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Thread: Creationism, probability and an awry debate

  1. #1 Creationism, probability and an awry debate 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    These are some comments made about Kenneth Miller refuting creationist probability on YouTube, some polite (I admit I myself wasn't that polite) comments, advice and criticism (about both me and the other guy) would be appreciated, just to improve accuracy and help me understand what this is about (unfortunately most of my comments are theoretical, got to stop doing that):

    Golkarian Maybe oversimplifying things. But the argument works. Some here say evolution is like getting the same lisence plate twice. That is a TOTAL misinterpretation of evolution. Look at the squid, fish and whales, some similarities (occuring through natural selection not random mutation), but overall they are very different, with evolution you get totally different cards (squid, fish, whale) each time, not the same card (squid, squid, squid).

    Fred88902 I. No way. Miller is not in context. Only complete DNA sequences that specify at least 1 usable peptide can be conserved (by natural selection) because functionality cannot be expressed unless it is manifested via protein or enzyme. Most functions need dozens of interoperable proteins and enzymes often from different specialized cells or they don't work at all. The simplest protein has no less than 500 base pairs to specify their production/shape.

    pontecanis Fred...see 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry...awarded for showing RNA is self-replicating,self-reassemb ling if cut, catalyzes protein production,and contains coding,all from considerably less than 500 bases(RNA is single helix, so no base pairs at all)...oops! That is a bit of damage to your claims...See early cyanobacterium,no DNA,nucleus,organelles,or internal cell structures of any kind: just 4 amino acids,a phosphate radicle,and the resulting RNA--energy via cyclic photophosphorylation. Fred...see 1989 Nobel Prize for Chemistry...awarded for showing RNA is self-replicating,self-reassemb ling if cut, catalyzes protein production,and contains coding,all from considerably less than 500 bases(RNA is single helix, so no base pairs at all)...oops! That is a bit of damage to your claims...See early cyanobacterium,no DNA,nucleus,organelles,or internal cell structures of any kind: just 4 amino acids,a phosphate radicle,and the resulting RNA--energy via cyclic photophosphorylation.

    Fred88902 Nobel. Yeah, just as Algore got his the earth's temperature dropped 2 degrees. Not impressed. Do the new proteins confer advantage? No... in every case they deteriorate organism efficiency. Do the math for Crystallin, dork. It can never happen in a trillion pre-optic creatures mutating daily for the age of the universe...transposon or not. Self replication is like masturbation, isn't it, pontie and you'd know because it never satisfies the argument. Get your money back!

    pontecanis Fred I guess thay award those Nobels to just anybody.With your superior knowledge,you most certainly must have won a Nobel...when was that?For what empirical research that advanced human knowledge?Replication is the formation of new material in an already expressed form...no advantage is conferred, nor disadvantage...according to you there is no possibility of evolving an eye,yet there they are,and lesser structures involving light recognition exist too;How?Oh,yeah God did it...

    pontecanis He must have done it at 11:30,Thurday,October 23,4004BC.He made all those lesser eyes and eye spots too,simultaneously,right along with the dinosaurs and the Old Kingdom,and Jericho(he made Jericho look 4,000 years old too)etc. It is funny that no ancient civilizations mention dinosaurs, though...humans must have neen scared shitless by Dinosaurs,yet not even cave drawings refer to Dinos...must have just been an oversight for the Egyptisns not to mention them,tho.Sure,and I'm Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Fred88902 All of your points are easily refuted, and to each you simply change the subject and presume to assign religious motives. In a debate, your points would be negative. And still, you refuse to do the math; it's clear that you can't, because you know Darwinistic mechanisms are ruled out. As for a Nobel pissing contest: Charles Hard Townes, Physics, Eugene P. Wigner, physics; Richard E Smalley, 1996 chemistry; Richard Feynman; Hans Spemann; oh, and a man Evolutionists never quote: Albert Einstein

    Fred88902 Other shapes will not work, so the probability space is extremely limited (for example crystallin must be clear or the eye cannot see.) The odds of randomly mutating any functional protein from junk or previous functional DNA is under 1 in 3.6*10-70 and Miller knows it. The universe has existed for 10-17 seconds!

    Golkarian Fred88902 that is an origin of life question. Once a simple cell (eg bacteria) or even a self-replicating protein exists, the probality of creating a new protein with a completely different function is much higher. Plus probability is not time based. If the probability of a mutation is one in a billion and I have a billion bacteria, one will have a mutation regardless of time.

    Fred88902 It most certainly is not. In order to create incremental, novel functionality from additional DNA you must specify new and functional genes, and typically new and functional specialized cells. This is the "origin of a Species", which is precisely what Darwin was trying to solve naturalistically. You don't understand the arguments. Show me your math and I'll show you how the odds of arriving at Crystallin are impossible by many orders of magnitude. All eyes need Crystallin. That's just 1 gene!

    Golkarian Actually the process by which you get "new and functional genes" isn't random at all, its called transposition, most if not all organisms have it. The random part is getting from one fully functional protein (a reproductive protein?) to another (crytallin), gradually. The reason gradual change works better is because you can start off with odds of zero for creating crystallin, and as the protein changes the probablity goes gradually up. Your math is perfect your biology stinks.

    Fred88902 egad! You don't even understand your own theory. Wow! one more shot, not that you deserve the respect. Transposons are unstable/random rearrangement of a gene on a chromosome. Even the rare retrotransposon can only make copies of existing genes, which never add novel functionality. Nobody has demonstrated any mutation processes that can conserve DNA sequences that don't add novel, complete, functional genes required to specify proteins and enzymes. Get your money back from that tech school!

    Golkarian What!? If I said that I am an idiot. I never said transposons "add novel functionality". It's two step 1) Transposition creates IDENTICAL "new and functional genes", and can transfer genes for things like antibiotic resistance to plasmids and chromosomes, sorry should have said identical 2)Then mutation and natural selection change the function. No spontaneous protein creation, just gradual change. And honestly, most people don't think creationists don't deserve the respect, maybe it's revenge

    Fred88902 Okay, let's say you now have a copy of a gene. Does redundancy improve the ancestral genotype? No...it nearly always weakens it (thermodynamics). This means dup-gene is not conserved. Now use it to begin to mutate 200 novel sequences toward Cryatallin, which every seeing creature needs. Let's do the 1st 10 base pairs. How are these mutations conserved & not themselves subject to mutagenesis if they destroy the dup-gene and are not yet close to specifying a novel gene? No gradualism; No Darwin

    pontecanis Fred...where does it say that the Laws of thermodynamics apply to redundancy? 1stLaw: Energy cannot be created or destroyed...nope.
    2nd Law:entropy of an isolated system which is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time,approaching a maximum value at equilibrium...nope, not an isolated system.3rd Law:As a system approaches absolute zero, all processes cease and the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value...nope.The Zeroth Law does not apply either. Well, what the hell???

    Golkarian Sorry, correction to last post, I was the first to be rude about this, I apologize.

    Golkarian "Does redundancy improve the ancestral genotype?" First of all, transposons exist. Second reduncancy may be bad for the organism, but evolution favours genes, and reduncancy is great for them, its how they reproduce. Plus if the reduncancy allows evolution, its good for the organism. "Now use it to begin to mutate 200 novel sequences toward Cryatallin," nope, one or two nucleotides to a protein with a different function, let it change to crystallin. It's a two step process repeated 200 times
    I thought he would go back to probability, he didn't, but I still can't express evolution mathematically (even if I can see the flaws of creationist's math I can't come up with an alternative theory), because of this creationist mathematics scare the hell out of me.


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    read chapter 3 of Richard Dawkins's "The blind Watchmaker" where he shows the difference in probability of arriving at a complex structure in one go (as the creationists see it) and through accumulation of successive steps

    if you have to arrive at the fully formed haemoglobin molecule in one step, then yes, the odds are something like 1 out of 10^190 - however, if you allow the evolution of haemoglobin from simpler molecules, where you're allowed to keep each advantageous intermediate step the odds drop dramatically

    he then goes on to show how replicating the Shakespeare sentence ""methinks it is like a weasel" has equally unlikely odds if you you have to arrive at it through random trials
    however, the power of natural selection is shown by the fact that a computer program can do it in far fewer steps if on each attempt the program is allowed to keep the elements that resemble the aimed-for text

    in short, whenever a creationist says something is very unlikely to happen in a certain way, be suspicious of the mechanism they describe as how things should have happened, it's very likely a misrepresentation of how things really happened


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    he then goes on to show how replicating the Shakespeare sentence ""methinks it is like a weasel" has equally unlikely odds if you you have to arrive at it through random trials
    however, the power of natural selection is shown by the fact that a computer program can do it in far fewer steps if on each attempt the program is allowed to keep the elements that resemble the aimed-for text
    The problem with this argument is that it is wholeheartedly teleological in nature )despite what I understand to be Dawkin's abhorrence of teleology).
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    he then goes on to show how replicating the Shakespeare sentence ""methinks it is like a weasel" has equally unlikely odds if you you have to arrive at it through random trials
    however, the power of natural selection is shown by the fact that a computer program can do it in far fewer steps if on each attempt the program is allowed to keep the elements that resemble the aimed-for text
    The problem with this argument is that it is wholeheartedly teleological in nature )despite what I understand to be Dawkin's abhorrence of teleology).
    The situation he sets up is certainly teleological, but, like Darwin and the Artificial Selection he pointed out in pigeon breeding, Dawkins is simply making an anlogy to show how these things work.

    I feel it would be difficult to actually set up a counterpart/example of 'natural selection' without including, for the sake of speed, some teleological parameters. I wonder what the computer programmers think?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    This is what makes it a poor analogy and - in my view - provides creationists with more ammunition. Indeed, I shall go further and say it is a false analogy since for it to work it must include elements of the very concept it is supposed to demonstrate as invalid.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    you should only engage in 'discussion' with creationists if it brings you some kind of perverse pleasure.

    Because it is utterly pointless to do it for any other reason.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    This is what makes it a poor analogy and - in my view - provides creationists with more ammunition. Indeed, I shall go further and say it is a false analogy since for it to work it must include elements of the very concept it is supposed to demonstrate as invalid.
    it does, however, show the reduction of probabilities from virtually impossible to merely low when advances are allowed to be kept from one stage to the next
    the fact that in the case of the example you aim for a specific sentence is neither here nor there - after all, all combinations of letters are equally unlikely, but each "impossible" outcome can be reached through a similar cumulative process that lowers the odds considerably
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    you should only engage in 'discussion' with creationists if it brings you some kind of perverse pleasure.

    Because it is utterly pointless to do it for any other reason.
    As a former creationist and a current evolutionist, I have to disagree. But I must admit some look alot like and may in fact be, lost causes.
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    whereas others, who are willing and able to make basic observations, can easily be shown that there is merit to the idea.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    read chapter 3 of Richard Dawkins's "The blind Watchmaker" where he shows the difference in probability of arriving at a complex structure in one go (as the creationists see it) and through accumulation of successive steps

    if you have to arrive at the fully formed haemoglobin molecule in one step, then yes, the odds are something like 1 out of 10^190 - however, if you allow the evolution of haemoglobin from simpler molecules, where you're allowed to keep each advantageous intermediate step the odds drop dramatically

    he then goes on to show how replicating the Shakespeare sentence ""methinks it is like a weasel" has equally unlikely odds if you you have to arrive at it through random trials
    however, the power of natural selection is shown by the fact that a computer program can do it in far fewer steps if on each attempt the program is allowed to keep the elements that resemble the aimed-for text

    in short, whenever a creationist says something is very unlikely to happen in a certain way, be suspicious of the mechanism they describe as how things should have happened, it's very likely a misrepresentation of how things really happened
    I have read The Blind Watchmaker, it shows how empirically the odds of mutation are higher. I'd still love to be able to express it mathematically though, think I should ask on the math forum?
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    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Any comments on transposition? I was worried about the accuracy.
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    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    This guy (coming out on the side of evolution) made another comment (he seems to either know quite alot, or is actually researching for a YouTube debate):

    pontecanis InterPro: IPR003031 Delta crystallin Delta-crystallin evolved in a common ancestor of reptiles and birds,by the overexpression of arginosuccinate lyase in the lens.A gene duplication took place,since when the lens gene has accumulated mutations in the coding sequence,rendering it enzymatically inactive. The proteins belong to...metabolic enzymes, all of which are active as homotetramers: they include fumarase, aspartase, adenylosuccinase and 3-carboxy-cis,cis-muconate lactonising enzyme.
    I should note that where Dawkins refutes creationist probability, Fred88902 points out that many on the side of ID only use it based on Behe (who claims gradual change is impossible at the biochemical level), explaining why Dembski only uses the equations on the flagellum. Refute Behe, as Kenneth Miller has done on several occasions, game over. Dawkins = ID alive; Creationism dead. Miller = ID dead; Creationism alive. Dawkins + Miller = ID dead; Creationism dead.
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