Home » Intelligent Design » A Word About Our Moderation Policy

A Word About Our Moderation Policy

Some commenters have raised questions regarding the propriety of recent posts and UD’s moderation policy. UD’s moderation policy is fairly simple: As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opening this site up to nasty juvenile name-calling fests like one see so often at Panda’s Thumb.  But if you keep your comments restricted to ideas and not attacking people, you should have no problems passing muster here.

What about the “God-bashing” and the defenses of God that have appeared in these pages? God can take care of Himself. We at UD feel no need to protect Him from defamation. Bash away. Those who are offended by (or disagree with) the bashing are welcome to post such defenses as they deem appropriate. There are limits, however. This site is not intended to be a forum for extensive religious debates. Religious issues inevitably come up from time to time and people should feel free to discuss them from both sides when they do. But the moderators will exercise their judgment and gavel discussions that stray too far a field from the purpose of this site for too long.

I personally find the God-bashing disturbing. So why do I allow it? As one of my colleagues has aptly said, the wiser course, when someone attacks God is to let those UD commenters who are theists respond to the charges. Our readers will then be in a position to see: (1) that UD, unlike the Darwinists, doesn’t ban or censor ideas; and (2) that theism in general and Christianity in particular is quite capable of defending itself against lies, distortions, illogical arguments, and misunderstandings. Our role is not to censor ideas but to provide a forum where hard questions can be discussed calmly, fully, and fairly, and we trust that when that happens truth will prevail.

Certainly there is risk to this approach. Some will reject truth and embrace error. But the consequences of pursuing the alternative course – ignoring or even running from the hard questions – would be far worse.

Finally, some have asked whether we should even discuss “peripheral issues” at UD, such as Darwin’s racism or the implications of ID for the theodicy. This site is devoted not only to scientific theories of origins, but also to the metaphysical and moral implications of those theories. Plainly BOTH Darwinism and ID have implications beyond the science. Certainly Darwinsts like “intellectually fulfilled” atheist Richard Dawkins understand the metaphysical implications of Darwinism and talk about those implications ad nauseum. What hypocritical balderdash for anyone to suggest a double standard prohibiting those of us with a different point of view from doing the exact same thing from our perspective – and we will continue to do so.

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376 Responses to A Word About Our Moderation Policy

  1. Thanks Barry,

    If you think about it the BEST way to expose ID as sophist pseudo-science is by presenting the scientific data which demonstrates that.

    It is only because such scientific data is unavailable do the ID critics and opponents use those other methods of debate.

    And that is because if you can’t attack the data then attack the person because that is all that is left.

    That said if anyone feels the need to attack me I have a blog that is open for comments.

    My only rule is that your response must at least attempt to stay on topic.

  2. Well stated, Barry! Thanks!

  3. Off topic:

    Judge orders advanced homeschoolers back to public school to expose them to “mainstream science”:

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/4727161/

  4. “Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.”
    Victor Hugo

  5. My previous comment was placed in the moderation queue, then disappeared. Let’s see if this one fares better.

    In the spirit of the new dedication to open discussion, will those people previously banned for reasons that are not valid under the new policy be allowed to participate again?

    Will those of us who are subject to the moderation queue, again for reasons that are not valid under the new policy, be allowed to post without the delays that effectively prohibit active participation?

    JJ

  6. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position.

    That is commendable, Mr Arrington. However, evidence will always trump opinion, no matter how eloquently expressed and fervently believed.

    One poster here, a critic of ID, but who never overstepped the bounds of politeness, was Bob O’Hara, a working scientist. I have noticed Bob stating he would like to comment here again but is unable to log in. Would you like to re-enable his posting facilities?

  7. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win…

    Nobody wins in blog debates. Both sides inevitably think they won, but there is no official judge to say who really won.

    How’s ID doing in forums where there are official judges, like peer review and the courtroom?

  8. “That is commendable, Mr Arrington. However, evidence will always trump opinion, no matter how eloquently expressed and fervently believed.”

    You’re making an argument against an argument. Your argument doesn’t have evidence; it is not any different in form than Barry’s argument that you quoted, in that respect.

    “I have noticed Bob stating he would like to comment here again but is unable to log in.”

    If Bob can’t log-in, how are you seeing his comments? I’m asking sincerely.

  9. You’re making an argument against an argument.

    I’m expressing my opinion.

    If Bob can’t log-in, how are you seeing his comments? I’m asking sincerely.

    Like many others, Bob also comments elsewhere.

  10. 10

    R0b,

    “How’s ID doing in forums where there are official establishment materialist judges ideologues like peer review and the courtroon with celeb activists?

    How is Darwin doing in the common sense department…ya know…out there with Joe Public?

    How is the front on FSCI working out? Still hoping no one will notice?

  11. 11

    Oops, messed up on HTML! Last sentence was mine.

  12. Upright BiPed:

    How is Darwin doing in the common sense department…ya know…out there with Joe Public?

    Personally, I trust science more than common sense, but to each his own.

    (What I find interesting is people who generally favor their own common sense over the consensus of scientists, and yet defer to science when something important is on the line, like their own medical health.)

  13. 13

    Arthur,

    “Like many others, Bob also comments elsewhere.”

    Where does Bob comment? Let me know and I’ll go take a look.

  14. To Barry Arrington:

    Well said.

    Recently I protested the banning of dissent here at UD:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-306218

    QUESTION: Where is the link to which a person obtains the codes to include boldtype, italics, etc.etc. in their messages? How does a new person discover this information? Just recently I have noticed that “Entries RSS” and “Comments RSS” bring up the same page and do not show the various codes anymore. This seems to not make any sense.

    Ray

  15. R. Martinez (#14): “Just recently I have noticed that ‘Entries RSS’ and ‘Comments RSS’ bring up the same page and do not show the various codes anymore.”

    And today these links show the codes. But prior to today both links were bringing up the same meaningless “subscribe to our feed” page.

    Ray

  16. 16

    Excellent, Ray.

    All I know are

    and .

    An easy way to embed http’s and smiley’s would be welcome.

  17. 17

    Well, that didn’t work.

    I give up. My point was, I agree with Ray.

  18. 18

    In case anyone thought I was being partisan, I also note That Professor John Davison would like to be able to post here. He has tried to register, according to comments on his own blog, but was unable to complete the registration procedure. As he is now 80 years old, it is possible he had difficulty with the process. I am sure he would appreciate someone (Clive?)emailing him a password. His contact details

  19. Rob (#7): “How’s ID doing in forums where there are official judges, like….the courtroom?”

    Since Judge Jones has been a Darwinist at least since college, his “ruling” was predetermined.

    Ray

  20. 20
  21. 21

    R0b,

    You spit in the face of people who work to provide you the society you count on – while following the elitist idea that (S)cience is simply smarter than the guy who plows the corn you eat, as well as the one who drives the bread truck and climbs the telephone pole.

    “I trust science more than common sense”

    The fact is: its a twisted ideological fallacy. It was common sense that gave you relativity, plate techntonics, Newtonian mechanics, AND EVERY OTHER SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY EVER MADE.

    Enjoy the view from on high.

  22. 22
    CannuckianYankee

    ROb: “Personally, I trust science more than common sense, but to each his own.”

    You mean if something that claims to be scientific but makes no common sense…..?

    This is why we need philosophers of science to examine “scientific” ideas and to tell us when an argument is circular or question begging, etc…they should make some common sense, and if they don’t, then we should question their validity.

    For a lot of people Darwinism is invalid because it doesn’t pass the common sense test.

    BTW, “people who generally favor their own common sense over the consensus of scientists….” are often keenly aware that consensus is not a test for truth or validity – even if it is so-called experts forming that consensus. Look at our economy as an example of how consensus often leads to wrong thinking and conclusions.

  23. Barry Arrington: “I personally find the God-bashing disturbing. So why do I allow it? As one of my colleagues has aptly said, the wiser course, when someone attacks God is to let those UD commenters who are theists respond to the charges. Our readers will then be in a position to see: (1) that UD, unlike the Darwinists, doesn’t ban or censor ideas; and (2) that theism in general and Christianity in particular is quite capable of defending itself against lies, distortions, illogical arguments, and misunderstandings. Our role is not to censor ideas but to provide a forum where hard questions can be discussed calmly, fully, and fairly, and we trust that when that happens truth will prevail.”

    God bashing is simply the greatest evidence against evolution: it exposes the intent and result of accepting evolution; and it exposes Christian evolutionists to be horribly ignorant, fools and buffoons, or wolves (= Atheists) in sheeps clothing.

    Ray

  24. Rob (#12): “Personally, I trust science more than common sense….”

    Honest admission that evolution makes no sense. This is why Creationism and IDism thrives.

    Ray

  25. 25

    Not to speak for R0b, but I think he may have been making the point that the result of experiment, observation and measurement is more reliable than common sense assumption.

  26. 26

    Arthur,

    From reading the comments by Bob O’H on the other thread, he should not be re-instated. This should be obvious to anyone with a modicum of decency.

  27. 27

    Thanks for the response, Clive. I must be missing something in Bob’s posts. They are not abusive, insulting or obscene. It is also interesting that a poster’s conduct elsewhere should affect his ability to post here. Never mind, with my obvious lack of decency, perhaps I can be excused for asking.

  28. 28

    Arthur, calling Denyse names is abusive, insulting and obscene. I won’t repeat it here, because it doesn’t even merit mentioning except to show that his comments are those things. I know, I’m familiar with the charge that a commenter “should” be able to hurl insults as long as their done somewhere else, and that commenting privileges “should” still be granted here by the insulted–it’s an amusing bit of reasoning. As if how someone “actually” acts doesn’t matter. I just, I don’t know, I just can’t seem to bring myself to agree that vile behavior should be masked here and unleashed there, and consider that acceptable. It would be like knowing that your wife were cheating on you, yet as long as you didn’t see it, she should still be able to do it and get all of the privileges that come from you as a husband.

  29. 29
    George L Farquhar

    Clive,
    Davescot has said some things off this blog that are worse then anything I’ve seen Bob O’H say so far in “the other place”.

    http://ptet.blogspot.com/2008/.....leary.html

    So why the double standard?

  30. I echo Arthur’s sentiments in 27. If the goal is to encourage open discussion and thereby strengthen the ID arguments, the only behavior that matters is what is exhibited here.

    Aside from spamming or truly crude language, there should be no reason to ban anyone. Doing so suggests that we don’t have the courage of our convictions and can’t stand up to criticism.

    JJ

  31. 31

    Clive, are you kidding? A person’s behavior on every forum must match their expected behavior on this forum?

    It would be counterproductive to open an investigation on everybody who comments here. At least one person who used to moderate here has said far worse about the same person, and that person still posts here. (I’m not going to provide the link because such witch-hunts should be beside the point.)

    Isn’t it simpler, more straightforward, and more decent to say “what you elsewhere is your business, but when you’re in my house, you’ll play by my rules”?

  32. He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. ~ John Stuart Mill

    The wise man always throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  33. (What I find interesting is people who generally favor their own common sense over the consensus of scientists, and yet defer to science when something important is on the line, like their own medical health.)

    I’ve received multiple incorrect diagnoses delivered with the utmost confidence by physicians who meant well, but prejudged my case. I think evolutionary biology contains at least as much “art” as [clinical] medical science.

  34. Not to speak for R0b, but I think he may have been making the point that the result of experiment, observation and measurement is more reliable than common sense assumption.

    But it appears to skeptics that modern evolutionary theory and practice is long on story-telling, philosophical assumptions and consensus arguments and short on “experimentation, observation and measurement”. When data is measured, it always seems to be forced into the standard theory, whether it fits well or not.

  35. 35
    George L Farquhar

    russ

    But it appears to skeptics that modern evolutionary theory and practice is long on story-telling,

    And yet useful results are generated, daily.

    philosophical assumptions and consensus arguments

    If by “philosophical assumptions” you mean “only attempt to measure the measurable”, i.e. philosophical naturalism then yes, it is “long on that”.
    You are free to use other philosophical assumptions. When your Xience (other type of science) produces useful results please do say.

    and short on “experimentation, observation and measurement”.

    There are two point five million hits on google scholar for “evolution”.

    What do you think the vast majority of the results are?

    There are hundreds of books published.

    It would take you or me several years to get up to speed with current understanding at a technical level.

    When data is measured, it always seems to be forced into the standard theory, whether it fits well or not.

    Does it really?

    Can you give me an example of what you mean?

    Junk DNA not being junk after all perhaps?

    The “unexpected” complexity of the cell?

    Am I getting close?

  36. George L Farquhar, I give you the human HAR1F gene.

  37. 37

    Kellog, In answer to your question, if that person’s “behavior” on the other forum is directly insulting to those on this forum–yes. I won’t re-instate Bob O’H, he’s insulting. This is obvious. I don’t see why it needs to be defended.

  38. 38

    JayM,

    “If the goal is to encourage open discussion and thereby strengthen the ID arguments, the only behavior that matters is what is exhibited here.”

    I appreciate your input. Open discussion is encouraged. Insults are not, no matter where they happen.

  39. 39

    No double standard, I have deleted some of Davescots comments since I’ve been moderating. I was not around to ban Bob O’H, I may not have banned him, but from what I’ve seen him say so far, I certainly won’t re-instate him–and that is a decision based solely on the grounds of what he commented, and has nothing to do with anyone else.

  40. Rob

    People trust medical doctors because they can get sued and lose their license if they screw up. What happens to a tenured evolutionary biologist if he’s wrong?

    By the way, what grade are you in?

  41. Clive

    I’m sorry if I wrote something that got your panties in a bunch.

  42. George

    That was a different DaveScot. He’s no longer here. I killed him and buried the body in a shallow unmarked grave. Happy now?

  43. GLF

    And yet useful results are generated, daily.

    Really? Give me 10 examples from last year. That shouldn’t be challenge since there should be at least 365 to choose from.

  44. 44
    CannuckianYankee

    I’m just wondering Clive,

    Let’s say a person such as, oh, PZ Meyers wanted to post here and he kept his language cordial and non-insulting, would he be welcome to post? I would be interested in reading what he has to say without all the hyperbole that is a part of his language in his own blog. I might enjoy seeing how others here would challenge him. Maybe I’m ignorant, but has he ever posted here?

  45. Mike Gene at Design Matrix has an interesting post where he talks about a study on “A Disconfirmation Bias in the Evaluation of Arguments,”
    Two groups of people with opposing beliefs on an issue where given evidence and the result was that they became even more polarized. It follows that discussions on forums such as these will have little effect in changing people’s minds. Are we spinning our wheels here? It’s a great read by the way.

  46. 46
    George L Farquhar

    bFast,

    I give you the human HAR1F gene.

    Do you have any evidence whatsoever that HAR1F is the product of intelligent design?

    Or are you refering to the fact that some people have said “it’s an incredible amount of change to have happened in a few million years” in relation to HAR1F?

    In fact, the researchers who created the original paper have analyses that show signs of selection for variations in the gene; they have patterns of expression in the brain; they have potential interactions laid out; they specifically state that there are good questions to ask about the specific function of HAR1F.

    I would note that Jonathan Wells wrote “Why Darwinism is doomed” in September 2006.

    http://worldnetdaily.com/news/.....E_ID=52166

    So after 150 years, Darwinists are still looking for evidence – any evidence, no matter how skimpy – to justify their speculations. The latest hype over the “brain evolution gene” unwittingly reveals just how underwhelming the evidence for their view really is.

    Since that article there have been many new papers regarding HAR1F. Since “the latest hype” has faded, people have got stuck in and started to work it out. What has Wells done since then with regard to HAR1F? Nothing at all.
    A example:

    Distinctive structures between chimpanzee and human in noncoding RNA

    The identification of human accelerated region 1 (HAR1) in the human genome is a recent discovery (Pollard et al. 2006a,b). The noncoding HAR1F and HAR1R RNAs, which contain the HAR1 region, are localized in the neocortex but nothing is known about their function. The salient finding of our work is the unequivocal derivation of two distinct, experimentally derived secondary structure models for human and chimpanzee HAR1 RNAs.

    Would you like to claim the noncoding HAR1F and HAR1R RNAs as the product of intelligent design? Even though we know nothing of their function? They might be preventing everybody from being 100x more intelligent. We simply don’t know. Yet I suspect that you would point and say “design” already.

    Many more here:

    http://scholar.google.com/scho.....tnG=Search

    The only paper referencing HAR1F and “intelligent design” is in fact a book and it is not supportive. So, you got any actual evidence?

    So, bFast, make your case in your own words or not, as you prefer.

    But I see no research by anybody on your side into HAR1F that is going on.

    Can you show me that there is?

    Or is this another case where all research in fact unwittingly supports intelliegent design?

    How convenient if so. Or is it the lack of definitive answers (so far) that supports your case? Anything positive to prove your case? Disproving X does not prove or offer support for Z you know…

  47. 47
    George L Farquhar

    Davescot:

    Escape mutations in HIV:

    mutations that enabled HIV effectively to neutralise the effect of a particular HLA gene were more frequent in populations with a high prevalence of that specific gene.

    For example, a HLA gene called B*51 is particularly effective at controlling HIV – unless the virus is carrying an “escape” mutation in its genetic make-up.

    http://www.nature.com/nrg/jour.....g1246.html

    Understaing how avian flu evolves resistance

    The avian flu, an Influenza A subtype dubbed H5N1, is evolving a resistance to a group of antiviral drugs known as adamantanes, one of two classes of antiviral drugs used to prevent and treat flu symptoms. A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the resistance of the avian flu virus to a major class of antiviral drugs is increasing through positive evolutionary selection, with researchers documenting the trend in more than 30 percent of the samples tested.

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r.....61600.html

    Tracing the evolution of Rice

    Scott A. Jackson, a professor of agronomy, said studying the gene that decides how many shoots will form on a rice plant allows researchers to better understand how the gene evolved over time through natural selection and human interaction. Understanding the variations could allow scientists to place genes from wild rice species into domesticated rice to create varieties with more branching, increased plant size or other favorable characteristics.

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E.....ice/21788/

    Understanding Microbial Evolution (many uses)

    By reversing the usual order of enquiry-studying an organism, then trying to identify which genes are involved in a particular function-the scientists hope to hasten the understanding of microbial evolution by taking advantage of the nearly 2,500 microbes already sequenced.

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E...../evolution

    Fighing the Q Fever Pathogen

    Dr. Robert Heinzen, head of the Coxiella Pathogenesis Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, remarked: “Our results suggest that mobile genetic elements have played a major role in the evolution and function of the C. burnetii genome. Recombination between insertion sequence elements or jumping genes appears to have brought about large-scale generation of non-functional genes, a change that may be associated with a more pathogenic lifestyle.”

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E...../evolution

    Understanding how fertilizers shape plant genomes

    Consistent with the predictions of natural selection for N-conservation, the precursors of the
    transcriptome show the greatest deviations from Chargaff’s second parity rule. Furthermore, crops show higher
    N-contents than undomesticated plants, likely due to relaxation of natural selection owing to the use of N-rich
    fertilizers. These findings directly and uniquely link the genomes with the ecosystem context within which biota
    evolve

    http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55500

    http://ecogen.ksu.edu/downloads/Abstracts-2008.pdf

    Feeding the world

    The technique used — precision breeding — uses genomics and molecular biology to pinpoint desirable genetic traits before crossbreeding plants. In 1998 the National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was established to study the genomes of plants to provide a foundation for rapid, fundamental, and novel insights into the means by which plants grow, reproduce, adapt to different and sometimes stressful environments, and help stabilize ecosystems.

    http://www.nationalacademies.o.....90312.html

    Understaind origins of species-specific adaptive traits (better breeding potential)

    Metabolic reconstruction of microbial, plant and animal genomes is a necessary step toward understanding the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits. The aims of this study were to reconstruct conserved metabolic pathways in the cattle genome and to identify metabolic pathways with missing genes and proteins.

    http://7thspace.com/headlines/.....enome.html

    Understanding the evolution of plants

    Novel phenotypes are known to emerge
    from this genomic amalgam, including some with high
    visibility to natural selection, such as organ size and
    flowering time. Thus, polyploidy is a prominent and
    significant force in plant evolution, at temporal scales
    ranging from ancient to contemporary, and with profound
    effects at scales ranging from molecular to ecological.

    http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/fa.....B_2005.pdf

    Understanding Transposons (again, important for food crops)

    Today we know that transposons constitute a large fraction—even a majority—of the DNA in some species of plants and animals, among them mice, humans, and such agriculturally important plants as corn and wheat. Given what we now know about genome organization, it is paradoxical that the discovery of transposable elements lagged so far behind the discovery of the basic laws of genetic transmission. And it is equally curious that even when they were discovered, acceptance of their generality and recognition of their ubiquity came so slowly.

    http://books.nap.edu/openbook......8;page=168

    If you insist on 10 from last year (as some of the above are not) then you’ll have to provide 5 peer reviewed Intelligent Design papers from 2008 also. Not 10. I’m generous like that.

  48. 48
    George L Farquhar

    2nd attempt at posting this, apologies if there is a duplicate but the first attempt did not work for some reason…

    Davescot:

    Escape mutations in HIV:

    mutations that enabled HIV effectively to neutralise the effect of a particular HLA gene were more frequent in populations with a high prevalence of that specific gene.

    For example, a HLA gene called B*51 is particularly effective at controlling HIV – unless the virus is carrying an “escape” mutation in its genetic make-up.

    http://www.nature.com/nrg/jour.....g1246.html

    Understaing how avian flu evolves resistance

    The avian flu, an Influenza A subtype dubbed H5N1, is evolving a resistance to a group of antiviral drugs known as adamantanes, one of two classes of antiviral drugs used to prevent and treat flu symptoms. A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the resistance of the avian flu virus to a major class of antiviral drugs is increasing through positive evolutionary selection, with researchers documenting the trend in more than 30 percent of the samples tested.

    http://www.colorado.edu/news/r.....61600.html

    Tracing the evolution of Rice

    Scott A. Jackson, a professor of agronomy, said studying the gene that decides how many shoots will form on a rice plant allows researchers to better understand how the gene evolved over time through natural selection and human interaction. Understanding the variations could allow scientists to place genes from wild rice species into domesticated rice to create varieties with more branching, increased plant size or other favorable characteristics.

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E.....ice/21788/

    Understanding Microbial Evolution (many uses)

    By reversing the usual order of enquiry-studying an organism, then trying to identify which genes are involved in a particular function-the scientists hope to hasten the understanding of microbial evolution by taking advantage of the nearly 2,500 microbes already sequenced.

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E...../evolution

    Fighing the Q Fever Pathogen

    Dr. Robert Heinzen, head of the Coxiella Pathogenesis Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, remarked: “Our results suggest that mobile genetic elements have played a major role in the evolution and function of the C. burnetii genome. Recombination between insertion sequence elements or jumping genes appears to have brought about large-scale generation of non-functional genes, a change that may be associated with a more pathogenic lifestyle.”

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E...../evolution

    Understanding how fertilizers shape plant genomes

    Consistent with the predictions of natural selection for N-conservation, the precursors of the
    transcriptome show the greatest deviations from Chargaff’s second parity rule. Furthermore, crops show higher
    N-contents than undomesticated plants, likely due to relaxation of natural selection owing to the use of N-rich
    fertilizers. These findings directly and uniquely link the genomes with the ecosystem context within which biota
    evolve

    http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55500

    http://ecogen.ksu.edu/downloads/Abstracts-2008.pdf

    Feeding the world

    The technique used — precision breeding — uses genomics and molecular biology to pinpoint desirable genetic traits before crossbreeding plants. In 1998 the National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was established to study the genomes of plants to provide a foundation for rapid, fundamental, and novel insights into the means by which plants grow, reproduce, adapt to different and sometimes stressful environments, and help stabilize ecosystems.

    http://www.nationalacademies.o.....90312.html

    Understaind origins of species-specific adaptive traits (better breeding potential)

    Metabolic reconstruction of microbial, plant and animal genomes is a necessary step toward understanding the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits. The aims of this study were to reconstruct conserved metabolic pathways in the cattle genome and to identify metabolic pathways with missing genes and proteins.

    http://7thspace.com/headlines/.....enome.html

    Understanding the evolution of plants

    Novel phenotypes are known to emerge
    from this genomic amalgam, including some with high
    visibility to natural selection, such as organ size and
    flowering time. Thus, polyploidy is a prominent and
    significant force in plant evolution, at temporal scales
    ranging from ancient to contemporary, and with profound
    effects at scales ranging from molecular to ecological.

    http://www.eeob.iastate.edu/fa.....B_2005.pdf

    Understanding Transposons (again, important for food crops)

    Today we know that transposons constitute a large fraction—even a majority—of the DNA in some species of plants and animals, among them mice, humans, and such agriculturally important plants as corn and wheat. Given what we now know about genome organization, it is paradoxical that the discovery of transposable elements lagged so far behind the discovery of the basic laws of genetic transmission. And it is equally curious that even when they were discovered, acceptance of their generality and recognition of their ubiquity came so slowly.

    http://books.nap.edu/openbook......8;page=168

    If you insist on 10 from last year (as some of the above are not) then you’ll have to provide 5 peer reviewed Intelligent Design papers from 2008 also. Not 10. I’m generous like that.

  49. 49

    George, you jumped all over bFast’s example, but DaveScott’s challenge has gone unanswered in a very conspicuous way.

  50. 50

    CannuckianYankee writes:
    “I’m just wondering Clive, Let’s say a person such as, oh, PZ Meyers wanted to post here and he kept his language cordial and non-insulting, would he be welcome to post? I would be interested in reading what he has to say without all the hyperbole that is a part of his language in his own blog. I might enjoy seeing how others here would challenge him.”

    I’ll answer that. If PZ — or anyone else — came here and minded his manners, he would be more than welcome. I’m not holding my breath though, because PZ does not appear to be able to rise above adolescent name calling.

  51. Bob O’H said in the linked comment above that he thought his comments have disappeared here. Maybe the comments that got him banned have disappeared but I continually run into his comments on old threads and saw one dated last May just a couple days ago.

    I was never aware that Bob was banned here till someone mentioned it about 6 months ago so I have no idea what got him banned. I believe Bob is an evolutionary biologist working in genetics at an European university.

  52. To the moderators: What is the official policy about getting out of the moderation queue? It is virtually impossible to participate in this forum with the delays this introduces. I assert that I have followed the posted guidelines far better than many others who appear not to have their posts delayed. Please do me the courtesy of explaining your decision.

    JJ

  53. 53

    I was never aware that Bob was banned here till someone mentioned it about 6 months ago so I have no idea what got him banned. I believe Bob is an evolutionary biologist working in genetics at an European university.

    DaveScot may be able to throw light on it. See link in comment #6 for link to Bob O’Hara’s site at Helsinki University;

  54. 54

    George, you jumped all over bFast’s example, but DaveScott’s challenge has gone unanswered in a very conspicuous way.

    Why not let DaveScot start a thread on his challenge, which would avoid off-topic comment in your thread on moderation.

  55. 55

    Arthur, calling Denyse names is abusive, insulting and obscene.

    Clive, I tried searching the site in question, but the facility offered appears unworkable. I scrolled back over as many comments as I could find, and I can’t find any insults to Denyse written by Bob.

    By coincidence I did see Amanda Gefter (writing in this week’s New Scientist) referring to Denyse thusly:

    from the staid…-to the silly-”Yer granny was an ape!” (creationist blogger Denyse O’Leary)

    It seems Denyse is getting noticed!

  56. Folks:

    Let’s translate, thanks to Mr Lewontin:

    [Rob:] “Personally, I trust science more than common sense, but to each his own.”

    H’mm, where did we hear something like that before . .. ?

    Oh, maybe here:

    _________________

    >>Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.>> [NY Review of Books, 1997. (Now made "official" courtesy NAS, NSTA, NCSE, ACLU, judge Jones, etc . . . )]
    _____________________

    There are a few places where tu quoque is not a fallacy, and that the above shows that this is one of them.

    Mr Lewontin’s claim against common sense has implications that I suspect he did not ever realise . . .

    GEM of TKI

  57. 57
    George L Farquhar

    Barry,

    George, you jumped all over bFast’s example, but DaveScott’s challenge has gone unanswered in a very conspicuous way.

    I have in fact hours ago given 10 quick examples, but my posts appear to be held in moderation.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I’ll repost the bulk of it below without the majority of the links, as your system may not like too many links and think I’m a spammer instead. Search the internet for the quoted text to reach the source, that should work.

    Escape mutations in HIV:

    mutations that enabled HIV effectively to neutralise the effect of a particular HLA gene were more frequent in populations with a high prevalence of that specific gene.

    For example, a HLA gene called B*51 is particularly effective at controlling HIV – unless the virus is carrying an “escape” mutation in its genetic make-up.

    Understaing how avian flu evolves resistance

    The avian flu, an Influenza A subtype dubbed H5N1, is evolving a resistance to a group of antiviral drugs known as adamantanes, one of two classes of antiviral drugs used to prevent and treat flu symptoms. A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the resistance of the avian flu virus to a major class of antiviral drugs is increasing through positive evolutionary selection, with researchers documenting the trend in more than 30 percent of the samples tested.

    Tracing the evolution of Rice

    Scott A. Jackson, a professor of agronomy, said studying the gene that decides how many shoots will form on a rice plant allows researchers to better understand how the gene evolved over time through natural selection and human interaction. Understanding the variations could allow scientists to place genes from wild rice species into domesticated rice to create varieties with more branching, increased plant size or other favorable characteristics.

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E.....ice/21788/

    Understanding Microbial Evolution (many uses)

    By reversing the usual order of enquiry-studying an organism, then trying to identify which genes are involved in a particular function-the scientists hope to hasten the understanding of microbial evolution by taking advantage of the nearly 2,500 microbes already sequenced.

    Fighing the Q Fever Pathogen

    Dr. Robert Heinzen, head of the Coxiella Pathogenesis Section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, remarked: “Our results suggest that mobile genetic elements have played a major role in the evolution and function of the C. burnetii genome. Recombination between insertion sequence elements or jumping genes appears to have brought about large-scale generation of non-functional genes, a change that may be associated with a more pathogenic lifestyle.”

    http://www.scientistlive.com/E...../evolution

    Understanding how fertilizers shape plant genomes

    Consistent with the predictions of natural selection for N-conservation, the precursors of the
    transcriptome show the greatest deviations from Chargaff’s second parity rule. Furthermore, crops show higher
    N-contents than undomesticated plants, likely due to relaxation of natural selection owing to the use of N-rich
    fertilizers. These findings directly and uniquely link the genomes with the ecosystem context within which biota
    evolve

    Feeding the world

    The technique used — precision breeding — uses genomics and molecular biology to pinpoint desirable genetic traits before crossbreeding plants. In 1998 the National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) was established to study the genomes of plants to provide a foundation for rapid, fundamental, and novel insights into the means by which plants grow, reproduce, adapt to different and sometimes stressful environments, and help stabilize ecosystems.

    Understaind origins of species-specific adaptive traits (better breeding potential)

    Metabolic reconstruction of microbial, plant and animal genomes is a necessary step toward understanding the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits. The aims of this study were to reconstruct conserved metabolic pathways in the cattle genome and to identify metabolic pathways with missing genes and proteins.

    Understanding the evolution of plants

    Novel phenotypes are known to emerge
    from this genomic amalgam, including some with high
    visibility to natural selection, such as organ size and
    flowering time. Thus, polyploidy is a prominent and
    significant force in plant evolution, at temporal scales
    ranging from ancient to contemporary, and with profound
    effects at scales ranging from molecular to ecological.

    Understanding Transposons (again, important for food crops)

    Today we know that transposons constitute a large fraction—even a majority—of the DNA in some species of plants and animals, among them mice, humans, and such agriculturally important plants as corn and wheat. Given what we now know about genome organization, it is paradoxical that the discovery of transposable elements lagged so far behind the discovery of the basic laws of genetic transmission. And it is equally curious that even when they were discovered, acceptance of their generality and recognition of their ubiquity came so slowly.

    If you insist on 10 from last year (as some of the above are not) then you’ll have to provide 5 peer reviewed Intelligent Design papers from 2008 also. Not 10. I’m generous like that.

  58. Some commenters have raised questions regarding the propriety of recent posts and UD’s moderation policy. UD’s moderation policy is fairly simple: As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want.

    On a small point of order, would it be correct to assume that defamatory comments about the dead will be tolerated, within reason, on the grounds that they cannot be libeled? In other words, contributors can be as rude as they like about Charles Darwin, for example, but attacks on Richard Dawkins should be restricted to his work?

  59. I should add that I, for one, welcome the new, more tolerant moderation policy.

  60. George,

    What are you examples of?

    1-HIV “evolving” in to HIV is accepted by YECs

    2- Avian (or any) flu resistence is also accepted by YECs

    3- YECs also accept tat rice can “evolve” from rice

    As a matter of fact not one of your examples has anything to do with what is being debated.

    I have told you already that “evolution” is NOT being debated.

    That you keep ignoring that says quite a bit about you.

  61. GLF

    ID does not dispute so-called micro-evolution by and necessity nor does it dispute common descent. Perhaps you should read Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” so you know what it is and is not that ID holds and disputes. All of your examples, and I knew they would, fall under the auspices of micro-evolution and/or common descent. You seem to be laboring under the mistaken notion that ID is creation science. It isn’t. Either you’ve been lied to and believed the lie or you know it’s a lie and are just one more dishonest critic who tilts at strawmen.

  62. 62

    Looks like some people have misunderstood the word “useful.”

  63. Arthur Smith, GLF, & others,

    re; a new thread on useful results of evolution theory

    I wrote an article on that very topic just 2 weeks ago.

    Linky Usefulness of Chance & Necessity

  64. 64
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Congratulations on your new moderation policy. There can be a cooperative aspect to even competitive contests (e.g., boxing matches have ground rules that are cooperatively observed) and it will be interesting to observe whether that sort of cooperative/competitive exchange can be sustained at UD.

  65. “useful” as it is usually practiced here refers to the evolution debate. No one has ever disputed the usefulness of micro evolution in medicine, genetics and food production.

    All of George’s examples and their conclusions could have been done by a researcher who espouses ID.

    So the exercise by George has just again supported the ID proposition. He could just as well given us research from particle physics and it would have the same usefullness.

    Actually George’s example are very useful and appreciated. Those who criticize ID have been round here long enough to understand the controversy. Why do you help us so often by showing the ineptness of the side that criticizes ID? The lack of any useful examples in the evolution debate just makes our case stronger.

    So a big thank you to George who has helped the pro ID cause just as all the rest of you anti ID have done when commenting here. I won’t mention you all by name here but you know who you are and we want to thank you too.

  66. FYI,

    I have had one contact from a person who was banned from UD.

    I have started a thread so that I can get a grasp on what he is talking about:

    Christian academics who find the arguments posted on Uncommon Descent unpersuasive

    Please feel free to drop by.

  67. DaveScot @ 60.

    Had a look at the thread. It doesn’t mention a challenge for someone to come up with 10 useful things that evolutionary biologists have “done for us”.

  68. 68
    George L Farquhar

    Davescot,

    Russ said

    But it appears to skeptics that modern evolutionary theory and practice is long on story-telling

    To which I responded

    And yet useful results are generated, daily.

    You then said

    Really? Give me 10 examples from last year. That shouldn’t be challenge since there should be at least 365 to choose from.

    I gave you 10 examples of useful results that come directly from modern evolutionary theory

    Yet you now say

    All of your examples, and I knew they would, fall under the auspices of micro-evolution and/or common descent.

    Perhaps that was predictable. The problem for you is that “modern evolutionary theory” disagrees with you. Modern evolutionary theory says that macroevolution is a fact for one thing.

    just one more dishonest critic who tilts at strawmen.

    You asked for 10 items of use generated by “modern evolutionary theory”. I provide such and you change the goalposts.

    So, you have your 10 examples. Can you give me 1 example of a paper written from an ID perspective that has a useful, pratical result? The examples I gave all did. Do you have an ID example that better explains the observed data then “modern evolutionary theory” does?

    I won’t hold my breath.

    You seem to be laboring under the mistaken notion that ID is creation science.

    You appear to be laboring under the mistaken notion that ID is science. Modern evolutionary theory has provided the 10 examples I gave. Do you have 10 similar examples, from last year, of peer reviewed published ID papers that have results as useful? Or just results at all?

    jerry

    All of George’s examples and their conclusions could have been done by a researcher who espouses ID.

    To me this would indicate that “ID” has a serious problem.

    If all the varied examples I gave could have come from a researcher who espouses ID then what, exactly, differentiates ID from “modern evolutionary theory”?

    Your “ID theory” seems to explain every result. I could post 100 examples and you would say the same. A theory that explains everything explains nothing.

    Give me a single, similar example to the 10 I gave that explains something better then modern evolutionary theory does.

  69. “Had a look at the thread. It doesn’t mention a challenge for someone to come up with 10 useful things that evolutionary biologists have “done for us”.

    Arthur joins the list of those helping ID.

    Arthur, do you think in your vivid imagination that if George could find something that would discredit ID and support the naturalistic origin of complex novel capabilities, that he would not have included it. No, he would have included it in a nano second and touted it for the rest of the month. And you would be there cheering him on.

    George and Arthur, thank you. It’s so easy.

  70. 70
    George L Farquhar

    Joseph

    What are you examples of?

    I said “yet useful results are generated, daily by modern evolutionary theory.

    Davescot asked me to name 10.

    I did so.

    That’s what my examples were about.

    1-HIV “evolving” in to HIV is accepted by YECs

    2- Avian (or any) flu resistence is also accepted by YECs

    3- YECs also accept tat rice can “evolve” from rice

    YEC?

    Davescot just said

    You seem to be laboring under the mistaken notion that ID is creation science. It isn’t. Either you’ve been lied to and believed the lie or you know it’s a lie and are just one more dishonest critic who tilts at strawmen.

    Who has been lying to you Joseph? Did you mean to put “ID” there instead of YEC?

    And in any case, one of my examples addressed

    evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits.

    And I’m quite sure YEC would dispute that? Odd how you did not mention that particular example. After all, YEC holds that nothing significant (much less species-specific adaptive traits or metabolisms) evolved, they were directly created, right?

    Address that example from your YEC perspective please.

  71. I suspect that this will be my last post for a good while, since other obligations have placed new demands on my time. Still, a few points about moderation cry out for attention.

    For the most part, ID critics come here to put our sensibilities on trial and, for the most part, they never allow us to put their sensibilities on trial. Almost always, it is they who scrutinize, and almost always, it is we who get scrutinized. They play the tune; we dance.

    Occasionally, though, we offer a thread that provides us with the opportunity to turn the tables and do our own round of cross examination. We play the music and ask the Darwinists to dance. Almost invariably, they recognize that they cannot defend their position, so they reframe the issue, and change the music. Suddenly, the ID community is dancing again.

    Point number 1. Comments that are not related to the theme of the thread ought to be deleted or at least challenged for appropriateness.

    Example [A] As it stands, we are closing in on five-hundred comments on the thread concerning, “skepticism.” If ever there was a subject about which Darwinists and atheists are vulnerable, it is that subject. But that subject is not under discussion. Once again, Darwinists are playing anti-ID music and, once again, ID defenders are dancing.

    Example: [B] What is this thread about? Ostensibly, it is about moderation, but if you look a little closer, you will discover that Darwinists have changed the music, and, once again, the ID contingent is dancing and defending ID principles. It happend at comment number 7. (“How’s ID doing in forums where there are official judges, like peer review and the courtroom?”) What does that have to do with moderation policy? Nothing. Still, once again, Darwinists are putting our feet to the fire, and, once again, they are feeling no heat themselves.

    Point number 2. One way Darwinists keep us dancing is by refusing to answer important questions, and returning a question with a question. I submit that everyone should be required to answer any honest question in a timely way or be removed from the thread. In my time, I have asked hundreds of decisive questions that have gone unanswered. Rather than confront them, Darwinists disengage and find cover by leaping on to another subject more to their liking on the same thread.

    Point number 3. Our new moderation policy may well change the balance of comments.

    Under the circumstances, I suspect that Darwinists will soon outnumber ID advocates on this site. If they flood cyberspace by providing two or three times as much sophistry as we provide information, onlookers will be tempted to think that the sophists have more to say. That problem will be compounded if they play all the music and we do all the dancing.

    To sum up: I support open dialogue, but I think that we should keep the irrelevancies and evasions to a minimum. Yes, I agree with Barry that truth is on our side, but I also believe that perceptions often matter more that facts. In fact, I know that to be the case. So, let’s be as fair with ourselves as we are with our adversary.

  72. George,

    ID subsumes most of the modern evolutionary theory. Where it differs with nearly all evolutionary biologists is in the origin of FCSI.

    So when you provide examples of micro evolution you are preaching to the choir.

  73. 73
    George L Farquhar

    jerry

    Arthur, do you think in your vivid imagination that if George could find something that would discredit ID and support the naturalistic origin of complex novel capabilities, that he would not have included it.

    I believe you’ll find the onus is on you to support your case, not the other way round.

    If the best you can say for ID is “well, it’s not disproven” then it’s not really science is it?

    Proved any black swans don’t exist lately?

    support the naturalistic origin of complex novel capabilities

    In any case, one of the examples I gave related to the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits. Does that or does it not support the naturalistic origin of complex novel capabilities?

    Does it has to be spoonfed to you? I’m perhaps not too surprised that you don’t look too closely into areas that could potentially disprove your cherished beliefs.

  74. 74
    George L Farquhar

    jerry

    ID subsumes most of the modern evolutionary theory. Where it differs with nearly all evolutionary biologists is in the origin of FCSI.

    Does it really? How convenient. As noted in a different thread FCSI is an invention of Kariosfocus and probably 99% of evolutionary biologists have never even heard of it.

    Sure, the origin of lifes complexity is something to be explained.

    However, all I’ve heard so far is the impossibility of a natural origin for such information. I’ve heard exactly zero about it’s intelligent designed origin, apart from “well, as it’s obvious that it’s not possible to originate naturally it must be intelligent design”.

    Can you help me?

    So when you provide examples of micro evolution you are preaching to the choir.

    Once again, I repeat myself. Once of the examples I gave spoke to the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits.

    Hardly “micro-evolution” is it? How does intelligent design explain the origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits, exactly?

  75. George,

    I suggest you read a biology textbook. Then go to the Central Dogma theory of Crick. That is FSCI. The concept of FSCI is all over microbiology. They just do not call it that. If you want we can call it the GLF theory of nucleotide protein association.

    “Once again, I repeat myself. Once of the examples I gave spoke to the evolutionary origins of metabolism and species-specific adaptive traits.”

    If it happened, then ID will accept it. Is that hard to understand? What is the cite for this example so we can see what the findings are for the research?

    And for those interested, go to Larry Moran’s site on evolution and specifically the discussion of the modern synthesis. What ID disputes with this is how all new species arise. ID does not dispute how some new species arise but does not accept how all have arisen in the microbe to man scenario. Here is the link

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2.....hesis.html

    Follow all his internal links if you want and see what you can bring up as ammunition against ID but remember that ID subsumes most of the modern synthesis. It is an interesting site. By the way Larry Moran is a vehemently anti ID evolutionary biologist but like all the rest tries to shoot ID down based on the false assumption that ID is the same as creationism or is creationism repackaged.

    It is interesting how those who come here try to impose their perceptions of ID on us and then demand we accept their erroneous perceptions when we complain that they are barking up the wrong tree. Doesn’t that sound imperious if not stupid.

  76. George and others,

    While you are thrashing about trying to understand what ID is about, maybe you should read a summary of what I understand the debate is about and have not found anyone here to dispute it.

    here is the link to something written 3 months ago

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-299358

    There is another long comment somewhere in the last 6 months which I am trying to find which will also add some light on the debate for those who are interested. When I find it, I will link to it.

  77. 77
    George L Farquhar

    jerry

    That is FSCI. The concept of FSCI is all over microbiology. They just do not call it that.

    Then one wonders why you don’t just use their terms instead of inventing your own, if they do indeed mean the same thing.

    What benefit does it do you to invent your own terms when they already exist, for the same thing?

    If it happened, then ID will accept it. Is that hard to understand?

    Yet ID says that this level of complexity cannot evolve. If the things we’re talking about can evolve without intelligent input then what relevance does ID have?

    What is the cite for this example so we can see what the findings are for the research?

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....9-3-33.pdf

    What ID disputes with this is how all new species arise.

    ID might indeed dispute that, but what does ID add to the dicussion other then saying “it could not have happened like that”. Any information on how you say it did happen? I’m not interested in purely negative argumentation I’ve afraid.

    ID subsumes most of the modern synthesis.

    Even if the modern synthesis explicitly rejects the notion that intelligent design is a required input?

    It is interesting how those who come here try to impose their perceptions of ID on us and then demand we accept their erroneous perceptions when we complain that they are barking up the wrong tree.

    I’m not demanding anything of the sort. What I am asking is what relation ID has to the types of examples that I gave. Does it remain silent on such?

    You have your link
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....9-3-33.pdf

    Now, tell me what ID can contribute to our understanding of the subject of that paper.

  78. 78
    George L Farquhar

    jerry

    While you are thrashing about trying to understand what ID is about

    I think I understand exactly what ID is about, thanks.

    How about you pony up some actual evidence?

    The comment you linked to says

    The first tier is the origin of life or how did a cell and DNA, RNA and proteins arise. Quite a sticky issue with no sensible answer by science. Lots of speculation and wishful thinking but nothing that makes sense.

    How does ID say DNA, RNA, protens etc arise?

    It is silent on the matter.

    The next tier I will call the evolution of single celled organisms.

    What does ID contribute to the question?

    It is silent on the matter.

    . How, did brains, limbs, digestive systems, neurological systems arise and all the complex signaling systems between cells and organs. These are immensely complicated but get little discussion except it all happened over time.

    What does ID say on these matters?

    It is silent.

    how did one species arise from another species when there are substantial functional differences between them.

    What does ID say about how species arose? It says nothing.

    This is how did a lot of the orders and families develop? For example, within Carnivora how did all the families arise?

    Does ID say “this is how the orders and families developed?”

    No, it does not. It is slient on the matter.

    The final tier is what Darwin observed on his trip on the Beagle and what most of evolutionist are talking about when they think evolution, namely micro-evolution and can be explained by basic genetics, occasional mutations, environmental pressures and of course, natural selection. Few disagree on this fifth tier including those who call themselves Intelligent Design proponents yet this is where all the evidence is that is used to persuade everyone that Darwinism is a valid theory.

    Hardly. As ID says nothing about how any of your noted “tiers” came to be (other then gosh, it’s so complex Darwinism could not have done it on it’s own) how is it that the last “tier” should disprove or prove Darwinism.

    It’s obvious that the data on each of the “tiers” you talk about has actually come from darwinist scientists. As, if you recall there are no ID scientists due to repression etc.

    So on the one hand you have ID, which cannot speak to how any item in any “tier” came to be.

    On the other hand you have “darwinism” which attempts to explain and provide evidence (and has done so with great or lesser sucess in all your “tiers”) and is a more or less unified framework (with large amounts of disagreement internally on the exact mechanisms).

    So, on the one had we have an evidence free theory and on the other we have a theory with lots of evidence.

    Yet you still believe in the evidence free theory.

    Why is that jerry? If you were placing a bet would you bet on the side that had no evidence for it’s position?

  79. DaveScot:

    People trust medical doctors because they can get sued and lose their license if they screw up.

    Tell that to russ@33. Medical practitioners range from brilliant to looney tunes. I’m talking about trusting established medical science.

    What happens to a tenured evolutionary biologist if he’s wrong?

    I’d imagine that researchers who prove incompetent in their field will, at the very least, have a hard time finding collaborators and funding. If tenure removed all motivation to produce quality work, all scholarly disciplines would be in big trouble, not just evolutionary biology.

    By the way, what grade are you in?

    Tell you what, Dave. I brought up a couple of points in a previous thread:

    You seem to think that descriptional complexity contributes to an inference of design, but Dembski’s math says the opposite.

    and

    Dave, I thought that you were open to the possibility that intelligence reduces to the laws of physics. (Maybe I misunderstood some of your previous posts.) If so, wouldn’t that mean that intelligence reduces to chance and necessity?

    which you promptly deleted. (Apparently not all posters here are as confident as Barry when it comes to open debate.) Respond to those points and I’ll respond to your question.

  80. George,

    You are getting like a broken record which is an anarchism these days. I have already told you that there are tens of thousand of ID research projects going on by ID proxies. Every research study which fails to show support for the macro evolution part of the evolutionary synthesis is research that supports ID. The basis for this claim is the thinking of Behe in the Edge of Evolution.

    You can bluster on but that is what it is, blustering. When a series of studies comes along that is not speculation and shows how complex novel capabilities arose naturally, then evolutionary biologists will have the right to use all of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis as part of their science. Until that day, they must admit it is not scientifically based.

    You don’t seem to understand. It is the evolutionary synthesis that is on trial. We want empirical evidence. If it existed, then we would all go away. The fact that you and others fail to provide it just makes our case stronger.

    I also suggest you deal with one point at a time. You seem to think that make multiple claims makes your case stronger but in reality it makes it weaker because you cannot focus. Pick your strongest example of empirical research and go with it. But you now know what ID believes so make sure it is not something we will agree with.

  81. George:

    After all, YEC holds that nothing significant (much less species-specific adaptive traits or metabolisms) evolved, they were directly created, right?

    Wrong.

    According to YECs the organisms we observe “evolved” from the originally created kind.

    There is a science called baraminology.

    Perhaps you should look into it.

    Also Dr Spetner has a book titled “Not By Chance” that also explains the Creation position.

    That said perhaps you can tell us which one of your examples relies on the accumulation of genetic accidents.

    As a matter of fact I didn’t see one example you provided that YECs dispute.

    And I don’t have a “YEC perspective”.

    I just know what YECs say because I have read enough of their material.

    THAT is how it is done:

    FIRST read and understand the position which you are arguing against-

    THEN come to a discussion ready to go.

    YOU don’t seem to understand what the alternatives are saying. And to prove that you provided examples that no one disputes.

    You are in good company- Allen MacNeill does the same thing.

  82. George:

    I think I understand exactly what ID is about, thanks.

    All evidence to the contrary, of course.

    How about you pony up some actual evidence?

    Transcription, proof-reading, error-correction, editing, more proof-reading and error-correction, translation with its proof-reading and error-correction.

    What part oif that strikes you as being from an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    The you list some stuff and expect ID to hacve the answers when YOUR positiopn doesn’t have any of the answers!

    How does YOUR position say DNA, RNA, protens etc arise?

    No idea.

    Origin of species?

    No idea.

    So what does saying an accumulation of genetic accidents add to the discussion?

    IOW all you have is “it evolved” and nothing more.

  83. Science by induction i.e empirical science is trying to find patterns from gathered data. As it happens the amount of data that we can analyze however is infinite in length. So even if we find some pattern in the data certainly doesn’t make something a fact even if all experiments points to that conclusion. So Georges comment “Modern evolutionary theory says that macroevolution is a fact for
    one thing.” is logically wrong in all counts. This really shows poor understanding on what empirical science can do and cannot do.
    The strongest conclusion empirical science can do is “all data (X) gathered this far indicates a pattern (P) which points to a conclusion (Y).

  84. George,

    eintown doesn’t seem to be able to answer the following questions.

    Perhaps you can:

    How the heck can one test the premise that the flagellum arose via an accumulation of genetic acidents?

    What is the hypothesis for such a premise?

    If you cannot answer them then perhaps you will see the emptyness your position offers.

  85. Joseph @ 79

    How the heck can one test the premise that the flagellum arose via an accumulation of genetic acidents?

    Since it is unlikely that such event will have left a trail of evidence in the fossil record, the only other possibility would be to try to replicate the process in the laboratory. This might take a long time although that would not, in itself, be a reason for not trying.

    Wouldn’t this be the ideal sort of research for ID scientists to carry out, though? If they failed to find any evidence that that flagella-less bacteria could evolve one under suitable environmental pressures, wouldn’t that tend to support Behe’s claim?

    What is the hypothesis for such a premise?

    I would have thought that was obvious. It is the alternative hypothesis to Behe’s flat denial that it could have happened at all. It is based on observations of how living things can change over time, such as bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics or the capacity to digest nylon.

    If you cannot answer them then perhaps you will see the emptyness your position offers.

    Evolutionary biology has accumulated an abundance of evidence from many fields consistent with a theory which explains how living things could have changed over time without requiring the intervention of an intelligent agent: Tiktaalik, the bacterial changes mentioned above, the peppered moth, the finches beaks, transitional fossils, some in nice sequences in the geological record to name just a few.

    Intelligent Design accepts what it calls micro-evolution and common descent but claims that major changes like speciation cannot be accounted for by the theory of evolution and can only be explained by the intervention of an unspecified intelligent agent. The only evidence offered is highly-controversial estimates of probability and the despairing argument from incredulity. It also offers a method of distinguishing what is designed from what is not designed but that has yet to be tested.

    Onlookers will decide for themselves which is the emptier case.

    The fact is that a lack of evidence from an area where you would not expect to find any evidence really tells us very little. If there is no ‘watermark’ in our genome which reads “Made in Heaven. Use by 43567895 AD” it does not mean there is no God. Neither does the lack of a detailed genetic pathway leading step-by-step from the Type III secretory system to the bacterial flagellum mean it did not happen or that the whole theory of evolution is overturned by its absence.

  86. DaveScot (#58): “ID does not dispute so-called micro-evolution by and necessity nor does it dispute common descent.”

    Utterly false.

    Your definition of “ID” is based upon the desire of one person—Michael Behe—to not be perceived as a Creationist.

    The concept seen in “Intelligent Design” always presupposes agency accomplished by the power of Mind. There is no source for any Divine Mind producing nature by the concepts seen in “evolution” or “common ancestry.” These concepts, that is, the concepts of “evolution” and “common ancestry” were accepted on the basis that Intelligent agency is absent from reality—that is why the concept of evolution is necessary to explain reality. IF ID is true, that is, if Intelligent agency is operating in reality, and the all the evidence says it is, then we cannot explain reality using the terms and phrases (“evolution” and “common ancestry”) that presuppose the absence of Intelligent agency.

    Your definition of “ID” is subjective.

    Ray

  87. 87
    George L Farquhar

    Joseph

    How the heck can one test the premise that the flagellum arose via an accumulation of genetic acidents?

    Can you be a bit more specific?
    I mean, there are many types of flagellum.

    There is no “the flagellum”. You are sadly mistaken if you think there is only 1.

    What do you make of papers such as this?

    Bacterial Flagella and Type III Secretion: Case Studies in the Evolution of Complexity.

    Bacterial flagella at first sight appear uniquely sophisticated in structure, so much so that they have even been considered ‘irreducibly complex’ by the intelligent design movement. However, a more detailed analysis reveals that these remarkable pieces of molecular machinery are the product of processes that are fully compatible with Darwinian evolution. In this chapter we present evidence for such processes, based on a review of experimental studies, molecular phylogeny and microbial genomics. Several processes have played important roles in flagellar evolution: self-assembly of simple repeating subunits, gene duplication with subsequent divergence, recruitment of elements from other systems (‘molecular bricolage’), and recombination. We also discuss additional tentative new assignments of homology (FliG with MgtE, FliO with YscJ). In conclusion, rather than providing evidence of intelligent design, flagellar and non-flagellar Type III secretion systems instead provide excellent case studies in the evolution of complex systems from simpler components.

    I realise it’s from 2007 so it may not be quite as up to date as you need.

    It’s here

    http://tinyurl.com/bb6824

    Are you up to speed on all the recent developments in this area?

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/17/7116

    There appear to be many such resources available, if you are truly interested in answering your own question

    http://www.pnas.org/search?ful.....submit=yes

    Have a look the first paper I linked to, perhaps we could talk about your thoughts on why it does not meet your standard (which I predict it will not)?

  88. 88

    Arthur joins the list of those helping ID.

    Arthur, do you think in your vivid imagination that if George could find something that would discredit ID and support the naturalistic origin of complex novel capabilities, that he would not have included it. No, he would have included it in a nano second and touted it for the rest of the month. And you would be there cheering him on.

    George and Arthur, thank you. It’s so easy.

    Jerry, I am flattered that you respond to my post. I wonder whether you need me to reply as you are gifted with the ability to read minds.

    Anyway, just a couple of points.

    First:

    My comment was to suggest to DaveScot that it might make sense to have another thread on the subject of “10 useful things evolutionary biology has done for us” or some such, thus keeping Barry’s important statement on moderation policy undiluted. The clue was in the opening; i. e. “@ DaveScot”

    Second:

    If I thought someone were undermining their position and strengthening mine by their actions, and I were interested in furthering my own view at all costs (even at the expense of truth), I wouldn’t point it out to them.

  89. How the heck can one test the premise that the flagellum arose via an accumulation of genetic acidents?

    Can you be a bit more specific?
    I mean, there are many types of flagellum.

    Pick one. I am leaving it all up to you.

    What do you make of papers such as this?

    Bacterial Flagella and Type III Secretion: Case Studies in the Evolution of Complexity.

    Besides the FACT that “evolution” is not being debated?

    Does the phrase “designed to evolve” mean anything to you?

    Have you had any experience with a TARGETED search program?

    Then there is one peer-reviewed paper showing how difficult it is to break Dr Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” and you want us to believe that an UNtargeted search- a search for something that never existed in the population- can occur in less time than a relatively simple two mutation accumulation?

    All via UNGUIDED processes?

    So what I make of papers such as those is this:

    They are an attempt to answer a question via imagination rather than demonstration.

    Meta-information- that is what ID answers and you cannot.

    Meta-information is that which is NOT reducible to matter and energy, nor chance and necessity.

    But anyway I will have a more thorough review of the first paper tomorrow.

    And I bet the only “standards” it meets are the “standards” of those wed to the anti-ID position.

    Yet when asked for a demonstration- an actual demonstration, not just what can be put on paper- for cumulative selection, nothing measuring up to much is presented.

    And as I have already said- Dr Spetner addressed gene duplication, transposons, and several other mechanisms as part of his non-random evolutionary hypothesis.

    1997 “Not By Chance”

    Read it and then you may be able to grasp what is being debated.

    Nothing has seemed to work so far…

    Designed to evolve

    vs

    evolved via an accumulation of genetic accidents

  90. George,

    This is TOO funny to pass up-

    The second paper you linked to is titled:

    Stepwise formation of the bacterial flagellar system

    There is no “the flagellum”- George

    But I take it there is “the bacterial flagellar system”!

  91. seversky:

    Wouldn’t this be the ideal sort of research for ID scientists to carry out, though? If they failed to find any evidence that that flagella-less bacteria could evolve one under suitable environmental pressures, wouldn’t that tend to support Behe’s claim?

    No it is an experiment tat evolutionists should be doing to demonstrate THEIR claim.

    If an IDist did it and it didn’t come out how you liked you would just claim we cheated.

    However you bring up a point- If Behe genetically engineers a flagellum would that count for ID?

    Intelligent Design accepts what it calls micro-evolution and common descent but claims that major changes like speciation cannot be accounted for by the theory of evolution and can only be explained by the intervention of an unspecified intelligent agent.

    No intervention is required.

    Just the right target-driven genetic programming and the right resources to trigger the right epigenetic systems.

    And again evidence for ID is observed in transcription, proof-reading, error-correction, editing- have you seen the splicesosome and ribosome in action?

    Ribosomes have been synthesized but they don’t function.

    Do you want to know why?

    They aren’t programmed.

    And evolutionary biology doesn’t have any evidence for cumulative selection.

    It is having a tough time trying to get two cumulative mutations never-mind anything beyond that.

    So if all of life’s diversity can be explained by two or less muations, then your position may work.

    Good luck with that…

  92. George,

    Your third link is just more of “evolution flagellum”.

    You have been told several times now that “evolution” is not being debated and you still continue with the same comical nonsense.

    You think KF’s credibility is lacking because of one alleged mistake, but what does this tactic say about you?

    Truly pathetic and really very much like Zachriel.

    From your posts you are either Zachriel or someone who wants to be Zachriel.

    Pathetic indeed…

  93. StephenB in #71

    Thank you for that post. Great insights. And “on topic”, even! Sorry you’ll be leaving (for now?)

  94. re: post 71

    Maybe we need a code word/phrase to flag StephenB’s “Darwinists-can’t-dance-to-this-tune-so-IDists-are-letting-them-play” phenomenon.

    It is rather like a burglar throwing a guard dog a piece of meat to distract him from his duty. I confess to having chased the pork chop instead of the prowler.

  95. Moderators (and Joseph):

    Joseph [thanks!], re 92:

    [To GLF:] You think KF’s credibility is lacking because of one alleged mistake, but what does this tactic say about you?

    Of course — and Moderators, directly relevant to the moderation policy — what GLF does not say is:

    1 –> In the Scepticism thread, 336, GLF quotemined my remarks (he obviously knows that few people follow up links . . . ) in an earlier thread at the outset. [Cf his 336 and my 402 and 404 and 407 here. On the substantial point cf my 346 - 7.]

    2 –> His rhetorical tactics, now repeated in multiple threads — sadly — are indeed as Stephen summarised at 71: selectively hyprerskeptical red herrings that distract the thread from its key issue, led out to strawmen soaked in ad hominems and ignited to further distract attention, and cloud and choke the atmosphere with polarisation and a host of unjustified, uncivil immoral equivalency claims or insinuations.

    3 –> In this case, in the already linked thread he without justification cleverly insinuates [carefully chosen word] not merely that I have made “mistakes” — NB: as my latest correction to JT at 497 – 8 shows the best explanation of Weasel circa 1986 is that it carries out targetted, hot/cold reward non functional configs with v slight increments search, still best explained by explicit latching [with implicit quasi-latching the second best explanation], i.e. Weasel is an example of ID, not evo by RV + NS — but that I am a willful deceiver and stubborn in defense of error and falsehood. Nowhere has he retracted such despite much good evidence that his insinuation is flat wrong. [That he foolishly put up US$ 100k may have something to do with the above. I have shown from Dawkins' mouth in Blind Watchmaker and a New Scientist article, both as cited and easily accessible online, that Weasel is the precise kind of targetted search that i described in the original, quote-mined thread (cf 107 and 111 there, esp. as excerpted at 404 in the sceptics tread) is a strawman distractor from the challenge of getting to bio-function by a BLIND watchmaker highlighted by Hoyle, and that the observed 1986 printoffs beyond reasonable [but of course not beyond selective hypersketpicism adn its typical endless ill-founded objections] doubt exhibit latching of outputs, which still is best explained by explicit or implicit latching a la T2 or T3. The 1987 program that does NOT exhibit latching, is significantly different in its behaviour from the published record on the 1986 one. (this I discuss yet again in my latest correctives to JT and DK at 497 – 8.)]

    4 –> In this context of red herrings, strawmen, turnabout insinuations and attempted immoral equivalency, GLF now seems to be trying to broadcast a tendentious and unwarranted claim as if it establishes a fact.

    5 –> This is similar to his attempt to dismiss the significance of the underlying issue on Weasel: the unmet search challenge posed by FSCI. (GLF’s tendency to speak of the evolutionary materialist attempted reconstruction of a distant, unobserved and unrepeatable past as if it were a “fact” is also suggestive of an underlying lack of appreciation for the material difference between claims [especially tendentious ones] and facts. Indeed, it is diagnostic of the conjoined selective hyperskepticism towards inconvenient and reasonably well warranted fact that is inconvenient, and hyper credulity towards unsupported claims that one is inclined to accept.)

    6 –> This note therefore seeks to point out that uncorrected, tolerated false insinuation or claims may well be perceived by the naive onlooker as the truth (and, one cannot spend all one’s time tracking down every assertion all over UD much less the wider Internet). So, tendentious and distractive or atmosphere poisoning agitprop can easily triumph over truth by drowning it out and obfuscating it in a cloud of noxious polarisation, once ad hominems are tolerated.

    7 –> The remedy seems plain: once a thread hijack red herring is raised, it should be corrected,and if insisted upon, cut off.

    8 –> If ad hominems are resorted to, they should be corrected and if unapologised for, cut off — once they are irrelevant or unwarranted or uncharitable. And on this one GLF tried to make an immoral equivalency claim between his uncharitable remarks to another person, and my characterisation of selective hyperskepticism [an ideological abstract entity] as an intellectual disease that is in a runaway and probably fatal epidemic across our civilisation; with people afflicted with it seen as VICTIMS. Dire prognosis notwithstanding, I am still trying, as I believe in miracles, even last minute ones. (I note, Clive has already warned GLF on uncharitable tone and comment towards another UD commenter.)

    9 –> Similarly, if commenters show unresponsiveness to basic correctives on ID 101 facts, that behaviour should be corrected. Insistence on misinformation and misrepresentations [i.e. strawman arguments] should be in particular, strongly corrected. A three strikes and you’re out policy on this may be appropriate. (This is very different from showing well-warranted flaws in the Weak Arguments Correctives, which are EXPLICITLY open to such corrections on the merits.)

    10 –> In general, I think we need to insist that discussion on UD, to be productive, targets the merits of fact and good reasoning, i.e critically aware dialogue on comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power, towards the truth; not the rhetorical games of debate in the too often justified bad sense of that term.
    ___________

    Thanks again Joseph for watching my 6.

    GEM of TKI

  96. 96

    Kariosfocus:

    Did you view the clip of Dawkins demonstrating his “weasel” program?
    Link

  97. Arthur:

    I am having to correct you a second time in a matter of minutes on propagation of a false insinuation.

    If you had taken time to actually read 497 – 8 in the other thread [less thant he 10 minutes I spent on Dawkins' video] — and as I pointed to above here — you will see that I took the time to watch Dawkins in 1987, and observed on the key points of contrast to the 1986 situation.

    had you read above in this one, you would see that one of my concerns on moderation is that false claims with adverse implications or insinuations are being propagated from omne place to another.

    You have, within minutes, substantiated my concern.

    For shame!

    GEM of TKI

    PS: There is a duty of care on FAIRNESS of comment.

  98. 98

    I am merely asking if you watched the Dawkins video? How on Earth can that be construed as unfair. You are at liberty to answer or not as you choose. I am just curious; It is no big deal.

    Perhaps the problem that we do not appear to communicate well is not only limited to my poor reading skills.

  99. Arthur:

    Back and forth it seems.

    Ever so sadly so.

    Arthur, let me spell it out: In my comments I gave clear evidence at 497 – 8 that I had wasted 10 minutes of my time watching BBC Horizon 1987, and spotting the differences between Weasel 1986 and Weasel 1987. AFTER that was up, you directly implied that I had not watched it.

    And AFTER I corrected you, you went right back and insisted there ["fair enough"] that I have not seen it. That dieectly — and falsely — implies that I am a liar, and a stupid one.

    Whether by intent or by negligence, that is slander, and slander that serves to add to a slanderous insinuation by another whom I am directly remarking on above here in this thread.

    Please, stop it. Right now.

    GEM of TKI

  100. 100

    Kariosfocus,

    I repeat I am sorry if any of my comments seem to imply you are a stupid liar. I again unreservedly apologize for any offense.

    None was intended

  101. Looking at the 1987 video, it is clear that correct letter selections are occasionally replaced with incorrect letters and then, subsequently, the correct letter is re-selected. This is conclusive evidence that latching was not employed in the WEASEL program in that year.

    Dawkins denies that latching was ever part of the program. The only evidence for the hypothesis that it was are the printouts of short sequences of character strings selected by the program from an earlier run which appear to exhibit latching behavior.

    This leaves us with three possible explanations: first, that Dawkins forgot that he had included latching behavior in his original program, second, that he is lying about it or, third, that the appearance of latching is just that, a consequence of the fact that the reprinted sequences are too short to show correct choices being deselected.

    Dawkins being nothing if not meticulous in these matters it is unlikely that he forgot and, presumably, it would be easy enough for him to check the original code if he felt any uncertainty. He has also never, to my knowledge, been caught in a lie. This leaves the third explanation as the most likely, in my view, but we cannot know for certain.

    The simplest solution would be to obtain a copy of the original code and run it to see if it exhibits latching behavior. Another approach, which I believe has already been adopted, is to write a new program for the same purpose but which specifically excludes any form of latching behavior.

    Either way, the fact remains that Dawkins never claimed anything more for the WEASEL program that that it was an illustration of the advantage of cumulative selection over random searching.

  102. 102
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry at 72 and 75:

    ID subsumes most of the modern evolutionary theory. Where it differs with nearly all evolutionary biologists is in the origin of FCSI.

    remember that ID subsumes most of the modern synthesis.

    “Subsumes” requires disambiguation. From Darwin forward evolutionary theory has ENTAILED common descent and ‘microevolution’ (as well as an old earth), in the sense that the failure to observe any of these would have falsified Darwin’s model of descent with modification.

    ID does not entail common descent, microevolution, or an old earth in this sense. What you really mean to say is that ID is silent on these questions and that, unlike contemporary evolutionary theory, ID has nothing to contribute with respect to many hugely important questions WRT the history of life on earth. Nor, unlike evolutionary theory, can it be falsified by observations in these domains.

    It is therefore misleading to claim that contemporary evolutionary theory and ID are equivalent with respect to observations in these domains. Evolutionary theory entails common descent and microevoution; ID does not.

  103. 103

    R. Martinez [86]

    Your definition of “ID” is based upon the desire of one person—Michael Behe—to not be perceived as a Creationist.

    The concept seen in “Intelligent Design” always presupposes agency accomplished by the power of Mind. There is no source for any Divine Mind producing nature by the concepts seen in “evolution” or “common ancestry.” These concepts, that is, the concepts of “evolution” and “common ancestry” were accepted on the basis that Intelligent agency is absent from reality—that is why the concept of evolution is necessary to explain reality. IF ID is true, that is, if Intelligent agency is operating in reality, and the all the evidence says it is, then we cannot explain reality using the terms and phrases (”evolution” and “common ancestry”) that presuppose the absence of Intelligent agency.

    Well said. Although I think it is unfair to blame only Behe for that philosophical error, your reference reminded me of what he said in 2007:

    http://calitreview.com/260

    I would suggest that Richard Dawkins re-read my book. In it I clearly state that random evolution works well up to the species level, perhaps to the genus and family level too. But at the level of vertebrate classes (birds, fish, etc), the molecular developmental programs needed would be beyond the edge of evolution.

    How can Behe or anyone set limits to the power of the designer? The power to design and create a vertebrate class entails the power to design species, genera, families, etc. (To say nothing of phyla and life itself.)

  104. Reciprocating_Bill,

    The theory of evolution REQUIRES an old Earth.

    Unfortunately for the theory 4.5 billion years does not seem to be enough.

    Also the theory of evolution doesn’t have anything to contribute besides slight modification- oscillating modifications- of some already present population.

    That said to falsify ID in the domain of evolution all one has to do is demonstrate that the organism/ obeject/ event in question can be reduced to matter and energy.

    ID says if design is determined then that in question cannot be reduced to matter and energy.

  105. 105
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Joseph @ 104 -

    The theory of evolution REQUIRES an old Earth.

    Unfortunately for the theory 4.5 billion years does not seem to be enough.

    This doesn’t speak to my point. My point is that the entailments of evolutionary theory include common descent, microevolution, and an old earth. ID has no such entailments vis these topics. Therefore evolutionary theory and ID are NOT equivalent in this specific regard.

    As you indicated, evolutionary theory requires (entails) an old earth. Indeed, Darwin was troubled by Thompson’s/Kelvin’s estimate, which was much briefer (a few tens of millions of years) than the several hundred million years that Darwin felt his mechanism required. Darwin proved correct (in spades) and Kelvin was wrong.

    Whether 4,500 periods of one million years is “enough” is another question. It is approximately ten times the interval Darwin felt his theory entailed. Had Kevin been right, Darwin would certainly have conceded that his theory had been refuted.

    ID does not “subsume” the contemporary age of the earth in the sense that it has similar entailments. It is entirely silent on the question. No finding regarding the age of the earth has bearing upon ID’s claims.

    The two theoretical views stand in similar relation vis common descent and microevolution.

  106. “It is therefore misleading to claim that contemporary evolutionary theory and ID are equivalent with respect to observations in these domains. Evolutionary theory entails common descent and microevolution; ID does not.”

    If ID is going to comment on evolution and evolution is the main reason for the ID movement to exist, then it cannot dodge what are the obvious scientific facts about this area. If it tries to dodge the obvious then the claims that it is nothing but creationism in disguise will ring true. The Darwinists who claim that eventually their research will show how complex novel capabilities arose via natural means should be encouraged to continue their research. And so should the creationist be so encouraged to do their own research. But each group’s research in this area should be criticized. As of now ID should be on record that each group’s research is highly suspect. The creationist research has a wide range of research dealing with the world and universe and much of it is highly suspect and ID should say so.

    So ID should divorce itself from the bogus research of each group or any other group that shows up with bad research. As of the moment, micro evolution seems to be supported to a great extent so should be accepted by ID till proven otherwise. Common descent is a conclusion to be accepted or denied based on the evidence. Common ancestry seems to be supported by a large body of evidence and till proven otherwise should be accepted to this limited degree. But common ancestry is limited to those species that fit the pattern of relationship and doesn’t automatically include all living things past and present. Analysis of genomes in the future may change the extent to which common ancestry now applies to individual sets of species. It will be a conclusion of science not an assertion that is ideological and based on limited data as Darwin’s assertions were. Some of Darwin’s ideas were pure ideologically based and did not fit the data he had. Other ideas he had were bad because of the knowledge of science in his day. But some of his ideas ring true.

    The part of the current evolutionary thesis that ID does not accept and for which there is no scientific evidence is that all macro evolution is the accumulation of change over time to individual species. The ID position is not based on arbitrary rejection of such ideas but on the inability of information to be created by natural means that could create the control mechanisms to lead to these capabilities. So far no one has found any process that leads to the very complicated information needed to control the morphological changes seen in the history life. That is the issue under debate.

    So when our anti ID friends come here, the onus is on them to present data that contradicts our position. Namely, that all macro evolution events and the underlying changes in the complex control systems can be explained by natural processes. But we must not deny what is probably true which is why ID is completely in sync with any science that explains other life’s processes including a lot of evolution. And right now micro evolution is one of those processes. So ID is completely in sync with micro evolution and subsumes it in the sense that the propositions of micro evolution are consistent with ID. And micro evolution is a lot of what the anti ID present as evidence so to stop this waste of time, ID must stop these discussion at the start. In the past year we have had a lot of people come here with micro evolution as evidence that ID is nonsense. If ID subjects the EF to micro evolution, then it must say that it is based on law and channce.

    A few months ago I wrote a long draft of a position that I believe all ID presenters should take when debating those who have anti ID attitudes so that unnecessary discussions do not get in the way here. One of the creationist commenters here said he could live with such a position so it should not offend the creationists. I don’t see how it could offend the Darwinists. I would like to have something similar be part of the site here so that all discussions with the anti ID people can proceed intelligently instead of how they usually proceed on this site. Witness StephenB comment at #71. Here is what I wrote back in September.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-296129

    In addition to the FAQ’s which are useful, I believe such a position would lead to more cogent conversations in the future. One possibility is that part of the moderation policy could be based on recognizing this and other aspects of ID as a basis for commenting here. That way we won’t get the endless drivel that the anti ID people have when they comment here.

  107. 107

    First of all, I am delighted to see the change in moderation policy.

    Joseph

    That said to falsify ID in the domain of evolution all one has to do is demonstrate that the organism/ obeject/ event in question can be reduced to matter and energy.

    This is basically the reason why ID is not considered to be science. ‘Falsifiable’ means that there is a prediction or test that can be made and performed that could give two results. From one you would conclude that the theory has been disproven, from the other one would conclude that the theory has not so far been disproven. A large part of science is thinking up the exceptional cases and then actually putting your theory to the test, in effect trying to disprove your own theory. I am not aware of anyone connected with ID who has actually done this, or even proposed a realistic test that would differentiate between ID and the modern evolutionary theory.

    4.5 billion years does not seem to be enough.

    I have recently been making a scale drawing of a geological timeline for my students and one thing that comes out clearly is just how long 4.5 billion years is. To represent the last 5000 years of human history by a postage-stamp sized photo I would need a strip of paper over 10 miles long. How long would you consider long enough, and what is your reasoning (no phoney statistics, please)?

  108. 108

    Jerry

    So when our anti ID friends come here, the onus is on them to present data that contradicts our position.

    No. The onus is on you to clearly state what possible data would contradict your position, then to attempt to find it yourself. That is what scientists do. Note the word ‘possible’.

  109. 109
    Reciprocating_Bill

    So when our anti ID friends come here, the onus is on them to present data that contradicts our position. Namely, that all macro evolution events and the underlying changes in the complex control systems can be explained by natural processes.

    Onuses come in the plural. When a the prevailing theoretical/empirical framework of a science is challenged, it is not enough for the challenger to point to lacunae – even large lacunae – within an otherwise fertile and productive theoretical framework to reject that framework. An additional onus that falls to the challenger is to provide a competing framework that accounts for the facts and data subsumed by the prior framework, fills some of those lacunae, and generates unique, testable empirical hypotheses and predictions that have the potential guide further empirical work.

    To “subsume” facts in the way you describe is not enough. We all appear to agree that ID makes no claims with respect to many – perhaps most – of the large scale patterns we observe in the history of life on earth (common descent being one of them). Indeed, ID is somewhat of a neutrino with respect to these crucially important questions – it passes through without touching them. (Of course, many of us believe it was designed that way for rhetorical purposes, but that is another discussion.) Contemporary evolutionary theory, however incomplete WRT origins, has many such entailments and fruitfully guides research in many such empirical domains. Until ID enlarges its theoretical infrastructure sufficiently to provide a competing framework that addresses these facts, fill the above-noted lacunae, generate testable entailments that guide research and put its own assertions at risk, and actually conducts that research, its assertions remain largely philosophical and rhetorical rather than scientific. In that sense it fails to attain scientific status with the potential to genuinely challenge contemporary evolutionary science, whatever its limitations.

  110. “and fruitfully guides research in many such empirical domains”

    And ID endorses all these research projects because each one will support one or the other of the competing frameworks or supports both where they have no differences. Is there any research done by current evolutionary biology that is not in sync with ID. I know of none. Which is why the anti ID people here get so frustrated with us when we say that we accept their studies which they think undermine ID. So why is this research not subsumed into what ID would do if it had the purse strings to fund research in general.

    ID adds a layer on top of current evolutionary biology but in reality cannot get funding for much of this proposed layer. People think that this layer which is being frustrated as the only type of ID research like it is an either or scenario. But it is not and for awhile we will have to be mainly happy with the research done by others or under this paradigm.

    If the science establishment was friendly to the ID scenario, just what would be done differently in research. About 99% of research would be the same because holding an ID belief does not mean that this other research is not valid. ID stands for truth so this other research would be supported. But about 1% would be different and that is the layer which is now being frustrated. People are now investigating the probability of new proteins, or binding sites or whatever else it will take to produce complicated life forms so that would not be different. But what would be investigated are some areas that now are just not thought of because of their philosophy.

    Something else that would be different is the conclusions that would be permitted by researchers. Right now they are not permitted to make certain interpretations of the data. For an example look at Michael Behe’s blog and his analysis of what two mathematicians did on his Edge of Evolution analysis.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/....._blog_blog

    In and ID friendly scenario there would not be a confrontational relationship between ID and current science. This paper is an example of the prescribed view point necessary for publishing today.

  111. 111

    In and ID friendly scenario there would not be a confrontational relationship between ID and current science. This paper is an example of the prescribed view point necessary for publishing today.

    For science to be a constantly improving enterprise, it must be capable of surviving criticism and correcting errors. Should ID be immune from criticism? Is ID completely lacking in errors?

  112. “Should ID be immune from criticism? Is ID completely lacking in errors?”

    No one ever said it wasn’t so why this comment. It is not ID that is absolute about the role of intelligence but the anti ID people who posit the impossibility of intelligence.

  113. 113

    Adel Dibagno (#103): “Well said.”

    Thanks.

    “Although I think it is unfair to blame only Behe for that philosophical error….

    Actually I agree; but Behe is the most prominent figurehead representing the error. And the context of my facts (#86, which contains the error of ascribing #58 to Dave Scot) were spoken to DaveScot (msg.#61, the correct msg. #) who had mentioned Behe as his source for the error-laden viewpoint.

    Then you quote Behe followed by commentary. Adel: I do not understand this aspect of your message. It *seems* to contradict your previous agreement with my comments. Again, I am sure that I have misunderstood. I hope you choose to re-explain your point.

    Ray

  114. 114
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Is there any research done by current evolutionary biology that is not in sync with ID. I know of none.

    Many competing hypotheses within biology are incompatible with one another – out of sync – with some likely to be retained and others rejected in light of empirical findings. That’s what makes this work science.

    It follows that your assertion vis ID’s compatibility with virtually all research within evolutionary biology regardless of outcomes reflects its neutrino-like failure to interact with most of these important questions. You could reverse the sign of virtually every hypotheseis and every outcome within current research within biology and your statement vis ID would remain true. Nor do these outcomes appear to have any bearing upon ID “research” that is uniquely motivated by the ID hypothesis, such as it is (“such as it isn’t” would be more appropriate). That should provide a disquieting hint regarding its lack of power as a scientific theory in the domain it claims to be revolutionary.

    In short, ID has little relevance to many phases of evolutionary science, and for that reason cannot meaningfully claim them as its own. The claim is rhetorical, only.

  115. 115

    Adel Dibagno (#109): “Is ID completely lacking in errors?”

    Of course not.

    But the foundational claim of ID, that is, the appearance of design and organized complexity seen in every aspect of nature, having direct correspondence to the work of invisible Designer/Intelligent causation, is logically and scientifically inerrant.

    Jerry (#110): “….anti ID people who posit the impossibility of intelligence.”

    Could we expect Atheists to say anything else?

    Unintelligent or unguided material causation does not exist in reality. Design = Designer, not unguided material process.

    Ray

  116. 116

    CORRECTION: #115 should have said:

    Jerry (#112) and not Jerry (110).

    Ray

  117. 117

    Ray:

    Then you quote Behe followed by commentary. Adel: I do not understand this aspect of your message. It *seems* to contradict your previous agreement with my comments. Again, I am sure that I have misunderstood. I hope you choose to re-explain your point.

    No disagreement intended. Please clarify where you see such disagreement.

  118. 118
    George L Farquhar

    KariosFocus

    I have shown from Dawkins’ mouth in Blind Watchmaker and a New Scientist article, both as cited and easily accessible online, that Weasel is the precise kind of targetted search that i described in the original, quote-mined thread (cf 107 and 111 there, esp. as excerpted at 404 in the sceptics tread) is a strawman distractor from the challenge of getting to bio-function by a BLIND watchmaker highlighted by Hoyle, and that the observed 1986 printoffs beyond reasonable [but of course not beyond selective hypersketpicism adn its typical endless ill-founded objections] doubt exhibit latching of outputs, which still is best explained by explicit or implicit latching a la T2 or T3.

    How many times will you wilfully misrepresent both my postion and Dawkins postion?

    1: The issue has never been “targetted search”. The issue has, and has always been if latching behaviour was present, i.e. if each letter was fixed in place once found. You have “shown” no such thing. On the thread in question you mention “dozens” of sample points printed in new scientist. In fact there were 6.

    2: The issue is not a “strawman distractor challenge of getting to bio-function by a BLIND watchmaker”. I have quite clearly, from the very start, indicated that the issue is simply “is Kariosfocus correct in his claim or not that letters are fixed in place once correct”. That and that alone is the issue. I have said that the search is targetted (doh, it has a target phrase) but this is not the issue at hand. Onlookers, please don’t take my word for it, simply read the thread in question and notice Kariosfocus masterly evasions and outright pretending that relevant objections were not even made.

    As Arthur Smith noted

    Dawkins states his weasel program is “homing in on a distant target” and “in another way it is a bit of a cheat”. He indicates it is intended to demonstrate just “the power of cumulative selection”.

    If you want (and you do) to discuss side issues, please do so, but don’t claim that you have proven you point and disproven mine. It’s all a distraction designed to move onlookers away from the realisation you are simply wrong in your original claim

    I have repeated this over and over and over and yet you continue to deliberatly create confusion by going on and on about issues that I have not raised while claiming unearnt victory on the single issue at hand.

    and that the observed 1986 printoffs beyond reasonable [but of course not beyond selective hypersketpicism adn its typical endless ill-founded objections] doubt

    Are these the printouts where you claim there are “dozens” of data points when in fact there are not? And are these the printouts that represent a tiny fraction of the overall population and as such there is no way the sort of conclusions you are drawing can reasonably be made?

    The 1987 program that does NOT exhibit latching, is significantly different in its behaviour from the published record on the 1986 one. (this I discuss yet again in my latest correctives to JT and DK at 497 – 8.)]

    It’s a shame that you have no evidence for this position. You are reading things into 6 lines from a Weasel run printed in new scientist that are totally unwarrented.

    Anybody who choses to read the we-cannot-live-by-scepticism-alone thread will see for themselves how you have avoided addressing relevant points while all the time bringing up side issues that only you are raising, then claiming victory.

    Your credibility is shot, if you know it or not.

    In either case, you have directly implied that I am a liar [at least as bad as GLF's insinuations above], which is a serious — and as I just demonstrated, slanderously false — accusation.

    If you continue to repeat what you know to be false…..

    And is it not the case that you are calling Dawkins a liar and a cheat? That Dawkins implemented a secret “flick back module” between 1986 and 1987. How is it that you are the first person to notice this? How is it that you have waited since 1987 to let the world know the truth?

    And, the latching I have described is very evident in the 1986 outputs (a sample of several dozen points that should be uncorrelated to the program’s algorithm is well within the law of large numbers) but conspicuously absent in the 1987 one. (In the latter, Dawkins has tuned up his flick-back module just a little too much.)

    Show me these “several dozen data points” please. Then I may consider retracting my “slanderously false accusation”.

  119. Ray: “Unintelligent or unguided material causation does not exist in reality. Design = Designer, not unguided material process.

    Ray”

    Ray, am I right in guessing that you are an I.D. supporter who would openly say that the designer is the Christian God, and that I.D. is a form of creationism?

    If so, congratulations on your straightforward honesty (in advance!)

  120. That said to falsify ID in the domain of evolution all one has to do is demonstrate that the organism/ obeject/ event in question can be reduced to matter and energy.

    This is basically the reason why ID is not considered to be science. ‘Falsifiable’ means that there is a prediction or test that can be made and performed that could give two results.

    Right-

    RESULT 1- The structure/ organism/ event in question is reducible to matter and energy- ie endo/ exothermic chemical reactions

    RESULT 2- It is NOT reducible

    For example take the ribosome- if it were reducible then once one was synthesized it would work.

    Scientists have synthesized ribosomes and they do not function.

    That would be a point for ID.

    And this type of experiment can be conducted by anyone.

    Ya see it would also bolster YOUR position to conduct such tests and get things to reduce.

    As for a time-line try reading “Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution” (Durrett, R & Schmidt, D. 2008. Genetics 180: 1501-1509)

    And also read Dr Behe’s response- the paper was supposed to address Behe’s “Edge of Evolution”:

    Waiting longer for two mutations

  121. All Dawkins did was show that/ how cumulative selection can work in a TARGET-RICH environment.

    How does it work in an environment without a target?

    Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron?

    Cumulative is basically increasing by succesive addition

    And without a target how does one gauge increase or decrease?

    So what Dawkins has provided is yet another design mechanism- that of cumulative selection via a targeted search.

  122. 122

    Joseph

    RESULT 1- The structure/ organism/ event in question is reducible to matter and energy- ie endo/ exothermic chemical reactions

    RESULT 2- It is NOT reducible

    For example take the ribosome- if it were reducible then once one was synthesized it would work.

    Scientists have synthesized ribosomes and they do not function.

    That would be a point for ID.

    You misunderstand. You do not demonstrate a theory to be true by showing that something expected under an alternative theory failed to take place. All that demonstrates is that you might have made a mistake in the experimental procedure, or that a third theory is correct.

    Suppose that you have two competing theories and predict that, under wand theory a hat will turn into a bowl of fruit when a wand is waved in front of it. Spell theory, on the other hand, says that waving a wand will not turn a hat into a bowl of fruit.

    You wave your wand at the hat and nothing happens. Does this mean that spell theory is correct?

    No. It could be that wand theory is correct, but instead of waving the wand in circles you have to wave it in figures of eight. Alternatively, it could be that neither is correct and instead you have to perform a dance in front of the hat.

    A further point is that, if you are claiming this as a test of ID, then if scientists manage to make a working ribosome you must acknowledge that ID is wrong and abandon it. I do not think that this is what you intend.

  123. “No. The onus is on you to clearly state what possible data would contradict your position, then to attempt to find it yourself. That is what scientists do. Note the word ‘possible’.”

    That is what I just suggested is being done. There are thousands of studies each year in evolutionary biology that is attempting to falsify the ID hypothesis and so far each one of them has failed. If you know of one that hasn’t, let me know and we will look at it.

  124. 124

    Iconofid (#119): “Ray, am I right in guessing that you are an I.D. supporter who would openly say that the designer is the Christian God, and that I.D. is a form of creationism?

    If so, congratulations on your straightforward honesty (in advance!)

    Change “Christian God” to “Genesis Creator” and “Divine power” and change: “I.D. is a form of creationism” to Creationism and ID are synonyms, then your comments are correct. The ID argued here is “DI IDism” not historic IDism.

    I refuse to sacrifice the ancient Biblical concept of “Creatorism-Creationism” to the AiG Young Earth Fundamentalist.

    What does Ken Ham and Richard Dawkins have in common?

    Times up.

    Both accept the main earth shattering claim of Materialism: species mutability-microevolution.

    There are plenty of people in the world just like me. We reject both Ham and Dawkins, two Fundamentalists conducting the same business on opposite sides of the street.

    Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Creationist-species immutabilist, Paleyan Designist, British Natural Theologian.

  125. “It follows that your assertion vis ID’s compatibility with virtually all research within evolutionary biology regardless of outcomes reflects its neutrino-like failure to interact with most of these important questions”

    I am not sure what you are trying to say but if you are trying to imply that I am saying ID is not falsifiable, then that is not correct. You seem to like the word neutrino to have used it twice in a way that I do not understand.

    A research study has many parts but the important parts are the findings. What I have said is that there has been nothing in the findings of any study in evolutionary biology that is at odds with ID. ID can look at these identical results and then may conclude something completely different from what the authors of the study concluded or they may conclude the same things. Neither the anti ID people or the pro ID people must not move beyond what the data says.

    And so far no study has ever found evidence or data for the natural origin of novel complex capabilities. To be fair about this, studies of genomes are only in their infancy but of those that have been analyzed so far, none have found results that are anathema to ID. Why do I know this. Because the findings of such a process would be Nobel Prize fame or world wide acclaim and yet there is radio silence. It may come but it hasn’t yet. When it does there will be a loud roar.

    Just to reiterate, the debate is over the creation of information to control novel complex capabilities. So each study in evolutionary biology has to be looked at under this light as to whether it supports the ID position or not. And as far as I know every one has either supported the ID position or does not attempt to answer it.

  126. jerry,

    And so far no study has ever found evidence or data for the natural origin of novel complex capabilities.

    at this point you refusal to acknowledge data approaches farce. an organelle enabling its bearer to perform aerobic respiration is a novel complex capability by anyone’s standards. and it did not just happen as a simple transfer of information. mutations enabling the insertion and activation of genetic material from one organism to the other had to occur. so you can not simply say that endosymbiosis is just exchange of information; a lot of new information had to be generated in the process. and you can not say this is just one example; endosymbiois created multiple organelles and is observed occurring today in lab studies. so you can in no way use hyperbole like “..no study has ever..” without bordering on dishonesty.

  127. 127

    Arthur,

    “I scrolled back over as many comments as I could find, and I can’t find any insults to Denyse written by Bob.”

    You just have to look harder.

  128. 128

    StephenB @ 71,

    Excellent comment and observation, your warnings will be heeded. Your comments will be missed, they were always insightful. Please come back soon.

  129. khan,

    You have been answered several times. You are like the carnival game where you knock down the doll into a hole and up it pops in another hole.

    “mutations enabling the insertion and activation of genetic material from one organism to the other had to occur. so you can not simply say that endosymbiosis is just exchange of information;”

    “a lot of new information had to be generated in the process”

    This is a begging the question that it actually happened this way or that it generated new information. How do you know it had to occur or it did generate new information? Besides I already conceded this is a possibility but it does not represent the changes we are asking about in the microbe to man scenario. I also told you about the use of hyperbole in order to draw out what may be there. It gets people pissed off to try to prove you wrong. We are looking for good examples. Does that sound like we are trying to avoid issues.

    Besides, how do you know it created multiple organelles. Again you are begging the question by already assuming it happened the way you imagined. It is a theory, it is speculation, it is not a fact. My guess is that the game over macro evolution will come down to analyzing current genomes and may take about 50-75 years. It will have nothing to do with uni celled organisms 2.5 billion years ago.

    I haven’t been dishonest. You might look in the mirror because I have been very open about this since you first brought it up and have answered you more than once. But you keep on popping up in a new hole.

    Here is the very first thing I said to you

    “I am not sure I accept endosymbiotic theory or that eukaryotic cells evolved when one prokaryote absorbed another. It is also something I do not disagree with since I know little about it. It does not, it if true. affect anything I understand about ID. If in fact eukaryotes originated this way this does not act as a general proof of macro evolution which is primarily a multi-celled hypothesis. Though the evolution of uni-celled organisms is always an interesting topic.

    We also tend to talk in absolutes here when often the debate should be couched in less absolute terms. The debate does not hinge on a single refutation of an IC system or even the possible development of a macro evolution system but it would have to be shown that this was a general trend in nature not just a fluke one time occurrence. If there were several of each available then this debate or this site would not exist as people like myself would support a naturalistic process for macro evolution.”
    I was trying to be very honest with you and tried to start a conversation on this topic but it became clear after a couple posts that you were not interested in a conversation but were playing games and looking for a gotcha. Which is what you are doing on this post. I can go back and get every post if necessary. Will you bring it up again? Anyone want to bet?

  130. For those who want to believe what khan said about me, they should read

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-305719

    to see who is the honest one here.

  131. jerry,

    his is a begging the question that it actually happened this way or that it generated new information.

    this is not begging the question bc the hypothesis that it did happen is supported by reams of evidence. go to allen’s post on the topic; it is summarized there. no serious debate about the topic exists anywhere; indeed, all you were able to do to contradict it was point to a web site that contained numerous factual ad logical errors and no serious arguments.

    Besides I already conceded this is a possibility but it does not represent the changes we are asking about in the microbe to man scenario.

    excuse me? the gain of organelles that represent one of the fundamental shifts from prokaryotic to eukaryotic life are not the changes you are seeking? what could be more fundamental than that on your microbe to man pathway?

    Besides, how do you know it created multiple organelles.

    again, bc of the extensive body of literature ont he subject. the chloroplast and mitochondrion have the solidest evidence. again, go to allen’s site or google chloroplast evolution for yourself.
    the rest of your quote is a repeat of what I addressed int he previous post.. extremely good evidence suggests that chlorplasts and mitochondria evolved through endosymbiosis and we can observe similar processes happening in the lab today. this is more than one example and good evidence that this is more than a one-time fluke and is indeed a general trend in nature. unless you have some serious counter-evidence to offer this makes your constant “hyperbole” about no evidence for macroevolution a true argument from ignorance.

  132. Hi all first post here.

    Jerry I have a question about information you might be able to help me with.

    In Information Theory there are 2 separate domains (simply put:purpose and symbol rate) which of those domains does your use of ‘information’ cover?

    Thanks in advance

  133. 133

    “No. The onus is on you to clearly state what possible data would contradict your position, then to attempt to find it yourself. That is what scientists do. Note the word ‘possible’.”

    That is what I just suggested is being done. There are thousands of studies each year in evolutionary biology that is attempting to falsify the ID hypothesis and so far each one of them has failed. If you know of one that hasn’t, let me know and we will look at it.

    On the contrary. There is not one study in evolutionary biology that has ever attempted to falsify the ID hypothesis. How could there be? There is no hypothesis to falsify.

    Remember, a hypothesis is a proposed, testable explanation for a body of observations. No-one has ever clearly stated a hypothesis using ID or proposed a feasible test. Saying ‘too much complexity’ or ‘if an experiment fails, then ID’ is woefully inadequate.

    What is needed is something along the lines of: If I do X and get result A, then ID has not been falsified. Otherwise, ID has been falsified. Notice: there is absolutely no mention of evolution: a hypothesis has to be tested on its own merits. Secondly, no test ever enables you to conclude that a theory is true. The best that can happen is that, after repeated attempts, you continue to fail to show that it is false.

    Now, please give us an example of feasible data that would falsify ID. This is the kind of thing that ID ‘scientists’ should be doing automatically. It is their failure to do so that prompts me to put the word in quotes.

  134. Arthur:

    Apology — qualifications notwithstanding — accepted.

    Please, do not make careless stat5ements that have accusatory import again.

    GEM of TKI

  135. 135
    George L Farquhar

    Kairosfocus

    Please, do not make careless stat5ements that have accusatory import again.

    So, you accuse Dawkins of dishonestly with no evidence other then your unwillingness to back down from a position shown to be wrong but complain about others?

    You said

    And unless you knew that the 1986 published, sampled runs did the deed in 40+ and 60+ generations, you might not be alert to see that

    And this is your “proof” for a “flickback module”.

    JT points out

    With a population of 500 and a 5% mutation rate, the total number of generations to the target varied drastically with different runs – everywhere from 36 to over 500.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-308039
    So, your “proof” seems invalid. Defend it or retract it, as you like. But pretend it’s refutation does not exist?

    It’s perhaps telling that rather then consider the possiblitity you are in error you construct a situation where Dawkins deliberatly misleads. It’s often said that we see in others traits which you really have yourself.
    Why are you avoiding that thread now, you seemed so very keen before you were shown to be wrong.

    Will you now withdraw your “flickback module” accusation?

    And I’m still waiting to see where the “dozens” of sample points you mention over and over are, as there are only 6 in the new scientist article you refer to. If you are right, and have the evidence to “prove” it then show the “dozens” of sample points you claim.

  136. All:

    I think we have a live case study in progress on selectively hyperskeptical thread hijacks, and the implicaitons of such tactics for the feasibility of serious dialogue on the merits at UD. {Oramus informs us threadjacking is the appropriate neologism, thanks O.)

    I have addressed the onward claims by GLF et al in the scepticism thread at 514 and 517.

    Money excerpt:

    By my count, the [1986] BW 60+ [generation run of Weasel] case has 123 repeats of letters published, without reversion, and the NS 40+ one has 85 [total of sample points if therefore 208; i.e. "dozens" was a conservative statement], and wee see a consistent average rate of finding and latching letters here per generation, i.e. about 2.

    By all accounts the Now celebrated 1987 video of Weasel in action does not latch, but here we can see that — by drastic contrast — latching is a dominant feature of the 1986 output.

    So, something is materially different between the cases, and that can only be in the program modules; whether or no the o/p’s dominant latching is explicit or implicit in the code of 1986. [All of this is secondary to the fact that Weasel, as a targeted, warmer/colder search that rewards non-functional phrases -- by Mr Dawkins' own statement -- is irrelevant to any claims about a BLIND watchmaker. In short, the entire Weasel exercise is a grand begging of the question joined to a strawman misdirection on the issue of FSCI, i.e. the search space challenge to get TO islands of function.]

    So,a second issue we must face is something that I think we all need to observe from the annals of social psychology research:

    Are you familiar with the old psychology experiements where a group is in a room looking at a display on a screen, and the majority says something that is actually obviously wrong? After a time of repetition, the only true subject of the experiment will as a rule adjust his view to agree with the others, as he has come to doubt his own eyes.

    THAT is how dangerous a selectively hyperskepticism- based pseudo-consensus is.

    So, will we have dialogue constrained by facts and logic at UD, or will we have red herring threadjacks leading out to strawmen soaked in oil of ad hominem and ignited to cloud, blind, and poison the atmosphere required for reasonable discussion?

    Finally, I think the real balance on credibility is therefore quite different from what GLF alleges above.

    And so, this case in point on selective hyeprskepticism and the threadjacking — double thanks Oramus — tactics StephenB has highlighted at 71, in action is now plainly very relevant to the onward question of UD’s moderation policy.

    Enough for now

    GEM of TKI

  137. You misunderstand. You do not demonstrate a theory to be true by showing that something expected under an alternative theory failed to take place.

    No Richard YOU misunderstand.

    Ya see in the ID scenario organisms and certain structures would NOT be reducible.

    And in YOUR scenario they would be.

    What else do you want- If an IDist went into a lab and genetically enginnered a bacterial flagellum would that be a point for ID?

    No.

    A further point is that, if you are claiming this as a test of ID, then if scientists manage to make a working ribosome you must acknowledge that ID is wrong and abandon it.

    It all depends HOW they managed to make a working ribosome.

    The debate is all about HOW.

    And then it would remove the desighn inference for the ribosome and everything of equal or lesser complexity.

    I do not think that this is what you intend.

    What I just stated is exactly what I and Dr Behe intend:

    How about Professor Coyne’s concern that, if one system were shown to be the result of natural selection, proponents of ID could just claim that some other system was designed? I think the objection has little force. If natural selection were shown to be capable of producing a system of a certain degree of complexity, then the assumption would be that it could produce any other system of an equal or lesser degree of complexity. If Coyne demonstrated that the flagellum (which requires approximately forty gene products) could be produced by selection, I would be rather foolish to then assert that the blood clotting system (which consists of about twenty proteins) required intelligent design- Dr Behe

  138. Khan:

    an organelle enabling its bearer to perform aerobic respiration is a novel complex capability by anyone’s standards.

    Reference please.

    Ya see I doubt even YECs dispute such a thing so if you could provide a reference that says they do dispute it it would help your case.

    and it did not just happen as a simple transfer of information. mutations enabling the insertion and activation of genetic material from one organism to the other had to occur.

    And Dr Spetner describes such a scenario as being part of his “non-random evolutionary hypothesis”.

    Perhaps you should read the book “Not BY Chance” to have a clue as to what is being debated.

    endosymbiois created multiple organelles and is observed occurring today in lab studies. so you can in no way use hyperbole like “..no study has ever..” without bordering on dishonesty.

    Endosymbiosis has been observed.

    Humans have bacteria inside of us living in a symbiotic relationship.

    Humans without that bacteria nd NOT a separate species from those who do not.

    And endosymbiosis has NEVER been observed to produce multiple organelles.

  139. As I was closing down for the morning:

    GLF.

    I think on the merits — as already linked – it is you who have some serious retracting that you need to do, and frankly some apologising for thread jacking, strawman misrepresentaiton,a nd ad hominesm leaidfnto false accusaions in the teeth fo the eivdence.

    All of which I have again documented this morning, point by point, fact by fact.

    GEM of TKI

  140. 140
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry @ 125

    I am not sure what you are trying to say but if you are trying to imply that I am saying ID is not falsifiable, then that is not correct. You seem to like the word neutrino to have used it twice in a way that I do not understand

    I’m saying that evolutionary theory has many entailments regarding the history of life on earth (common descent, nested hierarchy, an old earth, etc.) that subject it to test by means of modus tollens:

    If P, then Q

    Not Q

    Therefore not P.

    ID claims no entailments in the domains to which I refer (it is ‘officially’ noncommittal vis both the age of the earth and common descent). It specifies no Q in these domains that, if observed, would compel the rejection of P.

    Hence evolutionary theory and ID are not equivalent (“equally valid”) in these domains.

    Neither the anti ID people or the pro ID people must not move beyond what the data says.

    This is mistaken (even accounting for the double negative). The logic of modus tollens as applied to real research (versus armchair post hoc reinterpretation) specifies the observable Q that would compel the rejection of P IN ADVANCE of data collection, then looks for Q. The results (“the data”) take on their significance in the context of the logic and results in the entailment “IF P, then Q.” looking for Q puts P “at risk” of disconfirmation. Hence the scientific data don’t just lie there; they take on their significance in this logical context.

    Post hoc reinterpretation fails to subject the alternative P (P2) to an analogous test. It falls to those who propose P2 to devise Q2 that follows from P2, but not P1.

    The kidnapping of genuine biological research by ID fails to do this. ID is never placed ‘at risk’ by research that can be universally absorbed into its paradigm, as you claim.

    I use “neutrino” poetically. Neutrinos pass through matter, rarely interacting with it. ID similarly specifies no entailments (no Q) in the domains to which I refer (the large scale patterning of the history of life, the age of the earth, common descent, etc.), passing through these important issues without touching them (specifying no entailments).

  141. RB,

    ID is placed at risk for all scientific investigations.

    That is because while investigating scientifically it can be demonstrated that what is being investigated arose by nature, operating freely.

    Once that is done then ID is out for that.

    And just what, for example, can the theory of evolution demonstrate or not demonstrate that would put it in peril?

  142. BTW as far as universal common descent is concerned ID says IF it happened then it happened BY DESIGN.

    Therefor by demonstrating an accumulation of genetic accidents can account for it ID is removed.

  143. Reciprocating Bill,

    I do not think you understand the argument. You have made some elaborate logical statements when the issue is quite simple. There is a misunderstanding that ID and evolutionary biology are two different fields. They are not. Yes, the broad concept of ID can be applied to other fields just as logic is applied to several fields besides evolutionary biology. So think of ID as a way of using logic within the specific field of evolutionary biology and not some separate field of study. Thus any study within evolutionary biology might impact on the ID hypothesis in that area of study.

    Two people can look at the same data set with two different hypotheses. If the alternatives are NP (naturalistic process) or not NP, then any failure of NP is an indication that the solution may lie in not NP. There is no absolute assertion here because there is no way to exhaust the possibilities of NP but each failure to support NP, give more credence that the solution lies in not NP.

    Now design lies in not NP while NP is a naturalistic process that produces life. It is quite proper to argue that NP has not been exhausted but each continued attempt to support NP which ends up in failure, then increases the likelihood of not NP. Now not NP can be a whole host of things but what it cannot be is a naturalistic process working with law and chance. And NP may include some processes that no one has thought of so far.

    Now to get down to reality. Design is a possibility because we are witnessing humans approaching the design of life and some last week claimed it would be in the next 5 years and mentioned a designed ribosome. So not NP is feasible. The main claim against not NP is that there was no intelligence to do the designing when the first life appeared. Some want the wreckage of the rocket ship and the plans before they will believe. There are a lot of absurd demands.

    Are naturalistic processes a possibility? Of course. But because it is a possibility does not mean it is a certainty. And the more it gets investigated and the lack of any reasonable process leads one to lower this possibility but never to send it to zero. And to use your logic of “If P then Q” and if “not Q, then not P”. That is exactly the logic that ID uses all the time. For example,

    If gradualism was the process by which law and chance created new FSCI (complex information controlling new functions) then it would have left a trail somewhere because it had to happen millions of time and should be happening today. But evolutionary biology has looked for this trail for years and has not found it anywhere. ID friendly people have helped in this search. So we have a not Q and thus a not P. There are other naturalistic processes proposed besides gradualism and all so far have not found Q but have found not Q. So we have a series of not P’s so far due to these not Q’s.

    When scientists map and study genomes they will either find Q’s or not Q’s and each not Q will be support for the original not NP which contains the design arguments. We believe that if NP is true then the evidence should be in the genomes some place. ID believes that genomes change gradually and this is micro evolution but ID does not believe that FSCI is within the range of possibilities of the forces that drive micro evolution.

    To provide an analogy which I know is not hard evidence. In optics it is impossible to focus on a distant object just by building a bigger telescope or a more powerful telescope. There are properties of the light itself that prevents it coming into focus after a certain amount of diffusion and distance. Similarly there may be limits to what combinatorial process of DNA particles could be assembled by chance. There is research into that at the moment and that would probably be in the not NP domain. There is continued research into the complexity of life’s processes and each such study makes it more difficult to find a solution in NP because it ups the use of probabilistic resources necessary to get to a solution in NP that could explain this complexity.

    Now I am sure this could be stated more eloquently but each study done in evolutionary biology either advances the NP or not NP scenario. Now if ID were allowed to do its own research there may be more direct things done in the not NP domain itself but they might actually accelerate the research into the failures in NP. But at the moment the current world view arbitrarily postulates that not NP domain does not exist so won’t sanction research into it. So for the time being ID is relying on not Q’s as you suggest that continually come about in every study that is done in NP.

  144. 144
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry -

    You have made some elaborate logical statements when the issue is quite simple.

    The logical statements above are, in fact, very simple.

    Now if ID were allowed to do its own research there may be more direct things done in the not NP domain itself but they might actually accelerate the research into the failures in NP. But at the moment the current world view arbitrarily postulates that not NP domain does not exist so won’t sanction research into it.

    Ultimately, until ID articulates a theory that has testable positive entailments such that negative findings regarding those entailments puts ID at risk, and subjects those entailments to empirical test, it will garner little from the scientific community. But as seen on another recent thread, when such are requested we are sent around the mulberry bush of arguments based upon critiques of Darwinism that assume their conclusions.

    Vis ID being “allowed” and funded to conduct research, I would be impressed (and surprised) if a unique positive entailment arising from ID, one that does not also follow from orthodox evolutionary theory, and the means to test that entailment, was simply proposed, much less actually empirically tested. Proposing a plausible and doable unique empirical test (an executable test of Q2 uniquely entailed by P2, but not P1) is free, and the internet is available to propagate any such good idea. Moreover, support of the ID movement has included, for example, millions of dollars funneled into the DI. Why has so little of that been diverted to support research?

  145. 145
    Reciprocating_Bill

    ETA: “…it will garner little respect or attention from the scientific community.”

  146. 146

    Please, do not make careless statements that have accusatory import again.

    Some of my remarks may have been careless, but none have been accusatory. But, laisser tomber. I look forward to your contributions to Dr Dembski’s new thread.

  147. Reciprocating_Bill:

    Ultimately, until ID articulates a theory that has testable positive entailments such that negative findings regarding those entailments puts ID at risk, and subjects those entailments to empirical test, it will garner little from the scientific community.

    And what are the testable positive entailments of genetic accidents?

    What part of transcription, proof-reading, error-correction, editing, more proof reading and error correction and translation with its own error correction, strikes you as being cobbled together via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    IOW transcription and translation are POSITIVE evidence for ID.

  148. Reciprocating_Bill,

    Joseph is correct. Darwinian macro evolution get a lot of financial support with out any empirical backing for it and the logic that the creation of new information may be beyond it capabilities. It also gets in the textbooks without any empirical support.

    There is a stacked deck here.

    Your comments about the Discovery Institute are risible. They are a think tank and pr outlet for ID ideas. It would take a hundreds million dollars or more to build, outfit and staff an ongoing biological science lab.

  149. jerry,

    Darwinian macro evolution get a lot of financial support with out any empirical backing for it

    can you name a specific grant for macroevolution that was funded with no empirical backing nor empirical results coming from it? new paleontology and evo-devo papers that had financial support are published every week in journals like Nature and Science. are you relying on your peculiar flexible non-definition of macroevolution again?

  150. 150

    Clive Hayden
    03/15/2009
    10:07 pm
    Arthur,

    “I scrolled back over as many comments as I could find, and I can’t find any insults to Denyse written by Bob.”

    You just have to look harder.

    Clive,

    How can I prove there are no black swans? I am sure Bob has not made a comment which insults Denyse.

  151. 151

    Arthur,

    “How can I prove there are no black swans? I am sure Bob has not made a comment which insults Denyse.”

    You’re sure? Really? I saw the comment myself, I’m sure that he has, unless he has since deleted it for the purpose of playing innocent. Do you want to go round and round on this with me? You won’t convince me otherwise, and I am not interested in finding the comment for you.

  152. Clive Hayden @151

    You won’t convince me otherwise, and I am not interested in finding the comment for you.

    Clive, as the one making the claim, you bear the burden of proof. I don’t have a dog in this fight and I don’t know Bob from Adam, but if you’re going to say something like that about someone, you have an ethical responsibility to be able to prove it.

    JJ

  153. 153
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry -

    Describe an entailment unique to ID that, were there sufficient funding, could be subject to empirical test. Something that follows from ID such that were we to fail to observe it, ID or a major tenet of ID would be falsified. Your research question should conform to this very simple logical format:

    If P2 (ID) then Q2 (a unique entailment of ID).
    If not Q2 (if the entailment is not observed), then not P2 (ID is false).

    Describe that Q2, and describe how you would research it. Imagine unlimited funding.

    Assertions regarding the entailments of P1 (evolutionary biology) don’t meet this standard, because it doesn’t follow that if not Q1 then P2. That rules out re-interpretations of ongoing biological research.

    I’m truly interested. Surprise me.

  154. Let me illustrate how our detractors avoid any substance. A frequent commenter here named khan consistently helps out on this. His latest

    “can you name a specific grant for macroevolution that was funded with no empirical backing nor empirical results coming from it? new paleontology and evo-devo papers that had financial support are published every week in journals like Nature and Science. are you relying on your peculiar flexible non-definition of macroevolution again?”

    khan has again and again has been told that our definition of macro evolution represents major changes in life, things which require major information changes to the genome and which I express as complex novel capabilities. It may not meet with the definition of macro evolution by many in evolutionary biology but we acknowledged that several times. But so what!! The fact that we define macro evolution differently seems to mean something negative about ID to khan when it doesn’t to us. Because we know the debate is over the origin of complex novel capabilities and the information changes to the genome that has to take place for this to happen. And our concept of macro evolution captures that better. Khan has been told this several times.

    So what does khan do. He chastises us because we do not use the definition he wants to use and for which there is probably no disagreement with the meaning of his definition and what ID espouses. Because there are few if any disagreements by ID with his definition, khan somehow thinks he is making points by saying that under his definition of macro evolution we have no basis for complaint. So we have told khan that we will continue to use our definition because it illustrates what the debate is about. Or once I or someone else said it may be best to call it mega evolution as some evolutionary biologists have done.

    This is the best that our detractors can do. Is to argue over the minutiae of definitions. And then claim they have won. There are a lot of words to describe such behavior but we will leave it as just typical of what to expect from anyone who challenges ID.

    khan, thank you for making it so easy for us here to show that the anti ID people have squat to 1) back up their concept of evolution and squat to challenge our assertions about evolution. As I said on another thread khan does this for nothing and we are eternally grateful.

  155. Reciprocating_Bill,

    I am posting this to show that I have read your comment but do not quite understand it. I will try to answer your questions as best I can. But first I may not be finished for a couple hours because I will be watching 24 in about 25 minutes.

  156. Reciprocating_Bill,

    My thoughts on this topic are all over recent threads and it will take a little time to make them coherent. But here is a post I made a couple weeks ago on this.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-304029

    What I eventually write will not be much different from this. I will essentially tell you what I would do if I ran the zoo and had the power to disperse the money. It will turn out, not much that is different. Just that the interpretation of the data will be much loosened. Right now it is very constricted.

  157. 157
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry @ 156:

    But here is a post I made a couple weeks ago on this…

    What I am requesting is absolutely basic to the logic of scientific research and scientific epistemology. And what I am requesting is entirely absent from the example you have provided.

    Simply put, your theory must make unique empirical predictions that arise of necessity from that theory (entailments), such that if we fail to observe them your theory is falsified. Predictions that put your own theory “at risk” of disconfirmation should they fail to be observed. If you don’t have that, you’re not doing science.

    This is entirely absent from your example. Moreover, so far as I can tell, entirely absent from the ID movement as a whole.

    (We CAN agree, however, that 24 is a great show.)

  158. 158

    No Richard YOU misunderstand.

    Ya see in the ID scenario organisms and certain structures would NOT be reducible.

    And in YOUR scenario they would be.

    What else do you want- If an IDist went into a lab and genetically enginnered a bacterial flagellum would that be a point for ID?

    No.

    “A further point is that, if you are claiming this as a test of ID, then if scientists manage to make a working ribosome you must acknowledge that ID is wrong and abandon it.”

    It all depends HOW they managed to make a working ribosome.

    The debate is all about HOW.

    And then it would remove the desighn inference for the ribosome and everything of equal or lesser complexity.

    I am trying to get a clear statement from you as to what evidence would falsify ID. I thought from an earlier comment that you were saying that if people managed to make a working ribosome then ID would be falsified. Now it seems you are saying that it would depend on how it was made (whatever that means) and it would at most imply that ID was not involved in producing a ribosome. The fact remains, that failing to produce them means nothing more than ‘so far we haven’t found out how to make a working ribosome.’ Ignorance is not support for ID.

    “And in YOUR scenario they would be.”
    There should be no need to mention the predictions from the theory of evolution when describing an alternative theory. The description of a theory should enable clear and testable predictions to be made, something that IDers have not produced so far. If there is an existing theory, the new theory needs to be able to explain features that are unexplained by the current theory.

    The most concise description I have seen of ID was something like ‘at some time in the past (although it might be still continuing) a natural or supernatural being or beings or possibly force, caused to be made, by unknown processes, one or more ancestral or modern life forms.’

    You (the ID community) need to come up with predictions from this (it may need refining a little) that are both testable and different from the theory of evolution. Saying things like ‘ribosomes will not be made to work, but if they do it’s no big deal as regards ID’ just encourages ID’s critics to claim that it is vacuous.

    BTW, your estimate of what it takes to run a lab seems to be off track. Where do your figures come from? It is my understanding that a lab with the budget of the Discovery Institute would be expected to produce about half a dozen refereed publications a year. In addition, the Templeton Institute expected to get an application for research funds from the Discovery Institute but was not contacted.
    Unfortunately, research needs both money and some sort of testable hypothesis, which is why both Reciprocating_Bill and I are pressing you for a clear statement on this issue.

  159. 159
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry -

    BTW, the Dr. Suess title you’re reaching for is If I Ran the Circus

  160. 160

    If P2 (ID) then Q2 (a unique entailment of ID).
    If not Q2 (if the entailment is not observed), then not P2 (ID is false).

    You mean like this: If chance and necessity are the first cause of the metabolism and replication that represents life as we know it, then chance and necessity can organize chemical elements into coordinated organizations driven by information and meta-information. If we fail to observe chance and necessity organizing chemical elements into coordinated organizations driven by information and meta-information, then chance and necessity are ruled out as the first cause of the metabolism and replication that represents life as we know it.

    Bill, I know you may find this hard to believe, but debating points are not a search for the truth in the natural world – instead they are simply debating points. For rational thinkers, they do not represent the gotcha that seems to impress you with yourself.

    And, before you tell me what is and is not science, first you can provide a rational explanation of how an an unfettered search for truth can arbitrarily silence one of the three causes known to man, and still assume itself to be an unfettered search for truth. Your response will need to be devoid of either ideology or metaphysical implications, and should represent post-modern intelligence. It should also not assign to science any parameter that is not immediately responsive to the idea that science is an unfettered search for the truth.

    …and by the way. ID is characterized by a fact that is not in dispute – volitional agency can coordinate separate organizations into a functioning whole, driven by information and meta-information. From an empirical and observational standpoint, it is the only causal mechanism known to have this capacity.

    This is the reality that you can’t approach with contrary observations, and it is what you refuse to acknowledge as you maneuver for debating points.

    ID is utterly falsifiable by provding clear data to the contrary of this point, and it does not exist.

    If you find this reality distastful to your own view of what an unfettered search for truth should be, then by all means (given you have no falisification of ID’s core principle anyway) feel free to retire from the debate before your tard suit runs out of batteries.

  161. Jerry:

    Frst, let us all beware of the school of wriggling smoked red herrings leading us off topic. (A very important topic, too.)

    You will see that I usually speak of BODY-PLAN (innovation) level macroevolution.

    That usually makes it pretty plain what is at stake, especially given the case of teh Cambrian life revolution, where we see top-down innovations in the basic architecture of animal life: dozens of phyla nd sub-phyla appearing “suddenly” in the fossil life sequence. A problem that faced Darwin 150 years ago, and which he hoped new fossils would remove.

    The new fossils, despite the headlines, are in a situation where we now probably have FEWER cases than Darwin et al did.

    It is credible that to get tot he very first body plan for observed life, we need 600+ k bits of fucntional information, specifying a configuration sp[ace of over 10^180,000 cells.

    The idea that information, coded in codes, and with associated instructions and algorithms, plus implementing machinery to make it FUNCTION — GLF, here is FSCI emerging naturally form the issue, yet again — would originate by in effect lucky molecular noise in a prebiotic soup with the aid of modest mechanical forces allowed by chemistry and physics, is beyond ludicrous. But, we know that it is routine for intelligences to create 600 k bits of functional, coded information.

    So, on inference to current best of competing potentially plausible explanations — Richard, please note teh string of key terms — we see that design is a better, empirically anchored explanation of OOL than chance + necessity. Even if we do not yet know whodunit, and howitweredun.

    When we come to major body plans, it is credible that the phylum- or subphylum- level innovations we see require 10′s to 100′s of MEGA bits of novel functional information. 10 Mbits specifies a config space of ~ 9.05 *10^3,010,299.

    In both cases, teh whole universe we observe, across its credible lifespan, functioning as a search engine, could not sample anywhere near 1 in 10^150 of the config spaces. that is, we are looking at cases where the odds of success against by far outstrip any reasonable requirement. Design is a far better explanation than chance + necessity. And, the challenge is not Dawkins’ strawmannish weasel’s climbing of Mt Improbable.

    But to credibly find then get to the shores of Dr Moreau’s infamous Island Improbable through chance + necessity.

    And, the case in point illustrates that — on Moderation Policy — UD needs to refer some of the distractive cases to the Weak Arguments Correctives and demand either prompt cogent and reasonably well-structured correction to the WAC, or return to the thread’s topic.

    GEM of TKI

  162. 162
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Upright @ 160:

    …debating points are not a search for the truth in the natural world…

    What is absent from your response, as was absent from Jerry’s, is an exemplar of:

    1) A theory with testable entailments, and
    2) Proposed empirical tests of those entailments.

    This is the search tool that is unique to science, and that confers upon its power.

    The method is very much fettered. An unfettered search for truth may include dream quests, strongly felt intuition, hallucinogens, consultations with elders, meditation and prayer, dance, art and music, philosophical reasoning, love making, declarations from authority, tautologies, visions, divination, cultural wisdom, ancient texts, common sense, and ordinary opinions. Some have more value than others. None of these are science.

    The central tools of science are much more limited, constrained to theoretical utterances that can be put to meaningful empirical test, such that one’s theory can be disconfirmed.

    I don’t see an exemplar of that in your post, or anywhere else.

    But perhaps I’m wrong. What’s your example?

  163. Richard Simons:

    I am trying to get a clear statement from you as to what evidence would falsify ID.

    And I told you- just show that nature, operating freely can account for that in question.

    I thought from an earlier comment that you were saying that if people managed to make a working ribosome then ID would be falsified.

    ID would be falsified for the ribosome and anything equal of less intricate- just as Behe stated.

    Nopw if you want to falsify ID pertaining to biology just demonsttrate that living organisms can arise from non-living matter without agency involvement.

    The fact remains, that failing to produce them means nothing more than ’so far we haven’t found out how to make a working ribosome.’ Ignorance is not support for ID.

    Ignorance is the foundation of YOUR position.

    That is as long as we remain ignorant evolution via an accumulation of genetic accidents can be forced on unsuspecting students.

    However we have direct observational evidence of designers designing editorial programs as well as designing translators- ie compilers.

    The ribosome is a genetic compiler.

    Then through logic and deduction we infer the ribosome was designed- that and the fact it is irreducibly complex.

    Predictions from ID include but are not limited to:

    Irreducible complexity and complex specified information.

    That said the “predictions” of the theory of evolution are relevant so that a comparison can be made.

    So what predictions can be made from the premise of an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    What would we expect to see if living organisms owe their diversity to an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Transciption and translation remain very good evidnce for ID in biology.

    To refute that inference just demonstrate how such a thing can arise via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Supporting Intelligent Design

    BTW Richard, biologists are trying to falsify ID on just about a daily basis.

    Doolittle, Miller, Coyne- just to name a few- have tried to refute ID.

  164. Reciprocating_Bill,

    What are the predictions borne from an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Please be specific or admit that the theory of evolution doesn’t predict anything.

  165. Richard Simons,

    The debate is all about the “How”- so how a scientist gets a synthesized ribosome to function is very relevant.

    So now I ask you- what do you know of ID?

    Have you read any pro-ID literature? If yes what books and/ or articles?

    Recommended Literature Pertaining to Intelligent Design

  166. So the bottom line is if something can be reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity, then there is no need for a designer.

  167. Khan,

    Are you relying on a definition of macro-evolution that no one disputes?

    You know the definition that Allen MacNeill says is used by evolutionary biologists which even YECs accept?

    What is the point of using something taht no one disputes to try to settle a dispute?

    Are you really that clue-less too?

  168. 168

    As in previous comments, Bill is unable to see the empirical forest for the ideological trees. Faced with absolutrely nothing to refute the empirical inference to design, he must once again overlook the fact that he can provide nothing to substatiate the claim that chance and neccesity can, in fact, organize chemical elements into coordinated organizations driven by information and meta-information.

    Not only is he more than eager to ignore the removal of agency from the unfettered search for truth, he has to resort to absudities about hallucinogens in order to provide the amount of grease necessary to do so.

    He assumes his conclusions without notice, and then demands proofs that he himself cannot provide.

    In short, he is only parading as an enlightened man. Judging by his responses, his ideology is far more important to him than the empirical evidence.

    Again, Bill, please provide a rational explanation of how an unfettered search for truth can arbitrarily silence one of the three causes known to man, and still assume itself to be an unfettered search for truth. Your response will need to be devoid of either ideology or metaphysical implications, and should represent post-modern intelligence. It should also not assign to science any parameter that is not immediately responsive to the idea that science is an unfettered search for the truth.

  169. 169
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Joseph @ 164:

    What are the predictions borne from an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Please be specific or admit that the theory of evolution doesn’t predict anything.

    How about the the following example. You’ll note that the prediction was, in part, disconfirmed (which is why I selected this example). That’s progress.

    RAPID ALLOPATRIC SPECIATION IN LOGPERCH DARTERS (PERCIDAE: PERCINA)
    Near, Thomas J.1; Benard, Michael F.2
    Evolution, Volume 58, issue 12 (December 1, 2004), p. 2798-2808

    Theory predicts that clades diversifying via sympatric speciation will exhibit high diversification rates. However, the expected rate of diversification in clades characterized by allopatric speciation is less clear. Previous studies have documented significantly higher speciation rates in freshwater fish clades diversifying via sympatric versus allopatric modes, leading to suggestions that the geographic pattern of speciation can be inferred solely from knowledge of the diversification rate. We tested this prediction using an example from darters, a clade of approximately 200 species of freshwater fishes endemic to eastern North America. A resolved phylogeny was generated using mitochondrial DNA gene sequences for logperches, a monophyletic group of darters composed of 10 recognized species. Divergence times among logperch species were estimated using a fossil calibrated molecular clock in centrarchid fishes, and diversification rates in logperches were estimated using several methods. Speciation events in logperches are recent, extending from 4.20 ± 1.06 million years ago (mya) to 0.42 ± 0.22 mya, with most speciation events occurring in the Pleistocene. Diversification rates are high in logperches, at some nodes exceeding rates reported for well-studied adaptive radiations such as Hawaiian silverswords. The geographic pattern of speciation in logperches was investigated by examining the relationship between degree of sympatry and the absolute age of the contrast, with the result that diversification in logperches appears allopatric. The very high diversification rate observed in the logperch phylogeny is more similar to freshwater fish clades thought to represent examples of sympatric speciation than to clades representing allopatric speciation. These results demonstrate that the geographic mode of speciation for a clade cannot be inferred from the diversification rate. The empirical observation of high diversification rates in logperches demonstrates that allopatric speciation can occur rapidly.

  170. Bill,

    What does your example have to do with an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Clades can diversify via any number of mechanisms.

    I am only concerned with the mechanism “accumulated genetic accidents”.

  171. 171
    Reciprocating_Bill

    What does your example have to do with an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Contemporary evolutionary models argue that accumulated genetic variation (arising from a variety of unguided means) and selection acting upon that variation play roles both in current models of Allopatric and Sympatric speciation. These models (which are complex, and have numerous other components, such as the varying roles of geographic separation, rapid evolution in small founder populations, etc.) have numerous specific entailments that give rise to specific empirical predictions.

    I present this example not as dispositive proof of evolutionary theory (it addresses a much more narrow question), but as an example of theory giving rise to prediction, and the testing of that prediction.

  172. 172
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Bipedal @ 168:

    Again, Bill, please provide a rational explanation of how an unfettered search for truth can arbitrarily silence one of the three causes known to man, and still assume itself to be an unfettered search for truth.

    I have not claimed that science is an unfettered search for truth. It is a quite constrained search for truth. It is constrained in that theoretical utterances that fail to generate empirical entailments (as opposed to ad hoc assertions) are not amenable to investigation by means of the of the primary tools of science. I don’t recall ID specifying such testable entailments.

    If you disagree, and are truly unfettered, then describe a theoretical entailment of ID theory that generates testable empirical predictions, such that those predictions place ID theory, or a major tenet of ID theory, at risk of disconfirmation.

  173. “BTW, the Dr. Suess title you’re reaching for is If I Ran the Circus”

    No, the expression is “If I ran the zoo” and is the name of a Dr. Seuss book. It is what people around me have used since I was a kid. It refers to a mishmash of craziness that one would find if all the animals of the zoo were placed in one place and the animals were making the decisions. I am surprised you haven’t heard the expression. I hear it frequently and probably pre dates the Dr. Seuss book but I am not certain.

    Anyway, I started writing something last night and it was taking too long. But you miss the basic point here is that the evolutionary synthesis makes few predictions in the area of macro evolution and what has been made has been falsified. They shy away from predictions and beg the question of naturalistic evolution by saying such and such a function was selected for or emerged or was co-opted or to use the modern term it was exapted or it just apted. The term apted is meant to mean either adapted or exapted. So I would look at the current paradigm and ask why is it accepted if it is such a failure. You know and I know why but to pretend it is wearing clothes is a joke.

    What ID says is that when the genomes are mapped there will be no evidence of the development of novel complex capabilities through naturalistic means. Mainly, because the time and reproductive events necessary are not enough to assemble the necessary parts and coordinate their use.

    So ID predicts that through the mapping of genomes and their analysis of how they control life’s functions there will be no evidence of a systematic rise of complex control mechanisms through naturalistic methods. These complex control mechanisms have to be built says the current synthesis so the genomes will have evidence of their construction or they will not. Life and the cells in particular have many of these exquisite control mechanisms and require the coordination of several inter-related subsystems and parts. ID predicts the rise of these inter-related subsystems and parts will not be due to any gradual process and as I said above because there is not enough time and resources.

    I said gradual processes because that is the current paradigm for nearly all of evolutionary biology but does not have to be limited to these types of processes. There are mainly two types of gradual processes assumed by current evolutionary biology. One is the paradigm assumed by Darwin where by an organism slowly changes its genome over time and each small change is selected for or not and as large amounts of time passes a new species has arisen and new control mechanisms. The second gradualistic paradigm is one where part of the genome is duplicated either through what is called a gene duplication event or through a reverse transcription event of a transcribed rna sequence that has no function. These unused parts of the genome then lay fallow and mutate till some day a very small percentage of them become useful and then build something new in the genome. Both processes should be discernible in the genomes of a family or species.

    So if I were to run the zoo, I would allocate most of the money to the same projects that are going on right now but allow ID thinking to be accepted as part of the process along with naturalistic thinking. I believe there would be a more fertile analysis with multiple inputs. ID is interested in the truth and would be just as interested in how and to what extent naturalistic processes can change and build a genome. So all these naturalistic propositions would be under investigation to see if there was any evidence that a new coordinated system had arisen in the past and were currently being built. One way to do this would be map all the genomes of a family of organisms and this is what I proposed in the example I sent you to.

    The best way to do this would be to push for extensive analysis of human genomes and great apes first to see how these genomes work. It would be easier to get money here with the justification that it would be for medical use. Once there was an understanding of how genomes work (we only have a beginning understanding) then a another complete family would be next to see what are the differences between them and how did the differences arise. At each point along the way the proposition that no complex novel capabilities could arise via naturalistic mechanisms would be evaluated. If at each point there is no confirmation that naturalistic mechanisms were capable of it then one has to assume that the original gene pool for the family or order contained the capabilities and then the issue would be 1) how did this happen and 2) why did it not happen at the lower taxon.

    This all assumes that the evidence will not be found but if plenty of evidence is found for how these systems arose through naturalistic processes then the ID controversy will abate and moved backwards to the origin of the cell and the origin of multi-cellular organisms. For example, evo devo postulates that the genome has the capabilities within it to produce complicated new systems within the organism and these building blocks just have to be deployed somehow. If this is true, then the debate moves back to how these building blocks arose.

    We are a long way from answering the basic issues and will remain that way for a long while timewise.

    Then there is the separate and additional research into the nature of proteins and how many functional proteins exist in protein space. The ID hypothesis is that functional protein families or islands are rare and far apart in protein space so that normal mutation events would not be able to reach one from the other. This is a completely different approach to mapping genomes and one that may show the impossibility of any series of mutations that would be necessary for the construction of new proteins. Obviously some could be created or found with a series of mutations but could all or even most or even a few. That is another area of research that would impinge not only on evolution but on Origin of Life.

    So exact propositions may be far in the future but then again the current paradigm has no propositions that have proven out. The very fact that they do not is telling and is one of the strengths of ID. As I said as long as NP does not have any support it means that not NP becomes more of a possibility.

  174. What does your example have to do with an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Contemporary evolutionary models argue that accumulated genetic variation (arising from a variety of unguided means) and selection acting upon that variation play roles both in current models of Allopatric and Sympatric speciation.

    Right. But that does NOT answer my question.

    These models (which are complex, and have numerous other components, such as the varying roles of geographic separation, rapid evolution in small founder populations, etc.) have numerous specific entailments that give rise to specific empirical predictions.

    But not one prediction based on an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Hint- the “accumulation” part is the selection category.

    I present this example not as dispositive proof of evolutionary theory (it addresses a much more narrow question), but as an example of theory giving rise to prediction, and the testing of that prediction.

    It looks like you presented the example because you don’t know what is being debated and could not even follow my lead.

  175. “RAPID ALLOPATRIC SPECIATION IN LOGPERCH DARTERS (PERCIDAE: PERCINA)
    Near, Thomas J.1; Benard, Michael F.2
    Evolution, Volume 58, issue 12 (December 1, 2004), p. 2798-2808″

    Seems like micro evolution which ID completely accepts. It does not seem to be an issue unless the new species developed complex novel capabilities.

  176. Reciprocating_Bill:

    If you disagree, and are truly unfettered, then describe a theoretical entailment of ID theory that generates testable empirical predictions, such that those predictions place ID theory, or a major tenet of ID theory, at risk of disconfirmation.

    You have some serious problems.

    I have already told you what would falsify ID.

    I have even told you how to go about testing it.

  177. 177
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry above:

    No, the expression is “If I ran the zoo” and is the name of a Dr. Seuss book.

    He wrote both: If I Ran the Zoo in 1950, If I Ran the Circus in 1956.

  178. jerry,
    I want to thank you for that post, which confirms a number of things about ID. 1) you have no research program, other than post-hoc reinterpretation of other’s findings. 2) you provide no valuable predictions to evolutionary biology. sorry, but “you won’t find a naturalistic explanation” doesn’t count. try making a single positive prediction and testing it against a null hypothesis. if, as in your bovid example, your predictions are exactly the same as evol bio, how does that make a case for ID helping science at all? 3)no evidence will ever convince you that ID is invalid. if one thing is shown to be explained by naturalistic causes (like the evolution of new organelles), you move the goalposts further back and so on and so on. so I will pull a jerry and say thank you for making the case so clearly that ID has nothing to offer.

  179. 179
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Joseph’s very brief answer, and Jerry’s very long answer, above, essentially assert the same thing: ID can be falsified through a demonstration of complexity in biology arising through natural means. Therefore, ID predicts that no evidence of such natural origins will be observed.

    However, this doesn’t work. Let us imagine a stance of omniscience from which we observe that both ID and evolutionary theory as it currently stands are wrong.

    What researchers (who don’t know this) will observe, with respect to the above formulation, is that evolutionary theory produces no successful accounts of the origins of complex biological structures. It would be mistaken, however, to therefore conclude that ID is correct. There is nothing in the finding “evolutionary theory as currently formulated fails” that enables us to distinguish between “ID also fails” and “ID succeeds.”

    Therefore your proposed falsifications of ID fails, and we are left with a third position: “We don’t know. We don’t have a good theory for the emergence of complexity in nature.”

    What we would know, however, is that the failure of the entailments of theory B does not equal evidence in support of theory A, as above.

    What does actively test a given theory is the generation of positive entailments that follow from that theory, and empirical tests of those entailments. Were we to find ourselves in the position of “We don’t know,” this is the only means by which we may climb out of that state.

    Neither of your examples deliver that.

    One last note. You’ve asserted, essentially, “ID can be falsified through a demonstration of complexity in biology arising through natural means.” That also doesn’t follow, because there is no logical reason to conclude from the observation of the origins of complexity by natural means that other systems haven’t arisen by means of intelligent design.

  180. 180

    Billy continues to argue a point not even in debate, and he does it poorly.

    ID is characterized by a fact that is undisputed. Volitional agency can coordinate separate organizations into a functioning whole, driven by information and meta-information. From an empirical and observational standpoint, it is the only causal mechanism known to have this capacity.

    It is not an issue to show this is the case, the only issue is can chance and necessity mock this capability. ID can be immediately falsified by providing data that shows that it can. This is the reality that Billy wishes would just go away.

    By means of wishing it would just go away, he seeks to demand proofs from ID proponents that are unavailable from materialists for their ideological stance on chance and necessity.

    Chance and necessity remain without empirical support for the belief that they have the ability to coordinate separate organizations into a functioning whole, driven by information and meta-information…while volitional agency remains the only cause known to man that has such a capacity.

    The only card he has to play is the rigors of science card – where he’ll tell the world what is and is not science (as if the very word should be heeded without question).

    By Bill’s way of rational discourse (which he has argued for in his answers) as long as we are removing “hallucinogens and consultations with elders” from the list of sources for scientific inspiration, we might as well go ahead and remove agency from the list of causes known to mankind.

    It makes perfect sense. Bill wants science to operate with an unexamined faith in itself. This is so for no other reason than to have that unexamined faith act as a protective shield for his cherished worldview.

    - – - – - – -

    Let’s try again Bill, do you agree with the following text:

    Scientists believe that they are accountable to a system of norms in which the pursuit of truth and objectivity are the sole considerations accepted by their profession. Whatever other interests they may have in the subject matter of their research are believed to be eclipsed by, and subservient to, the singular objective of their inquiry, namely, the unfettered search for certifiable knowledge.

    If so, and you also agree that the profession should remain accountable to a “system of norms in which the pursuit of truth and objectivity are the sole considerations” acceptable, and further, you also agree that whatever your interests may be, they should to be “eclipsed by, and subservient to, the singular objective of the inquiry, namely, the unfettered search for certifiable knowledge” then…please provide a rational explanation of why an unfettered search for truth about the natural world can arbitrarily silence one of the three causes known to man, and then still act as if its an unfettered search for truth.

  181. 181
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Biped @ 180

    ID is characterized by a fact that is undisputed. Volitional agency can coordinate separate organizations into a functioning whole, driven by information and meta-information. From an empirical and observational standpoint, it is the only causal mechanism known to have this capacity.

    It is not an issue to show this is the case, the only issue is can chance and necessity mock this capability.

    Actually, I dispute this passage, as it assumes its conclusions. The dominant scientific paradigm asserts something else: we observe throughout the natural world organisms consisting of components integrated into functioning wholes that arose by natural means.

    Neither assertion, standing alone, has much value as such. What resolves such disputes are tests of entailments arising from those assertions, such that they are placed at risk of disconfirmation. So it is entirely the issue to show that this is the case.

    Let’s try again Bill, do you agree with the following text:

    Scientists believe that they are accountable to a system of norms in which the pursuit of truth and objectivity are the sole considerations accepted by their profession. Whatever other interests they may have in the subject matter of their research are believed to be eclipsed by, and subservient to, the singular objective of their inquiry, namely, the unfettered search for certifiable knowledge.

    You should credit your sources (Krimsky), and restore “typically” to its position following “Scientists” and before “believe.”

    This passage refers to general values. The “fetters” that constrain science to the standard I have articulated are limitations imposed by epistemology and method, not values. Hence the limitation I describe: theoretical formulations become scientifically useful when they specify entailments that are empirically testable, and that place the theoretical utterance at risk of disconfirmation. Indeed, this is paramount among the “system of norms” by means of which “truth” is pursued scientifically. Hence the pursuit of truth by means of this method (there are many others that don’t happen to be science, as I earlier mentioned), even when conducted in the spirit of the passage quoted above, is still constrained by this limitation.
    Which leaves us with the question, what entailments arise uniquely from ID? What empirical tests arise from these entailments, such that they place ID at risk of confirmation?

  182. 182

    Actually, I dispute this passage, as it assumes its conclusions. The dominant scientific paradigm asserts something else: we observe throughout the natural world organisms consisting of components integrated into functioning wholes that arose by natural means.

    Its hard to imagine a rational person making this claim (while maintaining a straight face).

    The idea that volitional agency can coordinate seperate organizations into a functioning whole (by means of information) is hardly awaiting conclusive evidence – its all around us.

    On the other hand, removing agency from known causes for no other than ideological reasons, then claiming that agency is therefore not an answer IS assuming your conclusions.

    All that’s left is to prove chance and necessity can do what only agency is observed to accomplish – or, is your conclusion not “at risk”.

  183. Reciprocating_Bill:

    That also doesn’t follow, because there is no logical reason to conclude from the observation of the origins of complexity by natural means that other systems haven’t arisen by means of intelligent design.

    It’s even worse than that. Even if we show that nature can produce a given complex organism, Dembski’s framework says that nature itself is only a conduit for design. Here’s Dembski:

    Given, for the sake of argument, that Darwinism is the means by which biological complexity emerged, why is nature such that the fitness landscapes operating in biology are smooth and allow the Darwinian mechanism to be successful? This question, under the supposition of Darwinism’s truth, requires an answer, and it is not enough to say that nature has given us a free lunch.

    Why is ours a world where the Darwinian mechanism works (if indeed it works)? In NFL I contend that design looms here as well.

    If valid, Dembski’s NFL and search-for-a-search arguments render the design hypothesis empirically unfalsifiable. We can never rule out design — we can only push it up a level.

  184. 184
    Reciprocating_Bill

    On the other hand, removing agency from known causes for no other than ideological reasons, then claiming that agency is therefore not an answer IS assuming your conclusions.

    Surely YOU are not removing agency from the candidate clauses.

    So, state your theory regarding the role of agency in the origins of complex organisms. Describe specific testable entailments that arise from your theory, such that empirical test of those entailments have the potential to disconfirm your hypothesis.

  185. 185

    This conversation is somewhat reminiscent of a recent exchange between Timaues and Allen MacNeil, where Timaeus asks Allen how the Darwinian paradigm copuld be placed “at risk”.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-305327

    Allen punted – never to return to the conversation, despite repeated request.

    So be it.

  186. 186

    The link seems to be broken, but here is the relavent text:

    Timaeus:

    As for your last question, exactly the same question can be addressed to Darwinists. What experiment could unambiguously eliminate the Darwinian hypothesis (macroevolution caused by mutations plus natural selection etc.)? If one hypothetical evolutionary pathway from land mammals to whales is falsified, the Darwinists just come up with another one. And they hang on to that one until fossil evidence or genetic evidence or radioactive dating evidence or whatnot makes that one impossible. Then they come up with another one. A while ago it was a hippo-like animal that was the supposed ancestor of the whale; now it’s a wolf-like one. Five years from now it may be a rodent-like one. Never do Darwinists entertain for a moment the possibility that whales *could not* have evolved by entirely naturalistic means from land mammals. For to entertain that possibility would mean to entertain the possibility that whales may have been specially engineered, and that conclusion, even if it is derived entirely from biological data and not at all from any religious teaching, the Darwinists will simply not allow.

    Or am I wrong? Can you give me an example of a “killer observation” or “killer experiment” that would falsify Darwinism completely? And please don’t use “the Cambrian rabbit ploy”. That tired old Cambrian rabbit, whose ears are getting sore from being pulled out of the hat so many times by Darwinists, would indeed falsify common descent. But many ID proponents accept common descent, e.g., Behe, Denton, and they do not expect to find a Cambrian rabbit. Common descent is not the point in debate between ID proper and Darwinism. The issue is, within the working assumption of common descent, what would falsify the Darwinian hypothesis once and for all? What would force a Darwinian to admit that evolution could not have been entirely unguided? I have asked this question over and over again, and never have I spoken to or read a Darwinist who has an answer for it. And being somewhat of a Popperian in philosophy of science (unfashionable, I know, but I was never much for fashion), I would argue that any hypothesis for which this question cannot be answered is not really a scientific hypothesis, but a vague, airy speculation. So, is Darwinian evolution a falsifiable hypothesis, or not? If so, how could it be falsified? If not, why should it be regarded as science?

  187. khan as I said above is like the carnival game where you knock down the doll into a hole and up it pops in another hole. But khan’s inanity has no end. It keeps popping up anew.

    I explain what I would do if I were in charge of the funds and it is almost exactly what is being done now and khan accuses me of having no plan. After making several expected findings from the current research program and its continuation he accuses me of having no predictions. I am sorry but I actually said what I expected to find and I make these predictions based on the evidence from the Edge of Evolution. I could be wrong but I said what the findings will probably support, namely that genomes examined will have devolved from an original gene pool and no new complex capabilities will have arisen, only a reshuffling of the original gene pool with some minor effects due to mutations. That is a major prediction. It is essentially saying that the edge of evolution is only so far up the ladder. But thanks for making an inane comment since it allowed me to explain it a little bit further.

    You may say why am I so confident about this prediction. The answer is human nature. If the anti ID contingent had any example that pointed to the origin of complex novel capabilities, we would hear no end to it. So I feel pretty safe in my prediction which khan does not seem to recognize as a prediction. But I will make another prediction that is pretty safe here. The endless non sequitur comments will not stop no matter how logical and how careful you are to explain them. They will go on and on. It becomes one way to judge someone. If they keep on coming back like khan with non sequiturs it means their only purpose is to frustrate and not to understand or learn.

    I also said if I was mistaken then one would have to move up the ladder further to see where the new complex capabilities came from. Did they develop naturally from processes that formed the order of family or did the originate within the gene pool. Did the two gradual processes which I outlined lead to the capability or did the recombination process over time lead to it. I said they would probably originate from within the gene pool and not develop naturally from scratch while forming the order or family. That is another prediction based on the contingency that there was some new complex novel capability. That means if these capabilities arose they were due to something further back in evolution. Some here believe in a front loading concept and that this is the source for the complex novel capabilities that have arisen over time.

    ID will be never be falsified but could become an irrelevant idea in science if only there were research that showed how the FSCI arose or expanded. But the scientifically relevant idea for ID is that nature does not have the resources to produce the FSCI we see in life.

    So khan, thanks again for misreading what I said.

  188. Upright,

    I would want to see some data on the nature or capabilities of the designer. we can’t say that something was designed without knowing what might have designed it. anthropology, mt. rushmore, forensics, all rely on us knowing about and observing the “designer”, namely us. without that knowledge, literally anything can be ascribed to it. that’s about the only way i’d be convinced. and before you reply, there is plenty of good evidence of evolution’s capabilities for design. the mitochondria and chloroplast evolved through natural processes and they are as good an example of complex traits as any

  189. I explain what I would do if I were in charge of the funds and it is almost exactly what is being done now and khan accuses me of having no plan.

    so I ask again, if you would do exactly what is being done now, how does ID contribute anything to science? if evolutionary biologists were not doing what they are doing, would you still have these ideas? or, to put it more bluntly, are you just a big copycat?

  190. Barry & Clive

    May I suggest some tactics from ClimateAudit

    See: Blog Rules and Road Map
    Editors aggressively “snip” material straying from the blog title.

    CA then added a Message Board with an Unthreaded section to detour commentators eager to sidetrack topics.

  191. 191
    Reciprocating_Bill

    DHL @ 188:

    May I suggest some tactics from ClimateAudit…Editors aggressively “snip” material straying from the blog title.

    I hope someone else here sees the irony of this.

    On a thread introducing a new moderation policy, a policy that states that other than making defamatory and profane statements and/or vicious personal attacks one can “say pretty much what you want,” DHL is asking that more or less respectful posts be deleted because they are ostensibly off topic.

    It appears that at some meta-remove, the thread has become distinctly on-topic after all.

  192. 192
    Reciprocating_Bill

    DLH, that is.

  193. 193

    Joseph:

    “I am trying to get a clear statement from you as to what evidence would falsify ID.”

    And I told you- just show that nature, operating freely can account for that in question.

    And I said that any test had to be feasible. I take it that by ‘that’ you mean the creation of a functioning ribosome. It is not feasible to recreate the conditions on early Earth, in a lab the size of Earth, and sit around for a billion years to see if a ribosome will arise. On the other hand, if a functioning ribosome or similar is created in a lab, you will crow ‘See, we told you intelligence is required.’ There is no feasible evidence that you would consider to refute ID. Prove me wrong by describing what it would be.

    Nopw if you want to falsify ID pertaining to biology just demonsttrate that living organisms can arise from non-living matter without agency involvement.

    See above.

    However we have direct observational evidence of designers designing editorial programs as well as designing translators- ie compilers.

    The ribosome is a genetic compiler.

    Analogies can be taken too far.

    Then through logic and deduction we infer the ribosome was designed- that and the fact it is irreducibly complex.

    Oops! You’ve done it.

    Predictions from ID include but are not limited to:

    Irreducible complexity and complex specified information.

    Which definition of irreducible complexity are you using? The original ‘a system stops working when a component is removed’ (which was first called ‘interlocking complexity’ and was predicted to be a result of evolution by Muller). How about Behe’s second definition ‘a system ceases to perform its original function when a component is removed’ or his third ‘a system which could not have evolved’? I recall he has recently produced a fourth definition but I can’t remember what it is.

    Do you understand what exactly is meant by ‘complex specified information’? In information theory something that is easily specified is not complex, something that is complex is not easily specified. Besides, no-one has ever even attempted to determine which has the greater CSI, an African violet, the sum of the bacteria in the soil in the pot or the person holding them. Has it even been determined what the units should be?

    What would we expect to see if living organisms owe their diversity to an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Many predictions have been made from the theory of evolution. Darwin, on seeing an orchid with a 30cm long corolla tube, predicted that in the same area there would be found a moth with a 30cm long proboscis, far longer than anything seen hitherto. It was found. It was an understanding of the TOE and the theory of plate tectonics that led to the discovery of Tiktaalik. I’m willing to make my own predictions: a pseudogene for vitamin C, having the same error in it as in our pseudogene, will be found in orangutans. Here’s another: if any non-primate mammal (in addition to guinea-pigs, for which this is already known to be true) is found to be unable to produce vitamin C, it will not have the same pseudogene. The parasites found only in cats will be closer to those found in lions than to those found only in dogs.

    Now it’s your turn to make similar, readily testable predictions using ID ‘theory’.

    Transciption and translation remain very good evidnce for ID in biology.

    Either that, or they are evidence of your lack of information and imagination, resulting in your inability to think of an evolutionary explanation.

    To refute that inference just demonstrate how such a thing can arise via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Aaargh! That will NOT refute it. All it will do is show that an alternative is possible. For a theory to be tested, a prediction has to be made based on the theory, such that a specified result is not possible under the theory. There has to be a reasonable chance of finding the data if it exists. Nothing else will do.

    BTW Richard, biologists are trying to falsify ID on just about a daily basis.

    Doolittle, Miller, Coyne- just to name a few- have tried to refute ID.

    I could find several places in which these authors demonstrated that some of the assertions by ID proponents are false. I did not see anywhere in which they attempted to falsify ID as a whole. In fact, I do not believe it to be possible because, as I have written repeatedly, IDers have never presented us with any falsifiable prediction to test the concept.

    If you believe that any biologist has attempted to falsify ID, please could you give either a link to a research paper or a lengthy quote (my nearest library that would have such publications is an 8-hour drive away, and there is no public library closer than a 3-hour drive). I am not interested in quotes from newspapers, popular periodicals or books as people tend to express themselves simply or carelessly in these.

    The debate is all about the “How”- so how a scientist gets a synthesized ribosome to function is very relevant.

    I want to know what you mean by ‘how’. Which techniques would be acceptable to you and which would not, and what are your reasons for accepting/not accepting each? I suspect that your real answer is that those that work will not be acceptable because human intelligence was involved.

  194. 194

    Richard [191], don’t sweat feasibility. Joseph requies proof of evolution akin to the dream map of the cartographer: a 1:1 scale map of the world that is the size of the actual world. Only a comprehensive inventory of all biology, known and unknown, will satisfy.

  195. Kellogg doesn’t speak for me.

    He is nothing but a dishonest butthead.

    His posts prove that.

  196. 196

    Moderators:

    “He is nothing but a dishonest butthead.”

    I call foul on ‘nothing but.’

  197. Richard,

    I will ask you again:

    What pro-ID literature have you read?

    Have you read any of the books I listed in comment 165? (follow the link)

    Also I asked you for a prediction from an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    And instead of responding to THAT question you blather on about “evolution”.

    “Evolution” is NOT being debated!

    And yes if someone discovered that living organisms are reducible to matter, energy, chance and necessity, ID would fall.

    Just because you don’t believe that means absolutely nothing to me.

    Please read the following so that you may have some clue as to what is being debated- or you could just start reading the books I listed:

    equivocation and evolution

    Equivocation continued

    Biological evolution what is being debated

  198. 198

    I’ll cop to being a butthead but not to dishonesty.

  199. Transciption and translation remain very good evidnce for ID in biology.

    Either that, or they are evidence of your lack of information and imagination, resulting in your inability to think of an evolutionary explanation.

    So imagination is an acceptable substitute for real data?

    Are you soft?

    Read the following paper:
    Waiting for two mutations: with applications to regulatory sequence evolution and the limits of Darwinian evolution

    Then read Dr Behe’s responses to it:

    Waiting longer for two mutations

    It appears that your position has been falsified. Amnd all you have left is some handwaving and arm-flailing.

  200. David,

    Your post proves your dishonesty.

    Ya see butthead YOU don’t get to tell others what I will or will not do.

    That you did so proves you are dishonest because honest people would not do such a thing.

  201. The ribosome is a genetic compiler.

    Analogies can be taken too far.

    It’s not an analogy to those of us who understand what compilers and ribosomes do.

    To us it is a reality.

    Compilers- source code in usable code out- and it checks for errors.

    Ribosomes- mRNA (source code) in usuable proteins out- and it checks for errors.

    IDers have never presented us with any falsifiable prediction to test the concept.

    You say that out of ignorance of course.

    But that much has been obvious from your first post and your continued insistence that “evolution” and ID are opposites.

  202. 202
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry, Biped, Joe -

    Describe an entailment unique to ID that, were there sufficient funding, could be subject to empirical test. Something that follows from ID such that were we to fail to observe it, ID or a major tenet of ID would be falsified. Your research question should conform to this very simple logical format:

    If P2 (ID) then Q2 (a unique entailment of ID).
    If not Q2 (if the entailment is not observed), then not P2 (ID is false).

    Describe that Q2, and describe how you would research it. Imagine unlimited funding.

    Assertions regarding the entailments of P1 (evolutionary biology) don’t meet this standard, because it doesn’t follow that if not Q1 then P2. That rules out re-interpretations of ongoing biological research.

    I’m truly interested. Surprise me.

  203. Reciprocating_Bill,

    This is going no where. We say what the problem is and what to do about it and you repeat the same question. The Edge of Evolution concludes that there is a limit to the ability of natural processes to produce new genomic elements that would have been necessary for the naturalistic path from microbes to man. Short and sweet.

    One way to prove that this is possibly true or not is the mapping of genomes to see what has changed over time and one way of doing that is to keep going up the ladder of genomes to see where they differ and assess the differences in species as they split from one another. Species -> genera -> families. If a naturalistic mechanism exists then it should have left some forensic trail.

    How difficult is this to understand. The P2 is that there will not be any new complex capabilities. The Q2 would be the lack of a new complex capability.

    If Q2 is not observed (not Q2) and there are new complex capabilities then it would have to be determined how these capabilities arose. Was it a gradualist approach and there are two paradigms now competing or some other process. If it is another process, then was it due to elements in the genome recombining to produce it, then this moves the process further back to try to identify the origin of the genomic elements (e.g. evo devo.) Remember that there is a group who believes in the front loading hypothesis and that all was encoded in the genome at the origin of life.

    If Q2 is observed or no new complex capabilities, then the mapping goes further back to the order or class level where there are definite differences on complex capabilities and the same process is repeated all over again. This will take quite awhile and will still likely be going on after everyone here is gone.

    This question will not be settled in ID’s favor for quite awhile because a lot of possibilities must be eliminated. There will not be any overt acknowledgment of ID because of the political aspects of this but ID will want essentially the same thing as current evolutionary biology. They are both after the same proof, one way or the other. It could be settled on a naturalistic mechanism much quicker if it exists. ID may want to do some other research but the issue will be settled in the mapping of genomes.

    But that will not eliminate ID altogether until the nature of the naturalistic mechanism is identified but the question of evolution will have come a long way. However, right now in my opinion there is no naturalistic mechanism in sight. And each new finding has reinforced that.

  204. Reciprocating_Bill,

    This could also be used to assess the current evolutionary synthesis.

    The P2 is that there will be a new complex capability. The Q2 would be one or more new complex capabilities.

    If Q2 is not observed (not Q2) and there are no new complex capabilities then the mapping goes further back to the order or class level where there are definite differences on complex capabilities and the same process is repeated all over again to assess how such capabilities arose. The focus of the research then will be to try and determine how the various complex novel capabilities arose.

    And all this could be very different from class to class and from phylum to phylum.

  205. 205
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry,

    Since I am apparently incapable of conveying these notions to you, and I can’t think of a simpler or more clear way to express them, we’ll have to agree that this discussion is going nowhere slow and leave it at that.

  206. RB:

    There is a simple direct test of the issue of whether chance + necessity alone can credibly create FSCI.

    It is routinely done by the EIL, and can easily be accessed at their Weasel program page: indeed, it is a roy example, creating 1 in 10^40 instead of the realistic challenge to get to first life functionality in a config space of ~ 10^180,000 for DNA strands of about 300 k bases.

    Weasel gets around the challenge by implementing targetted, proximity-rewarding search that allows NON- functional configs to compete. Thus, it demonstrates the power of design, not of chance + necessity.

    In short, your test has long since been met by the EIL, and the evo mat scheme visibly and demonstrably fails.

    GEM of TKI.

  207. Reciprocating_Bill @205

    Since I am apparently incapable of conveying these notions to you, and I can’t think of a simpler or more clear way to express them, we’ll have to agree that this discussion is going nowhere slow and leave it at that.

    I’m sorry to see you bowing out of this discussion. I agree that it is slow going, but I hope that, with some persistence, you could get an answer (preferably multiple answers) to an essential question.

    Jerry (and Upright BiPed as well, if you like), would you please just directly answer RB’s question? Present an explicit statement of ID theory, provide a prediction based on that statement that could feasibly be tested, and show how the failure of that prediction would falsify all or part of the theory.

    Do not mention evolution or any other theory in either the statement or the prediction. ID must stand on its own as a positive theory. If you cannot do this, you must admit that ID is not a scientific theory yet.

    My personal view is that ID has not yet reached this stage, but that some of Behe’s work is most likely to get it there. I would love to be proven wrong about the current status.

    JJ

  208. 208
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Kairos –

    You demonstrate the same failure of comprehension displayed by the others. A test of the entailments of evolutionary theory, even if such a prediction is disconfirmed (“evolutionary theory is wrong”) is not a test of the entailments of ID, as it provides no information to distinguish enabling a distinction between “ID is also wrong” and “ID is correct.”

    Describe a specific entailment arising from ID, and a test of that entailment (not a test of an entailment of evolutionary theory), such that a component of ID may potentially be disconfirmed.

  209. Describe a specific entailment arising from ID, and a test of that entailment (not a test of an entailment of evolutionary theory), such that a component of ID may potentially be disconfirmed.

    A specific entailment of ID is certain objects cannot be reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity.

    To disconfirm that PoV all that has to be done is show it is reducible to matter, energy, chance and necessity.

    It is that simple.

  210. But don’t take my word for it.

    What I said is printed in black & white:

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    So the bottom-line is if you can demonstrate that nature, operating freely can account for the ORIGIN of FCSI then ID would fall.

  211. 211
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Kairos –

    How does your test distinguish between “ID is also wrong” and “ID is correct?”

  212. 212

    Joseph, my sense of what you require is not dishonest, but an inference from your behavior.

  213. David,

    I have always posted what it would take- ie the evidence required.

    I do NOT require details. Details would be nice, of course.

    However when I see that the only “evidence” is a narrative, I have every reason to question it.

    IOW so far the ONLY difference I see between your position and Young Earth Creationism, is you think you have a better story.

    But hey, you could always just put up some scientific data, we could discuss it and then we could see exactly what “evidence” you do have.

    As I have told you before- even though we know much more about eyes and vision systems than Darwin did, the “evidence” for their evolution is the same- namely we observe differing complexities of eyes and vision systems and we “know” the original population(s) didn’t have either.

    Just because you are gullible enough to buy that just because some scientist sez it is so, don’t hate me just because I demand a bit more than what is being offered.

  214. And David,

    I am still waiting for those rigorous definitions used by your “scientific community” pertaining to biology.

  215. RB:

    You here show that you do not realise that scientific theories are in general not shown to be CORRECT so much as shown to be (i) empirically reliable and also to be (ii) the best of current explanations.

    In short, your objection is [inadvertently] selectively hyperskeptical; for it would undermine all of science if applied equally.

    So, please note:

    1 –> The scientific inference to design does not claim ultimate correctness, but to be a well-tested, empirically reliable best current explanation.

    2 –> If it can be shown that say CSI, where the specification is functional [i.e FSC or FSCI] is plausibly the product of chance + necessity and/or

    3 –> that it is the product of another as yet unknown factor, then

    4 –> the inference to design would be replaced by a better explanation. But,

    5 –> we know that for 2400 years, we have seen that causes do naturally break down into (i) low contigency regularities [tracing to mechanical necessity], and (ii) high contingency outcomes [tracing to either (iii) directed or (iv) undirected stochastic contingency].

    6 –> Case (i) is law or necessity, case (iii) is design,a nd case (iv) is chance.

    7 –> Apart from cases where evolutionary materialist worldviews are potentially at stake, this breakdown by cases is not even controversial.

    8 –> Similarly, we recognise that real life situations are complex and that the different factors act: think of a die dropped in part of a game — law, chance and design may a be acting. [Esp. if the die is loaded . . . ]

    9 –> On an aspect by aspect basis, we can disaggregate the complex outocme, explaining part by law, part by chance, part by design where appropriate.

    10 –> It turns out that specified complexity, esp functionally specified complex information, is a reliable sign of design. So, when we see FSCI we are entitled to infer to design per reliable sign, as a best and well-tested explanation.

    11 –> but as with all scientific inferences, that is subject to further test and correction in light of evidence — not mere metaphysical speculation, or imposition of Lewontinian censorship or just so stories.

    GEM of TKI

  216. David:

    Start with the rigorous definition of LIFE, the subject matter of biology.

    GEM of TKI

  217. Reciprocating_Bill,

    If you are going to comment here, then you should understand the basic levels of ID. When people say they cannot falsify ID, that is correct because all ID needs is just one instance of intelligence to justify its position. That would be a rather difficult position to falsify. There could always be a black swan.

    The ultimate fall back position for ID is the design of the universe. Let us say that is the top level. The universe is finely tuned and how did this happen without an intelligence input. Some will say that this is the only intelligence input in the system. For example, Deists hold this position. The creation of life and all that follows was a result of the initial conditions set up at the Big Bang. That is an ID position taken by some. There have been many discussions here on how to falsify such a position and the only one that holds any water outside of these premises is the infinite universe scenario.

    A lot of religious people hold this principle and they believe that though God interfered in this world in some subtle ways He never changed the laws of nature during His interventions in any major way to accomplish His objectives and the origin of life and its evolution flow from the Big Bang.

    Others including most ID people believe that some intelligence, could be God but it could be someone else, created life. So this would be the one ID event that all ID people generally hold. Some of the ID people believe that once life was created the boundary conditions and initial conditions were such that life evolved and what we see is the result of these constraints. They will say that the initial genomes were full of the potential to guide the microbes to man scenario. Natural selection and mutations were not enough to create the variation necessary to fuel evolution but the actual variation or seeds of it were contained in the initial genomes.

    Others believe that there was an intelligence input at one or more times after this time to guide the process along. Just when or how often is the debate. Now given that, how does one approach the problem scientifically. You keep on saying

    “Describe an entailment unique to ID that, were there sufficient funding, could be subject to empirical test. Something that follows from ID such that were we to fail to observe it, ID or a major tenet of ID would be falsified. ”

    Well given this, I thought I laid out a procedure that would lead to a clear understanding of what happened and try to assess when or how often an intelligent input happened or was required. Given the various positions people have about ID it is hard to imagine what you have in mind. You fail to provide any specifics so you seem to be hiding behind vague statements and decrying the inability of those here to understand. I suggest you get more detailed if you want an answer to your question especially since every thing you have said could also be applied to the current evolutionary synthesis. The answer may be that we cannot satisfy you but right now we do not seem to know what would satisfy you.

  218. Jerry @217

    When people say they cannot falsify ID, that is correct because all ID needs is just one instance of intelligence to justify its position. That would be a rather difficult position to falsify. There could always be a black swan.

    The ultimate fall back position for ID is the design of the universe.

    Jerry, you do realize that you have just admitted that ID is not a scientific theory, right?

    It may be true, but if you can’t specify a clear statement of the theory and a feasibly testable prediction that would serve to falsify it, you’re not talking about science.

    JJ

  219. Jerry @217

    I suggest you get more detailed if you want an answer to your question especially since every thing you have said could also be applied to the current evolutionary synthesis.

    You frequently make claims like this, but I have yet to see you back them up with actual evidence.

    There is room for criticism of modern evolutionary theory (MET), but failing to follow the scientific method is not part of that. There are literally hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed papers that specify feasibly testable predictions entailed by some aspect of MET, and then report the results of those tests.

    What, specifically, are you talking about?

    JJ

  220. 220
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Kairos @ 214

    You here show that you do not realise that scientific theories are in general not shown to be CORRECT so much as shown to be (i) empirically reliable and also to be (ii) the best of current explanations.

    That’s correct.

    The way in which a theory may be said to be empirically reliable is that a) it generates specific positive entailments, such that failure to observe those entailments places the theory at risk of disconfirmation, and b) empirical tests of those entailments are conducted.

    Confidence in the theory is increased if the predicted entailments are observed, although the theory is never regarded as proved. A theory may sometimes be confidently disconfirmed, however, if the predicted entailments are not observed.

    None of the above suggestions get even that far.

  221. 221
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry @ 216

    What I am describing, in highly specific terms, is the basic epistemological foundation of science, and the relationship between scientific theories and empirical observation.

    Pick any level of ID you like. (It’s your theory.)

    Describe your theory at that level, including entailments that necessarily arise from that theory. Describe empirical tests of those entailments, such that failure to observe them would place your theory at risk of disconfirmation.

    Your ramble through genomes doesn’t specify particular entailments, e.g. “If design is true then we should observe ________. If we don’t observe _______ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.”

  222. Reciprocating_Bill,

    I as sorry but it cannot be done exactly the way you want. It is not that simple. But the following is consistent with ID

    If design is true then we should observe

    1. all trivial changes due to micro evolution processes.

    2. for all major changes, that is the creation of complex novel capabilities, we will not observe a micro evolutionary process as a cause of the change.

    But again, ID does not deny that some of these major changes could happen by micro evolutionary processes. So the second proposition should be rewritten

    2. for all major changes, that is the creation of complex novel capabilities, we will not observe a majority of the changes due to micro evolutionary process as a cause of the change or even a significant minority.

    Now theoretically ID could stand for just one not being explained but in reality no one would hold ID for evolution if such a situation existed. ID would retreat to the Origin of Life.

    There are no killer tests for this and you claim what I was saying is rambling, which may be true, but it will take such ongoing research proving true before anyone will take ID seriously. The current paradigm has been falsified completely but people hold out very high hope for it and that new research will eventually find how macro evolution happened. The war is going to be fought at the genome level because it is there and there alone that the information issue can be decided.

    For what the most virulent anti ID position is read the article by Jurgen Brosius in the Vrba and Eldredge book on macro evolution which is a reprint of the June 2005 issue of Paleobiology v. 31; no. 2_Suppl; p. 1-16;

    “Disparity, adaptation, exaptation, bookkeeping, and contingency at the genome level”?
    Jürgen Brosius. Institute of Experimental Pathology, ZMBE, University of Münster, Von-Esmarch-Strasse 56, Münster, Germany. [email protected]

    The application of molecular genetics, in particular comparative genomics, to the field of evolutionary biology is paving the way to an enhanced “New Synthesis.” Apart from their power to establish and refine phylogenies, understanding such genomic processes as the dynamics of change in genomes, even in hypothetical RNA-based genomes and the in vitro evolution of RNA molecules, helps to clarify evolutionary principles that are otherwise hidden among the nested hierarchies of evolutionary units. To this end, I outline the course of hereditary material and examine several issues including disparity, causation, or bookkeeping of genes, adaptation, and exaptation, as well as evolutionary contingency at the genomic level—issues at the heart of some of Stephen Jay Gould’s intellectual battlegrounds. Interestingly, where relevant, the genomic perspective is consistent with Gould’s agenda. Extensive documentation makes it particularly clear that exaptation plays a role in evolutionary processes that is at least as significant as—and perhaps more significant than—that played by adaptation.”

  223. 223
    Reciprocating_Bill

    If design is true…we will not observe a micro evolutionary process as a cause of the [macroevolutionary] change

    OK. If design is true, what WILL you observe? What MUST you observe? Such that if you don’t observe it, design is at risk?

  224. Question

    Is the universe the result of intentional design?

    Prediction:

    1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    2) If the universe were designed for scientific discovery then I would expect a strong correlation between habitability and measurability.

    3) Also if the universe was designed for scientific discovery I would expect it to be comprehensible.

    Test:

    1) Try to determine if the same laws that apply every place on Earth also apply throughout the universe.

    2) Try to determine the correlation between habitability and measurability.

    3) Try to determine if the universe is comprehensible.

    Potential falsification:

    1) Observe that the universe is chaotic.

    2) A- Find a place that is not habitable but offers at least as good of a platform to make scientific discoveries as Earth or B- Find a place that is inhabited but offers a poor platform from which to make scientific discoveries.

    3) Observe that we cannot comprehend the universe, meaning A) what applies locally does not apply throughout or B) what applies in one scenario, even locally, cannot be used/ applied in any similar scenario, even locally.

    Confirmation:

    1) Tests conducted all over the globe, on the Moon and in space confirm that the same laws that apply here also apply throughout the universe.

    2) All scientific data gathered to date confirm that habitability correlates with measurability.

    3) “The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it is comprehensible.” Albert Einstein

    Question

    Are living organisms the result of intentional design?

    Prediction:

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    Further I would expect to see command & control- a hierarchy of command & control would be a possibility.

    Test:

    Try to deduce the minimal functionality that a living organism. Try to determine if that minimal functionality is irreducibly complex and/or contains complex specified information. Also check to see if any subsystems are irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.

    Potential falsification:

    Observe that living organisms arise from non-living matter via a mixture of commonly-found-in-nature chemicals. Observe that while some systems “appear” to be irreducibly complex it can be demonstrated that they can indeed arise via purely stochastic processes such as culled genetic accidents. Also demonstrate that the apparent command & control can also be explained by endothermic and/or exothermic reactions.

  225. 225
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Joseph @ 221

    In what sense are these predictions “entailments” of your theory?

    Entailments follow of necessity from a theory. That is what makes them entailments. And that is why failing to observe them places the theory at risk of disconfirmation.

    1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    I disagree. If the universe was a product of intelligent design I would expect to find various compartments, each governed by a different set of laws intended to facility various designed outcomes.

    Potential falsification: Try to observe the universe and find various compartments containing differing physical laws. If the universe displays uniformity it was not intelligently designed.

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    I disagree. If living organisms were the result of intelligent design I would expect to find organisms with no interacting parts to wear out or break down. I would expect a single, seamless, morphing shape of irreducible simplicity, unattainable by the most skilled human designer, that is immortal and vastly more intelligent than the human beings I’ve met, especially recently.

    Potential falsification: Observe organisms and look for unsurpassed, seamless, irreducible simplicity enabling immortality. If intricate, complex mechanisms are observed that are prone to wearing out and breaking down then living organisms weren’t intelligently designed.

    The point being, Joseph, is that you are pulling these assertions out of your, er, hat, in an entirely ad hoc manner. I see no way in which they are necessary entailments of a theory of intelligent or intentional design. Hence were each disconfirmed one could retreat to what Jerry so tellingly calls a “fallback position,” in which you assert, on an ad hoc basis, something else that you feel is consistent with the data.

    Additionally, in order to discern whether a new, revolutionary theory does a better job of explaining data than the current, dominant paradigm the entailments/predictions that arise out of this new theory must be unique. Astrophysics and cosmology conducted within the natural science framework also observes/assumes uniformity. Hence the observation of uniformity gives no reason to prefer the ID framework, which otherwise appears to have no ability to meaningfully guide empirical research (as amply indicated by the comments on this thread), over the framework of naturalism, which continues to make dramatic progress.

    And lastly, no one is much impressed by “predictions” that predict things we already know/assume to be the case.

  226. 226
    Reciprocating_Bill

    “Facility?” I intended “facilitate.”

  227. OK Reciprocating_Bill,

    Let’s see the entailments pertaing to an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Put up the predictions and what would disconfirm them.

  228. 1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    I disagree. If the universe was a product of intelligent design I would expect to find various compartments, each governed by a different set of laws intended to facility various designed outcomes.

    I speak from decades of design experience.

    That is the understanding of what a common design entails.

    The KEY word being COMMON.

    I take it you missed that in my prediction.

    Try reading what I post.

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    I disagree. If living organisms were the result of intelligent design I would expect to find organisms with no interacting parts to wear out or break down.

    Why? That seems a little childish and silly.

    It appears that you don’t understand much of the physical world.

    The point being, Joseph, is that you are pulling these assertions out of your, er, hat, in an entirely ad hoc manner.

    Wrong again, as usual.

    YOU are twisting them because you can pull stuff out of your arse.

    I see no way in which they are necessary entailments of a theory of intelligent or intentional design.

    But you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge of ID.

    So how would you know what it entails?

  229. From:

    230
    Joseph
    03/19/2009
    7:29 pm

    1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    I disagree. If the universe was a product of intelligent design I would expect to find various compartments, each governed by a different set of laws intended to facility various designed outcomes.

    I speak from decades of design experience.

    That is the understanding of what a common design entails.

    The KEY word being COMMON.

    I take it you missed that in my prediction.

    Why is that? Are you assigning human attributes to these designer(s)? Wouldn’t that like saying you are giving human limitations to somethings or someones who are far beyond humanity? Are you saying that we can know this being, these beings’ minds?

    Try reading what I post.

    It seems as though you are assigning human engineering/your specific parameters to an alleged designer.

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    I disagree. If living organisms were the result of intelligent design I would expect to find organisms with no interacting parts to wear out or break down.

    Why? That seems a little childish and silly.

    It appears that you don’t understand much of the physical world.

    No it seems like good design practices. As someone who designs things, networks in this case, I do my best to have redundancies even after I build in robust and long lasting devices.

    Now, if I had the ability to not only design but create the things that I’d be using for my creations, rest assured it would be of stuff that is tough, robust and redundant ESPECIALLY for things I consider my “prize creations”.

    The point being, Joseph, is that you are pulling these assertions out of your, er, hat, in an entirely ad hoc manner.

    Wrong again, as usual.

    Actually he is correct. You are assigning what you want to see and making excuses for less than optimal designs.

    YOU are twisting them because you can pull stuff out of your arse.

    I see no way in which they are necessary entailments of a theory of intelligent or intentional design.

    But you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge of ID.

    So how would you know what it entails?

    And how do you show what is and what is not designed? How does the ID filter work as to be able to determine what is designed, what is not designed and what is something else?

  230. 230
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Joseph @ 230

    That is the understanding of what a common design entails.

    “Common design” is an ad hoc character you’ve attached to “Intentional Design.” That, asserted tautologically, doesn’t improve your position.

    I disagree. If living organisms were the result of intelligent design I would expect to find organisms with no interacting parts to wear out or break down.

    Why? That seems a little childish and silly.

    Now you’re starting to get it. It’s a parody of your assertions, which are equally arbitrary, ad hoc, and, to my ear, silly.

    It appears that you don’t understand much of the physical world.

    Can’t have it both ways, Joseph. The scientific framework that honors what we know about the physical world is called “naturalism.” Current evolutionary theory is the most complete account of the history of life on earth within the framework of naturalism.

    Intelligent design theory, as repeatedly stated throughout this thread, asserts that natural mechanisms are insufficient to account for the origins and evolution of life on earth, and hence asserts phenomena that are “othernatural.” Above I state the entailments of a (satirical) alternative intelligent design theory that is also othernatural. Rather than strictly reflecting natural law, it too reflects the will of an intelligent agent.

    But you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge of ID.
    So how would you know what it entails?

    Educate me. Describe why “common design” at the cosmological level is a necessary entailment of ID at that level. And tell me why that designer would be constrained to create creatures that are complex, rather than impossibly simple. I would have thought that a designer capable of creating the laws of physics could have it any way he wanted. Why do these qualities necessarily flow from intelligent design?

  231. 231
    Reciprocating_Bill

    229
    OK Reciprocating_Bill,

    Let’s see the entailments pertaing to an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Put up the predictions and what would disconfirm them.

    “Accumulation of genetic accidents” doesn’t comport with any version of evolutionary theory I know. That said, the “accumulation of genetic accidents” in a population, alone (absent selection), would result in drift and ultimately a reduction in the average fitness/success of that population.

    Drift and reduced reproductive success are readily observable.

  232. 232

    Joseph:

    Transciption and translation remain very good evidnce for ID in biology.

    Either that, or they are evidence of your lack of information and imagination, resulting in your inability to think of an evolutionary explanation.

    So imagination is an acceptable substitute for real data?

    Are you soft?

    I understood you to be trying to say that, because you can’t think of a way for transcription and translation to evolve, therefore ID. If you did not mean this, please could you clarify your statement.

    Read the following paper:
    Waiting for two mutations: with applications to regulatory sequence evolution and the limits of Darwinian evolution

    Then read Dr Behe’s responses to it:

    Waiting longer for two mutations

    I notice that Behe’s blog does not allow comments and I was unable to read more than the abstract of Durrett’s paper, but from a response I found elsewhere it seems that Behe made the elementary mistake of assuming that the two mutations had to be more or less simultaneous.

    The ribosome is a genetic compiler.

    Analogies can be taken too far.

    It’s not an analogy to those of us who understand what compilers and ribosomes do.

    Don’t be condescending. I used to spend many hours programming in Algol and Fortran (and other languages), and last week I explained the function of ribosomes to my students.

    IDers have never presented us with any falsifiable prediction to test the concept.

    You say that out of ignorance of course.

    I have been asking you to present a falsifiable prediction to test the concept of ID from the beginning and you have been dodging the issue, so who’s fault is it that I am still ignorant?

    But that much has been obvious from your first post and your continued insistence that “evolution” and ID are opposites.

    Don’t put words into my mouth. I have never said that evolution (or “evolution” if you prefer) and ID are opposites.

    Although in a sense of course you are right. The TOE has resulted in thousands of testable predictions where there has been not a one from ID.

    If IDers want to become real scientists they must produce testable predictions then actually put them to the test, otherwise they are just playing at being scientists.

  233. “If evolutionary biology want to become real scientists they must produce testable predictions then actually put them to the test, otherwise they are just playing at being scientists.”

  234. ““Accumulation of genetic accidents” doesn’t comport with any version of evolutionary theory I know”

    I think you should check on what is cutting edge evolutionary theory. It is exactly the accumulation of genetic accidents that is the main theory these days. I told you to read Brosius’ article. You should stop commenting to you get up to speed.

  235. RB @ 220:

    Really now.

    Kindly show me a case of known to be produced by chance + necessity only contextually responsive text in ASCII English characters, of at least 143 length — about 18 words; 1 – 2 good sentences.

    I am able to show you endless cases of intelligent designers implementing such strings — yourself included.

    Further to this, kindly show me any case of computer programs of length exceeding 1,000 bits [about 128 bytes . . . ] and/or associated data structures with functional contents, that have been known to be created by chance plus necessity only. (Rumours about “uncle Bill” hiring large numbers of Bonobos at about the time Vista was under development will not suffice!)

    GEM of TKI

    PS: here is my update to the monkeys at typewriters challenge. [You will see that I put far more confidence in hardware noise generators than software games. The zener driver ckt will have to be validated as giving reasonably flat random output -- circuits exist for that.] Care to take it on? It would be a very easy way to show the plausibility of chance + necessity producing FSCI within the gamut of the observed universe’s search resources. And if you succeed — but note the integrity of the expt would have to be audited independently, the CSI plank of the ID theory would collapse.

  236. PPS: On further examination, this thread is waay off track. Also Joseph please refrain from vulgarity or angry words; which just feeds the trolls.

    PPPS: As to the inferences from the design explanation, Joseph is correct, per summarising several leading design works. E.g. designs serve a purpose, so they tend to be integrated wholes even in the teeth of tradeoffs and balancing acts that my be required along the way [look up TRIZ]. As artifacts of intelligence, it would be unsurprising that hey would be intelligible. And, where we have functionality, fine-tuned, complex, information-rich complexity is unsurprising. Algorithmic processes [discrete state control; e.g. a snack vending machine], and control loop-based control with hierarchies are again commonplace features and characteristics of design. The problem with the objectors is that all of this sounds all too familiar about the universe and about life forms in it. So, they have — as usual – resorted to diversions. the mod policy, again, needs to cut off such diversions, if the threads are to remain productive.

    BTW: On a commonality across the scope of the4 observed cosmos, astronomy provides light and gravitational phenomena as good instances. For instance, the red-shifted Fraunhoffer lines in stellar and galactic spectra are consistent with a cosmos-scale expansion process, and with the presence of the elementary particles and elements familiar to us form studying the elements in our periodic table. That observed galaxies take the known range of elliptical, spiral, barred spiral (as ours evidently is) and irregular/peculiar forms strongly suggests that the same dynamics that we know locally are and have been working across the scale of the cosmos as a while. Similarly the 2.7 K black body spectrum microwave background is a strong sign of a common process. UNITY is there to be seen; the same unity that led newton to speak of common Law given by a common Pantokrator in his General Scholium, which will still well repay an insightful reading (one not biased by current selectively hyperskeptical secularist tendencies).

  237. 237
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry @ 234 and Kairos @ 235

    No one asserts that genetic errors alone account for evolutionary change. They are a necessary but not sufficient condition for evolution. Do you dispute my prediction above? (drift and deterioration).

    The monkeys at keyboards illustration omits selection, as well as numerous other mechanisms (eg. population factors, allopatry, etc.) that are critical components of contemporary evolutionary theory. There is a “latching in weasel” discussion ongoing elsewhere on this board in which I know you both are participating; safe to assume that your attention has recently been drawn to that omission, as well as a 10^150 times previously.

    None of the above comments on “commonality in the cosmos” speak to why such uniformity is a necessary entailment of ID. I say it is an instance of ad hoc conformity to observations.

    Lest we forget, all the mists and hot air emitted here notwithstanding, I have yet to read, vis ID, anything that completes the following:

    If design is true then we should observe ________. If we don’t observe _______ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.”

  238. 238
    Reciprocating_Bill

    For clarity, amend the first sentence above to read, “No one asserts that genetic errors alone account for the origins of evolutionary adaptations.” (Drift and deterioration are change.)

  239. RB:
    “Accumulation of genetic accidents” doesn’t comport with any version of evolutionary theory I know.

    That IS the theory of evolution!

    According to thne theory EVERY mutation is an accident.

    According to the theory natural selection helps thjose accidents acumulate.
    From the “Contemporary Discourse in the Field Of Biology” series I am reading Biological Evolution: An Anthology of Current Thought- a peer-reviewed supplemental high school text:

    The old, discredited equation of evolution with progress has been largely superseded by the almost whimsical notion that evolution requires mistakes to bring about specieswide adaptation. Natural selection requires variation, and variation requires mutations- those accidental deletions or additions of material deep within the DNA of our cells. In an increasingly slick, fast-paced, automated, impersonal world, one in which we are constantly being reminded of the narrow margin for error, it is refreshing to be reminded that mistakes are a powerful and necessary creative force. A few important but subtle “mistakes,” in evolutionary terms, may save the human race. -page 10 ending the intro

  240. “Common design” is an ad hoc character you’ve attached to “Intentional Design.”

    Wrong again.

    It is an inference from observations and experience.

    Ya see THAST is how science operates.

    Make an observation then try to explain it using various methods.

    Are you trying to say that the theory of evolution is not ad hoc/ post hoc?

    You are full of it.

    Can’t have it both ways, Joseph. The scientific framework that honors what we know about the physical world is called “naturalism.”

    Nonsense. You can call it what you want but it does not make it so.

    Current evolutionary theory is the most complete account of the history of life on earth within the framework of naturalism.

    And current evolutionary theory is nonsense.

    For example even though we know much more about eyes and vision systems than Darwin did, the “evidence” for their evolution remains the same- that is we have observed varying degrees of complexity amongst eyes and vision systems and we “know” the original population(s) did not have either.

    Truly pathetic.

    But I understand why you would buy into it.

    Intelligent design theory, as repeatedly stated throughout this thread, asserts that natural mechanisms are insufficient to account for the origins and evolution of life on earth, and hence asserts phenomena that are “othernatural.”

    Artificial. Just as the pyrimids are artificial and the mechanisms for building them were also artificial.

    But you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge of ID.
    So how would you know what it entails?

    Educate me.

    Pay me.

    Ya see I don’t deal with people who are willfully ignorant.

    If you really want to know about ID there are many books written that will do just that.

    It is beyond ridiculous that you would come to a discussion without any knowledge of what is being discussed.

    ?Recommended Literture Pertaining to ID

    If you have any SPECIFIC questions after you read those books then come back and ask.

  241. Richard Simons chimes in with the standard nonsense:

    I understood you to be trying to say that, because you can’t think of a way for transcription and translation to evolve, therefore ID.

    ID is NOT anti-evolution.

    Why is that simple point so difficult for you to understand?

    Did that process evolve by design or did it evolve via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    IOW do you think a blind search for something that doesn’t yet exist is a valid model?

    I notice that Behe’s blog does not allow comments and I was unable to read more than the abstract of Durrett’s paper, but from a response I found elsewhere it seems that Behe made the elementary mistake of assuming that the two mutations had to be more or less simultaneous.

    Behe doesn’t make that mistake.

    I have been asking you to present a falsifiable prediction to test the concept of ID from the beginning and you have been dodging the issue

    I have provided exactly that.

    You just refuse to accept what I have provided because you have some mental block.

    Don’t put words into my mouth. I have never said that evolution (or “evolution” if you prefer) and ID are opposites.

    You don’t have to say it.

    Your posts say it for you:

    I understood you to be trying to say that, because you can’t think of a way for transcription and translation to evolve, therefore ID

    YOU are contrasting evolution to ID.

    The TOE has resulted in thousands of testable predictions where there has been not a one from ID.

    There isn’t one testable prediction based on the mechanism of an accumulation of genetioc accidents.

    None, nada, zero, zip, zilch.

    If IDers want to become real scientists they must produce testable predictions then actually put them to the test, otherwise they are just playing at being scientists.

    Been there, done that.

    Just because you refuse to acknowledge it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

  242. Intelligent Design is premised on the SAME idea as that of archaeology, forensics and SETI-

    Mainly that when agencies act they leave traces of their actions behind.

    Such actions can be encapsulated by work or counterflow.

    Both CSI and IC are examples of work/ counterflow.

    This is because that in all of our experience and observations, every time we have observed CSI and IC, and knew the cause it was ALWAYS via agency involvement.

    Therefor to refute ID all one has to do is DEMONSTRATE that the observed CSI and IC can be accounted for via matter, energy, chance and necessity.

    Now if RB and RS don’t like that that is too bad. I would say that they do not understand science.

    And as for “naturalism” the ONLT explanation for the laws that govern nature provided by “naturalism” is “They just are (the way the are)” -Hawking in “A Briefer History of Time”.

    Is that testable? No, but that is “naturalism” for ya.

  243. 243
    Reciprocating_Bill

    That IS the theory of evolution!

    You omitted selection, as well as other necessary factors that are integral to evolutionary theory, as I just stated.

    [common design/uniformity] is an inference from observations and experience.

    Although you originally presented it as a (tautological) entailment of common design (“if the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect…”), turns out it is NOT an entailment (necessary consequence) after all. It is an inference from observations and experience. Not the same thing.

    As such (derived from inference and experience) observed uniformity has no necessary connection with ID, and to assert any such connection is ad hoc until you describe why it necessarily arises as an entailment of ID. Therefore observations in this domain can neither confirm nor disconfirm ID.

    In short, it fails as a response to my simple request for an empirically testable entailment of ID that places ID at risk of disconfirmation.

    Moreover, since current astrophysics also postulates uniformity as an assumption, it isn’t a “prediction” unique to ID, and cannot justify the preference of current (fertile and productive) framework from ID (which is empirically barren).

    If you have any SPECIFIC questions after you read those books then come back and ask.

    Just one – Would you please complete the following?

    If design is true then we should observe ________. If we don’t observe _______ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.”

  244. From:

    240
    Joseph
    03/20/2009
    6:50 am

    If you really want to know about ID there are many books written that will do just that.

    That puts ID in the same category as “The Inner Goddess” and “Crystal Therapy” books. No research, hence the term “research paper” to go by for either.

    If you have any SPECIFIC questions after you read those books then come back and ask.

    I have some:

    1: How are those structures that are designed determined vs ad hoc ones?

    2: Are there more than one designer?

    3: What is the desgner(s) like? Even in archeology, one of the first steps after rigorous determination that the artifact is indeed one that was made by an early civilization, archeologists go out to reconstruct the culture, mindsets and more of those early “designers of artifacts”.

    4: Why is the designer(s) intelligent? Could they be incompetent but lucky that one group (after all look at all the galaxies, the billions upon billions of stars in them and the planets which we now find are ubiquitous in almost any star system) and not so smart?

    5: Last, what designed this designer(s)? Doesn’t ID just push back the question of “where and how did life begin and evolve”?

    Thanks for your time.

  245. You omitted selection, as well as other necessary factors that are integral to evolutionary theory, as I just stated.

    ACCUMULATION is the SELECTION part.

    I have already explained that.

    Why do YOU ignore it?

    Also every other factor is an ACCIDENT- that is according to the cureent theory.

    Moreover, since current astrophysics also postulates uniformity as an assumption

    No it doesn’t. IOW there isn’t ANY reason, besides ID, that the universe should be the way it is.

    If ID were true we should observe traces of agency involvement. If we don’t observe traces of agency involvement ID woulkd be superfulous- IOW it is an unnecessary inference and as a matyer of fact would never have been postulated.

    So what we have is RB and RS REFUSING to read pro-ID literture, and REFUSING to accept the reality of what it would take to falsify/ disconfirm ID- even though it is printed in black & white.

    Now to counter my claim all RB and RS have to do is demonstrate what testable predictions come from unguided and blind evolutionary processes.

    That way we can compare.

    However it is obvious that ALL they can do is present vague “predictions” based on an even more vague theory of evolution.

  246. If you have any SPECIFIC questions after you read those books then come back and ask.

    OK Frank, which of those books did you read?

    You do understand English, right?

  247. 1: How are those structures that are designed determined vs ad hoc ones?

    Via tried and true design detection techniques- observation and experience.

    2: Are there more than one designer?

    That is a possibility.

    ID is about the DESIGN not the designer(s).

    3: What is the desgner(s) like?

    Don’t know. If we knew the designer we wouldn’t have a design INFERENCE. Design would be a given.

    Ya see in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the ONLY possible way to make any scientific determination about the designer(s) or the specific process(es) used, is by studying the design in question.

    4: Why is the designer(s) intelligent?

    The “Intelligent” in Intelligent Design is to differentiate between apparent design on one side and optimal design on the other.

    Read this article for a more thorough explanation.

    5: Last, what designed this designer(s)?

    ID is not about the designer.

    Read the following:

    Who Designed the Designer?

  248. From:

    246

    Joseph

    03/20/2009

    7:33 am

    If you have any SPECIFIC questions after you read those books then come back and ask.

    OK Frank, which of those books did you read?

    You do understand English, right?

    Ah, insults. Excellent.

    Books:

    Darwin’s Black Box

    The Design Matrix

    and

    Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

    Yes, I know they “address”, I read it as “skirt around the issues”, of the questions I asked you. But that is the rub, they do not answer anything just make conjecture.

    Do you understand English?

  249. It was a question not an insult.

    Ya see had you read the books you would have said so FIRST and then premised the questions from that.

    As for conjecture- well that is ALL the theory of evolution is- basically speculation based on the assumption.

    And ALL the theory nof evolution has is a glossy narrative.

    That is it. Period, end of story…

  250. And BTW RB,

    The premise of common design could be readily refuted- IOW it is open to testing and I even provided a way to falsify that premise.

    So keep flailing away I find it very entertaining…

  251. From:

    1: How are those structures that are designed determined vs ad hoc ones?

    Via tried and true design detection techniques- observation and experience.

    And these are what? Could these determine if the human eye was designed? What about the cephalopod’s eye?

    As to “ID being about the designer, not the designer”, that is a misleading sentence. You have already assumed the designer is intelligent and by association, competent and thorough.

    Like I stated, nothing in ID goes after the designers. To do so would invite disaster. Nothing about the competencies, number, qualities nor even if they themselves were designed. It doesn’t want to ask those questions.

  252. Via tried and true design detection techniques- observation and experience.

    And these are what?

    I am sure that archaeologists and forensic scietists just flip a coin.

    That is how science is conducted right? By flipping a coin?

    Geez it seems to work so what is your problem? (end sarcasm)

    As to “ID being about the designer, not the designer”, that is a misleading sentence.

    It isn’t misleading it is a FACT.

    Ya see we don’t have to know anything about the designer BEFORE determining whether or not the object in question was designed.

    You have already assumed the designer is intelligent and by association, competent and thorough.

    Thorough? I never made that assumption. “Intelligent” I explained that. “Competent” at least competent enough to mhave designed what we are observing.

    Like I stated, nothing in ID goes after the designers.

    For the REASON I provided plus other valid reasons.

    That said ID does NOT prevent people from asking those questions.

    It is just that ID was not formulated to do so.

    ID is ONLY about first detecting and then studying the design.

  253. And tell me why that designer would be constrained to create creatures that are complex, rather than impossibly simple.

    No such constraints exist. However had living organisms been so simple such that nature, operating freely, ie they can be reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity, then a designer would be a superfulous inference- ie deemed unnecessary.

    If Stonehnege were more simple then geologist, not archaeologists, would be studying it.

    IOW there wouldn’t be any reason for an archaeologist to figure it out if nature, operating freely can account for it.

    And if creatures were “impossibly simple” I would expect to continually see them arising from non-living matter.

  254. Reciprocating Bill,

    ID accepts natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow which are essentially part of the genetic side of the evolutionary synthesis and is known as part of micro evolution. This represents trivial change and ID does not dispute it and in fact I personally have often called it great design.

    But it is not the essence of the debate which has always been the source of variation on which natural selection and genetic drift and other genetic factors such as recombination can operate. As a population divides for whatever reason and faces a new environment, the population gene pool will get narrower as selection and drift eliminates some alleles. Each such occurrence enables the population to adapt but it lessens the chance that it will be able to adapt in the future to a shift in environment. This is micro evolution 101 and we all accept it here.

    Bill, I think you should apologize to us. After all this going back and forth, it was us who have the sophisticated understanding of modern evolutionary theory and you were fixated on the trivial micro evolution which is not at issue. You wasted a lot of our time.

  255. From:

    252
    Joseph
    03/20/2009
    8:10 am

    Via tried and true design detection techniques- observation and experience.

    And these are what?

    I am sure that archaeologists and forensic scietists just flip a coin.

    And where has this been applied rigorously to design in biology?

    That is how science is conducted right? By flipping a coin?

    None that I am aware of at least. But the question remains, where has designed detection techniques been rigorously applied to biology, genetics or other life science?

    Geez it seems to work so what is your problem? (end sarcasm)

    I am not getting direct answers only the run around.

    As to “ID being about the designer, not the designer”, that is a misleading sentence.

    It isn’t misleading it is a FACT.

    It is only a fact due to the fact that ID-proponents purposely stop there to avoid the sticky issue of who or what the designers are.

    Ya see we don’t have to know anything about the designer BEFORE determining whether or not the object in question was designed.

    Which is very disenginuous at the very least. If you believe you see design, a fingerprint, knowing who left the fingerprint is just as important.

    Like the forensic experts you call upon. Not only do they look to find if there are any “fingerprints” at the scene, they look to find out how many sets of fingerprints there are. Then they go to indentify to whom the fingerprints bellong. They take it further to see if someone planted false evidence and who that was.

    In forensics, the identification of those that “designed” the incident is the first concern. They don’t get to a scene, say, “Yeah, looks like someone designed this accident so it wasn’t an accident but a homicide.

    You have already assumed the designer is intelligent and by association, competent and thorough.

    Thorough? I never made that assumption. “Intelligent” I explained that. “Competent” at least competent enough to mhave designed what we are observing.

    But that is the catch. If you were to go to a river and saw a damn, would you think it was intelligently designed? Same with the honeycombs of beehives. Are they intelligently designed? See you have already assumed that things in nature were designed by intelligence as to better accommodate the idea you have of the designer. Isn’t that true?

    Like I stated, nothing in ID goes after the designers.

    Why not? Forensic experts find the “design” to identify the perp.

    For the REASON I provided plus other valid reasons.

    Your reason is not objective, it is subjective. Also, what “other” reasons?

    That said ID does NOT prevent people from asking those questions.

    But it seems to want to freeze them out.

    It is just that ID was not formulated to do so.

    So ID was specifically designed to be limited?

    ID is ONLY about first detecting and then studying the design.

    But couldn’t there be multiple designers? If so, how would ID handle designers of different competencies and abilities?

    Again, Forensics look for the “signatures” in the “design” to identify those responsible.

    Why is ID being treated differently?

  256. 256
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Bill, I think you should apologize to us. After all this going back and forth, it was us who have the sophisticated understanding of modern evolutionary theory and you were fixated on the trivial micro evolution which is not at issue. You wasted a lot of our time.

    I’ve focused upon a single request, a request that has nothing whatever to do with “microevolution”:

    Describe entailments that arise of necessity from intelligent design theory. Then describe an empirical test of those entailments, such that ID theory is put at risk of disconfirmation.

    No one, including you, has even remotely responded to these simple requests, which are grounded in the absolute basics of scientific epistemology.

  257. From mine, tags fixed as I can’t edit it:

    Like I stated, nothing in ID goes after the designers.

    Why not? Forensic experts find the “design” to identify the perp.

    For the REASON I provided plus other valid reasons.

    Your reason is not objective, it is subjective. Also, what “other” reasons?

    That said ID does NOT prevent people from asking those questions.

    But it seems to want to freeze them out.

    It is just that ID was not formulated to do so.

    So ID was specifically designed to be limited?

    ID is ONLY about first detecting and then studying the design.

    But couldn’t there be multiple designers? If so, how would ID handle designers of different competencies and abilities?

    Again, Forensics look for the “signatures” in the “design” to identify those responsible.

    Why is ID being treated differently?

  258. Reciprocating_Bill,

    I thing you have demonstrated that you lack the knowledge to contribute to this discussion. Whatever your requests may amount to in every day English, and by the way I have a background in science, they could be applied to evolutionary biology and macro evolution.

    You hide behind some terms as “the absolute basics of scientific epistemology.” I have had courses in the philosophy of science and read and watched videos on it and never saw anything meaningful discussed that used terminology such as this. Come down to earth.

    Your invoking drift and deterioration was an attempt to be specific and these terms have no meaning in the debate which indicates that you do not understand it. So I suggest you go back to basics and read up on this topic and come back here when you can be more relevant.

  259. 259
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry @ 258

    So, I gather you have no sensible response to the following:

    Describe entailments of ID theory. Then describe an empirical test of those entailments such that ID theory is placed at risk of disconfirmation.

    Since you seem to need more elementary terminology:

    What positive, testable predictions follow from ID theory, such that empirical test of those predictions put ID at risk of disconfirmation?

  260. Jerry @258

    I thing you have demonstrated that you lack the knowledge to contribute to this discussion.

    On the contrary, RB has demonstrated a solid understanding of how science is practiced.

    Whatever your requests may amount to in every day English, and by the way I have a background in science, they could be applied to evolutionary biology and macro evolution.

    This sentence doesn’t even make sense. Based on your voluminous posts on UD, your understanding of science and the scientific method seems sorely lacking.

    If you’re trying to say that evolutionary biologists don’t follow the scientific method, you are demonstrating gross ignorance of hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed papers. You should educate yourself instead of continuing to contribute to the idea that ID is primarily supported by people who don’t know anything about modern biology.

    You hide behind some terms as “the absolute basics of scientific epistemology.” I have had courses in the philosophy of science and read and watched videos on it and never saw anything meaningful discussed that used terminology such as this. Come down to earth.

    You should request your money back for those courses and videos, because what RB is saying would be recognized by any scientifically literate high school student.

    Your invoking drift and deterioration was an attempt to be specific and these terms have no meaning in the debate which indicates that you do not understand it. So I suggest you go back to basics and read up on this topic and come back here when you can be more relevant.

    RB has been continuously asking for one thing and one thing only: for you to demonstrate that ID is a scientific theory. In order to do that, all you have to do is state the theory, describe one or more predictions that follow directly from the theory, and specify a feasible test of those predictions that, were it to fail, disprove the theory.

    That is the very core of the scientific method. You could have simply answered the challenge when it was first posed. Your refusal to do so suggests that you are not just unwilling, but unable.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t think ID is mature enough to meet this minimal standard yet, although I suspect Behe’s work will get us there. In the meantime, we need to be brutally honest with ourselves and our detractors about the real state of ID research.

    JJ

  261. To help you there Jerry, here are a few things that will falsify Evolution:

    1: Dogs giving birth (unaided) to cats.

    2: A Rabbit fossil found with the same age as the T-Rex fossil it is in.

    3: Terrestrial flowering plant fossils found older than 500MY

    Stuff like that. So what would falsify ID?

  262. “What positive, testable predictions follow from ID theory, such that empirical test of those predictions put ID at risk of disconfirmation?”

    I have described this in detail on this thread. So I suggest you re-read what has been written. One novel complex capability arising through natural means would be greeted with a roar by those who support a naturalistic approach to evolution. So far none has been documented. I proposed an approach on how such could be documented and you give me gibberish.

    If several examples were documented then this would go a long way to falsifying any ID proposition about intelligence needed in the evolution of these capabilities.

    As I said the very fact that you admitted to an irrelevant understanding of evolution makes you suspect as a judge of what is relevant or not. How anyone who claims to understand this debate would have brought up drift or the idea of deterioration is beyond me.

  263. From:

    262
    jerry
    03/20/2009
    1:32 pm

    “What positive, testable predictions follow from ID theory, such that empirical test of those predictions put ID at risk of disconfirmation?”

    I have described this in detail on this thread. So I suggest you re-read what has been written. One novel complex capability arising through natural means would be greeted with a roar by those who support a naturalistic approach to evolution. So far none has been documented. I proposed an approach on how such could be documented and you give me gibberish.

    That you could have responded in such a way instead of answering the question in a positive light, aka “Alright guys, this would falsify ID as would this…..”, speaks volumes. It is a common tactic of posters in over their head to announce, “I already showed that”, without so much as a mention of what they claim to have done. Please show me up and provide where you showed that in this thread.

    If several examples were documented then this would go a long way to falsifying any ID proposition about intelligence needed in the evolution of these capabilities.

    As there are no examples of ID being documented (there are? Please go ahead and show me up by posting them) we’ll never know.

    As I said the very fact that you admitted to an irrelevant understanding of evolution makes you suspect as a judge of what is relevant or not. How anyone who claims to understand this debate would have brought up drift or the idea of deterioration is beyond me.

    Strawman. I guess that is easier than responding to RB’s question.

  264. Richard Simons and Reciprocating Bill-Something to think about:

    You have asked what would disconfirm/ falsify the design inference, ie intelligent design.

    Time and again I have told you to falsify/ disconfirm the design inference- ie intelligent design- all you have to do is to reduce and simplify.

    That is show that nature, operating freely- ie no agency involvement- can account for it.

    And every time both of you have refused to acknowledge that rather simple fact of life.

    So here it is as plainly and simple as I can put it:

    Each and EVERY time someone has pointed out something with only “apparent” design- ie lightning, giant’s causeway, the movement of the stars and planets- whatever it was, the way the design inference was refuted was by demonstrating that nature, operating freely is sufficient.

    THAT is the way it is. Deal with it.

  265. “To help you there Jerry, here are a few things that will falsify Evolution:

    1: Dogs giving birth (unaided) to cats.

    2: A Rabbit fossil found with the same age as the T-Rex fossil it is in.

    3: Terrestrial flowering plant fossils found older than 500MY

    Stuff like that. So what would falsify ID?”

    Yes, your examples would cause quite a stir but no one in ID or any other scientific endeavor expects to find anything like that. So this is at best a facetious example and may reflect on the originator more than anything. If only outlandish examples such as these are proffered then no one would take the science seriously. What falsifies the current synthesis is its inability to show how the information necessary for new complex capabilities arose. That is the ongoing issue discussed in evolutionary biology. I suggest you read the Brosius article to get a feel for what serious evolutionary biologists are looking at.

  266. Frank:

    To help you there Jerry, here are a few things that will falsify Evolution:

    1: Dogs giving birth (unaided) to cats

    How would that falsify evolution?

    Is the a tenet in the theory that sates “dog cannot give birth to cats”?

    2: A Rabbit fossil found with the same age as the T-Rex fossil it is in.

    Point to the passage from the ToE that states “rabbits cannot exist with T-Rex”.

    3: Terrestrial flowering plant fossils found older than 500MY

    But the ToE doesn’t say anything about a timeline thing shave to happen in.

    So what would falsify ID?

    Exactly what IDists have been saying forever- the SAME thing that has falsified design inferences throughout our history- reduce and simplify.

    That is demonstrate that nature, operating freely can acount for it- whatever is being investigated.

  267. Joseph,

    These are all not serious commenter here. For awhile I thought that Reciprocating Bill was serious but it became clear after awhile that he too was spouting nonsense.

    My guess is that these people are in fact clueless or that they are just having fun feigning stupidity so as to disrupt the conversations here. If they are clueless, then it says something about what is out there in the general population and who feel they can come here and comment. They certainly cannot comment on anything sensible or logical.

  268. Well Jerry,

    This:

    Each and EVERY time someone has pointed out something with only “apparent” design- ie lightning, giant’s causeway, the movement of the stars and planets- whatever it was, the way the design inference was refuted was by demonstrating that nature, operating freely is sufficient.

    can be reduced to this:

    If I can’t figure it out and I’m smart, it must have been designed.

    That’s not a refutation of anything and I’ll admit that I am surprised as I think you already knew that.

    So how does one separate designed from non-designed systems again? Also, as it is obvious that bees design things that look complex, would you say that’s “Intelligently Designed”? What about a Beaver Damn?

    So ID has lots to answer for before it can even be called a theory. So far, all I believe you can call ID is the “ID Hypothesis”.

  269. Frank:

    Why not? Forensic experts find the “design” to identify the perp.

    HOW? By going over the evidence!!!!

    Study/ research- IOW the “who” is SEPARATE from the fact someone did something.

    For the REASON I provided plus other valid reasons.

    Your reason is not objective, it is subjective. Also, what “other” reasons?

    The reason I gave is a fact of life-

    There isn’t any way to know the designer, IN THE ABSENCE OF DIRECT OBSERVATION OR DESIGNER INPUT, until you have studied the design

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    the other reasons were provided in the link you obviously didn’t visit.

    That said ID does NOT prevent people from asking those questions.

    But it seems to want to freeze them out.

    Only to outsiders without a clue.

    It is just that ID was not formulated to do so.

    So ID was specifically designed to be limited?

    Just as the theory of evolution is specifically limited to living organims.

    ID is ONLY about first detecting and then studying the design.

    But couldn’t there be multiple designers? If so, how would ID handle designers of different competencies and abilities?

    I have already told you yes there could be/ have been multiple designers and ID does NOT care.

    Again, Forensics look for the “signatures” in the “design” to identify those responsible.

    Why is ID being treated differently?

    But they don’t always identify the perp even though they have determined intent.

    And sometimes- perhaps even most of the time- it is something unscientific that catches the bad guy.

    With forensics FIRST the identify the design- THEN they try to figure out the designer BY STUDYING THE CLUES.

    Hey wait- JUST LIKE ID

  270. Frank:

    So how does one separate designed from non-designed systems again?

    Exactly how I have been telling you.

    Also, as it is obvious that bees design things that look complex, would you say that’s “Intelligently Designed”? What about a Beaver Damn?

    Can nature, operating freely create a beaver dam? No. Beavers are intelligent agencies- they leave evidence of their involvement behind.

  271. jerry,

    you are right but now I have them.

    their purpose is to test the mederation policy by getting one of us to go off on a cussing rant.

  272. 272

    The concept of entailment has been part of epistemology since Aristotle’s Prior Analytics. Language such as RB uses is pretty typical of twentieth-century analytic philosophy of science. RB sometimes speaks kind of stridently, I think in frustration that his requests (which are not really burdensome) are being dismissed.

    It’s simply not true that his langauge is not typical of the philosophy of science. It may not be typical of the traditions with which jerry is familiar, but it’s right in the msinstream of standard academic philosophy.

  273. Each and EVERY time someone has pointed out something with only “apparent” design- ie lightning, giant’s causeway, the movement of the stars and planets- whatever it was, the way the design inference was refuted was by demonstrating that nature, operating freely is sufficient.

    can be reduced to this:

    If I can’t figure it out and I’m smart, it must have been designed.

    So you didn’t understand what I said.

    English is not a very good language for you, is it?

    Think about it Frank:

    How did science refute the design inference pertaining to lightning?

    By demonstrating that nature, operating freely can account for it.

    And that means if someone reaches a design inference based on the criteria laid out in “Darwin’s Black Box”, all YOU or anyone else has to do is demonstrate that nature, operating freely can account for it!

    However the BEST you can do is twist reality because you can’t deal with reality.

  274. Jerry @267

    These are all not serious commenter here.

    The only people not acting seriously are you and Joseph. RB is demonstrating considerable restraint by continuing to ask his very clear question while getting no evidence of good faith in return from the two of you.

    For awhile I thought that Reciprocating Bill was serious but it became clear after awhile that he too was spouting nonsense.

    If by “spouting nonsense” you mean “asking a simple question that Jerry and Joseph either cannot or will not answer” then I agree with you.

    My guess is that these people are in fact clueless or that they are just having fun feigning stupidity so as to disrupt the conversations here. If they are clueless, then it says something about what is out there in the general population and who feel they can come here and comment. They certainly cannot comment on anything sensible or logical.

    This is why you, specifically, Jerry are a detriment to the ID movement. RD has been asking the same question, simply, politely, and patiently, throughout this thread and you refuse to answer it. Instead of admitting you can’t, you then go off on these baseless attempts at character assassination. No wonder we’re not taking seriously by mainstream scientists — people like you make it easy to ignore us.

    Either answer the question by producing a positive prediction that could falsify ID theory or admit that you can’t. Anything else at this point is dishonest.

    JJ

  275. 275

    Joseph, this is a serious question, as I really want to understand your thinking: was the design inference for the Giant’s Causeway valid before people understood how basalt columns were formed?

  276. David Kellogg,

    If RB thinks his request is being dismissed then he should provide some examples from his position so we can then compare.

  277. 277

    So is that a yes or a no?

  278. 278
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Jerry @ 262

    “What positive, testable predictions follow from ID theory, such that empirical test of those predictions put ID at risk of disconfirmation?”

    I have described this in detail on this thread. I have described this in detail on this thread. So I suggest you re-read what has been written. One novel complex capability arising through natural means would be greeted with a roar by those who support a naturalistic approach to evolution. So far none has been documented. I proposed an approach on how such could be documented and you give me gibberish.

    Discovery of a complex novelty arising by means of natural selection would represent observation of an entailment of current evolutionary theory. Failure to observe same when theory compelled us to expect same would represent a failure to observe an entailment of evolutionary theory. Such failures on the part of a theory that competes with ID do not represent confirmation of an entailment of ID. While it would reduce confidence in the competing theory, it would not warrant an increase confidence in ID, because it provides no way to distinguish between “ID is also wrong” and “ID is correct.”

    To make the latter distinction requires ID to specify necessary entailments such that were we to fail to observe those entailments, ID or a tenet of ID would be at risk of disconfirmation. This is what you are patently unable to supply.

    As I said the very fact that you admitted to an irrelevant understanding of evolution makes you suspect as a judge of what is relevant or not. How anyone who claims to understand this debate would have brought up drift or the idea of deterioration is beyond me.

    Joe requested a prediction based upon the accumulation of genetic errors. He claims he means “selection” when he says “accumulation,” but of course “accumulation” does not at all imply selection. Therefore I described the likely outcome of an increase in mutations (accumulation of mutations in the English sense of “accumulation,” not the Joeish sense) absent the impact of selection. My description is correct: amassing mutations absent selection would result in increased variability, drift, and ultimately the reduction of the average fitness of the population as a whole.

    Do you dispute this? If so, what would you predict would occur under those circumstances?

  279. David Kellogg:

    Joseph, this is a serious question, as I really want to understand your thinking: was the design inference for the Giant’s Causeway valid before people understood how basalt columns were formed?

    The design inference was definitely arrived at before people understood how basalt columns were formed.

    And that inference was unrefuted until people understood how basalt columns were formed.

    The same goes for ALL inferences. Tomorrow’s observations may over-turn them.

    So what?

    Do we stop making inferences and hide in our homes?

  280. David Kellogg,

    I will give you the opportunity to practice FSCI. You look at what Reciprocating Bill wrote and transcribe his comments into your computer and then you translate them into common speak for us dumb ID supporters. That way you can start to understand the FSCI process which you say you think is wooly and we can see if Reciprocating has anything of note to say. It is a win win situation. We both learn something.

    You see Reciprocating Bill gave the store/farm/ranch away when he started spouting drift. If you get my drift. So I do not care a pimple on an elephants rear if entailment is good philosophy. I am only interested in sensible conversation and Bill disqualified himself when he got down to the nitty gritty.

    So here is your opportunity to shine and for you to be the ribosome between Reciprocating Bill and us dumb IDer’s.

    I would not suggest you do the same with Frank since his input might be rejected by your computer automatically as garbage and be left nothing to put out but garbage. I understand some computers have standards.

  281. RB:

    Joe requested a prediction based upon the accumulation of genetic errors. He claims he means “selection” when he says “accumulation,” but of course “accumulation” does not at all imply selection.

    Gee Bill, HOW do those genetic accidents ACCUMULATE?

    My query doesn’t restrict you. It entails ALL processes of accumulation therefor masking it EASIER for you.

  282. 282

    RB’s pretty clear to me, Joseph. I’ll give you one translation: for “entailment” read “logical implication.” They’re not exactly equivalent, but they’re close enough.

    Frank is also pretty clear, and I think correct. When I look at the history of knowledge, I find example after example of design explanations (like that for the Giant’s Causeway) collapsing in the face of naturalistic explanations. What seemed like an explanation suddenly disappeared, and it turned out that there was no explanation at all: they just didn’t know. From this take the lesson that we should always be suspicious of design explanations for the natural world.

  283. 283

    Does accumulation mean selection?

  284. David Kellogg:

    When I look at the history of knowledge, I find example after example of design explanations (like that for the Giant’s Causeway) collapsing in the face of naturalistic explanations.

    EXACTLY! That is what I just posted!!!!!

    Therefor how does one refute the design inference? By demonstrating nature, operating freely can account for it.

    There it is and I bet you STILL won’t understand the point.

    Oh well…

  285. Jerry,

    My examples are not facetious. They are real, solid and concrete examples. They are real. They are also more than what ID has available for falsification.

    From:

    266
    Joseph
    03/20/2009
    1:52 pm

    Frank:

    To help you there Jerry, here are a few things that will falsify Evolution:

    1: Dogs giving birth (unaided) to cats

    How would that falsify evolution?

    Simple. Dogs are from the Family Canis, cats are from Felidae. That there are no “lines” would invalidate Evolution.

    Is the a tenet in the theory that sates “dog cannot give birth to cats”?

    Not specifically but even in times of rapid speciation, offspring will not be all that different from their parents. They could possibly look quite different from their ancestors more than 5 generations earlier, but not their parent.

    2: A Rabbit fossil found with the same age as the T-Rex fossil it is in.

    Point to the passage from the ToE that states “rabbits cannot exist with T-Rex”.

    Rabbits did not exist over 65 MY ago. Mammals may have but rabbits evolved long after the Dinosaurs died out.

    3: Terrestrial flowering plant fossils found older than 500MY

    But the ToE doesn’t say anything about a timeline thing shave to happen in.

    You are correct there’s no timeline but 500MY ago, save for lichen and a few other things hiding from the sun. The thing is, again, there are precursor species to flowering plants. For a flowering plant to come before them for no reason (space aliens planting some) Evolution would be invalidated.

    So what would falsify ID?

    Exactly what IDists have been saying forever- the SAME thing that has falsified design inferences throughout our history- reduce and simplify.

    But those have never been identified nor has any rigorous test for what is and is not designed been made that works.

    That is demonstrate that nature, operating freely can acount for it- whatever is being investigated.

    Could you give an example of what is designed and how you know how it was?

  286. David Kellogg:

    Does accumulation mean selection?

    Selection is a process of accumulation.

    Anyone with any knowledge of the theory of evolution would have understood that simple premise.

  287. Exactly what IDists have been saying forever- the SAME thing that has falsified design inferences throughout our history- reduce and simplify.

    But those have never been identified nor has any rigorous test for what is and is not designed been made that works.

    OK Frank- do tell us about the process that was used to determine that nature, operating freely can bring forth living organisms from non-living matter and that all of life’s diversity owes its collective common ancestry to some unknown populkation(s) of single-celled organisms, via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Provide the process used.

    Or shut up…

  288. Whoa, we awakened Reciprocating Bill up and he is now talking specifics. He said

    “Joe requested a prediction based upon the accumulation of genetic errors. He claims he means “selection” when he says “accumulation,” but of course “accumulation” does not at all imply selection. Therefore I described the likely outcome of an increase in mutations (accumulation of mutations in the English sense of “accumulation,” not the Joeish sense) absent the impact of selection. My description is correct: amassing mutations absent selection would result in increased variability, drift, and ultimately the reduction of the average fitness of the population as a whole.”

    Reciprocating Bill, if you read what I said on this thread you will see I mentioned two forms of gradualism and the first form of gradualism is now considered passé by most in evolutionary biology. That is the Darwin version of gradualism or the small changes of a genome over time eventually leading to new capabilities as each of these changes are presented to the real world and subject to all the genetic and environmental processes that go into selection.

    The second form of gradualism which arose due to Gould and Eldredge’s acknowledgment that the traditional form of gradualism did not match the fossil record and they came up with something called punctuated equilibrium. But punctuated equilibrium needed a science behind it and the quick changes out of the way over there when a sub population gets lost from its parent population sounds more like traditional Darwinian story telling. So some came up with a second form of gradualism which has some backing from genomes and one that did not have the problem of gradual selection along the way. That is some part of the genome gets duplicated and since the original is still fully functional, this duplicated part is a luxury and can just sit there and mutate. Since this happens lots of times to genomes, there are many sub genomic parts just mutating away and most, almost 100%, will do what mutations generally do, amount to nothing positive. But a few, a precious few, will become something new and great and this is the source of new complex capabilities.

    So I have answered my question about the origin of novel complex capabilities or have I. That is the question to be answered. ID says no because even this process does not have enough probabilistic resources to accomplish what has to be done. Evolutionary biology says yes. Then I described a process on how this stand off will probably be answered.

    So when you said drift and deterioration, it was a flag that you did not understand the debate. The debate has always been about the origin of complex novel capabilities and not such trivial things as natural selection, drift, or deterioration. While the proper way to write a hypothesis has its use, the science of this will be done on pure analysis of genomes in the next 50 years.

  289. 289

    Joseph,

    Selection is a process of accumulation.

    Anyone with any knowledge of the theory of evolution would have understood that simple premise.

    Thanks: you’re so sweet. Can you give me a standard reference that makes that claim? For example, the word “accumulation” isn’t mentioned in the two major entries on “selection” in the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.

    Anyway, a few days ago you wrote:

    There isn’t any such thing as “cumulative selection” in nature.

    So: selection is accumulation, but there’s no such thing as cumulative selection?

  290. Talk about giving the farm away, did you all see what David Kellogg said.

    “Frank is also pretty clear, and I think correct. ”

    I think we can pretty well categorize David Kellogg with the rabbit in the Cambrian crowd.

    David, welcome to a very select group of people.

  291. 291

    Joseph,

    EXACTLY! That is what I just posted!!!!!

    Not really. What I said was that design claims for the natural world tend to collapse with increasing knowledge. This means two things:

    1. All of these so-called design inferences were false positives and should have been labeled “I don’t know”

    2. The general course of knowledge of the natural world is for design explanations to be replaced by natural ones, and not the other way round. When faced with a design claim and a naturalistic one, the naturalistic one almost always wins over time. Therefore, other things being equal, one should always be suspicious of design explanations and favor natural ones.

    Now I know other things aren’t equal: the Darwinbots are repressing the IDists, ID needs funding, yadda yadda. But history favors the natural explanations, time after time after time.

  292. 292

    jerry, a lack of rabbit fossils in the Cambrian would not necessaraily support evolution. But a presence of such fossils would definitely falsify evolution, while it would not do a thing to ID.

  293. From:

    287
    Joseph
    03/20/2009
    2:50 pm

    Exactly what IDists have been saying forever- the SAME thing that has falsified design inferences throughout our history- reduce and simplify.

    But those have never been identified nor has any rigorous test for what is and is not designed been made that works.

    OK Frank- do tell us about the process that was used to determine that nature, operating freely can bring forth living organisms from non-living matter and that all of life’s diversity owes its collective common ancestry to some unknown populkation(s) of single-celled organisms, via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Wow. Answering a question with a question. Hey, this is the board for ID, not evolution. If you want to attack Evolution, of which Abiogenesis is not part of ToE.

    OBTW, “accidents” are not really part of ToE.

    Provide the process used.

    Or shut up…

    Wow. You want me to provide a Noble Prize winning paper on Abiogenesis or I can shut up?

    And all I asked for was just an example of what would falsify ID.

    To answer your question, what type of evidence are you looking for?

    See, I can see how self-replicating molecules could, over millions of years replicate themselves into self-organizing strands that blur the line between living and non-living matter. We still have examples of that “blurred line”.

    Tell me are viruses alive? Yes/No

    How about Prions? Yes/No

    So what came before the first “true lifeform” on Earth? A nearly identical chemical process that was self-replicating.

    If you want more, go to Google and type in Abiogenesis. My field of study was Physics, now I build networks.

    so are you going to give an example of what it will take to falsify ID?

    As I am not an IDist here, I will not use the same language you use on me. I’d be banned.

  294. David Kellogg said,

    “a lack of rabbit fossils in the Cambrian would not necessarily support evolution. But a presence of such fossils would definitely falsify evolution, ”

    David, you do not have to repeat the obvious. You already have established your bona fides and we will respect your achievement and you will forever be renown and honored as David, rabbit in the Cambrian, Kellogg; evolutionary aficionado extraordinaire.

  295. 295

    Actually, jerry implicitly raises an interesting question. That is, what other sciences and theories does ID rely on? As he points out, a rabbit in the Cambrian would falsify something else — common descent, perhaps, or an old earth. But evolution depends on those ideas.

    Evolution would be shaken by a rabbit in the cambrian. ID? Not so much.

    Evolution would be shaken by the overthrow of an old earth. ID? Makes no difference.

    Evolution would be shaken by the discovery of advanced life that had existed for a long time on Earth but had no relation to known genetics. ID? Who cares?

    So here’s the question for ID supporters: what areas of science are required for ID to proceed? Could everything in science be overturned and ID remain the same? What sciences does it rely on in the sense that, if they radically shift, it’s got to radically shift as well?

  296. I am sorry David, but it’s no good to go all teary eyed philosophical on us now. You have already been enshrined and appropriately honored. It is too late to seek another pedestal. It would just be too hard to change your self image now.

  297. 297

    Joseph,

    Don’t tell others to shut up. I will put you under moderation if you continue.

  298. 298

    So, jerry, I take it that ID does not depend on any of the major findings in earth science, planetary science, genetics? What about physics? New studies overthrow the atomic theory of matter. Does that undermine ID?

    All of these sciences could be thrown on their heels and ID would just proceed on its merry way?

  299. 299
    SaintMartinoftheFields

    Kellogorus, what do you think of that new feathered dino fossil they just found in China?

  300. Clive,

    My apologies.

    These guys keep asking for something they have been handed.

    Then when I show that is EXACTLY the process that has been used to refute or confirm the design inference throughout our history, they ignore that too.

    So the only way to resolve this is for them to provide a falsifiable entailment of their position- an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    Next I get questioned on my use of an accumulation of genetic accidents but guess what?

    Living organization is the product of cumulative selection. –Dawkins, pg 45 of “The Blind Watchmaker (bold added)

    cumulative
    1 a: made up of accumulated parts b: increasing by successive additions

    Dawkins agrees with me…

  301. David Kellogg:

    a lack of rabbit fossils in the Cambrian would not necessaraily support evolution. But a presence of such fossils would definitely falsify evolution, …

    Why?

    Where in the theory of evolution does it say “we will not find rabbits in the Cabbrian”?

    And if finding a needle in the haystack is your interpretation of a falsification then you are sadly mistaken.

  302. The theory of evolution should have been shaken once the black box of the cell was unveiled.

    Yet here we are…

  303. Frank:

    OBTW, “accidents” are not really part of ToE.

    They are a MAJOR part of the ToE.

    EVERY genetic difference from one generation to the next is an accident.

    See, I can see how self-replicating molecules could, over millions of years replicate themselves into self-organizing strands that blur the line between living and non-living matter.

    You can see that? So your imagination is a substitute for scientific data?

    so are you going to give an example of what it will take to falsify ID?

    The SAME thing it took to falsify the design inference at other times throughout history-

    That is DEMONSTRATE that nature, operating freely can account for it.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    And why is what worked throughout history to falsify the design inference not any good for ID?

    So I apologize- don’t shut up- keep babbling on because you provide the reasoning for moderation policies, which is the topic of this thread…

  304. 304
    Reciprocating_Bill

    So when you said drift and deterioration, it was a flag that you did not understand the debate.

    But now you know I was responding to Joseph’s misleading use of “accumulation,” and his twice repeated demand for a prediction. Given my (mis)understanding of what he intended by “accumulation” (eg., something other than accumulation), my response is correct. I don’t hear you disputing that.

    The balance of your post again describes your justification for rejecting the assertion that current evolutionary theory accounts for the origins of macroevolutionary changes and complex biochemical systems.

    However, the (putative) failure of an entailment of evolutionary theory does not convert to support for ID. That is because such a finding does not permit the distinction between “ID is also wrong” and “ID is correct.”

    Why don’t you speak to that, just for variety.

    What is required is an entailment that arises uniquely from ID, and an empirical test of that entailment such that ID, or a major tenet of ID, is put at risk of disconfirmation.

    None of the above is responsive to that. Why not give it a whirl.

  305. What I said was that design claims for the natural world tend to collapse with increasing knowledge.

    Sometimes it does and other times it does not.

    Stonehenge, Nasca, the Sphinx once it was uncovered.

    The list of design inferences that have upheld the test of time is greater than the list of design inferences that have been refuted via the same test.

    1. All of these so-called design inferences were false positives and should have been labeled “I don’t know”

    The theory of evolution should be labeled “we don’t know”. So what is your point?

    That someone went out on a limb given their current understanding of the world?

    Bad boy. No one should ever do that!

    2. The general course of knowledge of the natural world is for design explanations to be replaced by natural ones, and not the other way round.

    That is what happens when people go out on limbs.

    Some get cut-off.

    But anyway I do believe, well I know for a fact, that there are once thought to be “natural” structures that have turned out to be, upon further inspection, artificial.

    So it cuts both ways.

    When faced with a design claim and a naturalistic one, the naturalistic one almost always wins over time.

    Has the naturalistic explanation “won out” at Stonehenge?

    How about Nasca?

    Therefore, other things being equal, one should always be suspicious of design explanations and favor natural ones.

    But all things are not equal and when someone tells me that living organisms arose from non-living matter via molecular accidents I am very suspicious.

  306. David, Rabbit in the Cambrian, Kellogg:

    While you are playing in your intellectual cul de sac, read this which is a draft version of what I believe all ID people should say prior to a debate. I may have linked to this above but this thread is already getting too long to continue.

    This has been ok’d by the creationists and the Darwinists. You can give your imprimatur for the Looney Tunes crowd which you seem to be in sync with.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-296129

  307. 307

    I’ve been quietly keeping score on this thread. since comment #186.

    So far, the low man on the totem pole is actually a shared title, with both Khan and Ricardo Simmons having 2 swings at bat each.

    Next on the list is the smarmy Jay M who needs to get his money back on the acting lessons, he comes in with 5 swings at bat.

    Frank H is next on the list with a thrifty 11 swings at the ball. It’s worth noting that he was almost disqualified for teasing the judges. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out.

    David Kellog is number 2 in your Program (but number on in your heart) he just misses out on the Title, with a very impressive 13 swings at bat.

    And that leads us to Numero Uno, the Big Kahuna. The man who demands an answer, the man that lives up to his moniker, the man who missed the very first pitch, none other than Reciprocating Bill with an amazing 20 trys at hitting the ball.

    Timaues wins, yet again.

  308. 308

    Have a good weekend all…..Billy remember, games are not a search for truth (see K Popper). As it turns out, they are just games after all.

    And, your intellectual justifications for playing games, have absolutely nothing to do with it.

  309. 309

    jerry [305], would that all IDers would agree with that. Not a snowball’s chance in Hades, but it would be nice.

    It doesn’t answer the question of dependence that I posed above, but it does present an answer — and a good one — to what ID should accept vis-a-vis standard science.

  310. 310

    Upright Biped [306], your question as you first framed it is problematic. It’s premised on the notion that there are “killer experiments” that upend a wholly established theoretical perspective that’s got support from numerous areas. People have mentioned examples that you don’t accept, but the fact is that evolutionary theory has a whole range of observational and experimental data. It can get adjusted by an individual experiment, or observation, and eventually such experiments or observations could transform it completely, but it’s solidly established.

    This is part of what I was trying to get at with the comment that evolution is embedded in, and depends on, a whole bunch of other sciences.

    If ID is a science at all, it would be a science in embryo. It does not have a substantial track record of published research. Unlike an established theory, a nascent theory can be subject to a killer experiment or observation: in fact, it should ask to be tested by such experiments.

    For a time in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, it was thoguht by many that what was called the “blending problem” falsified evolution by natural selection. That could have been an evolution-killer. It wasn’t, however, because the blending problem turned out to be a non-problem with the return of Mendelian genetics and the rise of the new synthesis. The problem was this: Darwinism predicted that there must be a way for heritable traits to be preserved in discretely. The new synthesis worked that out.

  311. So they want to know how to disconfirm/ falsify intelligent design, ie the design inference.

    I point out to do just that demonstrate that nature, operating freely can for account for it.

    They say that isn’t any way of doing such a thing.

    I point out that design inferences have been refuted in the past by demonstrating that nature, operating freely can account for it.

    IOW I confirm what I said is the way it is done.

    They say that “yeah, design inferences have been refuted in the past so there.”

    You guys should be very proud of yourselves.

  312. Onlookers:

    The ID explanatory filter is an excellent place to begin serious thinking on the matter. Look it up in the WACs above, and in the glossary.

    It is painfully plain that RB et al have never seriously and consistently thought about the logic of the EF, or about the epistemology of defeatable, empirically based reasoning and warrant on inference to best explanation.

    But, surprise: that’s how real world science, forensics, history, management and a lot of other serious disciplines and arts work — by glorified common sense that seeks to find the truth while being conscious of the possibility of error.

    So, again, selective hyperskepticism leads to self referential absurdity.

    Predictably.

    Ever so sadly so.

    GEM of TKI

  313. Bill seems to have disappeared. Was he put on moderation or did he run away?

  314. Onlookers, this is most interesting:

    From:

    303
    Joseph
    03/20/2009
    4:57 pm

    And why is what worked throughout history to falsify the design inference not any good for ID?

    Ah, still you haven’t said anything about what would falsify ID save that “proving 100%”, if you knew science you know that proof is not part of it (tell me how does gravity work?) evolution did it.

    See I know evolution DID do it. How is why people get Noble Prizes.

    Still it is sad to see that ID, which is an attempt to explain things, albeit ever so whimsically, happen.

    First it was a “designer” drove his chariot/barge/wagon across the sky dragging/pulling/carrying the sun.

    Then we had “designer lightning” which were hand crafted.

    This doesn’t include the sounds of thunder as designers caused that as their hammers met the thick skulls of giants.

    So I apologize- don’t shut up- keep babbling on because you provide the reasoning for moderation policies, which is the topic of this thread…

    In truth, I have done nothing but protest when I was attacked, insulted or ridiculed.

    From:

    Frank H is next on the list with a thrifty 11 swings at the ball. It’s worth noting that he was almost disqualified for teasing the judges. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out.

    Yes, so much to ask for a real item that would falsify ID. As there is nothing save an appeal to “common sense” that “tells us if has to be designed even though we can’t determined what is and what isn’t designed”.

    Then when the proposal that “forensic specialists do this all the time” is brought in, the fact that forensics technicians do look to see not if something was planned but who the planners were is ignored completely.

    You can’t claim “looking for design” from some “Intelligent Designer” when you already hold that this designer is A: Singular and B: Intelligent.

    ID must first find a way to accurately detect design in nature and not just “Because it looks that way” and it be used with 100% accuracy in field tests. That is something IDist seem to recoil from.

    Last:

    309
    kairosfocus
    03/21/2009
    3:24 am

    But, surprise: that’s how real world science, forensics, history, management and a lot of other serious disciplines and arts work — by glorified common sense that seeks to find the truth while being conscious of the possibility of error.

    Which is not applied to ID. One small quibble. Truth is the property of Philosophy. Facts and Evidence are the meat and potatoes of Science.

    ID admits nothing that they could be in error, hence the steadfast refusal to look into what these designers are, nor to actively seeking facts.

    So, again, selective hyperskepticism leads to self referential absurdity.

    Like the notion that there are self-replicating molecules, not quite life but blurring the line?

    I’ll ask again for what would be alive:

    Virus: Yes/No

    Prion: Yes/No

    So we already know there are self-replicating proteins out there. Are they alive? Any takers?

    Predictably.

    Yes that ID doesn’t ask questions of itself and leaves it to others to “prove a negative”.

    Ever so sadly so.

    That we are stuck instead of taking resources into science (perhaps the Discovery Institute could take money from their legal fund and put it into research instead) and have to continue to defend against claims that are continually shot down, just repackaged and given a new label.

  315. Crater @313

    Bill seems to have disappeared. Was he put on moderation or did he run away?

    He appears to be subject to the moderation queue. Since the new moderation policy clearly states:

    As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position.

    I would like the moderators, in the spirit of this respect for honest and open discussion, to explain how RB has violated the stated policy.

    It appears to me that his moderation is clearly due to his viewpoint. Jerry, Joseph, and Upright BiPed have all been far less polite than RB and David Kellogg. Why, specifically, is RB being moderated? Surely it can’t be for the crime of asking questions that ID proponents can’t answer?

    JJ

  316. 316
    Reciprocating_Bill

    Bill seems to have disappeared. Was he put on moderation or did he run away?

    I’ve been placed on moderation. Although I am posting on a thread introducing UD’s new, “open” moderation policy, I am mindful that it is quite likely that the moderator(s) may be the only persons likely to read this comment.

    Anyone reading this thread will see that I have scrupulously refrained from ad hominem, defamatory or profane remarks. This despite a steady drizzle of low key (and generally irrational) insults from UD participants. Rather, I have pressed a single, well-taken query regarding the evidentiary basis of ID theory, a crucially important question that remains unanswered.

    However, in addition to my interest in your responses to this question, there has always been a meta-purpose to these queries that is directly pertinent to your “new” moderation policy.

    That purpose is now served by this moderation decision.

    This decision puts on display the dishonesty and hypocrisy that continues to infect moderation at UD. The following standard was enunciated:

    As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position…if you keep your comments restricted to ideas and not attacking people, you should have no problems passing muster here.

    Moderation decisions such as this give this statement the lie. UD participants neither improved their debating tactics nor modified their position in response to a question they cannot answer. Nor did they concede the obvious. Rather, moderation was invoked.

    As a practical matter, moderation at UD squelches participation as effectively as ejection; discourse is not possible due to the lengthy delays between the time a post is uploaded (between 12 and 24 hours, in my experience) and their appearance to others on the board. Given that my participation has been serious and respectful (certainly far more so than most ID oriented participants here), and given that my posts are in complete conformity to your new policy, it becomes inescapable that this moderation decision serves the purpose of suppressing discourse unfavorable to UD.

    Am I surprised? Upset? No, this this is the outcome I expected from the outset. It is an entailment of the assertion that UD cannot and will not tolerate articulate challenges that such challenges invariably illicit suppression.

    Entailment confirmed.

  317. Farnk, Answer the question:

    And why is what worked throughout history to falsify the design inference not any good for ID?

    See I know evolution DID do it.

    Did WHAT, exactly?

    And what type of “evolution”? Guided or unguided?

    Ya see Frank it is obvious from your posts that you don’t know anything about ID nor what is being debated.

    You can say “evolution did it” but you can’t support that claim with any scientific data.

    IOW ALL you have is faith is some vague thing called “evolution”.

    Now stay focused and answer teh question:

    And why is what worked throughout history to falsify the design inference not any good for ID?

    Or admit you don’t know squat about anything….

  318. Frank:

    ID must first find a way to accurately detect design in nature and not just “Because it looks that way” and it be used with 100% accuracy in field tests.

    Science doesn’t look for 100% accuracy Frank.

    But thanks for proving you don’t understand science.

    And as I have told you we do have tried and true design detection techniques.

    Now to refute the design inference all you have to do is show tat nature, operating freely can account for it.

    And just because you can’t do that it is no reason to act like a crybaby.

    Just admit that your position is based on imagination, not science.

  319. Frank:

    So we already know there are self-replicating proteins out there.

    We do?

    Can you provide a reference for SELF-REPLICATING PROTEINS?

    Thanks.

  320. Seeing if I am still in Moderation Purgatory.

  321. 321

    Joseph, how bizarre. You [301] quote Dawkins:

    Living organization is the product of cumulative selection.

    and you said “Dawkins agrees with me.”
    But earlier I [289] quoted you:

    There isn’t any such thing as “cumulative selection” in nature.

    So: is cumulative selection possible (Dawkins) or impossible (Joseph)?

  322. 322

    Bill,

    You ask here and elsewhere what ID offers up for disconfirmation in such a way that ID or a major tenet of ID would be at risk. At the same time, you are quite capable of understanding that ID is immediately falsifiable by simply attacking the central tenets of the thesis. But you want more; you want to control the court instead. The very fact that you insist that someone fill in the blanks of a sentence, says virtually everything about your attack.

    I don’t think you’re being generously candid with yourself about the situation you’re in, that we are in together. This is a battle for intellectual territory; critical mass. Your side has a great deal of it; virtually all of it among a valued and powerful minority, along with their minions in the press and politics. But don’t kid yourself. Spend a day demanding from everyone that they acknowledge they (and everyone they know) are literally meaningless and have no free will, and then perhaps your boundaries will come into focus.

    Although I think you are being less than candid in the gist of your questions, I have no doubt you’re crystal clear about the success of the scientific attack on your position. There could be no other rational explanation for the size (and the tone) of its defense. It’s a veritable cottage industry; powered by the (emotionally necessary) hope that the evidence against chance and necessity wouldn’t be so glaring if theists would just shut up.

    But your problem isn’t the theists; in fact, the only reason this ill-conceived hope exists at all is because the evidence against chance and necessity wouldn’t be one bit less of an embarrassment if every theists in the world killed over dead tomorrow. If this wasn’t so, then you’d just attack the evidence for ID, render it falsified, and be done with it. But, you can’t, so you end up trying to define the terms of the argument instead – as you’ve done repeatedly on this very thread. It’s what Popper argued the conventionalist would do, and he was correct.

    If you took a little time and familiarized yourself with opposition strategy, you might more clearly understand the four positions one must take. Each is distinct, and that distinction allows a more studied person to understand the basis of your attack. You are taking the position characterized as having the least strength against the goal. The irony that your position (as I said above) enjoys the greatest intellectual territory within a people, but must shrink to the position of least strength when confronting the evidence for ID, is reflected in the evidence itself. I suppose it couldn’t be any other way, but it is interesting to watch all the same (sorry, if this goes over your head).

    You then go back to your home turf and lament the moderation policy at UD, as if that were the problem. Any person with even modicum of sense could examine the tone of comments made here and elsewhere, and immediately understand why UD has moderation – your side simply needs it; they clearly have an issue with being able to moderate themselves. Quite honestly, it’s an embarrassment to Darwin (and to science).

    So you ask for an entailment for which you can battle. And in this battle you’ll defeat a great tenet of design, correct? A tenet being a belief one has about something. And in the case of the design hypothesis, that belief is that chance and necessity (have not, and) cannot account for its existence, while design is the only known causal mechanism known to man that is able, and the empirical evidence continues to grow.

    Well, grow some balls Bill. Quit whining about the moderation policy at UD and go on the attack. Irreducible complexity is a tenet of design. Have at it. Selection for fitness at the nucleic level is a tenet of design. Tear it up. The information paradox in a tenet of design. Show us anywhere in the natural world where chemicals combine to interpret and record their existence. Give us a plausible explanation of how chance did that. Quit playing word games and put your evidence where your mouth is.

    - – - – - – - –

    Frank, David

    Your last posts are so full of misrepresentations, diversions, and willful ignorance that it simply doesn’t warrant a response (at least not by me today). You’ve taken the same weak position as Bill. You can’t expect anyone to come to the plate, if you aren’t willing yourself.

  323. Upright – FYI: my understanding is that Bill can no longer freely post, which is ironic given the subject of this thread.

  324. Shouldn’t notice be given when people are banned and reasons for banning given?

    It seems unfair to ban people from posting and make it appear they are unwilling to respond.

  325. To the Attention of Upright BiPed
    I specifically challenge you to discuss the scientific validity of ID on talk.origins, or any other neutral venue where neither of us is subject to censorship. Do you have the intellectual integrity to do so or are you just another noise maker in the UD echo chamber?

    JJ

  326. 326

    Hazel, I am unaware if that is the case. I just post here.

    Critter, perhaps it would be fair as well that posts that are intended to mount an attack on ID, actually mount the attack.

    By the way, do think Michael Behe is “Lying for Jesus?”

  327. The original post said,

    Some commenters have raised questions regarding the propriety of recent posts and UD’s moderation policy. UD’s moderation policy is fairly simple: As a general rule, so long as your comment is not defamatory profane, or a vicious personal attack, you can say pretty much what you want. We have no interest in censoring viewpoints, because we believe ID is true and consequently in any full and fair debate we will win — and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position.

    It didn’t say, “Perhaps it would be fair as well that posts that are intended to mount an attack on ID, actually mount the attack.”

    If you believe that “in any full and fair debate we will win— and if we don’t win we either need to learn to debate better or change our position,” then you will welcome poor attacks on ID, and will be able to show why they are poor.

    And from where did Behe and “lying for Jesus” all of a sudden come? No one has said anything about “lying for Jesus” on this thread, as far as I can tell.

  328. Critter, perhaps it would be fair as well that posts that are intended to mount an attack on ID, actually mount the attack.

    By the way, do think Michael Behe is “Lying for Jesus?”

    I’m not sure what you are asking. I simply requested that when posters are banned it should be posted that they are banned , and why they are banned.

  329. 329

    joseph

    Richard Simons chimes in with the standard nonsense:

    I understood you to be trying to say that, because you can’t think of a way for transcription and translation to evolve, therefore ID.

    ID is NOT anti-evolution.

    In that case, what did you mean when you wrote “Transciption and translation remain very good evidnce for ID in biology”?

    IOW do you think a blind search for something that doesn’t yet exist is a valid model?

    Evolution is not a blind search. If a genetic change is an advantage to the organism, then it is likely to be passed on to the offspring. No search is involved.

    “I have been asking you to present a falsifiable prediction to test the concept of ID from the beginning and you have been dodging the issue.”

    I have provided exactly that.

    No. You have said “A specific entailment of ID is certain objects cannot be reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity.” but to be honest I don’t have a clue what this means. Could you give an example of an object that has been reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity and demonstrate how it was done?

    Therefor to refute ID all one has to do is DEMONSTRATE that the observed CSI and IC can be accounted for via matter, energy, chance and necessity.

    IC was a predicted consequence of evolution (Muller, 1918). CSI has never been demonstrated or measured. It is a figment of the imagination of Dembski. If you read his writing on the subject and can understand the math (it’s not very advanced), you will see he is being unnecessarily convoluted in his descriptions and really never says anything.

    Now if RB and RS don’t like that that is too bad. I would say that they do not understand science.

    I can’t speak for RB but I’ve evidence that you’d be wrong.

    Now to counter my claim all RB and RS have to do is demonstrate what testable predictions come from unguided and blind evolutionary processes.

    Unfortunately you have provided us with no feasible test to distinguish between guided and non-guided evolution, which is why biologists say that ID is vacuous.

    Jerry:

    “To help you there Jerry, here are a few things that will falsify Evolution:

    1: Dogs giving birth (unaided) to cats.
    [SNIP]
    Stuff like that. So what would falsify ID?”

    Yes, your examples would cause quite a stir but no one in ID or any other scientific endeavor expects to find anything like that.

    However, there is nothing in ID to say that these are not possible.

    So the only way to resolve this is for them to provide a falsifiable entailment of their position- an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    I did long ago [193]. I’m still waiting for your predictions.

    Kairosfocus:

    The ID explanatory filter is an excellent place to begin serious thinking on the matter.

    Please could you guide me through a couple of examples of the use of the explanatory filter, for example on a stone polygon on the tundra and, say, an epidermal cell from an onion.

    It would go a long way to answering the questions I have about ID if you (anyone?) would merely fill in the blanks in this sentence from RB “If design is true then we should observe ________. If we don’t observe _______ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.” (using things that are not known yet but that are potentially knowable in the next few years). What would really make me happy if some IDer would then actually go out and see if either of these is correct.

  330. 330

    Reciprocating Bill.

    “Given that my participation has been serious and respectful…”

    Really?

    You said this yourself:

    “Without claiming significance anything resembling PZ’s [Myers], I do have a history of critical comments regarding UD, Barry Arrington in particular, Uncommonly Denyse, etc. Not to mention adolescent name calling….I like to think that UD’s new policy, in addition to reflecting new management, is also in response to the the ridiculative selection pressures we’ve exerted here….Let’s watch.”

    Bye Bill.

  331. 331

    And, lest we forget, this gem from Reciprocating Bill in response to how he can stand to post here with us,

    “It’s not really all that difficult. I merely post the same uncomfortable two-line question (entailments? tests?), then stand back as they writhe on the floor, handle serpents, speak in tongues, cast me out, hallucinate posts, declare victory, promulgate the preposterous, declare their expertise, and demand apologies.”

    http://www.antievolution.org/c…..p;p=140279

    Yes, when he is “respectful”, he does it out of true regard for us at UD. :)

  332. 332

    critter,

    “I’m not sure what you are asking. I simply requested that when posters are banned it should be posted that they are banned , and why they are banned.”

    I usually do show why someone has been banned by me. Now, anyone who was not banned by me, I of course, cannot say.

  333. Mr Simons:

    I see the wriggling school of red herrings continues, leading away to strawman arguments. That prelim point is relevant to the blog thead’s core issue on moderation.

    But, sometimes it is also worth addressing the red herrings and strawmen to show onlookers just what is happening. (I just had to do so in another thread where basic Internet courtesy has been violated, and where abusive commentary against me by a Journalist who hoped thereby to get away with equating evangelicals in the Caribbean to the Taliban and the like, and to thus dismiss our objections to public lewdness al al Lady Saw et al, etc, was dredged up to try to skewer me through an ad hominem. I was forced to highlight the rebuttal I made to that journalist in my defense. And, it seems that the citation reveals the anti-Christian bigotry that seems to motivate all too many at Anti Evo and the like. [BTW, the notion that Talk Origins is a neutral turf is not only beyond ridiculous, but utterly revealing on the want of objectivity we are dealing with.])

    Now, on this thread’s red herring, I have long since put up, a specific test case on the central claim of modern design theory, that complex specified information [algorithmically and/or linguistically functionally specific form] is an observationally tested, empirically reliable sign of intelligence.

    Namely:

    1 –> build a large array of PCs that spew random Zener triggered noise massaged for flatness of distribution, across test disk drive surfaces, every half minute for a year.

    2 –> Test for a coherent, functional ASCII message in any suitable and reasonable PC format, of at least 500 – 1,000 bits. Or if you wanrt you can test for any recognisable PC file format and message or file.

    3 –> With 10^6 PCs and 1.05 * 10^6 1/2 minutes per year, that is north of 10^12 tests per year. Continue for any reasonable number of years you can fund. [I am sure more than that of working but outdated PCs are abandoned per year so securing the PCs is no problem. Zener noise ckts are not hat hard to build and insert. to power same borrow a few dozen of Mr Pickens' 2700 windmills under construction.]

    4 –> Just make sure that there are high integrity, high security audit and log trails with independent verification of the results, with of course tamperproof supervising computers. And, the machines will have to be insulated from the ‘net: no wired or wireless access. [Weekly monitoring reports can be printed to hard copy per an automatic report form, and then OCR'ed into a form that can then be put up on a monitoring web site. I am sure UD and EIL will be more than willing to post links.]

    5 –> How long do you expect to have to wait till the first functional message appears? Why?

    6 –> Contrast this with the ease and regularity with which intelligent designers instantiate functional messages of that scope or bigger. [E.g both your remarks to me and this post.]

    The matter is eminently feasible of testing, and I have put forth an apparatus of testing that is well within the reach of the many Internet skeptics of the design inference and/or the filter that is built upon it. FYFI, I have done so publicly for several years now. Indeed, the test is right there in my always linked page on every post I have ever made here at UD.

    In that light, Mr Simon et al, can you show me a credible instance where CSI, especially in the relevant subset, FSCI, has originated as a product of lucky noise and/or mere mechanical forces, without intelligent guidance or intervention?

    If not, on the massive evidence of the Internet and the information technology industry as a whole, I and many others are entitled to our strong conclusion that FSCI is a reliable sign of intelligence. thus, to use the Design theory explanatory filter to look at entities aspect by aspect and to infer that (i) natural regularities trace to lawlike mechanical necessity, and (ii) high contingency to either undirected (iii) stochastic variability of circumstances or (iv) to intelligent direction, with (v) FSCI as a credible reliable sign of the latter.

    And, as a matter of fact, where the evo mat agenda for science and society is not in contention, it is as near a consensus that this is — and is so obviously — the case, as makes for moral certainty beyond REASONABLE dispute.

    Consider your bluff called.

    GEM of TKI

  334. David Kellogg:

    Joseph, how bizarre. You [301] quote Dawkins:

    Living organization is the product of cumulative selection.

    and you said “Dawkins agrees with me.”

    Yes he does on my point of an ACCUMULATION of GENETIC ACCIDENTS.

    Context Kellogg- the context of what I post is very importatnt.

    Ya see RB doubted that the ToE involves an accumulation of genetic accidents- which is what I have beeen saying.

    Dawkins also says it does.

    So what is your point?

  335. 335

    Hazel, hit your search engine with “Behe lying for Jesus”.

    I get 298,000 hits. How many do you get?

    - – - – - – -

    JayM, I would love to debate you on the evidence, but there is no need to change venues – after all, what does the venue have to do with the evidence? I would also like to formally invite Allen MacNeil, Tom, Dick, and Harry to join your fight.

    I’ll start right -

    JayM, you are a materialist right? What are the material properties of nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, etc., that causes those chemicals to join together in an organization that begins to record its existence?

  336. ID is NOT anti-evolution.

    In that case, what did you mean when you wrote “Transciption and translation remain very good evidnce for ID in biology”?

    OK I have asked you more than once what pro-ID literture you have read.

    I have even provided a link to the recommended pro-ID literature.

    YOU have never responded to my question.

    And now you continue to prove you don’t know what is being debated and you act as if your ignorance is meaningful.

    IOW you are pathetic.

    I will ask you again:

    What pro-ID literature have you read?

    I will not waste any more of my time with someone who chooses to argue from ignorance.

    I have provided the methodology on how to falsify ID.

    It is the SAME methodology that has been used to refute design inferences throughout history.

    Now stop whining and get to it.

  337. RS:

    IC was a predicted consequence of evolution (Muller, 1918).

    It was a “prediction” only in the sense that IC was observed so it had to be explained away.

    What YOU need is to demonstrate that unguided processes can account for it.

    The SAME goes for CSI- it is defined and the definition is more rigorous than anything your position has.

    So again all YOU have to do to refute the premise is to demonstrate that nature, operating freely can account for CSI as it is currently defined.

    However to do that you have to stop whining and actuall do some work.

  338. Richard asked a simple question:

    Please could you guide me through a couple of examples of the use of the explanatory filter, for example on a stone polygon on the tundra and, say, an epidermal cell from an onion.

    Can you show how one would calculate the FSCI of these two things? If this number is a “credible reliable sign” of design, then one would expect methods for reliably calculating this number for both designed and non-designed things. Can you explain those methods, and show how they would be applied to thngs like those Richard mentioned??

  339. To Upright BiPed – I was just wondering why you brought “Behe lying for Jesus”on this thread, as no one here had said anything like that, and certainly not in reference to Behe.

  340. hazel,

    Do you realize that throughout our history people have refuted some design inferences by demonstrating that nature, operating freely can account for it.

    That means that FCSI is irrelevant because all you have to do is take the object in question- the one with the alleged FCSI- and show it can come about via nature, operating freely and the FCSI dissolves away.

    Now what part of that don’t you understand?

  341. David Kellogg:

    There isn’t any such thing as “cumulative selection” in nature.

    So: is cumulative selection possible (Dawkins) or impossible (Joseph)?

    But I did NOT say it was impossible.

    Geez for an English professor you do seem to struggle with the language.

    All you have to do is show us an example of cumulative selection.

    And it would be helpful to your case if it was an example of building something that never existed- as would be the case for the first population(s) trying to survive.

  342. Richard Simons:

    You have said “A specific entailment of ID is certain objects cannot be reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity.” but to be honest I don’t have a clue what this means.

    Then I suggest you get an education.

    Not everyone has the capabilities to deal with science.

    IUOW perhaps you should read the pro-ID literature I recommended.

    That way you won’t continue to argue from ignorance.

    Could you give an example of an object that has been reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity and demonstrate how it was done?

    Lightning- it was once thought to be from the “gods”. Now science has demonstrated there aren’t any “gods” hurling lightning bolts.

    Earthquakes- the “gods” are angry”- Now we know they are the direct result of plate tectonices- again via scientific investigation.

  343. Note: my remark at 338 was to Kairosfocus (GEM). I didn’t make that clear.

  344. 344

    Clive [332],

    I usually do show why someone has been banned by me. Now, anyone who was not banned by me, I of course, cannot say.

    A few suggestions for making UD’s policy less arbitrary and opaque:

    1. Provide a contact link where a person can email the adminstators. UD has multiple people with multiple levels of control but no “contact us” email. This is ridiculous. A banned person should be able to contact an administrator.

    2. Provide a list of who controls banning and who they have banned.

    3. Quit banning people for what they have said on other forums. You can’t be the internet nanny, but you can control what behavior occurs on your own forum.

    4. Have a consistent policy between administrators. In [50], Barry says “If PZ [Myers] — or anyone else — came here and minded his manners, he would be more than welcome. I’m not holding my breath though, because PZ does not appear to be able to rise above adolescent name calling.” So PZ would not be banned by Barry for stuff he said at his own blog. He would apparently, however, be banned by you.

    5. Have a consistent policy by one administrator. RB has been banned for discourtesy on this thread. But this thread contains comments by a pro-ID commenter who routinely insults others both here and on his own blog. The difference, apparently, is that he insults people who are anti-ID.

    Just suggestions.

  345. Re: Clive @330 and 331:

    You have banned RB for remarks made on a completely different forum? I see nothing in the moderation policy you posted that supports that decision. In fact, Barry Arrington claimed that PZ Myers would be welcome here as long as he was polite, and Myers has been much harsher than RB.

    In fact, many of the regulars here are much more offensive towards their opponents than RB has been, yet they remain and are not even subject to the moderation queue. Why the double standard?

    JJ

  346. 346

    Kairosfocus:

    Mr. Simons

    That’s Dr. Simons to you. I usually don’t bother, but people at this site seem to be excessively impressed by the title.

    [SNIP a lengthy, irrelevant paragraph]
    Now, on this thread’s red herring, I have long since put up, a specific test case on the central claim of modern design theory, that complex specified information [algorithmically and/or linguistically functionally specific form] is an observationally tested, empirically reliable sign of intelligence.

    I went to the linked site, and found a lengthy piece dealing with probability that completely missed a central concept of the theory of evolution. Think over what the ‘Weasel’ program is designed to demonstrate and consider the significance of it regarding probabilistic estimates of likelihood.

    The matter is eminently feasible of testing,

    and completely useless as it ignores selection entirely.

    In that light, Mr Simon et al, can you show me a credible instance where CSI, especially in the relevant subset, FSCI, has originated as a product of lucky noise and/or mere mechanical forces, without intelligent guidance or intervention?

    I am still waiting to see a clear example of the determination of CSI in a natural situation or a clear definition. Yes, I have read Dembski’s paper. No, it is not useable.

    thus, to use the Design theory explanatory filter to look at entities aspect by aspect

    Please give me an example of using the Design theory explanatory filter on a natural object. As far as I know, it would be a first if you succeeded.

    Joseph:

    OK I have asked you more than once what pro-ID literture you have read.

    I have even provided a link to the recommended pro-ID literature.

    YOU have never responded to my question.

    When I first realised that there was such a thing I read a book on the subject. I do not recall it’s name because it was rubbish that read like it was written by a theologian trying to do science. Since then, I’ve read a few of Dembski’s and Behe’s papers and I’ve been following the discussions here and elsewhere for several years. Nothing has given me the impression that there is anything of substance hidden in the fog.
    Now, what have you read on modern evolutionary theory? What do you know about evaluating a scientific theory?

    The SAME goes for CSI- it is defined and the definition is more rigorous than anything your position has.

    It is? So tell me, how much CSI does a human have? Does a dark-skinned person have more CSI than a light-skinned person, the same or less? I’m guessing more, because a light-skinned person is unable to produce melanin.

    How does the CSI of a human compare with the CSI of an oak tree or a goldfish? Before we get on to that, perhaps I should ask what units are used to measure CSI?

    So again all YOU have to do to refute the premise is to demonstrate that nature, operating freely can account for CSI as it is currently defined.

    However to do that you have to stop whining and actuall do some work.

    The only ‘definitions’ of CSI I’ve seen have come from Dembski’s fog-enshrouded works. Please could you give me a brief, clear description of what it is and how it is measured.

    As an aside, I’ve always wondered what people here imagine ID ‘scientists’ do with their time. For example, what equipment do they need in their labs?

    And why is what worked throughout history to falsify the design inference not any good for ID?

    Other claims have been relatively well-defined whereas IDers make an enormous number of different claims that can, individually, that are gradually being nibbled away at. Remember when the mammalian blood-clotting system was the poster-child for ID? However, IDers are careful to never make a prediction that would cast doubt on ID in its entirety.

    [Addressed to David Kellogg]All you have to do is show us an example of cumulative selection.

    You mean like the steady improvement in the yield of wheat varieties over the past 100 years?

    Then I suggest you get an education.

    That’s why I’m asking you for clarification, something you seem unable to do.

    Not everyone has the capabilities to deal with science.

    I completely agree. Notice how some people are unable to grasp the basic concept that a scientific hypothesis must make falsifiable predictions, preferably ones that can be ascertained using existing techniques and within the next few years. BTW, I have more publications in refereed scientific journals that the entire ID-directed output of ID ‘scientists’.

    Could you give an example of an object that has been reduced to matter, energy, chance and necessity and demonstrate how it was done?

    Lightning- it was once thought to be from the “gods”. Now science has demonstrated there aren’t any “gods” hurling lightning bolts.

    Oh no. To use your kind of arguments back to you, no-one has ever shown that the path taken by lightning was not guided. Who caused the electrons to gather together in the first place? What determines just when the lightning takes place if it is not guided? What is an electron anyway if it is not a manifestation of a higher power? Science has merely demonstrated part of the process through which the gods act.

    I’m asking once again, please fill in the blanks: “If design is true then we should observe ________. If we don’t observe _______ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.”

    An alternative for you: I am unable to translate “to refute ID all one has to do is DEMONSTRATE that the observed CSI and IC can be accounted for via matter, energy, chance and necessity” into a practical experiment. Could you suggest one that follows from this? I assume that, as you have thought about this a lot, this will be a trivial matter for you.

  347. “I have been promoting Intelligent Design all my professional life and every evolutionary paper I have published assumes ID as its starting point. Intelligent Design is transparent in every aspect of the universe and never should have been presented as a subject for debate. Both religious fanaticism and Darwinian atheism are incurable congenital predispositions as is now well established by the studies on separated identical twins. William Wright’s ‘Born That Way’ (1998) summarizes this literature which is why it is listed on the side board of my weblog under Important Books. (jadavison.wordpress.com)

    I now request that I be allowed to resume my participation at Uncommon Descent as a mortal enemy of the Godless Darwinian paradigm which still dominates a debate which should never have been begun. There is no role for debate in science. There is only discovery.

    John A. Davison, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Vermont. Mailing address: L4 Grandview Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403
    email – [email protected]

    Barry Arrington, if your moderation policy is truly honest, you’d reinstate John A. Davison back into participation mode here on this fine weblog. I’m an occasional poster at UD, an ID proponent who understands ID, its goals and intentions as much as anyone else. If John A. Davison does not act accordingly with UD’s moderation policy, than I was wrong and should be banned too. Please take this under consideration. Thanks!

  348. Richard Simons,

    When you ask questions like:

    So tell me, how much CSI does a human have?

    It is obvious to me that you are clue-less.

    What have I read on the subject?

    3 years worth of biology-intensive college courses.

    Plus at least 100 books written on the subject by the likes of Gould, Dawkins, Jones, Darwin, de Beer, Lagrasse et al.

    Remember when the mammalian blood-clotting system was the poster-child for ID?

    It still is.

    I take you didn’t hear that whick Miller described has NOTHING to do with Behe was talking about.

    I believe it is on Behe’s Amazon blog.

    You mean like the steady improvement in the yield of wheat varieties over the past 100 years?

    By artificial selection- ID.

    Notice how some people are unable to grasp the basic concept that a scientific hypothesis must make falsifiable predictions,

    What is the falsifiable prediction of the premise that living organisms arose from non-living matter via unguided processes?

    What is the falsifiable prediction pertaining to the bacterial flagellum arising from a population that never had one via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    IOW how can we test the premise that A) Living organisms arose from non-living matter via unguided processes and B) that the bacterial flagellum arose via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    Ya see I know for a gfact that in your scenario there A) is no way to predict what mutations will occur at any point in time and B) there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time.

    IOW your position is nothing but an after-the-fact narrative based on an extreme world-view.

    Lightning- it was once thought to be from the “gods”. Now science has demonstrated there aren’t any “gods” hurling lightning bolts.

    Oh no.

    Yes Richard. What I said is quite correct.

    Science has merely demonstrated part of the process through which the gods act.

    And yet no scientist is promoting that idea.

    So I will ask you:

    If your anti-ID position is true then we should observe __________. If we do not observe __________ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.

    I don’t know what else to tell you Richard.

    IDists have put it in writing what it would take to falsify ID.

    And in reality all that entails is for YOU to actually support your cliams.

    Imagine that…

  349. 349

    JayM,

    No double standard. Barry’s moderation policy was one of no name calling and no disrespect, both of which RB was guilty, by his own admission.

  350. Richard

    To use your kind of arguments back to you, no-one has ever shown that the path taken by lightning was not guided. Who caused the electrons to gather together in the first place? What determines just when the lightning takes place if it is not guided? What is an electron anyway if it is not a manifestation of a higher power? Science has merely demonstrated part of the process through which the gods act.

    The way science operates a “god” would be superfulous.

    I would have expected someone of science who is NOT on an agenda to know that.

    Also “wheat evolving into wheat” would confirm the YEC position of variations within a kind.

    Is that the ONLY evidence you guys have- the evidence that supports YEC?

  351. Barry Arrington, if your moderation policy is truly honest, you’d reinstate John A. Davison back into participation mode here on this fine weblog.

    Actually, if Dr. Davison his held to the same standard as Reciprocated Bill, he would not be allowed back because he has been very critical of our host on his personal blog.

    See here

  352. 352

    Hermagoras,

    Yes, RB has been banned for discourtesy, you are right. No insulting behavior is allowed by anyone, on either side of the debate.

  353. Joseph has called people names and been disrespectful. Why isn’t he on moderation?

  354. And do a search for posts by Upright Biped on this thread, and compare him to RB, please. Who has been more rude and disrespectful?

  355. 355

    Clive, if RB was insulting, he was not insulting here. My points about inconsistency stand. Barry would let PZ Myers post here despite his insults to others at his own site. You would not. Further, others are far more insulting than RB. Would you like to review what one pro-ID commenter here has said about me on his blog? Give me your email and I’ll send you the link. I would prefer not to broadcast such filth on UD.

  356. 356

    Joseph,

    “And if you don’t answer that question I will take that to mean you are an intellectual coward.”

    Do not taunt, Joseph. This threatening language will not be tolerated.

  357. Hi Clive,

    If you could do a favor and make sure comment 348 is brought into Barry Arrington’s attention that would be awesome.

    Thanks in advance!

  358. Clive Hayden @352

    No double standard. Barry’s moderation policy was one of no name calling and no disrespect, both of which RB was guilty, by his own admission.

    Barry’s policy seems to apply only to behavior here on UD, not anywhere on the Internet. I offer as evidence of this his statement that PZ Myers would be welcome here, when we all know how Myers refers to ID proponents on his own blog.

    RB has not violated the policy in his posts here.

    Upright BiPed, Joseph, and Jerry, on the other hand, are routinely rude to anyone who doesn’t toe the Dembskian line.

    There is a double standard.

    JJ

  359. 359

    Hermagoras,

    I won’t give you my email, but if you’d like to post a comment with whatever link you’re referring to, I’ll take a look.

    I’m just trying to keep things civil. It’s not constructive to belittle or vilify whoever you’re discussing with, and that goes for everyone. The vile tone of those at Panda’s Thumb is really not necessary. It won’t score anyone who comments there any points when they want to have commenting privileges here and say such insulting things about us who give the privileges.

  360. 360

    Clive,

    How about one of those “contact us” links as I suggested above? Some way beyond trying to post to get in touch with the admins?

    David

  361. Actually, if Dr. Davison his held to the same standard as Reciprocated Bill, he would not be allowed back because he has been very critical of our host on his personal blog.

    Critter, I didn’t jump on this thread to “contrast and compare”. But now that you brought it up…

    Reciprocating Bill, unlike John, has never once spoken good of UD, UD’s moderators or anything “ID” related for that matter. Reciprocating Bill, unlike John, has contributed nothing to ID in any sort of way, except in light of the usual negative and repetitive, predictable recursive feedback.
    I am confident that I can gather up quite the library of external links pointing to reciprocating bill’s outright despise for ID and UD in general.

    Could you do the same about John, critter?
    Recipricating Bills intentions are quite obvious. We don’t need to apply CSI on that one.

    If John A. Davison truly had a grudge on someone, we all know who that would be. In light of that, understand that his comments targeted towards BarryA should be taken with a grain of salt. I believe even Barry Arrington understands this more then you.

  362. Could you do the same about John, critter?

    Yes, I can, my alphabetical friend. While John’s antipathy towards Dave is well known, the comment on his blog which I refer to makes no mention of Dave, but is only about Barry. Further, in this comment he lumps Uncommon Descent in with Pharyngul and the Panda’s Thumb. That is truly uncalled for.

  363. Falsifying ID-Dr Behe responds:

    One last charge must be met: Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- Dr Behe in 1997

    A very basic concept.

  364. 364

    Joseph:

    When you ask questions like:

    So tell me, how much CSI does a human have?

    It is obvious to me that you are clue-less.

    And I keep asking for enlightenment. Do I take this to mean that you do not have an answer?

    I take you didn’t hear that whick Miller described has NOTHING to do with Behe was talking about.

    I believe you are referring to Behe’s third or fourth definition of irreproducible complexity. I was thinking of his second (an irreproducibly complex system is one which cannot perform its original function if a component is removed).

    You mean like the steady improvement in the yield of wheat varieties over the past 100 years?

    By artificial selection- ID.

    The original question did not specify whether by ID or not.

    What is the falsifiable prediction of the premise that living organisms arose from non-living matter via unguided processes?

    IDers give us nothing to distinguish guided from non-guided processes. This is what I’ve been complaining about all along. Your (IDers) inability to produce anything is why biologists say that ID is vacuous.

    If your anti-ID position is true then we should observe __________. If we do not observe __________ our theory is at risk of disconfirmation.

    I don’t know what else to tell you Richard.

    Try filling in the blanks, or describe an experiment that could potentially disconfirm ID.

    And in reality all that entails is for YOU to actually support your cliams.

    The main claim I have been making is that ID is unable to make any testable predictions and is completely vacuous. I think you have provided adequate support for my claims. You probably think I have claimed that evolution is unguided, but I have done no such thing as that would be foolish. What I do claim is that it is impossible to determine whether evolution is guided or not, but I have seen no evidence to support the belief that it is guided. More-over, I am unable to think of any feasible test to refute the claim (various claims descended from this are refutable, however).

    The way science operates a “god” would be superfulous.

    If things started to operate in a completely unpredictable manner then the possibility of a god or gods would have to be considered but yes, for all practical purposes they are ruled out. Now do you see a reason why ID is not considered to be science?

    Also “wheat evolving into wheat” would confirm the YEC position of variations within a kind.

    Is that the ONLY evidence you guys have- the evidence that supports YEC?

    Completely irrelevent to the point being made, which was merely responding to the assertion that cumulative changes were not possible.

    Falsifying ID-Dr Behe responds:

    One last charge must be met: Orr maintains that the theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable. He’s wrong. To falsify design theory a scientist need only experimentally demonstrate that a bacterial flagellum, or any other comparably complex system, could arise by natural selection. If that happened I would conclude that neither flagella nor any system of similar or lesser complexity had to have been designed. In short, biochemical design would be neatly disproved.- Dr Behe in 1997

    A very basic concept.

    So he merely wants a hundred million years of evolution to be demonstrated in the lab? Why is he not willing to accept the evidence that has been gathered in the last 10 years? Remember how at Dover he denied that there were any studies even as he was peering around a stack of them?

    I’ve seen a number of people making similar claims – “show me a way in which X could have happened and I’ll reject ID”. Then, when they are shown a feasible route they either change to “show me that it did happen that way” or to “show me that it wasn’t guided”. A third possibility is that they will retreat to “OK. How about Y?”

  365. Onlookers:

    A preliminary point:

    I have remarked on the overnight “all quiet on the western front” aftermath of my corrective comments on the ill-judged use of a dismissive remark against me in another thread, which on closer examination of context turns out to be dripping with blood slander and excusing of public lewdness.

    I trust that the commenters here and at Anti Evo will now correct their embrace of such tainted dismissive rhetoric in that light. (NB: In my considered opinion, this also shows that uncivil conduct in other forums is relevant to whether we should entertain participants who so indulge elsewhere, here at UD.)

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Dr Simmons, I see your remark at 346. I simply note to you that Mr is ALSO strictly correct, save where it is used to denigrate. Which it has not been by me. (I am a little uncomfortable simply calling people by their names, much less their first names. I will deal with matters on the FSCI/CSI red herring issue for this thread — which is on moderation policy not debates over ID concepts — shortly. I will ignore sniping on writing style [which must always be judged by context, nature of subject matter, focus and intent . . . ], which now seems to be an increasing resort.)

  366. Now, on a few points:

    1] Dr S, 346: Think over what the ‘Weasel’ program is designed to demonstrate and consider the significance of it regarding probabilistic estimates of likelihood.

    This has been the subject of two lengthy recent threads [one ongoing], and it has come to a consensus on the analysis thanks to H’s contribution and Mr Berlinski’s remarks as excerpted by UB.

    Namely, Weasel shows targetted search that — by Mr Dawkins’ own statement — rewards mere proximity to target of NON-FUNCTIONAL “nonsense” phrases. It most likely (per preponderance of evidence) does that by virtue of T3, i.e. implicit latching or quasi-latching depending on match of per letter per string mutation rate within a generation and programmed generation size.

    But, natural selection — insofar as it has a coherent and non tautological meaning — is inherently about differential CURRENT functionality, and rewarding of improved function. So, selection without filtering for functionality first, begs the question of getting to the required function where that function depends crucially on functionally specific and complex information, such as we see in language, computer programs and DNA.

    As such, Weasel is an instantiation of intelligent design using active information so that it does not address the principal concern of ID and ID-leaning analysis since the 1980′s: getting to shorelines of islands of functionality in large configuration spaces.

    My cited challenge is an example of that, the challenge to generate a reasonable sale ASCII text string with a contextually responsive English sentence is a case in point, the OOL issue is an example of that, and the origin of body plan level biodiversity is an example of that. And, the probabilistic analysis you dismissed with sniping over style, is specifically about that issue.

    Observe onlookers: so soon as his challenge to get to FSCI [or CSI, the superset; or Irreducible Complexity] without resorting to intelligent direction of contingencies has been put on the table, evolutionary materialism advocates routinely and predictably divert to other issues.

    That should tell us something, something very telling.

    2] [the challenge to generate FSCI example is} completely useless as it ignores selection entirely

    Just the opposite.

    Credible first life starts at 300 - 500 k bits of DNA information, and body plan level diversification at phylum or sub phylum level starts at 10's - 100's of millions of novel base pairs.

    Until such innovations are integrated and functioning, differential survival and reproductive success in the current generation becomes an irrelevant and question-begging assertion.

    In short, there is something very wrong with the logic of models that assume that probabilistically implausibly easy to get to steps in function are then chained together to give the sort of scale of complexity that we see in life forms, from first life up to the major body plans.

    That his idea is often sold to us by using Weasel, which explicitly rewards mere proximity to target of non-functional nonsense phrases, is further telling on the underlying problems with the evolutionary materialistic paradigm.

    That I and others refuse to beg the question of getting to FSCI is not a cogent objection to our point; but just the opposite.

    3] I am still waiting to see a clear example of the determination of CSI in a natural situation or a clear definition. Yes, I have read Dembski’s paper. No, it is not useable.

    This meme has long passed its sell-by date.

    First, FSC is the technical form of FSCI, and is equally a subset of CSI. Durston et al have both rationalised a substantial metric based on H (of both info theory and statistical thermodynamics), that is closely related to the Dembski metric of 2005, and have published a table of 35 values of same, for proteins and related molecules. In the peer reviewed literature. For instance:

    Flu PB2, with 608 amino acid residues [aa], which has 1,692 sequences with 2,628 bits in the null state, they measured and calculated FSC 2,416 Fits, and FSC density 4.0 Fits/aa.

    I take it for granted that proteins are a phenomenon in the world of biological nature . . .

    Please, update your remarks in that light.

    5] What then of FSCI?

    As for FSCI, which is a deliberately simple version of that technical level material, as a practical measure we commonly see bits at work all over the place. That is, functional bits.

    Once we recognise that there is a function based on particular configurations of bits, especially in an algorithmic or linguistic context, we can then ask:

    (i) how many bits of capacity?

    (ii) is it observed to be or credibly vulnerable to modest perturbation by random noise?

    (iii) how much redundancy/ compressibility without effective loss of function?

    The first two identify that he information functions and that it sits in an island of functionality.

    Based on the third questions we can identify the core number of bits to carry out the function, but this step is often not necessary. For, if the function uses at least 1,000 bits, that has specified a contingency space in excess of 10^301 i.e. ten times the square of the number of quantum states of the atoms in our cosmos across its reasonable lifespan, we know that the whole observed universe acting as search engine could not scan as much as 1 in 10^150 of the config space. In short, such functionality is maximally unlikely to be achieved by any random walk based search.

    But, we know by commonplace observation, that intelligent designers routinely produce entities at or above that threshold of FSCI. So, we can measure FSCI as a rough and ready metric based on being functional, vulnerable to perturbation of that functionality based on noise corruption of required information, and on number of functional bits used. Both DNA and derivative proteins can be measured in this way. (All of this BTW, is in the WACs and glossary above, much less my always linked.)

    Therefore we have a mathematical general context, a conceptual framework [T & A's orderly, random and functional sequence complexity, with roots going all the way back to Orgel in 1973], and three levels of metrics : (i) Dembski’s 2005 metric, (ii) Durston’s 2007 metric, and (iii) the crude one that is in fact how we commonly look at the capacity of DVD’s, CD’s computer memories, programs, documents, and PC screens etc etc.

    Pardon: a “no-brainer,” that.
    ____________

    In short, evidently, selective hyperskepticism is at work yet again.

    And, that is very relevant to moderation policy, when we ever so commonly see distractions from the focus of the threads at UD, based on selectively hyperskeptical challenges to basic and frankly not that hard to figure out ID concepts, terms, metrics and facts.

    Onward moderation policy must be able to address such distractions, and to deal firmly with insistence on diversions through refusal to reckon with reasonable response and calling back to the focus.

    When it comes to abusive behaviour here or elsewhere, that isn’t even an issue on what should be done: insistent abuse (as opposed to simple stumblings into poor behaviour, acknowledged and turned from) is strong proof of intent to disrupt and/or of ungovernable incivility.

    GEM of TKI

  367. OOPS: 300 – 500 k BASES of DNA, or 600 – 1,000 k bits. 600 k bits is ~ 10^180,000 possible configurations.

  368. Richard Simons:

    So he merely wants a hundred million years of evolution to be demonstrated in the lab?

    So you admit that your position is untestable. Thank you.

    Why is he not willing to accept the evidence that has been gathered in the last 10 years?

    Because those studiesd don’t do anything beyond speculation.

    Remember how at Dover he denied that there were any studies even as he was peering around a stack of them?

    I remember a literature BLUFF the lawyers pulled at Dover.

    And when someone asks for evidence of cumulative selection it is always a good thing to present one that will support YOUR position.

    If the ONLY evidence you have is that for YEC then it is obvious that you don’t have anything.

    IOW CONTEXT is very importatnt.

  369. One more time:

    If living organisms arose from non-living matter via unguided processes I would expect to see _________. Failure to see _________ would be a step towards disconfirming my position.

  370. The main claim I have been making is that ID is unable to make any testable predictions and is completely vacuous.

    And yet testable predictions have been made by ID.

    I have provided some.

    However it is obvious that an accumulation of genetic accidents is void of predictive power.

    It is also obvious that ALL you have is father time, mother nature and magical mystery mutations.

    Totally empty…

  371. Richard Simons,

    Seeing that you think that neither CSI nor IC have been rigorously defined, please provide the evolutionary terms tat have been rigorously defined so that we can compare.

    For example “descent with modification”- what is it, EXACTLY, that gets modified?

    Or do you still only have a general answer of “its genome”?

    That is worthless scientifically.

    So as I said all you really have are magical mystery mutations acting over vast amounts of time.

    IOW your position is untestable so don’t comnplain about ID, especially given your lack of knowledge about it.

    I provided you with a list of books.

    Read them.

  372. 372

    Joseph:

    Richard Simons:

    So he merely wants a hundred million years of evolution to be demonstrated in the lab?

    So you admit that your position is untestable. Thank you.

    What on Earth gave you that idea? What I am saying is that the method by which Behe differentiates between guided and non-guided evolution can’t be used in practice. In addition, even if it could be done, it would still fail to distinguish between guided and non-guided evolution. All it would do would demonstrate that evolution was possible. He (and no doubt you) would claim the fact that it was done in a laboratory would demonstrate that intelligence was required.

    Whenever I say that guided and non-guided evolution can’t be distinguished, you crow about me admitting that my claim is wrong or untestable. However, it is your claim that they can be distinguished and your claim that is untestable.

    I will repeat: there is no practical method for distinguishing guided from non-guided evolution.

    I remember a literature BLUFF the lawyers pulled at Dover.

    In what way was it a bluff? Are you suggesting that they were merely mock-ups of books and papers and that the contents did not support the titles on them?

    And when someone asks for evidence of cumulative selection it is always a good thing to present one that will support YOUR position.

    It did. I also chose one that would be familiar to most reasonably educated people.

    One more time:

    If living organisms arose from non-living matter via unguided processes I would expect to see _________. Failure to see _________ would be a step towards disconfirming my position.

    One more time? I can’t find where you asked for this previously.
    However, I have repeatedly said there is no practical method for distinguishing between guided and non-guided evolution.

    If you wish to make some assumptions about the guiding principal, then there are some predictions that could be made. For example, if it were concerned with economy then features that worked well would be copied from one organism to another and all medium to large flying creatures would have the same basic design of wing. Pandas would have a proper thumb and we would not have appendices that became diseased every now and then. If the guiding principal were generally benevolent, I would expect to see features in one organism that benefit another with no benefit to the organism having the feature. If organisms were created from scratch, I would not expect it to be possible to group them into nested hierarchies that can be based on a wide variety of features yet remain in agreement.

    And yet testable predictions have been made by ID.

    I have provided some.

    Keeping repeating this does not make it true.

    For example “descent with modification”- what is it, EXACTLY, that gets modified?

    The phenotype, which in itself is a reflection of the genotype (including mitochondrial etc genotypes).

    So as I said all you really have are magical mystery mutations acting over vast amounts of time.

    IOW your position is untestable so don’t comnplain about ID, especially given your lack of knowledge about it.

    The theory of evolution has been thoroughly tested for the past 150 years and passed all tests. The only part that is untestable is the same part of the explanation for lightning that is untestable: is the route for evolution or the route for lightning guided? As far as we can tell, in both cases the answer is no. If IDers think otherwise, they have to provide us with a suitable test that would differentiate between the two and then carry out the test.

  373. Over in another thread, kairosfocus writes,

    PS: Severski et al — why the silence for days now?

    It may be that, despite the opening post by Barry, that a number of people have been banned, either outright or by keeping their comments in moderation so long that discussion isn’t worthwhile.

    Of course, it could be that other aspects of life have become more important or interesting than posting here.

  374. Maybe the moderators could inform as to whose comments are being kept in moderation and why and for how long.

  375. Hazel:

    I cannot comment in details on the present state, but I have had a brush or two with the mod pile. [Sufficiently so that I was on first names, instant recognition basis with the key troubleshooter from Akismet. Hi, M , if you are watching!]

    The lengths of delay involved were not of comparable order.

    And, Sev has subsequently commented, remarking that he was busy elsewhere.

    Fair enough.

    I have responded. [Pardon formatting error.]

    GEM of TKI

    PS to Dr S: there was an analysis of the Dover lit claims at the time, and they showed that there was not the sort of substance implied by the courtroom stunt: putting up a pile of unexamined articles and books on the table unattested to by live expert in court, and suggesting that it was irrefutable evidence on plaintiff’s point. (That is, naked appeal to blanket authority. Like piling up the Church Fathers and challenging Luther with the pile. At least at Wurms, there was no cheap histrionics like that — Charles V appealed to consensus, not to a pile of books on the table. But, no claimed consensus or individual expert is better than their/ his facts, logic and starting assumptions — which are exactly what is at issue now.) There is a very specific set of challenges: to empirically find CSI and IC that have arisen by chance + necessity. That has simply not been met. The only observed source of these is intelligence. Concluding that CSI (esp. FSCI/FSC] and IC are reliable signs of design is well-warranted by the actual empirical evidence.

  376. kairosfocus @275

    there was an analysis of the Dover lit claims at the time, and they showed that there was not the sort of substance implied by the courtroom stunt

    Do you have a cite to that analysis?

    Thanks,

    JayM

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