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Friday, July 30, 2010

Evidence flies in the face of evolution

So as it happens, while Darwinists struggle to find even one piece of objective evidence for evolution, it would appear they have managed to falsify their own hypothesis.  One hundred years of tests...You see, Darwinists can talk a good game, they just can't actually play.  From the ICR website:

 

100 Years of Fruit Fly Tests Show No Evolution

July 22, 2010, marked the 100th anniversary of genetic investigations using fruit flies. The first such study appeared in Science in 1910 and described the unexpected appearance of a male fruit fly with white eyes after generations of flies with pigmented eyes.1 This began a century of focused studies on fruit fly mutations, but what has really been learned by all this tinkering?

For most of the past century--and especially since the discovery of DNA as a physical molecule carrying heritable information--the prevailing concept of neo-Darwinian evolution has held mutations to be the central generator of new and useful information. Thus, mutations have been given ample opportunity to prove themselves, if they are naturally selected, as having "the power to drive the evolution of all living things in the direction of positive improvement."2

Fruit flies, with their short generation times and only four pairs of chromosomes, presented prime testing ground for evolution. In laboratories worldwide, they have been subjected to all manner of mutation-inducing phenomena, including hosts of chemicals and radiation treatments, to try and accelerate evolution-mimicking mutations. After all this, fruit flies should have certainly exemplified evolution by now.2 But they haven't.
So, having achieved no evolutionary progression in fruit flies by these random means, researchers made them the focus of countless purposeful gene manipulation studies. The most popular, from an evolutionary perspective, were experiments with what are called HOX genes.

HOX, an abbreviation of "homeobox," are genes used by the organism during embryonic development. Many reasoned that it would be simpler for evolution to operate by mutating these genes, since a small alteration could produce a large effect in the fly's body. However, this was before recent studies showed that embyronic development is more heavily influenced by regulatory DNA, not genes. And mutating (through substituting, deleting, or duplicating) developmental genes like HOX has only ever yielded a dead fly, a normal fly (if the mutation happened to have no noticeable effect), or a tiny monster. None of these results match the "positive improvement" expected of Darwinian evolution.

Extra body segments, an extra set of wings, or legs in the place of antennae characterized the weird forms that were generated. Three generations of specifically designed DNA alterations were required to produce fruit flies with four wings--but they couldn't fly. The extra wings had no muscles and were dead weight. One recent exploration of neo-Darwinism remarked:
The mutants that produce four-winged fruit flies survive today only in a carefully controlled environment and only when skilled researchers meticulously guide their subjects through one non-functional stage after another. This carefully controlled experiment does not tell us much about what undirected mutations can produce in the wild.3
In his book Evolution, Colin Patterson summarized the lost hope of finding evolution from HOX investigations:
The spectacular effects of homeobox gene mutations were first seen in Drosophila, early in the history of genetics. Carriers of some of these mutations certainly qualify as monsters--though without much hope.4
Whereas fruit fly studies have provided critical information about how genes, nerves, longevity, and other biological machines and processes operate, no progress whatsoever has been made in the quest to accelerate these insects' "evolution" by ramping up their mutations. The survivors of 100 years of lab torture are still just fruit flies.
References
  1. Morgan, T. H. 1910. Sex Limited Inheritance in Drosophila. Science. 32 (812): 120-122.
  2. Dawkins, R. 2009. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. New York: Free Press, 31.
  3. Meyer, S. C. et al. 2007. Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and Against Neo-Darwinism. London: Hill House Publishers, 105.
  4. Patterson, C. 1999. Evolution, 2nd ed. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press, 114.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

"So as it happens, while Darwinists struggle to find even one piece of objective evidence for evolution, it would appear they have managed to falsify their own hypothesis."

One sentence in, three lies.

Does anyone know of any honest creationist websites? It seems like even the ones Radar praises as top of the line are incapable of avoiding outright lies.

radar said...

I guess Darwinists, who will not accept the dictionary definition of either naturalism or information, now have no concept of the lie. The Darwinist definition of a lie seems to be "evidence that is negative towards Darwinism."

This first comment is devoid of any argument and is simply a random attack, typical of Darwinists in general if those who comment here are typical.

I stand on the evidence that, although trying to game the system to get fruit flies to evolve, the attempt is a miserable failure.

Jon Woolf said...

Brian Thomas is either a liar or ignorant. I hope he's just ignorant. A single websearch found numerous examples of papers and websites that discuss speciation (evolution!) in Drosophila fruit-flies. In some cases the speciation event was the result of directed manipulation; in others, it was quite accidental (note: PDF link; relevant article begins near the bottom of the first page). Several of the hits even came from a source that Radar and his pals consider unimpeachable: Wikipedia!

I also stumbled across a tidbit that's new to me: something called a "Robertsonian translocation." This is a specific type of mutation that occurs during meiosis. There's a stack of scientific literature on how house mice carry a variety of Robertsonian translocations, resulting in "Robertsonian races" or "Rb races," and how these Rb races demonstrate partial reproductive isolation. Hybrids between Rb races of house mice are frequently less fertile than pure mice of either race. The exact reverse of the "hybrid vigor" which Radar has referred to a few times, and an obvious preliminary to speciation.

Anonymous said...

"The Darwinist definition of a lie seems to be "evidence that is negative towards Darwinism." "

That seems to be all you can come up with against Talk Origins - "evidence that is negative towards creationism" – while it's not hard to come up with demonstrable, factual lies for creationist websites.

For example, there is the common creationist lie that the rate at which the moon recedes from the Earth shows that the two could not have existed for millions of years. Jon ran through the numbers in the comments here a little while ago and completely destroyed the argument. The creationists' assertion is factually not true, yet often repeated.

In other words, it is objectively untrue, and a lie - unless those who profess it wish to fess up to the mistake and correct themselves.

The above statement in the first post is correct though: your opening sentence features three lies, as far as I can tell (maybe there are more):

1. "Darwinists" have presented multiple pieces of objective evidence for evolution which you simply refuse to address.

2. "Darwinists" have not falsified the theory of evolution.

3. The theory of evolution is not a hypothesis.

The article that follows isn't much better, as Jon has already ably pointed out. It's funny how you now want to co-opt speciation (evolution at the species level) and even deny that it is part of the theory of evolution.

There's a fundamentally dishonest argument here, in that you and I guess this Brian Thomas character make the following argument:

Fruit fly experiments do not demonstrate some strawman caricature of macro-evolution ("they're still fruit flies"). Therefore evolution as a whole is disproven.

What you're ignoring are the following facts:

1. None of the experiments were expected to demonstrate evolution at a level far above the species level, as your strawman argument has it. That is not something that the theory of evolution would predict, nor is it compatible with modern biology. You can draw your own conclusions about the state of knowledge of someone who makes such an argument in public.

2. Some of the experiments do demonstrate speciation, which is evolution at the species level, i.e. the generation of new species.

3. Creationists accept micro-evolution - i.e. evolution within a species, not speciation. Even the experiments demonstrating speciation in fruit flies are a problem for creationism, as they demonstrate something beyond micro-evolution.

Funny how those dictionary definitions of speciation and micro-evolution don't seem to sink in with you, given your insistence on dictionary definitions...

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"I guess Darwinists, who will not accept the dictionary definition of either naturalism or information, now have no concept of the lie."

Re. naturalism, you seem terminally incapable of understanding the distinction between "methodological naturalism" and "metaphysical naturalism". Adjectival qualifiers exist for a reason.

As for the dictionary definition of information, you still haven't found one that can back up your claims about information loss. You've already "admitted" that information can not be quantified, and so your claims about information loss are toast. Oh well.

You want to know the real irony of this? There is a dictionary definition of information that is relevant to the quantification of information. Somehow you've managed to overlook it.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Creeper, you wrote: "It's funny how you now want to co-opt speciation (evolution at the species level) and even deny that it is part of the theory of evolution."

Well, he hasn't really got a choice. Creationists used to say "speciation doesn't happen." But there are now so many documented cases of speciation that disproving creationism on this point is trivial. So they had to either change the claim or become objects of obvious ridicule. They tried to do it by redefining speciation as "variance within a kind," but that's so obviously a case of goalpost translocation that I'd like to think few people really buy it.

Anonymous said...

Jon,

I don't think becoming an object of obvious ridicule has ever been much of an issue for YECs, since they simply squeal "censorship! conspiracy! immoral atheists!" when the blindingly obvious factual and logical inconsistencies in their notions are pointed out to them.

The problem with co-opting speciation though (and I'm not sure if Radar actually realizes the implications of this, as he appears thoroughly confused about the distinction between micro-evolution and speciation) is that it scuttles the whole baramin/kind issue. Creationists claim that the Linnaean taxology should be reduced, Newspeak-style, to mere "kinds", which become defined very closely to the definition of biological species, i.e. reproductive isolation, the boundaries between species being defined as the ability to not breed together. IIRC, there was some Bible verse that supported this definition.

But if creationists take speciation on board, then that means a breach of a pretty major conceptual wall: it would mean that "kinds" can originate naturally.

Perhaps that is why no scientific definition of a "kind" or "baramin" is forthcoming from the creationists' camp: they may have realized that once they actually provide such a scientific definition, they will come to a conclusion that doesn't line up with their literal interpretation of the Bible, at which point they might have to reconsider their conclusions. Which is of course impossible for them, as their entire worldview depends on it. That's a lot to have at stake.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

If you read Radar's posts and copypasta about "baramins," they're being a little more sophisticated about it than that. What they've done is go back to the Linnaean definition of a species and recycle it as the definition of a kind. Not knowing anything about genetics or the fossil record, Linnaeus resorted to the Mark One Eyeball: he couldn't say exactly what a species was, but he knew one when he saw it. Likewise, creationists can't say just what a 'baramin' is, but they know one when they see it. Thus they claim that, for example, all cats are derived from one "cat baramin" -- 36 species in at least 7 different genera, all one "kind" descended from just one ancestral pair on the Ark. Likewise for dogs -- 8 species within Canis, and a variety of close relatives like the African hunting dog, dhole, and aardwolf, but all still belonging to the "dog baramin." I don't know if they consider foxes part of the "dog baramin" or not, but in any case their goal is to set up a taxonomy in which every animal so obviously belongs to one specific "kind", in appearance and physiology and genetics, that any notion of evolution between "kinds" is clearly absurd. They don't really care how badly they have to butcher conventional taxonomy in order to do that, as long as they get it done. If an entire order is one "kind," fine; if two species within the same genus are assigned to different "kinds," well, who cares as long as the basic concept is preserved?

The problem is, they can't do it, because Nature clearly won't let them. There are just too many counterexamples. I have no doubt that Radar would call dog and bear different kinds, yet a bear with mange looks more like a monstrously deformed dog than it looks like a properly furred bear. No one would call a marten and a grizzly the same 'kind,' yet the largest member of the weasel clan, the wolverine, looks so much like a small bear that one of its common names is "skunk bear." There are numerous other examples, especially in birds, and the more we learn about genetics, the more examples we find.

Anonymous said...

Jon, you're being awfully kind and generous when you call the "I know them when I see them" principle sophisticated - though of course if it's the PR strategy they're pursuing, it's clever to an extent, even if it is utterly unscientific. When the facts don't work in your favor and you have to trash Linnaeus's work (a fellow Christian, as Radar never tires of pointing out to us), then you've got to do what you can to keep fooling the masses.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Jon, you're being awfully kind and generous when you call the "I know them when I see them" principle sophisticated

Well yeah, I suppose I am ... but compared to the old stance of "kind = species," it is.

Anonymous said...

Radar. I am disappointed. Like their 363,000 evolution comrades, your critics are bereft of any science. All they seem capable of contributing are kindergarten insults and name-calling. Pity. Let me know if any of them convert to science.

Godspeed,
Joseph Mastropaolo

Chaos Engineer said...

About HOX genes: Fruit flies have a lot of different appendages and they're all highly specialized. If you fool around with the HOX genes that control appendages, then a mandible might get replaced by a leg or an antenna and the poor fly won't be able to eat. It's probably impossible to get a beneficial HOX mutation in something that's as advanced as a fruit fly.

If we want to see beneficial HOX mutations, we'd need to study much simpler animals, like maybe segmented worms. I can see how they could get mutations that would cause the very first pair of leg-like bumps to start acting in a mandible-like or antenna-like kind of way.

We could probably see this in the lab. If humanity-as-a-species decided to take all the money we're wasting on wars, and we used it to fund a project to speed up segmented-worm evolution, then I think we could evolve a pair of mandibles or antennae in 10,000 years, maybe 20,000 at the outside.

HOX genes are pretty interesting. Dr. Myers over at Pharyngula can go on for pages and pages about them, and he gets so excited that he can't even remember to insult Creationists in the process. Here's an intro article, The HOX code.

What a shame that you can overlook the wondrousness of HOX genes and just see them as another club to beat Evolution with. Are you like this all the time? I bet you're a lot of fun at parties. ("That lamp isn't evidence for Evolution! This cocktail isn't evidence for Evolution! Etc!")

highboy said...

"Like their 363,000 evolution comrades, your critics are bereft of any science"

There are only 363,000 evolutionists? WTF?

radar said...

Calling names but no evidence, still.

The idea of Myers being excited about HOX is funny/and wow yes let's spend BILLIONS of dollars to see if we can get worms to evolve? I thought you people believed evolution just happens? Shouldn't we have noticed it by now?

Again, your strawman about speciation is just plain stupid. Creationists not only explain how speciation works but we also have a concept called "baraminology" in which we continue the work of Linnaeus rather than trash it. Creationists are putting together a tree of life based on best evidence rather than much of the appearance-based nonsense that has gone on.

radar said...

"It's probably impossible to get a beneficial HOX mutation in something that's as advanced as a fruit fly."

Now that is funny. Pay attention, kiddies, these guys are now apologizing for being unable to evolve bacteria and fruit flies in labs even giving them lots of HELP and yet they think the millions of different types of organisms that all would require billions of statistically impossible mutation-driven advances to exist just happened with no cause.

If evolution/Darwinism is not an hypothesis then it ain't anything. It does not meet the standards of a theory and most certainly not a law. It may best be characterized as a supposition, albeit largely a falsified one. Might as well believe that Frankenstein did give live to a bunch of sewn-together corpses.

Saying natural selection is a cause or a force is like saying that a car is powered by driving down the road.

Saying mutations drive evolution is like saying your latest home improvement project is a few sticks of dynamite and a sledgehammer.

Saying Darwinism is science is like saying astrology is science, or that Scientology is a science. Perhaps if we gave fruit flies a dianetic engram they could evolve then?

Jon Woolf said...

"Creationists are putting together a tree of life based on best evidence rather than much of the appearance-based nonsense that has gone on."

ROTFLMAO

[wiping tears from eyes]

Never let it be said that creationists can't be funny!

Radar, the "appearances" used by conventional taxonomy -- similarities of physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, genes -- are the best evidence we have available. And that evidence says "evolution." Five by five.

radar said...

"Jon Woolf said...

"Creationists are putting together a tree of life based on best evidence rather than much of the appearance-based nonsense that has gone on."

ROTFLMAO

[wiping tears from eyes]

Never let it be said that creationists can't be funny!

Radar, the "appearances" used by conventional taxonomy -- similarities of physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, genes -- are the best evidence we have available. And that evidence says "evolution." Five by five."

Funny how you have no evidence of that, so your laughter should be pointed at yourself.

Kinds or baramin are determined first by the ability to mate directly or by being able to mate with a third party of the kind. Genetics is useful to help determine this although direct observation is also used. Anatomy is a bit less helpful as there tends to be a common template in place, not unusual with a common Designer. Conventional taxonomy is broken by the intrusion of Darwinist balderdash.

Again, kids, notice that Woolf has no evidence. It is as if I have asked him what the square root of 144 might be and he answers, "arithmetic." Then he slaps hands with his fellow true believers.

radar said...

Just for laughs, I am going to post an article on the exact same subject from both a secular science site and a creationist science site. We shall compare and contrast accordingly. Wait until you look at the differences and understand the constant drumbeat of unsubstantiated propaganda that Darwinist Paradigm Priests provide with every offering. Kind of like the natives beating the drums for King Kong. However, in real life there is no King Kong, nor is there Chance, the Evolution Fairy.

Anonymous said...

"Calling names but no evidence, still."

Nonsense, you're still running away from the evidence. What you call name-calling is not a substitute for an argument - we usually conclude that the lack of knowledge that some of your statements and those of other creationists display indicates, well, poor knowledge of the subject you attempt to critique. Pointing that out is not an ad hominem (as the argument in question itself can also be easily addressed), but a mere logical deduction.

"The idea of Myers being excited about HOX is funny/and wow yes let's spend BILLIONS of dollars to see if we can get worms to evolve?"

Erm, who do you think is spending BILLIONS of dollars to see if we can get worms to evolve?

Pure BS.

"I thought you people believed evolution just happens? Shouldn't we have noticed it by now?"

It does "just happen".

We have noticed it.

You're just in denial about that, for obvious religious reasons.

"Again, your strawman about speciation is just plain stupid."

What strawman would that be?

"Creationists not only explain how speciation works but we also have a concept called "baraminology" in which we continue the work of Linnaeus rather than trash it."

IIRC, you're aiming to trash most of Linnaeus's work, seeing as he and his successors spent years of research examining similarities in, as Jon pointed out, physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, genes. What exactly are creationists hoping to add to that, and what do you think they need to take away?

It's an attempt to destroy knowledge, pure and simple. Newspeak-style.

"Creationists are putting together a tree of life based on best evidence rather than much of the appearance-based nonsense that has gone on."

What evidence other than "appearance-based" did you have in mind? Keep in mind that mainstream science combines anatomical and genetic evidence. What ingredient do you think creationsts are hoping to add to that... and what do you think they'll aim to take away?

"Pay attention, kiddies, these guys are now apologizing for being unable to evolve bacteria and fruit flies in labs even giving them lots of HELP"

Nonsense. Nobody's apologizing because the claim that bacteria and fruit flies did not speciate in labs is a simple and brazen lie, as creationists often end up doing when cornered on this subject. They're hoping to muddle the issue by claiming that the theory of evolution is only the part of evolution that creationists haven't been forced to co-opt yet. Not just that, but Radar and his ilk have made up their own definition of speciation, contrary to dictionary definitions, and are hoping that uneducated readers will fall for this.

"and yet they think the millions of different types of organisms that all would require billions of statistically impossible mutation-driven advances to exist just happened with no cause. "

The billions of mutations each unto themselves are far from statistically impossible. On the contrary, that's what makes it possible, the fact that there are lots of little mutations, the odds of every one of which are far from insurmountable. You showed inklings of comprehending this point in a recent comment of yours, the one by your sockpuppet "regmend" Maybe your sockpuppet is smarter than you.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

If evolution/Darwinism is not an hypothesis then it ain't anything."

It's a good thing it's not a hypothesis then. It's a scientific theory. Look it up in Wikipedia.

"It does not meet the standards of a theory and most certainly not a law."

Seeing as a theory requires that testable, falsifiable predictions are made and those predictions are confirmed, as for example demonstrated in abundance here, of course the theory passes with flying colors. If all you have in response is an ad hominem argument, then you've long conceded the issue.

"It may best be characterized as a supposition, albeit largely a falsified one."

Then name a falsification. So far you've only come up with strawman arguments, like your laughable bacteria evolution assertion. The only way you can falsify the theory of evolution is by completely misrepresenting it.

"Might as well believe that Frankenstein did give live to a bunch of sewn-together corpses."

Now now, that would be creationism, not evolution.

"Saying natural selection is a cause or a force is like saying that a car is powered by driving down the road."

Which is why modern science does not claim that natural selection is a "cause" or a "force". Here right off the bat we have a perfect example: in order to make an argument against the theory of evolution, you promptly have to use a strawman argument, i.e. pretend that the theory says something it simply does not say.

"Saying mutations drive evolution is like saying your latest home improvement project is a few sticks of dynamite and a sledgehammer."

Actually it isn't. And the argument isn't that mutations drive evolution, it's mutations plus natural selection drive evolution, and even that's not the complete picture.

"Saying Darwinism is science is like saying astrology is science, or that Scientology is a science."

Saying "Darwinism" is anything is just engaging in mindless propaganda. Define "Darwinism" or use more concrete, specific terms like "the theory of evolution" or "metaphysical naturalism" or whatever it is you happen to mean in the particular sentence you happen to be constructing.

"Perhaps if we gave fruit flies a dianetic engram they could evolve then?"

No need, they've been evolving just fine.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

So what's with the asterisk beside this Brian Thomas' M.S. in the byline of the article?

"by Brian Thomas, M.S. *"?!?

Because at the end of the article all it says is,

"* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research." - I mean, is it a Masters of Science or isn't it?

Hmmm... Where have I heard about this "Institute for Creation Research" recently? - Google, Google, Google... Found it! Say, that asterisk wouldn't have anything to do with this embarrassing little tidbit, now would it?

http://ncse.com/news/2010/06/legal-defeat-icr-005583


- Canucklehead.

P.S. - Hey Dr. J, if you're still lurking, this little defeat really doesn't do too much for your claim that YEC is actual verifiable science now does it? Whatever, this judge probably reads Rolling Stone, so he's obviously unqualified, hey Radar?

Jon Woolf said...

Hey, Radar, how many different kinds of whiptail lizard are there?

Anonymous said...

"Funny how you have no evidence of that, so your laughter should be pointed at yourself."

You're the one running away from the evidence that was presented to you with nothing but an ad hominem to show for it, so I'm afraid the laughter you're hearing is solidly aimed at you.

"Kinds or baramin are determined first by the ability to mate directly or by being able to mate with a third party of the kind. Genetics is useful to help determine this although direct observation is also used."

So you've arrived at the biological definition of species then. So far you're trailing behind Linnaeus.

What knowledge are you hoping to add...?

... and what knowledge are you determined to take away?

Golly, I hope y'all aren't spending BILLIONS on this.

Not only have you arrived at the species level, but you're not willing to hear about any groupings above that, based as they are on centuries of scientific research including by many Christians - that's all stuff you guys want to remove. So that's a lot of scientific knowledge that is due for a good book-burnin'.

"Anatomy is a bit less helpful as there tends to be a common template in place, not unusual with a common Designer."

That's using a bit of a broad brush.

But now you're positing a Designer with a "common template". Yet I'll bet when presented with evidence of, say, convergent evolution, you'll change your tune and claim that different ways of solving the same problem is really the hallmark of this hypothetical designer.

That's the kind of trouble you get into when you start with the conclusion in mind instead of proceeding from the evidence outwards.

"Conventional taxonomy is broken by the intrusion of Darwinist balderdash."

Nonsense, conventional taxonomy was created by Linnaeus, a Christian, long before Darwin was born. Yet another lie.

"Again, kids, notice that Woolf has no evidence. It is as if I have asked him what the square root of 144 might be and he answers, "arithmetic." Then he slaps hands with his fellow true believers."

And yet another lie. This is getting pretty monotonous. Jon has presented you with no shortage of evidence on just about every subject you've posted in the last six months or so, and you've failed to address any of it. The only one slapping hands with fellow true believers without any substance is you - witness your recent genuflection post to Hawkeye.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

"Again, your strawman about speciation is just plain stupid."

Did you mean those strawman dictionary definitions?

spe·ci·a·tion   [spee-shee-ey-shuhn, -see-ey-]
–noun Biology .
the formation of new species as a result of geographic, physiological, anatomical, or behavioral factors that prevent previously interbreeding populations from breeding with each other.

mi·cro·evo·lu·tion definition
: comparatively minor evolutionary change involving the accumulation of variations in populations usually below the species level

Ah, those "plain stupid" dictionary definitions...