"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Nov 13, 2009

Genetic Evidence for Human Evolution 1

One of the great things about science is that it never stands still and that evidence and observation is always emerging which either challenges existing theories or further supports them.

In the field of Biology the ability to rapidly sequence genomes is now providing vast new amounts of evidence about the relationship between the various forms of life on his planet, including humans, and showing us more clearly as time passes exactly how the various forms of life we see today evolved.

Its been known for a long time that Humans are genetically primates and most closely related to the Great Apes.

However before gene sequencing became available it was not possible to specify exactly the genetic changes that occurred in our common ancestor which led to the emergence of humans and the different great apes.

This video is worth watching because it explains very clearly the results of more recent genome sequencing and how this is throwing light on the relationship between man and the other primates.

20 comments:

Looney said...

Another total moron!

The combining of the two chromosomes into one is going to effect transcription rates and is guaranteed to have a design function.

Looney said...

I should clarify this, since the general pattern of this error gets repeated over and over again by intellectuals. The biologist compares two organisms and sees something unexpected in the DNA. He immediately jumps to the irrational conclusion that this is random and has no real design effect, knowing nothing of the consequences of this to the actual function of the organism. Then (by means of a miracle) he links the observation to the non-theory of evolution, and claims that he has disproven ID. The reason ID folk are usually dumbfounded is it is impossible to deal with people who aren't capable of forming an argument that isn't a non-sequitor.

Bunc said...

"The biologist compares two organisms and sees something unexpected in the DNA. He immediately jumps to the irrational conclusion that this is random and has no real design effect, knowing nothing of the consequences of this to the actual function of the organism."

I fail to understand how you reach that conclusion from watching this video Looney.

He says - in short - that we knew before we could gene sequence that the chromosome difrenece WAS significant for the "design" difference between Apes and humans.

he is NOT saying that the actual difference found is unexpected. he is saying it is what would be found from the predictions of evolutionry theory. Because a simple loss of a chromosome woudl have a massive a deliterious effect. So we EXPECTED a result of the type thta has now been established through gene sequencing.

The theory makes a prediction and observation supports the prediction - in this case establishing beyond douby the evollutionry connection between these species and ourselves.

You are as usual Looney simply playing with words and failing to address the actual facts of the matter.

If this was the only piece of evidence ( albeit an incredibly strong piece) then you might just get away with it. But given all the other evidence abuot the relationship between apes and humans then you are whistling in the wind.

Looney said...

Bunc, he stated that a simple loss of a chromosome would be fatal to the organism. This is obvious for the simple reason that all chromosomes encode information that is critical, so leaving out critical information would be fatal to the device. This is common sense which in no way can be derived from evolution. If you fail to put the wheels on a car (or the drive shaft, or ...) when it comes off the assembly line, it ain't going to drive very far! Do I really need a Darwinist to tell me that?

Now I will tell you the real reason for the design difference: It is essentially the same difference between the DNA of horses and donkeys. Hybrids (mules) can be formed, but they can't reproduce. The reason for the chromosome difference is to inhibit gays from mating with chimps and producing a miserable race of chimp-human hybrids! This is something God would care about, but evolution would never predict, except to the extent that evolution predicts all outcomes!

Bunc said...

Looney - sometimes words almost fail me when I read some of the things that you write.

The logic that a chromosome cant just disappear of course doesn't need to come from Darwinism. The logic that does come from Evolutionary Theory is that because Apes and Humans share a common ancestor then the fact that humans lack one chromosome MUST have a) left some trace of the mechanism within the genetic code b) happened in such a way that it retains evidence of the common genetic ancestry of the two groups.

This is exactly what is demonstrated.

Again all you are left with is bleating that " yes that may be so but the Magic Sky man still did it really."

Tell me - why would "he" ( or is it SHE) "design" things this way? As the guy in the video said - is he plantng all this evidence just to try to fool us? Did he do this simply to confuse those who lack faith and test those that do?

I have a thousand times more respect for the position of the guy in the video who clearly is able to face the conclusion that flows from the evidence yet retain his faith. At least he retains his faith while dealing with the real world rather than hiding from it and hand waving.

Lets see if you can at least partially face the evidence -

Whether or not the position was designed or not ( well come back to that)
a) do you understand that this finding demonstrates a close genetic relationship between apes and humans?

b) Given that the only evidence we have for explaining that species can be closely genetically related is that they are connected by an ancestor do you accept that Apes and humans share a common ancestor?

Looney said...

Bunc, all mammals have roughly the same design and similar numbers of chromosomes. Other critters with 48 chromosomes are the hare, gorilla, orangutan, potato and tobacco. A badger and a rabbit have 44.

A far better argument is that the species design information that was spread over 48 mammal chromosomes in chimps would need to be spread over 46 in humans. Someone checked and Bingo! The ID explanation was proven.

The Darwinists than backtrack to re-write things so that a evolutionary explanation is employed. The theory of evolution doesn't exist, so they really don't have any choice but to employ ID reasoning and then credit evolution.

In other words, I do not believe his explanation is correct or even makes any sense.

Bunc said...

A feeble attempt - and I suspect that you know it Looney.

Its the content of the chromosomes that matters not simply the numbers. The fact that other animals have the same, fewer or more is not the issue. Its the content and the similarity of the gene sequences within the chromosomes that matters not just the numbers.

Again you completely fail to address the evidence and seek to twist the issue.

You didn't address my questions at all.

Look at it this way - your children share a fairly predictable amount of genetic information with you that they dont share with me.

Equally they share less than that but still much with me that they don't share with an Ape.

They share less than with me but still an outstanding amount with Apes. They share less but still a surprising amount with say a mouse.

The mechanism by which they share their genetic inheritance with you is through direct biological inheritance.

The amount they share with me is again a consequence of direct biological inheritance - we are all humans and descended from common earlier human ancestors.

By Occams Razor, the most direct and reasonable conclusion must be that the reason they share much with Apes is also because of a direct biological relationship and one which like the others is a consequence of inheritance from a common ancestor.

Please try to address the actual issue this time eh?

The question is simple - why should we conclude that the mechanism by which your children are related to you and I is not exactly the same mechanism by which they are also related to Apes?

Looney said...

It is about time to consider giving this one a rest. I believe my arguments would go over quite well with my bright young students and would even consider showing this video and leading the discussion for them.

My son is down at UCLA where he is studying chemical engineering. He is taking a Biochemistry class this quarter, the first part of which is dedicated to similar proofs of evolution to the one in the video. As I understand it, they are all predictably in the same pattern as this video:

"We see something curious in DNA as we compare one organism to another. We don't understand why things are the way they are, or what the implications are, or anything else, nor can we make any deductions of any kind. Therefore, evolution explains it, and ID fails."

This is the best that evolutionary science has to offer after 150 years, and it does not rise to the level of a rational argument. At this level, evolution isn't a candidate for consideration under Occam's Razor.

Bunc said...

Interesting that you didn't directly address the issue I set out in my previous comment. I am not really surprised.

Rummuser said...

As an Advaitin and Vedantist, I have no problems whatsoever with the theory of evolution or natural selection as this is precisely what the theory of Karma talks about. Life goes around in various forms till it reaches perfection and moksha when the necessity for a physical manifestation ceases to be necessary. All Eastern philosophical systems accept this.

Looney said...

Rummuser, I have another friend who is an optimization expert and a practicing Hindu. He had a big problem with evolution since a) evolution and classical optimization theory are mutually contradictory and b) engineering design efforts were being switched away from classical optimization to evolution based methods with the inevitable catastrophic results.

Bunc said...

@Looney - and you still haven't addressed the question I asked in my last comment...

@Rum - yes thats a good point. I have actually read the Baghavad Gita and some other early Indian texts, I have also read some of the early Yogic and Buddhist texts (in translation of course!).

Indian "theology" / philosophy is fascinating because it incorporates much more about the nature of being and the world than the Judeo-Christian tradition with its "tribal folklore" view of creation.

I practised martial arts for a long time and became mostly interested in Buddhism and Zen Buddhism neither of which are really "religions" in quite the way we understand a relgion in the west.

I always felt that the Buddhist emphasis on letting go of striving or yearning had much to teach us. My only problem is that some of these philosophies I think can lead to a very fatalistic view of life

Looney said...

Bunc, the question you raised was fully answered before you posted it, and in fact was answered in the video.

He said you can't just leave a chromosome out. What he didn't say is that the reason you can't leave it out is that it probably describes the eyes or legs, or heart or brain or whatever, but he doesn't know what. Thus, whatever DNA software was in the extra chromosome of the chimp must have been somewhere else in the human. This is 100% pure ID reasoning.

ID reasoning is developed in the human mind starting from when we are infants, it is done subconsciously, and it impossible for a "scientist" to be taken seriously when he claims a deduction was made without the benefit of ID, because all human reason is tainted by ID. In fact, without ID, reason is simply impossible. This is why Dawkins routinely pulls up ID examples in his book (e.g. RADAR and SONAR for echo location) to explain biology. The same is true for graduate level molecular biology textbooks. Publicly evolutionists are always boasting of the power of their theory, but when you dig in just a tiny bit, you will find that they are helpless without ID.

The next sentence or two, after the video talker had already employed the ID reasoning, he then tried to project an evolutionary explanation onto his ID based deduction. The only evidence that he cited in the evolutionary deduction was that chimps have 48 chromosomes, whereas humans have 46. There was also a postulate that humans were closely related to chimps per some unknowable sequence of events. Since the chimps genome was just recently decoded, we will have plenty of time to find out how close, but then we must decode and compare more mammals before this begins to leave the land of babbling and approaches the fringes of science.

There is exactly nothing in that video to support evolution over ID. In fact, the exact opposite.

Rummuser said...

Looney, there can be no practicing Hindu! Within the broad umbrella of what is called for convenience sake, 'Hindu', there are innumerable schools of thought and belief as well as practices. The Indian way of life, accepts all such schools and says, live and let live. Your friend may well be practicing one form of our many systems that believes and accepts creation and I are almost all of us here, have no quarrel with that and we merrily get along with each other. Apart from all that internal confusion, Indians also accept Christianity of various hues, Islam of various hues, Zorastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and name itism.

The problem arises when one says that what he accepts to be "Better" or "The Only" true system to someone who has never had a quarrel with him. All hell breaks loose when this happens, which alas has been happening all too often in the recent past.

Looney said...

Rummuser, thanks for that clarification. I guess I try to understand what Hindu means through my Christian framework, which doesn't quite make sense!

Bunc said...

@ Looney,
He said you can't just leave a chromosome out. What he didn't say is that the reason you can't leave it out is that it probably describes the eyes or legs, or heart or brain or whatever, but he doesn't know what

No actually he didn't SAY what - that doesn't mean we don't know the functions of much of what is encoded for by the genetic material.

AND the important point you avoid is that its the SAME aspects of biological functions (designs in your terms) that are encoded for on the chimps chromosome and the combined chromosome in humans.

Whatever DNA software was in the extra chromosome of the chimp must have been somewhere else in the human.

Not necessarily in a chromosome which shows evidence of having been combined from two predecessor chromosomes though eh? It could have been found anywhere if the two groups were unrelated.

But you do appear to understand that genetic material is what produces biological functioning. AND you appear to accept that the relationship between the genetic material in humans and chimp is very close. We have progress it seems.

This is 100% pure ID reasoning.

If by that you mean that the genetic material is what leads to the biological function and structure then yes. You choose to call this design to introduce the notion of design into the argument.

The genetic material is what leads to the biological function and structures - simple.

ID reasoning is developed in the human mind starting from when we are infants, it is done subconsciously, and it impossible for a "scientist" to be taken seriously when he claims a deduction was made without the benefit of ID, because all human reason is tainted by ID.

Humans often reason by analogy. It doesn't mean those analogies ARE the processes that they are describing simply that this is the way we find it easiest to grasp them - demonstrated by your inability often to grasp basic biology except in analogous "design" terms.

You would probably have to explain quantum mechanics to someone who had no understanding of it by analogy. That doesn't mean the analogy IS the process. Pedagogy 101

In fact, without ID, reason is simply impossible.

I am sure that you know this to be untrue. In pure mathematics to give one example reasoning is not done by reference to design in the sense you use the term.

Explanation of mathematics to people learning it MAY be done by analogy to designs that people understand of course.

Bunc said...

This is why Dawkins routinely pulls up ID examples in his book (e.g. RADAR and SONAR for echo location) to explain biology.

Because he's giving analogies NOT explaining causal processes. He always explains this.

The same is true for graduate level molecular biology textbooks. Publicly evolutionists are always boasting of the power of their theory, but when you dig in just a tiny bit, you will find that they are helpless without ID.

That they find it difficult to explain complex concepts to people who don't understand them except by using analogy to other things - of course. See previous comments.

...he then tried to project an evolutionary explanation onto his ID based deduction.

The bit where hes moving from analogy to harder information you mean I assume.

The only evidence that he cited in the evolutionary deduction was that chimps have 48 chromosomes, whereas humans have 46.

Not true - he explains how the finding demonstrates the process by which the 48 and 46 chromosome arrangements (which on the face of it show a gross difference in the genetic "payload" of chimp and human ) actually on closer inspection reveal that the lost chromosome can be traced within the genetic material in one of our human chromosomes - thus confirming our close biological relationship to primates.

There was also a postulate that humans were closely related to chimps per some unknowable sequence of events.

Only unknowable in the sense that we don't know the names of everyone who lived during the Roman empire - yet that doesn't make us unable to trace its history. Similarly with human chimp biological history. We don't know every ancestral individual that led to the divergence of our group from the other primates.

That doesn't mean we don't understand the natural history of the process - evidenced by many distinct lines of evidence.

Since the chimps genome was just recently decoded, we will have plenty of time to find out how close, but then we must decode and compare more mammals before this begins to leave the land of babbling and approaches the fringes of science.

Wonderful - I think you are going to be surprised how quickly this evidence is stacking up Looney.

The speed at which genomes are being decoded and compared seems be following almost a Moores law.

There's every chance you and I will both be alive and blogging while we see the genetic evidence further stack up. I just love science.

You didn't address the points I made about your relationship with the apes. However I will repeat this in a proper post and see what you make of it then rather than in comments here.

Looney said...

"Because he's giving analogies NOT explaining causal processes. He always explains this."

From what I can see in my molecular biology texts, when a causal process is known, it is listed. When it isn't known, the intellectual says "evolution explains it", which is identical to saying, "I don't have a clue what happened".

"Wonderful - I think you are going to be surprised how quickly this evidence is stacking up Looney."

In a Ponzi scheme, new investors must keep being brought in to pay off the old. With evolution, it is always new evidence, while everything else over the last 150 years is discarded as so many non-sequitors. I am certain that the next ten years will see many more new proofs, but that none will survive more than a few years.

If I compare two related software programs that are similar, it is impossible to work out the change history, or to determine if they descended from one ancestor or were written independently by a single author at different times. The same applies to chimps and humans, but this will not stop intellectuals from insisting that they have done what everyone knows to be impossible. There is also the impossibility of even a simple program spontaneously generating, but all this evolutionary smoke is just a way of trying to bring back spontaneous generation.

Another fact I got from a friend of mine who does heart research: They prefer to use pigs' hearts over chimp or monkey hearts because the pig's heart is more physiologically similar to the human heart. I suspect that the tree of life will be mapped out completely different depending on which gene you choose, because this is already what biologists observe in the things effected by the genes. Like lawyers, I also expect biologists to provide every manner of misleading information as the facts are uncovered. Evolution is a religion, and their god demands this of them.

Bunc said...

If I compare two related software programs that are similar, it is impossible to work out the change history, or to determine if they descended from one ancestor or were written independently by a single author at different times. The same applies to chimps and humans, but this will not stop intellectuals from insisting that they have done what everyone knows to be impossible. There is also the impossibility of even a simple program spontaneously generating, but all this evolutionary smoke is just a way of trying to bring back spontaneous generation.

I am going to come back to this particular point in a post and show why this is wrong.

On the issue of research the reason that they use pigs is that they are indeed a close match being mammals but more additionally that there are a) less ethical issues around research using pigs b) they are easier and quicker to breed c) they are much easier in terms of husbandry d) they are omnivorous like humans

Because of the size of pigs it is also easier to use unmodified human surgical instruments and techniques on them.

The information you got from your friend was partial at best.

Looney said...

"I am going to come back to this particular point in a post and show why this is wrong."

With evolution, all things are possible? ;-)

"On the issue of research the reason that they use pigs is that they are indeed a close match being mammals but more additionally that there are a) less ethical issues around research using pigs b) they are easier and quicker to breed c) they are much easier in terms of husbandry d) they are omnivorous like humans

Because of the size of pigs it is also easier to use unmodified human surgical instruments and techniques on them.

The information you got from your friend was partial at best."

We asked him those questions and he informed us the issue was physiology only.

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