Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies

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Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies

Postby stcordova » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:49 am

This thread is to discuss my articles at UD pertaining to neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution.

Part 1

Part 2

Why fixation in gigantic but widely separated human populations doesn't happen
Last edited by stcordova on Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies

Postby Tragic Mishap » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:41 pm

Clearly I need to learn more about population genetics.

Can you walk me through the dust-up with vjtorley? I'll explain how I understood it. Maybe you can expand or correct me.

Torley was arguing that neutral theory could not account for the number of genetic differences between humans and chimps, meaning the number of mutations away from a common ancestor which became fixed in their respective populations. And he was wrong about that. Neutral theory can, in the allotted time, account for the raw number of fixed mutations from the human/chimp common ancestor.

Do I have it right?
Tragic Mishap
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Re: Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies

Postby stcordova » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:37 pm

Tragic Mishap,

My view: Dr. Torley was criticizing neutral evolution of humans on mathematical grounds alone, I was saying the math could be right for neutral theory, but neutral evolution must be criticized on functional grounds (we'd be dead if we evolved that way). Dr. Torley had the right conclusion, but not for the best of reasons.

I felt Dr. Torley was making himself vulnerable by venturing in mathematical areas, and it is hard enough to do this even if one is versant in math and population genetics. Even I wouldn't have ventured were it not for the fact that I Walter ReMine, John Sanford, and even the evolutionists were in general agreement the math makes it possible for neutral evolution to fix 100 mutations per generation.

Now why don't we see that today? The problem is the population is so large, and furthermore the experiments that might confirm it would require we inbreed humans. If done for purely research purposes, this would be highly unethical because we'd knowingly be making lots of genetically compromised individuals.

We do know however, from inbreeding experiments on other animals, that fast fixation can work providing the creatures don't die in the process.

If Dr. Torley had talked along the lines of the Mendel Team, there might not have been so much back and forth. The Mendel Team argued such a process would be lethal, they didn't argue that is mathematically impossible, it is functionally impossible.

You might notice that although Dr. Moran just called me an IDiot on his blog, he didn't fundamentally contest my claims on scientific grounds. On beating dead horses.

I was reminded of this while reading Salvador Corova's latest post on Uncommon Descent because he refers to beating dead horses [If not Rupe and Sanford’s presentation (8/6/13), would you believe Wiki? In this case, yes]. I'm not going to make any comments. Read it and weep for the IDiots.
Sal begins with ...

Evolutionists reluctantly admit most evolution is free of selection and therefore non-Darwinian ...

I've been trying to teach this to the IDiots for over twenty years. Yet they still insist on referring to evolution as "Darwinism" and they continue to ignore random genetic drift in their attacks on evolution. About 99% of all IDiots have no idea what Sal is talking about. (Sal Cordova doesn't know either.)

What Sal is saying is that practically all of the mutations being fixed in humans are either neutral or slightly deleterious. That has implications. It strongly suggests that most of our genome is junk.

If Moran made a slight change to what he said by saying "It strongly suggests that most of our genome WOULD BE junk." He will have made the same argument the Mendel YECs are making.

That is why the neutral fixation argument is valuable to the YECs. I salute Dr. Torley's courage in this, but the results of population genetics are counter intuitive, and not even Darwin saw the problem!
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Re: Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies

Postby johnspenn » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:30 pm

Does Neutral Theory have any greater explanatory power than Darwinian Evolution?

Does it explain OOL?

Does it explain where the complex specified information contained in DNA comes from?

Does it explain the appearance of irreducibly complex cellular machinery such as the flagellar motor?

Does it explain how life transitions from one body plan to the next, ie from single to multiple celled animals, the Cambrian explosion, the emergence of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and humans in a logical and credible fashion?

Or, is it just another case of "The Emperor Has New Clothes"?
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Re: Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies

Postby stcordova » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:33 am


It depends which version of neutral theory one is considering, the evolutionist version or the YEC version.

The YEC version of neutral theory is evidence humanity is young because we should be dead 100 times over if we had been evolving the way we actually see we're evolving today (each generation is slightly sicker than the parents).

The evolutionist version of neutral fails exactly for the reasons you describe.
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