Friday, July 25, 2008

Trolling Pharnygula

For some stupid reason I have developed an unhealthy interest with PZ Myer’s Pharyngula blog. It all began when two of my blog entries became the subject of his criticism. I posted replies at #136 and #293 but they were both ignored by him.

I have been tempted to post a lengthy response to his criticism but it’s kind of a waste of time to argue with someone who insists on misrepresenting you and who won’t respond. I did write one blog entry relating to his statement about LINES and SINES but it is hardly a rebuttal. I just wanted to clear up one misconception commonly held by those with only a superficial understanding of software. That blog entry is

Repetitive Seqences Don’t Imply Junk DNA.

If you are visiting from Pharyngula you will probably be most interested in the following posts:

Expelled From Pharnygula

10 Penny Experiment

Thermodynamics and Evolution

Entropy versus Evolution

Fabricated Evidence of Evolution at Balboa Park’s Museum of Man

Professor Neil Strickland vs Pharyngula

The Probability of Information

The Probability of Information - Part 2

The Probability of Information - Part 3

Genomicron -- Simulates mutation and natural selection of genomes

Onion Test -- Answered

Related to the Evolution versus Intelligent Design are the following blog entries about junk DNA. These are the ones that PZ Myers criticized. Since I don’t read intelligent design literature I didn’t realize that junk DNA was at the center of the Evolution versus Intelligent Design controversy until after I had written it. I was simply writing from my perspective as a software engineer.

Junk DNA is a Myth

Most DNA is not junk

You may be interested to know that I am not a Christian, nor do I practice religion in any way. So why did I write these blog entries? Well, I was at work on contract at Microsoft and my office mate made some snide remark about people who believe in Intelligent Design having the equivalent of an eighth grade education. I had pretty much kept my thoughts about this to myself for more than ten years but for some reason I decided to pipe up and said I was one of those people. He said “you’re fired”. He was just kidding, but it reminded me of some of the shit I had to put up with when I was a Christian. Even though I have drifted away from Christian belief my thoughts about evolution haven’t changed so I decided to explore the topic again. Maybe you will be the one to change my mind, but if your best argument is to call me stupid or tell me to “go read a book”, then fuck you. (I didn’t say that. My alternate personality did ;-).

While PZ is gracious enough to allow me to comment my dissenting opinions on his blog he tends to ignore me for whatever reason. Maybe he wants to stay above the fray give his minion hordes debate practice. Who knows? Anyway I have decided to debate a few of them.

Intelligent Designer vs Kel
I think Kel is interesting to talk to because, like me, he is a software developer. This discussion deals with computer simulations of natural selection like Richard Dawkin's Weasel program. In this discussion I point out why these algorithms don't prove anything meaningful about evolution.

Intelligent Designer vs BobC
The psychology of internet debate is kind of interesting. People tend to make all kinds of assumptions about the other persons tone of voice, their feelings and character. When I see this going on I suspect that the person making these assumptions may be projecting their own tone of voice, feelings and character onto the other person. We all project to some extent and it takes quite a bit discipline not to. Unfortunately for BobC I decide to make an example of him. This debate starts off with BobC making a projection at #4 and I call him on at #6. In #65 the truth comes out. BobC isn’t the only one projecting in this exchange. Check it out.

To any Pharnygulites in Seattle (or visiting Seattle). Feel free to contact me for some coffee, friendly debate and a walk around Green Lake or the University of Washington.


At 7:17 AM, July 29, 2008, Anonymous Jason Failes said...

Yes, you should stop trolling.

You add nothing, you derail conversations, and you obviously have no interest in actually studying evolutionary biology, but feel that you somehow have the expertize to critique it.

Biology is not software. It is not engineering, and it is not a coincidence that most ID supporters come from these fields rather than from biology itself. You understand biology-by-analogy to your own occupation rather than biology on its own terms.

If you absolutely need to understand through analogy, I suggest you find an appropriate one and study genetic algorithms. In most cases random variation and selection produce better results than any conscious designer.

There is no reason to believe that similar processes do not happen in nature, nor is there any evidence of any designer conducting genetic engineering on this planet, nor is there any logical reason why a complex designer would predate simpler organisms.

Your own lack of knowledge =/= a hole in nature.

Read up (on evolutionary biology, genetic algorithms, and the entire index of creationist claims), and if you have something to add, come back. Otherwise, don't bother, and don't expect PZ to waste time responding to your long-discredited opinions.

At 1:24 PM, July 29, 2008, Blogger Luke O'Dell said...

Re: The 10 penny experiment.

A much better analogy is to use sticky coins, or coins where one side has the "hook" form of velcro and the other has the "fur" velcro. Now bang the table for a while and see how long it takes for all ten coins to stick together.

You see, your analogy fails in assuming there is no mechanism for the coins to stay together. Natural Selection provides just such a mechanism to DNA/amino acid sequences, etc. to ensure that favourable sequences are more likely to "stick".

Re: Entropy and Evolution

The law that entropy tends to increase only applies to a closed system. Earth is not a closed system, it has a constant external supply of energy from the sun. Therefore entropy cannot be applied to evolution.

At 4:48 PM, November 10, 2008, Anonymous Rickr0ll said...

go to
ID is not a competing theory.
It's not irreducable complexity, it's interlocking complexity, which was predicted by an evolutionary scientist in 1903. Furthermore, it is an Argument from Incredulity, and holds no water.
This stuff is alot heavier than eigth grade level. I won't insult your intelligence

At 1:51 PM, November 11, 2008, Blogger Intelligent Designer said...

Hi Rickr0ll,

I skimmed the Abiogenesis article on Wikipedia. It looks interesting. I'll get back to it when I have more time. Is there any part of it you think I should take special note of?

I have read quite a bit at I don't consider it to be a credible source of information.

At 2:13 PM, November 11, 2008, Anonymous rickr0ll said...

how is talk origins not credible? the Index to Creationist Claims is worth the trip alone! besides they cite everything. you don't have to believe they are credable, just accept that thier sources are.

but on the abiogenisis article, it is all roughl of equal merit because none of the hypothoses are verified yet. see you soon!

At 10:38 PM, November 22, 2008, Anonymous Rickr0ll said...

i see that you still Are trolling pharnygula, yet as much space as you waste there spouting unscientific nonsense, you ignore your own Blog! You never properly dismissed talkorigins, but merely made an argumentum ad authoritatum then proptly left. WELL, i'm waiting!

At 11:20 PM, November 22, 2008, Blogger Intelligent Designer said...

I am not interested in having a silly conversation about the credibility of And you forgot to read the last two lines of this blog entry.

At 1:23 AM, December 01, 2008, Anonymous Rickr0ll said...

i see you take care of your business well Randy. How fortunate that i don't really give a damn about your erroneous take on Biology. Quick question: Where did the aliens come from?

If you delete this comment, that makes you as pathetic as the rest of the creationist morons out there, who instead of addressing issues, sweeps them under the rug and pretends that they heard and saw nothing. Put up or shut up, and as for my preferance, that you man up to your assertions and come back with some evidence. It's all up from here, Randy, unless you want to pretend for a little while longer...

At 2:53 AM, December 11, 2008, Anonymous RickrOll said...

Here- addition of information!

You Are Welcome. Consider it an early Solstice present.

At 6:48 AM, December 11, 2008, OpenID womenintheword said...

He posted your comments, just as I have. Really just makes you look pathetic.


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