The gripping congressional hearings on the events of January 6th


I generally follow US political news fairly closely so you would think that the public hearings on the riot on January 6th would not contain much that is new to me. But I have been impressed at how well put together the hearings have been, with the committee combining live testimony with previous closed-door testimony to lay out a clear and coherent picture of what happened and why. What it laid out was a damning indictment of what a lying, lawless, person Donald Trump is.

What the hearings reveal is that what happened on January 6th was the culmination of a plan hatched by Trump and a few of his close political advisors, based on a hare-brained theory concocted by a lawyer named John Eastman, that Mike Pence had the power to unilaterally overturn the results, a theory that all the legal and other sane people working in the White House and justice department thought was utterly crazy and possibly criminal. They told Eastman and Trump so but they went ahead anyway, which shows criminal intent.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol presented evidence on Thursday that Donald Trump was told his last-gasp attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election was unlawful but forged ahead anyway.

Trump then pressured his vice-president, Mike Pence, to reject a tally of state electors as part of a plot that brought the country “dangerously close to catastrophe”, the panel heard.

Trump was told repeatedly that the plan was unlawful, according to witnesses and testimony from his closest advisers. Yet in the final days before Congress was due to certify the election results Trump increased his public and private pressure campaign on his loyal lieutenant to do his bidding.

“What the president wanted the vice-president to do was not just wrong, it was illegal and unconstitutional,” Congresswoman Liz Cheney, a Republican of Wyoming and the committee’s vice-chair, said on Thursday.

The hearing concluded ominously, with a warning from Luttig that the same forces continue to threaten American democracy.

Trump and his allies remain “clear and present danger to American democracy,” Luttig told the panel, not because of what happened on January 6 but because of their determination to “succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020”.

I cannot summarize all what came out in the hearings yesterday, but Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Trevor Noah did a good job of it.

Samantha Bee’s show this week was taped before yesterday’s hearings but she gave the background from the previous two hearings.

It is clear that Trump is worried about the effect these hearings are having because today he issued an all-caps statement “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!”.

Comments

  1. Mano Singham says

    jimf @3,

    Actually, I find trolls amusing most of the time, to see how vacuous their arguments are and their pitiful attempts to change the subject when it touches on things that look bad for them. They can also be revealing. For example, we now know that txpiper is a Trump acolyte, a gun nut, and an anti-evolutionist, which reveals a lot about them. I suspect that they may also be anti-vaxxers since these seem to form a package.

    It is clear that such people are not seeking genuine engagement but merely want to distract. If they start becoming really disruptive, I may take some action but for the moment, I recommend others do what I do, have a good chuckle at the idiocy revealed in their posts, and move on.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    @jimf: not everyone is that brittle and intolerant.

    @txpiper: you appear to be under the impression the hearings are trying to be, or should be, gripping prime time television. Hint: that’s not what they’re about. The fact they ARE gripping to an engaged, interested minority is just a bonus, but nobody could ever expect the average American to give a shit. Hardly. You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West.

  3. Mano Singham says

    sonofrojblake @#5,

    I am surprised that you did not provide a link to this classic scene that you were alluding to, that ends with the punchline you omitted.

  4. txpiper says

    sonofrojblake,

    With the mid-terms looming, and lots of economic bad news, I think the hearings might have a little to do with distraction.

  5. Rob Grigjanis says

    Mano @6: I think the percentage of readers who know the punchline is not much less than 100.

  6. Deepak Shetty says

    but because of their determination to “succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020”

    So Vice President Kamal Harris can reject whatever the people choose and certify whoever she wants as President 🙂 (herself most likely)?

    @txpiper @7

    With the mid-terms looming, and lots of economic bad news, I think the hearings might have a little to do with distraction.

    I suppose the Democrats planned it all including the insurrection so that they may have something to distract the midterms with -- And being all super intelligent and all they knew how the economy was going to perform (in 2021 no less).But I suppose it could be worse -- If the Republicans were in power we might be staring at a Russia-US war given that war is the favorite distraction of Republicans when things dont go their way.

  7. sonofrojblake says

    @txpiper, 7: is it a distraction? Or is nobody watching? I mean… pick one.

  8. txpiper says

    sonofrojblake@10,

    I’m sure democrats want people to watch and talk about the hearings, but they don’t seem to be drawing much attention. I wonder what the numbers would have been were they just on C-SPAN.

  9. John Morales says

    txpiper, being evasive is being evasive. Very noticeable. Not subtle.

    I can be less subtle, of course. So:

    sonofrojblake is asking you “is it a distraction? Or is nobody watching?”

    It can’t be both.

    More to the point, your evasion only works if one considers the hearings to have no national or constitutional or legal or political significance — being a distraction and all.

    In short, you’re intimating that you consider the hearings to have no merit at all, other than being a distraction.
    That they have of no intrinsic significance to you, personally.

    Which is fine, but is not answering the question posed to you.

    (You responded to it, but you did not answer it)

  10. Owlmirror says

    I’m sure democrats want people to watch and talk about the hearings, but they don’t seem to be drawing much attention.

    You have to wonder why DJT wants “equal time” at the hearings, then. Why bother if almost no-one will see it? He could just as easily do his presentation on his own networks and/or sites.

    Do you think he’s just stupid, or is it that he’s being ill-advised on how many people are paying attention to the hearings?

  11. txpiper says

    John Morales,

    ” “is it a distraction? Or is nobody watching?” It can’t be both.”

    The committee might hope that the hearings draw attention away from other issues, but it might not be doing that. So it could be both, a failed distraction due to low viewership.
    ===
    Owlmirror,

    “You have to wonder why DJT wants “equal time” at the hearings, then.”

    I have no idea. Chairman Thompson has already let it be known that committee will not be making any any criminal referrals. Were I Trump I would ignore these proceedings.

  12. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    So it could be both, a failed distraction due to low viewership.

    A failed distraction, by its nature, fails to be an actual distraction. So, no, it cannot be both.

    But I know what you mean… you intended to say an attempted distraction.

    Except you didn’t.

    Anyway, if it has in fact failed or was merely an attempt, what’s the problem with its continuance? It has no significance, since it does not distract.

    The committee might hope that the hearings draw attention away from other issues, but it might not be doing that.

    Very committal of you. “might” indeed, “might not” indeed.

    Were I Trump I would ignore these proceedings.

    Which goes to show you know nothing about Trump’s character.

    You’re making the same type of conceptual error; here: if you were Trump, you would act like Trump, else you would not be like Trump.

    In any event, we know damn well how he has reacted. With empty bluster.

    (You do know how to find stuff on the internet, no?)

  13. txpiper says

    John Morales,

    Very penetrating analysis. You win. You need to put those skills to work sorting out how random DNA replication errors produced those gears.

  14. John Morales says

    You thought you were in some sort of competition? Heh.

    (That you imagine pointing out the obvious is some sort of “win” is informative)

  15. Holms says

    I’m sure democrats want people to watch and talk about the hearings

    Please explain this knowledge you claim to have about their thoughts and desires. Psychic abilities, or projecting your assumptions?

  16. Holms says

    #4 Mano

    Actually, I find trolls amusing most of the time, to see how vacuous their arguments are and their pitiful attempts to change the subject when it touches on things that look bad for them.

    It is difficult to find a better example of this than comment #16!

  17. lanir says

    “I DEMAND EQUAL TIME!!!”

    So… He wants the January 6th committee to have 6 or 7 more years of free, widespread publicity before he gets to respond? I’m fine with that. Strange that he’s suggesting it, though.

    @txpiper: You’re not convincing anyone because your take involves arguing both sides of one issue: politicians and accountability. On the one hand, you want maximum accountability for gas prices. On the other you seem dismissive of an attempt to greatly reduce the degree of accountability politicians have on any issue to the people they govern. That’s what authoritarian coups do, they make the government only accountable to those who could fund another coup. Gas prices would be the least of your concerns at that point. No politician would be accountable to you for those or anything else.

    I suppose if you’re very, very rich this makes sense. The coup would have installed a government that was more responsive to you in particular in that case. But for 99.9%+ of Americans it would just be installing a government that had little reason to even pretend to care what they wanted anymore. I’m not rich enough for them to listen to me and I doubt anyone else here is either.

    This is why your arguments all read as gibberish. And why you should probably rethink your bad take on this. Unless you’re a billionaire, you’re supporting ideas that even go against your own personal interests.

  18. txpiper says

    lanir,

    “You’re not convincing anyone….”

    Of what? Polls seem to indicate that people are noticing economic problems that they are associating with democrat policies. I see no reason to doubt that democrats want to draw attention away from those problems, but the J6 hearings viewership is fading. That is my perception, but I could be wrong.

  19. Pierce R. Butler says

    Mano Singham @ # 4: I suspect that they may also be anti-vaxxers since these seem to form a package.

    Yep, somewhere on FtB a couple of weeks ago txpiper expressed a preference for “naturally-acquired immunity” in a discussion of vaccination (an excellent example of failed distraction, at least).

    So far the pattern of across-the-board wrongness persists unbroken. A hint for txpiper: try getting something right, just to make your comments potentially slightly interesting!

  20. txpiper says

    Pierce R. Butler,

    I’m not a good match for Mano’s Trump acolyte, gun nut, anti-evolutionist and anti-vax package,
    The only time I recall ever mentioning Donald Trump in an FTB discussion was in response to Owlmirror’s question above. I am not an NRA member, have no cc license, and own no rifles. I was Moderna vaccinated. And I’m not so much anti-evolution as I am aware that you have to believe in stupid things in order to accept baseline evolutionary dogma.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    txpiper @ # 23: … you have to believe in stupid things in order to accept baseline evolutionary dogma.

    Doubtlessly I’ll regret this, but it’s been a slow day: name those “stupid things”, please.

  22. tuatara says

    txpiper @21

    Polls seem to indicate that people are noticing economic problems that they are associating with democrat policies.

    Yeah, because inflation is only affecting the USA ffs.
    A good citizen would take great pains to point out that the current global supply crisis started during covid, much of which fell within the trump dictatorship, has been exascerbated by the invasion by putin of Ukraine and subsequent soaring demand for a suddenly diminished supply of oil gas, wheat, bla bla fucking bla.
    Your handwaving suggests that you are a chump who perhaps deserves to have had your democracy stolen from you by your glorious billionaire overlords.
    The Jan 6 hearings are showing the world that the fuckwit trump should be in jail and that the USA cannot deliver justice in a fair way.
    But hey, that’s capitalism folks!

  23. Holms says

    #23 txpiper

    I’m not a good match for Mano’s Trump acolyte, gun nut, anti-evolutionist and anti-vax package

    I am not an NRA member, have no cc license, and own no rifles.

    But you own multiple other firearms, and you oppose gun buybacks and restrictions except as a last resort. And even then, you will only give yours up for $20,000 each. You are one of the people objecting to the most effective firearm legislation, making you a gun nut.

    And I’m not so much anti-evolution as I am aware that you have to believe in stupid things in order to accept baseline evolutionary dogma.

    This comment alone reveals you to be anti-evolution, but your other comments have done as much while also revealing your total lack of knowledge on the topic. To wit, you consider evolution a random process, you think every organism is ‘finished’ and static, you did not know beneficial mutations are retained generationally, you explicitly reject evolution as the origin for complex traits… you are very obviously anti-evolution.

    (I don’t know about the other accusations against you as I did not witness your commentary on those topics.)

  24. Owlmirror says

    Nearly a decade ago, I asked txpiper a rather open set of questions which he never answered:

    ====================

    “txpiper, do you accept the scientific facts that the age of the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the age of the universe is about 13.8 billion years old?”

    No, I do not accept those ages as scientific facts.

    OK, you disbelieve in facts.

    Can we try and figure out the prior beliefs or disbeliefs that lead to these current disbeliefs? For example, if you disbelieved in the Titanic disaster, it might be because you disbelieved in icebergs, or passenger ships, or because you imagined that everything known about the Titanic is nothing more than a conspiracy of historians and oceanographers, presumably using props put together by a team of special effects artists.

    The age of the Earth follows from radiometric dating of uranium isotopes and their decay products (and of other isotopes/decay products, but let’s keep things simple). Do you deny the existence of uranium, or of isotopes, or of radioactive decay? Do you imagine that spectroscopy and radiation detectors are figments of physicists’ minds? Do you imagine that the atomic bombs tested in and deployed by the US were just conventional explosives that were magically scaled up? Do you imagine that fission plants all secretly have coal furnaces that make them go?

    Maybe it’s even deeper than that.

    Do you deny the existence of atoms? Do you imagine that chemicals are magical irreducible essences?

    The age of the universe follows from an analysis of the cosmic background radiation.

    Do you deny the existence of this radiation? Do you imagine that the radiation signature has not been properly analyzed? Do you imagine that the speed of light is not what it has been measured to be?
    ====================

    And I’ll add a couple more for good luck: Is there anything about radiometric dating or cosmological dating that you think is actually stupid to believe?

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    Those simply burning with curiosity as to what txpiper sees through that the world’s biologists haven’t may enjoy a sneak peek via PZ Myers (who made a post and a video in response to a txpiper email; the post, alas, got multiple comments but none from txpiper, at least under that ‘nym). Prof. Myers sums up txpiper’s case in 7 points, all long-standing creationist clichés.

    txpiper @ # 23: I am not an NRA member, have no cc license, and own no rifles.

    But does admit to owning multiple firearms.

    txpiper @ # 23: I was Moderna vaccinated.

    But left some wiggle room with the previous, rather contradictory, statement at From the Ashes of Faith that I’m inclined to prefer naturally acquired antibodies.

    I do hope our esteemed host here gets full amusement value from such trollery, because he won’t find any other kind.

  26. lochaber says

    ok, now I’m actually curious…

    txpiper> you claim not to be a “gun nut”, not to own a cc license (I’m assuming you mean concealed carry, or ar you being vague, evasive, and pseudo-coy again?), and own no rifles? Do you really like shotguns or something?

    I’m trying to think of reasonable scenarios where one would own multiple firearms, but no rifles, and I’m sincerely puzzled.

    I’ve a little bit of experience with some firearms, and with minimal training, I can maybe hit a human sized target at about 20-30 yards with a handgun. A rifle, at 30 yards, with minimal training, and I can pick which eye to land a round in. Plus, with a rifle, I can hit targets much further out than 30 yards, and the rounds are significantly more powerful. Like, a handgun and a rifle aren’t even in the same class.
    Shotguns, I’ve really minimal experience with. I guess there is some more versatility with the ammo? And I’ve heard people claim they are a good choice for “home defense”, but anyone looking to own a firearm for home defense is really bad at risk assessment, so I’m not terribly inclined to put much stock in what they say.

  27. txpiper says

    Pierce R. Butler,

    “name those “stupid things”, please.”

    There are several, but they are all, more or less, related to the mutations/selection paradigm. I mentioned just a few of the reasons why the operational centerpiece of evolutionary theory is not workable in this post . If you disagree, and I’m sure you do, feel free to explain why you believe that it is. I will have some questions for you.
    ===
    Owlmirror,

    “Can we try and figure out the prior beliefs or disbeliefs that lead to these current disbeliefs?”

    As it pertains to dating, sure we can. It is things like this . This is what I mean I say that you have to believe in stupid things.

  28. Owlmirror says

    txpiper, you haven’t explained what is the stupid thing that needs to be believed.

    You also haven’t addressed how that in any way affects radiometric dating, or cosmological dating. How would what you linked to affect radiometric or cosmological dating at all?

    Spell it out. Show the actual logic chain. Something.

  29. Pierce R. Butler says

    txpiper @ # 32: … just a few of the reasons why the operational centerpiece of evolutionary theory is not workable …

    John Morales and Holms attempted to set you straight in the following comments, but you ran away. Answer them, and Owlmirror here, before claiming any right to any further time from any of the rest of us.

  30. txpiper says

    Owlmirror, muscle tissue cannot last for 18 million years. Original biological remnants cannot last for 80 million years , much less 180 million years . You have been deceived.
    ===
    Pierce R. Butler,

    I have made no claims in regards to your time.
    Once you get past the canned jargon, and actually try to apply the mutations/selection idea, you realize how sappy it is. Evolution has to be presented and taught from a certain direction, and people have to be surreptitiously trained to not ask certain questions. So, they wind up not really knowing a lot about how things are actually supposed to evolve. I don’t blame you for balking.

  31. Owlmirror says

    muscle tissue cannot last for 18 million years.

    Why not? What makes it not last? How long can it last?

    Do you think that the remnants of organisms encased in amber also cannot last for millions of years?

    How does muscle tissue affect radiometric dating?

  32. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    “Why not?”

    Because things like cartilage cells, chromosomes and DNA cannot last that long. You believe otherwise out of necessity, not evidence.
    .
    sci·en·tif·ic meth·od | ˈˌsīənˈtifik ˈmeTHəd |
    noun
    a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses

    .
    Your atheism is way out in front of your science.

  33. Pierce R. Butler says

    txpiper @ # 35: I have made no claims in regards to your time.

    txpiper @ # 32: I will have some questions for you.

    Self-contradict much?

    Back to # 35: Once you get past the canned jargon, and actually try to apply the mutations/selection idea, you realize how sappy it is.

    (a) Anyone who endorses “biblical prophecy” doesn’t have much room to maneuver with such accusations. (b) Nothing you have said anywhere on FtB indicates any “actually trying to apply” scientific techniques anywhere in any way. (c) What PZ said.

  34. Owlmirror says

    Because things like cartilage cells, chromosomes and DNA cannot last that long.

    The text at the link emphasizes that fragments were found. Why is that a problem?
    Are they supposed to completely evaporate or something?

    Repeating because you ignored it: Do you think that the remnants of organisms encased in amber also cannot last for millions of years?

    Repeating because you ignored it: How does muscle tissue (or cartilage cells, chromosomes and DNA) affect radiometric dating?

  35. Pierce R. Butler says

    How odd that txpiper @ # 37 provides a link which includes a scientist saying

    These new exciting results add to growing evidence that cells and some of their biomolecules can persist in deep-time. They suggest DNA can preserve for tens of millions of years…

    to support a claim that “… DNA cannot last that long.”

  36. txpiper says

    Pierce R. Butler,

    “How odd that txpiper @ # 37 provides a link which includes a scientist saying…”

    That’s not odd at all. That’s a perfect example of an excited sucker who will believe absolutely anything.

  37. Owlmirror says

    txpiper:

    That’s a perfect example of an excited sucker who will believe absolutely anything.

    If they’re seeing something that isn’t there, then doesn’t that mean that radiometric dating is correct? Regardless of the putative falsity of the muscles/cartilage/chromosomes/DNA, the slow decay of uranium-238 and uranium-235 into other isotopes, and eventually into lead, isn’t based on those, and therefore stands.

  38. Pierce R. Butler says

    txpiper @ # 41: That’s a perfect example of an excited sucker who will believe absolutely anything.

    What Pierce R. Butler said @ # 38, (a).

  39. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper:
    And for that matter, regardless of the putative falsity of the muscles/cartilage/chromosomes/DNA, the cosmological dating of the universe isn’t based on those either. So the conclusion is that there isn’t 18myo/80myo/180myo soft tissue, but the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

    Yes?

  40. txpiper says

    Pierce R. Butler,

    Tell me about the mutations that you believe produced the gears. Explain it the way Professor Myers would do it. Can you do so without invoking silly rules that you have to believe to make evolution work? Rules like this?

    “Every step has to produce a functional organism, because it’s that organism that will construct the next step.”

    Would those matching partial pinions have evolved coincidentally, or one at a time? You know, you can’t just make gears out of anything. How many protein experiments would have failed while natural selection was tinkering? Did the mounts evolve separately from the gears? What kind of random DNA copy errors would have coordinated the gears with the leg muscles, and the necessary neurology?

    I know these are hard questions, and like I told Professor Myers, there isn’t anything really helpful in the literature. Did you notice that the two papers he referred to, this one and this one didn’t even mention mutations?

    Maybe I’m asking too much. Perhaps it would be easier if you just explain why believe in things like this.

  41. Pierce R. Butler says

    txpiper remains fixated on a putative gotcha while refusing to address everyone else’s points, and thinks that calling an elementary evolutionary truism a “silly rule” actually makes a significant point.

    {sigh}

    How many protein experiments would have failed while natural selection was tinkering?

    Quite possibly millions: evolution, as the textbooks txpiper considers too silly to read inform attentive readers, gets ferocious at the individual level. (Still, not so harsh as txpiper’s sado-god.)

    … the two papers he referred to… didn’t even mention mutations?

    And the US Constitution doesn’t use the phrase “checks and balances” either. The argument from inane literalism works only for inane literalists.

    Answer Morales’s and Owlmirror’s questions, please.

  42. txpiper says

    “an elementary evolutionary truism”

    No, that rule is not true. It is just another absurd belief. There is no way that random mutations could possible occur so as to develop multiple bio-systems simultaneously. The easy proof of this obvious fact is your (and Professor Myers’) unwillingness to explain how this could possibly happen.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that your very poor worldview forces you to believe asinine things.
    ==
    “Quite possibly millions”

    Another preposterous belief. There are numerous specialized proteins in a bacterial flagellum. You have to be deliberately obtuse to believe that such a motor assembly could be the product of random failures.
    I’m tired of this exchange. You have no serious interest in science, facts of the truth. Believe whatever you like.

  43. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper:
    Following up on what I wrote above:

    So the conclusion is that there isn’t 18myo/80myo/180myo soft tissue, but the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

    Or rather, that’s the conclusion that you seem to be moving towards, since you’ve posted several such links of findings with blunt statements that you reject them, but nothing suggesting that there’s any problem with radiometric or cosmological dating, or how paleontologists wrongly (according to you) claiming to have found fragments of muscles/cartilage/chromosomes/DNA in dinosaurs could affect radiometric or cosmological dating.

    Still:
    2x Repeating because you ignored it: Do you think that the remnants of organisms encased in amber also cannot last for millions of years?

  44. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper: Just like the easy proof of the obvious facts that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old and the universe is about 13.8 billion years old is your unwillingness to explain how the Earth could possibly not be that old or the universe that old..

  45. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper:
    Repeating because you ignored it: Are cartilage cells, chromosomes and DNA supposed to completely evaporate, rather than fragmenting as the science article you linked to claimed?

  46. Pierce R. Butler says

    txpiper @ # 48: I’m tired of this exchange.

    We all are: you haven’t put forward anything that hasn’t been debunked over and over decades ago.

  47. tuatara says

    txpiper, gotta admire your powers of projection.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that your very poor worldview forces you to believe asinine things.

    Let me quess that you are tired of not having your ID or creationist ideas taken seriously by people who believe (to quote you several times in this thread) “stupid things”.

    So, genius, pray tell us, how do these complex structures come to be?
    I would guess that you can do it in 3 words or less.
    God (1)
    God did (2)
    God did it (3)

  48. Holms says

    #32 txpiper
    Why is that example (muscle tissue from a fossil) ‘stupid’? Has the finding been debunked by a method involving real data, perhaps from another team re-analysing the same sample, or are you simply dismissing it because you find it hard to believe?

    You then link to two more scientific sources announcing soft tissue findings in fossils in comment #35, and declare those equally stupid without an explanation. Then in #37, another source detailing preserved soft tissue. Making four scientific sources documenting preservation of soft tissue in deep time, which you dismiss out of personal incredulity rather than any data driven argument.

  49. lochaber says

    can we please stop trying to legitimately argue with this troll?

    Their current go-to is a relatively recent discovery (approximately 10 years ago, by vague, lazy, googling…), and if we can’t instantaneously throw up a detailed ancestral listing with diagrams about how this very niche particular thing evolved, then all of evolution is invalid. period.

    It’s a slow-mo gish-gallop/moving goal post claim. As long as the troll can google some recent interesting discovery, the whole field is invalidated, unless everyone knows every detail about everything discovered, ever. It’s shorthand for if the body of science doesn’t know absolutely everything about absolutely everything, right damned now, it’s all completely invalid. And therefore, just that because people are constantly making new discoveries and observations, the whole field and body of knowledge is invalidated because those very same discoveries and observations, are discovered, and observed, before they are investigated.

    This person seems to feel that the whole scientific method should be invalidated because the first step often involves making an observation.

    Save us all some time, and stop interacting with this troll in good faith, please…

  50. Holms says

    No time of yours is consumed by this interaction. If it is tedious to you, skip it.

  51. txpiper says

    lochaber,

    “if we can’t instantaneously throw up a detailed ancestral listing with diagrams about how this very niche particular thing evolved”

    No, I haven’t asked for anything like that, and you know I haven’t.

    You (have to) believe that random DNA copy errors and natural selection gave you a brain with about 86 billion neurons and about 600 trillion synapses. But you can’t begin to imagine how mutations built those gears. You can’t respond to even basic questions, and yet you have immense faith in a chance-dependent process that you can’t even comprehend, much less explain.

    Maybe the example I’ve used is over-taxing. Let’s try this. You have muscles called the superior oblique that enable your eyeballs to rotate in certain directions. They work in a pulley arrangement, the pulley being a loop of cartilage called the trochlea of superior oblique muscle. You can see the muscle and the trochlea highlighted in green here

    I won’t rattle your sensibilities by asking how for developmental details. Doing that seems to cause some sort of mental shutdown. So, I will ask you an easy question.

    Why do you believe so strongly that this very precise and functional system was designed and implemented by random molecular-level accidents?

  52. Owlmirror says

    It’s quite fascinating how txpiper has ignored everything I’ve written since comment #39 (June 20, 2022 at 2:18 pm). I suspect it’s because he can see where I’m going with my lines of argument, and realizes that if he engages with them, he would have to concede that I’m right — or at least, that believing in a ~4.5 billion year old Earth and a ~13.8 billion year old universe is reasonable, and does not require believing anything “stupid”, as he proclaimed above (and, as a possible bonus, that the paleontologists he’s been sneering at aren’t as “stupid” as he proclaims).

    However, conceding that he might be wrong is probably too much of a blow to his ego, and I suspect that his next move will be abandon this thread altogether.

    txpiper @#57:

    I won’t rattle your sensibilities by asking how for developmental details. Doing that seems to cause some sort of mental shutdown.

    Quoted for irony…

  53. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    There are old earth and young earth creationists. I used to be the former, but I provided links showing one of the reasons why I am the latter. But the age of the earth is only an interesting, but non-critical, issue for me. As it pertains to evolution, I don’t really care, but you must. In my view, zillions of years does not make the mutations/selection idea more plausible. But the theory you subscribe to depends on nebulous “deep time” to accomplish miracles. You have to ignore all arguments and anomalies, so there is no point in pursuing the subject.

  54. tuatara says

    txpiper, let me fix that for you.

    But the theory you subscribe to depends on [a] nebulous “creator” to accomplish miracles.

  55. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    There are old earth and young earth creationists. I used to be the former, but I provided links showing one of the reasons why I am the latter.

    Youngly the latter. 🙂

    Kinda sad, really.

    As it pertains to evolution, I don’t really care, but you must.

    Liar. You obviously care.
    Cared enough to attempt to distract from your failure to apprehend the significance of the hearings with “You win. You need to put those skills to work sorting out how random DNA replication errors produced those gears.”

    (See, bringing it up regularly out of the blue is not the best way to show you don’t care)

    Anyway, in response to your suggestion, I don’t need to, being already a thing:
    https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?q=genetic+algorithm+produced+gears

  56. Owlmirror says

    There are old earth and young earth creationists. I used to be the former, but I provided links showing one of the reasons why I am the latter.

    No, you showed something that doesn’t makes sense for rejecting an old Earth, and refuse to even discuss the issues.

    It’s like you became a Flat-Earther because you saw one of those stupid Youtube videos, and now you don’t want to discuss how the stupid Youtube video was in fact stupid.

    But the age of the earth is only an interesting, but non-critical, issue for me.

    Well, it’s an example of how your epistemology is critically flawed.

    In my view, zillions of years does not make the mutations/selection idea more plausible

    I’m putting biology and evolution on hold until after I get some traction with the age of the Earth.

  57. Holms says

    txpiper, your entire argument is that because you cannot imagine how a thing could arise, its existence is therefore impossible and belief in it is ‘stupid’. Aside from pointing out that this is an old chestnut of a logical fallacy with applicability that scales with your own ignorance, it prompts me to ask: do you have an explanation for how God came to exist?

  58. Silentbob says

    @ Holms

    your entire argument is that because you cannot imagine how a thing could arise, its existence is therefore impossible and belief in it is ‘stupid’.

    Hahahahahaha. Holms, you amuse me no end. (You might want to report this revelation back to bigot HQ.)

  59. John Morales says

    [Silentbob, a bit nasty to get personal with an allusion to a topic Holms has undertaken to avoid on this blog. Admirably so, hitherto. Kudos, Holms.]

  60. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    “you showed something that doesn’t makes sense for rejecting an old Earth”

    If you’re referring to ancient biological remains, the data speaks for itself. The more spectacular the discoveries are, the more the strictures of science seem to melt away to keep the theory from being molested.

    “Reports of dinosaur protein and complex organic structure preservation are problematic for several reasons. Firstly, it remains unclear how such organics would be preserved for tens of millions of years. If endogenous, putative dinosaur soft tissues should contain diagenetically unstable proteins and phospholipids, vulnerable to hydrolysis, although the released fatty acid moieties from phospholipids could be stabilized through in situ polymerization into kerogen-like aliphatic structures. At 25°C and neutral pH, peptide bond half-lives from uncatalyzed hydrolysis are too short to allow for Mesozoic peptide preservation, although hydrolysis rates can be decreased through terminal modifications and steric effects on internal bonds. Estimates based on experimental gelatinization suggest that, even when frozen (0°C), relatively intact collagen has an upper age limit of only 2,700,000 years.”
    https://elifesciences.org/articles/46205
    .
    “refuse to even discuss the issues.”

    Most of them. Anyone interested can read miles of arguments online. Fatigue has narrowed my interest down to very basic issues, like how embarrassingly pitiful the mutations/selection idea is. That’s the operating system of the faith, and nobody wants to talk about it, either.
    You and I would have completely different perspectives on such things as the exposed strata in the Grand Canyon. You see zillions of years, and I see unimaginable catastrophe. I don’t think we are actually interested in each other’s views on the age of the earth.

  61. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper:

    If you’re referring to ancient biological remains, the data speaks for itself.

    So by the link you you provided and cited, those who think they’re seeing such remains are mistaken.
    But this doesn’t contradict radiometric dating, so, as I keep having to point out, radiometric dating remains completely unchallenged. The Earth remains being about 4.5 billion years old.

    You and I would have completely different perspectives on such things as the exposed strata in the Grand Canyon. You see zillions of years, and I see unimaginable catastrophe.

    We can talk about how you’re wrong about the rest of geology after we talk about how you’re wrong about the age of the Earth.

    I don’t think we are actually interested in each other’s views on the age of the earth.

    I actually am interested in how your views have formed as the result of a confused and broken epistemology.

  62. Holms says

    #67 txpiper

    Fatigue has narrowed my interest down to very basic issues, like how embarrassingly pitiful the mutations/selection idea is.

    But even there, you display an unwillingness to bother thinking about the evidence.

  63. txpiper says

    “But even there, you display an unwillingness to bother thinking about the evidence.”
    .
    Holms, there is no evidence that supports the foolish notion that random mutations, spaced perhaps thousands of generations or years apart, can pile up until a hyper-complex, regulated, integrated biological system is finished and functional. Things like that do not happen. Evolution is not smarter than you. The mutations/selection idea is a pathetic lie. Mutations are not helpful events, and natural selection is not a fairy that makes atheist dreams come true.

    You are having your nose rubbed in evidence, but it does not support the theory of evolution. Sophisticated biological arrangements are exhibitions of craftsmanship, not miraculous accidents.

  64. Holms says

    Yes there is, your argument is still nothing more than an argument from incredulity. You display particular ignorance when you say “Evolution is not smarter than you” -- no, how can it be when it is not a thinking entity at all. “Not even wrong” comes to mind here. Also noted is your confusion of atheism with evolution belief; you should be aware they are separate concepts.

  65. txpiper says

    “argument from incredulity”
    .
    “We believe stupid things, and so should you.”
    .
    The only thing between you and Suckerville is prudent incredulity. I think that droll mantra originated with Mark Isaak at TalkOrigins. If you want to see credulousness in action, read his 15 easy steps describing how bombardier beetles acquired their defense mechanism. Since you won’t notice, I’ll point out that he doesn’t mention mutations because that would spoil the fairy tale.
    .
    cred·u·lous | ˈkrejələs |
    adjective
    having or showing too great a readiness to believe things

  66. Holms says

    No, more like “I don’t understand this. It is not possible for something to be true if I don’t get it -- it must be wrong.”

  67. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    Hahaha. You’re killing me man. Srsly.

    So for example, if someone were to say, “the only way I can imagine this common human experience (that I have never personally experienced) is in terms of ‘stereotypes’; therefore all the people who have actually had the experience and say it has nothing to do with ‘stereotypes’ must be wrong”, you would agree that person is a wanker?

    (Sorry to be off topic, but Holms arguing against his own argument that nearly got him banned -- without realizing it -- is so hilarious. I won’t comment in this thread again.)

  68. John Morales says

    Silentbob, your laughter is as the braying of a donkey.

    See, here’s the thing. Ontology.

    Evolution is not a subjective experience; human experience, however is.

    In short, you are making a category error and braying at your cleverness.

    On the record.

  69. Holms says

    #74 sbob
    Your issue here is caused by your erroneous recollection of my position; you are essentially arguing against your own strawman. Given that I will not revive those arguments at Mano’s request, this line of argument is futile.

  70. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper:

    You’ve constantly (and drearily) proclaimed that we believe stupid things about science because we’re atheists, but of course, that’s part of a false dichotomy.

    Plenty of scientists who are Christians (and Muslims, and Jews) would also accept that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.

    Do all such religious people also believe something stupid?

    If a religious Christian specifically told you, in response to your confused ideas about the contents of dinosaur bones, that that was completely irrelevant to the age of the Earth or the universe, and that they were in fact a geologist who would gladly explain radiometric dating to you, would you treat them the same way that you have treated me? Just ignored them, and repeated your arguments, and showed no interest in the question?

    I’m still trying to lock down what you actually think is the case, come to think of it. Would you state specifically that the Earth is about 6000 years old? Somewhat older than that? Something else?

  71. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    “Plenty of scientists who are Christians (and Muslims, and Jews) would also accept that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old.”

    Yes. Hugh Ross for instance.
    =
    “Do all such religious people also believe something stupid?”

    No, that’s not one of the things I have in mind. A brief list of those things would be:
    -a LUCA
    -the mutations/selection deal
    -the idea that evolving features are functional every step of the way
    -organic remnants lasting millions of years
    -the notion that things like ribosome, ATP, high-performance enzymes ‘evolved’
    -convergent evolution
    -coordinated parallel evolution
    -etc.
    =
    “Would you state specifically that the Earth is about 6000 years old?”

    I believe that human history is about 6000 years old.

  72. Holms says

    So, everything you don’t understand is ‘stupid’, and you won’t even bother with the data.

  73. Tethys says

    Why is txpiper droning on about his very poor grasp of evolution via natural selection? Human history did not begin when some people in Mesopotamia invented writing approximately 6000 years ago. Isadore of Seville is the source of that nonsensical figure of 6000. Magically, Adam begat Seth at 230 etc, and Noah was 600.
    Isadore is clearly wrong on his timeline. Modern humans have been living in Europe for 38,000 years, but Isadore didn’t even know about the ice ages.

    https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/isidore_chronicon_01_trans.htm

    Any recombination of genes results in offspring that have their own unique DNA. In humans, this results in every individual having approximately 100 ‘mutations’. They are not always functional. Some are lethal, and do not result in viable offspring. Most are benign. Some, such as the ability to digest amylase, confer an advantage. No amount of disbelief is going to change the way recombinant DNA functions.

    I live on top of an ancient Rift Valley that dwarfs the Grand Canyon. It’s not visible as a huge canyon because it’s filled with marine limestones and sandstone layers that contain multiple species of extinct animals. Of particular interest are the plethora of shelled Octopus that are about 430 million years old. The asteroid bombardment which is also preserved in those limestones is truly fascinating science.
    There are also outcrops of flood basalts from volcanic activity, despite the fact that there are zero volcanoes or mountains in the State of Minnesota, and its location far inland from the deep bodies of salt water where limestone is formed.

    The reality of geology is not affected by the ignorant claims of Iron Age goat herders, or the YEC idiots who think the book written by those goat herders is a science treatise.

  74. tuatara says

    Why are any of you still engaging txpiper?
    They are a creationist who believes that evolution is a stupid belief. Hahahahaha!
    They do not offer an explanation, they simply offer rejections to evolution, seemingly to distract and time-waste.
    To txpiper the fossil record is not proof of evolution because of all the gaps, because fossilisation is so common, don’t you know?
    Please stop taking their bait. They are not teally interested.

  75. says

    “I think the hearings might have a little to do with distraction,” says the right-wing troll who then changed the subject to evolution.

    You want to see distraction, boy? Just look at the Republicans’ sudden fixation on the made-up threat of transwomen.

  76. Owlmirror says

    txpiper:

    “Do all such religious people also believe something stupid?”

    No, that’s not one of the things I have in mind.

    Wait, so now believing that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old does not mean believing something stupid?

    Did you actually change your mind, or are you so confused that you can’t even keep track of what you actually think anymore?

    I’m hoping for the former, but I sadly suspect that it’s the latter.

    “Would you state specifically that the Earth is about 6000 years old?”

    I believe that human history is about 6000 years old.

    Yeah, this confused statement makes it look like you’re just too confused to even type coherently.

    I’d ask what “human history” has to do with the age of either the Earth or for that matter, the universe, but you’d probably respond with something even more confused rather than even pretend to try to answer clearly.

  77. John Morales says

    [tuatara @86]

    To amplify and hopefully clarify; I’ve been commenting on threads (usenet at first) for over 3 decades.
    I stick with the original definition of trolling: intentionally disrupting a discussion for the yuks. And, in my estimation, from what I’ve seen txpiper is not one of those specimens.

    A couple of other points:
    -- To quote someone famous (or infamous, depending):
    “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
    -- You may not be the only one, after all, not every reader of this blog necessarily partakes of the comments.
    So, refuting or otherwise addressing claims such as txpiper drops means anyone reading has ready access to a different POV.
    The converse is that, if one just ignores them, they’re not.

    (Also, for someone like me, it’s kinda fun. And a bit nostalgic, this disputing of creationists. Quite relaxing)

  78. tuatara says

    Owlmirror, I think txpiper means that humans were spontaneously created about 6000 years ago as Adam and Eve, because unlike evolution, that is not a stupid thing to believe.

  79. tuatara says

    John Morales, yes I completely agree with your definition of a troll. txpiper aims to distract and is a time waster. They are not a troll. They have a genuine belief they they alone hold the secrets to life, the universe, and everything.

    In saying “everyone except for me” I was of course playing along.

    Speaking of trolls, have you seen the film “Border”?

  80. tuatara says

    Well, I thought I hit preview but apparently not.

    Further to the above, I greatly appreciate the POV of many of the commentariat here (definitely including you, John Morales). It is a fantastic resource.
    But that said, txpiper has shown that they are not interested in any of the arguments put forward here in support of evolution. As such I just don’t think they warrant honest engagement. If they were genuinely interested in learning why evolution has such strenuous support I would say carry on.

  81. John Morales says

    tuatara,

    But that said, txpiper has shown that they are not interested in any of the arguments put forward here in support of evolution. As such I just don’t think they warrant honest engagement.

    If they’re interested enough to keep engaging, they’re staring into the Abyss.

    (They may not notice, but their brain does. So pressure to become ever-more wilfully and obstinately ignorant builds up. Cognitive dissonance ensues)

    No, I haven’t seen the film “Border”.

  82. Holms says

    #87 owlmirror

    Did you actually change your mind, or are you so confused that you can’t even keep track of what you actually think anymore?

    I’m hoping for the former, but I sadly suspect that it’s the latter.

    It is also possible that he is being deliberately evasive, knowing he opens himself to laughter if he admits a belief in a young Earth.

  83. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    “Wait, so now believing that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old does not mean believing something stupid?”
    .
    No. I don’t believe that, but the age of the universe/earth is not a dealbreaker. If you insist that 13.8 billion years ago, an infinitely small singularity of infinite gravity and density exploded and expanded into the universe, I’m not going to quarrel with you. If you think some of the resulting debris coalesced into the earth, and that a mars-sized body collided with the earth and fragments from that collision formed the moon, I need not argue.
    If you believe that the composition, size, tilt and positions of the earth, moon and sun are cooincidental, I’m not buying. And if you believe that natural selection acting on random, molecular-level DNA copy failures is how every biological thing that ever existed formed, I think you are believing something terminally stupid.

  84. txpiper says

    tuatara,

    “txpiper has shown that they are not interested in any of the arguments put forward here in support of evolution.”
    .
    Nobody has put any arguments forward that support the mutations/selection deal. It is just a premise that you have to believe.

  85. Tethys says

    It’s just a premise that you have to believe

    No, the small changes to DNA that result when you make offspring are easily observable when you sequence DNA. We can measure and count the mutations, though Darwin had no such technology.

  86. txpiper says

    It seems others are starting to recognize the problem:
    .
    “There has been limited progress to the modern synthesis. The central focus of this perspective is to provide evidence to document that selection based on survival of the fittest is insufficient for other than microevolution. Realistic probability calculations based on probabilities associated with microevolution are presented. However, macroevolution (required for all speciation events and the complexifications appearing in the Cambrian explosion) are shown to be probabilistically highly implausible (on the order of 10−50) when based on selection by survival of the fittest. We conclude that macroevolution via survival of the fittest is not salvageable by arguments for random genetic drift and other proposed mechanisms.”
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079610722000347

  87. Owlmirror says

    @txpiper:

    “Wait, so now believing that the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old does not mean believing something stupid?”

    No. I don’t believe that,

    So Christians (and Muslims, and Jews) who believe that are believing something stupid? What about it is stupid? I mean, we’ve proven that your confused citations about the contents of dinosaur bones cannot possibly be relevant to the age of the Earth or of the Universe because you cannot possibly provide any connection whatsoever between said contents of such bones and the dating methods used to demonstrate the age of the Earth and the age of the Universe. So what’s left?

  88. Holms says

    #98 txpiper
    Those papers are a regular occurrence, and are just as regularly found to be flawed. As for people ‘starting’ to question evolution, while I was in uni studying biology a friend of mine was asking me about evolution. His questions were in the style of “is it true scientists are abandoning evolution?” because his pastor and christian youth group leaders -- people he trusted -- had been lying to him throughout his developing years.

    And then of course there is Morales’ link which documents the ‘evolution is about to collapse’ claims as far back as 1825. I wonder if you will even click on it.

  89. tuatara says

    Sophisticated biological arrangements are exhibitions of craftsmanship, not miraculous accidents.

    So, I guess that explains why we all enjoy perfect health, don’t have dangerous anatomy from which the essential act of eating can cause obstruction of our essential airway leading to death, don’t have a blind spot in our eyes because the blood vessels that supply the retina are between the retina and the incoming light, and all women give birth easily.
    So my uncle shouldnt have died at the age of 16 due to a minor heart defect, nor my father suffer a massive haemorrhage from that cerebral aneurism that he was born with, a haemorrhage from which he never woke up, or my fathers brother still-born, or the 5 miscarriages my sister endured.
    Right. It all makes sense now. There is the craftsmanship of a perfectly omnicient being in our design.
    Gee, I had it all wrong all along. Seems all this shit was designed flawed. Fantastic.

  90. Owlmirror says

    I have to admit, I was curious enough to follow the link, even though I saw the red flags of “survival of the fittest”, which phrase is not used by modern evolutionary biologists (except when explaining why they don’t use it).

    Are the authors evolutionary biologists?

    Olen R. Brown
    Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri- Columbia, USA

    David A. Hullender
    Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, USA

    Hm, that would appear to be a strong no. Also, I think we can chalk a couple more tallies for the Salem Hypothesis.

    The paper is titled “Neo-Darwinism must Mutate to survive”. Gee, aren’t mutations “stupid” and “always harmful”? Isn’t that right, txpiper?

    And txpiper made the choice to stop copying the abstract just before these words:

    . . . Evolutionary biology is relevant to cancer mechanisms with significance beyond academics. We challenge evolutionary biology to advance boldly beyond the inadequacies of the modern synthesis toward a unifying theory modeled after the Grand Unified Theory in physics. This should include the possibility of a fifth force in nature. Mathematics should be rigorously applied to current and future evolutionary empirical discoveries. We present justification that molecular biology and biochemistry must evolve to aeon (life) chemistry that acknowledges the uniqueness of enzymes for life. To evolve, biological evolution must face the known deficiencies, especially the limitations of the concept survival of the fittest, and seek solutions in Eigen’s concept of self-organization, Schrödinger’s negentropy, and novel approaches.

    Well, they definitely chose to write those words, and the editors definitely chose to print them.

    Oh, and I note that they have in their outline:

    Microevolution is empirically confirmed and explainable by survival of the fittest

    But doesn’t believing in any kind of evolution mean that they believe something stupid, txpiper? Why would you cite those that you think are stupid?

  91. Owlmirror says

    Something else that the editors chose to print (same issue):

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079610722000360

    Cybernetics as a conversation with the Cosmos

    John S. Torday (Departments of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Evolutionary Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA)


    Highlights
    • Cybernetics is a manifestation of physiology.
    • Cybernetics further reduces to cell-cell signaling to maintain homeostasis.
    • Cybernetics bridges Newtonian Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics as 4th Order cybernetics.
    • 4th Order Cybernetics entails Quantum Entanglement and non-localization.
    • As the basis for life, Quantum Mechanics affords predictive biology.

    Abstract
    Norbert Wiener was the first to functionally define cybernetics as “the study of control and communication in the animal and the machine”. Herein, it is shown that as a manifestation of physiology, cybernetics can be further reduced to cell-cell signaling to maintain homeostasis, bridging Newtonian 3rd Order Cybernetics with Quantum Mechanical 4th Order Cybernetics as our ‘conversation with the Cosmos’ based on Quantum Entanglement, constrained by non-localization. As such, cybernetics can be scientifically tested in toto from the functional to the metaphysical, rendered physical as communication for the first time. If that is correct, then the sooner we begin operating based on Quantum Mechanical principles, the sooner we will function based on predictive algorithms.

    Are you feeling Quantum Entangled, txpiper, as you read this comment and compose your responses in the comment box?

  92. Owlmirror says

    (I think the phrase “This isn’t even wrong” is strongly applicable for some reason.)

  93. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    “we’ve proven that your confused citations about the contents of dinosaur bones cannot possibly be relevant to the age of the Earth”

    You did no such thing. You only proved that you will believe that soft tissue can last for 180,000,000 years.
    =
    “have you read “Omphalos”, by Philip Henry Gosse?”

    No, I have not.
    =
    “Are the authors evolutionary biologists?”

    Physicians and engineers have to be realistic.
    =
    “doesn’t believing in any kind of evolution mean that they believe something stupid, txpiper?”

    Of course not. There are profuse examples of adaptation. What I take issue with is random mutations/natural selection idea.

  94. John Morales says

    cf. #47

    Ahem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_computation

    In evolutionary computation, an initial set of candidate solutions is generated and iteratively updated. Each new generation is produced by stochastically removing less desired solutions, and introducing small random changes. In biological terminology, a population of solutions is subjected to natural selection (or artificial selection) and mutation. As a result, the population will gradually evolve to increase in fitness, in this case the chosen fitness function of the algorithm.

    You’re in denial.

  95. Owlmirror says

    “we’ve proven that your confused citations about the contents of dinosaur bones cannot possibly be relevant to the age of the Earth”

    You did no such thing.

    Well, it’s proven by your own standards of proof: The easy proof of this obvious fact is your unwillingness to explain how this could possibly happen. be relevant.

    Maybe you want to have one standard for your own claims while having different standards for the claims of others, but two can play at that game.

  96. Owlmirror says

    txpiper:

    You only proved that you will believe that soft tissue can last for 180,000,000 years.

    You continue to emphasize the validity of my proof that the contents of dinosaur bones cannot possibly be relevant to the age of the Earth

  97. txpiper says

    John Morales,

    ‘solutions’ implies awareness of a defect or limitation. Random DNA replication errors are not searching for problems to solve.

    See if you can find an evolutionary biologist, and ask them to help you understand how mutations and natural selection produced some specific biological feature. Don’t settle for jargon and gymnastics, and don’t settle for ‘fitness’. Ask about organ or system or bio-process development. Pick one, start with a mutant germ cell, and develop an outline that shows how this process works. If it happened countless millions of times, it can’t be so mysterious that a biologist can’t describe it. Maybe Professor Myers will help you out.

  98. John Morales says

    txpiper:

    Random DNA replication errors are not searching for problems to solve.

    There is no problem to solve, it’s just a natural process.

    You inadvertently evince your ignorance when you hold that you think the phrase “an initial set of candidate solutions is generated and iteratively updated” refers to problems that must be solved. No.

    Each “solution” is the equivalent of an individual (the implicit “problem” is survival until successful reproduction — that’s the biological equivalent of the fitness function), so that set of candidate solutions is the equivalent to a population of organisms.

    Each new iterated “solution” refers to the equivalent of offspring.

    Basically, there’s a population of solutions which changes over time because their offspring are not the same as their progenitors, and the least successful ones fail to reproduce.

    You fail to grasp that the idea behind evolutionary computing is directly and explicitly based on evolutionary theory; since it’s the same idea, you figure if it’s silly in vivo it must also be silly in silico.

    I’m pointing you to a source (with many citations) and a whole field of computing which relies on that very idea you attempt to ignorantly disparage for its success and growth. The field exists. It is based on random change and selection. It works.

    (In short: E pur si muove)

  99. Owlmirror says

    [txpiper has not read Omphalos]

    Ah, OK. So, Philip Henry Gosse — who was much more knowledgeable about biology and geology than you, even though he died more than 130 years ago — was a Christian who was bothered by the discordance between the science of geology and the contents of the bible. Even without radiometric dating, there were plenty of geological formations that only made sense if they had taken millions of years to form. So he tried to untie the geological knot by positing a new law of nature:

    Perhaps it may help to clear my argument if I divide the past developments of organic life, which are necessarily, or at least legitimately, inferrible from present phenomena, into two categories, separated by the violent act of creation. Those unreal developments whose apparent results are seen in the organism at the moment of its creation, I will call prochronic, because time was not an element in them; while those which have subsisted since creation, and which have had actual existence, I will distinguish as diachronic, as occurring during time.

    That is, he posits that everything was created ex nihilo showing signs of a deeper past to them. His main argument in the course of the book is about the organisms that he has familiarized himself with, but his point is that the same idea applies to the Earth and the rest of the universe: it was created looking old.

    He too was surprisingly coy about how old the Earth actually was:


    I am not about to assume that the moment in question was six thousand years ago, and no more; I will not rule the actual date at all; you, my geological friend, shall settle the chronology just as you please, or, if you like it better, we will leave the chronological date out of the inquiry, as an element not relevant to it. It may have been six hundred years ago, or six thousand, or sixty times six millions; let it for the present remain an indeterminate quantity.

    So I was wondering if that was in any way close to what you were thinking with your ludicrously evasive response to my question.

    Omphalos is free to download from:

    https://gutenberg.org/ebooks/39910

    and

    https://archive.org/details/Omphalos_358

    in case you want more details.

    If you were to simply proclaim, when asked, that you follow Gosse, and insist that the Law of Prochronism renders the age of the Earth and/or the universe irrelevant, we could know that there’s simply no point in discussing radiometric or cosmological dating.

  100. lochaber says

    It’s almost impressive, how dedicated to willful ignorance, in the light of vast and abundant information, that our troll is.

    Their whole premise is basically:
    I don’t believe this thing could happen, therefore it never happened, and everyone else is stupid; prove me wrong.

    some dedicated souls with more time, energy, and knowledge, than I have, provide info, links, explanations, etc.

    troll: Pfft!, that’s nonsense, and you all are morons for believing it, therefore my position is irrefutable. because I refute your explanations as to why my position is irrefutable. checkmate.

    banannas, pomeranians, corn, checkmate.

  101. Holms says

    #107 txpiper

    Owlmirror,
    “we’ve proven that your confused citations about the contents of dinosaur bones cannot possibly be relevant to the age of the Earth”
    You did no such thing. You only proved that you will believe that soft tissue can last for 180,000,000 years.

    …Which is a documented phenomenon. Yes, I commonly believe things that are documented are things that are real.

    “Are the authors evolutionary biologists?”
    Physicians and engineers have to be realistic.

    As do biologists studying evolution, but the advantage biologists studying evolution have is that they are talking about their topic of study. Again, it is notable that you would rather avoid the truest reply to the question.

  102. txpiper says

    Owlmirror,

    “I was wondering if that was in any way close to what you were thinking with your ludicrously evasive response to my question.”

    No. I don’t agree with Gosse’s assessment.

  103. txpiper says

    Holms, find an evolutionary biologist, and ask them to help you understand how mutations and natural selection produced some specific biological feature. Don’t settle for jargon and gymnastics, and don’t settle for ‘fitness’. Ask about organ or system or bio-process development. Pick one, start with a mutant germ cell, and develop an outline that shows how this process works. If it happened countless millions of times, it can’t be so mysterious that a biologist can’t describe it.

  104. Holms says

    You’re the one that doesn’t understand the concept, why don’t you do that? But of course what you are asking for is quite demanding on that person’s time, it might be best if you perused the educational materials available on youtube on that subject. You might enjoy the evidence from chromosome 2 of our primate relatedness.

  105. says

    Holms, find an evolutionary biologist, and ask them to help you understand how mutations and natural selection produced some specific biological feature.

    What makes you think no one’s ever done that?

    Also, biologists have written lots of books explaining such things. Have you ever tried to read any of them? Why should any of us pester any biologist face-to-face, when we could more easily read the books and papers where such questions are already answered?

  106. txpiper says

    “What makes you think no one’s ever done that?”

    Because you cannot link to papers that actually attempt to test the paradigm.

  107. Holms says

    For your part, you’ve offered no criticism beyond ‘it’s stupid’, even in the face of documentation of preserved soft tissues. It seems you are the one in arrears.

  108. John Morales says

    Because you cannot link to papers that actually attempt to test the paradigm.

    There are umpteen thousands of papers out there; if you cared to, you could look at this article (plenty of citations therein, each of which will lead you to further citations, and more papers than you could peruse in a lifetime).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_phylogenetics

    While creationists have been going on about evolutionary theory’s imminent demise since its beginning, science has kept moving on and deepening our understanding.

    (Rather similar to going on about the imminent demise of heliocentrism, or of atomic theory)

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