Home » Darwinism, Evolution, ID Foundations, Origin Of Life, UD's Pro-Darwinism essay Challenge » A rough draft, outline composite answer to the UD essay challenge . . .

A rough draft, outline composite answer to the UD essay challenge . . .

It seems we can now put together at least a draft outline composite response to the UD pro-darwinism essay challenge of a year ago, based on Jerad’s remarks at 70 in the one-year anniversary thread, and a key concession by EL at 149 in the same.

In the interests of moving the discussion on the merits forward [I am open to improved drafts or a full form submission . . . ], first here is the Smithsonian chart of the Tree of Life, the context:

Darwin-ToL-Smithsonian400

Now, PART I:

____________

EL, 149: >> “As yet we have no empirically supported naturalistic theory of abiogenesis.” >>

____________

For PART II, we will need to highlight that Jerad is responding to some earlier remarks in the thread:

____________

Jerad, 70: >> Jerad September 24, 2013 at 3:49 am

[KF:] Until you have a credible, observational evidence warranted account of how blind watchmaker chance and necessity accounts for FSCO/I, all you have is materialist just so stories that have determined the conclusion in the question begging ideological a prioris.

Given that we have a few thousands years of observing what morphological changes breeding programs can develop coupled with the fossil record and the morphologies it shows, what we know of the genome and the bio-geographic distribution of species AND not wanting to assume a ’cause’ we have no evidence to have existed at the times under consideration I’d say the evolutionary model is pretty good.

Science makes observations and tries to construct models that explain what is observed. When a better (or more refined/specific) model is proposed and verified (on existing and new data) then the paradigm changes.

As always, attacking evolutionary theory doesn’t give you ID. ID needs to develop its own explanatory model. niwrad has a thread which s/he has pointed out to me wherein s/he has a preliminary model. What do the rest of you think of it? I’ve only had a brief chance to consider it but I found some intriguing ideas there.

[KF:] As the main point in the OP highlights, there is but one empirically justified source of FSCO/I, design. That is, empirically and inductively, FSCO/I is known to be a reliable sign of design, as deer tracks are reliable signs of the passage of certain animals.

As usual, I beg to differ. At least as far as the diversification of life on earth is concerned given a as yet unknown original replicator.

[KF:] This also accords with the implications of functionality dependent on correct configuration and coupling of multiple, well matched parts. Namely, that most — vastly most — of the field of possibilities will be non-functional configs; yielding the islands of function in a much larger sea of non function effect. That means that once complexity is above 500 – 1,000 bits, solar system or observed cosmos resources cannot plausibly account for the observed outcome on blind chance and mechanical necessity due to overwhelming search and sampling challenges. The needle in the haystack problem, in short.

Again, evolutionary theory posits that the diversification of life as we know it arose from minor modifications of a first basic form. The minor modifications were also functional. Cumulative selection by environmental pressures (among other things) created new functional configurations. No need to search a vast configuration space for new forms. The ones that survived to reproduce were functional and derived from other functional forms. The modifications that were not functional did not survive. This happens with human pregnancies. It’s possible that up to a third of human pregnancies spontaneously abort because something is wrong.

In this way all the life forms that have ever existed on earth form a great web of functional forms. No islands. Holes in the web maybe, but no disconnected pieces. And no need to randomly search a vast configuration space for new functional configurations.

By the way, you make the assumption that the configuration space would have to be exhaustively searched. This, even under your assumption, is not the case. Once a functional configuration was found you’ve got your first basic replicator and the evolutionary process can begin.

Also, it is not known, nor does ID specify, what kind of functional configuration you’re saying needed to be found. As a result, there’s no way to test how many functional configurations there would be in the configuration space. Some details to bolster your model would be good.

And, once again, evolutionary theory does not yet know what the first basic replicator was. Neither does the ID community. How it came about is a separate issue. I will grant you that the first basic replicator could have been designed and then, if there was no further intervention, evolutionary processes can explain all that happened after that. But, so far, the ID community has got no proposed first replicator or its source. But, it has to be said, claiming the first basic replicator on Earth came from a designer does lead to the question of where the designer came from. Unless you’re inclined to stop asking questions.

[KF:] The red herring on demanding that we ignore what we know per empirical warrant to do something that in effect demands us to create a time capsule and travel back to remote times, is a fallacious distractor from what we do and can know. It also is inconsistent, as there is a double standard in inductive reasoning.

Not at all. Evolutionary theory invokes observable forces/causes that can be reasonably supposed to have been available in the given time frame. ID proposes an unspecified/undefined ‘designer’ for which there is no independent evidence. Also, evolutionary theory explains more of the evidence we have: why are some things the way they are? When did some transitions happen? How did they happen? Not specific to the molecular level (which is unknowable) but the model matches the data and can predict undiscovered forms.

[KF:] That is, the inductive logic whereby in making a design inference we reconstruct or infer on best empirically grounded explanation of the credible cause of key features of a situation we did not directly see from its traces in the present and known characteristic empirically grounded causal processes that yield such results is a commonplace in science.

If you use special pleading (i.e. there was an intelligent designer around at the time with the necessary skills and equipment) without any independent evidence then your inference is less parsimonious. Aside from the fact that the ID community has yet to come up with a core hypothesis which can be tested against the evolutionary model of universal common descent with modification. As far as I know there is yet no consensus about when design was implemented for example. There’s lots of work to do!!

[KF:] That sort of double standard on warrant is a characteristic feature of an imposed ideological a priori. In this case, the known one of materialism.

It’s just a matter of what can be reasonably inferred from what we know of the situation. We don’t know there was a designer around at the time. And, again, even if that were granted as an acceptable axiom there is not explanatory ID model to work with.

[KF:] Such ideological a prioris compromise the key value and aim of science to be open to and seek an accurate report or account of the world.

Well, I would always want to find a model that fits that has the fewest assumptions. I don’t see what that has to do with materialism.

I’d consider what I wrote above to be a decent outline/draft of my response to your ‘darwinian essay challenge’. I feel that the basic argument is there.>>

____________

It has taken a year to get to this point, but it is a beginning.

Let us trust that we can now see a turn towards focussing on the merits. As promised, I will wait for five comments below before commenting, and will wait two full days before posting any headlined response. END

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26 Responses to A rough draft, outline composite answer to the UD essay challenge . . .

  1. kf,

    This is all nonsense, irrelevancies and story telling. Why did you publish it?

  2. jerry

    I agree that “this is all nonsense, irrelevancies and story telling” but I suppose kairosfocus somehow wanted to close the one-year challenge and reward the winner(s).

  3. just helping out… :-)

  4. still helping… :-)

  5. finished.

  6. Jerry, this is as much answer as I have been able to get after a year. It seems this is a measure of the actual substance, once the ideological controls are not on the table. Your more specific thoughts are welcome. Yours too, Niw, and those of anyone else. KF

    PS: My response to the main argument in the original thread is here. The entire absence of a serious case on OOL puts design at the table from the root of life as the only empirically grounded explanation for the FSCO/I implied.

  7. This is all nonsense, irrelevancies and story telling. Why did you publish it?

    I agree that “this is all nonsense, irrelevancies and story telling” but I suppose kairosfocus somehow wanted to close the one-year challenge and reward the winner(s).

    Gee, thanks.

    With those kind of reactions is there any particular reason I should participate in this discussion?

  8. Even after a year nobody took the stage?

  9. Jerad et al:

    I wish the tone above were less dismissively sharp, but I think the issue is that you do need to provide adequate warrant. I will follow this by reposting my own response at 85 in thread.

    KF

  10. F/N: My response from 85 in the previous thread:

    _________

    >> Jerad,
    I observe your attempt at an outline response, which despite the
    ducking of the bigger half-problem, OOL is to be respected as taking
    the matter seriously. Indeed, if you can revise and address OOL, I am
    quite willing to headline it as an attempted answer.
    However, it has certain pivotal and telling gaps.
    First, we see:

    [KF:] As the main point in the OP highlights, there is but one
    empirically justified source of FSCO/I, design. That is, empirically
    and inductively, FSCO/I is known to be a reliable sign of design, as
    deer tracks are reliable signs of the passage of certain animals.
    [J:] As usual, I beg to differ. At least as far as the
    diversification of life on earth is concerned given a as yet
    unknown original replicator
    .

    The fact remains, that the only actually observed source
    of FSCO/I is indeed design. You have substituted an inadequately
    grounded assertion as though it were a factual observation to the
    contrary. Unfortunately, as Theobald indicates, this confusion of a
    tower of inferences for indisputable facts we have observed is a
    characteristic problem of evolutionary materialist thought.
    You have not seen not even a remainder of that hypothetical
    replicator and lush documentaries etc to the contrary, we do not have
    observations of the incrementalist origin of body plans either.
    I will respond in summary below, for more details (including on
    cases I mention) I refer onwards as follows . . . not least because in
    a comment there is a tight budget of links that can be given, I think
    about seven:

    1: The overall problem and particularly the issue of FSCO/I,
    my outline here. Dembski’s NFL will give more details as will
    Meyer’s Signature in the Cell.
    2: OOL, my 101 outline here, and for onward reading Meyer’s Signature in
    the Cell.
    3: OOBP, my 101 outline here, and for onward reading, Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt

    I need to pause and speak to the “fact fact Fact” claim, noting
    here from Wiki:

    . . . When scientists say “evolution is a fact” they are
    using one of two meanings of the word “fact”. One meaning is empirical,
    and when this is what scientists mean, then “evolution” is used to mean
    observed changes in allele frequencies or traits of a population over
    successive generations.
    Another way “fact” is used is to refer to a certain kind
    of theory, one that has been so powerful and productive for such a long
    time that it is universally accepted by scientists. When scientists
    say evolution is a fact in this sense, they mean it is a fact that all
    living organisms have descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral
    gene pool) [8] even though
    this cannot be directly observed.

    [["Evolution as theory and fact," coloured emphasis added. Acc: Aug. 7,
    2010.]

    Immediately, we can spot a no true scotsman fallacy mixed into
    what frankly has to be called a big lie brazen falsehood. The anonymous
    authors of Wiki knew or should have known that the appeal to universal
    consensus of credibly qualified scientists is false.
    The first use in the clip simply describes observed minor
    variations in life forms that are sometimes called micro-evolution,
    which is indeed a non-controversial fact. It is then used as a basis
    for a gross, observationally unwarranted extrapolation that is demanded
    by a priori commitment to evolutionary materialism rather than based on
    any actual facts of observation — which they have to concede when they
    say: “even though this cannot be directly observed.”
    If it is not a fact we have seen in a deep past we cannot
    observe, it is a theoretical explanatory inference or rather a large
    mound of same, period.
    In short the presentation of body plan level macro evo allegedly
    driven by chance variations and differential reproductive success
    leading to claimed descent with unlimited modification across a
    branching tree pattern, as “fact”, is plainly loaded with precisely the
    sort of confusion of towers of inference for actual observed objective
    facts that can potentially close our minds to the truth. In addition,
    it appeals to the naked authority of the particular school of thought
    and philosophy that dominates a given day.
    Indeed, by improperly using the term “universally,” the Wiki
    article actually tries to disenfranchise qualified but dissenting
    scientists.
    Therefore, we must always be very careful indeed to distinguish
    actual credible facts of direct observation from inferences built on
    them, and we must always be open to the possibility that what we think
    are facts — especially on matters that we cannot directly observe — may
    just possibly embed an error or two.
    A revealing illustration of this pattern is the reference you
    made to the unknown replicator, as close as you get to OOL.
    Was such seen? Nope, as you concede.
    Was such seen as an integral code based algorithm using facility
    integrated with a metabolic nanofactory in a gated encapsulated
    enclosure? A fortiori, no.
    The massive FSCO/I and IC of such an entity scream: design. That
    is, we have excellent reason to infer design at the root of the tree of
    life. Thereafter, for argument let us accept universal common descent
    and lay aside for a moment the now notorious pattern of contradictory
    molecular trees and mosaics such as the platypus (more consistent with
    a code library in a design system than an incremental tree). Do we have
    any good, observationally based ground to reject designed branching and
    unfolding by things like frontloading and use of viri as vectors to
    inject planned triggers for development?
    Nope, only the a priori exclusion of design which is already the
    only observationally backed, viable candidate sitting at the table at
    the root of the whole tree. And therefore sitting at the table as of
    right thereafter.
    Do I need to explicitly cite the co-founder of evolutionary
    theory as an advocate of intelligent direction of such?
    Let me do so, as he was a foremost person in things like
    bio-geography, from preface:

    . . . the most prominent feature of my book is that I enter
    into a popular yet critical examination of those underlying fundamental
    problems which Darwin purposely excluded from his works as being beyond
    the scope of his enquiry.
    Such are, the nature and causes of Life itself ; and
    more especially of its most fundamental and mysterious powers growth
    and reproduction. I first endeavour to show (in Chapter XIV.) by a
    care-ful consideration of the structure of the bird’s feather; of the
    marvellous transformations of the higher insects ; and, more especially
    of the highly elaborated wing-scales of the Lepidoptera (as easily
    accessible examples of what is going on in every part of the structure
    of every living thing), the absolute necessity for an organising
    and directive Life-Principle in order to account for the very
    possibility of these complex outgrowths
    .
    I argue, that they necessarily imply first, a Creative
    Power
    , which so constituted matter as to render these marvels
    possible ; next, a directive Mind which is demanded at every
    step of what we term growth, and often look upon as so simple and
    natural a process as to require no explanation ; and, lastly, an
    ultimate Purpose
    , in the very existence of the whole vast
    life-world in all its long course of evolution throughout the eons of
    geological time.
    This Purpose, which alone throws light on many of the
    mysteries of its mode of evolution, I hold to be the development of
    Man, the one crowning product of the whole cosmic process of
    life-development ; the only being which can to some extent comprehend
    nature; which can perceive and trace out her modes of action ; which
    can appreciate the hidden forces and motions everywhere at work, and
    can deduce from them a supreme and over-ruling Mind as their necessary
    cause.
    For those who accept some such view as I have indicated, I
    show (in Chapters XV. and XVI.) how strongly it is sup-ported and
    enforced by a long series of facts and co-relations which we can hardly
    look upon as all purely accidental coincidences. Such are the
    infinitely varied products of living things which serve man’s purposes
    and man’s alone not only by supplying his material wants, and by
    gratifying his higher tastes and emotions, but as rendering possible
    many of those advances in the arts and in science which we claim to be
    the highest proofs of his superiority to the brutes, as well as of his
    advancing civilisation.
    From a consideration of these better-known facts I proceed (in
    Chapter XVII.) to an exposition of the mystery of cell-growth ; to a
    consideration of the elements in their special relation to the earth
    itself and to the life-world ; while in the last chapter I endeavour to
    show the purpose of that law of diversity which seems to pervade the
    whole material Universe. [The World of Life: a manifestation of
    Creative Power, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose, pp. vi - vii 1914
    UK edn., I introduce my own simplifying paragraphing]

    In short, not even universal common descent suffices to remove
    the relevant issues from the table. To exclude design as the best
    explanation of the manifest FSCO/I it is necessary to first empirically
    overturn on ACTUAL OBSERVATIONS the pattern whereby we consistently see
    FSCO/I produced by design.
    This, you have simply not done.
    This also both shows why OOL is pivotal — as the usual resort to
    the magical powers of natural selection (chance variations and
    differential reproductive success — contrary to your onward
    suggestions, have never been observed to give rise to body plans) is
    off the board. Your attempted dismissal of OOL is therefore decisive,
    and not in your favour. By silence, it implies that you indeed have no
    credible account by which FSCO/I can and does come about by blind
    chance and mechanical necessity.
    That glaringly highlights the gaps evolutionary materialism
    advocates keep papering over.
    Next you outline geographic and similar observations. The
    documented variations are all well within body plan level and in no
    wise suffice to erase the FSCO/I origination challenge.
    This next step you made reveals the significance of the
    explanatory failure of the view you advocate:

    [J:] evolutionary theory posits that the diversification of
    life as we know it arose from minor modifications of a first basic
    form. The minor modifications were also functional. Cumulative
    selection by environmental pressures (among other things) created new
    functional configurations. No need to search a vast configuration space
    for new forms.

    The problem is that it is known that 100 k – 1 M bits of info
    makes about the right level for a “simple” — misnomer! — unicellular
    life form, but from both calculation and observation of genomes of body
    plans we see that new body plans, Phylum and Sub-Phylum level in
    effect, will indeed require 10 – 100+ million new bits of info. The
    idea that something of this complexity coupled to functional
    specificity can be achieved one tiny functional step at a time,
    selected for on population genetics, is in fact a major point of
    explanatory gap for the theory. For instance to make a whale like creature out of a
    cow like one, someone has estimated up to 50,000 stepwise changes, many
    of them co-ordinated. Given reasonable pop sizes in light of ecological
    niche, generation scales, and time to fix, we are not going to see
    enough scope for such an incrementalist account to work. This is multiplied by the dynamics of building a body plan
    through embryological development as the early stage mutations required
    are making chance changes in a tightly coupled interdependent
    functional system and have a known strong tendency of lethality
    Similar, for making a man like creature out of a chimp like
    creature.
    This is further substantiated by the widespread and systematic
    patten of missing links, from the Cambrian on. Indeed, Gould has long
    since highlighted across his career how systematic are the gaps by
    underscoring that sudden appearance, stasis and disappearance are the
    dominant feature of the fossils, not the sort of incrementalist pattern
    that Darwin hoped for. This after over 1/4 million fossil species and
    millions of examples in museums, with billions of same in the ground.
    The gradual, branching tree pattern has been imposed on the fossils,
    not inferred from them.
    This runs directly contrary to your bold assertion:

    [J:] all the life forms that have ever existed on earth form a
    great web of functional forms. No islands. Holes in the web maybe, but
    no disconnected pieces. And no need to randomly search a vast
    configuration space for new functional configurations.

    Just to cite Gould in his last work, The Structure of
    Evolutionary Theory (2002):

    . . . long term stasis following geologically abrupt origin
    of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by
    professional paleontologists. [[p. 752.]
    . . . . The great majority of species do not show any
    appreciable evolutionary change at all. These species appear in the
    section [[first occurrence] without obvious ancestors in the underlying
    beds, are stable once established and disappear higher up without
    leaving any descendants.” [[p. 753.]
    . . . . proclamations for the supposed ‘truth’ of
    gradualism – asserted against every working paleontologist’s knowledge
    of its rarity – emerged largely from such a restriction of attention to
    exceedingly rare cases under the false belief that they alone provided
    a record of evolution at all! The falsification of most ‘textbook
    classics’ upon restudy only accentuates the fallacy of the ‘case study’
    method and its root in prior expectation rather than objective reading
    of the fossil record.
    [[p. 773.]

    Gould’s earlier comments are worth putting on record:

    “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages
    between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even
    in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many
    cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic
    accounts of evolution.” [[Stephen Jay Gould (Professor of Geology and
    Paleontology, Harvard University), 'Is a new and general theory of
    evolution emerging?' Paleobiology, vol.6(1), January 1980,p. 127.]
    “All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains
    precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between
    the major groups are characteristically abrupt.” [[Stephen Jay Gould
    'The return of hopeful monsters'. Natural History, vol. LXXXVI(6),
    June-July 1977, p. 24.]
    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil
    record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary
    trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of
    their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the
    evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he
    wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record:

    [Darwin:] The geological record is extremely imperfect and
    this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find
    intermediate varieties, connecting together all the extinct and
    existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps [[ . . . . ] He
    who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record will
    rightly reject my whole theory.[[Cf. Origin, Ch 10, "Summary of the
    preceding and present Chapters," also see similar remarks in Chs 6 and
    9.]

    Darwin’s argument still persists as the favored escape of
    most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to
    show so little of evolution. In exposing its cultural and
    methodological roots, I wish in no way to impugn the potential validity
    of gradualism (for all general views have similar roots). I wish only
    to point out that it was never “seen” in the rocks.
    Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin’s
    argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s
    history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural
    selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process
    we profess to study.” [[Stephen Jay Gould 'Evolution's erratic pace'.
    Natural History, vol. LXXXVI95), May 1977, p.14. (Kindly note, that
    while Gould does put forward claimed cases of transitions elsewhere,
    that cannot erase the facts that he published in the peer reviewed
    literature in 1977 and was still underscoring in 2002, 25 years later,
    as well as what the theory he helped co-found, set out to do. Sadly,
    this needs to be explicitly noted, as some would use such remarks to
    cover over the points just highlighted. Also, note that this is in
    addition to the problem of divergent molecular trees and the top-down
    nature of the Cambrian explosion.)]

    Yes, you have given the popular narrative that is eagerly
    promoted. Unfortunately, it does not comport well with the on the
    ground actually observed facts of the dominant pattern of life forms.
    Next:

    [J:] you make the assumption that the configuration space
    would have to be exhaustively searched. This, even under your
    assumption, is not the case. Once a functional configuration was found
    you’ve got your first basic replicator and the evolutionary process can
    begin.

    A strawman caricature, I am afraid.
    What I have pointed out — by argument anchored in the logic and
    experience of complex functional systems — is that we are dealing with
    multiple part, complex systems dependent on proper organisation to
    work. That is, per Wicken’s “wiring diagram” parts have to be arranged
    in a specific nodes and connections pattern, with matching and
    coupling, as is often illustrated by the exploded view. This implies a
    structured set of yes/no decisions to get parts, matching, placement
    and configuration right. If you have ever had to dis assemble and clean
    a fishing reel or a gun or the like, you will instantly understand the
    point. That set of Y/N q’s specifies information implicit in functional
    organisation, and is closely related to the way an autocad drawing is
    coded and stored in a file.
    Now, let us start with our warm little pond or the like with
    various salts and so forth. Your silence on OOL apart from a one liner
    shows that the magnitude of the challenge to get a gated, encapsulated
    metabolic entity working off key-lock fitting folded polymer molecules
    and coupled to a code based self replicating facility has overwhelmed
    the ability to provide a remotely plausible and observationally
    warranted solution. At low end, this is for 100 kbits of genomic info.
    To get from that to the dozens of body plans, you nee4d to
    g4enerate 10 – 100+ mn bits more, dozens of times over.For the
    Cambrian, maybe in 10 MY but 3.5 Bn years would not make a difference
    tot he scope of the challenge.
    What you are trying to suggest is that this can be eliminated by
    an assumed branching tree pattern of incremental fixed changes, i.e. a
    few bits at a time. Sounds great until you inject two problems: utter
    want of observational basis of such a complex emergence, and the
    challenge of writing such a code transformation functional all the way,
    and getting it fixed in population of reasonable size and lifespan. The
    evidence points to 2 – 7 bases as a step limit for practical purposes.
    If you go for duplication and variation by drift then reentry to
    function, you are looking at searching huge spaces by chance.
    In short, isolated islands of function are real [just ask
    embryos with lethal early muts about that] and the challenge of
    bridging hem is real, very real.
    It cannot be waved away by Dawkin’s metaphorical easy back way
    up Mt Improbable.
    Similarly, if these incremental forms were there, they would
    utterly dominate the history of life. So, why are they systematically,
    overwhelmingly missing to the point where Gould and colleagues went out
    to construct an alter5native evo theory to account for their absence,
    over the course of decades?
    There are enough fossils that we should see a very different
    picture from what we see if the claims were so.

    [J:] I will grant you that the first basic replicator could
    have been designed and then, if there was no further intervention,
    evolutionary processes can explain all that happened after that.

    Nope.
    The OOBP issue is not going to go away with a one liner. Once
    design is sitting at the table as a viable explanation for FSCO/I it is
    there all the way.
    Once, you do not have DIRECT OBSERVATION of blind chance and
    m4echanical ne4cessity generating FSCO/I.
    Which you do not.

    [J:] Evolutionary theory invokes observable forces/causes that
    can be reasonably supposed to have been available in the given time
    frame. ID proposes an unspecified/undefined ‘designer’ for which
    there is no independent evidence
    . Also, evolutionary theory
    explains more of the evidence we have: why are some things the way they
    are? When did some transitions happen? How did they happen? Not
    specific to the molecular level (which is unknowable) but the model
    matches the data and can predict undiscovered forms.

    Why do you insist, after ever so many corrections, on a strawman
    caricature of design theory and what it posits and argues on what
    evidence? (Just as a test, try to cite a statement by any prominent
    design theorist that argues in the way you do. You will find none such.
    You have been taken in by a caricature presented by unscrupulous
    objectors. I suggest you go up to the OP and simply read the summary of
    what ID actually argues there, which you and other objectors have
    ignored. ID is not a mirror image to the a priori materialism of
    Lewontin, Sagan, US NAS, US NSTA et al.)
    Let’s go back to Newton’s Rules of inductive, scientific
    reasoning which he used to introduce the Universal Law of Gravitation
    (in Principia):

    Rule I [[--> adequacy and simplicity]
    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as
    are both true [[--> it is probably best to take this liberally as
    meaning "potentially and plausibly true"] and sufficient to explain
    their appearances.
    To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing
    in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is
    pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous
    causes.
    Rule II [[--> uniformity of causes: "like forces cause
    like effects"]


    Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as
    possible, assign the same causes.

    As to respiration in a man and in a beast; the descent of
    stones in Europe and in America; the light of our culinary fire and of
    the sun; the reflection of light in the earth, and in the planets.

    Rule III [[--> confident universality]
    The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification
    nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies
    within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal
    qualities of all bodies whatsoever.
    For since the qualities of bodies are only known to us by
    experiments, we are to hold for universal all such as universally agree
    with experiments; and such as are not liable to diminution can never be
    quite taken away. We are certainly not to relinquish the evidence of
    experiments for the sake of dreams and vain fictions of our own
    devising; nor are we to recede from the analogy of Nature, which is
    wont to be simple, and always consonant to [398/399] itself
    . . .
    .
    Rule IV [[--> provisionality and primacy of induction]
    In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions
    inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very
    nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be
    imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may
    either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.
    This rule we must follow, that the arguments of induction may
    not be evaded by [[speculative] hypotheses.

    Similarly, in Opticks, Query 31, Newton said: “although the
    arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no
    Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing
    which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much
    the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general. And if no
    Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced
    generally. But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from
    Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as
    occur.”

    In this spirit, the design inference simply observes that there
    is an observable fact, FSCO/I . . . under whatever label and in
    whatever form. It is, on billions of cases reliably the product of
    design, there being no actually observed exceptions caused by blind
    chance and/or mechanical necessity. In addition, there is good
    analytical reason to see that such alternative causes are not credibly
    capable of creating FSCO/I. The attempted claim that macroevolution is
    a fact in counterexample is instead a fallacy driven by an ideological
    a priori. Exactly the kind of speculative hypothesis that Newton so
    often challenged as not being reasonable as an answer to an inductively
    grounded point.
    As a result of such, we are entitled to see that FSCO/I is a
    reliable sign of design as cause. And since designs reflect planning,
    purpose etc, such are habitually and appropriately associated with
    designers. Those committed to a materialist a priori may not be
    inclined to respect an inductive inference in this context, but that
    says more about the strength of the ideological a priori than about the
    strength of the induction.
    This then shows how the following builds on a poor foundation:

    [J:] If you use special pleading (i.e. there was an
    intelligent designer around at the time with the necessary skills and
    equipment) without any independent evidence then your inference is less
    parsimonious. Aside from the fact that the ID community has yet to come
    up with a core hypothesis which can be tested against the evolutionary
    model of universal common descent with modification.

    You are again knocking over a strawman of your own manufacture.
    The suggestion that the design inference is untestable is a
    second strawman caricature in the teeth of abundant correction to the
    contrary.
    I say it again: were it shown that FSCO/I was in fact per
    observation credibly, reliably produced by blind chance and/or
    mechanical necessity — as has been repeatedly tried and as just as
    repeatedly has failed — then the ID hyp in the domain of the world of
    life would collapse
    .
    The design inference is testable and per Newton has stood the
    test on billions of test cases. It is on canons of inductive reasoning,
    and billions of actual cases, that we can be confident that FSCO/I in
    its various guises is a reliable sign of design.

    [J:] We don’t know there was a designer around at the time.
    And, again, even if that were granted as an acceptable axiom there is
    not explanatory ID model to work with.

    The repeatedly corrected strawman caricature of ID appears again.
    It is clear that until there is a willingness on the part of
    objectors to accurately represent ID, it will be impossible to have a
    positive discussion.
    And so we see:

    [KF:] Such ideological a prioris [--> they were cited]
    compromise the key value and aim of science to be open to and seek an
    accurate report or account of the world.
    [J:] I would always want to find a model that fits that has
    the fewest assumptions. I don’t see what that has to do with
    materialism.

    Let us refresh our memory yet again, on the pivotal Lewontinian
    admission of an ideological a priori assumption, which may be found
    with four other examples including from the US NAS and NSTA, here on:

    the problem is to get them [ = the public] to reject
    irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [--> notice
    the admission of hostile prejudice and contempt laced dismissiveness],
    the demons that exist only in their imaginations [--> a fortiori],
    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the
    only begetter of truth
    [[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about
    knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy
    not science; it is thus self-refuting and inescapably utterly
    IRRATIONAL]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists,
    it is self-evident
    [[--> actually, science and its knowledge
    claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of
    absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error,
    begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim
    shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one
    tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the
    surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality
    [= al
    of reality for the a priori materialist], and that, in contrast, the
    demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail
    every reasonable test [[--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals
    a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science
    somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal
    world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori
    adherence to material causes
    [[--> another major begging of
    the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a
    set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how
    counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.
    Moreover, that materialism is absolute
    [[--> i.e. here
    we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ],
    for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
    [“Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. Bold
    emphasis and notes added. If you have been taken in by the common
    talking point that this is quote mined, kindly cf the just above link.]

    This is a blatant statement of the ideological captivity of
    science to materialism and undermines its objectivity and credibility
    as long as it is in that thralldom.
    Philip Johnson’s rebuke to Lewontin, Nov that year was richly
    deserved:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first;
    the science comes thereafter
    . [[Emphasis original] We might more
    accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if
    materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to
    be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the
    evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like
    neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of
    random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated
    organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been
    designed for a purpose.”
    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not
    deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is
    whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is
    based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a
    philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the
    philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses.

    [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First
    Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    KF >>

    _________

    I think some serious discussion is indicated.

    KF

  11. Pardon formatting.

  12. 12

    Jared: Evolutionary theory invokes observable forces/causes that can be reasonably supposed to have been available in the given time frame. ID proposes an unspecified/undefined ‘designer’ for which there is no independent evidence.

    You can “invoke” whatever you want, but if the evidence does not lead to those “invocations” as the most likely candidates based on empirical evidence, you may as well be invoking fairies.

    With ID, the designer is inferred, because that’s where the evidence leads. That’s the whole point of ID.

    It seems that Jared does now know what an inference is. And why some inferences are better than others.

  13. 13

    edit: does now know = does not know

  14. Jerad

    Gee, thanks. With those kind of reactions is there any particular reason I should participate in this discussion?

    It was not my intention to be impolite in regard to you personally. Evolutionism is a totally indefensible error. Evolutionists themselves are the first victims of the brainwashing of a perverted system. As such, they have all my human solidarity. But I think that my first intellectual duty, to try to help them, is calling a spade a spade, without ambiguity.

  15. It was not my intention to be impolite in regard to you personally. Evolutionism is a totally indefensible error. Evolutionists themselves are the first victims of the brainwashing of a perverted system. As such, they have all my human solidarity. But I think that my first intellectual duty, to try to help them, is calling a spade a spade, without ambiguity.

    ‘ . . a totally indefensible error.’ And I’m a victim of brainwashing. And you’re trying to help ‘us’ by telling us we’ve swallowed a pack of lies.

    So, I’m not bright enough to figure out that I’ve bought into some elaborate hoax? But no offence intended.

    I don’t mind you disagreeing with things I say or uphold. That’s your right. But I’d rather not be categorise as a brainwashed victim if it’s all the same to you.

  16. With ID, the designer is inferred, because that’s where the evidence leads. That’s the whole point of ID.

    I understand your argument but not only do I disagree with its conclusion but I also think it involves special pleading.

    It seems that Jared does now know what an inference is. And why some inferences are better than others.

    I would appreciate you spelling my name correctly.

  17. 17

    Jerad: I understand your argument but not only do I disagree with its conclusion but I also think it involves special pleading.

    I’m listening.

    I would appreciate you spelling my name correctly.

    Sorry

  18. Jerad,

    Ok, if I offended you, I apologize.

    But one should never be ashamed to be a brainwashed victim, or even to be called such. Myself many years ago was a brainwashed victim of materialism/atheism/scientism/evolutionism… Perhaps in a form even more serious than you. I am not ashamed to tell it. I know well the many-years battle I had to do before I finally put those things in the dustbin, definitely. I remember well how uncomfortable was my situation at that time. I would not come back to that point not even if menaced with a revolver at my head.

    I hope now we can do a reset, can we?

  19. Ok, if I offended you, I apologize.

    Fair enough.

    But one should never be ashamed to be a brainwashed victim, or even to be called such. Myself many years ago was a brainwashed victim of materialism/atheism/scientism/evolutionism… Perhaps in a form even more serious than you.

    Sigh.

    I am not ashamed to tell it. I know well the many-years battle I had to do before I finally put those things in the dustbin, definitely. I remember well how uncomfortable was my situation at that time. I would not come back to that point not even if menaced with a revolver at my head.

    I’m not brainwashed. I’m not uncomfortable. My head is clear and my decisions are my own.

    I hope now we can do a reset, can we?

    If you stop labelling me, perhaps. But how can I hope to have an actual conversation with you if, in the back of your head, you keep thinking: he doesn’t know what he’s saying. He’s been brainwashed. He’s a victim. I’m helping him by pointing out the error of his beliefs. I can’t concede to his ideas because then I’m just feeding the false.

    What hope is there to have a conversation if you’re already sure what I’m saying is wrong?

  20. Onlookers, ask yourselves why it is there has been such a reluctance to try to make a case that accounts for the full darwinist tree of life from the roots to the twigs. KF

  21. Jerad, if you are right and have the observational warrant, the objections will fall of their own weight. The issue is not disagreement but warrant. KF

  22. Onlookers, ask yourselves why it is there has been such a reluctance to try to make a case that accounts for the full darwinist tree of life from the roots to the twigs. KF

    Because there isn’t a darwinist explanation from non-life to the root, KF.

    Nobody claims there is.

    If you wait about 20 years or so, there might be.

  23. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Because there isn’t a darwinist explanation from non-life to the root, KF. Nobody claims there is. If you wait about 20 years or so, there might be.

    I thought you had been arguing that it was theoretically impossible.

  24. Jerad, if you are right and have the observational warrant, the objections will fall of their own weight. The issue is not disagreement but warrant. KF

    From my point of view, niwrad seems as set in his(?) ways as I must seem to him. He’s convinced I”m wrong; that seems to be his assumption.

    But, I agree that it’s typical in such discussions that the first assumption tends to be: what’s wrong with you? Why don’t you see it the same way I do.

    This does get back to the reason I started participating in UD in the first place: I wanted to understand the people with whom I disagreed and the way they saw the data. And, as I’ve said before, my own views have been challenged. Some might not believe that but I hope, in this one small sense, I’m granted the assumption of being truthful.

  25. Good catch, Mung.

    Correction:

    Because there isn’t a Darwinian explanation from non-life to the root, KF. Nobody claims there is, because there can’t be.

    If you wait about 20 years or so, there might be a non-Darwinian explanation.

  26. Jerry @ 1

    This is all nonsense, irrelevancies and story telling.

    Indeed

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