Home » Intelligent Design » The Third Side by Thomas Vaughan May 14-30 in Houston

The Third Side by Thomas Vaughan May 14-30 in Houston

Thomas Vaughan has written a play that takes a critical look at both intelligent design and evolution. It opens this Thursday and extends for two weeks. It’s being produced by Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company (go here).

The Third Side

The writer’s notes are as follows and include a generous remark about me. I’m grateful to Thomas Vaughan for allowing me to look over his shoulder and offer comment. I encourage everyone in the Houston area to go see this enlightening play.

The character Henry Darden’s views are based on the ideas of well-qualified scientists. These professionals are not creationists, and they do not believe in Intelligent Design. Their credentials and their motives are impeccable. As a dramatist, I am not qualified to have a worth-while opinion on who exactly is right in this scientific debate, but it was the blistering, often personal attacks on these individuals by their colleagues that inspired this play.

The hostility these men and women received, however, is nothing compared to the vitriol directed towards Dr. William Dembski, a leading advocate of Intelligent Design (ID). I want to personally thank Dr. Dembski here. Knowing full well that I did not agree with his views, Dr. Dembski still took the time to read the play to help assure the accuracy of how the ideas behind ID were portrayed. He even suggested a fine story note that I used and I think the play is better for it. I am very grateful for his trust, his generosity, and most of all his open-mindedness.

This stands as a stark contrast to some of those that I communicated with in the same capacity who hold the more mainstream view of evolution. They were openly hostile to not just the play but the very notion that these minority views should be given a voice at all. The interviews with the notable scientists these ideas are based on were attacked without being read. One individual even suggested that the interviews were probably just made up and not worth reading in the first place.

While this hostility came from only a few, and only from the academics, it was enough to assure me that the basic thrust of the play was essentially correct. It is worth noting that many more people have helped tirelessly with this production who still disagree with the arguments presented by Henry Darden. I thank each and every one of them.

I also want to express my gratitude to the cast and the crew. A brand new play is a scary endeavor and this group of people never flinched. Not once. They were game for every bit of it. I especially want to thank Jennifer Decker for her vision and leadership with Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company. I am not sure that I would have dipped my toes back into the theatre without her support.

While the ideas in the play are certainly many, this night of the theatre is still meant as entertainment. Perhaps a bit more, but certainly nothing less. It is my sincerest hope that it has achieved that end.

Thank you all for coming and enjoy the show.

SOURCE: mildredsumbrella.com/mu/writersnotes.html

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36 Responses to The Third Side by Thomas Vaughan May 14-30 in Houston

  1. 1
    AmerikanInKananaskis

    I’m confused. He clearly says that the main character is not a creationist and not an ID advocate. He seems to suggest that he holds a “non-mainstream view of evolution”.

    Is this a promotion of a new view of evolution, or did the author merely make something up in order to create a dramatized version of Expelled? If it’s the latter, how can we trust what he says about mainstream scientists? (Since it’s in his own interest to fabricate such a story even if it’s not true.)

    The website is unfortunately short on details. It merely says:

    After being pressed by a student, Biology Professor Henry Darden admits that he finds Darwin’s emphasis on natural selection as the means of evolution “unconvincing”. This public confession thrusts Professor Darden into a culture war he wanted nothing to do with.

  2. 2

    Maybe it’s based on Richard Lewontin? In the NY Review article recently referenced, Lewontin writes:

    Coyne is an evolutionary biologist who, like his former student H. Allen Orr, has been a leader in our understanding of the genetic changes that occur when species are formed. His primary object in writing this book is to present the incontrovertible evidence that evolution is a physical fact of the history of life on earth. In referring to the theory of evolution he makes it clear that we do not mean the weak sense of “theory,” an ingenious tentative mental construct that might or might not be objectively true, but the strong sense of a coherent set of true assertions about physical reality. In this he is entirely successful.

    Where he is less successful, as all other commentators have been, is in his insistence that the evidence for natural selection as the driving force of evolution is of the same inferential strength as the evidence that evolution has occurred.

  3. This stands as a stark contrast to some of those that I communicated with in the same capacity who hold the more mainstream view of evolution. They were openly hostile to not just the play but the very notion that these minority views should be given a voice at all.

    This pretty much says it all and reveals what’s going on: The sure indicator of a “scientific” paradigm in its death throes is that its adherents declare those who present evidential, mathematical, and logical challenges are stupid, uninformed, uneducated, and motivated by nefarious intent.

    I am not stupid, uninformed, uneducated, or motivated by nefarious intent. I just looked at the evidence, thought logically, and concluded that Darwinism is the biggest joke in the history of science.

    But it’s not very funny, when one considers its influence on our culture.

  4. When have ignorant people EVER been able to see that they were ignorant?

    While creationists don’t like to see themselves as “holocaust denying” types when it comes to logic, truth is many of them fit that category exactly.

    People just can’t let go of cultural dogma’s that have since been proven wrong. I mean really, this whole debate is backed by those of christian cultural heritage and not about truth.

    If it were really about truth it wouldn’t matter how the universe created. Most importantly if god did it, he could have done a lot better job. Being stuck around a sun that will one day explode and being bombarded by stuff from space is not exactly my idea of good design.

  5. 5

    I am not stupid, uninformed, uneducated, or motivated by nefarious intent. I just looked at the evidence, thought logically, and concluded that Darwinism is the biggest joke in the history of science.

    Does that mean that those who look at the evidence, think logically, and come to a different conclusion are “stupid, uninformed, uneducated, or motivated by nefarious intent”?

  6. David,

    No, just wrong, because the weight of the evidence in the information age contradicts the basic Darwinian thesis, that random errors can accumulate with even the most optimistic assumptions about the available probabilistic resources to produce the information and information-processing machinery of living systems.

    It’s a no-brainer.

  7. 7

    If it’s a “no brainer,” then those who hold otherwise would have to be stupid (or something equivalent).

  8. No, just blinded by a philosophical commitment (which I once shared, by the way). But the evidence convinced me that my philosophical commitment was in error, even though I held it strongly for 43 years. Some people are so wedded to a philosophical commitment that no amount of evidence will make a difference.

  9. 9

    “Some people are so wedded to a philosophical commitment that no amount of evidence will make a difference.”

    That’s true, Gil. For example, I once held a philosophical commitment to evangelicalism that made me reject the evidence for evolution.

  10. I accept the evidence for evolution. Living things are not now as they once were, so they must have evolved.

    But I do not accept the explanatory power of the Darwinian mechanism, which is clearly bankrupt beyond description. Design is evident and screams at us from every corner of creation. We deny the evidence at our own peril.

    You should revisit your roots. You might find that there is much more wisdom therein than you realize.

  11. Gil,

    WELCOME BACK!!

    David,

    You are not stupid, uneducated etc. for believing in evolution. OTOH, if you should defend your belief by accusing those who disagree of being stupid etc., then that should call your belief into question.

  12. GilDodgen,

    Great to see you back commenting on UD, if not writing articles (which I’m sure a lot of folks are still hopin’ for).

    It is indeed crucial we get the message out that:

    1. Evolution, as the unfolding of already existing information, is true, whereas

    2. Darwinism / Neo-Darwinism (currently co-opting and disfiguring the [originial] definition of evolution) as the creation of ‘new’ information via the fixing of random mutations by natural selection, is false.

    Let us get back to understanding evolution from its original conception; that of the unfolding of life from a pre-existing blueprint.

  13. tribune7: Gil, WELCOME BACK!!

    I tried to stay away, but I couldn’t help myself. I have no free will. My selfish genes made me do it!

  14. 14
    CannuckianYankee

    “You should revisit your roots. You might find that there is much more wisdom therein than you realize.”

    While Christianity was not in my roots, I have returned to it a couple of times in my life because the alternative just did not hold any “explanatory power” for me. This was my reason – I’m sure God had other reasons:

    “Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life……” from Psalm 23.

    The Hebrew route word for “follow” in this passage actually means “to persue with extreme prejudice.” So I take that as meaning that God, even when we are not persuing Him, is constantly persuing us. This is why we don’t give up on anybody, because He does not give up on us.

  15. #3 Evolution is a… ““scientific” paradigm in its death throes”.

    Strange… besides from the posts of UD… the evil Darwinists seem to be pretty steady on their thrown.

  16. Gill: “because the weight of the evidence in the information age contradicts the basic Darwinian thesis, that random errors can accumulate with even the most optimistic assumptions about the available probabilistic resources to produce the information and information-processing machinery of living systems.”

    I think the problem is that you’re misinformed on how Darwinian evolution works. It doesn’t just pile up random errors and see if they work, it uses a method that avoids those probabilistic problems.

    Think of a colony with gazillions of identical bacteria in it, each one happily dividing away, each one producing “sister” bacteria whose DNA is 100% identical to all the others. Are these new bacteria going to live? They should, since their DNA is identical to all the other bacteria.

    Suppose each bacteria has 1,000,000 base pairs in its DNA. Then let a mutation change a single base pair in the new bacteria. This new bacteria has 999,999 base pairs that are identical to its sister bacteria, all of which are healthy, and a single base pair that is different. Is this new bacteria going to be healthy or die?

    Well, we know that 99.999% of the new bacteria’s DNA is identical to all the other bacteria’s DNA and they work fine, so the only question is whether the single new base-pair will work or not. I’ve read that in actual observations, about one quarter of these single-base mutations are harmful, another quarter are helpful and the rest have no effect at all.

    Those are pretty good odds, especially since a bacteria that gets a bad mutation dies off and is soon replaced by the offspring of the gazillion bacteria that didn’t mutate. (Natural selection in action.)

    The reason the real life evolutionary odds are so much better than the odds you read about here is because the odds that ID theorists quote to you are generally for changing all of the DNA at once. If you change all 1,000,000 base pairs at once, then you start getting those 10 to the twentyninegazillion to one odds you see quoted by ID theorists. But real life doesn’t work that way.

  17. 17

    jerry asked a question on the addiction thread about whether UD is addictive. Clearly Gil has a hard time getting off the pipe. :-)

  18. It’s discouraging how quickly some commentator comes on and attacks ID, thus hijacking the thread and deteriorating it to another hackneyed discussion.

  19. On the topic of alternative splicing of mRNA, has anyone brought up the thought that it’s purpose may be as a data compression method to decrease the linear length of DNA?

    On the topic of the evolution from unicellular to multicellular organisms, has anyone brought up the difficulties Darwinism has for axis development evolution? Wouldn’t a multicellular organism yet to evolve axis develop simple be similar to a mass of differentiated cells, similar to a teratoma?

    On the topic of front-loaded evolution, has anyone brought up the documented cases of “cutaneous horns” in humans?

  20. djmullen: I think the problem is that you’re misinformed on how Darwinian evolution works.

    I know precisely how Darwinian evolution works. It takes existing genetic information and selects for it (e.g., finch beak size), and selects for genetic mutations that produce an overall deficiency but also produce the ability to survive in a toxic environment (e.g., bacterial antibiotic resistance).

    None of this is capable of producing information-processing machinery.

    David Kellogg: Clearly Gil has a hard time getting off the pipe.

    David, I don’t understand this reference. My dad smoked a pipe, and preferred Bond Street tobacco.

    You make strange references to things with which I am not familiar, like dropping trou, which I learned from you means dropping trousers and comparing penis size.

    I must give you credit for enlightening me. I’ll check out the pipe reference online. Does this have something to do with oral sex? I’m sure Freud could provide insight into this enigma.

  21. GilDodgen: “I know precisely how Darwinian evolution works. It takes existing genetic information and selects for it (e.g., finch beak size), and selects for genetic mutations that produce an overall deficiency but also produce the ability to survive in a toxic environment (e.g., bacterial antibiotic resistance).

    None of this is capable of producing information-processing machinery.”

    And you know this how? Do you have any idea of how the “information-processing machinery” we observe came to exist? If an intelligent designer designed it, how did he build it? By what means? when?

    I think it would be more accurate to say, “In my uninformed opinion, none of this is capable of producing information-processing machinery.”

    At a minimum, will you at least stop talking about Darwinian evolution meaning random errors accumulating. That’s not how evolution works.

  22. djmullen:

    You understand that every day someone new comes along here and repeats the party line, correct?

    Most here are well aware of the arguments for evolution through natural selection.

    I would argue that you are far less informed about Intelligent Design then the readers of this blog are about evolution through natural selection.

    Your primary problem with this is that you have already assumed that ID is a load of crap and have decided that its proponents are idiots and not worth taking seriously. This is a mistake.

    The arguments for ID are solid and certainly worth discussing and exploring more, even if one does not agree with the conclusions (such as myself). To dismiss it before understanding it says far more about you than it does ID.

  23. 23

    Tommy V,

    You understand that every day someone new comes along here and repeats the party line, correct?

    Which party is that?

  24. 24

    Gil, the pipe reference was a play on the UD addiction in your “I tried to stay away, but I couldn’t help myself.”

    As for the other reference, I was merely playing on your “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” (misquoted from memory), which seemed a clear double entendre.

    I’m not adding anything scandalous: I’m just responding to what’s there.

  25. David,

    I think your response is kind of what I mean.

    Much like Djmullen, you think what is important is your cleverness rather than the ideas themselves.

    You make the mistake of thinking your cleverness adds value to anything other than your own ego. But the ideas, facts and data are totally separate from your cleverness. They are not connected.

    Lies can be said by brilliant men, and brilliant ideas can be parroted by simpletons. The quality of the person has no bearing on the ideas themselves.

  26. 26
    iskim labmildew

    Tommy V,

    John Calvert and Daniel Schwabauer wrote a play with a similar premise titled “The Rule” and its script is available online.

    Is your play’s script also available online? If not, could you compare your play to “The Rule” by Schwabauer and Calvert? Most of us can’t manage to get to Houston for the performance to see for ourselves, I imagine.

  27. 27
    Barry Arrington

    djmullen your comment at [19] betrays a woeful lack of understanding of even the most basic evolutionary concepts even at the basic level of single celled organisms. Pretty much everything you say is either flat out wrong or distorted.

    Read Behe’s Edge of Evolution. Then come back to us.

  28. iskim,

    Thanks for asking. I read “The Rule” and that seems to be much more of straight educational piece. A dramatized debate.

    The Third Side is much more traditional character drama. As a biologist, the main character is comfortable with the arguments of ID but is unable to take it to the same conclusion. He struggles with the idea of design, because such a conclusion requires a designer – something he simply can’t fathom.

    A proponent of ID in the play points out that the character is then not objecting to ID for scientific reasons, but because of his atheism. Later in the play the lead character realizes that his friends in the biology department value natural selection, not for its validity, but because it is an answer that does not require God.

    From the scientific viewpoint, it’s about how each person is ultimately assuming the very thing that he is trying to prove. Essentially, you take out what you put in. You see what you want to see.

    The reason I think Bill posted the production in the blog is because he has read the play and ID is treated fairly and I believe it comes off quite well. I think he is being conservative when he says the play is ‘critical’ of ID. I am actually hoping the play can introduce some audiences to some of the basic concepts.

    Much like the lead character, I struggle with ID because of my own lack of faith in a designer, at least in the way ID may suggest. but I think its worth pursuing with great vigor. It needs to be on the table because the data supports it being on the table. I also believe that the scientific community has embraced Darwinism for reasons other than its validity, and we are all worse off because of it.

    Ultimately, the play is about love, faith, academic freedom, and the difference between being right and doing the right thing.

    Anyone in Houston is encouraged to come see the show.

  29. 29
    iskim labmildew

    Tommy V,

    Thanks for the reply and summary.

    If you had to write the play with the setting among the faculty of the biology department at Baylor University, how would that have changed the plot? I think that all of them are theists, which would take the atheist or agnostic angle off the table. What motivations would you supply them with for their rejection of Intelligent Design if that were the place setting?

  30. iskim:

    To be honest with you, I have no idea how to answer that question.

    I knew Baylor had a larger proponent of theists biologists than most, but the school’s faculty nearly rebelled when a center for ID was formed so I figured the theists were still very much in the minority there.

    To be honest with you, I don’t quite understand the objection to ID by a theists, as I believe the arguments are strong enough to at least earn a place in the discussion, even if one doesn’t fully come to the same conclusions. I believe the outright objection to those ideas, especially the vehement kind, come from psychological not intellectual origins.

    This is somewhat covered in the play a bit as the main character somewhat throws his Christian girlfriend under the bus, to assure his faculty friends that he is not a Christian. (Needless to say, this pisses her off to no end) Few people are strong enough to withstand immense social pressure and many will back down from their own beliefs because of it.

    I know I am a rather conservative fellow working in the very liberal film and theatre industry. I find myself often unconsciously apologizing for it and often assuring co-workers that I’m not “that kind” of conservative. When backed in a corner I will defend my beliefs, but most of the time i just want to get along with people and be well-liked.

    I think the psychological aspect of all these things is often overlooked in these discussions. I think we want to pretend that it is purely an intellectual endeavor, and I think it is far from it. Life is still the experience of a human being, and our personalities are still far bigger influences on what we believe than out intellects.

  31. 31

    Marduk:

    While creationists don’t like to see themselves as “holocaust denying” types when it comes to logic, truth is many of them fit that category exactly.

    Which logic is that, Marduk? And when you say “creationists”, do you mean Darwinism deniers?

  32. Barry, the comment you refer to as number 19 is now comment 16. Since comments tend to disappear from UD without warning, it might be a good idea to quote something unique from the comment you’re referring to so a browser search can find it.

    My description of evolution in (for the time being) [16]:

    “This new bacteria has 999,999 base pairs that are identical to its sister bacteria, all of which are healthy, and a single base pair that is different. Is this new bacteria going to be healthy or die?”,

    ” I’ve read that in actual observations, about one quarter of these single-base mutations are harmful, another quarter are helpful and the rest have no effect at all.” and

    “Those are pretty good odds, especially since a bacteria that gets a bad mutation dies off and is soon replaced by the offspring of the gazillion bacteria that didn’t mutate. (Natural selection in action.)”

    Are pretty much standard evolutionary theory. The fact that you think they “betray[] a woeful lack of understanding of even the most basic evolutionary concepts even at the basic level of single celled organisms. Pretty much everything you say is either flat out wrong or distorted.” pretty much demonstrates my point:

    NOBODY on UD seems to understand even the most basic facts of Darwinian evolution. Instead, over and over, we see various ID honchos raising straw men such as, “random errors can accumulate … to produce the information and information-processing machinery of living systems.” and then – well, you don’t actually even knock them down. Instead we get nonanswers like saying evolution can change beak size, but “None of this is capable of producing information-processing machinery.”

    Well, I’d like to ask anybody on UD what DID produce the information processing machinery in humans and other animals then? If you say a designer did it, fine. So HOW did he do it and WHEN did he do it?

    Evolution can give a mechanism for producing it: mutation of DNA and natural selection. What are the designer’s mechanisms?

    Evolution can give you some good ideas on when various bits of information processing machinery were created – sub-cellular information processing first (bacteria that are attracted to light or sugar, for instance), then very primative nervous systems such as those in jelly fish, then the first knots of nerves that made the first “brain”, etc. What timetable does ID provide?

    Regarding Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution”, I’ve been trying to read it for months, but I keep getting stopped by his chapter on malaria. I’m not at home right now, so I can’t give you quotes, but here’s what I remember about the part that boggles my mind:

    Behe says that a single base pair mutation can overcome some anti-malaria agents in a very short period of time because single base pair mutations are pretty frequent.

    He also says that a two base pair mutation can overcome some tougher anti-malarial agents after a longer period of time because it takes much much longer to get two base pairs to mutate in a way that blocks the drugs.

    But then he notes that sickle-cell anemia has existed for millions of years, yet malaria has never found a combination of mutations that will defeat it, therefore complex things cannot be accomplished via Darwian evolution. Q.E.D.

    But sickle-cell anemia fights malaria by making red blood cells sickle – that is they change from their normal round “jelly doughnut” shape to skinny stretched out shapes that are too narrow for the malaria organism to enter them.

    What possible kinds of mutations to the malarial cell would ever un-sickle a red blood cell???

    Add that to Gonzalez’s blundering about solar eclipses and Dembski’s “proving” that dead organisms will never “find” the evolutionary sweet spot that consists solely of organisms that successfully reproduce and I hope you’ll understand why I really don’t think that anybody in UD understands the Darwinian evolution that they are criticizing.

  33. Tommy V: “Much like Djmullen, you think what is important is your cleverness rather than the ideas themselves.

    You make the mistake of thinking your cleverness adds value to anything other than your own ego. But the ideas, facts and data are totally separate from your cleverness. They are not connected.

    Lies can be said by brilliant men, and brilliant ideas can be parroted by simpletons. The quality of the person has no bearing on the ideas themselves.”

    Tommy, read my last message to Barry (if it survives). The reason ID so thoroughly disgusts people who actually understand evolution is because ID theorists make it so achingly, obviously clear that they DON’T.

    When people come along who are clearly talking through their hats about something they don’t understand AND they say that their opponants are just being clever and “…make the mistake of thinking your cleverness adds value to anything other than your own ego,” and imply that we’re liars and simpletons – well, let’s just say that that’s not the Dale Carnegie approved way to Make Friends and Influence People.

  34. By the way, I don’t want anybody to think that my comments to GilDodgen were meant as an insult. Google “Gil Dodgen” and you’ll find that:

    1) He’s an accomplished hang glider pilot. I’ve done a little ultralight flying and hang gliding is like ultralight flying, except your engine is always dead.

    2) He edited “Hang Gliding” magazine for years.

    3) You’ll find many articles he wrote for that magazine that are clear and well enough written to make me jealous.

    4) You’ll also find a place where you can download the checkers playing program he wrote and if you manage to beat it, just turn the difficulty level up a bit and try again. You’ll eventually lose, I guarantee.

    5) He’s also worked on using microcomputers, GPSes and servos to steer parachutes to targets miles away. I started to write similar software to land ham-radio payloads dropped from weather balloons and got just far enough into the job before 9/11 stopped our balloon flying to know how difficult that is to do.

    and

    6) He plays the piano, which puts him way above me.

    I respect Gil’s intelligence and dilligence and ditto for most of the people in ID. But none of you understands evolution and your vacuous arguments are very highly annoying!

    Think of the punch line to the old joke to get an idea of how we feel.

    “Are you Catholic?”
    “Am I Catholic? Why I’m so Catholic that my father is a priest and my mother is a nun!”

    “Why’d they throw me out?”

  35. Tommy V,

    Thanks for the summary of the play. Is it available anywhere or will it be done in southern California? Your description is fascinating.

    Part of what strikes me as fascinating is that you seem to have (I would say inadvertently, but that is giving too little credit to your subconscious) hit upon the core issue. The core objection to ID is not fundamentally a scientific one. It is a religious one. The evidence for design is there. It is only that design suggests a designer, and upon further consideration a Designer, and many, I gather you among them, are uncomfortable with such an Entity.

    If we accept that the scientific evidence points to design, and we accept that the major objection to design is discomfort with the Designer, then we are forced to the conclusion that the dispute is science versus religion, with the ID proponents being those motivated by science and the ID deniers being the ones motivated by religious considerations. This is, of course, the precise reverse of how the conflict is usually portrayed in the mainstream media.

    Congratulations for seeing the controversy so clearly. Perhaps someday you will have the courage to follow the science where it leads, regardless of your religious sensibilities.

  36. djmullen,

    #33

    When people come along who are clearly talking through their hats about something they don’t understand AND they say that their opponants are just being clever and “…make the mistake of thinking your cleverness adds value to anything other than your own ego,” and imply that we’re liars and simpletons – well, let’s just say that that’s not the Dale Carnegie approved way to Make Friends and Influence People.

    Well, now, let’s see. It appears that you disapprove of people
    1. talking about something they don’t understand
    AND
    2. saying that their opponents are just being clever and imply that their opponents are liars and simpletons.
    Did I get that right?

    Then I read in #33

    The reason ID so thoroughly disgusts people who actually understand evolution is because ID theorists make it so achingly, obviously clear that they DON’T.

    and #32

    . . . I really don’t think that anybody in UD understands the Darwinian evolution that they are criticizing.

    and #34

    But none of you understands evolution and your vacuous arguments are very highly annoying!

    That would certainly seem to imply that we, all of us, are simpletons.

    You seem to realize that this is an overstatement, as in 34 you give detailed evidence that gildodgen, at least, is not a simpleton. It’s just that he doesn’t understand evolution. Presumably you do. (Never mind the fact that for some 40 years he used to believe in, not just evolution, but naturalism. Somehow that knowledge has gone.)

    Now, since you really do understand evolution, perhaps you could explain a few things to those of us who are talking through our hats about something we don’t understand.

    You mention (#32) that

    I’ve read that in actual observations, about one quarter of these single-base mutations are harmful, another quarter are helpful and the rest have no effect at all.

    I was always under the impression that the ratio of deleterious mutations to advantageous mutations was something closer to 999 to 1. Perhaps you could let us know where you read this. It should be easy, as you seem to be saying that this is “pretty much standard evolutionary theory.” There should also be evidence for this, as otherwise “pretty much standard evolutionary theory” would be wrong, or at least highly speculative.

    Second, you say (#32),

    Evolution can give a mechanism for producing it [the information processing machinery in humans and other animals]: mutation of DNA and natural selection.

    Truly, this is fascinating. In parallel with your comment about the Designer, I would like to know “HOW” mutation of DNA and natural selection did it. I presume that you would not say, a la Goldschmidt, that it was done all at one time. So what were the intermediate steps? Which proteins and/or non-coding regions were changed, and in what order, so as to keep alive the creature, or more precisely series of creatures, as they gradually changed from a part-chimp part-human part-something-else into a human.

    Too much of a challenge? There were multiple pathways that could have been used, and we can’t be sure which one actually was? Fine. Then give one plausible pathway. The more plausible pathways there are, the easier it should be to find one.

    You really should do this. We wouldn’t want anyone to think that you are talking through your hat about something you don’t understand. That wouldn’t be in accord with the Dale Carnegie approved way to Make Friends and Influence People.

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