Atheist question

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Philip
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Re: Atheist question

#226

Post by Philip » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:48 pm

DB, looks like a double posting by you - but definitely a relevant one!

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Re: Atheist question

#227

Post by DBowling » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:17 pm

Philip wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:48 pm
DB, looks like a double posting by you - but definitely a relevant one!
sorry about... feel free to blow away the duplicate

Thanks

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Re: Atheist question

#228

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:52 am

Back to the "God of the Gaps" argument BS:
The argument says, "We don't know, therefore God".
Sort of the "brute fact of the gap argument": We don't know, therefore it is brute fact.

The problem is that IF the person invoking God can EXPLAIN how/why God is the answer, it is NO LONGER a God of the Gaps argument.
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Re: Atheist question

#229

Post by Nils » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:32 am

DBowling wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:34 pm
Nils wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:53 pm
You misunderstand me completely. My claim above isn’t about Axe’s article. My claim is a general claim that one (or a few) single article isn’t enough to dismiss an established theory.
I don't believe Behe, Meyer, and Axe are dismissing an established theory.
They are questioning one part of a theory that has not been empirically established.
And the specific part that has not been empirically established is the alleged ability of "random" mutation to infuse new information into the biosphere that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
Yes, but this is the very central part of the Darwinian evolution theory. It’s about evolution by survival of the fittest and natural mechanisms, without any teleologic, goal directed, design by an intelligence.
They are not questioning natural selection or that mutation of some sort has played role.
They are saying that empirical evidence demonstrates that what we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today is beyond the capability of the observed limits of "random" mutation.
Again, they have NOT given any empirical evidence. (see below)
The main problem with your (and Meyers) reasoning is that evidence for a problem being difficult and having no known solution, isn’t evidence that the problem is not solvable. During the history of evolution, since 1859, there has been so many problems solved, problems that seemed unsolvable beforehand. Why do you think that all the problems that are unsolved exactly 160 years after the Darwin will remain unsolved?
This is where you are misunderstanding Meyer's position.
Meyer is proposing that there is an empirically known cause of design and information.
And that known cause is intelligence.

A solution exists and is apparent based on known causes of design and information.
It can be debated if “God did it” is a solution, but anyhow even if we know one solution that doesn’t imply that there aren’t other solutions
in the video you refer to above Behe states that “that Darwinism cannot make complex functional system” 46:19, and that there “is an observation that it does not”.
He does the following reasoning in minutes 26 to 46:
1. He shows that a single mutation has the probability of 1 in 10^10
2. He shows that two independent mutations have the probability of 1 in 10^20
This is based on evidence of the malaria parasite and is uncontroversial
3. He concludes that the probability of four independent mutations would be 1 in 10^40
This is also uncontroversial.
4. He says that the probability of 1 in 10^40 is so small that four independent mutations will never occur during the existence of Earth.
Also uncontroversial.
So far so good :)
5. He states that because 4. “Darwinism cannot make complex functional system”
The problem with 5. is that it doesn’t follow from 4. There is a hidden assumption:
4.1. In Darwinian evolution four independent mutations are necessary.
But he has no evidence at all for 4.1. It’s only assumption.
That's not accurate...
In his first book, Darwin's Black Box, Behe provides a number of examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that require much more than 4 independent mutations.
Don’t you read what I say? In #220 I said regarding Behes claim of irreducible complexity: “This is really a bold statement. How can that be shown? Behe has used the concept of irreducible complexity (IC) which says that there are designs that are so complex that it isn’t possible to achieve them by small steps which all are beneficial. But how can that be shown?” So far you cited me but I continued: “Behe supports some examples that he claims is IC, for instance the mousetrap and the design of the human eye. Most (at least) of these examples are rebutted. About the mousetrap you can search on the net. About the eye see https://www.cs.bgu.ac.il/~ben-shahar/Te ... Evolve.pdf
There may be other examples that aren’t rebutted but that only show that we don’t know everything in biology. Behe’s argument is a God of the gaps argument.”
How could he know that any example needs “much more than 4 independent mutations”? That requires that he know about every possible alternative evolution path which he certainly doesn’t know, at least in the cases that are rebutted. Important is also that Behe’s argument isn’t an evidential argument. It’s an argument from reasoning.
In Behe's video, he also discusses the behavior of Darwinian evolution, and he notes that observed beneficial mutations do not involve adding information to DNA, instead observed beneficial mutations involve some replacements but mostly deletions.
Which again speaks to the inability of "random" mutation to add new information to life.
I will discuss the information argument in a new thread soon. But shortly, sometimes parts of the DNA code is copied, that may add information to the DNA code.
The evolution theory assumes that complex structures evolve in small steps (probably with not more than two independent mutations in each step) where each step is beneficial.
And that particular assumption has not been empirically validated.
Despite your issue with the semantics of the word prove, I still think Matheson's quote is relevant here, because he acknowledges that this is still an "open question".
"It is surely an open question about whether that whole tree can be navigated through function all the way through.
I certainly can't prove it's the case."
It is the same as saying: "It is surely an open question about whether there is gravitation everywhere on earth. I certainly can't prove it's the case."
The bottom line is that there is no evidence at all for the impossibility of evolution. Meyer and Behe are completely wrong.
No... you are completely wrong here.

Behe has provided empirical evidence in nature and in the lab regarding the limits of Darwinian Evolution.
No, no. From the lab he gets the proposition 1. and 2. (above) From there he argues that 3 and 4 are true. But to get to 5 he needs the presumption 4.1 and as I shown above he has NOT shown that.
Behe has provided numerous examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that require much more than 4 independent mutations at the molecular level.
No, see above. It can be worth to mention that Meyer makes the same mistake as Behe even if he isn’t as specific as Behe.
It is you who have provided zero empirical evidence to support the "assumption" that random mutation is capable of generating the information that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
The information I provided (Coyne, see #202) you never commented. But my intension with this debate isn’t to show empirical evidence for the evolution theory but to show that Meyer (and Behe) are wrong. To give a full account of the evidence for Darwinian evolution requires some books, far more that I can do. However that’s not necessary to show the falsehood of the ID theory.

Nils

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Re: Atheist question

#230

Post by DBowling » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:56 pm

Nils wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:32 am
DBowling wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:34 pm
I don't believe Behe, Meyer, and Axe are dismissing an established theory.
They are questioning one part of a theory that has not been empirically established.
And the specific part that has not been empirically established is the alleged ability of "random" mutation to infuse new information into the biosphere that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
Yes, but this is the very central part of the Darwinian evolution theory. It’s about evolution by survival of the fittest and natural mechanisms, without any teleologic, goal directed, design by an intelligence.
Parts of Darwinian evolution have been empirically verified, such as Natural Selection (survival of the fittest), and other parts such as the adequacy of "random" mutation have been disproved by empirical evidence.
They are not questioning natural selection or that mutation of some sort has played role.
They are saying that empirical evidence demonstrates that what we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today is beyond the capability of the observed limits of "random" mutation.
Again, they have NOT given any empirical evidence. (see below)
Sure they have!
You just refuse to accept what the empirical evidence demonstrates, because it is inconsistent with your presuppositions and world view.
The main problem with your (and Meyers) reasoning is that evidence for a problem being difficult and having no known solution, isn’t evidence that the problem is not solvable. During the history of evolution, since 1859, there has been so many problems solved, problems that seemed unsolvable beforehand. Why do you think that all the problems that are unsolved exactly 160 years after the Darwin will remain unsolved?
This is where you are misunderstanding Meyer's position.
Meyer is proposing that there is an empirically known cause of design and information.
And that known cause is intelligence.

A solution exists and is apparent based on known causes of design and information.
It can be debated if “God did it” is a solution, but anyhow even if we know one solution that doesn’t imply that there aren’t other solutions
There is no debate that intelligence is a known cause of design and information.
This is based on empirical evidence.

There is no empirical evidence of another cause of design and information.
That is nothing more than a supposition.
in the video you refer to above Behe states that “that Darwinism cannot make complex functional system” 46:19, and that there “is an observation that it does not”.
He does the following reasoning in minutes 26 to 46:
1. He shows that a single mutation has the probability of 1 in 10^10
2. He shows that two independent mutations have the probability of 1 in 10^20
This is based on evidence of the malaria parasite and is uncontroversial
3. He concludes that the probability of four independent mutations would be 1 in 10^40
This is also uncontroversial.
4. He says that the probability of 1 in 10^40 is so small that four independent mutations will never occur during the existence of Earth.
Also uncontroversial.
So far so good :)
5. He states that because 4. “Darwinism cannot make complex functional system”
The problem with 5. is that it doesn’t follow from 4. There is a hidden assumption:
4.1. In Darwinian evolution four independent mutations are necessary.
But he has no evidence at all for 4.1. It’s only assumption.
That's not accurate...
In his first book, Darwin's Black Box, Behe provides a number of examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that require much more than 4 independent mutations.
Don’t you read what I say?
Sure I do, but reading a fallacious argument does not require me to accept that fallacious argument.
In #220 I said regarding Behes claim of irreducible complexity: “This is really a bold statement. How can that be shown? Behe has used the concept of irreducible complexity (IC) which says that there are designs that are so complex that it isn’t possible to achieve them by small steps which all are beneficial. But how can that be shown?”
You start with an irreducibly complex biological system, and then you identify the smallest number of changes required to get to another functional state. Once you have found the closest functional state then you identify the number of changes required to get from one functional state to another and see if the number of changes at the molecular level exceeds 2.
The evolution theory assumes that complex structures evolve in small steps (probably with not more than two independent mutations in each step) where each step is beneficial.
And that particular assumption has not been empirically validated.
Despite your issue with the semantics of the word prove, I still think Matheson's quote is relevant here, because he acknowledges that this is still an "open question".
"It is surely an open question about whether that whole tree can be navigated through function all the way through.
I certainly can't prove it's the case."
It is the same as saying: "It is surely an open question about whether there is gravitation everywhere on earth. I certainly can't prove it's the case."
That's pure and utter nonsense!
The laws of gravity are repeatable and observable, and have been validated numerous times.

The capability of "random" mutation is also repeatable and observable, but the repeatable and observable behavior of random mutation is not capable of navigating the tree of life through functional states.
Behe has provided numerous examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that require much more than 4 independent mutations at the molecular level.
No, see above. It can be worth to mention that Meyer makes the same mistake as Behe even if he isn’t as specific as Behe.
You have made that fallacious assertion a number of times in this thread.
But you still have failed to provide any empirical evidence to support that fallacious assertion that Meyer and/or Behe is "wrong".
It is you who have provided zero empirical evidence to support the "assumption" that random mutation is capable of generating the information that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
The information I provided (Coyne, see #202) you never commented.
I didn't comment, because I didn't see anything in that article to empirically support your premise that random mutation is capable of generating the information that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
So there was nothing for me to comment on.
But my intension with this debate isn’t to show empirical evidence for the evolution theory but to show that Meyer (and Behe) are wrong.
Fine...
But if you want to demonstrate that they are wrong, then you need to provide some empirical evidence that shows where they are wrong.
And despite your many assertions, you have failed to provide any empirical evidence to support your assertions.

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Re: Atheist question

#231

Post by DBowling » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:31 pm

DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:56 pm
Nils wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:32 am
in the video you refer to above Behe states that “that Darwinism cannot make complex functional system” 46:19, and that there “is an observation that it does not”.
He does the following reasoning in minutes 26 to 46:
1. He shows that a single mutation has the probability of 1 in 10^10
2. He shows that two independent mutations have the probability of 1 in 10^20
This is based on evidence of the malaria parasite and is uncontroversial
3. He concludes that the probability of four independent mutations would be 1 in 10^40
This is also uncontroversial.
4. He says that the probability of 1 in 10^40 is so small that four independent mutations will never occur during the existence of Earth.
Also uncontroversial.
So far so good :)
5. He states that because 4. “Darwinism cannot make complex functional system”
The problem with 5. is that it doesn’t follow from 4. There is a hidden assumption:
4.1. In Darwinian evolution four independent mutations are necessary.
But he has no evidence at all for 4.1. It’s only assumption.
Actually... even if we assume small single mutation steps I think we can still use some rough math to demonstrate that random mutation is incapable of producing the changes that we see in the fossil record and the DNA of life today.

As an example, lets look at the genetic difference between humans and our closest relative, the chimpanzee.
There are 35 million differences between the human and chimpanzee genomes. So 3x10^7 single mutations would be required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
You have agreed that for random mutation, the observed probability of a specific single mutation is 1 in 10^10.
So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^7 X 10^10 which equals 3x10^17.

The number of hominini (including genus homo and genus pan) that have ever lived on earth is less than 500 billion or 5x10^9 which is orders of magnitude less than the population size of 3x10^17 required for an 'assumed' mutation path of single mutation to bridge the gap between humans and chimpanzeess.

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Re: Atheist question

#232

Post by DBowling » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:32 am

DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:31 pm
The number of hominini (including genus homo and genus pan) that have ever lived on earth is less than 500 billion or 5x10^9 which is orders of magnitude less than the population size of 3x10^17 required for an 'assumed' mutation path of single mutation to bridge the gap between humans and chimpanzeess.
Before someone else catches it...
Yes I do know that 500 billion is 5x10^11 not 5x10^9
5x10^11 is still orders of magnitude less than 3x10^17.

That's what I get for not proofing my post. :oops:

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Re: Atheist question

#233

Post by Nils » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:35 am

DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:56 pm
Nils wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:32 am
DBowling wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:34 pm
I don't believe Behe, Meyer, and Axe are dismissing an established theory.
They are questioning one part of a theory that has not been empirically established.
And the specific part that has not been empirically established is the alleged ability of "random" mutation to infuse new information into the biosphere that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
Yes, but this is the very central part of the Darwinian evolution theory. It’s about evolution by survival of the fittest and natural mechanisms, without any teleologic, goal directed, design by an intelligence.
Parts of Darwinian evolution have been empirically verified, such as Natural Selection (survival of the fittest), and other parts such as the adequacy of "random" mutation have been disproved by empirical evidence.
That's what you say, see below
They are not questioning natural selection or that mutation of some sort has played role.
They are saying that empirical evidence demonstrates that what we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today is beyond the capability of the observed limits of "random" mutation.
Again, they have NOT given any empirical evidence. (see below)
Sure they have!
You just refuse to accept what the empirical evidence demonstrates, because it is inconsistent with your presuppositions and world view.
That's what you say, see below
The main problem with your (and Meyers) reasoning is that evidence for a problem being difficult and having no known solution, isn’t evidence that the problem is not solvable. During the history of evolution, since 1859, there has been so many problems solved, problems that seemed unsolvable beforehand. Why do you think that all the problems that are unsolved exactly 160 years after the Darwin will remain unsolved?
This is where you are misunderstanding Meyer's position.
Meyer is proposing that there is an empirically known cause of design and information.
And that known cause is intelligence.
See below

A solution exists and is apparent based on known causes of design and information.
It can be debated if “God did it” is a solution, but anyhow even if we know one solution that doesn’t imply that there aren’t other solutions
There is no debate that intelligence is a known cause of design and information.
This is based on empirical evidence.

There is no empirical evidence of another cause of design and information.
That is nothing more than a supposition.
This is not an independent arguement, it's just a conclusion of your other arguements. IF and only IF these other arguements are valid THEN you have shown that evolution doesn't create design.
in the video you refer to above Behe states that “that Darwinism cannot make complex functional system” 46:19, and that there “is an observation that it does not”.
He does the following reasoning in minutes 26 to 46:
1. He shows that a single mutation has the probability of 1 in 10^10
2. He shows that two independent mutations have the probability of 1 in 10^20
This is based on evidence of the malaria parasite and is uncontroversial
3. He concludes that the probability of four independent mutations would be 1 in 10^40
This is also uncontroversial.
4. He says that the probability of 1 in 10^40 is so small that four independent mutations will never occur during the existence of Earth.
Also uncontroversial.
So far so good :)
5. He states that because 4. “Darwinism cannot make complex functional system”
The problem with 5. is that it doesn’t follow from 4. There is a hidden assumption:
4.1. In Darwinian evolution four independent mutations are necessary.
But he has no evidence at all for 4.1. It’s only assumption.
That's not accurate...
In his first book, Darwin's Black Box, Behe provides a number of examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that require much more than 4 independent mutations.
Don’t you read what I say?
Sure I do, but reading a fallacious argument does not require me to accept that fallacious argument.
In #220 I said regarding Behes claim of irreducible complexity: “This is really a bold statement. How can that be shown? Behe has used the concept of irreducible complexity (IC) which says that there are designs that are so complex that it isn’t possible to achieve them by small steps which all are beneficial. But how can that be shown?”
You start with an irreducibly complex biological system, and then you identify the smallest number of changes required to get to another functional state. Once you have found the closest functional state then you identify the number of changes required to get from one functional state to another and see if the number of changes at the molecular level exceeds 2.
Again, you don't include my contra argument. It's difficult to argue if you don't care about my arguments.
In my last post I included the following.:
" So far you cited me but I continued: “Behe supports some examples that he claims is IC, for instance the mousetrap and the design of the human eye. Most (at least) of these examples are rebutted. About the mousetrap you can search on the net. About the eye see https://www.cs.bgu.ac.il/~ben-shahar/Te ... Evolve.pdf
There may be other examples that aren’t rebutted but that only show that we don’t know everything in biology. Behe’s argument is a God of the gaps argument.”
How could he know that any example needs “much more than 4 independent mutations”? That requires that he know about every possible alternative evolution path which he certainly doesn’t know, at least in the cases that are rebutted. Important is also that Behe’s argument isn’t an evidential argument. It’s an argument from reasoning."
(Emphasis added)
The evolution theory assumes that complex structures evolve in small steps (probably with not more than two independent mutations in each step) where each step is beneficial.
And that particular assumption has not been empirically validated.
Despite your issue with the semantics of the word prove, I still think Matheson's quote is relevant here, because he acknowledges that this is still an "open question".
"It is surely an open question about whether that whole tree can be navigated through function all the way through.
I certainly can't prove it's the case."
It is the same as saying: "It is surely an open question about whether there is gravitation everywhere on earth. I certainly can't prove it's the case."
That's pure and utter nonsense!
The laws of gravity are repeatable and observable, and have been validated numerous times.
Both are scientific theories. The difference is about nuber of observations but the same methodology applies.
The capability of "random" mutation is also repeatable and observable, but the repeatable and observable behavior of random mutation is not capable of navigating the tree of life through functional states.
Behe has provided numerous examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that require much more than 4 independent mutations at the molecular level.


No, see above. It can be worth to mention that Meyer makes the same mistake as Behe even if he isn’t as specific as Behe.
You have made that fallacious assertion a number of times in this thread.
But you still have failed to provide any empirical evidence to support that fallacious assertion that Meyer and/or Behe is "wrong".
You say so. See below.
It is you who have provided zero empirical evidence to support the "assumption" that random mutation is capable of generating the information that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
The information I provided (Coyne, see #202) you never commented.
I didn't comment, because I didn't see anything in that article to empirically support your premise that random mutation is capable of generating the information that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
So there was nothing for me to comment on.
Well, he mentioned some cases where small genetic changes made important function changes. But that's not important here, so we can leave that
But my intension with this debate isn’t to show empirical evidence for the evolution theory but to show that Meyer (and Behe) are wrong.
Fine...
But if you want to demonstrate that they are wrong, then you need to provide some empirical evidence that shows where they are wrong.
And despite your many assertions, you have failed to provide any empirical evidence to support your assertions.
I certainly don't need to "provide some empirical evidence that shows where they are wrong." What they do is to make faults when they reason and then it's enough to show where the reasoning goes wrong.

Meyer assumes that there is no way to get new functions with only one or two steps between every beneficial individual. (that's my 4.1) The argument he uses is that the functional space is so big, which is a faulty argument.
Behe makes the same assumption (4.1) but argues a bit more carefully. He thinks he has proved that some functions are impossible to get with less than four independent mutations. This is an argument from missing knowledge and has also been rebutted for several cases. None of these are empirical arguments even if Meyer's argument is partly based on evidence.

Nils

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Re: Atheist question

#234

Post by Nils » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:40 am

DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Actually... even if we assume small single mutation steps I think we can still use some rough math to demonstrate that random mutation is incapable of producing the changes that we see in the fossil record and the DNA of life today.

As an example, lets look at the genetic difference between humans and our closest relative, the chimpanzee.
There are 35 million differences between the human and chimpanzee genomes. So 3x10^7 single mutations would be required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
You have agreed that for random mutation, the observed probability of a specific single mutation is 1 in 10^10.
So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^7 X 10^10 which equals 3x10^17.
I don’t understand this calculation. Please explain.
The number of hominini (including genus homo and genus pan) that have ever lived on earth is less than 500 billion or 5x10^9 which is orders of magnitude less than the population size of 3x10^17 required for an 'assumed' mutation path of single mutation to bridge the gap between humans and chimpanzeess.
Nils

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Re: Atheist question

#235

Post by DBowling » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:22 am

Nils wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:35 am
There is no debate that intelligence is a known cause of design and information.
This is based on empirical evidence.

There is no empirical evidence of another cause of design and information.
That is nothing more than a supposition.
This is not an independent arguement, it's just a conclusion of your other arguements. IF and only IF these other arguements are valid THEN you have shown that evolution doesn't create design.
Do you acknowledge that the following is a true statement?

"There is no debate that intelligence is a known cause of design and information.
This is based on empirical evidence."
Again, you don't include my contra argument. It's difficult to argue if you don't care about my arguments.
I do care about and read your arguments, but if your argument is not supported by empirical evidence or is based on flawed suppositions then there is no reason for me to embrace them.
There may be other examples that aren’t rebutted but that only show that we don’t know everything in biology. Behe’s argument is a God of the gaps argument.”
There are many examples of irreducibly complex biological systems that haven't been factually rebutted (although a number of people have made all kinds of fact free "rebuttals").
The gap is not in the position of Behe (or Meyer). The observable gap is in your position.
That is why I don't take "god of the gaps" rhetoric seriously.

All you are saying with your "god of the gaps" rhetoric is you are admitting that there are known gaps in your reasoning.
"There is a known gap in my position" therefore your position is wrong is not a logically coherent argument.
And that particular assumption has not been empirically validated.
Despite your issue with the semantics of the word prove, I still think Matheson's quote is relevant here, because he acknowledges that this is still an "open question".
"It is surely an open question about whether that whole tree can be navigated through function all the way through.
I certainly can't prove it's the case."
It is the same as saying: "It is surely an open question about whether there is gravitation everywhere on earth. I certainly can't prove it's the case."
That's pure and utter nonsense!
The laws of gravity are repeatable and observable, and have been validated numerous times.
Both are scientific theories. The difference is about nuber of observations but the same methodology applies.
Both theories need to be validated by empirical observation.
Empirical observation has repeatedly validated the law of gravity.

On the other hand empirical observation has demonstrated that "random" mutation is incapable of generating the genetic information that we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.
I provided a simple example in my post about the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees.


But my intension with this debate isn’t to show empirical evidence for the evolution theory but to show that Meyer (and Behe) are wrong.
Fine...
But if you want to demonstrate that they are wrong, then you need to provide some empirical evidence that shows where they are wrong.
And despite your many assertions, you have failed to provide any empirical evidence to support your assertions.
I certainly don't need to "provide some empirical evidence that shows where they are wrong." What they do is to make faults when they reason and then it's enough to show where the reasoning goes wrong.
So you say...
But you have still failed to provide any real evidence whatsoever to support your assertion that they are "wrong"
Meyer assumes that there is no way to get new functions with only one or two steps between every beneficial individual. (that's my 4.1) The argument he uses is that the functional space is so big, which is a faulty argument.
Behe makes the same assumption (4.1) but argues a bit more carefully. He thinks he has proved that some functions are impossible to get with less than four independent mutations. This is an argument from missing knowledge and has also been rebutted for several cases. None of these are empirical arguments even if Meyer's argument is partly based on evidence.
Again you are factually wrong here...
Which is why I reject your argumentation.

"This is an argument from missing knowledge" is not a logically coherent argument.
The "missing knowledge" is in your position, not Behe's.
The fact that you appeal to "missing knowledge" to support your position does nothing to rebut the empirical evidence that the position of Meyer and Behe is based on.

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Re: Atheist question

#236

Post by DBowling » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:49 am

Nils wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:40 am
DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Actually... even if we assume small single mutation steps I think we can still use some rough math to demonstrate that random mutation is incapable of producing the changes that we see in the fossil record and the DNA of life today.

As an example, lets look at the genetic difference between humans and our closest relative, the chimpanzee.
There are 35 million differences between the human and chimpanzee genomes. So 3x10^7 single mutations would be required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
You have agreed that for random mutation, the observed probability of a specific single mutation is 1 in 10^10.
So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^7 X 10^10 which equals 3x10^17.
I don’t understand this calculation. Please explain.
If I understand your argument correctly, one of your key assumptions is that sequential single random mutations are able to explain what we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.

Since we agree on the frequency of single random mutations (1 in 10^10)
And since we know the number of genetic differences between chimpanzee and human genomes (3x10^7)

Then we can calculate the size of the hominini population that would be required to bridge a gap of 3x10^7 genetic differences using a path of single mutations (which is key to your argument)

population required for a single mutation X number of mutations that separate humans and chimpanzees = population required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees
OR
10^10 X 3x10^7 = 3x10^17

So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^17.

We can then compare this theoritical population required to bridge the genetic gap between chimpanzees and humans with the number of homonini (genus homo and pan) that have ever existed to see if the observed frequency of single "random" mutations is capable of bridging the known genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees.

And as I pointed out ...
The number of hominini (including genus homo and genus pan) that have ever lived on earth is less than 5x10^11. Which is orders of magnitude less than the population size of 3x10^17 required for an 'assumed' mutation path of single mutation to bridge the gap between humans and chimpanzeess.

==> The observed frequency of single mutations (1 in 10^10) demonstrates that a path of single mutations is incapable of bridging the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.

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Re: Atheist question

#237

Post by Nils » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:09 am

DBowling wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:49 am
Nils wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:40 am
DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Actually... even if we assume small single mutation steps I think we can still use some rough math to demonstrate that random mutation is incapable of producing the changes that we see in the fossil record and the DNA of life today.

As an example, lets look at the genetic difference between humans and our closest relative, the chimpanzee.
There are 35 million differences between the human and chimpanzee genomes. So 3x10^7 single mutations would be required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
You have agreed that for random mutation, the observed probability of a specific single mutation is 1 in 10^10.
So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^7 X 10^10 which equals 3x10^17.
I don’t understand this calculation. Please explain.
If I understand your argument correctly, one of your key assumptions is that sequential single random mutations are able to explain what we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.

Since we agree on the frequency of single random mutations (1 in 10^10)
And since we know the number of genetic differences between chimpanzee and human genomes (3x10^7)

Then we can calculate the size of the hominini population that would be required to bridge a gap of 3x10^7 genetic differences using a path of single mutations (which is key to your argument)

population required for a single mutation X number of mutations that separate humans and chimpanzees = population required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees
OR
10^10 X 3x10^7 = 3x10^17

So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^17.

We can then compare this theoritical population required to bridge the genetic gap between chimpanzees and humans with the number of homonini (genus homo and pan) that have ever existed to see if the observed frequency of single "random" mutations is capable of bridging the known genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees.

And as I pointed out ...
The number of hominini (including genus homo and genus pan) that have ever lived on earth is less than 5x10^11. Which is orders of magnitude less than the population size of 3x10^17 required for an 'assumed' mutation path of single mutation to bridge the gap between humans and chimpanzeess.

==> The observed frequency of single mutations (1 in 10^10) demonstrates that a path of single mutations is incapable of bridging the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
DB, I’m not certain how to comment what you write above in a polite way. To me it seems that you have little understanding of how evolution is working and little understanding of statistics. The latter isn’t astonishing because statistics is a difficult subject and very often non intuitive and mathematically difficult. However basic knowledge about evolution is rather straight forward and there are assumable lot of elementary books on the subject you could read.

To explain in detail all the mistakes you make would take pages, but I will try to give a hint (and excuse me for not being as pedagogical as I would like to be).

The whole idea that it is in some way possible to find the probability of evolution from chimpanzees to humans is fantastic. Probability is about identifying an assembly of equally probable outcomes (or with at least known probabilities) of an experiment and see how many of the outcomes that are favourable. Apply that thinking to the pre-chimpanzees five millions of years ago! If we could start the world again from that distant point a great number of times we haven’t the slightest idea of the what the possible outcomes would be. Not only the statistics of the mutations but still more problematic the changes in the environment every day in millions of years. And how many of the 35 million differences are necessary for being human and how many alternatives are there if any of the essential differences is missing? I don’t think anyone is even close to know.

One apparent mistake you seem to do is to assume that the evolution from chimpanzee to human is goal directed. You try to compute the probability that the chimpanzee evolves exactly to the human of today with the 35 millions of differences in the genome. But that’s not how natural evolution works! In intelligent design that may be the case but not naturally. So the number 10^10 is of no interest in the computations. Then I don’t understand the formula you use “ 3x10^7 X 10^10”. If you want to calculate the probability of 35 million changes that appear in a correct predetermined order with each having a probability of 10^10 the formula should be 1 in (10^10)^(3x10^7) or 1 in 10^(10x3x10^7), certainly a big number (a one with 300 million zeroes).

Now evolution doesn’t work towards a known goal, teleologically, it works with random mutation and natural selection. If we assume each generation takes 10 years (taking an even number) then 5 million years gives 500 000 generation. If we assume that the mutations are evenly distributed between the generation that gives about 70 mutations per generation that has survived until now, not an unreasonable figure. Almost all of these mutation are neutral and only very few have been advantageous. Probably many generations between individuals with such mutations but many enough to explain the evolution. There have also been a lot of disadvantageous mutations but those individuals that got them didn’t get offspring that survived in the long run. This picture is very simplified but should give an idea of how evolution works. Note that I now don’t talk about the different populations but only about my (our yours, if you prefer) 500 000 ancestors that are the line between the pre-chimpanzee and me (you). The rest of the populations is of less interest.

If you shuffle a deck of cards and look what you get the probability that you get exactly the result you got is 1 in 52! (1 in 1x2x3x ...51x52). But the probability that you get any result is of course 1. Maybe that illustrates the difference between teleological evolution and random evolution. We have the genetic code we happens to have even if the probability to get it by random processes is diminishing small.

Nils

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Re: Atheist question

#238

Post by DBowling » Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:30 am

Nils wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:09 am
DBowling wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:49 am
Nils wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:40 am
DBowling wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:31 pm

Actually... even if we assume small single mutation steps I think we can still use some rough math to demonstrate that random mutation is incapable of producing the changes that we see in the fossil record and the DNA of life today.

As an example, lets look at the genetic difference between humans and our closest relative, the chimpanzee.
There are 35 million differences between the human and chimpanzee genomes. So 3x10^7 single mutations would be required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
You have agreed that for random mutation, the observed probability of a specific single mutation is 1 in 10^10.
So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^7 X 10^10 which equals 3x10^17.
I don’t understand this calculation. Please explain.
If I understand your argument correctly, one of your key assumptions is that sequential single random mutations are able to explain what we see in the fossil record and in the DNA of life today.

Since we agree on the frequency of single random mutations (1 in 10^10)
And since we know the number of genetic differences between chimpanzee and human genomes (3x10^7)

Then we can calculate the size of the hominini population that would be required to bridge a gap of 3x10^7 genetic differences using a path of single mutations (which is key to your argument)

population required for a single mutation X number of mutations that separate humans and chimpanzees = population required to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees
OR
10^10 X 3x10^7 = 3x10^17

So to bridge the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees with a path of single mutations would require a population of 3x10^17.

We can then compare this theoritical population required to bridge the genetic gap between chimpanzees and humans with the number of homonini (genus homo and pan) that have ever existed to see if the observed frequency of single "random" mutations is capable of bridging the known genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees.

And as I pointed out ...
The number of hominini (including genus homo and genus pan) that have ever lived on earth is less than 5x10^11. Which is orders of magnitude less than the population size of 3x10^17 required for an 'assumed' mutation path of single mutation to bridge the gap between humans and chimpanzeess.

==> The observed frequency of single mutations (1 in 10^10) demonstrates that a path of single mutations is incapable of bridging the genetic gap between humans and chimpanzees.
DB, I’m not certain how to comment what you write above in a polite way. To me it seems that you have little understanding of how evolution is working and little understanding of statistics. The latter isn’t astonishing because statistics is a difficult subject and very often non intuitive and mathematically difficult. However basic knowledge about evolution is rather straight forward and there are assumable lot of elementary books on the subject you could read.
I can be more rigorous if you wish.

But if you know your statistics then you would know that the real likelihood of the single step mutations bridging the genetic gap between the human/chimp common ancestor and humans is even less likely than the simple multiplication that I used.
But simple multiplication was adequate to show that your proposed series of single steps is unable to bridge the genetic gap between humans and our closest living 'relative'

If you wish to provide a more accurate statistical analysis... be my guest.
But we both know it won't help your argument out at all.
The whole idea that it is in some way possible to find the probability of evolution from chimpanzees to humans is fantastic.
That's not what I was doing.
I was using the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees to demonstrate that the gap between humans and our closest common ancestor cannot be bridged within the lifetime of hominini on our planet by a series of single step mutations.
And how many of the 35 million differences are necessary for being human and how many alternatives are there if any of the essential differences is missing? I don’t think anyone is even close to know.
That's the deal...
We don't have to be close.
The probability gap is so wide that even rough estimates clearly demonstrate the flaws in your argument.
The difference is orders of magnitude and we can do an analysis based on orders of magnitude.

The genetic difference between chimps and humans is 3x10^7
So the genetic difference between any common ancestor and humans would have to be more than 1x10^7
would you agree with that?

You have already agreed that the empirically observed likelihood of any specific single specific mutation is around 1 in 10^10.

These two numbers give you all you need to establish a the population required to bridge the genetic difference between the chimp/human common ancestor and humans.

If you don't like my rough math... fine.
Do your own math and tell me what population would be required.

You won't like the answer...

So the number 10^10 is of no interest in the computations.
This is where your argument falls apart.
1 in 10^10 is the empirically observed likelihood for a specific single "random" mutation.

If you want to make assertions about what "random" mutation is capable of doing, then you need to start with the empirically observed capabilities of random mutation.

And 1 in 10^10 is a number that has been empirically observed.
Now evolution doesn’t work towards a known goal, teleologically, it works with random mutation and natural selection. If we assume each generation takes 10 years (taking an even number) then 5 million years gives 500 000 generation. If we assume that the mutations are evenly distributed between the generation that gives about 70 mutations per generation that has survived until now, not an unreasonable figure. Almost all of these mutation are neutral and only very few have been advantageous. Probably many generations between individuals with such mutations but many enough to explain the evolution. There have also been a lot of disadvantageous mutations but those individuals that got them didn’t get offspring that survived in the long run. This picture is very simplified but should give an idea of how evolution works. Note that I now don’t talk about the different populations but only about my (our yours, if you prefer) 500 000 ancestors that are the line between the pre-chimpanzee and me (you).
Note how your argument is based on "assume" and "probably".
You are "assuming" a capability for "random" mutation that has not been validated empirically.

We have actually agreed upon one element of empirical data regarding the capability of "random" mutation.
The empirically observed frequency for a single random mutation is 1 in 10^10, and yet you admit that you have "no interest" in the empirical data regarding the capability of "random" mutation.
You prefer to base your argument on unproven "assumptions' instead of observed empirical data.
We have the genetic code we happens to have even if the probability to get it by random processes is diminishing small.
So... what does that tell us about the capability of random processes?

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Re: Atheist question

#239

Post by Nils » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:34 am

DBowling wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:30 am
Nils wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:09 am
The whole idea that it is in some way possible to find the probability of evolution from chimpanzees to humans is fantastic.
That's not what I was doing.
I was using the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees to demonstrate that the gap between humans and our closest common ancestor cannot be bridged within the lifetime of hominini on our planet by a series of single step mutations.
... and to do that you used a statistical approach (even if I didn't understand the statistics).

If you want to defence you claim you have to make a number of assumptions, show which they are, use some statistics, and explain what statistics you use. For instance:
- If there are 35 million differences between chimpanzees and humans, how many are there between humans and a common ancestor (CA). Probably half.
- How many of the differences are neutral and how many are advantageous. One in hundred, one in thousand or what?
- How many of the differences depend on mutations that changes a chunk of DNA code, for instance copying segments of code.
- You have to define the 10^10 number more exactly. As I understand it is the possibility that one specific preselected code is mutated during one year in one individual.
- How many of the DNA codes in the CA necessarily have to be changed (if any). There are not only one way to go from one CA to one human. There is a big variation also in the human genome.
- Are there any restriction on the order of change of these changes
- You have to have some kind of model of the population that is involved in the DNA change
- Then you have to apply a correct statistical theory on that model.

You say that you can be more rigorous and I think that it’s an absolute requirement. Otherwise you can get anything between the real worst case, 1 in 10^(10x3x10^7), that I mentioned in my last post, and a high probability, close to 1. (However perhaps not 1 in 3x10^7 X 10^10 that you mentioned earlier without any argument). Without reasonable assumptions the result certainly will be only gibberish.

So it’s up to you if you want to try to argue for the impossibility of the chimpanzee (or more exact, the common ancestor) to human evolution. However, don’t ask me to argue in detail for the possibility. I have never declared that I am a specialist with deep knowledge in biology and evolution theory which is required for a detailed argument for the possibility. But there are others, go to the litterature.
Nils

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Re: Atheist question

#240

Post by DBowling » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:36 am

Nils wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:34 am
DBowling wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:30 am
Nils wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:09 am
The whole idea that it is in some way possible to find the probability of evolution from chimpanzees to humans is fantastic.
That's not what I was doing.
I was using the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees to demonstrate that the gap between humans and our closest common ancestor cannot be bridged within the lifetime of hominini on our planet by a series of single step mutations.
... and to do that you used a statistical approach (even if I didn't understand the statistics).

If you want to defence you claim you have to make a number of assumptions, show which they are, use some statistics, and explain what statistics you use. For instance:
- If there are 35 million differences between chimpanzees and humans, how many are there between humans and a common ancestor (CA). Probably half.
Correct... Since orders of magnitude tell the story, I'll drop it to 10^7 to make the math easier
- How many of the differences are neutral and how many are advantageous. One in hundred, one in thousand or what?
The fewer the mutations the better for your position, and since were talking about the observable difference between humans and chimpanzees, lets say we're talking about 10^7 mutations (beneficial or neutral) that natural selection propagated.
- How many of the differences depend on mutations that changes a chunk of DNA code, for instance copying segments of code.
I am going with your assumption of a series of single mutations.
Which makes sense since chimpanzees and humans are so close genetically, and the observed affects of copying segments results in harmful mutations that wouldn't be propagated anyway. So your path of single mutations is the most likely and beneficial.
- You have to define the 10^10 number more exactly. As I understand it is the possibility that one specific preselected code is mutated during one year in one individual.
Actually, the observed number in malaria is 10^12 for the specific amino acid that allows malaria to develop resistance to atovaquone, but I can go with 10^10. 10^10 is more beneficial to your position than 10^12 anyway.
- How many of the DNA codes in the CA necessarily have to be changed (if any). There are not only one way to go from one CA to one human. There is a big variation also in the human genome.
I am assuming that more than 10^7 have to be changed per the genetic difference between chimps and humans.
- Are there any restriction on the order of change of these changes
I am using your assumption of a series of specific steps.
- You have to have some kind of model of the population that is involved in the DNA change
Based on the observed behavior of random mutation at the molecular level in malaria, I am assuming that a population of greater than 10^10 is required for a specific single mutation to take place at the molecular level

But population is precisely what I'm comparing.
I'm comparing the estimated number of less than 500 billion (based on estimated pan and homo demographics) with the population required to bridge the genetic gap between a human/chimp common ancestor and humans.

My assumptions are:
- Mutations to a specific amino acid occur at a rate of less than 1 in 10^10
- The genetic difference between a human/chimp common ancestor and humans is greater than 10^7
- I'm going with Your assumption of a series of single mutations

So based on these assumptions you have a path of 10^7 mutations to traverse to get from a human/chimp common ancestor to humans.
The average population required to get from each step in the path to the next step is greater than 10^10.

So using simple math
number of steps X average population required to bridge each step = total population required to bridge all the steps
or
10^7 X 10^10 = 10^17

10^17 (the population based on random mutation) is orders of magnitude greater than 5*10^11. (the population based on estimated homo and pan demographics)

Those are my assumptions (which are actually beneficial to your position) and my math.
Note that I just assumed a specific path of mutations. I didn't even bother with the odds of that specific path occurring.

If you disagree with my assumptions and my math... fine.
Feel free to share your assumptions and your math and we can go from there.

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