Home » Intelligent Design » Enormous Predictive Power of Darwin’s Theory?

Enormous Predictive Power of Darwin’s Theory?

In a just published article in Plos Genetics, Merdith, et. al., study the enamilin gene (ENAM) in four different orders of placental mammals having both toothless and/or enamelless taxa. Their results show that, indeed, the enamelin gene is basically in place in the toothless taxa, but that either “frameshift mutations and/or stop codons” are found in the toothless and enamelless taxa. They then use a “novel method based on selection intensity estimates” to determine whether molecular evolutionary history of ENAM would ‘predict’ the occurence of enamel in “basal representative of Xenartha (sloths, anteaters, armadillos)”, which contains many frameshift mutations.

Their conclusion?

Our results link evolutionary change at the molecular level to morphological change in the fossil record and also provide evidence for the enormous predictive power of Charles Darwin’s theory of descent with modification.

Enormous predictive power? Really? It seems to me that if there is any “power” to Darwin’s theory, then it must come from its ability to demonstrate how new structures arise, not how previously occurring structures disappeared.

Furthermore, from the writings of Fred Hoyle, and the recent work of Behe (The Edge of Evolution), what we, here at UD would predict, is that the ‘loss’ of teeth or enamel wouldn’t involve more than two amino acid substitutions. This is, more or less, what Meredith, et. al. found. So, whose predictive power is enormous and whose not? Darwin wasn’t the first to suggest descent with modifcation. He was the first, however, to claim that nature alone, with variation combined with selective pressures and strong laws of inheritance, could account for the diversity we see and the seeming incredible complexity of such organs as the eye. This was his prediction, then, not that the loss of a function could be traced back in time–the fossil record tells us as much (Dollo’s Law was formulated in the 19th Century; see below). OTOH, using real numbers with equations that realistically represent life, UDers would predict that the operative gene-transcribed protein would be off by only two amino acids. To me this is the more impressive prediction.

Now, Meredith, et. al. do find there are the equivalent of three amino acids that are substituted for in some taxa. However, we’re dealing with such ancient lines, going back millions of years in the fossil record, that something called Gallo’s Law can, and should be invoked. Dollo’s Law says that features/structures in fossil species, once disappearing, never appear in the the fossil record again. They’re simply lost. Hoyle, in his book, “The Mathematics of Evolution”, based on realistic numbers applied to the equations he develops, concludes—predicts, if you will— that if a species moves away from its current genotype by more than two amino acids in any particular gene, then the loss of gene function will never again be recovered. That some orders of mammals are off by three amino acids simply tells us that this function was lost sometime in the very distant past, and that it has never reappeared again in the fossil record. This is what Hoyle would have predicted by simply looking at the molecular data. And, of course, the fossil record bears this out.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

65 Responses to Enormous Predictive Power of Darwin’s Theory?


  1. Furthermore, from the writings of Fred Hoyle, and the recent work of Behe (The Edge of Evolution), what we, here at UD would predict, is that the ‘loss’ of teeth or enamel wouldn’t involve more than two amino acid substitutions. This is, more or less, what Meredith, et. al. found. So, whose predictive power is enormous and whose not?

    Prediction involves specifying the nature of an event before it happens. Can you point us to where Hoyle or Behe or UD contributors forecast the specific findings of Meredith et al? Claiming you would have predicted something is not the same as actually making a prediction. It is a hollow pretense that most certainly does not demonstrate superior predictive powers.

    As for Fred Hoyle, this is man who wrote:

    A junkyard contains all the bits and pieces of a Boeing 747, dismembered and in disarray. A whirlwind happens to blow through the yard. What is the chance that after its passage a fully assembled 747, ready to fly, will be found standing there? So small as to be negligible, even if a tornado were to blow through enough junkyards to fill the whole Universe.

    apparently oblivious to the fact the the theory of evolution claimed no such thing. The theory does not propose that complex biological structures would spring fully-formed into existence at a single stroke and a scientist of Hoyle’s prominence should have known that.

  2. Is there a good list of specific ID predictions? It would be really interesting to track them.

  3. 3

    Predictive power eh? So, Darwin’s theory can predict what the Accident Fairy will do next. Amazing.

  4. Seversky: Prediction involves specifying the nature of an event before it happens.

    Were the amino acid substitutions to have been specified 50 million years ago “before it happen[ed]“?

  5. Is there a good list of specific ID predictions? It would be really interesting to track them.

    ID predicted that Junk DNA had function not very long after Darwinist scientists working in the field made the same prediction.

  6. PaV

    Enormous predictive power? Really? It seems to me that if there is any “power” to Darwin’s theory, then it must come from its ability to demonstrate how new structures arise, not how previously occurring structures disappeared.

    If there is any “power” to Dembski’s ID theory, then it must come from it’s ability to demonstrate how new structures arise, not how previously occurring structures disappeared.

    Does it? No. Then I guess it has no power.

    What does ID predict that could be tested in a lab? Anything whatsoever?

    What does ID predict that could be tested in any way whatsoever?

    Will Kariosfocus ever formally write up his “work” on FSCI and publish it?

    Join us next week for the answers to all these quesitons, and more besides!

    Tell me Pav, given that Hoyle, that well known Biologist, in his book “The Mathematics of Evolution” ignores much of basic population genetics theory how much credence can you honestly put in his work on Biology at this time?

    predicts, if you will— that if a species moves away from its current genotype by more than two amino acids in any particular gene, then the loss of gene function will never again be recovered.

    And this support ID does it? Tell me PaV, if that was true, how does it support ID? If it was false, how does that support Darwinism?

    If I understand your point it seems to be “Darwinism can’t predict things, therefore ID!”

    Or have I missed where the support for ID was in this blog post. Attacking Darwinism does not support ID in any way.

    OTOH, using real numbers with equations that realistically represent life, UDers would predict that the operative gene-transcribed protein would be off by only two amino acids. To me this is the more impressive prediction.

    The how are you going to test that? What lab work or studies have you arranged to test that? Are you going to wait around for somebody else to do so actual work on the subject and them claim it as your own perhaps? Armchair ID science?

    Or will you get out of your chair and try to validate your prediction?

    I doubt it. Yet it won’t stop you from predicting all sorts of other things no doubt.

    Write up a proposal. Submit it to the Biologic people. Or even the Templeton people. Do the work, reap the rewards. Don’t do the work, don’t expect people to take you or ID seriously as a scientific endeavour.

  7. Blue,

    Design also predicted in 1968 that the DNA would not be reducible to chance and necessity. Without special pleading on the part of materialist, it not.

  8. Upright

    Design also predicted in 1968 that the DNA would not be reducible to chance and necessity. Without special pleading on the part of materialist, it not.

    Really? Reference please. And “design” is not capable of predicting anything. People are.

    Who made that prediction then? Name please.

    And until the origin of DNA is known then that prediction stands. So what use is it?

    I predict that the origin of DNA will not be known until the origin of DNA is known. Same as your prediction.

    That’s just great. That really moves science on.

    Tell me, is that the best “design” prediction that you have? That the origin of DNA will never be discovered?

    That’s just great. I have to assume it’s the best as otherwise you’d have said your best. You are not holding back on me are you?

    Whereas “darwinism” has many predictions. Predictions that can be tested. Predictions that have been tested. And guess what?

    Predictions that have been validated.

    And yet the best you can do is some vague “prediction” from a few decades ago that really predicts nothing all all except ignorance.

    Ignorance of something’s origin is not a prediction. What happens when/if it’s origin is discovered? According to you, ID is invalidated at that point. That what you want? I guess you’ll just move onto the next “prediction” at that point.

    Without special pleading on the part of materialist, it not.

    I’m sure your next comment will explain how ID explains the origin of DNA. Or does “special pleading” cut both ways here?

    So, c’mon Upright. How does ID explain the origin of DNA without “special pleading”?

    Answer: It does not.

    Prediction: You will pretend I did not ask.

  9. I would like to find the specific junk DNA prediction. I have heard this before but I haven’t been able to track down the actual statement. Did it say ALL “junk” DNA would be found to have a function or only some? That sounds like an excellent arena for ID research; is any one doing that?

  10. Darwinism has predictions?

    Please post the predictions based on the proposed mechamisms.

    BTW ID will be falsified if it is ever demonstrated that living organisms can arise from non-living matter via non-telic processes.

    The following is half of my design hypothesis:

    Observation:

    Living organisms

    Question

    Are living organisms the result of intentional design?

    Prediction:

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    Further I would expect to see command & control- a hierarchy of command & control would be a possibility.

    Test:

    Try to deduce the minimal functionality that a living organism. Try to determine if that minimal functionality is irreducibly complex and/or contains complex specified information. Also check to see if any subsystems are irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.

    Potential falsification:

    Observe that living organisms arise from non-living matter via a mixture of commonly-found-in-nature chemicals. Observe that while some systems “appear” to be irreducibly complex it can be demonstrated that they can indeed arise via purely stochastic processes such as culled genetic accidents. Also demonstrate that the apparent command & control can also be explained by endothermic and/or exothermic reactions.

    Confirmation:

    Living organisms are irreducibly complex and contain irreducibly complex subsystems. The information required to build and maintain a single-celled organism is both complex and specified.

    Command & control is observed in single-celled organisms- the bacterial flagellum not only has to be configured correctly, indicating command & control over the assembly process, but it also has to function, indicating command & control over functionality.

  11. Do archaeologists require special pleading for the origin of Stonehenge?

  12. Joseph: I have heard archaeologists suggest all kinds of batty ideas after a couple of pints in a pub. But before a hypothesis becomes well established it goes through round after round of review and criticism by other archaeologists. It’s a bit more wild and woolly than some other areas of science but it tends to work the same way: if you say something stupid you get shot down by a lot of people. If you still think you’re right then you’ve got to go find the evidence. Incontrovertible evidence. Hopefully from more than one source or location.

    Archaeologists all would LOVE to be the one to prove some new paradigm; they are always looking to buck the system. But, it’s very hard and it takes a lot of work and usually a lot of digging. And, just like other scientists, they would all LOVE to prove everyone else wrong. That’s why they “try out” some pretty wacky ideas . . . just in case one of them flies . .

  13. Joseph at #10:
    “If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.”

    That is one possibility, sure, but it sounds to me like you are trying to put my God in a box. Are you saying that my God is not powerful enough to produce living systems that are not irreducibly complex and do not contain functionally complex specified information. Because I think He is powerful enough to do whatever He wants.

    What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that your prediction is one way a designer could work, but not necessarily the only way. I’m not sure what that does to your prediction.

  14. Actually, now that I think about it, what it means for your prediction is that even if it turns out the prediction is wrong, that still doesn’t prove that my God didn’t create life. Which is good, because you can’t prove what isn’t true!

  15. PaV @ 4

    Seversky: Prediction involves specifying the nature of an event before it happens.

    Were the amino acid substitutions to have been specified 50 million years ago “before it happen[ed]“?

    Do you have any reason to think that there was anyone around at the time to do the specifying?

  16. Blue @ 6:

    What does ID predict that could be tested in a lab? Anything whatsoever?

    One prediction is that information is ‘front-loaded’. What Meredith, et. al., found shows us that previously working information has been corrupted. It DOES NOT show any production of new information. Accordig to Dembski’s Law of Conservation of Information, this is what we would expect to see.

    Now, as to “in the lab”, let’s remember that there are “in vivo” and “in vitro” experiments performed. “In vitro” experiments can be conducted either in nature itself, or in the lab. What Behe has done is to use field/lab studies to confirm an earlier mathematical model that he published. Both mathematical modeling and field/lab studies show that the “edge of evolution” is about two amino acids away from any stable, functioning protein. Fred Hoyle reached this same conclusion years before using his very own approach to population genetics, in which he arrived at many of the same equations that Fisher, Haldane and Kimura had before—all lending credence to his methodology. However, his methodology forces one to conclude that there is a constant “erosion process” at work in any genetic system, which NS counteracts—indicating the MAIN function of NS—and that if a protein sequence in DNA gets more than two amino acids away from its functional state, then it is almost impossible for its function to be re-established—thus, a confirmation of sorts of Dollo’s Law—which is, as Darwinists like to say, a “fact”.

    As to my post: there are two main points: (1) the hyperbole that comes so easily to Darwinists—they get so excited about what ‘evolution can do’, when, in fact, their results make even more sense from an ID perspective, and (2) that it would seem that Meredith, et. al.’s results are in conformity with predictions of both Hoyle and Behe, and really has nothing to say about Darwin’s hypothesis. Most people here at UD already accept ‘common descent’. To accept ‘common descent’ is simply to say, more or less, that species aren’t ‘created’ de novo. But Darwin’s problem is not to ‘prove’ that de novo creation doesn’t take place, but “how” reptiles became birds. There is no credible Darwinian mechanism to explain such a transition, and Meredith’s results in NO way is suggestive of such a method.

  17. Joseph @ 10

    Darwinism has predictions?

    Please post the predictions based on the proposed mechamisms.

    Does ID have anything to compare with Tiktaalik?

    Thought not.

    BTW ID will be falsified if it is ever demonstrated that living organisms can arise from non-living matter via non-telic processes.

    Which version of ID?

    What about advanced aliens who came to Earth and seeded it with life way back? They might not have created it, just brought it here.

    We have no way of knowing.

    Demonstrating abiogenesis would not falsify that version of ID.

    Prediction:

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    Why? How do they follow from your hypothesis?

    What is your hypothesis, by the way?

    Is it that all life was created from inanimate matter by some Intelligent Designer who differs from the Christian God in name only?

    Or is it the more limited hypothesis that some advanced intelligence has been meddling with life after it appeared?

    In either case why couldn’t the Designer, whatever it might be, have simply made use of the evolutionary processes that even ID proponents admit are observed in living things.

    Why couldn’t it have just wound up the spring, set it in motion and then let it do its own thing?

    Ideally, a predicted observation should happen if and only if the hypothesis is true.

    Your predictions are too vague and beg too many questions to be of use.

    For example:

    Further I would expect to see command & control- a hierarchy of command & control would be a possibility.

    What do you mean by “command & control”? A large brain? Nerve ganglia? Chemical reactions?

    We have large brains which have given us enormous power not just to react to but to shape our envirnoment. Is that “command & control”?

    There are a huge range of microscopic organisms which vastly outnumber us and also have a huge influence on the biosphere yet have no nervous systems at all. Do they have “command & control”?

    So what is it?

    Test:

    Try to deduce the minimal functionality that a living organism. Try to determine if that minimal functionality is irreducibly complex and/or contains complex specified information. Also check to see if any subsystems are irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.

    Any functional system, whether designed or not, has a point where it will fail if it suffers enough damage. “Minimal functionality” proves nothing.

    Irreducible complexity is the claim that a biological structure could not have come about through any natural, non-teleogogical process.

    To prove it you have to be able to exclude any natural process, either known or unknown.

    Good luck with that.

    As for biological information – whether specified, complex specified, functional complex specified or coupled complex specified – there is a real question about whether there is any such thing.

    It may just be another analogy too far.

  18. Joseph @ 11

    Do archaeologists require special pleading for the origin of Stonehenge?

    Nope.

    Plenty of evidence of known designers and builders around at the time.

  19. Does anyone have a reference for the ID “junk” DNA prediction? This could be a telling point and I think it’s worth elucidating. If it was made then slam home the point!

  20. I’ve come to a realization about ID that might actually cause me to view it more like real a scientific endeavor. It can be summed up in two very simple sentences. Unfortunately I suspect that it will be simply rejected out of hand by most IDists.

    ID is not a scientific theory. It is, however, an attempt to establish a scientific fact.

    Many arguments against ID are based on the term “theory” and how well ID does or rather does not fit into that definition. A theory should make predictions that can be verified (not just falsified). A theory should explain what we see and, as much as possible, why (why as in “by what means”, not why as in “for what purpose”). A theory should ideally suggest various avenues for continuing research. ID does none of these. And yet one could still consider it a scientifically valid pursuit if one dropped the “theory” farce and admitted that it’s simply trying to establish the fact of design in nature and nothing more.

    It’s less like Newton or Einstein (or dare I say Darwin?) describing the means and methods by which what we observe comes about, and more like Michelson and Morley attempting to establish the simple fact of the existence of ether. ID does not describe in any way the means and methods by which an intelligent agent does what it does. It attempts to establish only the fact that an intelligent agent has acted on biological systems in some detectable way.

    If such a thing could actually be established it would be an incredibly important data point that would need to be accounted for by any future theory of life and biology. That would be no small achievement by any measure.

    I’ll refrain from commenting on whether I think such a thing could ever actually be established (and I fully expect a number of people here to simply claim that it’s already established and that I’m just a mindless darwinist idiot drone for thinking otherwise).

  21. Severesky @ 15:

    Do you have any reason to think that there was anyone around at the time to do the specifying?

    To get at the point you’re trying to make, let me ask you this, if in a rock formation dated to be 60 mya they found stone-age tools, would you, or would you not, conclude that humans existed 60 mya?

  22. PaV (20),

    “To get at the point you’re trying to make, let me ask you this, if in a rock formation dated to be 60 mya they found stone-age tools, would you, or would you not, conclude that humans existed 60 mya?”

    Yes. This is actually the equivalent of the “rabbit in the Precambrian”.

    And it’s telling that we never DO find stone tools in 60 million year old strata.

  23. ellazimm: Does anyone have a reference for the ID “junk” DNA prediction? This could be a telling point and I think it’s worth elucidating. If it was made then slam home the point!

    From Michael Denton’s 1998 book Nature’s Destiny (pages 289-290)….

    If it is true that a vast amount of the DNA in higher organisms is in fact junk, then this would indeed pose a very serious challenge to the idea of directed evolution or any teleological model of evolution. Junk DNA and directed evolution are in the end incompatible concepts. Only if the junk DNA contained information specifying for future evolutionary events, when it would not in a strict sense be junk in any case, could the finding could be reconciled with a teleological model of evolution. Indeed, if it were true that the genomes of higher organisms contained vast quantities of junk the whole argument of this book would collapse. Teleology would be entirely discredited. On any teleological model of evolution, most, perhaps all the DNA in the genomes of higher organisms should have some function.

    I’d love to see any well-known Darwinist make a prediction even half as bold as Dr. Denton’s.

  24. ShawnBoy, #21

    From Michael Denton’s 1998 book Nature’s Destiny (pages 289-290)….

    “If it is true that a vast amount of the DNA in higher organisms is in fact junk, then this would indeed pose a very serious challenge to the idea of directed evolution or any teleological model of evolution.

    Except Denton made this “prediction” several years after scientists started finding uses for “junk DNA”. Read Science Magazine, 4 February 1994, Vol. 263. no. 5147, pp. 608 – 610, “Mining treasures from ‘junk DNA’” by R Nowak.

    A bigger failure for ID is their lack of explanation for similarities in pseudogenes between related species. It is one thing to claim common design for functional genes, but when we find the exact same mutation rendering pseudogenes inoperative, common descent is the only workable hypothesis.

  25. Seversky:

    Does ID have anything to compare with Tiktaalik?

    Tiktaalik wasn’t a prediction besed on any mechanisms.

    It was a vague “prediction” based on the vague notion of universal common descent.

    IOW it fits in with the designed to evolve scenario.

    BTW ID will be falsified if it is ever demonstrated that living organisms can arise from non-living matter via non-telic processes.

    Which version of ID?

    I only know of one and it would be falsified.

    But anyway Seversky all you have to do is to actually start supporting your position as oppoosed to arguing from ignorance against ID.

    It is that simple.

  26. Can anyone post a testable hypothesus for the theory of evolution based on the proposed non-telic mechanisms?

  27. camanintx:

    A bigger failure for ID is their lack of explanation for similarities in pseudogenes between related species.

    1- Common design

    2- Convergence

    3- Common descent

    All of those fit in the ID scenrio.

    It is one thing to claim common design for functional genes, but when we find the exact same mutation rendering pseudogenes inoperative, common descent is the only workable hypothesis.

    Except that it isn’t “workable”. And it doesn’t tell us anything about the mechanisms.

  28. Do archaeologists require special pleading for the origin of Stonehenge?

    Nope.

    Plenty of evidence of known designers and builders around at the time.

    Yeah we found that evidence because we were allowed to look for it.

    Also it took quite a while before it was demonstrated that humans could have built it.

  29. Joseph#24

    Can anyone post a testable hypothesus for the theory of evolution based on the proposed non-telic mechanisms?

    Predictions based on modern evolutionary theory are made and tested in the peer reviewed literature on a daily basis. A simple Google search will turn up dozens of examples, including many for a lay audience.

    I suggest this excerpt from Jerry A. Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True (indeed, I recommend the whole book).

  30. Prediction:

    If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information. IOW I would expect to see an intricacy that is more than just a sum of chemical reactions (endothermic or exothermic).

    Why? How do they follow from your hypothesis?

    1- It fits the claim that living organisms are not reducible to matter, energy, chance and necessity

    2- Intelligent agencies, when acting with nature, usually leave traces of their involvement behind.

    IC and CSI are those traces.

    In either case why couldn’t the Designer, whatever it might be, have simply made use of the evolutionary processes that even ID proponents admit are observed in living things.

    “Evolutionary processes” is too vague to be of any use.

    Further I would expect to see command & control- a hierarchy of command & control would be a possibility.

    What do you mean by “command & control”

    The bacterial flagellum, for example- it is useless unless the organism can control it- command it when to turn in one direction, stop and turn in the opposite direction.

    If you don’t understand command and control perhaps you should go back to school.

    Try to deduce the minimal functionality that a living organism. Try to determine if that minimal functionality is irreducibly complex and/or contains complex specified information. Also check to see if any subsystems are irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.

    Any functional system, whether designed or not, has a point where it will fail if it suffers enough damage. “Minimal functionality” proves nothing.

    I never said it proves something.

    However it is all about reducibility.

    That is how we figure out how it came to be.

    Irreducible complexity is the claim that a biological structure could not have come about through any natural, non-teleogogical process.

    To prove it you have to be able to exclude any natural process, either known or unknown.

    I know what IC is. I also know that science is not about “proof”.

    The design inference is an inference for a reason. As with all scientific inferences future knowledge can either confirm or refute it.

    Science carries on with our current understanding and does not. cannot wait for what the future may or may not bring.

    As for biological information – whether specified, complex specified, functional complex specified or coupled complex specified – there is a real question about whether there is any such thing.

    True so all you have to do is to start supporting your position.

  31. DELurker,

    Where is the passage about non-telic processes?

    All I read were vague references to “evolution”.

    Yet “evolution” isn’t being debated.

    The debate is all about the mechanisms.

    Were organisms designed to evolve (evolved by design) or did they evolve via an accumulation of gentic accidents?

    There is a paper out about getting two mutations in a non-telic scenario. It appears there just isn’t enough time in the universe to allow for such a thing- that is evolution of the diversity of life via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

  32. Joseph#29

    Where is the passage about non-telic processes?

    Why would you expect to see any reference to telic processes when there is no evidence that would suggest such processes exist in modern evolutionary theory?

    There is a paper out about getting two mutations in a non-telic scenario. It appears there just isn’t enough time in the universe to allow for such a thing

    Then clearly the paper is in error, since multiple mutations have been observed. Please provide a full cite and we can discuss it.

  33. Where is the passage about non-telic processes?

    DeLurker:

    Why would you expect to see any reference to telic processes when there is no evidence that would suggest such processes exist in modern evolutionary theory?

    1- There isn’t any evidence that living organisms arose from non-living matter via non-telic processes

    2- Therefor there isn’t any reason to infer non-telic processes are solely responsible for evolutionary processes

    3- Plus the fact that science can only demonstrate life coming from life.

    There is a paper out about getting two mutations in a non-telic scenario. It appears there just isn’t enough time in the universe to allow for such a thing

    Then clearly the paper is in error, since multiple mutations have been observed.

    This pertains to two specific mutations.

    Please provide a full cite and we can discuss it.

    Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution

    It is a paper that attempted to refute Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” but ended up confirming it.

    But anyway I am still waiting for those predictions based on the mechanisms.

  34. Seversky:

    Does ID have anything to compare with Tiktaalik?

    Ha ha ha. That cracked me up. But what exactly do you mean? Some compelling evidences for ID.

    1. Life
    2. DNA
    3. Cambrian Explosion
    4. Molecular Machinery
    5. Human Intelligence

    I could go on but I will stop there.

  35. Gaz @ 22:

    And it’s telling that we never DO find stone tools in 60 million year old strata.

    Yes, it is ‘telling’. It tells us that humans didn’t exist 60 mya.

    What I find ‘telling’, is that seversky hasn’t answered this simple question. Don’t you find that ‘telling’?

  36. Blue Lotus:

    ID predicted that Junk DNA had function not very long after Darwinist scientists working in the field made the same prediction.

    Yes, Darwinism predicts both the existence of Junk DNA and the non-existence of Junk DNA. Darwinism also explains why men are faithful to their wives and why they are not faithful to their wives. Darwinism predicts both A and B. Dariwnism is only limited by your imagination.

  37. As a follow-up to [35], if Severesky answers with the logical, “Yes, the presence of stone-age tools in a formation 60 million years old”, then this means that his argument—”we know there were people around in stone-age times that used those kinds of tools”—becomes meaningless, because now he has allowed evidence of ‘design’ (the stone-age tools)—without any prior knowledge of the ‘designers’—to reach a conclusion that he would have before-hand thought unthinkable.

  38. Joseph#33

    Where is the passage about non-telic processes?

    DeLurker:

    Why would you expect to see any reference to telic processes when there is no evidence that would suggest such processes exist in modern evolutionary theory?

    1- There isn’t any evidence that living organisms arose from non-living matter via non-telic processes

    There is a fair body of work on the origin of life that suggests possible mechanisms. This is an area of ongoing research, but the history of science shows that methodological naturalism leads to explanations of phenomena infinitely more often than does religious dogmatism.

    While none of the possible mechanisms have been demonstrated to be the way that life arose on Earth, there is absolutely no evidence for the telic process speculation.

    Finally, we were discussing the mechanisms of modern evolutionary theory, not origin of life processes.

    2- Therefor there isn’t any reason to infer non-telic processes are solely responsible for evolutionary processes

    Since your premises are incorrect, it is not surprising that your conclusion is invalid.

    3- Plus the fact that science can only demonstrate life coming from life.

    Leaving aside the fact that “life” is not necessarily well-defined (c.f. prions), the fact is that at one point in time there was no life of any description on Earth and at some later point in time there was. One can either use the tools of science to attempt to figure out how this change occurred or one can make unfounded and unwarranted assertions about nebulous designers with arbitrary powers. History is clear about which is most likely to be successful.

    There is a paper out about getting two mutations in a non-telic scenario. It appears there just isn’t enough time in the universe to allow for such a thing

    Then clearly the paper is in error, since multiple mutations have been observed.

    This pertains to two specific mutations.

    And therein lies the flaw in your interpretation of the results. The odds of a particular pair of pre-specified mutations occurring are relatively low given what we know of human mutation rates and population sizes. That says nothing about the odds some mutations arising.

    Please provide a full cite and we can discuss it.

    Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution

    It is a paper that attempted to refute Behe’s “Edge of Evolution” but ended up confirming it.

    Thank you for the cite. I think you need to read the paper more carefully before claiming that it supports Behe. I see nothing in the results or conclusions on which to base such a claim.

    But anyway I am still waiting for those predictions based on the mechanisms.

    I provided a reference to Why Evolution Is True, you can Google for “evolution predictions”, and you can educate yourself enough to understand some of the peer reviewed literature that describes predictions made and tested based on modern evolutionary theory. Claims that there are no such predictions simply do not conform to reality.

  39. PaV (37),

    “As a follow-up to [35], if Severesky answers with the logical, “Yes, the presence of stone-age tools in a formation 60 million years old”, then this means that his argument—”we know there were people around in stone-age times that used those kinds of tools”—becomes meaningless, because now he has allowed evidence of ‘design’ (the stone-age tools)—without any prior knowledge of the ‘designers’—to reach a conclusion that he would have before-hand thought unthinkable.”

    Not at all. If we find something absolutely identical to stone-age tools in 60 million year old strata, then we would be basing it on the “design” of other items from the stone age that we know were “designed” by people who happened to exist in the stone age. Nothing unusual about that – the process, that is. Clearly, finding stone-age tools in such strata would be very unusual indeed – and so far, hasn’t happened, unsurprisingly.

  40. DeLurker,

    Leaving aside the fact that “life” is not necessarily well-defined (c.f. prions), the fact is that at one point in time there was no life of any description on Earth and at some later point in time there was. One can either use the tools of science to attempt to figure out how this change occurred…

    ID uses the tools of science.

    or one can make unfounded and unwarranted assertions about nebulous designers with arbitrary powers.

    Sounds like you already have your mind made up about the issue. You frame the issue as “science”, which presumably means methodological naturalism, against “nebulous designers” because they aren’t within the realm of unassisted natural occurrences. This, of course, begs the question, and it certainly isn’t anything other than a philosophical point of view. On the question of history of life, which is a historical question, if you begin by ruling out certain explanations, then there is no need to look to the historical validity of those explanations, for we know what answer you will give before you even begin to look at the history, for you have a philosophical prejudice against the possibility of a designer, and this is what I mean by begging the question.

    History is clear about which is most likely to be successful.

    You’re welcome to believe that history of science doesn’t also have a lot of things previously thought scientifically true in the dust bin, but don’t expect everyone to believe in your selective history of science. And secondly, “history” is not clear about anything, for it doesn’t make declarations, unless you believe in historicism, which is, again, your philosophical point of view. It amuses me how folks propound their philosophical viewpoints as if they are incontrovertible, as if they are “science”—-which is their true guide—itself, but they aren’t. Not very self reflective, that’s for sure.

  41. Clive Hayden#39

    You’re welcome to believe that history of science doesn’t also have a lot of things previously thought scientifically true in the dust bin, but don’t expect everyone to believe in your selective history of science.

    I never claimed otherwise. The scientific method is about self-correction. Naturally some hypotheses are going to be refuted as knowledge is increased. That’s a good thing.

    Never, though, has the scientific method led to a conclusion of a non-natural mechanism for an observed phenomena. This despite the fact that many devout theists were and are distinguished scientists. Suggesting that this time, in this instance, no natural mechanism will ever be found, despite there being no evidence for a non-natural mechanism, seems . . . unduly optimistic.

  42. DeLurker,

    Never, though, has the scientific method led to a conclusion of a non-natural mechanism for an observed phenomena.

    Anthropology, forensic science, maybe you might want to refine your words “observed phenomena.”

  43. DeLurker,

    Suggesting that this time, in this instance, no natural mechanism will ever be found, despite there being no evidence for a non-natural mechanism, seems . . . unduly optimistic.

    I never suggested that “no natural mechanism will ever be found”, because, unlike you, I don’t rule out half of the possibilities.

  44. Clive Hayden#42

    DeLurker,

    Never, though, has the scientific method led to a conclusion of a non-natural mechanism for an observed phenomena.

    Anthropology, forensic science, maybe you might want to refine your words “observed phenomena.”

    What’s unnatural about human beings?

  45. Blue at #8

    Really? Reference please. And “design” is not capable of predicting anything. People are.
    Who made that prediction then? Name please.

    The reference is to the Hungarian polymath, Dr. Michael Polanyi. The paper was entitled Life’s Irreducible Structure” and it was published in the journal Science (Vol. 160. no. 3834, pp. 1308 – 1312) in the summer of 1968. Citations to this work continue today, and I am willing to bet they continue.

    Excerpt: “Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of inanimate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....b5ee6e7f3e

    And until the origin of DNA is known then that prediction stands. So what use is it?
    I predict that the origin of DNA will not be known until the origin of DNA is known. Same as your prediction.

    This betrays your misunderstanding (or willful abuse) of discovery and knowledge. When you hear of a cancer researcher (for instance) talking about the vast number of unknown enzymes and compounds that can be found at the depths of the oceans or in the rain forest – each of which may lead to a cure for cancer – then you need to realize what is being said. Or more precisely, what is being said about “what we don’t know”.

    These researchers are looking for organic constituents that might perhaps have an favorable effect on the molecules and cells they study. These “favorable effects” will come in the form of chemical reactions which they have not seen in any of the constituents they’ve studied thus far. The “unknown” part of this lies within the realm of what we have and have not seen in the chemical reactions that we’ve studied. What it does not mean is that we are looking for a new type of chemical bond that we do not even know exists.

    In other words, when a researcher applies a new compound within his/her studies; they are not jumping back from their lab equipment with their arms in the air, shocked that there is a new category of chemical reaction that no one on Earth has ever seen. They are looking for reactions which clearly fall within the chemical regularities that we are already intimately familiar with. They can DESCRIBE those reactions as they study them, and they understand those reactions by virtue of an already known set of descriptors.

    To put it another way, if I say “I don’t know how to get to the bank”. It only means I don’t know where the bank building is located. It doesn’t mean I don’t know how to drive a car.

    We already know know the bonds that are in play in the sequencing of DNA. None of them have the capacity to cause the selective aperiodic nature that we observe within the sequence.

    Appealing to ignorance is simply a put off of what we already know to be true – and if that put off is offered solely for the reason of being able to ignore the only cause already known to be able to create the effect we observe, then science is no longer science. Its just ideology and politics. Men in labs who follow their ideology instead of the evidence.

    That’s just great. That really moves science on.

    I agree, it certainly would.

    In the Journal of Applied Physiology, Dr Peter Macklem made the following comments:

    Life and emergence obey the laws of physics and chemistry. But life has a third secret not mentioned by Schrodinger. The design of living organisms is not determined by physicochemical laws (11, 14). As Polanyi (14) says, in a painting the physical and chemical properties of the paint determine what remains on the canvas, but the meaning of the painting is determined by the artist. Who is our artist? We sculpt ourselves; but our survival depends on Darwinian selection. Appropriate designs survive, inappropriate ones become extinct. Life is more than the properties of our paint. Understanding life requires knowledge of how the design of living creatures and emergent phenomena, appearing spontaneously in self-ordered, reproducing, interacting, energy-consuming, non-linear, dynamic ensembles makes us what we are. I believe this will be the next biological revolution.

    His comments contain a bold and unwarranted assumption, one that must be made in the current climate. In finishing his comments he concludes that “Understanding life requires knowledge…” He may actually find his revolution when he simply adheres to the evidence and concludes that it is knowledge itself that is required for life.

    Tell me, is that the best “design” prediction that you have? That the origin of DNA will never be discovered?
    That’s just great. I have to assume it’s the best as otherwise you’d have said your best. You are not holding back on me are you?

    I’ve already explained your misunderstanding. You are now compounding your ignorance. Therefore, your comments are becoming weaker by the letter.

    Whereas “darwinism” has many predictions. Predictions that can be tested. Predictions that have been tested. And guess what?
    Predictions that have been validated.

    Only the marginal capacity of organisms to change and adapt to their environment has been confirmed. Materialism itself makes the prediction (an ideological assumption) that all phenomena are the result of material forces and can be explained by material law. This has been shown to be false by the empirical observation of the aperiodic sequencing of nucleotides (among other things). Therefore materialism has been falsified on its face (by its own evidence and its own methodologies).

    And yet the best you can do is some vague “prediction” from a few decades ago that really predicts nothing all all except ignorance.

    Recognition that the information required for all living systems is not reducible to physics is hardly trivial. And, there is nothing vague about it. The knowledge behind this prediction has been further refined over the past forty years to include the tacit understanding that it is ‘selection for function’ at the level of information which is specifically required for life to exist as it does (Abel. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling 2005, 2:29doi:10.1186/1742-4682-2-29).

    Oddly, a valid prediction with some rings around its trunk would logically suggest that its validity should be finally recognized for what it is. Particularly by those who ignore it, and then trumpet themselves as being enlightened.

    Ignorance of something’s origin is not a prediction. What happens when/if it’s origin is discovered? According to you, ID is invalidated at that point. That what you want? I guess you’ll just move onto the next “prediction” at that point.

    Apparently unable to stop yourself, you continue to build on your misunderstanding and abuse of knowledge/discovery. Your schoolyard demeanor can only be seen as a bonus in this regard.

    I’m sure your next comment will explain how ID explains the origin of DNA. Or does “special pleading” cut both ways here?
    So, c’mon Upright. How does ID explain the origin of DNA without “special pleading”?

    What we have to explain the origins of DNA is the observation of the effect, matched to our observations of the mechanisms that cause such effects. We already know, by means of scientific observation, that the effect is not reducible to physical law, and yet there is only one mechanism that causes selection for fitness at the level of information.

    The special pleading comes into play when these observations are ignored in place of purely ideological assumptions about what is and is not possible. In cosmology the special pleading takes the form of the multiverse theory, in biology it wears the garb of the RNA world. Both are empirical and logical train wrecks, told for the same ideological reason.

  46. Jehu:

    Darwinism predicts both the existence of Junk DNA and the non-existence of Junk DNA.

    I’m not aware of any brand of evolutionary theory that predicts that all DNA is functional, which is what “non-existence of Junk DNA” would be. (I’m pretty sure there’s a consensus that, for example, some portion of our genome is relics from retroviruses.) Rather, there are debates over the proportions of different varieties, with a large amount still in the “unknown” realm. That some DNA would reveal its function to us later than other DNA has doesn’t really come as a surprise. It would be extremely silly for a scientist to draw a line in the sand and say “All DNA currently considered junk will be junk forevermore”, and I’m not aware of any who have.

    (Conversely, nothing about ID in and of itself predicts a total lack of junk. For example, a designer could add ‘junk’ for its own aesthetic value. Designers are fundamentally unpredictable, right? Also, the Christian creationist version of ID holds that our genomes have been corrupted since the Fall — but this doesn’t mean they weren’t designed in the first place. When it comes to ‘bad design’, ID always reminds us that ‘design’ doesn’t mean optimal design — why should DNA be any different?)

    Upright BiPed:

    In cosmology the special pleading takes the form of the multiverse theory, in biology it wears the garb of the RNA world.

    I’m curious about that last bit. In what way is RNA being used for special pleading? Is it a general claim that RNA is capable of just about anything?

  47. Gaz @ [39]:

    Not at all. If we find something absolutely identical to stone-age tools in 60 million year old strata, then we would be basing it on the “design” of other items from the stone age that we know were “designed” by people who happened to exist in the stone age. Nothing unusual about that – the process, that is. Clearly, finding stone-age tools in such strata would be very unusual indeed – and so far, hasn’t happened, unsurprisingly

    How blithely you answer this! So, if we find “identical” stone-age tools (BTW, I didn’t say “identical”) in formations 60 million years old, this is no problem! Just wave it off—even though this would be completely in conflict with the fossil record, which is, of course, a “fact”. If these “tools” were from 60 mya, then we know nothing about who these people are. We have no evidence. We have no cave drawings, etc.

    This is the typical Darwinian way of thinking: it can adapt itself to any fact whatsoever. It’s called: “unfalsifiability”.

  48. PaV:

    So, if we find “identical” stone-age tools (BTW, I didn’t say “identical”) in formations 60 million years old, this is no problem!

    Gaz did not say it would be no problem — just that it would be no problem to identify the designers as hominids. That’s because it’s generally safe to say that only hominids have made tools of exactly shape X.

    Now, if we’re talking about generic stone tools, we have a different sort of problem. Hominid origin still seems the most probable, but humans existing that early wouldn’t fit. We would have a puzzle, to which there would be some solution (perhaps, as crazy as it sounds, some stone-tool making birds or shrews). The one conclusion we would not draw is that the tools were produced by a largely-indescribable non-material force. Instead, we would act on extreme curiosity about what sort of beings made the tools.

    When it comes to Precambrian rabbits, the truth is that finding just one makes more sense as a geological anomaly than a cause to throw the fossil record out the window. A similar thought problem might be, what if an object were observed to truly defy gravity? Would that mean the gravitational force was a myth, and no mass was really attracted to any other? Would it only be explicable by non-materialism?

  49. DeKurker,

    There wasn’t any predictions in the passage from Coyne’s book that were based on the MECHANISMS.

    Not one.

    As for the paper I linked to perhaps you should read it again.

    It discusses getting two specific mutations and how much time that would take.

    Just to get those two mutations would take longer than the alleged split between chimps and humans.

    That means that non-telic processes were not the sole cause of that alleged evolution.

    There just isn’t enough time.

    And that is just for TWO mutations!

    Now if you have some evidence that just any mutations will do the trick then please present it.

    As for the OoL there isn’t anything to support your positioon.

    The most recent papers demonstrate that it takes agency involvement just to get two nucleotides and to get RNA just to catalyze ONE bond.

    The point being is that if living organisms did not arise from non-living matter via non-telic processes then there is no reason to infer the subsequent evolution is due solely to non-telic processes.

    OoL and evolution are directly linked.

  50. feebish,

    My design hypothesis doesn’t have anything to do with “God”.

    I am not a religious person.

    When I said:

    “If living organisms were the result of intentional design then I would expect to see that living organisms are (and contain subsystems that are) irreducibly complex and/ or contain complex specified information.”

    It is because agencies usually leave traces of their involvement behind.

    IC and CSI are examples of those traces.

  51. Lenoxus,

    Read “Forbidden Archeology”.

    Plenty of artifacts before humans were thought to be around.

    All hand-waved away.

    Go figure…

  52. I encourage onlookers to investigate the “Forbidden Archeology” website, and bear it in mind when assessing Mr. Joseph’s future credibility on matters scientific: http://www.forbiddenarcheology.com/

  53. PaV @ 21 & 35 & 37

    To get at the point you’re trying to make, let me ask you this, if in a rock formation dated to be 60 mya they found stone-age tools, would you, or would you not, conclude that humans existed 60 mya?

    Before I answer, let’s unpack what is implied in your question.

    In this scenario, we are assuming that objects have been found in 60 million year old rocks that look like stone tools known to have been made and used by Stone Age human beings. Yes, we suspect they are designed objects because they look similar to objects we have good reason to think were made by prehistoric humans. We will take it as read that further investigation confirms that they are indeed stone artefacts rather than natural formations.

    The obvious problem this raises for our present understanding of human evolution is that it suggests the existence of a stone tool-using culture around 58 million years earlier than is currently thought to be the case.

    This leads on to several possible solutions.

    First, the current model of human evolution needs to be revised in some ways. This is not a weakness of the theory, this is what science does. It builds theories around the data. New data is good for the theory-building industry.

    Second, the presence of the tools in rocks of that age could be some sort of geological anomaly. Perhaps the tools are from a much later era but were inserted into the older rock formations by a natural process.

    Third, they could have been ‘beamed’ into the rocks by mischievous aliens who wanted a laugh at our expense.

    Fourth, they could have been placed there by an equally mischievous deity who actually created the Universe ten thousand years ago but, for reasons best known to itself, has made it appear much older to “mess with our heads”.

    In practice, what would most likely happen is that such a find would trigger further investigations to find other tools and hopefully other evidence of the human society that made them. If nothing were found we would be left with an anomaly, a question that would have to remain unanswered until more evidence was unearthed that could resolve the issue.

    As a follow-up to [35], if Severesky answers with the logical, “Yes, the presence of stone-age tools in a formation 60 million years old”, then this means that his argument—”we know there were people around in stone-age times that used those kinds of tools”—becomes meaningless, because now he has allowed evidence of ‘design’ (the stone-age tools)—without any prior knowledge of the ‘designers’—to reach a conclusion that he would have before-hand thought unthinkable.

    Not a conclusion, a possibility.

    We can infer an object is designed only by its similarity to what we already know to be designed. In William Paley’s example of the watch found on the heath, he is making the trivial point that we would recognize it as probably designed, even if we did not know what it was, because of its similarity to the clockwork technology of the period.

    But we can all play with little stories. We can imagine Paley’s walker on the heath stubbing his toe on a rock which is, in fact, an incredibly-advanced quantum computer which just happens to look like a rock. But he would just see it as a rock because neither he nor us have any knowledge of such devices.

  54. Joseph#49

    There wasn’t any predictions in the passage from Coyne’s book that were based on the MECHANISMS.

    Not one.

    The excerpt I referenced is here.

    In it, Coyne lists some example predictions, including:
    - Evolutionary change in the fossil record, with younger fossils having more resemblence to modern life than older fossils
    - Signs of speciation in the fossil record
    - Speciation observed in the wild
    - Transitional forms, in the appropriately aged rock layers
    - Genetic variation for traits within species
    - Imperfect adaptation
    - Natural selection acting in the wild
    All of these are predicted based on known evolutionary mechanisms.

    As for the paper I linked to perhaps you should read it again.

    It discusses getting two specific mutations and how much time that would take.

    I read it just fine the first time, thanks. You, on the other hand, have grossly misinterpreted the results.
    That paper discusses two pre-specified mutations with one becoming fixed by neutral
    drift. It by no means suggests that any two mutations are impossible. It’s the difference between saying that a particular person will win the lottery versus saying someone of the millions who play will win.

    Lenski’s work with e. coli demonstrate empirically that your interpretation of the paper is incorrect. The ability to utilize citrate was a mutation that required at least two previous mutations to become fixed in the population first. That is exactly what you are claiming can’t happen, yet it has been shown to happen in the lab. Numerous other beneficial mutations occurred during the experiment as well.

  55. Seversky@[56]:

    First, the current model of human evolution needs to be revised in some ways. This is not a weakness of the theory, this is what science does. It builds theories around the data. New data is good for the theory-building industry.

    You speak of this here as a ‘possibility’, and later on you say that you have not formed a ‘conclusion’; however, you have, indeed, concluded that sufficient evidence is present to begin considering possibilities that are in contradiction to all previously held “theories”. Yes, you haven’t ‘concluded’ that this represents human presence at a time inconceivably older than previously thought, but, you have ‘concluded’ that this should be taken as a new possibility. That’s all that IDers ask.

    We can infer an object is designed only by its similarity to what we already know to be designed. In William Paley’s example of the watch found on the heath, he is making the trivial point that we would recognize it as probably designed, even if we did not know what it was, because of its similarity to the clockwork technology of the period.

    I disagree with you that Paley’s point is trivial. Further, I disagree when you say that “we can infer an object is designed only by its similarity to objects we already know to be designed.” But, before moving on, let’s note that assuming your statement is true, then if I conclude that the bacterial flagellum is designed, this would allow me, then, to conclude that rotor engines are designed. Oops! Did I mean to say it the other way around? Maybe not.

    We can infer something is designed when an object is so arranged as to produce a certain effect, or, function. IOW, when “purpose” can be inferred. If an ‘unknown designer’ arranges something in such a way as to produce a certain function, we need not know anything about said designer for us to conclude that design is present.

    Take, for example, ‘stone-age’ tools. Were these produced by humans or by neanderthals, or some other primate species. In some cases we know nothing of the culture other than the tools we have found. Thus, we infer they are humans because of the similarity in design to tools that come from known areas of human activity. But, critically, note that we ‘infer’ that the designers are human, not that the ‘tools’ were designed because we know the designers were human. The design of the tools leads us to the conclusion of who the designers are; not the other way around. And it’s possible the conclusion is wrong.

  56. DeLurker,

    Thank you for proving my point.

    Not one of the alleged “predictions” are based on non-telic processes.

    Not one.

    That you think they are just exposes your desperation.

    Lenski’s work?

    The work that can’t demonstrate novel protein machinery evolving?

    LoL!!!!

  57. Learned hand,

    I encourage people to read the book “Forbidden Archeology” and then read the hand-waving that tries to refute it.

  58. Joseph#56

    Not one of the alleged “predictions” are based on non-telic processes.

    Not one.

    Every single prediction in that list is based on non-telic mechanisms that are part of modern evolutionary theory. Any objective reader can see that. Plugging your ears and closing your eyes doesn’t make objective evidence go away.

    Lenski’s work?

    The work that can’t demonstrate novel protein machinery evolving?

    The work that showed that two mutations became fixed via neutral drift, thereby allowing a third very beneficial mutation to arise. Exactly what you are asserting cannot happen.

    Your claim is refuted.

  59. DeLurker:

    Every single prediction in that list is based on non-telic mechanisms that are part of modern evolutionary theory.

    You can say that but you can’t substantiate that claim.

    And Coyne doesn’t say so.

    As for Lenski how do you know that non-telic processes were responsible?

  60. Evolutionary change in the fossil record, with younger fossils having more resemblence to modern life than older fossils

    Designed to evolve predicts that also, as does baraminology.

    Signs of speciation in the fossil record

    Designed to evolve predicts that also, as does baraminology.

    - Speciation observed in the wild

    Designed to evolve predicts that also, as does baraminology.

    - Transitional forms, in the appropriately aged rock layers

    Designed to evolve predicts that also, as does baraminology.

    - Genetic variation for traits within species

    Designed to evolve predicts that also, as does baraminology.

    - Imperfect adaptation

    No one said the design had to be perfect or that even if it started out that way that it had to remain that way.

    The same goes for Creation.

    - Natural selection acting in the wild

    Designed to evolve predicts that also, as does baraminology.

    Now do you understand that those “predictions” are worthless?

  61. Joseph,

    You have not demonstrated that any telic process is necessary. You have not provided any evidence for any telic agency. All you have done is demonstrate that your particular design speculation can make no predictions that distinguish it from modern evolutionary theory. Given the proven explanatory power of that theory and the proven lack of explanatory power of your design speculation, there is no rational reason to give any credence to the idea that a designer is involved.

    If you want your telic speculation to be taken seriously, provide some empirical evidence for it.

  62. DeLurker,

    You have not demonstrated that non-telic processes are capable.

    You haven’t provided anything- no testable hypothesis based on the mechanisms, no predictions based on the mechansims, nothing.

    You have failed to support yopur position even though you have had plenty of opportunities to do so.

    All you can do is to argue from ignorance against ID.

    As far as supporting ID:

    Intelligent Design: The Design Hypothesis

    Intelligent Design in Biology Textbooks

    Intelligent Design in Biology Textbooks Continued

    The Design Inference in Peer-Review

  63. Jseph#62

    You have not demonstrated that non-telic processes are capable.

    Yes, I have. If you look at those predictions you will see that they are based on mechanisms identified by modern evolutionary theory. None of those mechanisms require intervention by a designer. They work based on known chemistry and physics.

    You yourself admit as much when you attempt to wave away those inconvenient facts. Rather than explaining how any of the predictions I provided require telic intervention, you merely hand wave by claiming that they are equally compatible with your design speculation. That’s essentially a form of omphalism and an admission on your part that the designer is superfluous.

    (Oh, and regarding your “support” for ID, none of those books provide a clear scientific theory of ID, predictions based on the theory that could serve to falsify it, or empirical evidence that is better explained by ID theory than by modern evolutionary theory. In short, you’ve provided no support at all.)

  64. De Lurker @ [54]:

    In it, Coyne lists some example predictions, including:
    - Evolutionary change in the fossil record, with younger fossils having more resemblence to modern life than older fossils
    - Signs of speciation in the fossil record
    - Speciation observed in the wild
    - Transitional forms, in the appropriately aged rock layers
    - Genetic variation for traits within species
    - Imperfect adaptation
    - Natural selection acting in the wild
    All of these are predicted based on known evolutionary mechanisms

    William Blyth, around 1828, considered the possibility that species changed all by themselves—with no outside interference—as they adapted to their environment. But what he noticed was that species radiate outwards from a central area, changing little by little, until they reached the edge of the enviroment, and then related species ceased to be found. He thought this proved that the evolution of form had its limit.

    We know that forms can change their phenotype, and we know that they can do so quickly, but that they reach the end of a line should make it clear to everyone that genotypes have only a limited capacity to adapt to their environments. Or, to put it another way, microevolution, yes; macroevolution, no. And why talk, then, of microevolution? Why don’t we just call it what it really is—plain old “adaptation”.

    Everything you list can be explained by microevolution. The argument has never really been about that. It’s always been about macroevolution. I have found no book, no author, no article, no nothing, that can give any kind of sensible mechanism by which macroevolution takes place. It’s really sad that otherwise good scientists should have such a huge blind spot when it comes to Darwinism.

    (P.S. Pardon the interruption.)

  65. DELurker:

    If you look at those predictions you will see that they are based on mechanisms identified by modern evolutionary theory.

    Not one mechanism is discussed.

    Nothing that demonstrates genetic accidents can do the trick.

    None of those mechanisms require intervention by a designer.

    How do you know?

    BTW it is up to YOU to demonstrate that all those predictions are based on an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    As for my links- I have provided tests- complete with predictions and falsifications.

    I have provided evidence that supports ID.

    OTOH you don’t have anything accept for the refusal to accept the design inference.

Leave a Reply