Home » Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, FYI-FTR » HeKS suggests a way forward on the KS “bomb” argument

HeKS suggests a way forward on the KS “bomb” argument

New Contributor HeKS, has had occasion to comment a few hours ago on KS’ claimed bomb argument (cf. my own headlined for record response here, WJM’s here and here,  VJT’s here,   BA’s Black Knight Taunt summing up here and other responses at UD . . . KS’s  repeated boasts that he has not been answered are groundless).  I think his comment is worth headlining as a pivot for discussion on the issue and on what has been happening rhetorically:

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HeKS: >> In this thread, I noticed Keiths posting a summary of his supposed ‘bomb’ argument. I haven’t been around much lately and haven’t seen too much of the discussion around his argument that has apparently been taking place, but seeing his summary I decided to offer a few initial thoughts and ask a few questions. Keith responded by pointing me to his original article at TSZ. After reading it, I came away thinking his argument was worse than I had originally thought and asked that he respond to my previous comments so we could move forward from there as we have time. He asked me to repost my comments here, so that’s what I’m doing. The following will be the brief history of our interactions in that thread and then Keith can respond as he sees fit.

Keith’s summary of his argument was posted in this comment. This was my initial response:

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I haven’t been around too much lately cause I’ve been busy with other stuff, but seeing your argument in #59, I have a few questions and then, if I have time, I might address it further in coming days.

You say:

3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve

This seems to me like a cheat.

First, in order for this claim to have any value at all for your argument, we would have to assume that the biological processes that make unguided evolution (if indeed it is unguided) even possible are themselves not designed. A system can be designed to allow for inputs that are not specifically predicted and generate outputs that are not specifically intended, and yet the framework that allows for this to happen can be designed to specifically fulfill this purpose. It’s also possible for a system to be designed to generate outputs within certain constraints when it receives one or more of a wide range of predicted inputs. Furthermore, a system can be designed to degrade gracefully when certain functions or data become unavailable, so that the system as a whole can continue functioning in some form, though it sports a lesser array of features, or, alternatively, it can throw up some kind of fatal error that completely crashes the system when core features or data are missing. People who program for the web and for various browsers and devices (desktop, tablet, phone) do this kind of thing all the time, and programming and markup languages include features to make this kind of stuff easier.

So, when you say that we know that unguided evolution exists, all we really know is that specific events happen that we couldn’t predict in advance, and they sometimes result in relatively minor changes in organisms. We do not know that the systems that allow this to happen were not designed or that the possibility of this happening was not a specifically intended function of the system to allow for biological diversity and adaptation to changing environments.

Second, your argument assumes that this “unguided evolution”, if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically, even if it would require a large degree of extrapolation. The problem is that the type of “unguided evolution” we observe is not one that is observed to add novel functional information to the genome. It slightly alters and degrades genetic information, and it breaks existing functions or sometimes fixes functions that had previously been broken by simple point mutations, but we do not see it adding brand new complex (in the sense of “many well-matched parts”) functionality that didn’t exist before.

So the type of “unguided evolution” that “even the most rabid IDer/YEC” observes is not of the kind that they would have any reason to think can offer, even in principle, a possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes needed to produce an ONH naturalistically at any point that the ONH requires a significant increase in functional genetic information. Wherever that would be necessary, any appeal to the known existence of “unguided evolution” as a basic feature of reality would not even simply be an extreme unwarranted extrapolation of the available evidence, but would actually be the misleading invocation of a process that does pretty much exactly the opposite of what we observe “unguided evolution” doing.

So, if by your #3 you mean something like this:

We know that there exists an unguided natural mechanism of a sort that might, at least in principle, be able to explain the significant increases in functional genetic information at particular nodes of the supposed ONH of life.

Then I have to say, no, we don’t know of any such thing.

We don’t know that the apparently “unguided evolution” we observe is not made possible by designed systems intended to allow for that evolution to happen in the first place, and we don’t know that there exists any unguided mechanism that could, in principle, account for significant increases in functional genetic information or significant changes in body plans, whereas as we do know of constraints that would seem to prevent such things.

Of course, if you want to say that the ONH results from a gradual and unguided degrading of genetic information, that could work, at least to a certain point, and could be viewed as a reasonable extrapolation of the “unguided evolution” we observe. Of course, this raises the question of where the high information-content of the ancestor genome came from in the first place and we would have to account for the places in the hierarchy where a significant increase or change in functional information seems to have arisen.

4. We don’t know that the putative designer exists, so ID is already behind in the race.

We don’t begin with a knowledge that the designer exists, but we do know that intelligent design exists as a form of causation, that it is capable of generating significant amounts of functional information, and that it is capable of arranging many parts into complicated relationships that carry out specific functions. We even know that human intelligent design is capable of building molecular machines, as in the work of Dr. James Tour.

So, in terms of invoking some kind of causal force or mechanism that is actually known to exist and that could, in principle, explain what we see in nature at various nodes of the alleged ONH, including systems that would allow for the graceful degrading of genetic information, ID is far ahead in the race.

UE is literally trillions of times better than design at explaining the evidence

….

12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

What are these trillions of possibilities? How did you come up with “trillions”, since you say “literally trillions”? Can you give me some examples of how else the designer might have designed life? How many ways might he have designed life if we don’t assume that he designed every current species in its current form all at once? How many of those trillions of ways require that the designer ignore efficient and flexible design principles? Or that he endlessly reinvent the wheel?

Also, what method are you using to reasonably constrain predictions of what approach the designer might use, and what pattern to life might ensue, without any knowledge or hypothesis of what the designer was wanting to achieve or even what degree of specificity the designer might have had in mind for the species we currently observe?

Anyways, those are a few initial thoughts I have about your argument. There’s probably not much point in going any further or addressing any other issues until I hear your thoughts on this stuff.
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Keiths suggested I might want to do some background reading on his argument (i.e. read his original article, which he linked me to) before trying to tackle it.

I did, and responded with the following:

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I went and read your article at TSZ as requested. Having done so, I now think your argument is worse than I originally thought, so why don’t you start by addressing what I said and we can go from there as we have time.
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He responded with:

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HeKS,

I went and read your article at TSZ as requested. Having done so, I now think your argument is worse than I originally thought…

A lot of people say things like that. Then they try to refute the argument, and fail. It’s been almost a month now with no refutation.

…so why don’t you start by addressing what I said and we can go from there as we have time.

Repost your comment on this thread, which is the most recent thread discussing my argument. I’ll respond there.
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And now my brief response to that:

A lot of people say things like that. Then they try to refute the argument, and fail. It’s been almost a month now with no refutation.

A lot of people have said that the more they understand your argument the worse of an argument it seems to them? That’s not really surprising.

You say that it has been almost a month with no refutation, but are we really supposed to expect that you would readily admit a refutation to an argument which you are obviously quite fond of? It tends to be the case that when someone offers an argument that appears to be poorly reasoned and then goes on to loudly promote that argument as a powerful refutation of an opposing point of view, it is highly unlikely that the person will be prone to recognizing when serious flaws are pointed out in it, much less that it has been soundly refuted. I highly doubt that I’m going to convince you that your argument is flawed, or that anyone else could either, but some of the flaws seem rather obvious.

Anyway, please offer some response on my initial comments and questions, and feel free to ask for clarification if you don’t understand any particular point I’m making.>>

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I think this may be a useful point of departure for onward discussion, and will supplement with something FTR. END

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627 Responses to HeKS suggests a way forward on the KS “bomb” argument

  1. It seems like every few days someone starts a new thread to discuss “the Bomb”.

    I appreciate the attention my argument is getting, but could we please limit discussion to one thread for a while? It’s exhausting tracking down and reposting (or linking to) old comments that are spread across so many threads.

    Or is that the idea? 🙂

  2. HeKS,

    You say that it has been almost a month with no refutation, but are we really supposed to expect that you would readily admit a refutation to an argument which you are obviously quite fond of?

    I’m not asking readers to take my word for it.

    Anyone who is aware of a refutation I have not responded to is welcome to bring it to my attention. I will either address it or link to a comment in which I’ve already addressed it (or a similar issue).

    I do ask that people consider my responses. It’s quite annoying to respond to an attempted refutation, only to have my interlocutor restate his or her position without taking my response into account.

  3. KF,

    I think this may be a useful point of departure for onward discussion, and will supplement with something FTR.

    With comments open, for a change?

  4. KS, actually, this thread is concerning your insistence on pushing a seriously flawed argument in the face of corrections from multiple directions just cf the links in the OP including several more I decided to add just now. Care to explain why you continue playing at Monty Python’s black knight? With all due respect, the picture your tactics inadvertently paint does not reflect a healthy situation with the design objection cause. I think some fresh thinking in light of HeKS points as someone new to the situation, is indicated. KF

  5. KF,

    The invitation is open to you as well:

    Anyone who is aware of a refutation I have not responded to is welcome to bring it to my attention. I will either address it or link to a comment in which I’ve already addressed it (or a similar issue).

    So far I haven’t seen evidence that you even understand my argument, much less that you can refute it. For example, you keep confusing nested hierarchies with objective nested hierarchies.

    Have you finally learned the difference?

  6. Keith S

    You have consistently ignored me, you even took the discussion to another website for supposed scrutiny, which did not happen. I’m going to ask you again

    To claim that unguided evolution is a trillion times better to explain the diversity of live you have to be able to shed light on how unguided evolution built stability control mechanisms in the cell. This is really important for your supposed bomb to stand………

    Please respond

  7. KS, this thread is the one designed for response — as you have already done thrice without addressing substantial matters as in the OP or the linked background. FYI, I will be headlining FTR comments in other threads where discussion is open. There is no need for multiplying discussion threads needlessly as there is ample opportunity to discuss here at UD. I think one main discussion buttressed by background is a more appropriate strategy, at least for serious discussion on a focussed issue. KF

    PS: Onlookers, I am responding to a common tactic of objectors to make loaded suggestions that reasonable discussion of issues is unduly hampered by design supporters. This thread is in itself standing proof to the contrary. But I predict, there will be the continuation of the obvious zero concessions to IDiots mentality that frustrates serious discussion.

    PPS: I again remind KS that the two year long challenge to ground evolutionary materialist mechanisms on observational evidence as adequate to account for OOL and origin of body plans is still open. As this includes FSCO/I origin, I note BA’s commitment to shut down UD on providing good warrant for the origin of such beyond a reasonable threshold by blind chance and mechanical necessity. That is, if objectors have the cards to back their claims, they can not only shut down UD but devastate design thought on the world of life by submitting a well grounded 6,000 word or so guest post to UD that I will personally host much as I just headlined HeKS. Bear that in mind when you see terminological pretzel twisting games, loaded strawman caricatures of design thought and associated ad hominems and turnabout accusations.

  8. KS, simply scroll up to the OP, and click on links. You will find there several substantial refutations of your bomb arguments that — per fair comment — you have never adequately reckoned with but have continued with what is unfortunately aptly termed, an ill-founded triumphalism. KF

    PS: Just for a note, let me clip a summary point by point on a skeletal summary of the argument, which was presented first two weeks ago as comment no 5 in a thread by VJT and was then used to supplement a direct response to a direct challenge:

    >> 1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONH)>>

    Not quite, the homology/ resemblance implies relationship by descent principle even at gross level (eyes, wings etc) leads to “except where it doesn’t” and the diverse molecular trees undercut this claim. Diverse embryological development paths for obviously close creatures, also raise questions. Molecular structures and embryological development programs will be at least as important as gross ones.

    >>2. Unguided evolution explains ONH>>

    Begs the question of origin of FSCO/I on blind chance + mechanical necessity, in the teeth of strong evidence that the only observed source is design. So, we see a red herring and a question-begging assumption that plays to an indoctrinated gallery. Where origin/ source of FSCO/I is a bridge between OOL and origin of body plans requiring novel cell types, tissues, organs, arrangements and regulatory programs (esp. in embryological development). So, start at the root, OOL. No empirically grounded needle in haystack challenge plausible answer save design. How design is effected is secondary to that it credibly was effected.

    >>3. A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives.>>

    The word trillion is patently put in to rhetorically counter the fact that there are now — thanks to the Internet — trillions of cases in point of the observed source of FSCO/I, design; the only such observed source. That rhetorical device of distraction needs to be noted.

    The next issue is the second diversion, from design — intelligently directed configuration — detected on tested empirically reliable sign, to the rhetoric of the Designer is God and evocation of the train of thoughts, we fear, loathe and hate God and think of followers of God with contempt — Dawkins’ recent writings being exhibit A. Multiplied by the radical attempt to question-beggingly redefine science on a priori materialism, warping its inferences on the past of origins through demanding that we substitute for the longstanding inference on natural [= chance plus necessity] vs the ART-ificial [= intelligently configured] spoken of by Plato and Newton alike, to natural vs supernatural. Where the latter is caricatured and dismissed as beyond science.

    In fact, per empirically tested reliable signs, we routinely infer intelligently directed configuration on FSCO/I as sign — no one here thinks posts in this thread came about by lucky noise instead. The difference being exerted on cases of origins boils down to ideologically motivated selective hyperskepticism.

    Next, tree-patterns shaped by design constraints and purposes are a commonplace pattern of designs. That is the existence of a treelike pattern is empirically known to be a result of design.

    Linked, there is the problem of systematically missing transitionals, known since Darwin’s day. He hoped that future work would fill in but with 1/4 million species, millions of cases in museums and billions seen in the ground, the same pattern of distinct and separate forms without smooth incremental transitions remains. The idea of an organic incrementally branching pattern is projected unto the evidence not drawn out from it. But as those familiar with the problem of ideologically loaded misreading of situations backed by the fallacy of the closed mind know, undoing this error is very difficult.

    Psychologically, it normally takes breakdown, at personal or community level. Just ask former cultists and former Marxists willing to speak plainly.

    What is warranted, then, is just this: A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives

    And with that, the rest of the anti-design argument collapses.

    >>4. Both unguided evolution and a designer are capable of causing ONH.>>

    Therefore, there is no reason to use tree patterns (and note again the dynanmics challenges above) to try to distinguish the two.

    The argument collapses, pfft, like a stabbed tyre.

    >>Conclusion: Unguided evolution is a trillion times better at explaining ONH. >>

    This does not follow from the above chain of argument.

    As has been pointed out in several ways from several directions.

    It is time for KS et al to do some serious re-thinking.

    (Now, I have to snatch a nap before getting up for a long day ahead.)

  9. keith s:

    So far I haven’t seen evidence that you even understand my argument,

    LoL! Nice projection. keith s doesn’t understand nested hierarchies, let alone objective nested hierarchies.

    Anyone who is aware of a refutation I have not responded to is welcome to bring it to my attention. I will either address it or link to a comment in which I’ve already addressed it (or a similar issue).

    Darwin refuted you over 150 years before you made your argument. Denton has refuted you 19 years ago and I have refuted you when you first posted your drivel.

    You ignore or misrepresent those refutations beccuse you can’t handle them.

  10. Unguided and gradual evolution does not expect an objective nested hierarchy because that process would produce numerous transitional forms which would make an objective nested hierarchy impossible due to the smooth blending of defining characteristics inherent in those numerous transitional forms. as Darwin wrote:

    Extinction has only defined the groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished, still a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible.– Charles Darwin chapter 14

    Nested hierarchies REQUIRE that the different groups be distinguished from each other. That means the natural classification will not be a nested hierarchy, let alone an objective nested hierarchy.

  11. Next refutation of keith’s argument-

    Unguided evolution can’t even get beyond populations of prokaryotes and that is given populations of prokaryotes to start with. That means it cannot possibly explain the diversity of life observed unless we started with the diversity of life observed.

  12. 1. Keith claims that unguided evolution exists; he has yet to provided any scientific research to support the “unguided” portion of that assertion.

    2. Keith claims that IDists have accepted that unguided evolution occurs. Even if some have, that doesn’t mean that everyone he argues with must accept that premise. As I and HeKS and others have pointed out, even if some aspects of biological evolution are unguided, that doesn’t mean evolution itself can be rightly characterized as “unguided”.

    No IDist or creationist that I know of will agree that evolution itself can be characterized as “unguided”. Keith’s assertion that “we know unguided evolution exists” and that IDists and Creationists have agreed to that is at best an equivocation.

    3. Keith assumes that the designer had trillions of options open to him. Keith has offered no basis for this assumption.

    4. Since keiths assumptions include 1 kind of pattern for natural forces and trillions for the designer, his conclusion is built into his premises.

    5. Keith starts his premises out at different places – for natural forces, he begins his premise after the instantiation of a common ancestor with branching descent. For the designer, he begins his assumption prior to the instantiation of a life system. In doing so, keith ignores the the possibility that non-living natural forces could have instantiated life that was not one of common ancestor/branching descent, just like his assumed designer capacity.

    In order to explain the difference in possibilities between a designer and natural forces, keith must explain why natural forces cannot instantiate life in the manners open to the designer.

    6. Keith repeatedly claims that he simply hasn’t “ruled out” any possibilities for the designer. In order to “not rule out” possibilities in the 2nd place, you must have them in the first place. Keith has offered no explanation where he got the possibilities he has “not ruled out”.

    7. Most importantly, keith’s argument is trivial. The ID position is that IF natural forces can be shown to plausibly generate life as we know it, THEN ID is dismissed and natural forces is considered the better explanation. Keith’s argument assumes both ID and natural forces can explain life as we see it today, making natural forces the de facto better explanation. Whether it is by a factor of “trillions” or not is entirely irrelvant.

    These are fairly obvious points refutation that keith has proven immune to understanding. Even after repeated correction, he insists that unguided evolution is pretty much universally accepted by IDists and creationists. This is simply not true.

    It has been pointed out to keith repeatedly that if natural forces are a plausible explanation, it is automatically the better explanation, but he refuses to be corrected on his misunderstanding. He insists that if ID is a trillion times more likely to have generated something, it wouldn’t matter to IDists if natural forces could plausibly generate the artifact, that they would insist ID was the better explanation.

    He’s simply wrong about this and refuses to admit it.

    I think at this point it might be more useful to use keith’s responses to the refutations of his “bomb” argument as a basis to discuss the ideological, self-serving narratives that Darwinists appear so trapped in that they cannot even admit the most obvious errors when pointed out.

  13. There are some interesting clues in the assumptions keith makes. He thought his “trillions of possibilities” assumption would go unchallenged, IMO, because in his mind, the designer that IDists propose is a magical, supernatural entity that can instantiate any kind of life anywhere at any time without regard to the laws and processes of the physical world. He assumed that IDists would simply, unconsciously agree that such an entity could supernaturally/magically instantiate trillions of different life systems/patterns.

    This is obviously where keith derives his “I simply didn’t rule out any possibility” defense; keith isn’t “ruling out” any imaginable possibility, as if the designer could possibly, magically instantiate anything imaginable. That is where his “trillions of possibilities” comes from that he “simply doesn’t rule out”. Unfortunately for keith, this assumption was challenged and he was left without a means of accounting for the “trillions of possiblities” he “wasn’t ruling out”.

    This is part of the common Darwinist narrative; they assume the proposed designer in ID is a magical, supernatural entity that can do **anything** and instantiate **anything** in the physical universe at any time, without regard for physical laws or regularities, without regard for environmental context or infrastructure support.

  14. HeKS: if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically

    That isn’t necessary as the nested hierarchy is can be retrieved from non-functional structures, such as synonymous substitutions in genes. In order words, branching descent is supported regardless of any theory of adaptation.

    HeKS: What are these trillions of possibilities?

    He’s referring to the ratio of possible patterns to the observed nested hierarchy.

    William J Murray: assumptions include 1 kind of pattern for natural forces and trillions for the designer, his conclusion is built into his premises.

    If we consider planetary orbits, presumably angels could move planets in any manner of motion, while elliptical orbits are entailed in a simple relationship. While the latter is subject to additional testing, the former is merely an ad hoc appeal to whim.

    If you want to posit a designer, you have to make explicit the assumptions and testable entailments. The nested hierarchy is entailed in branching descent, but not in a nebulous claim of design.

  15. William, you stated:

    Keith claims that unguided evolution exists; he has yet to provided any scientific research to support the “unguided” portion of that assertion.

    This is of course true, but I think we need to remember that neither can we provide any scientific research to support the idea that it is guided. We can offer data that makes perfect sense in the design paradigm. Many of us think that error correcting codes, information processing systems, translation machines, transportation machines, the software itself, etc. makes better sense in the design paradigm than the chance paradigm.

    Again, given that neither side can do an experiment that is conclusive, because neither side can provide replication and verification, it seems that both options should be allowed on the table.

    KeithS seems to think his argument is superior to ours. That’s fine. Opinions are perfectly acceptable when the evidence is not conclusive. We feel the same way.

    But this is a good discussion. I think Heks made some good points that really do put a hole in Keiths argument. Speaking from a creationist position, his first point especially is right on.

  16. tjguy: Again, given that neither side can do an experiment that is conclusive, because neither side can provide replication and verification, it seems that both options should be allowed on the table.

    That is incorrect. We have the strong evidence for branching descent. This provides us the historical context to understand the mechanisms involved in shaping that tree, including natural selection and contingency, both of which are subject to independent testing.

  17. HeKS #OP: Second, your argument assumes that this “unguided evolution”, if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically, even if it would require a large degree of extrapolation.

    Zachriel #14: That isn’t necessary as the nested hierarchy is can be retrieved from non-functional structures, such as synonymous substitutions in genes. In order words, branching descent is supported regardless of any theory of adaptation.

    You are missing the point HeKS is making. You argue that branching descent is supported by evidence, which may be the case, however this is entirely unrelated to the question if unguided evolution is a possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce it.

  18. Box: You argue that branching descent is supported by evidence, which may be the case,

    It is.

    Box: however this is entirely unrelated to the question if unguided evolution is a possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce it.

    As we said, it doesn’t take macroevolutionary changes to create the nested hierarchy. It’s a direct entailment of branching descent, and is easy to test with even very simple models.

    Where KeithS goes wrong is by coupling the “trillions” to the notion of being unguided. The trillions comes from a study of the fit to the nested hierarchy, which strongly supports branching descent. However, it takes additional evidence to understand how that tree has been shaped. The evidence for natural processes well supported, but can’t be quantified in the same way as the evidence for branching descent.

  19. Box @ 17

    however this is entirely unrelated to the question if unguided evolution is a possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce it.

    Without knowing the mechanism of the designer, all you can infer is that unguided process can’t produce macro-evolution – you can’t claim ID can do it, so you are left with no explanation for macro-evolution.

  20. Without knowing the mechanism of the designer, all you can infer is that unguided process can’t produce macro-evolution – you can’t claim ID can do it, so you are left with no explanation for macro-evolution.

    Yes, ID is a reasonable, in fact, the default explanation. Let me quote KF from earlier:

    In fact, per empirically tested reliable signs, we routinely infer intelligently directed configuration on FSCO/I as sign — no one here thinks posts in this thread came about by lucky noise instead. The difference being exerted on cases of origins boils down to ideologically motivated selective hyperskepticism.

    By the way, I am pleased to hear that you admit that unguided forces cannot produce macro-evolution.

  21. Zachriel #18: As we said, it doesn’t take macroevolutionary changes to create the nested hierarchy.

    The nested hierarchy encompasses all species, right? In my understanding of evolutionary theory it does take macroevolutionary changes in order to go from bacteria to human beings. So what are you saying?

  22. Zachriel

    Are you referring to Darwin’s tree? The same tree that is missing 83% of its data because the data is either missing, lost or unable to backup the actual claims?

    Secondly it is easy to build this tree on similarities but what about the differences can you do that?

    Lastly a common set of shared genes make complete sense for common design.

    You have speculative evidence at best. You know that.

  23. OldArmy94 @ 20

    By the way, I am pleased to hear that you admit that unguided forces cannot produce macro-evolution.

    No. Not really. I said “all you can infer is that unguided process can’t produce macro-evolution” – your inference, not mine. I don’t need any abductive reasoning.

    Yes, ID is a reasonable, in fact, the default explanation.

    Without knowing the capability of the designer or the mechanism that could give raise to macro-evolution, you can’t infer that the ID agent can do it.
    You don’t know if the Engineer from Ethiopia can design the Sky scarper for you, even if he has an engineering degree .

  24. A couple of thoughts:

    1) As I’ve pointed out to him earlier, Keith S uses “unguided evolution” to conflate 3 entirely different processes: varying expression of built-in features (dog-breeding, finch beaks), degeneration of form due to random mutation (in-breeding, chromosomal defects), and the generation of novel form/feature through some combination of unguided forces (Evolution). When he claims even ID’ists and creationists accept “unguided evolution”, he implies the third which is necessary for his argument, when it is only the first two that are empirically observed and agreed upon. Evolutionists refuse to admit that there is a difference. Because their fruit-fly can lose its wings when zapped with radiation, that means it can also magically mutate sonar, etc. etc.
    2) As also pointed out above, unguided evolution doesn’t HAVE to generate an ONH. Yes, phylogenies of common descent CAN. Doesn’t equal MUST. Maybe if Keith S hears it often enough, it might sink in.
    3) It is important to remember that Keith S’ argument is a purely mathematical one. Even if we grant Keith S every single flawed premise, and spot him a 10^12 head-start, similar probability calculations performed on the likelihood of OoL, development of novel proteins via UE, probabilities of instances of “convergent evolution” via UE, etc., wipe out his 10^12 advantage in a single calculation, and leave it far in the dust as impossibilities multiply.
    4) Keith S is a prime example of a post I put up earlier – evolutionists have elevated reasoning over empiricism, as empiricism (e.g. bacteria, fruit-fly experiments; fossil-record evidence) has failed to support their failed hypotheses. It doesn’t’ matter to Keith S that there is not a single tree of life that contains all extant species, or that molecular and morphological phylogenies contradict each other, or that certain species simply won’t fit in common trees, or that the vast majority of all trees (roots and branches) are quite simply empty – he has a mathematical equation that gives him the result he wants, and if it is based on flawed and incomplete data it doesn’t matter. (I’ve done a statistical analysis on trees, and the math shows me that unicorns and pixies fit in here and there based on their morphological characters – don’t bother me with the fact that they don’t exist! And if you think I’m being facetious, consider unicorn = common ancestor to bats and non-bats – his math says it must be there, so it must be there!!!).

  25. Me_Think,

    ID infers design as the best explanation. After inferring that a skyscraper (or ‘stonehenge’, mobile phone or whatever) is designed, ID’s modest job is finished. ID doesn’t make any assumptions about the designer or the production process.

  26. Box @ 25
    Ok. That makes sense. I thought it was a theory which shows an alternate mechanism for evolution because some in other threads talked about Front-loading.

  27. tjguy writes:

    William, you stated:

    Keith claims that unguided evolution exists; he has yet to provided any scientific research to support the “unguided” portion of that assertion.

    This is of course true, but I think we need to remember that neither can we provide any scientific research to support the idea that it is guided. We can offer data that makes perfect sense in the design paradigm. Many of us think that error correcting codes, information processing systems, translation machines, transportation machines, the software itself, etc. makes better sense in the design paradigm than the chance paradigm.

    Well said, tjguy. Though demonstrating “unguided” is not an easy task, because you are asking for a demonstration of a negative. Indeed, Taking as a given that the universe and everything in it was created by God, it is perfectly then reasonable to suggest that God guided the processes that result in our existence and everything else we see simply by being the environment by which living forms are moulded. It’s a metaphysical argument. Theists who accept evolution as part of God’s plan and atheists who are not persuaded by the idea of God should have no need to bend the scientific facts to support their metaphysical arguments.

    Again, given that neither side can do an experiment that is conclusive, because neither side can provide replication and verification, it seems that both options should be allowed on the table.

    Science, observation and experiment will not deliver “why” explanations, only “what” and “how”. Looking for science to either support or dismiss metaphysical views is bound to end in disappointment. We can try and make God testable but ID proponents seem reluctant to discuss possible mechanisms by which “the designer” interacts with the observable universe.

    KeithS seems to think his argument is superior to ours. That’s fine. Opinions are perfectly acceptable when the evidence is not conclusive. We feel the same way. Keith S “has no need for that hypothesis”, I suggest.

  28. ID infers design as the best explanation

    As I just said, this is not a claim that can be supported scientifically; it is a metaphysical assumption.

  29. Me_Think,
    ID infers that intelligent design is likely involved in the coming into existence of certain features of life. But ID doesn’t extend to a position on mechanisms of production (e.g. production in alien space-lab, front-loading) or the identity of the designer(s). IOW aliens, the God of the Bible, Vishnu, Zeus, artificial intelligence and so forth are all candidates.

  30. tj, Alicia,

    Well said. Minor quibble,

    Again, given that neither side can do an experiment that is conclusive, because neither side can provide replication and verification, it seems that both options should be allowed on the table.

    Technically, both should be reproducible and verifiable, neither side has succeeded yet. As an example, the experiments with bacteria and fruit-fly generations were attempts to reproduce unguided evolution – they just happened to fail. There are also multiple experiments going on out there with synthetic genes (guided evolution). I’m not an expert on the subject, but I believe that so far these have failed to produce true novel features, only copied existing functionality cross-species, or made non-functional changes. Depends on whether you think writing your name in a DNA strand counts as novel, I guess (I will happily admit to being wrong if someone can provide a more definitive guided example).
    As has been argued multiple times, it would really only take one well-documented instance of a lab experiment showing the development of a novel feature through an unguided process to silence a good chunk of the ID argument – so far, this has not occurred.

    I would agree with a slight restatement – it is impossible to prove the negative (unguided/guided evolution can’t create novel function), and it is impossible to prove what actually occurred (recreate/re-observe history). Which is probably what you were saying anyway.

  31. Alicia Renard said:

    Though demonstrating “unguided” is not an easy task, because you are asking for a demonstration of a negative.

    No. Although phrased as a negative, the actual claim is that natural forces are sufficient cause for the effect in question. It as positive a claim as the claim that design is necessary to the explanation. Absent any claim unwarranted by science, neither guided or unguided can be simply assumed on a de facto basis.

    Indeed, Taking as a given that the universe and everything in it was created by God, it is perfectly then reasonable to suggest that God guided the processes that result in our existence and everything else we see simply by being the environment by which living forms are moulded. It’s a metaphysical argument. Theists who accept evolution as part of God’s plan and atheists who are not persuaded by the idea of God should have no need to bend the scientific facts to support their metaphysical arguments.

    The assertion that evolution, even micro-evolution, **is** an unguided process is the assumption that was challenged and was keith’s burden to argue.

    Again, given that neither side can do an experiment that is conclusive, because neither side can provide replication and verification, it seems that both options should be allowed on the table.

    ID theory is about inference to best explanation on a conditional basis. Whether or not there is any conclusive science either way is not a matter of “consensus”; it’s a matter largely of personal opinion, which is often heavily weighted by ideological bias on both sides.

    Science, observation and experiment will not deliver “why” explanations, only “what” and “how”. Looking for science to either support or dismiss metaphysical views is bound to end in disappointment. We can try and make God testable but ID proponents seem reluctant to discuss possible mechanisms by which “the designer” interacts with the observable universe.

    If they’re reluctant it’s in the context of anti-IDists attempting to falsely attach “nature and method of the designer” to any capacity to infer design in the first place. As others have pointed out, exploring the possible nature and methods of any designer can only come after some artifact has been identified as designed.

    Others have floated quantum collapse mechanisms that have some support from scientific research, that consciousness can collapse potentials into actualities.

    As I just said, this is not a claim that can be supported scientifically; it is a metaphysical assumption.

    Because you say it doesn’t make it so. The only thing in the universe known to make informational/functional constructs such as we find in biology is the human capacity to intelligently design and construct such systems. Nowhere else is this kind of specified complexity achieved in the natural world.

    Zachriel said:

    If you want to posit a designer, you have to make explicit the assumptions and testable entailments. The nested hierarchy is entailed in branching descent, but not in a nebulous claim of design.

    As I’ve already pointed out, Zachriel, the assumptions were keiths. He makes unequal assumptions and places those assumptions at different points in the argument. Unless he knows something about the designer, which he admits he doesn’t, keith cannot begin his assumption about the designer that he has trillions of options available for instantiation.

    You either begin both sides of the argument after the instantiation of a common ancestor/vertical descent system, or you begin both sides before that instantiation. If you begin after, both natural forces and the designer are limited to an objective nested hierarchy (or a smooth gradient, as Joe points out) afterward. If you begin before the instantiation, you must explain why unliving natural forces had fewer options available than a designer.

    A hefty task, given keith admits he knows nothing about the designer.

    In any event, the argument is still trivial because keith assumes natural forces can produce evolution.

  32. Alicia- The design inference can most certainly be supported scientifically. OTOH unguided evolution cannot be supported scientifically unless you keep it to producing disease and deformities.

    Unlike unguided evolution ID has an actual scientific methodology for determining intelligent design.

  33. Humans can verifiably, repeatedly make organised, complex information constructs, including 3D interdependent and interconnected machines, and can trivially produce the kind of semantic code and translations into physical effects found in life.

    Outside of the phenomena under debate, nature is not only not known to produce this kind of complex specification and/or semiotic code, it has been shown to be unable to do so even in principle. All it would take to falsify this is a demonstration of some combination of natural law & chance causal agencies producing, or at least demonstrated in principle to be able to produce, such functional, specified complexity above a certain threshold.

    The idea that ID is not scientifically verifiable or falsifiable, but depends on metaphysical assumption, is simply not true. Unguided evolution is also a verifiable, provable hypothesis – it’s just that until ID challenged the assumption, apparently nobody cared about supporting the assumption with, you know, actual science and math. Rather, they depended on just-so, speculative narratives.

  34. Alicia:

    Science, observation and experiment will not deliver “why” explanations, only “what” and “how”.

    That is incorrect. Science can deliver the why given the correct evidence. Archaeologists deliver the why many times. Forensic science does to.

  35. Zachriel:

    The trillions comes from a study of the fit to the nested hierarchy, which strongly supports branching descent.

    No, it doesn’t. Just because a nested hierarchy can be depicted as a branching pattern Zachriel sez all branching patterns produce nested hierarchies. That just oozes of ignorance.

  36. Box: The nested hierarchy encompasses all species, right? In my understanding of evolutionary theory it does take macroevolutionary changes in order to go from bacteria to human beings.

    The inference is ‘branching descent implies nested hierarchy’. The inference is not ‘branching descent implies adaptation’. Indeed, adaptation tends to confound the nested hierarchy (e.g. mammals with fins).

    So when we observe the nested hierarchy, it supports branching descent. It doesn’t directly support any particular theory of adaptation, though it does provide the historical context for additional studies.

    Andre: The same tree that is missing 83% of its data because the data is either missing, lost or unable to backup the actual claims?

    Is that all? Actually, we have only a tiny percentage of the possible data as most organisms have gone extinct and left no trace, much less leaving genetic data.

    Andre: Lastly a common set of shared genes make complete sense for common design.

    It’s no mere similarity, but a nested hierarchy.

    drc466: unguided evolution doesn’t HAVE to generate an ONH.

    The proper hypothesis is branching descent.

    Box: After inferring that a skyscraper (or ‘stonehenge’, mobile phone or whatever) is designed, ID’s modest job is finished.

    Which is why ID has no currency in science.

    Alicia Renard: Indeed, Taking as a given that the universe and everything in it was created by God, it is perfectly then reasonable to suggest that God guided the processes that result in our existence and everything else we see simply by being the environment by which living forms are moulded. It’s a metaphysical argument.

    That’s right; however, ID makes pretensions to scientific validity. While George Washington thanked Providence for his survival after battle, he knew full well that bullets followed trajectories based on Newtonian mechanics and the best efforts of the enemy.

    drc466: As has been argued multiple times, it would really only take one well-documented instance of a lab experiment showing the development of a novel feature through an unguided process to silence a good chunk of the ID argument – so far, this has not occurred.

    There are many, such as a novel ability to ingest citrates in E. coli. See Blount, Borland & Lenski, Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli, PNAS 2008.

    William J Murray: Although phrased as a negative, the actual claim is that natural forces are sufficient cause for the effect in question.

    Lacking such an explanation doesn’t lend support to design. Lacking specific entailments of the design hypothesis, it would simply be a gap in understanding. In any case, there are many known evolutionary mechanisms that explain much of the historical record.

    William J Murray: ID theory is about inference to best explanation on a conditional basis. Whether or not there is any conclusive science either way is not a matter of “consensus”; it’s a matter largely of personal opinion, which is often heavily weighted by ideological bias on both sides.

    Then it’s not objective, and therefore, not a supportable scientific finding.

    William J Murray: He makes unequal assumptions and places those assumptions at different points in the argument.

    We provided a simple example as to why a nebulous designer doesn’t lead to specific entailments, hence any pattern might be expected. That’s why the hypothesis of a nebulous designer is scientifically sterile.

    William J Murray: All it would take to falsify this is a demonstration of some combination of natural law & chance causal agencies producing, or at least demonstrated in principle to be able to produce, such functional, specified complexity above a certain threshold.

    Evolution is posited to occur over long stretches of time. Fortunately, we have evidence of branching descent which allows us to reconstruct these historical transitions, and plausible mechanisms of adaptation.

  37. Zachriel:

    The inference is ‘branching descent implies nested hierarchy’.

    Only someone who doesn’t understand nested hierarchies would say that I guess prokaryotes do not have branching descent as there isn’t a nested hierarchy to be seen with prokaryotes.

    So when we observe the nested hierarchy, it supports branching descent.

    No, it doesn’t.

    That’s right; however, ID makes pretensions to scientific validity.

    Only if you don’t know anything about science, like Zachriel.

  38. drc466 writes:

    As an example, the experiments with bacteria and fruit-fly generations were attempts to reproduce unguided evolution – they just happened to fail.

    Many would argue (as Zachriel does in #36) that the long-running Lenski experiment demonstrated the possibility of novel function arising in a bacterial strain. Now the theist who believes God created our universe such that the properties of particles and fields, when combined into atoms, molecules, organisms result in emergence of the world as we know it has no issue with Lenski’s experiment. The agnostic or atheist says she is unsatisfied with the theists layer of metaphysics and has to answer “I don’t know” when posed the question, “why is the universe like this?” but theist and atheist should not argue about the facts of reality. They can argue the metaphysics of whether there is an underlying purpose to existence or there is not. The creationist who believes in a particular “literal” reading of the Bible rather than seeing the imagery and allegory creates her own problem. When a point of dogma is contradicted by fact. It may be painful to let that treasured bit of dogma go but facts have to be faced eventually.

  39. Alicia Renard:

    “The creationist who believes in a particular “literal” reading of the Bible rather than seeing the imagery and allegory creates her own problem. When a point of dogma is contradicted by fact. It may be painful to let that treasured bit of dogma go but facts have to be faced eventually.”

    While there is wisdom in your words, the dogmatic materialist has the same exact problem.

  40. Zachriel,

    drc466: unguided evolution doesn’t HAVE to generate an ONH.

    The proper hypothesis is branching descent.

    “Unguided evolution produced the ONH” is KS’s phrasing, not mine. It is the key comparison he uses to claim UE is trillions times more likely than ID. I will mark you down as also disagreeing w/ KS “bomb”.

    drc466: As has been argued multiple times, it would really only take one well-documented instance of a lab experiment showing the development of a novel feature through an unguided process to silence a good chunk of the ID argument – so far, this has not occurred.

    There are many, such as a novel ability to ingest citrates in E. coli. See Blount, Borland & Lenski, Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli, PNAS 2008.

    As has been shown before, E. coli already has the ability to ingest, and process citrates. The mutation observed is merely a modification of when such pre-existing functionality occurs (always as opposed to only in anaerobic conditions). It may even be a degenerative mutation. Ref Bacteria Evolving in Lab. I repeat – there is not a single undisputed example of unguided processes developing novel function. All known “candidates” such as antibiotic resistance, citrate ingestion, etc., can be attributed to variation in pre-existing genetic information, changes in population density of species with/without the information, or breakdown/loss of information.

  41. Zachriel: The inference is ‘branching descent implies nested hierarchy’.

    Would you be so kind to stop bringing up branching descent all the time? In the Darwinian narrative branching descent is just a hypothetical effect of unguided evolution. Now the question on the table is whether unguided evolution is capable of producing the fancy stuff around us.
    You seem to think that branching descent is some sort of all explaining mechanism. And you seem to think that everyone (including HeKS) is talking about branching descent all the time. You are mistaken. HeKS made a point wrt unguided evolution. Only after accepting 50 further ungrounded assumptions it makes sense to discuss branching descent.

  42. Alicia,

    Many would argue (as Zachriel does in #36) that the long-running Lenski experiment demonstrated the possibility of novel function arising in a bacterial strain

    Regardless of whether they are right or wrong (they’re wrong :)), the larger point stands – unguided evolution could possibly be proven.

    Now the theist who believes God created our universe such that the properties of particles and fields, when combined into atoms, molecules, organisms result in emergence of the world as we know it has no issue with Lenski’s experiment.

    I don’t actually know of anyone who has an issue w/ Lenski’s experiment – ID’ists and YEC’ers are quite fond of it, as it shows a remarkable lack of “Evolution” over thousands of generations of E. Coli, as well as (arguably) a complete inability for mutation to produce novel function. Evolutionists like it because it shows “stuff changes over time”, and they have world-class unwarranted extrapolation skills.

  43. Still waiting for an answer from keith s concerning stability-control mechanisms in the cell, Andre? He’s still ducking and diving?

  44. Wm Murray writyes:

    Alicia Renard said:

    Though demonstrating “unguided” is not an easy task, because you are asking for a demonstration of a negative.

    No. Although phrased as a negative, the actual claim is that natural forces are sufficient cause for the effect in question. It as positive a claim as the claim that design is necessary to the explanation. Absent any claim unwarranted by science, neither guided or unguided can be simply assumed on a de facto basis.

    You are stepping into metaphysical territory. Science can’t tell us “why” something is the way it is in the sense of ultimate purpose. Science can happily proceed without any assumption of an unneeded concept like “guidance”. Water runs downhill without guidance.

    The assertion that evolution, even micro-evolution, **is** an unguided process is the assumption that was challenged and was keith’s burden to argue.

    Scientifically, it is the null hypothesis. You are demanding a “why” from science. I can happily accept that the environment shapes God’s creatures, plants, animals and people and this explanation fits the observed facts equally if you are a theist or an atheist. I have read some of Keith S’s comments and I glean from them that he is a strong atheist. He, as I remarked above, presumably is comfortable to answer the metaphysical “why is the universe like this” with “I don’t know and neither does anyone else”.

    ID theory is about inference to best explanation on a conditional basis. Whether or not there is any conclusive science either way is not a matter of “consensus”; it’s a matter largely of personal opinion, which is often heavily weighted by ideological bias on both sides.

    ID is represented as showing “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause.” The theist agrees and goes further. God created the universe and all the features within it that resulted in us as people being able to explore its wonders. In that sense, everything is designed. There is no need for ID to tell us this and ID proponents are digging a hole for themselves when they claim to be developing ways to distinguish God’s handiwork from what? It is all God’s handiwork. Science does not address the metaphysical.

    Science, observation and experiment will not deliver “why” explanations, only “what” and “how”. Looking for science to either support or dismiss metaphysical views is bound to end in disappointment. We can try and make God testable but ID proponents seem reluctant to discuss possible mechanisms by which “the designer” interacts with the observable universe.

    If they’re reluctant it’s in the context of anti-IDists attempting to falsely attach “nature and method of the designer” to any capacity to infer design in the first place. As others have pointed out, exploring the possible nature and methods of any designer can only come after some artifact has been identified as designed.

    Well, you told me you are not a Christian. What else are you not? I am guessing you are not an atheist. Are you also not an agnostic? Are you not a Buddhist? Are you not a Muslim? All a question of metaphysics. Science cannot answer metaphysical questions (unless of course someone makes a dogmatic statement involving a testable claim). If ID wants to enter the scientific arena, it must first make testable claims.

    As I just said, this is not a claim that can be supported scientifically; it is a metaphysical assumption.

    Because you say it doesn’t make it so. The only thing in the universe known to make informational/functional constructs such as we find in biology is the human capacity to intelligently design and construct such systems. Nowhere else is this kind of specified complexity achieved in the natural world.

    You seem to be claiming people created the universe. I don’t think so. 🙂

  45. Alicia:

    Many would argue (as Zachriel does in #36) that the long-running Lenski experiment demonstrated the possibility of novel function arising in a bacterial strain.

    That is incorrect. It was an existing function that was allowed to do its job under conditions it wouldn’t normally be active. The ability to digest citrate already existed. It was just switched off in the presence of enough O2 to activate that switch. In an anaerobic environment Lenski’s strains could easily digest citrate- all of the strains.

    It happened, as far as Lenski et al. know, via two potentiating mutations followed by duplicating the gene that coded for the citrate transport protein and putting it under the control of a switch that was on in the presence of O2.

    This fits in with what Dr Lee Spetner calls “built-in responses to environmental cues”. For unguided evolution it is nothing but sheer dumb luck. And even Dawkins admits that isn’t a scientific position.

  46. drc466: “Unguided evolution produced the ONH” is KS’s phrasing, not mine. It is the key comparison he uses to claim UE is trillions times more likely than ID. I will mark you down as also disagreeing w/ KS “bomb”.

    Please do. However, the nested hierarchy is strong support for branching descent.

    drc466: As has been shown before, E. coli already has the ability to ingest, and process citrates.

    The ability to ingest citrate in aerobic conditions is a novel capability.

    Box: Would you be so kind to stop bringing up branching descent all the time

    The thread concerns the implications of the objective nested hierarchy. It’s right there, in the original post.

    Box: In the Darwinian narrative branching descent is just a hypothetical effect of unguided evolution.

    It’s an entailment of branching descent.

    Box: You seem to think that branching descent is some sort of all explaining mechanism.

    In fact, we’ve said just the opposite. However, branching descent does provide us the historical framework for determining the mechanisms which shaped the tree, including natural selection and contingency.

    Box: And you seem to think that everyone (including HeKS) is talking about branching descent all the time.

    If you talk about the nested hierarchy, then you are talking about branching descent.

    We’ve noticed IDers like to say things like “You argue that branching descent is supported by evidence, which may be the case”, avoiding any sort of commitment to one of the fundamental findings in biology, that newts and nuts share a common ancestry.

    drc466: Regardless of whether they are right or wrong (they’re wrong :)), the larger point stands – unguided evolution could possibly be proven.

    If we have robust explanatory mechanisms, a designer becomes superfluous as well as unevidenced.

    drc466: I don’t actually know of anyone who has an issue w/ Lenski’s experiment – ID’ists and YEC’ers are quite fond of it, as it shows a remarkable lack of “Evolution” over thousands of generations of E. Coli, as well as (arguably) a complete inability for mutation to produce novel function.

    It shows the novel function of ingesting citrate in an aerobic environment. That’s actually not what’s interesting, as there are many examples of adaptive mutation, what’s interesting is that the mutation was contingent on a previous mutation.

  47. Zachriel said:

    Lacking such an explanation doesn’t lend support to design.

    I never said it did.

    Lacking specific entailments of the design hypothesis, it would simply be a gap in understanding.

    Until other commodities are brought to bear on the problem that could sway “best explanation” one way or another.

    In any case, there are many known evolutionary mechanisms that explain much of the historical record.

    Unless you mean to say “known unguided evolutionary mechanisms”, this is an equivocation that avoids keith’s problem when he asserts0 the unguided nature of evolution.

    Then it’s not objective, and therefore, not a supportable scientific finding.

    You misunderstand me. The science may be objective. If one finds such science conclusive or not is a conclusion often impacted by metaphysical investments.

    We provided a simple example as to why a nebulous designer doesn’t lead to specific entailments, hence any pattern might be expected. That’s why the hypothesis of a nebulous designer is scientifically sterile.

    Your example does nothing but make the same logical error keith made in the original argument. Lack of knowledge about the designer doesn’t give you or keith license to assume the designer is capable of trillions of design options in the first place. It gives you **no** assumptive power **other than** the specific capacity necessary to the hypothetical – that it could create the same thing that unguided forces created.

    You and keith are the ones making unwarranted and unnecessary assumptions on the designer side of the equation.

  48. Alicia:

    You seem to be claiming people created the universe.

    No Alicia, the way science works is if we know humans could not have done it then it was some other intelligent agency. Nature doesn’t miraculously get the power to do something just because humans were not around.

    BTW even if the universe is intelligently designed that does not prevent accidents and random effects from occurring.

  49. I should like to invite drc466 to have a look at Richard Lenski’s website and maybe just read about the evolution of the Ara-3 strain, able to digest citrate.

  50. Zachriel:

    It shows the novel function of ingesting citrate in an aerobic environment.

    That is incorrect. It shows an existing function can be used in an environment in which it was never used before.

  51. Alicia Renard- Please stop it already. The bacteria already had the ability to digest citrate. That ability was turned off on the presence of oxygen.

  52. I see I am duplicating points made by Zachriel due to my slow typing.

  53. Multiple Mutations Needed for E. Coli – Michael Behe
    Excerpt: As Lenski put it, “The only known barrier to aerobic growth on citrate is its inability to transport citrate under oxic conditions.” (1) Other workers (cited by Lenski) in the past several decades have also identified mutant E. coli that could use citrate as a food source. In one instance the mutation wasn’t tracked down. (2) In another instance a protein coded by a gene called citT, which normally transports citrate in the absence of oxygen, was overexpressed. (3) The overexpressed protein allowed E. coli to grow on citrate in the presence of oxygen. It seems likely that Lenski’s mutant will turn out to be either this gene or another of the bacterium’s citrate-using genes, tweaked a bit to allow it to transport citrate in the presence of oxygen. (He hasn’t yet tracked down the mutation.),,, If Lenski’s results are about the best we’ve seen evolution do, then there’s no reason to believe evolution could produce many of the complex biological features we see in the cell.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....or-e-coli/

    Rose-Colored Glasses: Lenski, Citrate, and BioLogos – Michael Behe – November 13, 2012
    Excerpt: Readers of my posts know that I’m a big fan of Professor Richard Lenski, a microbiologist at Michigan State University and member of the National Academy of Sciences. For the past few decades he has been conducting the largest laboratory evolution experiment ever attempted. Growing E. coli in flasks continuously, he has been following evolutionary changes in the bacterium for over 50,000 generations (which is equivalent to roughly a million years for large animals). Although Lenski is decidedly not an intelligent design proponent, his work enables us to see what evolution actually does when it has the resources of a large number of organisms over a substantial number of generations. Rather than speculate, Lenski and his coworkers have observed the workings of mutation and selection.,,,
    In my own view, in retrospect, the most surprising aspect of the oxygen-tolerant citT mutation was that it proved so difficult to achieve. If, before Lenski’s work was done, someone had sketched for me a cartoon of the original duplication that produced the metabolic change, I would have assumed that would be sufficient — that a single step could achieve it. The fact that it was considerably more difficult than that goes to show that even skeptics like myself overestimate the power of the Darwinian mechanism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66361.html

    Innovation or Renovation? By Ann Gauger – Sept. 24, 2012
    Excerpt: But how significant was this innovation (citrate; Lenski)? In his paper in Quarterly Review of Biology, Dr. Michael Behe pointed out that E. coli was already capable of using citrate for anaerobic growth (when no oxygen was available). He postulated that a change in gene regulation could turn on citrate transport and permit growth on citrate under aerobic conditions.
    After an enormous amount of work, having sequenced the genomes of many clones along the lineages that led to the ability to use citrate, as well as lineages that never did, and testing the phenotypes of identified mutations, Blount et al. have now reported that Behe was largely right. The key innovation was a shift in regulation of the citrate operon, caused by a rearrangement that brought it close to a new promoter.
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....ation?og=1

  54. Zachriel:

    If you talk about the nested hierarchy, then you are talking about branching descent.

    Then it is strange that Linnean Taxonomy, the observed objective nested hierarchy, has NOTHING to do with branching descent,

    Also the US Army, yet another nested hierarchy, also has nothing to do with branching desecnt.

    It’s as if Zachriel is pulling this stuff from one of our gas giants (no, not Jupiter nor Saturn)

  55. Wm Murray writes:

    Lack of knowledge about the designer doesn’t give you or keith license to assume the designer is capable of trillions of design options in the first place. It gives you **no** assumptive power **other than** the specific capacity necessary to the hypothetical – that it could create the same thing that unguided forces created.

    It’s lack of entailments that lets down the ID claim to have a scientific hypothesis. You can’t have it both ways. You either have to propose some testable attributes for your intelligent agent or you have to accept that you can’t test your claims. If you do not limit your “intelligent agent” with any entailments, you allow all possible modi operandi. Hence “trillions”!

  56. Actually ID is a science, and Darwinism is not for one reason and one reason only. ID can be falsified and Darwinism cannot:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk&list=UUV4Zy3ry9DrDCdxwyAxXs0g

  57. You are stepping into metaphysical territory. Science can’t tell us “why” something is the way it is in the sense of ultimate purpose. Science can happily proceed without any assumption of an unneeded concept like “guidance”. Water runs downhill without guidance.

    You’re misunderstanding the intention of the term. It is a short form of the ID argument – that intelligent design is a necessary explanatory causal agency for some effects. Where it is unwarranted it is left out.

    Yes, science can happily proceed without such a concept, but then science may be happily proceeding down an entirely erroneous rabbit-hole under the erroneous assumption that a designed phenomena is necessarily a naturally-occurring one, investing time, money and effort in attempting to find adequate natural causes for something that was ultimately desgined.

    This has nothing to do with determining a final purpose, but rather has to do with how one goes about investigating different kinds of phenomena. Nobody is investing time trying to figure out how natural forces generated stonehenge or arrowheads.

    The scientific investigation of such phenomena may be sidetracked or harmed by narratives generated by assumptions of non-guidance, such as the idea of vestigial organs, junk DNA, etc., which may form into social views given the imprimatur of science such as eugenics. IOW, the concept of “non-guidance” generates patterns of thinking about the phenomena, and the concept of “ID” generates a different set of conceptualizations that form the basis of ongoing investigation.

  58. William J Murray: Unless you mean to say “known unguided evolutionary mechanisms”, this is an equivocation that avoids keith’s problem when he asserts0 the unguided nature of evolution.

    Orthodox mechanisms include natural selection and contingency.

    William J Murray: If one finds such science conclusive or not is a conclusion often impacted by metaphysical investments.

    In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’

    William J Murray: Lack of knowledge about the designer doesn’t give you or keith license to assume the designer is capable of trillions of design options in the first place.

    You can’t assume that the angels don’t simply prefer elliptical orbits. Fie on your gravity theory!

  59. Alicia Renard said:

    It’s lack of entailments that lets down the ID claim to have a scientific hypothesis.

    This specific designer assumption is keith’s, not mine, and not any other ID proponent. ID doesn’t make arguments about the designer other than that any hypothetical designer is capable of intelligently designing certain arrangements and outcomes in a manner similar to humans.

    You can’t have it both ways. You either have to propose some testable attributes for your intelligent agent or you have to accept that you can’t test your claims.

    I haven’t made a claim about any designer to test. Neither has any ID proponent that I’m aware of.

    If you do not limit your “intelligent agent” with any entailments, you allow all possible modi operandi. Hence “trillions”!

    That’s the problem with not knowing anything about the desginer. What is possible is not known. You don’t know what is possible in the first place in order to allow it in the second place. Keith has assumed trillions of possiblities for an unknown designer in the first place to allow in the second place.

  60. Alicia Renard:

    It’s lack of entailments that lets down the ID claim to have a scientific hypothesis.

    ID has entailments, ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., “Darwinism, Design and Public Education”, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    It can be tested and potentially falsified.

  61. Zachriel:

    That you imbue your idea of a designer with the magical ability to instantiate trillions of options into the physical world demonstrates your assumptions about the nature (capacity) of the designer beyond keith’s agreement that we know absolutely nothing about the designer.

    If we know nothing about the designer, we do not know what it is possible for the designer to accomplish. You are apparently assuming that the designer can command, or is, an angel. That means you are assuming something about the designer beyond “we know absolutely nothing”.

    I suggest that you, too, are making the assumptive mistake keith is making; you assume that the designer in this argument is a magical god that can do anything imaginable, and acquire your “possibilities” from that premise instead of actually thinking what it would mean if we knew, and assumed, absolutely nothing about the designer other than what keith said in his argument – that it is capable of instantiating the life system we actually observe.

    Absent any further information about the designer, we are left only with that assumed possibility; all additional possibilities require some kind of knowledge or assumptions about about the hypothetical designer.

  62. Zachriel:

    Orthodox mechanisms include natural selection and contingency.

    And natural selection has proven to be impotent.

    In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.’

    And that is why universal common descent is not a scientific fact.

    As for gravity, Newton saw it as one of God’s pieces of work. Principia is a guide to intelligent design.

  63. Zachriel said:

    In science, ‘fact’ can only mean ‘confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.

    Who said anything about facts? I was talking about whether or not one finds certain evidence conclusive wrt a scientific theory or proposition. To say that the science is “inconclusive” is often a subjective view impacted by a priori commitments.

  64. Wm Murray writes:

    This specific designer assumption is keith’s, not mine, and not any other ID proponent. ID doesn’t make arguments about the designer other than that any hypothetical designer is capable of intelligently designing certain arrangements and outcomes in a manner similar to humans.

    Thank-you for confirming my point. If ID makes no specific statement, claim or hypothesis, then it cannot be subject to scientific testing and ID “ideas” are compatible with all scenarios. We agree.

  65. Alicia Renard, please do not confuse how people have pointed out the gaping flaws in keith’s argument with those same people herein making a general case for ID.

    The case for ID is a separate issue; it doesn’t depend on knowing anything about any particular designer. It only has to do with understanding the evidential hallmarks of design. Why any putative designer generated a thing has nothing to do with the fact of its having been designed or our capacity to recognize it as having been designed.

    Keith made a specific, bad argument that hinges on his personal assumption about the nature of the designer and other misconceptions about the design position. Rebutting keith’s argument is not to be taken as a formal outline of ID theory and argument.

  66. Alicia Renard said:

    Thank-you for confirming my point. If ID makes no specific statement, claim or hypothesis, then it cannot be subject to scientific testing and ID “ideas” are compatible with all scenarios. We agree.

    No, we do not agree. You’re confusing my responses to keith’s argument with a defense of ID. I didn’t say that ID makes no specific statement or claim **about anything**, I said it makes no specific statement or claim about any particular, putative designer.

    ID claims to be able to qualitatively recognize a designed phenomena via the CSI metric, regardless of who the designer is, what it is, or how it was able to physically instantiate the design.

  67. That’s the problem with not knowing anything about the desginer. What is possible is not known. You don’t know what is possible in the first place in order to allow it in the second place. Keith has assumed trillions of possiblities for an unknown designer in the first place to allow in the second place.

    Exactly! Keith and I or anyone else can assume what we like because the vagueness of ID statements allows us to. Remember all I am objecting to is the claim that ID is scientific. It is arguably a philosophical view, albeit a nebulous one.

  68. Read it again and let it sink in – deeply:

    WJM:

    ID claims to be able to qualitatively recognize a designed phenomena via the CSI metric, regardless of who the designer is, what it is, or how it was able to physically instantiate the design.

  69. Wm Murray writes:

    ID claims to be able to qualitatively recognize a designed phenomena via the CSI metric, regardless of who the designer is, what it is, or how it was able to physically instantiate the design.

    Well, according to who you take as an authority, CSI may mean several different things. The consensus that has developed in recent threads here seems to be that it cannot be inferred with any reliability (I think I’m being generous, here) for any real biological example.

  70. Alicia Renardsaid:

    Exactly! Keith and I or anyone else can assume what we like because the vagueness of ID statements allows us to. Remember all I am objecting to is the claim that ID is scientific. It is arguably a philosophical view, albeit a nebulous one.

    Apparently you have not acquainted yourself with keith’s actual argument because your responses don’t make any sense.

    Keith’s argument rested on the idea that he was making equal assumptions about both any putative designer and natural forces. He assumed natural forces could make life as we know it. He assumed the designer could make life as we know it and trillions of other ways. Those are not equal assumptions.

    His conclusion was that natural forces was trillions of times better an explanation than design because design had trillions of different possibilities.

    Well, DUH. His conclusion is built into his original assumptions. Yes, he’s free to assume whatever he wants about the designer, but that doesn’t make his argument logically sound.

  71. Ok, A.Renard, debate CSI all you want, but let’s skip discussions about who the designer is, where she lives, what her favorite color is, how many options are available for her and how she physically instantiates her designs.

  72. Alicia Renard said:

    Well, according to who you take as an authority, CSI may mean several different things. The consensus that has developed in recent threads here seems to be that it cannot be inferred with any reliability (I think I’m being generous, here) for any real biological example.

    That doesn’t change the fact that CSI (or any of the acronymical variants) is postulated by ID and argued as the qualitative, scientific metric that can make an objective evaluation for or against design. That’s not “metaphysics”.

  73. Methinks Alicia Renard is just another troll. How can she say:

    If ID makes no specific statement, claim or hypothesis

    after I post ID’s specific claims and hypothesis?

  74. Or it could be that she’s just another anti-ID dittohead that didn’t bother to read the available FAQ or familiarize herself with actual ID positions.

  75. William J Murray: I haven’t made a claim about any designer to test.

    Which makes the claim scientifically sterile. It bears no fruit.

    William J Murray: That you imbue your idea of a designer with the magical ability to instantiate trillions of options into the physical world demonstrates your assumptions about the nature (capacity) of the designer beyond keith’s agreement that we know absolutely nothing about the designer.

    Strange that your designer is fundamentally more limited than humans. In any case, without entailments, you don’t have a testable hypothesis.

  76. Great, Zachriel sez that ideas about the designer are scientifically sterile cuz WJM didn’t make any claims about the designer!

    Thank goodness ID isn’t about the designer. ID makes plenty of claims about the DESIGN.

    In any case, without entailments, you don’t have a testable hypothesis.

    ID has both just as I have posted.

  77. Zachriel,

    I’m trying to understand something about your repeated use of the ‘angels pushing planets’ analogy…

    As far as I can tell, your point with regard to this analogy is that the angels are a superfluous explanatory entity since the orbits can be accounted for perfectly well without them and solely by reference to natural laws.

    Presumably, you are using this analogy to argue that positing a designer to explain the nested hierarchical structures of life is similarly a case of positing a superfluous explanatory entity, since the presence of such nested hierarchies can seemingly be explained solely by reference to natural processes (you mention branching descent).

    Assuming this is your point, the issue arises that the nested hierarchical structures of life are not phenomena that are pointed to, in and of themselves, as requiring design.

    Recognizing this, your repeated use of this analogy is a head-scratcher. It’s kind of like watching a laptop fall off of a roof and reasoning that intelligent design / agency is unnecessary to account for the variables of the event because gravity can account for the path to the ground, while the strong wind that just passed by can account for the tumble from the roof. Of course, with respect to the question of whether or not intelligent design is necessary to account for the variables of the event, what we really need to account for is the existence of the laptop in the first place and how it came to be sitting on the roof.

  78. Joe: “Thank goodness ID isn’t about the designer. ID makes plenty of claims about the DESIGN.”

    For once we agree. ID does make plenty of claims about the design. And without proposing the nature of the designer and the mechanisms used, these claims have as much legitimacy as claims about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, Leprechauns and your 150 IQ.

  79. Zachriel:

    Which makes the claim scientifically sterile. It bears no fruit.

    Nobody, including ID advocates, has ever said otherwise about claiming things about unknown designers. ID theory isn’t about the designer. You might want to inform keith about that, though, because he seems to think that the “possibilities open to a designer” is a significant argument to make.

    Strange that your designer is fundamentally more limited than humans.

    I’ve made no case for any designer, nor assumed one, so I don’t know where you get any idea about “my” designer.

    In any case, without entailments, you don’t have a testable hypothesis.

    ID has offered no hypothesis of any kind about any designer, testable or otherwise, with entailments or without. ID proponents may have speculated about the implications of design with regards to some designer, but that’s not part of ID theory.

    ID theory is about recognizing design, not recognizing design “as the product of any particular designer” or “in service of any particular designer’s purposes”.

  80. Wm Murray

    Well, DUH. His [Keith S] conclusion is built into his original assumptions. Yes, he’s free to assume whatever he wants about the designer, but that doesn’t make his argument logically sound.

    Keith S makes a simple point based on Theobald. The hypothesis of bifurcation into species from a common ancestor produces a specific branching pattern where, for instance an organism cannot exist prior to its antecedents. The predicted pattern is found when constructing phylogeny from morphology and from molecular data. ID makes no specific prediction and data will confirm any ID prediction.

    Until someone is prepared to formulate a testable ID hypothesis with entailments, ID is not science.

  81. F/N: One of the most saddening things about what we repeatedly see from too many objectors is the refusal to do duties of care to accurately and fairly represent what they object to, even in the teeth of repeated correction. One wonders, if they understand that speaking with habitual disregard to truth and fairness like that does not commend their views or in the end themselves. Later. KF

  82. And without proposing the nature of the designer and the mechanisms used, these claims have as much legitimacy as claims about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, Leprechauns and your 150 IQ.

    How would one make any assessment or headway whatsoever about the nature of any supposed unknown designer or their unknown mechanisms without first identifying some phenomena as designed in the first place.

    Do you guys even think before you parrot long-since rebutted anti-ID rhetoric? Your point makes no sense whatsoever.

  83. 84

    When chance + natural processes are ruled out, then design is the best explanation.

    Even Dawkins understands and accepts that.

  84. AR: Have you ever bothered to learn that a major and readily tested prediction of the design view, is that FSCO/I is a charcteristic sign of design as cause, on strong inductive generalisation from trillions now of cases, with no credible exceptions? That, as a falsification, all that would be required is obse4vation of blind chance and mechanical necessity producing such? In short, you should — or worse, do — know better (as this false assertion has been corrected any number of times.) You have amply illustrated the problem of disregard for truth and fairness I just spoke to. KF

  85. Box writes:

    Ok, A.Renard, debate CSI all you want, but let’s skip discussions about who the designer is, where she lives, what her favorite color is, how many options are available for her and how she physically instantiates her designs.

    What can I say about CSI? Apparently it is something you can establish after you have decided a phenomenon did not arise by means other than design. If someone can eliminate the vacuity out of such a claim and break the circularity, what would be left to discuss? Theists accept that the universe and all in it is God’s design. What need for a demonstration? And a pointless exercise to separate designed things from designed things?

  86. I apologise for not closing a tag in #86. Second paragraph is my reply to Wm Murray.

  87. 88

    WJM

    How would one make any assessment or headway whatsoever about the nature of any supposed unknown designer or their unknown mechanisms without first identifying some phenomena as designed in the first place.

    Clearly right. The ID inference is complete once the conclusion is that “design is the best explanation” for whatever was observed.

    We hear so often “Why/how would the Designer …?” If you start the discussion with the existence of a designer, then design exists and the ID argument is complete.

  88. sock puppet:

    And without proposing the nature of the designer and the mechanisms used, these claims have as much legitimacy as claims about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, Leprechauns and your 150 IQ.

    I can prove my IQ and both bigfoot and Nessie have more evidence than unguided evolution does.

  89. I admit to not following any of these threads in depth (just too many comments going past each other), but I will say that it seems that Keith has stumbled onto something if it requires so many threads on UD to deal with his argument.

  90. When chance + natural processes are ruled out, then design is the best explanation.

    Even Dawkins understands and accepts that.

    Where has he said so? But I don’t look to Dawkins for authority. I say you can’t know you have eliminated all causes other than design. Firstly because you may have overlooked an explanation. It’s a common human fault. Secondly “design” is not an explanation. It is merely a word of six letters.

  91. Alicia:

    Apparently it is something you can establish after you have decided a phenomenon did not arise by means other than design.

    Obviously Alicia accepts the oft-refuted tropes of our opponents over reality.

  92. Yes HD, keth s has stumbled on to lies, nonsense and misrepresentations, with a lot of ignorance mixed in.

  93. Alicia Renard said:

    Keith S makes a simple point based on Theobald. The hypothesis of bifurcation into species from a common ancestor produces a specific branching pattern where, for instance an organism cannot exist prior to its antecedents.

    The same is true if a designer instantiates such a system. A common ancestor/vertical descent system produces an objective nested hierarchy regardless of if natural forces or a designer is responsible. Keith’s argument assumed that both natural forces and a designer generated life as we know it.

    The predicted pattern is found when constructing phylogeny from morphology and from molecular data. ID makes no specific prediction and data will confirm any ID prediction.

    Under keith’s argument, no prediction is necessary. The putative designer is only assumed to be capable of making such a system. Unlss keith makes further assumptions about the designer, such as being capable of making other systems, his argument (about natural forces being a trillion times more likely) fails.

    Until someone is prepared to formulate a testable ID hypothesis with entailments, ID is not science.

    Then it is a science, because the actual ID hypothesis is fully testable and falsifiable; it just doesn’t have anything to do with any putative “designer”.

  94. Alicia Renard,

    Your concept of CSI is incorrect. Just because a thing can be determined to not be the product of any known natural forces and chance, doesn’t necessarily mean it has CSI. It could just be something we have no explanation for, period.

    Similarly, because a thing has CSI over a certain threshold doesn’t definitionally mean it was generated by design. If something with CSI over the threshold limit can be shown at least in principle to be plausibly generated from some combination of natural laws and chance, then ID as a theory is falsified. We would still know it exists – humans utilize it – but it would be useless as a means for making a determination about unknown artifacts.

  95. Joe said

    “Yes HD, keth s has stumbled on to lies, nonsense and misrepresentations, with a lot of ignorance mixed in.”

    Ok, fine, but lots of people against ID are accused of that too. Why this need for so many threads on this issue from so many contributors? It’s almost as if Keith has spooked everyone here.

  96. Silver Asiatic

    When chance + natural processes are ruled out, then design is the best explanation.

    Now all you have to do is rule out chance + natural processes. Of course to do that you’ll have to have perfect knowledge of everything in the universe. “CSI” and Dembski’s “explanatory filter” were spectacular failures.

  97. I admit to not following any of these threads in depth (just too many comments going past each other), but I will say that it seems that Keith has stumbled onto something if it requires so many threads on UD to deal with his argument.

    That’s about the level of “logic” one comes to expect from some people here.

  98. William J Murray

    If something with CSI over the threshold limit can be shown at least in principle to be plausibly generated from some combination of natural laws and chance, then ID as a theory is falsified

    Since science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today, what you call “CSI”, then ID speculation (it’s never been a theory) has been falsified.

    You can go home now.

  99. 100

    Hi Alicia,

    Where has he said so?

    I could take the time and show you conclusively but it won’t help because …

    I don’t look to Dawkins for authority.

    🙂

    That’s usually the way it goes.

    I say you can’t know you have eliminated all causes other than design.

    That’s why we call it an inference, right?

    Firstly because you may have overlooked an explanation.

    We go with what we have observed. Then we apply what we know. We combine the two and determine if chance + natural processes are the source. When it seems highly improbable, then we rule them out.

    It’s possible that Stonehenge was created by chance and natural processes. We don’t know with 100% certainty. But we draw an inference anyway.

    It’s possible that life was created by chance molecular combinations in a warm pond. But OOL researchers have ruled that out because it is very unlikely.

    Secondly “design” is not an explanation. It is merely a word of six letters.

    Ok, that’s an interesting opinion.

  100. Ok, fine, but lots of people against ID are accused of that too. Why this need for so many threads on this issue from so many contributors? It’s almost as if Keith has spooked everyone here.

    Or, it’s almost as if keith’s argument is so full of huge, gaping flaws, and keith is so ideologically committed to announcing victory through his erroneous assumptions, the UD community has taken it upon itself to spotlight individual aspects of his flawed arguments for the benefit of onlookers. His “arguments” are a treasure trove of errors of logic and bad assumptions and he is the gift that insists on giving ad infinitum.

    If he’s willing to continue with this inane argument, why shouldn’t we continue to point out the errors – even highlight them with new threads as opportunity provides?

  101. Joe: “sock puppet:”

    That is only because of the lies that Barry spews with regard to his posting rules. How else can you explain your continued existance?

    [SNIP– you know better, strike 1] “F/N: One of the most saddening things about what we repeatedly see from too many objectors is the refusal to do duties of care to accurately and fairly represent what they object to, even in the teeth of repeated correction.”

    I fear that you don’t understand the definition of the word “correction”. Disagreeing with someone is not a correction, it is a disagreement. Using this word in this way simply displays arrogance, not knowledge. Please correct your behaviour.

    [Ironically, I just had to correct CS’ behaviour on a simple matter that he plainly knows better than. He has also taken it upon himself to mischaracterise correction on the merits with reasons as mere disagreement. More of the same problem of insistent misrepresentation by too many objectors to design. But then, tat is a main purpose for this thread. KF]

  102. @Zachriel #14

    HeKS: if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically

    That isn’t necessary as the nested hierarchy is can be retrieved from non-functional structures, such as synonymous substitutions in genes. In order words, branching descent is supported regardless of any theory of adaptation.

    I don’t think you’re getting my point.

    Keith appeals to the alleged admitted existence of “unguided evolution” for a reason. He knows perfectly well that an intelligent designer can generate objective nested hierarchies if they so desire. Granting, for the sake of argument, that we observe an objective nested hierarchy to living organisms, if we are lacking any plausible naturalistic mechanism that can, even in principle, account for the significant changes and innovations that arise throughout that tree, then claiming that natural processes explain the actual observed structure of the tree better than intelligent design loses all credibility, and claiming that it does so “literally trillions of times better” is shown to be absurd.

    Of course, this is only one problem with his argument from ONH’s. The comment I made which constitutes the current OP wasn’t even intended as a full scale attack on Keith’s argument. It consisted of a few simple observations and some questions to clarify just what assumptions Keith is making in his argument, since there are quite obviously many assumptions informing his argument, though they aren’t clearly stated anywhere. On its surface, his argument seems very poorly thought out, unbalanced, and grounded in numerous unstated assumptions. Furthermore, the structure of the argument suggests to me that Keith is not necessarily even aware of the assumptions grounding his argument. All I was trying to get him to do in my original comment was to clarify his thinking for me and clearly state some of those assumptions, since it is always possible that an argument is better than it first appears or is stated, but so far the argument seems to get worse the more I think about it and read his reasoning, not better. And so I await his response to these initial comments, and/or his request for any clarification about my points.

  103. This forum is honored by the presence of many highly rational, scientifically trained minds. Yet they exhibit an unstoppable eagerness to make a trillion groundless assumptions wrt to the female alien designers.
    Why is that?

  104. Adapa said:

    Since science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today, what you call “CSI”, then ID speculation (it’s never been a theory) has been falsified.

    Please substantiate, via links and germane quotes, that the genetic variations necessary to the task of generating the variations we observe were scientifically vetted as “random” in nature and the selection process necessary to that task was scientifically vetted as “natural” as you have asserted above.

    Assumption is not demonstration.

  105. HD,

    Have you seen the recent online controversies about “shirtgate”? Sometimes somebody says something so stupid and outrageous and indefensible that absolutely everyone needs to pile on and point out the ridiculousness inherent in their position.

    This is one of those times.

  106. Box

    This forum is honored by the presence of many highly rational, scientifically trained minds.

    All it took was for Barry to declare a general amnesty and reverse their previous banning. 🙂

  107. Please substantiate, via links and germane quotes, that the genetic variations necessary to the task of generating the variations we observe …

    should be ..

    Please substantiate, via links and germane quotes, that the genetic variations necessary to the task of generating the biological features we observe …

  108. William J Murray

    Please substantiate, via links and germane quotes, that the genetic variations necessary to the task of generating the variations we observe were scientifically vetted as “random” in nature and the selection process necessary to that task was scientifically vetted as “natural” as you have asserted above.

    Sure thing WJM. As soon as you provide your scientific evidence that the Magic Gravity Fairies aren’t responsible for pushing things around and making it look like natural gravity.

    You guys just can’t grasp that merely bellowing “prove ToE to my satisfaction or it’s wrong wrong wrong!!” will do absolutely nothing to change accepted scientific theory or support your ID nonsense.

  109. Alicia Renard:

    Since science has already conclusively demonstrated that the observed natural process of random genetic variations filtered by selection and retaining heritable traits is sufficient to produce the biological life variations we see today, what you call “CSI”, then ID speculation (it’s never been a theory) has been falsified.

    1- They haven’t done so
    2- CSI pertains to molecular biology and also the OoL. Both areas have been failures wrt the blind watchmaker thesis.
    3- Irreducibly complex biological systems still exist, as science has demonstrated, unguided processes still cannot explain them and they match the design criteria.

  110. LoL! Comment 110 is a quote by Adapa not Alicia- it is still unsupported tripe

  111. Adapa, No one can prove the ToE is wrong because it doesn’t exist. The ToE is right next to the planet-pushing fairies.

    BTW did you know that gravity is evidence for ID?

  112. HD:

    Why this need for so many threads on this issue from so many contributors? It’s almost as if Keith has spooked everyone here.

    Or keith s just ignores everyone here so people want to make sure that other people see that keith s is thoroughly refuted.

  113. “Or keith s just ignores everyone here so people want to make sure that other people see that keith s is thoroughly refuted.”

    Maybe so, but like I said, many have written against complexity or ID in general. There would be one article that dismantles the claim (easily or not) and than move on. There appears to be something more going on here.

  114. @WJM #101 (and HD)

    Or, it’s almost as if keith’s argument is so full of huge, gaping flaws, and keith is so ideologically committed to announcing victory through his erroneous assumptions, the UD community has taken it upon itself to spotlight individual aspects of his flawed arguments for the benefit of onlookers. His “arguments” are a treasure trove of errors of logic and bad assumptions and he is the gift that insists on giving ad infinitum.

    If he’s willing to continue with this inane argument, why shouldn’t we continue to point out the errors – even highlight them with new threads as opportunity provides?

    Yeah, I was going to make a similar comment. For the past 15 years (at least), I have spent copious amounts of time involved in extensive debates on complicated topics related to science, theology and philosophy. When a debate opponent presents a very bad argument with numerous flaws, it has never really been my pattern to simply point out some of the flaws once and then move on if the person refuses to accept the rebuttal or comes back with additional faulty counter-arguments, though this seems to be what HD expects would happen. For better or worse, I typically hammer away at the original and follow-up arguments until I think it’s clear to any unbiased observer that the argument holds no force. I will also repeat myself or restate my points liberally if they are being ignored, misrepresented or misunderstood. I imagine many here are the same way, probably on both sides.

    So the mere fact that some argument is getting a lot of attention from the other side does not necessarily suggest that it is a good argument. It is just as likely to be a very bad argument. What has to be considered is the nature of the attention that it is receiving. And in this case, much of the attention seems to center around the fact that the argument has numerous problems in its structure, its logic, and its foundational (but unstated) assumptions. And I just don’t see those stated problems being realistically addressed, responded to or corrected.

  115. HeKS: your point with regard to this analogy is that the angels are a superfluous explanatory entity since the orbits can be accounted for perfectly well without them and solely by reference to natural laws.

    In this case, the point is a bit different. There are many ways angels can make planets move. Gravity theory entails a very specific pattern of movement. The former is an ad hoc supposition of whim or some inscrutable motive; the latter is a hypothesis that can be tested independently.

    Similarly, there are many ways the traits of organisms could be arranged. Branching descent entails a very specific pattern, a hypothesis that can be tested independently.

    William J Murray: ID theory isn’t about the designer.

    ID *entails* a designer.

    William J Murray: ID has offered no hypothesis of any kind about any designer, testable or otherwise, with entailments or without.

    Precisely why ID has no scientific currency.

    William J Murray: How would one make any assessment or headway whatsoever about the nature of any supposed unknown designer or their unknown mechanisms without first identifying some phenomena as designed in the first place.

    Feel free to hypothesize design, but then the next step is to determine the entailments and test them. Without that, it’s not science.

    William J Murray: A common ancestor/vertical descent system produces an objective nested hierarchy regardless of if natural forces or a designer is responsible.

    That’s correct, though it is reasonable to say that the branching is *intrinsic* to the process rather than a designer intervening with each branch. If this is contentious, then we could look for evidence of how branchings occur.

    William J Murray: Unlss keith makes further assumptions about the designer, such as being capable of making other systems

    If the designer has no choice, then that aspect isn’t subject to design.

    William J Murray: He knows perfectly well that an intelligent designer can generate objective nested hierarchies if they so desire.

    Sure, and angels can move planets to look just like gravity if they so desire.

    William J Murray: if we are lacking any plausible naturalistic mechanism that can, even in principle, account for the significant changes and innovations that arise throughout that tree, then claiming that natural processes explain the actual observed structure of the tree better than intelligent design loses all credibility, and claiming that it does so “literally trillions of times better” is shown to be absurd.

    Nonetheless, the nested hierarchy is strong support for branching descent. This means lions and tigers and bears share a common ancestor. It allows historical ordering by ancestry of the tree of life, which is important for understanding the mechanisms that shaped the tree.

  116. Alicia,

    Secondly “design” is not an explanation. It is merely a word of six letters.

    We’ve gone somewhat far afield OT in this thread, but that seems to happen when KS’s argument pops up. Anyway, I have some questions for you, since you seem to at least be willing to engage arguments you don’t agree with.

    Copying from SA’s off-the-cuff remark:
    In your opinion, is Stonehenge Intelligently Designed?
    How do you know?
    Is your answer a scientific conclusion, or metaphysical assumption?
    Is it based strictly on a probability calculation, or is there some other component?
    Can your thought process regarding Stonehenge be quantified into a calculation that a computer could reproduce?
    If designed – do you know anything about the designer(s)?
    If you think you do – what do you know, and how do you know it?
    Is your conclusion as to whether it is designed dependent on that knowledge/lack?
    Whatever it is about Stonehenge that might make you think it had a non-naturalistic cause – does the simplest lifeform known to man have more, or less, of that characteristic?

    Try to answer without thinking about ID or evolution, just provide your honest responses as if someone stopped you on the street and asked you as part of some longer laundry list of questions. Your answers will pretty much determine whether you think ID is a valid scientific process or not. Just a thought experiment, please consider it honestly in the spirit it is offered.

  117. Zachriel,

    This means lions and tigers and bears share a common ancestor.

    See my previous comment re: unicorns.

  118. William J Murray: ID has offered no hypothesis of any kind about any designer, testable or otherwise, with entailments or without.

    Zachriel: Precisely why ID has no scientific currency.

    We do not know what life is. No one knows what energy or matter is. Nor do we know what intelligence is.
    We can only form us a vague notion and study the effects of these things.
    Are you proposing to ban these items from science?

  119. drc466: I’ve done a statistical analysis on trees, and the math shows me that unicorns and pixies fit in here and there based on their morphological characters

    pixie, an imaginary creature that looks like a small person and has magical powers.

    A better example would be a griffin or a centaur. Are they extinct creatures only vaguely remembered?

  120. Box: We do not know what life is. No one knows what energy or matter is. Nor do we know what intelligence is.

    Science works with operational definitions. Propose a hypothesis, deduce the empirical implications of the hypothesis, then test those implications.

    So, while there is no completely satisfying definition of intelligence, we can study facets of intelligence by constructing operational definitions. For instance, we might study the ability to modify behavior based on experience, or to solve problems.

  121. Alicia, design is intelligently directed configuration; with trillions of cases in point around us, starting with comments in this thread. When you are reduced to denying the patent reality of design or that it is a potent causal force, that speaks sadly revealing volumes. But then, I do intend to get around to some follow ups, FTR. KF

  122. William,

    I was thinking specifically of you when I wrote this in #2:

    I do ask that people consider my responses. It’s quite annoying to respond to an attempted refutation, only to have my interlocutor restate his or her position without taking my response into account.

    You’ve repeated this claim of yours yet again…

    It has been pointed out to keith repeatedly that if natural forces are a plausible explanation, it is automatically the better explanation, but he refuses to be corrected on his misunderstanding. He insists that if ID is a trillion times more likely to have generated something, it wouldn’t matter to IDists if natural forces could plausibly generate the artifact, that they would insist ID was the better explanation.

    …while ignoring the refutation I posted in your own thread:

    William #365,

    I’ve seen some odd arguments from you in the past, but this one takes the cake.

    You are arguing that I am obligated to treat ID unfairly. Why? Because if I don’t treat ID unfairly, then you can’t reject my argument for being unfair!

    You are insisting that I use your unfair criterion:

    It is indeed the ID position that if natural forces are a scientifically plausible explanation of an effect or phenomena with an unknown origin, it is the better explanation, period.

    Instead of my fair one:

    Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    You are the one who is being unfair to ID, not me. When you accuse me of being unfair to ID, you are really accusing yourself.

    When we treat ID and unguided evolution fairly and equally, ID loses by a factor of trillions.

    Again:
    You are arguing that I am obligated to treat ID unfairly. Why? Because if I don’t treat ID unfairly, then you can’t reject my argument for being unfair!

    If we drop your unfair criterion, then ID is no longer rejected out of hand. It’s rejected because it fits the evidence trillions of times worse than unguided evolution, as I’ve been saying all along.

  123. Zachriel, logical positivism and its verifiability principle were dead by what, the turn of the ’60’s? Nope, it is false that unless something is defined on operations or is analytically true it is meaningless. Not least, as the very principle fails its own test and refutes itself. Definitions come in various flavours, including in science and we pick what is useful for a particular case: genus-difference, precising statement, ostensive, operational. Maybe more. Where science is anchored to the empirical is the premise that ideas must be subject to empirical test, and scientific inductive claims are open to refutation or correction by further evidence. Such as happened to Newtonian dynamics between 1880 and 1930. And, FYI, if FSCO/I is observed to come about by blind chance and mechanical necessity, the design inference on FSCO/I as tested reliable sign would fail. Just as a valid perpetuuum mobile of the second kind would devastate current thermodynamics. On trillions of cases each — and for actually fairly similar stochastic reasons, I expect neither to fail, but there is a logical possibility of such failure. KF

  124. HD:

    I admit to not following any of these threads in depth (just too many comments going past each other), but I will say that it seems that Keith has stumbled onto something if it requires so many threads on UD to deal with his argument.

    This reminded me of the great Ron White joke:

    I didn’t know how many of them it was going to take to whip my [butt], but I knew how many they were going to use.

    The number of threads just indicates how many we used. It says nothing about how many it would take.

  125. Phinehas: Thanks for the laugh! Tater salad comment gets a +1.

  126. F/N: Note DDD 16 on willful distortion of the ID position by objectors (noting the UD weak argument correctives):

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-position/

    Beyond a certain point, that leads to the strawman problem:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....fanriffic/

    Not to mention, selective hyperskepticism:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-evidence/

    KF

  127. Look what Adapa does…

    WJM: Please substantiate, via links and germane quotes, that the genetic variations necessary to the task of generating the variations we observe were scientifically vetted as “random” in nature and the selection process necessary to that task was scientifically vetted as “natural” as you have asserted above.

    Adapa: Sure thing WJM. As soon as you provide your scientific evidence that the Magic Gravity Fairies aren’t responsible for pushing things around and making it look like natural gravity.

    Adapa apparently thinks that NeoDarwinian ideology is on par with General Relativity and gravity. Gravity is a fundamental force. Nobody knows what it is. It could be due to the action of angels or God or something else. Nobody knows. It’s a primary force. The equations of General Relativity describe its action, but tells is nothing about what it is

    The Modern Synthesis is not describing a primary force of nature. There are many, many gaps and unanswered questions as to the origin, processes, systems, infrastructure and information content of earth’s life, and to what degree intelligent agency was required at any particular level.

    Look what Adapa does. His “side” makes these just-so affirmations that he expects the world to bow down and accept like priestly utterances, but thoughtful individuals without a stake in the status quo, who have researched the relevant materials, arguments and assumptions know better. WJM wants demonstrable proof of Adapa beloved ideologiy and Adapa just bluffs like an old gally hag who’s just been caught stealing the captains meat.

    Get real. Either put up or shut up.

  128. kairosfocus,

    You look ridiculous when you edit other people’s comments.

    Please do better.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    [–> KS, Are you announcing that you are supporting and enabling web harrassment, outing tactics and the like habitual misbehaviours all too common at the penumbra of sneer sites and the like? Thanks for letting us know. KF]

  129. Adapa: You guys just can’t grasp that merely bellowing “prove ToE to my satisfaction or it’s wrong wrong wrong!!” will do absolutely nothing to change accepted scientific theory or support your ID nonsense.

    You seem to think most of us give a flying shinola about convincing you of anything. At best, you’re here as a carnival chimp on display for honest seekers to see what NeoDarwinist ideologues believe and how they argue.

    Change the accepted scientific theory?

    That will happen over time, naturally as the entrenched old guard give way to younger folks who will refuse to buy into the same old crap. It always does.

    As for convining you? I doubt many care.

  130. drc466:

    You are most welcome!

  131. kairosfocus: logical positivism and its verifiability principle were dead by what, the turn of the ’60?s?

    Don’t worry. We’re hardly a logical positivist.

    kairosfocus: Such as happened to Newtonian dynamics between 1880 and 1930. And, FYI, if FSCO/I is observed to come about by blind chance and mechanical necessity, the design inference on FSCO/I as tested reliable sign would fail.

    Given some reasonable interpretation of FYI FSCI/I, evolution is the counterexample.

  132. Regarding the question of why my argument is getting so much attention here at UD, I think the answer is pretty obvious: the stakes are high.

    My argument shows that as a hypothesis, unguided evolution beats ID by a factor of trillions. If my argument is correct, then you cannot be a rational IDer. You must choose either rationality, or ID, but you cannot choose both.

    Every IDer reading this faces three possibilities:

    Either

    1) someone finds a way to convincingly refute my argument, or
    2) you choose to be an irrational IDer, or
    3) you rationally abandon ID, perhaps hoping that someone will eventually refute my argument so that you can become an IDer again.

    The stakes are extremely high for IDers, so of course this is getting a lot of attention.

  133. Silver Asiatic:
    When chance + natural processes are ruled out, then design is the best explanation.

    Adapa #97: Now all you have to do is rule out chance + natural processes. Of course to do that you’ll have to have perfect knowledge of everything in the universe. “CSI” and Dembski’s “explanatory filter” were spectacular failures.

    Suppose the expedition to Saturn stumbles upon an unknown fully operational alien battleship. What would be the best explanation? Design?
    Discussions with the Darwinians on the team will probably be rather annoying. “No! You cannot infer design, cause you’ll have to have perfect knowledge of everything in the universe”.

  134. keiths:

    kairosfocus,

    You look ridiculous when you edit other people’s comments.

    Please do better.

    KF:


    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    [–> KS, Are you announcing that you are supporting and enabling web harrassment, outing tactics and the like habitual misbehaviours all too common at the penumbra of sneer sites and the like? Thanks for letting us know. KF]

    No, I’m saying that you look ridiculous when you edit other people’s comments.

    Please do better.

  135. Adapa, I think this is the second time I extend to you an invitation to submit a 6,000 or so word, survey essay that lays out the evolutionary materialist case (or whatever variant you prefer) on the tree of life on observed evidence of the power of blind watchmaker evidence starting from Darwin’s pond or the like, right through the branching tree icon to the tips. Cf here. You, we and the onlookers know that a well warranted case would devastate the design view. Just go through my handle. Failing ability to actually empirically ground your case and pass the vera causa test, it will be inadvertently evident where the real balance on the merits lies. KF

  136. KS, actually, you clearly mean to project ridicule, in defense and enabling of web misbehaviour; you full well know why I snipped and editorialised, given an all too common bit of misbehaviour. And, this begins to look like a loaded distractive red herring; where, as just pointed out to Adapa, there is an open invitation to devastatingly warrant your case on the merits, which would be enough to shut down UD and destroy the design theory movement on the world of life. The tree for which the dog would not bark. KF

  137. keiths:

    How many times have you posted in this thread?

    How many times have you actually engaged the points in the OP that are directed specifically to you?

    I’m not sure you should be making comments about who is looking ridiculous.

  138. “Either

    1) someone finds a way to convincingly refute my argument, or…”

    I agree Keith. The stakes ARE high. So I’ll bite….what is your argument?? 🙂

    [sorry, there is just too many comments to find your original argument]

  139. Box, precisely. It seems that Adapa wishes to burn down inductive logic and inductively founded knowledge claims, draped in ill-founded dismissive assertions. Sadly revealing rhetorical devices. Let’s ask: does an Abu 6500 c3 reel exist? Does it exhibit a functionally specific interactive pattern of complex organisation that achieves function per a wiring diagram? Is this FSCO/I? Is such FSCO/I known to come from design, with trillions of cases in point? Is there any credible observed case of it coming about by blind watchmaker chance and necessity? Why then is the induction on what we know so stoutly resisted by objectors, apart from selective hyperskepticism? KF

  140. Patience, Phinehas. We’ve been discussing my argument for four solid weeks. I know you’re anxious about the outcome — the stakes are high, after all — but your anxiety is not a reason for me to drop everything and cater to your demands.

    I will address HeKS’s points. Patience.

    Meanwhile, do you understand WJM’s silly error?

  141. HD:

    Oh, that’s too cute by half. I’m sure keiths would love the opportunity to spell out his argument again, declare victory again, and still manage to avoid engaging the points in the OP.

    3, 2, 1…

  142. keiths:

    Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that WJM actually made a silly error. Was this before or after he sliced both arms and both legs off your argument? Do you think you look less silly because you are attempting to bite his ankles at this point?

  143. HD,

    I agree Keith. The stakes ARE high. So I’ll bite….what is your argument?? 🙂

    [sorry, there is just too many comments to find your original argument]

    Yeah, a zillion comments on a dozen or so threads. I hope we can all stick to this single thread for a while.

    Here’s the argument, as posted two years ago at The Skeptical Zone:
    Things That IDers Don’t Understand, Part 1 — Intelligent Design is not compatible with the evidence for common descent

  144. Relax, Phinehas. Deep breaths.

  145. KF:

    KS, actually, you clearly mean to project ridicule…

    Yes. That’s why I used the word “ridiculous”:

    kairosfocus,

    You look ridiculous when you edit other people’s comments.

    Please do better.

    [–> KS, your enabling of web vandalism by outing, improper identity exposure in an era of spamming and identity theft, such as is unfortunately typical of Darwinist fever swamps is duly noted for record. KF.]

  146. keiths:

    Relax, Phinehas. Deep breaths.

    Thanks. I do have a tendency to get out of breath when I laugh this hard. 🙂

  147. HD,

    Keith’s argument:

    1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONH)
    2. Unguided evolution explains ONH
    3. A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives.
    4. Both unguided evolution and a designer are capable of causing ONH.
    Conclusion: Unguided evolution is a trillion times better at explaining ONH.
    Here you’ll find a concise summary of the main objections.

    [–> very well said and linked, Box. And thanks for opportunity to show the other side of editorial comments. KF]

  148. Box: Suppose the expedition to Saturn stumbles upon an unknown fully operational alien battleship. What would be the best explanation? Design?

    We’d recognize it because of similarities with human designs.

    [–> Z, thanks for highlighting the point. Now, please follow the logic of that, as in WHY do engineering principles provide such recognisable patterns and why are they characteristic. KF]

    Box: Discussions with the Darwinians on the team will probably be rather annoying. “No! You cannot infer design, cause you’ll have to have perfect knowledge of everything in the universe”.

    Quite the contrary. The scientific method, a.k.a. hypothetico-deduction, is devised to allow us to reach some reasonable conclusions even though most of the universe is shrouded mystery.

    An interesting sidenote. Alien invaders usually arrive in technology that looks like human inventions, advancing in history from balloons to rockets, even flying saucers.
    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg......ba79d0.jpg

  149. 150

    drc466 writes:

    In your opinion, is Stonehenge Intelligently Designed?

    Latest research seems to indicate there were at least three separate phases of construction at the site over a period of one and a half thousand years. So the site evolved and was “remodelled” at least twice. Here is the main page to Sheffield University’s recent work at the site and the surroundings (The Cursus, Durrington Walls, Woodhenge etc). It all seems to indicate people, exclusively modern humans, were involved in the construction phases. Many of them are buried or cremated there or nearby. Remains of substantial meals have been found. A possible site that housed the builders is being excavated. The archaeology is rich and fascinating. Do we have names and photos? No. Your question seems trite. What we know and will never know about the purposes and motives of the people involved in the several phases of construction is vast. Built by people physically indistinguishable from people living today? Indisputable! Call it intelligently designed if you like but that seems trite and dismissive of the unimaginable collective effort involved.

    How do you know?

    Not having done more than visit the site, I can’t give you first-hand evidence of finds and locations. I have to trust the experts.

    Is your answer a scientific conclusion, or metaphysical assumption?

    Neither. It’s a summary of information I’ve gleaned from various sources that are widely available to anyone interested. I may have mis-spoken on details. Check for yourself – it’s all in the public domain.

    Is it based strictly on a probability calculation, or is there some other component?

    There’s a sprinkling of imagination. Some of the feast remnants included cattle bones that must have come from Scotland according to isotope analysis.

    Can your thought process regarding Stonehenge be quantified into a calculation that a computer could reproduce?

    Stonehenge may have been used to compute and predict seasons. But your question seems to ask can my thought processes be computed or reproduced. If that is what you ask then, as far as I know, not currently.

    If designed – do you know anything about the designer(s)?

    We know an immense amount about the builders. We have skeletons and other artifacts. Did they make sketches and plans before starting work? I have no idea. That they had some sort of plan or it was trial-and-error is hard now to establish.

    If you think you do – what do you know, and how do you know it?

    See above. (Your questions are rather repetitive.)

    Is your conclusion as to whether it is designed dependent on that knowledge/lack?

    I really don’t know whether the people “designed” the structures of Stonehenge and the environs before building them. I have heard the remark on visiting Europe that “they really knew how to build in the old days” and have heard the riposte “Well, all the bad buildings fell down so we only have the good ones left”.

    Whatever it is about Stonehenge that might make you think it had a non-naturalistic cause…

    We humans are limited to four dimensions and whatever arrives in our heads from our senses. But with little technology but much organised effort, projects such as we see in Stonehenge (and Newgrangea,d Skara Brae) it is impressive what can be achieved.

    …– does the simplest lifeform known to man have more, or less, of that characteristic?

    All life on Earth is related. We differ in degree only.

    Do I get to ask some questions, now?

  150. Box: argument

    1. Branching descent entails an objective nested hierarchy
    2. We observe an objective a nested hierarchy which constitutes an extremely small fraction of possible patterns so is not plausible due to chance alone
    3. We can find independent confirmation of branching descent

    Conclusion: branching descent is strongly supported.

    drc466: If designed – do you know anything about the designer(s)?

    A bipedal simian known for building in stone.

  151. Hi Keith,

    I just read your post. Just a couple of thoughts. Let me tell you upfront that I AM a theist, but I am skeptical about certain arguments made from ID. Throw me in whatever camp you wish. In your post you said:

    They concede that unguided evolution can bring about microevolutionary changes, but they claim that it cannot be responsible for macroevolutionary changes. Yet they give no plausible reasons why microevolutionary changes, accumulating over a long period of time, should fail to produce macroevolutionary changes. All they can assert is that somehow there is a barrier that prevents microevolution from accumulating and turning into macroevolution.

    I agree this is a problem. In fact, this link here was initially directed at me.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90811.html

    I STILL don’t understand where this barrier exists. Apparently it is a probability issue. Nevertheless, I think ID does a disservice to itself when they say microevolution is compatible with unguided but macro isn’t. To use an analogy, one scientist once said “You can’t have a mile unless you have inches.” This sort of acknowledgement is not helping ID in the long run. To this I agree with you.

    You also say this, which seems to be the crux of your argument:

    The following asymmetry explains why: the discovery of an objective nested hierarchy implies common descent, but the converse is not true; common descent does not imply that we will be able to discover an objective nested hierarchy. There are many choices available to a Designer who guides evolution.Only a tiny fraction of them lead to a inferable, objective nested hierarchy. The Designer would have to restrict himself to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance of features in order to leave behind evidence of the kind we see.

    The argument here, I think, when you get to the core of it is simply asking “Why did God CHOOSE to do ANYTHING the way he did.” To say “the discovery of an objective nested hierarchy implies common descent, but the converse is not true; common descent does not imply that we will be able to discover an objective nested hierarchy” is almost (no analogy is perfect) like saying “The discovery of a strangled drowned body implies someone murdered, the converse is not true; a murdered body does not imply drowning.” While the murderer may have had many options as to how to murder, he CHOSE drowning. Therefore, once the choice is MADE for drowning in order for it to go into affect, there are certain restricted actions he has to do in order to drown the person. It’s almost a tautology. If I want go to my friends house using 1st >Main street > 6th St, than I have to USE those streets IF that is path I must take even though a) I restricted myself b) there were other paths I could take. If he did, we wouldn’t having this conversation God restricting himself is not a problem unless we start opening the can of why ANYTHING in the universe is laid out the way it is.

    Your problem here stems, I believe from your first issue of why ID say micro is OK but macro is not. Well, supposedly if macro DOESN’T work with unguided evolution, than the designer ought to have broken the bounds and restrictions of what a nested hierarchy predicts and made anything He wanted. But obviously, that isn’t what the evidence shows. There IS a nested hierarchy. Therefore either unguided evolution can work for everything or……. [warning: my philosophical/theological speculation coming up] the concept of “guidance” is there from the very beginning. The reason you DISCOVERED an inferable pattern is because that is what was CHOSEN to be discovered like any other rule/law/pattern. Once there is a RULE/PATTERN, it is only a matter of time before eventually it gets discovered. You only discovered it, because enough time went by to witness it. That simply goes without saying.

  152. Box

    Thank you for giving me of the run down. I think his argument theoretically sounds good, I am left perplexed at a couple of the philosophical conclusions by it.

  153. HD: To use an analogy, one scientist once said “You can’t have a mile unless you have inches.” This sort of acknowledgement is not helping ID in the long run.

    To use another analogy, just because your Chevy will drive you to New York, doesn’t mean it will drive you to London. There is a limit called the Atlantic Ocean.

    Going from microevolution to macroevolutionthere entails a whole different set of issues that do not lend themselves to a simple “linear” extrapolation.

    For example,

    How good is a half a wing?

    What mechanisms created the wing and all the coordinated physiological and neurological structures and functions? Are they the same micro mechanisms that deal with loss of function in cave fish, finch beak sizes, or immunity adaptations? Nobody knows. What are the details of its evolution down to the molecular level? Etc. Etc.

    The problem with the NeoDarwinist faithful is that they don’t approach the problem like engineers (or reverse engineers.) They are happy to believe the extrapolation and skip along their merry way.

    Sorry if some of us are not inspired to skip along.

  154. HD:

    Nevertheless, I think ID does a disservice to itself when they say microevolution is compatible with unguided but macro isn’t.

    If ID said this, it might be doing itself a disservice, but it doesn’t, as has been pointed out multiple times. HeKS actually spends a decent amount of time addressing this very thing in the OP. Did you read it?

  155. >To use another analogy, just because your Chevy will drive you to New York, doesn’t mean it will drive you to London. There is a limit called the Atlantic Ocean.

    Well ya. If there are limits, than it will stop. One can argue the same thing happens in evolutionary process. Once it hit a roadstop, it will go extinct, or just turn around and head back to Los Angeles.

    >How good is a half a wing?

    Isn’t this assuming there IS half a wing? Meaning, yes, half a wing is no good. But who said micro evolution x a billion, leads to half a wing or half of anything? It can lead to anything that will work. And if something works it can lead to something else. Hence, where is that artificial barrier that separates billions of micro evolutionary changes from macro changes?

  156. Zachriel’s bomb:

    Zachriel: 1. Branching descent entails an objective nested hierarchy

    No it does not. It predicts a gradual blending of slightly different organisms. This has been pointed out to you many times .

    Zachriel: 2. We observe an objective a nested hierarchy which constitutes an extremely small fraction of possible patterns so is not plausible due to chance alone

    Random extinction of several species has left a pattern that by some is regarded as a “objective a nested hierarchy”. Could other species have gone extinct without a trace? Sure. Would that have left the pattern of another “objective a nested hierarchy”? Well duh! Yes of course.

    Zachriel: 3. We can find independent confirmation of branching descent

    We also find conformation of disconnection between species. And we know about the creativity of Darwinians.

  157. Philehas.

    I will leave you to explain this to me than.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....90811.html

    >If ID said this…

    Well, like we all know ID is a large tent. So yes, people in ID DO say it.

  158. @centrestream #116

    HeKS: “He [keiths] knows perfectly well that an intelligent designer can generate objective nested hierarchies if they so desire.”

    But why would it? To try to confuse us into thinking that evolution is real? What a malicious, mean spirited designer. If he is found, maybe he should be crucified.

    This just shows the problem with your thinking.

    1. If natural processes cannot produce the significant changes and innovations that arise in the hierarchy, it doesn’t even matter why a designer would choose to instantiate an objective nested hierarchy, because a designer would nonetheless remain the only known viable cause for an ONH that includes the specific features and progressions we observe in the history of life, regardless of why the designer ultimately produced a world of life that could be arranged in such a hierarchy.

    2. Your claim that the designer’s production of an ONH would seem to be motivated by an attempt to deceive us into thinking “evolution is real” requires us to first accept that the evidence supports the position that “unguided evolution” would be capable of producing the specific ONH we allegedly observe, including all of its significant changes and innovations.

    The mere fact that the general phenomenon of an ONH can be generated by natural processes does not mean that natural processes can therefore generate any particular ONH. To argue that they could, and that guidance or design is unnecessary to generate a particular ONH without considering the specific content, features and progression of the ONH in question, is absurd.

    3. There seems to be some kind of underlying assumption that if a designer was involved in the production of the alleged ONH, then that designer must be directly responsible for and involved in the specific production of every branch and twig of the hierarchy, such that every species, and every ounce of diversity, was directly instantiated by the designer in such a way that each organism fit neatly into the hierarchy. Why would this be the case? And who thinks this? I certainly don’t.

    It seems like the emotional force of the argument relies on the intuitively gratuitous idea that the designer directly instantiated an astronomical number of individual organisms (perhaps all at once) in such a way that, largely, individual organisms seemed like they could be clustered together into groups of organisms descended from a common ancestor when, in reality, this was never the case. In other words, it would appear to be a much more extreme case of something akin to claiming that all the currently existing dog breeds, as well as wolves, were directly brought into existence by a designer (perhaps all at the same time), and so have no relation to each other whatsoever, and do so without reference to any reason why such an interpretation might be necessary.

    This, of course, would be an extreme caricature of the ID position. Those of us who deny universal common ancestry do not assert zero common ancestry. Common ancestry almost certainly accounts for much of the nested structure of life, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good explanation for all aspects of the structure of life, or the information and features of life that make diversity through branching descent possible.

    Furthermore, the intuitive implausibility of the intentional design of any particular ONH derives from the timing and number of nodes that are thought to be the direct result of design. It’s hard to imagine any human intellect capable of the simultaneous generation of billions or trillions of widgets, all manufactured to precise predetermined specifications, and all of which fall into an ONH. On the other hand, it’s not particularly difficult to conceive of an ONH that is intentionally generated incrementally over a long period of time, where one idea or concept leads to other distinct but related sub-concepts, which in turn lead to others. Now, if these concepts are actually high-information-content systems designed to naturally diversify within certain constraints over time, you can get an ONH consisting of huge numbers of individual elements where only a fraction of them were specifically designed with the intention of further diversification taking place. You therefore get a comparatively simple ONH giving rise to a highly complex one.

    4. The argument, in focusing on a designer rather than design itself, posits a designer who apparently has no personality, goals or intentions beyond “lotsa life”. This is necessary to the argument, because the whole point is to try to make sure that there is no possible reason why a designing intelligence would produce life in a way that could be ultimately categorized in an ONH, so that an ONH remains merely one of supposedly trillions of ways the designer could have produced life, with no reason to make an ONH any more likely than any of those other alleged ways he could have chosen. Of course, there could be aspects of the designer’s personality or goals, or even methods, that make the production of life in a way that could largely be classified in an ONH highly likely.

  159. 160

    To Zachriel’s statement:

    Branching descent entails an objective nested hierarchy

    Box ripostes:

    No it does not. It predicts a gradual blending of slightly different organisms.

    What is your justification for making this bizarre claim? Blending inheritence has long been discarded following the incorporation of Mendelian genetics into Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

    This has been pointed out to you many times.

    An erroneous assertion repeated many times is still an erroneous assertion.

  160. 161

    Vishnu claims:

    Going from microevolution to macroevolution entails a whole different set of issues that do not lend themselves to a simple “linear” extrapolation.

    What different set of issues? Do you have actual examples? Could you mention such an example?

  161. HD:

    I have to run, but briefly, microevolution is only “unguided” in the same way that a carefully crafted and carefully restrained genetic algorithm is “unguided.” In other words, by design. This is different than how keiths is trying to use the term, “unguided.”

    In this big tent, it has been my experience anecdotally that some believe microevolution is front-loaded while others believe that macroevolution is front-loaded, but there are very few, if any, that believe in any evolution that is ultimately unguided.

  162. Box: No it does not. It predicts a gradual blending of slightly different organisms. This has been pointed out to you many times.

    As the vast majority of organisms have gone extinct, it predicts a nested hierarchy. (Even if there were no extinction, you would still observe a natural ordering based on a correlation of traits.)

    Box: Random extinction of several species has left a pattern that by some is regarded as a “objective a nested hierarchy”.

    Not several, but nearly all. Indeed, the average lifespan of a species is only a few million years. Life today is very different from life in the Cretaceous.

    Box: We also find conformation of disconnection between species.

    That’s doesn’t mean the objective nested hierarchy goes away. The evidence still supports branching descent even if there is some herky-jerky at the species level.

    Box: It seems like the emotional force of the argument relies on the intuitively gratuitous idea that the designer directly instantiated an astronomical number of individual organisms (perhaps all at once) in such a way that, largely, individual organisms seemed like they could be clustered together into groups of organisms descended from a common ancestor when, in reality, this was never the case.

    Of course it was the case for many. Creationism is still a strong influence. Otherwise, you’re arguing for branching descent, so not sure why you have been argumentative.

    Box: Those of us who deny universal common ancestry do not assert zero common ancestry.

    How much? Are humans related to baboons? To birds? Those relationships are strongly supported by the nested hierarchy. Even beyond the Cambrian Explosion is strongly supported. All the way down to the unicellular divergences is supported. It’s only at the very root that horizontal mechanisms seem to predominate, but even then, you can still discern the nested hierarchy. See Theobald 2010.

  163. Vishnu

    To use another analogy, just because your Chevy will drive you to New York, doesn’t mean it will drive you to London. There is a limit called the Atlantic Ocean.

    Then it should be easy for you to identify the “Atlantic Ocean” that prevents micro-evolutionary changes from accumulating into macro-evolutionary ones. No one from the ID creationist camp has done so to date. Now’s your big chance.

    Going from microevolution to macroevolutionthere entails a whole different set of issues that do not lend themselves to a simple “linear” extrapolation.

    For example,

    How good is a half a wing?

    It’s good for balance when running, gliding for short distances when leaping from branches to avoid predators or attack prey, thermal insulation. Go ask an ostrich or an emu if their wings have zero use. Nature isn’t constrained by your inability to understand it.

    What mechanisms created the wing and all the coordinated physiological and neurological structures and functions? Are they the same micro mechanisms that deal with loss of function in cave fish, finch beak sizes, or immunity adaptations? Nobody knows. What are the details of its evolution down to the molecular level? Etc. Etc.

    The identical mechanisms that create all morphologic variety – genetic variations filtered by selection pressure. A bird’s wing is just the modified front limb of a theropod dinosaur. A bat’s wing is just the modified front paw structure of a terrestrial mammal. For many of the changes we do know the details down to the molecular level.

    Digital gene expression tag profiling of bat digits provides robust candidates contributing to wing formation

    The problem with the NeoDarwinist faithful is that they don’t approach the problem like engineers (or reverse engineers.) They are happy to believe the extrapolation and skip along their merry way.

    The problem with some engineers is they’re dirt ignorant in biology yet still arrogant enough to think since they are good in one subject that makes them knowledgeable in all.

  164. Then it should be easy for you to identify the “Atlantic Ocean” that prevents micro-evolutionary changes from accumulating into macro-evolutionary ones. No one from the ID creationist camp has done so to date. Now’s your big chance.

    Like I suspected, you cannot demonstrate your extrapolation. Therefore I need not accept it.

    It’s good for balance when running, gliding for short distances when leaping from branches to avoid predators or attack prey, thermal insulation. Go ask an ostrich or an emu if their wings have zero use. Nature isn’t constrained by your inability to understand it.

    Yeah, conveniently ignore all the coordinated physiological and neurological mechanisms that are entailed in their development. Just draw and stick man and say “that’s how it happened.”

    Let’s see some down and dirty detail on how it all happened. You can’t. At least try to say something interesting besides your ideologically driven just-so stories.

    V: What mechanisms created the wing and all the coordinated physiological and neurological structures and functions? Are they the same micro mechanisms that deal with loss of function in cave fish, finch beak sizes, or immunity adaptations? Nobody knows. What are the details of its evolution down to the molecular level? Etc. Etc.

    A: The identical mechanisms that create all morphologic variety – genetic variations filtered by selection pressure.

    Prove it.

    A bird’s wing is just the modified front limb of a theropod dinosaur. A bat’s wing is just the modified front paw structure of a terrestrial mammal. For many of the changes we do know the details down to the molecular level.

    “Just” he says.

    So you say. Demonstrate it fully. What mutations, in what order? And how do the neurological changes coordinate with the physiological? How many mutations and in what order does it take make a non-flying creature have the neurological ability to fly and understanding of flight and all the complexity that it entails?

    Details please. All the dirty details. I can’t wait.

    What you provide is the analogous to “stick man” drawings not molecular systems, processes, information, you know, the way things actually work at the deepest level. The real level. Not your “stick man” level.

    Digital gene expression tag profiling of bat digits provides robust candidates contributing to wing formation

    Where did the genes come from that the hox genes enable or disable? And where the did the hox genes come from?

    Details please. Down and dirty details. Thanks in advance.

    The problem with some engineers is they’re dirt ignorant in biology yet still arrogant enough to think since they are good in one subject that makes them knowledgeable in all.

    Too bad you can’t handle us engineers. We actually like to know the down and dirty details about how things work and how they came to be.

    Your just-so stories are boring.

    Yawn.

  165. Zachriel,

    Is there some reason you keep grouping my comments in with replies to other people and attributing my comments to them (WJM, Box, etc.), while also clipping small portions of my comments out of their larger context and responding only to those isolated snippets?

    Where you’ve addressed my comments, I don’t really see anything much to respond to, since what you’ve said has generally been addressed in the same comment you’re snipping from or in the OP.

  166. A.Renard,

    Box: No it does not. It [branching descent] predicts a gradual blending of slightly different organisms.

    Alicia Renard: What is your justification for making this bizarre claim? Blending inheritence has long been discarded following the incorporation of Mendelian genetics into Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

    I’m not arguing for the discarded theory of ‘blending inheritence’. Maybe this quote helps you to understand what I’m mean:

    Darwin: First, why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?

  167. Alicia Richard: What different set of issues? Do you have actual examples? Could you mention such an example?

    Sure. Please provide a detailed blow by blow account (mutations and their order) of how the a bat’s echolocation developed with regard to physiology (the hardware transponder) and it’s neurology (the software, that is, how it’s brain knows how to utilitize the hardware), and the neurological connections in between.

    I’m not interested in “stick men” level morphological just-so stories. I want to know how it evolved, at the deep level, molecularly.

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Another thing about us engineers, we actually have to make things work. We build things and reverse engineer things. We don’t have the luxury of “stick men” just-so stories. They just don’t work in the real world. Plus, your “stick men” just-so stories are just plain boring.

    P.S.S. I would never hire an engineer who thinks like the average NeoDarwinist. I would never fly in an airplane designed by someone who thinks like one. They simply wouldn’t be interested in the deep level details. They are too happy with extreme speculation and unproven conjecture and extrapolation. And people can die when people like that are in responsible positions.

  168. 169

    Box writes:

    Maybe this quote helps you to understand what I’m mean:

    Darwin: First, why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined?

    In a word – extinction. Almost 99.9% of species that have existed no longer exist. We do see fossil evidence of organisms that happened to be in a situation that favored their preservation. It all fits the overall nested hierarchy.

  169. HD,

    Box:

    Keith’s argument:

    1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONH)
    2. Unguided evolution explains ONH
    3. A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives.
    4. Both unguided evolution and a designer are capable of causing ONH.
    Conclusion: Unguided evolution is a trillion times better at explaining ONH.

    That’s a pretty good summary. Let me just tweak it a little bit:

    1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONHs).
    2. The ONH of the 30 major taxa is confirmed to an astounding accuracy of 1 in 10^38.
    3. Unguided evolution of the kind we actually observe predicts an ONH out of trillions of possibilities.
    4. Design makes no such prediction; it can be reconciled with any of the trillions of possibilities by simply saying “the designer did it that way.”
    5. With UE, we expect an ONH; with ID we expect not to see an ONH, with 99.999…% probability.
    6. We see an ONH, so UE’s prediction is spectacularly confirmed.

    Conclusion: Unguided evolution makes a one-out-of-trillions prediction that is spectacularly confirmed. It is trillions of times better than ID at explaining the evidence.

    I expressed the argument in terms of ONHs, but it also works with other evooutionary peculiarities such as the odd geographical distribution of organisms (e.g. marsupials concentrated in Australia).

  170. 171

    Shoot! Forgot to close tag, again! My answer to Box is the final paragraph in #169.

  171. At which point Darwin gave up the idea of evolution, and went back counting Barnacles right Box?

    Or maybe, he answered the question?

  172. Vishnu

    Quick question. You seem to want EXACT descriptions every change down to the very subatomic particle. Does that mean you don’t accept evolution at all, or just not unguided evolution. If your main issue is simply unguided evolution than there are obviously a whole bunch of intermediate stages. We just can’t describe a lot of them, but they are there, even WITH guided evolution. So I am not sure what you are asking Alicia for? It’s like: unless you can describe all the millions of changes there was no evolution???” Is that what you are getting at? Im just looking for clarity.

  173. Sorry Vishnu, I meant to say:

    If your main issue is simply GUIDED (not unguided) evolution than there are obviously a whole bunch of intermediate stages.

  174. 175

    Vishnu writes:

    Alicia Richard:

    [who asked in response to “Going from microevolution to macroevolution entails a whole different set of issues that do not lend themselves to a simple “linear” extrapolation.”]

    What different set of issues? Do you have actual examples? Could you mention such an example?

    says

    Sure.

    And what follows includes no such examples! I think that is because Vishnu can’t give examples.

    Vishnu?

  175. Vishnu,

    Don’t presume to speak for “us engineers”.

    You may have drunk the ID Kool-Aid, but I and most of my engineering colleagues have not.

  176. From the end of my OP:

    This is a big problem for IDers. They concede that unguided evolution can bring about microevolutionary changes, but they claim that it cannot be responsible for macroevolutionary changes. Yet they give no plausible reasons why microevolutionary changes, accumulating over a long period of time, should fail to produce macroevolutionary changes. All they can assert is that somehow there is a barrier that prevents microevolution from accumulating and turning into macroevolution.

    Having invented a barrier, they must invent a Designer to surmount it. And having invented a Designer, they must arbitrarily constrain his behavior (as explained above) to match the data. Three wild, unsupported assumptions: 1) that a barrier exists; 2) that a Designer exists; and 3) that the Designer always acts in ways that mimic evolution. (We often hear that evolution is a designer mimic, so it’s amusing to ponder a Designer who is an evolution mimic.) Unguided evolution requires no such wild assumptions in order to explain the data. Since it doesn’t require these arbitrary assumptions, it is superior to ID as an explanation.

    Here’s an analogy that may help. Imagine you live during the time of Newton. You hear that he’s got this crazy idea that gravity, the force that makes things fall on earth, is also responsible for the orbits of the moon around the earth and of the earth and the other planets around the sun. You scoff, because you’re convinced that there is an invisible, undetected barrier around the earth, outside of which gravity cannot operate. Because of this barrier, you are convinced of the need for angels to explain why the moon and the planets follow the paths they do. If they weren’t pushed by angels, they would go in straight lines. And because the moon and planets follow the paths they do, which are the same paths predicted by Newton on the basis of gravity, you assume that the angels always choose those paths, even though there are trillions of other paths available to them.

    Instead of extrapolating from earthly gravity to cosmic gravity, you assume there is a mysterious barrier. Because of the barrier, you invent angels. And once you invent angels, you have to restrict their behavior so that planetary paths match what would have been produced by gravity. Your angels end up being gravity mimics. Laughable, isn’t it?

    Yet the ‘logic’ of ID is exactly the same. Instead of extrapolating from microevolution to macroevolution, IDers assume that there is a mysterious barrier that prevents unguided macroevolution from happening. Then they invent a Designer to leap across the barrier. Then they restrict the Designer’s behavior to match the evidence, which just happens to be what we would expect to see if unguided macroevolution were operating. The Designer ends up being an unguided evolution mimic.

    The problem is stark. ID is trillions of times worse than unguided evolution at explaining the evidence, and the only way to achieve parity is to tack wild and unsupported assumptions onto it.

  177. Vishnu

    Sure. Please provide a detailed blow by blow account (mutations and their order) of how the a bat’s echolocation developed with regard to physiology (the hardware transponder) and it’s neurology (the software, that is, how it’s brain knows how to utilitize the hardware), and the neurological connections in between.

    LOL! Here comes the IDID train again – “I DEMAND INFINITE DETAIL!!’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Sorry Bunky but you aren’t in a position to demand anything until you ID-engineer types get off your lazy asses and start providing some details of your own. But because I feel sorry for your advanced case of Dunning-Kruger I’ll make you a great deal. For every one detail about the Intelligent Designer’s mechanism you provide me I’ll provide you two details on some aspect of evolutionary theory.

    You in little doggie? Or is barking while hiding under the sofa all you can do?

  178. keith s

    Vishnu,

    Don’t presume to speak for “us engineers”.

    You may have drunk the ID Kool-Aid, but I and most of my engineering colleagues have not.

    Rest assured Vishnu doesn’t represent all engineers, or even a majority. Most aren’t nearly so clueless and willing to show it.

    Among ID-Creationist engineers and programmers there does seem to be this inverse correlation between scientific knowledge and blustering arrogance. Figuring out why would probably make a good PhD thesis for someone.

  179. Adapa and Keiths,

    Haha. The comedy just keeps rolling. Thanks!

  180. Vishnu

    Adapa and Keiths,

    Haha. The comedy just keeps rolling. Thanks

    Wow Vishy. All that arrogant bluster yet you’re too unsure of ID to accept my offer of trading detail for detail. Doesn’t say much for your confidence in the ID position, eh?

  181. Alicia Renard @150

    Your response to the first question, though a bit nonsensical, seems to be regarding whether or not the ancient builders were “smart” or “intelligent”. Here, again, you misunderstand the meaning of “intelligent” in “Intelligent Design”.

    Simply, you are being asked whether or not Stonehenge was created by humans (intelligent minds) or natural events.

    I really don’t know whether the people “designed” the structures of Stonehenge and the environs before building them.

    Wait, what? You seem to be missing a rather major concept here.

    You aren’t being asked if the ancient humans drew up blueprints. You are being asked if Stonehenge was a completely natural occurrence, or if it was constructed (or DESIGNED) by humans (an intelligent mind). The rest of your response doesn’t really make any sense regarding the question.

    Did they make sketches and plans before starting work? I have no idea. That they had some sort of plan or it was trial-and-error is hard now to establish.

    What? You call out his questions as trite, yet don’t seem to be grasping the most basic of principles here.

  182. HD: Quick question. You seem to want EXACT descriptions every change down to the very subatomic particle.

    That would be nice, but I don’t think it’s realistic. However, issues like neurological changes coordinating with physiological changes are of great interest to me, personally. Nobody knows enough about the “programming” of the neurology to even to begin making reasonable guesses about how it’s “evolution” coordinated with the physiology, setting asides the problems with the physiology.

    How can one explain how brain evolution coordinated with physiology when one doesn’t have the foggiest idea how brain “software” works?

    It’s a huge gap. One I’m not willing to overlook.

    Does that mean you don’t accept evolution at all, or just not unguided evolution.

    The latter.

    We just can’t describe a lot of them, but they are there, even WITH guided evolution.

    I agree, except I would add that we cannot describe most of them.

    So I am not sure what you are asking Alicia for? It’s like: unless you can describe all the millions of changes there was no evolution???”

    No. Rather, unless you can described all the millions of changes, or at least posit plausible paths with no gaps (even if they are not the actual ones), then you have not proven your concept, and there’s no reason to accept a totally unguided evolution. And there’s no way I’m getting in the airplane you designed.

    I see life as having been designed to evolve along certain lines. That’s what the evidence tentatively looks like to me when all things are considered. And I have no use for just-so stories based on an ideological narrative.

    Hope that helps

  183. Adapa,

    Whatever. I’d had enough of you.

    You’re not impressive to me. What can I say?

    Take care.

  184. A.Renard #169: In a word – extinction.

    Yes I know. That’s why I mention extinction in post#157. One point I was trying to get across was that it is not branching descent that predicts ONH. Extinction needs to be added to the mix.

    A.Renard #169: Almost 99.9% of species that have existed no longer exist.

    We do not actually see that in the fossil record do we?

    A.Renard: It all fits the overall nested hierarchy.

    Well there are some major problems with that assertion. Cambrian animals for one. And as Joe has pointed out many times: prokaryotes do not have branching descent as there isn’t a nested hierarchy to be seen with prokaryotes.

  185. 186

    Adapa,

    I think the issue is with your confusion of two different sorts of causes

    When positing an algorithmic cause like evolution we need details because details are the cogs that make the algorithm work.

    When you don’t provide details it’s like turning in your math homework with out showing your work. It makes us suspect cheating

    On the other has when we posit an intelligent cause instead of asking for “details” you should inquire about means, motive, and opportunity.

    Different sorts of causes require different sorts of questions

    hope that helps

    peace

  186. Vishnu

    You’re not impressive to me. What can I say?

    Oh dear. Another genius engineer gets his bluff called and quickly skedaddles for the door. That’s not impressive to anyone. 🙂

    Take care too V.

  187. fifthmonarchyman

    When you don’t provide details it’s like turning in your math homework with out showing your work. It makes us suspect cheating

    So ID is like cheating on your math homework. Got it.

  188. This is what HeKS is responding to in the OP:

    You want to give ID an unfair advantage. I want to treat ID and unguided evolution equally, to see which one prevails on a level playing field.

    Of course that is “unacceptable” to you, because ID loses on a level playing field, and you don’t like that. You want to rig the game so that ID will win despite being an inferior hypothesis.

    That is unacceptable to any honest, science-minded person.

    Let me try once more to explain this to you.

    1. “Unguided evolution produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then unguided evolution must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either unguided evolution doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH.

    2. “A designer produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then a designer must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either the designer doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH.

    3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve, though there are people who actually believe that natural selection is a tautology, including UD President Barry Arrington, believe it or not.

    4. We don’t know that the putative designer exists, so ID is already behind in the race.

    5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    6. We cannot prove that the designer could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know the designer’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    8. If we assume that the ONH is out of the designer’s reach, then of course ID cannot explain the ONH.

    9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    We have treated ID and unguided evolution exactly the same, and evaluated them on a level playing field. If we assume that neither works, then of course neither can explain the ONH. If we assume that they do work, then unguided evolution makes a spectacularly successful, one in trillions prediction: the existence of the ONH. Meanwhile, ID falls flat on its face. None of the possibilities are ruled out, so under an ID hypothesis, we would expect with 99.999… % probability to find that there was not an objective nested hierarchy.

    If you treat them equally, unguided evolution blows ID out of the water. It isn’t even close.

    ID is a profoundly irrational position.

  189. Adapa said:

    Sure thing WJM. As soon as you provide your scientific evidence that the Magic Gravity Fairies aren’t responsible for pushing things around and making it look like natural gravity.

    The difference, Adapa, is that I didn’t make an assertion about the explanatory power of any Magic Gravity Fairies. It appears you are unwilling to back up your claim wrt science having demonstrated the explanatory power of random variations and natural selection.

    You guys just can’t grasp that merely bellowing “prove ToE to my satisfaction or it’s wrong wrong wrong!!” will do absolutely nothing to change accepted scientific theory or support your ID nonsense.

    I’m not asking you to support anything other than that which you have asserted has been demonstrated scientifically. Apparently you’re unwilling to, or cannot, support your assertion.

    Assertion is not demonstration.

  190. HeKS:

    In this thread, I noticed Keiths posting a summary of his supposed ‘bomb’ argument.

    You can thank Barry for the metaphor:
    No Bomb After 10 Years

    You say:

    3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve

    This seems to me like a cheat.

    First, in order for this claim to have any value at all for your argument, we would have to assume that the biological processes that make unguided evolution (if indeed it is unguided) even possible are themselves not designed. A system can be designed to allow for inputs that are not specifically predicted and generate outputs that are not specifically intended, and yet the framework that allows for this to happen can be designed to specifically fulfill this purpose.

    If you believe that mutations are random but are retained or eliminated by selection and drift, then we are in agreement. That’s the kind of unguided evolution I am talking about.

    As I’ve explained to others, my argument is not concerned with OOL and can stand on its own whether or not OOL occurred naturally.

    Second, your argument assumes that this “unguided evolution”, if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically, even if it would require a large degree of extrapolation.

    We know that unguided evolution produces microevolutionary ONHs, and IDers have been unable to find evidence of any barriers that could prevent microevolution from accumulating to become macroevolution.

    If your reflex is to demand proof that there is no barrier, be careful. I can demand the same thing from you with respect to design.

    More later.

  191. William J Murray

    I’m not asking you to support anything other than that which you have asserted has been demonstrated scientifically. Apparently you’re unwilling to, or cannot, support your assertion.

    You made the stupid demand that I prove a negative – that random genetic variations aren’t caused by invisible pixies and that natural selection isn’t caused by 27th dimension space aliens.

    I figured one inane request deserves another.

  192. Keith said:

    You are insisting that I use your unfair criterion:

    WJM: It is indeed the ID position that if natural forces are a scientifically plausible explanation of an effect or phenomena with an unknown origin, it is the better explanation, period.

    I’m not insisting you use anything. That is not “my” criterion. I’m apprising you of a basic tenet of ID theory which factually renders your argument trivial. As soon as you assume natural forces can generate life as we know it, natural forces becomes the better explanation, period. That’s the ID position.

    Instead of my fair one: Given a choice between two hypotheses, we should prefer the one that is more plausible.

    Unfortunately for you, ID theory doesn’t employ your criterion. It insists on erring on the side of non-design to avoid false positives, which is also why the CSI threshold is set so high.

    Again, for all IDists, your argument is trivial. You assume the core point that ID challenges. If you assume nature can do that, ID becomes irrelevant.

  193. Adapa said:

    You made the stupid demand that I prove a negative – that random genetic variations aren’t caused by invisible pixies and that natural selection isn’t caused by 27th dimension space aliens.

    I’ve only asked you to support your own assertion. If your assertion includes an unsupportable negative assumption, that’s your problem, not mine.

  194. We know that unguided evolution produces microevolutionary ONHs,

    We’re still waiting for Keith to direct us to the research that vets any evolutionary process as “unguided”.

    and IDers have been unable to find evidence of any barriers that could prevent microevolution from accumulating to become macroevolution.

    It’s not the ID burden to provide evidence of barriers; it is the burden of those who claim microevolutionary processes **can** accumulate into macroevolutionary features that are required to support such a claim.

  195. William J Murray

    I’ve only asked you to support your own assertion. If your assertion includes an unsupportable negative assumption, that’s your problem, not mine.

    The fact you make up stupid “prove a negative” type questions because you think you’re being clever and end up looking like a horse’s ass is your problem, not mine.

  196. William J Murray

    It’s not the ID burden to provide evidence of barriers;

    Since ID claims those barriers exist yes it is their burden to demonstrate them.

    it is the burden of those who claim microevolutionary processes **can** accumulate into macroevolutionary features that are required to support such a claim.

    That’s already been met to the satisfaction of virtually every scientist who has ever studied the fossil and genetic records. That you’re too lazy to lift one fat finger to do any reading on your own isn’t our problem either.

  197. Theobald: There are over 10^38 different possible ways to arrange the 30 major taxa represented in Figure 1 into a phylogenetic tree (see Table 1.3.1; Felsenstein 1982; Li 1997, p. 102).

    Can someone explain what is meant here? Does Theobald mean by an alternative arrangement, one with e.g. a direct evolutionary branch between bacteria and cows?
    What does Theobald mean by 10^38 different possible ways to arrange the 30 major taxa?

  198. It means there > 10^38 different labled trees with 30 tips, just like are three for trees with 3 tips:

    (Human,Chimp),Gorilla)
    (Human,Gorilla),Chimp)
    (Chimp,Gorilla),Human)

  199. Keith said:

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    Please note that keith begins the first assumption with a certain kind of life system already having been instantiated – an evolutionary one.

    He begins the second assumption without any particular life system having been instantiated.

    To have equal assumptions, as I’ve pointed out, the assumptions have to be at the same starting point. You can either begin your assumptions with the evolutionary model of life already instantiated (the first assumption), or you can begin your assumptions prior to any instantiation of life (the designer assumption with many “diversity of life” options, including non-evolutionary ones).

    If you begin with the evolutionary model of life, both guided and unguided versions predict a nested hierarchy outcome. That is the mathematics of the evolutionary model (common ancestor/vertical descent) whether guided or not.

    If you begin before any model of life has been instantiated, then keith must explain why/how a designer has more varietal possibilities available than pre-life natural forces.

  200. Box @198:

    Can someone explain what is meant here? Does Theobald mean by an alternative arrangement, one with e.g. a direct evolutionary branch between bacteria and cows?
    What does Theobald mean by 10^38 different possible ways to arrange the 30 major taxa?

    Perhaps he means that there could be species that have no connection to any other life form hierarchically, families that are independently related in a non-hierarchical way, much like vehicles can be designed and instantiated in non-ONH ways, even some are directly related to others and some are entirely separate. Fundamentall unique designs with no antecedents – like the mazda rotary motor when it first came out – can simply appear in the record.

    The problem is that this would not be a biological evolutionary system as assumed by Keith in #11. Keith assumes biological evolution in #11, but in #12 moves the assumption back to before the instantiation of any particular kind of life system.

    Thus, non-equal assumptions. What keith fails to consider is that given guided or unguided biological evolution, an ONH is the necessary outcome either way.

  201. @keiths #191

    Keith, your response is so non-responsive that it’s hard to figure out what to say about it, so I guess I’ll start by drawing back in my excised points from the OP

    Your quote from me:

    HeKS: Second, your argument assumes that this “unguided evolution”, if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically, even if it would require a large degree of extrapolation.

    My original point:

    Second, your argument assumes that this “unguided evolution”, if it exists, is of a sort that it could, at least in principle, offer some kind of possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes that would be necessary to produce an objective nested hierarchy naturalistically, even if it would require a large degree of extrapolation. The problem is that the type of “unguided evolution” we observe is not one that is observed to add novel functional information to the genome. It slightly alters and degrades genetic information, and it breaks existing functions or sometimes fixes functions that had previously been broken by simple point mutations, but we do not see it adding brand new complex (in the sense of “many well-matched parts”) functionality that didn’t exist before.

    So the type of “unguided evolution” that “even the most rabid IDer/YEC” observes is not of the kind that they would have any reason to think can offer, even in principle, a possible explanation for the macroevolutionary changes needed to produce an ONH naturalistically at any point that the ONH requires a significant increase in functional genetic information. Wherever that would be necessary, any appeal to the known existence of “unguided evolution” as a basic feature of reality would not even simply be an extreme unwarranted extrapolation of the available evidence, but would actually be the misleading invocation of a process that does pretty much exactly the opposite of what we observe “unguided evolution” doing.

    You said:

    If you believe that mutations are random but are retained or eliminated by selection and drift, then we are in agreement. That’s the kind of unguided evolution I am talking about.

    Well, some mutations seem to happen at random. That doesn’t mean that mutations are random across the board. Some seem internally directed to respond to environmental conditions. And what are we supposed to make of it when external pressures are found to increase mutation rates and thereby give a population a better chance at survival under harsh conditions through minor changes in genes and gene regulation? A seemingly programmed response that looks designed to maximize attempts at internal solutions to external problems, though ones that are seemingly constrained within definite boundaries, is not something that argues for a lack of intelligent design governing microevolutionary processes.

    Furthermore, fitness increases, and morphological changes in general, that are fixed by natural selection and drift result from blunting or breaking existing biological function and genetic information. We do not observe mutations adding up to produce novel complex functionality; not even when we’re the ones instigating the mutations through extensive mutagenesis experiments. Generally, the best we can hope for is that some regulatory switch will get thrown to allow an organism to do in one environment or context something that it already does in another environment or context. And where we observe microevolution producing ONH’s through branching descent, we observe it doing so through loss of genetic information, which brings me back to another comment from the OP:

    Of course, if you want to say that the ONH results from a gradual and unguided degrading of genetic information, that could work, at least to a certain point, and could be viewed as a reasonable extrapolation of the “unguided evolution” we observe. Of course, this raises the question of where the high information-content of the ancestor genome came from in the first place and we would have to account for the places in the hierarchy where a significant increase or change in functional information seems to have arisen.

    So, when you say that ID proponents admit that “unguided evolution” exists, and then assert there is some need for the ID proponent to identify a barrier to prevent these from adding up to the macroevolutionary changes in the history of life, you are completely misrepresenting what ID proponents admit and getting far ahead of yourself. If necessary, we can get to discussing barriers to the formation of new body plans and body plan elements and organs and tissues, etc., but I don’t see that your argument really requires that at this point for the simple reason that you are arguing based on the claimed reasonableness of the large-scale extrapolation of microevolutionary change to macroevolutionary change, but extrapolation requires some kind of trajectory, and when we perform a larg-scale extrapolation of the trajectory of the microevolution we actually observe, a very obvious, experimentally-verified barrier presents itself: complete breakdown of biological function resulting in sterility and/or death.

  202. Keith S

    Please lets talk PCD….. you can’t keep ignoring me……

    My question again…..

    How did unguided processes create a guided process that prevents unguided processes from happening? If you are to make a claim that unguided evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life you have to be able to address this astronomical problem to unguided evolution.

    Please respond Keith.

  203. Vishnu, you are so right about engineering responsibility, one needs to think and plan top down to impose credible coherence with purpose (as constrained by general and often economic feasibility), and bottom up to assure consistency with the available materials and forces of nature, state of the art, credible (TESTED!) advances and general soundness. Otherwise, “any structure will fail by its weakest mechanism, generally the one no-one thought about — until after the funeral.” Sound engineering principles, practices and patterns or guidelines were bought not only with treasure but with blood and tears, and so if we refuse to heed them, we will pay the same price again. But then, folly is ever wise in its own eyes*, as Solomon warned in the Proverbs. KF

    * The so-called Dunning-Kreuger effect of being too bad at something to know the difference between sound and unsound, is little more than a back-handed compliment to Solomon, who got it right 3,000 years ago and wrote it down in part of what would become the most treasured but now also the most unjustly reviled book in our civilisation. (And notice the rhetorical cleverness, imagined, of the oh so common turnabout accusatory blame projection stratagem.)

    PS: Maybe that is part of why one of my internal warning flags is tripping over the unresponsiveness of too many design objectors to cases like the Abu Ambassadeur 6500 C3 reel, which is a fairly simple engineering product that demonstrates the pervasive realities of systemic functionality based on coherent organised structure on a Wicken wiring diagram. When functionality is dependent on specific interaction of correct parts in correct arrangement and coupling, that sharply constrains possible configs if function is to emerge or be sustained, the islands of function in vast config spaces phenomenon. FSCO/I is real. And the nature of such arrangements per informational wiring diagram blatantly, patently implies quantifiable information, e.g. by counting the number of suitably structured y/n q’s that (up to tolerances) specify the state of functional configs. And of course, so many objectors insistently shut their eyes to this, because on the observed world of life such FSCO/I plainly points where they would not go.

  204. Shorter version of WJM #194:

    No, no, no! You have to be unfair to ID so I can accuse you of being unfair and reject your argument!

    Tough luck, William. Science works by comparing hypotheses fairly, whether you like it or not. When ID and UE are compared fairly, as I do in my argument, ID gets obliterated.

    Anyone can read this comment and see that I am treating ID and UE equally.

  205. The time has come to shutdown Keith S and his supposed argument for good.

    The argument boils down to this;

    Unguided evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life.

    I will use scientific evidence of what we know to refute this assumption, because that is what it is it’s just an assumption that Keith S makes. How will I do this? I’m just going to focus on one mechanism called Programmed Cell death or better known as PCD.

    What do we know about PCD?

    1. PCD is evolutionary conserved.

    This means the genes for PCD has remained unchanged throughout evolution. Conservation of a gene indicates that it is unique and essential. Changes in the gene are lethal

    2. PCD is essential to prokaryotes and eukaryotes

    This means it is fundamental to the health of the organism, because PCD has control over the development of healthy cells and over diseased cells in all organisms

    3. PCD is highly regulated

    This means that it has a predefined set of parameters to ensure accuracy of the operation of cells.

    4. PCD works in a coordinated fashion with Necrosis and Autophagy.

    This means Apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis are harmonzided to work tohgether for the health of a cell, this clearly demonstrates a few engineering principles at play. These are redundancy, failover and risk management principles, its not a speculation, assumption or anything it is factual.

    5. When PCD becomes dysregulated it is fatal to the organism.

    When PCD becomes dysfunctional due to any type of mutation it is fatal to the organism because PCD literally turns on the organism including healthy cells. There is ample papers written with evidence of this. I invite readers to do some research on this themselves.

    So that brings us to Keith’s assumption; unguided evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life. I call Keith’s bluff and I am saying to him that PCD stops unguided evolution in its tracks. Not only does kill unhealthy cells but when itself becomes faulty destroys the entire organism. Therefore unguided evolution cannot be the best explanation of life, because we have a mechanism that prevents it and if it does actually happen that unguided processes are able to operate the organism dies at the hand of PCD itself that targets all cells and kills the organism.

  206. William #200:

    Please note that keith begins the first assumption with a certain kind of life system already having been instantiated – an evolutionary one.

    He begins the second assumption without any particular life system having been instantiated.

    No, both start from the same point after OOL:

    11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.

    And:

    How life began is a separate question from how it evolved afterwards. This is easy to see. All four combinations are logically possible:

    1. Life was created and evolution was guided.
    2. Life was created and evolution was unguided.
    3. Life arose naturally and evolution was guided.
    4. Life arose naturally and evolution was unguided.

    The evidence being discussed in this thread rules out #1 and #3.

    WJM:

    If you begin with the evolutionary model of life, both guided and unguided versions predict a nested hierarchy outcome. That is the mathematics of the evolutionary model (common ancestor/vertical descent) whether guided or not.

    Not true. To get an ONH, you also need simple mutations happening at a slow rate. You get that with unguided evolution, but the design hypothesis is not similarly constrained.

  207. So what is PCD? PCD is a Tamper protection system with a built-in self destruct if the system is ever compromised.

  208. Keith S

    No, both start from the same point after OOL:

    We can say with confidence that PCD is already present at the point of OOL, because it is conserved and it is essential….

    Fail Keith unguided processes are regulated at the start of OOL.

    Not true. To get an ONH, you also need simple mutations happening at a slow rate. You get that with unguided evolution, but the design hypothesis is not similarly constrained.

    Fail Keith S anything that compromises the integrity of the system gets destroyed and if the integrity of the tamper protection system is breached the system self destructs.

  209. Keith S

    No, both start from the same point after OOL:

    We can say with confidence that PCD is already present at the point of OOL, because it is conserved and it is essential….

    Fail Keith unguided processes are regulated at the start of OOL.

    Not true. To get an ONH, you also need simple mutations happening at a slow rate. You get that with unguided evolution, but the design hypothesis is not similarly constrained.

    Fail Keith S anything that compromises the integrity of the system gets destroyed and if the integrity of the tamper protection system is breached the system self destructs. Unguided processes are incapable of building tamper protection and self destruct mechanism…… I call your bluff…..

  210. So our opponents are in a bit of a muddle now because they have to be able to explain how unguided processes somehow “knew” when an organism was in a “optimal” state so that it could initiate the construction of a tamper protection system. A tamper protection system is contra to the Neo-Darwinian observations and theories and just so stories.

  211. HeKS #202,

    As many of my opponents do, you are falling prey to the Rain Fairy fallacy.

    You write:

    So, when you say that ID proponents admit that “unguided evolution” exists, and then assert there is some need for the ID proponent to identify a barrier to prevent these from adding up to the macroevolutionary changes in the history of life, you are completely misrepresenting what ID proponents admit and getting far ahead of yourself.

    The onus is on ID proponents to demonstrate the existence of barriers to macroevolution. Why? Because we already know about microevolution and its ability to generate ONHs, and the overall ONH — to an accuracy of one in trillions — is exactly what we’d expect to see if there were no barriers preventing microevolution from becoming macroevolution.

    In other words, the evidence is trillions to one against the hypothesis that there are barriers. Given those tall odds, it isn’t surprising that IDers can’t demonstrate the existence of barriers. Instead, they try to shift the burden to evolutionists by demanding proof that the barriers aren’t there.

    But by the same logic, an ID critic could demand proof that there are no barriers preventing the designer from producing the diversity of terrestrial life. And of course, ID proponents cannot prove this.

    (See the comment following this one for more on this point.)

    ID proponents, including you, are in the unenviable position of having to say something like this:

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent microevolution from accumulating into macroevolution. It takes a Designer to get across those barriers, and the Designer just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided evolution were doing the job.

    Why would anyone who hasn’t drunk the ID Kool-Aid buy that argument?

    It’s as bad as this one:

    “Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if unguided meteorology were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent micrometeorology from accumulating into macrometeorology. It takes a Rain Fairy to get across those barriers, and the Rain Fairy just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided meteorology were doing the job.

    I’ll say it again: Everyone agrees that the Rain Fairy hypothesis is ridiculous, for obvious reasons. You need to come up with a defense of ID whose logic can’t equally be applied to the defense of the Rain Fairy hypothesis.

    Good luck.

  212. Axel @ 43

    Yes Keith S is still ignoring me 🙁

  213. Germane to the burden of proof issue discussed in #212:

    5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impossible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    6. We cannot prove that the designer could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impossible — it would also require us to know the designer’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    8. If we assume that the ONH is out of the designer’s reach, then of course ID cannot explain the ONH.

    9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.

    And one of them does fit the evidence better. Guess which one?

  214. Keith S

    The onus is on ID proponents to demonstrate the existence of barriers to macroevolution. Why? Because we already know about microevolution and its ability to generate ONHs, and the overall ONH — to an accuracy of one in trillions — is exactly what we’d expect to see if there were no barriers preventing microevolution from becoming macroevolution.

    PCD is that barrier….. Sick cells PCD kill them, sick PCD the system self destructs. There is no time or materials for macro-evolution to work its supposed magic…..

  215. @keiths #212

    Ah, now I see why you always think you win arguments: You just ignore what people say, misrepresent their arguments and claims, argue against that, then claim victory.

    Since I did not make the argument you decided to respond to and you did not respond to anything I actually said, is this the point where I do a little victory dance? I think I’ll forego that and just wait for you to actually address what I’ve said, though I am starting to get a little bored.

  216. So what is micro-evolution? It’s a response mechanisms to the environment that is front loaded in all organism to be able to adapt for certain eventualities or pressures.

    What is macro-evolution? It’s nothing it does not exist because the highly regulated tamper protection system stops any type of deviation outside the already front loaded boundaries.

    There is no macro-evolution Keith….

  217. I would love it if Keith S addressed me…. his little twerp…..

  218. WJM #12:

    1. Keith claims that unguided evolution exists; he has yet to provided any scientific research to support the “unguided” portion of that assertion.

    William,

    As usual, you’re pretending that I haven’t already addressed your point. I did, over a week ago:

    William #259:

    Even if we accept the validity of the prediction, the circularity of Keith’s argument is obvious. He has assumed that evolution is unguided in the first place, and so if what evolutionary patterns predict bears out, he considers it evidence in favor of an “unguided” evolution conclusion.

    William,

    You’re repeating the nullasalus error again:

    Science isn’t about proof, nullasalus. Surely you’ve heard that somewhere along the way.

    Sure, microevolution might be guided. The grains falling out of my salt shaker might be guided by invisible leprechauns to their final resting place on my french fries. Raindrops might be gathered, shaped, and dropped by the Rain Fairy in a precise pattern. The swirl of water in your toilet bowl might be guided by Shamu, the Invisible Toilet Whale. But anyone insisting on these things would be justly regarded as a loony. There is no evidence that these things are guided, so intelligent people rightly regard them as unguided.

    What’s especially hilarious about this is that you had just written this in the immediately preceding comment:

    It is indeed the ID position that in any case where natural forces are a plausible explanation, natural forces is the better explanation because design would be an unnecessary added causal entity.

    Natural forces are a plausible explanation for microevolution. Try to be consistent from one comment to the very next one, William.

    I love arguing with William. 🙂

  219. Then chat with me too Keith S

  220. F/N: Let us observe:

    WJM, 194:

    >>William J MurrayNovember 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Adapa said:

    You made the stupid demand that I prove a negative – that random genetic variations aren’t caused by invisible pixies and that natural selection isn’t caused by 27th dimension space aliens.

    I’ve only asked you to support your own assertion. If your assertion includes an unsupportable negative assumption, that’s your problem, not mine.>>

    KS, retort:

    >>205
    keith sNovember 20, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Shorter version of WJM #194:

    No, no, no! You have to be unfair to ID so I can accuse you of being unfair and reject your argument!

    Tough luck, William. Science works by comparing hypotheses fairly, whether you like it or not. When ID and UE are compared fairly, as I do in my argument, ID gets obliterated.

    Anyone can read this comment and see that I am treating ID and UE equally.>>

    Let’s roll the tape from 189, KS speaking with my comments interleaved on bullets:

    KS: >> ID loses on a level playing field, and you don’t like that. You want to rig the game so that ID will win despite being an inferior hypothesis.

    That is unacceptable to any honest, science-minded person.>>

    a –> bare assertion, let’s see the actual case, knowing KS has long since failed the test, and is repeating falsified assertions in an attempt to make them seem solid by dominance

    >>Let me try once more to explain this to you.

    1. “Unguided evolution produced the ONH [objective nested hierarchies]” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then unguided evolution must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either unguided evolution doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH.>>

    b –> Problem 1 as pointed out but ignored. While a general tree categorisation has been imposed on the world of life, via use of taxonomic keys, trees from general macro anatomy and those from various molecules NOTORIOUSLY diverge, mutually. Repeatedly pointed out, consistently mulishly ignored. The evidence is more consistent with a general branching tree pattern augmented by the characteristic design pattern of libraries of adaptable parts drawn upon as useful and fitted to cases. Mosaic creatures such as the Platypus are a capital example:

    For, this creature is an egg-laying, milk producing, duck-billed, venomous, beaver-tailed and web-footed mammal, whose 18,527 protein-encoding genes “contain alive-and-well representatives from mammals, birds and reptiles”:

    >>2. “A designer produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then a designer must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either the designer doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH.>>

    c –> The factual base assumed is absent, there is no absolute simple tree-branching structure to explain. In addition, many products of design show a branching tree pattern with multiple inheritance (sometimes with over-rides and adaptations).

    d –> In addition, there is no good reason to infer that a gradualistic process across the world of life on the implied (imagined!) vast continent of incrementally accessible configurations, will adhere to a branching tree pattern by utterly preserving originally acquired characteristics. Not to mention, the pattern of proteins in AA string config space definitively demonstrates islands of function, which is tied to the deep isolation of main body plans. These islands are rich in FSCO/I, which per trillions of examples has but one empirically observed adequate cause, intelligently directed configuration. So, on just inductive logic, we are justified in inferring that such FSCO/I is an empirically reliable sign — thus evidence — of design. Last I checked, designs come from designers, and on common sense, evidence pointing that way should be allowed to speak for itself instead of imposing selectively hyperskeptical demands that we find independent direct evidence of designers in the remote and unobservable past of origins. In short the whole argument following is a case of hyperskepticism directed at inconvenient evidence pointing to design, accompanied by the usual hypercredulous laxity towards anything that can be stretched to support a priori materialism and its fellow travellers, duly decked out in lab coats.

    e –> As for a naturalistic account of OOL with adequate empirical warrant, utterly missing in action to the point that this is a pivotal reason KS et al have refused to address the challenge to produce a summary observationally warranted account of the tree of life on blind watchmaker thesis principles of chance and mechanical necessity, for two years to date.

    >>3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve, though there are people who actually believe that natural selection is a tautology, including UD President Barry Arrington, believe it or not.

    4. We don’t know that the putative designer exists, so ID is already behind in the race.>>

    f –> Bare assertions and strawman caricatures, contrary to serious facts. Microevolutionary trends (which we actually cannot show to be not a built-in feature for robust adaptability), in the teeth of barriers to body plan level emergence, are extrapolated unjustifiably on imposed a priori materialism or the like. As for the tautological tendencies of natural selection so called, that is a serious problem that KS wishes to wave away by implied ridicule of BA when in fact it is a seriously discussed point and it is qutie hard to find a formulation of this claimed engine of evolutionary changes that is not circular..

    >>5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.

    6. We cannot prove that the designer could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impoosible — it would also require us to know the designer’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach.>>

    g –> In fact this is a dodging of the basic fact that unguided chance variation [CV] and culling by differential reproductive success [CBDRS] have never been observed t produce FSCO/I, and instead by imposing a priori ideological evolutionary materialism in a lab coat or the like, gross extrapolations, hand waving and unjustified just so stories are left to stand in for the actual need to warrant per vera causa that CV + CBDRS –> IDWM –> ToL branching tree evo at body plan level is even feasible.

    h –> By contrast, we know that FSCO/I is only on our experience produced by design, and that on analysis we see that deeply isolated islands of function in vast config spaces that can only be sparsely searched by blind watchmaker mechanisms, leads to a good reason to hold that such blind processes are maximally implausible as accounts of FSCO/I. So, FSCO/I should be allowed to speak on its own merits, pointing to design as the only vera causa credible known means to get to the FSCO/I.

    i –> We may not know all that a designer can do, but this is already good reason to infer to design of life, and that such design would be feasible on extensions of known molecular nanotech we already practice to a limited extent. There fore, we must be willing to accept that there is evidence pointing to design and implying designers of adequate capacity.

    >>7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH.

    8.If we assume that the ONH is out of the designer’s reach, then of course ID cannot explain the ONH.>>

    j –> Note the clever use of the term “assume” to disguise the fact that we have a known cause of FSCO/I, design, and that we have no credible cases where blind watchmaker mechanisms per our observation have caused FSCO/I. So the inference to best explanation controlled by empirical evidence is being twisted into the notion that one is merely making assumptions.

    k –> That is, we see evidence of burning down inductive reasoning on evidence the heart of science, int eh interests of promoting an ideology that — after 150 years of trying — persistently cannot meet the vera causa test.

    >>9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation.

    10.Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other.>>

    l –> Notice the dodging of the actual testimony of the evidence by a pretence of equality of “assumptions.” Nope, every tub must stand on its own bottom, as my old gramps used to say. On the cause of FSCO/I, we have a vera causa est, that before we try to explain the remote unobservable past in light of its traces in the present, we ought to prune back wild ideologically tinged or even worldviews level speculation by first showing sufficient reason for the suggested causal mechanism. That is, in the present we should see that the causal mechanism proposed has capacity to produce the effect and its traces.

    m –> The critical thing to be explained in life forms is integrated, functionally specific complex interactive organisation that follows wiring diagrams and produces a coherent cluster of processes that we call cell based life, with body plans emerging form an embryological development program present int eh zygote, which is a single cell. Where:

    1: FSCO/I is an empirically reliable sign of design

    2: Programs are a case of design and are routinely produced by designers

    3: As Tour, (the molecular car man), Venter and others have shown, designers can build complex nanotech molecular scale devices using organic chemistry based techniques, and can adapt them to their purposes.

    4: Cells are based on organic chemistry molecular nanotech and exhibit programming using codes and algorithms stored in D/RNA data structures. (Where, designers such as Venter et al have stored their own coded data in D/RNA in recent years.)

    5: Codes are a linguistic phenomenon, something known only as a product of design, which we routinely produce. Likewise, algorithms are a manifestation of foresighted planning design, and of purposeful intelligence that shapes such designs.

    6: Wiring diagram based interactive functionality based on correct parts in correct arrangement and suitably coupled together is a routine feature of design and resulting implementation.

    7: Such wiring diagram patterns are evident in the world of life from the cell to the human being and at every point between.

    8: That is, the precise patterns of FSCO/I seen in the world of life have been shown to be a product of design, of intelligently and purposefully directed configuration based on skill and knowledge backed up by creative imagination.

    9: At no point have such things beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complexity, been shown to come about by suggested blind watchmaker mechanisms, whether the physics and chemistry of a Darwin’s pond or the like, or the systems of a living cell or those of a body plan, or even in the world of technology, especially computational technology. (In all suggested cases to the contrary, the hand of a designer is readily evident on closer examination.)

    n –> That is what KS has tried to sweep under the carpet by appealing to “assumptions.”

    >>11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.>>

    o –> Begging the question under pretence of equality. First show vera causa then we can talk about credible equality.

    >>12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.>>

    p –> In fact we do not have a simple nested hierarchy or its underlying branching tree pattern, as already pointed out. That already begs the question at stake — which has apparently been going on despite repeated correction, for a month here and perhaps years at TSZ etc.

    q –> Such unresponsiveness to evidence and reason tied to evidence is not a good sign. Let me clip, as a caution regarding what is evidently a major problem KS and those who have enabled him o er the past several weeks need to soberly face (and links are not brought over due to a WP link budget for comments):

    CLOSED-MINDEDNESS*: Stubbornly irrational, question-begging resistance to correction and/or alternative views. (Cf. a typical turnabout accusation on this, here.) 
    This fallacy manifests itself in a habitual pattern of thought, feelings and argument that is:
    (a) question-beggingly committed to and/or 
    (b) indoctrinated into thinking in the circle of a particular view or position and/or 
    (c) blindly adherent to “the consensus” or vision and school of thought or paradigm of a particular set of authorities. [NB*: This last includes today’s new Magisterium: “Science.”] 
    As a result, 
    (d) the victim of closed-mindedness becomes unwarrantedly (i.e. fallaciously and often abusively) resistant to new or alternative ideas, information or correction. 
    . . . . That is, it is not a matter of mere disagreement that is at stake here, but of 
    (e) stubborn and objectively unjustified refusal to be corrected or to entertain or fairly discuss on the merits ideas or points of view outside of a favoured circle of thought . . . .
    (By contrast, a properly educated person is open-minded but critically aware: s/he is aware of the possibility and prevalence of error, and so (i) habitually investigates and then (ii) accurately, objectively and fairly describes major alternative views, fact claims and lines of argument on a topic, (iii) comparing them on congruence to his/her real-world experience and that of others s/he knows and respects, general factual correctness, logical coherence and degree of explanatory power; thus (iv) holds a personal view that results from such a process of comparative difficulties, while (v) recognising and respecting that on major matters of debate or controversy, different people will hold different views.)

    >>We have treated ID and unguided evolution exactly the same>>

    r –> Not at all, as shown above. You have dodged the vital inductive reasoning responsibility to apply the vera causa test to ALL serious candidate explanations of the deep, unobservable past in order to provide a causally adequate account of its traces.

    s –> By imposing the term, assumptions as though the two equally pass or fail at vera causa, you have promoted what is not a properly warranted adequate cause to treat it as though it wee just a good as a causal factor that is known to account for FSCO/I.

    t –> Thus, you begged pivotal questions.
    —————

    KF

  221. HeKS,

    I’ve shown that the evidence is trillions to one against the hypothesis that there are barriers to microevolution that prevent it from accumulating into macroevolution.

    All you have to do (heh) to counteract that evidence is to come up with a trillions-to-one argument that there are such barriers.

    Are you giving up already?

  222. Keith S

    “Natural forces are a plausible explanation for microevolution. Try to be consistent from one comment to the very next one, William.”

    If you’re talking about response to environmental pressures then yes Keith S…… But this is important, always within a certain boundary and when the pressure no longer applies the organism reverts back to its original state…. See the work on the Finches species Collapse recently done……

  223. F/N 2: instead of producing yet another point by point this early morning, I suggest that one slice of the cake baked by KS has in it all the ingredients as was just shown, so we can expect much the same from any other slice. KF

  224. Andre:

    I would love it if Keith S addressed me…. his little twerp…..

    Hi, Andre!

  225. Keith S

    All you have to do (heh) to counteract that evidence is to come up with a trillions-to-one argument that there are such barriers.

    PCD Keith is that 1 barrier.

  226. Lets talk PCD Keith S

  227. Keith,

    This is becoming a bad joke. Even if I were to decide to abandon this discussion at this point, the only thing I would be giving up on is getting any kind of coherent response from you that actually addresses anything I’ve said or answers any of the questions I’ve asked.

    I mean, for goodness sake, my comments forming this OP were not even intended to be a full-scale attack on your argument. They were simple observations and questions about apparent flaws in your argument and its underlying logic and assumptions. We’re over 220 comments into this thread and you haven’t actually said anything of any substance about my comments. You’ve only misrepresented tiny snippets of them and then tried to address those isolated misrepresentations.

    Furthermore, while you want me to attempt to rebut your argument using a very specific approach, which is to identify a barrier to the slow accumulation of microevolutionary improvements into complex novel biological systems, the fact of the matter is that to follow your prescribed approach is to give your argument more credit than it currently warrants, to concede underlying claims that are simply false, and to skip over more fundamental errors in your reasoning. It looks to me like your argument fails before it even becomes necessary to consider whether there are barriers to the accumulation of small improvements into complex systems. Why should I skip to that and avoid addressing the seemingly far more basic problems present in this argument with which you are so clearly enamored?

    Answer my questions. Interact with my preliminary comments. Maybe then there will be something to talk about. As it stands, I’ve addressed what little you’ve said to me and you’ve responded to nothing that I’ve said to you, except by misrepresenting tiny portions of it and then trying to respond to your own inventions.

  228. Lets talk PCD Keith S……

  229. @KF #221

    The funny thing is, Keith’s argument seems to be based on so many unstated assumptions and errors in reasoning that even if you grant significant aspects of the argument, like the claim that you can genuinely fit life into a neatly ordered ONH, the argument still seems to break down at multiple points.

    Of course, as I’ve said, I always try to leave open the possibility that someone’s argument is better than it appears or better than they’ve stated it, but Keith’s non-responsiveness to my actual preliminary comments and questions, combined with his misrepresentation of isolated snippets of them, is making me think that’s less and less likely.

  230. Heks

    You are on the money, he assumes things and then proudly proclaims them as irrefutable facts.

    I’ve shown a single biological mechanism that blows his unguided evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life argument out of the water… My reward? I’m being ignored…….

  231. Andre,

    My reward? I’m being ignored…….

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that. Of course, for all intents and purposes, I’m being ignored too. At least so far.

  232. HeKS,

    You’ve made some vague assertions about “unstated assumptions” and “errors in reasoning”. Here’s an idea. How about stating your single best example of one of those — I’ll let you pick which — and I’ll respond.

    After we resolve it, or agree to disagree, we can move on to the next one.

  233. Here is why PCD is a barrier

    Fas-dependent apoptosis. In many situations, particularly in the immune system, the number of cells is tightly regulated. Cell number has to be increased rapidly to fight an infection and reduced again after the infection subsides. Failure to precisely control numbers may result in autoimmune reactions, in which the body makes antibodies to its own proteins, generating life-threatening inflammations, or to the loss of too many cells, leading to increased susceptibility to infection or an inability to conquer an infection. Thus, mechanisms for cell death are very elaborate in the immune system, though the control mechanisms are used by other cells as well. Many of these cells carry on their surface one member of a family of closely related proteins. One of the most common proteins is called Fas, after an activity first recognized by immunologists. Fas can bind the protein Fas Ligand, which itself may either circulate in the blood or be attached to another cell. Fas bound to Fas Ligand can also attach to one or two similarly linked Fas molecules, forming dimers (two molecules linked) or trimers (three molecules). All of the Fas molecules stretch across the cell membrane to the intracellular side. The dimer or trimer forms interact with other proteins on the inside of the cell in a complex reaction that ultimately results in the freeing of pro-caspase-8 from an inactive bound form. This caspase-8 becomes activated and activates caspase-3, leading to apoptosis. Other receptors in the Fas Ligand family include those binding tumor-necrosis factor, and all members of the family contain similar amino acid sequences and structures, including a region important for the activation of caspases called the death domain.

    PCD kills unguided evolution dead…….. When it can’t it self destructs the entire system……..

  234. Some cell deaths, most typically those of large, cytoplasm-rich cells or postmitotic cells, do not rely heavily on caspases. They therefore display a somewhat different morphology from that described below and exhibit rather an autophagic morphology. In autophagy—literally, self-eating—the bulk of the cytoplasm is destroyed in large lysosomal vesicles (autophagosomes) before the morphology becomes more classically apoptotic.

  235. KS, Assertions are not warrant (especially those as sadly ill-founded as you have demonstrably been making), kindly cf 221 above. Please, please, please pause and think again. KF

  236. Keith S

    You’ve made some assumptions that you are unable to backup.

    You have been weighed, you have been measured and you have been found wanting.

  237. KF,

    I’ll extend the same offer to you as to HeKS. Make your single best point, and I will respond to it. After we resolve the disagreement, or agree to disagree, we can move on to the next one.

  238. My single best point

    Programmed cell death is responsible for healthy cell formation and operation, the destruction of diseased cells and prevents unguided processes from occurring in the system. If unguided processes do happen and PCD as a mechanism is compromised the system self destructs. Therefore unguided evolution based on the evidence can not be the best explanation for the diversity of life.

  239. Zachriel:

    Propose a hypothesis, deduce the empirical implications of the hypothesis, then test those implications.

    And that is why unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution is not science. Thanks again, Zachriel.

  240. KS, nope. You have been claiming inability to adequately respond to your claims and arguments. Several times I have taken time to address such point by point on serious grounds, only to see you go on and on as though nothing has happened. Above, I have taken time I should not spare at this point to lay out just how yet another of your arguments falls apart. You need to address grave defects in reasoning and thought in the context that knowledge is effectively well warranted, credibly true belief, where also it will help to get first principles of right reason straight by contemplating the world partition W = { A | NOT-A } imposed by a bright red ball sitting on a table and the self-evident triple principles that immediately arise, LOI, LNC, LEM; duly augmented by PSR [weak, one may inquire form if you will . . . ] and onwards the linked issues of possible/impossible being,contingent/ necessary being, non-being, cause-effect. Similarly, ponder Ari’s point in Met 1011b that truth says of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. Other things flow from that and a good test is whether you can see why Royce’s point Error exists is self evident and certainly true not merely probably or seemingly true. Further to this, you show strong signs of indoctrination leading to what regrettably and with all due respect . . . I would generally prefer quiet counselling by a competent logician and epistemologist, but by insistent public assertions and insinuations you have left little choice other than public correction . . . has to be diagnostically, descriptively called the fallacy of the closed, ideologically circular mind. Such a grave intellectual challenge needs to be soberly faced and addressed, going through the issues and concerns as a whole, which have been raised for several weeks from several serious sources. No this demands radical surgery, radiation therapy and chemo therapy, and even that may fail to get the metastases. I suggest, you pause and take time to deal with the problematique you face in your thinking. KF

    PS: A careful reading of the just linked in context, if you can bring yourself to switch off the typical dismissive subroutines found in indoctrination systems, may prove helpful. I have to go off now and help somebody deal with a lion’s den. (I do intend to pause and begin putting up some fresh FTR posts, but even that cannot be guaranteed, depending on the crises of the day.)

  241. keith s:

    I’ve shown that the evidence is trillions to one against the hypothesis that there are barriers to microevolution that prevent it from accumulating into macroevolution.

    And yet there aren’t any examples of microevolution that can extrapolated into macroevolution. That means keith s has shown something without any evidence! Isn’t evolutionism just grand?!

  242. keith s:

    Make your single best point, and I will respond to it.

    I have made several points that refute your trope and you have either ignored or misrepresented them. Obviously you cannot defend your claims in an open discussion and I am OK with that. 😛

  243. PPS: I also think Wiki on inductive reasoning can be a good start on that side:

    Inductive reasoning (as opposed to deductive reasoning) is reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposed to be certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is supposed to be probable, based upon the evidence given.[1]

    The philosophical definition of inductive reasoning is more nuanced than simple progression from particular/individual instances to broader generalizations. Rather, the premises of an inductive logical argument indicate some degree of support (inductive probability) for the conclusion but do not entail it; that is, they suggest truth but do not ensure it. In this manner, there is the possibility of moving from general statements to individual instances (for example, statistical syllogisms, discussed below).

    Many dictionaries define inductive reasoning as reasoning that derives general principles from specific observations, though some sources disagree with this usage . . . . Unlike deductive arguments, inductive reasoning allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false, even if all of the premises are true.[4] Instead of being valid or invalid, inductive arguments are either strong or weak, which describes how probable it is that the conclusion is true.[5]

    A classical example of an incorrect inductive argument was presented by John Vickers:

    All of the swans we have seen are white.
    Therefore, all swans are white.

    Note that this definition of inductive reasoning excludes mathematical induction, which is a form of deductive reasoning.

  244. Joe: //” That means keith s has shown something without any evidence! Isn’t evolutionism just grand?!//

    The amount of indirect evidence is immense, but for some bizarre reason, you will not accept it for evolution whereas you will for many other sciences. That is very telling.

    Since we are at it, using your same requirements, provide direct evidence for ID. Keep in mind that CSI, or the alphabet soup of measures that ID uses are not direct evidence. Get back to me at your leisure

  245. trope (tro?p)

    n.
    1.
    a. any literary or rhetorical device, as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, that consists in the use of words in other than their literal sense.
    b. an instance of this.
    2. a phrase, sentence, or verse formerly interpolated in a liturgical text to amplify or embellish.
    [1525–35; < Latin tropus figure in rhetoric < Greek trópos turn, turn or figure of speech, akin to trépein to turn]
    -trope
    a combining form meaning “one turned toward” that specified by the initial element (heliotrope); also occurring in concrete nouns that correspond to abstract nouns ending in -tropy or -tropism: allotrope.
    [< Greek -tropos; see trope, tropo-]
    Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

  246. HeKS: Where you’ve addressed my comments, I don’t really see anything much to respond to, since what you’ve said has generally been addressed in the same comment you’re snipping from or in the OP.

    We apologize for the misattribution, however, we do not see an answer to our questions in the comment.

    HeKS: Those of us who deny universal common ancestry do not assert zero common ancestry.

    You indicated you agree that phylogenetic trees are implied by the evidence, but not a single tree. Are modern humans related to Australopithecus? To trout? See Theobald 2010.

  247. Box: One point I was trying to get across was that it is not branching descent that predicts ONH. Extinction needs to be added to the mix.

    “Extinction has only defined the groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished, still a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible.” — Darwin (The word ‘defined’ in this context means “mark out the boundaries of”.) In other words, a pattern would still be evident. It just wouldn’t be a clearly defined nested hierarchy.

    Box: We do not actually see that in the fossil record do we?

    The fossil records shows that whole ecosystems have come and gone.

    Box: Cambrian animals for one.

    Well, it can be rather difficult to reconstruct a rapid radiation from half a billion years ago based only on fossils, but the genetic evidence still supports the nested hierarchy beyond the Cambrian.

  248. GM, you have made an informal offer to take up the long running UD Darwinism support essay challenge, cf here. Just remember, you need to address the whole tree of life from the root up on observed evidence of causal efficacy of the mechanisms you propose, per vera causa. I can be contacted through my handle. KF

    PS: Zachriel, you seem to have done much the same and the same challenge is open to you.

  249. William J. Murray: The difference, Adapa, is that I didn’t make an assertion about the explanatory power of any Magic Gravity Fairies.

    The question is why you discount gravity fairies? It’s probably because we have a robust theory that explains motion based on a few basic principles. Plus fairies have too a short an attention span for rote work.

    William J. Murray: What keith fails to consider is that given guided or unguided biological evolution, an ONH is the necessary outcome either way.

    By “biological evolution”, do you mean branching descent?

  250. PPS: FYI, GM, FSCO/I, as an inductively established reliable sign known caused by design and known not to have been observed — on trillions of cases — from blind chance and mechanical necessity (which is stochastically utterly implausible per population sampling theory), on being observed is direct evidence that the origin of an object was caused through intelligently directed contingency.

  251. Andre,

    If I understand you correctly you argue that PCD in principle cannot be explained by unguided evolution. It cannot be selected for by natural selection.

    ** Why not exactly? **

    Please state your point precisely.

    Is it because the removal of intracellular components (autophagy) is essential to maintain the order in every cell – so also the first cell?

    If so, can Darwinism argue that, given the first cell (including pcd), PCD – once it exists – can evolve in organisms? Or is unable to evolve by natural selection?

    If so, why exactly is it unable to evolve?

  252. This is the nature of keith’s assertions that he has refuted arguments. I challenged:

    1. Keith claims that unguided evolution exists; he has yet to provided any scientific research to support the “unguided” portion of that assertion.

    Does keith respond by providing the research asked for? Of course not, because we all know there is no such research. He responds by saying he doesn’t have to support his assertion because “science isn’t about proof” and because, apparently, he thinks that offering convenient, false analogies is the only response required:

    Science isn’t about proof, nullasalus. Surely you’ve heard that somewhere along the way.

    Sure, microevolution might be guided. The grains falling out of my salt shaker might be guided by invisible leprechauns to their final resting place on my french fries. Raindrops might be gathered, shaped, and dropped by the Rain Fairy in a precise pattern. The swirl of water in your toilet bowl might be guided by Shamu, the Invisible Toilet Whale. But anyone insisting on these things would be justly regarded as a loony. There is no evidence that these things are guided, so intelligent people rightly regard them as unguided.

    Essentially, keith is saying that he doesn’t have to answer the challenge because he can offer up examples of phenomena that ID does not challenge and which he characterizes as being “looney” for anyone to challenge.

    If someone noticed CSI being formed by the salt falling out of a saltshaker – say, the falling grains formed a complex, working machine – then you bet ID would be challenging the assumption that the particular pattern of salt agglomeration falling out of that shaker was adequately explained by unguided forces.

    I think that if keith poured salt out of a salt shaker and the grains spontaneously formed a working calculator, keith himself would probably consider “invisible leprechauns” a better explanation than a statistical fluke of unimaginable proportions.

    Of course, ID wouldn’t propose something so silly as leprechauns, but I think any reasonable person would recognize that it wasn’t simply a natural result of unguided salt particles – something intelligent rigged the game that time in a profoundly obvious way.

    So, this is how keith responds to the challenge of supporting his baseless assertion that evolution is unguided; by pointing at other phenomena that ID doesn’t challenge as if that phenomena is qualitatively the same as what we find in biology. If it was qualitatively the same as what we find in biology, ID would be challenging it as well (which they do in the case of the fine-tuning argument).

    Essentially, keith responds to the challenge of his assumption, which bypasses the core dispute at the heart of ID theory, by essentially asserting the same thing – that biological evolution is qualitatively the same as that which ID doesn’t challenge. But, that’s the whole point: ID claims that biological evolution is qualitatively not the same as the examples keith gives.

    Therefore, his answer is a reworded reiteration of his original assumption – that evolution is in principle the same as other phenomena ID doesn’t challenge – best explained by natural forces & chance.

    When keith is challenged to support his premise of unguided evolution, his response is that he doesn’t have to because ID doesn’t challenge **everything else**.

    And so later keith claims he has “refuted” or “responded to” those that have challenged that premise. No, he hasn’t; he avoided responding by simply claiming that he doesn’t have to respond, by simply asserting that what we find in biology is in principle the same as what we find in the pattern of salt falling out of a shaker or the pattern of water as it is flushed out of a toilet. He simply doubles down on his assumption and claims to have “responded” or “rebutted”.

  253. KF: //”PPS: FYI, GM, FSCO/I, as an inductively established reliable sign known caused by design and known not to have been observed — on trillions of cases — from blind chance and mechanical necessity (which is stochastically utterly implausible per population sampling theory), on being observed is direct evidence that the origin of an object was caused through intelligently directed contingency.”//

    No, it is indirect. I will even let you call it [indirect] evidence if you would like. You and others keep talking about the design inference. I realize what I about to say is open for debate, but people generally make inferences based on indirect evidence. The phlogiston (sp?) was based on inferences. How well did that work out. Claims are made based on direct evidence.

  254. Zachriel asks:

    By “biological evolution”, do you mean branching descent?

    It must be what keith means, because he says it predicts a nested hierarchy.

    The only way “unguided evolution” predicts an ONH (assuming it does) is if the definition of “evolution” being used entails a common ancestor/vertical descent system. In that case, the claim that evolution results in an ONH would be a valid tautology, whether evolution was guided or unguided.

    That would be the equal starting point for keith’s argument; unguided evolution vs guided evolution, not unguided evolution vs designer, because “designer” starts out before any particular system of life is instantiated or entailed. “Unguided evolution” and “guided evolution” both begin after a system has been instantiated and is entailed not by whether or not the system is guided, but because it is evolutionary.

    Unfortunately for keith, any definition of evolution that would result in a predictable ONH from unguided forces would also result in a predictable ONH from guided forces.

  255. Andre,

    Keiths set up a thread at TSZ dedicated to your PCD fixation (in October…). Let’s take that discussion there.

  256. GM: An inductively strong sign is about as direct evidence as we get. My seeing text on the screen (or having seen a known person carrying out a robbery . . . ) is about testimony of my eyes, which I trust implicitly to be adequately reliable on a body of experience that is a lot smaller and less reliable than that which supports that FSCO/I is a sign of design. KF

  257. William J. Murray: It must be what keith means, because he says it predicts a nested hierarchy.

    Evolution entails branching descent, and branching descent entails the nested hierarchy.

    William J. Murray: That would be the equal starting point for keith’s argument; unguided evolution vs guided evolution, not unguided evolution vs designer, because “designer” starts out before any particular system of life is instantiated or entailed.

    We agree it takes more than the nested hierarchy to determine what has shaped the tree over time.

    William J. Murray: any definition of evolution that would result in a predictable ONH from unguided forces would also result in a predictable ONH from guided forces.

    Only with branching descent. So we take it you accept branching descent?

  258. Keith #170: 2. The ONH of the 30 major taxa is confirmed to an astounding accuracy of 1 in 10^38.

    Stephen Meyer states that this is simply false:

    Stephen Meyer:

    After citing Pauling and Zuckerkandl’s test, Douglas Theobald claims in his “29+ Evidences for Macroevolution” that “well-determined phylogenetic trees inferred from the independent evidence of morphology and molecular sequences match with an extremely high degree of statistical significance.”26
    In reality, however, the technical literature tells a different story. Studies of molecular homologies often fail to confirm evolutionary trees depicting the history of the animal phyla derived from studies of comparative anatomy.

    [and Meyer goes on several pages linking to and citing from many studies ]
    Darwin’s Doubt – Ch.6 The Animal Tree of Life; Molecules vs Anatomy.

  259. Keith said: Not true. To get an ONH, you also need simple mutations happening at a slow rate. You get that with unguided evolution, but the design hypothesis is not similarly constrained.

    Why (scientifically speaking) is unguided evolution constrained to “simple” mutations happening at a “slow” rate?

  260. Hi Box

    1.) Yes it can not be selected for because it is evolutionary conserved and it is vital, essential take your pick of description for the health of the cell. No PCD means there is no cell, they are unable to function without it due to the vast amount of tasks PCD have in cells.

    2.)Your second question has to do with the following observed phenomena…. self/non-self recognition systems, Non-self systems are attacked rapidly and if the self cells deviate the immune system will launch an attack on it whether it is self or non-self.

    http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topic.....nself.aspx

    How all this works is still not 100% certain but the verification that there are CRC checks in cells is just another unguided process stopper

    PCD is highly regulated, there is very little fault tolerance in the system, there are also many different stability control mechanisms working independently but also somehow together and when faults do occur it responds with repair or death. When PCD itself becomes dysregulated it goes into self destruct mode and the system turns on the entire organism, killing it.

  261. DNA_Jock

    Thanks for the offer but no thanks we can have it here in this thread……

  262. Zachriel said:

    Evolution entails branching descent, and branching descent entails the nested hierarchy.

    Best tell keith, because keith disagrees:

    Not true. To get an ONH, you also need simple mutations happening at a slow rate. You get that with unguided evolution, but the design hypothesis is not similarly constrained.

    According to keith branching descent doesn’t entail the nested hierarchy because it also requires “simple” mutations at a “slow” rate.

    Only with branching descent. So we take it you accept branching descent?

    What I personally accept is irrelevant. I have accepted certain premises at least arguendo in order to point out the logical flaws in keith’s argument.

  263. Andre #262,

    Andre: No PCD means there is no cell, they are unable to function without it due to the vast amount of tasks PCD have in cells.

    So PCD has to be present in the first cell. The “garbage man” has an underrated but essential role. This is a matter of OOL. So this form of PCD is out of reach for natural selection – and unguided evolution.

    My second question was:

    Box: Can Darwinism argue that, given the first cell (including pcd), PCD – once it exists – can evolve in organisms? Or is unable to evolve by natural selection?

    If so, why exactly is it unable to evolve?

    Can you address this question as well?

  264. Andre & Box:

    It seems that one could argue that along with whatever microevolutionary successes evolution acquires wrt to new functional mechanisms, the PCD regulatory system must be concurrently adjusted in real time in order to accommodate and correspond to the changing needs of the system. Any change prior to the variance and the cell dies. Any change coming later in response to a buildup of garbage would (1) not be darwinian in nature, or (2)likely not come in time to save the cell and would be quite fortunate.

    That’s if I understand your argument correctly, Andre.

    It seems to me that this same argument can be applied to any necessary regulatory system in biology – the regulatory changes must precisely coincide with and correspond to any “beneficial” mutation or to the activation of a set of neutral mutations. If the PCD system doesn’t match the needs of the new feature and isn’t simultaneously configured in real time, you get cell death.

  265. Box

    Box it is not underrated function it is the only reason a cell can operate, PCD is involved in health and disease aspects of the cell. It is what makes cells work! It’s no Garbage man it is the CEO……

    Box

    PCD can not evolve or even change, any type of change to it is lethal to the organism.

    http://www.plantphysiol.org/co.....6.full.pdf
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.0020135

    You tamper with those genes its tickets, when it stops working it self destructs the organism…….

  266. Follow up #265:

    Andre,

    You have stated that PCD is highly regulated and performs essential tasks. However that is in itself not enough to convince Darwinians that it is incapable of evolving.
    DNA transcription is also highly regulated and essential. That doesn’t stop Darwinians from thinking that it is has evolved.

    I was wondering if there are additional arguments for the in principle not-evolvability of PCD.

  267. WJM

    On the money 🙂 It makes Keith’s argument nothing more than his own subjective musings that mean nothing in the world of biology

  268. Box

    True there is still allot of research that needs to be done but there is 2 things you need to know as certain

    1. It can not change 1 iota, if it does the organism dies because regulation of healthy and diseased cells ceases.
    2. As soon as PCD becomes dysregulated PCD goes into self destruct mode and turns on the entire organism, killing it.

    Tamper protection system like no other…….

  269. Andre: Box it is not underrated function it is the only reason a cell can operate, (…)

    I can accept that PCD performs an essential function, but the same can be said of many other parts of the cell. I think that you may be overselling the importance of PCD. It’s no more essential than e.g. the membrane or mitochondria.

    Let keep things in perspective.

  270. Box

    If I can recommend something to you study this paper in detail…..

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2117903/

  271. Andre,

    Your PCD argument appears to be something like “irreducible complexity 2.0” – I mean that in a complimentary way. Darwinists cannot argue that the necessarily corresponding changes in the PCD regulatory system wrt any feature variances can evolve slowly over time separately from the new feature itself; the two must be precisely synchronized in real time. They cannot evolve seperately or at different paces or be matched up haphazardly.

    The PCD match to new coding of feature variation is an irreducibly complex relationship, you cannot have one without the other and you cannot change one without a precisely tuned concurrent change in the other.

  272. PCD is an essential part of the miraculous ‘balancing act’ (a.k.a. “robustness” or homeostasis) performed by “bags of chemicals” (a.k.a. organisms).
    Allow me to link to a post of my own in another thread.

  273. LoL! @ Zachriel:

    “Extinction has only defined the groups: it has by no means made them; for if every form which has ever lived on this earth were suddenly to reappear, though it would be quite impossible to give definitions by which each group could be distinguished, still a natural classification, or at least a natural arrangement, would be possible.” — Darwin (The word ‘defined’ in this context means “mark out the boundaries of”.) In other words, a pattern would still be evident. It just wouldn’t be a clearly defined nested hierarchy.

    It wouldn’t be a nested hierarchy at all. A nested hierarchy would be impossible to create.

    Evolution entails branching descent, and branching descent entails the nested hierarchy.

    Only if one is totally ignorant with respect to nested hierarchies, as you are.

  274. gmilling:

    The amount of indirect evidence is immense, but for some bizarre reason, you will not accept it for evolution whereas you will for many other sciences. That is very telling.

    Your equivocation is very telling. There isn’t any indirect evidence for unguided evolution producing anything beyond disease and deformities.

    Since we are at it, using your same requirements, provide direct evidence for ID. Keep in mind that CSI, or the alphabet soup of measures that ID uses are not direct evidence.

    Knowledge of cause and effect relationships which are based on direct observations, experiences and experiments.

    OTOH you don’t have anything for unguided evolution.

  275. DNA Jock- Keith s set up a thread and misrepresented what Andre said. How typical is that?

  276. Easily refuting Zachriel, AGAIN:

    Prokaryotes are an example of branching descent yet we do not observe a nested hierarchy with prokaryotes.

    The US Army is NOT an example of branching descent yet we have constructed a nested hierarchy of the US Army.

    Linnean Taxonomy is the observed nested hierarchy wrt biology and yet it has NOTHING to do with branching descent.

    Why does Zachriel think its ignorance is an argument?

  277. Box @274,

    That post on the other thread elucidates what I refer to as the mountain of hidden assumptions required by a belief in unguided evolution. You don’t just have to acquire a new variation; you have to account for the impact it has on every system in the cell. Who knows how many unrecognized, corresponding, necessarily precise and concurrent variations are required to tune the cell to blueprint, build, error check and accept the feature and keep it functional without throwing the cell into a PCD death spiral?

  278. Box: We also find conformation of disconnection between species.

    Zachriel: That’s doesn’t mean the objective nested hierarchy goes away. The evidence still supports branching descent even if there is some herky-jerky at the species level.

    That’s right. Darwinists assume connections between species no matter what. Even if they have no clue whatsoever how it could have evolved. Simply because ‘it must have happened’.
    Incomprehensible herky-jerky stuff like the evolution of sexual reproduction is solved by a single line in cladistic diagrams. Isn’t evolutionary theory an amazing thing?

  279. Alicia R: What different set of issues? Do you have actual examples? Could you mention such an example? Vishu [says] sure.

    A: And what follows includes no such examples! I think that is because Vishnu can’t give examples. Vishnu?

    I already gave you one. It was right after my “sure.” I’ll repeat it again just in case there was a smudge on that area of your reading glasses:

    Please provide a detailed blow by blow account (mutations and their order) of how the a bat’s echolocation developed with regard to physiology (the hardware transponder) and it’s neurology (the software, that is, how it’s brain knows how to utilize the hardware), and the neurological connections in between. I’m not interested in “stick men” level morphological just-so stories. I want to know how it evolved, at the deep level, molecularity.

    Hell, I’ll even spot you all the protein families and hox genes.

    Alicia?

  280. William #279,
    WJM: “(…) the mountain of hidden assumptions required by a belief in unguided evolution.”

    Very well put. The assumption of stability of an organism is one of those hidden assumptions. The profound irrationality of assuming stability becomes more and more apparent with the increase of knowledge about PCD and other mechanisms wrt homeostasis. In fact the ‘balancing act’ (stability) of an organism is so utterly complex and delicate that it makes “unguided evolution” extremely unlikely.

    WJM: “You don’t just have to acquire a new variation; you have to account for the impact it has on every system in the cell.”
    Indeed, like you mentioned in post #273, ‘irreducible complexity 2.0’ comes to mind.

  281. WJM

    Thank you.

  282. Vishy: How good is a half a wing?

    HD: Isn’t this assuming there IS half a wing? Meaning, yes, half a wing is no good. But who said micro evolution x a billion, leads to half a wing or half of anything? It can lead to anything that will work.

    So, then do you entertain the idea that a wing emerged fully formed, and that the coordinated neurological processes emerged fully formed, and other required support systems, like the avian lung emerged fully formed all at once?

    Sidebar: how does one assert an emergent coordination of neurological “programming” of a brain when one doesn’t know how the brain “software” works at the functional level? NeoDarwinists are content to skip along and let such questions go unanswered. I’m not.

    And if something works it can lead to something else. Hence, where is that artificial barrier that separates billions of micro evolutionary changes from macro changes?

    If if if. What I’m looking for is gap free sequences of the emergent coordinated subsystems. Either they emerged slowly or they emerged all at once. Either way their coordinated emergence must be fully explained at the level at which things do their work. If slowly, as the NeoDarwinists assert, then show us how these coordinated system did, at the protein level. I am willing to stick to mammals, and spot anyone the genes, hox genes, and protein families necessary to do the job. The “toolkit” is a freebee. Now show me how it got built.

    By the way, I don’t propose any barrier. That’s not one of my mantras. Whether there is one or not is an unknown. However, it is unacceptable to me to merrily skip along and extrapolate micro to macro from the same mechanisms without demonstrating that it will actually scale to the macro level given what we know about things that do evolve at the micro scale.

  283. V:

    Add to that, how whales seem to have a very closely genetically similar system. Here in Science Daily:

    two new studies in the January 26th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, show that bats’ and whales’ remarkable [[sonar echolocation] ability and the high-frequency hearing it depends on are shared at a much deeper level than anyone would have anticipated — all the way down to the molecular level.

    “The natural world is full of examples of species that have evolved similar characteristics independently, such as the tusks of elephants and walruses,” said Stephen Rossiter of the University of London, an author on one of the studies. “However, it is generally assumed that most of these so-called convergent traits have arisen by different genes or different mutations. Our study shows that a complex trait — echolocation — has in fact evolved by identical genetic changes in bats and dolphins.”

    A hearing gene known as prestin in both bats and dolphins (a toothed whale) has picked up many of the same mutations over time, the studies show. As a result, if you draw a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone, the echolocating bats and whales come out together rather than with their rightful evolutionary cousins. [Notice, the multiple trees problem being hinted at]

    Both research teams also have evidence showing that those changes to prestin were selected for, suggesting that they must be critical for the animals’ echolocation for reasons the researchers don’t yet fully understand.

    Libraries and multiple inheritance as a twist on OOP, anyone?

    KF

  284. Box

    I think we are underselling it, why do you think our opponents never talk about it and when we do they become eerily silent…..

  285. Andre #286,

    They are rather quiet at the moment, aren’t they? 🙂

  286. Feels like thread-jacking Andre, but if you insist:

    You claim:

    No PCD means there is no cell, they are unable to function without it due to the vast amount of tasks PCD have in cells.

    it is not underrated function it is the only reason a cell can operate, PCD is involved in health and disease aspects of the cell. It is what makes cells work! It’s no Garbage man it is the CEO……

    PCD can not evolve or even change, any type of change to it is lethal to the organism.

    For these reasons, you have asserted that PCD must have been present at OOL, not merely at LUCA.

    To borrow your own words:
    “If I can recommend something to you study this paper in detail…..”

    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar…..en.0020135

    and thanks for providing the reference
    🙂

    Let me know if you wish to retract any of the above claims.

  287. Aaargh WordPress-mangled link . Go to Andre’s #267 for a link that works.

  288. DNA_Jock:

    Have you tried that link recently?

  289. Vishnu

    If if if. What I’m looking for is gap free sequences of the emergent coordinated subsystems. Either they emerged slowly or they emerged all at once.

    LOL! Poor Vishy. Still with his silly “I DEMAND INFINITE DETAIL!!’ demands. 🙂

    My offer to trade you two evolutionary details for every one detail on ID’s mechanisms still stands V. Not that you’ll ever have the nerve to accept but still.

  290. Adapa,

    I’m in conversation to Alicia and HD.

    Talk to someone else. I will not be responding to you.

  291. 293

    Vishnu in 281 seems to have missed the point again. Let me remind Vishnu of his claim:

    Going from microevolution to macroevolution entails a whole different set of issues that do not lend themselves to a simple “linear” extrapolation.</blockquote

    And I asked "What different set of issues? Do you have actual examples? Could you mention such an example?

    Vishnu replies:

    Please provide a detailed blow by blow account (mutations and their order) of how the a bat’s echolocation developed with regard to physiology (the hardware transponder) and it’s neurology (the software, that is, how it’s brain knows how to utilize the hardware), and the neurological connections in between. I’m not interested in “stick men” level morphological just-so stories. I want to know how it evolved, at the deep level, molecularity.

    which is not responsive to my question. I assert there is no difference between the processes that result in evolutionary change. Macroevolution is accumulation of many instances of microevolution. Caveat! There are events that only need to happen once or rarely that create opportunity for large change. Endosymbiosis is a classic example. Sex, diploidy, multicellularity and mass extinction have important roles as has geographic isolation and climate change. (The Wallace line for example). But basically evolution does not separate into micro and macro. Large change is just lots of small change.

  292. 294

    I’m putting my fingers on a diet! Messed up close blockquote in 293

  293. Alicia,

    What about that do you not understand?

    I will be happy to clarify.

    This post to HD may help:

    What I’m looking for is gap free sequences of the emergent coordinated subsystems. Either they emerged slowly or they emerged all at once. Either way their coordinated emergence must be fully explained at the level at which things do their work. If slowly, as the NeoDarwinists assert, then show us how these coordinated system did, at the protein level. I am willing to stick to mammals, and spot anyone the genes, hox genes, and protein families necessary to do the job. The “toolkit” is a freebee. Now show me how it got built.

    Hope that helps

  294. 296

    Vishnu

    Regarding your remark on bats. You can pick any population of organisms at any one time that are ancestral to a descendant population and for evolution to be true there must be an unbroken line of descent from parent to offspring and any change at any generation must be small enough not to impair the ability to interbreed with other members of that population. It’s even tougher than you realise!

  295. Vishnu

    Adapa,

    I’m in conversation to Alicia and HD.

    Talk to someone else. I will not be responding to you

    That’s certainly your prerogative. I however will keep reminding you of the hypocrisy in demanding infinite details from science while providing none yourself. Readers can judge for themselves the validity of a position that refuses to provide any evidence and the poor knowledge level of someone pushing that position.

  296. 298

    And all those organisms in the line must be capable of making a living and reproducing. Boggles the mind!

  297. 299

    Re Vishnu “Talk to someone else”

    I am appreciating Adapa’s contributions. We can all learn from each other in the most unexpected ways and places.

  298. 300

    Andre

    You should listen to box in comment 271. You are beginning to seem like the Ancient Mariner.

  299. 301

    Alicia Renard

    I however will keep reminding you of the hypocrisy in demanding infinite details from science while providing none yourself.

    Interesting. Science will not provide details for its claims unless ID does for its own.

  300. Alicia Renard,

    I have no problem with ideas. Only with infantile trolls. I won’t respond to them after a certain point.

    You and HD, so far so good.

    I’ll reply again later.

  301. DNA_Jock

    Read the paper, enjoy…..

  302. Alicia, cheap shots is so not you…….

  303. DNA_Jock

    Please do tell how the LUCA saves you? I’m all ears……

  304. William,

    The bad logic of ID works for Rain Fairies and invisible leprechauns too. As I wrote to HeKS:

    ID proponents, including you, are in the unenviable position of having to say something like this:

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent microevolution from accumulating into macroevolution. It takes a Designer to get across those barriers, and the Designer just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided evolution were doing the job.

    Why would anyone who hasn’t drunk the ID Kool-Aid buy that argument?

    It’s as bad as this one:

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if unguided meteorology were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent micrometeorology from accumulating into macrometeorology. It takes a Rain Fairy to get across those barriers, and the Rain Fairy just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided meteorology were doing the job.

    And for the invisible leprechauns and the salt shaker:

    Oh, sure, the pile of salt looks exactly like it would if unguided gravity were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent the grains of salt from forming that pile. It takes invisible leprechauns to get across those barriers, and those invisible leprechauns just happen to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided gravity were doing the job.

    Here is my challenge:

    Everyone agrees that the Rain Fairy hypothesis is ridiculous, for obvious reasons. You need to come up with a defense of ID whose logic can’t equally be applied to the defense of the Rain Fairy [or the invisible leprechaun] hypothesis.

    You say that ID is “qualitatively different” from the Rain Fairy and invisible leprechaun hypotheses. What are the relevant differences that somehow transform the bad logic of the Rain Fairy hypothesis into good logic when applied to ID?

    Be specific. Name the differences and explain how the bad logic gets transformed into something reasonable.

  305. Andre,

    We can worry about my salvation later. I just want to be crystal clear that you wish to stand behind the claims that I listed in 288.

    Or is your saying “Please do tell how the LUCA saves you?” your way of retracting your claim that PCD is required for OOL?

    Clarity, please.

  306. HD #152:

    You also say this, which seems to be the crux of your argument:

    The following asymmetry explains why: the discovery of an objective nested hierarchy implies common descent, but the converse is not true; common descent does not imply that we will be able to discover an objective nested hierarchy. There are many choices available to a Designer who guides evolution.Only a tiny fraction of them lead to a inferable, objective nested hierarchy. The Designer would have to restrict himself to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance of features in order to leave behind evidence of the kind we see.

    The argument here, I think, when you get to the core of it is simply asking “Why did God CHOOSE to do ANYTHING the way he did.” To say “the discovery of an objective nested hierarchy implies common descent, but the converse is not true; common descent does not imply that we will be able to discover an objective nested hierarchy” is almost (no analogy is perfect) like saying “The discovery of a strangled drowned body implies someone murdered, the converse is not true; a murdered body does not imply drowning.” While the murderer may have had many options as to how to murder, he CHOSE drowning. Therefore, once the choice is MADE for drowning in order for it to go into affect, there are certain restricted actions he has to do in order to drown the person…God restricting himself is not a problem unless we start opening the can of why ANYTHING in the universe is laid out the way it is.

    The problem is that the same logic works for the Rain Fairy, the leprechauns, and Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale.

    The Rain Fairy chose the weather patterns we see. The leprechauns chose for the salt to form a pile. Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale chose for the water to swirl the way it does. And the Designer chose to form an objective nested hierarchy.

    Same bad logic in all four cases.

  307. Vishnu,

    You asked “So, then do you entertain the idea that a wing emerged fully formed,”

    No I don’t. I accept evolution. And I accept teleological way of looking at evolution.

    But since I accept evolution, and even if God is involved, at some point the rubber has to meet the road. That means I believe that there is gradual change to get to a fully formed wing. I can accept this WITHOUT needing to know every.single.cellular.change. at. every.single.second.

  308. The problem is that the same logic works for the Rain Fairy, the leprechauns, and Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale.

    The Rain Fairy chose the weather patterns we see. The leprechauns chose for the salt to form a pile. Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale chose for the water to swirl the way it does. And the Designer chose to form an objective nested hierarchy.

    Same bad logic in all four cases.

    But now you are going off to a different direction entirely. Now you are arguing over the identity of the Designer. That wasn’t part of your original argument at all. Your main issue was that a Designer RESTRICTING himself seems to some sort of problem philosophical problem. I was just saying it isn’t.

    And yes, I am aware once we can agree that restriction in of itself is NOT a philosophical problem, the identity of the Designer CAN be a magical whale. But that is not what you were getting at all, so its not really fair to bring that up in light of what we were talking about.

  309. HD,

    But now you are going off to a different direction entirely. Now you are arguing over the identity of the Designer.

    No, not at all. You can substitute ‘X’ for ‘the Rain Fairy’ and the argument still applies.

    In each of those cases an intelligent agent is being invoked when an unguided explanation fits the evidence far better. The identity of the intelligent agent is not important.

  310. @Keith #234

    HeKS,

    You’ve made some vague assertions about “unstated assumptions” and “errors in reasoning”. Here’s an idea. How about stating your single best example of one of those — I’ll let you pick which — and I’ll respond.

    After we resolve it, or agree to disagree, we can move on to the next one.

    This is getting incredibly boring. There is nothing vague about any of my comments in the OP or anything else I’ve said to you or anyone else in this thread. If you’re unclear about my meaning somewhere, ask for clarification. My original questions were intended to draw out some of the assumptions informing your argument. But you haven’t answered my questions or said anything of any substance at all about any of my comments. You’ve simply snipped out tiny portions, completely misrepresented them, and then tried to respond to your misrepresentations with your silly Rain Fairy analogy, which isn’t actually analogous.

    Now you want me to pick only one fatal flaw for your argument, but why should I do that? I’ve already given several, though you don’t seem to recognize the implications. As far as I can tell, your argument is weighed down with errors from top to bottom. I can’t seem to find any part of it that is not terribly flawed. I’ve nonetheless been trying to suss out whether it might be better than it seems based on your presentation of it, but you’ve given me nothing to work with and you won’t answer any questions so that I can understand what kind of unstated reasoning and assumptions/premises are clearly being worked into the argument.

    If you don’t want to answer any of my questions or honestly address any of my preliminary comments, that’s fine. You’re within your rights. But then you should probably stop your grandstanding because it makes you look delusional.

  311. In each of those cases an intelligent agent is being invoked when an unguided explanation fits the evidence far better. The identity of the intelligent agent is not important.

    Keith,

    Yes, I know it is being invoked but you are just begging the question regarding unguided evolution AND specifically your claim that RESTRICTION is a problem. That was your ORIGINAL problem. Not the identity. So yes, as I said, I am aware that a magical unicorn can be the intelligent designer, but that is secondary to your initial issue of RESTRICTION is some sort of philosophical problem. Once we get to some sort of common ground that Restrictions is not a philosophical issue, THEN we can discuss identity.

  312. HeKS,

    Now you want me to pick only one fatal flaw for your argument,

    No, you can pick as many as you’d like, but let’s discuss them one at a time.

    …but why should I do that? I’ve already given several, though you don’t seem to recognize the implications.

    Okay. Then pick your favorite and cut and paste it into a comment. I will respond.

    As far as I can tell, your argument is weighed down with errors from top to bottom. I can’t seem to find any part of it that is not terribly flawed.

    Excellent. Then it will be easy for you to come up with a specific flaw to attack. I’ll reply, but you should easily be able to prevail, given that my logic is so “terribly flawed”.

    You’ll have a spectacular series of successes, in full view of everyone. Piece of cake, right?

  313. Adapa is so confused. Its position is the one that says it has a step-by-step process yet doesn’t have anything to support that claim. ID does NOT make that claim yet Adapa wants to force ID to make it.

    Talk about pathetic and ignorance…

  314. keith s- I have pointed out several fatal flaws in your “argument” yet you choose to either ignore or misrepresent them. It’s as if you are afraid to face reality…

  315. Keith,

    YOU pick one.

    Answer the questions I’ve already asked you in the OP and then pick some issue I’ve addressed in the OP or some subsequent comment, in its entirety, and respond to that.

  316. HD,

    Once we get to some sort of common ground that Restrictions is not a philosophical issue, THEN we can discuss identity.

    As I said, identity is not an issue. My argument doesn’t depend on it. Whether it’s Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale, or Donnie the Dancing Dolphin, or some abstract but intelligent Toilet Force, the relevant point is that some intelligent agent is being invoked.

    As for restrictions, we know nothing about ID’s purported Designer other than that he/she/it is assumed to be capable of producing the variety of life that we see. We thus have no reason to assume that he/she/it would design according to an ONH, when there are trillions of other possibilities.

    Not only that, but the actual designers that we are aware of — humans — don’t produce designs that fit into ONHs.

    IDers need to come up with some justification for assuming that their Designer works in the ONH motif, and their justification has to be strong enough to counter the trillions-to-one advantage that unguided evolution has in explaining the ONH.

  317. Heck, I’ve already done exactly what you’ve asked for and you responded by completely misrepresenting a tiny portion of what I’ve said and then tossing out the silly Rain Fairy argument.

  318. A common design would easily produce an ONH. And guess what? Linnean taxonomy, ie the observed ONH, is based on a common design.

  319. HeKS,

    That’s a good one for us to discuss. Tell me exactly why the Rain Fairy argument is “silly”, and show us how you can defend ID against my ONH argument without using logic that would work equally “well” in defending the Rain Fairy.

  320. >As I said, identity is not an issue. My argument doesn’t depend on it.

    Fine. So deal with the rest of what you said regarding my argument to you. You sort of honed in just the identity part.

    >As for restrictions, we know nothing about ID’s purported Designer other than that he/she/it is assumed to be capable of producing the variety of life that we see. We thus have no reason to assume that he/she/it would design according to an ONH, when there are trillions of other possibilities.

    We have no reason to assume that he would design gravity either, but I think we both agree, that once he CHOOSES to start via a certain path, he continues. Meaning, lets say you came to believe in a god (hypothetically), would you not get tot he conclusion that in order to create anything there must be a CHOICE as to create? He can create, or he can refrain from creating. Ok, so lets say he decided to create. Now what? Now, as you say, he as infinite choices. That is true, but does the fact that he decided on a PARTICULAR method mean he didn’t?

    >Not only that, but the actual designers that we are aware of — humans — don’t produce designs that fit into ONHs.

    This is an argument against ID arguments, not against a creator deciding a particular methodology.

    >IDers need to come up with some justification for assuming that their Designer works in the ONH motif,..

    No they don’t. Just like they don’t need to bring justification for gravity being what gravity is. There were infinite possibilities for creation. Gravity doesn’t HAVE to exist from a theistic POV. But the fact that He decided that gravity is x doesn’t mean He didn’t do just because there was other things he could have done.

    >and their justification has to be strong enough to counter the trillions-to-one advantage that unguided evolution has in explaining the ONH.

    This once again begs the question because you have already come to the conclusion that a diety wouldn’t use ONH.

  321. >As for restrictions, we know nothing about ID’s purported Designer other than that he/she/it is assumed to be capable of producing the variety of life that we see. We thus have no reason to assume that he/she/it would design according to an ONH, when there are trillions of other possibilities.

    Isn’t the corollary just as true? That if you don’t have any reason to assume he would not design according to ONH, that in fact you have no reason to assume He would not. Meaning, all you are doing is asserting as fact the he would not and could not, but not specifying why he couldn’t or wouldn’t.

  322. DNA_Jock

    I’m not retracting anything….. I am telling you PCD is before LUCA

  323. HD, keith s refuses to understand that unguided evolution wouldn’t produce an ONH due to the number of transitional forms. Trying to derive distinct groupings would be very subjective at best and most likely impossible. Darwin touched on this back in 1859.

    Not only that Linnean taxonomy presents the observed ONH and it is based on a common design and has nothing to do with unguided evolution. keith s has been made aware of this also.

  324. FTR 1 on circularity claims

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....reasoning/

    FTR 2 on but Orgel didn’t mean that . . .

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....exity-not/

    KF

  325. William J Murray: According to keith branching descent doesn’t entail the nested hierarchy because it also requires “simple” mutations at a “slow” rate.

    That is correct. If change is too fast, then the nested hierarchy signal becomes lost over time. We would be able to see the various trees only so far, but not be able to reconstruct their divergence.

    William J Murray: What I personally accept is irrelevant.

    Of course it’s relevant. It’s one of the most fundamental findings in the biological sciences, and it directly relevant to the original post which concerns what we can determine from the nested hierarchy.

    Andre: PCD can not evolve or even change, any type of change to it is lethal to the organism.

    That’s a very odd statement to make considering the that there is variation between species, variation that forms a phylogeny. See, for instance, Smith & Malik, The apolipoprotein L family of programmed cell death and immunity genes rapidly evolved in primates at discrete sites of host–pathogen interactions, Genome Research 2009.
    http://genome.cshlp.org/conten......large.jpg

    Andre: If I can recommend something to you study this paper in detail….. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…..MC2117903/

    The paper notes there are strong similarities between widely diverse organisms, not identity.

    Box: Darwinists assume connections between species no matter what.

    You claimed there was evidence of a disconnect between species, but we can observe the process of speciation. That there is limited information in the fossil record for ancient transitions, or that speciation may occur in small isolated populations, isn’t that extraordinary, and is certainly subject to investigation.

    Vishnu: What I’m looking for is gap free sequences of the emergent coordinated subsystems.

    Of course you are. However, science doesn’t have to have all the answers in order to reach some reasonable conclusions. In this case, the nested hierarchy strongly supports branching descent.

    HeKS: Those of us who deny universal common ancestry do not assert zero common ancestry.

    You indicated you agree that phylogenetic trees are implied by the evidence, but not a single tree. Are modern humans related to Australopithecus? To trout? What trees do you agree with, and where do you think universal ancestry fails?

    (We hope the attributions are all correct.)

  326. Zachriel nice try, those genes in your JPEG has Zero to do with apoptosis, those are coding genes, why would anybody be dishonest on purpose?

  327. Zachriel #327:

    Of course it’s relevant. It’s one of the most fundamental findings in the biological sciences, and it directly relevant to the original post which concerns what we can determine from the nested hierarchy.

    Stephen Meyer argues that Theobald’s ONH claim is bogus.

    Stephen Meyer:

    After citing Pauling and Zuckerkandl’s test, Douglas Theobald claims in his “29+ Evidences for Macroevolution” that “well-determined phylogenetic trees inferred from the independent evidence of morphology and molecular sequences match with an extremely high degree of statistical significance.”26
    In reality, however, the technical literature tells a different story. Studies of molecular homologies often fail to confirm evolutionary trees depicting the history of the animal phyla derived from studies of comparative anatomy.

    [and Meyer goes on several pages linking to and citing from many studies ]
    Darwin’s Doubt – Ch.6 The Animal Tree of Life; Molecules vs Anatomy.

    Box: Darwinists assume connections between species no matter what. Even if they have no clue whatsoever how it could have evolved. Simply because ‘it must have happened’.
    Incomprehensible herky-jerky stuff like the evolution of sexual reproduction is solved by a single line in cladistic diagrams. Isn’t evolutionary theory an amazing thing?

    Zachriel: You claimed there was evidence of a disconnect between species, (…)

    The obvious problems that Darwinists have with making up coherent just-so / evolutionary paths between species is tantamount for the evolutionary disconnect between species.

    Zachriel: (…) but we can observe the process of speciation.

    Only in your imagination.

    Zachriel: That there is limited information in the fossil record for ancient transitions, (…)

    You have to believe that in order to keep the faith.

  328. Zachriel nice try, those genes in your JPEG has Zero to do with apoptosis, those are coding genes, why would anybody be dishonest on purpose?

    Why do you think coding genes have nothing to do with apoptosis? call me crazy but I think, for instance, capsases might have something to do with apoptosis…

  329. keiths:

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating, but I know better.

    This is where your “Rain Fairy” argument breaks down. Right where it starts. You don’t get past the first sentence and it is already a train wreck. You assert that “the evidence” looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating. But you haven’t demonstrated this. Further, you say “the evidence” as if you were talking about all of the evidence, but this isn’t the case. You are merely fixating on one very small piece of the evidence and ignoring all of the contrary evidence.

    This is not analogous to meteorology. And pretending it is analogous is merely assuming your conclusions, which you seem to do out of some sort of deeply ingrained habit. I predict that you will continue to do so, and (surprise!) continue to “win” all of your arguments. Every single one of them. Always. Without fail.

  330. Zachriel the apol L genes assist with PCD initiation the paper you cited says it rapidly evolved but fails to show how.

    Here is the paper…

    http://m.genome.cshlp.org/cont.....0.abstract

  331. Andre,

    Good point. The comment re OOL was in fact Box taking your “without PCD there is no cell” to what he saw as its logical conclusion.

    My understanding of your position then is that PCD is an absolute pre-requisite for cellular life, “It is what makes cells work!”, and “PCD can not evolve or even change”

    Zachriel has already pointed out to you that your third claim is false. (BTW your response to him “those are coding genes…” makes no sense whatsoever. What the heck?

    With #3 polished off, I will focus on claims #1, and #2.

    Which particular aspects of the PCD pathways are absolute prerequisites for cellular life, and why?

    In your own words.

    Thanks.

  332. All the proteins involved in PCD

    http://www.sabiosciences.com/r.....-012A.html

  333. KS:

    Your refusal, across years, to accurately address the design inference in light of even what the explanatory filter does — cf the two FTRs just now for examples — has led you to again grossly misrepresent what the design inference does.

    FYI, planets orbiting the Sun were explained by a design thinker on law of nature elucidated through the fall of an apple and the orbit of the moon 350 years ago. Newton.

    Swirling vortices in a toilet bowl are designed by engineers to swirl water across the bowls. And the FSCO/I in the toilet points directly to design. There IS an invisible designer who may be inferred from the signs of his handiwork — back at the factory.

    And so forth.

    The attempts to back misrepresentation with thinly veiled mockery fail.

    Please think again.

    KF

  334. keiths:

    To show you what I mean, consider the following.

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if guided evolution were operating, but I know better. There are pathways — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that allow microevolution to accumulate into macroevolution without any need for guidance or foresight. Nature can cross any barrier, and Nature just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were carefully engineered solutions to numerous insurmountable barriers that only intelligent foresight and intervention could possibly overcome.

    Look. Now you are making the Rain Fairy argument.

    Here’s another formulation:

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if a silly argument were being offered, but I know better. There’s logic — don’t ask me to demonstrate it — that prevents assuming conclusions from accumulating into a silly argument. It takes an IDCritic to prevent this, however, and the IDCritic just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were a silly argument on offer.

  335. Phinehas on Keith’s damp squib:

    You assert that “the evidence” looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating. But you haven’t demonstrated this. Further, you say “the evidence” as if you were talking about all of the evidence, but this isn’t the case. You are merely fixating on one very small piece of the evidence and ignoring all of the contrary evidence.

    Hear! Hear!

  336. WD400

    For you…

    http://m.cshperspectives.cshlp.....08656.full

    I don’t know what capsases are sorry.

  337. Nature just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were carefully engineered solutions to numerous insurmountable barriers that only intelligent foresight and intervention could possibly overcome.

    As an aside, this was pretty much exactly the response to Behe’s IC argument.

  338. I knew there was something fishy with Zachriels paper

    http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/entry/IPR008405

    Its similair to bcl-2 and they suggest a possible role in apoptosis. It is however not confirmed

    Sorry DNA_Jock point 3 still stands.

  339. Andre, you said

    “Zachriel nice try, those genes in your JPEG has Zero to do with apoptosis, those are coding genes.”

    You’ve since back tracked on that claim. But I wanted to know why you though coding genes couldn’t contribute to apoptosis. Do you have an answer, or such a snide remark about a typo?

  340. WD400

    I was not aware of Apol L’s role in PCD so I read the cited paper, it is possible that it may be involved in initiating apoptosis, but only because it resembles bcl-2. not because its confirmed. So there is no backtrack, only confusion due to you attempt to do so.

    What is Apol L? a cholesterol transport gene…….

    Nice try on the sucker punch……

    Hope that helps…

  341. Wd400

    Guess I need to put commas in the right place to avoid confusion of what I said.

    Zachriel the apol L genes ssist with PCD initiation the paper you cited says, it rapidly evolved but fails to show how.

    I put the comma in for you. Is that better?

  342. Andre: those genes in your JPEG has Zero to do with apoptosis

    From the abstract: “APOL1 belongs to a family of programmed cell death genes whose proteins can initiate host apoptosis or autophagic death.” Family, of course, implies there are variations.

    BCL-2 is another gene family that can regulate apoptosis. There is significant variation in this family, some related by common descent, some only by convergence. We can tell because of the differences you say don’t exist.

    Box: Studies of molecular homologies often fail to confirm evolutionary trees depicting the history of the animal phyla derived from studies of comparative anatomy.

    There are always going to be anomalies, but the pattern is still evident.

    Box: The obvious problems that Darwinists have with making up coherent just-so / evolutionary paths between species is tantamount for the evolutionary disconnect between species.

    Handwaving. You have to actually consider the explanations to determine whether they have merit or not, and whether there is empirical evidence to support the explanation. Even if we don’t know the details of the branching process, the evidence still strongly supports branching descent.

    Box: Only in your imagination.

    Polyploidism in plants can result in immediate speciation. Studies of populations of mice show how they can speciate in just a few generations through genomic rearrangements. And, as Darwin pointed out, we can observe reproductive isolation in various stages of the process.

    wd400: call me crazy but I think, for instance, capsases might have something to do with apoptosis…

    Well, you may be crazy, but caspases are also a diverse family of genes, contrary to Andre’s asssertion that they can’t vary.

    Andre: Zachriel the apol L genes ssist with PCD initiation the paper you cited says, it rapidly evolved but fails to show how.

    The phylogeny provides the basic framework for change.

  343. @Keith #321

    The reason why it is silly in this context should be obvious. You are misrepresenting the aspects that design is being invoked to explain and you are distorting our claim (that the alleged existence of an ONH would not prove that design is not required to explain specific features that happen to be used in identifying the ONH) into your misrepresentative version of our claim (that design is required to explain the mere pattern of an ONH).

    So your Rain Fairy argument is pretending that the mere alleged existence of an ONH is the entirety of the evidence under consideration and that ID proponents are trying to add a superfluous explanatory entity (a designer) to account for the alleged ONH pattern itself, which is claimed to be unnecessary because an unguided process could create a general ONH pattern on its own and, you claim, is more likely to do so.

    The problem, of course, is that ID proponents are not invoking a designer to account for an alleged ONH pattern. They are saying that an ONH pattern does not falsify the claim that a designer is needed to explain the features it is actually being invoked to explain. The mere fact that an unguided process could generate an ONH in general does not mean that it could generate any particular ONH, especially in its entirety, without any consideration given to the actual content that is hierarchically ordered.

    So let’s relate this back to some of the “analogies” you’ve offered:

    The leprechauns chose for the salt to form a pile. Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale chose for the water to swirl the way it does.

    This is obviously not analogous to ID claims.

    For example, guidance/design would not be invoked to explain the path of the falling salt or the ensuing pile that it formed (unless you get into the fine-tuning of the laws of physics themselves). Rather, design would be invoked to explain the salt shaker, the plate your food is sitting on, the way that nice cut of beef got onto your plate, etc.

    The Rain Fairy argument only holds validity when some cause is being invoked specifically to account for some effect that is admitted to be adequately explained without reference to that cause.

    Let’s consider a generic example.

    Suppose we have effects X, Y and Z and causes C1 and C2.

    If X, Y and Z are agreed to be adequately explained by C1, invoking C2 is superfluous and the Rain Fairy criticism is warranted.

    If X and Y are adequately explained by C1, but Z is not, and Z is adequately explained by C2, but X and Y are not, then it is not gratuitous to invoke both C1 and C2 and the Rain Fairy criticism is unwarranted.

    If X, Y and Z are adequately explained by C1, and X and Y are not explained by C2 but Z is explained by it and is seemingly more likely to be expected on C2 than C1, then it is not unreasonable to limit yourself to C1, but it is also not unreasonable to allow a role for C2 in explaining Z. If the Rain Fairy criticism were to be offered, it would have to be directed at C2, but in reality it is not warranted at all.

    It is this last one that most closely resembles the current issue under dispute (even allowing the alleged existence of the ONH and that an ONH, in general, is more likely to result from a naturalistic process), with C1 representing ID and C2 representing “unguided evolution”, and with X and Y representing the many features that ID is invoked to explain and Z representing the pattern of an ONH itself.

    Of course, another problem with your analogies is that they use examples where nothing happens between the start and end of the process that seems remotely unusual given gravity. Once the salt shaker is tipped over, the salt falls from the shaker to the food with no unexpected phenomena arising in the process. Once the toilet is flushed, the water forms a vortex as it drains out with no unexpected phenomena arising in the process.

    But as someone else mentioned, if the salt fell into the form of a functioning calculator, or if it changed into a tiny pot of gold between the shaker and your steak, you would suspect that something other than gravity was required to explain the effect you were observing. Likewise, between the root of the alleged ONH and the tips of its twigs, we see things happening that are highly unexpected based on what we know of unguided natural processes, including based on what we know from experiments that try to achieve similar results through partially unguided processes. These are things that ID is invoked to explain; not the mere structure of an alleged ONH itself. ID allows that much of that structure, to the extent it actually exists, is caused by natural processes of diversification acting on robust genetic systems that were specifically designed to allow that subsequent diversification, but which constrain it to keep organisms viable (not to mention that the observed processes of diversification consistently trend in the wrong direction for you to attempt to extrapolate them into the macroevolutionary development of complex novel systems).

    So, in summary, the Rain Fairy distraction claims that ID is superfluous, not that it is wrong, but it claims it is superfluous with reference to some phenomenon that it is not being invoked to explain in the first place, and then it pretends that it has thereby shown ID to be superfluous with reference to “the evidence”, in general, when “the evidence” in this case is being arbitrarily limited to the feature that ID is not being invoked to explain.

    It’s so utterly confused and obviously wrong that it’s hard to figure out why anyone needs to point this out to you. Again, one feels the need to assume that either you just don’t have any grasp of what does and does not make a good argument, or else there is a heap of unstated assumptions or premises that are leading you to think this argument looks good when it looks incredibly dumb to people like myself. I’m willing to leave the door open to that possibility, but if you’re not going to lay out the logic that makes this objection seem coherent to you, then you can’t blame us for thinking its silly and either confused or uninformed.

    Of course, all of this is just one layer of the problems in your larger argument and I’m still waiting for you to answer my original questions.

  344. Phinehas,

    I see you have somewhat more succinctly made the same point I subsequently made about the problem with keith’s Rain Fairy argument.

  345. HeKS: They are saying that an ONH pattern does not falsify the claim that a designer is needed to explain the features it is actually being invoked to explain.

    Nothing can falsify a nebulous claim of design. You can’t falsify an invisible Rain Fairy. You can only render it superfluous.

    HeKS: The Rain Fairy argument only holds validity when some cause is being invoked specifically to account for some effect that is admitted to be adequately explained without reference to that cause.

    You don’t have to have a complete theory of meteorology to realize that an undefined Rain Fairy has no entailments.

    HeKS: The mere fact that an unguided process could generate an ONH in general does not mean that it could generate any particular ONH, especially in its entirety, without any consideration given to the actual content that is hierarchically ordered.

    No, but the nested hierarchy is a miniscule fraction of possible relationships, and branching descent entails that very pattern, while a nebulous assertion of design doesn’t entail anything.

    However, you are correct that the shape of the tree is not determined by branching descent and can’t be determined from the mere existence of an objective nested hierarchy, just that it is a tree.

  346. Summary of Keith’s argument:

    1. We observe sky scrapers (objective nested houses; ONH).
    2. Unguided space shortage predicts objective nested houses.
    3. An architect explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives.
    4. Both unguided space shortage and an architect are capable of causing ONH.
    Conclusion: unguided space shortage is a trillion times better at explaining ONH.

  347. Can you just answer the question Andre?

    You said

    “Zachriel nice try, those genes in your JPEG has Zero to do with apoptosis, those are coding genes.”

    What does the fact they are coding genes have to do with anything?

  348. Thanks HeKS. I’ve found it is best to be succinct with keiths, since most of what I write is very likely to be ignored anyway. 😛 Even so, having read pretty much everything you’ve posted since arriving, I aspire to one day possess your skill in rhetoric.

  349. Box: 2. Unguided space shortage predicts objective nested houses.

    Huh?

  350. Zachriel:

    Box: 2. Unguided space shortage predicts objective nested houses.

    Huh?

    Seconded. What are you on about, Box?

  351. HD,

    Ok, so lets say he [God] decided to create. Now what? Now, as you say, he as infinite choices. That is true, but does the fact that he decided on a PARTICULAR method mean he didn’t?

    The problem is that you have no reason to favor any of the trillions of possibilities over the others. Under the design hypothesis, you are 99.999…% likely not to see an ONH.

    keiths:

    IDers need to come up with some justification for assuming that their Designer works in the ONH motif, and their justification has to be strong enough to counter the trillions-to-one advantage that unguided evolution has in explaining the ONH.

    HD:

    No they don’t. Just like they don’t need to bring justification for gravity being what gravity is.

    Sure they do. When comparing two hypotheses, you choose the one that best fits the evidence. That is unguided evolution — unless IDers can come up with a justification for assuming that the designer was likely to use an ONH motif.

    Likewise, unguided meteorology is a far better explanation than the Rain Fairy — unless Fairyists can come up with a solid justification for assuming that the RF just happens to produce the patterns that we would expect unguided meteorology to produce.

    This once again begs the question because you have already come to the conclusion that a diety wouldn’t use ONH.

    No, I haven’t said that at all. The deity could use an ONH motif, but we have no more reason to expect that than any of the trillions of alternatives. In the absence of any other information about the designer, the odds are 99.999…% against the designer producing an ONH.

    Meanwhile, unguided evolution predicts the ONH, and the prediction is spectacularly confirmed.

  352. Zachriel and Keith,

    Box: 2. Unguided space shortage predicts objective nested houses.

    Huh?

    Is the problem of space limitations too complicated for you? If you cannot go down or sideways, go upwards. It’s a scientific fact.

  353. Phinehas,

    This is where your “Rain Fairy” argument breaks down. Right where it starts. You don’t get past the first sentence and it is already a train wreck.

    You and HeKS crack me up. 🙂

    You assert that “the evidence” looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating. But you haven’t demonstrated this.

    Sure I have. If you have branching descent with primarily vertical inheritance, and mutations are slow and simple, you will get an ONH.

    You can see this just by thinking about it, or by using pencil and paper if you need the help. You can also simulate it on a computer. It has also been observed in real time, as Theobald points out.

    Further, you say “the evidence” as if you were talking about all of the evidence, but this isn’t the case. You are merely fixating on one very small piece of the evidence and ignoring all of the contrary evidence.

    Please share the “contrary evidence” with us.

    This is not analogous to meteorology.

    What are the relevant differences? Can you find a way of defending ID against my ONH argument that wouldn’t also work for defending the Rain Fairy?

  354. When comparing two hypotheses, you choose the one that best fits the evidence.

    And that is where unguided evolution totally eats it as the only evidence it has for support are diseases and deformities. Heck given starting populations of prokaryotes unguided evolution can only produce more prokaryotes. That may be OK on some other planet or moon but it doesn’t explain what we observe here.

    So when we consider which one best fits the evidence ID wins and unguided evolution is stuck at the starting gate.

  355. Phinehas:

    To show you what I mean, consider the following.

    Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if guided evolution were operating, but I know better. There are pathways — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that allow microevolution to accumulate into macroevolution without any need for guidance or foresight. Nature can cross any barrier, and Nature just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were carefully engineered solutions to numerous insurmountable barriers that only intelligent foresight and intervention could possibly overcome.

    Look. Now you are making the Rain Fairy argument.

    Not at all, because the ONH is not what we expect to see if a designer is operating.

    That’s the asymmetry that makes unguided evolution trillions of times better as an explanation.

    Unguided evolution predicts the ONH. Design predicts the absence of the ONH with 99.999…% probability.

  356. If you have branching descent with primarily vertical inheritance, and mutations are slow and simple, you will get an ONH

    Only if you totally redefine an ONH. But hey, we all know that you don’t care about reality, so go ahead continue to entertain. We all know that you don’t stand a chance in an open forum. You have to ignore and misrepresent all refutations.

    You can ignore your teeth and they will go away. But by ignoring and misrepresenting the refutations of your arguments you prove that you are lily-livered.

    Nice job

  357. Not at all, because the ONH is not what we expect to see if a designer is operating.

    We would only expect an ONH if an intelligent designer was involved. Linnean taxonomy was based on a common design.

  358. @Zachriel #347

    HeKS: They are saying that an ONH pattern does not falsify the claim that a designer is needed to explain the features it is actually being invoked to explain.

    Nothing can falsify a nebulous claim of design. You can’t falsify an invisible Rain Fairy. You can only render it superfluous.

    The problem is that you’re conflating a “nebulous claim of design” with an inference to design as the best explanation of some observed effect due to its apparent unique causal adequacy.

    It’s the difference between simply claiming that an explanation is correct and claiming that it appears to be necessary.

    Allow me to repeat the way I explained this issue to someone on here several weeks ago:

    If I were to say to you, simply, “That was designed,” is that claim testable? In reality, it’s hard to say. It might depend on the circumstances and what “that” was, but as a statement it’s not inherently helpful. For example, I could point to some seemingly random configuration of rocks lying on the ground and say, “That was designed,” but how could you possibly prove me wrong unless you had observed the way in which the rocks actually took their current positions? A seemingly random arrangement of rocks could have been placed in their position by an intelligent being, but they could also have taken that position through purely natural processes. Barring observational evidence to identify how the rocks took their position, this type of design claim is untestable and not particularly useful.

    That is why the design inferences of ID do not take this form.

    In the above example, ID would determine that the rocks took their positions through natural processes (even though they could have been placed there by design) simply because natural processes are sufficient to explain the effect and so are preferred.

    Now, returning to our example, supposed I instead pointed at rocks on the ground and said to you, “Intelligent Design is necessary to explain the positioning of those rocks.” Is that claim testable? Yes, it is. You can test it simply be testing whether or not some known natural (i.e. non-intelligent) process is sufficient to explain the distribution of rocks. If such a natural process exists, the design inference I’ve made will be falsified. On the other hand, if there is not any known natural process capable of explaining the distribution of rocks (for example, perhaps they spell out: “Welcome to the park. We hope you enjoy your walk”), then intelligent design will be considered the best explanation based on the current state of our knowledge, with the possibility – though low probability – that the design inference will be falsified in the future by some new discovery.

    Moving on…

    HeKS: The Rain Fairy argument only holds validity when some cause is being invoked specifically to account for some effect that is admitted to be adequately explained without reference to that cause.

    You don’t have to have a complete theory of meteorology to realize that an undefined Rain Fairy has no entailments.

    This remains irrelevant.

    First, you don’t need to specify in advance how an intelligent agent will act in order to detect that an intelligent agent has, indeed, acted.

    Second, we know that intelligent design is a real phenomenon. We see examples of it every day. We know that intelligent design / activity leaves telltale markers, and we know that there are effects and states of affairs brought about through intelligent design / activity that nobody has ever observed being brought about through any other form of causation. So when we see these telltale effects in living organisms and note that we have never observed natural processes producing anything remotely like them, whether in the wild or in the lab, then inferring to intelligent designs as the best causal explanation based on the current state of our knowledge is not remotely analogous to invoking Rain Fairies to guide the rain drops, leprechauns to guide salt grains, or invisible whales to guide toilet water, all of which are obviously superfluous causal entities posited to explain phenomena that can be simply and uncontroversially explained without them.

    HeKS: The mere fact that an unguided process could generate an ONH in general does not mean that it could generate any particular ONH, especially in its entirety, without any consideration given to the actual content that is hierarchically ordered.

    No, but the nested hierarchy is a miniscule fraction of possible relationships, and branching descent entails that very pattern, while a nebulous assertion of design doesn’t entail anything.

    The mere concept of design does not, in itself, entail one specific organizational approach to that which is designed, but that doesn’t mean there might not be perfectly logical reasons to think that something like an ONH would be highly preferred by the designer, or one of very few options that would be suitable to meet the designer’s specific goals. And I don’t simply mean something like, “because he wanted to create an objective nested hierarchy”. The problem is that in order to determine whether this really is the case, we would need to have some kind of understanding of the designer’s goals and personality, which cannot be proved from the scientific evidence alone, which is why the alleged existence of an ONH cannot be used to argue against a designer any more than it can be used to argue for one, and why claims that there are trillions of different ways a designer might have organized life and no reason why an ONH would be preferred is empty rhetoric and speculative hyperbole.

    As I said in an earlier comment to centrestream:

    The argument, in focusing on a designer rather than design itself, posits a designer who apparently has no personality, goals or intentions beyond “lotsa life”. This is necessary to the argument, because the whole point is to try to make sure that there is no possible reason why a designing intelligence would produce life in a way that could be ultimately categorized in an ONH, so that an ONH remains merely one of supposedly trillions of ways the designer could have produced life, with no reason to make an ONH any more likely than any of those other alleged ways he could have chosen. Of course, there could be aspects of the designer’s personality or goals, or even methods, that make the production of life in a way that could largely be classified in an ONH highly likely.

    For example, a couple years ago I was developing a business idea with someone and we wanted to think about the full range of services that it might be useful for the business to offer. Now, one way we could have done this is just toss out service ideas and list them as they came to us, and then possibly try to organize them into some kind of hierarchy afterwards, but that’s not what we did. Instead, we began building a nested hierarchy of services right from the beginning to actually motivate ideas for additional related sub-services. We started by identifying the different possible unique domains and service branches of the business, then we used those to consider what primary groups of services could fall under each of those, then we used that new level to suggest further levels of sub-services that would fall under each of those primary groups, etc. We developed the various branches, primary services and various levels of related sub-services in this fashion to help ensure that we were maximizing the diversity of our service offerings, with one level suggesting possible sub-levels.

    I imagine you can see how this example might be relevant to the question at hand and show that there could be specific and very sensible, non-arbitrary reasons why something like an ONH could be a preferred approach by a designer, depending on the way they think and what goals they have. To suggest that the use of a method of design that would ultimately produce some kind of ONH should be considered just one face on a trillion-sided die, equally as likely as any other of a trillion vaguely referenced options, with no possible valid reason for it to be specifically preferred or one of relatively few viable options based on the designer’s intent, is simply silly.

  359. Box: Is the problem of space limitations too complicated for you? If you cannot go down or sideways, go upwards. It’s a scientific fact.

    That’s two choices, not trillions. There are many equally reasonable ways to stack domiciles. Do you understand that the nested hierarchy is a very peculiar ordering that is only a tiny miniscule of possible orderings?

    Box: 2. Unguided space shortage predicts objective nested houses.

    Houses don’t generally nest beyond a single level, known as apartment buildings. I suppose you could sublet a room for an additional level.

    You’re better off using the example of a military organization which is nested at multiple levels. But it turns out that the military organization is nested because it is an expression of the branched military hierarchy. An order given at the top is distributed through the branched hierarchy. The general tells his colonels who each tell their majors who each tell their captains who each tell their lieutenants who each tell their sergeants who together with the privates actually get things done. In addition, each element of each level in a military organization are essentially identical, so it is, again, much less peculiar than the biological nested hierarchy where each element is unique yet still fit to the objective nested hierarchy.

  360. @Phinehas #350

    You’re probably right about that. Writing detailed comments and replies to keiths has gotten me nowhere, other than being ignored and/or misrepresented.

    As for the other bit, that’s very kind of you to say – assuming you mean “rhetoric” in the good way rather than the bad one 🙂

  361. Keith #355

    Phinehas: You assert that “the evidence” looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating. But you haven’t demonstrated this.

    Keith: Sure I have.

    You miss the point. Did you demonstrate that evolution is unguided? No, you have not.

    Keith: If you have branching descent with primarily vertical inheritance, and mutations are slow and simple, you will get an ONH.

    You can see this just by thinking about it, or by using pencil and paper if you need the help. You can also simulate it on a computer.

    No, you will get a mess of innumerable transitional forms. You guys need extinction to sculpt you a pattern.

    Keith: It has also been observed in real time, as Theobald points out.

    Theobald’s ONH is contested by Stephen Meyer in Darwin’s Doubt; see #329

    Phinehas: Further, you say “the evidence” as if you were talking about all of the evidence, but this isn’t the case. You are merely fixating on one very small piece of the evidence and ignoring all of the contrary evidence.

    Keith: Please share the “contrary evidence” with us.

    You miss the point. Phinehas tells you that you focused on the trivial issue of ONH, which hardly constitute, what you call, “the evidence”. Did you address really important issues such as the building blocks of animals (DNA, proteins and so forth)? Did you demonstrate that unguided evolution can produce any of them? No, you have not.

  362. HeKS: The problem is that you’re conflating a “nebulous claim of design” with an inference to design as the best explanation of some observed effect due to its apparent unique causal adequacy.

    Unless your hypothesis has testable entailments, it’s scientifically sterile.

    HeKS: In reality, it’s hard to say.

    There are clear entailments to design, entailments that are subject to investigation. The artifact is connected to the art and the art to the artisan through a necessary chain of causation. Here’s an example:
    http://www.456fis.org/MT.%20RUSHMORE/ar-rushm.jpg

    Here’s another:
    http://rarearchitecturaldrawin.....644158.jpg

    HeKS: Now, returning to our example, supposed I instead pointed at rocks on the ground and said to you, “Intelligent Design is necessary to explain the positioning of those rocks.” Is that claim testable?

    Of course it is. It’s written in English. That means a bipedal ape with the capacity for language and an inclination to spell things out in stone. They’re well known for it!
    http://us.cdn281.fansshare.com.....003000.jpg

    Zachriel: You don’t have to have a complete theory of meteorology to realize that an undefined Rain Fairy has no entailments.

    HeKS: This remains irrelevant.

    Of course it’s relevant. A claim has no scientific merit if it doesn’t have entailments.

    HeKS: we know that intelligent design is a real phenomenon. We see examples of it every day.

    Of course we do. They’re called humans, and they leave evidence of their activities.

    HeKS: The mere concept of design does not, in itself, entail one specific organizational approach to that which is designed, but that doesn’t mean there might not be perfectly logical reasons to think that something like an ONH would be highly preferred by the designer, or one of very few options that would be suitable to meet the designer’s specific goals.

    Well, sure. We can think up anything we want for a nebulous designer, such as an inordinate fondness for beetles the nested hierarchy.

    But that’s not an entailment!

    HeKS: And I don’t simply mean something like, “because he wanted to create an objective nested hierarchy”. The problem is that in order to determine whether this really is the case, we would need to have some kind of understanding of the designer’s goals and personality, which cannot be proved from the scientific evidence alone

    We study the goals and personalities of designers all the time.

    HeKS: which is why the alleged existence of an ONH cannot be used to argue against a designer any more than it can be used to argue for one, and why claims that there are trillions of different ways a designer might have organized life and no reason why an ONH would be preferred is empty rhetoric and speculative hyperbole.

    And the angels must have an inordinate fondness for elliptical orbits, too. Maybe it fits some inscrutable goal, but it looks just like branching descent gravity would if it weren’t really angels.

  363. Box: You guys need extinction to sculpt you a pattern.

    Gosh. If only we had evidence of extinction.

  364. centrestream, to Joe:

    For once we agree. ID does make plenty of claims about the design. And without proposing the nature of the designer and the mechanisms used, these claims have as much legitimacy as claims about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, Leprechauns and your 150 IQ.

    Joe:

    I can prove my IQ…

    Seriously, Joe? You claim to have an IQ of 150?

  365. Box:

    You guys need extinction to sculpt you a pattern.

    Zachriel:

    Gosh. If only we had evidence of extinction.

    You’ve got us there, Box. That, and the ‘unguided space shortage’. 🙂

  366. keith s- compared to you I am a super genius. But that is only because you are such a dullard. 😛

    BTW I can prove my IQ before you can provide evidence for your “argument”.

  367. In #306, Keith’s answer on being challenged to produce science to support his assertion is yet again to insist his assumption is valid with examples that assume his assertion valid, and then ridicule anyone who challenges the original assertion.

    No science, reiterated assertion, ridicule the challengers. Big deal.

    At this point, what I find more interesting to do is to point out that, considering keith’s examples, he must truly believe there is an obvious pattern equivalence between, say, the engineering of a human eye and the pattern of raindrops on the street, or the pattern found when one shakes salt out of salt-shaker.

    IOW, keith is asserting via his choice of examples that the pattern of the engineering in a human eye is fundamentally, obviously the same as the pattern of raindrops on the street – so much so that it is “looney” to challenge the causal origin of the engineering found in the eye as being “other than” that which generates the pattern of raindrops in the street.

    Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. – Nobel laureate Francis Crick

    Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. – Richard Dawkins

    To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I confess, absurd in the highest degree…The difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection , though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered subversive of the theory. – Darwin

    Yet keith would have us believe that biological features are categorically the same as (and obviously so, to the point of it being “looney” to challenge it, in keith’s words) the pattern of falling raindrops and/or the pattern of salt poured from a shaker.

    Think about that; to keith, it is obvious that the pattern of raindrops/poured salt = pattern found in the functional engineering of a human eye, so obvious, in fact, he feels comfortable ridiculing anyone who challenges that equivalence.

    Remarkable.

    If biology looked exactly as if generated by unguided forces, one wonders what the heck Crick, Dawkins, Darwin, and Lewontin and countless other biologists were talking about, and why biological evolution papers and books are chock full of design terms, metaphors, arguments and characterizations?

    But, as far as I can tell, Keith is serious (he must be; no self-respecting person advances such an absurd series of statements as Keith has here without honestly believing them to be intelligent and part of a good argument). How can anyone have a meaningful dialogue about ID if they draw a hard-line equivalence between the engineering of an eye and the pattern of raindrops on the street and insist that anyone who challenges it is being “looney”?

  368. Zachriel, Keith

    Box: You guys need extinction to sculpt you a pattern.

    Zachriel: Gosh. If only we had evidence of extinction.

    Well, do you have the evidence? Are you claiming to have evidence of innumerable transitional forms? Because that’s the evidence you need in order to make your case for ONH.

  369. >The problem is that you have no reason to favor any of the trillions of possibilities over the others.

    Right. I have no reason to favor anything, but this isn’t about me.

    >Under the design hypothesis, you are 99.999…% likely not to see an ONH.

    No, but you ARE 100% likely to see SOMETHING. Meaning, if God CHOSE to create, he creates and it has to manifest itself in reality somehow. And even if I have no reason to favor one way over trillions, that says nothing about a Creator

    >Sure they do. When comparing two hypotheses, you choose the one that best fits the evidence.

    No.You are misunderstanding. I am going back to your issue of God being restricted, therefor he would not have chosen to create something via method X I am bringing up gravity as another example. He could have had TRILLIONS of other options that have nothing to do with gravity. You are still begging the question. Why is it you are only stuck on biology? You can ask the same thing for ANY constant we see in nature and why it turned out THAT way, right?

    >That is unguided evolution — unless IDers can come up with a justification for assuming that the designer was likely to use an ONH motif.

    a) Is there an a priori justification for why evolution HAD to use an ONH motif? Remember, biology has discovered what already happened. So I am asking if there is any reason to assume that that is the ONLY way evolution would have turned out? Afterall, biology would have discovered something else, in theory.
    b) What makes you assume one has to come up with a justification why a creator would use X as opposed to Z?

    I want to make something clear Keith. I am NOT saying I can prove a designer. I am skeptical about certain design arguments, particular the ones that use artificial design to show biologic design. BUT, I see you are trying to make a philosophical point and I think at first it sounds good, but it has weakness, particularly when you are make very strong assertions with not nothing but an assumption to back it up.

  370. HeKS,

    So your Rain Fairy argument is pretending that the mere alleged existence of an ONH is the entirety of the evidence under consideration…

    “Mere alleged existence?” 🙂

    Read Theobald.

    What is the other relevant evidence that you think should be considered, and how does it compensate for the trillions-to-one advantage of unguided evolution over ID with respect to the ONH?

    …and that ID proponents are trying to add a superfluous explanatory entity (a designer) to account for the alleged ONH pattern itself, which is claimed to be unnecessary because an unguided process could create a general ONH pattern on its own and, you claim, is more likely to do so.

    Not just more likely, but trillions of times more likely.

    The problem, of course, is that ID proponents are not invoking a designer to account for an alleged ONH pattern. They are saying that an ONH pattern does not falsify the claim that a designer is needed to explain the features it is actually being invoked to explain.

    Of course it doesn’t falsify the designer hypothesis, because the designer hypothesis is unfalsifiable. That’s its great weakness, and that is exactly why UE is the superior hypothesis.

    The mere fact that an unguided process could generate an ONH in general does not mean that it could generate any particular ONH, especially in its entirety, without any consideration given to the actual content that is hierarchically ordered.

    But there is no evidence that the actual ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach. Do you have any to offer?

    So let’s relate this back to some of the “analogies” you’ve offered:

    The leprechauns chose for the salt to form a pile. Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale chose for the water to swirl the way it does.

    This is obviously not analogous to ID claims.

    For example, guidance/design would not be invoked to explain the path of the falling salt or the ensuing pile that it formed (unless you get into the fine-tuning of the laws of physics themselves). Rather, design would be invoked to explain the salt shaker, the plate your food is sitting on, the way that nice cut of beef got onto your plate, etc.

    No, the leprechaun argument is as I stated it:

    Oh, sure, the pile of salt looks exactly like it would if unguided gravity were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent the grains of salt from forming that pile. It takes invisible leprechauns to get across those barriers, and those invisible leprechauns just happen to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided gravity were doing the job.

    The analogy to ID is obvious. “Leprechaun” corresponds to “designer”. “Pile” corresponds to “ONH”. “Unguided gravity” corresponds to “unguided evolution.” “Barriers to gravity” correspond to “barriers to unguided evolution.”

    Now admittedly, the leprechaun hypothesis is ridiculous. But that’s precisely my point. ID uses the same logic and is just as ridiculous.

    The Rain Fairy argument only holds validity when some cause is being invoked specifically to account for some effect that is admitted to be adequately explained without reference to that cause.

    Unguided evolution is trillions of times better at explaining the ONH. I would call that “adequate”, wouldn’t you?

    Let’s consider a generic example.

    Suppose we have effects X, Y and Z and causes C1 and C2.

    If X, Y and Z are agreed to be adequately explained by C1, invoking C2 is superfluous and the Rain Fairy criticism is warranted.

    But if someone happens to have religious reasons for doing so, they may invoke C2 despite its superfluity and poor fit to the evidence.

    If X and Y are adequately explained by C1, but Z is not, and Z is adequately explained by C2, but X and Y are not, then it is not gratuitous to invoke both C1 and C2 and the Rain Fairy criticism is unwarranted.

    What are X and Y in the case of the ID debate, and can you show that they necessitate a designer?

    It is this last one that most closely resembles the current issue under dispute (even allowing the alleged existence of the ONH and that an ONH, in general, is more likely to result from a naturalistic process),

    Trillions of times more likely to result from unguided evolution, I remind you. 🙂

    Of course, another problem with your analogies is that they use examples where nothing happens between the start and end of the process that seems remotely unusual given gravity. Once the salt shaker is tipped over, the salt falls from the shaker to the food with no unexpected phenomena arising in the process.

    Likewise, unguided evolution produces the ONH as expected. No surprise at all, so no need to invoke a designer.

    Once the toilet is flushed, the water forms a vortex as it drains out with no unexpected phenomena arising in the process.

    Ditto.

    But as someone else mentioned, if the salt fell into the form of a functioning calculator, or if it changed into a tiny pot of gold between the shaker and your steak, you would suspect that something other than gravity was required to explain the effect you were observing.

    Sure.

    Likewise, between the root of the alleged ONH and the tips of its twigs, we see things happening that are highly unexpected based on what we know of unguided natural processes…

    Not to me, and not to evolutionary biologists. You’ll need to make a case for that — and your case needs to be strong enough to compensate for UE’s trillions-to-one advantage in explaining the ONH.

    These are things that ID is invoked to explain; not the mere structure of an alleged ONH itself. ID allows that much of that structure, to the extent it actually exists, is caused by natural processes of diversification acting on robust genetic systems that were specifically designed to allow that subsequent diversification, but which constrain it to keep organisms viable (not to mention that the observed processes of diversification consistently trend in the wrong direction for you to attempt to extrapolate them into the macroevolutionary development of complex novel systems).

    You’ll need to make a very strong case. Good luck with that.

    So, in summary, the Rain Fairy distraction claims that ID is superfluous, not that it is wrong…

    No, it’s both. Even ignoring the superfluity of the Rain Fairy, unguided evolution is a far better explanation because it fits the evidence so well.

    …but it claims it is superfluous with reference to some phenomenon that it is not being invoked to explain in the first place, and then it pretends that it has thereby shown ID to be superfluous with reference to “the evidence”, in general, when “the evidence” in this case is being arbitrarily limited to the feature that ID is not being invoked to explain.

    None of that matters unless you can show that ID is actually needed in order to explain the other features. And again, your case has to be strong enough to counter the trillions-to-one UE advantage with respect to the ONH.

    It’s so utterly confused and obviously wrong that it’s hard to figure out why anyone needs to point this out to you. Again, one feels the need to assume that either you just don’t have any grasp of what does and does not make a good argument, or else there is a heap of unstated assumptions or premises that are leading you to think this argument looks good when it looks incredibly dumb to people like myself.

    You and Phinehas crack me up. 🙂

    PS Could you aim for more concision next time?

  371. Zachriel,

    That was hardly a thorough (and barely a serious) response. If that’s all you care to offer by way of response, why bother at all?

    There are entailments to design which can be deduced once design is detected. If we are certain of design, we can deduce from effect to cause, from design to the existence of the designer. If we are reasonably certain of design we can infer from effect to cause. We use abductive reasoning.

    But the entailments don’t work in the opposite direction. We can’t say that the mere existence of some intelligent being entails the instantiation of some particular form of design. In order to determine any entailments from the designer itself we must attribute some goal, intention, personality, or something else to the being, like saying, “an intelligent being who wants to design robust adaptive organisms will have to design many complex, functionally-specified systems… and that’s what we find throughout living organisms.”

    OK, great … but how do we know that the being wants to do that unless he either tells us or we observe that he has done it? And how could we predict in advance that the designer was going to do it if he did it before we were around? We can’t. And that’s not how anybody determines that some observed effect is the product of intentional activity rather than blind forces.

    If you are trying to argue that we can’t reasonably detect that design has happened because the mere concept of design does not, in itself, entail the instantiation of a specific form of design, then I will simply tell you that you have the logic of design inferences backwards and I’m not sure there’s much I can do to help you with that.

    Also, your Rain Fairy and angel references remain entirely misguided. If you don’t realize this by now I don’t think anyone can help you. Doggedly sticking to a false analogy doesn’t make it a true analogy. Keith apparently doesn’t realize this. I hope you will, but my hope is fading fast.

  372. HD #371,

    Perhaps this comment will help:

    keiths:

    There are trillions of logical possibilities, and we have no reason to rule any of them out. After all, we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    William:

    If we cannot rule any of them out because we know nothing about the designer, by the same token we cannot rule them in.

    Box:

    Now, in my opion, discussion should end here. There is no ground whatsoever to rule them out or in. William is perfectly right in pointing out that you have no ground to rule the trillions in. In order to change this verdict you have to provide ground – IOW provide knowledge about the designer, you admittedly know nothing about – in order to validly rule the trillions in.

    Box,

    Here’s what you and William are missing:

    1. To rule something out is to assign a probability of 0 to it.

    2. To rule something in is to assign a probability of 1 to it.

    3. Neither of those actions is appropriate, because we know nothing at all about the designer.

    4. The only remaining option is to assign an equal probability to all of the possibilities.

    This is the “principle of indifference”, aka the “principle of insufficient reason.” It’s the standard approach in Bayesian statistics for a situation in which you have no prior information, and it makes perfect sense. Statisticians use it all the time. So do Dembski and Marks in one of their papers.

    Yet you and William are claiming that it’s invalid, and that Dembski and Marks and statisticians all over the world are wrong. Why? Because if you allow the POI, you don’t get the answer you want. That’s pitiful, Box.

    And it’s even worse than that. If you don’t allow the POI, then you have no basis for rejecting the Rain Fairy.

    Everyone reading this knows that the Rain Fairy hypothesis is ridiculous. Yet you and William are unwittingly arguing that it would be irrational to reject it.

    I’m afraid you’ve got that backwards.

    The Rain Fairy hypothesis is ridiculous, and so is ID — by exactly the same logic.

  373. Keith,

    Talking to you is like talking to a wall. You just continue to repeat assertions that I’ve addressed and to ignore questions I’ve asked about them. I’ve also already given you obvious reasons why your extrapolations of microevolution to the macroevolutionary development of complex novel systems doesn’t even get off the ground in light of the observational evidence. I’ve also addressed your claim that ID proponents admit “unguided evolution” exists and the fact that you completely misrepresent us on this and that what we actually admit doesn’t amount to a mechanism that could, even in principle, explain the introduction of novel biological systems. You have not provided a remotely substantive response to anything. You’ve only repeated nonsense and false analogies. I’ve given you plenty of opportunity to start demonstrating that there is any merit to your argument at all. You’ve chosen to ignore everything and just repeat a mantra about Rain Fairies. Evidently I have been wasting my time trying to have a substantive discussion with you.

  374. William #369,

    At this point, what I find more interesting to do is to point out that, considering keith’s examples, he must truly believe there is an obvious pattern equivalence between, say, the engineering of a human eye and the pattern of raindrops on the street, or the pattern found when one shakes salt out of salt-shaker.

    Don’t be ridiculous. It is the bad logic, not the pattern, that is equivalent in all of those scenarios.

    An intelligent cause is being invoked to explain something that a) doesn’t require an intelligent cause, and b) is explained far better by an unintelligent one.

    Plain old bad logic.

  375. An intelligent cause is being invoked to explain something that a) doesn’t require an intelligent cause, and b) is explained far better by an unintelligent one.

    And tell us, Keith, what exactly is an intelligent cause being invoked to explain?

  376. HeKS #375,

    I responded point-by-point to your comment.

    Run away if you like, but be aware of how that makes you look, particularly after all your trash talk about how “utterly confused” and “obviously wrong” my argument is.

    You bit off more than you could chew, didn’t you?

  377. HeKS @ 375
    Yes, you have been wasting your time.
    IMHO it would be great if ID spent some time identifying designer or even if there is single or multiple designers with various designing styles. It would make so much sense if a tentative mechanism of how ID agent or agents seems to search for specific processes which needs fixing among trillions of process in billions of organisms is put forth.

  378. Bit off more than I could chew? More like ordered a steak and spent hours being asked to snack on crackers.

    Your point-by-point “response” consists of repeating disputed assertions without actually defending any of them or addressing any of my points or answering any of my questions. Apparently you think I’m just supposed to sit here and watch you ramble through your false analogies over and over again.

  379. 381
    logically_speaking

    Refuting Keith S again,

    “1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONHs)”.

    The nested hierarchies you observe are not objective. They were created using subjective methods, you can’t make things objective from subjectivity no matter how hard you try. They also assume evolution happened, so cannot be used as evidence for evolution.

    “2. The ONH of the 30 major taxa is confirmed to an astounding accuracy of 1 in 10^38”.

    Unfortunately using statistical analysis is worthless in this case. Comparing anything with similar features statistically with produce astounding statistical accuracy. First of all most people will in their lists put bats in with mammals thus producing a similar tree and they will do the same for many other animals in other trees. Second if we compared for example, ten medium sized sentences of the english language, we would discover using statistical analysis that the sentences are astoundingly similar.

    “3. Unguided evolution of the kind we actually observe predicts an ONH out of trillions of possibilities”.

    I believe that it has been pointed out on several occasions that unguided evolution doe not predict an ONH.

    “4. Design makes no such prediction; it can be reconciled with any of the trillions of possibilities by simply saying “the designer did it that way.”

    Carl Linnaeus would disagree with you as the father of taxonomy, he classified life with the idea that God had created it, and therefore could be categorised in a logical way.

    “5. With UE, we expect an ONH; with ID we expect not to see an ONH, with 99.999…% probability”.

    If anything the reverse is true.

    “6. We see an ONH, so UE’s prediction is spectacularly confirmed”.

    There’s no such thing as an objective nested hierarchy, it is an illusion created by using statistical analysis out of context.

    As a footnote, here is a limit to evolution,

    http://m.phys.org/news/2014-11.....e-red.html

    “While blue can change to red, in this case, evolution always drives down a one-way street, as reverse changes of red to blue are not observed”.

    “Evolutionary shifts from blue to red flowers in Penstemon predictably involves degeneration of the same particular flower pigment gene, suggesting there are limited genetic ‘options’ for evolving red flowers in this group,” said Wessinger. “However, it is lot easier for evolution to break a gene than to fix one, so we suspect that reversals from red to blue flowers would be highly unlikely.”

  380. 382
    logically_speaking

    Refuting Keith S again,

    “1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONHs)”.

    The nested hierarchies you observe are not objective. They were created using subjective methods, you can’t make things objective from subjectivity no matter how hard you try. They also assume evolution happened, so cannot be used as evidence for evolution.

    “2. The ONH of the 30 major taxa is confirmed to an astounding accuracy of 1 in 10^38”.

    Unfortunately using statistical analysis is worthless in this case. Comparing anything with similar features statistically with produce astounding statistical accuracy. First of all most people will in their lists put bats in with mammals thus producing a similar tree and they will do the same for many other animals in other trees. Second if we compared for example, ten medium sized sentences of the english language, we would discover using statistical analysis that the sentences are astoundingly similar.

    “3. Unguided evolution of the kind we actually observe predicts an ONH out of trillions of possibilities”.

    I believe that it has been pointed out on several occasions that unguided evolution doe not predict an ONH.

    “4. Design makes no such prediction; it can be reconciled with any of the trillions of possibilities by simply saying “the designer did it that way.”

    Carl Linnaeus would disagree with you as the father of taxonomy, he classified life with the idea that God had created it, and therefore could be categorised in a logical way.

    “5. With UE, we expect an ONH; with ID we expect not to see an ONH, with 99.999…% probability”.

    If anything the reverse is true.

    “6. We see an ONH, so UE’s prediction is spectacularly confirmed”.

    There’s no such thing as an objective nested hierarchy, it is an illusion created by using statistical analysis out of context.

    As a footnote, here is a limit to evolution,

    http://www.m.phys.org/news/201.....e-red.html

    “While blue can change to red, in this case, evolution always drives down a one-way street, as reverse changes of red to blue are not observed”.

    “Evolutionary shifts from blue to red flowers in Penstemon predictably involves degeneration of the same particular flower pigment gene, suggesting there are limited genetic ‘options’ for evolving red flowers in this group,” said Wessinger. “However, it is lot easier for evolution to break a gene than to fix one, so we suspect that reversals from red to blue flowers would be highly unlikely.”

  381. HeKS,

    Apparently you think I’m just supposed to sit here and watch you ramble through your false analogies over and over again.

    No, what you’re “supposed” to do is to respond to my point-by-point rebuttal of your comment.

    It’s called “debate”.

  382. 384
    logically_speaking

    Oops sorry for double post

  383. logically_speaking,

    If you still don’t understand that the ONH is real, objective, and confirmed to an astounding precision, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

    I can only recommend reading Theobald or having one of your fellow IDers help you with the ONH concept.

  384. 386
    logically_speaking

    Lol Keith everything I said is true and I have shown it (in other threads) using theobalds own work.

  385. Keith said:

    Don’t be ridiculous. It is the bad logic, not the pattern, that is equivalent in all of those scenarios.

    The logic, such as it is, could only be valid if the examples used are equivalent to what is actually being challenged. IOW, apples to apples, or “pattern of engineering in the human eye” = “pattern of raindrops on the street”. Otherwise, they are not “examples” at all.

    Even if one took them as analogies, they are improper because the things used for the analogy assume the very thing that is being challenged.

  386. Zachriel

    Apol l is suspected to be involved……. It is the same as you suspct unguided evolution is the best explanation for life…. get it suspicion? It has not been confirmed, I should have known you would try and mislead with the usual Darwin just so stories. Apol L is for cholosterol transport.

  387. Andre says “Apol L is for cholosterol transport.” as if this excludes it from a role in PCD.
    What’s cytochrome c for?
    P.S. Which particular aspects of the PCD pathways are absolute prerequisites for cellular life, and why?

  388. >Perhaps this comment will help:

    Sorry Keith. You lost me. 🙂 I think we may be talking past each other

  389. DNA_JOCK

    The claim is that Apol L looks like other PCD therefore it might be involved in Apoptosis

    From the Protein DB

    http://www.ebi.ac.uk/interpro/entry/IPR008405

    “Apo L belongs to the high density lipoprotein family that plays a central role in cholesterol transport. The cholesterol content of membranes is important in cellular processes such as modulating gene transcription and signal transduction both in the adult brain and during neurodevelopment. There are six apo L genes located in close proximity to each other on chromosome 22q12 in humans. 22q12 is a confirmed high-susceptibility locus for schizophrenia and close to the region associated with velocardiofacial syndrome that includes symptoms of schizophrenia [PMID: 11930015]. The various functions of apoL are still not entirely clear. Apolipoprotein L-I has been identified as a trypanolytic agent [PMID: 12621437] and displays similar phylogenetic distribution to the programmed cell death protein Bcl-2 and BH-3 domain-containing proteins, suggesting a possible role in apoptosis [PMID: 16847577].”

    Are we not in a very familiar place right now with Darwinists? Oh look they look similar so they must be the same! And they emerged! And then they evolved!

    What are these proteins for?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apolipoprotein_L

    And for the last time, you may be suspicious of what you like but suspicions are hardly facts…….

  390. DNA_JOCK

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19325568/

    It is not surprising that the demise of a cell is a complex well-controlled process. Apoptosis, the first genetically programmed death process identified, has been extensively studied and its contribution to the pathogenesis of disease well documented. Yet, apoptosis does not function alone to determine a cell’s fate. More recently, autophagy, a process in which de novo-formed membrane-enclosed vesicles engulf and consume cellular components, has been shown to engage in a complex interplay with apoptosis. In some cellular settings, it can serve as a cell survival pathway, suppressing apoptosis, and in others, it can lead to death itself, either in collaboration with apoptosis or as a back-up mechanism when the former is defective. The molecular regulators of both pathways are inter-connected; numerous death stimuli are capable of activating either pathway, and both pathways share several genes that are critical for their respective execution. The cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy is therefore quite complex, and sometimes contradictory, but surely critical to the overall fate of the cell. Furthermore, the cross-talk is a key factor in the outcome of death-related pathologies such as cancer, its development and treatment.

    Hope that helps 🙂

  391. DNA_JOCK

    I think this answers your question perfectly….

    The molecular regulators of both pathways are inter-connected; numerous death stimuli are capable of activating either pathway, and both pathways share several genes that are critical for their respective execution. The cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy is therefore quite complex, and sometimes contradictory, but surely critical to the overall fate of the cell.

  392. So what is the lesson for today our materialists friends?

    1.) Don’t try and confuse.
    2.) Follow the evidence wherever it may lead
    3.) Suspicions are not facts.

    On a side note and interesting one regarding the APOL L family, what is the one thing that all serial killers have in common?

    They have very low cholesterol levels.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/un.....ain-sight/

  393. Zachriel, WD400, DNA_JOCK

    So Gents and ladies…….

    Please help me with this; How does interconnected and shared pathways evolve in an unguided fashion? How do these genes evolve in an unguided fashion if they are critical to not only to each other but to the cell as well? Do you realise how silly your position is or will you just deny it again?

  394. HD,

    Sorry Keith. You lost me. 🙂 I think we may be talking past each other

    Let me try an illustration.

    Suppose I take five standard US coins from my piggy bank and place them in a row on the tabletop. Each coin is either a penny, a nickel, a dime, or a quarter. I then phone you, tell you what I’ve done, and ask you how likely it is that the second coin from the right is a dime. What would your answer be?

    A statistician would reason as follows: I know the coin must be either a penny, a nickel, a dime, or a quarter. I know nothing else about it or about any of the other coins. With no other information to go on, I have to assume that it’s equally likely to be a penny, nickel, dime, or quarter. My best guess is that the likelihood is 25% that the second coin from the right is a dime.

    Now, in reality, all kinds of situations are possible. Maybe I only ever put pennies in my piggy bank, in which case the second coin from the right cannot possibly be a dime. Maybe I dump all of my change into the bank at the end of each day, in which case the coin might or might not be a dime. Maybe I carefully selected five dimes from the piggy bank before I called you, in which case it is certain that the second coin from the right is a dime.

    All of these things are possible, but you have no idea which of them, if any, are true.

    Lacking that information, the smart thing to do is what the statistician does: assign equal probabilities to all of the possibilities. The odds are 25% that the coin is a dime.

    If we know nothing about ID’s putative designer — and we don’t — then the rational thing to do is to assign equal probability to all of the possibilities for what the designer could do. He could produce an ONH, or he could produce one of the trillions of alternatives. When we assign equal probabilities to all the possibilities, we find that the designer is trillions of times less likely to produce an ONH versus something else.

    With unguided evolution, it has to be an ONH.

    The UE prediction is confirmed, and ID is outclassed. Unguided evolution is unquestionably the better hypothesis, by an enormous margin.

  395. Keith S

    And PCD stops your unguided assumption dead in it’s tracks, because it prevents unguided processes from happening and if anything goes wrong PCD goes BOOM!

    Seriously dude why are we going in circles it’s as if you have covered your eyes stuck your fingers in your ears closed your mouth and ignoring everything else because even though you can’t be certain you’ve already made up your mind that you’re certain about this…….

  396. Andre,

    And PCD stops your unguided assumption dead in it’s tracks, because it prevents unguided processes from happening and if anything goes wrong PCD goes BOOM!

    Are you saying mutations don’t occur due to PCD? Because mutations still do occur – regularly – we all have them, many of them.

    You also seem to imply that PCD is universal among unicellular organisms. While it does exist in some unicellular organisms, from what I’ve found it hardly seems to be universal.

  397. Keith,

    Debate requires good-faith participation by people on both sides, Keith. I haven’t seen that from you. You’ve ignored every issue I’ve raised and every question I’ve asked, then you decided the only thing you wanted to discuss was Rain Fairies, and when I humored you and addressed them you responded without offering any substantive interaction with my points. You just repeated your initial assertions without addressing anything I’ve said about them. And now that you’ve done that, I’m apparently just supposed to repeat myself yet again.

    Well, fine. Let’s look at your response:

    “Mere alleged existence?” 🙂

    Read Theobald.

    I have. Multiple times. And I’ve also read the people who disagree with him and dispute his claims in detail and who cite rampant cases of extreme and irreconcilable incongruity and every level of the tree. I don’t agree that the world of life properly falls into an ONH, but as I’ve been saying, it doesn’t matter that I disagree on that point, because even if I grant it your argument still fails.

    What is the other relevant evidence that you think should be considered, and how does it compensate for the trillions-to-one advantage of unguided evolution over ID with respect to the ONH?

    I’ve already commented on “the other relevant evidence” numerous times, though you have ignored everything I’ve said. I’ve also asked you to elaborate on and justify your invocation of “literally trillions” of other options for the designer, which you’ve also ignored. And I’ve asked about other assumptions that are informing your argument, which you’ve also ignored.

    …and that ID proponents are trying to add a superfluous explanatory entity (a designer) to account for the alleged ONH pattern itself, which is claimed to be unnecessary because an unguided process could create a general ONH pattern on its own and, you claim, is more likely to do so.

    Not just more likely, but trillions of times more likely.

    You just ignored the point and repeated a disputed assertion.

    The problem, of course, is that ID proponents are not invoking a designer to account for an alleged ONH pattern. They are saying that an ONH pattern does not falsify the claim that a designer is needed to explain the features it is actually being invoked to explain.

    Of course it doesn’t falsify the designer hypothesis, because the designer hypothesis is unfalsifiable. That’s its great weakness, and that is exactly why UE is the superior hypothesis.

    You just ignored the point and repeated an obviously false claim and implicitly repeated the claim you’ve been corrected on multiple times, which is your completely false assertion that design is invoked to explain the alleged ONH itself.

    The mere fact that an unguided process could generate an ONH in general does not mean that it could generate any particular ONH, especially in its entirety, without any consideration given to the actual content that is hierarchically ordered.

    But there is no evidence that the actual ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach. Do you have any to offer?

    You’ve just ignored the actual point again and misrepresented it. It is not the shape of the alleged ONH, in itself, that is claimed to be out of the reach of “unguided evolution”.

    So let’s relate this back to some of the “analogies” you’ve offered:

    The leprechauns chose for the salt to form a pile. Shamu the Invisible Toilet Whale chose for the water to swirl the way it does.

    This is obviously not analogous to ID claims.

    For example, guidance/design would not be invoked to explain the path of the falling salt or the ensuing pile that it formed (unless you get into the fine-tuning of the laws of physics themselves). Rather, design would be invoked to explain the salt shaker, the plate your food is sitting on, the way that nice cut of beef got onto your plate, etc.

    No, the leprechaun argument is as I stated it:

    Oh, sure, the pile of salt looks exactly like it would if unguided gravity were operating, but I know better. There are barriers — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that prevent the grains of salt from forming that pile. It takes invisible leprechauns to get across those barriers, and those invisible leprechauns just happen to make it look exactly like it would if there were no barriers and unguided gravity were doing the job.

    The analogy to ID is obvious. “Leprechaun” corresponds to “designer”. “Pile” corresponds to “ONH”. “Unguided gravity” corresponds to “unguided evolution.” “Barriers to gravity” correspond to “barriers to unguided evolution.”

    Now admittedly, the leprechaun hypothesis is ridiculous. But that’s precisely my point. ID uses the same logic and is just as ridiculous.

    How do you not see that this is blatantly wrong? In your ridiculous leprechaun argument, it is being invoked to explain the simple phenomenon of the salt falling into a pile, but with regard to your argument, nobody has claimed that the barriers relate to the shape of the tree. We’re not claiming that there’s something that prevents “unguided evolution” (setting aside the disputes over that term) from generally resulting in the shape of an ONH. And we’re not invoking design to account for the shape of the alleged tree. For your salt analogy to actually be an analogy there were need to be phenomena within the salt pile that were not present in the salt shaker and that are not obviously explainable by reference to the gravity that accounted for the mere spilling into a pile.

    The Rain Fairy argument only holds validity when some cause is being invoked specifically to account for some effect that is admitted to be adequately explained without reference to that cause.

    Unguided evolution is trillions of times better at explaining the ONH. I would call that “adequate”, wouldn’t you?

    I would call that a vague and seemingly hyperbolic assertion paired with some unstated assumptions. But once again you’ve avoided addressing the real issue, which is that design is not actually invoked to explain what you say is so much better explained by “unguided evolution”, and so your Rain Fairy argument is meaningless and misguided.

    Let’s consider a generic example.

    Suppose we have effects X, Y and Z and causes C1 and C2.

    If X, Y and Z are agreed to be adequately explained by C1, invoking C2 is superfluous and the Rain Fairy criticism is warranted.

    But if someone happens to have religious reasons for doing so, they may invoke C2 despite its superfluity and poor fit to the evidence.

    That statement is completely irrelevant to what is actually happening, but it illustrates your poor grasp of the situation.

    If X and Y are adequately explained by C1, but Z is not, and Z is adequately explained by C2, but X and Y are not, then it is not gratuitous to invoke both C1 and C2 and the Rain Fairy criticism is unwarranted.

    What are X and Y in the case of the ID debate, and can you show that they necessitate a designer?

    Why would you ask that question and then clip out the next statements that answered it?

    It is this last one that most closely resembles the current issue under dispute (even allowing the alleged existence of the ONH and that an ONH, in general, is more likely to result from a naturalistic process),

    Trillions of times more likely to result from unguided evolution, I remind you. 🙂

    I don’t need to be reminded of your assertions that you refuse to answer questions about or respond to criticisms of.

    Of course, another problem with your analogies is that they use examples where nothing happens between the start and end of the process that seems remotely unusual given gravity. Once the salt shaker is tipped over, the salt falls from the shaker to the food with no unexpected phenomena arising in the process.

    Likewise, unguided evolution produces the ONH as expected. No surprise at all, so no need to invoke a designer.

    And it’s no surprise you managed to make it all this way without remotely getting or addressing the point that my whole comment was centered around.

    But as someone else mentioned, if the salt fell into the form of a functioning calculator, or if it changed into a tiny pot of gold between the shaker and your steak, you would suspect that something other than gravity was required to explain the effect you were observing.

    Sure.

    Likewise, between the root of the alleged ONH and the tips of its twigs, we see things happening that are highly unexpected based on what we know of unguided natural processes…

    Not to me, and not to evolutionary biologists.

    Yes, well if you simply make the unwarranted assumption that “unguided evolution” can accomplish anything, including the unguided coordinated evolution of tightly integrated complex systems, then of course it doesn’t look to you like there’s anything unexpected happening at any point in the history of life when significant change and innovation takes place. In principle, nothing of this nature could ever be unexpected. But then you are also simply assuming without argument or evidence the very thing that is under dispute in the ID debate and that design is invoked to explain, and even if we were to grant that “unguided evolution” is a trillion times more likely to produce an ONH than design (which I don’t grant at all, BTW), it doesn’t follow at all that “unguided evolution” is even remotely as likely as design to produce those complex, functionally-specified systems and molecular machines, so your silly Rain Fairy argument wouldn’t be valid here either.

    You’ll need to make a case for that — and your case needs to be strong enough to compensate for UE’s trillions-to-one advantage in explaining the ONH.

    Well, actually, the case for ID is that much more convincing than “unguided evolution” for the things it is invoked to explain, but no, I don’t need it to be to compensate for your claimed advantage of “unguided evolution” in explaining ONH because they are two different issues and not necessarily mutually exclusive. Once again, this just shows your inability to keep the issues straight.

    These are things that ID is invoked to explain; not the mere structure of an alleged ONH itself. ID allows that much of that structure, to the extent it actually exists, is caused by natural processes of diversification acting on robust genetic systems that were specifically designed to allow that subsequent diversification, but which constrain it to keep organisms viable (not to mention that the observed processes of diversification consistently trend in the wrong direction for you to attempt to extrapolate them into the macroevolutionary development of complex novel systems).

    You’ll need to make a very strong case. Good luck with that.

    For what? I’ve already addressed this. I’ve gotten nothing from you on it other than crickets chirping.

    So, in summary, the Rain Fairy distraction claims that ID is superfluous, not that it is wrong…

    No, it’s both. Even ignoring the superfluity of the Rain Fairy, unguided evolution is a far better explanation because it fits the evidence so well.

    Which, as I said, would make ID superfluous. Not wrong. The claim that “unguided evolution” allegedly explains the evidence so well (being more expected statistically rather than even being more causally adequate) wouldn’t necessarily mean ID was wrong. It could still be right. But invoking it would just be unwarranted because there would already be a more parsimonious explanation.

    …but it claims it is superfluous with reference to some phenomenon that it is not being invoked to explain in the first place, and then it pretends that it has thereby shown ID to be superfluous with reference to “the evidence”, in general, when “the evidence” in this case is being arbitrarily limited to the feature that ID is not being invoked to explain.

    None of that matters unless you can show that ID is actually needed in order to explain the other features.

    Perhaps you should try actually interacting with comments I’ve made in this thread and in the OP since I’ve already raised relevant issues, which you have studiously ignored.

    And again, your case has to be strong enough to counter the trillions-to-one UE advantage with respect to the ONH.

    As I’ve already said, no it doesn’t. You are just failing to keep the issues straight in your head. The two issues are not inextricably linked. There’s not actually even a need for them to be in competition. Your inability to recognize this is contributing to your inability to recognize the inanity of your constant harping about Rain Fairies and Salt Leprechauns.

    It’s so utterly confused and obviously wrong that it’s hard to figure out why anyone needs to point this out to you. Again, one feels the need to assume that either you just don’t have any grasp of what does and does not make a good argument, or else there is a heap of unstated assumptions or premises that are leading you to think this argument looks good when it looks incredibly dumb to people like myself.

    You and Phinehas crack me up. 🙂

    Well, I’m glad we can help you laugh at yourself, but it would probably be good if you spent less time laughing and more time thinking and substantively interacting with comments.

    If you expect me to continue with this discussion, start responding to my actual comments instead of blathering on about Fairies. I have other things to do in life. Choosing to excise oneself from a pointless discussion with someone who refuses to do anything other repeat disputed assertions like a mantra is not “running away”. And doggedly hanging around to repeat those mantras rather than simply giving up and wandering away doesn’t make you brave. The fact that you keep commenting doesn’t mean you’re actually saying anything … only that you’re trying to give the illusion that you are. You aren’t actually defending your argument here. You’re only repeating it. And goading people who inform you that they’re going to give up on the conversation if you continue being non-responsive and ignoring their actual comments simply makes you look foolish.

  398. goodusername

    When a mutation happens its called a disease, PCD will attempt to correct it, when PCD itself becomes compromised it self destructs the organism…. that is what I’m saying…..

    PCD is vital in ALL

    Simply put, the principle is that all of a multicellular organism’s cells are prepared to suicide when needed for the benefit of the organism as a whole. They eliminate themselves in a very carefully programmed way so as to minimize damage to the larger organism. Moreover, they don’t do it only when things go wrong! The apoptosis mechanism is a normal and creative aspect of multicellular life. Orchestrated apoptosis helps the growing embryo to sculpt many aspects of its final form. It is also a part of normal “maintenance.” Every year the average human loses half of his/her body weight in cells via apoptosis! And apoptosis protects the organism from “rogue” cells because such cells self-destruct when their internal mechanisms go wrong except when the apoptosis mechanism itself is compromised, as happens in the development of cancer.

    Because apoptosis is so crucial to the growth and survival of multicellular organisms, it is carefully intertwined with the other three multicellular principles.

    The detection of markers typical for metazoan programmed cell death (PCD) in diverse protozoan parasites raised a debate about the evolution of PCD processes and its impact on the biology of single-celled parasites. By applying the unified criteria recently developed for metazoan cell death, the conclusion is made that cell death in protozoan parasites also occurs in a programmed fashion. Several molecules or pathways which regulate PCD in higher eukaryotes have been implicated in the death of unicellular parasites. Furthermore, we emphasize that PCD enables the regulation of parasite densities in distinct host compartments and aids in avoiding inflammatory responses, thereby facilitating a sustained infection. We therefore propose that PCD pathways might represent ideal targets to combat protozoan parasites by their own means.

    More here!

    http://mmbr.asm.org/content/64/3/503.full

    PCD is vital for both uni-cellular and multi-cellular organisms without it there is no working cells

  399. Ooohhhhhh this is priceless and confirms the self destruct….

    It appears that proliferating mutants arising at stationary state are dead-end variants that lead to a hostile takeover, resulting in the death of the population.

    PCD goes BOOM!

  400. So to recap again!

    PCD kills unguided evolution dead!

  401. And some more….. the list is endless!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9347220

  402. From the OP:

    Keith responded by pointing me to his original article at TSZ. After reading it, I came away thinking his argument was worse than I had originally thought…

    keiths should have directed you to the corrected/amended version.

  403. When a mutation happens its called a disease, PCD will attempt to correct it, when PCD itself becomes compromised it self destructs the organism…. that is what I’m saying…..

    Some mutations cause disease. Despite the systems in place to abate the number of mutations, each of us still have plenty of them:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....012758.htm

  404. keiths:

    I appreciate the attention my argument is getting, but could we please limit discussion to one thread for a while?

    Feel free to limit your discussion to a single thread. No one here is going to stop you. Please just let us all know which thread you choose.

    I even bet that if you summarized your “bomb” argument and the most serious objections to it that have been posted here at UD, and asked nicely, you’d be allowed a guest post.

    Assuming you take anyone here who disagrees with you seriously.

  405. Goodusername….

    I’ve spoken about this before PCD does have a degree of fault tolerance. But do you understand what it means?

    http://www.dtic.ua.es/asignaturas/STF/art18.pdf

    Did you miss that?

  406. HeKS #400,

    There are a lot of words in your comment, but not much substance.

    That is exactly why I wanted us to address one issue at a time, so that you would be forced to respond substantively to my arguments instead of hiding behind a smokescreen of words and tangential statements.

    I’m going to try to focus the conversation on specific areas of disagreement. Please do your best to stay on point and rein in your verbosity.

    keiths:

    The analogy to ID is obvious. “Leprechaun” corresponds to “designer”. “Pile” corresponds to “ONH”. “Unguided gravity” corresponds to “unguided evolution.” “Barriers to gravity” correspond to “barriers to unguided evolution.”

    Now admittedly, the leprechaun hypothesis is ridiculous. But that’s precisely my point. ID uses the same logic and is just as ridiculous.

    HeKS:

    How do you not see that this is blatantly wrong?

    Because I’ve thought about it more carefully than you have.

    In your ridiculous leprechaun argument, it is being invoked to explain the simple phenomenon of the salt falling into a pile, but with regard to your argument, nobody has claimed that the barriers relate to the shape of the tree. We’re not claiming that there’s something that prevents “unguided evolution” (setting aside the disputes over that term) from generally resulting in the shape of an ONH. And we’re not invoking design to account for the shape of the alleged tree.

    But they do. Derived characters are not limited to simple ones that IDers would willingly attribute to unguided evolution. They include features chock full of “CSI”.

    The formation of the ONH therefore cannot be teased apart from the production of features exhibiting CSI. So if the Designer is producing features with CSI, the Designer is also producing the ONH.

    I look forward to your reply.

    Remember, please stick to the topic. Less complaining, more substance and concision.

  407. Mung,

    I even bet that if you summarized your “bomb” argument and the most serious objections to it that have been posted here at UD, and asked nicely, you’d be allowed a guest post.

    I’m planning to do an OP like that at TSZ over the weekend. I’ll link to it, but if Barry would like to cross-post it here, that would be great too.

  408. Keith S

    I’m probably going to get banned now, also ok…..

    Because I’ve thought about it more carefully than you have.

    This is a statement made by a guy who himself admits we can’t be certain. I have thought about this more carefully than you have and I have come to the conclusion that; Keith S you are [snip]!

    [–> Andre, please watch language, though relatively mild that’s too far. Broken window theory. KF]

  409. Folks:

    I think we need to understand some agit-prop rhetorical strategies that are at work:

    1: Notice how the focus has been pulled away from the central issue put on the table across the ’70’s by Orgel and Wicken, i.e. of functionally specific, complex organisation and information as a key, characteristic feature of life needing to be explained in light of general causal factors? (Namely, mechanical necessity and/or chance and/or design, aspect by aspect?)

    2: Notice, how the logic of induction in science, per inference to best current observationally anchored explanation (namely, that on trillions of examples, the only known cause of FSCO/I is design) is being given short shrift on this?

    3: Notice, how the very existence of FSCO/I was derided, and dismissed in a cloud of pretzel-twisting strawman distortions, and that the actual demonstration by example and corrections of distortions have simply not been acknowledged as cogent?

    4: Notice, how the myth of objective nested hierarchies as characterising the pattern of life has instead been put on the table and corrections that in fact there are serious inconsistencies in taxonomy such that especially the hoped for breakthrough molecular “trees” are inconsistent with both the traditional categorisation and with one another?

    5: Notice, again, that corrective responses to claims, whether focussed on one aspect or across the board, are either studiously ignored or are subjected to further pretzel twisting distortions and that at no point is the cogency of corrections acknowledged?

    6: Notice, how additional ridicule-loaded mostly “demonic” caricatures of design theory are constantly being put on the table, such as explaining rain by rain fairies, piles of salt from a saltshaker by leprechauns, flushing toilet vortices by invisible whales, planets in orbit by angels pushing?

    7: Notice a startling lack of willingness to concede the cogency of essentially any point raised by an “IDiot,” and the linked lack of an evident responsiveness to duties of care to accuracy, truth and fairness — often joined to turnspeech projections of blame if such matters are raised?

    8: Notice, the number of fact, fact FACT confident manner assurances on how the no true scotsman disagrees institutional dominance of the a priori materialist, scientism driven evolutionary materialist school of thought has such utter proof of its claims, backed by a persistent refusal to lay out an adequate summary linked to appropriately decisive evidence from OOL to origin of major body plans as main branches, to twigs such as we constitute?

    None of that is accidental.

    We are not dealing with genuine dialogue here, but with agit-prop aimed at “message” dominance in an essentially ideologised and closed, circular thinking, evolutionary frame of mind.

    We are dealing with ideology and agit-prop techniques driven by the principle that dominance is to be exerted by pushing talking points and exciting polarisation and mind-closing dismissals, not by actually warranting a case.

    After all, for many of those who are deeply indoctrinated and polarised against design thought, the case for evolutionary materialism (or some accommodationist fellow traveller view if that’s a personal choice) is beyond doubt.

    Beyond doubt to the point that if you disagree you “must” be ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Indeed, you must be a theocratic creationist believer in fairy tales, invisible spirits and demonic magic. “Theocrat,” being measured by the yardstick of Torquemada or the Taliban, not those who opposed and objected. (And don’t tell us that Bible-believing Christians and influences of Christian theology had anything to do with the rise of modern liberty and democratic self government of a free people . . . that, too is settled fact, fact FACT. Religion is a dangerous threat to “freedom,” and we cannot allow it to censor Science! And what do you mean that there is a material difference between liberty and a counterfeit, abusive and disrespectfully exploitative license? [What, you dare point to Webster’s 1828! That’s outdated, it cannot be relevant to what the US DoI and Constitution mean, the Courts, Profs and Pundits have told us better.] And, much more.)

    Let’s lay out a few notes:

    a –> A very common rhetorical pattern used by evolutionary materialist advocates and talking point carriers, is to drag red herrings across the track of a discussion on the merits, then lead them to a strawman caricature soaked in subtle or blatant ad hominems. Then, though subtle snideness or more blatant accusations, the fire of the rhetorical auto da fe is lit, clouding, confusing, poisoning and polarising the atmosphere, frustrating clear thought, reasoned discussion and breaking down civility.

    b –> This opens the door for the amoral, nihilistic, radical relativist agenda that might and manipulation leading to dominance make ‘right,’ ‘truth,’ ‘knowledge’ and ‘policy.’ (Not even first principles of right reason and self-evident first truths are safe from attack.)

    c –> Design theory, as any honest and serious observer knows, pivots on the concept that we may legitimately, inductively infer causal factor [across mechanical necessity, chance driven stochastic contingency and intelligently directed contingency) from empirically evident signs, especially functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information. (Which FSCO/I is an easily observed fact — think Abu 6500 C3 reel exploded view diagram — that via the involved Wicken wiring diagram, may be specified as to information involved by using a structured string of y/n q’s that specify the functional state from the field of possible clumped or scattered states of the components.)

    d –> For me, one of the pivotal diagnostic signs has been the studious unresponsiveness of objectors to even the simple concrete example of FSCO/I given by the Abu-Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3 fishing reel, that I have spoken of repeatedly and illustrated time after time.

    e –> This is a concrete demonstration of the reality of FSCO/I as a commonplace of a technological world that therefore cannot be mere question-begging, as it is a demonstrable empirical fact. One that routinely traces to design. But, that is studiously ignored and there is an actions speak louder than words refusal to acknowledge error in dismissiveness towards the reality of FSCO/I.

    f –> Notice, too, that when this pattern — following Orgel and Wicken — is extended to concrete cases from the world of life such as the NC machinery that assembles proteins in the ribosome using mRNA as a coded tape and loaded tRNa’s as osition-arm devices that click successive AA’s to string a protein, that is studiously ignored.

    g –> Likewise, if one compares say a petroleum refinery’s process flow system of integrated reactions with the far more sophisticated one in the living cell, that is predictably studiously ignored, never mind the exchanges between Orgel and Shapiro, on how genes first and metabolism first schools of thought on OOL have come to mutual impasse. Precisely because of the FSCO/I to be explained in Darwin’s pond or the like. (Oh, there’s organic chemicals on that comet! Functionally specific complex organisation and info leading to metabolic and/or genetic processes in a gated, encapsulated metabolising automaton using proteins or analogues, not so much. But, we are looking for those little things that we fit into an a priori materialist, scientism driven circle of thought.)

    h –> The zero concessions to IDiots policy, in short.

    i –> As for insistently claimed nested hierarchies, that pivots on a known falsity. There is no objective, convergent evidence backed nested hierarchy of life forms driven by an indisputable branching tree evolutionary pattern, as can be seen from the linked excerpts of Graham Lawton, in “Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life,” New Scientist (January 21, 2009):

    “For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” says Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France. A few years ago it looked as though the grail was within reach. But today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence. Many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded. “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality,” says Bapteste. That bombshell has even persuaded some that our fundamental view of biology needs to change . . . .

    The problems began in the early 1990s when it became possible to sequence actual bacterial and archaeal genes rather than just RNA. Everybody expected these DNA sequences to confirm the RNA tree, and sometimes they did but, crucially, sometimes they did not. RNA, for example, might suggest that species A was more closely related to species B than species C, but a tree made from DNA would suggest the reverse . . . .

    Syvanen recently compared 2000 genes that are common to humans, frogs, sea squirts, sea urchins, fruit flies and nematodes. In theory, he should have been able to use the gene sequences to construct an evolutionary tree showing the relationships between the six animals. He failed. The problem was that different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories. This was especially true of sea-squirt genes. Conventionally, sea squirts—also known as tunicates—are lumped together with frogs, humans and other vertebrates in the phylum Chordata, but the genes were sending mixed signals. Some genes did indeed cluster within the chordates, but others indicated that tunicates should be placed with sea urchins, which aren’t chordates. “Roughly 50 per cent of its genes have one evolutionary history and 50 per cent another,” Syvanen says.

    Similarly, W. Ford Doolittle, “Phylogenetic Classification and the Universal Tree,” Science, Vol. 284:2124-2128 (June 25, 1999):

    Molecular phylogenists will have failed to find the ‘true tree,’ not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree.

    And again, Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is?, pg. 113 (Basic Books, 2001):

    It had been shown that by morphological-phylogenetic research that photoreceptor organs (eyes) had developed at least 40 times independently during the evolution of animal diversity. A developmental geneticist, however, showed that all animals with eyes have the same regulator gene, Pax 6, which organizes the construction of the eye. It was therefore at first concluded that all eyes were derived from a single ancestral eye with the Pax 6 gene. But then the geneticist also found Pax 6 in species without eyes, and proposed that they must have descended from ancestors with eyes. However, this scenario turned out to be quite improbable and the wide distribution of Pax 6 required a different explanation. It is now believed that Pax 6, even before the origin of eyes, had an unknown function in eyeless organisms, and was subsequently recruited for its role as an eye organizer.

    j –> And if you think IDiots can be simply brushed off, consider this, on lizards, by Jonathan Losos:

    Traditionally, based on morphological analysis, lizards were thought to split into two groups, the iguanians (including anoles, other iguanids, agamids, and chameleons) and scleroglossans (everything else, including snakes). However, starting with a paper by Townsend et al. in 2004, a different picture emerged in which iguanians were nested high in lizard phylogeny, closely related to anguimorphs (such as alligator lizards, gila monsters, and monitors) and snakes. A series of subsequent studies came to essentially the same conclusion, most recently the output of the “Deep Scaly” NSF Tree of Life project which sequenced DNA from 44 genes.

    I think that most of the field had come to accept that the molecular tree was correct. But along comes a paper by the morphology team of Deep Scaly, a remarkable analysis in which 194 species were all micro-CT scanned and examined in others ways, leading to a data set of more than 600 morphological characters, 247 never previously used in phylogenetic studies. Analyzed with state-of-the-art methods, the results resoundingly support the original morphological tree and give absolutely no morphological support for the new molecular tree. The authors do an excellent job in not being strident in insisting that the morphological tree is correct, but just highlighting how very unusual morphological evolution must have been if the molecular tree is correct. Moreover, the authors note that based on analyses including the molecular data, the “Archaeopteryx” of squamates, Huehuecuetzpalli mixtecus, is placed high in the phylogeny, rather than in the basal position where morphology has long placed it. If, indeed, the molecules are right, what does that say about our ability to ever reliably place fossil species in a phylogeny?

    Either the morphological or the molecular tree is incorrect, and either molecular or morphological data have been evolving in a way for which there is no good explanation. This is truly a conundrum, which was the point of a perspective piece just published by David Hillis, Harry Greene, and me. We don’t have any answers, but thought it was an interesting enough question worthy of further attention. [Losos, “Morphology And Molecules Give Fundamentally Conflicting Results For Lizard Phylogeny.” Who is this IDiot? Oh, “Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.”]

    k –> In other words, there is an unresolved material gap between the confident manner talking points on ONHs and the actual state of taxonomy. The foundation of KS’ bomb argument has fizzled, again. As usual. But, predictably, there will be zero concessions.

    l –> In case you doubt this, let me clip from my FTR given in response to a direct challenge at a time when business had surged, and for which there was no appropriate responsiveness nor withdrawal of some fairly snide insinuations:

    U/D Nov 5: On continued presentation of the claim, I used VJT’s skeletal summary of the KS argument to summarise a response on points, here:

    I’d note, on points:

    >> 1. We observe objective nested hierarchies (ONH)>>

    Not quite, the homology/ resemblance implies relationship by descent principle even at gross level (eyes, wings etc) leads to “except where it doesn’t” and the diverse molecular trees undercut this claim. Diverse embryological development paths for obviously close creatures, also raise questions. Molecular structures and embryological development programs will be at least as important as gross ones.

    >>2. Unguided evolution explains ONH>>

    Begs the question of origin of FSCO/I on blind chance + mechanical necessity, in the teeth of strong evidence that the only observed source is design. So, we see a red herring and a question-begging assumption that plays to an indoctrinated gallery. Where origin/ source of FSCO/I is a bridge between OOL and origin of body plans requiring novel cell types, tissues, organs, arrangements and regulatory programs (esp. in embryological development). So, start at the root, OOL. No empirically grounded needle in haystack challenge plausible answer save design. How design is effected is secondary to that it credibly was effected.

    >>3. A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives.>>

    The word trillion is patently put in to rhetorically counter the fact that there are now — thanks to the Internet — trillions of cases in point of the observed source of FSCO/I, design; the only such observed source. That rhetorical device of distraction needs to be noted.

    The next issue is the second diversion, from design — intelligently directed configuration — detected on tested empirically reliable sign, to the rhetoric of the Designer is God and evocation of the train of thoughts, we fear, loathe and hate God and think of followers of God with contempt — Dawkins’ recent writings being exhibit A. Multiplied by the radical attempt to question-beggingly redefine science on a priori materialism, warping its inferences on the past of origins through demanding that we substitute for the longstanding inference on natural [= chance plus necessity] vs the ART-ificial [= intelligently configured] spoken of by Plato and Newton alike, to natural vs supernatural. Where the latter is caricatured and dismissed as beyond science.

    In fact, per empirically tested reliable signs, we routinely infer intelligently directed configuration on FSCO/I as sign — no one here thinks posts in this thread came about by lucky noise instead. The difference being exerted on cases of origins boils down to ideologically motivated selective hyperskepticism.

    Next, tree-patterns shaped by design constraints and purposes are a commonplace pattern of designs. That is the existence of a treelike pattern is empirically known to be a result of design.

    Linked, there is the problem of systematically missing transitionals, known since Darwin’s day. He hoped that future work would fill in but with 1/4 million species, millions of cases in museums and billions seen in the ground, the same pattern of distinct and separate forms without smooth incremental transitions remains. The idea of an organic incrementally branching pattern is projected unto the evidence not drawn out from it. But as those familiar with the problem of ideologically loaded misreading of situations backed by the fallacy of the closed mind know, undoing this error is very difficult.

    Psychologically, it normally takes breakdown, at personal or community level. Just ask former cultists and former Marxists willing to speak plainly.

    What is warranted, then, is just this: A designer explains ONH, but also a trillion alternatives

    And with that, the rest of the anti-design argument collapses.

    >>4. Both unguided evolution and a designer are capable of causing ONH.>>

    Therefore, there is no reason to use tree patterns (and note again the dynanmics challenges above) to try to distinguish the two.

    The argument collapses, pfft, like a stabbed tyre.

    >>Conclusion: Unguided evolution is a trillion times better at explaining ONH. >>

    This does not follow from the above chain of argument.

    As has been pointed out in several ways from several directions.

    m –> In reply to the invisible rain fairies, angels pushing planets, etc, we can simply point to the longstanding per aspect causal factor explanatory filter that after years as a critic of UD, KS seemingly cannot simply accurately summarise (that is, yet another tiresomely familiar case of strawman caricatures):

    1: The first default is that an observable aspect of an object or phenomenon traces to mechanical necessity rooted in lawlike built in forces and dynamics of the world.

    2: this explains planetary orbits, the orbit of the Moon, falling apples, falling raindrops and falling salt grains alike . . . as was worked out by Newton as part of his synthesis of Natural Law 350 years ago. And which grand system of law and diversity of phenomena he saw in his General Scholium to Principia, as being beyond the capacity of onward bare necessity and.or mere chance, attributing it to the architect, ruler and sustainer of the cosmos, about whom signs in the world around us spoke.

    3: Likewise, the scattering of grains of salt on falling speaks to high contingency on similar initial circumstances, reflecting a stochastic pattern of plausibly high likelihood.

    4: That is, we see an aspect credibly explained on stochastic contingency, i.e. blind chance. On high contingency, chance is the second default, as lawlike necessity does not plausibly account for high contingency.

    5: Where of course both the falling rain and the falling salt grains exhibit a dynamic-stochastic process involving both necessity and chance. No invisible magical rain fairies or leprechauns in sight. Those are simply contempt laced, loaded strawman caricatures projected unto design thinkers.

    6: But isn’t an invisible God just that, invisible and supernatural? That too is a loaded projection, the design inference is strictly about observable signs of design as process, not about who is or may be a candidate source of the design. Arson is not equal to arsonist, one can easily know the first without knowing the second. But also, have you ever seen a mind? Or, have you seen bodies and inferred to intelligent persons activating the bodies? Where it is a very serious error to imagine that you can account for the knowing, reasoning choosing mind adequately on neural tissues as computational substrates.

    7: You doubt me? Ponder famed evolutionary theorist J B S Haldane:

    It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    8: There you go, meandering all over the place aimlessly! Nope, on years of observation, I am reading and responding to a well known indoctrination-rooted pattern of thought and its likely dismissive talking points. Invisible actors, the supernatural, fairy tales etc are all contempt laced dismissals targetting the mind and the possibility of God as a serious candidate to be designer of the cosmos or of life. Where also in imagined cleverness, 1984 double speech allusions and hints for the in-group . . . The indoctrinated group (who do not spot that the triggers for the built in dismissive sub routines embedded in their indoctrination are being punched) . . . are being used. And if you do not see that anti-theism is a strong source of the motivation in the objector camp, you are naive.

    9: The toilet bowl’s swirling vortex is exploiting forces and materials of nature, but as the FSCO?i rich structure points out the FSCO/I involved is a clue as to the source, design. That is it is not invisible mini whales but equally invisible engineering minds acting through engineers’ bodies that are responsible for the action of the toilet bowl on flushing. Swirling action is very effective for purpose.

    10: Thus we see how reasonable inference to design on FSCO/I is. So reasonable in fact that loaded caricatures have to be built to help dismiss it.

    11: The explanatory filter and design inference on empirically identified strong signs are again seen to be well warranted.

    n –> Now, none of these observations are particularly new, though some of the examples are. Predictably, there will be utter unresponsiveness to cogent arguments, and there will be yet more side tracks and snip-distort-snipe strawman tactics.

    o –> And all of these will be distractive from the most direct challenge of all. For all the boasting on fact, fact FACT, evolutionary materialism advocates have not actually properly warranted their argument across the three of life on the merits. As a strong sign of that, watch to see how, predictably, they will continue to dodge the UD tree of life essay challenge. Two years and counting so far. The composite I had to put together from in-thread responses was not satisfactory, the Wiki articles on Abiogenesis and on the evolutionary grand narrative were not satisfactory, and Theobald stumbled out the starting gates by begging big questions, including of course fact, fact, FACT.

    ___________

    So, the bottomline challenge is back on the table: evolutionary materialism advocates need to justify their OOL and body plan level macro evolutionary claims and narratives, including justifying on observations and credible analysis te implied claim that FSCO/I can and does with reasonable probability, arise by blind chance and mechanical necessity, in ways relevant to the tree of life. There is an open invitation, let’s see if there is anyone of those who are so eager to object to the design inference who are willing and able to actually warrant their own claims.

    Gramps was right.

    Every tub must stand on its own bottom.

    Let’s see . . .

    KF

  410. KF

    Please accept my apology was just trying to highlight a point on the idea of thinking more than others……

    [–> Understood, but we need to be careful of opening the door to a game of personalities. KF]

  411. @Keith #409

    There are a lot of words in your comment, but not much substance.

    For goodness sake. Of course there wasn’t much substance in that comment. That was the whole point. You complained that I hadn’t responded to your point-for-point “response” and I was pointing out there was nothing of any substance in it for me to respond to. We’re at a place where I just have to point out to you over and over, paragraph after paragraph, that you’re either missing, ignoring or misrepresenting what I’ve said and simply repeating your own assertions without defending them or answering any questions about them. You’re giving me nothing of any substance to respond to, complaining that I don’t respond to your insubstantial nonsense and misrepresentations, and then, when I do, complaining that the result is not substantive … as though it could be.

    That is exactly why I wanted us to address one issue at a time, so that you would be forced to respond substantively to my arguments instead of hiding behind a smokescreen of words and tangential statements.

    What a joke. You just keep telling yourself that Keith.

    I started with a substantive discussion and you just pretended like I hadn’t said anything. And now, apparently, the reason you’ve either ignored or misrepresented virtually everything I’ve said from square one, refused to answer every question I’ve asked, and have simply repeated your assertions over and over as though they’ve never been challenged is so that you could force me to deal substantively with … what exactly? Your tid-bit misrepresentations? Your unsubstantiated assertions that you refuse to either justify or defend? And this approach that you opened with, right from the start, was apparently triggered by an insubstantial comment from me just a short while ago, which was intentionally insubstantial to point out that weren’t saying anything of substance for me to respond to. Time travel must be cool.

    Well, at least we know now that you apparently demonstrate your desire for a substantive discussion by ignoring and/or misrepresenting everything that is said to you. And apparently you’ve decided that the way to have a substantive discussion about your argument is to insist that you will only talk about your foolish false analogy of Rain Fairies and Salt Leprechauns, but will refuse to discuss or field any questions about the premises of your argument, its underlying assumptions, or the logic that is supposed to hold it all together.

    At this point I can’t tell if you are simply a troll or if you really think you’re giving a good showing in this discussion.

    I’m going to try to focus the conversation on specific areas of disagreement. Please do your best to stay on point and rein in your verbosity.

    There needs to be some point to actually stay on, Keith.

    The more I think about this, the funnier I find this “discussion” to be. I’m trying to remember another time in the past 15 years or so when I’ve been engaged in debate with a person who offers some argument and then effectively says, “I will only discuss this particular aspect of my argument. If you want to challenge my argument, you are only allowed to challenge it in the way that I say and talk about the things that I want you to.”

    Oh yes, now I recall … never. It has never happened. It’s a joke. The fact that you keep acting as though you’re scoring points is the punchline.

    keiths:

    The analogy to ID is obvious. “Leprechaun” corresponds to “designer”. “Pile” corresponds to “ONH”. “Unguided gravity” corresponds to “unguided evolution.” “Barriers to gravity” correspond to “barriers to unguided evolution.”

    Now admittedly, the leprechaun hypothesis is ridiculous. But that’s precisely my point. ID uses the same logic and is just as ridiculous.

    HeKS:

    How do you not see that this is blatantly wrong?

    Because I’ve thought about it more carefully than you have.

    In your ridiculous leprechaun argument, it is being invoked to explain the simple phenomenon of the salt falling into a pile, but with regard to your argument, nobody has claimed that the barriers relate to the shape of the tree. We’re not claiming that there’s something that prevents “unguided evolution” (setting aside the disputes over that term) from generally resulting in the shape of an ONH. And we’re not invoking design to account for the shape of the alleged tree.

    But they do.

    Who or what is “they”?

    Derived characters are not limited to simple ones that IDers would willingly attribute to unguided evolution. They include features chock full of “CSI”.

    The issue is not what gets inherited. The inheritance of complex systems is not the problem. It is the introduction of the systems that needs to be explained. This is what design is invoked to explain.

    The formation of the ONH therefore cannot be teased apart from the production of features exhibiting CSI. So if the Designer is producing features with CSI, the Designer is also producing the ONH.

    The structure of the ONH, if it exists, and if we allow that it results naturalistically, derives from the inheritance of existing traits through branching descent. But even if we allow that the ultimate ONH distribution of traits can be explained by their inheritance through branching descent, it does not follow that the appearance of complex novel biological systems, molecular machines or traits can be explained by the inheritance of traits through branching descent. You are insisting that the same simple process that would ultimately give an ONH its final shape must also be able to explain the existence and introduction of all the content/data that it hierarchically organizes, which simply doesn’t make any sense.

    You also seem to be arguing that if a designer either adds to or produces any aspect or part of an ONH, he/she must therefore have directly and specifically instantiated every element present in the entire hierarchy and done so in a way that conforms to the alleged ONH, which is an obviously absurd all-or-nothing proposition.

    But of course, I’m here still speaking within a framework that, for the sake of argument, simply grants assertions you’ve made, because you won’t actually address any points or answer any questions that don’t fall in the line with the way that you want to try to defend your argument. This really is insane.

  412. keith s projects:

    There are a lot of words in your comment, but not much substance.

    That’s you and Zachriel, keith. Nice job at projection.

  413. Me Think:

    IMHO it would be great if ID spent some time identifying designer or even if there is single or multiple designers with various designing styles.

    How do you suggest we do that? And why does that have to be done before we determine intelligent design is present?

  414. keith s:

    If you still don’t understand that the ONH is real, objective, and confirmed to an astounding precision, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

    LoL! Anyone who thinks that unguided evolution would produce an ONH is way beyond help, especially seeing that the claim has been thoroughly refuted by reality.

    However we all know how evos love to deny reality…

  415. F/N: After 24 hours of unresponsiveness, I have headlined comment 221 FTR. KF

  416. F/N: Rain fairies, planet pushing angels, Leprechauns, and invisible whales are all addressed in 412 above. I predict — hoping but not expecting this to be falsified by a fresh approach from KS et al — that this too will meet studious ignoring or pretzel-twisting dismissals, or snip and snipe. Let’s see . . . KF

    PS: HeKS, I understand your sense of frustration, produced by the effects of the rhetorical tactics being used. (and BTW, exposing rhetorical tactics is a major focus for this thread.)

  417. Andre,

    There was a reason that I asked you (at #333) to describe in your own words:

    Which particular aspects of the PCD pathways are absolute prerequisites for cellular life, and why?

    Andre cutting and pasting:

    Simply put, the principle is that all of a multicellular organism’s cells are prepared to suicide when needed for the benefit of the organism as a whole. They eliminate themselves in a very carefully programmed way so as to minimize damage to the larger organism. Moreover, they don’t do it only when things go wrong! The apoptosis mechanism is a normal and creative aspect of multicellular life. Orchestrated apoptosis helps the growing embryo to sculpt many aspects of its final form. It is also a part of normal “maintenance.” Every year the average human loses half of his/her body weight in cells via apoptosis! And apoptosis protects the organism from “rogue” cells because such cells self-destruct when their internal mechanisms go wrong except when the apoptosis mechanism itself is compromised, as happens in the development of cancer.

    Because apoptosis is so crucial to the growth and survival of multicellular organisms, it is carefully intertwined with the other three multicellular principles.

    http://www.evolutionofcomputin.....tosis.html
    a curious source for biology

    It appears that proliferating mutants arising at stationary state are dead-end variants that lead to a hostile takeover, resulting in the death of the population.

    Lewis, 2000

    Andre using his own words:

    When a mutation happens its called a disease, PCD will attempt to correct it, when PCD itself becomes compromised it self destructs the organism…. that is what I’m saying…..

    Which does not really make any sense at all.

    I give credit to Andre for having the honesty to blockquote when he is borrowing someone else’s language. But I think he might be better served spending less time googling and cutting and pasting, and more time reading and thinking.
    Just saying.
    Dionisio might try this too.

  418. Zachriel: Gosh. If only we had evidence of extinction.

    Box: Well, do you have the evidence?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....fossil.jpg

    HD: Meaning, if God CHOSE to create, he creates and it has to manifest itself in reality somehow.

    And angels just have an inordinate fondness for orbits that look just like gravity theory would predict.

    HeKS: There are entailments to design which can be deduced once design is detected.

    Great! What are those entailments, the observations that you can deduce from design that an objective and independent observer can test?

    HeKS: We can’t say that the mere existence of some intelligent being entails the instantiation of some particular form of design.

    Then you don’t have entailments, after all. How disappointing. For instance, we can understand human design from their modus operandi, the similarity to previous designs, capabilities, motives, opportunity, their tools. Gee whiz, maybe they even left footprints.

    HeKS: but how do we know that the being wants to do that unless he either tells us or we observe that he has done it?

    It probably means you don’t have a testable hypothesis.

    HeKS: your Rain Fairy and angel references remain entirely misguided.

    They’re not analogies, but direct parallels. Planetary angels have no entailments; of all the possible ways to move planets, they just happen to like elliptical orbits for some inscrutable reasons. Your designer has no entailments; of all the possible patterns, she just happens to like nested hierarchies for some inscrutable reason.

    logically_speaking: The nested hierarchies you observe are not objective.

    Yes, they are. Nowadays, best fits are normally determined by computer algorithms.

    logically_speaking: Unfortunately using statistical analysis is worthless in this case. Comparing anything with similar features statistically with produce astounding statistical accuracy.

    It’s not a matter of simple similarity, but the nesting of traits.

    logically_speaking: First of all most people will in their lists put bats in with mammals thus producing a similar tree and they will do the same for many other animals in other trees.

    That’s what we mean by objective.

    logically_speaking: Second if we compared for example, ten medium sized sentences of the english language, we would discover using statistical analysis that the sentences are astoundingly similar.

    But they wouldn’t form an objective nested hierarchy.

    logically_speaking: I believe that it has been pointed out on several occasions that unguided evolution doe not predict an ONH.

    As we’ve pointed out many times, branching descent predicts the nested hierarchy.

    logically_speaking: Carl Linnaeus would disagree with you as the father of taxonomy, he classified life with the idea that God had created it, and therefore could be categorised in a logical way.

    No. He explicitly categorized organisms by trait, not due to any overarching theory.

    Andre: How does interconnected and shared pathways evolve in an unguided fashion?

    Your claim is that genes involved in apoptosis. such as BCL-2 can’t change, and they form trees of variation.

    HeKS: The structure of the ONH, if it exists,

    “If it exists”? That’s funny.

    HeKS: and if we allow that it results naturalistically, derives from the inheritance of existing traits through branching descent.

    That is correct.

    HeKS: But even if we allow that the ultimate ONH distribution of traits can be explained by their inheritance through branching descent, it does not follow that the appearance of complex novel biological systems, molecular machines or traits can be explained by the inheritance of traits through branching descent.

    That is also correct. It requires additional evidence to determine the mechanisms involved in shaping the tree. However, branching descent provides us the historical context to study those questions.

  419. 422

    HeKS writes:

    You [Keith S] also seem to be arguing that if a designer either adds to or produces any aspect or part of an ONH, he/she must therefore have directly and specifically instantiated every element present in the entire hierarchy and done so in a way that conforms to the alleged ONH, which is an obviously absurd all-or-nothing proposition.

    I think the basis of Keith’s argument is that the theory of evolution has the prerequisite entailment of common descent and that can be observed by a nested hierarchy of bifurcation. Analysis of morphological features and molecular methods both confirm the same nested hierarchy. That is the hypothesis is supported by available evidence.

    He contrasts this with the fact that there are no entailments for ID “theory” so there is no observation that can be made or experiment that can be done to disprove ID “theory”.

    I also think that we do not need to argue about whether the theory of evolution has any merit. We can, for the sake of argument, dismiss evolutionary theory from our minds and ask what is the theory of “Intelligent Design”. What does it predict, what does it explain? How does it work? What can be said about it without mentioning ToE?

  420. Zachriel:

    He explicitly categorized organisms by trait, not due to any overarching theory.

    That is incorrect. His theory was that of a common design. The only way an ONH could exist is if an intelligent designer made it so.

  421. Alicia Renard:

    I think the basis of Keith’s argument is that the theory of evolution has the prerequisite entailment of common descent and that can be observed by a nested hierarchy of bifurcation.

    There isn’t any theory of evolution and common descent does not expect an ONH. Bifurcation does not predict a nested hierarchy either. Transitional forms would ruin any attempt at constructing one.

    He contrasts this with the fact that there are no entailments for ID “theory”

    And yet I have posted the entatilments of ID. Weird, eh?

    There isn’t a ToE and Alicia cannot link to it.

  422. Alicia Renard said:

    I think the basis of Keith’s argument is that the theory of evolution has the prerequisite entailment of common descent and that can be observed by a nested hierarchy of bifurcation. Analysis of morphological features and molecular methods both confirm the same nested hierarchy. That is the hypothesis is supported by available evidence.

    Which is another reason keith’s argument is invalid; evolution would have that entailment whether it was guided or unguided.

    He contrasts this with the fact that there are no entailments for ID “theory” so there is no observation that can be made or experiment that can be done to disprove ID “theory”.

    Incorrect. Keith is not contrasting “evolution” with ID theory at all. Keith is attempting to contrast a scientifically unsupported characterization of evolution (“unguided”) with some personally imagined designer. ID theory makes no claims about the nature of any designer other than what the definitional term “designer” necessarily implies.

    We can, for the sake of argument, dismiss evolutionary theory from our minds and ask what is the theory of “Intelligent Design”. What does it predict, what does it explain? How does it work? What can be said about it without mentioning ToE?

    No, for god’s sake, don’t bother reading anything under the “Resources” tab at the top of every page.

  423. F/N: I have headlined 412 as FTR, with additional illustrations and a video, with particular emphasis on the per aspect design inference explanatory filter. Discussion continues here in this thread. KF

  424. Several threads and probably over a thousand posts later, Keith still refuses to show us where science has vetted evolutionary processes as “unguided”, which is a premise essential to his argument.

    Instead, Keith simply insists that he doesn’t have to, and posts examples/analogies that assume/reiterate the very premise being challenged.

  425. Keith #379,

    Keith #379:
    Suppose I take five standard US coins from my piggy bank and place them in a row on the tabletop. Each coin is either a penny, a nickel, a dime, or a quarter. I then phone you, tell you what I’ve done, and ask you how likely it is that the second coin from the right is a dime. What would your answer be?

    First, your example is superfluous. You don’t need a row. You only need to ask ‘I have a coin on my tabletop, how likely is it that it is a dime?’ Zero difference.

    Second the comparison isn’t apt. We know that there are coins – we don’t have to assume them -, this is not on equal footing with the alleged trillion of options available to the designer.
    We don’t know that there are trillions of options available to a designer the same way that we know that there are coins. That’s why stating that ‘a trillion of options are available to a designer’ is called a “unsupported assumption”.

    IOW you have to assume these trillions of options to be available for the designer, but you have no evidential basis whatsoever for these assumptions, because ..

    Keith: we know absolutely nothing about the purported designer.

    That’s right Keith.
    Now read again what WJM has told you many times:

    WJM: But, again, where does keith get his “trillions of possibilities” in the first place, upon which to reach the POI conclusion of a flat probability distribution?
    That is the problem. Keith has given us no reason or argument as two why we should accept his “trillions of possibilities” assumption in the first place. He claims that it is just his “not ruling anything out”, but what exactly has he “not ruled out” when he has no idea what possibilities exist in the first place?
    You must have possibilities in the first place before you can rule any out or in. Where does keith find possibilities in the first place to “not rule out” in the second place?

  426. Joe: //”There isn’t any theory of evolution and common descent does not expect an ONH. Bifurcation does not predict a nested hierarchy either. Transitional forms would ruin any attempt at constructing one.”//

    Common descent doesn’t expect ONH, it predicts it. I would have expected better from a 150 IQ.

    Even if we had a fossil for every slight change throughout time, ONH would still exist. If we followed the lineage from the first replicating chemical to our much beloved abusive obnoxious IDist, at no point could you say that a new species formed; the change from one generation to another would be too minuscule.

    But if you took a cross section of all life at any time (except at the very beginning) you would see nested hierarchies. If there were no extinction, the only difference you would see, others than a vastly increased number of forms, would be a large number of forms that would straddle different categories. But even with extinction we see this. Every now and then, one form is moved from one group to another as new evidence surfaces.

    We can see the same thing in the various breeds of dog. If we looked at every dog in existence today, we could sort them in a way that we couldn’t discern much of a difference from the dog on either side, but if we randomly take dogs along this sorted group, you would obtain a nested hierarchy.

  427. gmilling:

    Common descent doesn’t expect ONH, it predicts it.

    LoL! The two words are interchangeable. Are you really that dim?

    Even if we had a fossil for every slight change throughout time, ONH would still exist.

    No, it wouldn’t and even Darwin knew this.

    But if you took a cross section of all life at any time (except at the very beginning) you would see nested hierarchies.

    Based on what?

    f there were no extinction, the only difference you would see, others than a vastly increased number of forms, would be a large number of forms that would straddle different categories.

    Umm, that violates a nested hierarchy. No straddling allowed. The categories must be distinct and separate.

    Perhaps you should learn what a nested hierarchy entails before you go about talking such nonsense.

  428. 431
    logically_speaking

    Zachriel,

    logically_speaking: The nested hierarchies you observe are not objective.

    You:
    Yes, they are. Nowadays, best fits are normally determined by computer algorithms.

    My response:
    So the shoes that best fit my feet can be objectively determined by computer algorithms, really.

    And are you aware that computer algorithms are programed using set predetermined parameters, in other words by subjective design.

    logically_speaking: Unfortunately using statistical analysis is worthless in this case. Comparing anything with similar features statistically with produce astounding statistical accuracy.

    You:
    It’s not a matter of simple similarity, but the nesting of traits.

    My response:
    Traits, features whats the difference?
    I can arrange a bunch of cutlery, in size, function, and the material they are made from. All in a nested hierarchy, and using statistical analysis on it would also be useless.

    logically_speaking: First of all most people will in their lists put bats in with mammals thus producing a similar tree and they will do the same for many other animals in other trees.

    You:
    That’s what we mean by objective.

    My response:
    Then you and whoever we is, are wrong.

    It was subjectivity chosen that bats be classified as mammals, it could of been classified as a bird, if you chose to classify birds as animals that can fly with wings. The similarities between bats and mammals could just be explained away with convenient sorry, convergent evolution.

    logically_speaking: Second if we compared for example, ten medium sized sentences of the english language, we would discover using statistical analysis that the sentences are astoundingly similar.

    You:
    But they wouldn’t form an objective nested hierarchy.

    My response:
    Exactly, I was showing how statistical analysis is worthless in many cases including theobald’s tree of life in determining an objective nested hierarchy.

    logically_speaking: I believe that it has been pointed out on several occasions that unguided evolution doe not predict an ONH.

    You:
    As we’ve pointed out many times, branching descent predicts the nested hierarchy.

    I can arrange cutlery into nested hierarchies, based on size, function and the material they are made from. How on earth can branching descent predict any nested hierarchy of cutlery?

    logically_speaking: Carl Linnaeus would disagree with you as the father of taxonomy, he classified life with the idea that God had created it, and therefore could be categorised in a logical way.

    You:
    No. He explicitly categorized organisms by trait, not due to any overarching theory.

    My response:
    Joe responded to this, so I will leave it at that.

  429. DNA_Jock

    So the next accusation you’re going to level at me is the Gish right?

    I’m lazy so I work smart if it’s been said cite it. No need to retype like a reporter…..

    But thanks for the compliment your effort is noted.

  430. Box: No, you will get a mess of innumerable transitional forms. You guys need extinction to sculpt you a pattern.

    Zachriel: Gosh. If only we had evidence of extinction.

    Box: Well, do you have the evidence? Are you claiming to have evidence of innumerable transitional forms? Because that’s the evidence you need in order to make your case for ONH.

    Zachriel: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi…..fossil.jpg

    One fossil doesn’t prove innumerable transitional forms, does it? You need fossils of innumerable transitional forms in order to make the case for branching descent and ONH.

    Why do I have to point this out? Can you please try to lift the level of your input in our discussion?

  431. Educating gmilling:

    The Core of Science

    Scientific arguments involve three components: the idea (a hypothesis or theory), the expectations generated by that idea (frequently called predictions), and the actual observations relevant to those expectations (the evidence). These components are always related in the same logical way:
    1. What would we expect to see if this idea were true (i.e., what is our expected observation)?
    2. What do we actually observe?

    3. Do our expectations match our observations?

    Looks like my 150 is too much for gmilling to handle. 😎

  432. Joe: //”Umm, that violates a nested hierarchy. No straddling allowed. The categories must be distinct and separate.”//

    Maybe you should do a little reading and a little less insulting. Where does it say that overlapping is not allowed in nested hierarchies? As you are find of saying, show me the reference. Maybe a little clarification is needed. Does your belief system acknowledge that life on earth demonstrates a nested hierarchy? Yes or no is all that is required. Any other answer will be interpreted as a fail.

  433. gmilling:

    Where does it say that overlapping is not allowed in nested hierarchies?

    In the entailments of a nested hierarchy. Geez do a little reading for once. Start with this – A Summary of the Principles of Hierarchy Theory. Then read Denton’s “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”.

    Does your belief system acknowledge that life on earth demonstrates a nested hierarchy?

    I don’t have a belief system. Your question is a FAIL

  434. Note the “consist of, and contain” clause wrt nested hierarchies. Straddling prevents that.

  435. 150 IQ boy: //” Does your belief system acknowledge that life on earth demonstrates a nested hierarchy? Yes or no is all that is required. Any other answer will be interpreted as a fail.”//

    Fair enough. Do you think that multicellular life on earth demonstrates a nested hierarchy?

  436. OK 150 IQ boy, I read your linked article on hierarchies. Not having s 150 IQ, maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anything in that article that stated that there may be no overlap (straddling). Please cut and paste the words so that I can be educated.

  437. gmilling:

    Not having s 150 IQ, maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anything in that article that stated that there may be no overlap (straddling). Please cut and paste the words so that I can be educated.

    I did in post 437. Also Denton goes over it in “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis”.

    Do you think that multicellular life on earth demonstrates a nested hierarchy?

    First of all just about anything can be placed into a nested hierarchy. The US Army is a nested hierarchy. A human body is also a nested hierarchy. It all depends on the criteria used and it must meet the all important criteria of summativity. For example the Animal Kingdom is a sum of all of the levels (and their sets) below it.

    That said, if living organisms were the result of a common design, I would expect an objective nested hierarchy to be easily constructed. And that is another point. Nested hierarchies are completely artificial constructs. The US Army being a perfect example.

  438. Joe and GM, Please tone down the exchanges. You may also find the remarks here under intro question 4 and arrow points i, j and k relevant. Read here too. What we have is a hybrid network architecture with intertwined trees and cross-links from “shared” parts. Sort of like, multiple inheritance as a riff on OOP. As in a known design pattern. But then tree-pattern hierarchies are also a known design pattern, the whole idea of trying to turn a known design pattern into an argument against design on an unsupported supposition about reading the mind of a possible designer is a dubious exercise from the get go. KF

  439. No Andre,

    My concern is this: you cite these articles (and paste the words of others) as if they support your position. I think that they do not. I therefore think that you do not understand the articles and passages that you cite.

    However, I cannot tell whether you understand anything or not, because you have yet to actually make your argument. When you actually deign to describe, in your own words, why you believe that PCD is a killer blow for evolution, then we can have a conversation. To date, all I have read is a series of unsupported claims (see #288) that appear false, and rather obviously so, to boot.

    If you actually want to have a discussion, you need to make your case.
    Which particular aspects of the PCD pathways are absolute prerequisites for cellular life, and why?

  440. keiths:

    Phin: You assert that “the evidence” looks exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating. But you haven’t demonstrated this.

    KS: Sure I have. If you have branching descent with primarily vertical inheritance, and mutations are slow and simple, you will get an ONH.

    Please read what you just wrote. Now compare it to what you originally asserted. Are your assumptions really not as obvious to you as they are to everyone else?

    How does branching descent with primarily vertical inheritance, and mutations that are slow and simple lead to a necessary conclusion that evolution is unguided? The only thing connecting what you just wrote and what you originally asserted regarding unguided evolution are your assumptions.

    So no, you have not demonstrated that “the evidence” does in fact look exactly like it would if unguided evolution were operating. Even more, I’m not sure you have even argued yet (unless you do so later in this thread) that “the evidence” looks like it would if unguided evolution were operating. You just consistently assume the unguided part of your assertion and then act as though you haven’t.

  441. keiths:

    Phin: Oh, sure, the evidence looks exactly like it would if guided evolution were operating, but I know better. There are pathways — don’t ask me to demonstrate them — that allow microevolution to accumulate into macroevolution without any need for guidance or foresight. Nature can cross any barrier, and Nature just happens to make it look exactly like it would if there were carefully engineered solutions to numerous insurmountable barriers that only intelligent foresight and intervention could possibly overcome.

    Phin: Look. Now you are making the Rain Fairy argument.

    KS: Not at all, because the ONH is not what we expect to see if a designer is operating.

    Even if I granted the above for the sake of argument, the ONH is just one piece of the puzzle. If you stopped fixating on it, you might notice that much of the rest of the puzzle shows a picture of massively organized interdependent processes orchestrated with a kind of precision that is nearly beyond comprehension. Life gives, at the very least, the appearance of having one ingeniously engineered solution after another after another after another all working together in a way that boggles the mind and screams planning and foresight.

    That’s the asymmetry that makes unguided evolution trillions of times better as an explanation.

    The asymmetry here is purely in how you are treating the evidence.

  442. DNA_Jock

    Aaah almost the Gish…. the standard you don’t understand accusation just leveled, water off a ducks back when a materialist accuses you of not understanding you know they’ve lost the argument.

    Shame on you for blatantly exposing the usual Darwinian debating tactics.

  443. Andre #445,

    IMHO DNA_Jock is asking you some very good and perfectly reasonable questions in post #442. Why do you interpreted them uncharitable?

    I would be interested to read your answer to the question:

    DNA_Jock $442:
    Which particular aspects of the PCD pathways are absolute prerequisites for cellular life, and why?

  444. DNA_JOCK

    I Know this is a waste of time but Type 1 & type 2 are vital for life. Necrosis is accidental so it can be ruled out as vital…..

    Why is Type 1 and Type 2 Vital?

    A Few Things…..

    1.) Cellular development
    2.) Signaling
    3.) Cell Clearance
    3.) Cellular remodeling
    4.) Immunity

    PCD is a fundamental biological process.

  445. Box

    It is not uncharitable, I have cited all the relevant information but truthfully DNA_Jock is not interested in doing the research himself….. He is just picking and he knows it. Anyway I’ve responded to him in #447

  446. Box

    Apart from the other paper I recommended, here is another one for you to enjoy 🙂

    http://www.nature.com/cdd/jour.....1365a.html

    I’ve been accused of copy pasta but this is worth the quote 🙂

    At the molecular level, apoptosis is a tightly controlled and ordered cellular suicide program that is critical for the development, immune regulation, and homeostasis of a multicellular organism. Although several different pathways and signals can lead to apoptosis, the major mechanism that actually causes the cell to die is associated with the organized degradation of cellular organelles by activated members of the caspase family of cysteine proteases.

  447. But let us not beat around the bush what does critical mean?

    “of decisive importance with respect to the outcome;”

    So let us not play word games and since we know it is evolutionary conserved and if anything in these genes chance it is ipso facto lethal to the organism…..

    Unguided processes are incapable of creating guided processes that specifically targets and eliminates unguided processes.

  448. Andre,

    When I read about the elimination of damaged organelles, misfolded proteins and many other functions of PCD, I wonder how PCD detects and knows what is good and what is not – or what is good but too much? Obviously, the chemicals cannot “decide” these things on their own, so they need regulation. However, that raises the question ‘what regulates PCD?’ and the further question ‘what regulates the regulators of PCD’? Everything seems to be interconnected in the cell.

    Homeostasis is truly remarkable and in my opinion can only be explained by holism. But that is a different subject entirely.

    Which part of PCD must be present in LUCA in order to survive? All the parts that are present in modern cells?

  449. Keith.

    I’m responding to this

    If we know nothing about ID’s putative designer — and we don’t — then the rational thing to do is to assign equal probability to all of the possibilities for what the designer could do. He could produce an ONH, or he could produce one of the trillions of alternatives. When we assign equal probabilities to all the possibilities, we find that the designer is trillions of times less likely to produce an ONH versus something else.

    With unguided evolution, it has to be an ONH.

    Ok. Like I said. We are talking past each other, so let’s try pull this apart a little piece by piece so we are not repeating each other. That way, we get some clarity.

    You say : “If we know nothing about ID’s putative designer — and we don’t — then the rational thing to do is to assign equal probability to all of the possibilities for what the designer could do.”

    What does knowing ANYTHING about the designer have to do with the issue of statistics or restrictions? So lets say, for arguments sake, both of us come to the conclusion that the Designer is none other than the Magical Blueberry Fairy (MBF). We know MBF is a good god and decided to create the physical plane of existence and create a world where species may evolve into something that she can have a relationship with. MBF DECIDED to use evolution as a mechanism for the species to unfurl. More specifically, MBF decides on the ONH Motif. Sure, MBF may have used any other motif, but DECIDED to use THAT motif. It would remain a constant. But that isn’t the only constant. The speed of light would be a constant. Gravity for us would remain a constant. Many other things in the physical plane would remain constants.

    Ok, so that we know about MBF, has that changed anything to the CORE of your argument? No of course not, because the main crux still exists (according to you) which is that there were infinite possibilities. Assigning equal probabilities doesn’t change a certain fact that even YOU would agree to: That even IF [ again IF ] there IS a designer, that designer would and could CHOSE anyone of those infinite possibilities. Because guess what, had He picked another method you would say the exact same thing: That there were infinite equal possibilities. To which I reply: So?

    WHy is a designer CHOOSING one of those equal possibilities mean that he didn’t and couldn’t and wouldn’t according to you?

    You and I are arguing a philosophical issue here. So I will ask you one more time: Why does that fact that a god would chose one of trillion of possibilities = that he wouldn’t and therefore didn’t?

    we find that the designer is trillions of times less likely to produce an ONH versus something else.

    He is less likely to use ANYTHING, but is 100% likely to choose SOMETHING! And using a hypothetical, if you and I BOTH agree there is a magic designer than you would agree he has to chose SOMETHING, IF he so choses to create physical plane of existence. So its irrelevant the likelihood if he would chose X or Y or Z. The point is, he HAS to chose something. So this line of argument doesn’t make any sense.

    With unguided evolution, it has to be an ONH.

    What do you mean it HAS to be ONH? You are only saying that because a) you discovered after the fact, and b) assuming it is unguided because you claim ONH HAS to be unguided. This is simply circular reasoning. You haven’t made the cast it HAS to be unguided IF it is ONH. You are just reasserting that based on “The designer is less likely to use that.”

  450. kairosfocus #412:

    Next, tree-patterns shaped by design constraints and purposes are a commonplace pattern of designs. That is the existence of a treelike pattern is empirically known to be a result of design.

    KF,

    As I’ve been telling you for weeks: If you don’t understand the difference between a nested hierarchy and an objective nested hierarchy, you have no hope of refuting my argument.

    Please educate yourself. It’s all there in Theobald.

  451. keiths:

    There are a lot of words in your comment, but not much substance.

    I couldn’t help laughing at this. It is so flabbergasting that my immediate response was to laugh. The utter lack of self-reflection takes one’s breath away. Absolutely remarkable to the point that it strains credulity.

  452. HeKS #414,

    Please — less whining and more substance. Readers don’t care how aggrieved you feel (or pretend to feel). They want to know whether you can refute my argument.

    You wrote:

    You also seem to be arguing that if a designer either adds to or produces any aspect or part of an ONH, he/she must therefore have directly and specifically instantiated every element present in the entire hierarchy and done so in a way that conforms to the alleged ONH, which is an obviously absurd all-or-nothing proposition.

    No. What I’m saying is that at every point in time it is possible for the Designer to do something that would completely wreck the ONH signal. The fact that we see the ONH thus means that the Designer continually decides (or is limited to) acting in a way that preserves the ONH.

    If ID is true, then the designer is fully involved, by intent or by limitation, in the production of the ONH.

    PS Your continued references to the “alleged ONH” are funny. Keep it up. 🙂

  453. 456

    Keith, Theobald has been refuted even more times than you have.

  454. KS: Your trees don’t exist, the mutual incoherences between gross anatomy issues and molecular issues plus all sorts of ad hoc additions point that way. And you have to get to your ONH’s via trees. That’s problem no 1. Problem no 2 is, on blind watchmaker mechanisms you have no mechanism that credibly gets you to life, and no non question begging, empirically grounded account of branching into major body plans. Problem 3 is that designers do create things that have trees or treelike structures with cross links due to use or adaptation of libraries of key parts. Your whole argument is incoherent as has been pointed out for weeks. KF

  455. The fact that we see the ONH thus means that the Designer continually decides (or is limited to) acting in a way that preserves the ONH.

    If ID is true, then the designer is fully involved, by intent or by limitation, in the production of the ONH.

    And the problem with this is?

  456. I Know this is a waste of time but Type 1 & type 2 are vital for life. Necrosis is accidental so it can be ruled out as vital…..

    Why is Type 1 and Type 2 Vital?

    A Few Things…..

    1.) Cellular development
    2.) Signaling
    3.) Cell Clearance
    3.) Cellular remodeling
    4.) Immunity

    PCD is a fundamental biological process.

    Well, we agree about necrosis.
    So your position is that both Type 1 (Apoptosis)
    AND Type 2 (Autophagic) are vital for life.
    Let’s explore the requirement for Type 1:
    Why is Type 1 absolutely required for single-celled life?
    Thanks.

  457. logically_speaking: So the shoes that best fit my feet can be objectively determined by computer algorithms

    Indeed, computer algorithms are used extensively in footwear design, especially for athletes or orthopedics where fit is crucial.

    logically_speaking: And are you aware that computer algorithms are programed using set predetermined parameters, in other words by subjective design.

    In the case of nested hierarchies, they can objectively determine best fit, and the degree of the fit. You do understand that the nested hierarchy is a mathematical pattern, not a foot?

    logically_speaking: I can arrange a bunch of cutlery, in size, function, and the material they are made from. All in a nested hierarchy, and using statistical analysis on it would also be useless.

    Great! Try it. There are many ways to do so. However, there’s only one overarching nested hierarchy for organisms.

    logically_speaking: Then you and whoever we is, are wrong.

    objectivity, of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers

    logically_speaking: It was subjectivity chosen that bats be classified as mammals, it could of been classified as a bird, if you chose to classify birds as animals that can fly with wings.

    Good example. Birds have wings. Bats have wings. However, bats have mammary glands, bellows lungs, wings articulated by the phalanges, airfoil is skin not feathers, have hair, three auditory ossicles, a single-boned dentary. We could go on.

    The way to consider this objectively is to look at all the traits.

    logically_speaking: I can arrange cutlery into nested hierarchies, based on size, function and the material they are made from. How on earth can branching descent predict any nested hierarchy of cutlery?

    It’s basic geometry with a bit of statistics.

    Box: One fossil doesn’t prove innumerable transitional forms

    That wasn’t what you asked. Nor is it necessary.

    1) If there were no extinctions, there would still be strong correlations between traits.
    2) Random extinction would be sufficient to delineate the sets.
    3) Everything that doesn’t go extinct is transitional.
    4) If there were no extinctions, a random sampling or a cross section would yield a nested hierarchy.

    This leaves aside the fact that there are plenty of transitional fossils.

    gmilling: Where does it say that overlapping is not allowed in nested hierarchies?

    A strict definition means the sets are well-delineated. However, we can use statistics to determine the best fit and the degree of fit, which most biologists still call a nested hierarchy.

    Andre (quoting): At the molecular level, apoptosis is a tightly controlled and ordered cellular suicide program that is critical for the development, immune regulation, and homeostasis of a multicellular organism. Although several different pathways and signals can lead to apoptosis, the major mechanism that actually causes the cell to die is associated with the organized degradation of cellular organelles by activated members of the caspase family of cysteine proteases.

    Phylogenetic analysis of phytoplankton metacaspases in the larger context of the caspase-family of proteases.
    http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/.....56_F3.html

    HD: MBF DECIDED to use evolution as a mechanism for the species to unfurl. More specifically, MBF decides on the ONH Motif.

    Change evolution to branching descent, and you are on track. It would then be reasonable to say that branching descent is *intrinsic*, that is, the MBF doesn’t have to intervene at each braching event. If this is contentious, then this is something we could certainly investigate.

    To be consistent with the objective nested hierarchy, the MBF could still prune or shape the tree. Other evidence would be necessary to determine what has pruned and shaped the tree. Fortunately, the branching pattern gives us the historical context to investigate this.

  458. HD,

    Did you understand my example of the five coins in #397, and do you see why the probability is 25% that the second coin from the right is a dime?

  459. logically_speaking: I can arrange cutlery into nested hierarchies, based on size, function and the material they are made from. How on earth can branching descent predict any nested hierarchy of cutlery?

    Z: It’s basic geometry with a bit of statistics.

    Sorry, we misread your question. Branching descent in biology predicts a nested hierarchy based on the geometry of trees and a bit of statistics. Branching descent has nothing to do with your arbitrary cutlery classification.

  460. >Did you understand my example of the five coins in #397, and do you see why the probability is 25% that the second coin from the right is a dime?

    Yes I did. Of course the only problem in the analogy is the part where if you call **me** I would not know. But that is **me**, not a creator.

  461. Keith #461: Did you understand my example of the five coins in #397, and do you see why the probability is 25% that the second coin from the right is a dime?

    Understood and DEMOLISHED AGAIN.

  462. KF:

    Your trees don’t exist, the mutual incoherences between gross anatomy issues and molecular issues plus all sorts of ad hoc additions point that way.

    Rubbish. The ONH of the 30 major taxa is established to an accuracy of 1 in 10^38 with no inconsistencies. You call that “not existing”?

    There are minor inconsistencies between inferred hierarchies based on lower-level taxa, but these are expected and do not invalidate the ONH. Theobald explains:

    When two independently determined trees mismatch by some branches, they are called “incongruent”. In general, phylogenetic trees may be very incongruent and still match with an extremely high degree of statistical significance (Hendy et al. 1984; Penny et al. 1982; Penny and Hendy 1986; Steel and Penny 1993). Even for a phylogeny with a small number of organisms, the total number of possible trees is extremely large. For example, there are about a thousand different possible phylogenies for only six organisms; for nine organisms, there are millions of possible phylogenies; for 12 organisms, there are nearly 14 trillion different possible phylogenies (Table 1.3.1; Felsenstein 1982; Li 1997, p. 102). Thus, the probability of finding two similar trees by chance via two independent methods is extremely small in most cases. In fact, two different trees of 16 organisms that mismatch by as many as 10 branches still match with high statistical significance (Hendy et al. 1984, Table 4; Steel and Penny 1993). For more information on the statistical significance of trees that do not match exactly, see “Statistics of Incongruent Phylogenetic Trees”.

    The stunning degree of match between even the most incongruent phylogenetic trees found in the biological literature is widely unappreciated, mainly because most people (including many biologists) are unaware of the mathematics involved (Bryant et al. 2002; Penny et al. 1982; Penny and Hendy 1986). Penny and Hendy have performed a series of detailed statistical analyses of the significance of incongruent phylogenetic trees, and here is their conclusion:

    Biologists seem to seek the ‘The One Tree’ and appear not to be satisfied by a range of options. However, there is no logical difficulty in having a range of trees. There are 34,459,425 possible [unrooted] trees for 11 taxa (Penny et al. 1982), and to reduce this to the order of 10-50 trees is analogous to an accuracy of measurement of approximately one part in 106. (Penny and Hendy 1986, p. 414)

    For a more realistic universal phylogenetic tree with dozens of taxa including all known phyla, the accuracy is better by many orders of magnitude.

    KF:

    Problem no 2 is, on blind watchmaker mechanisms you have no mechanism that credibly gets you to life,

    How many times do I have to repeat this? My argument does not depend on naturalistic OOL. Please write that down.

    …and no non question begging, empirically grounded account of branching into major body plans.

    The ONH evidence itself shows that unguided evolution is trillions of times more likely to explain those things than ID is. You need to provide evidence that there are barriers to evolution, and your evidence needs to be strong enough to counterbalance the trillions-to-one advantage that UE already has in explaining the ONH.

    Good luck with that.

    KF:

    Problem 3 is that designers do create things that have trees or treelike structures with cross links due to use or adaptation of libraries of key parts.

    Of course they do, which is why you need to learn the difference between nested hierarchies and objective nested hierarchies. Please educate yourself.

    Designers routinely produce things that can be placed in nested hierarchies, but not in objective nested hierarchies.

    You can’t refute what you don’t understand, KF.

  463. KF,

    Also, let me remind you of how ridiculous you look when you post these “FYI-FTR” threads but are afraid to turn comments on.

  464. DNA_Jock

    PCD is vital for prokaryotes because;

    1.) It controls aging of cells
    2.) Controls & manages unicellular pathogens
    3.) Assists Development of the cell
    4.) Assists with the recombination of genetic exchange material
    5.) Repairs damage to the cell

    There you have it any other questions?

  465. Keith: the trillions-to-one advantage that UE already has in explaining the ONH

    DOES NOT EXIST
    Absent knowledge of the designer, there is no method of reasoning that validly assigns a trillion alternatives to the designer. IOW absent supportive knowledge, there is no valid method of reasoning that turns an assumption into a fact.

  466. Box

    Type 1 & 2 are vital for all forms of life. I’m not sure what the LUCA needed but from the moment of OOL if it was not present there would be no life today…. PCD is not something that could ever emerge or even evolve…….

    You are absolutely correct, this stuff is all intertwined but as I have tried to explain…. PCD is the tamper protection mechanism of cells and the moment PCD becomes dyregulated it actually self destructs the organism.

  467. @Zachriel #421

    Setting aside your reversal of the logic of design detection for the moment…

    HeKS: your Rain Fairy and angel references remain entirely misguided.

    They’re not analogies, but direct parallels. Planetary angels have no entailments; of all the possible ways to move planets, they just happen to like elliptical orbits for some inscrutable reasons. Your designer has no entailments; of all the possible patterns, she just happens to like nested hierarchies for some inscrutable reason.

    What is the particular aspect of the elliptical orbit of planets that is not uncontroversially explained by known natural causes and is habitually associated with angelic activity that triggers the ‘Planetary Angels’ inference as a best explanation for planetary movement?

    What is the particular aspect of the falling of rain to the ground that is not uncontroversially explained by known natural causes and is habitually associated with fairy activity that triggers the ‘Rain Fairies’ inference as a best explanation for rain falling?

    What is the particular aspect of the falling of salt from a salt shaker to the food on a plate that is not uncontroversially explained by known natural causes and is habitually associated with leprechaun activity that triggers the ‘Salt Leprechauns’ inference as a best explanation for salt falling?

    What is the particular aspect of water swirling in a toilet bowl that is not uncontroversially explained by known natural causes and is habitually associated with whale activity that triggers the ‘Toilet Whale’ inference as a best explanation for swirling toilet water?

    HeKS: The structure of the ONH, if it exists,

    “If it exists”? That’s funny.

    Yes … if. And I say it doesn’t.

    You seem to think the diversification of methods for inferring phylogenetic relationships provided systematists with a panacea for all their taxonomic woes, leaving only the occasional curiosity to be unraveled. It didn’t. Not remotely. There is significant and irreconcilable incongruence at every level of the ‘tree’ to the point that it is questioned whether a tree is even the right concept to use in describing the world of life. In saying that life falls into an Objective Nested Hierarchy with a high degree of statistical correlation, all one is really saying (or should be saying) is that once the characters to be compared are subjectively selected for the “best”, most parsimonious results, the comparison of those characters using different methods for inferring phylogenetic relationships will reliably produce a specific subset of trees that is small relative to the total number of trees that could technically be produced based on the combinatorial possibilities available for those traits.

    The subset of trees produced by a combination of methods does not consist of a single tree. Or two. Or three. Or Five. The lowest estimate I’ve seen is 10. Other times it’s a few dozen. Other times 50. Other times many, many more. The typical trend is that the more traits that are taken into account and the more detailed and careful the analysis, the more cases there are of significant incongruence and the higher the number of contradictory relationships / trees that are well supported by multiple methods.

    And yet, I’m ignoring this and will not bother to argue it right now for the purpose of showing that even if I grant it – even one neat, single tree – Keith’s argument still fails.

    HeKS: and if we allow that it results naturalistically, derives from the inheritance of existing traits through branching descent.

    That is correct.

    HeKS: But even if we allow that the ultimate ONH distribution of traits can be explained by their inheritance through branching descent, it does not follow that the appearance of complex novel biological systems, molecular machines or traits can be explained by the inheritance of traits through branching descent.

    That is also correct.

    Then Keith’s argument fails, as the “logic” of his argument requires that precisely the same process that explains the distribution of traits into an ONH also fully explains the origin of the traits that are distributed, though there is quite obviously no logically necessary connection between these phenomena.

    An heritable character introduced into a process of branching descent will proceed to be distributed in an ONH pattern to the extent that it is distributed by way of that process, though it may eventually be broken and lost.

    Keith wants it to be logically necessary that either a designer directly and specifically instantiate the entirety of an ONH tree structure or else he be prevented from introducing any content into the ongoing distribution process. There is, however, a clear logical disconnect between these two propositions.

  468. DNA_Jock

    Well, we agree about necrosis.,/blockquote>

    Hallelujah! a first for UD an opponent agrees, bring out the champagne!

  469. And just in case I’m asked why is type 2 vital for Unicellular organisms…..

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublis.....9.full.pdf

  470. Here is a cool paper trying to explain the evolution of autophagy….. Enjoy the just so stories…….

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6274/

    Example 1 of the Just so account and it’s really funny….

    related question is: what was the original function of autophagy? Perhaps the most widely known role of autophagy is its involvement in survival under starvation conditions. Unspecific macroautophagy of cytoplasm can be induced in plants, amoeba, fungi, insects and mammals allowing intracellular components to be rapidly recycled and reused during starvation. 2,10,16 This allows near normal activity of cells even though steady supply of nutrients is not available. It is conceivable that keeping up cellular activity rather than forming spores during starvation conditions gave a selective advantage in early eukaryotic evolution by allowing cells to localise to new foraging locations while consuming intracellular pools of amino acids.

    Eating yourself gave you a selective advantage……. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

  471. keiths:

    Disclaimer: This post has little, if any, substance.

    keiths: Please — less whining and more substance.

    keiths acts as though HeKS hasn’t already responded to this exact same charge from keiths.

    HeKS: For goodness sake. Of course there wasn’t much substance in that comment. That was the whole point. You complained that I hadn’t responded to your point-for-point “response” and I was pointing out there was nothing of any substance in it for me to respond to. We’re at a place where I just have to point out to you over and over, paragraph after paragraph, that you’re either missing, ignoring or misrepresenting what I’ve said and simply repeating your own assertions without defending them or answering any questions about them. You’re giving me nothing of any substance to respond to, complaining that I don’t respond to your insubstantial nonsense and misrepresentations, and then, when I do, complaining that the result is not substantive … as though it could be.

    Note that keiths doesn’t engage HeKS’ response. He doesn’t present any sort of counter-argument. In fact, he doesn’t even deny it. He simply acts as though it never happened and recycles the accusation.

    This is classic keiths. It’s what earned him the Black Knight comparison.

    [Arthur cuts off Black Knight’s left arm]
    King Arthur: Now, stand aside, worthy adversary!
    Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch!
    King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
    Black Knight: No, it isn’t!
    King Arthur: Well, what’s that then?
    Black Knight: I’ve had worse.

    Readers don’t care how aggrieved you feel (or pretend to feel). They want to know whether you can refute my argument.

    What argument?! When HeKS addressed your argument in the OP, you never responded to his points. Instead, you insisted he limit himself to a specific point. And that he only respond in a specific way. So he went ahead and dismantled your Rain Fairy tripe anyway. And you’ve been unresponsive. Now you are accusing him of lacking substance in pointing out your unresponsivenss. What exactly is he supposed to be arguing against at this point?

  472. Andre: I’m not sure what the LUCA needed but from the moment of OOL if it was not present there would be no life today

    And how do you know that?

    HeKS: What is the particular aspect of the elliptical orbit of planets that is not uncontroversially explained by known natural causes and is habitually associated with angelic activity that triggers the ‘Planetary Angels’ inference as a best explanation for planetary movement?

    There is no controversy within the scientific community regarding evolution. The controversy is cultural and political.

    In any case, that’s not the argument. The argument is that angels happen to like elliptical orbits. It just so happens to look like gravity. The designer happens to like the nested hierarchy. It just so happens to look like branching descent.

    HeKS: There is significant and irreconcilable incongruence at every level of the ‘tree’ to the point that it is questioned whether a tree is even the right concept to use in describing the world of life.

    There is a very strong signal of a tree regardless of any anomalies. It’s not a random artifact.

    HeKS: The subset of trees produced by a combination of methods does not consist of a single tree. Or two. Or three. Or Five. The lowest estimate I’ve seen is 10. Other times it’s a few dozen. Other times 50.

    As there are 10^38 possible patterns, that’s negligible. That means we are looking at a tree or a few trees, but trees nonetheless.

    We’d be interested in where you got your numbers, by the way. We’re not talking about anomalies, but separate trees as you stated. Are vertebrates a tree? ?

    Andre: Eating yourself gave you a selective advantage

    Actually, consuming your clones in order to ensure the survival of the strain. In evolution, all that matters is the propagation of the particular strain. So salmon spawn and die, but their children live on.

  473. Andre: Eating yourself gave you a selective advantage…… haha

    PCD seems to be a very decent argument against unguided evolution.

    1. It has to present in unicellular life, because a cell needs to be able to dispose of redundant stuff, otherwise the machinery gets blocked up in no time.
    2. There is no coherent Darwinian just so story for the evolution of PCD.

  474. Andre,

    PCD is vital for prokaryotes because;

    1.) It controls aging of cells
    2.) Controls & manages unicellular pathogens
    3.) Assists Development of the cell
    4.) Assists with the recombination of genetic exchange material
    5.) Repairs damage to the cell

    There you have it any other questions?

    Well, good luck making your case that 1, 2 or 4 are essential to LUCA. #5 is going to be a very tough case to make too. You might be right about #3; so, do explain to me how Type 1 PCD assists in the development of the cell in a way that would have been essential for LUCA.

    Of course, you are welcome to try and make your case for 1,2,4, and/or 5, if you want to give it a go.

    And no, I didn’t ask about type 2.

  475. Box: There is no coherent Darwinian just so story for the evolution of PCD.

    Ignorance of a very ancient biological mechanism doesn’t discount all the other evidence for evolution. The older the event, the harder it will be to reconstruct. In any case, there is evidence that programmed cell death is evolutionarily beneficial.

    Durand, Rashidi & Michod, How an organism dies affects the fitness of its neighbors, The American Naturalist 2011: “Cellular contents liberated during non-PCD are detrimental to others, while the contents released during PCD are beneficial.”

  476. 479

    William J Murray November 21, 2014 at 7:00 am writes:

    Alicia Renard said:
    I think the basis of Keith’s argument is that the theory of evolution has the prerequisite entailment of common descent and that can be observed by a nested hierarchy of bifurcation. Analysis of morphological features and molecular methods both confirm the same nested hierarchy. That is the hypothesis is supported by available evidence.

    Which is another reason keith’s argument is invalid; evolution would have that entailment whether it was guided or unguided.

    Which is why theists and atheists don’t need to argue over the facts of evolution and common descent. But if there were not an objective nested hierarchy then that would be strong, possibly fatal evidence against common descent, whether guided by God or not. Whereas unentailed “ID theory” makes no testable claim and will fit any observation.

    He contrasts this with the fact that there are no entailments for ID “theory” so there is no observation that can be made or experiment that can be done to disprove ID “theory”.

    Incorrect. Keith is not contrasting “evolution” with ID theory at all. Keith is attempting to contrast a scientifically unsupported characterization of evolution (“unguided”) with some personally imagined designer.

    Well, Keith S can’t contrast ToE with “ID theory” because there is no ID theory.

    ID theory makes no claims about the nature of any designer other than what the definitional term “designer” necessarily implies.

    I agree that ID theory makes no claims. Well, none that have testable entailments.

    We can, for the sake of argument, dismiss evolutionary theory from our minds and ask what is the theory of “Intelligent Design”. What does it predict, what does it explain? How does it work? What can be said about it without mentioning ToE?

    No, for god’s sake, don’t bother reading anything under the “Resources” tab at the top of every page.

    Well,I wonder if you’ve delved into “resources”.

    Here’s a list of “Web Resources:”

    Access Research Network
    Behe responds to Lenski’s latest on E. coli evolution
    Casey Luskin interview Mike Egnor and Jeff Schwartz
    Dawkins mistaken about a forced choice between God and evolution
    Design Inference
    Evolution News and Views (Discovery Institute)
    ID in the UK
    ID the future
    Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center
    ISCID
    John A. Davison
    Michael Behe’s UD Blog
    Overwhelming Evidence
    ResearchID.org
    Post-Darwinist
    Telic Thoughts
    The Bacterial Flagellum: A Paradigm of Design

    Eleven defunct web sites out of seventeen! Some resource!

  477. Zachriel: Ignorance of a very ancient biological mechanism doesn’t discount all the other evidence for evolution.

    There is zero evidence for blind watchmaker evolution. ZERO.

  478. DNA_JOCK

    I really don’t have to make any arguments, it is already established fact on what PCD does, there is many more surprises coming but for now we have done enough in a day…..

    I’m surprised that you don’t think recombination is important…. You’re going to have to tell me why for a change…..

    Lastly I’m not opposed to LUCA but it seem to me that you think LUCA just magically emerged 1 day after OOL

  479. Andre, you wrote to Box:

    Type 1 & 2 are vital for all forms of life. I’m not sure what the LUCA needed but from the moment of OOL if it was not present there would be no life today…. PCD is not something that could ever emerge or even evolve…….

    You are absolutely correct, this stuff is all intertwined but as I have tried to explain…. PCD is the tamper protection mechanism of cells and the moment PCD becomes dyregulated it actually self destructs the organism.

    Well if PCD is not present, then its dysregulation can hardly be a problem.
    DO you really think that the mazEF pathway is something that could never emerge or evolve? Why do you think this?

  480. 483

    Box writes:

    There is zero evidence for blind watchmaker evolution. ZERO.

    Let’s, for the sake of argument, take this as a given. Where does that leave us? Is there another explanation for the current and past diversity of life that we see? Seems we should have to say we don’t have any other ideas, I think. Unless someone knows of another explanation for what we observe.

  481. PCD is vital for prokaryotes because;

    1.) It controls aging of cells
    2.) Controls & manages unicellular pathogens
    3.) Assists Development of the cell
    4.) Assists with the recombination of genetic exchange material
    5.) Repairs damage to the cell

    Cell death “repairs damage in the cell”?

    And if it’s so vital, how do so many bacterial species get on so well without any apparent programmed cell death pathway?

  482. Andre,

    You appear to have trouble with reading comprehension. Recombination is incredibly important for the development of complexity; so sad that ID calculations always seem to ignore it. I don’t think it is essential for LUCA.If you do, then make your case.

    Your comment re LUCA one day after OOL is nonsensical. I’m cutting you a break by considering LUCA, rather than the first Darwinian replicator.

    And no, you really don’t have to make any arguments; you are welcome to rest on your laurels, but the established facts about what PCD does don’t help your case that it is essential for LUCA.

  483. wd400,

    If you tell Andre he is in a hole, he might stop digging.
    And where’s the fun in that?

  484. DNA_JOCK

    Lets look at anti-virus software……. Yes I know it’s man made but regardless of the technology we use, proactive threat prevention, behavioral protection the system is really only as good as its last signature file. Why because it knows what to search for, the same applies to PCD…. And as I have said when PCD stops functioning it literally puts the system in self destruct and the organism dies. Literally.

    Why can’t mazEF evolve?

    Because Toxin–antitoxin systems are ubiquitous modulators of unicellular organisms’s cell fate.

    Look it up……

  485. DNA_JOCK

    Look we’ve been discussing known science you on the other hand are speaking of unobservable nonsense What is a a Darwinian replicator? Ever been observed? You are speculating and truly I tell you speculation is not science!

    WD400

    All Bacteria have PCD…..

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC99002/

  486. Box: There is zero evidence for blind watchmaker evolution.

    The blind watchmaker is an analogy, not a usable hypothesis. There is ample evidence of natural mechanisms to explain the diversification of species, but we have to start with branching descent because that provides the historical framework necessary for understanding the posited transitions.

  487. DNA_JOCK

    I’m not in a hole you are….. So please be kind enough to admit you’re just fishing, same as what you lot tried last night with Apol L…

    PCD is present in all life = Fact
    PCD is evolutionary conserved = Fact
    PCD is essential to all life = Fact

    I’m making a positive claim, you need to be able to prove a negative not me!

  488. Andre: All Bacteria have PCD…..
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC99002/

    Yes, and the paper you cited explains the evolutionary advantage of PCD in bacteria.

  489. 492

    “Yes, and the paper you cited explains the evolutionary advantage of PCD in bacteria.”

    Damn, don’t you hate it when facts get in the way of a belief?

  490. Andre,

    Yes, some bacteria have programmed cell death. But others do not. So, how can it be that PCD is “vital”.

    Also, you still haven’t explained why you thought the fact some PCD genes were protein-coding matters, or how killing a cells helps it to repair itself.

  491. f course the actual name of the pathway escapes your limited faculties…..

    Programmed Cell death….. say it let it roll in your mouth like a good red wine….. Unguided processes can’t program a simple 1+1=2 calculation, then how would you suppose it built;

    Tamper protection
    Redundancy
    Fault Tolerance
    Risk Management
    Regulations
    Instructions
    Networking
    Coordination….

    The onus is on YOU to explain how the blind workings of matter produced these engineering feats.

    Can you? My turn to ask questions then…..

    Please can you give me a reasonable explanation how unguided processes created a guided process to prevent unguided processes from happening?

    Over to you

  492. WD400

    Please can you give us examples of Bacteria that don’t have PCD please……

  493. “Yes, and the paper you cited explains the evolutionary advantage of PCD in bacteria.”

    Damn, don’t you just hate when facts get in the way of your pet theories?

  494. gmilling

    It does not explain it if you read the paper look out for the following words…..

    It is conceivable, we suggest, we assume…..

    These are the always the marker for the start of a Darwinian just so story…..

    sigh…….

  495. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that IDers are trying to deny the existence of the ONH. They don’t have a lot of options left.

    Vincent Torley, who is considerably smarter than the other pro-ID commenters here, recognizes the reality of the ONH — as a rational person, how could he deny it? He also understands that the stakes are high, and that IDers urgently need to find a refutation of my argument. Instead of trying to deny the ONH, he is looking for other ways to defuse the Bomb.

    One of those is to argue that we can legitimately assume that the Designer will behave in a way that produces an ONH (and just so happens to mimic what we’d expect unguided evolution to do).

    The problem is that he needs to justify that assumption extremely well in order to cancel unguided evolution’s advantage. In other words, without the assumption, UE beats ID by a factor of trillions in explaining the ONH — so the added assumption needs to be trillions of times more justified than the default hypothesis, which is that all of the possibilities are equally likely.

    That’s a very high bar, and Vincent has struggled to clear it. His first attempt was the “Economy of Effort Principle” — the idea that the Designer chose the ONH motif in order to minimize his/her/its effort. There are multiple problems with that thesis which I have discussed elsewhere. (I’ll go into more detail here if anyone asks me to.)

    His latest proposal came yesterday in a response to Me_Think:

    Quick answer: if the Designer is capable of creating a cosmos, He is surely capable of creating a record of species and their genes that He can search. The most efficient search method would probably be something like a binary search. Perhaps that’s why living things are ordered in ONHs – it cuts down on search time.

    First of all, Vincent refers to ‘the Designer’, and ‘He’, and ‘creating a cosmos’, so it is clear that he believes the designer is God. Why would an omniscient God want to “cut down on search time”? It makes no sense, since he would know the results of the search before even performing it.

    Secondly, as Vincent should know from his experience as a programmer, efficient searches do not require that the data being searched fall neatly into an ONH. It’s a nonsequitur.

    So UDers, can you help Vincent out by coming up with solid reasons for assuming that the Designer is trillions of times more likely to restrict himself (or to be restricted) to the ONH motif?

  496. Potassium chloride: //”Joe and GM, Please tone down the exchanges.”//

    Pot. Kettle. Black?

  497. Alicia Renard:

    Let’s, for the sake of argument, take this as a given. Where does that leave us? Is there another explanation for the current and past diversity of life that we see? Seems we should have to say we don’t have any other ideas, I think. Unless someone knows of another explanation for what we observe.

    You’re missing the point entirely. All of the research that actually offers factual observations is still useful in untangling the nature and diversity of life on earth once freed of its unworkable, unproven “unguided” metaphysical assumption. Freed from materialist ideology, science can address the CSI/design in a more useful and productive manner, such as reverse engineering, predictions based on design principles, etc.

    Whereas unentailed “ID theory” makes no testable claim and will fit any observation.

    Well, Keith S can’t contrast ToE with “ID theory” because there is no ID theory.

    I’ve directed you to the “resources” tab at the top of every page here several times now. I cannot help your willful ignorance.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/faq/

  498. Zachriel, DNA_Jock, WD400, gmilling……

    Apoptosis-like elimination of defective cells in S. cerevisiae and protozoa suggests that all unicellular life forms evolved altruistic programmed death that serves a variety of useful functions.

    Tell me class how does Altruism fit in with the Darwinian framework of evolution?

    I’m all ear, this is gonna be good!

    just in case you’re not so sure what altruism means…..

    Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that Darwin is wrong are you?

  499. 502

    Wm Murray writes:

    You’re missing the point entirely. All of the research that actually offers factual observations is still useful in untangling the nature and diversity of life on earth once freed of its unworkable, unproven “unguided” metaphysical assumption. Freed from materialist ideology, science can address the CSI/design in a more useful and productive manner, such as reverse engineering, predictions based on design principles, etc.

    That translates as “ID fits any evidence”! I see you have used “CSI” again as if it meant something. What do you think it means? And why are you not a Christian?

  500. “Ubiquitous” may be a little hyperbolic: Xenorhabdus poinarii strain G6 seems to do okay without.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24904010

    Also, the article you cite (Lewis 2000) did not seem to claim that PCD was essential, and did point (as Zachriel noted) to evolutionary reasons for its presence. Did I miss something there?

  501. So come now guys I’ve been patient I’ve been answering all your questions, your turn

    How did unguided processes create a guided process to prevent unguided processes from happening?

    I trust you will show me the same courtesy as I have shown you and that you will patiently answer my questions

    The floor is yours…..

  502. KS, Please read as already linked, indeed read the FTR. You are refusing to acknowledge a serious problem. Actually, a cluster of problems — for weeks. When NewScientist is forced to acknowledge a problem, it is serious. KF

    PS: There is room enough for a focussed discussion. I headline to highlight, and point to the focussed discussion. BTW, much as magazines and newspapers have done for many decades with articles and a letters to the editor forum. If you find that “ridiculous,” it seems you need to revise your sense of the ridiculous.

  503. DNA_JOCK

    Yes the authors of that paper was no doubt bible bashing creationist right! Looks like it came straight from a creationist journal!

  504. 507

    Andre writes:

    Tell me class how does Altruism fit in with the Darwinian framework of evolution?

    Populations of bacteria (say on agar plates or in Lenski’s flasks) are clones. So there is no paradox when the genes survive in other cells. the trait is heritable. There is no case of animal “altruism” that I am aware of that is not explainable by “selfish genes”.

  505. Apoptosis-like elimination of defective cells in S. cerevisiae and protozoa suggests that all unicellular life forms evolved altruistic programmed death that serves a variety of useful functions

    So Andre, is it your contention that Type 1 CPD is essential to S. cerevisiae?

  506. I’m gettin tired of the games

    This must be another creationist paper!

    http://thesis.library.caltech......apter1.pdf

    Death is essential for life……. imagine that!

    Essential for plants too!

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25120551

    What ever does essential mean?

    Children it means…….. drum roll

    absolutely necessary………..

  507. Freed from materialist ideology, science can address the CSI/design in a more useful and productive manner, such as reverse engineering, predictions based on design principles, etc.

    “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

  508. DNA_Jock

    Your turn to answer questions, I’ve been very gracious and patient with you….. I’ll respond when you’ve explained to me what I’ve asked…..

  509. “How did unguided processes create a guided process to prevent unguided processes from happening?”

    You mean like an ice-dam?

    We are seeing the descent into pure bafflegab.

  510. KF: //” You are refusing to acknowledge a serious problem. Actually, a cluster of problems — for weeks.”//

    It is not a case of refusing to acknowledge that a serious problem exists. It is a case of refusing to acknowledge your claim that a serious problem exists. You do realize the difference, don’t you?

  511. DNA_Jock

    Seriously? WE have been speaking about it for 3 days 512 responses and you play dumb?

    KF what do we call this Debating tactic?

    Me no speaka da english?

  512. DNA_Jock

    And after a 1000 posts when I finally give up for getting nowhere will you be declaring victory?

    Intellectual honor has indeed sunk very low in our age.

  513. KS, BTW, until you can and do show, based on observational evidence that blind watchmaker chance and necessity can per vera causa account adequately and without ideological question-begging for the FSCO/I in origin of life and of major body plans, you do not have a valid explanation for any significant feature of cell based life on any blind watchmaker mechanism. Which, BTW is the reason why the two years’ outstanding lack of a cogent answer to the evolutionary materialist tree of life challenge is utterly revealing. FSCO/I is reliably and routinely produced by intelligently directed configuration, and on our observation that is the only credibly observed cause — to the point that we are entitled to take it as a sign of design as cause. Your “bomb” claims pivot on major begged questions — as has been repeatedly pointed out for weeks but which has been studiously ignored in an ill-advised attempt to substiture message dominance for cogent scientific inductive reasoning and responsible discussion. KF

  514. Is PCD Vital to Saccharomyces cerevisiae?

    You betcha!

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2180/12/80

    Apoptosis is the most common process of programmed cell death (PCD) in eukaryotes. It is vital for the fast elimination of useless or injured cells, and for the differential development of tissues and organs. In humans the malfunction of this process leads to severe diseases, namely neurodegenerative disorders, AIDS and cancer. The existence of PCD processes in lower eukaryotes or bacteria was for long disregarded due to the absence of obvious benefits for unicellular organisms. Nonetheless, numerous works contributed to evidence PCD occurring in single cell organisms [1-4], as well as to the establishment of yeast as a good model to study mechanisms of apoptotic regulation [5,6]. Multicellular aggregates of microbial cells, like colonies or biofilms, are spatially organized and require the specialization of cells differentially localized to ensure supply of nutrients and water to the whole cell ensemble [7]. The growing concept that microbial multicellular aggregates form functional and higher organized structures, as a kind of proto-tissue, supports the notion that PCD may be a much more spread and conserved mechanism of cellular altruistic behaviour.

    It sucks to be a Darwinist…..

  515. We demonstrate that gup1? mutant strain present a significantly reduced chronological lifespan comparing to Wt. Moreover, this mutant showed to be highly sensitive to acetic acid. Yet, while chronologically aged and acetic acid treated Wt cells die exhibiting apoptotic markers, gup1? mutant cells under the same conditions seems to be incapable of undergoing apoptosis. Instead, these cells appeared to be experiencing a necrotic cell death process. In addition, those cells also present extremely high levels of ROS. Being gup1? mutant affected in lipid rafts integrity/assembly, lipid metabolism and GPI anchor remodeling we propose that the integrity of rafts may be essential for apoptosis induction and/or signaling. This provides for the first time the possible participation of lipid rafts in yeast apoptosis, giving new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying this particular process of PCD, and highlighting the complex network of cellular structures that interact, cooperate and compete to regulate cell death.

    PCD is tampered with the cells go BOOM!

    Game over sweetie pie!

    Gnite, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

  516. GM, do you have an observationally grounded account of the adequacy of blind watchmaker chance and necessity to account for the FSCO/I involved in the origin of life, and of major body plans? I put it to you, no — or you would have long since taken up the UD challenge to provide an essay laying out the case. In short, you cannot pass the vera causa test for putting up a claimed mechanism to account for the deep unobserved past of origins of the world of life. Thus, your preferred narrative and message — a totalising one that seeks message dominance — is flawed at the root.It stumbles coming out the starting gates and absent ideological domination of science, education and media institutions, would long since have collapsed as Marxism collapsed a quarter century ago. That’s not just opinion, it is well warranted and accurate, fair comment. KF

  517. DNA_JOCK

    Game set match will you concede? Won’t hold my breath…..

  518. keiths:

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that IDers are trying to deny the existence of the ONH. They don’t have a lot of options left.

    Good grief. IDers are so overwhelmed with options when it comes to addressing your “argument” that the most difficult thing is to figure out where to begin. Even so, they’ve pointed out various flaws and holes in your thinking, only to have you recycle claims as though nothing had happened.

    But you are right in one sense. There aren’t a lot of options left. We can stand around while the Black Knight tries to bite our ankles, or follow Arthur off stage, hopefully to something quite a bit less boring.

    Vincent Torley, who is considerably smarter than the other pro-ID commenters here, recognizes the reality of the ONH — as a rational person, how could he deny it? He also understands that the stakes are high, and that IDers urgently need to find a refutation of my argument. Instead of trying to deny the ONH, he is looking for other ways to defuse the Bomb.

    I’m pretty sure he’s not, since he’s one of the ones that already refuted your argument. He’s merely followed Arthur off stage, scene right.

    One of those is to argue that we can legitimately assume that the Designer will behave in a way that produces an ONH (and just so happens to mimic what we’d expect unguided evolution to do).

    Fascinating. Here’s a question: Is anyone actually making this argument? If so, who? Or have you been reduced to arguing with yourself now?

  519. keiths:

    One of those is to argue that we can legitimately assume that the Designer will behave in a way that produces an ONH (and just so happens to mimic what we’d expect unguided evolution to do).

    Also, you’ve been corrected on this before. Please demonstrate why it is necessary to tack the unguided part onto evolution in order to get an ONH, or stop acting as though it is.

  520. F/N: Biochemist W. Ford Doolittle, suggesting how KS has been barking up the wrong tree:

    “Molecular phylogenists will have failed to find the ‘true tree,’ not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree.” [Doolittle, “Phylogenetic Classification and the Universal Tree,” Science, 284:2124-28 (1999). HT CL, Salvo.]

    (For the contextual discussion, cf. here. And the FTR that headlines and amplifies 412 above gives more on the wider issues, including rain fairies etc that were being trumpeted up till recently by KS and others. Yes, that which was studiously ignored and buried under message dominance rhetoric is what I have decided to spotlight.)

    KF

  521. Andre,

    Very interesting.

    gup1 strains are “incapable of undergoing apoptosis” yet they grow fine. rho-zero cells grow too, albeit slower.

    “PCD is essential to life”

    Game, set and match indeed.

    😀

  522. Of: //”GM, do you have an observationally grounded account of the adequacy of blind watchmaker chance and necessity to account for the FSCO/I involved in the origin of life..”//

    No. Do you have an observationally grounded account of the adequacy of god to account for the FiASCO [WARNING: Schoolyard taunt namecalling of a thing directly observable and derived from terms used by Orgel and Wicken] involved I. The origin of life, etc.? I didn’t think so. But at least we have proposed a mechanism that can be tested and is predictive. Have you? No? What do you mean that I can’t ask about the nature of the designer or the mechanism of design?

    Please do better.

  523. Keith,

    Would you say that there are really two questions

    1) Could a designer build through ONH?
    2) Did a designer build through ONH?

  524. This thread is both hilarious and instructive. Once again, thank you KF (and contributors)!

  525. So let’s talk objective nested hierarchy (ONH). Let’s pretend we are going to construct an OP in which an ONH plays a mjor role in our argument.

    We would first define what constitutes a hierarchy.

    Then we would explain what constitutes a nested hierarchy and how that is to be differentiated from a non-nested hierarchy.

    Then we would set forth the conditions required for a nested hierarchy to be objective and distinguish objective nested hierarchies from non-objective nested hierarchies.

    Then we could proceed by discussing the potential causes of objective nested hierarchies, including what it means to say that some process which produces an objective nested hierarchy is “unguided.”

    As an example, we could use the game of craps, and show how the unguided outcomes of tossing a pair of dice produce an objective nested hierarchy, while perhaps showing how tossing a pair of loaded dice produces any number of different objectively nested hierarchies.

    Or we could do like keiths, and just posture.

  526. Mung,

    This thread is both hilarious and instructive.

    Indeed. Andre is both providing the hilarity and benefiting from the instruction:

    Andre:

    DNA_JOCK

    Game set match will you concede? Won’t hold my breath…..

    DNA_Jock:

    Andre,

    Very interesting.

    gup1 strains are “incapable of undergoing apoptosis” yet they grow fine. rho-zero cells grow too, albeit slower.

    “PCD is essential to life”

    Game, set and match indeed.

    😀

    Good show, Andre!

  527. keiths:

    I’m planning to do an OP like that at TSZ over the weekend. I’ll link to it, but if Barry would like to cross-post it here, that would be great too.

    Hope I’ve contributed in some small way. Please don’t say obviously stupid things, because they will end up being the topic of discussion.

    Speaking of which, have you ever retracted your original assertion that Intelligent Design is incompatible with the evidence for common descent, or is that still among the claims you have made which you are prepared to back up on?

  528. KF:

    F/N: Biochemist W. Ford Doolittle, suggesting how KS has been barking up the wrong tree…

    Good grief, kairosfocus. We’re not talking about prokaryotes, in which horizontal gene transfer is rampant. We’re talking about the cladogram for the 30 major taxa, which is depicted in Theobald’s Figure 1. Horizontal gene transfer within prokaryotes has no effect on this cladogram, because the bacteria are confined to one taxon. As you know or should know, and which, despite repeated correction, you continue to deny, resorting instead to drumbeat repetition of discredited talking points. 🙂

    I explained this days, if not weeks, ago. Try to catch up, KF.

  529. Mung,

    Hope I’ve contributed in some small way.

    Not really. Mostly you’ve just gotten in the way of the grownups who are actually trying to discuss the ONH argument.

    Your fixation on the “Keith’s wrong! It’s not actually incompatible; it’s just trillions of times less compatible!” idea is a case in point. Even if you were correct, ID would still be screwed. Your point is irrelevant.

    Go to the other room and play with Joe, dear. The grownups are talking.

  530. Please, keiths, more substance.

  531. kairosfocus:

    PS: There is room enough for a focussed discussion. I headline to highlight, and point to the focussed discussion. BTW, much as magazines and newspapers have done for many decades with articles and a letters to the editor forum. If you find that “ridiculous,” it seems you need to revise your sense of the ridiculous.

    KF,

    This is a blog, not a newspaper. The other authors are brave enough to leave comments enabled on their OPs (except for Granville Sewell, of course, when he’s peddling his Second Law nonsense).

    Why are you so afraid of open discussion? When you disable comments, you are announcing to the world that your ideas are weak and must be protected from criticism. Is that the message you’re hoping to send?

    Please do better.

  532. Between HeKS in the OP and WJM @12, keiths has been left with no leg to stand on…and no arm to fight with. But the Black Knight still has a mouth and no compunction about using it to proclaim his invincibility some 500 posts later. Yes, this is hilarious and instructive, but also ultimately futile.

    Cue the coconuts as we move on.

  533. HD:

    Would you say that there are really two questions

    1) Could a designer build through ONH?
    2) Did a designer build through ONH?

    The question I’m addressing is this:

    Which is more likely?

    A. ID is correct, and the designer just happens to use an ONH motif, whether by choice, limitation, or pure happenstance, instead of one of the trillions of other options.

    B. Unguided evolution is true, and the reason we see the ONH is obvious: that’s what unguided evolution predicts!

    The correct answer is pretty easy to figure out.

    Earlier, you wrote:

    You and I are arguing a philosophical issue here. So I will ask you one more time: Why does that fact that a god would chose one of trillion of possibilities = that he wouldn’t and therefore didn’t?

    If there’s a designer, he/she/it has to choose one of the options. I’m certainly not denying that.

    But given that we know nothing about the designer, there is no reason to expect that the designer would single out the ONH as a design constraint over all of the trillions of alternatives.

    Here’s how I explained it to Box:

    Box,

    It’s astonishing to me that you still don’t get this, but let me try once more.

    Suppose you have two objects:

    1. A coin with ONH stamped on both sides.
    2. A trillion-sided die with ONH engraved on one and only one side.

    A friend of yours takes both objects into another room, out of your sight. She randomly picks one of the two objects and flips it.

    “I randomly picked one of the objects and flipped it, and it landed with ONH up,” she shouts to you.

    Your job is to guess which of the objects she flipped — the coin with ONH on both sides, or the trillion-sided die with ONH on only one side.

    If you can’t figure out the best answer, I’m afraid there’s little hope that you will ever understand my argument.

  534. keiths:

    Vincent Torley, who is considerably smarter than the other pro-ID commenters here, recognizes the reality of the ONH — as a rational person, how could he deny it? He also understands that the stakes are high, and that IDers urgently need to find a refutation of my argument. Instead of trying to deny the ONH, he is looking for other ways to defuse the Bomb.

    One of those is to argue that we can legitimately assume that the Designer will behave in a way that produces an ONH (and just so happens to mimic what we’d expect unguided evolution to do).

    Phinehas:

    Also, you’ve been corrected on this before. Please demonstrate why it is necessary to tack the unguided part onto evolution in order to get an ONH, or stop acting as though it is.

    Phinehas,

    Try to calm down. When you get flustered, you make silly mistakes.

    I have never claimed that evolution must be unguided in order to produce an ONH. The ONH motif is one among trillions of options available to a designer who guides evolution.

    Slow down and pay attention.

  535. William raises an objection that Box echoes:

    But, again, where does keith get his “trillions of possibilities” in the first place, upon which to reach the POI [principle of indifference] conclusion of a flat probability distribution?

    That is the problem. Keith has given us no reason or argument as two why we should accept his “trillions of possibilities” assumption in the first place. He claims that it is just his “not ruling anything out”, but what exactly has he “not ruled out” when he has no idea what possibilities exist in the first place?

    You must have possibilities in the first place before you can rule any out or in. Where does keith find possibilities in the first place to “not rule out” in the second place?

    Simple. There are 10^38 possibilities for a cladogram relating the 30 major taxa, which means there are 10^38 ways for two such cladograms to mismatch. Consider two cladograms based on, say, morphological vs. molecular data. If they mismatch significantly, then an ONH cannot be inferred.

    Under the design hypothesis, it’s trillions of times more likely that you will not be able to infer an ONH.

    In other words:

    Under the unguided evolution hypothesis, we expect to see an ONH and nothing else. Under the design hypothesis, we expect not to see an ONH, with 99.999…% probability.

    We see an ONH. Unguided evolution is spectacularly confirmed, and ID is blown out of the water.

  536. @Zachriel #475

    HeKS: What is the particular aspect of the elliptical orbit of planets that is not uncontroversially explained by known natural causes and is habitually associated with angelic activity that triggers the ‘Planetary Angels’ inference as a best explanation for planetary movement?

    There is no controversy within the scientific community regarding evolution. The controversy is cultural and political.

    Your statement is far too imprecise for the specifics of this issue.

    There is very widespread acceptance of Universal Common Descent in the scientific community, and even though I think that Universal Common Descent is wrong, I will grant that it is not generally considered controversial in the scientific community. When people throw around the claim that “Evolution is fact”, this is what they’re referring to.

    But that’s not the issue.

    The mechanism(s) of evolution that produces complex novel biological systems is not remotely uncontroversial or empirically-established. There is no agreed upon, uncontroversial, empirically-based mechanism known to be capable of producing the complex, functionally-specified systems and molecular machines found in living organisms. All the actual evidence we have strongly indicates that no natural mechanism we know about could be plausibly expected to produce these effects. At the same time, these systems and molecular machines also have numerous hallmarks that we habitually and uniquely associate with conscious, intelligent activity. It is these systems that design is invoked to explain … not the existence of an ONH.

    Nobody is saying, “Hey, life falls into an ONH. It seems like an ONH could form naturally, but we think the ONH must be deliberately formed, just as it is, by a designer.”

    The ONH is a non-issue. A designer is not being invoked to explain the presence of an ONH. The repeated appeals to these Planetary-Angels type false analogies are pointless and nonsensical, because they completely misrepresent what ID proponents are actually arguing. The method by which novel complex functionally-specified systems and molecular machines originate in not inextricably linked to the process by which they are distributed. Design is invoked with relation to the former, not the latter.

    In any case, that’s not the argument. The argument is that angels happen to like elliptical orbits. It just so happens to look like gravity. The designer happens to like the nested hierarchy. It just so happens to look like branching descent.

    Except that the second half of what you just said is not what ID proponents are arguing. I’m not sure of anyone, except maybe some YEC’s, who have any issue with the idea that much or most of the distribution of traits really does happen simply through actual branching descent.

    HeKS: There is significant and irreconcilable incongruence at every level of the ‘tree’ to the point that it is questioned whether a tree is even the right concept to use in describing the world of life.

    There is a very strong signal of a tree regardless of any anomalies. It’s not a random artifact.

    The doubt is not over whether it’s correct to think that life consists of trees, but over whether it’s correct to think of life as a tree. Ideology aside, when looking at the data holistically, life seems to look like a series of nested trees that contain some objective nested hierarchies showing loss of genetic information, function and variability through a process of branching descent, but that typically has all manner of morphological and molecular overlap. Some examples have been mentioned in this thread. Many others are available. The conflicts are not trivial.

    HeKS: The subset of trees produced by a combination of methods does not consist of a single tree. Or two. Or three. Or Five. The lowest estimate I’ve seen is 10. Other times it’s a few dozen. Other times 50.

    As there are 10^38 possible patterns, that’s negligible. That means we are looking at a tree or a few trees, but trees nonetheless.

    See above.

    We’d be interested in where you got your numbers, by the way. We’re not talking about anomalies, but separate trees as you stated. Are vertebrates a tree? ?

    I believe Theobald gives some of the same numbers himself. As for vertebrates, I think they fall into trees. I don’t think all vertebrates are biologically related through continuous, unguided branching descent. But that’s ultimately irrelevant to my comments about the validity of Keith’s argument, which is that even if we grant the notion that life exists in a single, perfectly neat and unified ONH, his argument still utterly fails.

  537. Andre,

    I’ve spoken about this before PCD does have a degree of fault tolerance. But do you understand what it means?

    Yes, it means, as I’ve been saying, that despite such systems that mutations still occur, and, as it turns out, we all have quite a few. Without such systems in place, the number of mutations would be much greater, even unsurvivable.

    PCD is vital for prokaryotes because;

    1.) It controls aging of cells
    2.) Controls & manages unicellular pathogens
    3.) Assists Development of the cell
    4.) Assists with the recombination of genetic exchange material
    5.) Repairs damage to the cell

    Was that a response to the question regarding the importance of apoptosis? How does the feature of being able kill itself assist prokaryotes in these ways?

    Eating yourself gave you a selective advantage……. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

    Why wouldn’t it be selected for?
    You just quoted explaining how it’s beneficial. If you don’t think it’s beneficial, why do you think the designer put it there? As a joke?

  538. Alicia Renard:

    I think the basis of Keith’s argument is that the theory of evolution has the prerequisite entailment of common descent and that can be observed by a nested hierarchy of bifurcation. Analysis of morphological features and molecular methods both confirm the same nested hierarchy. That is the hypothesis is supported by available evidence.

    William J Murray:

    Which is another reason keith’s argument is invalid; evolution would have that entailment whether it was guided or unguided.

    Not so. I’m surprised that you still don’t understand this, William. It’s very important.

    Here’s how I put it in my OP:

    The ‘common descent IDers’ do not see common descent as a threat. They accept it, because they see it as being compatible with guided evolution. And while they agree with biologists that unguided evolution can account for small-scale changes in organisms, they deny that it is powerful enough to explain macroevolutionary change, as revealed by the large-scale structure of the tree of life. Thus guided evolution is necessary, in their view. Since common descent IDers accept the reality of common descent, you might be surprised that the evidence for common descent is a problem for them, but it is — and it’s a serious one. Read on for details.

    And:

    What about our third subset of IDers — those who accept the truth of common descent but believe that intelligent guidance is necessary to explain macroevolution? The evidence is a problem for them, too, despite the fact that they accept common descent. The following asymmetry explains why: the discovery of an objective nested hierarchy implies common descent, but the converse is not true; common descent does not imply that we will be able to discover an objective nested hierarchy. There are many choices available to a Designer who guides evolution. Only a tiny fraction of them lead to a inferable, objective nested hierarchy. The Designer would have to restrict himself to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance of features in order to leave behind evidence of the kind we see.

  539. Keith S,

    I hope that the only reason why you continue to be allowed to comment on this blog is so that there is more activity on this blog, which in turn means more advertising $$$…Barry is loaded so I doubt that…

    If I was the webmaster of this blog, I would ban you for one and one reason only… Ignorance…

    And here is proof for your ignorance… I have asked you this fundamental to your faith question and you can’t answer it… Why is it so difficult for you if evolution is a piece of cake…?

    “Enzymes are needed to produce ATP. However, energy from ATP is needed to produce enzymes. However, DNA is required to make enzymes, but enzymes are required to make DNA.
    However, proteins can be made only by a cell, but a cell can be made only with specific proteins. So, how is this ALL possible in view of evolutionary prospective?”

    Give me one good reason others than ignorance… please

  540. 543
    logically_speaking

    Zachriel,

    logically_speaking: So the shoes that best fit my feet can be objectively determined by computer algorithms

    You:
    Indeed, computer algorithms are used extensively in footwear design, especially for athletes or orthopedics where fit is crucial.

    My response:
    So intelligent design is an equally if not better explanation of nested hierarchies determined by “best fit” computer algorithms. Interesting.

    logically_speaking: And are you aware that computer algorithms are programed using set predetermined parameters, in other words by subjective design.

    You:
    In the case of nested hierarchies, they can objectively determine best fit, and the degree of the fit. You do understand that the nested hierarchy is a mathematical pattern, not a foot?

    My response:
    Again intelligent design seems to be an equal if not better explanation of a nested hierarchy based on “best fit” computer algorithms.

    logically_speaking: I can arrange a bunch of cutlery, in size, function, and the material they are made from. All in a nested hierarchy, and using statistical analysis on it would also be useless.

    You:
    Great! Try it. There are many ways to do so. However, there’s only one overarching nested hierarchy for organisms.

    My response:
    Your missing the point, you get your one overarching hierarchy FROM the statistical analysis, I am pointing out why this kind of analysis is useless to the tree of life.

    logically_speaking: Then you and whoever we is, are wrong.

    You:
    objectivity, of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers.

    My response:
    Yes here’s the important bit, “independent of individual thought”.

    logically_speaking: It was subjectivity chosen that bats be classified as mammals, it could of been classified as a bird, if you chose to classify birds as animals that can fly with wings.

    You:
    Good example. Birds have wings. Bats have wings. However, bats have mammary glands, bellows lungs, wings articulated by the phalanges, airfoil is skin not feathers, have hair, three auditory ossicles, a single-boned dentary. We could go on.

    My response:
    Why did you OBJECTIVELY CHOOSE these features? Bats and lizards both have ears, a tounge, eyes, a nose, a tail, teeth, and claws. We could go on. Why are your traits more important than my list in determining classification?

    You:
    The way to consider this objectively is to look at all the traits.

    My response:
    Unfortunately nobody does look at all the traits when creating classifications, thats why it is subjective.

    logically_speaking: I can arrange cutlery into nested hierarchies, based on size, function and the material they are made from. How on earth can branching descent predict any nested hierarchy of cutlery?

    You:
    Branching descent in biology predicts a nested hierarchy based on the geometry of trees and a bit of statistics. Branching descent has nothing to do with your arbitrary cutlery classification.

    My response:
    Your missing the point, branching descent is an assumption. I can create nested hierarchies on cutlery using the geometry of trees and a bit of statistics, without any need for decent. Therefore claiming that branching descent is the cause of biological nested hierarchies is a baseless assumption.

  541. HeKS #470:

    Keith wants it to be logically necessary that either a designer directly and specifically instantiate the entirety of an ONH tree structure or else he be prevented from introducing any content into the ongoing distribution process.

    HeKS,

    I had already corrected you in #455:

    No. What I’m saying is that at every point in time it is possible for the Designer to do something that would completely wreck the ONH signal. The fact that we see the ONH thus means that the Designer continually decides (or is limited to) acting in a way that preserves the ONH.

    If ID is true, then the designer is fully involved, by intent or by limitation, in the production of the ONH.

    PS Your continued references to the “alleged ONH” are funny. Keep it up. 🙂

  542. Mung:

    Speaking of which, have you ever retracted your original assertion that Intelligent Design is incompatible with the evidence for common descent, or is that still among the claims you have made which you are prepared to back up on?

    keiths:

    Your fixation on the “Keith’s wrong! It’s not actually incompatible; it’s just trillions of times less compatible!” idea is a case in point. Even if you were correct, ID would still be screwed. Your point is irrelevant.

    Maybe you’re not wrong. Maybe you are wrong. You claimed you could defend all your claims. Right? Need me to pull up the link?

    So yeah, I am fixated on this element of your argument. I really don’t mind admitting that.

    The major claim you made is that Intelligent Design is not compatible with the evidence for common decent.

    The question isn’t whether I am correct, the question is whether you are correct. It’s your argument.

  543. Quest @ 541

    “Enzymes are needed to produce ATP. However, energy from ATP is needed to produce enzymes. However, DNA is required to make enzymes, but enzymes are required to make DNA.
    However, proteins can be made only by a cell, but a cell can be made only with specific proteins. So, how is this ALL possible in view of evolutionary prospective?”

    Is that supposed to be something profound ? That stems from issue of OOL which has not been answered satisfactorily yet.
    ID hasn’t even guessed how many agents make up an ID since it is quite clear a single ID agent can’t take care of all processes.

  544. Me_don’t think…

    I just want the scientific and experimental proof… which I’m sure you have… because you wouldn’t make a moron of yourself unless you had the proof, would you…?

    [–> Quest, please tone down language, cf the strikes. A warning: think of how you would converse over dinner at someone else’s house. KF]

  545. Keith,

    No. What I’m saying is that at every point in time it is possible for the Designer to do something that would completely wreck the ONH signal. The fact that we see the ONH thus means that the Designer continually decides (or is limited to) acting in a way that preserves the ONH.

    If ID is true, then the designer is fully involved, by intent or by limitation, in the production of the ONH.

    Try to picture this, Keith…

    A process of branching descent is running in various lineages and a complex new trait, system or molecular machine is added to a lineage. What happens to the new addition?

  546. Point 1:
    Keith says:

    The Designer would have to restrict himself to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance of features in order to leave behind evidence of the kind we see.

    What keith fails to answer is if, or why unguided evolution is restricted to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance.

    Point 2:
    Keith attempts to explain where he gets his “trillions of possibilities” that the designer “could have” instantiated instead of an ONH:

    Simple. There are 10^38 possibilities for a cladogram relating the 30 major taxa, which means there are 10^38 ways for two such cladograms to mismatch. Consider two cladograms based on, say, morphological vs. molecular data. If they mismatch significantly, then an ONH cannot be inferred.

    Keith is equivocating between “what is imaginable” and “what is possible”.

    Keith’s failure of logic here is that the “possibilities” he refers to exist solely as imagined variant arrangements of the evidence and not on any known capacity of the designer to implement such arrangements.

    In order to “not rule out” any of the imagined arrangements keith must first show his imagined arrangements are all possible arrangements the designer could have actually instantiated in the first place.

    Except Keith has no basis for such a demonstration because, as he said, he knows absolutely nothing about the designer.

    Because they are imaginable arrangements doesn’t mean they are actual possibilities available for instantiation to the designer. Keith has confused arrangements he can imagine with arrangements a designer could actually, possibly instantiate.

    Point 3:
    Keith has still provided no scientific evidence to support his claims about “unguided” evolution.

  547. Alicia Renard said:

    That translates as “ID fits any evidence”!

    No, it doesn’t. Random sand piles, orbital pattern of planets, formation of patterns in crystal, etc. – ID is not a fit for that evidence because they are easily accounted for by lawful and stochastic processes.

    I see you have used “CSI” again as if it meant something. What do you think it means?

    I think it means what the FAQ I referred you to several times says it means.

    And why are you not a Christian?

    What possible difference does it make wrt the debate?

  548. Oh brother..

    mutant cells under the same conditions seems to be incapable of undergoing apoptosis. Instead, these cells appeared to be experiencing a necrotic cell death process.

    The cell dies people…..

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necrosis

  549. DNA_Jock
    henand decalre some victory….

    Necrosis is bad! it is unprogrammed and it means permanent death to the cell because necrosis is irreversible.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/ar.....crosis.htm

  550. DNA_Jock

    Unbelievable that you ignore this and declare some Victory…..

    I will say this again, when PCD stops working the organism dies because PCD initiates self destruct.

    Organism dead…. and very quickly!

  551. Just to make this clear for onlookers

    You said;

    Andre,

    Very interesting.

    gup1 strains are “incapable of undergoing apoptosis” yet they grow fine. rho-zero cells grow too, albeit slower.

    “PCD is essential to life”

    Game, set and match indeed.

    What actually happens;

    We demonstrate that gup1? mutant strain present a significantly reduced chronological lifespan comparing to Wt. Moreover, this mutant showed to be highly sensitive to acetic acid. Yet, while chronologically aged and acetic acid treated Wt cells die exhibiting apoptotic markers, gup1? mutant cells under the same conditions seems to be incapable of undergoing apoptosis. Instead, these cells appeared to be experiencing a necrotic cell death process.

    Then you declare some victory and Keith S for some inexplicable reason chirps in having ignored me all this time.

    You guys don’t give a hoot about scientific evidence or truth, and it is shameful.

    Now please be honorable and concede that PCD is essential to all life as I have been arguing.

    Can you be honorable?

  552. HeKS,

    Try to picture this, Keith…

    A process of branching descent is running in various lineages and a complex new trait, system or molecular machine is added to a lineage. What happens to the new addition?

    That depends. Does God the Designer add it to a single individual, to a few, to many, or to all? Is it beneficial, neutral, or deleterious? Homozygous or heterozygous? Does it go to fixation? How does drift impact it? Is it added to a subpopulation that’s on its way to reproductive isolation? How far along?

    Let’s assume that God the Designer “installs” it in all individuals of the population as a homozygous trait — instant fixation, in other words. In that case it will be passed down to all descendants along each subsequent branch until it is modified or it reverts.

    By the way, in all sincerity, thank you for sticking to this single topic for now. I’ll bet the readers appreciate it too.

  553. keiths:

    The Designer would have to restrict himself to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance of features in order to leave behind evidence of the kind we see.

    William J Murray:

    What keith fails to answer is if, or why unguided evolution is restricted to gradual changes and predominantly vertical inheritance.

    Because that’s what we observe, William, both in real time and from interpreting the evidence.

    WJM:

    Keith attempts to explain where he gets his “trillions of possibilities” that the designer “could have” instantiated instead of an ONH:

    Simple. There are 10^38 possibilities for a cladogram relating the 30 major taxa, which means there are 10^38 ways for two such cladograms to mismatch. Consider two cladograms based on, say, morphological vs. molecular data. If they mismatch significantly, then an ONH cannot be inferred.

    Keith is equivocating between “what is imaginable” and “what is possible”.

    Keith’s failure of logic here is that the “possibilities” he refers to exist solely as imagined variant arrangements of the evidence and not on any known capacity of the designer to implement such arrangements.

    In order to “not rule out” any of the imagined arrangements keith must first show his imagined arrangements are all possible arrangements the designer could have actually instantiated in the first place.

    You’re shooting yourself in the foot, William. By that logic, you have to demonstrate what is and isn’t possible for the designer before we can consider ID as an explanation. Oops.

    Except Keith has no basis for such a demonstration because, as he said, he knows absolutely nothing about the designer.

    And neither do you, so ID is off the table. Good work, William!

    Because they are imaginable arrangements doesn’t mean they are actual possibilities available for instantiation to the designer.

    Exactly. And if I can’t consider any of them as possibilities, you can’t either. You’ve single-handedly defeated ID, William.

    Note to onlookers: I love William. 🙂

  554. Keith S

    This is not about what the designer is capable of but what unguided processes are capable of…..

    unguided processes can create zip……

  555. KS:

    Let us recall.

    The substantive issue for the past two years is the tree of life from its root(s), and the linked matter of accounting for the FSCO/I involved in it.

    I have simply exerted the requirement championed by Newton, Lyell and even Darwin, that before we allow a claimed causal explanation on traces from the deep past, we need to show causal adequacy. A world of written text, computer code and technology generally shows that intelligently directed configuration is causally adequate to FSCO/I, and we know we have actually begun first steps in engineering life forms — hence panics and concerns over genetic manipulations of foods etc and conspiracy stories over HIV and Ebola etc.

    We await some good observational warrant for blind watchmaker thesis chance and necessity, at OOL, and at key branching (and I suppose, information transfer points): _______________

    Until such is shown, there is nothing to discuss about how chance variation and differential reproductive success based culling leading to descent with incremental modification (or some variant, thence a branching tree of life macro evolutionary process:

    CV + DRSBC –> DWIM –> BTOLMEP

    allegedly account for the origin of major body plans, much less the claimed nested hierarchy from snapshots in the fossil record and in the world today.

    Next, it is evident you have still not read or even skimmed as requested. For the matter is not prokaryotes vs eukaryotes, it is that

    i: the tree architecture, overall — once

    ii: ad hoc patches based on the point Lakatos highlighted about

    iii: an armour-belt of auxiliary hyps that protect a core commitment of a research programme’s paradigm — are recognised for what they are and are removed —

    iv: and once disparities across the traditional and various molecular “trees” are recognised, along with

    v: the underlying implicit cirgularity involved in forcing a tree-pattern in many similarity-difference based patterns used to indicate a presumed tree

    . . . is recognisably not a consistent mutually branching tree structure with one single root.

    Instead while treelike patterns of various kinds can be spotted (hedge?) there is a pattern of interconnexions and diversity reflective of the sort of multiple inheritance like library reuse and adaptation familiar from programming and technology. Horizontal gene transfer, convergent evolution so-called [40 appearances of eyes, Pax 6 gene involvement with utterly diverse eyes, the same involved with non eyed creatures . . . ], imposing of a forced, “least contradictions” tree pattern.

    All of this screams, ad hoc patchwork and assumption-laden imposition on the world of life instead of a fresh look assessment of the emerging far more complicated network of life forms.

    That says to me, very strongly, until the existence of a clear root node and branching tree pattern based nested hierarchy backed by an adequate mechanism is grounded empirically, assertions about accounting for nested hierarchies held to be objective are ill-founded and likely to be circular.

    Where, Theobald, as I saw 2 years back, already stumbles into critical circularities coming out the starting gates.

    Every tub must stand on its own bottom.

    KF

  556. PS: I am quite aware that Theobald begins with a somewhat more elaborate variant on the TOL pattern displayed by the Smithsonian but fails to address the root node, instead red balling in a LUCA. The problem is as just highlighted, that whole framework begs big unanswered questions on root and pivotal branches, whilst also applying the armour belt protective auxiliary hyps that prune out the evidence of disparate molecular trees and that of cross branching and multiple inheritance of key characteristics, e.g. origin of eyes 40 times over and of wings several times etc. Not to mention the case of how bats and whales seemingly have “convergent” genetic endowments connected to sonar systems. Not to mention mosaics such as the Platypus with 18,000 genes from all over the place.

  557. KF:

    I have simply exerted the requirement championed by Newton, Lyell and even Darwin, that before we allow a claimed causal explanation on traces from the deep past, we need to show causal adequacy.

    Yet you cannot do so for your purported Designer. Like William, you have shot yourself in the foot and taken ID off the table.

    A world of written text, computer code and technology generally shows that intelligently directed configuration is causally adequate to FSCO/I, and we know we have actually begun first steps in engineering life forms…

    Those demonstrate partial causal adequacy for humans, but what you need to demonstrate is complete causal adequacy for your Designer.

    You can’t do it, so by your own standards, ID must be rejected. Congratulations.

    You and William make excellent ID critics, KF. 🙂

  558. And by the way, your tub must also stand on its own bottom. 😀

  559. PPS: For a point of lightly annotated reference, let me clip from the headlined form of 412 above:

    >> [Q] 4: Notice, how the myth of objective nested hierarchies as characterising the pattern of life forms has instead been put on the table and corrections that in fact there are serious inconsistencies in taxonomy such that especially the hoped for breakthrough molecular “trees” are inconsistent with both the traditional categorisation and with one another? [meshed tree network diagram inspired by Wells’ suggestion on his critique of the ToL follows] . . . .

    i –> As for insistently claimed nested hierarchies, that pivots on a known falsity. There is no objective, convergent evidence backed nested hierarchy of life forms driven by an indisputable branching tree evolutionary pattern, as can be seen from the linked excerpts of Graham Lawton, in “Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life,” New Scientist (January 21, 2009):

    “For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” says Eric Bapteste, an evolutionary biologist at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France. A few years ago it looked as though the grail was within reach. But today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence. Many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded. “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality,” says Bapteste. [–> would you have picked that major contention up from reading either Theobald or KS? Obviously, not.] That bombshell has even persuaded some that our fundamental view of biology needs to change . . . .

    The problems began in the early 1990s when it became possible to sequence actual bacterial and archaeal genes rather than just RNA. Everybody expected these DNA sequences to confirm the RNA tree, and sometimes they did but, crucially, sometimes they did not. RNA, for example, might suggest that species A was more closely related to species B than species C, but a tree made from DNA would suggest the reverse . . . .

    Syvanen recently compared 2000 genes that are common to humans, frogs, sea squirts, sea urchins, fruit flies and nematodes [–> not prokaryotes]. In theory, he should have been able to use the gene sequences to construct an evolutionary tree showing the relationships between the six animals. He failed. The problem was that different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories [–> Thus, disparities between the molecular and traditional trees, and among molecular trees. A better model is multiple inheritance with adapting the wheel instead of re-inventing it, BTW a favourite cliche to the point of grating on the ears among engineers]. This was especially true of sea-squirt genes. Conventionally, sea squirts—also known as tunicates—are lumped together with frogs, humans and other vertebrates in the phylum Chordata, but the genes were sending mixed signals. Some genes did indeed cluster within the chordates, but others indicated that tunicates [= sea-squirts, Phylum Chordata, i.e. not prokaryotes] should be placed with sea urchins, which aren’t chordates. “Roughly 50 per cent of its genes have one evolutionary history and 50 per cent another,” Syvanen says.

    Similarly, W. Ford Doolittle, “Phylogenetic Classification and the Universal Tree,” Science, Vol. 284:2124-2128 (June 25, 1999):

    Molecular phylogenists will have failed to find the ‘true tree,’ not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree.

    And again, Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is?, pg. 113 (Basic Books, 2001):

    It had been shown that by morphological-phylogenetic research that photoreceptor organs (eyes) [–> that’s not about prokaryotes!] had developed at least 40 times independently during the evolution of animal diversity. A developmental geneticist, however, showed that all animals with eyes have the same regulator gene, Pax 6, which organizes the construction of the eye. It was therefore at first concluded that all eyes were derived from a single ancestral eye with the Pax 6 gene. But then the geneticist also found Pax 6 in species without eyes, and proposed that they must have descended from ancestors with eyes. However, this scenario turned out to be quite improbable and the wide distribution of Pax 6 required a different explanation. It is now believed that Pax 6, even before the origin of eyes, had an unknown function in eyeless organisms, and was subsequently recruited for its role as an eye organizer.

    j –> And if you think IDiots can be simply brushed off, consider this, on lizards, by Jonathan Losos:

    Traditionally, based on morphological analysis, lizards were thought to split into two groups, the iguanians (including anoles, other iguanids, agamids, and chameleons) and scleroglossans (everything else, including snakes). However, starting with a paper by Townsend et al. in 2004, a different picture emerged in which iguanians were nested high in lizard phylogeny, closely related to anguimorphs (such as alligator lizards, gila monsters, and monitors) and snakes. A series of subsequent studies came to essentially the same conclusion, most recently the output of the “Deep Scaly” NSF Tree of Life project which sequenced DNA from 44 genes.

    I think that most of the field had come to accept that the molecular tree was correct. But along comes a paper by the morphology team of Deep Scaly, a remarkable analysis in which 194 species were all micro-CT scanned and examined in others ways, leading to a data set of more than 600 morphological characters, 247 never previously used in phylogenetic studies. Analyzed with state-of-the-art methods, the results resoundingly support the original morphological tree and give absolutely no morphological support for the new molecular tree. The authors do an excellent job in not being strident in insisting that the morphological tree is correct, but just highlighting how very unusual morphological evolution must have been if the molecular tree is correct. Moreover, the authors note that based on analyses including the molecular data, the “Archaeopteryx” of squamates, Huehuecuetzpalli mixtecus, is placed high in the phylogeny, rather than in the basal position where morphology has long placed it. If, indeed, the molecules are right, what does that say about our ability to ever reliably place fossil species in a phylogeny?

    Either the morphological or the molecular tree is incorrect, and either molecular or morphological data have been evolving in a way for which there is no good explanation. This is truly a conundrum [ –> AmHD:1. A riddle in which a fanciful question is answered by a pun. 2. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma], which was the point of a perspective piece just published by David Hillis, Harry Greene, and me. We don’t have any answers, but thought it was an interesting enough question worthy of further attention. [Losos, “Morphology And Molecules Give Fundamentally Conflicting Results For Lizard Phylogeny.” Who is this IDiot? Oh, “Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.”]

    k –> In other words, there is an unresolved, material gap between the confident manner talking points on ONHs and the actual state of taxonomy. The foundation of KS’ bomb argument has fizzled, again. As usual. But, predictably, there will be zero concessions [–> Notice, no explanations for or retractions of strawman tactic planet-pushing angels, rain fairies, salt shaker leprechauns etc pivoting on distortions of the design inference explanatory filter — the main focus of the linked FTR] . . . >>

    In short, any discussion in the circle of ONHs is on a for the sake of argument basis. Likewise, any that presumes unobserved powers of blind watchmaker chance and necessity to account for OOL and branching tree body plan origin macro evo.

  560. KS,

    notice how you set up a strawman based on shifting from design as process to designer as presumed entity?

    That sets up a message dominance debate talking point push about assumptions in an ideologically polarised atmosphere you contributed to with further strawman caricatures on planet pushing angels, rain fairies and so forth. Which, I have had to correct for record. For the record, are you willing to concede that your focus on such fairy tale entities misrepresents how design thinkers since Newton in the 1660’s, have actually thought about lawlike necessity and stochastic contingencies (just think Lord Kelvin)?

    Not to mention, distorting the empirical observation based, inductive inference process illustrated by the per aspect explanatory filter flowchart that I have yet to see evidence that you have examined, sought to clearly understand and fairly represent.

    Instead, the design inference as you know or should know, starts with the empirical observation that intelligently directed configuration exists and often produces functionally specific complex entities for which functionality is produced by interaction of multiple correctly placed, properly matched, effectively coupled parts. Where, once the informational content of the associated Wicken wiring diagram exceeds 500 – 1,000 bits to specify functional cluster of states from the field of possibilities, it is reliable that such an entity was designed. On trillions of cases in piint, with no significant counter-instances, recent confident manner assertions in and doubtless around UD notwithstanding.

    I am sure you know the principle that such evidence anchored on empirical foundations, then points beyond itself to design as coming, per common observation etc, from purposeful, skilled intelligence.

    So, you have been standing the tub in its handles, which will of course be wobbly.

    Please flip it over and let it stand on its bottom that since you flipped it over is looking right at you, an inductive inference on trillions of cases in point.

    The turnabout tactic fails.

    KF

  561. It’s too late, KF. We’ve already rejected ID based on your criteria.

  562. KS, clever selectively hyperskeptical quip games are not answering to evidence and cogent inductive reasoning. KF

    PS: Trying to resurrect talking points that try to lock down intelligence to humans fails the beaver test and fails to acknowledge that there is no good reason in general to lock intelligence down to humans. Lurking in the wings, further, is the other side of ID, which points to evidence of a fine tuned cosmos which even beyond speculative multiverses, points onwards to design of the physics of the observed cosmos that sets up a habitat for C Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life. Not to mention the challenges of what is looking like an exceptionally privileged planet and solar system.

  563. KF:

    Trying to resurrect talking points that try to lock down intelligence to humans fails the beaver test and fails to acknowledge that there is no good reason in general to lock intelligence down to humans.

    I’m not trying to “lock down intelligence to humans”. I’m holding you to your own standard:

    I have simply exerted the requirement championed by Newton, Lyell and even Darwin, that before we allow a claimed causal explanation on traces from the deep past, we need to show causal adequacy.

    That means you must demonstrate the causal adequacy of your Designer. You can’t do it, so by your own criterion, ID must be rejected.

    No more pomo Alinskyite evasion of your own rules, young man. That noise you hear is foot tapping and old Mr Leathers being limbered up to be applied to the seat of learning with vigour. Six of the best is about right…

    Onlookers: For more “Mr Leathers” lulz, click here.

    I am LIVID. 😀

  564. F/N: Wiki on Multiple and virtual inheritance:

    >> Multiple inheritance is a feature of some object-oriented computer programming languages in which an object or class can inherit characteristics and features from more than one parent object or parent class. It is distinct from single inheritance, where an object or class may only inherit from one particular object or class.

    Multiple inheritance has been a sensitive issue for many years,[1][2] with opponents pointing to its increased complexity and ambiguity in situations such as the “diamond problem”, where it may be ambiguous as to which parent class a particular feature is inherited from if more than one parent class implements said feature. This can be addressed in various ways, including using virtual inheritance >>

    >> Virtual inheritance is a technique used in object-oriented programming, where a particular base class in an inheritance hierarchy is declared to share its member data instances with any other inclusions of that same base in further derived classes. For example, if class A is normally (non-virtually) derived from class X (assumed to contain data members), and class B likewise, and class C inherits from both classes A and B, it will contain two sets of the data members associated with class X (accessible independently, often with suitable disambiguating qualifiers). But if class A is virtually derived from class X instead, then objects of class C will contain only one set of the data members from class X. The best-known language that implements this feature is C++.

    This feature is most useful for multiple inheritance, as it makes the virtual base a common subobject for the deriving class and all classes that are derived from it. This can be used to avoid the problem of ambiguous hierarchy composition (known as the “diamond problem”) by clarifying ambiguity over which ancestor class to use, as from the perspective of the deriving class (C in the example above) the virtual base (X) acts as though it were the direct base class of C, not a class derived indirectly through its base (A). >>

    >> Method overriding, in object oriented programming, is a language feature that allows a subclass or child class to provide a specific implementation of a method that is already provided by one of its superclasses or parent classes. The implementation in the subclass overrides (replaces) the implementation in the superclass by providing a method that has same name, same parameters or signature, and same return type as the method in the parent class.[1] The version of a method that is executed will be determined by the object that is used to invoke it. If an object of a parent class is used to invoke the method, then the version in the parent class will be executed, but if an object of the subclass is used to invoke the method, then the version in the child class will be executed.[2] Some languages allow a programmer to prevent a method from being overridden. >>

    In short, adapt the wheel, don’t re-invent it.

    The consequence of which is that one is looking at multiple hierarchies of inheritance, as in effect underlying libraries and strategies are reused and adapted to particular situations.

    On which general model, gross anatomy and various molecular trees are complementary not contradictory. And as appropriate cross inks can run as required.

    Such are not reproductive ancestor-descendant patterns, they would be design patterns of technological descent.

    But of course a single rooted tree would be a special case of the broader pattern.

    KF

  565. KS, playing word games does not answer the issue. There is no good reason to hold that only humans can be designers of consequence. Instead, it is reasonable to understand that we instantiate cases of design-capable intelligence, and as inherently contingent beings, we cannot exhaust the possibilities. That’s logic. Beavers, already show cases of design adapted to circumstances, as a capital example. And as was pointed out, inverting the tub and demanding that it stand steadily on the handles then pouncing on the fact that it won’t, misses a patent point — the bottom is staring up at you. Mind you it is about 50 years too late to invite you to visit with us under Gramp’s mango trees and look at a wooden tub built barrel-style with handles sticking up. KF

    PS: I forgot, Kaiser Bill (whose mother was a daughter of Queen Victoria) once famously described the old professional British Army c 1914 as a “contemptible little army.” But the proof of the pudding was in the eating over the next four or so years. A four or so years in crucial part imposed by those .303-wielding, 15 rpm rapid firing, up to 30+ rpm mad minute Old Contemptibles at Mons, Le Cateau and First Marne.

  566. Quest @ 547

    I just want the scientific and experimental proof… which I’m sure you have… because you wouldn’t make a moron of yourself unless you had the proof, would you…?

    Here – in reply to VJT:
    thousands of ID designers need
    There could be more issues if ID mechanism is invented.

  567. 570

    Wm Murray directs me to “Resources” to find out about CSI. Excerpts from Dembski’s 2005 paper seems the only substantive content on CSI.Dembski makes no effort to show how his formula can be applied to a genuine biological system, also having the fatal P(T|H) flaw and considering Ewert’s clarification that CSI cannot be used to detect design, I suggest “go read “Resources” is a deflection. Continuing the list of what Mr Murray is not, he’s not well-versed in ID theory!

  568. Here – in reply to VJT:
    thousands of ID designers need
    Direct Link: thousands of ID designers need
    There could be more issues if ID mechanism is invented.

  569. Here – in reply to VJT:
    thousands of ID designers need
    Direct Link: thousands of ID designers needed [Sorry My brain is still rewired :-)]

  570. MT, you seem to be cross-threaded. In any case, the random search on average result is about searching in W for isolated zones T with maximally sparse search. On the whole, given the blind search for [a golden] search challenge . . . which has to come from the set of subsets of W i.e. from the power set of cardinality 2^W . . . we have no right to expect to find a golden search blindly that drastically outperforms the overwhelmingly likely fail on a blind reasonably random sparse search of W. Of course if one may impose successive “halves” with elimination of target in one half, the search tries to success drops impressively. Unfortunately, the sparseness imposed by W: atomic and temporal resources of sol system or the observed cosmos preclude half-break partitioned successive search. Neither the random dust nor a random walk nor a combination offer any advantages.) KF

    PS: I suggest you debate with VJT where he is.

  571. KF @ 573
    Yes I cross linked in reply to Quest @ 547 I could have copy pasted it here, but I didn’t want to hijack this thread.

  572. PPS: Number of intelligent designers is secondary to the detection on observed evidence and inductively reliable sign, of design as causal process. That twerdun comes before Whodunit.

  573. MT, I had to first deal with tone at that comment. I note again, that that twerdun comes before whodunit. KF

  574. 577
    Me_Th