Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In Theory: Standing On The Shoulders Of Retards

h/t to GvDL at American Digest

What is this? Read on.

According to Darwin's Theory of Evolution, espoused in Origin of the Species by means of natural selection, amoebas evolved into humans. (Nota bene I'm not referring to adaptation within a single species, but rather to the big-"E" theories of the evolution of everything, which was Darwin's magnum opus stupidae.)

Besides stating the obvious, that adherence to this century-plus load of claptrap is sciencism and not science, it's also, like Marxism, one of the most gobsmackingly stupid expressions of 19th century under-informed academia forming hypotheses on things they don't grasp, and a sterling example of what happens when people educated beyond their intelligence try to extrapolate based on their own ignorance. (And out of a butthurt bias based on feeling raw towards a Deity, exactly as in Darwin's case specifically, but I digress.)

The first problem is the original jump, from nothing to life.

It is the supreme example of The Underpants Gnome making an appearance in pseudo-scientific theory. Because the gap from a toxic chemical stew to a functioning "simple" single-celled micro-organism is the difference between a pile of sticks and the Wright Flyer, ready for takeoff at Kitty Hawk. With Orville at the controls.

If you believe that the parts in a junkyard could, given enough time, assemble themselves into not one, but every 767 ready for takeoff, and the associated worldwide air traffic control system, stop reading here, and go back where you came from. You're not tall enough for this ride.

The second biggest bullfrog for this brand of sciencism to swallow for breakfast, after the "minor" problem of the first one, is that even, against far-worse-than-Powerball-odds of the first hurdle ever being spanned, is that there isn't enough time in history for us to get from Step One, above, to the current arrangement.

Every theorem of the requisite common ancestor between apes and humans is always somewhere in the no-existing-evidence section of dotted lines of pre-history. And every time they name a date, then find older evidence, they have to keep pushing that bridge species' date of existence that much farther back before evidence, ad infinitum, ad absurdum.
There is a simple example of this phenomenon in popular culture:

The obvious explanation being that there never was a common ancestor, because that doesn't happen, as anyone not sentimentally attached to Darwinism out of an overarching antipathy towards religion and or a Designer would conclude in about two seconds.

Or, we can look at eyes.

First, because we have them, and second, because they disprove Darwinism rather instantaneously.

Darwin, living at a time when gross anatomy and the medical arts were in their infancy, by which I mean they were still in underpants and shitting themselves out of sheer infantile ignorance, simply didn't know what he didn't know. And then went on about it all, founded on nothing but naked hubris and supposition. And based on this monumental ignorance of what is now basic biology, Darwin figured that species would grow eyes out of sheer utility, and that these primitive organs would advance, and improve, in succeeding generations, until now we have the current marvel of biotechnology, though which you're reading this humble essay.

But, and I repeat myself, Darwin was a monumentally ignorant idiot.

I leave it for the microbiologists to explain in detail, but the eye doesn't "get better", and differing exemplars from other species aren't early, lesser attempts at the problem. The process of photons of light striking your retina, after passing through a remarkably (and wholly unknown to 19th century anatomists) complex system to get to the retinal nerve, and then travel along it in an enormously complex series of biochemical processes to the visual cortex of the brain, to be interpreted there by a subset of a microcomputer of phenomenal and still largely unfathomed complexity is a chain of hundreds to thousands of individual steps.

Like a computer program.

And you don't "evolve" lines of code until the process gets to perfect refinement; if one line of code is missing, nothing happens.
If one biochemical step in the process of vision isn't there, you're blind.
It's a binary equation.
You either see, or you don't.
You don't go from darkness, in gradual steps, to UHD color.

Darwin suggesting, with a straight face, that a 128- or 256- or 1024-bit lock first evolved itself into being ex nihilo, and then opened itself, is no less complicated than what I said about that fully formed 767 generating itself out of scrapyard parts. Or the mentality that thinks an AR-15 sitting in my closest will spontaneously assemble from pieces, load itself, drive to Las Vegas unassisted, and go off on a shooting spree while I sleep peacefully in my bed.

If you can convince yourself of the latter, you'll fall for anything, including Nigerian banking e-mail scams, and should therefore leave the Internet, and in haste.

As further proof, I offer the post's masthead photograph, of the foot - just the foot, mind you - of a humble mosquito, magnified some 800X. Look at the complexity (wholly unimagined in Darwin's time, doubtless) and then extrapolate mathematically back to a basic foot, and all the time in history that would be required for merely the foot of that small flying insect's body to get from A to Z. Then multiply that times every other part on its entire body. Then multiply that times every species, extinct and still-living, times all their parts. The timeline since the Big Bang is far too short to accomplish a fraction of that. And earnest hand-waving and incantations to the contrary notwithstanding, the fossil record supports no such thing either. (If your guru disagrees, ask about the "Cambrian Explosion" and watch the lip sweat and mumbo-jumbo that ensues.)

To say that all that "just happened", is to find the engine of an SR-71 sitting in the middle of the Sahara Desert, and postulate that it must have sprung into being spontaneously.

And, simultaneously, to beat yourself over the head, slap your own naked asscheeks, and announce in a monumental baboon-like yawp to the entire watching universe that one is an idiot.

Like Darwin.

This takedown was done very well and in depth in an excellent book called

Darwins Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge To Evolution. I commend it to the intellectually curious.

You can decide whether this essay was the product of an intelligent mind, or whether it just spontaneously assembled itself after seeing the original photograph.

If this left a mark, pull up your pants, and use your head for something other than a hat rack.
The universe laughs at you.
And so do the baboons.

Let the yawping and gnashing of teeth commence.


Angus McThag said...

I was going to try and explain, but then I realized... you won't understand.

Not cannot understand.

You will refuse to.

Anonymous said...

I don't have anything against people who believe in Creation. They have their reasons. I don't see that having them as our countrymen has held us back scientifically. In the recent past, when Creation was more mainstream, including official education policy in some stares, the groundwork of modern electronics, aerospace, computer science, nuclear energy, and yes, molecular biology was being laid down.

I personally don't believe in Creation, but I have no interest in trying to stamp it out. People who are activists against it are, from what I can see, often dicks with personal issues.

I have reasons for what I believe, and so do you.

6.03x10^23 molecules of water weigh 18 grams. And how many grams to make an ocean? Atoms last for billions of years and they interact millions of times a second. Bonds are made and broken according to physical principals that operate by different principles than found in our macroscopic world of human perception. Not, in short, analogous to some parts blowing in a junkyard.

A nearly infinite number of monkeys on typewriters. Nearly infinite is the key. Large numbers, rapid interaction, long time. Not a junkyard.

You must be aware of bench top "primordial soup" experiments creating spontaneous complexity on a fairly short time scale, development of antibiotic resistance (plasmids, I know) and so on, so I won't bore you.

The reason less successful predecessors are usually not to be found in the living world is that they lost.

None of this is news to you, I expect.

Just a couple of examples of how one could be moved towards a different conclusion without being a devilish dimwit.

You have your reasons and I have mine.

Pardon any typos -- difficult user interface here.

Aesop said...

That's a cop out.

I wasn't trolling.
Look at the structures on that foot. The intricacy. Go back to the amoeba from that. Show your work.

Behe's argument correctly noted that finding a mousetrap, one could reasonably postulate a mousetrap-maker.
A mousetrap has only 9 parts.
Now look at that foot.
Or your eye.
Or a single cell.
Hundreds of intricately related absolutely co-dependent parts.
Not the kind that can be added one at a time, in binary fashion.
So the entire thing has to come along, at once, or not.

A square flat rock may evolve over time.
Even a pile of them.
But they will not evolve into cobbled streets and cathedrals.
Which latter is Darwinism, first to last.

What I understand with all clarity, confirmed by a lifetime of experience, is that people desperate to come up with an answer that accords with their life choices will employ any means at their disposal to avoid obvious reality. Including ignorance and agnosticism.

Folks don't have to like reality.
But they shouldn't gainsay it.

Aesop said...

Monkeys on typewriters? Randomly producing Shakespeare?
The Internet's existence has disproven that hypothesis pretty convincingly.

...You must be aware of bench top "primordial soup" experiments creating spontaneous complexity on a fairly short time scale...

Yes, of course.
And you must be aware that they were all monumental failures, producing nothing but a toxic soup.
In no instance was the result a 'simple" single-celled organism.
And that's just the first leap of ridiculousness.

Which, starting with a ridiculous hypothesis, one might expect.
An infinite series of tornadoes, hitting any number of junkyards, will never assemble a Ferrari, either.
This is what happens when you run headfirst into the brick wall of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
(Maybe an exception to it for Darwinism was penned when no one was looking...?)

One may not like the obvious conclusion.
Or, they can display the first spontaneously-produced Ferrari.
But failing that, forever, their options to explain away that reality become rather limited, and the means to excuse the failure more extreme.

As we see.

Anonymous said...

"Look at the structures on that foot. The intricacy. Go back to the amoeba from that. Show your work."

Bear with me -- I'm not running away. I do not know if insects actually evolved from amoebas. Amoebas exist now because they are successful at what they do, and I would leave the assignment of animal family trees to someone else.

Does not matter-- you are requesting some succession of intermediate incremental forms from the simple to the highly complex. Given the time scale, the record will be incomplete, and single celled life forms often leave no record. I would suggest though, that an amoeba is actually not that simple (more below about functional components).

There are fossil records indicating that animals and plants existed that no longer exist, and that animals and plants alive now apparently did not exist. You could perhaps concede that there is at least reason to conclude that things have changed.

The Irreducible Complexity argument is a pretty good one. It has been addressed by people better qualified than I'll ever be. If you can beat this guy, you'll rule:


I hope his tone does not offend. He has to keep students awake.
The bacterial flagellum, simpler than an insect foot, has been cited as irreducibly complex. The response is that this complex functional part turns out to be made of pre-existing components that are also functional.

You call him pointy-headed, and tell me that a flagellum is not a foot-- and you'd be right about the foot at least. I expect you recognize archetypical reasoning when you see it though: an assembly of independently functional components, not so irreducible In fact.

I don't expect you to change your mind. You may find it interesting though. My only point is that believing in evolution is not prima facie evidence of dimwittedness, treason, or bad breath.

I will continue to read your excellent commentary here in the future. If you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

I see you comment about primordial soup. I would only comment that 1. The primordial world had a hydrogen and ammonia atmosphere and the experimental atmosphere was necessarily toxic to creatures like us from the get go; it is believed that our oxygen producing ancestors killed off their predecessors when they appeared. 2. The amino acids and lipids that appeared in the vessel are not toxic; other products (e.g. NO2) were; but that was not the point. 3. Since none of us have god-like powers, the entire world and its billions of years can't be reproduced, and the reasoning will necessarily proceed in parts. If you split one atom, a principle had been shown but a reactor has not been built.

Anonymous said...

A few questions-
Why are there still amoebas? Why would some of them have evolved into space-traveling apes with guns and money (by steadily becoming more ‘fit’ to their environment), while others survived as amoebas? Under the ‘most fit’ model, wouldn’t amoebas have died out since they didn’t evolve into something else? If you answered ‘no,’ then how would evolution have happened if amoebas could cut it all along? I realize there’s a nearly infinite variety there, but the theory seems to suggest that if all complex life evolved from single-celled organisms, that evolution didn’t happen to the single-celled organisms that are still around.

Next- why (or when) did dead chemical stew stop turning into living things? Why don’t we have any recent examples of new (not just newly discovered) life forms in the kind of conditions ol’ Chucky D describes as kicking the whole thing off? If all it takes is chemicals doing a thing together and then some new life happens, shouldn’t there be living examples of various stages of evolution everywhere and not just shopping at Walmart? We should have examples of less-evolved and new organisms everywhere. Darwin offers no explanation for why the thing that turns goo into living cells stopped happening.

Anonymous said...

But it’s fact, right? Facts are easy to explain, and easier to perceive! Only religions require faith and conjecture in absence of firm evidence... you know, the way evolution does!
...and there’s your problem. Believing Darwin outright requires faith. It’s a religion, just not the one Darwin failed at. By the way, Alfred Russell Wallace did it first...

The Gray Man said...

He did explain, and it is you who refuses to understand.

SiGraybeard said...

There's a false dichotomy here, saying if one thinks Darwinism is a poor explanation that they must be a Bible thumper is wrong and poor logic. The opposite of "Darwin doesn't explain this" isn't "it must be God"; the opposite is the simple statement "We Don't Know". People don't like to say they don't know but some times it's what has to be said.

There's an extreme problem with information in biological systems. Evolution demands that information is generated by random processes, and that just doesn't work well in experiments. It's why most mutations are fatal. There was a lot of hype about "genetic algorithms" in the 90s; these were going to be the answer to solving hard problems and make AI happen. Let the computers evolve an answer. It didn't work. They were useful for some problems, sometimes, but more often would get stuck in "evolutionary dead ends". Even relatively straightforward problems solved by iteration would crash and burn with genetic algorithms. (Source: a friend who got his PhD on the topic - we'd talk about what he was finding all the time).

The hand waving answer of moles of reactions over billions of years is handicapped by experiments in computer science and information theory. Whenever one tries to bound the problem and put real numbers on it, the information problem shows up. Your statement "show your work" is exactly right. Saying, "it only has to happen once" is sloppy at best. Real numbers, please.

It's ironic that the most noise about the problems in biology are coming from the physics and engineering departments. There's a saying in medicine I've heard that the worst thing in the world to have is a diagnosis, because once you have a diagnosis nobody ever thinks again about what's going wrong. They already know. Likewise here, for many the objections of the Information Theory folks are dismissed with the usual "billions and billions of accidents over billions and billions of years. Oh yeah - selection pressure"

Another of "those stories" making the rounds, so maybe apocryphal, is that in an Information Theory class, the professor was explaining the intricacies of the genetic code, an area that's still giving up secrets. After the long lecture covering white board after white board, the prof said, "and over in the Biology department, they say this arose by random accident" whereupon the engineers burst out in laughter.

Compared to the complexity of cellular machinery, a modern aircraft carrier is a baby's Lego blocks. There is simply too much de novo creation of information. More information (e.g. a new biochemical pathway) is being discovered all the time. And that's not even mentioning the entire planet, which is giving up new secrets all the time.

At what point does it really turn into your SR-71 engine analogy?

Anonymous said...

Context, I believe, would inform your statement and keep it relevant to the discussion at hand.
I was responding to a Mr McThag, not addressing Darwin or his work directly.
I’ve read The Voyage of the Beagle and ...Species, and I understood them fine, thanks. I understood them well enough to see that not all of the questions are answered, nor are all of the ideas sound. I would say that Darwin did some good work, but it’s possible he stole a bit from Wallace.
Also, there is no ‘refusal to understand’ with facts. They are observable and do not require understanding. You’ve made a faith-based statement because you believe in a thing that requires a leap of... faith.

The Gray Man said...

Here's my humble take, and some minor additions, on this post.


I actually mentioned the Cambrian Explosion to a Darwinist at my job several months ago. He had no idea and tried to ignore it. I pressed him and I suppose he looked it up, but never seemed to grasp it's relevance. He has intellectual brain power but is lazy, the result of years of indoctrination to ONLY use limited intellect to ONLY grasp what they want you to grasp. He has been notably cautious in discussion with me since then. Prior to that, I also broke down his man-made climate change argument.

Strangely enough, I seem to have totally turned him 180 degrees on the 2A. Seems at least one piece of his brain is still functional.

Anonymous said...

"What I understand with all clarity, confirmed by a lifetime of experience, is that people desperate to come up with an answer that accords with their life choices will employ any means at their disposal to avoid obvious reality."

This to the 100th power.

That there is a God, and that we owe Him, is the one most objectionable premise to mankind.

Aesop said...

The origin of family trees was Darwin's entire raison d'etre: that's why it was entitled Origin Of The Species.
It is a signal failure in explaining the origin of anything whatsoever.

The error was based on an insufficient (indeed, virtually wholly illiterate) misunderstanding of the complexity of any and every species he was attempting to source to an origin, a task which is fundamentally outside the realm of science.
History and philosophy, yes. Science per se, not so much (i.e. one can use logical deduction, based on physical evidence, using laboratory examination, but one cannot reproduce much of anything, as indeed we have not). In most places, not at all.

The only reason to cling to any reliance on Darwinism despite this manifest and fundamental shortcoming is to provide a wholly natural explanation for the universe, from molecules to galaxies. That's merely a pre-existing bias, not a scientific rationale.

Every strand of animal DNA contains more information in less space than your entire body if it were made up of pure computer memory.

To postulate that that much data spun itself, is quite simply silly.

There's been no Bible-thumping hereabouts.

But the idea that natural processes and natural selection, unassisted, are responsible for the unity and diversity of everything on this planet is purely farcical. As SiG noted in regards to Information Science, the notion is risible.

Flagellum don't disprove Irreducible Complexity. When one cites, as an example of something Irreducibly Complex, something that is demonstrably not, that isn't a disproof. It's a Straw Man fallacy.
When someone can conjure vision from pre-existing parts and biochemical processes, which have no function apart from the entire apparatus, give a holler.

(And btw, anyone claiming that all the less-adapted fossils, of which there would have to be vastly more than the successful type, over all those millions of years until Evolution got it right, is the pseudo-scientific excuse that the dog ate your homework. "No, really, professor, I swear, the only fossils that survived were the ones that disprove my theory, and prove yours. All the intermediate steps disappeared..."
As a rule of thumb, whoever pulls the Underpants Gnome Explanation out - ever - forfeits any further debate.)

And when I described a single cell as "simple", I meant the quotes to impart the sarcasm inherent in any such description.
It's multiple complex structures, relying on hundreds of biochemical processes that we've only begun to fathom, all of which have to come into play simultaneously. IOW, you may find a plank or two. But in order to have a collection of planks, a mast, a sail, a rudder, lines, pulleys, etc., turn into a seaworthy boat, you need a boatwright. Not fortuitous chance times infinity interval.
Even Moses only ever saw a bush burn without being consumed.
To get an ark took Noah, a plan, a lot of wood, and a century's hard work.

Nowhere in history has anyone ever claimed with any seriousness to have discovered a spontaneously generated machine. Until Darwin pulled his pants down, and tried to make the idea sound plausible, as though a hummingbird is less complex than a helicopter.

Nothing times forever does not equal everything, and the equation is mathematical nonsense.
Proving that Darwin was as poor at mathematics as he was at biology.

But as any number of late-night get-rich-quick scheme infomercials prove, there is always a market for idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh! The old complexity argument. The eyes are too complex to have evolved. Humans are too complex to have evolved from amoebas. So instead we believe that is some far more all powerful "thingy" much more complex than an eye that somehow simply exists and it decided one day it was bored and created an infinite universe and fully formed humans and all the animals and oh yeah left clear indications that could be discovered that in fact support evolution theory just for laughs because humans are so stupid or something... But who created god? It would have had to have been a far more powerful and "evolved" thingy than the god we believe in so who created it? And who created that far more superior god? and on an on ad infinitum.

Deana said...

A surgeon I work with once came out to check on a post-op patient I was taking care of. The patient asked him how the surgery went. The surgeon assured him everything had gone well. And then he said, “You know, everything we do in the OR, even the cases that go better than we hoped, everything is just a poor imitation of the original.”

I don’t understand how anyone can work in healthcare and not be in awe of all that must work perfectly, seemlessly, every time in order for people to be healthy. And most people are healthy.

A wonderful essay, Aesop. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Octopus eyes have the light-sensing cells towards the lens and the blood vessels at the rear. Human eyes on the other hand, have the blood vessels in front of the light-sensing cells. Oops. Almost like it evolved, rather than was designed perfectly in one step.

It's possible the first life on Earth arrived on a meteorite from somewhere else. That increases the time and space for it to have evolved in.

Anonymous said...

See Silicon Graybeard, above. You don’t have to jump to ‘God’ as the only alternative to Darwin’s theories. In fact, Aesop hasn’t, anywhere. Darwin can just be wrong.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 8:43P
The entire biosphere is too complex to have evolved.
There's neither evidence for it, nor sufficient time for it to have evolved ex nihilo. The illustrations in the post, and in fact the mosquito's foot photograph that inspired it to begin with are sufficient to demonstrate the assertion.
Once again, the fact that people take such things for granted says more about their dreadful lack of understanding of the nature of the things around them they think are "simple", which are, in fact, anything but.

"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable or personally distasteful, must contain the true answer."

What one believes happened instead of evolution says more about them than the facts of the process, but if you're at all concerned with logical deduction, when one encounters innumerable species with structure and function far too complex to be explained by themselves given the time and space available, and the level of complexity discovered, and programmed with data that would (and has) humbled the most advanced supercomputers on the planet, one might reasonably and rationally conclude that some factor outside the explanation of pure scientific enquiry is involved, and some level of intelligence beyond anything we possess at present is the only possible option left to explain such existence.

To do otherwise is to cast aside reason in favor of one's personal superstitions.
It's a free country, but one cannot call worshipping at the imaginary altars of their personal fetishes either scientific, nor rational.

Who or what that is must therefore be an answer for philosophy, but science will be entirely mute on the subject. As it will be on every other question you asked. Science is a tool, and a useful one used properly, but just because you have a hammer, everything you encounter is not therefore a nail. Darwin took a swing (and missed gloriously) based on the miserably poor information and understanding he possessed at the time. But modern people of the present day, awash in better information, have no such excuse as mere pride and ignorance for following Darwin off of the same cliff.

But you're incorrect in postulating a world where evidence points to Evolution of species into other species, with a single common origin, the entire gist of Darwin's argument.

To date, not so much as a single "missing link" has been discovered, and the extant fossil record of even what we think we know existed is far barer than you imagine.

That small "e" evolution takes place within a species no one will quibble about, which is how bird's beaks may differ, and one may obtain poodles and Pyrenees from the same dog branch of the tree.
But horseflies do not become horses, nor ever have, by any standard of evidence worthy of the name.
But the idea that life ever spontaneously generated is contrary to the physical laws of the universe, specifically the Second Law Of Thermodynamics. Entropy is the rule, not increasing complexity. And the only way to go from soup to mitochondria is to postulate the oceans giving birth to an ocean liner, given enough time.
And then another.
And that could come together and mate, or spontaneously divide in order to replicate, for the first time in the history of ever.

Aesop said...

I earnestly await the results of that search, but without holding my breath, because it's in the realm of SETI, and the Drake Equation, i.e. the same sort of nonsense one uses to sell timeshares and stock options, and not science.

But since you would inject religion into an exercise in logic and common sense, ponder this wholly extra-scientific musing:
In the Hebrew creation story, God's first act was creating the universe, from light to man, in six days.
In the Christian account of God's incarnation on earth, the first miracle Christ himself performed was turning water into wine; and in the account, not new wine, which was merely reconstituted dehydrated wine powder added to water, but "the good stuff", the kind that was well-fermented, aged, and by the accounts of those present at the event, the tastiest.
So since you're supposing about religious and philosophical questions, suppose making something new that seemed quite older than it actually was, was an echo of how it was done the first time?

As before, none of this is anything science can answer, as it's beyond the scope of that tool.
But if a human can make an object appear older than it is, what god anyone could imagine worthy of the appellation could not do the same thing with a world, for whatever reason suited his purposes?
Whether such a being exists or not, asserting that any entity capable of instigating the entire universe at a word must necessarily lack a sense of humor is, by any reasonable assertion, a low-probability wager. And before naming such behavior mere caprice, think long on how often you do or would explain your own actions to your house pets, or lacking those, to the birds in the trees.

Nothing I've written so far nominates Jesus, God, Buddha, or the Flying Spaghetti monster to a necessary reality thereby; it simply points out the inability of Evolution to account for what is observed, and the more we learn, the worse it gets for Chuck and his eructations from his cabin aboard the Beagle. Evolution is sillier and more suspicious than Anthropogenic Global Warming, and twice as caustic to civilization.

When you find something that's not merely unfit to eat, but also poisonous besides, it's best not to swallow it.

Anonymous said...

Two things being different does not a point prove. Insects have more variety in eyes than you can summarize in a thousand words. Mantis shrimp have multi-lenses eyes that see colors that we can’t imagine. What’s the evolutionary step before any of those eyes? How would any eye structure be a seeing eye without being exactly as it is now? Remove or change any one part, or make them less refined somehow, and none of them function as eyes. So if they don’t work as eyes, they would not have been an evolutionary advantage and would not have survived as attributes in almost everything in the animal kingdom.

Aesop said...

Octopus eyes have the light-sensing cells towards the lens and the blood vessels at the rear. Human eyes on the other hand, have the blood vessels in front of the light-sensing cells. Oops. Almost like it evolved, rather than was designed perfectly in one step.

Fair enough.
Two small and simple requests:
1) Tell us what octopus eyes evolved from.
2) Tell us the evolutionary steps from octopi to humans.
Show all work, by steps from wherever you can start, to humans, without a phone call to the Underpants Gnome. Especially useful would be the fossil evidence of the blind octopi, and any and all intermediate ones; or else, you've simply found two vision systems far too complicated to appear in a binary evolutionary process. Oops.

If the latter, you're just Riley Poole in National Treasure saying "Albuquerque. Snorkel."


Your Nobel Prize awaits you in Oslo if you can pull off what no one in scientific history has done thus far.
My understanding is that it includes a handsome stipend, and the champagne and caviar served at the presentation ceremony are the finest available.


"You don’t have to jump to ‘God’ as the only alternative to Darwin’s theories. In fact, Aesop hasn’t, anywhere. Darwin can just be wrong."

There you go using logic and common sense to derail someone's perfectly good rant about something not under discussion!

Anonymous said...

"2) Tell us the evolutionary steps from octopi to humans."


Think about what you just wrote.

Anonymous said...

Aesop, how old do you think the world is?

Not a set-up, I just want to understand your position.

Anonymous said...

1) Octopodes.
2) If it makes it easier to understand, replace ‘from’ with ‘between,’ and try to answer the question. Follow the evolutionary links between the two species until you find a common ancestor. It’s Darwin’s idea- flesh it out for the class.

Anonymous said...

"... poodles and Pyrenees from the same dog branch of the tree"

Ahh! But this mystery is quite well understood. By chance (unless of course you believe in the sky pilot) dog genes are unique in the animal kingdom and mutations or "breeds" are easy and common. There is probably no end of the possible dog breeds that could be created. This isn't proof of god or much of anything actually. It is interesting but of little value in the discussion of how billions of years and spurious bursts of radiation might have created evolutionary results that now confuse those who cannot even fathom billions of years and how it could effect evolution.

If ants had evolved into thinking sentient beings they would inevitably "invent" god and if their god had a son it would look like an ant. This is an inherent problem with sentient beings in a world with so many questions/unknowns and so few absolute answers.

I offer a comparison of sorts in today's world; with the entire greatest generation dying out almost no one alive went through the great depression and served in WW II. We cannot fathom it only read opinions about it and form opinions from what we read. Therefore we are doomed to repeat it because it is beyond our ability to understand the horror of that time, what caused it and how we could prevent it's reoccurrence. We have all the information and yet we are still ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. The “simple cell” is more complex than any factory on earth. The “missing link” ;-) in the evolutionary model is the information system. Who? Where? When? How? was the information system (DNA) introduced? And that pesky second law of thermodynamics.

The mathematical absurdity that time plus chance (chance as in randomness i.e. fortuitous concurrence of accidental circumstance) equals now (t+c=n) and Irreducible Complexity makes the belief in the evolutionary theory nothing more or less than a blind leap of faith into a second story non-reasoned religious belief.

Btw, fellow member of the percussive brotherhood.

Anderson said...

And not a single "transitional" fossil has ever been found. Only fossils of creatures after they fully "transitioned". What a peculiar anomaly!

Dano/Westside said...

Thanks for the post Aesop. Will buy the book cause I know the library hereabouts would never carry it, would probably trash it if they knew the topic.

A Texan said...

I once asked my grandfather, then a doctor for nearly 50 years, what was the secret to long life (on the theory that he wouldn't lie to me, and that he knew a whole lot more about the subject than your average hairless ape). His short answer: "Stay away from doctors, and stay away from hospitals."

I didn't let him get away with that short of an answer, so we had a roughly 20-minute discussion ("discussion" being 19:50 of Grandpa, and about 0:10 from me). I won't bore anyone here with the contents, except to say that his final advice was to "eat right, exercise a reasonable amount, get enough sleep on a regular basis and look both ways when crossing the street...but otherwise avoid docs and hospitals, and you should live to be 85 or older" - all on the theory that "God has given us a wonderful machine that is capable of self-repair that doctors could only dream about being able to do." He did say, though, that if you have your bone sticking out of your leg, then go to the hospital...that's the kind of thing that they're there for. Note that the use of "God" by my Grandfather was a bit unusual - he was very educated in religious matters, but not terribly religious at all (not after what he saw in Europe near and right after the end of WW2).

I'd like to believe that he would have agreed with you, Aesop. He wasn't much for swallowing doctrine wholesale and without very thorough and rigorous examination...and Darwinism just doesn't cut it as an explanation for the origin, progress and/or current state of life on this ball of dirt.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 8:49A

Was there something in the question too difficult to grasp?
We have the point made that the eyes of the octopus are almost like humans, (as if that somehow makes them less complex), together with the twin postulation "almost like they evolved" i.e. from one to the other.
Show that transition

Failing that, the poster has merely identified two vision systems too complex to explain by means of natural selection, without showing how either one "evolved", in either direction.

If you can't prove something, you can't disprove it either, and it has slipped the bonds of scientific enquiry, and landed squarely in the realm of a philosophical belief system demanding blind faith.

Once again, if someone has a religious belief, it's a free country. But in no sense do others' fetishes and superstitions inform the quest for actual truth.
Darwin's larger theory is exactly that, and always has been, and the more scientific data that accumulates, the more recockulous and untenable it becomes as any sort of perch for science.

L. Ron Hubbard came up with a theory of the Origin of Species too (aliens, IIRC), and his acolytes are entitled to pass the offering plate, just as Darwin's do.
But both are following a religious philosophy, for moral and spiritual reasons, and not pursuing a scientific line of inquiry.

And we're back to "Albuquerque. Snorkel."

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 9:14A
...By chance (unless of course you believe in the sky pilot) dog genes are unique in the animal kingdom and mutations or "breeds" are easy and common. There is probably no end of the possible dog breeds that could be created. This isn't proof of god or much of anything actually...
1) you aren't paying attention. it was neither intended as proof of god. It was offered in support of the idea that small-"e" evolution within a species hurts no one's feelings, and is easily demonstrated.
2) For Large-"E" Evolution from mitochondria to humans to occur, in other words for Darwin to be within a country mile of reality, mutations for every species must necessarily be "easy and common".
That they are not, and never have been, is another harpoon in the bag of digested broccoli gas that is Darwinism. But it does go a long way to explaining the dearth of fossil evidence, let alone live animals, that would tend to support such a farcical notion, if any such evidence were to be found.

@Anonymous 8:51A
re: how old the world is...

I have no idea. Nor, ultimately, does it matter to the proposition, nor to me.
Every scheme of dating relies on assumptions absent evidence, for instance that sedimentary layers were deposited at a steady rate.
Which makes no sense geologically in a world governed by weather, plate tectonics, and covered 2/3rds with water. On either a short- or long-term basis, we have anything but a predictable system, and once again, we don't know what we don't know. Plate tectonics wasn't even accepted scientifically until long after the current dogma about geologic layers and emplacement was well-entrenched (you should forgive the pun). In fact, currently accepted as holy writ, tectonics was once harshly ridiculed. Like most scientific truth.

Picking a dating scheme is like telling me you can determine which flakes in a snow globe are the oldest ones to hit the bottom, without taking into account the owner shaking it up at irregular intervals. Or that it sits on a shelf by train tracks, in a house beset by the occasional tornado.

Measuring the speed of the parts of the universe flying outwards is also something we've only been able to do for a fraction of recorded history, which itself is but a sliver of the universe's proposed time of existence. So those calculations are hampered by assumptions as well, that an explosion sufficient to create everything flung the bits out at either standard, or even predictable rates.

Such S.W.A.G. assumptions tell us more about the guessers involved than they ever do or will about the item being guessed at, as always.
bear in mind that medieval astronomers had copious evidentiary proof for their scheme, until Mr. Copernick and Mr. Galileo pointed out reproducible data that didn't fit the assumption set, and turned the whole applecart over, hard.

No one on earth has all the information. A great many "experts" on anything are demonstrably idiots. Therefore that one ought not to cling too fiercely to what they think they "know" is an informative and excellent lesson to recall, at all places and times. Especially when someone tells you about "scientific consensus", which is and always has been the antithesis of actual science.

Science is one guy, with the proof, who's demonstrably right.
What you, your nephew, the Pope, and/or 5,000 other scientists with Ph.Ds think at that point is wholly irrelevant to reality. Reality is; and it doesn't give a $#!^ about your college or degrees.

Anonymous said...

"Science is one guy, with the proof, who's demonstrably right."

I recall a story about how the Nazi's published a book to disprove Einstein's "Jewish science" called something like "100 Scientists Against Einstein". Albert's response was "Why did they need 100? If I was wrong one would have been enough"

Mark D

froginblender said...

Could life have arisen spontaneously from natural processes? The arguments pro and con ultimately hinge on probability theory, which I'm not well-versed in, so I pass on coming down on one or the other side of the issue.

However, that natural selection is the engine of evolution is, to me, so obvious from the historical record and from contemporary observation that I'm dumbfounded how an intelligent person like Aesop insists on the opposite.

Aesop said...

Natural selection explains only why lions dine on the slow and the weak antelope.
It does nothing to explain why there are both lions and antelope.

There's no evidence for Darwinian evolution of species from a common ancestor in the historical record, which is precisely the problem. Explicit evidence of it is exactly what has never been produced.
The process is also incapable of accounting for the complexity of the product (except with much hand-waving and incantations), and there's insufficient time for it to do so.
That much of science clings to such an unsupported and entirely unscientific theory is the entire scandal.

And probability theory isn't the problem with life spontaneously generating.
According to just that, there shouldn't be any.
Trying to go from simple chemicals to even the simplest organism is to look for the spontaneous generation of automobiles and locomotives from raw materials.
And only someone from the 19th century as wholly ignorant of the biochemistry necessary (like Darwin) could suggest such with a straight face.
In light of that, science as a whole should have long since abandoned the farce of Darwinism, but one must recognize that there are powerful personal reasons many have to cling to something so logically preposterous.

Anonymous said...

Most species of animals aren't like horseshoe crabs, stable for hundreds of millions of years. That means most fossils are "transitional" fossils; you already have the transitional fossils you're asking for. What do you expect a transitional fossil to look like, half lion/half eagle? No, every transitional fossil is a functional animal, that's how it survived to evolve into something else.

'As determined by my intuition, this large amount of change is unreasonable in the timeframe.' Why does your intuition know what it's talking about? What dataset trained your intuition in what can happen over hundreds of millions of years?

Anonymous said...

Coyotes and Wolves are now interbreeding, producing the Coywolf, a new species. But if you found a Coywolf skeleton you'd say it was a "kind" itself, and demand a transitional fossil between the Coywolf and either the Coyote or Wolf. You will never find a half lion/half eagle, nonviable mutations don't survive to a live birth.

Aesop said...

And thus you've demonstrated as given out of hand, that dogs breed different dogs.
And granted that mutations that confer no advantage don't persist.
Which rules out a hundred-plus-part, thousand chemical-process vision system ever coming about.

It's also why you don't have the millions of intermediate fossils with partial systems, and any bridges linking and transitioning between lines, which is what undoes the whole Darwinian Theory, from lack of any supporting evidence.

You don't get to thereby extrapolate that with more time, amoebas therefore become humans. You either have evidence (non-existent), or you wave your hands and mutter incantations. Darwinism relies wholly on option "B".

Maybe the hurdle you've run into facefirst and headlong was too obvious...?

Anonymous said...

Coyotes (Canis latrans), Wolves (Canis lupus) are not dogs (Canis familiaris).

There are no half lion/half eagle intermediate fossils with partial systems, but Darwinism doesn't claim there should be. The fossils we currently have of functional individuals is consistent with Darwinism.

froginblender said...

Mark D, re the apocryphal statement by Einstein:

In fact, Einstein never had to go single-handed against scientific consensus. Max Planck, the greatest then-living physicist, immediately recognized Einstein's brilliance and arranged a professorship for him in Berlin. The Theory of Special Relativity was quickly accepted, but that had something to do with the fact that others had already provided most of its building blocks and Einstein provided finishing touches, wrapped it all up and put a ribbon on top.

General Relativity, on the other hand, took longer to understand and become accepted. However, when astronomical verification of it came, then it no longer was in doubt. Only a few crackpots claiming "Einstein was wrong" are left today. In the future, Quantum Gravity is expected to reconcile General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, but each of these theories will remain valid in those areas where it yields correct results today.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 12:36

-20 points from Slytherin for petty pedantry.

Wolves and coyotes are dogs, and both commonly and scientifically understood to be such, to the exact same degree that lions and tigers are referred to as cats.
Linnaeus, being better versed in Latin than you apparently are, knew this when he used the exact Latin word for "dog" for the entire genus. (That would be "canis".)

There are no species with partial multi-part systems, exactly contrary to everything Darwin claimed.
If somebody finds the octopi with any 100ths of our binary vision system, and gradually increasing fractions over millennia, give a holler. Darwinism demands them, entirely in vain to date.

There are also no intermediary species, which is contrary to all of Darwinism, because unless a species dead-ends at some point, every species is, of necessity, an intermediary along the continuum.

The fossils we have being consistent with functional individuals isn't the problem, and no amount of straw-mounding will suffice, even if you stick a carrot in the face and put a top hat on it: the problem is with the dearth of the exact intermediaries Darwinism requires, for every adaptation on every species, and for the bridges requisite under Darwinism at every irrationally-assumed link for everything between single cells and the most advanced primates.

That's why all of them, by the theoretical millions, are cleverly referred to as "missing links".

When you have libraries more missing evidence than actual evidence, it's not a theory, it's a wild-ass guess, and all it reveals is the biases and preconceptions of the guesser, and little to nothing about reality.
The closest equivalent would be attempting the assemblage Shakespeare's collected works, when all you have is the occasional random letter of 1/1,000,000th of the total, each cut out into a one-letter piece.

So once again, we're back to "the dog ate my fossil record homework", in lieu of logical deduction based on evidence.

Without differentiation, both in and between species, there's nothing for natural selection to select, which rather undermines the fundamental premise.
Apparently all the scholars of Darwinism were sick the day he covered that point, or perhaps that pivotal chapter is missing in the final edition sent to the typesetter.

Perhaps, in your spare time, you might look up the story about four blind men describing an elephant, and couple that with the realization that in Darwin's case, he's one of the blind men, describing a painting of an elephant.

And frog,
every scientist goes against scientific consensus, because consensus isn't science, and science isn't consensus. The only reason the entire exercise works is that one by one, guys (and ladies) leave the "consensus" herd of knuckleheads oohing and ahhing over the last discovery like a pack of hunters looking for their quarry, and says, "Hey, idiots, the next track is over here! Come look!"

He's right when he finds the track, not when enough muttonheads reluctantly concede that he did, after moseying over, and much beard-stroking.

That's the entire difference between actual science, and academia.
Few of them have the wit or wisdom to find and kill their own buffalo, but they'll fight over a share of the spare ribs to the last bone.

The best documentary on the value of scientific consensus was the movie "Krippendorf's Tribe", because all comedy is based in truth.
And the people who howled in laughter at it the loudest were college professors.

Anonymous said...

Darwin provides answers to why observable variations are produced in (currently) living organisms. Empirical , peer reviewed, and not subject to question (within a very narrow plane). His grand evolutionary theories are not necessarily supported by physical evidence, but his observations prove correct regarding changes in developed and observable animals and plants...to this day, not questioned. A small victory...a work in progress...a truth.

The theory of a greater hand, however, promoted by religious doctrine...where is any success evident in this argument? Any observable proof? A recognizable truth? No. Just speculation based on irreducible complexity? A book?

Darwin observed and quantified a methodology that can be studied and reproduced...religion, not so much.

Anonymous said...


Ok, the dog family has the same number of chromosomes, I didn't know that. The horse family has different numbers of chromosomes. The cat family has some pairs which hybridize, some which don't. The biology classification names were picked back before we could sequence genes and know their evolutionary relationships.

You misunderstand how genetics programming works. If you change one symbol in a program you don't get a small, smooth alteration in a feature, you get a disabled feature or a different feature. The features which have smooth gradations, like overall body size, are controlled by a large combination of genetic programming details, each of which produces a small overall effect when it changes. There isn't genetic combination programming for small features like eyeball structure. These features change in larger steps, and all the dysfunctional steps die early.

Darwin didn't claim there exist partial multi-part systems. That's a straw man from the anti-Darwinists.

Every species is an intermediary species. Every species might mutate or hybridize into another species someday.

If I present you with a missing link, you will claim this is a God-created species and then demand an adjacent missing link with a smaller change delta. This is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

You keep telling me what conclusions your intuition has come to. Why should I believe your intuition? If you want to convince me, show me your evidence. "I can't imagine that much change in that much time" is merely evidence that you can't imagine that much change in that much time. It says nothing about the real world.

froginblender said...

Aesop: you agree with me, then, that Einstein never was in a position where his insights were disputed by an overwhelming majority (a "consensus") of specialists in the field, that in fact Special Relativity gained widespread acceptance quickly after its introduction, and that General Relativity, too, became widely accepted by physicists fairly soon after publication.

That's good! The converse -- that someone of such towering ability, both as a synthesizer and original thinker, could face real opposition from a hundred non-Nazi non-idiots in his field -- is so unlikely as to border on the impossible. Perhaps Alfred Wegener's theory of continental drift is a rare counter-example. Another may be medical research into helicobacter pylori (but they did eventually get their Nobel prize).

Taking note of scientific consensus is useful to you and me, the unwashed masses. It's a convenient time-saver so we don't have to become experts ourselves. Sometimes consensus is claimed where it doesn't exist, such as the bogus "97%" of climate scientists agreeing on catastrophic man-made climate change. However, such distortions are easy to discover.

froginblender said...

... of course, that isn't to say that Einstein was never wrong. He did get it wrong on occasion (static universe, "spooky action at a distance"). But in the latter case, he was part of the "old order" digging in their heels against the quantum whippersnappers. To no avail.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 10:58
The theory of a greater hand, however, promoted by religious doctrine...where is any success evident in this argument? Any observable proof? A recognizable truth? No. Just speculation based on irreducible complexity? A book?

You cannot spin straw into an argument, by advancing an argument not made.
To attempt to bootstrap such into what I said is an utter fail.
There is no speculation of irreducible complexity.
There are mountains of examples, and they all handily undermine the argument that one species became every species, which was Darwin's entire point, FFS.
Agnosticism of your own side's argument is a poor calling card.

But, if you can undo the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and demonstrate any evidence that complex systems evolve successfully from simple ones, after first demonstrating any possibility of life itself being produced ex nihilo, you can apply for your Nobel Prize. That's a religious affirmation, not a scientific one, and it proceeds from a desire for such to be true, rather than evidence which points to it being so.

It's exactly that sort of unsupportable religious dogma in science that I'm against.

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 3:48
Darwin claimed that less-complex organisms evolved inexorably into more complex ones.
The vision system, as noted in the OP, is hopelessly unlikely to do so: it would require the spontaneous generation of something so complicated as to make codes unbreakable to the NSA's supercomputers look like child's play. The biochemical chain of action for human vision is so long that it makes Powerball odds look like a rational investment.

Which suggestion is utterly ridiculous before we get into the problem of all those missing non-sighted humanids or pre-humanids that have been found nowhere, never, by any one.
Assuming a binary-choice evolutionary wheel of fortune at its friendliest to Darwin's nonsense, a 1000-step vision process is 2 to 1000th power, just to help your problem along, which is roughly a 1 with 301 zeros after it.
Those are also your odds of it happening ever, BTW.
That's how many examples - that would be living, breathing non-sighted failures, you'd have to find with no vision before you got the needle in that haystack with vision.
And of course, you'd need to breed enough of them to survive in their prehistoric world, and then dominate.
Take the age of the oldest human ancestor postulated, then arguendo imagine a million mating pairs (Earth's entire actual human population likely wasn't a million humans until somewhere around 10,000 B.C., but I'm willing to spot you the difference for Lucy, or whatever hominid ancestor you'd care to nominate, just to be sporting) then have them crank out litters of triplets twice annually, and there isn't enough time from then until now to get to the first one with sight, with that 1 and 301 zeros after it.
Simply. Not. Possible.

Darwin's ignorance is condemned purely and absolutely by mathematics, and only religious frenzy detached from reason explains anyone else ever coming to his defense.
Math doesn't care what you want. It just is. Math says Darwin was full of more shit than a Christmas goose, and that's only to get to us having eyes.

Similar problems arise for every adaptation from mitochondria to bipedal humans, all of which had to happen for Darwin and Darwinism to be correct. In the time allotted by physicists since the Big Bang, and the time allotted by archaeologists since the first pre-humanids appeared, there simply hasn't been enough time to get the amount of diversity in one species, let alone to get to having all the species we currently have, postulated from one single-celled organism, and that's after spotting you the incredibly unlikely hurdle of that first cell self-assembling out of random amino acids, as has also been observed never, and never shall be.

Other than that, it's a great theory, if one likes Ponzi schemes on 'roids, and helpfully drops a pound of LSD and smokes a salad bowlful of crack prior to appraising its merits.

If Darwin had stopped at variation within species, which he had some wee foresight regarding, he'd have been a minor biologist with a handy observation, and nothing much to write home about, mostly forgotten by history though he'd be.

But in opining and extrapolating his theory to all of the biosphere from past to present, he is the P.T Barnum of scientific fraud, and successive discoveries of the complexity of every species and organism, all completely unimagined by Darwin for his entire life, reveal him as naught but a man hopelessly overmatched by the reality of life, and his ignorance of it, precisely as every level of inquiry has demonstrated.

The farther science explores things in blissful ignorance of, let alone considered opposition to his silliness, the more their findings accord with reality, and the more pathetic and ridiculous his prognostications appear.

When you have the scientific equivalent of a mentally retarded child making prognostications upon the origin of all life on the planet, that's precisely what anyone sane would expect.

Aesop said...

I plead ignorance of anything regarding the machinations for or against Einstein, as I'm not a historian of theoretical physics, nor likely to become one. But I do watch Big Bang Theory.

As to the rest, I'm no such member of the unwashed masses, and Copernicus, Galileo, Pasteur, Semmelweiss, Wegener, Einstein, and Dr. Barry Marshall are not the rare counter-examples, they are every step science has ever made, since forever.
It's always the guy away from the pack yelling "Hey, idiots. Over here! Look at what I found!"

The rule is ignorant superstition and foolishly clinging to what's not true out of a plethora of personal biases and unmitigated pig-headedness, forever.
people who ask questions and upset the established order piss off everyone else.
This is why Socrates was poisoned, it's why Galileo was tried for heresy, it's why Semelweiss, Wegener and Marshall were ridiculed, and it's why the global warming crowd has to fake data and form a mob to shout down the sane souls who note they're selling a warmist religion, and not doing science.

That's why most of science is about as well-regarded as most of politics and most of journalism: because they're simply gasbags full of shit, bullshitting to push an agenda for other reasons, not doing what they claim to be doing. And Toto pulled the curtain back on that scam long ago.

"Science isn't consensus, and consensus isn't science."
That's not me talking, that's Michael Crichton.
People who can't remember that absolute maxim should write in on their hands with a Sharpie, and it should be pounded into every undergrad starting in their first freshman lecture.
Every human impulse is to group up and go with the "consensus" of the herd; the more we do to get people to go off and look at things out on the horizon, the faster we'll find the buffalo.
If Edison had hired 1000 scientists to each try one way of making incandescent light, he'd have eliminated all the wrong ways a lot faster, and invented the lightbulb that much quicker.

Darwinian Evolution is 1000 guys all trying to make Darwin's failed filament glow, time after time after time, instead of discarding it as an utter failure, and moving on. It's millions of hopeless nerdy guys still stalking their first no-chance-in-hell crush, long after restraining orders have been placed, and the authorities have become involved.

That's not science, it's psychosis.

Anonymous said...

Darwin claimed that less-complex organisms evolved inexorably into more complex ones.

Mutation and hybridization produces both more and less complex animals. The first example of the less complex animals get eaten, because they're competing in an established niche and, being less complex, don't have anything novel to try. This leaves the more complex animals to survive by doing more complex behavior. The net motion of average evolution is in the complex direction, despite most mutations merely breaking things that work.

Assuming a binary-choice evolutionary wheel of fortune at its friendliest to Darwin's nonsense, a 1000-step vision process is 2 to 1000th power

Your math is wrong because your problem statement is wrong. There is no extra-Darwinian goal towards a particular vision system result. That goal is what gives you a probability calculation of 1,000 binary steps each given all the previous steps. Forget the idea of such goals. Instead, you have unrelated 1,000 mutations, and who knows where you will end up. You ended up with a more complex eye, but you also could have ended up with many other different more complex things: a better ear, a prehensile tail, nuclear power and blogs.

Aesop said...

"Your math is wrong...etc."

No, if anything, I oversimplified it, and it's still too hard.
We have the vision system in question.
The odds of that happening in single mutations is a mere 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
(I'm giving you the option of natural selection building the entire chain in simple blocks, rather than trying to pull the entire 302-digit thing out of Natural selection's ass, whole, in one go. At that point, any deistic explanation becomes mathematically far more rational than pulling the handle on a slot machine with 10 different fruits, and 302 wheels, and requiring all cherries to win, comprenez vous?. FTR, that would be a slot machine over 25 feet wide, if each wheel was 1 inch wide. Place your bets...anyone?)
The estimated age of the universe is 14,000,000,000 years give or take a few tens of millions, so I rounded up.
That would require 714,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 mutations per year, just to get the vision system we have now, or only 22,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 mutations per second, since the universe began, spotting you the entire 13.75B years guesstimated between the Big Bang and the first appearance of humanids. Each mutation requires one live birth and survival to breeding age, by definition. Such a birth rate would be approximately 2,400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times the peak birth rate on earth, reached in the late 1960s, when it was approximately 8 births per second each year.

Just to get you complex functioning eyes that work, like almost every set in recorded history.
If every star in the universe had a solar system, and every solar system had a planet in it with earth's atmosphere and particulars, and the population of every one of those planets were 4 billion people (earth's population in 1970) with our same birth rate then, the odds that our eyes would evolve successfully means that in only 2,400 years, one lucky couple somewhere in the universe would yell "Bingo." One couple. If every one of them had non-identical triplets, it would "only" take 800 years. In the entire universe.

Call me when you find the mountain of fossils of blind humanid ancestors (and their white-tipped canes, of course) stacked higher than the Himalayas on all those planets; or you simply can tap out when the mathematics of the undertaking finally dawn.
(And FTR, at every occasion, I rounded those numbers in Darwin's favor. Feel free to check the math, because if there's an error, it's because it's been awhile since I tried to long division with 300-place dividends.)

Then, go back and look at the picture of that mosquito's foot, and tell me how many moving parts there are there. Out of pity, we won't even get into the biochemical processes necessary to move them all via nerve impulses in its tiny and far less-complicated insectile nervous system, because that would be hunting harp seals with a minigun, from a helicopter. Although much funnier.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say the human vision system arose in one mutation. It arose after a series of mutations, most of which produced nonviable results which were spontaneously aborted so fast the animal may have not realized it conceived. None of those intermediates were blind, they were all functional individuals who reproduced. But you cannot use the A given B given C math because the present human vision system is not the only possible outcome.

Then, go back and look at the picture of that mosquito's foot, and tell me how many moving parts there are there.

I recently saw a picture comparing a human arm, a bat's wing, and a chicken's wing. The bat's wing is supported by elongated hand fingers, the chicken's wing has very tiny nonfunctional fingers. These basic parts are conserved because single mutations can't reprogram them. I suspect if you look at the mosquito's foot you can find body parts which are just size changes from ancestor body parts.

Aesop said...

Got it: You're going for a 1000-bit biochemical process, and the requisite eyeball, all evolved and were birthed in one go. Despite that 302-digit "odds against" problem, and the fact that one missing link in that biochemical chain equals, not fuzzier vision, but total blindness.
So you're pulling that 25-foot wide slot machine, and hoping for all cherries, end to end.
Bravely attempted, but as I said, that's the entire reason there's no time for it to have ever happened in the history of the universe, even if one sits on the scale on Darwin's behalf. While riding their pet elephant.
As the cartoon above in the OP notes "You need to be more explicit there in Step 2."
If finding a single 10-piece mousetrap indicates the high probability of a mousetrap maker, you're now going with finding 100 of them, and clinging to blind chance as their author.

As for the mosquito foot, pushing the design back to "ancestor's parts" is the textbook definition of "begging the question". So where did those parts spring from?
At some point you have to answer the complexity discovered, and the problem hasn't gone away.
Though if attempting to crack a 302-pin lock hasn't fazed one, the hubris necessary for that is not in question.

Anonymous said...

Awesome article Aesop! Best take on the sham of evolution ever.