Friday, May 11, 2018

Green turns to Brown

How green is my planet?
By Gregory Wrightstone
American Thinker May 8, 2018

(By The Way, link and share this because these right-wing petroleum industry whores will kill us)

Mr. George Wrightstone has spread an interesting number of misstatements which is a polite way to say he lied. What makes his lies interesting is that he opened each with a citation via internet link to what ought to be a reputable source, NASA, and the National Geographic. Before showing how these sources were distorted I’ll simply note that Mr. Wrightstone is a recently retired petroleum gas engineer with an 1985 masters degree in sedimentary geology. He has no relevant education, nor apparently much study about climate. My first research fellowships were in nuclear chemistry which is also quite distant from climate study. But I did spend 30+ years in archaeology where we do need to study how ancient climate and environmental conditions could be reconstructed. And, unlike Mr. Wrightstone, I worked in both commercial field and academic science. It is this that helps me to correctly read the sources used (more like abused) by Mr. Wrightstone.

There is a false claim made that “… an amazing greening of the Earth is taking place.” This is supported by 3 links to news items promoted by NASA, or NatGeo. The first link was to a NASA blog from 2003, “Global Garden Gets Greener” by Rebecca Lindsey. Ms. Lindsey is a communication specialist with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She has been a member of their team for 18+ years now and counting. What Mr. Wrightstone misleadingly presented as current was a 15 years out of date popular item that was based entirely on an article;
Nemani, R.R., Keeling, C.D., Hashimoto, H., Jolly, W.M., Piper, S.C., Tucker, C.J., Myneni, R.B. and Running, S.W.,
2003 "Climate driven increases in global terrestrial net primary production from 1982 to 1999" Science Vol. 300: 5625, pp. 1560-1563.

So this amazing “greening” was concluded from data ending in 1999 and then published in 2003.

How did it hold up over time?

It didn’t. In fact, the leading science director of the 2003 project, Dr. Steven W. Running co-authored the following article that basically repudiated the earlier finding, and found that the 1982 to 1999 data grossly over estimated plant growth;

Maosheng Zhao, Steven W. Running
2011 "Response to Comments on “Drought-Induced Reduction in Global Terrestrial Net Primary Production from 2000 Through 2009” Science Vol. 333: 6046, pp. 1093

And in a continuing correction of obsolete models and data, see;

Jennifer M. Cotton, Nathan D. Sheldon, Michael T. Hren, and
Timothy M. Gallagher
2015 "Positive feedback drives carbon release from soils to atmosphere during Paleocene/Eocene warming" Am J Sci Vol 315:337-361;

The phony "greening" is a brown out.


So the next bogus “greenie” from Mr. George Wrightstone is linked to a National Geographic magazine news item;
“Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?” by James Owen for National Geographic News posted on-line July 31, 2009. The entire hype here was built on a single study;

L. Merbold et al
2009 "Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems" Biogeosciences, 6, 1027-1041.

So here are the facts; First, the 2009 article was based on just 2 years of data satellite data; Second, the “Saharan data” was actually from the Sahel far to the southeast of the Sahara. Then it turned out that the measured improvements were from agricultural fields. As the actual scientific report showed, "All included ecosystems dominated by C3-plants showed a strong decrease in 30-min assimilation rates with increasing water vapour pressure deficit above 2.0 kPa." So, they had a wet year. The grass grew.

Then the rain stopped and the grass died.

And the so-called "greening" turned brown- dead brown;

Rishmawi, K. and Prince, S.D., 2016. Environmental and anthropogenic degradation of vegetation in the Sahel from 1982 to 2006. Remote Sensing, 8(11), p.948.

Mr. Wrightstone’s remaining fake “green” news was a April 26, 2016 popular press release from Samson Reiny of NASA's Earth Science News Team, “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds.” The only scientific paper this news item was built on was;
Zhu, Zaichun et al
2016 "Greening of the Earth and its drivers" Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, pg. 791

Wrightstone has incorrectly joined the idea that CO2 fertilizes grass with the notion that there is not climate change, an idea shown to be false in the same article he tries to use. He ignored this inconvenient fact, “While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. … The impacts of climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.”

But, there were very important facts about plants that he tried to avoid reporting from the news item he claims supports his fantasy. For example he seemed to have skipped this part, "The beneficial impacts of carbon dioxide on plants may also be limited, said co-author Dr. Philippe Ciais, associate director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Sciences, Gif-suv-Yvette, France, “Studies have shown that plants acclimatize, or adjust, to rising carbon dioxide concentration and the fertilization effect diminishes over time.”

What they did find was that increased cropland production added CO2 to the atmosphere. And that certain kinds of plants benefit from elevated CO2 levels. This is where the distinction between high CO2 favoring C3 plants, and the slower growing C4 plants becomes significant. The original ancestral method of photosynthesis combines CO2 with a five-carbon molecule to produce two identical three-carbon molecules. This is the “C3” process. But, there is a weakness- the plant photosynthetic enzyme also will take up free oxygen which slowed the plant’s growth. A later process evolved that used a different enzyme that made a four carbon molecule. These are the C4 plants. They are both important for positive reasons, and negatives. For example, C4 plants are 14 of the 18 worst weeds in the world, (L. G. Holm, D. L. Plucknett, J. B. Pancho, J. P. Herberger, 1977 “The World's Worst Weeds: Distribution and Biology” Univ. Press of Hawaii).

But, the C3 plants responded very well to enhanced CO2 concentrations which was the claim that Mr. Wrightstone was repeating. He also is claiming that if some plants do well, then we humans have nothing to worry about. That is false.

But do they really do that better? The C3 plants do better, but only for a while. A rather short while.

Two new scientific reports have found that there are short term limits to plants responding positively to high CO2 concentrations;

Peter B. Reich, Sarah E. Hobbie, Tali D. Lee, Melissa A. Pastore
2018 “Unexpected reversal of C3 versus C4 grass response to elevated CO2 during a 20-year field experiment” Science Vol. 360: 6386, pp. 317-320

Mark Hovenden, Paul Newton,
2018 “Plant responses to CO2 are a question of time” Science, Vol. 360: 6386, pp. 263-264

What the happy little story Mr. Wrightstone wants to sell his readers fails to tell is that this fake “greening” is not going to save anybody.

As shown in “Estimating global cropland production from 1961 to 2010” (Han, Pengfei; Zeng, Ning; Zhao, Fang; Lin, Xiaohui, 2017 Earth System Dynamics; Gottingen Vol. 8:3, 875-887), most of the early  “greening” data was due to a burst of agricultural expansion largely in Africa following severe droughts in the 1970s and 1980s and bounced higher during the huge 1997-1998 El Nino event.

Further, the hope that increased plant mass could absorb the radically growing CO2 load failed as well. See;

Lena R. Boysen, Wolfgang Lucht, Dieter Gerten, Vera Heck, Timothy M. Lenton, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
2017 “The limits to global‐warming mitigation by terrestrial carbon removal” Earth’s Future, The American Geophysical Union (AGU).

In fact, this “greening” turns brown.


Mr. Wrightstone's grand finale started with, "Temperature-related mortality studies show that 15 to 20 times as many people around the world die early deaths due to cold than from heat, so any additional warming would prevent millions of premature deaths due to temperature. Finally, according to a study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, deaths in the U.S. due to extreme weather have plummeted 98% over the last century.
The cited study is;  Indur M. Goklany “Deaths and Death Rates from Extreme Weather Events: 1900-2008” (Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 14 Number 4 Winter 2009).

Indur M. Goklany?
“Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons” ??

Sure. Finally. In the USA, boo rah.

The supporting “science” was a political rant by Indur M. Goklany “Deaths and Death Rates from Extreme Weather Events: 1900-2008” ( Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 14 Number 4 Winter 2009). First, Indur M. Goklany is an electrical engineer who knows nothing about epidemiology, or demographics. Second, Indur M. Goklany is a long time political hack with political rather than any professional credits. Third, Indur M. Goklany when he was finally turned out of the Federal bureaucracy went to work for extremist "think tanks."

Then as a fourth, the American Physicians and Surgeons is just a  political gang that is still freaking out over the 1964 Medicare Act. They have a tiny membership, and no scientific credibility.

Mr. Wrightstone, “The Earth is not spiraling into a man-made climate catastrophe. Rather, it, and humanity, is thriving and prospering greatly due to our changing climate and increasing carbon dioxide. Sleep well; you aren't destroying the planet.”

In fact, every professional biologist, and climatologist I know personally thinks that we are on the edge of destruction. Some doubt that we humans survive as a species. The only true thing Mr. Wrightstone wrote is that the Earth is just fine. The Earth has seen many mass extinctions. We will probably kill ourselves, and the Earth will keep on spinning just fine.

And while it might “rain on the just and the unjust,” climate change will kill the poor faster than the rich. It has already started;

Sebastian Bathiany, Vasilis Dakos, Marten Scheffer, and
Timothy M. Lenton
2018 “Climate models predict increasing temperature variability in poor countries” Science Advances Vol. 4: 5, eaar5809

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Philip Heywood, Creationist

It happens that technology has begun to catch a glimpse. Don't mention it to the circus managers! The hooha has all been superseded, as usual, ... by ..... the advance of science.
1). Evolution in the literal sense of unrolling or staged revelation is an observed, empirical fact of the geologic record.
2). Species in the literal meaning --  special, implicitly specially created -- are an observed, empirical fact of the world about us.  The widely accepted and only widely useful empirical method of attempting to group  organisms as species rests upon the  foundation of the reproductive unit.  This has been more or less so since Linnaeus. This species concept was re-emphasized by Mayr, 20th Century.  It is essentially employed worldwide.  The best possible test of species is whether or not the organisms can successfully reproduce together. Not so easy with some organisms, and not always straightforward with fossils of extinct organisms. But central to biology and palaeontology.   Species = special (= species!)  was proven yet more certainly by Mendel, who showed the empirical, mathematical basis of genetic expression. Species can not be in transit or they would fail to be an entity -- special.  They would not have been recognized as special by Linnaeus.  Mendel would have catalogued his pea plants in confusion.  Mayr would have been deceived in giving the modern species definition.
3). This reality/stability (with qualifications) of species was the basis of mainstream science's approach to the unrolling (evolution) question.  Sir Richard Owen, palaeontologist and classifier of some of Darwin's specimens, named evolution, "The Law of Progression from the General to the Particular".  He saw no mechanism at that time - a decade or two before Darwin published -- but pointed out that organisms are a re-arrangement of basics. He used the term, 'archetype", meaning, the essential components which were re-arranged according to some purpose. His archetype of the vertebrates turned out to be very similar to the oldest fossil vertebrate. Owen was mainstream so concluded the changes were pre-ordained.  He did not attribute supernatural powers to Nature.  Modern information technology and microbiology prove him correct.  The essence of a species is information.  Species were transformed courtesy of information processing. Nature, of course, can not think, and so "pre-ordination' was correct until technology advanced to enable us to see how information could be programmed into the biosphere. We now can see how a (created) living cell could be transformed through transmission and processing of  pre-existing information.  Thus, species were created at a point in time as GENESIS declares and were visibly realized over time as the same divine authority implies.  Line and verse.
4).  Darwin, in conference with the(self declared) heathen spiritist, Wallace and with the self-declared 'agnostic', Huxley, opted for Nature providing the information as the evolution occurred.  The magic unrolling carpet.  Species are in constant transitional transition and do not therefore exist!   (Darwin missed that point!)  We ourselves are going to become what does not yet exist!  Huxley, trying for rational explanation, suggested to Darwin that Nature "makes leaps" (translation from Latin).
Every physicist/scientist worthy of the title then and now will express reservation or antagonism to Nature making leaps.  If Nature can create matter, energy, or information -- which in some real sense are all equivalent -- then Nature is the Creator.  Nothing in Science can be verified.  Science dies on the spot.  The laws of thermodynamics fail.  Rationality ceases.
So are you talking up Evolution the fact of history, Evolution the idolatrous Nature Deity, Creationism as espoused by people who don’t read their Bible (parts of it, anyways), or Creationism in the dictionary meaning, as espoused by all respected foundational scientists from F. Bacon through to Einstein and beyond?

For people who like someone that manages to get almost everything just wrong (I think of super spy Maxwell Smart), this post is a treasure. Of the four points, just the first is correct. The other three make errors of history, linguistics, and science fact.
Look at Mr. Heywood's point #2 regarding "species." First, the shared Latin meaning from the word's origin "specere" (to look) is not "special, implicitly specially created." The closest other word in modern English is "specific" which followed an evolution from the Middle English (c.a 1450 C.E.) word for "appearance, or form". It was used in biology starting in 1735 to classify plants or animals that looked similar. The Swedish natural philosopher Carl Linnaeus sorted organisms into "species" according to visible shared physical characteristics launching the modern era of biology.  He collected species in to related groups he called "Genera" using the term suggested in Greek philosopher Aristotle's writing: γένος (génos) meaning "kind" in modern English.

Of course it was Charles R. Darwin (not Linnaeus) who proposed that natural selection acting on variations in a related population (species) of organisms could result in the origin of new species. And he went further to say that these new species would be reproductively isolated from their parent, or sister species. The actual mathematical statement linking the species concept with genetics was the  Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium *1. Gregor Mendel's work showed that discrete biological "units" called genes were distributed throughout a population of plants (which made no mention of reproductive isolation or fitness).

What drives the stake through the heart of the creationist sham is that we have published observations a century old of new species emerging from older ones. This has been done in nature and in experiments.

1) Hardy, G. H.
1908 "Mendelian Proportions in a Mixed Population." Science. 28 (706): 49–50.

Weinberg, W.
1908) "Über den Nachweis der Vererbung beim Menschen." Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg. 64: 368–382

The Guardian Sept, 2017

Ya-googly shows this criticisms of Urey Miller:


(1) They still used the wrong gasses: methane, ammonia, and water vapor. For decades, geochemists have not considered it likely these gasses were abundant in the early Earth atmosphere.
(2) They still ignored the presence of oxygen, which destroys the desired products. Wells explained that oxygen was likely abundant due to photodissociation of water in the atmosphere. The oxygen would remain, while the hydrogen would quickly escape to space.
(3) Even if trace amounts of ammonia or methane and other reducing gasses were present, they would have been rapidly destroyed by ultraviolet radiation.
(4) No amino acids have been generated in spark-discharge experiments using a realistic atmosphere of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor, even in the absence of oxygen.
(5) The amino acids produced were racemic (mixtures of left- and right-handed forms). Except in rare exceptions, life uses only the left-handed form. Astrobiologists need to explain how the first replicator isolated one hand out of the mixture, or obtained function from mixed-form amino acids initially, then converted to single-handed forms later. Neither is plausible for unguided natural processes — especially when natural selection would be unavailable until accurate replication was achieved.
(6) Undesirable cross-reactions with other products would generate tar, destroying the amino acids. Only by isolating the desired products (a form of investigator interference — one might call it intelligent design) could they claim partial success.
(7) Amino acids tend to fall apart in water, not join. Under the best conditions with cyanamide, Bada and Parker only got dipeptides. Repeated cycles of wetting and drying would need to be imagined for polymerization, but many astrobiologists today think life originated at deep sea hydrothermal vents.
(8) The desired reagents would be extremely dilute in the oceans without plausible concentrating mechanisms. Even then, they would disperse without plausible vessels, like cell membranes, to keep them in proximity.
(9) Lifeless polypeptides would go nowhere without a genetic code to direct them.
(10) The Miller experiments cannot speak to the origin of other complex molecules needed by life: nucleic acids, sugars, and lipids. Some of these require vastly different conditions than pictured for amino acid synthesis: e.g., a desert environment with boron for the synthesis of ribose (essential for RNA).

Old news

I doubt all readers will have the chemistry background, but here are why these "criticisms" are bogus;
(I'll only cite one or two articles from the professional literature per false claim)
1) The Miller/Urey results were replicated with many gas mixes. Further, the early Earth atmosphere was highly reduced.
G. Schlesinger and S.L. Miller:

Zahnle, Kevin, Laura Schaefer and Bruce Fegley
2010 “Earth's Earliest Atmospheres” Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology

Holland, Heinrich D.
2006 “The oxygenation of the atmosphere and oceans” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2006 361, 903-915 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2006.1838
(2) They still ignored the presence of oxygen, which destroys the desired products.
Cleaves, H. James, John H. Chalmers, Antonio Lazcano, Stanley L. Miller, Jeffrey L. Bada
2008 “A Reassessment of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis in Neutral Planetary Atmospheres” Orig Life Evol Biosph 38:105–115

Ricardo, A., Carrigan, M. A., Olcott, A. N., Benner, S. A.
2004 "Borate Minerals Stabilize Ribose" Science January 9; 303: 196
(3) Even if trace amounts of ammonia or methane and other reducing gasses were present, they would have been rapidly destroyed by ultraviolet radiation.
Cleaves, H. James, Stanley L. Miller
1998 “Oceanic protection of prebiotic organic compounds from UV radiation” PNAS-USA v. 95, issue 13: 7260-7263

E. T. Wolf and O. B. Toon
2010 “Fractal Organic Hazes Provided an Ultraviolet Shield for Early Earth” Science 4 June 328: 1266-1268
(4) No amino acids have been generated in spark-discharge experiments using a realistic atmosphere of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor, even in the absence of oxygen.
Repeated variation of fake objection #2

Cleaves, H. James, John H. Chalmers, Antonio Lazcano, Stanley L. Miller, Jeffrey L. Bada
2008 “A Reassessment of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis in Neutral Planetary Atmospheres” Orig Life Evol Biosph 38:105–115
(5) The amino acids produced were racemic (mixtures of left- and right-handed forms).
We find racemic peptides throughout life. We humans even have enzymes that are racemic, and those that convert amino acids to the opposite forms. So, while the statement of fact is correct, the reply is "So what."
(5 B) Astrobiologists need to explain how the first replicator isolated one hand out of the mixture, or obtained function from mixed-form amino acids initially, then converted to single-handed forms later."
Solved. Actually solved.
Schmidt, J. G., Nielsen, P. E. & Orgel, L. E. 1997 "Enantiomeric cross-inhibition in the synthesis of oligonucleotides on a nonchiral template" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 119, 1494-1495

Saghatelion A, Yokobayashi Y, Soltani K, Ghadiri MR, 2001 "A chiroselective peptide replicator" Nature 409: 797-51, Feb

Yao Shao, Ghosh I, Zutshi R, Chmielewski J. 1998 "Selective amplification by auto- and cross-catalysis in a replicating peptide system" Nature, Dec 3;396(6710):447-50

Hazen, R.M., T.R. Filley, and G.A. Goodfriend. 2001 "Selective adsorption of L- and D-amino acids on calcite: Implications for biochemical homochirality" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98(May 8):5487
(5 C) Neither is plausible for unguided natural processes — especially when natural selection would be unavailable until accurate replication was achieved.
Wrong again. Just one example will do which also applies to fake objection #3;

Mulkidjanian, Armen Y., Dmitry A Cherepanov, Michael Y Galperin
2003 "Survival of the fittest before the beginning of life: Selection of the first oligonucleotide-like polymers by UV light" BMC Evolutionary Biology 2003 3:12

I see I am running out of time this morning. I'll do the last 5 later tonight, or perhaps tomorrow.

The source of these objections is a professional creationist, Jon Wells, in his book, "Icons of Evolution." The rest of the book is as full of falsehoods as these examples.

(6) Undesirable cross-reactions with other products would generate tar, destroying the amino acids.
Jon Wells loves this sort of claim because his followers lack the chemistry education to know he is bluffing. The solution to the solution is also joined in creationist bluff #7;
(7) Amino acids tend to fall apart in water, not join. Under the best conditions with cyanamide, Bada and Parker only got dipeptides. Repeated cycles of wetting and drying would need to be imagined for polymerization, but many astrobiologists today think life originated at deep sea hydrothermal vents.
So in fake objection #6 organic molecules make a dense cross-linked tar, and then in #7 are too dilute to ever find each other. Classic "Heads I win, Tails you lose" creationist double-think.
The actual scientific publication in fake objection #7 regarding cyanamide is;

Parker, E.T., Zhou, M., Burton, A.S., Glavin, D.P., Dworkin, J.P., Krishnamurthy, R., Fernández, F.M. and Bada, J.L.
2014 "A plausible simultaneous synthesis of amino acids and simple peptides on the primordial Earth" Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53(31), pp.8132-8136.

It is a delightful paper that had slipped my notice until now. (Discussions even with creationists can be a learning opportunity). The basic result was that very simple conditions can produce more complex organic molecules than just Amino Acids (AAs). Rather than be a problem, it showed that under the same conditions known to produce AAs, they also spontaneously combined into small peptides. That is a solution, not a problem. The fake objection continues that, "Repeated cycles of wetting and drying would need to be imagined for polymerization."

My, my. Just imagine the repeated cycles of wetting and drying in tide pools, in stream side ponds, and any of the many other common locations for "wetting and drying." That was not difficult. However, the creationist twaddle tossed in a non-sequitur, "many astrobiologists today think life originated at deep sea hydrothermal vents."

I don't know if there are any recent polls of astrobiologists on the topic, but the hydrothermal vent hypothesis has been around since 1997;

Huber, Claudia, Gunter Wächtershäuser
1997 “Activated Acetic Acid by Carbon Fixation on (Fe,Ni)S Under Primordial Conditions” Science v. 276: 245-247

The advantages were that the hydrothermal vents eliminated the problem of bringing organic molecules into contact with minerals, and each other.

Huber, Claudia, Gunter Wächtershäuser
1998 “Peptides by Activation of Amino Acids with CO on (Ni,Fe)S Surfaces: Implications for the Origin of Life” Science v.281: 670-672

Here are a few papers I suggest to expand your reading on hydrothermal vent chemistry;

Bernd R.T. Simoneit, Ahmed I. Rushdi and David W. Deamer
2007 “Abiotic formation of acylglycerols under simulated hydrothermal conditions and self-assembly properties of such lipid products” Advances in Space Research Volume 40, Issue 11, Pages 1649-1656

Philipp Baaske, Franz M. Weinert, Stefan Duhr, Kono H. Lemke, Michael J. Russell, and Dieter Braun
2007 "Extreme accumulation of nucleotides in simulated hydrothermal pore systems" PNAS | May 29, vol. 104 | no. 22 | 9346-9351

Again, creationists are using the ignorance of their followers to make money.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

There have been a few days (OK many days) I have spent on newspaper, or magazine on-line discussions. I have focused on creationist bullshit as we might expect. I have not posted blog notes of these various discussions as they are largely repetitive. I was particularly irritated this morning by a comment about “refuting evolution” by a nitwit creationist following a post on RawStory. His comment and my replies follow.

Ahh, the silliness of the evolutionists is still alive and well, I see. For those (apparently few) readers who are interested in learning why the idea of evolution (descent with modifications from some common ancestor) is total nonsense, I offer the following:
1. There has never been one experiment during which investigators turned non-life into life. Therefore, the Law of Biogenesis (life comes from life) has never been proven wrong. So any assumption that sometime in the past "life evolved from non-life by natural means" is just an assumption.

2. There has never been one experiment during which investigators changed single-celled life into multi-cellular life. So any assumption that sometime in the past "multi-cellular life evolved from single-celled life by natural means" is, again, just an assumption.

3. A careful look at each of the so-called "mechanisms of evolution" will show that not one of them individually can change one type of organism into another type of organism, nor can any collection of them, working together, change one type of organism into another type of organism - with the needed additional genetic information and new body plans. So any assumption that "these mechanisms at some time in the past have changed one type of organism into another type of organism" is, again, just an assumption.

4. The ability of an organism to change is limited by the information in its gene pool, so change has limits. Therefore, any assumption that sometime in the past "a population of organism A has evolved by natural means into a population of organism B, a different type of organism", is, again, just an assumption.

5. Over time and in natural situations, organisms in a population mate and reproduce offspring that revert to the mean and are stronger the closer they are to the mean set of traits of the population. Offspring with sets of traits that are further away from the mean, and thus are closer to the edge, of the population are weaker. (Good examples come from canines.) So instead of having what evolution requires - organisms getting stronger as they approach the edge of their gene pool, really strong organisms ready to be pushed through their genetic boundary by really strong mechanisms, which together will magically create new genetic material and body plans so as to turn these "old" organisms into "new and different" organisms - what we really have are strong organisms near the center of their gene pools that resist being pushed to their gene pool boundaries, weak organisms near the gene pool boundaries, mechanisms that (a) simply cannot push organisms over their gene pool boundary and (b) cannot give the "old" organisms the new genetic material and new body plans, which actions are required to turn the "old" organisms into "new and different" organisms. So assumptions that all this has happened sometime in the past by natural means are, again, only assumptions.
6. The scientific conclusion that evolution simply cannot happen and therefore has not happened. Any assumption that evolution actually has happened goes against this evidence and therefore is anti-science.

7. As this evidence shows evolution to be NOT POSSIBLE, unless this evidence can be refuted - REFUTED - then any "evidence" purporting to show that evolution has occurred has simply been misinterpreted.
Anti-science assumptions and faulty interpretations are weak reeds indeed upon which to base a comprehensive scientific theory about origins. And the unshakeable blind faith in this nonsense which is displayed by the evolutionist zealots is nothing short of amazing.

Regarding point #1
Charles Darwin noted (29 Mar 1863) to American botanist Joseph Hooker, "It is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter."

We do of course study both of these topics today. The origin of life, "abiogenesis" has taken on two different paths; the study of how life originated here, and the study of synthetic life.

For general readers on abiogenesis I suggest

Deamer, David W.
2011 “First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began” University of California Press

For synthetic life, see the technical literature starting with;

‘Minimal’ cell raises stakes in race to harness synthetic life"

Then work back with particular attention to the work by Prof. Jack Szostak of Harvard University.

Regarding point #2
"Experimental evolution of multicellularity"
William C. Ratcliff, R. Ford Denison, Mark Borrello, and Michael Travisano
January 31, 2012, vol. 109 no. 5
From the Abstract:
"Multicellularity was one of the most significant innovations in the history of life, but its initial evolution remains poorly understood. Using experimental evolution, we show that key steps in this transition could have occurred quickly. We subjected the unicellular yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to an environment in which we expected multicellularity to be adaptive. We observed the rapid evolution of clustering genotypes that display a novel multicellular life history characterized by reproduction via multicellular propagules, a juvenile phase, and determinate growth. The multicellular clusters are uniclonal, minimizing within-cluster genetic conflicts of interest. Simple among-cell division of labor rapidly evolved. Early multicellular strains were composed of physiologically similar cells, but these subsequently evolved higher rates of programmed cell death (apoptosis), an adaptation that increases propagule production. These results show that key aspects of multicellular complexity, a subject of central importance to biology, can readily evolve from unicellular eukaryotes."

Regarding point #3,

This creationist word salad by Mr. McCabe is basically meaningless. The most limited version of Darwin’s fundamental insight is that evolution proceeds by “Decent with modification acted on by natural selection.” Darwin himself was utterly ignorant of genetics, and his notion of hereditary “distributed gemmules” was totally wrong. This has of course been remedied today.

The only clue as to what Mr. McCabe might be looking for is “… change one type of organism into another type of organism - with the needed additional genetic information and new body plans.”

Of course we do have that evidence. We have reconstructed the evolution of many “body plans” and organs from direct genetic studies, and by paleontology. These data are mutually coherent and independent. See;

Ivan R Schwab
2011 “Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved”  Oxford University Press

Teaford, Mark F., Moya Meredith Smith, and Mark W.J. Ferguson
2000/2006 “Development, Function and Evolution of Teeth” Cambridge University Press

Hands and fingers;
Shubin, Neal
2008 “Your Inner Fish” New York: Pantheon Books

(For a taste of the technical literature)
Boisvert, C. A., Mark-Kurik, E., & Ahlberg, P. E. (2008). The pectoral fin of Panderichthys and the origin of digits. Nature, 456(7222), 636-638.

Regarding point #4;

This is another example of an ignorant man pretending knowledge. There was a key development in evolutionary theory that took place in the 1930s. It was the realization that individuals do not evolve; they live or die, they reproduce or not. Alternately called the “Neo-Darwinian synthesis,” or preferably, “population genetics,” this joined together genetics and evolutionary theory. It is populations that evolve, not individuals.

While it is true that there is a range of expression even within individuals, it is the larger population variations that matter in evolution. Let me give an example. If an individual had genes for running very fast they might be “superior” if running fast was an advantage. But, if that individual were to have a crippling disease their “advantage” will be inferior to another individual with a genetic resistance to crippling diseases. Since both gene groups are hypothetically present they will eventually be found together. We also know that there are “lateral” transfer of genes across species by hybridization, and directly by retroviral insertions.

Mr. McCabe seems ignorant of how genes evolve within a population. The most common example is simple duplication of a gene. This allowed the greater production of a gene product with zero risk of function loss. We know that not only single genes but chromosomes and even entire genomes have undergone duplication. There was a new advantage for duplication. This created “free” genes that could mutate randomly which generated new gene products, and sequences. This is a power natural tool to increase genetic information. We also know now that there is a powerful class of genes which act to control the regulation of other genes. The homeodomain, homobox, or Hox genes control the structural expression of all the other genes. Even slight mutation in these DNA sequences can have profound effects. For a general reader’s introduction to these topics, see;

Coyne, Jerry A.
2009 “Why Evolution is True” New York: Viking Press

Carroll, Sean B.
2006 “The Making of the Fittest” New York: Norton

Regarding point #5
What Mr. McCabe is poorly trying to describe is “regression to the mean” (and canines are a terrible example). This idea was first proposed by Francis Galton in 1886, "Regression towards mediocrity in hereditary stature," Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 15 : 246–263.

For this to be applied as a counter argument to population genetics, McCabe must be absolutely certain that there can be no environmental change on geological time scales. He must also prevent any population/species from ever migrating from one sort of environment to another. He must always demand that all-and-any members of a species have exactly equal chances to reproduce with any other.

These are the necessary assumptions for Mr. McCabe. Unfortunately for him we already know they are all false.

Species distributed across a landscape easily form isolated subpopulations which take different evolutionary paths. We know this by direct observation in nature. This sort of evolution is “allopatric speciation.” There is also a selection advantage to use the same habitats as a parent species, but in different ways. This is known from direct observation, and we call this “sympatric speciation.” “Peripatric speciation,” also known as “founder effect” is the result of small populations becoming isolated either by migration, or disaster.

Unfortunately for Mr. McCabe we know all of these events have happened, and are happening by direct observation in nature, and experimentally.

Regarding pseudo-points #6&7;

These are not evidence based claims. They are delusions. They are not “amazing” they are sad and dangerous. They are the sort of non-thinking that is blocking scientific research politically, and preventing urgent environmental and medical research. People like Mr. McCabe are contributing to the deaths of millions of people.

But we can at least refute claim #6 with direct observation of new species evolving in nature, in at-large population experiments, and in small scale laboratory experiments. Published examples are over a century old. This also points out the futility of trying to educate religious fanatics. The published evolutionary evidence of new species emerging from their parent populations is over a century old. The delusional creationism of Mr. McCabe is current.

“I have collected some examples of speciation that are handy to have available when a creationist claims there are none….”