Monday, July 18, 2016

Evolution: Always Good For a Laugh.

There has been a claim made as follows:
” Why would a benign mutation be destroyed? Lethal mutations will die out . The eye for for example is believed to have started out as just a patch that was capable of detecting light. See
"Researchers at Lund University wanted to find out how long it might take for a complex eye to evolve. Starting with a flat, light-sensitive patch, they gradually made over 1,800 tiny improvements—forming a cup, constricting the opening, adding a lens—until they had a complex, image-forming eye. It is important to note that every tiny change these researchers made measurably improved image quality. The researchers concluded that these steps could have taken place in about 360,000 generations, or just a few hundred thousand years. 550 million years have passed since the formation of the oldest fossil eyes, enough time for complex eyes to have evolved more than 1,500 times.””
The implication, not stated otherwise, is that they did an actual experiment in the lab that was able, after 1800 steps, to produce a physical, working eye, starting with a light-sensitive skin patch.

But. That’s not what happened, not at all.

I screwed up. I failed to do my due diligence in pursuing the implied claim being made for eye evolution in a lab. Now I have corrected that. I found the source, a 1994 paper by D. E. Nilsson, and Pelger, of Lund University where Nilsson runs a vision lab.

The paper refers to a multitude of speculations and assumptions (see the source for illustrations of their assumptions) which are then used in calculations. Calculations only, and not implemented in actual living creatures, or on living skin. No experiments were done; no data taken.

In fact, the calculations start with the presumption of a complex animal of unknown origin or species, which they presume is blind and “needs sight”. And the model starts with all the necessary elements already in place with no attempt to account for them. But the elements are shaped as a flat, round spot on skin, with light sensitive cells sitting on dark cells which form bottom and sides of their circle. The proceeding assumptions and calculation consider the morphological changes only (shape change only, not functional change as in novel invention).

The authors proceed with their design of an eye shape by going from a FLAT planar patch, then curving (for no non-teleological reason at all) to a global, near-spherical shape. Each slightly increased curvature is said to be selected as a presumed benefit. In fact, everything about this calculated is based in assumptions, many of them, and all of them strictly beneficial, by design, and toward the desired objective (teleology).

"We let the evolutionary sequence start with a patch of light-sensitive cells, which is backed and surrounded by dark pigment, and we expose this structure to selection favouring spatial resolution. We assume that the patch is circular, and that selection does not alter the total width of the structure. The latter assumption is necessary to isolate the design changes from general alterations of the size of the organ."

Note the reference to "design"; they specifically designed this to occur teleologically to their expectation.
"A graded-index lens can be introduced gradually as a local increase of refractive index. As the focal length becomes shorter, the blur spot on the retina will become smaller. The effect this has on resolution was calculated by using the theory of Fletcher et al. (1954) for an ideal graded-index lens (figure 1 c). Even the weakest lens is better than no lens at all, so we can be confident that selection for increased resolution will favour such a development all the way from no lens at all to a lens powerful enough to focus a sharp image on the retina (figure 1 c)."
Declaring the shape to cause "squeezing" extremely fortuitously produces a "lens".
"Having quantified the changes needed for a lens eye to evolve, we continue by estimating how many generations such a process would require. When natural selection acts on a quantitative character, a gradual increase or decrease of the mean value, m, will be obtained over the generations. The response, R, which is the observable change in each generation is given by the equation
R = h2iap or R = h2iVm, (2)
where h2 is the heritability, i.e. the genetically determined proportion of the phenotypic variance, i is the intensity of selection, V is the coefficient of variation, which measures the ratio between the standard deviation, o-P, arid the mean, m, in a population (Falconer 1989). For our estimate we have chosen h2 = 0.50, which is a common value for heritability, while deliberately low values were chosen for both i (0.01) and V (0.01) (see Lande 1980; Futuyma 1986; Barton & Turelli 1989; Falconer 1989; Smith 1989). The response obtained in each generation would then be R = 0.00005m, which means that the small variation and weak selection cause a change of only 0.005 0 per generation. The number of genera- tions, n, for the whole sequence is then given by 1.000 05' = 80 129 540, which implies that n = 363 992 generations would be sufficient for a lens eye to evolve by natural selection. 5."
The only real threat to the usefulness of our model is that we may have failed to introduce structures that are necessary for a functional eye. Features of many advanced eyes, such as an adjustable iris and structures for distance accommodation, may in this context seem to be serious omissions from the model sequence.

"If advanced lens eyes can evolve so fast, why are there still so many examples of intermediate designs among recent animals? The answer is clearly related to a fact that we have deliberately ignored, namely that an eye makes little sense on its own. Although reasonably well-developed lens eyes are found even in jellyfish (Piatigorsky et al. 1989), one would expect most lens eyes to be useless to their bearers without advanced neural processing"

"Because eyes cannot evolve on their own, our calculations do not say how long it actually took for eyes to evolve in the various animal groups. However, the estimate demonstrates that eye evolution would be extremely fast if selection for eye geometry and optical structures imposed the only limit. This implies that eyes can be expected to respond very rapidly to evolutionary changes in the lifestyle of a species. Such potentially rapid evolution suggests that the eye design of a species says little about its phylogenetic relationship, but much about its need for vision. It follows that the many primitive eye designs of recent animals may be perfectly adequate, and simply reflect the animal's present requirements. In this context it is obvious that the eye was never a real threat to Darwin's theory of evolution."
To re-cap this last paragraph:

1. “… eyes cannot evolve on their own.”

2. Mechanical structure is not the only limit, but it is the only consideration in this calculation.

3. This is the best conclusion: “eye design of a species… says much about its need for vision.” So. The need for vision is determines where selection stops, after it causes the development in the first place.
"Altogether 1829 steps of 1% are needed for the entire model sequence. Natural selection would act simultaneously on all characters that positively affect the performance."
Only positive mutations are allowed and considered in this design scenario.
In our model there are several transformations that would speed up the improvement of function if they occurred in parallel. True to our pessimistic approach, we deliberately ignored this and assumed that all 1829 steps of 1% change occur in series. This is equivalent to a single structure becoming 1.01^1829 or 80,129,540 times longer. In terms of morphological modification, the evolution of an eye can thus be compared to the lengthening of a structure, say a finger, from a modest 10 cm to 8000 km, or a fifth of the Earth's circumference".
Here they not only admit to the complete absurdity of using this calculation as any reasonable proof that an eye occurred in this fashion, they openly ridicule it, in the form of a Reductio Ad Absurdum. Despite this, they submit to the necessary non sequitur conclusion, which is always required to maintain employment in the evolutionary field:
” It follows that the many primitive eye designs of recent animals may be perfectly adequate, and simply reflect the animal's present requirements. In this context it is obvious that the eye was never a real threat to Darwin's theory of evolution.”
Of course, that “context” requires the separate use of the same mutations in the same order to put eyes (however primitive) into creatures that existed at different times. Barring the discovery of an actual common ancestor proving otherwise, (which hasn’t been done despite 150 years of fossil hunting and millions of fossils uncovered). Under the common scientific abeyance to material evidence, then, none exists to support the evolution of the eye, much less the existence of common ancestors for each of the open ended branches not yet attached to the vaunted “tree of life”.

But it’s not just the 1829 step improbability that is being ignored.

It is not the fact that this would be occurring in pre-existing advanced animals which were "blind and needed" eyes, and which are not known to exist in the fossil record, is ignored.

It is not the fact that the necessary neural connections are ignored.

It is not the fact that the necessary mental processing is ignored.

It is not the fact that INFORMATION including introns and exons in each mutation drives the minimum size of the correct mutation forcing each step to absolutely require much greater than 3,000 bits per step - new, correct bits at that - is ignored.

It is not the fact that dilatory mutations would of necessity have halted the process by requiring adverse selection thereby losing all the prior steps in the process, is ignored.

All those things merely stretch out the probability to beyond astronomical odds against it.

The real issue is this:
Is it reasonable to assume that the exactly correct INFORMATION WHICH IS NEW AT EACH STEP occurs randomly and in the correct sequence 1829 times in a row?

Is it reasonable to assume that random events would produce all that exactly correct information, sequentially and just in time?
The question was raised, “why does it have to be correct?” Because if any step in the process is a failure, then the process stops and the endeavor fails to complete because all defects are selected OUT of the population: fundamental Darwinist evolutionary theory. Incorrect data causes organism failures.

Evolution self-refutes because of just this issue: random beneficial mutations absolutely must be accumulated if they are to provide useful novel features. New organs are very complex, including not only the functionality of the organ but also the communication feedback channels with the associated agents at either channel end for regulation of organic activity. For instance, real spheroid eyes contain special fluid and fluid pressure regulation feedback systems, including pumps and valves.

The addition of new information is presumed not to delete existing information. If so, then the genome increases size in the one organism out of the population which mutated. Can mismatched DNA produce offspring? DNA is a palindrome, reading the same backwards as forwards. Defects in the palindrome are not beneficial to the organism because reading DNA in the reverse direction is used to check the validity of the DNA translation of the forward direction. If they don't match, the transcription is considered a failure and is stopped.

The palindrome DNA issue also applies to mating failures, because the sizes no longer match as they should, intra-species. Sterile hybrids and failure to hybridize at all are examples.

Another internal contradiction: the information required for the novel organ to occur is stored in DNA, raising the internal contradiction: which came first, organ or information? Neither can be justified to have occurred before the other.

Natural sciences are based on the axiom of cause and effect, with the cause acting in a deterministic fashion on an entity which is controlled by initial conditions. Entropy precludes any information being created by this process, and in physics it is not observed that information emerges from deterministic processes at either the macro-level (Newtonian) or at the micro-level (quantum particle). Entropy says exactly that: disorder increasingly occurs, always. There are no truly reversible systems, and there is no open system that receives information via outside input of extra photonic energy.

And yet, life is different. That is a perpetual contradiction which physicalist evolutionists ignore because (like all things evolution) there are no actual empirical facts available to the evolutionist in order to deal with the issue.

And now back to my error: due diligence is late, but done. Evolutionary theory is once again shown to be mere imaginary stories, fantasies and calculations based on those fantasy stories. And it’s all said to prove Darwinism.

For evolution, “proof” is a very, very low bar, indeed.

And finally, this entire exercise is a fantasy. It was my error in allowing the fantasy to be wielded as evidence for evolution. Error: corrected.


Robert Coble said...

"There are lies, damned lies, and - statistics."

Once again, one of the circuitous routes up the backside of Mt. Improbable appears to be closed. The odds astronomically increase - against all these Just So stories. And yet the faith-based scientismists persist (like the prophets of Baal) in whipping themselves into a veritable frenzy, trying to get a response from their non-existent god Chance.

So much effort to avoid accepting what is obvious even to them - the evidence of DESIGN, because if there is "design," then logic implies a Designer. NO! NOT T-H-A-T! ANYTHING BUT THAT! So they make up Just So stories, requiring everyone to ignore the evidence of "design" because it's all just a result of random processes, which are deterministic, so there cannot actually be any design, because a priori they have a belief system that denies the existence of any possible Designer.

Software routines to generate "random" numbers are NOT actually random; they are pseudo-random, and WILL REPEAT after a considerable time, based on the prime number used as the seed.

It is possible to create a truly random (at the quantum level) number generator. One of the computer systems that I used to work on had a truly random number generator. It was a Zener diode, biased at cutoff, causing the internal structure to break down randomly. The "noise" generated was fed serially into a series of latches which captured the series of bits at the specific moment when needed. Nobody could statistically predict what sequence would be generated because it was RANDOM.

Maybe our scientismists (in more than just the evolutionary biology field) should invest in a truly random number generator for their computer models. It would allow them to see how absurd some of their statistical predictions really are, after carefully DESIGNING their "experiments" to fit their preconceived notions using pseudo-random number generators.

Sherlock Holmes: How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Once we get up to the 1 in 10^1500 improbability that life spontaneously and randomly generated from non-life, I'm willing to accept that it is impossible. That's clearly one or two more than a few billion here and a few billion there, as touted by Little Dick Dawkins.

The fascinating thing is that as the odds become more and more AGAINST the Just So stories, Little Dick is convinced that it becomes MORE PROBABLE that everything happened just that way. He may be an Englishman and possesses a "Piled Higher and Deeper" degree, but he apparently is as ignorant of statistics, philosophy, and theology as he is of Sherlock Holmes. Or maybe he just likes going up the backside. . .

CJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJ said...

My favorite bit:

"The only real threat to the usefulness of our model is that we may have failed to introduce structures that are necessary for a functional eye."

I have this image of the five year old girl who wanted to bake a birthday cake for her mother, but forgets the baking soda, the butter, the sugar, and the eggs. After forcing down something that is almost, but not quite, completely uncake-like, Mommy smiles proudly, declares it to be the best birthday cake ever, and the girl beams with great pride and cluelessness.

So who funded this steaming pile of cake?

Stan said...

Har! "...steaming pile of cake".

Martyn Cornell said...

I need to put my glasses on to type this reply. I've needed them since I was eight.

As perfect a refutation of the idea of a "designer" as I can think of.

There are plenty of others of course, even in the realm of eyes. Why did the "designer" invent so many different ways of seeing, from trilobites' calcite eye lenses to insects' multiple eyes to mammal eyes? Because the evolutionary pressure to develop eyes is so enormous that as different mutations in different lines of aimals threw up different possibilities, the forces of selection favoured almost any solution to the problem of seeing, resulting in multiple answers thriving. Evolution provides an answer to that question: the "intelligent designer" thesis has to try to invent its own "Just So" stories to explain it.

Rickk said...

How can you impose restrictions on how the designer would work?

Xellos said...

Martyn Cornell:

So your reasoning is that since there are many variations of eyes, they weren't all designed?
Except there are many designed things which vary just as much. Cars / various transport vehicles. Musical instruments. Computer systems. Etc.
Variance is an extremely common feature of intelligent design, so it doesn't constitute a refutation at all.

"Evolution provides an answer to that question."
And that "answer" is a Just So Story with an astronomically low probability of happening. So much win.
But you're missing the point. Science does not ask why something happened, but if it did/does happen. Whether we know the reason or not, or even whether there is a reason at all, does not affect reality in any way.

Hugo Pelland said...

Hey, evolution discussion with the samr people here... weird. In any case...

Similarities among biological systems have nothing to do with similarities among designed objects. Look at the VW Beetle. Why do you know it has always been made by VW? Same logo, similar shape, etc... but absolutely nothing has to be kept from the original design for it to still be a VW. The engine, the wheels, thr electronics, or lack thereof, and even the type of gas has changed over the decades. Biological system are related for exactly the opposite reasons: they share some common features which can be found in all living things, and the closer living organisms are in time and space, the more similar they are.

There is nothing like DNA testing that can tell you that 2 VW Beetles really are from VW, but there are DNA tests for actual cousins and relatives in the living world. I have asked Stan countless times where he draws the line regarding DNA testing and he never replie... Xellos, will you? If you accept that DNA testing works for paternity, direct cousins, grand-parents, ..., where does it stop working for species and why?

Rickk said...

DNA testing means nothing across species. Just more so story!!

Phoenix said...

Hugo:If you accept that DNA testing works for paternity, direct cousins, grand-parents, ..., where does it stop working for species and why?

First, the ascendent in question, be it mother, father or grandparent is or has been known to exist. So there is an actual sample to test for DNA profiling to determine a genetic relationship.

Who is the ancestor for man and simian and what samples do you have which could establish a genetic relationship, similar to that used in human genetic fingerprinting?

Stan said...

What is the proof that it does work? And if it "works", why is there always a caveat of "probability" attached to it? And how is the probability determined? What exactly needs to be examined in order to provide either a confirmation or a refutation? All you ever produce is a belief system with claim, "disprove it", even though the claim is non-falsifiable and is purely ideological.

That is the indication of an ideology, not a materialistic, empirical science: there is no hope of falsification, because there is no hope of verfication: just the empty claim of Truth - ideological.

You have been told this, (over and over and over and over and over and over)^absurdum.

When you produce falsifiable evidence - required of actual science - then, THEN, we'll have something of value to discuss. Ideology pretending to be science is of no value and is not falsifiable knowledge.

Hugo Pelland said...

This is exactly the same principle as what is discussed on the big Evolution thread

It's not up to me to explain to you guys how DNA testing works and why it's used by scientists for various applications from legal court arguments, to paternity tests, to building a hierarchy tree of all living species. The question is why do you think that you something that scientists don't?

But please, go ahead and claim that it's an argument from authority. Because that's all you have to offer in your defense. It won't change the fact that, from an outside perspective, there is no reason to believe some random people on the internet, but there are reasons to believe biologists who have been working in the field for generations.

Phoenix said...

The question is why do you think that you something that scientists don't?

Your question presupposes that all scientists are in agreement and accept Evolution unequivocally. You are well aware of the growing number of dissenters of Evolution in the scientific community. Those dissenters, as you imply, do not belong to any secret societies where knowledge is reserved for members only. Rather, their rejection of evolution is due to it's failure to live up to actual science, i.e., testable, experimental, repeatable, replicable and falsifiable data.

Hugo Pelland said...

Phoenix said

"You are well aware of the growing number of dissenters of Evolution in the scientific community."

No. Never heard of that. Can you justify that?

Phoenix said...

No. Never heard of that. Can you justify that

Awww...come one Hugo don't be THAT guy. Of course you've heard/read about them. I've pasted the link before and your response was that more scientists by the name of Steve accept Evolution...therefore it's a scientific fact. Remember?

Never mind the fallacies (argument from authority and argumentum ad populum) at play here because the best thing about disproving a universal statement is that it only takes a SINGLE counter example to falsify the claim. And here's mine below:

I signed the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism statement, because I am absolutely convinced of the lack of true scientific evidence in favour of Darwinian dogma. Nobody in the biological sciences, medicine included, needs Darwinism at all. Darwinism is certainly needed, however, in order to pose as a philosopher, since it is primarily a worldview. And an awful one, as George Bernard Shaw used to say."

Dr. Raul Leguizamon, Pathologist, and a Professor of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Stan said...

Note that Hugo does not respond to my challenge, above (7/25, at 8:24am).

The reason for that is that he cannot. Hugo, like all Atheists I've encountered, is fully dependent upon the validity of evolution as the Atheist creation story. Denial of this, as he will do and has done, is without value; Atheists are first and foremost Denialists.

Atheists are without any material proof of their main belief systems - Philososphical Materialism (existence for no reason, with no reason); evolution as creation story (undefinable, essence-free life arises from minerals which then gains information which is self-perpetuating); and the ever popular claim without evidence that there is no intelligent causation for either the universe-from-nothing, or for teleological information increases.

Atheists deny that they have any responsibility for accounting for anything. Atheists have a belief system which removes them from that responsibility. So the inability to EVER provide falisifiable knowledge surrounding the creation of life from minerals and the creation of all phyla in the Cambrian Explosion is denied, and not just denied, it is weaponized in logical fallacies such as the Appeal to Authority, and the logical mutation of Special Pleading for removal of intellectual discipline, into Special Pleading for Category Error.

If Atheists/Evolutionists had any actual case which is not - NOT - unfalsifiable opinion, they would produce it with gusto. They do not do that. What they do is to defend unfalsifiable claims as being "science".

The defense of unfalsifiable, unrepeatable, non-experimental claims as science has been the main thrust of Evolution and Atheism for a century and a half. This sort of unfalsifiable ideology-as-Truth has been very damaging to both legitimate sciences, and to the ability of the populace to think rationally under actual rules of logical deduction... certainly that is the case of Atheist thought processes.

Atheist thought processes become completely untethered when the Atheist enters into the Atheist VOID. Due to the total denialism and rejectionism acquired in the VOID, the Atheist comes to believe that his every thought is rational, and any dissent is not just irrational, but also immoral. And the discovery of the completely irrational and evidence-free zone of evolution and its population of irrational defenders who claim that non-falsifiability is OK forms a support group. This support group must be defended.

But defending irrationality requires ever more irrationality. Lack of demonstrable, falsifiable evidence places evolution into the highest plane of irrationality, because it requires the demand that it be called a science, and be believed with the distinguished reputation that are accorded to actual sciences. When that is accomplished, then the Appeal to Authority has a ring of plausibility to the ears of the Atheist/evolutionist, who has nothing else to provide. Certainly no scientific-grade evidence to provide.

The irrationality of the doctrine of evolution was incorporated into the "scientific basis" for both Leninism and National Socialism. Iconizing and institutionalizing irrationality leads directly to the history of mass-murder-by-government and genocides of the 20th century.

Yet Atheists cannot let go of evolution and its obvious consequences, because it is all they have.

When dissecting and analyzing a concept for its rational basis, it is not necessary to provide an alternative. All that is required is to demonstrate the logical fallacies which are necessary foundations for the concept, without which the concept has no basis for support and therefore fails.

Concept failure should lead to both abandonment of the failed concepts, and open-minded searching for rational concepts. Most Atheists cannot do that, for psychological reasons. But rational people do.

That's what we do here.

Stan said...

I'm moving my comment over to the Evolution Discussion Zone.