The watchmaker is dead

When the religion dies, so dies the empire.  Europe is the faith, the faith is Europe, and the faith is no more.

Everyone who resents the destructive, self indulgent, and self destructive rule of the ever more left wing Cathedral, regrets the passing of Christianity, everyone including the secular right, perhaps especially the secular right, and some of them imagine it could be revived, though the remnant be small as a mustard seed.

Before Darwinism, intelligent Christians believed in a creator God in the same way they believed in Mongolia.  Intelligent Christians thought seriously about the implications of theology for the observable world, and the implications of the observable world for theology.

After Darwinism, they did not.

Consider for example CS Lewis.  He was an intelligent Christian, familiar with the works of intelligent Christians who wrote before Darwin.  But he primarily wrote fantasy and science fantasy, without troubling to make his theology consistent with the observable world, or even with itself.  When he discussed the worldview of past Christians, he made no effort to reconcile them with recently discovered facts, treating their theories and analyses the same way he treated his science fantasies, not the way they treated their theories and analyses

Paley argued

suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; … There must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use. … Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater

It was a compelling argument, and those that argued against it, for example proposing that visibly complex well designed organisms such as mice were produced by spontaneous generation were just plain stupid.  Spontaneous generation was plausible for creatures such as slimes, that  when observed by the means available at the time were seemingly simple, but to propose spontaneous generation for mice, ants, earwigs, and suchlike, was stupidity plain and simple, or clever silliness, intelligent people deliberately making themselves stupid.

Religions based on the worship of a creator God, the worship of Paley’s watchmaker, are dead.  They just don’t know it yet.

Darwinism did not cause progressivism.  The Puritans and their successors were already well on the road to apostasy before Darwin, but Darwinism weakened Christian resistance to progressive apostasy.  Darwinism may not have necessarily caused the progressive victory, but now that the progressives are victorious, and Christians have for the most part capitulated to apostasy, Darwinism makes it hopeless to appeal to Christianity as a force capable of defending society from progressives.

There is an effort to go back to neopaganism, but paganism is deader than Christianity.  In practice, efforts to revive paganism dissolve into Zoism.  Instead of worshiping the old gods, the neopagans worship themselves and their own irrationality and magical thinking.

The Dharmic religions might have a chance, but Dharmic religions require and endorse social inequality, that some people and entire groups are simply born to an inferior low status role, because of past failure of souls and social groups to perform their duty, thus lack appeal in both progressive societies, which are supposedly egalitarian, and in capitalist societies, in which social mobility occurs in this life, and the self made man, rather than the priest, is the hero.  As Judaism and Christianity provide an explanation for nature, the Dharmic religions provide an explanation for an unequal society. (Islam and progressivism do not need to provide explanations for anything, since their method of persuasion is that you had better believe or they will make bad things happen to you)

Dharmic religion adjusted to be compatible with either progressivism or capitalism, let alone both, has no life in it.

What do I believe in?

I believe in the economics of “Economics in One Lesson”, and in Darwinism.  Darwinism and Economics can serve the functions that religion served, a position explained in detail in “ Good and Evil from self interest”, “Natural Law and Natural Rights”, “A short demonstration that morality is objectively knowable.” It is an austere faith, with implications that many find brutal, but has the great advantage of compelling evidence, which worship of a creator God once had, but has no longer.

Christianity was always a bit left wing, so once people started competing for power by being holier than the next guy, was bound to wind up in far left apostasy.  Christianity remained sane by being ruled by Kings.  If one wanted power, it was inadvisable to advertise that one was holier than the King, and the King was seldom all that holy.  Saints were respected, admired, and hidden somewhere out far from the corridors of power, in some safe far away place where the amount of damage they could do and embarrassment they could cause was minimal.  But in recent times, in The War Between The States, the saints decided that they would govern.  Similarly with Britain’s crusade to end slavery.

(You did not know that there was a British crusade to end slavery?  Each generation of leftists is apt to demonize the previous generation of leftists as incurably right wing, and the only reason why Lincoln is a progressive hero rather than arch reactionary, is that in the US the war between the states is still a live issue.)

Jesus and Paul’s conservative prescription for sex, sex roles, and marriage is of course exactly what civilization needs, what is needed for civilization, since it maximizes male investment in posterity, but you will notice that both Jesus and Paul go gentle on actually enforcing that prescription,  He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” foreshadowing the Puritans and their successors abandoning Christian sexual morality, at first covertly, then openly, as they headed ever further left, and became ever more hostile to lower status males and male sexuality.   Paul’s prescriptions for giving males higher status than females consisted entirely of symbolic status, satisfying the female hypergamic impulse, thus making monogamous marriage possible for everyone, even lower class Christians, without imposing any real disadvantages or disabilities on females.  A really conservative prescription to enable and enforce monogamous marriage against female hypergamy and male polygyny would impose real disabilities on females, granting them, like children, substantially less sexual and reproductive freedom than males and substantially greater protection than males.

A woman who sleeps with a bad boy, or who refuses to sleep with her husband, creates large harmful externalities for other people.  We regulate the testicles off people who sell eggs or fermented cabbage.  Why do not dishonorable activities that are far more likely to cause harm, and cause far more serious harm, get regulated?

Christian morality, is, as  Nietzsche argued, slave morality.  Slaves turn the other cheek.  The morality burned into our souls by natural selection is that we do good to kin and to those that do good for us, that we do our duty to our friends, associates, and allies, and we destroy our enemies.  Far away strangers can look after themselves. One should love oneself,  love one’s kith and kin, and for the rest of mankind, return good for good, and evil for evil.

There are no utilitarians.  Show me a man who would hold a child’s face in the fire to find the cure for malaria, and I will show you a man who would hold a child’s face in the fire, and forget about trying to cure malaria.  It is not in our nature to care about far away outsiders, and those who claim that they care, and that therefore it is their duty to bad things to near people that they may do good things to far people, somehow never get around to doing good things to far people.

Christianity has capitulated to its apostatic spawn, progressivism, because the seeds of progressivism were within it, because it is the nature of Christianity to capitulate, and because the Christian priesthood, like the pagan priesthood in the Roman Empire, does not really believe any more. Read Dalrock’s wonderful indictment of actually existent Christianity:  Read his reviews of Courageous and Firebomb, then read this.  People plausibly blame the Jews for affirmative action, but it was Christians transitioning to progressivism that are responsible for the War between the States, the dismantling of marriage, and women’s suffrage.  Jews pushed the affirmative action bandwagon merely to lefter-than-thou the progressives.  A Jewish progressive is a coverso, and thus, hates Jews, like Marx and the Trotskyists.

A lot of us are indignant at the progressive complicity in Islamic aggression against infidels, and compare it unfavorably with the heroic battles of Charles the Hammer, the crusaders, and the colonialists.  But there is plenty of ancient precedent for turning the other cheek to Islam.

Despite much manufactured guilt about the supposedly horrible crusaders, Christendom has with the utmost regularity met Islamic aggression with a pacific response and extensive concessions.   PC history writes up the Barbary wars as US being imperialistic, failing to notice that every Barbary war was started by Muslims taking white Americans as slaves and concluded with a peace in which the US paid Dar al Islam tribute, which peace was promptly broken after the tribute was received, followed by more white Christian Americans being abducted into slavery, and more demands for more tribute from America to Islam.

The Peace of Vasvár resembles the Oslo accords.  Christendom won an overwhelming and decisive victory.  Christendom sought to make peace on the basis of that victory.  Muslims would not make peace. Christendom gave Muslims land for peace, as if Muslims, rather than Christians, had won the war, with entirely predictable results.  There has never been an unequal treaty in favor of Christendom and against Dar al Islam except that Christians, after winning a decisive military victory, proceeded to follow up that victory by horribly mistreating Muslims until surviving Muslims agreed to an unequal peace.  There has with great regularity been unequal treaties in favor of Dar al Islam and against Christendom, obtained by the stubborn Muslim refusal to make peace despite defeat, treaties that with great regularity Muslims broke.  Over the past thousand years Christians have with great regularity turned the other cheek to Muslims, and with great regularity, promptly got slapped on the other cheek.  Yes, progressives have been worse than Christians, but Christians were alarmingly and irrationally pacific.  Progressives have taken tendencies that were already visible in Christendom to ever greater extremes.  While progressives piously complain that Christians were never true to the anti war position of their religion, they were a lot truer to it than was sane or reasonable.

If you win a military victory, and the opposing side declines to make peace, despite defeat, you really should follow up military victory with indiscriminate rape, pillage, arson, and slaughter, until the other side gets the idea that peace might be a good idea.  We have had a thousand years where Christians frequently refrained from rape and to some extent refrained from pillage even when rape and pillage would have been militarily advisable.  Politically correct history books list those few pages from history when victorious Christians put the boot into defeated Muslims, glibly leaving out all those times, such as the Barbary wars and the Austro-Turkish War when victorious Christians neglected to put the boot in, a restraint never shown by Muslims, and Christians found their restraint rewarded by further attacks.

110 Responses to “The watchmaker is dead”

  1. Koanic says:

    This is silly. Simple Darwinism is already untenable to those paying attention. It is clear that the history of hominids on this planet is neither a direct line of upward progression, nor a natural process without outside intervention.

    The genetic, anthropological and documentary evidence all point to the same thing: alien or supernatural intervention. Christianity provides the most advanced worldview for grappling with this reality. Darwinism is and always was a dead end, a poorly cobbled together theory that never fit the facts.

    Your religion will be dead long after mine is still around.

    It is moronic to assert that Christianity is a slave religion. Jesus Christ was slave to no one, and he is the exemplar. To whom did John the Baptist bow? To whom Elijah? If you take your exegesis from a mad syphilitic, expect an illiterate result.

    One need only examine the Old Testament history of Israel to know that true faith comes and goes in cycles. That you see only the trough demonstrates the myopia of your historical vision.

    You join a long line of false prophets who proclaimed Christianity’s death. What was once dead can never die.

    “If you win a military victory, and the opposing side declines to make peace, despite defeat, you really should follow up military victory with indiscriminate rape, pillage, arson, and slaughter, until the other side gets the idea that peace might be a good idea.”

    You think you can teach genocide to the people who wiped out the Canaanites? Nobody will die for Darwin. Your faith is DOA.

    • Erik says:

      Adding to Koanic with slightly different phrasing of the same general point:
      “Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a god who knew the way out of the grave. -GK Chesterton, 1925

      And for Jim:
      “These people are quite prepared to shed pious and reverential tears over the Sepulchre of the Son of Man; what they are not prepared for is the Son of God walking once more upon the hills of morning.”

      • jim says:

        In the beginning, Christians compared themselves to a mustard seed.

        And now they call themselves the remnant, and once again compare themselves to a mustard seed.

    • spandrell says:

      ” What was once dead can never die.”
      Huh? You pretend to convince anyone with that? What are you, 13?

    • jim says:

      One need only examine the Old Testament history of Israel to know that true faith comes and goes in cycles. That you see only the trough demonstrates the myopia of your historical vision.

      The faith of the Old Testament does not much resemble the faith of the New, nor the faith of the Talmud, despite nominal connection. If the next religion claims descent from Christianity … well, the way things are going, the next religion (progressivism or Gaia worship) is descended from Christianity.

      The genetic, anthropological and documentary evidence all point to the same thing: alien or supernatural intervention.

      Presumably you believe that all the human races of the world are descended from Adam or Noah, And, similarly, all the cats in the world, from tigers to house cats, from a single pair of cats on Noah’s boat, which was not all that large, hence you necessarily believe in micro evolution.

      And what is macro evolution but micro evolution plus a great deal of time?

      • Koanic says:

        Real Christians have always been the mustard seed and remnant. The rest go along in godless and godly times. You confuse the cycling flame with the permanent coals.

        “The faith of the Old Testament does not much resemble the faith of the New,”

        Apparently you know the Old Testament better than Jesus Christ, who spoke in an allusive OT pastiche.

        “well, the way things are going, the next religion (progressivism or Gaia worship) is descended from Christianity.”

        The entire West is descended from Christianity. So what? The question is legitimacy.

        “Presumably you believe that all the human races of the world are descended from Adam or Noah, ”

        No, on both counts.

        “And, similarly, all the cats in the world, from tigers to house cats, from a single pair of cats on Noah’s boat, which was not all that large,”

        No.

        “hence you necessarily believe in micro evolution.”

        Yes.

        “And what is macro evolution but micro evolution plus a great deal of time?”

        Any dog breeder would tell you different. But it’s easy to check. In what fast-breeding lifeform have we induced macroevolution?

        Your faith is stupid. You should be embarrassed to compare it to Christianity.

        • jim says:

          If you don’t believe in Darwinism, but don’t believe in Adam either, then your faith is internally incoherent – much like CS Lewis’s science fantasy, thus you do not believe in Christianity the way you believe in Mongolia.

          Any dog breeder would tell you different.

          If breeding can turn a hound into a poodle in a few hundred years, what would it do in a few hundred thousand?

          If you accept micro evolution, then macro evolution necessarily follows.

          • Koanic says:

            The poverty of your imagination does not buttress your position.

            I believe in Adam and Noah, but I do not believe they are the fathers of all living men.

            I believe that Jesus Christ is the literal half-human son of the Creator God. My Christianity is as literal as it gets.

            Turn a poodle into a cat, and you’ll prove something. If, as it appears, there are genetic bounds to the transformative power of selective breeding, then microevolution cannot be extrapolated into macroevolution. Breeders know this. Again, show me the fast breeding organism in which we’ve induced macroevolution.

            You believe in fairy tales. 200 years ago, evolutionary gradualism was a plausible theory. Now it’s just stupid.

          • jim says:

            If, as it appears, there are genetic bounds to the transformative power of selective breeding, then microevolution cannot be extrapolated into macroevolution

            How can we know the limits, when recorded history is so short?

            Observe species in the wild. The various big cats can mate with each other and produce fertile offspring, though they are usually disinclined to do so. Obviously selective breeding could turn any cat into any other cat, a lion into a pussy, or a pussy into a lion, for the differences between the various cats are less than the differences between a grey wolf and a teacup Chihuahua.

            As Lamarck pointed out, between any two species, you will usually find an intermediate species, until the difference is so small that it is a toss up whether to call it a different race or a different species. There is no sharp dividing line between a macro difference and micro difference, no sharp dividing line between a species difference and a race difference.

            If you want to call the different kinds of cat different species, then clearly selective breeding can produce new species. If, therefore, you want to call them all the same species, you are going to wind up calling everything the same species, because you can usually find a chain of intermediates between any two kinds.

            If there was some absolute difference between a race difference and a species difference, we would have no trouble deciding whether two similar kinds were two different species, or two different races of the same species. But in practice, there is no objective way of saying, no clear dividing line between macro differences and micro differences, no objective way of deciding whether two similar kinds are two rather similar species, or two rather different races of a single species.

          • pdimov says:

            Koanic’s point is that dogs are still dogs, moths are moths, fruit flies are fruit flies, and E coli is still E coli. The generation time of E coli is 17 minutes.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

            Many experiments have confirmed that there seem to be limits to microevolution. This could in principle be explained by local maxima that are hard to escape. But macroevolution remains experimentally unproven.

            Even within a species, all examples so far of evolving a “new feature” appear to be either mutations turning off an existing feature, or turning on a previously existing, but disabled, feature.

            Furthermore, the random mutation+drift+selection theory can’t explain the evidence, because it doesn’t work fast enough to produce the genetic diversity we see. One experiment has found that changes in the environment lead to rate of beneficial mutations higher than that predicted by random chance, IIRC.

          • jim says:

            Koanic’s point is that dogs are still dogs, moths are moths, fruit flies are fruit flies, and E coli is still E coli. The generation time of E coli is 17 minutes.

            Fruit flies, which breed much more rapidly and mutate much more rapidly than most other kinds, have within human time, within the time that we have been watching, formed new species that can no longer interbreed with each other. We have seen fruit flies speciate, races of fruit fly diverge so far that they can no longer interbreed, and are disinclined to make the attempt.

            Fruit flies are still fruit flies only in the sense that monkeys are monkeys. We also are monkeys, hairless killer apes, in that we differ from monkeys no more than one kind of monkey differs from another, and the difference between one species of fruit fly and another is greater than the difference between a man and a monkey.

            Many experiments have confirmed that there seem to be limits to microevolution.

            Did they run those experiments for a hundred thousand years?

            You say that moths are still moths, but for most such groupings, there are kinds that are hard to attribute to one grouping or another, intermediate cases between related groups, cases that scientists argue over with no hope of conclusion, and eventually assign to one classification or another arbitrarily, by convention, by authority, recognizing that they are drawing arbitrary lines on a fluid world that lacks well defined boundaries.

            The difference between one species and a closely related species, for example a lion and a tiger, is well within what breeders can accomplish, and most species are connected to most other species by a long chain of closely related species. It is pretty obvious that all the cats, from lions to pussies, were descended from a single cat, their Adam and their Eve, just as all male men are descended from Y chromosome Adam in the male line, and all men from mitochondrial Eve in the female line.

            What groupings will you say were separately created, and what groupings will you say arose through microevolution? If all cats were descended from one cat, then all mammals descended from one mammal, if all mammals, then all vertebrates, if all veterbrates …

            And if you argue that each kind of cat had separately created ancestors, you are shredding the stories of Noah and Adam, which stories tell us that at least some groupings are alike because of common ancestry. If you do a spot of rewriting on one part of the Old Testament, why not any other, whereupon it becomes highly convenient to rewrite the New Testament so that it accords with liberalism and progressivism, Jesus becomes chief community organizer, and the church building turns into a museum.

            If you take the Old Testament seriously, which Koanic does not, some groupings are the result of common ancestry. If some, why not all? And if you don’t take one part of the old testament seriously, why take any part seriously?

          • Koanic says:

            Pdimov knows the actual science. Jim is just handwaving like a medieval theologian. I supposed he’s on par with those Christians who debated the number of angels who could dance on the head of a pin, but the intellect of the faith has advanced since then.

          • Red says:

            Interesting stuff. From my own reading about DNA it resembles ordered biological computer code code rather than a random assortment of biological code. The code that performs function X seems to very uniform across many species. By probability it should be less uniform if macro evolution is true. Either way a honest look at the data is needed and that won’t happen until after the end of the progressive age.

            Frankly given how little we know and how little has actually been proven about evolution and Darwinism I’d rather stick to human structures that have been shown to work over the ages rather than running off with something that’s yet to be proven.

          • jim says:

            The code that performs function X seems to very uniform across many species.

            Probably because the code first evolved in an ancient common ancestor, and natural selection has thereafter maintained it in good order, needing function X in that creature and all its descendents. For example, the genes that make the light sensitive surface of the eye are the same in all bilaterians, which suggests that the first bilaterian had simple eyes. The genes that make the eye directional, capable of seeing detail, differ wildly in the various bilatarians, suggesting that the first bilaterian, though it could see, could only barely see.

            If God created the various bilaterians separately, why use exactly the same mechanism in all of them to detect light, and different mechanisms for detail vision? Everything on the veterbrate line uses one mechanism for detail vision, everything on the insect line the opposite mechanism. All up bilatarians have eighteen different mechanisms for detail vision, in eighteen different families. but they all use the same light detection mechanism constructed by the same genes in the same way, indicating that the simple eye evolved once in the bilatarian clade, but that the same simple eye evolved into good eyes at least eighteen separate times, in eighteen separate ways.)

          • pdimov says:

            “Fruit flies, which breed much more rapidly and mutate much more rapidly than most other kinds, have within human time, within the time that we have been watching, formed new species that can no longer interbreed with each other.”

            Yes. There are other examples of speciation, by this definition.

            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

            But they are still immediately recognizable as fruit flies. I don’t know of any experiment that has created a new organism that possesses a distinct trait that makes it immediately recognizable as a new species. No “new features” except those that were already present in the starting DNA.

            “Did they run those experiments for a hundred thousand years?”

            In the E coli case, 50000 generations. That’s about a million years in human generations. It might not be enough to witness macroevolution. But the speed we see so far doesn’t quite fit. If you knew nothing about the experiments, and I asked you to estimate how many generations one needs to produce a new species, “new” in the sense of it being obvious proof for macroevolution, would you answer “100000″? I doubt it. It appears that 50000 generations should be enough for species to form that are obviously and convincingly distinct. Either macroevolution needs more millions of years than we thought, or we aren’t able to induce it in the lab for some reason.

            “What groupings will you say were separately created, and what groupings will you say arose through microevolution?”

            Oh, I have no idea, and neither does anyone else. There have been several attempts to prove the generally accepted tree of life via genetic methods, and they give different results.

            I’m not a “creationist” by the way. I don’t claim that species were created.

            “If all cats were descended from one cat, then all mammals descended from one mammal, if all mammals, then all vertebrates, if all veterbrates …”

            Common descent doesn’t prove that macroevolution can occur by the mechanism we think. Something changes the DNA so it jumps from one local maximum to another, and the current answer of “random mutations” is not well supported by the experimental evidence. This doesn’t necessarily imply that this “something” is “someone”, just that we don’t know what it is. Note that artificially increasing the mutation rate doesn’t help – this has been tried, too.

          • jim says:

            But they are still immediately recognizable as fruit flies.

            And we are immediately recognizable as monkeys.

            Consider the horse sequence, which is the longest continuous vertebrate sequence without missing links. At one end, there is forest dwelling herbivore with several toes on each foot, at the other end, today’s horse. The earliest ancestor is not recognizable as a horse, but between it and today’s horses, we have a host of intermediate creatures, each of which differs from its predecessors and successors by less than one of today’s horse breeds differs from another of today’s horse breeds.

          • jim says:
            What groupings will you say were separately created, and what groupings will you say arose through microevolution?”

            Oh, I have no idea, and neither does anyone else

            If no one can tell the difference, chances are, there is no difference.

            This is the same argument as is made against punctuated equilibrium. If punctuated equilibrium was true, we would seldom see species in the midst of speciating, and if separate creation were true, groups related through microevolution would be clearly distinguishable from groups not related through microevolution.

          • pdimov says:

            “Consider the horse sequence, which is the longest continuous vertebrate sequence without missing links.”

            OK, but we still can’t reproduce or witness the process. Of course, at ~5M years per intermediate species, perhaps we just need more generations (250K? 2.5M?), and there’s simply no way to do the experiment.

          • Koanic says:

            “If no one can tell the difference, chances are, there is no difference.”

            Continuum fallacy.

          • Koanic says:

            Ha! No missing links on the horse line? Well then you MUST believe in punctuated equilibrium. Must’ve been a surprise for the four moms. Especially considering the first was a rabbit.

          • jim says:

            No missing links on the horse line?

            Where is the missing link? If there is a missing link on the horse line between eohippus and today’s horses, name the chronospecies before the missing link and after the missing link.

            Where is a gap that is larger than the difference between one horse breed and another.

          • Koanic says:

            “Probably because the code”… is a better argument. But then, it doesn’t rule out catastrophism-generated punctuated equilibrium, or occasional intervention. You seem to think the alternative is “God did everything”. Look around, this isn’t the Garden of Eden.

          • Koanic says:

            “Where is a gap that is larger than the difference between one horse breed and another.”

            What a self-defeating metric you’ve selected.

            Hyrac to Meso, Meso to Mery, Mery to Plio

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Horseevolution.png
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Equine_evolution.jpg

            Now, where is the modern horse breed with a three or four-toed skeleton?

          • jim says:
            “Where is a gap that is larger than the difference between one horse breed and another.”

            What a self-defeating metric you’ve selected.

            Hyrac to Meso, Meso to Mery, Mery to Plio

            Modern horses vary in number of toes, though a single toe is normal. Further, we have fossil tracks showing herds with variable numbers of toes, thus Hyracs and Mesos ran in the same herds, thus were presumably brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, and Meso and Merys ran in the same herds, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, and Mery’s and Plios ran in the same herds, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, some with more toes than others, just as some of today’s humans have more teeth than other humans, one man with fewer teeth than his brother, one horse with more toes than his brother.

        • Koanic says:

          It is of course possible to produce reproductive isolation, aka speciation, with selective breeding of simple fast breeding organisms. This permits a sort of speciation, within the same genus. However, the resulting organisms are not very different, nor do they represent much in the way of new genetic material. The fact that this is the greatest genetic change we can induce without genetic engineering suggests strongly that a limit to microevolution exists. While reproductive isolation is a logical metric for speciation, it is not a logical metric for macroevolution.

          The theory of punctuated equilibrium has arisen precisely because evolutionary gradualism has grown untenable. It is possible that some combination of solar-magnetospheric catastrophism may increase the malleability of DNA for brief periods, explaining fossil jumps.

          However, given the overwhelming evidence for external intervention in Earth’s genetic history, aka genetic engineering, it would appear this is not the only mechanism at work. Some combination of seeding and splicing is also at play.

          I am well aware of the existence of mitochondrial Eve and Y chromosomal Adam. While this probably rules out the gradualist multi-regional hypothesis, it does not rule out the interventionist multi-regional hypothesis. The human genome appears to be the product of great ape female genes spliced to fit alien male genes with one fewer chromosome pair. Given the existence of the Starchild skull, there have been at least two radically different infusions of male alien genes in Earth’s history.

          You appear to be using mitochondrial Eve and Y chromosomal Adam in the simplistic Garden of Eden sense. In reality, these two merely represent the most recent common ancestors in unbroken sex-segregated descents, which does not rule out genetic infusions from radically different sources.

          I have never said that all cats descended from one cat by gradualist means. If you can get a cheetah from a lion, that proves something. If you can get a slightly different fruit fly, that doesn’t. It’s no use complaining about lack of time. We should’ve been able to do something with bacteria by now, but we haven’t.

          The fact that you don’t understand or think much about the Old Testament does not make me a heretic. Noah sounds to me like a plausible story about a sudden massive release of glacial icemelt, scouring a continent or a portion thereof. One would certainly need to preserve some animals for repopulation. In any case, a literal belief in the precise wording of super-ancient stories is not only linguistically illiterate, but not a reasonable requirement for Christianity, since the “Bible” is a retroactively declared corpus.

          As for Adam, it is fairly obvious from the story itself that there were other manlike things around. Perhaps the “dust of the Earth” refers to an ennoblement of pre-existing stock. I will leave your imagination to work out the details, as best it can.

          Suffice it to say that I take the Bible with infinite seriousness, and that my worldview is incomparably more savage and reactionary, not to mention weird, than yours.

          • jim says:

            The theory of punctuated equilibrium has arisen precisely because evolutionary gradualism has grown untenable

            The theory of punctuated equilibrium was manufactured in bare faced defiance of compelling evidence, manufactured for political purposes because evolutionary gradualism has politically horrifying implications. Assent to punctuated equilibrium was compelled by political violence, by gangs of black studies students wielding baseball bats under the leadership of pol sci professors.

            For creatures with abundant fossils (horses and forams), we have compelling evidence of evolutionary gradualism. We see a forest omnivore transform to a plains runner grazer in smooth, slow, continuous change, with neither equilibrium nor punctuation, as a creature rather like a cat or a dog became a horse, with no missing links.

            The fossil record is mostly missing, but it is not entirely missing. Lucy looks pretty much half chimp, half man.

            Further, if punctuated equilibrium was true, we would never have any problem telling a species difference from a racial difference, never have any problem deciding if two kinds were two closely related species, or two different races of the same species. But in practice, we can rarely make such a decision on objective grounds, and are reduced to making arbitrary distinctions on the basis of authority, drawing sharp lines on a natural world that lacks sharp lines. This shows that speciation is always and everywhere under way, because usually, we see speciation in progress, and find ourselves debating whether or not it has been completed.

            If punctuated equilibrium was true, we would almost always see speciation either fully completed, or scarcely begun. Instead, we usually see it half way through, and have no way of objectively saying whether it is completed or not.

            It’s no use complaining about lack of time. We should’ve been able to do something with bacteria by now, but we haven’t.

            We have bred brewer’s yeast from single celled to multicellular, and back again, we have seen within human history sponges evolve to completely and radically change form and dietary preferences, from preying on single celled creatures to preying on multi celled creatures. That is a bigger change than breeding a bear into a blue whale, and then back again into a dog.

          • pdimov says:

            “We have bred brewer’s yeast from single celled to multicellular, and back again…”

            Interesting, I didn’t know that. But:

            “Not all scientists are convinced by the experiment. They point out that brewer’s yeast was multi-cellular until the characteristic was bred out by laboratory propagation. The yeast may retain some multi-cellular genes to quickly revert to its ancient form.”

            still no “new feature”. The genes were still disabled and then reenabled.

            “In order to address these concerns, a second experiment is in the works. Scientists are investigating with a single celled alga that has no multi-cellular ancestor. We will have to wait and see how that turns out.”

            We will. :-)

          • Koanic says:

            So now you’re hanging your hat on yeast, horses and Lucy, eh?

            You’re wrong about the yeast. They didn’t evolve anything new, just broke an existing function: http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/709/did-researchers-evolve-multicellular-yeast-or-did-they-just-turn-on-multicellula

            You need to make a cell do something that’s not already in its genetic memory. Or in this case, not a regression.

            You say science is belief in the seen. Show me macroevolution.

            You admit the fossil record is mostly missing. So it’s up to genetics to prove Darwin, not fossils. Because I can just as easily attribute one or two clusters of similar looking skeletons (not very similar, mind you) to the fact that lots of different species of animal alive today have similar looking skeletons.

            Your fossil record stuff is about like future robots putting together a chart showing a tree of life in metal. I’m sure if they squinted hard enough they could do it. Circular dating, welding epicycles, worthless radioactive dating tests that fail to account for catastrophism – certainly keeps a lot of people employed.

            Problem is, the wheels have fallen off. The genetic timelines don’t match the carbon dating timelines don’t match the microevolutionary rate projections.

            I don’t pay any attention to horses, although this website tells an interesting story: http://www.equest4truth.com/HorseEvolution.html

            I’m rather more sure that the story of the hominids is much more interesting than you’re making it out to be. Lloyd Pye’s latest ebook would be enlightening.

            Lucy does not look half-human, she looks like a bipedal ape. http://elucy.org/faq.html She is no more intelligent than an ape. “Lucy’s brain size relative to body size is comparable to modern apes.” Plus, keep in mind they’re extrapolating what they want to from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(Australopithecus)

            As for your black-shirt punctuated equilibrium promoters, what did they hope to gain for PC? The races exist, whether here by gradual or sudden means. One would think such people avoid discussing evolution entirely. A link would be helpful.

            “we have seen within human history sponges evolve to completely and radically change form and dietary preferences, from preying on single celled creatures to preying on multi celled creatures. That is a bigger change than breeding a bear into a blue whale, and then back again into a dog.”

            I do not think you have a very solid grasp of genetic distance. You do realize that whales and dogs have different numbers of chromosomes, right? Perhaps we are finally getting to the root of the problem.

          • jim says:

            You’re wrong about the yeast. They didn’t evolve anything new, just broke an existing function: http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/709/did-researchers-evolve-multicellular-yeast-or-did-they-just-turn-on-multicellula

            Similarly, whales doubtless have the genes for hind legs, and chickens the genes for teeth and forelegs. So if we bred whales back into something like a bear that walked around on land on four legs, and chickens back into something like lizards, you would presumably argue that was not demonstrating species change either.

            Lucy does not look half-human, she looks like a bipedal ape. http://elucy.org/faq.html She is no more intelligent than an ape. “Lucy’s brain size relative to body size is comparable to modern apes.”

            Which means she was substantially smarter than her contemporary apes.

            As for your black-shirt punctuated equilibrium promoters, what did they hope to gain for PC?

            If punctuated equilibrium is true, then races don’t exist, or rather are merely cultural and social constructs, not biological realities. Race is supposedly on skin deep. Hence the policy that anyone can be black who is sufficiently progressive, regardless of actual skin color. Gould deduces perfect racial equality from punctuated equilibrium. See his article “Human equality is a contingent fact of history,” It is just a illusion caused by our horrid evil racism that makes us think races exist: Gould’s superior science supposedly proves that our eyes deceive us.

          • Koanic says:

            No, I would not. If you breed something into what is obviously a different animal, that is macroevolution. The point of rapid breeding organisms like yeast is that they should enable the creation of new genes leading to macroevolution, but they haven’t. The yeast experiment proved nothing, except to journalists looking for pageviews. It’s more akin to Lamarckian epigenetics than anything Darwinian. Ditto for your sponges.

            As to whether Lucy was an unprecedentedly smart ape, refer to circular dating. In any case, not human.

            Gould is an idiot with zero or negative influence over science. Your blackshirts are still invisible, much like macroevolution. Punctuated equilibrium could equally suggest that whites are one puncture removed from blacks.

          • jim says:

            No, I would not. If you breed something into what is obviously a different animal, that is macroevolution. The point of rapid breeding organisms like yeast is that they should enable the creation of new genes leading to macroevolution, but they haven’t

            But they have: The multicellular yeast that evolved from single celled yeast had no great physical resemblance to other strains of multicellular yeast, just as if we bred whales back to being four legged animals, it is unlikely they would much resemble their four legged ancestors.

            To define evolution as not happening, you are lumping kinds into larger and larger groups, but between such large groups there are usually intermediate kinds.

          • pdimov says:

            “If punctuated equilibrium was true, we would almost always see speciation either fully completed, or scarcely begun.”

            Punctuated equilibrium being false doesn’t necessarily imply that gradualism (in the sense of a continuous smooth path from any point in DNA-space to any other reachable by random mutations) is true. There may be discontinuitites along the way. The organisms on the two sides on such a divide will still appear very close to one another, but they will belong to different clusters in DNA-space (and will likely revert to different means when left on their own).

            Experiments so far – correct me if I’m wrong – that have tried to gradually vary a trait via selection have always hit a genetically-imposed limit for the trait and have been unable to cross it.

            This doesn’t mean that macroevolution is false or nonexistent, but it does imply that macroevolution (jumping over discontinuities) is not exactly the same as microevolution (moving within the continuous portion).

          • jim says:

            Experiments so far – correct me if I’m wrong – that have tried to gradually vary a trait via selection have always hit a genetically-imposed limit for the trait and have been unable to cross it.

            We have been breeding crops and cattle for desirable qualities for ten thousand years. Still making considerable progress. What shall they be in ten million years?

            The reason that early cavalry used chariots is that the pony sized horses of the day could not carry a fighting man very far or fast. Horses have been getting steadily more capable of carrying big men fast and far. Carrots have become noticeably fruitier within my lifetime. Used to be that they were pretty much inedible unless cooked.

            According to the “A brief history of carrots” “Over thousands of years it moved from being a small, tough, bitter and spindly root to a fleshy, sweet, pigmented unbranched edible root…. Carrots originated in present day Afghanistan about 5000 years ago,”

            So we have been at it for five thousand years or so, and the carrot is still being improved.

          • Koanic says:

            Your statement on chronospecies is tautologically correct, that is to say, pointless. If your statement is true, we would need many more transitional forms to prove it by fossils alone. Showing, in particular, transitions in toe number and knee shape.

            Your argument is no different than lining up a chronology of washing machines or airplanes and claiming the design similarities and sequential evolution of form prove macroevolution of machines.

            While it seems likely that plio and equus could interbreed, both being horses, the skeletons are too different for the others, which were most likely different animals, gussied up as horses when the skeletons are illustrated in flesh.

            I never said an extra toe defect rendered a horse lame, only that it served no function. Alexander’s horse’s extra toes are remembered because they were an atypical defect.

            The contemporary different toed fossilized hoofprints actually damage your argument, by suggesting that the horse evolution did not proceed in a straight gradualist line, as was initially assumed. Moreover, one can find different hoofprints in any African watering hole, which does not prove the animals who made them were interbreeding.

            You’ve lost on everything else and are reduced to arguing over tea leaves.

          • jim says:

            Your statement on chronospecies is tautologically correct, that is to say, pointless. If your statement is true, we would need many more transitional forms to prove it by fossils alone. Showing, in particular, transitions in toe number and knee shape.

            We have fossils and tracks showing transitions in toe number and knee shape for the horse sequence.

            the skeletons are too different for the others

            This simply is not true. For every transition in the horse sequence, we have fossils for which it is unclear to which chronospecies they should be assigned. We have smooth and continuous change all the way through, sometimes considerably faster than other times, but no stasis, and no punctuation.

          • Koanic says:

            “For every transition in the horse sequence, we have fossils for which it is unclear to which chronospecies they should be assigned. We have smooth and continuous change all the way through, sometimes considerably faster than other times, but no stasis, and no punctuation.”

            If so, this is strong evidence for gradual macroevolution occurring at least once. Not conclusive, but near enough. However I would like to see a link proving it. If an evolutionist tells me the sky is blue, I check.

          • Koanic says:

            I do not say conclusive, because domesticated animals like horses and arguably people are prime suspects for intervention. I would prefer to see a smooth transition in something theoretical gardeners wouldn’t be paying lots of attention to.

          • Koanic says:

            And yet carrots remain carrots.

            I’ve heard that e coli has a lifespan of 17 minutes for some strains. So 10000 years of carrot development would take 118 days of e coli experiment to simulate. Yet we cannot make e coli into something that isn’t e coli.

          • jim says:

            Yet we cannot make e coli into something that isn’t e coli.

            Some kinds of e-coli are good for you, some kinds will kill you. Those are different kinds. Saying that we cannot make e-coli into something that is not e-coli is like saying we cannot make a dog into something very like a jellyfish. It is not like saying we cannot make a dog into something very like a man.

        • Koanic says:

          It is obviously not the case that the horses in the supposed evolutionary line are interbreeding contemporaries. But even if they were, that would simply prove that they are not separate species, and therefore not an evolutionary line.

          The existence of extra horse toes in modern populations is unsurprising, since similar defects occur in people and other animals, and sometimes cattle have whole extra legs. It is not a horse breed, but merely a birth defect with no function.

          • jim says:

            It is obviously not the case that the horses in the supposed evolutionary line are interbreeding contemporaries.

            It obviously is the case that some of the supposedly different chronospecies and chronogenuses were interbreeding contemporaries. A chronospecies is an arbitrary dividing line on smoothly and continuously changing nature. At the boundary between one chronospecies and the next, you always have interbreeding contemporaries. That is what a chronospecies is. At the boundary between one chronospecies and the next, we expect to see different chronospecies as brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, and we have concrete evidence of this in the form of tracks from herds with variable toe numbers, just as human populations have variable tooth numbers.

            The existence of extra horse toes in modern populations is unsurprising, since similar defects occur in people and other animals, and sometimes cattle have whole extra legs. It is not a horse breed, but merely a birth defect with no function.

            Alexander’s horse had perfectly functional feet.

  2. AnnoDomini says:

    “Each generation of leftists is apt to demonize the previous generation of leftists as incurably left wing”

    Don’t you mean, “incurably right wing”?

  3. Sconzey says:

    Actually the saints weren’t just hidden away. They were dead. One of the requirements for beatification is that after your death people can pray to you to intercede with God on their behalf and thus see miracles. The pope too — however holy he may have been in deed — was the holiest man by definition, being Gods direct representative on Earth.

  4. Red says:

    As an agnostic, I have a hard time taking Darwinism seriously because it is and always has been a tool of the left. It was a tool used to rip Christianity’s heart out to replace it with atheistic progressiveness. I see no indications that a society ran on strict Darwinian terms would be more successful than our trial, error, and tradition societies humanity has been putting out. Indeed it seems to be that societies run by the big idea end sooner than the ones that develop naturally.

    While it’s true that Christian leaders don’t believe in the religion, I think this is true of most human religions. Religious belief is genetic. Most higher IQ people are born with religious portion of the brain replaced by useful memory or processing functions. Lower IQ people, warriors, ect all tend to much more religious than the intelligentsia. As such religion is need to bind the warriors, the peasants, and the community as a whole together.

    • jim says:

      It was a tool used to rip Christianity’s heart out to replace it with atheistic progressiveness.

      Not Darwinism, but evolutionism.

      If Darwinism is true, progressivism is false, even more false than Christianity.

      It follows from Darwinism that humans are by nature politically incorrect, that human morality is naturally egocentric and kin centric, that races are unequal, that males are not equal to females, that women find equality unendurable, and innumerable other things unbearably horrifying to progressives.

      What progressives are trying to do is make Darwinism into a creation myth: somewhere far, far away, and long long ago, evolution happened, and created the world, but now it is not happening any more.

      But that is not Darwin’s story. Darwin’s story is that evolution is happening now, and he produces evidence that it is happening now and he concludes from the fact that it is happening now that it has been happening over geological time, thereby producing species.

      The trouble is that progressives find his evidence of evolution happening now horrifyingly politically incorrect, and reject it, even though the facts were overwhelmingly on Darwin’s side, and the evidence continues to pile up supporting Darwin.

      Darwin argues racial inequality, therefore evolution, evolution, therefore racial inequality, gender inequality, therefore evolution, evolution, therefore gender inequality, extinction, therefore evolution, genocide, therefore evolution.

      • Red says:

        All excellent points. It’s clear that I really don’t understand the term Darwinism as your using it.

        From wikipedia:
        “In the United Kingdom the term often retains its positive sense as a reference to natural selection, and for example Richard Dawkins wrote in his collection of essays A Devil’s Chaplain, published in 2003, that as a scientist he is a Darwinist.[22]”

        He’s clearly not a Darwinist under you description.

        • jim says:

          Dawkins is aware of the horrifying implications of Darwinism, but as good progressive looks the other way and applies crimestop and doublethink as necessary.

          He sometimes references the politically undesirable aspects of Darwinism in ways that ensure that other people’s crimestop will cause them to fail to register what he is saying.

          • RS says:

            I’m sure he’s also well aware how close some of Darwin’s own words approach to nazism.

            While Darwin’s normative thoughts were very anti-dysgenic, I think it silly, both contingently and a prioristically, to rate this impulse as highly ‘nazi’. As Darwin himself said, it’s more like common sense, like avoiding pointing a gun at yourself or non-hostile persons ; hardly anyone is so ignorant as to breed from his worst stock. That it was indeed a theme of nazi agitprop I of course recognize, but sense is sense before becoming nazi agitprop, and afterward it is the same.

            More unsettling are his ratifications of the diminution and extinction of subequal races. I don’t see the races as equal, but they all gotta live, and have something (greater or lesser) to contribute. Darwin expressed the opposing idea that total replacement of primitive races by advanced ones through competition was a positive good (in the end), though it entailed suffering which he presumably was in no particular favor of — though he probably considered it unremarkable what with the various tubercular orphans running around London, and ultimately expiring in some dank corner from apoplectic lung bleeds. To some extent he may have just been putting a good face on stuff he thought was going to happen anyway — but he really did express himself in the harshest terms. Nothing really prevented him from saying something opposite, that primitive races deserve a reservation, lebensraum, a shot at identitary continuity: it’s not like he had such a tough time thinking contrary or unusual thoughts. Also, such thoughts had already existed a long time before: John freakin’ Donne had already sermonized departing Britons in like 1682 that they were doing wrong by going to the red man’s continent and stealing his shit percent by percent. And of course Indian reservations existed in the USA long before Darwin ever published much — they may or may not often have been set up in a very fair way, but they existed.

            It’s funny to see Darwin lionized in the dimwit press when you are aware of just how totally explicit, concrete, and unflinching his statements were.

  5. RS says:

    Of course Darwin himself sensed very precisely the radical power his discovery had against what could be described approximately as non-abstruse theism. As opposed to spinozist or hegelian pantheism. (Hegel may have a godhead separate from the ‘world-spirit’ — damned if I know or care or spend a millisecond reading him — but I think that matters less than the pantheistic gestalt and pathos his system conveys.)

    Darwin gives the impression of a non-monstrous IQ (maybe under 4 sig) combined with a whole lotta sigma for other stuff — creativity, being vividly suggestible faced with experience and poorly suggestible faced with dogma, profound intuitive grasp of human nature — etc. All of which caused him to understand the social import of what he was doing.

    • RS says:

      that’s why, like einstein crick, he became a double-genius by also discovering sexual selection.

      Nothing is more impressive — it shows luck didn’t really have /that/ much to do with it.

    • RS says:

      > who spoke in an allusive OT pastiche

      But what did he /say/

      95% of the OT puts me to sleep, the rest is the greatest thing ever written, so I read it 20 times, so I too can write an allusive OT pastiche. Doesn’t mean I will be proposing the same propositions. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, stylistically, is a parody/exaltation of the Hebrew genius, but it’s not proposing nearly the same attitudes and acts.

      • RS says:

        > a parody/exaltation of the Hebrew genius

        Or rather of various parts of it — with the proportions of exaltation and condemnation varying by part. N would have agreed with Jim that Christianity/ the NT is a very different kettle of fish.

        He also seems to have viewed the second temple period as quite different from the solomonic one, and transitional toward conditions favoring the emergence of Christianity. The basic idea is that blessedness and otherworldliness are the only values or refuges left, when an already psychologically melodramatic race is confronted with actually-melodramatic concrete circumstances.

      • Koanic says:

        Too much has been lost for you to ever understand the OT the way Jesus and his contemporaries did.

        Muhammad directly abrogated himself. What Jesus did was different – some things were fulfilled, a new covenant was established, but the God remained the same.

        Any Christian who ignores the Old Testament cannot understand the Father, the main character towards whom Jesus pointed, to whom Jesus made himself secondary. Right hand means subordinate.

        Nietzsche surely reinterpreted and riffed off of history’s greatest religion, but his reinterpretation was illegitimate, because he was not God.

  6. Zach says:

    Did I miss something?

    You said:

    “What do I believe in?

    I believe in the economics of “Economics in One Lesson”, and in Darwinism. Darwinism and Economics can serve the functions that religion served, a position I explain in detail in “ Good and Evil from self interest””

    But…

    you didn’t write “Good and Evil from Self Interest”. Maybe you have already said as much, but even then, why had you claimed to do so in the first place?

    “Natural Law and Natural Rights” looks like you and sounds like you. One of the three does not. So please give credit where credit is due. I don’t know who Constant is, but I know he’s not you, but only as far as my almost miraculous intuition and knowledge allows.

    (forgive me if I don’t have time at the moment to allow a minute and read the rest….)

  7. But the machinery of Darwinism and economics had to come from somewhere, right?

    That source is the place to put your faith.

    I see no necessary conflict between traditional faith and science; or the faith and economics; or the faith and well ordered societies. On the contrary, the true faith could not be maladaptive at the societal level and could not fail to promote human flourishing.

    Certainly, the seeds of liberalism lie in the Christian faith. But they only take root and grow monstrous when taken out of the context from the whole cloth, in a manner not unlike getting this 100 generations removed from this. Any fallacy contains at least a kernel of truth, and this fact fails to impugns the truth.

    You say the true faith is dead, but what if the true faith itself arises from nature, or at least what we perceive as nature? What if it represents some sort of widespread cultural optimum? If it were true, how could it not?

    • jim says:

      But the machinery of Darwinism and economics had to come from somewhere, right?

      That source is the place to put your faith.

      Faith is belief in things unseen, science belief in things seen. (At least that was science before 1942 or so, more recent “science” is increasingly mere theology, merely the consensus of the most holy synod)

      I see no necessary conflict between traditional faith and science; or the faith and economics; or the faith and well ordered societies. On the contrary, the true faith could not be maladaptive at the societal level and could not fail to promote human flourishing.

      Anglicanism from the Restoration to the crowning of Queen Victoria was adaptive at the societal level and promoted human flourishing.

      Trouble is, after Darwin, few people take that faith all that seriously any more. Not CS Lewis, and not Koanic. Not seriously enough to resist liberalism.

      If you take your religion seriously, you will adjust it to accommodate modern biological knowledge. But, if you adjust to accommodate modern biological knowledge, you are not taking it all that seriously. Why not adjust it to fit modern liberalism?

      • Why not adjust it to fit modern liberalism?

        Because modern liberalism is obviously maladaptive.

        if you adjust to accommodate modern biological knowledge, you are not taking it all that seriously.

        The conclusion doesn’t follow… at all. Biological and religious knowledge are per se orthogonal realms of knowledge. The only claims Christianity (qua Christianity) makes toward good public policy are the obvious ones: The last 6 of the 10 commandments (by Catholic counting) derive from nature herself, and all successful societies “discover” them… otherwise they don’t get to be successful. There is nothing in Christianity (qua Christianity) that needs to accommodate to modern biology any more than it needed to accommodate to early modern cosmology or ancient political economy. It recognizes all truth as God’s truth, which is merely to say what is true is true. This is a feature, not a bug.

        • jim says:

          Biological and religious knowledge are per se orthogonal realms of knowledge.

          Checking Koanic’s blog, he mingles insights into society and female nature that come from Heartiste’s blog, which rest in large part on biological knowledge, with insights into society and female nature that come from the New Testament. Dalrock routinely condemns modern progressive Christianity both from the New Testament, and from biology, without drawing any clear distinction between the two.

          Darwin’s “Descent of Man” is in large part about sexual selection, and it pretty obvious he was walking on eggshells, because he was treading on people’s religious beliefs about sex, gender, and sex roles.

          The last 6 of the 10 commandments (by Catholic counting) derive from nature herself, and all successful societies “discover” them… otherwise they don’t get to be successful.

          Quite so, and modern liberalism is a disaster because it is stomping on most of them, in particular, school and television dishonors fathers and encourages coveting, because children are taught that if other people have more stuff, it was stolen. Dalrock has long, long list of examples of modern liberalism, and modern liberal Christianity, encouraging female adultery.

          There is nothing in Christianity (qua Christianity) that needs to accommodate to modern biology

          You can quite plausibly be Christian and believe that the reason the universe is pretty rough is because God decided to create man through natural selection. The old testament god is every bit as brutal as natural selection, and arguably natural selection is pretty much his style, (which is to say, genocidal) but you are no longer compelled to believe in a creator God by the evidence of design. Modern biology does not disprove Christianity, but, unlike pre-Darwinian biology, it fails to provide evidence for a creator God.

          • Koanic says:

            That would be an example of actual heresy, editing out original sin and placing the blame on God rather than man. But still, plausible. I just find it amusing you don’t seem to know where the line is.

          • Modern biology does not disprove Christianity, but, unlike pre-Darwinian biology, it fails to provide evidence for a creator God.

            Well I guess my answer to that is it was certainly not correct to have interpreted pre-Darwinian biology as providing evidence for God. Scientific knowledge is inherently tentative. That there is such a thing at all as biology; now THAT is a true piece of evidence of the creator.

            Again, Darwinism punches a whopping hole in an argument for God’s existence that never deserved to exist at all. From my point of view, it pushes the problem of infinite regress back only one step, which makes the problem still infinite. Okay, so who made natural selection? Okay so who made a universe in which competing lifeforms would arise, for or by which the process of natural selection would arise? Etc.

            But I say all that to say again: There is nothing inherent to Christianity (authoritative Catholic dogma at least) that militates against what you and I would both agree are prudent and effective human government. You don’t have to stone adulteresses to have good government, but you DO have to make it harder for them to get a divorce. You don’t have to ship all blacks back to Africa, but you DO have to stop wasting money and effort searching for the unicorn of equality. Etc.

          • jim says:

            Well I guess my answer to that is it was certainly not correct to have interpreted pre-Darwinian biology as providing evidence for God.

            Design would seem to imply a designer. Living creatures are obviously designed. Darwin explained how one can have design without a conscious anthropomorphic designer. Before Darwin, all the other explanations, all the Godless explanations, were transparently stupid.

          • Which is to say I don’t think we are really down to a choice between genocide and cultural self-immolation. It’s a useful spectrum, but it is not obviously monotonic for reproductive success.

          • Darwin explained how one can have design without a conscious anthropomorphic designer.

            Indeed, but he didn’t explain how you could have a design, in which design arises without a conscious designer, without a conscious designer.

          • jim says:

            He didn’t explain how you could have a design, in which design arises without a conscious designer

            If replication is possible, natural selection will occur.

            If the physical constants of the universe vary, there will be some regions where replication is possible

          • Back on orthogonal realms…

            Checking Koanic’s blog, he mingles insights into society and female nature that come from Heartiste’s blog, which rest in large part on biological knowledge, with insights into society and female nature that come from the New Testament. Dalrock routinely condemns modern progressive Christianity both from the New Testament, and from biology, without drawing any clear distinction between the two.

            Just because a point is in N-space, doesn’t mean that the N orthogonal bases are not orthogonal. Certainly divine revelation and Roissy might agree on some, in this case really obvious, point.

          • If replication is possible, natural selection will occur.

            Wait! That’s what I said.

            But why would replication be possible? Why would anything at all whatsoever be possible? Why would there be anything at all that exists from which other things might be possible? What I’m saying is that pushing back one step of an infinite regress does not solve the problem of infinite regress. Which is why apparent design in biology, God of Gaps, was never a per se strong argument for theism. But design behind design behind design… +inf, is a pretty good one. Darwin didn’t so much as eliminate the need for the designer, so much as put a thin curtain over him so that weaker minds might overlook him.

          • jim says:

            That there is something rather than nothing is a weak argument for God, and it is not an argument for a God that made man in his own image.

            Argument from design was seemingly a compelling argument for God, and an argument for a God, a designer and maker, who made man, also a maker and designer, made man in the image of God.

      • Red says:

        Religions adjust for political and power realities not for biology. Which portion of biology do you want Christianity to adjust to? The catholic church had a long history of embracing nice Darwinism long before the term had been invented. They took undesirables out of the communities and put them to work in monasteries and nunneries.

        If the powers to be wanted real science to be known and understood instead of simply using it as a weapon to suppress a dissident group it then Christianity would embrace it. As it stands now Darwinism is nothing more than a tool to steal Christan children from their parents.

        • jim says:

          As it stands now Darwinism is nothing more than a tool to steal Christan children from their parents.

          They call it evolution, rather than Darwinism, so nervous are they of the profoundly reactionary implications of Darwinism.

          Dawkins calls it Darwinism, but treads delicately with regard to certain aspects of Darwinism. Heartiste will tell you which bits Dawkins is politely ignoring.

      • Koanic says:

        “Faith is belief in things unseen, science belief in things seen.”

        Surely it must be so, hence your belief in dark matter and macroevolution: things unseen.

        Your basic religious illiteracy is showing. When the demons shrieked that they knew who Jesus was, did their faith save them? Then obviously faith is not simply a matter of belief.

        Webster’s says: “(1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God”

        It is true that many people refuse to believe because they neither trust in nor are loyal to God. Perhaps you are one. But as for belief, Jesus’ answer to John the Baptist’s discplies is appropriate: “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard”.

        Likewise, I tell you to go read Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Or start here: http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexisthub.html

        Your concept of faith is as outdated as your concept of evolution. My belief in Jesus Christ is the same as my belief in Socrates.

        • My belief in Jesus Christ is the same as my belief in Socrates.

          Now, Koanic, you know that isn’t true. You don’t believe Socrates was consubstantial with the father; and you don’t believe Socrates’ human and divine natures coexisted in a hypostatic union.

  8. Koanic says:

    Someday, when the robots rule and man is long forgotten, the dumber AI’s may excavate the rusted remnants and speculate by reference to the abundance of transitional forms that machines evolved themselves.

    Don’t confuse a little chaotic built-in adaptability for a design substitute.

  9. RS says:

    > dark matter and macroevolution: things unseen

    I’ve seen the fossil record. I don’t expect it to be perfect because some conditions prevent fossilization. Almost no fossil chimp is known.

  10. Koanic says:

    Seriously, how do you come up with this stuff? God has his own son betrayed, flogged, crucified, turns his back on him while he’s dying, and your conclusion is that he’s gone soft on crime?

    • jim says:

      God has his own son betrayed, flogged, crucified, turns his back on him while he’s dying, and your conclusion is that he’s gone soft on crime?

      The Old Testament God had a saner approach to dealing with crime.

      • Koanic says:

        If you say so. Sounds more like a logical conclusion to the perpetual animal sacrifice system to me.

      • I think Jim you are using the cartoon old and new testaments for convenience. Are you forgetting the OT admonitions to care for the stranger? The leave the corners of your fields for the poor to glean? Have you forgotten about the NT Ananias and Saphira? Or about St. Paul’s stern admonition to the congregation at Corinth to expel the evil man? The OT/NT shift is a lot subtler than you’re making it out to be.

        Softer on crime doesn’t mean soft. The NT adds substantially to the Christian understanding of hell.

  11. Red says:

    “If God created the various bilaterians separately, why use exactly the same mechanism in all of them to detect light, and different mechanisms for detail vision? Everything on the veterbrate line uses one mechanism for detail vision, everything on the insect line the opposite mechanism. All up bilatarians have eighteen different mechanisms for detail vision, in eighteen different families. but they all use the same light detection mechanism constructed by the same genes in the same way, indicating that the simple eye evolved once in the bilatarian clade, but that the same simple eye evolved into good eyes at least eighteen separate times, in eighteen separate ways.)”

    Posting this separately to continue the discussion:

    Or they all simply had the code to begin and expressed a particular function when required to do so.

    I read about a lizard who migrated to a from the mainland of Europe to an island of the coast of Greece around 10 years ago. Before that there was no lizards on this particular island. The lizard resembled a common lizard from the mainland but it’s digestive track, stomach, way of processing food was entirely different. Scientists thought they had discovered rapid evolution. So they went ahead and DNA tested both lizards. The island lizard was identical(relative term) to the mainland lizard despite the changes in function. Upon further study it was determined that lizard had the genes to build both types of digestive tracks and it somehow decided which one to express without a change in DNA. This indicates there is some control of genetic expression and that there is something wrong with random mutations leading to new functions and destroying old functions. A lizard who lived in the same conditions for many generations was not very likely to keep a useless second digestive system genes around if it wasn’t necessary to survival. That’s a hell of a lot of genetic code for a totally useless function. Logic dictates that natural selection should have bread it out of the genome quite a while back instead of having it popup perfectly usable with just a few lizards hitting the island.

    I can’t claim there is a god and I can’t claim I understand exactly what’s going on with evolution. But I put forth that’s far from clear that we really understand things well enough to bank on the current theories of evolution and decent of the species.

    • pdimov says:

      “I read about a lizard…”

      That was quite interesting, thanks. Here are the article and the paper:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm
      http://www.pnas.org/content/105/12/4792.full

      This seems to have been widely reported as an example of evolving a new feature, cecal valves. The fact that there were no DNA changes, so no evolving had taken place, wasn’t particularly emphasized. :-)

      • Red says:

        The article I read was actually from the daily mail. The first one about the rapid evolution and the second a few years later about no changes to the DNA. Thank you for digging up better sources on the subject than my memory.

      • Red says:

        The fact that such a discovery is not well know indicates that theory of evolution is covered under crime think. Nothing must be allowed to hurt the left’s favorite tool until the christens have been assimilated. After I’m sure they’ll discover that God created is a magic negro in the sky who punishes bad white people for not acting black the planet really is alive and must be satisfied by sacrificing the proles children to it.

  12. [...] The watchmaker is dead « Jim’s Blog [...]

  13. RS says:

    > If the powers to be wanted real science to be known and understood instead of simply using it as a weapon to suppress a dissident group it then Christianity would embrace it. As it stands now Darwinism is nothing more than a tool to steal Christan children from their parents.

    Hard to argue w

    I don’t think denying it is a useful strategy though. Lose you too many smart and inquisitive boys — your best memetic pugilists. Dunno, though, maybe we’re not even on the same side. But if you can more or less keep the West alive with the mustard seed, especially a good masculine, classically-informed form of it, I certainly am not going to try to stop you if that starts happening.

  14. [...] The watchmaker is dead « Jim’s Blog [...]

  15. pdimov says:

    “We have been breeding crops and cattle for desirable qualities for ten thousand years. Still making considerable progress. What shall they be in ten million years?”

    You’re assuming the conclusion. If macroevolution is nothing more than microevolution+time, then yes, we can extrapolate ten thousand years into ten million years. If it isn’t, we can’t.

    Can you think of a validating experiment that doesn’t involve “imagine what will happen in ten million years?”

    One obvious option is to use fruit flies or bacteria instead of horses, but this, so far, hasn’t given the desired results.

    Another is to remove selection pressure from, say, ponies and war horses, and see what they revert to in several hundred years (assuming the same environment and that the two populations are separated). If different, we’ve created two distinct species. If same, we haven’t. I predict the latter.

    • jim says:

      You’re assuming the conclusion. If macroevolution is nothing more than microevolution+time, then yes, we can extrapolate ten thousand years into ten million years. If it isn’t, we can’t.

      The claim is that in fact observe limits.

      No such limits have been observed. If they exist, we have never encountered them – ever.

      If you select for some quality such as speed, you hit a limit in the sense that the creature will run as fast as any creature of that form can run, but if you select for new forms, new natures, there is no observed limit on how far the form can change. Horses continue to get bigger and stronger, toy dogs continue to get smaller and cuter, carrots continue to get more like fruits and less like roots, even though we have been at it for thousands of years.

      • pdimov says:

        “Horses continue to get bigger and stronger, toy dogs continue to get smaller and cuter, carrots continue to get more like fruits and less like roots, even though we have been at it for thousands of years.”

        Fruit flies in laboratory conditions, however, do not, as far as I know.

        • jim says:

          Fruit flies are a diverse collection of creatures. Saying that a fruit fly remains a fruit fly is like saying a mammal remains a mammal. Well of course it is going to remain a mammal over human history.

          • pdimov says:

            That’s not what I meant. I meant that Drosophila Melanogaster, when bred selectively in laboratory conditions for lifespan, or number of bristles, or size, hits a limit. It does not get ever bigger and stronger, as horses ostensibly do.

          • jim says:

            Drosophila Melanogaster, when bred selectively in laboratory conditions for lifespan, or number of bristles, or size, hits a limit

            Obviously it is going to hit a limit for lifespan, but I would expect the limit for size to be pretty huge for a fruit fly, and quite large for an insect, and the the limit for number of bristles to be ridiculously huge, that the limit for size and the limit for number of bristles would be so large that if we encountered the creature in the wild, we would not only doubt it was the same species of fruit fly, but doubt it was even a fruit fly.

            Do you have a link for limits on size or number of bristles?

            Note that experiments that produced speciation in fruit flies were quite long, much longer than laboratory experiments usually run, so any “limit” encountered in a dozen fruit generations is not significant. Substantial changes in dog breeds require centuries, getting close to a hundred generations of dogs, and speciation requires at a minimum three hundred generations, three thousand to six thousand generations is more typical. Fruit fly generations are about ten days, so fruit fly speciation experiments usually take several years to produce clear results, and decades are better.

            Dog breeders work on a scale of centuries. Thus any experiment that supposedly finds limits on shorter time scales is obviously bogus.

          • pdimov says:

            “Do you have a link for limits on size or number of bristles?”

            That’s proving surprisingly* difficult. I found the bristles result reported in many places without an actual citation, but finally, there it is.

            “Ernst Mayr reported on two experiments performed on the fruit fly
            back in 1948. In the first experiment, the fly was selected for a
            decrease in bristles and, in the second experiment, for an increase in
            bristles. Starting with a parent stock averaging 36 bristles, it was
            possible after thirty generations to lower the average to 25 bristles,
            “but then the line became sterile and died out.” In the second
            experiment, the average number of bristles was increased from 36 to
            56; then sterility set in. Mayr concluded with the following
            observation: `Obviously any drastic improvement under selection
            must seriously deplete the store of genetic variability…The most
            frequent correlated response of one-sided selection is a drop in
            general fitness. This plagues virtually every breeding experiment.’”
            (Mayr E., “Animal Species and Evolution”, 1963, p290, in Bird W.R.,
            “The Origin of Species Revisited”, 1991, Vol. I, p125).

            Google Books is not showing the book to me, because my country of origin is not worthy, bu you may be able to read the page and confirm the quotes.

            Regarding size, all I can find are mentions in other papers that the subject has been extensively studied in the past, but no actual citation.

            If it were possible to breed a pretty huge fruit fly, as you surmise, I’m sure that we’d have had the result quoted and referenced extensively, so this absence of papers (and absence of any recent experiments trying to breed for size) is still noteworthy, but I admit that it’s no substitute to an actual citation.

            The lifespan study is recent and long-running (600 generations) if memory serves. Let me try to find it.

          • jim says:

            The most frequent correlated response of one-sided selection is a drop in general fitness. This plagues virtually every breeding experiment.

            Dog breeders have a huge problem with drops in fitness when they push too hard for show traits, but, with time, and skill, they get where they are going without a corresponding drop in general fitness. The trick is to have a sufficiently large breeding population, which requires multiple breeders, because there is a limit to how large a population any one breeder can competently manage, and to make sure that all one’s breeding stock is healthy, to refrain from breeding from unhealthy individuals and from individuals with a history of producing unhealthy offspring even if they show the desired trait.

            Consider the various ridiculous extremes to which various types have show pigeons have been bred. This sure beats reducing 38 bristles to 28.
            fantail pigeon
            pouter

          • pdimov says:

            Here’s the study I had in mind:

            http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7315/full/nature09352.html

            It’s not actually about lifespan. The main result was that

            “We conclude that, at least for life history characters such as development time, unconditionally advantageous alleles rarely arise, are associated with small net fitness gains or cannot fix because selection coefficients change over time.”

            In other words, it’s harder to evolve fruit flies than it is to evolve bacteria, because advantageous mutations “fix” in bacteria (spread into the whole population, “sweep”), but do not “fix” in fruit flies.

            In other other words, when you remove the artificial selection pressure, fruit flies are more likely to revert to the starting point than are bacteria. And, I suspect, so are horses and dogs.

            To create a new species via artificial selection, we need to get it to a point where it will not revert to where it started when left alone.

          • pdimov says:

            “Dog breeders have a huge problem with drops in fitness when they push too hard for show traits, but, with time, and skill, they get where they are going without a corresponding drop in general fitness.”

            Good point. I agree that it’s quite possible that scientists are simply not good enough at breeding.

    • jim says:

      Can you think of a validating experiment that doesn’t involve “imagine what will happen in ten million years?”

      How about what did happen in ten thousand years?

      We have been steadily breeding dogs smaller and cuter. They started off as something very like big timber wolves. After ten thousand years, we get the Chiuwawa If we found them in the wild, like feral cats and lions, rather than knowing the history, we would have no doubt at all that the various dog breeds were very different species. A chiuwawa differs from a husky more than a tiger differs from a pussy cat.

      Divergence: If species A differs from species B by about as much as breeding can accomplish in a hundred years, and species B differs from species C by about as much as breeding can accomplish in a hundred years, and species C differs from species D by about as much as breeding can accomplish in a hundred years, … to species Z, then we can say that species A could be bred into species Z in twenty six hundred years. The various kinds of big cat are pretty similar to each other, and come in a range of sizes all the way down to pussy cat size. This is Lamarck’s argument: Between any two kinds, chances are you will find an intermediate kind. Therefore, concluded Lamark, they are literal kin, related by blood or sap, similar to each other because similar to the particular individuals that were father and mother to them all.

      • pdimov says:

        The problem with this logic is that it assumes that if we leave a chihuahua in the wild, it will stay small and chihuahua-like, and that if we leave a great dane in the wild, it will stay big and great dane-like. If they do, we have indeed created two separate species (even if they can interbreed at first, at least in theory; this is likely to disappear with time if the populations are separated.)

        However, if they both revert to the same wild dog, we haven’t. And this is the way to bet.

        There are two possible explanations for this (if true). One, we aren’t doing macroevolution because we’re missing something. Or two, we are doing everything right, but for the new species to “fix”, we need environmental changes that will select for it, slowly enough for it to be able to adapt rather than die out. 5 million years, perhaps, could do the trick.

        The second alternative is quite possible, but boring, which is why biologists continue to experiment with bacteria and fruit flies, still hoping to conclusively prove that macroevolution is possible in the lab.

        • jim says:

          However, if they both revert to the same wild dog, we haven’t. And this is the way to bet.

          Something like the experiment has been done. I would expect, but cannot prove, that the ancestral domestic dog gone wild would become a wolf, whereas the dingo is unmistakeably a wild dog, not a wolf.

          The dingo evolved from domestic dogs brought to Australia many thousands of years ago. It is physically not a wolf, even though psychologically wolf like. The ancestors of domestic dogs, the earliest domestic dogs in the fossil record, were very similar to timber wolves. The dingo looks very like a nondescript generic modern dog. The dog type that dogs revert to when no one is breeding them looks mighty dog like. Dingos are psychologically different from dogs however, perhaps because living independently naturally selects for independent character.

  16. pdimov says:

    Regarding macro vs micro, you may find these two articles interesting:

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dietrich/NRG2003.pdf
    http://www.evolocus.com/publications/theissen2009.pdf

    I certainly did.

    • jim says:

      Goldschmidt claimed that the gradual accumulation of small mutations advocated by neo-Darwinians, such as Dobzhanksy, was sufficient for microevolution, but could not cross the bridgeless gap between species

      But we do not in fact see a bridgeless gap between species. It is usually hard to decide whether two similar kinds are two species or two races within a species.

      For example coyotes are very different from wolves, so it is customary to call them a separate species – but some wolves are more similar to coyotes than other wolves, and some coyotes more similar to wolves than other coyotes. There is, or recently was, a cline between wolves and coyotes similar to the cline between blacks and whites.

      This is the Lamarkian argument for the mutability of species. Between any two kinds, one can usually find an intermediate kind. Not only is the gap not bridgeless, it is usually bridged.

  17. Red says:

    Jim,
    I’m kind of curious, why are Darwinist so convinced of natural selection while ignoring hybridization in the production of new species? It’s becoming clear that Asians and Europeans are as they are due to hybridization with neanderthals, and even eukaryote cells much more closely resemble the hybridization of Bacteria and Archaea with some captured Bacteria tossed in as organals.

    All and all, gene mixing seems more likely story that natural selection alone.

    • jim says:

      why are Darwinist so convinced of natural selection while ignoring hybridization in the production of new species?

      For a hybrid to happen, need two closely related species. For two species to be closely related, they need to have a recent common ancestor, an Adam from which all members of both species are descended. So before we can get new species by hybridization, must first get new species by natural selection.

  18. Baker says:

    I haven’t read the whole thread. Just like to add a few points that seem not emphasized enough:

    Evolution doesn’t mean any species can mutate into any other. Evolution is pictured as a tree with refining branching. Two species with a common ancestor doesn’t mean one can evolve into the other. Very rarely, two closely related branches may interbreed and “join” the branches into a semi-new species. Most branches end with extinction rather than successful adaptions.

    Evolution is not just mutation, but mutation + selection. Random mutation won’t give you new species. Only with a very specific and very strong selection pressure can macroevolution happen. Human controlled selective breeding always have a utilitarian purpose and regimen, and does not fully model what can happen in natural environment evolution.

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