Home » Intelligent Design, Science » Design: All The Way Down

Design: All The Way Down

It’s not turtles all the way down; it’s design all the way down: from the constants of physics, to the production of life-permitting chemical elements in supernovae that are coincidentally unstable and spew out these elements to produce rocky planets on which life can exist, to the characteristics of carbon formed in a very narrow window of opportunity in stars, to the characteristics of water and light, to the fact that metals can be refined and smelted in temperatures reachable in carbon-based fire which made technology possible, to the electrical properties of conductors and semiconductors that made electronics and computers possible, to the fact that habitable planets represent the best platforms for cosmological discovery, to the fact that living things contain the most remarkable computer program ever written, the profundities of which we have not even begun to understand.

I presume that the picture at this point should be obvious. Design screams from every corner of modern scientific discovery. The real question is, Why do so many (especially academic intellectuals) work so hard to deny the obvious?

I have an answer to that question, and it should be obvious as well.

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67 Responses to Design: All The Way Down

  1. I have an answer to that question, and it should be obvious as well.

    Oh, tell us!

  2. Oh, tell us!

    And be a spoilsport? I’ll let some of our UD readers comment first.

  3. Because they don’t like the implications of “the obvious”?

  4. They’ll say that it’s apparent but there is no evidence and it is not falsifiable..
    “It’s apparent but not evident”, I guess you could always slap them with a thesaurus upside the head rather than give a long winded reply.

  5. The problem with talk about design is that there are some things that clearly strike us designed, when we know that they are not — faces in clouds, for example. Or eoliths.

  6. The real question is, Why do so many (especially academic intellectuals) work so hard to deny the obvious?

    “Denying the obvious” is a very common symptom which is almost always found in those afflicted with Reversed Brain Syndrome. It may take several doctors here to help determine the proper course of action for treatment when academic intellectuals are involved, but due to the highly debilitating and contagious nature of the disease it is recommended that the most extreme cases be dealt with by placing the patients in permanent solitary confinement.

  7. No need to guess. You can get it right from one of the horse’s, er, mouths. This email was written by one of the scientists who tried to get Richard Sternberg to quit the Smithsonian because he allowed an ID article to be peer reviewed. See if you can find a motive here.

    http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

    “After spending 4.5 years in the Bible Belt, I have learned how to carefully phrase things in order to avoid the least amount of negative repercussions for the kids. And I have heard many amazing things!! The most fun we had by far was when my son refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because of the ‘under dog’ part…” The e-mail concludes by lamenting that the school teacher was “religious” and it was unfortunate that there was “anti-evolution education” in the schools.

  8. ID has to start publishing results in tomes other than books, let’s get the message out and available for free.

    Could there be a section here for pieces of scientific work in support of ID?

  9. “ID has to start publishing results in tomes other than books, let’s get the message out and available for free.”

    lotf, maybe you haven’t been following the ID vs. blind faith in materialism controversy, but scientists who don’t enjoy being persecuted by wounded atheists aren’t exactly rushing to oppose saint darwin in the public arena.

    “I have an answer to that question, and it should be obvious as well.”

    I used to think it was because they didn’t want a God telling them what to do, but I think for many of them, their thought process has been infected by Darwinian logic – that is, the persistent denial of reality. I don’t think many of them are even capable of objectively viewing the world any longer.

  10. The have too much to loose! In the it’s all about POPI, the persuite of personal interest.

  11. The problem with talk about design is that there are some things that clearly strike us designed, when we know that they are not — faces in clouds, for example. Or eoliths.

    While, yes, there is a problem with informal design detection that is why Bill spent the time developing a foundation for formalized methods with the explanatory filter.

  12. @shaner74
    Yes I am quite new to all this but I would think that most scientists would love to overturn the current paradigm, isn’t that what made Darwin famous in the first place?

  13. @Patrick
    Forgive me ignorance as I’m new here can you point me to an example of the explantory filter being used? This is the sort of thing I was meaning when I said we need to get the information out there and for free.

  14. Carl Sachs

    Faces in clouds are not machines with intricate interdependent parts and abstract codes working together to accomplish complex tasks. Neither are neoliths.

    Try again.

  15. DaveScot,

    Fair enough, I suppose. But then again, neither are physical constants or the laws of nucleosynthesis. Part of my point in my glib posting above was that there’s some ambiguity in what is supposed to be taken as designed. Is it just the basics of molecular biology, as (14) suggests? Or is it the entire universe? Or . . . well, what, exactly?

    The “faces in the clouds” was there just to say that not everything which seems designed really is. And that’s a good reason for thinking that we need something like Dembski’s explanatory filter.

    But then GilDodgen cannot be right to suggest, as I thought he was, that everything which screams out to us as design really is, and that only some conspiracy on the part of materialists prevents the public acknowledgment of this obvious fact.

  16. lotf, Carl Sachs:

    anyone who is not familiar with the problems of design inference should try to read with attention Dembski’s works.

    Just to give an input, I try here an extreme summary of the main ideas:

    Design inference is the best explanation for information (CSI, complex specified information) with the following characteristics:

    a) the particular information observed has a very low probability of occurring spontaneously in a random way. In other words, the observed information must be one specific configuration (or set of configurations) in a very large space of configurations. Dembski defines the limit for CSI at 1:10^150, just to be sure, but he is probably very, very generous…

    b) the observed information is specified. The concept of specification is more subtle, and certainly subject to further analysis. A very simple summary could be that an information pattern is specified if it can be “recognized” in some precise ways: 1) Prespecification (the pattern has been defined before its occurence); 2) Compressibility (the information can be expressed in a much lower number of bits); 3) Function (the information can effect some specific function)

    c) There must be no known law or other circumstance which can explain the observed information as the result of non random processes.

  17. It’s liberating to think of being in a world without a design and designer. Ultimately, you are responsible for nothing and there is nothing to hold you back. There can be no guilt or shame.

    Dawkins says that people believe in God because they don’t have the courage think of themselves as not being a product of purpose and that there is no prospect of an afterlife. Perhaps the Dawkinses of the world are materialists because they don’t have the courage to think of themselves as having responsibilities and purpose in their life. This would limit their freedoms.

  18. Why do so many (especially academic intellectuals) work so hard to deny the obvious? I have an answer to that question, and it should be obvious as well.

    You have got my attention!!! For I am totally stumped that so many supposedly rational people could deny the obvious!!

    Please do tell!!

  19. A poem for ID

    Once upon a time on this earth, in a land far, far away,

    A lone grain of wheat, amidst the grains of sand silently lay,

    Then came the thunderstorms, watering the parched land

    Soon afterwards a sprout from that grain of wheat was at hand.

    Not one plant grew from any single grain of sand

    Though multitudes amidst the soil would stand.

    The lone grain of wheat grew to yield many more grains,

    The multitudes of sand remained still in their numerous strains.

    And so it is with Truth surrounded in a world of lies
    The lone living Truth amidst falsehood multiplies.

  20. Berceuse pretty much has it:
    Because they don’t like the implications of “the obvious”?

    StuartHarris makes a good point:
    It’s liberating to think of being in a world without a design and designer. Ultimately, you are responsible for nothing and there is nothing to hold you back.

    As does shaner74:
    …I think for many of them, their thought process has been infected by Darwinian logic — that is, the persistent denial of reality. I don’t think many of them are even capable of objectively viewing the world any longer.

    In my opinion the bottom line is this: They don’t want the universe or life to be the product of design and purpose, because this would mean admitting that their essential worldview is wrong. Abandoning a lifelong commitment to an entire worldview is a very difficult and disconcerting thing to do, especially in the face of extreme peer pressure.

  21. Gil,

    But what caused the worldview and is that cause still operative today helping to sustain it. Otherwise the worldview would slowly wither away like all false worldviews.

  22. Gil, and maybe this relates to Jerry’s question, besides just a fallen world.

    A worldview of evolution is connected to a social and cultural worldview. It cannot be disentangled. As is all information, the rejection of God causes information to cease in the eyes of those who reject him. They become blind. He essentially releases them to go their own way into oblivion.

    Admitting their worldview is wrong is disconcerting because to play the rebel is easier. To surrender ones will to a Creator is to depose the small god inside us all who says we know what is best for us
    (see George Soros; “I have always harbored an exaggerated view of my self-importance – to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god.”)

    link…
    http://books.google.com/books?.....2-PA372,M1

    scroll down page 372.

    The materialist, atheist, never truly wants to grow up, or they think as a result of their education “today” that they have all the answers the unwashed masses do not. Their desire is to be their own gods, and promote their own worldview so as to live any life they like, to hell with all the rest. Politics is their salvation. Science is their salvation. And any more numerous pathways. But the zealots are there on the left in evolution, scientism, or whatever populist cause of the day. This is why our nation is hamstrung by a miniscule minority over sexual pleasure. Their wish is to be legitimized. The only way they can do so is to put down a Creator that disowns their lust.

    Tolerance is only a word for those who agree with them. There is no such idea of tolerance for Christ, only scoffing and mocking. “Dumb” people believe in a Creator.
    But it travels far deeper as one rejects God and refuses to grow up.

    There is a good excerpt from Courting the Abyss; Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition by John Durham Peters.

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/.....62748.html

    “…rather seek
    Our own good from our selves, and from our own
    Live to our selves, though in this vast recess,
    Free, and to none accountable, preferring
    Hard liberty before the easie yoke
    Of servile pomp.”(Paradise Lost, 2.253–57)

    It shows the different thinking between liberals and conservatives, atheist and theist in large part. One believes they must get down in the gutter to experience all of life. This liberal worldview is expressed thru the air of talking media, movie, tv, radio. Much like a scene from one of James Dean’s movies where he convinces a “friend” to try out “homosexual” behavior, yet never does himself. So too, our media today says “try it” you may like it and even if you do not, at least you experienced it and know better afterwards. But this is a lie and sends many people into a downward spiral of hell on earth. The liberal process does not inspect closely its own tennants to see the destruction left behind.

    The truth is one not need try everything under the sun, to know the difference between good and evil or what can mess up your life. A man or woman does not need to try out everyone first before getting married. Nor does one need to teach our kids today that “how can you know homosexuality is bad for you if you have not tried it.” But it is being spread. And there exactly is the harm.

    Having a Creator who knows best what road not to walk down, elminates the liberal subversion. It eliminates this need to explore every dark corner of which some are so proud to do. Essentially, their worldview is chaos. Try everything once in random fashion, much like how we “were created” by evolution. The destructive behavior “try anything once, twice if you like it” is built into the very fabric of those who detest a Creator.

    Thus the need for random creation and random decisions in life.

    Evolution means not only did we come from a monkey, but we can act like them too. And we can make studies showing that it is precisely because of our chimp ancestors that we act so accordingly to random nature.

    If we’re here as a random accident, then our choics in life are meaningless and damn those who think otherwise. The professors won’t admit this, but they do so enjoy seeing the chaos at times that their teachings invoke.

    Sorry for the length, no time to cut it down. Thanks for opportunity to state the obvious.

  23. But what caused the worldview and is that cause still operative today helping to sustain it.

    I believe it’s a legacy of the 19th and early 20th centuries, when it was thought that materialist science would eventually be capable of explaining everything in purely materialistic terms. There was probably also a factor that involved rebellion against traditional religion, for various reasons.

    Otherwise the worldview would slowly wither away like all false worldviews.

    I believe that it eventually will wither away, like belief in alchemy and perpetual-motion machines did, once it was realized that fundamental laws are at work that will not permit what is hoped for.

    There is good reason to believe that this withering will take place. When a scientific theory is sound (like general relativity, for example), new discoveries will progressively confirm it, rather than present more and more problems. In the case of Darwinian mechanisms, new discoveries have not progressively confirmed their creative power, but have presented more and more problems. Cries of “overwhelming evidence” will not work forever in the face of mounting evidence that underlying Darwinian assumptions are wrong, and that there are fundamental laws at work that will not permit Darwinian mechanisms to accomplish that for which they have been given credit.

    On the other side of the coin, evidence continues to mount for design, on a cosmological scale, a microscopic scale, and everywhere in between.

    So, keep an eye on the trends to see whether or not a theory or worldview is likely to persist. Remember when it was thought (notably by Carl Sagan) that our galaxy must be teeming with life because you only had to get a few things right to produce a habitable planet? What has the trend been? Has the trend been toward new discoveries confirming this assumption or disconfirming it?

  24. I intended to add the following…

    “Consider a second actor, the abyss-redeemer. Abyss-artists and -redeemers have a symbiotic relationship. In the language of pop psychology, redeemers are “enablers,” people who provide material or emotional support for other people’s vices, yet often keep themselves aloof from such behaviors.”

    and…

    “Classic abyss-redeemers know the serious risks involved, so different from many latter-day liberals and civil libertarians, so certain of their theodicy that “the marketplace of ideas” will somehow take care of itself. Paul swoops into brief moments of heresy—Is God a liar? Should we sin so that grace may abound?— only to reemerge on the other end with a shudder at the thought he has just entertained. Let it not be, he exhorts.”

    I’m not sure I share your optimism Gil, though you’re correct of where the evidence leads and even the trends in science publishing.

    The key is as the internet grows. There have already been attempts to regulate it. Certainly and unfortunately modern day governments and even those who say, “do no evil” like Google in China, do exactly the opposite by censoring their own search engine.

  25. “Why do so many (especially academic intellectuals) work so hard to deny the obvious?”

    Because they’re sheltered from the real world. They begin to believe they’re superior to us “common folk” and this leads to their very own god-complexes, which of course leads to denying any evidence that may point to an actual God. Of course, I’m generalizing. This doesn’t apply to all academic intellectuals (like duh). It’s just that you usually don’t hear football coaches talking about the materialist victory over religious belief, but you may hear a football coach giving advice that could change someones life for the better – something I doubt Dawkins and his ilk does much of.

  26. All the way down to chemistry:

    http://exploringourmatrix.blog.....dless.html

    I’m dismayed by some of the examples of poor understanding of evolution in some of the comments left here, as well as some of the logical fallacies. Couldn’t someone argue that if, as the Bible says, we were made from dust, then that gives us the right to act like dust? And just because extremists on the other end of the spectrum say that science implies atheism and metaphysical materialism, why take such claims at face value, when so many scientists (a significant number of whom are religious believers) see no such necessary logical implication in the work of the sciences?

    As one of these much disparaged academic intellectuals, I honestly feel as though it is ID rather than mainstream science that is “working hard to deny the obvious”.

  27. I’m in agreement with one major point made in (26): when some scientist claims that “science implies atheism and metaphysical materialism,” I don’t see why such arguments are even taken to be convincing. (Here, I’ll even add the important stipulation: not even when ‘science’ is read as ‘neo-Darwinian accounts of the history of life’.)

    The situation here parallels the association between “Darwinism” and Nazism; no doubt th Nazis claimed that “Darwinism” was an influence, but were they right? Dawkins claims that neo-Darwinism entails materialism/atheism, but is the argument actually any good?

    I fear that most people here are willing to accept these claims without examining the reasoning behind them. Or is that not so?

  28. I’m dismayed by some of the examples of poor understanding of evolution

    The evolution of what and how? Without these specifics, the phrase “understanding of evolution” is completely meaningless.

    Couldn’t someone argue that if, as the Bible says, we were made from dust, then that gives us the right to act like dust?

    Of course not. “Made” implies designed with a purpose — the antithesis of Darwinism, which implies not designed and with no purpose.

  29. Well, ReligionProf is at it again.

    I am sorry he is dismayed by our poor understanding of evolution. For my part, I am really dismayed by his poor (and very creative) understanding of evolution, ID, and probably a bundle of other things.

    As he has never answered a single word to any of my many posts about his messages, I won’t go on commenting them. But anyone who really wants to get a feeling of his true thoughts is strongly encouraged to read something from his personal blog, which you can find, in all its glory, at the link shamelessly given by the author himself in his last post. Believe me, it’s something of an experience!

  30. “It’s liberating to think of being in a world without a design and designer. Ultimately, you are responsible for nothing and there is nothing to hold you back. There can be no guilt or shame.”

    You can have the with a designer as well.

    If I believe in a God who pre-planned/designed everything even if you were to argue that I have “free will” I could state that there is no freedom so long as I am limited to a certain number of choices.

    Freedom is absolute, it’s more like “loose will”
    Because of my belief that his will was what gave rise to my existence I could then state then anything and everything I do is his will.

    And “I” being only a small part in this creation, this ongoing play (full of ironies, tragedies) of his. I am simply following the path he has set for me.

    I am therefor not responsible for any of my actions as they are not my own and would happen regardless.

    Religion is not a leash it is an escape.

    And honestly Richard Dawkins should do the world a favor and stay FAR FAR away from theology.

    He is to theology what Rev. Pat Robertson is to diplomacy.
    (refference to his calling for the head of hugo chavez.)

  31. I forgot the other part of your comment

    “Dawkins says that people believe in God because they don’t have the courage think of themselves as not being a product of purpose”

    But stating you belong to a historical lineage in which there is a tournament for survival is a purpose.

    I could argue that Dawkins is doing the exact same thing by denying there is agod he can avoid an afterlife with consequences and act carelessly.
    His actions are simply what his genes lead him to do.

    By fabricating a purpose he like a religious person can avoid unpleasent truths, That’s because he is religious!

    Again this man is a walking talking contradiction.

  32. “I’m dismayed by some of the examples of poor understanding of evolution”

    I’m beginning to think most ID critics are either broken records or parrots.

  33. I tend to post things on my blog because I just tried to post here and it didn’t go through and now I’ll have to type it all out again – if it lets me! :)

  34. “I’m dismayed by some of the examples of poor understanding of evolution”

    ReligionProf should back up this claim. It is one thing to say something vague and meaningless like the quote above and another to point out the deficiencies of our comments so we can clarify them or learn from the debate. Otherwise the above quote is nothing more than an ad hominem attack and unworthy of anyone who teaches religion.

  35. I tend to post things on my blog because I just tried to post here and it didn’t go through and now I’ll have to type it all out again – if it lets me!

    If a comment does not immediately go through it was likely caught by the spam filter and you will need to wait until a moderator comes online. This happens quite often. For some odd reason the filter seems to love kairosfocus, for example. It’ll even catch my own comments sometimes. Whether there is a loss of comments I’m not sure. I have noticed there appears to be a corruption of the database. An example pulled from an old comment

    good thing it isn’t expected because it ain’t gonna

    Darwinian processes do not seem to like us much, for they are all deleterious.

  36. Religion Professor,
    I just saw this quote by Richard Dawkins over at PZ’s site that I thought you may be interested in.

    We who doubt that “theology” is a subject at all, or who compare it with the study of leprechauns, are eagerly hoping to be proved wrong. Of course, university departments of theology house many excellent scholars of history, linguistics, literature, ecclesiastical art and music, archaeology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, iconology, and other worthwhile and important subjects. These academics would be welcomed into appropriate departments elsewhere in the university. But as for theology itself, defined as “the organised body of knowledge dealing with the nature, attributes, and governance of God”, a positive case now needs to be made that it has any real content at all, and that it has any place in today’s universities.

    Now it is getting personal Professor ,,He’s after your job too!!!

  37. Religious Prof”

    I well remember a vist to your website a few months ago, a time when you were singing the praises of Barbara Forrest and encouraging everyone to sign on to her perverse perspectives on ID. It was clear that her fantasty about this so-called religion-based methodology was also your fantasy.

    It is ironic, then, that you would claim that UD bloggers don’t understand evolution, which they clearly do, while you claim to understand ID, which you clearly don’t. Given this bizarre situation, I dare you to do two things:

    1) Explain Dembski’s explanatory filter in your own words–no googling.

    2) Justify your fantasy that it a religion-based methodology.

    Obviously, that justification may not include your perception of the author’s motives or any other attempt at psychoanalysis.

    Oh yes, and be concise.

  38. Well, I just had to have a look at ReligionProf’s blog and my first impression left me with the following advice.

    ReligionProf, you have to find a way to let your epistemic persona comport with the complete set of external epistemic resources at your disposal. It is so out of place to have an internalistic epistemic persona adapted only to what you internally think is knowledge. Something does not become knowledge because you perceived it to be cool based on your own eclectic collection of epistemic resources.

    I personally assume that my interaction with other peoples’ thoughts to be part of the complete set of reality and if something seems not to comport I first adjust my “resolution” to ensure that I am functioning properly.

    By now I hope that you have guessed it – Most people discussing on UD seems to have moved past Post-modernism a long time ago. Come and join us it is great fun.

  39. I don’t know what gave the impression that I am working within a postmodern framework. Or is “postmodern” just another way of saying “can’t see the logic of our arguments, and so must be working from flawed presuppositions”?

    I tried posting several times today but with several instances of the posts vanishing. Some of you may wish to see divine providence in this. This evening we had Sean Carroll speak at the university, and the presentation was very informative, as well as entertaining.

  40. ReligionProf, you just confirm my argument with this response 39 – I gave you advice that show you clearly how to sidestep a special definition of postmodernism that I also described in enough detail. To restate: “Something does not become knowledge because you perceived it to be cool based on your own eclectic collection of epistemic resources.”

    Then I explained my own method and then you concluded I don’t understand your logic and don’t like your presuppositions. It seems you need to take my advice more seriously.

    There is actually two positions you can have that is not post-modernism. The one is to revert back to some type of reformed dogmatic modernism or to move beyond and free yourself from metaphysical naturalism. Where are you, if not post-modernism?

    I suppose Sean Carroll was fun and I hope you managed to find more decorations for your eclectic epistemic collection. I personally love cosmology, dark matter and more, you can have a look at some of my posts that reference the Casimir Effect, Boltzmann Brains and Infinite Multiverse hypothesis.

  41. I’ve reflected upon secular professors of religion and their similarities to psychologists. As Tom Lehrer once said (I used to play the piano and sing his iconoclastic songs, impersonating Tom’s voice, much to the delight of my audiences), “Psychologists are people who give helpful advice to people who are much happier than they are.”

  42. This is great insight #41. It is my impression is that some professors of religion and psychologists belief they are the courageous knights in shining armor that can make sense of materialist/naturalist reality and lift themselves by their own bootstraps out of the pond of despair, lending the rest of society a hand out of despair. Obviously this great task will land them back in despair at some point. (This idea gives credit to the great minds I unashamedly reference without recalling their names.)

    I personally think self imposed metaphysical naturalism is foolish to the n-th degree and comport with very little in nature. But then there are those who belief we only observe material nature, therefore Shakespeare’s work is only material.

  43. Not metaphysical naturalism, when it comes to science. Just methodological.

    I’m not sure that my being at a university without religious affiliation makes me a ‘secular professor’. Lehigh University is not denominational, so I hope you will be fair and treat him as a ‘secular professor’ too! :)

  44. Religion Prof: Here is my ten-part test for a secular professor. (10 points for every yes)

    1) Evolution is a demonstrable fact, but the handiwork of God is undetectable.

    2) a. The absolute separation of Church and state protects reasonable people from crazy Chrisitan fundamentalists and upstart critics of evolution.

    3) Immanual Kant was the greatest philospher because he taught us how to be skeptical.

    4) The Christians initiated all the wars with the Muslims

    5) To speak about killing the unborn, especially in polite company, is far worse than doing it.

    6) We should worry less about sexual immoralty and more about violence.

    7) Jesus Christ did not physically rise from the dead, but we can all experience our own sense of “rebirth.”

    8) All religions are more or less equal in value.

    9) We should call illegal aliens “undocumented workers.”

    10) The pope is a tyrant, but Stalin was minunderstood.

  45. Religious Prof.
    At the risk of boring regular readers of this blog, and in case you haven’t read this list before, I will post the 12 predictions list again just for you, primarily since you claim to be a Theist!

    1. Materialism did not predict the big bang. Yet Theism always said the universe was created.

    2. Materialism did not predict a sub-atomic (quantum) world that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. Yet Theism always said the universe is the craftsmanship of God who is not limited by time or space.

    3. Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, as revealed by Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Yet Theism always said that God exists in a timeless eternity.

    4. Materialism did not predict the stunning precision for the underlying universal constants for the universe, found in the Anthropic Principle, which allows life as we know it to be possible. Yet Theism always said God laid the foundation of the universe, so the stunning, unchanging, clockwork precision found for the various universal constants is not at all unexpected for Theism.

    5. Materialism predicted that complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Yet statistical analysis of the many required parameters that enable complex life to be possible on earth reveals that the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support complex life in this universe. Theism would have expected the earth to be extremely unique in this universe in its ability to support complex life.

    6. Materialism did not predict the fact that the DNA code is, according to Bill Gates, far, far more advanced than any computer code ever written by man. Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity in the DNA code.

    7. Materialism presumed a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA, which is not the case at all. Yet Theism would have naturally presumed such a high if not, what most likely is, complete negative mutation rate to an organism’s DNA.

    8. Materialism presumed a very simple first life form. Yet the simplest life ever found on Earth is, according to Geneticist Michael Denton PhD., far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity for the “simplest” life on earth.

    9. Materialism predicted that it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Yet we find evidence for “complex” photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth (Minik T. Rosing and Robert Frei, “U-Rich Archaean Sea-Floor Sediments from Greenland—Indications of >3700 Ma Oxygenic Photosynthesis”, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6907 (2003): 1-8) Theism would have naturally expected this sudden appearance of life on earth.

    10. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. The Cambrian Explosion, by itself, destroys this myth. Yet Theism would have naturally expected such sudden appearance of the many different and completely unique fossils in the Cambrian explosion.

    11. Materialism predicted that there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record. Yet fossils are characterized by sudden appearance in the fossil record and overall stability as long as they stay in the fossil record. There is not one clear example of unambiguous transition between major species out of millions of collected fossils. Theism would have naturally expected fossils to suddenly appear in the fossil record with stability afterwards as well as no evidence of transmutation into radically new forms.

    12. Materialism predicts animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Yet man himself is the last scientifically accepted fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record. Theism would have predicted that man himself was the last fossil to suddenly appear in the fossil record.

  46. Ooh, a fun test! Can I play, too?

    I’d answer “yes” to (1), (6), and (7). The other questions are too vague. I do support separation of church and stat, but not for the reason given; likewise, I do think Kant was one of the greatest philosophers, but not for the reason given. It’s not clear what kind of “value” is involved in (8), and I don’t even see what (9) has to do with it.

    Is it a problem that this “test” doesn’t really distinguish between secularism, atheism, and liberalism? I mean, sure, I’m a champion of all three, but surely there are many people, professors or not, who champion only one or two.

  47. If I failed the test, does that mean I’m not a secular professor (perhaps that I’m even, as one person keeps calling me, a ‘religious prof’ and not merely a ‘religion prof’?)

    I gave myself a ’5′ on ones where I only agreed partially (I scored a 35 in total). I certainly agree that evolution is a demonstrable fact. I don’t presuppose that God’s handiwork cannot be detected, although I certainly do not feel I have a basis for assuming that, for there to be such a thing as God’s handiwork, something out of the ordinary MUST BE DETECTABLE.

    Would you classify most Christians as secular professors? I think most of us have discerned God’s hand in some event or some aspect of our lives, on the basis of the way things came together, rather than because some aspect of what happened was strictly speaking ‘inexplicable’.

    I hope my score helps make a point that I’ve been trying to make all along. There are plenty of places to stop in between the extremes. The slope is only as slippery as you make it. I’ll defer to my blog once again for a discussion of why I think that fundamentalists on both sides are greasing the very slope on which many Christians are trying to find the balanced middle ground.

    http://exploringourmatrix.blog.....ck-to.html

  48. Rel. Prof. you stated:

    I certainly agree that evolution is a demonstrable fact.

    Please do share this demonstrable fact with us and we will gladly show you how it fails to provide conclusive proof!!! On top of that we will most likely show you how your demonstrable fact for evolution actually demonstrates Genetic Entropy, thus actually proves genetic deterioration!!!!

  49. The DNA evidence clinches the case for evolution much the same way it clinches paternity testing. When one adds this sort of evidence to the fossil record, the homologies of organisms, and the witnessing of bacterial evolution on a smaller scale in the lab, there is really no reason to doubt, unless one has a strong ideological bias.

    Since scientific evidence seems not to persuade you, perhaps copyright law will. Shared errors are proof of copying. Apply that to DNA, and common ancestry becomes hard to deny. At least, hard for anyone who is seeking to do justice to the evidence, rather than to make it say what they want it to say.

    http://biomed.brown.edu/Course.....ution.HTML

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/molgen/

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=6353991

    If you’ve met biologists, you’ll know they aren’t (as a rule) stupid. And since Fred Hoyle’s attempt to maintain a steady state cosmology because it was more compatible with his atheism failed because of the evidence for the Big Bang, the secular atheist conspiracy argument is not only implausible, but laughably so. The only explanation for why all but a few biologists accept the evidence for evolution as persuasive is that the evidence is persuasive, at least if you know enough biology to understand it.

  50. Evolution is demonstrable but one has to be careful with what one means. The number of different cell types in living organisms is over 200 and has been increasing over time. So something is happening. The intelligence level of many new species has increased. The fossil record shows changes in species and it seems to be following a pattern. What is missing is any demonstrable evidence for the mechanism for the changes.

    The neo Darwinism definition of evolution is very simple and it is the change in the allele frequency of a population over time. And this is easily seen within many populations.

    What has to be guarded against is the equivocal use of words as it means one thing in one sentence and another in a later sentence often in the same paragraph.

    I doubt ReligionProf’s definition/use is demonstrable. He cannot seem to provide any evidence even though he admires Sean Carroll and recently heard him speak.

  51. Rel.Prof.
    Boy you swallowed the whole hook line and sinker,,bear with me, it is going to take a while to get you unhooked,,,that is IF you want to be unhooked.

    First DNA evidence:

    Naturalists always try to establish scientific validity for evolution by pointing to suggestive similarities while ignoring the foundational principle of science (genetic entropy) that contradicts their preconceived philosophical bias. For example, naturalists say that evolution is proven true when we look at the 98.8% similarity between certain segments of the DNA in a Chimpanzee and compare them with the same segments of DNA of a Human. Yet that similarity is not nearly good enough to be considered “conclusive” scientific proof. For starters, preliminary comparisons of the complete genome of chimps and the complete genome of man yield a similarity of only 96%. Dr. Hugh Ross states the similarity may actually be closer to 85% to 90%. Secondarily, at the protein level only 29% of genes code for the exact same amino acid sequences in chimps and humans (Nature, 2005). As well, our DNA is 92% similar to mice as well as 92% similar to zebrafish (Simmons PhD., Billions of Missing Links). So are we 92% mouse or are we 92% zebrafish? Our DNA is 70% similar to a fruit fly; So are we therefore 70% fruit fly? Our DNA is 75% similar to a worm; So are we 75% worm? No, of course not!! This type of reasoning is simple minded in its approach and clearly flawed in establishing a solid scientific foundation on which to draw valid inferences from! Clearly, we must find if the DNA is flexible enough to accommodate any type of mutations happening to it in the first place. This one point of evidence, (The actual flexibility of DNA to any random mutations), must be firmly established, first and foremost, before we can draw any meaningful inferences from the genetic data we gather from organisms!! Fortunately we, through the miracle of science, can now establish this crucial point of DNA flexibility. The primary thing that is crushing to the evolutionary theory is this fact. Of the random mutations that do occur, and have manifested traits in organisms that can be measured, at least 999,999 out of 1,000,000 (99.9999%) of these mutations to the DNA have been found to produce traits in organisms that are harmful and/or to the life-form having the mutation (Gerrish and Lenski, 1998)! Professional evolutionary biologists are hard-pressed to cite even one clear-cut example of evolution through a beneficial mutation to DNA that would violate the principle of genetic entropy. Although evolutionists try to claim the lactase persistence mutation as a lonely example of a beneficial mutation in humans, lactase persistence is actually a loss of a instruction in the genome to turn the lactase enzyme off, so the mutation clearly does not violate genetic entropy. Yet at the same time, the evidence for the detrimental nature of mutations in humans is clearly overwhelming, for doctors have already cited over 3500 mutational disorders (Dr. Gary Parker).

    “It is entirely in line with the al nature of naturally occurring mutations that extensive tests have agreed in showing the vast majority of them to be detrimental to the organisms in its job of surviving and reproducing, just as changes ally introduced into any artificial mechanism are predominantly harmful to its useful operation” H.J. Muller (Received a Nobel Prize for his work on mutations to DNA)
    “But there is no evidence that DNA mutations can provide the sorts of variation needed for evolution… There is no evidence for beneficial mutations at the level of macroevolution, but there is also no evidence at the level of what is commonly regarded as microevolution.” Jonathan Wells (PhD. Molecular Biology)

    Man has over 3 billion base pairs of DNA code. Even if there were just a 1% difference of DNA between monkeys and humans, that would still be 30 million base pairs of DNA difference. It is easily shown, mathematically, for it to be fantastically impossible for evolution to ever occur between monkeys and man, or monkeys and anything else for that matter. Since, it is an established fact that at least 999,999 in 1,000,000 of any mutations to DNA will be harmful and/or , then it is also an established fact that there is at least a 999,999^30,000,000 to one chance that the monkey will fail to reach man by evolutionary processes. The monkey will hit a end of harmful/fatal mutations that will kill him or severely mutilate him before him. The poor monkey barely even gets out of the evolutionary starting gate before he is crushed by blind chance. This would still be true even if the entire universe were populated with nothing but monkeys to begin with! This number (999,999^30,000,000), is fantastically impossible for any hypothetical beneficial mutation to ever overcome! Worse yet for the naturalists, mathematician William Dembski PhD. has worked out the foundational math that shows the mutation/natural selection scenario to be impossible EVEN IF the harmful/fatal rate for mutation to the DNA were only 50%. The naturalist stamps his feet again and says that symbiotic gene transfer, cross-breeding (yes they, desperately, suggested cross-breeding as a solution), gene duplication and multiplication of chromosomes, alternative splicing etc .. etc .. are the reasons for the changes in DNA between humans and apes. They say these things with utmost confidence without even batting an eye. Incredibly, this is done in spite of solid evidences testifying to the contrary. Indeed, even if a hypothetical beneficial mutation to the DNA ever did occur, it would be of absolutely no use for it would be swallowed in a vast ocean of slightly detrimental mutations that would be below the culling power of natural selection!

    “The theory of gene duplication in its present form is unable to account for the origin of new genetic information” Ray Bohlin, (PhD. in molecular and cell biology)

    “Evolution through random duplications”… While it sounds quite sophisticated and respectable, it does not withstand honest and critical assessment” John C. Sanford (PhD Genetics; inventor of the biolistic “gene gun” process! Holds over 25 patents! If you ate today you probably ate some food touched by his work!)

    The human genome, according to Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft, far, far surpasses in complexity any computer program ever written by man. The data compression (multiple meanings) of some stretches of human DNA is estimated to be up to 12 codes thick (Trifonov, 1989)! No line of computer code ever written by man approaches that level of data compression (poly-functional complexity). Further evidence for the inherent complexity of the DNA is found in a another study. In June 2007, a international team of scientists, named ENCODE, published a study that indicates the genome contains very little unused sequences and, in fact, is a complex, interwoven network. This “complex interwoven network” throughout the entire DNA code makes the human genome severely poly-constrained to random mutations (Sanford; Genetic Entropy, 2005). This means the DNA code is now much more severely limited in its chance of ever having a hypothetical beneficial mutation since almost the entire DNA code is now proven to be intimately connected to many other parts of the DNA code. Thus even though a random mutation to DNA may be able to change one part of an organism for the better, it is now proven much more likely to harm many other parts of the organism that depend on that one particular part being as it originally was. This “interwoven network” finding is extremely bad news for naturalists!

    Naturalists truly believe you can get such staggering complexity of information in the DNA from some process based on blind chance. They cannot seem to fathom that any variation to a basic component in a species is going to require precise modifications to the entire range of interconnected components related to that basic component. NO natural law based on blind chance, would have the wisdom to implement the multitude of precise modifications on the molecular level in order to effect a positive change from one species to another. Only a “vastly superior intelligence” would have the wisdom to know exactly which amino acids in which proteins, which letters in the DNA code and exactly which repositioning of the 25 million nucleosomes (DNA spools) etc .. etc .. would need to be precisely modified to effect a positive change in a species. For men to imagine blind chance has the inherently vast wisdom to create such stunning interrelated complexity is even more foolish than some pagan culture worshipping a stone statue as their god and creator. Even if evolution of man were true, then only God could have made man through evolution. For only He would have the vast wisdom to master the complexity that would be required to accomplish such a thing. Anyone who fails to see this fails to appreciate the truly astonishing interwoven complexity of life at the molecular level. Even though God could have created us through “directed evolution”, the fossil record (Lucy fossil proven not ancestral in 2007) and other recent “hard” evidence (Neanderthal mtDNA sequenced and proven “out of human range”) indicates God chose to create man as a completely unique and distinct species. But, alas, our naturalistic friend is as blind and deaf as the blind chance he relies on to produce such changes and cannot bring himself to face this truth. Most naturalists I’ve met, by and large, are undaunted when faced with such overwhelming evidence for Divine Intelligence and are convinced they have conclusive proof for naturalistic evolution somewhere. They will tell us exactly what it is when they find it. The trouble with this line of thinking for naturalists is they will always take small pieces of suggestive evidence and focus on them, to the exclusion of the overriding vast body of conclusive evidence that has already been established. They fail to realize that they are viewing the evidence from the wrong overall perspective to begin with. After listening to their point of view describing (with really big words) some imagined evolutionary pathway on the molecular level, sometimes I think they might just be right. Then when I examine their evidence in detail and find it wanting, I realize they are just good story tellers with small pieces of “suggestive” evidence ignoring the overwhelming weight of “hard” evidence that doesn’t fit their naturalistic worldview. Instead of them thinking,” WOW look how God accomplishes life on the molecular level,” they think” WOW look what , dumb and blind chance accomplished on the molecular level.” Naturalists have an all too human tendency to over-emphasize and sometimes even distort the small pieces of suggestive evidence that are taken out of context from the overwhelming body of “conclusive” evidence. This is done just to support their own preconceived philosophical bias of naturalism. This is clearly the practice of very bad science, since they have already decided what the evidence must say prior to their investigation.

  52. Rel Prof.,

    Now the fossil record.

    Most people presume the evidence in the fossil record overwhelmingly confirms gradual evolution from a single common ancestor. Yet this is not the case at all. The fossil record itself is one of the most crushing things for naturalists. What is termed the “Cambrian explosion” is a total departure from the naturalistic theory of evolution. It is in the Cambrian explosion, some 540 million years ago, that we find the sudden appearance of the many diverse and complex forms of life. These complex life-forms appear with no evidence of transition from the bacteria and few other “simple” life-forms that immediately preceded them in the fossil record. This following quote clearly illustrates this point.

    “Yet, here is the real puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion for the theory of evolution. All the known phyla (large categories of biological classification), except one, first appear in the Cambrian period. There are no ancestors. There are no intermediates. Fossil experts used to think that the Cambrian lasted 75 million years…. Eventually the Cambrian was shortened to only 30 million years. If that wasn’t bad enough, the time frame of the real work of bringing all these different creatures into existence was shortened to the first five to ten million years of the Cambrian. This is extraordinarily fast! Harvard’s Stephen Jay Gould stated, “Fast is now a lot faster than we thought, and that is extraordinarily interesting.” What an understatement! “Extraordinarily impossible” might be a better phrase! …. The differences between the creatures that suddenly appear in the Cambrian are enormous. In fact these differences are so large many of these animals are one of a kind. Nothing like them existed before and nothing like them has ever appeared again.” Evolution’s Big Bang; Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, University of Illinois (B.S., zoology), North Texas State University (M.S., population genetics), University of Texas at Dallas (M.S., Ph.D., molecular biology).

    The “real work” of the beginning of the Cambrian explosion may in actuality be as short as a two to three million year time frame (Ross: Creation as Science 2006). If this blatant, out of nowhere, appearance of all the different phyla was not bad enough for naturalists, the fossil record shows that there was actually more variety of phyla at the end of the Cambrian explosion than there is today due to extinction.

    “A simple way of putting it is that currently we have about 38 phyla of different groups of animals, but the total number of phyla discovered during the Cambrian explosion (including those in China, Canada, and elsewhere) adds up to over 50 phyla. (Actually the number 50 was first quoted as over 100 for a while, but then the consensus became 50-plus.) That means there are more phyla in the very, very beginning, where we found the first fossils, than exist now.” “Also, the animal explosion caught people’s attention when the Chinese confirmed they found a genus now called Yunnanzoon that was present in the very beginning of the Cambrian explosion. This genus is considered a chordate, and the phylum Chordata includes fish, mammals and man. An evolutionist would say the ancestor of humans was present then. Looked at more objectively, you could say the most complex animal group, the chordates, were represented at the very beginning, and they did not go through a slow gradual evolution to become a chordate.” Dr. Paul Chien PhD., chairman of the biology department at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Chien also possesses the largest collection of Chinese Cambrian fossils in North America.

    The evolutionary theory would have us believe we should have more phyla today due to ongoing evolutionary processes. The hard facts of science betray the naturalists once again. The naturalist stamps his feet and says the evidence for the fossils transmutation into radically new forms is out there somewhere; we just have not found it yet. To justify this belief, naturalists will often say that soft bodied fossils were not preserved in the Cambrian fossil record, so transitional fossils were just not recorded in the fossil record in the first place. Yet, the Chinese Cambrian fossil record is excellent in its preservation of delicate – ied fossils that clearly show much of the detail of the body structures of these first creatures. So the problem for naturalists has not been alleviated. In fact the problem has become much worse. As Dr. Ray Bohlin stated, some of these recently discovered fossils are extremely unique and defy any sort of transitional scenario to any other fossils found during the Cambrian explosion. In spite of this crushing evidence found in the Cambrian explosion, our naturalistic friend continues to imagine that all life on earth descended from a common ancestor and continues to imagine missing links with every new fossil discovery that makes newspaper headlines. Yet, the true story of life since the Cambrian explosion, that is actually told by the fossil record itself, tells a very different story than the imaginative tales found in naturalistic newspaper accounts. Where the story of life, since the Cambrian explosion, is extremely clear to read is in the sea creatures who fossilize quickly in ocean sediments. We find fossils in the fossil record that appear suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, fully-formed. They have no apparent immediate evolutionary predecessor. They, just, appear suddenly in the fossil record unique and fully-formed. This is exactly what one would expect from an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator continually introducing new life-forms on earth. Even more problematic for the naturalists is the fact once a fossil suddenly appears in the fossil record it remains surprisingly stable in its basic structure for as long as it is found in the fossil record. The fossil record can offer not even one clear example of transition from one fossil form to another fossil form out of millions of collected fossils. Some sea creatures, such as certain sharks which are still alive today, have unchanging fossil records going back hundreds of millions of years to when they first suddenly appeared in the fossil record without a predecessor.

    “Now, after over 120 years of the most extensive and painstaking geological exploration of every continent and ocean bottom, the picture is infinitely more vivid and complete than it was in 1859. Formations have been discovered containing hundreds of billions of fossils and our museums now are filled with over 100 million fossils of 250,000 different species. The availability of this profusion of hard scientific data should permit objective investigators to determine if Darwin was on the right track. What is the picture which the fossils have given us? … The gaps between major groups of organisms have been growing even wider and more undeniable. They can no longer be ignored or rationalized away with appeals to imperfection of the fossil record.” Luther D. Sunderland, Darwin’s Enigma (1988), Fossils and Other Problems, 4th edition, Master Books, p. 9

    “The evidence we find in the geological record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be …. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than in Darwin’s time … so Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated”. Evolutionist David Raup, Curator of Geology at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

    “… Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of family appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.” George Gaylord Simpson (evolutionist), The Major Features of Evolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1953 p. 360.

    “No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to really account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.” – Niles Eldredge , “Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate,” 1996, p.95

    “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.” Stephen Jay Gould, Professor of Geology and Paleontology at Harvard University and the leading spokesman for evolutionary theory in America prior to his recent .
    As you can see, the fossil record is overwhelmingly characterized by suddenness and stability. For creatures who have lived in the ocean this fact is extremely clear, because their bones are fossilized in the ocean sediments very quickly. Unfortunately for land creatures, the fossil record is much harder to properly discern due to the rapid disintegration of animals who die on land. The large variety of hominid (man or ape-like) fossils that we do have piece-meal records of are characterized by overlapping histories of “distinctively different and stable” hominid species during the entire time, and the entire geography, each hominid species is found in the fossil record. There is never a transition between ANY of the different hominid species no matter where, or in what era, the hominid fossils are found.

    “If pressed about man’s ancestry, I would have to unequivocally say that all we have is a huge question mark. To date, there has been nothing found to truthfully purport as a transitional species to man, including Lucy, since 1470 was as old and probably older. If further pressed, I would have to state that there is more evidence to suggest an abrupt arrival of man rather than a gradual process of evolving”. Richard Leakey, world’s foremost paleo-anthropologist, in a PBS documentary, 1990.

    As Richard Leakey, the leading hominid fossil expert in the world admits, if he were pressed, he would have to admit the hard evidence suggests the abrupt arrival of man in the fossil record. Yet if you were to ask an average person if we have evolved from apes he will tell you of course we have and wonder why you would ask such a stupid question, since “everyone knows” this is proven in the fossil record. One hard fact in the fossil record that is not disputed by most naturalists is the fact that man is the youngest distinct species of all species to suddenly appear in the fossil record. I find the fact that man has the scientifically accepted youngest history of any fossil in the fossil record to be extremely interesting and compelling to the position held by the anthropic hypothesis. Though a naturalist may try to inconclusively argue fruit flies or some other small types of animals have evolved into distinct new species since that time, he cannot produce evidence for a genetically and morphologically unique animal with a fossil record younger than mans. This one point of evidence is crucial for both sides and is an extremely important point of contention, for this fact is the primary proposal of the whole anthropic hypothesis in the first place; God created the universe with man in mind as His final goal. Man being the last distinct and separate species to suddenly appear in the fossil record is totally expected by the anthropic hypothesis and is completely contrary to what the naturalistic evolutionary hypothesis would expect. Naturalists do not seem to notice that their theory of evolution expects and even demands there should be clear evidence for a genetically and morphologically unique species on earth somewhere since man first suddenly appeared on earth. Indeed there should be many such unambiguous examples that they could produce.

    “Perhaps the most obvious challenge is to demonstrate evolution empirically. There are, arguably, some 2 to 10 million species on earth. The fossil record shows that most species survive somewhere between 3 and 5 million years. In that case, we ought to be seeing small but significant numbers of originations (new species) … every decade.” Keith Stewart Thomson, Professor of Biology and Dean of the Graduate School, Yale University (Nov. -Dec. American Scientist, 1997 pg. 516)

  53. 53

    To expand on the DNA example in the comment above, how much similarity do you think you would find in the code of two different programs that have many of the same functions. This is analogous to animals in that they too share many of the same functions, eating, breathing, etc. So, if I wrote two different programs that did a lot of the same computations in the same programming language, you would expect to see similarities between the codes. DNA is in no way a clincher for evolution.

  54. 54

    To follow up, I discussed this on my blog not too long ago here.

    This was actually the third part of a short series of posts that I may expand upon later. The other two parts touch on this subject as well.

  55. Rel. Prof.

    Now bacterial evolution;

    I suppose you are talking about antibiotic resistance:
    # 1988, pp. 1, 23.
    # The enzyme penicillinase, produced by some bacteria, destroys penicillin. If a member of a bacterial strain producing a modest amount of this substance were to inherit a mutational defect which damaged or deleted the gene controlling production of this enzyme, the organism would invest a lot of resources into producing copious amounts of penicillinase. Thus, this defect would be an advantage in an environment containing penicillin, but would be a disadvantage otherwise. Once again, a loss is involved. There is no evidence that the complex information coding for penicillinase production arose by mutation.

    As well Rel. Prof. Do you know the treatment for supergerms…that is Bacteria that have become resistant to numerous anti-biotics?

    It is precisely because the mutations which give rise to resistance are in some form or another defects, that so-called supergerms are not really ‘super’ at all—they are actually rather ‘wimpy’ compared to their close cousins. When I was finally discharged from hospital, I still had a strain of supergerm colonizing my body. Nothing had been able to get rid of it, after months in hospital. However, I was told that all I had to do on going home was to ‘get outdoors a lot, occasionally even roll in the dirt, and wait.’ In less than two weeks of this advice, the supergerms were gone. Why? The reason is that supergerms are actually defective in other ways, as explained. Therefore, when they are forced to compete with the ordinary bacteria which normally thrive on our skin, they do not have a chance. They thrive in hospital because all the antibiotics and antiseptics being used there keep wiping out the ordinary bacteria which would normally outcompete, wipe out and otherwise keep in check these ‘superwimps’.5

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....erbugs.asp

  56. Religion prof.

    And now the Anthropic Principle and Privileged Planet principle.

    The numerical values of the universal constants in physics that are found for gravity which holds planets, stars and galaxies together; for the weak nuclear force which holds neutrons together; for electromagnetism which allows chemical bonds to form; for the strong nuclear force which holds protons together; for the cosmological constant of space/energy density which accounts for the universe’s expansion; and for several dozen other constants (a total of 77 as of 2005) which are universal in their scope, “happen” to be the exact numerical values they need to be in order for life, as we know it, to be possible at all. A more than slight variance in the value of any individual universal constant, over the entire age of the universe, would have undermined the ability of the entire universe to have life as we know it. On and on through each universal constant scientists analyze, they find such unchanging precision from the universe’s creation. There are many web sites that give the complete list, as well as explanations, of each universal constant. Search under anthropic principle. One of the best web sites for this is found on Dr. Hugh Ross’s web site (reasonstobelieve.org). There are no apparent reasons why the value of each individual universal constant could not have been very different than what they actually are. In fact, the presumption of any naturalistic theory based on blind chance would have expected a fair amount of flexibility in any underlying natural laws for the universe. They “just so happen” to be at the precise unchanging values necessary to enable carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Some individual constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy human comprehension. For example, the individual cosmological constant is balanced to 1 part in 1060 and The individual gravity constant is balanced to 1 part to 1040. Although 1 part in 1060 and 1 part in 1040 far exceeds any tolerances achieved in any manmade machines, according to the esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the “original phase-space volume” constant required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 1010^123”. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, EVEN IF a number were written down on each atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 1080 atomic particles in it. This staggering level of precision is exactly why many theoretical physicists have suggested the existence of a “super-calculating intellect” to account for this fine-tuning. This is precisely why the anthropic hypothesis has gained such a strong foothold in many scientific circles. American geneticist Robert Griffiths jokingly remarked about these recent developments “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use anymore.” The only other theory possible for the universe’s creation, other than a God-centered hypothesis, is a naturalistic theory based on blind chance. Naturalistic blind chance only escapes being completely crushed, by the overwhelming evidence for design, by appealing to an infinite number of other “un-testable” universes in which all other possibilities have been played out. Naturalism also tries to find a place for blind chance to hide by proposing a universe that expands and contracts (recycles) infinitely. Yet there is no hard physical evidence to support either of these blind chance conjectures. In fact, the “infinite universes” conjecture suffers from some serious flaws of logic. For instance, exactly which laws of physics are telling all the other natural laws in physics what, how and when to do the many precise unchanging things they do in these other universes? Plus, if an infinite number of other possible universes exist then why is it not also infinitely possible for God to exist? As well, the “recycling universe” conjecture suffers so many questions from the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) as to render it effectively implausible as a serious theory. The only hard evidence there is, the stunning precision found in the universal constants, points overwhelmingly to intelligent design by an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator who originally established what the unchanging universal constants of physics could and would do at the creation of the universe. The hard evidence left no room for the blind chance of natural laws in this universe. Thus, naturalism was forced into appealing to an infinity of other ??%9 – estable” universes for it was left with no footing in this universe. These developments in science make it seem like naturalism was cast into the abyss of nothingness so far as explaining the fine-tuning of the universe.

    Proverbs 8:29-30
    “When He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;”

    Job 38:4-7
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

    To answer our second question (What evidence is found for the earths ability to support life?) we will consider many “life-enabling characteristics” for the galaxy, sun, moon and earth that establish the earth as “extremely unique” for hosting life in this universe. Again, the presumption of naturalistic blind chance being the only reasonable cause must be dealt with. As opposed to the anthropic hypothesis, which starts off by presuming the earth is unique in this universe, naturalism begins by presuming planets that are able to support life are fairly common in this universe. In fact, astronomer Frank Drake (1930-present) proposed, in 1961, advanced life should be very common in the universe. He developed a rather crude equation called the “Drake equation”. He plugged in some rather optimistic numbers and reasoned that ten worlds with advanced life should be in our Milky Way galaxy alone. That worked out to roughly one trillion worlds with advanced life throughout the entire universe. Much to the disappointment of Star Trek fans, the avalanche of scientific information that has been coming in recently has found that the probability of finding a planet with the ability to host advanced life in this universe is not nearly as likely as astronomer Frank Drake had originally predicted. There are many independent characteristics required to be fulfilled for any planet to host advanced carbon-based life. Two popular books have recently been written, “The Privileged Planet” by Guillermo Gonzalez and “Rare Earth” by Donald Brownlee, that reveal some of the knowledge that has recently come to light, establishing the earth as extremely unique in its ability to host advanced life in this universe. There is also a well researched statistical analysis of the many independent “life-enabling characteristics” that mathematically proves the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support life. The statistical analysis, which is actually a refinement of the Drake equation, is dealt with by astro-physicist Dr. Hugh Ross PhD. (1945-present) in his paper “Probability for Life on Earth”. A few of the items in his “life-enabling characteristics” list are; Planet location in a proper galaxy’s “life support zone”; Parent star size; Surface gravity of planet; Rotation period of planet; Correct chemical composition of planet; Correct size for moon; Correct and stable orbit of planet; Thickness of planets’ crust; Presence of magnetic field; Correct and stable axis tilt; Oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere; Proper water content of planet; Atmospheric electric discharge rate; Proper seismic activity of planet; Ratio of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere; Many interrelated and complex feedback cycles necessary for a stable temperature history of planet; Translucent atmosphere; Various complex cycles for various elements etc.. etc.. I could go a lot further for there are a total of 322 known parameters which have to be met for complex life to be possible on Earth, or on a planet like Earth. Individually, these limits are not that impressive but when we realize ALL these limits have to be met at the same time and not one of them can be “out of limits” for any extended period of time, then the probability for a world which can host life in this universe becomes very extraordinary indeed. Here is the final summary of Dr. Hugh Ross’s “conservative” estimate for the probability of another life-hosting world in this universe.

    Probability for occurrence of all 322 parameters =10
    Dependency factors estimate =10
    Longevity requirements estimate =1014
    Probability for occurrence of all 322 parameters = 10
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in universe =1022
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10282 (million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    Proverbs 3:19
    “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth: by understanding He established the heavens;”

    The hard evidence clearly establishes the earth is extremely unique in this universe in its ability to support life as we understand it. These facts are rigorously investigated and cannot be dismissed out of hand as some sort of glitch in accurate information. Here naturalism can offer no competing theory of blind chance which can offset the overwhelming evidence for the earth’s apparent intelligent design that enables her to host life. Naturalists can only assert that we are extremely “lucky”. This is some kind of fantastic luck naturalists believe. The odds of a life-supporting earth “just happening” in this universe are not even remotely as good as the odds a blind man would have in finding one pre-selected grain of sand, which has been hidden in the vast expanses of the Sahara desert, with only one try. Indeed, the size of the Sahara desert, the blind man would actually be aimlessly wandering through, would actually be vastly larger than the size of the known universe. These fantastic odds against a life-supporting world “just happening” in this universe have not even been refined to their final upper limits yet! The odds get far worse for the naturalists. I find it strange that the SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) organization spends millions of dollars vainly searching for signs of extra-terrestrial life in this universe, when all anyone has to do to make solid contact with an “extra-terrestrial intelligence” is to pray with a sincere heart. God certainly does not hide from those who sincerely seek Him. Actually communicating with the Creator of the universe is certainly a lot more exciting than not communicating with some little green men that do not even exist, unless of course, God had created them!

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “ I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

  57. Religion prof.

    And now the Anthropic Principle and Privileged Planet principle.

    The numerical values of the universal constants in physics that are found for gravity which holds planets, stars and galaxies together; for the weak nuclear force which holds neutrons together; for electromagnetism which allows chemical bonds to form; for the strong nuclear force which holds protons together; for the cosmological constant of space/energy density which accounts for the universe’s expansion; and for several dozen other constants (a total of 77 as of 2005) which are universal in their scope, “happen” to be the exact numerical values they need to be in order for life, as we know it, to be possible at all. A more than slight variance in the value of any individual universal constant, over the entire age of the universe, would have undermined the ability of the entire universe to have life as we know it. On and on through each universal constant scientists analyze, they find such unchanging precision from the universe’s creation. There are many web sites that give the complete list, as well as explanations, of each universal constant. Search under anthropic principle. One of the best web sites for this is found on Dr. Hugh Ross’s web site (reasonstobelieve.org). There are no apparent reasons why the value of each individual universal constant could not have been very different than what they actually are. In fact, the presumption of any naturalistic theory based on blind chance would have expected a fair amount of flexibility in any underlying natural laws for the universe. They “just so happen” to be at the precise unchanging values necessary to enable carbon-based life to exist in this universe. Some individual constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy human comprehension. For example, the individual cosmological constant is balanced to 1 part in 1060 and The individual gravity constant is balanced to 1 part to 1040. Although 1 part in 1060 and 1 part in 1040 far exceeds any tolerances achieved in any manmade machines, according to the esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the “original phase-space volume” constant required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 1010^123”. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, EVEN IF a number were written down on each atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 1080 atomic particles in it. This staggering level of precision is exactly why many theoretical physicists have suggested the existence of a “super-calculating intellect” to account for this fine-tuning. This is precisely why the anthropic hypothesis has gained such a strong foothold in many scientific circles. American geneticist Robert Griffiths jokingly remarked about these recent developments “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use anymore.” The only other theory possible for the universe’s creation, other than a God-centered hypothesis, is a naturalistic theory based on blind chance. Naturalistic blind chance only escapes being completely crushed, by the overwhelming evidence for design, by appealing to an infinite number of other “un-testable” universes in which all other possibilities have been played out. Naturalism also tries to find a place for blind chance to hide by proposing a universe that expands and contracts (recycles) infinitely. Yet there is no hard physical evidence to support either of these blind chance conjectures. In fact, the “infinite universes” conjecture suffers from some serious flaws of logic. For instance, exactly which laws of physics are telling all the other natural laws in physics what, how and when to do the many precise unchanging things they do in these other universes? Plus, if an infinite number of other possible universes exist then why is it not also infinitely possible for God to exist? As well, the “recycling universe” conjecture suffers so many questions from the second law of thermodynamics (entropy) as to render it effectively implausible as a serious theory. The only hard evidence there is, the stunning precision found in the universal constants, points overwhelmingly to intelligent design by an infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator who originally established what the unchanging universal constants of physics could and would do at the creation of the universe. The hard evidence left no room for the blind chance of natural laws in this universe. Thus, naturalism was forced into appealing to an infinity of other ??%9 – estable” universes for it was left with no footing in this universe. These developments in science make it seem like naturalism was cast into the abyss of nothingness so far as explaining the fine-tuning of the universe.

    Proverbs 8:29-30
    “When He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;”

    Job 38:4-7
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

  58. Religion prof.

    If you get through all that and want more, let me know!

  59. Rel Prof.

    A little more (LOL) on the complexity of bacterial life…

    It is commonly presumed in many grade school textbooks that life slowly arose in a primordial ocean of pre-biotic soup. Yet, there is absolutely no hard evidence, such as chemical signatures in the geologic record, indicating that a ocean of this pre-biotic soup ever existed. The hard physical evidence scientists have discovered in the geologic record is stunning in its support of the anthropic hypothesis. The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth, known to science, originated underwater (and thus in relatively cool environs) 3.86 billion years ago. Those sediments, which are exposed at Isua in southwestern Greenland, also contain the earliest chemical evidence (fingerprint) of “photosynthetic” life [Nov. 7, 1996, Nature]. This evidence has been fought by naturalists, since it is totally contrary to their evolutionary theory. Yet, Danish scientists were able to bring forth another line of geological evidence to substantiate the primary line of geological evidence for photo-synthetic life in the earth’s earliest known sedimentary rocks (Indications of Oxygenic Photosynthesis,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 6907 (2003). Thus we have two lines of hard conclusive evidence for photo-synthetic life in the oldest known sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth! The simplest photosynthetic bacterial life on earth is exceedingly complex, too complex to happen by even if the primeval oceans had been full of pre-biotic soup. Thus, naturalists try to suggest pan-spermia (the theory that pre-biotic amino acids, or life itself, came to earth from outer-space on comets) to account for this sudden appearance of life on earth. This theory has several problems. One problem is that astronomers, using spectral analysis, have not found any vast reservoirs of biological molecules anywhere they have looked in the universe. Another problem is, even if comets were nothing but pre-biotic amino acid snowballs, how are the amino acids going to molecularly survive the furnace-like temperatures generated when the comet crashes into the earth? If the pre-biotic molecules were already a life-form on the comet, how could this imagined life-form survive the extremely harsh environment of space for many millions of years, not to mention the fiery crash into the earth? Did this imagined super-cell wear a cape like superman?

    The first actual fossilized cells scientists have been able to recover in the fossil record are 3.5 billion year old photosynthetic cyano(blue-green)bacteria, from western Australia, which look amazingly similar to a particular type of cyano-bacteria that are still alive today. The smallest cyano-bacterium known to science has hundreds of millions of individual atomic molecules (not counting water molecules), divided into nearly a thousand different species of atomic molecules; and a genome (DNA sequence) of 1.8 million bits, with over a million individual complex protein molecules which are divided into hundreds of different kinds of proteins. The simplest of all bacteria known in science, which is able to live independent of a more complex host organism, is the candidatus pelagibacter ubique and has a DNA sequence of 1,308,759 bits. It also has over a million individual complex protein molecules which are divided into several hundred separate and distinct protein types. The complexity found in the simplest bacterium known to science makes the complexity of any man-made machine look like child’s play. As stated by Geneticist Michael Denton PhD, “Although the tiniest living things known to science, bacterial cells, are incredibly small (10-12 grams), each is a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of elegantly designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world”. So, as you can see, there simply is no simple life on earth as naturalism had presumed – even the well known single celled amoeba has the complexity of the city of London and reproduces that complexity in only 20 minutes. Here are a couple of quotes for the complexity found in any biological system, including simple bacteria, by two experts in biology:

    “Most biological reactions are chain reactions. To interact in a chain, these precisely built molecules must fit together most precisely, as the cog wheels of a Swiss watch do. But if this is so, then how can such a system develop at all? For if any one of the specific cog wheels in these chains is changed, then the whole system must simply become inoperative. Saying it can be improved by random mutation of one link, is like saying you could improve a Swiss watch by dropping it and thus bending one of its wheels or axis. To get a better watch, all the wheels must be changed simultaneously to make a good fit again.” Albert Szent-Györgyi von Nagyrapolt (Nobel prize for Medicine in 1937). “Drive in Living Matter to Perfect Itself,” Synthesis I, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 18 (1977)

    “Each cell with genetic information, from bacteria to man, consists of artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction and a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours” Geneticist Michael Denton PhD.

    To give an idea how impossible “simple” life is for naturalistic blind chance, Sir Fred Hoyle calculated the chance of obtaining the required set of enzymes for just one of any of the numerous types of “simple” bacterial life found on the early earth to be one in 1040,000 (that is a one with 40 thousand zeros to the right). He compared the random emergence of the simplest bacterium on earth to the likelihood “a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 therein”. Sir Fred Hoyle also compared the chance of obtaining just one single functioning protein (out of the over one million protein molecules needed for that simplest cell), by chance combinations of amino acids, to a solar system packed full of blind men solving Rubik’s Cube simultaneously.

    The simplest bacteria ever found on earth is constructed with over a million protein molecules. Protein molecules are made from one dimensional sequences of the 20 different L-amino acids that can be used as building blocks for proteins. These one dimensional sequences of amino acids fold into complex three-dimensional structures. The proteins vary in length of sequences of amino acids. The average sequence of a typical protein is about 300 to 400 amino acids long. Yet many crucial proteins are thousands of amino acids long. Proteins do their work on the atomic scale. Therefore, proteins must be able to identify and precisely manipulate and interrelate with the many differently, and specifically, shaped atoms, atomic molecules and protein molecules at the same time to accomplish the construction, metabolism, structure and maintenance of the cell. Proteins are required to have the precisely correct shape to accomplish their specific function or functions in the cell. More than a slight variation in the precisely correct shape of the protein molecule type will be for the life of the cell. It turns out there is some tolerance for error in the sequence of L-amino acids that make up some the less crucial protein molecule types. These errors can occur without adversely affecting the precisely required shape of the protein molecule type. This would seem to give some wiggle room to the naturalists, but as the following quote indicates this wiggle room is an illusion.

    “A common rebuttal is that not all amino acids in organic molecules must be strictly sequenced. One can destroy or randomly replace about 1 amino acid out of 100 without doing damage to the function or shape of the molecule. This is vital since life necessarily exists in a “sequence—disrupting” radiation environment. However, this is equivalent to writing a computer program that will tolerate the destruction of 1 statement of code out of 1001. In other words, this error-handling ability of organic molecules constitutes a far more unlikely occurrence than strictly sequenced molecules.” Dr. Hugh Ross PhD.

    It is easily demonstrated mathematically that the entire universe does not even begin to come close to being old enough, nor large enough, to ally generate just one small but precisely sequenced 100 amino acid protein (out of the over one million interdependent protein molecules of longer sequences that would be required to match the sequences of their particular protein types) in that very first living bacteria. If any combinations of the 20 L-amino acids that are used in constructing proteins are equally possible, then there are (20100) =1.3 x 10130 possible amino acid sequences in proteins being composed of 100 amino acids. This impossibility, of finding even one “required” specifically sequenced protein, would still be true even if amino acids had a tendency to chemically bond with each other, which they don’t despite over fifty years of experimentation trying to get amino acids to bond naturally (The odds of a single 100 amino acid protein overcoming the impossibilities of chemical bonding and forming spontaneously have been calculated at less than 1 in 10125 (Meyer, Evidence for Design, pg. 75)). The staggering impossibility found for the universe ever generating a “required” specifically sequenced 100 amino acid protein by would still be true even if we allowed that the entire universe, all 1080 sub-atomic particles of it, were nothing but groups of 100 freely bonding amino acids, and we then tried a trillion unique combinations per second for all those 100 amino acid groups for 100 billion years! Even after 100 billion years of trying a trillion unique combinations per second, we still would have made only one billion, trillionth of the entire total combinations possible for a 100 amino acid protein during that 100 billion years of trying! Even a child knows you cannot put any piece of a puzzle anywhere in a puzzle. You must have the required piece in the required place! The simplest forms of life ever found on earth are exceedingly far more complicated jigsaw puzzles than any of the puzzles man has ever made. Yet to believe a naturalistic theory we would have to believe that this tremendously complex puzzle of millions of precisely shaped, and placed, protein molecules “just happened” to overcome the impossible hurdles of chemical bonding and probability and put itself together into the sheer wonder of immense complexity that we find in the cell.

    Instead of us just looking at the probability of a single protein molecule occurring (a solar system full of blind men solving the Rubik’s Cube simultaneously), let’s also look at the complexity that goes into crafting the shape of just one protein molecule. Complexity will give us a better indication if a protein molecule is, indeed, the handi-work of an infinitely powerful Creator.
    In the year 2000 IBM announced the development of a new super-computer, called Blue Gene, that is 500 times faster than any supercomputer built up until that time. It took 4-5 years to build. Blue Gene stands about six feet high, and occupies a floor space of 40 feet by 40 feet. It cost $100 million to build. It was built specifically to better enable computer simulations of molecular biology. The computer performs one quadrillion (one million billion) computations per second. Despite its speed, it is estimated it will take one entire year for it to analyze the mechanism by which JUST ONE “simple” protein will fold onto itself from its one-dimensional starting point to its final three-dimensional shape. In real life, the protein folds into its final shape in a fraction of a second! The computer would have to operate at least 33 million times faster to accomplish what the protein does in a fraction of a second. That is the complexity found for JUST ONE “simple” protein. It is estimated, on the total number of known life forms on earth, that there are some 50 billion different types of unique proteins today. It is very possible the domain of the protein world may hold many trillions more completely distinct and different types of proteins. The simplest bacterium known to man has millions of protein molecules divided into, at bare minimum, several hundred distinct proteins types. These millions of precisely shaped protein molecules are interwoven into the final structure of the bacterium. Numerous times specific proteins in a distinct protein type will have very specific modifications to a few of the amino acids, in their sequence, in order for them to more precisely accomplish their specific function or functions in the overall parent structure of their protein type. To think naturalists can account for such complexity by saying it “happened by chance” should be the very definition of “absurd” we find in dictionaries. Naturalists have absolutely no answers for how this complexity arose in the first living cell unless, of course, you can take their imagination as hard evidence. Yet the “real” evidence scientists have found overwhelmingly supports the anthropic hypothesis once again. It should be remembered that naturalism postulated a very simple “first cell”. Yet the simplest cell scientists have been able to find, or to even realistically theorize about, is vastly more complex than any machine man has ever made through concerted effort !! What makes matters much worse for naturalists is that naturalists try to assert that proteins of one function can easily mutate into other proteins of completely different functions by pure chance. Yet once again the empirical evidence we now have betrays the naturalists. Individual proteins have been experimentally proven to quickly lose their function in the cell with random point mutations. What are the odds of any functional protein in a cell mutating into any other functional folded protein, of very questionable value, by pure chance?

    “From actual experimental results it can easily be calculated that the odds of finding a folded protein (by random point mutations to an existing protein) are about 1 in 10 to the 65 power (Sauer, MIT). To put this fantastic number in perspective imagine that someone hid a grain of sand, marked with a tiny ‘X’, somewhere in the Sahara Desert. After wandering blindfolded for several years in the desert you reach down, pick up a grain of sand, take off your blindfold, and find it has a tiny ‘X’. Suspicious, you give the grain of sand to someone to hide again, again you wander blindfolded into the desert, bend down, and the grain you pick up again has an ‘X’. A third time you repeat this action and a third time you find the marked grain. The odds of finding that marked grain of sand in the Sahara Desert three times in a row are about the same as finding one new functional protein structure (from chance transmutation of an existing functional protein structure). Rather than accept the result as a lucky coincidence, most people would be certain that the game had been fixed.” Michael J. Behe, The Weekly Standard, June 7, 1999, Experimental Support for Regarding Functional Classes of Proteins to be Highly Isolated from Each Other
    “Mutations are rare phenomena, and a simultaneous change of even two amino acid residues in one protein is totally unlikely. One could think, for instance, that by constantly changing amino acids one by one, it will eventually be possible to change the entire sequence substantially… These minor changes, however, are bound to eventually result in a situation in which the enzyme has ceased to perform its previous function but has not yet begun its ‘new duties’. It is at this point it will be destroyed – along with the organism carrying it.” Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetski, Unraveling DNA, 1997, p. 72. (Professor at Brown U. Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering)

    From 3.8 to .6 billion years ago photosynthetic bacteria, and to a lesser degree sulfate-reducing bacteria, ted the geologic and fossil record (that’s over 80% of the entire time life has existed on earth). The geologic and fossil record also reveals that during this time a large portion of these very first bacterial life-forms lived in complex symbiotic (mutually beneficial) colonies called Stromatolites. Stromatolites are rock like structures that the photo-synthetic bacteria built up over many years (much like coral reefs are slowly built up over many years by the tiny creatures called corals). Although Stromatolites are not nearly as widespread as they once were, they are still around today in a few sparse places like Shark’s Bay Australia. Contrary to what naturalistic thought would expect, these very first photosynthetic bacteria scientists find in the geologic and fossil record are shown to have been preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear from the very start of their existence by reducing the greenhouse gases of earth’s early atmosphere and producing the necessary oxygen for higher life-forms to exist. Photosynthetic bacteria slowly built the oxygen up in the earth’s atmosphere by removing the carbon-dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) from the atmosphere; separated the carbon from the oxygen; then released the oxygen back into the atmosphere (and into the earth’s ocean & crust) while they retained the carbon. Interestingly, the gradual removal of greenhouse gases corresponds exactly to the gradual 15% increase of light and heat coming from the sun during that time (Ross; PhD. Astrophysics; Creation as Science 2006). This “lucky” correspondence of the slow increase of heat from the sun with the same perfectly timed slow removal of greenhouse gases from the earth’s atmosphere was absolutely necessary for the bacteria to continue to live to do their work of preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear. Bacteria obviously depended on the temperature of the earth to remain relatively stable during the billions of years they prepared the earth for higher life forms to appear. More interesting still, the byproducts of greenhouse gas removal by these early bacteria are limestone, marble, gypsum, phosphates, sand, and to a lesser extent, coal, oil and natural gas (note; though some coal, oil and natural gas are from this early era of bacterial life, most coal, oil and natural gas deposits originated on earth after the Cambrian explosion of higher life forms some 540 million years ago). These natural resources produced by these early photosynthetic bacteria are very useful to modern civilizations. Interestingly, while the photo-synthetic bacteria were reducing greenhouse gases and producing natural resources that would be of benefit to modern man, the sulfate-reducing bacteria were also producing their own natural resources that would be very useful to modern man. Sulfate-reducing bacteria helped prepare the earth for advanced life by “detoxifying” the primeval earth and oceans of “poisonous” levels of heavy metals while depositing them as relatively inert metal ore deposits (iron, zinc, magnesium, lead etc.. etc..). To this day, sulfate-reducing bacteria maintain an essential minimal level of these metals in the ecosystem that are high enough so as to be available to the biological systems of the higher life forms that need them, yet low enough so as not to be poisonous to those very same higher life forms. Needless to say, the metal ores deposited by these sulfate-reducing bacteria in the early history of the earth’s geologic record are indispensable to man’s rise above the stone age to modern civilization. Yet even more evidence has been found tying other early types of bacterial life to the anthropic hypothesis. Many different types of bacteria in earths early history lived in complex symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationships in what are called cryptogamic colonies on the earths primeval continents. These colonies “dramatically” transformed the “primeval land” into “nutrient filled soils” that were receptive for future advanced vegetation to appear. Naturalism has no answers for why all these different bacterial types and colonies found in the geologic and fossil record would start working in precise concert with each other preparing the earth for future life to appear. -// Since oxygen readily reacts and bonds with almost all of the solid elements making up the earth itself, it took photosynthetic bacteria over 3 billion years before the earth’s crust and mantle was saturated with enough oxygen to allow an excess of oxygen to be built up in the atmosphere. Once this was accomplished, higher life forms could finally be introduced on earth. Moreover, scientists find the rise in oxygen percentages in the geologic record to correspond exactly to the sudden appearance of large animals in the fossil record that depended on those particular percentages of oxygen. The geologic record shows a 10% oxygen level at the time of the Cambrian explosion of higher life-forms in the fossil record some 540 million years ago. The geologic record also shows a strange and very quick rise from the 17% oxygen level, of 50 million years ago, to a 23% oxygen level 40 million years ago (Falkowski 2005)). This strange rise in oxygen levels corresponds exactly to the appearance of large mammals in the fossil record who depend on high oxygen levels. Interestingly, for the last 10 million years the oxygen percentage has been holding steady around 21%. 21% happens to be the exact percentage that is of maximum biological utility for humans to exist. If the oxygen level were only a few percentage lower, large mammals would become severely hampered in their ability to metabolize energy; if only three to four percentage higher, there would be uncontrollable outbreaks of fire across the land. Because of this basic chemical requirement of photosynthetic bacterial life establishing and helping maintain the proper oxygen levels for higher life forms on any earth-like planet, this gives us further reason to believe the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support intelligent life in this universe. All these preliminary studies of early life on earth fall right in line with the anthropic hypothesis and have no explanation from any naturalistic theory based on blind chance as to why the very first bacterial life found in the fossil record would suddenly, from the very start of their appearance on earth, start working in precise harmony with each other to prepare the earth for future life to appear. Nor can naturalism explain why, once the bacteria had helped prepare the earth for higher life forms, they continue to work in precise harmony with each other to help maintain the proper balanced conditions that are of primary benefit for the complex life that is above them. -// Though it is impossible to reconstruct the DNA of these earliest bacteria fossils, that scientists find in the fossil record, and compare them to their descendants of today, there are many ancient bacterium fossils recovered from salt crystals and amber crystals that have been compared to their living descendents of today. Some bacterium fossils, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have had their DNA recovered, sequenced and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). Scientists accomplished this using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost exact DNA sequence. Thus the most solid scientific evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level to the DNA of bacteria. According to the prevailing naturalistic evolutionary dogma, there “HAS” to be “significant mutational drift” to the DNA of bacteria within 250 million years, even though the morphology (shape) of the bacteria could have remained the same. In spite of their preconceived naturalistic bias, scientists find there is no detectable “drift” from ancient DNA according to the best evidences we have so far. I find it interesting that the naturalistic theory of evolution “expects” and even “demands” that there be a significant amount of drift from the DNA of ancient bacteria while the morphology is expected to remain exactly the same with its descendants. Alas for the naturalists once again, the hard evidence of ancient DNA has fell in line with the anthropic hypothesis.
    Many times naturalists will offer “conclusive” proof for evolution by showing bacteria that have become resistant to a certain antibiotic such as penicillin. When penicillin was first discovered, all the gram positive cocci were susceptible to it. Now 40% of the bacteria Strep pneumo are resistant. Yet, the mutation to DNA that makes Strep pneumo resistant to penicillin results in the loss of a protein function for the bacteria (called, in the usual utilitarian manner, penicillin-binding-protein). A mutation occurred in the DNA leading to a bacterial protein that no longer interacts with the antibiotic and the bacteria survive. Although they survive well in this environment, it has come at a cost. The altered protein is less efficient in performing its normal function. In an environment without antibiotics, the non-mutant bacteria are more likely to survive because the mutant bacteria cannot compete as well. So as you can see, the bacteria did adapt, but it came at a loss of function in a protein of the bacteria, loss of genetic information in the DNA of the bacteria, and it also lessened the bacteria’s overall fitness for survival. Scientifically, it is better to say that the bacteria devolved in accordance with the principle of genetic entropy, instead of evolved against this primary principle of how “poly-constrained information” will act in organisms (Sanford; Genetic Entropy 2005). As well, all other observed adaptations of bacteria to “new” environments have been proven to be the result of such degrading of preexisting molecular abilities. Sometimes a complex adaptation in bacteria is exhibited by naturalists (Hall, gene knockout experiments) that defy tremendous mathematical odds. Yet far from confirming evolution as they wish it would, the demonstration of a complex adaptation of a preexisting protein actually indicates another higher level of complexity in the genetic code of the bacteria that somehow found (calculated) how to adapt a preexisting protein with the very same ability as the protein that was knocked out to the new situation (Behe, evidence for design pg. 138). To make matters worse for the naturalists, the complex adaptation of the protein still obeys the principle of genetic entropy for the bacteria, since the adapted bacteria has less overall functionality than the original bacteria did. Thus, even naturalists supposed strongest proof for evolution in bacteria is found to be wanting for proof of evolution since it still has not violated the principle of genetic entropy. Even the most famous cases of adaptations in humans, such as lactase persistence, the sickle cell/malaria adaptation (Behe, The Edge of Evolution 2007), and immune system responses, genetic entropy is still being obeyed when looked at on the level of overall functional genetic information. For naturalists to “conclusively prove” evolution they would have to clearly demonstrate a gain in genetic information. Naturalists have not done so, nor will they ever. The overall interrelated complexity for the integrated whole of a life-form simply will not allow the generation of meaningful information to happen in its DNA by chance alone.

    “But in all the reading I’ve done in the life-sciences literature, I’ve never found a mutation that added information… All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it.” Lee Spetner (Ph.D. Physics – MIT)

    “There is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.” Werner Gitt, “In the Beginning was Information”, 1997, p. 106. (Dr. Gitt was the Director at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology) His challenge to scientifically falsify this statement has remained unanswered since first published.

    Naturalists also claim stunning proof for evolution because bacteria can quickly adapt to detoxify new man-made materials, such as nylon and polystyrene. Yet once again, when carefully looked at on the molecular level, the bacteria still have not demonstrated a gain in genetic information, i.e. though they adapt they still degrade preexisting molecular abilities of the bacteria in order to adapt (genetic entropy). Indeed, it is not nearly as novel as they think it is, for the bacteria are still, only, complacently detoxifying the earth of toxins as they have always been doing for billions of years. Even though naturalists claim this is something brand new, that should be considered stunning proof for evolution, I’m not nearly as impressed, with their stunning proof, as they think I should be (Answers in Genesis; Nylon Eating Bacteria; 2007)! This overriding truth of never being able to violate the entropy of poly-constrained information by natural means applies to the “non-living realm” of viruses, such as bird flu, as well (Ryan Lucas Kitner, Ph.D. 2006). I would also like to point out that scientists have never changed any one type of bacteria into any another type of bacteria, despite years of exhaustive experimentation trying to change any bacteria type into any other bacteria type. In fact, it is commonly known that the further scientists deviate any particular bacteria type from its original state, the more unfit for survival the manipulated population will quickly become. As esteemed French scientist Pierre P. Grasse has stated “What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect.” Needless to say, this limit to the variability of bacteria is extremely bad news for the naturalists.

  60. ReligionProf,

    What are your motives for posting here? I’m not asking out of maliciousness — in fact, th exact opposite.

    If you’d like, feel free to respond privately at carl.sachs [at] gmail.com or csachs [at] unt.edu.

    EDIT: Removed the @ symbol so you’re less likely to get be picked up by automatic spammers.

  61. [...] wrote an interesting post today on Comment on Design: All The Way Down by bornagain77Here’s a quick [...]

  62. Religious prof:

    thanks for taking my little test. I would have thought you would score at about 60. It would be interesting to know which questions you split the difference on, but it was gracious of you to humor me.

  63. Presumably some of the lengthy posts above can be cited as justification for my point…my point about why I tend to keep my comments short here and say “See my blog for more”! :)

    I am happy to give further details on my score. I already mentioned (1). I gave myself full points for #2, since as a Baptists I think that the separation of church and state is one of the reasons the church in the U.S. is vibrant when its European equivalents tend not to be. I also do not want my kid or anyone else’s having someone in a school dictating to them how they should pray. I don’t have particularly strong feelings for or against Kant and more than most philosophers. I don’t see why someone would want to suggest that violence is relatively unimportant. I am persuaded that there is value in other religions, but I say that from the perspective of someone who has had the experience of being born again in the Christian tradition, and thus am evaluating other traditions from my own biased viewpoint. So not equal value (10 points), since I could never hope to know that without abandoning the faith tradition that has nurtured me, but certainly value (5 points). I am not thrilled with everything the present pope has done (I preferred his predecessor, to be honest), but I’d choose him over Stalin in a heartbeat. :)

    I think that’s long enough. BTW, I particularly like what happened to your #8 when a parenthesis is added – if nothing else, you taught me how to make another smiley! 8)

  64. A few thots:

    It is worth noting a few points on naturalism, design and ID, noting on UD along the way.(While I try to get used to the annoyances of Vista. As for Explorer 7, forget it . . . ise be lookin Linux now, and hopin Mac prices come down . . . )

    1] Patrick:

    Saw your comment on the spam filter loving me. Any ideas on why? (Did someone submit a malicious complaint, with intent to get me classed as a Tr^oll?)

    2] metaphysical and methodological naturalism

    Above, RP tries to make/assumes a distinction, but — we should note — this is in fact a distinction without a material difference.

    The reason is that the latter in praxis reduces to the former, as soon as one works out a few implications. For, in effect, it tries to confine the domain of “knowledge” and “research” to entities that arise on the evolutionary materialist account of the cosmos from hydrogen to humans — however excused. So, methodological naturalism boils down to implicit evolutionary materialism, and thus begs the metaphysical naturalism question. It is metaphysically naturalistic, if one is consistent.

    A better approach on the design issue, is to ask, what is the reliably known source of complex, specified information in our experience.

    The answer [cf my always linked] is obvious — even evo mat thinkers accept design once they can see a designer within the circle of the cosmos as they accept it. Properly, this sharply shifts the burden of proof back to the evo mat advocates, to show that chance and necessity without agency can credibly account for the cosmos from hydrogen to humans.

    This burden has never yet been met, but given the institutional power and cultural influence of evo mat worldviews, it is easy to beg the question.

    3] Design all the way down:

    We have a cosmos that, at many levels, exhibits functionally specified, complex information well beyond the Dembski type bound on what chance can search out. This is obvious in the world of technology; and its origin is equally obvious in all directly known cases.

    The astonishingly parallel world of the information-driven nanomachines of life is a telling further case in point. (Do you think that the mere fact that we werte not there to see the origin and macro-level diversification of life suddenly means that suddenly chance and necessity alone can search out config spaces to find islands of functionality that are on the relevant math unreacheable within the ambit of the observed cosmos? Cf my nanobots example in my always linked.)

    Then, when we push back to the finely tuned, co-adapted system of physics that is a requisite of the existence of such life, we see that this too screams out for a designer.

    4] The real issue:

    But, if one is committed to a fixed naturalistic worldview, one will reject the conclusion as a start-point for rejecting the premises that lead up to it. So, “design” is ruled out ahead of time through implicit or explicit question-begging.

    The multiverses view of course — apart from being simple metaphysics not science — simply moves the design question up one level, as the issue is, how do we get a cosmos as a whole that diligently searches out the space of possible worlds to get those that are life-habitable. (And, an infinite set of sub-cosmi that exhaustively searches out the set of possibilities is a very special metaphysical claim indeed, aside from raising the thorny question of an actual infinite; cf Hilbert’s hotel for the resulting paradoxes.)

    Okay

    GEM of TKI

  65. The only other theory possible for the universe’s creation, other than a God-centered hypothesis, is a naturalistic theory based on blind chance.

    Nope.

  66. Nabbed again by the pile

  67. [...] bornagain77 wrote a fantastic post today on “Comment on Design: All The Way Down by bornagain77″Here’s ONLY a quick extractNeedless to say, the metal ores deposited by these sulfate-reducing bacteria in the early history of the earth’s geologic record are indispensable to man’s rise above the stone age to modern civilization. Yet even more evidence has been … [...]

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