Denial of Evolution VI.

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by garbonzo, Jun 4, 2013.

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  1. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Quite. There's no shortage of authors chastising Lewin's reporting, the only thing that is left is Leopolds denial of the criticisim by refusing to accept anything short of a full blown retraction by the journal in question. This inspite of the fact that journals only offer retrafctions where deliberaTe fraud can be demonstrated.

    Lewin's overly zealous reporting on a topic obviously close to his heart falls far short of that mark.
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  3. wellwisher Banned Banned

    These two variables work together. The entropic force is generated by water as water increases entropy via osmosis. The water is not moving in response to any of the four forces, but moves due to entropy. If evolution ignores this important variable, evolution is only liberal arts where we pretend this is real while leaving out variables it can't reason away.
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  5. Rav Valued Senior Member

    The problem is that he has been allowed to continue doing it. And the way he essentially ignores every single correction, no matter how thorough or well supported, and then presents the same nonsense later on as if nothing had happened, compels everyone to keep reiterating the original corrections if for no other reason than to ensure that readers who can't be bothered perusing the entire history of this thread aren't lead astray.
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  7. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    Isn't that the definition of a Troll? Or is that a description of a Bot? Whichever, I believe Creationists invented the practice long before the internet existed, his posts have that distinct odour. He's been taught this false argument by the Creationist websites(as he has admitted), he uses Creationist logic and distortions of facts, quotes and understandings. And he shows an inability to address any question directed at him or remember anything he himself posted. This farce has been ongoing for years now, but mostly because batters always prefer a pitcher who only throws wiffle balls, it's so much easier to smash them out of the park than the pitches of a competent hurler.:shrug:


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  8. wellwisher Banned Banned

    One thing I noticed about speciation, is the overall process moves in one direction. New species form from older species but old species don't re-merge from newer species. What happens to old species is they go extinct. This schema follows the direction of the second law; entropy increases. It does not spontaneously reverse itself.

    Life on the other hand, such as a growing life form, causes higher entropy materials to converge into order. The tree causes CO2 gas to become lower entropy cellulose. Metabolism assures that net entropy increases (second law), but the energy generated by metabolism is used to lower molecular entropy into a highly integrated sense of order characteristic of life.

    If we return to speciation, since the direction of speciation reflects an increase within global entropy, one would expect a balancing move toward new emerging order. This can all be correlated to plus and minus entropic force. action and reaction.
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Fraggle, Trippy, Rav, Grumpy and the rest of the fine folks here,

    I used to think leopold was a Creationist, and just carrying their mantra here as part of that global Come To Jesus movement. I only changed my mind in this thread, when I noticed he was strongly denouncing religion.

    That's strange isn't it? What alternative to science can there possibly be, other than Fundamentalism? There just aren't any other options. So that started to work on me a little, wondering if it's actually possible for a person to actually defend Creationist arguments without "following the Cross" etc. At some point I began to accept the idea that, ideally, a religious person should be able to join here and offer the same arguments leo does -- that I should be able to just stick to the issues and keep this at a higher level, one that's more objective and focused on the operative facts at hand.

    But there is one other thing that puzzles me. leo has brought it up several times that the document he's been referencing has been moved -- or at least that he doesn't trust the content any more. Also he has mentioned a few times some irregularities at Sci -- along the lines of not being treated fairly -- perhaps by the mods.

    It remains to be seen why leo says these things. Some folks have mentioned that he's playing us one way or another. I'm trying to avoid slipping into that kind of thinking for the following reason. For one thing it's very peculiar. It's hard to imagine dreaming up a facade like that because it's so weak and implausible. After all, what does this conference have to do with the state of evolutionary biology? Nothing really. leo has even admitted to accepting all kinds of ideas congruent with science that run against Fundamentalism, and they seem honest enough expressions of a true position. I guess what I'm saying is that leo seems to me to be motivated by an actual fear that something is really wrong. And that intrigues me also. In other words, suppose leo feels he is merely in the position of a whistleblower who's being retaliated against. If that's the case, then maybe there are more reasonable links between ideas in his own mind that just can't be appreciated here since we're not in his shoes. That would at least hold together the picture I've painted of him in my own mind, for what it's worth.

    I guess I wouldn't want to mess with someone who is being sincere, at least not for posting harmless ideas, and especially if they honestly feel there is something going on that they are trying to report (for lack of better words -- I can't exactly pin it down.) Obviously I'm tying to give leo full faith and credit which some of you may not feel as inclined to do. But I'm still wondering about all of this, since the pieces don't exactly fit together. It's just a hunch, not something tangible or easy to explain.

    That being said, you guys all rule. In a perfect world I would get an endowment to launch a campaign against Creation Science, with deep enough pockets to try to entice you folks to join a movement in the professional capacity, to really give the fundies a run for their money. That is, this would make a great team -- the ideas you all have posted in this thread alone are so thoughtful and so perfectly articulated. It's that appeal to reason that would make such an undertaking a perfect way to apply talent to do something fun -- to stamp out illiteracy!

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  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yes they do. Blind animals evolve sight. If they start living in caves they lose their eyes and revert to their older form (at least when it comes to eyes.)

    There is no direction in evolution other than "what best survives." If slime molds had survival benefits above and beyond any other form of life, we'd all evolve back into slime molds. And while you, as a human with opinions, might consider that "backwards" in evolutionary terms it is forward.
  11. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member


    Entropy is a physical quantity, not a guess based on appearances. Specifically, there is no specific entropy change associated with speciation and extinction or even the death of an individual. Death by hypothermia actually lowers ones entropy. Death by fire raises it.

    There is no "law of increasing entropy" but only a "law of net increase of entropy" and so life does not break any rules. Indeed, the entropy increase of the sun and the nuclei of the Earth's mantle dwarfs the local change of creating some complex molecules on the skin of the Earth. Within the cell, the entropy increase of the degradation of glucose into carbon dioxide and water (and related "downhill" processes) dwarfs the entropy decrease of the synthesis of complex molecules or their arrangement.

    The principle of "net increase of entropy" is analogous to the "net downhill movement of water" which has the hydraulic ram as an example of a device that raises some water above its starting point, provided other water is allowed to go downhill.

    In short, your talk about the "entropy" associated with life has as little basis with reliable fact and scientific theory as Deepak Chopra invocation of the word "quantum" when he talks about spiritual woo. No trained student of thermodynamics or organic chemist would recognize your arguments as having a basis in reality or logic, because they work with the real concept of entropy and not your ghost-power version.

    The one-way direction of speciation is better explained by the high-dimensional space in which genomic configurations exist in and the raw unlikelihood for speciated populations to drift to a common meeting point in that space. The one-way direction of extinction is better explained as cause-and-effect -- if no historical holders of a genomic configuration survived then there are none alive for natural processs to copy from. In both cases human beings could possibly intervene now that we have tools to operate on the genome, but making a population of cat-dogs would seem to be an expensive project with no profit potential and Jurassic Park was unrealistic about retrieval of 60-million-year-old DNA. But we do have bacteria with plant genes in them and crops with bacteria genes in them and these have been profitable.
  12. PartyBoy Registered Member

    Complex molecules and less entropy. Interesting indeed for biological molecules would appear to use this potential gained to carry out basic functions. I could intrude and press a statement simple and clear for biology as well as cosmology. It seems the highest goalie evolution is to create the smallest and most complex molecule, which expands into the largest.
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    As far as I'm concerned, this is a textbook case of trolling: halting or derailing the forward motion of a discussion. This particular form of trolling (pretending that his argument has not been refuted, stating it a second time, and hoping that nobody remembers while at the same time a bunch of new participants read it and find it convincing) is disingenuous arguing, which IMO is the worst form of trolling because he actually realizes he's doing it and does it anyway. If this were my subforum, he would have been permabanned from this website long ago. Fortunately for the trolls my subforum is Linguistics, one of the softest of the "soft sciences," so the scientific method is difficult to enforce there.

    Disingenuous argument is insidious since it's so easy to get away with.

    Sheer ignorance.

    He doesn't have to be a religionist. Creationism relies on a supernatural creature or other force, and supernaturalism of any sort is antiscience. The fundamental premise that underlies all science is that the natural universe is a closed system whose behavior we can predict by theories developed from observation of its present and past behavior. If the natural universe is not a closed system, and gods, demons or Cosmic Winds pop in at random intervals to perturb its behavior unpredictably, then science is a sham.

    The leaders of most of the major religions, including the Pope, have admitted that most of the writings in their holy books are simply metaphors that must not be taken literally. Jesuit universities have been teaching evolution for generations, and plate tectonics since the theory arose. God may be an entity that only speaks to people in private so the conversations cannot be corroborated by witnesses. Since, then, there is no evidence other than hearsay which even civil courts do not accept, there is no conflict with science. Hearing God talk in your head can just as easily be an illusion, but if what he says enriches your life and makes you a better person, no harm is done.

    Kermit the Frog is strapped into the back seat of my SUV and occasionally he says profound things to me, but only when I'm driving alone. I have gotten priceless wisdom from my conversations with my dogs.

    The issue is whether SciForums has the bandwidth to engage in this exercise. This thread has long outlived its value as a teaching moment for our young, impressionable Future Scientists. Should we be off on one of the other subforums, learning fascinating new things about partial differential equations or the Utility Of Money function?

    The people to whom creationism appeals do not have much respect for logic and they don't let logic interfere with their mental processes. That would be a quixotic effort.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics allows for both spatial and temporal local reversals of entropy. Your example is spatially local--as is the phenomenon of life, depleting the organization from its nearby environment and using it to make itself more organized--with the net organization in the entire region becoming depleted.

    The Big Bang was temporally local. The total organization of the universe increased (by the universe suddenly appearing with net matter and energy = 0 but tremendous organization) but the organization is slowly dissipating and approaching zero, perhaps asymptotically.
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I don't think so. I've seen similar behaviour in political discussions, people denouncing rightwing politics so they can troll people inclined towards the left.

    He's been banned a total of six times, twice by myself and four times by Hercules Rockefellar, mostly for Trolling/Meaningless Post Content. He was last banned in March 2012. I know he occasionally gets bitchy because, for example, James R warned him that if he continued misrepresenting a particular document he would face another ban. I also know that he would rather believe that Ayala (for example) was pressured into writing his criticism of Lewins news editorial to save his career than he would believe that maybe Lewins reporting was somewhat over zealous.

    All of the evidence I have been able to find for myself indicates that the article that has been posted in this thread, regardless of whether or not it's been held at JSTOR, is representative of the article as it was originally published.

    I'm fairly sure most of us have been there. Part of the problem, as I see it anyway, is that all of the same arguments that he has presented here he presented twelve months ago in the thread "Denial of Evolution V".

    In my experience, such as it is, if you find yourself looking at a reversal of the flow of entropy, it's because you've overlooked something and you're not looking at the whole 'closed system'.
  15. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Aqueous Id

    I think it's the new tactic of arguing for "alternative explanations"((cough)Creationism(cough)) to "discredited macroevolution" scrubbed of any reference to a deity. They gave up on "microevolution" a few years back, the evidence was so obvious that even the Gomerts* got their flu shots every year, but now they are trying to argue it can't be extrapolated to "macroevolution", as Leopold is failing so miserably at doing(hint Leo, it's ALL just evolution at different scales and speeds, it's all microscopic in origin, whether or not the changes are barely visible or major morphological changes). It is Creationist stealth mode, if you will. They tried it with ID but were rejected by the courts for the I part((cough)god(cough)). Leopold is just the Creationism/ID without the god, he's not fooling me, it's the same ID/Creationist crap arguments.

    * Registered Trademark of the UDA. "Not all Dumb A__es are United Dumb A__ members, but all UDA members are Dumb A__es." Come on, show your inner Gomert, join the UDA today!
  16. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    It's the wedge strategy - the only purpose is to create confusion and manufacture "controversy".
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Definitely. A reply I made to Leopold 500 posts ago:
    You're a denialist; a manufacturer of controversy. Your posts follow the "wedge strategy" of the Discovery Institute, an intelligent-design political activist group.

    The "wedge strategy" was an attempt to recover after creationists had been almost destroyed in the realm of public debate. As science education improved, it was harder and harder for creationists to maintain their claims against an overwhelming amount of proof to the contrary (and against a more educated public.) Thus they gave up on that. Rather than push creationism, they decided to merely manufacture doubt about evolution. Then when there was enough doubt they could say "why not teach alternatives, if there's doubt about evolution?" It was fairly successful - at least until the wedge document was leaked.

    A quote from one of its leaders:

    "I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call The Wedge, which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science. . . . . Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth?"

    Thus they do not CLAIM anything, just as you have not claimed anything. Thus they cannot be disproved. They simply cast doubts on evolution. Suggest that it's not "all there is." Claim that there are no transitional fossils. When they can't claim that any more, they claim there aren't ENOUGH transitional fossils. They claim that the mechanisms of evolution simply can't work, that they are too complicated to work well _or_ too simple to produce a wing from a leg. They claim that of course microevolution works, and that existing traits can change, but macroevolution is something completely different and can't be explained by evolution.
  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The main line of reasoning that made me question the completeness of the current mechanism for evolution, was looking at life in terms of its intricate structural order, and how this order had to expand for life to evolve from scratch. As technology improved, observations show the order goes down to smallest details, such as very specific protein folds with probability of 1.0.

    Evolution is currently centered on statistics, yet life is composed of order. The question I asked was, although random can help explain change, what was responsible for the high degree of order within life?

    Going from single to multicellular life required not only each cell have internal order, but thee differentiated cell had to narrow its internal order(with much more randomly possible), while integrating billions of cells into a whole. This is not what you expect of random events. Random only explains the minor changes along the edge not the bulk of life. The DNA may mutate, but this only means something if the rest of the support system in the cell maintains its structural order.

    Evolutions narrows the focus onto the change, but does not explain the lowering of odds into order. This order provides the needed platform from which change is restricted so it can be progressive.
  19. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

    Take a single cell, take the simplest,an Archaea organism, how far back in time would you need to go to undo its evolution? Reverse it back from what it is today. Could it be reduced back to just chemicals on a surface for instance over a billion years? Remember the generation time could be very short so evolutionary changes could be spread out rapidly, as it reproducing just from budding cells.
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No, you have to go back 14 billion years, just after the inflationary epoch (chaos), when the universe cooled down for natural laws to become effective and to "allow" chemical bonding to find the start of the evolutionary process.
    Note that the first chemicals in the universe are also the simplest; hydrogen, helium, oxygen, carbon, ..... They are the oldest elements with the earliest interactions and bonding to form more complex elements and molecules and are common properties of almost all matter. Is it any wonder that matter and life are fundamentally based on these available and adaptable elements? No mystery here.

    Now multiply the (near infinite) number of particles interacting at quantum for 14 billion years in an exponential function such as in the formation of stars, planetary systems, galaxies, black holes, super novae.

    And in the natural course of events at least one planet found an orbit in the "comfort zone" of a star, and in the evolution of the planet earth itself somewhere along the line in this natural laboratory, a lucky match (one in a trillion trillion tries, and life. And somewhere in the evolution of life, a lucky mutation (one in a trillion trillion tries) and homo sapiens.

    I believe there are several computer simulations which show the inevitable combination of the right ingredients to produce complex systems (chemicals) and from there simple organisms (cells) and from there complex organisms (self duplicating cells) and from there motion and from there intelligence. I find this process completely uncontroversial, why is there an argument about these known fundamentals of the universe?.

    If we can do it in a manmade laboratory in a couple of years, Evolution can do it in its natural cosmic laboratory by trial and error over billions of years.
  21. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

    You have sort of answered my question, but you have gone back a lot further than I expected, right back to the basic primordial molecules of Hydrogen and Helium. Now go forward from the Big Bang and tell me your estimate time-wise when these atoms finally were capable of the simplest replication? This might even before DNA or DNA could already be a factor. Your choice but when and what process are you estimating please?
  22. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    According to Renate Loll, the universe itself has potential for a "causal dynamic triangulation" down to Planck scale. IOW it duplicates its own spacetime fabric.

    I see duplication as an inherent potential of the universe. We find duplication in mathematical functions, in natural laws and constants everywhere, since the beginning of time.
    It seems to me there would be a natural tendency to find compatibility and perfect duplication creates the perfect compatibility. From there strings may be formed and self replicating complexity begins.

    The first cell on earth must have been created on earth,IMO. It is not likely that a cell would survive a cosmic trip and violent nuclear collision. But the compound chemicals might have come from various cosmic sources, which then became part of the boiling pot of the earth. But this affinity for duplication may have started fairly early in the history of the earth,
  23. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

    Thanks. I think you have given me the clue, for if the first cell in your opinion formed on Earth and needed methane for the synthesis of the amino acids, this process needed to have occurred prior to the Sun going thermonuclear, for methane is apparently very unstable in UV light. UV from the Sun would have destroyed the atmospheric methane. So you have the problem of life forming prior to the Sun and surviving the Moon formation where the whole Earth was molten if you accept the Giant Impact theory. Those are the reasons I have proposed that life formed off planet Earth, possibly on Mercury in the late proto-sun period, as most of you know. "Life First Started On Planet Mercury?"
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
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