculated by Behe, but by Professor Nicholas White of Mahidol University, who is receiving the 2009 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) sanofi-aventis ICAAC Award for his "outstanding accomplishment in antimicrobial chemotherapy, development of new agents, investigation of antimicrobial action or resistance to antimicrobial agents, and/or the pharmacology, toxicology or clinical use of those agents since 1982." See the complete article here http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161314.php.

This article doesn't show White saying anything like what Behe's saying, it just tells us who he is.

Based on White's impressive biography, I am fairly sure that he wouldn't overlook the role that natural selection plays in evolution.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Colin, posted 10-23-2009 4:36 AM Colin has not yet responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 555 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 93 of 149 (532607)
10-24-2009 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Colin
10-24-2009 2:02 AM


Multi-dimensional fitness landscapes.
Colin writes:

I understand your argument, but you are talking about the chances of an individual person being born.

It applies to any individual alive today. All would have a less than 1 in 10^500 of existing from a point in history 200 years ago. Getting even one of the current 6 billion unique existing genomes would be extremely unlikely to Behe's way of thinking. Yet we're all here! And why? Because history has got to go somewhere, but doesn't have targets

Behe was not talking about an individual creature or even an individual mutation. The only target set was adaptation to the drug, by any means.

So what? Give us the target of solving the problem of any one of the diseases that currently plague us by any adaptation, and evolution hasn't solved it, has it? Look at the things that we vaccinate for. Pick one disease. That's your target. By any mutations. Evolution hasn't solved that specific thing, and it doesn't have to.

If we, as intelligent designers, attack any species with poison, giving it a specific "target" to solve, there is no reason why we should expect evolution to solve it, although fast breeding parasites often do.

In reality, species have a range of options by which to gain a advantage, and this would make the true set of targets for that species. And then there are numerous species each with their own complete set of options, which would constitute the complete set of all targets for evolution.

You're getting warmer, but forget the word "targets". Evolution happens in a multidimensional, ever-changing fitness landscape.

I use the word 'targets' purposely, because we are told that evolution is the mechanism responsible for causing great diversification in life on Earth by adaptation to environments.

It (evolution) still has no "targets". It wanders aimlessly. Looking at the results is doing so with hindsight. As with my "proto-cat" to tiger example, it can always seem improbable to you if you make up "tiger" as the target in your mind. This is Behe's fundamental mistake.

To test this, I need to give evolution the target of causing a species to adapt and change. If you say that evolution doesn't have a trend towards adaptation, then what exactly is the theory saying? Is the adaptation required for resistance so uniquely difficult and complex, that it should be considered a statistical anomaly within evolution?

It is not particularly "complex" just because it was rare in that species. "Rare" doesn't mean "complex"!

The theory is saying that variation and natural selection are responsible for the origins of species (the diversification of life on earth, as you put it). You don't need to give a species a specific target to test this. Dividing organisms of one species into two groups in different environments to see if you get divergence (and incipient speciation) would do it. And this has been done, with the results we would expect.

Whether or not a mutation is essential at the time is beside the point.

Not really.

Changes still need to be made, and those changes need to be significant enough to appear on natural selections radar. All life on Earth originated from a single species correct? If so, this is an incredible claim. Massive changes (or countless little ones), need to have taken place. Behe is showing that at least in this case, even modest adaptation is alarmingly slow considering the sheer numbers of reproduction.

Changes have been made, are being made, and will be made is better than changes "need" to be made, but what you are saying there is correct, apart from the "incredible claim" bit, and the last sentence. How many individuals of a specific species it takes to solve a very specific given target is no indication of how many individuals it takes other species to gain any advantageous mutations or mutation sequences.

Mutations make the "variation" part of evolutionary theory. I've already pointed out further up the thread that it is not lack of variation in genomes that stops a grey wolf becoming a terrier or a dingo in a few thousand years, and it is not lack of variation that stops a wild mustard plant becoming Brussels sprouts or Chinese broccoli in the same time period. These species do not have to sit there waiting for 10^20 individuals to exist before making "modest" changes, but they make quite significant ones in what is virtually zero geological time. So, why does Behe want to believe that it is mutation that is putting a tight limit on evolution? Religious desires?

What do you think?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Colin, posted 10-24-2009 2:02 AM Colin has not yet responded

  
Kaichos Man
Member (Idle past 2566 days)
Posts: 250
From: Tasmania, Australia
Joined: 10-03-2009


Message 94 of 149 (532648)
10-25-2009 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by Modulous
10-23-2009 8:00 AM


What is on topic here is whether the proposed mechanisms are enough to account for the biological change proposed in natural history. Maybe they aren't and there are other mechanisms out there.

While I disagree that there are "other mechanisms out there", this is certainly the most honest -and reasonable- statement I've read from an evolutionist on this forum.

I'm fairly sure you do accept that there are other mechanisms out there. Unless I am mistaken and you don't think that life has been influenced by the hand of a designer or creator?

My Creator is the "proposed mechanism" on my side of the debate. That's why I'm referred to as a (derogatory adjective of your choice) Creationist.


"Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy." Charles Darwin
This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Modulous, posted 10-23-2009 8:00 AM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

    
Kaichos Man
Member (Idle past 2566 days)
Posts: 250
From: Tasmania, Australia
Joined: 10-03-2009


Message 95 of 149 (532650)
10-25-2009 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by bluegenes
10-23-2009 9:41 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Thornton named a specific team having a specific record and scores. He pointed to something that couldn't be predicted. You agree that whatever happened isn't unlikely, and that Colin's existence isn't unlikely.

Let me put it another way.

Process: baseball. Target: World Series. Result: Yankees.
Process: procreation: Target: a child. Result: Colin.
Process: evolution. Target: none. Result: peacocks.

Has that clarified things?


"Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy." Charles Darwin
This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by bluegenes, posted 10-23-2009 9:41 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Percy, posted 10-25-2009 9:58 AM Kaichos Man has responded
 Message 97 by bluegenes, posted 10-25-2009 1:20 PM Kaichos Man has responded
 Message 98 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-26-2009 1:14 AM Kaichos Man has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18309
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 96 of 149 (532655)
10-25-2009 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Kaichos Man
10-25-2009 8:56 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Hi Kaichos Man,

While I would have broken it down differently, staying within the context you've already defined it's important to note that the target of evolution is not "none" but "survival to reproduce."

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-25-2009 8:56 AM Kaichos Man has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-26-2009 9:31 PM Percy has responded

    
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 555 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 97 of 149 (532666)
10-25-2009 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Kaichos Man
10-25-2009 8:56 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Kaichos Man writes:

bluegenes writes:

Thornton named a specific team having a specific record and scores. He pointed to something that couldn't be predicted. You agree that whatever happened isn't unlikely, and that Colin's existence isn't unlikely.

Let me put it another way.

Process: baseball. Target: World Series. Result: Yankees.
Process: procreation: Target: a child. Result: Colin.
Process: evolution. Target: none. Result: peacocks.

Has that clarified things?

It makes it clearer that you don't seem to understand the quote that you originally decided to comment on.

Thornton writes:

Finally, Behe erroneously equates “evolving non-deterministically” with “impossible to evolve.” He supposes that if each of a set of specific evolutionary outcomes has a low probability, then none will evolve. This is like saying that, because the probability was vanishingly small that the 1996 Yankees would finish 92-70 with 871 runs scored and 787 allowed and then win the World Series in six games over Atlanta, the fact that all this occurred means it must have been willed by God.

Kaichos Man writes:


Process: baseball. Target: World Series. Result: Yankees.
Process: procreation: Target: a child. Result: Colin.
Process: evolution. Target: none. Result: peacocks.

Process: history of baseball. Specific targets: None. One specific result: the 1996 Yankees finished 92-70 with 871 runs scored and 787 allowed and then won the World Series in six games over Atlanta.

Process: human biological history: Specific Targets: None. One specific result: Colin, with his unique genome, was born.

Process: history of life on earth. Specific targets: None. One specific result: Peacocks.

Process: formation and history of the solar system. Specific targets: none. One specific result: the Saturn system exactly as it is now.

This illustrates one of the problems that Michael Behe faces when he is trying to demonstrate that any specific historical result of naturalistic evolution that has occured is improbable and therefore must require his god.

It is like claiming that Obama becoming president of the U.S. instead of one of the tens of millions of other Americans of his generation is improbable, and therefore requires intelligent design from above.

Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-25-2009 8:56 AM Kaichos Man has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-26-2009 9:37 PM bluegenes has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


(1)
Message 98 of 149 (532723)
10-26-2009 1:14 AM
Reply to: Message 95 by Kaichos Man
10-25-2009 8:56 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Let me put it another way.

Process: baseball. Target: World Series. Result: Yankees.
Process: procreation: Target: a child. Result: Colin.
Process: evolution. Target: none. Result: peacocks.

Has that clarified things?

No, of course not.

But as your goal is not to clarify things for others, but to muddle and confuse yourself, let me congratulate you on your post.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-25-2009 8:56 AM Kaichos Man has not yet responded

  
Kaichos Man
Member (Idle past 2566 days)
Posts: 250
From: Tasmania, Australia
Joined: 10-03-2009


Message 99 of 149 (532844)
10-26-2009 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Percy
10-25-2009 9:58 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
the target of evolution is not "none" but "survival to reproduce."

No it isn't, Percy. All the baseball teams involved in the World Series were trying to win it. Colin's ancestors were trying to have a descendant. Evolution -as you have sternly lectured me on several occasions- isn't trying to do anything.


"Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy." Charles Darwin
This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Percy, posted 10-25-2009 9:58 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Percy, posted 10-27-2009 8:37 AM Kaichos Man has not yet responded

    
Kaichos Man
Member (Idle past 2566 days)
Posts: 250
From: Tasmania, Australia
Joined: 10-03-2009


Message 100 of 149 (532845)
10-26-2009 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by bluegenes
10-25-2009 1:20 PM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Process: history of baseball. Specific targets: None.

I'm sure the organisers of the World Series would be flabbergasted to hear that.

One specific result: the 1996 Yankees finished 92-70 with 871 runs scored and 787 allowed and then won the World Series in six games over Atlanta.

So obviously the Yankees weren't trying to win the World Series? I mean, that would make it a target, wouldn't it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by bluegenes, posted 10-25-2009 1:20 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by bluegenes, posted 10-27-2009 1:26 PM Kaichos Man has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18309
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 101 of 149 (532913)
10-27-2009 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 99 by Kaichos Man
10-26-2009 9:31 PM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Kaichos Man writes:

Evolution -as you have sternly lectured me on several occasions- isn't trying to do anything.

Evolution has no specific goal. Evolution is never trying to produce an eye or a lung. Selection keeps whatever allows life to survive to reproduce, and whatever innovations prevent an organism from reproducing will disappear when that organism dies. Evolution's target is adaptation to the environment. That's why when an environment changes, the organisms change with it.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-26-2009 9:31 PM Kaichos Man has not yet responded

    
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 555 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 102 of 149 (532951)
10-27-2009 1:26 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Kaichos Man
10-26-2009 9:37 PM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Kaichos Man writes:

bluegenes writes:

Process: history of baseball. Specific targets: None.

I'm sure the organisers of the World Series would be flabbergasted to hear that.

I'm sure that the English players of Rounders and the German players of Schlagball would have been astonished if someone had suggested that a thing called the World Series was the target of their hobbies, let alone the highly specific 1996 seasonal result for the Yankees of finishing 92-70 with 871 runs scored and 787 allowed and then winning the World Series in six games over Atlanta.

History, Kaichos, is not a person with volition and targets.

Kaichos Man writes:

bluegenes writes:

One specific result: the 1996 Yankees finished 92-70 with 871 runs scored and 787 allowed and then won the World Series in six games over Atlanta.

So obviously the Yankees weren't trying to win the World Series? I mean, that would make it a target, wouldn't it?

I presume they were trying to win all their games as well(and failed), but the specific seasonal result that Joe Thornton described was not a target of history, and it is the concept of targets of history that Thornton was very clearly talking about. You chose to comment on his comment, and I'm wondering how many posts it's going to take you to understand what he was saying.

Even the bluegenes "helpful illustrations for children" posts about things such as history not intending the specific outcomes of the Australian coastline or the Saturn system do not seem to have brought the point home. Colin, at least, seems to have some grasp on this. Here's what Thornton said once again.

Thornton writes:

Finally, Behe erroneously equates “evolving non-deterministically” with “impossible to evolve.” He supposes that if each of a set of specific evolutionary outcomes has a low probability, then none will evolve. This is like saying that, because the probability was vanishingly small that the 1996 Yankees would finish 92-70 with 871 runs scored and 787 allowed and then win the World Series in six games over Atlanta, the fact that all this occurred means it must have been willed by God.

He's making a simple point that I'd made on this thread in my first two or three posts.

Kaichos to Percy writes:

Colin's ancestors were trying to have a descendant. Evolution -as you have sternly lectured me on several occasions- isn't trying to do anything.

It's not actually true that all of Colin's ancestors were consciously trying to have descendents, but that's either a red herring or you've completely missed the point again. History was not "trying" or aiming for Colin, a specific result. If viewed as a target, any specific human with any specific genome appears extremely unlikely (as does any specific species).

Once Michael Behe understands this simple point, he will have made significant progress towards understanding the theory that he spends so much time and effort criticising.

Edited by bluegenes, : deletion of extra word

Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-26-2009 9:37 PM Kaichos Man has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-29-2009 2:20 AM bluegenes has responded

  
Kaichos Man
Member (Idle past 2566 days)
Posts: 250
From: Tasmania, Australia
Joined: 10-03-2009


Message 103 of 149 (533145)
10-29-2009 2:20 AM
Reply to: Message 102 by bluegenes
10-27-2009 1:26 PM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
History was not "trying" or aiming for Colin, a specific result. If viewed as a target, any specific human with any specific genome appears extremely unlikely (as does any specific species).

But given fertile, child-friendly ancestors, the chances of a human being occuring, Colin or someone else, is 1. Evolution doesn't have to achieve anything. That's why the overwhelming probability is that it will achieve nothing.

Look at it this way. Let's say evolution has 1000 base pairs to play with. It can do anything it likes with them. There are 41000 possible combinations. One of them will produce an enzyme. The other (41000)-1 will produce nothing useful.

What is the probable result?


"Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy." Charles Darwin
This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by bluegenes, posted 10-27-2009 1:26 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by cavediver, posted 10-29-2009 4:29 AM Kaichos Man has responded
 Message 110 by bluegenes, posted 10-29-2009 9:27 AM Kaichos Man has not yet responded
 Message 111 by Coyote, posted 10-29-2009 10:57 AM Kaichos Man has responded

    
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1722 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


(1)
Message 104 of 149 (533154)
10-29-2009 4:29 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by Kaichos Man
10-29-2009 2:20 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
Evolution doesn't have to achieve anything. That's why the overwhelming probability is that it will achieve nothing.

Now children, can we all spell non sequitur?

Let's say evolution has 1000 base pairs to play with. It can do anything it likes with them. There are 41000 possible combinations. One of them will produce an enzyme. The other (41000)-1 will produce nothing useful.

Well, that's good of you to state this as a fact - but you know, I'd like some evidence that your 41000-1 will produce nothing useful 'cos I have this feeling that you're making this up as you go along...

What is the probable result?

That Kaichos Man really doesn't understand what the hell he's talking about?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-29-2009 2:20 AM Kaichos Man has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by Kaichos Man, posted 10-29-2009 6:48 AM cavediver has responded

  
Kaichos Man
Member (Idle past 2566 days)
Posts: 250
From: Tasmania, Australia
Joined: 10-03-2009


Message 105 of 149 (533173)
10-29-2009 6:48 AM
Reply to: Message 104 by cavediver
10-29-2009 4:29 AM


Re: Joe Thornton (and creationist targets).
'cos I have this feeling that you're making this up as you go along...

It's really not that hard. Each nucleotide can be one of four bases A,T,C or G. The chance of any one being correct for the enzyme in question is therefore 1 in 4. First nucleotide correct? 1 in 4. Second nucleotide correct as well? 1 in 42=16. Third as well? 1 in 43=64. And so on, all the way up to 1 in 41000. The -1 represents the one chance in this enormous figure that will give you the desired enzyme. If you want any enzyme you can divide the result by 20,000 (that's the estimated number of enzymes possible). It's still a laughingly tiny probability.

Edited by Kaichos Man, : add quote.


"Often a cold shudder has run through me, and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a fantasy." Charles Darwin
This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by cavediver, posted 10-29-2009 4:29 AM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Wounded King, posted 10-29-2009 7:05 AM Kaichos Man has responded
 Message 108 by cavediver, posted 10-29-2009 7:52 AM Kaichos Man has not yet responded
 Message 112 by MarkAustin, posted 10-31-2009 4:47 AM Kaichos Man has not yet responded
 Message 119 by Drosophilla, posted 10-31-2009 7:52 PM Kaichos Man has responded

    
Prev1
...
56
7
8910Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019