There is remaining to me a little more patience (just a little, though - I'm much more willing and comfy defending the Christian worldview, not ID) to deal with evolution before moving on to much more interesting topics such as the origin of life and the universe.
At some interlocutors' request, I have looked at a few articles at talk.origins and found some interesting things.
I will make sthg clear, though. I expect to find relevant articles to which I'm referred to have a lot of explanatory value. I expect them to bludgeon me with the overwhelming evidence that is supposedly on the evolution side. So if I read three articles and each one has a variety of problems, what's to push me to keep reading? Have these articles not been peer-reviewed? Have they not been selected for extinction? Is talk.origins just a bad place to look? If so, why refer me to it? (Unless you're falling prey to the common self-defeating arguments I sometimes hear, like "well, motorcycles evolved!")
OK, so I took a look at the monkeys that ChooseDoubt mentioned.
I note a few things about this.
1) The duplication occurred about four million years ago, after colobines split off from the other Old World monkeys
This is just begging the question - they don't really have any solid way of knowing when that happened. If any reader would like to disagree, make sure to explain how you can know.
2) “Our results suggest that this is an adaptation to the more acidic environment of the small intestine in colobine monkeys,”
They suggest it, do they? That's solid.
3) RNASE1B has become super-efficient at the first job, but has lost the ability to do the second
Though this is an enzyme, not an organism, this seems to violate #3 of my 5 questions.
This statement would seem to militate against #3's being a good criterion, however: After duplication, you have two enzymes, each doing just one job, but doing it better than the other.” (See, I'm doing the evolutionists' job for them. ;-) )
To be fair, I'll say that at this time I don't know quite what I'd say to respond to this. Remind me to ask Dembski the next time I'm palming him a couple of $100 bills.
4) Zhang’s analysis shows that the duplication occurred some six million years after colobines began eating leaves. “So leaf-eating did not depend on the new gene, but the new gene apparently improved the efficiency,” he concludes.
Again, this is begging the question. To be fair, that's probably not the point of this article, so I won't fault the author for this, but still I would like to know how one might propose a non-question-begging method of discovering when a gene duplication like this might have occurred.
5) Finally, I'd like assurance that this experimentation did not inject intelligence into the equation, per #s 1 and 4 and that this has been observed repeatedly per #5.
Remember, my questions are an attempt on my part to make sure these highly important experiments don't cross the line into junk science that are targeted to produce a desired result rather than pure science, where the experimenters are working in good faith to change their minds to fit the evidence, rather than the converse. I'm trying to be a purist.
As for a 2nd article I looked at, I found
1) In experiments with bacteria, variation (including beneficial mutations) arises in populations that are grown from a single individual...
This violates my questions #1 and #4 and is possibly in violation of #3 and #5.
2) pests have developed resistance to a variety of antibiotics and pesticides, many of them artificial and unlike anything in nature
Which are developed by intelligence.
Nothing is mentioned about whether this answers question #3.
3) In particular, reducing populations to a single pair of individuals, as Noah's Flood requires
For all the talk about how creationists misunderstand evolution, it would be nice to see hypocrisy like this be avoided.
Noah's Ark is not the only element in a Christian understanding. The Bible says nothing about whether God intervened temporarily in another creative act to either increase variation or to create some more animals in other places. On a Christian worldview, there would be nothing to demand that didn't happen.
That's not the only possibility, but it is one.
4) if the selection is maintained, change should continue, albeit at a much slower rate
An assumption. I catch flak for allegedly making assumptions all the time; why not hold the same standard up to these guys?
Another talk.origins article I looked at seems to be a classic example of navel-gazing simplicity; one might label it "promissory materialism" or "science of the gaps". It's on the question of junk DNA.
Looks like current research is overturning these ideas. Again, this article seems not to have been selected for extinction yet, but there's still time - apparently scientists can know with certainty that this planet will exist for further millions of years.
OK, that should suffice for now in my analysis of talk.origins articles. Color me less than impressed.
Now then, CD said:
No one expects to see the same mutation occurring repeatedly.
But science is purported to be based on repeatable, testable results. This supports my contention that this is not science. It's going to be tough to do repeatable experimentation on that. Why doesn't that put a crimp in your confidence?
I get the impression that the only information you receive regarding evolution is from creationists.
You know, I actually don't read creationist stuff much. I get more of it from ID theorists. And I get some from interaction with evolutionists. And some I get from reading evolution people, like talk.origins or R Dawkins and his buds online. But it's always easier to demonise the fundy blogger...
This is confusing abiogenesis
Dang, it's hard not to do that! You may be right...I want to talk about it but we shouldn't now.
As for a common ancestor you have to define common to whom?
Every living thing. I thought that was the neo-Darwinian stock position. But let me clarify - do you believe that there was more than one common ancestor, and I'm talking at the VERY beginning?
it’s very likely that the average person’s idea of the complexity of processes going on in their entire body is radically less complicated than what is actually going on within any single cell in their body.
Which is one reason why it seems so very improbable that nat sel acting on mutations could be responsible for it.
the answer to that is evolution. It’s not faith. It’s a theory supported by absolutely all evidence we have and contradicted by none of it.
Now you've got me laughing.
god magically created everything as it is
Strawman - nobody claims God "magically" created anything, nor that He created it all as it is. Do have the courtesy to acknowledge when you caricature my position?
What studies have been undertaken and what evidence has been presented
I don't appeal to "studies" to support my ideas of the origin of life or the complexity thereof.
It doesn’t matter that most mutations will be detrimental to the resultant organism. Evolution has no problem with this.
It doesn't have a problem when the requisite mutations are highly improbable? OK.
Ignoring drug resistance is ruling a priori that important evidence must be ignored.
But it violates several of my questions, so I don't "ignore" it; it disqualifies itself.
Bird’s beaks have provided another form of first hand study and again you have arbitrarily ruled the evidence out.
I already explained why and you apparently didn't listen. One wonders why I'm wasting my time on THIS post, but I press on...
Are you are really saying that there is no way natural selection can operate on single celled organisms?
Nowhere have I denied that the evolutionary mechanism operates in the real world (ie, microevolution). I deny that it was responsible for getting from one simply common ancestor to today's diversity. And I don't see how nat sel operating on mutations could produce the enormous diversity of complex and specified genetic information present in today's organisms.
Now, Billy said:
Evolution's answer is natural selection.
Yes, yes, acting on mutations.
Mutation is one of the mechanisms which natural selection acts upon to produce evolutionary change.
What would be another?
Where do you think Darwin got the idea from in the first place?
From flawed examples such as his finches.
This is possibly the stupidest thing that you've ever written.
Well, since my last post anyway. ;-)
While the environment in which the processes takes place will be designed, the processes themselves are not "designed".
I'm sure you'd agree that a natural environment brings into acct many factors that a controlled environment does not and cannot admit. What we have here is artificial selection acting on mutations. That's not your theory.
And if it'd be really really hard to get any experimentation done in organisms' natural environment, I say tough cookies - real data obtained at great difficulty is far better than contrived data.
You're wrong about the finches
OK, from the article you pointed me to:
If each island had its own birds, as Gould suggested, and the archipelago as a whole had its own roster of genera, his shipboard speculations about the instability of species were more accurate than he had thought"
Begging the question. What if God put them there?
That's just stupid, you stupid fundy!
If your response amounts to that, sounds like I can prophesy as well. Or at least extrapolate from pre-existing data.
But Wells fails to discuss the evidence of the climate in the past.
But no solution to the inherent problem for the evolutionist is provided. How do you observe that the finch beaks ACTUALLY DID change? The article implicitly admits this is speculation:
that there was more than enough time for significant directional change to occur.
Pitiful performance. I'm done here. And I don't feel like going over to the peppered moths example - talk.origins is batting 0 for 4 today.