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October 21, 2005

Getting sick: of the flu and Evolutionist nonsense

From The Scotsman...

THE strain of avian flu which has so far swept from South Korea to Russia made its world debut in 1959 inside a Scottish chicken, it has emerged. 

Scientists tracing the history of the H5N1 virus have traced its first recorded episode to an Aberdeen farm. The dead bird was taken to Surrey for medical examination, after infecting two flocks of chickens. 

But while British medical authorities are preparing to cope with a pandemic of a new H5N1 outbreak from South-east Asia, the case notes of the original Scottish case have not been consulted, on the grounds that the virus has grown far heartier and deadlier over the past 46 years....

Tom Pennycott, an avian veterinary specialist at the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive, Ayrshire, said the virus may have the same title, but other characteristics will have changed over 46 years. 

"The H5N1 that was found back in 1959 would have been quite different to the one that's around now," he said. "Similarly, there was an H5N1 down in Norfolk in December 1991 and it will be different to the H5N1 that's about just now."...

Scientists have been most alarmed at the fast rate of H5N1's mutation. For the first time, the virus can survive in chicken faeces and in dead meat, without requiring the flow of fresh blood. This has made it stealthier, claiming victims who had no obvious connection with the agricultural industry. [emphasis added]

The part I want to point out is that in spite of what observation and common sense would tell a clear thinking person, they continue to call these “mutations”. Ask yourself this: Is it possible for Person A who is the descendant of Person B 100 generations removed, looks and behave differently, even to the point of being able to eat food the other couldn't tolerate and live in conditions the other couldn't stand—without the descendant being a “mutation”? Do you enjoy the exact same food and lifestyle you parents do? What about you grandparents?

Yes, we're talking about cultural changes, but nonetheless they are minor changes in how we live out lives that are due to any of a myriad reason, which could actually include the kind of adaptation that exists within a species. Would the English sheep dog and the Chihuahua  be examples of a mutation? Of course not. But could a Chihuahua survive outside during a cold British winter?

Want to know what cripples health care more than anything? This idiotic obsession with using the religion of Evolution to define science, and refusing to admit it could be wrong. They explore treatment based on the false assumption that these viruses mutate, but there is no evidence that they in fact do.

Posted by Danny Carlton at October 21, 2005 05:29 AM

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"Want to know what cripples health care more than anything? This idiotic obsession with using the religion of Evolution to define science, and refusing to admit it could be wrong. They explore treatment based on the false assumption that these viruses mutate, but there is no evidence that they in fact do."

Are you stupid or something? Religion of science?!

Sure, evolution might be wrong. But all the scientific evidence suggests it's not, while creation science or intelligent design theories are completely non-scientific.

And "there's no evidence that viruses mutate"???
Ever heard of HIV?!

Posted by: Daniel at October 21, 2005 10:02 AM

Hi

It seems like you're suggesting that the virus simply learns to cope with different conditions, but that you wouldn't call that a mutation?

I guess that's more a semantic thing, at what point does an adaption to cope become a mutation.

Either way - viruses do mutate their genetic structure, all the time, in millions of different ways, and some of those make the virus more deadly, or more able to stay alive. It's not a theory - you can see it under the microscope!

Muttaion or adaption - I'm not sure why you would choose to deny something so easily proven?

Cheers - Steve

Posted by: Steve at October 21, 2005 12:17 PM

Slight correction, Steve - No, it's mutation, not adaptation: the difference is whether the change is hereditary (and therefore genetic), and is conserved upon replication of the virus.

But yes, it's EASILY proven by anyone who bothers to look.

I wonder if Jack actually *passed* high school science with such blatant ignorance.

Posted by: Daniel at October 21, 2005 12:46 PM

Thanks - be nice though :-)

Steve

Posted by: Steve at October 21, 2005 01:00 PM

Ha - yeah, I usually try to be, but hey, we all lose our patience once in a while.

But I'll try to play nicer. ;-)

Posted by: Daniel at October 21, 2005 01:13 PM

"Want to know what cripples health care more than anything? This idiotic obsession with using the religion of Evolution to define science, and refusing to admit it could be wrong. They explore treatment based on the false assumption that these viruses mutate, but there is no evidence that they in fact do."

Daniel: Are you stupid or something? Religion of science?!

I said the religion of Evolution, not the religion of science. Evolution isn't science.

Daniel: Sure, evolution might be wrong. But all the scientific evidence suggests it's not, while creation science or intelligent design theories are completely non-scientific.

No, very little scientific evidence suggests the religion of Evolution is true. A whole lot of wild speculation, falsely called science, does, though.

Daniel: And "there's no evidence that viruses mutate"???
Ever heard of HIV?!

Yes, and there's evidence that it's been around quite a long time. The world doesn't begin and end with human knowledge. Something can exist without people ever knowing it does.

 

Steve: It seems like you're suggesting that the virus simply learns to cope with different conditions, but that you wouldn't call that a mutation?

No, any more than we call a Chihuahua a mutation of a English sheepdog (did that point go over your head?)

Steve: I guess that's more a semantic thing, at what point does an adaption to cope become a mutation.

Rarely, since frequent beneficial mutations is part of the mythology of the religion of Evolution.

Steve: Either way - viruses do mutate their genetic structure, all the time, in millions of different ways, and some of those make the virus more deadly, or more able to stay alive. It's not a theory - you can see it under the microscope!

Sorry, but the specific genes in a DNA strand are not observable via a microscope. What is observable are differences in behavior. But that would be the same as claiming a Panda is more closely related to a Koala than a grizzly because both Pandas and Koalas climb trees and eat leaves. (Hint: Pandas are bears, Koalas are marsupials) or saying when you move a lion from Africa to America and it changes it's diet from Zebra to Horse, therefore it “mutates”

Steve: Muttaion or adaption - I'm not sure why you would choose to deny something so easily proven?

First of all they are far from the same thing. Second, beneficial mutations are extremely rare and when they do occur are minor, hardly on the scale Evolutionist zealot like to claim.

 

Daniel: Slight correction, Steve - No, it's mutation, not adaptation: the difference is whether the change is hereditary (and therefore genetic), and is conserved upon replication of the virus.

So, you're claiming that adaptation is not hereditary? Talk about ignoring the facts. Why is it that Shetland ponies produce Shetland ponies and not Morgans?

Daniel: But yes, it's EASILY proven by anyone who bothers to look.

I think the word is “imagine” not “look”.

Daniel: I wonder if Jack actually *passed* high school science with such blatant ignorance.

In fact I have three degrees. But, it is amusing being called “ignorant” by someone who actually believe adaptations are not genetic.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at October 21, 2005 05:12 PM

Retorts:
Yes, you said evolution, not science. Semantics, because you're claiming evolution is not science, which of course it is.

You claim very little evidence for evolution - here's a link for you, providing thorough explanation of 29+ evidences for universal common descent. Here

I'm not sure what you're getting at by saying HIV has been around a long time. Of course it has, with the first documented potential infection occuring somewhere around 1908, based upon similarities between medical records in the case and current knowledge of HIV/AIDS. But what does that have to do with mutation?! HIV, various forms of the flu, common cold, etc, mutate all the time, at such a rate that you can often see the mutated forms of the virus in a given patient, especially with a virus like HIV which persists for years. Ever studied virology?!

Or by your denial of evolution, ever taken (and passed) a biology course?!

Regarding dog breeds, yes, they're still similar enough to be the same species, but where do you think they got the genetic variation to be different to the slightest degree in the first place, if not by mutation?

Imagine vs. Look? So you haven't studied biology, or virology in particular? No, didn't think so. Yes, you do also need to use one of a few very easily-performed laboratory techniques to visualize mutations, but that only takes a little effort.

And yes, for the record, adaptation can mean hereditary changes. Sorry for that, I was using that in the physiological sense (i.e. as a synonym for acclimation). Further, adaptation in the genetic/hereditary sense implies beneficial mutations, which we can discuss if you'd like, but on my mind at the time I typed that was mutations in general.

But that's irrelevant, since you're denying that both occur, isn't it?

3 degrees or not, none of them appears to be in biology. (or science in general, I'll wager)

Posted by: Daniel at October 22, 2005 11:34 AM

As a followup thought to the TalkOrigins' 29+ Evidences of Universal Common Descent link I just offered, I was wondering whether you've seen (or heard of being seen) evidence for evolution's alternative, creation? For instance - Eden, Adam & Eve's graves, or remnants of anything mentioned in the first few chapters of Genesis? Anything at all? No, I didn't think so - there goes that theory's scientific validity.

Posted by: Daniel at October 22, 2005 12:11 PM

Hi Danny,

I was interested as to how you managed to maintain what seemed to me to be such an extreme view, in the face of unasailable evidence to the contrary. I'm always interested to try and see something from another point of view.

Maybe the evidence isn't there, I'm by no means an expert. If only it was possible to have a conversation without the sniping and condescension.

blessings on you
Steve

Posted by: Steve at October 23, 2005 11:36 AM

Daniel: Yes, you said evolution, not science. Semantics, because you're claiming evolution is not science, which of course it is.

But it isn't. There is no valid proof for it. It's merely a weak theory devised by those who desperately want to pretend there is no God.

Daniel: You claim very little evidence for evolution - here's a link for you, providing thorough explanation of 29+ evidences for universal common descent. Here

Not one of those consists of actual, valid proof. Each one is based on presumption, which is not the scientific method. Not one is testable, unless you insist the presumption be assumed as a condition of the test. Take the following for example:

According to the theory of common descent, modern living organisms, with all their incredible differences, are the progeny of one single species in the distant past. In spite of the extensive variation of form and function among organisms, several fundamental criteria characterize all life. Some of the macroscopic properties that characterize all of life are (1) replication, (2) heritability (characteristics of descendents are correlated with those of ancestors), (3) catalysis, and (4) energy utilization (metabolism). At a very minimum, these four functions are required to generate a physical historical process that can be described by a phylogenetic tree. 

If every living species descended from an original species that had these four obligate functions, then all living species today should necessarily have these functions (a somewhat trivial conclusion).

We start with the assumption that similarities prove common descent. But wouldn't similarities just as easily prove common authorship? This is so far from actually science as to be on the level of the kind of nonsense that horse hairs will turn into worms if left in water. The remainder of the "proofs" are equally silly.

Daniel: And "there's no evidence that viruses mutate"???
Ever heard of HIV?!

Yes, and there's evidence that it's been around quite a long time. The world doesn't begin and end with human knowledge. Something can exist without people ever knowing it does.

Daniel: I'm not sure what you're getting at by saying HIV has been around a long time. Of course it has, with the first documented potential infection occuring somewhere around 1908, based upon similarities between medical records in the case and current knowledge of HIV/AIDS. But what does that have to do with mutation?! HIV, various forms of the flu, common cold, etc, mutate all the time, at such a rate that you can often see the mutated forms of the virus in a given patient, especially with a virus like HIV which persists for years. Ever studied virology?!

To actually prove a mutation you'd need to analyze the DNA itself. But that's never done. Any changes in behavior are presumptively called a mutation, without proof that it is anything other than adaptation.

Daniel: Or by your denial of evolution, ever taken (and passed) a biology course?!

Ever tried to actually discuss something without resorting to ad hominem attacks?

Daniel: Regarding dog breeds, yes, they're still similar enough to be the same species, but where do you think they got the genetic variation to be different to the slightest degree in the first place, if not by mutation?

By the variety that exists within the genetic code. It doesn't require a mutation for my nephew to have red hair, given that his grandmother also has red hair, even though neither of his parents have that color hair. The genetic diversity with a species is more than enough to account for Saint Bernards, French poodles and viruses that begin infecting animals they'd previously never bothered.

Daniel: No, it's mutation, not adaptation: the difference is whether the change is hereditary (and therefore genetic), and is conserved upon replication of the virus.

But yes, it's EASILY proven by anyone who bothers to look.

I think the word is “imagine” not “look”.

Daniel: Imagine vs. Look? So you haven't studied biology, or virology in particular? No, didn't think so. Yes, you do also need to use one of a few very easily-performed laboratory techniques to visualize mutations, but that only takes a little effort.

To actually prove a mutation is nothing more than simple adaptation you'd need to do a thorough DNA study, something that requires an extensive study and quite a bit of time. Instead devotees of the religion of Evolution simply assume that adaptations are mutations. Therefore they degrade science into the process of assumption coupled with imagination. Observing a change in behavior is not valid proof of mutation.

Daniel: Slight correction, Steve - No, it's mutation, not adaptation: the difference is whether the change is hereditary (and therefore genetic), and is conserved upon replication of the virus.

So, you're claiming that adaptation is not hereditary? Talk about ignoring the facts. Why is it that Shetland ponies produce Shetland ponies and not Morgans?

Daniel: And yes, for the record, adaptation can mean hereditary changes. Sorry for that, I was using that in the physiological sense (i.e. as a synonym for acclimation). Further, adaptation in the genetic/hereditary sense implies beneficial mutations, which we can discuss if you'd like, but on my mind at the time I typed that was mutations in general.

You are using two very different words as synonymous, when they are not. Adaptation occurs within a species and is a product of the variety of traits the genetic code already contains. Mutation is an actually change in the genetic code, producing a trait that did not previously exist, even in a latent form, in the original genetic code. Beneficial mutation, if they exist at all, are extremely rare.

Daniel: But that's irrelevant, since you're denying that both occur, isn't it?

You need to learn to read better. I am denying that beneficial mutations occur, except, possibly, on extremely rare occasions. I am claiming that the vast majority of changes attributed to mutations are simply the normal adaptation that happens within a species, but never allows for speciation.

Daniel: 3 degrees or not, none of them appears to be in biology. (or science in general, I'll wager)

Again with ad hominem attacks. That's generally how you Evolutionist debate.

 

Daniel: As a followup thought to the TalkOrigins' 29+ Evidences of Universal Common Descent link I just offered, I was wondering whether you've seen (or heard of being seen) evidence for evolution's alternative, creation? For instance - Eden, Adam & Eve's graves, or remnants of anything mentioned in the first few chapters of Genesis? Anything at all? No, I didn't think so - there goes that theory's scientific validity.

Yes, there's the matter of irreducible complexity, there's the matter of the shrinking of the sun, there's the matter of the salinity of the oceans, there's the matter of human population dynamics. All (and many more) support Creation as a more viable theory of origins.

 

 

Steve: I was interested as to how you managed to maintain what seemed to me to be such an extreme view, in the face of unasailable evidence to the contrary. I'm always interested to try and see something from another point of view.

First of all, there's hardly any sort of “unassailable” evidence that contradicts Creation. There's a mountain of speculation, guesses and wild imagining, but no real evidence that proves the religion of Evolution is true and Creation isn't.

Steve: Maybe the evidence isn't there, I'm by no means an expert. If only it was possible to have a conversation without the sniping and condescension.

Look at the original comments to see who starts out with the sniping and condescension.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at October 23, 2005 07:17 PM

You give away your ignorance of what constitutes science again and again with closing statements such as
"Yes, there's the matter of irreducible complexity, there's the matter of the shrinking of the sun, there's the matter of the salinity of the oceans, there's the matter of human population dynamics. All (and many more) support Creation as a more viable theory of origins."
and
"First of all, there's hardly any sort of “unassailable” evidence that contradicts Creation. There's a mountain of speculation, guesses and wild imagining, but no real evidence that proves the religion of Evolution is true and Creation isn't."

Now, living life by the Bible and believing its validity is one thing, and that's just fine. But I affirm again, you clearly do not have a science degree, and miss the point that of course, ANYTHING can be explained by claiming divine intervention. However, such an argument is completely non-scientific, and is based upon faith not evidence.

And your flat denial of what constitutes evidence points towards the dogma that you preach.

Don't like the harshness of my tone? Listen to Steve then, or this very well-written post titled "Intellignt Christianity": A well-written critique of intelligent design and modern religious conservatives by retired Episcopalian Bishop and iconoclast John Shelby Spong in one of his weekly Q&A emails:

"--->Marion from Kansas writes:
"In my state the Board of Education threw out the teaching of evolution a few years ago. Upon election of moderate members, the Board brought it back again. Now conservatives are in the majority again and the whole issue of universe origin is being debated again. This time the issue of "intelligent design" is being brought in as needing to be taught. Is this just another way of bringing in conservative belief about instant creation?"

Dear Marion,

On one level it really doesn't matter what the Kansas Board of Education thinks, evolution is real and is not subject to majority vote any more than whether epilepsy is caused by demon possession. Yet it is embarrassing to live in a state where public ignorance can force people to deny reality. It will also ill-equip the children of Kansas to live in the modern world. Already American school children are far behind Asians in the field of science. The pursuit of knowledge should never be compromised to protect religious sensitivities. That is where religious tyranny begins. Intelligent Design is just one more smoke screen. The task of geologists and anthropologists is to study the sources of the life of this world. They should be free to follow wherever their scientific research carries them. If Christianity is threatened by truth, it is already too late to save it. Imagine worshiping a God so weak and incompetent that the Kansas School Board must defend this God from science and new learning. It is pitiful.

The challenge of Darwinian thinking to traditional Christianity is deep and profound. That means that Christianity's survival depends on its being big enough to embrace a post-Darwinian world. If we cannot then Christianity will surely die. I do not believe that is the fate toward which Christianity is headed unless it becomes that petty, small-minded enterprise that must hide in ignorance and fear lest it be destroyed.

I hope you and others will resist these tactics at the ballot box. If that fails then you have to assess whether or not you want your children to grow up in the environment that Kansas is creating. If not, you might consider moving. I for one hope you will stay and fight for ignorance will not prevail forever, even in Kansas.

Posted by: Daniel at October 24, 2005 09:44 AM

You give away your ignorance of what constitutes science again and again with closing statements such as
"
Yes, there's the matter of irreducible complexity, there's the matter of the shrinking of the sun, there's the matter of the salinity of the oceans, there's the matter of human population dynamics. All (and many more) support Creation as a more viable theory of origins."
and
"
First of all, there's hardly any sort of “unassailable” evidence that contradicts Creation. There's a mountain of speculation, guesses and wild imagining, but no real evidence that proves the religion of Evolution is true and Creation isn't."

Now, living life by the Bible and believing its validity is one thing, and that's just fine. But I affirm again, you clearly do not have a science degree, and miss the point that of course, ANYTHING can be explained by claiming divine intervention. However, such an argument is completely non-scientific, and is based upon faith not evidence.

You seem to be under the delusion that one must have a degree in science before understanding science. What is your degree in?

While I don't have a degree in science, I certainly know how to think for myself and apply logic and common sense. I find debating Evolutionists a somewhat guilty pleasure since rarely can one find one that can do more than regurgitate pre-digested idiocy. Therefore debating them is very much like the cliché of shooting fish in a barrel. You fit the mold perfectly. You have yet to express any original thought at all, and seem to think facts are proven by repetition and name calling.

And your flat denial of what constitutes evidence points towards the dogma that you preach.

More vagueness. Specifics are a trap for you Evolutionist zealots.

Don't like the harshness of my tone?

Never said it. I was simply responding to what appeared to be an accusation that I am responding harshly by pointing out your approach. Be a sniveling flamer, I pretty much expect it from Evolutionists.

 Listen to Steve then, or this very well-written post titled "Intellignt Christianity": A well-written critique of intelligent design and modern religious conservatives by retired Episcopalian Bishop and iconoclast John Shelby Spong in one of his weekly Q&A emails:

"--->Marion from Kansas writes:
"In my state the Board of Education [blah blah blah]

More name calling and unspecific charges. Not one single bit of proof of anything in the whole mess. Why would the ranting of some stuffy pseudo-Christian mean anything to me. You have yet to post one single thing that even comes close to proving Evolution is anything more than bad mythology.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at October 24, 2005 05:00 PM

Evolution as bad mythology? You've been expressing original thought? No, I think you're beliefs are simply very fervent, but this is clearly getting us nowhere, as we're both looking at evidence which is perfectly good to the other and scoffing at it.

I merely see absolutely no difference between Christian creationism (or it's counterpart intelligent design) and other supernatural mythologies (e.g. ancient greek, other religions, etc.); speaking of - on what basis would you claim that Christian creationism is more credible than that of other religions?

And for the record, I'm a cell and molecular biologist, and yes, I'm also a Christian as well (U.C.C)

Posted by: Daniel at October 25, 2005 08:20 AM

And for the record, I'm a cell and molecular biologist, and yes, I'm also a Christian as well (U.C.C)

And I'm Mary Queen of Scots.

You've more than illustrated that you lack the basic knowledge of science to be more than an amateur/pretend "scientist" as well being seriously lacking in both faith as well as fundamentals to be more than a pretend Christian. You lack the dedication and resolve in either area to be considered real.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at October 25, 2005 09:09 PM

I gotta admit, my eyes jumped right to the word "fundamentals" just there, and you are indeed a fundamentalist. I'll bid you farewell, but just after saying that I really see little difference between biblical literalists such as yourself, and the islamic radicals that we're fighting in the war on terror, only here we have to tolerate your zealotry.

Posted by: Daniel at October 26, 2005 09:28 AM

That you would make such a bigoted observation proves the very thing I said. You equivocate “biblical literalists” with extremist moslems who blow up buildings full of people, shoot children, and saw people's heads off? You are seriously deluded.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at October 27, 2005 08:54 AM

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