Are you guys insane?
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25-04-2012, 11:05 PM
RE: Are you guys insane?
Weeping Oh FFS...make it stop!

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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25-04-2012, 11:44 PM (This post was last modified: 26-04-2012 03:07 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Are you guys insane?
(25-04-2012 11:03 PM)Egor Wrote:  I really hope you aren't blasphemous or insulting, because I'd hate to think you went to all that work just for me to ignore it. We'll see.


Now that would be a tragedy for Western Civilization.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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26-04-2012, 12:08 AM
 
RE: Are you guys insane?
(25-04-2012 03:47 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Alright, I'll bite again.

Let's talk random vs. non-random (which seems to be your entire argument)

The argument here is that biological structures could not have originated via random processes, which no one in the scientific community is arguing against. The reasoning behind this is very easy to demonstrate, pretty simple math. If I have a population of numbers that are completely randomly distributed, then there is no trend at all. That is, I have an equal chance of picking any one of these numbers (like the lottery). So, what would be the odds in a case of completely random chance based evolution, that any structure would evolve? It wouldn't be 0 but it would be near enough to 0 so as to render it effectively improbable. And yet we do see structures that exist in modern and fossilized species, which means ONLY that it is non-random. No other conclusion can be leapt to based upon this. It means that there is some external process that is controlling the distribution. Back to the number example, it means that there is a meaningful average, median and mode to the distribution. I can plot up damn near anything and get a normal distribution, height of American citizens, length of giraffe necks, distance between the pupils of the three-toed sloth, etc, etc. That means that there is some average of any one of these that appears to be more abundant and two end-members that appear to far-less abundant (lots of people around 5 foot 9 inches but very few 7 footers and 4 footers).

Now, it doesn't take a mathematical genius to look at any given one of these examples, or any other example (like the eye), and see that they are NOT RANDOM. Let me repeat that, no scientist is saying that these distributions are random...none. There is selection. Not design, nor irreducible complexity. There is selection pressure that is a result of environmental, sexual or mechanical selection. That is, environmental selection could be climate, temperature, moisture, etc, etc. Sexual selection would be something like a female peacock choosing the male peacock with the brightest plumage. And mechanical selection would be something like gravity limiting the size that arthropods can attain before they are crushed by the weight of their own exoskeleton. If things had been designed perfectly, why would any change occur? Why would any group within a population have an advantage over any other? Why wouldn't predator selection or female selection not be purely random? That is, in an intelligently designed world, we should expect more random behavior from animals and we do not see that.

Onto selection pressure. Let's take any example of irreducible complexity, like the eye, and run the clock backwards. So, let's start modern-day human eye. The eye is a phenotypic expression of a genotype. Selection pressures act on the phenotype and the genotype takes a ride with it (like plumage brightness or antler size or eye color). Climate does not affect the genotype, sexual selection does not affect the genotype, mechanical selection does not affect the genotype. They affect the phenotype (that is the visual expression of the genotype) and the genotype is selected by default, but not as the primary selection. So, back to the eye. It is an advantage for humans to have good eyesight. It enables us to see predators, to see storms and other natural hazards, to find food, etc. Rewind back let's say 5 million years. Now our ancestor is more ape-like. Eyesight affords the same benefits, but selection pressures may be different. Perhaps females are selecting for brown eyes and not blue. Perhaps dark-colored corneas are an advantage in areas with high solar insolation. Perhaps hunting is more important so those that can detect movement better are better hunters. Maybe distinguishing between colors is more important in order to distinguish good fruits from bad ones. Or all of the above. Rewind now 290 million years more. Now we are in the Permian and our ancestors are amphibians. They hunt things like arthropods. The eyes are now set on either side of the skull rather than towards the front, but forward facing eyes are an advantage for hunting. That means that selection would select for that trait (phenotypic) and as we move forward in time (towards the present) a branch of this lineage will select upon that further and lead us towards out ape ancestor. These amphibians also needed to detect movement better, so that is selected for. Color distinction is probably also still important as these arthropods were probably still camouflaging themselves. Selection pressure acts on these organisms that have the phenotypic traits that are advantageous and inadvertantly selects the genotype too! Now, rewind to the Cambrian, >500 million years BP. The chordate ancestor no longer has any true "eyes" but instead has light-sensitive cells on the underside of its body that face upwards (towards the surface because this organism was living in a marine setting and swimming). This organism couldn't use these eyes for hunting, they couldn't detect shapes, or colors, or damn near anything other than light or no light. Which was still an advantage. If a predator swims over the top of you, it goes from light to dark to light. If that happens, the organism knows danger may be close and swims away. So, having 1% of an "eye" is better than 0.5%. This means those with 1% "eyes" preferentially survive (ie their survival is not random) and mate and the next generation consists of a higher percentage of 1% eyes and the tail ends of the distribution change. That is, there are fewer <1% "eyes" and those with even better developed "eyes" occupy the other end of the bell-curve. As populations continue to reproduce, they will continue to select for the better developed "eyes" and drive the average further and further towards better developed "eyes". This is called directional selection.

So, let's recap. The eye started off as nothing more than photosensitive cells that conveyed a phenotypic advantage to the organism. This advantage meant that their survival was not random and they survived to breed. This continued breeding of organisms with better eyes shifts the baseline, or the average for the "fitness" of the "eye." Selection pressures (predation in this case) acts upon a phenotype that is the result of a genotype and therefore it inadvertantly selects for the genotype. As this continues to happen over MILLIONS of YEARS, the eye becomes better and better developed, and capable of doing more than just detecting light.

Now, I have a feeling you will say something to the effect of "but mutations can't account for that." Correct, and they don't, selection pressure does. Mutations occur constantly, they happen in your own cells every, single, day. That is not the main mechanism for how the eye continues to develop, it is because of that whole reproduction thing. You know, sex. Asexually reproducing organisms essentially clone themselves, but even most of them have a way of exchanging genetic material between one another in order to mix up the amount genetic "information." Sexually reproducing species mate, the offspring will have some combination of both parents genes. Let's say they have 100 kids. What do you want to bet that for any given trait, the ones who survive will fit in the bell curve? Those with shitty eyes, die. Those with average eyes, survive at the same rate as the average individual in the population and those with great eyes have a higher survivorship. All of the survivors go on to mate and the others...well...they provide energy for the organism that consumed them. NOT RANDOM. The mating mixes up the genetic information, every single time a pair breeds. How often do organisms breed? Pretty goddamn often over the course of their lifetime and for most species, it is with multiple partners.

And here is the kicker, it is not about the amount of genetic information available, but the combinatorial effects of it. If I have 100 genes, and I combine them randomly (even the success of sperm and egg isn't random because some sperm are more fit than others in some species, but let's assume it is pretty much random), and I allow for repetition, there are 5050 possible combinations by selecting 2 at a time. Over 5000! If one more gene is added it goes up to 5151. If I add 10, it goes up to 6105. It is an exponential increase in the number of possible combinations. So, the absolute amount of genes available is insignificant to the total number of combinations. Mutations make it possible to add more genes to the sequence and thereby exponentially increase the possible number of combinations. More possible combinations means more variability and more variability in genotype means more variability in phenotype and the advantageous phenotypes can be selected for and the disadvantageous phenotypes selected against. Thereby selecting the genotype and shifting the baseline for the gene pool.

So, not random and not dependent on mutation for the variability.

I didn't want to touch irreducible complexity because so many others have dismantled it, but I suspect you lack a rudimentary understanding of evolution and genetics. So, if none of that made sense, read up on some genetics and evolution from someone that does not have their head up their own ass trying to argue against it when the only argument they have is "random mutation can't cause it" because, one more time, NO SCIENTIST IS SAYING THAT!!!
And yes, I am a scientist, and yes I do study and do research on evolution.

First off, let me clear the air about one thing. I do understand evolution. Here are my credentials for saying that I understand evolution:

    An obsessive home biology and Chemistry lab (Junior High)

    General Science (grade school and junior hight)

    Biology 1 (high school)

    Biology 2(high school)

    Chemistry 1 (high school)

    Biology 1 (college)

    Biology 2 (college)

    Anatomy and Physiology 1 (college)

    Anatomy and Physiology 2 (college)

    Microbiology (college)

    Pharmacology (nursing school)

    Pharmacology (college elective)

    Pathophysiology (nursing school)

    Independent research on protozoa (home microbiology lab)

    1 year cardiology nursing

    1 year cardiology ICU nursing

    4 years regular ICU nursing
    Your article above

    Oh, and currently, I live in a swamp.


It seems I’ve been immersed in biology all my life. I admit I’m not a Ph.D., and I only have a bachelor’s degree (as my highest degree), so I have not done research in genetics or advanced biology—but I do understand evolution. I realize it’s tempting to straw-man all theists as not understanding evolution. I realize you have to believe we all think the earth is 6000 years old and God popped Adam into existence. But that makes you the idiot, not me. I read your entire article, and I understand it completely.

I just have one question. The photosensitive cells that acted as the primeval eye: How did the nerves form from it to the brain, and how did the brain develop the primeval visual cortex to allow dark and light to enter into the consciousness of the animal, so that it could react to it?

You see because unless there was an occipital lobe and visual cortex and nerves leading to the photosensitive cells, it wouldn’t matter if the photosensitive cells existed; there would be no advantage. And there could be no selection pressure that would favor the mutations that formed the visual cortex and corresponding neurological pathways unless there were already photosensitive exterior cells to connect them too.

Are you really trying to tell me that the entire 1% visual system you described evolved concurrently without conscious design? Because, you see (excuse the pun), I just can’t accept that. You can say that the prima facie evidence is that it in fact did happen, but I’m telling you I can’t rationally accept that, and I don't see how a rational person could. There is no reason for vision if there never was a need for it to begin with, and if there was a need, that need would have led to the extinction of the species before the unintentional evolutionary forces could save it. What chance creates probability destroys.

But I do thank you for the primer in evolution. We can all use regular continuing education in this arena of ideas. Bowing
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26-04-2012, 12:37 AM
RE: Are you guys insane?
Complexity doesn't equal design, sure its astounding as to how we have all this but it doesn't equal a creator at all.
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26-04-2012, 04:26 AM
RE: Are you guys insane?
Are you serious, Egor? Is that really how you think it happened? We're talking about evolutionary steps that happened in worms, where the brain and nervous system although simple were already relatively developed. The simplest eyes did not require complex image processing, just a basic sense of light and dark that might indicate danger. From there the system evolves as a whole, step by step with each step yielding better vision and therefore being selected for.

Bear in mind also that some simple worms have a nervous system that we have been able to entirely map and duplicate into a computer simulation. These nervous systems do not necessarily require a "conciousness" - only correct reaction to stimulus.
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26-04-2012, 04:40 AM (This post was last modified: 26-04-2012 05:14 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Are you guys insane?
"There is no reason for vision".
Heh heh.

"There is no one so blind, as he who will not see".

The vast majority of organisms which have eyes, and use them to their advantage do not have an occipital lobe, or a visual cortex.
The swamp some live in, is their minds.


Here's how eyes evolved :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

Someone who doesn't get that reflexive motion is not the same as purposeful action, needs to go do "Biology 1 (high school)" over again., and then get out her dictionary, and look up the word "consciousness".
Someone who keeps asserting that there isn't time for mutations to occur, without ever stating how long even one takes, and why, and what exactly that mechanism is, obviously does not understand the subject she is attempting to discuss.
Some clearly don't even know what the word "consciousness" means.
Someone who asserts that the time it takes for mutation to occur is longer than the time the earth existed, does not
understand, either evolution or genetics.

Someone who thinks functioning as a nurse teaches one about evolution is sad.
If Protozoa have consciousness, what evidence is there, they have language ?

I
have a throne room in my home. That means I am a king. It also means I'm batshit nuts.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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26-04-2012, 05:11 AM
RE: Are you guys insane?
Is Egor for reals??
Also, Egor, I am also a RN and took every class you listed...and don't recall one mention of evolution in any of them. Did they teach evolution in pharmacology? A&P? micro? where did you go to college?? And cardiac nursing has an evolution aspect??

The preachers deal with men of straw, as they are men of straw themselves -
Henry David Thoreau

Without god, life is everything
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26-04-2012, 05:18 AM
RE: Are you guys insane?
(26-04-2012 05:11 AM)darcie Wrote:  Is Egor for reals??
Also, Egor, I am also a RN and took every class you listed...and don't recall one mention of evolution in any of them. Did they teach evolution in pharmacology? A&P? micro? where did you go to college?? And cardiac nursing has an evolution aspect??


Of course it does. She designed those PVC's, doncha know. Oh wait ..


Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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26-04-2012, 06:22 AM
RE: Are you guys insane?
As has been stated above by Bucky Ball very well, a brain is not a requirement for life nor is it a requirement for photosynsetive cells. I mean plants have photosynsetive cells for goodness sake. Grasses and all other plants can open and close their stomata depending on the time of day (ie based on the amount of sunlight at any given time).

Clams don't have a brain, and yet even they can detect danger and shut their shell. They are capable of burrowing and some can swim. This means that even without a brain, they can process information about the world around them.

I can't accept that the Giants beat my 49ers. My desire to believe or not believe something has no bearing on whether it is true or not. If you can't accept the possibility that evolution is in fact not guided by an "intelligent being" then you've no point in debating it.

You do realize that you even ended your post realizing your first argument would not hold up and then your second point was the intellectual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming "I can't hear you."

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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26-04-2012, 06:50 AM
RE: Are you guys insane?
(26-04-2012 04:40 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I have a throne room in my home.

Why am I not surprised? Consider

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