Reaping the Whirlwind: protein function without stable structure


(Chris Falter) #122

Hi Raymond,

I have to admit I was quite tired of seeing you persist in pressing an inapt analogy (C4 functionality as implemented in old-school, monolithic software systems) while you, by all appearances, were ignoring the biological data that are not cited in ID books.

I have read a lot of YEC and then ID literature in my life, and I used to subscribe to those viewpoints quite enthusiastically. Then I started reading the scientific literature a couple of decades ago, and realized that I had been ignoring the counsel of Proverbs 18:17. When I started to really pay attention to the hard work being done by an intelligent scientific community–many of them devout Christians–I realized that I needed to include biology in the maxim that all truth is God’s truth.

Some of the people who are in this discussion with you have spent literally decades reading the peer-reviewed literature in biology. So, yes, this is a big task. Godspeed on your journey! As you read through the links and resources that have been offered to you in good faith, you will probably have some questions. You could come right back to this forum and get some answers from trustworthy friends like @sfmatheson, @glipsnort and @Bill_II who have passed that way before you.

This is what a discussion about science should do, don’t you think?

I actually discussed this at great length in my previous post. If there was something unclear in my presentation, I would welcome your pointing it out so we can communicate more effectively.

I have not seen you mention anything about evolutionary algorithms, microservice architectures and refactoring changes. Or did I miss something?

Also, your analysis of backwardly compatible changes was basically that they have limitations in the context of old-school, monolithic architectures. Now who’s thinking in a circular manner?

If you mean to ask whether I discern that God is at work in all of creation, including biology, then I affirm that I do.

He is at work in every drop of rain that falls–would you agree with me?

And yet every time I glance at a weather forecast, I also acknowledge the science of meteorology. Now meteorology, I think you would agree, provides a theory of rainfall based entirely on natural forces.

Does this mean that believing the weather forecasts means I reject God’s hand at work? No, I claim; by faith I see God’s providential hand at work in rainfall.

How about you, Raymond? Do you look at weather forecasts, or do you think that faith in God requires you to reject predictions of rainfall that do not explicitly mention God’s hand at work?

Likewise for electromagnetism: The notion that there is a gradient of potential energy available at an electrical outlet, and that electrons will flow across it to my laptop when I plug it in to the outlet, requires no faith in God. And yet by faith I see God’s providential work at hand in electrical currents.

Do you think it is a rejection of God, Raymond, to express belief in Maxwell’s equations by plugging in my laptop to an outlet–even though those equations make no mention of God?

Yours,
Chris Falter


(Raymond Isbell) #123

Thanks for the irenic tone. What’s interesting to me about this discussion is how we look at the same data and yet arrive at different conclusions. You guys know biology and lots of detail that I haven’t looked at (yet), but I have a solid understanding science and engineering. We both agree that the laws of science we observe every day are applicable to everything in the world from spacecraft to the ATP Synthase Enzyme. There’s no magic going on. Of course, God can and does perform supernatural acts such as raising Lazarus from the grave after he had been dead for 3 days. But that’s far from routine observable events. I think we are on the same page as regards basic science. Where we differ is that you look at the cell with its amazing order and complexity and see evolution as the primary mechanism behind the advancement of life as illustrated by the phylogenetic tree. You embrace common descent where life started as a single cell and advanced to homo sapiens. You believe that the evolutionary mechanism of random mutation and natural selection with lots of time is the way it happened and is happening. You claim it’s observable today, and you adduce research results from the scientific community mixed with deductive reasoning as your proof.
The other side of this controversy is that of Intelligent Design and Creationism which looks at the same data but concludes that the order and complexity observed points to design from a super intellect. This conclusion is reached abductively because they admit they don’t have a full set of evidence to prove it. Nonetheless, the order and complexity seen in the cell is very much similar to other instances of design we observe every day, e.g., a building with sharp lines and corners made of composite materials that don’t naturally mix on their own, and electric induction motor that performs work that man is incapable of performing because of a lack of strength, a piece of art such as Mt Rushmore. You could show ten million people a building, an induction motor or Mt Rushmore, and not a single one would conclude that there was even a chance that weather and erosion or other natural processes created them. So, what is it about the cell which is infinitely more elegant and complex than a building, an induction motor, or Mt Rushmore that would give rise to consideration that it was not designed by an intelligent being? The ATP Synthase Enzyme is far more elegant and complex than a humanly design induction motor. Mt Rushmore is far more elegant and complex than a rock face that has been around for millions of years exposed to weather and erosion. No one would ever suspect that the Sears tower in Chicago is really a pile of rocks that is a statistical fluke. Without question, design is clearly distinguishable from random natural forces of nature as the source of much of what we see today.
Remarkably, you guys who embrace evolution vehemently reject design as a possibility for the origin and growth of the cell which is infinitely more elegant and complex than anything in this universe. Even more amazing is the cell just happens to be accompanied by an ecosystem that is fine tuned and essential to host and ensure the cell thrives. That adds to the strength of the design inference. When an airplane is designed, the designer includes all the exogenous necessities to ensure it will operate as intended, e.g., concrete runways, fuel systems and storage depots, maintenance hangars, spare parts, navigation infrastructure, etc.
When I offer these arguments, you label them as caricatures and strawmen. I’ve really scratched my head when you made these charges. I’m thinking, Huh? What are they seeing that I’m not? If they are right, I’d better get my act together and learn biology to understand this “magic.” But then, I think back at my knowledge of basic science and realize, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with my thinking. It’s logical, and as such, it applies both critical thinking and common sense. When I hear you offer as proof of macro evolution a handful of pictures showing a hippo transitioning to a whale my alarms go off. When I see that set of “show and tell” pictures being proffered as proof of evolution, I first threw out that bottle of cheap Gin that I’ve been drinking. If that doesn’t solve the problem, I resort to critical thinking. I’ll say, “Maybe, let’s see the details.” Then they adduce another set of pictures that show vestigial structures such as bone remnants in whales that they say prove the whale was once a land animal like a hippo. Hearing that, I throw out my bottle of Jack Daniels. (Hey, this is getting expensive!) Now that I know I’m not under the influence, my senses come to me and I realize what they are doing. I’ll call it “biological eisegesis.” You’re simply reading into your research results exactly what you want it to show. This is where the circular reasoning comes into play. You use these images, e.g., hippos to whales, Haeckel’s Embryos, etc.) convince yourself that evolution is real, and then you start reading it back into your research. You use bacteria evolution which certainly shows micro evolution, but then you extrapolate the results with a healthy dose of eisegesis to show that macro evolution is easily deduced. Evolutionist like to label the methods of ID as pseudo-science. What do you call using Hippo to Whale diagrams or Haeckel’s Embryos to prove evolution?

I think this is enough for this post. I have much more to say. I’m hoping that you’ll challenge me back so that if I’m wrong, I’ll come to understand your position better. Some of you think I’m not serious about learning how you can conclude what you do about evolution. My approach to getting to the truth about anything is to honestly look at an issue from both sides. I’ve read much on the ID and Creationists side, but relatively little on the evolution side. I have to look closely at both sides to see which is true. You guys have been helpful and I appreciate it. Don’t be offended if I come at you pretty hard. In the engineering world, we call it stress testing. I hope I don’t need an advanced degree in biology to be able to see the truth of evolution. What does that say about the average guy on the street? Did God really make it this hard to find the truth, or is it hiding in plain site?


(Raymond Isbell) #124

Chris,

Thanks for the thoughtful input. I want to give you a thoughtful response, and I’m running out of time today. I’ll get to it tomorrow and over the weekend.

A couple of quick points however, are appropriate. I like your quote of Prov 18:17. Sounds like you’ve walked the journey I’m currently on. I look forward to more of your acquired wisdom.

You seem to think that the C4 functionality I mention is old school. It’s also new school, and an important part of the integration issue in complex systems. You really should read the material I offered by the INCOSE organization on complex systems. Most people only have an anecdotal understanding of complexity. Just before I retired I was working on AI programs, specifically deep learning neural nets as a computer vision solution to one of our biggest problems in the imaging world, i.e., too much imagery and not enough analytical eyes to identify objects of interest in the imagery. I had proposed a new strategy that my leadership wanted me to take to DARPA for funding and research. I refused because I was ready to retire and having worked at DARPA before, I didn’t want to do the 80 hr/weeks that are typical for a DARPA PM. I chose to retire and learn about evolution, ID, and YEC Creationism. I think it was a good choice. I don’t think I’m ignoring the biological data. What’s happening is that I’m seeing how the biological data is being used to support the biological eisegesis and bad science I think is going on. More on this later. If I’m wrong you can correct me. Whoever is right will be shown as we migrate thru the details. I may very well be the one who is wrong. More later.


(Chris Falter) #125

Two thumbs up.

Depends on what kind of truth you’re talking about, I think. Truths about His character and His purposes are available to all who seek Him honestly and humbly. OTOH, some of the intricate details about the first seconds of the universe’s existence or particle physics or evolutionary biology, require both massive individual effort and a supportive scientific community.

We have several millenia of human thought recorded in writing, but no one knew the first thing about particle physics until quite recently. And the vast majority of us on the planet today, myself included, accept what particle physics says by faith. I cannot say that I have ever seen a boson, or an electron, or even a singular atom. I accept the Standard Model because a community of about 1000 physicists or so have conducted extensive experimentation that I could not hope to reproduce and written peer-reviewed papers that I cannot understand (beyond the abstracts).

Evolutionary biology is to some extent like that, although a good many biologists have nicely summarized the evidence on which they base their conclusions. But it’s a small minority of folks who have the mathematical chops to read and understand a paper on constructing a phylogenetic tree.

Yours,
Chris


(Chris Falter) #126

I am already familiar with the INCOSE work. I am sure I could stand to learn more, though, and I appreciate your links to good material.

I suggest that it is important to understand that a set of design patterns and practices that are developed for one context may not be fully applicable in another. Even practitioners of complexity analysis can fall prey to the “golden hammer” anti-pattern. :slight_smile: There are different kinds of complexity that result from different kinds of forces operating under different constraints.

I appreciate your conciliatory tone, and will endeavor to reciprocate it in any future conversations, as God gives us opportunity.

Yours,
Chris


(Christy Hemphill) #127

I’m pretty sure Michael Behe accepts common descent too. He just would say that natural selection alone is an insufficient explanation. But that is a far cry from denying all the evidence for common descent and saying evolution didn’t happen. You keep presenting things as if there is a binary choice between common descent and intelligent design. I blame that on Discovery for not clearly indicating that many of their people are “evolutionists” as well, they just think design can be scientifically detected. They tend to obfuscate this fact because they know that so much of their support comes from anti-evolution creationists who associate evolution with the Devil. But, once in a while they come right out and admit evolution is fine. “I first need to make clear that living things can be the product both of intelligent design and of common descent. If the designer chose to guide the process of gradual change from species to species, that would be both common descent and intelligent design. In other words, intelligent design theory does not require that common descent is false.”


(Mervin Bitikofer) #128

Some of us do think cells (and everything else) are intricately designed. But we just don’t think it easy (probably not possible at all) to identify this or that step in an observable process and identify that one step as “God’s special secret ingredient” that made it all work. I believe God sends rains in their due seasons, and I also believe that gravity, humidity, wind, sunshine, etc. all play their roles in that also. And it disturbs me not at all that I can’t find any “mystery gaps” in those meteorological processes for God to fit into. And I suspect it doesn’t disturb you one whit either - nor should it. We go on thanking God for needed rain that he provided through those very processes we have come to understand.

So why must God suddenly have a “mystery gap” abode when it comes to biology? I suspect it is because there is still so much mystery left for solving there, that people want to imagine some impermeable black box remains hidden in all that (or perhaps now partially exposed by hopeful IDists). But since most everybody agrees that rainstorms are sufficiently explained and described, you have conveniently dismissed any need to find God’s “mysterious fingerprints” in that. But why should that be? Why isn’t our complete explanatory framework for rain threatening to you at all?

Regarding Mt. Rushmore, that was carved into existence as a “sudden” phenomenon within a single human lifetime. What does that have to do with evolution? You’re right that a single cell is much more complex and amazing than Mt. Rushmore. And the abiogenesis to bring into being the cells as we now see them is still largely a matter of educated guesswork. The evolution that happened with those cells after the cells could reproduce is the evolution which explains so much of what is seen in the fossil and the genetic record. There is still guesswork there too, of course, but a whole lot more that’s been filled in. And no other theory (has any alternative even been proposed yet?) has come close to making sense of the record we do see.

I also, don’t have any biology degree whatsoever - and so am not the person who can provide the great answers to your questions. But I do have enough lay understanding about things like engineering to conceptually grasp your challenges and what the professional biologists here are sharing with us. I don’t need an advanced degree to follow enough of it to see how compelling it is.


#129

@Raymond _Isbell,
Re: “the order and complexity seen in the cell is very much similar to other instances of design we observe every day…
Remarkably, you guys who embrace evolution vehemently reject design as a possibility for the origin and growth of the cell which is infinitely more elegant and complex than anything in this universe ”

It seems you are back to questioning the ORIGIN of cells (with all their remarkable, complex molecular machinery). I conceded earlier that scientists don’t have a very good explanation of abiogenesis. If you want to insist that here, at last, is a gap in our understanding in which to insert an Intelligent Designer, so be it.

But there is nothing in the “growth” of cells, or in mutation/natural selection which drives evolution, that demands some supernatural intervention. These are all plain physical processes. Some are better understood than others, but in many cases we can witness evolution happening in real time. This includes multiple, random mutations being fixed in a population, which is what evolution is. Folks here have given you all kinds of references showing this.

Now, evolution is a relatively slow process (which is why the human race is still in existence after thousands of years, rather than evolving to something else). So, yes, we do have to extrapolate from evolutionary changes observable in, say, one human lifetime, to hundreds of millions of years. But that is a rational, defensible procedure. Scientists do it all the time. For instance, I cannot show you a whole continent ripping in half and forming a 3000 mile wide ocean before your eyes. We can only measure about an inch a year in the spread of the Atlantic, or a few feet in your lifetime. That is pretty “micro”, compared to a whole ocean. Yet it is reasonable to extrapolate from the little movement we can see, put together with other clues to continental drift such as matching rock formations on either side of the Atlantic, and matching magnetic stripes on the ocean floor on either side of the mid-Atlantic ridge, to infer that Africa and South American were once part of one continent. Similarly, there are many, many clues to macroevolution, e.g. like the whale predictions I mention below , multiplied times a thousand…

The large changes going from, say terrestrial quadrupeds to legless whales, are readily understandable as the accumulation of many mutations, over many millions of years. There is no hard barrier to the progress of evolution, after some arbitrary amount of “micro” evolution. You may not accept this, but all you have to offer in return is your personal incredulity.


#130

@Raymond _Isbell,

Re: “When I hear you offer as proof of macro evolution a handful of pictures showing a hippo transitioning to a whale my alarms go off. When I see that set of “show and tell” pictures being proffered as proof of evolution, I first threw out that bottle of cheap Gin that I’ve been drinking. If that doesn’t solve the problem, I resort to critical thinking. I’ll say, “Maybe, let’s see the details.” Then they adduce another set of pictures that show vestigial structures such as bone remnants in whales that they say prove the whale was once a land animal like a hippo. Hearing that, I throw out my bottle of Jack Daniels. (Hey, this is getting expensive!) Now that I know I’m not under the influence, my senses come to me and I realize what they are doing. I’ll call it “biological eisegesis.” You’re simply reading into your research results exactly what you want it to show. This is where the circular reasoning comes into play. You use these images, e.g., hippos to whales, Haeckel’s Embryos, etc.) convince yourself that evolution is real, and then you start reading it back into your research. “

This shows you are seriously misrepresenting how science is conducted. There may be occasional overreaching by paleontologists regarding the significance of their pet fossil finds, but in general the analysis of whale fossils is not “circular reasoning” or “reading into your research results exactly what you want it to show.” Rather, it is sober testing of hypotheses. Unlike Intelligent Design, real science makes specific predictions, which can be tested by data, which in turn can prove a hypothesis wrong. (It is not possible to prove a hypothesis to be absolutely right, which is why even very successful scientific theories are considered to be only provisionally correct).

With whales, being mammals, evolution predicts that there must have existed a series of animals with intermediate features between today’s whales (no hind legs, nostrils on top of head), and some terrestrial quadruped some millions of years back. This transition probably took place over the past 60 million years or so, since fierce reptiles dominated the earth and the seas until about 66 million years ago, after which there is a proliferation of various types of mammals. One other factoid: all whales (but no other current animals) have a particular structure in their middle ear cavity called the involucrum. Thus, common ancestry PREDICTS that as we go back in time (down in rock layers), we should discover marine creatures with that ear structure (or something like it), but with some sort of stubby legs, then longer legs, and then finally with full-sized hind limbs. Likewise, we should find some fossils with the nostrils halfway up the snout, and finally, all the way at the front of the snout, like normal mammals. Motivated by these predictions, paleotologists have gone about digging in rocks dated say 10-50 million years old, and have found these transitional forms in the same order and in the geological time frame AS PREDICTED. With each decade, there is steady progress in filling in the gaps in the fossil record of whale ancestry.

Common ancestry also PREDICTS that modern whales should still have the genes for making hind legs, even though those genes are not activated. Now that we can sequence genomes, we look, and behold there are those genes AS PREDICTED.

Now contrast all this with Intelligent Design. Where are the detailed, falsifiable predictions there? ID would not predict the existence of these intermediate fossils or of those hind leg genes. All ID can do is complain about the gaps in the fossil record which have not been filled in yet, or complain about the gaps in our knowledge of the specific sequence of mutations involved in some major evolutionary transition.


#131

@Raymond _Isbell,
Re: “ Did God really make it this hard to find the truth, or is it hiding in plain site?”

The truth of evolution is obvious to nearly everyone except a class of conservative religious believers whose faith feels shaken if the Genesis creation story cannot be taken literally. They don’t want to believe evolution, and so they downplay all the evidence for it, and magnify any possible grounds for doubt. That should tell you something.

There are a few nonreligious scholars who harbor doubts about evolution and common ancestry, but they are very rare. And one the other side, there are plenty of evangelical Christians such as myself (and probably many of the other folks here at Biologos) who are reluctant converts to evolution: I once tried to find reasons to deny evolution, but whenever I dug deeply enough into a specific issue, I found that the Intelligent Design side was only presenting partial truths. When all the facts were on the table, evolution won every time.


(Raymond Isbell) #132

Now, now…be nice. I’ve had a day of interruption after interruption so I haven’t had a chance to engage today. I’ll get back to it tomorrow. I leave you with a couple of thoughts. First, I find it fascinating that well intended believers see this issue so differently. I’m enjoying this immensely except for a few who are grumpy. Secondly, I’m going to leave you with a link to a video that you might enjoy. It argues for a recent global flood, but not Noah’s. It’s author/presenter is a Prof at the Naval Postgraduate School, Michael Jaye. and he’s arguing for the lost continent of Atlantis. It’s interesting and relevant to our discussion so don’t throw it out just because it’s about Atlantis. He focuses on evidence for a recent universal flood from a secular perspective, and it’s impressive and scholarly. Enjoy. https://vimeo.com/126026401


#133

Grumpy? Not in the slightest. Just dispassionately stating facts, taking your claim that you want to be educated in evolutionary biology at face value.

I stand by my statement that the truth of evolution is obvious to nearly everyone who examines it thoroughly, except a class of conservative religious believers whose faith feels shaken if the Genesis creation story cannot be taken literally. They don’t want to believe evolution, and so they downplay all the evidence for it, and magnify any possible grounds for doubt. I have observed this through many dialogs with such folks, and I know it from the inside, since I used to oppose evolution myself.

And no, I am not going to engage with a long video on fringe proposals for alternative geologies. The topic on our thread is the validity of the scientific evidence for evolution, particularly genetics (note the title of the original article). If you want to start a new forum topic on Atlantis proposals, that would be up to the forum hosts here. Whether they would consider it worthwhile to open up a thread on the viability of Michael Jaye’s proposal of totally replacing plate tectonics with a set of comet impacts to explain the earth’s features, and that most of earth’s present stock of water only arrived with an icy comet 13,000 years ago, I cannot say.


#134

If you liked Michael Jaye you would love Immanuel Velikovsky and his “Worlds in Collusion”. He used the Bible to argue for a planetary collusion.

The problem with Jaye’s idea is it doesn’t describe what we can see today so it should be thrown out.


(Raymond Isbell) #135

Looks like today is also going to be challenging to get something out. I find you background interesting so I look forward to asking you some tough questions.

It’s disappointing that you don’t find Jaye’s video worthy of your look. You may have missed my point about watching. I’m not into flat earth, Atlantis, or other weird ideas, but what intrigues about Jaye is that he apparently has no interest theology or squabbles among YECs and OECs. He sees data, particularly geological data and submarine geological features that suggest an enormous flood occurred around 13K yrs ago. He’s arguments are scholarly and are worth listening to. After all, if you’re honestly looking for truth, you only exclude stuff that’s patent nonsense. His presentation will make you think. Socrates would recommend it except to those who already know everything. I suspect that one of the reasons you won’t watch it is because it may threaten your view of evolution that takes a long time, and the YEC view necessarily excludes an old earth, an essential component of the argument for evolution. Anyway, it’s an intellectually interesting video for those who think critically.


(Raymond Isbell) #136

Wow. When I watched it, I thought just the opposite. Good scientific evidence for a recent global flood is exactly what we see today except of course for geological eisegetes. Watch it with and open and critical mind.


#137

I did and I also checked his website. I keep an open mind, just not so open that my brain falls out. Now if you don’t accept radiometric dating methods I can see how you would find his ideas persuasive but the sea floor spreading has been confirmed by both dating and by using GPS to measure the rate of spreading. Both give the same result. Hard to argue against data. There is also the problem with the magnetic stripes on the sea floor that correspond to the periodic reversals of the earth’s magnetic field.


(Raymond Isbell) #138

You need to be careful about “data.” Depends on who’s data it is and how they got it. If you buy into without some critical review, you may draw the wrong conclusion. Regarding radiometric dating (RD), I again choose to look at both sides of the argument. One of the most glaring problems with RD is the fact of your assumptions going in. This point is pushed by the YECs, and it makes sense to a degree. How does one establish beyond doubt the starting point of a rock (i.e., when the rock was created) and what its parent/daughter ratios of isotopes were at that time. Was it 100/0 or 90/10 or 50/50? How is that done so that one is assured of the calculated date? YECs have adduced instances of rocks from volcanoes that erupted in the recent past (<50yr) that are dating in the 100s of thousands of years or more. If there’s a track on this issue at Biologos, I would enjoy reading it so I could get both sides. Another problem that gives me pause is that some dating is established in a circular manner, i.e., a fossil is found and the rocks where it’s found are dated to establish the date of the fossil. Then later, when a rock is found with an unknown date, but there’s a fossil nearby that is associated with that type of rock, they simply date the rock as the date of the fossil. A helpful resource on that I mentioned earlier is the book “Contested Bones” by Chris Rupe and John Sanford. Rupe does a very credible job on RD. It’s actually more compelling than anything I’ve seen from the other side. The only response I got from the group on the book was an ad hominem attack on Rupe with nothing of substance to refute him.


(Christy Hemphill) #139

Here is the resource they recommend: https://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/wiens.html

Along with this list of other resources: http://www.tim-thompson.com/radiometric.html


#140

@Raymond _Isbell,
I got curious, and it is Saturday, so I did watch that Atlantis video. A few comments:

( 1 ) By way of physical evidence Michael Jaye starts off with showing a Google Earth image showing a grid of huge lines in a roughly rectangular pattern. He interprets this as a system of giant man-made canals.

He acknowledges that this interpretation is controversial. He makes reference to a Google blog article on what these lines represent:


The Google article explains quite clearly why these lines are (or were) in the image. This image, as with the rest of the Google Earth picturing of the submarine surface, is a result of merging multiple data sets. Here, they are merging data from satellites (which give the broad big picture, with less detail), and many narrow strips of higher rez data from ships which traverse the ocean making sonar measurements. If there is some miscalibration in the matching between the two datasets in a particular region, then the ship data will stand out as long lines where the ship track was. You could see these types of ship tracks here and there in the Google Earth imagery, not just in this “Atlantis” spot in the Atlantic on the Madeira Abyssal Plain.

As Jaye acknowledges in the video, the “canal” lines as a rule only appear in the Google Earth image where there were ship tracks. In 2009 (and perhaps more later), Google worked with the primary data providers to better match the two data sets, and those lines essentially disappeared. So it is as plain as it can possibly be that those lines were just an artifact of imperfect data processing, not a representation of an actual grid of underwater structures. But apparently you did not bother to check out this Google blog article yourself.

Does all this dissuade Jaye? Not at all. He dismisses this data revision based on…his personal incredulity. He holds onto the invalid, uncorrected data because it seems to fit what he wants to see. Which is what opponents of evolution do a lot of.

( 2 ) Next up: It comes to Jaye’s attention that there is a big submarine canyon off the coast of California, the Monterey Canyon. And there are many other such canyons around the world, carved into the steep slopes along the edges of the continental plates. Jaye claims that only subaerial (i.e. above sea level) erosion could form such structures; they could not form all under water.

If you took the trouble to Google the subject of submarine canyons, you would find that geologists now understand their formation reasonably well. Given long, steep slopes of soft sediment, once a minor landslide occurs near the top of the slope, it can generate a plume of water-mixed-with-sediment which is heavier than the surrounding water, and can accelerate as it flows downhill, and mobilize the sediments it passes through, to form an “avalanche” of water/sediment that can flow for miles down a valley in the continental slope until it finally spreads out and dumps at a big flat spot. These are called turbidity currents.
While there is much left to learn about the details, the function of turbidity currents in carving submarine canyons is clear. For instance, this 2017 study of the Monterey Canyon itself


provides measurements of multiple turbidity current events, some of which moved a considerable amount of sediment many kilometers out to sea, and out to a depth of about 2000 meters.
How does Jaye respond to this clear physical explanation and data? By citing an outdated (2005) study (another common anti-evolutionist tactic),”) and relying on…his personal incredulity. But you apparently did no follow-up here.

( 3 ) He cites a study that believed they found a human-devised fish weir off the coast of British Columbia, where the water is now 122 meters deep. Well, there is plenty of evidence (which you would have found if you had cared to look for it) that the sea level was indeed something like 120 meters lower at the end of the last ice age, when so much water was tied up in the great continental glaciers. So this does nothing to advance the thesis that the sea level used to be two miles lower.

( 4 ) One final item: Towards the end of the video, he dismisses the notion that slow movements of material in the earth’s mantle could move continents around, based on…wait for it…his personal incredulity. Again, all the supporting information for plate tectonics is readily available on line for your perusal.

It would take an entire course in geology for you to appreciate all the errors in his proposal, but these four items should suffice. You wrote, “[His] arguments are scholarly and are worth listening to. After all, if you’re honestly looking for truth, you only exclude stuff that’s patent nonsense.”
I have shown you why this is patent nonsense. And if you had taken the slightest initiative towards your own critical examination of the extraordinary claims in this video you would not have wasted our time with it here.


#141

Google acknowledged the ship track errors inn 2009, and got around to making the corrections to the Google Earth images in 2012.