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Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking points

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Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking points
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momo666
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Post Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking points

So I have been wasting time trying to talk some sense into a very arrogant theist. I was originally thinking to post a more broad display of his claims regarding the theory of evolution, but it has occurred to me the members whom I need to answer these questions might not be interested in addressing walls of texts. Instead, I think I should refrain myself, for the time being, to one topic. Namely, irreducible complexity. The following is a response from him to someone who said creationists have never been able to substantiate the concept of irreducible complexity. As you can see, there is quite a lot of empty rhetoric so don't feel discouraged by the length of the comment.

>>Creationist: "What a silly thing to say.
It is really incredible to see how committed atheists don’t actually research what they are talking about. Even if you want to disagree, at least do your homework to properly understand the position you want to oppose before you say demonstrably wrong statements like “They have never even attempted to substantiate it”.

In fact they have substantiated it. Scott Minnich’s and others genetic knockout experiments have shown that the bacteria flagellum motor ceases to function if one or more pieces are removed. So, by definition it is irreducibly complex.

This is not even remotely controversial. Not even atheist ID hating biologists question it. Remove a piece and it is broken.

So we know for a fact that there is no simpler form or intermediary step in which the motor could have worked. Therefore there can be no evolutionary path for the motor.

Some atheist biologists and other desperate atheist dead-enders like to misrepresent IR and think if they can find a sub component that has some totally unrelated function that this somehow inexplicably disproves IR. That would be like saying that a nuclear submarine evolved from your IKEA furniture because in both there can be found stainless steel screws. Let me be charitable by saying that’s not really the best logic.

Furthermore, even the best examples they give (the type II secretion system) wouldn’t work anyway because it is at best a devolved system from the earlier flagellum motor. Its gene history shows its younger than the flagellum anyhow. Regardless, it doesn’t solve the problem of IR either way.

It pains me to state the obvious, but this just goes to show that the bulk of ID opposition is from people who don’t actually have any good arguments. All they have is a hatred of God and a desire to denigrate theists, especially christians."

>>>Non-Creationist "Evidence that Michael Behe is either incompetent, a liar, or both. You do need an open mind and the ability to think critically to understand this article, so let's see if you can manage it:"

http://sandwalk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/ ... ge-of.html

>>Creationist: "I’m guessing though that you never really actually read the article, becuase in spite of some minor nit picking, it actually supports Behe. It just questions the degree of difficulty to get multiple mutations.

In fact the author, an ex University Biochemist, actually agrees with Behe that Darwinism is not capable of explaining everything it claims to be able to explain.

He says, and I quote:
“I am not a Darwinist and I don't usually rely on adaptationist explanations for complex phenomena with low probabilities. I'm not a big fan of natural selection.“

He follows up by saying:

“If Behe is simply objecting to a strict Darwinian process as an explanation of chloroquine resistance then I completely agree with him.”

So this supposed refutation of Behe’s claims actually supports him in many ways.

You need to do the right and honorable thing and retract your “liar” claim of Behe."

+ Another point he made about this subject to another person >>Creationist: "Your claim that Dover showed that There is no IC in the flagellar motor is also wrong. They just showed an unrelated syringe system that shared some of the same proteins and base parts. News flash......A syringe is not an acid powered spinning turbine propulsion system. The flagellar motor is indeed IC. The fact that parts of it can be used in other organisms cannot mean that the flagellar motor came from the syringe. Furthermore, all the evidence points to the fact that the syringe is a younger feature. So if anything, it shows “devolution” not evolution. To make your case worse, there is no known way that loose proteins can just self assemble, then somehow create new genetic coding and send it back to the DNA to get passed on for the assembly of future cells and organisms.

Behe is a practicing scientist who has published regularly in peer review journals. Your entire “peer review” argument is just a washed up talking point you picked up from some other atheist crackpot. Newton’s theory of gravity was not peer reviewed. Darwin’s Origin of species and Descent of Man were not published in peer review. Einstein’s theory of relativity was not published in peer review. Watson and Cricks reports on the double helix nature of DNA were not peer reviewed. So if you want to say that something needs to be peer reviewed to be science, you are going to have to discredit the majority of ideas from the most sound and orthodox theories in science. This argument you are repeating carries no weight."
Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:25 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2458Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

What a silly thing to say. It is really incredible to see how committed atheists don’t actually research what they are talking about. Even if you want to disagree, at least do your homework to properly understand the position you want to oppose before you say demonstrably wrong statements...


How ironic.

Committed atheists?

Atheists need to research?

I think a certain Creationist has thereby admitted to not doing his homework.


Scott Minnich’s and others genetic knockout experiments have shown that the bacteria flagellum motor ceases to function if one or more pieces are removed. So, by definition it is irreducibly complex.

This is not even remotely controversial. Not even atheist ID hating biologists question it. Remove a piece and it is broken.


Which is utter hogwash and additively ironic.

No one contends that breaking something results in it being broken. No one disagrees that if you remove bits of a system that works, it no longer works the same or at all. This is an idiot level simplification of the actual claim of irreducible complexity: that complex biological systems cannot evolve by successive small modifications, that because a contemporary system would fail if a piece was removed, then the system could not have evolved without that piece always being necessary.

When your aggressive Creationist can't even formulate their own position honestly, is it any wonder he's so abjectly fucking clueless about everything?


And this...

Behe is a practicing scientist who has published regularly in peer review journals. Your entire “peer review” argument is just a washed up talking point you picked up from some other atheist crackpot. Newton’s theory of gravity was not peer reviewed. Darwin’s Origin of species and Descent of Man were not published in peer review. Einstein’s theory of relativity was not published in peer review. Watson and Cricks reports on the double helix nature of DNA were not peer reviewed. So if you want to say that something needs to be peer reviewed to be science, you are going to have to discredit the majority of ideas from the most sound and orthodox theories in science. This argument you are repeating carries no weight.


Is duplicitous idiocy.

In reality, Behe doesn't publish his delusional religious beliefs in scientific journals because they'd reject them on the grounds of being absent of any fucking science, and all the other historical scientists did, in fact, receive peer-review in numerous ways even if not in the formal modern sense, not least by the top fucking noggins of each generation having a squizz at their work and seeing if it presented any utility.

This kind of bullshit argument strongly suggests that your guy is incapable either of honesty or of reason. Formal peer review for printed publications has evolved over the last century just as magazine distribution, colour reproduction, and editorial quality (amidst dozens of such components) have evolved over the last century. We don't expect Thales to have fucking submitted his ideas to Nature, for fuck's sakes because the magazine didn't exist, and nor did the concept of written peer-review. We do expect MODERN scientists to submit their work for peer review, ergo this wilful flight into history serves no purpose other than to obfuscate reality.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:10 am
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1253Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

>>Creationist: "What a silly thing to say.
It is really incredible to see how committed atheists don’t actually research what they are talking about. Even if you want to disagree, at least do your homework to properly understand the position you want to oppose before you say demonstrably wrong statements like “They have never even attempted to substantiate it”.

In fact they have substantiated it. Scott Minnich’s and others genetic knockout experiments have shown that the bacteria flagellum motor ceases to function if one or more pieces are removed. So, by definition it is irreducibly complex.

I agree, the flagellum is irreducibly complex in the sense that, if you were to remove certain key structures, it would stop working as a locomotion device.

That doesn't mean, however, that it would stop having any functions at all (it could be doing something else than give locomotion), nor does it mean it could not have evolved. Nor does it mean we do not have good evidence it evolved.

We have that. Evidence that the flagellum evolved, and evidence that the flagellum can and does work with key components necessary for motility removed. It just does something else not related to movement.

This is not even remotely controversial. Not even atheist ID hating biologists question it. Remove a piece and it is broken.

As a flagellum that gives motility to the bacterium. Sure.

So we know for a fact that there is no simpler form or intermediary step in which the motor could have worked. Therefore there can be no evolutionary path for the motor.

Bzzzt, this is where the wheels come off.

The fact that it is possible to remove parts of the extant bacterial flagellum that causes it to stop functioning as a flagellum, does not mean it could not have evolved.

For example, it could be the case that in earlier and simpler versions of the flagellum, the other parts were slightly different in a way that compensated for the missing part that later got added. The fact that we can even imagine this means the conclusion "therefore there can be no evolutionary path for the motor." does not follow from the premise "Remove a piece and it is broken [as a flagellum]". It just doesn't follow.

Or it could be that the flagellum had another function than to confer motility to the bacterium. In the classic hypothesis from Nick Matzke 2003, the flagellum was hypothesized to have functioned like a protein export apperatus of some sort.

We actually know of functional but degraded flagella that are missing one or more key parts necessary for bacterial motility. In other words, they are bacterial flagella that have mutated so the parts that make them function as a locomotion device, are missing, yet they still work doing something else. And we know of different species of bacteria with such flagella in various stages of degradation, that are being increasingly adapted to protein transport.

To give an example, in the symbiotic bacteria Buchnera, the bacterial flagellum is missing the filament. The structure that is analogous to the propeller, the long tail that spins in the flagellum and generates movement. The entire rest of the flagellum is still present, but it functions as a membrane protein translocase.

There are several different strains of Buchnera, and they're showing various levels of degradation of their flagella.

See: Charles H, Balmand S, Lamelas A, Cottret L, Pérez-Brocal V, Burdin B, et al. (2011) A Genomic Reappraisal of Symbiotic Function in the Aphid/Buchnera Symbiosis: Reduced Transporter Sets and Variable Membrane Organisations. PLoS ONE 6(12): e29096. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029096

And this is the paper where it was first reported that these bacteria had a reduced version of the flagellum:
Maezawa K, Shigenobu S, Taniguchi H, Kubo T, Aizawa S, et al. (2006) Hundreds of flagellar basal bodies cover the cell surface of the endosymbiotic bacterium Buchnera aphidicola sp. strain APS. J Bacteriol 188: 6539–6543.K. doi: 10.1128/JB.00561-06

Some atheist biologists and other desperate atheist dead-enders like to misrepresent IR and think if they can find a sub component that has some totally unrelated function that this somehow inexplicably disproves IR.

I think that since we know of bacteria with flagella that are missing these key components:

* Flagellin (the "propeller" filament, absolutely critical for motility function)
* Rotor-stator (the axle that connects the filament to the ATP synthase motor, again absolutely critical for motility function)

- Yet they are still functional, some of them just do other stuff than give motility to the bacterium, then the claim that the irreducibly complex nature of the flagellum as a locomotion device, proves it could not have evolved because it would have to pass through nonfunctional intermediary steps, is false. In the most concrete and provably false way it is possible for something to be false: We can show with observations from the real world and laboratory experiments that it is false.

Also, creationists have been arguing that the hook-protein of the flagellum could not have evolved because it's job is to transfer torque to the filament, from the rotor-stator. So if the filament is missing, the hook is nonfunctional. Again, false

See for example:
Snyder LA. et al. Bacterial flagellar diversity and evolution: seek simplicity and distrust it?
Trends Microbiol. 2009 Jan;17(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2008.10.002.


"A glimpse of a simpler system with a simpler function
The flagellar research community received a surprise two years ago from a downsized relative of Escherichia coli, the aphid endosymbiont, Buchnera aphidicola. Although nonmotile, this intracellular bacterium possesses all the genes necessary for hook–basal–body biosynthesis, although it lacks any of the genes for filament assembly, including the gene for flagellin. In late 2006, a group of Japanese researchers showed that the Buchnera cell surface is studded with hundreds of hook–basal–body complexes [7]. These remarkable structures provide a glimpse of a cut-down flagellar system that must have some role other than motility – probably the export of proteins essential to the bacteria–aphid symbiotic relationship. Although the Buchnera system is clearly a derivative of a more complex flagellar apparatus, it illuminates flagellar evolution by providing an example of what a simpler precursor of today’s flagellum might have looked like – a precursor dedicated solely to protein export rather than motility."


These are the same bacteria as reported in the two earlier references. So again the creationist claim is wrong. Proteins which are thought to be nonfunctional without other components present, nevertheless still find functions without those components. The hook still works as part of a membrane protein translocase.

That would be like saying that a nuclear submarine evolved from your IKEA furniture because in both there can be found stainless steel screws. Let me be charitable by saying that’s not really the best logic.

I agree that analogy is bad logic.

Furthermore, even the best examples they give (the type II secretion system) wouldn’t work anyway because it is at best a devolved system from the earlier flagellum motor.

It wouldn't work as a locomotion device, but so what?

There is no reason to suppose it HAD to function as a locomotion device all the way from the emergence of the fist flagellum-related protein, to the emergence of the complete structure of the modern flagellum. That is a straw man.

Its gene history shows its younger than the flagellum anyhow. Regardless, it doesn’t solve the problem of IR either way.

As just discussed, the issue is not whether the flagellum as a locomotion device is irreducibly complex. We agree that it is. The problem is that this doens't mean it could not have evolved.

It pains me to state the obvious, but this just goes to show that the bulk of ID opposition is from people who don’t actually have any good arguments. All they have is a hatred of God and a desire to denigrate theists, especially christians."

Yes yes bla bla bla.

>>>Non-Creationist "Evidence that Michael Behe is either incompetent, a liar, or both. You do need an open mind and the ability to think critically to understand this article, so let's see if you can manage it:"

http://sandwalk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/ ... ge-of.html

>>Creationist: "I’m guessing though that you never really actually read the article, becuase in spite of some minor nit picking, it actually supports Behe. It just questions the degree of difficulty to get multiple mutations.

In fact the author, an ex University Biochemist, actually agrees with Behe that Darwinism is not capable of explaining everything it claims to be able to explain.

He says, and I quote:
“I am not a Darwinist and I don't usually rely on adaptationist explanations for complex phenomena with low probabilities. I'm not a big fan of natural selection.“

He follows up by saying:

“If Behe is simply objecting to a strict Darwinian process as an explanation of chloroquine resistance then I completely agree with him.”

So this supposed refutation of Behe’s claims actually supports him in many ways.

You need to do the right and honorable thing and retract your “liar” claim of Behe."

You have to be aware of quite a bit of history behind the argument between Michael Behe and Larry Moran there. I can't be bothered trawling through it again. Behe has been bullshitting on the topic of the "edge" of evolution for quite a long time, and to anyone interested they can read through the various sandwalk threads on the subject. I can't be bothered recapping all that shit over again.



>>Creationist: "Your claim that Dover showed that There is no IC in the flagellar motor is also wrong.

I agree with him here. Given the definition of irreducibly complexity that he supplied, the flagellum is IC.

But again, that doesn't mean it could not have evolved. It just didn't function as a locomotion device in earlier and simpler stages.

As Matzke writes in his 2003 article on the flagellum:
"1.3. Theory: the evolution of systems with multiple required components
The standard answer to this question was put forward by Darwin. Mivart (1871) argued that the “incipient stages of useful structures” could not have evolved gradually by variation and natural selection, because the intermediate stages of complex systems would have been nonfunctional. Darwin replied in the 6th edition of Origin of Species (Darwin, 1872) by emphasizing the importance of change of function in evolution. Although Darwin’s most famous discussion of the evolution of a complex system, the eye, was an example of massive improvement of function from a rudimentary ancestor (Salvini-Plawen and Mayr, 1977; Nilsson and Pelger, 1994), Darwin gave equal weight to examples of functional shift in evolution. These included the complex reproductive devices of orchids and barnacles, groups with which he was particularly familiar (Darwin, 1851, 1854, 1862). Intricate multicomponent systems such as these could not have originated by gradual improvement of a single function, but if systems and components underwent functional shift, then selection could have preserved intermediates for a function different from the final one. The equal importance of improvement of function and change of function for understanding the evolutionary origin of novel complex systems has been similarly emphasized by later workers (Maynard Smith, 1975; Mayr, 1976). Recent studies give cooption of structures a key role in the origin of feathers (Prum and Brush, 2002), and novel organs (Pellmyr and Krenn, 2002); Mayr (1976) gives many other examples. Computer simulations also show the importance of cooption for the origin of complex systems with multiple required parts (Lenski et al., 2003)."


So the rebuttal against the claim that the system has to retain the same function throughout it's entire evolutionary history was provided already by fucking Darwin himself.

They just showed an unrelated syringe system that shared some of the same proteins and base parts.

Then it's not unrelated, they share a common ancestor, and this shows the system can retain a function other than locomotion, hence simpler functional versions of the flagellum clearly exists. Meaning it is entirely plausible that the flagellum evolved from simpler ancestral versions that functioned in a way similar to the type-III transport apperatues. (No, that doesn't mean the ancestor WAS the modern type-III secretion system, just that it was similar to it and functioned in a similar way).

By the way, the proteins that make up the syringe are homologous to the rod, hook and first adaptor proteins.

News flash......A syringe is not an acid powered spinning turbine propulsion system.

News flash: It doesn't need to be in order to be evolvable.

The flagellar motor is indeed IC.

And as just discussed, that doesn't mean it could not have evolved from simpler functional precursors.

The fact that parts of it can be used in other organisms cannot mean that the flagellar motor came from the syringe. Furthermore, all the evidence points to the fact that the syringe is a younger feature.

We aren't claiming the modern flagellum came from the modern syringe. But it easily could have came from simpler ancestor that in fact did function as a syringe.

Remember kiddo, YOU are the one who is claiming the IC nature of the flagellum means it COULD NOT have evolved. So since YOU are making an in principle argument, an in principle rebuttal is all that is required.

So if anything, it shows “devolution” not evolution.

That's just empty rhetoric.

Let's make that more obvious: Whales evolved by gradually losing their hind legs and by their front legs turning into flippers, of course over hundreds of thousands of generations.

Clearly calling the transition from terrestrial mammals to fully aquatic whales "devolution" is just a vacuous rhetorical trick designed to psychologically diminish the effect of actual evidence for, and the plausibility of evolution.

To make your case worse, there is no known way that loose proteins can just self assemble, then somehow create new genetic coding and send it back to the DNA to get passed on for the assembly of future cells and organisms.

What the flying circus are you talking about mate?

First of all, what is a "loose protein" and what the hell does it have to do with how the flagellum evolved?
Second, what do you mean by "create new genetic coding and send it back to the DNA"?

What is this guy babbling about? It's nonsensical gibberish.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Last edited by Rumraket on Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:24 am
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

TL;DR: read the very last paragraph, the rest is extra information meant to be helfpul.

momo666 wrote:...might not be interested in addressing walls of texts. Instead, I think I should refrain myself, for the time being, to one topic.

Lol

momo666 wrote:"Your claim that Dover showed that There is no IC in the flagellar motor is also wrong. They just showed an unrelated syringe system that shared some of the same proteins and base parts. News flash......A syringe is not an acid powered spinning turbine propulsion system. The flagellar motor is indeed IC. The fact that parts of it can be used in other organisms cannot mean that the flagellar motor came from the syringe. Furthermore, all the evidence points to the fact that the syringe is a younger feature. So if anything, it shows “devolution” not evolution."

This entire paragraph shows a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution as a system that somehow progresses through some linear path from "bad" to "better" to "most evolved".

In reality, evolution doesn't care if something used to be a "syringe system" that accidentally got changed into a system that provides motion (or vice versa). All that matters from the perspective of "could it have happened" is the mutational distance between the two (in this case: small enough). As far as whether the change sticks around, all that matters is if that bacteria is now a better replicator (or at least as good of a replicator) as the other bacteria it's competing with (including nearly identical bacteria without the modified "part").

momo666 wrote:In fact they have substantiated it. Scott Minnich’s and others genetic knockout experiments have shown that the bacteria flagellum motor ceases to function if one or more pieces are removed. So, by definition it is irreducibly complex.

This is not even remotely controversial. Not even atheist ID hating biologists question it. Remove a piece and it is broken.

So we know for a fact that there is no simpler form or intermediary step in which the motor could have worked. Therefore there can be no evolutionary path for the motor.

Some atheist biologists and other desperate atheist dead-enders like to misrepresent IR and think if they can find a sub component that has some totally unrelated function that this somehow inexplicably disproves IR. That would be like saying that a nuclear submarine evolved from your IKEA furniture because in both there can be found stainless steel screws. Let me be charitable by saying that’s not really the best logic.

Furthermore, even the best examples they give (the type II secretion system) wouldn’t work anyway because it is at best a devolved system from the earlier flagellum motor. Its gene history shows its younger than the flagellum anyhow. Regardless, it doesn’t solve the problem of IR either way.

He's equivocating a few different definitions of IC: the first is "something is irreducibly complex if removing a 'piece' 'breaks' it" and the second is "something is irreducibly complex if there is no 'simpler form' or 'intermediary step'" and the third is "something is irreducibly complex if there can be no evolutionary path to it".

Then with these three fuzzy definitions he says removing a 'piece' of a flagellum motor results in it no longer moving the bacteria and therefore it is IC by definition #1, since it is IC by definition #1 then we know that it is IC, and if it is IC then we know by definition #2 that there is no 'simpler form' or 'intermediary step' and therefore it's not possible for this to have evolved and it fits IC definition #3. Altogether this is sloppy reasoning that relies on ambiguous wording and a misunderstanding of how evolution works (especially obvious given his later paragraphs quoted above).

But it is incorrect to equivocate "cannot remove anything without it no longer doing what it does now" (definition #1) with "there isn't a simpler thing that could have been modified into this thing" (definition #2). The former assumes that there is a single linear path of potential change: that of adding "pieces" to a "part" to make that "part" better at what it does. But this ignores a number of other possibilities: altering "pieces", deleting "pieces", parts changing not to be better at what they do but to do something else entirely, etc. Which is to say: that even if removing a "piece" breaks a "part" (and meets IC def. #1) that does not mean that there isn't some simpler "part" (that may have been used for something entirely different) that could have been modified into that "part" (maybe by modifying rather than adding a "piece") (i.e., definition #1 does not imply definition #2, even if you use the same term ("IC") for both definitions).
Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:26 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3479Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Rumraket wrote:
>>>Non-Creationist "Evidence that Michael Behe is either incompetent, a liar, or both. You do need an open mind and the ability to think critically to understand this article, so let's see if you can manage it:"

http://sandwalk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/ ... ge-of.html

>>Creationist: "I’m guessing though that you never really actually read the article, becuase in spite of some minor nit picking, it actually supports Behe. It just questions the degree of difficulty to get multiple mutations.

In fact the author, an ex University Biochemist, actually agrees with Behe that Darwinism is not capable of explaining everything it claims to be able to explain.

He says, and I quote:
“I am not a Darwinist and I don't usually rely on adaptationist explanations for complex phenomena with low probabilities. I'm not a big fan of natural selection.“

He follows up by saying:

“If Behe is simply objecting to a strict Darwinian process as an explanation of chloroquine resistance then I completely agree with him.”

So this supposed refutation of Behe’s claims actually supports him in many ways.

You need to do the right and honorable thing and retract your “liar” claim of Behe."

You have to be aware of quite a bit of history behind the argument between Michael Behe and Larry Moran there. I can't be bothered trawling through it again. Behe has been bullshitting on the topic of the "edge" of evolution for quite a long time, and to anyone interested they can read through the various sandwalk threads on the subject. I can't be bothered recapping all that shit over again.


Just to point something out, Larry Moran is a champion of drift over selection. That is what he means when he says he is not a Darwinist and does not usually rely on adaptationist explanations. He accepts evolution and universal common descent. Always remember that natural selection is not synonymous with evolution or evolutionary theory. Without diving any deeper, it appears the creationist is engage in quote-mining ( :shock: ).
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
(_'--------------------'_)
(_.--------------------._)
Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:16 pm
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borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

borrofburi wrote:But it is incorrect to equivocate "cannot remove anything without it no longer doing what it does now" (definition #1) with "there isn't a simpler thing that could have been modified into this thing" (definition #2). The former assumes that there is a single linear path of potential change: that of adding "pieces" to a "part" to make that "part" better at what it does. But this ignores a number of other possibilities: altering "pieces", deleting "pieces", parts changing not to be better at what they do but to do something else entirely, etc. Which is to say: that even if removing a "piece" breaks a "part" (and meets IC def. #1) that does not mean that there isn't some simpler "part" (that may have been used for something entirely different) that could have been modified into that "part" (maybe by modifying rather than adding a "piece") (i.e., definition #1 does not imply definition #2, even if you use the same term ("IC") for both definitions).


This morning it occurs to me to note that mutation is not limited to operating on a single "piece" at a time. IC is fundamentally a statistical argument, and while it's pretty accurate to say that it's unlikely that the genetics for all the "pieces" for the flagellum mutated into existence at the same time, it's not as strong an argument to say that it's impossible for two "pieces" to have both been modified at the same time.
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:01 pm
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Rumraket
I agree, the flagellum is irreducibly complex in the sense that, if you were to remove certain key structures, it would stop working as a locomotion device


Many creationists and evolutionists tend to misunderstand the point that MB was making. The point is that in order to create a flagellum an eye or some other complex system, many independent things would have had to evolve at the same time in order to have a benefit that would be selected by natural selection.

For example; if you what to evolve a bunch of skin in to something that can detect light (a proto eye) you would need a system that would allow the organism to detect the light + an other independent system that would cause a reaction when light is detected. Each of these systems by themselves is useless and won’t have any selective benefit, hence both systems would have had to evolve at the same time in the same organism.

This may or may not be a good argument, who knows, but it would be nice if evolutionists address the actual argument and not a strawman.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Last edited by leroy on Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:43 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

leroy wrote:
Rumraket
I agree, the flagellum is irreducibly complex in the sense that, if you were to remove certain key structures, it would stop working as a locomotion device


Many creationists and evolutionists tend to misunderstand the point that MB was making. The point is that in order to create a flagellum any eye or some other complex system, many independent things would have had to evolve at the same time in order to have a benefit that would be selected by natural selection.

For example; if you what to evolve a bunch of skin in to something that can detect light (a proto eye) you would need a system that would allow the organism to detect the light + an other independent system that would cause a reaction when light is detected. Each of these systems by themselves is useless and won’t have any selective benefit, hence both systems would have had to evolve at the same time in the same organism.

This may or may not be a good argument, who knows, but it would be nice if evolutionists address the actual argument and not a strawman.

There are many variations on "this thing looks really complicated and I can't imagine anything that could have been modified into it, therefore it popped into existence all at once because god willed it so" but they all share the same fundamental flaws.

Moreover it's hard to call talking about the literal best argument they could bring forth into the court system as "adressing a strawman".
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:09 pm
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

borrofburi wrote:There are many variations on "this thing looks really complicated and I can't imagine anything that could have been modified into it, therefore it popped into existence all at once because god willed it so" but they all share the same fundamental flaws.

Moreover it's hard to call talking about the literal best argument they could bring forth into the court system as "adressing a strawman".


The thing is that the burden proof is on you. We already know that intelligent designers can create multiple independent systems at the same time.

What you have to do is provide an alternative explanation on how could multiple independent systems have arisen at the same time. If you fail to provide an alternative explanation then designs remains as the only possible alternative.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:54 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

leroy wrote:
borrofburi wrote:There are many variations on "this thing looks really complicated and I can't imagine anything that could have been modified into it, therefore it popped into existence all at once because god willed it so" but they all share the same fundamental flaws.

The thing is that the burden proof is on you. We already know that intelligent designers can create multiple independent systems at the same time.

What you have to do is provide an alternative explanation on how could multiple independent systems have arisen at the same time. If you fail to provide an alternative explanation then designs remains as the only possible alternative.

The argument for ID from IC needs to meet its burden or proof
Incorrect, the burden of proof is on those making the argument for ID from IC (note: they are making the argument). You incorrectly think the argument is sound (technical term) and therefore some sort of anti-proof needs to be supplied. But the argument for ID from IC is both not valid (technical term) and relies on premises that still need to be established (and is thus not sound (technical term)). Which is to say that the argument for ID from IC has yet to meet its burden of proof.

Normally I strive for short and to the point replies, but I suspect I can predict your response, so let's look at both how the argument for ID from IC has yet to meet its burden of proof and is also not valid (technical term) (and thus isn't sound (technical term) due to two different failures).

To do that, let's start by accurately describing the argument and in so doing make its reasoning explicit so that we can avoid sloppy reasoning that might allow us to come to incorrect conclusions. I'm going to leave a few pieces of ambiguity in it (e.g., "part") but those ambiguities help it (which is probably why I have never seen the argument without them), and thus the reasons the argument isn't sound will remain regardless of how those ambiguities are resolved. If you think my summary is inaccurate, please provide alternative premises and conclusions.

The argument for ID from IC
The argument for ID from IC: Even if the processes scientists claim to see in nature right now (e.g., genetic change over time (via various mechanisms), natural selection, and speciation) are capable of explaining much of the diversity of life, there are biological "parts" that must have been designed by an intelligence because:
Premise A: intelligent designers can create multiple independent systems at the same time
Premise B: multiple independent systems arose at the same time to form (at least one) biological "part"
Conclusion Z: therefore an intelligent designer did it

Premise B needs to be established
The first problem is that you need to prove Premise B (multiple independent systems arose at the same time). Unfortunately, pointing at something and saying (and I quote myself here) "this thing looks really complicated and I can't imagine anything that could have been modified into it" does not prove Premise B. It doesn't prove Premise B even if you also add "and look, this particular possible modification pathway can't have worked" (as was done for bacterial flagellum with the specific pathway of "adding 'pieces'").

Establishing Premise B requires finding a "part" and proving that all possible modification pathways won't work, otherwise you're either back to an argument from incredulity and a lack of imagination or you're incorrectly generalizing ("this particular potential modification pathway can't work, therefore no pathways at all work").

Premise A is insufficiently strong for Conclusion Z to follow
The second problem is that Conclusion Z does not follow even if Premise A and Premise B are true. You instead need a much stronger version of Premise A, let's call it Premise M: the only possible way for multiple independent systems to arise at the same time is if an intelligent designer created them. I know that you'll take this as a given, but the reality is that you cannot prove Premise M. The best argument for Premise M is incredulity: I know of one way this can happen and I can't imagine any other way this can happen, therefore the one way I know it can happen must be the only way it can happen. But a lack of imagination is not proof. Knowing something can happen one way does not mean that's the only way it can happen, even if it is the only way you're aware of.

Now, we could strengthen the argument for ID from IC by replacing Premise A with Premise M, and you'll finally have a valid argument (i.e., if B and M are true than Z is true) with two premises that need proof. The reason you never see the argument in that form is because it then becomes exceedingly clear that the whole thing is an argument from incredulity and a lack of imagination.
Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:20 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Greetings,

leroy wrote:
Rumraket
I agree, the flagellum is irreducibly complex in the sense that, if you were to remove certain key structures, it would stop working as a locomotion device

Many creationists and evolutionists tend to misunderstand the point that MB was making. The point is that in order to create a flagellum an eye or some other complex system, many independent things would have had to evolve at the same time in order to have a benefit that would be selected by natural selection.

For example; if you what to evolve a bunch of skin in to something that can detect light (a proto eye) you would need a system that would allow the organism to detect the light + an other independent system that would cause a reaction when light is detected. Each of these systems by themselves is useless and won’t have any selective benefit, hence both systems would have had to evolve at the same time in the same organism.

This may or may not be a good argument, who knows, but it would be nice if evolutionists address the actual argument and not a strawman.

This has been explained to you in a number of threads already, leroy.

In this thread, the evolution of the eye was explained.

I also addressed it here, and here, although - again - the whole topic is relevant here.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:46 am
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

borrofburi wrote:
The argument for ID from IC needs to meet its burden or proof
Incorrect, the burden of proof is on those making the argument for ID from IC (note: they are making the argument). You incorrectly think the argument is sound

.


ok I accept the burden,

I have to show that the argument is sound,

borrofburi wrote:Premise A:only intelligent designers can create multiple independent and codependent systems at the same time
Premise B: multiple independent and codependent systems arose at the same time to form (at least one) biological "part"
Conclusion Z: therefore an intelligent designer did it


that is a fare representation of the argument, I added some details (in red)

some definitions for clarification

Independent > two or more systems are independent when they depend on different parts, each system has it s own "parts"

Codependent > two or more systems are codependent when they need each other to function
.
Function > In this context, something that would be selected by natural selection

so with these definitions systems can be independent and codependent at the same time. for example DVDs and DVD players are independent because each has its own parts but they are codependent because one is useless without the other.

borrofburi wrote:Premise A is insufficiently strong for Conclusion Z to follow


well the "only" in red letters that I added solve the problem.

borrofburi wrote:Premise B needs to be established


Not necessarily, if we both agree with "premise B" we can simply grant it as true and focus our attention in premise 1

so I will ask you directly.

Do you grant that the ability to detect light and the ability to react when light is detected "evolved" (or came in to exístanse) at the same time?

Do you grant that these 2 abilities are independent and codependent?


if not, why not?
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:34 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Premise A+
leroy wrote:
borrofburi wrote:Premise A is insufficiently strong for Conclusion Z to follow

well the "only" in red letters that I added solve the problem.

borrofburi wrote:You instead need a much stronger version of Premise A, let's call it Premise M: the only possible way for multiple independent systems to arise at the same time is if an intelligent designer created them. ... We could strengthen the argument for ID from IC by replacing Premise A with Premise M, and you'll finally have a valid argument (i.e., if B and M are true than Z is true) with two premises that need proof.

borrofburi wrote: I know that you'll take [Premise M] as a given, but the reality is that you cannot prove Premise M. The best argument for Premise M is incredulity: I know of one way this can happen and I can't imagine any other way this can happen, therefore the one way I know it can happen must be the only way it can happen. But a lack of imagination is not proof. Knowing something can happen one way does not mean that's the only way it can happen, even if it is the only way you're aware of.

I see you went with the option of strengthening the premise. Let's call your refined version Premise A+, which you do indeed take as a given. But I don't accept it as a given; please justify Premise A+ without any arguments from incredulity: i.e., that "intelligent design" is the only way you know of and that you can't think of any other way does not prove Premise A+ anymore than being incredulous at the idea that the world is roundish because people would fall off the bottom proves the world is flat.

Premise B+
leroy wrote:
borrofburi wrote:Premise B needs to be established

Not necessarily, if we both agree with "premise B" we can simply grant it as true and focus our attention in premise 1

so I will ask you directly.

Do you grant that the ability to detect light and the ability to react when light is detected "evolved" (or came in to exístanse) at the same time?

Do you grant that these 2 abilities are independent and codependent?


if not, why not?

I don't grant you Premise B+. Why not? Because you've provided no evidence, only alleged that it exists. You say that the ability to detect light and the ability to react to things came into existence at the same time, and you say that they are independent and codependent systems, but I have no evidence that these things are true.
Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:07 am
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1253Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

leroy wrote:
Rumraket
I agree, the flagellum is irreducibly complex in the sense that, if you were to remove certain key structures, it would stop working as a locomotion device


Many creationists and evolutionists tend to misunderstand the point that MB was making.

Maybe they do, but that isn't what transpired in this thread. We understand the point very well, and can explain why it is wrong.

The point is that in order to create a flagellum an eye or some other complex system, many independent things would have had to evolve at the same time in order to have a benefit that would be selected by natural selection.

But this is the problem with the argument from IC, because they would NOT have to evolve at the same time. One thing can be added at a time, and each step can have some function, it just doesn't have to be the particular function that the whole system ends up having. The individual parts of the flagellum had other functions as it evolved. And as the structure grew larger and more complex, the function changed along the way.

For example; if you what to evolve a bunch of skin in to something that can detect light (a proto eye) you would need a system that would allow the organism to detect the light + an other independent system that would cause a reaction when light is detected. Each of these systems by themselves is useless and won’t have any selective benefit, hence both systems would have had to evolve at the same time in the same organism.

But those systems are NOT useless by themselves, that is the point. There are incremental steps to each of them where they give some function and benefit to the organism. Down to the level of individual proteins. The first opsins (the proteins sensitive to light) evolved from G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) probably over a billion years ago. The proteins were already transmembrane signal transductors that reacted chemically to the surroundings. So when mutations changed them to senstitivity to light, the pathways to take advantage of this were already present.

This may or may not be a good argument, who knows, but it would be nice if evolutionists address the actual argument and not a strawman.

The actual argument has been addressed thousands of times before. Philosopher Paul Draper wrote an article and got it published in a philosophical journal of religion, which was so devastating of Irreducibly Complexity, that famous christian apologist Alving Plantinga was persudaded IC was a terrible argument. Here's a review of Paul Drapers total and utter annihilation of IC: Behe's Darwin's Black Box: Paul Draper's Critique. That was back in 2002. It is now 2018 and Michael Behe has never responded to it. It doesn't even get much into the biology, it mostly just addresses the deeply flawed and invalid logic in Behe's argument.
"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Last edited by Rumraket on Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:30 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

I addressed all of these here, including the fact that irreducible complexity is a prediction of evolutionary theory, rather than a problem for it.

But No Simpler
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:17 pm
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

borrofburi wrote:
I see you went with the option of strengthening the premise. Let's call your refined version Premise A+, which you do indeed take as a given. But I don't accept it as a given; please justify Premise A+ without any arguments from incredulity: i.., that "intelligent design" is the only way you know of and that you can't think of any other way does not prove Premise A+ anymore than being incredulous at the idea that the world is roundish because people would fall off the bottom proves the world is flat.



Premise A+ is probably true because design is the only known mechanism that would create multiple independent and codependent systems at the same time. To me that is sufficient justification.

This is analogous to "Bats (Chiroptera) are probably the only order of mammals that can fly because no one has ever seen a flying mammal from an other order.

sure you can always appeal to the possibility of finding a flying mouse in some distant jungle, but until proven otherwise it would be perfectly reasonable to conclude that bats are the only mammals that can fly. In other words the burden proof is on the guy who claims that there is a flying mouse in the same way the burden proof is on the guy who affirms that there is an other mechanism that would create multiple independent and codependent systems at the same time.


so sure I cant prove with 100% certainty that design is the only mechanism, nor that bats are the only flying mammals, but it is reasonable to grant both as statements that are probably true.


I don't grant you Premise B+. Why not? Because you've provided no evidence, only alleged that it exists. You say that the ability to detect light and the ability to react to things came into existence at the same time, and you say that they are independent and codependent systems, but I have no evidence that these things are true.


that is very easy to prove, detecting light is useless if the organism doesn't react when light is detected, therefore if you don't have both systems at the same time, the organism would not have any selective advantage, and therefore natural selection would not select them.

so at least if you are an evolutionists (selectionist) you have to grant that both systems evolved at the same time.

we know that both systems are independent because it has been observed.

you go to bed at night and wake up during the day because your endocrine system produces specific proteins and hormones. (this is an example of reacting when light is detected) this system is independent form your eyes, but you need both the eyes and the endocrine system for the whole thing to work.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:33 pm
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Rumraket wrote:
But this is the problem with the argument from IC, because they would NOT have to evolve at the same time. One thing can be added at a time, and each step can have some function, it just doesn't have to be the particular function that the whole system ends up having. The individual parts of the flagellum had other functions as it evolved. And as the structure grew larger and more complex, the function changed along the way.


granted if you show that each step required to make an eye or a flagellum would have a benefit the argument from IC would be falsified.

so what are the steps required to evolve an eye or a flagellum ? obviously by definition each step has to be represented by a mutation or some other genetic change achievable in 1 generation and of you are a selectionist each step (or at least most of them) has to be beneficial.



But those systems are NOT useless by themselves, that is the point. There are incremental steps to each of them where they give some function and benefit to the organism. Down to the level of individual proteins. The first opsins (the proteins sensitive to light) evolved from G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) probably over a billion years ago. The proteins were already transmembrane signal transductors that reacted chemically to the surroundings. So when mutations changed them to senstitivity to light, the pathways to take advantage of this were already present.


ok so can you show that GPCRs can evolve in to functional opsins in a step by step basis? or are you saying that this change occurred after a single step?


The actual argument has been addressed thousands of times before. Philosopher Paul Draper wrote an article and got it published in a philosophical journal of religion, which was so devastating of Irreducibly Complexity, that famous christian apologist Alving Plantinga was persudaded IC was a terrible argument. Here's a review of Paul Drapers total and utter annihilation: Behe's Darwin's Black Box: Paul Draper's Critique. That was back in 2002. It is now 2018 and Michael Behe has never responded to it. It doesn't even get much into the biology, it mostly just addresses the deeply flawed and invalid logic in Behe's argument.



sure in theory you can build complex systems on step by step basis, as long as each step is selectively positive and achievable in 1 generation.

the problem is that at least in this planet, some changes require multiple steps to occur at the same time in order to have a benefit that would be selected. Behe provides real life example of such changes while their critiques always deal with hypothetical scenarios.

a real life example would be chloroquine resistance (https://evolutionnews.org/2014/07/so_michael_behe/)


the point that I am making is that even though it is possible to build complex systems with evolutionary algorithms, the particular systems that we observe in the real world cant.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:00 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Greetings,

Still repeating the same mistakes, leroy.

As I pointed out in the other linked thread:

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

leroy wrote:what you have to so is provide a step by step path, each step has to be positive and each step has to be achievable in 1 generation. ..........

This has been explained to you in any number of threads in which you've taken part - yet you still trot out the same thing.

"...each step has to be positive..."

No, it doesn't.

The majority of mutations are NEUTRAL.

Lethal mutations are dropped from the gene pool, because they invariably kill the organism or its offspring.

Non-lethal mutations - positive and neutral - are passed on because they either benefit or, at least, have no effect either way on descendants.

"...each step has to be achievable in 1 generation..."

No, it doesn't.

Mutations - relevant or not to a given trait - can occur in any order.

Generations can go by before a relevant mutation occurs, even though other mutations are occurring.

However long it takes, when all the relevant mutations occur, you have a given trait.

A photo-sensitive skin-cell without a brain to process it may make no sense to you - but it's just a mutation, as long as it's not lethal, it gets passed on.

Kindest regards,

James

And it's worth noting hackenslash's follow-up post as well:

hackenslash wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

This has been explained to you in any number of threads in which you've taken part - yet you still trot out the same thing.

"...each step has to be positive..."

No, it doesn't.

The majority of mutations are NEUTRAL.

I'd go a bit further than this for clarity. Which point on the spectrum between beneficial and deleterious isn't a function of the mutation, it's entirely a function of the environment the new allele finds itself in, whether that be the environment of the genome or the ecological environment the organism resides in.

I like to use the sickle gene to highlight this because, in some environments, this allele provides some benefit that can be selected for, because it provides increased resistance to malaria. Outside those environments, it's mildly deleterious. Only mildly because, in the majority of cases, sickle-cell anaemia doesn't manifest until after reproductive age. Also, it requires two copies of the gene, one from each parent, to express.

Thus, while we see sickle-cell anaemia as bad, the gene that codes for it is actually mildly beneficial because of the protection it gives in helping some to survive to reproductive age.

Thus, the entire beneficial/deleterious dichotomy is not only false, because it's fuzzy rather than binary, but it isn't a function of the allele. Mutations in and of themselves have no place on the beneficial/deleterious spectrum, because that spectrum is a function of the environmental backdrop.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:39 pm
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Dragan:
in my replies I am assuming that borrofburi and Rum are selectionists, this is that they adopt the view that the eye, the flagellum and other complex organs evolved from simpler systems, mainly by positive mutations and natural selection.

If I am wrong they can always correct me and explain what there actual view is (neutralism maybe)
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:21 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Irreducible complexity and other creationist talking poi

Greetings,

leroy wrote:Dragan:
in my replies I am assuming that borrofburi and Rum are selectionists, this is that they adopt the view that the eye, the flagellum and other complex organs evolved from simpler systems, mainly by positive mutations and natural selection.

If I am wrong they can always correct me and explain what there actual view is (neutralism maybe)

Whether they are or not is beside the point I'm making.

You are still repeating the same errors - despite having been corrected multiple times over the course of your time here.

You still claim that changes must be beneficial; that they must have occurred at the same time; that they must occur in one generation.

None of these are correct - as you've been told by all of us.

Yet you keep trotting them out.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:20 pm
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