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“Why Darwinism Is Doomed”

Leave it to Jonathan Wells to tell it like it is:

. . . The truth is Darwinism is not a scientific theory, but a materialistic creation myth masquerading as science. It is first and foremost a weapon against religion – especially traditional Christianity. Evidence is brought in afterwards, as window dressing.

This is becoming increasingly obvious to the American people, who are not the ignorant backwoods religious dogmatists that Darwinists make them out to be. Darwinists insult the intelligence of American taxpayers and at the same time depend on them for support. This is an inherently unstable situation, and it cannot last. . . .

Source: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52166

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69 Responses to “Why Darwinism Is Doomed”

  1. “Wow”

    This sounds like all of the Naturalist and their accounts of religious origins. The idea that we need to throw off myth’s and only come to the “HARD FACTUAL KNOWLEDGE.” Courtesy of Narrative theory!!!

    Yea for ID!!!

  2. Jonathan Wells is right — there’s nothing like an exciting new discovery to show that the theoretical framework which motivated it is hopelessly flawed. Even a child could see that.

    It’s obvious that the Darwinists over at Pharyngula are running scared — they’re so scared that they’re boasting about how they’re not scared, and everyone knows that means that they really are. Clearly.

    Unfortunately for Dr. Wells, it’s not clear what he’s going to do once Darwinism is over and done with. Could it be that it’s not, and that his repeated pronouncements of its impending demise are his way of being sure he continue to make a quick buck off of the gullible and self-deceived?

    Obviously, that’s impossible — not even worthy of the consideration it took for me to write it.

    No, it’s clear to all people of reason that in a few years, Darwin will be to biology what Marx is to economics, and the shining city on the hill will bring truth and goodness to all places of darkness, ignorance, and decadence — such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Then the terrible and savage tyranny inspired by Voltaire, Kant, and Spinoza shall finally be vanquished!

    Oh, what a glorious day that will be . . .

  3. Culturally Darwinism is losing and always has been. I think that is a rather poor way to try and settle a scientific issue.

  4. Agreed — losing for 150 years. If only Darwinists had the courage to admit it!

  5. Carlos,

    “No, it’s clear to all people of reason that in a few years, Darwin will be to biology what Marx is to economics, and the shining city on the hill will bring truth and goodness to all places of darkness, ignorance, and decadence — such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Then the terrible and savage tyranny inspired by Voltaire, Kant, and Spinoza shall finally be vanquished!”

    I’m not as familiar with Wells’ specific claims. However, I do think there is one aspect of darwinism/evolution which is drifting towards the chopping block – namely, the materialist and (for some) atheistic interpretations and representations of it, and some popular myths about the certainty of how it all occured.

    Obviously I don’t share the same enthusiasm and skepticism as a lot of people here – to me the real battleground between ID and Darwinism is philosophical more than anything else. I also believe that there are Darwinists who recognize this, and who honestly ARE intimidated by the potential and actual results which ID (and to some extent, theistic evolution) present.

    Take a look at the patterns of argument. ID is not creationism – not even close. And yet, many of the critics insist on referring to it as exactly that. Even Ken Miller, who happily and eagerly combats ID, just had PZ Myers apply the C-word to him. Dawkins will talk openly of how creationism is fine (as it’s easy to dismiss), but he gets agitated when people accept evolution and can find purpose – and potentially, the will of God(s) – within it.

    To be honest, that’s what got me interested in intelligent design. Noticing how, when it was young-earth creationism, Darwinists were content – even happy. They got a kick out of it, because scientifically it was easy to combat, and since the philosophy was tied so strongly to the science being right (or wrong), it was a pleasure.

    With intelligent design, I noticed a change. What provoked an amused response before now provoked a visceral one. One got the impression that creationism was fine, but finding design in evolution – or worse, finding it compatible with even a looser reading of Genesis – was downright *unfair*.

    I am convinced that this – the philosophy, the interpretation of the actual facts – is the unspoken ‘real issue’ with ID and TE, and what many darwinists hate. For many, the question is: What’s the point in believing in evolution if it doesn’t deliver a wrecking blow to theism?

  6. An entire century and a half, so far?
    How long did the belief in and search for the philosopher’s stone prevail before being replaced, fecund a field though it had been, by modern chemistry?

  7. I am so anachronistic. I remember those days when we settled scientific debates by actually going into the lab (you know, those places where people where the long white coats and use equipment) and doing science. I know, it does seem rather ridiculous by the methods championed here. Clearly the modern way is to write op-ed pieces or popularized books that declare victory anytime a new record that may be problematic, or at least can be cast as problematic, is added to the experimental database. In days of yore what we used to do (you’ll get a kick out of this) is to see if the current theory can explain the new data and if it could not we would either modify it or, if it was beyond saving, we would jettison it. Is that a gas or what? But I understand that since this takes time and work it is much more efficient just to accumulate short-term political mileage while we can.

  8. David,
    You are not anachronistic, merely befuddled by a romantic view of the past.
    Did Darwinian evolution gain its foothold on science through experimentation and labwork, or through speeches, books, and debates?

  9. David,

    Charlie is right. No labwork or field work has ever supported Darwin except for trivial experiments. If that is not true then enlighten us. That is what we all here are demanding. We love science, true science.

  10. nullasalus,

    Well said. I am certainly not a creationist and not necessarily enamored with ID as a separate scientific discipline but I am certainly anit-Darwin. Manily, because I am pro science.

  11. “How long did the belief in and search for the philosopher’s stone prevail before being replaced, fecund a field though it had been, by modern chemistry?”

    But the alchemists weren’t losing all that time, the way the Darwinists have been.

    “No labwork or field work has ever supported Darwin except for trivial experiments. ”

    Well put — after all, it’s one thing to accept that small changes could have happened over a small amount of time, but only a fool would think that lots of changes could have happened over a lot of time.

    “We love science, true science.”

    And that means test-tubes and lab-coats! If there are no test-tubes and lab-coats, it’s not science; that’s obvious. Then it’s just stamp collecting in the name of a nefarious plot to destroy the human spirit.

    Remember: if it’s inconsistent with truth, then it’s not science.

  12. David: Direct me to the research which has confirmed that Darwinian mechanisms are responsible for the past appearance of true biological novelty.

  13. Carl Sachs,

    You said:

    “Remember: if it’s inconsistent with truth, then it’s not science.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Science is not just labwork and fieldwork though that is definitely part of it.

    One person put it, as “Inference, supported by the facts” and I will accept that.

  14. Carlos,
    It is not the number of changes, but the nature and results of those changes.
    I’m sure you’ve heard the narrative, that all of life has evolved from perhaps a single, very simple life form.
    The claim that this is the result of lots of little changes is completely undemonstrated by labwork and experimentation.
    When Darwinists have tried to demonstrate such changes we get admissions, consistent with Dobhzansky’s, such as Nilsson’s:

    “My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment
    carried on for more than 40 years have completely
    failed. At least I should hardly be accused of having
    started from any preconceived anti-evolutionary
    standpoint.”
    —. Nilsson, Synthetic Speciation (1953),
    p. 31.

  15. “Remember: if it’s inconsistent with truth, then it’s not science.”

    Carl Sachs

    Now, if it is true that there is no confirming experimental evidence for new species by NDE, then an appeal to authority or popularity won’t help the Darwinist.

    If the comment about science/truth is intended to be sarcastic, then okay. However, I think we must all admit that what science is or isn’t and, (limited to human perspective) what truth is or isn’t, is interminably up for grabs. Science is not the Truth, it is the uneasy consensus of a group of professional experts.

    This seems to be the point of the ID movement.

    By the way, I heard somwhere the the universe might be actually expanding. The implications of this bothers me, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to find a large group of professional experts who will reassure me that its not ‘true’.

  16. Carlos,

    What I find ironic is that here we have new evidence – that is, an increasingly clear view of the fundamental essences of cellular structure and function – we have almost universal acknowledgement among leading biologists that these things ‘appear’ designed – and yet the Theory of Evolution clings to stochasticism!

    Why isn’t the ToE changing more to fit Dr Davison’s views? Why do so many refuse to let go of materialist assumptions when the simplest explanation is design?

    It is as if nature shouts “Planned!” from the cosmos down to the micros – yet so many prominent minds refuse to even entertain the idea – why is that?

    I see no other explanation than a pre-existing commitment to a philosophical view, one adherants hold is superior to the metaphysical superstitions of the ignorant masses while refusing to admit its own metaphysical nature!

    Such hubris and arrogance is the reason Darwinism is doomed, nevermind the hopelessness of the Materialist paradigm.

  17. Quick, before DaveScot jumps me.

    I did not mean that the point of the ID movement is a fight against establishment science for its own sake, but that establishment science sems to be mistaken about fundamental principles conacerning origins. Mistaken about a view it has been tirelessly promoting for 150 years.

  18. Darwinism is doomed indepent of questions of they ID hypothesis.

    I will blog on the following issue of why Darwinism cannot be science, but in brief, in all the physical scientific theories out there, fundamental quantities like mass, velocity, etc. can be measured.

    The fundamental quantity in Darwinism is fitness, which, as Lewontin and Wagner admit can’t be rigorously defined, therefore can’t be measured!!!

    What blasted theory can claim to be as well established as gravity and yet it can’t even measure its most fundamental quantity. Darwinism doesn’t deserve a place on the table with real science. John Barrow was right when he told Dawkins, “Richard, you’re not even a scientist.”

  19. If Darwinism is dying (although saying so doesn’t necessarily make it so), what exactly is it going to be replaced with? My limited understanding of ID is that it consists of various hypotheses around specificed complexity, irreducible complexity and the design explanatory filter. What ID does not yet seem to provide is when, how, and what kind of guided design was introduced (there seem to be different ideas here about ‘frontloading’ as opposed to continuous intervention, for example).

    Furthermore, I’m not sure that the contributors to these pages yet have common agreement on whether ID encompasses common descent (some seem to and some don’t), micro-evolution or natural selection.

    What seems to be lacking to me is a complete and thorough end-to-end hypothesis (let alone theory) of the role ID has supposed to have played in abogenesis and subsequent development. In other words if you like a playback of the last 4.5 million years from an ID perspective – sure I expect some of it might be speculative, but shouldn’t it be possible to at least infer some of this by now? Perhaps this exists and I’m just not aware of it?

    Frankly, it seems to me ID is currently a miscellaneous grab-bag of ideas, hypothesis and speculations but with no solid framework to hang them from. I know a lot about what ID is against but I’m often at a complete loss to know what ID is for.

  20. In response to Linda Slater, but not directly at her… Is it IDers responsibility to come up with a sweeping comprehensive theory like she and many like her want?

    Don’t we (for now) just want to exchange the RM + NS w/ teleology?

    Too me that seems like a big enough deal and unfair to ask for way more. Once we win that, than we can go onto formulate what role ID has played in the biology.

    Can someone link an article about this topic?

  21. Linda,

    I think Mike Gene described ID as a modifying hypothesis to the overall ToE, or something like that.

    The solid framework is current science. One need not rely upon darwinism to view the inner workings of the cell.

    If our investigations into life and the history of life are framed by ID, it will not change the microscopes, just the observers! We might begin to fill some gaps when enough investigators start looking the right way, therefore in the right places and see the next great technological leap forward…

    Consider anti-biotic resistance, for instance. As we unlock more secrets of the genetic code, would we not have a better chance of predicting what kinds of mutations are likely and perhaps designi antibiotics more effectively?

  22. One more thing – I think the article by Wells is extremely misleading. It implies that the recent discovery of the brain gene as stated in nature is the only gene ever discovered to do with the brain. That is clearly not the case — this particular gene is associated specifically with brain size. There have been numerous other studies where many, many other genes have been associated with brain function. Here’s one study: http://www.rx-gen.com/download.....%20PRL.doc, although it is easy to find others.

    I guess my other point is I find it curious that ID supporters are so keen to associate with themselves with a person who is a practicing member of the Unification church, particularly since he is quite public about how his religious aims influence his research. Of course I don’t want to commit the genetic fallacy here, but put it this way: would ID supporters be quite so keen to allow him to speak on religious matters in their pulpits at their churches?

  23. David Heddle: I don’t like your attitude. I recently booted you off a listserve that I moderate. I’m now booting you from this blog. Goodbye.

  24. Linda,

    I don’t care how kooky I find his religious beliefs. I judge his scientific arguements without regard for his religion.

  25. jpark320 wrote: “In response to Linda Slater, but not directly at her… Is it IDers responsibility to come up with a sweeping comprehensive theory like she and many like her want? ”

    As somebody who is a bit of an outsider here – I would offer my opinion that, yes, IDers do have a responsibility here. If you are so adamant that Darwinism is a failed theory then you not only have to show why, but provide at least the beginnings of a plausible framework to replace it. The problem I have is that the current set of hypotheses (e.g., specified complexity et al) beg more questions than they currently answer unless they can be understood in the context of a larger holistic cosmology.

  26. Linda Slater, “Of course I don’t want to commit the genetic fallacy here,” but you just did! The last thing we should want is to link ID to some kind of Christian correctness and subject its practitioners to the eagle eye of the cult watchers. If you ask me–and you don’t–I see kookiness in all the denominations.

  27. Oh brother. Prevailing theories are not supplanted by mantra. You can say “Darwinism is doomed” a gazillion times but there is only one way ID (or anything else) will displace it as a scientific theory: when ID proposes experiments, performs them, obtains results that support the ID hypothesis, and publishes their findings. Until then it is just preaching-to-the-choir playtime. If all this energy were invested in actually doing science then, regardless of the outcome, at least something of value would have resulted.

    If you really think ID is science then abandon the lecture circuits, abandon legal tactics, stop showing up on places like CSPAN, write much less for the nonscientific press and nonscientific audiences than for professional journals, stop whining about conspiracies in the funding agencies and among atheistic scientists in general, and get off your butts and do some science.

    Of course, if ID is really a powerful apologetic for theism, as I think it is, then some of these activities make perfect sense—but even then they should only be done if ID is accurately portrayed as an apologetic, and not a science under siege.

  28. Rude wrote: “Linda Slater, “Of course I don’t want to commit the genetic fallacy here,” but you just did! The last thing we should want is to link ID to some kind of Christian correctness and subject its practitioners to the eagle eye of the cult watchers. If you ask me–and you don’t–I see kookiness in all the denominations. ”

    I think the difference is that a) The Unification church is a cult (not just another Christian denomination) and by some accounts a dangerous and harmful one b) Wells has himself admitted that he is pursuing his scientific career at the experience purpose of ‘Father’.

    Here’s what Wells himself said: “”Father’s [Sun Myung Moon's] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.”

    Based on this there is some basis to belief that Wells’s scientific research is not based on science for science sake but is driven by a specific religious agenda. There is also some reasonably good evidence to suggest that the Unification church is not devoid of corruption and unethical practices. Of course whether Wells himself is guilty of this is another matter, but since he belongs to this instutition there is certainly reason to be wary of his ultimate motives and modus operandi.

  29. Linda Slater: “I find it curious that ID supporters are so keen to associate with themselves with a person who is a practicing member of the Unification church, particularly since he is quite public about how his religious aims influence his research”

    I’ve never seen him invoke the Rev Moon in any of his arguments. Have you? I don’t give a rat’s rear what his motivations are. All that matters is the products of the research. Either it stands up to rational scrutiny or it doesn’t.

    Do you accept or disregard Richard Dawkin’s scientific views because he is a flaming atheist? I didn’t think so.

  30. David H.: It’s a pain to remove people by hand, so I instructed my research assistant to do it. Since he hasn’t gotten around to it yet, I went ahead and did it myself.

    I’m frankly surprised that you have problems with my time management inasmuch as you’ve never given any evidence of having read or understood my technical work. Beyond that, what I do in the way of public lecturing and popular work is aimed at recruiting talent to the ID movement. For the record, it’s working!

  31. 31

    Linda Slater

    As far as I am concerned, Darwinian evolution was replaced long ago with Bergian evolution.

    Referring to both ontogeny and phylogeny -

    “Neither in the one nor n the other is there room for chance.”
    Leo Berg , Nomogenesis, page 134

    “Hereditary variations are limited in number and they develop in determined direction.”

    “Evolution is in a large measure an unfolding of pre-existing rudiments.”

    “Species arising through mutations are sharply distinguished one from another”
    ibid page 406

    Got that? Write that down.

    I only wish he had used the past tense.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  32. Linda Slater: I would suggest that there’s good and bad in all the churches and that this is not the venue to condemn them or to question a man’s motives based on his faith. Our ID arguments should stand on their merits and not on the source of their inspiration. And speaking of “cults”, let us remember that the historic church burned at the stake tens of thousands for “heresy” and if that were still going on I dare say any of us would escape (this of course doesn’t let the secularists off the hook, for in the space of a few decades they dispatched their tens of millions). So I don’t care where a guy’s coming from, if he’s making a good ID argument then right on, my friend! Some advice to the factionally sensitive: “… Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”

  33. Lindaslater says

    [quote]As somebody who is a bit of an outsider here – I would offer my opinion that, yes, IDers do have a responsibility here. If you are so adamant that Darwinism is a failed theory then
    you not only have to show why, but provide at least the beginnings of a plausible framework to replace it. The problem I have is that the current set of hypotheses (e.g., specified complexity et al) beg more questions than they currently answer unless they can be understood in the context of a larger holistic cosmology.[/quote]

    I do have a framework, [and I'm not being sarcastic here] its called Christianity.

    I will agree with here that just saying “yes, there is a designer” will put you into more than the realm of biological sciences.

    However, ppl have offered there own frameworks including Theistic Evolution, universal ancestry, episodes of special creation, Dr. Davison here seems to have one of his own, etc. I think to create an atheistic framework for the ID will be difficult – NOT saying that atheists can not see that nature displays patterns that are best described by design nor design an ID framework- but they’d have a harder time dealing with what to make of the rest of the Evolutionary theory. Christians whether Old or Young Earth wouldn’t need to change up there frameworks – just add to it as we have been IDers since the beginning of time – not to mention everything screams out the existence of God.

    I am one of those Dr. Dembski “recruited” ID and he has the best foundational statement for an ID framework that I can find:

    [Quote] Christ is indispensible to any scientific theory , even if its practitioners don’t have a clue about him. The pragmatics of a scientific theory can, to be sure, be pursued without recourse to Christ. But the conceptual soundness of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ. Christ, as the completion of our scientific theories, maintains the conceptual soundness of those theories even as real numbers maintain the conceptual soundness of the applied mathematician’s calcuations. Christ has assumed the fullness of our humanity and entered every aspect of our reality. He thereby renders all our studies the study of himself. [/quote]

    “Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology” pg. 210

    Like it or not, you gotta admit I did give you framework :) [Crazy thing is that its the Truth ;)]

  34. jpark320,

    Thanks for your honesty. I really appreciate it. And your description of what a wide range of views there are among IDists is right on the money.

    By the way, use <blockquote> and </blockquote> for quotes.

  35. Here is what I respect about Bill Dembski:

    Christ, as the completion of our scientific theories, maintains the conceptual soundness of those theories even as real numbers maintain the conceptual soundness of the applied mathematician’s calcuations. Christ has assumed the fullness of our humanity and entered every aspect of our reality. He thereby renders all our studies the study of himself.

    Now consider this from Wells’ article:

    This is becoming increasingly obvious to the American people, who are not the ignorant backwoods religious dogmatists that Darwinists make them out to be. Darwinists insult the intelligence of American taxpayers and at the same time depend on them for support. This is an inherently unstable situation, and it cannot last.

    If I were a Darwinist, I would be afraid. Very afraid.

    IDists often appeal to common sense. Well, it’s my turn now. Is there anyone who cannot tell that one author is sincere and the other is intent upon spinning till he pukes populism?

    By the way, am I the only one for whom Well’s last sentence evokes an image of Yoda?

  36. 27 . . . if ID is really a powerful apologetic for theism, as I think it is, then some of these activities make perfect sense—but even then they should only be done if ID is accurately portrayed as an apologetic, and not a science under siege.

    I find this an interesting approach, because of the explicit contrast between apologetics and science.

    From what I’ve seen, based on interacting with ID enthusiasts here, a lot of the appeal of ID lies in that it refuses to make this very distinction — between doing good science and doing good apologetics. And this is precisely what one would expect from an attempt to continue the tradition of natural theology or natural religion.

    Would be accurate to say that ID is “biology as apologetics”, and in that sense is supposed to serve as a bridge between science and theology?

  37. My view is that labels of apologetic or science distract from the fundamental issue, namely, whether ID is true.

    I personally think ID science, but if it doesn’t fit someone’s definition, I respect that. At the end of the day, the question of Design still remains indpendent of what label is affixed to.

    The question isn’t so much whether ID is science, so much as whether it is true.

  38. Which in turn raises the question as to whether or not we have access to truth through means other than science. For it could turn out, as I read 37, that ID is true but that science could never find this out.

  39. Carlos,

    “Which in turn raises the question as to whether or not we have access to truth through means other than science. For it could turn out, as I read 37, that ID is true but that science could never find this out. ”

    This happens to be the philosophy I lean towards, personally. Though I’m still sympathetic to ID attempts to find proof of such.

  40. William A. Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology:

    If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.

    I must say I think more highly of this sort of commitment than I do lukewarm belief.

    Amusingly, I first learned about telos and teleology thirty years ago, when I encountered the question “Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical?” in Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling. I have thought so often, watching the ID teleologists in action, that they have answered the question in the affirmative.

  41. Which in turn raises the question as to whether or not we have access to truth through means other than science. For it could turn out, as I read 37, that ID is true but that science could never find this out.

    If my definition of scinece does not concur with another’s, my critics could readily accuse me of having access to something outside the bounds of science.

    In such case, it would be distraction for me to try to defend whether my personal epistemology is classified as science. I frankly don’t care that much about such excercises in labeling.

    It matters more to me whether ID is true than whether my personal epistemology can be categorized as scientific. At some point each person’s epistemological assumptions are axiomatic and cannot be justified by any appeal to empiricism or science.

    At a personal level, one can only follow one’s conscience in regards to what one concludes is true. Arguing over labels is only a distraction to the real questions…..

  42. As Laudan has argued, the question whether a theory is scientific is really a red herring. What we want to know is not whether a theory is scientific but whether a theory is true or false, well confirmed or not, worthy of our belief or not. One can not decide the truth of a theory or the warrant for believing a theory to be true by applying a set of abstract criteria that purport to tell in advance how all good scientific theories are constructed or what they will in general look like.

    Stephen Meyer

    Going back to the point of this thread, I would argue Darwinism is in the unique position of failing almost every formulation of what a scientific theory should be except the formulations that take Darwinism as its most fundamental axiom.

  43. 43

    I say Bergian evolution is the answer. Let’s hear it for Bergian evolution. Hip, hip, hooray!

    I love it so!

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  44. Carlos
    Which in turn raises the question as to whether or not we have access to truth through means other than science

    Is this really a question? Are things only true if we quantify them? Infrared waves were true before we could detect them. So was gravity.

    It seems to me many (especially in Darwin’s camp) fail to realize the limits of science. To believe science will ultimately provide answers to all or most of life’s mysteries is FAITH!! As Sal points out above, no person is immune from ultimate premises of knowledge which “cannot be justified by any appeal to empiricism or science”.

    This is why Linda’s above criticism falls flat – IDist aren’t erasing all of palentology, evolutionary biology or cosmology by challenging an inference deduced from a philosophic starting point. Indeed, we are saying observation and experience doesn’t fit with the materialist axioms at the root of darwinism and should be discarded for the better explanation: intelligent design.

  45. The above should’ve ended:

    … we are saying observation and experience don’t fit with the materialist axioms at the root of darwinism, which should be discarded for the better explanation: intelligent design.

  46. Why can’t a future thought experiment be utilized to draw some conclusions for the future of a neo-Darwinian paradigm? I proposed this a couple of times now, once to Carl, and again as an open question, but no one responded.

    If it is not a legitimate exercise, please just say so and a brief explanation if someone does not mind.

    The exercise is in a form of a three part question which to me sheds insight on Darwinist limits and in fact appears to mark it as doomed, at least from the pragmatic purpose of future engineering life sciences in genetics and molecular biology.

    1) How will scientist modify and/or create new life forms in the future?

    2) Will it be totally random generation or by design?

    3) Will either of these need known laws to facilitate life creation or sustainability?

    This does not facilitate past historical judgements, only future. So, evolution could have happened once, as Dr. Davison’s Prescribed theory states and as FrontLoaders like. Or it could be Darwinian. But I think any future thought derails future RM/NS evolution theory since we are intelligent agents active in our surrounding environment and any future planning for modification of living organisms.

    The analogy would be Genesis or TerraForming another planet in the future. We would obviously come loaded with life forms that unveil themselves guided by environmental pressures, diet, etc., and utilizing existing physical laws of the universe.

    Does this kind of prophetic exercise doom NDE at least from an intelligent agency creation stand point of the future?

    And now that I think about it, how could we ever fully randomize life as a Genesis mechanism? It just seems completely absurd. And I do not mean that with contempt or sarcasm.

  47. There seems to be a fallacy in that a “failing/ failed” theory needs a replacement before it can be abandoned. Unbelievable.

    There is also a fallacy that the MET/ ToE is based on science. Yet we don’t even know what makes an organism what it is beyond the following:

    What makes a fly a fly? In his book (English title) “Why is a Fly not a Horse?”, the prominent Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti, tells us the following :

    Chapter VI “Why is a Fly not a horse?” (same as the book’s title)

    ”The scientist enjoys a privilege denied the theologian. To any question, even one central to his theories, he may reply “I’m sorry but I do not know.” This is the only honest answer to the question posed by the title of this chapter. We are fully aware of what makes a flower red rather than white, what it is that prevents a dwarf from growing taller, or what goes wrong in a paraplegic or a thalassemic. But the mystery of species eludes us, and we have made no progress beyond what we already have long known, namely, that a kitty is born because its mother was a she-cat that mated with a tom, and that a fly emerges as a fly larva from a fly egg.”

    The point being that until we have that knowledge- what makes an organism what it is- any thoughts on common descent from some population(s) of single-celled organisms is mere speculation.

    Heck the data we do have demonstrates that bacteria always remain bacteria. And the best we can get from single-celled organisms are colonies- IOW no evolution.

    IOW when are the evolutionists going to take THEIR claims into a lab to substantiate them? It will NEVER happen. Therefore asking IDists to do that- what will they do, design a bac flag- would that “prove” ID?- is nothing but a double-standard.

  48. It appears a comment is snagged….

  49. Reading through this this morning there was the urge to respond—though I’ve also got work to do—and then there was Scordova 37, 41, 42—excellent! as also some of the rest of y’all—all said so far better than I with much effort and time ever could. There’s the old adage, “Physics is what physicists do.” The notion that there is some neat algorithm or procedure called “science” is absurd. What is this obsession with “science”—we used to call it “physics envy” in our nonphysics department at the U. “Science”, which used to refer to the pursuit of knowledge, now means the pursuit of politically correct “public” knowledge, government funding, prestige and power. Therefore the obsession with defining others outside the circle—namely the opposing side in the Culture War—and the kindness of some to throw the other side a bone of subjective “truth” (Phillip Johnson, and Nancy Pearcey’s “Total Truth”, are good here). Yes, there are levels to it all, with philosophy/theology/mathematics and necessary truths at one end and facts and empirical procedures at the other, but it’s a continuum with no clear boundary. And yes, we can disagree, especially at the higher end, where some, as noted, see Christ and others will perceive Hashem in the Torah and still others other deities and/or nondeities—we’ve got to grant one another this liberty or we’re right back where we were when our ancestors fled the Old World.

  50. There seem to be a lot of people that think that a Darwinian perspective somehow blinds scientists to certain strains of thought. Any inquiry into the breadth of research underway would quickly dispell such a notion. About the only thing that science is not considering is magic. We are interested in how things work. The “why” is for the philosophers and priests. Whether a system was intelligently or unintelligently designed is irrelevant to the study of its mechanisms and organization. That is unless we believe we are capable of comprehending the designer’s design and making future predictions based solely on our understanding of God’s design. Such arrogance, apart from being extraordinarily foolhardy, would be the best display of megalomania I could imagine.

  51. Joseph wrote (#46):

    The point being that until we have that knowledge- what makes an organism what it is- any thoughts on common descent from some population(s) of single-celled organisms is mere speculation.

    Heck the data we do have demonstrates that bacteria always remain bacteria. And the best we can get from single-celled organisms are colonies- IOW no evolution.

    Well, all we have are individual humans. How do we get families? Or all we have are individual families. How do we get societies?

    The error’s in the metaphysixs, assuming things to exist, because we systematize them to exist.

    have a nice day1
    - pwe

  52. Todd wrote:

    This is why Linda’s above criticism falls flat – IDist aren’t erasing all of palentology, evolutionary biology or cosmology by challenging an inference deduced from a philosophic starting point. Indeed, we are saying observation and experience doesn’t fit with the materialist axioms at the root of darwinism and should be discarded for the better explanation: intelligent design.

    Well fair enough. But this is not a distinction that is made that often. Rather, it is actually quite easy for an observer to draw the conclusion that ID = anti-evolution. That’s why I would advocate some end-to-end framework that would explain how ID and evolutionary biology can co-exist. Just focusing on the specific ID hypotheses does not do this.

    Jpark320 wrote:
    I do have a framework, [and I’m not being sarcastic here] its called Christianity…Like it or not, you gotta admit I did give you framework [Crazy thing is that its the Truth ]

    .
    Well, as somebody pointed out you are indeed being honest. But if you are being serious then I think it shouldn’t be hard to understand why people would object to this framework being taught in a science class. As to Christianity being Truth I assume you mean that in a personal-revelation sense, not objective, verifiable, historical truth, because there is more than reasonable doubt to suppose that it isn’t.

  53. 53

    Darwinism was doomed in 1871 when St George Jackson Mivart asked a simple question. How can natural selection be involved in a structure that has not yet appeared? That question has not been answered because it cannot be answered by the Darwinian paradigm. It was finally given meaning in 1922 by Leo Berg -

    “Evolution is in a large measure an unfolding of re-existing rudiments.”
    Nomogenesis, page 406

    I only wish Berg had used the past tense.

    “Science commits suicide when she adopts a creed”
    Thomas Henry Huxley

    That is the sole frontispiece to Nomogenesis.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  54. I must admit that I felt misled by Wells. Several years ago when I had never heard of ID, I was absolutely delighted to find a couple of books that refuted NDE without being religious. Wells presented himself as being nonreligious and as having accepted Darwinism through at least part of his college education and only changed his mind when henoticed that Haeckels’ drawings, for example, were incorrect. If I had known of his true religious vocation, I would no doubt not have purchased his book, which I do think is actually an excellent book, but I was looking for people who did not have a preconceived bias.

    Carlos said,

    For it could turn out that ID is true but that science could never find this out.

    An unlikely and excessively dreary thought.

  55. Linda Slater:

    Well fair enough. But this is not a distinction that is made that often. Rather, it is actually quite easy for an observer to draw the conclusion that ID = anti-evolution. That’s why I would advocate some end-to-end framework that would explain how ID and evolutionary biology can co-exist. Just focusing on the specific ID hypotheses does not do this.

    In asking this question, to me, at least, it becomes apparent that you’re not that familiar with ID literature, and that of Wm. Dembski in particular. That’s OK. You’re new to the blog and I can’t, nor do I think others, expect you to be familiar. We quite often make a distinction between evolution as evidenced by the fossil record, and evolution as a theory, or Darwinism. If you read Well’s entire article at WorldNetDaily, he makes this very same distinction.

    As I’ve looked through this thread, you’ve made the point more than once that ID has the responsibility to replace Darwinism with a full-blown theory.

    The simple response to that is: why? It would be good to remember that there were preeminent biologists/taxonomists/paleontologists before the Origin of Species came along. Science was moving forward. In fact, without the ‘leg work’ that other scientists had done, Darwin would have been out of business. His Origins is filled with the work of many, many naturalists that went before him. Preeminent among those who preceded Darwin was Cuvier. Cuvier, from looking at just one fossil bone could tell you what kind of critter it was. With this in mind, why would anyone think that science would come to an end if we attribute design to biological forms. Let’ also remember that science began in the West, in Catholic seminaries, guided by the words of Scripture. The cap and gown that graduates wear when fulfilling their degree requirements is derived, in fact, from the “choir robe” worn by the monks/friars in seminaries run by religious orders.

    I think there’s also another way of looking at all of this. If you ask a Darwinist how the human brain came about, wouldn’t he say it was through RM+NS? That’s his answer. But having that answer he/she doesn’t say, “Well, that’s all figured out, I think I’ll go do some gardening.” So, if ID theorists propose that biology is best understood through design detection, why does this necesitate them throwing science to the one side? And there’s this: one of the principle claims of ID theorists is that Darwinism is wrong. Well, Linda, what if it is? Doesn’t that mean ID theorists have provided invaluable service to biological science?

    Darwinism is the prevailing paradigm. Doesn’t the prevailing paradigm have the responsibility to demonstrate how it can explain what is seen? If it can’t do that, then why keep it? If a detective has a theory as to who committed a murder–as intricate a theory as one can imagine–but then his principal target ends up with an air-tight alibi, doesn’t he have to start from scratch rather than say, “Oh, but it was such a wonderfully elaborate theory!”

    Just some questions to muse.

  56. 56

    Darwinism is dead.

  57. Darwinsm is dead.

    Long live Neo-Darwinism!

  58. 58

    Why do I waste my time here?

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  59. @ Linda Slater

    Well, as somebody pointed out you are indeed being honest. But if you are being serious then I think it shouldn’t be hard to understand why people would object to this framework being taught in a science class. As to Christianity being Truth I assume you mean that in a personal-revelation sense, not objective, verifiable, historical truth, because there is more than reasonable doubt to suppose that it isn’t.

    I’m along w/ everything PaV says, how much of a scientific framework would you need to say “Hey, this wasn’t random it was designed.” You’re right that I don’t necessarily advocate creationism in the classroom (I ain’t too opposed either), back on topic, how many high schoolers have a so-called “scientific framework”? Not many I’m guessing, but I think they are smart enough to look at the evidence on BOTH sides for themselves and to come out w/ a decision. Like everyone (i think) else here, we want MORE evolution to be taught, but along side that why not give some of the criticisms? If they receive all the info and they are still Darwinists that is one thing, but to say that it is illegal to present it in the first place is another.

    Just like your claim that Christianity is not a a historically valid truth is way off the mark. In fact it is one of the reasons I am Christian ie extremely well preserved Biblical writings, archae0logical validation, yes inner revclation of not just me but millions through out the ages, and even nature itself (ID/Creation) makes it clearly 100% evident to me.

    But unlike many high schoolers w/ Darwinism and, perhaps you with Christianity, I have seen both sides of the story. I had my shares of doubts ie evolution [I went to Berkeley and was once a theistic evolutionist myself], supposed historical inaccuracies, hypocrisy, liberal theology (yuck ~ sorry my personal plug :p). I’m very thankful that I got exposed to both ends of the stick. Mind you I am equally opposed to shielding ppl from criticisms of ID and Christianity and keeping ppl from learning evolution b/c you really do learn a lot from them.

    Why not do this with Intelligent Design [and with Christianity :)]? If it really is that vacuous just teach it as is with no foundation and (try t0) blow it away.

  60. The heavy-handed suppression of criticism here is disappointing, to say the least.

  61. 61

    Gee whiz Pav and I thought I had provided a new “theory” with the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. I use the word “theory” very lightly of course.

    Am I to understand that the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis is unacceptable to the supporters of the so-called “Intelligent Design movement?” From your comments, so it would seem. If that is so why?

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  62. 62

    Pav

    Science did not begin in the West in Christian seminaries. It began in Greece in preChristian times . It is true that The Catholic Church was instrumental in keeping Greek science alive through the middle ages and was the source of much of applied science and agriculture through the ingenuity of the monks. Geometry was from the Greeks and algebra from the Arabs. Rene Descartes finally united them centuries later when he saw a fly buzzing around in the corner of his bed room or so the story goes. The three intersecting lines became the axes of analytical geometry. Imagine the kick that must have been for him to be able to achieve that great breakthrough.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undeniable.”
    John A. Davison

  63. 63

    jpark320 wrote: “Just like your claim that Christianity is not a a historically valid truth is way off the mark. In fact it is one of the reasons I am Christian ie extremely well preserved Biblical writings, archae0logical validation, yes inner revclation of not just me but millions through out the ages, and even nature itself (ID/Creation) makes it clearly 100% evident to me.”

    It may be 100% evident to you but there are very plausible hypotheses by respected scholars that even though the person of Jesus may have lived (and of course some even dispute this) this historical Jesus has very little to do with the Jesus of Christianity. In fact some would even say that there is a controversy over the person of Jesus and that the historical evidence is ambigious and can be interpreted many different ways). Read anything by Bart Ehrman, Robert M. Price, Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, and you will find plenty of evidence that suggests the traditional story of Christianity is quite easily falsified.

  64. 64

    Pav or anyone else for that matter. I would like to hear a response to the questions I posed in my message # 61.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  65. 65

    Out of sight, out of mind.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  66. Caught in the spam filter — again — but:

    “Evolution is debatable; future adaptation is inevitable. John A. Davions is incorrigible.”

    P.S. Phillips

  67. Oops – I didn’t type/spell John’s name right!

    “Evolution is debatable; future adaptation is inevitable. John A. Davision is incorrigible.”

    P.S. Phillips

  68. Davison — whatever.

  69. John A., you never commented on the Spetner link I provided; to some extent, you echo him, but could you simplify what you mean? You wote:

    THE PRESCRIBED EVOLUTIONARY HYPOTHESIS

    I propose that the information for organic evolution has somehow been predetermined in the evolving genome in a way comparable to the way in which the necessary information to produce a complete organism is contained within a single cell, the fertilized egg.

    How is that different from Physicist Lee Spetner, here?

    http://www.trueorigin.org/spetner2.asp

    At the outset, I shall establish an important and necessary guideline in this discussion of evolution. The word evolution is generally used in at least two different senses, and the distinction between them is important. On the one hand, the word evolution is used to denote the descent of all life from a putative single primitive source. It is the grand sweep of evolution that is supposed to have led from a simple beginning, something perhaps simpler than a bacterium, to all organisms living today, including humans. This descent is supposed to have occurred through purely natural means. Neo-Darwinian theory (NDT), which is the prevailing theory of evolution, teaches that this development occurred through random heritable variations in the organisms followed by natural selection. I shall denote the word evolution used in this sense as Evolution A. When evolution is discussed for popular consumption, it is most often Evolution A.

    The second sense in which the word evolution is used is to denote any kind of change of a population. The change can sometimes occur in response to environmental pressure (artificial or natural selection), and sometimes it can just be random (genetic drift). I shall denote the word used in this second sense as Evolution B. Evolution B has been observed. Evolution A is an inference, but is not observable. The distinction between these two meanings of evolution parallels the distinction between macroevolution and microevolution, but the two pairs of terms are not identical. Evolution A is certainly what is called macroevolution, but what is called macroevolution is not identical with Evolution A. In any case, I prefer to use the A and B to avoid having to carry whatever baggage might go with the macro/micro distinction.

    The distinction between these two meanings of evolution is often ignored by the defenders of Neo-Darwinian evolution. But the distinction is critical. The claim is made for Evolution A, but the proof offered is often limited to Evolution B. The implication is that the observation of Evolution B is a substantiation of Evolution A. But this is not so. Since Evolution A is not an observable, it can only be substantiated by circumstantial evidence. This circumstantial evidence is principally the fossil record, amino-acid-sequence comparisons, and comparative anatomy. Circumstantial evidence must be accompanied by a theory of how it relates to what is to be proved. NDT is generally accepted to be that theory. The strength of the circumstantial evidence for Evolution A can therefore be no better than the strength of NDT.

    Antibiotic Resistance as an Example of Evolution
    Spetner:

    Continuing his effort to show the evolutionary efficacy of beneficial mutations, Max presented in his essay the acquisition of antibiotic resistance by microorganisms as an example of evolution. He said one can “demonstrate a beneficial mutation … with laboratory organisms that multiply rapidly, and indeed such experiments have shown that rare beneficial mutations can occur. For instance, from a single bacterium one can grow a population in the presence of an antibiotic, and demonstrate that organisms surviving this culture have mutations in genes that confer antibiotic resistance.” Such an experiment shows that “de novo beneficial mutations” can arise.

    My response to this is that I have shown in my book that mutations leading to antibiotic resistance fail the test of representing the mutations necessary for evolution. I summarize that argument here. All antibiotics are derived from microorganisms. Recall the story of the serendipitous discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928, when he noticed that his plate of Staphylococcus bacteria was clear in the vicinity of a bread-mold contaminant. The mold was found to produce something that could lyse and kill the bacteria. That something was a molecule later named penicillin. Afterwards, other antibiotics were found to be produced by other microorganisms, such as soil bacteria. Soil has long been recognized in folk medicine as a cure for infections.

    The antibiotics produced by these microorganisms serve them as a defense against attack by other microorganisms. Some microorganisms are endowed with genes that grant resistance to these antibiotics. This resistance can take the form of degrading the antibiotic molecule or of ejecting it from the cell. Unfortunately for human health care, the organisms having these genes can transfer them to other bacteria making them resistant as well. Although the resistance mechanisms are specific to a particular antibiotic, most pathogenic bacteria have, to our misfortune, succeeded in accumulating several sets of genes granting them resistance to a variety of antibiotics.

    The acquisition of antibiotic resistance in this manner qualifies as evolution only in the sense that it is an adaptive hereditary change. It is an example only of Evolution B. It is not the type of evolution that can make a baboon out of a bacterium. The genetic change is not the kind that can serve as a prototype for the mutations needed to account for Evolution A. The genetic changes that could illustrate the theory must not only add information to the bacterium’s genome, they must add new information to the biocosm. The horizontal transfer of genes only spreads around genes that are already in some species.

    It turns out, however, that a microorganism can sometimes acquire resistance to an antibiotic through a random substitution of a single nucleotide, and this is the kind of example Max presented. Streptomycin, which was discovered by Selman Waksman and Albert Schatz and first reported in 1944, is an antibiotic against which bacteria can acquire resistance in this way. But although the mutation they undergo in the process is beneficial to the microorganism in the presence of streptomycin, it cannot serve as a prototype for the kind of mutations needed by NDT. The type of mutation that grants resistance to streptomycin is manifest in the ribosome and degrades its molecular match with the antibiotic molecule. This change in the surface of the microorganism’s ribosome prevents the streptomycin molecule from attaching and carrying out its antibiotic function. It turns out that this degradation is a loss of specificity and therefore a loss of information. The main point is that Evolution A cannot be achieved by mutations of this sort, no matter how many of them there are. Evolution cannot be built by accumulating mutations that only degrade specificity.

    In the final paragraph of my original critique, I said the following:

    The mutations needed for macroevolution have never been observed. No random mutations that could represent the mutations required by NDT that have been examined on the molecular level have added any information. The question I address is: Are the mutations that have been observed the kind the theory needs for support? The answer turns out to be NO! Many have lost information. To support NDT one would have to show many examples of random mutations that add information. Unless the aggregate results of the genetic experiments performed until now is a grossly biased sample, we can safely dismiss Neo-Darwinian theory as an explanation of how life developed from a single simple source.

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