YEC Worldview on Current Science News

Could you describe the experiments they should be running?

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This part about the genetic distance and how to depict that on trees is not that complicated actually, don’t sell yourself short.

Hopefully this should get the point across:

The relationship (C(B,A)) is the same as (C(A,B)), as in both cases A and B are most closely related, with both being more distantly related to C than to each other.

You will however often see phylogenetic trees (more like cladograms, actually) depicted with the most superficially similar species arranged next to each other so it can misleadingly look like there’s a ladder-like order of species, as if C evolved into B which evolved into A. That is wrong of course as A and B evolved from a common ancestor that in turn has an even older common ancestor shared with C.

When it comes to genetic distance between species (and to their common ancestors), it is the distances of the branches next to red arrows that matter, and you can’t always see genetic distances on many trees as they’re basically just cladograms meant to show branching order but don’t show branch-lengths.

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Correct, because your explanation lacked sufficient mechanistic detail to generate predictions. Still, my point stands. If you frame it as people competing with predictions, you’re still missing the foundation of science.

Another aspect of the scientific worldview that you clearly reject is that linking yourself (or others) to a hypothesis (although often done) clouds your ability to assess anything scientifically. The scientific worldview is about taking multiple measures to prevent and/or correct for bias, something you obviously reject when you misrepresent it to promote relativism.

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Here’s something you might not have known, @thoughtful: The vast majority of one letter genomic differences have no discernible effect on phenotypic diversity. And most of the rest have only a very small effect.

For example, there are something like 70 - 100 one letter mutations in your very own genetic code that are neither in the genome of your mother or father. Same for me. Same for every human being. And the vast majority have no discernible effect, right?

So if your idea that this one example of a single letter difference in a gene for canine leg length is evidence that YEC interprets scientific evidence better than evolutionary biology, I can provide literally billions of examples of human mutations that point in the opposite direction. Imagine you are in church and you see 100 people: Collectively, they are carrying 70,000 - 100,000 mutations. Now multiply that by the number of churches in the world: We are talking about billions of human mutations every Sunday morning across the globe.

Is this the kind of response you were looking for?

Grace and peace,
Chris

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It occurs to me that you might not understand the depth of the pool into which you are dipping your toe, Valerie.

It’s good that you are curious and thoughtful, of course. But the academic biologist, of whom there are many on this forum, has spent literally decades immersed in the subject. He or she has spent decades in the lab, on the computer, interacting with colleagues, reading and writing peer-reviewed papers.

I have hung out on forums for about a decade with these folks, but so often I feel like a beginner. I can typically gain a pretty good feel for mathematical models when I interact with the experts, but there’s so much I have not learned yet, and will probably never learn.

So when you mention a particular mutation in a particular gene in a particular species, a professional biologist has a deep context for understanding it. He or she understands the typical distribution of kinds of mutations (there are many), the typical distribution of selection coefficients for mutations, the typical effects of those mutations in population genetics models. He or she has read much of the vast literature in which these ideas are discussed, the fieldwork is analyzed, the mathematical models dissected.

To explain to you how an evolutionary biologist looks at a particular set of alleles in canines, therefore, the biologist would have to write many, many pages. It’s a highly complex field that takes decades to master, after all.

When someone who does not share this background comes to the forum and says, “Hey, I see a particular mutation in a particular gene and it looks like YEC explains it better than evolutionary biology,” the biologists therefore have a hard time knowing where to start. Do they spend hours upon hours giving you all the context through which they process a datum about a single mutation? How many people have that kind of time? So they try to boil their response down to a couple of succinct sentences.

To the biologist, those sentences make a lot of sense in light of the context they possess from their decades of study. Someone who does not share that context, however, would likely not understand how the brief response make sense in light the broader field of biology. The person who does not have that context might therefore conclude this, with regard to the biologist’s response:

What you are looking for you may not be able to find, packaged in digestible form, on a forum like this. You might need to take some courses taught by evolutionary biologists if you want to understand the discourse on this forum in a more satisfying way. There are even some free or very low cost courses (MOOCs) that could help, or so I have heard. If you ask for a recommendation, I am sure someone could point you in a productive direction.

Who knows where such a journey would end up, once you start? Given your curiosity, thoughtfulness, and determination, I am sure it would be an interesting and fruitful journey.

Grace and peace,
Chris

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It’s not at all - that’s also your bias.

No, and no. Because I don’t actually ignore parts. I read all of science (now; I didn’t before 2020. I was too frustrated and GAE gave me confidence and enjoyment in researching mainstream science). But as I recently said elsewhere - I don’t have enough faith that the current consensus will NOT be overturned to change my interpretation of what I think the Bible clearly teaches. As I evaluate the evidence, I see possibilities of the consensus being overturned. Again, my position is not based on the state of science; it’s based on the Bible.

Hmm…I would be more convinced of the mainstream account if the James Webb telescope showed evidence of the Big Bang model. In the far reaches of “time” I’m hypothesizing it will look like it does in our neighborhood of the universe - far too clumpy. We’ll see. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks. Sadly, I think I just made the wrong assumption of what the word haplotype means or can refer to. I have to remember it’s impossible to learn the vocabulary of biology in context and look up definitions to be sure. :neutral_face:

This post is getting long and my phone is acting up. I’ll respond to latter responses in another one.

Thanks. All very helpful.

They could try to find support for or rule out created heterozygosity.

They could do experiments to show that certain molecules required to form life cannot come together under the conditions of early earth. Those might be fairly simple actually. :thinking::sweat_smile:

Bias is seen when headlines shout - “Life might be found on Mars!” But never - “We’ve found xxxth planet. Still no life. The probability of natural occurrence of life happening at random is now xxxx. God is more likely than ever.” Well, maybe that headline is just too long. :laughing: Could just be “Still No Life Elsewhere.”

I did know that. Because …:slightly_smiling_face: I’ve read Genetic Entropy and Sanford argues that, in humans, most deleterious mutations have no effect on phenotypic diversity and since natural selection works based on phenotype, deleterious mutations continue to accumulate.

Interestingly two of my kids have had separate very minor congenital medical issues. One that had surgery; one that will have surgery - just had a consult for that today. But it has made me think that they had a mutation somewhere that messed up the instructions in their cells. Of course, I know they have lots of mutations elsewhere that had no effect. :slightly_smiling_face:

The fact that most one letter differences have no effect at all, was the reason that this one letter difference stood out to me. It’s as if a programmer wrote a small bit of code that had a huge effect on how the program runs in contrast to the errors that accumulate over time, but have little or no effect.

Later in the thread @John_Harshman was gracious about my reaction and responded in a kind fashion in a form digestible to me. I appreciated that.

Suggestions noted.

I don’t see how this is my bias.

Suppose someone is testing the hypothesis that the earth is flat. In order to demonstrate that the hypothesis is false, is it necessary to try demonstrate that the earth is shaped like a cube?

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How would you do that? In what way could created heterozygosity be distinguished from prior mutation?

That makes no sense at all. If a mutation has no effect on phenotype it can’t be deleterious. You are describing neutral mutations.

Unlikely. Most congenital defects are a result of developmental error, not mutation.

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They have, usually they find that the molecules form. These results then get dismissed as ‘not good enough’ by creationists.

No, he assumes that most mutations are deleterious in spite of having no evidence to support this claim, and actually presenting directly contradictory evidence to refute it. Because if the mutations were deleterious, they’d have an effect by definition.

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Taq politely asked you to describe the experiments themselves, not the goal of the experiments. This is how real science works.

How does one demonstrate a negative? Do we know the conditions of early earth?

Apparently, you don’t.

Chris wrote:

Which you changed to:

Those aren’t the same thing. HTH.

“Congenital” is not a synonym of “inherited.”

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This is why I asked earlier if there was any potential evidence that would change your mind. It seems like there isn’t.

I would also wonder about all of the other scientific conclusions that you do accept. Practically all of them, right?

We already have had satellites that have showed evidence of the Big Bang.

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What would that experiment look like?

I am asking for experiments that would test the claim that life was supernaturally created. What would those experiments look like?

Actually, that would be a bias towards creationism because you are assuming God created life in the absence of evidence for abiogenesis. Also, I don’t see how it is biased to say that we might find life on Mars given the presence of water in its soil and the history of surface water on Mars.

Sanford ignores the increases in fitness that would come from slightly beneficial mutations and selectable beneficial mutations.

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I had mentioned testing any hypothesis around a different story. What you were explaining was scientists only testing hypotheses around one storyline.

I’d have to think/read on that.

We usually don’t test any hypotheses around stories. We try to disprove our own hypotheses and often succeed. You should try it with yours sometime!

Good idea. But why did you suggest something you hadn’t thought about? Would you like help thinking about it?

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I’m just catching up on this thread so I’m a little late to the party, but I hope you’ll allow me to ask a question.

I’ve found the moral argument to be a compelling one. I have also read some atheistic responses to it. Which of its premises do you not agree with? If you want to point me to an article that you’ve found that you believe defeats or weakens the argument I’d be interested to read it.

I’m fairly sure there isn’t one singular Argument from Morality, but a number of similar arguments. It would therefore help for you to specify which one you have in mind.

Good question. I didn’t think to be specific. Let me do so now. The two I’ve read are those from C.S. Lewis and William Lane Craig. I’d have to re-read Lewis to see how his may coincide with that of Craig.

Craig’s argument, briefly stated, is this:

  • If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
  • Objective moral values and duties do exist.
  • Therefore, God exists.

I realize that this is a bit tangential to the original thread so perhaps we could spin this off if you wanted to discuss it in any detail.

For reference I like to use this other site (https://infidels.org) (decidedly not Christian) to see how people respond to Craig and others. I mention this only to say that I try to approach these issues with my eyes open.

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That’s an invalid syllogism. The problem lies in the first premise. Can you justify it? How do you deal with the Euthyphro dilemma? The second premise also seems problematic, but there’s no reason to get that far.

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Yeah, I can’t imagine what it would take to justify even provisionally accepting the first premise, which basically seems completely bizarre. And both the first and the second premises present the insuperable problem of defining “objective morality” and doing so in a way which allows its existence to actually be ascertained.

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