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Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Sat May 07, 2011 4:31 pm

New species created in lab. May 3 issue Proceedings of National Acadamy of Sciences.

Really now you simply need do better than that.

“New species created in Lab”
Hasn’t the obvious struck you?

An outside agency was required for whatever the result was.
That is precisely the nub of my argument relating to species formation.
Don’t you realise you are making my point for me.

I of course assume you are referring to the “Long-term evolution of Pseudomonas in the human host” article. Even the article does not make the claim you are attributing to it. So please at least report these experiments without any philosophical spin to buttress your arguments.

You keep going on about my beliefs, so let’s put you out of your obvious frustation.

Now you have stated you couldn’t not respond to my enquires because you did not understand theory enough to be able to explain it.

So you don’t really understand what you actually believe.

However I understand exactly what I believe.

I believe in the veracity of the Scientific method.

Here is my understanding of this method and I am very clear about it.
The essential elements of a scientific method are :-
Operation - Some action done to the system being investigated
Observation - What happens when the operation is done to the system
Model - A fact, hypothesis, theory, or the phenomenon itself at a certain moment
Utility Function - A measure of the usefulness of the model to explain, predict, and control.

One of the elements of any scientific utility function is the refutability of the model. Another is its simplicity, on the Principle of Parsimony also known as Occam's razor.

If it comes out of someones mouth it's biased BS until the scientific process has been applied.

I assume you include your own mouth in this analysis.

This is the strongest, most insideous bias there is. Being emotionally invested in your theory.

I understand your point completely. Your emotions are coming over in a very obvious manner.

To test for this bias, simply immagine how you would feel if someone were to prove to you that your beliefs are wrong.

I am still waiting. Please keep trying.

Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Sun May 08, 2011 3:36 pm

scottie wrote:BDDVM
Sorry for the delay. I have been away for a few days.

I think you have misunderstood me.
It’s not me that is suggesting bad design is evidence of randomness.
This idea has been put out by canalon and you appear to agree with him.

I was merely responding to his assertion. He appears not to answer any questions his assertions raise. So they are coming over as statements of doctrine, and I get very suspicious of doctrinaire pronouncements, because they invariably lack evidence or logic.

Sorry not to have pushed further, but I had to recover from surgery and then had to get back to work. But I will once again try it.

The whole point of the bad design argument is not that bad design is evidence of randomness but that it is evidence of a complete lack of planning, foresight and generally what we call design in nature. See the ancester of bears had a thumb, but they lost it. Then came the Panda and a thumb would have been useful, and instead of taking the old very good design of a thumb, something else had to evolve. But there was no coming back, it had to come from something that was still there in the panda's genetic toolbox.
The argument is that if there was design, the reliance on necessity and on what is there, instead of what is available in the life's toolbox in general is proof that there is no overarching design, plan(ner) or anything that can select from what is available at large. And the selection is limited to what is genetically available. That makes sense in the framework of evolutionnary biology, this is stupid if your hypothesize that there is a designer behind things.

And I see that you are using the old Occam's razor saw a bit down thread. You know the "a designer is a simpler explanation that random accumulation of unlikely event yada yada yada..." kind of argument. Would you care to tell us where the designer comes from? because if there is one, it must come from somewhere, no? And we now have a very interesting recursive loop in the making, that does not appear to be any more probable than random accumulation of rare events followed by selection.

Sun May 08, 2011 10:54 pm

Wrong article, It's the one about the lizards.
It describes a new species of parthenogenic lizards created by hybridizing two related lizards. This is proof of concept for these lizards producing a plethora of related species, both parthenogenic and sexaully reproducing.
Yes I am Biased. I know that and keep it constantly in mind and pay careful attention to how it feels.
Are you claiming a lack of bias?
So you are telling me that the fact that species have never been seen diverging and the fact that species have now been seen diverging are both arguements for intelligent design?

Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Mon May 09, 2011 5:46 pm

I take it then you mean this one
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/201 ... he-lab.ars

It describes a new species of parthenogenic lizards created by hybridizing two related lizards.

Here is a clue for you
This article is based on the paper entitled.
Laboratory synthesis of an independently reproducing vertebrate species.” By Aracely A. Lutes, Diana P. Baumann, William B. Neaves, and Peter Baumann. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108. No. 18, May 3, 2011.

Now I could go into the details of the paper, but the obvious stands out so clearly that I don't need to dig into it, and here is why.

Hybridization is the cross breeding of related organisms within a given species.
It also involves the input of an outside agency (i.e. the researcher) which is what this research experiment is all about.

Has a new species been created?
Let me refer you back to how this forum defines species.
(1)The lowest taxonomic rank, and the most basic unit or category of biological classification.
(2) An individual belonging to a group of organisms (or the entire group itself) having common characteristics and (usually) are capable of mating with one another.

The sloppy use of this term species can lead to any amount of slight of hand conclusions, if that is where one wishes to go.

Please read the abstract I have provided here
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/ ... 8.abstract

Go to the Materials and Methods of the paper to understand the degree of outside input that was required to arrive at their destination
You notice I use the word destination. Why?
Because there was a purpose to this experiment.

Since when has random mutations had a purpose.
Natural selection even, does not come into play.
Artificial selection however does.

You are trying to use artificial input and artificial selection to prove randomness.
What sort of logic is this?

Of course an outside agency can modify the genetic material of an organism to create a different species. (if of course that agency has the capacity.)

That is my point. It requires an outside agency.

I am arguing for design in biology. I don't need to preface the word with adjectives, be it (un)intelligent, apparent, good bad or whatever.

The biological algorithms we see operating in the cell fit perfectly within the requirements of analysis by the scientific method.
And algorithms by their very nature are not the product of natural law. They use natural laws towards a specific function or purpose.

Now if you can demonstrate any of the evolutionary models to fit into the scientific method of analysis, then you have a genuine scientific theory.

If you cannot then you have, at best a hypothesis that is not standing the test of the scientific method.

Now in fairness you have declared a bias toward this hypothesis of whatever model and
I don't have a problem with that and do sincerely respect your viewpoint.

All I ask is that you do not present it as science, because then I have to take issue.

You ask
Are you claiming a lack of bias?

We all could be guilty of having a bias.
What sticking to the scientific method does in any analysis, is to remove any bias.

Now if you can show me where I have strayed outside the scientific method in any analysis
I have presented I will correct it.

I have no problem in being corrected. I have found through experience, that being corrected is one of the best forms of learning.

Mon May 09, 2011 7:03 pm

Your definition of hybrid is wrong. To be a hybrid the parents must be different species. (again we have the species definition to contend with).
and it does happen in nature. The new species isn't the same as either of the parent species and is self replicating.
If it's not a new species created by means common in nature, what is it?
Obviously, this is kind of a back door way to create a new species but it is a way that can be accomplished in a short time and is therefore amenable to recreation in the lab.
As I said it's a proof of concept showing that this group of related lizards could have arisen by simple hybridization.
As for how selection takes place, natural, sexual,domestication, they all work to shape the gene pool. Arguments about which takes precidence I think are silly semantics. Selection is Selection.
Could be guilty of bias? No No No. Always bias, all day every day.
There are still a huge number of people who believe President Obama was not born in Hawaii despite the documentary proof they asked for. As soon as you think you are unbiased then bias has you in it's insideous grasp.
The hallmark of bias is the inability to take in information that would endanger the comfortable world view that creates the bias. You litterally have to make an effort to see the evidence.

Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Mon May 09, 2011 9:44 pm


Sorry to hear about your surgery, I do hope you are on a good trajectory back to full health.

I understand the argument you are making but it lacks coherence.
Let me explain

The whole point of the bad design argument is not that bad design is evidence of randomness but that it is evidence of a complete lack of planning, foresight and generally what we call design in nature.

You appear to completely ignore any evidence that does not fit your ideas.
The analogy of the “Panda's thumb” is sheer nonsense and although being refuted is still being perpetuated as evidence of as you now put it of a complete lack of planning, foresight and generally what we call design in nature.

Now really please read the paper if you haven't taken the trouble already.
You will find the paper in Nature (peer reviewed of course) here
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v3 ... 309a0.html
This is how the abstract reads
“The way in which the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, uses the radial sesamoid bone — its 'pseudo-thumb' — for grasping makes it one of the most extraordinary manipulation systems in mammalian evolution1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The bone has been reported to function as an active manipulator, enabling the panda to grasp bamboo stems between the bone and the opposing palm2,6, 7, 8. We have used computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and related techniques to analyse a panda hand. The three-dimensional images we obtained indicate that the radial sesamoid bone cannot move independently of its articulated bones, as has been suggested1, 2, 3, but rather acts as part of a functional unit of manipulation. The radial sesamoid bone and the accessory carpal bone form a double pincer-like apparatus in the medial and lateral sides of the hand, respectively, enabling the panda to manipulate objects with great dexterity.
(my emphasis)”
The panda has specific needs (stripping bark off bamboo for some 12 hours a day is not an activity normally associated with other mammals)
If the panda evolved as you describe ( I will come back to this later) of what better use would the ordinary thumb be over the 'pseudo-thumb'. Can you explain?

The environment, the diet and the eating habit of the panda required forward planning and foresight as you say and that is what we see.
But it is not just this digit that is evidence of forward planning for particular diet and eating habits.
Here is a description of the digestive system you will find here
http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?it ... ubcatid=68
The panda oddly enough is a carnivore not an herbivore: its stomach and intestines are adapted for meat and its teeth are so strong they can chew through metal. The panda esophagus has a tough, horny lining to protect it from sharp, bamboo splinters. The stomach is thick and muscular and gizardlike. The rest of the digestive system is similar or that of other carnivores but because it doesn’t eat meat is lightly used.
Pandas don’t have a specialized gut like cows and deer for breaking down fibrous material. To get enough nourishment from the relatively nutrient-free bamboo, the panda has a stomach like a conveyor belt. Food is barely chewed, only 17 percent of it is digested, compared to 80 percent for most herbivores, and it passes through the body in as little as five hours. After a panda has sat in one place for a while it is not uncommon for it leave behind seven to nine kilograms of woody, spindle-shaped droppings. On average a panda produces 13 kilograms of droppings a day.
 Japanese researchers have found a bacteria in panda dung that has shown to be more effective in breaking down organic garbage than almost any other known substance. In one experiment the bacteria broke down 100 kilograms of waste into three kilograms after 17 weeks, producing only water and carbon dioxide as by products. The researchers discovered the bacteria and found 270 other kinds of microbes in panda dung they received from a zoo.

No forward planning eh. It's all randomness is it?
Now let me come on to this idea of common decent.

You say
See the ancester of bears had a thumb, but they lost it.

This is just sheer speculation and you know it.
If I were to ask you ( but I wont because you not not be able to give me one) who or what was this ancestor of the bears, you would not be able to give one.
Because there is no evidence for this.

This idea of a common ancestor is based on a Doctrine that has run it's course and is now being rejected by some of the most prominent biologists.

Among such ones as Carl Woese and many many others there is Eugene Koonin of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, and National Institutes of Health
Koonin is widely regarded and is certainly at the center of the scientific establishment.
In 2007 he presented a paper which is online here

It is entitled
"The Biological Big Bang model for the major transitions in evolution."
May I urge you to read it please and not continue to be taken in by this myth of common decent.
Only the priesthood of Darwinian doctrine continue with this myth.

Now let me respond to your final little bit of rhetoric
And I see that you are using the old Occam's razor saw a bit down thread. You know the "a designer is a simpler explanation that random accumulation of unlikely event yada yada yada..." kind of argument. Would you care to tell us where the designer comes from? because if there is one, it must come from somewhere, no? And we now have a very interesting recursive loop in the making, that does not appear to be any more probable than random accumulation of rare events followed by selection.

Do you accept Kepler's Laws of motion? – Of course you do
Do you accept Newton's Laws on gravity --- Of course you do
Do you accept Maxwell's Laws on Electromagnetism – Of course you do

Did Kepler or Newton or Maxwell make those laws? Do tell please -- who?
But you accept them all without knowing don't you?

So instead of all your
yada yada yada
let us make a deal

You tell me who made those Laws and I will tell you who designed the cell.


Mon May 09, 2011 10:18 pm


Your point about the adaptation of the panda's thumb is irrelevant. It does not prove design, just adaptation. Interestingly I would point that the carnivorous and wasteful digestive system of said animal is once again a good argument for its link with other bears (who are all carnivorous). The adaptation of its digestive flora is once again irrelevant to the point, it does adapt. And frigging quickly. Observing variation of any individual digestive flora over time (and even more so if its diet is modified) is easy. Understanding waht happens is another story, though...

As for the laws of physics, nobody designed them. They are the consequence of the interaction whatever constituted the primordial soup of the Big Bang.

But who designed your designer? I do not give a **** who or what it is, but if it has the power to interact with our world, it comes from somewhere. Yet we know that it cannot come from nothing as design is essantial to anything. So who designed your designer?

See that is why it is dangerous to play with a razor, you can hurt yourself.

Tue May 10, 2011 1:18 am

I'm still waiting to hear more about this designer. Who, what, when ,where, how?

Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Thu May 12, 2011 12:13 am


Since you are having trouble with a definition of species why don't you sort out in your own mind what constitutes “a species” and then we can continue our discussion.


Oh dear
Did you really think this one through?

As for the laws of physics, nobody designed them. They are the consequence of the interaction whatever constituted the primordial soup of the Big Bang.

Is this supposed to be an explanation based on science?

Your confusion in the mixing of two concepts from two different hypothesis reveals more about what you don't understand, than about what you do understand.

The primordial soup is the start point from which Darwin formulated his Origin of species hypothesis. Somehow life came into being from some chemicals.

No one has even figured out what this so called soup consisted of. Scientists have only been able to speculate as to what it may have consisted of.

The most fundamental law in biology is that life comes only from another pre-existing life.

Louis Pasteur clarified this law of Biogenesis about 150 years ago. I take it you did learn about this at school.( Incidently, Pasteur and Darwin were contemporaries.)

Funny that eh ! Darwin hypothesising that life started from a chemical soup and Pasteur showing through science that it couldn't.

But hey why let science stand in the way of a good story.

The Big Bang hypothesis starts with a mathematical concept called Singularity.
Singularity has no physical existence.

Monsignor Georges Lemaître a Belgian Catholic priest proposed the Big Bang hypothesis.
Of course it had a few rather basic problems so in 1980 Alan Guth bolted on his hypothesis which we know as Inflation theory to try and make some sense of the Big Bang but created even more problems.

By the way George Lemaitre also believed that the Virgin Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at her death.

Do you now understand the difference between these two theories? Good
So now lets go a little further

Now you should at least know this one.

The most fundamental law in physics is the law of the conservation of energy.
In the natural world neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed.

Therefore either matter and energy has had no beginning (i.e. it has always existed, the concept of infinity)
it was brought into existence as a consequence of an action outside the physical world.

Since infinity is simply a mathematical construct and has no physical existence the latter must apply.

That is why our Catholic priest thought up this hypothesis to explain how his god would have have created the universe.

So your answer is both scientifically wrong and religiously based.

Your confusion reveals not your science but your religion.
And all religions have dogmas.
So would you like to try again

Once you have absorbed this little lesson we can continue with our science class.

Thu May 12, 2011 1:32 am

I'll make you a deal. I'll define Species when you define your designer.
I can't help but wonder why you are reluctant to define your designer.

Re: Theories - Origin of Life

Sat May 14, 2011 3:17 pm

I am able to get back to the forum for the weekend and
Yes I accept your deal
to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan or purpose

Examples of designers in the natural world
Birds – constructing a nest
Ants – constructing a anthill

Examples of religion’s chief designers (supposedly)
Christendom’s Triune god
Islam’s Allah
Hindu’s Vishnu
Egyptian’s Amon
Evolution’s Random mutation
Etc, etc, etc,

Examples of human designers
Isambard Kingdom Brunell --- bridges
Isaac Newton --- telescope
Robert Oppenheimer --- atomic bomb
Etc, etc, etc.

Now Regarding the designer of the cell.

I am not able to define the designer, any more than I can define the maker of the natural laws.
Neither can you or anyone else.
That is why I was able to confidentially offer the deal canalon.

However what I find amusing are the arrogant assumptions some have who claim they can, only to find that when their claims are put to the test and found wanting, they have to try and change the debate to one of belief or religion.

Science does not need to define the designer of anything to acknowledge the fact that design is there.

Religions however by their nature have to, in order to attract believers.

However you can as indeed I can define an understanding of species.
There is enough information around to be able to do this.

So do tell please what is it? I have already given you my understanding.

Sat May 14, 2011 4:30 pm

WRONG, If you posit a designer it is incumbant on you to define as much as you can and attempt to prove/ disprove it.
"I believe in a designer that can design the cell." doesn't cut it.
and they say survival of the fittest is a tautology.
I am only interested in practical theories. Does your designer currently do anything? Will any more designs be forthcoming? Does your designer have any interest in helping or hurting me?
If your designer is beyond the reach of scientific investigation then they might as well be in a different universe and anything said about them is pointless speculation (Phylosophy).
The designer positted by modern biology is well defined. Mostly (if not completely) random changes in the genetic material of preexisting organisms ( or almost living chemical systems capable of some crude form of replication) provide variation in the population. Selection (natural, sexual, domestication) removes variations that don't fit in an available niche. The remaining organisms reproduce. Repeat, repeat ,repeat.
Things you wouldn't expect to see. Perfection, this process is a little messy. Completely new designs with no previous history. Virgin birth
(Spontaneous generation)
Notice I don't mention your arguement. Complexity is not evidence against this process. Life doesn't violate any thermodynamic laws.
Organic molecules are perfectly capable of creating bizarrely complex systems without intelligent input.
If you find a watch on the beach it is perfectly logical to look around for the owner/maker. If however you find a crab on the beach there is no reason to look for it's creator. It's pretty likely other crabs were involved.
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