Friday, January 2, 2015

Abscesses of Note: Fins, Stumps, and the Pressure of Light

The inductive v. deductive controversy continues. John has raised the objection that the fossil record is incomplete because, "[D]o you have any idea what the chances are against any animal being fossilised?"

Here's an illustration of an ocean-dwelling creature, call it Alexandra:

Here's an illustration of a land-dwelling creature, call it Rudy:

At some point over the course of 3.8 billion years, some Alexandras became something like Rudy. We've discussed the basics and the math of the lung issue. Put that aside, and focus just on the appendages. Assume that the lungs are being taken care of in the evolving Alexandras, while simultaneously, those evolving Alexandras are coming up with appendages more suitable to land-dwelling than to ocean-dwelling.

Now, remember: the "evolution" espoused by mercantilism, capitalism, eugenics, and the western banking states is nothing but an elite creed predicated on the Panglossian idea that the world is fair because it represents the elimination of the unfit and the ascendance of the superior. This process is fair because random, impartial mutations result in success for the best--e.g., survival of the fittest. Ergo these mutations are not directed or guided in any way.

During the 3.8 billion years in which Earth's life transitioned from single-celled organisms to humans with iPads, then, Alexandra had to not only change her lungs over to Rudy-lungs, but her fins over to Rudy-legs. Many readers have written expressing various types of confusion over why the lungs have to be different, since they're only extracting the same vital substance (oxygen) as air-breathing lungs anyway, to which the short answer is, "Extracting oxygen from water is a different, simpler process than extracting it from the comparatively complex chemical cocktail that is Earth's atmosphere."

To clarify the situation, though, we've introduced Alexandra and Rudy, and focused on not their lungs, but a more visible part: their appendages.

Mercantilist evolution holds that random mutations occur without guidance, and that natural selection creates everything randomly and then kills off the inferior, rather than simply creating the practical. Look, again, at the pictures:

Operating randomly, how many Alexandras, in the transition from Alexandra to Rudy, develop any of the following:

1) Sturdy limbs which extend from the torso to replace Alexandra's dorsal fin, anal fin, pectoral fins, adipose fin, and/or caudal fin?

2) Sturdy limbs which extend from Alexandra's head, mouth, back, or non-pectoral sides?

3) Mangled, partially-formed but incomplete limbs which replace Alexandra's dorsal fin, anal fin, pectoral fins, adipose fin, and/or caudal fin?

4) Mangled, partially-formed but incomplete limbs which extend from Alexandra's head, mouth, back, or non-pectoral sides?

5) Sturdy limbs that extend from the sides of Alexandra's underbelly, perfectly suited to her walking around, millions upon millions of years later, as a quadrupedal land-dweller, without correspondingly removing her fins?

6) Sturdy limbs that extend from the sides of Alexandra's underbelly, perfectly suited to her walking around, millions upon millions of years later, as a quadrupedal land-dweller, tidily smoothing her fins down to sleek nothingness like they were never there in the first place?

As we all know from studying Anglo-America's neoclassical for-profit biology (which is just as inspired and moving as Anglo-America's neoclassical architecture), the popular answer is (6). Of course Alexandra didn't go straight from fins to legs, say today's priests--that would be ridiculous. Instead, she slithered out of the water, spent some time as an amphibian, and then some of those amphibians gradually developed randomized protrusions in about the right spots that turned out to be useful, and over more millions of years, those protrusions positioned themselves even more efficiently, becoming legs.

Cute, but have you ever seen a fish out of water? How many Alexandras randomly developed air-processing lungs, and of that tiny subset of Alexandras--who developed those air-processing lungs over however many millions of years--how many of those Alexandras happened to also be the ocean-dwellers that were at the very same time developing musculature, bone structures, and neurochemistry sufficient to allow them to even contemplate shimmying in the right direction with extreme difficulty, once they had managed to ride the surf high enough to wriggle onto shore? Moreover, presuming this small subset of creatures possessed all of those abilities, of what small subset of that small subset of Alexandras would not, possessing the ability to move once having emerged from the water, immediately rush back to the familiar safety of the water, eschewing the surface death that, for millions of years prior, would have been one of the strongest flight instincts in such a water-breathing species?

And what about the first generation born after that? Having inherited millions of years of water-breathing instinct, the newborn fish suddenly finds itself hatched in a place that feels like instant death. How many baby kittens would need to be tossed into swimming pools before one of them not only knew instinctively how to swim, but also how to breathe water? A billion? A hundred trillion? Infinity plus one?

Moving along, just how valuable would those first proto-legs of Alexandra's be? Probably not very. How valuable is a stump? And what are the chances that the stump will grow in the right place? And be counterbalanced by a stump on the other side?

More importantly than those hypotheticals, though--far more important--is the observable evidence we have in Earth's fossil record. Under a regime of randomized mutations, where will Alexandra's new appendages begin to pop up? Posit that her surface area is 100--how much of that surface area represents useful space for appendages that allow mobility on land? You immediately eliminate 50, being her upper half, and you have to eliminate areas like vulnerable sensory openings closer to the upper half, and the anus, and portions of the body's sides where the future-legs would stick out at such an angle they wouldn't be of much help. As we always are when addressing randomized evolution, let's be generous, and say that a full third of her body would be an acceptable spot to begin those land-going appendages.

Remember throughout: we know that "natural selection" should weed out the inefficient mutations. Alexandras which begin to grow appendage-stumps in the wrong place will be killed off, eventually, and replaced in full by (again, eventually) Rudy.

And yet, the mutations are random. God doesn't know to put "legs" on Alexandra's underside, because God isn't creating Alexandra with a purpose in mind. The God of mercantilist evolution is a random, capricious, vengeful creature, who lays off the inferior in the interests of constant efficiency.

Ergo, if Alexandra were mutating her new land-going legs randomly, the fossil record should be composed of at least 70% of this:

...and things like it. Were evolution random, rather than integrated, more "wrong" Alexandras should have been produced than "right" Alexandras, so the fossil record should be composed more of mistakes than of successes. Yes, yes, and yes again, the biology-faith of the industrial warlords prescribes that inefficient species will go extinct--we aren't ignorant of that. And yes, yes, and yes again, the vast majority of creatures don't get fossilized. Under a scheme of random mutations, though, the unsuccessful specimens subject to potential fossilization would vastly outnumber the successful, gradually-developing, genetically-linked lineage that Earth shows us.

Consider this chart of potential Alexandras (you will need to click on it to see the entire thing):

Notice how we don't see any of specimens A, B, or C? Even though those Alexandras, in order to randomly develop suitable legs, would've had to reproduce reproductively successful offspring over long periods of time, leave behind corpses in shale and tar and ancient seabeds, and perhaps keep surviving, we don't see them. They're not there because they didn't exist.

Pop-evolutionists arguing for a long chain of failed inefficiencies might as well be arguing that a race of Pillsbury Doughboys oversaw Terra's evolution, despite an utter lack of large marshmallow deposits throughout local geological strata.

The evidence shows the occasional "transitory species," a marketing term used to apply to the comparatively tiny number of species which can be likened to more familiar "befores" or "afters" by pop-science organizations, but such species can't explain away the complete absence of millions-of-years of a majority of dead-ends that randomized evolution would've had to include in order to eventually, agonizingly, produce Alexandras that had legs. Where lies the massive trove of predecessors with legs from the upper back, legs from the ass, legs from the cheekbone, legs from the hand, or fish that proved they could survive on land with fins and scales? Randomly, they should be there. They're not.

If you want a real-world example of how this would work, start buying lottery tickets, a hundred every day for a trillion years. Throw them all into a bag, call them "fossils," then select a tiny percentage of them to remove at random for preservation in a museum. How many of the displays will be jackpot winners? Exactly. And yet, the fossil record shows us an overwhelming majority of winners--almost as though there were never any losers there in the first place. The evidence shows us that Terra has played host to a gradual, progressive evolution, from less complex to more complex species.

Rudy should "suffer" from the same conditions as his forebears, too. Yeah, sometimes there are conjoined twins and extra limbs, but that's not the same thing that market-style evolution demands. In Alexandra's case, she had to develop her legs randomly, meaning, thousands of excruciating generational cycles during which stumps appeared, slowly lengthened, adjusted position, and were essentially worthless hunks of calorie-draining flesh, up until the point that they became legs that were strong enough for shuffling to provide an advantage in the struggle for survival. Alexandra's Siamese Twins had to not only survive to reproduce, but also reproduce so powerfully that they drove the non-Siamese Alexandras to extinction. Ergo under randomized evolution, it is possible for an inefficient mutation--a mutation with a net negative effect, such as a bony protrusion suddenly appearing on the fish's underbelly--to outpace more efficient Alexandras for generation after generation, until that protrusion develops into some kind of worthwhile appendage. And in the meantime, that appendage should look "ugly" to any mates of the Alexandra with the weird thing growing out of her stomach.

Yet somehow, randomized evolution says that this must've happened in almost every single case that multi-cellular organisms advanced: organisms which developed less efficient traits managed to out-compete and out-mate organisms which continued to use the old, successful model. A lithe, graceful Alexandra A, then, with the same strength and coordination and neural chemistry that allowed it to wriggle out of the water, breathe air, exploit land-based resources, and mate, would somehow get out-mated and out-competed by some ugly Alexandra C model, which has these, like, totally gross lumps growing out of its chest and stomach.

Granted, after many more generations of mutation, those lumps might be useful legs, and Alexandra's prowess might inspire potential mates, or outrun potential competitors to food (or to sexy gametes), but up until that point, the stumps are just gross lumps that slow her down, make her need more calories to live, and look unaesthetic to her mates. Sort of like if you take an otherwise attractive person, then add a lumpy, glowing green rash across that person's torso and genital area--how much more likely is that person to get jobs and find a superior mate than the same person without the permanent lumpy rash?

And if that person was able to do so, driving all the non-mutants to extinction with his/her sexy genital radiation, why isn't there any record of him/her/it on this planet? There's not. There are creatures that appear ugly to some of us, which managed to fit into an interesting ecological niche for a while before dying out, and there are occasional weird shapes out there, but there is no overwhelming majority of in-between and/or mistaken samples. There's nothing but an almost perfectly tidy progression from single-celled energy transfer stations to the cellular networks of comparatively cataclysmic ionic currents inside a human brain, or any other simple Stage Four neurofield.

Carbon dating's proof of the too-rapid progress of Terra's evolution, and a mathematical analysis thereto, is not the only falsification of the insane religious faith so many have today in randomized evolution. Actual scientific analysis of the hard material evidence available here--the bones and the stones--demonstrates the same evolutionary principles. 2015 Earthlings don't yet understand how light creates its material conduits, so they've thrown up their hands and assumed, "Random! I believe it's random, and now I can settle those worrisome questions about my origin!" They'll figure it out in time, just like they figured out that really, really small bacteria was indeed doing stuff to them. Don't lose your hope.


  1. One of the key caveats in random evolution is that "the inefficient" mutation carriers die off BEFORE they manage to reproduce. So if we are going to look for them in the fossil record, we'll have to focus specifically on fossilized babies

  2. Replies
    1. I'm alluding to the formation of forelimbs and lungs. What are you alluding to?

    2. (Look a paragraph below the doughboy picture, where this one alludes to "transitory species." Yes, forelimbs/lungs/etc. were gradually evolved over time. However, limbs were not randomly evolved--they didn't form on the back, the head, etc. Instead, they formed in exactly the right spots: ergo species like the mudskipper.

      We see plenty of transitory species in the fossil record, because, in a sense, all species are transitory. What we don't see are the wide variety of mistakes that we would see if those forelimbs and lungs were being caused by randomized mutations, which randomization would have resulted in limb-extensions growing across a randomized spread where 100 = Alexandra's total bodily surface area.

      E.g., if x = 1-100, then lim x->1-100 = 100; another (albeit clumsy) way of saying that, if a randomized mutation can apply to any portion of the body, the probability of x being somewhere between 1 and 100 is 100%, therefore all potential variations should occur (and occur in equal proportions, but that's a separate issue).

      Similarly, if x = ∞, then lim x->∞=∞, which is why randomized evolution is impossible--too ridiculously improbable to be considered in any way rational.

      Real "integrative" (lightform) evolution accounts for the progression from, say, fish to amphibians to bipedal air-breathing apes, whereas randomized mutation offers only faith.


    3. (Btw, this link isn't really the best as to this particular topic, where x is a range rather than an integer, but if you haven't done limit functions in a while, it might be worth glancing at.)

    4. You're discussing the process as if the transition between a finned and limbed animal involves the deletion of all the genetics involved in the fin and the entirely new creation of limbs from nowhere. Is that an accurate description of what you think evolutionary theory involves?

    5. No, not the "deletion" of the fins (or humans having, tailbones). Rather, in a random spread, there should be a majority of offspring developing sturdy new land-dwelling limbs, but in the wrong places. Because we don't see the majority (we see, instead, transitory species akin to mudskippers), we have proof of progress, but not of randomization.

    6. Why should the new limbs not be where the fins were, with slow changes to the anatomy?

    7. They should be! That's why that's what the fossil record shows. That's the efficient, proper way of developing a fish into a frog into a horse.

      Under a randomized scheme, the fossil record would show not only mutations to pre-existing appendages (say, fins into legs), but also mutations to different areas of the body.

      Since the appendages make up a much smaller portion of the body's mass and volume than do the parts of the torso where appendages do not connect, a randomized rubric should show evidence of more mutations occurring in those other areas of the body.

      Think of it like a game of "pin the tail on the fish." Or better yet, a piñata. Take a piñata resembling a fish, dangle it from a tree, and give a hundred blindfolded people tiny darts representing microscopic changes to the genetic code.

      Let them all have a random, blindfolded throw. Of the proportion of the darts which hit the fish, how many of the tips of those tiny darts hit:

      1) The fish's central body mass;

      2) The fish's head/face;

      3) The fish's rear/tail;

      4) One of the fish's pre-existing fins?

      (4) Would represent the smallest likely group, yet the fossil record shows only (4), indicating that the participants were not blindfolded, and were not throwing darts, but rather, carefully selecting where to apply the changes.

    8. You don't seem to understand what evolution claims happens.

    9. Your argument seems to suppose that any given skin cell, with all the underlying muscle and bone, could, in a given generation, become a limb (and we should find that failed individual in the fossil record -- but we don't, therefore it is managed).
      And that is simply not what evolution says. Even Darwin noted that "nature doesn't jump", and that's the first approach to this. Gradual change is not the new addendum, it's the initial point.
      There are basic differences in bone structure. That's why yours and my strongest squat takes a different leg position. This variation is even present within genders (as I understand it, we are of different genders). But I don't expect, from evolution, that my children will have a fully functioning leg sticking out of their V6 vertebrae. It's that their joints will be slightly different. If that variation improves their running, then they will carry the genetics for a moderately improved pelvis. (If mammals head back to the water, the pelvis undergoes entropy and fins are more successful, hence whales and dolphins.)
      Variation occurs everywhere. It is the suitability of a given variation that promotes propagation. Small changes to fins propagate as fish start occupying shorelines. Mudskippers are an example of the that interim. It is changes to the existing structure that offers benefit.

    10. You're quite correct--changes tend to be incremental.

      So presume a mudskipper exists. Some kind of mudskipper (an "Alexandra C" from the large chart in the original post) exists, and eventually, it becomes "Rudy," possessing legs. Via a series of incremental changes.

      The distinctions to be made here are that random microscopic changes to physical structure are (1) not immediately a competitive advantage, even if they're headed in the "right" direction, and (2) would occur randomly (duh).

      So, if one mudskipper develops a microscopic amount of additional bone in the "right" place, that has no effect. There is no survivability/mating bonus for having that microscopic change. Perhaps there is no detraction, but there's no immediate bonus from a (literally) microscopic change.

      Once that microscopic change has happened, there is a corresponding loss in efficiency. E.g., for no additional advantage, there's a tiny caloric requirement--it takes more energy to move around the slightly bigger body. And that energy loss is more pronounced the more the evolution occurs.

      So we know that, in order to develop from mudskipper to four-legged creature, it's acceptable for thousands of generations to go by with incremental changes that provide no benefit.

      While some mudskippers are evolving more developed limbs/etc., then, others would be randomly evolving more developed limbs in the wrong places. Random mutations have caused some mudskippers to begin developing limbs from their fins, and others to begin developing limbs from their backs, etc.

      Because we know that the "will be successful" population of mudskippers is able to survive and thrive for thousands of generations with as-yet worthless, calorie-draining attachments. Microscopic nubs might eventually be slightly-visible nubs, and slightly-visible nubs might eventually be proto-legs that could aid in shuffling. Up until that point--the point at which the proto-legs add the tiniest bit of friction to land-based wriggling--those microscopic alterations are nothing but a calorie drain.

      Ergo up until that point, the ability of Alexandra C/mudskipper to survive is not eliminated by the mutation of worthless, calorie-sucking nubs. Ergo other Alexandra Cs developing worthless mutations (on their faces, backs, etc.) would be able to continue developing those mutations, since we know that nature isn't "selecting" them out of the fossil record. They'd be able to continue developing those proto-limbs up until the point that they were visible chunks of worthless bone mass, growing in the wrong place.

      That's what we don't see in the fossil record. We see legs, which supposedly developed randomly over millions/billions of years, but we don't see redundant, pointless limbs on any fossilized specimens. We only see the transitory species that turned out to be successful. We see mudskippers, we see archaeopteryx, we see cro magnon...we don't see mistakes.

      If Earth were septillions of years old, and if our fossil record included an overwhelming majority of gross, partial "mistakes," then we'd have evidence from which to reasonably conclude that evolution had occurred through a randomized process of trial (mutation) and error (natural selection). We don't, though. We see an amazingly fast run of transitory species switching off between each other over just a few billion years.

    11. If mammals head back to the water, the pelvis undergoes entropy--sure. But the fossil record shows no species of pre-entropied pelvis. It shows no species of limbed creatures that returned to the sea, then just happened to maintain their limbs, or their air-breathing lungs, for even a little while. All of the efficient "snipping away" of things that don't fit within an environment occurs so rapidly that there is zero evidence of it happening through random, microscopic changes over the course of thousands of generations. It's almost as though things evolved specifically to perform their functions within a larger integrated network.

  3. The fossil record is not the leading evidence of evolution (although, it's one of the first). We have a way of comparing DNA and how close the DNA of one species is to another. If you draw a family tree (a phylogenetic tree) of that is overlays the tree of life produced by the fossil record almost perfectly. It is from that evidence that we make predictions about the history of the whale and dolphin.

    Let us look at the forelimb of a mudskipper differently. Imagine a bell curve describing some trait of the forelimb of Alexandra C. Bell curves for most species are broad: look at human height or elephant trunk length or the shape and location of a nose on different turtles (relevant for the mammal-returning-to-water conversation). For ease of description, let us say we're talking about length (although the following explanation could be used for many other traits). Those at the bottom of the bell curve have short, stubby fins and find it more difficult to get across the mud. These are the ones that will get to the food on land last and away from predators more slowly. Thus, they reproduce less. Thus there is less genetic information around for stubby-finned Alex Cs.
    The ones in the community who are at the far right of the bell curve (have the longest fins) get away from the predators faster and to the food first, they end up being healthier and thus have more offspring: the genetic information for longer forelimbs propagates.
    Thus, the whole bell curve shifts to the right.

    The same can be done for the shape of the fin (where thin fins are more likely to sink and make moving difficult and more spread out fins are more likely to stay afloat); the joint and musculature around the fin.
    A mudskippers fin includes digits (fingers). If the mudskipper were to enter into an environment where it require dexterity, the fidelity with which the skin represents the skeletal structure would also (likely) be a relevant bell curve.

    1. Exactly. That effect on the range of distribution occurs as the ecosystem stabilizes the mean and the standard distributions among any given range of desirable traits. We see those kinds of relationships across the span of desirable traits, which persist throughout the process because 99.999% of the organisms are producing progressions toward that range, rather than toward a range of badness.

      What tricks most people about the numerology of mercantilist evolution is that they imagine that all incremental microscopic mutations will be instantly beneficial, causing progression to occur via impartial testing. All those incremental changes, though, see positive Terran feedback throughout the process, guided into the standard distribution even when microscopic nubs which happen to sprout in the right place don't prove instantly valuable.

      In that, Terra is the opposite of the western corporation: it takes the long view, guiding the development of "employees" through thousands of generations of "worthless" changes in order to see a payoff at the end, rather than immediately firing 9,999 of the workforce for not being ISO-infinity certified.

  4. Inter-generational variation is less than intra-specie variation. Thus, I'm not sure why your focus is still on microscopic mutations. Microscopic mutations only account for intergenerational variation and this has a lesser effect than intra-specie variation. I'm talking about shifting bell curves, as presented by the whole community. You seem to be talking about intra-familial or intergenerational variation, all of which occurs at a width much narrower than the whole species.
    There will be mutation, of course. And on occasion that will broaden the bell curve giving it more room to move.

    I don't know why you're obfuscating the discussion with economics. I'm not interested in discussing economics.

    1. The vast majority of mutations are microscopic in the sense that they don't affect meaningful (germ-line, if you will) portions of the genetic code. Even of those that do affect germ-line systems, the vast majority are tiny, unnoticeable changes. E.g., a leg doesn't suddenly appear--instead, a tiny lump of cells forms in a certain area (visible to us only via microscope), and over thousands/millions of generations, if enough random mutations occur affecting that area (the area where the previous clump of cells was added), a visible stump may be produced. This stump/nub may then be minutely useful, prompting some element of natural selection to account for stump-possessors being more successful than non-stump-possessors.

      Up until the stump has appeared, though, the changes are (literally) microscopic and of negative worth to any given specimen.

      Re: economics. Do you feel that there is any observable correlation between radical Muslims and violence?

      If your reply is no, that's interesting. If your reply is yes, then you should be able to understand why there is a correlation between randomists and capitalism.

    2. You are ignoring my point about evolution working primarily by natural selection from within the bell curve of antecedent variation; that any likely beneficial mutation will be narrower than the breadth of the bell curve of variation; that mutation only acts to add breadth to the bell curve.
      Evolution acts to alter existing structures. Particular features of a structure become so pronounced or receded that they appear to be new structures, but they are completely analogous to the preceding structure. That is why whales and mudskippers have digits in their skeleton but no actual fingers. That's why horses are said to be walking on the fingernail of their middle finger and have bobbles up their leg (vestigial fingers and toes).
      You seem quite capable of making your hypothesis flexible enough to be compatible with any evidence and explanation offered. But that is telling only of your wont to sophistry, not the strength of your hypothesis. It is a weakness in a hypothesis. What you need is evidence that is uniquely supportive of your hypothesis. And that you seem to be lacking.
      I understand the appeal of thinking you have the answer; that creationists and biologists are wrong and you alone are privy to this special information. But, why not get this theory peer-reviewed and published? Win riches for yourself and knowledge for humanity! Honestly, why not?

      (If it's all the same to you, we'll put a pin in the Islam/violence and evolution/economics relationships. Finish one conversation before we move on).

    3. You said, "[A]ny likely beneficial mutation will be narrower than the breadth of the bell curve of variation..."

      I agree with you. Biological evolution as we see it here tends to build upon existing structures. That is likely to happen, as you put it, because that development (within said bell curve) is not random. Were it random, there would be no bell curve.

      (This one will illustrate this using pictures in a later post.)