@Sean Pitman: You are correct. I did inadvertently misstate your …

Comment on Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit by pauluc.

@Sean Pitman:

You are correct. I did inadvertently misstate your positiom

I said

“3] You use the dog model of phenotypic variation as a model of post flood diversification but claim there is no new mutations. Dog phenotypic variation is not at all speciation so you must have all the current species on the ark or you must believe that for example all canines species diversified by mechanisms that do not require new information.”

You responded

“Of course there are new mutations. New mutations happen all the time, in every individual in every generation. How many times have I pointed this out to you? Why then would you claim that I recognize no new mutations? ”

“I also think that creatures like dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes, etc., are all part of the same original gene pool – the same original parents. Many phenotypic differences between these “species” are indeed based on novel mutations. It is just that these mutations did not produce qualitatively novel information/function beyond very very low levels of functional complexity.”

I did try to maintain your distinction between new mutations and new information although I think this is an unnecessarily opaque distinction that is not part of the peer reviewed genetics literature. I apologize in that I inadvertently suggested you do not recognize new mutations when in fact you do but then make a distinction between new mutations and new information. I seem to have failed to maintain that distinction. The point I was making was that you have often stated on this site and in relationship to Darwinian evolution your position that random mutations cannot generate new information or contribute to changes in phenotype. Now you seem to indicate that phenotypic changes in dogs (and I presume in all kinds represented by 2 animals) only occur by resorting multiple alleles in the original 2 founders but have qualified this somewhat in that you concede that you consider there may be minor mutation that do not have any significant functional contribution and do not contribute new information. I really do not understand; I have interpreted both you and David Read as saying there may be essentially information-less mutations but now you indicate some of them do have a little information or novelty. It seems you need to decide if there is new information or not. Beyond that as everyone recognizes novel changes may be neutral, beneficial or detrimental all to varying degrees based on circumstances. Is there novel information or not? If there is, no matter how small there is new information and even this minimal new information may still be fodder for selection and your position becomes, except in time frame, no different to the conventional view that sees variation (genetic variation) as the basis for natural selection and evolution.

In terms of random mutation accumulation in dogs. Do you think the >2 millions SNP identified in dogs (actually canids) come from the founding pair of canids or were introduced by mutation over 4000 years? That is a new mutation rate per year of 500/year or approximately 500 per generation. The alternative is of 1 million nucleotide differences in each of the near perfect pairs. That means that in the 19000 genes in dogs there were on average 5000 nucleotide differences some 4000 years ago. An example of this in the sequence literature would be very helpful in testing your hypothesis. I say there is no example anywhere near this level of allelic variation within an individual but if you can give the URL for such alleles then i would concede I do not need to reject your hypothesis.

Of course the SNP density in current day dogs is at around 1 per 1000 bases but in your model of 2 near perfect pairs you need more loci to account for more than 4 possibilities. You could account for more than 3 SNPs at a site by increasing the number of possible sites by gene duplications but you might have a novel solutions for which you can provide evidence.

For details consult this freely available review.
or this less easily accessed paper
or the paper which I referenced before that gives the SNP data on dogs in comparison to other canids.

pauluc Also Commented

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
I think you should read the critique about the assumptions implicit in the simulations looking for the common ancestor before using this to support your model of YEC.


Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit
@Sean Pitman:

“Do you really not see the exponential nature of the problem? There is really no point in further discussion if you will not discuss this particular question.”

I may well be dense in not understanding your view of the primacy of mathematical modelling.

We have had this discussion before apropos of the paper by ferrada on novel function in proteins.

As I see it your modelling and statistics is largely based on the premise that functional sequence/s must derive denovo and that the probability of this is infinitely small is akin to questions surrounding abiogenesis. I do not have any knowledge of that and do not think it is a question worth asking. To me it must at this time be relegated to the realm of non-science as there is no obvious mechanism for testing it. A conclusion perhaps reinforced by the lack of any significant literature on this, a finding that you have articulated on this thread and attributed to the lack of insight by scientists.

In terms of the reality of speciation and the associated functional change in existing sequences your statistical inferences premised as they are on assumptions about denovo production are not really helpful, at least in the mind of practising scientists.

The reality is that we agree that speciation has occurred largely due to new mutational changes in your case you say accumulating within 4000 years.

Now that is a question that can be addressed and will be addressed with rapid genomic sequencing and analysis. My predication is that there will be at the genomic level no essential qualitative difference in the process of genetic change for speciation/genetic diversity between subspecies like Neandertal and Denisova and between primates.
If you disagree the onus is on you to provide the evidence within this or other mammalian groups to show that there is some qualitative barrier at the level of a “kind”. If you think there is a 1000fsaar limit then show where that would apply in primate phylogeny.

Southern Adventist University opens Origins Exhibit

1] I’m afraid I am going to once again have to pass on your suggestion for wasting more time than I have in responding to your mantra about probability and complexity. Like accountants statistic is my servant not my master.
I disagree with your bottom up approach of looking at data from some preconceived theoretical reality. You model sequence space as being the arbiter of reality and your basis for accepting it is an immovable faith position not an attempt to model real observations. I approach the reality of speciation in a top down fashion the same way as Darwin did; we have evidence for speciation (which you do seem to accept) but how did this happen at the genome and molecular and is there evidence of limitations?

2] Your fixation on the front loading of genetic information ina a breeding pair seems impervious to logical or mathematical argument and you do not seem to be able to accept what any population geneticist would immediately see. 2 individuals is a gene puddle not a gene pool and arguments about evolution by allelic selection is completely unrealistic.

3] I do not think you have actually read the references I have suggested as relevant to discussions on mechanisms of speciation. If you have, you seem to have read them as an apologist not as a scientist and see only what you want to see instead of reading the publication for what is the message of that publication.

4] When I ask for an example of instances of 1000fsaar limitation in the human vs chimp comparisons I was, as a scientist, thinking perhaps you would give me a relevant response with some specificity including minimally a gene ID or base sequence ID so I can actually check what you are talking about.

Recent Comments by pauluc

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Bob Helm: With that said, I find your views to be spiritually dangerous and often scientifically weak. I detect a lot of smoke in your posts, but very little light. I hope you will continue to ponder these issues and try to have an open mind.

You are most welcome to your opinion and I know you would like nothing better than that anyone who takes Christianity and the Bible seriously but not literally to just go away. It is much better not to know of any possible problems with one current views. It very hard to get to the science when we cannot even agree on what is science. What passes as science on this site is so completely dismissive of its methodological basis and history and is entrained in a specific supernatural world view that allows arbitrary acceptance of any observation as miraculous. I think Roger’s paper may well be relevant to Adventist that believe that Christianity has and must respond to a careful study of physical reality by reconsidering its interpretations of the word of the Lord, but as Sean has indicated you are exception to that characterization. I still do not really understand why you should be interested at all in any science. It seems a bit messy to worry about facts. It really seems an unnecessary bother to argue whether the precambrian/cambrian boundary or the upper cenzoic (is that really what you meant?) as the evidence of a divine intervention.

Dont worry I do have an open mind which is why I still peruse this site to see how more knowledgable fundamentalist Adventists think. I wont worry you further.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: So, you do see the need for a police force and a military to maintain civil society, but somehow Christians should not provide what is an otherwise necessary part of that civil society? I’m with Abraham Lincoln on this one when he noted the inconsistency of such a position – like Orthodox Jews paying others to turn their lights on for them on Sabbath

On that logic you should not have any issue with working on Sabbath in any profession serving 24/7. Be that computer support, utilities firefighters. Those giving up those jobs because of inability to have sabbath observance were all deluded. They as Christians should be prepared to “provide what is otherwise a necessary part of civil society”

You cant have it both ways. You cant because of a moral postion claim that Adventists should have exception from working on Sabbath and at the same time deny me the right to consider immoral some occupations that may be very utilitarian in a world full of selfishness and the human acts of evil that comes from that.

Lets for a moment step back from lala land. Where are we and where did we come from on this thread?

1] You posted a rehash of all your usual arguments in response to an article about the more mainstream Adventist positions that may impact the way Adventism reacts to conventional science. All very straight forward.
2] The contention was that Adventism has accepted process for the orgin and evolution of the inanimate world. The birth and death of galaxys and stars and planets in black holes supernova and impacts of spiralling planets. This is where it gets really strange.
3] You contend that Adventism has always accepted the conclusions of that process but then expand on your view of the process which involves a little bit of order and natural law but large amounts of magic. God waited a few billions years until the interstellar material generated by the big band condensed into planets onto which God created life mature and complete. This included Heaven the place of his throne-room which he populated with physical being angels which it is implied have both mass and composition and metabolism.
4] When it was suggested that the same processes and natural law resulted in life on this planet this was claimed inconceivable and would never be done by any process involving life and death. Instead the life we see now is in reality designed to live for ever and has be chemically changed because it is deprived of a particular form of nutrient from a tree that existed on the Earth some 6000 years ago.
5] The inconguity of practicing medicine by the principles of process of natural law and the technology resulting from both the processes of the innanimate and the animate world rather than accepting the much more important process of divine intervention seems to be completely obsure.
6] When someone says that the process of life and death that gave us the physical substance of our universe is also the basis of the creation of life here he must be animal hating sadistic psychopath who cannot belieive in a God of love and grace and is lying when he says that non-violence characterizes the children of the heavenly father for one must always recognize that peace and freedom are only obtained over the bodies of 1/3 of the angels of heaven and the eternal physical and violent struggle against those who would practice violence.

I really cannot understand you Sean. Your ways are way beyond me. I am just sorry that Bob seems to be drawn into your twighlight zone.


Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?
@Sean Pitman: sorry but your curious amalgam of magic and biology is not really comprehensible to me as a biologist or as a Christian . it. is neither logical or biologically feasible

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: However, according to the Bible and Ellen White, before the Fall God specifically directed nature so that all sentient life was protected in a manner that there was no suffering or death. By eating from the “Tree of Life” God provided constant renewal and regeneration that worked against what would otherwise be inevitable entropic changes, decay, and death. It was by deliberately stepping away from the true Source of eternal life that mankind stepped away from God and into the full workings of mindless natural law alone – which does in fact inevitably lead to suffering and death.

And this interpretation is precisely why you need a theodicy. Where is the justice in killing all for the sake of the sins of one woman+man? It makes no sense logically. If they were conditionally immortal because of eating of the tree of life then did all the animals in all the world congregate around this tree like beasts around a water hole on the serengeti. how exactly do you as you are wont to do translate the account into a literal reality. And which beast had to come and eat. Or was it symbolic? Oh now that’s a thought.

Avondale College Arguing in Favor of Darwinian Evolution?

Sean Pitman: Come on now. Even I can imagine limitations to reproduction or the turnover of sentient carbon-based life. Surely you can at least imagine something similar? I know God can since such a world is described in the Bible and in the writings of Ellen White. Think about it…

Of course I have. This is not simply about reproduction. That is trivial. This is about metabolic process. Show me a carbon based life form that does not grow or metabolize anything and I will show you an organism in stasis as a spore “living” millions of year in amber. That is; effectively dead.

Real life cannot exist without metabolic process in a carbon based world and God has sanctified all this by a process of making good out of evil from the death of one comes life for others. Just as in the biological world so in the spiritual. By his death we have life. Just as God sanctified the practice of sacrifice of appeasement practiced by most cultures for thousands of years before and showed that in the Judeo-Christian tradition these same acts of sacrifice were emblematic of a monotheistic God that would become incarnate and bring life from death. So also he took the preceding accounts of creation derived as they were of the mesopotamian valley and recast it as an account of the monotheistic God who is above all but comes and dwells among us to become one of us. Participating in our life and death but showing us the importance of the transcendent life of the spirit that supercedes carbon based life and its inherent death. It is no fairy tale of 6 impossible things before breakfast. It is not pie in the sky by and by. It is rooted in a real world and it is about the transcendence of love and grace that is acted out in a real physical world by the incarnate God and us as we follow as His disciples.

That is the message I get from the images and visions of the Canon and EG White. But of course I read it for the message that it conveys not as a scientific text. That is where we fundamentally differ.