Profile

Cover photo
Brandon Petaccio
735,449 views
AboutPosts

Stream

Pinned

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
This is pretty rough, but I wanted to get it out there in time for this special occasion. There will be editing.

Darwin Day: Reflections on a Personal Evolution
In honor of Charles Darwin, whose rhetorical modesty and bold intellect I greatly admire, I thought it was about time I traced my own evolution from a timid, perhaps naive, wayfarer, traipsing through a jungle of technical obfuscation and controversy, to what I am today: a marginally better-read version of the same thing. To begin with, I was raised in church, and many of my similarly religious friends were spending their adolescence taking up arms against this thing called “evolution”. Darwin was assumed to be one of history’s great villains, and his ideas were to be vigorously opposed. For my own part, I lacked the confidence to engage in such conversations. Something in me sensed that this was a losing battle. My creeping suspicion was that certain, most-cherished beliefs were opposed to certain, best-established science, and I did not muster the courage to confront so uncertain an outcome until well after high school. It wasn't until some time in college that I first allowed myself to contemplate the issues that had long been laid before me, and, being in the midst of students of all manner of sciences, my situation had become much better suited for exploration.

So I explored. And predictably, evolutionists characterized my questioning as ignorant - a charge to which I plead no contest. Evolutionists were a bombastic  bunch, but they had a knowledge of chemistry and paleontology commensurate with their demeanor. This was just what I had expected: a losing battle against a well-equipped, more experienced army of spiritual progeny of what I assumed was a militant Darwin, posthumously leading the charge. But I was in this to learn, not to win, and in time, I began to learn about Darwin the man. I discovered that he is nothing like his modern heirs to the throne of science.

A Discrepancy of Character
I recently came across a bit of research which showed that individuals with “higher cognitive ability” exhibit a “larger bias blind spot”. One interpretation I read was that smarter people are overconfident, and so are not as careful in consideration of their own views. If I knew anyone at risk for overconfidence, it surely was the most confident people I knew: evolutionists. Their general air of hubris turned out to be in stark contrast to the object of their indelible affections - Darwin - who was remarkably humble. Indeed, Darwin took very seriously the challenges to his seminal work on common descent. He regularly cautioned those in his own camp against credulity, particularly on the subject of abiogenesis (variously called by other names in Darwin's time), despite characterizing this as an issue of "transcendent importance". Darwin took great care to avoid blind spots, and didn't seem to have any, near as I could tell. It's just that he felt he had the best interpretation of the greatest number of facts, despite any anomalous information.

Evolutionists today also feel that they have the best interpretation of facts, but they seem hypersensitive to any suggestion that there remains anything anomalous in modern evolutionary theory. Most surprising of late has been when evolutionists argue with great rigor against facts that come from the mainstream scientific literature, but that they initially assume to have come from some "creationist" website. I am not alluding to singular facts, but to foundational principles and mysteries of modern science that evolutionists, at least the ones I talk to, seem invariably unaware of. These are their blind spots, and I will delineate the three most pervasive.

Blind Spot 1: Digital DNA
Whenever I open the question of the information content in DNA, you can be sure that a large proportion of responses from evolutionists will characterize these biochemical systems as “just a bunch of chemistry,” and not as digital information systems. But this betrays an ignorance of what it means to be digital (http://goo.gl/E659pv). It does not mean that information systems are not amenable to physical law. It means that a limited (quantized) set of well-defined (discrete) characters (signal components) are transmitted across an information channel, and are then translated. The alphabet is digital. Binary is digital. The cell’s biochemical information system transmits sequences of DNA’s nucleotide base pairs (discrete, quantized, signal components) across an information channel (mRNA), then translates it (in the ribosome) into polypeptides, which fold into usable proteins. In other words, DNA and its protein machinery possess all of the qualities of a digital information system. Those who argue to the contrary are stuck in a mode of thinking that went out of vogue half a century ago, when the cell was thought to be a gelatinous amalgam of physical necessity. Such ideas proved to be unfruitful after the elucidation of DNA’s structure in 1953, and researchers grappled with the mystery of heritable traits. It was finally agreed upon that DNA was responsible for inheritance, but researchers were stuck trying to figure out how the physical properties of the nucleotides were responsible for the production of proteins. It wasn’t until Francis Collins’ sequence hypothesis that anyone realized they weren’t. Rather, it was the sequence of nucleotides, not their physical properties, that carried information about heritable traits. From the view that DNA represented a full-blown information system, Collins was able to make a series of risky predictions about the existence of intermediary translation apparatuses, for which there was not yet a shred of evidence, but that soon proved to be remarkably accurate.

Thus, not only is it technically accurate to characterize DNA and its protein machinery as a digital information system, but this view proved heuristically productive and prescient at a time when researchers were at a standstill. The fact of the cell’s information system has become a foundational assumption in the science literature, yet evolutionists still regularly argue the point.

Blind Spot 2: The Tree of Life
A second blind spot happens to be a point of particular confidence among evolutionists: the fossil record. I often see the words “we have the fossils; we win” being bandied about on the internet, but few evolutionists I talk to seem aware that the proverbial tree of life also represents the biggest problem for Darwin’s theory. Darwin anticipated that the geologic record should reveal a “finely graduated organic chain,” and openly recognized that the absence of this pattern was “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” (http://goo.gl/eJEmWY).

The inevitable response is that 150 years of paleontology has vindicated Darwin, just as he hoped, but the science literature tells a different story. So pervasive in the literature is this alternative reality that it is hard to choose only a few references, but one that stands out comes from an article in the journal Evolution, titled “A Comparative Study of Diversification Events”:

“The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of the classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families... The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa.”

In other words, the fossil record does not corroborate Darwins narrative that disparate forms are the product of cumulative diversification. If evolutionists turn out not to be ignorant of Darwin’s own concerns with the fossil record (rare), they surely have proved ignorant of the fact that the problem persists today, and is made more acute by the disparity-first pattern in the history of life that is exactly opposite of Darwin’s expectations. From a 2013 article published in the journal New Scientist, titled “Missing rock fuelled Cambrian explosion of life”:

“In a geological blink of an eye, most groups of the animal kingdom appeared in the Earth's oceans and then diversified.”

2013 was a significant year for paleontology, for it also yielded a book by leading paleontologists Douglas Erwin and James Valentine, titled "The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity":

"Morphologic evolution is commonly depicted with lineages more or less gradually diverging from their common ancestor. New features arise along the evolving lineages... but neither the Cambrian nor the living marine fauna display this pattern."

But few capture the situation as poignantly as Eugene Koonin, who remarked in his 2007 work titled “The Biological Big Band Model for the Major Transitions in Evolution”:

“The relationships between major groups within an emergent new class of biological entities are hard to decipher and do not seem to fit the tree pattern that, following Darwin’s original proposal, remains the dominant description of biological evolution.”

That is just a very minute sampling of the wealth of information in the science literature analyzing life’s pattern of disparity-first. Nowhere does any serious researcher pretend that this pattern does not exist, or that it is not contrary to Darwin’s prediction. Yet, evolutionists have somehow been convinced that “we have the fossils,” despite the overwhelming reality that the geologic record of life continues to present a problem for Darwin’s theory that today is even more acute than in Darwin’s time.

Blind Spot 3 - Falsifiability
A third blind spot is the use of demarcation arguments to categorically dismiss alternative ideas as “non-science”. I characterize this as a “blind spot” because those employing such tactics usually prove themselves to be ignorant of the history and operations of science. There are a number of demarcation arguments, but none is more egregious than falsifiability. It is not insignificant that the popularizer of the falsification criterion, Karl Popper, did not believe that the Darwinian framework was falsifiable. Nor did he believe that unfalsifiable ideas could not have scientific value. More importantly, though, is the work of historian of science Thomas Kuhn, who showed the resilience of large scientific frameworks, like Darwinian evolution. Science operates on the preponderance of evidence, not singular facts where the outcome of one true-or-false proposition determines the success of failure of larger propositions. Rather, scientific frameworks, like Darwinian evolution, are built upon a series of smaller propositions which, together, converge upon certain grand conclusions. Falsify one proposition, and there are still many others supporting the framework. In this way, Kuhn showed, scientific “paradigms” have an inherent tolerance for anomalous outcomes. Yet few would argue that such paradigms are unscientific simply because, as a matter of science history, they are never falsified in one fell swoop. Nevertheless, evolutionists act as though an idea can have no scientific value if it is not falsifiable, even though Popper, from whom their belief is derived, would not have agreed, and despite the questionable falsifiability of large scientific frameworks.

Darwin: No respecter of hubris
As I continue to study Darwin, my admiration grows. He was intellectually sharp, articulate, and honest. He was as confident in his theory as he was candid about its weaker points. I sometimes wonder, if he were suddenly popped back into existence in the year 2015, what he would think about DNA. Would he see it as the “complex organ” that would cause his theory to “absolutely break down” (http://goo.gl/SNDWcj)? Would he be surprised that, 150 years later, the fossil record does not corroborate his tree of life? These questions are intriguing because it is so hard to tell, from what we know about the man. One thing we can be sure of is that he would not be impressed with the hubris of his representatives today. If there’s anything I have learned from Darwin, it’s that the most proud are most deserving of our skepticism. And evolutionists are the proudest people I know.
26
4
Brandon Petaccio's profile photoOscar Rivera's profile photoErnie Deaver's profile photoGuillermo Colín's profile photo
73 comments
 
+Brandon Petaccio It is a Lamarck principle, although the exact details of Lamarack beliefs are not in line with Epigenetics.
Darwin agreed with Lamarck's principle of the transmission of characters acquired by use but he elaborated on it and said the strength of inheritability of traits is affected by use, and commented on the loss of disused traits. 
Darwin's beliefs are not in line with Epigenetics either, mainly because neither were aware of DNA of course.
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
I'm noticing a conspicuous dissonance in the parading around of journalists' right to offend religion however obscenely they wish, and simultaneously tearing down the confederate flag because its mind-read symbolism of racial oppression is offensive.

The guy who authored this article has the humility to lower the flag in the interest of others. Be at peace with everyone so long as it depends on you, as the Bible says. At the same time, the record now seems to show unequivocally that religious people aren't the only ones with a victim complex.
I hang the Confederate flag in my home. But that doesn't mean it should fly over our statehouse.
3
Jacob Horowitz's profile photoBrandon Petaccio's profile photo
3 comments
 
lol, true
Add a comment...
 
You guys might find this conversation to be fun. It seems the cool thing to do now is to deny the hiatus ever existed... Who are the "deniers" now?
This is empirical evidence, not philosophy. - MMaximuSS1975 - Google+
1
omegan's profile photoPaul Mays (Quantummist)'s profile photo
33 comments
 
+omegan
 Correct...  I never Believe... Anything... Ever...
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
And then your three year old finds your phone and starts pushing buttons...
 
Thync – A Wearable Device That Alters Your Mood http://b4in.org/iMPg

‘Thync’ is a new wearable device that makes use of electroencephalography to measure the brain’s electrical activity, and modify neuron activity. Simply put, it has the ability to change your mood!

All you need to do is attach the device to your forehead and it will instantly shift your state of mind. A corresponding iPhone app lets you pick the type of mood you want to experience, and even adjust the intensity. You could choose to become happy, relaxed, focused, or energised. And the best part is, you get to do it without using drugs, energy drinks, or alcohol.

More http://b4in.org/iMPg
4 comments on original post
6
Craig Long's profile photoBrandon Petaccio's profile photo
2 comments
 
Exactly! I posted a link to a Borg picture under the original post! haha
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/answers/53000/53069_1242559279470.91res_292_391.jpg

It's uncanny.
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
A whole other level of poignancy.
 
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—A report published Thursday by researchers at the University of Virginia has revealed that putting your head in your hands and quietly moaning is still the best known way of getting through the next several seconds.
9 comments on original post
5
Add a comment...
 
Hoping somebody can help me with something that's probably simple. I'm using jQuery to move an element vertically while also rotating along the Y axis, by using toggle class. I know that jQuery is applying the classes because translate3d() is moving the element vertically, and rotateY() is rotating the element. However, I have two issues:

) perspective-origin has no effect on the perspective. Instead, the element flails weirdly between states.
) perspective() has no effect unless defined in the final state and excluded from the initial state... ??

Here is the CSS I'm using:

Initial state:
transform:translate3d(0px,-210px,0px) rotateY(-90deg);
perspective-origin: center center;

Final state:
transform: translate3d(0px,-110px,0px) rotateY(0deg) perspective(100px);
perspective-origin: center center;

Hopefully that's enough information to spot the problem. I essentially have no control over the perspective of the animation.

I was initially changing the margin-top value, but wanted to start using 3d transforms for better animation performance.

I'm using Chrome desktop, which I keep updated.

Update: I've created a JSFiddle that essentially shows the problem. I know that I have a lot of prefixes in there, mostly because I don't know which prefixes are necessary. Hopefully this will at least get the idea across: Perspective isn't doing anything. JSFiddle: https://jsfiddle.net/56aq22dc/
Test your JavaScript, CSS, HTML or CoffeeScript online with JSFiddle code editor.
1
Add a comment...
 
Hoping somebody can help me with something that's probably simple. I'm using jQuery to move an element vertically while also rotating along the Y axis, by using toggle class. I know that jQuery is applying the classes because translate3d() is moving the element vertically, and rotateY() is rotating the element. However, I have two issues:

) perspective-origin has no effect on the perspective. Instead, the element flails weirdly between states.
) perspective() has no effect unless defined in the final state and excluded from the initial state... ??

Here is the CSS I'm using:

Initial state:
transform:translate3d(0px,-210px,0px) rotateY(-90deg);
perspective-origin: center center;

Final state:
transform: translate3d(0px,-110px,0px) rotateY(0deg) perspective(100px);
perspective-origin: center center;

Hopefully that's enough information to spot the problem. I essentially have no control over the perspective of the animation.

I was initially changing the margin-top value, but wanted to start using 3d transforms for better animation performance.

I'm using Chrome desktop, which I keep updated.

Update: I've created a JSFiddle that essentially shows the problem. I know that I have a lot of prefixes in there, mostly because I don't know which prefixes are necessary. Hopefully this will at least get the idea across: Perspective isn't doing anything. JSFiddle: https://jsfiddle.net/56aq22dc/
Test your JavaScript, CSS, HTML or CoffeeScript online with JSFiddle code editor.
1
Francisco Cornejo's profile photoBrandon Petaccio's profile photo
2 comments
 
I want it to fade in while moving down and spinning from 90deg to 0deg. I learned from stackoverflow that I have my perspective() in the wrong place, since transform attributes goes left-to-right. That was one major problem. But now there's a second one...

The way I vertically align the div means I have to use negative values for Y in order for the div to start high and animate downward. For some reason, this seems to be throwing off the perspective-origin, which now appears to be bottom for the Y axis. Should be center for Y and X.

I made a JSFiddle here:
https://jsfiddle.net/56aq22dc/3/

See how the bottom remains on the same plane during the animation? Perspective should be in the center of the div, horizontally and vertically.

I suspect that perspective-origin is determining where div would be irrespective of the Y positioning. That would explain it I think, given the height of the div and the negative Y values (which would put the center of the div before Y positioning at the bottom of the div after Y positioning, resulting in the problem of the perspective appearing to be on the bottom)... but I haven't been able to fix it yet.

Sorry, I said a lot. Just wanted to make sure I provided enough info. Also, I'm just rushing through my response cause my kid happened to wake up in the middle of the night and I saw the notification, lol.

Thanks for any help you can provide. If you're on stackoverflow, here's a link to my question:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/31079910/translate3d-rotatey-working-but-perspective-origin-not-working-why
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

► CSS and CSS3  - 
 
Hoping somebody can help me with something that's probably simple. I'm using jQuery to move an element vertically while also rotating along the Y axis, by using toggle class. I know that jQuery is applying the classes because translate3d() is moving the element vertically, and rotateY() is rotating the element. However, I have two issues:

) perspective-origin has no effect on the perspective. Instead, the element flails weirdly between states.
) perspective() has no effect unless defined in the final state and excluded from the initial state... ??

Here is the CSS I'm using:

Initial state:
transform:translate3d(0px,-210px,0px) rotateY(-90deg);
perspective-origin: center center;

Final state:
transform: translate3d(0px,-110px,0px) rotateY(0deg) perspective(100px);
perspective-origin: center center;

Hopefully that's enough information to spot the problem. I essentially have no control over the perspective of the animation.

I was initially changing the margin-top value, but wanted to start using 3d transforms for better animation performance.

I'm using Chrome desktop, which I keep updated.

Update: I've created a JSFiddle that essentially shows the problem. I know that I have a lot of prefixes in there, mostly because I don't know which prefixes are necessary. Hopefully this will at least get the idea across: Perspective isn't doing anything. JSFiddle: https://jsfiddle.net/56aq22dc/
Test your JavaScript, CSS, HTML or CoffeeScript online with JSFiddle code editor.
1
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
The bravest - and littlest - people I know.
These are the bravest people I know. We'll see what happens by the time I get through with them, but when we first met, they weren't afraid of anything - not bugs, not the dark, nothing. A little g...
1
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Research Bulletin  - 
 
 
Is man causing the earth to warm dangerously or not? US has cooled over the last 10 years. Doesn't mean the EARTH hasnt warmed as a whole. 
Data from America’s most advanced climate monitoring system shows the U.S. has undergone a cooling trend over the last decade, despite recent claims by government scientists that warming has acceler
18 comments on original post
8
2
Chris Sprucefield's profile photoChris Doss's profile photoPaul Mays (Quantummist)'s profile photo
 
Why should we not trust raw unaltered data when available?
Raw unaltered data, is the best source for doing any kind of scientific work.

Only reason I can think of, is that it doesn't fit the agenda.
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
Speaking for myself, lest others speak for me.
It occurs to me that, in the process of cutting through the mystery of me, some major things remain oddly obscured: What caused me to believe in the way that I do now? The answer lies more than a d...
3
Add a comment...

Brandon Petaccio

Shared publicly  - 
 
Figured it was about time.
Someone once asked me if I'd ever thought about blogging. I said yeah, but I hate the word "blog," first of all, and I doubt anyone would read it anyway. I've had two children since then, and as I'...
3
Add a comment...
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
May 3
Links