Home » Intelligent Design » A Common Code: Surely That Means They’re All Related—Doesn’t It?

A Common Code: Surely That Means They’re All Related—Doesn’t It?

One of the most common metaphysical premises in evolutionary theory is the claim that similarity implies common descent. If two species share similar genes then they must share a common ancestor, from which those genes originated. Evolutionists don’t think twice about this metaphysical claim. Among friends it is taken for granted and any challenges from creationists don’t matter to begin with. Why is this claim metaphysical? Because it doesn’t come from science. There is no scientific experiment or observation that tells us that biological similarity implies common descent. And yet, in a sure sign of metaphysics at work, evolutionists are certain of this premise. Similarity must arise as a consequence of common descent. This conclusion can be trumped only by the finding of even more similarity elsewhere. And such conflicts are common. Evolutionists often need to retract earlier conclusions of relatedness, and the evolutionary tree is filled with conflicting similarities and differences.  Read more

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85 Responses to A Common Code: Surely That Means They’re All Related—Doesn’t It?

  1. Notes: Venter vs. Dawkins on the Tree of Life – and Another Dawkins Whopper – March 2011
    Excerpt:,,, But first, let’s look at the reason Dawkins gives for why the code must be universal:
    “The reason is interesting. Any mutation in the genetic code itself (as opposed to mutations in the genes that it encodes) would have an instantly catastrophic effect, not just in one place but throughout the whole organism. If any word in the 64-word dictionary changed its meaning, so that it came to specify a different amino acid, just about every protein in the body would instantaneously change, probably in many places along its length. Unlike an ordinary mutation…this would spell disaster.” (2009, p. 409-10)
    OK. Keep Dawkins’ claim of universality in mind, along with his argument for why the code must be universal, and then go here (linked site listing 23 variants of the genetic code).
    Simple counting question: does “one or two” equal 23? That’s the number of known variant genetic codes compiled by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By any measure, Dawkins is off by an order of magnitude, times a factor of two.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44681.html

    Shannon Information – Channel Capacity – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5457552/

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet, otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
    Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    “The genetic code’s error-minimization properties are far more dramatic than these (one in a million) results indicate. When the researchers calculated the error-minimization capacity of the one million randomly generated genetic codes, they discovered that the error-minimization values formed a distribution. Researchers estimate the existence of 10^18 possible genetic codes possessing the same type and degree of redundancy as the universal genetic code. All of these codes fall within the error-minimization distribution. This means of 10^18 codes few, if any have an error-minimization capacity that approaches the code,, (that they look at).”
    Fazale Rana – From page 175; ‘The Cell’s Design’
    http://www.reasons.org/biology.....netic-code

    Also of interest is that the integrated coding between the DNA, RNA and Proteins of the cell apparently seems to be ingeniously programmed along the very stringent guidelines laid out by Landauer’s principle for ‘reversible computation’, as elucidated by Charles Bennett from IBM of Quantum Teleportation fame, in order to achieve amazing energy efficiency.

    Notes on Landauer’s principle, reversible computation, and Maxwell’s Demon – Charles H. Bennett
    Excerpt: Of course, in practice, almost all data processing is done on macroscopic apparatus, dissipating macroscopic amounts of energy far in excess of what would be required by Landauer’s principle. Nevertheless, some stages of biomolecular information processing, such as transcription of DNA to RNA, appear to be accomplished by chemical reactions that are reversible not only in principle but in practice.,,,,
    http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~.....501_03.pdf

    Life Leads the Way to Invention – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: a cell is 10,000 times more energy-efficient than a transistor. “In one second, a cell performs about 10 million energy-consuming chemical reactions, which altogether require about one picowatt (one millionth millionth of a watt) of power.”
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20100226a

    Extreme genetic code optimality from a molecular dynamics calculation of amino acid polar requirement – 2009
    Excerpt: A molecular dynamics calculation of the amino acid polar requirement is used to score the canonical genetic code. Monte Carlo simulation shows that this computational polar requirement has been optimized by the canonical genetic code, an order of magnitude more than any previously known measure, effectively ruling out a vertical evolution dynamics.
    http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v79/i6/e060901

  2. CH, I did listen to those two sections of the lecture and it was great stuff with a little drama too. Your articles are nearly always some of the most incisive and thought provoking on this website, in my opinion.

  3. One of the most common metaphysical premises in evolutionary theory is the claim that similarity implies common descent.

    From the way they argue, their premise is that genetic similarity conclusively proves common descent.

  4. Just how important is the tree of life – one common ancestor – for Darwin’s theory?
    Can one argue that – given that the emergence of life from chemicals is a highly unlikely event – a ‘bush of life’ makes the theory exponentially less probable?

  5. Taking Craig Venter’s idea of a bush of life a step further, why couldn’t life have sprung up multiple times along different lines, all using the same mechanism depending on their environment. I think the point Venter is making is that life is so diverse that it may have different origins though similar mechanisms. Which, if the definition of evolution is stretched a bit, doesn’t prove evolution couldn’t have been the driving force. The bigger issue is the one bornagain brings up which is that of information. There is no hypothesis that I know of that explains how information was at first created in the DNA, then the RNA and then the amino acids to proteins which would create a system that would bring forth “life.” Or if RNA was the initial molecule. That step of amino acids simply getting together to form a protein in a soup going to an integrated system in which the information of how those amino acids are to combine and store it in DNA and then create a mechanism through RNA to now create that very protein is the difficult step for me to believe. Even one of the participants in the video said that he is amazed at how complex life is turning out to be. This sheer complexity of information is what bothers me about evolution.

  6. semi related note:

    Two of the World’s Leading Experts on Bacterial Flagellar Assembly Take on Michael Behe
    Jonathan M. – March 8, 2013
    Excerpt: To conclude, the claim of Hughes and Blair to have refuted Behe on the bacterial flagellum is unfounded. Although there are sub-components of the flagellum that are indeed dispensable for assembly and motility, there are numerous subsystems within the flagellum that require multiple coordinated mutations. The flagellar motor is not the kind of structure that one can at all readily envision being produced in Darwinian step-wise fashion.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....69881.html

    It is ridiculous how Darwinists practice science. Without even one real world demonstration of how just a single protein can arise by neo-Darwinian processes(Axe; Sauer), or even how just one existing protein can be ‘transformed’, in a minor way to a brand new function, by neo-Darwinian processes (Axe), Darwinists constantly point to something similar in another organism, or in another irreducible system, and insist that it is conclusive ‘scientific’ proof that protein in question arose from the similar protein.,,, In any other branch of hard science, if someone tried the same tactic to try to establish conclusive scientific proof, they would be laughed at and summarily dismissed if they continued in such practices!

  7. I have to offer one clarification:

    The reason similarity (same gene, for example) is good evidence for common descent is that everyone realizes that it would be absurd for a complex functional structure to arise multiple times through some kind of chance process. You know, the old probabilities issue those nefarious evolution skeptics keep bringing up. So evolutionists are perfectly willing to implement a probability calculation — as long as it supports common descent.

    Except when it doesn’t. We have many cases in which similarities exist in disparate lines which everyone acknowledges cannot be related by common descent. In those cases evolutionists call it “convergent evolution” and immediately turn their backs on the probability calculations and gladly embrace the idea that similar structures can arise multiple times — as long as it supports common descent.

    So it really is not about the evidence anyway. Common descent is assumed to be true before any examination of the evidence.

    Universal common descent is assumed to be true. The varying observations are explained by the fallback position, that ultimate untouchable answer to all conundrums, that most important explanation in all of evolutionary theory, what I call the Great Evolutionary Explanation:*

    Stuff Happens.

    —–

    Otherwise known as GEE, as in GEE Whiz!

  8. The Teaching Company/The Great Courses just released a course today on Life in the Universe. Looks like a lot of speculation but may be interesting.

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com.....x?cid=1898

  9. OT: Unexpected allies help bacteria clean uranium from groundwater – March 8, 2013
    Excerpt: Since 2009, SLAC scientist John Bargar has led a team using synchrotron-based X-ray techniques to study bacteria that help clean uranium from groundwater in a process called bioremediation. Their initial goal was to discover how the bacteria do it and determine the best way to help, but during the course of their research the team made an even more important discovery: “Nature” thinks bigger than that.
    The researchers discovered that bacteria don’t necessarily go straight for the uranium, as was often thought to be the case. The bacteria make their own, even tinier allies – nanoparticles of a common mineral called iron sulfide. Then, working together, the bacteria and the iron sulfide grab molecules of a highly soluble form of uranium known as U(VI), or hexavalent uranium, and transform them into U(IV), a less-soluble form that’s much less likely to spread through the water table. According to Barger, this newly discovered partnership may be the basis of a global geochemical process that forms deposits of uranium ore.,,
    Discovering that bacteria work together with minerals to transform uranium was a surprise, said Bargar.,,,
    But as a scientist, he appreciates the glimpse he’s been given into “Nature’s” abilities to multitask. “Originally we wanted to see what happened to uranium and how it could help bioremediation technology to be successful,” he said. “But scientifically the results are much deeper than that.” And since their original hypothesis focused on bacteria alone, it’s a little humbling, too.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-03-u.....water.html

    Wow “Nature” can now think and multitask!

  10. ‘It is ridiculous how Darwinists practice science. Without even one real world demonstration of how just a single protein can arise by neo-Darwinian processes(Axe; Sauer), or even how just one existing protein can be ‘transformed’, in a minor way to a brand new function, by neo-Darwinian processes (Axe), Darwinists constantly point to something similar in another organism, or in another irreducible system, and insist that it is conclusive ‘scientific’ proof that protein in question arose from the similar protein.,,, In any other branch of hard science, if someone tried the same tactic to try to establish conclusive scientific proof, they would be laughed at and summarily dismissed if they continued in such practices!’

    More absolutely hilarious, knock-about stuff, Philip – although, unfortunately its course on this forum, is rather anomalous. Instead of the building ino farcical crescendo, perhaps even to a punch-line, it starts off as ROFL material, and becomes, instead, increasingly sad.

    Still, that initial burst of high farce raises one’s spirits enough to accept its tapering off with a certain resignation. It sets me up for the evening.

  11. It’s your choice guys, but continually harping on about perceived inadequacies in evolutionary theory doesn’t advance ID. Get a hypothesis and you might start getting some respect!

  12. Reynard, to have your respect coveted has to be earned.

  13. AF:

    It seems to me that there is a pivotal issue of the empirically warranted adequate cause of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I).

    When all the smoke and mirrors and distractive or evasive tactics clear, it remains so that:

    (i) intelligent design is a routinely observed cause of FSCO/I,

    (ii) it is the only such actually observed cause,

    (iii) neither (a) chemical- and- physical- forces- in- any- plausible- non- intelligently- directed- environment nor (b) chance- variation- and- differential- reproductive- success- in- ecological- niches have been observed to be credibly observed source of FSCO/I. In addition,

    (iv) the needle in the haystack search challenge at a threshold of 500 bits of complexity shows why that is so.

    On (i) to (iv), it is quite evident that there is an inference on empirically warranted adequate cause that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design as cause.

    The very fact that in the teeth of overwhelming inductive, empirical evidence that such is so, and that this is inference on a strongly observed pattern, you find yourself compelled to resort to dismissal by denial, speaks volumes to the discredit of the system you find yourself compelled to argue for like that.

    Please, think again.

    KF

  14. Mr. Fox, I’ve noticed of late that you have taken to the tact of denying that ID has a scientific ‘hypothesis’. This is funny for you to claim as such for the scientific basis for the ID ‘hypothesis’ is exactly the same scientific basis that Charles Darwin used to formulate his ‘hypothesis’:

    Stephen Meyer – The Scientific Basis Of Intelligent Design
    https://vimeo.com/32148403

    i.e. presently acting cause known to produce the effect in question!

    Thus either ID is scientific of Darwinism is not. Which is it Mr. Fox?

    Moreover Mr. Fox, I have actual empirical evidence that Intelligent Design can produce the effect in question (functional complexity), whereas you have ZERO evidence that your preferred hypothesis of neo-Darwinism (chance and necessity) can produce the same effect. Thus Mr. Fox, despite what you would prefer to believe, the plain fact of the matter is that the ‘hypothesis’ of Intelligent design has empirical confirmation, whereas neo-Darwinism has ZERO empirical confirmation!,, Empirical confirmation of a hypothesis in science is called ‘substantiation’. And ‘substantiation’ of a hypothesis gives preferred status to that hypothesis in science Mr. Fox!

    notes:

    In spite of the fact of finding molecular motors permeating the simplest of bacterial life, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of even one such motor or system.

    “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject.”
    James Shapiro – Molecular Biologist

    The following expert doesn’t even hide his very unscientific preconceived philosophical bias against intelligent design,,,

    ‘We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity,,,

    Yet at the same time the same expert readily admits that neo-Darwinism has ZERO evidence for the chance and necessity of material processes producing any cellular system whatsoever,,,

    ,,,we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.’
    Franklin M. Harold,* 2001. The way of the cell: molecules, organisms and the order of life, Oxford University Press, New York, p. 205.
    *Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry, Colorado State University, USA

    Michael Behe – No Scientific Literature For Evolution of Any Irreducibly Complex Molecular Machines
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5302950/

    Dr. Michael Behe – Quote: “Grand Darwinian claims rest on undisciplined imagination” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....fM#t=1762s

    “The response I have received from repeating Behe’s claim about the evolutionary literature, which simply brings out the point being made implicitly by many others, such as Chris Dutton and so on, is that I obviously have not read the right books. There are, I am sure, evolutionists who have described how the transitions in question could have occurred.” And he continues, “When I ask in which books I can find these discussions, however, I either get no answer or else some titles that, upon examination, do not, in fact, contain the promised accounts. That such accounts exist seems to be something that is widely known, but I have yet to encounter anyone who knows where they exist.”
    David Ray Griffin – retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology

    of related note to the fact that Darwinists have ZERO empirical evidence of Darwinian processes EVER producing a molecular machine, here are several examples that intelligence can do as such:

    (Man-Made) DNA nanorobot – video
    https://vimeo.com/36880067

    Examples of molecular machines – Synthetic (Made By Chemists)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....r_machines

    The same situation goes for proteins Mr. Fox:

    The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds – Douglas Axe – 2010
    Excerpt Pg. 11: “Based on analysis of the genomes of 447 bacterial species, the projected number of different domain structures per species averages 991. Comparing this to the number of pathways by which metabolic processes are carried out, which is around 263 for E. coli, provides a rough figure of three or four new domain folds being needed, on average, for every new metabolic pathway. In order to accomplish this successfully, an evolutionary search would need to be capable of locating sequences that amount to anything from one in 10^159 to one in 10^308 possibilities, something the neo-Darwinian model falls short of by a very wide margin.”
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2010.1

    When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied.
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....nt-collide

    Viral-Binding Protein Design Makes the Case for Intelligent Design Sick! (as in cool) – Fazale Rana – June 2011
    Excerpt: When considering this study, it is remarkable to note how much effort it took to design a protein that binds to a specific location on the hemagglutinin molecule. As biochemists Bryan Der and Brian Kuhlman point out while commenting on this work, the design of these proteins required:
    “…cutting-edge software developed by ~20 groups worldwide and 100,000 hours of highly parallel computing time. It also involved using a technique known as yeast display to screen candidate proteins and select those with high binding affinities, as well as x-ray crystallography to validate designs.2″
    If it takes this much work and intellectual input to create a single protein from scratch, is it really reasonable to think that undirected evolutionary processes could accomplish this task routinely?
    In other words, the researchers from the University of Washington and The Scripps Institute have unwittingly provided empirical evidence that the high-precision interactions required for PPIs requires intelligent agency to arise.
    http://www.reasons.org/viral-b.....-sick-cool

    Computer-designed proteins programmed to disarm variety of flu viruses – June 1, 2012
    Excerpt: The research efforts, akin to docking a space station but on a molecular level, are made possible by computers that can describe the landscapes of forces involved on the submicroscopic scale.,, These maps were used to reprogram the design to achieve a more precise interaction between the inhibitor protein and the virus molecule. It also enabled the scientists, they said, “to leapfrog over bottlenecks” to improve the activity of the binder.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-06-c.....ruses.html

  15. Moreover Mr. Fox, since you are into ‘the pot calling the kettle black type’ of thinking. Let’s see if we can find a ‘scientific’ basis in which to qualify Darwinism as a ‘true’ scientific hypothesis:

    It interesting to note what Dr. Torley stated in his recent article exposing the ‘in thin air’ foundation that Darwinism rests upon:

    Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details – Dr. V. J. Torley – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: After all, mathematics, scientific laws and observed processes are supposed to form the basis of all scientific explanation. If none of these provides support for Darwinian macroevolution, then why on earth should we accept it? Indeed, why does macroevolution belong in the province of science at all, if its scientific basis cannot be demonstrated?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-details/

    The lack of a mathematical foundation was particularly surprising for me, because I had been assured by a evolutionary professor (whom Dr. Torley referenced in his article) here on UD, years ago, that Darwinism was ‘mathematical’ through and through. And yes one can say that Darwinism is ‘mathematical’ through and through, but what one cannot say is that Darwinism has a rigid mathematical basis from which one can make extensive predictions with) Well, after being subtly misled for years by that professor’s distortion of the facts, I finally, in my slow pace, started to piece together the fact that Darwinism has no rigid mathematical foundation at all,,

    Oxford University Seeks Mathemagician — May 5th, 2011 by Douglas Axe
    Excerpt: Grand theories in physics are usually expressed in mathematics. Newton’s mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity are essentially equations. Words are needed only to interpret the terms. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has obstinately remained in words since 1859. …
    http://biologicinstitute.org/2.....emagician/

    Accounting for Variations – Dr. David Berlinski: – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2GkDkimkE

    Oxford University Admits Darwinism’s Shaky Math Foundation – May 2011
    Excerpt: However, mathematical population geneticists mainly deny that natural selection leads to optimization of any useful kind. This fifty-year old schism is intellectually damaging in itself, and has prevented improvements in our concept of what fitness is. – On a 2011 Job Description for a Mathematician, at Oxford, to ‘fix’ the persistent mathematical problems with neo-Darwinism within two years.

    In fact, contrary to what the employers at Oxford would like to believe, the truth is that there is not some magical mystery equation out there waiting to be discovered to finally give Darwinism the foundation that it needs to be considered truly scientific. The fact is that Darwinists have refused to listen to what the equations of population genetics are thus far telling them. i.e. Darwinists refuse to accept the falsification of their theory from mathematics:

    Using Numerical Simulation to Test the Validity of Neo-Darwinian Theory – 2008
    Abstract: Evolutionary genetic theory has a series of apparent “fatal flaws” which are well known to population geneticists, but which have not been effectively communicated to other scientists or the public. These fatal flaws have been recognized by leaders in the field for many decades—based upon logic and mathematical formulations. However population geneticists have generally been very reluctant to openly acknowledge these theoretical problems, and a cloud of confusion has come to surround each issue.
    Numerical simulation provides a definitive tool for empirically testing the reality of these fatal flaws and can resolve the confusion. The program Mendel’s Accountant (Mendel) was developed for this purpose, and it is the first biologically-realistic forward-time population genetics numerical simulation program. This new program is a powerful research and teaching tool. When any reasonable set of biological parameters are used, Mendel provides overwhelming empirical evidence that all of the “fatal flaws” inherent in evolutionary genetic theory are real. This leaves evolutionary genetic theory effectively falsified—with a degree of certainty which should satisfy any reasonable and open-minded person.
    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/techn.....Theory.pdf

    This is simply unheard of in science. Both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics subject themselves constantly to potential falsification, as well as refinement for accuracy, to see if their mathematical descriptions of reality accurately predict what is observed for reality.

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    “No human investigation can be called true science without passing through mathematical tests.”
    Leonardo Da Vinci

    In my unsolicited personal opinion, the main reason Darwinism cannot be formulated into any coherent mathematical model to give accurate, ‘daring’, predictions is because of its reliance on the ‘random variable postulate’ at the base of its formulation:

    “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) -

    Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness – Talbott – Fall 2011
    Excerpt: The situation calls to mind a widely circulated cartoon by Sidney Harris, which shows two scientists in front of a blackboard on which a body of theory has been traced out with the usual tangle of symbols, arrows, equations, and so on. But there’s a gap in the reasoning at one point, filled by the words, “Then a miracle occurs.” And the one scientist is saying to the other, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.”
    In the case of evolution, I picture Dennett and Dawkins filling the blackboard with their vivid descriptions of living, highly regulated, coordinated, integrated, and intensely meaningful biological processes, and then inserting a small, mysterious gap in the middle, along with the words, “Here something random occurs.”
    This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle. It is the central miracle in a gospel of meaninglessness, a “Randomness of the gaps,” demanding an extraordinarily blind faith. At the very least, we have a right to ask, “Can you be a little more explicit here?”
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....randomness

    Murray Eden, as reported in “Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism,” Scientific Research, November 1967, p. 64.
    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    Moreover, as Alvin Plantiga has shown in his Evolutionary argument against naturalism, (i.e. a refinement of “The argument from reason” from CS Lewis), this ‘random variable postulate’ ends up driving neo-Darwinism (and science) into epistemological failure,,,

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    ,,, i.e. the ‘unrestrained randomness’ at the base of Darwinism, if neo-Darwinism were actually true, results in the epistemological failure of science itself! But this really should not come as a surprise to anyone for how can a theory which denies the reality of mind in the first place be said to guarantee that our perceptions and reasoning of mind are trustworthy?

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    J. B. S. Haldane ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    Supplemental notes:

    In the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (determinism) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?,,

    Here is another piece of evidence that solidly demarcates the randomness of the material particles of the universe from the randomness that would be necessarily inherent within ‘conscious’ creatures created by God with free will:

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-445840

    Since material particles are held to ‘randomly’ decay, why in blue blazes is conscious observation putting a freeze on ‘random’ entropic decay, unless consciousness was/is more foundational to reality than ‘random’ entropic decay is? This point is really driven home when we realize that the initial entropy of the universe was 1 in 10^10^123, which is, by far, the most finely tuned of initial conditions of the universe.

    “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”
    Charles Darwin to Doedes, N. D. – Letter – 2 Apr 1873

    Music and verse:

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – Great I Am – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSoz6L1vqm8

    Genesis 2:7
    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

  16. 16

    There is no scientific experiment or observation that tells us that biological similarity implies common descent.

    Oh, really? Call the crime labs, Cornelius Hunter has just disproven DNA fingerprinting!

    Call the logicians, apparently it is wrong to say that the process of copying produces similar copies!

    Call even the creationists, who assume that species and “kinds” have common ancestry, based almost entirely on similarity!

  17. Alan Fox and Nick Matzke, both dumb as a rock. Proof of common ancestry.

  18. There’s something a bit odd, I think, about Darwinian materialists praising Hume for his devastating rebuttal of the “like effects suggest like causes” argument in his Dialogues and then employing pretty much the same argument themselves to support common ancestry.

  19. Nick, the real situation is how I have outlined it in #7.

    —–

    And stop being silly. No-one is suggesting that DNA ‘fingerprinting’ is invalid for the crime labs. Nice strawman, though.

  20. Nick, like Alan, can’t be taken seriously.

    Nick’s “field” is “macroevolution” (whatever that is).”

    The standard text in the field is…? Nick can’t even tell us where he learned macroevolutionary theory from. I want to buy a textbook on macroevolutionary theory. Nick can’t even be bothered to recommend one.

    And when asked about macroevolution in single-celled organisms, Nick has no answer. “Poof” – he disappears. Just like the evidence for his “theory.”

    Nick doesn’t seem to be able to allow for the fact that if he would provide a source, that people here at UD would actually spend the time and effort (and money, if required) to read the material and attempt to become informed.

    What’s the theory, Nick? And where’s the evidence?

    p.s. “stuff happens” is not a theory.

  21. NCSE – National Center for Science Education.

    Nick must have left due to his lack of interest in actually educating the uninformed.

    OT: The young-earth creationist Duane T. Gish died on March 5, 2013, at the age of 92, according to Answers in Genesis’s obituary.

    I’m sure he galloped until the end.

  22. EA @ 7&19
    +1
    Nice post, CH!

  23. Someone ought to cover the evolution of NCSE from “an organization devoted to defending the teaching of evolution in public schools, and keeping creationism out” to a climate change advocacy organization.

    Are they really just a front for left wing wackos?

    Are they opposed to the use of drones against American citizens, as long as they don’t oppose climate change?

  24. Mung @23:

    Yeah, it would be interesting to have been a fly on the wall to hear some of those planning discussions. My suspicion is that it has a fair amount to do with where the money is — where can we continue to get fat donations to keep the funds flowing? No doubt, though, there are some true believers in the group. After all, the NCSE is all about consensus propaganda, so it is a nice fit.

    One thing that came out of the climate change flap, including the Gleick fiasco, is that a lot of people became disillusioned with the NCSE for a whole new reason.

    A number of people on the climate blogs were aghast that the NCSE would commit such a blunder and act as a propaganda piece, “in contrast to the great work they do on the evolution science front,” I heard more than once. I took the occasion to point out that this climate change propagandizing was not a change from the NCSE’s regular, careful outlook on science. Rather, the propagandizing was NCSE’s regular approach.

  25. RIP Duane T. Gish. Sad news indeed.

  26. 26

    AMEN,AMEN,AMEN.
    BINGO.
    There is no experiment or observation that similarity equals common descent.
    In fact a evolutionist here showed how it hits a nerve.
    They, by faith, must rely on the presumption that like equals like origin as the same.

    They persuade themselves that its downright obvious and reasonable to presume this as so.
    I see them do it in marine mammal descent claims and genetic claims and micro evidence equals macro, unobserved , evidence.
    The whole embracing of the fossil record works ONLY upon presumed connections due to similarity of body or parts.

    This is not just a logic flaw for evolution but is opposed to scientific investigation.
    It ios metaphysical as Mr Hunter says.
    even if true it still would not be biological scientific evidence for descent.
    Evolution has got away with making scientific theories without doing scientific investigation.
    Sincerely but falsely they presumed a fatal error.
    This can be shown to the public as a good point for why evolution is not making a scientific case.

  27. Congrats, BA77, you’re the flip-flopper of the day:

    In #14 you chose to use the terms for communicative purposes: ‘Intelligent Design,’ ‘Intelligent design’ and ‘intelligent design’ all in just 2 paragraphs.

    That is an example of ‘evidence’ you’ve personally left behind.

    “I have actual empirical evidence that Intelligent Design can produce the effect in question (functional complexity)” – BA77

    There is no ID theory of ‘artefacts’ (i.e. human-made things). It simply doesn’t exist.

    What you have is ideologial confidence, BA77, based on analogical reasoning between human-made things and supposedly ‘designed/Designed’ natural objects. But neither you nor KF, nor Dembski-Behe-Meyer has any ‘empirical evidence’ of FSCO/I that has ever been calculated for human-made things. And it shouldn’t be expected as forthcoming anytime soon or ever.

    You’re probably a decent guy and we could get along fine in a conversation about most other things, BA77, but on this topic of ‘evidence’ and ‘proof/inference’ for Big-ID, for some reason you don’t seem willing to face reality. And I don’t think that’s only because you’re not a ‘scientist.’ There’s more to it than that.

    “why does macro[ECONOMICS] belong in the province of science at all, if its scientific basis cannot be demonstrated?” – Torley

    The next time a Bank of Sweden Prize in the name of A. Nobel for Economic Sciences is awarded to a macro-economist, should we expect IDists and/or creationsts to protest loudly – “no, it *cannot* be, since there *is* no macro-economics!” Why not? “Because IDists and/or creationists say so and believe it to be true, and the world should listen because we’re scientific revolutionaries!” ;)

  28. Gregory, considering that you have repeatedly shown yourself to be a very poor philosopher who has an infatuation for puffing himself up at the expense of others instead of earning the respect of others through concise and precise argumentation, exactly why should I consider your, IMO, bizarre ramblings about science to be anything more than bizarre ramblings? Unfortunately for you, I do not have nearly as much respect for your opinion in these matters of science as you have. Perhaps someday this may change, but as of right now, you have done precious little on these pages to show that I should place any confidence in any of your opinions about science especially in regards to ID vs. Darwinism.

    Moreover, your comparison of neo-Darwinism to winning a Nobel prize in macro-economics reminded me of this commercial,,

    Ally Bank | “Predictions” Commercial – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu6MwbYsoxI

    i.e.

    “Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting.”
    – Ernest Rutherford

    Actually, I think it is very fitting that you should the use the ‘science’ of money in comparison to the ‘science’ of neo-Darwinism because, besides both being notoriously lacking in rigorous predictive power, money is a very useful concept for illustrating a fatal flaw in Darwinian thinking in that the materialistic philosophy, which under-girds neo-Darwinism, has an extremely difficult time assigning any proper value to humans in the first place, i.e. How much is human life really worth in the Darwinian scheme of things?:

    How much is my body worth?
    Excerpt: The U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils invested many a hard-earned tax dollar in calculating the chemical and mineral composition of the human body,,,,Together, all of the above (chemicals and minerals) amounts to less than one dollar!
    http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia...../worth.asp

    Indeed it has been argued forcefully that the undermining of the Judeo-Christian ‘sanctity of life’ wrought by the acceptance of the pseudo-science of Darwinism (and atheism in general), has led to the greatest atrocities in human history in Nazi Germany as well as in Marxist regimes. If Darwinists want to insist that all these murderous consequences, and ethical implications, of Darwinism are just a mistake of the past will someone please inform Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, of that development:

    Australia Awards Infanticide Backer Peter Singer Its Highest Honor – 2012
    Excerpt: Singer is best known for advocating the ethical propriety of infanticide. But that isn’t nearly the limit of his odious advocacy. Here is a partial list of some other notable Singer bon mots:
    - Singer supports using cognitively disabled people in medical experiments instead of animals that have a higher “quality of life.”
    - Singer does not believe humans reach “full moral status” until after the age of two. Singer supports non-voluntary euthanasia of human “non-persons.”
    - Singer has defended bestiality.
    - Singer started the “Great Ape Project” that would establish a “community of equals” among humans, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, and orangutans.
    - Singer supports health-care rationing based on “quality of life.”
    – Singer has questioned whether “the continuance of our species is justifiable,” since it will result in suffering.
    – Singer believes “speciesism” — viewing humans as having greater value than animals — is akin to racism.
    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/0.....est-honor/

    It is simply impossible to ground true worth for a human soul within naturalism, whereas Theism, particularly Christianity, has no trouble whatsoever figuring out how much humans are worth, since infinite Almighty God has shown us how much we mean to him in that ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8):

    John 3:16
    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Indeed Darwinism denies we even have a soul, eternal life, or that that there is any real purpose to life, even though purpose permeates our lives and that there is far more evidence for the existence of souls than there is for neo-Darwinism

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species (or origin of life), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    “A recent analysis of several hundred cases showed that 48% of near-death experiencers reported seeing their physical bodies from a different visual perspective. Many of them also reported witnessing events going on in the vicinity of their body, such as the attempts of medical personnel to resuscitate them (Kelly et al., 2007).”
    Kelly, E. W., Greyson, B., & Kelly, E. F. (2007). Unusual experiences near death and related phenomena. In E. F. Kelly, E. W. Kelly, A. Crabtree, A. Gauld, M. Grosso, & B. Greyson, Irreducible mind (pp. 367-421). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

    As well Gregory, Darwinists/Naturalists denying that we even have a soul (or even a mind), and your apt comparison of the ‘science’ of Darwinism to the ‘science’ of money also reminds me of this verse:

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Yes indeed, what is worth more than your eternal soul Gregory? ,,, and how do you derive monetary value for it?

    MercyMe – Beautiful – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vh7-RSPuAA

  29. Alan Fox:

    It’s your choice guys, but continually harping on about perceived inadequacies in evolutionary theory doesn’t advance ID.

    What “evolutionary theory”? You have failed to reference it.

    Get a hypothesis and you might start getting some respect!

    YOUR position doesn;t have any, Alan. However ID does.

    Again your willful ignorance is not a refutation.

  30. Nick Matzke:

    Call the crime labs, Cornelius Hunter has just disproven DNA fingerprinting!

    No. However DNA fingerprinting is not the same for showing two people are related as for showing two diffeent species are related.

    IOW the same DNA sequence that says I am related to my father would not say we are related to chimps.

    Call the logicians, apparently it is wrong to say that the process of copying produces similar copies!

    Umm your position requires much more than making similar copies. Making similar copies means baraminology is true, duh.

    Call even the creationists, who assume that species and “kinds” have common ancestry, based almost entirely on similarity!

    YOU said it, Nick- like reproduces like.

    That said similarity is evidence for a common design. But you, being ignorant of design processes, just cannot grasp that fact.

  31. As you can see, point to facts and IDists run away from them constantly.

    In #14, BA77 chose to use the terms for communicative purposes: ‘Intelligent Design,’ ‘Intelligent design’ and ‘intelligent design’ all in just 2 paragraphs. When confronted on WHY the flip-flopping, no answer was given. Typical IDist evasion.

    If he needs me to ask the direct question now: WHY the flip-flopping BA77?

    Luckily I don’t seek validation from BA77 or any IDist about what science is, most IDists being philosophical primitives according to under-developed American PoS.

    Someone says: “The sky is blue!”

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    Someone says: “Water is made up of H2O.”

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    Someone says: “I love my husband and children.”

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    Really? Wow – never heard that before!

    It is really a sad demonstration of fetish and icon-worship by Protestant evangelical IDists in America who claim Big-ID is a natural-science-only theory.

    “Darwinists/Naturalists denying that we even have a soul”

    Phil, if you had read some of my works, you’d likely realise many things to agree with and that perhaps you could find a way to assist me, aside from your fetish with Big-ID and IDMism. I reject IDism as bad science and bad theology, along with many Abrahamic religious scientists.

  32. Gregory, stuff it. It has already been demonstrated that you don’t know Jack about conducting an investigation.

    We reject you for being a bad/ poor investigator.

  33. Are they really just a front for left wing wackos?

    Thank-you mung for confirming that the real agenda here at Uncommon Descent is political.

  34. Alan, if that is your inference then you are much more dense thatn I thought. The NCSE is all about politics. They don’t know Jack about science and even less about ID.

  35. Gregory:

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    *assumes the rôle of pet Darwinist*

    And we get that, folks. We really do! What we don’t get, despite kairosfocus’ protestations, is any inkling of a scientific alternative, to the extent we begin to suspect the agenda is political rather than scientific.

  36. Alan Fox:

    What we don’t get, despite kairosfocus’ protestations, is any inkling of a scientific alternative, to the extent we begin to suspect the agenda is political rather than scientific.

    But it is obvious that you don’t know what science is. Darwinism definitely doesn’t fit the definition. So what do you have?

  37. Gregory @27:

    Looks like the capitalization police are back. Just for our edification, please explain the difference between:

    Intelligent design

    intelligent Design

    InTelligent DeSign

    intelliGent desigN

    —–

    Thanks for keeping us laughing, though. :)

  38. Eric, I can’t explain it. It’s communicative novices or morons who flip-flop between them. This obviously includes StepehenB and KF, who were/are responsible for the flip-flopping in the ‘official’ definition of ‘ID’ at UD.

    Maybe, just maybe, someone at UD will own up and explain the intentional difference? But probably not.

  39. Gregory,

    You perplex me. You are here again, fixated on ID vs. id. From that I take it to mean you find the recognition of design in the cosmos on purported scientific grounds by someone who also holds to a theistic worldview is in some way hypocritical. You make accusations of flip-flopping when we intelligent design supporters switch back and forth between the two aspects (emperical observations and our philosophical perspectives to make sense of the data) of the discussion. (I prefer to think of it as changing gears.)

    I just returned from your blog. I was trying to see if I could make any more sense of your views. There, at the end of an id vs. ID posting I took particular note of this, from my perspective, obscurantic statement:

    …I support the orthodox position on Creation among the Abrahamic faiths (one can call it small-id if one must only when speaking with IDists),…

    I have, on numerous occasions, taken notice of your references to the “Abrahamic faiths.” This statement does not really serve to clarify things for me. Would you please deliniate for me what it is you see as the “orthodox position on Creation?” And, does “I support” mean you are in one of the “Abrahamic faiths” or rather just understanding of what you see as the “orthodox view of Creation” within someone else’s faith? How can anyone hold to any “faith” based “position on Creation” and still pass your muster as to “small id?”

    I am really trying to clarify the context of your posts here. Rarely, do I get done reading one of them without thinking, “What is he trying to say?” A better understanding of where you are coming from might help me out.

    Stephen

  40. AF:

    Your attempt to rule ex cathedra by mere declaration without warrant fails.

    You need to instead address substantial issues on the merits. As in, the empirically observed warrant for blind watchmaker thesis origin of life is ________________, and it was awarded a Nobel Prize in _____________, with _____________ as awardees. Similarly,the compelling observational evidence for blind watchmaker thesis body plan origin level macroevolution is ____________, and it has been awarded a Nobel Prize in _____________, with _____________ as awardees. (For surely such fundamental breakthroughs would be of Nobel Prize standard.)

    Moreover, the evidence that FSCO/I can be and is observed as produced by forces of blind chanvce and mechanical necessity, through Darwinian mechanisms or otherwise is __________.

    Failing a solid set of answers, these things are simply not sufficiently grounded that it is reasonable to view them as practically certain fact.

    KF

  41. Glad to perplex you, sterusjon. ;) My farewell to UD responds to your question (and others) in the other thread.

    “does ‘I support’ mean you are in one of the ‘Abrahamic faiths’?”

    Yes, I’d like to hope so. Do you notice though how often IDists conveniently sling me into the camp of ‘materialists’ or ‘Darwinists’?

    The ID vs. id distinction should be clear by now to those who are paying attention. It is significant and monumental.

    When you say ‘purported scientific grounds’ you are right on target.

    The obvious and still unregretted flip-flopping at UD is not between ‘empirical observations’ and ‘philosophical perspectives,’ but rather between outdated ‘creationist’ apologetics and evidence, between science and theology.

    The solution I have offered already countless times is to admit that Big-ID theory is a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation, first and foremost. Do you not wonder, sterusjon, why IDists here are not willing to cross this boundary and admit it? It is sure that if S. Meyer or W. Dembski would take the lead, the song would change among the choir here at UD and perhaps they finally would sing the triadic discourse that I and others have long been promoting.

    Your analogy of ‘changing gears’ is o.k. until one speaks about a 10-speed bike instead of a 1-speed paddle-boat. No ‘gear change’ between apologetics and natural scientific approaches is suitable or necessary when one is simply trying to understand/describe reality in a scholarly way.

    The DI’s (2010) eventual collapse of promoting ID theory in humanities and social sciences and transfer to C.S. Lewis apologetics indicates this distinction clearly. Meyer’s suggestion of ID-theodicy is another telltale sign.

    Am I perplexing you less now, sterusjon?

  42. Gregory @41:

    Do you not wonder, sterusjon, why IDists here are not willing to cross this boundary and admit it?

    Well, you could be right that we all recognize your point and are just afraid to admit the truth.

    Two other plausible explanations come immediately to mind:

    - We recognize your point and disagree with it.

    - We have no idea what the heck you are talking about and what your point really is.

  43. “We have no idea what the heck you are talking about and what your point really is.” – Eric Anderson

    Sometimes, Eric, I’m not sure which is more intelligent, you or my shoes! ;)

    I’ve spoken clearly, unequivocally and repeatedly for several years. What is it that you don’t understand? Please let me know if you have a comprehension problem because my 18 yr-old students understand this quite quickly.

    Big-ID theory is a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation, first and foremost.

    Big-ID theory is a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation, first and foremost.

    Big-ID theory is a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation, first and foremost.

    What do you not understand about this ‘revelation,’ Eric Anderson? Will you not openly admit this is a triadic conversation here at UD? One can only guess that you are, in your words, “afraid to admit the truth” if you are not willing to answer directly.

  44. Folks, Looks like I need to post the following again:

    ______________

    >> Re Gregory at a recent comment in the CS Lewis thread in response to a discussion of the exchange between C S Lewis and the new, a priori materialist, blind watchmaker thesis, religion is child abuse circle of new atheists:

    anyone who thinks ‘ID’ and ‘apologetics’ are *completely unintegrated* is either naive or simply hasn’t read Big-ID literature

    Notice, the loading [as I highlight], that the design inference in the hands of those who argue that on empirical evidence we may infer inductively from tested reliable signs that certain objects are designed, is here held to be an integral part of the thin edge of a wedge for a hidden religious agenda; inviting the onward agenda of accusations on theocracy, war against science, etc that are ever so familiar.

    This — by now, willfully — misrepresents the actual point made since the early 1980′s (and in part made by people who have no connexion to the Christian faith such as Sir Fred Hoyle) that there are things in the world that — on inductive explanation and investigation of a type commonly used in historical sciences such as forensics or reconstructions of the past of land forms etc — point to design as best causal explanation, per the known alternatives, chance, necessity, art.

    Once that investigation is carried out objectively — as has been done — it stands on its own merits, and snide motive mongering is then tendentious and willful well poisoning, if it is persisted in in the teeth of cogent correction.

    As, sadly, we are evidently seeing.

    That is a good slice of why I hold Gregory’s game with upper/lower case ID to be wholly tendentious and useless or worse than useless. Not only does it not fit what I have been doing, and what many others have been doing, it is a feed-point for all sorts of demonstrably false but damaging propagandistic talking points of the type I just spent a fair bit of time exposing in the case of Wikipedia.

    Frankly, for all I know, Gregory is yet another sock puppet from the usual suspect sites. Similar to the now common tactic of I am an X but this is what I say, and then spewing forth the usual sort of talking points designed to poison atmosphere and twist issues into strawmen.

    Even if he is not, he is at minimum indulging enabling behaviour and has no good reason to do this, when the real issue is very simple: is or is not it the case that there are empirically tested, reliable signs of design in our world? If not, simply produce a solid counter-example. That would suffice to finish any design theory movement.

    That this is not being done, but instead we find every sort of manipulative rhetorical tactic being used, tells me that the truth is that the objectors have no real answer to the provide an example challenge.

    That is, in fact, it is so on the merits that there are abundant signs that are well tested and point to design as best explanation of any number of objects in our world. Where some of these are the living cell, major body plans and the fine tuned cosmos that accommodates life.

    Sure, those empirically grounded warrants then may help shift the balance of weight on various worldviews, but that is beyond science.

    Not that that means such are unimportant! >>
    _______________

    KF

  45. Gregory,

    “What do you not understand about this ‘revelation,”

    Revelation? Gregory you really are talking soft, such rubbish, and to be honest I simply can’t figure out for the life of me why anyone bothers to engage you in this. The whole point you find so compelling is complete pants really.

    Sterusjon,

    “I am really trying to clarify the context of your posts here. Rarely, do I get done reading one of them without thinking, “What is he trying to say?” A better understanding of where you are coming from might help me out.”

    I tried to do the same a while back but very quickly came to the conclusion that it is only Gregory who sees this as a big deal. An excellent word of advice to you Sterusjon – don’t, it’s a complete waste of time.

    Gregory, you have been an endless source of entertainment to most on here but for goodness sake go back to your blog and argue your points on there with whoever might think it worth discussing. Look, I know that very few, if any, bother with your blog, but you could always pretend.

    Sheesh, enough guys, enough!

  46. Failing a solid set of answers, these things are simply not sufficiently grounded that it is reasonable to view them as practically certain fact.

    There’s that same old default argument again. You fail to accept evolutionary explanations and, instead, give some non-explanation a free pass.

  47. Mr Fox you state:

    You fail to accept evolutionary explanations and, instead, give some non-explanation a free pass.

    slight correction

    You fail to accept ‘stuff just happens’ explanations and, instead, give some ‘inference to the best’ explanation a free pass.

    There you go Mr. Fox, all better! :)

  48. Glad you agree Phil. Whatever you call your ID “explanation”, it just gets a free pass. :)

  49. Gregory @43:

    Big-ID theory is a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation, first and foremost.

    Well, that’s very nice that you have a definition of ID that captures a hugely broad spectrum of issues. Neither I nor anyone else is obliged to adopt or adhere to your definition of Big-ID.

    Furthermore, all the harping on about definitions is unnecessary. If Big-ID encompasses all those broad topics you attribute to it, we can certainly break it down and talk about the aspects separately, such as the science of intelligent design. We can separately talk about the philosophical implications of design detection. We could even discuss the theology/worldview positions of specific ID proponents if people are interested in that sort of thing. And the latter two are logically separate from the science aspect.

    No prominent ID proponent I know of has ever suggested that there aren’t implications flowing from design detection in life. There are implications and they are interesting in their own right. But they are second-order questions that must not be conflated with the science part.

    I am primarily interested in discussing the science aspect. So unless otherwise made clear, when I am talking on this site about semiotics, irreducible complexity, complex specified information, OOL theories and the like, you can just make a personal note to yourself that I am talking about the “science” part of your “Big-ID.” That’s not so hard now, is it?

    And I am going to call it intelligent design or ID for short. And if I am lazy when typing I might call it Intelligent design, or Id or id. And I have no intention of adopting any or adhering to any definitions or capitalization requirements you try to impose on everyone.

  50. “we can certainly break it down and talk about the aspects separately, such as the science of intelligent design.”

    Exactly, Eric Anderson. You try to REDUCE ‘ID’ to being *only* about ‘science.’ That’s what you and your IDist tribe do best.

    “second-order questions that must not be conflated with the [first-order] science part.” … “I am primarily interested in discussing the science aspect.” – Eric Anderson

    That’s right, Eric. Elevate and prioritise the natural science above the theology and philosophy. That’s what you and your IDist tribe do best.

  51. Mr. Fox your position is, for lack of a better word, insane. The reason it is insane is that you deny any causal power to your ‘mind’ in order to stick to the neo-Darwinian party line. i.e. Mr. Fox you have literally ‘lost your mind’ in your blind allegiance to atheistic explanations! For you see Mr. Fox, your very own post that you just wrote greatly exceeds, in functional information content, what can be reasonably expected to be generated by the entire material processes of the universe over the entire history of the universe.

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren’t chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome.
    So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it’s a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    To clarify as to how the 500 bit universal limit is found for ‘structured, functional information’:

    Dr. Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150,

    10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur.
    10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    How many bits would that be:

    Pu = 10-150, so, -log2 Pu = 498.29 bits

    Call it 500 bits (The 500 bits is further specified as a specific type of information. It is specified as Complex Specified Information by Dembski or as Functional Information by Abel to separate it from merely Ordered Sequence Complexity or Random Sequence Complexity; See Three subsets of sequence complexity)

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski

    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

    Here are the slides of preceding video with the calculation of the information content of the preceding sentence on page 14
    http://www.blythinstitute.org/.....t_info.pdf

    Just how strict the limit to Darwinian processes is illustrated here:

    “Monkeys Typing Shakespeare” Simulation Illustrates Combinatorial Inflation Problem – October 2011
    Excerpt: In other words, Darwinian evolution isn’t going to be able to produce fundamentally new protein folds. In fact, it probably wouldn’t even be able to produce a single 9-character string of nucleotides in DNA, if that string would not be retained by selection until all 9 nucleotides were in place.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51561.html

    John Lennox, in his concise, gentlemanly, way, briefly and clearly illustrates the absurdity of the materialistic/atheistic position here:

    Is There Evidence of Something Beyond Nature? – (Semiotic Information) – John Lennox – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw

    Thus it all comes down to this Mr. Fox. You must hold that it is the purely material processes of your brain that are generating the functional information that you are writing in your posts, even though what you are writing in every post greatly exceeds what is reasonably possible for purely material processes, but I rightly hold that is impossible for you to account for the functional information that you yourself are writing in your posts without reference to your own mind (i.e YOU!)! Care to actually try to explain what you wrote to purely materialistic processes instead of just ignoring it as you did the last time I asked you to give a materialistic explanation for what you wrote?

    Supplemental notes as to ‘mind’

    Do Conscious Thoughts Cause Behavior? -Roy F. Baumeister, E. J. Masicampo, and Kathleen D. Vohs – 2010
    Excerpt: The evidence for conscious causation of behavior is profound, extensive, adaptive, multifaceted, and empirically strong.
    http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/assets/165663.pdf

    “In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.”

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Sir John Eccles – Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1963

    Materialism of the Gaps – Michael Egnor (Neurosurgeon) – January 29, 2009
    Excerpt: “The evidence that some aspects of the mind are immaterial is overwhelming. It’s notable that many of the leading neuroscientists — Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Libet — were dualists. Dualism of some sort is the most reasonable scientific framework to apply to the mind-brain problem, because, unlike dogmatic materialism, it just follows the evidence.”

    Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
    Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
    Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
    Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
    http://www.scientificamerican......than-whole

    In the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?,

  52. Mr. Fox, Are Humans merely Turing Machines?

    Alan’s brain tells his mind, “Don’t you blow it.”
    Listen up! (Even though it’s inchoate.)
    “My claim’s neat and clean.
    I’m a Turing Machine!”
    … ‘Tis somewhat curious how he could know it.

    Alan Turing extended Godel’s incompleteness to material computers, as is illustrated in this following video:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8516356

    And it is now found that,,,

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    Yet supercomputers with many switches have a huge problem dissipating heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....chitecture

    But the brain, though having as many switches as all the computers on earth, does not have such a problem dissipating heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, the heat generated by computers is primarily caused by the erasure of information from the computer,,,

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as material computers are required to do, because our memories are stored on a ‘spiritual’ level rather than on a material level,,,

    A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness.
    http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Res.....sponse.htm

    To support this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the brain but on a higher ‘spiritual’ level, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every minute detail of a person’s life is reviewed:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    Thus Mr. Fox, I hold that humans are not Turing Machines!

  53. Gregory @50:

    Exactly, Eric Anderson. You try to REDUCE ‘ID’ to being *only* about ‘science.’ That’s what you and your IDist tribe do best.

    * * *

    That’s right, Eric. Elevate and prioritise the natural science above the theology and philosophy. That’s what you and your IDist tribe do best.

    You know, you might have better luck if, instead of making up your own definitions, you stick with the definitions that the major ID proponents have offered. ID is about design detection, period.

    Now, are there implications that flow from a positive detection? Sure. Are there interesting second-order questions that can be asked? Absolutely. Are some ID proponents willing and interested in discussing such second-order questions. Of course.

    But to claim that ID is those second order questions is to conflate two very different things.

    Furthermore, your Big-ID definition is so broad and conflated that it is useless in most discussions, because every time you use it we’ll just have to insist that you clarify whether you are talking about the science or the theology or the philosophy or the worldview before we can have any kind of rational discussion.

    It is really quite simple. If you think your definition of ID is so much better (meaning, your conflated version that brings in all kinds of things) than the simple straight-forward scientific question that ID asks, there is a very easy way to deal with it:

    Every time one of us talks about ID you can just pretend that you hear “science portion of Big-ID.” That will solve all the confusion in your mind and you’ll be able to have a rational conversation. And if you want to talk about second order questions, implications, demographic surveys, worldviews, or other things, just say so and people will understand what you mean, but don’t get all obsessive about some made-up “Big-ID” definition that you and a perhaps a couple of other people are trying to foist on everyone else.

    I sense a fair amount of frustration that people aren’t buying into your Big-ID terminology. And in your mind you seem to have drawn conclusions about our evil motives, bordering on conspiracy and bad faith. The reality is that your Big-ID terminology is not likely to ever gain much traction. Not because we’re all engaged in a tribal plot to undermine your ingenious “revelation.” But because the definition isn’t accurate or useful.

  54. EA,

    “I sense a fair amount of frustration that people aren’t buying into your Big-ID terminology. And in your mind you seem to have drawn conclusions about our evil motives, bordering on conspiracy and bad faith. The reality is that your Big-ID terminology is not likely to ever gain much traction. Not because we’re all engaged in a tribal plot to undermine your ingenious “revelation.” But because the definition isn’t accurate or useful.”

    Spot on.

    People are wearying of his constant ramblings about ‘Big-ID’ and ‘little-id’ etc. The revelation I believe is purely of his own as i don’t see anything in what he has brought out of it that isn’t already understood. What’s the big deal?

    I mean look at neo-Darwinism. We could capitalize it to mean certain aspects of darwinism/evolution/atheism but what would it achieve as we are all aware of those aspects, and can easily identify when they are being used in our conversations.

    Neo-darwinism only allows for a natural explanation, but we all know that certain faculties will use this to promote atheism, but we don’t quible about it. We accept the different approaches used in their litterature, the conclusions they draw, and what else may be implied by it, as that is what ‘Science’ is all about.

    It’s time for Gregory to pull up his socks and toughen up a little :)

  55. Alan Fox:

    There’s that same old default argument again.

    Again Alan proves he does NOT understand teh word “default”.

    You fail to accept evolutionary explanations…

    And more equivocation.

    and, instead, give some non-explanation a free pass.

    In what way does the design inference get a “free pass”? Please explain or admit that you are just making stuff up because you are an ignorant oaf.

  56. 56

    And stop being silly. No-one is suggesting that DNA ‘fingerprinting’ is invalid for the crime labs. Nice strawman, though.

    That’s my point! You’re being inconsistent. DNA fingerprinting takes similarity in DNA and infers ancestry of that DNA. You guys all accept it there. But Cornelius Hunter, and you guys, say that “the claim that similarity implies common descent” is a dubious “metaphysical premise”.

  57. 57

    YOU said it, Nick- like reproduces like.

    That said similarity is evidence for a common design. But you, being ignorant of design processes, just cannot grasp that fact.

    When you accepted that “like reproduces like”, you accepted that reproduction, i.e., ancestry, produces similarity. I guess it’s not so metaphysical after all.

  58. Nick Matzke:

    That’s my point! You’re being inconsistent. DNA fingerprinting takes similarity in DNA and infers ancestry of that DNA. You guys all accept it there. But Cornelius Hunter, and you guys, say that “the claim that similarity implies common descent” is a dubious “metaphysical premise”.

    Universal Common Descent, Nick The DNA fingerprinting that says I am related to my father would not say that my father or myself is related to any chimp.

    When you accepted that “like reproduces like”, you accepted that reproduction, i.e., ancestry, produces similarity.

    Always have. And producing similarity does not explain the differences. You need something that explains the differences.

  59. And the differences that need explaining are growing:

    Orphan Genes (And the peer reviewed ‘non-answer’ from Darwinists) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zz6vio_LhY

    Genes from nowhere: Orphans with a surprising story – 16 January 2013 – Helen Pilcher
    Excerpt: When biologists began sequencing genomes they discovered up to a third of genes in each species seemed to have no parents or family of any kind. Nevertheless, some of these “orphan genes” are high achievers (are just as essential as ‘old’ genes),,,
    But where do they come from? With no obvious ancestry, it was as if these genes appeared out of nowhere, but that couldn’t be true. Everyone assumed that as we learned more, we would discover what had happened to their families. But we haven’t-quite the opposite, in fact.,,,
    The upshot is that the chances of random mutations turning a bit of junk DNA into a new gene seem infinitesmally small. As the French biologist Francois Jacob wrote 35 years ago, “the probability that a functional protein would appear de novo by random association of amino acids is practically zero”.,,,
    Orphan genes have since been found in every genome sequenced to date, from mosquito to man, roundworm to rat, and their numbers are still growing.
    http://ccsb.dfci.harvard.edu/w.....n_2013.pdf

    Human Gene Count Tumbles Again – 2008
    Excerpt: Scientists on the hunt for typical genes — that is, the ones that encode proteins — have traditionally set their sights on so-called open reading frames, which are long stretches of 300 or more nucleotides, or “letters” of DNA, bookended by genetic start and stop signals.,,,, The researchers considered genes to be valid if and only if similar sequences could be found in other mammals – namely, mouse and dog. Applying this technique to nearly 22,000 genes in the Ensembl gene catalog, the analysis revealed 1,177 “orphan” DNA sequences.,,, the researchers compared the orphan sequences to the DNA of two primate cousins, chimpanzees and macaques. After careful genomic comparisons, the orphan genes were found to be true to their name — they were absent from both primate genomes.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161406.htm

    From Jerry Coyne, More Table-Pounding, Hand-Waving – May 2012
    Excerpt: “More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren’t found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps.”
    Jerry Coyne – ardent and ‘angry’ neo-Darwinist – professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics.

    An integrated encyclopedia of DNA elements in the human genome – Sept. 6, 2012
    Excerpt: Analysis,,, yielded 57 confidently identified unique peptide sequences in intergenic regions relative to GENCODE annotation. Taken together with evidence of pervasive genome transcription, these data indicate that additional protein-coding genes remain to be found.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....11247.html

    Biologist Douglas Axe on evolution’s (in)ability to produce new functions
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZiLsXO-dYo

    Dr. Doug Axe – What are the implications of the book Science & Human Origins for the Darwinian paradigm? – video (What needs an explanation are not the similarities but the differences)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnFs5D-vvnI

    Nature Article Finds MicroRNAs are “Tearing Apart Traditional Ideas about the Animal Family Tree”
    Casey Luskin June 29, 2012
    Excerpt: When Peterson started his work on the placental [mammal] phylogeny, he had originally intended to validate the traditional mammal tree, not chop it down. As he was experimenting with his growing microRNA library, he applied it to mammals because their tree was so well established that they seemed an ideal test. Alas, the data didn’t cooperate. If the traditional tree was correct, then an unprecedented number of microRNA genes would have to have been lost, and Peterson considers that highly unlikely. “The microRNAs are totally unambiguous,” he says, “but they give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.”,,, Maybe the reason that different genes yield different evolutionary trees is because there isn’t a single unified tree of life to be found. In other words, perhaps universal common ancestry is simply wrong.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....61471.html

    micro-RNA and Non-Falsifiable Phylogenetic Trees – (Excellent Research) video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qv-i4pY6_MU

  60. 60

    Universal Common Descent, Nick The DNA fingerprinting that says I am related to my father would not say that my father or myself is related to any chimp.

    When you accepted that “like reproduces like”, you accepted that reproduction, i.e., ancestry, produces similarity.

    Always have. And producing similarity does not explain the differences. You need something that explains the differences.

    Well, so maybe you’ve got some other argument against common ancestry. But my point is that you’ve admitted that the argument that Hunter advances here is false:

    One of the most common metaphysical premises in evolutionary theory is the claim that similarity implies common descent. If two species share similar genes then they must share a common ancestor, from which those genes originated. Evolutionists don’t think twice about this metaphysical claim. Among friends it is taken for granted and any challenges from creationists don’t matter to begin with. Why is this claim metaphysical? Because it doesn’t come from science. There is no scientific experiment or observation that tells us that biological similarity implies common descent.

  61. Nick Matzke,
    what are your thoughts on convergence in echolocation in bats & whales?

    Science Daily Jan. 27, 2010 — Only some bats and toothed whales rely on sophisticated echolocation, in which they emit sonar pulses and process returning echoes, to detect and track down small prey. Now, two new studies in the January 26th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, show that bats’ and whales’ remarkable ability and the high-frequency hearing it depends on are shared at a much deeper level than anyone would have anticipated — all the way down to the molecular level.

    Common ancestry?

  62. Mr. Matzke, besides the fact that the ‘similarity argument’ is not nearly as close as you and other neo-Darwinists have misled the public to believe,,,

    Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70% – by Jeffrey P. Tomkins – February 20, 2013
    Excerpt: For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome. In general, the smaller and more gene-dense the chromosomes, the higher the DNA similarity—although there were several notable exceptions defying this trend. Only 69% of the chimpanzee X chromosome was similar to human and only 43% of the Y chromosome. Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal sequence-slice conditions. While, chimpanzees and humans share many localized protein-coding regions of high similarity, the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary timescales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....chromosome

    Kangaroo genes close to humans
    Excerpt: Australia’s kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, “There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order,” ,,,”We thought they’d be completely scrambled, but they’re not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome,”
    http://www.reuters.com/article.....P020081118

    First Decoded Marsupial Genome Reveals “Junk DNA” Surprise – 2007
    Excerpt: In particular, the study highlights the genetic differences between marsupials such as opossums and kangaroos and placental mammals like humans, mice, and dogs. ,,,
    The researchers were surprised to find that placental and marsupial mammals have largely the same set of genes for making proteins. Instead, much of the difference lies in the controls that turn genes on and off.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.....m-dna.html

    ,,,is the fact that this ‘similarity argument’ is not a scientific demonstration for your claim of common ancestry but is a circular argument of your claim for common descent preceding the interpretation of the data:

    Pattern pluralism and the Tree of Life hypothesis – 2006
    Excerpt: Hierarchical structure can always be imposed on or extracted from such data sets by algorithms designed to do so, but at its base the universal TOL rests on an unproven assumption about pattern that, given what we know about process, is unlikely to be broadly true.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/7/2043.abstract

    A Primer on the Tree of Life – Casey Luskin – 2009
    Excerpt: The truth is that common ancestry is merely an assumption that governs interpretation of the data, not an undeniable conclusion, and whenever data contradicts expectations of common descent, evolutionists resort to a variety of different ad hoc rationalizations to save common descent from being falsified.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/10651

    Douglas Theobald’s Test Of Common Ancestry Ignores Common Design – November 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....41071.html

    You see Mr. Matzke, despite how much blind faith you have placed in these ‘similarity arguments’, the plain fact of the matter is that to be considered ‘scientific’ you have to provide empirical proof, an actual demonstration, that what you prefer to be true as a starting assumption (i.e. that amoebas can turn into tree, bats, frogs, whales and such) is actually possible in the real world. And that Sir, you simply do not have,,,

    “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/

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

  63. Moreover Mr. Matzke, in order for neo-Darwinism to be considered scientific, instead of a pseudo-science (as it is by a majority of the American public), should not there be some identifiable falsification criteria by which one could possibly prove it false or its accuracy?

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos
    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    In fact, IMO, the reason why neo-Darwinism appears not to have a rigid mathematical foundation in which to test its claims for accuracy, or to falsify it, is because of the random variable postulate at the base of the theory’s formulation:

    “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) -

    Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness – Talbott – Fall 2011
    Excerpt: The situation calls to mind a widely circulated cartoon by Sidney Harris, which shows two scientists in front of a blackboard on which a body of theory has been traced out with the usual tangle of symbols, arrows, equations, and so on. But there’s a gap in the reasoning at one point, filled by the words, “Then a miracle occurs.” And the one scientist is saying to the other, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.”
    In the case of evolution, I picture Dennett and Dawkins filling the blackboard with their vivid descriptions of living, highly regulated, coordinated, integrated, and intensely meaningful biological processes, and then inserting a small, mysterious gap in the middle, along with the words, “Here something random occurs.”
    This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle. It is the central miracle in a gospel of meaninglessness, a “Randomness of the gaps,” demanding an extraordinarily blind faith. At the very least, we have a right to ask, “Can you be a little more explicit here?”
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....randomness

    Murray Eden, as reported in “Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism,” Scientific Research, November 1967, p. 64.
    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    Yet despite this shortcoming that the random variable postulate presents in preventing any rigid mathematical basis to be developed for neo-Darwinism so as to test it for accuracy or to falsify it, in so far as mathematics can be applied to neo-Darwinian claims, though population genetics, the mathematics of population genetics does strongly dis-confirm the validity of neo-Darwinian claims:

    Using Numerical Simulation to Test the Validity of Neo-Darwinian Theory – 2008
    Abstract: Evolutionary genetic theory has a series of apparent “fatal flaws” which are well known to population geneticists, but which have not been effectively communicated to other scientists or the public. These fatal flaws have been recognized by leaders in the field for many decades—based upon logic and mathematical formulations. However population geneticists have generally been very reluctant to openly acknowledge these theoretical problems, and a cloud of confusion has come to surround each issue.
    Numerical simulation provides a definitive tool for empirically testing the reality of these fatal flaws and can resolve the confusion. The program Mendel’s Accountant (Mendel) was developed for this purpose, and it is the first biologically-realistic forward-time population genetics numerical simulation program. This new program is a powerful research and teaching tool. When any reasonable set of biological parameters are used, Mendel provides overwhelming empirical evidence that all of the “fatal flaws” inherent in evolutionary genetic theory are real. This leaves evolutionary genetic theory effectively falsified—with a degree of certainty which should satisfy any reasonable and open-minded person.
    http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/techn.....Theory.pdf

    Supplemental note:

    Neo-Darwinian evolution simply has no rigorous mathematical foundation with which we can rigorously analyze it in any computer simulation. This includes any supposed ‘Evolutionary Algorithms’ which have been ‘intelligently designed’ by computer programmers (explain that to me!) to simulate Darwinian evolution::

    Refutation of Evolutionary Algorithms
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1h33EC4yg29Ve59XYJN_nJoipZLKIgupT6lBtsaVQsUs

    Accounting for Variations – Dr. David Berlinski: – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2GkDkimkE

    “No human investigation can be called true science without passing through mathematical tests.”
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  64. Nick Matzke,

    You must not understand what Hunter is saying. He is saying that you cannot say, for example, that humans and chimps share a common ancestry just because similarities exist- ie we share similar genes.

    “If two species share similar genes then they must share a common ancestor, from which those genes originated.”- Hunter’s second sentence above

    Hunter is talking about two different species. Two that are assumed to share a common ancestor (because they share similar genes)

    Two humans are the same species. And when I say like produces like, well I am talking about the same species- ONE species.

  65. Nick M:

    …the argument that Hunter advances here is false:

    Arguments are not true or false Nick. That’s 101 level stuff.

    Don’t they teach you anything in Macro-Evolutionary Theory College?

    Nick quoting CH:

    One of the most common metaphysical premises in evolutionary theory is the claim that similarity implies common descent.

    Are you saying that statement is not true? You could have fooled me. Why is it false?

    1. Similarity does not imply common descent.

    2. The claim that similarity implies common descent is not a common metaphysical premise in evolutionary theory.

    Where’s the falsehood?

  66. Eric:

    …you can just make a personal note to yourself that I am talking about the “science” part of your “Big-ID.” That’s not so hard now, is it?

    Gregory finds it hard to admit that there is anything at all scientific about his version of Big I Big D Intelligent Design. So good luck.

  67. Supplemental note to post 62

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....ruit_flies

    Here’s the pdf to the preceding article:
    http://eebweb.arizona.edu/nach.....l_2010.pdf

  68. Gregory:

    There is no ID theory of ‘artefacts’ (i.e. human-made things). It simply doesn’t exist.

    This is a lie!

    This is a lie!

    This is a lie!

    Not that Gregory cares. He’s blind, deaf, and dumb. It’s like he got whatever degree he was after and forever after need not worry about growing as a human.

    I hate to think what it was like being a teacher of this know-it-all. Talk about your dogmatic fundamentalists.

    Gregory, since you never listen to anyone else, how do you ever learn? Or is there nothing more for you to learn?

  69. Nick, since you decided to stop back in, what’s a good textbook on Macro-evolutionary Theory?

    I have a particular interest in macroevolution in populations of single celled organisms. How does that happen, if not through chemical changes?

  70. Gregory:

    Someone says: “The sky is blue!”

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    Someone says: “Water is made up of H2O.”

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    Someone says: “I love my husband and children.”

    IDists say: “Darwinists are wrong.”

    Really? Wow – never heard that before!

    It is really a sad demonstration of fetish and icon-worship by Protestant evangelical IDists in America who claim Big-ID is a natural-science-only theory.

    Liar.

    Phil, if you had read some of my works, you’d likely realise many things to agree with and that perhaps you could find a way to assist me, aside from your fetish with Big-ID and IDMism.

    You have a strange way of trying to get people to take seriously things you may have written elsewhere and to get them to agree with you and assist you.

    I reject IDism as bad science and bad theology, along with many Abrahamic religious scientists.

    And your arguments against ID (if you actually have any) probably contain the same incoherent and self-contradictory flaws as theirs do along with the same misrepresentations.

    Someone apparently sold you a bill of goods that you failed to critically examine and now you’ve taken a stance and are too proud to admit you could be wrong.

    How can ID be both “bad science” and “bad theology”?

  71. Nick:

    We hope you aren’t seriously unable to distinguish between (i) DNA fingerprinting of one generation to the next within a species that is known to exist and known to reproduce its own kind, and (ii) DNA fingerprinting of different species that don’t reproduce together based on an assumed evolutionary relationship through some unknown ancestor at some unknown point in the past.

    Either you are simply refusing to acknowledge the difference, or you don’t understand Hunter’s point.

  72. OT: WATCH THIS AND SOMEBODY BLOG IT AS ANOTHER FINE TUNE PARTY!

    http://beforeitsnews.com/space.....55978.html

  73. Nick,s comment’s related to recent ancestry to refute (disparage) Dr. Hunter’s common descent observation were ill founded from the beginning. Dr. Hunter put his use of the term into a context of molecules to men common descent in his very next statement:”If two species share similar genes then they must share a common ancestor, from which those genes originated.” Nick was launching an attack against something Dr. Hunter was not even talking about.

    Typical! Unforunately.

  74. Gregory wrote:

    “My farewell to UD responds to your question (and others) in the other thread.”

    And where exactly is this “farewell” and where exactly is “the other thread”?

  75. OT: Michael Denton has a peer reviewed article up in Bio-Complexity!

    The Fine-Tuning of the Biosphere: In BIO-Complexity, Michael Denton Recovers the Lost Legacy of Lawrence Henderson – March 11, 2013
    Excerpt: In a new peer-reviewed article in the journal BIO-Complexity, “The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis,” Dr. Denton revives and extends the thought of a leading biochemist of the early 20th-century, Harvard University’s Lawrence Henderson.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....69931.html

    Of note:

    Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis – podcast
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201....._coin.html

  76. 76
    englishmaninistanbul
  77. Here’s the summary of Michael Denton’s paper and a few related notes:

    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

    The Elements: Forged in Stars – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861

    “Dr. Michael Denton on Evidence of Fine-Tuning in the Universe” (Remarkable balance of various key elements for life) – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....3_59-07_00

    The Role of Elements in Life Processes
    http://www.mii.org/periodic/LifeElement.php

    The vastness, beauty, orderliness, of the heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants; and the other phenomena of nature justly induce an intelligent and unprejudiced observer to conclude a supremely powerful, just, and good author.
    — Robert Boyle (1627 – 1691), father of experimental chemistry

    The stunning long term balance of the necessary chemicals for life, on the face of the earth, is a wonder in and of itself:

    Chemical Cycles:
    Long term chemical balance is essential for life on earth. Complex symbiotic chemical cycles keep the amount of elements on the earth surface in relatively perfect balance and thus in steady supply to the higher life forms that depend on them to remain stable. This is absolutely essential for the higher life forms to exist on Earth for any extended period of time.
    http://www.uen.org/themepark/cycles/chemical.shtml

    It is found that not only must the right chemicals be present on earth for and extended period of time to have life, the chemicals must also be present on the earth in ‘specific abundances’.

    Elemental Evidence of Earth’s Divine Design – Hugh Ross PhD. – April 2010
    Table: Earth’s Anomalous Abundances – Page 8
    The twenty-five elements listed below must exist on Earth in specific abundances for advanced life and/or support of civilization to be possible. For each listed element the number indicates how much more or less abundant it is, by mass, in Earth’s crust, relative to magnesium’s abundance, as compared to its average abundance in the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy, also relative to the element magnesium. Asterisks denote “vital poisons,” essential elements that if too abundant would be toxic to advanced life, but if too scarce would fail to provide the quantities of nutrients essential for advanced life. The water measure compares the amount of water in and on Earth relative to the minimum amount the best planet formation models would predict for a planet the mass of Earth orbiting a star identical to the Sun at the same distance from the Sun.

    carbon* 1,200 times less
    nitrogen* 2,400 times less
    fluorine* 50 times more
    sodium* 20 times more
    aluminum 40 times more
    phosphorus* 4 times more
    sulfur* 60 times less
    potassium* 90 times more
    calcium 20 times more
    titanium 65 times more
    vanadium* 9 times more
    chromium* 5 times less
    nickel* 20 times less
    cobalt* 5 times less
    selenium* 30 times less
    yttrium 50 times more
    zirconium 130 times more
    niobium 170 times more
    molybdenum* 5 times more
    tin* 3 times more
    iodine* 3 times more
    gold 5 times less
    lead 170 times more
    uranium 16,000 times more
    thorium 23,000 times more
    water 250 times less
    http://www.reasons.org/files/e.....010-02.pdf

    Moreover there are found to be widely varying chemical compositions on Earth-like planets thus far discovered:

    Compositions of Extrasolar Planets – July 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,the presumption that extrasolar terrestrial planets will consistently manifest Earth-like chemical compositions is incorrect. Instead, the simulations revealed “a wide variety of resulting planetary compositions.
    http://www.reasons.org/composi.....ar-planets

    Chemical Clues On Formation of Planetary Systems: Earth ‘Siblings’ Can Be Different – ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2012)
    Excerpt: An international team of researchers, with the participation of IAC astronomers, has discovered that the chemical structure of Earth-like planets can be very different from the bulk composition of Earth. This may have a dramatic effect on the existence and formation of the biospheres and life on Earth-like planets.,,,’There could be billions of Earth-like planets in the Universe but a great majority of them may have a totally different internal and atmospheric structure.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132902.htm

    Chances of Exoplanet Life ‘Impossible’? Or ’100 percent’? – February 2011
    Excerpt: Howard Smith, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, made the headlines earlier this year when he announced, rather pessimistically, that aliens will unlikely exist on the extrasolar planets we are currently detecting. “We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it,” “Extrasolar systems are far more diverse than we expected, and that means very few are likely to support life,” he said.
    http://news.discovery.com/spac.....-what.html

  78. The fine-tuning of the ‘privileged planet principle’ is extreme:

    Milankovitch Cycle Design – Hugh Ross – August 2011
    Excerpt: In all three cases, Waltham proved that the actual Earth/Moon/solar system manifests unusually low Milankovitch levels and frequencies compared to similar alternative systems. ,,, Waltham concluded, “It therefore appears that there has been anthropic selection for slow Milankovitch cycles.” That is, it appears Earth was purposely designed with slow, low-level Milankovitch cycles so as to allow humans to exist and thrive.
    http://www.reasons.org/milankovitch-cycle-design

    Among Darwin Advocates, Premature Celebration over Abundance of Habitable Planets – September 2011
    Excerpt: Today, such processes as planet formation details, tidal forces, plate tectonics, magnetic field evolution, and planet-planet, planet-comet, and planet-asteroid gravitational interactions are found to be relevant to habitability.,,, What’s more, not only are more requirements for habitability being discovered, but they are often found to be interdependent, forming a (irreducibly) complex “web.” This means that if a planetary system is found not to satisfy one of the habitability requirements, it may not be possible to compensate for this deficit by adjusting a different parameter in the system. – Guillermo Gonzalez
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50871.html

    Privileged Planet Principle – Michael Strauss – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4318884/

    As to Denton’s note in his paper on the objection from materialists that water is not ‘ideally’ suited for life since it prevents ‘life’ from spontaneously forming:

    Water Is ‘Designer Fluid’ That Helps Proteins Change Shape – 2008
    Excerpt: “When bound to proteins, water molecules participate in a carefully choreographed ballet that permits the proteins to fold into their functional, native states. This delicate dance is essential to life.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....113314.htm

    Protein Folding: One Picture Per Millisecond Illuminates The Process – 2008
    Excerpt: The RUB-chemists initiated the folding process and then monitored the course of events. It turned out that within less than ten milliseconds, the motions of the water network were altered as well as the protein itself being restructured. “These two processes practically take place simultaneously“, Prof. Havenith-Newen states, “they are strongly correlated.“ These observations support the yet controversial suggestion that water plays a fundamental role in protein folding, and thus in protein function, and does not stay passive.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....075610.htm

    Water’s quantum weirdness makes life possible – October 2011
    Excerpt: WATER’S life-giving properties exist on a knife-edge. It turns out that life as we know it relies on a fortuitous, but incredibly delicate, balance of quantum forces.,,, They found that the hydrogen-oxygen bonds were slightly longer than the deuterium-oxygen ones, which is what you would expect if quantum uncertainty was affecting water’s structure. “No one has ever really measured that before,” says Benmore.
    We are used to the idea that the cosmos’s physical constants are fine-tuned for life. Now it seems water’s quantum forces can be added to this “just right” list.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....sible.html

    As to water preventing ‘life’ from ‘spontaneously’ forming, well I would hold that there is good ‘design’ reason for that as well: One reason would be to clearly illustrate to man that ‘life’ does not spontaneously form:

    i.e. water is considered a ‘universal solvent’ which is a very thermodynamic obeying and thus origin of life defying fact.

    Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis – Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids from small molecule precursors represents one of the most difficult challenges to the model of prebiological evolution. There are many different problems confronted by any proposal. Polymerization is a reaction in which water is a product. Thus it will only be favored in the absence of water. The presence of precursors in an ocean of water favors depolymerization of any molecules that might be formed. Careful experiments done in an aqueous solution with very high concentrations of amino acids demonstrate the impossibility of significant polymerization in this environment. A thermodynamic analysis of a mixture of protein and amino acids in an ocean containing a 1 molar solution of each amino acid (100,000,000 times higher concentration than we inferred to be present in the prebiological ocean) indicates the concentration of a protein containing just 100 peptide bonds (101 amino acids) at equilibrium would be 10^-338 molar. Just to make this number meaningful, our universe may have a volume somewhere in the neighborhood of 10^85 liters. At 10^-338 molar, we would need an ocean with a volume equal to 10^229 universes (100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) just to find a single molecule of any protein with 100 peptide bonds. So we must look elsewhere for a mechanism to produce polymers. It will not happen in the ocean.
    http://origins.swau.edu/papers.....fault.html

    Professor Arthur E. Wilder-Smith “Any amounts of polypeptide which might be formed will be broken down into their initial components (amino acids) by the excess of water. The ocean is thus practically the last place on this or any other planet where the proteins of life could be formed spontaneously from amino acids. Yet nearly all text-books of biology teach this nonsense to support evolutionary theory and spontaneous biogenesis … Has materialistic Neo-Darwinian philosophy overwhelmed us to such an extent that we forget or overlook the well-known facts of science and of chemistry in order to support this philosophy? … Without exception all Miller’s amino acids are completely unsuitable for any type of spontaneous biogenesis. And the same applies to all and any randomly formed substances and amino acids which form racemates. This statement is categorical and absolute and cannot be affected by special conditions.”

  79. 79

    Good Grief, BA!! You are the resource master! Such fantastic information.

  80. So, Nick either cannot or will not assist me with my quest to understand macroevolutionary theory.

    So why does he preach it?

  81. Really Mung?

    He won’t assist you because then you will know as much as he and then he won’t be the preacher. Preachers can only preach where people don’t know any better.

    And if you had his knowledge then you could challenge his sermons. Then you would have to be Pinkered.

  82. So it really is is a cult and i am not even a novitiate?

  83. 83
    Cornelius Hunter

    @2 qwerty: Thanks much for the kind words!

  84. 84
    Cornelius Hunter

    Nick, @16/56/50:

    We use the term “common descent” in its usual sense, as evolutionists use it, i.e., all species sharing a common ancestor. What you are missing here is that when evolutionists claim similarity (such as the shared mistakes argument) as powerful evidence for common descent, it is a completely different type of argument than that used in crime labs. These are fundamentally different arguments and so you can’t use the one as cover for the other.

  85. CH:

    …it is a completely different type of argument than that used in crime labs. These are fundamentally different arguments and so you can’t use the one as cover for the other.

    Yes, this has been pointed out to Nick before, and ignored.

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