Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bioluminescence, Convergent Evolution, and Probability




Evolutionists acknowledge that common structures among the various life-forms do not always imply common ancestry.  Rather, they admit that many common traits/structures had evolved independently without common ancestry, often times from very different genes and in different ways. They term this “convergent evolution” – evolution reinventing similar structures but in independent and radically different ways. What is the probability of this happening?

Let’s take the case of bioluminescence, “reinvented” perhaps over 60 times in bugs, bacteria, fungi, and fish. Citing the findings of Oakley and Pankey, observes that convergent evolution is statistically impossible:

·       This convergent evolution is so astonishingly unlikely that we would never expect it to occur via the evolutionary mechanism of random mutation and natural selection. But because we know that evolution by this process is a fact, we must now admit that statistically impossible things regularly occur in evolution because…well we don’t really know why but it’s clear that evolution has received a special dispensation from the laws of probability. Not once does it occur to him to doubt the evolutionary mechanism.

 
If convergent evolution is statistically impossible, why does the evolution establishment continue to promote it as an established fact? Jonathan Wells suggests that the status-quo might continue “until Darwinism is no longer an implicit requirement for tenure.”

13 comments:

  1. If convergent evolution is indeed statistically impossible, it may help your cause to show your work. At the moment you look to be simply making an unsubstantiated assertion.

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    1. I wish I could. I am not a statistician nor a scientist. However, I can smell a rat. If evolutionists claim similarities as evidence of evolution and dissimilarities (convergent) as evidence, something is wrong. Heads, I win. Tails, you lose!

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    2. That doesn't even make sense. Convergence is a measure of similar survival traits in different lineages, not dissimilarities. You're a very confused individual.

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  2. Statistically speaking, something that happens relatively more frequently is evidence for a higher probability of that event. Convergent evolution is evidence of something that is MORE possible, not something that is IMpossible.

    PS: I am a statistician.

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    1. Dan, It seems that the findings of "convergent evol." have undermined the theory of evolution. Could evolution reinvent the same brain structures over and over again? In this regards, neuroscientist and evolutionist Paul Patton made an interesting revelation:

      “One of the most common misconceptions about brain evolution is that it represents a linear process culminating in amazing cognitive powers of humans, with brains of other modern species representing previous stages…However research in comparative neuron-anatomy clearly has shown that complex brains—and sophisticated cognition—have evolved from simpler brains multiple times independently in separate lineages.” (Scientific America Mind, “One World, Many Minds,” Dec 2008/Jan 2009, 72-73)


      Patton acknowledged that what had been promoted as the evolutionary pathway of the brain (from simplicity to complexity), is not so. Previously, it had been taught that our brains derived from four sequential evolutionary steps in which the fish brain was overlaid by a reptilian complex and later repackaged in over-lying paleo- and then neo-mammalian brain additions:

      “A ‘neural chassis” corresponding to the brains of fish and amphibians; a reptilian complex, consisting of the basal ganglia, which were held to dominate the brains of reptiles and birds; a paleomammalian component, consisting of the brains limbic system, which supposedly emerged with the origin of mammals and which was responsible for emotional behavior; and finally a neomammalian component, consisting of the neocortex, the site of higher cognitive function.” (75)


      What does this say about the “common brain structures” that had confidently cast fish as our ancestors?

      “In recent decades scientists have cast aside a linear, sequential view of brain evolution in which the human brain incorporated components resembling the brains of modern fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds.” (79)

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  3. Nice Copy/pasta, but it doesn't address my point. It also highlights the sequential steps of evolution and common descent.

    When we see certain events happening more frequently than others, and that is evidence for a larger underlying probability of that event occurring. By your reasoning, flipping a coin and observing heads should be impossible because it has happened so many times before.

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  4. Perhaps I hadn't expressed myself properly. Evolution is based on the reasoning that commonalities prove common ancestry. However, convergent evolution demonstrates that commonalities do NOT prove common ancestry. This alone undermines the entire rationale of evolution.

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  5. It might, if parallel features evolved identically. Parallel evolution is the independent evolution of similar traits, starting from a similar ancestral condition. It does not mean genetically identical, it means the same or similar trait evolved on a different pathway. For example, insects, birds and bats can fly. They evolved that trait in parallel, rather than inheriting it from a common ancestor.

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    1. I don't think that you have sufficiently considered Patton's example above.

      Besides, even when you are right, you are still wrong. Convergent evolution proves that commonalities do not prove common descent, the entire rationale of evolution.

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  6. And I don't think you have read the original Pankey article (which I just did). The finding there is strong statistical evidence of convergent evolution, not evidence of impossibility.
    http://m.pnas.org/content/111/44/E4736.full

    There is ample evidence for common descent with and without parallel evolution. Under your argument, because bats and birds both fly, this negates common descent? Nonsense.

    Bats evolved flight. Birds evolved flight. Bats and birds share this trait, AND each demonstrates a line of commons descent.

    So not only is your statistical reasoning flawed, but you are misinterpreting the meaning of common descent.

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    1. Dan,

      It still remains that if convergent traits come from similar genes, you are left with the same problem: Commonalities do not mean common descent - the entire argument for macro-evolution.

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  7. If convergent traits share an ancestral gene, that is the very essence of common decent. If a trait evolved independently that is parallel evolution. Birds and bats share genes for common morphology, at least. Insects are more distantly related, with very different form, has less in common with birds and bats. All three evolved flight.

    It still remains that you interpret more common events as evidence of lesser probability.

    Addition arguments for common descent are readily available from multiple sources. In particular, TALK.ORIGINS has an extensive article dedicated to multiple evidences for macro evolution.

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  8. Dan, the problem for evolution still remains - the findings of "convergent evolution prove that commonalities do not mean common descent. This represents a crushing blow for the TOE.

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