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Posts posted by Memammal

  1. Could somebody please assist with some knowledgeable feedback regarding this paper, please:








    Functional information is normally communicated using specific, context-dependent strings of symbolic characters. This is true within the human realm (texts and computer programs), and also within the biological realm (nucleic acids and proteins). In biology, strings of nucleotides encode much of the information within living cells. How do such information-bearing nucleotide strings arise and become established?




    This paper uses comprehensive numerical simulation to understand what types of nucleotide strings can realistically be established via the mutation/selection process, given a reasonable timeframe. The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process, and was modified so that a starting string of nucleotides could be specified, and a corresponding target string of nucleotides could be specified. We simulated a classic pre-human hominin population of at least 10,000 individuals, with a generation time of 20 years, and with very strong selection (50 % selective elimination). Random point mutations were generated within the starting string. Whenever an instance of the target string arose, all individuals carrying the target string were assigned a specified reproductive advantage. When natural selection had successfully amplified an instance of the target string to the point of fixation, the experiment was halted, and the waiting time statistics were tabulated. Using this methodology we tested the effect of mutation rate, string length, fitness benefit, and population size on waiting time to fixation.




    Biologically realistic numerical simulations revealed that a population of this type required inordinately long waiting times to establish even the shortest nucleotide strings. To establish a string of two nucleotides required on average 84 million years. To establish a string of five nucleotides required on average 2 billion years. We found that waiting times were reduced by higher mutation rates, stronger fitness benefits, and larger population sizes. However, even using the most generous feasible parameters settings, the waiting time required to establish any specific nucleotide string within this type of population was consistently prohibitive.




    We show that the waiting time problem is a significant constraint on the macroevolution of the classic hominin population. Routine establishment of specific beneficial strings of two or more nucleotides becomes very problematic.


    Full text here


    By the way, the paper is from John C. Sanford, an advocate of intelligent design and young earth creationism.

    So far I have managed to unearth this one comment:



    That is a reworked old refuted work of Sanford...[sNIP]...one clear error that I can see is that they pretended the mutations would have had to enter the genome one at a time. That is is simply a false assumption. The whole population undergoes some degree of mutation with every generation. That means that multiple traits could be becoming fixed in the population at the same time. Their use of an oversimplified algorithm, Mendel's Accountant, almost guaranteed their failure.
  2. the use of theory & postulate in your post explain it all so well. The use of these words are what pseudosciences are built upon & therefore not real/true science because no-one was there & the thing can't be duplicated in whole it becomes a faith & not true observable science,

    You are either a troll, or embarrassingly ignorant.


    Evolutionary theory is a scientific theory, not pseudoscience. Here, spot the difference:

    Pseudoscience consists of claims, beliefs, or practices presented as being plausible scientifically, but which are not justifiable by the scientific method.


    A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed, preferably using a written, predefined, protocol of observations and experiments. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.


    It is important to note that the definition of a "scientific theory" (often ambiguously contracted to "theory" for the sake of brevity, including in this page) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from, and in contrast to, the common vernacular usage of the word "theory". As used in everyday non-scientific speech, "theory" implies that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, conjecture, idea, or, hypothesis; such a usage is the opposite of the word 'theory' in science. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory)

    PS. Not sure what you implied by the BC/AD reference. It seems entirely irrelevant (and historically inaccurate w.r.t. its reference to the alleged birth of biblical Jesus).

  3. Point of interest: The Bible doesn't at any point state that the world is 6k years old. That's an approximation made by various creationists by attempting to build a timeline of events based on the ages of all of the people listed in the Bible and the few provided relative dates of events.

    The approx. 6,000 years refer to the biblical genealogy going back to the time that biblical Adam & Eve would have walked this earth. It can be stretched back to maximum 10,000 years according to most of the sources that I have read. The time line (6,000 to 10,000 years) fits in well with the Genesis narrative against a Neolithic backdrop. As such one can safely argue that biblical Adam & Eve could not have been the first humans. Not sure how relevant this is to the Quran though...


    Well,does our data disprove human creation, I mean the idea that humans and apes have a common ancestor?

    Although "disprove" is the wrong word to use, the fact is that the scientifically established origin of our species is well supported by a plethora of evidence. If somebody wants to assert that our species was created ex nihilo, it will indeed contradict science.

  4. I find the idea that we do not possess free will ludicrous. The thoughts I develop and the actions I take originated somewhere in my brain. Whether I consciously thought about it or whether it emerged from some dim back corner without conscious thought or whether or not someone convinced me to do it is immaterial.-- either way the decision to act came from within. That's free will.

    So the decision to act in a certain way...notwithstanding how it came about...equates to free will? If said decision to act is an entirely automated (akin to computerised) neurological process, how can it be free will? This school of thought seems to be gaining momentum within the scientific community. For example, from an article that I already referenced:


    Our thoughts and actions are the outputs of a computer made of meat—our brain—a computer that must obey the laws of physics. Our choices, therefore, must also obey those laws. This puts paid to the traditional idea of dualistic or "libertarian" free will: that our lives comprise a series of decisions in which we could have chosen otherwise.

    Free Will - Jerry Coyne

  5. Does anyone think its possible that space time is built on information (meaning quantum bit). If so then the universe was created though the word as God states and maybe some form of Gematria as in math formulas for the code.


    How did you reach such a conclusion...it reminds me of an article that I read many moons ago where the author thereof stated that the Big Bang confirms the existence of Jesus???

  6. Any way, as for America, can you think of a single foreign involvement of theirs which is not initiated because of American interests?


    What would the USA benefit from a lasting Israel/Palestine co-existence?


    Just pondering..?

  7. ^ Libya is hardly a neighbouring country; it is on the opposite (northern) end of a large continent. Different mind set in the case of SA & Africa, something that our ex president, Mbeki, has started during his tenure as vice president under Mandela and during his own tenure as president. He strongly advocated a policy of Africa-for-Africa, i.e. for African people to resolve African problems in the interest of Africa. You could argue that such an accord would still be in SA's interest, but in reality the benefit to our country would sometimes be negligible as it is only one of 54 recognised countries on the continent whilst some of these disputes have occurred very far away in central or northern African countries. Any way...

  8. Just give me one example of one country intervening in the affairs of other countries where their own interest is not the driving force.

    My own country, South Africa, has done it on numerous occasions on the African continent with the aim to broker peace deals and has also been sending peace keeping forces into certain area's if required. To this day they are adamant that they would have managed a diplomatic solution to the Libyan crisis; something that they pleaded with the UN, but the USA & its allies insisted on a military intervention...and Europe is still reaping the consequences thereof.


    What would the USA benefit from a lasting Israel/Palestine co-existence?

  9. I.m.o. America has sometimes intervened unnecessarily in the affairs of other countries/regions, often to serve their own interest. Also, I don't see how countries would enter into a pact if said governments do not understand the full implications thereof.

  10. But the idea that something causes the river to flood and the seasons to turn must be an important development in a species. If something causes it, maybe we can influence it somehow. So the journey begins with the 'fall' of man.

    I watched an interesting program called Human Journey, Apeman - Spaceman (Ep.1), presented by Prof Brian Cox that was broadcasted on BBC Earth recently. In it he argues that there seems to be compelling evidence in the form of the skull sizes of our early ancestors to suggest that the violent climatic changes that coincided with the cyclical changes in Earth's orbital inclination might have impacted immensely on the development of hominids living during each such period. He showed that brain (skull) sizes increased dramatically and that it happened to coincide with periods during which Earth's eco system was affected.


    As for the 'fall' of man...if you are superstitious you would probably fall for talking snakes and forbidden fruits of knowledge..?

  11. Is belief in God without proving its existence a conspiracy theory?

    It is a superstition, something that our species acquired somewhere along the line. At this stage in our evolutionary development most people seem prone to have such a superstitious inclination. Some have argued that it must be in the genes, even referring to it as the god gene, but so far no luck in finding it. Probably a bit of nature, but I suspect more nurture. Perhaps an evolutionary spandrel making us susceptible for the spreading of a god meme..?


    This is a useful article to read...it starts off like this: The scientific idea that a trait or characteristic of an organism that is hard-wire means that it is a permanent feature should be retired. Case in point: God and religion.

  12. All i was doing in this thread was asking for you to suspend disbelief for 10 minutes out of your day and if you HAD to take a guess what is your best shot at where we are at currently.

    Well, I think the rest of us are pretty sure that we are not at the center of the universe and quite content with that knowledge. If we follow the above line of reasoning we could of course also start discussions about aliens visiting us in UFO's, whether they were being confused with angels in chariots and if we are all just part of their advanced simulation...and/or similar topics...

  13. Not now that most don't believe, but it did.

    Imagine if your every move was monitored and the threat was eternal suffering and you believed that was true, how greedy would you be?

    Debatable. It did not really help to dissuade the RCC and later the evangelists to collect from the suffering and sins of others. Also cannot help to think about that caveat of last-minute forgiveness on the cross, or that given by the Roman Catholic priest to the Mafia boss on his dead bed.

  14. ^ But then in France coalitions have become the norm, not so? So it is possible for one of the major conservative parties (most likely Les Républicains?) to end up with the socialists in their ranks.

  15. Or am i simply just odd for thinking that the truth matters and not how you get there?

    X-Files: The truth is out there... Scotty99, there are many people like you with similar imaginations and conspiracy theories in abundance. And that is perfectly OK. The world would have been a poorer place without the likes of you, just consider all the amazing movies, TV series, comic and fiction books that would not have been created (or watched/read) without utilising that part of our brains. Still, it is equally important to be able to differentiate between fact and fiction. So back to my first post in this thread - the facts are available...pls use them. I ended up in that same post asking you if you could consider nature to be our creator. Would that satisfy your needs, or is it too natural for you?

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