Some creationists consider the thorns on plants a problem for evolutionary theory. As I will show, this is based on a flawed understanding of evolutionary theory. But before I proceed, let me present the ‘argument‘ presented by Joseph Alden (uncle of Gary McGuire)
May 11, 2008
May 5, 2008
Joe Felsenstein, Professor of Genome Sciences and of Biology and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and of Statistics has a guest posting on Panda’s Thumb titled Gambler’s Ruin is Darwin’s Gain in which he exposes the vacuity of the Intelligent Design comments by Young Earth Creationist Salvador Cordova.
So yes, the mathematics of Gambler’s Ruin speaks to the issue of natural selection—but it confirms its effectiveness.
(The other issue raised by Cordova, that of interference between mutations at different loci, is the well-known Hill-Robertson effect. If the loci have more than a tiny amount of genetic recombination between them, the interference largely vanishes. Cordova and the other commenters there have forgotten this.)
PZ Myers at Pharyngula observes similarly in a posting titled ‘squish’
That’s the sound you should hear when Joe Felsenstein takes on an idiotic claim by Sal Cordova. Would you believe that Cordova claims that Kimura and Ohta’s classic 1971 paper “shatters the modern synthesis”? That’s what he claims, on the basis of his poor understanding of the mathematics of population genetics, which is ridiculous on the face of it. So it’s very satisfying to see one of the big guns of population genetics take him down with one brief explanation: contrary to Cordova, the principle he’s describing confirms the effectiveness of natural selection.
January 1, 2008
William Dembski wrote:
As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: ”Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.
Source: William Dembski Organisms using GAs vs. Organisms being built by GAs thread at ISCID 18. September 2002