Monday, February 09, 2009

The many witticisms of ERV

I am considering applying for a master's degree program in Communications and English. I already have a great idea for my thesis - to analyse the numerous examples of profound, stoically objective, and grammatically and orthographically flawless expressions of the blogger known as ERV. The raw material is staggering, given her paper trail. I will share with you a few examples of what I have to work with.

LOL eeeeeeeeeeew!

*eeeeeeeeeeeegiddyclappingeeeeeeeeeeee*

Its not about being right. It was never about being right. Its about winning. AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!

as much as I would love to throw up at the sight of dinosaur fossils molested by a filthy Creationist (please, baby jesus, let his 'fossils' be fake)

LOL! BLAG FIGHT! BLAG FIGHT!

LOOOSER! LOOOOOOOOOSER!!! HAHAHA!

Boy, no wonder her comboxes are full of sycophantic tools! The withering barrage of rhetorical .50-caliber slugs of prosaic tours de force would be too much for any mere mortal to withstand.

15 comments:

neil said...

Are you aware of what she does for a 'living'?
This is a woman who is working at the cutting edge of a field with the potential to save lives and reduce the suffering of millions.
In my book that deserves a fair amount of respect, even if her English skills may lack the finesse you are after.
I also find her very funny but that is of course subjective. You see that's the point she ridicules that (to anyone who understands the biology) which is only worthy of ridicule. This is not some great debate of equally supported opinions, it is matters of empirical fact vs cobblers.

BTW I found my way here from clicking your name on there. Now that your ideas have been treated with the respect such uninformed comment deserves are you resorting to the old 'ad hominem'?

Rhology said...

Hi neil,

Please point out where I debased her profession or field of study. I am merely commenting on her means of communicating with her blog audience.

I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to label her communication skills as "lacking finesse". It goes a bit deeper than that. I don't have a lot of sympathy for her as victim, given her vicious and mean-spirited attacks on those who strive to be faithful to what God has said to humanity. God is laughing at her. I'm a poor reflection thereof.

Finally, the "empirical fact" of which you speak is undergoing a beating over on the thread you referenced. I invite you to consider just how many questions have been left on the table from each side. What you find will help determine how objective you are in this analysis.

Peace,
Rhology

neil said...

'Please point out where I debased her profession or field of study.'

Never said you did.

'I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to label her communication skills as "lacking finesse".'

Sorry for attempt at light-heartidness. (Is that a word?)

'...those who strive to be faithful to what God has said to humanity.'

That isn't the issue, you want to believe that fine, if you start talking a load of cobblers about something you know nothing about, well then expect some 'mean-spirited attacks'.

'Finally, the "empirical fact" of which you speak is undergoing a beating over on the thread you referenced.'

Not that I can see.

'I invite you to consider just how many questions have been left on the table from each side.'

Questions based on invalid assumption and misunderstanding are worthless.

'What you find will help determine how objective you are in this analysis.'

I make no claim to be objective in this analysis. Just as I can not be objective when confronted by, say a flat earther it's just too silly.
Maybe that is a little harsh but that is how it seems to me I've spent too long in the field of biology, I just know too much to take your arguments seriously. I know to much about genomes, cladistics, evo devo, biochemistry, ecology etc. I've spent years with this stuff, you don't seem to know any of it.

'Peace'

But there at last we agree on something.

Rhology said...

Hey neil,

Yes, "light-heartedness" is a word.

You certainly implied I was dissing her profession and study:
In my book that deserves a fair amount of respect

Let's not play stupid games. Anyway, I accept your concession.

I don't see you making any contributions over at the relevant threads, neil. Precisely where do I have it wrong? Is it just b/c my contentions, if true, would wreck your precious evilution and mean you'd have to rework your approach and maybe think things thru better? B/c it just can't be that way for some undefined reason? That's mostly what I've been getting so far.

neil said...

Not I want to really get dragged in any further. You may interpret that as admitting defeat if you wish, but really it's because what you think about evolution doesn't really matter to reality, neither does what I for that.

I'll be frank, I don't know exactly what you are asking for.
It seems to be some kind of evidence (or something) that can't exist even if ToE is an accurate description/explination.

However I will try. If you can clearly frame what these theory shattering contentions are in away that is answerable.

There are a few things you may also be able to help me with by answering as well.

1)A)Can you define the difference between microevolution and macroevolution, B) where is the distinction? This is not a flipant question these are not terms biologists use, and I have seen different definitions used in different places.

2)Can you be more specific re mechanisms, i.e natural selection is the mechanism by which organisms evolve to greater fitness (as in fit their environment.). A) What is the mechanism by which a designer would work? B) Is this the same mechanism by which a researcher such as R Lenski 'manipulates' his experiment to make it void by your rules? C)What mechanism is behind your claim that the London Underground mossie' is not a valid example since the 'subway' is man made?

Bedtime here but I will look at your response in the morning.

GM

Rhology said...

Let me hasten to add this gem:

Random weirdo bawwwed to his 'professional' YEC butt-buddy. YEC butt-buddy took radical weirdos place in the 'debate'

Presumably neil, with his no doubt highly-evolved sense of morality, sees no problem with this kind of statement either.
And of course, my pointing it out is demeaning ERV's fine profession.


Anyway, you started off with a bang, sir.
You had said of my statements:
such uninformed comment deserves

And this is the best you got? OK...


1) It's fuzzy, much like the definition of "species" on your own side of the aisle.
I dispute, mostly, the idea that a unicellular organism is the ancestor of giraffes, flowers, platypuses, humans, and E. coli.
I question whether there's any proof of that.


2A) The specific scope of recent discussion over at ERV leaves that question wholly undefined. The question is over guidance vs non-guidance.

2B) He would be GUIDING it, wouldn't he?

2C) It's a man-made environment. Is it really that hard to choose, out of your mountains upon mountains of evidence, a few dozen examples of things that could have occurred TO LEAD UP TO HUMANS' DVLPMNT? You know, IN NATURE? You have mountains of evidence, right? Put up or shut up.

Lurker said...

Would love to see you interact with another believer on this sort of issue, how about this guy: http://wheregoodthingsrunwild.blogspot.com/2009/02/can-of-worms-evolution.html

neil said...

Let me hasten to add this gem:

'Random weirdo bawwwed to his 'professional' YEC butt-buddy. YEC butt-buddy took radical weirdos place in the 'debate'

Presumably neil, with his no doubt highly-evolved sense of morality, sees no problem with this kind of statement either.
And of course, my pointing it out is demeaning ERV's fine profession.'

Er OK whatever.

'Anyway, you started off with a bang, sir.
You had said of my statements:
such uninformed comment deserves

And this is the best you got? OK...'

As far as evolutionary biology goes they do seem uniformed, I'll come back to that later.

'1) It's fuzzy, much like the definition of "species" on your own side of the aisle.'

All right I can deal with fuzzy, at least biologists try to explain why 'species' can be fuzzy, it is after all what you would expect based on populations not individuals evolving.
I would still like a bit of information than just it's fuzzy.

'I dispute, mostly, the idea that a unicellular organism is the ancestor of giraffes, flowers, platypuses, humans, and E. coli.
I question whether there's any proof of that.'

This is where the term uninformed is needed. Over at ERV I referred to cytochrome C sequences, do you know what they are? They clearly demonstrate the relatedness of all eukaryotes. By showing a nested hierarchy of differences in the non-conserved region a pattern that is repeated in other proteins studied and also in genomes. Prokaryote genomes and proteins also consistently fit this pattern. The same designer same genes argument fails to explain this as I am talking of the pattern of differences as well as similarities of non-coding, non-conserved DNA/proteins, pseudogenes etc.

'2A) The specific scope of recent discussion over at ERV leaves that question wholly undefined. The question is over guidance vs non-guidance.'

Ok fair enough but I was interested.

'2B) He would be GUIDING it, wouldn't he?'

Hmm.. not really, yes he would provide constraints but guiding to me implies he would have a destination in mind, a specific outcome he is aiming for.
It still doesn't address the question of mechanism, I get the impression from your writing that there is some specific mechanism to how 'intelligence' interacts with the world.

'2C) It's a man-made environment. Is it really that hard to choose, out of your mountains upon mountains of evidence, a few dozen examples of things that could have occurred TO LEAD UP TO HUMANS' DVLPMNT? You know, IN NATURE?'

A man-made (or man-changed) environment such as the example above or the addition of a new potential substrate such as nylon is useful to see how selection works. We often know exactly when and what the change in the environment was, it gives us a base line. Of course there will be limits to what can be learnt by such studies but you seem to write it off completely without providing adequate explanation of why.

'You have mountains of evidence, right? Put up or shut up.'

OK a few.

Alberto Palleroni of Harvard Universities studies of falcon predation on pigeons and different escape rates of white rumped individuals.

Genetic investigations of 'fossil' genes (pseudogenes) in red blood cell lacking Antarctic icefish.

Speciation of Californian Ensatia salamanders.

Sickle cell anaemia and malaria.

Of course I suspect none of this will impress you after all a salamander is still a salamander etc.
The real killer/smokinggun/finalnailinthecoffin is the genetic evidence I referred to earlier, if you know about and understand that stuff then common ancestry is with out any reasonable doubt. The later stuff and the lab work on bacteria etc is just about the mechanism by which it's happening 'natural selection'.

OK that's rather along post, and I have refrained from taking some of your bait, I found the reference to my sense of morality most amusing.

I expect anyone with anything relevant to say about modern evolutionary biology to know all about the stuff I mention above. You don't seem to be familiar with it, which is why I remain sceptical that you have much to say on the issue.
You will note that I have limited myself to biology and not crossed into 'the existence of God'. I'm sticking to what I know about.

Rhology said...

Hello neil,

cytochrome C sequences, do you know what they are? They clearly demonstrate the relatedness of all eukaryotes.

And what does that have to do with the question of how the variety of life that we see today came to be? that's the question that concerns me, mostly, not whether organisms have similar genetic structures or not.


The same designer same genes argument fails to explain this as I am talking of the pattern of differences as well as similarities of non-coding, non-conserved DNA/proteins, pseudogenes etc.

Why precisely does it fail? You somehow have some information about the Designer, what he/it would and wouldn't do?
I'll give you a hand here since you're throwing me a bunch of rotten fish so far. Don't tell me that you find inadequacies or problems or holes or junk in the DNA. You don't know that the Designer didn't want to put it there. Don't tell me you could have done it better, b/c that's a load of horsecrap. For one thing, you'd need to explain what "better" is and how you know it's better, and how you assign "good/not good" values to any structure or function, in a naturalistic universe. Also, I'd just ask you to make good on your claim, if you say you could do it better.
Anyway, those are 2 of the most common fallacious statements that Darwinians usually throw out in this convo. I usually don't give a step up like that (so as to let said Darwinians cut their own rope for the intellectual gallows) but you seem like a nice guy, so I'm helping you out here. So I'll be interested in your answers.


not really, yes he would provide constraints but guiding to me implies he would have a destination in mind, a specific outcome he is aiming for.

He is an intelligent agent, restricting certain factors that would have entered into the equation in the wild. This would not have occurred in the past, when evolution was supposedly working its magical powers on organisms to make them from unicellular organisms into bananas.


I get the impression from your writing that there is some specific mechanism to how 'intelligence' interacts with the world.

Intelligently, yes. As opposed to a totally natural process, unguided by any intelligent agent. It's fairly commonsense.


Of course there will be limits to what can be learnt by such studies

And those limits just happen to be right at the center of the debate between Darwinians and ID. These experiments are FAR from worthless, they're just worthless for the purpose to which you and your side bend them.


Alberto Palleroni of Harvard Universities studies of falcon predation on pigeons and different escape rates of white rumped individuals.

Genetic investigations of 'fossil' genes (pseudogenes) in red blood cell lacking Antarctic icefish.

Speciation of Californian Ensatia salamanders.

Sickle cell anaemia and malaria.


OK, but I was looking more for examples of organisms becoming different.
I'm not aware of anyone who disputes that pigeons can evolve into pigeons, or salamanders into salamanders.
And bringing up these questions of genetics begs the question - see above.
I'd be very, very interested in finding out whether the malaria one fulfills my requirements. Kinda doubt it.


I suspect none of this will impress you after all a salamander is still a salamander etc.

You're correct. Is it really too much to ask that you make a case for the actual dispute at hand? Mountains of evidence, remember? Mountains. Where are they?


if you know about and understand that stuff then common ancestry is with out any reasonable doubt.

Maybe the Designer made it that way. How can you know either way?


I found the reference to my sense of morality most amusing.

Then you have a better sense of humor than many. :-)


You don't seem to be familiar with it

I'm less interested in fulfilling whatever your preferences for my familiarity with the subject matter may be than I am in seeing how my arguments are not right on target. But you've been begging some serious questions here, and you need to back up. I've been around the block a few times, I'm not a college freshman who's read half of "Darwin's Black Box".

Rhology said...

Lurker,

Between the ERV post and the Atheism is Dead post, I'm barely treading water, but thanks for the link. I'll see if I can get to it a little later.

neil said...

OK,

Just a few points.

1) 'And what does that have to do with the question of how the variety of life that we see today came to be? that's the question that concerns me, mostly, not whether organisms have similar genetic structures or not.'

The key thing is not the similarities, those could be explained in terms of common design. It's the repeated nested hierarchy of differences.

2)'You don't know that the Designer didn't want to put it there. Don't tell me you could have done it better, b/c that's a load of horsecrap.'

No I'm not claiming I could have done better, I refer to a pattern that is consistent with common decent.

3) 'I'm not aware of anyone who disputes that pigeons can evolve into pigeons, or salamanders into salamanders.'

If I could give you an example of something being 'seen' to evolve into something completely different, this implies a very short time span, I would have blown evolution by natural selection out of the water. Maybe that is why no such example exists? ToE predicts that you will only 'see' salamanders evolve into recognisably similar.
Populations evolve not individuals.

4)'I found the reference to my sense of morality most amusing.

Then you have a better sense of humor than many. :-)'

As an atheist (weak atheist i.e no belief but no claim to absolute knowledge on Gods existence or lack of existence) I find the morality issue interesting. I don't claim have the answers on the origins of morality. I am happy enough to believe that I am a moral person.
Accepting modern evolutionary biology as a valid description/explanation of the variety of life on Earth doesn't change that.

Anyway I need to finish some resources on using protein sequences to plot phylogenetic trees That's why my brain is full of cytochrome C.
If you are at all interested here is the basic set of sequences I'm using. Although I've added a few for more depth.

http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/molb.aa.pdf

Beyond that I think we will just run in circles so good night.

neil said...

'f you know about and understand that stuff then common ancestry is with out any reasonable doubt.

Maybe the Designer made it that way. How can you know either way?'

Alright one more little bit.

I'll give you a concession, common ancestry or a designer who by some unspecified means (unspecified but supernatural) faked common ancestry for some unspecified reason.

Since a mechanism that can explain the former (natural selection) has been observed, even if only on the scale of microevolution (as you would put it).
On the other hand intelligent design (by the unspecified mechanism, so a gentic engineer e.g doesn't count)of the kind needed for the latter has never been observed. Even micro-intelligent design.
I'll stick with the former.

All this talk of the designer, do you mean God?
If so and God has set out to make it look exactly like common descent (right down to tiniest detail) than can I really be blamed for falling for such an elaborate ruse by one so much greater than myself?

Yes this is all somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I'll give you a hand here since you're throwing me a bunch of rotten fish so far. Don't tell me that you find inadequacies or problems or holes or junk in the DNA. You don't know that the Designer didn't want to put it there.

Well this is the big problem isn't it - common ancestry accounts for the pattern presented by sequences of conserved genes such as CytC or ERVs perfectly, whereas the design argument says 'I can imagine a designer with any power I want, therefore he could also have done it that way (or any other way I care to think of)'

great - so he just so happened to choose the only way possible that

a. is perfectly fitted to the theory of common ancestry
b. gives him the power to do anything he/she/it feels like, therefore your hypothesis for the next gene/protein we examine should be that we should be able to see any result we can think of. Of course as all but one of the many results that are predicted with non specific hypotheses will be completely wrong, the IDist is stuck at square 1 and reliant on simply guessing in the unlikely hope they hit lucky.

on the other hand the evolutionary hypothesis is that we'll see this same basic pattern no matter what we look at, which has been the case every time thus far. I'll stick my neck out and make that same claim again as my hypothesis.


Don't tell me you could have done it better, b/c that's a load of horsecrap. For one thing, you'd need to explain what "better" is and how you know it's better, and how you assign "good/not good" values to any structure or function, in a naturalistic universe.

Actually we can do it better, by making comparisons with other animals that have more efficient means of doing the same thing, gene therapy or surgical interventions. No need to only consider this in an atheistic world - these facts would ring true in the event any god exists.

Andrew said...

No Dr. Funkenstein we can't do it better. When we selectively breed animals, or undergo gene therapy, we are starting with materials that already exist. For you to make the calim that we can do better you will have to build your own genetically superior animal (I like horses, let's go with that) from scratch. Can you do that? I will confess that I don't have the ability to argue the science of genetics on the same level as you or Neil, but you can't say that we can do it better until we can invent our own stuff.

Anonymous said...

When we selectively breed animals, or undergo gene therapy, we are starting with materials that already exist. For you to make the calim that we can do better you will have to build your own genetically superior animal (I like horses, let's go with that) from scratch.

This is false. We are not arguing about the creation of life but the evolution of life. You don't have to build something from scratch to make it better - think of Japanese vs American electronics in the twentieth century.