Home » Human evolution, Intelligent Design, News » Maybe Carl Zimmer is free to read Science and Human Origins now …

Maybe Carl Zimmer is free to read Science and Human Origins now …

We may have answered his question. A little background:

Recently, we noted that prominent science writer Carl Zimmer was in a tangle with Discovery Institute’s David Klinghoffer arising from a discussion on a Facebook page: His issue here was this paragraph:

But the idea of such an event having occurred at all is itself far from sure. The telomeric DNA parked in the middle of chromosome 2 is not a unique phenomenon. Other mammals have it too, across their own genomes. Even if it were unique, there’s much less of it than you would expect from the amalgamation of two telomeres. Finally, it appears in a “degenerate,” “highly diverged” form that should not be the case if the joining happened in the recent past, circa 6 million years ago, as the Darwinian interpretation holds.
I was baffled, so I asked on Facebook for the evidence that the form of the chromosome wasn’t what you’d expect if it fused six million years ago.

What followed was a ridiculous runaround, some of which I’ll reproduce here: More.

Well, a reader writes to say, here is where the idea might have originated:

This 1991 Pub Med paper:

Genomic divergences between humans and other hominoids and the effective population size of the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

Chen FC, Li WH., Department of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.

If the fusion occurred within the telomeric repeat arrays less than ~6 Mya, why are the arrays at the fusion site so degenerate? The arrays are 14% diverged from canonical telomere repeats (not shown), whereas noncoding sequence has diverged There are three possible explanations: (1) Given the many instances of degenerate telomeric arrays within the subtelomeric regions of human chromosomes (Riethman et al. 2001), the chromosomes joined at interstitial arrays near, but not actually at, their ends. In this case, material from the very ends of the fusion partners would have been discarded. (2) The arrays were originally true terminal arrays that degenerated rapidly after the fusion. This high rate of change is plausible, given the remarkably high allelic variation observed at the fusion site. The arrays in the BAC and the sequence obtained by Ijdo et al. (1991) differ by 12%, which is high even if some differences are ascribed to experimental error. (3) Some array degeneracy could be a consequence of sequencing errors. We have not been able to PCR successfully across the fusion site, which would be required to assess the contribution of sequencing errors to this measure of fusion-site sequence polymorphism. However, explanation 2 is supported by the high variability among allelic copies of other interstitial telomeric repeats and associated regions sequenced by Mondello et al. (2000) (AF236886 and AF236885). Considering the high mutability of interstitial telomere repeat arrays, the fusion partners could have joined either within terminal or subterminal arrays to form chromosome 2.

Was this where the idea originated?

Now Carl Zimmer is free to read the book anyway.

See also: Here, Cornelius Hunter addresses the Zimmer-Klinghoffer conflict.

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99 Responses to Maybe Carl Zimmer is free to read Science and Human Origins now …

  1. 1

    1991 Pub Med paper:

    You mean 2001 paper.

    The explanations in the paper are quite obvious and reasonable, so where in the heck did Luskin and Klinghoffer get the idea that they could mine the bit asking the question, and safely claim the evidence was oh-so-ambiguous????

  2. 2

    Total abject defeat of Luskin, Klinghoffer, Cornelius Hunter, etc., on this issue:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine......-can-rest/

  3. As to the chromosome 2 fusion controversy, Here is post about a study that just came out:

    (Chromosome 2 fusion?) Ends In the Middle: Internal Telomere Sequences are Common in the Human Genome – Tomkins, J. and J. Bergman – July 12, 2012
    Excerpt: This fusion paradigm or model involves several genetic issues. In two recent Journal of Creation publications by myself and colleague Jerry Bergman, it is shown that the published genetic data surrounding the fusion model, including additional recent bioinformatic analyses that I performed, effectively show that the hypothetical fusion event did not occur (2,3).
    During the course of my research, it became apparent that the presence of telomere repeats within the internal regions of human chromosomes was more prevalent than commonly realized. While a number of studies have characterized a few internal telomere-rich areas, the genome-wide distribution of internal telomere sequences is not well documented in the scientific literature.
    In my research, it became evident that telomere repeats were not unique to the ends of chromosomes. Therefore, I developed software that enables the scanning of whole chromosomes for internal telomere content. Fully assembled human chromosome sequence was then downloaded from the public DNA repository at the National Center for Biotechnology. Prior to scanning for telomeres and telomere repeats, the ends of each chromosome were manually trimmed to remove the telomeres at the termini, including telomere-dense areas in adjacent sub-telomeres.
    Surprisingly, I discovered that the entire human genome contains many completely intact internal telomere sequences. My preliminary data suggests that the internal regions of human chromosomes are composed of 0.19 to 0.25 percent 100% sequence identity intact telomere sequences. While this may seem to be a very small amount, consider that chromosome 2 (the supposed fusion product) contains over 91,000 (0.23 percent) intact internal telomere sequences. Fewer than 300 of these can be attributed to the so-called fusion site. Chromosome Y was the most internally dense telomere containing chromosome (0.25 percent).
    The scanning software also detected tandem repeats of telomeres. In the fusion site on chromosome 2, there are a small number of cases where the 6-base telomeres occur in perfect tandem, but never more than two in a row. However, other internal regions of chromosome 2 contain perfect tandems of 3 to 10 telomere repeats. In fact, all human chromosomes contain many internal regions of perfect tandem telomere repeats.
    Clearly, the presence of telomere sequence at the so-called fusion site is not a unique feature, but a genome-wide paradigm. I hope to have my human genome telomere scanning research published soon in a refereed science paper and will make a note of it on this blog when that time comes.
    http://designed-dna.org/blog/f.....8f6-27.php

    Of course a atheist immediately objected that is was ‘YEC’,

    A YEC made up a bunch of crap to support his YEC views, published them in a crap YEC ‘science’ journal. Another YEC with crap for brains swallowed it uncritically and C&Ped the crap here.

    but then I reminded him:

    “I do not hold a YEC position, but as I stated earlier, at least YEC’s can justify a purpose for ‘doing science’:”

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth. As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20110227a

    Philosopher Sticks Up for God
    Excerpt: Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he (Plantinga) writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12.....wanted=all

    Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.
    ~ Alvin Plantinga

    Even Albert Einstein, although he was certainly not thought of as a particularly religious person, reflects how the Judeo-Christian worldview influenced his overall view of reality in this following quote;

    “I want to know God’s thoughts; the rest are details.”
    Albert Einstein

  4. Heh, News, I’m not sure you got the memo. The thing about not giving Carl his answer was that it would give away how vacuous the argument Luskin and Klinghoffer were making was…

  5. We think he should just read the book.

  6. wd400,

    How does your conspiracy theory gel with the fact that the Biological Institute were itching to debate Zimmer on the subject?

    Let me remind you that it was Zimmer (as well as Matzke) who ran scared. The B.I. were willing to lay their entire argument on the line. The Dishonest for Darwin duo were not. That speaks volumes.

  7. Of course the DI was “itching” to have a debate – that’s how it works when doubt is your product. Share a “stage” with prominent “darwinist” and it hardly even matters what you say, your on the same standing. Provide a citation for your claims? No, that’s too hard.

  8. BTW, I don’t think there was an actual conspiracy to not provide the reference. I just think as soon as you read what the refernce says you’d realise the paper was being misrepresented (as you can see above), so they put on the “do anything but answer Carl show”.

  9. Isn’t the fusion argument brought to us by the same people who championed the upwards to 90% junk DNA argument?

  10. F/N: Notice who has spoken to the merits at book length, and who is being dismissive and evasive (after giving a “noview,” which is inherently uncivil and dishonest).

    I also see that Klinghoffer has given a substantial response by way of citation from the technical experts from the “noviewed” book:

    …[T]he evidence for chromosomal fusion isn’t nearly as clear-cut as evolutionists like [Kenneth] Miller claim.

    Telomeric DNA at the ends of our chromosomes normally consists of thousands of repeats of the 6-base-pair sequence TTAGGG. But the alleged fusion point in human chromosome 2 contains far less telomeric DNA than it should if two chromosome were fused end-to-end: As evolutionary biologist Daniel Fairbanks admits, the location only has 158 repeats, and only “44 are perfect copies” of the sequence.46 [NB: --> To see a similar pattern, open up a blank Word document in something like notebook. Delete a letter or two, then try to re-open in Word. Fail. Stuff that looks like repetitious garbage can have critical function.]

    Additionally, a paper in Genome Research found that the alleged telomeric sequences we do have are “degenerated significantly” and “highly diverged from the prototypic telomeric repeats.” The paper is surprised at this finding, because the fusion event supposedly happened recently — much too recent for such dramatic divergence of sequence. Thus the paper asks: “If the fusion occurred within the telomeric repeat arrays less than ?6 mya [million years ago], why are the arrays at the fusion site so degenerate?”47 The conclusion is this: If two chromosomes were fused end-to-end in humans, then a huge amount of alleged telomeric DNA is missing or garbled.

    Finally, the presence of telomeric DNA within a mammalian chromosome isn’t highly unusual, and does not necessarily indicate some ancient point of fusion of two chromosomes. Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg points out that interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) are commonly found throughout mammalian genomes, but the telomeric sequences within human chromosome 2 are cherry-picked by evolutionists and cited as evidence for a fusion event….

    He goes on to say: In other words, the evidence from human chromosome 2 for human-ape common ancestry is ambivalent at best . . . The ambiguity is only really impressive when you consider all the evidence, as Gauger, Axe and Luskin do in Science and Human Origins.

    I also note that CH is not exactly unresponsive on details, here. Let me slice out one key point from CH’s article on how this case illustrates how not to reason in science if you really want to adequately warrant a claim:

    The site of the fusion event on human chromosome number two does not provide an obvious picture of a past fusion event. There certainly are suggestions of such an event, but it is far from obvious as evolutionists claim.

    Furthermore such an event, if it could survive, would have to take over the pre human population. In other words, the existing 48 chromosome population would have to die off. This is certainly not impossible, but there is no obvious reason why that would occur.

    There are problems with the evidence. Perhaps the fusion event occurred, but the evidence carries nowhere near the certainty that evolutionists insist it does. It is not so much that the evidence is conclusive against the event but that it is not conclusive for the event as evolutionists claim. Their interpretation is driven by their theory . . .

    There’s much more there.

    But the first clip above is enough to make the key point.

    Claims about a fusion event being proof of human descent by chance variation and differential reproductive success from 48 chromosome primates are grossly exaggerated. As well, there are all sorts of questions about the missing 48 chromosome human line that would obtain and on implications of mismatched chromosome numbers and what actual fusions as observed tend to do.

    My vote is that the tendency of Zimmer et al to duck a forum in which the case would be laid out at length without a troll patrol to muddy the waters is diagnostic.

    KF

  11. F/N 2: Also relevant from Gauger (HT BA 77):

    Getting a feature that requires six neutral mutations is the limit of what bacteria can produce. For primates (e.g., monkeys, apes and humans) the limit is much more severe. Because of much smaller effective population sizes (an estimated ten thousand for humans instead of a billion for bacteria) and longer generation times (fifteen to twenty years per generation for humans vs. a thousand generations per year for bacteria), it would take a very long time for even a single beneficial mutation to appear and become fixed in a human population.
    You don’t have to take my word for it. In 2007, Durrett and Schmidt estimated in the journal Genetics that for a single mutation to occur in a nucleotide-binding site and be fixed in a primate lineage would require a waiting time of six million years. The same authors later estimated it would take 216 million years for the binding site to acquire two mutations, if the first mutation was neutral in its effect.
    Facing Facts
    But six million years is the entire time allotted for the transition from our last common ancestor with chimps to us according to the standard evolutionary timescale. Two hundred and sixteen million years takes us back to the Triassic, when the very first mammals appeared. One or two mutations simply aren’t sufficient to produce the necessary changes— sixteen anatomical features—in the time available. At most, a new binding site might affect the regulation of one or two genes.

    Let’s hear a cogent answer that also resolves the pop genetics issue, from Zimmer et al.

    KF

  12. Let’s hear a cogent answer that also resolves the pop genetics issue, from Zimmer et al.

    Here’s one I prepared earlier.

  13. Nice job Paul- you are basically admitting that your position is untestable.

  14. H’mm:

    Also looks like a subject switcheroo.

    I am not asking about enzyme processes, save insofar as such show what sort of genetic variation per mutation is reasonable as an incremental step. I know you would like to make this about your noview or cherry-picked points critique of Gauger et al, but the material issue is a bit deeper than that.

    Please respond to the specific question of the numbers of repeats, the reasonable way to get to a 46 chromo human line with no other lines AND to the wider one of the cluster of genetic changes (including regulatory ones) to transform a chimp-like primate into a human through chance variation and differential reproductive success leading to incremental advantageous changes all the way.

    Then justify such on realistic pop genetics, in a 6 – 10 MY window. In other words, why should I take the suggested body plan origin mechanism seriously?

    Back all of this up with adequate empirical observations that warrant such a claim.

    Maybe, let’s focus: can you provide an empirically warranted, step by step account of the origin of human speech and related linguistic capability on evidence? In particular, address how the account leads to a credibly knowing and reasoning mind capable of expressing that knowledge and reason in language and other related symbols.

    If this is connected to the alleged fusion event, kindly show how.

    Surely, this is a key part of human origin.

    Let’s see the dynamics, the play-out that credibly led to us in reasonably available time [incl. pop genetics], and warranting empirical evidence that does not go in a priori materialist circles or depend unduly on extrapolations accepted through the eye of Darwinist faith.

    KF

  15. So “it looks like a fusion even to me” is science if it supports evolutionism, but “it looks like design to me” isn’t science because it doesn’t support evolutionism.

    Guess what? The fusion doesn’t support evolutionism as it could very well have been a designed event. Designed for reproductive isolation, which is good for evos…

  16. Also looks like a subject switcheroo.

    Perhaps you didn’t read it then. I discuss much more than enzyme evolution, and specifically discuss Durrett and Schmidt – and their disappointment at having their work misused re 216 My. In any case, all of it is relevant because it is about understanding the limits of evolution and how to test them, and both Gauger and Axe rely on this work to draw their conclusions about humans.

    I know you would like to make this about your noview or cherry-picked points critique

    No-view/cherry-picking? I wrote a 6-part critique of the book addressing all of the major points.
    The rest of your post appears to suffer from ADHD. Address this! – address that! – no, wait, address this! Those are a lot of demands. On the pop genetics front, again, I would point you to the link I have already given above. Others have given explanations about the chromosomal fusion in various forums and I would only be repeating them. And your request for a step-by-step “account of the origin of human speech and related linguistic capability” is quite simply bizarre. Do you think if I asked the same of intelligent design it would be reasonable?

  17. Yeah, Durrett and Schmidt’s special pleading made me all shivery. And you didn’t say anything about how enzymes evolved. You don’t have any idea how to test the claim that a duplication followed by mutations can produce an enzyme with a different function. Heck you can’t test the claim that a duplication followed by mutation is a random event.

    As for the limits of evolution, well just look at Lenski’s work. Nothing there that would lead anyone to accept universal common descent.

  18. PM:

    I have pointed to what you full well know would be required to substantiate on analysis and evidence, that you have a viable neo-darwinian mechanism to enable body-plan macro evolution.

    Your evasive, dismissive and no-broughtupcy denigratory remarks are a backhanded admission that you know you have not got a case on the merits.

    Game over

    KF

  19. Game over? KF, it’s amusing and all that you think you get to claim that I have made “evasive, dismissive and no-broughtupcy denigratory remarks”, but I actually tried to link you to a starting point for a discussion about the population genetics and you have turned it down summarily, while taking something of a dig at my upbringing.

    The air is heavy with irony for it is you and no I who have responded with evasive and dismissive remarks – “switcharoo” – you even claimed that I did a noview on the book even though I have written a six-part, extensive, blow by blow critique.

    Now you are bring up “body-plan”? We have the same body plan as the other primates, so you are apparently referring to deeper evolution.

    So what is it? Population genetics, chromosomal fusions, a specific aspect of human evolution, or patterns of deeper, body-plan evolution? I can’t discuss all of them in a post, KF, that sounds like a couple of textbooks.

  20. Onlookers,

    Notice, PM is still not providing empirically backed up warrant for the origin by chance variation and differential reproductive success fixing incremental changes that transform a chimp like animal into a language capable human being in 6 – 10 MY.

    And, the issue of origin of verbal language and linked reasoning, logic etc. is a specific and critical difference with apes that requires physical equipment and associated cognitive features etc. It also happens to be self referential so if there is no credible foundation for a reasoning, knowing human being on the said basis [that avoids self referential incoherence or its close kissing cousins], there is self stultification at work.

    In addition, he refuses to own up to the significance of using references like ADHD etc. Perhaps it has not been taught to him that making invidious and uncalled for associations is quite rude, but I doubt it. Where of course the Saul Alinsky tactics are heavy on personalities, polarisation and ridicule.

    Shameless.

    The rhetorical games are still over.

    KF

  21. Onlookers? A little passive-agressive, no? I’m mad with Paul, so I’m not talking to him.

    I haven’t been rude, I’ve asked you to choose a topic. You on the other hand have falsely accused me of not even reading the book and falsely accused me of changing the topic.

    You can’t bring up four broad areas of science and expect me to discuss all of them. As to the changes in the human lineage over 6-10My, I have already tried to give you a starting point, and you keep ignoring it. If you would like to steer the conversation back to the science, please read the blog post I’ve already written and discuss that. Otherwise, good day.

  22. Perhaps it has not been taught to him that making invidious and uncalled for associations is quite rude, but I doubt it.

    Bahahahahhahahahahahaa!!!!

    ….breathes in….

    Bahahahahahahahaaahaha!!!

    You owe the inhabitants of the entire galaxy a new irony-meter, Kairosfocus.

    Paul, Mr. Focus accuses everyone who disagrees with him of the basest impropriety. He’ll be demanding an apology soon….he can’t help it.

  23. Onlookers:

    You can easily observe the distractive atmosphere poisoning continuing, from both PM and BT. I need to comment on it briefly before following up on substance, as this is the red flag that tells us what is at stake for our civilisation in these debates.

    And, we had better be willing to lift our gaze from the next clump of grass in front of our noses to see what is coming at us from a distance and take warning.

    Or, sooner or later, somebody is going to have us on the table as lamb chops for lunch.

    This is in perfect accord with the principles of Saul Alinsky and his community “organiser”/”occupier” disciples.

    We need not reinforce such rude behaviour by further responding to those who indulge it; it now having been exposed for all to see. And, we can rest assured that they know better, but choose not to do better because they think that they can gain an advantage by being out of order. Or, as we put it in my part of the world, no broughtupcy.

    As to recognising, with remorse, that they have gone too far and walking it back, apologising and making amends for rudeness, not a chance. Welcome to the world of Plato’s Alcibiades-like nihilist factions — yes, Plato warned us 2350 years ago — driven by the inherent amorality due to the unbridgeable IS-OUGHT gap of evolutionary materialism, the resulting radical relativism of values and the linked inference that “the highest right is might.”

    We should note that this is how such too often behave when they have just a little power to “get away with it” for the moment. Think about what the most ruthless members of such factions would do if they controlled real levers of power. I trust you can hear the moans of 100 million ghosts from the sad history of the past century on that subject.

    What is now important is to address the key issues on the merits, for the concerned onlooker.

    Now, we can observe something vital: there is no response on the actual merits, especially the issue of the origin of linguistic-logical ability per the Darwinian mechanisms backed up by adequate evidence, which is pivotal to human origins. This, for the obvious reason that there is no substantial case backed up by evidence to present.

    But actually, the matter is much deeper than human origins.

    Going back to the root of the darwinist tree of cell-based life, we can observe and analyse that the living cell is based on having an encapsulated, metabolising, self-assembling, self-replicating automaton. One that uses a von Neumann self-replicator driven by digitally coded instructions and data, i.e. D/RNA.

    But, coded data and instructions in an organised step by step goal-directed task-completing pattern, are a manifestation of:

    (i) evident or even manifest purpose,

    (ii) procedural logic,

    (iii) use of meaningful symbols with arbitrary assignment of reference between values and signified sense, thus:

    (iv) underlying: language and logic.

    Right from the origin of cell based life, folks.

    The only credible, empirically warranted source for such a complex, functionally specific system is purposeful, knowledgeable, skilled and acting intelligence. In short, if we were to go with the empirical evidence in hand on the source of FSCO/I involving algorithms and digital codes, we would naturally infer design. And if we think about the increments in FSCO/I required to get tot he dozens of main body plans and tot he specialised adaptations for say a bird, or a whale or the language-using, logic-capable human being, we will see that once design is in the door and sitting at the table like that, it easily makes best sense of the actual evidence.

    But, this is strictly verbotten, per the modern impositions of methodological naturalism, which is evidently Lewontin’s a priori materialism and scientism by the back door.

    ID thinker, Philip Johnson, has commented on the problem, responding to Lewontin (and with direct relevance to the others who are speaking, thinking or acting in a similar vein — the just linked gives four other cases including the US NAS and NSTA):

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    In short, the root reason why adherents or fellow travellers of the evolutionary materialist, scientistim-laced school of thought so often think that they have adequate evidence in hand for their claims about origin of life, origin of major body plans and of specialised forms including humans, is that there is a controlling a priori at work that locks up the process of thinking in a circle that leaves only something rather like darwinism on the table.

    Such systems of control only can thrive when they have us all locked up and genuflecting to the symbols of power. That is why it is time for Havel’s power of the powerless to emerge. We refuse to bow to the Magisterium duly dressed in the holy lab coat and insist on thinking for ourselves and having the right to our own views, provided we have reasonable empirical warrant therefor.

    We recognise that if each of us takes time to work through these issues for a month with one other person, and the chain keeps going, in three years the whole world’s population could go through the process. So, we are not dependent on the Magisterium or its official indoctrination centres and media amplifiers, thanks to the power of Internet amplified Samizdat.

    Origins science is far too important and far too consequential to society to be left to the materialist magisterium in the holy lab coat, and so we now embark on the path of thinking for ourselves and acting in light of that thinking.

    And, we refuse to be intimidated by boorish misconduct or abusive nihilistic misbehaviour. Indeed, we need to make it very clear to such that hey will not getaway with such behaviour, and that we see through the tactics to see the intellectual and moral bankruptcy that lie behind the brazen front.

    KF

  24. Onlookers:

    OOPS. PARDON A CORRECTIVE DOUBLE POST:

    ==========

    You can easily observe the distractive atmosphere poisoning continuing, from both PM and BT. I need to comment on it briefly before following up on substance, as this is the red flag that tells us what is at stake for our civilisation in these debates.

    And, we had better be willing to lift our gaze from the next clump of grass in front of our noses to see what is coming at us from a distance and take warning.

    Or, sooner or later, somebody is going to have us on the table as lamb chops for lunch.

    This is in perfect accord with the principles of Saul Alinsky and his community “organiser”/”occupier” disciples.

    We need not reinforce such rude behaviour by further responding to those who indulge it; it now having been exposed for all to see. And, we can rest assured that they know better, but choose not to do better because they think that they can gain an advantage by being out of order. Or, as we put it in my part of the world, no broughtupcy.

    As to recognising, with remorse, that they have gone too far and walking it back, apologising and making amends for rudeness, not a chance. Welcome to the world of Plato’s Alcibiades-like nihilist factions — yes, Plato warned us 2350 years ago — driven by the inherent amorality due to the unbridgeable IS-OUGHT gap of evolutionary materialism, the resulting radical relativism of values and the linked inference that “the highest right is might.”

    We should note that this is how such too often behave when they have just a little power to “get away with it” for the moment. Think about what the most ruthless members of such factions would do if they controlled real levers of power. I trust you can hear the moans of 100 million ghosts from the sad history of the past century on that subject.

    What is now important is to address the key issues on the merits, for the concerned onlooker.

    Now, we can observe something vital: there is no response on the actual merits, especially the issue of the origin of linguistic-logical ability per the Darwinian mechanisms backed up by adequate evidence, which is pivotal to human origins. This, for the obvious reason that there is no substantial case backed up by evidence to present.

    But actually, the matter is much deeper than human origins.

    Going back to the root of the darwinist tree of cell-based life, we can observe and analyse that the living cell is based on having an encapsulated, metabolising, self-assembling, self-replicating automaton. One that uses a von Neumann self-replicator driven by digitally coded instructions and data, i.e. D/RNA.

    But, coded data and instructions in an organised step by step goal-directed task-completing pattern, are a manifestation of:

    (i) evident or even manifest purpose,

    (ii) procedural logic,

    (iii) use of meaningful symbols with arbitrary assignment of reference between values and signified sense, thus:

    (iv) underlying: language and logic.

    Right from the origin of cell based life, folks.

    The only credible, empirically warranted source for such a complex, functionally specific system is purposeful, knowledgeable, skilled and acting intelligence. In short, if we were to go with the empirical evidence in hand on the source of FSCO/I involving algorithms and digital codes, we would naturally infer design. And if we think about the increments in FSCO/I required to get tot he dozens of main body plans and tot he specialised adaptations for say a bird, or a whale or the language-using, logic-capable human being, we will see that once design is in the door and sitting at the table like that, it easily makes best sense of the actual evidence.

    But, this is strictly verbotten, per the modern impositions of methodological naturalism, which is evidently Lewontin’s a priori materialism and scientism by the back door.

    ID thinker, Philip Johnson, has commented on the problem, responding to Lewontin (and with direct relevance to the others who are speaking, thinking or acting in a similar vein — the just linked gives four other cases including the US NAS and NSTA):

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    In short, the root reason why adherents or fellow travellers of the evolutionary materialist, scientistim-laced school of thought so often think that they have adequate evidence in hand for their claims about origin of life, origin of major body plans and of specialised forms including humans, is that there is a controlling a priori at work that locks up the process of thinking in a circle that leaves only something rather like darwinism on the table.

    Such systems of control only can thrive when they have us all locked up and genuflecting to the symbols of power. That is why it is time for Havel’s power of the powerless to emerge. We refuse to bow to the Magisterium duly dressed in the holy lab coat and insist on thinking for ourselves and having the right to our own views, provided we have reasonable empirical warrant therefor.

    We recognise that if each of us takes time to work through these issues for a month with one other person, and the chain keeps going, in three years the whole world’s population could go through the process. So, we are not dependent on the Magisterium or its official indoctrination centres and media amplifiers, thanks to the power of Internet amplified Samizdat.

    Origins science is far too important and far too consequential to society to be left to the materialist magisterium in the holy lab coat, and so we now embark on the path of thinking for ourselves and acting in light of that thinking.

    And, we refuse to be intimidated by boorish misconduct or abusive nihilistic misbehaviour. Indeed, we need to make it very clear to such that hey will not getaway with such behaviour, and that we see through the tactics to see the intellectual and moral bankruptcy that lie behind the brazen front.

    KF

  25. KF,

    As an onlooker, stop being so rude and just pick which of the topics you’ve flung at Paul you’d like him to explain.

  26. After all the hyperbole about lamb chops and the stakes for society, and Plato, and indoctrination, and holy lab coats you end up discussing origins science of all things, instead of any of the other topics you’ve alluded to.

    That makes the list so far: OOL, population genetics, chromosomal fusions, aspects of human evolution, and patterns of deeper, body-plan evolution.

    I get it – you don’t want to actually discuss population genetics. That’s totally fine. Can’t say I didn’t try.

    Noho mai r?, as we say in this part of the world.

  27. Noho mai ra, that should read. Didn’t like my macron ‘a’.

  28. Population genetics? You mean the field that doesn’t have anything to support its claims wrt mutation fixation rates?

    What, exactly, is there to discuss wrt population genetics and human/ chimp common ancestry? Is there anything in population genetics that demonstrates the transformations required are even possible? NO. So what’s the point?

    And no, Paul, we do not have the same body plan as other primates. We are upright bipeds, they are not.

    If you can’t even get that right there’s no use discussing anything with you.

  29. KF,
    I appreciate your posts here at UD. Always have. I’m in the ID camp. I’m also a novice that lurks about reading and learning as much as my feeble brain can. Please take that into account when I say that don’t get the vibe that paulmc is being evasive or disingenuous. While he may not be able to account for the difficulties you’ve brought up it’d be helpful (to me at least) if you could point out the problem(s) with what he suggested as an answer to your initial question (http://apomorph.blogspot.com/2.....andem.html)

    respectfully,
    lpadron

  30. Onlookers:

    Please, do not let yet more attempted evasions, turnabouts and distractions from failure to address the issue on the merits make you take your eyes off the ball.

    Remember, a grand narrative of origins, including human origins, is on the table.

    It is advanced and trumpeted in the halls of academia, in textbooks of science, in museums, in the major media, all over the Internet and even in halls of power — in the name of science — under the pretense that evolutionary materialist scientism is “the only begetter of truth.”

    It is commonly said to be as certain as established fact as that the planets orbit the sun.

    Those who advocate evolutionary materialism therefore have the responsibility of warrant from the roots of the tree of life on up to our own origins.

    If they cannot at least summarise and point to specific relevant, cogent and decisive observational evidence and empirically grounded analysis on the spontaneous origin of complex functional coded info and execution machines at the start of cell based life, that is telling.

    Similarly, if — bearing in mind the pop genetics issues at 11 above I cited in this thread since early on July 24th — they cannot address the matters on sound analysis backed up by empirical observations how the linguistic-symbolic-epistemic capacity of humans (including the PHYSICAL specialisations required for speech and language) originated from a chimp-like population in 6 – 10 MY, then we have prima facie evidence of spinning and institutionalising materialist just-so stories enforced through the Lewontin a prioris.

    The “you are ducking pop genetics” attempted turnabout is highly illuminating, given 11 above (as already linked) since early on Jul 24, and the discussion in the IOSE here on that addresses whales as a test case through a Ric Sternberg video (and Berlinski’s similar discussion of 50,000 intermediates from a cow-like creature to a whale-like one). Where 11 above gives the relevance to human populations, i.e. the ball is and has been for some time in PM’s court.

    So, WD’s twistabout attempt in defense of Alinsky-ite mockery, crashes in flames.

    And PM needs to listen to those 100 million ghosts from the past 100 years a bit more before brushing aside the warnings on the consequences of nihilism empowered by dominant evolutionary materialist ideology, from Plato in The Laws Bk X on.

    (If you start here on, you will see that I have taken time to address the relevant range of issues, so I know for a fact that it can be done, even by summary and links to COGENT discussions.

    Notice, I am not tossing in the whole OOL issue, I am drawing a significant parallel regarding the role of language, logic and related phenomena at OOL, and in the origin of the human body plan. Which BTW corrects the notion that our body plan is but insignificantly diverse from that of a chimp.

    Language is a critical feature of the kind of intelligence we have to deal with, so it properly belongs on the table, in its centre.

    KF

  31. IP, I have to go now. In recent days, PM’s noview has been seriously addressed, especially at ENV, with several related threads at UD. This is just one of them. Remember, “every tub must stand on its own bottom,” and if the evo mat narrative of OOL and OO body plans including our own cannot do that, it hardly matters if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand by default. I will, DV, be back later, I have a mission- critical issue to help a client address and have already taken more time than I should from it. KF

  32. 32

    This thread degenerated into a joke.

    Could someone please pick something out in paulmcs review and discuss it in detail. I’d like to, but I have no expertise in biology. Has paulmcs criticism maybe been answered in another blog?

    Tobi

  33. IP:

    You may want to start your reading here:

    ______

    Gauger: >> Those who follow the evolution intelligent/design are probably familiar with one accusation that we often face — that we do not do peer-reviewed research. In fact, we have published a number of peer-reviewed articles and one of them in particular, called “The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway,” contributed to the argument we made in the new book published by Discovery Institute Press, Science and Human Origins.

    That paper was critiqued last November by Paul McBride. He has now extended that critique in his review of our book, available here. McBride’s main complaint is that we picked an unnatural evolutionary transition to test. We chose to examine how hard it would be to get a modern-day enzyme to switch to the chemistry of a closely related modern-day enzyme, with very similar structures and catalytic mechanisms.

    The reason for our choice was not ignorance. We knew that the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other. (They are, however, among the most structurally similar members of their family, and share many aspects of their reaction mechanism, but their chemistry itself is different.) We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible. We reasoned that if these two enzymes could not be reconfigured through a gradual process of mutation and selection, then the Darwinian explanation of gene duplication and gradual divergence to new functions was called into question.

    Our results indicated that a minimum of seven mutations would be required to convert or reconfigure one enzyme toward the other’s function. No one disputes that part of our research. What Paul McBride and others claim is that because we didn’t start from an “ancestral” enzyme, our results mean nothing. They say something like, “Of course transitions to new chemistries between modern enzymes are difficult. What you should have done is to reconstruct the ancestral form and use it as a starting point.”

    Have you noticed the assumption underlying this critique? The assumption is that genuine conversions can be achieved only if you start from just the right ancestral protein. Why is that? Because conversions are hard . . . .

    The problem then becomes, where did the diverse families of enzymes come from, if transitions are so hard, evolution is so constrained, and selection is so weak? Were the ur-proteins from which present families sprang so different from modern ones, so elastic that they could be easily molded to perform multiple functions? If so, how did they accomplish the specific necessary tasks for metabolism, transcription, and replication? [--> Notice the link back to OOL]

    More than that, how did the proteins necessary for replication, transcription, translation, and metabolism arrive at all, if evolution is so constrained? Those processes are much more complicated that a cellulase enzyme. We have ribosomes, spliceosomes, photosynthesis, and respiration. We have hummingbirds and carnivorous plants and even cows who make use of cellulose-degrading symbionts. The things that have not arrived or arrived very rarely, like cellulases, seem trivial by comparison to the things we see around us.

    Our results argue that only guided evolution, or intelligent design, can produce genuine innovations from a starting point of zero target activity . . . .

    Life is inherently teleological, and the needs of an organism cannot be met by whatever happens to show up. I would say, rather, that his faith in the unending creativity of evolution, in spite of the limitations of natural selection, the rarity of paths, and the functional needs of organisms, is itself a form of religion.

    This is an interesting turn in evolutionary thinking. People have been saying for years, “Of course evolution isn’t random, it’s directed by natural selection. It’s not chance, it’s chance and necessity.” But in recent years the rhetoric has changed. Now evolution is constrained. Not all options are open, and natural selection is not the major player, it’s the happenstance of genetic drift that drives change. But somehow it all happens anyway, and evolution gets the credit.

    All around us we see marvelous examples of successful, even optimal design. If evolution is constrained to just a few paths, and you have to start with the right ancestral form to get anywhere, and fixation of useful new traits happens by accident, how did anything ever happen at all? Were the paths of adaptation “preordained”? Paul’s choice of words, not mine. If there are only a few ways to solve any problem set by the needs of the organism because transitions are hard, then either the deck was stacked in our favor, or the process was guided, or we are incredibly lucky. >>
    ______

    Okay, client ready now.

    KF

  34. F/N: The above (and more) has been at ENV since Jul 19.

  35. 35

    @kairosfocus: “You may want to start your reading here…”

    Your answer wasn’t intended for me, but thanks anyway. The link is what I was looking for. :-)

    All around us we see marvelous examples of successful, even optimal design

    Your quote reminds me of a magazine I read regulary, Awake. There’s a science section there called “WAS IT DESIGNED?” It describes the complex features of various organisms and in the end it always finishes with something like “What do you think? Did the black fire beetle’s ability to detect forest fires come about by evolution? Or was it designed?” You can download it freely on jw.org

  36. KF can continue to take his grubby little pot-shots at me and refer to my extensive review as a “noview” all he wants, it doesn’t change the fact that he has done nothing but dodge the argument.

    Also, considering I wrote this expressly in response to Gauger’s piece “On Enzymes and Teleology” and Axe’s accompanying piece, I fail to see how I am avoiding any of the issues here, or how the ball remains is in my court.

    I have tried to explain why their work is, while interesting, not the problem for evolution that they have claimed.

    Incidentally, another simple point on the two genes in Gauger and Axe (2011) that I didn’t address in the above but illustrates one way that their work stacks the odds against evolution (and therefore fails to fairly test an evolutionary question): both are contemporary genes in E. coli, so they originate at one time from an ancestral gene duplication. If it takes 7 substitutions to get from one contemporary gene to the other, it might only take 3 or 4 from the ancestral gene – but they chose not to do ancestral gene reconstruction. Even YEC Todd Wood thought this was a bizarre choice.

    But this is the first in a series of arbitrary limitations set by Gauger and Axe that mean we cannot draw conclusions about evolution. We can conclude the number of nucleotide changes it takes to get from one chosen enzyme to another chosen enzyme when those two enzymes are separated by divergences at two-thirds of their amino acid residues and at least 9 insertion deletion events, but that is all. The idea that evolution should be able to bridge this enormous gap by a series of nucleotide substitutions (when we know that it is common for functional divergence in duplicate genes to arise by insertions, deletions and the formations or loss of introns and exons instead) is entirely arbitrary.

    Lastly, preordaining a change from X to Y does not test evolutionary theory because this is teleology. It is a test, instead, of intelligent design. I shall only note here that Gauger and Axe failed to turn X into Y.

  37. Onlookers:

    It continues, the predictable refusal to address the “every tub must stand on its own bottom” issue, and the slide into a distractive, polarised debate.

    The problem with that one is, leave it alone, and the smears stand. Address them and those who imagine that both sides are equally blameworthy think “a pox on both houses.”

    Having already highlighted the issues on that side, I note that and pass on.

    On the science side, this thread is originally on the claimed chromosome 2 fusion event.

    On the merits, it is by no means clear, as highlighted in 10 above, that this is relevant to claims of origin of humans by chance variation and differential, incremental reproductive success of different varieties starting with a chimp-like primate.

    Onward, this leads to the challenge to show that it is feasible to convert such an ape population in 6 – 10 MY by the indicated mechanisms. I highlighted the particular issue of origin of linguistic ability and related logical and epistemic functions, on the relevant pattern. This points to the wider challenge of the origin of body plans, and is directly relevant to the origin of the codes, algorithms and associated effecting machines for the origin of cell based life.

    PM has of course brought up his attempt to overthrow and dismiss the recent book by Gauger et al, which seems to be by a dismissive focus on one particular point; in the teeth of protests that there is a case as a whole to answer and the point in question is not the slam dunk suggested. Namely, the issue of the modification of enzyme function, and so I have taken a moment to put up the excerpt in 33 above. I think there is reason to see that there is another side to the story, and Gauger clearly has a point.

    I have also pointed to the sort of pop genetics problems that lie unanswered, e.g. in above and in the onward linked here.

    All in all, it is quite clear to the astute onlooker that the evolutionary materialist paradigm has not properly made its case and that it more prevails by the intellectual climate than the merits. That comes out in case after case. Philip Johnson’s rebuke to Lewontin is right: the issue is the worldview level a priori, often pushed in by the backdoor of a methodological rule.

    What I find especially revealing int he linked discussions by PM is that he simply does not seem to realise that every tub must stand on its own bottom. The darwinist frame is not a default, any more than any other scientific theory. So, it needs to provide observationally anchored warrant. Warrant capable of answering to the development of major body plans and specialist adaptations such as whales, bats, birds, and upright walking, language using bipeds.

    I know per massive observation that design can account causally for the origin of digital code using, functionally specific complex organisation and associated information. Living forms are of that class. Discounting fairly minor adaptations, I have no good observationally anchored reason to see that blind chance variation and incremental differential reproductive success can do the same absent intelligent design.

    Until that case is seriously made, the sort of claims we commonly see that the grand Darwinist narrative (or the latest modifications thereto) are as morally certain facts as the orbiting of the planets, will remain an unwarrranted assertion.

    KF

  38. F/N: Just as a burden of warrant point, it needs to be shown, on positive observational evidence, that the CV + DRS –> DWM –> Macro-Evo –> Tree of life dynamic actually works. Gross extrapolation of minor variations does not cut it. Similarly, PM has had to acknowledge how hard it is to move across AA sequence space to functional forms and from one form to another. He seems to be suggesting constrained paths. But, the DNA sequences that string are not chemically constrained by the chaining reactions. These SYMBOLICALLY are converted into AA chains in the Ribosome, which is a flexibly programmed machine. He is actually inadvertently pointing to evidence of islands of function. Which is what Gauger, as clipped is underscoring.

  39. Paul-

    The problem is that your position cannot acount for any genes, that includes all alleged ancestral genes.

  40. PM has of course brought up his attempt to overthrow and dismiss the recent book by Gauger et al, which seems to be by a dismissive focus on one particular point

    Once again, KF, this is demonstrably untrue. One particular point? My review addresses the major points of every chapter in the book. It is not my fault that you haven’t read the review, but there is no point in your continued dishonesty about it. As you so often like to tell others, you have been repeatedly corrected on this.

    So, once more, this: I have made a series of specific comments on Gauger and Axe’s work in comment 36 above with a link to a fuller discussion, and you have replied only with generalities, once again bringing up everything from OoL to body plans to human evolution. You have now added to your list the origin of DNA.

    There is little value in yet another long post from you talking about everything except the evolutionary relevance of taking two highly diverged sequences and expecting to bridge their functional difference by way of sequential nucleotide substitutions.

  41. Onlookers:

    Maybe there is a slice of the cake that has in it sufficient of the ingredients that we can understand the phenomenon we are dealing with: failure to recognise that every tub must stand on its own bottom, leading to thinking in a closed circle such that we have the sort of ideological lock-in that I used to see with some Marxists.

    In the update to the third review/ noview/ dip, denigrate and dismiss — I have had to find a best description (and I know it will be painful; however, PM needs to learn that something is very wrong with how he has handled those whom he would brush aside as irritating insects . . . ) — articles on Gauger et al, he actually touches on the case of origin of human language:

    There has just been a themed issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that deals with the evolution of cognition in humans. A paper in this issue by Schultz, Nelson and Dunbar elegantly summarises hominin cognitive evolution, showing a series of progressive and punctuated changes that culminate in the emergence of modern human language within the last 100,000 years. Brain size evolution over more than 3 million years is summarised . . .

    The pivotal problem is, no such thing has been SHOWN.

    This is rather like how in a recent biology textbook, the 5th Edn of the Johnson and Losos text, The Living World (McGraw Hill, 2008), in which there was a figure that laid out a series of mammal reconstructions on an equally reconstructed timeline and presented it as an OBSERVATION of macroevolution.

    The deep past is never observed, it is reconstructed. That means there is an inherent limitation on degree of warrant attaching to any scientific investigation of the past of origins.

    And, the timeline projected — here, across three million years (as though someone was ticking off on a diary) — is riddled with all sorts of circularities. And this is not just a matter of those despised silly Young Earth Creationists — note the “{typical” adjectives that show another problem of projection of a programmed dismissal talking point string — who cannot accept the all but certain findings of “science.” If you cannot see and understand the circularities in geo-dating systems, you have a problem with basic inductive logic. (I have a lot more respect for say the dating of star clusters based on the physics of H-balls leading to the HR plot and the observed branch-points heading to the Giants branch. There are some assumptions in this, but there is nowhere near as much circularity in the system.)

    Next, the circularity extends to the inference that origin of language has been SHOWN.

    What has been actually done is a bunch of skulls have been reconstructed [with some degree of circularity attaching in cases where the skulls are sufficiently incomplete that subjectivity is involved in the reconstruction, similar to the notorious case of KNM ER 1470), and lined up on a projected -- essentially, assumed -- evolutionary timeline.

    At no point has there been an actual empirical demonstration with actual direct observations and measurements of the actual facts.

    The abstract PM linked shows this sufficiently for our purposes:

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record [1 --> beyond that point, facts have gone out the window . . . ], much of our understanding of historical changes [2 --> abuse of a word, history properly denotes reconstruction of the OBSERVED past based on credible record and supplemented by other investigations] in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. [3 --> There is no actual observation, and there certainly is no observation of mecahnism in action to identify that CV + DRS --> DWM, hence origin of key major feature has occurred, much less on a given timeline] Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates [4 --> inadvertently key word], we show [5 --> Just what, per the basic limitations of your ability to observe the remote past beyond record, you could not do] that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya [6 --> the t-line is reflective of all sorts of circularities and is a theory-dependent model framework not a factual observation] are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. [7 --> Ditto] We then demonstrate [8 --> You have no such capability to demonstrate anything] that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. [9 --> Yet more circles of inference within the system] Thus, we argue that commonly used [10 --> i.e. "consensus" an appeal to collective authority not a fact] global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. [10 --> assertion, not fact, and mechanism is nowhere to be seen] However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. [11 --> Observe how the only actual factual record is put in a list of theory dependent, circularity-riddled reconstructions as though these are on the same level of warrant]

    The list of point6s where a theoretical scheme has been inserted and improperly assigned a degree of r=warrant that it cannot have is astonishing.

    Moreover, at no point have we seen any sound presentation on empirical observation of the incremental chance genetic changes fixed in populations by differential reproductive success, and then leading to origin of the human linguistic-logical capacity. Don’t even ask, how such a process could deliver a reliable cognitive function capable of good reasoning and well-warranted knowledge. The population and genetics issues on fixing incremental changes within the alleged window of available time is simply missing. The notion is simply implied that there is a Mt Improbale slope running up the backside of the peak is assumed.

    Don’t even mention the notion of a random walk across a smoothly connected fitness landscape [oh yes you can jiggle around a bit and you can have the fitness jiggle too that is irrelevant and a sidetrack led off to a strawman used by PM . . . ] that gets us there without any problems of needing to span search space challenges linked to the issue that complex specific multipart functionality based on proper arrangement of well matched parts leads to islands not a continent of function.

    And as for the way nature is assumed to nicely constrain variation so that the sort of EMPIRICALLY OBSERVED difficulties Gauger raised on moving from one enzyme to another can just be brushed aside, we just note it in passing.

    Epicycles upon epicycles.

    It is OBVIOUS that the sun, moon and stars go around the earth! So, we have to find a way to fit those funny back-loops into the system. Forty cycles? Eighty? Never mind it has to work out somehow. And see, we pretty nearly save the phenomena, look we are predicting eclipses. Just ask Columbus about how he got those Arawaks to feed him when he was stranded in Jamaica!

    That is why we all need to stop and seriously ponder Philip Johnson’s retort to Lewontin:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” [Emphasis added]

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    I doubt that this or any far more lengthy evaluation of the scheme will be sufficient to open the eyes of a PM to see the problem. But that does not mean that we who look on cannot take note for ourselves and see what has gone wrong.

    I am pretty well convinced that established systems, never mind flaws that are gaping, have to crash and burn to change. As happened 1980 – 92 with Marxism.

    So, t5he key thin is that we just have to stop giving our consent to the system and have to stop allowing its overlords and high priests in the holy lab coats to tell us what to think or do.

    But, the Emperor doesn’t have on any clothes daddy . . .

    Shush, sonny . . .

    KF

  42. So many words. Still no answer to paulmcs questions. How surprising. This onlooker thinks your’re just distracting here.

  43. Onlookers: Indium is a long term distractive, dismissive objector. It is quite clear that the substantial issue has been put on the table, and that the basic problem is that the evolutionary materialist scheme cannot stand on its own bottom. I have taken time just above to take a slice of PM’s attempted review (notice, how this is a specific point I had raised as a test case: origin of language ability among humans) and I have shown — on a pivotal point of human origins — just how the question has been massively and evidently unconsciously been begged in an a priori materialist circle. We do not see the empirically warranted step by step justification of the Darwinian mechanism, or of the population patterns, etc. but instead a presumed default backed up by an implicit appeal to consensus and collective authority. I do not know if PM (a) did not read what I wrote earlier enough to see this, or (b) lacked confidence in his own case at a key self-referential point or (c) thought it rhetorically advantageous to attack the man rather than address the issue, or what combination of the 6three, but the just above speaks for itself on the “every tub must stand on its own bottom” problem. Especially the Royal Society paper’s argument. KF

  44. F/N: If the onlooker wants to follow up this point, cf here in brief and onward here for some first details, noting:

    So long as [[Neo-]Darwinian macro-evolutionary theory lacks an empirically credible, tested and well-supported explanation of the origin and validity of human intelligence, language and associated reasoning powers, the very need to use these same human faculties to propose, discuss and analyse a theory that should but cannot account for them, turns every presentation of (or argument for) the theory into an unintended but eloquent illustration of the major and un-answered weaknesses of the theory.

    There are of course many, many other gaps in the warrant for the case that is usually so confidently presented, sometimes in terms that compare it favourably to the orbiting of the planets around the sun.

  45. F/N: Just remember, onlookers, the evolutionary materialist paradigm for OOL and for body plan origins has to “stand on its own bottom,” rooted in empirical evidence, not mere appeals to a consensus of the reigning orthodoxy. Let us note:

    1 –> Absent a cogent account of the origin of cell based life — encapsulated metabolic automata that self replicate using a von Neumann self replicator requiring a considerable amount of coded (thus, language based!) information — has no root and no starting point, the Darwinist tree of life is rootless.

    2 –> Similarly, absent an empirically warranted mechanism accounting for the origin of major body plans and key adaptations such as in birds, bats and language using reasoning humans, per CV + DRS –> DWM, thence novel body plans, the Darwinist (including derived) macro-evolutionary scheme is a tissue of gaps papered over with speculative reconstructions, not a proper scientific account.

    3 –> In particular, since it is self-referential, absent an adequately empirical observation backed account of human origins that grounds our language, intelligence and reasoning and knowing, the system collapses in self referential absurdity. Similarly, the system had better have in it a well warranted IS that objectively grounds OUGHT, or it is amoral and opens the door to might and manipulation makes right nihilism. [Cf. here on for first details.]

    By contrast, we know that FSCO/I is routinely observed as the product of intelligent, purposeful and skilled design, and we ONLY observe it as so. We can show per empirically backed up analysis on needles in sufficiently big haystacks (here 1,000 ly on the side, the thickness of our galaxy)that blind chance and mechanical necessity is maximally unlikely to create such from an arbitrary starting point in a config space. And we therefore have excellent reason to infer that such FSCO/I is an empirically reliable sign of design. KF

  46. F/N: Since there is a tendency on the part of evolutionary materialist objectors to design to simply repeat talking points and ignore cogent replies, first, I will again excerpt the issues highlighted by Gauger that appear at 11 above, I will follow with 33 above. This is with particular reference to 36 just above, which is of course unresponsive to the pivotal issues, never mind the wider “every tub must stand on its own bottom” point:

    ______

    >>Getting a feature that requires six neutral mutations is the limit of what bacteria can produce. [1 --> per the empirical work put on the table by Gauger et al, observe absence of work that demonstrates that such a limit or a similar one is not so, is conspicuously absent, and the population genetics pop size and generation time issues are not resolved, so the transformations to make a whale out of a cow or something similar, run into serious problems, as do the changes to make a chimp like animal into a human. Note, bacteria have the pop size and short generation span to produce observable results in a reasonable lab span] For primates (e.g., monkeys, apes and humans) the limit is much more severe. Because of much smaller effective population sizes (an estimated ten thousand for humans instead of a billion for bacteria) and longer generation times (fifteen to twenty years per generation for humans vs. a thousand generations per year for bacteria), it would take a very long time for even a single beneficial mutation to appear and become fixed in a human population. [2 --> Notice the contrast on population genetics relevant points]
    You don’t have to take my word for it. In 2007, Durrett and Schmidt estimated in the journal Genetics that for a single mutation to occur in a nucleotide-binding site and be fixed in a primate lineage would require a waiting time of six million years. The same authors later estimated it would take 216 million years for the binding site to acquire two mutations, if the first mutation was neutral in its effect. [3 --> Notice this report from a separate study]
    Facing Facts
    But six million years is the entire time allotted for the transition from our last common ancestor with chimps to us according to the standard evolutionary timescale. [4 --> hence the 6 - 10 MY window] Two hundred and sixteen million years takes us back to the Triassic, when the very first mammals appeared. One or two mutations simply aren’t sufficient to produce the necessary changes— sixteen anatomical features—in the time available. At most, a new binding site might affect the regulation of one or two genes. [5 --> So, where are the resources to do the transformation in the window of time available?]>>
    _____

    Next, we have the issue of the enzyme transformation, so I clip from 33 above, Gauger again, which directly anticipates what we see in 36 (and I hope Indium learns a lesson about commenting adversely late in a thread’s life):

    ______

    >> Those who follow the evolution intelligent/design are probably familiar with one accusation that we often face — that we do not do peer-reviewed research. In fact, we have published a number of peer-reviewed articles and one of them in particular, called “The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway,” contributed to the argument we made in the new book published by Discovery Institute Press, Science and Human Origins.

    That paper was critiqued last November by Paul McBride. [a --> This was published July 19, i.e. before the exchanges above] He has now extended that critique in his review of our book, available here. McBride’s main complaint is that we picked an unnatural evolutionary transition to test. We chose to examine how hard it would be to get a modern-day enzyme to switch to the chemistry of a closely related modern-day enzyme, with very similar structures and catalytic mechanisms.

    The reason for our choice was not ignorance. We knew that the enzymes we tested were modern, and that one was not the ancestor of the other. (They are, however, among the most structurally similar members of their family, and share many aspects of their reaction mechanism, but their chemistry itself is different.) [b --> Notice the reasons] We also knew that in order for a Darwinian process to generate the mechanistically and chemically diverse families of enzymes that are present in modern organisms, something like the functional conversion of one of these enzyme to the other must be possible. We reasoned that if these two enzymes could not be reconfigured through a gradual process of mutation and selection, then the Darwinian explanation of gene duplication and gradual divergence to new functions was called into question. [c --> Notice the reasons]

    Our results indicated that a minimum of seven mutations would be required to convert or reconfigure one enzyme toward the other’s function. No one disputes that part of our research. [d --> Observe the results] What Paul McBride and others claim is that because we didn’t start from an “ancestral” enzyme, our results mean nothing. They say something like, “Of course transitions to new chemistries between modern enzymes are difficult. What you should have done is to reconstruct the ancestral form and use it as a starting point.” [e --> Observe the built in default to the a priori on ancestral forms, i.e we see a circle of argument without empirical warrant on specific observations]

    Have you noticed the assumption underlying this critique? [f --> indeed] The assumption is that genuine conversions can be achieved only if you start from just the right ancestral protein. Why is that? Because conversions are hard [g --> Notice, that is an implicit admission that complex, multipart function dependent on proper arrangement of well chosen well matched parts strongly comes in islands, which is a key reason why the needle in haystack challenge applies to FSCO/I and why it is an empirically reliable sign of design]. . . .

    The problem then becomes, where did the diverse families of enzymes come from, if transitions are so hard, evolution is so constrained, and selection is so weak? [h --> this is based on a direct quote from PM, and it again points to the isolated islands of function issue. You have to have just the right sort of starting config or no dice] Were the ur-proteins from which present families sprang so different from modern ones, so elastic that they could be easily molded to perform multiple functions? [i --> On what empirical warrant per observations? or, are we simply back in the circle of a priori evolutionism] If so, how did they accomplish the specific necessary tasks for metabolism, transcription, and replication? [j --> Notice the link back to OOL]

    More than that, how did the proteins necessary for replication, transcription, translation, and metabolism arrive at all, if evolution is so constrained? [k --> How do you get to the shores of islands of complex function in vast seas of non-functional configs, by chance based random walks without a differential performance filter because until you get tot he start point you have no function; it gets tiring to have to point out what should be obvious over and over and over . . . ] Those processes are much more complicated that a cellulase enzyme. We have ribosomes, spliceosomes, photosynthesis, and respiration. We have hummingbirds and carnivorous plants and even cows who make use of cellulose-degrading symbionts. The things that have not arrived or arrived very rarely, like cellulases, seem trivial by comparison to the things we see around us. [l --> responsive to particular points]

    Our results argue that only guided evolution, or intelligent design, can produce genuine innovations from a starting point of zero target activity [m --> Notice, the island of function issue, if you beg the question by starting in an island of function, you are (maybe unconsciously) ducking the key issue.] . . . .

    Life is inherently teleological [n --> We are seeing complex things that have to be put together in well matched properly organised ways to achieve function], and the needs of an organism cannot be met by whatever happens to show up. [o --> There is no good observational evidence to warrant an assumption of continents of function such that we have vast "fitness landscapes" that reward incremental change from arbitrary initial points, and this extends to cases where we have random drift to jiggle around and allow the landscape to shift too] I would say, rather, that his faith in the unending creativity of evolution, in spite of the limitations of natural selection, the rarity of paths, and the functional needs of organisms, is itself a form of religion. [p --> Cf Johnson as repeatedly cited]

    This is an interesting turn in evolutionary thinking. People have been saying for years, “Of course evolution isn’t random, it’s directed by natural selection. It’s not chance, it’s chance and necessity.” [q --> Yup] But in recent years the rhetoric [r --> that's the right word] has changed. Now evolution is constrained. Not all options are open, and natural selection is not the major player, it’s the happenstance of genetic drift that drives change. But somehow it all happens anyway, and evolution gets the credit.

    All around us we see marvelous examples of successful, even optimal design. [s --> I.e. we see complex, specific function that depends on correct arrangements of matched parts, and these work very well in ever so many cases, never mind the distractors that point to some dubious cases of allegedly sub-optimal design; though the point is that optimisation can be detrimental long term (the robustness issue) if it locks out flexibility] If evolution is constrained to just a few paths, and you have to start with the right ancestral form to get anywhere, and fixation of useful new traits happens by accident, how did anything ever happen at all? [t --> Other than by design that put you down on the islands of function implied by such] Were the paths of adaptation “preordained”? Paul’s choice of words, not mine. If there are only a few ways to solve any problem set by the needs of the organism because transitions are hard, then either the deck was stacked in our favor, or the process was guided, or we are incredibly lucky. [u --> Design is on the table . . . ] >>

    ______

    I trust these notes will help onlookers who really want to find out what is going on and what is on the table. I have long since given up hope — save by blatant system collapse a la 1989 – 91 — for those locked up in the closed circle a priori materialistic metaphysical system, or carried along as fellow travellers.

    KF

  47. tl;dr

  48. paulmc,

    Thanks for taking the time to post here. I appreciate your efforts to explain your position and critique of Axe & Gauger’s book. I also appreciate that unlike others you *have* taken the time to read and critique the book chapter by chapter.

    I think the disagreement between you and Kairosfocus boils down to two things:

    1.your desire to stay focused on particulars (enzyme functions, chromosome fusions, etc.)

    2. and KF’s desire to bringing attention to how your own views are shaped not by science but by, as he put it, “a materialistic metaphysical system” with its own a priori truths.

    If I understand KF is correctly then your critique of Axe & Gauger and their testing methods is as biased in favor of the reigning view of evolution, pop. genetics, etc. as you’d say theirs is against it. I think that’s what he was getting at back in post #14:

    “Let’s see the dynamics, the play-out that credibly led to us in reasonably available time [incl. pop genetics], and warranting empirical evidence that does not go in a priori materialist circles or depend unduly on extrapolations accepted through the eye of Darwinist faith.”

    If true, then appealing to studies and published papers with results from the latest research by others committed to the same metaphysical view is of little help. The particulars you want to focus on will, and more importantly, *can* do one thing only: confirm the reigning view. Since all evidence is first subject to that metaphysical stance (even before peer review!) it can only be interpreted in such a way that it will either fit the reigning view or be considered a mystery to be resolved later. But the one thing no amount of evidence can do is this: disprove the theory. Nothing can.

    If I’ve got this right then KF’s requests aren’t unreasonable. In fact, I’d say they require answering.

    Of course, I could be completely wrong which isn’t unusual. I apologize to both you and KF if that’s the case. Finally, here’s hoping you both tone it down a bit and that you address only the questions without attribute ulterior motives to each other. This is a great opportunity for both of you to teach those of us on the low end of the IQ scale.

    Again, thanks!

  49. This onlooker and long time dismissive objecter notes that despite another 1000 hypersceptical and just plain distracting words you still don´t answer paulmcs simple and relevant arguments. Because you can´t. And you won´t. Which would be a lot less amusing if you wouldn´t try to hide this fact behind such large walls of text, so keep it up.

  50. “you”=kf, in my last post, not lpadron.

  51. lpradon: Without wanting to speak for paulmc, I would like to remark that of course kf can invent millions of questions that paulmc has to answer to defend his materialistic worldview or whatever. But that is not the point of the argument. Paulmc has made very specific arguments regarding a very specific ID paper in an “ID-friendly” journal.
    kf does not seem to be able to address these arguments, so in my mind his walls of text are just a distraction.
    Paulmc is not arguing that the materialistic worldview is correct, that there is a working model of the OOL or that all population genetics questions kf might think of have been answered. And even if paulmc answered every one of kfs questions (and he has answered some), kf would invent new ones (and he already did, in this very thread).
    Do you really think this is an acceptable debating style?

  52. IP:

    Before heading off I decided to pass by.

    You have understood what I have been raising on a crucial facet.

    In addition, standing on their own empirical observation merits, there is a need to warrant the claim that CV + DRS –> DWM, thence macro-evo etc.

    The two are directly connected as the injected a priori seems to make claimed evidences carry far more weight than is reasonably warranted. This is because once such an a priori is locked in, something pretty much like that MUST follow. But, “every tub must stand on its own bottom.”

    That is, PM et al cannot properly demand a default, in which it is just a matter of solving a few puzzles on HOW what MUST have happened did so. There are fundamental gaps.

    That is why I am highlighting the closed question-begging circle that reminds me ever so strongly of the Marxist system, and the linked want of grounding warrant. It is why I am calling for the kind of warrant I am, from the root of the Darwinist tree of life up. I am not just tossing out scatter-shot obstacles and objections to make it impossible to answer.

    And it is why I am drawing a very direct parallel between digital codes and algorithms in the original cells, and the rise of language-logic capacity in humans.

    Now, I will make a comment to PM directly, for I have changed my mind somewhat.

    KF

    PS: Indium, I think you are having a very similar problem to what I have just discussed, and am about to discuss.

  53. kf:
    Now, I will make a comment to PM directly, for I have changed my mind somewhat.

    Great news. This is going to be interesting.

  54. PM:

    I have changed my mind on a point, and apologise for a misunderstanding coloured by the context with Zimmer and a triggering remark on your part.

    I now believe that you have made a sincere attempt to read and respond to Gauger et al. However, I believe — and the case with the alleged origin of language was pivotal here in my revised thought — the circle of thought you are in has drastically coloured how you read.

    Pause and look at my response on what you clearly believed was a decisive citation from credible source on the origin of human language in 41 above.

    Look closely at my comments on and surrounding the source.

    I don’t care just now if you agree with them, I am simply concerned to know if you were aware of how such a cite would look to someone like me who is decidedly outside the evolutionary materialist paradigm and who is trained to think in terms of logical and empirical warrant for claims.

    Did you expect that the article could be seen in a very different way, as inadvertently listing ever so many potentially disputable assumptions, or that it is giving the impression of an access to the remote past of origins that is not in our gift? Do you see why it will look ever so different to one who does not share that circle of assumptions? And, why such a person will have reason to see the whole as an ideologically driven circle of thought?

    By contrast, cf here on, a simple survey of astronomical and cosmological themes with special emphasis on the HR diagram and its significance. Notice how I speak in terms of a hydrogen ball MODEL, as distinct from actual stars. Then notice how I use the HR diagrams of clusters. Notice the inferences that because they are gravitationally linked local groups of stars they are about the same distance away so relative magnitudes link to absolute ones. Similarly, they plausibly share a common origin. From this and the H-ball model, we see age estimates based on branch-off points that look like they are heading for the giants branch, the later life of a star per the model.

    Do you see the inferences that are laid out and the reasoning behind the “best explanation”?

    Do you notice how I refrain from announcing such as though they were record or pretty certain facts?

    Which do you think is more likely to persuade an outsider that the process of thought involved is reasonable and conservative in conclusions? Why?

    Now, turn back to how you seem to have read Gauger’s argument and her response of July 19, in 46 above, on enzyme functions.

    Do you notice the gap between how you have looked at the evidence, what Gauger says in response and what I highlighted and amplified?

    I think you have inadvertently stumbled on the verge of seeing the isolated islands of function challenge, but are blocked by your circle of thought.

    In short, I think you may have read Gauger et al, but from so alien a perspective that they have reason to feel that you have not fairly read them with genuine understanding. This is the impression I get from your multi-part review. (And BTW, please lose the annoying tab that comes up on the RHS of your blog pane, it interferes with scrolling at least on my machine.)

    Your responses may feel good to those on your side of the divide, but come across as very unfair and even denigratory to those of us on this side. For instance, observe how you introduce Luskin:

    In walks Casey Luskin, armed with a law degree and a Masters in earth science, ready to take on the idea of our shared common ancestor with chimpanzees in a chapter entitled ‘Human origins and the fossil record’. Luskin must be something of a polymath, for here he takes on the world’s palaeoanthropologists on the hominin fossil record and in the next chapter he tackles the existence of junk DNA . . .

    This is denigratory, AND commits the fallacy of appealing to modesty in the face of the presumed authority of the deans of your school of thought.

    Einstein was a nobody when he came up with relativity and was not exactly a celebrity for years thereafter. Newton was a student when he came up with his pivotal insights. Luskin is not in their class but he is insisting on thinking for himself, is obviously intelligent and has investigated the matter. Gauger is a researcher publishing in the peer reviewed literature and Axe is a more senior researcher. Show the modicum of respect that deals with matters on the merits rather than people.

    (NB: Your invidious comparisons above did much to poison this thread, and frankly, I am trying hard to see through your eyes instead of taking you for what such tactics point to, now and 30 years ago when I had communist agitators dealing with. Kindly, turn down the voltage, and understand that science is inherently provisional so learned schools can be wrong.)

    in closing, I really have to get moving, notice your:

    Luskin is right to point out that the hominin fossil record is imperfect, and that at times the completeness of that record have been overstated. But he goes further, and channels Lewontin to make a strange claim:

    ‘so “fragmentary” and “disconnected” is the data that in the judgment of Harvard zoologist Richard Lewontin, “no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor.”’

    It is not a sign of the poverty of a fossil record that extant species lack directly fossilised ancestors, but rather evidence that there were various, diverse lineages that mostly led to evolutionary dead ends. This is the case for hominini as it is in other lineages. We have no particular reason to expect to find direct ancestors of living species in the fossil record, and of course there will be appropriate controversy for any given fossil because of how different characters will be interpreted.

    Do you see why someone outside the circle will see such as reflecting circularity rather than solid warrant?

    Now, think again on your update and onward link as cited in 41. Think about how the authority you cite goes around the circle.

    Then, look again at why I am raising the concerns I have raised. And no, this is not hyperactivity or attention deficit on my part. That was outright rude on your part.

    Maybe the matter can be addressed on a more reasonable basis now.

    KF

  55. kf: Which specific point (!) of paulmcs review do you think your post 54 is adressing? I can´t find anything about cosmology (of all things…) in paulmcs review, nor is there anything about the evolution of language. Hydrogen ball model???
    I will tell you something: Even if you are correct and all your cosmological arguments are right and your islands of functionality idea is relevant (it isn´t) and so on, all of this would not make paulmcs argument any less valid. So, why do you bring all these distracting tangents up?

  56. KF,

    1. Good post.

    2. As I mentioned at CZ’s site, Luskin has a degree in law and a Masters in earth science. Zimmerman holds only a BA in english. That hasn’t stopped anyone from claiming Zimmerman is something of an authority. Of the two and given their academic backgrounds, who’s more likely to have had some training in critical thinking?

    3. As the son of parents who fled Castro’s cuban revolution I’m familiar with the communist tactics you mentioned. I don’t know that paulmc is guilty of them or even aware that they may be perceived as such. But I’m extremely grateful for whatever you’ve done to stomp them out in the past.

  57. Indium,

    If paulmc is arguing in a circle then his argument is altogether invalid no matter what paulmc points to as evidence.

    KF has argued that paulmc is doing just that.

  58. IP:

    Ah, boy. I understand. I hope you did not lose family or friends of family. (I just did a revision to a key doc and stakeholder discussion, took a break.)

    I suggest you make acquaintance of the Alinsky tactics, summarised here.

    Also cf Phillips here — the book looks like a must-read.

    PM et al flipped some serious warning flags.

    A lot of what is breaking down in our time is that the techniques that were created by communist subversives have now become “standard” pressure group tactics. The underlying nihilism traces to the evolutionary materialism Plato deplored 2350 years ago, cf here.

    KF

  59. Indium:

    Do you understand that in the citation from a Royal Society paper, PM used a deep past timeline, perceived as fact?

    Do you understand that it is pivotal to his argument and that there are serious and longstanding circularities involved in geochronology, especially the reconstructed timeline for origin of man, as say the mess with KNM ER 1470 — a “hot” fossil human case in my youth and student days — showed?

    Do you therefore see why I took time to outline a different approach, one that (with reference to dynamics of known physics) provides age estimates for our galaxy with much less of circularity, though there is an inescapable degree of assumptions? Do you notice how I explicitly highlighted the way the approach lays out models and compares model with observation in this case of star clusters? Did you see how I used this to draw out the inference to best current (and provisional) explanation logical basis for scientific reconstructions of the remote and unobservable deep past?

    Did you notice how I contrasted this to the tendency to suggest “facts,” that things have been “shown,” and the claim that one has “demonstrated” on “records”?

    Do you see how this is an illustration of the circularity problem I am identifying in PM’s arguments and in those of the authorities he cited as decisive on the specific subject which I raised earlier in the thread and which in his quite hostile review part 3 he used in rebutting and dismissing Gauger et al?

    Do you see why I am heavily underscoring the circularity problem and the importance of an inference to best explanation [IBE] anchored by adequate empirical observation basis as the way forward?

    Do you understand that the pivot of the design inference is an IBE argument on empirically well warranted signs, in a scientific context?

    In that light why not go back up to 41 and 46 and reread my comments?

    KF

  60. I’d like to make a few points, addressing what lpadron said above.

    First, thanks for laying out a calm version of events from the ID side. I do have to disagree, and I’d like to explain exactly why.

    You’re right that I do want to stay focused on one issue, because this is the comments thread on a blog, and it is impossible to focus on many things at once and do them justice.

    I disagree about the claims on metaphysics and circular reasoning – here’s why. I was discussing the reaches of evolution as argued by Gauger and Axe. If it turns out that they are entirely wrong, this should not be considered evidence against intelligent design as a whole. That there are certain things within the reach of evolution does not mean that other things are not. Everyone these days seems to accept ‘microevolution’ so this should be uncontroversial.

    If you want to test the intelligent design as a scientific hypothesis, you should have a null model to test it against. The null model is that there is no designer. Fortunately for you guys there has been 150 years of development of such a null model. This may sound like I am saying evolution is ‘true’ until you prove otherwise, but actually I am not because testing the alternative does not provide positive evidence for evolution. You could also conceive a different no-designer null model if evolution is inadequate.

    However, it is essential that the null model is correctly and fairly tested. If not, you have exactly no evidence of anything. What I have suggested is that the expectations of evolution were unreasonable and rejecting them tells you nothing about it or the alternative. There is nothing circular about this.

  61. And that is the problem- correctly and fairly testing the null model. Even after 150+ years no one has a clue of how to do so.

    Strange, that…

  62. KF:

    Did you expect that the article could be seen in a very different way, as inadvertently listing ever so many potentially disputable assumptions

    Yes, I see the point you are trying to make. Obviously there are assumptions, and they are unlikely to justify them in an abstract. Basically you take issue with a few word choices like ‘history’ and ‘show’. You present no reasons to doubt their timeline, you only assert that it is circular.

    In short, I think you may have read Gauger et al, but from so alien a perspective that they have reason to feel that you have not fairly read them with genuine understanding. This is the impression I get from your multi-part review.

    My ‘alien’ perspective is that of mainstream evolutionary biology. If I haven’t read with genuine understanding, I’d expect that there’d be matters of science you could be addressing here rather than simply suggesting I’m missing the point.

    Luskin is not in their class but he is insisting on thinking for himself, is obviously intelligent and has investigated the matter. Gauger is a researcher publishing in the peer reviewed literature and Axe is a more senior researcher. Show the modicum of respect that deals with matters on the merits rather than people.

    Luskin might be very intelligent indeed. For all I know he might also be charming and personable and a great guy to have a beer with. But you talk about people showing a modicum of respect? Luskin accuses the entire field of palaeoanthropology of being driven by personal disputes, that its practitioners are dishonest to the public, and he speculates about sinister motives with no evidence. These are massively disrepectful things to say. He later directs a personal attack at Francis Collins. And then there’s his treatment of the literature. I was sarcastic but there is a context.

    Gauger and Axe repeatedly demonstrate misunderstandings of the population genetic processes – look at what Axe claims towards the end of his response to me. In science, respecting their work does not mean ignoring these mistakes.

    Do you see why someone outside the circle will see such as reflecting circularity rather than solid warrant?

    I assume you are suggesting that there is circularity regarding my interpretation of the fossil record. The fossil record is what it is. It’d be convenient if better, more regular, and more representative preservation happened but it isn’t. My interpretation isn’t circular simply because it occurs within the evolutionary paradigm.

    Finally – and back to the point – none of this addresses my criticisms of Axe and Gauger, which should test an adequate model of evolution if they are to provide evidence for ID.

  63. Larry Moran latest post: some notes on the evolution of enzyme families, and enzyme specificity.

    He also mentions he will be addressing Gauger and Axe from a biochemistry stance.

  64. kf, please show how dating methods are all in the end circular. They are not.
    I give you an example of circular reasoning:

    - All things we know that show FSCI (or whatever your current acronym is) are designed
    - biological objects show FSCI
    - biological objects are designed

    See? Circular reasoning. You are assuming your conclusion in the premise.
    Now show the same for the dating methods.

  65. Well if that is circular then so is this:

    1.All men are mortal
    2.Socrates is a man
    3.Therefore Socrates is mortal

    Its so circular that Im getting dizzy!

  66. Nice one kuartus. But, I hope you agree that your premise can be supported by much more evidence and is not at all relying on checking if Sokrates is really mortal. There always will be the limits of induction. But while indeed all men we know are mortal, there is a class of objects (biological objects) where we don´t know if they are designed. Still, funny comment, thanks for the laugh in the morning. :-)

  67. Indium:

    First, did you notice, that I linked a discussion of the dating problems, and took time to link a particularly clear example of the way the dating issue can break down behind the scenes in the specific context of human origins? As well as the contrast with a case that is much less subjective?

    It seems not.

    That makes your remarks come across as willfully ill-informed burden of proof shifting and defiance of duties of care to truth and fairness.

    Next, you seem to be suffering a breakdown of basic inductive logic (in the context of scientific reasoning) here:

    - All things we know that show FSCI (or whatever your current acronym is) are designed

    [a --> Missing in the rhetoric: per an observational base of billions of test cases, with no significant exceptions, leading to an inductive scientific generalisation that, though inevitably provisional is empirically reliable. Actually the root problem is that in the teeth of such a base of observations, you wish to imply that there is no such pattern. If you wish to overturn it, kindly show cases within our observation that reliably show the origin of functionally specific, complex organisation of multiple well-matched parts to form a working whole, and associated information by blind chance and mechanical necessity, without intelligent guidance on the stage or behind the curtains. Where, said cases are such that Chi_500 = I*S - 500 exceeds 1.]

    - biological objects show FSCI

    [b --> Per observation of what has been identified at a as an empirically reliable, credible sign; e.g. cf DNA and RNA, proteins, and the mechanism that step by step creates proteins from the digitally coded information stored in DNA, and the related von Neumann self replicating facility, all in an encapsulated entity with gated interactions with the outside world.]

    - biological objects are designed

    [c --> Per reliable, tested sign and signified, and with the Newtonian proviso of provisionality subject to further empirical tests that is standard for science. This last being similar to the basis on which the laws of thermodynamics stand, and is the context in which quantum theory and relativity showed the limitations of Newtonian dynamics.]

    See? Circular reasoning.

    [d --> Not at all, reasonable inductive generalisation and inference to best explanation for cases where we did not observe the causal process, and which exhibit the same sign]

    You are assuming your conclusion in the premise.

    [e --> That is what you wish were the case. But in fact, the one projecting an unwarranted assertion at the first step is the objector (as in: show the reliable cases of blind chance and necessity spontaneously creating FSCO/I without intelligent guidance or intervention . . . ], who then twists the matter about to pretend that there is not a serious observation and induction basis for the generalisation given.]

    Do you see that it is you who by your remarks patently do not understand the nature and limitations of the scientific method in general?

    Did you take time to observe not only the discussion of Newton’s rules of scientific reasoning here in the IOSE intro-summary, but the unit on scientific methods in light of relevant considerations here, also?

    In short, your objections fail, and fail in a way that does not reflect well on the way you have approached the matter.

    Please, do better next time.

    KF

    PS: Onlookers, if there were a reliable observed pattern of chance and necessity giving rise to FSCO/I spontaneously without involvement of design on stage or behind the curtains, there simply would be no design theory movement.

  68. PM:

    I am sorry, your response above is simply not good enough.

    It is not that “oh this cannot be shown in an abstract,” but that the logical pattern revealed by the abstract shows the ways in which controlling evolutionary materialist assumptions have been injected and control the process.

    We did not and cannot observe the deep past of origins. We may only infer from signs and traces in the present per provisional inference to best explanation. That holds for deisng theory inferences and it holds for the evolutionary materialist paradigm. Origins science, simply does not have the luxury of direct empirical observation that obtains in other fields of science, and in turn experimental sciences that allow controlling of variables and circumstances provide a yet higher degree of accountability before observations.

    In that context, it is NEVER appropriate to speak of how one has shown or demonstrated one’s conclusions, or that one has consulted a record comparable to the records of history.

    That is basic, driven by the limitations of the logic of induction.

    If you cannot see this, then it must be evident to the astute onlooker that an alien to the system such as I [and it is the undersigned who was the alien in view above] will see these built in circularities and will call stop.

    That is not a matter of word choices that could be simply edited out.

    It is central.

    And inadvertently revealing of the controlling mindset. At he highest level, as this is a Royal Society paper, in its abstract, which will be seen and consulted far more often than the body of the paper itself.

    So, if it passed peer review, and was published by the relevant editors, that is telling on the circularities of the system.

    Nor, is this an isolated case, it is unfortunately typical.

    And your further go to lunch on Luskin, whilst a retraction on the invidious associations you made above are still missing in action, are further telling. In that context, I think you do not have credibility to remark on others, as your own judgements are patently inaccurate and biased.

    As to problems of disputes, there are serious case studies, and I linked one such above.

    Your brush-aside and passing over the major logical problems then going on to beat up on what seems to be a strawman Luskin, therefore fall under the context of willful atmosphere poisoning by the trifecta fallacy: red herrings that distract, led away to strawman caricatures soaked in overt or implicit ad hominems and ignited by snide or enraged words that trigger a conflagration, confusing poisonous clouds of rhetor5ical and emotional smoke, and polarisation.

    Not good enough, and all too reminiscent of the tactics of subversive extremists I know ever so well from 30 years ago that did so much harm to my homeland and to that of IP.

    You need to stop the distractive, denigrarory and divisive tactics, and deal with a significant problem of the logic of the methods being used by practitioners of “mainstream evolutionary biology.” (Onlookers, read here: evolutionary materialism dominated scientism applied to the life sciences on matters of origins.)

    I trust that you will now take a serious look at the issues of circularity undermining the work in question. yes, all arguments have assumptions, but some assumptions have a problem of being tendentious and question-begging. One such is to assert or imply facts in the deep past projected where there are and can be no facts other than traces we observe in the present.

    Kindly contrast the outline case of dating our galaxy that I have already given. Notice, how carefully observations and inferences and models are separated, and how the conclusions are presented as a model of the past.

    Then, think about how the following will look to an informed outsider to the system, who is concerned about empirical warrant and inductive logic: the projection of a model past as if it were fact, in a context where there has been no empirical warrant for the claimed driving dynamic to work at body-plan origin or major adaptation level (here, upright biped and language-using mind are particularly in view); instead, an extrapolation form minor cases often dealing with loss of genetic information, to a wholly different level.

    I think you would find it useful to take a second look at the origin of the human systems that equip us to use language and to think, know and reason, and the resulting warrant for the results of investigations. (Onlookers, cf, here again on the implications of the self-referentiality implied.)

    KF

  69. Pardon, I seem to be extra prone to typos this morning.

  70. F/N: This is a bit of what Luskin may be talking about.

  71. Your billions of testcases have all been build by humans. You can´t assume that all FCSI systems that we know of have been designed when we know of another set of billions of things (biology) where it is unclear if they have been designed.

  72. Indium:

    You are wrong. The test cases have been built by intelligent beings (not all of whom are human, cf here as was discussed at UD some time ago and which I believe was brought to your attention previously but ignored), and generally speaking we have no good reason to infer or assume that humans exhaust the possibilities for intelligence.

    In short, you are injecting an irrelevant criterion to object.

    Indeed, in the case of OOl, as was also discussed and objected to on relevance [which it here shows in spades!], we have encapsulated, metabolic automata with von Neumann self replicators making explicit use of digitally coded symbolic information. Right at the foundation of cell based life.)

    Sorry, this predictable talking point fails.

    KF

  73. Larry Moran is using gene duplications- gene duplication followed by function changing mutations is evidence for ID- read “Not By Chance” by Dr Lee Spetner

  74. F/N: On scientific fights in paleontology:

    SVANTE PÄÄBO: As an outsider to paleontologists, I’m often rather surprised about how much scientists fight in paleontology. And I am thinking about why that is the case. Why do we have less vicious fights in molecular biology, for example? I suppose the reason is that paleontology is a rather data-poor science. There are probably more paleontologists than there are important fossils in the world. To make a name for yourself is to find a new interpretation for those fossils that are extant. This always goes against some earlier person’s interpretation, who will not like it very much.

    There are many other areas of science where we can agree to disagree, but at least we often generally agree on what data we need to go out and collect to resolve the issue and no one wants to come out too strongly on one side or the other because the data could, in a year or two, prove you are wrong.

    But in paleontology you can’t decide what you will find. You can not in most cases go out and test your hypothesis in a directed way. It’s almost like social anthropology or politics — you can only win by somehow yelling louder than the other person or sounding more convincing. That’s perhaps the reason why paleontologists get so heated in these fights.

  75. kf: How do beavers get you out of the circular reasoning? Or do you think they change the fact that we have a large class of objects (the biological world), for which you can´t assume design in our premise? How so? Beavers inventing DNA billions of years ago?

    But my original question was: How are dating techniques circular? Could you sum it up in a few sentences? Just a very short summary would be enough, thanks.

  76. Indium, obviously logic isn’t your strong suit. Entailment doesn’t count as circular reasoning. If that was the case then every valid deductive argument would be a fallacy. A circular argument occurs only when the conclusion is identical with a premise. The design argument you call circular is not circular since the conclusion is not one of the premises of the argument. But since the argument is logically valid, the conclusion is entailed by the premises.
    Go study up on your logic.

  77. Indium:

    First, please read the primer on basic sci methods and logic, here. Maybe this on the underlying epistemology will help too. If you are objecting to the logic I am using as circular, you are objecting to the logic of science — especially origins science — as circular.

    FYI, it is based on broad and reliable observations backed up by the needle in haystack analysis that we have a right to infer (provisionally, as in all of science) that functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information are signatures of design. Just as, on repeated, reliable observations we know that water boils at 100 degrees under certain conditions, or that energy is conserved or that the second law of thermodynamics is so.

    I have already pointed out that we are dealing with an induction that is empirically based. Let me cite Newton en bloc, this time from Opticks, Query 31, as you plainly have not looked him up when I linked a cite from Principia, putting in paragraphing to make it easier to follow:

    As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy [~ Physics], the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition.

    This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths.

    For Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy.

    And although the arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general.

    And if no Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced generally.

    But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as occur.

    By this way of Analysis we may proceed from Compounds to Ingredients, and from Motions to the Forces producing them; and in general, from Effects to their Causes, and from particular Causes to more general ones, till the Argument end in the most general . . .

    This is probably the root source for the “method” you would have been taught in primary school, and would have been further trained in in High School and College.

    So, recognise: FSCO/I is observed routinely and reliably to trace to intelligent cause, human and otherwise. In addition, we have needle in haystack analysis reasons to see why this should be so, similar to the statistical arguments that ground the second law of thermodynamics.

    On that double ground of inductive generalisation and related needle in haystack analysis, we have reason to infer that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design as cause. So, when we observe this in cases that we do not have direct access to the causal events, we trust the sign.

    Where also as in all cases, such an inference to best explanation inductive conclusion (yes, IBE is a form of inductive argument) we follow Newton in his provisionality.

    If you want to dismiss such a provisional but empirically reliable inference on reliable signs, then if you are consistent you will cast away a great deal of science, management, forensic procedure and day to day common sense analysis.

    But of course, you don’t, it is only in this case that you do not like that you object. And in a case where there is REAL circularity, as I pointed out from the Royal Society paper, you have been silent. This is selective hyperskepticism.

    I think this has been pointed out to you over and over.

    As for beavers, have you so soon forgotten that above you said: “Your billions of testcases have all been build by humans?

    The beavers are a direct factual counter to that. With illustrated cases in point of building arch and gravity dams based on circumstances in a stream.

    (And in case you missed my AI leanings, I take them as a model for building reasonably autonomous construction robots. Or at least a beginning. Remember, across this century I want us to build self-replicating industrial networks capable of supporting in the first instance third world development then onwards solar system colonisation. And after that . . . )

    I trust you will take time to think this through before coming back for more.

    KF

  78. F/N: Newton’s rules of scientific reasoning from Principia:

    Rule I [[--> adequacy and simplicity]

    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

    To this purpose the philosophers say that Nature does nothing in vain, and more is in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.

    Rule II [[--> uniformity of causes: "like forces cause like effects"]

    Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes.

    As to respiration in a man and in a beast; the descent of stones in Europe and in America; the light of our culinary fire and of the sun; the reflection of light in the earth, and in the planets.

    Rule III [[--> confident universality]

    The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

    For since the qualities of bodies are only known to us by experiments, we are to hold for universal all such as universally agree with experiments; and such as are not liable to diminution can never be quite taken away. We are certainly not to relinquish the evidence of experiments for the sake of dreams and vain fictions of our own devising; nor are we to recede from the analogy of Nature, which is wont to be simple, and always consonant to [398/399] itself . . . .

    Rule IV [[--> provisionality and primacy of induction]

    In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.

    This rule we must follow, that the arguments of induction may not be evaded by [[speculative] hypotheses.

    Of course, this is the same sense of hypotheses in Opticks, query 31.

    The interested onlooker may wish to see here in the ongoing ID foundations series, and ponder the comparative case of deer tracks.

    It seems some fur-pants wearing ancestors wish to have a word or two with Indium.

  79. KF:

    It is not that “oh this cannot be shown in an abstract,” but that the logical pattern revealed by the abstract shows the ways in which controlling evolutionary materialist assumptions have been injected and control the process.

    You seem surprised that people working within an evolutionary paradigm use evolutionary assumptions.

    We did not and cannot observe the deep past of origins. We may only infer from signs and traces in the present per provisional inference to best explanation.

    Indeed – conclusions in science are always provisional. The best current explanation for a series of fossils that palaeontologists consider part of the hominin lineage that show a progression in cranial capacity over time (the progression being indicated by dating of those fossils) is that the hominin lineage experienced a cranial expansion, with a corresponding increase in brain size. Because of the correspondence with archaeological records at the end of this period of expansion, the conclusion is that our large, metabolically expensive brain was implicated in the emergence of modern language. Other interpretations might be possible, but their one is the simplest conclusion that is consistent with the hominin fossil record and a larger body of theory. Again, they’re working within a paradigm, as happens in every single field of science and is necessary to make and test predictions. That they don’t restate the whole paradigm in their abstract is not something sinister even if you, the outsider, see it differently.

    When CERN announced that they had observed a boson consistent with the Higgs boson, was your first reaction “what do they mean, observed?” Really, all they did was use detectors to record a signal from the putative decay of something. Layers upon layers of assumptions. Of course, following their model they could make the prediction that if the Higgs exists it would occur and then decay under certain circumstances within a certain mass range, which they recreated and then detected.

  80. PM:

    The problem is not with assumptions being present in all arguments, but with circularity and assertions that cannot be so. We cannot show the remote past of origins, we cannot speak of records put up on the shelf with historical records, and the like.

    Let me clip 41 above again, for those who came in late (the links and emphases are there):

    ______

    >>[PM] actually touches on the case of origin of human language [which I had pointed to]:

    [PM:} There has just been a themed issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that deals with the evolution of cognition in humans. A paper in this issue by Schultz, Nelson and Dunbar elegantly summarises hominin cognitive evolution, showing a series of progressive and punctuated changes that culminate in the emergence of modern human language within the last 100,000 years. Brain size evolution over more than 3 million years is summarised . . .

    The pivotal problem is, no such thing has been SHOWN.

    This is rather like how in a recent biology textbook, the 5th Edn of the Johnson and Losos text, The Living World (McGraw Hill, 2008), in which there was a figure that laid out a series of mammal reconstructions on an equally reconstructed timeline and presented it as an OBSERVATION of macroevolution.

    The deep past is never observed, it is reconstructed. That means there is an inherent limitation on degree of warrant attaching to any scientific investigation of the past of origins.

    And, the timeline projected — here, across three million years (as though someone was ticking off on a diary) — is riddled with all sorts of circularities. And this is not just a matter of those despised silly Young Earth Creationists — note the “typical” adjectives that show another problem of projection of a programmed dismissal talking point string — who cannot accept the all but certain findings of “science.” If you cannot see and understand the circularities in geo-dating systems, you have a problem with basic inductive logic. (I have a lot more respect for say the dating of star clusters based on the physics of H-balls leading to the HR plot and the observed branch-points heading to the Giants branch. There are some assumptions in this, but there is nowhere near as much circularity in the system.)

    Next, the circularity extends to the inference that origin of language has been SHOWN.

    What has been actually done is a bunch of skulls have been reconstructed [with some degree of circularity attaching in cases where the skulls are sufficiently incomplete that subjectivity is involved in the reconstruction, similar to the notorious case of KNM ER 1470), and lined up on a projected -- essentially, assumed -- evolutionary timeline.

    At no point has there been an actual empirical demonstration with actual direct observations and measurements of the actual facts.

    The abstract PM linked [from a Royal Society paper] shows this sufficiently for our purposes:

    As only limited insight into behaviour is available from the archaeological record [1 --> beyond that point, facts have gone out the window . . . ], much of our understanding of historical changes [2 --> abuse of a word, history properly denotes reconstruction of the OBSERVED past based on credible record and supplemented by other investigations] in human cognition is restricted to identifying changes in brain size and architecture. [3 --> There is no actual observation, and there certainly is no observation of mecahnism in action to identify that CV + DRS --> DWM, hence origin of key major feature has occurred, much less on a given timeline] Using both absolute and residual brain size estimates [4 --> inadvertently key word], we show [5 --> Just what, per the basic limitations of your ability to observe the remote past beyond record, you could not do] that hominin brain evolution was likely to be the result of a mix of processes; punctuated changes at approximately 100 kya, 1 Mya and 1.8 Mya [6 --> the t-line is reflective of all sorts of circularities and is a theory-dependent model framework not a factual observation] are supplemented by gradual within-lineage changes in Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sensu lato. While brain size increase in Homo in Africa is a gradual process, migration of hominins into Eurasia is associated with step changes at approximately 400 kya and approximately 100 kya. [7 --> Ditto] We then demonstrate [8 --> You have no such capability to demonstrate anything] that periods of rapid change in hominin brain size are not temporally associated with changes in environmental unpredictability or with long-term palaeoclimate trends. [9 --> Yet more circles of inference within the system] Thus, we argue that commonly used [10 --> i.e. "consensus" an appeal to collective authority not a fact] global sea level or Indian Ocean dust palaeoclimate records provide little evidence for either the variability selection or aridity hypotheses explaining changes in hominin brain size. Brain size change at approximately 100 kya is coincident with demographic change and the appearance of fully modern language. [10 --> assertion, not fact, and mechanism is nowhere to be seen] However, gaps remain in our understanding of the external pressures driving encephalization, which will only be filled by novel applications of the fossil, palaeoclimatic and archaeological records. [11 --> Observe how the only actual factual record is put in a list of theory dependent, circularity-riddled reconstructions as though these are on the same level of warrant]

    The list of points where a theoretical scheme has been inserted and improperly assigned a degree of warrant that it cannot have is astonishing. >>
    ______

    See the problem, and notice how you are lining up next to another objector who evidently does not understand the inductive logic of science?

    I’ll let that stand for now.

    That is what you have to face.

    KF

  81. One more time: You haven’t demonstrated circularity. All you have done is been hypersceptical about their methods and their word choice.

    To your 12 points about the abstract:

    1 –> beyond that point, facts have gone out the window . . .
    They didn’t claim anything about facts.

    2 –> abuse of a word, history properly denotes reconstruction of the OBSERVED past based on credible record and supplemented by other investigations

    Rubbish. History, like many words in English, has multiple meanings. It is clear what they mean.

    3 –> There is no actual observation, and there certainly is no observation of mecahnism in action to identify that CV + DRS –> DWM, hence origin of key major feature has occurred, much less on a given timeline

    They didn’t say observation they said understanding; they didn’t refer to a mechanism.

    4 –> inadvertently key word

    There was nothing inadvertent about their use of ‘estimate’. They understand they are making estimates here.

    5 –> Just what, per the basic limitations of your ability to observe the remote past beyond record, you could not do

    Are you seriously claiming we cannot ‘show’ (all they mean is infer) anything that uses palaeoclimatic or fossil records?

    6 –> the t-line is reflective of all sorts of circularities and is a theory-dependent model framework not a factual observation
    They did not say ‘factual observation’. Asserting that the timeline is circular is not sufficient as an argument.

    7 –> Ditto
    Ditto.

    8 –> You have no such capability to demonstrate anything
    ‘Demonstrate’ again has a clear meaning in the circumstances.

    9 –> Yet more circles of inference within the system
    Palaeoclimatic reconstructions are independent of the hominin fossil record. I fail to see the circularity and you have done nothing to demonstrate it.

    10 –> i.e. “consensus” an appeal to collective authority not a fact
    Actually, very much the opposite in the context.

    10#2 –> assertion, not fact, and mechanism is nowhere to be seen
    They didn’t unpack this in the abstract, and they assume the reader has some familiarity with the literature.

    11 –> Observe how the only actual factual record is put in a list of theory dependent, circularity-riddled reconstructions as though these are on the same level of warrant
    The assumption is yours. Putting these things in the same sentence does not make them all the same.

  82. F/N: Regarding CERN and a not quite certain “catch” of a Higgs Boson in the predicted 125 MeV energy range:

    When CERN announced that they had observed a boson consistent with the Higgs boson, was your first reaction “what do they mean, observed?” Really, all they did was use detectors to record a signal from the putative decay of something. Layers upon layers of assumptions.

    1 –> Notice, the implicit promotion of an origins science on a deep, remote, non-repeatable past, with repeatable observations made in the present, with instruments and observers in hand. This is the “it’s a FACT like the orbits of the planets” fallacy.

    2 –> The trick here of course is that a boson is not directly observed, we are relying on rather elaborate clusters of instruments and software programmed on various operational science theories.

    3 –> For just one instance, particle physics often relies on the Lorentz force to set a magnetic field, and then look at particle traces across the field as they curl, which gives a charge/mass ratio on the laws of centripetal force.

    4 –> Where also the actual particles are invisible, but they can trigger local effects such as condensation trails in a cloud chamber or bubbles in a bubble chamber or precipitation in a stack of films, down to modern electronic detectors. The physics behind these effects is well known to be empirically reliable. And, the observations are repeatable.

    5 –> For instance to teach how a squirrel cage induction motor works, I used to use a sacrificial analogue CRO, and set it to XY mode. The physics of the deflected beam and the screen phosphor that makes its point of impact visible are well tested and reliable. Then I would bring up a bar magnet sideways — the field is easy to plot or outline with iron filings.

    6 –> Lo and behold, it would push it in the way the cross product equation indicated. Then, I would rotate the magnet, showing how the little deflected dot of light is “pulled” along in a circle. The predictions are confirmed, reliably and routinely so. The impact is clear enough that I am willing to risk calibration of a US$ 400 instrument (preferably an obsolete one) to get the point through to students who are otherwise often mystified by the way the induction motor works. and of course, I teach young Physics students the Lorentz force, as the basic law. Then, I teach them how to draw their hands high-noon style with the hand rules and remember that we crank the generator right-handed. Maybe, one of these days, someone ought to make a youtube vid out of it. And the consequences of the insights extend all the way to what is going on at CERN.

    7 –> Observe something else: they are NOT yet saying, this is it, as there are some possibilities that need to be further investigated. That essential conservativeness is itself a salutary lesson.

    8 –> By contrast, no-one has developed the reliable, repeatable consistent dynamics of darwinian evolutionary change at body-plan emergence level. Including, on the emergence of language. We have no reliable, demonstrated causal mechanism that routinely delivers the level of change required, with the scale of population, on the timeline, with the genetics and reasonable mutation rates. All is inference, loaded up with a priori materialism that predetermines the conclusion that something like this MUST have happened.

    9 –> See why I contrasted the estimates of the age of our galaxy in light of the HR diagram, the physics of giant balls of H, and the clusters with breakaways from the main sequence headed for the giants branch? (Note geochronology concerns on institutionalised circularities here on in context.)

    10 –> Now, go back above to the issues with the abstract. This is essentially non-conservative, and wants to promote speculative reconstructions to the status of fact. We did not observe the past 3 mn years, we did not have a RECORD of this, we have not SHOWN such, nor have we DEMONSTRATED. And consensus of a school of thought on its assumptions and models and stories are not to be confused with facts.

    What is truly astonishing and revealing of the damage being done to science, is that we have to go through such in so much detail over and over.

    Notice, it seems, some are struggling with inductive reasoning.

    We need to wake up and see what is going on.

    Finally, notice, we see nowhere in sight a straightforward, properly empirically warranted, epistemologically cautious evolutionary account of human origins, including of language and logic.

    And meanwhile the self same object ever so strenuously to inferring design on well tested routinely demonstrated signs such as FSCO/I.

    Sadly revealing.

    KF

    KF

  83. PM: You are now resorting to an attempted turnabout. Can you show me the instruments and observations that on known physics etc, captured a record of the past 3 mn years of human origins? You cannot, the deep past of origins is unobservable. The Higgs boson has been recorded by that standard, here and now. Similarly, the circularity in constructing a model past comes out strongly in exaggerated language of warrant — the onlooker can see for himself [what do show, demonstrate history and record normally mean], and in a pattern of inference on claimed dynamics allegedly capable of creating the transformation of a chimp like animal into a human in 6 MY, where the dynamics do not have empirical warrant for that and the pop genetics is highly dubious. KF

  84. All I was referring to was the use of the word ‘observation’.

    Back to the main issue, neither of your responses address the circularity you claim to have identified.

  85. PM:

    Blandly dismissive “who are you going to believe, me or your lyin’ eyes” declarations do not remove the facts on the table as already given. Look, again, at the language used in the abstract cited by you as decisive.

    Then, contrast how we inherently cannot observe the remote past of origins, and the use of language that implies that we have such in hand as facts, i.e. “show,” “history,” “demonstrate,” “record” etc is inherently question begging — only fools dispute facts, so if something is effectively decreed and [improperly] accepted as a fact . . . — and a case of the fallacy most blatantly expressed in the all too common assertion that equates the degree of confidence in such to that in the observed orbiting of the planets around the sun.

    Your attempt above to try to compare to the CERN provisional — and cautiously stated — results on the Higgs boson only served to underscore how there is a ladder of empirically accountable dynamics that gives us high confidence in the CERN results (the issue is WHAT was there, not if it was there at a pretty well identified window of time). By contrast, neither the ladder of genetic mutations fixed in sewquence in pops, nor the full chain of fossils alleged to show human ancetry are t5here. And in particular, we do not have the ladder of changes and the pop genetics that allow duly cautious conclusions that we have a transitional sequence that shows the actual origin of human language and reasoning capacity.

    In short, we have exaggerations, pivoted on a clear a priori assumption or assertion of evolutionary materialism as dominant frame of thought. That way, there HAS to be some sort of darwinism-like process so one is in reality only looking for indicators of what it was.

    Lewontin put the matter this way:

    . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated . . . [["Billions and billions of demons," NYRB, Jan 1997. (cf. here on for a longer, annotated cite that shows that I am not "quote mining," the usual, too often dishonest deflective accusation.]

    This massive begging of questions has literally been written into the very definition of science and its methods as taught to students in recent cases, e.g. here is the US science teachers association board, 2000; NSTA (from the same place as just linked):

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . . Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000.]

    Naturalism, of course is a philosophy that embeds evolutionary materialism as its origins narrative. So, the very definition of science is being distorted, in the teeth of history, reason and common good sense. Then, the predetermined materialist circle of argument on origins is presented as fact.

    Indeed, Wikipedia as at August 2010 had a clanger on that point:

    . . . When scientists say “evolution is a fact” they are using one of two meanings of the word “fact”. One meaning is empirical, and when this is what scientists mean, then “evolution” is used to mean observed changes in allele frequencies or traits of a population over successive generations.

    Another way “fact” is used is to refer to a certain kind of theory, one that has been so powerful and productive for such a long time that it is universally accepted by scientists. When scientists say evolution is a fact in this sense, they mean it is a fact that all living organisms have descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral gene pool) [8] even though this cannot be directly observed. [["Evolution as theory and fact," coloured emphasis added. Acc: Aug. 7, 2010.]

    In case there is need to clarify what circular argument and begging the question mean, here is the Fallacies page IEP:

    Begging the Question

    A form of circular reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from premises that presuppose the conclusion. Normally, the point of good reasoning is to start out at one place and end up somewhere new, namely having reached the goal of increasing the degree of reasonable belief in the conclusion. The point is to make progress, but in cases of begging the question there is no progress . . .

    Circular Reasoning

    Circular reasoning occurs when the reasoner begins with what he or she is trying to end up with [and moves in an uninformatively small circle of reasoning]. The most well known examples are cases of the fallacy of begging the question . . .

    By contrast to this, a case of inference to the best explanation, the underlying form of inductive logic in scientific reasoning, seeks to unify a cluster of otherwise puzzling facts (Things directly known to be so, typically by observation, experience or credible record) by comparing the difficulties of alternative possible explanations and then based on reasonable criteria may conclude that one is best on factual adequacy, coherence and balance of explanatory elegance — neither ad hoc nor simplistic. All, being provisional, as Newton so aptly summarised.

    Such a process is not compatible with stacking the deck by cherry picking facts [i.e. the lack of observationally warranted CV + DRS --> DWM dynamics to account for origin of body plans etc is significant, as is the lack of population genetics to support such, cf. here again on the whale example, which is similar to the problem for origin of human language and rational faculties) or improperly injecting a priori constraints on otherwise reasonable explanations [such as evolutionary materialism as we see with Lewontin, US NAS, NSTA, NCSE etc etc], or exaggerating the degree of warrant attaching to a proffered candidate, such as we see with the text of the abstract for the paper you have cited.

    In short, what we have is the a priori imposition of a materialist circle of thought that immediately implies that here must have been an evolutionary process for origin of life from chemicals in some warm little pond or comparable environment somewhere. In such a circle, the degree of warrant acceptable to the high priesthood of the system is of course constrained by the underlying a prioris. And of course they can then plead longstanding consensus as though that warrants conclusions tot he point where they can suggest that they can call these things facts.

    All that tells us who look on with a critically aware eye is that the system is under ideological thralldom to a priori evolutionary materialism, a system of thought that is by reduction to self referential absurdity, inherently and necessarily false. (Cf., here.) And inescapably amoral also. (I link these for the onlooker primarily, as it is obvious from what has already transpired that you are not going to do more than glance at a linked discussion then brush it aside.)

    Philip Johnson, in his reply to Lewontin, aptly stated the bottom-line:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    There is no tyranny of the mind more effective at selling a circular system of thought than that of an unconsciously absorbed, social or institutional consciousness backed, a priori system. And that is what evolutionary materialism demonstrably is.

    KF

  86. paulmc:

    You seem surprised that people working within an evolutionary paradigm use evolutionary assumptions.

    But if you keep assuming the very things that need to be tested, what good is that?

  87. Mr. Focus,

    Why don’t you just come out and say you’re a Young Earth Creationist? Seriously, all this (verbose) dancing around! You sound like Ken Ham; except Ham manages to ask “were you there?” in three words – you take 3000.

    Don’t worry Mr. Focus, there’s room under ID’s big tent.

  88. BT:

    In your haste to label and dismiss, with the neat little dismissive Dawkins pigeonholes — ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked — it has evidently not dawned on you that I am not a Young Earth Creationist, but a design thinker on origins — i.e. my evaluations are not constrained by debates and views over exegesis of scripture?

    (Did you see or pay attention to the contrasted case of dating our galaxy per the HR plot and the H-ball model for star physics? As in branch points of stellar cluster HR diagrams that give reasonable age estimates with a minimum of questionable assumptions. I have a lot of respect for those dates. They may be wrong, as there are factors we do not know, and we were not there to see the actual past, but to accept these provisionally on IBE is very reasonable. I just emphasise that all of these are model not actual past timelines. In fact, if last Thursday the cosmos were created in an instant complete with our memories of the past, it would be empirically indistinguishable. We have to make a worldview level choice — best, per comparative difficulties — to accept a worldview. So, instead of begging big questions, face them.)

    I am fully capable of seeing the difference between cautious and provisional models on stellar life cycles and exaggerated claims or implications of factual status on a circular geodating process riddled with subjectivity and institutional ideology.

    I have repeatedly pointed to the case of KNM ER 1470, which now that I know the behind the scenes story that was not reported in the Sci mags and newsmags with the lavish displays in my days as a 6th former and college student, leave me with a distinctly sour taste in my mouth.

    Kindly, take time to work through the serious concerns that are there on reconstructions of the remote past before trying to label and dismiss in future. I suggest here on in context for a start, noting the contrast with cosmology and astrophysics.

    (I do note that as an inadvertent testimony to what I am highlighting there are YEC physicists who propose a young earth in a 15 BY cosmos model pivoting on a time freeze.)

    KF

  89. kuartus:
    In the logic used by kf, he starts with the premise that all objects we know that show FSCI (or whatever) are designed. He bases this analysis on stuff that has been build by humans (and beavers! :-)). He never proves that this also true for biological objects that have a completely different history and for which no designer is known or even plausible. So he assumes his conclusion in form of an extremely weak inductive argument. Therefore it´s circular. By the way, there are other instances that might show that kfs premise is not valid and which therefore require additional checks (for example ev and avida).
    That does not mean that all inductions/deductions are wrong. But in the real work you have to be careful and you need to be able to support your inductive argument with evidence. If, for example, kf could prove that FCSI must *necessarily* always be introduced by a designer, then yes, he would have a case and the circularity is broken. But again, this is exactly the question we are discussing: Can evolution lead to FCSI (whatever that is)? If he would have additiional evidence for his designer, maybe a time, a method, specific predictions, or whatever else, his inductive argument would be strengthened. He has almost nothing to support his theory, just very weak attacks of evolutionary biology. Therefore, kfs reasoning remains circular. He begs the question. And I think your logic is wrong, not mine. For a start, you may look up the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning.

  90. Indium-

    If you do not like what KF says nor the design inference well please, step up and demonstrate that blind and undirected processes (not “evolution” whatever that is) can produce what either a biological organism or a multi-protein machine that requires more than two protein-to-protein binding sites.

    Ya see it is the failure of your position plus our knowledge of cause and effect relationships that allows us to reach a design inference wrt the universe and biological organisms.

    The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Leheigh University, puts it in his book Darwin ‘ s Black Box: “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”

    He goes on to say:
    ” Might there be some as-yet-undiscovered natural process that would explain biochemical complexity? No one would be foolish enough to categorically deny the possibility. Nonetheless, we can say that if there is such a process, no one has a clue how it would work. Further, it would go against all human experience, like postulating that a natural process might explain computers.”

    So there ya go, have at it…

  91. Indium:

    Why are you insisting on erecting a willful misrepresentation, in the teeth of having been corrected several times?

    You say:

    In the logic used by kf, he starts with the premise that all objects we know that show FSCI (or whatever) are designed.

    You know or full well should know (and it has been repeatedly said here in this thread and before) that there is an inductive inference from the commonplace OBSERVATION that functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information are routinely and only observed to be the product of designers. Yes, that includes humans, and beavers [as in designers and builders of site-specific gravity and arch-dams), and probably others too. This is multiplied by the ANALYSIS on searching for needles in haystacks on limited resources, i.e. the sampling theory result that shows why chance based random samples normally capture the bulk of a distribution not special, separately describable and rare members or clusters thereof. (As in, the analytical basis of the theory of hypothesis testing.)

    Such an inductive conclusion is NOT a premise — a start-point for an argument. It is the conclusion from the real investigation, and grounds a provisional but empirically reliable (per, billions of test cases) generalisation. Namely, that such FSCO/I is a reliable sign of intelligent design.

    It is on this basis of examining the divergent characteristic patterns produced by mechanical necessity (natural regularities AKA laws of nature), chance circumstances (chance bases stochastically distributed contingencies), and designers, that we use FSCO/I as a sign that points to design as cause, even in cases we are interested in where we did not or could not separately observe the actual causal event.

    Such cases include those of origins science, where once we see credible traces form that causal processes and tha these include FSCO/I, we have good grounds to infer inductively that these are designed.

    You have willfully suppressed the underlying investigatory work, and present an inductively warranted conclusion as though it were an unwarranted question-begging premise.

    That is, at this stage intellectually irresponsible and dishonest. For, you are speaking in willful disregard of the truth, in the hope that that which is untrue would be perceived as true to your advantage. There is a name for that, and it is not a pretty word.

    Kindly, stop it.

    If you disagree with the inductive process, or have a good case where in our observation chance — the other source of high contingency outcomes — by itself or with mechanical necessity without intelligent guidance or intervention routinely produces FSCO/I that would be a different story.

    Plainly, you and others like you do not — or this would be trumpeted all over the Internet. (Onlookers, many attempts have been made, from canals on Mars as sketched to simulations of pendulums, levers and gears that magicaslly turn into time-keeping clocks. Only, in each case, design is involved. If canals had been seen on Mars that would have been a sign of a Martian civilisation, as it was, the drawings were obviously designed to represent what the astronomers THOUGHT they saw. Similarly, the begged questions of the source of the simulation world and what is required to say make an accurate gear — a 3-d very complex object not a convenient 2-d simulation, and even the required base plate that would have to be a precision object, were overlooked. And so on.

    In that context of not being able to throw over the induction on evidence, your resort to a willfully false strawman misrepresentation in the teeth of repeated correction speaks volumes, and none of it to your advantage.

    Please stop it.

    KF

  92. F/N: let’s make the matter a bit more specific.

    Taking in the scope of our solar system (our practical universe so far as significant chemical interactions are concerned), with 10^57 atoms, and about 10^17 s as time available, with the fastest chemical interactions being about 10^-14 s (and organic ones far slower as a rule), then:

    a –> The number of configurations for 500 bits [2^500 ~ 3.27*10^150] is such that, at chemical interaction rates, the maximum sample size is comparable to a one straw sized sample of a cubical hay bale 1,000 LY across; the thickness of our galaxy.

    b –> If we were to set such up centred on the earth and pull a straw-sized sample at random just once, with maximum likelihood, we would get a sample of the overwhelming bulk of the distribution, straw.

    c –> This is the needle in the haystack problem.

    d –> Now, functionally specific and complex objects require well-matched components organised in specific was to work. That is, they depend on particular and special configs, that are identifiable by the criterion of whether or not they are workable.

    e –> They come from special, unrepresentative, narrow zones of configuration spaces. (NB: By reducing an complex entity to a nodes and arcs diagram, it can be represented by a digital string, similar to what say drawing software does.)

    f –> That is why the needle in the haystack analysis is relevant.

    g –> this may be represented in an expression:

    Chi_500 = I*S – 500, bits beyond the solar system threshold.

    h –> I is an information content metric deducible from a nodes and arcs representation, and S is a dummy variable that defaults to 0 [not functionally specific, and only where there is a positive objective reason for holding otherwise would it trip to 1]. (NB: Going to 1,000 bits would address the observed cosmos as a whole.)

    i –> In effect the FSCO/I inference is that where Chi_500 goes to 1 we may comfortably infer that an object was designed, on its complex functional specificity.

    I give this summary, to highlight the reasoning for the above. I trust we may now return tot he main focus for this thread.

    KF

  93. KF:

    It is the conclusion from the real investigation, and grounds a provisional but empirically reliable (per, billions of test cases) generalisation. Namely, that such FSCO/I is a reliable sign of intelligent design.

    I haven’t been following this part of thread very closely – when you say billions of test cases do you mean the billions of items that humans have designed (plus beaver dams)?

  94. PM:

    1] How many cases of digitally coded algorithmic or linguistic information of beyond 500 bits or the equivalent have been observed to have been caused by unintelligent causes tracing to undirected forces of chance and/or mechanical necessity?

    2] How many such cases have been observed to be produced by intelligent causes?

    3] Have you or any other party got an empirically warranted, defensible explanation that on such non-intelligent forces, successfully accounts per a detailed explanation for the spontaneous origin of gated, encapsulated metabolic automata using von Neumann self replicators (and thus digitally coded information), i.e. the living cell?

    KF

  95. Indium,
    You’re confused. An argument is circular when the conclusion itself appears as one of the premises.
    I think what you mean to say that the argument begs the question.
    For example you say that the premise that all FCSI is a result of design is not known when it comes to biology.
    It would be a case of begging the question when the premise is presented without arguing for it when it is that premise which is in question.
    But thats what the whole ID movement is about. To show that material processes are incapable either in principle or in the time available to account for the FCSI in question. Yet the FCSI is there. So if not natural processes then what else can account for it? Thats what the whole ID program is about. It doesnt beg the question since its been arguing its
    premises from the very beginning.
    Whether it has been successful or not is a whole nother question.

  96. KF -> is that a yes?

  97. KF – re 85 above:

    You made specific claims about circularity in Schultz et al., and now do not appear to be able to support them – or at least you have not addressed these in #85. Instead you opted to discuss Richard Lewontin, Wikipedia and a definition of circularity. Everything except Schultz et al., you might say.

    Let me remind you that claimed:

    a) it is circular to use dated hominin fossils to estimate a timeline for evolutionary change in the hominin lineage
    b) it is circular to use palaeoclimatic reconstructions to infer a role for climate in any of the major changes on this timeline.
    You have not claimed that any such estimations should be taken with a grain or two of salt because of the potential for error in them (which they should), but that they are decidedly circular.

  98. PM:

    1: It should be clear (the beavers provide a direct and striking counter example, albeit a limited and non-linguistic one) that you have no good grounds for asserting or implying that humans exhaust the set of possibly intelligent beings.

    2: This means that we are left to infer intelligence based on an ostensive definition, with credible cases forming a set of key exemplars against which further cases are assessed on reasonable comparison.

    3: The creation of functionally specific, complex organisation (and associated or implied information) seems to be a good candidate for that.

    4: In the particular case of coded symbolic linguistic and/or algorithmic info, we are looking at a parallel with the case of humans, and the origin of life.

    5; As for the latest attempt to brush aside the implications of the exaggerated claims of “shown,” “history,” “record,” “demonstrate” etc and what hey mean in the known context of the “assumptions” of “evolutionary biology” — i.e. evidently Lewontinian a priori evolutionary materialism [and I gave these cases to illustrate just how widespread and publicly documented the system is that I am pointing to -- that is this is not a claim that does not have a wider context of warrant, i.e. what is happening here is what we should EXPECT, given what is going on in the wider context . . . your attempt to imply red herrings and strawmen fails, and does so in a way that brings your own thinking under question . . . ], I can leave the judgement on circularity to the same basis I did with the Marxists: the informed, concerned onlooker who has to deal with the potential consequences of such ideological factions gaining and holding power.

    6: In short, your collective behaviour as an institutionalised school of thought has forfeited the benefit of the doubt. Those who would play politics to radically redefine science in the teeth of common good sense, the logic of induction and history, then use political pressure to force feed such to children in school under penalty of failure and threats of exclusion from employment and access to higher education do not have any reasonable benefit of the doubt. The linked specifically indicts the US NAS and NSTA, and the silence (= implied consent) for several years in wider circles carries a much more serious import. (IP, see some of what I mean about some very familiar partyline conformity tactics?)

    7: FYI, what I did was to compare a good case of a conservative timeline model (star clusters in light of the HR diagram and the physical models of stellar dynamics) with the track record (KNM ER 1470 is a case that is particularly relevant) and problems of geodating that show institutionalised question-begging and ideological conformity to a party line.

    8: Recall, the problems — as I discussed in linked materials you have never referenced in your discussions go up to and include the “star” technique, concordant isochrons. And such points of concern appear in the relevant technical literature. In short, we must never confuse the model timelines of the past of origins with the actual but unobserved past regarded as factually known or practically so.

    9: In light of the problems with such dating, I have reasons to distrust claimed concordant climate timeline reconstructions.

    10: Further to all this, you have never proffered dynamics and empirically warranting observations adequate to show the origin of language-using, credibly reasoning humans from some chimp-like ancestor in 6 – 10 MY, through in effect CV + DRS –> DWM = evo, in light of challenges on ability to create information that is specifically functional and complex, and to fix same in populations in the relevant window given reasonable mutation rates, limits, and generation times, with population levels that are reasonable. (I have used the whale several times as a relevant parallel.)

    11: instead, what has consistently come across is that the institutionalised assumption of evolutionary materialism sets a context in which something like the darwinian mechanism in effect must have happened, and so any evidence in hand (which does not amount to something adequate to answer the issues just summarised) has been read in light of the system. Through the eye of Darwinian faith, so to speak.

    12: All of this, in a context, where we cannot observe the remote past. And indeed your attempt to compare the jury is still out case of the Higgs boson, simply showed the gap in observability and firm grasp of relevant dynamics between the two cases.

    KF

  99. Onlookers:

    CH seems to have captured a relevant case in point here:

    Venema reviews a recent paper by other evolutionists who say they have found evidence of natural selection acting on random mutations to help change a population of small primates into humans. Venema tells us that such findings are “elegant and powerful” and that they “powerfully support the common ancestry of humans with other forms of life, such as chimpanzees and other great apes” . . . .

    [T]he paper’s explanation for how it made such an amazing discovery is fairly technical and not accessible to the non specialist. This is where Venema, a specialist writing for a broad audience, could have helped. Instead he further obfuscated the implications of the study.

    Very simply put, while there are many ways evolutionists test for positive selection, they all take evolution as a given. It is not possible simply to measure objectively the selection in DNA as one would, for instance, measure the voltage or current in a circuit using a multimeter.

    For example, one strategy evolutionists use to test for selection is to (i) compare the DNA sequences from several species including humans, (ii) derive the corresponding DNA sequence of the common ancestor of those species, (iii) find the changes in the human DNA compared to the common ancestor, (iv) conclude that those human DNA regions with relatively large change are under positive selection and that those regions with relatively little change are under negative, or purifying, selection.

    Notice that the second step implicitly assumes there is a common ancestor. And likewise the third step assumes the species evolved from that common ancestor. And so consequently the fourth step concludes that DNA regions with greater differences probably underwent positive selection. The conclusion is based on the presupposition that evolution occurred.

    Venema, as a specialist, knows all this. He knows the entire project presupposes evolution . . .

    See the pattern in action, on a related front?

    KF

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