Evolutionary Improbability

JHenson
Theist
Posts: 112
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
Evolutionary Improbability

I've actually held no particular quarrel with evolution, but I recently ran across the notion that evolution is probabilistically impossible.  Not just somewhat unlikely, mind you.  A noteworthy number was that the odds of a horse developing by random mutation - even with favorable assumptions - were 1 in 10^130.  The presumed life of the earth is vastly, inconceivably insufficient for evolutionary development by random mutation for all life on earth.

Of course, it doesn't begin to address how life got started in the first place, but that's probably beyond this particular discussion.

I was curious if anyone here was familiar with the problem and could address it.  It's new to me, but seems quite compelling.

"The map appears more real to us than the land." - Lawrence


Textom
Textom's picture
Posts: 551
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
JHenson, I can't believe

JHenson, I can't believe you got through 121 posts without coming across this subject.  This is exhaustively dealt with all over the site. 

Probability would be a problem for evolution if evolution depended on randomness.

Evolution is not random, though.  Selection overcomes the effects of random chance.  Evolution is a natural, non-random process.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


Eight Foot Manchild
Eight Foot Manchild's picture
Posts: 144
Joined: 2007-05-12
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: I've

JHenson wrote:
I've actually held no particular quarrel with evolution, but I recently ran across the notion that evolution is probabilistically impossible.  Not just somewhat unlikely, mind you.  A noteworthy number was that the odds of a horse developing by random mutation - even with favorable assumptions - were 1 in 10^130.  The presumed life of the earth is vastly, inconceivably insufficient for evolutionary development by random mutation for all life on earth.

Yeah, that's a favorite argument put forth by IDiots. I don't know enough about the issue to address the details, but the biggest problem with this "problem" is that you could apply it to any state of reality. In other words, if the world was completely different - if we had tentacles instead of arms and genitalia in the middle of our foreheads and pigs could fly etc. etc. - you would be making the exact same argument.
JHenson wrote:
Of course, it doesn't begin to address how life got started in the first place, but that's probably beyond this particular discussion.

I'm glad you acknowledge that.
JHenson wrote:
I was curious if anyone here was familiar with the problem and could address it.  It's new to me, but seems quite compelling.

I sincerely hope you're not fooled.


wavefreak
Theist
wavefreak's picture
Posts: 1825
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
Proabailities are funny

Proabailities are funny things. Here is a completely fabricated argument.

A human male create on average 10^12 sperm in a lifetime. In the last 40,000 years there have been about 10^10 males. This makes 10^21 sperm produced in human testicles over the last 40,000 years. Now the chimpanzee shares 96 of our genome or 10^1. Since all those sperm are subject to random mutation, and 10^21/10^1 is 10^20, humans have produced 10^20 chimpanzee sperm in the last 40,000 years.

 

Clearly this is an egregious misuse of probability. But the math is correct.

 

Lesson: Beware of false prophets throwing dice. 

 


The Patrician
The Patrician's picture
Posts: 474
Joined: 2007-05-09
User is offlineOffline
The probability assumptions

The probability assumptions are false as they assume a one shot deal rather than stages of development.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
I'd suggest reading Richard

I'd suggest reading Richard Dawkins' "Climbing Mount Improbable."


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
Ooh boy! It's the random

Ooh boy! It's the random chance straw man visiting us again. I do so love that one.
Trying to come up with a probability problem that disproves evolutionary theory is about as sound as using the same type of thing to disprove the existence of earth itself. The evidence of evolution is plentiful.  Walk into a natural history museum.  See some of what's been dug up yourself.  





Jacob Cordingley
SuperfanBronze Member
Jacob Cordingley's picture
Posts: 1484
Joined: 2007-03-18
User is offlineOffline
Dawkins deals with this

Dawkins deals with this extensively, in Climbing Mount Improbable he uses the analogy of a mountain where on one side there is a sheer cliff, impossible to climb. However round the back it is a gentle slope. Of course even if it were improbable that a horse might develop by natural selection over billions of years, the odds of it turning into a horse are exactly the same as the odds of any possible creature of similar complexity arising over the same amount of time. If you were to add all the probabilities of the (almost infinite) possible creature together you would get a significantly higher probability. It had to be one of these possibilities. As you move closer up the horse's family tree the probability of the horse arising becomes higher, any subsequent creatures must adhere to certain features, warm blooded, gives birth to live young, two eyes, a nose, a mouth (unless such features turn out to hinder the chances of survival).

Evolution doesn't explain how life first started. But there are some very good theories that don't resort to a God-of-the-gaps fallacy. The fact is that in such a massive universe anything (within the laws of physics) is possible. Life probably started off with just complex strands of molecules. There are other non-organic complex molecules around too, early RNA/DNA or whatever, was just another of these that could copy itself. The ones most able to copy themselves survived. Evolution began then. Gradually simple viruses, amoebas, bacteria, animals and plants evolved, perhaps just one celled. Those that were able to create more cells were equipped to survive. Those plants and animals that could reproduce sexually were also better equipped to survive certain diseases (inside your body there are many parasites, some harmful others not, over your lifetime a parasite may adapt to your DNA, the way your body works, your body's immune system will develop to deal with it, if you reproduced asexually your offspring's body would not be able to cope with the parasite that your immune system had protected you from. However, sexual reproduction means that there is a whole new set of genes for the parasite to adapt to).

I'm rambling. I barely slept last night.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Your calculations depend on

Your calculations depend on point mutations, which makes them an inaccurate (in fact, vastly inaccurate) calculation regarding evolutionary mutation probability.

I swear, I could one day have a program stand in for my posts, I haven't seen an original argument against evolution in about 10 years...

Proteomics and It's Applications For Evolutionary Mechanisms- Indisputable Proof of Evolution and Common Descent

 

If you read this essay from beginning to end, you will realize that there is a complete and thorough expanation of why your calculations are innacurate 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


wavefreak
Theist
wavefreak's picture
Posts: 1825
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote:   I

deludedgod wrote:

 

I swear, I could one day have a program stand in for my posts, theists never come up with anything original...

What? You don't think the thing about chimpanzee sperm is true? 


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
I'm deeply sorry,

I'm deeply sorry, wavefreak.

I meant, Christians never come up with anything original... 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: I've

JHenson wrote:
I've actually held no particular quarrel with evolution, but I recently ran across the notion that evolution is probabilistically impossible. Not just somewhat unlikely, mind you. A noteworthy number was that the odds of a horse developing by random mutation - even with favorable assumptions - were 1 in 10^130. The presumed life of the earth is vastly, inconceivably insufficient for evolutionary development by random mutation for all life on earth.

Of course, it doesn't begin to address how life got started in the first place, but that's probably beyond this particular discussion.

I was curious if anyone here was familiar with the problem and could address it. It's new to me, but seems quite compelling.
After running across this notion you should have sued for the time you wasted, because it sounds like some kind of terrible accident especially since evolution is a scientific fact.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


JHenson
Theist
Posts: 112
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
Jacob Cordingley wrote: Of

Jacob Cordingley wrote:
Of course even if it were improbable that a horse might develop by natural selection over billions of years, the odds of it turning into a horse are exactly the same as the odds of any possible creature of similar complexity arising over the same amount of time.

I understand this position very well, mostly because it is extremely simple.  However, it ignores the question posed.  The issue isn't the improbability of our particular set of species evolving, it's that there isn't sufficient time for the necessary mutations of any complex organism to develop.

deludedgod, I've read a few of your posts before and they're usually quite informative.  I especially liked one addressing multiverse theory.  I want to apologize that I haven't read the article you linked to.  Frankly, it's intimidating!  As foolish a question as it surely is, is there a short version anywhere?

"The map appears more real to us than the land." - Lawrence


Gauche
atheist
Gauche's picture
Posts: 1565
Joined: 2007-01-18
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote:

JHenson wrote:
understand this position very well, mostly because it is extremely simple. However, it ignores the question posed. The issue isn't the improbability of our particular set of species evolving, it's that there isn't sufficient time for the necessary mutations of any complex organism to develop.

But the question was bogus to begin with because it assumes a random process. Evolution works through natural selection which is "the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators"

Richard Dawkins

So the question should be ignored because it has no relevance.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


JHenson
Theist
Posts: 112
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
GaucheBut the question was

Gauche wrote:
But the question was bogus to begin with because it assumes a random process. Evolution works through natural selection which is "the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators"

Natural selection can only take place after a random mutation.  The probability problem is that there is vastly inadequate time for sufficient mutations to occur such that complex organisms could develop.

Maybe the problem needs to be laid out more plainly?

"The map appears more real to us than the land." - Lawrence


aiia
Superfan
aiia's picture
Posts: 1923
Joined: 2006-09-12
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: Gauche

JHenson wrote:
Gauche wrote:
But the question was bogus to begin with because it assumes a random process. Evolution works through natural selection which is "the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators"


Natural selection can only take place after a random mutation. The probability problem is that there is vastly inadequate time for sufficient mutations to occur such that complex organisms could develop.

Maybe the problem needs to be laid out more plainly?

You don't know what you're talking about. Haven't you read anything on this forum about the subject? Where do you people get this shit from?

Natural selection is not random.
Natural selection is the process by which favorable traits that are heritable become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms, and unfavorable traits that are heritable become less common.

Evolution is the change in the inherited traits of a population from generation to generation.

 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


Eloise
TheistBronze Member
Eloise's picture
Posts: 1808
Joined: 2007-05-26
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: Gauche

JHenson wrote:

Gauche wrote:
But the question was bogus to begin with because it assumes a random process. Evolution works through natural selection which is "the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators"

Natural selection can only take place after a random mutation. The probability problem is that there is vastly inadequate time for sufficient mutations to occur such that complex organisms could develop.

Maybe the problem needs to be laid out more plainly?

I see what you're talking about JHenson, but probabilities change exponentially once they become accumulated, reproduction is the most fundamental feature of biological life and so evolution must at least have accumulated probability lending itself to even greater chances for diversity. Evolution is not the roll of one dice with infinite sides to get a sequence out of many rolls, that's the sheer face of the cliff and not worth worrying about. On the other side there is parallel 'dice' rolling together under some external constraint to get accumulated results which combine for even more effective results like sexual reproduction. When you get to there, time is no longer against natural selection, what could take many billions of years will only take a some tens of thousands. 

Theist badge qualifier : Gnostic/Philosophical Panentheist

www.mathematicianspictures.com


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2038
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
    Humans in our

    Humans in our current form are about 100,000 years old give or take a few thousands of years. To get to our current form took millions of years from a common ancestors as other great apes. in those 100,000 years we have evolved as well, mainly with parts of our body that are there but no longer used, such as the appendix. Then there is minor stuff, hair colour (blond hair mutation occurred about 45,000 years ago) Then there is skin colour, eyes etc etc etc. 

    We continually evolve, and the amount of time required, well there isn't a specific limit or required time, just survivablity, outside pressures and natural selection, as such even no matter how improbable it may seem if yuou add all the improbabilities to get where we are, it's a gradual thing, not a spontaneous option, that gradual part shows it is possible, spontaneous isn't possible, no species just appears as is.


Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
The whole probability factor

The whole probability factor isn't the weak point of the evolutionary theory, the way to really render it obsolete is simply by realizing that it is a theory with no evidence backing it up, nothing for the theory of evolution has ever been empirically proven. Not too mention it's in complete contradiction with the second law of thermodynamics which the complete race of humanity takes as fact.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Psalm 14 1 wrote:

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

The whole probability factor isn't the weak point of the evolutionary theory, the way to really render it obsolete is simply by realizing that it is a theory with no evidence backing it up, nothing for the theory of evolution has ever been empirically proven. Not too mention it's in complete contradiction with the second law of thermodynamics which the complete race of humanity takes as fact.

The molecular/cellular biologist (hint: ME) says no. Here, read what I wrote on the subject. Please take it upon yourself to educate yourself in basic science.

You're not here to learn, your here to spout ignorance, not bad for two posts. It is the height of arrogance and stupidity to debate on issues on which you are fundamentally ignorant.

Like I said, they never come up with anything original.

Here, this is what I wrote on the subject:

Entropy and Life- The Functions of Thermodynamics and their implications for biological systems

Proteomics and It's Applications For Evolutionary Mechanisms- Indisputable Proof of Evolution and Common Descent

Reading the Common Descent- Endogenous Retrovirals and Mitochondrial DNA, A Very Short Page

Blood Clotting and Evolution- A Critique of one of Behe's Four Arguments of Irreducible Complexity

You will note, if you take the time to read these (you probably won't) that in one of them I wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

The relationship between genes and proteins, and their interactions with RNA is deep and ancient. Many times have I said that only someone who truly understands the interlocking three pillars of molecular biology with the depth that comes with years of study is the only person who has any right to comment on the validity of the theory that life evolves.

Now, could you kindly tell me for how many decades you have studied molecular biology, and then we can talk?

{shortened links}

 

 

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


Loucks
Loucks's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
I'm surprised to find that

I'm surprised to find that people still seriously argue this point. It struck me as particularly disingenuous when I first encountered it in 9th grade, and I can't imagine what adult would take it seriously.

Details of my timeout are posted here.


Gauche
atheist
Gauche's picture
Posts: 1565
Joined: 2007-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Psalm 14 1 wrote: The whole

Psalm 14 1 wrote:
The whole probability factor isn't the weak point of the evolutionary theory, the way to really render it obsolete is simply by realizing that it is a theory with no evidence backing it up, nothing for the theory of evolution has ever been empirically proven. Not too mention it's in complete contradiction with the second law of thermodynamics which the complete race of humanity takes as fact.

 

I guess not all propositions can be as well supported as say... I don’t know, Jesus being born from a virgin, dying, coming back to life three days later then flying away. Even if what you said about evolution was accurate it would still only put evolution on the same level in terms of believability as the things you accept without evidence now. It’s a very astounding display of hypocrisy. The story about god creating the universe violates the first law of thermodynamics but you probably believe it anyway. It’s nothing but bias and it’s a very pathetic and desperate kind of bias where you accept things that are not supported by evidence and reject things that are.

 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


D-cubed
Rational VIP!
D-cubed's picture
Posts: 715
Joined: 2007-01-04
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: I've

JHenson wrote:

I've actually held no particular quarrel with evolution, but I recently ran across the notion that evolution is probabilistically impossible. Not just somewhat unlikely, mind you. A noteworthy number was that the odds of a horse developing by random mutation - even with favorable assumptions - were 1 in 10^130. The presumed life of the earth is vastly, inconceivably insufficient for evolutionary development by random mutation for all life on earth.

Of course, it doesn't begin to address how life got started in the first place, but that's probably beyond this particular discussion.

I was curious if anyone here was familiar with the problem and could address it. It's new to me, but seems quite compelling.

Hmmmm, how about some common sense from Douglas Adams.  There are an estimated billion stars, around which hundreds of billions of planets are circling.  Of those hundreds of billions of planets we know of one that contains life (ours).  So if we divide the number of planets by the number that are known to contain life the answer is so close to zero that it's reasonable to assume that we don't exist.  It's because we are so statistically improbable.

Yet here you are thus your evolution argument doesn't hold water. 


Textom
Textom's picture
Posts: 551
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
See if this analogy makes

See if this analogy makes sense, JHenson:

Straight Poker = Random Chance

In straight poker, you get to draw five cards from the deck and you have to play those cards.

If you're drawing five cards from a deck of cards, what are the odds that you'll get a royal flush with one draw?

1 in 649740. Random chance, huge odds, doesn't happen very often. You can try for years without it happening, and even after thousands of draws there's no guarantee.

Even if you drew five card hands one after another until you went through the whole deck, the odds against getting a royal flush are astronomical.

Draw Poker = Chance + Selection

In draw poker you draw five cards, then you get to keep (select) the good cards and trade in the cards you don't want for fresh cards.

It should probably already be plain that if one player is playing straight poker and the other player is playing draw poker, the draw poker player will usually win more often. Even if the straight poker player is allowed to swap for a whole new 5-card hand, the draw poker will still get consistently better hands because he's allowed to keep the good cards and throw away the bad ones.

Draw poker selection can even cause extremely improbable things to become probable. If you're drawing successive hands of 5 cards from a deck, throwing out the cards that aren't part of a royal flush (as in draw poker), and replacing them with fresh cards from the deck, what are the odds of drawing a royal flush?

100%. Using this method you will always draw a royal flush by the time you get through the deck--it's inevitable. Because you *select* the good cards and throw out the ones that don't fit, you completely negate the effects of chance. You can even draw a specific royal flush (spades, hearts, etc) with 100% certainty every time.

This is how selection overcomes chance.

It works the same way in natural selection. The environment works to select adaptive genes and cause the extinction of maladaptive genes. This process overcomes the randomness of the mutations.

Dawkins's explanation is much more complete in "Mount Improbable," but that's the short version.

 

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


Jacob Cordingley
SuperfanBronze Member
Jacob Cordingley's picture
Posts: 1484
Joined: 2007-03-18
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: Jacob

JHenson wrote:

Jacob Cordingley wrote:
Of course even if it were improbable that a horse might develop by natural selection over billions of years, the odds of it turning into a horse are exactly the same as the odds of any possible creature of similar complexity arising over the same amount of time.

I understand this position very well, mostly because it is extremely simple.  However, it ignores the question posed.  The issue isn't the improbability of our particular set of species evolving, it's that there isn't sufficient time for the necessary mutations of any complex organism to develop.

deludedgod, I've read a few of your posts before and they're usually quite informative.  I especially liked one addressing multiverse theory.  I want to apologize that I haven't read the article you linked to.  Frankly, it's intimidating!  As foolish a question as it surely is, is there a short version anywhere?

Yes it is improbable that the set of species we have now would develop, but one set of species had to.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
And yet another person who

And yet another person who doesn't know what "theory" actually means in science. Cursing Man


qbg
Posts: 298
Joined: 2006-11-22
User is offlineOffline
Complex organisms didn't

Complex organisms didn't come about from one huge mutation. Instead, they came about from the cumulative selection of small mutations.

Richard Dawkins' Weasel Program demonstrates the power of cumulative selection. The probability that by randomly selecting characters that "Methinks it is like a weasel" is very small. (Assuming valid characters are upper case, lower case, and space it would be 1 to 1904251686165483303166544735375573842653419591761) But yet with cumulative selection it will appear quickly. Link to online version

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
-- The Economic Tendency of Freethought


Ophios
Ophios's picture
Posts: 905
Joined: 2006-09-19
User is offlineOffline
MattShizzle wrote: And yet

MattShizzle wrote:
And yet another person who doesn't know what "theory" actually means in science. Cursing Man

Yes, Psalms, just for future reference. In scientific terms a theory is a hypothesis that has evidence to back it up.

 

I don't get it, but, whatever floats the boats... 

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


zarathustra
atheist
zarathustra's picture
Posts: 1521
Joined: 2006-11-16
User is offlineOffline
Gauche wrote: I guess not

Gauche wrote:

I guess not all propositions can be as well supported as say... I don’t know, Jesus being born from a virgin, dying, coming back to life three days later then flying away. Even if what you said about evolution was accurate it would still only put evolution on the same level in terms of believability as the things you accept without evidence now. It’s a very astounding display of hypocrisy. The story about god creating the universe violates the first law of thermodynamics but you probably believe it anyway. It’s nothing but bias and it’s a very pathetic and desperate kind of bias where you accept things that are not supported by evidence and reject things that are.

No, you see, science is only relevant insofar as it helps to support theism. So if some wordplay with the 2nd law helps one argue against evolution, obviously theism is in line with science. If on the other hand the 1st  law contradicts theism, obviously it must be ignored.  

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


Gauche
atheist
Gauche's picture
Posts: 1565
Joined: 2007-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Quote:

Quote:
No, you see, science is only relevant insofar as it helps to support theism. So if some wordplay with the 2nd law helps one argue against evolution, obviously theism is in line with science. If on the other hand the 1st law contradicts theism, obviously it must be ignored.

Also sprach Zarathustra..................

 

Wir mussen nicht  es kaufen 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
JHenson

JHenson wrote:

deludedgod, I've read a few of your posts before and they're usually quite informative. I especially liked one addressing multiverse theory. I want to apologize that I haven't read the article you linked to. Frankly, it's intimidating! As foolish a question as it surely is, is there a short version anywhere?

Well, I could always just copy and paste the points which are relevant to your question. Your calculations depend on point mutations. Point mutations are small local mutations changing a few base pairs here and there. They are almost always deleterious or nuetral. In fact, when you do the math, you come out with the very impressive number you suggested. Unfortunately, these point mutations have almost nothing to do with evolution, apart from the fact that they sometimes serve as markers to help geneticists run tests on the evolutionary relationship between proteins. Allow me to explain:

Most important are the following:

Duplicative mutation: A genetic mutation where a gene string is accidentally duplicated during mitosis failure. This provides the mutation carrier with superfluous genetic baggage, basically an extra copy of a gene. This copy is free to mutate based solely on random frequency probability.

Homology: A family relationship between two or more genes (or sets of genes) as the result of a duplicative mutation. For instance, the human genome contains seven haemoglobin proteins, all of which are in a gene family called the haemoglobin family. This is part of a larger family called the globin family, under which all oxygen binding proteins are classed like myoglobins.

Paralogy: A relationship between two closely related genes in a single genome as the result of a mutation. These two genes (or sets) are said to be paralogous of each other in the same carrier species. For instance, the seven human haemoglobins are said to be paralogous of each other.

Orthology: A relationship between genes or sets of genes in different species. When two species diverge, the new genetic arm of the phylogenic tree retains much of the genetic code of it's predecessor. Any related batches of genes in two species are said to be orthologous of each other. The seven human haemoglobins are orthologous to the seven chimp ones.

Recombinative mutation: Chunks of genetic information are shuffled around. Bear this in mind for what we talk about below.

...

the protein is built by higher and higher levels of organization. As we shall see, it is shuffling of the higher levels of organization that give us the novel protein combinations that give rise to molecular evolution, and avoid the deletrious nature of changes in the fundamental units of protein organization.

...

Homologous tracking can be distinguished from noise mutations from distinct signature sequences on the protein. For instance, a protein which is common to the whole of life Called Elongation factor-Tu or EF-Tu is a control mechanism for tRNA at the ribosomal junction with the mRNA string for protein synthesis. A critical control mechanism for m/tRNA match, the EF-Tu is a GTPase protein with multiple domains. The EF-Tu holds the tRNA as masked in position for translation via bonding to the mRNA. The hydrolysis of the GTP on the EF-Tu induces a major conformational change, since it has a crucial alpha-helix called the switch helix which can, due to the crucial positions of polar amino acid, switch between two crucial domains. The position of the switch helix depends on the hydrolysis of GTP. When the GTP is bound to EF-Tu, the switch helix is locked in place, which means that the tRNA is still masked. When the GTP is hydrolyzed in GDP, the switch helix opens the domain latch, releasing the tRNA.

In this way we can see how a small conformational change can amplify the signal and induce a major movement change in the conformation of the protein, such is how precise the protein's moving parts are. They are the most well-engineered devices in nature (and much more complex then any of man's devices)

So when we examine the vast swath of EF-Tu domains across the spectrum of life, the switch/latch sequences are almost unchanged, such is the precision of the protein (this effect is also present in catalysts, since the replacing of a single aspartate with a glycine in the binding site of aspartate transcarbamylase is enough to shift the position of the transition inducing carboxylate by the radius of a hydrogen atom, which is enough to decrease the enzymatic activity by a thousand fold).

Therefore, then, even with all the noise mutations, the sig sequences do not change in billions of years. But it is the noise we are concerned with, since the indication from the divergence of the same domains, while retaining the sig domains, clearly indicate that they arose from a single common ancestor. Domain divergence is not possible if we assume design or creation.

It is about duplicative mutations, followed by recombinative mutations, or shuffling mutations. For instance, A protein is not subdivided merely by it’s amino acid. It is grouped into large subunits called polypeptides, regional stretches of protein subunit roughly 100 amino acids long. In this way we can see that massive proteins (>1000 amino acids) are not only defined by their individual, but ultimately, the order of different units created by smaller strings of amino acids within the complex. The protein transforms into it’s secondary structure by folding at the kinks between the subunits. The shape, therefore, of a protein is directly determined by it’s chemical sequence. The folding becomes further intricate during progression to tertiary structure when the folds between individual units take shape. Finally, the protein reaches it’s quaternary structure or it’s native state, with the intricate system of folds.

Many people say that mutations are always destructive or deletrious, or "remove information" or that DNA repair blocks mutation. Nonsense. I've studied DNA repair for a large portion of my career, and I assure you that it is not a limiting factor. THe enzymatic lockstep (it is controlled by ribosomal machines at the site of transcription) is operated on a feedback loop that only detects harmful mutations. Like I said, evolution is mostly about recombinative and shuffling and duplication mutations. DNA repair is a system to fix point mutations, which are mostly harmful, and when harmful, the enzymatic response performs , BER, MMR or NER (Base-excision, Nucleotide excision or mismatch repair) to correct the nucleotide incorrect arrangement (as it will be detected by the ribosomal transcription checkers). This is why nearly all divergences are preceded by duplication (homology)

Repair is designed to respond to two things

-Point mutations that are interrupting the transcription (these are sometimes called Stop codons or nonsense mutations)

-A physical break in the DNA strand

Not the evolution mutation mechanisms, which are recombination, homology, duplication and shuffling. Point mutations are damaging, as they create stop codons, or nonsense mutations, but as we shall soon see, bearing in mind the organization of the proteome, point mutations have little to do with evolutionary mechanisms

there is almost nothing original in the vertebrae genome. It is the result of multiple whole-global duplications throughout evolution. Even in humans, the proteome contains only 7% vertebrae-specific proteins. The only place we really seem to have any originality is in domain shuffling (Im pretty sure that the human tyrpsin can bind to at least 18 domains, while in drosophilia it's only 5). As I said about protein structure, much of the innovation merely comes from rearrangement of subunits, which is beneficial in terms of the shuffling mutation quite often.

An excellent example of how evolutionary mechanisms can create novel protein combinations which can give survival benefits to the carrier organisms is found in a pair of the most critical classes of proteins in the whole of life: Kinases and phosphotases. I would go through exactly what these do, but that will take hours, so instead I will just explain it in short summary, which will sound like jargon, so here goes:

Kinases are protein phosphorylating class of signal transductors which control a large amount of proteins and amplify many, many signals, also acting as signal-integrating proteins by anchoring to the extracellular matrix junction and relaying signals from the membrane to the Endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleus. Instead of a ligand reciprocal/cooperative Allosteric binding site to control the action of the protein in question, a certain side chain (always a threonine, serine or tyrosine) is phosphorylated, which activates or deactivates the protein. The cyclic nature of kinase loop functions is very similar to that of GTPases. The largest superfamily of kinase is a simple monodomainal kinase called the Ras protein. As evolutionary mechanisms took course and organisms became more complex, a wider range of transductors became required, which evolve in lockstep with other evolving functions, a process called coevolution. This has been indicated by the fact that the Ras like domain has since become integrated into totally different proteins, and created entire classes of kinases simply by joining the Ras to many other domains throughout the course of evolution to create novel protein combinations. The branching of various kinase families that results from this is fully consistent with molecular clock tracking of the divergence rate of the amino acids (recall noise mutations). Which means whole families of kinases have been generated at different times in the evolutionary process by duplication and divergence. We now have many, many families of kinases including Cdc7, PDGF receptors, TGF-Beta receptors, Ca2+ dependent kinase, CdK integrators (which include a large range of Cdk including Cdk2 and Cdk3), Src kinases, KSS1, the list goes on and on.

This is just a small example of how evolutionary mechanisms can generate huge numbers of novel proteins simply by recombination and duplication. The lack of originality or "design" in the kinase family, as well as the prescence of Ras in every kinase and the underlying signature sequence is clear evidence for a primordial kinase upon which the whole family was built, simply by the course of time and natural selection.

 

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


JHenson
Theist
Posts: 112
Joined: 2007-03-29
User is offlineOffline
Hopefully I'm starting to

Hopefully I'm starting to understand what you're saying.  There's a ton of jargon and technical terminology in there, but it may be there's no other way to explain it.  Would I be correct to paraphrase that harmful or irrelevant mutations are quickly weeded out by automatic corrective mechanisms, and potentially beneficial mutations are combined through sexual reproduction to accumulate towards the most beneficial set of mutations?

"The map appears more real to us than the land." - Lawrence


NarcolepticSun
Posts: 108
Joined: 2007-02-18
User is offlineOffline
JHenson wrote: Hopefully

JHenson wrote:

Hopefully I'm starting to understand what you're saying. There's a ton of jargon and technical terminology in there, but it may be there's no other way to explain it. Would I be correct to paraphrase that harmful or irrelevant mutations are quickly weeded out by automatic corrective mechanisms, and potentially beneficial mutations are combined through sexual reproduction to accumulate towards the most beneficial set of mutations?

Mostly. What I do not understand is how anyone can look at the broad selection of species we have (as well as the cosmos) and not summize that it must have come about in what an "orderly" mind would consider to be "chaotic".

Like evolved from chemical elements (and, in case you are unaware, the Venter Institute is attempting to patent the synthetic life it created from chemical elements). This, truly, is simple reality. Single-celled organisms took billions of years to evolve into multi-cellular organisms. Life began in the water (as the land was not yet inhabital - had to wait for veitation to emerge to lower the CO2 content and raise the level of oxygen) Vegitation came to land first, with the animals following it.

 The first fish attempted to come out on land (and shallow water pools) to lay their young in a place safe from predators... they evolved into amphibians... and later into mammals.

As far as this "probability" is concerned... you would be right in saying the probability that our species set here on earth would evolve IDENTICALLY elsewhere... that's rather impossible (as those creatures would have alternative environments to evolve into).

Other than that... evolution isn't asking for any more "faith" than genistation does. Do you challenge the process of genistation because the bible says "god created man"? 


Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
Whoa, I detect a lot of

Whoa, I detect a lot of anger there, the first thing I would say is calm down man, I understand you've done a lot of research in this field so don't get so offended or insecure.

I can easily say I haven't done as much research as you (I'm a 16 year old guy whose just trying to spread the message) and yes I am quite ignorant, but I think I'm learning quite a bit, but the reason behind my ignorant saying's is becuase when you die is it going to matter how much molecular biology you know? Or how obsolete you can make Pascal's wager sound? I'm just trying to help everyone on this website out, because this I promise you, when you die you're going to hear one of two things, you're going to here "Well Done my Good and Faithful Servant" or "Depart for I never knew you".

But why should I be saying this? You guys really don't care (and will probably ridicule me for)well to answer that, that's really how strong my faith runs, and if there is anyone on here with one chance in a million or being brought into Christianity I would jump at the chance. Becuase God loves you, and you can't change that.

I like how you have that icon of the world trade center's saying "Imagine a world with no religion", well I would really like it better if you didn't make generalized statement like that, really what it should say is "Imagine a world with no Islam" for that is what it's implying, Religion as a whole didn't bomb the World Trade Center's, just a few Radical Islam's did, and yes I understood your meaning behind the Picture, it's just I hate the subliminal message's in it.

 

I'll be praying for everyone everyday as I always have been.


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Psalm 14 1 wrote: Whoa, I

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

Whoa, I detect a lot of anger there, the first thing I would say is calm down man, I understand you've done a lot of research in this field so don't get so offended or insecure.

I’m angry for two reasons

-I’ve dealt with this nonsense for 11 years, and I am, as you can imagine, quite sick of it

-You acted as though you knew what you were talking about yet you just admitted that you had done no research! How do you think that make you look? If you know that you don’t know anything about this subject, why comment on it? That’s the height of arrogance.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

I can easily say I haven't done as much research as you (I'm a 16 year old guy whose just trying to spread the message) and yes I am quite ignorant,

I’m flattered that you think I actually researched that, but I simply wrote those off the top of my head. That is how easy it is to refute creationism. “Research” is the cutting edge work I do in molecular dynamics, intracellular vesicular traffic and proteomics, what I wrote there is stuff I learned in university.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

but I think I'm learning quite a bit, but the reason behind my ignorant saying's is becuase when you die is it going to matter how much molecular biology you know? Or how obsolete you can make Pascal's wager sound?

h

You’ve just refuted yourself with excellent success. If I can refute Pascal’s Wager, then I don’t have to worry! That was the whole point of the wager! To instill enough fear in someone to convert them. So you’ve just invoked Pascal’s Wager, then mentioned that it is irrelevant if I can refute Pascal’s wager. The epistemic circle is large enough to drive my car through.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

I'm just trying to help everyone on this website out, because this I promise you, when you die you're going to hear one of two things, you're going to here "Well Done my Good and Faithful Servant" or "Depart for I never knew you".

What a way to save bruised ego. Let’s analyze you step by step”

-You attempted to argue against evolution

-Your arguments got blasted cleanly in two

-You became defensive and threadjacked, instead invoking that you were here to proselytize. At first you invoked an attitude of arrogance (attempting to argue against evolution when you admitted knowing nothing about it, but you were swiftly destroyed) and then, when crushed, switched tactic.

Why don’t you just nurse your bruised ego elsewhere?

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

But why should I be saying this? You guys really don't care (and will probably ridicule me for)well to answer that, that's really how strong my faith runs, and if there is anyone on here with one chance in a million or being brought into Christianity I would jump at the chance. Becuase God loves you, and you can't change that.

Yes. Yes, you will get ridiculed. However, if you want any converts, speaking from a position of Holier-than-thou scorn will get you spat on. Because “faith” is a worthless, conditioned, idiotic, groupthink with iron grip on those who have the tragic inability to think for themselves. So, if you want converts, I would not brag about having more faith, because here “faith” is about as respected as Holocaust denial. So, perhaps, instead, you could present rational or empirical evidence for your beliefs, and then people may side with you. I believe, as Jefferson said:

Shake off all servile prejudices and fears, fix reason firmly in her seat and call her wisdom to every tribunal, for if there was a God, he would surely pay more homage to reason than to blind ignorance

Pslam 14 1 wrote:

I like how you have that icon of the world trade center's saying "Imagine a world with no religion", well I would really like it better if you didn't make generalized statement like that, really what it should say is "Imagine a world with no Islam" for that is what it's implying, Religion as a whole didn't bomb the World Trade Center's, just a few Radical Islam's did, and yes I understood your meaning behind the Picture, it's just I hate the subliminal message's in it.

Well, guess what? I’m not taking it down. I despise Islam, of course, but I would be hypocritical if I did not despise the disease of Christianity as well. Both worship the same God, both are professed to follow the tenets of two equally barbaric Bronze Age texts, and both are in perverse agreement that respect for other people of different beliefs is simply not in accordance with their law, its just that Islam has the militant streak as well. Now, Christianity happens to be muzzled under the reason and sanity of secular government of Western nations, but Islam, still being under the iron grip of theocracy, retains its various commandments, such as stoning adulterers and flying 200,000 pound bombs into buildings and burning people alive. I do not consider Islam any worse than Christianity, it just so happens that the more natural form of Islam (barbaric) survived, while the natural form of Christianity (barbaric) was crushed by Enlightenment and separation of Church and State. This does not mean it is still not a dangerous force for insanity and theocracy. And this is why I wish that humanity had never stumbled across the disease of religion as a whole, not just Islam. Hence, I retain my picture.

 

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

I'll be praying for everyone everyday as I always have been.

And I’ll be thinking for you, as I always have been, after all, as a faith-head you have successfully surrendered the gift of human reason to blind ignorance.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote: Psalm 14

deludedgod wrote:

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

Whoa, I detect a lot of anger there, the first thing I would say is calm down man, I understand you've done a lot of research in this field so don't get so offended or insecure.

I’m angry for two reasons

-I’ve dealt with this nonsense for 11 years, and I am, as you can imagine, quite sick of it

-You acted as though you knew what you were talking about yet you just admitted that you had done no research! How do you think that make you look? If you know that you don’t know anything about this subject, why comment on it? That’s the height of arrogance.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

I can easily say I haven't done as much research as you (I'm a 16 year old guy whose just trying to spread the message) and yes I am quite ignorant,

I’m flattered that you think I actually researched that, but I simply wrote those off the top of my head. That is how easy it is to refute creationism. “Research” is the cutting edge work I do in molecular dynamics, intracellular vesicular traffic and proteomics, what I wrote there is stuff I learned in university.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

but I think I'm learning quite a bit, but the reason behind my ignorant saying's is becuase when you die is it going to matter how much molecular biology you know? Or how obsolete you can make Pascal's wager sound?

h

You’ve just refuted yourself with excellent success. If I can refute Pascal’s Wager, then I don’t have to worry! That was the whole point of the wager! To instill enough fear in someone to convert them. So you’ve just invoked Pascal’s Wager, then mentioned that it is irrelevant if I can refute Pascal’s wager. The epistemic circle is large enough to drive my car through.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

I'm just trying to help everyone on this website out, because this I promise you, when you die you're going to hear one of two things, you're going to here "Well Done my Good and Faithful Servant" or "Depart for I never knew you".

What a way to save bruised ego. Let’s analyze you step by step”

-You attempted to argue against evolution

-Your arguments got blasted cleanly in two

-You became defensive and threadjacked, instead invoking that you were here to proselytize. At first you invoked an attitude of arrogance (attempting to argue against evolution when you admitted knowing nothing about it, but you were swiftly destroyed) and then, when crushed, switched tactic.

Why don’t you just nurse your bruised ego elsewhere?

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

But why should I be saying this? You guys really don't care (and will probably ridicule me for)well to answer that, that's really how strong my faith runs, and if there is anyone on here with one chance in a million or being brought into Christianity I would jump at the chance. Becuase God loves you, and you can't change that.

Yes. Yes, you will get ridiculed. However, if you want any converts, speaking from a position of Holier-than-thou scorn will get you spat on. Because “faith” is a worthless, conditioned, idiotic, groupthink with iron grip on those who have the tragic inability to think for themselves. So, if you want converts, I would not brag about having more faith, because here “faith” is about as respected as Holocaust denial. So, perhaps, instead, you could present rational or empirical evidence for your beliefs, and then people may side with you. I believe, as Jefferson said:

Shake off all servile prejudices and fears, fix reason firmly in her seat and call her wisdom to every tribunal, for if there was a God, he would surely pay more homage to reason than to blind ignorance

Pslam 14 1 wrote:

I like how you have that icon of the world trade center's saying "Imagine a world with no religion", well I would really like it better if you didn't make generalized statement like that, really what it should say is "Imagine a world with no Islam" for that is what it's implying, Religion as a whole didn't bomb the World Trade Center's, just a few Radical Islam's did, and yes I understood your meaning behind the Picture, it's just I hate the subliminal message's in it.

Well, guess what? I’m not taking it down. I despise Islam, of course, but I would be hypocritical if I did not despise the disease of Christianity as well. Both worship the same God, both are professed to follow the tenets of two equally barbaric Bronze Age texts, and both are in perverse agreement that respect for other people of different beliefs is simply not in accordance with their law, its just that Islam has the militant streak as well. Now, Christianity happens to be muzzled under the reason and sanity of secular government of Western nations, but Islam, still being under the iron grip of theocracy, retains its various commandments, such as stoning adulterers and flying 200,000 pound bombs into buildings and burning people alive. I do not consider Islam any worse than Christianity, it just so happens that the more natural form of Islam (barbaric) survived, while the natural form of Christianity (barbaric) was crushed by Enlightenment and separation of Church and State. This does not mean it is still not a dangerous force for insanity and theocracy. And this is why I wish that humanity had never stumbled across the disease of religion as a whole, not just Islam. Hence, I retain my picture.

Psalm 14 1 wrote:

I'll be praying for everyone everyday as I always have been.

And I’ll be thinking for you, as I always have been, after all, as a faith-head you have successfully surrendered the gift of human reason to blind ignorance.

 

Well first of all if you've been battling this "war" for eleven years why don't you just stop? Obviously it brings you a lot of unwanted anger and in your heart you feel you've already won, what's the point, why go on? For your self-centered satisfaction? Of feeling that you've proved others wrong in theories of science? Go ahead call me ignorant but all you prove is your knowledge of science and nothing more.

It's pointless to go on with you, becuase you've become what your fighting-- ignorant, you don't care what I have to say becuase you won, you're right, no one can prove you wrong.

I don't get you atheist's you say you exist to further humanity in a positive sense yet I encounter you being polite (or trying my hardest to be, I apologize for any ill-conceived behaviors) and you throw it in my face being very rude and bigoted, do you represent well all your fellow atheist's? Or are you just an exception?

 

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Well first of all if

Quote:
Well first of all if you've been battling this "war" for eleven years why don't you just stop?

You're right. We should also stop looking for a cure for cancer. It's been years and we haven't wiped it out.

Yes, I just compared religion to a disease. That's because it is very similar to one.

Your presence here is why we're still fighting. There may be hope for you, although I doubt it. You're young, though, so there may be some hope. Stick around, open your brain, and learn. It's ok. Most of us have been where you are.

Quote:
Obviously it brings you a lot of unwanted anger and in your heart you feel you've already won, what's the point, why go on?

Because if everyone had attitudes like yours, we'd still be dancing around campfires praying to the sun so that the crops would get rain and we wouldn't starve to death this winter.

Actually, it's not that we feel we've won. Religion has won a lot of the battles. After all, they're actually debating whether or not to teach that the earth is 6000 years old in school, when 999,999 out of 1,000,000 scientists know for a fact that its billions of years old. Now, scientists are not "battling" religion. They're just doing science. Religion is fighting against science.

Quote:
For your self-centered satisfaction?

No. To help people like you. You don't have to believe this for it to be true.

Quote:
Of feeling that you've proved others wrong in theories of science?

ummm... you're projecting. Science thrives on the unknown... without it, there's no need for science. We're here to promote reason, and yes, I feel quite proud when someone begins to understand that faith is irrational. I know that I've made the world a little better, and I like that.

Quote:
Go ahead call me ignorant but all you prove is your knowledge of science and nothing more.

You are ignorant.

And yes, we prove that we know science.

And, no, there is nothing more than science when it comes to knowledge.

Happy?

Quote:
It's pointless to go on with you, becuase you've become what your fighting-- ignorant, you don't care what I have to say becuase you won, you're right, no one can prove you wrong.

Projection. It's ok. I thought I knew everything when I was sixteen, too. I know it's hard to feel anything but anger when you've been embarrassed, but it's part of the growing up process to learn to admit when you're wrong. Look, this is just a message board. We don't know you personally, and we're not going to laugh at you if you admit that you huffed and puffed and didn't know what you were talking about. It's a sign of maturity. Deludedgod is a scientist, and a very smart one. You could learn from him if you'd just get over yourself.

Quote:
I don't get you atheist's you say you exist to further humanity in a positive sense yet I encounter you being polite (or trying my hardest to be, I apologize for any ill-conceived behaviors) and you throw it in my face being very rude and bigoted, do you represent well all your fellow atheist's? Or are you just an exception?

Everything's in print, kiddo. I've looked at your posts, and they came off as arrogant. You claimed to have researched this, and you haven't. You've just listened to your preachers, and they don't know any more about it than you do. You went one on one with a scientist, and the scientist called you out for your ignorance. Get over it.

You can bluster all you want, but your temper tantrum isn't going to do anything but make you look bad.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
 Now you resort to

 Now you resort to throwing a temper tantrum? Look. This is very simple. You attempted to argue against evolution. I blew you to pieces and called you out on your ignorance (because your arguments were so poor). So stop whining and accept the fact that perhaps you should go to a library before attempting to argue here.

Why do I continue? Let's see, as a scientist who holds a special interest in the relationship between science and the public, I am utterly horrified that so many people (at least, so many people in the US) have fallen prey to the physciatric condition called "creationism". Public ignorance of science is astonishing, and this is unnacceptable to me. Actually, I recall a memorable discussion with the evolutionary developmental biologist PZ Myers, where I said to him

...and I have become convinced, lastly, after many years, that all creationist have suffered a tragic mental retardation in utero, a remarkable and incurable mental block which, unfortunately, seems to have parasitic properties.

An online forum is not the place for instruction. Because that is essentially what this is. Instruction, not debate. If you come here to argue and know that you cannot argue about it, then don't argue about it! 

"I'll be ignorant because all I can prove is my knowledge of science?"

And what else should I have knowledge of to rid myself of this ignorance? Theology? Allow me to explain how society works. In society, we have experts in various fields of human endeavor. If I want to learn how to cure cancer, I will consult a medical oncologist. If I want to learn how to be myopic and intellectually dishonest, I will consult you...as I said before, around here, the only thing which will get you respect is the presenting of rational and empirical arguments for your beliefs.

So, could you please stop with the naked argumentum ad nauseam fallacy, and actually make a real point, instead of hopelessly projecting

It is most amusing that you call me out on arrogance when as I have pointed out, it is the absolute height of arrogance, stupidity and childishness to argue about something regarding which you know absolutely nothing.

Really, you might as well just leave this debate and nurse your bruised ego elsewhere.

Or better yet, go to a library. It really is no loss... 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Well first of all if you've been battling this "war" for eleven years why don't you just stop?

You're right. We should also stop looking for a cure for cancer. It's been years and we haven't wiped it out.

Yes I see what you're talking about, it's just, I guess I don't see the world exactly how you do. Not to say I don't look at it negatively just from a different viewpoint, I don't think I will ever quite meet with you on a spiritual basis, but I guess it's good to agree to disagree, right?

Quote:

Yes, I just compared religion to a disease. That's because it is very similar to one.

Again, agree to disagree, but I can kind of understand your viewpoint.

Quote:

Your presence here is why we're still fighting. There may be hope for you, although I doubt it. You're young, though, so there may be some hope. Stick around, open your brain, and learn. It's ok. Most of us have been where you are.

See that's where I feel I diverge with you, and others of course, I feel that my brain is open and that although all this science can disprove the Bible and such, and you can easily disprove God... I just believe, and it wasn't through some divine deification, it's almost as if it's in my nature to believe, and I really don't want to not believe becuase I feel my psychological state is in greatest happiness when I believe, but I don't use that as a fallback of my faith.

Quote:

Quote:
Obviously it brings you a lot of unwanted anger and in your heart you feel you've already won, what's the point, why go on?

Because if everyone had attitudes like yours, we'd still be dancing around campfires praying to the sun so that the crops would get rain and we wouldn't starve to death this winter.

=)

Quote:

Actually, it's not that we feel we've won. Religion has won a lot of the battles. After all, they're actually debating whether or not to teach that the earth is 6000 years old in school, when 999,999 out of 1,000,000 scientists know for a fact that its billions of years old. Now, scientists are not "battling" religion. They're just doing science. Religion is fighting against science.

Quote:
For your self-centered satisfaction?

No. To help people like you. You don't have to believe this for it to be true.

That's true (of course), but something has to be true to be true (not trying to be redundant but take into account my position)

Quote:

Quote:
Of feeling that you've proved others wrong in theories of science?

ummm... you're projecting. Science thrives on the unknown... without it, there's no need for science. We're here to promote reason, and yes, I feel quite proud when someone begins to understand that faith is irrational. I know that I've made the world a little better, and I like that.

Quote:
Go ahead call me ignorant but all you prove is your knowledge of science and nothing more.

You are ignorant.

And yes, we prove that we know science.

And, no, there is nothing more than science when it comes to knowledge.

Happy?

Quote:
It's pointless to go on with you, becuase you've become what your fighting-- ignorant, you don't care what I have to say becuase you won, you're right, no one can prove you wrong.

Projection. It's ok. I thought I knew everything when I was sixteen, too. I know it's hard to feel anything but anger when you've been embarrassed, but it's part of the growing up process to learn to admit when you're wrong. Look, this is just a message board. We don't know you personally, and we're not going to laugh at you if you admit that you huffed and puffed and didn't know what you were talking about. It's a sign of maturity. Deludedgod is a scientist, and a very smart one. You could learn from him if you'd just get over yourself.

It's not that I felt that I knew everything, more like I knew something and at any point in this website I thought I could find a wormhole to fill my information to prove a point, then by all means I would insert it, but obviously I've learned from my mistakes.

Quote:

Quote:
I don't get you atheist's you say you exist to further humanity in a positive sense yet I encounter you being polite (or trying my hardest to be, I apologize for any ill-conceived behaviors) and you throw it in my face being very rude and bigoted, do you represent well all your fellow atheist's? Or are you just an exception?

Everything's in print, kiddo. I've looked at your posts, and they came off as arrogant. You claimed to have researched this, and you haven't. You've just listened to your preachers, and they don't know any more about it than you do. You went one on one with a scientist, and the scientist called you out for your ignorance. Get over it.

I apologize for my arrogance, I by no means meant to come off that way.

Quote:

You can bluster all you want, but your temper tantrum isn't going to do anything but make you look bad.

That's very true, I didn't mean to have a temper tantrum (if that's what came off) nor was I angry, I was just mildly frustrated as every other human being when they are proved wrong, I'll definitely think before I speak next time.

Quote:

 

 

I also greatly appreciate your kindness towards me, and I apologize again for any arrogance or ignorance, I'm just trying to learn I guess, and this time I definitely learned the hardway.


Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote:

deludedgod wrote:

Now you resort to throwing a temper tantrum? Look. This is very simple. You attempted to argue against evolution. I blew you to pieces and called you out on your ignorance (because your arguments were so poor). So stop whining and accept the fact that perhaps you should go to a library before attempting to argue here.

Why do I continue? Let's see, as a scientist who holds a special interest in the relationship between science and the public, I am utterly horrified that so many people (at least, so many people in the US) have fallen prey to the physciatric condition called "creationism". Public ignorance of science is astonishing, and this is unnacceptable to me. Actually, I recall a memorable discussion with the evolutionary developmental biologist PZ Myers, where I said to him

...and I have become convinced, lastly, after many years, that all creationist have suffered a tragic mental retardation in utero, a remarkable and incurable mental block which, unfortunately, seems to have parasitic properties.

An online forum is not the place for instruction. Because that is essentially what this is. Instruction, not debate. If you come here to argue and know that you cannot argue about it, then don't argue about it!

"I'll be ignorant because all I can prove is my knowledge of science?"

And what else should I have knowledge of to rid myself of this ignorance? Theology? Allow me to explain how society works. In society, we have experts in various fields of human endeavor. If I want to learn how to cure cancer, I will consult a medical oncologist. If I want to learn how to be myopic and intellectually dishonest, I will consult you...as I said before, around here, the only thing which will get you respect is the presenting of rational and empirical arguments for your beliefs.

So, could you please stop with the naked argumentum ad nauseam fallacy, and actually make a real point, instead of hopelessly projecting

It is most amusing that you call me out on arrogance when as I have pointed out, it is the absolute height of arrogance, stupidity and childishness to argue about something regarding which you know absolutely nothing.

Really, you might as well just leave this debate and nurse your bruised ego elsewhere.

Or better yet, go to a library. It really is no loss...

 

Ouch, I admire your intelligence, but man your a jerk. But yet why should I say this, you will simply reply that I warranted it upon myself, which I did, but I learned from my lesson, so I feel that I benefitted from this. 

I like how you mentioned I threw a temper tantrum at the top, didn't you just pull through with the same, in this post? 


ABx
Posts: 195
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Quote:

Quote:
I feel that my brain is open and that although all this science can disprove the Bible and such, and you can easily disprove God...
Obviously you don't have an open mind if you choose to continue believing things you admit are not true.

Quote:
I just believe, and it wasn't through some divine deification, it's almost as if it's in my nature to believe, and I really don't want to not believe becuase I feel my psychological state is in greatest happiness when I believe, but I don't use that as a fallback of my faith.
I just smoke cigarettes, and it wasn't through some peer pressure, it's almost as if it's in my nature to smoke, and I really don't want to not smoke becuase I feel my psychological state is in greatest happiness when I smoke, but I don't use that as a fallback of my addiction.

Can you see how senseless (and, to be blunt, pathetic) that sounds?


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
Then I suppose we have no

Then I suppose we have no quarell from now on

LOL I suppose I was rather abrasive, but you must understand that you touched a nerve with two things you said. One, I cannot stand it when someone argues without bothering to do basic research into what they were arguing and two, even worse, I hate it when someone says “I’ll pray for you”. It’s utterly meaningless, and the only thing it will do is convince your debating partner that you are arrogant, superlicious, and have a holier-than-thou attitude that religions typically reserve for looking down on people who are not of their clan. So I urge you henceforth with your debate with atheists, never, ever, say “I’ll pray for you”. They’ll either dismiss you as a nutcase fundamentalist, or they’ll just laugh and tell you that they’ll think for you. Also, another note of caution, never invoke Pascal’s Wager. It’s easy to refute, but even worse, it sends a distinct sign. The indication of someone who invokes the wager and says something along the lines of “what if you’re wrong”, what they are saying is that they concede they have no rational grounding for their beleifs, and have to resort to scare tactics ie arguing from negative consequence of the belief of the opponent (You might as well tell a fully grown adult man that Santa will not be bringing him presents if he doesn’t eat his vegetables). The indication will be that you believe out of fear alone, and then your debating partner will either think you’re an idiot or beaten into submission. Invoking the wager will make you look really, really, bad.

I suppose I was a rather jerk-ish, but I am not a jerk, merely battle-hardened. When you have been told thousands of times by devout Christians that since you are an atheist you aren’t really human, or that you eat babies, or rape puppies, or that when you die you will be stabbed, shot, tortured, skewered, speared, gouged, amputated, vivisected, burned, flayed, bled and murdered repeated times for all eternity, or that they’ll pray for you, or (even better) that God still loves you and please repent, or you keep receiving those abominable Chick tracts, or they tell you that you are incapable of being moral…thousands of times,  the idea that you are “hurting someone’s feelings” in a debate sort of becomes rather meaningless. After engaging in dialogue for years with Christians, many of whom were arrogant, pious, self-assured, vicious, vindicate assholes,  your tone starts to become razor sharp at the first hint that your opponent is starting to operate outside his deserved paramaters.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism


ABx
Posts: 195
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Quote: Ouch, I admire your

Quote:

Ouch, I admire your intelligence, but man your a jerk. But yet why should I say this, you will simply reply that I warranted it upon myself, which I did, but I learned from my lesson, so I feel that I benefitted from this.

I like how you mentioned I threw a temper tantrum at the top, didn't you just pull through with the same, in this post?

You need to learn when to stop. You've dug yourself into a hole, and now you're just digging yourself deeper.

You came to this site with the intention of nothing more than prosthletizing. You had no intention of actually discussing or learning, only to try to convert. You tried to act like you knew something that you obviously didn't, and when you were called on it you got upset and resorted to ad hominems. When you were called on that you want to "agree to disagree", explaining that you have no intention to actually participate - only to try and convert people who obviously have no interest in it.

Now you're upset that you weren't welcomed with open arms and a smile? Are you kidding me? You've got a LOT to learn about life, kiddo. This isn't your school or church; you'll start getting respect when you start giving it.

 


Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
ABx wrote: Quote: I feel

ABx wrote:

Quote:
I feel that my brain is open and that although all this science can disprove the Bible and such, and you can easily disprove God...
Obviously you don't have an open mind if you choose to continue believing things you admit are not true.

I was merely saying that from you, the atheist's standpoint. I guess I should have been more forward with that statement, I believe, with the limited research I have done (which is more than you think, but still short of what could relatively be called a lot) that my faith still stands.

Quote:

Quote:
I just believe, and it wasn't through some divine deification, it's almost as if it's in my nature to believe, and I really don't want to not believe becuase I feel my psychological state is in greatest happiness when I believe, but I don't use that as a fallback of my faith.
I just smoke cigarettes, and it wasn't through some peer pressure, it's almost as if it's in my nature to smoke, and I really don't want to not smoke becuase I feel my psychological state is in greatest happiness when I smoke, but I don't use that as a fallback of my addiction.

I think, quite contrary to popular belief, that religion cannot be compared to anything physical in today's terms, and yes I fully understand the impact of that statement, that by saying that I automatically sound arrogant (which I don't mean to sound) and I deem myself ignorant by pretty much everyone on here's logic, am I correct?

 



Psalm 14 1
Theist
Psalm 14 1's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-06-23
User is offlineOffline
deludedgod wrote: Then I

deludedgod wrote:

Then I suppose we have no quarell from now on

LOL I suppose I was rather abrasive, but you must understand that you touched a nerve with two things you said. One, I cannot stand it when someone argues without bothering to do basic research into what they were arguing

See I did do research I just jumped the gun on my claim, I researched one topic and thought it irrefutable and immediatetly posted my claim without really thinking, really stupid now that I think of it, but forgive me I'm learning. And I think I learned quite well this time.

Quote:

and two, even worse, I hate it when someone says “I’ll pray for you”.

See this I had NO idea about, I thought most atheist's just brush it off becuase it doesn't matter to them, I mean I can honestly say I have never encountered atheist's in a head-on debate outside of High School, and the atheist's in high school are really atheist's just apathetics with the label.

Quote:

It’s utterly meaningless, and the only thing it will do is convince your debating partner that you are arrogant, superlicious, and have a holier-than-thou attitude that religions typically reserve for looking down on people who are not of their clan.

That's another thing, I never look down on other's, and I don't think many Christian's do either, I'm not going to speak for them, although it seem's that the ones that you have encountered have looked down on you. I know you made the assumption I was looking down on you, but as a part of my character (which really doesn't matter) I'm very selfless.

Quote:

So I urge you henceforth with your debate with atheists, never, ever, say “I’ll pray for you”. They’ll either dismiss you as a nutcase fundamentalist, or they’ll just laugh and tell you that they’ll think for you. Also, another note of caution, never invoke Pascal’s Wager. It’s easy to refute, but even worse, it sends a distinct sign. The indication of someone who invokes the wager and says something along the lines of “what if you’re wrong”, what they are saying is that they concede they have no rational grounding for their beliefs, and have to resort to scare tactics ie arguing from negative consequence of the belief of the opponent (You might as well tell a fully grown adult man that Santa will not be bringing him presents if he doesn’t eat his vegetables).

I see what you're saying but I believe scare tactics wouldn't work on anyone here anyways, and I wasn't trying to invoke the Wager in any means, just using as an in-context example to further a point.

Quote:

The indication will be that you believe out of fear alone, and then your debating partner will either think you’re an idiot or beaten into submission. Invoking the wager will make you look really, really, bad.

Thank you for telling me that now.

Quote:

I suppose I was a rather jerk-ish, but I am not a jerk, merely battle-hardened. When you have been told thousands of times by devout Christians that since you are an atheist you aren’t really human, or that you eat babies, or rape puppies, or that when you die you will be stabbed, shot, tortured, skewered, speared, gouged, amputated, vivisected, burned, flayed, bled and murdered repeated times for all eternity,

Just as a side note I would never resort to telling any atheist these thing's unless called-upon, and even then I wouldn't go into such detailed anaylsis.

Quote:

or that they’ll pray for you, or (even better) that God still loves you and please repent, or you keep receiving those abominable Chick tracts, or they tell you that you are incapable of being moral…thousands of times, the idea that you are “hurting someone’s feelings” in a debate sort of becomes rather meaningless. After engaging in dialogue for years with Christians, many of whom were arrogant, pious, self-assured, vicious, vindicate assholes, your tone starts to become razor sharp at the first hint that your opponent is starting to operate outside his deserved paramaters.

Hmmm... Well I'm sorry, I never meant to invoke such raw emotions from a person, I had no idea that I touched such a nerve and will definitely check myself before hand next time.


Gauche
atheist
Gauche's picture
Posts: 1565
Joined: 2007-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Psalm 14 1 wrote: I deem

Psalm 14 1 wrote:
I deem myself ignorant by pretty much everyone on here's logic, am I correct?

I think you're kind of ignorant, but there is a cure. Would you like to know what it is? 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


Vastet
atheistBloggerSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 13210
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Ignorance has little if

Ignorance has little if anything to do with logic, and lots if everything to do with education. Ignorance has gained quite a stigma as a major insult, when it's merely a simple descriptive that applies to everyone on this planet regarding some topic or another.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


neptewn
neptewn's picture
Posts: 296
Joined: 2007-06-25
User is offlineOffline
Psalm 14 1: The fool hath

Psalm 14 1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good

Psalm 14 1 wrote:
That's another thing, I never look down on other's, and I don't think many Christian's do either, I'm not going to speak for them, although it seem's that the ones that you have encountered have looked down on you. I know you made the assumption I was looking down on you, but as a part of my character (which really doesn't matter) I'm very selfless.

Your very name disputes this entire statement... It appears to me you have some matters of self-importance you need to work through.

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


ABx
Posts: 195
Joined: 2007-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Psalm 14 1 wrote: ...I was

Psalm 14 1 wrote:
...I was merely saying that from you, the atheist's standpoint. I guess I should have been more forward with that statement, I believe, with the limited research I have done (which is more than you think, but still short of what could relatively be called a lot) that my faith still stands.

I was fully aware of your point, and my comments (all of them in that post) were meant to put a spotlight on the gaping hole in your logic. How absolute is your truth, really, if it can be shown to be based on falicious thinking? Does god really need you to make excuses to believe in him? If it's true in the most absolute and immutable way that god exists, then why do you have to assume the conclusion for an argument to even make sense to anyone? Why can't the rules that have been carefully developed over thousands of years to reliably reveal truth only disprove god if he exists? If god absolutely exists, why do you have to break every one of those rules to make even the most insignificant reference to him? Why, after 2000 years of very careful and thorough investigation and analysis of all that he's supposedly done, can't anyone come up with any rational basis to even make a plausible case for his existence? All you have is one book that is like many many others before it, and contradicts itself with almost every point it raises, and none of it can be validated.

Theists tend to vehemently ignore these gaps in reasoning because they threaten their faith, so they keep these gaps firmly out of sight and out of mind. What's ironic about that is that theists hold "god" to be the pinnacle of absolute truth. How can it be so absolutely true if so easily proven wrong using the tools that have been proven to reveal truth so reliably? If god existed as your faith suggested, shouldn't it be immune to logical argument? How can logic work for absolutely everything except the one thing that is suppose to be so absolutely and immutably true?

Yes, your faith stands, but only because you choose to ignore facts and refuse to critically examine your own thoughts on the matter. Start from scratch and try to build up to a belief in god and you will find that you can't do so without making many large leaps in logic, ignoring facts, and using circular reasoning.

I would urge you to use the same critical faculties that you would use for any other subject and use it to examine your own beliefs. After all, if it is true, you would surely want to disspell any false notions you might hold, right?






Quote:
...I think, quite contrary to popular belief, that religion cannot be compared to anything physical in today's terms


The fact that it's religion doesn't change the fact that what I was responding to was pure rationalization. The fact that you're talking about god does not change the fact that your logic is just as poor as my alteration of your statement. After all, if god is as true as you say/think, you shouldn't need to rationalize it, right? Why can't you put it in logical form that is at least logically plausible if the truth of the matter is so absolute? From the perspective of anyone outside your religion, your rationale holds no water, and is no different than the rationalization that any deluded person uses. Indeed, it does even show you to be stubbornly deluded. The only reason that it makes sense to you and the people that agree with you is because you have already pre-supposed the conclusion. You've decided that the religion is true, and so anything you say that supports that position makes sense to you. The fact is, however, that this is not how one arrives to any kind of truth. Anyone willing to question your comments will not accept them as valid in any way.

I know that as a believer you would think that it doesn't compare to anything else, but that is not an honest way of looking at it. If you applied this reasoning to any other subject, even you would agree that it's ludicrous. Poor logic does not magically become sound when applied to something you hold to be true, even if it is true! You can't expect anyone to just excuse such things by simply saying that god doesn't compare to the counter-example - it's not your pre-supposed conclusion that's in question, it's the piss poor reasoning that you have to resort to to justify it.

Both religion and addictions produce subjective states of mind that can seem profound within a closed system. They may provide answers to a limited number of questions relevant only to the conclusion, but they don't even come near answering any questions about the rest of our universe. While you personally hold religion completely separate and put it up on a pedestal, the fact is that, with or without a god, your experience is reducable to chemical stimulus in the brain which causes certain subjective experiences. Saying that you're going to hold on to that, no-matter-what, and that you're not willing to consider any other point of view on it (because it's "not comparable" to other things), is no different than any addict's rationalization. There are plenty of people that we would all agree are delusional that will say the same things, but we simply know it's a result of what happens when the brain works in unusual ways.

What you need to do to separate yourself from them is to give sound evidence that it can't be explained by much more benign factors. The notion of god is your claim, we just don't find your claim credible, so it's up to you to give at least a rational basis for it, if not proof. The fact is that religious experiences can be reduced to natural, although uncommon, happenings in the brain. These can even be reproduced with certain psychological or physiological tricks/manipulations. People skilled in meditation can sometimes induce these experiences at will, and such people, although very highly spiritual, will sometimes even tell you that what you sense is illusory.


NarcolepticSun
Posts: 108
Joined: 2007-02-18
User is offlineOffline
ABx wrote: What you need

ABx wrote:


What you need to do to separate yourself from them is to give sound evidence that it can't be explained by much more benign factors. The notion of god is your claim, we just don't find your claim credible, so it's up to you to give at least a rational basis for it, if not proof. The fact is that religious experiences can be reduced to natural, although uncommon, happenings in the brain. These can even be reproduced with certain psychological or physiological tricks/manipulations. People skilled in meditation can sometimes induce these experiences at will, and such people, although very highly spiritual, will sometimes even tell you that what you sense is illusory.

I do NOT consider myself spiritual... I do, however, meditate daily. I use meditation and hypnosis to alter my mental sates... they effectively do such because you can switch brain wave patters at will (once you recognize them).

I enjoy meditation because I can put myself deep into relaxation - and then hallucinate Sticking out tongue ... I can even hallucinate an intense "orgasm" if I so choose to Laughing out loud

I use hypnosis to maintain my endurance, relieve pain, keep the serotonin level in my brain persistently high (so i am, generally, rather cheerful and carefree), and to trigger switch states in my brain.

It is very true that this is simply the alteration of various chemical reactions within my brain. I know it's all illusory and controlled hallucinations - but they help me live out my day to day life - and allow me to focus on other things than my current mental state.