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Date: 2006/11/15 14:00:01, Link
Author: CCP
All I’m asking for is a positive demonstration that unintelligent processes can produce the complex nanometer scale machinery found in living cells.

hi people...long, long-time lurker (since double-digit pages!;), first-time poster. Thanks for lots of laffs.
Just occured to me that DS's problem with subcellular organelles resulting from natural processes isn't so much that the "machinery" is irreducible or specified or digitally's that it's "nano-scale." See? It's all so very, very tiny! Hence, the work of a Disembodied Telic Entity to be Named Later (DTETBNL).
now it makes sense...

Date: 2007/05/14 12:22:08, Link
Author: CCP
Nobody who is spouting off their opinion on this (or any other) specific tenure case knows what they are talking about. He's got pubs? Then it wasn't about that. ISU is a research-intensive institution and my guess is he did not obtain sufficient external funding. Yes, that's enough--it happened to me! Alternatively, the very fact that petitions against him have been circulated is enough of a reason to deny him based on collegiality criteria. Even if an institution has hard & fast black & white criteria for tenure, there's always a little weaseling room in the wording to permit the denial of total assholes etc.

Date: 2007/05/15 09:30:28, Link
Author: CCP
a) Dawkins does not have a scientific research position, nor has he in a long time--he sits in an endowed chair for the promotion of public understanding of science, so popular books ARE his job.
b) Before the chair was endowed for his ass, he was in fact a respected and wellpublished behavioral ecologist, though he did more theory than empirical work.
c) The list provided by Jehu includes mostly non-peer-reviewed stuff...these guys don't even know the difference.
d) If you check out the "top ten" list Dembski supplies, you'll find that the higher pub numbers are clearly influenced by another prolific R. Dawkins who does molecular immunology. (don't tell Bill)

Date: 2007/06/21 15:05:22, Link
Author: CCP
"But I would say that some information required to make an human is not in his/her genome. The egg cell has the information required to decode the genome (the genetic code), and it cannot be in the genome itself."

Nah. Ribosomes are in the egg cell, and they translate nucleic acid sequence into amino acid sequence, but all the parts of a ribosome are encoded in the genome.
What's cool is that the ribosome itself does not "know" the genetic code--it just provides a place to match mRNA codons with tRNA anticodons, then catalyzes (with RNA! ) the linking of amino acids by peptide bonds. So does transfer RNA "know" the code? No, each tRNA just carries the appropriate amino acid for its anticodon, but does not itself find or bind that amino acid. That's the job of a group of ~20 enzymes (one for each amino acid) called amino-acyl-tRNA synthetases  :O So do those enzymes "know" the code? Sort of, I guess--they match amino acids with tRNAs with the correct anticodon--but each synthetase only "knows" one "word" of the code.
All the synthetases and tRNAs are coded by genes anyway.

Disclaimer: I am not a molecular biologist, I just play one every fall in a classroom.

Date: 2007/07/03 19:36:31, Link
Author: CCP
Red in tooth and belly.

Date: 2007/07/06 12:53:30, Link
Author: CCP
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ July 06 2007,08:26)
Quote (dhogaza @ July 06 2007,07:54)
IIRC, condors may be the biggest birds around capable of flight. High weight for the California condor is about 23 pounds, according to Wikipedia.

Naw, trumpeter swans can weigh close to 30 lbs.

And they really fly.  None of that wimpy-assed soaring shit :)

Mongolians do their eagle falconry from horseback.

Other species of condor are noted by Wikipedia to get up to 15 kg, which puts those and the trumpeter swans pretty close, weight-wise.

As I recall from the last time I taught verterbrate bio, the largest flying bird is the Kori Bustard.

yep, 'kipedia sez big males can approach 20 kg.

Date: 2007/07/06 13:00:14, Link
Author: CCP' lemme tell u, them verterbrates is kewl! & tasty!!1!

Date: 2007/07/11 13:33:08, Link
Author: CCP
Quote (carlsonjok @ July 11 2007,11:07)
I live in Oklahoma and have a Flying Spaghetti Monster on the back of my pickup and have never had a problem.  I suppose it could be because FSM is a wee bit more obscure than a Darwin fish.

I feel for you. I did six years in sister-in-law gave me a Darwinfish as a gift, but I was scared to display it. I mean, I was driving a bright-green 1971 VW bus complete with Grateful Dead insigniae, but was not willing to add the fish. Oklahomans.

Date: 2007/08/16 12:55:27, Link
Author: CCP
Hello, all. Thought I, too, would delurk to help celebrate the impending page 600. I have been lurking here and reading your stuff (and posting once or twice, nothing very memorable) since double-digit page numbers...thanks for all the laffs.
-CCP aka Sven DiMilo

Date: 2007/09/28 17:26:17, Link
Author: CCP
Have you ever been to Lancaster CA?
ALF may well have seemed like a miracle there.

(Actually, the real miracle of Lancaster is that it produced both Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart, but I'd expect BA77 is more familiar with ALF.)

Date: 2007/10/04 20:43:49, Link
Author: CCP
This is what Bishop Sheen was getting at with the previous quote when he referred to the intelligentsia rationalizing evil, and this what Williams is so successful at unmasking in the intelligentsia's rejection of angels.

Hey, when did they make Martin Sheen a Bishop?

('cause it can't be Charlie)

Date: 2007/10/11 11:39:57, Link
Author: CCP
Jerry Copernicus? I remember him...shortstop for the, the Phillies, back in the mid-60s?

Date: 2007/10/13 17:45:14, Link
Author: CCP
His only point of contention (which was also mine) was Harris's assertion that only religious people have had these nonrational peak epiphanies. I think anyone studying mathematics, mechanics, trig, genetics, etc. has had them too.

Genetics? uh...trig???
Sounds like maybe you haven't tried the right drugs.
One time my buddy Bob was 100% convinced--could not be dissuaded--that Jerry Garcia had worn a space helmet throughout the 2nd set.
Now THAT was a "nonrational peak epiphany."

Date: 2007/10/30 09:45:37, Link
Author: CCP
Barry's problem is that he can't bring himself to actually finish his sentences. He's so excited about his sliderule-work that he breathlessly zooms through the preamble to get to the calculations more quickly. Here, let's see if we can help him out:

"95% of the animal phyla appeared" in the fossil record, having diversified and evolved for at least 30 million years before that in soft-bodied, mostly microscopic forms that did not fossilize.

hmmm. Well, his way's more concise. And tardful!

Date: 2007/11/02 17:42:06, Link
Author: CCP
Hey I want to know which of you douchebags guys is the Alligator Man?  That cracked me up!

Oh, you're quite mistaken. E. Norbert Smith (aka "Doc Gator") is very real, a legend in certain circles. Fascinating to learn that he's still around. You can point the Google at him yourself and see. He earned a PhD in Zoology from Texas Tech. He really did essentially invent wildlife heartrate telemetry. He did excellent work on the thermoregulation of alligators, published in the very best zoology and herpetology journals, and still cited. Similarly, his work on bradycardia in frightened mammals was published in respectable physiology and mammalogy journals.

Unfortunately, at the same time he was doing stuff like lab experiments (in a 55-gal aquarium) to show that saltwater and freshwater did not necessarily mix during Noah's Flood, explaining how aquatic animals survived it, and studies showing that snakes are more likely to eat healthy mice than diseased ones (thereby proving that natural selection does not work as claimed--I don't get it either). He published a lot in the Creation Science "journal," long before ID was e'en a glint in Philip Johnson's jaundiced eye.

I don't know exactly why he was denied tenure (at Northeastern Oklahoma State University), but it juuuuust might have had something to do with this kind of stuff (no doubt included in his count of "technical publications"):

Creation Research Society Quarterly
Volume 7, Number 2
September, 1970
Population Control: Evidence Of A Perfect Creation
E. Norbert Smith, B.S.
   All animals have the ability to increase their numbers at an astonishing rate. In spite of this fact, animal populations remain relatively constant. The Bible teaches that before the Fall creation was perfect and without predation. This implies an intrinsic population controlling factor. Perhaps this intrinsic population control is still present and working today, and maybe Darwin's checks are unneeded. If so, this is another reason why scientists should turn from evolution to creation in seeking to account for living things.

Date: 2007/11/06 12:24:54, Link
Author: CCP
Ho. Ly. Fecal matter.
I just had a look at Berlinski's analysis of Kingsolver et al., linked by Joe G and referenced above by Zachriel.
It left me mouth agape. The combination of arrogant condescension and Bozoine wrongitude in that post is just stunning. This guy (Berlinski, I mean) has the chutzpah to pass himself off as a mathematician? I am a mere ecologist, certainly no statistician, but my reading of Berlinski's dismissal of Kingsolver et al.'s instant classic suggests strongly that Berlinski:
a) doesn't understand the difference between correlation and regression;
b) doesn't understand the difference between a regression coefficient (slope) and a determination coefficient (conventionally r^2); and
c) has no freaking idea what he's talking about so authoritatively.

He sez:
Kingsolver reported a median absolute value of 0.16 for linear selection...Thus an increase of one standard deviation in, say, beak finch length, could be expected to change fitness by only 16 percent in the case of linear selection... These figures are commonly understood to represent a very weak correlation. Thus if a change in the length of a beak’s finch by one standard deviation explains 16 percent of the change in the population’s fitness, 84 percent of the change is not explained by selection at all.

First (leaving aside the construction "beak finch length"), note that 0.16 is the median selection gradient for all of the 63 studies reviewed, many of which were straightforward in reporting that they detected no significant selection on the phenotypic trait measured, NOT the empirical selection gradient for finch beak size. But OK. Berlinski's initial interpretation of this number is correct: it represents the increase in relative fitness associated with a change in 1 standard deviation in the phenotypic trait. But:
1) this is a regression slope, a measure of the strength of selection, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the "weakness of the correlation."  You can get a low slope for a strong correlation or a high slope with a weak correlation; two entirely different concepts.
2) to claim that this means that "a change in the length of a beak’s finch by one standard deviation explains 16 percent of the change in the population’s fitness" is plain stupid. It's a percent change, not a percent of the change! Spot the difference?
3) the claim that "84 percent of the change is not explained by selection at all" is stupid squared. What a freakin dope.

As for this:
Natural selection disappears as a biological force and reappears as a statistical artifact. The change is not trivial. It is one thing to say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution; it is quite another thing to say that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of various regression correlations between quantitative characteristics. It hardly appears obvious that if natural selection is simply a matter of correlations established between quantitative traits, that Darwin’s theory has any content beyond the phenomenological, and in the most obvious sense, is no theory at all. far as I can tell it makes no sense at all. The statistical correlation between phenotypic variation and reproductive success (in a given environment) IS the theory (actually half the theory; the other half is inheritance of the phenotypic variation). We can use statistical techniques to measure the evolutionary "force." This guy understands NOTHING about natural selection, but feels no shame about pompously holding forth on the subject.
He's an even bigger jackass than I thought previously...and I previously thought he was quite the jackass.
*phew*...glad to get that off my chest. Back to grading exams.

[edit for spelling]

Date: 2007/11/06 13:38:19, Link
Author: CCP
JohnW: Of course you are correct about the attitudes of most of the UD denizens. This Berlinski character, though, I find especially repellent and strangely fascinating.
Mainly, though, his post just pissed me off. And anything--ANYTHING--that helps me procrastinate rather than read these horrible exams is something I'll jump at. Thanks for reading.

Date: 2007/11/06 17:37:14, Link
Author: CCP
Christ descending from primates carries tremendous problematic

um...presumably Mother Mary was, in fact, a primate, no? I can't remember Mark, Matthew, Luke or that other guy ever saying she was, say, a rodent of some kind.

Date: 2007/12/03 02:03:29, Link
Author: CCP
Everybody knows Velma's a lesbian.
A cartoon lesbian.

Date: 2007/12/03 05:05:40, Link
Author: CCP
Yeah, I used to get high with Shaggy now and then. I think we caught the Dead together in Lewiston, Maine, must have been '81 or so. We had to leave Scoob in the van and it got towed with him in it!
ah, nostalgia for the half-remembered semi-cartoon past...

Date: 2007/12/03 07:23:43, Link
Author: CCP
Right. Plus what we learn from this is an influence on one faculty member's vote--a very minor role in the decision-making process.

Date: 2007/12/06 14:14:44, Link
Author: CCP
Hey, I wanna edit!

[Added in edit:] Yeah! I edited!

Date: 2007/12/21 16:16:08, Link
Author: CCP
So final grades are due tomorrow and I'm still up at 3am last night grading about a berzillion freakin lab reports, reading the same...freakin...methods section...yet...a-freakin...-gain...
and suddenly my eye is caught. What the...?! One of my freshwomen cites one "Dembski"...I flip to the Literature Cited (formatted all wrong, of course), and it's an article on "acetylcholine" from the ISCID Encyclopedia of Science and Philosophy! (Who knew?) The same Dembski!

What's weird is if you go to the "encyclopedia" page, Billy's name appears noplace. I'd almost think she was messin with my head on purpose...but frankly she's just not that smart. All I can figure is, with no author name, she clicked on "About ISCID" and Willy's name is the first on the list of the Executive Board.

Of course she just pointed the Google at "acetylcholine" and, yep, right on the first page, just under 'kipedia (which they were expressly forbidden to cite) and a site at the U of Toledo...there it is! The ISCID Encyclopedia of True Science and Non-materialist Philosophy.

The "Wiki Strategy"? Do these cdesign proponentists never stop with the evil plots to take over the world?

Date: 2007/12/21 16:36:17, Link
Author: CCP
The old codger actually made some sense there for a second in what must be his first-ever "second post," on global climate change.
Then he went back to his ol' self in the comments.

Date: 2007/12/22 02:11:16, Link
Author: CCP
Nixon was unfairly railroaded by a vindictive and vicious liberal media!

If I remember correctly, the correct appellation is "nattering nabobs."