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FAQ 3 Open for Comment

3] Intelligent Design does not carry out or publish scientific research

Judge Jones of Dover and those who follow him are simply wrong: despite opposition and harassment, there is a significant and growing body of ID-supportive research and peer-reviewed scientific publications. (For instance, the Discovery Institute maintains a list of such research-based publications here. [In an earlier form, this list was actually submitted to Judge Jones, but he unfortunately ignored the brute facts it documents when he wrote his ruling based on misleading and inaccurate submissions by the NCSE and ACLU.])

A few plain words are also in order. For, there has been significant harassment and career-busting that have been targeted at ID proponents. For example, Dembski and Marks were recently forced by Baylor to return a research grant due to the implications of the research possibly being in favor of ID. ID proponents desire to increase the amount of research being done but Darwinists usually block the way. (If you are making this argument then how can you not see the hypocrisy in saying that ID proponents should do research then blocking or opposing every attempt to do so?)

Moreover, it is important to remember that biological research, when properly done, is an example of science at its best: an impartial search for true data and explanations about our world, based on empirical evidence. Such findings are “owned” neither by darwinists nor by IDists. For, at the end of the day, good scientific research is good scientific research, period.

Furthermore, even if the researcher has a specific starting point and conviction, or arrives at specific conclusions, his data are a property of the whole scientific community, and can be legitimately evaluated and interpreted by all. In that sense, all biological research is ID research (or, if you want, darwinist research). ID and darwinism are different, and under many aspects mutually exclusive, theoretical interpretations of the causal origin of biological information. That’s why any new acquisition of biological data has relevance for both.

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59 Responses to FAQ 3 Open for Comment

  1. No true Scotsman…

    One of the loudest arguments these days, it seems.

  2. Barry Arrington:

    Moreover, it is important to remember that biological research, when properly done, is an example of science at its best: an impartial search for true data and explanations about our world, based on empirical evidence. Such findings are “owned” neither by darwinists nor by IDists. For, at the end of the day, good scientific research is good scientific research, period.

    While this is undoubtedly true. That said, one’s guiding hypothesis does determine which aspects of biology to focus on. Certainly if there were a larger ID research program, for instance, “junk dna” would have received much more study. If scientist did not feel “certain” about their theory, they would spend millions, yea billions, like the physicists do to validate the theory when conflicting data shows up.

    Consider, for instance, the study where mice have major highly conserved DNA regions knocked out. If scientist were not certain of their theory, they would be quick to put it to an extensive test by having a large population of regular and DNA deleted mice competing in a natural environment. Failure of the natural mice to dominate over the DNA deleted mice would be highly damning of the theory.

    On the flip side, however, some interesting work has been done in simple RNA replication. This work would likely never be pursued if ID were as dominant as neo-Darwinism currently is.

  3. I have made this point several times before and it is never commented on but I will repeat it here.

    When Michael Behe was asked what type of research would help prove his thesis as outlined in the Edge of Evolution, he pointed to the research of Lenski at Michigan State on bacteria evolution. As I said before Lenski would cringe if he knew he was doing ID research but ID research he is doing. Each generation of data for every culture line either supports or falsifies Behe’s thesis.

    This research is not called ID research but it is totally consistent with ID objectives and theory. So why is this not ID research? Just because the researchers themselves deny? But you as an ID researcher would do the exact same thing and label it as ID research.

    I then made the comment that the extension of Lenski’s research to multi-celled organisms would also be classified as ID research. Has all the research on fruit flies not fit into the the Behe ID paradigm, of investigating as many reproductive events as possible to determine what macro evolutionary events have happened. While not up there with bacteria, fruit flies probably have had the most multi-celled events looked at. What are the results and why isn’t each study that looked at changes not been an ID study looking for the limitations or the edge of evolution.

    Taking this one step further, why isn’t every genome mapping and comparison not an ID study into the limitations or edge of evolution with the species under study.

    I know this is not what people want to showcase as ID research but if ID had the money and wanted to verify or disprove Behe’s thesis how would one do it other than to map the genomes, compare them to others and then try to determine how each system arose. This is long tedious research and is being done by biologists all over the world. Are they not doing ID research?

  4. The problem that I always encounter with people who believe that ID does not carry out or publish scientific research is:

    They believe that if research was published in a scientific journal, and they disagree with the conclusions, then it was not scientific research and it was not published in a scientific journal (anyone else scratching their heads out there?).

    That is: They leap into the question of whether the conclusions are correct without realizing that the original question has been settled.

    ID conducts scientific research, as the publication of this research blatantly proves.

  5. bFast wrote:

    “Certainly if there were a larger ID research program, for instance, “junk dna” would have received much more study.”

    I’m not sure I understand why this would be the case. What is it about ID theory that would direct research in this area? Are there any self-described ID researchers who are actively investigating this?

  6. That’s great!

    Where can I find them? I have a mini debate at work with a co-worker who continually tells me there is no research from ID scientist.

    I can hardly wait to show him that is not the case.

  7. I think that this is a good FAQ. I would like to see 2 improvements
    1. List some of the best research (maybe make a point that some of it gets published in engineering and math journals)
    2. I wish the tone was a little less argumentative.

  8. Also, you could briefly outline Walter Remine’s experience in trying to publish his paper on Haldane’s dilemma. It’s one of the best examples of good research getting blocked for no good reason.

  9. As per Collin’s suggestion, yes please do what he suggested.

    I’ve never heard that and I’d like to hear why it was done. Getting blocked by prejudices beyond one’s control hardly makes the argument of “There’s no research papers” a compelling or honest argument.

  10. My understanding of research as it pertains to any specific theory is that the research is supposed to explore specific claims of that theory. In other words, the results of the research should, at least potentially, have an outcome that is uniquely predicted by the theory being researched.

    This should not be confused with general research where no particular claims are being tested. Rather this type of research is being done so as to get raw data for use in existing, or possibly even new theories. This kind of research can, and is, used by any and all theoretical scientists as applicable, but isn’t really considered research into a specific theory. (Please note that while I think that a lot of evolution research is actually being done, lots of other so called evolution research actually falls more into this category)

    The basic claim being addressed here is that there is no real research being conducted for which a specific outcome can be considered to have been uniquely predicted by ID. If the outcome predicted by ID is likely to occur even if ID is untrue, then it’s not considered ID specific research. For instance, research into claims such as “This organism will not generate new FCSI within x number of generations,” (an oft repeated prediction of ID, though I’ve given it a specific limitation to make it at least feasible as a research project) do not have an outcome that can be considered unique to ID. This is because current theory works on such large timescales that a negative outcome (FCSI is not generated) is likely to be seen anyway. In other words an ID confirming outcome is likely to happen even if ID is untrue.

    The question then becomes, is there any research being done now or in the past, the results of which are uniquely predicted by ID and unlikely to occur if ID is untrue? (Note: This isn’t a rhetorical question. I genuinely don’t know)

  11. jerry:

    Each generation of data for every culture line either supports or falsifies Behe’s thesis.

    Actually, this claim is incorrect. Each generation of data for every culture line either falsifies, or does not falsify Behe’s thesis. No result actually supports Behe’s thesis until every possible line has been exhausted. To claim otherwise is to engage in an Argument From Ignorance (I believe I mentioned this to you before right here)

    Taking this one step further, why isn’t every genome mapping and comparison not an ID study into the limitations or edge of evolution with the species under study.

    By this logic, YEC is constantly being researched and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Any research into the age of the earth or the universe is research into the claims of YEC.

    See my previous post for what I think is a good criterion for what constitutes research into a specific theory. I’ll be happy to hear critiques of that thesis (it was kind of off the top of my head, so it may not be entirely accurate…I’m a slow thinker)

  12. This is not a substantive comment, but a question about style. I think there are too many commas.

  13. 13

    This is because current theory works on such large timescales that a negative outcome (FCSI is not generated) is likely to be seen anyway.

    Hello KRis,
    I’ve often seen a figure of 500 bits used in relation to FCSI here. What kind of timescales are you talking about with regard to an attempt to “grow” some FCSI?
    Intuitively I would guess that at least one bit of FCSI would be measurable in perhaps an experiment spanning a few generations, if it was indeed capable of being generated by such means as you mention. Proving that one way or the other would certainly be a worthy goal.

    It reminded me of this fascinating experiment
    http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/p.....drop.shtml

    A beaker full of pitch has been dripping at the rate of 9 drops per 77 years (so far!). If such a endeavour can potentially outlast the building it’s housed in, cannot a similar experiment be proposed here, if only for the sake of settling the issue to the satisfaction of all sides?

  14. The question then becomes, is there any research being done now or in the past, the results of which are uniquely predicted by ID and unlikely to occur if ID is untrue? (Note: This isn’t a rhetorical question. I genuinely don’t know)

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information

  15. Kris, ID is about the evidence…not the process, nor the scientist, nor the establishment.

  16. Adel DiBagno

    I know. I tend to put a comma where there’s a pause in my thoughts as opposed to where the comma’s actually belong.

    Upright BiPed

    Be that as it may it doesn’t address the question in…um…question.

  17. KRiS_Censored:

    “This organism will not generate new FCSI within x number of generations,” (an oft repeated prediction of ID, though I’ve given it a specific limitation to make it at least feasible as a research project) do not have an outcome that can be considered unique to ID. This is because current theory works on such large timescales that a negative outcome (FCSI is not generated) is likely to be seen anyway.

    Oh, may no, mon ami.
    Humans and chimps have a ten to twenty year generation rate. If we consider that they separated six million years ago, they each have at most 6,000 generations to develop their separation.

    Bacteria reproduce hourly, or faster. 6,000 hours is less than a year. Therefore we can simulate the number of generations from the last common ancestor to man in less than a year.

    Experiments have been conducted for five and more years trying to obtain a simple two-specific-mutation evolution. If neither individual mutation offers benefit, if both are merely neutral, five times the number of generations that separate chimps from humans seems insufficent, in bacteria, to produce what needs to be a simple evolutionary step.

    Add to this, research done without benefit of an ID position showing that the HAR1F gene is unique in humans by 18 specific point mutations, yet it is identical amongst all other vertibrates save for three nucleotides that wander like the brease.

    Our math:
    5 * the generation count cannot produce two point mutations
    +
    18 point mutations show up in a gene that has been time tested to be unevolvable.
    +
    The HAR1F is a gene involved in brain development.
    =
    ID.

  18. bFast wrote:

    Humans and chimps have a ten to twenty year generation rate. If we consider that they separated six million years ago, they each have at most 6,000 generations to develop their separation.

    Bacteria reproduce hourly, or faster. 6,000 hours is less than a year. Therefore we can simulate the number of generations from the last common ancestor to man in less than a year.

    Experiments have been conducted for five and more years trying to obtain a simple two-specific-mutation evolution. If neither individual mutation offers benefit, if both are merely neutral, five times the number of generations that separate chimps from humans seems insufficent, in bacteria, to produce what needs to be a simple evolutionary step.

    Ouch, simple truth like that must hurt the other side.

    Good post, as usual.

    Atom

  19. Be that as it may it doesn’t address the question in…um…question.

    (ahem) Unless you’ve lost your sense of discovery, it’s all about the evidence.

    …and if it isn’t then it should be.

    When the process no longer coordinates, but is used to control and eliminate, then we have what we have today – ideologiocal warfare divorced from the evidence.

  20. My response to Kris on the previous thread he links to is the same as it would be here. Here is the response to Kris earlier:

    “I love those who accuse us of using the argument from ignorance and display their own ignorance in the process.

    If someone has an hypothesis and does a test of that hypothesis and the research fails to support the hypothesis, they are failing to support their theory. If the test is repeated ten thousand times, I will go out on a limb and say that the theory is being falsified. I realize that the proper conclusion is that it can never be falsified. So maybe the wording was not exactly correct but like all critics here, the best they can do is nitpick. Otherwise you would have offered the correct wording and interpretation. Or even better, research results.”

    Now back to Lenski’s research. I realize for bacteria reproductive events, 10,000 is small potatoes in the scheme of things but use the number of reproductive events that Lenski is up to and it is not trivial and it may far exhausts the number of mammalian reproductive events in the history of the world. If nothing of evolutionary interests happened with this number of events then I will say this supports Behe’s thesis. Now I realize there are far different issues with mammalian reproduction and the types of environment and the size of genomes but it still means that the bacteria have had chances to evolve and let’s look at a particular evolution event within this population and a display of real ignorance.

    It is the ignorance by one of the shining lights in evolution, Jerry Coyne, about Lenski’s cultures and the change in one so that it now can metabolize citrate. Coyne said

    “Lenski’s experiment is also yet another poke in the eye for anti-evolutionists, notes Jerry Coyne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago. “The thing I like most is it says you can get these complex traits evolving by a combination of unlikely events,” he says. “That’s just what creationists say can’t happen.”

    No, Jerry, the fact that you make this absurd comment supports ID. Coyne is pointing to a trivial event. No creationist would ever say that the event could not happen nor would the ID people. Which means that one needs ignorance to support one’s position. Otherwise he would use relevant results not made up ones. A more interesting question is why is Coyne using this false example to make his point? I think we all know the answer.

    So I stand by my assertion that Lenski’s research is ID research and the results so far are very supportive.

    And for more ignorance by Kris

    “By this logic, YEC is constantly being researched and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Any research into the age of the earth or the universe is research into the claims of YEC.”

    Yes it is, and it constantly falsifies the YEC position and supports and old earth position and just as every mapping of a genome falsifies the Darwinian position and supports the ID position. I often compare YEC and Darwinist to each other as each must misrepresent the research results to support their ideology.

    We should make a disclaimer that we do not pay people like Kris to make these comments nor are they ID people posing as anti ID people. They come here under their own accord and are not influenced in any way to say their comments in the ways that they do. We realize they make the ID position so much stronger through their use of irrelevant comments.

  21. bFast,

    By the way, you’re typing too fast. Your math in the last comment is incorrect (6000 generations).

  22. –Humans and chimps have a ten to twenty year generation rate. If we consider that they separated six million years ago, they each have at most 6,000 generations to develop their separation.–

    6,000,000 by 10 = 600,000

  23. KRiS_Censored (# 9 and 10):

    I don’t really agree that it is so important to do research about a specific theory. That is a very limited way to conceive research. I think most important researches are of the kind you call “general research”. Too much focus is often given to testing hypotheses, while we forget that the main purpose is to understand. Testing hypotheses should be seen as one of the possible ways to understand, and not as a game between different teams.

    For ID and darwinian theory, especially, general research about biological realities is always pertinent and specific. Why?

    Because, as it is said in the FAQ:

    “ID and darwinism are different, and under many aspects mutually exclusive, theoretical interpretations of the causal origin of biological information.”

    IOW, ID and darwinian theory are not “specific” theories about some limited field of biology: they are, indeed, general scenarios which try to answer the fundamental question in biology: how did biological information arise? what is its meaning? why is it as it is?

    So, as you can see, what is at stake here is much more than a specific theory: it is a whole way of understanding and interpreting a vast field of reality.

    In that sense, any progress in understanding the structure and functions of all biological beings has deep implications on the general theories of biological information and its origin.

    And your observations about jerry’s comment regarding KLenski are, IMO, completely false. We are dealing with empirical research here, not with mathematical demonstrations. Logical falsification, in empirical science, is not so important as many seem to think. What is really important is how credible an explanation is. It is not necessary that an explanation be logically impossible. It’s more than enough to show that it is extremely unreasonable.

    Therefore, each piece of evidence which makes darwinian evolution even more unreasonable (IOW, almost any new piece of evidence from biological research) is an important fact against the theory.

    We need not falsify darwinian evolution in an ultimate, definitive way. The theory can well survive, and its supporters can well comfort themselves by dogmatically sticking to it against all evidence, searching their final defense in the thought that after all it has not yet been logically falsified, that it “could” still be true, and that all the solid evidence against their theory is only an “Argument From Ignorance”. Good for them. Good for you.

    To people who are looking for real scientific understanding, all that is of no importance. Scientific, empirical evidence is showing the way each day, and with ever increasing strength. We have just to “follow evidence wherever it leads”. Those who don’t want to do so are entitled to their own choices.

  24. Upright BiPed and critter, you’re right, its 600,000 generations.

  25. Guillermo Gonzalez is an “ID scientist”. Dozens of papers in peer reviewed journals, co-author of an advanced astromony textbook, pioneer in detection of extra solar planets and theories surrounding the Galactic Habitable Zone (Gonzalez GHZ was the cover story on Scientific American). And oh yeah, he’s the author of the very popular ID book and movie “The Privileged Planet”.

  26. As I said before Lenski would cringe if he knew he was doing ID research but ID research he is doing. Each generation of data for every culture line either supports or falsifies Behe’s thesis.

    To my best knowledge Ann Gauger from the Discovery Institute related Biologic Institute is already doing research similar to Lenski’s experiments. So there is ID research and Gauger reported about some unexpected “leaky growth” she observed at the Wistar Retrospective Symposium. It has been reported that, unfortunately, a debate of these results of ID research seemingly has been preveted by the moderator by halting questioning.

  27. A few examples of very specific research about crucial ID issues, both ID friendly and not:

    Abel and Trevors:

    “Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information”

    Li et al.:

    “The Designability of Protein Structures: A Lattice-Model Study using the Miyazawa-Jernigan Matrix”

    Taverna et al:

    “The Distribution of Structures in Evolving Protein Populations”

    Chandonia et al:

    “Structural proteomics of minimal organisms: Conservation of protein fold usage and evolutionary implications”

    Grant et al:

    “Progress towards mapping the universe of protein folds”

    Behe and Snokes:

    “Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues.”

    Clune et al:

    “Natural selection fails to optimize mutation rates for long-term adaptation on rugged fitness landscapes.”

    Szostak:

    “Functional proteins from a random-sequence library”

    Shapiro:

    “A simpler origin for life”

    Durston et al.:

    “Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins”

    Chakrabarti et al:

    “Sequence optimization and designability of enzyme active sites”

    Hazen et al:

    “Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity”

  28. bFast

    Therefore we can simulate the number of generations from the last common ancestor to man in less than a year.

    There is an assumption here which at a superficial level seems to make sense. However under closer scrutiny it doesn’t really hold up well. The assumption is that the rate of mutation in bacteria is equivalent to the mutation rate in humans so that a given number of generations of bacteria is just a likely to “evolve” as the same number of generations of humans. The fact that bacteria is so stable after several billion years, versus just 6 million years for humans itself is a good indicator that bacteria is much more resistant to the type of changes being sought. Even if you take into account only the amount of time it took for bacteria to make the jump to multicellular life (as opposed to the entire span of bacterial existence), that’s still 3 billion years without the type of drastic change that you seem to expect. Of course 500 times as long certainly doesn’t seem like a whole lot in terms of this experiment. However, you must remember too that the sample size of the bacteria was 100% for the entire 3 billion year span, while the sample size for the experiment must necessarily be some tiny fraction of a miniscule fraction of a microscopic (no pun intended) fraction of the total bacterial population. All of this leads to a logical inferrence that in 5 or 10 or 150 years of this experiment, it is extremely unlikely that we would see the kind of mutation that you expect to see.

    Jerry

    Here is the response to Kris earlier:

    You’ll notice that the post that I pointed to was in fact a reaction to exactly this response of yours. You never even attempted to address my point. Feel free to rebut that post at any time.

    gpuccio

    I don’t really agree that it is so important to do research about a specific theory. … For ID and darwinian theory, especially, general research about biological realities is always pertinent and specific.

    I don’t necessarily agree, but I can accept that as a legitimate claim. Of course, such statements don’t rebut the claim that ID specific research isn’t being done. Rather they attempt to justify it. I’m okay with that if you are. Just don’t expect this to silence the critics who claim that such research isn’t being done. And I kind of doubt that they would be convinced that allowing others to do research, and then simply interpretting that research in the light of ID is good enough. They of course do the same thing, but evolution specific research is certainly being done as well.

    Because, as it is said in the FAQ: “ID and darwinism are different, and under many aspects mutually exclusive, theoretical interpretations of the causal origin of biological information.”

    One would think that in those areas where the two are mutually exclusive there would be some predictions made by ID that would be in opposition to what is predicted by evolution. Research into exactly those differences would go a long way in bolstering ID, as well as silencing critics who claim that no such research is being done.

    We are dealing with empirical research here, not with mathematical demonstrations. Logical falsification, in empirical science, is not so important as many seem to think.

    Please note that the logical argument that I make isn’t intended to demonstrate that ID is false. Frankly it can’t. Rather it demonstrates that being falsifiable via what we have in the past called “negative predictions” does not indicate actual support for the theory just because it has not been falsified yet. In other words it provides no positive reason to believe that the claim is true. You just haven’t shown that it’s false yet. This is exactly why Arguments From Ignorance aren’t considered legitimate arguments.

    Now, allow me to state that this type of argument can potentially be convincing in cases where the search space has been nearly exhausted without finding what you are seeking. Your claim seems to be that this is the case with ID. The closer you get to searching all possibilities, the more convincing it gets. The problem here is that the search space for ID claims is extremely large compared to what is available to us for direct testing. We have been doing such experiments for decades at most. The effects which we are searching for have occurred on scales of millions and billions of years and with populations far surpassing what we have at our disposal for direct experiment. For instance, it took 3 billion years for multi-cellular life to appear, and the population size (i.e. the sample size) was in the trillions of trillions. Your claim is that, since we haven’t seen something similar in 150 years with the number of bacteria that can fit within the lab experiment petri dishes at our disposal, the search has nonetheless been exhaustive enough to be convincing.

    We need not falsify darwinian evolution in an ultimate, definitive way.

    You need not falsify evolution at all, especially since so many people claim that evolution and ID are not mutually exclusive except in certain specific areas. Simply providing support, and hopefully someday overwhelming support for ID theory would suffice. Negative predictions cannot do this for reasons that I’ve demonstrated many times.

    …and that all the solid evidence against their theory is only an “Argument From Ignorance”.

    “Only an argument from ignorance” is not solid evidence. It’s perfectly acceptable if you’re referring to something that you yourself want to believe. However, if you would like to convince someone else that you’re right it’s going to take a lot more than just “I must be right because you can’t prove that I’m wrong.”

    To people who are looking for real scientific understanding, all that is of no importance. Scientific, empirical evidence is showing the way each day, and with ever increasing strength. We have just to “follow evidence wherever it leads”. Those who don’t want to do so are entitled to their own choices.

    I agree 10,000%.

    A few examples of very specific research about crucial ID issues, both ID friendly and not:

    I’ll try and make some time to take a look at those.

    (Yeah, I know some of this is kind of repetitive, but I wrote it in pieces during my break time at work)

  29. #17 bFast

    “Add to this, research done without benefit of an ID position showing that the HAR1F gene is unique in humans by 18 specific point mutations, yet it is identical amongst all other vertibrates save for three nucleotides that wander like the brease.”

    Very very good point.

  30. #27

    “There is an assumption here which at a superficial level seems to make sense. However under closer scrutiny it doesn’t really hold up well.”

    Are you sure? Let’se see.

    “The assumption is that the rate of mutation in bacteria is equivalent to the mutation rate in humans so that a given number of generations of bacteria is just a likely to “evolve” as the same number of generations of humans.”

    Perhaps you forgot that what does matter here is the rate of mutation and how this number can yield visible modification in the organism. In this sense you should agree that a big multicell organism is less influenced by cell mutation since only very specific mutations do produce a real evolution. Instead a single cell organism is directly modified according to almost every non neutral modification in its genoma.

    “The fact that bacteria is so stable after several billion years, versus just 6 million years for humans itself is a good indicator that bacteria is much more resistant to the type of changes being sought.”

    Absolutely not; this is only a clear indicator that different single cell organisms do stay in “evolution islands” that are very distant one to each other. This is a point in favour of ID.

  31. BarryA:

    The links for

    Judge Jones of Dover and those who follow him are simply wrong: despite opposition and harassment, there is a significant and growing body of ID-supportive research and peer-reviewed scientific publications. (For instance, the Discovery Institute maintains a list of such research-based publications here. [In an earlier form, this list was actually submitted to Judge Jones, but he unfortunately ignored the brute facts it documents when he wrote his ruling based on misleading and inaccurate submissions by the NCSE and ACLU.])

    as presented above are unfortunately missing . . .they are at the WAC presentation (but the in-page link has gone awry).

    This one is a simple matter of brute fact — fact that it is hard to escape the conclusion is being outright lied about. (Sorry to have to use such strong language, but when the facts are as easily accessible as they are, and someone brazenly and insistently denies them, taking advantage of those who trust him/her to be telling the truth, what other word is applicable?)

    GEM of TKI

  32. DS:

    The Wiki article on GHZ’s — as of a few days back when I last saw it — manages not to mention Gonzalez, though it names other people and critics.

    GEM of TKI

  33. KF

    Gonzalez coined the term “Galactic Habitable Zone”. That’s disgraceful for Wikipedia to have an article on it and not even mention Gonzalez.

    If you go to the first wiki reference (on arvix where the full text including citations are accessable without subscription):

    The Galactic Habitable Zone and the Age Distribution of Complex Life in the Milky Way

    you’ll find reference 4 at the first mention of the term “Galactic Habitable Zone”:

    4. G. Gonzalez, D. Brownlee, P. Ward, Icarus. 152, 185-200 (2001).

    giving credit to Gonzalez for the term.

  34. This FAQ #3 is all fine and dandy BUTTTT-

    The focus should NOT be on “ID research”- not yet anyway.

    IMHO the focus should be on allowing scientists to conduct their research and then be allowed to reach a design inference if that is what the data points to.

  35. It looks more and more like Darwinists are appealing to the unknown-natural-force of the gap to explain their position.

  36. kairos

    Instead a single cell organism is directly modified according to almost every non neutral modification in its genoma.

    It is precisely this individual instability that leads to such stability at the population level. Any beneficial mutation is likely to be lost as quickly as it is gained so that the population as a whole remains very stable over succeeding generations. Higher order animals such as humans on the other hand are much more likely to retain such changes whenever they are not deleterious, increasing the likelihood that they will propagate down through the generations into the population as a whole.

    this is only a clear indicator that different single cell organisms do stay in “evolution islands” that are very distant one to each other.

    Isn’t that just another way of saying that they are resistant to the types of changes which would allow them to “hop” to another evolution island? Basically you just restated my claim in different words and then said that it therefore supports ID. I can only assume that there is some underlying assumption or information which I am missing that makes this somehow different. Please elaborate so that I might better understand.

  37. Any beneficial mutation is likely to be lost as quickly as it is gained…

    This should read “Any mutation…”. Of course, even stated as a beneficial mutation, it is true. The exception being the mutation whose benefit is so overwhelming that it becomes deleterious for an individual organism not to have it.

  38. KRiS_Censored (#27):

    Thank you for your detailed answer. I suppose it’s my turn now :-)

    1)”Just don’t expect this to silence the critics who claim that such research isn’t being done.”

    As I have tried to show, such research is being done, both by IDists (proportionally to their scare resources) and by darwinists or quasi-darwinists. The point is, it is not so important who is doing it, specific research about the points where ID and darwinian evolution are mutually exclusive are being done. Think of all the research trying to quantify the functional space of proteins. That is a very crucial point where the predictions of darwinian evolution (a very big, connected functional space) and of ID (a much smaller, island-like functional space) really differ.

    2) “And I kind of doubt that they would be convinced that allowing others to do research, and then simply interpretting that research in the light of ID is good enough.”

    For me, it’s very good. After all, those “others” own all the resources, so, it’s pretty right that they do the work for which they are paid.

    3) “One would think that in those areas where the two are mutually exclusive there would be some predictions made by ID that would be in opposition to what is predicted by evolution. Research into exactly those differences would go a long way in bolstering ID, as well as silencing critics who claim that no such research is being done.”

    There are a lot of areas where the two ae mutually exclusive. Indeed, the two are mutually exclusive almost in everything, at least as far as the causal history is concerned. And as I have sad, specific reserach is being done. The exploration of protein functionla space is just one example. The research about non coding DNA is another important example. And all research about biological complexit is of tha kind: any increase (and there has been a constant increse for a very long time) of the known complexity in biological beings is a heavy blow for darwinian theory, and a strong support for ID.

    4) “Please note that the logical argument that I make isn’t intended to demonstrate that ID is false.”

    Maybe there is a misubderstanding here. I am not so much interested in ID falsifiability. As I have said, I am not asrict Popperian, and moreover I have many times stated that ID is very easily empirically falsifiable: it would be enough to have a credible non design theory for the origin of biological information, and any design theory would immediately become unnecessary!

    What I am interested in, is the empirical credibility of the two opposing theories. My point is that any time we acquire more knowledge about the crucial issues, evidence is added in favor of one of them and against the other. Let’s take Lenski’s experiment, for instance. There is no doubt that it was conceived as a support and verification of the darwinian theory. Now, let’s avoid for the moment to discuss the details of it. The point is that, as it was conceived to do that, its successes, even if partial, are in favor of darwinian theory, while its failures, even if partial, speak in favor of ID. That’s the point. We need not speak of final falsification of ID or darwinian evolution. We need evidence to compare the two, and see what is the best explanation. That’s what empirical science does every day. All those discourses about falsification and arguments from ignorance are only congounding philosophy. The truth is that we have two mutually exclusive theories about the origin of biological information, and that we need as much data as possible to be able to compare them. And they will be compared, believe me, ever more, and ever better. And there will be an end to all this. Just wait.

    5) “Now, allow me to state that this type of argument can potentially be convincing in cases where the search space has been nearly exhausted without finding what you are seeking. Your claim seems to be that this is the case with ID.”

    No, my claim is that this is the case with darwinian evolution. It’s darwinian evolution which needs empirical support, and can’t find it. IOW, ID is saying: biological information looks designed, has all the properties of designed things, and no theory exists which can explain that. So, the best explanation is that it is designed, unless and until somoene can show credibly how it originated. A designer can certainly be responsible for biological information, even if the problem remains of who the designer is and of how the information was implemented, and of what is the meaning of that infomation, and so on. All those problem can be scientifically approached, once one accepts a design scenario as the best explanation.

    On the contary, darwinists say: no, ID is wrong, because we have a credible theory of how that information originated. So, the point is very simple: either they have it, or they don’t have it. We do think they don’t have it. That’s not an argument form ignorance, it’s simply an argument from a scientific debunking of a false scientific theory. Is debunking something false a form of “ignorance”?

    6) “The problem here is that the search space for ID claims is extremely large compared to what is available to us for direct testing. We have been doing such experiments for decades at most.”

    You forget that the purpos of those experiment was not to support ID claims, but to support darwinian claims. If the experiments had been successful as they hoped, we would have been overwhelmed by arrogant expressions of triumph. But that’s not the cse. So, again, a failure of an attemp to verify darwinian evolution is a success for ID. It’s very simple.

    And Behe has given much more convincing arguments about the failur of darwinian evolution in TEOE.

    7) “You need not falsify evolution at all, especially since so many people claim that evolution and ID are not mutually exclusive except in certain specific areas. Simply providing support, and hopefully someday overwhelming support for ID theory would suffice. Negative predictions cannot do this for reasons that I’ve demonstrated many times.”

    First of all, it is not true that “evolution and ID are not mutually exclusive except in certain specific areas”. They are mutually exclusive in all causal areas. They are mutually exclusive in the most important things, indeed in most things.

    And you make the usual logical error: it’s darwinian evolution which needs support, because it is a theory based on nothing. To say: “darwinian evolution has not bee able to explain anything, and is based on false reasoning” is not a negative prediction: it is a very simple positive statement.

    And yes, simply providing support, and hopefully someday overwhelming support for darwinian evolution would suffice to solve that problem. I am waiting.

    8) “For instance, it took 3 billion years for multi-cellular life to appear, and the population size (i.e. the sample size) was in the trillions of trillions. Your claim is that, since we haven’t seen something similar in 150 years with the number of bacteria that can fit within the lab experiment petri dishes at our disposal, the search has nonetheless been exhaustive enough to be convincing.”

    No, my claim, like Behe’s, is that
    since we haven’t seen something signifcant in 150 years, neither in the labs nor in nature, in bacteria or plasmodia, we have no reason to think that much biger results could be obtained in mammals or other slowly replicating beings in a much lower number of replications. And I am not aware of any reason why the mutation rate should be higher in mammals: mos mutations are thought to accur as errors at the replication, so the number of replications is the most important factor. And that depends on the time of replication and on the number of replicating genomes on our planet. Try to factor both things for bacteria and mammals (especially the second one) and you will see…

  39. KRiS_Censored:

    There is an assumption here which at a superficial level seems to make sense. However under closer scrutiny it doesn’t really hold up well.

    Oh, may no! We know that the mutation rate, per nucleotide, is significantly faster in bacteria than in humans. Now what.

  40. Oh, may no! We know that the mutation rate, per nucleotide, is significantly faster in bacteria than in humans. Now what.

    Please see my reply to kairos. On the other hand I seem to have gotten into speculation about scenarios which seem to make logical sense to me, but which I can’t really back up with hard data. For that reason I’m gonna just drop this because frankly I’m talking out my rear here.

  41. DS:

    They are earning the Missouri Mule’s nickname . . . a pity really.

    GEM of TKI

  42. #35

    It is precisely this individual instability that leads to such stability at the population level. Any beneficial mutation is likely to be lost as quickly as it is gained so that the population as a whole remains very stable over succeeding generations.”

    This would be OK if bacteria would be really stable but this is not the case. We all know that single cell organisms can fast achieve and propagate many and many mutants that are due to single or double mutations. So the problem is another one: really big changes would require more mutations than RM+NS can actually do.

    “Higher order animals such as humans on the other hand are much more likely to retain such changes whenever they are not deleterious, increasing the likelihood that they will propagate down through the generations into the population as a whole.”

    As stated above this is not true and that’s no reason to argue that the complex multicell organisms would perform better. Please refer to what did correctly state GPuccio:

    —-
    my claim, like Behe’s, is that
    since we haven’t seen something signifcant in 150 years, neither in the labs nor in nature, in bacteria or plasmodia, we have no reason to think that much biger results could be obtained in mammals or other slowly replicating beings in a much lower number of replications. And I am not aware of any reason why the mutation rate should be higher in mammals: mos mutations are thought to accur as errors at the replication, so the number of replications is the most important factor. And that depends on the time of replication and on the number of replicating genomes on our planet. Try to factor both things for bacteria and mammals (especially the second one) and you will see…
    —-

  43. Kris,

    This may not be the place to bring this up because this thread is about ID research but I am glad you agree with us that there is no research for Darwinian macro evolution. We have asked and continually found no one who can provide any. And to argue that there some day may be some would be an example of the argument to ignorance.

    And because there is no evidence for Darwinian macro evolution, I am glad that you support us in getting any references to a scientific basis for a Darwinian or any other naturalistic explanation for macro evolution taken out of the classroom, textbooks and curriculum. The textbooks should point out to the students that if they believe in the Darwinian explanation for macro evolution then they have committed the logical fallacy of the argument to ignorance.

    Such an argument does not affect ID since ID does not make the claim that the evidence proves ID, only that it is a possibility and has not been eliminated. And all the research that I mentioned can be considered as contributing to that conclusion that ID is a possibility.

    Welcome aboard Kris in our pursuit of honest science.

  44. jerry

    I am glad you agree with us…
    I am glad that you support us…

    Wow. I can only assume that you’re yanking my chain a bit. And yet…

    Such an argument does not affect ID since ID does not make the claim that the evidence proves ID, only that it is a possibility and has not been eliminated.

    This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make to gpuccio for much too long now. It appears that he is actually claiming that the evidence supports ID, rather than your much more honest statement that it’s only a possibility that hasn’t been dis-proven yet (it’s a subtle, but extremely important distinction)

    Perhaps I haven’t made this clear to others in the way that I’ve described it so far, so allow me to clarify. Negative predictions on their own don’t constitute arguments from ignorance. It’s when you claim that such predictions are verified and therefore constitute support for the theory after something has not been found that it becomes so. Not finding something doesn’t support your theory in these cases. Rather it just means the theory hasn’t been dis-proven yet.

    gpuccio

    I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m trying to figure out how to properly word a question which I hope will help you to clarify your position to me, since obviously I am misunderstanding you. It might be awhile (the wife wants to go to a movie and she’s already glaring at me for taking so long with this short post).

  45. KRiS_Censored:

    Not finding something doesn’t support your theory in these cases. Rather it just means the theory hasn’t been dis-proven yet.

    Have you ever seriously pondered why falsification is held up as a standard delimititing science from non-science. It is because it is difficult to impossible to prove any positive. The normal mode of scientific proof is to test for the negative, and find it to not be there.

    Therefore, the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory stands stalwart until evidence comes along that falsifies it.

    That said, the evolutionary community has looked at dozens, nay hundreds of challenges (falsifications) of neo-Darwinian theory, waved the magic wand of good fortune, and pretended that their theory has not been falsified, that it has only been validated.

  46. 46

    It has happened again! I get to the end of another interesting thread, and then realize I still don’t know what ID theorists believe was designed, or how this designer made the design happen?

    Jerry said above, “ID does not make the claim that the evidence proves ID, only that it is a possibility…” I will accept that. Now can someone tell us what was designed, and how it was done?

  47. Kris,

    ID has always been the proposition that a certain phenomenon has a positive probability of being designed. As a flip side, it also states that the possibility that it was not designed and developed through naturalistic means is also possible. There are no absolutes. It evaluates the evidence and looks at each phenomenon and gives a high or low probability for design. Not a p=1 probability for either one but for a lot of phenomena, the probability that the process that produced a particular phenomenon is naturalistic is essentially 1. But not all. We would probably not make the same conclusion (p=1) that anything was designed except the universe and that the origin of life was close to 1. We would probably give a high p for the design of the eye.

    ID also states that the two are mutually exclusive and exhaustive (design and naturalistic processes). So negative information against one is support for the other and vice versa. So when we say that Lenski’s research is ID research, what we really mean is that continued negative findings, that is the lack of the development of complex functional structure is supportive of the claim that these structures can only be achieved via an intelligent input. Such a claim would be fatuous if Lenski had only a small number of reproductive events but the numbers are getting up there.

    Also, when researches map a series of related genomes and finds no evidence that any of the complex functional structures within the organisms arose by naturalistic means, then they are supporting the hypothesis that these cannot arise naturally. Again nothing absolute.

    Nothing is proved conclusively but the probabilities of the individual parts of the genomes arising naturally or by design change with each such mapping. It is unlikely that there will be an exhaustive examination in our life time but it may be possible to reach a statistical exhaustion with far less than a complete sampling.

    Hence, I do not buy your assessment that ID is an argument to ignorance and guess that one of the reasons people like to use it is because it gets to throw a very pejorative term at us.

    By the way I am not yanking your chain because I meant everything I said about you supporting ID and rejecting Darwinian macro evolution because if you are consistent in your logic, you must end up there.

  48. I think it is very fascinating that we have here some Darwinists (sorry if that offends you kris-censored, correct me if I’m wrong) arguing for the immutability of a species (bacteria) and ID-ers arguing for the instability of the species over time. I know I am simplifying the argument, but I think it is very surreal that the discussion has lead to this backwards seeming place.

  49. Kris:

    I hope you and your wife enjoyed your movie :-)

    Well, while I am eagerly waiting for your question, I will just make a simple comment. You say (to jerry, about arguments from ignorance):

    “This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make to gpuccio for much too long now. It appears that he is actually claiming that the evidence supports ID, rather than your much more honest statement that it’s only a possibility that hasn’t been dis-proven yet (it’s a subtle, but extremely important distinction)”.

    Well, I can only say that you have correctly understood my position. I do claim that the evidence supports ID.

    I think jerry has clarified a little his position in his following post. However, if we are to take the statement you cite literally, I can only say that it can certainly be honest, but it is IMO wrong.

  50. Collin (#47):

    “I know I am simplifying the argument, but I think it is very surreal that the discussion has lead to this backwards seeming place.”

    Well, in a sense it is not so surprising after all. I will try to briefly sum up how I see the question.

    The position of ID is simple enough: all species are rather stable (because they are designed), but all of them are obviously subject to some degree of variation (that is usually called “microevolution”). In that sense, bacteria are certainly more subject to it than mammals, because of their number and fast replication. But the point is, no accumulation of microevolution can really create new species, or substantially modify existing ones: species remain rather stable in spite of microevolution.

    Darwinists, on the contrary, have always had a very complicated, and usually inconsistent position regarding change: they love variation when it’s convenient for them, and they hate it when it’s convenient for them. Let’s say that a smart mix of variation and conservation, in the hands of a darwinist, can explain practically everything.

    An example? Just take the recent great popularity of HARs, and the relative definition from wikipedia:

    “a set of 49 segments of the human genome which are conserved throughout vertebrate evolution but are strikingly different in humans”

    Conservation plus striking change: what is better than that to explain away the small detail of human identity?

  51. gpuccio,

    I said in my post that Lenski’s research supports ID and extend my point to say that every mapping of a genome so far supports ID. Because the two propositions are mutually exclusive, naturalistic evolution and intelligently designed evolution, negative information for each one is support for the other. And positive information for one is negative information for the other. Thus, Lenski’s work and all genome mapping is ID type research whether they or Kris like it or not. If ID can use their results to validate an ID proposition, it is ID research.

    In other words the probability gets closer to p=1 that a phenomenon is intelligently designed each time a naturalistic process fails to explain that phenomenon. There is no good ways to assess accurate probabilities since it is impossible to observe the past or create an accurate past in any modern day setting. So essentially all assessments are somewhat subjective.

    For example, take Lenski’s research. So far no complex biological phenomenon have taken place so the p creeps gradually closer to p=1. But if just one appeared, then the p would jump a great deal towards p=0 and the process would continue. How much would it jump. That depends upon the nature of the change.

    Since there never will be enough resources to watch bacteria evolve, one has to go to the natural world to have more realistic findings and that is why the mapping of genomes at the various levels will eventually lead to more realistic assessments of just what nature is capable of doing. What has all of Allen MacNeill’s 47 engines of variation produced. That is where the future assessment of p will be done.

  52. Michael Hannel:

    It has happened again! I get to the end of another interesting thread, and then realize I still don’t know what ID theorists believe was designed, or how this designer made the design happen?

    This statement you made, “how this designer made the design happen?” is painfully rhetorical. You laugh in your silly heart saying, “boy, we got ‘em we got ‘em.” Is it beyond you to believe that the science of ID is in its infancy, that ther remain huge unanswered questions? Is it beyond you to believe that the designer might feel no obligation to publicize his/her/its methods? And in truth, when you jump into your car in the morning, turn the key and drive off, do you do so with a clear understanding of how crude oil is refined into gasoline? Do you know how they make thes steel that your key is made of? You know enough to know that the ID community doesn’t have answers to these questions. You don’t seem to know enough to know that not having these answers is not a show stopper.

    “I still don’t know what ID theorists believe was designed” Let me start at the start.

    > That big bang that physicists talk about — designed. How do we know? Because physicists tell us that it is amazingly fine-tuned, that life as we could conceive of it would not happen otherwise.

    > Life itself — designed. How do we know? Because even the simplest life is unfathomly complex, that it contains significant, tightly defined, information.

    > Ultra-conserved genes — designed. How do we know. Sir Fredrick Hoyle has shown the math. (Oh, he was an athiest until the day he died. He’s not now.) If a gene is ultra-conserved, then it has no molecular clock. By its very nature it must have existed for all time, or have been created.

    > Organs — designed. Bacterial flagella — designed. Anything that contains irreduceable complexity — designed.

    > The differences between the coyote and the wolf — most probably not designed.

    Do we know exactly where the lign is between the designed and the “not designed”. No. Do archaeologists know the exact lign between the arrowhead and a natural occurring rock? Well — no.

  53. Michael Haanel,

    If you want to get silly, then we can return the favor. Here is the answer I gave another person just last week. There are two relevant comments:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-305293

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-305339

  54. jerry:

    I absolutely agree with your post #51. Very well said.

    There is a fundamental problem with McNeill’s engines of variation which goes beyond verification or falsification: most of them are not “engines” at all, because they are not causal mechanisms. At best, most of them are mere descriptions of what could be the intermediate events through which a causal mechanism could work, but the causal mechanim itself remains undeclared. In other words, NacNeill seems to be more interested in descriptive natural history than in explanations.

  55. 55

    bFast~

    I apologize if my statement is rhetorical. I mean no disrespect. I am a person who is interested in what is going on here since I read the Mentor paperback by George Gamow, “One, Two, Three, Infinity” in the early ’50′s. A book I still own.

    I appreciate your answer about what you believe is designed. I see that the superlatives, “fine-tuned,”unfathomly complex,” and all things that are “irreduceably complex” have special meaning, and show the efforts of a designer to you.

    When I think about the examples that you have shown, like a fine-tuner tweaking the Big Bang, it seems more probable to me that the perfect conditions would occur for life in some of the billions of galaxies that the existence of the universe allows.

    And then I have to add the leap of faith that an intelligent designer requires. Don’t I have to say that an intelligent designer is intelligent beyond our comprehension of intelligent? How could such an intelligence get so smart? Don’t I have to grasp at superlatives again to fathom such a designer? And isn’t that how we explained every phenomena that was incomprehensible in the past, we said it was His design, His plan?

  56. I get to the end of another interesting thread, and then realize I still don’t know what ID theorists believe was designed, or how this designer made the design happen?

    If we knew the answers then we wouldn’t need science to help us find them, would we?

    As for HOW something was designed-

    The ONLY possible way to make any scientific determination about the designer(s) or specific process(es) used, in the ABSENCE of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    If you want to know something about ID you have to know & understand that first.

  57. Michael Haanel (#46):

    In case you are really interested, the answers are not so difficult:

    1) “What was designed?”

    That is really easy. The genomes, obviously. And therefore the proteomes, and whatever else in the genome contributes to general biological function. And maybe even other things, but I think tht can be enough for a start.

    2) “How was it done?”

    We don’t know exactly, but maybe we will know more in the future. But, certainly, in a general sense, it happened through the action of a designer (that is, a conscious intelligent being) who had access to manipulating biological realities, and especially genomes. You choose: aliens, a god, an intelligent force, or whatever else may comply with that definition. And how was it made? You choose: guided variation, intelligent selection, both, direct implementation at the nucleotide level, interaction with quantum level events… There is much to hypothesize and to research.

  58. H’mm:

    Re Michael Haanel, 55:

    When I think about the examples that you have shown, like a fine-tuner tweaking the Big Bang, it seems more probable to me that the perfect conditions would occur for life in some of the billions of galaxies that the existence of the universe allows.

    Perhaps, this clip from an online encyclopedia article on the Anthropic principle, will help you see the force of a few of the issues that have developed since the 1950′s:

    _______________

    In physics and cosmology, the anthropic principle encompasses diverse explanations about the structure of the universe that open the question of whether it exists with the purpose to permit the emergence of human life. It regards as significant the surprising coincidence of physical features that are—or at least seem to be—necessary and relevant to the existence on Earth of biochemistry, carbon-based life, and eventually human beings to observe such a universe. It has led some to a reconsideration of the centrality of human beings—who can observe and understand the universe—despite astronomers having long ago pushed humans to the edge of insignificance amidst the vastness of space . . . . If the universe or cosmos is purely mechanistic, consisting only of matter and physical entities (forces, energy, fields, etc.), then it seems that the answer to that question of an intending entity or intelligence or creator would be “no.” But then what is the source of those closely balanced features that are observed in the existing cosmos—are they just happenstance or fortuitous coincidences? Can coincidence or lucky happenstance be a sufficient answer to this problem?

    . . . . The observed values of the dimensionless parameters (such as the fine-structure constant) that govern the four fundamental forces of nature are finely balanced. A slight increase in the strong nuclear force would bind the dineutron and the diproton and all the hydrogen in the early universe would have been converted to helium. There would be no water or the long-lived stable stars essential for the development of life. Similar relationships are evident in each of the four force strengths. If they were to be modified even slightly—some commentators have noted that a change as infinitesimally small as one part in 10^40 or even smaller would be sufficient—then the universe’s structure and capacity for life as we now know it would disappear. The extreme precision of these constants is seen by some commentators as precluding simple chance or coincidence . . . .
    __________________

    In short, the issue is not merely whether enough galaxies exist that variations across the galaxies will give room for what we see, probabilistically, but whether the universe as a whole that we see would exist in any way that would be conducive to life, apart from purposeful fine-tuning.

    And, indeed, the scope of he observed universe, about 10^80 particles is rather small by comparison with what we are discussing. For instance, if we see algorithmic, functionally specific, complex information that takes up just 1,000 bits, that is a configuration space of 10^301, or ten times the square of the number of quantum states the atoms of the observed universe would take up across the thermodynamically credible lifespan of the cosmos. As a result, the whole observed universe acting as a search engine could not sample more than 1 in 10^150 of that config space.

    So, it would be most implausible to suggest that a blind, non foresighted search would find islands of function for such FSCI within the gamut of the observed universe. And, observed life DNA for independent organisms STARTS at about 600,000 – 1 million bits.

    Space is large by our human scale, but it is utterly too small by the scope of the search spaces we are dealing with on ID for first life or body-plan level biodiversity.

    And, if a quasi-infinite multiverse — an unobserved, metaphysical construct if ever I saw one — is suggested, this still has to have “a universe-making factory,” capable of getting the energy, the laws and the random variations in those laws sufficient to get to the multidimensional precision on the scale of 1 in 10^40 or worse in several instances.

    And, a super-law or theory of everything that forces the parameters to take up the life facilitating values screams of design.

    So, of law, chance and design, law and/or chance keep pointing back to design as at least as viable as the alternatives. And, that is no “God of the gaps” argument.

    GEM of TKI

  59. PS: it seems to me that the focus of FAQ 3′s discussion has wandered a bit off the focus: does ID research exist? Yes or no, why or why not.

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