Two CMI YEC apologists contradicting each other re Dawkins

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Two CMI YEC apologists contradicting each other re Dawkins

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:55 am

When my utterly appalling email (accessed via the O2 website, when it is working properly) permits me to do so, I plan to send the following as an email:

(1)
http://creation.com/galapagos-adaptation (article by Russell Grigg of CMI attacking a recent Sky TV series).
See the section 'Blind Spiders are not Evidence for Evolution' (where wider comments are included about other blind creatures such as salamanders which live in pitch black caves).

Grigg highlights that on page 352 of 'The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution' Richard Dawkins, within a section entitled 'Lost Eyes', made the following comments when referring specifically to salamanders which live above ground and which aren't blind:
"Most mutations are disadvantageous, if only because they are random and there are many more ways of getting worse than getting better. Natural selection promptly penalizes the bad mutations. Individuals possessing them are more likely to die and less likely to reproduce, and this automatically removes the mutations from the gene pool. Every animal and plant is subject to a constant bombardment of deleterious mutations: a hailstorm of attrition. It is a bit like the moon’s surface, which becomes increasingly pitted with craters due to the steady bombardment of meteorites. With rare exceptions, every time a gene concerned with an eye, for example, is hit by a marauding mutation, the eye becomes a little less functional, a little less capable of seeing, a little less worthy of the name of eye. In an animal that lives in the light and uses the sense of sight, such deleterious mutations (the majority) are quickly removed from the gene pool by natural selection". (He then adds that in total darkness the deleterious mutations that bombard the genes for making eyes are not penalized. As well as pointing out - Grigg omits this - that for the blind salamanders "positive selection" favours "the growth of protective skin over the vulnerable sockets of the optically deteriorating eyes".)

The above text - note the sentence "natural selection promptly penalizes the bad mutations" - is quoted by Grigg, prefaced by the comment "as shown above, creationists would have no problem with arch-atheist Richard Dawkins’ explanation". Thus he is implicitly agreeing that bad mutations eg affecting eyesight ARE penalised by natural selection (and the gradual loss of sight in a population living pitch darkness isn't 'bad').

And I am not reading too much into the Grigg comments. A few sentences earlier he wrote: "Consider a spider which, because of a mutation, acquires a defective gene for eye development. Such a defect would be passed on to all of its descendants. Above ground, such a mutation would very quickly be ‘selected against’, as any spider inheriting it would be less likely to find prey and evade predators".

(2)
But on page 56 of 'The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution' Jonathan Sarfati also of CMI stated that fellow YEC John Sanford has proven in a book that Dawkins' claim on page 352 of his book that "natural selection promptly penalises the bad mutations" is wrong (see photo with this email). However, having searched online, it appears that in many cases natural selection does penalise them eg less fit individuals do not manage to breed. Sarfati sought to suggest that the smallest bad mutations are 'unaffected by selection', but cited no peer-reviewed science paper supporting this claim. The Sarfati comment is within a section entitled 'Human Genome Decay'. YECs wish to advance as science an essentially theological argument - that all claimed evidence for evolution beyond 'kinds' ie 'microbes to Man' is actually confirmation that 'things are getting worse not better' or confirms a process of 'devolution' not evolution'. They are saying that an originally 'very good' or perfect creation was ruined by sin and the fall and is now cursed. So that (apart from the problem of bad mutations) apparently neutral or potentially somehow beneficial genetic mutations, even if these aren't selected against and may be selected 'for', must still be 'information-losing' - and thus informing us that sight (or flight) are always lost by species since creation, and never gained. YECs also believe that because the patriarchs in the Bible apparently lived to around 900, and humans today never live beyond 120, therefore the human genome 'must' be decaying.

CONCLUDING COMMENTS
It seems clear that when wishing to highlight that loss of sight in pitch darkness must be 'devolution' not evolution YEC Grigg was willing this week to concede that had the mutation causing sight loss been 'bad' (in environments where sight is an advantage not something with no benefit only a cost) it would have been selected against. Yet of course, that goes against the questionable YEC notion of genome decay (though in the case of our particular species better health provision can mean that the sickly survive for longer than otherwise and may breed) - thus YEC Sarfati in 2010 (echoing Sanford) insists that bad mutations are 'not' penalised - if they are 'small' they can persist and have a cumulative effect, he claims.

Thus Grigg is not only agreeing with Dawkins re the sighted salamanders but also DISAGREEING with Sarfati and most probably Sanford too (in this 2008 article Sanford was quoting as stating "Selection slows mutational degeneration, but does not even begin to actually stop it. So even with intense selection, evolution is going the wrong way—toward extinction!" - see http://creation.com/geneticist-evolution-impossible).

I have dutifully informed CMI (they block my emails but apparently cannot block my comments submitted about their online articles).

They may wish to AMEND or HIDE the article that was CORRECT about bad mutations, so as not to contradict Dr Sarfati their 'Head Scientist' (or just hope none of their biased supporters notices this credibility problem)?
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Re: Two CMI YEC apologists contradicting each other re Dawki

Postby a_haworthroberts » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:55 pm

A further message as sent to CMI:

http://creation.com/galapagos-evolution
"According to the biblical Creation-Fall-Flood-migration model, the Galápagos finches most likely were descendants of South American mainland finches, but these were descendants of those carried by Noah aboard the Ark during the Genesis Flood that occurred some 4,500 years ago. And those on the Ark were descendants of the original ones created by God on Day 5 of Creation Week, some 6,000 years ago. So the finches came to the Galápagos some time after the Flood, not two million years ago."
To set the record straight: we know no such thing.

"This is what his fellow evolutionists generally believe, but no one saw it happen. It may well have been quite different." As in your earlier Galapagos article? I pointed out at the time the folly of comparing the Galapagos with Surtsey - and I was censored and ignored by CMI (not refuted).

"How could it have diverged “more than five million years ago” on islands that supposedly didn’t begin to form until four million years ago?" So you have stopped - since 4 April - believing in rafting? Rafting (of the pre-existing iguanas that Attenborough referred to in the first episode, from which the pink iguanas are presumably descended) from mainland south or central America once the first Galapagos islands had formed?

Have you decided yet whether you still agree with Dawkins and disagree with Sarfati about natural selection penalising bad mutations?

Your supportive friend Trevor was VERY quick with his comments and you were very quick to publish them ...
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Re: Two CMI YEC apologists contradicting each other re Dawki

Postby a_haworthroberts » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:30 am

Slight correction. I MEANT to write:

"Rafting (of the pre-existing iguanas that Attenborough referred to in the first episode, from which the pink iguanas are presumably descended, along with some representatives of that new species) from mainland south or central America once the first Galapagos islands had formed around 4 million years' ago?"
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Re:

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:24 pm

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Atheism- ... 1873982784

One was a racist megalomaniac who believed in genocide and probably believed in a god too.

The other is a committed atheist with a dislike of religion but whose political views are liberal.

Every reason for 'Atheism on the Slide' to print a photo of Adolf Hitler followed by one of Richard Dawkins.

Par for the course?
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