Home » Evolution, Intelligent Design » Will the real testable theory please stand up?

Will the real testable theory please stand up?

A test nobody wants to take
Neither side is interested in trying to prove intelligent design.
By MICHELLE STARR
Daily Record/Sunday News
Thursday, October 20, 2005

HARRISBURG — Intelligent design and evolution proponents agree that a test on bacterial flagellum could show if it was or wasn’t able to evolve, which could provide evidence to support intelligent design. MORE

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91 Responses to Will the real testable theory please stand up?

  1. “Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, said scientists — who widely accept evolution as the cornerstone of modern biology — aren’t going to take two years on an expensive test to disprove something they don’t consider science.”

    Scientists don’t want to take the time to test the theory not because of their disbeliefs in ID but because they’re afraid they won’t succeed, and ID will be proven a viable cause. I think it should be done. That way we can put this baby to rest. I’d like to see evolutionists “evolve” metabolic pathways in the lab too!

    The burden in on evolutionists to prove macroevolution can occur. Good luck!!

  2. I found this part of the article most interesting:

    Outside court, Dover school board members Alan Bonsell and Sheila Harkins said if anyone should perform the test, it should be the evolutionists.

    “Somebody could do that if they wanted to,” Harkins said. “If somebody believes intelligent design is not science, certainly they have a means to prove it’s not.”

    Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, said scientists — who widely accept evolution as the cornerstone of modern biology — aren’t going to take two years on an expensive test to disprove something they don’t consider science.

    They wouldn’t bother, she said.

    If the test of growing bacteria for 10k+ generations under various selective pressures were run, irrespective of the results, the very fact the test was run would demonstrate the testability of an ID hypothesis. Should the test demonstrate the ability of evolution to grow a flagellum, the ID hypothesis would be considered falsified.

    Seems to me the reason evolutionists don’t want run such tests is because they know that just running the test demonstrates the testability and potential falsifiability of an ID hypothesis, thus contradicting all claims of “ID isn’t science”.

    And Behe is exactlty right. If Darwinist ran the test and the results were not favorable to evolution, they would just say we need more time, or the conditions weren’t right or we don’t know enought yet….ad infinitum. (The Darwinists would probably claim the same thing if Behe ran the test with the same results).

  3. Such a test would prove nothing.

    An experiment in which a flagellum evolves in immotile bacteria under selective pressure cannot reveal the full mechanism whereby the mutation occurs without establishing a complete deterministic chain of cause and effect accounting for every genetic, developmental and phenotypic aspect of the mutation. As soon as a causal gap of any kind arises, any (superficially consistent) explanation can be inserted. Unfortunately, the methodical preclusion of causal and explanatory gaps in even the best-monitored evolutionary processes lies well beyond the current limitations of biological science.

    Why do I get the impression that very few of those sounding off on these matters have any idea what they’re talking about?

  4. The test, if successful, would prove that differential reproduction and random mutation can produce flagella in non-motile bacterial populations, whether or not we had a record of each mutation and the probabilities associated with its fitness. In other words, neurode, whatcha talkin’ ’bout?

  5. “Unfortunately, the methodical preclusion of causal and explanatory gaps in even the best-monitored evolutionary processes lies well beyond the current limitations of biological science.”

    So then we are to have “faith” that evolution could produce such irreducible complexities? So then evolution is truely a theory and subject to a belief system.

  6. No, jaredl – to prove that, you’d need to show that the key point mutations were actually “random” (acausal)…that their occurrence resolved to no deterministic mechanism or active probabilistic tendency resolving to a mechanism in some conceivable theory and model of the phenomenon.

    sharpguy: neither of the live evolutionary hypotheses (ID and random mutation + natural selection) can strictly be falsified at this point, because falsification can occur only relative to a particular causal model, and neither of these hypotheses happens to have one yet. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a suitable model in the future.

    If this experiment is ever performed, this model-theoretic ambiguity will all become quite evident as each side attempts to explain why its hypothesis is confirmed (or not disconfirmed) by the result, whatever it may be. In neither case will the essential nature of evolutionary causation be specifically nailed down.

  7. “In neither case will the essential nature of evolutionary causation be specifically nailed down.”

    No amount of evidence in support of ID will ever be enough for evolutionists. In my opinion, there’s more evidence to support ID than there is macroevolution.

  8. Well, I happen to agree. But we may as well call a spade a spade: neither hypothesis is really amenable to scientific verification, at least under the current mainstream definition of science.

    In my opinion, the ID movement could productively adopt the following position:

    (1) Evolution (biological change over time, the reproductive modification of organisms, etc.) is a fact.

    (2) Neither hypothesis purporting to explain this fact is scientifically falsifiable, which puts them on an even footing.

    (3) Because the RM&NS hypothesis is nevertheless included in bio texts as an explanatory device, the complementary hypothesis (ID) must also be included for the sake of balance. NS is potentially instructive regarding the selective or “pruning” phase of evolutionary processes, while ID is potentially instructive regarding the generative phase.

    This might eventually take care of the educational side of the controversy. Meanwhile, both camps will be free to concentrate on coming up with a real model of biological causation, and appropriately extending the definition and methodology of science.

  9. “But we may as well call a spade a spade: neither hypothesis is really amenable to scientific verification, at least under the current mainstream definition of science.”

    I agree. And you won’t hear me saying that ID is a “fact”. I know better than that.

  10. “Evolution (biological change over time, the reproductive modification of organisms, etc.) is a fact.”

    Now that will never happen because it simply isn’t true.

  11. Would this experiment really prove anything?
    If flagella arise then we could assume that either “naturalism” produces complex systems by itself or that “naturalism” contains the “information” and capability to develop such systems. In other words evolution is even more irreducibly complex then we can imagine in that it finds solutions by itself at the moleculor level. Either way we are back to either magic naturalism or an intelligent designer as the source of information.

    If flagella don’t arise but thru some external input of information can be coaxed to arise, we again have the same problem. We can guess how that external information might magically exist in nature or assume the information is arranged and transfered by an intelligent designer. It again would point to a more complex system that needs explanation.

  12. sharpguy: “Now that will never happen because it simply isn’t true [that “Evolution (biological change over time, the reproductive modification of organisms, etc.) is a fact”].”

    In this sense, evolution is indeed an observable fact. The fossil record attests to it; experiments confirming changes in bacterial populations due to drug resistance attest to it.

    The point to keep in mind is that “the theory of evolution” (RM&NS) is not necessarily the exclusive explanation of these phenomena, which are collectively labeled “evolution”. This dual usage of the term “evolution”, one referring to certain data and the other to a theory purporting to completely explain those data, is a widespread point of confusion.

  13. “In this sense, evolution is indeed an observable fact. The fossil record attests to it; experiments confirming changes in bacterial populations due to drug resistance attest to it.”

    Absolutely not. Not macroevolution anyway. There’s absolutely no proof that mutations have created new species. The fossil record with its fragmentary support is hardly the evidence that gives you the confidence that evolution is a “fact”. It’s your belief. Not a “fact”.

  14. Also, on the subject of your evidence in support of evolution as a “fact” based of bacterial mutations:

    The antibiotic resistance comes from other bacteria that already have the needed genes. Which means that the antibiotic resistance doesn’t appear out of thin air. The genes already existed. The theory of evolution requires the creation of new genetic information, not the appropriation of pre-existing genetic information from another source.

  15. Read what I wrote. I defined my usage carefully, nowhere referring to “macroevolution”.

    Please pay attention.

  16. Whatever the outcome evolutionist won’t be convinced because of their presuppositional commitment to naturalism. If there was no change after 10K generations they would say “it needs to be much more generations”, or “only certain selective pressures produce changes”, or “we still have unassailible evidence from x,y,z etc..”.

  17. Read what I wrote. I wrote, “Absolutely not. Not macroevolution anyway.”

    Please pay attention.

  18. Don’t tell me. Tell whomever you think was propounding macroevolution.

  19. I will try ;-)

  20. I guess I don’t get Neurode’s point. So long as no human actively directed the biochemical process of change to the genetic code (snip A here, insert T there, and so forth), then why wouldn’t Darwinism be confirmed and ID be rendered superfluous?

  21. Antibiotic and pesticide resistance are “shopworn examples” that evolutionists are embarrassed by because they show natural selection, but not evolution. For example, it has been shown (using bacteria cultures that were sealed before the invention of modern antibiotics) that some bacteria were resistant to certain modern antibiotics before these antibiotics were invented. Bacteria did NOT evolve a resistance to them. Natural selection merely removed the non-resistant bacteria, giving the APPEARANCE that modern bacteria had evolved. That’s why evolutionists don’t like to use those examples any more.

  22. speaking on the issue of preexisting genes for resistance to antibiotics. i read 3 or 4 studies that showed that the genetic info WAS already there for the resistance. they proved this by even going back and finding fossilized bacteria with intact genetic material and the fossilized bacteria had the “resistance” genes already present…and that shows they were always present because antibiotics werent around thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of yrs ago,

    question is- anyone know where these papers can be found? i cant, for the life of me, remember where i read them a cpl months ago. it was interesting to see the research tho, considering darwinists always try to claim this small scale change clearly equals mud to man change, even tho some honest scientists out there in the same camp atleast admit that this isnt the case. and it exposes the claim that resistance is new information as bogus as i already knew it was from common sense.

    on the subject of this post- i love how scott and others like her seem to think the burden of proof is on ID. thats now how it works. i keep hearing that mud to man evolution is fact and its indeed scientific because its testable- yet, in no way is mud to man evolution testable in the strict sense that would be necessary to truly make it “science” as defined by these individuals. all the hypothetical transitionals are just that- hypothetical, and you cannot test the purely hypothetical. the common design in all life (or common descent as others would say) is in no way testable as to whether its common design or ancestry.

    so-called junk dna is constantly being found to have function and its being exposed that it truly isnt junk. if life forms are getting more complex, why would you see all this junk dna anyhow? billions of yrs of evolution is powerful enough to turn mud into man, yet its not powerful enough to remove so-called “junk dna”? you cant have it both ways. the mechanism is either so powerful it can via chance transform mud to man, or its so weak that it cant evolve OUT “junk dna” and the like.

    macroevolution is purely a historical and theoretical science, not empirical science and you cannot test these theories in any way. to able to test something, you must be able to repeat the test- clearly not a possibility with mud to man change…and clearly not the case to see what the true mechanism is that might even change mud to man (a change i dont believe ever occurred).

    fact is- theve done tests on e coli over more than 10, 000 generations- MANY MORE generations than that, and no new body forms ever were formed, no new anything was ever found…just existing body parts in different places (which lead to death!) or bigger body parts due to radiation and such. if 100, 000 generations, or however many theyve gone thru with e coli and fruit flies have never created a single new structure, no way 10, 000 generations could create a complex system like the flagellum.

  23. Neurode,

    I thought the claim of “irreducible complexity” was that there is no step-by-step point mutation process that can naturally produce biological structures like the flagellum, notwithstanding whatever statistical characteristics the process might have. In other words, the random nature of evolution is incidental to the “Beheian” criticism of it. That’s why the arguments over irreducible complexity often occur in the abstract, consisting of debates about how mousetraps or three-legged stools might be constructed by non-random step-by-step processes that yield functional artifacts at every instance.

    If the suggested experiment were successfully performed, it might not stand as a complete demonstration of evolution by truly random mutation and natural selection, but would it not at least put paid to the attack on evolution via irreducible complexity?

    Dave T.

  24. jboze3131

    That’s supposedly correct. Hence, “That’s why evolutionists don’t like to use those examples any more.”

  25. i took about 10 mins to post my last comment (ran into the other room in the middle of the comment) and i said much of the same thing MT said. :) nice. good points tho- we now know that the resistance was there to begin with. so that example is a nonissue when discussing large scale change. of which no testable evidence exists.

    as for NS tho. ive also read numerous studies that have shown NS has little true effect in the wild. some even say that NS as a mechanism is nearly dead in the water at this point (i think dave scot might have said something similar about NS at one point…maybe it was someone else.) ??

  26. I have no doubt that minor changes can produce variations of species. However, I have not seen any evidence that suggests new species can be created by NS acting on these varations (e.g., no intermediate fossils, etc.).

  27. That no human is observed to direct a biochemical process does not prove that the process was not somehow intelligently directed, in either a “front-loaded” or ad hoc sense.

    For example, a neoDarwinist might say: “This genetic mutation has been observed to occur with a probability of 1/1 billion (per reproductive event). Over the duration of this experiment, billions of reproductive events have occurred. Hence, this experiment confirms RM&NS and disconfirms ID!”

    However, an ID proponent can say something like this: “Wait a minute, you’ve ignored the specificity of the associated phenotypic modification. Granted, this genetic mutation did occur, and was subsequently spread by natural selection. To this extent, the efficacy of NS has indeed been confirmed. But as regards the purported disconfirmation of ID, we must consider the probability of the existence of an ontogenic mapping from the given mutation, or for that matter any other genetic mutation, to a desirable phenotypic outcome with respect to this experimental setup. The probability of a mutation for which there exists such an adaptive outcome is quite small with respect to the entire space of conceivable phenotypic outcomes. The probability is thus lowered considerably, and ID is also confirmed.”

    Notice that this would prevent neoDarwinism from “putting paid to the attack on evolution via irreducible complexity.” IC, like specified complexity, is phenotypic in nature, and is thus described only by the lower probability cited by the ID proponent…the one factoring in the probability of a favorable genotype-phenotype correspondence. The probability cited by the neoDarwinist is computed with respect to genetic information alone.

  28. On the topic of bacterial resistance, I wrote a blog about an article I read today:

    Anti-Bacterial Soap Ineffective – Evidence for Evolution?

    http://evolutionnomore.blogspo.....ctive.html

  29. Neurode,

    I think I see your point… and why we need to have knowledge of the causal chain of the mutation. It needs to be established that the mutation, or series of mutations, that led to the flagellum was of high enough probability to rule out a design inference.

    It’s easy to let the imagination get in the way here… as though locking the bacteria in a black box for the experiment can somehow keep out design.

    Dave T.

  30. “It needs to be established that the mutation, or series of mutations, that led to the flagellum was of high enough probability to rule out a design inference.”

    But you are already assuming that a mutation did occur, and that you need to have knowledge of the causal “chain”.

  31. Neurode:

    An experiment in which a flagellum evolves in immotile bacteria under selective pressure cannot reveal the full mechanism whereby the mutation occurs without establishing a complete deterministic chain of cause and effect accounting for every genetic, developmental and phenotypic aspect of the mutation. As soon as a causal gap of any kind arises, any (superficially consistent) explanation can be inserted. Unfortunately, the methodical preclusion of causal and explanatory gaps in even the best-monitored evolutionary processes lies well beyond the current limitations of biological science.

    You’ve just described a problem that is endemic to all of science, and which has been discussed, debated and deliberated by scientists and phiolosophers of science for…well a heck of a long time. How can we know with certainty what our test results are telling us? This is why science is always tentative (or ought to be) in its conclusions. This is why Feneyman (I think it was he) said that scientists need to exhibit an extra measure of integrity that means bending over backwards to show how maybe they’re wrong. This is why falsification is so difficult.

    Yet science advances for all that. I see no reason to conclude that because of the possibility you mention we ought to avoid the investigation altogether. Applied globally, we could justify not investigating anything because we could never be totally certain of our results, or of filling all gaps, or that some other unknown factor affected our results.

  32. Sorry to go completely off topic but an update from Oz. ID has been on both the tele and radio lately. Last nite it aired on a science show down here. There were the typical misconceptions in fact they said DI’s catchcry is “teach the choice”. Also there is a big spread comming out in some of the main papers this morning from a whole list of scientists denouncing ID, consensus science people! Anyho the controversy is off and running down here. If you’d like to read the transcript of last nites show go to http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst

    cheers

  33. http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/Day10AMSession.pdf

    The subject under discussion begins on page 124.

  34. Right, taciturnus. Mutations happen, and through the developmental expression of genes (in the evo-devo sense), lead to phenotypic changes between generations. Some of these are adaptive. ID doesn’t deny this, it merely says that the adaptive changes tend to have a “purposive” sort of complexity.

    The problem is to link complex relational (phenotype-environment) “targets” with genetic mutations through specific causal mechanisms that can be used to explain, and probabilistically quantify, the relational correspondence. Only by quantifying the correspondence can we (statistically) calibrate a scale of confirmation and falsification (actually, disconfirmation) against which to measure the validity of either hypothesis with respect to its various explanatory or predictive applications.

    ID has only begun to learn how to assign probabilities to evolutionary events, and thus to calibrate the scale. But even if there were a credible means of doing this short of actually producing a causative model, IDT would remain a statistical theory, and could be called “explanatory” only in the loosest sense. On the other hand, RM&NS does no better; as I’ve already remarked, it fails to adequately link the genotypic and phenotypic realms. From a scientific standpoint, the goal is thus to produce a causal model, period.

    As observed by DonaldM, this is known to be quite a tall order. However, DonaldM seems to think that I consider this to be a scientific show-stopper. I don’t; some kinds of hypothesis are formulated in such a way that they can be inductively inferred and productively applied by scientists within the scope of their observations. To take a rudimentary example, we can infer that “gravity exists” simply by watching objects fall and planets orbit, and can then use “gravity” to explain all sorts of phenomena.

    Sadly, neither RM&NS nor ID qualifies as such an hypothesis with respect to its entire domain of reference; the class of phenomena with which these hypotheses deal is far too complex for simple inductive reasoning. In my opinion, to bring these phenomena within the grasp of science will require a fundamental redefinition of science and its methodology.

  35. Actually antibiotics have been around for God only knows how long. Fungi, such as those that manufacture penicillin, have been waging chemical warfare against bacteria competing for the same food sources for perhaps billions of years. Bacteria have been fighting back for just as long.

    The noteworthy point is that one can’t point to a bacteria evolving into something that isn’t a bacteria nor to a fungus that evolved into something that isn’t a fungus in response to the pressures of chemical warfare. Microevolution – maybe that’s what’s going on in said chemical war but macroevolution remains a pipe dream by that measure.

  36. “To take a rudimentary example, we can infer that “gravity exists” simply by watching objects fall and planets orbit, and can then use “gravity” to explain all sorts of phenomena.”

    “Sadly, neither RM&NS nor ID qualifies as such an hypothesis with respect to its entire domain of reference; the class of phenomena with which these hypotheses deal is far too complex for simple inductive reasoning.”

    Neither does evolution. We cannot see monkeys “evolving” into humans. We do not see flagellum-less bacteria “evolving” into flagellum-like bacteria. We have no observations of species “evolving” into entirely new species. Similarly, We have no observations of a “designer” creating entirely new species. All we have that is observable are the effects of such phenomena. Which is stronger? That’s subjective, unfortunately. For me, it’s stronger for ID than it is for evolution!

  37. “The noteworthy point is that one can’t point to a bacteria evolving into something that isn’t a bacteria nor to a fungus that evolved into something that isn’t a fungus in response to the pressures of chemical warfare. Microevolution – maybe that’s what’s going on in said chemical war but macroevolution remains a pipe dream by that measure.”

    Right on. That was exactly my point! Evolutionists don’t want to that distinction to exist, however.

  38. “Neither does evolution”.

    Well, it does and it doesn’t. If you mean “biological change over time”, then it does. If you mean “macroevolution” or the hypothesis on which it is based (RM&NS), then it doesn’t.

  39. RE: “biological change over time”

    But change can mean anything. If a species changes so much and so gradually and with so much time so as to produce a entirely new species then we can conclude that microevolution has caused macroevolutionary changes. However, that evidence doesn’t exist. All you see is abrupt appearances of irreducibly complex organisms. That alone screams “design”. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m closed minded. I am willing to accept new evidence that can sway my belief in either direction; but so far the evidence points towards design.

  40. gumpngreen

    Thanks for this – really cool stuff!

    http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/Day10AMSession.pdf

  41. Good stuff.

    On page #42 (1), Behe mentions how the authors (UC Berkely and Harvard professors) of the Book “The Plausibility of Life” (released Oct. 19, 2005) introduce a new theory that resolves Darwin’s flawed theory of evolution. They claim that natural selection acting on random variation does not support Darwin’s theory. They instead “resolve” it with a process called “directed variation” and “facilitated variation”. The authors state that the book is about “the origins of novelty in evolution”. “They seem to reveal design.”

    Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....k_code=as1

    (1) http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/Day10AMSession.pdf

  42. I have an easier solution. First off, IC is not a condition which demonstrates “design.” IC, at best, is a threat to the evolutionary model. Design detection is a job for Dr. Dembski’s EF (explanatory filter). I propose that two years are not necessary to prove the irreducibility of the bacterial flagellum. Indeed, evolutionists have argued that there are certain parts of the flagellum that can be compromised without the loss of the flagellum’s motility (such as the L-P ring complex, which are comprised of FlgH and FlgI proteins). This, of course, is only imaginative conjecture, since there have been no experiments in a lab to prove this. Evolutionists make this assumption by imagining a motor without them (L-P rings), and taking the flagellum’s structural complexity for granted; and furthermore, ignoring the effects of natural selection on their uselessness.

    The IC of the flagellum can be tested by programming genetic or evolutionary algorithms using the “proposed” precursor, Type III secretory system (T3). (Note: This may require the assumption that gene duplication+mutation occurred) A scientist can track the evolutionary pathway (assuming the program produced the most parsimonious) to the bacterial flagellum. The scientist can then reverse-engineer the structural complexity of the system (BF) by turning off the essential regulatory genes leading to the system (T3) in the order produced by the program (this can be done by using the dicer enzyme/RNAi method or older methods such as the use of antisense and ribozymes). Once the irreducible core has been reached (or the system’s motility mechanism has been compromised), the effects of natural selection are more obvious, that is, that the bacterium may have managed to perfect its motility device, but without any evolutionary precursors. Indeed, its irreducibility poses the problem of novel genetic information and the need for additional proteins necessary to construct the flagellum from a less complex system, such as the Type III secretory system. If the structural complexity of the flagellum can be reduced without any compromise of motility, then evolution has proven to be the victor. However, if its irreducibility is confirmed, the flagellum can be passed through the explanatory filter’s three-part criterion for inferring design!

  43. Some non-motile Shigella (bacteria) strains have all flagellar genes intact but one (FliD). This would be quite a head-start for this experiment. Why not test starting here? A real-time experiment has already been done. Shigella have been around for quite some time (well over 2 years), why hasn’t the cap re-evolved naturally?

  44. The whole article seems silly. There are plenty of bacteria in the world without flagella, and they are much older than two years. Who supposes that two years of reproduction is enough to produce something as complex as the flagellum, and who supposes that we can set a bunch of bacteria in a test tube and decide, beforehand, what is going to evolve?

  45. The Type III secretory system is no longer considered a possible precursor to the flagellum. It may be the other way around – a reduced flagellum, with a loss of complexity.

  46. There are no armchair scientists. True scientific progress is made only via experimentation. This much we know (or at least we think we know, that is if “we” even exist :) ): that the bacterial flagellum is a well-established empirical phenomenon. All one has to do is look at an E. coli bacterium under a microscope, and there it is! Taking this into consideration, and presuming that all states of affairs that exist do so via prior states of affairs, we must ask ourselves, “How did this bacterial flagellum come to exist?”. As best I can tell, all phenomena and/or states of affairs that can possibly exist are the product of either intelligent causation (at least as far as we are capable of understanding it) or its antithesis, non-intelligent causation. To date, the best non-intelligent causal mechanism (and the only one I know of that can be subjected to experimentation that could disconfirm it) that has been proposed for the origin of the flagellum and all other biological phenomena is RM+NS. If this mechanism is rendered implausible by rigorous direct and indirect experimentation and no viable and testable alternative mechanism can be proposed, then we are left with intelligent design standing alone as the most plausible explanation. This is not to say that ID has been *proven*. Other hypotheses and theories might pop up (Even now, there are those who entertain the possibility of physical regularities which caused life to originate and develope.), and some of them may be testable. However, at this time, RM+NS sits at its rightful position as the cornerstone of unguided evolutionary theory. It is testable and, if our knowledge of biological origins is to progress, should be tested. Neurode is correct in saying that experimentation will never “prove” anything, but at least we might learn something.

    David

  47. I read Behe’s day one testimony.

    The plaintiffs are in big trouble.

  48. jaredl:

    You’ve let the Darwinists brainwash you for too long. Don’t worry, it happened to me, too. Even as a creationist, I had thought, due to bad education, that all genetic change must necessarily be Darwinian.

    You should read Shapiro’s work, as well as the book Evolution in Four Dimensions.

    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.ed....._Evol.html
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....cation-20/

    In fact, young-earth creationists are actuallly proposing a specific mechanism of genomic change:

    http://www.grisda.org/origins/54005.pdf

    (my personal thoughts is that this is still way too gene-centered as an approach, though I think it does reflect well the use of transposons as a mechanism for the cell to induce change)

    Likewise, I have discussed the emergence of the gene for digesting nylon here:

    http://crevo.blogspot.com/2005.....cb940.html

    Our genes are not fixed, they are being changed by our cells. New genes can be created to overcome new problems. Darwinism states that these genes came about by a _randomized_ change process, which was unrandomized only by differential death (natural selection). Cells seem to indicate otherwise — that genomic change is a process guided by the cells themselves.

    I argue here why this still doesn’t lead to universal change:

    http://crevobits.blogspot.com/.....ithms.html

    (ultimately, for change to be sensible, it must have a stable semantic base to rest on)

    Dembski argues why such guided evolutions as mentioned above could not be generated by Darwinian mechanisms:

    http://www.designinference.com.....Spaces.pdf

    (basically, hitting a working combination with Darwinism is mathematically impossible. Hitting a stable, self-modifying machine is impossible by several orders of magnitude more.)

    The interesting thing is, Darwinism can actually be calculated to some degree. But the genomic change that we have seen does not follow Darwinistic expectations. However, the directed genomic changes require that the change processes be purposed by something. The reason why Darwinism is held on to so tightly for a change process, is that it is basically required for atelic change. The other mechanisms, if they are not themselves the result of a Darwinistic process, must have some sort of telic origin.

  49. avocationist,

    Natural selection need not fiddle with a fully functional system, except to cripple it. Deletions are almost always harmful or have no effect; to propose an evolutionary scenerio where biological systems evolve or devolve, or even oscillate between forms is not only absurd, but also non-falsifiable. First, to assume a devolution of the bacterial flagellum is to assume that it had, either no evolutionary precursors, or it evolved only to return to its less complex state. So, how did the BF attain its structural complexity and functional complexity (physiological adaptations) in the first place?

  50. Mario

    Devolution is a whole lot easier than evolution.

    If you believe the latter is possible you must logically assume that the former is even more possible. In fact the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics demands the former while arguably denying the latter.

  51. DaveScot,

    Indeed, but only if you assume that the devolution of the BF is a result of entropy, which means that the BF has lost information, and thus less complex than its evolutionary precursor. It’s a fine argument, if you could reproduce it in a lab. Finally, the degradation of a system must be carefully defined without harm to the system’s motility, cause once it is lost, it is never recovered.

  52. If I understood Neurode’s point now, he’s claiming the intelligent design of the selection pressures which hypothetically produce, due to rm/ns, the bacterial flagellum, does not establish either position definitively. I disagree. So long as mobility were the sole deciding factor to selection (no selecting for non-mobility producing precursors to the flagellum), no intelligent genetic tampering occurs, and a flagellum pops into existence, darwinism would, in fact, be confirmed, and ID rendered superfluous.

    As an aside, here’s a hypothetical experimental setup (semi-facetious).

    Place a culture with known diameter in a petrie dish. Once a generation has occured, destroy the original culture area (zap ‘em with a laser or use a magnifying lens and sunlight). Take the survivors. Put them into an area with known diameter. After a generation, destroy the original culture. And so forth. At the end, we might just have gotten bacteria who know how to get outta Dodge, so to speak.

  53. jaredl: “If I understood Neurode’s point now, he’s claiming the intelligent design of the selection pressures which hypothetically produce, due to rm/ns, the bacterial flagellum, does not establish either position definitively. I disagree.”

    Aside from the point I’ve tried to make – that as long as the RM&NS causal narrative includes a probabilistic element, which it does by nature, the ID narrative, which is also probabilistic, can be inserted in that probabilistic gap – we have the following pair of complementary problems, both coming to rest on the impossibility of determining the proper boundaries of the experiment.

    (1) If the outcome is positive (a flagellum appears), ID proponents can say “The fact that ID doesn’t seem to be active in this experimental context doesn’t say anything about other contexts, in which ID may indeed be active; after all, who is the experimenter to tell the designer, whoever that may be, when to operate? We’re talking about a decision-making entity here, not a set of simple natural forces that have to be operative in all contexts.” (In other words, the ID camp can demand that the RM&NS camp replicate the experiment in an arbitrary number of distinct contexts. Let’s call this “the problem of infinite replicability”.)

    (2) If the outcome is negative, NS proponents can say: “RM&NS will be confirmed if we merely prolong or enlarge the experiment, adding time and stressors until RM&NS produces the desired outcome.” (In other words, the RM&NS camp can demand that the experiment be indefinitely prolonged and/or complicated. Call this “the problem of undefined extent”.)

    Regarding Michael Behe’s statement that IC can be falsified, that only applies to “strong IC”, and this is not equivalent to ID. Strong IC is the notion that an instance of IFC (irreducible functional complexity) can only happen suddenly, i.e. non-gradualistically, something on which neither specified IFC nor ID is contingent.

  54. “Strong IC is the notion that an instance of IFC (irreducible functional complexity) can only happen suddenly”

    Huh? You’re making up these definitions as you go along.

    Behe makes absolutely no suppositions about slow or sudden change. Either fits within the confines of his definition of ID. In fact he explicitely said just that on the witness stand in Dover this week.

  55. “Huh? You’re making up these definitions as you go along.”

    I agree. I don’t remember reading about “strong IC” in any of Dembski’s or Behe’s books!

    “Behe makes absolutely no suppositions about slow or sudden change.”

    True. Refer to line 19 on page 8 of the following transcript:
    http://www.aclupa.org/downloads/Day11PMSession.pdf

  56. Mario,

    “Indeed, but only if you assume that the devolution of the BF is a result of entropy, which means that the BF has lost information, and thus less complex than its evolutionary precursor. It’s a fine argument, if you could reproduce it in a lab.”

    Well, here’s a link to an informal short paper about just that:

    http://www.idthink.net/biot/ext/index.html

    As you can see from the paper, it need not be entropy, just the expedient thing to do when deciding to stremline oneself to become a parasite, for example.

    “Natural selection need not fiddle with a fully functional system, except to cripple it.”

    Well, that’s odd. How does natural selection know when to stop? I mean, the BF must have had many steps along the way, and each one fully functional and better than the last…

    “First, to assume a devolution of the bacterial flagellum is to assume that it had, either no evolutionary precursors,”

    What??

    “or it evolved only to return to its less complex state. ”

    Well, I tend not to think IC systems can evolve, but that isn’t relevant here. The Type III system isn’t a precursor to the flagellum. And the flagellum didn’t devolve since it is still here, but it could be that in certain branches information got lost and it devolved, or that certain branches streamlined and lost information, but kept a piece of it.

    Here’s a link to why the Type III system is not a likely precursor:
    http://www.designinference.com.....sponse.htm

    You needn’t read the whole thing, just scroll down about 1/3rd way to:
    Connecting the Type III Secretory System to Bacterial Flagellum:

    “So, how did the BF attain its structural complexity and functional complexity (physiological adaptations) in the first place?”

    Isn’t that the question!

  57. I read Behe’s day one testimony.

    The plaintiffs are in big trouble.

    Where?

  58. DaveScot: “Huh? You’re making up these definitions as you go along.”

    That’s right. See, Dave, it’s like this. I made an assumption that Dr. Dembski’s list isn’t merely for parrots. Now, I could be wrong about that. But if I am – if these lists are really just for show, or arbitrarily confined to the exact concepts included in somebody’s book(s) or papers – then they really don’t matter, do they? I mean, we already know that the researchers who came up with those concepts in the first place are capable of doing that all by themselves, because we’ve already seen them doing it. (Or at least some of us have.)

    I gather that you and your sidekick-du-jour “sharpguy” – or is it the other way around? – don’t like my terminology. So let me make something that’s already transparent even more transparent just for you. Consider the overall function of a system with respect to some larger system which incorporates it, e.g. a machine. “Irreducible complexity” means that taking away a single part disables that function. The system is componentwise-nonredundant with respect to its overall function. Bill Dembski, in addition to adding “specificity” to “irreducibility” as a characteristic attribute of true organic complexity, then generalized the concept to systems with IC “cores”.

    Michael Behe, who more or less owns the IC concept as it pertains to biology (but not elsewhere), stipulates that such systems are unlikely to evolve gradually because as they form, they are not exposed to natural selection for their overall functions. That’s what made the concept useful to ID. But obviously, this stipulation only applies where the system cannot be decomposed into utile, fully functional subsystems whose individual functions may or may not have anything to do with the overall function of the system, but nevertheless have adaptive value.

    Now, as it happens, some IC systems are decomposable to systems with other useful functions than that of the IC system as a whole. Take Behe’s mousetrap, which functionally decomposes to things like paperweights and tieclips. “Strong IC” describes hypothetical IC systems in which this is not the case, and which therefore must spring into existence fully formed, while “IFC” describes the more general case, with an extra letter thrown in so that people with ADD don’t get confused because both concepts are represented by the same two letters.

    But the extra letter isn’t just a mnemonic device. That letter stands for the term “functional”, which directs attention to the fact that an IC system can be functionally irreducible without necessarily being irreducible in an evolutionary sense, i.e. isolated from natural selection as it arises. By making this distinction, we can still use IC as a relevant concept in IDT without being constantly regaled by just-so stories involving paperweights and tieclips, and then accused of dishonestly relying on a discredited concept. For example, we can say “it may not be strong IC, but it’s still I(F)C,” and we can still argue from the improbability of I(F)C systems.

    Now, you may not like this at all. Lord knows our tastes in argumentation don’t run in the same direction – I wouldn’t touch most of your output with a barge pole. But if you object to my choice of concepts, then why don’t you go chug a bottle of the Imodium you were trying to peddle on that other thread up there? If you can hawk it, you can gobble it.

  59. Do you really expect me to read that rant? Take a hike.

  60. At this point, I don’t expect you to read your own name.

  61. If you wait longer than a minute to respond to me you won’t seem so desperate for attention.

    Now go ahead get in the last word. It’s all yours.

  62. Why, thank you! I do believe I will…but just to say that now I see what’s eating you, and why you’ve taken to badgering me with unsolicited rude comments.

    It’s an attention thing, isn’t it? You fancy yourself “king of the list”, and you’re as jealous as can be because you think that somebody new might come along and take it all away from you!

    But don’t worry, Dave. While I certainly could “take it all away from you” if that were my goal, I’m more interested in substantive content than in stealing your limelight. All you need to do to is restrict your comments to matters of substance, and refrain from making further unwelcome attempts to personally engage me in exchanges that I find empty and irritating at best.

    Thanks.

  63. DaveScot: Have you read any of the available transcripts of the cross-exam? The big things going on are how he admitted that to define ID as science, one would also need to include astrology as science; and the BS peer review on Darwin’s Black Box.

  64. Higgity

    I read most of the first day’s cross.

    Astrology is a science. At one time it was a widely respected science. Now it’s a discredited science followed by various fruitloops for fun and profit. In fact NeoDarwinism is headed down the same path as astrology so it’s particulary apt that plaintiff’s censor-happy counsel brings it up. :-)

    Here’s a question for you, Higgity. Would teaching astrology in public school be unconstitutional?

  65. avocationist,

    The article you posted simply demonstrates how far an evolutionist’s imagination can go.

    Again, there is no reason to conclude that any species has gone through “extensive reductive evolution.” The author starts off with the assumption that the mycoplasma is a descendant of the other bacteria, and points out that there must be a “last common ancestor” connecting them all together.

    This, of course, ignores a host of problems that can arise from deleterious mutations. The chances of getting the BF by loss of information is extremely problematic. Not only must its devolution be carefully calculated, but also error proof. As I have clearly pointed out, if a necessary component is lost, the BF would lose its motility forever!

  66. Here is another question for you Higgity. Would teaching the concepts of SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) in public school be unconstitutional?

  67. Teaching astrology in a science class would probably lose a bunch of teachers their teaching licenses. I’m not sure if it would be unconstitutional because astrology isn’t really religious. It’s just quackery. It would probably just be grounds for a lawsuit from parents for messing up their children. So… I doubt it would be a constitutional issue.

    Here’s the thing, though: The plaintiffs’ attorney produced one of Behe’s writings in which he said that ID was much less plausible for those who did not believe in the Christian God. It is likely that the judge will write his opinion that ID is an inherently religious concept and that it WILL be unconstitutional to teach in high school science classes.

  68. rb: What concepts are those?

  69. Since Darwinism is much more plausible to those who dont believe in God, how can this be doubted, should Darwinism be considered a religious creation myth and banned from public schools?

  70. Higgity: Regarding teaching SETI concepts in public schools. You asked “What concepts are those?”. Maybe the impressionable students can watch the movie Contact to get an idea on how SETI scientist “scientifically” distingish noise from an intelligent agent sending signals from outer space.

    As Dr. Dembski has stated “Specification ensures that this object exhibits the type of pattern that is the trademark of intelligence.”

    Some children in the classroom may possibly infer the “intelligent” agent could be God (Gasp!). Some others may infer it was the result of some form of intelligent agent. Because God! can be inferred (similarly ID) it is *unconstitutional*. Sounds ridiculous, I agree.

  71. Mario,

    I am unsure how to answer. Your posts seem incoherent. I don’t think you read the article. The author did not start with assumptions, and the author is an evolutionist with an extremely strong interest in ID. You started out saying the TTSS is a precursor to the flagellum, but now it appears you don’t understand the differance between the two. I certainly never indicated that I thought the flagellum arrived via a loss of information. The question is how did the flagellum come to exist. But there is no reason to think that genomes cannot devolve.

  72. avocationist,

    No, no, no. I did not say that the TTSS is a precursor to the BF. I said:

    “The IC of the flagellum can be tested by programming genetic or evolutionary algorithms using the “proposed” precursor, Type III secretory system (T3).”

    Big difference. That is what evolutionists use with their so-called “co-option” argument.

    Actually, the author does start with the assumption I pointed out. Pleae read the article yourself.

    Here is what the author says:

    “Rather than being primitive bacteria, mycoplasmas are derived, having undergone extensive reductive evolution from a much larger and more complex ancestral state. For example, the genomes of Clostridium.acetobutylicum, Lactobacillus plantarum , Bacillus subtilis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae have genomes with 4080, 3254, 5193, and 2219 genes, respectively. Thus, if we assume a last common ancestor connecting mycoplasmas and these other species of bacteria had a genome with about 3700 genes (the rough average of these four species), mycoplasma have lost over 80% of their genes.”

    You said: “I certainly never indicated that I thought the flagellum arrived via a loss of information.”

    How else can devolution occur without the loss of information?

  73. rb: It’s a movie. I wouldn’t expect to learn anything from Contact other than maybe where SETI is. I don’t know how SETI operates, but I suppose that the best they can do is look for incredible, unexpected aberrations in the data. A teacher would not show Contact to teach students. A teacher might decide to show part of the movie as a break from the monotony of lesson plans.

    “Specification ensures that this object exhibits the type of pattern that is the trademark of intelligence.”

    “Specification” as Dr. Dembski uses it can only detect copying. It cannot detect design.

  74. Mario,

    The author presented a plausible case that some organisms are remnants of earlier, more complex ones that shed a lot of genes in order to become parasites. I am not sure why this seems impossible to you.

    How does this tranaslate into my ever suggesting that the BF arrived via devolution? To devolve, one must have first existed in a more complex state. It is a possibility that the TTSS is a remnant or devolution from the BF.

  75. avocationist,

    I did not say it was impossible, but I find it very unlikely. Again, before any organism goes through reductive evolution, it must first climb the upward ladder. In other words, it must evolve before it can devolve. It must reach its evolutionary apex, then gradually, and perfectly, calculate its devolution. If any essential component is lost in the process, it is lost for good.

    You said: “How does this tranaslate into my ever suggesting that the BF arrived via devolution? To devolve, one must have first existed in a more complex state. It is a possibility that the TTSS is a remnant or devolution from the BF.”

    Actually, one must have existed in a more simple state, before any complex state.

  76. just in a general sense…

    are we not positing that life evolves to more complex forms then for some reason goes back to a simpler form? why would even NS do this? why would any mechanism do this? what purpose would devolution serve? it sounds like a bunch of just-so explanations to deal with massive problems in the theory to me.

    which is yet another reason why itd be impossible to falsify the overall paradigm…one can merely come up with a brand new unknown mechanism or claim evolution then sudden devolution. and then there are dozens of other just-so stories that are used to explain away the gaping holes.

  77. Higgity

    Good. You realize that just because something might be wrong doesn’t make it unconstitutional to teach it in a public school. It would behoove you to read Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion in Edwards vs. Aguilar, 1987.

    http://www.belcherfoundation.o.....issent.htm

  78. Mario

    “Actually, one must have existed in a more simple state, before any complex state.”

    Not in the case of a designed artifact.

  79. DaveScot: Astrology would never even come to a constitutional challenge in the first place, but it’s beside the point. If something is wrong, we don’t teach it on equal footing with what is right. The most mention that astrology would get in a public school today is “We used to think that we could predict the future by viewing the stars. Some people still believe in this, and for them there is the horoscope in their daily newspapers.”

    Scalia is entitled to his opinion (and I HAVE read his opinion in Edwards v. Aguillard), but it was plainly obvious that the Louisiana statute did not pass the Lemon test. Scalia seemed to ignore the fact that there was no scientific evidence for creationism and that the creation that was being taught was advancing a particular relgion (Christianity) with no secular purpose (no scientific validity) in a government-sanctioned environment (public schools).

  80. jboze3131,

    Exactly!

  81. DaveScot,

    Yes, even in the case of a designed artifact. A designer takes raw materials and builds from them his artifacts. He may reuse any part in the construction of either less complex or more complex systems, but it just depends on the limits the designer puts on his creativity—or how much he wants to diverge from a common design (e.g. see comparative anatomy).

    This is not to say that evolution is the designer’s modus operandi; afterall, the fossil record does not suggest that, since body plans appear in clusters. However, it does suggest that the designer kept certain designs for modification (i.e. number of digits on limbs, etc.)

  82. on the issue of constitutionality- wed be better suited to use a different phrase. in the 40′s when all this so-called “separation of church and state” nonsense started, it wasnt constitutional to begin with (the scotus rulings werent, i mean).

    we know damned well that the founders never meant for a separation in this sense. they just wanted to assure certain denominations that they wouldnt get the shaft over other denominations. after the 1st amendment was written, the founders offered up public prayer, proclaimed days of thanksgiving to almighty God, etc. only those with an axe to grind with religion claim any of this was ever intended by the founders.

    creationism, i assure you, would be embraced in public schools by the founders. i mean, heck- these are the same men who put forth federal money to send missionaries to covert the native americans into christians…they spent massive amts of federal money for purchasing bibles for public schools. all of this right after they wrote the clause…FREE EXERCISE means free exercise period. they didnt say free exercise as long as it wasnt in a public school or public bldg! they never said free exercise as long as it didnt offend someone, nor did they say free exercise but only in closed doors of a church or your own home!

    creationism, in many ways, is backed up by the science. you can easily look at the evidence and come to the conclusion of common designer as opposed to common descent. when body forms appear out of nowhere in the fossil record, that lends support to the idea that creation occurred. old earth creationism maybe. YEC even might fit- who knows? no one can say for sure that were solid with ages of the earth. no one knows that there was no massive worldwide disaster that knocked the cosmic clocks out of whack, nor do we truly know if rates of change we see today have always been constant. in the end, the universe could be ten times older than we think or ten times younger. maybe a hundred times older or younger. weve no idea if the things we see today, the changes, the mechanisms, the rates of change have always been the same in the past. scientists sometimes have a hard time telling us what happened a thousand yrs ago, lets not try to proclaim that we have all too solid info. on what supposedly happened a million or billion yrs ago.

    i think science, overall, too easily proclaims things that we might never truly know.

    not saying that there arent things we can be sure of…but when it comes to historical science- its truly the weakest of any field of study. too many things could have happened long ago to change things around, knock cosmic clocks out of whack, screw with rates of change, etc. science can do a lot of things, but it cant do everything. and it surely cannot do much of what it claims it can. in general, a little more humility is called for if you ask me.

  83. “I did not say it was impossible, but I find it very unlikely.”

    Antibiotic resistance is a known example of information loss.

    “In other words, it must evolve before it can devolve.”

    You know, I have yet to figure out what it is that you think.

    “It must reach its evolutionary apex, then gradually, and perfectly, calculate its devolution. If any essential component is lost in the process, it is lost for good.”

    What evolutionary apex? It appears you do not believe in evolution! What are we talking about here? Of course there is devolution! Without natural selection, it would progress rapidly. As it is, we have 4,000 genetic diseases. According to the law of entropy, there is nothing to prevent devolution and everything to cause it. Why do you suppose the cell has such complex proofreading and even repair mechanisms? It is to prevent devolution of the genome.

    “Actually, one must have existed in a more simple state, before any complex state.”

    I state that I never suggested the BF was the product of either evolution or devolution, and now you come up with this. You keep changing the topic. Regardless in what sense you consider that all complex things once had their parts in a more simple state, the point is that the BF is a complex arrangement of parts. And I do not think it got that way by devolving from any prior even more complex state.

  84. avocationist,

    You said: “Antibiotic resistance is a known example of information loss.”

    Not exactly. Most resistance derives via horizontal evolution, and furthermore, whenever the resistance is aquired vertically, bacteria suffer a fitness cost. This hardly says anything about a careful reductive evolution. Quite the contrary, it only supports what I have said, that is, if something essential is lost in the process of reduction, it is lost for good! Resistant bacteria never survive when returned to their parent species due to fitness cost.

    You said: “What evolutionary apex? It appears you do not believe in evolution! What are we talking about here? Of course there is devolution! Without natural selection, it would progress rapidly. As it is, we have 4,000 genetic diseases. According to the law of entropy, there is nothing to prevent devolution and everything to cause it. Why do you suppose the cell has such complex proofreading and even repair mechanisms? It is to prevent devolution of the genome.”

    Evolution is a fact, but get this straight: We have never observed minor variation produce a major innovation of organisms. What you are suggesting is not impossible, but extremely unlikely to occur. Devolution, like evolution, is a blind process. So, to assume that the BF is a bi-product of chance mutations+natural selection (which stands as a conserving mechanism) is absurd. As you have aptly said:

    “Why do you suppose the cell has such complex proofreading and even repair mechanisms? It is to prevent devolution of the genome.”

    As you can see, devolution goes against the odds.

  85. avocationist,

    You have said:
    “I state that I never suggested the BF was the product of either evolution or devolution, and now you come up with this. You keep changing the topic. Regardless in what sense you consider that all complex things once had their parts in a more simple state, the point is that the BF is a complex arrangement of parts. And I do not think it got that way by devolving from any prior even more complex state.”

    I apologize, but it sounded like you were defending the notion of devolution here:

    Post 45. The Type III secretory system is no longer considered a possible precursor to the flagellum. It may be the other way around – a reduced flagellum, with a loss of complexity.

  86. Mario,

    It has been a pleasure, albeit a confusing one. You make a fair point that devolution is not that easy because it would have to be done accurately, not clumsily. However, keep in mind that there is a major difference, i.e., one can lose things very easily, and acquire them with difficulty. Surely you have read in the ID literature how unlikely it is for monkeys typing to come up with even one good sentence randomly, yet even humans consciously trying to copy an already given text without errors cannot do so.

    As to the TTSS – don’t you know it looks like a functional subset of the full flagellum. The flagellum has multiple parts, and one part of it penetrates the cell membrane and if I correctly remember is also used like a channel during the actual construction of itself. The TTSS is a little channel that penetrates through the cell membrane and is used as a pump, apparently to inject toxins into a different species of organism. So the thinking is that this TTSS may be a functional part that is a remnant of the flagellum. It was first proposed as a stepping stone toward the flagellum, but that theory is mostly debunked. So it either arose independently and has nothing to do with the flagellum, or it is a remnant of the flagellum. And if it is a remnant of the flagellum, it might not be that hard to accurately devolve if it is a functional subset.

  87. avocationist,

    Indeed, but a reduced flagellum would require the loss of essential parts for motility, and construction of others for the pump simultaneously. The reason for this is that the loss of essential components would require a replacement leading to a different mode of motility, otherwise, what you would get is crippled bacteria.

    Thank you for the kind comment. It has been a pleasure as well. :)

  88. Mario,

    The TTSS as I understand it has nothing to do with motility. The channel is already functional as a pump.

  89. Correct, TTSS virulence is not a motility device, but a syringe. It is functional as a pump, but non-functional for motility. So, to gain one effective attribute, the BF would have to lose another, namely, motility.

  90. Higgity,

    I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record…but read the literature. Dembski discusses the logic of SETI and Contact in his writings.

  91. Literature was here: http://www.actionbioscience.or.....nhmag.html You may have seen this link before. Just Find or Find In Page SETI. It brings you first to Dembski’s short piece and then Robert Pennock’s rebuttal directly below Dembski’s piece.

    Regardless of what you think of Pennock, his rebuttal is sound. Contact and SETI have nothing to do with inferring design in organisms.

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