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Old 09-25-2017, 11:34 PM
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Default Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Hello, boys, it’s Flo.

Well, boys, my nephew davidm doesn’t much like to be online anymore, but recently he found himself sucked into a message-board discussion with someone he calls “a creationist wanker.”

There are a whole lot of preliminaries — wherein we “learn” that definition of evolution is “circular”; that there are no transitional fossils, and that evolutionary theory cannot explain the Cambrian Explosion.

The real fun begins here, wherein we learn that “Asimov’s number” rules out the evolution of hemoglobin. :shock:

Long and short of it is, my nephew has wearied of responding to this preening, prating ass, and respectfully requests the assistance of The Lone Ranger in helping further publicly embarrass him. Just post a response in this thread to his drivel in that thread, and my nephew will link it at that forum.

Thanks ever so much. Now it’s time for my whiskey.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

I don't have time to take a closer look right now, I'm afraid, but I'll make a quick note: anyone who thinks that evolutionary theory is a theory that things evolve by chance has demonstrated that they understand nothing of evolutionary theory, and I'm not certain it's even possible to have a discussion with someone so utterly ignorant of the subject matter.

Certainly, Asimov was in no way making such a claim. Speaking of which, has he brought up the "2nd Law of Thermodynamics" argument yet? That's a hoary old chestnut that only the most truly ignorant of creationists trot out.

As Isaac Asimov himself noted, "Anyone who thinks that evolution is impossible because it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is demonstrating a kindergartener's understanding of thermodynamics [and evolution]."
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Note also, for the record, that it's an incredibly dishonest argument, since in the essay, Asimov was writing about how the structure of hemoglobin was worked out by biochemists. And his entire point was that the structure of hemoglobin couldn't have been worked out [by biochemists] via a trail-and-error method. [Similarly, though this wasn't his point, it couldn't be the result of amino acids just coming together randomly.] His point was that there are non-random means of working out the structure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Asimov
How did the biochemists do it?

The fact is that straight trial-and-error technique would have been an unbearable trial and a colossal error. So they used other methods. There are other methods, you know.


The original article ["Hemoglobin and the Universe"] first appeared in the February, 1955 issue of Astounding magazine; it was anthologized in 1957 in Only A Trillion. One of the points was that -- at the time of the writing -- nobody knew how proteins were made, because Watson and Crick had just worked out the structure of DNA, and it wasn't yet understood how the arrangement of nucleotides in DNA specified the arrangement of amino acids in proteins.


We have, of course, learned a lot since then. As Asimov noted in a 1976 note regarding the original 1955 article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Asimov
Since this article was first written in July, 1954, chemists have discovered many details about the hemoglobin molecule.

...

There is no longer any basic mystery as to how the body manufactures hemoglobin molecules, with all the amino acids correctly in place. In 1953, the year before this article was first written, James Watson and Francis Crick worked out the way in which the nucleic acid molecules of the chromosomes duplicated themselves. Other chemists went on to discover how the structure of the nucleic acids was used to guide the formation of chains of amino acids in a particular order. The basic details of all this you can find in my book The Genetic Code.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
Note also, for the record, that it's an incredibly dishonest argument, since in the essay, Asimov was writing about how the structure of hemoglobin was worked out by biochemists. And his entire point was that the structure of hemoglobin couldn't have been worked out [by biochemists] via a trail-and-error method. [Similarly, though this wasn't his point, it couldn't be the result of amino acids just coming together randomly.] His point was that there are non-random means of working out the structure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Asimov
How did the biochemists do it?

The fact is that straight trial-and-error technique would have been an unbearable trial and a colossal error. So they used other methods. There are other methods, you know.


The original article ["Hemoglobin and the Universe"] first appeared in the February, 1955 issue of Astounding magazine; it was anthologized in 1957 in Only A Trillion. One of the points was that -- at the time of the writing -- nobody knew how proteins were made, because Watson and Crick had just worked out the structure of DNA, and it wasn't yet understood how the arrangement of nucleotides in DNA specified the arrangement of amino acids in proteins.


We have, of course, learned a lot since then. As Asimov noted in a 1976 note regarding the original 1955 article:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Asimov
Since this article was first written in July, 1954, chemists have discovered many details about the hemoglobin molecule.

...

There is no longer any basic mystery as to how the body manufactures hemoglobin molecules, with all the amino acids correctly in place. In 1953, the year before this article was first written, James Watson and Francis Crick worked out the way in which the nucleic acid molecules of the chromosomes duplicated themselves. Other chemists went on to discover how the structure of the nucleic acids was used to guide the formation of chains of amino acids in a particular order. The basic details of all this you can find in my book The Genetic Code.
Thanks, Mr. Ranger. :wave: I will now dutifully link these posts and any future posts to the troll. It's an amusing thread; read when you have time.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

He hasn't trotted out the 2nd law yet; I'm sure that's to come. :halftroll:

I've wasted a lot of time accurately responding to his shit; I'd appreciate some help because no one else there seems to know anything about this subject and I'm kind of sick of reading and responding to his drivel. If you have time read the thread from the start; it's quite amazing and amusing in a sickening sort of way.:puke:
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Also note, for the record, that several of his key assumptions are flat-out wrong. Does he really believe there's one and only one form of hemoglobin and that any alteration of the molecule renders it useless? [There is not; there are at least 2 different forms in humans alone, not including altered forms such as those found in people with sickle cell anemia. Nor do mutations always render the molecule functionless -- quite the opposite. For example, people who live at high altitudes, such as the Natives inhabiting the Andes Mountains, often produce variants of "normal" hemoglobin that bind oxygen more efficiently at lower partial pressures, giving them the ability to deliver more oxygen to their tissues in thin air than can most lowlanders.]

Does he really believe that vertebrate hemoglobin has no evolutionary precursors that can reversibly bind to oxygen? [He'd be wrong; there's quite an extensive literature on the evolution of hemoglobin.]
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Old 09-26-2017, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Based on what the dude on the other site says about Asimov, this Asimov fellow sounds like a dumbass. Why do we care what he thinks?
(I do like Asimov mostly but it's fun when someone uses appeal to intelligence to just call their example a dumbass.)

While this case is just an idiot misunderstanding what Asimov said 60 years ago* there's plenty of genius scientists who have said insane things about stuff outside their field. Just because it's confusing to someone doesn't mean anything.

*That people get shit they can look up from so recent wrong really makes me wonder exactly how embellished some of the books of the bible are when they are hundreds of years after the fact.
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Old 09-26-2017, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
anyone who thinks that evolutionary theory is a theory that things evolve by chance has demonstrated that they understand nothing of evolutionary theory
Okay, I know nothing about evolutionary theory and have no idea where to begin in a world of misinformation and stuff I only vaguely remember from high school decades ago.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Evolution is the adaption of a species to its environment through natural selection, and random occurrences of mutations and lateral gene transfer. So not only are there the forces of natural selection but the mutations themselves aren't just random injections of noise, they're often specific types of flips and copy errors and other changes that may often occur randomly but produce known types of changes.
(A bit like copy and pasting ideas from one part of a book into another, instead of just smashing the keyboard a bunch.)

DNA is translated in snippets which then make proteins which then go on to interact with other proteins and chemicals to form hands and red blood cells. DNA is only loosely our instruction manual. It's filled with a whole bunch of stuff that once plucked out and connected down the line make things.
(Like a book that contains the story you want to read but in secret elvish text whose meaning changes depending on the text before it, and it's all scrambled up and you must pluck it out and put it in order. This makes it both way harder to understand and read, but also adds multiple buffers protecting the animal and guiding how these changes ultimately effect them. Once fully written down in english your story might have some oddities but it will still be an understandable story and not gibberish because letters were randomly changed, as just pure random mutations might suggest.)
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

From that I'm gathering that my understanding isn't far off.

Random mutation happens.
If that mutation proves beneficial to that organism's ability to reproduce, that's the evolutionary path that will likely succeed.

Perhaps I was reading too far in on the use of the word 'chance'?

And rereading my first post ITT, it looks a little obnoxious or aggressive. Which was not my intent.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
Based on what the dude on the other site says about Asimov, this Asimov fellow sounds like a dumbass. Why do we care what he thinks?
(I do like Asimov mostly but it's fun when someone uses appeal to intelligence to just call their example a dumbass.)
Isaac Asimov was firmly on the side of evolution, and that included criticizing the OP creationist's argument.
  • "The Unblind Workings of Chance" in "Only a Trillion"
  • "The Judo Argument" in "The Planet That Wasn't"
IA pointed out that atoms and molecules do *not* combine completely at random, that there are natural-selection effects like lower total energy. Thus, if one combines hydrogen and oxygen, one makes water, H2O, because that is the lowest-energy combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

Likewise, biological evolution is *not* completely random. Natural selection is an important mechanism, and it is *not* random.

So this creationist was selectively quoting IA and making him seem like a fellow creationist. Sort of like how many creationists selectively quote Charles Darwin on the evolution of the eye.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
And his entire point was that the structure of hemoglobin couldn't have been worked out [by biochemists] via a trail-and-error method.
I'm sure trail-and-error is a favoured method in the Appalachians or wherever it is you are.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidm View Post
I'd appreciate some help because no one else there seems to know anything about this subject.
Hey, I'm right here ya know, and I think I understand as much about evolution as anyone.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoc View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidm View Post
I'd appreciate some help because no one else there seems to know anything about this subject.
Hey, I'm right here ya know, and I think I understand as much about evolution as anyone.
My apologies; I wasn't actually referring to you in that thread. I was referring to the regulars there, who to be honest don't seem very bright. I regard you as someone here, not there. Arbitrary, I admit.

ETA: SOME of then are bright, but the overall discourse level there is pretty low IMO.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

I don't think he's being in any way, shape, or form an honest questioner. He pointedly refuses to understand that evolutionary theory does not claim that hemoglobin molecules just arose by "chance." Thus, his 10190 number is worse than useless; it's a fundamentally dishonest claim.


He's either lying or dumber than dirt. Either way, I doubt there's much point in trying to explain things to him any further.


Similarly, he's completely misrepresenting Asimov's point. Asimov was pointing out (among other things) that hemoglobin couldn't just be randomly assembled -- that's the point. Nobody ever believed that it was, and anyone who claims that this is what evolutionary theory says is just plain lying.

As Asimov noted later, once the structure of DNA was worked out and how nucleotide sequences specify amino acid sequences, the mystery of how proteins are assembled was solved.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

It's worth keeping in mind what William J. Benetta pointed out back in 1995:

Quote:
Originally Posted by William J. Benetta
Creationism is a fundamentalist political movement. The creationists seek to impose onto the population at large, by political means, a religion that revolves around the creation myths of the ancient Israelites, as retold in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. The creationists' ultimate goal is to abolish natural science and to replace it with a system of pseudoscience devoted to affirming the narratives in the Bible's first section, the Book of Genesis.

In working toward that goal, the creationists try to corrupt the public's understanding of scientific knowledge and of science itself. Their most conspicuous efforts are aimed at eroding the teaching of science in public schools. They promote curricula that misrepresent science, they demand that teachers present scientific findings and biblical myths as equivalent alternatives, they try to prevent the teaching of any science that contravenes biblical lore, and they try to force the schools to disseminate Bible stories that have been cloaked in "scientific" disguises.

In all of these efforts, the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must. The idea that the Bible could serve to explain nature collapsed in the 1800s, under an overwhelming mass of scientific information that discredited any naive, literal reading of Genesis, but the creationists have to deny that this ever happened. They also must deny all that science has learned since then about the history of Earth and Earth's organisms -- and the only way to do this is to tell lies. They tell lies about nature, lies about science and lies about their own doctrines and aims, and they change the lies, from time to time, to fit prevailing circumstances.
[My emphasis.]


The more "scientific"-minded creationists may try to pretend that their beliefs aren't inherently religious, but they're no less dishonest in their tactics and practices.
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  #17  
Old 09-27-2017, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

In many ways it all comes down to how you interpret the Bible and I believe that many of the things written in the Bible can be true if interpreted correctly. 2 examples. It is written that man was created from the dust of the Earth and I would ask "What did you have for your last meal and where was it produced?" Most Food products are grown in the ground or eats what has grown in the ground, so to say that man is made from the dust of the Earth is correct. The other is the statement from the account of the flood, and it is written that "All the Earth was covered with water". For a man standing on the deck of an un-powered ship the horizon is about 30 miles and any mountain would have to be far enough away to be below the horizon. Not a very large distance compared to the surface of the Earth. So to Noah (or whatever name you choose to give him) all the Earth was covered with water. Also there have been many flood accounts so this would be just another of many.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidm View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by thedoc View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidm View Post
I'd appreciate some help because no one else there seems to know anything about this subject.
Hey, I'm right here ya know, and I think I understand as much about evolution as anyone.
My apologies; I wasn't actually referring to you in that thread. I was referring to the regulars there, who to be honest don't seem very bright. I regard you as someone here, not there. Arbitrary, I admit.

ETA: SOME of then are bright, but the overall discourse level there is pretty low IMO.
Not a problem but I have been more active on the other forum than this one, I tend to go where I find the most interesting action. And one of the members of the other forum has been sending me a lot of PM's that I have been at least looking at.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

I had a coworker that was very angry at evolution because it was an attempt to explain the world without God. Yet somehow he was a big fan of other sciences, like physics and chemistry.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that all science is an attempt to explain the world without invoking God.

That's also why the Big Bang is Evolution, even though it has nothing to do with biology. You lump in all the the stuff that has to do with creation and is contradictory to the Bible as evolution so you don't have to hate the sciences that are harder to "prove" wrong.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: Att: Lone Ranger. Hemoglobin evolution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lone Ranger View Post
In all of these efforts, the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must.
They lie because 'it's not really a lie of you're right you just can't prove it yet!' Beyond the obvious scam artists many avid believers 'have faith' that they will eventually be proven right, so it's ok to make up a few lies to guide people to the truth.

That is of course why creation science has never created or done anything. 'I have the answer, now let's find the facts to support it' feels great emotionally but doesn't go anywhere but in circles because it's not finding anything new.
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