Women in Secularism is going strong »« Friday Cephalopod: The Great White Cuttle

Spare me this ‘deficit model’ nonsense

Maybe it’s something in the air: Spring brings out the sociological criticisms of science, or something. But for some reason, this week people have been talking at me about the “deficit model” repeatedly, and it is really beginning to annoy me. The latest source is Alice Bell in the Guardian, who says some sensible things (don’t treat scientists as a priesthood!) and then gets all mushy-mouthed over the myth of the deficit model. How nice of her, though, to define it for us.

It’s the critique of the so-called “deficit model” many of us have been dancing to for decades. The deficit model, if you’re lucky enough not to have come across the term, assumes science has the knowledge the public are deficient in, and that many of our social ills will be solved if we all listened to the experts. It’d be a nice idea maybe if science, the media, policy or people were that simple, but they’re not (I talked about similar issues in my Radio Four piece on scientific literacy last year).

Oh, no…it brings back cranky memories of those annoying rounds of argument with Mooney and Nisbet, who loved to slam us with sneering rebukes that we’re true believers in the Deficit Model, and don’t you know, everybody rejects that model nowadays.

And I’d just, what, say what, I what? I’m right here, why are you arguing with that caricature? Look, I’ve spent decades battling creationists, giving them the actual facts in the face of their distortions, and I know they heard me, and I know they’re not so stupid they couldn’t comprehend what I was saying, and yet they’ll be back the next week saying the same lies. I know that there’s more to getting people on the side of reason then calmly stating the evidence while equipped with a Ph.D. I don’t know anyone who subscribes to this “deficit model” of which you speak.

Here’s the model I actually accept; let’s call it the Obstacle Model. Everyone has a whole collection, to varying degrees, of obstacles that interfere with effective progress: for instance, there’s poverty, and racism, and sexism, and religion, and authoritarianism, and ignorance. Focusing on just one without paying any attention to the others means you won’t get very far. Every good educator knows that teaching is a multi-dimensional problem.

Correcting ignorance has a rather critical role to play in the solution. I think the other factors I listed are more important in giving people the will and capability to make decisions, but addressing an intellectual deficit is essential in giving them the power to decide how to decide; without it, you’ve got a blundering herd of enthusiastic incompetents.

But ignorance also has a special place because it’s the one thing teachers are commissioned to address, so if you’re interested in deprecating expertise, finding a straw man like the “deficit model” to set on fire is a handy tool to knock those scientists and educators down a peg. It’s also a useful bludgeon if you’re a sociologist and want to assert your authority over those puffed-up boffins (not that I think most sociologists have an inferiority complex, but some of the dumbest things ever said about science come out of the mouths of sociologists).

You want examples? Alice Bell continues by citing sociological analyses of the scientific establishment.

The deficit model sticks around partly because it feeds scientists’ social status, implicitly underlining their powerful position as people who get to define what counts as important, true, reliable knowledge. Stephen Hilgartner put it well back in 1990, saying such top down approaches implicitly provide the scientific establishment with the epistemological right to print money. Something we don’t appreciate enough though is that also serves the handmaidens of the deficit model – science communication professionals, less powerful scientists, many science “fans” – offering them some social status by association. Play into a game of hierarchies, and even if you don’t get to the top, you get to climb a bit. Pierre Bourdieu, in his classic sociology of the university campus, Homo Academicus, talks about the way students are happy to submit to the idea that they are inferior to senior academics because doing so earns them subsequent admittance to a distinguished club of graduates. I think we can see similar patterns at work in terms of the way academic ideas are shared outside of universities too.

O My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have the right to print money? Here we are in an occupation with relatively limited recompense — we tend to be solidly middle class, which is very nice, but not much more — and we had to spend much of our youth in training, which from a purely economic point of view, represented a tremendous loss in earning potential. Deferring getting an entry level job because you spent a decade in graduate school and post-doctoral positions isn’t sound financial sense. Are these critics even aware of how many scientists get thrown into the churn of the unending provisional appointments? Somehow, though, we always get this criticism from creationists and other outsiders that we’re in it for the big bucks, as if we’re investment bankers or oil company executives.

O My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have high social status? I certainly don’t. Scientists are not particularly well-regarded in the communities I live in, except among ourselves; I follow politics, and scientists certainly don’t play much of a role there. Except when they’re trying to fill knowledge deficits (which is constantly trivialized by these critics of the deficit model), scientists are treated as awkward nerds with no social skills at all — the archetype we see flaunted on shows like The Big Bang Theory. You’re very confused if you think Sheldon is regarded as having high social status. He’s a pretentious clown.

O My Fellow Scientists, do you scorn your students and think of them as your inferiors? Maybe some do; I certainly don’t. I’m in this teaching position because I respect and enjoy the company of students. I identify with my students.

And here’s the thing: that hierarchy? Definitely a mixed bag. I remember being a student, and my professors were pretty much just like me, except with added obligations. Graduate school was wonderful — they had to order me to wrap up and get the thesis done. I tried to keep my post-docs going as long as I could stretch them out, because every step up the academic ladder meant less playing in the lab, more uncertainty (where am I going to get a job?), and more teaching and administrative responsibilities. If I had my druthers, I’d still be a grad student.

Even now, I’m dragging my heels about getting promoted to full professor, despite the nudges from my unit head. Promotion would mean a little more money (but I’m not in this job for the money!) and additional responsibilities in campus-wide governance. Why should I do that? Because I’m a good citizen of my university, not because I have some illusion that it will let me lord my superiority over others.

But OK, Bell does salvage the article in the end.

Less cynically, top down models also stick around because scientists do, genuinely, have special ideas and information to share. We pool our resources to allow a few people to cut themselves off and become experts in particular subjects. We do this so that they might feed back their knowledge and we can, collectively, try to make a better world. We should listen to them. As David Dickson wrote in 2005, factual reporting of science can be socially empowering for audiences. It’s worth remembering this. Political systems of scientific advice in government are built partly for this reason too, to make best use of scientific expertise. I don’t want to throw the baby out with bathwater, and lazy critique of science is not just silly, it can be dangerous (if you’ve never read Merchants of Doubt, do).

Yes, that is the way it works. I’m glad to see a realistic perspective on the matter — now if only everyone would realize that most scientists share this same view, and that this deficit model crap is a sociological contrivance intended to take a back-handed slap at expertise.

Comments

  1. michaellatiolais says

    Unless I missed another reference, I think you meant Sheldon, not Sherman.

  2. anthrosciguy says

    In most topics concerned about science, both the obstacle and deficit models come into play. The purveyors of whatever nonsense is being promoted are rarely, if ever, going to respond to being handed good information, but many of the people who find the purveyors’ nonsense convincing will respond to good information. They’ve just been taken in by convincing sounding arguments which have the appearance of being valid science with good support. That’s what puts the pseudo in pseudoscience.

  3. excludedmiddle says

    Funny you should mention; I replied to a general discussion at work about how I would spend retirement and I said I would like to return to grad school. ( I am eligible for early retirement). I work with some quite bright people and they thought me quite daft.

  4. Larry Clapp says

    the epistemological right to print money

    O My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have the right to print money? Here we are in an occupation with relatively limited recompense — we tend to be solidly middle class, which is very nice, but not much more [... etc]

    I thought the “epistemological” part was key. The “epistemological right to print money” is a metaphor asserting that the “deficit model” gives scientists the right and ability to define knowledge, and perhaps indirectly to define what should be known. Or something like that, but certainly having nothing to do with actual money.

  5. consciousness razor says

    O My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have the right to print money? Here we are in an occupation with relatively limited recompense — we tend to be solidly middle class, which is very nice, but not much more — and we had to spend much of our youth in training, which from a purely economic point of view, represented a tremendous loss in earning potential.

    I don’t think you’re responding to what “the epistemological right to print money” is supposed to mean. It’s not exactly clear to me either, honestly, but I wouldn’t interpret it as being about literal money; that’s just a metaphor for knowledge, as is clear from the preceding sentence. So, how much literal money you do or don’t make is irrelevant. Insert the word “scientism”* somewhere in there, and I think you’d get the gist of it: it’s about who controls how knowledge is defined, what’s important, what’s reliable, who deems themselves to be the source of that important reliable stuff, and maybe how (or whether) the rest of us are supposed to take this whole messy process seriously.

    *Notice that this isn’t being leveled against professors or researchers or academics in general, just scientists in particular. But what the article’s point is, where it’s going other than something like “don’t worship scientists,” I really couldn’t say. It just left me hanging. Maybe her lecture at the conference was a little more substantial. Or maybe I’m just missing something.

  6. ChasCPeterson says

    do you scorn your students and think of them as your inferiors? Maybe some do; I certainly don’t. I’m in this teaching position because I respect and enjoy the company of students. I identify with my students.

    yeah. But you’re student-privileged at UM Morris.
    In my experience, the ability to maintain that attitude turns out to depend a lot on your particular students.
    Sorry, but there it is.

  7. says

    @ CR

    It’s about who controls how knowledge is defined, what’s important, what’s reliable, who deems themselves to be the source of that important reliable stuff, and maybe how (or whether) the rest of us are supposed to take this whole messy process seriously.

    Yup.

    The reference to Pierre Bourdieu was a give-away. (Substitute “art” for instances of the words “knowledge” or “science” to get an inkling of the original.)

  8. satanaugustine says

    O My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have high social status? I certainly don’t.

    Yeah, but there is quite a huge difference between feeling like one has high social status and actually having it. Substitute ‘privilege’ for status if that helps. I’m a straight, cis, tall, semi-attractive, white male and I certainly don’t feel like I have any special privilege or status, but I know that, just based upon the above characteristics, I do compared to many others. Being a scientist may not result in an increase in social status, but I can easily imagine it doing so. Many people see scientists as superior and, rightfully so, of having special skills and knowledge. Just because there are a bunch of noisy, anti-intellectual, ignorant-and-proud-of-it Americans doesn’t mean that scientists don’t have high social status, or, more certainly, intellectual status.

    None of this is to say that I buy into the deficit model.

  9. Alan Nixon says

    While I understand your frustration at having this term thrown at you, and I certainly do not think that most scientists do science for reasons of power (I agree, what prestige? what money? lol). Being fair, I do think that the ‘deficit model’ idea is a valid critique and it does highlight some of the issues in science communication. It also points out the problems that can occur when experts aren’t questioned. However, thinking that most scientists are actually this naive seems odd. Likewise, attacking people for thinking that education can change minds seems like an extreme position, that in the end also undermines Sociology.

    I think the deficit model idea should be used as a critique and a warning, not a pejorative. In other words, in the first case (communication) we can’t expect that simply informing the public will change minds, as in the climate change debate. We should be looking for ways to overcome this problem, and therefore the deficit model idea can be seen as a valid critique in at least this case. In the second case (experts), it emphasises that we need criticism to avoid the domination of a theory just because of it’s creator’s power. There are plenty of historical examples of theories that continue to be fought for even past their use by date, sometimes where the science is ethically dubious. The expert should be questioned in these cases. However, the deficit model would hinder that process as the expert is seen as knowing best and the public should be passive recipients of that expertise. I think we do have practical measures in place to avoid most of these problems now, such as accepted methods, peer review and ethics committees, so perhaps this part of the critique belongs to another time. But in some way it will always be relevant, because there will always be people who push dubious ideas via their authority. I’m sure we could all name a few that we think fit into that category.

  10. carlie says

    In my experience, the ability to maintain that attitude turns out to depend a lot on your particular students.

    There was a car in our parking lot the other day with a bumper sticker that read “You can lead me to knowledge, but you can’t make me think”. I don’t know if it was supposed to be hipster ironic or not.

  11. Ysidro says

    It occurs to me PZ didn’t pick up on “the epistemological right to print money” as a metaphor is because its piss poor phrasing. Plus, I doubt most professional academics think of knowledge in a financial sense.

  12. redpanda says

    I actually responded quite well to the deficit model, as my main problem appears to have been growing up in a culture where I wasn’t exposed to a single person who understood and supported the theory of evolution until I was in my mid-twenties.

    Imagine my shock and confusion when I realized that the vast majority of my fellow flockmembers’ eyes didn’t light up like mine had when confronted with the same straightforward information that had turned my entire universe upside down.

  13. mikee says

    I thought the deficit model simply rejects the assumption that all it takes to engage people in science is to “fill the gaps” in their knowledge. This to me is a very valid argument, as the reasons people reject or argue against science can be far more complex than that.
    It seems to me this author is just using the deficit model as a launching point to attack other aspects of science which PZ rightly has countered.

  14. redpanda says

    Oh, then I got it backwards. I have met a couple other people since who only needed a few gaps filled before their natural curiosity kicked in and did the rest…

    Which makes me wonder, are there many people here who were raised with things like creationism and only overcame them long after being exposed to the stuff that would have filled their gaps? Is there anything we can do other than just make sure the information is out there?

  15. vaiyt says

    There’s too many opinionated schmucks who think their uninformed mind-turds have the same value as research, and then cry sour grapes about the prestige of academia.

  16. mikee says

    I think What PZ (and many other science bloggers) show how good science communication goes beyond the deficit model.
    The deficit model simply argues that you can’t just present science and expect people to fully appreciate it.
    You have to engage, encourage, explain, listen and debate ideas, something PZ does well.

    Redpanda – of course there are people like you who do respond to science which is well presented, which shows that simple presentation of science has its place. But unfortunately I don’t think you represent the average person on the street.

  17. Scientismist says

    I’m not sure I completely understand what is meant by a “deficit model,” but it sounds like it may be a warning against the kind of scientist (like Peter Venkman) who justifies his every action with, “Back off man, I’m a scientist.” (I have an old tee shirt with that slogan.)

    The seductive danger of that kind of top-down, authoritarian approach was one of the subjects of Jacob Bronowski’s last episode/chapter (“The Long Childhood”) in his book and TV series “The Ascent of Man”, where he told the story of his friend John Von Neumann and his love affair with the aristocracy of the intellect (“You wake me up early in the morning to tell me that I’m right? Please wait until I’m wrong.”) Bronowski insisted on the necessity for a democracy of intellect, where “knowledge sits in the homes and heads of people with no ambition to control others, and not up in the isolated seats of power”. But he saw maintaining that democracy as a challenge: “You can see it is pointless to advise people to learn differential equations, or to do a course in electronics or in computer programming. And yet, fifty years from now, if an understanding of man’s origins, his evolution, his history, his progress is not the commonplace of the schoolbooks, we shall not exist.”

    That was 1973; check back in another ten years.

  18. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    some of the dumbest things ever said about science come out of the mouths of sociologists

    Fuck yeah.

    Even if sometimes it does start from an interesting idea. For instance, constructivism, in its mild forms, is not that stupid. It’s even interesting and instructive for scientists. But its radical form which in essence considers all scientific facts to be purely social constructs (on the basis of technological examples that have little to do with science) is spectacularly dumb.

    What I’ve come across in the sociology of science feels like there is a competition to see who is going to push a previously reasonable and useful idea to such absurd levels that it leaves reality stranded behind, wondering what the hell happened.

  19. Ichthyic says

    Here’s the model I actually accept; let’s call it the Obstacle Model.

    Having spent several years working with organizations that were in fact, trying to repair the disjoint between legislators and scientists, my direct experience is that there is ONLY the Obstacle Model.

    people really are deluded if they think that scientists haven’t tried, or know how to, communicate their information to various audiences. It’s that at the level of intended action, whether administrative or legislative, there is no perceived motivation for these actors to listen.

    You have to get someone who sees the inherent value in this information FIRST, before you can get them to even bother to listen. Money speaks louder than science, every time, and scientists simply don’t have the money to toss around for high powered lobby groups (or to directly bribe politicians) for the most part.

    it really is that simple.

    It really is that intractable.

    oh, and Mooney is an ignorant dolt, and Nisbet is a narcissistic twit.

    done.

  20. Ichthyic says

    If I had my druthers, I’d still be a grad student.

    and THAT, is why I never went into academia after finishing my degree.

    *sigh*

  21. dmgregory says

    It occurs to me that the “epistemological right to print money” comment suggests that the author has confused two meanings of the word “determine” in a phrase like “scientists determine what is true”

    She seems to take it to mean “decide, or arbitrarily choose by fiat”

    When it should be “discover, uncover” – winnowing deep truths from deep nonsense as Sagan said. ;)

    When you’re bound by repeatable accuracy about the real world, you definitely don’t have free choice to make the truth whatever you want it to be. (Granted, less scrupulous individuals sometimes find a way, but that’s usually dealt with eventually by science’s self-correcting structure…)

  22. Ichthyic says

    if you’ve never read Merchants of Doubt, do

    yup, that was Naomi Oreski’s years of work looking at the people behind the fomenting of science denialism, starting with the Tobacco company think tanks.

    everyone should read that, or even watch her talk about the work:

  23. phiwilli says

    The Ignorance bit is ambiguous – see Firestein’s recent book of ignorance in science! What is research but an effort to alleviate scientific ignorance – which often fails!

  24. Azuma Hazuki says

    Science is simply a method. These people fall into the same trap the projecting fundies to: accusing people of making Science-with-a-capital-S a kind of intellectual idol, as opposed to a tool.

    In other words, people who can’t do science don’t understand it and feel belittled, so they take out their impotent rage on their intellectual betters. Waaah, waaah, someone call the waaaahmbulance. I’m tired of dealing with entitled ignorance.

    Everyone’s entitled to their own (educated) opinion. No one is entitled to his or her own facts.

  25. says

    “The deficit model, if you’re lucky enough not to have come across the term, assumes science has the knowledge the public are deficient in, and that many of our social ills will be solved if we all listened to the experts. ”

    I fail to see how this claim is even controversial. Scientists obviously do have knowledge the public are deficient in. That’s pretty much the whole point of doing science. If science didn’t provide us with knowledge that we otherwise wouldn’t have, there would be no point to it. And many of our social ills certainly would be solved if we all listened to the experts. I mean, expertise implies a superior level of knowledge, and having more knowledge leads to better decision making. I mean, if you are offered two cakes, one baked by an expert cake-maker and one baked by a randomly selected guy off the street, you’d be a fool not to choose the first. And likewise, when attempting to accomplish a goal, it’s trivially obvious that you’re better off taking the advice of an expert in the field relevant to accomplishing that goal rather than a non-expert. If society required that all decisions be made by experts with relevant knowledge, it might well make ignorant people upset, but it would obviously lead to better decisions in the majority of cases.

    Either the definition as stated is incomplete, or the deficit model is so obviously, trivially true that I simply don’t understand why anyone would bother to articulate it.

  26. Azuma Hazuki says

    @27/stuartsmith

    Because a lot of non-scientists think scientists are arrogant. Like most people, they fear what they don’t understand, and they attack what they fear.

  27. rapiddominance says

    Here’s the model I actually accept; let’s call it the Obstacle Model. Everyone has a whole collection, to varying degrees, of obstacles that interfere with effective progress: for instance, there’s poverty, and racism, and sexism, and religion, and authoritarianism, and ignorance.

    This is sensible enough; far better than the “deficit model” (this is a new term for me, but I’m not big into science).

    The wildcard is “progress”. Its not as if sane people want to regress and EVERYBODY has his/her own idea of where they want things to progress to.

    (a long pause)

    The more I think about it, I think everybody–with any direction and self motivation–might consider defining his/her own personalized version of the “Obstacle Model” just as PZ has. It doesn’t even have to do with science, secularism, or societal advancement. Maybe all you want is for your wife to quit nagging you or, if you’re the wife, for your husband to do more work around the house.

    Oddly enough, the wife might quit nagging if the husband will pull his fair share of the weight. On the flip side, maybe the husband isn’t so much lazy as he is trying to get away from all the nagging. Either way, folks gotta be honest with themselves about how they’re behaving and how others are perceiving them.

    As a homework assignment, try choosing an area of your own life that isn’t going as well as you would like. Perhaps the problem is in your career, your finances, or your physical conditioning. Look for the obstacles standing in your path and find ways to either circumvent them or eliminate them all together and maybe, JUST MAYBE, you can reach your goals.

    I wish you well!

  28. aspidoscelis says

    As Larry Clapp and consciousness razor point out, apparently PZ either did not notice the word “epistemological” in there, or does not know what it means.

    Further, I think this undermines the rest of PZ’s response. Of course science isn’t about fame and money. However… the deficit model is apparently a claim that scientists have (or at least think they have) a monopoly on a very different commodity – truth. So any resposne to the effect that scientists do not have various other commodities seems to entirely miss the point; e.g., going up the hierarchy doesn’t mean fame, or enhanced social position… in this view, it means an increased access to and control over truth.

    The deficit model may well be a strawman and pointless pile of dung, but certainly not for any of the reasons PZ mentions.

  29. txpiper says

    “Because a lot of non-scientists think scientists are arrogant. Like most people, they fear what they don’t understand, and they attack what they fear.”

    I think ‘inordinately committed’ would be more accurate than arrogant. And it isn’t attacking out of fear. Some of us non-scientists just think that ideas about origins that depend on molecules from interstellar space, and/or deep-sea or volcanic temperature interfaces, are just flat, freakin stupid….jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense. Ditto for DNA replication errors holding little hands with ever-more-talented-and-scrupulous natural selection resulting in countless, fantastically complex systems. It isn’t frightening at all. It is simply not believable.

  30. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    I think ‘inordinately committed’ would be more accurate than arrogant. And it isn’t attacking out of fear. Some of us non-scientists just think that ideas about origins that depend on molecules from interstellar space, and/or deep-sea or volcanic temperature interfaces, are just flat, freakin stupid….jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense.

    Yes, I know you’re one of those of us who is a non-scientist who can’t countenance natural origins for life, but that specific failure is merely one small facet of the issue being discussed.

    Pitiable specimen, are you.
    (Your arrogance in imagining scientific consensus to be “just flat, freakin stupid” is ironic)

    It isn’t frightening at all. It is simply not believable.

    Rarely does one see the argumentum ad ignorantiam presented so blatantly yet unselfconciously.

  31. txpiper says

    “natural origins for life, but that specific failure is merely one small facet of the issue”

    Yeah, just a detail.

  32. says

    @ txpiper

    a non-scientist who can’t countenance X , but that specific failure is merely one small facet of the issue”

    [my emphasis.]

    John is not deriding X. Reading comprehension is not your strong point.


    When crossing the road, do you use empirical observation and rational thought? Or entrust yourself completely to YHWH? When it matters I bet you are rather more scientific about things than you let on.

    Because you, as a wilful idiot, fail to see the workings and benefits of science all about you, does not mean it is any the less meaningful or critical to our current existence.

  33. mikee says

    @stuartsmith #27

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the majority of people respond to science in the way you do.Just presenting most people with scientific facts does not mean that they will take them on board.
    If it did work this way the world would be quite different.
    Instead many may reject what they are told if the information does not conform to beliefs they already hold.

    The deficit model does not mean that scientists presenting facts to the public is a bad thing, just that it is only part of the solution to getting the general public to take on board scientific facts and rational argument.

  34. anchor says

    “Some of us non-scientists just think that ideas about origins that depend on molecules from interstellar space, and/or deep-sea or volcanic temperature interfaces, are just flat, freakin stupid….jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense.”

    Well, I’m not a professional scientist either, and almost every person I know who isn’t a professional scientist as well as all those who are (which covers just about everyone I know – and can possibly tolerate having anything to do with, which excludes a only whining bullshit artists just like you) would readily agree that your statement is just flat freaking stupid nonsense based on willful ignorance and a panache for claiming to know everything there is to know…on the level of an irrelevant smelly-beaned fart straight out of the posterior sphincter of a jackass. You are right at the very top of that particular disgusting stalk in that respect. Bug off.

  35. mikee says

    @txpiper #31

    “Some of us non-scientists just think that ideas about origins that depend on molecules from interstellar space, and/or deep-sea or volcanic temperature interfaces, are just flat, freakin stupid….jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense.”

    There may be many ideas (hypotheses) about origins, including those dependent on molecules from outer space or volcanic interfaces etc. Science uses evidence to try and decide which of these ideas has more merit – for example, evidence that organic molecules exist in deep space/volcanic interfaces do not rule out these hypotheses. But to just dismiss them as “flat, freakin stupid” seems quite unscientific.

  36. anchor says

    I initially took it as clap and razor (#4 and #5) had: I too took the statement mentioning ‘money’

    “…such top down approaches implicitly provide the scientific establishment with the epistemological right to print money…”

    as a metaphor referring to the authority to claim currency (value) in terms of having a public say in matters that pertain to science.

    Then I thought, D’OH. And why not? Why shouldn’t they? Why bother to make that particular metaphor?

    When I came to PZ’s interpretation, the bogus ‘epistemological’ twist on the term ‘print money’ on that point was neatly exorcized. It was meant to mean exactly as PZ implies.

  37. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    O My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have high social status? I certainly don’t. Scientists are not particularly well-regarded in the communities I live in, except among ourselves; I follow politics, and scientists certainly don’t play much of a role there. Except when they’re trying to fill knowledge deficits (which is constantly trivialized by these critics of the deficit model), scientists are treated as awkward nerds with no social skills at all — the archetype we see flaunted on shows like The Big Bang Theory. You’re very confused if you think Sheldon is regarded as having high social status. He’s a pretentious clown.

    Its a mixed bag, but if I tell someone that I’m a chemistry grad student, it definitely has an effect. What exactly that effect is varies depending on who I’m talking to. I get a lot of respect from the kind of people who value science, and also from those who find it difficult (values notwithstanding) and respect that I have some degree of proficiency.

    I get other reactions as well. In one case I ended up at a table with some unfamiliar people at a bar (long strange story) and in a conversation with Joe, a blue collar guy who I had just met. Joe was pretty sure that I didn’t actually know any more about science than he did, and most of the conversation consisted of Joe educating me about his pet theories (he was pretty convinced that the earth was spiraling in toward the sun, and also that we could power the planet by harnessing starlight) and demanding to know why scientists hadn’t solved X, Y or Z problem yet.

    I think the fact that most people are either reverent or standoffish does speak to a certain level of social status though. In my experience most people think I have an important and difficult job if nothing else. The “Sheldon” stereotype definitely does exist, but (excepting endless repetitions in TV and movies) I really don’t feel that people are using it to label me. Its possible that this is only my perspective because I’m oblivious, but there you have it.

  38. anchor says

    “…this deficit model crap is a sociological contrivance intended to take a back-handed slap at expertise.”

    That’s it.

    The ‘deficit model’ is rather like the hatching out of a boogeyman which is designed for everyone to slam…too bad its just a paper target.

    And a renewed raspberried phooey on Mooney & Nisbet as well as idiotic TV shows of which the preposterously boring and inconsequential ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is an exemplar…similar examples of pop-brained fuzziness.

    Watch out – its only a matter of time before shows of equally boring, inconsequential, and utterly irrelevant content emerge that are called ‘Dark Matter’, ‘Dark Energy’, ‘Quantum Entanglement’, and ‘Stephen Hawking’s Wheelchair’.

    Brilliancy like that will continue to emerge from the clever bowels of the entertainment industry…because, by golly, those folks really REAALY have a handle on the pulse of the public and know what’s trending hot.

    And that is about all they figure they need to know…to launch crap, after all, requires nothing in the slightest more.

  39. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    txpiper

    Some of us non-scientists just think that ideas about origins that depend on molecules from interstellar space, and/or deep-sea or volcanic temperature interfaces, are just flat, freakin stupid….jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense. Ditto for DNA replication errors holding little hands with ever-more-talented-and-scrupulous natural selection resulting in countless, fantastically complex systems. It isn’t frightening at all. It is simply not believable.

    Its always amusing to see this. You think all these scientific ideas are “flat, freakin stupid”, but you apparently aren’t even capable of representing them clearly. I don’t have the first fucking clue what “ideas about origins” depend on “volcanic temperature interfaces”, for instance. Also, your characterization of evolution is a total strawman, but you probably already knew that. Your criticism of science is the intellectual equivalent of refusing to believe that the Earth is round, because “duh, obviously it is flat”.

  40. Azuma Hazuki says

    I don’t know how to do the gumby-man thing, so pretend it’s here:

    txpiper: I don’t understand how scientists got to these conclusions, or why other explanations so far lack even a trillionth of the explanatory power of the ones we have. Therefore, I can’t believe it.

    [gameshow host voice]

    TXPiper, your logical fallacy is…*drumroll*…Argument from Incredulty! “I can’t understand it, so I won’t believe it!” Rest assured, this venerable, time-tested dodge of epistemological responsibility will never go out of style, not until the expanding sun boils away the oceans and atmosphere and leaves the planet a charred husk devoid of all life! Take your place among the likes of religious apologists, the US senate, and people with MBAs from University of Phoenix!

    [/gameshow host voice]

  41. says

    @ Azuma Hazuki

    “I can’t understand it, so I won’t believe it!”

    Molecules from interstellar space, deep-sea or volcanic temperature interface, DNA replication errors, natural selection, fantastically complex systems, complex systems, systems ….magnets and tides. These are all terms that txpiper fails to understand. Ergo: Jeeebus and GAWD ™ !!!!

    I have to ask: If txpiper believes in YHWH, surely this implies xe understands YHWH?

  42. anchor says

    @theophontes:

    “I have to ask: If txpiper believes in YHWH, surely this implies xe understands YHWH?”

    Its a long foregone conclusion well documented by centuries of human behavior well larded with conflict (inspired by contrasting religious states) that an indoctrinated belief in god in a person’s childhood and further cultivation in that person likely leads to sustained and chronic corruption of the intellectual faculties, and inevitably promotes in a semi-adult person who firmly believes they know the will of a cosmic ubermeister to such an extent that they will actively carry out what they imagine as ‘God’s Will’.

    Which begs the question: wtf is the real difference between ‘God’ (the supposedly benign imaginary concept) and the abject imbeciles who strenuously act in ‘His’ stead?

    The real problem with religion isn’t just a false belief in a deity – its that such belief inevitably leads to a disquietingly significant proportion of the population acting as if they ARE God: every bit as omnisciently all-knowing, certain, and perfect (in their own minds) as that crass bullshit object of a stunted imagination they pretend to worship.

    We don’t have any problem because people believe in a god. We have a problem because believers behave as if they ARE God. The notion that they can discern anything of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and perfect cosmic ubermind automatically turns them into insufferable dictators at the personal, family, community levels, as well as the larger national arena. We are awash in GODS, not just in believers – religion always stinks to high heaven of politicks at its very core. What else is evangelism for but the attempt to garner increasing power over people? Political influence and economic power is what ‘GOD’ has always been about. We’re soaked in it. Its a political game, not a mere philosophical one.

  43. says

    @ anchor

    You have just described a very immature, impetuous child.

    I hope to return to something along these lines, based on a conversation, some months ago, on TD. A defining characteristic of North Korean society is the infantalisation of society. The objective of a repressive state is to creat such infantalised subjects. A consequence of such is the characteristics that you have described. The function of repressive religions (such as txpiper and joey’s) is to create such facile, underdeveloped individuals. Intellectual neoteny is the function of fascism and goddism alike.

  44. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Perhaps the most amazing thing about the human mind is not that it is prone to illogical and fallacious reasoning. Our evolution did not often call for purely reasoned thought when over caution usually served just as well. Nor even is it all that amazing that it has developed safeguards that guard against illogic–e.g. science, formal logic, statistics and probability. After all, we have reached the point where logical fallacies can kill us. No. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that we have in so short a time developed defenses against employing the very safeguards we’ve developed when they point us toward facts and discoveries we find uncomfortable. It is proof that nothing is fool proof. TXpiper shows that fools will always find ways of avoiding understanding.

  45. pacal says

    It’s about who controls how knowledge is defined, what’s important, what’s reliable, who deems themselves to be the source of that important reliable stuff, and maybe how (or whether) the rest of us are supposed to take this whole messy process seriously.

    A step on the road to extreme post modern, sociology of science dumbness.

  46. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I usd to teach part of a seminar class for undergraduate, non-science major, honor students; my part of the class was focused on how citizens form scientific opinions…sources of information, weighing evidence, maintaining reasonable uncertainty, etc. At the beginning of the class students reported that they obtained their information directly from the scientific establishment and weighed evidence critically and dispassionately to arrive at an opinion. After 4 weeks of demonstration that this was in fact not the case, stunts reported that they obtained their information directly from the scientific establishment and weighed evidence critically and dispassionately to arrive at an opinion.
    These students are committed to their education, but on this topic they seem resistant to learning.
     
    I’m not sure why I’m commenting other than to say that I live at the interface between the scientific establishment and the public, and we are failing on both sides. If you’ll pardon my cynical generalization, when it comes to forming scientific opinions, scientists are committed to being right*, while the general public seems to be committed to being perceived as right. I don’t know how to climb over this particular ideological fence, but ignorance isn’t the problem. The problem is a difference in goals.

    *You kind of have to be to last very long. There are exceptions of course.

  47. ChasCPeterson says

    My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have high social status? I certainly don’t.

    Hurin’s comment above reminded me of the time that I did jury duty. (This was at the LA County courthouse, literally during and one floor below the OJ Simpson trial. Crazy scene getting in and out.)
    But anyway, during the selection process you get asked your occupation; I said I taught biology at UCLA (I was a barely post-doctoral Lecturer on a 1-y contract, but still). The prosecuting Asst. DA was all over that, asking if I should be addressed as Dr. instead of Mr. (*shrug* either way), and was I familiar with an instrument called a (refers to index card) ‘gas chromatograph’? (uh, yeah) and so I was on the jury. It was a stupid drunk-driving case but my point is, the ludicrous testimony is finally all over, we’re in the jury room, the instructions are read, and first thing is to choose a foreperson. And everybody looks at me! “You’re a natural.” (why? I was probably the youngest person in the room and looked and dresed like a 15-y deadhead (Jerry died 2 months later), and I always used lunchbreaks to get stoned, and none of us had talked to each other at all up to that moment).
    But so anyway–that was a social status thing I guess. Had to have been the science since I was not the only white male in the room.

  48. David Marjanović says

    As Larry Clapp and consciousness razor point out, apparently PZ either did not notice the word “epistemological” in there, or does not know what it means.

    Given several earlier posts, he knows full well what it means; he must have overlooked it.

    Well, either that, or comment 40 is right – but I don’t understand comment 40.

    just flat, freakin stupid….jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense

    Quantum physics predicts the Casimir effect: when you put two flat friggin plates very, very close to each other in a vacuum, they will bend towards each other… because nothing presses them together. See, there’s nothing outside of them and less than nothing between them, so there’s zero pressure on the outside and negative pressure between the plates…

    Stupid, right?

    And yet, it’s exactly what happens. Not only does the effect exist, it’s as strong as calculated (within a few %).

    There are more things right there on Earth than your philosophy can dream, Horatio.

    Your criticism of science is the intellectual equivalent of refusing to believe that the Earth is round, because “duh, obviously it is flat”.

    Exactly!

    I don’t know how to do the gumby-man thing

    It’s not possible in FtB comments at all. :-(

    and people with MBAs from University of Phoenix!

    Or indeed Harvard!

  49. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    txpiper: I don’t understand how scientists got to these conclusions, or why other explanations so far lack even a trillionth of the explanatory power of the ones we have. Therefore, I can’t believe it.

    Your alleged “explanations” which involve imaginary deities are meaningless and solve/explain nothing. Since they are based on nothing concrete or physical. From minds using nothing, just repeating religious slogans ad nauseum. Which is why your inane and factless objections are meaningless. Either prove your deity exists or shut the fuck up about it, which includes using it to explain anything. Welcome to science.

  50. DLC says

    Clearly my vision of PZ as being a small narrow-chested man with a thin wisp of beard and a huge bulging dome forehead needs to be updated. Perhaps something more along the lines of Gyro Gearloose ?

  51. Owlmirror says

    I think ‘inordinately committed’ would be more accurate than arrogant. And it isn’t attacking out of fear. Some of us non-scientists just think that ideas about origins that depend on molecules from interstellar space, and/or deep-sea or volcanic temperature interfaces, are just flat, freakin stupid….

    Or rather, you are too flat, freakin stupid to understand the ideas.

    jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense.

    You are indeed a jackass who believes in magic beans and other nonsense.

    Ditto for DNA replication errors holding little hands with ever-more-talented-and-scrupulous natural selection resulting in countless, fantastically complex systems. It isn’t frightening at all. It is simply not believable.

    Why? Because you say so? You have magically become God, so that whatever you say is true?

  52. mikee says

    “…this deficit model crap is a sociological contrivance intended to take a back-handed slap at expertise.”

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The deficit model critique of science communication is reasonable in itself, the problem here is that Alice Bell has misrepresented it, and used it as a launching point for her attack on science & scientists.
    A good explanation of the deficit model can be found here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_deficit_model

    I would also suggest that scientists who are more active in science communication realise (consciously or unconsciously) that there is more to science communication than the deficit model.
    PZ certainly does more than just present his work to the public – he engages, debates, and explains science in terms of its wider principles and provides context on why science is important.

  53. alwayscurious says

    My Fellow Scientists, do you feel like you have high social status? I certainly don’t.

    My experience echos what many of you have already said. Acquaintances are frequently quick to declare a support for science & technology (science automatically equals technology to many I’ve discovered). They will listen with rapt attention to me on anything in these topics (even when outside my field, scientists after all know Science). But beware! Once the conversation veers too close to their favorite pseudoscience theories or challenges their religious/political/dietary beliefs, suddenly I’m skewered, trivialized, ignored, etc. A scientist’s social status dynamically depends on whether one is affirming, informing, or disproving a point valued by the listener.

  54. txpiper says

    “Why? Because you say so? You have magically become God, so that whatever you say is true?”

    Hardly. What I say or think is inconsequential. The natural world I live in is one where decomposition, spoilage and decay are the rule, and where accidents do not result in organization.

  55. Ulysses says

    The natural world I live in is one where…accidents do not result in organization.

    Ah yes, the creationist’s favorite fall back position, the argument from incredulity.

  56. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well it’s a good thing you demonstrate a near complete lack of understanding at every turn here to the point you frequently quote science that supports evolution when trying to make a point you think helps you.

    Keep it up.

  57. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    “Why? Because you say so? You have magically become God, so that whatever you say is true?”
    Hardly. What I say or think is inconsequential. The natural world I live in is one where decomposition, spoilage and decay are the rule, and where accidents do not result in organization.

    It is undeniably true that what you say or think is inconsequential, but I note that in the natural world I live re-composition, quickening and growth are part of the process in addition to the above*, and where natural things doing their natural thing aren’t normally referred to as accidents.

    (Nothing’s gone wrong!)

    * You do know lying by omission is still lying, right?

  58. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Ulysses @60, no; it’s an argument to entropy.

    One of the most basic laws in the universe is the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This states that as time goes by, entropy in an environment will increase. Evolution argues differently against a law that is accepted EVERYWHERE BY EVERYONE. Evolution says that we started out simple, and over time became more complex. That just isn’t possible: UNLESS there is a giant outside source of energy supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy. If there were such a source, scientists would certainly know about it.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The natural world I live in is one where decomposition, spoilage and decay are the rule, and where accidents do not result in organization.

    Then fuckwit, don’t eat food made by the replication of DNA by plants. or the meat from the DNA replication of animals that eat said plaints.

    Still no evidence for your imaginary deity, meaning you have nothing to supplant science. Vainly attepting to tear down science does nothing to prove yourself right. That requires positive evidence for your delusions. Either put up or shut the fuck up. But then that requires honesty and integrity. Qualities missing from your character.

  60. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I say or think is inconsequential.

    THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!

  61. Ulysses says

    I had forgotten how much creationists rely on the 2nd Law of Strawmodynamics. Thank you for your correction, John.

  62. txpiper says

    “Ah yes, the creationist’s favorite fall back position, the argument from incredulity.”

    It is actually everyone’s favorite fall back position in real life. If someone tells you that they can run a mile in 1:38, you know something is wrong. But if someone being able to do that is so appealing that you believe it anyway, you’ve become credulous. Incredulity is noble, the only that standing in between you and sucker status.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But if someone being able to do that is so appealing that you believe it anyway, you’ve become credulous. Incredulity is noble, the only that standing in between you and sucker status.

    That is you and your imaginary deity. It doesn’t exist, never did, but you find the delusion so appealing you can’t shut the fuck up about it. You have a problem txpiper. You can’t prove what you want us to believe, namely your imaginary deity. Your problem with science isn’t the problem of science, but rather your problems with your delusions. You can’t show they aren’t delusions. So, all you can do is shut the fuck up.

  64. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Txpiper your state of being isn’t one of nobile incredulity it’s one of willful ignorance, denial and flat out dumbfuckery.

    You are so lost you cannot help but continue to provide evidence for whatever point you think you are making that does the exact opposite. It supports evolution.

    Constantly.

  65. Amphiox says

    jack-and-the-beanstalk level nonsense.

    An excellent description of creationism, which cannot explain anything without invoking the equivalent of magic beans.

  66. txpiper says

    “where natural things doing their natural thing aren’t normally referred to as accidents”

    That’s because you’ve been trained, or trained yourself, to view random DNA replication errors as happy, helpful and progressive events. But back on earth, a significant segment of the research community is devoted to dealing with their actual, real, observable consequences….abnormality and disease.

  67. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    “Ah yes, the creationist’s favorite fall back position, the argument from incredulity.”
    It is actually everyone’s favorite fall back position in real life. If someone tells you that they can run a mile in 1:38, you know something is wrong.

    The term ‘argument from incredulity’ refers to disbelieving a claim not because one has warranted reason to believe it can’t be true, but because one can’t imagine how it could be true on the basis of what they know — the classic form of argument from ignorance — and not to warranted incredulity.

    (And it would be perverse to remain incredulous if such a claimant then demonstrated the ability to run a mile in 1:38)

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But back on earth, a significant segment of the research community is devoted to dealing with their actual, real, observable consequences….abnormality and disease.

    Gee, what a fuckwitted unevidenced assertion, totally avoiding the necessity of proving your imagineary deity exists. Which is doens’t. Show otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence, or anything you say will be *floosh* treated like the lying and bullshitting sewage it is. Physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Otherwise you have nothing to replace the science, and any argument you make is false.

  69. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    That’s because you’ve been trained, or trained yourself, to view random DNA replication errors as happy, helpful and progressive events.

    Ironically, it’s the very entropy which you imagine evolution violates that causes this source of variation in the genome which allows for evolution to occur naturally.

    But back on earth, a significant segment of the research community is devoted to dealing with their actual, real, observable consequences….abnormality and disease.

    Precisely as evolutionary theory predicts; only successful variants will pass on their genes (those that procreate before perishing) and therefore variants which lead to abnormality or disease yet allow for procreation will persist longer than those which lead to earlier death.

    In passing, I see you utterly ignored my point that for all the decay you mentioned, there was renewal you refused to acknowledge. Procreation, even.

    (Coward, you)

  70. says

    Hoo boy. Txpiper, your denial of evolution is boring. You say the same things over and over again, and they’re always wrong in the same way. Do the world a favor and keep it to yourself. There’s important work to do, like making the world a more equal place for everyone and mitigating the effects of global climate change. I used to read these exchanges because it was a useful way to brush-up on the evolutionary biology I studied briefly in school. Now the arguments are all old hat. Please. I’m begging you. Learn something. Start saying something different. For everyone’s sake–this is a serious waste of time.

  71. txpiper says

    “Precisely as evolutionary theory predicts; only successful variants will pass on their genes (those that procreate before perishing) and therefore variants which lead to abnormality or disease yet allow for procreation will persist longer than those which lead to earlier death.”

    Exactly, and what you have done here is frame up natural selection without all the fantasies and personifications, while inadvertently emphasizing what the data actually shows: general stasis of the norm, and continuation of the form. Very good. Stay on point…you’re coming along.

  72. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Wow, now txpiper quotes me as supposedly supporting his case much like he quotes scientific literature!

    The only reason txpiper has metaphorical feet is that he shoots metaphorical blanks; his aim so far is inerrant.

  73. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Exactly, and what you have done here is frame up natural selection without all the fantasies and personifications, while inadvertently emphasizing what the data actually shows: general stasis of the norm, and continuation of the form.

    I see you’ve turned this thread on into one of those where you jibe and we laugh at you.

    No, if I wanted to frame, I’d note that “successful variants” encompass more than sickly variants and that the opposite applies; those who have a reproductive advantage will be more likely to pass on their genes.

    Your problem is you imagine (a priori by virtue of your incredulity) each generation must at best be the equal of its predecessor and therefore over time the quality of generations must monotonically decrease though reality shows that speciation has indeed occurred and therefore something unnatural must be going on.

    (Since only magic or science can explain it and you find the science incredible, it must be magic!)

  74. txpiper says

    Sally,

    “There’s important work to do, like making the world a more equal place for everyone”

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality. The progressing mutant variants are always going to outclass the static disadvantaged. Are you suggesting that we should interrupt the progress?

    “mitigating the effects of global climate change”

    So what is the strategy? Run up fuel costs, starve the common and thereby save mother earth?

  75. Snoof says

    general stasis of the norm, and continuation of the form

    txpiper, how long do you believe there has been life on Earth?

  76. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    f you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality.

    Typical unvidence bullshit which *floosh* is dismissed as sewage. Now, where your evidnce for your imaginary deity fuckwit? Either that evidence exists, and you have a case, or it doesn’t, and all you have is blather. So far, all you have is blather. You don’t convince rational people with delusional blather.

    Run up fuel costs, starve the common and thereby save mother earth?

    Compared to running up the fuel costs, starving the common, and not saving mother Earth? for future generations Somebody has been into the hallucinogens again, and it is the godbot/creationist, of course.

  77. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    txpiper:

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality. The progressing mutant variants are always going to outclass the static disadvantaged. Are you suggesting that we should interrupt the progress?

    What a stupidly disingenuous claim to make; there is no such linkage outside well-refuted and well-repudiated eugenics-based Social Darwinism which is a sociopolitical stance rationalised by a pseudo-scientific linkage to actual evolutionary theory which consisted on using the principles for breeding livestock to human populations.

  78. Menyambal --- son of a son of a bachelor says

    If you accept evolution …, then you have to reject equality.

    No, you don’t.

    What a bizarre assertion

    Evolution is not a religion.

  79. Snoof says

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality. The progressing mutant variants are always going to outclass the static disadvantaged. Are you suggesting that we should interrupt the progress?

    “If you accept gravity, then you have to reject safety railings. People are always going to plummet to their doom. Are you suggesting we should interrupt the process?”

  80. Ichthyic says

    why hasn’t the textpip been tossed in the dungeon?

    it is a useless empty bag that smells of shit.

    too wet to even burn right.

  81. Ichthyic says

    So what is the strategy? Run up fuel costs, starve the common and thereby save mother earth?

    no, not for everyone.

    just you.

  82. Amphiox says

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality

    Pathetically transparent attempt to invoke the naturalistic fallacy for a pitiful attempt at a talking point is pathetic.

    The progressing mutant variants are always going to outclass the static disadvantaged.

    Not to mention, the REAL theory of evolution (as opposed to the texpip’s intellectually dishonest made-up strawman version of it) says nothing of the sort.

  83. txpiper says

    “Your problem is you imagine (a priori by virtue of your incredulity) each generation must at best be the equal of its predecessor and therefore over time the quality of generations must monotonically decrease though reality shows that speciation has indeed occurred”

    Of course not. Like David likes to point out, we have a couple of hundred mutations that our parents didn’t have. The challenge to you would be to show that those are advantageous. If the data supports the idea that we are on an upward trend, like we must have been when random mutations and natural selection produced a fantastically efficacious suite of replication enzymes, then I’ll go with the data.

  84. Ichthyic says

    What I say or think is inconsequential.

    and yet you keep talking.

    are you a wind up toy?

  85. consciousness razor says

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality.

    Spoken like a true asshole. I couldn’t have expressed utter confusion better myself.

    Does this mean, as I suspect, that “in terms of adaptation” you reject equality? And what the hell would that even mean?

    Are you suggesting that we should interrupt the progress?

    Yes, we should never question what the gods do. Oh, right, not gods, just facts about biology. Never mind. Dumbass.

  86. John Morales says

    txpiper, do you dispute that you imagine (a priori by virtue of your incredulity) each generation must at best be the equal of its predecessor and therefore over time the quality of generations must monotonically decrease?

    (A very simple question, a very easy question for an honest person to answer either in the affirmative or in the negative)

  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The challenge to you would be to show that those are advantageous.

    It has been done to you numerous times. You simply refuse to acknowledge the SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, and keep to your inane ignorance, thinking you win points. All you do is show your intellectual dishonesty. Honesty and integrity are required to convince scientists of things. You lack both.

    If the data supports the idea that we are on an upward trend, like we must have been when random mutations and natural selection produced a fantastically efficacious suite of replication enzymes, then I’ll go with the data.

    Gee, Lenski, which has been repeatedly presented to you. Checkmate. But then, the lie is that all mutations are either all advantageous or all disadvantageous. They can be either, until natural selection has its say, as anybody with intellectual honesty and integrity would admit. So, why can’t you? Oh, you have nothing but lies and bullshit to offer….As you prove with every post.

    Still no evidence for your imaginray deity….

  88. Snoof says

    (A very simple question, a very easy question for an honest person to answer either in the affirmative or in the negative)

    I’m not sure txpiper is capable of answering questions. Xe certainly hasn’t answered mine.

    So, how long do you believe there has been life on Earth, txpiper?

  89. txpiper says

    “What a bizarre assertion”

    Bizarre? I should think not. The genetically superior mutants will send their enhancements racing through the population, and the inferior enjoy extinction. That is the whole evolutionary show. Granted, finding your particular place in the red of tooth and claw drama may be uncomfortable, but equality at any level, is a sappy fantasy. You have some reconciling to do.

    “Evolution is not a religion.”

    You could have fooled me. You have clergy, temples, shrines, chants and icons. Everything but hymns. You need some decent hymns.

  90. Ichthyic says

    You could have fooled me.

    It’s not hard to fool those that fool themselves.

    in fact, it takes no work at all.

    calling again for your expulsion from this place, as you have become tedious and boring, as well as the usual ignorant, dishonest, demented fuckwit you were when you first arrived.

    there is nothing you will type on your keyboard we have not seen a dozen times before, and corrected a dozen times before.

    begone, thou fool.

  91. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    The genetically superior mutants will send their enhancements racing through the population, and the inferior enjoy extinction.

    Where genetically superior mutants refers to individuals who can reproduce their mutated traits, their enhancements refers to those differences that ceteris paribus make them more suited to their environment than their counterparts, racing through the population refers to preferentially-conserved (that selection imp that so bothers you!) over time, and extinction refers to the trait (the lack of those differences) and not to individuals, then I grant it so.

    (All individuals die*)

    * Though nature is weirder than you think, O ignoramus.

  92. Amphiox says

    The genetically superior mutants will send their enhancements racing through the population, and the inferior enjoy extinction.

    And therein lies exposed, once again, the texpip’s pathetic attempt to strawman what the theory of evolution actually says and means, with a deliberately dishonest attempt to literally interpret what was intended to be metaphorical teleological language, in the service of whatever odiously immoral social agenda-du-jour he happens to want to push at the moment.

    Pathetic.

    Except in the most trivial of circumstrances, “superiority” can only be determined after the fact, by seeing what survives, generations later, and thus said consideration cannot be used for the a priori consideration of social policy in the present.

    Not to mention that the whole phenomenon the texpip alludes to here, the selective sweep, is only ONE PART of the theory evolution, and not the most common to occur, either.

    calling again for your expulsion from this place, as you have become tedious and boring, as well as the usual ignorant, dishonest, demented fuckwit you were when you first arrived.

    Seconded.

  93. Amphiox says

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality.

    Those who truly understand the theory of evolution, and who are intellectually honest in their understanding, EMBRACE equality as social policy.

    REAL evolutionary theory, as opposed to the texpip’s deliberately distorted strawmen, informs us that in a continuously changing and unpredictable environment, long term population health depends on diversity. And the most reliable way to promote diversity is a social policy of equality.

  94. consciousness razor says

    REAL evolutionary theory, as opposed to the texpip’s deliberately distorted strawmen, informs us that in a continuously changing and unpredictable environment, long term population health depends on diversity.

    Diversity, empathy, cooperation, intelligence…

    All things lacking in txpiper’s comments. Yet here I am, not assuming that means he shouldn’t have equal political rights with everyone else. And definitely not that he can’t be “successful” and procreate, because that’s just fucking irrelevant and nonsensical.

    Like everything he says. Alright, no surprise there. But still it makes sense to me in a certain way. Sally speaks up, and of course he trolls her about equality when she mentions it. He’s got to find some way to evangelize for Jebus, since it’s not like Jebus is going to do it, and txpiper’s got no evidence to work with….

  95. Hurin, Midnight DJ on the Backwards Music Station says

    Txpiper

    The natural world I live in is one where decomposition, spoilage and decay are the rule, and where accidents do not result in organization.

    Here is a simple experiment that proves you wrong. Measure out 3.5 oz (or roughly 100 mL) of water and place it in a coffee cup, then add 35g of table salt and stir and/or heat until it dissolves (it will, but it may take some effort). After you have done this wait a week to 2 weeks, allowing the water to evaporate. I predict you will see a homogeneous solution of sodium chloride (very disordered) spontaneously form large cubic crystals of sodium chloride (very ordered) with no apparent intervention from anyone. Once you have done this, see if you can explain why it happened. Did jesus visit your coffee cup, or was it something else?

  96. Ichthyic says

    The natural world I live in is one where decomposition, spoilage and decay are the rule

    Did they forget to change your diaper at the retirement home again?

  97. says

    @ Ichthyic

    diaper … retirement home

    Oi Vey!

    @ Rey Fox

    Scientists live in houses, drive cars, play with their pets, brush their teeth and pass the butter …. JUST LIKE HITLER!!!

    (How the fuck txpiper makes the connections xe does, is quite beyond me.)

  98. says

    What? Who says I can’t accept evolution as the best explanation so far for the origin of species, and also firmly believe in equality? I’m doing it RIGHT NOW. Try and stop me. Your pathetic arguments, based as they are on willfully inaccurate interpretations of evolutionary theory, are not doing the job. Look! I’m believing in both evolution and equality EVEN AS WE SPEAK! Does that bother you, Txpiper? Tell me all about it.

  99. txpiper says

    “How…txpiper makes the connections xe does, is quite beyond me”

    Oh no. It was Darwin who put a science-based foundation under inequality. That’s why he subtitled his masterpiece “or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”. He expanded on how a sortof equilibrium would evolve in The Descent of Man. I’ll post it for you if you like, but it is a very unpleasant thing to read.

    ===

    “willfully inaccurate interpretations of evolutionary theory”

    Inaccurate how? I’d think that fans of evolutionary theory would be talking about isolated populations, environmental influences like food and climate, how such things amount to selection pressure, and so on…the standard flack, to account for inequality. You obviously recognize that there is such a thing, since you want to correct it. But scientists will tell you that 99% of all species that ever existed are extinct. It seems to me that, from your point of view, it would be easy to conclude that you’re up against an immense random mutations lottery and relentless natural selection, which doesn’t hesitate to cull the losers in that lottery. I’d be discouraged if I were you.

  100. says

    @ txpiper

    It was Darwin…

    Er, Darwin is not a religious figure, no prophet,no Messiah. That is your own projection. He gave the best interpretation he could of the facts, as they were at the time. His works have undergone a lot of changes and corrections as new facts concerning evolution have emerged. The Theory of Evolution (google the meaning of a scientific theory) itself has evolved as new data has informed its development. This is completely at odds with the way your bible makes, and deals with, claims about reality.

    To my knowledge, Darwin was a person of his times in this regard and, if anything, less jaundiced than most. Whether or not Darwin was a racist is of little consequence, as this has not distorted the science. (While you’re on google, check out “ad hominem” too.)

    Getting back to your previous brainfart:

    [evolution=religion] You have clergy, temples, shrines, chants and icons.

    Really, what the everloving fuck? How do you map that crap to anything real?

    My cats are a fucking religion: They have clergy (teh hoomins, what are feeds teh kittehz), temples (elaborate, overpriced cat climber with tower to call for prayers), shrines (two large kitty litterboxes), chants (Ms Molly starts her loud chants at 5am, while crouching on my chest) and icons (each feeding bowl has got different patterns printed upon – dead symbolic.)

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    t was Darwin who put a science-based foundation under inequality.

    That is your inane presuppositions talking. Why do creationists always pretend Darwin is some type of authority to be bowed down to? Utter and total project to authority on their part.

    Here’s the thing. Darwin amassed evidence from many fields and created a scientific theory from the evidence to date. But, many, many, items were wrong. For instance, he had no idea of genes/DNA, as they came later. But science doesn’t stand still. Since Darwin’s book, a million or so scientific papers back the general theory of evolution, which has progressed since Darwin’s day. We don’t argue from what Darwin said. We argue from what last weeks papers said. Which is why you get nowhere.

    I’d think that fans of evolutionary theory would be talking about isolated populations, environmental influences like food and climate, how such things amount to selection pressure, and so on

    They do. DNA mutations set up the potential for selection. Selection occurs through what you describe. Both mutations and selection is required. You don’t need a selector to have selection occur. That is another inane presupposition you have.

  102. Rey Fox says

    Oh yes, post it. Then tell us about how he married his cousin. We’re hard to shock.

  103. David Marjanović says

    The natural world I live in is one where decomposition, spoilage and decay are the rule, and where accidents do not result in organization.

    What a silly, silly generalization.

    Here, have a look at the Brazil nut effect: gravity can sort things by size.

    Or look what happens when you disturb water with sand/silt in it, or indeed with coarse gravel in it, and then let it stand: geologists call it fining upwards – the heaviest (usually largest) particles settle first. Again gravity can sort things by size, this time the other way around!

    That’s because you’ve been trained, or trained yourself, to view random DNA replication errors as happy, helpful and progressive events. But back on earth, a significant segment of the research community is devoted to dealing with their actual, real, observable consequences….abnormality and disease.

    Your problem is that you believe everything is all-the-way-down good or all-the-way-down bad. That’s simply not how the real world works. Being born without lungs is horrible, right? Not if you’re a salamander that’s small enough and doesn’t have trouble keeping its skin wet. Then it’s an advantage: you didn’t need to grow lungs, you don’t need to maintain them, you can’t get respiratory-tract infections, you can afford having a narrower chest which is great for hiding in crevices and stuff, you don’t need to contract muscles to move air around…

    There are close to five hundred species of lungless salamanders alive today. Most of them, as it happens, live in the USA.

    Better yet, lunglessness evolved at least three times independently among salamanders, and another time in frogs (the Borneo jungle toad lacks lungs) and another in caecilians (this species).

    Anything can be good or bad in different situations. Anything as simple as a mutation can have good, bad, and neutral effects, especially in different situations.

    You have trained yourself to interpret a trend to the worse into the world, because that’s what Genesis says. In reality, there is no trend. Take your polarized sunglasses off, look, and you’ll see.

    For everyone’s sake–this is a serious waste of time.

    I have SIWOTI syndrome.

    what the data actually shows: general stasis of the norm, and continuation of the form.

    …Stable environments exert stabilizing selection. Changing environments exert directional selection. Both of these are observed facts. Stop trying to ignore one – they’re both not going away!

    If you accept evolution (which I do, in terms of adaptation), then you have to reject equality. The progressing mutant variants are always going to outclass the static disadvantaged. Are you suggesting that we should interrupt the progress?

    …Give us examples. On which traits is there currently directional selection in humans?

    “mitigating the effects of global climate change”

    So what is the strategy? Run up fuel costs, starve the common and thereby save mother earth?

    Haven’t you noticed that fossil fuels are becoming more and more expensive? Haven’t you noticed that the big oil & gas companies already resort to tar sands and fracking in their despair? We need an exit strategy anyway. If that exit strategy doesn’t require evacuating Bangladesh, great!

    Like David likes to point out, we have a couple of hundred mutations that our parents didn’t have. The challenge to you would be to show that those are advantageous. If the data supports the idea that we are on an upward trend

    …what utter and complete hogwash.

    Do you still believe there’s progress in evolution!?! Haven’t you noticed that the biologists stopped believing in that crap in the mid-20th century?

    There is no upward trend. There is no trend. Evolution doesn’t go in one direction, it goes in all directions it can!

    Almost all of those 100 to 200 mutations are neutral. That’s an easily observable fact.

    (Besides, how would you even measure which way “up” is? You see, that’s a big part of the reason for why the idea of progress in evolution has been abandoned: progress isn’t measurable, isn’t definable in an objective way.)

    Bizarre? I should think not. The genetically superior mutants will send their enhancements racing through the population, and the inferior enjoy extinction. That is the whole evolutionary show. Granted, finding your particular place in the red of tooth and claw drama may be uncomfortable, but equality at any level, is a sappy fantasy. You have some reconciling to do.

    “Superior” and “inferior” aren’t somehow universally defined. Once again: the same trait can be an advantage, neutral, or a disadvantage under different conditions.

    That’s why the tree of life is a tree and not a pole.

    You have clergy, temples, shrines, chants and icons.

    Do please provide examples of each.

    REAL evolutionary theory, as opposed to the texpip’s deliberately distorted strawmen, informs us that in a continuously changing and unpredictable environment, long term population health depends on diversity.

    Why?

    WHY, O MIGHTY MAKER, WHY?

    Because pretty much any trait is an advantage under some conditions. Inbred lines of domesticated plants and animals, and clonal lines of exclusively vegetatively repoducing domesticated plants like bananas, are prone to extinction because all their members are susceptible to the same pathogens, for example.

    That’s why he subtitled his masterpiece “or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

    Uh, as languages other than English still do, he didn’t restrict “race” to humans. He included breeds and subspecies in that term.

    For instance, he had no idea of genes/DNA, as they came later.

    And indeed, Darwin’s theory of heredity is completely wrong.

  104. Amphiox says

    Inaccurate how?

    I answered this one several posts previously, which we may notice that the texpip, in his usual pitifully intellectually dishonest fashion, has ignored.

    Utterly despicable.

  105. Amphiox says

    Oh no. It was Darwin who put a science-based foundation under inequality. That’s why he subtitled his masterpiece “or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

    And here is one of the oldest most pathetic and already discredited slanders against Darwin ever used. In Darwin’s time the term “races” did not carry connotations pertaining to equality among humans. Those connotations were all added to the term later.

    The texpip should be ashamed to even thinking that saying such a thing is appropriate.

    But of course the texpip has no shame.

  106. Amphiox says

    It seems to me that, from your point of view, it would be easy to conclude that you’re up against an immense random mutations lottery and relentless natural selection, which doesn’t hesitate to cull the losers in that lottery.

    The way things SEEM to you are rather irrelevant, as you know absolutely nothing about the subject except for what you can lie about and distort for your own pitifully dishonest ends.

    It only serves to demonstrate once again how monumentally arrogant and stupid you are to presume to think you are entitled to make declarations on what our “point of view” should or should not be.

    I’d be discouraged if I were you.

    Thankfully, you are NOT us, and we are NOT you. And we are not discouraged.

  107. Amphiox says

    “Superior” and “inferior” aren’t somehow universally defined. Once again: the same trait can be an advantage, neutral, or a disadvantage under different conditions.

    And of course, social equality as a political policy is about those conditions. About creating and modulating those conditions.

    In other words, inasmuch that it pertains to evolutionary theory, it pertains to the part about selection forces. It has little, if anything, to do with mutations and traits in individuals.

    The way the texpip talks about equality it is clear he has no clue whatsoever what that term even means, in the context he’s trying to use it in.

    Not really that surprising, of course.

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just in case anybody wants a scorecard:, # of scientific papers txpiper has refuted with scientific evidence: 0. Amount of scientific papers presented to support any other scientific theory of biology: 0. The amount of sheer ignorance, dishonesty, lies, arrogance, and bullshit from txpiper, ∞. Guess why txpiper makes no headway, nor will he ever, here.

    Now, if txpiper wants to convince scientists of something, he has to play by the rules of science. He needs to forget about criticizing evolution, and present his equivalent scientific theory, with the evidence, which should be as substantial as the million or so papers backing evolution, in the proper venues. Scientific journals. He should always talk on how his theory supports all the evidence better than evolution. But, if he needs a creator/designer, he needs to provide evidence for that creature upfront. Which is the Achilles heel of his presuppositions.

  109. says

    Amphiox (#120), not only is that a cool article, but “Mediocre Poison Eaters” would make a great evil gang for Harry Potter fanfic, don’t you think?
     
    It really is tiresome to see txpiper yet again trot out his incredulity at the idea of a favorable mutation. FOR FUCK’S SAKE it’s not only possible – given a large enough population and enough reproductive events, it’s inevitable.
     
    He really does highlight the tragic waste of brainpower that creationism/ID represents.

  110. Ichthyic says

    He really does highlight the tragic waste of brainpower that creationism/ID represents.

    not really. I’m pretty sure he just trolls here for attention.

  111. Amphiox says

    Amphiox (#120), not only is that a cool article, but “Mediocre Poison Eaters” would make a great evil gang for Harry Potter fanfic, don’t you think?

    And “Texas Piper” would probably make a decent name for an incompetent joke villain.

  112. David Marjanović says

    I know. But your superpowers could be put to better use!

    :-) Not today, no. It’s recreational.

    given a large enough population and enough reproductive events, it’s inevitable.

    And happened 3 times, out of billions, on my petri dish about 11 years ago.

    And “Texas Piper” would probably make a decent name for an incompetent joke villain.

    True.

  113. chigau (違う) says

    txpiper is boring.
    Really, seriously boring.
    And txpiper is a sinner
    Baby Jesus hates txpiper.
    txpiper is going to burn in Hell for all eternity.
    We should all pray for txpiper.

  114. txpiper says

    Excepting the fact that txpiper is a sinner, chigau is thoroughly confused.

  115. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    chigau is thoroughly confused.

    Since you without evidence make this inane claim, *floosh* dismissed as fuckwittery.

    You, on the otherhand, remain thoroughly confused, at sea, in a muddle, etc. That will only be solved by silence….

  116. txpiper says

    “Since you without evidence make this inane claim”

    No, sorry. You might have digested a million peer-reviewed papers full of evolutionary conjecture, but you don’t know motor oil from wild honey about Christian theology. chigau’s comments show that he has had some limited exposure, probably to catholicism, so he naturally doesn’t understand even the basics.

  117. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    You might have digested a million peer-reviewed papers full of evolutionary conjecture, but you don’t know motor oil from wild honey about Christian theology.

    There is no need to know jack shit about any form of theology when it comes to a study based on evidence.

    And you, txpiper, are willing to let un-evidenced shit influence your knowledge of peer reviewed research.

    (Not that this will mean shit to a godbot like you. You will see this as yet an other heathen attack on the grace you recieved from your big sky daddy. Tedious bore.)

  118. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    about Christian theology [bullshit].

    Fixed that for you. The theology you refer to is based on the twin lies of your imaginary deity actually existing, and your babble not being a book of mythology/fiction. And neither presupposition can be shown to be true. So, your theology is based on lies and bullshit, making it even more lies and bullshit. Show otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence, or shut the fuck up.

  119. Amphiox says

    And this from #131 we can add yet another bigotry to the sordid list of things the texpip is a bigot about.

    His prior output already showed him to be a misogynistic, racist, authoritarian bigot.

    Now we know him to be a misogynistic, racist, authoritarian, ANTI-CATHOLIC bigot.

    Godbots like him are always exposed as the most pitiful a d pathetically hypocritical kind if religious bigot. They denigrate all religions and religious sects except their own.

    When the texpip talks about science he exposes himself as an ignorant dishonest lying fool. When he talks about anything else he rapidly exposes himself as a despicable, unethical, immoral human being.

    Note how he is too cowardly, even when pretending to discuss theology, to even try to cite his holy book. He knows that any such citations will merely expose his holy book as a pack of nonsense and himself for the moral degenerate that he is.

  120. txpiper says

    “There is no need to know jack shit about any form of theology when it comes to a study based on evidence.”

    Oh yes. I love this part. Evidence. Go read about the various ideas about the origins of life, and come back and show your evidence. At some point, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have no emperical evidence, no repeatable experiments, at all. You have two things that drive your convictions…what you like, and what you don’t like. Evidence does not influence you.

    ====

    “And, txpiper, you know jack-shit about “catholicism”.”

    Sorry darling, but I’m sure I’ve spent more time in the 3C than you ever will. I read…you live here.

  121. anteprepro says

    You might have digested a million peer-reviewed papers full of evolutionary conjecture, but you don’t know motor oil from wild honey about Christian theology. chigau’s comments show that he has had some limited exposure, probably to catholicism, so he naturally doesn’t understand even the basics.

    The irony of the Courtier’s Reply coming from a persistent, consistently obtuse creationist troll is not lost on me. Extra super bonus irony for playing the “complicated Christian theology” card while implying that Catholicism isn’t Christian.

  122. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Wow! txpiper pulled out “the god of the gaps” argument! I am stumped. And science stopped working.

    “yawn”

  123. anteprepro says

    Go read about the various ideas about the origins of life , and come back and show your evidence.

    Fail. We don’t NEED an explanation for the origins of life. Evolution explains the origins of animal life and the origins of humans. The Big Bang explains the origin of the universe. Gravity explains the origin of our planet and geology gives of us an idea of what has happened since. The universe has a rough timeline and a rough origin. As does our planet. As does animal life. As does human life. We haven’t developed the perfect explanation for the first lifeforms. But we don’t need to in order to rule out creationism as bullshit.

    Go fuck yourself, you unflappable, willfully ignorant, Bible thumping denialist.

  124. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Go read about the various ideas about the origins of life, and come back and show your evidence.

    Presuppositional fuckwit, show us the evidence for your imaginary deity, and that your babble, particularly genesis, isn’t a book of mythology fiction. And if you don’t have the evidence, which everybody here knows you don’t, you should shut the fuck up about your imaginary deity and babble. They are irrelevant phantasms.

  125. chigau (違う) says

    Yeah.
    The bread crumb thing makes more sense than the other 3C stuff that google found.

  126. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Oh yes. I love this part. Evidence. Go read about the various ideas about the origins of life, and come back and show your evidence. At some point, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have no emperical evidence, no repeatable experiments, at all. You have two things that drive your convictions…what you like, and what you don’t like. Evidence does not influence you.

    Ahhh but what we do have is the entirety of human investigation and science in which not a single instance exists where positing a supernatural explanation has ever borne any fruit. Every single successful explanation for how the universe works is a result of a physical, natural, non-theistic, scientifically backed explanations.

    Every single one.

    And because of this there is absolutely no reason we should accept nonsensical supernatural (but I repeat myself) explanations, posited by fools such as yourself, lacking anything that supports them.

    Which is, as history shows us,

    every

    Single

    Fucking time.

  127. Amphiox says

    Go read about the various ideas about the origins of life, and come back and show your evidence. At some point, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have no emperical evidence, no repeatable experiments, at all.

    You have already been presented with MULTIPLE citations, MULTIPLE examples, MULTIPLE empirical results, MULTIPLE repeated experiments, you pitiful piece of lying scum.

    Many on this very thread.

    You continue to IGNORE them all. And you have the nerve to come back yet again a post another blatant falsehood like THAT?

    You are pathetic.

    Here’s another one.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/86/18/7054.short

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

    Here’s yet another.

    http://cshperspectives.cshlp.org/content/4/2/a003566.full.pdf+html

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

  128. Amphiox says

    On the other hand, guess what DOESN’T have ANY empirical evidence and ZERO repeatable experiments, even for the smallest subset of a detail? What isn’t even able to so much as HINT at how to even set up an experiment to try?

    The texpip’s intellectual bankrupt creation/design theory.

    WHY OH MIGHTY MAKER WHY?????

  129. chigau (違う) says

    txpiper
    When I want to know what is up with Roman Catholic Theology, I go to the Vatican website.
    Not some manky Yankee shit.
    and your prissiness is noted
    Your failure to correctly quote me is funny.
    You edited-out the word “the”.

  130. anteprepro says

    Aww. txpiper comes in here to briefly sneer about a tangent within a tangent. Poor thing must be too tuckered out to say anything of merit. There there, txpiper. It’s okay. You can sneer at us about irrelevancies at much greater length as soon as you get some nighty-night.

  131. anteprepro says

    It amazes me that txpiper has avoided getting banned for so long, considering the sheer number of threads it has brought back from the dead in order to shit all over. Considering his severe inability to learn anything, even if the talking points are tweaked ever so slightly. He must be near the critical threshold for insipidity by now. I always catch the tail-end of these arguments, absolutely NEVER dare to read all the exchanges, and still the small amount that I do catch dripping from txpiper’s ignorant gob never fails to be anything but the most pristine and pure of infuriating inanities. The constant unwarranted smugness is the icing on the fucking cake. I wonder how long txpiper will continue to do this dance before the banhammer finally lands?

  132. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    txpiper can you name one single thing that positing a theistic driver or force has successfully explained anything that we know about the universe?

    One that has explanatory power and is repeatable and testable?

  133. Amphiox says

    If one posits that the level of empirical, experimentally repeatable evidence required to deem a theory to be true, as true as it is possible for human beings to know, to be 100, the evidence for evolution at this moment would be something like 99.9995.

    For the various theories of abiogenesis we have out there, it would be somewhere between 30 to 60, depending on the theory.

    For any and all flavors of creator/design theory, it would be -10. Negative because there are multiple, repeatedly observed features of biology that MAKE NO SENSE WHATSOEVER within a creator/designer paradigm.

    So here is the texpip sauntering in trying to make hay over that 40-70 “gap” in our understanding of abiogenesis (when he tries to do it with the 0.0005 for evolution, it is just laughable), all the while blithely ignoring that 110+ chasm into which his deity has fallen and cannot get back up.

    A partially bridged gap is preferable to an uncrossable chasm any day of the week.

  134. vaiyt says

    @txpiper

    At some point, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have no emperical evidence, no repeatable experiments, at all.

    How many years have you spent here repeating the same lies and quote mines with no hint of self-reflection at all?

    You’re asking of scientists a level of evidence that’s way beyond what your own book can offer. Can we repeat any of the “experiments” in your book?
    Let’s put two identical sacrifices to different gods side by side and see if a miracle happens before both rot away.
    Let’s make goats fuck near patterned sticks and see if they’re born with the patterns on their fur.
    Let’s measure the ratio between a circle’s circumference and diameter and see if it’s really 3.
    Let’s see you simulate a worldwide flood that covered everything in at least 17 thousand feet of water.

    Come on. It’s only fair.

  135. says

    I’m a bit confused as to why you went on to stress so much the relative financial downside of being an academic: I’m pretty sure that when Bell says “epistemological right to print money” she’s referring to the privileged position that the scientific establishment enjoys in saying what’s true and what isn’t.

    Usually a new buzzword has more annoying side effects than it has benefits, and I surely this “deficit model” isn’t an exception. It’s easy to imagine how easily it can be used by people who just feel like venting their frustration for not knowing stuff.

    But it is a fact that the academic community often abuses its authoritative intellectual position by overselling reassuring concepts as fundamental near-truths, making them almost dogmatically hard to challenge. A good manifestation of this is the fact that, within the scientific community itself, it is routine for paradigm-changing insights to be subject to ridicule before they are considered in depth and have a chance to demonstrate their actual value.

    In the end, people complaining about this ‘deficit model’ are just a reminder that the academic community is subject to herd behaviour just like any other human community, and often in a particularly extreme way, since, after all, academics deal in fundamental knowledge, which is a pretty sought after commodity.

    So all the nagging about it can be seen as a reaction which is somehow aimed at protecting knowledge itself. Of course, the ‘deficit model moaners’ are a herd in themselves, and I completely get your frustration with them.

    But to be honest, these days I mainly find it reassuring to hear that a critique of dogmatic thinking exists in any shape or form, even if it comes with annoying side-effects.

  136. David Marjanović says

    Note how he is too cowardly, even when pretending to discuss theology, to even try to cite his holy book.

    Oh, that reminds me of Ezekiel 26:21, which the texpip keeps refusing to address.

    *closes book*

    “Word of the living God.”
    “Thanks be to God, the Lord.”

    Go read about the various ideas about the origins of life, and come back and show your evidence. At some point, you are going to have to come to terms with the fact that you have no emp[i]rical evidence, no repeatable experiments, at all.

    Go back to reading, then. Not shouting “IT’S ALIVE!!!” doesn’t make an experiment not repeatable.

    You have two things that drive your convictions…what you like, and what you don’t like.

    Not we, young padawan. Occam’s Razor, that’s who.

    Sorry darling

    Isn’t it curious that you call chigau “darling” just 25 minutes after you learn she’s not a “he”.

    Such a pathetic, predictable attempt at bullying. You’re a fine example of the fact that believing in Christianity doesn’t make people more moral.

    What the fuck is “3C”?

    The Campus Crusade for Cthulhu?

    You’re asking of scientists a level of evidence that’s way beyond what your own book can offer. Can we repeat any of the “experiments” in your book?

    Fun is, the probably oldest description of an experiment is in that book. The hypothesis it tests is which of two gods is real. (…Or perhaps if burnt lime reacting with water can set stuff on fire.)

    the fact that, within the scientific community itself, it is routine for paradigm-changing insights to be subject to ridicule before they are considered in depth and have a chance to demonstrate their actual value

    This is very easy to exaggerate. Do you know the history of the theory called continental drift?

  137. txpiper says

    “can you name one single thing that positing a theistic driver or force has successfully explained anything that we know about the universe?”

    Of course. Purpose. Whatever ideas about origins, gene formation, etc., that you might accept, the problem with them is that wonderfully complex, accidental formations have nothing to do. All biologically dressed up, and nowhere to go.

    Or sexuality, the ultimate in non-parsimony. Or acute sensory systems, where incredibly complex systems accidentally developed to perceive and transduce light, audio signals, touch, taste and smell, and temperature. Or any number of things. That won’t satisfy you, because you’ve authorized accidents to do absolutely anything…no limits or restrictions of any kind. But some of the things “we know about the universe” has to do with statistics and probabilities, and accidental results.

    Your evolutionary outline is an endless collection of very weak, just-right scenarios. Every point is frail and implausible (not to mention touchy). It fails in my view, on just that basis. Beyond that, in real biological activity, where you have countless systems and subsystems instantaneously switching, compensating and interacting with incomprehensible precision, you’re into myriad statistical impossibilies. I realize that this doesn’t bother you at all. But this is where the papers, dealing with one little evolutionary fart at a time, fail. Collectively, they are neither integral or realistic. Evolutionary theory, when you get out of the sandbox of prokaryote adaptations, is like everyone at a poker table getting straight flushes every time the cards are dealt, for as many million years as you want to throw at it.

    But the stuff you are willing to accept about origins. that is altogether worse…ideas as sappy as chickens flying to Saturn. I don’t envy your worldview.

  138. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    “can you name one single thing that positing a theistic driver or force has successfully explained anything that we know about the universe?”

    All explained by science. AND NOT EXPLAINED BY YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY, NO EVIDENCE FOR IT. Your unsupported word is *floosh* dismissed as lies and bullshit, your own fault. You either provide real evidence for your imaginary deity, physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained) origin. Or shut the fuck up. Everything you pointed out has a scientific explanation. Unlike you, who has no scientific explanations.

  139. txpiper says

    Nerd, science is just another flawed, biased, politicized human pursuit. You have to keep in mind, that from your point of view, your brain is composed of billions of neurons, interconnected by trillions of synapses, the accidental provisions of DNA replication errors favored by natural selection. But with all those mutations occurring, you could easily be completely screwed up.

    But what I don’t understand, is why this is important to you. Why do you sit perched to squeal about what somebody else might believe? What is the advantage? Are you happier because of science? You usually seem agitated and miserable. Does it get worse just before the next issue of Science or Nature are realeased?

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why do you sit perched to squeal about what somebody else might believe? What is the advantage? Are you happier because of science? You usually seem agitated and miserable. Does it get worse just before the next issue of Science or Nature are realeased?

    I don’t give a shit what you believe liar and bullshitter. But when you claim special knowledge, and try to con me with that alleged special knowledge, but can’t demonstrate the very basics required, namely your imaginary deity, all you have is nothing but loud bullshit. And your bullshit will be called until you shut the fuck up about it. In other words, you stop proselytizing. You want to discuss SCIENCE, you play by the rules of science. No coy and unspported “goddidit”. Science ignores your phantasm. It explains nothing, and parsimony makes it disappear each and every time.

  141. Amphiox says

    Rail as you will texpip, feeble, dishonest and pathetic as you are.

    Your blithering bleatings do not change the reality that your creationism is a bankrupt idea. Intellectually bereft. Empirically defunct.

    It does NOT explain purpose. It simply posits purpose without offering an explanation.

    It does NOT explain sexuality. It simply posits it without offering an explanation.

    It does NOT explain ANY complex systems of any kind. It simply posits complexity without offering an explanation.

    Creation/Design explains NOTHING. Answers NOTHING. Gives NOTHING. Supports NOTHING. Encourages NOTHING. Promotes NOTHING.

    It is useless. And so is every word you have ever posted here or on any other forum in its support. All useless.

    Useless.

    Whatever phenomenon it brought before it for explanation, it only ever offers one reply: “Just because.”

    It tries to dissemble that explanatory impotence into the phrase “God did it.”

    But there is no functional difference between “God did it” and “Just because.”

    Uselessly.

    Utterly useless.

    The more complex an example you bring up, the better evolution looks in light of it, and the worse creationism does. Because evolution actually EXPLAINS the origin of complexity. Your pitiful, worthless, useless creation/design “theory” cannot explain any degree of complexity whatsoever.

  142. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Nerd, science is just another flawed, biased, politicized human pursuit.

    Science works, O internet-user.

    You have to keep in mind, that from your point of view, [blah]

    Your ontology is weak; that is your point of view about his point of view, not his point of view.

    But what I don’t understand, is [blah]

    That’s the most trivial speck in the vastness of what you don’t understand.

  143. Amphiox says

    Sexuality:

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0169534796810512

    Sight:

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2097245?uid=3739472&uid=2&uid=3737720&uid=4&sid=21102314544857

    You can name phenomenon in your pathetic ignorance until your day of judgement, texpip, and you will not be able to present a SINGLE example of something in biology that evolution will explain better than your bankrupt creationism.

    Because your creationism EXPLAINS NOTHING.

  144. says

    science is just another flawed, biased, politicized human pursuit.

    The thing that sets science apart from other flawed, biased, politicized human pursuits is that it has a self-correcting feedback mechanism built in.

    That’s why science gave us the internet and modern medicine, and religion gave us a lot of bullshit, a lot of violence, and some great art – none of which require religion to accomplish anyway.

  145. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no equivalent to the eternally burning bush from txpiper. Only the hot air that would be generated by said burning bush if it existed. Typical of ignorant godbots who think their word alone is evidence. It isn’t, and never will be. First rule of skepticism. Making their claims all mouth, smoke and mirrors, with no substance.

  146. Amphiox says

  147. Amphiox says

    just another flawed, biased, politicized human pursuit.

    An excellent description of creation/design theory. And the reason it is now defunct, discarded into the dustbin of history where it so richly deserves to belong.

    Because it was put to the test, and it failed. IT DID NOT WORK.

    Creation/design explains NOTHING.

  148. Amphiox says

    Isn’t it curious that you call chigau “darling” just 25 minutes after you learn she’s not a “he”.

    Such a pathetic, predictable attempt at bullying. You’re a fine example of the fact that believing in Christianity doesn’t make people more moral.

    It was a thread back in 2009, I think, where the texpip exposed itself as a misogynistic piece of excrement.

  149. Amphiox says

    Incidentally, Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contradict each other regarding the creation of human sexuality.

    The texpip’s creationism falsifies itself on its second paragraph.

  150. Lofty says

    Tex’s theological explanation of the universe is like the Cheshire Cat, all you can see is the sneer.

  151. consciousness razor says

    “can you name one single thing that positing a theistic driver or force has successfully explained anything that we know about the universe?”

    Of course. Purpose. Whatever ideas about origins, gene formation, etc., that you might accept, the problem with them is that wonderfully complex, accidental formations have nothing to do. All biologically dressed up, and nowhere to go.

    Yet on they go, because time goes and there is space for them to travel. You presuppose that there needs to be some “purpose,” that someone had to want it in order to accomplish something, but there is simply no need for anything like that.

    You may as well have said, “Of course. The problem is that, despite explaining all kinds of things, your explanations don’t have God anywhere in them. They’re just not magical enough.”

    Well, alright then. Big deal. Maybe it upsets or confuses you or shows you why your god-beliefs are wrong, but that’s not a scientific problem.

    Does it matter at all to you that quantum mechanics or chaotic inflation or stellar evolution or climate science — or take your pick of a non-biological subject which involves “complexity” in some sense — does it matter that they don’t involve purposes? Judging by your comments over an extended period of time, you don’t seem to care much at all about that sort of thing, just biology. If that’s fairly accurate, why do you think that is the case?

    Do you think that, as biological organisms, if we’ve got intelligence (and can make purposes), then somehow or another intelligence (and purpose!) must go all the way down to the dumb stuff we’re made of and the dumb processes which make it all happen? Why would any of that need any purpose at all?

  152. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Isn’t it curious that you call chigau “darling” just 25 minutes after you learn she’s not a “he”.

    Such a pathetic, predictable attempt at bullying. You’re a fine example of the fact that believing in Christianity doesn’t make people more moral.

    It was a thread back in 2009, I think, where the texpip exposed itself as a misogynistic piece of excrement.

    Tell me again why anyone responds at all to this morally-depraved pig, txpiper?

  153. Ichthyic says

    That won’t satisfy you, because you’ve authorized accidents to do absolutely anything

    what the buggering fuk?

    why are people bothering with this guy? Has he EVER been worth discussing ANYTHING with?

  154. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Ichthyic,

    why are people bothering with this guy?

    Welcome to Pharyngula!

    (Teeth and coats!)

    Really, he’s an under-utilised resource; I encourage any would-be delurkers or novice commenters to snine and shine on the monotonous piper.

    (Kobolds are the easiest!)

  155. anteprepro says

    Evolutionary theory, when you get out of the sandbox of prokaryote adaptations, is like everyone at a poker table getting straight flushes every time the cards are dealt, for as many million years as you want to throw at it.

    txpiper still incredulous because he doesn’t want to bother comprehending how natural selection fits into all of this.

    “Random random random, it’s all random, how stupid you all for imagining that it is all random, how could it all be random, I can’t understand how it could be random”.

    Fucking creationists and their glitches.

    Nerd, science is just another flawed, biased, politicized human pursuit.

    Flawed and biased, yet superior in justification and results to any other methodology. The fact that you dare to play that card when defending religious ideas is just laughable. As is playing the “politicized” card. The only people politicizing science are the people who deny scientific facts in order to continue believing in personally comforting or politically expedient bullshit.

    You have to keep in mind, that from your point of view, your brain is composed of billions of neurons, interconnected by trillions of synapses, the accidental provisions of DNA replication errors favored by natural selection. But with all those mutations occurring, you could easily be completely screwed up.

    Keep in mind, from your point of view, that your brain has absolutely nothing to do with your mind. So why not just finally see how far you can stick your Holy Swords up your nose? What’s the harm, right? Believe you me, it would make little to no difference on our end of the computer screen.

  156. consciousness razor says

    Keep in mind, from your point of view, that your brain has absolutely nothing to do with your mind. So why not just finally see how far you can stick your Holy Swords up your nose? What’s the harm, right? Believe you me, it would make little to no difference on our end of the computer screen.

    It would disrupt the “transmission” between his soul and his body, obviously. Depending on the area of the brain that was injured, the soul might not get visual information, for example, or his brain might stop functioning altogether so that his body dies. Then what happens? Well, maybe then his soul gets visual information anyway so that he has a near-death experience, when doctors with their (totally wrong and useless) biological witchcraft bring him back to life and away from god. Like a zombie. And we know how much Christians hate zombies.

  157. says

    In my experience, the ability to maintain that attitude turns out to depend a lot on your particular students.

    yup.
    and i say that not as a teacher, but as someone who was stuck in team-projrcts/labs with the kind of student that makes you want to despair for humanity :-p

    I’m not sure I completely understand what is meant by a “deficit model,” but it sounds like it may be a warning against the kind of scientist (like Peter Venkman) who justifies his every action with, “Back off man, I’m a scientist.”

    or people like Stangroom, who thinks people can’t have expertise on their own experience because they have no training in the social sciences, and therefore the “stfu and listen” model is false.

    But its radical form which in essence considers all scientific facts to be purely social constructs (on the basis of technological examples that have little to do with science) is spectacularly dumb.

    I wonder if you think the following perspective on scientific fact is “spectacularly dumb”:

    [Model-dependent realism] is based on the idea that our brains interpret the input from our sensory organs by making a model of the world. When such a model is successful at explaining events, we tend to attribute to it, and to the elements and concepts that constitute it, the quality of reality or absolute truth. There is no picture- or theory-independent concept of reality. Instead we will adopt a view that we will call model-dependent realism: the idea that a physical theory or world picture is a model (generally of a mathematical nature) and a set of rules that connect the elements of the model to observations. This provides a framework with which to interpret modern science. According to model-dependent realism, it is pointless to ask whether a model is real, only whether it agrees with observation. If there are two models that both agree with observation … then one cannot say that one is more real than another.

  158. consciousness razor says

    I wonder if you think the following perspective on scientific fact is “spectacularly dumb”

    Heh. Knowing the source, I do want to point out that the perspective offered on the first page, that “philosophy is dead,” makes for a spectacular contradiction.

  159. says

    Knowing the source, I do want to point out that the perspective offered on the first page, that “philosophy is dead,” makes for a spectacular contradiction.

    true

  160. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Of course. Purpose. Whatever ideas about origins, gene formation, etc., that you might accept, the problem with them is that wonderfully complex, accidental formations have nothing to do. All biologically dressed up, and nowhere to go.

    Sorry. You fail.
    Religion asserts you have a purpose, that is all. It does not meet the guidelines of my question. It has no explanatory power that lets us know for sure that there is purpose it only asserts it.

    r sexuality, the ultimate in non-parsimony.

    Now you’re just babbling.

    Or acute sensory systems, where incredibly complex systems accidentally developed to perceive and transduce light, audio signals, touch, taste and smell, and temperature. Or any number of things.

    No those are all assertions backed by nothing but emotional attachment to creed. That is all. There is nothing positing a theistic driver in these that actually explains with these things.

    All it does is allows the nonthinker (you) to give up actually discovering things. It’s the lazy persons way to “know” the world.

  161. ChasCPeterson says

    acute sensory systems, where incredibly complex systems accidentally developed to perceive and transduce light, audio signals, touch, taste and smell, and temperature.

    do you have a clue about the mechanisms for any of these sensory tranduction systems?
    Of course you don’t; you think they’re examples of inexplicable wonders that must be miracles because no way they could evolve by accident!!11
    In fact, the predicted signatures of evolution are all over those mechanisms: variations (diversity) on a central theme (unity), re-use of parts, clear evidence of gene duplication and divergence, pseudogenes, counterintuitive kludges and downright stupid ‘design’, adaptation to local environments, obvious environmental selection presures and superplausible reproductive benefits, jeez. It’s like you couldn’t have possibly picked a worse example.
    (well, maybe sexuality…)

    free advice:
    Admit that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
    Then think about whether or not ought to keep talking.

  162. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Jesus my 187 is full of typos. Must, not, post running between meetings.

  163. David Marjanović says

    Tyre, motherfucker. Can you find it!

    Evolutionary theory, when you get out of the sandbox of prokaryote adaptations, is like everyone at a poker table getting straight flushes every time the cards are dealt, for as many million years as you want to throw at it.

    You have clearly never tried to imagine how many times per second the cards are dealt.

    And when a straight flush is dealt, it reproduces. That’s called natural selection.

    “can you name one single thing that positing a theistic driver or force has successfully explained anything that we know about the universe?”

    Of course. Purpose. Whatever ideas about origins, gene formation, etc., that you might accept, the problem with them is that wonderfully complex, accidental formations have nothing to do. All biologically dressed up, and nowhere to go.

    *blink* What? Purpose? What makes you think such a thing even exists? Shit happens because it can.

    Or sexuality, the ultimate in non-parsimony.

    Prevents transposable elements (retroviruses and their decaying corpses, look them up) from completely taking over.

    The bdelloid rotifers somehow managed to get rid of most or all transposable elements. That freed them to ditch masculinity, which they seem to have done some 40 million years ago. They’ve been happily parthenogenetic ever since, laying diploid eggs.

    Or acute sensory systems, where incredibly complex systems accidentally developed to perceive and transduce light, audio signals, touch, taste and smell, and temperature.

    I fail to see why you’re so impressed. Maybe you should learn the biochemistry of how such receptors actually work?

    Or any number of things.

    Keep handwaving, that’s sure to convince us.

    That won’t satisfy you, because you’ve authorized accidents to do absolutely anything…no limits or restrictions of any kind. But some of the things “we know about the universe” has to do with statistics and probabilities, and accidental results.

    Funny, then, that you’ve never even tried to put any numbers to any probabilities.

    with incomprehensible precision

    What nonsense! It’s all crude and stochastic when you look at it closely enough.

    Nerd, science is just another flawed, biased, politicized human pursuit.

    Unlike all the other flawed, biased, politicized human pursuits (such as religion for example), it has an inbuilt mechanism to correct itself.

    Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried…

    You have to keep in mind, that from your point of view, your brain is composed of billions of neurons, interconnected by trillions of synapses, the accidental provisions of DNA replication errors favored by natural selection. But with all those mutations occurring, you could easily be completely screwed up.

    Oooooh, epistemology.

    Evolutionary epistemology.

    Our senses, and our ability to interpret their output, are good enough that we haven’t died out. This means they represent reality pretty well.

    In one fell swoop, it also explains the limits of these organs. We aren’t simply good at recognizing patterns, but our algorithm for this is overactive, it keeps interpreting patterns into things or situations that lack them. Why? Well, those who failed to resolve the leopard in the nearest bush have all already been eaten; those who ran from a leopard that wasn’t there have lived to see another day and reproduce.

    But what I don’t understand, is why this is important to you. Why do you sit perched to squeal about what somebody else might believe? What is the advantage?

    In a democracy, the voters need to know what they’re doing.

    Are you happier because of science?

    Yes, I have a computer. Please find an even more stupid question so I can alert the Guinness Book of Records.

    It does NOT explain sexuality. It simply posits it without offering an explanation.

    By positing that the eternal, uncreated creator is male, it claims that sexuality has always existed! If that’s not the worst possible excuse for not having an explanation, I don’t know what is!

    Tell me again why anyone responds at all to this morally-depraved pig, txpiper?

    …I’ve encountered this mindset before, but I don’t understand it. You see, I don’t need to be on friendly terms with people in order to be able to talk to them. ~:-|

    Has he EVER been worth discussing ANYTHING with?

    What do you mean by “worth”? He’s wrong.

    Really, he’s an under-utilised resource;

    Heh. :-)

    If there are two models that both agree with observation … then one cannot say that one is more real than another.

    Unless, of course, one is willing to resort to Ockham’s Razor.

    counterintuitive kludges and downright stupid ‘design’

    We’ve been over inside-out vertebrate eyes several times, right?

  164. David Marjanović says

    Hey, texpip, why are vertebrate ears so much worse than insect ears? Insects need only one ear to find out where a sound is coming from. Vertebrates need two, because our ears are fucking barometers, and that system can be fooled (as you have experienced if you’ve ever tried to find a cricket or a cicada). What gives?

  165. txpiper says

    “do you have a clue about the mechanisms for any of these sensory tranduction systems?
    Of course you don’t..”

    Actually I do know enough to ask reasonable questions. Understanding the mechanisms is not the same thing as understanding how they supposedly evolved. The standard evolutionary explanation is expressed here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

    So that behind us, perhaps you can explain how the actual evolution part works. Let’s take just one support system.

    There are three types of tears coming from three different sources that make up the tear film in human eyes. It is a delicately balanced system. You would contend that random mutations are responsible for each type of tear, each source and the regulatory mechanism for each one. So how would this actually happen? You don’t have to explain what is there, or how what is there works. I’ll assume you are an expert. What I’m interested in hearing about is the DNA replication errors that produced each system.

  166. Ichthyic says

    Actually I do know enough to ask reasonable questions.

    Dunning.

    Kruger.

    you are it.

  167. Ichthyic says

    Really, he’s an under-utilised resource; I encourage any would-be delurkers or novice commenters to snine and shine on the monotonous piper.

    bullshit. I’ve been here way longer than you. This guy is NOT a resource, he’s a fucking scratching post.

    if you want, slap him in irons in thunderdome, but he’s a ridiculous distraction anywhere else.

  168. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Actually I do know enough to ask reasonable questions.

    No you don’t. You’re nothing but a presuppositionalist.

    perhaps you can explain how the actual evolution part works.

    Considering we have done that for years, and you still can’t understand the concept I picked up as a teenager reading Isaac Asimov’s Wellsprings of Life, there is no hope for you. You inability to understand is a result of your delusional belief in imaginary deities. End of story. You can’t show or demonstrate any evidence your imaginary deity isn’t imaginary. Tsk, tsk, a major failing for a proselytizer….

    t is a delicately balanced system.

    Nope, it is a cludged system, and barely works, typical of evolved systems. Still no evidence for you imaginary deity. But a whole hell of a lot of evidence for your delusions.

    What I’m interested in hearing about is the DNA replication errors that produced each system.

    Who the shit gives a fuck about showing evidence to you. YOU EITHER PRODUCE EVIDENCE FOR YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY, OR YOU HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE TO OFFER TO EVOLUTION….

  169. txpiper says

    Nerd, I hate to nitpick, but wouldn’t “who the eff gives a sh!t” be more proper?

  170. John Morales says

    [meta]

    This guy is NOT a resource, he’s a fucking scratching post.

    Same contention, different phrasing.

    txpiper:

    Actually I do know enough to ask reasonable questions.

    An assertion contrary to the evidence at hand; to wit:

    The standard evolutionary explanation is expressed here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

    So that behind us, perhaps you can explain how the actual evolution part works.

    See, you don’t even get how “Leaving aside the explanation of how it works, perhaps someone can explain how it works” is not a reasonable question.

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, I hate to nitpick, but wouldn’t “who the eff gives a sh!t” be more proper?

    Who gives a shit what a fuckwit who thinks trashing evolution is proving his presuppositions has to say? You can only prove creationism by proving your imaginary deity exists. Until then, there is nothing whatsoever to supplant evolution. There is no other SCIENTIFIC theory. Mentioning your phantasm is just a presupposed fuckwitted religious idea going nowhere. Science has evidence, you have nothing but your delusions….Shutting the fuck up is the only rational course you have, and you know that.

  172. txpiper says

    But see, that’s the problem John. You guys only want to operate at the level expressed the link I posted; an easy and comfortable overview. Does zoologist Dan-Erik Nilsson actually demonstrate how the complex human eye could have evolved through natural selection acting on small variations, or does he just spoon-feed you with noise that makes you happy?

  173. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You guys only want to operate at the level expressed the link I posted; an easy and comfortable overview.

    As do you hypocrite. You dont’ want to have to show solid and conclusive phsyical evidence for your imaginary deity. You know there isn’t any. So all you can do is lie and bullshit about evolution rather than showing us with scientific evidence you are right. Why aren’t you really doing science? That’s right, THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY OR CREATIONSIM….

  174. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Does zoologist Dan-Erik Nilsson actually demonstrate how the complex human eye could have evolved through natural selection acting on small variations, or does he just spoon-feed you with noise that makes you happy?

    Yes, piper, most of us accept the validity of the theory of evolution because it makes us happy. Just like most of us accept the validity of the theory of gravity because falling objects makes us happy.

    You really are a willfully silly little person, piper.

  175. Ichthyic says

    You guys only want to operate at the level expressed the link I posted; an easy and comfortable overview.

    because nobody else will bother:

    this is classic projection on your part.

    it’s also a flat out lie.

  176. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Does zoologist Dan-Erik Nilsson actually demonstrate how the complex human eye could have evolved through natural selection acting on small variations, or does he just spoon-feed you with noise that makes you happy?

    I don’t know; I’ve not read the specific article to which you linked*.

    (But it’s historical fact that whenever you’ve link to a scientific study, its thesis supports evolution and contradicts your position)

    * And I’m as close to certain as can be that you have not, either.

    (Try to prove me wrong by adumbrating his case! ;) )

    You contend that he’s somehow wrong or doesn’t make his case? If so, then the onus is on you to demonstrate your contention’s warrant.

  177. consciousness razor says

    You guys only want to operate at the level expressed the link I posted; an easy and comfortable overview.

    because nobody else will bother:

    this is classic projection on your part.

    it’s also a flat out lie.

    Indeed. Show us some math, txpiper, which gives a clear and direct argument about why evolution’s wrong. Don’t just talk about “complexity” and toss a few numbers into your fuzzy arguments either. I mean actually show how the theory does not explain what happens in reality.

    Or just change the subject again and again. That works too.

  178. chigau (違う) says

    txpiper
    I’m still going to pray for you.
    Even though you’re a Protestant Heretic.

  179. Amphiox says

    Understanding the mechanisms is not the same thing as understanding how they supposedly evolved.

    Sadly for you, texpip, your creationism fails utterly to explain even the mechanism.

    Evolution wins again.

    There are three types of tears coming from three different sources that make up the tear film in human eyes. It is a delicately balanced system.

    Sadly for you, texpip, your creationism only ever recognized just one type of tear, and failed utterly to explain where even that one type came from.

    Evolution wins again.

    the complex human eye

    The more complex it is, the bigger the advantage evolution has over your creationism, texpip, because your creationism fails utterly to explain complexity AT ALL.

    Thunderdome would indeed be a fitting fate for the pitiful, forlorn liar that is the texpip.

  180. Amphiox says

    Speaking of the eye, evolution theory successfully explains the existence of chromatic aberration in the vertebrate eye. The texpip’s creationism failed to even notice that chromatic aberration even existed.

    Evolution wins again.

  181. Amphiox says

    The texpip’s creationism utterly fails to explain why trilobytes and brittle stars use calcite crystals for lenses in their eyes, while vertebrates use crystalline proteins in aqueous solution to make the lenses of their eyes. Evolution does so easily.

    The texpip’s creationism utterly fails to explain why insects have compound eyes while vertebrates have camera-type eyes. Evolution does so easily.

    The texpip’s creationism utterly fails to explain why the photoreceptors in cephalopod eyes derive from skin while the photoreceptors in vertebrate eyes derive from brain. Evolution does so easily.

    The texpip’s creationism utterly fails to explain why the crystallin proteins in vertebrate eyes are not specialized proteins at all, but versions of METABOLIC ENZYMES. Evolution does so easily.

    The texpip’s creationism utterly fails to explain why the nautilus has a pinhole camera eye even though a lensed camera eye would have been massively superior in the nautilus’ environment. Evolution does so easily.

    The texpip’s creationism utterly fails to explain why some animals use rhabdomeric-type photoreceptors while others use ciliary-type photoreceptors for exactly the same kinds of jobs in their eyes. Evolution does so easily.

    When it comes to the eye, the texpip’s creationism explains absolutely NOTHING.

    WHY OH MIGHTY MAKER WHY????

  182. txpiper says

    Well shoot. I thought I would come home and read what ChasCPeterson would have to say about how tear proteins and delivery mechanisms coincidentally arose by way of random DNA replication errors. Imagine my shock and disappointment when it wasn’t there.

    I was hoping for something like Mark Isaak’s interesting outline on TalkOrigins about how bombardier beetles could have developed their peculiar talent, which he accomplished without mentioning mutations. But actually, that’s how evolution does it so easily.

  183. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Well shoot. I thought I would come home and read what ChasCPeterson would have to say about how tear proteins and delivery mechanisms coincidentally arose by way of random DNA replication errors. Imagine my shock and disappointment when it wasn’t there.

    Whereas you need to show conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. And I am not shocked that it never, ever happens. As it can’t. Your deity/creator?/designer doesn’t exist. You are too stupid, stubborn, and dishonest to admit that fact.

    I was hoping for something like Mark Isaak’s interesting outline on TalkOrigins about how bombardier beetles could have developed their peculiar talent, which he accomplished without mentioning mutations. But actually, that’s how evolution does it so easily.

    Gee, it all involves mutations. You are a mutant yourself. Think about that while you shut the fuck up permanently, after getting a case of honesty and integrity. Nah, your dishonesty goes all the way down….

  184. says

    Well shoot, I keep waiting for txpiper to present ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that actually points to a supernatural cause for life, the universe, and, well, anything really. So far, zip. Zero. Nada. Imagine my surprise when he once again pretends that it’s not him that once again utterly failed to back up their claims.

  185. says

    @ chigau

    I’m tired of txpiper.

    I was thinking about placing the txpiper on the mantlepiece in the Thunderdome. After a thorough cleaning with the wire brush and Dettol® of course.

    But on the other hand, xe would clash with the drapes.

  186. chigau (違う) says

    theophontes
    txpiper is no danielhaven.
    More like a rajkumar.
    [We have drapes?]

  187. David Marjanović says

    The standard evolutionary explanation is expressed here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

    That’s only about eyes, and it’s very short.

    What I’m interested in hearing about is the DNA replication errors that produced each system.

    What makes you think that has been researched? Go ahead, sequence these genes from a bunch of tetrapods, try to find homologues in lungfish and coelacanths and actinopterygians, and then we can talk.

    But see, that’s the problem John. You guys only want to operate at the level expressed the link I posted; an easy and comfortable overview.

    …What the fuck.

    No, we’re simply too lazy to retype textbooks and reams of primary literature for you. Much more detailed explanations than the one you posted exist. Look them up already!!! Stop expecting us to do your homework.

    http://www.ijdb.ehu.es/web/paper.php?doi=14756332

    A bit old, but no doubt a good overview! The main conclusion, “that the retinal ganglion, amacrine and horizontal cells are evolutionary sister cell types that evolved from a common rhabdomeric photoreceptor cell precursor”, is now textbook wisdom.

    Finally, txpiper: Tyrus. You know where it is. Admit it.

  188. Amphiox says

    I thought I would come home and read what ChasCPeterson would have to say about how tear proteins and delivery mechanisms coincidentally arose by way of random DNA replication errors. Imagine my shock and disappointment when it wasn’t there.

    Blither as you will, texpip, poorly forlorn, out in the wilderness at the edge of current understanding, casting about for mysteries to lie about.

    The very map that brought you there in the first place was written by the theories of evolution and abiogenesis. It is glued to your dishonest hands like a Mark of Cain, no matter how you try to deny its existence.

    Meanwhile your creationism offers naught but a blank sheet.

    Snicker if you wish where evolution and abiogenesis currently remain incomplete. Your creationism in those same places is utterly empty.

    Where evolution and abiogenesis provides a nearly complete answer, your creationism provides nothing.

    Where evolution and abiogenesis provides a partial, if incomplete answer, your creationism provides nothing.

    Where evolution and abiogenesis just provides a roadmap towards finding answers which are not yet known, your creationism STILL provides nothing.

    You have not provided a single example of ANYTHING that your creationism explains better than evolution and abiogenesis.

    And you will not. Because your creationism is USELESS and explains NOTHING.

    Evolution and abiogenesis have provided us with thousands and thousands of vessels in which to hold the waters of knowledge. Some a full to the brim. Others half-full. Some have but a few drops within them.

    Against this your creationism provides nothing but a wet carpet.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/20/5/805.short

  189. ChasCPeterson says

    Well shoot. I thought I would come home and read what ChasCPeterson would have to say about how tear proteins and delivery mechanisms coincidentally arose by way of random DNA replication errors.

    sorry to disappoint you, man; I haven’t been over here on this thread you’re trolling for a while. What is it you asked of me?

    There are three types of tears coming from three different sources that make up the tear film in human eyes. It is a delicately balanced system. You would contend that random mutations are responsible for each type of tear, each source and the regulatory mechanism for each one. So how would this actually happen? You don’t have to explain what is there, or how what is there works. I’ll assume you are an expert. What I’m interested in hearing about is the DNA replication errors that produced each system.

    You’re asking me to speculate? Because I am no expert (I do know that ‘sensory transduction systems’ doesn;t include tear-glands, but OK). Lysozyme is easy enough to guess at; it’s already expressed in saliva and probably the digestive system, so a genetic change in a developmental switch gene is plausible enough. What else is in tears? A surfactant? I’ll predict it’s very similar to pulmonary surfactant and so another developmental switch and/or gene duplication is sufficient as a hypothesis. As far as i know, the only other components of tears are salt and water. It’s easy enough to see why it’s important to keep our unprotected eye-surfaces moist, and the only way to secrete water is to drive epithelial transport by pumping salt. Every cell in the body expresses the protein components of that system (namely Na-K-ATPase and aquaporins).
    I’d also predict that all of the components in human tear-secretion systems are found in all other mammals, and probably freakin frogs and maybe lungfish.

    But of course neither I nor anybody else knowshen. tly what mutations occured in which alleles when. With a lot of money thrown at the study of that particular question, though, these days we could figure it out.

  190. ChasCPeterson says

    last sentence should read: “neither I nor anybody else knows when exactly which mutations occurred in which alleles of which population of which common ancestors.”

    As for regulatory mechanisms and exocrine ducts, these are re-usable parts the origin of which probaby predate the urbilaterian. That’s why I asked you about the mechanisms of the sensory systems you were wow-weeing at, because at that level–much closer to the one=gene-one-protein level of the molecular-genetic explanation you are disingenuously asking me for–it’s obvious that long-existing developmental programs and specialized proteins are simply re-used again and again, a general toolkit for lots of specialized recipes, to mix metaphors.

  191. ChasCPeterson says

    wait, you’re talking about this?
    So we’ve got a modified sebaceous gland, conjunctival goblet cells, and the lacrimal gland itself?
    Sebaceous glands are associated with all of your hair follicles. Goblet cells are everywhere in the respiratory and digestive epithelia. Again, the secretory mechanisms of the lacrimal gland and even its protein component are nothing particularly unusual or special.

    But I don’t know why I’m arguing with your personal incredulity.

  192. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Since it’s about time for txpiper to post his nightly fuckwittery, :
    *holds up sealed envelope ala Carnac the Magnificent*

    “Who won’t present real scientific evidence, not his OPINION, against evolution, won’t show his imaginary creator really exists, or acknowledge they are nothing but liars and bullshitters?”

    *tears open enevelop and blows to open the pocket, draws out paper, opens paper*

    “Txpiper, the presuppositionalist loser”.

  193. txpiper says

    “nothing particularly unusual or special”

    Tears contain hundreds of proteins. In addition to lubricating the eye, they provide nutrients to the outside surface of the cornea.

    What I would be interested in hearing is how such a complex system, actually systems, could develop in tandem with each other, along with the eye at large, and many other systems, on a random basis as the result of altered proteins that resulted from rare DNA replication errors? Actually I’d be interested in hearing why you would believe that this could happen at all. I am comfortable with my incredulity in thinking that it could not. What makes you think it could?

  194. Ichthyic says

    Tears contain hundreds of proteins.

    so does any specific body part you can name, except perhaps teeth, which only contain dozens.

    OTOH, I rather think your brain is likely suffering from a dearth of not just proteins.

    What I would be interested in hearing

    liar.

  195. Amphiox says

    What I would be interested in hearing is how such a complex system, actually systems, could develop in tandem with each other

    If you are so interested in the subject then go and do the research yourself. Of course if you did that you would find that your creationism offers you zero guidance as to where to begin, and your only chance for progress would be to apply the theory of evolution to the problem. Because your creationism is useless at helping solve problems or generate new knowledge.

    But of course you’re not really interested in the subject at all. You just want to use it as an intellectually dishonest talking point.

    Of course the observed fact that tear glands, sweat glands, mammary glands, hair follicles, teeth, and all the other dermal appendages of vertebrates, are homologous structures that share structural affinities despite their manifestly different functions is just another feature of biology that your creationism fails utterly to explain, but which evolution explains easily.

  196. txpiper says

    amphiox, you know the names of the scientists who founded the disciplines, and you know they were creationists. They recognized that science is about trying to understand what is there, and how it works. It is the height of folly to wander off into an abyss of willful ignorance believing that anything living could ever come from anything that was not living. You might just as well be hanging in there trying to turn less noble metals into gold.

  197. Amphiox says

    Rail as you will, texpip, in your sad and pitiful way, about the complexity of things.

    Because evolution explains biological complexity at its most fundamental level, such that one basic mechanism applies to all examples, and it is only the details that differ and need to be worked out.

    Whereas your creationism cannot explain complexity in any way whatsoever.

    Every example you provide is just one more example where evolution provides a better explanation than your creationism.

    Please proceed, texpip. Please proceed.

  198. Amphiox says

    It would also appear that tears is just another one of the standard creationist “ooooh, it’s so complicamacated” talking points, which was featured in Answers in Genesis in January of this year.

    The poor texpip can’t even come up with original questions, it seems.

  199. Ichthyic says

    you know the names of the scientists who founded the disciplines, and you know they were creationists.

    Did you know at one time your ancestor lived in the sea?

    no shit.

    …and just about as relevant.

  200. Amphiox says

    You might just as well be hanging in there trying to turn less noble metals into gold.

    As it turns out, science (not biology of course) DOES show us how to turn “less noble” metals into gold.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova_nucleosynthesis

    Yet ANOTHER thing your creationism fails utterly at explaining, when compared to real science.

    Thanks for conceding defeat yet again, texpip.

  201. Amphiox says

    you know the names of the scientists who founded the disciplines, and you know they were creationists.

    And ALL of them found that their creationism was USELESS when applied to their scientific work, and NONE of them used creationism in any of their work.

    A more thorough testimony to the impotence and uselessness of your creationism, texpip, I could not have thought up myself.

    Thank you for again conceding the argument.

    Of course, the founders of all the disciplines have all been long surpassed.

    Because science GROWS.

    While your useless creationism stagnates.

  202. txpiper says

    “evolution explains biological complexity at its most fundamental level”

    It absolutely does no such thing. It only nips at the extreme fringes on its best day. The only place that accidents can produce complexity is in the human mind. It happens when objectivity and rational thought are replaced with religious commitments. Good grief….take a cold look at the horse shit you salute in order to keep the commitment. I don’t see how you can stand it.

  203. Lofty says

    txpiper

    Good grief….take a cold look at the horse shit you salute

    Priceless! You’ll make a 3rd rate comedian yet.

  204. John Morales says

    Ichthyic, indeed. Naked trolling is trolling and it’s naked.

    Not even a pretence, now.

  205. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am comfortable with my incredulity in thinking that it could not.

    Of course, you are a presuppositionalist who can’t prove their imaginary deity exists. Loser territory. Not somebody who is seriously discussing the science. Science uses established well supported things to be the “null hypothesis”. You want to refute the null hypothesis, you either provide the evidence to do so, or you shut the fuck up about it. Your OPINION is not evidence, never was, never will be. Take it to the scientific literature, or shut the fuck up. If you can’t/won’t put up, and can’t shut up, you are in lying and bullshitting territory. Which is where the statement I quoted puts you. Show us you aren’t a liar and bullshitter by either backing up your skepticism is real science, or shutting the fuck up.

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Are discriminating replication enzymes thinking?

    Non-sequitur. Prove otherwise with EVIDENCE. YOUR OPINION IS *FLOOSH* SEWAGE TO BE TREATED AS SUCH.

  207. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no evidence for Txpipers imaginary deity. What a feeble deity it is if it won’t give conclusive evidence that it exists. And what delusional fools believe in such phantasms….

  208. chigau (違う) says

    txpiper
    enzymes…cute
    I’m not an American so I get my information about Catholicism from the Vatican.

  209. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Carnac was 100% on. Nothing but OPINION from a presuppositionalist, who can’t prove their imaginary deity exists. Same prophecy for each day txpiper, the proselytizer isn’t banhammered.

  210. says

    Two things:

    Txpiper: you’re an idiot. Stop blaring it in every thread you join. Complexity is a subject with a known mathematical foundation, and no, human minds are not particularly good at producing it. When your basic beliefs are so contrary to the facts, and when you assert them without recognition of their baselessness, you aren’t improving understanding. I’ll also point out that the productions of your mind are so petty and trivial that I’d just look at you as a lovely counterfactual to your claim that the mind produces complexity.

    Nerd of Redhead: I will point out to you that my rules mention that one of the cardinal sins here is boring me. Repeating your statement that something is just opinion, evidence is required, may be true, but repetition without nuance and without explanation is tedious…and really, I’ve heard enough “floosh” already. Try to be more didactic and less repetitious, please.

  211. vaiyt says

    The only place that accidents can produce complexity is in the human mind. It happens when objectivity and rational thought are replaced with religious commitments.

    Projection is also not a river in Egypt.

  212. Ichthyic says

    you know the names of the scientists who founded the disciplines, and you know they were creationists.

    Darwin was a creationist when he left on his voyage aboard the Beagle. In his admitted ignorance, he really believed he would find evidence for divine creation on his travels.

    Instead, the evidence lead him OUT of ignorance and to a wholly different conclusion.

    He died an atheist.

    Here you see, in one person and a single lifetime, exactly what is wrong with your point, oh spewer of crap.

  213. txpiper says

    Professor Myers,

    “When your basic beliefs are so contrary to the facts, and when you assert them without recognition of their baselessness, you aren’t improving understanding.”

    Thank you for your comments. What I try to point out is without reference to my basic beliefs. I don’t often bring up what I believe. I could be an agnostic fan of panspermia, and the questions would be the same. I still, without apologizing for it, assert that evolutionary theory rests on the idea that extremely unlikely errors can result in hyper-complex, interdependent, integrated and purposeful systems. I don’t think it is unscientific to question the rationale behind that conviction. I would ask you, in regards to your cephalopod post today, how mutations and natural selection would arrange the rings in tentacles so that an octopus appears to be a striped flatfish? What is the threshold when the appearance of design position starts cracking, and deliberate design becomes the more obvious and reasonable idea? If there is no threshold, then this is not a scientific disussion. Statistics and probabilites are science too.

    If that is an unreasonable inquiry, you need not ban me. I am polite, in the face of the can-dish-it-out, but can’t-take-it children here. You can just ask me to not register my thoughts and questions here, and I won’t.

  214. Owlmirror says

    The only place that accidents can produce complexity is in the human mind.

    It’s interesting that you worship a freedom-hating mass murderer far worse than Hitler, Stalin, Pol-Pot, and Mao combined, who presumably spends Its spare time between periods of bioterror attacks in manufacturing snowflakes individually.

    Such fanatical dedication to both beauty and death!

  215. Ichthyic says

    What I try to point out is without reference to my basic beliefs

    but you keep trying to tell us that know scientists were at one time all creationists is important, so aren’t your basic beliefs important for us to understand what your arguments are?

    pick one or the other, can’t have both.

    well, can’t have either really, but who the fuck cares about logic or consistency, eh?

    GET LOST YOU FUCKWIT.

  216. Ichthyic says

    You can just ask me to not register my thoughts and questions here, and I won’t.

    as usual, you have eyes but cannot see. ears, but you do not listen.

    seemed pretty fucking clear to me:

    Txpiper: you’re an idiot. Stop blaring it in every thread you join.

    and in bold red font, no less.

  217. consciousness razor says

    The only place that accidents can produce complexity is in the human mind.

    Your mind operates randomly? How could the brain transmit usable information to and from the soul if that were the case?

    Also, you don’t understand randomness or complexity. Or anything else.

  218. Owlmirror says

    What is the threshold when the appearance of design position starts cracking, and deliberate design becomes the more obvious and reasonable idea?

    When you can provide a mechanism by which the alleged deliberate design came about.

    For example, with genetic engineering, the mechanism is genetic engineers using plasmids or injection with a viral vector, or other mechanisms to transfer a gene to a location in some other organism’s genome.

    Where is your monstrous bioterrorist’s lab?

    If there is no threshold, then this is not a scientific disussion.

    You have no idea what science is or how it is done, and you’re completely incapable of a scientific discussion.

    Statistics and probabilites are science too.

    Technically speaking, they are branches of mathematics. Not that it matters in your case, since you’re as ignorant of both statistics and probability as you are of science.

    You never read up on biostatistics, of course.

  219. says

    @ Amphiox

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.


    Eppure disegno si evolve altresì.

    (Yet design evolves also.)

    I find it so funny when Creationists want to re-brand themselves as proponents of “Intelligent Design”. If ever there was a process that has parallels to evolution, it is the design process. Design evolves.

    @ txpiper

    You might just as well be hanging in there trying to turn less noble metals into gold.

    All stardust. No gods required. (I see Amphiox even provided you a linky.)

    complexity

    This can stem from very simple base-rules. Have you ever checked out Conway’s Game of Life? It has a super simple set of base rules and can easily be played on any gridded-paper with a pencil and eraser. One marks (or leaves or erases marked) squares on the paper with a pencil by simply following the rules:

    At each round of the game, the following is to occur:

    1. Any marked square with fewer than two marked neighbours gets erased.
    2. Any marked square with two or three marked neighbours is left as is.
    3. Any marked square with more than three marked neighbours is erased.
    4. Any unmarked square with exactly three marked neighbours is to be marked.

    This game is relatively easy to automate by using a computer. The animations of the completed rounds of the game create impressions of the most complex and fascinating phenomenon. Link here.

    Understanding the rules, you will be truly amazed at the complexity of the consequences, including “reproduction”.

    Important Note: txpiper, it is important that you follow my version of the rules and not John Conway’s. For everyone else it makes no difference (for reasons that will be obvious to all but txpiper.) Much as I respect John Conway, and his work, he failed to take into account that there are people as wilfully obtuse as txpiper. I trust I have gone some small way to compensate for this.

    @ chigau

    Are atoms alive?

    Humunculi – just ask the Catlicks.

  220. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I try to point out is without reference to my basic beliefs. I don’t often bring up what I believe.

    Ah, but this is why you aren’t making any headway here. In science, you don’t trash a theory out of the blue just because you disagree with it, especially if you can’t provide evidence for your disagreement. Your personal incredulity is irrelevant. You need to provide an alternative, a scientific theory that explains the evidence better than the presently accepted one. Until you provide scientific alternatives to evolution and abiogenesis, they stand. And you provide nothing. Any theory with your imaginary creator is not scientific. Therefore, all you do is make irrelevant noise, and get treated as such.

  221. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I still, without apologizing for it, assert that evolutionary theory rests on the idea that extremely unlikely errors can result in hyper-complex, interdependent, integrated and purposeful systems. I don’t think it is unscientific to question the rationale behind that conviction.

    Hypercomplex? Nope, only in your mind.

    Think through your creationism. How was your creator created? If you but Eternal in there somewhere, that is a leap of faith of your part, and it can be dismissed. That is essentially the same question you accuse science of handing badly. But that is something you must explain to us. Why don’t you?

  222. txpiper says

    Nerd,

    “Until you provide scientific alternatives to evolution and abiogenesis, they stand.”

    There is no reason to think, or live, like this. Theories can be evaluated, examined, scrutinized and picked apart on a stand alone basis, without any reference to any other idea. There is no default winner. What you are doing here is making up rules for yourself that require you to accept something stupid. I’m good with your having made a box for yourself, but I’m not in it.

  223. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Nerd,

    “Until you provide scientific alternatives to evolution and abiogenesis, they stand.”

    There is no reason to think, or live, like this. Theories can be evaluated, examined, scrutinized and picked apart on a stand alone basis, without any reference to any other idea. There is no default winner.

    You’ve made a response to Nerd but you haven’t refuted Nerd’s contention, you’ve merely dismissed it thoughtlessly, as is your wont.

    It is a historical matter of fact that the scientific theory of evolution has been evaluated, examined, scrutinized and picked apart ever since Darwin proposed it just like any scientific theory, and yet now it stands stronger than ever.

    So, it is exactly that: the scientific winner — there are no other scientific contenders in the ring, as you admit.

  224. Owlmirror says

    There is no reason to think, or live, like this. Theories can be evaluated, examined, scrutinized and picked apart on a stand alone basis, without any reference to any other idea. There is no default winner.

    Why are creationists so much like postmodernist nihilists?

    The default winner is the theory which is closest to matching empirical evidence.

    What you are doing here is making up rules for yourself that require you to accept something stupid.

    You’re really talking about yourself here.

    I’m good with your having made a box for yourself, but I’m not in it.

    The only “box” worth being in is the one bounded by logic and empirical reality.

    You’re in your own box, but your box is made of stupidity, ignorance, incredulity, and bullshit.

  225. txpiper says

    Nerd,

    “Hypercomplex? Nope, only in your mind.

    Well, definitely in my mind. But I don’t think without good reason. Back in the 80′s, Michael Denton described a cell as follows:

    “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell, we would see millions of openings, like the portholes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings, we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber more then a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we could see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, and raw materials would shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from various assembly plants in the outer regions of the cell.”

    I guess the first things we have to get past is whether he was “lying’ or exaggerating, or whether I misrepresented him. So let’s do that, and proceed from there.

  226. chigau (違う) says

    txpiper
    comment #248 was a threat.
    Do you understand what it threatens?

  227. Amphiox says

    Theories can be evaluated, examined, scrutinized and picked apart on a stand alone basis, without any reference to any other idea.

    Sadly for you, texpip, when examined in this manner, your creationism is exposed as patently absurb and utterly useless.

  228. Amphiox says

    I guess the first things we have to get past is whether he was “lying’ or exaggerating, or whether I misrepresented him.

    He was neither lying nor exaggerating.

    However, you have indeed misrepresented him, in your usual lying fashion. You imply that his descriptions entail that this level of complexity is somehow a problem for evolutionary theory to account for. You play with words like “hypercomplex” dishonestly.

    No matter.

    Because evolution theory breaks up the complex into a summation of many small steps, there is no level of complexity that evolution theory in principle cannot explain. All your blitherings about complexity are pointless repetitions of boring and useless posturing on your part.

    Fap if you will over your imaginary category of “things that cannot evolve”, and there may well be things that can be imagined in this universe that may fit into that category, but “too complex” is NOT and never will be a property shared by those things. If something cannot evolve it will be due to a specific mechanism that thwarts the normal evolutionary processes.

    There is no limit on the complexity, applied by the idea of complexity itself, on the things that can evolve.

    On the other hand, your pitiful creationism cannot explain any degree of complexity whatsoever. Anything even the smallest tiny bit complex stump it.

    Your creationism is useless.

    Evolution stands perfectly well on its own, and when compared to your sad and pathetic creationism, it wins easily.

  229. Amphiox says

    I’m good with your having made a box for yourself, but I’m not in it.

    Nerd’s box is honest reality.

    And we’ve known for years that you are not to be found within it.

    But the only one who loses in that equation is you, you poor, sad, insipid, simpering, foolish, dishonest, pitiful thing.

  230. Amphiox says

    I still, without apologizing for it, assert that evolutionary theory rests on the idea that extremely unlikely errors can result in hyper-complex, interdependent, integrated and purposeful systems.

    You can assert all you want, but it doesn’t make your deliberately dishonest strawmanning of what real evolution theory says any less of a lie.

    I don’t think it is unscientific to question the rationale behind that conviction.

    It is both unscientific and dishonest to question that rationale, because the conviction itself is a lie you made up, which has nothing to do with what real evolution theory actually says.

    So question your imaginary self-invented rationales for your imaginary self-produced convictions all you want.

    That you live a life of lies has been evident for years. You are free to lie to yourself as much and for as long as you want. It is the only audience you have left that affords you any credibility of any kind on any thing whatsoever.

  231. txpiper says

    chigau, I don’t worry about threats any more than I do insults. After reviewing what Prof Myers said, I don’t think I broke any rules. I just responded to Nerd trivializing the complex nature of molecular-level biology with a statement from someone in the field. mayou

  232. Tethys says

    a statement from someone in the field

    Michael Denton is a shill for the Discovery Institute, so we can safely ignore his anti-evolution book.
    It’s a work of fiction, not science.

  233. txpiper says

    “there is no level of complexity that evolution theory in principle cannot explain.”

    I would say “will not”, but you make a resonating, irresistable point. It is impervious.

  234. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I guess the first things we have to get past is whether he was “lying’ or exaggerating, or whether I misrepresented him. So let’s do that, and proceed from there.

    ,You are not supplying any evidence for your imaginary deity. Ergo, whatever you claim is null and void. YOU EITHER PROVER YOUR IMAGINARY DEITY EXISTS OR YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP. I see nothing to supporgt your claims. Ergo, the same bullshit you have supplied for years. Nothing you say is worthwhile until you provide third party evidence to back your claims of your imaginary deity……

    After reviewing what Prof Myers said, I don’t think I broke any rules.

    Yep you did. Not Recent Scientific evidence, given your quote was fifty years ago. Either provider real recent scientific evidence (a link, not a quote), or shut the fuck up as the loser you are.

  235. Amphiox says

    What is the threshold when the appearance of design position starts cracking, and deliberate design becomes the more obvious and reasonable idea?

    In biology no such threshold has ever been successfully demonstrated.

    You cannot posit design as the more obvious and reasonable idea, ever, based solely on the observed characteristics of the object in question.

    What is required is positive independent evidence for the existence of an actual designer, and a chain of evidence linking the hypothesized design back to that designer, with specific reference to that designer’s abilities, limitations, and goals.

    Even a very simple thing, easily evolvable by unguided means, could actually be shown to be designed instead, if you find the evidence for the designer and a chain of causality leading from the design back to the designer.

    Absent such evidence there is no threshold of complexity that allows the positing of design. Indeed, beyond a certain level of complexity, design becomes actually less and less likely, as simplicity is the hallmark of good intelligent design.

    Evolution does not merely produce the appearance of design, it produces designers as well.

    And there is no other known mechanism that is capable of producing designers.

  236. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just responded to Nerd trivializing the complex nature of molecular-level biology with a statement from someone in the field. mayou

    Like your OPINION means anything to anybody, especially real scientists….You must up your game to even be anything other than a troll.

  237. Amphiox says

    I would say “will not”

    And in so saying, you would be lying, as is typical of you.

    Evolution is a blind process, without “will”.

  238. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I would say “will not”, but you make a resonating, irresistable point. It is impervious.

    Only in your delusional mind. You have no scientific point other than your ignorance, stupidiity, and willful lying.

  239. Amphiox says

    Just as the number of numbers you can produce by addition is infinite, the level of complexity evolutionary mechanisms can produce is infinite, because all it is is the summation of small steps.

    There are indeed things that might be unevolvable, but they are unevolvable NOT because they are too complex, but because there are mechanisms involved that directly thwart the evolutionary process, or the mechanisms required to get evolutionary processes started do not apply.

    Things that do not reproduce with heritable variation cannot evolve, for example. Some of these things are exceedingly simple. Nevertheless, they cannot evolve.

    Complexity has nothing to do whatsoever with evolvability.

  240. Amphiox says

    What I try to point out is without reference to my basic beliefs. I don’t often bring up what I believe.

    You bring up and refer to your basic belief that complexity is somehow a problem for evolution all the time, you pathetic liar.

    And that is all that it is, a belief unfounded in evidence.

  241. Ichthyic says

    After reviewing what Prof Myers said, I don’t think I broke any rules.

    you mean like where he told you to shut the fuck up already?

    in bold red ink?

    you’re asking for a banhammer, I take it, and I commend you.

    have at it with all due speed.

  242. David Marjanović says

    Goblet cells are everywhere in the respiratory and digestive epithelia.

    And considering where the tear duct leads, it’s not surprising that goblet cells extend into the eye!

    It is the height of folly to wander off into an abyss of willful ignorance believing that anything living could ever come from anything that was not living.

    1) You’re shifting the goalposts!

    2) You’re a vitalist. Be ashamed. By the 1930s, there were no vitalist biologists left: there is no line, life is a matter of degree and of definition, it’s not magic.

    Have you never noticed how little effort biologists have expended to define the subject of their science? Read 20 textbooks, and you’ll get 20 different definitions that are briefly brought up in the introduction and then never mentioned again in the whole book; ask us whether viruses count as “living”, and the answers will range from “yeah, whatever” to “do I look like I care”.

    You might just as well be hanging in there trying to turn less noble metals into gold.

    “With violence, all things are possible.”

    (Provided you have enough knowledge that you can apply the right amount of violence at the right spot.)

    The only place that accidents can produce complexity is in the human mind.

    We’ve explained cases where electrostatic attraction produces complexity (snowflakes for instance), and cases where gravity does so (sorting grains by size both ways). And you simply skipped that, like you skip every single mention of Tyre.

    I could be an agnostic fan of panspermia, and the questions would be the same.

    That’s not true. Panspermia posits that the Earth was only settled once, so that all known organisms have still evolved from a common ancestor that even lived on Earth. Panspermia further posits that the origin of life was unspectacular chemistry – just that it didn’t happen here on Earth, but elsewhere, earlier, and over a longer time than was available on Earth. You haven’t thought this through.

    I still, without apologizing for it, assert that evolutionary theory rests on the idea that extremely unlikely errors can result in hyper-complex, interdependent, integrated and purposeful systems.

    You assert, but you don’t test, and you don’t discuss. You just repeat your assertion again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

    What is the point of that? How is anybody supposed to learn anything from it?

    As part of your assertion, you claim that organisms are “purposeful systems”. Purpose? What purpose? Explain to me the purpose of any champsosaur.

    I would ask you, in regards to your cephalopod post today, how mutations and natural selection would arrange the rings in tentacles so that an octopus appears to be a striped flatfish?

    Well. What are the sequences of the genes involved in this? What are the pigments, what makes muscle cells grow around the chromatophores, how does the neuronal control of these muscles work? All of this needs to be researched pretty far before anybody can answer that question; to the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t been. There’s simply too much research to do and too few full-time scientists in the world.

    Design evolves.

    I don’t understand the gif, though.

    On the surface of the cell, we would see millions of openings, like the portholes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out.

    Just more random than that. Like… when they’re open, they close at random with a certain half-life; and they swim around in the two-dimensional liquid that is the cell membrane like icebergs in the sea.

    If we were to enter one of these openings, we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity.

    Bewildering, unnecessary complexity in some places, laughable simplicity in others.

    We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units.

    Oh no, they’re not highly organized. That wasn’t quite known yet in the 80s, but it is now. And as far as the “assembly plants and processing units” are concerned… some ribosomes are fixed to the endoplasmatic reticulum and excrete proteins into it; others just swim around in the cytoplasm at random. The Golgi apparatus is a neat stack, but its location is again random. The endoplasmatic reticulum has a chaotic shape. The cytoskeleton is a pretty random web. And so on.

    Note, also, that all this is a description of a eukaryotic cell. In prokaryotic ones you find other, simpler arrangements with fewer parts.

    The nucleus itself would be a vast spherical chamber more then a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome

    Yep, and just like a geodesic dome it’s composed of very simple elements.

    inside of which we could see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, and raw materials would shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from various assembly plants in the outer regions of the cell.

    No, it’s not highly ordered. That’s another thing that wasn’t known back in the 80s.

    You may have seen dynein and kinesin described as “trains” that zoom along the microtubuli and transport other proteins. They’re not trains. They walk, quite literally, on the microtubuli – and random, back and forth, in almost Brownian motion; the trick is that dynein is biased towards making steps in one direction and kinesin in the other. (Because of their composition, microtubuli have an inbuilt direction, their two ends are different, and the direction is manifest in each little component, not just at the ends.)

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/10/the-lurker-how-a-virus-hid-in-our-genome-for-six-million-years/

    Awesome!

    Evolution does not merely produce the appearance of design, it produces designers as well.

    And there is no other known mechanism that is capable of producing designers.

    QFT!

  243. txpiper says

    “We’ve explained cases where electrostatic attraction produces complexity (snowflakes for instance), and cases where gravity does so (sorting grains by size both ways).”

    Those are illustrations of complexity like a brick is to a city, citizens included.

    “And you simply skipped that, like you skip every single mention of Tyre.”

    If Tyre is your idea of a failed prophecy, there isn’t much point in responding. But concerning cities and prophecies, now is a good time to keep an eye on Syria.

    “Panspermia further posits that the origin of life was unspectacular chemistry – just that it didn’t happen here on Earth, but elsewhere, earlier, and over a longer time than was available on Earth. You haven’t thought this through.”

    I’ve thought it through enough to recognize that it is just transferring a problem. Accidental transportation of unspectacular chemistry from elsewhere just exponentially complicates the problem. But, that aside, the unspectacular chemistry has to get accidentally spectacular at some point.

    “Well. What are the sequences of the genes involved in this? What are the pigments, what makes muscle cells grow around the chromatophores, how does the neuronal control of these muscles work? All of this needs to be researched pretty far before anybody can answer that question”

    I don’t think you’ve gotten to the question yet. It is about rare, molecular level screw-ups resulting in a precisely coordinated display that aligns rings on tentacles to line up so that they appear as stripes. I guess I might as well drop this. If people actually believe that DNA replication errors and natural selection can orchestrate things like this, there really isn’t anything to discuss. But this is definitely hymn-worthy.

    “No, it’s not highly ordered. That’s another thing that wasn’t known back in the 80s.
    You may have seen dynein and kinesin described as “trains” that zoom along the microtubuli and transport other proteins. They’re not trains. They walk, quite literally, on the microtubuli…”

    I see. So it actually a very simple arrangement, and only lowly ordered. Nothing that a few random accidents couldn’t cook up.

  244. Amphiox says

    I’ve thought it through enough to recognize that it is just transferring a problem. Accidental transportation of unspectacular chemistry from elsewhere just exponentially complicates the problem.

    BEHOLD! The texpip caught directly contradicting himself. Lest the texpip try again to dissemble, his original quote was this:

    I could be an agnostic fan of panspermia, and the questions would be the same.

    If he was truly an agnostic fan of panspermia, he would not be asking the “same” questions. He would not even be commenting as above.

    You are pathetic texpip.

  245. Amphiox says

    Nothing that a few random accidents couldn’t cook up.

    Exactly right.

    On the other hand, sadly for your creationism, texpip, it is also the kind of chaotic and hapharard arrangement that no intelligent designer in his right mind would dream of.

  246. Amphiox says

    It is about rare, molecular level screw-ups resulting in a precisely coordinated display that aligns rings on tentacles to line up so that they appear as stripes. I guess I might as well drop this. If people actually believe that DNA replication errors and natural selection can orchestrate things like this, there really isn’t anything to discuss.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000037

    Belief does not enter into it. We have EVIDENCE pertaining to the mechanisms by which patterns of all kinds can evolve, and those mechanisms are universal at the level of basic principles. Details differ between species but they are just details.

    And sadly for you, texpip, your creationism has NO EXPLANATION WHATSOEVER for why patterning exists, why it is this way in that creature and that way in this creature, or how it is produced.

    Why rings? Why stripes? Why not squares or triangles?

    Your creationism cannot answer any of these questions. Evolution can, and on the base principles, does so easily.

    Your creationism has no utility. No explanatory power.

    None. Whatsoever.

    All you’ve got is WHY OH MIGHTY MAKER WHY????

    The unknowable whim or an unknowable creator entity. Which is just a translation for “I haven’t the foggiest idea and I’m too intellectually lazy to even bother to want to try to find out.”

    Your creationism is useless, texpip.

    Utterly. Useless.

  247. Amphiox says

    Here’s some more, just for the texpip:

    http://www.biology.ufl.edu/ip/2000-01/brake.pdf

    Evolution theory not only explains how a particular pattern appear, it also explains why that particular pattern appear as opposed to some other alternative pattern, and even tells us what kinds of patterns are more likely to appear.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES.

  248. Amphiox says

    It is the height of folly to wander off into an abyss of willful ignorance believing that anything living could ever come from anything that was not living.

    Since a designer must be alive itself, this either means that it is impossible to use a designer as an explanation for the origin of life, or that life is eternally present and has no origin, in which case there is no need to posit a designer as an explanation for its origin.

    Thanks for conceding the point, texpip.

    You’ve just refuted your creationism with perfect logic.

  249. Ichthyic says

    If Tyre is your idea of a failed prophecy, there isn’t much point in responding. But concerning cities and prophecies, now is a good time to keep an eye on Syria.

    oh fuck me, it’s an end times conspiracy nut too?

    someone put it in a fucking cage please.

  250. Ichthyic says

    If people actually believe that DNA replication errors and natural selection can orchestrate things like this, there really isn’t anything to discuss.

    you’ve burned so many strawmen of this type, I can only assume you must have really good asbestos gloves on. otherwise, your fingers would be too burned to type.

  251. Amphiox says

    If people actually believe that DNA replication errors and natural selection can orchestrate things like this, there really isn’t anything to discuss.

    The key point which the texpip continues to dishonestly ignore is that the mechanisms make “orchestration” completely unnecessary.

    Whereas the poor texpip’s useless creationism absolutely REQUIRES orchestration, and that is what makes it so intellectually bankrupt and powerless as an explanatory idea.

  252. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Notice txpiper avoids the question of how his imaginary creator/designer came to be. He has to do that. If he addresses the question, he refutes himself.

    For example, an eternal deity living outside of space and time. Typical Xian presuppositional claptrap. But, this is deist god unable to interact with space and time. It’s just there as a placeholder, doing nothing, unable to do anything, and is also vaporware.

    Then there’s the deity that interacts with space and time. But leaves no record of such interaction. Deist ja vu all over again. Not a working hypothesis.

    Now let’s look at beings. If live requires a complex being to design it, that designer requires a more complex designer, ad infinitum. Runs into a logical problem. Typical of a presuppositionalist to ignore such a problem.

    Now, what happens if there is a first being. How can it come about without a designer? Gee, what’s the name of the theory? Oh, right, Abiogenesis and Evolution. Then that being can design the life on Earth. Opps, just refuted himself and showed a non-parsimonious result. After all, if the designer evolved, why couldn’t life on Earth?

    So, at the end of the day, there is no logical way for the designer to come about. And since it doesn’t exist, except in the minds of creationists, who can’t show how their creator came about, it isn’t a viable anything.

  253. David Marjanović says

    Those are illustrations of complexity like a brick is to a city, citizens included.

    I know. I deliberately start at the simple examples, because those are easier to understand than the complex ones.

    If Tyre is your idea of a failed prophecy, there isn’t much point in responding.

    Please do explain. Zeke 26:21 has Yahwe himself claiming that Tyre will not be found again. It has been found. How can you not address that?

    “Well. What are the sequences of the genes involved in this? What are the pigments, what makes muscle cells grow around the chromatophores, how does the neuronal control of these muscles work? All of this needs to be researched pretty far before anybody can answer that question”

    I don’t think you’ve gotten to the question yet. It is about rare, molecular level screw-ups resulting in a precisely coordinated display that aligns rings on tentacles to line up so that they appear as stripes.

    No. The chromatophores, as you seem not to know, are simply the pigment cells; muscle cells around them make them contract and hide or come out and spread. The rings and the stripes are patterns of muscle contraction. They’re not hard-coded by the genome, FFS!

    “No, it’s not highly ordered. That’s another thing that wasn’t known back in the 80s.
    You may have seen dynein and kinesin described as “trains” that zoom along the microtubuli and transport other proteins. They’re not trains. They walk, quite literally, on the microtubuli…”

    I see. So it actually a very simple arrangement, and only lowly ordered. Nothing that a few random accidents couldn’t cook up.

    You cut my sentence off in the most dishonest way possible, asshole, and you know that’s what you’ve done.

    You’re really getting desperate.

    oh fuck me, it’s an end times conspiracy nut too?

    Yep.

    Orchestrate? Txpiper is unable to even think about a process which has no director. So sad.

    and

    The key point which the texpip continues to dishonestly ignore is that the mechanisms make “orchestration” completely unnecessary.

    Bingo.

  254. txpiper says

    “Please do explain. Zeke 26:21 has Yahwe himself claiming that Tyre will not be found again. It has been found. How can you not address that?”

    If knowing where it was is tantamount to having been found, I guess you have your escape. That is a poor assessment.

  255. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If knowing where it was is tantamount to having been found, I guess you have your escape. That is a poor assessment.

    Only in your delusional mind. YOUR BABBLE ISN’T INERRANT. That is what that evidence means. Which means you have no basis to show your imaginary deity exists.

  256. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    If knowing where it was is tantamount to having been found, I guess you have your escape.

    True. After all, Tyre won’t be found once it’s made desolate and buried under the ocean depths, no? ;)

    That is a poor assessment.

    You’re not too good at the explanation thing, are ya?

  257. David Marjanović says

    If knowing where it was is tantamount to having been found, I guess you have your escape. That is a poor assessment.

    o_O

    Like, the actual ruins of buildings from the time in question and before are known to science. What are you talking about?

    BTW, Nerd, you’re back to making posts that consist only of canned responses to trigger words.

    You’re not too good at the explanation thing, are ya?

    Of course not. If you haven’t understood stuff, you can’t explain it to other people either.

  258. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    BTW, Nerd, you’re back to making posts that consist only of canned responses to trigger words.

    Sorry if you think so, but I was responding to what Txpiper was trying to avoid with his cryptic comment.

  259. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Txpiper suffers from the theists trouble with science and atheism. In his black/white theological thinking, if something is created, it needs a creator. Life needs a creator/designer. Science ignores his creator, and is therefore atheistic. This would be fine if it just stopped there. But there is a real paranoid fear haunting txpiper. What is the scientists are right? If evolution is true, and abiogenesis occurred this shows my creator isn’t needed. Theological short circuiting of the mental processes occurred.

    Then there is this dirty word, random. If life is random, even more proof that his deity isn’t needed, likely doesn’t exist, and therefore his special place in the universe isn’t so special, and especially isn’t planned. He is just an accident of nature, and there is no special plan for him. Nihilism…

    One can easily see this reading his posts. The word random is treated with total disdain, and everything to do with random mutations must be belittled, disgraced, disbelieved, and generally spat upon no matter how much conclusive scientific evidence is presented to him. Life can’t be random. If it is, he isn’t a special snowflake. Just look how often he denies that an average of 100 random mutations occur every generation. Look at how upset he becomes, and has to assert perfect replication occurs. And look how often scientific evidence is presented to him to back up that point. Random just can’t be used at all. It doesn’t make him special.

    Likewise, tons of citations like this one have been presented to show that natural selection is a powerful tool. But in the black/white theological mind of txpiper, if selection is occurring, it requires the presence of an intelligence making the selection. This isn’t so bad, it could be his creator. What it can’t be is the simple concept of the advantageous genes producing more viable young who grow up to reproduce themselves without the need for an intervention of his imaginary intelligence. Here his argument is the need for his deity as a selector. But evolution says otherwise.

    Abiogenesis suffers from the same problem. How can something without an intelligent selector come to be? Nevermind pieces of that puzzle are available and are shown work as described. He just can’t grasp this: I played an old computer game where the hero had to start with a few chips, and by gambling, build up enough money for the next step. Given the typical odds, there was no way to get that money in fell swoop. But, if I won a couple of hands in a row, and saved the game at that point, I was starting fresh from that point with more money. Then if I lost the money, restart from the saved game, and resave if a couple of hands were won. That way I could change the odds and actually get all the money for the next step. Abiogenesis and evolution work by a similar process. But if that is true, the word random appears and poor txpiper is doomed to not being special.

    So txpiper comes here and tries to be scientific. If he was being scientific, he would be playing by the rules of science. He would evidence all his claims, and show honesty and integrity by admitting he is wrong when shown wrong. But that’s not how txpiper argues after his facade of science falls off. He argues as a theist. His testament is true, and nothing will refute it. His word is more important than facts. He can lie and bullshit in the name of his deity/creator/designer/selector. Hence the sound of fap-fap-fap in every post.

    And so it continues, txpiper with his paranoid fear of not being a special snowflake, and science with evidence, random events, selection without an intelligent selector. Madness in his eyes. Another good theory for scientists.

  260. txpiper says

    “Science ignores his creator, and is therefore atheistic.”

    Many scientists choose to operate on an a priori premise of materialism. Many well-credentialed scientists do not. The community is not an atheistic monolith. To a point there is nothing wrong with some sterility in regards to natural explanations, but when you start believing in things that are both juvenile and asinine, and you do, you need to drop the commitment and start thinking.

    It is much easier to entertain the idea that humans are more than that. You ride around for a limited time in a low-maintenance body, with thousands of automated support systems, an array of acute sensory systems, and an incomprehensibly complex brain to think and decide with. Don’t lose sight of the fact that your commitment means that, according to science, 10% of you is just a pile of molecular-level train wrecks that happened to be fortuitous. The rest of you is cooperative microbes.
    .
    “But there is a real paranoid fear haunting txpiper.”

    Quaking in my house shoes. Sorry, but I obviously don’t require much in the way of support groups. I am not behind my own lines posting here.
    .
    “The word random is treated with total disdain”

    Not disdain. More like just refusing to forget that random means random, and anything that depends on random events is unlikely. When you leave that statistical reality, you are out of science and into fantasy.

    ===

    David, you can find all kinds of arguments about the Tyre prophecy online. I think that between Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander, it was fulfilled in magnificent detail. There are plenty of squealing liberals who don’t. I don’t care to, or have time to replicate the dispute here. Tyre was a side-step in Ezekiel’s scroll. There are much more interesting forecasts, some closed, many still outstanding. We have a whole full of them. Mark 13:37

  261. consciousness razor says

    Not disdain. More like just refusing to forget that random means random, and anything that depends on random events is unlikely. When you leave that statistical reality, you are out of science and into fantasy.

    You are such a bullshitter. Roll a pair of dice. What happens, anything that happens, “depends on random events.”

    So how unlikely is it that the number on the dice will total seven? Is this more likely or less likely than the other possibilities? How unlikely is it — this “anything that depends on random events” — that the total is something other than two?

    And let’s get this straight, before you go fantasizing about “statistical reality” some more and project it on us…. Can random events produce “complexity” or “order,” or do you just think that it’s unlikely?

  262. Snoof says

    More like just refusing to forget that random means random, and anything that depends on random events is unlikely.

    Two things:

    First: Random things can be very likely. I have a 20-sided die, marked with the numbers 1-20. If I roll it, I have a 95% chance of getting a number greater than one. It’s both random and extremely probable.

    Secondly: There’s a thing in probability called “expectation”. It’s very simple to calculate. The expectation of an event is equal to the probability of it occurring, times the number of trials. For example, the probability of rolling a one on my 20-sided die is 0.05, or 5%. That’s reasonably unlikely, but if I roll it 1000 times, the expected number of ones is 0.05 * 1000 = 50. I can expect to roll a one _fifty times_ out of my rolls, or if you want to be more rigorous, I am more likely to roll 50 ones than I am to roll any other number of ones in those 1000 trials.

    If the number of trials is large enough, very improbable things can and do happen. If a human being has a mere one-in-a-billion chance of undergoing a particular mutation, that means there’s about 7 people who’ve gained that mutation alive today.

    In conclusion, I strongly suggest you learned what “random” means and how probability works before you try to use it in an argument

  263. Amphiox says

    More like just refusing to forget that random means random, and anything that depends on random events is unlikely. When you leave that statistical reality, you are out of science and into fantasy.

    And thus is the texpip caught lying yet again, this time about the very meaning of the word “random”, the word “unlikely”, the word “reality”, the word “anything”, the word “depends”, and the word “on”.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/14/2794.full

  264. Amphiox says

    The thing about this “random unlikeliness” the texpip tries to harp on, is that we ACTUALLY KNOW some of the actual probabilities involved for certain changes to appear, randomly, in genomes. Because mutations are real things that are really observed and thus their rates can be measured.

    And, with these probability numbers, along with generation times and population sizes, we CAN CALCULATE APPROXIMATELY HOW LONG IT TAKES for a certain set of random changes to occur, either independently or even cumulatively all together.

    And then we can COMPARE THAT CALCULATION (prediction) with OBSERVED REALITY vis-a-vis the fossil record, and, LO! AND BEHOLD! the predicted times more often than not MATCH the observed times. Who’d have thunk such a thing?

    This is the basis for molecular clock dating, in fact.

    Sadly for the texpip, the probabilities for pretty much everything and anything suggested by his creationism is either already PROVEN to be ZERO, or undefined.

    Because the texpip’s creationism is a useless, intellectually bankrupt idea, moldering (for centuries already) in the dustbin of history.

  265. Amphiox says

    I think that between Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander, it was fulfilled in magnificent detail.

    Except it wasn’t, because Tyre is STILL HERE.

    And even here, your creationism has just proved itself utterly helpless in the simple task of DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN TWO VERY DIFFERENT EVENTS.

    Your creationism is once more proven useless.

    Again.

  266. chigau (違う) says

    How is it possible that txpiper is unaware of how often The Bible™ has been rewritten?

  267. consciousness razor says

    In conclusion, I strongly suggest you learned what “random” means and how probability works before you try to use it in an argument

    Indeed. When you (txpiper) have essentially said “all probabilistic events are improbable,” there is no doubt that you’re totally fucking confused.

  268. Amphiox says

    You ride around for a limited time in a low-maintenance body, with thousands of automated support systems, an array of acute sensory systems, and an incomprehensibly complex brain to think and decide with.

    Sadly for you texpip, your creationism can’t explain any amount of complexity at all, and can only presuppose it. So the more complex something is, the more your creationism must presuppose by fiat, and the more ridiculous and useless it becomes.

    A sad, sappy idea from beginning to end.

    How sad that you have wasted your “incomprehensibly” complex brain on such a pitiful, useless thing.

  269. Amphiox says

    When you (txpiper) have essentially said “all probabilistic events are improbable,” there is no doubt that you’re totally fucking confused.

    After more than five years of this, “totally deliberately lying” is a far more likely null hypothesis than “totally confused”.

  270. says

    My fucking GAWD ™ , doesn’t txpiper ever STFU. (Though: No response to my observation on the evolution of design (#258), I notice.)

    @ David Marjanović

    The gif in question shows a time-lapse of drawings I copied and coloured, of a (government?) housing block in India. The red colour shows the original building, the green colour shows the accretions (usually illegal add-ons) of new works added by the tenants in response to their needs. I did this as part of a study into informal housing development (which tends to grow organically.)

    What I should do some time (and I never have enough of the stuff) is scan in all my sketches of a building project. These I could then animate to show the evolving design process. Fitness is measured against client requirements (ever changing, fuckit!), government , marketing, costing etc etc, requirements. It is a process, not just of inspiration, but mainly perspiration in adapting incrementally to a thousand and one little necessities. I find the whole idea of “Intelligent Design” rather ludicrous as a sudden event. Design, whether intelligent or not, is an incremental (generally nonlinear, cyclical) process. Design Evolves.

  271. txpiper says

    “I have a 20-sided die, marked with the numbers 1-20. If I roll it, I have a 95% chance of getting a number greater than one. It’s both random and extremely probable.”

    You need to adjust this to accomodate proteins, which are somewhat more complicated than your die. Some of them are thousands of sequences of thousands of amino acids.

    “Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, including catalyzing metabolic reactions, replicating DNA, responding to stimuli, and transporting molecules from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily in their sequence of amino acids, which is dictated by the nucleotide sequence of their genes, and which usually results in folding of the protein into a specific three-dimensional structure that determines its activity.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein

    In doing so, you will have to scale up and manage your die to reflect protein production controls, and the interaction between proteins and catalytic enzymes. Without those particular proteins, as the article mentions:

    “The best-known role of proteins in the cell is as enzymes, which catalyze chemical reactions. Enzymes are usually highly specific and accelerate only one or a few chemical reactions. Enzymes carry out most of the reactions involved in metabolism, as well as manipulating DNA in processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription. Some enzymes act on other proteins to add or remove chemical groups in a process known as posttranslational modification. About 4,000 reactions are known to be catalyzed by enzymes. The rate acceleration conferred by enzymatic catalysis is often enormous—as much as 1017-fold increase in rate over the uncatalyzed reaction in the case of orotate decarboxylase (78 million years without the enzyme, 18 milliseconds with the enzyme).”

    This all amounts to a pretty impressive collection of purposeful, highly-specialized random (accidental) sequences.

  272. says

    @ txpiper

    Tyre

    If I read Ezekiel. it would seem your YHWH fucked up big-time. Compare and contrast your fairytale deity with Almighty Zeus, The One True Lord of The Universe:

    Homeric Troy was discovered again, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that what Homer wrote about Our Lord (Zeus, that is. Not to be conflated with imaginary sky-gods.) was completely and utterly true. BelieBe, txpiper, belieBe… it is not yet too late!!!elebenty!!11!!

  273. consciousness razor says

    After more than five years of this, “totally deliberately lying” is a far more likely null hypothesis than “totally confused”.

    It could be both: if he thinks he can get away with that kind of shit here, maybe he thinks he’s commenting at foxnews.com or something?

    Or once he’s gotten into a nice lather while writing his delusional little rants, it just doesn’t occur to him to check whether his claims are true or make any sense at all. I’d consider it bullshit more than lying, but there’s not a huge difference since both are dishonest.

  274. Snoof says

    txpiper@315

    You need to adjust this to accomodate proteins, which are somewhat more complicated than your die. Some of them are thousands of sequences of thousands of amino acids.

    …no, I don’t. The die was a demonstration that you don’t know what random means, as demonstrated when you said “anything that depends on random events is unlikely”. I’m not arguing that dice are analogous to proteins or anything of the sort, I’m merely pointing out your painful ignorance of how probability works and using maths to show that even very low-probability events do happen, and with regularity, when you have a sufficient number of trials.

    And while you’re responding to me, how long do you believe there has been life on Earth?

  275. says

    I can open it properly by right clicking the image and selecting “view original”. It opens in a browser.

    I have seen a similar phenomenon in Wuhan. But the accretion only started from about half way up the (very tall) building. I suspect that half the building was held by a single owner and the rest by sectional title. Illegal building additions are extremely common in SE China¹, both above and underground. Some people are even clever enough to camouflage the additions, picking up on the original styling and tiling. This makes them very hard to spot.

    ¹ Developers are even making allowance for owners to extend, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, their homes after purchase. The developer builds to full GFA and then leaves the new owners to push it over the limit incrementally. Oy Vey!

  276. David Marjanović says

    Many scientists choose to operate on an a priori premise of materialism. Many well-credentialed scientists do not. The community is not an atheistic monolith.

    Hang on a second.

    1) That science is atheistic doesn’t mean all scientists are atheists even when they’re not doing science at the moment.

    2) Science itself does not start from a premise of physicalism*. It starts from falsification and parsimony – nothing more. Unnecessary hypotheses get circular-filed, whether it’s “Yahwe exists” or “rhynchosaurs are lepidosauromorphs that have converged on archosauromorphs”.

    * The term “materialism” is misleading. Matter is a form of energy – and spacetime isn’t even that.

    when you start believing in things that are both juvenile and asinine

    Incidentally, the New Testament contradicts itself on whether that’s a good thing…

    But anyway: I simply disagree. Accelerating clocks go slower than others, and clocks go slower the more gravity they’re in. Aren’t these juvenile and asinine things to think? Who cares? :-) They’re real, and if GPS didn’t take both of these effects into account, it’d be off by several hundred meters.

    The Casimir effect: two plates close together in a vacuum bend towards each other, because nothing presses them together. If that’s not juvenile and asinine, I don’t know what is. And yet it’s an observed fact.

    I could go on for hours. “Juvenile and asinine” is not a scientific or logical argument. The argument from personal incredulity is a logical fallacy that you keep committing. Grow out of it.

    in a low-maintenance body,

    You have no idea. Most of your metabolism goes just into constantly repairing DNA. That’s because DNA falls apart when stored in water.

    an array of acute sensory systems

    Our lenses don’t correct for chromatic aberration, and they’re yellow enough that we can’t even see those parts of the ultraviolet spectrum that our retina would allow us to see. People who’ve had their lenses surgically removed can see it.

    and an incomprehensibly complex brain to think and decide with.

    “Incomprehensibly” is not quite correct.

    Don’t lose sight of the fact that your commitment means that, according to science, 10% of you is just a pile of molecular-level train wrecks that happened to be fortuitous. The rest of you is cooperative microbes.

    And selection, dude, and selection. You keep “forgetting” about it, and you keep trying to do science without math.

    I think that between Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander, it was fulfilled in magnificent detail.

    “26:21 I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.”

    So that actually means “shalt be again pretty soon, and shalt be found again right after Alexander destroyeth thee”?

    I don’t care to, or have time to replicate the dispute here. Tyre was a side-step in Ezekiel’s scroll. There are much more interesting forecasts

    So a verse that ends with “saith the Lord GOD” is “a side-step” and much less “interesting” than other stuff. Interesting Christianity you’ve got there.

    Mark 13:37

    It’s particularly interesting that you’re using that verse specifically in order to contradict Mark 13:32: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

    Jesus Hubbard Christ. That’s not merely “robbing Peter to pay Paul” what you’re doing here. You’re quote-mining your very own Bible for statements that fit your preconceived agenda.

    If the number of trials is large enough, very improbable things can and do happen. If a human being has a mere one-in-a-billion chance of undergoing a particular mutation, that means there’s about 7 people who’ve gained that mutation alive today.

    “A-million-to-one odds happen eight times a day in New York City.”

    You need to adjust this to accomodate proteins, which are somewhat more complicated than your die. Some of them are thousands of sequences of thousands of amino acids.

    …No, one sequence of thousands of amino acids, or at most a few that are linked together after translation.

    But we’ve explained this so often: a completely new gene only had to arise once, as part of the origin of life (or earlier or later, however you define “life”). All others, and all junk DNA, could easily be mutated duplicates of that one. I bet the first gene was a short self-replicating ribozyme.

    Why do you try to explain proteins? Protein sequences depend on gene sequences. That’s even in the Wikipedia quote you copied & pasted. Didn’t you read it?

    In doing so, you will have to scale up and manage your die to reflect protein production controls,

    It takes a while till any control becomes necessary.

    and the interaction between proteins and catalytic enzymes.

    Enzymes are proteins.

    Well, except for ribozymes, which are RNA. The core of the ribosome, that part of it that actually puts two amino acid residues together, is a ribozyme…

    At this point I probably need to mention some basic chemistry. See, almost anything catalyzes some reaction. Isolated protons catalyze lots – indeed that’s why we have low pH in our stomach. Hydroxide ions catalyze lots, too – that’s why we have high pH in our guts. And so on. The existence of proteins and RNA strands with catalytic activity is not surprising at all.

    This all amounts to a pretty impressive collection of purposeful, highly-specialized random (accidental) sequences.

    Again this assumption of purpose. Where do you take it from?

    Those combinations that work work, and those that don’t have already died out. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. It’s not a goal, it’s a fact. No will is necessary to amplify those that work and break down those that don’t; it’s simply what happens when things are left to their own devices.

    I couldn’t get that gif to open. :(

    I had to download it and open it (from the hdd) in a browser. That worked.

  277. says

    @ David Marjanović

    I had to download it and open it (from the hdd) in a browser. That worked.

    No comment? Are you not a little in awe, that we – as mere human artefact creators – can read the same evolutionary underpinnings in such? It is almost as if there is a certain consistency to the theory across multiple levels.

  278. Owlmirror says

    Many scientists choose to operate on an a priori premise of materialism. Many well-credentialed scientists do not.

    I wonder what you mean by “operate on”. To the best of my knowledge, no “well-credentialed scientist” does science which “operates on” the premise that materialism is false — because science requires evidence, and there is no evidence that materialism is false. Of course, there are a few scientists who sometimes commit the logical fallacies of ignorance and incredulity, but there are not doing science when they do so, because fallacies are not science.

    Not every religious scientist accepts that the logical fallacies of ignorance and incredulity pose a problem for evolution or abiogenesis, like IDiots and creobots do. The usual suspects come to mind: Ken Miller, Francis Collins; probably others. Why should that be, given that they apparently believe that materialism is false?

    What the hell do you know that they don’t?

    More like just refusing to forget that random means random, and anything that depends on random events is unlikely.

    What, exactly, do you think that “random” and “unlikely” even mean?

    When you leave that statistical reality, you are out of science and into fantasy.

    You have never ever ever shown any knowledge of probability or statistics; you just blurble out the words like a parrot, or a duck.

    Txpiper wanna quacker?

    David, you can find all kinds of arguments about the Tyre prophecy online. I think that between Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander, it was fulfilled in magnificent detail.

    Because you don’t actually care that it wasn’t fulfilled, of course. Like all fans of so-called “predictions” and “prophecies”, you ignore the misses, or even count the misses as hits. Because ultimately, you don’t care about what is true.

    There are plenty of squealing liberals who don’t.

    I guess “squealing” means “cares about truth”, in duckspeak.

  279. Amphiox says

    You need to adjust this to accomodate proteins, which are somewhat more complicated than your die.

    This is only a problem for your sad, useless creationism, which has no mechanism for explaining complexity of any level or of any kind whatsoever.

    It is not, never has been, and never will be a fundamental problem for evolution, which explains complexity on base principles.

  280. Amphiox says

    I think that between Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander

    If Nebbie fulfilled that prophecy, why was it necessary for Alex to come along and fulfill it all over again?

    How, in fact, did Alex even FIND the place, if Nebbie “fulfilled” the prophesy?

    This is a creator of all cosmos that needs mulligans?

  281. ChasCPeterson says

    Most of your metabolism goes just into constantly repairing DNA

    Not nearly “most”. It might be fourth, after pumping ions, synthesizing proteins, and making myosin go.

  282. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This all amounts to a pretty impressive collection of purposeful, highly-specialized random (accidental) sequences.

    Gee, this from a fuckwitted idjit who doesn’t understand how powerful natural selection is to arrive at new solutions when there is something to drive that selection. It isn’t random, never was, never will be. Only the mutation is random, like roll of the dice. After that natural selection is anything other than random. But there is no “designer/imaginary deity” to make the selection. It is made by the organisms themselves without any intelligent input, simply by those who have more descendants who grow up to reproduce themselves compared to their neighbors showing the force driving natural selection.

    Txpiper has not refuted this. He just is too impotent with vacuous religious thinking to understand what the science says.

  283. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I think I’ve actually learned something from TXpiper in this thread. I never thought of it this way before, but I think “God” is just shorthand for “This is all too complex and it’s giving me a headache and I don’t want to think about it anymore…therefore God!!!”

  284. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Evidently txpiper refuses to understand my computer gambling analogy. At each save, there was one thread at that point. Every branched thread that ended in bankruptcy (most of them) died. So in the shrub of life, at every save, only one branch was going forward. It then branched, with most of the branches quickly dying out. But one branch kept going until the next save. And then next…
    What it appears looking at that one branch that ended up with enough money for the next part of the game, it looked highly improbable. But at every junction, no rules of probability were broken. Just reset. So, winning the 20 games necessary looked like the improbable twenty in a row, or 2^20 odds of happening. But the final thrust was only a 2^2 odds due to the prior saves.
    Funny how he just can’t grasp that simple idea, while scientists had it over a century ago. That’s what one gets for believing in imaginary things. One gets confused with reality.

  285. David Marjanović says

    No comment? Are you not a little in awe, that we – as mere human artefact creators – can read the same evolutionary underpinnings in such?

    No, that’s just not news to me, and your example is so unspectacular… :-)

    Not nearly “most”. It might be fourth, after pumping ions, synthesizing proteins, and making myosin go.

    …Sorry, I’m not sure why I wrote “most”. ~:-| It is a large part, though.

  286. says

    @ Owlmirror

    Because ultimately, you don’t care about what is true.

    Ouch! That must have hurt txpiper.

    Let me be far more munificent and suggest that in the hermetic uniBerse that is txpiper’s personal GAWD narrative, everything is quite consistent and “logical”. txpiper can tell you things about YHWH that xe has not been told, nor read in any babble, nor (I am practically certain of this) heard directly from Jeebus.

    It really is not difficult to infer all manner of consistent details given that the creature in question is omnipotent, omniscient etc etc etc. Why, we could all flesh out a truly impressive and credible deity (at least by our own lights) once we have carried a few basic metaphysical concepts into our thinking. It is easy enough to fill in the blanks for the god of the gaps.

  287. txpiper says

    “understand how powerful natural selection is”

    And smart too. Really smart.

  288. Ogvorbis: ArkRanger of Doom! says

    And smart too. Really smart.

    You have been engaged in various iterations of this discussion for months, years even. And you still deliberately misunderstand what has been written. You still deliberately conflate your version of gods with the theory of evolution by natural selection. You devote a great deal of time to commenting here and, as near as I can make out, you flat out refuse to even consider the idea that you may be able to learn something new (which I suspect takes a lot of energy, too). Why? Why do you bother?

  289. David Marjanović says

    And smart too. Really smart.

    No, it’s utterly dumb. It’s as stupid as crystallization or sedimentation.

    Five words are all you have in reply to so many comments, and then you get those five words wrong. That’s really sad.

  290. David Marjanović says

    Why? Why do you bother?

    Why he bothers refusing to learn? It may be that learning is an enormous effort for him. It may also be that he’s terrified of ever being wrong on anything.

  291. John Morales says

    txpiper, you cannot help but reify ideas any more than you can help your teleological conception of nature, can you?

    “Natural selection” is a compound term — and it refers to a natural process not to some entity making choices.

    (It’s no smarter than the weather)

  292. chigau (違う) says

    Hey.
    The weather is smart enough to destroy states that don’t hate The Gays.
    … oh wait

  293. Owlmirror says

    “understand how powerful natural selection is”
    And smart too. Really smart.

    Well, smarter than you. But that’s not a big deal.

    A sack of rocks is smarter than you.

  294. txpiper says

    Nerd, I don’t understand what you mean by “at every save, only one branch was going forward”. It’s easy enough to understand why you would want to include it in the gamble, but what would you say is the natural analog for the save mechanism?

    ====

    “No, it’s utterly dumb. It’s as stupid as crystallization or sedimentation.”

    Oh gosh no. It can’t be stupid. As Nerd stated, natural selection can “arrive at new solutions when there is something to drive that selection”. I’ve never seen it stated like that, or heard of selection being driven. Actually I thought it was supposed to be the driver. But it can be disruptive also, so I guess there must be some kind of mood involved.

    It also seems to get stuck sometimes. Or should I say stumped? Like with this guy:

    “This species is considered to be one of the oldest living species on the planet at around 200 million years old. Fossils of this species from the Upper Triassic (Norian) period appear virtually unchanged compared to modern day members of the species.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triops_cancriformis

    So what happens with this? All that evolving and then the selection pressure goes limp all over the world for two hundred million years? Where did powerful go?

  295. Dhorvath, OM says

    Natural selection is just that, the selection process, not the development arm, but the marketplace of new traits. Development happens constantly, selection often takes breaks when conditions are relatively static.

  296. Amphiox says

    Oh gosh no. It can’t be stupid. As Nerd stated, natural selection can “arrive at new solutions when there is something to drive that selection”.

    No intelligence is required to “arrive at new solutions when there is something to drive selection”. That is the whole point.

    I could also point out that “stupid” is a metaphor here for “unguided” or “non-intelligent”, and that the texpip is blatantly and dishonestly and deliberately misrepresenting a metaphor as literal, but this is an old, old, old trick that the texpip has been caught at many times before, disgusting liar that he is.

    I’ve never seen it stated like that

    A flat out lie. It has been so stated MANY times on this very blog in MULTIPLE threads the texpip has infested over the last several YEARS.

    But such intellectual dishonesty is typical for the pitiful texpip.

    or heard of selection being driven.

    Yet another lie. This too has been stated MULTIPLE times on MULTIPLE prior threads on this forum.

    Actually I thought it was supposed to be the driver.

    The environment is the driver. Selection is the engine. Mutations are the fuel.

    The above, by the way, is a METAPHOR.

  297. Amphiox says

    All that evolving and then the selection pressure goes limp all over the world for two hundred million years? Where did powerful go?

    STABILIZING selection can be very powerful indeed.

    Thanks texpip, by the way, for finally conceding that the earth is older than two hundred million years. That concession alone utterly destroys your sad, pitiful, useless creationism.

  298. vaiyt says

    The very first time I entered a discussion with txpiper on this site, they were doing exactly the same song and dance.

    Every so often they go: “Evolution is just random mutations!”
    Someone answers: “You forgot selection!”
    Then txpiper says “Selection can’t produce anything new!”
    Someone answers: “You forgot mutations!”
    txpiper goes back to “Evolution is just random mutations!”
    Repeat ad infinitum.

    It’s been years of this dishonesty already, and the piper hasn’t gotten past an argument that can be exposed with Biology 101 understanding. Come on, I learned this shit back in elementary school.

  299. Amphiox says

    And speaking of Triops cancriformis, would it surprise anyone that the texpip has, once again, introduced an example that destroys his own argument?

    It turns out it HAS, in fact, evolved, and quite recently too.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186%2F1471-2148-7-161

    The genetic divergence between these two clades suggests a split in the Late Pleistocene and their geographic distribution reflects a complex evolutionary history of European Triops populations, with possibly two episodes of range expansions – one of them by clade A – involving androdioecious and hermaphroditic populations.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

  300. txpiper says

    “Natural selection is just that, the selection process, not the development arm, but the marketplace of new traits. Development happens constantly, selection often takes breaks when conditions are relatively static.”

    Hang on, I’m trying to catch up with you. I thought selection was fickle shopper perusing through a mall of rotten DNA replication errors looking for one decent enough to take home to the phenotype which would have more successful heritable differences? But you’re saying that selection is the marketplace?

  301. Amphiox says

    Not nearly “most”. It might be fourth, after pumping ions, synthesizing proteins, and making myosin go.

    The pumping ions, especially, because it is so expensive and so many of our cells have to do it all time, even when it isn’t necessary for them to do so. It is a feature common to all life on earth that is utterly incomprehensible from a design perspective, but for which evolution and abiogenesis easily explains.

  302. Amphiox says

    I thought selection was fickle shopper

    There is no shopper. That’s the point.

    perusing through a mall of rotten DNA replication errors looking for one decent enough to take home to the phenotype which would have more successful heritable differences? But you’re saying that selection is the marketplace?

    It is the INVISIBLE HAND of the marketplace.

  303. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And smart too. Really smart.

    Only in your god-be-soaked mind. Not smart, just effective. Unilke your arguments, which are neither smart nor effective.

  304. Amphiox says

    It’s been years of this dishonesty already, and the piper hasn’t gotten past an argument that can be exposed with Biology 101 understanding.

    Probably the only reason he is still tolerated after all these years is because he is so, so bad at attacking evolution and abiogenesis that every single post he makes actually ends up resulting in MORE support for evolution and abiogenesis, and FURTHER discrediting of creationism.

    If I was a creationist I’d be begging, BEGGING, the texpip to stop already.

  305. Dhorvath, OM says

    txpiper,
    Still not the driver. Selection is a process that happens between what is on offer and what is useful, hence the marketplace analogy. Selection doesn’t produce anything, although that selection happens can change the relative concentration of what is on offer, elevating things that are successful in current conditions and often extinguishing or at least making less common those things which are not.

  306. Amphiox says

    but what would you say is the natural analog for the save mechanism?

    Survival and reproduction.

  307. anteprepro says

    Every so often they go: “Evolution is just random mutations!”
    Someone answers: “You forgot selection!”
    Then txpiper says “Selection can’t produce anything new!”
    Someone answers: “You forgot mutations!”
    txpiper goes back to “Evolution is just random mutations!”
    Repeat ad infinitum.

    Holy shit, that’s the nail on the head! That’s the git’s game in perfect simplicity.

  308. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, I don’t understand what you mean by “at every save, only one branch was going forward”. It’s easy enough to understand why you would want to include it in the gamble, but what would you say is the natural analog for the save mechanism?

    Of course you don’t understand. You do that on purpose, you don’t want to understand. I’ll explain it for the lurker, as you won’t get it.

    As with any analogy, there are flaws, but what you didn’t get is that each generation that is still there is a saved game, and a possible branch going forward. Those games that go bust due to bad mutations, or not keeping up with the competitions, die out. Those branches end. Those branches with have neutral mutations can keep going to live or die later. Those with good mutations that enhances their production of offspring growing to reproduce themselves can start a fast growing branch that can dwarf the others.

    Unlike a gambling game, no intelligent selection is required. Just the ability to have more offspring surviving to reproduce in the next generation.

    If you want me to consider you creator/deity/designer, you must show conclusive physical evidence for it. But you continue to show nothing. Dissing evolution isn’t proving your deity. It is proving your ignorance. Your opinion isn’t evidence, and never will be.

  309. txpiper says

    “The environment is the driver. Selection is the engine. Mutations are the fuel.”

    A thundering partnership. What a beautiful introduction for a fairy. Actual natural selection is nothing more than some environmental factor. It is not any kind of ethereal presence like magnetism. It is organisms dying for any of a number of reasons, and that is all it is. All the fluff beyond that is just subdivided fantasy. The nonsense you floated is why people actually wind up so confused that they believe animals hanging around the water’s edge can accidentally evolve into marine species.

  310. anteprepro says

    A thundering partnership. What a beautiful introduction for a fairy….. All the fluff beyond that is just subdivided fantasy. The nonsense you floated is why people actually wind up so confused that they believe animals hanging around the water’s edge can accidentally evolve into marine species.

    Well, there’s also an unwarranted smugness and sense of self-importance. But that’s not so much part of txpiper’s game as much as what makes txpiper game all the more irritating.

  311. Dhorvath, OM says

    Actual natural selection is nothing more than some environmental factor.

    Sure. Of course it is. Selection is how mutations and environment interact. Some mutations are favoured by their environment, some environments provide extra benefit to mutations that happen within them. Or vice versa.

  312. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    hat a beautiful introduction for a fairy. Actual natural selection is nothing more than some environmental factor.

    Only in your mind. The fairy is your imaginary deity. The interaction of creatures with their environment is one way natural selection works. Unlike your imaginary deity, which doesn’t do anything but exist between your ears.

  313. Amphiox says

    Actual natural selection is nothing more than some environmental factor.

    Indeed it is. And that is all that is needed.

    It is not any kind of ethereal presence like magnetism.

    Magnetism is not any kind of ethereal presence. Magnetism is ALSO an environmental factor.

    It is organisms dying for any of a number of reasons, and that is all it is.

    And that is all that is necessary.

    All the fluff beyond that is just subdivided fantasy.

    Nothing is required “beyond” that.

    That is the POINT.

  314. Amphiox says

    The nonsense you floated is why people actually wind up so confused that they believe animals hanging around the water’s edge can accidentally evolve into marine species.

    Sadly for the poor texpip, his creationism can’t even distinguish the difference between a whale and a fish.

    Yet another example of how the texpip’s creationism is utterly, completely, irredeemable useless.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_sirenians

  315. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Everyone should just give up. The fucking piper has just disproved modern biology. All research should just come to an end. It is all just a fucking fairy of the mind.

    All courtesy of a man who follows the biggest fairy of them all.

    But, please, continue playing with the dumb fuck. The piper is useless for anything else.

  316. Dhorvath, OM says

    Janine, I play so seldom, the toys that are available are what I make time with.

  317. Amphiox says

    If “fairy” is the metaphor the texpip would prefer to use, then the texpip can babble about “fairies” until the heat death of the universe.

    The reality of evolution will not change, nor care.

  318. Tethys says

    texpiper is still here playing the role of the fool? I guess its important for everybody to feel needed.

    He is annoyingly obtuse, but I find these threads to be the most fascinating and educational reading. The aquatic ape thread is also full of amazing science that has happened since I was a student.

    Thank you DM, Owlmirror, Amphiox, Nerd, Chas, Theophontes, and all the other people who have tried so hard to get some facts into texpipers brain. I deeply appreciate you sharing your knowledge so clearly and concisely.

  319. David Marjanović says

    Oh gosh no. It can’t be stupid. As Nerd stated, natural selection can “arrive at new solutions when there is something to drive that selection”.

    So? What makes you think any intelligence is required for that?

    I’ve never seen it stated like that, or heard of selection being driven.

    Of course you have. It just so happens that your memory is an unusually coarse colander which you meticulously clean every day lest any holes ever close up.

    Actually I thought it was supposed to be the driver.

    That’s where different people use different or inconsistent metaphors, because any metaphor can only go so far. Why don’t you try to understand what’s really going on, without that extra layer of metaphors in between?

    But it can be disruptive also, so I guess there must be some kind of mood involved.

    I think you’re trying to be funny. If so, you’re failing really hard.

    Disruptive selection = the effect of an environment where two extremes survive and reproduce more easily than the middle.

    It also seems to get stuck sometimes. Or should I say stumped? Like with this guy:

    “This species is considered to be one of the oldest living species on the planet at around 200 million years old. Fossils of this species from the Upper Triassic (Norian) period appear virtually unchanged compared to modern day members of the species.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triops_cancriformis

    So what happens with this? All that evolving and then the selection pressure goes limp all over the world for two hundred million years? Where did powerful go?

    First, you have once again forgotten about stabilizing selection: when an environment is stable, it can happen that a phenotype fits it well enough that further improvements are difficult or impossible. Selection going limp would mean that diversity would increase at random as more and more mutations would be neutral instead of beneficial or detrimental; instead, the members of this species all look about the same, which means there’s strong stabilizing selection at work – in other words, that phenotypic outliers don’t survive and reproduce as well as the average.

    Second, you should have checked the source of the statement in the Wikipedia article. You’ll note there that the Triassic fossils are called Triops cancriformis minor. This means they were, by their describer at least, considered a different subspecies from the extantTriops cancriformis cancriformis; the name itself suggests the fossils are smaller than their extant relatives.

    Third, the paper linked to in comment 351 says a lot of important things just in the abstract:
    – there are populations of Triops cancriformis with separate sexes, others where everyone is a hermaphrodite, and yet others are androdioecious, meaning that some individuals are males and the others are hermaphrodites;
    – unsurprisingly, different populations even within the same subspecies have distinguishable mtDNA;
    – in addition to Triops cancriformis cancriformis, there are other extant subspecies, namely Triops cancriformis simplex and Triops cancriformis mauritanicus;
    – by whatever species concept the authors use, the latter should be called a separate species, Triops mauritanicus. That would definitely mean that they’d consider the Triassic “subspecies” a separate species, too.

    A thundering partnership. What a beautiful introduction for a fairy.

    It’s called “unweaving the rainbow”.

    (That’s also the title of a book you should read.)

    Actual natural selection is nothing more than some environmental factor. It is not any kind of ethereal presence like magnetism.

    Close. The term “natural selection” is shorthand for the effects of environmental factors – climate, predators, food, toxins, competitors, and so on, even magnetism in cases like these.

    (I’m not sure why you call magnetism “ethereal”. Please explain.)

    It is organisms dying for any of a number of reasons, and that is all it is.

    I remember very well the last time we explained to you that it goes both ways: selection is organisms with detrimental mutations having fewer surviving fertile offspring than the existing average, and organisms with beneficial mutations having more surviving fertile offspring than the existing average.

    You simply ignored everything we said.

    All the fluff beyond that is just subdivided fantasy.

    Bingo!

    The nonsense you floated is why people actually wind up so confused that they believe animals hanging around the water’s edge can accidentally evolve into marine species.

    “Accidentally”? By no means!

    Merely hanging around there doesn’t exert any selective pressure to become marine. It doesn’t make those better able to live in the sea have more surviving fertile offspring.

    If, however, there’s more food in the sea than on land, and if this food is more easily procured by swimming/diving than by just walking along the shore, and if there aren’t already too many competitors in the sea doing just that, then those individuals that are, because of their mutations, better able to live in the sea than the average of the population will be able to reproduce more successfully.

    That’s how it works. That’s how it worked in the Lenski experiment, too, just with fewer factors to consider.

  320. Amphiox says

    Thank you DM, Owlmirror, Amphiox, Nerd, Chas, Theophontes, and all the other people who have tried so hard to get some facts into texpipers brain. I deeply appreciate you sharing your knowledge so clearly and concisely.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I gave up any pretense of forcing facts into texpip’s brain years ago. What facts I throw out are for others, like you, to osmose.

    The texpip is but a framing device.

  321. Amphiox says

    Disruptive selection = the effect of an environment where two extremes survive and reproduce more easily than the middle.

    Which is an important speciation mechanism.

    How nice for the texpip to concede, no, flat out affirm, that natural selection can be “disruptive” and thus produce speciation!

  322. Amphiox says

    But it can be disruptive also, so I guess there must be some kind of mood involved.

    When it comes to sexual selection, some kind of mood CAN be involved.

    So thank you, texpip, for conceding, no, flat out affirming, that sexual selection can be disruptive, which results in speciation.

  323. Amphiox says

    (Even when the texpip tries to lie by mangling metaphors deliberately, he does such a bad job of it that his statements end up supporting the reality of evolution)

    But I suppose one can’t really blame him. Because evolution is REAL, it is hard not to do anything when discussing the subject in the real world that does not end up supporting the reality of evolution.

  324. Owlmirror says

    What a beautiful introduction for a fairy.

    Your jackassery is noted.

    It is not any kind of ethereal presence like magnetism.

    (I’m not sure why you call magnetism “ethereal”. Please explain.)

    txpiper: secretly a juggalo?

    This would explain so much.

  325. Ichthyic says

    What a beautiful introduction for a fairy.

    I’ve read lots of stories about fairies.

    can’t recall any of them included examining heritable variation and selection in them though.

    think you’re getting your fictions mixed up old man.

    easy to do when you’re delusional. You should seek help for that.

  326. says

    @ Amphiox

    But I suppose one can’t really blame him.

    Indeed, it is a perfectly common compulsion to build up the imaginary sky-gods:

    We like to think that we have certain concepts or hold certain beliefs because it is in our interest, because they seem rational, because they provide a sound explanation of what happens around us, because they create a coherent worldview, and so on. But none of these views explains what we actually find in human cultures. It seems more plausible that cultural transmission is relevance-driven. That is, concepts that “excite” more inference¹ systems, fit more easily into their expectations, and trigger richer inferences (or all of these) are more likely to be acquired and transmitted than material that less easily corresponds to expectation formats or does not generate inferences. We do not have the cultural concepts we have because they make sense or are useful but because the way our brains are put together makes it very difficult not to build them.

    ¹We infer a lot of our knowledge. For example: Operating on a cat and noticing it has a heart, we then infer that all cats have hearts. Our minds are riddled with such (specialised) inference systems that extend our knowledge of the world and in particular the social environment.

    Though they know little of YHWH (actually nothing at all, if one is to be pedantic), given the initial assumptions of such a sky-god, Xtians can infer all manner of things about it. The inference systems in question invariable correspond to those used to create intuitions about people. The decoupled mode if inference (ie: purely conjectural eg, Binky or my Imaginary Cat ™) functions quite as well as it does in dealing with real people. txpiper cannot help himself but flesh out YHWH into something that appears quite real to him. Now that we call into question this confused mass of intuitions about his imaginary sky-god, he becomes quite defensive and lashes out at reality.

    ² The quoted piece comes from Boyer’s “Religion Explained” which gives an anthropologist’s eye view of religion.

  327. David Marjanović says

    The texpip is gone again.

    He probably needs to wash his brain, because he learned something.

  328. Owlmirror says

    The texpip is gone again.

    He probably needs to wash his brain, because he learned something.

    I strongly suspect that it’s physically impossible for him to learn anything.

    I thought I might have maybe been getting through to him, back in 2006, but I completely underestimated how thick he is.

    As I recall, he later said that he got bored and decided to sneer at Muslims instead of sneering and evolutionary biology. I suspect he’s doing something similar now.

  329. txpiper says

    ”…selection is organisms with detrimental mutations having fewer surviving fertile offspring than the existing average, and organisms with beneficial mutations having more surviving fertile offspring than the existing average.”

    You’re overemphasizing mutations, when he object of the replication enzymes game is fidelity. The norm is stasis, and though it might be irritating, that is generally what is observed, as in the case of the shrimp, for supposedly two hundred million years (or perhaps it is three hundred http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/features/story.aspx?id=212&cookieConsent=A)

    .

    ”If, however, there’s more food in the sea than on land, and if this food is more easily procured by swimming/diving than by just walking along the shore, and if there aren’t already too many competitors in the sea doing just that, then those individuals that are, because of their mutations, better able to live in the sea than the average of the population will be able to reproduce more successfully.”

    David, there is no way to even assess the number or character of the replication errors it would take to render Pakicetus into a blue whale in thirty or forty million fantasy years. Any kind of analysis should recognize this as a complete absurdity. There is absolutely no way to find a dime’s worth of parsimony in such a sappy idea. It doesn’t matter how much food there is, or how well one critter might be able to reproduce. The bottom line is that millions of successive, beneficial germline mutations cannot occur, no matter how helpful they might be, to the organism, or the theory.

  330. David Marjanović says

    You’re overemphasizing mutations,

    As if you could tell!

    when he object of the replication enzymes game is fidelity.

    Not only are they not perfect, but we have numbers on exactly how well they work.

    Dumbass.

    The norm is stasis, and though it might be irritating, that is generally what is observed, as in the case of the shrimp

    “The shrimp”? Tadpole shrimps aren’t even shrimps, unless you stretch that term absurdly wide.

    And what are comments 351 and 373? Chopped liver? Shall they never be found, like Tyre?

    David, there is no way to even assess the number or character of the replication errors it would take to render Pakicetus into a blue whale in thirty or forty million fantasy years.

    Uh, sure there is. Perform a phylogenetic analysis on whole genomes, reconstruct the genome of the MRCA of whales and hippos, and then count the changes from that to a blue whale. :-|

    This would, of course, count all mutations, not just the beneficial ones.

    Any kind of analysis should recognize this as a complete absurdity. There is absolutely no way to find a dime’s worth of parsimony in such a sappy idea. It doesn’t matter how much food there is, or how well one critter might be able to reproduce.

    Argument from personal incredulity.

    Shame.

    millions of successive, beneficial germline mutations cannot occur

    By “successive”, do you mean “in a row, with no neutral or detrimental mutations occurring in between”?

    Because that would be remarkably stupid, you know.

  331. anteprepro says

    thirty or forty million fantasy years.

    But 5 or 6 thousand fantasy years, magically disappearing flood waters, and a genetic bottleneck 4000 years in which all life was preserved on a magical indestructible boat…that’s parsimony!

  332. Amphiox says

    There is absolutely no way to find a dime’s worth of parsimony in such a sappy idea.

    Only because it is not a dime but gold bullion.

    If sappy is your preferred metaphor, texpip, go right ahead and babble about it.

    The truth doesn’t care what adjective you use to describe it.

    The bottom line is that millions of successive, beneficial germline mutations cannot occur, no matter how helpful they might be, to the organism, or the theory.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6135/972

  333. Amphiox says

    it would take to render Pakicetus into a blue whale

    It is nice for the texpip to bring this up.

    It highlights how his poor, pathetic, useless creationism couldn’t tell the difference between a whale and a fish, let alone even begin to explain how a blue whale came to be.

    Actually, I take that back. Your pitiful creationism is not useless, texpip. It is WORSE than useless.

    It actively promotes falsehood and denies truth. It is a blight upon the intellectual progress of humanity. Would that it was just a sappy idea. It would have to be improved a thousandfold to even come close to being sappy. It is instead putrid, foul, and toxic. It stifles curiosity and encourages dishonesty. It rewards arrogance. It promotes ignorance. It is a sucking void without any redemptive properties of any kind whatsoever.

  334. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see txpiper is making the logical and rational fallacy that if he tarnishes evolution, he proves his imaginary deity. That isn’t even a consideration. If the present version of evolution isn’t sufficient, a Nobel prize awaits a better version. Which will be published in the peer reviewed scientific literature, unlike ID/creationism, which appear only with references to biblical inerrancy (*snicker*). Since he can’t show the science is wrong, and he needs independent positive evidence for his imaginary deity. But, since it doesn’t exist except between his ears, that evidence is also known as vaporware.

  335. Amphiox says

    When Isaac Newton ignored his creationist upbringing, he revolutionized physics.

    When he tried to apply creationist principles to his physics, it caused him to screw up so badly it delayed the progress of physics by 200 years, at which point he became the butt of a frenchman’s joke.

    Your creationism, texpip, is worse than useless. It turns smart men, like Newton, into fools, and fools, like you, into liars.

  336. Amphiox says

    The norm is stasis

    That’s right, texpip. Thank you for admitting that the breadth of modern biological diversity would have been impossible if there ever had been a bottleneck 4000 years ago like Noah’s Flood.

    Thank you for admitted, once again, that your creationism is not only wrong, it is impossible.

  337. Amphiox says

    Now that the texpip in his usual pattern of pathos and self defeat has brought up the topic of Pakicetus, we can bring to attention the fact that the inner ear structure of Pakicetus is yet another one of those details which evolution theory easily explains, but which the texpip’s pitiful worse than useless creationism not only could not explain, it did not even know such a thing existed until evolution theory told it so.

  338. txpiper says

    “Argument from personal incredulity.”

    No, it’s an argument that acknowledges all the obstacles having to do with mutations.

  339. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, it’s an argument that acknowledges all the obstacles having to do with mutations.

    Which shows your dishonesty, as evolution is RANDOM MUTATION and NATURAL SELECTION, and both work together. You have no argument as you can’t evidence it. All you have is your personal disbelief. Which you are entitled to, but I don’t have to believe a word you say, or that your imaginary deity exists. Deal with that elsewhere.

    PZ, time for the thunderdome yet?

  340. Owlmirror says

    thirty or forty million fantasy years.

    Are you being a YEC jackass again? Because it is not physically possible for those thirty or forty million years to be a “fantasy” — unless you’re going to argue that there is an invisible magic person with magic powers that magically made radioisotopes appear to have been decaying for millions of years old by magic.

    Is that what you’re arguing for? Some sort of magic isotope fairy?

    Any kind of analysis should recognize this as a complete absurdity.

    Why is the only one doing this so-called “analysis” an ignoramus like yourself, who doesn’t actually know anything at all about mutations, biology, statistics, biochemistry, or, indeed, making any kind of analysis that involves actual science and math?

    There is absolutely no way to find a dime’s worth of parsimony in such a sappy idea.

    There is absolutely no way that a sap like you knows what parsimony actually means.

    It doesn’t matter how much food there is, or how well one critter might be able to reproduce.

    Sez you. Got any science to back up your ludicrous argument by personal fiat?

    The bottom line is that millions of successive, beneficial germline mutations cannot occur, no matter how helpful they might be, to the organism, or the theory.

    The bottom line is that you still have no idea what you are talking about.

    “Argument from personal incredulity.”
    No, it’s an argument that acknowledges all the obstacles having to do with mutations.

    What obstacles would these be? The magic obstacles that come from the magic obstacle fairy?

  341. Amphiox says

    No, it’s an argument that acknowledges all the obstacles having to do with mutations.

    E PUR SI EVOLVES, texpip.

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002379

    Since your “obstacles” are all imaginary and sappy, and already proven by an ample scientific literature of which you have already been given multiple examples, yes it is an argument from personal incredulity.

    And of course, as usual, texpip, you ignore the fact that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the obstacles you describe is one which selection and mutations overcome with ease, but which your pathetic, worse than useless creationism can’t surmount at all.

  342. says

    txpiper is using the standard creationist dodge of looking at the end product of all that evolution (from pakicetus to whales in this case) and pretending – since it was highly unlikely for that particular sequence of mutations to have taken place to produce the particular creatures we call whales – that it can’t have actually happened.
     
    What everybody not calling themselves txpiper already understands, of course, is that that particular sequence of mutations wasn’t necessary at all. All that was necessary was for the population to spend a very long time living mostly in the water. Any mutation that was beneficial probably would be a mutation that made the critters a little bit less like their ancestors and a little better adapted to the water.
     
    Keep it up long enough and you will very likely end up with something very, very different. In this case, the result is a group of creatures that we call “whales”. But it could have come out a multitude of different ways.
     
    Having written that out I see it’s basically an inverted Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.

  343. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    txpiper is trying to pretend *zot* all the mutations to go from australopithecenes to homo happened in one fell swoop via his imaginary deity. Pitiful, as the smaller gaps are being filled in with real science, and he has nothing. Can’t even understand the computer game save analogy, where an “unlikely” sequence occurred due to repeated saves and restarts from more advanced positions until the final goal was reached. That is how evolution works though. But then, he won’t learn. Can’t learn. It might make him doubt himself and his special place in the universe.

  344. Owlmirror says

    txpiper whining about Pakicetus to the blue whale evolution looked familiar, and sure enough, he did it before on the Reactions from Kamloops thread, two years ago (and also again a few months later, although he bailed from that thread rather quickly).

    Anyway, since we did whale phylogeny just recently, I thought I’d post links to the two papers mentioned in that thread:

      The origin (s) of whales
    http://people.trentu.ca/~sarahdungan/Trent_marine_mammals/Lectures_files/whale%20evolution%20overview.pdf

      A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale
    https://www.montclair.edu/profilepages/media/5008/user/Gatesy_et_al._2012_A_phylogenetic_blueprint_for_a_modern_whale.pdf

  345. Amphiox says

    Holy shit, he really does just keep banging the same few drums over and over, doesn’t he?

    That’s what happens when one allows oneself to be seduced by an intellectually lazy, dishonest, and worse than useless world view/theory like the texpip’s creationism, which provides no useful insights, no new information, and no avenue for obtaining new understanding. You are stuck cycling same old, useless, talking points over and over again like a hamster on a badly designed wheel.

    There are few more vivid demonstrations of the intellectual bankruptcy of creationist thought than the behavior of the texpip on these threads over the years.

  346. txpiper says

    “That’s what happens when one allows oneself to be seduced by an intellectually lazy, dishonest….”

    No, that is what happens when you refuse to willfully and deliberately ignore statistical problems.

    You might get a better handle on this if you would email the people who author the papers you adore, and actually ask hard questions. You will be out of the support group environment if you do this, and it would be hard for you, just like it would be if you raised a point of doubt in a classroom. But if you can find the courage to face the problems, you can ask the questions.

  347. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, that is what happens when you refuse to willfully and deliberately ignore statistical problems.

    But we don’t ignore statistics, you do. Evolution has no problem with statistics. So say the professionals in the field. Who the fuck are you to claim otherwise without citing a peer reviewed scientific paper. Your opinion will be ignored.

    You have the problem. Your incredulity is based on your ignorance and presuppositional delusions.

    You won’t ever show your creationism should be considered by attempting to trash evolution. You must talk and evidence up your inane idea. But, you also have to show your imaginary deity exists with conclusive physical evidence. You know you can’t do that. Which is why you try to trash evolution. You can’t show anything you say is worth anything. It explains nothing, leads to no new research, and is a deep well of bullshit.

  348. Owlmirror says

    No, that is what happens when you refuse to willfully and deliberately ignore statistical problems.

    You mean, the statistics that biostatisticians study, and you don’t actually know anything about? The statistical facts that that are not actually a problem for the theory of evolution?

    It is indeed intellectually lazy and dishonest for you to claim that there are “statistical problems” when you know nothing at all about statistics, probability, or their relation to biology.

    You might get a better handle on this if you would email the people who author the papers you adore, and actually ask hard questions.

    Hey, you never answer “hard” questions, like “What statistical problems?”

    You will be out of the support group environment if you do this, and it would be hard for you, just like it would be if you raised a point of doubt in a classroom.

    A “point of doubt” like: What kind of idiot could claim that “Tyre cannot be found” when Tyre can in fact be found?

    But if you can find the courage to face the problems, you can ask the questions.

    I guess that makes you a coward.

  349. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . But if you can find the courage to face the problems, you can ask the questions.

    Except everything you bring up is not a “problem” outside of the creationist (presuppositional and religious) literature. Scientist have no problems with what you claim.

    You are the one who has problems because your imaginary deity isn’t needed for squat. So you have to throw the equivalent of a temper tantrum with lies and bullshit to pretend there are problems with evolution. And in 5 years, how often have you dinged evolution to make a scientist doubt it? ZERO TIMES. Wasted energy and effort on your part. Your delusions of a creator/designer are your problem.

  350. Amphiox says

    We have already covered your asinine claims of “statistical problems” dozens of times over, texpip, you pathetic liar.

    The numbers have all been thorough crunched already, and, sadly for you, texpip, they demonstrate that the scenarios posited by evolutionary theory are not only NOT problematic, they are likely.

    We have already provided you with citation after citation demonstrating these numbers. All of which you have ignored.

    Because you are a pitiful liar.

    And of course, these statistical “problems” you bring up, while easy for evolution theory to deal with, are actually UTTERLY INSURMOUNTABLE for your sad, worse than useless creationism, which has done nothing over the years but provide an endless string of DIVIDE-BY-ZERO errors.

  351. Amphiox says

    When Lord Kelvin ignored the creationism he was brought up with, he revolutionized our understanding of thermodynamics.

    When he tried to apply those creationist ideas to his scientific work it not only cost him an opportunity to predict the existence of radioactivity decades in advance, it lead him directly into simplistic and massive blunders (which were identified by one of his own students even before the existence of radioactivity was discovered) that turned him into a laughingstock.

    Your creationism, texpip, is worse than useless. It turns smart men like Kelvin into fools, and fools like you into pathetic, dishonest hacks.

  352. Ichthyic says

    You might get a better handle on this if you would email the people who author the papers you adore, and actually ask hard questions.

    look, I know you’re literally nuts, but asking someone something out of complete ignorance, and then assuming that means you asked a hard question?

    yeah… even YOU should have just enough self awareness to conclude something is wrong in the old cabeza there.

  353. Owlmirror says

    When [Lord Kelvin] tried to apply those creationist ideas to his scientific work it not only cost him an opportunity to predict the existence of radioactivity decades in advance, it lead him directly into simplistic and massive blunders (which were identified by one of his own students even before the existence of radioactivity was discovered)

    Just to provide the references for the parenthetical statement:

    England, Phillip et al. Kelvin, Perry and the Age of the Earth. American Scientist. 2007. July-August, pp. 342-349. PDF
    England, Phillip et al. John Perry’s neglected critique of Kelvin’s age for the Earth: A missed opportunity in geodynamics. GSA Today. 2007. v 17, n 1, pp. 4-9. PDF

  354. txpiper says

    ”E PUR SI EVOLVES”

    You’ve almost got this up to a chant. If you could flesh it out a little and set it to music, it could be really moving. Probably not like Psalm 3, as somehow I can’t see you being able to pull together very many atheist sopranos, but if you hang in there to hear the girls get up to that F, you’ll see what I mean.

    Now that you’re nauseated, I can go with “adapts”, but not “evolves”. Some things just seem a little over the top for replication errors, even with the most prudent natural selector helping out, like this: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7423/full/nature11586.html#/affil-auth

  355. says

    TXPIPER: You are too stupid to be playing in the regular threads. You are now confined exclusively to commenting in the Thunderdome thread. Do not post anywhere else or you will be banned. Go there and stay there, because I’m tired of seeing you bloat up threads with your ignorance.

  356. txpiper says

    PZ,

    I won’t be posting there, but thank you for your patience and tolerance. I enjoyed my time here.

    txpiper

  357. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    This last comment by txpiper is just mystifying:

    ”E PUR SI EVOLVES”
    You’ve almost got this up to a chant. If you could flesh it out a little and set it to music, it could be really moving. Probably not like Psalm 3, as somehow I can’t see you being able to pull together very many atheist sopranos,

    What does he mean with that dumb crack about many atheist sopranos? Is there something different about atheists that we can’t be sopranos, or is there something different about sopranos that we can’t be atheists?

    It’s not as if we don’t have literally millions of atheist women with soprano voices to choose from if we want to start a new choir with only atheist-sopranos allowed … but why would we even want to do that? Already-existing professional choirs sing traditional secular music, modern secular music, traditional religious music – whatever sounds like good music (and whatever the programming director thinks will get audiences and sponsors).

    I guess if txpiper constricts his life with such terror of the ungodly world that he literally has never heard a choir besides the choir at his church, that might explain his dumb idea. But even then, odds are that at least one of the members of the choir at his church is a non-believer. Not an in-your-face atheist, sure, but nonetheless a non-believer who won’t leave the choir because it’s where she loves to sing.

    Well, now txpiper can’t clear this up here. But he wasn’t going to clear it up, anyways, as we all know. Sad.

  358. Amphiox says

    E PUR SI THUNDERDOME, texpip.

    It is unsurprising that you are too much of a coward to post there. The thread is even on topic right now for your blithering, thanks to joey.

  359. Amphiox says

    If the texpip should ever summon up the courage to actually post on Thunderdome, the next time he brings up neurons and their electrical signal transmission as “oh so complex”, we can simply cite him back his own article about bacteria doing a pretty similar thing.

  360. Amphiox says

    What does he mean with that dumb crack about many atheist sopranos? Is there something different about atheists that we can’t be sopranos, or is there something different about sopranos that we can’t be atheists?

    He’s trying to imply that atheists are lonely men who cannot attract women into their ranks, of course. Your standard misogynist gendered insult of the schoolyard variety vis-a-vis sophistication. Not the first time he has done something like that. He is as disgustingly misogynistic as any of the MRAs, as he has demonstrated full well whenever he has bothered to infest a social, rather than scientific, thread.

  361. David Marjanović says

    I enjoyed my time here.

    And did not learn a single thing in six or seven years.

    It’s sad. It’s really sad.