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Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison) 
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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Harry Marks wrote:
It wouldn't be the first time a spineless creature lost their nerve!

But seriously, it wouldn't be the only case of capacities disappearing when they are useless. It takes a lot of energy to support the nervous system, so most cave-dwelling species tend to evolve into sightless variants. Just to give a well-known example.

It's true that creatures can lose abilities like the blind cave fish in response to the environment as you say Harry. I think in this case the evidence is more on the side of Leonid Moroz the neuroscientist that sponges likely never had neurons to begin with.
Richard Dawkins has waded into the U.S. presidential debate publicly berating Ben Carson for not believing in macro-evolution.
R.D.in an interview on C.N.N. trotted out his usual line on genomic similarities and relatedness being clear cut and overwhelmingly supporting common ancestry etc.
As Moroz points out the jelly comb has been found to be unique genetically so much so that he calls them aliens.
Shhhh! don't tell Richard.
www.breitbart.com/video/2015/11/01/rich ... evolution/



Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Flann wrote:
As Moroz points out the jelly comb has been found to be unique genetically so much so that he calls them aliens.
Shhhh! don't tell Richard.


And yet Moroz, his team, and every other evolutionary biologist is able to keep this in perspective. They don't doubt "macro" evolution. Ben Carson should be berated.


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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Interbane wrote:
And yet Moroz, his team, and every other evolutionary biologist is able to keep this in perspective. They don't doubt "macro" evolution. Ben Carson should be berated.

Overall they don't doubt it Interbane though there are many scientists who now consider the neo-Darwinian synthesis incomplete and in need of modification.
The bacteria to man theory holds sway and all evidence is interpreted through that prism even though there are problems with the evidence.
Moroz reckons jelly combs evolved neurons and a complex system of nerves. It should be that sponges and jelly combs have a common ancestor. How is the jelly comb unique genetically then?
Shouldn't they be genetically similar as Dawkins maintains the comparative genomes show?



Last edited by Flann 5 on Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Flann 5 wrote:
The bacteria to man theory holds sway and all evidence is interpreted through that prism even though there are problems with the evidence.
Moroz reckons jelly combs evolved neurons and a complex system of nerves. It should be that sponges and jelly combs have a common ancestor. How is the jelly comb unique genetically then?
Shouldn't they be genetically similar as Dawkins maintains the comparative genomes show?

Yes, cladistics has verified over and over that structural tracers go along with common genetic elements.

Sounds like an interesting puzzle.

I think Dawkins has trouble accommodating multi-objective approaches to big worldview gestalts. For him, there is only one aspect of the question which matters: what is the evidence? And that is a salutary attribute for a natural scientist. But it doesn't help him understand people.

I personally think Carson is seriously wrong, and we should be at least a little worried about someone who is willing to set aside so much evidence for his priority on scriptural authority. But I think Dawkins takes it a bit too far.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Flann wrote:
Overall they don't doubt it Interbane though there are many scientists who now consider the neo-Darwinian synthesis incomplete and in need of modification.
The bacteria to man theory holds sway and all evidence is interpreted through that prism even though there are problems with the evidence.


The key here is to keep it in perspective. There are problems with every theory. Consider general relativity. It is close enough to the truth that we use it to perform calculations for GPS satellites. However, it still requires modification. It doesn't mesh with quantum physics.

Keeping it in perspective means that the things general relativity accounts for must still be accounted for. The evidence must all be accounted for, even as the theory shifts to accomodate new evidence. There is far more evidence to show life has evolved than there is for general relativity. Any new model or theory must still account for this fact. Life has evolved. The methods in which life have evolved will shift, of course. The paths life has taken in the last billion years will give us new surprises. But what won't change is the fact that life has evolved. The evidence shows this to be true beyond a reasonable doubt.

With such a vast and complex field, it's easy for someone like Carson to lack perspective. Maybe in spirit of Harrison's book, we could point out where he deviates from good thinking. I personally don't believe it's possible to have as much knowledge as Carson has, yet also be a good thinker. These two things aren't possible if a person also rejects a theory that has such a massive amount of convergent evidence from so many various scientific fields.


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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Harry Marks wrote:
I think Dawkins has trouble accommodating multi-objective approaches to big worldview gestalts. For him, there is only one aspect of the question which matters: what is the evidence? And that is a salutary attribute for a natural scientist.

The problem for me Harry is that R.D.is well aware of the problem of conflicting family trees in comparative genomes yet flat out asserts that on the contrary these show clear cut hierarchies and a "perfect family tree."
This is simply false. These problems are well known by biologists. Here's one example on comparisons in primates.
http://www.newcreationist.blogspot.ie/2 ... trees.html

The iconic tree of life is also being questioned within molecular biology. Here's an interesting exchange between Craig Venter and Richard Dawkins from a longer discussion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXrYhINutuI

New Scientist published an article in 2009 on problems with Darwin's tree of life. The proffered solution is that different species interbreed much more than previously thought. Well maybe, but it would be interesting to know how they define species.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2009 ... -tree-life

There are other problems such as orfan genes which are not satisfactorily explained but waved aside with mere hypothesizing of rapid evolution.
The theory has lots of problems but for a philosophical naturalist it's the only game in town. Dawkins is not ignorant of these problems in genetics but dismisses those who raise them as ignorant.
Here are the problems scientifically as laid out by a theist. http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

I might also add that in that C.N.N clip the iconic Archaeopteryx fossil was shown as a link from reptiles to birds but it's known by paleontologists that bird fossils have been found predating this supposed ancestral link.
Homology of limbs can just as easily be explained by common design as common ancestry.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:55 am, edited 6 times in total.



Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:43 am
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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Flann 5 wrote:
The problem for me Harry is that R.D.is well aware of the problem of conflicting family trees in comparative genomes yet flat out asserts that on the contrary these show clear cut hierarchies and a "perfect family tree."
This is simply false. These problems are well known by biologists.

Well, you know what Kuhn found about new paradigms - the resistance from advocates of the old paradigm can be downright intransigent. I looked at the guardian piece and it does look interesting, and new to me.
I knew about micro-organisms exchanging genetic material - in fact that was the basis for Rifkin's objections to GMO's and still has not received a satisfactory answer.
I also know about hybrids - usually these are sterile, which is a requirement for declaring separate groups to be separate species. They are allowed to have interbreeding capacity, but the offspring must be, at least for the most part, sterile.

It may be a while before I get around to checking out "new creationist" and "new geologist" source material. Creationists are just not honest. Whenever one of their anomalies gets explained, they just move on to some other new material.

The fundamental problem is that science needs to be a program for investigation. When an anomaly shows up, if nobody has a hypothesis for following up further investigation of a mechanism, there is no place for it. It cannot be turned into science. If creationism ever gets around to positing a mechanism that is based on special creation and can be investigated, then it has some chance of being supported by evidence. But so far the extent of their science is "there are anomalies" and they have no mechanism to explain that, which might be investigable.

Flann 5 wrote:
The theory has lots of problems but for a philosophical naturalist it's the only game in town.

I think that is quite literally true. There is no alternative conceptual structure with any possibility of being investigated.

Flann 5 wrote:
Homology of limbs can just as easily be explained by common design as common ancestry.

So what difference does it make? If a designer works by ancestry, as is overwhelmingly the case, then ancestry is the mechanism. And if there is some other mechanism, how can we sniff it out and elucidate its workings?



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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Flann, what you see as "problems" are just course corrections for the vehicle of science. Darwin's tree of life, as you say, was merely metaphoric. And we would expect Darwin, who wrote The Origin of Species before the work of Gregor Mendel was known, would quite naturally have been wrong about quite a lot of things. But he was right about natural selection as the main mechanism for diversity of life on our planet. The intervening years have only piled on the evidence supporting Darwinian evolution.

From the article:

Quote:
But modern genetics has revealed that representing evolutionary history as a tree is misleading, with scientists saying a more realistic way to represent the origins and inter-relatedness of species would be an impenetrable thicket. Darwin himself also wrote about evolution and ecosystems as a "tangled bank".


So even Darwin envisioned a "tangled bank." There is no problem, only refinement. The question is, why do you persist on finding "problems" where credible evolutionary scientists find none?


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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Quote:
The problem for me Harry is that R.D.is well aware of the problem of conflicting family trees in comparative genomes yet flat out asserts that on the contrary these show clear cut hierarchies and a "perfect family tree."
This is simply false. These problems are well known by biologists. Here's one example on comparisons in primates.
http://www.newcreationist.blogspot.ie/2 ... trees.html


You trust information from a man who has been a pastor for many churches, and is a lone voice proposing these ideas? It should occur to you that this man's bias is necessarily so large that his interpretation of the data can't be trusted, even if you agree with him.

Everything you post follows this format Flann. Apply the standards of good thinking to what you post, and you'll see it all wash away under the bridge.


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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Interbane wrote:
You trust information from a man who has been a pastor for many churches, and is a lone voice proposing these ideas? It should occur to you that this man's bias is necessarily so large that his interpretation of the data can't be trusted, even if you agree with him.

Everything you post follows this format Flann. Apply the standards of good thinking to what you post, and you'll see it all wash away under the bridge.


He's certainly not a lone voice on the subject of conflicts in family trees as indicated by genome comparisons. The article provided examples of this, but it's common knowledge among molecular biologists.

www.quantamagazine.org/20130604-a-new-a ... e-of-life/

That's why I find it bizarre that Richard Dawkins denies this and pretends everything is hunky dory and that genome comparisons provide overwhelming evidence for specific family trees. They are conflicting and confused in many cases.

geo wrote:
Flann, what you see as "problems" are just course corrections for the vehicle of science.


You can see it that way Geo. I think many of these problems are intractable. Origin of life. Orphan genes appearing de Novo. Cambrian explosion. Convergent evolution of systems and morphology in radically different creatures.
Limitations of mutations for radical variation as seen in fruit flies,bacteria and the great experiment inducing mutations in crops as detailed by Loennig.
R.D. says it's a fact!
I question that sacred cow.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
:offtopic:

What's with the creationist derail??


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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Flann 5 wrote:
You can see it that way Geo. I think many of these problems are intractable. Origin of life. Orphan genes appearing de Novo. Cambrian explosion. Convergent evolution of systems and morphology in radically different creatures.
Limitations of mutations for radical variation as seen in fruit flies,bacteria and the great experiment inducing mutations in crops as detailed by Loennig.
R.D. says it's a fact!
I question that sacred cow.


You think many of these problems are intractable, but you're not a scientist. That would be like me saying there are problems with quantum physics based on my own lack of understanding of the science.

The "problems" you mention are merely areas where more research is needed. They would be problems only if scientists were unwilling to look at new information and unwilling to try to figure it out.

But Robert is right. This thread is way off topic. Are you reading the book, Flann?


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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
geo wrote:
But Robert is right. This thread is way off topic. Are you reading the book, Flann?


O.K. I'll leave you guys to get back on track. Did you discover where brains come from?



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Post Re: Ch. 2: Where Do Brains Come From? ("Good Thinking" - by Guy P. Harrison)
Quote:
Flann wrote:
Did you discover where brains come from?


According to Harrison, It is not possible to pin point the origins of brains. (something that I find agreeable)
Its clearly very difficult if not impossible to know the moment of every evolutionary development of the past 4.5 billion years.



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