Calling Nick Matzke’s Bluff

In the comments of this UD post from yesterday, (comment #21) I referred to Nick Matzke’s rant over at the Panda’s Thumb yesterday as yet another illustration of the double standard’s Matzke’s has when it comes to his critiques of anyone who dares challenge Darwinian Orthodoxy.  In my comments yesterday, I gave an example of Matzke being guilty of the very same thing he (falsely)accuses Meyer of doing.  Today, I want to call out Matzke on another of his famous ploys: the bluff!  In earlier days, before he gained his current status among the defenders of the Darwinian Faith, Matzke posted and commented on various ID sites under various pseudonyms.  His favorite ploy was to use what we came to refer to as the “literature bluff”, wherein he would post long lists of references to research studies that were supposedly definitive refutations of some point being made by someone questioning evolution or promoting ID.  To someone unfamiliar with the literature, it could easily appear as if Matzke gained the upper hand and that the poor critic of evolution was just too uninformed.  However, when anyone took the time and trouble to actually peruse his lists looking for articles addressing whatever matter was under discussion it became immediately clear that hardly if ever at all did any of the citations have anything whatsoever to do with the point at issue.  It was all a bluff.

Well, sad to say, Matzke is still master of the bluff…only now in addition to the literature bluff, he’s moved to the diagram bluff.  In the rant referenced above, Matzke whines that Meyer is guilty of over-simplification because he opted to use simple, hand drawn diagrams to illustrate his point that the there simply are no evident ancestral organisms anywhere to be found in pre-Cambrian strata.

A. THE “EXPLOSION” TOOK AT LEAST 30 MILLION YEARS, AND WAS NOT REALLY “INSTANTANEOUS” NOR PARTICULARLY “SUDDEN”

Darwin’s Doubt is festooned with illustrations, mostly redrawn from other sources in a rather strange cartoon-like format also found in other recent ID books. However, there is never an illustration like these:

Instead, we are treated to ultrasimple figures of the times of origin of “phyla”, which date back at least to the 1970s, although they’ve been endlessly copied by creationists/ID proponents and remain current in those circles because they convey the impression of “sudden” origin. Figures resembling this:

These diagrams (the 2 bottom one’s above) are in Chapter 2 (page 35 figure 2.7 ) of Meyer’s book.  The context is that Meyer, correctly notes the following in a section entitled “The Missing Tree”:

Figures 2.7  and 2.8 [not shown here] illustrate the difficulty posed by the first two of these features sudden appearance and missing intermediates.  These diagrams graph morphological change over time.  The first shows the Darwinian expectation that changes in morphology should arise only as tiny changes accumulate.  This Darwinian commitment to gradual change through microevolutionary variations produces the classic representation of evolutionary history as a branching tree.

Now compare this branching tree pattern with the pattern in the fossil record.  The bottom of figure 2.7…show that the pre-Cambrian strata do not document the expected transitional intermediates between Cambrian and Precambrian fauna.  Instead, the Precambrian-Cambrian fossil record, especially in light of the Burgess Shale after Walcott, points to the geologically sudden appearance of complex and novel body plans.

Matzke will have none of it.  First he complains that the two diagrams are just too simple, even though Meyer makes it quite clear that they represent the “classic” (read – often used, widely known) representation of what one would expect to find if Darwin’s hypothesis was correct.  The second illustrates what we actually find in the fossil record – a fact no one actually disputes – and remains stylistically like the first.  Matzke’s real complaint is that Meyer should have used something like the diagram he includes in his rant which I cited above.  This diagram comes from this 2004 study in PNAS by K.J. Peterson, et al. on page 6539 as part of the “Discussion” section.  Here’s what the authors say:

Rate Heterogeneity Between Vertebrates and InvertebratesOur data suggest that, inconsistent with most molecular clock estimates but consistent with paleontological predictions…bilaterans do not have a significant precambrian evolutionary history. [emphasis mine]

Note that Peterson et.al.‘s point is exactly the point that Meyer is making with the diagrams he used.  The bilateran body plans found in the Cambrian fossils appear to have no evolutionary history.  That is Meyer’s main point in this section of the book.  So all of Matzke’s moaning about Meyer’s “oversimplified” diagram is just bluffing on his part. Somehow he thinks that the fancier more detailed diagrams refute Meyer, I guess, when in fact, they’re making the exact same point.

Even worse for Matzke’s whining is the fact that the Peterson et.al. study from which he borrowed the diagrams is an article using a refined technique for getting better results using molecular clocks.  The article is entitled “Estimating Metazoan Divergence Times With a Molecular Clock”  The first sentence reads, “Accurately dating when the first bilaterally symmetrical animals arose is crucial to our understanding of early animal evolution.”  In other words, the study is a primary example the very thing that Meyer talks about later in the book of evolutionary biologists just assuming evolution so there just has to be nodes on the tree to date!

Now let’s look at the other diagram of Matzke’s bluff, the top one above.  Notice that the precambrian Ediacaran biota line leads to precisely nothing in the Cambrian above it.  Again, this is exactly Meyer’s point.  Notice the blue dotted lines as well in the precambrian area where it says “Phylogentic uncertainty of many taxa makes counting number of classes genera difficult”, which is a fancy way of saying “there ain’t nothing down here we can actually count!”  Meyer made this abundantly clear in his discussion using the two “oversimplified” diagrams.  Meyer didn’t need to color plates and fancy charts because they added nothing to nor took anything away from his main point!

But for Matzke, using these charts to try to say that Meyer is just too, well, “simple” in his approach…in other words, doesn’t really have an in depth knowledge of what he’s writing about…is just a complete bluff because neither one refutes anything Meyer wrote and both support what he actually said!  Matke’s bluff is complete!  Needless to say, the rest of his rant is of the same cloth.  He comes across like Oz the Great and Terrible, but he’s just the little man behind the curtain!

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74 Responses to Calling Nick Matzke’s Bluff

  1. I called his bluff on the amazon review page and he has not responded yet, won’t hold my breath all bark no bite…

  2. Nice DonaldM! Related note:

    As Darwin’s Doubt Is Released, Science Journals Confirm the Reality and “Mystery” of the Cambrian Explosion – Casey Luskin June 20, 2013
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....73571.html

  3. Not to be lost in all of this is Matzke cannot present any evidence that darwinian processes can produce the diversity observed in the cambrian.

    Phylogenetic analysis does not speak of any mechanism and neither do the fossils. And that must bother him to no end…

  4. Joe in #3 – Precisely! Phylogentic analysis merely assumes evolution. They place nodes on the time line when the suspected divergences took place. But what they don’t have are any actual fossil critters to place in those nodes…especially in the precambrian! Which is why I highlighted the first diagram of Matzke’s.

  5. DonaldM, thanks for calling Nick’s diagram bluff. One of many I’m sure. I’m waiting to read Darwin’s Doubt before reading Matzke’s rant so I can make up my own mind! What a novel concept.

    One more thing, Andre, if Nick every does recommend a Macro-Evolution textbook, let me know. I would love to read it too.
    Hold his feet to the fire. He seems to rather do hit and run postings than have a real discussion.

  6. Donald,

    My point is even given common ancestry- which I don’t- phylogenetics cannot tell us if it happened by design or via accumulations of genetic accidents, ie the natural selection and genetic drift combo.

    Also, seeing that phylogenetics is just more similarity comparison, we could use it to infer what the common design was that all other variants were derived. So you are correct. If we didn’t assume evolution we could assume a common design.

  7. DonaldM, thanks for the insightful analysis of Matzke’s post. A form of peer-review I guess. :)

    I read Matzke’s post through and on the face of it, he knows his stuff – that’s not to say that his stuff is correct, but he knows a lot of it.

    I was curious what your thoughts were about his comments on the 3 stages of learning about evolution, and that he even basically dated Dawkins and co saying even they were a little out of date. He lists points 3a-g. Is he accurate in his comments there? Do many ID assumptions come from pre-1980′s facts? Has a lot changed?

    I’m very much a layman, so appreciate more learned insight on that bit.

  8. You will be waiting a long time for Matzke, or for any neo-Darwinists, to produce a detailed book on how macro-evolution could happen. For one thing the presupposition that neo-Darwinists are starting with, the modern synthesis, is now known to be false. For another Darwinists can’t even explain where a single gene/protein came from much less entirely unique body plans in the Cambrian, each containing trillions upon trillions of cells uniquely organized into the distinct kinds of creatures we see suddenly appearing in the fossil record with no discernible precursors. In fact, when Mr. Matzke was pressed to explain how a single novel functional protein could arise by neo-Darwinian processes, he, just as with this article DonaldM has highlighted, pulled a literature bluff:

    Leading Darwin Defender (Nick Matzke) Admits Darwinism’s Most “Detailed Explanation” of a Gene Doesn’t Even Tell What Function’s Being Selected – Casey Luskin – October 5, 2011
    Excerpt: …You just admitted that the most “detailed explanation” for the evolution of a gene represents a case where:

    *they don’t even know the precise function of the gene,
    *and thus don’t know what exactly what function was being selected,
    *and thus don’t know if there are steps that require multiple mutations to produce an advantage,
    *and thus haven’t even begun to show that the gene can evolve in a step-by-step fashion,
    *and thus don’t know that there are sufficient probabilistic resources to produce the gene by gene duplication+mutation+selection.

    In effect, you have just admitted that Darwinian explanations for the origin of genes are incredibly detail-poor.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51551.html

    Needless to say, that kind of ‘detailed explanation’ for how a gene could arise is light years away from telling anyone how the following is possible:

    An Electric Face: A Rendering Worth a Thousand Falsifications – video – September 2011
    Excerpt: The video suggests that bioelectric signals presage the morphological development of the face. It also, in an instant, gives a peak at the phenomenal processes at work in biology. As the lead researcher said, “It’s a jaw dropper.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndFe5CaDTlI

    Now if neo-Darwinists can tell us exactly, or even approximately, how this 3-D patterning that presages morphological development is encoded digitally along the DNA helix, that would be a major first step in explaining how macro-evolution could even be possible from a ‘bottom up’ neo-Darwinian framework.

    Notes:

    What Do Organisms Mean? Stephen L. Talbott – Winter 2011
    Excerpt: Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: “Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development. Such an object is less like a machine than it is like a language whose elements … take unique meaning from their context.[3]“,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....nisms-mean

    With a Startling Candor, Oxford Scientist Admits a Gaping Hole in Evolutionary Theory – November 2011
    Excerpt: As of now, we have no good theory of how to read [genetic] networks, how to model them mathematically or how one network meshes with another; worse, we have no obvious experimental lines of investigation for studying these areas. There is a great deal for systems biology to do in order to produce a full explanation of how genotypes generate phenotypes,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....52821.html

    The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories – Stephen Meyer
    “Neo-Darwinism seeks to explain the origin of new information, form, and structure as a result of selection acting on randomly arising variation at a very low level within the biological hierarchy, mainly, within the genetic text. Yet the major morphological innovations depend on a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. Yet if DNA is not wholly responsible for body plan morphogenesis, then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely, without regard to realistic probabilistic limits, and still not produce a new body plan. Thus, the mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA cannot in principle generate novel body plans, including those that first arose in the Cambrian explosion.”
    http://eyedesignbook.com/ch6/eyech6-append-d.html

    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681

  9. If you want a book on macroevolution, just get a bunch of books on microevolution and put them together. We all know macroevolution is just more microevolution! :)

  10. Joe – Now that’s funny!!! Great line. It may show up somewhere else…just sayin’

  11. Dr. Stephen Meyer on the Michael Medved Show, Wed. 6-19-13
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sxAyeGHyyg

  12. ///Matzke cannot present any evidence that darwinian processes can produce the diversity observed in the cambrian.
    Phylogenetic analysis does not speak of any mechanism and neither do the fossils. And that must bother him to no end.///
    .

    First of all, it is wrong to say that phylogenetic analysis assumes evolution. It doesn’t. It is a proper scientific method to study the relationship between organisms by comparing the features they share. The fact that such studies produce trees with nested hierarchies that support shared ancestry and common descent, is a validation of the theory of evolution.

    If a designer had randomly created organisms as per his will, we wouldn’t expect to see phylogenetic trees with nested hierarchies.

    Next, you’re talking about evidence. What evidence can you present to show that a mysterious designer designed the cambrian fauna? Your evidence for the last 3 decades has been the same – evolution cannot fully explain what happened, therefore God did it.

    Meyer hasn’t done anything more in his latest book other than rehashing this very same non-argument.
    Does Meyer provide evidence for a designer? Nope. Does he propose a mechanism by which the designer designed the cambrian fauna? Nope.

    Any explanation has to make sense. Why did the designer wait for 4 billion years after the earth formed to design the cambrian fauna? Why did he design only basal marine animals living on the sea floor and no land animals or even plants, let alone advanced creatures such as mammals and humans. It’s only logical to expect such a powerful designer to have done that.

    You’re saying that the designer ignored earth for 4 billion years, then suddenly swooped down on earth during the cambrian, designed some primitive creatures, that too on the ocean floor, and then let evolution proceed undisturbed thereafter!

    This doesn’t fit with the idea of a magical designer, who’s capable of doing anything. Instead, it perfectly fits a natural process like evolution, because evolution is constrained by the environment. It needs favorable conditions to proceed.

    This very simple logic alone is sufficient to dismiss ID as an explanation. It’s a non-explanation. You can always make exorbitant claims to account for mysteries, but unless it makes sense in the bigger picture, it won’t hold water.

  13. Hahaha! Joe, that is perfect! Funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

  14. 14

    LOL @8!!! :D

  15. It seems to me that you’re saying that the diagrams and refs Matzke offers don’t support his claim and do support Meyer’s. You provide this:

    Rate Heterogeneity Between Vertebrates and InvertebratesOur data suggest that, inconsistent with most molecular clock estimates but consistent with paleontological predictions…bilaterans do not have a significant precambrian evolutionary history. [emphasis mine]

    and then go on to immediately say this:

    Note that Peterson et.al.‘s point is exactly the point that Meyer is making with the diagrams he used. The bilateran body plans found in the Cambrian fossils appear to have no evolutionary history. (emphasis mine)

    Did you miss this? They say “no significant Precambrian evolutionary history” and you say “no evolutionary history”
    Theres a big difference. To them ‘no significant history’ is half the Ediacaran- about 33 million years. A lot can happen in that time. And their result I believe is unusual. Most clock estimates give a much older time- inconsistent with fossil remains but consistent with tracks and other evidence. The point is that it isn’t the abrupt appearance Meyer makes it out to be. If one forgets the labels that scientists impose, of phyla and grades and clades one sees the gradual accumulation of characters during this entire period. Granted, these organisms are already complex, and we don’t see all the characters but at this point one must ask that even with just this snapshot of whats happening is ID still a viable explanation. As an aside its strange to me that you would quote this paper. They used molecular data, unrelated to morphology to find a date for divergence and found a date at exactly what was expected based on the fossils. If these organisms were created separately it would have to be a one in a million coincidence that these 2 unrelated data sets would converge on a *false* date.
    You suggest phylogenetic trees are really the product of biologists assumptions and don’t reflect whats really occurred. It seems to me that this is similar to the arguments made by YEC in support of a young earth. They say that the reason scientists think the world is billions of years old is the worldview they have when they interpret the data. But if you interpret it with a Christian worldview you get thousands of years. In other words the data can be reasonably interpreted in any way. This is simply not true of course. As Matzke says, regarding phylogenetic trees, even removing any assumptions from the data gives a tree-like pattern one expects from evolution and very close to the fossil data.
    This could be an interesting project for an IDer though. Generate random data sets or data sets that could be reasonably assumed to be produced by a designer and show that when phylogenetic tools are applied very similar trees emerge. I don’t think that would happen but you never know!!

  16. Is Nick okay? Has anyone ever meet him? I feel kinda bad for him. It’s almost like he was abused as a child and is now responding in such a way that reflects an extremely damaged patient. We should help him or please Nick…help yourself. If you have the time to review a book that came out 24 hours before you wrote the review….there is something wrong there. Like really something wrong. It shows you haven’t really THOUGHT about Meyer’s worldview. You haven’t even considered it. It’s why he/you don’t understand the arguments. I really suggest some mental help, and I’m not just saying that to be mean. I’m really concerned.

  17. per 15:

    you quote

    Rate Heterogeneity Between Vertebrates and InvertebratesOur data suggest that, inconsistent with most molecular clock estimates but consistent with paleontological predictions…bilaterans do not have a significant precambrian evolutionary history.

    and then you object

    “Did you miss this? They say “no significant Precambrian evolutionary history” and you say “no evolutionary history”,, Theres a big difference. To them ‘no significant history’ is half the Ediacaran- about 33 million years. A lot can happen in that time.”

    yet we find:

    Ediacaran embryos in retrospect – David Tyler – January 28, 2013
    Excerpt: “there is currently no convincing evidence for advanced animals with bilateral symmetry in the Doushantuo biota”. This particular quest for animals preceding the Cambrian Explosion has drawn a blank. Needless to say, Darwin’s dilemma remains in full force.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....retrospect

    Perhaps you would like to point out the fossils that were missed that you claim exist that shows this gradual accumulation of change into bilateran symmetry? Better yet can you point us to the specific study where bacteria were observed to turn into anything other than bacteria?

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms. – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.
    http://www.timeshighereducatio.....ode=159282

    More Darwinian Degradation – M. Behe – January 2012
    Excerpt: Recently a paper appeared by Ratcliff et al. (2012) entitled “Experimental evolution of mulitcellularity” and received a fair amount of press attention, including a story in the New York Times.,,, It seems to me that Richard Lenski, who knows how to get the most publicity out of exceedingly modest laboratory results, has taught his student well. In fact, the results can be regarded as the loss of two pre-existing abilities: 1) the loss of the ability to separate from the mother cell during cell division; and 2) the loss of control of apoptosis.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....gradation/

  18. of note: When Nature Resists: Explaining the Origin of the Animal Phyla – Paul Nelson – April 5, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,lately, I’ve run across something related to ontogenetic depth that is, well, mind-blowing.
    Since 1859, the origin of not a single bilaterian phylum (animal body plan) has been explained in a step-by-step (neo-Darwinian) fashion, where random mutation and natural selection were, as textbooks assert, the primary causal mechanisms. Take your pick of the phyla: Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Chordata, Arthropoda, you name it — and go looking in the scientific literature for the incremental pathway, via mutation and selection, showing how that body plan was assembled from its putative bilaterian Last Common Ancestor.
    You’ll be looking a long time.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....70871.html

  19. as to Evolve at 12 where he complains that God does not do things the way that he would prefer God to do them therefore evolution must be true,,,

    Actually, the evidence itself, contrary to your simplistic version of argument from Theodicy, indicates that extensive terra-forming of the entire earth, from a toxic wasteland to a place suitable to host life, is what preceded the Cambrian explosion:

    Contrary to what materialism would expect, the very first photosynthetic bacteria found in the fossil record, and by chemical analysis of the oldest sedimentary rocks on earth,

    The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4262918

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004E&PSL.217..237R

    When Did Life First Appear on Earth? – Fazale Rana – December 2010
    Excerpt: The primary evidence for 3.8 billion-year-old life consists of carbonaceous deposits, such as graphite, found in rock formations in western Greenland. These deposits display an enrichment of the carbon-12 isotope. Other chemical signatures from these formations that have been interpreted as biological remnants include uranium/thorium fractionation and banded iron formations. Recently, a team from Australia argued that the dolomite in these formations also reflects biological activity, specifically that of sulfate-reducing bacteria.
    http://www.reasons.org/when-di.....pear-earth

    Thus we now have fairly conclusive evidence for bacterial life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth.

    These following sites have illustrations that shows some of the interdependent, ‘life-enabling’, biogeochemical complexity of different types of bacterial life on Earth.,,,

    Biologically mediated cycles for hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and iron – image of interdependent ‘biogeochemical’ web
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont......large.jpg

    Microbial Mat Ecology – Image on page 92 (third page down)
    http://www.dsls.usra.edu/biolo.....nit2.2.pdf

    ,,,Please note, that if even one type of bacteria group did not exist in this complex cycle of biogeochemical interdependence, that was illustrated on the third page of the preceding site, then all of the different bacteria would soon die out. This essential biogeochemical interdependence, of the most primitive different types of bacteria that we have evidence of on ancient earth, makes the origin of life ‘problem’ for neo-Darwinists that much worse. For now not only do neo-Darwinists have to explain how the ‘miracle of life’ happened once with the origin of photosynthetic bacteria, but they must now also explain how all these different types bacteria, that photosynthetic bacteria are dependent on, in this irreducibly complex biogeochemical web, miraculously arose just in time to supply the necessary nutrients, in their biogeochemical link in the chain, for photosynthetic bacteria to continue to survive. As well, though not clearly illustrated in the illustration on the preceding site, please note that a long term tectonic cycle, of the turnover the Earth’s crustal rocks, must also be fine-tuned to a certain degree with the bacteria and thus plays a important ‘foundational’ role in the overall ecology of the biogeochemical system that must be accounted for as well.

    Since oxygen readily reacts and bonds with many of the solid elements making up the earth itself, and since the slow process of tectonic activity controls the turnover of the earth’s crust, it took photosynthetic bacteria a few billion years before the earth’s crust was saturated with enough oxygen to allow a sufficient level of oxygen to be built up in the atmosphere as to allow higher life:

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle – Apr. 24, 2013
    Excerpt: New research,, demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago.,, This indicates that the sulfur comes from a deep mantle reservoir containing crustal material subducted before the Great Oxidation Event and preserved for over half the age of Earth.
    “These measurements place the first firm age estimates of recycled material in oceanic hotspots,” Hauri said. “They confirm the cycling of sulfur from the atmosphere and oceans into mantle and ultimately back to the surface,” Hauri said.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132705.htm

    Photosynthetic bacteria slowly removed the carbon dioxide, and built the oxygen up, in the earth’s atmosphere primarily by this following photosynthetic chemical reaction:

    6H2O + 6CO2 ———-> C6H12O6+ 6O2

    More interesting still, the byproducts of the complex biogeochemical processes involved in the oxygen production by these early bacteria are (red banded) iron formations, limestone, marble, gypsum, phosphates, sand, and to a lesser extent, coal, oil and natural gas (note; though some coal, oil and natural gas deposits are from this early era of bacterial life, most coal, oil and natural gas deposits originated on earth after the Cambrian explosion of higher life forms some 540 million years ago). The resources produced by these early photosynthetic bacteria are very useful, one could even very well say ‘necessary’, for the technologically advanced civilizations of humans today to exist.

    Interestingly, while the photo-synthetic bacteria were reducing greenhouse gases and producing oxygen, and metal, and minerals, which would all be of benefit to modern man, other types of bacteria were also producing their own natural resources which would be very useful to modern man. Some types of bacteria helped prepare the earth for advanced life by detoxifying the primeval earth and oceans of poisonous levels of heavy metals while depositing them as relatively inert metal ores. Metal ores which are very useful for modern man, as well as fairly easy for man to extract today (mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper to name a few). To this day, various types of bacteria maintain an essential minimal level of these heavy metals in the ecosystem which are high enough so as to be available to the biological systems of the higher life forms that need them yet low enough so as not to be poisonous to those very same higher life forms.

    Bacterial Heavy Metal Detoxification and Resistance Systems:
    Excerpt: Bacterial plasmids contain genetic determinants for resistance systems for Hg2+ (and organomercurials), Cd2+, AsO2, AsO43-, CrO4 2-, TeO3 2-, Cu2+, Ag+, Co2+, Pb2+, and other metals of environmental concern.,, Recombinant DNA analysis has been applied to mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper resistance systems.

    The role of bacteria in hydrogeochemistry, metal cycling and ore deposit formation:
    Textures of sulfide minerals formed by SRB (sulfate-reducing bacteria) during bioremediation (most notably pyrite and sphalerite) have textures reminiscent of those in certain sediment-hosted ores, supporting the concept that SRB may have been directly involved in forming ore minerals.
    http://www.goldschmidt2009.org...../A1161.pdf

    And on top of the fact that poisonous heavy metals on the primordial earth were brought into ‘life-enabling’ balance by complex biogeochemical processes, there was also an explosion of minerals on earth which were a result of that first life, as well as being a result of each subsequent ‘Big Bang of life’ there afterwards.

    Newly Discovered Bacterium Forms Intracellular Minerals – May 11, 2012
    Excerpt: A new species of photosynthetic bacterium has come to light: it is able to control the formation of minerals (calcium, magnesium, barium and strontium carbonates) within its own organism. ,, carbonate rocks that date back some 3.5 billion years and are among the earliest traces of life on Earth.
    (Calcium carbonate, of which chalk, limestone and marble are made, also makes up corals, shells of snails and other animals, and stromatolites. Strontium Carbonate is used in Ceramics, Pyrotechnics, Electronics and metallurgy. Barium carbonate is widely used in the ceramics industry as an ingredient in glazes. It acts as a flux, a matting and crystallizing agent and combines with certain colouring oxides to produce unique colours not easily attainable by other means. In the brick, tile, earthenware and pottery industries barium carbonate is added to clays to precipitate soluble salts. Magnesium carbonate also has several important uses for man.)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....101352.htm

    The Creation of Minerals:
    Excerpt: Thanks to the way life was introduced on Earth, the early 250 mineral species have exploded to the present 4,300 known mineral species. And because of this abundance, humans possessed all the necessary mineral resources to easily launch and sustain global, high-technology civilization.
    http://www.reasons.org/The-Creation-of-Minerals

    “Today there are about 4,400 known minerals – more than two-thirds of which came into being only because of the way life changed the planet. Some of them were created exclusively by living organisms” – Bob Hazen – Smithsonian – Oct. 2010, pg. 54

  20. To put it mildly, this minimization of poisonous elements, and ‘explosion’ of useful minerals, is strong evidence for Intelligently Designed terra-forming of the earth from a toxic wasteland to place that ‘just so happens’ to be of great benefit to modern man.

    Clearly many, if not all, of these metal ores and minerals laid down by these sulfate-reducing bacteria, as well as laid down by the biogeochemistry of more complex life, as well as laid down by finely-tuned geological conditions throughout the early history of the earth, have many unique properties which are crucial for technologically advanced life, and are thus indispensable to man’s rise above the stone age to the advanced ‘space-age’ technology of modern civilization.

    Materialism simply has no coherent answers for why these different bacterial types, biogeochemical processes,.., would start working in precise concert with each other preparing the earth for future life to appear from the very start of their first appearance on earth.

    Once sufficient oxygenation of the earth’s mantle and atmosphere was finally accomplished, higher life forms could finally be introduced on earth. Moreover, scientists find the rise in oxygen percentages in the geologic record to correspond exactly to the sudden appearance of large animals in the fossil record that depend on those particular percentages of oxygen to be present. The geologic record shows a 10% oxygen level at the time of the Cambrian explosion of higher life-forms in the fossil record some 540 million years ago. The geologic record also shows a strange and very quick rise from the 17% oxygen level, of 50 million years ago, to a 23% oxygen level 40 million years ago (Falkowski 2005, 2008). This strange rise in oxygen levels corresponds exactly to the abrupt appearance of large mammals in the fossil record who depend on those high oxygen levels. Interestingly, for the last 10 million years the oxygen percentage has been holding steady around 21%. 21% happens to be a ‘very comfortable’ percentage for humans to exist. If the oxygen level was only a few percentage lower, large mammals would become severely hampered in their ability to metabolize energy; if only a few percentage higher, there would be uncontrollable outbreaks of fire across the land (Denton; Nature’s Destiny).

    The Microbial Engines That Drive Earth’s Biogeochemical Cycles – Falkowski 2008
    Excerpt: Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides. – Paul G. Falkowski – Professor Geological Sciences – Rutgers
    http://www.genetics.iastate.edu/delong1.pdf

    Dr. Ross points out that the extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for humans to exist in this universe, for the relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Theism:

    Hugh Ross – The Anthropic Principle and The Anthropic Inequality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8494065/

    Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency.
    Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now.
    http://christiangodblog.blogsp.....chive.html

    related note:

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive.
    It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.1

  21. Wow! Bornagain77 has written an essay saying God terraformed the earth for a whopping 4 billion years using bacteria in preparation for the creating a few primitive Cambrian creatures living on the sea floor!

    One wonders why God, with all his magical engineering prowess, couldn’t do that in a far far shorter period of time. He had to “farm” microscopic bacteria for an ultra-slow and tedious transformation. After all, God allegedly created far more complex animals in the Cambrian in no time!

    This is a perfect example of how creationists ignore the best explanation of the data and simply invoke their God to explain anything and everything. Since there’s absolutely no evidence for their God or his nature, he’s capable of doing anything! So no matter what scientists discover, it can be easily attributed to their God!

    And regarding the origin of the earliest cells: none of the papers you quoted claim the hand of God in the origin of those cells. We may never discover how exactly the first cells arose, since they were microscopic and the events unfolded billions of years ago. But that still would not prove God did it until & unless you can show that a God really existed back then and he descended on the earth to sow life.

  22. Evolve doesn’t it strike you as extremely strange that instead of you providing any actual empirical evidence against the empirical evidence that I provided for terra-forming for the earth from the very first appearance of life on earth (i.e. no lag, nor hit and miss basis as would be expected in neo-Darwinism) you resort to sophomoric theological argumentation as to how God should or should not form life on earth according to your whims? ,,, If you are not aware, Darwin used this precise form of argumentation, as to how God should and should not act, to argue in Origin for evolution, and this precise form of argumentation is still rampant with Darwinian circles. Why is this?

  23. Your “empirical evidence” for the terraforming of the earth is your own conclusion rather than it being the best explanation or the consensus opinion.

    What happened over billions of years is a natural process and the reason it took that long is because natural processes are constrained by environmental factors.

    A magical designer, whom you can invoke anywhere anytime as required, is not constrained by anything. You’re saying he created the Cambrian animals in no time, but wasted 4 billion years to prepare the earth! What sense does it make?

    I’m not saying God should act as per my whims & fancies. But one automatically expects a magical designer to do magic everywhere. You’re saying that the designer is supernatural & capable of incredible feats, but still he created life in a way that’s indistinguishable from natural processes, taking billions of years!

    If that’s the case, then why even invoke a designer? The designer is a redundant and unnecessary explanation until & unless you can show that he exists and that he has had a hand in earth’s history.

  24. RodW in #15 writes

    Did you miss this? They say “no significant Precambrian evolutionary history” and you say “no evolutionary history”
    Theres a big difference. To them ‘no significant history’ is half the Ediacaran- about 33 million years. A lot can happen in that time. And their result I believe is unusual. Most clock estimates give a much older time- inconsistent with fossil remains but consistent with tracks and other evidence. The point is that it isn’t the abrupt appearance Meyer makes it out to be. If one forgets the labels that scientists impose, of phyla and grades and clades one sees the gradual accumulation of characters during this entire period. Granted, these organisms are already complex, and we don’t see all the characters but at this point one must ask that even with just this snapshot of whats happening is ID still a viable explanation.

    In the context of the point Meyer is making in the chapter in Darwin’s Doubt, I don’t think there is any significant difference between saying “no significant precambrian evolutionary history” and “no evolutionary history”. They amount to the same thing. Adding more time doesn’t solve the problem of the lack of ancestral forms in the fossil record either and appears to be an attempt to fix the problem that is evident in the actual fossil record…that there are no transitional forms or even good ancestral candidates in the precambrian strata that connect to the actual forms recorded in the fossil record in the cambrian strata. Adding another 33 million years doesn’t magically place those missing fossils into the strata. Sure, have more time to get from precambrian life forms to cambrian could, within the context of evolutionary theory, fill in the gaps with the required life forms, but there isn’t the slightest bit of physical evidence in the form of fossils to justify the move. It comes across as an attempt to rescue the theory from extremely recalcitrant data. And that is one of Meyer’s points in that chapter. For Matzke to cite this study and the fancier diagrams in an attempt to discredit Meyers is a complete bluff because not only does it not refute Meyers, it actually confirms his point. Thus Matzke is making a bluff.

    Rod continues:

    If one forgets the labels that scientists impose, of phyla and grades and clades one sees the gradual accumulation of characters during this entire period. Granted, these organisms are already complex, and we don’t see all the characters but at this point one must ask that even with just this snapshot of whats happening is ID still a viable explanation. As an aside its strange to me that you would quote this paper. They used molecular data, unrelated to morphology to find a date for divergence and found a date at exactly what was expected based on the fossils. If these organisms were created separately it would have to be a one in a million coincidence that these 2 unrelated data sets would converge on a *false* date.

    I referenced the paper because it is the one Matzke used to make his bluff. Why think that if the organisms were created separately that it would be a “one in a million coincidence” that the data sets would converge on a similar or close date? Stating as you did implies a presupposition that a designed biological system would look different than the one we observe. Why? Why couldn’t common design account for those results just as easily as common ancestry? There is no principled scientific way to eliminate common design here while preserving the notion of common ancestry. Quite the opposite from what you said, if what we observe are the artifacts of common design I would fully expect a convergence.

    Further, if we remove the lens of evolution and instead use the lens of design in observing and analyzing what Nature is actually telling us through the recorded history life in the pre and cambrian strata, then perhaps what the phylogentic studies are showing aren’t where the nodes on the ancestral trees are, but where information was imparted into the system. That large sets of informational data would be similar and consistent is to be fully expected in a designed biological world. We may not fully understand how the design was imparted or by who or what – but those are interesting but separate questions from whether or not information was imparted.

    Your final comment

    As Matzke says, regarding phylogenetic trees, even removing any assumptions from the data gives a tree-like pattern one expects from evolution and very close to the fossil data.
    This could be an interesting project for an IDer though. Generate random data sets or data sets that could be reasonably assumed to be produced by a designer and show that when phylogenetic tools are applied very similar trees emerge. I don’t think that would happen but you never know!!

    Again, why expect the phylogentic analysis to yield different results if what we’re analyzing is from common design as opposed to common ancestry? The data is the data. You seem to assume that a designer would have done things differently, or rather that if design is actual, the data would look different. Scientifically, I see no reason to think that, so see no reason why something different would emerge from the analysis.

    The very concept of “trees” though, is an artifact of common design and wouldn’t necessarily be needed for common design. Trees are a way to conceptualize ancestral relationships. In a design model, rather than trees, some other conceptual artifact would make more sense as we would be comparing similarities of information.

  25. Evolve in #21 writes:

    This is a perfect example of how creationists ignore the best explanation of the data and simply invoke their God to explain anything and everything. Since there’s absolutely no evidence for their God or his nature, he’s capable of doing anything! So no matter what scientists discover, it can be easily attributed to their God!

    It is completely inaccurate to represent the ID position as “Not evolution, therefore God”. That is simply not the case.
    The fact is, and the point Meyer is making in his book, is that evolution really isn’t the “best explanation” for the data we actually observe. Intelligent design, on the hand, is. There is no reference to God or supernatural intervention required. All that is required is an intelligent agent. We can let the philosophers, metaphysicians and theologians debate about the identity of that intelligent agent. Your attempt to equate ID, the modest proposal that separates intelligent causes from undirected natural causes, to creationism, which is derived from theology, is simply a misrepresentation of what ID actually is about.

    But even if the intelligence were supernatural, what of it? Your critique is that God is too hyperflexible to be of any use to science. Maybe, but if hyperflexibility warrants elimination from scientific consideration then Darwinian evolution would get tossed as well. If there’s any good example of hyperflexibility in scientific hypotheses, its the hypothesis of evolution. No matter how much contradictory data turns up, the hypothesis gets continually bent, like a gumby doll, to accommodate the recalcitrant data. That is one of Meyer’s main themes in the book.

    One final point, you claim there’s “absolutely no evidence for God.” That’s a pretty strong statement, but it is also a misleading one. What you really mean is that there isn’t data or observations that you personally take to be evidence for God, which is a very different thing. Put another way, all you really mean is that you consider any principle that someone claims gives warrant to connecting some set of data to the conclusion that God exists to be wholly unjustified. You’re perfectly entitled to think that, but you’d have a pretty tough time making any kind of scientific or even logical case to justify that denial.

  26. //// Again, why expect the phylogentic analysis to yield different results if what we’re analyzing is from common design as opposed to common ancestry? The data is the data.////
    .

    Common design can be easily ruled out. For example, whales not only share a superficial common design with sharks, but also an aquatic habitat. Yet whales are more related to humans than to sharks!

    If you want to explain this with common design, you have to explain why whales are not more related to sharks in spite of both occupying the same ecological niche. You also have to account for the land-to-water transitional whale fossils we’ve uncovered. And also why whale embryos briefly develop hind limbs before they’re reabsorbed back into the body. And why aquatic whales have to breathe air? Gills seem to be a much better solution for an aquatic creature!

    See the problem?
    Now do you understand why common descent, not common design, best explains the data?

    Even for argument’s sake, if one considers that common descent and common design are indistinguishable, then why is common design even required?

    Common design is a supernatural explanation. To prove that you first need to show the presence of a supernatural designer and then explain why he designed things in a way that’s indistinguishable from common descent!

    On the other hand, common descent is a natural explanation that doesn’t require any supernatural designer to exist. And it best fits our phylogenetic, geological, paleontontological & embryological data.

    Unless you really want common design to be true, it is a non-explanation.

  27. ////It is completely inaccurate to represent the ID position as “Not evolution, therefore God”. That is simply not the case.////
    .

    It IS totally accurate to brand ID as “Not evolution, therefore God”.

    How can you or Meyer say that intelligent design is the best explanation without any proof that such a designer exists or existed at that point in time? What mechanism did he employ and why?

    Why did he wait for 4 billion years before poofing animals into existence in the Cambrian? If he could do that, then why didn’t he design land animals or plants in the Cambrian?

    Your designer is totally fictitious. He doesn’t have an entity or mode of action.

    ID guys invoke their designer whenever and wherever they require. In other words, he’s omnipresent and omniscient. There’s nothing that’s beyond him. He can act in a way that’s indistinguishable from natural processes (that mirrors common descent) and also perform magic (poof creatures into existence) if required!

    I’m sorry, I won’t buy this. Meyer can keep on rehashing the same old non-argument book after book. But he won’t get anywhere unless he can prove the existence of a designer and explain why he acted the way he did.

  28. Evolve @ 12:

    If a designer had randomly created organisms as per his will, we wouldn’t expect to see phylogenetic trees with nested hierarchies.

    But he didn’t randomly create organisms; each organism reproduces according to its kind, as Genesis clearly states. This is why we have multiple species of dogs, cats, bears, etc.

  29. Evolve again writes:

    I’m not saying God should act as per my whims & fancies. But one automatically expects a magical designer to do magic everywhere.

    Yet that is exactly what you are doing. Because you cannot imagine why God allowed such a long span of time (4 billion years, give or take) before organisms appeared, then God obviously doesn’t exist.

    Your entire argument boils down to “I can’t imagine why he’d do it this way, so he obviously didn’t do it!” How utterly ignorant.

    A magical designer can do whatever he wants given the fact that he is all powerful and all knowing. Unlike you.

    You’re saying that the designer is supernatural & capable of incredible feats, but still he created life in a way that’s indistinguishable from natural processes, taking billions of years!

    It’s really not indistinguishable from natural processes, as per the evidence shown to you above. Natural processes do not begin to explain the huge gulfs between reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and humans, nor do they explain why humans have cultivated appreciation for abstract concepts such as music and art.

    If that’s the case, then why even invoke a designer? The designer is a redundant and unnecessary explanation until & unless you can show that he exists and that he has had a hand in earth’s history.

    We just did show that a designer exists. You are the one refusing to examine the evidence for yourself.

  30. Evolve, perhaps it may interest you to know that we live in a Theistic universe, not a materialistic universe as you presuppose:

    The Mental Universe – 2005 – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    The Renninger Negative Result Experiment – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3uzSlh_CV0

    The situation has only intensified since Dr. Henry wrote his article in Nature in 2005.

    In 2007, a more stringent test than Bell’s inequalities, Leggett’s inequalities were verified by 80 orders of magnitude, thus stressing the fact that ‘consciousness’ is the base of reality, not some material/physical element:

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: Leggett’s theory was more powerful than Bell’s because it required that light’s polarization be measured not just like the second hand on a clock face, but over an entire sphere. In essence, there were an infinite number of clock faces on which the second hand could point. For the experimenters this meant that they had to account for an infinite number of possible measurement settings. So Zeilinger’s group rederived Leggett’s theory for a finite number of measurements. There were certain directions the polarization would more likely face in quantum mechanics. This test was more stringent. In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

    And if that was not bad enough for the Atheist who wishes for whatever severely misguided reason that God did not exist, earlier this month Atheists have run out of loopholes with Bell’s inequalities,,, by ’70 standard deviations’:

    Closing the last Bell-test loophole for photons – Jun 11, 2013
    Excerpt: In the years since, many “Bell tests” have been performed, but critics have identified several conditions (known as loopholes) in which the results could be considered inconclusive. For entangled photons, there have been three major loopholes; two were closed by previous experiments. The remaining problem, known as the “detection-efficiency/fair sampling loophole,” results from the fact that, until now, the detectors employed in experiments have captured an insufficiently large fraction of the photons, and the photon sources have been insufficiently efficient. The validity of such experiments is thus dependent on the assumption that the detected photons are a statistically fair sample of all the photons. That, in turn, leaves open the possibility that, if all the photon data were known, they could be described by local realism.
    The new research, conducted at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Communication in Austria, closes the fair-sampling loophole by using improved photon sources (spontaneous parametric down-conversion in a Sagnac configuration) and ultra-sensitive detectors provided by the Single Photonics and Quantum Information project in PML’s Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division. That combination, the researchers write, was “crucial for achieving a sufficiently high collection efficiency,” resulting in a high-accuracy data set – requiring no assumptions or correction of count rates – that confirmed quantum entanglement to nearly 70 standard deviations.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-b.....otons.html

    Evolve, To put it simply, the atheist has run completely out of possible hiding places to postulate that any type of hidden variable cause (any type within space and time material cause) can account for quantum entanglement.

    A far more nuanced refutation of atheism from quantum mechanics is in this fairly sort video here:

    Divinely Planted Quantum States – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCTBygadaM4#t=156s

    quotes of note:

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” -
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    (Max Planck, as cited in de Purucker, Gottfried. 1940. The Esoteric Tradition. California: Theosophical University Press, ch. 13).

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    Perhaps, Evolve, this following quote will get the point across to you as to the actual impossible situation you are in as to establishing that we live in a materialistic universe as you imagine, without any scientific evidence, that we do:

    “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.”
    Max Planck – The Father Of Quantum Mechanics – Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944)(Of Note: Max Planck Planck was a devoted Christian from early life to death, was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God.

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  31. Hi bornagain, thanks for commenting on my post. You write

    Perhaps you would like to point out the fossils that were missed that you claim exist that shows this gradual accumulation of change into bilateran symmetry? Better yet can you point us to the specific study where bacteria were observed to turn into anything other than bacteria?

    Its true that the ‘embryos’ from the precambrian are probably protists. Some have claimed that the ediacaran Spriggina may be an early arthropod or annelid but I cant judge. Some of the tracts have been shown to potentially be due to protists, but I believe others still suggest a complex body with a body cavity. But this all has to do with complex bilateral animals. Lets not loose sight of the big picture; Meyer claims that animals were specially created, other animals such as sponges and jellyfish relatives are present before the Cambrian. (I think I read that sponge spicules can be found >600mya) So overall things match the pattern one would expect from evolution. Granted, when things appear it can be very sudden but even within that ‘suddenness’ we can see gradual accumulation of some traits. At what point does one say “well we still don’t know how it can happen so quickly but intelligent design seems unlikely”?
    As for your next comment about watching bacteria transform into something else, that’s ridiculous of course. What we do have is overwhelming evidence that mitochondria and chloroplasts were once independent organisms; bacteria and cyanobacteria, respectively. This is the endosymbiotic theory made famous by Lynn Margulis. The evidence for both is the overall size and structure of the organelles, the fact that they both have independent genetic systems, the sequence matches of their DNA, the structure of their ribosomes, their metabolic processes, the patterns of gene loss and transfer to the nucleus…even the identity of lipids in the inner membrane. There are amoeba alive today that take in symbiotic cyanobacteria. Mutations can occur which make them interdependent. I forgot the name but theres another protist (Paulinella?)that very recently acquired to ability to photosynthesize, independent of every other eukaryotic organism.
    If this is not enough there is secondary and tertiary endosymbiosis: a photosynthetic eukaryote was swallowed by another eukaryote which converted it to a ‘super-chloroplast’ containing a degenerate nucleus with only a few genes called a nucleomorph. Some such cell was again swallowed by another cell producing a group of organisms called chlorarachniophytes that have a ridiculous Russian-doll structure to their chloroplasts. All of this screams the fact that very complex, important transitions can occur without the aide of a designer. Of course we can never say that an omnipotent designer couldn’t have done it this way. Such a designer can do anything by definition, especially when said designer ‘works in mysterious ways’. So how can we say its unlikely this is the work of a designer? – because of our ‘uniform and repeated experience of design’ Rational designers just don’t do it this way when they have so many other options.
    This topic of symbiosis is so interesting, and so relevant to this discussion I’m surprised no one on Pandas Thumb has done an article on it. Maybe I will :)

  32. Hi DonaldM, thanks for replying to my post! You write:

    Again, why expect the phylogentic analysis to yield different results if what we’re analyzing is from common design as opposed to common ancestry? The data is the data. You seem to assume that a designer would have done things differently, or rather that if design is actual, the data would look different. Scientifically, I see no reason to think that, so see no reason why something different would emerge from the analysis.

    The very concept of “trees” though, is an artifact of common design and wouldn’t necessarily be needed for common design. Trees are a way to conceptualize ancestral relationships. In a design model, rather than trees, some other conceptual artifact would make more sense as we would be comparing similarities of information.

    Yes, the data is the data. But an intelligent designer who plans and creates sets of objects ( or organisms) is such a profoundly different way of generating the diversity of life on earth from the process of evolution which is severely constrained by what living things exist at the moment and what minor transformations are possible, that I think we can reasonably expect there to be HUGE differences in the patterns of life that we see based on either of these possibilities. Phylogenetic trees are examples of such patterns.
    I think your initial point is valid: if you were to take all the automobiles produced over the last, say, 50 years and describe(score) all their traits and plug that into a phylo program you very well might generate a tree that looks like the ones we see for organisms. This is what you get when you do that for the body plan, say, of animals. But you don’t stop there. You take a set of genes unrelated to body plans and plug in those into the program. You get a tree, of course. But heres the thing: the trees match perfectly or almost perfectly. There are thousands upon thousands of different trees that can be obtained from a data set. When 2 match that are based on unconnected criteria that’s overwhelming evidence for common descent. When 3 match its a slam dunk and we’re probably up to…10? by now. A designer doesn’t have the same constraints as the process of common descent, so theres no conceivable way to get that coincidence save for one: a deceitful designer who wants us to believe evolution occurred.
    But all of this could be fleshed out precisely if one generated random character sets, character sets that were produced under different ‘reasonable’ assumptions for an intelligent designer and plugged those into a tree program to see what you’d get.

  33. bilaterans do not have a significant precambrian evolutionary history. [emphasis mine]

    Note that Peterson et.al.‘s point is exactly the point that Meyer is making with the diagrams he used. The bilateran body plans found in the Cambrian fossils appear to have no evolutionary history.

    lol, nice try there Donald.

  34. Barb,

    ///Your entire argument boils down to “I can’t imagine why he’d do it this way, so he obviously didn’t do it!” How utterly ignorant.
    A magical designer can do whatever he wants given the fact that he is all powerful and all knowing. Unlike you.////
    .

    Fine, except that this is not science. You are free to believe in a magical designer (sans any evidence whatsoever), who’s capable of doing anything and everything irrespective of whether that defies logic or not and irrespective of whether that fits other observations or not.

    There’s no requirement to explain who this designer is or propose a mechanism for his actions.

    The problem with intelligent design is that its proponents, like Meyer, are promoting it as science and as an alternative scientific theory to evolution.

    Intelligent design is just hardcore creationism in sheep’s clothing. You just proved it.

  35. RodW, since I presented unambiguous evidence from quantum mechanics that we live in a Theistic universe instead of a materialistic universe @ post 30, for Evolve, and you said nothing may I take it that you concede the point from quantum mechanics that we do indeed live in a Theistic universe and that you are thus arguing for Theistic evolution instead of neo-Darwinian evolution or, as is much more likely, are you, as is typical for neo-Darwinists, ignoring this devastating piece of evidence and pretending that the evidence does not exist and still arguing as if neo-Darwinism were true??

    ,,,But to continue on as if neo-Darwinism had a leg to stand on in the first place, RodW you mention several scant traces for bilaterans that have not panned out for you Darwinists. Indead the supposed Bilateran evidence has not been kind in the least to neo-Darwinists:

    Paper Lays to Rest “Vernanimalcula,” Supposed Precambrian Ancestor of Bilaterian Animals – Casey Luskin – December 10, 2012
    Excerpt: (Bilaterian animals are those with bilateral symmetry, symmetrical on their right and left sides, but having distinct fronts, backs, tops, and bottoms. Humans, frogs, and fish, are all bilaterians.) In a 2005 paper in Scientific American, University of Southern California paleontologist David Bottjer crowned Vernanimalcula as the “oldest fossil animal with a bilateral body plan yet discovered.” Because Vernanimalcula was dated to tens of millions of years prior to the Cambrian explosion, his article used the fossil to attack the view that the Cambrian explosion was any kind of an “explosion” at all:,,,
    Now, however, a new article in Evolution & Development has taken Bottjer’s arguments about Vernanimalcula to pieces. The authors don’t just question whether Vernanimalcula was a bilaterian ancestor — they’re not even sure it represents a fossil, period.
    Titled “A merciful death for the ‘earliest bilaterian,’ Vernanimalcula,” the article unmercifully concludes that “There is no evidential basis for interpreting Vernanimalcula as an animal, let alone a bilaterian.” The scientific paper uses uncommonly strong language to refute the idea that Vernanimalcula was a bilaterian ancestor, calling that interpretation “fallacious.”,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67271.html

    but RodW your big claim at the beginning of your post at 31 was

    sponges and jellyfish relatives are present before the Cambrian. (I think I read that sponge spicules can be found >600mya) So overall things match the pattern one would expect from evolution

    Yet RodW, contrary to Darwinian expectations, and much like the terra-forming evidence I presented for Evolve, there is very strong evidence to suggest that sponges and jellyfish were involved in preparing the ecosystem for the more complex animal life that was to follow in the Cambrian explosion:

    Interestingly, ‘soft-bodied’ Jellyfish and Sponges appeared suddenly in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record. Moreover, contrary to evolutionary thinking, Jellyfish and Sponges appear to have essential purpose in preparing the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion that was to follow.

    Marine animals cause a stir – July 2009
    Excerpt: Kakani Katija and John Dabiri used field measurements of jellyfish swimming in a remote island lake, combined with a new theoretical model, to demonstrate that the contribution of living organisms to ocean mixing via this mechanism is substantial — of the same order of magnitude as winds and tides. (Winds and tides, due to their prevention of stagnation, are known to be essential for life on earth.)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....30-08.html

    Picture of Jellyfish exhibiting bioluminescence:
    http://www.holisticprimarycare.....orea-2.jpg

    Sponges Determine Coral Reef’s Nutrient Cycle
    Excerpt: Sponges, which have worldwide distribution in the oceans, filter water. They take up planktonic particles such as bacteria and excrete inorganic nutrients. In turn, these nutrients can facilitate the growth of marine plants and other organisms. Sponges filter water at a phenomenal rate: if the seawater were to remain stationary, the sponges would have completely pumped it away within five minutes,,,, these organisms play a key role in the marine nutrient cycle due to their incredible capacity to convert enormous quantities of organic plankton into inorganic material (nutrients).
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....085649.htm

    Fossils of all types of sponges alive today have been found virtually unchanged in rocks dated from approximately 635 to 580 million years ago. Moreover, sponges with photosynthesizing endosymbionts produce up to three times more oxygen than they consume, as well as more organic matter than they consume (Wikipedia).

    Barrel and Chimney Sponges Filtering Water – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7E1rq7zHLc

    Though sponges demonstrate extreme stasis of morphology (conservation of shape), throughout the hundreds of millions of years they have been in the fossil record, and are not antecedent to the biota of the Cambrian Explosion or anything else for that matter, evolutionists have none-the-less tried to ‘shoe-horn’ sponges into being ancestral to the Cambrian Explosion. The evolutionists have tried to do this ‘shoe-horning’ from a very biased reading of gene sequence similarity evidence. This following article has a very good critique of their severely biased methodology:

    Explosion of the Blob – August 2010
    Excerpt: ‘By saying that nearly one-third of the genetic toolkit “emerged” in a blank period before the fossils of the first actual sponge, and that the changes “occurred” in undescribed “sponge-like forebears,” Mann shielded the fact that there is not only no evidence for such an ancestor, but no known mechanism by which genes with foresight would have emerged in single-celled creatures.’
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100805a

    More Questions for Evolutionists – August 2010
    Excerpt: First of all, we have 65% of the gene number of humans in little old sponges—an organism that appears as far back as 635 million years ago, about as old as you can get [except for bacteria]. This kind of demolishes Darwin’s argument about what he called the pre-Silurian (pre-Cambrian). 635 mya predates both the Cambrian AND the Edicarian, which comes before the Cambrian (i.e., the pre-Cambrian) IOW, out of nowhere, 18,000 animal genes. Darwinian gradualism is dealt a death blow here (unless you’re a ‘true believer”!). Here’s a quote: “It means there was an elaborate machinery in place that already had some function. What I want to know now is what were all these genes doing prior to the advent of sponge.” (Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley.) I want to know, too!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....utionists/

    etc.. etc..

  36. 29 Barb June 22, 2013 at 9:16 am

    We just did show that a designer exists.

    Really? How and when did you do that? That is Earth-shattering news. Please explain and, if possible, show your work.

  37. RodW, you then argue for endosymbiotic theory. And although I’m sure Dr. Meyer will cover how this ‘theory’ has failed to provide support for neo-Darwinism in his book, I do have a few notes that severely question some aspects of endosymbiotic theory:

    the protein machinery that replicates DNA is found to be vastly different in even the most ancient of different single celled organisms:

    Did DNA replication evolve twice independently? – Koonin
    Excerpt: However, several core components of the bacterial (DNA) replication machinery are unrelated or only distantly related to the functionally equivalent components of the archaeal/eukaryotic (DNA) replication apparatus.
    http://nar.oxfordjournals.org/.....27/17/3389

    Problems of the RNA World – Did DNA Evolve Twice? – Dr. Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4564682

    There simply is no smooth ‘gradual transition’ to be found between these most ancient of life forms as this following articles and videos clearly point out:

    Oops, Evolution Forgot About the Eukaryotes – February 14, 2013
    Excerpt: How about this 1998 paper in which the evolutionists admit that “One of the most important omissions in recent evolutionary theory concerns how eukaryotes could emerge and evolve.” Evolution omitted how eukaryotes could emerge and evolve? That would be like physics omitting gravity, politics omitting elections or baseball omitting homeruns. Yet this paper came more than a century after evolutionists began insisting that it is beyond all reasonable doubt that the species, and that would be all the species, arose spontaneously.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....yotes.html

    Was our oldest ancestor a proton-powered rock?
    Excerpt: In particular, the detailed mechanics of DNA replication would have been quite different. It looks as if DNA replication evolved independently in bacteria and archaea,… Even more baffling, says Martin, neither the cell membranes nor the cell walls have any details in common (between the bacteria and the archaea).
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....tml?page=1

    On The Non-Evidence For The Endosymbiotic Origin Of The Mitochondria – March 2011
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ochondria/

    On the Origin of Mitochondria: Reasons for Skepticism on the Endosymbiotic Story
    Jonathan M. – January 10, 2012
    Excerpt: While we find examples of similarity between eukaryotic mitochondria and bacterial cells, other cases also reveal stark differences. In addition, the sheer lack of a mechanistic basis for mitochondrial endosymbiotic assimilation ought to — at the very least — give us reason for caution and the expectation of some fairly spectacular evidence for the claim being made. At present, however, such evidence does not exist — and justifiably gives one cause for skepticism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....54891.html

    Bacteria Too Complex To Be Primitive Eukaryote Ancestors – July 2010
    Excerpt: “Bacteria have long been considered simple relatives of eukaryotes,” wrote Alan Wolfe for his colleagues at Loyola. “Obviously, this misperception must be modified…. There is a whole process going on that we have been blind to.”,,, For one thing, Forterre and Gribaldo revealed serious shortcomings with the popular “endosymbiosis” model – the idea that a prokaryote engulfed an archaea and gave rise to a symbiotic relationship that produced a eukaryote.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100712b

  38. But RodW, to focus on you most serious shortcoming, all the evidence I have seen presented from neo-Darwinists supporting their beloved theory is all speculative historical evidence that falls apart on scrutiny, but when ones digs down to the brass tax of empirical evidence one can find no evidence for neo-Darwinism doing anything whatsoever:

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    Why is this RodW?, why can’t you guys produce any evidence whatsoever in real time of Darwinian processes building functional complexity/information?

  39. RodW #32 Writes

    I think your initial point is valid: if you were to take all the automobiles produced over the last, say, 50 years and describe(score) all their traits and plug that into a phylo program you very well might generate a tree that looks like the ones we see for organisms. This is what you get when you do that for the body plan, say, of animals. But you don’t stop there. You take a set of genes unrelated to body plans and plug in those into the program. You get a tree, of course. But heres the thing: the trees match perfectly or almost perfectly.

    Thanks for your response, Rod. I don’t see how genes are unrelated to body plans. Genes determine the body plans not the other way around. Genes determine every aspect of the organism. Again, if we have common design plans, I would expect to see common design instructions to create those plans…that is to say genes. I don’t see why that is not to be expected within the context of common design.

    A designer doesn’t have the same constraints as the process of common descent, so theres no conceivable way to get that coincidence save for one: a deceitful designer who wants us to believe evolution occurred.
    But all of this could be fleshed out precisely if one generated random character sets, character sets that were produced under different ‘reasonable’ assumptions for an intelligent designer and plugged those into a tree program to see what you’d get.

    I guess from the perspective of evolution you could say that if it really is designed it sure looks a lot like evolution. But, that way of thinking seems to impose the evolutionary story onto the data rather than the data telling the story. Common descent…the evolution story…implies close to far apart relationship depending on disparity. But so does common design. There’s little reason to think a designer would opt to start from scratch with every new build. Human designers don’t do that, so why would a designer capable of filling a lifeless planet with life? Perhaps the deceit lies in the direction of people deceiving themselves into thinking that an undirected natural cause accomplished what was actually the work of an intelligence.

    Consider it this way. Richard Dawkins famously wrote at the beginning of The Blind Watchmaker that Biology is the “the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”. On this view, Nature, it seems, is being deceitful, making us think that biological systems are designed when in fact they are the result of undirected natural causes. So we construct the hypothesis of evolution and we avoid the apparent “deceit”. Thinking that way doesn’t seem to pose a problem for anyone.

    However, if the actual state of affairs is that an intelligent cause designed biological systems so the apparent design is actual design, what is the basis for saying that the designer is being deceitful because the design plans gives the appearance of having evolved? Or to paraphrase Dawkins ‘Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having evolved through undirected natural causes, but were in fact designed.’ The appearance of “deceit”, it seems, depends on what one presupposes the actual state of affairs to be.

    Just because a designer isn’t constrained by the limits of nature is no reason to think that the designer wouldn’t act in concert with the very nature they designed. That is the main problem with trying to argue that if design is actual then things would look different. My position is that if living systems are the result of design then it would look exactly as we do find it. Further, nature itself isn’t being very kind to the evolutionary hypothesis. The actual data of Nature is quite stingy and recalcitrant in providing evidence of undirected natural causes. The more so at the level of the complex, specified information we see in biological systems at the molecular level. The ‘deceit’, it seems to me, is believing that undirected natural causes are fully capable of doing what only intelligence is capable of doing.

    You also said “I think your initial point is valid…” Rod, in over a decade of having these sorts of discussions in various online forums and blogs, you are the very first I’ve seen say that a critic of evolution had a point! Thank you for that! That is how dialogue happens!

    Evolve in #27 writes:

    It IS totally accurate to brand ID as “Not evolution, therefore God”.

    How can you or Meyer say that intelligent design is the best explanation without any proof that such a designer exists or existed at that point in time? What mechanism did he employ and why?

    Science infers the existing of many entities not directly observed, by studying their effects. Astronomers infer the existence of planets by noting gravitational shifts and so forth in the patterns of the movements of stars, even though they may not actually see the planets. Some unobserved sub-atomic particles are inferred by observing effects on other observed ones, and so forth. We can infer intelligent cause by the effects of intelligence. Many sciences do that already: SETI, cryptography, forensic science etc etc. So why is the inference to intelligent cause off limits when it comes to biological systems? I can think of only one reason: philosophical presuppositions or more to the point ones worldview. Unless you have independent scientific evidence that nothing in Nature can be the result of intelligent cause, then claims regarding the intelligent causes non-existence are mere bluff and bluster.

    As to mechanism, there is no problem in inferring intelligent cause without knowing how or by what mechanism. But that could be a fruitful area for further research within a design paradigm. Also, the demand for mechanism is itself born from a purely mechanistic view of nature…that is to say all things must yield to natural cause and effect. Perhaps you could share how you know scientifically (not philosophically, metaphysically or theologically) that Nature is a completely closed system of natural cause and effect. What scientific research study confirmed that hypothesis and in what relevant peer reviewed scientific journal did the study get published so we can all read it? How might that be falsified?

    Begging your pardon, Evolve, but your philosophical presupposition is showing.

  40. Evolve @ 34:

    Fine, except that this is not science. You are free to believe in a magical designer (sans any evidence whatsoever), who’s capable of doing anything and everything irrespective of whether that defies logic or not and irrespective of whether that fits other observations or not.

    Who says it’s not science? The greatest scientists who ever lived believed in God while they did their science.

    There’s no requirement to explain who this designer is or propose a mechanism for his actions.

    Who says? You?

    The problem with intelligent design is that its proponents, like Meyer, are promoting it as science and as an alternative scientific theory to evolution.

    The problem with evolutionists like you is that you refuse to examine any alternatives to evolution despite the fact that there’s a great deal of evidence showing design in nature. Try reading up on biomimicry.

    Intelligent design is just hardcore creationism in sheep’s clothing. You just proved it.

    Actually, I didn’t. Creationism is a religious doctrine that states that the earth was created in 7 24-hour days. ID does not state that at all. Try again.

    Alan Fox @ 36

    Really? How and when did you do that? That is Earth-shattering news. Please explain and, if possible, show your work.

    What’s the matter, Alan? You can’t examine the evidence for yourself and come to your own conclusions?

    Oh, and showing my work would require that you develop an open mind. Can you do that?

    Oh, and if I’m to show my work, then the evolutionists should also start doing the same. Seems they’ve been quite lax in that department.

  41. RodW, here are a few more problems, from a seemingly endless list of problems, that I have with neo-Darwinism explaining the Cambrian explosion.

    Why (does Darwinism mandate) Up When Down is Just As Good And A Lot Easier? (i.e. Exactly what does ‘fitness’ mean in the Darwinian scheme of things?) March 25, 2013
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ot-easier/

    To draw this point out somewhat RodW, Michael Behe defends one ‘overlooked’ protein/protein binding site generated by the HIV virus, that Abbie Smith and Ian Musgrave had found, by pointing out it is well within the 2 binding site limit he set in “The Edge Of Evolution” on this following site:

    Response to Ian Musgrave’s “Open Letter to Dr. Michael Behe,” Part 4
    “Yes, one overlooked protein-protein interaction developed, leading to a leaky cell membrane — not something to crow about after 10^20 replications and a greatly enhanced mutation rate.”
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....he-part-5/

    In fact, I followed this debate very closely and it turns out the trivial gain of just one protein-protein binding site being generated for the non-living HIV virus, that the evolutionists were ‘crowing’ about, came at a staggering loss of complexity for the living host it invaded (People) with just that one trivial gain of a ‘leaky cell membrane’ in binding site complexity. Thus the ‘evolution’ of the virus clearly stayed within the principle of Genetic Entropy since far more functional complexity was lost by the living human cells it invaded than was ever gained by the non-living HIV virus. A non-living virus which depends on those human cells to replicate in the first place. Moreover, while learning HIV is a ‘mutational powerhouse’ which greatly outclasses the ‘mutational firepower’ of the entire spectrum of higher life-forms combined for millions of years, and about the devastating effect HIV has on humans with just that one trivial binding site being generated, I realized if evolution were actually the truth about how life came to be on Earth then the only ‘life’ that would be around would be extremely small organisms with the highest replication rate, and with the most mutational firepower, since only they would be the fittest to survive in the dog eat dog world where blind pitiless evolution rules and only the ‘fittest’ are allowed to survive. The logic of this is nicely summed up here:

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62031.html

    Indeed RodW, since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful reproduction ever truly be consistently ‘selected’ for? Any other function besides reproduction, such as sex, sight, hearing, thinking, smelling, etc.., would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successfully reproducing, and should, on a Darwinian view, be discarded as so much excess baggage since it would, sooner or later, slow down successful reproduction. Any other attribute that Darwinists try to credit to natural selection, besides selecting for successful reproduction, is nothing more than a pipe dream masquerading as science. Dreams that have absolutely nothing at all to do with explaining the creation of any non-trivial functional information!

    supplemental notes:

    “The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book “Edge of Evolution”)

    And yet, Dr. Behe, on the important Table 7.1 on page 143 of Edge Of Evolution, finds that a typical cell might have some 10,000 protein-binding sites. Whereas a conservative estimate for protein-protein binding sites in a multicellular creature is,,,

    Largest-Ever Map of Plant Protein Interactions – July 2011
    Excerpt: The new map of 6,205 protein partnerings represents only about two percent of the full protein- protein “interactome” for Arabidopsis, since the screening test covered only a third of all Arabidopsis proteins, and wasn’t sensitive enough to detect many weaker protein interactions. “There will be larger maps after this one,” says Ecker.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....144936.htm

    So taking into account that they only covered 2%, of the full protein-protein “interactome”, then that gives us a number, for different protein-protein interactions, of 310,000. Thus, from my very rough ‘back of the envelope’ calculations, we find that this is at least 30 times higher than Dr. Behe’s estimate of 10,000 different protein-protein binding sites for a typical single cell (Page 143; Edge of Evolution; Behe). Therefore, at least at first glance from my rough calculations, it certainly appears to be a impossible step that evolution cannot make, by purely unguided processes, to go from a single cell to a multi-cellular creature. I hoping Dr. Meyer’s new book “Darwin’s Doubt’ fleshes this particular point out in more detail so that I can do away with my rough ‘back of the envelope’ calculations.

    One of the most enigmatic ‘novelties’ of the Cambrian explosion was the appearance of unique sexual reproduction for a wide variety of different species/phyla:

    How did the sexes originate? Why is it that the vast majority of living things require a “male and female” to reproduce? If evolution were true – doesn’t it make much more sense that EVERY living organism was self-replicating and required no useless energy expenditure? When did the first male get here? When did the first female get here? How? Why? Wouldn’t they have had to appear fully functional and at the same time in order for the next generation of organisms to arrive? Of course, they would. So, how is it that the first male and female for almost 2 million living organisms arrived together and fully functional so that reproduction could take place? “Sex is the QUEEN of evolutionary biology problems.”
    Dr. Graham Bell – In his book, ‘The Masterpiece of Nature’

    Ian Juby’s sex video – (Can sexual reproduction plausibly evolve?) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab1VWQEnnwM

    Moreover, its been known for quite a while, as Walter Remine relates in this following interview, that sexual reproduction severely limits genetic variability rather than enhances it as Darwinists had originally thought.

    Walter ReMine on the Origin of Sexual Reproduction – interview
    http://kgov.com/ReMine-3

    This following study concurs:

    Sex Is Not About Promoting Genetic Variation, Researchers Argue – (July 7, 2011)
    Excerpt: Biology textbooks maintain that the main function of sex is to promote genetic diversity. But Henry Heng, Ph.D., associate professor in WSU’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, says that’s not the case.,,,
    ,,,the primary function of sex is not about promoting diversity. Rather, it’s about keeping the genome context — an organism’s complete collection of genes arranged by chromosome composition and topology — as unchanged as possible, thereby maintaining a species’ identity. This surprising analysis has been published as a cover article in a recent issue of the journal Evolution.,,,
    For nearly 130 years, traditional perceptions hold that asexual reproduction generates clone-like offspring and sexual reproduction leads to more diverse offspring. “In reality, however, the relationship is quite the opposite,” said Heng.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161037.htm

    RodW, yet another false thing I was taught by Darwinists! Time and again, RodW, everything that is said to support Darwinism, when scrutinized, falls completely apart for Darwinism. I simply can’t find anything within Darwinism to rigidly hold up and that does not fall completely apart upon scrutiny. That is of course save for the unflinching resolve (faith) of neo-Darwinists themselves that all life was created by unguided processes. That never, ever, ever, falls apart…. Seeing as the eternal consequences for ‘getting God wrong’ in this all of this debate between Theists and Atheists are pretty severe, at least in a Christian view of reality where separation from God at death results in hell, I would think that would temper such dogmatic people (neo-Darwinists) to look at the evidence a bit more open minded, but such is not the case. Truly sad!:

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Creed – My Own Prison
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBBqjGd3fHQ

  42. Hiagain Bornagain. You said:

    RodW, since I presented unambiguous evidence from quantum mechanics that we live in a Theistic universe instead of a materialistic universe…may I take it that you concede the point from quantum mechanics that we do indeed live in a Theistic universe

    No. Physics is not my field so I cant very well comment on the substance of that, what I will note is that the creators of quantum mechanics, the developers of quantum mechanics and the physicists who understand it better than anyone else today are pretty much unanimous in not thinking it points to a theistic universe. I read enough popular science that I think I would have heard any such endorsement.
    As for endosymbiotic theory, I don’t think Meyer will discuss it in DD – its a different subject. As for the references you post the only one that’s really relevant is Jonathan M’s. I’ll go back and read his post in more detail and look up some of the refs., hes got some interesting tidbits in there I didn’t know about but I think he’s mostly nitpicking. Endo theory is beyond a doubt at this point.

    But RodW, to focus on you most serious shortcoming…

    Wow, very harsh. I’m glad you cant see me or you’d also know I’m pretty out of shape too!

    I have to say I’m impressed by your posting ability. All someone has to do on here is *cough* and within 5 minutes you whip out a megapost complete with 250 references on how coughing points to a designer.

  43. RodW, you claim

    the developers of quantum mechanics and the physicists who understand it better than anyone else today are pretty much unanimous in not thinking it points to a theistic universe.

    Really?

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” -
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    (Max Planck, as cited in de Purucker, Gottfried. 1940. The Esoteric Tradition. California: Theosophical University Press, ch. 13).

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    Quantum mind–body problem
    Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....dy_problem

    Twenty-one more famous Nobel Prize winners who rejected Darwinism as an account of consciousness – Dr. VJ Torley – April 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ciousness/

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    In the following video, at the 37:00 minute mark, Anton Zeilinger, a leading researcher in quantum teleportation with many breakthroughs under his belt, humorously reflects on just how deeply determinism has been undermined by quantum mechanics by saying such a deep lack of determinism may provide some of us a loop hole when they meet God on judgment day.

    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    So RodW, do you still hold your position??? ,,, Well who cares about opinions anyway? Let’s look at the evidence shall we?

    Moreover, the argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    Colossians 1:17
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

    Schrodinger’s cat and Wigner’s Friend – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....aM4#t=510s

  44. ” I have to say I’m impressed by your posting ability. All someone has to do on here is *cough* and within 5 minutes you whip out a megapost complete with 250 references on how coughing points to a designer.”

    Hah! Found yourself outgunned and opted for the ad hominem, eh? You went the clumsy passive-aggressive route. Since you don’t seem to be winning anyone over with your glowing personality, perhaps try more posts with “solid” claims that are actually dogmatic.

  45. of related note:

    The Action of Mind on Brain – Dr. Henry Stapp – video (The summary is at the 43 minute mark and then a few minutes of Q&A)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....6I#t=2593s
    Stapp received his PhD in particle physics at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Nobel Laureates Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain. ,, Stapp moved to ETH Zurich to do post-doctoral work under Wolfgang Pauli.,, When Pauli died in 1958, Stapp transferred to Munich, then in the company of Werner Heisenberg.

  46. Evolve @ 12 said,

    Any explanation has to make sense….It’s only logical to expect such a powerful designer to have done that.

    This is a fallacious line of reasoning from the get-go. You insist that any explanation must make sense to you, or to us humans in general. But then you grant that this hypothetical designer is more powerful than we are. Isn’t it therefore possible that its motives/reasons/methods/etc. might be beyond us?

    This type of reasoning is baked into many anti-theistic arguments:

    - “If God is good, he wouldn’t allow evil.” (Assumes we are capable of fully understanding things from God’s perspective, or that his perspective and ours would have to be identical.)

    - “If there were a designer, he would have made a particular creature more efficient in _this_ way.” (Assumes that we know all the reasons why a particular creature exists, or what the creator was optimizing for.)

    - “There would be no fatal or debilitating diseases or birth defects, no destructive Acts of God.” (Assumes that we know fully how things “ought” to be, even though we admit we aren’t the creator(s).)

    - “…what need does an intelligent designer have of billions of years and trillions of galaxies filled with billions of stars each? That tremendous waste…” (Assumes that we know the full scope of God’s intentions, etc.)

    - “God would have no reason to give us brains. We would not need them.”

    You get the idea. Watch all these arguments for the assumptions being baked into them from the start. And ask how the atheist/skeptic knows so much about the nature of a superior being to know that the skeptic’s answer is the only possible conclusion. What they really show is an extreme arrogance on humanity’s part.

    The insistence that everything make complete sense to us is the crux of the issue. How could we prove that anything that is comprehensible to _any_ being always be comprehensible to us?

    (Many quotes from http://www.infidels.org/librar.....stian.html.)

  47. Guess what came in the mail today?!!!

  48. evolve:

    The problem with intelligent design is that its proponents, like Meyer, are promoting it as science and as an alternative scientific theory to evolution.

    ID is NOT anti-evolution.

  49. evolve:

    First of all, it is wrong to say that phylogenetic analysis assumes evolution. It doesn’t. It is a proper scientific method to study the relationship between organisms by comparing the features they share.

    Common design explains that.

    The fact that such studies produce trees with nested hierarchies that support shared ancestry and common descent, is a validation of the theory of evolution.

    Nested hierarchies are evidence for design. Linneas constructed it that way. Gradual evolution wouldn’t produce a nested hierarchy.

    Not only that you are still missing a mechanism.

    If a designer had randomly created organisms as per his will, we wouldn’t expect to see phylogenetic trees with nested hierarchies.

    Nice strawman

    Next, you’re talking about evidence. What evidence can you present to show that a mysterious designer designed the cambrian fauna?

    For one the total lack of evidence that natural selection could do it. And for another the same evidence that says Stonehenge was designed by a mysterious designer- ie our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    I understand that it bothers you that your position doesn’t have anything. But I will let you in on a little secret- if you can produce evidence for natural selection producing a multi-protein configuration, not only will you be the first to do so, you will have put a damper on ID as ID says NS isn’t up to that task.

  50. What’s the matter, Alan? You can’t examine the evidence for yourself and come to your own conclusions?

    I can manage that. You say “We just did show that a designer exists.” I didn’t spot where or how you did this. I doubt your assertion.

    Oh, and showing my work would require that you develop an open mind. Can you do that?

    Oh, and if I’m to show my work, then the evolutionists should also start doing the same. Seems they’ve been quite lax in that department.

    Avoiding the question? “We just did show that a designer exists.”? You were making an untrue assertion, weren’t you?

  51. Mr. Fox, don’t let her get away with that! We all know that evidence doesn’t really exist for God until atheists like yourself admit that evidence exists for God:

    “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that the universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science.”
    Anthony Flew – world’s leading intellectual atheist for most of his adult life until a few years shortly before his death
    The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel (Nov. 25, 2012) – video
    http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/ee32d/

  52. BA77: Right now, I think that a deeper problem exists when design skeptics are loathe to acknowledge that it is factually and undeniably true that error exists, once they see the worldview level consequences. When one refuses to be moved by direct proof, that speaks volumes, loudest volumes. KF

  53. DonaldM. You write:

    You also said “I think your initial point is valid…” Rod, in over a decade of having these sorts of discussions in various online forums and blogs, you are the very first I’ve seen say that a critic of evolution had a point! Thank you for that! That is how dialogue happens!

    That’s a shame. I’d much prefer it if we could sit around a huge table in the coffee shop and discuss/debate this. The conversation would be faster and more efficient but would necessarily remain superficial. Writing for me is slow and painful and plodding but the advantage here is you can dig deep into topics. I think that rarely happens and people mostly exchange jabs. I’ll comment on your other points later

  54. Of related note to the Stapp lecture at post 44:

    How observation (consciousness) is inextricably bound to measurement in quantum mechanics:

    “We wish to measure a temperature. If we want, we can pursue this process numerically until we have the temperature of the environment of the mercury container of the thermometer, and then say: this temperature is measured by the thermometer. But we can carry the calculation further, and from the properties of the mercury, which can be explained in kinetic and molecular terms, we can calculate its heating, expansion, and the resultant length of the mercury column, and then say: this length is seen by the observer.
    Going still further, and taking the light source into consideration, we could find out the reflection of the light quanta on the opaque mercury column, and the path of the remaining light quanta into the eye of the observer, their refraction in the eye lens, and the formation of an image on the retina, and then we would say: this image is registered by the retina of the observer.
    And were our physiological knowledge more precise than it is today, we could go still further, tracing the chemical reactions which produce the impression of this image on the retina, in the optic nerve tract and in the brain, and then in the end say: these chemical changes of his brain cells are perceived by the observer. But in any case, no matter how far we calculate — to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer. In the former, we can follow up all physical processes (in principle at least) arbitrarily precisely. In the latter, this is meaningless.
    The boundary between the two is arbitrary to a very large extent. In particular we saw in the four different possibilities in the example above, that the observer in this sense needs not to become identified with the body of the actual observer: In one instance in the above example, we included even the thermometer in it, while in another instance, even the eyes and optic nerve tract were not included. That this boundary can be pushed arbitrarily deeply into the interior of the body of the actual observer is the content of the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism — but this does not change the fact that in each method of description the boundary must be put somewhere, if the method is not to proceed vacuously,,,”
    John von Neumann – 1903-1957 – The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 – 1955
    http://www.informationphilosop.....s/neumann/

  55. Earth to Alan Fox:

    Just how did your position show that natural selection could produce anything? Why do YOU always avoid supporting your position’s claims?

  56. I have a re-wtie:

    If you want a book on macroevolution, just get several books on microevolution and put them together, because we all know macroevolution is just microevolution, microevolution and more microevolution!

    That’s better. ;)

  57. re-write- LoL!

    I still can’t type without looking at the keyboard!

  58. Barb said:

    “We just did show that a designer exists.”

    I’m still wondering where and how she just did that.

  59. Just how did your position show that natural selection could produce anything? Why do YOU always avoid supporting your position’s claims?

    I’m an observer of UD, not a polemicist for evolutionary theory. I wouldn’t want to insist on anyone having to conform to any dogma. People are free (or should be) to make up their own minds on issues. I do think it is wrong when people are misled or lied to, of course.

  60. Alan Fox:

    I’m an observer of UD, not a polemicist for evolutionary theory.

    IOW you just like to poke at IDists and ID. That’s very cowardly of you, Alan.

    I do think it is wrong when people are misled or lied to, of course.

    And yet that is exactly what this alleged evolutionary theory does.

  61. Alan Fox:

    I’m still wondering where and how she just did that.

    Mankind has done that throughout our entire history. It’s called a consilience of evidence- along with the total lack of evidence in support of any alternatives.

  62. Barb said:

    “We just did show that a designer exists.”

    I’m still wondering where and how she just did that.

  63. Alan in #62

    Barb said:

    “We just did show that a designer exists.”

    I’m still wondering where and how she just did that.

    Well, actually, Alan is correct on this point, Barb didn’t actually show that a designer existed. Rather, she, and most of the others have shown that the evidence of biological systems points strongly to the need for intelligent cause, inferring a designer. More to the point of this entire thread (and I should know, since I started it!) nothing…and I mean absolutely nothing…from evolutionary biology in anypeer reviewed research study has shown how the undirected natural process we call evolution has produced the complex specified information we find in the biological systems represented in the Cambrian fossils. And there are no research studies showing the necessary sequence leading from the pre-Cambrian forms to the Cambrian either. Given that history and that we know that undirected, natural causes can not produce CSI, the need for intelligent cause is a straightforward inference. Nothing unscientific about any of that.

  64. RodW in #53

    That’s a shame. I’d much prefer it if we could sit around a huge table in the coffee shop and discuss/debate this. The conversation would be faster and more efficient but would necessarily remain superficial. Writing for me is slow and painful and plodding but the advantage here is you can dig deep into topics. I think that rarely happens and people mostly exchange jabs. I’ll comment on your other points later.

    Oh, I don’t know, Rod. I’ve had lots of deep, meaningful conversations over coffee on this stuff at different times over the years. It’s not impossible…just not always easy!

  65. Well, actually, Alan is correct on this point, Barb didn’t actually show that a designer existed.

    Thanks for clearing that up, Donald.

    Given that history and that we know that undirected, natural causes can not produce CSI, the need for intelligent cause is a straightforward inference.

    Desire for something does not give it reality.

  66. Alan “Desire for something does not give it reality”

    I assume you mean the desire for undirected, natural causes to be capable of producing CSI. You’re quite correct, desiring that doesn’t make it reality…or wishing doesn’t make it so.

  67. Nick might lie, but he would never bluff.

  68. Earlier I posted this question:

    I read Matzke’s post through and on the face of it, he knows his stuff – that’s not to say that his stuff is correct, but he knows a lot of it.

    I was curious what your thoughts were about his comments on the 3 stages of learning about evolution, and that he even basically dated Dawkins and co saying even they were a little out of date. He lists points 3a-g. Is he accurate in his comments there? Do many ID assumptions come from pre-1980?s facts? Has a lot changed?

    I’m very much a layman, so appreciate more learned insight on that bit.

    It probably got lost in the ensuing discussion but I’m curious as to the validity of Matzke’s points there. Anybody care to comment?

  69. jondo_w,

    If you notice Nick did NOT provide any evidence that darwinian processes could produce the diversity observed in the cambrian nor any other strata.

    Nick can’t even produce a testable hypothesis wrt darwinian processes.

    The point being is if he wanted to refute Meyer that is what he needed to do.

  70. This may be mentioned somewhere but Matzke could not have read the book. I am sure he has a copy but that may be the most of it. So he can cherry pick the odd chart and criticize it but not the content. Meyer in the first part of the book has provided a review of known Cambrian and pre Cambrian research of fossil discoveries with quotes from the actual researchers. On top of this review of the research he provides a framework on how to evaluate the findings in terms of Darwinian theory. So far in the first few chapters he does not discuss non-Darwinian explanations. Others have realized that what was found does not sync with Darwinian explanations and speculate on other mechanisms.

    The first part thus covers in detail the timing of the Cambrian Explosion by quoting others who are definitely not ID friendly. I have been through the first 3 1/2 chapters and in the 3rd chapter he spends a fair amount of time discussing the actual timing.

    Meyer discusses how some Darwinist try to dispute the timing and mentions specifically Prothero who said it was 80 million years. Prothero willingly distorted the information to make his claim which was part of a bluff he did at a conference. Meyer then quotes others which say it probably happened within a 6 million year period. Thus, the explosion happened in a small part of the Cambrian so including the entire period of a geological period and associating that with the actual events is not what the researchers have concluded. Meyer also show how others falsely report what is actually published in order to say that there were precursors in the Pre Cambrian when there are at best some limited very limited findings.

    So Matzke’s claim means he didn’t read the book completely or like Prothero he willingly distorted the published research to make a false claim. This is not the only book on the Cambrian Explosion this year as James Valentine and others have provided another detailed discussion in a book published in January which Meyer quotes frequently. Does Matzke use anything in Valentine’s book to dispute Meyer since this book is the latest and I assume the most inclusive discussion of the Cambrian?

  71. Jerry in #70

    So Matzke’s claim means he didn’t read the book completely or like Prothero he willingly distorted the published research to make a false claim. This is not the only book on the Cambrian Explosion this year as James Valentine and others have provided another detailed discussion in a book published in January which Meyer quotes frequently. Does Matzke use anything in Valentine’s book to dispute Meyer since this book is the latest and I assume the most inclusive discussion of the Cambrian?

    I suspect he didn’t read the book, but just skimmed sections of it. Matzke has for years been the master of the bluff game, as I said in my OP. He think if he throws pretty diagrams around and cites this or that evolutionary biologist or some textbook, that equates to certifying his credentials and qualifications to make a critique. He’s done it for years. This one is no different than all the rest.

  72. These are my reactions after reading about 30% of the book. The evolutionary biologists pretty much admit the fossil evidence undermines the Darwinian framework. Only die hards will not admit this and anyone who claims it is not conclusive is a true believer of which I am sure there are many.

    Am currently on the chapter discussisng molecular clocks as the Darwin supporters try to save the ship through genetic analysis. Somehow all these life forms existed in the deep Pre Cambrian but managed to evade the fossilization process. Meyer discusses the fossil sampling issue and how it vitiates claims that the fossils are there but were just not discovered yet. Always a possibility just like 500 consecutive heads.

    So far the book has not really presented anything of substance that was new to me, just assembled all the research and summarized it better than any other place. There are a lot of new facts I was not aware of which is always welcome. The book is very valuable. However, by this point into the Edge of Evolution Behe had presented several innovative ways to look at the evolution question. A lot of the book is to still to come so we will see what is next. A great and fairly easy read.

    Would be interested in other’s comments when they finally read it.

  73. From ENV

    Calling Nick Matzke’s bluff :)

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....73791.html

  74. The interesting thing about Meyer’s book is that the vast majority of the studies he cites come from the evolutionary biologists themselves. In other words, the death of Darwinism is coming mainly from friendly fire.

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