Home » Darwinism, Philosophy » Panda’s Thumb’s Nick Matzke: Turning a debacle into a debris storm

Panda’s Thumb’s Nick Matzke: Turning a debacle into a debris storm

Or a storm of worse substance …

Further to Sal Cordova’s earlier post, “Matzke is a Liar”: If Matzke is what those who know him claim, perhaps Barbara Forrest could usefully thank him and ask him to cease his efforts on her behalf.

The whole affair is an in-house scandal in philosophy, brought about by a journal’s mistaken reliance on Darwin lobby group NCSE that they must have imagined was some sort of institute. The scandal is best dealt with by those professional philosophers who want to maintain some “discipline within the discipline” (one hopes that’s the majority; otherwise, the discipline is toast, never mind Frank Beckwith or Larry Laudan).

Trying to work up Darwinists to believe that the outed “no-homework” prof was the victim of a conspiracy only broadcasts the mess to a wider public, one that can offer no more than shout ins and shout outs. That might be an advantage to Darwin lobbyists if they had a good case, but they don’t.

It seems that the Darwin lobby hoped to find themselves in a situation where they could point the finger at just anyone at all who even thought about Darwinism vs. design in a balanced, rational way. If they had succeeded, they might well have felt free to go after some of the multi-lateral authors in The Nature of Nature , or perhaps Bradley Monton or Jerry Fodor.

My take is that scholars looked at the prospect of giving lobbyists broomstick rights over the entire academy and are advisedly pulling back.

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10 Responses to Panda’s Thumb’s Nick Matzke: Turning a debacle into a debris storm

  1. Speaking of The Nature of Nature, today I read Doug Axe’s essay, The Nature of Protein Folds: Quantifying the Difficulty of an Unguided Search through Protein Sequence Space on page 412. Anyone who reads this and comes away believing that Darwinian mechanisms can produce this technology is living on another planet than I do, or perhaps in a hyper-version of Alice’s Wonderland where a near infinite number of impossible things are believed before breakfast.

  2. …or perhaps in a hyper-version of Alice’s Wonderland where a near infinite number of impossible things are believed before breakfast.

    Is that only because there’s just not quite enough time before breakfast to believe an infinite number of impossible things?

  3. That’s always the problem with infinity, isn’t it? No matter how you slice it, there is always “more” (or, just as much as you started with).

  4. For a rational evaluation of the concept of infinity, check out this:

    http://www.youtube.com/drcraig.....NZY8XQeuTQ

  5. ok Gil. You made me skip ahead:

    The [genetic] code had made it clear that the vast set of possible proteins, each of which could conceivably be constructed by genetic mutations, is far too large to have actually been sampled to any significant extent in the history of life.

  6. …we conclude that it appears highly implausible for the protein structures we see in biology to have been built up from tiny ancestral structures in a way that: 1) employed only simple mutation events, 2) progressed from one well-formed structure to another, and 3) adequately performed the essential tasks of biology at each step.

    Irreducible complexity redux.

  7. This is why I like people like Doug Axe. He’s doing real science and reaching a reasonable conclusion based on the evidence and reasonable mathematical calculations, even while making the most optimistic assumptions in favor of the Darwinian mechanism.

    Darwinists are just fantasizing about the hopelessly improbable, based on a conclusion that was reached in advance, and trying to convince the rest of us that they are thinking logically, when, in fact, they are demonstrably out of contact with evidential, logical, and mathematical reality.

  8. What was raised decades ago as an apparent limitation to the evolution of new proteins has here been dubbed the sampling problem – the impossibility of any evolutionary process sampling anything but a minuscule fraction of the possible protein sequences. At that time, several missing pieces of information made it difficult to conclude with certainty whether this limitation presented a serious challenge to neo-Darwinian accounts of the origin of new proteins. With those pieces now in place, it has become clear both that the sampling problem is real and that it actually does present a serious challenge.

  9. Yes Gil, It is hard to underestimate the effect that Doug Axe’s work has had on the whole ID/Darwinism debate. For before Axe’s work the rarity of functional proteins was known to be rare but was none-the-less still a fuzzy area of knowledge, but Axe’s work, on specific protein folds as well as functional proteins, has frustrated any hope atheists ever had of ‘scientifically’ establishing a quasi neo-Darwinian solution to the origin of all species of life;

    Nothing In Molecular Biology Is Gradual – Doug Axe PhD. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5347797/

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), ‘If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’ Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It’s a mirage. None of it happens that way. –
    Doug Axe PhD.

    Evolution Vs. Functional Proteins – Where Did The Information Come From? – video – Doug Axe – Stephen Meyer
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018222/

    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681/

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  10. In the same way that all life can supposedly be traced back to an LUCA, and a “tree of life” created presenting the subsequent diversification from the LUCA, shouldn’t the same be true of proteins?

    Where is the protein tree of life?

    I am still waiting for any Darwinist to answer that one.

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