Creationist history


This will come in handy. If you compress the known geological record into the 6000 year timespan allowed by young earth creationists, here’s what you get:

So I was born in the Eocene (I’m older than I look!), Jesus was pre-Cambrian, and the American Revolutionary War was fought in the Jurassic. Radical.

Comments

  1. frog says

    I guess I’ll have to change my old-person-being-ironic phrase from “When I was young–you know, in the Jurassic” to “When I was young, back in the Oligocene…”

  2. louisi says

    Although, of course, it would have made Noah’s job much easier. Archaea wouldn’t require much room, and he’d only have needed a small boat, maybe a yacht…

  3. says

    Well, that chart is a load of crap. Everyone, who is anyone, in the creationist geological field of creationology knows that the Devonian period never happened, and all of the fossil claimed to be from there are just traps planted by the devil. The devil doesn’t carry a pitch fork, but he does have a shovel.

    Also the Oligocene ended when Reagan defeated the terror-birds lead by Jimmy Carter on November 4, 1980, thus saving the shiny city on the hill.

    Noah and the Dinosaurs

  4. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    When I was a kid I had to walk uphill both ways to school dodging carnivorous marsupials and terror birds.

    SO DON’T YOU TELL ME HOW TOUGH YOU HAVE IT

  5. anubisprime says

    For Fucking freaking creeping jeebus sake and they wonder why we laugh at them?

    What is remarkable is that since at least 1822 not one diarist, commentator, historian, or news report has absolutely no mention of living breathing galloping dinosaurs of any size color or persuasion,

    And Darwin would certainly mention one or two words in their honor…it might even of gotten the dude to rewrite the history of biological evolution in slightly more favorable terms to cretinists.

    Anyone that gives that ‘Creationist geological timescale’ nonsense any credence whatsoever is, without a shadow of a doubt, fucking certifiably barking insane…simples!

  6. wcorvi says

    They don’t use a linear timescale, though. They DO have a ‘geologic column’ that looks all sciency and stuff. In “Grand Canyon – A Different View” (and I’ll say it is different), most of geology was done in 40 days and 40 nights – this covers all the way from the Cambrian to Triassic. The schist and granite are the ‘creation rocks’, created in 6 days, or just one actually.

    The problem with the book (which they sell at the gift shops there) – it has the best pictures of any on the shelves. I’ve seen people leafing through and buying it because of that. They don’t NOTICE that in one sketch the GC is filled with water, and there is an ark floating in it, at least not until later.

  7. Big Boppa says

    I too was born in the Eocene. And apparently the terror bird made its appearance on my birthday in 1982. I think that’s the same year my wife gave me an Atari game system so that explains why I don’t remember all those eviscerated corpses out in the streets.

  8. says

    Ah this takes me back. I remember the old Deinotherium carrying me to school on its back. Mom chasing the terror birds from the garden… Those were the days…

  9. carlie says

    I thought to them the entire time scale was just one big epoch labeled “flood”.

  10. DLC says

    Wow. I knew I was old, but I never realized I was born near the end of the Eocene era ? I’m gonna stagger off to bed now. . .

  11. yec123 says

    Haha! You atheists are funny. In your own “Old Earth” model, you think that bascially nothing happened for 4 billion years and then suddenly WHAM!….the Cambrian explosion occurs and all of the main phyla of life come into existence. What was Evolution doing for 4 billion years and why did it suddenly decide to change things?

  12. unbound says

    Shoot. Now I know why my house is starting to have a few issues here and there. It was built in the Miocene Epoch!

  13. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    #16 I give you a 6 out of 10.

    You spelled atheists correctly.

    Not enough random capitalization.

    Not enough lunacy.

  14. anubisprime says

    Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort @ 13

    “Is anyone else thinking how freakin’ awesome dinosaurs in the Revolutionary War would have been?”

    ‘ The night they drove ole’ Archaeopteryx down’

    I wonder if it was squawking on the Danville train?

    In fact one might consider on whose side archeae might actually have been on…have the cretinists anything on this in their archives?

  15. unbound says

    @yec123 – Since you clearly are not willing to read up on the subject, how about this video that demonstrates how evolution works in a quite different way?

    Figured this might be easier than pointing you to the literally hundreds of websites that explain in detail what is actually going on with evolution.

  16. says

    What was Evolution doing for 4 billion years

    Um, evolving oxygenic photosynthesis, DNA coding, eukaryotic complexity, and undergoing endosymbiotic events, for starters?

    Don’t know if you’re Poe or serious, but by no means do we think that precambrian evolution wasn’t effecting exceedingly important changes–although that’s the usual creationist cant.

    Glen Davidson

  17. mnb0 says

    “What was Evolution doing for 4 billion years and why did it suddenly decide to change things?”

    It was not Evolution deciding to change things, but the Flying Spaghetti Monster, smartie. He was bored and was temporarily out of beer. Eternity lasts a bit long, you know.
    Ramen.

  18. Dick the Damned says

    yech23,

    That sounds about right – four billion years to get from chemistry & abiogenesis to really interesting biology. The cell is highly complex.

  19. EvoMonkey says

    Wow, I was born in the Eocene – that makes me sound really old. I’m going to start writing that on forms that ask for my birthday.

    I need to go back and look at my family photo albums there has to be some pretty interesting animals (maybe even dinosaurs) in those old photos of the grandparents.

  20. yec123 says

    Come on guys! You maintain that birds ARE dinosaurs, so why do you laugh at the idea of a velociraptor chasing a human? You think that mammals, reptiles and birds are all just modified FISH. That’s right, you are a walking fish according to Neil Shubin! So how can anyone take evolooonyism seriously?

    Btw, I typed these comments using my modified fins.

  21. EvoMonkey says

    Wait, I am so confused.

    According to compressed creationist time, I was born in the Eocene which was dominated by small dwarf (less than 10 kg) forms of mammals. Yet I weigh a whopping 90 kg.

    Out of my way you puny artiodactyl.

  22. FilthyHuman says

    @pentatomid
    #27

    Well, obviously. What else are you gonna type with?

    For those born in the Miocene era… multi-toe hooves?
    … wait.
    *Check Youtube audience statistics on MLP videos*
    13~24 years old… around Miocene era.
    Interesting…

  23. leighshryock says

    yec123:
    Work on your trolling. Too much incidental knowledge and your spelling is too good.

  24. Amphiox says

    In your own “Old Earth” model, you think that bascially nothing happened for 4 billion years and then suddenly WHAM!….the Cambrian explosion occurs and all of the main phyla of life come into existence. What was Evolution doing for 4 billion years and why did it suddenly decide to change things?

    Right. The evolution of the prokaryotes, which constitute something like 99% of the biomass of this planet, is “nothing”.

    Oxidizing the entire planet, atmosphere, seas, and land, is “nothing”.

    Triggering not one, but TWO, global glaciations, is “nothing”.

    Evolving all the signalling pathways that those Cambrian critters would later use to build their newfangled bodies is “nothing”.

    Demethanizing the entire atmosphere is “nothing”.

    Carpeting the shallow seas with stromatolites is “nothing”. (The microbes that build the stromatolites are equivalent to you building a house 10 miles high.)

    (The Cambrian “explosion” did NOT produce all of the main phyla of life. It produced MOST (not all) of the main phyla of ANIMALS. Yes, just animals. Not even plants. Just one tiny twig on the tree of life.)

  25. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    What was Evolution doing for 4 billion years and why did it suddenly decide to change things?

    Evolutiona is not intelligent. It cannot ‘decide’ to do something. What did happen, though, was in the late Precambrian, creatures became multicelular (possible through screwed up mitosis?). Once we had multi-cell animals, things really sped up. Once sex began, with genetic mixing, it was balls to the walls acceleration with how fast things change.

    <You maintain that birds ARE dinosaurs, They are.

    so why do you laugh at the idea of a velociraptor chasing a human?

    Because they lived at least 65 million years apart.

    You think that mammals, reptiles and birds are all just modified FISH.

    that is correct.

    That’s right, you are a walking fish according to Neil Shubin!

    No. We are mammals who share a common ancestor with modern fish.

    So how can anyone take evolooonyism seriously?

    Because we have evidence that pointed to the conclusion, not a conclusion that requires lies.

    Btw, I typed these comments using my modified fins.

    Yep. You did. What’s your point?

  26. says

    Oh man, I can just see myself riding a T-Rex during the Battle for Vimy Ridge yelling “take that you filthy hun!” as I fire at the Germans with my Wembley, my Sam Browne belt gleaming in the sun….

    The German’s wouldn’t have t-rex’s because god was on the side of the British and her colonies, right?

  27. Anri says

    Guys, let’s be nice. They’re not “Terror Birds”, they’re “Chocobos”. Miyazaki rotoscoped a couple into Nausicaa, even.

    . . .

    Oh, and yeah, I’m with you guys on yec123. Troll harder, please. Or, better yet, don’t.

  28. Matt Penfold says

    Oh man, I can just see myself riding a T-Rex during the Battle for Vimy Ridge yelling “take that you filthy hun!” as I fire at the Germans with my Wembley, my Sam Browne belt gleaming in the sun….

    I am putting on my pedant’s hat to point out that Vimy Ridge was a Canadian offensive, so it is unlikely there would have been many Webley revolvers in use, given that they were not standard issue in the Canadian army.

  29. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    Crecy and Agincourt were in the Devonian? What the hell. That part of France is nowhere near Devon!

  30. generallerong says

    Thanks, Ogvorbis. #34 is sweet – such a graceful smackdown, I wish I could do stuff like that.

  31. yec123 says

    I see. So Evolution was just patiently building up the tools and making the conditions necessary for the Cambrian Big Bang. Even though natural selection has no foresight, it was nonetheless preparing the ground for future developments. But shouldn’t it have done things more gradually if evolution is just descent with slight modification?

    Seems to me, however, that the Cambrian explosion is best evidence we have for divine intervention and sudden creation in the natural world. It doesn’t matter if it happened 5000 years ago or 500 million years ago.

  32. says

    @ Matt Penfold
    I’m female and Canadian, I’m going with a back-story that I’ve stolen my British boyfriend’s kit (and T-Rex) and am now joining my countrymen for the battle. Sorry, I sometimes forget to post all the details of the little fantasies that go on in my head. :)

  33. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    Seems to me, however, that the Cambrian explosion is best evidence we have for divine intervention and sudden creation in the natural world.

    Oh, bless your heart, little one. Bless your heart.

  34. A. R says

    Dammit, I was really hoping for a genuine creobot against which the entire force of science could be unleashed. Turns out it’s a Poe.

  35. Muse says

    YEC123 – Why do you seem to be convinced that there is orthogenesis going on with an anthropomorphized “Evolution”?

  36. Kevin Anthoney says

    Did Allosaurus exist in the early Triassic (sorry – 1690’s)? I thought it was later than that – say about late 18th early 19th century.

  37. twist says

    Even though natural selection has no foresight, it was nonetheless preparing the ground for future developments.

    You misunderstand, but that’s probably deliberate.

  38. yec123 says

    What did happen, though, was in the late Precambrian, creatures became multicelular (possible through screwed up mitosis?)

    Bless your little atheist heart. We’re all here because of a freakish mistake in the cell cycle. This is one heck of a great theory that supposes that errors are the basis for progress.

  39. says

    Seems to me, however, that the Cambrian explosion is best evidence we have for divine intervention and sudden creation in the natural world. It doesn’t matter if it happened 5000 years ago or 500 million years ago.

    The problem lies in calling it the Cambrian explosion, which creates the impression that one day all life consisted of either single celled organisms or tiny multicellular organisms and then bam! The very next day all kinds of bug creatures are walking or crawling around.

    The Cambrian spans a period of some 50+ million years, which leaves a lot of time for the emergence of diverse life forms. The ancestors of modern whales have been traced back some 50+ million years ago, having descended from land dwelling mammals, as we have fossils showing a progression during that time span. If the diversity of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals could arise within that time period, then it shouldn’t require a miracle for the emergence of such biological diversity during the Cambrian. Because of the paucity of the PreCambrian fossil record, it can’t also be ruled out that some of the organisms we first see in the Cambrian fossil record weren’t also around during part of the PreCambrian.

  40. jamessweet says

    yec123: Listen, I don’t really understand why anyone here is taking your arguments against evolution seriously, because, judging by your handle, what you believe happened is fucking stupid. Granted, that is not in and of itself an argument in favor of evolution. But still, it makes me wonder why anyone even bothers addressing you seriously.

    It would be like if somebody was trying to make an argument that the FTL neutrino results were valid, and in the middle of what seemed like an otherwise sensible discussion, the person admitted that they thought neutrinos were actually little magical elves that liked to play pranks on scientists, which they videotaped for a Martian reality show series called “Punk’d! (by Neutrino Elves!)”. Really, at that point you can pretty much stop addressing their arguments, and just sit back and point and laugh.

  41. stuartvo says

    Thanks, yec123. While I agree with the others that your trolling needs some work (but hey, we all have to start somewhere), your feigned stupidity has resulted in me learning some interesting titbits about pre-Cambrian life.

    And to the others here: Lots of laffs, ta. :-)

  42. Anri says

    Bless your little atheist heart. We’re all here because of a freakish mistake in the cell cycle. This is one heck of a great theory that supposes that errors are the basis for progress.

    Um, ok, you don’t like the theory.

    In what way does that make it incorrect?

    Assuming, of course, you actually have something other than an argument from personal incredulity.

    (Shakes Magic 8-ball… All Signs Point To No)

  43. Kagehi says

    This is one heck of a great theory that supposes that errors are the basis for progress.

    Yeah, progress is never accidental, like say.. Teflon, or, a bit farther back, modern clothing dyes, the latter of which are based on a mistake made while trying to produce quinine. Errors are often the basis of progress. And, in evolution, you can’t progress without them *at all*, since every change is a result of duplications, deletions, insertions, single point changes, etc., all a result of failures in a buggy copy system. No failures = no mutations = no evolution.

  44. yec123 says

    The problem lies in calling it the Cambrian explosion, which creates the impression that one day all life consisted of either single celled organisms or tiny multicellular organisms and then bam! The very next day all kinds of bug creatures are walking or crawling around.

    Ask yourself this question, atheist. Natural selection is about reproduction and survival, right? So, given that single-celled organisms are extremely good at reproducing and surviving when compared to lumbering multi-cellular animals and plants (who have a tendency to go extinct), why would there be the need for such an “explosion” or “proliferation” of organismic complexity? It only makes sense in the context of divine intervention.

  45. Muse says

    YES123 – you keep talking about a need, about a desire. You can’t do that in this context.

  46. David Marjanović says

    So I missed a lot of fun, being only of early Miocene age. But at least it was warm. :-)

    BTW, the subdivisions of the Carboniferous and Permian are outdated.

    Come on guys! You maintain that birds ARE dinosaurs

    Any more questions?

    and then suddenly WHAM!….the Cambrian explosion occurs and all of the main phyla of life come into existence.

    Not of life, just of bilateral animals.

    And it wasn’t sudden. It took about 50 million 73 years. “Explosion” is a metaphor.

    the Eocene which was dominated by small dwarf (less than 10 kg) forms of mammals

    Only the very beginning of the Eocene. (And the Paleocene of course.)

    Oxidizing the entire planet, atmosphere, seas, and land

    And, thanks to plate tectonics, the mantle down to an impressive depth!

    Demethanizing the entire atmosphere is “nothing”.

    Well, actually, yes, because methane falls apart when the sun shines. There never was a lot of methane in the atmosphere for any seriously long time.

    Carbon dioxide, on the other hand… those weathering silicates didn’t do it all alone!

    No. We are mammals who share a common ancestor with modern fish.

    Well, if you want to call, say, Latimeria a fish, then either we’re fish, too, or the term is useless/misleading.

    (I side with “actively misleading”. I hope “fish” gets restricted to Actinopterygii in the long run.)

    I see. So Evolution was just patiently building up the tools and making the conditions necessary for the Cambrian Big Bang. Even though natural selection has no foresight, it was nonetheless preparing the ground for future developments.

    The other way around: once all those things had happened, the future developments became possible – so, sooner or later, they happened, too.

    Did Allosaurus exist in the early Triassic (sorry – 1690′s)?

    Nope. Late Jurassic, 1800 at the earliest, probably more like 1820.

    We’re all here because of a freakish mistake in the cell cycle.

    Wouldn’t be the first time. You have a lot to learn.

  47. unbound says

    @yec123 – I’m hurt. Clearly you didn’t even want the video link I recommended.

    If you aren’t even willing to watch a video that is less than 10 minutes long, why would we think that you are even remotely willing to weigh any evidence or concepts that run counter to your trollish beliefs?

  48. longstreet63 says

    why would there be the need for such an “explosion” or “proliferation” of organismic complexity?

    My guess would be that multicellular critters can more easily eat the single celled ones, as well as being harder for other ones to eat.

    Being eaten has a detrimental effect on survival, you see.

  49. David Marjanović says

    Overlooked this:

    This is one heck of a great theory that supposes that errors are the basis for progress.

    Progress? There is no progress. There’s just an increase in diversity – in all directions that are left.

    Natural selection is about reproduction and survival, right?

    What do you mean by “is about”? The genes of those that can more easily deal with a particular environment will be overrepresented in the next generations of the population that lives in that particular environment, and the genes of those that can less easily deal with that environment will be underrepresented in the next generations of the mentioned population. This is called natural selection. That’s all there is to it.

    why would there be the need for such an “explosion” or “proliferation” of organismic complexity?

    What Muse said. It became possible (due to changes in the environment, mostly), so it happened – more directions became available, so diversity increased in them.

  50. Anri says

    Ask yourself this question, atheist. Natural selection is about reproduction and survival, right? So, given that single-celled organisms are extremely good at reproducing and surviving when compared to lumbering multi-cellular animals and plants (who have a tendency to go extinct), why would there be the need for such an “explosion” or “proliferation” of organismic complexity? It only makes sense in the context of divine intervention.

    (Doublechecks)

    Hunh, I actually see a fair number of multicelled creatures living successfully in a variety of roles.

    Do you think that multicellular life is only sustained by some divine power?
    If not, then it appears it can compete just fine with single-cell life, yes?

    In which case, you’ve figured out the answer to another silly question, with something called thinking. Frighteningly enough, if you keep thinking, you might answer even more questions.

  51. damientrotter says

    My grandfather was alive when the Chicxulub crater was formed at the end of the Cretaceous era, but he never mentioned it to me. Nor was it reported in any of the newspapers of the time. You would think someone would have noticed so many species going extinct, and perhaps there would have been some news coverage of a dirty great flash and bang, honking great tsunamis and the world-wide surface deposits of Iridium.

    This, in my opinion, is the greatest cover-up conspiracy of all time, of which the Illuminati are the most likely to blame. Or Frederick Delius. Probably.

  52. fastlane says

    So what exactly did Paul Revere ride? T-rex? A velociraptor?

    Inquiring minds and all that.

    Oh, I know, we should ask that great intellect and expert on ‘murkin History, Sarah Palin!!

  53. crocswsocks says

    I was born in the Miocene!
    I can’t believe I missed my chance to meet a chalicothere.

  54. Gregory Greenwood says

    Anri @ 66;

    (Doublechecks)

    Hunh, I actually see a fair number of multicelled creatures living successfully in a variety of roles.

    Do you think that multicellular life is only sustained by some divine power?

    You are forgetting the first rule of creationism Anri:- whatever the question, the answer is always ‘goddidit’…

  55. KG says

    I see. So Evolution was just patiently building up the tools and making the conditions necessary for the Cambrian Big Bang. Even though natural selection has no foresight, it was nonetheless preparing the ground for future developments. – idiot

    No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t “preparing” anything, because it is not an agent. Do you think you could possibly get that elementary point through your thick skull? If you could, it would make you appear marginally less stupid.

  56. Die Anyway says

    The time line is kinda cute for laughing at but I’ve never even understood how the YECs can account for the simple things. Apparently they believe that humans completely skipped the Stone Age and the hunter-gatherer stage. Adam and Eve’s offspring went straight into farming, animal husbandry and the Bronze Age. I guess all of the kids were in AP classes in school.

  57. says

    Die Anyway @73

    I think that one way they “justify” their timeline is that, since gods are omnipotent, it can make time suit its plan. Time is not a constant. It can be sped up or slowed down at gods whim.

    Also, anything that contradicts/refutes the timeline are LIARS!!!11One!!! LIARS! *sticks fingers in ears* na na na na can’t hear you!!!! na na na

    or so it seems to me.

  58. Rich Woods says

    @Die Anyway #73:

    Adam and Eve’s offspring went straight into farming, animal husbandry and the Bronze Age.

    Nah, God taught them it all. He just forgot to tell us in Genesis (although it would have been really handy to have those detailed instructions around for the enlightenment of later generations, who would have wanted to understand the 100% perfect divine methods of agriculture, smelting, forging, etc).

    No, wait, I realise I’ve got it wrong. It was the Adversary who taught the ancestors of humanity how to survive outside the Garden of Eden. If Satan hadn’t encouraged Eve to eat of the apple, she and Adam would have remained utterly ignorant of all the things which humanity now knows. The pair of them would have lived in perfect innocence forever, never sinning, but therefore never becoming the progenitors of humanity. What a life that would have been, and surely exactly what a loving god would have planned for his marvellous creation…

  59. Gregory Greenwood says

    yec123 @ 59;

    Ask yourself this question, atheist. Natural selection is about reproduction and survival, right? So, given that single-celled organisms are extremely good at reproducing and surviving when compared to lumbering multi-cellular animals and plants (who have a tendency to go extinct), why would there be the need for such an “explosion” or “proliferation” of organismic complexity? It only makes sense in the context of divine intervention.

    Evolution doesn’t operate based upon some notional hierarchy of ‘need’ – adaptations successful enough to survive tend to be passed on, but ‘survival of the fittest’ is really a misnomer; survival of the adequate is really more accurate.

    Just because single celled life forms can reproduce more rapidly does not mean that there is no ecological ‘niche’ for multicellular life to occupy. More complex lifeforms have competetive advantages of their own, such as the ability to interact with and adapt to their environment on a more ‘macro’ scale. Tissue specialisation within a multicellular organism offers several different types of possible competetive advantage such as the ability of some plants to store water and nutrients in their tissues in a way most monocellular life can’t, and the often overlooked but very useful ability of multicellular fauna to travel to find new resources or escape unfavourable changes in their environment.

    In the end, evolution is not working toward some pinnacle – a perfect super lifeform destined to out compete all others – evolution as a process is not capable of forming any such intent. Rather, the process in undirected but responsive to selection pressures in the environment, and the nature of biological life being what it is, evolution throws up fudges and compromises all the time. An improvement in one particular ability or adaptation may result in the weakening of some other attribute, and many aspects of biology do not betray the hand of some masterful designer but are rather far more consistent with such a fundamentally blind, intent-free process.

    One need look no further than our own physiology to see how inefficient our notional ‘design’ is. The photo-reactive cells of our eyes are poorly positioned, resulting in suboptimal vision. Our combined urino-genital tract is a complete mess – massively prone to damage or infection, and rendering childbirth needlessly dangerous. Even each breath we take inflicts slow cellular damage.

    Hardly the mark of the work of any competent designer, let alone an omniscient, omnipotent one…

  60. says

    Notes on the Cambrian Explosion: it is even the origin of most major “phyla”, even. It is the first appearance of common macroscopic skeletal material in the fossil record. It is preceded by several millions of years of mm-to-cm scale sclerite skeletal elements from several different groups, and by tens of millions of years of record of soft-bodied animals.

    Furthermore, if the Ediacaran organism Kimberella is indeed a stem-member of Mollusca, and if Treptichnus is actually burrows of stem-priapulids, then the following other animal clades must have arisen before the beginning of the Cambrian:
    * Stem members of Annelida
    * Stem members of Brachiozoa (brachiopods + phoronids)
    * Stem members of Platyzoa (flatworms & kin)
    * Stem members of Bryozoa
    * Stem members of Panarthropoda + Nematoidea
    * Stem members of Chaetognatha
    * Stem members of Deuterostomia
    * Cnidaria (probably already included among the Ediacaran impressions)
    * Stem members of Ctenophora
    * Stem members of Calcarea
    * Demospongia (already indicated by biomolecules and some possible fossils in the Ediacaran Period)
    * Hexactinellida (already known from Ediacaran Period fossils)

    So almost all the basal clade origins in Metazoa had occurred LONG before the Cambrian Explosion.

    Some of my recent lecture notes on the subject at here.

  61. Amphiox says

    And it wasn’t sudden. It took about 73 years. “Explosion” is a metaphor.

    In other words, longer than the entire time from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the present day.

    So, given that single-celled organisms are extremely good at reproducing and surviving when compared to lumbering multi-cellular animals and plants (who have a tendency to go extinct), why would there be the need for such an “explosion” or “proliferation” of organismic complexity?

    There was never such a “need”. Conditions changed so that a new niche appeared which could be occupied by multicellular critters, but, critically, could NOT be occupied by singled celled critters. The ancestors of the multicellular critters took an opportunity to “run away” from competition from single-celled organisms, and managed to make a living at it.

    And don’t forget that every multiceullular organism produces multiple new niches for single celled organisms, as symbiotes, commensals, and parasites. Every new single species of multicellular life is accompanied by millions of new unique species of unicellular life.

    All the various “explosions” of multicellular life were also even bigger explosions of uniceullular life. But multicullular life fossilizes more easily, so it is easier for us limited humanswith our limited tools to find them.

    So yes, in the grand scheme of things, unicellular organisms really are adaptively superior to multicellular critters. And they rule this planet, always have and always will. We multicellular critters just eke out a living in the fringe niches where uniceullular organisms cannot go.

  62. Amphiox says

    Well, actually, yes, because methane falls apart when the sun shines. There never was a lot of methane in the atmosphere for any seriously long time.

    Oh. Has my belief in the methane-rich red-skied early archaeon atmosphere, later to be superceded by our oxygen rich blue skies, become outdated?

    I guess it was that poetic image of that thought experiment that attracted me to the idea in the first place.

    Oh well.

  63. Amphiox says

    Natural selection is about reproduction and survival, right?

    Wrong. Natural selection isn’t “about” reproduction and survival. It IS reproduction and survival.

    Natural selection is FACT because reproduction and survival are FACTS.

  64. says

    This chart is wrong. Well, creationism itself is wrong but this chart isn’t what they think. They think that post flood is the tertiary period. It still doesn’t make sense, but the chart needs to be redrawn.

  65. yec123 says

    The ancestors of the multicellular critters took an opportunity to “run away” from competition from single-celled organisms, and managed to make a living at it.

    Aha. So they decided that they didn’t like being with the singletons and thought it best to migrate to form their own colony! Gee, they were adventurous, these 2-celled critters! Btw, can you or anyone else explain to a dumb creotard like myself how an accident in mitosis, resulting in a 2-celled organism rather than 2 separate cells, could then be passed down and inherited in the offspring? I don’t see how that is possible.

  66. says

    Ummm… Earth is about 1/3 as old as the universe. Even if one concedes them the 6000 year timeframe, how do they “prove” that Earth is as old as the Universe?

  67. Usernames are stupid says

    @philisyssis (#82):

    Wouldn’t the flood happen at the end of the Mesosoic, thereby ending the rein of the Terrar-Lizards?

  68. Usernames are stupid says

    @davidgentile (#84):

    The earth (3rd day) is 1 day OLDER than the universe (4th day), because the bible!

    Take THAT, science!!

  69. arctic says

    If you squeeze the world’s volcanic history into 6000 years, how many Krakatoa explosions a day would that equal?
    And if it were all to start up again, how soon, after admiring the fireworks, would we all stop breathing?

  70. Anri says

    Aha. So they decided that they didn’t like being with the singletons and thought it best to migrate to form their own colony!

    Please quote where someone said ‘decided’, or admit you’re bearing false witness lying.

    Gee, they were adventurous, these 2-celled critters! Btw, can you or anyone else explain to a dumb creotard like myself how an accident in mitosis, resulting in a 2-celled organism rather than 2 separate cells, could then be passed down and inherited in the offspring? I don’t see how that is possible.

    Um, because mitosis, like pretty much everything else in life, is regulated by DNA.

    You know, the stuff you get mutations in.

    You know, the stuff that gets passed down to your offspring.

    Now, given the fact that you’ve said “I didn’t know how…” and “I don’t see how…” and variants of that phrase with almost every post, and then had what you didn’t know explained to you,any chance you’re going to realize that you don’t really know very much about this subject?
    Or are you too busy being all humble, Christian-style?

  71. Kagehi says

    Aha. So they decided that they didn’t like being with the singletons and thought it best to migrate to form their own colony! Gee, they were adventurous, these 2-celled critters!

    No, no, no. Stop with the “decided”. There is no “decided” here. Fish don’t decide to form balls of fish in the sea, for example, they do so because not being the one picked off at the edge of the swarm is advantages. In the case of single cell organisms, a lot of them form mats, slimes, etc. At first, by chance, they form some quirk, which helps them stick together. If they stick too well, they die, if they don’t stick, they stay non-colonies. If they do stick, they don’t need to “decide” to do so, they just do, and forming a blob, or mat, or the like, is an advantage, because the ones on the edges get attacked, but the ones inside, don’t. Now, the ones inside pay a price, in that they don’t get as much food for being there, so one of these mats leaks, not because it decided to, but just because it happened to leak, and the leak lets nutrients to spread through the stuff gluing them together. The didn’t “decide” to do this, yet, it suddenly gives the ones in the middle access to food they didn’t have before, so the entire colony does better. Some where along the line you get some other mutation, it doesn’t do much, other than maybe cause the outer layer to get harder, or toxic, or something. This isn’t intended, or “chosen”, it just happened, but the consequence is that now its harder to eat the colony in general, not just the parts in the middle. Some where in this process another quirk arises. Again, not “chosen”, or planned, but it happens anyway, and some of those single cells begin reacting differently, depending on where they are. Maybe its photosynthesis, and the ones of the “surface” suddenly gain a huge boost in the energy they can produce, and, since they already leak excess food, the whole colony benefits, but the ones that can’t get light don’t “need” to produce the chemical needed to do this. Its costly to have it, if you don’t need it, so, by chance, without “planning it”, some of the cells start turning this off, if they don’t get enough light, and the whole colony benefits. Now, you have the “basis” for a multi-cellular organism, already there, ready to take advantage of any new changes, which just happen to “specialize” what the cells do, including becoming more rigid, former a harder shell to get through, but allowing openings, where food can get it, followed by the ability to move some of the linked parts, etc.

    Hell, we have run computer simulations in which, as a result of pure, random, unplanned, non-god guided, and confounding to the point where the researchers couldn’t even figure out how the hell it did it, evolution, produced a generation of artificial life form which *literally* somehow picked up on the non-random characteristics of the test sim, which they used to examine how well the cell did things, compared to the far more random “world” they evolved in, and stumbled on the ability to shut down, and look primitive, less functional, and unable to evolve further, when being tested, while showing vast improvements in all of those, in the world they evolved in.

    In other words, without brains, guidance, or any intervention, since the code they used was nearly incomprehensible to humans, and thus damn hard to “redesign” to do such a thing, it figured out how to play dead. A result that would wouldn’t expect from anything short of a high level animal, as a defense against detection by predators.

    Ofria has been finding that digital organisms have a way of outwitting him as well. Not long ago, he decided to see what would happen if he stopped digital organisms from adapting. Whenever an organism mutated, he would run it through a special test to see whether the mutation was beneficial. If it was, he killed the organism off. “You’d think that would turn off any further adaptation,” he says. Instead, the digital organisms kept evolving. They learned to process information in new ways and were able to replicate faster. It took a while for Ofria to realize that they had tricked him. They had evolved a way to tell when Ofria was testing them by looking at the numbers he fed them. As soon as they recognized they were being tested, they stopped processing numbers. “If it was a test environment, they said, ‘Let’s play dead,'” says Ofria. “There’s this thing coming to kill them, and so they avoid it and go on with their lives.”

    The original article was in Discover Magazine, but apparently the link to it no longer works for their website.

  72. says

    Since most of the geological time scale was worked out well before radiometric dating it is based on similarities of fossils in rocks of the same age and on first and last appearances of key fossils. Since fossils are key evidence for evolution, evolution and extinction are built into the time scale. This means that in the creationist version evolution still happened but a lot faster than in the real version.

  73. A. R says

    That means that I was born in the Miocene, and my grandfather was born in the late Cretaceous!

  74. Amphiox says

    Btw, can you or anyone else explain to a dumb creotard like myself how an accident in mitosis, resulting in a 2-celled organism rather than 2 separate cells, could then be passed down and inherited in the offspring? I don’t see how that is possible.

    That’s because you’re blind.

    The opposite question is the one that should be asked. If the “accident” resulted because of a change in DNA, how could it NOT be inherited in the offspring?

    Anyone with half an honest brain can also readily see that such a mutation, that interferes with the ability of daughter cells to separate after mitosis, won’t stop at 2. Those 2 “stuck” cells are still alive, and will both go on to divide, which will result in 4 cells stuck together, then 8, then 16. Instant multicellularity. This is the expected pattern in evolution. Nowhere in nature where repeated parts occur, be they cells, or body segments, or even full blown societies, does the progress ever go from one to two, and then a new step to get to three. It is always one to many. In one step.

    And only a moron would fail to realize that “stickiness” is a continuum. You don’t go from two cells, always separate, to infinite cells, stuck together for all eternity. What is sticky enough to hold two cells together may not necessarily hold 1024 cells together. So our nascent multicellular critter will automatically break apart after reaching some arbitrary size. And there you have the beginning of multicellular reproduction.

    In fact, this entire scenario was reproduced in the lab, in real time, with unicellular yeasts, which EVOLVED into multicellular colonial organisms by exactly this mechanism, right before the researcher’s eyes.

  75. Amphiox says

    Aha. So they decided that they didn’t like being with the singletons and thought it best to migrate to form their own colony!

    Yet another pathetically transparent attempt at dishonestly and deliberately interpreting an obvious metaphor literally in a pitiful attempt at making what it thinks is a rhetorical point, and failing miserably in all counts.

    Is this latest troll a sockpuppet of texpip?

  76. Amphiox says

    A multicellular organism will never be able to grow and divide as quickly as a unicellular organism. Nor will it be able to absorb nutrients from the environment as quickly or efficiently.

    But it can do one thing that unicellular organisms cannot. It can grow bigger by combining many cells together, and EAT the unicellular organisms. Thus it does not HAVE to compete with the unicellular organisms in gobbling up resources from the environment and replicating fast. It can sit back, doing its thing, (by the way, this is a metaphor) letting the unicellular organisms multiply and sop of the resources in the environment, and then it can just TAKE those resources, by eating the unicellular organisms.

    This of course means that the niche for a multicellular organism requires there to first be lots of unicellular organisms for them to eat. If the population of unicellular organisms is not dense enough, there’s no niche for multicellular organisms.

    Finally, such a lifestyle requires LOTS of energy. Energy to grow the big multicellular bodies, energy to hunt down the unicellular organisms, energy to digest them. The only way to get so much energy is by oxygen respiration (this is determined by the laws of chemistry). So, if there isn’t enough oxygen in the environment, there’s no niche for multicellular life. In fact the very structural proteins that make up the bodies of multicellular critters (collagen for animals, lignin for plants) both REQUIRE molecular oxygen for their synthesis.

    And, surprise, surprise, the “explosion” of multicellular life occurred almost immediately after the oxygenation of the earth’s atmosphere after the end of the last Snowball Earth global glaciation, around 800 to 600 million years ago.

    The capability for unicellular organisms to become multicellular (the stickiness with division, the ability to communicate and cooperate between cells, and so forth), ALL evolved separately long before. Each capacity evolved for different purposes. Put together, they allowed for the option of forming multicellular bodies (but that was NOT their purpose, they also, in different combinations, allowed for lots of other things). But, before the oxygenation of the atmosphere, there was no advantage in being multicellular, so any mutants starting down the path towards multicellularity did not have a niche to occupy and did not survive. After the oxygenation event, the niches became available, and the mutant nascent multicellular critters found themselves at an advantage, and flourished.

  77. says

    My stepdad’s theory that the dinosaurs were around when my mom was a little girl (she’s older than him) still fails. Dammit. Can we revise this?

  78. says

    … and as always they got it wrong. The world is 6015 years old this October, not 6016. There was no year 0! Get your facts straight!

  79. David Marjanović says

    In other words, longer than the entire time from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the present day.

    No, shorter, though I still miscalculated (I used 55 Ma, when the Eocene began, instead of 50). 73 years ago = 1939.

    Oh. Has my belief in the methane-rich red-skied early archaeon atmosphere, later to be superceded by our oxygen rich blue skies, become outdated?

    Well, the early Archaean atmosphere may have been like that for a while, and the upper-atmosphere haze of larger organic molecules, formed from photolysis of methane like on Titan today, probably persisted till there was too much oxygen. But the default atmosphere for a terrestrial planet, once the water vapor condenses out (or is photolysed like on Venus), is what you see on Venus and Mars: nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and not much else.

    This chart is wrong. Well, creationism itself is wrong but this chart isn’t what they think. They think that post flood is the tertiary period.

    Oh, that depends. Different creationists believe different shit!

    In fact, for every part of geological time, different creationists have shown – by their own standards – that it can’t have been the time of the Flood. There is literally nothing left! By creationist standard, the Flood can’t ever have occurred!



    Btw, can you or anyone else explain to a dumb creotard like myself how an accident in mitosis, resulting in a 2-celled organism rather than 2 separate cells, could then be passed down and inherited in the offspring? I don’t see how that is possible.

    Go and learn some basic development genetics, and you’ll see.

    Yes, it will take you a few days or weeks. Tough luck.

  80. yec123 says

    The opposite question is the one that should be asked. If the “accident” resulted because of a change in DNA, how could it NOT be inherited in the offspring?

    But a mitotic accident would NOT be due to a mutation in DNA – that is the whole point. If there were such a thing, it would have been identified by now. In any case, the failure to divide and separate would also not result in a multi-cellular organism but rather a sort of conjoined twin. As such, it would be a freak of nature that would be weeded out from the population because it was obviously impaired.

    But it can do one thing that unicellular organisms cannot. It can grow bigger by combining many cells together, and EAT the unicellular organisms.

    LOL. How is organism, consisting of 2 cells that failed to separate, able to eat unicellular organisms?

    In fact, this entire scenario was reproduced in the lab, in real time, with unicellular yeasts, which EVOLVED into multicellular colonial organisms by exactly this mechanism, right before the researcher’s eyes.

    But yeast was originally multi-cellular. No big story there. It has since DE-EVOLVED from its ancestors.

    The capability for unicellular organisms to become multicellular (the stickiness with division, the ability to communicate and cooperate between cells, and so forth), ALL evolved separately long before

    I think you profoundly misunderstand the complexity of it all. Each cell in a truly multicellular organism is differentiated and performs a unique task for the good of all of the other cells. It also uses genes that others do not. It isn’t some Portuguese-man-of-war, formed by symbiosis, but instead an attempt to form a single entity out a myriad of cells that work in perfect cooperation with each other. Indeed, each cell lives and functions not for itself but for the organism it is a part of….just look at white blood cells.

  81. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As such, it would be a freak of nature that would be weeded out from the population because it was obviously impaired.

    Gee, tell that to corn. You are one sorry sack of ignorance, aren’t you?

    Each cell in a truly multicellular organism is differentiated and performs a unique task for the good of all of the other cells.

    Given a billion or so cells in an animal or plant, this is a stretch for any imagination. Plus, groups of cells, do the same thing. You have a problem with reality, since it doesn’t fit your inane presuppositions?

  82. Anri says

    But a mitotic accident would NOT be due to a mutation in DNA – that is the whole point.

    Unless, of course, as was said earlier, the mitotic failure was caused by a change in DNA, which is quite possible, if not to say probable.
    Are you even reading this thread, or just working off of some sort of script?

    If there were such a thing, it would have been identified by now.

    Wait a sec – are you under the impression that no mutations altering cell division have ever been identified? Surely you’re not that ignorant…

    (Then again…)

    In any case, the failure to divide and separate would also not result in a multi-cellular organism but rather a sort of conjoined twin. As such, it would be a freak of nature that would be weeded out from the population because it was obviously impaired.

    Um, two or more genetically identical cells forming a single unit is pretty much the definition of a multi-cellular organism.

    In any case, please explain how being twice as large as your neighbors is an impairment when your primary predator operates by engulfing you. Because that’s how many unicellular predators operate.
    That sounds kinda like an advantage, actually.

    Hmm… DNA alterations causing changes in an organism that result in advantages passed along to their offspring…
    That sounds cool!
    We need a name for that sort of thing!
    Any suggestions?

  83. yec123 says

    Unless, of course, as was said earlier, the mitotic failure was caused by a change in DNA, which is quite possible, if not to say probable.

    Is there any evidence that a change in the DNA of a unicellular organism would result in a bi-cellular organism? I think not.

    Wait a sec – are you under the impression that no mutations altering cell division have ever been identified? Surely you’re not that ignorant.

    You tell me. You seem to know.

    Um, two or more genetically identical cells forming a single unit is pretty much the definition of a multi-cellular organism.

    Nope. It just means that two cells are “joined at the hip”: They do not act as one entity. A multicellular organism consists of cells that act and function in unison.

    In any case, please explain how being twice as large as your neighbors is an impairment when your primary predator operates by engulfing you.

    For the same reason that conjoined twins are not at an advantage. Do you even bother to think, atheist?

  84. Anri says

    Is there any evidence that a change in the DNA of a unicellular organism would result in a bi-cellular organism? I think not.

    Is there evidence that cell mitosis and seperation is regulated by DNA?

    Yes.
    Yes, there is.
    For examples, you might want to research cancer. (The disease, not the astrological symbol…)

    Nope. It just means that two cells are “joined at the hip”: They do not act as one entity. A multicellular organism consists of cells that act and function in unison.

    What do you mean by ‘acting as one entity’ in the case of two cells?
    This sounds like essentialist garbage, but I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here.

    For the same reason that conjoined twins are not at an advantage. Do you even bother to think, atheist?

    Ok, I’ll go slower since you apparently missed what I was saying.
    At the unicellular level, a major type of predation involves engulfing your prey. As such, being twice the size of your neighbor makes it harder to be engulfed, and therefore harder to be predated, which is an advantage.
    In the same way, albeit to a different scale, that elephants are much less likely to be successfully hunted by lions than antelopes or zebra are.

    If you’re still having trouble understanding why a shift from unicellular life to multicellular life might be an advantage, look up the life cycle of slime molds. They act both ways, at different points of their lives.
    Many creatures didn’t develop their capacity to form multicellular bunches as they did.
    Many creatures lost their plasticity in moving from one to the other in favor of making their multicellular forms more specilaized.

  85. KG says

    Nope. It just means that two cells are “joined at the hip”: They do not act as one entity. A multicellular organism consists of cells that act and function in unison. – yec123

    There are, of course, living intermediates, such as choanoflagellates, which shown by genome sequencing to be the closest relatives of animals, and some of which are facultatively colonial – they can live either as independent individuals or as part of a colony with a specific morphology. They synthesize cell signalling and adhesion substances similar to those of animals. There is thus no sharp line dividing unicellular and multicellular organisms.

  86. yec123 says

    Is there evidence that cell mitosis and seperation is regulated by DNA?

    DNA doesn’t regulate anything: Learn some basic genetics. There are proteins involved in the cell cycle, but none have been identified as causing incomplete cell division.

    What do you mean by ‘acting as one entity’ in the case of two cells?This sounds like essentialist garbage, but I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt here.

    Two cells stuck together is not a bi-cellular organism any more than two conjoined twins are bi-human. The resulting organism would have real trouble surviving.

    Ok, I’ll go slower since you apparently missed what I was saying.At the unicellular level, a major type of predation involves engulfing your prey.

    Phagocytosis rarely involved bacteria eating each other, although it can happen. But the “benefits” of being bigger are overcome by the problems caused by being ineffective in other ways.

  87. KG says

    In any case, please explain how being twice as large as your neighbors is an impairment when your primary predator operates by engulfing you.

    For the same reason that conjoined twins are not at an advantage. -yec123

    Even for a creobot, the depth of stupidity this comment reveals is truly astounding. Conjoined twins are at a disadvantage because of half a billion years of evolutionary history as multicellular organisms with a more or less standardised morphology and physiology, which is seriously disrupted in conjoined twins. Multicellularity would, as choanoflagellates indicate, have evolved via intermediates that were facultatively colonial. The existence of such organisms makes clear that, for the types of cells involved in the early evolution of animals, it is sometimes advantageous to be a single cell, and sometimes to be a member of a colony. In one line of descent, it proved advantageous for the interactions between cells and differentiation of cell-types to become more elaborate, making it impossible for their descendants to revert to unicellularity (except for the gamete and zygote stages of the life-cycle). Note that many relatively simple animals, such as sponges and hydra, show considerable ability to reshape their bodies, or to reconstitute them when broken up into single cells. So again, we see that there are degrees of multicellularity even among living organisms.

  88. yec123 says

    Conjoined twins are at a disadvantage because of half a billion years of evolutionary history as multicellular organisms with a more or less standardised morphology and physiology, which is seriously disrupted in conjoined twins.

    There is no difference in disadvantage between two conjoined cells and two conjoined human twins. They are basically two distinct organisms that are nonetheless stuck together and this impairs their freedom of movement and survivability. As for size, a huge unicellular organism could certainly eat smaller ones, but not the hopeful monster you imagine would.

    Multicellularity would, as choanoflagellates indicate, have evolved via intermediates that were facultatively colonial.

    A colony of unicellular organisms is not a multicellular entity – it is just a symbiotic alliance, like a Portuguese-Man-of-War. You fail to understand that cell differentiation in multicellular organisms means that a cell can ONLY BE ONE THING. It essentially has no freedom of its own other than to serve the collective. A white blood cell lives only to fight off invaders that threaten other cells and at great cost to itself. The purported evolution of multi-cellularity does not fit in with a Darwinian model of competition.

  89. KG says

    yec123,

    You’re an ignorant idiot.

    There is no difference in disadvantage between two conjoined cells and two conjoined human twins. They are basically two distinct organisms that are nonetheless stuck together and this impairs their freedom of movement and survivability.

    Choanoflagellates provide a living refutation of this piece of stupidity: under some circumstances, it clearly is advantageous for multiple cells to be “stuck together”, yet each is a also capable of living as a distinct organism. It’s no good pretending they don’t exist, cupcake.

    You fail to understand that cell differentiation in multicellular organisms means that a cell can ONLY BE ONE THING.

    As I said, you’re an ignorant idiot. In sponges, the animals believed to be most similar to the first animals to evolve, most cells can move about within the body, and many can change type: so your assertion is simply false. You are taking the usual lying creobot line of pretending intermediates do not exist, even when it is quite obvious that they do.

  90. Anri says

    DNA doesn’t regulate anything: Learn some basic genetics. There are proteins involved in the cell cycle, but none have been identified as causing incomplete cell division.

    Protiens are coded from RNA, which is copied from DNA.
    We can tell that DNA mutations can alter cell division functioning because we have induced changes like this (such as cancer, which was, once more, something I specifically mentioned) by altering DNA.
    There are other factors, of course, but the idea that DNA has nothing to do with regulating cell function is as wrong as it gets.

    Two cells stuck together is not a bi-cellular organism any more than two conjoined twins are bi-human. The resulting organism would have real trouble surviving.

    At the unicellular level, your comparison is simply wrong.
    Colonies of otherwise free-living unicellular organisms do not have trouble surviving, as the examples you have been provided with clearly show.
    Claiming otherwise is just a lie.

    Phagocytosis rarely involved bacteria eating each other, although it can happen.

    Good thing I wasn’t talking about bacteria, then.
    Which, in case you didn’t notice, is why the examples you’ve been given weren’t bacteria.
    You did notice that, right – you’re just being dishonest again?

    But the “benefits” of being bigger are overcome by the problems caused by being ineffective in other ways.

    Clearly not true, as there are organisms that are larger than bacteria that seem to do fine.

  91. yec123 says

    Choanoflagellates provide a living refutation of this piece of stupidity: under some circumstances, it clearly is advantageous for multiple cells to be “stuck together”, yet each is a also capable of living as a distinct organism. It’s no good pretending they don’t exist, cupcake.

    They group together, but they retain their individuality. The hypothesized mitotic accident mentioned above does not allow this. It means that two cells are not free to act independently.

    There are other factors, of course, but the idea that DNA has nothing to do with regulating cell function is as wrong as it gets.

    How is DNA responsible for conjoined twins?

    In sponges, the animals believed to be most similar to the first animals to evolve, most cells can move about within the body, and many can change type: so your assertion is simply false.

    Oh really, atheist? Your friends don’t agree with you. Sponges, like all animals, consist of populations of differentiated cell types.

    http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/45/2/335.full

  92. twist says

    Yec123 has obviously been learning from the famed textbook “Introductory genetics for the terminally stupid”.

    So yec123, I’d love to hear your take on antibiotic resistance.

  93. Anri says

    How is DNA responsible for conjoined twins?

    I have no idea if it is or not (I suspect not, but I dunno). You’re the one who keeps harping on the conjoining of large, complex, embroynic-based-developmental animals.
    The rest of us are talking about comparitively small, simple colonial organisms.

    But I’m not sure what you’re arguing here – that DNA does have an effect on cell development and division, or that it does not? It’s really a very simple question, with an easily verifiable black-and-white, yes-or-no answer.
    And yet you are either unwilling to or incapable of answering it.

    If you don’t know, say you don’t know.

  94. says

    I have no idea if it is or not (I suspect not, but I dunno)

    As far as I know it is not, save unless if certain conditions may increase likelihood of it happening.

    A friend of a partner actually was born with a withered limb that was amputated after birth, said limb I think was due to improper twinning. Now if you cloned her I suspect you would have a very high chance of having a baby with all four limbs.

    DNA has about as much affect on conjoining IIRC as a cake recipe does on the cake burning.

  95. Anri says

    Ing:

    Thanks, I appreciate the info – I thought that was the case, but it’s been a hell of a long time since I did any reading along those lines.

  96. Amphiox says

    They group together, but they retain their individuality.

    And that is just one adaptive step away from giving up their individuality and becoming a permanent group.

    The hypothesized mitotic accident mentioned above does not allow this.

    Yes it does. For god’s sake, educate yourself on the topics you wish to discuss before blathering on about them. It is almost getting painful watching you make a fool of yourself.

    It means that two cells are not free to act independently.

    No it doesn’t. There are SOME kinds of mitotic accidents that preclude future independent activity. But those kinds of accidents are NOT the types of accidents that we hypothesize to be involved in the evolution of multicellularity. (Those kinds of accidents are usually lethal. But if you’re trying to equate these accidents with the completely different types of accidents that are thought to be involved in multicellular evolution, then you are either ignorant, or a bloody liar).

    And again, as I have mentioned, WE HAVE SEEN THIS WHOLE SEQUENCE OCCUR IN REAL TIME IN A LAB. So we know, FOR A FACT, that the individual cells

  97. Amphiox says

    And again, as I have mentioned, WE HAVE SEEN THIS WHOLE SEQUENCE OCCUR IN REAL TIME IN A LAB. So we know, FOR A FACT, that the individual cells can retain the individuality, and can even retain the ability to break away from the multicellular aggregate in future circumstances.

  98. says

    @Anri

    Now a better question would be of Chimerism, which is basically conjoining on an absurd scale where different parts of the body, possibly working just fine together, can have different DNA (even different sex chromosomes).

    I recall in Animal Development class someone presented the hypothesis that some forms of arthritis in women could be accused from micro-chimerism. Since the rates were correlated with having been pregnant, they suggested that fetal cells could have accidentally been introduced to the mother’s blood stream, colonized, and due to their stemcell nature developed alongside the native cells, and trigger immune reactions. Now I don’t know if there’s any greater support for that or not but still it might be useful. The DNA isn’t responsible for such a problem, but the fact that the cells have different DNA can cause problems.

  99. says

    that the individual cells can retain the individuality, and can even retain the ability to break away from the multicellular aggregate in future circumstances.

    See for example plant cuttings.

    You can clone certain life forms by separating cells from the main body and cultivating them.

    In fact arguably all cells are imperfect “buddings” of each other with compounded replication errors.

  100. Amphiox says

    DNA doesn’t regulate anything:

    Yes it does. There is an ENTIRE CLASS of DNA called REGULATORY DNA, you twit.

    Learn some basic genetics.

    Yes! Please do! (And basic genetics is a wee bit more than just the central dogma!)

    There are proteins involved in the cell cycle,

    Proteins ENCODED BY DNA.

    but none have been identified as causing incomplete cell division.

    The proteins involved in making cells stick together after mitosis have nothing to do with the cell cycle. They are cell surface proteins whose function is to adhere to neighboring surfaces. A mutation that increases the affinity or amount of those cell surface proteins will result in the two daughter cells after mitosis having their cell membranes bind to one another, by these proteins. So, instead of drifting apart after mitosis, they will remain attached to one another. Both will then go on to grow and initiate another cell cycle. Both will go on to divide (or have the ability to do so). If the increased stickiness of the cell surface proteins (which is inherited) is great enough to hold four cells together, then you will get a four cell clump, attached together. If the stickiness is great enough to hold 32 cells together, but not 40, then after the 6th division cycle, the cell clump will break into two smaller clumps, each with 32 cells or less.

  101. Amphiox says

    Sponges, like all animals, consist of populations of differentiated cell types.

    Sponges have 4. FOUR. JUST FOUR. THAT’S IT, FOUR. Types of differentiated cells. One of which is almost identical in all aspects to a colonial choanoflagellate.

    And these 4 types of differentiated cells are NOT IRREVERSIBLY DIFFERENTIATED. Each type is capable of dedifferentiating, and giving rise to all the other four types.

    You can put a sponge in a blender, chop it up, squeeze it through a filter so that only single cells can pass, and then each individual single cell will grow into a new sponge.

    I’d say the sponge makes for a pretty reasonable transitional form.

  102. raven says

    DNA doesn’t regulate anything: Learn some basic genetics. There are proteins involved in the cell cycle, but none have been identified as causing incomplete cell division.

    This is pure gibberish. Whoever wrote it should finish grade school first before lecturing Ph.D.’s and MD’s on biology.

  103. Amphiox says

    It’s hilarious (or would be if it isn’t done so frequently and with such predictable results) that if you actually read the link that yec123 provides in @112, it is a complete and total refutation of almost all its arguments.

    Are we SURE yec123 isn’t a sockpuppet of the texpip?

  104. Amphiox says

    Phagocytosis rarely involved bacteria eating each other, although it can happen.

    Actually, phagocytosis as far as is known NEVER involves bacteria eating each other. (When bacteria predate on another, they usually do it by releasing toxic chemicals that cause their prey to die and rupture, and then they get to sop up the juices)

    Phagocytosis is a strictly, (and probably primitive) EUKARYOTIC trait (as far as we know). When we talk about single cells eating each other with phagocytosis, we are talking about unicellular eukaryotes eating bacteria or smaller eukaryotes.

    There are only a few known instances where we have observed one bacterium living inside another, and we as yet don’t know exactly how the one got into the other.

    But the “benefits” of being bigger are overcome by the problems caused by being ineffective in other ways.

    SOMETIMES. Maybe even most of time. This is why prokaryotes remain the most common type of life on earth, and why eukaryotes did not appear for at least 2 billion years after the first prokaryotes did.

    BUT NOT ALWAYS. The possession of energy producing mitochondria pretty much blew away all the pre-existing barriers to evolving larger cell size (and from then on to larger body size via multicellularity). The eukaryotic symbiosis event really is one of the watershed events in the evolution of life on earth. Next to this, the multicellular “explosion” is but an afterthought.

    It’s funny that the creationists never actually use this, rather than the Cambrian “explosion”, as evidence of divine intervention.

  105. Amphiox says

    There is no difference in disadvantage between two conjoined cells and two conjoined human twins.

    And this analogy explains why multicellularity did not arise for the first several billion years of life on earth, even though genetic studies suggest that most of the building blocks of multicellularity probably had already evolved in various bacteria long before that.

    Most of the time, being multicellular was a disadvantage, and so any early mutants towards multicellularity did not survive. But WHEN THE ENVIRONMENT CHANGED, multicellularity became advantageous, and the new niches were filled.

    Today, conjoined twins might be at a disadvantage. But if, somehow, the ENVIRONMENT CHANGED, such that the possession of four arms and four legs was necessary for the completion of some highly advantageous or life sustaining activity, then conjoined twins would have a NEW NICHE to exploit, wherein they won’t be hindered by any of their disadvantages relative to regular humans, since regular humans, lacking four arms and four legs, WON’T BE ABLE TO EVEN ENTER THAT NICHE to compete with them.

    And if conjoined twinning were a genetic event (which in reality it isn’t), then a new conjoined species of primate might evolve.

  106. David Marjanović says

    By creationist standard

    s. All hail Tpyos!

    But a mitotic accident would NOT be due to a mutation in DNA –

    What? Why not? If an enzyme that cuts the extracellular matrix/cell wall apart is broken, that would definitely be a mutation in (where else) DNA.

    If there were such a thing, it would have been identified by now.

    Show me it hasn’t been. :-)

    In any case, the failure to divide and separate would also not result in a multi-cellular organism but rather a sort of conjoined twin. As such, it would be a freak of nature that would be weeded out from the population because it was obviously impaired.

    There are so many green algae that consist of 2 conjoined cells… so many thread-shaped organisms (not just fungi, but even cyanobacteria)… so many single-celled foraminifera with 3000 nuclei…

    “Obviously impaired” depends on the environment.

    But yeast was originally multi-cellular.

    Oh, suddenly you accept evolution? Suddenly you accept that yeast was not specially created by the Will of God?

    No big story there. It has since DE-EVOLVED from its ancestors.

    But there is no such thing – by definition even.

    Again: evolution = descent with heritable modification.

    Sometimes an environment favors greater complexity. Sometimes an environment favors less complexity. Natural selection can go in all directions. There is no inbuilt progress in evolution. There aren’t any internal driving forces at all. There are just mutation, selection and drift throwing our genes around like tennis balls and often losing them.

    I think you profoundly misunderstand the complexity of it all. Each cell in a truly multicellular organism is differentiated and performs a unique task for the good of all of the other cells.

    Your use of “truly” betrays the fact that you know better.

    Not many multicellular organisms are like nematodes, where all adult individuals of a certain sex and species have the exact same number of cells (not counting the germ-line cells even then).

    It isn’t some Portuguese-man-of-war, formed by symbiosis, but instead an attempt to form a single entity out a myriad of cells that work in perfect cooperation with each other.

    How many single entities does a slime mold larva or fruiting body consist of?

    How many single entities does a human blastocyst consist of?

    How many single entities does a sponge, any sponge, consist of? Press it through fine silk – how many entities is it now?

    Is there any evidence that a change in the DNA of a unicellular organism would result in a bi-cellular organism? I think not.

    What do you mean “would”? Many yeast species differ in hardly anything but unicellularity or lack thereof.



    DNA doesn’t regulate anything: Learn some basic genetics. There are proteins involved in the cell cycle, but none have been identified as causing incomplete cell division.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Where to even begin? DNA codes for all proteins, including the regulatory ones! "Mutations" that aren't in DNA can't be inherited!

    Two cells stuck together is not a bi-cellular organism any more than two conjoined twins are bi-human. The resulting organism would have real trouble surviving.

    Because you just can't imagine otherwise?

    Phagocytosis rarely involved bacteria eating each other

    Hey, hey, hey. Don't confuse the origin of eukaryotes with the origin of multicellularity.

    the “benefits” of being bigger are overcome by the problems caused by being ineffective in other ways

    In some environments they are. In some environments they're not. That's why neither uni- nor multicellular organisms have died out yet, you dolt.

    There is no difference in disadvantage between two conjoined cells and two conjoined human twins.

    How about two conjoined trees?

    They are basically two distinct organisms that are nonetheless stuck together and this impairs their freedom of movement and survivability.

    Movement? What movement? How about plankton? How about cells that are stuck to a substrate?

    You fail to understand that cell differentiation in multicellular organisms means that a cell can ONLY BE ONE THING.

    How about stem cells?

    How about the tissue called parenchyma in (big) flatworms, nemerteans and I forgot what else?

    How about dedifferentiation? Look it up if you haven't encountered that term before.

    How about your own neural-crest cells? When you formed your spinal cord including brain (...you did form one, didn't you?), cells broke loose of an epithelium, assumed the shape of an amoeba, and crawled individually, like white blood cells actually, through your meso- and ectoderm, then rejoined the multicellular collective and formed most of your head, half of your neck, all your pigment cells, your peripheral nerves and much other stuff.



    A white blood cell lives only to fight off invaders that threaten other cells and at great cost to itself. The purported evolution of multi-cellularity does not fit in with a Darwinian model of competition.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Works the same way as with eusocial insects: what competes in evolution aren’t individuals (however defined), it’s genes. The cells of a multicellular organism carry the same genes, just like how the individuals of an ant colony carry mostly the same genes. What selection goes for is not how many individuals die, but how many copies of a gene survive.

    You’ve missed the last 40 years of molecular biology, haven’t you?

    They group together, but they retain their individuality.

    And individuality is what, a shining golden magic badge?

    The hypothesized mitotic accident mentioned above does not allow this. It means that two cells are not free to act independently.

    What does it mean to “act”?

    What does natural selection care if you’re free to act independently when you all carry the same genes?

    How is DNA responsible for conjoined twins?

    Dude, do you know anything about cell division?

    BTW, good evidence that degrees of cell cohesion are heritable has long been known: armadillos usually give birth to identical quadruples. That means the first two cell divisions of any zygote result in cells that don’t stick together.

    In sponges, the animals believed to be most similar to the first animals to evolve, most cells can move about within the body, and many can change type: so your assertion is simply false.

    Oh really, atheist? Your friends don’t agree with you. Sponges, like all animals, consist of populations of differentiated cell types.

    So what? KG explicitly said these cells can, and sometimes do, dedifferentiate and redifferentiate.

    BTW, he’s right.

    You can put a sponge in a blender, chop it up, squeeze it through a filter so that only single cells can pass, and then each individual single cell will grow into a new sponge.

    Or you can pour these cells all together, and they’ll form one new sponge.

    Or you can pour them out as two heaps, and they’ll form two new sponges…

    The cells don’t remember how many individuals they belonged to, and they don’t remember their positions in any individual.

  107. Amphiox says

    At any rate, the proper analogy to early cells sticking together after mitosis ISN’T conjoined twins, it’s more accurately the birth of a baby with a psychological predilection to holding its mother’s hand much more tightly and for much longer than usual. The possibility for the child to let go would remain, but just be reduced. And one can easily envision scenarios where such a trait might be advantageous.

    The conjoined twin thing is more analogous to the formation of a syncitium – a mitotic event where the cytoplasm doesn’t separate completely.

  108. Anri says

    The conjoined twin thing is more analogous to the formation of a syncitium – a mitotic event where the cytoplasm doesn’t separate completely.

    And, correct me if I’m wrong – but aren’t there living things that do this as well? (Including, if I remember correctly, my aforementioned slime molds…?)

    In other words, there are environments and scales in which this is an advantage?

  109. Amphiox says

    You fail to understand that cell differentiation in multicellular organisms means that a cell can ONLY BE ONE THING.

    There is NOT A SINGLE differentiated cell type, in ANY organism known on this planet that does just one thing.

    Not one.

    A white blood cell lives only to fight off invaders that threaten other cells and at great cost to itself.

    Macrophages (white blood cells) ALSO help build new blood vessels, scavenge injured cells from wounds, promote wound healing, guide growing peripheral nerves to their targets, produce growth factors during embryogenesis, and remodel tissues.

    The purported evolution of multi-cellularity does not fit in with a Darwinian model of competition.

    First, modern evolutionary theory includes a lot more than just Darwin’s ideas.

    Second, kin selection.

  110. Amphiox says

    And, correct me if I’m wrong – but aren’t there living things that do this as well? (Including, if I remember correctly, my aforementioned slime molds…?)

    In other words, there are environments and scales in which this is an advantage?

    Absolutely.

    But those are topics just a stitch beyond “basic” genetics, and I didn’t want to risk blowing our poor troll’s wits out with information overload.

    (Any more than they are already blown….)

  111. A. R says

    Amphipox: Yep, and many viruses induce the formation of syncytia. (RSV being the obvious example)

  112. David Marjanović says

    And, correct me if I’m wrong – but aren’t there living things that do this as well? (Including, if I remember correctly, my aforementioned slime molds…?)

    There are cellular slime molds, and there are plasmodial slime molds.

    Plasmodium = nuclei divide, but cells don’t. Syncytium = cells merge. The outcome is the same: one large cell with lots of nuclei.

    The entire “skin” of tapeworms is a syncytium formed by the fusion of stem cells.

  113. A. R says

    Ing: Remember, viruses don’t exist in creo-world, because there are so many things about them that they have a hard time explaining.

    Oh, and creationist: How do you explain the existence of viruses?

  114. yec123 says

    There is NOT A SINGLE differentiated cell type, in ANY organism known on this planet that does just one thing.

    Have you ever heard of a photo-receptor? Do you have any idea why it is called that? It is a specialized nerve cell serving one specific purpose.

    Macrophages (white blood cells) ALSO help build new blood vessels, scavenge injured cells from wounds, promote wound healing, guide growing peripheral nerves to their targets, produce growth factors during embryogenesis, and remodel tissues.

    I’m sure they do – but the point is that they do not display any selfish individualism whatsoever. They work for the good of the whole rather than themselves. That sort of behavior and functionality does not evolve through a process of natural selection and competition.

  115. A. R says

    yec123: Nope. Photoreceptors have multiple functions, from vision to regulation of circadian rhythms.

    Regarding macrophages, remember that they can only survive in a living human, so any mutation in macrophage function that leads to a reproductive advantage (i.e. longer reproductive period, or greater chance of reaching a reproductive period) will be selected for.

  116. yec123 says

    The conjoined twin thing is more analogous to the formation of a syncitium – a mitotic event where the cytoplasm doesn’t separate completely.

    A mistake due to incomplete division in the embryo leads to conjoined twins. A mistake in mitosis (as mentioned by one of the atheists here), where the cells fail to divide properly, would result in 2 conjoined cells that couldn’t function effectively as a single unit. What we see happening during ontogeny, where cells divide and cluster together, is no accidental process.

  117. John Morales says

    yec123:

    A mistake in mitosis (as mentioned by one of the atheists here), where the cells fail to divide properly, would result in 2 conjoined cells that couldn’t function effectively as a single unit. What we see happening during ontogeny, where cells divide and cluster together, is no accidental process.

    It’s biochemical, and it’s imperfect.

    (If it’s an accidental process, it’s been billions of years in the making)

  118. A. R says

    yec123: Again, if a change in function results in more efficient replication of genes, it will be selected for. No exceptions.

  119. Anri says

    I’m sure they do – but the point is that they do not display any selfish individualism whatsoever. They work for the good of the whole rather than themselves. That sort of behavior and functionality does not evolve through a process of natural selection and competition.

    What makes you say a deeply ignorant thing like that?

    Let’s have a thought experiment: If there was an error resulting in a type of body cell acting outside of the DNA-determined role for it, and (for example), becoming an immortal fast-replicating, immuno-resistant celltype capable of sending chemical signals to redirect other tissue’s blood supply towards itself, that would be an advantage for the cell, right? It would be more likely to pass it’s mutant genes along?

    Do cancer sufferer reproduce more or less frequently than those without cancer?

    Put the two answers together, please.

    Although, I have to say, we do seem to be getting closer to what you are trying to argue – which appears to be that god was too dumb to create a self-actuating method of having life crank out worshipers for him… amirite?

  120. Amphiox says

    I’m sure they do – but the point is that they do not display any selfish individualism whatsoever.

    *cough* CANCER *cough*

    (Solving the problem of cancer was one of the major steps towards obligate multicellularity, which is necessary for the most complex multicellular organisms. The earliest multicellular organisms, with organizations at the sponge level of complexity, would not have had such a big problem with cancer)

    They work for the good of the whole rather than themselves. That sort of behavior and functionality does not evolve through a process of natural selection and competition.

    Sure it does. (Once again, for god’s sake, LEARN ABOUT THE TOPIC YOU ARE TRYING TO DISCUSS BEFORE POSTING LUDICROUSLY IGNORANT STUFF ABOUT IT AND MAKING YOURSELF LOOK LIKE A FOOL).

    Two words (which have already been mentioned).

    Kin selection.

  121. Amphiox says

    And of course by “solving” the problem of cancer I mean “reducing its frequency and delaying its onset just enough so that the multicellular organism had live long enough to reproduce”, not eliminating cancer completely!

  122. A. R says

    Amphipox: This stupid is strong in this one. He really doesn’t seem to understand the concept of selection.

  123. Amphiox says

    A mistake in mitosis (as mentioned by one of the atheists here), where the cells fail to divide properly, would result in 2 conjoined cells that couldn’t function effectively as a single unit.

    THIS HAS BEEN ANSWERED, multiple times, by myself and others.

    But I see you are just ignoring those answers.

    Typical intellectually dishonest behavior.

  124. Amphiox says

    Have you ever heard of a photo-receptor? Do you have any idea why it is called that? It is a specialized nerve cell serving one specific purpose.

    Photoreceptor cells have AT LEAST TWO functions, vision and circadian regulation.

  125. Amphiox says

    Dammit, meant osteoclasts, not osteoblasts.

    And depending on context, that could be a VERY significant typo!

  126. Catnip, Not a Polymath says

    Yec123 keeps using the word “atheist” as though xe thinks it is somehow insulting. I don’t think it means what xe think it means.

  127. Amphiox says

    A primer on the kin selection thing with respect to multicellularity (highly simplified for our troll’s benefit).

    All the specialized differentiated cells in a multicellular organism are related to one another. In fact they are, mostly, EXACT CLONES of one another, all descended from the same original germ cell.

    All of these specialized differentiated cells (and this is key) CANNOT REPRODUCE ON THEIR OWN (specifically, they cannot produce another multicellular organism, although they can divide). Like the worker bees in a bee colony, they are STERILE.

    However, within the multicellular body, they have relatives (exact clones, as it were) that CAN reproduce – these are the germ cells, the cells in the gonads.

    So the ONLY WAY these cells can replicate their own genes into the next generation is by HELPING THE GERM CELLS REPRODUCE. In other words, the ONLY WAY they can reproduce themselves is by KEEPING THE BODY THEY ARE A PART OF ALIVE, until the germ cells in that body are ready to reproduce a new generation.

    And that is why natural selection promotes genes that makes these cells “selflessly” serve the body.

    Or, (though perhaps this is too complicated for a single-track-minded troll to wrap its head around), think about evolution from the perspective of the germ cells. The germ cells are the cells that actually reproduce in a multicellular organism, so natural selection only acts on these germ cells. Every multicellular organism starts out as a single germ cell. That germ cell, in order to help itself reproduce, has genes that allows it to construct an army of helpers, robots if you will whose sole function is to help the germ cell reproduce itself. This army of helpers achieves this by building a body to house, feed, carry around, and help find a mate for, the germ cell. The germ cell makes these robots using a process that is a slight modification of the process it inherited from its unicellular ancestors, used originally replicate – mitotic cell division. Only this time, some of the progeny cells have alterations in the regulation of their genes that turns them into these robot helpers, which we call differentiated cells.

    (Or if you are an anime fan, take a look at the anime Naruto, and how the head and branch portions of the Hyugga clan function….)

  128. Amphiox says

    One can think of a multicellular organism as simply a unicellular organism that builds a giant organic machine around itself to help itself reproduce.

  129. Anri says

    One can think of a multicellular organism as simply a unicellular organism that builds a giant organic machine around itself to help itself reproduce.

    “A chicken is an egg’s way of making another egg.”

  130. yec123 says

    THIS HAS BEEN ANSWERED, multiple times, by myself and others.

    But I see you are just ignoring those answers.

    No, I am not ignoring anything. I have asked you repeatedly for your evidence but you have refused to divulge. Are there any examples of mitotic accidents that result in multicellularity? It is not good enough to state that there are multicellular species of algae or that yeast can revert to its ancestral state. What is the underlying cause and mechanism?

    So the ONLY WAY these cells can replicate their own genes into the next generation is by HELPING THE GERM CELLS REPRODUCE. In other words, the ONLY WAY they can reproduce themselves is by KEEPING THE BODY THEY ARE A PART OF ALIVE, until the germ cells in that body are ready to reproduce a new generation.

    Yes, but such a collaborative and organized effort, with its division of labor, implies that the cells are intelligent enough to coordinate and pool their resources towards the mutual good of all. But where did this behavior come from? How does a cell forgo its right to directly reproduce for itself?

    Two words (which have already been mentioned).

    Kin selection.

    Debunked a long time ago. Natural selection is all about individual competition and works at the level of individual genes. If a group or colony was selected (as with cooperative ants), then all of its members (both strong and weak) would be selected. Where you share the spoils almost equally among the community, you provide no incentive for improvement. That is why communism failed, and that is why evolutionism fails as well.

  131. KG says

    yec123

    Yes, but such a collaborative and organized effort, with its division of labor, implies that the cells are intelligent enough to coordinate and pool their resources towards the mutual good of all.

    No it doesn’t, fuckwit. All that is needed is that cells that were genetically so constituted that they behaved in this way left more descendants than those that did not. That’s called “natural selection”. Intelligence is not required for it to occur.

    Kin selection.

    Debunked a long time ago.

    A bare-faced lie. The only exception to the scientific consensus that kin selection is important are such as David Sloan Wilson, who in effect reinterprets it as group selection.

    Natural selection is all about individual competition and works at the level of individual genes.

    The two parts of that sentence are, of course, contradictory. Selection at the level of individual genes automatically implies the reality of kin selection, because kin share genes as a result of their kinship. Stone me, how does someone as fucking stupid as you manage to remember which hole to put food in?

  132. yec123 says

    No it doesn’t, fuckwit. All that is needed is that cells that were genetically so constituted that they behaved in this way left more descendants than those that did not. That’s called “natural selection”. Intelligence is not required for it to occur.

    How, pray tell me, are cells “genetically constituted” to behave in such a way? How do individual cells in multi-cellular organisms behave so differently to those in unicellular organisms such that they themselves fail to reproduce but graciously give way to the germ cell? Where is this encoded in DNA? Don’t bother answering, atheist, unless you know the precise mechanism responsible. I am not interested in supposition.

    The two parts of that sentence are, of course, contradictory. Selection at the level of individual genes automatically implies the reality of kin selection, because kin share genes as a result of their kinship. Stone me, how does someone as fucking stupid as you manage to remember which hole to put food in?

    No, members of a population do not share exactly the same genetic information. Variation exists between members of a group and selection works by weeding out those variant (mutant) genes which adversely affect survival and reproduction. Please, atheist, at least acquaint yourself with some basic population genetics and your own evolutionary theory.

    You can’t argue evolution is true to refute evolution dumb ass

    All creationists accept the reality of natural selection – as a conserving force in biology. That is the truth, atheist.

  133. KG says

    In sponges, the animals believed to be most similar to the first animals to evolve, most cells can move about within the body, and many can change type: so your assertion is simply false. – me

    Oh really, atheist? Your friends don’t agree with you. Sponges, like all animals, consist of populations of differentiated cell types. – yec123

    It’s very difficult to tell when you are merely being extremely stupid, and when actually consciously dishonest. There is no contradiction whatever between what I said, and the fact that sponges consist of populations of differentiated cell types. In fact, I directly state that the cells can change type.

    You want to claim there is an unbridgeable gulf between unicellular organisms and multicellular animals. But at least three intermediates can be identified in living organisms: choanoflagellates, which can switch during the lifetime of a cell from unicellularity to a simple form of multicellularity (during which they employ proteins for cell adhesion and cell signalling closely related to those with the same functions in animals); sponges, where many cells move around the body and change type (and one type closely resembles choanoflagellates); and coelenterates such as Hydra, where the cellular structure is more fixed, but cells still retain sufficient autonomy that if you put the animal through a blender, the cells will reconstitute themselves as one or more multicellular animals.

    Here, incidentally, is the description of an experiment proving that selection for cells to clump together – which you have been absurdly claiming is impossible – is in fact quite straightforward.

  134. yec123 says

    In fact, I directly state that the cells can change type.

    Don’t try and get out of it, you cheeky little atheist. The multi-cellularity of choanoflagellates is illusory because each of the cells retains its individuality. The group of cells form a symbiotic alliance (colony) and not a permanent fusion. That they communicate with each other does not make them anything special. Sponges, however, consist of cells of differentiated function – all geared towards the whole and nothing else. If you can’t understand the distinction between the two, then you really lack any intelligence. Let me just repeat so it finally sinks in through your extremely dense cranial wall:

    MULTICELLULAR ORGANISMS INVOLVE CELLS THAT ARE DIFFERENTIATED, HAVE NO INDIVIDUALITY AND WHICH DO NOT REPRODUCE THEMSELVES (unless germ cells). THEY BEHAVE AS MERE CONSTITUENTS OF A SINGLE ENTITY.

  135. Anri says

    No, I am not ignoring anything. I have asked you repeatedly for your evidence but you have refused to divulge. Are there any examples of mitotic accidents that result in multicellularity? It is not good enough to state that there are multicellular species of algae or that yeast can revert to its ancestral state. What is the underlying cause and mechanism?

    You are ignoring the following question:

    Are there any genetic accidents that result in multicellularity?
    The answer is yes – as was explained to you at great length above, there are specific mutations that can cause cells to adhere and become colonial. Not only have these been noted in the wild, they’ve been replicated in the lab.

    Please try to wrap your head around the concept that conjoined twins are not the same thing as a colony of unicellular flagellates. Every time you try to draw that parallel, you make yourself look terribly ignorant.

    Yes, but such a collaborative and organized effort, with its division of labor, implies that the cells are intelligent enough to coordinate and pool their resources towards the mutual good of all. But where did this behavior come from? How does a cell forgo its right to directly reproduce for itself?

    The same way ants, bees, termites and other colonial organisms do so – it is encoded in their DNA. The DNA of the reproducing entity (the queen), codes not only for a reproductive unit (the new queen), but also for a support network (the workers), each with different behavior.
    The workers cannot change their genetic destiny, either individually or genetically, as they don’t reproduce.

    Again, what are you arguing for here?
    (In case you were wondering, this is something else you’re ignoring, as I’ve asked it twice myself).
    That god zapped colonial behavior into creatures’ genes?
    If so, someone might ask:

    Don’t bother answering, theist, unless you know the precise mechanism responsible. I am not interested in supposition.

    But, of course, you can’t. And that’s just one way in which you’re being intellectually dishonest.

  136. yec123 says

    The answer is yes – as was explained to you at great length above, there are specific mutations that can cause cells to adhere and become colonial. Not only have these been noted in the wild, they’ve been replicated in the lab.

    Cell adhesion may be necessary for multi-cellularity, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to it . Your reasoning is flawed. Moreover, in order for cells to adhere, they need certain proteins like cadherins and integrins etc…

    Please try to wrap your head around the concept that conjoined twins are not the same thing as a colony of unicellular flagellates. Every time you try to draw that parallel, you make yourself look terribly ignorant.

    I made the remark about conjoined twins because one of the members here suggested that a mitotic accident was the first step towards multicellularity. But you seem to think that it occurs by way of groups of cells sticking to each other and somehow this condition becomes inherited. Frankly, I don’t know if you know what it is you believe.

    The same way ants, bees, termites and other colonial organisms do so – it is encoded in their DNA. The DNA of the reproducing entity (the queen), codes not only for a reproductive unit (the new queen), but also for a support network (the workers), each with different behavior.

    That is just a blind assertion. What evidence do you have that ant behavior is encoded in their genes? You just made it up. Likewise, a cell in a simple multi-cellular organism contains the same genes as those found in unicellular organism. Yet, why does it behave so very differently.

  137. Anri says

    Cell adhesion may be necessary for multi-cellularity, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to it . Your reasoning is flawed. Moreover, in order for cells to adhere, they need certain proteins like cadherins and integrins etc…

    Ok, so you’re saying that this could work, and is observed in nature, but might not actually work. Gotcha.
    It has been pointed out to you that we’ve seen colonial behavior develop in lab settings, so your assertion that it doesn’t lead to anything important is wrong.
    We observe creatures having independent-but-flexibly colonial lifestyles, we observe creatures with colonial-and-flexibly-specialized lifestyles, we observe creatures with colonial-and-highly-specialized lifestyles. All of these show that every step along the path from unicellular life to multicellular life is perfectly viable, and competitive.
    Yet you continue to insist it’s just not possible.

    I made the remark about conjoined twins because one of the members here suggested that a mitotic accident was the first step towards multicellularity. But you seem to think that it occurs by way of groups of cells sticking to each other and somehow this condition becomes inherited. Frankly, I don’t know if you know what it is you believe.

    I believe the evidence shows that colonial organism are not analogous to conjoined twins.
    If for no other reason that one is widespread, stable and reproductively successful, and the other isn’t.
    Clear enough?

    That is just a blind assertion. What evidence do you have that ant behavior is encoded in their genes? You just made it up. Likewise, a cell in a simple multi-cellular organism contains the same genes as those found in unicellular organism. Yet, why does it behave so very differently.

    So, you’re saying that neural networks are not (at least partially) guided by DNA coding?
    What guides them, then?

    (PS, for someone who repeatedly states they’re not ignoring anything, you keep ignoring my request to actually state what you believe to be the driving force behind multicellularity. So,I’ll make it again: What do you think led to multicellularity? There – I bolded it in case your eyesight is poor. Can I assume you’ll ignore it again while insisting you’re not ignoring anything, thus proving again your essential dishonesty?))

  138. KG says

    In fact, I directly state that the cells can change type. – me

    Don’t try and get out of it, you cheeky little atheist.

    Look you lying scumbag, I’m not trying to “get out” of anything: I said, correctly, that cells in sponges change type. They do. That implies, necessarily, that they have different types, which you dishonestly accused me of denying. Stop lying.

    The multi-cellularity of choanoflagellates is illusory because each of the cells retains its individuality. The group of cells form a symbiotic alliance (colony) and not a permanent fusion. That they communicate with each other does not make them anything special. Sponges, however, consist of cells of differentiated function – all geared towards the whole and nothing else. If you can’t understand the distinction between the two, then you really lack any intelligence.

    Of course there’s a distinction, you fuckwit. But both are quite clearly intermediate between the majority of unicellular organism, which do not form colonies, and the majority of animals, in which cells have far less autonomy than in sponges. Both, let me stress, use similar proteins for cell adhesion and cellular signalling – although sponges produce additional proteins, and one of the types of sponge cell, choanocytes, closely resemble choanoflagellates. It’s simply ludicrous to go on pretending that intermediates do not exist.

    Let me just repeat so it finally sinks in through your extremely dense cranial wall:

    MULTICELLULAR ORGANISMS INVOLVE CELLS THAT ARE DIFFERENTIATED, HAVE NO INDIVIDUALITY AND WHICH DO NOT REPRODUCE THEMSELVES (unless germ cells). THEY BEHAVE AS MERE CONSTITUENTS OF A SINGLE ENTITY.

    You ignorant dolt, most cells in multicellular organisms are quite capable of reproducing themselves – by mitosis and fission. In many plants, a whole new individual can grow from a single non-germ cell. If you put a sponge or Hydra through a blender, the individual cells do not die when separated from the organism as those of more fully integrated organisms do: instead, they get together to form one or more new individuals. In most animals, by contrast, a new organism cannot grow from a single cell, and cells of an orgnaism put through a blender will die. Thus multicellular individuality is quite definitely not an all-or-nothing matter, and your dishonest claims that it is are absurd. Here is a recent review of what is known (and not known) about the evolution of multicellularity. I quote:

    In several instances, theoretical expectations
    have been put to the test. The results have
    demonstrated that several reasons typically associated
    with transitions to multicellularity,
    such as predation avoidance or higher feeding
    efficiency, do indeed confer a selective advantage
    over unicellularity. For example, a number
    of algal species were able to evolve multicellularity
    when grown in culture in the presence
    of predators, thus dramatically reducing their
    chances of being eaten (11, 47, 66). Similarly,
    Volvox algae (61) and myxobacteria (88) have
    been shown to be at advantage when multicellular
    because of their ability to better utilize
    available nutrients.

    The numbers in parentheses are references that demonstrate the selective advantages which cells clumping together has in some circumstances – something which you stupidly claimed was as impossible as conjoined twins having a selective advantage.

  139. Amphiox says

    Cell adhesion may be necessary for multi-cellularity, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to it .

    It is the first step.

    Debunked a long time ago.

    Nope. That would be group selection. Which is NOT kin selection. Again, you reveal your utter ignorance of what the theory of evolution actually says. You continue to argue against an imaginary strawman of your own dishonest creation.

    Natural selection is all about individual competition and works at the level of individual genes.

    And that is EXACTLY how kin selection works. Individual competition working AT THE LEVEL OF THE INDIVIDUAL GENES. The genes DON’T CARE which organism they are in, and which organism is the one that actually passes on the copy of the gene. It ONLY CARES that a copy of the gene is reproduced, somehow. And that, automatically, leads to kin selection. Kin selection is just one variant of natural selection.

    No, members of a population do not share exactly the same genetic information.

    All the cells in a multicellular organism DO share exactly the same genetic information, more or less.

    Yes, but such a collaborative and organized effort, with its division of labor, implies that the cells are intelligent enough to coordinate and pool their resources towards the mutual good of all.

    No.

    The multi-cellularity of choanoflagellates is illusory because each of the cells retains its individuality.

    That makes choanoflagellates a transitional form between total unicellularity and committed irreversible multicellularity.

    The group of cells form a symbiotic alliance (colony) and not a permanent fusion.

    That makes them a transitional form between total unicellularity and committed irreversible multicellularity.

    That they communicate with each other does not make them anything special.

    That makes them a transitional form between total unicellularity and committed irreversible multicellularity.

    Sponges, however, consist of cells of differentiated function – all geared towards the whole and nothing else.

    No. The above is true for humans, but not for sponges. The four (FOUR. ONLY FOUR. JUST FOUR. (Humans have millions)) types of differentiated cells in a sponge are ALL capable of dedifferentiating and surviving independently, ALL capable of growing, by itself, into a new sponge. ALL capable of turning into each of the others.

    The sponge is yet another transitional form, between the not-yet-true multicellularity of the colonial choanoflagellate, and the obligate, committed, irreversible multicellularity of the more derived animals.

    One of the FOUR (just FOUR, ONLY FOUR, NO MORE THAN FOUR. FOUR.) differentiated cell types in a sponge, is virtually identical to a choanoflagellate in pretty much all but name, it is even called a choanocyte. Only a blind idiot cannot but look at a choanoflagellate and a choanocyte and not see the obvious close relationship between choanoflagellates and sponges.

  140. Amphiox says

    Moreover, in order for cells to adhere, they need certain proteins like cadherins and integrins etc…

    Cadherins and integrins all exist in the unicellular organisms that are most closely related to multicellular ones.

    That is PRECISELY the type of mutation that serves as the initial step to multicellularity, a mutation that increases the affinity of cadherins and integrins to adhere to each other.

    So thank your for conceding the argument.

  141. Amphiox says

    And speaking of differentiation, colonial choanoflagellates ALSO DIFFERENTIATE. Some species have up to 5 (that’s one MORE than the sponges) different differentiated cell types.

    Colonial volvox also differentiate, into at least 2 cell types.

    Colonial slime molds also differentiate, into the cells the form the spores and the cells that form the stalk of the fruiting body.

    And, finally, EVERY SINGLE SPECIES of multicellular organism spends at least a portion of its life cycle as an independently living SINGLE CELL. A cell capable of surviving entirely on its own, for a least a short period of time. In mammals like humans, that independent single cell stage is a sperm. In many other multicellular organisms, both the sperm (or pollen) and the ova can survive for a time as independent single cells. In still other multicellular organisms, sperm, ova, and the diploid zygote are capable of surviving for a time totally independently of a multicellular body. In some multicellular organisms, the single cell zygote stage can last for YEARS before it goes on to grow a body.

    The difference between a multicellular body and a colony of independent cells is only in degree. In the degree of independence the various individual cells retain, and the degree of committment to the multicellular life cycle stage versus the unicellular life cycle stage.

    Only in degree.

  142. Forbidden Snowflake says

    Seems to me, however, that the Cambrian explosion is best evidence we have for divine intervention and sudden creation in the natural world.

    Don’t bother answering, atheist, unless you know the precise mechanism responsible. I am not interested in supposition.

    Hilarious.

    Do carry on. I’m learning lots.

  143. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    I do want to thank the horde for a fascinating education in early cellular differentiation. Much better than old textbooks.

  144. Amphiox says

    It’s really hilarious how when these creobots try to find a gap to stuff their creator into, they always, invariably, choose the wrong gaps.

    I mean, multicellularity? The Cambrian “explosion”? Come on, those are EASY! Low hanging fruit.

    Multicellularity has literally evolved independently 8 or 9 times, each by different mechanisms. The Cambrian “explosion” took almost 100 million years. The metazoan lineages date back by molecular dating to hundreds of millions of years yet longer before that. From the presumable single celled LCA of all animals to the Cambrian critters with the hard and easily fossilized shells there has literally been more time than from the first ratty proto-mammal to the present day, more time than the ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE DINOSAURS.

    Once, just once, I’d like to see a creobot pick a hard gap. Something we really don’t have yet answered.

  145. Anri says

    So, that appears to be that, then.

    I’m with Ogvorbis: I learned lots in this little run-through.

    Thanks, all!

  146. Anri says

    Graciously you pointed out that this was young earth creationists. There is a VERY different perspective-different than even the Old Earth Creationists provided by by John H. Walton in The Lost World of Genesis One http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-World-Genesis-One/dp/0830837043/

    *sigh*

    Can I cut this entire conversation short by asking what demonstration, if any, of god’s existence is given in this book?

    Because from what I read in the reviews, it looks like someone else saying “Well,I mean, Genesis is not literal literal, just only sorta kinda squishy maybe almost literal.”

    In other words, is any compelling reason for accepting the retranslated scribblings of Iron Age goat herders actually given? Or is it just assumed?

  147. says

    Anri,

    I was simply asserting that not all theists/deists fall under the heading ascribed above–so this argument cannot be used to discredit them all. You might thoroughly disagree with them, but it will not because they adhere to the chart above.

    As to the book, you are assuming he is summarizing the argument of Old Earth creationists with which Walton would not really classify himself. He is a teleological proponent perfectly comfortable with the same timeline you probably are. .

    As to the iron age goat herders, they might not have been as enlightened as we are, but they still were not anti-rational in their basic observation skills. They knew when things were abnormal because they perceived the normal (ex. ax heads don’t float). Three thousand years from now do you not think science will not lean on some foundations of scientific understanding gained in our time? Or will all our discoveries be discarded as they simply write of us a those iPad using dolts who thought they knew so much?

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Three thousand years from now do you not think science will not lean on some foundations of scientific understanding gained in our time? Or will all our discoveries be discarded as they simply write of us a those iPad using dolts who thought they knew so much?

    You overestimate the science presented in and book of mythology/fiction known as the babble. While science will progress, it won’t be horrendously different from today, except for the existence of fields of study unknown to us know. Evolution, atomic theory, relativity, quantum mechanics, and host of other theories will essentially be in place. Which is why your attempt to denigrate scientific knowledge fails. Once mature and not under stress, like with molecular theory, a paradigm shift is very unlikely.