"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

My Photo
Location: Australia

I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.


Beepbeepitsme has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts.

Subscribe to BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Richard Dawkins Stands Up

Professor Richard Dawkins

"Time to Stand Up" by Richard Dawkins from Stardust Musings and Thoughts for the Freethinker: Time to Stand Up

"My respect for the Abrahamic religions went up in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th. The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as I watched the "Day of Prayer" in Washington Cahedral, where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place: religion.

It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say "Enough!" Let our tribute to the dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe."

Bravo Richard




Anonymous Jeff said...

Dawkins credibility as 'Darwin's Rottweiler' flew out the window when he failed to give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome. Understandable considering the answer proves that the theory of evolution is flawed.

14/6/06 11:59 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Firstly, I have made no claim for Dawkins to be considered "Darwin's Rottweiller." (Thank you for the beginning of your comment being as usual a strawman argument.)

Secondly, The ability of a single person to answer a question is largely irrelevant. The scientific literature is rife with examples of information increasing.

15/6/06 12:56 am  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Never heard of "Junk DNA", have you Jeff. Might wanna take some genetics classes, or at least read the news, before saying silly things in public.

Oh, and look up flawed while you're at it. Evolution isn't dogma, to be obeyed regardless of new discoveries. It's an {ahem} evolving branch of scientific endeavour, which accurately describes biological probabilities. The facts which led Darwin to develope the Theory of Evolution have only accumulated exponentially over the decades, thus the theory still remains valid.

You could ask God, if It were anything but whatever you want to say It is. (I'm not a god-hater; Just a guy who gets a li'l ticked off with folks who don't know what they're talking about acting as if they do on other peoples' time.)

Have a Beauty Day, eh!

15/6/06 2:07 am  
Blogger Jon Cox said...

I love the pictures you post & I still absolutely love your layout! :o)

15/6/06 3:01 am  
Anonymous Jeff said...

"The scientific literature is rife with examples of information increasing."

Really? All the more reason, I find it hard to fathom that such a distinguished atheist as Dawkins wouldn't have been able to give an example.

michaelbains: You have failed to answer the question that I posed. Please stop wasting my time with your nonsense.

15/6/06 11:38 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE Jeff:

Firstly: The ability of a single person to answer a question is largely irrelevant. Dawkins realised at the last moment that he was dealing with a creationist. From that moment, he decided that a scientific discussion would be impossible, so I don't blame him for not responding.

Remember, Jeff, you are the one claiming that it is impossible to see atoms, so if your science knowledge is that out of date, I am not surprised about your lack of knowledge in other areas.

By the way, I don't claim to be an expert in science, but even if I cannot answer any or all of your questions, it does NOT make a thunder god, a volcano god, yehwah or Tikkitikkitembo more plausible.

Secondly: It is hard to understand how anyone could make this claim, since anything mutations can do, mutations can undo. Some mutations add information to a genome; some subtract it. Creationists get by with this claim only by leaving the term "information" undefined, impossibly vague, or constantly shifting. By any reasonable definition, increases in information have been observed to evolve.

We have observed the evolution of 1.increased genetic variety in a population
2.increased genetic material 3.novel genetic material
4.novel genetically-regulated abilities

If these do not qualify as information, then nothing about information is relevant to evolution in the first place.

A mechanism that is likely to be particularly common for adding information is gene duplication, in which a long stretch of DNA is copied, followed by point mutations that change one or both of the copies.

Genetic sequencing has revealed several instances in which this is likely the origin of some proteins.

For example:
Two enzymes in the histidine biosynthesis pathway that are barrel-shaped, structural and sequence evidence suggests, were formed via gene duplication and fusion of two half-barrel ancestors (Lang et al. 2000).
RNASE1, a gene for a pancreatic enzyme, was duplicated, and in langur monkeys one of the copies mutated into RNASE1B, which works better in the more acidic small intestine of the langur. (Zhang et al. 2002)

Yeast was put in a medium with very little sugar. After 450 generations, hexose transport genes had duplicated several times, and some of the duplicated versions had mutated further. (Brown et al. 1998)

The biological literature is full of additional examples. A PubMed search (at on "gene duplication" gives more than 3000 references.

According to Shannon-Weaver information theory, random noise maximizes information. This is not just playing word games. The random variation that mutations add to populations is the variation on which selection acts.

Mutation alone will not cause adaptive evolution, but by eliminating nonadaptive variation, natural selection communicates information about the environment to the organism so that the organism becomes better adapted to it.

Natural selection is the process by which information about the environment is transferred to an organism's genome and thus to the organism (Adami et al. 2000).

The process of mutation and selection is observed to increase information and complexity in simulations (Adami et al. 2000; Schneider 2000).

16/6/06 12:47 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Jeff: Now go back to reading answeringgenesis and be a good boy.

16/6/06 12:49 am  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Question: What do all of the following conditions have in common?

Down Syndrome
Genetic Disorders
Birth Defects
Sickle Cell Anemia
Cystic Fibrosis

They are all examples of observable mutations in humans.
Now show me an example of a mutation in humans that was beneficial?

17/6/06 12:40 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE Jeff:
Examples of Beneficial Mutations and Natural Selection

Examples of Beneficial Mutations in Humans

Sickle Cell Anemia and Other "Good" Mutations of Evolution
by David N. Menton, Ph.D.

In areas where malaria is prevalent it turns out to be favorable because people with sickle shaped blood cells are less likely to get malaria from mosquitoes.

Only a small percentage of mutations cause genetic disorders—most have no impact on health or development. For example, some mutations alter a gene’s DNA base sequence but do not change the function of the protein made by the gene.

A small percentage of mutations have a positive effect. These mutations lead to new versions of proteins that help an organism and its future generations better adapt to changes in their environment.
For example, a beneficial mutation could result in a protein that protects the organism from a new strain of bacteria.

Q: Doesn't evolution depend on mutations and aren't most mutations harmful?
A: No. Most mutations are neither harmful nor helpful.

Beneficial mutations are commonly observed.
1. Mutations have given bacteria the ability to degrade nylon (Prijambada et al. 1995).
2. Plant breeders have used mutation breeding to induce mutations and select the beneficial ones (FAO/IAEA 1977).
3.Certain mutations in humans confer resistance to AIDS (Dean et al. 1996; Sullivan et al. 2001) or to heart disease (Long 1994; Weisgraber et al. 1983).
4.A mutation in humans makes bones strong (Boyden et al. 2002).
5. Transposons are common, especially in plants, and help to provide beneficial diversity (Moffat 2000).
6.In vitro mutation and selection can be used to evolve substantially improved function of RNA molecules, such as a ribozyme (Wright and Joyce 1997).

Evaluating plague and smallpox as historical selective pressures for the CCR5-Delta 32 HIV-resistance allele.

17/6/06 1:41 am  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Damn it! :)

17/6/06 6:49 am  
Blogger Stardust1954 said...

Great job, beepbeep!

22/6/06 9:43 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE stardust: I love this quote on your blog.

“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is Whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” Joseph Campbell

22/6/06 11:35 am  
Blogger Stardust1954 said...

beepbeep - That quote is one of my favorites. Another favorite of mine is
by Groucho Marx which says:

"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." (I have had that one on my fridge for more than 20 years.)

22/6/06 2:15 pm  
Blogger franky said...

Sweet quote, thanks for the link on my blog.

24/8/06 1:47 am  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home