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Evolution should be a big issue in DDO

NothingSpecial99
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12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Hello guys, I'm here to propose that the evolution/creation issue should be a big issue stated in DDO. I'll make my case below.

Darwin's theory of evolution has been a subject of controversy since its inception with equally vigorous people arguing on both sides. Looking at the various polls and forums on DDO show that it is an issue people are divided about. The most popular creation/evolution poll on DDO has more votes than other Big Issues related polls like abortion if you compare the links below.

Evolution/creation poll
http://www.debate.org...

Abortion poll
http://www.debate.org...

There is a science related big issue on DDO which is whether global warming exists or not.

At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

In society, there is controversy on whether or not intelligent design should be allowed to be taught in schools.

I believe that the amount of controversy surrounding this topic is enough to suffice as to count as a big issue on DDO

What do you guys think?
"Check your facts, not your privilege" - Christina Hoff Summers

If you go to jail for Tax Evasion, you're living off of Taxes as a result of not paying Taxes

"Facts don't care about your feelings" - Ben Shapiro
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,589
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12/17/2015 7:45:42 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
Hello guys, I'm here to propose that the evolution/creation issue should be a big issue stated in DDO. I'll make my case below.

Darwin's theory of evolution has been a subject of controversy since its inception with equally vigorous people arguing on both sides. Looking at the various polls and forums on DDO show that it is an issue people are divided about. The most popular creation/evolution poll on DDO has more votes than other Big Issues related polls like abortion if you compare the links below.

Evolution/creation poll
http://www.debate.org...

Abortion poll
http://www.debate.org...

There is a science related big issue on DDO which is whether global warming exists or not.

At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

In society, there is controversy on whether or not intelligent design should be allowed to be taught in schools.

I believe that the amount of controversy surrounding this topic is enough to suffice as to count as a big issue on DDO

What do you guys think?

One question what does "DDO" mean?

Harry.
NothingSpecial99
Posts: 378
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12/17/2015 9:22:48 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 7:45:42 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
Hello guys, I'm here to propose that the evolution/creation issue should be a big issue stated in DDO. I'll make my case below.

Darwin's theory of evolution has been a subject of controversy since its inception with equally vigorous people arguing on both sides. Looking at the various polls and forums on DDO show that it is an issue people are divided about. The most popular creation/evolution poll on DDO has more votes than other Big Issues related polls like abortion if you compare the links below.

Evolution/creation poll
http://www.debate.org...

Abortion poll
http://www.debate.org...

There is a science related big issue on DDO which is whether global warming exists or not.

At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

In society, there is controversy on whether or not intelligent design should be allowed to be taught in schools.

I believe that the amount of controversy surrounding this topic is enough to suffice as to count as a big issue on DDO

What do you guys think?

One question what does "DDO" mean?

Harry.

DDO means debate.org
"Check your facts, not your privilege" - Christina Hoff Summers

If you go to jail for Tax Evasion, you're living off of Taxes as a result of not paying Taxes

"Facts don't care about your feelings" - Ben Shapiro
SM2
Posts: 546
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12/17/2015 9:52:38 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Just because it is an issue doesn't mean it should be. Evolution has been proved beyond reasonable doubt; creationists are either misinformed or dishonest. What we SHOULD be debating is how to improve the education standards in this country, as well as the future of religion in an increasingly science-based society.
RuvDraba
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12/17/2015 10:44:03 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

The common origin of species isn't scientifically controversial, as it's proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Likewise, the identified mechanisms for evolution aren't controversial either. Any residual scientific exploration resides with the terrestrial origins of life, sources of mutation, and rate of speciation.

If there's no scientific controversy about evolution, then it can't be taught as a scientific controversy in schools, so that's not a big issue.

Neither should pseudoscience like Intelligent Design be taught as science in schools, and there's no scientific controversy about that either, so that's also not a big issue.

But a big issue revolves around the intellectual accountability of religious dogma, the professional accountability of clergy, and the social accountability of religious lobbying and promotions.

It's a big issue because of how profoundly it can affect secular democracies like the US in every respect from legislation through to justice, human rights, and national symbols. And it's a big issue because the radicalisation toward religious nationalism of the vulnerable (not just Muslims) is protected under intellectual freedoms, yet not made ethically or socially accountable in secular pluralism.

Hence it's able to confect controversies like Intelligent Design, promote militancy like Islamicism, undermine justice, confuse the social discourse, divide societies, and destabilise peace.

While it's worse in some secular democracies than others, these days it's active everywhere, so it's a shared and foundational issue.
NothingSpecial99
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12/17/2015 11:09:37 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Isn't global warming seen as also scientifically not controversial yet it is part of the Big Issues.
"Check your facts, not your privilege" - Christina Hoff Summers

If you go to jail for Tax Evasion, you're living off of Taxes as a result of not paying Taxes

"Facts don't care about your feelings" - Ben Shapiro
RuvDraba
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12/18/2015 3:20:37 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 11:09:37 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
Isn't global warming seen as also scientifically not controversial yet it is part of the Big Issues.
There are three big issues about global warming:

1) What to do about it;
2) How to do it efficiently, equitably, effectively and accountably; and
3) How to build consensus on that.

Denial isn't a legitimate part of the big Anthropogenic Climate Change issues. It's an orchestrated political distraction meant to paralyse thinking and delay consensus-building. Although the groups who benefit most from such distractions are key industrial sectors (mainly the traditional energy sector and some primary manufacturing), it has also tapped into antimodern, antisecular, antiscientific sentiment from Christian nationalists, and some selfish populism from mouth-breathing beermat-thumpers addicted to cheap energy and consumerist escapism.

Both those groups are ratbags, and will lap up as much attention as they are given without having a single constructive thought to offer.

The real issues are ones that can actually be discussed, progressed and resolved. And that's not 'if' but 'what', and 'how'.
Dirty.Harry
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12/19/2015 3:50:37 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 9:52:38 PM, SM2 wrote:
Just because it is an issue doesn't mean it should be. Evolution has been proved beyond reasonable doubt; creationists are either misinformed or dishonest. What we SHOULD be debating is how to improve the education standards in this country, as well as the future of religion in an increasingly science-based society.

But that's his point it has not been "proved" (that itself is an unscientific and hugely sweeping extrapolation). Nor is it valid to presume ALL opponents are misinformed of liars - how can you possibly prove such a claim?

The very fact that you make claims about science that are themselves abysmally unsound is one very good reason to create such a dedicated thread.

I vote YES

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/19/2015 4:03:47 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 10:44:03 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

The common origin of species isn't scientifically controversial, as it's proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Likewise, the identified mechanisms for evolution aren't controversial either. Any residual scientific exploration resides with the terrestrial origins of life, sources of mutation, and rate of speciation.


What is the test for proving some claim "non controversial"? how can you demonstrate it is not controversial?

If there's no scientific controversy about evolution, then it can't be taught as a scientific controversy in schools, so that's not a big issue.


What harm would it do to allow experts to challenge the the theory and its assumptions in the classroom? Is it harmful for children to be subject to controversy? Isn't the history if science littered with controversy? did it do harm or good?

Neither should pseudoscience like Intelligent Design be taught as science in schools, and there's no scientific controversy about that either, so that's also not a big issue.

But the hypothesis that the universe might have been designed is a reasonable hypothesis, who are you to restrict what students can and cannot discuss? The hypothesis that the earth rotates the sun was once controversial, and discussion banned, yet it was reasonable it can be conceived of as a possibility.

Real tripe and baloney will eventually fade naturally, we don't need thought police to dictate what can and can't be contemplated and discussed by educated students of science, that belongs in the dark ages.

But a big issue revolves around the intellectual accountability of religious dogma, the professional accountability of clergy, and the social accountability of religious lobbying and promotions.

It's a big issue because of how profoundly it can affect secular democracies like the US in every respect from legislation through to justice, human rights, and national symbols. And it's a big issue because the radicalisation toward religious nationalism of the vulnerable (not just Muslims) is protected under intellectual freedoms, yet not made ethically or socially accountable in secular pluralism.

Hence it's able to confect controversies like Intelligent Design, promote militancy like Islamicism, undermine justice, confuse the social discourse, divide societies, and destabilise peace.

While it's worse in some secular democracies than others, these days it's active everywhere, so it's a shared and foundational issue.

"Confuse the social discourse" once again you want to dictate what people can discuss and expolore, you seek to restrict discourse to material that reinforces the established dogma - for a critic if organized religion you have a great deal in common with the Catholic church's policies from the middle ages.

Harry.
NewLifeChristian
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12/19/2015 4:08:55 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
Hello guys, I'm here to propose that the evolution/creation issue should be a big issue stated in DDO. I'll make my case below.

Darwin's theory of evolution has been a subject of controversy since its inception with equally vigorous people arguing on both sides. Looking at the various polls and forums on DDO show that it is an issue people are divided about. The most popular creation/evolution poll on DDO has more votes than other Big Issues related polls like abortion if you compare the links below.

Evolution/creation poll
http://www.debate.org...

Abortion poll
http://www.debate.org...

There is a science related big issue on DDO which is whether global warming exists or not.

At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

In society, there is controversy on whether or not intelligent design should be allowed to be taught in schools.

I believe that the amount of controversy surrounding this topic is enough to suffice as to count as a big issue on DDO

What do you guys think?
I fully agree.
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RuvDraba
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12/19/2015 6:07:46 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/19/2015 4:03:47 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/17/2015 10:44:03 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.
The common origin of species isn't scientifically controversial, as it's proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Likewise, the identified mechanisms for evolution aren't controversial either. Any residual scientific exploration resides with the terrestrial origins of life, sources of mutation, and rate of speciation.
What is the test for proving some claim "non controversial"? how can you demonstrate it is not controversial?

Science proceeds by disagreement, and as it advances, disagreement is recorded in science journals. But scientific disagreement doesn't work like (say) political disagreement, where politicians appeal to rhetoric, ad-hominems and popular opinion; or legal disagreement where lengthy precedent-based reasoning is evaluated by a panel of senior jurists.

Paradoxically, science doesn't much care about scientific opinion; it's much more concerned about the scope, accuracy and robustness of scientific practice. So the way a scientific disagreement typically proceeds is that there'll be two or more competing conjectures, some discussion over how to test and falsify them, at which point they'll be converted to hypotheses, scientists will work years to construct experiments or observational tools to explore these hypotheses, then the data will begin to flow in and conjectures will be discarded. Likewise, when scientists are concerned about a particular methodology, they'll critique it and often use data to show that the methodology isn't as accurate or as robust as it needs to be, and then new techniques will be explored, new data will roll in and so on.

So a scientist familiar with a field can easily get a sense of the level of agreement or disagreement on a question by surveying recent peer-reviewed literature. Today, every biologist reading the literature knows not only how evolution works for their area of interest (say, the biological history of mud-crabs), but how well it's working for pest control in apple orchards, or the epidemiology of the SARS virus. If there were a problem with the fundamentals of evolution in any aspect of biology, tens of thousands of research biologists currently working today would know about that within time-frames that used to be around 1-3 years (the typical publication cycles of major journals), but which has become much faster now, due to the Internet.

If there's no scientific controversy about evolution, then it can't be taught as a scientific controversy in schools, so that's not a big issue.
What harm would it do to allow experts to challenge the the theory and its assumptions in the classroom?
None, but there are no remaining scientific challenges to the fundamentals of evolution. The only questions are around the margins. I'll explain what I mean by that.

As I'm sure you're aware, science resolves disagreement by falsification, and scientific rigour demands diligent attempts to falsify every conjecture and theory. However, that applies not just to accepted theories, but counter-theories too. As data are accumulated, accepted theories pass more tests, and the bar for counter-theory rises too, so the conjectures that can legitimately contest an accepted theory grow fewer the more tests a theory passes. And with all theories and counter-theories, once they're thrown out, they are extinguished, and never resurrected.

Scientists have been hunting diligently for observations to falsify evolution for about 150 years, and that work hasn't just validated evolution -- it has forever extinguished countless counter-theories, including non-evolutionary theories, and alternative evolutionary theories.

In that time there have also been huge advances in genetics and biochemistry, to the point where evidence is no longer drawn from just interpolating fossil records and studying the beaks of finches. Scientists can now inspect the DNA sequences of nucleii and mitochondria in pretty much every species catalogued on earth, and work out which sequences correlate with what features.

DNA sequences don't just reflect what traits a species have -- they also reflect which species are related genetically to which other species, in the sense that if two species with a spine have different DNA for spinal development, then they are almost certainly unrelated, while if they have similar or identical DNA for spinal development, they are more likely to be related. So science has been able to establish that universally, different species with the same features have homologous proteins for that feature -- i.e. DNA structure can be accurately predicted by the features a species has.

That's an extraordinary result, because if species developed independently, their DNA should tend to being analogous, not homologous. So the odds against common ancestry on earth are now astronomically low. Thus, any theory seeking to topple evolution needs to account for homologous DNA, among other things.

Despite best efforts for over a century, there are now no competing scientific conjectures for evolution. The only conjectures being advanced are non-scientific in that they're either not falsifiable, or ignore their responsibilities to the full spectrum of evidence, or both. So any controversy is confected.

Neither should pseudoscience like Intelligent Design be taught as science in schools, and there's no scientific controversy about that either, so that's also not a big issue.
But the hypothesis that the universe might have been designed is a reasonable hypothesis
No, this is a fundamental misunderstanding about science. Not every conjecture is an hypothesis, and not every conjecture is scientific.

To be scientific, a conjecture must explain everything observed, tie itself to best-practice methodology, at least sketch mechanisms for how things happened, and set out criteria by which the conjecture can be falsified, and thus demonstrate a path toward falsifiable hypothesis.

The conjecture of a designed universe is a legitimate philosophical conjecture, but by itself isn't a scientific hypothesis. The people advancing this conjecture are generally not scientists, and none are adhering to best scientific practice. Instead, they're trusting that the general public (their target audience) doesn't know or care what best (or even good) scientific practice is.

Essentially, they're appealing to ignorance.

The radicalisation toward religious nationalism of the vulnerable (not just Muslims) is protected under intellectual freedoms, yet not made ethically or socially accountable in secular pluralism.
Hence it's able to confect controversies like Intelligent Design, promote militancy like Islamicism, undermine justice, confuse the social discourse, divide societies, and destabilise peace.
"Confuse the social discourse" once again you want to dictate what people can discuss and expolore, you seek to restrict discourse to material that reinforces the established dogma - for a critic if organized religion you have a great deal in common with the Catholic church's policies from the middle ages.

No. I'm saying two things:

1) science has a right as a profession to say what best scientific practice is, the public obligation to explain why it's best practice, and the additional professional obligation to reject and denounce as pseudoscience, unprofessional and unethical anything that doesn't meet that standard of practice;
2) the public has a right to say that self-styled authorities shouldn't lie to them.

Which of those statements do you oppose?
RainbowDash52
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12/20/2015 4:26:59 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/19/2015 6:07:46 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Scientists have been hunting diligently for observations to falsify evolution for about 150 years, and that work hasn't just validated evolution -- it has forever extinguished countless counter-theories, including non-evolutionary theories, and alternative evolutionary theories.
Can you tell me when the last time government sponsored research on disproving evolution?
DanneJeRusse
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12/20/2015 6:06:24 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/19/2015 4:03:47 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/17/2015 10:44:03 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

The common origin of species isn't scientifically controversial, as it's proven beyond all reasonable doubt. Likewise, the identified mechanisms for evolution aren't controversial either. Any residual scientific exploration resides with the terrestrial origins of life, sources of mutation, and rate of speciation.


What is the test for proving some claim "non controversial"? how can you demonstrate it is not controversial?

An education into the subject matter would easily reveal that answer for you.


If there's no scientific controversy about evolution, then it can't be taught as a scientific controversy in schools, so that's not a big issue.


What harm would it do to allow experts to challenge the the theory and its assumptions in the classroom?

There is nothing wrong with challenging the theory, that is not a problem.

Is it harmful for children to be subject to controversy?

The only controversy is how religion is destroying the minds of people, keeping them ignorant and deluded to the world around them.

Isn't the history if science littered with controversy?

No, it wasn't.

did it do harm or good?

Good for education, learning, understanding, knowledge...

Bad for religious dogma, ignorance, delusion...

Neither should pseudoscience like Intelligent Design be taught as science in schools, and there's no scientific controversy about that either, so that's also not a big issue.

But the hypothesis that the universe might have been designed is a reasonable hypothesis, who are you to restrict what students can and cannot discuss?

LOL. No, it isn't a reasonable hypothesis by definition.

The hypothesis that the earth rotates the sun was once controversial, and discussion banned, yet it was reasonable it can be conceived of as a possibility.

Strawman.

Real tripe and baloney will eventually fade naturally, we don't need thought police to dictate what can and can't be contemplated and discussed by educated students of science, that belongs in the dark ages.

So, does Creationism, which has nothing to do with science.

But a big issue revolves around the intellectual accountability of religious dogma, the professional accountability of clergy, and the social accountability of religious lobbying and promotions.

It's a big issue because of how profoundly it can affect secular democracies like the US in every respect from legislation through to justice, human rights, and national symbols. And it's a big issue because the radicalisation toward religious nationalism of the vulnerable (not just Muslims) is protected under intellectual freedoms, yet not made ethically or socially accountable in secular pluralism.

Hence it's able to confect controversies like Intelligent Design, promote militancy like Islamicism, undermine justice, confuse the social discourse, divide societies, and destabilise peace.

While it's worse in some secular democracies than others, these days it's active everywhere, so it's a shared and foundational issue.

"Confuse the social discourse" once again you want to dictate what people can discuss and expolore, you seek to restrict discourse to material that reinforces the established dogma - for a critic if organized religion you have a great deal in common with the Catholic church's policies from the middle ages.

Harry.
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RuvDraba
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12/20/2015 9:56:26 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/20/2015 4:26:59 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/19/2015 6:07:46 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Scientists have been hunting diligently for observations to falsify evolution for about 150 years, and that work hasn't just validated evolution -- it has forever extinguished countless counter-theories, including non-evolutionary theories, and alternative evolutionary theories.
Can you tell me when the last time government sponsored research on disproving evolution?

It's a reasonable question, Rainbow, unfortunately science doesn't work that way, and scientific funding preferably doesn't work that way. Let me pick up on two ideas: accountable, independent inquiry, and funding bias.

1. Accountable, Independent Inquiry
Critical to the advancement of robust science is accountable, independent inquiry: to make accountable explorations of independent questions, and follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Let's talk about accountability first.

Accountable means that you're accountable for the way you ask questions, the methods you use, the way you collect and analyse data, and the way you draw conclusions. Your accountability isn't to accepted theory, but to best-practice methods: that is, practical methods that can be shown to increase precision and reduce inaccuracy. So as a scientist, every step in the creative and analytic process, from the way you ask questions, to the way you form conjectures, develop hypotheses, design experiments or observations, compile data, analyse it and draw conclusions, is subject to the critique of your peers, on the understanding that if they can show you how to produce more precision and reduce inaccuracy in some practical way, then you are ethically and professionally obliged to do so: failing to do so is negligence or dishonesty, and that's are a big deal among scientists.

Essentially, if you are not willing to be accountable to that level of rigour, you are not a scientist, and what you produce is not science, no matter how much technology you use, or how many scientific-sounding words you invoke.

But within that framework of accountability you have total intellectual independence. If there's an open question (let's say, the origin of life on Earth), you are free to explore that question however you want -- as long as such exploration is scientifically accountable. Or if you think a closed question should be reopened, you can argue that -- but you can't simply use rhetoric. Your argument itself needs to be accountable to best-practice methods and the results they have produced.

That intellectual freedom produces a massive diversity of thought on almost any question: countless ideas for models and mechanisms are produced as scientists vie with one another for the best insight.

But science isn't philosophy, in that scientific differences are resolved by observation and experiment rather than perpetuated by rhetoric: existing data kill off the weak and invalid conjectures until only the best of the valid conjectures survive, and then new experiments and observations kill off the false ones, leaving only a few valid and viable conjectures. Over time, you're typically left with either one viable theory, or no viable theories but a lot of ontological and methodological questions.

In that context, Rainbow, the role of evolution in speciation is presently a closed question. That means that from a long process of diverse thought spanning centuries, it's the sole surviving theory successfully explaining species diversity, that there's no observation regarding species diversity refuting evolution, and nobody has a conjecture meeting scientific strictures of accountability, that offers to predict something new and testable which might augment or replace evolutionary theory.

And here I should point out something important: even if the question of speciation should be reopened by a new observation (say, the discovery of an ancient space-ship in pre-Cambrian rock) that would not make falsified theories become true. All it would do is make some invalid ideas become valid -- i.e, ideas dismissed because they weren't accountable enough to be explored, might now become accountable enough to be viewed as scientific ideas.

2. The Role of Funding Bias
I said above that accountable, independent inquiry is key to scientific advancement. The accountability keeps scientific ideas practical and rigorous, while independence keeps ideas fresh and diverse.

When funding is tied to political, industrial or ideological objectives, independence can be compromised, and sometimes accountability is too. It's very important to science over-all that pressures from funding bodies do not limit the kinds of questions that can be asked, much less damage accountability -- and that the only limit on those questions is the limit of scientific accountability itself.

So to answer the intent of your question, presently religious groups can and do privately fund scientists to research whatever questions they like. Bearing in mind that religious groups have funded universities and hospitals for centuries, this is nothing new, and science has been funded to do archaeology on ancient Biblical settlements, analyse religious artifacts, study canonical texts and documents, search for empirical evidence of spirit... all that is legitimate science.

The results produced by religiously-funded research need to be given the same sort of additional scrutiny typically seen when scrutinising industry-funded research, but subject to that scrutiny, the results are as legitimate as the results of government-funded science. So it is not the case that religious sensibilities are unrepresented in scientific research.

As to whether governments should reflect religious sensibilities in scientific funding, that's a jurisdictional matter. Secular democracies tend not to use public monies for religious purposes (although they do when religious majorities reward them with votes.) But ultimately, science is itself a secular enterprise. Any person of any faith may a scientist; they just have to adhere to accountable, secular methods.

3. Conclusions
Rainbow, you asked whether and when a government has spent money to try and overturn an accepted scientific result (you chose evolution), and my answer is that they generally shouldn't do that because it risks compromising the independence and accountability that makes science trusted and valuable.

Instead, I've argued, money should be spent on exploring valid scientific questions. In the case of speciation, presently there are no questions challenging evolution as a viable theory, but regardless, whatever questions there are, can legitimately be funded by government.

To address also the intent of your question -- the degree to which science addresses religious sensibilities as well as irreligious sensibilities -- religious groups have funded and run hospitals and universities for centuries, and so religion has always funded scientific inquiries. So whether governments fund science to pursue religious-related questions, religious institutions have certainly done so, and continue to do so, and some governments certainly do so too.

But the main point I hope you will take away is that independence and accountability are both critical for scientific integrity. I personally believe that any concerns regarding funding-related bias is not best addressed by providing funding counter-pressures. I believe science works at its best when political, commercial and ideological funding pressures are minimised, and accountability (to precision, accuracy and the public good) are optimised.

I hope that may be of use.
RainbowDash52
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12/21/2015 1:23:17 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/20/2015 9:56:26 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/20/2015 4:26:59 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/19/2015 6:07:46 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Scientists have been hunting diligently for observations to falsify evolution for about 150 years, and that work hasn't just validated evolution -- it has forever extinguished countless counter-theories, including non-evolutionary theories, and alternative evolutionary theories.
Can you tell me when the last time government sponsored research on disproving evolution?

It's a reasonable question, Rainbow, unfortunately science doesn't work that way, and scientific funding preferably doesn't work that way. Let me pick up on two ideas: accountable, independent inquiry, and funding bias...

I appreciate your response; I have a couple points to make though.

1.
Rainbow, you asked whether and when a government has spent money to try and overturn an accepted scientific result (you chose evolution), and my answer is that they generally shouldn't do that because it risks compromising the independence and accountability that makes science trusted and valuable.

You seam to contradict your previous post since before you stated scientists tried very hard to falsify evolution in the past 150 years, and now you say that good science shouldn't try to overturn already accepted ideas. Also if we never tried to overturn already accepted science, we would still have the geocentric model of the solar system. Also, even if we accept your idea that government shouldn't spend money on research which attempts to overturn accepted science, that doesn't account for a lack of research spending on evidence against evolution while evolution was still controversial among mainstream scientists.

2. Although a majority of the objections made about evolution may be from a religious viewpoint, not all non-evolutionists are religious just like not all evolutionists are non-religious; So I don't really see you had to make this about religious science vs secular science.
Maccabee
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12/21/2015 2:03:14 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
I'd vote for it. The science section is half filled with evolution threads and things related to it like Big Bang.
Scripture, facts, stats, and logic is how I argue

Evolutionism is a religion, not science

When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

"If guns are the cause of crimes then aren't matches the cause of arson?" D. Boys

"If the death penalty is government sanctioned killing then isn't inprisonment is government sanction kidnapping?" D. B

"Why do you trust the government with machine guns but not honest citizens?" D. B

All those who are pro-death (abortion) is already born
RuvDraba
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12/21/2015 3:30:11 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/21/2015 1:23:17 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/20/2015 9:56:26 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/20/2015 4:26:59 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/19/2015 6:07:46 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Scientists have been hunting diligently for observations to falsify evolution for about 150 years, and that work hasn't just validated evolution -- it has forever extinguished countless counter-theories, including non-evolutionary theories, and alternative evolutionary theories.
Can you tell me when the last time government sponsored research on disproving evolution?
It's a reasonable question, Rainbow, unfortunately science doesn't work that way, and scientific funding preferably doesn't work that way. Let me pick up on two ideas: accountable, independent inquiry, and funding bias...

I appreciate your response; I have a couple points to make though.
Rainbow, you asked whether and when a government has spent money to try and overturn an accepted scientific result (you chose evolution), and my answer is that they generally shouldn't do that because it risks compromising the independence and accountability that makes science trusted and valuable.
1. You seam to contradict your previous post since before you stated scientists tried very hard to falsify evolution in the past 150 years, and now you say that good science shouldn't try to overturn already accepted ideas.

I certainly said that scientists have tried very hard to falsify evolution. Here's the quote:
Scientists have been hunting diligently for observations to falsify evolution for about 150 years, and that work hasn't just validated evolution -- it has forever extinguished countless counter-theories, including non-evolutionary theories, and alternative evolutionary theories.
That's because scientist try hard to falsify every conjecture, but especially new ones. That's how science does quality-assurance.

However, I didn't say that validation and verification should stop, or that it should play favourites (I don't support either of these things.) Instead I tried to link three important points, but perhaps didn't do so clearly. Here they are, under explicit headings, with the quotes beneath.

1. There's presently no valid scientific alternative to evolution
evolution in speciation is presently a closed question. That means that from a long process of diverse thought spanning centuries, it's the sole surviving theory successfully explaining species diversity, there's no observation regarding species diversity refuting evolution, and nobody has a conjecture meeting scientific strictures of accountability, that offers to predict something new and testable which might augment or replace evolutionary theory.

2. Funding ideological outcomes compromises independence and integrity.
When funding is tied to political, industrial or ideological objectives, independence can be compromised, and sometimes accountability is too.

3. Religious groups can already fund science, and have done for centuries
Presently religious groups can and do privately fund scientists to research whatever questions they like. Bearing in mind that religious groups have funded universities and hospitals for centuries, this is nothing new

So in short, I don't believe it's necessary, desirable or in the professional or public interest to fund research specifically intended to 'overturn' evolution, especially not at the public expense. But that's not the same as funding the exploration of a valid, alternative scientific conjecture which if proven would replace evolution -- the latter would bother me not at all.

And moreover, I draw your attention to this further point:
even if the question of speciation should be reopened by a new observation, that would not make falsified theories become true. All it would do is make some invalid ideas become valid

So a valid but falsified conjecture -- like a young earth -- can never be true. However, a conjecture presently seen as invalid (e.g. that life evolved in consequence of a project) could become valid enough to explore scientifically if sufficient evidence were presented to validate that conjecture to the point where it should be tested.

even if we accept your idea that government shouldn't spend money on research which attempts to overturn accepted science, that doesn't account for a lack of research spending on evidence against evolution while evolution was still controversial among mainstream scientists.
Is this supposed lack of spend a conjecture, or have you verified it with independently-sourced and corroborated data?

I don't have data to hand on the history of science expenditure in the mid 19th century, but I'm familiar with the scientific activity of the day, and there was a lot of scientific activity both before and after The Origin of Species, investigating non-evolutionary origins. There was also hot scientific debate when The Origin of Species was published, and widespread social criticism of the monograph for more than fifty years.

Would you be interested in seeing some of the scientific debates that went on? One of the things they will reveal is the clergy's traditional domination of the 19th century scientific establishment. The Origin of Species did not at all get an easy ride into the scientific mainstream.

2. Although a majority of the objections made about evolution may be from a religious viewpoint, not all non-evolutionists are religious just like not all evolutionists are non-religious; So I don't really see you had to make this about religious science vs secular science.
You'd be very welcome to supply a paper contesting evolution from a reputable, peer-reviewed biological journal in the last forty years. But if you don't, then it's irrelevant who opposes evolution if they are not biologists.

Moreover, since the late 1990s, and not for the first time, there has been a major, religious-funded push to discredit evolution and cast the common origin of species as a mere conjecture, rather than what it is: a fully-verified scientific conclusion established beyond all reasonable doubt.

The evidence for this is abundant, and begins with a cynical document called the Wedge Document, penned in 1998, and which I link here: [http://ncse.com...].

This document clearly rejects the conclusions of biology not because they are false, but because it offends the authors' own dogma, and because they dislike what they perceive as the social implications of accepting it. It further goes on to set out a cynical strategy by which pseudoscientific controversy can be confected, scientific integrity can be discredited through misinformation, and religion can move into the intellectual vacuum created by popular confusion.

So there is very good reason to see the current, noisy, anti-evolution pseudocontroversy as originating from religiously ideological, pseudoscientific sources, and no evidence -- so far as I've ever seen -- to support attributing any of it to reputable biologists with a valid scientific alternative.

But again, if you've seen something I haven't, please supply the recent, peer-reviewed papers from respected biological journals.
RainbowDash52
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12/21/2015 6:18:42 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/21/2015 3:30:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:

So in short, I don't believe it's necessary, desirable or in the professional or public interest to fund research specifically intended to 'overturn' evolution, especially not at the public expense. But that's not the same as funding the exploration of a valid, alternative scientific conjecture which if proven would replace evolution -- the latter would bother me not at all.

Ok, that clears up my confusion. Thanks.

So a valid but falsified conjecture -- like a young earth -- can never be true

I"m not so sure; there has been debate over the reliability of dating methods. But yes, if reliable dating methods do show living organisms dating back more than 6000 years ago, then by doing that dating research would be an example of scientists searching for evidence that could have potentially disproven evolution but ended up falsifying one alternative explanation to evolution.

You'd be very welcome to supply a paper contesting evolution from a reputable, peer-reviewed biological journal in the last forty years. But if you don't, then it's irrelevant who opposes evolution if they are not biologists.

I don"t see why only biological scientists matter since biology is not the only science concerned with evolution.
RuvDraba
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12/21/2015 6:44:35 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/21/2015 6:18:42 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 3:30:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:

So in short, I don't believe it's necessary, desirable or in the professional or public interest to fund research specifically intended to 'overturn' evolution, especially not at the public expense. But that's not the same as funding the exploration of a valid, alternative scientific conjecture which if proven would replace evolution -- the latter would bother me not at all.

Ok, that clears up my confusion. Thanks.

So a valid but falsified conjecture -- like a young earth -- can never be true

I"m not so sure; there has been debate over the reliability of dating methods. But yes, if reliable dating methods do show living organisms dating back more than 6000 years ago, then by doing that dating research would be an example of scientists searching for evidence that could have potentially disproven evolution but ended up falsifying one alternative explanation to evolution.

You'd be very welcome to supply a paper contesting evolution from a reputable, peer-reviewed biological journal in the last forty years. But if you don't, then it's irrelevant who opposes evolution if they are not biologists.

I don"t see why only biological scientists matter since biology is not the only science concerned with evolution.

Evolution is a model for speciation. Biology is the discipline that holds and integrates the knowledge relevant to evolution, including knowledge imported from paleontology, geology, genetics, statistics, biochemistry and other related disciplines.

Wherever else it might be published, it's critical that any paper offering an alternative conjecture to evolution appears in a peer-reviewed biological journal, since failing to do so may evade competent peer review.

However, with that said, there are highly respected multidisciplinary journals such as Nature, which would also be a suitable vehicle if (for example), a geochemist had a concern about some evolutionary assumption.
RainbowDash52
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12/21/2015 3:46:44 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/21/2015 6:44:35 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/21/2015 6:18:42 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 3:30:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:

So in short, I don't believe it's necessary, desirable or in the professional or public interest to fund research specifically intended to 'overturn' evolution, especially not at the public expense. But that's not the same as funding the exploration of a valid, alternative scientific conjecture which if proven would replace evolution -- the latter would bother me not at all.

Ok, that clears up my confusion. Thanks.

So a valid but falsified conjecture -- like a young earth -- can never be true

I"m not so sure; there has been debate over the reliability of dating methods. But yes, if reliable dating methods do show living organisms dating back more than 6000 years ago, then by doing that dating research would be an example of scientists searching for evidence that could have potentially disproven evolution but ended up falsifying one alternative explanation to evolution.

You'd be very welcome to supply a paper contesting evolution from a reputable, peer-reviewed biological journal in the last forty years. But if you don't, then it's irrelevant who opposes evolution if they are not biologists.

I don"t see why only biological scientists matter since biology is not the only science concerned with evolution.

Evolution is a model for speciation.
evolution is about a lot more than just speciation.

Biology is the discipline that holds and integrates the knowledge relevant to evolution, including knowledge imported from paleontology, geology, genetics, statistics, biochemistry and other related disciplines.

Wherever else it might be published, it's critical that any paper offering an alternative conjecture to evolution appears in a peer-reviewed biological journal, since failing to do so may evade competent peer review.

However, with that said, there are highly respected multidisciplinary journals such as Nature, which would also be a suitable vehicle if (for example), a geochemist had a concern about some evolutionary assumption.

There are actually several peer reviewed articles supporting intelligent design spanning multiple areas of science including biology: http://www.discovery.org...
RuvDraba
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12/21/2015 7:19:01 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/21/2015 3:46:44 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 6:44:35 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/21/2015 6:18:42 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 3:30:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
You'd be very welcome to supply a paper contesting evolution from a reputable, peer-reviewed biological journal in the last forty years. But if you don't, then it's irrelevant who opposes evolution if they are not biologists.
I don"t see why only biological scientists matter since biology is not the only science concerned with evolution.
Evolution is a model for speciation.
evolution is about a lot more than just speciation.
Actually, Rainbow, that's precisely what it's about: whence originates the particular diversity of life we see, and why do we see abundant evidence of curious past species no longer present?

Consider the title of Darwin's monograph The Origin of Species. The mechanisms of speciation are evolution's primary focus.

Evolution is the scientifically accepted mechanism for speciation: it has been validated and verified meticulously by multiple life-science and related disciplines for over a century. It shows how the species we see today came from changes (mutations) to earlier species, that these changes all ultimately derive from a single species, and that the reason the differences are so profound, and that past species have disappeared, is contention for resources and survival over unthinkable amounts of time in a hostile and changing environment.

That's still an extraordinary result -- one of the most remarkable and profound in the history of science. When it was published, scientists had already conjectured mutation as a possible mechanism for changing species, but no scientist had conjectured common origins; many didn't accept it when the conjecture was first published, and it has taken huge effort over many generations -- not to mention the development of new scientific disciplines and technologies -- to validate and verify to the point of being beyond reasonable scientific doubt.

Like quantum mechanics, evolution still remains non-intuitive to many non-scientists. and confronting to people whose cultural traditions and sense of identity and importance demand them seeing themselves as different from the other animals on earth.

In addition to having implications for the origins of our own species, evolution also has practical applications for many life-science uses including medicine and epidemiology, pharmacology (especially the development of antibiotics and antiseptics), pest control, conservation of animals, plants and seedstocks, and the management of livestock, agricultural species and fisheries. There are numerous practical life-science applications that use evolution predictively and constructively every day.

Biology is the discipline that holds and integrates the knowledge relevant to evolution, including knowledge imported from paleontology, geology, genetics, statistics, biochemistry and other related disciplines.

Wherever else it might be published, it's critical that any paper offering an alternative conjecture to evolution appears in a peer-reviewed biological journal, since failing to do so may evade competent peer review.

However, with that said, there are highly respected multidisciplinary journals such as Nature, which would also be a suitable vehicle if (for example), a geochemist had a concern about some evolutionary assumption.

There are actually several peer reviewed articles supporting intelligent design spanning multiple areas of science including biology: http://www.discovery.org...

Because Intelligent Design's conception specifies a malignant and dishonest publicity strategy to misrepresent scientific credentials, misrepresent pseudoscience as peer-reviewed, and to present scientific non-results in peer-reviewed journals so as to seem to be making scientific advances, it is important not to use ID websites and blogsites alone when evaluating purportedly peer-reviewed evidence.

Unfortunately, it is also necessary to examine specific papers, what they are claiming, where they are published, and how they fit into the background of scientific work. This takes a bit of time per paper -- the authors are banking on most people being too busy, lazy or daunted to check -- so if you'd like to choose and cite two or three papers you believe capture the best, most current scientific advances in non-evolutionary theories of speciation, I will be happy to review those with you and discuss them.
UtherPenguin
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12/23/2015 5:45:56 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/17/2015 7:45:42 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/17/2015 6:49:33 PM, NothingSpecial99 wrote:
Hello guys, I'm here to propose that the evolution/creation issue should be a big issue stated in DDO. I'll make my case below.

Darwin's theory of evolution has been a subject of controversy since its inception with equally vigorous people arguing on both sides. Looking at the various polls and forums on DDO show that it is an issue people are divided about. The most popular creation/evolution poll on DDO has more votes than other Big Issues related polls like abortion if you compare the links below.

Evolution/creation poll
http://www.debate.org...

Abortion poll
http://www.debate.org...

There is a science related big issue on DDO which is whether global warming exists or not.

At least 75% of science forums are related to evolution. It is rather common to see a debate related to this topic in science, religion, and education categories.

In society, there is controversy on whether or not intelligent design should be allowed to be taught in schools.

I believe that the amount of controversy surrounding this topic is enough to suffice as to count as a big issue on DDO

What do you guys think?

One question what does "DDO" mean?

Harry.

Acronym for "Debate.org" , it gets thrown around quite a bit.
"Praise Allah."
~YYW
RainbowDash52
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12/25/2015 2:44:13 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/21/2015 7:19:01 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/21/2015 3:46:44 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 6:44:35 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Biology is the discipline that holds and integrates the knowledge relevant to evolution, including knowledge imported from paleontology, geology, genetics, statistics, biochemistry and other related disciplines.

Wherever else it might be published, it's critical that any paper offering an alternative conjecture to evolution appears in a peer-reviewed biological journal, since failing to do so may evade competent peer review.

However, with that said, there are highly respected multidisciplinary journals such as Nature, which would also be a suitable vehicle if (for example), a geochemist had a concern about some evolutionary assumption.

There are actually several peer reviewed articles supporting intelligent design spanning multiple areas of science including biology: http://www.discovery.org...

Because Intelligent Design's conception specifies a malignant and dishonest publicity strategy to misrepresent scientific credentials, misrepresent pseudoscience as peer-reviewed, and to present scientific non-results in peer-reviewed journals so as to seem to be making scientific advances, it is important not to use ID websites and blogsites alone when evaluating purportedly peer-reviewed evidence.

Unfortunately, it is also necessary to examine specific papers, what they are claiming, where they are published, and how they fit into the background of scientific work. This takes a bit of time per paper -- the authors are banking on most people being too busy, lazy or daunted to check -- so if you'd like to choose and cite two or three papers you believe capture the best, most current scientific advances in non-evolutionary theories of speciation, I will be happy to review those with you and discuss them.

sorry for waiting so long to respond, but I was busy.

The first paper I chose:
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu...
EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION, LOSS-OF-FUNCTION MUTATIONS, AND "THE FIRST RULE OF ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION"

"1) A "loss-of-FCT" adaptive mutation is a
mutation that leads to the effective loss of
the function of a specific, pre-existing,
coded element, while adapting an organism
to its environment. The loss of the
ability of a frame-shifted gene to produce a
functional product, of an altered promoter
to bind a transcription factor, or of a mutated
protein to bind its former ligand, are
examples of loss-of-FCT mutations."
"Conclusion
Adaptive evolution can cause a species to
gain, lose, or modify a function. Therefore, it
is of basic interest to determine whether any
of these modes dominates the evolutionary
process under particular circumstances. The
results of decades of experi-mental laboratory
evolution studies strongly suggest that,
at the molecular level, loss-of-FCT and diminishing
modification-of-function adaptive
mutations predominate. In retrospect, this
December 2010 441 EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION
conclusion is readily understandable from
our knowledge of the structure of genetic
systems, and is concisely summarized by the
first rule of adaptive evolution. Evolution has
myriad facets, and this one is worthy of some
notice."

So what this paper is saying is that a large majority of mutations result in a loss of functionality. Based on this information, it would be expected that over billions of years the species would evolve to have less functionality than their ancestors, since they would accumulate much more mutations that remove functionality than increase functionality. But under the theory of evolution from common descent, all complex lifeforms from today evolved from relatively simplistic single celled organisms. We wouldn't expect this result when loss of functionality mutations dominate.

2nd paper I chose:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues

"We conclude that, in general, to be fixed in 10^8 generations, the production of novel protein features that require the participation of two or more amino acid residues simply by multiple point mutations in duplicated genes would entail population sizes of no less than 10^9."

This paper is basically saying that mathematically speaking, evolution is too slow to account for the diversity of life we see today, even with billions of years.

note:
Although this may seem more against evolution than pro intelligent design, but process of elimination is a valid scientific tool, and since the only other alternative to evolution/intelligent design I am aware of is spontaneous generation, which has strong evidence against, then that means evidence against evolution would be evidence for intelligent design.

Also I remember reading other sources coming to similar conclusions about both: how there is a lack of beneficial mutations that add information, and about how evolutionary algorithms take exponentially long when more traits are being subject to mutations. So I don't think these results are very controversial.
RuvDraba
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12/25/2015 1:32:47 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/25/2015 2:44:13 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 7:19:01 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/21/2015 3:46:44 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
There are actually several peer reviewed articles supporting intelligent design spanning multiple areas of science including biology: http://www.discovery.org...
[...] It is important not to use ID websites and blogsites alone when evaluating purportedly peer-reviewed evidence.
Unfortunately, it is also necessary to examine specific papers, what they are claiming, where they are published, and how they fit into the background of scientific work. [...] if you'd like to choose and cite two or three papers you believe capture the best, most current scientific advances in non-evolutionary theories of speciation, I will be happy to review those with you and discuss them.
The first paper I chose:
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu...
EXPERIMENTAL EVOLUTION, LOSS-OF-FUNCTION MUTATIONS, AND "THE FIRST RULE OF ADAPTIVE EVOLUTION"
Okay, Rainbow. I've read the first paper through, and think I understand the gist. Here's what I make of it.

Publication & Authentication
The Quarterly Review of Biology is a reputable and long-running publication; it appears to have a peer-review process, and while I'm not a biologist, the methodology used in Behe's paper appears sound (which doesn't make it the best possible methodology, only a sound one) and his conclusions as published in this paper are modest and reasonable. In summary

Summary of Results
Behe has developed a simple classification system for adaptive mutations -- that is, mutations that produce fitness benefits for a species. His system is based not on gain, loss or alteration of protein alone, but gain, loss or modification of a piece of gene to change what it does. Behe then applies this classification system to reviews of laboratory evolution experiments in bacteria and viruses -- single-celled organisms -- and shows that on the scale of lab experiments, most often -- but not always -- these organisms gain fitness from either losing genetic function, or modifying existing function. He introduces what he calls the First Rule of Adaptive Evolution, which to summarise, says that if a species can adapt from losing or altering genetic function, it'll do that first.

Preliminary Assessment of Quality and Validity
Unless we find contrary evidence from biologists critiquing his methods or his conclusions or offering better data, I'm happy to accept his methods and conclusions as valid, if not necessarily complete. So to be clear, what I'm agreeing with is that at laboratory scales, cultures of bacteria and viruses exposed to adaptive pressures tend to adapt sooner by losing or modifying existing genetic function.

Scientific Impact
What does that mean for evolution over-all?

Behe doesn't make any suggestions in that paper, except to imply (indirectly) that this may also apply to larger populations, more complex organisms and the more diverse conditions in the wild.

But that's a conjecture; not an experiment or an observation. And note that Behe's paper doesn't contest:
1) Universal common ancestry;
2) That mutation does sometimes produce nett functional gain; or that
3) Nett functional gain can produce new features in a species

All he has done is pointed out that in lab experiments with viruses and single-celled organisms, there's a lot of adaptation through loss of genetic function and modification of function, and less through genetic gain (but not no genetic gain.)

You have interpreted this as:
So what this paper is saying is that a large majority of mutations result in a loss of functionality.
Yes, but what counts isn't the number of ways mutations can damage an individual; it's the number of ways to gain function compared to the number of breeding individuals in the population. And Behe doesn't know those data for complex organisms in large populations in the wild. He only has data for small populations of single-celled organisms in the lab. And biologists recognise that as organisms get more complex (with cell nuclei, and mitochondria, and sexual rather than asexual reproduction), and populations get bigger, and become immersed in populations of other organisms, the number of ways to gain genetic function can only increase.

So what does that mean for adaptation?

Well, it might mean that in the wild, some adaptive paths arise from loss of function, and some from modification of function, and that this occurs for simple and more complex organisms. That's uncontroversial, and I doubt we'd find a serious biologist to contest it.

But certainly, some adaptive paths cannot occur without gain of function. And Behe hasn't demonstrated that gain of function cannot occur -- in fact, he knows it can because he reported occurrences of mutative gains in his paper. All he's argued is that adaptation through loss of function might occur sooner because it's easier and more likely -- but that'll only be for some convenient adaptations, and not all of them.

Based on this information, it would be expected that over billions of years the species would evolve to have less functionality than their ancestors
No, he hasn't concluded that and you shouldn't either. All he's argued is that in the lab, losing or modifying genetic function happens more often in the adaptation of simple organisms than gaining it. He hasn't argued that a rare gain won't survive to become the norm, and can't show that gains are as rare for large populations of sexually-reproducing species in the wild as they have been for small populations of asexually-reproducing bacteria in a petri dish.

So to be clear, this paper doesn't advance the case for Intelligent Design, and as it stands, it isn't a threat to the role of mutation in evolution over-all. Calling his unproven conjecture a Law is a piece of cunning marketing that ID proponents can take out of context, misquote as a proven scientific result, when it's not, and then infer inappropriately that species cannot grow more complex through mutation.

Although this may seem more against evolution than pro intelligent design, but process of elimination is a valid scientific tool
Yes, elimination is falsification and a major scientific tool. But what has Behe actually falsified? What has he even claimed to have falsified?

Earlier, I wrote that:
Intelligent Design's conception specifies a malignant and dishonest publicity strategy to misrepresent scientific credentials, misrepresent pseudoscience as peer-reviewed, and to present scientific non-results in peer-reviewed journals so as to seem to be making scientific advances.
I'm happy to accept that Behe is a biologist, that his paper is peer reviewed, and that the paper itself is sound, but to me this seems a minor and uncontroversial scientific result that I suspect every biologist already knew: that if bacteria can adapt by doing something dumb and tactical, they'll do that before they do something smart and strategic.

Yet Behe's paper presents this idea as a universal Law in evolutionary biology when it's not even tested beyond bacteria. So this seems to me an example of a scientific non-result conveniently constructed for the purpose, being misrepresented as a scientific advance against evolution.

It's bed-time for me, but I'll turn to the next paper when time permits.
RuvDraba
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12/25/2015 9:52:20 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/25/2015 2:44:13 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/21/2015 7:19:01 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 12/21/2015 3:46:44 PM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
There are actually several peer reviewed articles supporting intelligent design spanning multiple areas of science including biology: http://www.discovery.org...

[...] It is important not to use ID websites and blogsites alone when evaluating purportedly peer-reviewed evidence.
Unfortunately, it is also necessary to examine specific papers, what they are claiming, where they are published, and how they fit into the background of scientific work. [...] if you'd like to choose and cite two or three papers you believe capture the best, most current scientific advances in non-evolutionary theories of speciation, I will be happy to review those with you and discuss them.

Unfortunately, it is also necessary to examine specific papers, what they are claiming, where they are published, and how they fit into the background of scientific work. This takes a bit of time per paper -- the authors are banking on most people being too busy, lazy or daunted to check -- so if you'd like to choose and cite two or three papers you believe capture the best, most current scientific advances in non-evolutionary theories of speciation, I will be happy to review those with you and discuss them.
2nd paper I chose:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues
"We conclude that, in general, to be fixed in 10^8 generations, the production of novel protein features that require the participation of two or more amino acid residues simply by multiple point mutations in duplicated genes would entail population sizes of no less than 10^9."
Okay, I'll follow the method I used in the last post, and go from publication through to summary of results, quality, validity and impact.

Publication & Authentication
Protein Science is a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal covering proteins and their role in molecular and cell biology, genetics and evolution. Published in 2004, this paper -- again with the biochemist Behe as principle author -- reports the results of a computer simulation of a theoretical model he himself designed, simulating the degree to which point-mutations (i.e. mutations at a single site on a single gene) arising from gene duplication (a major source of mutation, but not the only source) without natural selection might combine to contribute to the development of complex, beneficial mutations.

Summary of Results
Behe's simulations show that under simple assumptions, if you have a large population of size N without natural selection, using point mutations only, via this one mutation mechanism, and you need M distinct mutations to fix a specific beneficial mutation in the population, then the time it will take relates to (1/N) to the power of M -- 1/N being a term representing a higher chance of producing a mutation in a larger population (so time dwindles as the population grows), and the power to the M representing the chance of these mutations coming together in a single individual.

Preliminary Assessment of Quality and Validity
In science, the job of a theoretical model or simulation is to substitute for experiments and observations that are either too slow and expensive to be practical, or likely to produce results that on their own, are too 'noisy' to analyse easily. By itself, the results of modelling are not conclusive; modelling simply helps scientists ask the right questions and develop the right methods to produce useful observations and experiments.

But to be valid, a model needs to get four things right: it must identify the right features to study, it must capture them precisely, accurately, and informatively, it must adopt fair and reasonable assumptions, and make significant new predictions that would be useful in further study.

If a model fails to do any one of these things, it is invalid as a model. However, I think there is strong evidence that Behe's model has failed in more than one category, and more: that Behe probably knew this when he published.

Since if Behe's model is invalid one might ask how it managed to get published in a respectable, peer-reviewed journal in the first place? I think a reasonable explanation is that even flawed models often contain useful methods -- that is, methods that could be reused elsewhere; and sometimes issues with a model's assumptions themselves expose useful insights. So flawed models and simulations see more publication than do flawed experiments, and consequently, it's important to consider how they are reviewed after publication, and not just assume all critique has occurred as part of the publication's peer-review process.

So now I need to substantiate why I'm persuaded that Behe's model is invalid, and why he probably knew it at time of publication. I'll do that in two posts below.

Scientific Impact
The result that a combined mutation requiring on the order of (1/N)^M time to produce is scientifically uncontroversial, and doesn't need a simulation to produce, since a result like that is predicted by statistical modelling that requires no computer programming at all. So one has to ask how the simulation benefits the result, if there are already formulas producing similar results.

Two common reasons are that a detailed simulation allows the scientist to make specific and precise assumptions or introduce complexities that statistical formulae can't easily handle. In this case it's a simple model without great complexities, so what specific assumptions did Behe make?

As molecular pharmacologist Ian F. Musgrave has stated, along with postdoctoral fellow and protein specialist Steve Reuland, and computational evolutionary geneticst Reed A. Cartwright:

The paper says that if you have a protein function that requires two or more specific mutations in specific locations in a specific gene in a specific population, and if the function is not able to be acted on by natural selection until all mutations are in place and if the only form of mutation is point mutation, and if the population of organisms is asexual, then it will take a very large population and very long time to evolve that function. This is not unexpected. [ (Panda's Thumb 2004 -- same year as publication of paper http://pandasthumb.org...])

In other words, they are saying that the assumptions have been chosen to show that, in large populations reproducing asexually without natural selection, a complex mutation using only one simple mutation method, could take very many generations to produce; they're saying that the assumptions are unrepresentative, that scientists already knew the implication, that therefore this simulation is not telling them anything new.

In fact, they go on to show that Behe has strained even these unrepresentative assumptions to exaggerate the effect... But scientific disagreements are not uncommon, so let's set that aside; let's assume that Behe's methods are honest, and just focus on the impact of this complicated simulation producing an uncontroversial result.

Indicative is what Behe himself makes of the scientific significance of his own paper, when testifying under oath in an Intelligent Design court case. I'll present that in a following post.
RuvDraba
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12/25/2015 10:33:19 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
(Continued from previous)
At 12/25/2015 9:52:20 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Indicative is what Behe himself makes of the scientific significance of his own paper, when testifying under oath in an Intelligent Design court case.
Which I present here.

Context
The Intelligent Design court case Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District [https://en.wikipedia.org...]) was heard in 2004 -- the same year in which Behe's paper was published. Behe himself appeared at that case, speaking for the case that Intelligent Design is a science. You can find the full case transcript here: [http://ncse.com...] The transcript excerpt comes from Day 12 AM, commencing page 43. I've condensed in places for space.

Q. And let me just ask you a few questions, and you tell me if I"m fairly summarizing the results of your computer simulation. What you"re asking is, how long will it take to get " and please follow with me, I"m trying to do this slowly and methodically " two or more specific mutations, in specific locations, in a specific gene, in a specific population, if the function is not able to be acted on by natural selection until all the mutations are in place, if the only form of mutation is point mutation, and the population of organisms is asexual?

A. I would have to look at that statement closely because there are so many different aspects to it that I don"t trust myself to sit here and listen to you say that and form a correct judgment.

Q. Anything I said about that sound incorrect?

A. If you repeat it again, I"ll try.

Q. I"d be happy to. Two or more specific mutations?

A. Actually, this dealt with one or more.

Q. One or more mutations?

A. Yes. If you notice, in figure " if you notice in figure 3, you look at the x axis, you notice that there are data points there that start at one. So we considered models where there were one, two, and more mutations.

Q. Fair enough. In specific locations?

A. No, that"s not correct. We assumed that there were several locations in the gene that could undergo these selectable mutations, but we did not designate where they were.

Q. In the specific gene?

A. We were considering one gene, yes.

Q. In a specific population?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. If the function is not able to be acted on by natural selection until all mutations are in place?

A. Yes [...]

Q. If the only form of mutation is point mutation?

A. Yes [...]

Q. And if the population of organisms is asexual?

A. Yes, we did not [...] we did not consider recombination.

Q. Are prokaryotes an example of the kind of organism that you were studying there?

A. Again, we weren"t studying organisms, but, yeah, they"re a good example of what such a model has in mind.

Q. And to say this very colloquially, you conclude that it will take a large population a long time to evolve a particular function at disulfide bond, right?

A. A multi-residue feature. That"s correct, that"s correct. [...] Depending on " as we emphasize in the paper, it depends on the population size. And, of course, prokaryotes can oftentimes grow to very large population sizes.

Q. And here the conclusion, the calculations you concluded was that, if you had a population of 10 to the 9th power, that"s a population of 1 billion?

A. That"s correct.

Q. To produce a novel protein feature through the kind of multiple point mutations you"re talking about, it would take 10 to the 8th generations, that"s what it says in the abstract, correct?

A. If, in fact, it was " if, in fact, the intermediate states were not selectable.

Q. Okay.

A. And if this is by gene duplication as well.

Q. Okay. So 10 to the 8th generation, that"s 100 million generations?

A. That"s correct.

Q. And yesterday, you explained about bacteria, that 10,000 generations would take about two years in the laboratory, correct?

A. Yes.
Q. So 100 million generations, that would take about 20,000 years?[...]

A. Okay, yes.

Q. And those are numbers based on your probability calculations in this model, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Now it would be true that, if you waited a little longer, say, instead of 10 to 9th generations, 10 to the 10th generations, then it would mean that you wouldn"t need as big a population to get the function that you are studying?

A. That"s right. The more chances you have, the more likely you are to develop a feature. And the chances are affected by the number of organisms. So if you have a smaller population time, and more generations, that could be essentially equal to a larger population size and fewer generations.

Q. So, as you said, so if we get more time, we need less population to get to the same point, and if we had more population, less time?

A. That"s correct, yes."

Q. Now would you agree that this model has some
limitations?

A. Sure.
Q. And you, in fact, were quite candid in indicating that in the paper?

A. That"s correct.

Q. And if we could turn to, what I believe is, page 8 of the document. And if you look in the paragraph that"s actually continued from the previous page that says, we strongly emphasize. [...]Could you read into the record the text to the end of the paragraph beginning with, we strongly emphasize?

A. We strongly emphasize that results bearing on the efficiency of this one pathway as a conduit for Darwinian evolution say little or nothing about the efficiency of other possible pathways. Thus, for example, the present study that examines the evolution of MR protein features by point mutation in duplicate genes does not indicate whether evolution of such features by other processes, such as recombination or insertion/deletion mutations, would be more or less efficient.

Q. So it doesn"t include recombination, it doesn"t include insertion/deletion of the mutations?

A. That"s correct.

Q. And those are understood as pathways for Darwinian evolution?

A. They are potential pathways, yes.

Q. This study didn"t involve transposition?

A. No, this focuses on a single gene.

Q. And transpositions are, they are a kind of mutation, is that right?

A. Yes. They can be, yes.

Q. And so that means, this simulation didn"t examine a number of the mechanisms by which evolution actually operates?

A. That is correct, yes.

Q. And this paper, let"s be clear here, doesn"t say anything about intelligent design?

A. Yes, that"s correct. It does imply irreducible complexity but not intelligent design.

Q. But it doesn"t say it?

A. That"s correct.

Q. And one last other question on your paper. You concluded, it would take a population size of 10 to the 9th, I think we said that was a billion, 10 to the 8th generations to evolve this new disulfide bond, that was your conclusion?

A. That was the calculation based on the assumptions in the paper, yes.

[...]
Q. What I"ve marked as Exhibit P-756 is an article in the journal Science called Exploring Microbial Diversity, A Vast Below by T.P. Curtis and W.T. Sloan? [...] In that first paragraph, he says, There are more than 10 to the 16 prokaryotes in a ton of soil. Is that correct, in that first paragraph?
A. Yes, that"s right.

Q. In one ton of soil?

A. That"s correct.

Q. And we have a lot more than one ton of soil on Earth, correct?

A. Yes, we do.

Q. And have for some time, correct?

A. That"s correct, yes.


Does this strike you as the testimony of a scientist confidently presenting the significant results of a ground-breaking model?

My suggestion: if you want to show honest, significant, groundbreaking work for ID and against evolution, don't use Behe.
RainbowDash52
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12/26/2015 2:10:06 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/25/2015 10:33:19 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Behe doesn't make any suggestions in that paper, except to imply (indirectly) that this may also apply to larger populations, more complex organisms and the more diverse conditions in the wild.

It is obvious that more complex species have much smaller populations than bacteria, and they take longer to reproduce so there is more time between generation, and based on his equations that would definately result in slower evolution for more complex species, not just 'imply that this may also apply to more complex organisms'

But that's a conjecture; not an experiment or an observation. And note that Behe's paper doesn't contest:
1) Universal common ancestry;
2) That mutation does sometimes produce nett functional gain; or that
3) Nett functional gain can produce new features in a species"

There is no one peer reviewed paper that disproves any one of those 3 things, just like there is no one peer reviewed paper that proves any one of those things. You have to do seperate research on all the seperate parts of the theory and then piece together your own conclusion.

And biologists recognise that as organisms get more complex (with cell nuclei, and mitochondria, and sexual rather than asexual reproduction), and populations get bigger, and become immersed in populations of other organisms, the number of ways to gain genetic function can only increase."

It is not true that when organisms get more complex, there can only be more ways to gain genetic functions. First of all, the bigger and more complex the organism, they take up more space, so they will have smaller population sizes for the same given area, which of course decreases the ability to gain genetic functions. Also, more complex organisms take longer to reproduce which means it will take longer to go through the same number of generations, which decreases the rate of gaining new genetic functions. And although bacteria don't have sexual reproduction like more complex organisms, bacteria have horizontal gene transfer to compensate. So as organisms get more complex, the way to gain genetic functions can only decrease.

If you continue reading that interview, you will find this:
"Q. So just with the prokaryotes, 10 to the 16th, 7
orders of magnitude higher than what you were
calculating here?
A. That's certainly true, but in our paper, we had
our eye not only on prokaryotes, but also on eukaryotes
as well, which, if you leave out recombination, one can
-- they certainly undergo point mutations. They
certainly have genes and so on. So much of this is also
applicable to eukaryotes.
And the populations of eukaryotes and certainly
larger plants and animals are much, much smaller than
populations of bacteria. So we view our results not
just as supplying that, but to giving us some feel for
what can happen in more complex organisms as well."

which gives justification to the part of the interview you quoted.

Yet Behe's paper presents this idea as a universal Law in evolutionary biology when it's not even tested beyond bacteria.

because any organism more complex than bacteria would be bigger so he couldn't get the same population size in the same amount of space, and it would probably take longer to reproduce, so he would have to wait longer for the same number of generations, making it much less practical.

Conclusion:
I believe most of your mistakes were from the misconception that more complex organisms are expected to evolve quicker than simple bacteria and you therefore concluded Behe was being decietful by focusing on bacteria and assuming the results could potentially be problematic for evolution of common descent. So I hope I helped clear that up.
RuvDraba
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12/26/2015 5:52:10 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/26/2015 2:10:06 AM, RainbowDash52 wrote:
At 12/25/2015 10:33:19 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Behe doesn't make any suggestions in that paper, except to imply (indirectly) that this may also apply to larger populations, more complex organisms and the more diverse conditions in the wild.
It is obvious that more complex species have much smaller populations than bacteria, and they take longer to reproduce so there is more time between generation, and based on his equations that would definitely result in slower evolution for more complex species, not just 'imply that this may also apply to more complex organisms'
Rainbow, as you may appreciate, I have spent substantial time already reading, reviewing and responding to your linked papers. I trust you appreciate the care I spent analysing them, and that you acknowledge that I have treated your claims about them with thought and respect. Consequently, I hope you don't think I'd go to all that trouble, only to dismiss the papers on some superficial or fabricated point, just as I hope you won't go from citing a peer-reviewed scientific paper to claiming more biological insight than the papers you cite.

In that context. and so that we don't lose sight of what you are seeking to establish, please recall that you are responding to my invitation:

At 12/21/2015 7:19:01 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Unfortunately, it is also necessary to examine specific papers, what they are claiming, where they are published, and how they fit into the background of scientific work. This takes a bit of time per paper -- the authors are banking on most people being too busy, lazy or daunted to check -- so if you'd like to choose and cite two or three papers you believe capture the best, most current scientific advances in non-evolutionary theories of speciation, I will be happy to review those with you and discuss them.
At question here isn't what you think you can infer about evolution, but what the best peer-reviewed papers you can find can demonstrate about it. So you need to be careful what you assume and infer about biology, which your papers do not.

With that in mind, your point above was made in response to the first Behe paper -- one that doesn't model how long evolution takes, but simply explores what evolutionary mechanisms produce in the laboratory. Behe does not claim to have proven anything about how evolution works outside the lab, in complex species, and diverse environments, except to suggest that species may tend to adapt via loss or modification of genetic function in preference to gain. Yet his meta-study does not cover experiments with some possible function-gain mechanisms -- such as those arising from sexual reproduction and genetic exchange in nucleii and mitochondria. So he hasn't shown that this result holds in general, nor suggested any implications for evolution if it did.

Neither should you.

But that's a conjecture; not an experiment or an observation. And note that Behe's paper doesn't contest:
1) Universal common ancestry;
2) That mutation does sometimes produce nett functional gain; or that
3) Nett functional gain can produce new features in a species"
There is no one peer reviewed paper that disproves any one of those 3 things, just like there is no one peer reviewed paper that proves any one of those things.

Actually, here is one peer-reviewed paper demonstrating universal common ancestry beyond reasonable doubt. [http://journals.plos.org...] .There are many more showing new functions appearing in existing species, for example [http://www.pnas.org...], and Behe has yet to classify these under his gain/modify scheme.

You have to do seperate research on all the seperate parts of the theory and then piece together your own conclusion.
No, non-scientists certainly must not read between the lines and claim the validity of their own scientific inferences. If a claim is to be scientifically valid, it must be made explicitly with supporting evidence and submitted to rigorous peer review. Why exempt yourself from the checks science itself insists on?

And biologists recognise that as organisms get more complex (with cell nuclei, and mitochondria, and sexual rather than asexual reproduction), and populations get bigger, and become immersed in populations of other organisms, the number of ways to gain genetic function can only increase."
It is not true that when organisms get more complex, there can only be more ways to gain genetic functions.
Actually, more complex organisms have different ways to mutate than organisms which only reproduce asexually. Regardless of mutation rate, the kind of mutations produced could be different, so one shouldn't assume that a higher base pair mutation rate automatically has a higher chance of gaining genetic function -- that needs to be explored and tested.

But regardless, there are three common ways of measuring mutation rates in species: mutation per base pair per cell division, per gene per generation or per genome per generation. And different classes of mutation (e.g. point mutations, large scale insertions, deletions, transpositions) can produce different kinds of mutations, so they may not be directly comparable.

However, mutation rates can also vary substantially between species in surprising ways. For example, this paper [http://www.genetics.org...] compares the mutation rate per base pair in the viral bacteriophage M13 (7.2 x 10^-7) with that of a mouse (1.8 * 10^-10) -- so M13 mutates about 1,000 times faster per base pair. But the mutation rate per genome per generation is higher in the mouse: 0.49 compared to 0.0046 -- so, the mouse is 100 times more efficient at mutating its genome per generation than the virus.

If you continue reading that interview, you will find this:
"Q. So just with the prokaryotes, 10 to the 16th, 7 orders of magnitude higher than what you were
calculating here?
A. That's certainly true, but in our paper, we had our eye not only on prokaryotes, but also on eukaryotes as well, which, if you leave out recombination, one can -- they certainly undergo point mutations. They certainly have genes and so on. So much of this is also applicable to eukaryotes.
Only to the extent that the simulation ignores the differences between eukaryotes and prokaryotes -- that is, the nucleii and sexual reproduction. These differences might make a huge difference to both generational mutation rates, and may also affect the nature of the mutations produced, since big functional gains might not arise from sequential point mutations much at all. (And note how efficient the mouse is at per generation mutations.)

Yet Behe's paper presents this idea as a universal Law in evolutionary biology when it's not even tested beyond bacteria.
because any organism more complex than bacteria would be bigger so he couldn't get the same population size in the same amount of space, and it would probably take longer to reproduce, so he would have to wait longer for the same number of generations, making it much less practical.
Whatever the reasons (or excuses), the results aren't scientifically valid outside the experiments surveyed, and he never makes the direct claim that they are -- or that they topple evolution.

Conclusion:
I believe most of your mistakes were from the misconception that more complex organisms are expected to evolve quicker than simple bacteria
Actually, I did not. You've assumed you can form your own scientifically valid inferences from science papers without peer review. As a scientist and trainer of scientists (not biologists), I can tell you that no postgraduate would be permitted to do this. You need to find the peer-reviewed paper directly supporting your contention, or run your own experiments.
RainbowDash52
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12/26/2015 6:15:30 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 12/26/2015 5:52:10 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Actually, I did not. You've assumed you can form your own scientifically valid inferences from science papers without peer review. As a scientist and trainer of scientists (not biologists), I can tell you that no postgraduate would be permitted to do this. You need to find the peer-reviewed paper directly supporting your contention, or run your own experiments.

I wish you would have told me you were a mainstream scientist earlier so I could have understood where you were coming from with your strong bias in support of peer reviewed papers and other mainstream science protocols. Honestly, peer reviewed papers are bullsh*t. Peer reviewed papers suffer from group think, and it is common practice to intentionally make their papers convoluted in order to make it difficult for others to find flaws in their papers. If you are under the impression that such papers with flaws including but not limited to the ones I mentioned are not only more reliable than others sources, but so much more reliable than all other sources should be disregarded and that no peer reviewed source should be question outside of using another peer reviewed source no matter how obviously flawed it is, then I think it would be a waste of my time to continue to debate with you. However, if you are willing to allow us to use critical thinking skills and apply them to sources, peer reviewed or not, then I would love to continue our debate.