Response to the video “Evolution IS a Blind Watchmaker”

The YouTube member cdk007 is well-known for  making videos attacking Creationism/Intelligent Design, and promoting evolution. This is one of his early works and I consider it to be an masterpiece.

But after seeing it several times, I came up with ways to improve it further. Here are quotes from the video in red and my suggestions in blue on how to make the simulation of natural selection upon clocks even more realistic and consistent with how it works on populations of organisms.

Each clock organism consists of 30 gears, 1 ratchet, 7 hands, 1 spring, and one housing.

Each clock organism consists of a random number of  gears, ratchets, hands, springs, and one housing, determined by mutations of the organisms themselves . Reason: Mutations should be allowed to change the number of clock parts to make the process of natural selection even more difficult. Humans have two kidneys but can survive with one and it is perfectly possible that we could have evolved with only one.

Remove 3 at random and arrange them in order of their ability to accurately tell time. The better two clocks kill the worst clock. Mate the surviving two and produce an offspring.  Return all three clocks to the pool and repeat.

Remove 3 at random and arrange them in order of their ability to accurately tell time. The better two clocks kill the worst clock. Mate the surviving two and produce FOUR offspring. The remaining two older clocks are also killed off. Add the four new clocks to the pool and repeat. Reason: Represents the process of overproduction, which is an actual factor for populations of organisms to evolve over time, plus even the most successful organisms eventually die. As long as they are able to reproduce viable offspring first, they may be considered a success. After two “generations”, the population of clocks will have doubled, and so it will randomly split into two populations which will begin to evolve independently, simulating the process of speciation. Further splits occur every two generations. Finally, after TEN generations, all but two populations will be randomly wiped out, simulating a mass extinction. The cycles of two generations and ten generations continue indefinitely. As a result, the surviving populations of clocks diverge in form over time.

It would probably require a much more advanced computer system, with a lot more memory, than the one cdk007 used for his original simulations, but I still think it is worth a try.

A banned person lies to me!

When I ban someone from commenting on this blog, it is not merely because I dislike his or her opinions, but because I find the person using dishonest, profoundly stupid, and/or abusive comments against me or others here.

Consider some the comments on this blog entry:

wrauny said

December 28, 2009 at 1:33 AM

You are right that H2O is a strong greenhouse gas, due to its absorption spectrum. I didn’t really understand the molecular weight argument. I have analyzed the CO2 greenhouse effect (here). You might find the results surprising. Sorry that I don’t include the secondary effects of H2O.

After I made a reply to him, he said:

wrauny said

June 9, 2010 at 12:52 AM

In the last table, the emitted Radiant Intensity from the earth is decreasing due to increasing CO2 absorption. In order to balance the Radiative Forcing (incoming Solar Irradiance minus outgoing thermal and reflected radiation), the surface temperature of the earth was increased in MODTRAN so the the radiant intensity matches the baseline value.

Note that I updated my blog to include the IPCC definition of radiative forcing, which excludes this balancing effect (increased thermal radiation from a hotter earth). My blog was really a criticism of that definition, thus the glossing over other factors (which you justly criticized).

I apologize if the language I used was provocative and I regret this. I am concerned about the environment, but I feel that the sensationalism and politicization of this issue is preventing us from being reasonable in our solutions.

I will NEVER ban honest critics who can admit to being wrong. Making mistakes is not a sin if the mistakes are subject to correction.

Later, humphreyc showed up. His comment there was so offensive that I used the editing technique called “disemvoweling” to obscure its contents while still allowing the comment to stay up as a warning to others. I had learned this tactic from P Z Myers.

He should have had the good sense to stay away, or better still, to publish a critique of me on his own blog. Instead, he pulled this useless stunt: He made one more comment which got listed as spam. I read it.

This is strange. I didn’t make this post (I can’t even read it). Someone appears to be using an identical appellation to comment here.

My only comment ever on this site was on the Iran/Afghanistan/Iraq thread, which was simply to point out that things always go better in theory than in practice. I apologize if you thought that juvenile.

So am I banned, or should I simply change my post name?

humphreyc, you damned moron! Here are the vital stats that appear along with BOTH comments:


The first is your screen name, the second is your e-mail address, and the third is what computer the comment originated from!

His other comments, all with the exact same stats, are as follows:

Those of us who never bought into creationism in the first place have a lot less anger about the issue.

As to your last paragraph…you really want to go with the word “blasphemy”? Oh wait, sorry I meant “BLASPHEMY!” I seem to recall god creating and then subsequently destroying all sorts of things in the bible, including a fairly close call with humanity. In fact, there seems to be alot of things in the bible that would cause one pause regarding God’s behavior toward the world. Killing off the dinos doesn’t seem particularly out of character.

Everything always goes better in my imagination too…

No, you will NOT be unbanned, you lying @$$hole. GO AWAY FOREVER!