C. I Debate a PZ Meyers Connected Website
P.Z. Myers is a rather renown biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris. P.Z. was featured as an expert on evolution in the film “Expelled” by Ben Stein. For a detailed complete profile go to: http://citypages.com/databank/26/1303/article13908.asp He has written a blog page regarding mammalian/vertebrate eye evolution: evolution:http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/12/evolution_of_vertebrate_eyes.php
If the links don’t work, they may be copied and pasted in your address window.
To give you an idea of how PZ operates, and what an ev-illusionist he is, I made the following YouTube vid, if you have a few minutes:
PZ’s blog has up to 25,000 hits per day. He has a group of commenters who discuss and debate with people like me who are infidels and logic-based non-believers, as well as creationists, and other types of debaters, some of which are admittedly a bit nutty. Of course they group all infidels, no matter what the cause of their disbelief, into a single group that they basically think are all idiots. Myers’ blog is the one of the most perfect examples of evillusion. Myers commenters are very knowledgeable about evolution and biology, as can be demonstrated by their comments. P.Z. Meyers shows a paper on his site describing the many steps of eye evolution. I simply had to comment. My comments started out rather challenging. My demeanor is caused by my previous experience “discussing” with other evillusionists, and their complete “made up science that must not be questioned” which they promote. The paper describing eye evolution says “this “evolved”, that “developed”, this “projected”. Using different words for the word “evolved” makes the paper a little more “scientific” and believable. They don’t have the courage to say “this evolved, that evolved, those evolved”, which is what they mean; just another part of the illusion. The idea that these items “just evolved” is so completely unbelievable that it is ludicrous. And anyone who doubts this tale no matter what the reason is mocked, which is how they operate. Here is a sample from the paper: (I added the word (evolves) and placed it in parentheses where they belong or where the site had substituted a euphemism.)
A primordial RPE65-like isomerase evolves.
A ciliary photoreceptor evolves that has well organized outer-segment membranes, an output synapse close to the soma and a synaptic specialization appropriate for graded signal transmission.
A primordial lens placode develops (evolves), preventing pigmentation of the overlying skin.
Ganglion-cell axons project (evolve) to the thalamus.
The optics evolve (the lens, accommodation and eye movement):
- The lens placode invaginates and develops (evolves) to form a lens.
- The iris develops (evolves) and a degree of pupillary constriction becomes possible.
- Innervated extra-ocular muscles evolve.
A highly contractile iris evolves that can adjust light levels.
The lens develops (evolves) an elliptical shape to compensate for the added refractive power that is provided by the cornea in air.
The dermal component of the split cornea is lost and the eyelids evolve.
Their first responses to my challenge were quite angry and condescending, as expected.
The “discussion”: (My writing is in blue, theirs is in red. I added a few post-debate comments to their responses which are in blue also.)
Do you guys actually believe what you are writing?
“Cone bipolar cells evolve. Ganglion-cell axons project to the thalamus. (How the hell did they know where to go?) Myelin evolves and is incorporated throughout the nervous system. Intrinsic eye muscles develop that permit accommodation of the lens. A highly contractile iris evolves that can adjust light levels. The dermal component of the split cornea is lost and the eyelids evolve.” Just like that. They evolve like they know EXACTLY where they are going.
And because the eye is here and make-believe steps are listed, that means it happened THAT WAY? (The probability is 1 — it already happened :P-Thomas Braxton 2nd comment) Is this magic? Were these events happening in millions of animals all at the same time? All of these remarkable and astronomically unlikely mutations, and their selection by NS, all happening exactly the same way in thousands of specie populations in unison? Do you think that by listing the steps, and making the steps sound scientific, that makes it believable? If we could go back 525 MYA, would we see millions of species with hemi-ping pong ball eyes? I really doubt it.
You must think that by adding a scientific looking cartoon, the worshipers will believe even more. They probably will. The miracle of evolution is that people with highly intelligent minds believe it without even questioning or wondering, just like the miracle of religion. What really amazes me is that people that believe this unbelievable stuff make fun of those that don’t. Like me.
They don’t “know” where to go. The traits arose as minor mutations; since each mutation allowed the possessor of the trait to survive better, the bearer of the trait left more offspring. The success of those offspring spread the trait through additional generations.
Were these events happening in millions of animals all at the same time? All of these remarkable and astronomically unlikely mutations, and their selection by NS, all happening exactly the same way in thousands of specie populations in unison?
If you pay attention, you will note that the whole point is that the trait slowly spreads through a population that can interbreed; through the same species. If the population with the trait can no longer interbreed with a population that doesn’t have the trait, then the two populations can then evolve into new species.
Do you think that by listing the steps, and making the steps sound scientific, that makes it believable?
The steps that are listed are from the evidence; from actually examining eye development in many different species. Examining and describing the evidence are indeed part of science.
What really amazes me is that people that believe this unbelievable stuff make fun of those that don’t. Like me.
Since the entire modus operandi of evolution-deniers is to make fun — that is, to demonstrate ignorance and confusion by attacking a strawman version of what evolution is — then why do you deserve more than being made fun of in return?
I can’t think of any good reason not to make fun of someone as pig-headedly stupid, ignorant, and arrogant as yourself.
Excuse me, dumbfuck, but what evidence do you have of that? Just because people who aren’t as retarded as you are have reached a different conclusion than you have doesn’t mean that they didn’t deliberate.
O: They don’t “know” where to go. The traits arose as minor mutations; since each mutation allowed the possessor of the trait to survive better, the bearer of the trait left more offspring. The success of those offspring spread the trait through additional generations.
S: So a few eye cells that “evolved” would trump speed, size, and aggressiveness? And the individuals that evolved those few eye cells would triumph? Right. There are so many traits that result in survivability, why would a 1% eye be better than bigger claws or more speed and strength?
O: If you pay attention, you will note that the whole point is that the trait slowly spreads through a population that can interbreed; through the same species. If the population with the trait can no longer interbreed with a population that doesn’t have the trait, then the two populations can then evolve into new species.
S: So the population with the trait (eyes in this instance) spread them to other species by, uh, hmm. Since one specie can’t procreate with another, the eyes would be stuck in one specie, if it was possible for that evolution to happen in the first place. It would be unthinkable for nearly identical mutations that produce eyes to occur in thousands of species at the same time. So evolution is really stuck.
If you went 500 MYA, do you think you would see some in an animal population with half “ping-pong ball” eyes, some without eyes, and some with fully evolved eyes?
O:The steps that are listed are from the evidence; from actually examining eye development in many different species. Examining and describing the evidence are indeed part of science.
S: Many different CURRENT species have been examined. There is no evidence of fossils that show evolution of the eyes. It should be pretty obvious with fossil skull structures. They should show enlarging eye sockets. They don’t.
O: Since the entire modus operandi of evolution-deniers is to make fun — that is, to demonstrate ignorance and confusion by attacking a strawman version of what evolution is — then why do you deserve more than being made fun of in return?
S: “Strawman”: right out of the pro-evolution arguers handbook in the chapter on “When You Can’t Answer”! Good going! Also don’t forget to use “ad homonym attack” when there is no reasonable answer.
O: I can’t think of any good reason not to make fun of someone as pig-headedly stupid, ignorant, and arrogant as yourself.
S: Again, right out of the handbook: “Call them names if you can’t come up with a reasonable answer. Use stupid, ignorant, retarded, arrogant, and mix in as many four letter words as you know!” p. 38
O: Excuse me, dumbfuck, (right on!) but what evidence do you have of that? Just because people who aren’t as retarded as you are have reached a different conclusion than you have doesn’t mean that they didn’t deliberate.
S: Thanks for the compliment! Evolutionists come up with impossible explanations, then, as you say, “deliberate” on them, then all agree they are not impossible, then go forward in lock step with articles and books.
Wow, where to begin? You ever fought an equally matched fighter with your eyes closed? I recommend it, just for you.
You think photon receptive cells developed after claws? Not to mention that the very ideas of “speed” and “strength” are commonly involved with complex evolved musculature. Tack on the very audacity to reject evolution simply because you’re too ignorant or lazy to try and find out why being able to sense light levels could pay off more than “speed,” “strength,” or any other vague adjective, and we’re left with nothing more than a testament to your mind set.
What makes evolutionary biologists different from nonsense peddling charlatans such as yourself (and I mean that in the most pejorative way, just so you don’t get me wrong.) is that when we come up against something unexpected, or even nominally interesting, we attempt to figure it out. You on the other hand declare every unknown a victory for your ignorance and shamelessly revel in it. It’s almost like you’ve never read a history book. It’s filled with cocky know-nothings just like you who later are shown up by steadfast scientists.
Read up before coming back kiddo. You’re embarrassing yourself.
Not that we don’t mind laughing…
Dr, I think perhaps you’re not familiar with the theory of evolution?
You see this is my classy, “framed” question. I hope to prove a hypothesis among some friends of mine as to how you’ll react, when after having made this statement, I ask you where you get you information on evolutionary theory? And more to the point, how you’ve come to the conclusion that that information overrules an entire scientific endeavor?
I will expect a clear, reasonable answer if we are to take the title ‘Dr.” seriously. Otherwise, you will be perfectly subject to all the mocking this group of posters can produce. Which I promise is a great deal. I expect great things.
And thus ends my measured response.
Should the evolutionary history of “skulls” show enlarging eye sockets? Where did you come up with that? I really want to know. (Exoskeletons formed around the same time as eyes, but I don’t want to sidetrack the debate.) I’m wondering where you’ve gotten your info on evolution. As an after thought I suppose I could ask you to support the claim that such evidence is lacking. You, being so questioning of assertions, will of course be perfectly understanding and willing to provide, so as to not look hypocritical, a reference. I’d love to know where you read or heard such a claim, so as to read it myself.
Never to late to start learning. Yeah?
I’d also love to read this “pro-evolution arguers handbook.” Can I get it on amazon? I’d hate to make any mistakes you’ve pointed out so far. Otherwise, by not being level headed and reasonable, someone could refute my arguments, not on their merit, but on the fact that someone was less than decorous. Heaven forbid, yes?
O: You ever fought an equally matched fighter with your eyes closed? I recommend it, just for you.
S: Your problem here is “equally matched”. You must know that no two animals or species in nature are “equally matched”. Do you think a fighter who weighs is 5′ 7″ and 130 lbs.with a pair of 2% evolved eyes could defeat a blind Mike Tyson? Gimme Mike every time.
O: What makes evolutionary biologists different from nonsense peddling charlatans such as yourself (and I mean that in the most pejorative way, just so you don’t get me wrong.) (THANKS!) is that when we come up against something unexpected, or even nominally interesting, we attempt to figure it out.
S: Then why don’t you “figure it out” instead of calling me names if you are such a goddam “steadfast scientists”? The most amazing name you have called me is arrogant, since 80% of your writing involves demeaning me. You have constantly skirted my very reasonable question of:
QUESTION: Did eyes initially evolve in only one specie or were these astronomically unlikely events happening in millions of animals/species all at the same time? If in one specie, eyes could not have spread to other species. And the concept of millions of specie populations all undergoing the exact same mutations at the same time that would lead to vision is not even thinkable.
Can you “figure it out”?
Oops. Claws came after “light sensitive cells”. Whatta goof. You caught me. OK, limbs; strength; speed; aggressiveness; health. I think you get the idea.
And let’s not get into a debate on who is the most schooled in biology and evolution. You would probably lose. So go ahead and laugh all you want. Talk like that only makes you look juvenile. For many years I argued on the side of evolution. But I never demeaned my opponent like you demean me. I am certain you act the same with anyone who has a reasonable question about your “science”. In my case too many questions started coming up about evolution; too many impossibilities. Like the question that I posed for you. When I was an evolution believer, I couldn’t answer it, just like you can’t. The same question arises with every organ and biological electro-mechanical system. Try answering that question for the heart-lung system, the musculo-skeletel system. I am positive that your only answer will be to demean the asker.
My recommendation to you and all other evolutionists is to calmly and intelligently answer reasonable challenges. If evolution is real science, you should be able to do that. That way you may get some doubters who will change their minds about the science that you so deeply love and are so dedicated to.
Stevebee92653: you do not sound like you were ever an “evolution believer,” you sound like someone who did not bother to understand how evolutionary biology works in the first place. If you understood how evolutionary biology works and is defined, you wouldn’t make deliberately childish demands of (This is a childish question? I would say it was a very pertinent question which they completely unsuccessfully answer. In fact, it doesn’t seem like they have any idea the pertinence of the question.)
“Did eyes initially evolve in only one specie or were these astronomically unlikely events happening in millions of animals/species all at the same time? If in one specie, eyes could not have spread to other species. And the concept of millions of specie populations all undergoing the exact same mutations at the same time that would lead to vision is not even thinkable.
Can you “figure it out”?”
Among other things, fossils of the earliest recognized chordate, Haikouella, from 525 million years ago, show that chordates developed primitive, very simple eyes very early in their history.
The first vertebrates appeared 500 million years ago, and they, including Arandaspis, Sacabambaspis and Astraspis had eyes much larger than Haikouella, but were still less complex than the eyes of later vertebrates, such as Thelodus or Cephalaspis, and were much smaller (as well as simpler) than the eyes of primitive gnathostomes (“jawed vertebrates”), such as placoderms like Coccosteus. (All of these species with “simple” eyes had a full visual system which requires a retina, optic nerve, visual cortex in the brain, and a code that is sent from the retina to the brain where it is deciphered. “Simple” eyes are not simple.)
Stevebee92653, if you want people to take you and your viewpoints seriously, first, please lose the unpleasant and aggressive attitude: it gives people a poor estimate of your social skills, and suggests (hopefully wrong) that you are nothing more than an anti-intellectual troll who picks fights for Jesus. Second, please try to actually learn about vertebrate evolution before you go about “questioning” evolutionary biology. I recommend reading “Discovering Fossil Fishes” by John Maisely. It is a very well written book with excellent, informative pictures (it could stand to have had more pictures, but, I’m not in charge of that).
Among other things, fossil evidence currently suggests that eyes developed once in chordate evolution, and evidence from genomic sequencing is still being analyzed, but suggests that either a) Hagfish eyes are similar to the eyes of the first eyed chordate, or b) Hagfish eyes look so primitive because their eyes have degenerated.
Furthermore, if evolutionary biology is a big trick, then, do you have a better explanation for why life is the way it is right now, and the way life was the way it was then? (Evolution has an impossible explanation, I don’t have one at all. As long as mutations and natural selection are given as the only scientific answer, the real answer will never be found.)
Duh, imaginary sky buddy.
Not to other species alive at the time, no. But those species which descended from the first eyed species would inherit their eyes. (See? He has no idea the pertinence of the question. The first eyed species could not have spread eyes to other species, as it could not procreate with any other species. Even if the first eyed specie was geographically split many times, 99% of all species would be eyeless.) That’s kind of the whole damn point of common descent.
And quit bragging about your mad biology skillz; you’re a fucking dentist.
Actually, my own dentist demonstrates being very well-read in biological topics, given as how earning Dentistry certification requires a thorough understanding of Biochemistry, Human Anatomy, and General Biology… Or, it may be that he just wants to show off to me whenever I have an appointment with him.
Steve, if–as your web page claims–you were a biological studies major, how did you get through an entire undergraduate curriculum without learning that the singular of “species” is “species”, not “specie”? You consistently make such a trivial mistake that you don’t inspire confidence in anything else you say. (An “oops” on my part. Specie is a correct spelling and it wasn’t picked up by my spell checker, so I left it. Specie is a word that refers to a type of currency. But again I make no excuses so as not to get sidetracked.)
Also, I’m assuming that pre-dentistry assumes a certain mathematics and science requirement. I’m curious about how you got through math with such a confused understanding of “random”.
Did you get through undergraduate chemistry in order to get into dental school? Because with such a novel understanding of random processes, I’m very curious to hear your explanation of how an exothermic reaction works. It’s actually quite relevant to your profession, because mixing dental plaster yields an exothermic reaction, doesn’t it?
Anyhoo, if I interpret your understanding of “random” correctly, some time before the activated complex can proceed exothermically to the products, the reactants cannot proceed to the activated complex. That part of the overall reaction is endothermic, and since the reactants can’t “know” in advance that the net reaction is exothermic, the endothermic part is unable to occur. After all, what good is half an activated complex?
So am I correct that you put up the same teleological objection to exothermic reactions as you do to evolution, and that you’re therefore a dental-plaster denier?
Just wanted to clear that up–kthxbai!
(hopefully wrong) that you are nothing more than an anti-intellectual troll who picks fights for Jesus
Stanton, you’re far more generous than I am–I ditched the “hopefully wrong” qualifier several comments ago.
I used to have a dentist like Steve, but I switched many years ago, during the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, after he sent out a postcard to his patients reassuring us about his AIDS-free status, because he was such a decent, married, Christian man. The judgmental sanctimony was so revolting, I never went back as a patient to him.
Now I’m fortunate enough to go to a sane, as well as competent and caring, dentist. When I’m there, she and I have very interesting talks about comparative dentition phenotypes in horses, sharks, and other species. She hasn’t yet passed my idea for a research program (to solve the problem of teeth loss in humans by turning on the same genes sharks use to grow new teeth) on to Dental Science, but I’m sure she will any day now.
Traits, by the way, do not have to come from one species. There are many cases of certain traits evolving independently in multiple species. (So hearts and eyes evolved in multiple species at the same time? With the same basic design? Utilizing mutations? And who, beside evillusionists, would call complex visual systems “traits”. They have to keep them simple so they can accept evolution. I thought hair and eye color were a traits.) You also confuse how natural selection does its selecting. It’s not all about devouring other species, it’s about getting to resources. And being able to connect “food” to particular light levels would be an extremely huge advantage in competition for those resources over competitors that don’t have that ability. Being fast, strong or healthy is irrelevant if you can’t find food. Nor is every species in competition with every other species. So your mangling of my analogy on the importance of sight falls flat. But you won’t hear that because [snivel]everyone is so mean to you![/snivel]
All you’ve produced is a long argument from personal ignorance and lack of imagination.
I’ve met creationists in person, and for the most part, they were all nice people, but, I just really really wished that they had the pertinent conversational skills that would have allowed them to move beyond talking at me, as well as the conversational skills to allow them to actually absorb what I say.
Here’s to hope.
Now I’m fortunate enough to go to a sane, as well as competent and caring, dentist. When I’m there, she and I have very interesting talks about comparative dentition phenotypes in horses, sharks, and other species. She hasn’t yet passed my idea for a research program (to solve the problem of teeth loss in humans by turning on the same genes sharks use to grow new teeth) on to Dental Science, but I’m sure she will any day now.
I would think that one problem of your idea is that the genes for teeth regeneration may interfere with the genes that regulate the number of teeth (primitive condition in mammals being 44).
Traits, by the way, do not have to come from one species. There are many cases of certain traits evolving independently in multiple species. (So the astronomically unlikely set of circumstances that would cause eye evolution was happening in multiple species all at the same time? And all eyes in almost all species were designed pretty much the same by mutations and natural selection? Sorry, but that is beyond unbelievable. It completely amazes me that not one of these commenters question this scenario, and they all think I am an idiot for doubting that that could have happened.) You also confuse how natural selection does its selecting. It’s not all about devouring other species, it’s about getting to resources. And being able to connect “food” to particular light levels would be an extremely huge advantage in competition for those resources over competitors that don’t have that ability. Being fast, strong or healthy is irrelevant if you can’t find food. Nor is every species in competition with every other species. So your mangling of my analogy on the importance of sight falls flat.
When analogous traits arise in two different taxa, “convergent evolution” occurs. By comparing the traits, as well as the genes which regulate them, biologists can determine whether the two taxa are related or not, in that, by comparing the differences between the traits in question, biologists can determine whether if the two taxa are descended from another, ancestral taxon that had this trait, or if the two taxa had their own separate ancestors that different versions of that trait.
To continue with eyes, the eyes and eye-development regulatory genes of all eyed vertebrates, as well as the eye-development regulatory genes present in blind and eyeless vertebrates strongly suggest that the ancestral vertebrate had an eye with a cornea, a cupped retina and a lens.
But, this is apparently only apparent to those who actually took the time to read Professor Myers’ blog entry…
Steve, if–as your web page claims–you were a biological studies major, how did you get through an entire undergraduate curriculum without learning that the singular of “species” is “species”, not “specie”? You consistently make such a trivial mistake that you don’t inspire confidence in anything else you say.
I find myself wondering if he did his biological studies from a mail-order diploma mill or similar.
His statement (on his web page) that “Humans, and all animal species, are incredibly engineered machines” started a chain of associations that linked to Dr. L. Bailey, who figured that a heart is a pump, and there was no reason not to transplant a baboon heart into a human child. When asked about this, given the baboon’s evolutionary distance from H. sapiens, Bailey replied with “Er, I find that difficult to answer. You see, I don’t believe in evolution.”
Your problem here is “equally matched”. You must know that no two animals or species in nature are “equally matched”. [Oh really? ~K.] Do you think a fighter who weighs is 5′ 7″ and 130 lbs.with a pair of 2% evolved eyes could defeat a blind Mike Tyson? Gimme Mike every time.
So the correct assumption is that the blind organism is always far more physically developed than the other? Ok. Let’s start the list with that one, concede the victory to the big guy, but then add the other unequal matchups:
Sighted Weakling vs. Blind Tyson – Blind wins.
Sighted Tyson vs. Blind Tyson – Sighted wins.
Sighted Weakling vs. Blind Weakling – Sighted wins.
Sighted Tyspon vs. Blind Weakling – Sighted wins.
Uh… what was your point again? (Isn’t this brilliant? And they make fun of me? It’s so pathetic I don’t waste my time commenting on it.)
Anyway, the whole Tyson vs. Weakling thing isn’t consistent with the original argument, which (I assume) is based on the question of whether developing eyes confers an advantage over developing bigger, um, boxing gloves. With that in mind, maybe we should be asking if a fighter with “2% evolved eyes” would stand a chance in the ring with another fighter that was 2% taller and 2% heavier. I’d take the sighted fighter every time.
Sigh. I feel stupid now, having even contributed to this line of thought.
Nonsense! You only took a silly potshot of mine and refined it into a clearly pointed argument. The truth remains the same, but now I’ll have to up with other throw away lines. (One pathetic commenter backs up the other, as usual.)
“Dr” Stevie, who doesn’t know that eyes are older than skulls (Not so in the case of exoskeletons but I don’t want to start another argument.) in chordates and doesn’t even seem to have noticed that vision isn’t an all-or-nothing affair, is already gone?
I, for one, am going to be very disappointed if he skitters away without answering my question about dental-plaster denialism.
Oh, well, FtK and Testytestacci never answered my questions, either. Seems to be a habit among them.
I have absolutely no idea how species came into existence, and I don’t promote any solution to that great and fascinating puzzle.
So… he’s not even a creationist? All animals in their endless forms… just are? There’s no relationship between any of them?
That’s got to be the dumbest thing ever.
No, I should take that back. I’m sure there’s something even dumber and more contradictory that will turn up.
There’s also this:
There appears to have been some minor evolution that has taken (takes) place.
So evolution is indeed a fact? And he’s arguing against it… because?
And a few sentences later:
Origins of species is an incredible subject, but it is also a useless science. No cures for disease or mechanical marvels will be produced by it.
So those drug tests that use animal models are “useless”, because there’s no relationship between our species? (Species being related biologically and by natural design does not prove mutations and natural selection, sorry.) And the newer antibiotics that deal with strains of diseases that have evolved resistance to older antibiotics are “useless”, or don’t exist? (They really don’t understand their own “science”. The least resistant die, the more resistant live and reproduce. No mutations with natural selection are required here.)
Yep. Just once, I wish these guys would quit while they’re behind.
And… LOL @ “dental-plaster denialism.” 🙂
Thanks, Kseniya :). That’s actually the example that got me out of thinking like a creationist–well, not dental plaster specifically, but exothermic reactions in general.
I was always a math geek, and did high-school chemistry and physics, but avoided biology as too “soft” a science, so I never got a good basic grounding in that until grad school. Of course, I had heard the term “evolution”, and didn’t have any problem with it at the term level, but I had no real understanding of it, either–it just “was”.
Exothermic reactions finally got me to understand randomness and population distributions. When we first analyzed the energy profile of exothermic reactions, I was really mystified how the molecules “knew” that, if they just made that little endothermic “investment” upfront, it would “pay off” for them exothermically afterwards.
I broke my head against that one for quite a while before eventually figuring it out (and how long *that* took is not exactly one of my prouder intellectual moments, :). So even though I had no beef with evolution, I was still at that point thinking like a creationist, and coming to the same type of wrong conclusions.
I’m feeling much better now, though. (The perfect example of a turncoat not wanting to question and feel foolish. So this commenter moves to the evolution side, and “feels better now” because there is no danger of being demeaned by the group. A perfect example of the effects of Step 2 above.)
Yep. Just once, I wish these guys would quit while they’re behind.
If they knew enough to quit while they were behind, they wouldn’t be out and about on the Internets making colossal, booby-headed boobs out of themselves in the first place.
I’m feeling much better now, though.
Why not have some chicken soup and discounted Valentine’s Day candy to help, too?
Wow. I sure stimulated a lot of writing. We are going in circles, and there are sure more interesting things to spend time on. Actually I occasionally search evolution sites in hope of finding new information, and further educating myself on the subject, which is how I came to this site. But the more I do, the more I find reasons, for me, that the TOE is not how thing came down. I think it’s REASONABLE to doubt that 250,000 random mutations could “easily” (Dawkins) bring about the evolution of vision, when there was absolutely no “vision” model on the planet earth. And the retina-optic nerve system had to concoct an incredibly complex code to send to the vision centers of the brain which then were required to “evolve/learn” to decode to form the amazing images that we see. These steps are complex beyond imagination, but not listed on this site. And I simply don’t see how M and NS could accomplish such an incredible feat. For this and many other reasons I certainly think that my doubt about the TOE is, again, reasonable.
It seems really strange that one thing I don’t see in the world of evolution is any questioners. It seems that evolution believers accept everything with an amazing amount of dedication and “blind faith”. Don’t you guys ever wonder or doubt just a little bit about the TOE being real?
So we will just put it down that you folks are believers, and I am not. And, Stanton, I don’t have a theory at all about how species appeared. I wish I could come up with something, but I simply don’t think there is enough information. (I know, you do.) But I will try your book. I do enjoy the read, even though I do read with a doubting eye. To ME it seems that there is something in nature that we just haven’t figured out yet.
And, MAJeff, no I don’ think it’s “Duh an imaginary sky buddy”.
And thalarctos, just to make you happy on the plaster denialism thing: wow, very clever.
Well, adios. And if you do come up with any amazing evidence that the TOE is how this whole thing happened, please contact me on my site if you like. I really am obviously very interested.
If you actually read about the Theory of Evolution, you would realize that it does not address how life first arose, (Sorry, but that is the most important part of the whole “science”, is it not?) it addresses how the diversity of life came to be, and changes due to the fact that the offspring of organisms tend to be imperfect copies of their parents. Personal incredulity can not negate the fact that Evolutionary Biology is among the most, if not the most heavily supported science currently known to Mankind. Furthermore, Evolution, i.e., “descent with modification from generation to generation,” (This is their strawman argument. I am not arguing that species change traits from generation to generation. I am arguing that mutation and natural selection can’t construct eyes, or any biological organs, for that matter.) has been observed occurring laboratories, gardens, farm-fields, greenhouses, terrariums, aquariums, kennels, aviariums, ponds, and in the wild by scientists, farmers, gardeners, orchid and flower fanciers, and animal breeders for several thousand years. Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin just happen to be the first two people in recorded human history to sit down and write about an explanation to why life was so diverse, and why people were able to create so many breeds of pigeons.
If you actually read Professor Myers’ blog entry, you would realize that eyes are derived from nervous tissue that budded directly off of the brain, and are covered in tissue derived from skin tissue.
If you actually took the time to take classes in Anatomy and Physiology, you would realize that any organ or tissue can become a sensory organ if it is cable of stimulating nerve endings connected to it.
So, in other words, Dr. Stephen, please, please, please, sally forth to read, study and ask for help in understanding Biology (Evolutionary or otherwise) before you elect to make judgments by glorifying your own ignorance.
Yes, it was, thank you.
And you don’t have the least intention of addressing the issue it raises, do you?
Unless he intends to manipulate and or pervert them into more strawman fallacies, it’s highly unlikely he will make even a 2% hearted attempt to address them.
Creationist trolls are almost always like that.
What do you mean, “no vision model”? Are you not aware that single-celled protozoa, for example, can have light-sensitive structures that use the same sorts of chemicals (opsins) used in higher-order organisms?
And I simply don’t see how M and NS could accomplish such an incredible feat.
How much have you read on mutation and natural selection?
You express incredulity, but offer nothing to suggest that you’ve even read this blog post in its entirety, let alone the actual paper that it’s based on, or any other scientific paper, or even a science book on evolution and genetics for the masses. (Try using common sense instead of a paper full of made up “science”.)
Given that you have no other theory to offer, and your demonstrated lack of knowledge, your vague statement about “something in nature that we just haven’t figured out yet” is either a truism (we haven’t figured out everything about evolution, which is why biology is still a thriving science that investigates nature), or is completely meaningless (in that you are trying to imply that there is something supernatural going on).
You evolution believers pretend that you don’t like trolls, but in reality you love it. You love the subject and the debate, just like I do. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. The only reason that I do what I do is a great personal interest and fascination with the subject. My blog started out as just a couple of personal posts. At the beginning I was ambivalent about the subject. As I read more, studied evolution sites, and went to university evolution lectures, my thoughts about the subject changed to the negative. The number of pages grew and also *evolved*.
If someone comes on this (or any) site and challenges your beliefs, you guys come out like piranhas after the prey. Anyway, I have been thoroughly attacked and demeaned, which is what evolution believers do best when facing challenges. That’s fine, expected, and, the norm. You have little evidence of who I really am, (or what I have read). You bend the evidence that you do have to fit your needs.You are able to construct an incredibly detailed model of what you hope I am. This is the perfect example of evolution science at its best.
So let’s just leave it at that. Of course I would like to answer the last posts, but doing so is like trying to catch a greased fully evolved pig running around in circles. Since you wrote so much, I just wanted to acknowledge that your comments have been duly read. Keep on believing. And, whatever you do, never question.
The fact remains that all of your posts strongly suggests that you either are physically incapable of understanding Evolutionary Biology, or that you refuse to understand Evolutionary Biology. Either way, your claims of having allegedly reviewed the evidence of Evolutionary Biology and found it wanting are highly suspect, given as how this blog entry succinctly explains eye evolution. I suspect that you are too lazy and too stubborn to attempt to understand Evolutionary Biology.
Furthermore, the regular commenters do not like trolls. They are driven to agitation by arrogant idiocy, especially the idiocy trumpeted by evolution-denying trolls like yourself, in the exact same manner splashing in a piranha school’s mating grounds will drive the school into frenzy.
which subject? trolling the internet?
’cause otherwise, if it’s anything to do with biology, you seem woefully ill-informed for it being a subject of great personal interest.
so, what exactly is your interest in there, doc?
Your “challenges” have been obvious misconceptions. And when challenged in return — to demonstrate your actual knowledge and reading comprehension — you bluster and offer a few paragraphs about how offended you are.
Shrug. You’ve got nothing.
Straightforward question, no greased pig, nothing else, just this–since your logic would preclude exothermic reactions, and since exothermic reactions do actually occur, doesn’t that contradiction show that there’s something wrong with your reasoning?
And, whatever you do, never question.
Oh, no worries, I’m questioning all right. Apparently, your motto for yourself is “never answer”.
And after admitting being a troll this whole time, he then continues to play the offended card that he’s been treated, well, like a troll.
I’m having difficulty finding way to express a thought process such as this.
Troll Question: Did eyes evolve in (A) one single species, or (B) did they evolve in thousands/millions of species at the same time in unison?
Answer: (A) (MartinM) Not to other species alive at the time, no. But those species which descended from the first eyed species would inherit their eyes. That’s kind of the whole damn point of common descent. (one single species)
Answer (B) (Stanton) Among other things, fossils of the earliest recognized chordate, Haikouella, from 525 million years ago, show that chordates developed primitive, very simple eyes very early in their history. (multiple species)
Answer (C) I can’t think of any good reason not to make fun of someone as pig-headedly stupid, ignorant, and arrogant as yourself.
Answer (D) Somebody’s confused.
Answer (E) So, in other words, Dr. Stephen, please, please, please, sally forth to read, study and ask for help in understanding Biology (Evolutionary or otherwise) before you elect to make judgments by glorifying your own ignorance.
Answer (F) All you’ve produced is a long argument from personal ignorance and lack of imagination.
The answer is “yes”. Mostly.
The trait of very simple eyes originally arose in one single early multicellular species. However, as that population continued to evolve and speciate, the eyes of the different species populations continued to evolve as well. (Again showing no idea about the pertinence of the question. Of course eyes couldn’t make it to many other species due to reproductive limitations; a very simple concept that escapes these commenters.)
This was before chordates split off from invertebrates, though. The blog post — which it certainly looks like you still have not read — is about the evolution of the eye among all chordates, inherited from the common chordate ancestor. Different chordate species then evolved different complex eyes. (Even though the eyes that “evolved” were different, the overall design is identical. How would the vision system evolving in one species “know” the design in another? Mutations then natural selection? I don’t think so.)
Although I should add that the answer is “no” to the very last part of the question. No two different chordate species evolved eyes “in unison”, since only populations of the same species could evolve in the same way. Once the species diverged, so too did the evolution of their eyes. Although there is sometimes convergent evolution of similar-looking traits, when the individuals of a population are examined at a closer level (sometimes necessarily at the level of the genes), the genetic changes that led to the similar traits turn out to be very different.
Just out of idle curiosity, did your alleged instruction in biology include any mention of the homeobox or HOX genes? No, wait, don’t answer that.
Answer (D) Somebody’s confused.
Excuse me, that wasn’t in response to your troll question, but in response to your troll webpage. But hey, don’t clarify what you mean by your statements.
I remember that quote! I smile reading it now. It’s just so… true.
But this was of course in response to your many statements that you do not and cannot grasp how such evolutionary processes could happen, in spite of the in-depth explanations as to why it can.
Not in reply to your aptly titled: Troll question.
But hey, I do love the quote-mining! It shows that you put that little bit extra into being dishonest. Well done.
Stanton: What do you mean, “no vision model”? Are you not aware that single-celled protozoa, for example, can have light-sensitive structures that use the same sorts of chemicals (opsins) used in higher-order organisms?
T: Kind of like a two by four being the model for the Sears Tower? Only an evolutionists would think that opsins in a protozoa are good modeling for a binocular vision system. Stanton, please, please take a course in logic and common sense.
Owlmirror: How much have you read on mutation and natural selection?
Lots. But do I believe it? No.
Owlmirror: You express incredulity, but offer nothing to suggest that you’ve even read ……any other scientific paper, or even a science book on evolution and genetics for the masses.
Critiqued on my site: “The Blind Watchmaker”, Lecture by Dr. Francisco Ayala, evolution websites explaining eye/heart evolution. Others, but no more room.
Owlmirror: You bluster and offer a few paragraphs about how offended you are.
T: I never said I was offended. It doesn’t bother me at all. I said your demeaning of me and a reasonable question are completely normal and expected for evolutionists.
Stanton: Furthermore, the regular commentors do not like trolls.
T: Obviously evolutionists like to exist inside of their protective bubble where everybody happily agrees with each other. And they are compelled to force their ideas on others. Kind of reminds me of church! Good science should be able to answer reasonable challenges and questions and should be happy to do so. No other science would treat questioners like evolutionists do, but, as I said, it’s expected. Anyway, this will be my last entry (Yay!). I swear to the big invisible sky buddy. You (pl.) can go about patting yourselves on the back without me interfering in your club.
Ichthyic: What exactly is your interest in there, doc?
T: My interest is simply an intense interest.
To Owlmiller: Thanks for the most reasonable answer of the commenters. You started out the worst, and wound up as champion. It’s easy to say how things happened, I just simply have too much trouble visualizing and accepting them.
My problem is I can’t visualize how 250,000-400,000 mutations could be divvied up amongst the twenty five or so parts of the eyeball, plus the optic nerve, biochemical code, thalamus, and visual cortex. Thousands of group mutations would have to be assigned to each part of the system. (about 10,000 to each part?) If a mutation started the retina, later mutations would have to add to what the earlier mutation did. Kind of like a team effort. Also, considering the fact that according to evolutionists, 50% of mutations are not “good”, each mutation would have to be accompanied by a “bad” mutation, which would mean one step forward and one step back, and zero steps to eyeballhood. Would 1/200,000 of an eye be a benefit to an individual that would help him survive?
The idea of this scenario happening in just one specie is unthinkable. The idea that the same unbelievably unlikely scenario of eye evolution happening in multiple species all at the same time, while so many other body parts and organs are also evolving in the same fashion, well…………………
Anyway, farewell. Debate is rather addicting for me so I have to go cold turkey here. I’m sure (hope?)you are all a lot nicer in person than your comments show. I will leave you to your protective bubble. You have done some very thorough and complete demeaning above, so hopefully you won’t waste any more time on me. (And I am NOT complaining.)
I am not the one with the inability to absorb information, Steve.
Please do not let the door hit your fundament on the way out, and I hope that your patients do not bite you when you stick your hand into their mouths.
Y’know, Steve, I didn’t want to bring it up before because at first it seemed to be trivial, but you seem to be demonstrating that you have a real problem reading. I don’t just mean the complexities of evolution, here. You appear to not be paying attention to how comments here are attributed. It wasn’t Stanton who wrote about opsins in protozoa. That was my comment.
And in your comment 76, it sure looks like you took my comment at 73, and thought that I was also the one responding in comments 74 and 75. Please go back and check; 74 and 75 were by a commenter called “truth machine”, not me.
And further down, it sure looks like you thought that the commenter “Michael X” was me; you prefixed his words in your response with an “O:”.
Each comment ends with the phrase “Posted by:”, and then the name the commenter uses. You’ve used “Dr. Stephen Thomas” and “stevebee92653”, but it’s been obvious that you’re the same person because you keep using that silly “www.evillusion.net” URL. OK, fine. But everyone commenting here is a distinct individual so far as I know, and we all have been using unique and distinct names to sign off on our comments.
I don’t know if you have a visual problem, or a visual processing problem, or an attention-deficit problem, but it doesn’t help your arguments when you get really, really, basic things wrong, such as the names of the commenters that you are responding to. (This is certainly an important correction, in light of the fact that they have absurd answers for the more pertinent questions that I have posed. When you can’t answer a question, complain about the spelling of the question, or an error in assigning a statement. Then demean, demean, demean!)
Owlmirror, I get the distinct impression that “Dr” Steve has become comfortably numb to his information-processing problems, and no longer cares if they are the reason for his inability to understand, if he even cares to recognize that he has a crippling problem to begin with.
How were 250,000-400,000 mutations divvied up amongst the twenty five or so parts of the eyeball, plus the optic nerve, biochemical code, thalamus, and visual cortex. Thousands of group mutations would have to be assigned to each part of the system. (about 10,000-20,000 to each part?) If a mutation started the retina, later mutations would have to add to what the earlier mutation did. How did it know what to mutate? Kind of like a team effort? Also, considering the fact that according to evolutionists, 50% of mutations are not “good”, each mutation would have to be accompanied by a “bad” mutation, which would mean one step forward and one step back, and zero steps to eyeballhood.
Perhaps the good doctor might build himself a bamboo control tower and land himself a plane fulla cargo. (This is particularly brilliant. All I can say is, “Huh?”)
How do reactants in exothermic reactions (such as dental plaster) “know” to go endothermic to form an activated complex?
If you can answer my question, you’ll have answered yours. (Thalarctos is glued to exothermic reactions, as if they will answer the more pertinent questions that I posed and which he obviously doesn’t understand.)
I am not quite sure if the exact numbers given are correct, but the general idea is. A lot of mutations would be needed. This is one of the reasons evolution takes such a lot of time.
“If a mutation started the retina, later mutations would have to add to what the earlier mutation did. How did it know what to mutate? Kind of like a team effort?”
It didn’t know how to mutate, and it didn’t need to. Mutations just happen, some of them good, and some of them bad. This is where natural selection comes in, causing the good mutations to spread throughout the populations and the bad ones to die out. Evolution does not work towards some predetermined goal, it just works with whatever it has with each and every step being an improvement over the last.
“Also, considering the fact that according to evolutionists, 50% of mutations are not “good””
Actually, it’s even worse than that. Most mutations have no effect at all (they just change the spelling of the genome, like how ‘color’ and ‘colour’ mean the same thing). Of those which do have an effect, most have a bad effect. They eye is already pretty good, so any change is likely to be bad. This is why mutation alone cannot cause evolution to occur – selective forces are needed, too.
” . . . each mutation would have to be accompanied by a “bad” mutation, which would mean one step forward and one step back . . .”
Yes, with natural selection keeping the steps forward, and discarding the steps back, leading to overall progress. Of course, this progress is best seen as change in such a way that each step is better than the last, not movement ‘forward’ as if towards some predetermined goal.
“. . . and zero steps to eyeballhood.”
Overall, mutation by itself would lead to zero steps toward eyeballhood. A combination of mutation and selective forces is what drives evolution.
“Doctor” Steve has deliberately blinded himself to recognizing this particular fact that we have been futilely trying to point out to him repeatedly.
Despite this, Steve has the gall to allege that we are somehow stupid and he somehow smart because of this situation.
Also, considering the fact that according to evolutionists, 50% of mutations are not “good”, each mutation would have to be accompanied by a “bad” mutation, which would mean one step forward and one step back, and zero steps to eyeballhood.
This is a fundamentally confused idea of how random mutation works. Given the size of the various multicellular genomes, a given random mutation will most likely affect only a single trait. (There is that “trait” word again. Eyes are a trait?) And because of DNA recombination during meiotic cellular division, a positive mutation on one particular chromosome can be swapped in while a negative trait elsewhere is swapped out (or just not included). If the negative traits are truly harmful, they will be selected against; those offspring that have them will die without reproducing. But even negative traits are often dependent on environmental context.
So, my point is, for various reasons, mutations that occur are almost never going to have equal and opposite effects to each other. There’s nothing in any biological work that suggests that they would, and there’s a lot that explains why they wouldn’t. Where did you get the idea that they would?
Steve, you’ve said that you’ve studied biology, but I keep seeing in your arguments the strong implication that you either didn’t read them, or didn’t understand what you read.
Do you still have your biology texts? Can you go back and read about what mutations are and how they occur?
This is all pretty basic stuff.
My question: How were 250,000-400,000 mutations divvied up amongst the twenty five or so parts of the eyeball, plus the optic nerve, biochemical code, thalamus, and visual cortex. Thousands of group mutations would have to be assigned to each part of the system. (about 10,000-20,000 to each part?) If a mutation started the retina, later mutations would have to add to what the earlier mutation did. How did they know what to mutate? Kind of like a team effort?
Brownian, OM: Ha-ha! Steve thinks that by reciting the names of various body parts and spewing numbers, he’ll be taken seriously as a ‘doctor.’ Perhaps the good doctor might build himself a bamboo control tower and land himself a plane fulla cargo.
thalarctos: How do reactants in exothermic reactions (such as dental plaster) “know” to go endothermic to form an activated complex?
Thomas Moss: I am not quite sure if the exact numbers given are correct, but the general idea is. A lot of mutations would be needed. This is one of the reasons evolution takes such a lot of time. It didn’t know how to mutate, and it didn’t need to. Mutations just happen, some of them good, and some of them bad. A combination of mutation and selective forces is what drives evolution.
Stanton: “Doctor” Steve has deliberately blinded himself to recognizing this particular fact that we have been futilely trying to point out to him repeatedly. Despite this, Steve has the gall to allege that we are somehow stupid and he somehow smart because of this situation.
Owlmirror: Steve, you’ve said that you’ve studied biology, but I keep seeing in your arguments the strong implication that you either didn’t read them, or didn’t understand what you read. Do you still have your biology texts? Can you go back and read about what mutations are and how they occur? This is all pretty basic stuff.
Me: These are some fine answers to my question! And remember, the same question must be posed and answered for every other biological organ and system for the TOE to have any veracity. The reality here is that none of you, nor any evolutionaut on earth, can answer it. So don’t feel too bad. It shows that things couldn’t have happened they way the TOE says it did. You can keep answering by demeaning me, (that’s fine with me), ignore me and I will surely go away (I will, and sorry, I had to take a peak one more time), or do some objective and real thinking on your own about just MAYBE the TOE is not the solution to the Puzzle and then work on a more logical model. (I’m not too hopeful on that.) Of course I don’t have a new model; I wish I did. I am at least smart enough to know that I don’t have enough intelligence to figure it out. And I am also smart enough to know that no one who now lives or ever lived on the planet earth including Darwin and Einstein has/had the intelligence to figure it out either.
Those of you who repeatedly say I should study a biology text must know they are laced with TOE, and they would not answer any of my questions anyway, just like you piranhas haven’t. And you have to know that I am very well read on the subject, even though you keep up the demeaning banter. Stanton, I have never alleged that anyone was stupid. The more I have studied, the more it shows TOE is not how things happened. And, Owlmirror, of course I know what mutations are. Are you kidding? And, sorry, thalarctos, I get your drift with exothermic reactions, but they just don’t do anything for me in regard to the questions I have posed.
Obviously anyone interested in the origin of species and life on earth must have a high level of intelligence. I have no idea why any of you are so interested, or who you are, or how you are so connected to this site which I was directed to by TO. You have that advantage over me, as some of you have seen my background and photo (ugh) and my thoughts on http://www.evillusion.net.
My question: why the fuck doesn’t stevebee go read a fucking textbook instead of cutting and pasting the same rants in thread after thread? Does he honestly think we’re as dumb as he is to not see through his concern troll game?
Steve: go play in traffic. You’re not worth the effort, and at this point in your life, if you haven’t figured out how to read and learn on your own, all you are is an extra source of carbon dioxide in a world that’s already overheating. We can no longer afford your kind. You’re a useless human being, and as such, you’re becoming a significant liability to us all.
So, um, if you’re ever touring a big meat packing plant, and you’re like, walking the catwalk above the big sausage rendering vats, go ahead and don’t listen to the tour guide’s safety instructions. The biggest contribution you’ll probably ever make to the world is part of one of the ‘E’s in Oscar Meyer.
Nope, don’t even need to answer that. The assumptions of the question answer themselves. Go away Steve. You’re just being a pest now.
He is tenacious though, yeah? Like a rat that keeps touching the electrified wall again and again, no matter how may times it’s shocked. Steve just isn’t going to get it at this point. At least not here. I think a personal tutor might help.
No, Steve, you don’t. You don’t understand genetics, or inheritance, or meiosis, or reproduction, or mutations. Your ignorance was demonstrated by the way you’ve been phrasing your statements and questions. This is basic information covered by any biology textbook. You either have not read basic biology, or you haven’t understood it.
Your problems with comprehension and reasoning are also demonstrated by calling the theory of evolution “illogical”. The theory of evolution is based on some very simple and basic observations:
Offspring vary from their parents. (Logical)
Variation can be inherited. (Logical)
Inherited variations that enhance survival and reproduction in some environment will allow those offspring that have them to bear more offspring that will have those survival and reproductive-enhancing traits. (Logical)
Now, can you honestly say that any of the above are “illogical”? (After all of this debate, he has no idea what we were debating. Amazing. The subject was that M and NS could not have evolved eyes.) Have you ever known offspring that were absolutely identical to their parents? Do you have reason to believe that variations can never be inherited? Can you think of some situation where offspring which are less able to survive and reproduce would nevertheless survive longer and reproduce more?
All of evolutionary biology is based on the basic ideas. Modern biology is still studying how variation arises, and how organisms interact with their environments, and with each other. The details of evolution are not simple, but the basics are eminently logical, and based on observation.
Once again, I recommend going back and studying those basics, and gaining a better understanding of the details.
Well, yes. In the same way that chemistry texts are “laced” with atomic theory, or astronomy texts are “laced” with geometry and optics.
The fact that you can’t connect the dots when they’re jumping up and down right in front of you demonstrates very clearly that you *don’t* get my drift, or really much of anything else about biology.
Not surprising, really–we’re talking, after all, to someone who vaunts his undergraduate biology study, yet doesn’t know that the singular of “species” is not “specie”.
I really don’t know why you keep coming back here where people see right through you. There are a lot of uninformed trusting marks out there elsewhere for you to practice your biology con on; I’d think you’d find that a lot more gratifying than continually making a jackass of yourself here.
The subject WAS: Can Mutations and Natural Selection Form the Visual System (I say no,you say yes.)
The subject WAS NOT: Do Populations Vary from Generation to Generation (I say of course, you say the same.)
Bye again, again………….
The subject WAS NOT: Do Populations Vary from Generation to Generation (I say of course, you say the same.)
They’re actually the same subject, underneath. Populations vary from generation to generation, and the ones with the variations that best enable them to survive will propagate. This includes variations in tissues that are light-sensitive.
You’re saying “no”, not because you have some massive advanced knowledge of genomics and developmental biology that gives you some special insight, but because you don’t know or understand the evidence from genomics and developmental biology.
Really, you’re like that editorial writer in the NY Times who said that rockets are useless to reach space because above the atmosphere, there would be nothing to “push against”.
Of course, you need to be capable of surpassing rote memorization to thinking outside the leaf node for that insight, a challenge which a lot of otherwise intelligent-seeming creationists don’t seem to be able to get past.
Had I worlds enough and time to take on another research question, I’d look into why that is–it’s a quite intriguing–oh, I don’t know, maybe psychology of education(?)–problem. Why do abstraction and ability to form connections among ideas “take” in some kids, and not in others, even though the latter are seemingly bright enough and have progressed quite far in school?.
“This includes variations in tissues that are light-sensitive.”-Owlmirror
One problem for your “light sensitive tissues”: light was nonexistent before at least one full visual system had evolved, minimally composed of retinas, optic nerves, and a visual cortex. The earth before a complete visual system was formed was completely dark. Not black, but pitch dark. The Sun and all stars don’t produce light at all. They produce electromagnetic radiation of differing wavelengths. EM radiation with a wavelength between approximately 400 nm and 700 nm is detected by the human eye and perceived as visible light. EM radiation stimulates the retina, which sends an unbelievably complex signal to the visual cortex. Light, color, and visual images are completely manufactured in the visual cortex from this signal, and don’t exist outside of a brain and visual cortex at all. I realize that evolutionists think vision was an easy engineering project for M and NS; all they needed was time. And that there was/is light all over the place, and all a species had to do is form eyes like the paper describes on this site, let the light in, and there would be vision. In reality, M and NS would have had to know that by treating electromagnetic waves in an unbelievably complex fashion, which scientists are not even close to understanding, light, color, and visual images would be the result. How did M and NS know what it needed to do to produce vision? I must admit I don’t really understand mutations, because I just don’t see how mutations could form a visual system. I’m glad that you are so incredibly intelligent and you do. But, for accuracy, I would quit calling cells that supposedly led to a complete vision system “light sensitive” since there was no light. And, of course, “electromagnetic radiation sensitive cells” would be pretty worthless to a host. But I am sure you can “connect the dots”, and think of lots of advantages. And, I am sure you are aware of all of this information. It just isn’t discussed in this paper, for some reason.
Posted by: Dr. Stephen Thomas | April 5, 2008 8:16 PM
Light existed before there were eyes to see it, and playing with semantics won’t change that. Another way to define light is “wavelengths that pass through air, but are reflected by most solid objects, and can act on chemical systems in a detectable way”. That’s why we only detect these wavelengths and not others; because they’re useful.
So, we have this light coming from the sun, passing through the atmosphere and water to this little blind worm. And one day a mutation alters one of its proteins to be light sensitive. This is plausible; many proteins are light sensitive without being involved in the eyes. So our worm finds some of its cells, those that express this slightly changed protein, feel different to others when pointed in a certain direction, namely, towards the light. This might persist as just one of the features of a random protein… until it becomes useful, that is. And it is useful, because in the ocean, light means surface. Finding the surface is helpful. So this mutation is selected for.
Once you’ve got that, random changes in any way, coupled with heritability, can produce a human-style eye in 100000 generations. That’s probably only a couple of millenia for an ocean-dwelling worm with a fast life cycle. You can find a paper on this on the internet.
Anyway, the evolution of the eye’s an easy one. (I have heard this incredible statement so many times form evillusionists. How can they possibly believe what they are saying?) The visual impression received from the eye would probably evolve more slowly, but after all, there are billions of years in which to do it. In any case, your objections are spurious, and your attempt to wrap it up in pseudoscientific garbage in order to make it harder to refute is just childish.
Posted by: wazza | April 5, 2008 8:41 PM
The same way that the components of dental plaster “know” that if they initially go endothermic, they will get the “payoff” in the form of an exothermic reaction down the line. We’ve covered the same ground many times, and you keep asking the same questions over and over again.
Let’s try a clinical application of probability, to see if you can possibly understand it in those terms. Five years ago, I had a blood clot that took out 3 feet of my small intestine. I was put on coumadin (a blood thinner, originally a rat poison–interesting story for another time) after I got out of the hospital.
Since I had the entire panel of tests for genetic causes of coagulation disorders, and tested negative for all (known) causes, my hematologist was comfortable with my taking coumadin for a year or so, but *not* for life. As he put it, let’s say my yearly risk of a hemorrhagic stroke from too much bleeding from the blood thinner is 1-2%. For a year or two, that doesn’t add up to much, but as a 44-year-old (at that time) woman, let’s assume I have another 30-40 years to live. A yearly risk of 1-2%, over a period of 30-40 years, adds up to more of a lifetime risk of hemorrhagic stroke than he feels justifies taking coumadin in the absence of any known genetic risk factors.
Do you follow his clinical reasoning in making that prescribing recommendation? And if so, would you then find it reasonable to ask “How does coumadin know what it needs to do to produce hemorrhagic stroke?”
If your answer is “yes”, well, we’re clearly both wasting our time. And if your answer is “no”, then what is the difference between that question and your previous one? Assuming the “yearly risk” of any organism’s developing light sensitivity is extremely low, what is the “lifetime risk” of that organism’s developing light sensitivity over millions of years?
If you can understand that clinical reasoning, then you can understand why the question you insist on repeating in terms of “knowing what to do” makes no sense.
The earth before a complete visual system was formed was completely dark. Not black, but pitch dark. The Sun and all stars don’t produce light at all. They produce electromagnetic radiation of differing wavelengths.
This is so much semantic nonsense. What the hell is wrong with your brain, that you are suddenly insisting on denying the basic common meaning of the word “light”?
How confused are you, to start blathering that “light was nonexistent”? And calling it “electromagnetic radiation”, as though that makes you somehow “smart”? For pity’s sake, the nature and composition of sunlight was being analyzed long before anyone knew that it is electromagnetic radiation, or was able to measure what its frequencies are in nanometers.
How do you expect to have even a basic discussion when you are being so utterly intellectually dishonest?
And your line about “retinas, optic nerves, and a visual cortex” has already been addressed. Single celled organisms exist that are light-sensitive. All they need is the chemicals that reacts to light. Or, if you want to be sophomoric about it, chemicals that react to electromagnetic radiation between 300nm and 1100nm.
And, of course, “electromagnetic radiation sensitive cells” would be pretty worthless to a host.
You’re thinking about the whole thing exactly the wrong way around.
We are not “hosts” that just happen to have light sensitive cells. We are the descendants of collections of cells, combining and cooperating by the use of chemical signals, and using chemicals internally, some of which happen to be light-sensitive. All that is necessary is for the light-sensitive cells to only give off specific signals when light is received, in different concentrations according to the intensity of the light, and for other cells to receive those signals, and react accordingly. The whole complex visual system has to start from something very basic, but the very basic is terribly simple.
But I note, in all this confused questioning about the origins of the visual system, that you don’t seem to be challenging the idea of the evolution of a visual system once it exists.
Do you, therefore, concede that once an organism has “retinas, optic nerves, and a visual cortex”, that that visual system can then evolve?
Posted by: Owlmirror | April 5, 2008 10:14 PM
If Dr Thomas actually knew how to read, he would have known that even microorganisms, such as Euglena, have photo-sensitive which help them to orient themselves toward (sun)light. In fact, it’s very easy even for blind organisms to orient themselves toward light, given as how sunlight also contains heat energy.
I’m appalled that a person like Dr Thomas can assume the title of “Doctor,” and yet, be so arrogantly entrenched in his ignorance.
So long has there been radiation, there will always be light of some form or another.
Sight in animals is intimately tied to the origin of pigmentation, and its first use in living organisms to protect themselves from radiation, such as ultraviolet and visible light. Radiation is potentially dangerous to organisms because it can damage DNA, and cause proteins to denature. First off, the first pigments arose as waste products from various metabolic processes, such as the way the pigment melanin is produced at the end of tyrosine kinase metabolism. And as such, those first microorganisms that colonized sunny areas were able to protect themselves from sunlight by producing lots of pigment. Second, when a molecule of pigment absorbs radiation, it degrades. Often, it will initiate a complex chain reaction, such as what happens when chlorophyll absorbs a photon to use carbon dioxide and water to eventually form a molecule of sugar. Other organisms use other pigments to initiate other chain reactions, such as the archaean Halobacter using its pink pigments to make ATP.
But I digress: If an organism can detect heat, it can also detect sunlight even without the aid of specialized light-sensing organs, in that a blind maggot will move out of the light, whether the light comes from a flashlight, the sun, or a heat lamp. Pigments are produced by organisms as waste products of other metabolic processes, and have been used by organisms to defend against the harmful effects of light and radiation.
Having said all this, all that is needed to create a light-sensitive organ is to hook a nerve-ending up to a cell or cells containing light-sensitive pigments, such as rhodopsin. As the rhodopsin is degraded by absorbing photons, and is replaced, it generates an action potential, which, in turn, will set off the nerve ending. And the most primitive eyes happen to be nothing more than rhodopsin-manufacturing cells.
I’m appalled that a person like Dr Thomas can assume the title of “Doctor,” and yet, be so arrogantly entrenched in his ignorance.
Don’t you mean egnorance, Stanton? 🙂
As for the title, it’s not like dentistry is a research degree or anything (although I do know some fine dental researchers), but I admit to a certain amount of curiosity as to whether he’ll be able to at least follow a clinical reasoning example of probability.
Thalarctos, it’s my opinion that dentists should be very intelligent people, if only because I always compare every dentist I meet or hear about to my family dentist. And my dentist is an extremely intelligent man whom I’ve been verbally and mentally fencing with since before I can remember.
And to feel the palpable willful ignorance, pardon, willful egnorance that oozes out of all of the smarmy and inane comments posted by this “Dr” Stephen Thomas is horrifying enough, but, to hear that he’s a dentist who puts his grubby little fingers into the open mouths of hapless people…
How to describe the feeling I get from reading his stupidity, while also learning that he’s (allegedly) a dentist in English? Is there a word in English that describes the sort of feeling a person gets when he finds out that that lovable little old lady who loves kittens loves putting live kittens in a sausage maker?
Comparing my dentist to “Dr” Stephen Thomas isn’t like comparing a diamond with a lump of coal, it’s like comparing a diamond with a shard of broken plastic.
Wazza: In the first sentence you call me stupid and an idiot. Please read what you wrote: “…the evolution of the eye is an easy one.” “It evolved in 100,000 generations.” Just keep saying to yourself “this is plausible” so you can continue believing.
Thalarctos: You continually compare evolution of an unimaginably complex visual system to endothermic reactions. Sorry, but that’s not worthy of discussion. And now “How does coumadin know…?” Somehow that doesn’t reach the level of mutations forming retinas, optic nerves, a visual cortex, eyelids, lenses……………either. But if in your mind it does, great for you!
Owlmirror: SunLIGHT was being analyzed by individuals WITH visual cortex’s and the ability to see color and images. Your retina takes EMR and translates it into a code which is translated by the visual cortex into light, color, and visual images. No cortex, no color, light, or visual images. Tough concept, but if you really think about it, you will get it. Try, “If a tree falls in the woods………..” No observer with equipment, no sound, no light. Recommended reading: Symbiotic Universe by George Greenstein.
Stanton: I gave you the narrow range of visible light in my comment. Can’t you read? Maggots that move away from EMR and microorganisms that have photosensitive anything is certainly great evidence for the evolution of a binocular visual system. “All that is needed to CREATE a light sensitive organ is to hook up a nerve ending….” Right. A very simple task. You better do a word search. CREATE is a very scary one. You might get fired. BTW, how did you know my hands were little and grubby?
Thalarctos: You continually compare evolution of an unimaginably complex visual system to endothermic reactions. Sorry, but that’s not worthy of discussion.
If it’s that obviously not worthy of discussion, surely you should be able to demolish my logical and evidentiary flaws in a sentence or two, with references to the appropriate literature. Don’t just leave us hanging, now–please explain the difference.
And now “How does coumadin know…?” Somehow that doesn’t reach the level of mutations forming retinas, optic nerves, a visual cortex, eyelids, lenses……………either. But if in your mind it does, great for you!
“Somehow”? Can you be just a little more specific and precise than just hand-waving? As above, if it’s so obvious, you ought to be able to explain it easily to us. What, exactly, is the difference in applications of probability to all 3 examples? Those examples are 1) exothermic reactions, 2) RM + NS, and 3) lifetime risk of adverse drug effects, to refresh your memory.
Specifically, why do you accept it for 1 and 3, but exclude 2? Please show all your work.
You retina takes EMR, in the particular frequencies called “visible light” as a useful shorthand, which has been streaming continuously from the sun for the past 4.6 billion years or so and translates it via sequences of chemical reactions into nerve signals, which are also chemical reactions, which are translated by the visual cortex, using additional nerve signals, which are also chemical reactions, into the appearance of light, color and visual images. Because the particular frequencies called “visible light”, with those differences in frequency and intensity that we perceive as color and visual images, already exists external to the eye and brain.
If a tree falls in the woods, there will still be vibrations in the air which can then be perceived as sounds. There is a reality external to the brain, you semantic-mangling sophomoric Platonist.
And as for recommended reading, I’d bet a cookie that you still haven’t read this very post, or the one linked to at its start, or you still haven’t understood them.
Posted by: Owlmirror | April 18, 2008 3:43 PM
Yeah, Wazza is psychic.
In fact, all of us here are.
We know exactly what stupid shit you’re going to say next, but just can’t seem to stop ourselves from responding out of a sense of responsibility to any honestly ignorant lurkers out there.
Posted by: Ichthyic | April 18, 2008 3:56 PM
The smart money’s on this horse.
Posted by: Kseniya | April 18, 2008 4:07 PM
The smart money’s on this [not understanding the articles, even if he did actually read them] horse.
On April 5, I posed a clinical reasoning question; on April 15, Dr. Steve managed to muster the following detailed technical explication:
Somehow that doesn’t reach the level of mutations forming retinas, optic nerves, a visual cortex, eyelids, lenses……………either.
Even granted that he’s probably got other things going on in the meantime, I was hoping an erstwhile undergraduate biology major could provide more meaningful scientific content after 10 days than just “Somehow”. Again, I am disappointed.
That, combined with:
But if in your mind it does
which is the most incompetently-executed attempt at a double-reverse mind-fuck I’ve seen in some time, tends to reinforce your assessment.
His failure to comprehend the basic concept of external validation in that attempt, however, does track well with his getting all hung up on the “tree falling in a forest with no one around” puzzle that hung us all up for a little while in 8th grade or so.
Owlmirror: “Because the particular frequencies called “visible light”, with those differences in frequency and intensity that we perceive as color and visual images, already exists external to the eye and brain.” SB: Not as color and light, Owlmirror, but as EMR of visible light frequencies. A perceiver (observer) with equipment is required for color, light, and visual images.
Owlmirror: If a tree falls in the woods, there will still be vibrations in the air which can then be perceived as sounds. SB: Again, by a perceiver (observer) with equipment, Owlmirror. No observer with equipment, no sound.
Thalarctos: “….his getting all hung up on the “tree falling in a forest with no one around” puzzle that hung us all up for a little while in 8th grade or so.”
SB: Obviously not one of you understands the concept of an equipped observer being required for there to be sound or light (or smell, or taste, or touch). Thalarctos, you are still hung up, and you don’t get the gist of the question. I would highly recommend that you get back to the eighth grade and do some serious studying. It really isn’t that difficult. I can see why all of you are so pissed off at me and the concept. For M and NS to go from “light sensitive cells” to a full visual system would be impossible, since M and NS would have no idea what the reward would be after going through hundreds of thousands of mutations and jumping that incredible chasm. Another “How did it know.” Someday maybe one of you will be sitting somewhere, and you will get a brain flash….and get it. But probably not.
Posted by stevebee92653 04/21/08
Thalarctos, you are still hung up, and you don’t get the gist of the question. I would highly recommend that you get back to the eighth grade and do some serious studying.
No, you don’t get it, and spending anymore time with you on it is a waste. The mixture of pig-ignorance and smarmy condescension is pretty nauseating. It’s clear you’re interested neither in responding to the specific points people make, nor in learning anything.
It really isn’t that difficult. I can see why all of you are so pissed off at me and the concept.
I’m not pissed off at you, so much as I am sad that someone with the opportunities to learn that you have had would squander them for such a hopelessly confused mass of porridge, as it were.
I teach people who work very hard to pull themselves up out of circumstances that prevent them from getting a solid science education. It’s never as good when you have to go back later as an adult, having missed out the first time because the resources just weren’t there, and yet, they persevere in the face of it. They would never understand why someone as privileged as you have been would choose to throw away that opportunity with both hands. And, frankly, neither do I.
Fortunately, you’re not my problem.
For M and NS to go from “light sensitive cells” to a full visual system would be impossible, since M and NS would have no idea what the reward would be after going through hundreds of thousands of mutations and jumping that incredible chasm. Another “How did it know.”
And therein lies your cherry picking. You demand that RM and NS must “know” the outcome before they go through it, yet you do not make the same demand on components of an exothermic reaction or on the lifetime risk of pharmacological complications. And when people point out your inconsistency, you tap-dance like Richard Gere in Chicago in an attempt to distract them. (It doesn’t work, btw.)
Someday maybe one of you will be sitting somewhere, and you will get a brain flash….and get it. But probably not. Nite.
Oh, we absolutely get what you’re doing already.
You know, you’d find a much more receptive niche for your “biology” grifting among marks who’ll eat up your “one specie, two species, red specie, blue specie” level of biological sophistication without knowing enough to see that the emperor has no clothes. They’ll sit there while you lie, cover up your own gaps and inadequate and confused half-knowledge, and move the goalposts, and they’ll eat it up.
Why you spend your time here instead with people who see through your act is inexplicable. But you can babble away all you want. No one here buys your con, but I’m not going to bother responding to you anymore. There are far better things in life to spend time on.