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Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
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19-09-2016, 06:54 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(13-09-2016 04:49 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-09-2016 10:11 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  You said:

"You say "mutation" like it's a bad thing... you call it "corruption"."

If I implied that, I didn't mean it. The mutation itself was "unbiased" so to speak. Its effect, however, was a corruption of a previously working system.

There is your loaded language again.

A mutation may be an improvement.

That is correct. The environment determines whether a mutation is beneficial or deleterious. Most mutations are neutral but far more mutations are harmful than beneficial. And only time would tell if a mutation becomes advantageous. In the interim, if it inhibits a currently working system, it is harmful.
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19-09-2016, 07:05 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 06:54 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(13-09-2016 04:49 AM)Chas Wrote:  There is your loaded language again.

A mutation may be an improvement.

That is correct. The environment determines whether a mutation is beneficial or deleterious. Most mutations are neutral but far more mutations are harmful than beneficial. And only time would tell if a mutation becomes advantageous. In the interim, if it inhibits a currently working system, it is harmful.

And if it doesn't, then it is not "a corruption of a previously working system" as you stated.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-09-2016, 07:10 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(13-09-2016 02:59 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Oh, wow, that video. I love that he says "It's an example of Natural Selection but it's not evolution."

Facepalm

That's like saying "Well it's an example of two masses being attracted to one another proportionally to the distance between them but it's not gravity."

The funny part is that, whatever the deal was with the original moths research, it does turn out that the peppered moths are an excellent example of evolution (via Natural Selection) in action. From the WikiPedia entry on it:

Bernard Kettlewell was the first to investigate the evolutionary mechanism behind peppered moth adaptation, between 1953 and 1956. He found that a light-coloured body was an effective camouflage in a clean environment, such as in Dorset, while the dark colour was beneficial in a polluted environment like in Birmingham. This selective survival was due to birds which easily caught dark moths on clean trees, and white moths on trees darkened with soot. The story, supported by Kettlewell's experiment, became an example of Darwinian evolution used in standard textbooks.

However, failure to replicate the experiment and criticism of Kettlewell's methods by Theodore David Sargent in the late 1960s led to general skepticism. When Judith Hooper's
Of Moths and Men was published in 2002, Kettlewell's story was more sternly attacked, accused of fraud, and became widely disregarded. The criticism became a major argument for creationists. Michael Majerus was the principal defender. His seven-year experiment beginning in 2001, the most elaborate of its kind in population biology, the results of which were published posthumously in 2012, vindicated Kettlewell's work in great detail. This restored peppered moth evolution as "the most direct evidence", and "one of the clearest and most easily understood examples of Darwinian evolution in action"

(Emphasis mine.)

What do you know? Another lie from the Creationists. I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

Lying for Jesus is still lying.

Nope. The peppered moth example is natural selection but not evolution. Your gravity example fails. As I have stated elsewhere, there were light and dark coloured moths from the beginning. All that was observed was a shift in the population size. The light moths were not evolving into dark moths. And even if they were, colour is a minor change.

We need to see an organism gaining a trait it never had before, not merely a change in size or colour or a different use for an old trait. Yet the best examples of evolution always given are eyeless fish that live in caves and wingless beetles that live on windy islands. These are examples of losses not gains. We need to see how fish got eyes and beetles got wings in the first place. And before you bring up Dawkins' speculation on how eyes evolved, I've seen it. Unimpressive at best.
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19-09-2016, 07:13 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 07:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-09-2016 06:54 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  That is correct. The environment determines whether a mutation is beneficial or deleterious. Most mutations are neutral but far more mutations are harmful than beneficial. And only time would tell if a mutation becomes advantageous. In the interim, if it inhibits a currently working system, it is harmful.

And if it doesn't, then it is not "a corruption of a previously working system" as you stated.

It is also worth noting that several phenotypes (genetic or epigenetic) which are mildly harmful or neutral minorities in a population can become beneficial to the individuals or family-lines that carry them if the environment or other selection factors change.

In other words, carrying a gene for sickle cell anemia is harmful... unless your tribe moves into an area that has malaria-carrying mosquitoes, at which point it becomes a survival factor.

That's not to mention genes which are deleterious to the individual but helpful to the family-line, such as the "lookout" meerkats who are more individually likely to be eaten by the eagle/snake they're crying out about, but whose warning gives their family/tribe more time to get to safety and thereby pass along their genes indirectly through related others who carry the recessive forms. It's called "kin selection".

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-09-2016, 07:17 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(14-09-2016 01:56 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(14-09-2016 01:50 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Just noticed that all the numerals and letters within the head profile in the cover design are reversed. Except the word "God".

Wonder what a psychologist would make of that?

It's probably a copyright thing... a way of avoiding it.

But aren't all the images reversed? I was born without a belief in DOGs.

Acanineopathy?

Consider

Nope, it's because the part of the brain that was thought to house spiritual experiences is the right parietal lobe. The stock image I paid for and wanted to use was facing the other way so I reversed it. Thank you to the person who pointed out that the letters and numbers are reversed. I didn't notice it and will fix it.
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19-09-2016, 07:19 PM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2016 07:24 PM by Chas.)
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 07:10 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Nope. The peppered moth example is natural selection but not evolution. Your gravity example fails. As I have stated elsewhere, there were light and dark coloured moths from the beginning. All that was observed was a shift in the population size.

I think you mean ratios, not size
And that means a change in allele proportions and that is evolution.

Quote:The light moths were not evolving into dark moths. And even if they were, colour is a minor change.

And that is not evolution. Evolution applies to populations, not individulas.

Quote:We need to see an organism gaining a trait it never had before, not merely a change in size or colour or a different use for an old trait.

No, we don't.

Quote:Yet the best examples of evolution always given are eyeless fish that live in caves and wingless beetles that live on windy islands. These are examples of losses not gains. We need to see how fish got eyes and beetles got wings in the first place.

No, we don't.

Quote:And before you bring up Dawkins' speculation on how eyes evolved, I've seen it. Unimpressive at best.

Oh, I'm sure you don't like Dawkins, but how about the University of Utah?

How about lizards that change to a new diet?

Or bacteria that evolve a new metabolic pathway?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-09-2016, 07:23 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(14-09-2016 02:46 AM)SYZ Wrote:  
(13-09-2016 08:10 AM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  It's also interesting that since research shows that a higher percentage of homosexuals are atheists and that homosexuality likely happens in the womb due to a depletion of testosterone, this may further help to explain atheopathy.

And even more absolute horseshit. Homosexuality "happens in the womb"? Citations needed for that incredible claim.

Anyway, there's a correlation between ANY two things. What matters is how strong that correlation is, and whether that correlation, regardless of strength and direction, is meaningful.

• The divorce rate in Maine is very closely correlated with per capita consumption of margarine,
• The marriage rate in North Carolina is similarly correlated with the number of legal executions in the US,
• The number of PhDs awarded in mathematics is very closely correlated with the number of suicides by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation.

Your purported correlation between atheism and homosexuality, even IF it did happen to be close, is no more meaningful.

Here are just a few. It's also interesting that male homosexuals are more likely to be left-handed and that, if a woman has several boys, the chance of the boy being gay increases by 33% with each child. If you are the youngest boy and have two older brothers, you are probably gay. Smile

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/12/h...start-womb

http://scitechdaily.com/homosexuality-mi...c-changes/

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5967426/scientist...n-the-womb

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_h...rientation

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and...ation.html
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19-09-2016, 07:28 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 07:10 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  Nope. The peppered moth example is natural selection but not evolution. Your gravity example fails. As I have stated elsewhere, there were light and dark coloured moths from the beginning. All that was observed was a shift in the population size. The light moths were not evolving into dark moths. And even if they were, colour is a minor change.

We need to see an organism gaining a trait it never had before, not merely a change in size or colour or a different use for an old trait. Yet the best examples of evolution always given are eyeless fish that live in caves and wingless beetles that live on windy islands. These are examples of losses not gains. We need to see how fish got eyes and beetles got wings in the first place. And before you bring up Dawkins' speculation on how eyes evolved, I've seen it. Unimpressive at best.

Man, you need an education. Natural Selection is the primary driving force behind evolution. It's a basic exercise in population genetics-- math. You're suggesting that all genes pre-exist and can only be chosen among (such as light vs dark moths), but that ignores that selection can be enough to drive Group A extinct within the population, resulting in only dark moths from that point forward. Or vice-versa. It does not take NS to do this, though, as genetic drift can account for fixing a gene to 100% or 0% in a poulation, as well... pure randomness. All of this is covered in the first couple of weeks of any genetics course on the planet. Add in any new feature which is able to be reproduced faster than the other due to whatever trait (environment, sex selection, etc), and it will rapidly become "fixed" in the new population. Other times, there's still enough viability in the old gene variant that it sticks around, and the population varies slightly between the trait-range, as you suggest. But to suggest that it means no new traits emerge is ludicrous.

The "new traits" you speak of often are new uses for an old trait. An example is the wings of an ostrich, which are used for balance and cooling, but which still are based on their flight-capable, smaller ancestors. But I follow what you mean-- you think it's impossible for new systems to "add information" (to use the parlance of the ID crowd) to a genome.

One of the chief ways we get novel (new) features is through gene duplication followed by a mutation in one of the genes. That way, the old gene goes right along doing its old function while the copy becomes something else. This is how the bacterial flagellum, a popular example among the Intelligent Design crowd, acquired its component parts from "cellular pump" surface proteins that already existed in the genome of those bacteria.

If you'd like to see something on a more "large fauna" scale, take the recently-observed example of the Italian wall lizards on an island off the coast of Croatia. Transplanted there from a neighboring island in a small number, they were left there as the Yugoslav war erupted, and spotted again decades later when the researchers returned to find a population of over 5000 lizards, all of whom were tested and found to descend from the original ten... but which had evolved an entirely new gut structure, larger heads, and a more powerful bite in response to the conditions on their new island.

Pod Mrcaru, for example, had an abundance of plants for the primarily insect-eating lizards to munch on. Physically, however, the lizards were not built to digest a vegetarian diet.

Researchers found that the lizards developed cecal valves—muscles between the large and small intestine—that slowed down food digestion in fermenting chambers, which allowed their bodies to process the vegetation's cellulose into volatile fatty acids.

"They evolved an expanded gut to allow them to process these leaves," Irschick said, adding it was something that had not been documented before. "This was a brand-new structure."


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...ution.html

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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19-09-2016, 07:29 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
(19-09-2016 06:54 PM)Randy Ruggles Wrote:  
(13-09-2016 04:49 AM)Chas Wrote:  There is your loaded language again.

A mutation may be an improvement.

That is correct. The environment determines whether a mutation is beneficial or deleterious. Most mutations are neutral but far more mutations are harmful than beneficial. And only time would tell if a mutation becomes advantageous. In the interim, if it inhibits a currently working system, it is harmful.

So your putative mutation in the flight reflex that leads to a propensity for inaccurate agency assignment. Have you demonstrated that it is a "currently working system"?

Sounds broken to me.

A-theopathy.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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19-09-2016, 07:30 PM
RE: Feedback requested on a new hypothesis on the origin of atheism
Beat me to it, Chas. I was gonna bring up nylonase next. Smile

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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