Home » Darwinism, Evolution, Intelligent Design » Ken Miller’s Slide Show at Discover Magazine

Ken Miller’s Slide Show at Discover Magazine

Interesting slide show at Discover Magazine titled “Intelligent Design’s 8 Biggest Fails,” the guiding intelligence behind it being Ken Miller (go here).

I receive a mention next to one of the slides — apparently the emergence of nylonase is supposed to provide empirical disconfirmation of my theoretical work on specified complexity (Miller has been taking this line for years). For my response about nylonase, which the critics never cite, go here.

As you look at these slides, ask yourself for all of the systems in question just how Darwinian evolution explains them. Why wasn’t this slide show called “Darwinian Evolution’s 8 Biggest Successes”?

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

12 Responses to Ken Miller’s Slide Show at Discover Magazine

  1. Thanks for the reference to nylonase.

  2. I just went through the slide show. It is an admission of defeat. Nothing of substance. All assertions. Maybe the article has something but if this is all they can come up with then it’s over. It is just a matter of time.

  3. Nylon is held together by amide bonds, the same kind of bond proteins are made with. There are lots of enzymes that break protein amide bonds. So I wonder how much “evolving” was required to be able to break down nylon? How unlikely is the frame-shift mutation that makes nylonase? Can it be described by a particular number of required mutations?

  4. This is fantastic. The great thing about all of these “refutations” of ID is that they all involve the Darwinists admitting what it is that would refute them, and that their system requires gradual, unassisted steps.

    The details of who is right can now be much more easily assessed by an intelligent lay person.

  5. Taking a look:

    1] Slide 1:

    –> Definition of ID is strawmannish: things so complex [left off: and specifically functional amidst a vast sea of non-functional possible configs, beyond the search resources of the observable universe] they could only have been [that they embed a level of functional information only empirically known to be] made supernaturally [intelligently]. (That you have to set up a strawman def’n is telling . . . .)

    –> Mitochondria alleged evolution is put up on evidence based on mere protein similarity without addressing the following list of factors fully — similar to the problem of explaining the origin of the flagellum:

    C1: Availability. Among the parts available for recruitment to form the flagellum, there would need to be ones capable of performing the highly specialized tasks of paddle, rotor, and motor, even though all of these items serve some other function or no function.

    C2: Synchronization. The availability of these parts would have to be synchronized so that at some point, either individually or in combination, they are all available at the same time.

    C3: Localization. The selected parts must all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly at the time they are needed.

    C4: Coordination. The parts must be coordinated in just the right way: even if all of the parts of a flagellum are available at the right time, it is clear that the majority of ways of assembling them will be non-functional or irrelevant.

    C5: Interface compatibility. The parts must be mutually compatible, that is, ‘well-matched’ and capable of properly ‘interacting’: even if a paddle, rotor, and motor are put together in the right order, they also need to interface correctly.

    (Angus Menuge, Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science, pgs. 104-105 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).)

    –> Follow up the links tot he relevant articles, and see if the same cluster of issues has been cogently answered for the mitochondria, or the flagellum for that matter. In a nutshell: no.

    –> So, irreducible complexity has not been cogently addressed, much less refuted

    –> In short, indoctrination, not education

    2] Venus fly trap:

    –> use of the term apostle in reference to Dr Behe is of course loaded

    –> Fossil evidence — i.e. direct evidence of the origins story to be spun in the linked — is admitted missing: >> How might this trap have evolved? I say ‘might’ have because Venus’ flytraps haven’t left any fossils that I know of, except a few grains of pollen. >>

    –> Arguments by analogy and hypothesised intermediates become a just so story that assumes what it was to demonstrate; and again Behe’s challenge to provide detailed technical evidence on the associated genetics and biochemistry stands unanswered.

    –> Divert attention, reframe rhetorically, mischaracterise, dismiss: red herrings, led out to strawmen soaked in ad hominems and ignited. A now all too familiar darwinist pattern.

    3] Blood clotting cascade:

    –> An out of context cite and the relevant stage of the clotting chain is left off; nor do we see the detailed account of origins.

    4] Horse stories

    –> Used to try to conflate micro and macroevo, failing to address the information generation and complex organisation for function challenges

    –> When biologists have to run away from previously standard terminology that is telling. (And, the horse story is a problematic icon in itself.)

    5] Immunity and elephant-hurling while citing judge ACLU-Copycat Jones

    –> When Judge Jones is your authority, you know you are in trouble, given the notorious failings of his “ACLU copycat” ruling.

    –> Worst, the hurled elephant and courtroom stunt of piling up books without examining arguments on the merits is cited as if that were a proof: the worst form of appeal to authority (conveniently ignoring the observation that the contents do not address the actual issue on the table in the required technical details)

    6] Mousetraps and irreducible complexity

    –> bare assertion plus imagination are claimed in effect to be enough to get around the challenges listed in 1 above.

    –> Not even close to cogent.

    7] Nylon, nylonase and complex specified information

    –> No cogent defn of CSI offered, just a dismissive characterisation

    –> no assessment of the complexity and specificity of incremental bio-information to get to life or to novel body plans, just the shift from breaking bonds in proteins to breaking similar ones in nylons

    –> Are we (on a simple rule of thumb level approach) dealing with 300 – 500 or so new base pairs worth of functional information? What about the 600 – 1,000 to get to credible unicellular life de novo, or the 10′s – 100″s of millions to get to novel full scale body plans?

    –> Strawman, again

    8] Dismissing on the strength of Judge Jones

    –> the resort to citing a judge who blindly copycatted a highly misleading post trial submission essentially verbatim, major blunders and all, is telling.

    –> And, the dismissal of the fact that evolutionary materialism (what parents and educators are at root concerned about) is and remains highly controversial and questionable scientifically, ethically and philosophically [note Lewontin's a priori imposition and the US national Academy of Sciences' resort to the same approach at a subtler level], is equally telling.

    ________________

    In short both Miller who prepared the materials, and Discover (which has a duty of editing) are failing its duty of care towards truth and fairness, and are doing a disservice to their readers.

    GEM of TKI

  6. PS: Mr Miller’s Nylonase example also came up at MSNBC. Mr Dembski answers in a current thread here.

    PPS: Similarly, ENV’s recent discussion on the blood clotting cascade here should help us see some of the tactics in play and to address the actual state on the evidence.

  7. The first narrative gets it wrong- ID is not about mere complexity.

    And it just gets worse from there.

    Now I understand why “they” don’t want ID discussed in public schools- then “they” couldn’t get away with lying, strawman arguments and basic nonsense.

  8. I personally was most intrigued by Dr. Miller’s note that Dr. Dembski was a “theologian”, not mentioning that he has a degree in mathematics as well. This is clearly prejorative. It would have been acceptable to refer to him as mathemetician and theologian or theologian and mathematition.

  9. OMD! This is the best they can come up with?! I really enjoyed number 6.They refer to some animations to prove the reducibility of the mousetrap. I hope it is not just me but some things are clearly wrong with these steps:

    -the first design clearly doesn’t work.
    -the second design suddenly contains a complex spring. To me it seems too much of a step to go from a nearly straight wire to a wire with three loops. Why? Well this clearly requires a tool and some instructions.
    -the third design suddenly contains bait. And at the right time and location (after the “trap” was set and at the far end of the trap(from the mouse’s perspective) and close to the trigger)

  10. 10

    critiacrof,

    “the first design clearly doesn’t work.
    -the second design suddenly contains a complex spring. To me it seems too much of a step to go from a nearly straight wire to a wire with three loops.”

    Behe addressed Miller’s reducibly complex moustrap as early as 2000. Go here:

    http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/m.....fended.htm

  11. 11

    Correction:

    It wasn’t Ken Miller, but Dr. John McDonald of the University of Delaware who came up with the reducibly complex moustrap.

  12. Interesting slide show at Discover Magazine titled “Intelligent Design’s 8 Biggest Fails,” the guiding intelligence behind it being Ken Miller

    Well, besides whatever the article might say, they need to fix the title. It should say “Biggest Failures” not “Biggest Fails.”

    xD

Leave a Reply