Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brief return - Collin Brendemuehl is upset that he is so wrong about things...

Poor Collin Brendemuehl. Having been repeatedly humiliated at multiple blogs, he decided to try mine on for size, and it didn't go too well for him.

He had asked a couple of 'wrong' questions about evolution - wondered 'are there' "10 million" random changes were that were required to explain human evolution from a rodent-like ancestor. I explained that the questions did not even make sense. He didn't like that. He 'allowed' that it might only be 1 million. I asked him to name just 1000 of the 'trait changes' he believes exist. Ultimately, he could produce only those listed below, all dealing with the same structure, most of which are likley goverened by but a few genes. After several rounds of Collin trying to change subjects, dodge questions, and accusing me of all manner of things, I told Collin that until he decided to actually address the original issues, I would not allow more of his comments here. He called it 'censorship.'

I left the following reply (I've cleaned up a few typos):

Hilarious hubris...
I guess you ignored the parts where I explaiend that the 'parts' you seem to think require their own specific sets of mutations are actually all part of the same structure (a limb, for example) and I provided you a real example of how ALL those things can be affected by a single mutation.
In fact, I specifically countered each of your supposed structures and physiological issues, but you bailed.
Regarding an arm, you naively believed the following:

1. circulatory system
2. bone structure
3. muscles
5. foot/hand

Each of these has a variety of qualities that need
to change. Let'slist
a few. There are more, but this is a good

1. circulatory system
1.1 Vessel size
1.2 vessel
1.3 valve strength
1.4 elasticity
2. bone structure
2.2 thickness
2.3 marrow capacity
2.4 strength
3.1 tendon strength
3.2 size
3.3 strength
4. skin
4.1 sweat capacity
4.2 elasticity
4.3 hair
4.4 coloration
5. foot/hand
5.1 Shape
5.2 Nails
5.4 Thumb behavior

I provided the example of the FGFR-3 mutation in humans producing dwarfism that affects ALL of those things. ONE SINGLE mutation. I explicitly did not give that as an example of evolution, rather, as an example of how gene changes can ilicit major phenotypic changes.
ADDED COMMENT: But then, you insisted that getting a nail from a claw was a "major" phenotypic change requiring many mutations.
I explained how several of those 'individual' changes were actually
essentially the same thing - changing a vessels size will affect it's capacity;
making abone larger increases it's "marrow capacity", etc. To no

A rational person might want to quit while they are ahead.

And by the way - even if we are generous and grant that the 20 things you mention are legitimate individual changes each requiring their own suite of mutations (which they are not), YOU said there were MILLIONS, and I asked you to provide 1000.
You have 980 more to go. But I suspect that they, too, would all fall under the same umbrella of multiple changes that really are not multiple changes.
It is too bad that an untrained internet pseudoexpert cannot realize his limitations and actually acknowledge the possibility that he might not be up to snuff on the things he rants about.
Too much to ask, I suppose.
And by the way - discretion is not censorship. Post something of substance, and it will get through.

Internet creationist types also seem to like to try to imply - or state outright - that professors and such have some sort of obligation to put up with trollish behavior and address all manner of shallow nonsense presented as unasailable truth. Collin writes:

Now, if the terms I used were too colloquial, the list was certainly subject to
correction and clarification. A Ph. D. scientist should be able to competently
accomplish that.

Um, OK, well, the names were certainly colloquial enough, but that was hardly the issue, as I explained.
I can only imagine what he would have written if I had provided the anatomically-correct terms for each of the structures he had referred to - let me guess, I would have been labelled an elitist? I would have been accused of trying to embarrass the poor creationist? I would have been accused of trying to cloud the issues with minutiae?
In the end, clarification of terminology is the least of Collin's problems.

Ho hum... Back to vacation...