A Darwinian theory “proved”

What was actually proved here is that evolutionary biologists a) don’t understand scientody and b) are extraordinarily stupid:

Scientists from Cambridge University, in the U.K., analyzed the relationships between the two, calculating how the number of species per genus and the number of subspecies per species for a number of different animal groups.

Laura van Holstein and Robert Foley used information collected by naturalists to determine the “age” of different species and subspecies to see how they closely they were connected.

They noted a correlation between species variation and subspecies variation. Genera with a higher number of species tended to have species with a higher number of subspecies. This relationship was particularly strong among flying mammals like bats. In comparison, land-based animals showed a positive correlation between species richness and subspecies richness—but this correlation was weaker.

It is often observed, correctly, that correlation is not causation. It is remarkable that Cambridge University scientists don’t understand that correlation is also not conclusive proof. If you’ve paid any attention to the non-science of Neo-Darwinian evolution over the years, you will have noticed that every observation that correlates with the revised theory is a proof of it, while every observation that falsifies it is merely an indication that the revised theory requires further revision.

And while one can’t blame the scientists for the way the media portrays their work, the headline is even more embarrassing.

Scientists ‘prove Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory’

Statistical analysis is not Intelligent Design

Reading the Z-man can be mildly frustrating at times, because he not infrequently starts off on the right path, but then fails to make the vital distinctions that are necessary in order to reach the correct conclusions.

Whenever the subject of Intelligent Design turns up, it is always in the context of believers in ID attacking evolutionary biology. The ID’ers have a list of claims about “Darwinism” that they insist make evolution impossible. A popular one now, for example, is that there is not enough time for natural selection to produce enough gene mutations to explain the fossil record. 

This is incorrect on two levels. First, the popular idea is something that I first articulated some time ago before more recently making my case in detail concerning the time required to account for the fixed genetic mutations that have been observed, and it is not necessarily related to the fossil record. In fact, the fossil record is now almost entirely irrelevant to the TENS debate, in which genetic science is rapidly demolishing the last credible vestiges of Neo-Darwinism.

Second, this specific event-based criticism of Neo-Darwinism is not Intelligent Design and has nothing whatsoever to do with Intelligent Design. I pay no attention to Creationists or Intelligent Design advocates. Their meanderings are of little interest to me. I am but a humble game designer with an educational background in economics, which combination tends to alert me to various statistical anomalies and mathematical improbabilities and impossibilities when I happen to come across them for one reason or another.

Since scientists and political commentators alike seem to struggle with the basic concept, I will attempt to put it into terms simple enough for even a sportsball player to follow.

If we are told that a sportsball team has gained 1,500 yards on the ground and that it averages three yards per rushing play, and we know that the maximum number of offensive plays per game is 84, then we know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the yards reported were not gained in a single 60-minute game. They could not have been. It is impossible.

The math is inexorable. The maximum number of yards that could have been gained on the ground in a single game is 252. It does not matter if a desperate proponent of Neo-Schembechlerism proposes the idea that perhaps the team ran a hurry-up wishbone offense, or that the quarterback was a dual-threat as a runner, or that the team played in a league known for its terrible run defenses, or that one of the halfbacks once ripped off a 99-yard gain, or that NCAA teams have been known to play up to seven overtime periods, or that perhaps five different players touched the ball on the same play. The math is inexorable. The assertion that a sportsball team which averages three yards per carry gained 1,500 yards on the ground in a single game is flat-out impossible. We can say with certainty that it never happened.

In like manner, the number of fixed mutations that are presently observed to distinguish two species, whether we contemplate Man and the Chimpanzee–Human last common ancestor (CHLCA) or the dog and one of the therapsids, are considerably – CONSIDERABLY – in excess of the maximum amount of time that could have passed since the speciation process is believed to have begun. There is only one defense against this straightforward mathematical observation, and that is the idea that enough parallel mutations happened very, very quickly to significantly reduce the average time per fixed mutation to permit it to happen in the intervening time period.

The problem here, of course, is that the numerical gap that needs to be filled is so large that if that were the case, then these mutations would be have to be happening so rapidly, and fixing in parallel so quickly, that we could observe evolution by natural selection happening in real time all the time. Except we don’t, so the Neo-Darwinian is forced to retreat to the absurd scientific equivalent of claiming that he does too have a girlfriend, it’s just that she lives in Canada, and you wouldn’t know her anyhow.

This is not a defense of intelligent design. It is a defense of math and logic, both of which have to be abandoned if one is still to take Neo-Darwinism or the theory of evolution by natural selection seriously.

Has Darwinism really failed?

Yes. Next question…. I’ve demonstrated the mathematical impossibility of evolution by natural selection and others are now hitting it increasingly hard from a variety of other angles:

Has Darwinism really failed? Peter Robinson discusses it with David Berlinski, David Gelernter, and Stephen Meyer, who have raised doubts about Darwin’s theory in their two books and essay, respectively The Deniable Darwin, Darwin’s Doubt, and “Giving Up Darwin” (published in the Claremont Review of Books).

Robinson asks them to convince him that the term “species” has not been defined by the authors to Darwin’s disadvantage. Gelernter replies to this and explains, as he expressed in his essay, that he sees Darwin’s theory as beautiful (which made it difficult for him to give it up): “Beauty is often a telltale sign of truth. Beauty is our guide to the intellectual universe—walking beside us through the uncharted wilderness, pointing us in the right direction, keeping us on track—most of the time.” Gelernter notes that there’s no reason to doubt that Darwin successfully explained the small adjustments by which an organism adapts to local circumstances: changes to fur density or wing style or beak shape. Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether Darwin can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. Meyer explains Darwinism as a comprehensive synthesis, which gained popularity for its appeal. Meyer also mentions that one cannot disregard that Darwin’s book was based on the facts present in the 19th century.

Robinson then asks the panel whether Darwin’s theory of gradual evolution is contradicted by the explosion of fossil records in the Cambrian period, when there was a sudden occurrence of many species over the span of approximately seventy million years (Meyer’s noted that the date range for the Cambrian period is actually narrowing). Meyer replies that even population genetics, the mathematical branch of Darwinian theory, has not been able to support the explosion of fossil records during the Cambrian period, biologically or geologically.

Robinson than asks about Darwin’s main problem, molecular biology, to which Meyer explains, comparing it to digital world, that building a new biological function is similar to building a new code, which Darwin could not understand in his era. Berlinski does not second this and states that the cell represents very complex machinery, with complexities increasing over time, which is difficult to explain by a theory. Gelernter throws light on this by giving an example of a necklace on which the positioning of different beads can lead to different permutations and combinations; it is really tough to choose the best possible combination, more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. He seconds Meyer’s statement that it was impossible for Darwin to understand that in his era, since the math is easy but he did not have the facts. Meyer further explains how difficult it is to know what a protein can do to a cell, the vast combinations it can produce, and how rare is the possibility of finding a functional protein. He then talks about the formation of brand-new organisms, for which mutation must affect genes early in the life form’s development in order to control the expression of other genes as the organism grows.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that TENS is not even remotely scientific. It’s never been more than an unfalsifiable hypothesis. All of the science related to it is circular. Darwinism is not merely outdated and incorrect, it is completely useless for biological engineering and wildly misleading when it is utilized to help interpret the past. (See: evolutionary psychology)

Evolution is out of time

I discussed this a bit on last night’s Darkstream, but because my grasp of the technicalities of how genetics work is close to nonexistent, I didn’t even try to delve into the details. It’s much better to simply read the linked articles; I leave it to those more versed in the subject to determine how valid the reports of the massive gap between the oft-reported 98 percent estimated similarity between the chimp and human genomes and what genetic scientists are actually seeing now as their ability to analyze the various genomes improves.

The first exhibit is an interview with a creationist geneticist, which will no doubt be improperly dismissed by scientistry fetishists with an appeal to the genetic fallacy.

Dr. Tomkins: My motivation started when I arrived here and was given the task of researching the human-chimpanzee similarity issue because people ask about this in churches. They hear the claim that humans and chimps are 98 to 99{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} similar. People want to know if that’s true. Before working here, I’d not investigated that issue. I ran a genome center for over five years and investigated various plants and animals but never the human-chimpanzee comparison. I went into it with an open mind and began reading all the literature on the subject—this started about eight years ago. I looked at the top six scientific publications that proposed a 98 to 99{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} DNA similarity between modern humans and modern chimpanzees.

Brian: A 98 to 99{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} genetic similarity between modern humans and modern chimps—why is that important?

Dr. Tomkins: It’s very important to theoretical evolutionists. The 98 to 99{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} claim is a theory—it’s speculative. They need a similarity that close to have humans and chimps evolve in the alleged three- to six-million-year timespan from a supposed human-chimpanzee common ancestor. Their statistical models need that 98 to 99{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} similarity.

Brian: What did you find in the literature?

Dr. Tomkins: The first thing I noticed when I began reading these articles was that researchers were throwing out a lot of data. They were cherry-picking the areas of DNA between humans and chimps that were highly similar and throwing out areas, including areas that would not line up properly. Areas that don’t line up are dissimilar. When I researched the data, I was coming up with DNA similarities between 81 to 86{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} when I included the dissimilar data. I published a paper on this.1 This is way outside the realm of theoretical evolution.

Brian: What should the evolutionary community say about this?

Dr. Tomkins: They have reacted to a lot of my research since that first paper. There’s a lot of DNA sequence data that is publicly available in databases. I began working with the data myself, and over a number of years I refined my techniques. I used an algorithm developed by evolutionists that turned out to be a bad algorithm—so there’s been a lot of trial and error. But I finally got to the point where I published a paper in 2016.2 It was the most comprehensive study I’ve done yet, and I looked at all 101 data sets that went into originally building the chimpanzee genome.

I sampled 25,000 sequences at random from each of the data sets and then began analyzing and comparing them to human. Over half of the data sets were extremely similar to human, and the other half were extremely dissimilar to human. It appeared the initial chimpanzee genome was contaminated with human DNA, which is a huge problem in genomics.

There’s a number of studies by secular researchers showing that many public DNA databases, from bacteria to fish, have significant levels of human contamination. Human DNA literally gets into the samples. Contamination is a major issue. Human DNA comes from researchers’ fingers, coughing, sneezing, etc., and it gets into the samples. Now researchers are taking greater steps to alleviate that problem. This was especially prevalent back in the earliest phases of genome projects, when the chimpanzee was sequenced.

Brian: Wouldn’t some of the human DNA that made it into the raw data affect the results of any comparison analyses?

Dr. Tomkins: It has a huge effect because the chimpanzee genome is stitched together using the human genome as a scaffold. It’s like a puzzle—researchers used the human DNA “picture on the box” to assemble the chimp genome. The chimp DNA sequences used were all about 750 bases long. Not only was the chimp genome built using the human genome as a guide, it also has human DNA contamination in it, so it showed a lot of similarity from the contamination.

Brian: Even with those factors in place that skewed the data to a more human genome, is it closer to the 98{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} or the 86{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} maximum you observed?

Dr. Tomkins: It’s difficult to determine because it is a flawed product. I based my research on human-chimp similarity on the half of the data sets that appear to have much less human DNA. Based on my work, I’m seeing not more than an 85{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} DNA similarity of chimpanzee to human, and that’s a maximum. It’s probably less than that.

The second exhibit is even more interesting, because an evolutionary biologist who is the Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at the University of London has been seeing much the same thing in his review of the various chimp-human genomic studies:

When assessing the total similarity of the human genome to the chimp genome, we also need to bear in mind that roughly 5{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} of the human genome has not been fully assembled yet, so the best we can do for that 5{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} is predict how similar it will be to the chimpanzee genome. We do not yet know for sure. The chimpanzee genome assembly is less well assembled, so in future we may assemble parts of the chimpanzee genome that are similar to the human genome – this is another source of uncertainty to keep in mind.

To come up with the most accurate current assessment that I could of the similarity of the human and chimpanzee genome, I downloaded from the UCSC genomics website the latest alignments (made using the LASTZ software) between the human and chimpanzee genome assemblies, hg38 and pantro6. See discussion post #35 for details. This gave the following for the human genome:

4.06{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} had no alignment to the chimp assembly
5.18{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} was in CNVs relative to chimp
1.12{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} differed due to SNPs in the one-to-one best aligned regions
0.28{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} differed due to indels within the one-to-one best aligned regions

The percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 84.38{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b}

In order to assess how improvements in genome assemblies can change these figures, I did the same analyses on the alignment of the older PanTro4 assembly against Hg38 (see discussion post #40). The Pantro4 assembly was based on a much smaller amount of sequencing than the Pantro6 assembly (see discussion post #39). In this Pantro4 alignment:

6.29{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} had no alignment to the chimp assembly
5.01{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} was in CNVs relative to chimp
1.11{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} differed due to SNPs in the one-to-one best aligned regions
0.28{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} differed due to indels within the one-to-one best aligned regions

The percentage of nucleotides in the human genome that had one-to-one exact matches in the chimpanzee genome was 82.34{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b}.

Thus the large improvement in the chimpanzee genome assembly between PanTro4 and PanTro6 has led to an increase in CNVs detected, and a decrease in the non-aligning regions. It has only increased the one-to-one exact matches from 82.34{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} to 84.38{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} even though the chimpanzee genome assembly is at least 8{e5873ef35c49232e29b64cdfe957a2c94da2fd9855660473ec610b770b20216b} more complete (I think) in PanTro6.

I have already shown that it is highly improbable that the speed of mutational fixation is sufficient to account for the estimated 98 percent similar relationship which needs to account for 30 million fixed mutations since the Last Chimp-Human Common Ancestor, so this massive increase in the observed difference between the two genomes, which is presently calculated to end up somewhere between 84.38 to 93.43 percent, is enough to not only drive the final nail in the Neo-Darwinian coffin, but wrap it in iron bands, encase it in concrete, and drop it into the Marianas Trench.

Because what we’re seeing here is inept statistical wizardry that involves everything from contaminated evidence to cherry-picked data and the ridiculous assumption that literally ALL of the remaining unknown areas will, in the future, be found to perfectly align with orthodox Neo-Darwinian theory. And the priests of TENS are still desperately clinging to that improbable assumption even though it was only proved to be correct for 25.5 percent of the area that was filled in over the course of the seven years that passed between the publications of PanTro4 and PanTro6.

Of course, no one here will be even remotely surprised to observe that Prof. Buggs’s original 2008 prediction was too low because, in the 2005 paper upon which he relied, the biologists got the math wrong.

Dumbing it down for the biologists

Upon further reflection, I can make the concept even easier to grasp than I did in last night’s Darkstream. The theory of evolution by natural selection can be easily and completely falsified if geneticists are unable to find the GENETIC missing links that, by the very definition of the theory, MUST be there within the 450 years that DNA remains sufficiently viable to map the entire genome.

That’s enough time to establish an average of 495 base pairs that are a) no longer part of the current human gene pool and b) are shared with the Chimp Human Last Common Ancestor. Moreover, the same holds true of modern chimpanzees, assuming that 450-year old chimpanzee DNA can be located.

Essentially, what I’ve done is to observe that evolutionists are now facing the very same problem of the various missing links with genetics that they previously faced with the fossil record, only now they can no longer appeal to the difficulty of finding those fossils. While it is theoretically possible that the Darwinian hypothesis will hold, it is very highly improbable. The important thing is that the theory no longer remains practically unfalsifiable.

The retreat begins

Torin was trying to cover JF’s intellectual surrender and his retreat from math, science, and logic in our debate earlier this week:

You seem quick to dismiss JF but what he said made perfect sense to me. If you want to create your own model OK. But if he is not comfortable with your assumptions also fine. I am confused a bit by the attacks but I guess this is just play. Yet the attribution of “fleeing” and “don’t call it science” are things I would not say unless I was damn sure. And since I have expertise in some fields I know how hard it is to be damn sure

Sir Hamster was having none of it:

“seem” – I watched the debate, and I saw JF making objections to the model that were already accounted for in the model. I knew it the moment he said it in the debate, and Vox confirmed it in tonight’s Darkstream. 

“comfortable” – JF’s feelings as a biologist are not very interesting or relevant when we can demonstrate his objections are irrelevant.  Having watched the debate, JF fled the moment he retreated to rhetorical plays, like when he claimed he was crushing Vox’s dreams. 

Vox was stepping through the construction of a model using generous assumptions favorable to TENS. That’s not a dream, nor was it crushed. TENS advocates should have built their own model. They haven’t, nor do they want to. At this point, the reasonable conclusion is that they don’t want to deal with the questions such a model would bring. 

If you want to call what I said, “attacks”, you should recognize that JF resorted to rhetorical attacks in the debate. It was intellectual surrender. 

Torin tried to maintain a fighting withdrawal:

I saw two different models because of a disagreement on assumptions. Sure there was some rhetoric. But a lot of rhetoric is going on here. This is why I stopped playing team sports. Have a good one.

But Owen Benjamin had the last word in his analogical description of the debate:

Vox: We can measure how tall the trees are. And we know how old they are. So, what is the annual rate of growth?

JFG: No, no, it is time for me to crush your dreams. Can you not see all zee seeds zat are scattered around zee forest? Zere are so many of zem! Meellions and beellions! Now look at zis picture, do you not see how zee acorns, zey have zee different sizes? Zoot alors! Croissant!

The amusing thing is some of JF’s fans are demanding that I debate him again, not 12 hours after insisting that he crushed me.

The reason you don’t want a second debate is clearly because you are a terrible loser and dishonest intellectual. You really think that biologists haven’t gone over these theories of yours before? If you are so certain that all of this is satanic gamma talk perpetuated by 110 IQ mid wits then why not destroy JF and the rest of us in a second debate. Because you are afraid of losing even more face, nobody is fooled by your stammering retort in this video. Man up and put your ideas to the test or admit defeat!

Of course I’m not going to debate him again. As I observed in the Darkstream last night, there is no point, since he’s either too dumb to understand the issue or too dishonest to address it directly. I gave him the chance to refute my case, he whiffed more completely than his followers are even able to understand, and I was able to learn what I needed to learn. Let’s not forget, this was the second time I’ve spoken to him about something that wasn’t his book, and the second time he has completely failed to understand a perfectly straightforward argument.

I’m beginning to wonder if Downe’s Syndrome might be sexually transmitted.

Maximal mutations

As I promised last night, here are the numbers I utilized in last night’s debate on the theory of evolution by natural selection with biologist JF Gariepy:

Years: 3,800,000,000
Years per generation: 0.000071347 (37.5 mins per generation)
Generations per fixed mutation: 1600
Years per fixed mutation: 0.114
Maximum fixed mutations: 33,288,000,916

Source: Sequencing of 19 whole genomes detected 25 mutations that were fixed in the 40,000 generations of the experiment.
NATURE, 2009

NOTE: These 25 mutations were fixed in parallel. The 1600 generations per fixed mutation represent an average. So, JF’s appeal to massive parallel propagation is already accounted for, at least with regards to observed fixation in bacteria.

Years: 200,000,000
Years per generation: 4.3
Generations per fixed mutation: 1600
Years per fixed mutation: 6880
Maximum fixed mutations: 29,070

NOTE: the bottom number represents the maximum number of fixed mutations from Morganucodontid to Homo sapiens sapiens.

Years: 9,000,000
Years per generation: 20
Generations per fixed mutation: 1600
Years per fixed mutation: 32000
Maximum fixed mutations: 125

NOTE: the 9 million represents the latest average estimate for the Chimpanzee-Human Last Common Ancestor, which estimate has ranged from as little as 4 million years on the basis of the molecular clock to 25 million years.

Now, the primary problem with JF’s appeal to parallel gene propagation is that it requires a minimum of 15,000,000 mutations to become fixed in the human population, and another 15,000,000 mutations to become fixed in the chimpanzee population, and to do so in an amount of time that permits 125 fixed mutations in series.

In other words, there must be 120,000 genes simultaneously fixing throughout the entire population in parallel at all times, and the same process has to happen TWICE. This does not strike me as credible, even if we don’t bother questioning JF’s claim that the observed genetic differences between human and chimpanzee lie on a spectrum and that not all humans will possess the 15 million mutations that separate Homo sapiens sapiens from Pan troglodytes and that not all chimpanzees possess the additional 15 million mutations that separate Pan troglodytes from Homo sapiens sapiens.

Or, to put it more simply, there have been 450,000 chimp and human generations since the CHLCA. Based on the number of mutations observed fixing in parallel in the Nature study, that would permit 562 total fixed mutations in that time frame. Which is only 29,999,438 short of the approximate number observed.

I understand that some people are disappointed that I did not drive these points home during the debate, or that I did not answer JF’s rhetoric with any rhetorical killshots of my own. But JF is not, and has never been, my target. I’m hunting much bigger game. That being said, I will analyze his program and make use of it at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Evolution debate tonight

Just a reminder that I’ll be debating biologist JF Gariepy tonight at 7 PM EST on The Public Space. Place your bets; JFG’s fans appear to be of the opinion that I will be, and I quote, “rekt”.

I am, to the contrary, entirely confident that I will be presenting a critique of TENS that is, at the very least, an uncommon one, and possibly even a unique one, seeing as how it comes from an economics perspective. The only question, as far as I can tell, is if I am somehow failing to account for a critical component, otherwise, I see as little likelihood that orthodox biologists will be able respond to my critique any more successfully than free trade economists responded to my labor mobility argument.

UPDATE: buckle up. Here is the link to the debate.

VERDICT: It was a very interesting and useful conversation, in my opinion, more of a mutual exploration than a debate per se. JF quickly understood where I was going and correctly focused on the point that the simple statistical model does not address, which is the rate of parallel propagation of the mutations that become sufficiently fixed to become an ongoing part of the population. What I felt that he failed to grasp was that we were talking about maximum possible propagations, so even the addition of the parallel propagating is unlikely to provide enough padding to allow the theory to fit within the time limits.

And, as I noted, if the parallel propagating is happening as quickly as it is required in order to account for the necessary changes, we should be able to observe it more readily in the laboratory as well as in the wild.

I’ll post the summary of the crude fixed mutation model tomorrow.

The Vox delusion?

My future debate opponent on the topic of evolution, JF Gariepy, addressed one of my recent Darkstreams on evolution last night:

I haven’t watched it, nor will I prior to our debate, because I am presently reading his book, The Revolutionary Phenotype, and I’m much more interested in getting to the core of his assumptions than I am in learning whatever rhetoric is being utilized to analyze what was a very limited and superficial explication of my criticism of TENS.

The book is definitely interesting, but it has given me enough insight into his style of argument that I’m confident I will at least be able to present a case that he will find non-trivial even though we are engaging on intellectual ground that is considerably favorable to him given his academic background and interests.

There will be debate

JF Gariepy of The Public Space and author of The Revolutionary Phenotype mentioned in a recent stream that he would like to debate me on the topic of the theory of evolution by natural selection. I have told him that I am willing to do so after I read his book, and he graciously sent me a copy.

I understand that his interest was piqued by two of my recent Darkstreams:

This isn’t going to happen immediately, since I have to read the book first and I’m not exactly lacking for occupation at the moment. But it will happen, sooner or later, and it should be an interesting opportunity for people on both sides of the question to be exposed to some new ideas and perspectives. Perhaps, as with the free trade debate, we’ll even get a new book out of it.