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Defending The Indefensible

I seem to have a talent for raising the ire and indignation of anti-ID folks. Check out the number of comments here (126 comments at this writing). This is a good sign for ID, because it’s obvious that my posts strike sensitive nerves. Defending the indefensible is a difficult task that requires a great deal of passion.

But wait, there’s more, at no additional charge! Check out this article.

Random mutation and natural selection really is miraculous. It not only explains the intricacies of the machinery of the cell, it explains the intricacies of the bat’s echolocation system and its integration with the bat’s flight-control system.

Examples like this reveal why Darwinian fundamentalists are in a state of panic. They don’t have the explanatory goods, and most people with common sense recognize this.

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27 Responses to Defending The Indefensible

  1. Examples like this reveal why Darwinian fundamentalists are in a state of panic. They don’t have the explanatory goods, and most people with common sense recognize this.

    I also think ppl are smart enough to see that the traditional examples of RM + NS don’t even come close to simulating this.

    I also liked the histone article at idthefuture. How nature just randomly cooked up supercoiling, the machinery, the repair machinery, and just the fidelity of it all my goodness c’mon now!

  2. I seem to have a talent for raising the ire and indignation of anti-ID folks. Check out the number of comments here (126 comments at this writing). This is a good sign for ID, because it’s obvious that my posts strike sensitive nerves. Defending the indefensible is a difficult task that requires a great deal of passion

    About half of those 126 comments are pro-ID. Presumably those also reflect sensitive nerves and reflect a great deal of passion?

  3. Dear Gil,

    Keep it up cuz!

    You are like Houdini who exposed and debunked the seances and phony spirtitualists of the past.

    True skeptics of today see Darwinism for what it is: an appeal to magic, miracles, and wack-ball narratives that justify pre-held wishes with a goofy spiritualism of its own. Not just stories, but blatant frauds and phoney data.

    Best,

    Stu

    http://www.theidbookstore.com

  4. I seem to have a talent for raising the ire and indignation of anti-ID folks. Check out the number of comments here (126 comments at this writing). This is a good sign for ID, because it’s obvious that my posts strike sensitive nerves.

    Well, I suppose that’s one interpretation of it. I have a different one.

  5. Mark

    To strike a nerve you’re going to have to do better than getting a self-modifying program to cobble together an EQU instruction out of microcode through trial and error, reward and punishment. That’s laughable from the perspective of programmers who were using so-called evolutionary algorithms decades before it got a shiny new name applied to it. Moreover we teased solutions out of it that far exceed in complexity and practicality that of a simple microprocessor operand.

    As I said before, when you boys get your evolution sims to reveal a real biochemical pathway to something like a flagellum using just simulated rm+ns then I’ll take it seriously. Until then it’s just academic wool gathering.

  6. Gil: “I seem to have a talent for raising the ire and indignation of anti-ID folks.”

    It’s more like exasperation caused by your misunderstanding of what modeling is all about. When you demand that computer simulations must also mutate the computer they are running on, it’s like saying that evolution in the biological world must also mutate the laws of physics and chemistry that the organisms run under.

    When you modeled your parachute on a computer, I presume that you did not have your simulation modify the computer to be valid, right? If not, then why do you demand that evolutionary simulations must modify theirs?

  7. 7
    Reciprocating Bill

    DUDES! Before you break out the cigars, you might take some time to actually read the two threads to which Gil refers.

    Do so and you will see that they aren’t composed of Gil championing some ID notion that “struck a nerve,” followed by the futile, red-faced efforts of Darwinians to refute it. In fact, almost no positive ID thesis is presented in the thread, by Gil or anyone else.

    Instead, Gil posted a proposal regarding the computational simulation of natural selection that is downright mistaken (random mutation should extend to the underlying hardware, operating system, etc.), and the overwhelming bulk of the contrary replies addressed his (and others’) apparent misapprehension of the nature of simulation.

    Gil eventually (after days of discussion and two threads) admitted as much by stating that his original post was intended as sarcasm, that it shouldn’t have been taken seriously, and that he intended points that he apparently failed to make clear. Some did not find that backdown very credible. Read and judge for yourselves.

    In any event, an often interesting and instructive conversation was triggered addressing the abstract nature of computation, the algorithmic and abstract nature of selectionist causation, the central features of natural selection in nature vs. in simulations, the significance of these simulations, etc. Very little of it actually addresses the ID thesis.

    That discussion has been interesting and instructive in several ways, and mostly cordial, and I think all contributors *should* be congratulated for sustaining a civil and productive discussion.

  8. The link to the bats’ echolocation is phenomenal!! Oh yes, Darwinian evolution is truly amazing. Those random mutations came up with biosonar emissions, they did. And since the emissions themselves presumably do not provide any competitive advantage leading to natural selection, the random mutations then enhanced these furry little mammals with the ability to receive the bouncebacks, and time them as well. Oh, and then just as easily the random mutations modified and enhanced the brain to interpret the bouncebacks as to the nature of the target objects, and create different decisions, such as avoiding certain objects and pursuing others. All this, and no doubt all other sorts of details, were necessary before natural selection kicked in!!

    Why, thank goodness co-option is here to rescue us from this dilemma. This is the time for the Darwinists to quickly come up with all sorts of clever and innovative possible explanations. Such as the emissions started as social chatter between the creatures. You know, sort of an alternate language of sorts. And when they approached a group of moths they emitted sounds to notify the other bats in the area of happy hunting grounds, and eventually they began noticing that the sounds bounced back from the moths’s wing surfaces. Hocus pocus like that. You get the idea.

  9. Ekstasis,
    That might well be what happened. Do you have a probem with that? Thanks for saving the Overwhelmingly Accurrate Science of Evoluion from sectarian attacks.

    (PS: While you are at it, you wouldn’t happen to have a story….errr.. I mean, a “plausible mechanism” that might explain the bacterial flagelum right?)

  10. Mats,

    Oh sure, co-option is truly amazing. All you need is a few spare biological parts hanging around, and presto!! True, they must be located somewhere in the nearby vicinity. Oh, and yes, them must be compatible and fit together structurally, big deal. What is that you say about assembly? Why, yes, I suppose they must be assembled in a particular order to actually work. Ok, ok, so they actually need assembly instructions. Where did the assembly instructions come from? Now you are really getting pushy!!

    Hold onto your seat, because the fossil record is going to prove this co-option big time, any year now. You just wait and see, and wait, and wait…..

  11. Re #5. Dave my point was simply that Gil was using the number of comments as an indication of sensitive nerves. I don’t believe this is a good indicator, but if it is – then surely it applies to the ID proponents as well?

  12. When you modeled your parachute on a computer, I presume that you did not have your simulation modify the computer to be valid, right? If not, then why do you demand that evolutionary simulations must modify theirs?

    1. He was joking–overexaggerating in order to make a point.
    2. The replication engine is often a protected part of the simulation program, not open to change within the model.
    3. The randomize functions in these simulations are only pseudo-random. I suggest using a hardware-based solution:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H....._generator

    As for “hitting a nerve”…the only nerve that got hit was my “good grief–not this again!” nerve.

    Instead, Gil posted a proposal regarding the computational simulation of natural selection that is downright mistaken (random mutation should extend to the underlying hardware, operating system, etc.), and the overwhelming bulk of the contrary replies addressed his (and others’) apparent misapprehension of the nature of simulation.

    Yes, and you guys continually ignored points about protected parts of said simulations and instead chose to latch onto a mistaken understanding of his posts in a vain attempt to make a point even while being told he was likely joking.

    But to make my own position clear, no, I don’t think Gil should have attempted to make his points in such a vague and outrageous manner. I knew from previous discussions with him that he knew better. As for his slow responses…I would imagine that’s just due to being busy.

  13. 13
    Reciprocating Bill

    Patrick said:

    “But to make my own position clear, no, I don’t think Gil should have attempted to make his points in such a vague and outrageous manner.”

    You think?

    At any rate, its all there for anyone to read.

    (“Overexaggerating” rates a referral to the department of redundancy department.

  14. #12: “overexaggerating”

    Patrick I think the word you’re looking for is “extraoverexaggerating”.

  15. hmm…perhaps the usage of the word “overexaggerate” is a “Southern thang”, but it does exist:

    http://dictionary.reference.co.....exaggerate

    Definition: to overemphasize completely; to go beyond anticipated exaggeration

    :P

  16. If all scientists said was ‘natural selection did it’, and then left it at that, I’d probably be on your side. That isn’t what they do though, and there is a lot of stuff in the literature about this subject. To be fair I haven’t read it so I don’t know if it presents a plausibel mechanism, but I haven’t yet heard an ID explanation that has as much detail as ‘natural selection did it’.

  17. Have I been banned for some reason or are my comments being caught in the filter?

  18. Yes, they’re being caught in the general filter (not Akismet which Dave uses for banned members).

  19. Okay, I plead guilty to inordinately excessively extreme overexaggeration.

    I think Ekstasis may be on to something in comment #8 with his Darwinian explanation of the origin of the bat’s high-frequency sonar range-finding/bug-hunting system.

    Richard Dawkins explains the evolution of the bat wing in The Blind Watchmaker: A squirrel-like creature got a mutation that put a flap of skin in its armpit which aerodynamically helped break its fall when it tumbled out of a tree. Its friends without the mutated armpit flaps broke their necks and died when they fell out of trees. Bigger mutated flaps helped decelerate the creatures from higher altitudes, and so on until we have proper wings.

    So, we have the evolution of the bat wing all figured out. How about a UD contest to see who can come up with the real Darwinian explanation for the evolution of the bat’s sonar range-finding/bug-hunting system? Then we’ll have the entire bat all figured out.

  20. I think Gil has been misunderestimated.

  21. Gil, the bats didn’t fall! See, some bats developed a taste for flying bugs (even before they could catch them), so they started flinging themselves out into the air to catch bugs. Only the ones who adapted to flying survived.

    Please get your story straight.

  22. Jaz,

    Good point, and congratulations for not using any qualifiers like “might have,” “could have,” or “some scientists believe” in the presentation of your Darwinian story (oops, make that “the presentation of overwhelming evidence for evolution”).

    You see, such qualifiers might confuse young students, who are unsophisticated and ill-equipped to grasp the subtleties of Darwinian theory. Some of them might even be so confused that they could, in a worst-case scenario, start to think that there actually is a controversy concerning the fact of evolution. This, in turn, could cause the catastrophic meltdown of science education in the U.S., which would result in the production of no new computer programmers, medical researchers, etc. This, in turn, would cause the meltdown of the entire U.S. economy and the takeover of the U.S. government by the American Taliban.

    So, you see what’s at stake.

    So that young students won’t be confused about the evolution of the bat, here’s what really happened (based on the evidence of your recent bat bug-tasting research):

    There were some crippled bugs who could not fly (poor things), which the proto-bats could catch without flying. But the proto-bats developed such a taste for crippled bugs that the proto-bats began leaping out of trees to catch the non-crippled bugs that could fly, and the proto-bats developed biosonar technology by random mutation and natural selection in order to survive and catch more flying bugs.

    The logic of Darwinian theory is irrefutable and so easy to grasp: mutate, copy, select. It’s the greatest idea ever conceived.

  23. Geesh guys, no wonder ID gets no respect!

    Don’t you know bats evolved? They don’t eat bugs anymore. That was a billion years ago. Now, they eat villains and thugs, like the Joker…

    http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/thebatman/

    Those batwings lost their leathery skin and turned into arms(which evolution predicted), to drive the BatMobile(which was co-opted). The sonar is now used to recover stolen diamonds from Mr. Freeze(once a polar bear).

    Evolutionist have already simulated how the new species BatMan works here to recover the goodies and capture Mr. Freeze:
    http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/.....index.html

    Just click on the start button to watch the simulation of the current species in action! Its so easy to see how this can happen thru the simulations. Why ID people cannot get it only shows your ignorance. It is obvious by the way the simulation shows Batman moving it could happen exactly that way!

    Why can’t ID produce a simulation for bats? Huh?

  24. I am afraid that, in typical zeal to discredit evolutionary mechanism, you only looked at the (admittedly designed) branching into the BatMan speciation of the genus. Unfortunately, you neglected that evolution is random and undirected, and as a consequence you did not notice an additional evolutionary branch. In this evolutionary path, bats eventually lost their wings/arms altogether. There was no need to fly using wings or to move about in cars since this new bat species co-opted humans to move it through the air. In addition, there was also a shift in the predation target, and instead the new species is primarily hunting spherical flying objects with leather-like skins and stitches that hold the skin together. The predatory skills have not yet evolved to perfection since these new bats miss their prey 70-80% of the time, the best of their species having reached a success rate of .400, and that was several decades ago.
    Recently, a new evolutionary branch has emerged but not yet achieved the status of species. Instead of being solidly built, this new variant is exhibits an arthropod-like exoskeleton and a cork-like interior. There have been efforts to eradicate this variant, but it keeps re-appearing, apparently by spontaneous and fairly frequent mutations.

  25. Gil,

    “So, you see what’s at stake.”

    Wow. I have to say, I’d never thought of it that way. Given your clear presentation of the threatiness of ID, and the obvious consequences of its acceptance, I’m afraid I’m going to have to reject all the relevant evidence and logic, and become an Evolutionist.

  26. In this evolutionary path, bats eventually lost their wings/arms altogether.

    So are we supposed to get excited about devolution? Well, darn it, I should of given up on ID when I first heard about blind cavefish, too.

  27. 27

    If there was ever an example of a one step saltation it was the origin of the forelimbs of the bat. The earliest know bats were complete with sonar just as the earliest known birds had feathers indistinguishable from those of a modern pigeon.

    “We might as well stop looking for the missing links . They never existed.”
    Otto Schindewolf

    “The first bird hatched from a reptilian egg.”
    ibid

    To continue to imagine a Darwinian evolution is just as unthinkable as it is to claim that it never took place. A pox on both houses.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

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