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Not Even Wrong

The great physicist Wolfgang Pauli once criticized a scientific paper as so bad that it was “not even wrong.” It was so sloppy and ill conceived, thought Pauli, that to call it merely wrong would be to give it too much credit–it wasn’t even wrong. Today such a condemnation applies well to the theory of evolution which relies on religious convictions to prop up bad science. It seems that every argument for evolution wilts under scrutiny. Here is a classic example.

Continue reading here.

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214 Responses to Not Even Wrong

  1. Your article states the assumption that if it didn’t evolve, then ‘God’ must have done it. It is not a two horse race!

    At the moment, evolution is the only horse in the race to understand our origins, and ID is attempting to join the race (a bit of a crude analogy, but surely no one yet thinks ID is a fully fledged science), but as you can see, if ID is attempting to join, then there can just as easily be other options, just because no one has thought of other options, it does not mean if the horse running as evolution breaks a leg that horse ID automatically is entered in the race in it’s place. It would still need to [pass some sort of criteria, I dont know horse racing that well, hehe]

    Anyway, please dont assume only two possible answers, I find it deceptive tactic to say the least, and one that should not be used.

    If I am wrong about more than just two options, please inform me why you can portray the situation as only a two horse race, and why you can dismiss other options just because no one has thought of them yet.

    I see ID as conitually attacking ToE as a means to support ID, but that is the same as insisting the horse NOT YET qualified to race should be entered when the horse IN the race breaks a leg.

    Love you!

  2. Nnoel:

    At the moment, evolution is the only horse in the race to understand our origins, and ID is attempting to join the race

    Well right out of the gate you’ve got it wrong. ;-)
    ID was always the number one horse in the race, the favored steed. Darwinism came in millennia later as an attempt to remove God or gods from science altogether (see The Darwin Myth:life and lies of Charles Darwin).

    That ID has, in the information age, started to become a far more full fledged empirically based science (far more scientific than Darwinism has ever been) runner does not mean it is new.

    As far as other options go, there are only two others I’m aware of – panspermia (which is IDist in nature) and intelligent nature – which is basically a godless pantheism.

    No one seriously thinks nature is itself intelligent or itself God and if there are some who do (Hoyle and Denton hinted at the intelligent nature hypothesis) they certainly have no basis for it other than the rejection of a real intelligence.

    The Darwinian “horse” has already broken more than just a leg; it’s neck has been broken by the information sciences and the poor animal should be mercifully put out of its misery.

    It was never more accurate than that micro evolutionary adaptations can occur. The rest was always codswallop for the extremely gullible.

  3. Excellent article Dr. Hunter!

    Something to ponder if MES is not held by some as a religion, why do certain people put Darwin fish on their cars?

  4. From the linked post:

    6. But is it not reasonable to test opposing ideas?

    It’s extremely reasonable. Please submit an opposing idea it is possible to test. (For example, that Earth life was in part designed by extraterrestrials who had limited capabilities.)

    Can we not look for patterns as a means of rejecting the design hypothesis? Sure, but why do patterns refute design? Is there anyone (aside from the evolutionist) who says that a designer would not use patterns?

    When evolutionists say this, they are in part trying to get a feel for what exactly this designer does tend to do that makes it do different from evolution. Of course a designer could choose to work only in common-descent-style patterns. The question is, what are the real limits to the designer’s capabilities or intentions in creating life (limits of one would look just like limits of the other)? What are the physical or aesthetic limits that prevent the designer from forming a brand-spanking-new organism before our eyes, or from doing whatever else it wants? Until those limits are expressly stated, the theory remains untestable.

    A far more significant test would be to show that evolution is compelling. If naturalistic processes do the job, then design is superfluous. But evolution repeatedly fails.

    Sheesh with the hyperbole. Here’s some hyperbole of my own: mutations occur. Death occurs. Resources are limited. Voila! By themselves they constitute an argument for evolution. Do they “wilt under scrutiny”? What about DNA and fossil evidence pointing to the common relatedness of life?

    Time and time again, ID has had to acknowledge the multitude of evidence for micro-evolution, yet continues to insist that there is no evidence for evolution whatsoever. If you mean “no evidence for the evolution of bat wings or other sufficiently complex strictures”, or whatever, then just say it. But to deny that “evolution” (of some sort, maybe only the “micro” sort) is happening and has happened in the natural world is, well… have fun with that. “Evolution” includes everything that is “evolution”.

    What would Cornelius Hunter be willing to concede evolution can do? Even if it turns out evolution can’t produce certain structures we see today, that doesn’t mean it’s totally powerless. I can lift 40 pounds, but cannot lift a skyscraper. Am I therefore powerless or nonexistent?

    Much love!

  5. Borne,

    That ID has, in the information age, started to become a far more full fledged empirically based science (far more scientific than Darwinism has ever been) runner does not mean it is new.

    As far as other options go, there are only two others I’m aware of – panspermia (which is IDist in nature) and intelligent nature – which is basically a godless pantheism.

    Well you see I was talking about SCIENTIFIC theories, otherwise you missed the Flying Spagethhi Monster, oh and the Beginningless Beginnings of eastern philosophy. These are all well and good but they are not science.

    No one seriously thinks nature is itself intelligent or itself God and if there are some who do (Hoyle and Denton hinted at the intelligent nature hypothesis) they certainly have no basis for it other than the rejection of a real intelligence.

    Excuse ME! but I do believe that excatly! ‘itself intelligent’ is the words I’d use, but I realise I have to qualify them so you may understand me better…

    I _believe_ that we are as if all organs in one body, the insects play a role (just like your liver does) and humans play a role (perhaps like your brain does), but your liver fighting your kidneys would be absurd. I believe we are all one, and the WHOLE is directing itself.

    I do honestly expect you to completely misunderstand me, but thats ok :) Also, all this I believe, but I would not dream of calling it science! I leave science to the professionals.

    tribune7,

    Something to ponder if MES is not held by some as a religion, why do certain people put Darwin fish on their cars?

    To show support for SCIENCE, oh great science!, bring forth my beloved McDonald’s Happy meal and the wonder of my swift four wheeled chariot!

    Love you all!

  6. 6

    Bourne,

    The Darwinian “horse” has already broken more than just a leg; it’s neck has been broken by the information sciences and the poor animal should be mercifully put out of its misery.

    Care to make a prediction as to when Darwinism will be replaced, as if it’s already almost dead it can’t be long?

    And what will it be replaced with?

  7. Cornelius,

    In an earlier thread we were discussing the stunning congruence between phylogenetic trees derived from morphological and molecular data. I commented:

    Either undirected evolution is true, or the designer has made it appear, overwhelmingly, to be true. Either way, you you have to ignore the evidence — all 38 decimal places’ worth — to conclude that ID is correct. It’s surprising to me that so few ID supporters recognize the magnitude of the problem. When ID critics talk about “overwhelming evidence”, they aren’t kidding!

    You responded:

    mereologist, you’re giving a classic example of the religion in evolution, and its subtlety.

    I then posed a challenge:

    Finally, since you say that I am “giving a classic example of the religion in evolution”, let’s get specific. Tell me what religion assumptions you think I am making, why they are invalid, and what assumptions you would replace them with in order to produce a falsifiable designer hypothesis.

    You directed me to this new post for answers. However, I don’t see answers to the specific questions I raised:

    1. What religious assumptions was I making in evaluating the phylogenetic evidence?

    2. Why are they invalid?

    3. What assumptions would you replace them with in order to produce a falsifiable designer hypothesis?

  8. Strange, but I interpreted the Darwin quote you gave differently from you. I think Darwin did as well. A couple of paragraphs earlier in his book he said:

    Nothing can be more hopeless than to attempt to explain this similarity of pattern in members of the same class, by utility or by the doctrine of final causes. The hopelessness of the attempt has been expressly admitted by Owen in his most interesting work on the “Nature of Limbs.” On the ordinary view of the independent creation of each being, we can only say that so it is; that it has pleased the Creator to construct all the animals and plants in each great class on a uniform plan; but this is not a scientific explanation.

    I.e. his argument is not that god would NOT do it a certain way, but rather that he could (given creation) have done it that way because he liked it, although he certainly could have done it any other way as well.

    Darwin wasn’t making a religious argument – he just realised that there was no scientific means of evaluating the “god hypothesis”.

  9. 9

    mereologist,
    I’m afraid that behaviour is par for the course around these parts.

    It seems that if we create a web site that simply says “Evolution is true” we can link to it and that proves whatever point is in question. As that’s what happens often here.

    “Here’s a link that answers all your objections, question answered and now can be ignored”.

  10. Hoki,

    Darwin wasn’t making a religious argument – he just realised that there was no scientific means of evaluating the “god hypothesis”.

    Well played sir! I keep asking for a scientific definition of ID, but I’m always directed to books. I’ll freely admit that I’m not the most learned of ToE supporters, but I can give a paragraph TRYING to explain how it works, and how it can make predictions etc. In this same manner, it appears ID supporters are EVEN LESS knowledgeable of ID than I am of ToE. If I ‘religiously believe’ ToE through my ignorance of the intricacies, then how much more so is ID supporters through their even greater ignorance of ID.

    Love you all!

  11. 11

    A quick summary and rebuttal to Dr. Hunter from a humble student. . . You mention that:

    “There are so many contradictions and absurdities in this evolutionary argument it is hard to know where to begin.”

    You then follow with a list of egregious examples.

    1.) Speculative, untestable, and downright silly explanations are routinely contemplated.
    2.) There certainly is a pattern of sorts, and so evolutionists take this as profound support for their theory, even when the data are contradictory, under evolution.
    3.) I don’t understand your third point
    4.) Evolutionists make all kinds of erroneous claims about how astronomically well the data fit their theory.
    5.) Huhhh!?

    My rebuttal:
    1.) In science speculation is encouraged, so long as it can be tested. Many silly explanations are contemplated so long as they can be tested. This is FINE. Another word for the speculation you describe is called forming a hypothesis. A smart scientist doesn’t just speculate randomly, they use a theory to help them target their wacky ideas.
    2.) Data is often seemingly contradictory. Here a useful theory does wondrous things for a smart scientist. For example Gould describes the seemingly crazy life of a gnat. It emerges from mom and just dies!! What a waste. This contradicts all of evolution. But alas, no, it doesn’t. Because a smart scientists used a useful theory (evolution) and made some wild speculations (formed a hypothesis) to figure out that the male gnat that emerged from mom had already served its function.
    3.) No need to respond.
    4.) You say this but offer no support. So I’ll let that rest for now.
    5.) No need to respond.

    Thanks for listening.

  12. Borne: “That ID has, in the information age, started to become a far more full fledged empirically based science (far more scientific than Darwinism has ever been) runner does not mean it is new.”

    It’s honestly and sincerely hard to see evidence for this. The main journal of ID, ISCID, has not published since 2005. Yes, there are a few papers that have been written, but also many (all?) have been quite convincingly refuted. The only research institute I know of associated with ID, the Biologic Institute has produced a few esoteric papers and there does not seem evidence yet of any lab-based experiments (there’ve been only 4 relatively short updates on their web since Dec 2008, and one of those was an April 1st spoof).

    Perhaps if you measure ID in terms of press releases and books and even popular support – on that basis it might be doing quite well. But as a “full fledged empircally based science” – by any measure, I don’t see it at all. Am I missing something?

  13. 13

    Borne (#2): “ID was always the number one horse in the race, the favored steed. Darwinism came in millennia later…

    Why don’t you differentiate between the “intelligent design” of the Greeks and medieval “intelligent design” and the “intelligent design” of Paley et al – and the post-1987 US Supreme Court Aguillard decision “intelligent design” of the Wedge Document? They are different things entirely.

  14. Cornelius,

    I’ve always had an interest in astronomy, so I especially enjoyed this post. From your quote of Kant:

    It is clear that there is no reason why the celestial bodies must organize their orbits in one single direction.

    BTW, I’ve noticed it’s relatively easy to pick out the religious premises of these evolutionists—just look for occurrences of the phrase “It is clear that ____”. LOL

    On a more serious note, is there anything we can conclude from the observation that all the planets revolve around the sun in the same direction, assuming no religious premises? As a biophysicist, do you occasionally encounter situations in which you need to find an explanation for a pattern you find in nature? Perhaps you could illustrate using examples from your own research. If so, please translate into language accessible to the layperson! :D

  15. mereologist quotes Cornelius Hunter from another thread:

    mereologist, you’re giving a classic example of the religion in evolution, and its subtlety.

    Cornelius, you keep accusing evolutionists of using religious assumptions, but the evidence for your assertion if often lacking.

    Out of Sober, Gould, Darwin and mereologist, I can only see that Gould actually did this. Can I second mereologist’s request for you to state what religious assumptions are being made?

    (My apologies to mereologist in case you mind being grouped with the people I mentioned above).

    Also, I forgot to mention in my post #8 that it was directed at Cornelius. As an aside, I quite like the quote from Darwin I presented there. I think it nicely sums up why ID can’t make any predictions.

  16. Cornelius,

    One addition to my post #14: Based on my experience here, I would say many (perhaps a majority) of IDers accept the Big Bang Theory. I’m skeptical of it myself. One of the most important (alleged) pieces of evidence for the Big Bang is Hubble’s Law, which describes a particular pattern we observe in nature. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this reasoning rely on a religious premise, namely that God would not have arranged our universe to satisfy Hubble’s Law arbitrarily?

  17. Cornelius,

    Nicely written article. I don’t think that Pauli’s ‘not even wrong’ characterization does evolution justice. ‘Intentionally wrong’, ‘deviously wrong’ or ‘boneheadedly wrong’ to the point of silliness also come to mind.

    Evolution, in my opinion, is crackpottery and fraud in high places. It is a flagrant abuse of authority and a sin against humanity. As such, it must be mercilessly torn down and trampled underfoot.

    LOL. Every so often, I need to vent my rebellious bile. Thanks.

  18. 18

    herb (#14) asked: “…is there anything we can conclude from the observation that all the planets revolve around the sun in the same direction…”

    Basic orbital mechanics apparently precludes planetary systems with contra-rotating planets from lasting very long – they self-destruct in a relatively short time. (Planetary system software easily demonstrates this.)

  19. Religion drives science and it matters.

    I think you should have a talk with Mr Kairosfocus. He has Lewontin quote you should know about.

  20. Mr Tribune7,

    Something to ponder if MES is not held by some as a religion, why do certain people put Darwin fish on their cars?

    Irony? Sarcasm? In your face uppityness? Membership in the First Church of Charles, Darwin is pretty far down the list.

  21. Mapou: “IEvolution, in my opinion, is crackpottery and fraud in high places. It is a flagrant abuse of authority and a sin against humanity. As such, it must be mercilessly torn down and trampled underfoot.”

    And replaced with what exactly, especially given that ID is a less than complete paradigm? Don’t you need to preserve some aspects of evolution? Even people like Behe believe that is necessary.

  22. Paul Burnett,

    Basic orbital mechanics apparently precludes planetary systems with contra-rotating planets from lasting very long – they self-destruct in a relatively short time. (Planetary system software easily demonstrates this.)

    Thanks—it looks like Kant even got his religious assumptions wrong!

  23. You know, whether or not the overall theory of evolution is true, and whether or not it was completely random, there is still the obvious problem that the neo-Darwinian theory cannot explain: the arrival of information. The information that is built into the universe cannot reasonably be explained by random processes. The very fact that proteins can be built at all and work in a specific manner is completely beyond the scope of neo-Darwinism to explain.

    Now whether or not there is actually much evidence for common descent being random, I will not argue over, but I will, as of now, take any arguments for such a case with a grain of salt. After all, neo-Darwinism seems to flounder when it comes to actually revealing present day evidence of macro-evolution, so the past cannot be interpreted as having happened via random variation and natural selection without making assumptions.

  24. 24

    Interesting new study that speaks to this subject
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/livesc.....loseminded

    the new review suggests we actively keep our blinders on when opposing views are nearby. The review is detailed this month in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

    Some more so than others …

    Overall, the studies suggested people are about twice as likely to cherry-pick information that supports their own viewpoints than to consider an opposing idea. Nearly 70 percent cherry-picked compared to about 30 percent who ponder the other side.

    Close-minded individuals opted for information that went along with their views 75 percent of the time.

    “Close-minded people are very certain and dogmatic in their views, and generally believe that there is a single correct point of view,” said study researcher Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The implication is that you have a group of people who would only seek to confirm their points of view, resisting all evidence to the contrary via avoidance of exposure.”

    And since even a slight breeze could flatten a house of cards, the researchers found people with little confidence in their own beliefs are less likely to expose themselves to contrary views compared with their confident counterparts.

    Onlookers, reminds you of anybody?

  25. JTaylor:

    And replaced with what exactly, especially given that ID is a less than complete paradigm?

    First things first. We must tear a hideous and unsafe building down its foundations before we can start a rebuild. We need a clean slate, so to speak.

    Don’t you need to preserve some aspects of evolution? Even people like Behe believe that is necessary.

    Nope. There is nothing to preserve. DE must be completely destroyed so that we can have a fresh clean start. Trying to preserve anything will only pollute the replacement. The evil of Darwinism is that it took something that has been known to farmers and hunters for tens of thousands of years (that living things evolve) and acts as if it invented it. Then it wraps this common knowledge around a monstrosity and accuses critics of disagreeing with the obvious. The Darwinists (I love this term because of its pejorative undertone, LOL) have highjacked and corrupted the term ‘evolution’ to the point where one can no longer use it in its normal meaning.

    Their time in the limelight will soon come to an end, in my opinion.

  26. Mapou @25

    Interesting. Seems like a lot of tearing down is needed in your opinion. But I’m not sure my you answered my question fully – what will be replaced by evolution, given again that ID does not provide a complete explanatory framework in of itself.

    I know what you want to demolish but I’m not clear what you want to build in its place – or do you not know yet?

  27. Nakashima-san Something to ponder if MES is not held by some as a religion, why do certain people put Darwin fish on their cars? . . .Irony? Sarcasm? In your face uppityness?

    But why would they do that? Darwinism is supposed to be science — objective, detached, following truth to where it leads with emotional entanglements and prejudices etc.

    Putting a Darwin-fish on a car is a political-religious statement.

    It’s doubly strange since a Jesus-fish is neither directly nor automatically an anti-Darwinian statement.

    There are those who devoutly believe in the Resurrection, and certainly the teachings, of Jesus yet accept Darwinian evolution.

    Why would a Darwinian attack a belief in Jesus?

  28. Dear All,

    Having followed the recent series of arguments on multiple threads between the ID and Darwinist folks I noticed that a certain question is usually dodged on the ID side, at least by many regulars. In the following I will try to summarize what I mean.

    The central issue, of course, is the origin of the information we find in biological systems. Darwinism approx. claims that virtually all biological information can be generated using chance and necessity, i.e. random mutation and natural selection. This claim also carries an explanation for the history of the life on Earth, where the simple systems evolve into more complex ones, although the exact pathways are debated.

    Contrary to this, ID claims that based on our present and best understanding of physical laws and natural processes the only plausible explanation for the presence of information in biological systems is an intelligent designer. Strictly speaking at this stage ID stops. ID, at the moment, does not claim to possess a comprehensive historical explanation for the life on Earth. In this sense, when compared to Darwinism, ID is incomplete.

    When Darwinists ask questions like: Who is the designer? and get no direct answers, then, sometimes maybe implicitly, they take advantage of this incompleteness.

    When someone from the ID camp accepts the common descent then he puts himself into a difficult to maintain position because common descent was invented to explain away the need for a designer. In effect it is equivalent to saying that in the history there is no evidence for ID, therefore the Darwinist camp already feels victorious. This inconsistency is regularly exploited by the evolutionists on this site. This is why many evolutionists would demand an acceptance of common descent from ID, and why several ID supporters do not want to go into this game.

    There are, of course, comprehensive systems of world history that incorporate ID. However, any direct answer to the questions regarding the role of the Designer in the past is either ridiculed (like the clumsy guy behind the common descent) or demonized, e.g. YEC.

    ID was concieved to show the observable design patterns in nature while avoiding the attacks and the virtual excommunication creationists and other dissenters receive from the Darwinist establishment. The arguments on ID are a very potent threat to the Darwinists, and obviously they are not fighting this battle on the issues where ID indeed has the full weight of the evidence. Instead, they divert the attacks to the areas where ID is incomplete, showing an apparent superiority of Darwinism in those areas without detailed discussions about their actual claims and the actual evidence supporting it.

    For a Darwinists it takes only a very little logical step to identify ID with creationism. First of all, creationism is a complete explanation and ID is a core element in it. In the Darwinist mind if theory is united with history also and they cannot separate the two. Second, creationism has already been ridiculed and almost completely marginalized, so they feel no need for further discussion. That is why evolutionists demand to know the personal convictions of an ID supporter: they know that there is no official ID natural history and if the ID proponent believes in creation then can switch to a more potent strategy of personal attacks.

    The solution is far from being obvious. ID seemingly cannot de-throne Darwinism without a historical explanation. On the other hand, the debate about the actual historical role of a designer is the core theme of religions, and even mentioning it is an abomination for the establishment.

    As far as the folks on UD are concerned, perhaps the best would be to focus on the core claims of ID, i.e. recogizing design in nature. A bit more openness about the lack of comprehensive, religion free ID-ist natural history would also help. Personally, I do not think that such history will ever be brought together, and I also think it is perfectly all right and scientific to accept that the world around us was created from information, by information, as some books have stated it long ago.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  29. 29
    Religion drives science and it matters.

    I think you should have a talk with Mr Kairosfocus. He has Lewontin quote you should know about.

    I believe that is the whole point of the quote. Lewy wasn’t driven by the evidence, but by a need to put away his God – and was willing to beleive absurdities in order to do it.

  30. In this sense, when compared to Darwinism, ID is incomplete.

    Sure. But when compared to Darwinism it is not wrong :-)

    It is better to be incomplete than wrong, right?

  31. Alex73: No comments, just a thank you for a thoughtful contribution to the larger conversation. Thanks! :)

    tribune7: “But when compared to Darwinism it is not wrong.”

    Indeed — as a direct result of its incompleteness. There does not appear to be any possibility of ID ever being “wrong”, because there’s so much room for it to wiggle into the moment it is confronted in any one area. If the designer can and does produce both diseases and immune systems with equal flair, there’s nothing to stop it from producing whatever forms we may find in the future, in any ecosystem, planet, or fossil strata.

  32. Jtaylor:

    Interesting. Seems like a lot of tearing down is needed in your opinion. But I’m not sure my you answered my question fully – what will be replaced by evolution, given again that ID does not provide a complete explanatory framework in of itself.

    I know what you want to demolish but I’m not clear what you want to build in its place – or do you not know yet?

    Any claim that the theory of evolution is either complete or correct amounts to crackpottery and outright dishonesty, in my opinion. Is it not obvious that a complete and correct theory of the origin and evolution of life on earth will have to await a thorough functional understanding of the genome of one or more species?

    Given the slow pace of progress in this field, this may take a long time. But then again, maybe the designers did leave us an explanation somewhere but we are not looking in the right places due to our self-imposed blinders. Assuming the designers were conducting some sort of experiment vis-a-vis humanity, I consider it rather likely.

    We must continue searching and never give up.

  33. 33
    Cornelius Hunter

    mereologist (7):

    1. What religious assumptions was I making in evaluating the phylogenetic evidence?

    I assumed you were an evolutionist, and a well informed one. Folks, you gotta love this. They’ll hunt and peck for anything they can call religious in ID, a theory that claims one can infer design from the evidence. And they’ll use false rhetorical canards like “ID creationism.”

    But all the while, they argue that God would not have created this world and they’ll be as shocked as Lt. Renault when you point out there could possibly be any religion in their argument. “What are you talking about?” they ask.

    mereologist, what do you seriously think Penny means when he concludes that evolution is confirmed because “independent origin” can be rejected due to the presence of a pattern. It is the same argument that evolutionists use over and over, and have been using for centuries. Do you really not see the metaphysics here?

    What scientific experiment did you do to learn that the only alternative to common descent is random design? None, of course. Science deals with “If, then”, not “If-and-only-if, then”. The latter is not science–it is your logic, the logic of evolution. “If-and-only-if common descent, then pattern”. You have turned science into metaphysics, and you point the finger at ID for precisely what you are doing.

    2. Why are they invalid?

    I didn’t say it was invalid, I said it was valid.

    3. What assumptions would you replace them with in order to produce a falsifiable designer hypothesis?

    Why is it that evolutionists are suddenly the falsification police when it comes to opposing ideas?
    If evolutionists were genuinely concerned with falsifying ideas then they wouldn’t be evolutionists.

    But of course evolution cannot be false, so it is a moot point. Falsification only applies to opposing theories, not to evolution.

    There is no way one can conclude that evolution is a fact from the evidence. Evolution is loaded with false predictions, yet evolutionists absurdly insist their theory is a fact. That sort of metaphysical certainty, for such an unsupported idea, comes from religion, not science. Who do evolutionists think they’re fooling?

    Evolutionists want to talk about falsifying design. Fine, perhaps design is false. Folks should have that discussion, but evolutionists are not genuinely interested in falsification, in general. They are interested in falsification of opposing theories.

    The questions of how design can fit within science, how it can be tested and falsified, etc, are all good questions. But the discussion will be meaningless with people who have repeatedly demonstrated incredible bias and non scientific commitments. If they can’t see the obvious problems with evolution, how in the world can we expect them to engage in a realistic critique of design?

  34. Mr Tribune7,

    Why would a Darwinian attack a belief in Jesus?

    Given the signigicant possible overlap between someone who accepts evolution in their mind and Jesus in their heart, I see no reason to read the display of a Darwin fish as an attack. Irony, sarcasm, and uppityness is some folks idea of good, clean American fun.

    I agree with you that only the most fringe elements of Christian and scientific cultures defy the reality of significant overlap of these two populations, and demand an enforced separation between them.

  35. Lenoxus, you don’t understand ID.

    When you say If the (something) can and does produce both diseases and immune systems with equal flair, you’re channeling evolution.

    ID is designed objects have certain traits and life is designed because it has those traits.

    Show designed objects don’t have the traits ID says they do — patterns of a particular complexity for instance — or show objects known not to be designed have the traits ID says they cannot have and you falsify ID.

    ID says nada about why.

  36. Irony, sarcasm, and uppityness is some folks idea of good, clean American fun.

    Nakashima-san, irony is putting a Darwin-fish on your car while claiming to be a follower of science :-)

  37. 37

    I have seen a Jesus fish and a Darwin fish on the same car.

  38. I have seen a Jesus fish and a Darwin fish on the same car

    Now, THAT’S uppityness!!

  39. @Alex73

    ID, at the moment, does not claim to possess a comprehensive historical explanation for the life on Earth. In this sense, when compared to Darwinism, ID is incomplete.

    Darwinism also does not claim to possess a comprehensive historical explanation for the life on Earth. Darwinism does not (and cannot) address OOL issues, since its mechanism presupposes the existence of a replicating life form. In this sense, when compared to ID, Darwinism is incomplete.

  40. Darwinism does not (and cannot) address OOL issues
    Except when it does!

    We are taking about a hard-core Alice-in-Wonderland science here, remember.

  41. If the theory of evolution is scientific then tell me how we can test the premise that the bacterial flagellum “evolved” from a popualtion of bacteria that never had one via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    You chumps keep harping on ID when it is obvious tat your position can’t even muster a testable hypothesis.

  42. Mapou @ 32

    Any claim that the theory of evolution is either complete or correct amounts to crackpottery and outright dishonesty, in my opinion. Is it not obvious that a complete and correct theory of the origin and evolution of life on earth will have to await a thorough functional understanding of the genome of one or more species?

    No, it is not at all obvious that a complete understanding of a genome, human or otherwise, will reveal the handiwork of an extraterrestrial designer which is what you are implying.

    Neither is it at all obvious that, even if such evidence were uncovered, it would tell us anything about the origins of life. Unless such evidence were shown to be the hallmark of divine intervention it would not answer the origins question any better than evolution.

    What is obvious is that living things change over time, at least in part due to environmental influences. All any alien designer, other than a creator god, would have done is exploit that pre-existing plasticity. In essance, it would have done the same as human breeders or farmers or genetic engineers have been doing over the years, just with greater skill and sophistication based on greater knowledge. That is assuming an alien designer was involved at all.

    Agreed that anyone who claims that the theory of evolution is a complete and correct answer to life, the universe and everything is a crackpot or dishonest or both. But then so is anyone who tries to cast ID in the same mold.

  43. @tribune7

    Well, of course Darwinism tries to explain everything, including baldness and big bazooms.

    Incidentally, I noticed the phrase, “It’s important to keep in mind…” in the linked. Is it just me, or does that phrase tend to show up a lot in Darwinistic writings?

  44. Cornelius,

    The questions of how design can fit within science, how it can be tested and falsified, etc, are all good questions.

    Do you believe that falsifiability is actually even required of a good scientific theory? I wonder if we’ve just been sold a bale of goods on that one. I’d also like to hear your thoughts on my Hubble’s Law question if you could spare a moment. It seems to me this critique of evolution you’ve raised likely can be extended to many other scientific fields.

  45. @Seversky

    All any alien designer, other than a creator god, would have done is exploit that pre-existing plasticity.

    Please explain your “other than a creator god” exception in the above. Are you claiming that a creator God would not have exploited pre-existing plasticity? Or that it wouldn’t have pre-existed if God created it? What if He exploited it later in the creative process?

    Is this noted exception a scientific or religious one?

  46. Sorry, the first paragraph @45 should have shown up as a block quote.

  47. 47

    Cornelius,

    Your bitterness is palpable, but it doesn’t help your case. If you want to persuade readers, you need to advance a rational argument and support it with evidence.

    My first question was this:

    1. What religious assumptions was I making in evaluating the phylogenetic evidence?

    In response, you go on for a couple of paragraphs about how angwy “they” (dose wascally evowutionists, presumably) make you:

    I assumed you were an evolutionist, and a well informed one. Folks, you gotta love this. They’ll hunt and peck for anything they can call religious in ID, a theory that claims one can infer design from the evidence. And they’ll use false rhetorical canards like “ID creationism.”

    But all the while, they argue that God would not have created this world and they’ll be as shocked as Lt. Renault when you point out there could possibly be any religion in their argument. “What are you talking about?” they ask.

    Then, you focus in on David Penny:

    mereologist, what do you seriously think Penny means when he concludes that evolution is confirmed because “independent origin” can be rejected due to the presence of a pattern. It is the same argument that evolutionists use over and over, and have been using for centuries. Do you really not see the metaphysics here?

    Finally, you get around to answering my question, but you attribute a position to me that I have never taken:

    What scientific experiment did you do to learn that the only alternative to common descent is random design?

    Cornelius, where have I ever stated that the only alternative to common descent is “random design”? Quote and link, please.

    My second question was:

    2. Why are they [my assumptions] invalid?

    Your reply:

    I didn’t say it was invalid, I said it was valid.

    If you don’t think my assumptions are invalid, then what are you complaining about?

    My third question:

    3. What assumptions would you replace them with in order to produce a falsifiable designer hypothesis?

    In response, you launch into another tirade:

    Why is it that evolutionists are suddenly the falsification police when it comes to opposing ideas? If evolutionists were genuinely concerned with falsifying ideas then they wouldn’t be evolutionists.

    But of course evolution cannot be false, so it is a moot point. Falsification only applies to opposing theories, not to evolution…

    Evolutionists want to talk about falsifying design. Fine, perhaps design is false. Folks should have that discussion, but evolutionists are not genuinely interested in falsification, in general. They are interested in falsification of opposing theories.

    More fulmination about “them”. I think you’re wrong about “them”, and you certainly haven’t corroborated your accusations, but that’s not the issue here. I am not “them”.

    I, not they, am asking you what assumptions you would make in order to produce a falsifiable design hypothesis. You even acknowledge that the design hypothesis needs to be falsifiable:

    The questions of how design can fit within science, how it can be tested and falsified, etc, are all good questions.

    If so, then why do you refuse to answer my question? Are you able to offer us a falsifiable design hypothesis or not?

  48. 48

    “Mapou” (#25) wrote: “We must tear a hideous and unsafe building down its foundations before we can start a rebuild. We need a clean slate, so to speak.

    How far down do you want to go? Some of us like our clean water and safe plentiful food and long lifetimes and low infant mortality rates and technological toys. Do electricity and computers and books appear on your “clean slate”?

  49. 49

    Joseph,

    Don’t call people chumps.

  50. 50
    Cornelius Hunter

    Herb:

    Based on my experience here, I would say many (perhaps a majority) of IDers accept the Big Bang Theory. I’m skeptical of it myself. One of the most important (alleged) pieces of evidence for the Big Bang is Hubble’s Law, which describes a particular pattern we observe in nature. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this reasoning rely on a religious premise, namely that God would not have arranged our universe to satisfy Hubble’s Law arbitrarily?

    But isn’t this contrived? Do you know of any cosmologist who actually has made that argument? They don’t need to because the Big Bang is a quite reasonable inference from the data.

    In the case of evolution, the religious and philosophical arguments were the motivators long before Darwin. Darwin, like most folks, were influenced by those traditions, and they continue to justify evolution today. There are substantial evidential problems but the theory is believed to be a fact, as much as gravity is a fact, as a consequence of those religious and philosophical arguments. That is a very different situation than the Big Bang.

    Do you believe that falsifiability is actually even required of a good scientific theory?

    No, but I can only deal with so many fallacies at a time.

  51. Cornelius,
    First, thanks for the response.

    But isn’t this contrived? Do you know of any cosmologist who actually has made that argument?

    I have to concede that I don’t know of any cosmologists who’ve used this argument, but it seems to me the premise is implicitly invoked, whether or not anyone says it out loud.

    Furthermore, I’ve had discussions with Christians who fall into the “appearance of age” camp; they will readily admit the universe appears to be quite old, but they believe that in reality, Creation occurred just a few thousand years ago. They would not accept the logic leading from Hubble’s Law to the Big Bang. So I think there is an issue here. For whatever reason, the religious premises of modern cosmology are just not discussed much.

    They don’t need to because the Big Bang is a quite reasonable inference from the data.

    Perhaps so, provided we assume God did not create those patterns in the data suggestive of the Big Bang for some other reason.

  52. Phinehas,

    It’s not just you, ’cause I see it too.

  53. 53
    Cornelius Hunter

    mereologist:

    Cornelius, where have I ever stated that the only alternative to common descent is “random design”? Quote and link, please.

    Shocking isn’t it? I’m almost to the point where this isn’t bizarre anymore. But at least evolutionists will never fail you. They’ll make their non scientific proclamations and the next moment scold you for ever suggesting any such thing. Here is your quote, coming from [7] above.

    Either undirected evolution is true, or the designer has made it appear, overwhelmingly, to be true. Either way, you you have to ignore the evidence — all 38 decimal places’ worth — to conclude that ID is correct.

    For those of you not following, mereologist has cited resources that argue random design is the null hypothesis of the common descent test. IOW, if there are patterns amongst the species then they are only explained by common descent. The stronger the pattern, the stronger the evidence for common descent. You see god would never use such patterns, as evolutionists have repeatedly told us.

    mereologist summarizes the idea with the above quote. The only way to conclude for design, given such strong patterns, is to “ignore” the pattern. For the pattern makes undirected evolution appear to be overwhelmingly true.

    Of course the only way any evidence can make a theory appear to be true is if there are no other explanations for the evidence. Hence the only alternative the evolutionist can conceive of, to his theory, is the “deceptive designer” hypothesis, who made it look like evolution.

    This, again, is the “if-and-only-if” reasoning of evolution (not of science). That reasoning assumes full knowledge of the alternatives. The metaphysics run deep.

    That said, most would agree that the argument is pretty good if it were actually the case that evolution required the observed pattern, and otherwise was a compelling theory.

    If natural processes is a no-brainer explanation, then why complicate matters. But of course that is not the case here. The power of the argument has always been in its assignment of a low probability to divine creation or design, as the Sober paper helps to point out.

    The evolutionary argument, from Kant, Darwin and beyond was never motivated by a strong knowledge of how natural processes would obviously bring about what we observe. If you study the evolution genre, you’ll see a consistent thread of mere accommodation on evolution, whereas the design explanation is disallowed. “We can explain that, but under divine creation it makes no sense,” is the consistent refrain.

    You can see the evidential problems for evolution again and again. In this case, there are all kinds of outliers that evolution does not explain (beyond unfounded speculation about a universal tool kit, or some such).

    And furthermore, evolution does not require the patterns we observe (even if the plethora of contradictions were not there). Evolutionists have all sorts of explanatory devices to accommodate a wide range of outcomes — including the supposed null hypothesis, random design.

    Indeed, today some evolutionists are now giving up on trying to use the evolutionary tree paradigm. And yet evolutionists such as mereologist keep telling us that the pattern can only be explained by evolution, or a designer who made it look just like evolution.

  54. 54
    CannuckianYankee

    Borne, Nnoel,

    “That ID has, in the information age, started to become a far more full fledged empirically based science (far more scientific than Darwinism has ever been) runner does not mean it is new.”

    I keep one of David Stove’s books upon my shelf for amusement and some limited insight as well. He was an Austrailian atheist philosopher, who rejected Darwinism. In his book “Darwinian Fairytales,” he essentially says that Darwinism is a (sort of) godless pantheism, and he points to Dawkins’ Selfish Gene as the god of the Darwinists. Why? Because any theism (in Stove’s view) is a subservience to a higher intelligence.

    The higher intelligence uses the lower as tools to accomplish its purpose. To Stove, humans and other biological organisms are the tools by which genes accomplish their purpose – to preserve and evolve the species. Of course like gods, genes are unseen, and have no end – they continue, and are passed down from generation to generation.

    What Stove misses, however, is what Dr. Hunter has been pointing out – the basis for the Darwinian religion is that “God wouldn’t have created the world as it is.”

    Perhaps becuase Stove is an atheist, he wasn’t able to percieve this particular religious aspect of Darwinism – but I think he’s right about how the gene replaces God for Darwinists.

    I think what it all boils down to this – (and Nnoel, you would benefit from attention to this); that no matter what your life-encompasing/explaining paradigm, subservience to a higher intelligence is involved – Darwinism doesn’t escape this – it merely transfers it to a different intelligence than a transcendent one.

    So in the end, we do have only two real choices, Nnoel – transcendent intelligence, that comes from without the system, or non-transcendent intelligence that comes from within the system. The only problem is that with genes, you still need to explain where they get their intelligence from.

    The transcendent intelligence by definition is an uncaused and necessary cause of everything else. The gene can never make that claim. While Darwinism assumes chance and necessity, the only real necessity is transcendent necessity.

    And as Borne pointed out – the design argument is older than the evolution argument – (I would add) -the evolution argument is older than Darwin.

    Darwin’s contribution to the state of affairs in the modern world was to wipe out the theistic paradigm – at least as far as our culture goes – while people still maintain a “form of godliness, they deny it’s power.” Sounds familiar. We attribute all power to nature itself.

    Now what happened when Darwin came along was to take a look at Paley’s wathmaker argument, and attempt to dismiss it as insufficient. Based on Paley’s argument, Darwin asserted that a god would not have created the world as it is, and contrary to Paley – determined that there were obvious flaws in the “creation” – seeing things from only a surface perspective, rather than from the perspective of the cell and it’s complexity.

    And based on that assessment, Darwin began to make all kinds of ridiculous predictions, which turned out not to be true – such as the idea that there’s this constant struggle for survival among species – where’s the evidence? – that’s certainly not the case with humans. While we struggle to survive, the “material world” we have created has shown that it is not “constant.”

    I think that Darwin was hesitant to apply his theory to human beings, since our survival methods sort of negate the Darwinian assumptions – which is why he didn’t make an attempt until 12 years after the publication of Origin.

    Take a look at it. We humans have learned that the bast way to survive is through cooperation, rather than through struggle. Struggle – in fact, is a detriment to our survival. For some reason, we don’t fit within the whole Darwinian scheme.

    Another prediction Darwin got wrong was the notion that species multiply to the limits of the food supply – simply not a reality. Grain elevators, grocery stores and food banks are evidences that negate that idea altogether – not hard to do. The food supply is much larger than population, yet there does not seem to be any correlation – with the exception of countries where there is rampant malnutrition – but the contributors to these conditions are often man-made, and not due to any Darwinian struggle.

    Of course there are endless just so stories such as these – Darwin was a master of them, so it is no surprise that his followers have followed.

    So what is happening now is that the design theists are coming along and saying 1) Darwinism has failed to be consistent with Darwin’s predictions and 2) Perhaps Paley’s argument, while incomplete, was a better paradigm than Darwin’s (even though Darwin genuinely admired Paley’s argument).

    So ID theorists are absolutely right and justified in first of all criticising the Darwinian paradigm for its lack of explanatory power, and second of all – completing Paley’s argument from a cellular perspective, while questioning the religious question-beggin premise of Darwinism – that a god would not have designed the world as it is.

    As Dr. Dembski has pointed out, there is no free lunch. You either have information as the prime contributor to complexity, or you have nothing. Chance is not a sufficient contributor to anything but decay into chaos – and “necessity” does not help it.

    Now some are going to (and have)wonder(ed) “is ID religious then?” ID in itself is not religious, but neutral – which is where science should be. It is neutrality that allows us to look at life from a broader perspective than to presume any ability or disability upon a god.

    If our neutrality while doing science leads to religious implications – so be it. Science started from a religious idea – that of a God who made the world according to rational laws. It is no surprise then that what comes out of science implies the very basis for doing science in the first place. Some of us learned that lesson with Big Bang theory – we ought to learn the same lesson with ID. And so NATURALLY we go back to where we started, but with a more precise analysis of reality.

  55. 55
    CannuckianYankee

    JTaylor,

    “And replaced with what exactly, especially given that ID is a less than complete paradigm? Don’t you need to preserve some aspects of evolution? Even people like Behe believe that is necessary.”

    I agree with you. ID does not attempt to be a complete paradigm – it limits itself to two questions: 1) is the Darwinian paradigm – RM + NS sufficient? 2) If completed to the cellular level – and perhaps beyond, is Paley’s argument – (rejected by Darwin), a better, more complete paradigm?

    I think if Darwinism limited itself to the evidence, rather than extrapolating an entire metaphysical – all encompasing paradigm, it might have more explanatory power. The problem is with all the assumptions and just-so stories. Eliminate them, and you have a scientific theory that can go places. ID can deal with that.

  56. 56
    CannuckianYankee

    IOW, JTaylor, Darwinists should assume that there are aspects of life where Darwinism does not apply – but they don’t. They try to fit everything under the Darwin tent, and it doesn’t work.

  57. 57

    I asked:

    Cornelius, where have I ever stated that the only alternative to common descent is “random design”? Quote and link, please.

    Cornelius Hunter replied:

    Here is your quote, coming from [7] above.

    Either undirected evolution is true, or the designer has made it appear, overwhelmingly, to be true. Either way, you you have to ignore the evidence — all 38 decimal places’ worth — to conclude that ID is correct.

    Cornelius,

    Do you truly not recognize that other nonrandom patterns are possible besides the one that confirms Darwinian common descent?

    For example, suppose (using Theobald’s example of the standard phylogenetic tree of the 30 major taxa) that the morphological data produced the standard tree, while the molecular data produced the same tree except with the positions of humans and bananas reversed. That would be a huge problem for evolution, yet it would in no sense be a random pattern.

    There are literally trillions of trillions of patterns that could falsify evolution. Many of them are quite nonrandom, like the one I just described. All of them would be available to a putative designer.

    Yet when you look at the actual data, the morphological and molecular trees match perfectly, with 38 decimal places of precision. As I said:

    Either undirected evolution is true, or the designer has made it appear, overwhelmingly, to be true. Either way, you you have to ignore the evidence — all 38 decimal places’ worth — to conclude that ID is correct.

  58. 58
    CannuckianYankee

    Dr. Hunter,

    “Indeed, today some evolutionists are now giving up on trying to use the evolutionary tree paradigm. And yet evolutionists such as mereologist keep telling us that the pattern can only be explained by evolution, or a designer who made it look just like evolution.”

    I’m confused. Don’t the Darwinists also contend that things look like design, but that the design is illusory? Is there not a clear contradiction here? “Things look like evolution, therefore there is no designer” – vs – “Things merely look like design, but there really is no designer.” No wonder they’re insisting on only one option – all things point to evolution by default – and they’ve made it that way.

  59. 59

    CannuckianYankee, you wrote:

    In his book “Darwinian Fairytales,” [David Stove] essentially says that Darwinism is a (sort of) godless pantheism, and he points to Dawkins’ Selfish Gene as the god of the Darwinists. Why? Because any theism (in Stove’s view) is a subservience to a higher intelligence.

    You continue:

    …no matter what your life-encompasing/explaining paradigm, subservience to a higher intelligence is involved – Darwinism doesn’t escape this – it merely transfers it to a different intelligence than a transcendent one… The only problem is that with genes, you still need to explain where they get their intelligence from.

    Intelligent genes? Are you serious? Why on earth would an evolutionary biologist assume that genes are intelligent?

  60. 60

    CannuckianYankee wrote:

    I’m confused. Don’t the Darwinists also contend that things look like design, but that the design is illusory? Is there not a clear contradiction here? “Things look like evolution, therefore there is no designer” – vs – “Things merely look like design, but there really is no designer.”

    No, because what evolutionists say is that lifeforms superficially appear designed, though you can see that the design is illusory when you examine them scientifically.

  61. 61
    CannuckianYankee

    “No, because what evolutionists say is that lifeforms superficially appear designed, though you can see that the design is illusory when you examine them scientifically.”

    I think the reality is more like: lifeforms scientifically appear designed, though you might see that the design is illusory when you examine them superficially.

  62. 62
    CannuckianYankee

    mere,

    “Intelligent genes? Are you serious? Why on earth would an evolutionary biologist assume that genes are intelligent?”

    You tell me. Or better yet, why don’t you ask Dr. Dawkins?

    Dawkins anthropomorphises genes as in “selfish.” Why wouldn’t that imply some sort of intelligence?

    Why would Darwinists avoid intelligence at all costs then, if they require intelligence to make that assumption? That seems more illogical to me. Or are genes merely “superficially” intelligent – or “selfish,” for that matter?

  63. Phinehas @ 45

    All any alien designer, other than a creator god, would have done is exploit that pre-existing plasticity.

    Please explain your “other than a creator god” exception in the above. Are you claiming that a creator God would not have exploited pre-existing plasticity? Or that it wouldn’t have pre-existed if God created it? What if He exploited it later in the creative process?

    The “creator God” refers to the being presumed by the monotheistic faiths to be the primary cause and sole origin of all that exists. Since nothing existed prior to this being, there was no “pre-existing plasticity” for it to exploit. The plasticity must, therefore, have been created by that god for its own purposes.

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that this happened, it raises the inevitable question of ‘why?’. If this god were omniscient as well as omnipotent it would have foreseen all the possible variation that would arise from this plasticity so why bother? Human scientists conduct experiments to acquire new kmowledge; they rarely if ever waste valuable time and resources confirming what they already know with reasonable certainty.

    Is this noted exception a scientific or religious one

    Since it is commenting on question of religion then, to that extent, it is religious.

    It should be noted, however, that commenting on some aspect of religion does not mean that you are automatically espousing a particular faith, in spite of what Cornelius Hunter alleges. As has been pointed out before, his thesis is based on an equivocation on the meaning of ‘religious’, much as Denyse O’Leary and others conflates discussing the nature of race with being racist. To this extent, Cornelius Hunter is just Denyse O’Leary but with bigger words and longer paragraphs.

  64. 64

    In the debate about design, most of the discussion seems to come from scientists. Occasionally an engineer may contribute, but it seems that the design disciplines are underrepresented.

    This leads, I think, to a somewhat incomplete idea of what constitutes design, and how it is done.

    William Dembski, in his book The Design Revolution, quotes Henry Petroski as saying “All design involves conflicting objectives and hence compromise, and the best designs will always be those that come up with the best compromise.” Dembski adds “Constrained optimization is the art of compromise among conflicting objectives. This is what design is all about.”

    I wouldn’t disagree with these sentiments, except for the last one: constrained optimization is not, in my opinion, what design is all about.

    I’ve been involved in design for most of my life: I’m an architect and urban designer,and it’s the creative part of design which I feel has been somewhat neglected in the debate about design and apparent design.

    To use an extreme example: when Mozart composed his Jupiter symphony, constrained optimization was not in the forefront of his considerations. Shakespeare, Goethe, Bach and Wright were all aware of the constraints under which they worked — English, German, the well-tempered clavier and common building materials — but they were not what really mattered to them.

    They viewed them, perhaps instinctively, not as constraints but as opportunities for creative expression.

    I believe a better understanding of how a creative designer works could yield interesting and perhaps useful insights into the claim that design in nature is not really design, but apparent design.

    Early on in the training of an architect the young student encounters a design process diagram. No doubt other disciplines undergo the same experience. These diagrams consist of a series of rectangles with impressive labels in them, such as ‘design inception’ ‘initial concept’ ‘conceptual development’ ‘structural input’ and many more. They are all linked with an intricate series of arrows and lines — some dotted, some solid — and there’s always a sneaky arrow that leads from one of the later boxes back to one of the earlier ones, with the label ‘feedback’.

    I believe these diagrams are not very helpful: the feedback arrow renders them nearly useless. Design is a virtually simultaneous process: initially it starts with some vague scribbles on a piece of paper, blobs and lines which which have meaning only to the designer. Early on the blobs and lines take on spatial meaning, and then actual dimensions. At some stage materials come into the equation, and the movement and activities of people are there from the start.

    Even at this blobby stage, considerations of site access and the cost of materials and their maintenance play a part, not to mention planning and building regulations. Very early on, a good designer will already be thinking about exactly how the elements in his design will be assembled. He needs a very good idea of the technical and fine motor skills of the average workman on site. It’s no use designing a building that can only be assembled by a highly intelligent asbestos octopus.

    All of these issues, and many others, simultaneously swirl around in the mind of the designer as he or she develops concepts into a set of instructions which will enable the building to be erected. (It’s like playing three dimensioned chess, only much more complicated.)

    These instruction — scale drawings, details, specifications, schedules and project management programmes — can all be sent to site by means of the internet, using a binary code. These are all acted upon by the contractors, very much as a cell responds to the instructions of DNA and RNA.

    It is clear that the intelligence behind the process of getting a building erected is easily discerned. Darwinists claim that a blind ‘design’ process takes place in nature, but I believe that the procedure claimed is so strikingly different from what really happens in the mind of the designer that it make the claim suspect.

    The design process is definitely not sequential. It can’t be, as step 358 profoundly affects step 23. That’s why those design process diagrams are so unhelpful.

    Design is something you can only learn through doing. To be sure, there’s lots of stuff you’ve got to know before you can do it successfully, but exactly how you manipulate and juggle with it is a very complex mind game.

    In contrast, the childishly simple Darwinian design mechanism is rigidly sequential. There can be no anticipation of problems likely to be encountered when step 358 is reached. What might work well at step 23 can easily turn out to be a disaster by then.

    The two elements in the Darwinian design process, variation and natural selection, are themselves problematical when it comes to an understanding of how design works. The really creative element is the variation, and not the selection process.

    One thing is agreed: the variation, or mutation, is governed by chance. It’s as if a chance design proposal is put on the table for consideration, and it’s natural selection which decides whether the proposal is to be adopted. This makes the selection process sound as if it is doing something pro-active and creative, but it’s not.

    Antony Flew, in his book There is a God, points out that Darwin himself recognised the inappropriateness of the term selection, and later substituted the word preservation — which is both more accurate and a lot more passive than selection.

    But selection, or preservation, is supposed to act as a force which is not governed by chance, but by necessity. From a design point of view, this is also questionable. Whether or not a mutation is preserved can be very much a matter of chance.

    If the offspring of an animal has thicker fur than its parents, it might lead to enhanced survival chances — but only if it is born during autumn, so that the full benefits of greater insulation can be enjoyed during its first winter.

    But if it is born in spring, it could well be that it might expire in the heat of summer.

    If the offspring of a horse has a mutation that enables it to run faster, it could be argued that it is more likely to be able to catch mares and mate with them, enhancing its chances of reproduction.

    Unless, of course, it’s a mare, and can therefore outrun any randy stallion which shows an interest, which means her line will likely die out. (If that’s how horses actually behave, which may not be the case.)

    I suggest that a proper study of the design process as it occurs in real life could help in our understanding of the weaknesses in Darwin’s theory.

    Assuming that one can comprehend the mind of God and how He goes about designing stuff without understanding how design actually works is itself a chancy business.

  65. CannuckianYankee:

    Dawkins anthropomorphises genes as in “selfish.” Why wouldn’t that imply some sort of intelligence?

    Why would Darwinists avoid intelligence at all costs then, if they require intelligence to make that assumption? That seems more illogical to me. Or are genes merely “superficially” intelligent – or “selfish,” for that matter?

    All Dawings means is that he thinks that selection works on genes, not organisms. Why do some ID supporters have to intelligencize everything?

  66. Cornelius, you claim that the religious argument is rampant in evolutionary thought today. Yet, you fail to back that assertion up. Your Darwin quote above doesn’t support it. Sober didn’t do it. And, honestly, who cares what Daniel Bernoulli, Immanuel Kant and Pierre Laplace said. When are you going to start backing your claims up?

  67. Clive Hayden,

    My apologies it was a typo- I meant “chimps” seeing that they so want to be related and such. ;)

  68. 68

    CannuckianYankee:

    Dawkins anthropomorphises genes as in “selfish.” Why wouldn’t that imply some sort of intelligence?

    That is a colossal misunderstanding of the concept of the selfish gene.

    Here is part of what Dawkins wrote when Mary Midgley made a similar error:

    When biologists talk about ‘selfishness’ or ‘altruism’ we are emphatically not talking about emotional nature, whether of human beings, other animals, or genes. We do not even mean the words in a metaphorical sense. We define altruism and selfishness in purely behavioristic ways: ‘An entity…is said to be altruistic if it behaves in such a way as to increase another such entity’s welfare at the expense of its own. Selfish behaviour has exactly the opposite effect. “Welfare” is defined as “chances of survival”, even if the effect on actual life and death prospects is…small… It is important to realize that the above definitions of altruism and selfishness are behavioural, not subjective. I am not concerned here with the psychology of motives…that is not what this book is about. My definition is concerned only with whether the effect of an act is to lower or raise the survival prospects of the presumed altruist and the presumed beneficiary’ (The Selfish Gene, pp. 4-5).

    …In effect I am saying: ‘Provided I define selfishness in a particular way an oak tree, or a gene, may legitimately be described as selfish’. Now a philosopher could reasonably say: ‘I don’t like your definition, but given that you adopt it I can see what you mean when you call a gene selfish’. But no reasonable philosopher would say: ‘I don’t like your definition, therefore I shall interpret your statement as though you were using my definition of selfishness; by my definition your concept of the selfish gene is nonsense, therefore it is nonsense’. This, in effect, is what Midgley has done: ‘Genes cannot be selfish or unselfish, any more than atoms can be jealous, elephants abstract or biscuits teleological’. Why didn’t she add to this witty little list, for the benefit of quantum physicists, that fundamental particles cannot have charm?

    If I spoke of a ‘selfish elephant’ I would have to be very careful to state, over and over again, whether I meant the word in its subjective or its behaviouristic sense. This is because a good case might be made that elephants subjectively experience emotions akin to our own selfishness. No sensible case can be made that genes do, and I therefore might have thought myself safe from misunderstanding. To make doubly sure, I still went to the trouble of emphasizing that my definition was behaviouristic. The many laymen who have read my book seem to have had little trouble in grasping this simple matter of definition.

  69. Joseph,

    Clive Hayden,

    My apologies it was a typo- I meant “chimps” seeing that they so want to be related and such. ;)

    LOL—you owe me a new keyboard!

  70. mereologist,

    There isn’t any standard phylogenetic tree.

    Theobald is wrong.

    Talk Origins is not a good source for information.

    The Phylogenetic Tree Topples

  71. Apologies herb…

    But hey I see them and I hit them

  72. Nnoel:

    Well you see I was talking about SCIENTIFIC theories, otherwise you missed the Flying Spagethhi Monster, oh and the Beginningless Beginnings of eastern philosophy. These are all well and good but they are not science.

    ID is far more scientific than NDE. Panspermia is also more scientific than NDE. Given that both Crick and Hoyle supported it I’d conclude they were very poor scientists by your logic.

    The FSM et al. are things you should agree with given your next comment:

    Excuse ME! but I do believe that excatly! ‘itself intelligent’ is the words I’d use, … I _believe_ that we are as if all organs in one body, the insects play a role (just like your liver does) and humans play a role (perhaps like your brain does), …I believe we are all one, and the WHOLE is directing itself.

    Thats a lot of spurious and unfounded, unscientific and irrational beliefs in such short space.
    The only important thing is, “Is it true?”
    If not your belief is vain.

    One can believe whatever one wishes, but that doesn’t make it true. And one may disbelieve anything but that will never make something true, untrue.

  73. 73

    Joseph
    The article you link to says

    From these facts Darwin correctly inferred that life “descended with modification” from common ancestors. Overwhelming evidence for this fact (and none against) comes from, e.g., animal behavior, biochemistry, comparative anatomy, ecology, genetics, geochronology, microbiology, physiology, paleobotany, sedimentary geology, virology and zoology, amplifying Darwin’s insight. More than 30 million kinds of life, placed unambiguously into five huge groups—bacteria, protoctists (including 50 phyla of ciliates, diatoms, red and brown seaweeds, slime molds, water molds), fungi, animals and plants—evolved during the past 3,500 million years from our small common ancestors: bacteria. Study of long-chain molecules such as chitin, DNA, lignin, protein, yields spectacular evidence for the shared ancestry of all living matter. Watery cell metabolism (chemical transformation by salt balance, synthesis of proteins and other metabolites always bounded by cell membranes) is incessant whether in aardvark or zoogloea.

    Do you agree with that?

    If so, then it’s just the details left to sort out.

    If not, how can you use it as “evidence” for “There isn’t any standard phylogenetic tree”?

    And in any case do you have a specific issue with the current phylogenetic tree? Or is your argument simply “here is a link, there isn’t any standard phylogenetic tree”?

    The article says “Darwin was right”. You link to the article as evidence for your position. Therefore you agree with the article.

    Therefore Joseph says “Darwin was right”.

  74. Echidna-Levy :

    Care to make a prediction as to when Darwinism will be replaced, as if it’s already almost dead it can’t be long?

    A lot of dead duck theories linger for decades and sometimes centuries before they actually croak. Flat earth?

    Q: When was flat earth a dead duck theory?
    A: From its beginning.
    How long did it take before it finally died?
    Do the math.

    So no I would not make a prediction – based on the historical record of the scientific community’s inability to receive new and better ideas (rather to persecute and witch hunt their supporters) and reject old bad ones.

    In the words of the late M. Chrichton,

    Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had….the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of

    And what will it be replaced with?

    Some form of ID if we’re smart, more materialist hogwash if things go as usual. Possibly a modified panspermia. Even Dawkins supports that.
    That would still be better than the saliently bogus codswallop of Neo Darwinism.

  75. 75

    Joseph, did you even read beyond the misleading title of that editorial?

    You can’t be too happy about this:

    From these facts Darwin correctly inferred that life “descended with modification” from common ancestors. Overwhelming evidence for this fact (and none against) comes from, e.g., animal behavior, biochemistry, comparative anatomy, ecology, genetics, geochronology, microbiology, physiology, paleobotany, sedimentary geology, virology and zoology, amplifying Darwin’s insight. More than 30 million kinds of life, placed unambiguously into five huge groups—bacteria, protoctists (including 50 phyla of ciliates, diatoms, red and brown seaweeds, slime molds, water molds), fungi, animals and plants—evolved during the past 3,500 million years from our small common ancestors: bacteria. Study of long-chain molecules such as chitin, DNA, lignin, protein, yields spectacular evidence for the shared ancestry of all living matter.

    Oops.

    Margulis doesn’t deny common ancestry in the slightest. She just thinks that symbiosis is the chief source of genetic variation (an idea that is accepted by very few other biologists) and that the tree of life is therefore really more of a web.

    The rest of the biological community continues to accept the standard phylogenetic tree. After all, it’s been confirmed, via independent data sets, to an accuracy of more than 38 decimal places.

  76. 76

    Oops. I see that Echidna-Levy beat me to it.

  77. 77

    Bourne,

    ID is far more scientific than NDE.

    No, NDE is far far more scientific then ID.

    You see what the problem with that level of argumentation is? It did not work in the school yard and it does not work in grown up life either.

    If you want to make such a claim, support it with evidence or don’t be surprised when it’s laughed at.

    One can believe whatever one wishes, but that doesn’t make it true.

    That’s something we can agree on.

    Now, make your belief true by supporting it with evidence.

    So, if it’s true that ID is far more scientific than NDE then we should see that in the literature, no?

    So, if I were to search, say, google scholar for ID and NDE papers what do you suppose I would fine?

    Would the sheer volume of papers supporting Darwinism indicate that ID was more scientfic?

    Would the paucity of peer reviewed papers supporting ID prove that ID was more scientific?

    What has lead you to believe that ID is superior to Darwinism?

    Is it the lab work?
    Is it the peer reviewed papers?
    Is the the physical evidence?
    Is it the vague, never repeated but oft quoted calculation of CSI?

    What leads you to that conclusion, specifically?

  78. 78

    Bourne

    So no I would not make a prediction – based on the historical record of the scientific community’s inability to receive new and better ideas (rather to persecute and witch hunt their supporters) and reject old bad ones.

    And yet here we sit with our computers, moon rockets, GPS navigation systems, new anti-cancer drugs, Tamiflu, heart transplants etc.

    Yes indeed, the scientific community sure is resistant to new ideas!

    I think it’s clear to all that the scientific community is more then willing to embrace new ideas but with the provision that they are better then the old ideas they claim to replace.

    Logically therefore it would be reasonable to assume that ID has not reached that point.

    Or is it a conspiracy? A global, worldwide conspiracy that includes all scientists around the world, in all countries in all faiths, in all goverment types (secular and theistic) that’s stopping ID replacing Darwinism?

    Q: Was “flat earth theory” replaced by a theory that explained more or less of the data that flat earth theory “explained”?

    Q: Was “flat earth theory” better then

    A) No theory at all?
    B) Saying that “god did it”?

  79. 79
    Cornelius Hunter

    Folks:

    Yet when you look at the actual data, the morphological and molecular trees match perfectly, with 38 decimal places of precision. [57]

    This is where the religion takes evolutionists. It may appear to be mere ignorance, but I hear this sort of thing from evolutionists who know better.

    This is not mere ignorance, and it is fascinating to see in evolution not only a selective examination of the data, but even false presentations of the data.

  80. 80

    Corneluis

    This is where the religion takes evolutionists. It may appear to be mere ignorance, but I hear this sort of thing from evolutionists who know better.

    Yet you cannot bring yourself to say a single specific thing about the fact that the morphological and molecular trees match perfectly, with 38 decimal places of precision.

    If anybody has a religous view on the data it’s you.

    “It’s not true and I simply don’t believe it. I cannot say why I don’t believe if but you’ll just have to believe I’ve got a really really good reason to doubt the data. I can’t say what it is, but trust me”.

    This is not mere ignorance, and it is fascinating to see in evolution not only a selective examination of the data, but even false presentations of the data.

    Then would it be too much trouble for you to say what specific problems there are?

    Give an example of “selective examination of the data” and “false presentations of the data”.

    These are serious charges. If you want them to be taken seriously then back up your statements with some evidence.

    Why don’t you share your reasoning with us?

    Do you really think you are going to advance your argument with “it’s wrong” and nothing else?

    Science is not done in the playground. It’s not “he said, she said”. If you have a argument to make, such as falsified data, then make it.

    It seems that all you are doing is attempting to poison the well with your accusations of dishonestly.

    Why don’t you spell out one of those accusations?

    I believe it’s because you cannot. Accusations are all you have.

  81. 81
    Cornelius Hunter

    Alex73 (28):

    I agree with Alex that an often overlooked aspect of ID is that unlike evolution, it is not complete. (yes, evolution is complete; OOL is part of evolution — see the final section here; and furthermore, evolutionary thought does not limit itself to biology).

    Evolution provides a theory of everything whereas ID is limited. This quickly gets to the question of which limit one prefers for science (method, realism or completeness), or if you’re a typical evolutionist just assume there are no limits, thank you, and turn that apparent constraint into an apologetic for naturalism.

  82. 82

    Corneluis

    yes, evolution is complete; OOL is part of evolution

    This despite Darwin explicitly saying that the origin of life was not something he was attempting to explain.

    see the final section here

    That seems to be a link to your own site. Got anything that’s been fact checked by a 3rd party? Or reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts?

    No?

    Then why should your ramblings be given any more credence then Timecube?

    Evolution provides a theory of everything whereas ID is limited.

    Very limited.

    This quickly gets to the question of which limit one prefers for science (method, realism or completeness)

    How about “useful”, something that ID has not yet been.

    or if you’re a typical evolutionist just assume there are no limits, thank you, and turn that apparent constraint into an apologetic for naturalism

    Whatever.

  83. Echidna-Levy :

    No, NDE is far far more scientific then ID.

    So your basically saying “nya nya nya”? “I’m right and you’re wrong”? Indeed.

    If you want to make such a claim, support it with evidence or don’t be surprised when it’s laughed at. … Now, make your belief true by supporting it with evidence.

    Fine. You want to play the “smarter than you” games? No problem.

    Take genetic code for starters. It is real code, not analogous to code (Yockey). Code is a symbolic convention for communications. Code thus intrinsically implies intelligent origin.

    There is no such thing as coded information without intelligent origin.
    The genetic code contains highly algorithmic informational structure. It is prescriptive information. Prescriptive information cannot arise by any random process. It is functional information.

    Q: So how did this specific kind of information arise in DNA without intelligent input by random processes?
    A: Darwinism has no answer because it is impossible w/o intelligence and Darwinism, being based upon materialism and methodological naturalism has a prior excluded design and intelligence from possibility.

    Genetic information as complex, encoded and functional information cannot have arisen by the laws of either physics or chemistry.

    Semantic (meaningful) information has two subsets: Descriptive and Prescriptive. Prescriptive Information (PI) instructs or directly produces nontrivial formal function (Abel, 2009a). Merely describing a computer chip does not prescribe or produce that chip. Thus mere description needs to be dichotomized from prescription. Computationally halting cybernetic programs and linguistic instructions are examples of Prescriptive Information. “Prescriptive Information (PI) either tells us what choices to make, or it is a recordation of wise choices already made.” (Abel, 2009a)

    Not even Descriptive semantic information is achievable by inanimate physicodynamics (Pattee, 1972, 1995, 2001). Measuring initial conditions in any experiment and plugging those measurements appropriately into equations (e.g., physical “laws”) is formal, not physical. Cybernetic programming choices and mathematical manipulations are also formal. …
    No random number generator has ever been observed to generate a meaningful message or a non trivial computational program.

    Configurable switches can only be set by non physical formal choice contingency. This is why we call them “configurable.” Physics and chemistry cannot cause or explain their specific utilitarian settings

    DNA strings are formed through the selection of one of four nucleotides at each locus in a string. These programming choices at quaternary decision nodes in DNA sequences must be made prior to the existence of any selectable phenotypic fitness (The GS Principle, (Abel, 2009b). Natural selection cannot explain the programming of genetic PI that precedes and prescribes organismic existence.

    The formal term of PI [prescriptive information] was further developed in “More than metaphor: Genomes are objective sign systems (Abel and Trevors, 2006a, 2007)

    Important terms relating to PI include Choice Contingency, as opposed to mere Chance Contingency and law-like necessity (Abel and Trevors, 2006b, Abel, 2009c, Trevors and Abel, 2004). The Cybernetic Cut defines a seemingly infinitely deep ravine that divides mere physicodynamic constraints from formal controls (Abel, 2008a, b). The CS Bridge is the one-way bridge across The Cybernetic Cut made possible through instantiation of formal choices into physical configurable switch-settings (Abel, 2008a). No one has ever observed PI flow in reverse direction from inanimate physicodynamics to the formal side of the ravine—the land of bona fide formal pragmatic “control.” The GS Principle states that selection for potential function must occur at the molecular-genetic level of nucleotide selection and sequencing, prior to organismic existence (Abel, 2009b, d). Differential survival/reproduction of already-programmed living organisms (natural selection) is not sufficient to explain molecular evolution or life-origin (Abel, 2009b). Life must be organized into existence and managed by prescriptive information found in both genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. The environment possesses no ability to program linear digital folding instructions into the primary structure of biosequences and biomessages. The environment also provides no ability to generate Hamming block codes (e.g. triplet codons that preclude noise pollution through a 3-to-1 symbol representation of each amino acid) (Abel and Trevors, 2006a, 2007). The environment cannot decode or translate from one arbitrary language into another. The codon table is arbitrary and physicodynamically indeterminate. No physicochemical connection exists between resortable nucleotides, groups of nucleotides, and the amino acid that each triplet codon represents. Although instantiated into a material symbol system, the prescriptive information of genetic and epigenetic control is fundamentally formal, not physical.

    Dr David L. Abel. Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

    Now add to this the fact of genetic entropy, which excludes the probability of NDE ever occurring in the first place since the tide of bad mutations (generally bugs in the code) far outnumber the rare good ones.

    According to Kimura, Kondroshov et al. most mutations are near neutral and not even visible to selection. But with any good mutation, there are necessarily many more bad or non zero ones. So selection will do what? It will select for the ones it “sees”.

    The rare and trivial good will thus generally be wiped out with the vastly superior numbered bad.

    Indeed, if you look at Kimura’s mutation/selection distribution charts you notice there he put nothing at all on the positive side of the Y axis. All mutations were graphed left of the neutral (Y).

    So mutations, which are generally deleterious, but which in NDE are the supposed raw material upon which selection acts and creates entirely new families, are entirely unfit for as the creative force in NDE theory! See J.C. Sanford, “Genetic Entropy” and Jerry Bergman on the same.

    So, if it’s true that ID is far more scientific than NDE then we should see that in the literature, no?

    As much as one would expect to see a peer approved spherical earth article in the sci literature of Galileo’s day.

    So, if I were to search, say, google scholar for ID and NDE papers what do you suppose I would fine?

    Would the sheer volume of papers supporting Darwinism indicate that ID was more scientfic?

    What has lead you to believe that ID is superior to Darwinism?
    Is it the lab work?
    Is it the peer reviewed papers?
    Is the the physical evidence?

    All of the above plus good old fashion common sense reasoning [something you seemingly know little of].

    Also based on the intuitive design inference – recognized by both Dawkins and Crick – though denied a priori, based on metaphysical beliefs alone, by both.
    “Designoids” would never have been postulated were not the inference so naturally strong.

    Take Cricks rather hypocritical and entirely metaphysical prejudice based statement,

    Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.

    One legitimately asks, “Why?”.

    Obviously atheist Crick sought to ‘help’ biologists resist their innate, observation based, design inference in favor of their Darwinian fundamentalist academic training.

    How lame for such a smart fellow!

    Then again, one might reference the fact of irreducible complexity.

    The now infamous example of the E. coli flagellum is made of about 42 parts. It has to be assembled in the correct order to function. Out of order = doesn’t work.

    So the probability of getting the exact combination is about 1/10^50 (~1/42!). I’m being optimistic for you here!

    Now, add to this the fact that in NDE, no intelligence is allowed, no guidance is allowed and no purpose or goal is allowed.

    So there are in fact NO trials being attempted!

    Nature, not even trying to make a simple rotary engine, would never even get close. It has as much chance of creating the correct order assembly of that flagellum as you would shooting an arrow into the sky and hoping to hit the Mars.

    And this before we even introduce the fact that the genome has somehow produced the necessary parts! The parts, in this factory, just happen to lying around waiting for some informational sequence to describe the assembly!

    Probabilities, being multiplicative, are so strongly against NDE having made even just a flagellum – let alone millions of distinct fully formed well adapted living organisms – that you are an idiot if you “hedge your bets” on the NDE side.

    I could go on and on enumerating the many evidences supporting ID – even in the NDE based literature – as this site often does.

    So you may go on laughing at yourself and arguing against reason and logic all you please.

  84. Cornelius Hunter:

    “This is where the religion takes evolutionists. It may appear to be mere ignorance, but I hear this sort of thing from evolutionists who know better.

    This is not mere ignorance, and it is fascinating to see in evolution not only a selective examination of the data, but even false presentations of the data.”

    It’s interesting that a religious person should perceive selective examination of data, and false presentations of data as symptoms of religion.

    I’m sure that many critics of religion would happily agree!

  85. The religion is the obvious worship given to mother nature, father time and magical mystery mutations.

    And if the theory of evolution is scientific then why can’t one of you propose a testable hypothesis with the concept of accumulating genetic accidents?

  86. Echidna-Levy,

    There isn’t any genetic, anatomical, physiological or other data that supports universal common descent. Never mone UCD via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    You chimps have proven that the theory van’t even muster a testable hypothesis with the proposed mechanisms.

  87. OK, I can’t help but respond to tribune7′s response to me:

    Lenoxus, you don’t understand ID.

    When you say If the (something) can and does produce both diseases and immune systems with equal flair, you’re channeling evolution.

    Huh? Is it not the case that both immune systems and diseases are attributed to the designer? Behe seems to think so (specifically, that malaria could not have evolved to its present form and must have had intelligent guidance). If we are going to talk about common design, this is a serious problem of contradictions. Of course, ID folks can always say they’ll get to it later, just as they will with questions of design mechanism and the like — that ID is just not at that stage yet — but somehow I doubt that.

    Anyway, I’ll go ahead and submit it as an argument, though it doesn’t fit either of the two holes you provided: designed phenomena simply do not work against themselves in that way, without producing some larger function. Or at least, there is a low probability they would. Again, with the designer, any phenomena are possible.

  88. 88

    I asked Cornelius Hunter:

    …why do you refuse to answer my question? Are you able to offer us a falsifiable design hypothesis or not?

    His response:

    [silence]

    I asked:

    Do you truly not recognize that other nonrandom patterns are possible besides the one that confirms Darwinian common descent?

    For example, suppose (using Theobald’s example of the standard phylogenetic tree of the 30 major taxa) that the morphological data produced the standard tree, while the molecular data produced the same tree except with the positions of humans and bananas reversed. That would be a huge problem for evolution, yet it would in no sense be a random pattern.

    There are literally trillions of trillions of patterns that could falsify evolution. Many of them are quite nonrandom, like the one I just described. All of them would be available to a putative designer.

    He replied:

    [silence]

    I wrote:

    Yet when you look at the actual data, the morphological and molecular trees match perfectly, with 38 decimal places of precision.

    And:

    Either undirected evolution is true, or the designer has made it appear, overwhelmingly, to be true. Either way, you you have to ignore the evidence — all 38 decimal places’ worth — to conclude that ID is correct.

    His reply:

    This is where the religion takes evolutionists. It may appear to be mere ignorance, but I hear this sort of thing from evolutionists who know better.

    This is not mere ignorance, and it is fascinating to see in evolution not only a selective examination of the data, but even false presentations of the data.

    In other words, “You’re lying!”

    That’s it. That’s the sum total of his rebuttal. No evidence. No argument. Just an unsupported accusation that is easily refuted.

    Is this what you’ve sunk to, Cornelius?

  89. 89

    mereologist,

    I must admit that your summary of Dr. Hunters position is exactly what I was just thinking.

    In the Matrix, Neo [you] had to choose between the red pill and the blue pill . . . here you stand before Morpheous [mereologist]. What will you choose? Somewhere deep inside you know you are wrong Dr. Hunter, but do want to go on living a lie?

    Good luck. You will need it if you think you can slip out of the difficult situation you are now in.

  90. mereologist,

    {humongous wall of text}

    Dude, that’s harsh! At least my man Cornelius keeps it civil! :(

  91. 91

    herb:

    Dude, that’s harsh! At least my man Cornelius keeps it civil!

    Calling me a liar is “keeping it civil”?

  92. Mereologist,
    Maybe he hasn’t answered because the wagons are stuck in the ruts it’s been gone over so many times? You have failed to demonstrate that an undirected path is possible. There exists no such path. Do you realize even Gould would have corrected you?

    AND THAT’S WHY WE’RE ALL STILL HERE

    You’ve been programmed by public school to believe that an information increase is possible, that Miller’s IC subparts can connect up at once and that machines in cells and double helix’s are no problem. Can someone please post a list of the falsifiable points of ID at the top of UD? I myself have made at least five lists of this myself on this site.

    You think you’re onto something here. Why don’t you look in the archives to have your questions answered over and over again. You’re undirected tree of life is full of assumptions which I’ve already corrected you on. You think environmental change can’t be programmed into brackets. Why? Why is it that we see two different WHOLE ENTIRE genes making insect abdomens and guts?

    This should clear some things up. Answer these three questions:

    What is information? Do we observe enough information increase to account for the tree of life? Does your argument depend on information increase via nature alone? Hopefully those three questions will mean less typing and more reading.

    90degreeangel,
    Why don’t you summarize the gist of the problem. I bet you and you’re friend don’t even know what’s going on here. I really want to hear this in your own words.

  93. 93

    mere@89

    4. Cornelius knows this. However, a deceptive designer of this sort is not what Cornelius was hoping to find. He wants the designer to be the Christian God.

    One who knows the Christian God should know this is exactly what we expect.

    2 Thessalonians 2- Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  94. 94

    lamarck:

    Maybe he hasn’t answered because the wagons are stuck in the ruts it’s been gone over so many times?

    lamarck,

    Yeah, that’s it. He’s got a really great, devastating rebuttal, but he just can’t be bothered to present it. Why should anyone expect him to defend his own position?

    Well, if you think that Cornelius is too busy or too tired to provide a designer hypothesis, then perhaps you can step into the breach and provide one for him.

    What designer hypothesis can you offer that is compatible with the phylogenetic evidence we’ve been discussing?

  95. mereologist:

    1. The evidence fits staggeringly well with the idea of undirected evolution.

    What evidence?

    Heck you can’t even provide a testable hypothesis for undirected processes.

  96. Mereologist,
    You fail to answer my three questions on information. Waiting on that.

    Also I see where you get your talking points from. The phrasing is the same.

    Listen, understand I’ve CORRECTED cdk, extantdodo etc. on their videos.

    Like “lights out! Who turned the lights out!” type correction.

    I’m unwilling to discuss this with you if you don’t understand information.

  97. Common design explains the same data that universal common descent explains- similarities.

    Nested Hierarchies were once used as evidence for that common design.

    As for a DESIGN hypothesis:

    The conclusion that something was designed can be made quite independently of knowledge of the designer. As a matter of procedure, the design must first be apprehended before there can be any further question about the designer. The inference to design can be held with all firmness that is possible in this world, without knowing anything about the designer.—Dr Behe

    As a scientific research program, intelligent design investigates the effects of intelligence and not intelligence as such.- Wm. Dembski page 33 of The Design Revolution

    Observation: (What’s there?)

    The Universe

    Question(s)

    How did the universe come to be (the way it is)? (Is the universe the result of intentional design or purpose-less stochastic processes?)

    Prediction:

    1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    2) If the universe were designed for scientific discovery then I would expect a strong correlation between habitability and measurability.

    Test:

    1) Try to determine if the same laws that apply every place on Earth also apply throughout the universe.

    2) Try to determine the correlation between habitability and measurability.

    Potential falsification:

    1) Observe that the universe is chaotic.

    2) A- Find a place that is not habitable but offers at least as good of a platform to make scientific discoveries as Earth or B- Find a place that is inhabited (indiginous) but offers a poor platform from which to make scientific discoveries.

    Confirmation:

    1) Tests conducted all over the globe, on the Moon and in space confirm that the same laws that apply here also apply throughout the universe.

    2) All scientific data gathered to date confirm that habitability correlates with measurability.

    Observation:

    Living organisms

    Question(s)

    How did living organisms come to be (on this planet)? (Are living organisms the result of intentional design, purpose-less stochastic processes or perhaps even alien colonization?)

    Prediction:

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

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

    Test:

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

    Potential falsification:

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

    Confirmation:

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

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

    Conclusion (scientific inference)

    Both the universe and living organisms are the result of intention design.

    Any future research can either confirm or refute this premise, which, for the biological side, was summed up in Darwinism, Design and Public Education page 92:

    1. High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
    2. Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
    3. Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
    4. Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    (see also Science asks 3 basic questions)

  98. 98

    Joseph:

    Common design explains the same data that universal common descent explains- similarities.

    No it doesn’t. See this comment.

    Common design cannot explain the evidence, unless you assume that the designer specifically singled out a method, out of the trillions possible, that makes undirected common descent appear to be true.

    As I explained above, such a hypothesis can never be scientific because it asserts design in spite of the evidence, not because of it. It’s totally faith-based.

  99. 99

    Joseph,

    See this comment for an explanation of why IC and CSI are useless in defending ID.

  100. 100

    Lamark,

    OK. For a long time scientists collected morphological data and drew up a tree of life based on this information. When technology made it easier to use molecular data to show the relatedness scientists said, “cool, lets see if these two different way of showing relatedness correlate.” They collected the data and it fit almost perfectly. This supports evolution. It is just one of the many observations collected that support evolution.

    If there is evidence for evolution it weakens ID (the current paradigm). ID has been getting wasted since Darwin manhandled Paley.

    Next, there is no evidence for design, if there were we would be able to see and measure this evidence. We would be able to construct tests of theory of intelligent design, these would be published in intelligent design journals. ISCID is a joke. There is no evidence, no tests, no theory. Mr. Hunter seems to do semantic contortions in order to avoid dealing with this.

    Cornelious knows that ID is based on religious underpinnings, and he wants to make it seem like evolution is also based on faith. That way they are at least equal in that respect . . . unfortunately mereologist has insisted that Cornelious cite a specific example of the above claim. None has appeared.

  101. mereologist,

    There isn’t any evidence for undirected evolution.

    YOU cannot even provide a testable hypothesis.

    And you obviously don’t understand what common design means.

    IOW your ignorance is not a refutation of anything.

    The ONLY “evidence” your position has is the refusal to accept design as an explanation.

  102. mereologist:

    See this comment for an explanation of why IC and CSI are useless in defending ID.

    Again your ignorance and strawman arguments are not refutations.

    And your position relies heavily on ignorance.

    The fact that you can’t provide a testable hypothesis based on the proposed mechanisms is very telling.

  103. 90DegreeAngel,

    You can’t even muster a testable hypothesis for your position.

    Your position is based on faith- faith in mother nature, father time and magical mystery mutations.

    You guys do realize that if you could just substantiate your clainms ID would go away.

    I take it that is why you are so angry- you can’t substantiate anything.

  104. 104
    CannuckianYankee

    90DegreeAngel,

    “Cornelious knows that ID is based on religious underpinnings, and he wants to make it seem like evolution is also based on faith. That way they are at least equal in that respect . . . unfortunately mereologist has insisted that Cornelious cite a specific example of the above claim. None has appeared.”

    First of all, I’m not certain if you understand what Dr. Hunter is saying – or perhaps you haven’t been paying attention.

    Dr. Hunter began a sustained dialogue on this issue a couple of weeks ago, which begins here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....a-forrest/

    You can look at the progression of these posts, and see that he has addressed what you are asking for.

    The next post here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....dge-jones/

    Then here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....dge-jones/

    Then here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-revealed/

    Here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....formances/

    Here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....sometimes/

    Here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ts-faster/

    And of course where we currently are in this thread – and I’m sure it will be continued…..

    Dr. Hunter has layed out the framework for the Darwinian religion starting with Barbara Forrest – She seems to be one of the great practitioners of the Darwin religion with her notion that the scienctific method must must contain “natural” in its definition in order to prevent crossing over into the “supernatural.”

    Forrest: “The sciences are unified by their naturalistic methodology and empiricist epistemology, a unity … that can take us to the outer reaches of natural phenomena, but never beyond them. When we move beyond the epistemic boundaries that these faculties and rules set for us and the correspondingly limited metaphysical boundaries they enable us to define, we move from the relative epistemological safety of knowledge to the unmapped, supernatural territory of faith.”

    In a later post: Evolution’s Religion Revealed, Dr. Hunter points out that Darwin began with a metaphysical assertion about the nature of biology; that “a God would not have designed the world as it is.”

    This assertion is where methodological naturalism (Forrest’s Scientific method) begins.

    Dr. Hunter has provided ample examples of this assertion throughout these posts and in the works he cited.

    Furthermore, I would like to point out that these posts over the last several weeks have been extremely insightful. Darwinism does not begin with evidence, but with a religious view of what a God would and would not do. It is essentially question-begging. If this is foundation upon which the whole Darwinian paradigm is based, then we are well justified in re-examining the entire Darwinian paradigm.

    Furthermore, ID is not based on any religious assertions. We don’t assert that God exists necessarily. We are asking the question: can complexity in nature be explained best by design, or by Darwinian processes. It’s a perfectly legitimate scientific question that does not assert or presume anything.

    So when Dr. Hunter examines Darwinism, He’s not doing it out of any religious agenda, but merely discovering – given the new evidence that we currently see in complex biological organisms – that design appears to be the best, more parsimonious explanation, and one can’t help wondering where Darwinism went wrong these 150 years.

  105. 90 degrees,

    Mr. Hunter has done a superb job of doing just that; showing ND is as faith-based if not more so than ID.

    As Joseph is untiringly asked all of you, show us the money? Give us a testable hypothesis. ‘Show’ us natural selection acting on genetic variation creating new life forms? (BTW, anti-biotic resistance has not created a new life-form but simply an adapted bacterium).

    Moreso, anti-biotic resistance of bacteria clearly favors ID, since it ‘show’s the range of bacteria’s adaptive landscape. It ‘proves’ that each organism has a different range, and it is ID that will be able to map and analyse the range date for each organism and make predictions as to what each organism can and cannot adapt to.

    This is in stark constrast to ND that say evolution is invincible and can do anything given time, chance, and necessity.

    Cornelious knows that ID is based on religious underpinnings, and he wants to make it seem like evolution is also based on faith. That way they are at least equal in that respect . . . unfortunately mereologist has insisted that Cornelious cite a specific example of the above claim. None has appeared.

  106. 106
    William J. Murray

    #89: Mereologist states: “unless the designer chose to design in a way that makes undirected evolution appear to be true.”

    Let’s remember, Francis Crick said: “biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”

    If the designer chose to design in a way that is indistinguishagble from undirected chance and law, why must biologists keep reminding themselves that the apparent design is just an illusion?

    What apparent design are they talking about, if what they see is indistinguishable from undirected evolution?

  107. 107

    William,

    Crick is talking about the same thing as Dawkins was when he wrote:

    Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.

    Dawkins went on to explain:

    The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design.

    The problem is similar to one we have when teaching the theory of relativity. All of us grow up thinking intuitively that time and space are absolute and non-interchangeable. Learning relativity is largely a matter of convincing ourselves that they are not. Our incorrect intuitions are never fully eradicated; even experts have to keep reminding themselves of the counterintuitive truths of relativity.

    Likewise with biology. Biologists understand that their intuitive sense of design is incorrect, but they can never fully root out that intuition. Like our erroneous notions of space and time, it is built into us. Thus biologists, as Crick says, must remind themselves that they are dealing with the products of evolution, not design.

    Just as time and space appear absolute when viewed intuitively, but not when they are viewed scientifically, so life appears designed when it is viewed intuitively but not when viewed through the lens of science.

  108. 108
    CannuckianYankee

    mere,

    “Likewise with biology. Biologists understand that their intuitive sense of design is incorrect, but they can never fully root out that intuition. Like our erroneous notions of space and time, it is built into us. Thus biologists, as Crick says, must remind themselves that they are dealing with the products of evolution, not design.”

    That’s a persuasive argument. Still it has problems. If you’ve been reading Dr. Hunter’s posts, he posits that Darwin started with an assertion against design: that a god would not have designed the world as it is. Dr. Hunter argues that this is an example of a religious basis for Darwinism. Now, even if you don’t agree that it is “religious” per se, do you not understand the problem?

    Let me frame it another way – In an earlier post by Dr. Hunter from June 16th – Questions for Barbara Forrest – I think it was titled – Dr. Hunter quotes Forrest in the linked article in his blog – saying that essentially science can only look into natural phenomenon as opposed to supernatural phenomenon.

    This too is an assertion, because Forrest does not offer a definition of what she means by “supernatural.” I think she assumes that religion has to do with the supernatural, while science has to do with the natural. Now there’s a problem with this – and that problem goes back several centuries in philosophy of religion – and I think that problem originated from heretical ideas about God.

    I can’t go into the details, because it’s rather complex, but in summary, it was the Church that gave us this faulty view of the separation between heavenly things and earthly things – that what is heavenly cannot affect what is earthly. If you look for example at religious artwork from the middle ages, you see such things as halos over the heads of religious figures, or moons behind their heads, etc. They were often dwelling in otherworldly realms with arches and columns of gold, and pools of water behind them. Quite often there were glimpses of nature in these paintings, but only in the backgrounds. The implication was that these religious figures were somehow more than simply human. Or that the separation between nature and the divine was explicit such that what is pure cannot be combined with what is impure. The images decried the whole notion that God would incarnate himself as a human and live among humans. And so there developed this separation between “the divine” and “the worldly.”

    What’s heretical about this is that the scriptures teach God not as “supernatural,” but as transcendent – and there is a difference. Transceendence is as natural as nature – while different in the sence that it is apart from the material. It flows within the material realm, and without. So God can be both in nature and outside of nature – interacting in nature, while sustaining nature at the same time. The religion of the middle ages was vastly different than the religion of the Jews. The Jews had a testament of God working with them, not totally separate from them.

    So what happened is that this led to faulty ideas about religion in general, and opened the doorway for philosophers and thinkers who were not grounded in the church, to question a straw man. Hume and others were wrong, because the miraculous they rejected was not the same as the miraculous that is depicted in scripture. They rejected miracles because of the faulty theology of the separation between the divine and the earthly. They assumed that the miraculous was outside of nature, and completely separate.

    So we’ve come to the point in modern times that we don’t really know what is meant by “supernatural,” and so we reject it. But it really is a straw man. Scripture never says that God is completely separate from nature, but that God is everywhere in nature.

    So what became highly “religious” among Christians with high order sacraments and otherworldly domains – was completely devoid of what was in scripture itself.

    So Forrest’s views of religion come out of that faulty theology.

    And so did Darwin’s. Now Darwin of course took a different approach. He didn’t deal with the whole issue of miracles and and the heavenly realms. He went directly to the assertion that the world that could be seen, could not have been designed by a god. And based on that, he formed his theory.

    The reason why the ID argument is scientific, is because it makes no assertions about the nature of God. It’s a separate issue altogether. I think the mistake the opposing side is making is this: They’re seeing IDists as religious – which is a valid observation, but where they go wrong is in assuming that because of this religious outlook, they can’t be objective with the evidence.

    The problem with this is that many of the ID supporters in their philosophical understandings have rejected also the strawman “supernatural” separation that occured in the middle ages. So they are highly motivated in allowing the evidence for ID to speak for itself. Because if we posit something that is not true, there are consequences from the God they believe in.

    Now I haven’t given you the full story, so if some of this doesn’t drift with you, please understand that there are huge gaps in my understanding. But the basic ideas are there.

    So I have to ask you – given what you have stated – don’t you think it would behoove Darwinists to take another look at this issue of design? I realize that the appearance of design does not mean that there is design. You are right about the counterintuitive nature of some phenomenon. But the issue does not stem from overlooking that aspect, but in the faulty philosophy of religion that developed prior to Darwinism, which influenced his thinking.

  109. CannuckianYankee:

    … it was the Church that gave us this faulty view of the separation between heavenly things and earthly things – that what is heavenly cannot affect what is earthly. … So Forrest’s views of religion come out of that faulty theology.

    You know, what always surprises me about these things is that it’s up to theology and philosophy to resolve supernatural questions. Why not science, if the supernatural really is interacting with and affecting nature all the time? Supernatural beings must be choosing not to resolve the debates for us. If we observed an angel creating life, biology wouldn’t deny that but try to reconcile that with what it already knows.

    Now Darwin of course took a different approach. He didn’t deal with the whole issue of miracles and and the heavenly realms. He went directly to the assertion that the world that could be seen, could not have been designed by a god. And based on that, he formed his theory.

    I’ve been confused about this notion from the moment I first saw it repeated on these boards. What confuses me is this: Why did Darwin’s non-design theory, and not someone else’s, gain currency in biology, if all Western science wanted was the rejection of God in the origin of life? Lamarckism certainly would have fit the bill much better, assuming that life really is so-obviously-designed and so-obviously-not-evolved. (For example, in an alternate universe, today’s Lamarckians might tell Behe that bacteria really wanted to propel themselves better, so they developed flagella. It’s a non-God-based, nice, clean-cut “explanation”. But no, biologists insist that the mechanism must have been evolutionary. Why evolutionary? Did they pick that out of a hat?)

    What was it about evolution specifically that holds appeal for the religious materialist biologists? Could it be its explanatory power? (No, no, that couldn’t be it.) Then what?

  110. 110
    CannuckianYankee

    Lenoxus,

    Thanks for the reply. As a theist, I’ve noticed a certain phenomenon, that I don’t see is being noticed by non-theists – perhaps because they haven’t lived within a theistic world-view. That is that many theists – not all, do not believe their faith to be religious, per se. They see it more as a rigorously thought-out paradigm of truth.

    It’s not an individually thought out truth, but a collectively thought-out truth, which started with the Apostles, and was transfered to the early church fathers, through the creeds, the councils – and for us Protestants, right up through the Reformation.

    Within this paradigm, or “world-view” is a particular understanding about the world. It’s not a religious view – the doctrines and all that come with it are separate – but are part of the forming of that view. Part of it is that the supernatural is really illusory. God is as naturally a part of reality as everything else. This is why the arguments for the existence of God were formed – and many of them (not all) were originally Christian – the cosmological arguments, the moral arguments, etc.

    So that with Christian culture in the later years of the church – say the 1500s-1800s, the paradigm worked immensely. Few people lived outside the framework of the Church – not even politics was immune. Of course there were some obvious problems with this mixture of social-construct/political-construct with the church; because if you read scripture – Jesus and the Apostles never intended to mandate the mixture of Christianity with politics or with culture. Christianity was intended to transform culture, not follow its mores.

    So out of this – lets call it what it is – false Christianity of “Christendom” we allowed the atheistic world-view to take route.

    But there are still theists who reject the Christianity of the late middle ages, and who have a problem with Darwinism because for one (among other reasons), it comes out of that particular influence. The church allowed the rise of atheistic thinking precisely because they failed to be faithful to a true view of nature – that God is not “supernatural,” but transendent. Christianity is not “religion,” but truth.

    There was something unique about the Christianity of the 1st to the 3rd Centuries. It was revolutionary and totally different from any belief system that came before it or after it. Some might say that it was almost utopian – but that would’t be an adequate description.

    But what we see in this modern era is an attempt to return to the Christianity of the early church – with a trend towards separating church from politics. I know in my church our pastors never talk about politics, because they don’t believe that politics is a proper Christian “solution” to any of the world’s problems, and neither is it an appropriate vehicls for the spreading of the gospel. So the focus is not simply on evangelizing, but on brigning the gospel to the ends of the earth – so many Evangelical churches now are huge supporters of world missions. And another part of that is being the salt of the earth – providing needed services to communities – helping with hurricane relief, etc….

    Darwinism didn’t reject that kind of “religion” if that’s what you want to call it – it rejected the Christendom kind of Christianity, where the Church was often synonymous with the government – and where to be a Christian meant to belong to the church, rather than to make a profession of faith in Jesus – and so since the church itself was no different than the world order – who cared? It was time for a new paradigm, because the old one was collapsing – well we know that not to be true now – because in reality, the church survived and reformed, and continues to reform to this day.

    So another result of this Church of the middle ages – the removal of God from the center of life. So much so that now – without some Christian upbringing, the non-believer has no idea what we mean when we talk about God.

    Part of the problem is that we have a tendancy to portray God in the same language as the medieval view, rather than in the language of the early church.

    So when we as theists talk to non-believers about God, it behooves us to shed all preconseptions of what we mean – to not talk about the “supernatural’ and such otherworldly concepts, but rather to portray God as so natural [and I don't mean material, but transcendent], that He could fit within the “scientism” construct of the naturalists.

    Sorry for leaving you with such a long post, but I’ve been studying this subject for years, and it takes some time to explain.

  111. 111
    CannuckianYankee

    Lenoxus,

    So to answer your question as to what holds appeal to the naturalistic biologists? I think it stems from this shift in thinking that was going on when the church was loosing its grip on power. World-views are powerful. One can hold a naturalistic world-view and completely miss the basis for it – that a god would not design the world as it is.

    So science has worked for so many years within a framework of methodollogical naturalism, not because it works best for science, but because it stems from a world-view that is difficult to escape from, because nobody notices the false premise.

    If you make the prior assumption that there is no God, and you form your whole world-view on that assumption, and it sticks for hundreds of years in a culture, it’s not easy to unravel.

    I personally believe that if we turned to a completely neutral methodology in science, that allowed the exploration of design, or other views that scientists currently reject, rather than the dogmatic insistance on naturalism, science might work even better for us. It’s an experiment that we haven’t tried.

  112. “if all Western science wanted was the rejection of God in the origin of life? Lamarckism certainly would have fit the bill much better, assuming that life really is so-obviously-designed and so-obviously-not-evolved.”

    Because Lamarckism was so obviously wrong. The black smith could have a weak son; if one lost an arm, that person’s child had two etc. There was not passing on of acquired characteristics. No grand theory either.

    Darwin came up with something that was just the opposite. It was obviously true. We all can understand the survival of the fittest. It is easy and true.

    Today the survival of the fittest has sound science behind it, namely micro evolution. But Darwin was not happy with that. He wanted a world view so he had to extrapolate and for this there was no evidence and there still isn’t any evidence. That is what the dance is all about, the lack of evidence for the grand extrapolation necessary for the grand theory.

    And the main thing to justify the grand theory of science is to use religious arguments against objections to it. Darwin used these types of arguments, people on this site use them and in debates against ID, it is often the first thing people bring up.

  113. mereologist:

    Biologists understand that their intuitive sense of design is incorrect, but they can never fully root out that intuition.

    How did they come to that understanding seeing they don’t even have a testable hypothesis?

    It is as I said the complete refusal to allow design as an explanation.

    That is all your position amounts to.

    And you have proven that with each of your posts.

    Thank you.

  114. jerry:

    Lamarckism was so obviously wrong. The black smith could have a weak son; if one lost an arm, that person’s child had two etc. There was not passing on of acquired characteristics. No grand theory either.

    Darwin came up with something that was just the opposite. It was obviously true. We all can understand the survival of the fittest. It is easy and true.

    THANK YOU. :) If I had read one more UD comment along the lines that Darwinism is complete doo-doo from beginning to end (when what they really mean is that it’s inadequate to explain certain biological features, a position I disagree with very respectfully), I might have thrown up. You’ve saved me.

    Joseph:

    How did they come to that understanding seeing they don’t even have a testable hypothesis?

    It is as I said the complete refusal to allow design as an explanation.

    That is all your position amounts to.

    The tests would be occurring in plain sight at all times even if there weren’t hundreds of them happening in bio labs all over the world. The results of said tests are in:

    All organisms descend from parents with genetic and reproductive continuity, plus a roughly constant rate of mutation, with the exception of human genetic fiddling. Nearly all fossil fragments have a straightforward place in the tree of life, and all complete ones do. Nearly all bacterial colonies will develop antibiotic resistance when given the chance. No complex feature has been seen to arise saltationally. Acquired characteristics are not inherited unless the genome or gestating organism is directly affected. Etc.

    But no, apparently (to paraphrase what I’ve seen written time and time again here) the scientific theory of biological evolution by means of natural selection actually only consists of the rejection of God, full stop.

    God? If you really do intervene so very obviously in biological nature on a regular basis, you can resolve this debate any time. Just give one generation of bacteria their flagella before the eyes of the observing grad students. Or do something else, it doesn’t matter, you have a big imagination. Then the naturalistic scientists would look as silly as drowning people denying water. Right now, the IDers are the ones who appear to insist that only water (a disembodied mind) can cause a building to burn down (physical genetic manipulation).

    Again, much love to all & no hard feelings meant!

  115. Joseph:

    My apologies it was a typo- I meant “chimps” seeing that they so want to be related and such.

    Let’s run with that. These people “want” to be related to chimps in the same way people “want” to be related to other people. (if you don’t think that you are related to all other humans, then the following will not apply to you).

    Some people are idiots. You people want to be related to idiots. Therefore, it is OK for me to call you people idiots.

    Does this sound acceptable? To anyone?

  116. My apologies it was a typo- I meant “chimps” seeing that they so want to be related and such.

    Hoki:

    Let’s run with that. These people “want” to be related to chimps in the same way people “want” to be related to other people.

    There is scientifically verifiable data that demonstrates humans can be related to other humans.

    There is just wishful thinking that humans are related to chimps.

    That sounds acceptable to me and it also follows observation and experimentation.

  117. Lenoxus:

    All organisms descend from parents with genetic and reproductive continuity, plus a roughly constant rate of mutation, with the exception of human genetic fiddling.

    But there isn’t any data which demonstrates the transformations required are even possible via any amount of mutational accumulation.

    Sexual reproduction squashes universal common descent in that 1/2 of each mate’s genomes gets tossed out and sexual selection pretty much maintains and even keel.

    Nearly all fossil fragments have a straightforward place in the tree of life, and all complete ones do.

    The tree of life doesn’t exist.

    Also the vast majority of the fossil record is of marine inverts (>95%) and UCD is absent from that vast majority.

    Nearly all bacterial colonies will develop antibiotic resistance when given the chance.

    Bacteria “evolving” into bacteria doesn’t help you.

    Is Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics an Appropriate Example of Evolutionary Change?

    No.

  118. 118

    Bourne

    The now infamous example of the E. coli flagellum is made of about 42 parts. It has to be assembled in the correct order to function. Out of order = doesn’t work.

    How many parts again?
    You say “about” 42.
    About 42? If it’s “about” 42 then how do you know what order it needs to be assembled in? You do know that right? Otherwise how would you know assembling it in a different order would not function? And if you know the order, the one and only order the parts would work in then logically you must also know the number of parts? Otherwise how could you say that they only work, well you get the idea with that.

    So the probability of getting the exact combination is about 1/10^50 (~1/42!). I’m being optimistic for you here!

    Which presumes all the parts came together at once and in a specific configuration. Much like the stuff that KariosFocus uses to explain how unlikely the cell is to form randomly.

    What you don’t seem to get is that nobody but you thinks that way.

    I’ve posted these links several times.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoyle%27s_fallacy
    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Hoyle%27s_fallacy

    Although it might seem that climbing Mount Improbable is impossible in one step, it is possible if you take it one step at a time. You know that I’m sure, hence your resorting to misrepresentations of probabilities.

    So the probability of getting the exact combination is about 1/10^50 (~1/42!). I’m being optimistic for you here!

    The probability of getting the exact combination if you do what exactly?

    What is it that you are “doing” at this point that might result in that many trials before a hit?

    Also, which specific type of flagellum were you think of that has “about” 42 parts? Flagellar type H8 is associated with many strains of pathogenic Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), such as O8, O22, O111, O174, and O179 strains.

    H8 was it? Or something else?

    Please do tell me.

    According to Ian Musgrave in Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations:

    These people, including Fred Hoyle, have committed one or more of the following errors.

    1. They calculate the probability of the formation of a “modern” protein, or even a complete bacterium with all “modern” proteins, by random events. This is not the abiogenesis theory at all.
    2. They assume that there is a fixed number of proteins, with fixed sequences for each protein, that are required for life.
    3. They calculate the probability of sequential trials, rather than simultaneous trials.
    4. They misunderstand what is meant by a probability calculation.
    5. They seriously underestimate the number of functional enzymes/ribozymes present in a group of random sequences

  119. Joseph @ 116:

    There is scientifically verifiable data that demonstrates humans can be related to other humans.

    Does that include DNA, Joseph? If so, please explain why DNA is acceptable to use in demonstrating relationships within humanity but cannot be used to demonstrate relationships with non-humans. Preferably, in the form of a testable hypothesis. Flat assertions that are the equivalent of “It just doesn’t” are to be avoided. Thanks in advance.

  120. dbthomas:

    If so, please explain why DNA is acceptable to use in demonstrating relationships within humanity but cannot be used to demonstrate relationships with non-humans.

    Because there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates non-humans can “evolve” into humans.

    DNA works fine in the same species.

    If you want to expand that then just demonstrate that it is valid.

    IOW what is YOUR hypothesis that demonstrates chimps and humans share a common ancestor via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

    As I said the similarities can be readily explained via common design.

    And there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates that the changes required are even possible.

  121. As for the flagellum, it isn’t just the number of different proteins required.

    Those proteins also have to come in different and specific quantities.

    Many of those proteins will cross-react with other proteins and therefor need to be shuttled to the correct position.

    And on top of that the anti-ID position cannot even muster a yesyable hypothesis for the premise that the flagellum “evolved” via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

  122. Joseph:

    There is just wishful thinking that humans are related to chimps.

    Yeah, right.

    In any case, a lot of people believe all humans are related simply because it says so in the bible. Is it OK to call these people idiots? Or coons? Or Hitler?

  123. There is just wishful thinking that humans are related to chimps.

    Hoki:

    Yeah, right.

    The fact that you can’t support the claim with scientific data demonstrates I am right.

    It is also very telling that you can’t even muster a testable hypothesis (based on the proposed mechanisms) for the premise.

    And it is a fact that no one even knows if the changes required are even possible.

    IOW you are proving my point.

    In any case, a lot of people believe all humans are related simply because it says so in the bible.

    It says that in the Bible?

    Can you provide a chapter and verse?

    And you can call people whatever you want as long as you do it to their face.

    I, for one, would love the opportunity to tell evos exactly what I think of them to their faces.

    But anyways I would say the people who believe in the Bible are less stupid than the poeple who believe in unguided evolution.

  124. Mr Joseph,

    I, for one, would love the opportunity to tell evos exactly what I think of them to their faces.

    When is it convenient for you to meet? I have always been interested in meeting someone from UD face to face.

  125. 125
    Cornelius Hunter

    PaulBurnett (19):

    Basic orbital mechanics apparently precludes planetary systems with contra-rotating planets from lasting very long – they self-destruct in a relatively short time. (Planetary system software easily demonstrates this.)

    Well I wouldn’t call that “Basic” orbital mechanics. Can you suggest a software package? Thanks,

  126. Joseph:

    And it is a fact that no one even knows if the changes required are even possible.

    And it is a fact that no one even knows if chimps or humans could be designed by something intelligent. Great point, Joseph.

    Argument from authority: Michael “chimp” Behe accepts that humans and apes are related.

    It says that in the Bible?

    Can you provide a chapter and verse?

    If people believe it, does it matter?

    Is it alright if I call you idiot or not? Or, perhaps, you don’t think that all humans are related.

  127. 127

    Hoki,

    ——”Argument from authority: Michael “chimp” Behe accepts that humans and apes are related.”

    ——”Is it alright if I call you idiot or not? Or, perhaps, you don’t think that all humans are related.”

    Qualifies you for moderation.

  128. Clive Hayden:

    Qualifies you for moderation.

    Thank you for making my point to Joseph. I only wish that you had read mine and Joseph’s previous exchanges. I wan’t being nasty to anyone. I was simply echoing Joseph’s behaviour.

  129. 129

    Hoki,

    ——”I only wish that you had read mine and Joseph’s previous exchanges.”

    I did read them.

  130. And it is a fact that no one even knows if the changes required are even possible.

    Hoki:

    And it is a fact that no one even knows if chimps or humans could be designed by something intelligent.

    And it is a fact that all observations and experiments demonstrate humans beget humans and chimps beget chimps.

    So if we stick with science…

    Argument from authority: Michael “chimp” Behe accepts that humans and apes are related.

    I prefer observations, evidence, data- anything less isn’t science.

  131. Nakashima-san:

    When is it convenient for you to meet? I have always been interested in meeting someone from UD face to face.

    I just had ACL reconstruction so it will be a while before I go anywhere.

    But I will keep that in mind…

  132. Hoki,

    I don’t care what you call me- I just consider the source. I can live with a chimp calling me an idiot (as he plays with his feces).

    But you can prove that I am an idiot just by substantiating your claims with actual scientific data.

    IOW what you call someone has only as much meaning as the reasoning behind it.

    And it doesn’t mean much of anything if you can’t say it to their face.

  133. Here is my support for Hoki. He has been generally polite since coming here. I do not think he understand the impasse he and Joseph are in.

    People look at the commonality of the various genomes, for example humans and chimpanzees, and they are very similar. But they are different. How did these differences arise if in fact there was a common ancestry. The anti ID people who come here assume common ancestry and immediately assume Darwinian gradualist processes to explain the mechanism. But that is an assumption that has never been shown. And there is good logic to indicate it may not have happened in this way.

    Joseph asks for proof and he knows there isn’t any and most anti ID people assume it must have happened by gradualistic means but really have no proof for it. It is that leap of faith that Will Provine says you must have to be a Darwinist. ID supporters believe there are too many leaps of faith required.

  134. jerry,

    Nicely put:

    The anti ID people who come here assume common ancestry and immediately assume Darwinian gradualist processes to explain the mechanism. But that is an assumption that has never been shown. And there is good logic to indicate it may not have happened in this way.

    Which brings us back to the OP, and what Cornelius has been arguing for in these recent posts. The Darwinists (and perhaps a handful of IDers) have plenty of faith in common ancestry, but don’t understand that their position is based on religion, not evidences.

  135. Joseph:

    And it is a fact that all observations and experiments demonstrate humans beget humans and chimps beget chimps.

    Yes, we have never observed anything intelligent designing neither humans nor chimps.

    So if we stick with science…

    Why don’t we.

    But you can prove that I am an idiot just by substantiating your claims with actual scientific data.

    I was never trying to prove that you were an idiot. I thought that much was pretty obvious…

    I can live with a chimp calling me an idiot (as he plays with his feces).

    Your anger is righteous.

  136. Just for clarification-

    I do not require proof.

    However I do require something that links the genetic changes with the morphological changes required.

    For example we don’t even understand eye/ vision system development and therefor when it comes to eye/ vision system evolution all we can say/ teach is “we don’t know”.

    As in “we don’t know if mutational accumulation can do the things the theory requires.”

    We have observed mutations giving rise to diseases.

    We have observed mutations giving rise to abnormalities.

    We have never observed mutations accumulating in such a way as to give rise to novel protein machinery and novel body plans.

    As a matter of fact everything we have observed falls in line with the Creation baraminology.

    However that leaves me in a bind because I do not accept the Bible as anything other than a collection of books.

    I am not a Christian. I am not religious.

    I am bound by observation(s), evidence and data.

    So I say that we are here-ie our existence on this planet- is due to ancient colonizers from a distant (or noty so distant) now dead planet or planets.

    And I don’t care about how they came to be because I cannot study them in their original environment.

    So I concern myself with what is here, on Earth, biologically speaking.

    IOW I say you have to fisrt figure out what is in front of you before moving on.

    And saying “it evolved” doesn’t help in figuring out anything.

  137. 137

    A nice discussion of human-chimp relatedness by John Tierney at the New York Times (relaying work by Ken Miller).

    We humans have 46 chromosomes – 23 pairs. All of the other great apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes. So how is it that we are missing a pair of chromosomes that all these recent relatives actually have?

    Is it possible that a pair of chromosomes just got lost in our lineage? Well, no. There are so many important genes on every chromosome that the loss of both members of a homologous pair would be fatal, wouldn’t even get past embryonic development. So the only possibility is two chromosomes that are still separate in other primates must have gotten accidentally stuck together to form a single fused chromosome in us. And that’s the explanation that exists in evolution. Here is why evolution is science and not conjecture. If that’s true, we want to be able to find that fused chromosome. So if we can, that is a powerful confirmation of an evolutionary prediction.

    Well, can we find it? It turns out it is much easier to recognize a fused chromosome than you might think. The tips of all chromosomes are covered with a very special DNA sequence, in a region called the telomere. It is really easy to recognize. Near the center of every chromosome is an equally recognizable region called the centromere. If one of our chromosomes was formed by the fusion of two primate chromosomes, you know what it would have? It would have telomere DNA at the center, and it would have two centromeres. Should be very easy to recognize.

    We scanned the human genome. Do we have a chromosome like that? The answer is, you bet we do.
    It is called human chromosome number two. Our second chromosome has telomere DNA at the center. It has two centomeres. We have placed it as being from primate chromosomes 12 and 13 and so exact is the correspondence that people who work on the chimpanzee genome now call the chromosomes they used to call 12 and 13 2A and 2B, because they correspond to those two halves of the human second chromosome.

    Discounting the fact that Miller is a Bad Man(TM) for testifying at Dover, how do folks (like Joseph) who deny human-chimp relatedness explain this?

  138. 138

    Off-topic: have any other Firefox users found that the formatting of this site goes haywire after updating to Firefox 3.5?

  139. 139

    Formatting seems fine. However the background is black rather than white/tan if there are more then ~100 posts it seems.

  140. David Kellogg,

    The people who say humans and chimps share a common ancestor have to explain the physiological and anatomical differences.

    All similarities can also be explained by common design and/ or convergence.

    Chromosomal fusion could very well be one way to reproducitively isolate two otherwise very similarly designed populations.

    Do you even understand what kind of bottle-neck you are talking about to go from 48 to 46- all with the same fusion?

    Also what was so special about the fusion that allowed it to take over the population?

    And for the record I do not deny humans and chimps are related.

    I say they are related via a common design.

  141. OK Hoki stick with science and produce a testable hypothesis for the premise that chimps and humans share a common ancester and diverged via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

  142. I will wager that I can take any “evidence” for a common descent relationship between chimps and humans and use it in a hypothesis for common design and/ or convergence.

    IOW universal common descent does not offer up any exclusive data- data that points exclusively to UCD.

  143. David Kellogg,

    There’s a nice in-depth discussion of this alleged chromosome fusion issue in this thread (warning: It’s a secular forum). The post I’ve linked to says this, in part:

    The existence of a fused chromosome does not call for evolution as an explanation. It calls for a fusion event. Your claim that prior to the fusion event the two chromosomes were derived from the chimp, is irrelevant to the fusion event and the subsequent fused chromosome.

    The ID position is that yes, a fusion event likely occurred, but that tells us absolutely nothing about whether humans and chimps share a common ancestor.

  144. Hmmm—borked the link again. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:

    http://www.freeratio.org/showt.....ost1158002

  145. Hoki

    Your anger is righteous.

    Except that I am not righteous and I am not angry.

    Ya see I don’t care that some people want to be related to chimps.

  146. 146

    hoki, secular forum it may be, but the only person arguing against relatedness has a religious beef against evolution.

    And his explanations are unconvincing.

    Hypothesis: humans share an ancestry with other great apes.

    Potential confounding data: 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans, 24 pairs in other great apes.

    Likely explanation: two chromosomes got stuck together.

    Data: chromosomes have recognizable centromeres in the middle and telemeres at the end.

    Prediction: we should find a chromosome with two centromeres and with telemere DNA in the middle.

    Is there a design hypothesis that woudl predict such a chromosome?

    If this is explained by design, it seems that the designer manipulated great ape DNA to create humans with 23 chromosomes and left evidence that would be the kind predicted by common descent. Sounds like a lousy designer who keeps planting false leads.

  147. 147

    hoki:

    The ID position is that yes, a fusion event likely occurred

    Why? Because the data are unambiguous. But ID has no way of saying why the event occurs, or when, or what it means. Evolution, however, says that a fushion even should have occurred, and that it should have occurred between humans and other great apes. Not only can ID not predict it, ID can’t say anything about it except “maybe it’s not evolution.”

  148. 148

    IRQ conflict:

    Formatting seems fine. However the background is black rather than white/tan if there are more then ~100 posts it seems.

    That’s what I get too. This also makes the preview comments on the side unreadable.

  149. David Kellogg,

    Your evolutionary “explanations” are unconvincing.

    For one you don’t seem to understand the implications.

    The theory of evolution did not predict a chromosomal fusion.

    Chromosomal fusion could very well be one way to reproducitively isolate two otherwise very similarly designed populations

  150. Chromosomal fusion is only evidence for common descent to those would already believe common descent.

  151. David Kellogg,

    If this is explained by design, it seems that the designer manipulated great ape DNA to create humans with 23 chromosomes and left evidence that would be the kind predicted by common descent. Sounds like a lousy designer who keeps planting false leads.

    Interestingly, that same poster has an excellent reply to your point:

    Your claims are fascinating because it reveals a side of the evolutionist’s thinking I did not expect. … You on the one hand say: “Chromosomal fusion WITHOUT descent with modification involves postulating a supernatural Creator to have made chimps and humans separately in the first place. It also involves a Creator that makes them so it seems to be closely related by common descent.”

    which he then goes on to take down quite convincingly.

  152. 152

    Joseph,

    The theory of evolution did not predict a chromosomal fusion.

    Evolution predicts that a 23-pair species (humans) descends from a 24-pair species. Fusion is the best natural explanation.

    Chromosomal fusion could very well be one way to reproducitively isolate two otherwise very similarly designed populations

    I suppose if the species weren’t reproductively isolated anyway, as the other great apes are from each other. Also, you could take the same information and cram it into 23 pairs if you were designing them separately and wanted to create a 23-pair organism using the same basic information.

    But then there’d be no reason to have telemere DNA in the middle and two centromeres. Lousy design, but a prediction of common descent.

  153. 153

    hoki, the replies may be convincing to you, but they seem remarkably weak to me. Why 2 centromeres? Why telomere DNA in the middle? What’s the design explanation? Haste? Carelessness?

  154. David Kellog wrote:

    Evolution predicts that a 23-pair species (humans) descends from a 24-pair species

    Really? We know the “common ancestor” now, and have shown it had 24 chromosome pairs? Humans did not descend from modern apes, so what modern apes have is irrelevant. You obviously didn’t mean what your logic appears to assume/argue.

    What the fusion event tells us is that ancient HUMANS probably had 24 pairs. Whether or not humans were fully “human” until after the fusion event is a separate question. Proto-Adam and Proto-Eve could very well have had 24 pairs and yet been fully human.

    Now, we then have humans with 24 pairs and apes with 24 pairs. Is this evidence for common descent? No more than both having two arms and two legs is. Simple similarity is not evidence for common descent, since homoplasy (convergence) and common design (reuse) can also result in similarity. (See successive years of a single model of car, or cars of the same make, both showing similarity based on reuse of design patterns.) At best, similarity is consistent with common descent, as well as consistent with common design.

    We’ve been down this road before on UD (arguing about the fusion event) and the conversation died off. Perhaps you have something new to bring to the discussion? So far you’ve simply re-tread the existing arguments that were made (and answered) in the previous discussions.

    Atom

  155. David Kellogg wrote:

    If this is explained by design, it seems that the designer manipulated great ape DNA to create humans with 23 chromosomes and left evidence that would be the kind predicted by common descent. Sounds like a lousy designer who keeps planting false leads.

    Sounds more like “lousy” false dilemmas. I’ve never talked with you on UD before, David, but why would you make theological arguments to bolster the case for common descent?
    “A designer (made in my image) wouldn’t do these things, therefore common descent.” – Darwin made that form of argumentation famous, but that doesn’t make it good. You give us the choice “common descent or false leads”, when the most likely answer is “neither.” From the evidence at hand, we can infer that humans (or their ancestors) likely once had 24 chromosome pairs. The evidence says nothing about whether or not they were fully human at that point, so your dilemma is irrelevant.

    For my part, I try to stay aware from theological arguments on UD, as I’d rather explore the science.

    Atom

  156. David Kellogg:

    Evolution predicts that a 23-pair species (humans) descends from a 24-pair species.

    No, evolution does not make such a prediction.

    And evolution via an accumulation of genetic accidents certainly doesn’t make such a prediction.

    Where do you get your information? Can you share it?

    Chromosomal fusion could very well be one way to reproducitively isolate two otherwise very similarly designed populations

    I suppose if the species weren’t reproductively isolated anyway, as the other great apes are from each other.

    And what makes them reproductively isolated?

    Also, you could take the same information and cram it into 23 pairs if you were designing them separately and wanted to create a 23-pair organism using the same basic information.

    How do you know?

    Do you know what it takes to design a living organism and keep it reproductively isolated?

    But then there’d be no reason to have telemere DNA in the middle and two centromeres. Lousy design, but a prediction of common descent.

    Except that you don’t appear to have any knowledge of design and even less of evolution.

    Again I will ask:

    Do you have any idea of the bottle-neck you are relying on to get that fusion fixed on BOTH sets of chromosomes?

  157. 157

    David Kellogg

    “That’s what I get too. This also makes the preview comments on the side unreadable.”

    For now I just highlight the text. Left click drag.

  158. 158

    Atom,

    I’ve never talked with you on UD before, David, but why would you make theological arguments to bolster the case for common descent?

    I only refer to what you call “theological” explanations because others think it is explained by design. Design certainly doesn’t predict anything like this, whereas evolution does.

  159. 159

    I wrote:

    Evolution predicts that a 23-pair species (humans) descends from a 24-pair species.

    Joseph responded:

    No, evolution does not make such a prediction.

    Well, evolution says that humans descended from the same family as the other great apes. All the other great apes have 24 chromosome pairs. The 23 chromosome pair is unique to humans. If there’s a common ancestor for all the great apes, it probably had 24 pairs rather than 23 (unless the extra chromosome arrived several times).

  160. David Kellogg wrote:

    Well, evolution says that humans descended from the same family as the other great apes. All the other great apes have 24 chromosome pairs. The 23 chromosome pair is unique to humans. If there’s a common ancestor for all the great apes, it probably had 24 pairs rather than 23 (unless the extra chromosome arrived several times).

    and

    Design certainly doesn’t predict anything like this, whereas evolution does.

    Your answer makes sense, except for the fact that if humans were found to have 23 chromosomes with no fusion event, Neo-Darwinian Theory could also accommodate that fact. Let’s imagine that we don’t know how many chromosome pairs humans have; we’re scientists trying to guess. We could guess that they’d have 24 pairs like great apes, since we share many similarities with them (and some would say are closely related); or they could have less, due to chromosome pairs being lost over time; or they could have more, due to a polyploidy type of event (or other mutation.) If we look and they have 23 pairs, this is no problem for NDT. We could simply assume a loss of chromosomes if we didn’t see any evidence for a fusion event.

    So the problem is that we have two contradictory propositions:

    1) A – Humans have 24 pairs of chromosomes.

    2) ~A – Humans do not have 24 pairs of chromosomes.

    Both A and ~A can be accommodated by NDT. A prediction is defined as much by what we exclude as by what we expect to see. The problem is that in this case, both A and ~A could be predicted from NDT for different reasons, thus the prediction is useless.

    As for design, you are correct: design does not exclude A or ~A, either. This is why I don’t say design predicts a fusion event (though it does accommodate it, much like NDT.)

    Atom

  161. 161

    Atom, I get what you say, except that human share a whole lot of commonality with our great ape relatives. A loss of chromosomes would not be expected given that similarity: a whole lot of function would be lost as well. It’s not just that we descended from likely 24-pair species, but we descended from them and retained all that similarity. A great deal of function would be lost by “losing” a chromosome pair. Fusion is the more likely expectation.

  162. Atom,

    In layman’s terms, what do you mean here by “loss of chromosomes”?

    We could simply assume a loss of chromosomes if we didn’t see any evidence for a fusion event.

  163. PS And again, I want to emphasize that if humans were originally designed or developed with 24 chromosomes instead of 23, that similarity would say nothing about common descent, since shared chromosome number does not always speak of recent common ancestry. It could be the result of common descent, but it could also be due to common design pattern or convergence. If it always pointed to recent common ancestry, then we’d have to conclude that some barley is closely related to apes as well (link). Obviously, it isn’t always the case.

  164. DK,

    For your first point (loss of functionality), it isn’t the case that lower chromosome number always equals “less functionality” or that equal chromosome count necessarily means “equal functionality”. For example, we are much more “complex” or “functional” than a frog (I don’t know how you’re really defining functionality, so I’m assuming you mean “can do more stuff” in simple language) yet there are also frogs with 24 chromosome pairs (link) Furthermore, we could discuss the many “simple” organisms that have much higher chromosome counts than us (if memory serves me correctly).

    So your point of a direct relation between chromosome count and functionality isn’t general enough to be a law. I have little doubt that NDT could simply assume that the extra pair contained mostly stretches of junk-DNA or that the genes weren’t particularly important in development. Or perhaps they were redundant, etc etc.

    Now, I’ll show some humility here since I am not a biochemist or biologist and admit that I don’t know all of the implications of a chromosome pair loss. (I don’t think anyone really knows what it would fully entail, since we know so little about the genetic program at this point.) So if you want to argue that there is a strong empirical case that humans could only have less chromosomes if they are fused rather than lost, I’m open to hearing it.

    However, the C-Value paradox would caution us against using such assumptions as the basis for an argument.

    Atom

  165. David Kellogg,

    I’m not sure why you adress some of your answers to me.

  166. David Kellogg:

    except that human share a whole lot of commonality with our great ape relatives.

    And that could be due to common design and/ or convergence.

    Well, evolution says that humans descended from the same family as the other great apes.

    Except that evolution doesn’t say that.

    Some people think there is evidence for such a relationship but evolution doesn’t make such a prediction.

    Evolution didn’t predict primates.

    And until someone comes up with the scientific data which demonstrates the transformations required are even possible the premise isn’t scientific.

    That said the alleged split came about 7.5 million tears ago.

    And according to a recent peer-reviewed paper that tried to refute Dr Behe’s “Edge of Evolution”, as well as Haldane’s dilemma, that just isn’t enough time.

    So again if all you have are similarities you don’t have anything for common descent.

    And for the record that nonsensical evidence did trick me once- that is until I actually started looking into what is required.

  167. Do you have any idea of the bottle-neck you are relying on to get that fusion fixed on BOTH sets of chromosomes?

  168. Joseph,

    OK Hoki stick with science and produce a testable hypothesis for the premise that chimps and humans share a common ancester and diverged via an accumulation of genetic accidents.

    One can draw an inference about common ancestry without even considering any specific mechanisms. Right?

    I will wager that I can take any “evidence” for a common descent relationship between chimps and humans and use it in a hypothesis for common design and/ or convergence.

    ID can incorporate any observation and “explain” it any way it wants. Your “bet” is safer than Kent Hovind’s.

  169. Hoki:

    One can draw an inference about common ancestry without even considering any specific mechanisms.

    Perhaps but without a mechanism or mechanisms it cannot be tested.

    I will wager that I can take any “evidence” for a common descent relationship between chimps and humans and use it in a hypothesis for common design and/ or convergence.

    ID can incorporate any observation and “explain” it any way it wants.

    You have ID confused with the theory of evolution which can explain any and everything.

    The design inference requires specific criteria.

    But anyway my point is that universal common descent does not offer any exclusive evidence.

    And everything it purports to explain can be explained some other way.

  170. Atom,

    So the problem is that we have two contradictory propositions:

    1) A – Humans have 24 pairs of chromosomes.

    2) ~A – Humans do not have 24 pairs of chromosomes.

    Both A and ~A can be accommodated by NDT. A prediction is defined as much by what we exclude as by what we expect to see. The problem is that in this case, both A and ~A could be predicted from NDT for different reasons, thus the prediction is useless.

    As for design, you are correct: design does not exclude A or ~A, either. This is why I don’t say design predicts a fusion event (though it does accommodate it, much like NDT.)

    YOur assertion about evolution accomodating anything doesn’t hold up. If humans had 23 pairs of chromosomes AND the missing one could not be accounted for, like by a fusion event, then this would be a serious problem for evolution. However, that is not the case.

    OTOH, 24, 5, 6 pairs of chromosomes; none of these would be a problem for design.after all, who knows how the unnamed designer thinks?

  171. Joseph:

    Perhaps but without a mechanism or mechanisms it cannot be tested.

    Yes, it can.

    You have ID confused with the theory of evolution which can explain any and everything.

    Try this for an excercise:

    One day, all cats suddenly start giving birth to dogs. Humans bud off, fully developed, from the ears of chimps. Evolution would struggle with this one. ID wouldn’t.

    But anyway my point is that universal common descent does not offer any exclusive evidence.

    And everything it purports to explain can be explained some other way.

    In real science, there is ALWAYS more than one hypothesis. What is your point?

  172. Khan:

    YOur assertion about evolution accomodating anything doesn’t hold up. If humans had 23 pairs of chromosomes AND the missing one could not be accounted for, like by a fusion event, then this would be a serious problem for evolution.

    Just because Khan sez so?

    OTOH, 24, 5, 6 pairs of chromosomes; none of these would be a problem for design.

    Again just because Khan sez so.

    after all, who knows how the unnamed designer thinks?

    Strawman anyone? It doesn’t matter what the designer thinks.

    What matters are possible design constraints.

    This is where common design comes in. No need to keep re-inventing things when you already have things that work fine.

    So how about the mighty Khan producing a testable hypothesis on the premise that chimps and humans share a common ancestor via random variation & natural selection.

    Do you have a calculation on how many mutations it took to go from a quadraped to an upright biped?

    Anything on what was so special about this fusion event that allowed it to become fixed in both sets chromosomes?

    Anything at all except for the complete refusal to accept design?

  173. Khan wrote:

    YOur assertion about evolution accomodating anything doesn’t hold up. If humans had 23 pairs of chromosomes AND the missing one could not be accounted for, like by a fusion event, then this would be a serious problem for evolution. However, that is not the case.

    Your lack of imagination cannot be used as evidence against NDT. According to the C-Value paradox, some simpler organisms have much more genetic material than higher organisms. That is exactly the opposite of what everyone expects. Is this a problem for NDT? No. We can always use our imaginations to come up with ad hoc reasons for the anomaly.

    If humans had 23 chromosome pairs without a known fusion event, would NDT suffer? No, for a few reasons. First, the paper describing the possible fusion event was published in 1991 (“Origin of human chromosome 2: An Ancestral telomere-telomere fusion”), yet chromosome structure has been known about since at least 1915. What happened during that time, was NDT abandoned or even questioned over that fact? Did any of us learn about this “serious problem for evolutionary theory” while in school?

    Secondly, as I mentioned above, we could assume a chromosome loss. Cell division events can result in differing chromosome numbers, sometimes more, sometimes less. Given that variability, it is obvious that darwinists would simply invoke a known mechanical mechanism to explain the effect. Again, your lack of imagination is not an argument.

    Atom

  174. Hoki,

    I take it that you aren’t going to provide a testable hypothesis.

    Oh well.

    One day, all cats suddenly start giving birth to dogs. Humans bud off, fully developed, from the ears of chimps. Evolution would struggle with this one. ID wouldn’t.

    Umm evolution doesn’t know what makes an organism what it is so how could it have a problem with your scenario?

    And what part of ID is OK with that scenario? Please be specific.

    In real science, there is ALWAYS more than one hypothesis. What is your point?

    Excvept you don’t have a hypothesis and if there is more than one explanation then they all have to be taught in a science classroom.

    That is if they have a scientific basis- for example a testable hypothesis.

    And that is where you have a problem.

  175. Here’s a scenario-

    Both genomes- a chimp and a human- are mapped and compared- side by each.

    The differences amount to 20%.

    That difference also means that a certain number (more than one) of mutations would have had to become fixed in the population each generation- and that is only if the genetic changes determine the final form.

    Is common descent via an accumulation of genetic accidents still feasible in that scenario?

    IOW what would it take to falsify the premise in your opinions?

  176. From 1967:

    “…the human being receives 23 chromosomes from the father’s sperm and 23 chromosomes from the mother’s ovum.” – Introduction to psychology By Ernest Ropiequet Hilgard, Richard C. Atkinson, 1967 Source

  177. Joseph,

    How about:
    On the assumption that DNA changes slowly and given that morphological examinations have inferred that humans are closely related to chimps, a hypothesis is that the DNA in a human is more similar to that of a chimp than either of the aforementioned species DNA is to that of a fish.

    Note: this hypothesis says nothing about the mechanisms involved in the speciation of these species.

    How about you Joseph. Can you state a testable ID hypothesis?

    Umm evolution doesn’t know what makes an organism what it is so how could it have a problem with your scenario?

    Ever heard of descent with modification? As opposed to descent with ridiculously large changes?

    And what part of ID is OK with that scenario? Please be specific.

    It is impossible for me to say since there is nothing in ID that has any problem with it. If you disagree, you should state why.

    Excvept you don’t have a hypothesis and if there is more than one explanation then they all have to be taught in a science classroom.

    Ah, rhetoric. I suppose this is where I should say something along the lines of “ID is not science since it must use religious assumptions to make any predictions”.

  178. Atom, what’s your point? It’s not like anyone was suggesting people were normally haploid.

  179. Perhaps to clarify, I should say that beyond stating that ID allows for a designer to intervene anywhere, anyhow and anytime, I can’t say in any great detail why ID is OK with that scenario.

  180. dbthomas,

    My point is related to my previous post. Joseph posted in the interim, so it looks disjointed. The posts were supposed to appear back to back.

    Atom

  181. Hoki:

    On the assumption that DNA changes slowly and given that morphological examinations have inferred that humans are closely related to chimps, a hypothesis is that the DNA in a human is more similar to that of a chimp than either of the aforementioned species DNA is to that of a fish.

    1- Why that assumption?

    2- Common design and convergence can explain similarities.

    IOW thanks for proving my point.

    How about you Joseph. Can you state a testable ID hypothesis?

    I have complete with tests and potential falsifications:

    The Design Hypotheis

    See also:

    Alternative hypotheses using the same data

    Ever heard of descent with modification? As opposed to descent with ridiculously large changes?

    Yes I have heard of the very vague “descent with modification” but there is never anything specific that we can actually test.

    IOW your scenario is perfectly acceptable to evolution.

  182. 1- Why that assumption?

    Why not? It can be tested.

    2- Common design and convergence can explain similarities.

    IOW thanks for proving my point.

    Joseph, I already explained this to you. In real science, there is ALWAYS more than one hypothesis to explain a set of observations. You haven’t got a point (other than a sandboxy “well, an intelligent designer could also have made it that way”).

    I have complete with tests and potential falsifications:

    I stopped reading after the first “prediction”:

    1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    How about that for a religious assumption?!

    Oh, and why do you think that ID has any problems with my dogs/cats-human/chimp scenario?

  183. And Hoki,

    Why is it you want a design hypothesis from me when you refuse to provide a testable hypothesis for your non-telic position?

  184. Hoki:

    Joseph, I already explained this to you. In real science, there is ALWAYS more than one hypothesis to explain a set of observations. You haven’t got a point (other than a sandboxy “well, an intelligent designer could also have made it that way”).

    Your “hypothesis” has nothing to do with non-telic processes.

    IOW you don’t have a point.

    1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    How about that for a religious assumption?!

    And yet I am not a religious person.

    But anyway what is the religious assumption?

    Please be specific.

    Oh, and why do you think that ID has any problems with my dogs/cats-human/chimp scenario?

    No mechanism that could allow for it.

    So to recap your alleged hypothesis has nothing to do with supporting your position and for unexplained reasons you think my design hypothesis has religious assumptions.

  185. Joseph:

    Your “hypothesis” has nothing to do with non-telic processes.

    IOW you don’t have a point.

    Like I already said, I proposed a hypothesis for showing common descent WITHOUT any mechanisms. We (you and me – or you actually) started claiming that there was no evidence for common descent.

    OK?

    Joseph quote:1) If the universe was the product of a common design then I would expect it to be governed by one (common) set of parameters.

    Me:How about that for a religious assumption?!

    Joseph:And yet I am not a religious person.

    But anyway what is the religious assumption?

    You are using the religious assumption that the designer would have done something a certain way. Remember what Cornelius was talking about? Calling it a religious assumption is Cornelius terminology. If you have a beef with it, take it up with him.

    No mechanism that could allow for it.

    ID allows for pure magic. Pure magic from, for example, an omnipotent desiger sure could do it. So what is the problem?

    So to recap your alleged hypothesis has nothing to do with supporting your position and for unexplained reasons you think my design hypothesis has religious assumptions.

    So, to recap, my hypothesis has everything to do with supporting my position – and yes, your “hypothesis” uses religious assumptions. Might I suggest that you read the threads that Cornelius started regarding this very topic.

  186. 186
    CannuckianYankee

    Hoki,

    “ID allows for pure magic. Pure magic from, for example, an omnipotent desiger sure could do it. So what is the problem?”

    I realize that the following is somewhat unrelated to the discussion you were haveing with Joseph, but I felt I had to address the above quote from you.

    ID does not allow for pure magic. ID makes design inferences and makes no claim as to the nature of the designer in question. Such a designer does not need to invoke majic in order to design. In fact, if we infer design, we are prepared to go further in empirically looking into the ways and means by which the design took place.

    I think the problem lies in the approach Darwinists have taken towards religion from Gould’s NOMA to Forrest’s “science only allows natural explanations, and cannot look into the ‘supernatural.’”

    First of all, there is no clear distinction between the magistrates Gould refers to. Also, Forrest does not define what is meant by “supernatural.” It is a term that needs to be done away with if we are going to understand each other better.

    Furthermore, I think Dr. Hunter’s main point in all of this is that we all make “religious” (I prefer to use the term “metaphysical) assumptions about what we are looking at, and oftentimes those metaphysical assumptions do not give us an accurate understanding of what is really going on.

    If there is a designer, then such a designer is not magic. Such a designer is acting within the bounds of his attributes, so it would be perfectly natural. All ID simply does is to allow the boundaries between what we assume is “supernatural” and “natural” to be broadened.

    So we are not allowing magic to seep through those boundaries – everything can still be seen from an empirical standpoint such that esoteric methodologies such as astrology and what not are still left outside the empirical realm.

    ID essentially states that we need to refrain from infering artificial boundaries between assumed magistrates that we have no evidence exist.

    The true limits of science is not natural as Forrest assumes for the simple reason that not even she knows precisely what is natural and what is not. The very fact that she appeals to a term such as “supernatural” shows that she does not understand.

    Gould’s NOMA is simply ridiculous. NOMA only works if there really is no God, and people simply believe for belief’s sake – so obviously we would need to separate fiction from reality. But as Dr. Hunter pointed out, to say that there is no God because a god wouldn’t have designed the world as it is, is in itself a religious view. Forrest and Gould, as well as Dawkins and all others who rely on this assertion are just as religious as any creationist. Furthermore, I find nothing more magical than the notion of irreducible complexity and complex specified information arising out of purely natural processes via pure chance and necessity.

  187. ID does not allow for pure magic. ID makes design inferences and makes no claim as to the nature of the designer in question.

    Exactly. It makes NO claim. It could be a space alien, it could be an omnipotent god, it could be a spotty teenager’s science project or, why not, a magician.

    Such a designer does not need to invoke majic in order to design.

    That is a religious assumption.

    In fact, if we infer design, we are prepared to go further in empirically looking into the ways and means by which the design took place.

    Out of curiosity: without using religious assumptions, how would you “go further in empirically looking into the ways and means by which the design took place”?

    Furthermore, I think Dr. Hunter’s main point in all of this is that we all make “religious” (I prefer to use the term “metaphysical) assumptions about what we are looking at, and oftentimes those metaphysical assumptions do not give us an accurate understanding of what is really going on.

    I don’t think he means that at all. Originally (in the Sober thread) he explicitally meant for it to imply something about divine intent. He has used it in other senses, but I don’t think there was anything metaphysical, although I certainly don’t exclude the possibility.

    If there is a designer, then such a designer is not magic. Such a designer is acting within the bounds of his attributes, so it would be perfectly natural. All ID simply does is to allow the boundaries between what we assume is “supernatural” and “natural” to be broadened.

    Yeah, let’s define magic so that it is not magic.

  188. Hoki:

    Like I already said, I proposed a hypothesis for showing common descent WITHOUT any mechanisms. We (you and me – or you actually) started claiming that there was no evidence for common descent.

    I said there wasn’t any EXCLUSIVE evidence for universal common descent.

    I also claim that all evidence for UCD needs to first assume UCD.

    You are using the religious assumption that the designer would have done something a certain way.

    Except that isn’t a religious assumption.

    And your say so doesn’t make it so.

    I base my INFERENCE on experience and observation- that is my vast experience with common designs and observations on how common designs work together.

    ID allows for pure magic.

    No it doesn’t.

    DEsign has nothing to do with magic.

    Your position, however, relies on magical mystery mutations.

    Also your position is non-telic and your hypothesis has nothing to do with supporting that position.

  189. And Hoki,

    In order to have a hypothesis support your position is has to include mechanisms.

  190. I said there wasn’t any EXCLUSIVE evidence for universal common descent.

    We’ve been through this numerous times already.

    I also claim that all evidence for UCD needs to first assume UCD.

    Without providing any evidence that this is so. Wonderful.

    Except that isn’t a religious assumption.

    And your say so doesn’t make it so.

    I base my INFERENCE on experience and observation- that is my vast experience with common designs and observations on how common designs work together.

    Except that your assumption fits the the definition of a religious assumption. You are assuming that the designer would do a certain thing just as Gould assumed that a competent designer would not have designed the panda’s thumb the way it is made.

    No it doesn’t.

    DEsign has nothing to do with magic.

    If the design appears in the form of humans budding off, fully formed, from the ears of chimps, it does. If it’s walk is indistinguishable from a duck’s…

    Your position, however, relies on magical mystery mutations.

    Do you also think that David Copperfield REALLY makes the girl disappear?

    Given that my position so far doesn’t include any mechanisms, well… you know.

    Also your position is non-telic …

    My position so far is completely a-telic.

    In order to have a hypothesis support your position is has to include mechanisms.

    Beyond a rather vague descent with modification, no it doesn’t.

  191. 191

    Hoki,

    ——”If the design appears in the form of humans budding off, fully formed, from the ears of chimps, it does. If it’s walk is indistinguishable from a duck’s…”

    You take it for granted that there are such things as humans and chimps, but you have no reason to say that they are at all necessary or ordinary, you have only gotten used to them existing. They are just as fantastic as humans budding off the ears of chips. Indeed, you have no reason to say otherwise, your comparison is a false dilemma, a false comparison, based on something that you find ordinary (humans and chimps) which are really just as extraordinary. You have no real basis for comparison in the realm of “what might have been” and “what is now”, as if “what exists now” was ever a strict necessity, it wasn’t, under the assumption of evolution. Everything in biology is just as strange as humans budding off the earlobes of chimps. The fact that a birds fly and lay eggs is just as odd. You’re argument is based as on a faulty assumption that humans and chimps are discernible in the same way as a real law, like 2+2=4, and that you could not imagine them in any other way, but they aren’t necessities like you assume. Your arguments falls apart, for the shape of a human or chimpanzee is no more ordinary fundamentally that humans growing off the earlobes, for you don’t understand the fundamentals, and indeed never can. For the fundamentals behind the natural laws are opaque to our reason about why they are the way they are. We can never get behind them, and assume that was can see their logical construction in the same way that we can see the laws of logic or reason. We cannot. You should remember this and stop taking incredible forms and comparing them to other incredible forms, as if one can be shown any more strange by comparison, as if two black riddles make a white answer. They don’t.

  192. 192

    Hoki,

    ——”Yeah, let’s define magic so that it is not magic.”

    Yeah let’s define things how we want, for our own purposes, like saying that when the Designer acts, it has to be magical ;) Well done for discrediting the same tactic that you use.

  193. 193

    Hoki,

    ——”Out of curiosity: without using religious assumptions, how would you “go further in empirically looking into the ways and means by which the design took place”?”

    Reverse engineering.

  194. Clive Hayden:

    You take it for granted that there are such things as humans and chimps, but you have no reason to say that they are at all necessary or ordinary, you have only gotten used to them existing. They are just as fantastic as humans budding off the ears of chips.

    Thank you for the philosophy you presented. Let me see if I can write in my own words what I think you are saying:

    The probability of humans existing [Pr(humans)] is equally small as Pr(chimps) which his equally small to Pr(humans budding of chimps’ ear lobes), given no other assumptions. Is that about right?

    If we take a more realistic scenario and make some fairly well grounded assumptions, we find that Pr(humans budding of chimps’ ear lobes | our knowledge about how humans and chimps usually enter this world) is vanishingly small. On the other hand Pr(humans) and Pr(chimps) both equal 1.

    In the real world, humans budding off chimps’ ear lobes IS an unusual event.

    Clive:

    Yeah let’s define things how we want, for our own purposes, like saying that when the Designer acts, it has to be magical

    Why don’t we look at what I actually said instead:

    It could be a space alien, it could be an omnipotent god, it could be a spotty teenager’s science project or, why not, a magician.

    And:

    ID allows for pure magic. Pure magic from, for example, an omnipotent desiger sure could do it.(emphasis added)

    Next bit:

    I wrote: Out of curiosity: without using religious assumptions, how would you “go further in empirically looking into the ways and means by which the design took place”?”

    Clive: Reverse engineering.

    And what assumptions do you have to make to exclude the real possibility in ID that a designer took some clay and made a human? How do you compare Pr(God took some clay | human) and Pr (Lots of fancy splicing and computerish simulations etc | humans)? (anyone who is interested can keep on adding different scenarios for how humans were designed). How would reverse engineering tell you anything without adding religious premises?

    Note: I hope that we all understand the term “religious” assumption the same way. I’m NOT implying that the designer has to be “supernatural” but rather that the assumptions essentially boil down do “the designer would not do it that way” / “the designer would do it this way”.

  195. 195
    CannuckianYankee

    me: “Such a designer does not need to invoke majic in order to design.”

    “That is a religious assumption.”

    No, it is a logical assumption. If there is a designer, then he does not need to use magic to design. Could he use magic? Of course, but he doesn’t need to. Your view of a designer is more religious than mine.

  196. 196

    Hoki,

    ——”In the real world, humans budding off chimps’ ear lobes IS an unusual event.”

    You’re taking the real world for granted. On the assumption of evolution, the real world didn’t have to be the way it is, and therefore, humans budding from the earlobes of chimps is no stranger than humans and chimps existing in the first place. I’m going to fundamentals, of how things could be on the assumption of evolution, you should go there with me, and not argue from how things are now.

  197. Hoki:

    Except that your assumption fits the the definition of a religious assumption.

    No it doesn’t and just because you say so doesn’t make it so.

    However you can support your claim by providing the definition of a religious assumption.

    You are assuming that the designer would do a certain thing just as Gould assumed that a competent designer would not have designed the panda’s thumb the way it is made.

    Wrong again.

    As I said I base my inference on observations and experience.

    In order to have a hypothesis support your position is has to include mechanisms.

    Beyond a rather vague descent with modification, no it doesn’t.

    Thank you for proving that you don’t know anything about forming a testable hypothesis.

    It is also clear that you don’t understand science.

    OTOH your position relies on magical mystery mutations

    Anyone involved in a debate about evolution has come to realize that the theory of evolution and universal common descent rely heavily on magical mystery mutations.

    I say that because those mutations can change an invertebrate to a vertebrate and no one knows how or why. Those mutations can change a fish into a land animal and then a land animal into an aquatic one- again without anyone knowing how or why.

    These magical mystery mutations operate when/ where no one can observe them. They cannot be studied which means no testing and no verification.

    And BTW your position may be a-telic but you have failed to provide a hypothesis for that position.

    And that is what I have been asking for.

  198. I said there wasn’t any EXCLUSIVE evidence for universal common descent.

    Hoki:

    We’ve been through this numerous times already.

    Which means you are OK with having common design and convergence taught in science classrooms as they explain the same data as UCD.

    IOW the only reason to exclude those are due to philosophical reasons.

    I also claim that all evidence for UCD needs to first assume UCD.

    Without providing any evidence that this is so. Wonderful.

    One doesn’t need to provide evidence for the obvious.

    As I said there isn’t any reason to infer humans and chimps share a common ancestor except to want to.

    I say that because there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates the changes required are even possible.

    There isn’t any calculation nor measurement.

    All there is is a strong desire to be related.

  199. CannuckianYankee:

    No, it is a logical assumption. If there is a designer, then he does not need to use magic to design. Could he use magic? Of course, but he doesn’t need to. Your view of a designer is more religious than mine.

    You have absolutely NO idea how things such as humans were/could be designed. How can you say that magic isn’t necessary. Oh, I know, you made a religious assumption.

  200. Clive Hayden:

    You’re taking the real world for granted. On the assumption of evolution, the real world didn’t have to be the way it is, and therefore, humans budding from the earlobes of chimps is no stranger than humans and chimps existing in the first place.

    That is sort of what I wrote about in my previous post. When the real world didn’t have to be the way it is, Pr(humans)=Pr(chimps)=Pr(humans budding of from chimps’ ear lobes).

    Realistically, though, why would I possibly not take the world for granted and simply give Pr(humans) and Pr(chimps) a value of 1, given the fact that they do exist. For me, it looks like you are simply advocating a “post modernist all assumptions are equal” kind of argument.

    I’m going to fundamentals, of how things could be on the assumption of evolution, you should go there with me, and not argue from how things are now.

    I don’t think you realise that the way things are now can be used as assumptions in conditional probability calculations. In real science, hypotheses do use assumptions.

  201. Joseph:

    Joseph wrote:

    However you can support your claim by providing the definition of a religious assumption.

    Just after that, you quoted me as writing:

    You are assuming that the designer would do a certain thing just as Gould assumed that a competent designer would not have designed the panda’s thumb the way it is made.

    That about sums it up, right there.

    As I said I base my inference on observations and experience.

    And then you use a religious assumption to claim that THE desinger would have done something similiar. It’s very simple, Joseph.

    Joseph:

    In order to have a hypothesis support your position is has to include mechanisms.

    Me:

    Beyond a rather vague descent with modification, no it doesn’t.

    Joseph:

    Thank you for proving that you don’t know anything about forming a testable hypothesis.

    That’s rich, Joseph. You don’t even understand that a hypothesis doesn’t need to offer an exclusive explanation for a set of observations.

    It Which means you are OK with having common design and convergence taught in science classrooms as they explain the same data as UCD.

    That’s a rather blatant non-sequitur.

    Joseph:

    I also claim that all evidence for UCD needs to first assume UCD.

    Me:

    Without providing any evidence that this is so. Wonderful.

    Jospeh:

    One doesn’t need to provide evidence for the obvious.

    Is this typical behaviour for an ID supporter? Come one, Joseph. Seems to me that you won’t provide any evidence because you can’t.

    Oh, and why do you think that ID has any problems with my dogs/cats-human/chimp scenario?

  202. 202

    Joseph:

    I also claim that all evidence for UCD needs to first assume UCD.

    Actually common descent is simply the best available explanation by a long shot.

  203. David Kellogg:

    Actually common descent is simply the best available explanation by a long shot.

    Actually there isn’t any genetic data which demonstrates the transformations required are even possible.

    The whole theory of evolution is based on ignorance.

    IOW common desecnt is the best explanation for those who already accept it and for those who refuse to critically examine the premise.

  204. Oops- if common descent is such a good explanation then why can the same data it “explains” be explained by something other than common descent?

    IOW why is it that such a powerful explanation does not have any exclusive data?

    And why is universal common descent missing from the bulk of the fossil record?

  205. Melzer S, Lens F, Gennen J, Vanneste S, Rohde A, Beeckman T. 2008. Flowering-time genes modulate meristem determinacy and growth form in Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature Genetics, published online: 9 November 2008-

    Art Hunt sez the following:

    Melzer et al. constructed double mutants deficient in the expression of these two proteins, with the intent of understanding the physiological significance of interactions between these two proteins, associations discovered using the so-called yeast two-hybrid assay.

    IOW nothing natural about the process.

  206. Clive Hayden:

    You’re taking the real world for granted. On the assumption of evolution, the real world didn’t have to be the way it is, and therefore, humans budding from the earlobes of chimps is no stranger than humans and chimps existing in the first place.

    Lest you don’t think I understand or am trying to avoid your argument, let me say this:

    Even using evolution as a condition in probability calculations, I realise that the probability of humans/chimps/budding ever coming to exist is minute, to say the least. (The same applies to ID as well, btw).

    I’m going to fundamentals, of how things could be on the assumption of evolution, you should go there with me, and not argue from how things are now.

    I will not go there with you, since those “fundamentals” are irrelevant to the discussion at hand. There is no reason why I should limit myself to using evolution as my only assumption.

  207. Hoki,

    Still no valid reasoning for why my inference is a religious assumption.

    Thanks I knew you couldn’t do it- that is provide a valid reason.

    I know I didn’t use any religious assumptions because I don’t care about religion.

  208. Hoki:

    You don’t even understand that a hypothesis doesn’t need to offer an exclusive explanation for a set of observations.

    Irrelevant as you didn’t provide a testable hypothesis for your non-telic position.

    IOW your alleged hypothesis doesn’t test anything.

    Which means you are OK with having common design and convergence taught in science classrooms as they explain the same data as UCD.

    That’s a rather blatant non-sequitur.

    How is that non-sequitor?

    Science classrooms should be allowed to discuss ALL relevant hypotheses.

    If they are not allowed to do so then they ain’t teaching science they are indoctrinating dogma.

    Hoki:

    Seems to me that you won’t provide any evidence because you can’t.

    I provided an explanation and it isn’t my problem that you can’t understand it:

    As I said there isn’t any reason to infer humans and chimps share a common ancestor except to want to.

    I say that because there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates the changes required are even possible.

    There isn’t any calculation nor measurement.

    All there is is a strong desire to be related.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  209. Hoki to CY:

    You have absolutely NO idea how things such as humans were/could be designed. How can you say that magic isn’t necessary?

    Because magic has never been demonstrated to do anything.

    In the same light you have absolutely NO idea how things such as humans could evolve from non-humans.

    So you rely on magical mystery mutations and father time.

    That is your religious assumption.

    That throw father time and magical mystery mutations together and “poof”…

  210. 210
    CannuckianYankee

    Hoki,

    Me: “No, it is a logical assumption. If there is a designer, then he does not need to use magic to design. Could he use magic? Of course, but he doesn’t need to. Your view of a designer is more religious than mine.”

    Hoki: “You have absolutely NO idea how things such as humans were/could be designed. How can you say that magic isn’t necessary. Oh, I know, you made a religious assumption.”

    Correct, I have no idea how they were designed, but I have evidence that they were designed. That would seem to be a more powerful support than the how.

    I think you make too much of mechanisms. Darwinism has not yet shown how the mechanism of RM + NS works. It all appears as a guessing game, and part of that game is to confirm what you are trying to prove.

    How can you say that magic IS necessary? What is the basis for that? I view that as an assertion that has absolutely no evidential support.

    Since you don’t know that magic is necessary for a designer to design, the only thing that you can really state is that magic is not needed. Besides that, what precisely do you mean by magic? I perceive magic from a naturalistic perspective as a slight of hand – a trick. I don’t see magic from a “supernatural” perspective whatsoever – so that would actually be a moot point.

  211. CannuckianYankee:

    How can you say that magic IS necessary? What is the basis for that? I view that as an assertion that has absolutely no evidential support.

    Eeeeh, I never did. YOU claimed that it was NOT necessary.

  212. Joseph:

    Still no valid reasoning for why my inference is a religious assumption.

    Thanks I knew you couldn’t do it- that is provide a valid reason.

    I know I didn’t use any religious assumptions because I don’t care about religion.

    Sigh. Your argument requires you to assume something about how the designer would do something. This is what Cornelius calls a religious assumption.

    You know how Cornelius was comlaining about saying that Gould stated that the designer would NOT make such a bad thumb for the panda? You are doing the same thing. But then I’ve already said this before…

    As I said there isn’t any reason to infer humans and chimps share a common ancestor except to want to.

    I say that because there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates the changes required are even possible.

    There isn’t any calculation nor measurement.

    All there is is a strong desire to be related.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    What I don’t understand is how you can’t understand some simple points.

    The mechanisms responsible for common ancestry could include a designer adding the odd gene here and there between generations. If a designer couldn’t even do that, we could hardly expect it to design things de novo.

    And I take it that you’re not going to explain the circularity required for common ancestry?!

  213. Hoki:

    Your argument requires you to assume something about how the designer would do something.

    It does?

    Can you be specific?

    Common design doesn’t say anything about “how”.

    And again common design is based on observations and experience. Nothing religious.

    However Gould insisting that a designer wouldn’t do something is just nonsensical.

    That isn’t based on anything except wishful thinking.

    IOW you cannot understand simple points.

    And I take it that you’re not going to explain the circularity required for common ancestry?!

    I am still waiting for a way to objectively test the premise.

    If one doesn’t start out with the assumption of common ancestry then one doesn’t get there via the scientific data.

    The fossil record doesn’t help.

    Genetics doen’t help.

    So what do you have?

  214. As I said there isn’t any reason to infer humans and chimps share a common ancestor except to want to.

    I say that because there isn’t any scientific data which demonstrates the changes required are even possible.

    There isn’t any calculation nor measurement.

    All there is is a strong desire to be related.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

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