“Dr. David Berlinski Destroys Evolution In Under 5 Minutes”

There is one main point about this video that I wanted to address,but first I want to quickly respond to the remarks made in the first minute.

The first point Berlinski tries to make is that we should doubt evolution because some mathematicians doubt it and tries to make an argument from authority by saying that famous mathematician John von Neumann “laughed at Darwinian theory”.I couldn’t find anything quickly looking around for any quotes of von Neumann knocking evolution,but he did do a considerable amount of work in Automata Theory which dealt with the idea of systems reproducing themselves and tried to answer the question of how a system could improve upon itself.After several years Watson and Crick discovered DNA,the instructions for living automata. So,it’s not hard to imagine someone questioning evolution since the mechanism for reproduction was unknown,but even Darwin didn’t know at his time,and asking questions and finding the answers is just how science is done.Another quick point is that mathematicians are not biologists or geneticist,so it’s not really a relevant field.

Next he quickly tries so shed doubt by pointing out that there are scientists who don’t accept evolution.This is true,yet the number of those who don’t accept evolution is almost non existent in the millions and millions of scientist. There are more historians who deny the events of the holocaust than scientists in a relevant field who deny evolution-who cares?What evidence to either deniers bring to the table to prove their points? None. Only assertions and hypothesis that when proven wrong are still dogmatically held onto.For instance,I still haven’t heard Michael Behe say that his idea that the bacterial flagellum is an “irreducibly complex system” is wrong.

Next,just quickly,Berlinski tries to say that scientists say that Whales evolved from Cows. He’s making an absurd mis characterization,kinda like how people say “evolution says we came from a rock”.No,Mr.Berlinski,whales came from Pakicetids which in no way look anything like a cow. And by the way,we also have the fossils showing all the “re-engineering” needed to do so;from the migrating nostrils,adapting inner ear and loss of hind legs.

Now,we finally get to the main point I wanted to bring up. Berlinski now wants to skip all the evidence for evolution and just look at it purely from a probabilistic and statistical stand point.He specifically points out genetics as something we are going to over look for a mathematical answer only.Why is this?I’ll draw a simple analogy to prove my point. If finding out how we got the diversity of life on earth as we know know it was winning the lottery;then genetics is the winning ticket. Genetics explains how things are related,how they change,how often they change,etc. So,with that in mind here is what Berlinski would like to do- You bought your lottery ticket,watched with anticipation to see if you won and you did!You go down to the lottery office to cash in your winnings,but there sits David Berlinski. Mr.Berlinski looks at your ticket and says “that’s interesting,but lets look at it purely from a mathematical stand point to find out if you won.My calculations show that the probability of you winning the lottery were astronomical so you don’t win-couldn’t have happened”.Of course,anyone with basic knowledge in probability and statistics knows that post hoc calculations are of no value.Just about anything that happens is statistically unlikely after it has happened and you start to add up every little thing that must have happened prior to it.

Evolution destroyed in under 5 minutes? No,more like “why no one takes ID/Creationism seriously,in 5 Minutes”.

17 Responses to ““Dr. David Berlinski Destroys Evolution In Under 5 Minutes””

  1. […] start this post off, I’ll refer you to an excellent article by my good friend Aaron, the YouTube Skeptic. Watch the video. It’s really something. Berlinski explains how, basically, evolution […]

  2. This is great. Nothing like making evolution a math problem.

  3. Your mom Says:

    Your gay

  4. irrepressibility says : I absolutely agree with this !

  5. inauspicious says : I absolutely agree with this !

  6. to be honest i havn’t even watched it because ime reasonably equainted with his arguments and the evidence suporting evolution. the point is the creationists objections are unanswerable within the scope of there own theories so even where evolution falls short as an idea, and it has to be said mainly due to gaps in knowledge, creationism can not provide any clues so evolution is the only default position regardless. ime sure its more of the atheists nightmare sort of stupidity where two idiots take a man made selectivly bred food product and go on too display their stupidity by puting its selected qualities down to divine design.

  7. “Some old guy laughs at Evolutionary theory – hence designed”.

    I’m thinking of compiling a book filled with “hence designed phrases”. Starting with “I personally cannot imagine how this could have happened, hence designed”.

  8. Do you have a winning lottery ticket to become the cow or to become the whale? What about the winning lottery ticket to be the very first living cell? How many base pairs of DNA would have been needed even for a “simple Cell”? try about 1 million. So some how you got the correct DNA from non life to become a living organism? AND you had all the correct information to be able to replicate yourself so you could live long enough to make it onto land to breath air- only to turn around and adapt back to living in the ocean. Yep. What did he say about the odds of your ticket again? Oops, I forgot that mutations are random and don’t care if they wipe out useful information as well as the things you would like to change. If I walked into the lottery office with 10 winning tickets (I am being generous) and you were working behind the desk would you cash the tickets in without asking how it was that I was holding 10 winning tickets?

  9. “Do you have a winning lottery ticket to become the cow or to become the whale?”

    I hope you do. You’re in dire need of evolution. If god offers to turn you into a cow, I’d take it. At least then your shit would produce mushrooms. Just think of all the creationists you could convince then.

  10. “Another quick point is that mathematicians are not biologists or geneticist,so it’s not really a relevant field.”

    I wouldn’t say that it’s not relevant. However, the problem with ID advocates employing math against evolution is that they they’re trying to quantify a straw man, so of course they’re going to occasionally come up with something that appears too improbable to have happened. The real solution is to simply demonstrate that that which they’ve calculated is not an accurate representation of evolution.

    When you quantify evolution within the model of a more accurate system, suddenly the math starts swinging in your favor.

    On an amusing note, Shanedk (who linked to you from his YouTube channel, by the way) points out that Berlinski’s “computation”, as improbable as they seem from a layman perspective, is actually not a problem for evolution at all. So what this tells us that David Berlinski doesn’t even know what his own calculations mean. He just threw out a big number for the sake of incredulity.

    Speaking of incredulous nonsense, let’s look at what some other moron wrote…

    “So some how you got the correct DNA from non life to become a living organism? AND you had all the correct information to be able to replicate yourself so you could live long enough to make it onto land to breath air- only to turn around and adapt back to living in the ocean.”

    Replication is not a trait. It’s an inherent property of all life. You don’t acquire this “information” via evolution. It comes bundled with the package. Even simple amino acids can replicate, so your snotty nay-saying falls flat.

    “Oops, I forgot that mutations are random and don’t care if they wipe out useful information as well as the things you would like to change.”

    That’s right. But it’s a good thing there’s this process called natural selection, whereby those few mutations that *do* increase survivability are actually beneficial.

    You also forgot that there are examples of mutations wiping out entire blocks of useful information, only to replace it with something better, such as nylonase.

    Tell me, is ignorance really as blissful as they say?

  11. Aleyne : The Truth IS Out There! Says:

    It all comes down to this question : HOW did that bundle of “package” come to be there in the first place? HOW did the very first cell jsut spring out out of nowhere? HOW did the very first tiniest form of life,form of being, entity just happen to exist?? Who put it there?! Chance?
    No wait, nature has a brain then right? It HAS to be superr clever, and so one day it suddenly said :”heey, why dont i create myself! Itll be cool! Ok, im doing it now .Booom! Aha ,im earth! Im a cell, im an amino acid!” And then nature descided to create the tiniest creatures, the most intricate designs everr that man even has difficulty in drawing them!,and then decided to create the forrests, trees,then decided on the creatures and gave it a so called “random selective system” that adapted the creatures to their environments etc,then decided that they needed to breed to continue, needed to eat, drink, sleep, run walk stay still, hide etc…then nature decided to create man and that man needed to copulate to increase and to have generations and do all the things those animals did too etc etc… But wait, what happened to randomnity? What happened to chance? How can nature decide on existing if it was all chance in the first place?? Whats up with the contradicting sides now guys? Is nature deciding or not? Or is “chance” deciding for us? But then that wouldnt be chance! The probability of us being created jsut like that and an amazzing system being put into place (the system in nature, in creatures, in humans, even out digestive system for goodness sakes) CANNOT be a coincidence! All this would leave out that a greater power is out there wether you like it or not!
    Nature alone cannot even fight back human beings…We destroy all the trees but can the tree fight us back? Can the earth suddenly swallow us and punish us ? no! Can we pray to it and ask for help, and does it answer us? When have you prayed to the forrest and have it answer to anything? Never!Not possible! So, its concluded that nature has no brain, has no power to fight back or any power what so ever, let alone having the powers of creating itself, the powers of making the decision to evolve a creature into a better one, etc. Soo, that leaves us with chance now! With randomness…
    Is the fact that women give birth to children in order to continue the human race a random thing, jsut by chance??? Is the fact that we have to eat to survive a randomnity? Or that we have to die even? Wow, some desicion “chance” came up with! You guys may look upon the idea that babies have the “chance of being born wth such and such genetiic features, like black hair, blue eyes, certain skin color etc etc, but go back to the veryy beginning : WHAT or HOW was it decided that women should have babies in the first place to continue the human race???? Or what kinda randomnity made the desicion! That is NOT chance! That was a desicion that was made and applied!! Ony a higher being of power can do so…Evolution is a simple theory made up for the simple minded people to understand what is going on around them…An explanation exactly the same as telling somebody that rain occurs when clouds bump into eachother! A kid might believe in evolution but for man, i think it was time man used their “highly evolutionised brains(!)” to go and look for answers beyond a smple tale called evolution and not follow scientists who are merely sratching the surface of what they find…

  12. Aleyne,
    Are you saying that because you don’t know how it happened, it had to have been magic? That doesn’t sound very rational.

  13. First of all, von Neumann was pretty firmly in support of evolution. Berlinski is just quotemining him.
    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/08/von-neumann-on.html
    And, like you said, why should it matter?
    In response to Aleyne:The Truth is Out There!
    Just because you do not understand something does not mean you have to create a strawman of the opponents position. If you have legitimate disagreements voice them. In the meantime, it would be a good idea to educate yourself about the facts of evolution before you embarrass yourself more.
    Thank you,
    jugglingbuffoon

  14. My name is known Says:

    Hi hi hi there! You’re an inspiration to me Mr. Berlinski, and I have never seen the validity in evolution. I thought your quote of Mathew Arnold in Expelled was wonderful. More evolutionists should see that movie because it would make them more afraid of what they don’t believe. Natural selection does reduce genetic information. It only makes me love real science more.
    I am currently an art student and just finished a composition that reminds me very much of the lost meaning in Darwinian Theory. (If there ever was meaning in it, which there probably wasn’t) My art teacher even said it conceptually looks lost. I salute you for what your so very wise to! Keep up the impervious work because you speak for a small group that says so much more than what the impious masses mindlessly yell.
    Thank you for your time and I wish you the best!
    – Known

  15. it,s fantastic

  16. You have done it once again. Superb article.

  17. Sterk Zwillig Says:

    Yeah but you could make the same counterargument about a transition from Pakicetid to a perfect modern Blue Whale in one generation. The issue is not whether common descent is a fact, the issue is whether or not natural selection and random variation is an adequate mechanism, because the mechanism is the only thing that makes Evolution a scientific theory rather than a mere narrative. The reason we can’t ignore statistics and probability is because the mechanism of evolution operates entirely on that basis. Without it, we’re just playing around with a story, not doing science, and we can’t distinguish between an intelligent design and random evolution. No intelligent design is not science, and that is precisely the point. This is why Berlinski denounces Evolutionists who refuse to look at the statistics as believers in ID. You assume that speciation by natural selection and random variation is true and just proceed from there. Once again, that is not science.

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